John Osborn Pilbrow

Author: Christine Gambles
Date published: 18/02/2021

John Osborne Pilbrow


John Osborne Pilbrow was baptised on the 15th April 1828 at St Mary Woolpit Suffolk the illegitimate son of Ann Pilbrow. On John’s baptism record his father was recorded as John Osborne Samer, Shopman of Woolpit

Anne also had an illegitimate daughter Anna Maria, baptised on the 16th May 1826 at St Mary Woolpit Suffolk.

By 1833 Ann was living in Cambridgeshire she married William Bunker (surname recorded as Burker) on the 13th October 1833 in the parish church of St Mary the Less Cambridgeshire.

In the 1841 census William Bunker (30), Ann Bunker (30), Maria Pilbrow (15) and John Pilbrow (13) were recorded living in Grantchester Cambridgeshire, William was recorded as a Beer House Keeper.

John’s mother Anne Bunker died aged 45 in 1850 (death registered in Chesterton Union). After her death William was recorded as a Brewer living at the Hat and Feather Grantchester with his step-daughter Maria (recorded as daughter-in-law). On the 16th July 1851 William married Maria at St John the Evangelist Lambeth Surrey they had two children, Thomas William born in 1854 and Jane born in 1857. Maria was admitted to Brookwood Asylum Woking on the 13th December 1875 where she died on the 6th October 1876. William died aged 75 in 1885 in Lambeth.

John Osborne Pilbrow married Elizabeth Gibbs (baptised 13th September 1829 in Little Eversden daughter of John and Margaret Gibbs) on the 22nd July 1850 at the parish church of St Andrew the Less Cambridgeshire, John’s occupation was recorded as a Turner, both were single and living in East Road. Elizabeth’s father was recorded as John Gibbs, occupation, Shoemaker. No father recorded for John.

John and Elizabeth had two children, John born 1850 died 1850 and Ann Maria born 1852.

In the 1851 census John (23) was recorded as a Shoemaker, living in St Andrews Hill St Andrew the Less Cambridge with Elizabeth (21). (No further record of Elizabeth or Ann Maria found after 1852)

In 1865 John was convicted of arson and was sentenced to five years imprisonment.

The Hampshire and Portsmouth Telegraph dated 13th December 1865 recorded the case which basically stated that on the 27th August 1865 at about one o’clock in the morning John and a friend, John Davis, after drinking heavily in the “Queen” at Aldershot the night before, were found in a field where a hay rick was on fire. They both denied all knowledge or involvement in the fire saying that they went into the field to sleep. Both were found guilty, the sentence of the court was that each be kept in penal servitude for five years.

By 1871 John was living in Newbury. The census record for that year records John (41), as a Shoemaker, lodging with a widow Eleanor (recorded as Ellen) Brown (36), a Tailoress and her six sons, at the Rose and Thistle Yard Newbury. John and Eleanor married in Newbury in 1877.

John was recorded as a Shoemaker in the 1881, 1891 and 1901 census records. The family were recorded living in the Rose and Thistle Yard Pembroke Road in 1881 and Pembroke Road in 1891 and 1901.

John died aged 76 in 1906 in the Newbury Workhouse he was laid to rest in the Newtown Road Cemetery on the 6th February.

Eleanor (76) was recorded living at 5 Croft Cottages Pembroke Road Newbury with her widowed son Henry George Brown (51) and his son Henry George Brown (24), both were Builder’s Labourers.

Eleanor died aged 77 in 1912 she was laid to rest in the Newtown Road Cemetery on the 8th Octob

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