Wedmore Genealogy Pages

I only have a few articles, as I ran out of time during my visit to the U.K.

If anyone lives in the Wells, or Taunton area
and wishes to volunteer to transcribe
the Wells Journal microfilm articles that
relate to Wedmore, please let me know.
We would love to have them on this site.

Jan 10, 1878


The Farmers' Annual ball was held in the schoolroom in this village on Thursday evening last and was well attended by the sons and daughters of most of the farmers in the district, upwards of 100 being present.  The music engaged consisted of Mr. Davis's string band, from Bristol, the same party having done services on the last occasion to the satisfaction of all.  Dancing was kept up with unflagging spirit until early morning, and some capital songs were sung during the evening by the company.  Refreshments were provided on a liberal scale, and altogether the party passed off very successfully.

(I have added this because it may provide people with a lead for finding the ship their ancestors went to the New World on.-Michael Tutton, July 2001)

Allan Line.
Shortest Ocean Passage to America.

Halifax, Canadian and United States Mail.

Composed of Twenty First-Class Steamers.

Leaving Liverpool every Thursday and Londonderry every Friday for Halifax, Quebec, Portland, and Baltimore.
Through Tickets to Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and to all points in Canada and the States.

Low Fares and excellent Accommodation.

Passengers who secure their Tickets before leaving home are met at the Railway Station by an appointed Agent of the Company, who takes charge of them until they go on board the Steamer.

The Canadian Government grants Assisted Passages by the Allan Line.

Write for the Pamphlet "Lord Dufferin In Manitoba."

Apply to Allan Brothers & Co. Liverpool or Londonderry, or to

George Slade

5, St. John Street, Wells.

Company’s Special Notice to Emigrants

We advise Passengers to obtain their Tickets from our Agents before leaving home.

January 17, 1878


Church Decorations-The decorations have never been more worthy of this fine old church than on the present festive occasion.  The extensive area for ornamentation has taxed the time, energies, and taste of the ladies and gentlemen to the utmost, who have been most assiduous in the good work.

Each lady had her allotted task, in which to work out her individual taste and it has been done admirably.

The chancel decorations fell to the lot of Mrs. Millard, the Misses Wall, and Mis Knowles, whose artistic dispositions  have elicited warm congratulations.  Over the communion table is the motto "Peace on Earth" in white letters on  moss, with frosted wreaths pendant over the Decalogue, the railings being wreathed with yew and holly, studded with berries.  The venerable and handsomely carved oak pulpit from which the crimson velvet had been removed, is most tastefully decorated.  The panels are surrounded with wreaths of box, variegated and green holly, while the centers are filled in with Maltese crosses and stars alternately, this the combined work of Mrs. Millard and Miss Alice Bailey, deserves much praise.

The pedestal of the font is entirely covered with moss, the paneling being filled up with white wool surrounded by ivy, red berries and moss.  This tasteful arrangement is the work of Miss Wall, (eldest daughter of the churchwarden) and the Misses Tucker.

The window sills are covered with moss interspersed with immortelles.

The eight pillars of the nave are spirally wreathed with laurestinus, ivy, and variegated evergreens.

Over the south porch is  the text "Glory to God in the Highest" in holly leaves and berries; over the north door "Emmanuel" in white letters on moss.

The stained glass window to the memory of the late Mr. Thomas Kempthorne and daughter is especially distinguishable by having a white star in the center with I.H.S. on either side in red berries, the whole enclosed in a border of frosted ivy berries.

The organ and gallery are festooned with frosted wreaths.  Various devices are profusely but tastefully distributed about the church, showing unmistakably that the ladies and gentlemen of Wedmore take a deep interest in the parish and its fine old church.

The services on Christmas Day were nearly fully choral and rendered by the choir (under the able direction of Miss Hancock, the organist) in a most efficient and impressive manner.  The anthems "Surely, surely" (by the Rev. J. Kempthorne) in the morning, and "The light that shined upon us" in the evening were very meritorious performances.

The Vicar and numerous members of the congregation have given every assistance in their power to render the services at this time worthy of the occasion.  To the Vicar is due in great measure the efficiency of the ringing here.  By his personal supervision and liberality, the Wedmore ringers promise to become quite scientific campanologists.

On Monday night they were treated to a sumptuous repast at the Vicarage.  The choir have a similar treat in store.  All in turn come in for a share of the Vicar's good-heartedness.

Axbridge County Court


Harriet Gully was summoned by Elizabeth Vowles for assaulting her on the 8th inst., at Wedmore.

Elizabeth Vowles said they lived next door to each other.  On the 2nd inst., she had her bucket under the shoot to catch rain, and the defendant came out and flung the water into the road.  She told defendant not to touch it an if she did “she’d catch what for.”  Defendant “dapped” the dirty mop in her face, and knocked her across the shoulder.  She did not touch defendant.  Her daughter was in the doorway.

Robert Rogers said on the day in question he was in the lane opposite the house and he saw the defendant strike complainant twice with the mop and push it in her face.  Complainant did not strike defendant.

Sarah Hooper said she was in the house with defendant.  Complainant took three buckets of rain water and defendant then put her bucket under.  Complainant took it away and put her own there and dared defendant to touch it.  Defendant was sprinkling the mop and complainant said if she sprinkled it again she would take it away.  She did sprinkle it again, and complainant tried to take it from her.  They had a tussle for the mop , but there were no blows struck.

Sentence was deferred.

Elizabeth Vowles was summoned by Harriet Gully, for assaulting her on the 2nd inst., at Wedmore.

Complainant said she went into the village after the row was over.  When she went back defendant’s son came out of the public house with some drink and told his mother that she (complainant) was passing.  Defendant came out and beat her about the head with a mop and after a time gave her daughter the mop and fell upon her.

Sarah Hooper said she was complainant going back from the village, and defendant’s son went into the house and told defendant that complainant was coming and she said "She'd go out and meet her with the mop."  She did go and hit her several times, and then have her daughter the mop, and tore complainant's clothes off her back.

Amelia Vowles, daughter of defendant, said her mother went out with the mop but did not touch complainant.  She did not give her the mop but another girl.  Complainant said she would go for the Sergeant and her mother said she would go with her, and complainant would not go.  Defendant did tear complainant's bonnet a little.

The magistrates thought they had both assaulted each other, and fined them 2s. 6d. each and costs.


John Vowles was fined 2s. 6d. and costs for being drunk and disorderly on Christmas-day at Wedmore.

Affiliation Case

(The article does not state where the events occurred, but I believe that it was around Wedmore, due to the surnames-Michael Tutton, July 2001)

Robert Isgar, was summoned to show cause why he should not contribute towards the support of the illegitimate child of Rhoda Patch, the wife of George Patch, of which he was the putative father.

The intimacy was alleged to have taken place while the complainant’s husband was undergoing a sentence of seven years’ penal servitude for manslaughter.

The magistrates thought the corroborative evidence was not strong enough for them to make an order.


Jan. 31 1878

Axbridge Petty Sessions (Monday)


George Rogers was charged with stealing a pan and 28lbs. Of meat, at Wedmore, on the 21st. inst.

Samuel Nichols, hawker, said on the night of the 21st. Inst. He had a pan with a quantity of salt meat in it, in the well-house, adjoining the house.  There was a door from the house into it, and there  was an outer door.  The outer door was closed, but not locked.  He saw the pan with the meat in it at four o'clock.  He next saw it in the possession of P.C. Woonton.  The pan and the meat produced were the same, which was altogether of the value of 15s. He missed it on Tuesday morning.

P.C. Wooton said on Tuesday last he went to prisoner's house, at Latcham, and went into a closet at the back of the house and found the pan and meat produced, covered over with another pan, a board, and a cloth.  He took the meat into the house, and prisoner's wife called him downstairs.  He charged him with stealing the pan and meat, and cautioned him.  Prisoner said he knew nothing about it.  He took him into custody, and on his way to Wedmore with him, he said, "I wonder if Nichols would come to any terms for the meat that's missing."  He afterwards examined prisoner's(I believe this should read "victim's"-Michael Tutton. July 2001) premises and found footmarks in the garden close to the well-house.  He compared prisoner's boots with the marks, and they corresponded exactly.  Since prisoner had been before magistrates on this charge he had heard him make a statement.  He said he found the meat at Squire Wollen's gate.  Prisoner did ask about Nichol's taking terms-close by Patch, the mason's house, Squire Wollen's house was between Nichol's house and prisoner's house.  Plaintiff lived nearly opposite his house.

William Rogers said he lodged at the prisoner's house.  He was at home on Monday night. Prisoner brought the meat in about half-past nine.  He did not say anything to prisoner.  The meat was not covered over.

Prisoner pleaded not guilty.  He said, "Samuel Nichol's house was not between the policeman's house and where he found the meat.  Where he found the meat was not by Squire Wollen's dwelling gate, but by the field gate by the side of the turnpike road, and there was a hayrick inside close by the gate, and whilst there he saw the meat and took it home.  He then went to bed and left the meat in the house.  He was very drunk that night and was not able to get up next morning to go to work.  He was in bed when the policeman came there."

Prisoner was committed for trial.


John Stone Wall was fined 5s. and costs for being drunk at Wedmore, on the 11th inst.

Joseph Warn was fined 2s. 6d. and costs for being drunk, at Wedmore, on the 13th inst.

Charles Cock was fined 5s. and costs for being drunk at Wedmore on the 14th inst.

John Puddy was 7s. 6d. and costs for being drunk and refusing to quit the licensed premises of Edwin Henderson, at Wedmore on the 19th inst.

February 7, 1878

Sales by Auction

By Mr. George Duckett

Draycott Moor, in the Parish of Rodney Stoke, Somerset

To be sold in Fee, by Auction by

Mr. George Duckett, at the George Hotel, Wedmore, in the County of Somerset on Tuesday, the 19th day of February, 1878 at 3:30 o'clock in the afternoon (subject to such conditions of sale as will be then and there produced, and which may be seen at the offices of the undermentioned Messr. G. and R. Poole, during the seven days immediately preceding the sale), all that close of


Situate in Draycott Moore, in the parish of Rodney Stoke, in the county of Somerset adjoining the road leading from Rodney Stoke to Wedmore, numbered 255 on the Tithe Map and Reference Book of the said parish of Rodney Stoke and in the said Reference book stated to contain by admeasurement.

9a. 3r. 19p. (more or less)  and now in the occupation of Mr. George Lovell, as tenant thereof.

To view the premises apply to the Tenant, and all further information may be obtained on application at the office of the Auctioneer, Blackford, near Weston-super-Mare; or of

Messr. G. & R. Poole,

Solicitors, Bridgewater

Dated Bridgewater 30th January, 1878


A reading and musical entertainment was give in the Assembly-rooms, on Thursday evening, when although the atmosphere was damp and cold, the room was well filled.

The programme opened with a piano-forte duet, "Tancredi", by Mrs. Collins and Mrs. G. Millard; Trio, "Come Fairies, trip it on the grass," by Mrs. Millard, Miss S. Wall and Mr. A. Wall; Reading; Duet, "The rose" by Miss S. Wall, and Mr. E. Wall; Madrigal, "Down in a flow'ry vale," by Mrs. Collins, Miss. S. Wall, Messrs. E. and A. Wall; Reading Pianoforte duet, "Oberon," by Mrs. Collins, Mrs. Millard and Miss. S. Wall; Reading; Quartette, "The belfry tower," Mrs. Millard, Miss S. Wall, Messrs. E. and A. Wall; Reading; Trio, "Hark 'tis the Indian drum," Mrs. Collins, Messres. E. and A. Wall.

Mr. E wall, then delighted the company with his comic song "Oh Mary, how contrary;" which caused much merriment and was encored, for which he substituted; "Jessie at the railway bar"”  Another reading, and "God save the Queen," brought a very pleasant evening to a close.

The readers, were Mr. Tomlins, Mr. J.B. Millard and Dr. Tyley.  The vicar presided, and in the course of the evening said how pleased the committee would be of more assistance.  He thought more of the young gentlemen of the parish, might come forward and render help in these readings, as although this was the first of this kind, they hoped to have more before the season was over.

A vote of thanks to the chairman and readers and singers brought the entertainment to a close.

Feb. 14, 1878

Axbridge Petty Sessions


John Higgs was fined 5s. and costs or seven days’ imprisonment for being drunk at Wedmore on the 9th inst.

John Gibbs was fined 5s. And costs for being drunk at Wedmore on the 2nd inst.


(The article does not state where the events occurred, but I believe that it was around Wedmore, due to the surnames-Michael Tutton, July 2001)

John Higgs was summoned by Sarah Higgs to show cause why he should not be bound over to keep the peace.-Bound over in his own recognizances of £5 and one surety of £5 to keep the peace for six months.

April 11, 1878

Axbridge County Court, Wednesday

William Hopkins v. Richard Tidball.-The parties in this case live at Wedmore, and the defendant was represented by Mr. Webster.

At a recent sitting of the Court the defendant in the case sued the plaintiff for a sum of money for the rent of a cottage and judgment was given in his favour.

Plaintiff now sued the defendant for £2 5s. for work done from January 8th 1877, to July the same year.  He presented an account but said he had, never asked the defendant for the money as he had promised to deduct it from the rent.  Instead of doing so, however, defendant had sued for the whole amount of rent due, but although he obtained judgment in his favour the money had not been paid into court.

Upon cross-examination the plaintiff failed to prove but that a very small portion of the money he claimed was legally due to him and his Honour after carefully investigating the matter said that the plaintiff had entirely failed in his attempt to prove some portions of the alleged debt, and all he was entitled to was 14s. 9d.  This sum would be deducted from the amount for which defendant had obtained judgment thus reducing the amount to be paid by the plaintiff to £2 7s. 9d. And costs.