F. G. Burnett

Miller; Corn, seed & cake Factor; Maltster & Wine & Spirit Merchant

    Francis Gilbert Burnett was born in Huntspill, Somerset, early in 1840. His father was John Burnett who kept a general store in Turnpike Road, Huntspill with his wife Ann. Francis (Frank) had an older sister Mary, and older brothers John and James who were draper and ironmonger respectively, whilst Frank was still at school. Frank's next oldest brother, Oliver Jennings Burnett, became a grocer and wine & spirit merchant in New Road, Chippenham, also an agent for W. & A. Gilbey's.
    Frank married his wife Mary, third daughter of Mr. W. H. Rixson of Chippenham on 31st January 1866, by the Rev. John Rich, at Chippenham Parish Church, however the couple were living still in Huntspill at Samel Cottage, Bristol Road, until 1871 where Frank was a wine merchant. They had children: Francis Rixson Burnett, born in Burnham in 1867, bapt. 14th June; Harriet Anne Burnett, b.Huntspill, 1868; Harold Jennings Burnett, b. Huntspill, 1871. By 1871 Frank's elder brother John was also a wine and spirit merchant, on the Highbridge road.
    In 1872 the couple acquired Calstone Mills at Calne, this was both a steam and watermill, running 4 pairs of stones. Frank and Mary had more children in Calstone: Alexander Gilbert, b.1872; Ralph Maurice, b.1874; Daisy Blanche, b.1876; William Henry Rixon, b.1878; Walter John Davis, b. 7th Feb. 1880. Frank's seventh son Stafford Septimus was born in 1885. Unfortunately Frank's beloved wife Mary died towards the end of 1886, aged just 46. Whilst Frank still operated his wine & spirit business from the premises until at least 1886, he took on the task of managing the mill and a small dairy. By May 1872 he was advertising for an odd job man, and by 7th June he decided he needed a competent miller in all aspects of the trade. He was advertising again in October 1874 for both a miller and a spoutsman. It seems good millers were scarce and by now Frank had a better idea as to what was required. By October 1883 he was advertising for a carter and a boy to work as an apprentice. By 1886 Frank was trading as F. G. Burnett & Co. and in 1888 marketing a product called "Lactina", a patent milk substitute for calves.
    On Thursday 29th August 1889, the mill was advertised in the Devizes & Wiltshire Gazette: "To be let, with immediate possession, Calstone Mill, near Calne, fitted with four pairs of stones, smutter, elevator, etc. also two cottages, and 20a. 2r. 15p. of rich pasture land. Incoming easy. - For further particulars apply to the occupier, Mr. F. G. Burnett, or Mr. T. Lavington, auctioneer & valuer, Marlborough." Frank had already been selling off his cattle as he was planning to leave. The rest of the cattle and mill contents, household furniture, etc. were sold on Monday 24th March 1890. Frank was to depart for Australia.
    Frank was presented with a farewell gift of a travelling clock as a token of esteem and regard by the local parishioners of Blacklands & Calstone (where Frank had been churchwarden) in March 1890. Frank and all the children, except eldest son Francis, departed from Plymouth as cabin passengers aboard the Ormuz, to Sydney on 23rd May 1890.
    Frank married again on 23rd Oct. 1895 to Elizabeth Saxty (1847-1933), in Ormiston, Queensland, Australia. The couple lived at Wellington Point, Oxley, Queensland. He died on 24th Dec. 1920 in Yandina, Queensland.

4 Gallon Stone Jar Burnett1.jpg
2 tone straight sided jar impressed:  4 / F. G. BURNETT / Wine & Spirit Merchant / CALSTONE / CALNE

Potter:Price + Bristol
Photo courtesy: Tony Hughes.

Flagons from John Burnett, the father:

6 Gallon Stoneware Flagon Burnett2.jpg
Large round 2 tone jar impressed:  John Burnett / Wine Merchant / Huntspill / Somerset

Potter:C. & J. Price / Manufacturers / Bristol
Photo courtesy: Kane Sloan.

Half Gallon Stoneware Flagon Burnett3.jpg
2 tone straight sided jar impressed:  JOHN BURNETT & Co / HIGHBRIDGE

Potter: Powell Bristol
Photo courtesy: Kane Sloan

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