Greg's Family History

The Gullivers of Hampshire

One of the earliest Gullivers found so far was James, a baker, the son of William Gullifer and his wife Elizabeth (Lively) born in Andover, Hampshire, in 1777. By one of those strange coincidences that appear commonplace in family history, he may well have known Joseph Tanter (an ancestor of my paternal Grandmother) who was born in the same town a few years later.

James married Sarah Wright, the daughter of the splendidly named Hercules Wright. After having three children born in Andover, the family moved to Stockbridge in about 1812 where it grew to a total of thirteen children. James may have been the James Gulliver who was arrested for fraud in 1829 but not proceeded against.

Life in Stockbridge was not without its tragedies. In 1830 their eleventh child, Walter, then a three-year old, died of burns - possibly as the result of an accident in his father's bakery. A few weeks later, Walter's eighteen-year-old brother, John, was buried. The burial register does not record the cause of his death but I wonder if he was injured in the same accident - or, perhaps, bore the responsibility for it.

James and Sarah's ninth child, James, was one of the early settlers in New Zealand, leaving England in 1857 and dying in Christ Church, New Zealand in 1906.

Their fourth child, William, became the landlord of the Dolphin Inn at Botley, Hampshire. He married Susan Loft and had four children, of which my ancestor, James Walter Gulliver, was the youngest. James Walter was born in Botley in 1848. While he was still a child, his mother died. By 1861 his father had remarried and moved to Eling as a tenant farmer. James Walter lived with his uncle George (who had taken over the family bakery in Stockbridge) - presumably so that he was able to attend school there.

James Walter married Amy Croucher (born 1848, the daughter of George Croucher, teacher). He became a commercial clerk, working at the chemical works in Eling. James died suddenly in 1893. A newspaper report of the inquest into his death provides many details of his life:

An inquest was held yesterday Tuesday - afternoon. at the Glebe Hotel. Northern-road. before Mr. W. Coxwell, borough coroner concerning the death of James Waller Gulliver, aged 45, a clerk and tobacconist, of 134, Northern-road, who died on Saturday night under circumstances which transpired as follows - The Coroner, in opening the inquiry, stated that he dared say that the deceased had been very well known to many of the jury as he was to him. He was a commercial clerk to Messrs. Spooner and Bailey, of the Chemical Works, Redbridge for a great many years, and faithfully served them. It was within his (the coroner's) knowledge that the deceased left that employment on account of ill-health. He should not have held an inquiry, but that two medical men had differed in opinion as to the cause of death. One stating that there were traces of poisoning, and the other stating that death was due to apoplexy. After they had heard the evidence the jury would have to decide as to the necessity of a post-mortem examination, and he felt sure, if they could honestly come to a verdict without, they would spare the relatives the trouble and pain of the operation. Mr Ensor, on behalf of Mr. C. Lamport, watched the cast for the relatives of the deceased.

Charles Martin, a sergeant in the Borough Police Force, deposed that the deceased was his brother-in- law. He was taken ill on Saturday evening between 4 and 7 o'clock, apparently in a fit, and he became unconscious. He was taken upstairs and put to bed. He remained in that state till twenty minutes to 10, when he died. Dr. MacDonnell was sent for about 7 o'clock, and came. He said it was a bad case-a case of death. Later on Dr. Farquharson, the partner of Dr. Hobley, with Dr. Grange, who had been attending the deceased for some time-about five or six weeks-came. Dr. Farquharson said it was a hopeless case, one of severe apoplexy. The deceased had previously been attended by Dr. Sheppard and another doctor at Totton. He was not in the habit of taking morphia or anything of the kind to deaden pain, but he had been suffering from kidney disease. Dr. Bathe was called in during the interval between the time when Dr. MacDonnell and Dr. Farquharson attended. Dr. MacDonnell later sent his assistant, but deceased was almost gone when be arrived. Witness never remembered deceased having one of these fits before. His life was insured, and he was a married man with a family.

Dr. MacDonnell said he was called to see the deceased, a message coming to his surgery about 8 o'clock, and he attended soon after. He found the deceased unconscious, and both pupils of the eye contracted. There was no paralysis on one side more than the other. All the limbs were rigid, and there were convulsive twitchings of both hands. These symptoms might be due to three causes, namely, opium poisoning, urinic poisoning, and hemorrhage in a part of the brain. Assuming that the deceased had been suffering from Bright's disease of the kidneys, some of the symptoms he observed would have been present. He could not tell the precise cause of death. He did not know that another doctor had been called in to see the deceased and he thought he should have been informed. He was not aware that two other doctors had given a certificate that deceased had died from apoplexy caused by Bright's disease.

The Coroner remarked that Dr. Farquharson was present, but could not be called as a witness unless the Jury desired it, and gave him a written certificate to that effect. If they were not satisfied with the evidence as to the cause of death, it would be his duty to order a post-mortem examination. The jury consulted in private, and, after a short deliberation, expressed the desire to hear Dr. Farquharson as a witness.

Dr. Farquharson stated that the deceased had been attended by his and Dr. Hobley's partner, Dr. Grange, for about five or six weeks for diphtheria and kidney disease. In the course of attendance upon him for diphtheria, it was found that the deceased was suffering from kidney disease, while, upon inquiry being made, it was ascertained this was a chronic case, the deceased having suffered from it for years. Witness was called in on Saturday evening, and found the deceased completely unconscious, with sterterous breathing. Mrs. Gulliver explained to him that her husband passed into this condition very rapidly in the course of a few minutes, during which time he appeared like a drunken man. Witness thought with Dr. MacDonnell that death arose from hemorrhage into the brain, which was another term tor apoplexy. The contraction of the pupils was consistent with the hemorrhage, He had no doubt in his mind that the deceased died from natural causes, the result of hemorrhage into the brain. The body of a person suffering from such a disease of the kidneys would decompose very rapidly.

The Coroner remarked that it was for the jury to be satisfied that death was due to natural causes, but it was not material if they were unable to agree as to the precise cause of death. If the Jury could not agree upon a verdict, it would be his duty to order a post-mortem examination, though he had no wish to do so. The Jury again consulted in private, and, on the court being re-opened, the Foreman said the jury had agreed that they would like a post-mortem examination to be made.

The Coroner asked whether the new mortuary was ready, and, being informed in the negative, said it was a monstrous disgrace that they had not one in a town like Southampton. Money was spent on a Free Library, when there was an absolute want of sanitary arrangements. He did not know where to send the body in the state it was. It was suggested that the post-mortem examination should take place at the mortuary attached to the Royal Southampton Infirmary, and The Coroner said, if allowed, he would direct the medical officer there to make the examination at which Dr MacDonnell and Dr. Farquharson could be present, though they most not interfere. The inquest was then adjourned till Friday afternoon.
[Hampshire Chronicle: 24 May 1893]

The inquiry on the body of James Walter Gulliver, aged 45, a clerk and tobacconist, of 134, Northam road, was resumed at the Audit House. Southampton, this (Friday) afternoon, by Mr. W. Coxwell, the Borough Coroner.-Dr. P. Ward, house surgeon at the Royal South Hants Infirmary, stated that he had made a post-mortem examination of the body. He first opened the skull, and found an extensive hemorrhage in the substance of the brain on both sides. On opening the body he discovered that the kidneys were diseased, which appeared to be of some years standing. The stomach and the other organs were in a healthy condition. He attributed death to apoplexy, due to the state of the brain. By the Coroner : There was not the slightest evidence of poisoning. The jury recorded a verdict in accordance with the medical testimony.
[Hampshire Advertiser: 27 May 1893]

James and Amy's oldest child, George, became a chemist. He was educated at Hartley College (the founding institution of what is now Southampton University). He worked in Duesin, Belgium - maybe in the chemical dye industry. After returning to England he retired to Cheddar, Somerset, where he ran a garage.

Walter, the second, also moved to Somerset where he had a grocery shop in the village of Banwell.

The fourth child, Ernest Albert, died shortly before his father at the age of 15. He was killed in a tragic accident:

An inquest was held at Totton yesterday (Tuesday) evening, by Mr. B. Hayfield, county coroner, on the body of Ernest Alfred Gulliver, son of Mr. James Walter Gulliver, a merchant's clerk, residing at No. 1. Eling villas. Totton. Mr. Bowling, an Inspector of Factories, was present, as was also Mr W. Coxwell.

Deceased, aged 15 years, was apprenticed to Mr. Pamplin. of the Railway Flour Mills, to learn the milling trade, and had served about four months. On Monday morning. between half-past 8 and 9 o'clock, deceased and William Leigh, a rollerman miller, were at work on the top floor raising barley, and having finished that Leigh asked him to go and fetch a brush from the purifier floor, the floor below where they were working. Leigh was about to go downstairs when he heard a great noise, and on turning round saw him whirling round the shafting. He rushed downstairs at once and had the engines stopped, and before he could get up again he had been released.

Deceased was whirling on the shaft near the mixer; he had to pass underneath it to get to the brush, but there was plenty of room between the bands and the wall to enable him to pass without touching the bands. The band deceased was caught in was a loose one, which drives the mixer, and Leigh thought that if deceased's hand had become entangled between the belt and the shaft that would have been sufficient to hold. There was no occasion for deceased to have touched the belts to get the brush or for any other purpose that he (Leigh) was aware of, and witness thought the machinery where the accident happened was properly protected.

In answer to Mr. Coxwell. Leigh said deceased could not have been caught unless he had placed his hands above his head. He had been cautioned against touching the bands, particularly the one in question. By Mr. Bowling-If the straps had been in the strap hook the accident could not have happened. The engine was stopped in about two minutes. By the Jury.-The shaft was making, he (Leigh) should say, about 150 revolutions a minute.

Stephen Batten, a labourer at the Mills, saw deceased put his hand up and on the shaft, not looking where he was putting it, but he did not see him caught. Immediately after he heard a noise, and saw deceased entangled in the machinery. He ran to the engine driver at once to stop.

Robert Meesome, employed at the Mill, hearing what had happened, sent for a doctor and at once went to the purifier floor, just as the mill stopped. He saw Gulliver hanging with the left arm bound to the shaft strap by a small belt, usually used to drive the mixer. The strap was several times round his arm and he was released as soon as possible.

Mr. George Leslie Howard Revill, a surgeon assisting Dr. Sheppard found deceased semi-conscious. His left arm was broken, also both his legs, and he was suffering from a great deal of shock. He ordered his removal to his home at once, having injected ether. On going to his home, about half an hour later, he had him removed on to the bed, and had his clothes cut off. Then he found that he had a compound fracture of the left arm, a comminated fracture of the left leg, and a compound comminated fracture of the right leg. His right hand was very much bruised and swollen. Witness had him covered with blankets, and applied the usual restoratives. He was still conscious. Witness stayed until about a quarter to 1, when he had improved slightly.

Deceased was ordered to be removed to the Royal South Hants Infirmary at Southampton by Dr Sheppard. Witness again saw him about 4 the same afternoon, and he found he was unconscious and pulseless. He had then been taken part of the way to Southampton, and brought back again. Shortly afterwards he died. He made no statement to witness. Death was due to shock, caused by the injuries be had sustained.

The Jury, of which Mr. James Walter Fletcher was foreman, returned a verdict of "Accidental death." The painful accident has caused a great deal of regret at Totton and Eling, where deceased was well-known and respected, and much sympathy is felt for his parents in their sad bereavement.
[Hampshire Advertiser: 9 Dec 1891.]

Of the Gullivers' five daughters, one (Amy) married a vicar, two (Ethel and Lilian) became teachers and later ran a private school, Elsie emigrated to Australia and the fate of the fifth (Louisa) is unknown.

Albert, the third child was my great grandfather. He was born in 1874 in Eling, Hants. By the time of his marriage he was a solicitor's clerk living in Islington, London. He married Jane Patmore Miller on 13 March, 1897, at St Paul's Islington. They had three children, Albert Philip (born 1898), Cecil Walter (1900) and Irene (1906).

They moved from London to Westcliff in about 1912. Albert fought in the First World War and was wounded in the leg - leaving him with a limp. After the war he worked in a bank. His last job was with the United Trust Bank.

In 1926 Albert and Jane lived in Eastwood Road, Westcliff (where Mum was born). Soon after (by abt 1930) they moved to Woodfield Road. In the mid-1930s they moved to 75, Banstead Road South, Sutton, Surrey. Rene lived in the house next door (number 77). During the war they all moved together into another house in the area, where he died.

Their oldest child, Albert Philip, may have been named after Jane's Great Uncle Philip Patmore - a wealthy farmer in East Essex. He became an accountant. He had a daughter, Joan.

Irene married Philip Edwards an RAF Squadron Leader. They had a son, Michael, and two daughters (Sheila and Valerie). Irene died just before her 100th birthday in 2006.