William Nicholls, William Pinniger, John R. Price and Edgar Neale


James Fry, b. 1803, bapt. 16th Oct. in Chippenham, son of William Fry and Ann Hillier, married Miss Elizabeth Milsom of Walthamstow, on 22nd Sept. 1828 at St. Michael, Cornhill, London. He was a druggist in Chippenham in the High Street; in Pigot's directory for 1830, Ann Colborne is also a druggist in the High Street.

From the Devizes and Wiltshire Gazette - Thursday 02 June 1831 p1.: COLBORNE'S ANTIBILIOUS PILLS for both sexes, price 1s. 1½d. The Pillss hereby offered to notice, have been approved and strongly recommended by numbers of persons, as one of the best medicines for bilious complaints, viscid concretions, disorders of the stomach and bowels, giddiness, and sick head-ache, occasioned by indigestion, free-living, &c. They will be found highly beneficial in all dyspeptic affections, spasms of the stomach and bowels, by which the functions of the viscera become impeded.
These Pills are designed to digest with the food, and in that way have been known to cure complaints of long standing, arising from bile, and even cases of gall stones, by which persons of the greatest agony have been relieved. Individuals in Chippenham, who have tried them, affirm the salutary effects produced in all cases for which they are recommended render them worthy of notice to the Public.

By J. FRY, Druggist, CHIPPENHAM.
As may be seen by the following certificate;

Sir, -As above you have the exact form for making the Pills usually sold under the name of Colborne's Antibilious or Dinner Pills. You have full power and authority to make and sell the same; and I do further agree and consent with your so doing for the whole and sole benefit, for your own interest, whereunto I subscribe my name, W. B. COLBORNE.

From the Devizes and Wiltshire Gazette - Thursday 21 December 1837, p.3.: HIGHWAY ROBBERY, - On Tuesday evening last, as Mr. James Fry, of Chippenham, was returning on horseback, from Castle Coombe, in that neighbourhood, he was attacked by three young men, who after a desperate resistance on his part, dragged him from his horse, and robbed him of nearly 4l. in cash and his watch. In the scuffle, Mr. F's hat was beaten almost to pieces; his clothes much torn, and he received several severe injuries in the head and body. On the thieves leaving him, they threw him into a ditch nearly full of water, where he lay for some considerable period senseless, but on recovering, he managed with great difficulty, from weakness, to reach Yatton Keynell, a village on the Chippenham road, where he procured a friend to accompany him homewards. Mr. F.'s horse escaped on his falling from it, and galloped to Chippenham: and his family becoming alarmed, immediatedly dispatched parties in search of him, when he was found nearly exhausted proceeding with his friend from Yatton towards his home. - Mr. F. is now confined to his bed and seriously hurt, and we regret to say, no trace of the thieves has yet been found.

On Monday 1st July 1839, James's mother died at Chippenham "at an advanced age".

By 1851 James and his wife Elizabeth are grocers in 1 Bull Yard, St. Botolph, Aldersgate, Middlesex. In 1861 he has moved to 16 Compton Street, Clerkenwell St. James. In 1871 he is with his wife at 5 Hornsey Road, Islington, and by now he has been paralysed for 2 years. Elizabeth, James's wife, died in Islington in 1879.

William Nicholls was born in Corston, Wilts. in 1815, bapt. 28th Feb. 1825 in Little Somerford, son of Henry Nichols and Sarah Collingbourn of Corston who were married by license in Malmesbury on 15th July 1812. He married Mary Reynolds in Little Somerford on 22nd Feb. 1841.

From the Devizes and Wiltshire Gazette - Thursday 01 June 1837: "The anniversary of the birth-day of her Royal Highness the Princess Victoria, was celebrated in Chippenham with the usual loyal demonstrations. The bells were rung merry peals during the day, and in the evening the shop of Mr. William Nicholls, chemist, in the High Street, was gaily illuminated : the front of his residence decorated with evergreens and the windows with illuminated vases. The novelty of the display excited much attention; and the visible demonstrations of attachment to her Royal Highness being confined to that gentleman, attracted a considerable crowd to the spot."

William Nicholls died at Rowden Hill, Chippenham, on 8th March 1870, where he had an annatto works. Annatto is a yellow pigment used to colour butter, made from the seed pods of the annatto tree (Bixa orellana). The partnership of Messrs. Nicholls & Co. continued the manufacture of annatto here until at least 1900.

Annatto Bottle (fragment) Nicholls1.jpg
Impressed: From / W. NICHOLLS / Manufacturing Chemist / CHIPPENHAM . Potter unknown. (fragment)

2 Gallon round bodied stone jar (handle missing) Nicholls2.jpg

.Potter: POWELL / BRISTOL / 2

From the London Gazette, 14 June 1870: "WILLIAM NICHOLLS, Deceased. Pursuant to the Act of Parliament of the 22nd and 23rd Vic., cap. 35, intituled "An Act to further amend the Law of Property, and to relieve Trustees."NOTICE is hereby given, that all creditors and other persons having any claims or demands upon or against the estate of William Nicholls, late of Rowden Hill, in the parish of Chippenham, in the county of Wilts, Chemist and Druggist and Annatto Manufacturer, deceased (who died on the 8th day of March, 1870, and whose will was proved in the District Registry of the Court of Probate at Salisbury on the 8th day of April, 1870, by Francis Stewart Wilmot, David John Stokes, and John Okell, the executors therein named), are hereby required to send in the particulars of their claims and demands to the undersigned, the Solicitor to the said executors, on or before the 1st day of September next, after which day the said executors will proceed to apply the assets of the said deceased as directed by his will, having regard only to the claims of which notice shall their have been received; and they will not afterwards be liable for the assets, or any part thereof, to any person or persons of whose claim they shall not then have had notice. And all persons indebted to the deceased are hereby requested forthwith to pay the amount due from them to the undersigned on account of the executors.—Dated this 7th day of June, 1870.  FRAN. S. WILMOT, Chippenham, Solicitor to the Executors."

From the London Gazette, 20 July 1877: "NOTICE is hereby given, that the Partnership hereto-fore subsisting between us the undersigned, Edwin Hancock, Francis Barnitt, William Gibbs, and George Edgecumbe, carrying on business at Rowden Hill, Chippenham, in the county of Wilts, as Annatto Manufacturers,under the style or firm of William Nicholls and Co., has been dissolved, by mutual consent, so far as concerns the said Francis Barnitt, who retires therefrom as and from the 31st day of March, 1877. All debts owing to and by the said partnership will be received and paid respectively by the said Edwin Hancock, William Gibb's, and George Edgecumbe, by whom the said partnership will in future be carried on under the style or firm of William Nicholls and Co.—Dated this 20th day of July, 1877. Edwin Hancock. William Gibbs. Francis Barnitt. Geo. Edgecumbe."

William Pinniger was born in Stanton St. Quintin, Wilts. in 1845, bapt. 11th May 1845, son of Charles Pinniger and Harriet Ricketts. The family moved to South Marsden, Highworth, when he was a child. In 1851, as a young scholar, he was at the house of Martha Rich, New Lease Farm, Stanley, Chippenham. At 16 years of age he was already a Chemist and Druggist at his parent's farm, Hunt's Farm Coppice in South Marsden. He married Harriet Davis in Highworth on 12th May 1866. He gained his expertise at Starkie's, the Strand, London. In 1867 his chemist business was based at 27 Union Street, Ryde on the Isle of Wight. By December 1869 he is in Chippenham High Street in the former shop of William Nicholls.

From the Devizes and Wiltshire Gazette - Thursday 02 December 1869 p 2, the advert ran until Jan. 1871: "DO NOT NEGLECT A COUGH. - PINNIGER'S COUGH SYRUP contains only those preparations prescribed by the College of Physicians in the London Pharmacopaeia.
An agreeable and effectual remedy for COUGHS, COLDS, ASTHMA, and all affections of the Bronchial Tubes.
Taken as directed gives instant relief by acting at once on the affected and inflamed parts.
The proprietor has every confidence in recommending it as peculiarly adapted to the English climate.


12, George Street, Ryde, January 21, 1867.
Dear Sir, - I beg to inform you that I have derived great benefit from your "Cough Syrup," a few doses having allayed a most troublesome cough. I can with confidence recommend it to others. Your's faithfully, (Signed) Jos. SEYMOUR.
Mr. W. Pinniger.
Ryde Gas Works, January 29, 1867.
Dear Sir, - I have much pleasure in bearing testimony to the efficacy of your "Cough Syrup," and I never found anything to equal it for cough or shortness of breath.
Your's faithfully, (Signed) ROBERT MORGAN.
To Mr. William Pinniger, Chemist, 27, Union Street.

(One dose relieves, one small bottle cures).
"So delicious that every child likes it;
More effectual than any known remedy."

Parents will find this a most valuable preparation for many ailments affecting the Lungs, Throats, &c., of Children during the Winter months.
The Proprietor also strongly recommends its use in Whooping cough, generally so distressing at this season of the year.
Sold in bottles, 1s. 1½d., 2s. 6d., and 4s. (duty included).
Prepared only by WILLIAM PINNIGER, Operative and Dispensing Chemist, (from Starkie's, Strand, London), Chippenham.
London Agents - MESSRS. NEWBERRY & SONS; and may be obtained of any Chemist or Patent Medicine Vendor in the United Kingdom."

From the Western Daily Press - Thursday 17 August 1871, shows that Pinniger's predecessor was William Nicholls (the reference to Vells being calf's stomach used in making rennet), this advertisement appeared shortly after the death of Mr. William Nicholls:

Begs respectfully to inform his Friends and Dairymen generally
that in consequence of a fresh arrangement, whereby he is
appointed Wholesale Agent for the Successors of Mr. Nicholls,
he is prepared to offer
In any quantity, wholesale or retail, at the lowest prices.
N.B.-The great advantage of buying from this Establishment
is that new consignments are continually received from the
Manufactory, therefore guaranteeing to purchasers a fresh and
well-conditioned article.
A Large Stock of Choice Old IRISH VELLS constantly on Sale.
Chippenham, July, 1871."

William Pinniger was aboard the S. S. Philadelphia from Southampton on 10th Sept. 1910 bound for New York, arriving the 16th Sept., and ultimately Louisville, Kentucky. He had a business here registered Dec. 31st 1868. 4628 First Street, Louisville. The Register of Chemists and Druggists for 1919 says he was in business before 1st Aug. 1868. This likely refers to the years in England before emigrating.

John Rees Price was born in Neath, South Wales in 1847, bapt. 1st June, son of Jenkin and Elizabeth Price, Spirit Merchants in Church Street, Neath. In 1871 he was a chemist's assistant, aged 22, working for Charles Savory, a Master Chemist at 1 Lancaster Gate, Paddington, London. He had the shop in Chippenham for a few brief years between 1872 and 1875 before securing a post as a Brewery Manager in Hartlepool, Durham. He had married Georginna Elizabeth Reynolds of Stanton, in Chippenham in 1874, and their daughter Georgie Elizabeth Reynolds Price was born in Tytherington in 1878, registered in Chippenham. (She married George Gullock in Swansea, Massachusetts, U. S. A. on 30th March 1913.

  Edgar Neale was born in Salisbury, Wilts. on 23rd Dec. 1851, bapt. 22nd Jan 1869 at Fisherton Anger, son of Harry Neale, a plumber from Yate, and his wife Martha Beale who married in Alton in 1850. Edgar was registered at the High Street, Chippenham, as a Chemist and Druggist, on 16th June 1875, minor examination cert. no. 3044. Edgar, at the same time, also passed the assistant examination of Apothecary's Hall. Edgar married Marianne Nodder of Wandsworth on 15th Oct. 1878, registered at Alderbury (which includes the Fisherton Anger district of Salisbury). He took over the business of John R. Price, Chemist & Druggist, 10, High Street, Chippenham which had already been established since 1826 according to Neale’s advertising. John was still running the business in 1875 up until the arrival of Edgar. Prescription ledgers 1872-1966 are held at the Wilts. & Swindon history Centre, (ref: 1759). From the "Chemist and Druggist"-Oct.1909: Neale. — At Chippenham, on October 20, Marianne, wife of Mr. Edgar Neale, chemist and druggist, aged fifty-six. Death took place after an operation. Edgar died on 19th Aug. 1942 at Marshfield Road, Chippenham. In the Chemist and Druggist, 29th August 1959 there is announced the formation of a new company: EDGAR NEALE, LTD. (P.C.).— Capital £8,000. To carry on the business of chemists, druggists and librarians, etc. Subscribers : Edwin H. Bradley and N. F. Rosier, R.O. : 10 High Street, Chippenham, Wilts.

Neale1.jpg Neale2.jpg

Medicine Bottle Neale3.jpg
Embossed: Front: EDGAR NEALE.M.P.S. / CHIPPENHAM . Side: ONE TABLE SPOON (graduated),

Height 6.1".

Medicine Bottle (fragment) Neale4.jpg

Height 6" approx x 2" square section.
York Glass Co. mark on base.


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