(While the street remains
today, the houses are long gone with a
piece of Colenso history.)
was born in Truro, the youngest
of seven children. He was baptised in St
Mary's Wesleyan, Truro, 24th September
1826. His father John Colenso was a
bootmaker and the two eldest sons John and
Thomas followed in the same trade. The
third son Samuel took to a life on the
sea. The youngest two brothers, George and
Joseph, had learned to be bootmakers too,
but as young men in their 'twenties',
decided that they would seek work in major
cities. George ended up in Liverpool, and
Joseph in Bristol.
I am not sure that Joseph was aware of the
fact that the next few years were going to
be very exciting and 'high profile' in
Bristol, but he certainly chose a
happening city in which to make his home!
Joseph married Louisa Pymm, the daughter
of George and Mary Ann Pymm. in Bedminster
4th October 1850. He worked all his life
providing footwear for the citizens of
Bristol and so supported the well-being of
his growing family. They lived first at 12
Eugene Street, and then moved a few doors
down to number 27. When daughter Louisa
Jane got married she lived next door at
number 25 and son John James at number 4.
When Joseph's eldest brother John
appeared, he lodged at number 13. Eugene
Street was therefore quite a Colenso
'stronghold' for a few years.
1782 - 1863
1828 - 1912
Frederick Samuel 1866-1953
married James Henry Cocking in 1872. James
was a Boot finisher. They had their first
three children in Bristol, Joseph James
1873 , Catherine Louisa 1875 and Edward
Henry 1877. Although their fourth
Frederick Sidney was born in Bethnal Green
in 1879, by 1881 the family were back, at
25 Eugene Street Bristol.
In 1891 they are at 10 Philadelphia
Street and have three new additions Mary
Ann 1884, Peter William 1886 and Bertie
1890. Louisa's mother and adopted son
Albert Thomas are also at the same
By 1901 James had become a Fish and
Fruit Dealer, the family had moved to 37
Brook Road, and there was one more
daughter in the family Florence 1893.
Louisa Jane died in Toronto 1921.
Joseph George Colenso
married Frances Matilda Eastman
in 1875. They had the following children
Joseph William 1876, Edith 1878, Arthur
Henry 1879, Annie 1886, Mabel 1888, Henry
1892 and Arthur 1894.
I have yet to find this family in the
1881 Census - perhaps they went overseas -
but in 1891 Joseph was a beer retailer at
27 Philip Street Bedminster aka 'Maltsters Arms'
from 1891 - 1932.
Frances died in 1903. Twenty years
later in 1923 Joseph married Jemima
Elizabeth Bird nee Hyde.
(I am not sure if Rosa and Elizabeth
1884, belong to Joseph or brother John
married Lydia Evans in
1878.They had one daughter Lilian who died
only weeks old. In 1881 he was living at 4
Albion Street and working as a
He was in Australia from 1883 - 1886.
I am not sure what William did when he
first returned from Australia, but in 1891
he started as Landlord of 'The Dolphin'
at 46 New Street, St Judes where he
stayed for 8 years.
1891 - 1902
46 New Street
We are very lucky that such a
fine building with so much history
attached still remains.
The importance of the 'Stag and
Hounds' is that it was the home of the
'pie poudre' court .The actual court room
being on the first floor at the front.
1903 - 1906
High Street had an annual rateable value
of £34.0s.0d. in 1903. It closed at
1903 William Henry Colenso. Alehouse.
Bristol United Brewery
1906 William Henry Colenso
1906 - 1913
10 Church Road
1913 - 1914
74 Old Market Street
The 'Pie Poudre'
Court in Bristol took
its name from the
French, as evidence from
a 1477 Court Action Book
for Old Market shows it
being referred to as the
'Court of the Dusty
Foot'. As with all
courts of this nature,
it was there to deal
with any disputes of
'unfair trading '. For
centuries now the court
has been opened on the
last day of September
(unless it fell on a
Sunday when it would
open on Monday 1st
October instead) and
dealt with any disputes
for two weeks. In
Bristol the Tolzey Court
at Guildhall was
suspended for those two
weeks and became the Pie
Poudre Court at Old
Market which meant that
the proceedings were the
same as for the
session. From the 'Stag
and Hounds' there was a
direct route underground
for persistent offenders
to waiting ships for
transporting to the
The 'Stag and Hounds' can be seen
towards the left of the
photograph with the 'Dutch style'
None of the buildings seen this
side of the Stag are in existence
The judges room at the at the
back has a sloping floor. The landlord
told me this was deliberate so that anyone
speaking to the Judge would always have to
The well used for drawing
water is still to be seen inside the right
hand room - and gives an indication of the
depth, not only of the water level, but
also of the tunnels that had to be filled
in when creating the new road system in
married Elizabeth Merrifield in
Like his brothers and father he was a
shoemaker, even his wife was a slipper
binder. Elizabeth already had Florence
Emily 1878 when they married, but they
went on to have (possibly the twins Rosa
and Elizabeth 1884), but definitely Ellen
Edith 1891 and Mabel Elizabeth 1894.
Like his two elder brothers, John decided
to change career and become a publican.
1901 - 1909 'Shepherds Arms' at 37
1910 - 1917 'Garricks Head' at 22 Broad
All but Florence (and the
twins) are buried at Canford Lane Cemetery
was a tailoress in 1881. She
went to Australia and while there married
Albert James Owen in Victoria 1886. I
wonder if her brothers stayed for the
wedding and then returned to England?
Albert was in the Royal Navy. They had
four children Samuel 1887 - 1887, Edith
Clara 1888, Ethel 1890, and Alice
In the early 1900s the family returned to
Charles Edward Colenso
was a 'boot riverter' in 1881.
He went to Australia and unfortunately
died in 1884 aged 21.
Edward Sidney Colenso
was a 'boot riviter' in 1881.
He married Mary Ann Whitrow in 1885 and
had two children Florence Polly 1886 and
Jessie 1889.These dates suggest that he
did not go to Australia with his brothers.
However, he was in Australia not long
after Jessie was born.
In 1892 Florence Etty was born in
Melbourne, the daughter of Edward Sidney
Colenso and a Margaret McNee. While she is
indexed as a Colenso, the certificate
records her name as Florence Etty Colenso
In 1902 Sydney, Edward married Margaret
Louise Scott. It also appears that he
enlisted in the AIF for WWI under his
brother Charles' name.
I cannot find Mary Ann or the children
in the 1891 Census which may indicate that
they went to Australia as a family.
Certainly Mary Ann was soon back in
Bristol where she married Edward Casling,
a tin smith, in 1894 who adopted Florence
and Jessie. Edward and Mary Ann Casling
had their own daughter Matilda in
They were living in Chancery Street in
1901. While the house is no longer there,
this would have been the view at the
Frederick Samuel Colenso
was a 'learning boot riveter'
He was in Australia from 1883 - 1886.
In 1889 he married Ada Donaldson, and they
had two daughters - Lily 1891 born in
Bristol and Rose Dorothy Olive 1897 born
They were living at Brooklyn Road, Bath in
For a very short time in 1906 he was
Landlord of the 'Waterloo Tavern'
21 Midland Road St Philips Bristol.
Perhaps he decided that the pub trade
was not for him.
The significance of the 'Merchant Navy
Memorial Garden' in Bristol in relation to this
family has been added below
Clara Annie Colenso
married Alfred Cavil in 1890
and was living in Philadelphia Street St
Pauls Bristol in 1891 with her mother and
adopted younger brother. I know little
else about her.
1824 - 1888
1828 - 1895
William 1854 -
Austin 1858 - 1893
Grace Wilton 1861
Louisa 1855 -
Lucy 1859 - 1861
Richard Physick was born 1791 in
Cornwall. On 22 February 1810 he married a
Jenny Hancock in Menheniot and had three
children. Richard 1811 was born in
Menheniot, while Robert 1813 and Thomas
1815 were both born in St Minver. I am
guessing that Jenny died soon after
Thomas' birth because Richard married a
Mary Wilton in Stoke Damerel. Both Robert
and Thomas died in 1824. I thought
originally, that their first son Richard
must have died as well, but he is to be
found on the census returns as a Farm
Bailiff. Yet the same name was given to
their son born late 1824. A daughter Mary
Ann followed in early 1829. Both were
baptised in St Martin on Looe Bay.
In 1841 the family were at Keveral Mill
Cornwall where father Richard (1791) was
an agricultural labourer and son Richard
(1824) was an apprentice tailor.
Then the focus moves to the north of
England as in 1853 son Richard married
Lucy Hodgson bHelperby in Easingwold.
Richard William was born in 1854 followed
by Mary Louisa 1855, Austin 1858, Lucy
1859 and Grace Wilton 1861 and all in
Newcastle on Tyne.
In 1881 they are to be found in Bristol
living at 19 Perry Road. No longer a
tailor Richard (1824) is a Civil Servant
working on National Survey while his son
Richard William was a Clerk at the
Ordinance Survey Office, daughter Mary
Louisa an upholstress, daughter Grace was
Austin was a waiter at the National Club 1
Whitehall Gardens Westminster London.
On 17 March 1883 Grace Wilton Physick gave
birth to an Albert Thomas Colenso. Father
unknown but may have been one of the sons
of Joseph and Louisa who adopted him.
In 1889 Grace married in Holborn London
but it is unknown whether she kept in
touch with the Colensos or not.
In 1891 Albert was living with his adopted
now widowed mother Louisa in Philadelphia
Street St Pauls Bristol and in 1901 still
living with her in Wilder Street and
listed as a soldier.
Albert Thomas went by the
Christmas Day 1909 at
Lucy Beatrice Mary Shepherd who was
Nagpur Madras India 1886.
They had 8 children.
One of the younger sons Stanley
James Colenso joined the merchant
He was barely 15.in 1941 when he was
training on Vindicatrix at Sharpness.
He had little contact with his brothers
and sisters being away at sea for years at
Stan told me he has three
birth certificates Colenso, Phisic and
Of his father Stan said he was a bit of a
character and only ever laughed if asked
about the Phisic name!
Stan was able to tell me all
about the Memorial Garden, including its
location, hence the photograph.
It took the Bristol Merchant Navy
Association four years to collect enough
money to be able to realise their aim of
having a permanent memorial to all
merchant seafarers who sailed from
Bristol. It was designed by artist David
by HRH The Princess Royal, Princess Anne
on 21st May 2001.