William Joynes Godwin

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William Joynes Godwin was born in Withington, Gloucestershire, in 1840, his father an agricultural worker, his mother the daughter of a farmer. He left home and married, and then moved to Quenington, where his parents and grandmother were then living, his grandmother having purchased the lease of a cottage and small amount of land. He was a mason who later became a builder and contractor, digger of wells and maker of wind pumps, creating a family firm which his son Harold would further develop. He died probably in Quenington in 1917.

There were five children - four girls and a boy. The girls married and left Quenington, two later returned. The boy, Harold, took over and developed the family business on William's death.

William's maternal grandparents Thomas and Sarah Joynes were living in Withington, Gloucestershire, in 1841, Thomas a farmer. With them were daughter Ann from Shernorne in Gloucestershire and her husband John Godwin, an agricultural labourer from Swinbrook in Oxfordshire. William, son of Thomas and Ann, was born in 1840. They were still there in 1851, Sarah Joynes now a widow, William a schoolboy.

By 1861 William, aged 20, ad left home and was lodging with a family in Windrush, Gloucestershire, and working as a mason. In 1865 he married Ruth Radway, pictured here in later life, who had been born in Turkdean, about seven miles distant, but who was living in Windrush. Ruth's father was a stone-mason, which could explain how William Godwin himself came to embrace that trade. They were still in Windrush in 1866 when their first child, a daughter, was born.

Meanwhile William's family had moved to Quenington where they were in 1861. Grandmother Sarah was still head of family, John still an agricultural worker. Although listed as a pauper two years earlier, in 1863 Sarah and her unmarried daughter Miriam signed a lease with landlord Sir Michael Hicks Beach for the occupation of some two and a quarter acres of land in Quenington with associated buildings. Details in the table below.

By 1869 William had also moved to Quenington, where a daughter was born, and two years later the family was occupying a property in the area known as The Hill, near the Pig and Whistle inn and in the area where the Godwins would later build houses and where the family business would be located. His grandmother Sarah had died and aunt Miriam was living with them. His father and mother were living nearby, John an agricultural worker, William a mason. The situation was similar in 1881, with William with his family and his parents Jiving nearby, almost certainly at The Hill. William was described for the first time as a builder. He appears as a voter in Quenington from at least 1885, the first year at present available, and then yearly to 1915. He is shown throughout as a householder in the village, not a property owner.

In 1891 William and his wife Ruth were at an address in Watlington, Berkshire, on census day, not as visitors but William as head of household, though they were still listed in the Quenington electoral register. His occupation was builder and contractor. His children remained in Quenington, with eldest daughter Mary Ann as head of household and living on her own means; William's father and mother were also in the household. They may have been living near the village centre,

William and Ruth were back in the village in 1901, William again a builder and contractor. Ruth died in 1906 and in the following year, in Portsmouth, William married Emma Elizabeth Durrant, who was from that city. She was perhaps the Emma E Durrant, widow and lodging-house keeper there in at least 1891 and 1901. In 1911, the children now having left home, William and Emma were living at The Hill, probably next door to married son Harold and his family. William died in 1917 at the age of 76 and Emma probably left Quenington. He left an estate of 2321 8s 2d, equivalent to about 150k today. He and his first wife lie in Quenington cemetery.

William had arrived in Quenington as a mason. He was first identified as a builder in 1881, then as a builder and contractor in 1891 and 1901, a house-builder in 1911. Throughout the 1890s he is listed in the Gloucestershire Directory as a builder. One directory of 1906 suggests a big expansion of his work at that time, showing him as a dealer in various building materials, and including the sinking and boring of wells and the provision and fixing of "wind engines" (see below).

date source place age occupationbirthplace detail
sources: cem=cemetery inscription; cen=census; cert=certificate; dir=commercial directory eg Kelly's; gro=central register of births/marriages/deaths; par=parish; pho=photograph; prob=probate records
1841 groNorthleach    birth registered first quarter
1841 parWithington, Gloucs    14 Feb, baptised, father John, mother Ann
1841 cenWithington   Gloucestershireat home of grandfather Thomas Joynes, with parents
1851 cenWithington 10scholarWithington at home with parents John and Ann and widowed grandmother
1861 cenWindrush 20stonemason Quenington (sic)lodging with Samuel Lord and family. Parents in Quenington with Ann's mother Sarah Jaynes, pauper, and her sister Miriam; John an agricultural worker
1863 groQuenington     grandmother Sarah signed lease to occupy small piece if arable land and buildings. See footnote. William's parents probably involved
1865 gro(Windrush)     marriage, presumably at Windrush, to Ruth Radway registered Northleach 4th quarter
1866 gro,cen Windrush   birth of daughter Mary, registered Northleach 4th quarter
1869 gro,cenQuenington    birth of daughter Miriam registered Cirencester 2nd quarter
1871 cenQuenington 30stonemasonWithington at home with wife, children and aunt, probably close to parents' home and near Pig and Whistle inn
1879 dirQuenington builder   
1881 cenQuenington 40builder Withingtonat home with wife and children, probably near parents and Pig and Whistle inn
1885 schQuenington builder  22 Jun, daughter Eva registered at local school
1891 cenWatlingford, Berks 50 builder, contractorWithingtonhouseholder in New Town, with wife. Children and parents together in Quenington, with daughter Mary Ann, 24, as head of household.
1892 schQuenington builder  25 Apr, son Harold registered at local school
1894 dirQuenington  builder, contractor  wholesale dealer in cement, lias lime, chimney pots, sanitary drainpipes, gully, traps, galvanised systems etc
1896 parQuenington    death of mother Ann Maria, age 84, burial 19 December
1897 dirQuenington builder, contractor wholesale dealer in sanitary goods
1899 phoQuenington    built three houses at Woodside, probably for family occupation
1900 parQuenington    death of father John, age 86, burial 26 May
1901 cenQuenington 60builder, contractor Withingtonat home with wife and family
1902 dirQuenington  builder, contractor wholesale dealer in sanitary goods
1906 cemQuenington    9 January, death of wife Ruth, age 67, buried in village cemetery
1906 dirQuenington  builder, contractor wholesale dealer in cement, lias lime, chimney pots, sanitary drainpipes, gullies, traps etc. Supplying and erecting galvanised systems, building water tanks in brick and cement, stone or concrete, sinking and boring wells, supplying and fixing wind engines, hydraulic rams and waterwheels for forcing water or by gravitation
1907 groPortsmouth    marriage to Emma Elizabeth Durrant registered 1st quarter
1911 cenQuenington 70housebuilderWithington at home with second wife Elizabeth, address The Hill
1912 certFairford    witness, with wife Emma, at wedding of daughter Eva
1914 phoQuenington    built a fourth house at Woodside
1917 gro,prob
 76    died 29 Jan, death registered Cirencester 1st quarter
1917 prob London     probate to William Raymond Cossham MD, Harold Joynes Godwin, builder, Martin Jones, carpenter. Assets 2321 8s 2d
On 9 April 1863 an agreement was signed between Sir Michael Edward Hicks Beach of Williamstrip Park, the landlord, and Sarah Joynes of Quenington, widow, and Miriam Joynes, daughter. This concerned "cottage with the offices, garden, close or piece of arable land and premises thereto belonging, containing altogether two acres and a quarter or thereabouts lying and being in the parish of Quenington". The agreement dated from 25 March 1863 (Sarah was thus already in occupation) and was valid "for one year and so on from year to year until six months notice be given" on either side. The rent was 12 a year payable quarterly. The agreement was witnessed by a Frederick Webb [unknown] and Ann Mariah [sic] Godwin (daughter of Sarah Joynes and husband of Thomas Godwin). There was no indication of the location within the village, but perhaps it was the same as their location in 1871, which seems from its position in the census listing to have been near the Pig and Whistle Inn, at the crossroads to the north-west of the village, of the roads to Coln St Aldwyns and Ready Token . William Godwin would be living in this area in 1871 after his arrival in the village.