Henry Dunsden & Henry Spackman


See "A Corsham Boyhood - The Diary of Herbert Spackman 1877-1891": Herbert Spackman,  Picton Publishing, 1981: ISBN 10: 0902633716 / ISBN 13: 9780902633711.

    Henry Spackman the Elder (1798-1849) and Mary Dunsden* (1802-1835) were married by license in Corsham on 23rd August 1827. Their son Henry Dunsden Spackman was born in Corsham in 1833. Mary died on May 11th 1835. Henry D. Spackman married Amelia Spackman at St. Mary's Calstone, Wilts., on 3rd April 1856.

      Henry Dunsden Spackman was in partnership, from around 1853, with Henry Spackman, the nephew of Henry the Elder, who was born in Cherhill in 1824, baptised there 4th Feb 1825, son of William and Elizabeth. Henry married Eliza Hawkins in Corsham on 30th March 1858, he was the father of Herbert Spackman the diarist, who was born 24th August 1864, bapt. 24th June 1880 in Corsham. In July 1868, at age 35, Henry Dunsden Spackman, whilst suffering depression, attempted suicide by cutting his own throat. Henry D. was in a critical condition for some time, and later retired to Chippenham. This left Henry Spackman, the nephew, to run the family business. Henry Dunsden Spackman eventually died in Chippenham on 24th July 1894. Henry Spackman the Elder was killed in a tragic fire at the premises on Wednesday 17th January 1849:

    DREADFUL FIRE AT CORSHAM, NEAR BATH.- The little town of Corsham, eight miles from Bath, was alarmed by a terrible fire, at five o'clock on Wednesday morning being discovered on the well-known premises of Mr. Henry Spackman, draper and general merchant, which in a few hours totally destroyed the whole of the stock, house, and two adjoining houses; the inmates had very narrow escapes, and with nothing but their night dresses. Mr. Spackman, having aroused his two daughters, who escaped in their night dresses only, unfortunately returned, it is supposed, to fetch a valuable pocket-book in his bed-room, where the density of the smoke overpowered him, and he was burned in the ruins; his charred remains, feetless and armless, were discovered some hours after, and a leather pocket-book, containing gold and notes to a large amount, singular to say, uninjured. The lamented deceased was extensively known and respected, a man of sterling character, and his death under any circumstances would have been considered a great loss, but his melancholy fate is causing the greatest commiseration and sorrow in the whole district, including Bath. He leaves one son and two daughters. The property is insured for 4,000 in the Sun Office.  (Western Times - Saturday 20 January 1849 p.5.)

    After Henry's death Joseph Spackman and William Little (of Pickwick), tea dealer, were left the estate as executors in trust for Henry's children, Henry Dunsden and his two sisters. Henry Dunsden was only 16 at the time of his father's demise.

    In Perry's Bankrupt Gazette on Saturday 19th Nov. 1853 it was announced that the partnership between Joseph Spackman (Henry the Elder's brother) of Compton Bassett, yeoman, William Little of Corsham, tea dealer, and Henry Spackman of Corsham, grocer, draper & general shop keeper, carrying on the business of grocers, drapers and general shop keepers was dissolved on November 8th, citing debts by H. Spackman. Henry Dunsden Spackman was now old enough to inherit. I suspect the partnership existed to keep the business going until Henry D. came of age and Henry the nephew was brought in too.

* Note: Dunsden is also sometimes spelt Dunsdon.

H. Spackman, Grocery, Drapery, and Outfitting Establishment, High Street, Corsham. --- Organised as far back as a century and a half gone by, this representative business has throughout its lengthy period of existence been conducted under but two names, having been in two Mr. H. Spackmans' hands for the past seventy years.
Eligibly located, the extensive premises consist of two adjoining spacious shops, having a total frontage of no less than sixty feet. The shops form distinct departments, but inter-communicate, and everywhere there are evidences of the care and attention bestowed by the proprietor in arranging for the reception, prompt service, and general convenience of his numerous patrons. General groceries and prime provisions, everday drapery goods, including a special family mourning and funeral furnishing department, and outfittings for both ladies and gentlemen are sold at the very lowest possible prices consistent with equitable trading.
Every branch of the business receives the personal Supervision of Mr. Spackman (who, it may be mentioned, is an esteemed member of the Corsham School Board), and is conducted with a careful competence that is well calculated to preserve all the creditable traditions of this old and well-reputed house. (The Ports of the Bristol Channel,1893)

2 Gallon Stone Jar Spackman1.jpg

Potter: Price + Bristol.

1/4, 1/2 & 1 Gallon Stone Jars Spackman2.jpg Spackman3.jpg
Impressed: H. SPACKMAN & SONS / Grocers &c / CORSHAM,

Potter: Price + Bristol.

1 Gallon Stone Jar Spackman5.jpg
Impressed: H. D. & H. SPACKMAN / CORSHAM,

Potter: Likely Yabbicom/Bristol, Early rough glaze.

1 Gallon Stone Jar Spackman9.jpg
Impressed: H. Spackman & Co. / CORSHAM,

Potter: Yabbicom/Bristol, Early rough glaze.
Image courtesy Michael Squires.

3 Gallon Wide Mouth Stone Jar Spackman6.jpg
Impressed: H. D. & H. SPACKMAN / CORSHAM,

Potter: Price + Bristol.

2 Gallon Stone Jar Spackman8.jpg
Impressed: H. D. & H. SPACKMAN / CORSHAM,

Potter: Price + Bristol.
Image courtesy Michael Squires.

1 Gallon Stone Jar Spackman7.jpg
Impressed: H. SPACKMAN / Grocers &c / CORSHAM,

Potter: Price + Bristol.
Image courtesy of Michael Squires.

Return to Town Index