Thomas Taylor & Elizabeth Bickmore
The family of Thomas and Elizabeth
Thomas was born about 1809, probably somewhere in Norfolk.

Elizabeth was born about 1806, probably in Capel St Mary, Suffolk.

Thomas and Elizabeth were married in 1829 at the St Marylebone Church, London

G5 Thomas Taylor
(ca 1809 - ca 1842)
= 1829
Elizabeth Bickmore
(ca 1806 - 29 Dec 1889)
G4 Rebecca
(23/2/1831 - )

= ?
? Forrest
(17/3/1833 - 19/4/1907)
Capel St Mary
Anne Turner
(ca 1835 - aft 1901)
Anne Elizabeth
(bef 14/4/1838 - aft 1881)
Gunford, Norwich
= ?
Charles Marshall
Sophia (Howard)
(ca 1841- ca 1942)

(1/10/1842 - aft 1901)
= 1861
Henry Joshua Bunn

Not a lot is know about this family's life until the 1850s.

As can be seen by the children's births, Thomas obviously travelled a lot, presumably associated with his occupation. From Edward's death certificate, we know that Thomas was a Coach Proprietor, presumably owning a small coaching company. I cannot find him in any of the online trade directories.

The exact details of his death are unknown, but a family story says that he was killed in an accident (probably in the early 1840s) stopping a horse which bolted with a carriage containing the Duchess of Devonshire. There appears to be some substance to this story, but it seems unlikely that it was the Duchess of Devonshire who was involved.

Rather than speculate here on the gaps in the story of Thomas and Elizabeth, I have put my notes on this page.

Pallot's Marriage Index for England: 1780 - 1837
NameElizth Bickmore
SpouseThos Taylor
Marriage Date1829
ParishT Mary'bone St Mary

which is also listed the other way around as:

NameThos Taylor
SpouseElizth Bickmore
Marriage Date1829
All we know about Rebecca is that she was born an the 23rd February 1831 in Marylebone, London and married someone of the name Forrest.

There has been no sign of this family in any records including the census's from 1861 and so possibly they died or emigrated before then.

Rebecca Taylor
Birth23 FEB 1831
Christening29 MAR 1831 Trinity, St. Marylebone, London, England
FatherThomas Taylor
Batch No.C021138
Edward's story is continued here.
Mary was born about 1835 in Romford, Essex, now a East London suburb.

What were the Taylors doing in Romford at that time? My guess is that Elizabeth was probably staying with a member of Thomas's or her family. There were some Bickmores living in the general area around that time and many Taylors, but no obvious contendors.

She never married but lived an interesting, but possibly somewhat grim life in the prison service.

In 1861 aged 25 she was a subwarden at the Bridewell prison in Westminster, London. It was located where the Westminster Cathedral now stands. The original entrance has been preserved to the rear of Westminster Guildhall, off Parliament Square. I could not resist taking the photograph below:

Door Knocker Bridewell Prison
Door Knocker from Bridewell Prison
(exhibit, Museum of London)

The caption on the exhibit reads:
Bronze door knocker - Tothill Prison, 1834

In 1834. a new prison - Tothill Fields, Bridewell - was built north-east of Rochester Row. Westminster. It was designed by Robert Abraham as a panopticon, where the spoke-like rows of cells could be monitored from a central hub. From 1850 onwards, the prison was reserved for convicted female prisoners and boys under the age of 17. It was demolished in 1884.

In 1871 Mary was Prison Matron at The Clerkenwell House of Correction in Clerkenwell, London. In an early Middlesex County record, the position is described as "...that by the said Governor a discreet woman shall be appointed as Matron and Governess of the prison...".

This is a new prison, situated near the old prison, and not far from Spa Fields; it has been recently built, and is not yet quite finished. It is calculated to contain 240 persons; but the keeper thinks that 340 may be confined there; the greatest number ever confined in the old building was in September, 1817, when 324 prisoners were there at one time, being an excess of nearly 100 above the average amount; from 200 to 230 may be considered as the ordinary number. When the Commons' committee visited this prison, there were 95 males and 54 females within its walls. There are six yards on each side of the prison, making in the whole twelve.

Source: Leigh's New Picture of London. Printed for Samuel Leigh, 18, Strand;
by W. Clowes, Northumberland Court. 1819

Mary may have been at the prison in 1867 when what was described in The Times as an "Atrocious Fenian Outrage" took place. A bomb was placed against the wall beside the exercise yard of the prison in an attempt to release some Fenians. Luckily the warden was suspicious and no prisoners were in the yard at the time, otherwise it was very likely that they would have all been killed!

Fenian Bomb Clerkenwell
Fenian Bomb at Clerkenwell House of Correction
Living with Mary at that time was her mother Elizabeth Taylor age 65. While this may seem a strange arrangement, Mary's was a very senior position and she would certainly have had a house or apartment in the prison as indicated by this parliamentry question:


I rise for the purpose of moving for a return of the sums of money which have been paid to Mrs. Mary Beeby, matron at the New Prison at Clerkenwell, in lieu of apartments. I venture to move the House on this subject, because your Lordships have always exhibited so much anxiety that the prisons of the country should be conducted under a proper discipline. I entertain a sincere impression that the regulations to be adopted for the government of the gaols of the country should be uniform ; and although I am aware that the Noble Lord at the head of the Administration intends, in a short time, to introduce to the consideration of the House some measure upon the subject, yet I think that that is no reason why the matter to which my present motion alludes, should not be brought under your Lordships' notice, or why the law, as it at present stands, should not be strictly obeyed. I was surprised, on looking at the accounts of the treasurer for the county of Middlesex, to find a sum of money charged as having been paid to the matron of the New Prison, Clerkenwell, in lieu of apartments in the House of Correction. Now, in the improvement of prison discipline, one great object is to make the officers of each prison reside within its walls, to see that due discipline be maintained, and that the prisoners are properly taken care of. It appears that the matron of this House of Correction, to which female prisoners are committed every hour in the day, docs not reside within the walls, which I consider to be a reprehensible practice. It is under these circumstances that I fool myself entitled to call for a return from the treasurer of the county of Middlesex, of the sums of money which have been paid to Mrs. Mary Beeby, matron at the New Prison at Clerkenwell, in lieu of apartments.

In the 1881 census, Mary was presumably on holiday, staying with her aunt Deborah Mortimer and mother Elizabeth Taylor in Higham, Suffolk. Mary is described as a "Superintendent HM House of Detention".

In the 1891 census she is listed as the Matron of the House of Refuge, Chatham in Kent. Also with her at Chatham was Beatrice Marshall, her niece aged 23. Beatrice's mother Ann Elizabeth, had died in 1873 and so perhaps she was living permanently with Mary?

The last sighting we have of Mary is at the 1901 census when she was living on her own means at 32 Glycena Road, Battersea (near Clapham Junction station). As she was aged 66 she had presumably retired.

The Battersea connections are interesting: Mary retired there to 32 Glycena Road, Beatrice's family lived there in 1871 at 4 Latchmere Road and Edward's family lived at 10 Broughton Road in 1871 (before they emigrated) all the houses are within a few hundred meters of each other.

Anne Elizabeth
Ann was born about April 1839, at Gunton Hall near Erpingham, and was christened there on the 14th April 1838.

She married Charles Marshall probably about 1863 and they had at least 4 children. The only records found of them so far are the 1871 and 1881 censuses.

G4 Charles Marshall
( - )
= ca 1863
Elizabeth Anne Taylor
(ca 1838 - ca 1873)
G3 Amy
(ca 1865 - )
Pimlico, London
(ca 1867 - )
Pimlico, London (note1)
(ca 1870 - )
Battersea, London
(ca 1873 - )
Fulham, London
note 1 - Beatrice's place of birth was given as Pimlico in 1871 and 1881 and Battersea in 1891. In 1881 she was with Elizabeth's sister Deborah and in 1891 with Elizabeth's sister Mary.

Roland is my Grandfather's name, as this is the only other mention I have found of the name in the family, I wonder if my Great Grandmother Kate Taylor knew this Roland (they were first cousins)?

If we have the correct record, Elizabeth died in 1873. Given the date of birth of the youngest son perhaps she died as a result of the birth.

1871 England Census, 4 Latchmere Road, Battersea, London
Charles was a Signwriter and Grainer
NameAge in 1871BirthplaceRelationship
Charles Marshall38Richmond, YorkshireHead
Ann E Marshall32Gunton Hall, NorfolkWife
Amy Marshall6Pimlico, MiddlesexDaughter
Beatrice Marshall3Pimlico, MiddlesexDaughter
Roland Marshall1Battersea, SurreySon

1881 England Census, 7 Bear Garden Rd, Neithrop (Banbury), Oxfordshire

NameEst Birth YearBirthplaceRelationship
Charles Marshallabt 1833Richmond, YorkshireHead
Amy Marshallabt 1865Pimlico, MiddlesexDaughter
Ralph Marshallabt 1873Fulham (Lon), MiddlesexSon
Roland Marshallabt 1870Battersea, SurreySon

Possible BDM index entry for Ann:

NameMarshall, Ann Elizabeth
Record TypeDeaths
Age at death34
CountyGreater London London Middlesex
Sophia (Howard)
Sophia was born in about 1840-41 but we haven't found her birth records. There are several records in the BMD index records which could fit, see the table opposite. Ann Sophia b 1840 is interesting given the other family connections with Erpingham, but in every census she put down that she was born in (Pimlico) London and so one of the two Marylebone records would seem more likely.

While we have not been able to positively identify her in the census records 1861 - 1881, it seems fairly certain that the records (opposite) are hers as they are consistent with what we know of Sophia through family knowledge (this is from Geoff Ray):

Part of the settlement on the Taylor family by their "noble" employers after Thomas was killed resulted in Sophia being trained in embroidery and needlework by the same person who taught Queen Victoria.

Sophia called herself a nurse companion and found employment caring for a mentally disturbed Miss Howard. At some stage Miss H. attacked Sophia causing injuries which meant that she would be unable to bear children.

Mr Howard gave Sophia a house, Arnewood, in Totland Bay, Isle of Wight plus substantial investments to give her an income.

Miss Howard was put in a mental home. Her fortune was also to go to Sophia when she died. Unfortunately she outlived Sophia despite the latter's 100+ years.

A provision of either all or the latter of these bequests was that Sophia change her name to Sophia Howard Taylor.

One inconsistency is that the records show that she changed her name before 1871 and so it seems odd that she didn't move to Ventnor until between 1881 and 1891. Did she sell the house at Totland Bay to buy the Balmoral Boarding House?

Sophia died in about 1942, aged about 104.

BMD Index records likely to be Sophia
NameTaylor, Ann SophiaTaylor, SophiaTaylor, Sophia
QuarterJune 1840Sep 1842June 1841
Volume13 p 871 p 1311 p 170

Census records, Sophia Taylor

1861 Buckinghamshire District County Lunatic Asylum, Stone (just outside Aylesbury), Sophia Taylor, nurse, London, aged 21.
1871Hayes Park private asylum, Hayes, London (near Heathrow), Sophia H Taylor, attendant, Pimlico London, aged 29.
188122 Upper Belgrave Rd , Clifton, Gloucestershire, Sophia H Taylor, visitor, London (Mylne family of Scotland), age 39.
1891Balmoral Boarding House, The Esplanade, Ventnor, Hampshire (Isle of Wight), Sophia Taylor, Head, London & Susan Moore, Head, Wisbeach, proprietors of boarding house, age 50.
1901Balmoral Boarding House, The Esplanade, Ventnor, Hampshire (Isle of Wight), Sophia H Taylor, Head, London, boarding house keeper, age 60.

Other directories:

  • Kelly's Directory of Hampshire & Isle of Wight, 1898: Taylor, Sophia Howard (Miss), boarding house, Balmoral House, Esplanade, Ventnor
Born 1st October 1842 and christened on the 16th July 1847 at St James, Westminster. She married Henry Joshua Bunn, an Architect and Surveyor, in about 1861 and had at least 4 children.
G4 Henry Joshua Bunn
(ca 1838 - ), Norwich
= ca 1863
Deborah Taylor
(1842 - aft 1901)
G3 Rosetta Mary
(ca 1866 - )
St Pancras, London
Agnes D
(ca 1867 - )
St Pancras, London
Charlotte S
(ca 1870 - )
Marylebone, London
Henry Leeson
(ca 1875 - )
Marylebone, London
1871 England Census, 90 Marylebone Road, St Marylebone, London
NameAge in 1871BirthplaceRelationship
Henry J Bunn32NorwichHead
Deborah Bunn28MiddlesexWife
Rosetta M Bunn5MiddlesexDaughter
Agnes D Bunn4MiddlesexDaughter
Charlotte T Bunn1MiddlesexDaughter

1881 England Census, St Pancras

NameEst Birth YearBirthplaceRelationship
Hy.Joshua Bunnabt 1839Norwich, NorfolkHead
Deborah Bunnabt 1843MiddlesexWife
Rosetta Mary Bunnabt 1866St PancrasDaughter
Agnes D. Bunnabt 1867St PancrasDaughter
Charlotte S. Bunnabt 1870MaryleboneDaughter
Hy.Leeson Bunnabt 1875St PancrasSon
Beatrice Marshallabt 1868PimlicoNiece

1891 England Census, 37 Huddlestone Pl, Islington 9 (now possibly Huddlestone Close, Bethnal Green?) Henry was an Architect and Surveyor

NameAge in 1891BirthplaceRelationship
Henry J Bunn52Lakenham, Nr NorwichHead
Deborah Bunn48Bow, LondonWife
Rosetta M Bunn25Kentish town, LondonDaughter
Agnes D. Bunn25Kentish town, LondonDaughter
Charlotte S. Bunn21Marylebone, LondonDaughter
Henry L Bunn16Kentish town, LondonSon

1901 England Census, Islington

NameAge in 1901BirthplaceRelationship
Henry J Bunns62Norwich, NorfolkHead
Deborah Bunn58St Martins, LondonWife
Rosetta M Bunn35St Pancras, LondonDaughter
Henry L Bunn26Marylebone, LondonSon
Notes & References
  1. I am indebted to my cousins Alister Smith, Richard Laurie and in particular Geoffrey Ray, for much of the information on these pages. Geoff has been researching these families for many years and through his painstaking research he has assembled a considerable part of their history.
  2. I would also like to acknowledge the work of the late Mervyn Bull, another cousin. Unfortunately much of this has been lost, but the remnants have proven extremely accurate and have helped greatly in assembling this information.
  3. IGI
  4. England Censuses for 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901
  5. Historical Directories