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Who's Who in Hope Mansell in 1876

The image below is from another book in Ray Margrett's library, Littlebury's Gazetteer of 1876. Many of the names are familiar from stories told as I was making A Parcel of Time, the film about Hope Mansell.

Ian Lewis

I read with interest the extract from Mr Raymond Margrett's book, Littlebury's Gazetteer of 1876, as I know certain names listed from that time. Perhaps I can make them a little more real.

The first name I will highlight is my paternal great-grandfather, James Charles Jones, farmer and landowner of Upper End. Sadly James died in 1879 aged 41 years, leaving his widow Elizabeth to raise the remaining five children, all under eleven years of age. She died in 1898 aged 61.

Mentioned also is William Bennett Jones, farmer and landowner of Sutton and Upper House. James Charles (above) and William Bennett Jones were brothers, the sons of George and Jane (née Bennett, from Mitcheldean). Jane had two sisters, Arabella and Sophie. Sophie married Cornelius Brain, a coal proprietor.
Cornelius Brain built Euroclydon with its very high tower. The family story was that the tower was for the purpose of Cornelius being able to see all the mining pits in the area. Cornelius and Sophie had two sons: Thomas Bennett Brain, mentioned in the Gazette, and William Blanch Brain. Cornelius died in 1869 aged 64. Thomas Bennett Brain was living at Euroclydon in 1881 according to the Census, employing 1,000 men and boys in the local mines.

The name Osman Barrett is also mentioned; he was a coal proprietor also. Osman Barrett was also related to the above family, having married Jane Bennett (not the above Jane but her niece, the daughter of Jane, Arabella and Sophie’s brother, Timothy). Of interest, Timothy, Osman’s father-in-law, gave several stained glass windows to Mitcheldean Church in memory of his wife.

Thomas Gee, from Beechwood, is also listed. The Gee family were staunch supporters of Hope Mansell Church as well as the School. In Hope Mansell Church there is a stained glass window dedicated to the memory of Edith Gee, Nurse Edith.

There are other Bennetts mentioned in the Gazetteer but, to my knowledge, they have no relationship to the above Bennett family. At the time, Euroclydon and Beechwood were in the Parish of Hope Mansell.

Mary Freeman

Hope Mansell Entry in Gazetteer in 1876

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