No 20

A Grade 2 Listed Building
C18 brick. Tiled roof with gable ends. Brick dentil eaves. 3 storeys. 1 window wide. 3-light wood million/transom windows (in segmental headed openings on ground and 1st floors). Wide plain doorway on left with hood on shaped brackets.


Built in the 1700's, this house was the main base of the Russell ironmongery business.

The Tithe map shows this and what is now No 21 as one plot owned by William Russell. For more on this see No 21.

The Lewis family were here from 1871 to at least 1826.

1839 Tithe Map     Owner William Russell. Occupier Himself and Willm Alford.

1841     William Russell 50 Blacksmith.

1851      Henry Russell, 30, Blacksmith.

1861     Thomas Webb, 38, Grocers Assistant.

1871     William Lewis, 39, Gardener.

1881     Michael Lewis, 39, Ironmongers Asst & Mgr local Pr.

1891     Michael Lewis, 49, Ironmongers Assistant.

1901     Michael Lewis 58 Ironmongers Assistant.

From 1910 Survey   Occupier Michael Lewis. Owner Execrs. of E Russell c/o H Garrood Esq Solrs.

1911     Michael Lewis 69 Ironmongers Assistant.

Ex Tilley's

1910     Lewis M

1923     Lewis M

1926     Lewis Mrs

1934     Fordham L

1954     Fordham L S

1956     Badham Miss

1975     Unoccupied thro to

1982     Stevens G R

1985     Benett J F

1989     No Entry

1992     Benett J F

2002     Benett J F and Simons P Chiropodist Crt Hs.

More Info.

1841 William Russell owned Nos 17,18,19 and 20. His mother is in No 19, Nos 17 and 18 had been 'newly built'. No 20 is a Blacksmith's shop.

Key to solving the Russells has been this will extract:

The last will etc of Hannah Russell of the town of Ledbury widow.
I devise unto and for the use of my grandson William Russell of 195 Regent Street London the dwelling house and hereditaments in my occupation situate in and fronting the Southend
Also the dwelling house adjoining thereto fronting the said street called the Southend with the brewhouse ...Warehouse blacksmiths shop, shoeing shop yard garden and hereditaments lying behind the same lately in the occupation of Hannah Russell widow of my bereaved son William Russell but now in the occupation of my grandson Henry Russell as tenant and also those two newly erected dwelling houses with the yards and gardens and hereditaments adjoining the last described premises situate in or near the Southend Street aforesaid now in the occupation of Mrs Francis Philip Godfrey and Mrs John Colston? As tenants.....nineteen pounds nineteen shillings to...following grandchildren Henry, Charles, Thomas Anne and Susannah Russell...

Proved 19th July 1850 Executors William Russell and William Juckes.

She died 'at her residence, (No 19), Southend street on Dec 21st 1849 in her 96th year' (Hereford Journal 26 Dec 1849). ie b 1753.

It follows from this that her son William died before 1849, his widow, Hannah, is still alive and that they had William, the legatee, Henry, Charles, Thomas, Anne and Susannah surviving at that time. Her son William died in Ledbury in 1848 aged 58 ie b 1790. He was a blacksmith and some of the children's baptism's confirm their father's occupation was a blacksmith.

William 50 (not the legatee) is in No 20 Southend in 1841. With him is his wife Hannah 45, George 18, Hannah 17, Ann 15, James 12, Charles 10, and Thomas 8. (Other children found born to the parents but not in No 20 at the time are William b 1819, John b 1822 and Susannah b 1835).
A William Russell married Hannah Wrenchers in Worcester in 1815 and I believe this is their marriage:

William, the legatee, is living in London and this can be confirmed on the 1846 and 1849 Electoral Register for Ledbury:

Christian name and surname of voter: Russell William.
Place of abode: 13,14 Vere Street Bond Street London.
Nature of Qualification: Freehold cottages garden and land.
Street and rent payers: Parkway, George Hyde, William Jarvis, Hannah Russell.

He is in 190 & 195 Regent Street unmarried as an assistant silk mercer in 1851.
In 1871 he is age 52 in Adelaide Road Hampstead a silk merchant with wife Anna 30 from Ledbury, and in 1881 in Hastings with Anna.
What attracted the first son of a Blacksmith in Ledbury to become a silk merchant in London can only be guesswork unfortunately!

His mother, Hannah, is in No 20 in 1841 but cannot be found in 1851 or 1861, reappears in 1871 back in the Southend as an Annuitant in No 17. She died in Southend in 1879 aged 87 ie b 1792.

( A Hannah Russell of the right age can be found in New Street in 1851 and 1861 but the birth place is wrong. Who she is outside the scope of this research)

From Hereford Times Jan 3rd 1846:

Russell Advert
1851 Henry Russell, born in 1821, has continued the blacksmith business. He married Elizabeth Chadd in Worcester (District) in 1841. They had: Ann Elizabeth in 1847 in the Southend and Hannah in 1855 in Horse Lane at this time he is still a blacksmith. He died in 1856 in Church Lane where Elizabeth is in 1861.

1861 After John Williams, landlord of the George Inn died on October 25th 1845 (see No 11) his widow Mary and her two children, Elizabeth b 1831 and John b 1832 moved to 21 Southend by 1851 where Elizabeth Esther is a dressmaker and John is a grocer.
Elizabeth married Thomas Webb, b 1823, on Nov 15th 1855 his address given as New Street hers as Southend. They set up home in No 20 Southend where in 1861 he is an Assistant Grocer and had Frank in 1858 in the Southend, Laura in 1860 in the Southend, They moved to the High Street before Alice was born in 1865, (her father's occupation given as grocer). Sadly he died in 1867 aged just 42.
Elizabeth's mother, Mary, now 55 is with them in 1861, She died in May of that year.

Frank leads a somewhat nomadic life. With his sister Laura in 1891 at Baynham's farm, he married Alice Maud Bendall in Bridgend in 1895 and they had Dorothy Olwen in Bridgend in 1895 and Sidney Frank in Bosbury in 1897. In 1901 he is landlord of the Red Lion in Leominster.

Laura Webb married Edward Thomas Lane, a farmer, in Ledbury in 1885. In Baynhams Farm in 1891, they had Mary Elizabeth in 1886, Norah Elsie in 1888, Helen Crissie in 1891, Herbert Edward in 1892, Dorothy in 1894 and Mabel Laura in 1896. Laura's brother Frank is with them in this census.

Alice married William Herbert Hartland in Ledbury in 1892. They moved to Buckingham where he is a Hardware Merchant. They had Phyllis Margery in 1893, Marion in 1895, Herbert Douglas in 1896, Francis Eric in 1897, Nancy in 1898, Edna in 1900.

Elizabeth, Webb nee Williams, remarried, in Ledbury, in 1869, to Charles South a widower and farmer in Little Marcle. She died in 1919 aged 89 years address given as Old Court Bosbury.

1871 William Lewis, b 1832 in Eckington, married Eliza Bugg in Newent in 1858.
They had Harry in 1858 in Pershore Worcestershire, Annie in 1862 in New Street, Ledbury and Robert William in 1863 in Ledbury.
Eliza, father a farrier, was from Roydon in Essex. A servant in a vicarage in Nazeing, Essex, in 1851 what she was doing in Newent by 1858 is anybody's guess.
In 1861 William and Eliza are living in the Ross Road and they moved to the Southend by 1871. William must have died between 1871 and 1881,(I can't find an appropriate burial in Ledbury) as in the latter census Eliza is a widow in New Street with only Annie supporting her. Robert is in Hamersmith as an organist.
They are all together in 1901 in Hammersmith, none married. Eliza is 'living on own means', Harry is a piano tuner, Annie has no occupation and Robert is a Professor of Music. They did well for themselves.

1881This Lewis family (no relation of the above William Lewis) occupied No 20 until at least 1926 and probably 1930.
Michael Lewis was born in Halwood Green Dymock in April 1842, father John, mother Rosanna (nee Hankins).
He married Susannah Webb, daughter of George and Frances, in Ledbury in 1863.
They had 10 children:
Daniel Michael on July 4th 1867.
Alfred George on 9th Sept 1869.
Sarah Elizabeth on 30th Sept 1871.
The above three were baptised in Ledbury Wesleyan chapel, birth dates recorded.
Fanny Louisa in 1875.
William John in 1876.
Ada Maud in 1881.
Ernest James in 1883.
Annie Ethel in 1885.
Lily Beatrice in 1888.
Nora Alice in 1889.
all in Ledbury.

Daniel Michael died in 1898 in Ledbury.

Alfred George married Susan Annie Morris in Lichfield in 1897. A grocers assistant in Leominster in 1901 They had Frank in Lichfield in 1898, John Marshall in Leominster in 1901, Alfred Morris in Solihull in 1903, Dorothy May in 1905 in Uxbridge, Gertrude Ivy in 1907 in Uxbridge and Winifred Alice in 1912 also in Uxbridge. They are in Hayes in 1911 where Alfred is a labourer. He died in 1945 in Uxbridge.

Sarah Elizabeth died in Ledbury in 1876.

Fanny Louisa married George Jones in Ledbury in 1917.

William John married Frances Louisa Bebb in Weobley in 1904. They had Agnes May in 1906, Francis William 1906 and Lawson Ernest in 1909. William died in 1921 in Ledbury.

Ada Maud is in Upton on Severn in 1901 as a ‘worker.’. Nothing else known

Ernest James died Ledbury in 1902.

Annie Ethel died in Ledbury in 1909.

Lily Beatrice married George Plumtree in Ledbury in 1934. She died in Ledbury in 1954.

Nora Alice died in Ledbury in 1911.

George Plumtree a gardener born in 1870, and hs wife Ada, born 1876, came to Woodlands Lodge Parkway sometime between 1911 and 1920. Ada died there in 1931.
George, now 64, wasted little time in finding a new wife in Lily Beatrice Lewis, now 46, whom he married in Ledbury in 1934. They settled in 2 Oakfield Villas Woodleigh Road where he died on January 31st 1942, Lily died there on December 16th 1954 leaving a small legacy of £ 167 to her sister Fanny Louisa Jones.

With six of their children dead before them Michael died in Ledbury 13th December 1923, aged 82, and Susannah in 1930, aged 84.
The Probate record for Michael shows:
Lewis Michael of 20 The Southend Ledbury Herefordshire died 13 December 1923. Probate Hereford 14 January to Richard Lawrence signalman and Richard James Ewart Lawrence motor driver. Effects £ 200.

1926 Electoral Register    Lewis Susannah.

1939 Register    Fordham Leonard S., Fordham Jane C., Fordham Joan M., Fordham John D.