Yeovil Trades & Traders

Henry William Stroud

Tailor and Outfitter of Union Street


Henry William Stroud was born in Yeovil on 11 August 1868. He was the son of John Stroud (1831-1916) and his wife Priscilla nee Cotton (1832-1909). Henry, the only son, had five older sisters and a younger sister - Caroline (b1858), Mary J (b1860), Annie (b1862), Priscilla (b1864), Cecilia (b1866) and Catherine (b1872). All the children were born in Yeovil.

In the 1871 census, the family were living at 9 Paradise Row. John gave his occupation as a cordwainer and Priscilla gave hers as a glover. By the time of the following 1881 census, the family had moved to 22 Park Street, next door to the Dolphin Inn. John gave his occupation as a shoe maker. Caroline was no longer living at home, the two youngest children (Henry and Catherine) were listed as scholars while all the other girls were glovers.

By the time of the 1891 census 22-year-old Henry was working as a tailor and boarding in Ascot Road, Sunninghill, Berkshire. However, he soon returned to Yeovil and on 15 April 1895 he married Leah Thorne (1874-1962), the daughter of Albert Thorne and Sarah née Shutter of Stoke sub Hamdon. Henry and Leah set up home at 28 Park Street, from where he ran his own tailoring business from 1896 and Kelly's Directory of 1897 listed him there as a tailor. On 18 June 1896 their daughter Gladys May (1896-1990) was born at 28 Park Street.

By the time of the 1901 census, Henry had opened his tailoring shop at 3 Union Street. Henry and Leah lived above the shop premises at 3a. A son, Theodore William, was born on 16 April 1905 and the family were recorded at 3 Union Street in the 1911 census.

Theodore was to later join his father in the family tailoring business from 1920 and by 1922 the business was known as H Stroud & Son. In 1929, at Yeovil, Theodore married Dorothy May Appleby (1894-1985).

In the 1939 Register, Henry and Leah were listed living at 71 West Coker Road. 68-year-old Henry gave his occupation as a retired tailor and Leah gave hers as unpaid domestic duties. Henry and Leah later moved to 12 Wraxhill Road.

Henry died in 1961 and Leah died on 9 August 1962 at Summerlands Hospital. Her effects were valued at £3,167 11s 6d (around £70,000 at today's value).

Theodore continued to run the tailoring business until his retirement in February 1972. He died in Yeovil on 29 October 1982, aged 78.


From the 11 February 1972 edition of the Western Gazette, describing the Stroud business on the retirement of Theodore Stroud.

Oldest tailors' firm closes

Yeovil's oldest tailoring business, H Stroud & Son, of Union Street, closes on Wednesday. The proprietor, Mr TW Stroud (68), and his cutter, Mr Joseph Steinhardt (65) are both retiring. The shop premises have been sold and will be involved in the proposed development of Middle Street,

The shop was opened by Mr Stroud's father, Mr Henry Stroud, in 1896, when he took over what was previously part of a decorating business. For years Mr Stroud divided his loyalties, devoting part of the business to wallpaper and part to cloth.

Mr TW Stroud succeeded his father 52 years ago, when the average price for a suit was five guineas. It is now £45. Mr Steinhardt joined him 25 years ago. He was previously with a Manchester tailoring firm.

Mr Stroud, who lives at 14, Wraxhill Road, Yeovil, will still be using the shop premises until the end of the month. Customers who have outstanding orders may collect their goods during this period.




This photograph features in my book 'Yeovil From Old Photographs'

Paradise Row, Huish, photographed about 1910. In the 1870s, Henry lived at No 9 with his parents and six sisters.


Courtesy of Rob Baker

This is a photograph, taken around 1900, of Henry Stroud standing outside his Union Street shop premises.


H Stroud & Son's advertisement running in the Western Chronicle throughout 1901 and 1902.


This advertisement, with appropriate changes to the wording depending on the season, appeared in the Western Chronicle on a weekly basis from 1908 to 1910.


Henry Stroud's advertisement running in the Western Chronicle during the autumn of 1922.


... and H Stroud & Son's advertisement running in several editions of the Western Chronicle during November and December 1924.


From the Cave collection, courtesy of South Somerset District Council

The 3 Union Street shop premises photographed in the 1960s.