Charlotte & John Wellsbury

Charlotte & John Wellsbury
Headstone text reads…
WHO DIED DEC. 15. 1895 , AGED 66 YEARS .
“Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness”.


Their joint headstone is located not far from the entrance to the Churchyard facing Quarry Bank.

Charlotte was born Charlotte Bevan in 1829 at Elton near Hereford. She was baptised on 27th January 1829. Her mother’s name was Ann, but very little additional information has so far come to light regarding her parents.

She next appears in the 1851 Census when Charlotte is recorded as a servant at Bretforton, Worcestershire in the Ball household, with 2 other servants. Thomas Ball a widower was 63, a farmer of 170 acres with 7 labourers. His unmarried adult son & daughter, and a grandson and granddaughter also lived with him.

On 14 April 1856 Charlotte married John Wellsbury at St. Thomas Church in Dudley

John was born in Stourbridge also in 1829 and was baptised on 15 November 1829 in Kingswinford.

The 1841 Census shows that he was living at Gothersley, near Kinver with his parents William & Sarah, and 4 siblings.

By the time of the 1851 Census John was working as a Groom for a retired Linen draper in Compton near Kinver.

Having married Charlotte in 1856 you would expect that by the 1861 Census that they would be recorded together. But in fact on the date of that Census they appear to be living at separate addresses. This may have been due to working circumstances, and coincided with the day on which the Census was taken. In 1861 Charlotte is recorded as married, working as a dressmaker and living in King St, West Bromwich. Meanwhile her husband is living at 5 High St, Christchurch, West Bromwich. He is listed as being married, and a servant, working as a Groom.

But by 1871 the Census shows that Charlotte and John are living together at Hargate Lane, West Bromwich, and that John is a Beer House keeper. They have one domestic servant (Mary Bell). An entry in Kelly's Directory for 1876 confirms that John is running The Crown in Hargate Lane.

In 1881 the Census reveals that Charlotte and John are now living in Hartlebury. No occupation is listed for John, and an address is not specified, but it is likely to have been Inn Lane or Quarry Bank. At that time they had a boarder living with them.

As an aside, it is interesting to note that the occupants at the Grammar School in Hartlebury in 1881 included the Schoolmaster, Thomas Wright Greenhall, who was born in Lancashire, and had a BA from Canterbury. Several of the scholars listed at the school were also born in Lancashire. Amongst the teachers there was a teacher of modern languages, a young lady aged 23 by the name of Emile Bouvier, who was born in the Piedmont region of Italy.

By 1891 the Census confirms that Charlotte and John are living in Hind Lane (now Inn Lane) at Spring Cottage. The property still exists, with a date stone high up on the wall (1878). John is recorded as “living on his own means”. They have 2 boarders, scholars, Elizabeth & Louisa Yapp from Birmingham living with them.

Charlotte died on 15 December 1895, with Probate being granted on 21 February 1896 to her husband John, who was then recorded as a retired innkeeper.

In 1896 John is listed as having the right to vote by virtue of freehold houses and cottages at Harington (probably Harvington) in the Chaddesley Corbett polling district of the Mid or Droitwich Division of Worcestershire.

John died, not long after Charlotte, on 23 May 1896.  Probate for his estate was granted on 15 June 1896 to Sarah Elizabeth Horsman (spinster) & Edward Stanley Robinson (Surgeon).  Perhaps Mr. Robinson had been John’s doctor, which might explain why he received grant of probate.  But there is no information to explain who Sarah Horsman might have been and what her connection to the family could be.

Further research is needed, and perhaps more information will come to light.

Carol Priest—2021