Yeovil People

John, William & John Henry Strong

Three generations of Yeovil bakers


John Strong

John Strong was born in Beaminster, Dorset, in 1801, the son of John Strong Snr (1761-1848) and his wife Sarah née Longman (d1848). He was baptised in Beaminster on 12 July 1801.

Nothing is known of his early life, but John Jnr married his cousin Ann Longman and they moved to Yeovil by 1830. John and Ann had four children, all born in Yeovil; Ann (b1830), Elizabeth (b1833), William Stuckey (b1837) and John (b1840). In the 1841 census John, listed as a 'Baker, employing 1 man', and his family were living in Vicarage Street.

By the time of the 1851 census, 50-year-old John and his family were living in the accommodation above his bakery and shop in Middle Street, close to today's Triangle, but actually on the corner of Turnstile Lane. John gave his occupation as 'Baker (employing 1 Man)' and his 14-year-old son William (see next) was listed as a scholar.

During the 1850s another move was made, this time to Hendford, where John's bakery (see Gallery) was opposite Hendford Manor. In the 1861 census, 59-year-old John and 57-year-old Ann were living above the bakery. All the children had left home. John gave his occupation simply as a baker.  

John Strong died in Yeovil during the winter of 1868. He was 67 years old.


William Stuckey Strong

William Stuckey Strong was born in Yeovil during the very early spring of 1837 and was baptised at St John's church on 3 March 1837. He was the third of John and Ann Strong's children.

The 1841 census listed 4-year-old William with his parents and siblings in Vicarage Street. He was listed as a 14-year-old scholar living with his family in Middle Street in the 1851 census.

 I couldn't find William in the 1861 census, although as seen above his parents were still living above the Hendford bakery. It seems that William was briefly living in London during this period and on 23 June 1863, at St Mary's church, Stoke Newington, he married Emma Boyle (1828-1870), the daughter of 'gentleman' Henry Sherrin Boyle, deceased. William and Emma returned to live in Yeovil, where they would have two children; John Henry, known as Henry, (1864-1939) and Alice Mary (b1867).

On 27 April 1870, 42-year-old Emma died and in the 1871 census, widower William was listed living above his bakery with 6-year-old Henry, his 3-year-old sister Alice, two servants (a cook and a nurse) and two journeymen bakers. William gave his occupation as 'Baker, employing 2 men'. Henry was listed as a scholar.

In the early summer of 1871, William married Sarah Marden (1839-1876). The marriage was recorded in the Sherborne registration district, but is likely to have occurred in her home village of Rimpton. They were not to have children and, sadly, Sarah died in Yeovil the spring of 1876. In the 1881 census, William and his daughter Alice were living above the bakery, together with his sister-in-law Annie Marden who acted as housekeeper, a general servant. William listed his occupation as a baker. By 1891, he had retired but was still living above the bakery with his son Harry who had assumed the bakery business.

By the time of the 1901 census, Ann Marden and her sister Charlotte, together with 64-year-old William, were living in Rimpton. Ann was described as the head of the household and William was listed as her brother-in-law. William's occupation was given as 'none'.

William Stuckey Strong died in the spring of 1906 at Nottingham. He was 68 years old.


John Henry Strong

John Henry Strong, known as Henry, was born on 29 May 1864 in Yeovil and baptised at Holy Trinity on 5 October 1864. He was the older child of baker of Hendford, William Stuckey Strong and his first wife Emma née Boyle.

During the late 1870s, Henry moved to London where he became a draper's apprentice to John Axtons who had a large establishment at 367, 369 and 371 Mare Street, Hackney. Henry lived on the premises with the Axton family, their three domestic staff and eight shop staff and apprentices. His experience as a draper did not last long and he soon returned to Yeovil when his father retired.

 In the 1891 census, 26-year-old Henry was back living above the Hendford bakery and was listed as the head of the family. He gave his occupation as a baker and 54-year-old William was listed as 'living on own means'. Also in residence were a cook and a general servant.

In the autumn of 1891, at Leicester, Henry married Alice Jane Hackett (1869-1946). They set up home in the Hendford bakery and were to have one son, Percival John (b1895). However, during the following decade Henry moved his family to South Leicester, where they lived with Alice's parents; insurance agent John Hackett and his wife Eliza. 36-year-old Henry gave his occupation as 'Commercial Traveller (Flour)'. In the 1911 census, 47-year-old Henry was working as a traveller and was living in West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire, with 38-year-old dressmaker Annie Pope, listed as a 'visitor'. Alice and Percival remained with Alice's father in Leicestershire. John died in Leicester on 27 September 1939 and is buried in Welford Road Cemetery, Leicester..




The record of John's baptism of 12 July 1801 from Beaminster's parish register.


The record of William's baptism of 3 March 1837 from St John's parish register.


The record of Henry's baptism of 5 October 1864, from Holy Trinity parish register. His date of birth, 29 May 1864, is written alongside the entry, at the left.


From my collection

Henry Strong's signature on one of his receipts, dated 17 September 1892.


From the Cave Collection (colourised), Courtesy of South Somerset Heritage Collection

A view of the bakery in a photograph of about 1955. At the time of this photograph, the left half of the large three-storey building was Chappell's bakery, formerly Dibben's Bakery and before that, the bakery of Henry Pulman. Previous to that, it was the bakery of John Strong, followed by his son William Strong and then his grandson Henry Strong.


From the Cave Collection (colourised), Courtesy of South Somerset Heritage Collection
This photograph features in my book '
Secret Yeovil'

Taken in the 1960s, this photograph looks along Hendford towards town with the boundary wall of Hendford Manor just glimpsed at extreme right. At the time of this photograph, the large three-storey building at centre was Chappell's Bakery.