The Barton family can be traced back in Lacock to at least the 1680's. Richard Barton was born in 1811, the son of Benjamin Barton (1779-1817) and Catherine Tayler (1778-1861) who had married on 12th April 1801 in Lacock.

    Benjamin and Catherine had at least 9 children: Edward (bapt. 18th Apr. 1802); Henry (bapt. 15th May 1803); Sarah (bapt. 1st Jan. 1810); Benjamin (bapt. 18th Oct. 1804); John (bapt. 20th Jul. 1806); Elizabeth (bapt. 8th May 1808); Richard (bapt. 8th Dec. 1811); Susanna (bapt. 28th Nov. 1813) and Mary (bapt. 1st Oct. 1815).

   Richard married Harriet Joyce, in Lacock, by license on 24th June 1834. They had children: Edmund Barton (1835-28th April 1860); Emily (1837); William Frederick (1840); Harriet Louisa Barton (1842); Richard Walker Barton (1845, d. 1st June 1861); Mary Ellen Barton (1848) and Francis Barton (1851).

    Benjamin Barton died 8th April 1817, aged just 38, he was a baker and corn dealer and an original partner in the Melksham Brewery.

    Mary Barton, Richard's sister, married John Gale, a local carpenter and wheelwright, on 29th Nov. 1836, in Lacock. John and Mary had a son, also John Gale, who by 1861 was clerk and cashier at the brewery.

    In Perry's Bankrupt Gazette - Sat. 21st April 1855, and in the Devizes and Wiltshire Gazette - Thursday 12 April 1855 with a few more details, it was announced that the partnership between Richard Barton, Benjamin Barton and John Gale of Melksham, Brewers and Wine and Spirit Merchants, trading as Barton & Joyce, was disolved from 26th march by mutual consent, all debts to Richard Barton. This coincided with the death of William Joyce, landlord of the Bear Inn, Melksham (where I think the brewery was situated), and brother of Harriet Joyce, Richard's wife, on 9th July 1854, aged 37. Another brother, Henry, was an innkeeper in Gentle Street, Frome.

    In the Bristol Mercury - Saturday 23 April 1859, there appeared a notice that Richard Barton & Co's Beer & Porter Stores had removed from 11 Welsh Back to Albion Wharf, 124 Redcliff Street, Bristol, James Boswell, agent. This seems to be Richard Barton's Bristol wholesale outlet and shipping warehouse.

    In 1861 the brewery employed one traveller, one clerk, fifteen men and two boys, quite a large establishment.

    On 26th Dec. 1861 Catherine Barton died, in Lacock, aged 83, Principal Registry by the oaths of John Gale, Brewer of Lacock, and John Trescott Brinkworth of Lacock, Baker.

    Richard Barton died on 2nd March 1863 in Lacock, effects under 2,000 to widow Harriet.

    In 1864 Barton & Co. auctioned off an extensive selection of wines and in 1866 the remainder of their stock. In 1867 they sold the "Kings Head", Market Place, Chippenham. The trade at this time would have been impacted by the decline of the Wilts. & Berks. Canal. In June 1868 Charles Matthews on behalf of the brewery trustees announced the price of their ales was to be reduced by 6s per barrel to 1866 prices, a further sign of tough times, as Barton & Co. had gone into liquidation under assignment. On the 18th of June the trustees announced thee sale of the lease with six inns and public houses included, by private contract. An interesting aside is that Charles Matthews the trustee later married Elizabeth the widow of the late Edmund Barton (Richard's son) of Lacock Brewery who died aged 24.

    Richard's widow Harriet Barton died at Bewley House, Chippenham (Lacock?), on 21st March 1895 aged 85. They are both buried at St. Cyriac's churchyard in Lacock.  

2 Gallon Stone Jar Barton1.jpg
Impressed: R. BARTON & Co. / Brewers & Spirit Merchants / LACOCK, WILTS.

Potter: Powell, Bristol.

    In September 1868 The brewery was acquired by E. Harris & Co. and on the 1st of May 1869 he was advertising Edwd. Harris & Co's family and other ales at 1s per gallon and upwards (that's 5p in today's money), Stout and Porter at 1s 4d per gallon, and casks of all sizes could now be supplied. Thomas Hicks Little (b. 1844 in Sheldon - see Slaughterford Brewery) was Edward Harris's foreman at the brewery. Thomas had been working there since before 1861 and in 1866 married Harriet Louisa Barton, he deserves a lot of credit for actually running the brewery. In 1871 only Thomas Little's family lived there, none of the owners did. Edward Harris's partners in 1874 were Edward Cator and Robert Cator. This partnership was dissolved on the 5th March 1877. (Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette - Thursday 08 March 1877). I had trouble locating Harris in the records so the following is not conclusive but a working hypothesis; an Edward Harris & Co. were also at the Hampstead Brewery, 10 High Street, Hampstead N. W., Ale & Porter Brewers, Distillers and Wine Importers. The Hampstead Brewery was previously bankrupted in 1867 after an unsuccessful share floatation which only returned 8s/1, Harris appeared in 1868 here, and his wife Ann was actually running the brewery accounts (Clerkenwell News - Monday 29 June 1868), they were living at the Hampstead premises in 1871. Harris was born in St. Giles, Soho, Middx around 1817 (son of Thos. Harris) and Edward's wife in St. Geo. Hanover Sq. about 1827, Edward had a brother Henry who was a brewer and married Margaretta Frances Mary Penley in Old Church St. Pancras, 1840. In 1859 Edward Harris's family were at 57 Pentonville Road. Both Henry and Edward were together at St. James, Pentonville, on 29th May 1859 for the baptism of their children. In 1861 Harris was a Wine, Spirit & Beer Merchant living in Gatton House, Gatton, Surrey.

2 & 4 Gallon Stone Jars Harris1.jpg Harris2.jpg
Impressed: E. HARRIS & Co. / Brewers & Spirit Merchants / LACOCK, CHIPPENHAM.

Potter: Powell, Bristol.

    Robert Cator (b. Woodbastwick, Norfolk in 1851 bapt. 1st Jun.) was resident Master Brewer in 1881 at Beweley Lane, Lacock, replacing Thomas Little. Robert had been learning his trade in 1871 in William Bass's Burton-upon-Trent Brewery so should have certainly known his stuff.

    A brief history of what followed was summed up rather aptly in an article in the Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette - Thursday 01 July 1886, which covered the breakdown of the resulting partnerships and the legal case which followed:


    "The case of Cator ex parte Cator and Phillips came before Mr. Baron Pollock and Mr. Justice Cave on Monday in the Divisional Court of Appeal in Bankruptcy. It was an appeal from the decision of the judge of the County Court, Bath, who had declared that the Wilts. and Dorset Bank were entitled to two sums of 548 each against the appellants.

    Mr. Arthur Charles, Q.C., appeared for the appellants, and Mr. Horton Smith, Q. C., and Mr. Macaskie for the respondents.

    The facts were shortly these :- Prior and up to 1877, Robert and Edward Cator and Edward Harris carried on the business of brewers and wine and spirit merchants at Bath and Lacock, Wiltshire, and in June of that year Edward Cator and Edward Harris retired from the firm, which was then carried on by Robert Cator in partnership with Henry Morgan. To enable them to carry on the business, the Wilts. and Dorset Bank agreed to advance the firm money up to 10,000, secured upon a mortgage upon the business premises, policies &c. To further assist the firm the two retiring partners agreed to leave their respective shares of the capital in the new firm and to charge the same to the bank, and further agreed to guarantee the bank personally for a period of five years. It was also agreed that the sureties should not be proceeded against until the bank had realised their mortgage.

    Henry Morgan died in November, 1884, and on the 31st of December following a receiving order was made against Robert Cator, the gross liabilities being 20,559 18s. 9d., and assets 7,688 8s. 8d.  Under those proceedings Mr. Edward Cator proved for 1,999 18s. 3d., and Mr. Phillips, mortgagee of Mr. Harris's estate, proved for 1,995 16s. 9d., being their respective shares in the old business at the date of the guarantee being given. Upon the first proof the dividend payable amounted to 518 4s. 7d., and upon the second proof to 548 17s 1d., and these two sums the bank claimed as against the creditors by virtue of their guarantee.  In June, 1882, the guarantee expired, and the Banking Company closed the account, which showed a sum of 8,173 16s. 1d. due to them.  The guarantors refused to continue their guarantee, and in the September following, as a result of the failure of negotiations between the parties, a notice was served upon Messrs. Morgan and Cator for the payment of 8,173 16s. 1d., or threatening to exercise the power of sale in default. This, however, was not proceeded with, and the bankers opened a new account with the firm.  On behalf of the appellants it was submitted that the bank had no right against them until they had exercised their power of sale over the mortgaged property, and that within the five years.  This they had not done, and they had therefore, lost their right to interfere with the appellants' dividend, payable out of the estate. 

    Their lordships, without calling upon the other side, were of the opinion that the transaction between the parties was of such a nature as gave the bank every right to claim the money in question. The order of the court below was therefore upheld, and the appeal dismissed with costs."

    Robert Cator was subsequently adjudicated bankrupt on 17th Jan 1885.

4 Gallon Stone Jar Morgan&C1.jpg
Impressed: MORGAN & CATOR. / Lacock Brewery / NR. CHIPPENHAM, WILTS.

Potter: Powell, Bristol.

 Flavius Josephus Kingsford.

Lacock Brewery sign in 2 sections, photographed many years ago with kind permission of the owner.

    Flavius was born near Dover, Kent, on 23rd Jul. 1844, the son of Alfred Kingsford (b. Chartham 15th Dec. 1803) and Elizabeth. Other children were: son Alfred (1840), daughters Elizabeth (1842), Mary (1846) and Fanny (1847), and sons Cottenham (1849) and Frederic Bosworth (1851) and daughters Bertha (1853) and Anna (1855). Flavius Josephus was named after his grandfather, also a brewer at Buckland, Kent, who died at Buckland on the 7th Oct. 1833 aged 71, after just returning from Dover.

    Alfred Kingsford's first wife Elizabeth, died on 13th April 1834, aged 23, and was buried on 21st in River, near Dover, Kent. On 11th Sept. 1839, at the Baptist chapel, Bythorne, Alfred then married Elizabeth Greey, of  Holt Street Farm, Nonington.

    Much can be learned about the life of Mr. F. J. Kingsford from his obituary in the Dover Express - Friday 23 May 1919:
    "We regret to record the death of Mr. Flavius J. Kingsford, which took place at his residence, "Hillcrest," Evesham, on the 10th inst. Mr. Kingsford, who was 74 years of age, was the eldest surviving son of the late Mr. Alfred Kingsford, of Buckland Brewery, and was thus brother-in-law to the late Mr. Worsfold Mowll. Mr. Kingsford was for many years engaged in the active management of the Brewery, in which he was associated, with his brother, the late Mr. Cottenham Kingsford. In 1871 he was elected as a member of the Dover Corporation, having as his colleague the late Mr. Archibald Wilson. He only remained in the corporation for three years. Subsequently the Buckland Brewery (which stood where Messrs. Palmer's motor works now are) was sold, and Mr. Flavius Kingsford moved to Laycock, near Chippenham, where he acquired another brewery, which he conducted successfully for some years. On disposing of this brewery, he took a prolonged trip round the world, and ultimately settled down in Evesham, where he lived more or less in retirement, taking a great interest in his beautiful gardens, but not identifying himself at all with public affairs. Although Mr. Kingsford had no residence in Dover he was, up to his death, a regular reader of Dover papers and followed all local events with great interest. He leaves a son and three daughters."

    And something of the respect accorded to Alfred Kingsford may be obtained from this piece in the Dover Express - Friday 07 January 1870: "A TREAT TO WORKMEN :- On the last day of the old year the workmen in the employ of Mr. Alfred Kingsford, of the Buckland Brewery, were entertained at the George Inn, Snargate Street, through the liberality of their employer. Supper was served in a style that was worthy of the house, and reflected great credit on the landlord. The men did ample justice to the viands placed upon the table. On the cloth being removed, liquors of all kinds were supplied. Mr. Browning, in a few appropriate remarks, proposed the health of Mr. Kingsford, and expressed the hope that he would be spared for many years to enjoy the respect and esteem of those he employed. The toast was drunk with very great enthusiasm. Several other toasts followed, interspersed with songs; and the men did not separate till a late hour having spent a thoroughly enjoyable evening."
Alfred died on 11th Dec. 1878.

    Flavius Josephus, Alfred's son, married Maria Louisa James, daughter of Charles Jervis James, Corn Factor, of Barrossa Place, Trafalgar Square, Brompton, at St. Luke's Chelsea on 15th Dec. 1866. Their first son Alfred James was born at the Grove, Buckland on 21st Oct. 1867. In 1871 the census lists Flavius' trade as "Practical Brewer", implying he was very much involved in "hands on" brewing. Their second son, Arthur Charles was born 1869, and daughter Marion Elizabeth in 1870, then twins Susanna Mary and Sarah Bessie in 1871, daughter Emily Josephine in 1873 and son Harold Frank, at 3 Charlton Place, Dover, on the 2nd June 1875. Unfortunately Mary Louisa, affectionately known as "Minnie", died  there, aged 33, on 5th June 1875 from complications arising from the birth of her son.
    In the Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette - Thursday 19 March 1885 the Lacock Brewery lease and stock in trade came up for sale:
"To Brewers and Others - The very Old-established brewery, known as the Lacock Brewery, with Wholesale Wine and Spirit Business attached, situate at Lacock, near Chippenham, Wilts. Messrs. Alexander, Daniel, Selfe and Co. are instructed to Let, upon very favourable terms on Lease, without any premium, the above old-established 10-Quarter Brewery, with two Malt Houses; Private and Brewer's Residences, Gardens, Stables, Yard, Paddock, &c.; Together with nearly the Whole of the Fixed Plant, and Six Public and Beer Houses, held on short and yearly tenancies.
   The tenant will have to purchase, at a fair valuation, the Stock-in-Trade, sundry Brewing Plant, the Casks, Packages, Horses, Drays. &c., which are estimated at about 2,500, and will have the option of taking the Book Debts at a like valuation.
   The tenant will also have the option of purchasing 13 Freehold, and 2 long Leasehold Public-houses, situate in the principal Towns in Wiltshire, the City of Bath, &c.
  Three-fourths of the purchase money of the Freehold and Leasehold Properties can remain on mortgage if desired.
  The Brewery is within easy distance by rail and canal of Bristol, Bath, and all of the important towns in Wiltshire and Dorsetshire."
    By that July, Flavius was resident brewer, and his advertisements were beginning to appear.

Kingsford 1885

On 28th Oct. 1885, at St. Michael's Church, Chester-Square, London S.W., Flavius married Annie, widow of the late William Keyes. Annie was born in Heybridge near Maldon, Essex. Annie died in 1914 at Evesham.


Swindon Advertiser and North Wilts Chronicle - Saturday 15 May 1897

    "The sale by auction of this well-known brewery, situated at Lacock, about four miles from Chippenham, together with 21 tied houses, 16 of which are freehold and situated at Chippenham, Devizes, Calne, Melksham, Swindon, Corsham and surrounding villages, the property of Mr. F. J. Kingsford, of Lacock, was held on Thursday in last week, at the Great Western Hotel, Chippenham. The sale attracted a large number of brewers, innkeepers, &c.  The auctioneer, Mr. Hayward, in submitting the property said those around him were well aware of the advantages of the brewing interest, which kept going ahead. The population increased year by year whilst licenses did not increase, and the opportunity of buying a brewery with 21 houses attached was not one to be met with every day. The property which was offered in one lot, was started at 15,000, and increased by bids of 1,000, till it reached 25,000. Bids of 200 were then taken, and at 25,400 the auctioneer stated the property would be sold. After this bids of 100 were accepted, and the bidding rested between Mr. Blake (Trowbridge), Mr. Burbidge (Chippenham), and Messrs. Wadworth's (Devizes) representative, but the hammer fell to Mr. Blake at 26,000. The freehold house at New Swindon included in the lot was the Rolling Mills Inn, Regent-street."

    After selling up, Flavius moved his household to 57 Wickham Road, Deptford St. Paul's, London. By 1911 he was at his place of retirement at "Hillcrest", Evesham.

2 Gallon Stone Jar Kingsford1.jpgKingsford1a.jpg

Potter: PRICE / Cx / BRISTOL

2 Gallon Stone Jar Kingsford2.jpgKingsford2a.jpg

Potter: POWELL / POTTER / BRISTOL (printed).

J. H. & H. Blake's Trowbridge Brewery were at 18 & 19 Union Street. They were still at both the Trowbridge and the Lacock premises, listed as Brewers in Lacock, in 1917 (North Wilts. & District Directory). They had also been millers until 1906. The Union Street Brewery of J. H. & H. Blake was sold by auction to Ushers Wiltshire Brewery Ltd. on 30th May 1922. Brewing ceased at Lacock during this period and it was just a Wine & Spirit Merchants. The Union Street Brewery became Usher's Wiltshire Brewery Bottling Stores.

1 Gallon Stone Jar JHandHBlake1.jpgJHandHBlake2.jpg

Potter: unmarked.

Return to Town Index