William Simons M.P.S., Chemist (also A. B. Turpin & J. Wharry)

16 High Street, Chippenham

James Wharry was born in Chippenham on 10 December 1811 to James Wharry, Coal Merchant, and Ursula Stubbing, baptised at Chippenham St. Andrew on 10 January 1812. James had a brother John and sister Mary. James Wharry senior died in 1817 and was buried on 3 Nov. at Kington St. Michael. James stood to inherit his father's legacy when he attained the age of 21. It seems that James took a Chemist shop in the High Street about 1833 as that is when he first begins to appear in the newspapers and fits with his coming of age. After James's father died, his mother Ursula married John Usher, and she was Ursula Usher in the 1841 census as James's housekeeper. James married Maria Louisa Vezey at Langley Burrell Church, Wilts. on 6 Sept. 1841. Maria was daughter of Henry John Vezey, gentleman of Langley Burrell and was 18 at the time of her marriage. In 1835 he was appointed Tythingman and in 1836 James had been appointed High Constable of Chippenham. In 1850 he became a Town Councillor, and on 9 November 1863 was elected Mayor of the Borough.

At the International Exhibition of 1862 perfumery section James exhibited several specimens of Oil of Lavender and Lavender Water, produced from his famous Wiltshire Lavender farms.

James's wife Maria Louisa died in Chippenham on 16 June 1867, which may have prompted James's move back to the High Street.

From the Western Daily Press - Monday 11 May 1868 page 2: "CHIPPENHAM POLICE, Friday.—Alfred Tanner was charged by Mr James Wharry, chemist and druggist, with a violent and aggravated assault committed on the previous day. The defendant, who is very respectably connected, was for a few months during last summer in the employ of the complainant as an assistant, and after having left he returned to Chippenham and paid several visits to Mr Wharry, who was on one occasion obliged to order him out of the house. He expressed his determination to continue his annoyance, and came to Chippenham on Thursday morning last, when he entered the shop of Mr Wharry, who was at the time in a butcher's shop opposite. He followed him, but the defendant had bolted the door. The servant ultimately opened it, and the complainant then found that the defendant had gone upstairs. He proceeded thither, and the defendant sprang out of the room, and struck furiously several blows at the complainant. Assistance was called in, and the defendant was persuaded to leave the house and the town as quickly as he could. This advice he acted upon, but the same day addressed a letter to the complainant from Bath, and on the following day he again made his appearance at the shop-door of the complainant, but was this time taken into custody upon a warrant obtained by Mr Wharry to apprehend him in the event of his again molesting him. The evidence of complainant was corroborated by his servant, and the defendant, upon being asked if he wished question the complainant, admitted that he had greatly disgraced himself, and had acted very improperly in entering complainant's and bolting the door against him. He was bound over to keep the peace for twelve months, himself in £50 and two sureties in £20 each. The magistrates both regretted he had so deeply disgraced himself, observing the least he could do would be to apologise to the complainant, and make all the reparation in his power."

From the Swindon Advertiser and North Wilts Chronicle - Monday 21 December 1868 page 2: "Josiah Tanner v. James Wharry.—An action to recover £4 12s. for work and materials.—The plaintiff is a painter residing at Chippenham, and was employed by the defendant in August last to paint the shelves and fixtures in his shop, but from the evidence of the plaintiff and his witnesses, it appeared tho composition or paint instead of drying and becoming hard in a day or two, as usual when good materials are used, remained sticky, giving out an offensive effluvium, and in this state it still continued causing great inconvenience and damage. On these grounds defendant resisted payment. The case having been fully gone into, his Honor decided that defendant was fully justified the course he had taken, remarking that it was quite manifest the plaintiff had used bad materials; that the work which he bad done was worse than worthless, and that in consequence defendant had sustained great inconvenience. His Honor decided that £2 11s. be struck off plaintiff's charges, and also stated that defendant could sustain action against plaintiff for damages."

Further to the above, from the Chemist and Druggist - 15 December 1869, page 940: "Conviction of an assistant—At Chippenham Police Court on the 30th ult., John Tanner, a druggist's assistant, was committed to gaol for six months for entering the shop and refusing to leave the premises of James Wharry, chemist & druggist."

From the  Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette - Thursday 21 July 1870 page 4: "FOR SALE. CHIPPENHAM, WILTS. DESIRABLE FAMILY RESIDENCE, EXCELLENT RETAIL SHOP DWELLING-HOUSE, MEADOW LAND, and GAS SHARES. MESSRS. PARRY SON have received instructions from the Trustees of the Will of the late W. H. Colborne Esq., M.D., to SELL by AUCTION, at the ANGEL HOTEL, CHIPPENHAM, on FRIDAY, the 5th day of AUGUST, 1870, at 4 o'Clock in the Afternoon (subject to conditions then to be produced), the following desirable FREEHOLD PROPERTIES:—
LOT 1.—All that substantial and commodious BURGAGE RESIDENCE, with Stables, Coach-house, large Garden, Yard and convenient Out-offices, situate in Saint Mary Street. Chippenham, for many years the residence of William Colborne, Esq., and now in the occupation of Mr. John Lawes, as yearly Tenant, at an annual rent of £42. The premises are conveniently arranged, are well fitted, and have just been put into thorough repair, painted and papered, and there is a good supply of water. This Lot subject to annual Quit Rent of 1s.
LOT 2.—A1l that excellent RETAIL SHOP and BURGAGE DWELLING-HOUSE, fronting the Market Place, in Chippenham, for many years occupied by Mr. James Wharry, Chemist, and now in the occupation of Mr. A. Lines, as yearly Tenant at £34 per annum. The premises have an extensive frontage to the Market Place with plate glass double front, and the situation is one of the best in the Town...."

From the above we see that the Market Place shop that James quitted around 1868 when he moved to the High Street was owned by the Colborne family. Ann Colborne, William Henry's mother, was a druggist in the High Street from at least 1822-1830, and her late husband William was son of Robert Colborne, an apothecary in Chippenham, who died in 1776. Ann Colborne died in 1843.

James died on the 13 June 1881 in Chippenham. The business was acquired by Alfred B. Turpin in 1883.

From the Wiltshire Times and Trowbridge Advertiser - Saturday 18 June 1881 page 8: "Death of Mr. Wharry.— The death of Mr. James H. Brinkworth has been quickly followed by the decease of another old and respected inhabitant—Mr. James Wharry, who died late on Monday night, after a lingering illness. He carried on a successful business as chemist and druggist. In 1850 he was elected Town Councillor, in 1864 filled the office of Chief Magistrate, and in 1875 he was elected alderman, which honourable position he retained till few months since, when failing health compelled him to resign. The deceased's age is 69."

Alfred Barritt Turpin was born in Oxford in 1844, son of James and Jane Turpin

From the Chemist and Druggist – 2 December 1905 page 866: “Among the chemists who have recently attained to the highest municipal honours is Mr. Alfred Barritt Turpin, chemist and druggist, High Street, Chippenham, who has been elected Mayor of  that borough. Mr. Turpin has been a member of the Town Council for ten years, and, besides his municipal interests, has long taken an active part in educational affairs. He is one of the Governors of the secondary and technical school and also chairman of managers of one of the elementary schools of the town. Mr. Turpin is a native of Oxford, where he served his apprenticeship with Messrs. Jones & Turner. Subsequently he had experience in other provincial towns. Being an assistant when the Pharmacy Act passed, he qualified early in 1870, before going out to India as an assistant to Mr. F. Long, Rawul Pindi. He returned six years later, and was in business on his own account in Oxford until 1883, when he purchased his present pharmacy in Chippenham.”

Alfred's apprenticeship was actually with Richard F. Jones, 71 High Street, Oxford where he can be found on the 1861 census.

During his sojourn in India, Alfred married Mary Scott, on 15 November 1873, in Rawul Pindi, Bengal.

From the Chemist and Druggist - 17 December 1910 page 44: “Mr. Alfred B. Turpin, of High Street, Chippenham, who is retiring from business, has taken an active part in the public work of the locality. He served for many years on the Town Council, holding the office of mayor. He has been a governor of the County Secondary School, Chairman of the Evening Schools Committee, Manager of the Council Elementary Schools, and a prominent worker in connection with the Baptist Church. His public work has earned for him the high esteem of his fellow townsmen. Oxford, where Mr. Turpin spent his early years, is to be the place of retirement.

From the Chemist and Druggist - 17 December 1910 page 46: “Mr. A. B. Turpin, chemist and druggist, High Street, Chippenham, has disposed of his business to Mr. E. G. Thorne, chemist and druggist, Swindon."

Ernest George Thorne was a Chemist’s Apprentice in 1901 age 17. In 1911 he was still living on his parent’s farm, Church Farm, Swindon so it is unlikely the deal went through for Turpin’s business.

William Simons was born in Lancaster, Lancashire on 17 July 1872, baptised at Lancaster St. Mary on 25 August, son of Engine Fitter (and later Railway Engine Driver) William Simons and wife Sarah Clark Bett (b.1849 in Louth, Lincs. married 18 Oct. 1871 at St. Peter-at-Gowt's, Lincoln). William had a sister Jessie who was born in Sheffield a year later. In 1881 the family were living at 81 Hunsley Road, in Brightside Bierlow, Sheffield, Yorks. By 1891 they had moved to 113 Page Hall Rd. still in Brightside where William had become apprentice to George Thomas Wilkinson Newsholme, Manufacturing and Pharmaceutical Chemist at 27 High Street, Sheffield. At this time, sister Jessie was a teacher. William passed his minor examinations on 7 July 1898.

In the 1901 census William Simons is living at 2 Grosvenor Place, Black Boy Road, Exeter, and his profession is given as Chemist & Druggist, Hospital Dispenser.

William joined the Semper Fidelis Freemasonic Lodge No. 1254, Masonic Hall, 27 Gandy Street, Exeter, on 3 Sept. 1906.

In the 1911 census William had recently relocated to Chippenham and was living at 1 River Street. At the time, he was being visited by his sister (then married) Jessie Kay, and niece Norah Madeline Kay age 4. He appears in the 1911 Kelly's directory for Chippenham at 16 High Street.

William married Alice Mary Warner who was born in Chesham, Bucks. and was a nurse at the Royal Hospital of Devon & Exeter, in Exeter towards the end of 1911. By this date Alice was Assistant Matron at the Royal Berkshire Hospital at Reading St. Giles. Alice was daughter of Gentleman Farmer George Henry Warner. After William's death, she married again on January 24 1918 at St. James the Apostle, Lambeth, London, to widower Albert Edward Roach, a Tanner's Merchant of Exmouth.

From the Chemist and Druggist - 8 February 1913 page 57: "SIMONS - At Chippenham, Wilts, on January 28, Mr. William Simons, chemist and druggist, 16 High Street, Chippenham. Mr Simons was apprenticed to Mr. G.T.W. Newsholme, at Sheffield, and was assistant dispenser at the Sheffield Royal Infirmary. He went from there to the Exeter Infirmary. About two years ago he purchased the business of Mr. A. B. Turpin, chemist and druggist, in High Street, Chippenham. His death took place upon a relapse following an operation the previous week. Mr. Simons leaves a widow, but no children. The funeral, on February 1, was attended by Mr. E. Neale, pharmacist, Mayor of Chippenham, and many other Masonic brethren and friends."

By 1915, number 16 High Street was occupied by William A. James L.D.S.R.C.S.Eng. Dentist's surgery.

Baby Feeding Bottle Simons1.jpgSimons2.jpg
Embossed:  (Front) SIMONS / CHEMIST / CHIPPENHAM (Rear) TABLE-SPOONS (with graduations 2, 4, 6...to 18)

Internal screw glass stopper with teat-attachment rim.
Glassworks:  Unmarked.

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