The Keeper's Arms

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Bayliss, Sydney
Gibson, George
Gibson, Mary
Harris, Charles
Harris, John Edwin ("Jack*)
Hollister, John
Hollister, Mary
Hollister, Thomas

The Keeper's Arms, which is situated in the middle of the village near the junction of Church Street and Mawley Road, in the only one of the three inns that has survived. During the period under review it was owned by or in the tenancy of just two families. The first, John Hollister, his widow and then son, extends from probably the 1830s to the late 1870s. Then for almost a century, to 1970, the tenancy was held by three generations of an extended family, the Gibsons and the Harrises.

The premises and business were almost certainly owned freehold by John Hollister but after his death, while his son was proprietor, ownership passed to the Cirencester Brewery in the 1860s

John Hollister(1830s) to 1860probably owner of business
Mary Hollister1861-186x John's widow
Thomas Hollister1868-c1878John's son
George Gibsonc1878-1887new family
Mary Gibson 1898-1901George's widow
Charles Harris?1901-late 1930s Mary's nephew
John Harris?1930s-1970 Charles's son

After this, in the 1970s, the landlord of the Keeper's was a local man, Quenington-born Sydney Bayliss, builder

John Hollister and second wife Mary

John Hollister was at a beerhouse, almost certainly the Keeper's Arms, in the 1850s, perhaps as early as the 1830s. He was born in Wiltshire in 1795. In 1818 he was in Coln St Aldwyns near Quenington to marry Martha Coates and was still here three years later for the birth of son James. He had moved to Quenington by 1823, where his second son was born, and would remain there for the rest of his ife. In 1836 he was the owner of unspecified freehold houses and gardens occupied by himself and others. In 1841 was working as a carter. Ten years later he was in occupation of a beerhouse and would remain there until his death in 1860. His probate documents show him as a farmer, in which respect it should be noted that his son Thomas was given notice to quit land in Quenington after John's death, see next item.

John's wife Martha died in 1858 and the next year he married Mary Randall, 20 years his junior. He died fifteen months later and Mary took over the beerhouse, where she was in 1861 and possibly until 1866. She was still living in Quenington on the latter date when she married Thomas Merchant in Hatherop, a labourer from there. She was living with her husband in Hatherop in 1871. Both she and Thomas signed the marriuage certificate with an X, unable to read and write. It was presumably at this point that first son Thomas took over John's interests in Quenington, including the beerhouse, see next item

1795parHighworth, Wilts    14 Nov born, 29 Nov baptised, parents Charles and Eliz
1818parColn St Aldwyns    : 17th Nov, married Martha Coates
c1821 cenColn St Aldwyns    birth of son Thomas
c1823 cen Quenington     birth of son William
1826 parQuenington  labourer 30th Jan, baptism of son John
1836-42 er Quenington     ownership of freehold houses and gardens occupied by self and others
1841cenQuenington45carter at home with wife Martha and children Thomas 20, William 15, John 15, Eliza 10 [ages to nearest 5 years]
1843-59 erQuenington     ownership of freehold houses and gardens in the village
1851cenQuenington55 carrier and beerhouse with wife Martha
1853-56 dirQuenington   beer retailer  
1858gro,par Quenington     death of wife Martha registered Cirencester 1st quarter, age 61, buried 16th March
1859parQuenington 62 publican19th Jul, married Mary Randall, see below
1860 par, prob Quenington 63 farmerdied 4th Dec, buried 9th Dec, probate to widow Mary
Marriage Quenington 19th Jul 1859:
John Hollister, 62, widower, publican, address Quenington, father Charles labourer
Mary Randall, 42, spinster, no occupation, address Quenington, father Abraham mason
John signed with an X
Widow Mary:
1861cenQuenington45 beerseller  
1866 parHatherop    married Thomas Merchant, labourer of Hatherop, her address Quenington. Banns read in Quenington.
1871 cen Hatherop     with her husband and two lodgers

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Thomas Hollister

Thomas Hollister, first son of John, was a beer retailer in Quenington in the 1860s and perhaps 1870s, following his mother's brief tenure after his father's death. Under his stewardship the business passed to the ownership of a brewery in Cirencester.

Thomas was born in Coln St Alwyns in about 1821 and was with his family in Quenington in 1841, occupation unknown, his father a carrier. Five years later he was in nearby Down Ampney to marry a local girl. They set up Quenington and started a family. In the late 1840s and 1850s, while his father was still alive, he was working as a labourer/drainer, as was his brother William. After his father died in 1860 he is recorded as a farmer the following year, presumably having inherited a tenancy from his father, who was shown in probate documents to have been a farmer, see previous entry. But this did not last, as he was given notice to quit 'farm buildings and closes in Quenington at Midsummer 1862.

He then became a publican/beer seller/innkeeper, no doubt in the inn of his father which had been briefly occupied by his mother, again see previous item. The inn, almost certainly The Keepers, must have been part of his father's ownership of freehold houses, including his own accommodation, and in 1864 Thomas himself was the owner of such property. But this did not last. In 1866 Thomas signed a declaration depositing the deeds and mortgages with the Cirencester company which owned The Cirencester Brewery. It included four buildings in Quenington in the occupation of Thomas and others. This must be the point at which the Keepers was bought by the said brewery. A further transfer may have occurred in 1871.

Thomas continued at the beerhouse until at some time during the 1870s when the new tenant George Gibson arrived, see next item. In 1878 his wife Elizabeth died in Quenington and three years later Thomas was living alone in Maiseyhampton, near Fairford, a farm labourer. He had returned to Quenington by 1885 and died there five years later at the age of 69.

c1821cenColn St Aldwyns   birth
1841cenQuenington20 labourerat home, father John carrier
1846 parDown Ampney   31st Oct married Elizabeth Beal. Details of own and fathers' occupations not included in the cetificate
1849-59parQuenington  labourerchildren's baptisms
1851cenQuenington30drainerwith wife Elizabeth and two children
1861cenQuenington40farmer with wife Elizabeth and three children
1862docQuenington  notice to quit farm buildings and closes in Quenington on 25th March
1862-64parQuenington  publicanchildren's baptisms
1863,70dirQuenington   beer retailer  
1864 erQuenington    ownership of freehold houses in village
1866docQuenington    association with the Cirencester Brewery, see below
1870parQuenington   publican marriage of daughter Charlotte
1871cenQuenington50innkeeper at beerhouse with wife Elizabeth, son and boarder
1871docQuenington  apparent transfer of property to Edward Rowly, brewer, of Siddington, see below
1878gro,parQuenington    death of wife Elizabeth registered Cirencester 1st quarter, age 50, buried 5 Feb
1881cenMaiseyhampton60 farm laboureralone
1885-90 erQuenington    occupying a house in the vilage
1890gro,parQuenington69   death registered Cirencester 1st quarter, buried 4th Feb, address Quenington

Undated communication to the reps of John Hollister deceased and Mr Thomas Hollister his son: notice to quit on 25 March 1862 farm buildings and closes in the village of Quenington.

28 Feb 1866. Declaration by Thomas Hollister that he has deposited with Frederick Cripps and his partners brewers under the firm of Cripps and Co Cirencester the full deeds and mortgages relating to hereditaments and premises hereunder scheduled - Four messuages and tenements garden and hereditaments situated in Quenington now partly in the occupation of Thomas Hollister and others.

30 Jan 1871, document referring to land from Hollister to Edward Rowley of Siddington [near Cirencester]. Land bounded on the north by the road leading from Quenington to Cirencester, on the east bounded by premises occupied by William Hollister, on the south by Quenington Street and on the west parish pound occupied by Hollister
Edward Rowley was a brewer.
William Hollister was Thomas's brother. In 1851 he was, like Thomas, a drainer. He was married and was living near, probably next door to Thomas; in 1861, a labourer, near, probably next door to mother Mary, beerseller. He had left Quenington by census day (2 April) 1871.

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George Gibson and wife Mary

George Gibson was landlord of the Keeper's Arms in the early 1880s and perhaps also the 1870s. He was born in Hatherop near Quenington in 1824 and spent most his life there. He was home in 1841, his father an agricultural worker. In 1847 he married Mary Ind, who was from Oxfordshire. He remained in Hatherop until at least 1871, at first an agricultual worker then a gamekeeper. By 1881 - perhaps around 1878 when the wife of the previous tenant Thomas Hollister died and Thomas probably left the village - he had moved to Quenington as landlord of the Keeper's Arms. He died in 1887 and his widow Mary took over the licence which she held until her death in 1901.

After George's death two of Mary's relatives from Oxfordshire came to stay with her, married and settled in Quenington. Eleanor Harris, her niece, was there in 1901. She married Edward James Pratley, a farm worker, in 1902 and the two were still in the village in 1939, he now a retired farm worker. Charles Harris, her nephew, was with her in 1891 and would take over the Keeper's Arms following her death, see next entry.

1824parHatherop     26 December baptised
1841cenHatherop 15   at home, father George, 45, agr labourer
1847parHatherop   agr labourer married Mary Ind, see below, marriage registered Cirencester 4th quarter
1851cenHatherop 26 farm labourer with wife Mary
1861cenHatherop 36 agr labourer with wife Mary
1871cenHatherop 46 gamekeeper with wife Mary, laundress
1881cenQuenington56 publican with wife Mary at the Keeper's Arms
1885erQuenington    living in a dwelling house in the village
1887par,groQuenington 61   died, death registered Cirencester 1st quarter, buried Hatherop 8th Mar
marriage at Hatherop, 13th Nov 1847:
George Gibson, 23, labourer, address Hatherop, father George labourer
Mary Ind, 23, widow, labourer, address Hatherop, father John labourer
Both signed certificate with a cross
wife Mary:
1891cenQuenington   innkeeper with Nephew Charles Harris, 45, agr worker
1901cenQuenington 74 beer retailer with niece Eleanor Harris, 25, and one lodger
1901gro,parQuenington75  death registered Cirencester 4th quarter, buried Hatherop 11th December, address Quenington

Charles Harris
(as Harriss in some documents)

Charles Harris was long-term tenant of the Keeper's Arms from around 1911 to the 1930s. He was the nephew of the previous incumbent. Charles was born in Bould, near Chipping Norton, in 1863 of a very large family, his father a carter. He was at home until 1881, working as a farm labourer. In 1891 he was in Quenington, staying with his widowed aunt Mary Gibson (see previous article), who was the innkeeper at the Keeper's Arms. He was still working an an agricultural labourer. He married in 1894 and in 1901 was living in his own accommodation with wife and children. His aunt died in late 1901 and he may then have taken over the Keeper's Arms. He was cetainly there in 1911 and would remain there until his death in 1943. Perhaps confusingly he was described as a labourer on the marriage certificate of daughter Eleanor in 1928, though other documents of the time confirm him as a beer retailer. In the later years his son John Edwin may have assumed the running of the inn. Charles died in 1943 at the age of 79.

1863gro,cen,39Bould, Oxon    born 24th May, birth registered Chipping Norton, Oxon, 3rd quarter
1871cenBould   at home, father Thomas carter
1881cenBould 18farm labourerat home, father Thomas carter
1891cenQuenington25agr labourerstaying with aunt Mary Gibson, innkeeper
1894groCirencester    marriage to Florence Mary Puffett registered 4th quarter
1896parQuenington   labourer 21st June, baptism of daughter Eleanor Mary
1898parQuenington labourerbaptism of son John Edwin
1901cenQuenington37 agr labourer with wife and two children
1907par,groQuenington  death of wife Florence aged 34, registered Cirencester 1st quarter, burial 16th Jan
1911 cenQuenington47beer retailer widower, with three children and mother
1918-39 erQuenington    resident
1923-39dirQuenington  beer retailer 
1929 parQuenington  labourermarriage of daughter Eleanor Mary
1939 39Quenington   retiredat Keeper's Arms, dob 24th May 1863, with son John Edwin and his wife
1943 gro,par,prob Quenington79  died 25th Feb, death registered Cirencester 1st quarter, buried 28th Feb, address Keeper's Arms. Probate to daughter Eleanor Mary Mills

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John ("Jack") Harris

John Edwin Harris, son of Charles, was innkeeper at the Keeper's Arms from probably the late 1930s to his death in 1970. He was born in Quenington in 1898, his father an agricultural worker. He was at home in 1901 and 1911, his father now a beer retailer, almost certainly at the Keeper's Arms (see previous item). John served in World War 1. There are records of very many soldiers with his name and it has not been possible to isolate any records that might be his. Unusually his military status lasted until 1922 when he finally returned to Quenington. Most soldiers who enlisted or were conscripted for service in World War 1 had returned home by the middle of 1919 and the reason for his retention is not known. Perhaps he had signed on for a short term as a regular soldier.

He settled again in Quenington as a non-householder up to 1936, presumably living with his father at the Keeper's. In 1935 he was in Derbyshire to marry Linda Pinkney Oliver from Yorkshire. The two were back in Quenington the following year, John now a householder. Perhaps this was the point at which he inherited the tenancy from his father. The entry in the 1939 register is strange. John is indeed the householder at the Keeper's, with his wife and father Charles now retired. But his occupation is not innkeeper but lorry driver for the pump works (ie Godwin's). Indeed, this is how a contemporary resident of Quenington remembers John.

After the second war John and Linda were at the Keeper's, until his death in 1970 at the age of 71.

1898gro,par,39Quenington     born 14th Sep, birth registered Cirencester 4th quarter, baptised 6 Nov, father Charles labourer
1901cenQuenington2   at home, father Charles agr labourer
1911 cenQuenington12schoolboyat home, father Charles beer retailer
1918-22erQuenington     absent military voter, non-householder
1923-36erQuenington     resident, non-householder
1935 parQuenington    14-29 Jul, banns read for marriage to Linda Pinkney Oliver of Rokeley parish church, Yorkshire
1935 groTeesdale, Durham    marriage to Linda P Oliver registered 3rd quarter
1937-39erQuenington     resident householder with wife Linda
193939Quenington   lorry driver at pump workshead of household, with wife and retired father, dob 14 Sep 1898
1943gro,parQuenington    25th Feb, death of father Charles
1946-6xerQuenington     at the Keeper's Arms with wife Linda
1970 groCirencester71   death registered 1st quarter

Sydney Claud Bayliss

Sydney Bayliss was a local man, part of a family which had been in the village since the 1880s. He was born in Quenington in 1924, the eldest of four sons of Frederick Percival Bayliss, stonemason. He was brought up in the family home, Vale Cottage opposite the parish church, and attended the village school. He served in the Royal Air Force in World War 2, during which time he married Mary Smith in Durham in 1944.

He returned to Quenington after the war and in the 1950s was living at an address at The Green. He was working as a carpenter in 1952 (he had been an apprentice in 1939), and builder's foreman in 1954. In the 1970s he was the landlord of the Keeper's Arms Inn, though still also working as a builder.

At some point he moved back into, and indeed purchased the larger part of Vale Cottage, which he extended and modernised and where he would live until his death in 2006 at the age of 80. He continued to be active in the village to the end.

10th September 2019