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Bishops Hull Village Website - Taunton Somerset Desperately Seeking
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Desperately seeking ....

Are you seeking people (perhaps old friends from Bishop's Hull that you've lost touch with) or information about the village? If so, perhaps readers of the website can help. Contact us and we'll post your enquiry here. You can do this anonymously and we'll forward any replies to you or you can publish your name and contact details. It's your choice.

Sent: 14th July 2017 From Sandra Wells

I am trying to locate friends who we have lost contact with since moving to Australia.

I believe that Trevor and Patricia Riley owned a small convenience shop in Bishops Hull, Taunton. They moved to this area from London I believe.

If anyone has any information I would be very grateful.

Many thanks.


Sent: 19th October 2012 From Peter Dixon.


 I am researching my family tree and have come across a Sarah Darch born around 1771 in Bishops Hull, Somerset. Sarah's parents were Thomas and Joan. Sarah married a James Dixon in 1809 in Frindsbury, James is my Gt. Gt. Gt. Grandfather. Has anybody any information on the Darch family?
                  Thankyou, Peter Dixon


Sent: 11th October 2012 From Stephanie Kelly


  I am trying to locate someone whose last address I have for him is Upcott House, Bishop's Hull, Taunton, Somerset, UK.  His name is Richard P. Eliot.  His father was a Lord in the House of Lords.  I met him in Sicily when he was in his early twenties at a work camp helping children who had suffered from an earthquake in their town a year earlier in 1968-69.  I was a graduate of Yale in America.  I am now in London and have been trying to reach him.  Do you have any clues as to how I might find him?  Please answer here. Thank you.


Sent: 29th February 2012 From Claire Kilbon (nee Sparks), Lincolnshire.

I came across your website when looking into my family tree
and would be grateful if you could post this. I am looking
for any information/photos, etc to do with the following people:
The following names are listed on the Bishop's Hull register:
Samuel Sparks & Mary Hurley
m. 27 Mar 1778
George Spark & Elizabeth Salter
m. 10 Oct 1797
I am trying to confirm the link from these to my earliest confirmed ancestor:
George Sparks 1796-1872
Blacksmith in 1841 consensus living 'nr church' Bishops Hull
Blacksmith Master in 1851 census, lived at Haberfields Cottages, Bishops Hull, Somerset
Married Maria (unknown maiden name) b.1796

My father's line (Sparks) can be traced back to this area in the 1700s.
They were all in a line of blacksmiths!
Any help or information (residence, children, etc) would be much appreciated!
Many thanks
Claire Kilbon (nee Sparks)


From Lou Greaves on 18th October 2011
I am trying to find information regarding Hounds Court on or near Castle Green as on the 1891 census for Bishops Hull. I am looking for James H and Margaret Baker both born circa 1850 and their son Henry Baker. James Baker was a gas fitter. I cannot find any information on Hounds Court, any information would be appreciated. Thanks, Lou Greaves


Sent: 29th June 2011

Hello, Assisting an Australian relative here, we uncover Phillip asborn BH, then working as a Carter in TAUNTON until 1 APR 1825 where hewas given Trial as 16 yrs-old in the Somerset Assizes resulting inDeath-Sentence later commuted to a lesser Transportation for Life andplaced aboard the Ship Marquis of Hastings to land in SYDNEY AU 3 JAN1826.We have 'Onboard-Reports' of the Journey and much of his lifethereafter from Documents etc. His actual origins and anything relatedto, is being sought. Can anyone advise or throw light upon same or,advise of specific sources please?Grateful!


Re : Upcott House Sent: Sat 09/10/2010 20:48

I am just finishing a biography of Thomas William Cowan, generally known as the 'father of British bee-keeping'. In 1907 he moved to Upcott House, Bishops Hull, with his wife Fanny, children Edith, Alexander and wife Francis. They remained there until the end of WW1. During this war Alexander became the recruiting officer for Somerset, rank of Captain, later awarded M. B. E., Thomas (67), was allegedly, enrolled as a special policeman, and Edith became a nurse. Whilst I believe I know most of what there is to know about him, for this period of his life, I know nothing of Upcott House beyond the information in the census and would be grateful if anyone has a photograph of it that I could use and any other information. Is it still standing? Who owned it at this time? - it is almost certain that he leased it.

Kind regards, Bob Hawker.


to answer (or redirect) my question:
Researching the Hall and Darch families of Bishops Hull. Robert Darch had been minister of dissenting church in BH (d. 1737). Hannah, his widow, left $ to "daughter, Mary, wife of Jonathan Hall."
I intend to visit the Som. Her. Center next month, but thought there might be other info. available. Also there was a Rev. John Roberts whose daughter, Mary, married Benjamin Hall 1742. I've wondered of which church Mr. Roberts may have been pastor.
Any help will be appreciated re: these families.
Thank you very much.
Richard J. Hall 29/9/2010


Dear Sirs I have just started researching my family tree and several of my ancestors ( Tong) came from Taunton. According to the 1911 Census, the Red Lion Inn keeper was Arthur Edward Tong, ( my Great Grandfather) who lived there with his wife and 4 children ( 2 sons and 2 daughters). Could you confirm whether The Red Lion is still standing as I would like to visit. Many thanks Jane Harding 13/9/2010


I don't know if you would be interested in the following. My grandmother 'Beattie' Payne used to live in Milligan Hall Cottage, She was the cook there years ago. My grandfather was the gardener. A Sir Geoffrey Farrant was their employer. If you would like some more formation I will try to dig out some old photos for you. I remember holidaying at Milligan when a child and fishing by the river. My name is Rosalind Lee and I live in Newport, South Wales. Regards, Ros. 13/7/2010


Have just been reading this article. Is Chris who worked with me and her friend Jessie Manning still alive? Thinking of Bishop's Hull when as a young man I moved to Taunton and stayed with a family in Lowlands Terrace I was introduced to Miss Durman at the New Inn - pity it closed for redevelopment - Peter Berry and Albert Littlejohns - "sticker up" for skittles but a bad back prevented him from performing most other work! Peter Oaten I remember as well as Mr. Fursdon with his immaculate moustache! There were others but they remain nameless with the passage of time. Alas things have moved on since I left Taunton witness recent problems at the Old Inn - hygiene and violence! Sad to say I'm glad that my wife and I left for another jurisdiction. Regards, Ray. 5/6/2010


My family is planning a trip to Bishop's Hull area in May, 2010 to research the Farwell (Farewell) family. My ancestors Henry Farwell and his wife, Olive Welby emigrated from there to the U.S. in approx. 1635. His father was George Farwell. Family documents indicate there are monuments to the Farwell family in St. Peter and Paul's Church and the Manor House at Bishop's Hull. I am hoping there may be a cemetery in which we can see some tombstones. Any help or source of further information would be appreciated. Bobbie Adams 21/3/2010


I am researching the family history of the above. Know several families were in the Bishops Hull area from 1841 census etc. Have found the parish records for marriages on the 'net' but no information on the baptism/burial records. Unfortunately I am unable to travel but would be grateful if anyone knows how to access these records. Thanks Adeline Stanley(nee Netcott) 21/2/2010


Hi, I am trying to find Lois Franklin (maiden name Puddy) and also Susan Mawson Maiden Name (unknown married name). These people are in Victoria, Australia. Thanks, Meryl Wells 15/2/2010


Greetings from Canada! My GG grandparents, Thomas Voysey Wills and Rosina Anholt Brokenshire got married in Bishop’s Hull 29th Feb 1840. He hailed from Tiverton’ most of the censuses show she was born in Denmark, but one says Exeter. We are not sure why they would have been married in Bishop’s Hull. Could either one of them have been living there at the time? I did notice there used to be a canal from Tiverton to Taunton. Was that active in 1840? Would Bishop’s Hull hold a romantic appeal and attract out of parish marriages? The brick wall I have hit is in finding Rosina’s mother. I know her father was Joseph Brokenshire who was born in Cornwall 1771 and died in Exeter in 1853, but I have been unable to find her mother. He was married to a Susanna Reardon, who may have been Rosina’s mother. Joseph gave Susanna only one shilling in his will indicating her behaviour to him in times past prevented him from providing for her. If anybody can help me by explaining why the marriage took place in Bishop’s Hull or provide me with information on Susanna Reardon and/or Rosina’s mother, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks in advance, Caroline 9/11/2009



I have just recently discovered that my Great Great Grandmother, Rosina Anholt Brokenshire, was married to Thomas Wills (Wells in some records) . on 29th. February 1840. They were married in the Parish Church, Bishop's Hull.. Does anybody have any information as to where they were living and where Rosina was born? She was Danish, but a British citizen. Any snippet of information would be greatly appreciated. Thanking you and wishing you blessings. Sylvia Keye 211-2211 Clearbrook Road, Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada. V2T 2X4 23/10/2009


I am trying to find out some information about my late father, Stanley Warner.

He was living in Bishop's Hull just before WW2 at 31 Smithy Cottages, do you happen to know if these cottages still exist?

He was a blacksmith by trade so he may have worked at the forge in the village, do you have any information or photographs on this?

Whem my father signed up in 1940 he named his next of kin on his army papers as his 'guardian' who also resided at the above address, her name was either Mrs Bootle or possibly Mrs Boothe.

If you cannot help me do you know of anyone who can?

Steve Warner 2/9/2009


My Ancestors, John Spurrell and Mary Cutler were married in Bishop's Hull on Dec 29th 1747. They later moved to Trinity, Newfounfland, Canada. They are my g-g-g-g-grandparents and many Newfoundland Spurrells are descended from John and Mary. I would love to have contact with anyone who may be related to the Spurrells and/or Cutlers who lived in the Taunton area. I live in Newfoundland and am planning a trip to the area to further research my ancestors. Any suggestions for accomodation and research technique would be greatly appreciated. Elaine Spurrell. 13/8/2009


From Richard J Hall, USA.

A relative of mine, Robert Franklin, had a farm, Richelsea Farm, on Hammet Street in Bishop's Hull when he marries Mary Ann Beadon.

I believe they were connected with St MM's church, but in addition to contacting that church or the SRO, is there anything re Franklin (early 19th Centuary) or that farm that may be available?

Kind of a broad request, but any help will be appreciated. 3/8/2009


We are desperately seeking a family member ... Ivan Michael Peter Evensen, aka Mike Evensen. A former resident of Bishop's Hull in the 50's.

Born Dec 19th 1936 in Watford, Hertfordshire, his mother's maiden name was Wood.

His family / he was a planter in the rubber industry in British Malaysia in the 50's and 60's, however, his place of residence in the England was at Roughmoor House, Bishop's Hull, Nr Taunton, Somerset at least around July 1959.

His family came back to Europe around 1963. His parents being divorced, his father went to England, his mother to Switzerland, and Michael went to England first (where he modeled) and then to France where he worked in the cardboard industry in Nancy, then Strasbourg, Besancon and finally Paris(this is the latest information we have). The company he was working for was called La Rochette Cenpa.

Many thanks,

Christelle Cuenca 18/7/2009


I am trying to find out any information about my Grandmother whose name was Gladys Toop as I understand that some of her family still reside in Bishop's Hull. 9/7/2009


From Jan Eastwell, Australia

I am doing some family history and in the 1911 census my grandmother, Violet Winifred Dyer, then aged 13 was living with her parents, William Robert and Elizabeth Dyer, brother Cecil John Frederick Dyer and sister Hilda Gertrude, at Tangier Cottage, Bishop's Hull. William was an Elementary School Teacher employed by the Borough Council.There was a falling out and my grandmother eloped (obviously later on) with my grandfather and came to Australia.She never saw or spoke to her parents again.

Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Regards, Jan Eastwell 22/6/2009


From Colin Campbell:

I'm doing some family history research on Lucy and Harriet Upcott, married in Bishop's Hull, Taunton:

Upcott Harriet m. William Charles Cox, 29 Nov 1808
Upcott Lucy m. William Trenchard, 11 Apr 1803

Harriet was the mother of my great-great-grandfather,Edward William Cox. Interestingly, Lucy was the grandmother of Hugh Trenchard, founding father of the RAF. Any info on Upcott family would be gratefully received. 17/3/2009


Can you help with this enquiry ...

"I have just read Christine Laura Quartly's marvelous "Memories of Bishops Hull". Does anyone have any old pictures of Forge Cottages, Upcott and any history of when it used to be the forge." 28/1/2009


The web team is looking for photos of the Frank Bond Centre prior to 25 years ago? In particular, we're looking for photos of Frank Bond himself and his collection of organs. Please contact us using the link at the bottom of this page if you have anything.


Jenny Levine (nee Player) writes:

"My branch of the family left Bishops Hull in the 1880s and immigrated to Canada. But I know many members of the family remained in the area.

Jacob Player and Ann (nee Betty) lived there for many years in the mid 1800's. He was a mason and Ann was a nurse. They had many children including my great grandfather who was the youngest. Jacob also had a brother named John and I believe a sister called Elizabeth.

I would love to correspond with anyone related to the Player or Betty families or who knew of them.

I also wonder if anyone is aware of where the Player's are buried."



A lady researching her family history is looking for information on the following:

  • Mr Baker, the Bishop's Hull baker mentioned in Mrs Quartly's memoires on this website.
  • John and Joan Smith (married in Bishops Hull in 1802) or their descendants.

Please get in touch if you have any recollections or knowledge that can help.


A lady from Portsmouth writes:

"I have recently uncovered a family link with Hannah and James Van Zandt of Netherclay House. James died in Bishops Hull in 1823 and Hannah in 1849. She was there in the 1841 census. Can anyone tell me anything else about them? For instance, do they have a stone in the Churchyard? I would be very grateful for any help."


A resident of Wellington New Road is seeking information about the Victorian Terraces near the Royal Crown on Wellington Road.

"I live on Wellington New Road in the Victorian Terraces on the Royal Crown Pub side.

The records I have relating to my property say that my side of Wellington New Road was once called Oak Terrace. I have noticed a plaque on the building face of the terraces across the road and it says Florence Terrace 1881.

I only have deeds to my house going back as far as 1902 to the present - 1902 being the date which Mr Frederick Ingram (Woolstapler) sold the three dwellings of No's 1, 2, and 3 New Road (housed with tennants next to the pub) to Mr Alfred Ingram (Engineer, London) for £450. By 1950 my house was now known as 2 Oak Terrace, New Road.

Do you by chance know if both sides were built around the same time? The houses on my side are classed as cottages due to low ceilings and flat fronts (so I was told). The others across the street are bay fronted and as the plaque says dated 1881.

I would be grateful if you had any information concerning the terraces on Wellington New Road - and old photos would be a bonus; I would be happy to pay for photo prints."

If you can help, please make contact directly if details are provided. If not, e-mail the web team and we will pass forward your reply.