Wiltshire Family History

Peter and David Hatch are the great-great grandsons of John Coles, florist, who died in Trowbridge, Wiltshire in 1901. I would not have been able to put together the following without the invaluable help of Lynda Coles, the wife of Michael, my second cousin once removed. Again, I am fortunate to have a number of old photographs of several of my ancestors on this (my mother's) side of my family. This branch has lived in Wiltshire for at least the past 200 years.

N.B. Whilst I have further details of John Coles' descendants, following through to the present day, I have withheld all details relating to living people.

Family photos and documents here

Descendants of John Coles

Generation No. 1

JOHN COLES  was born 12 May 1844 in Cowley, Uxbridge, Middlesex, and died 24 April 1901.  He married MARY ANN HARVEY 1869 in Parish of Kensington.

Notes for JOHN COLES:
Saturday April 27 1901- Wiltshire Times

Sudden death of Mr John Coles

Great surprise and very sincere regret was everywhere expressed on Saturday, when news spread of the sudden death during Friday night of Mr John Coles, the well-known florist, of Bradley Road and Fore Street. On Friday Mr Coles was apparently in his usual health and occupied all day, as was his wont, with business. About half past nine at night he had a light supper and afterwards ate some half dozen brazil nuts. He retired to rest shortly after ten, and had only been in bed a few minutes, when it was apparent he had some difficulty in breathing.  Mrs Coles at once called her children and while the son went for Dr Wise, with the help of her daughter, she gave deceased some stimulant and bathed his hands and forehead, but death intervened in two or three minutes.

An inquest was held at the residence, Bradley Road, on Saturday afternoon, Before Mr FAP Sylvester (deputy coroner). Mr Henry Hobbs was chosen foreman of the jury -Mrs Coles stated that her husband was attended by Dr Wise about a month ago for influenza; he had never been subject to any attacks of faintness.  The previous night he had some whiskey and soda and a couple of biscuits, and afterwards ate a few brazil nuts which he seemed to enjoy. After he had eaten six or seven his daughter asked him not to eat any more as he was going to bed.  He retired to rest shortly after ten, and before witness got in bed she heard him make a peculiar noise, and found he had some difficulty in breathing. Witness called her son and daughter and gave her husband some whiskey and water.  Her son cycled off for Dr Wise, but a few minutes later her husband expired. In both eating and drinking he had always been an exceedingly abstemious man. He had occasionally suffered from indigestion but not so much as some years ago. Charles Henry Coles, son of deceased, having deposed to being called by his mother and going for medical assistance, Dr Wise said he attended Mr Coles for heart disease and influenza in 1897. He had also seen him a few weeks previous for a slight attack of influenza, which,  he considered had made his heart worse. Deceased got over that attack very well. But at quarter past eleven the previous evening witness was fetched and on reaching the house found he had been dead about twenty minutes. From the evidence of the other witnesses and from previous knowledge of deceased, witness attributed death to syncope. He had no doubt the nuts caused the syncope.  Ever since 1897, he had warned Mr Coles about being careful over what he ate and to avoid any excitement on account of the condition of his heart - The jury returned a verdict that death had resulted from syncope. - The coroner and jury expressed their sympathy with Mrs Coles and her family in their sad bereavement.

Mr Coles, who was fifty-seven years of age, formerly lived at Devizes, and came to Trowbridge about thirteen years ago taking up his residence at Midway Manor, where he commenced business as a florist, etc.,  afterwards opening a shop on Wicker Hill.  Increasing business led him to move to more commodious premises in Fore Street, where, with  the able assistance of his wife and children, a large business was soon established. Mr Coles acquired extensive properly in the Bradley Road, erecting many glass houses, and lately a commodious dwelling house.  He was a good enterprising business man, just and honourable in all his dealings. The utmost sympathy is felt for Mrs Coles and the family in the loss they suffer by his sudden removal.

Deceased had been a regular attendant at the parish church, and at the morning service at that place of worship on Sunday the Rector made a feeling allusion to the sad death, referring to Mr Coles regular attendance, his kindness in the way of lending decorations for the church, and the fact that he occupied his usual place on the Sunday before.  The funeral took place at the cemetery on Wednesday afternoon, when, in addition to relatives and friends, a number of tradesmen were present at the last sad offices as a token of respect.  The mourners were: Messrs C and E Coles (sons), S White (son in law), E, G, and C Harvey, J Nurding and J Croom (brothers in law), Coles (Devizes), Beanland (Chippingham), and Strugnell (Rood Ashton). At the churchyard the cortege was met by Messrs H E Bishop, J Sawyer,  H E Gover, J Sainsbury, and ex-Superintendent White etc.
. The service at the church and graveside was conducted by the Rev M D Wardrop. Wreaths were sent by "His dear wife and children", "grandchildren and dada", "Jack and Nell", Miss Hillier, Dr Wise and family, Mr and Mrs Gover, Mr S G Rogers, George and Gertie, Mr and Mrs F White, Mr and Mrs HE Harvey, Mrs Heathcote, Miss A M Payne, Mr and Mrs H B Coles, Mr and Mrs Sawyer, Mr Strugnell, Mr Robinson and "Ellen and Lucy".



The funeral of Mrs. Coles, whose death was recorded in our last week's issue, took place on Monday, when the large attendance, and many signs of mourning, nearly every business house in the town being shuttered, testified to the great respect in which the deceased was held.
The first part of the service was at the Parish Church, the Rector (Rev. P. A. Nash, Rural Dean) officiating. The organist and choir were in attendance, and as the congregation were taking their seats, Mr. A. E. Howell played "I know that my Redeemer liveth" and other appropriate music. The 99th Psalm was chanted, and the Lesson read by the Rev. Harry Sanders. The hymns sung were "On the Resurrection Morning" and "Saviour, to Thy dear Name we raise." In announcing the latter, the Rector said it was one of the deceased's favourites. It was one which was usually sung after evening service, and which spoke of the blessed peace that, by God's mercy, had now been attained. At the close of the service the organist played the Dead March in "Saul."
The mourners were Mr. and Mrs. C. Coles (son and daughter-in-law), Mr. and Mrs. S. White (daughter and son-in-law), Mr. and Mrs. G. Rogers (daughter and son-in-law), Miss Edith Coles (daughter), Mrs. Nurding and Mrs. Crooms (sisters), Mr. E. Harvey and Mr. C. Harvey (brothers), Mr. R. Harvey (nephew) and Mr. H. B. Coles.

Children of JOHN COLES and MARY HARVEY are:
 i. ANNIE SOPHIE5 COLES, b. 25 October 1871; d. 12 April 1924.
 ii. CHARLES HENRY COLES, b. 22 July 1873, Devizes; d. 21 July 1955.
 iii. ALICE ELLEN COLES, b. 21 January 1876; d. 1969.
 iv. EDWARD HARVEY COLES, b. 27 May 1879; d. 1 May 1945, Australia.
 v. EDITH MARY COLES, b. 7 March 1881; d. Unknown; m. FRANK RAWLINGS.

Generation No. 2

ANNIE SOPHIE COLES was born 25 October 1871, and died 12 April 1924.  She married SAMUEL EDWARD WHITE 15 May 1894 in Parish Church, Trowbridge, son of NIMROD WHITE and FANNY COX.



The death of Mrs White, wife of Mr S. E. White, who has been headmaster of St. Peter's School for over 30 years, took place at their residence - The Gables, Bath Road - on Saturday afternoon. Though when the end comes it is naturally difficult to reconcile oneself to the severance, it would hardly be kind to express regret at Mrs White's death; her illness had been so wearisomely prolonged and her suffering so great - literally hovering between life and death for the last three months or more - that the end, rightly regarded, can only be viewed as bringing merciful relief. Her illness had lasted three years, during which she had been a confirmed invalid, and since January her condition had become such that it was known that she could not recover; it was only a question of when the end will come. Local medical men, who had the advantage of conferring with a specialist, did their best, but in spite of all, added to attentive nursing, the inevitable happened, as stated.
Before her marriage, some 30 years ago, Mrs. White was a Miss Coles. She was the eldest daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Coles, florists, of Trowbridge. Her father will be remembered by some of the older residents of  Devizes in connection with Old Park, where he had charge of the gardens when that residence was in the occupation of the Rev. Joseph Smith and his family. Later her parents removed to Trowbridge, where the deceased's father inaugurated the Bradley Road Gardens, and for many years carried on the florists' and fruiterers' business at the corner of the street opposite to the Town Hall. Mr. and Mrs. White were married at Trowbridge parish church, the ceremony being participated in by the Rev. W. H. Weekes. Mr. White had at that time not long been appointed to the headship at St. Peter's, and in those early days he received assistance from his wife, who voluntarily gave her services in connection with the needlework. She was subsequently appointed as a member of the staff in what is known as a "supplementary" capacity, and she continued to hold that post for some 21 years - in fact, until her health broke down. Her retirement was marked by the presentation to her of a silver-plated tea service. During the war, in which both her sons (Harvey and Laurie) served, Mrs. White assisted when she could, at the local Red Cross Hospital, and was a member of the Women's Emergency which was carried on with such success under the supervision of the late Mrs. H. P. Rogers. In the parochial affairs of St. Peter's she took an active interest so long as that was possible, being always ready to assist where she could.
The funeral took place yesterday afternoon at St. Peter's church, at which she had worshipped for so many years, and where her husband was formerly organist for a long period - until his health no longer permitted. The building was filled by a large and sympathetic congregation, mainly drawn from the parish, but including a few friends of the family from outside it. A number of ex-scholars of both sexes formerly at St Peter's were present and about five minutes before the arrival of the cortege, several of the lower standards, with which Mrs. White was formerly associated, filed into the church by way of the door leading from the playground (the school was out of session); there was a large number of them, and they passed into the accommodation reserved for them, under the direction of their teachers. The body was conveyed to the church on the hand-bier, the unpolished elm casket in which it reposed being literally covered with tributes of flowers. The family mourners and near friends followed in five mourning coaches, a motor car being reserved for the representatives of the school staff, when the cortege subsequently moved to the cemetery for the interment. The coffin was met at the entrance by the clergy - the Vicar (Canon F. Phipps) and the Rev. W. H. Weekes, whom were preceded by Mr. H. B. Coles (the lay reader) carrying the cross. The opening sentences of the Burial Service were recited by the Vicar as the procession passed up the aisle, the bier with the coffin upon it being drawn up at the entrance of the Chancel. The opening hymn was "Bless'd are the pure in heart", the singing of which was led by the choir, members of which were present in their surplices, Mr. F. Phipps being at the organ. This was followed by the chanting of the 90th Psalm, the Lesson being read by Mr. Weekes. The other hymn was "Abide with me". The prayers were read by the Vicar, and as the cortege left the church, the Nunc Dimitis was sung. The service at the Cemetery was conducted by Mr. Weekes; the grave was lined with evergreens.
The family mourners and their friends were accommodated in carriages as follows: 1st carriage - Mr. S. E. White (husband), Messrs. H. N. and L. E. White (sons); 2nd carriage - Mr. C. Coles (brother, Miss E. Coles (sister), Miss K. A. Rogers (devoted family friend, Mrs. H. N. White (daughter-in-law), Mrs. C. Coles (sister-in-law); 3rd carriage - Mrs. G. Rogers (sister), Mr. George Rogers (brother-in-law), Mrs F. H. White (sister-in-law); 4th carriage - Mr. W. White (brother-in-law), Mr. G. T. Walker (cousin), Mrs. Dee (a close friend); 5th carriage - Mr. J. H. White (nephew), Mr. H. G. Rogers (nephew), the Rev. W. H. Weekes and Mr. H. B. Coles. The funeral arrangements were made and satisfactorily carried out by Mr. J. J. Stevens, of Northgate Street.

Children of ANNIE COLES and SAMUEL WHITE are:
 i. HARVEY NIMROD WHITE, b. 7 February 1895; d. 5 November 1970.
 ii. LAWRENCE EDWARD WHITE, b. Unknown; d. Unknown.

CHARLES HENRY COLES was born 22 July 1873 in Devizes, and died 21 July 1955.  He married ROSINA ELIZABETH HILLIER 12 November 1902.

 i. MARY COLES, b. 16 September 1903; d. 16 September 1903.
 ii. MARJORIE ROSINA COLES, b. 30 March 1905; d. 23 March 1987, Trowbridge, Wiltshire.
 iii. ROBERT CHARLES COLES, b. 11 December 1908; d. 26 September 1978, Trowbridge, Wiltshire.
 iv. (DAUGHTER), b. 26 March 1914; d. 26 March 1914.
 v. ROSEMARY ELIZABETH COLES, b. 15 December 1916; d. 14 October 1997.

ALICE ELLEN COLES was born 21 January 1876, and died 1969.  She married SAMUEL GEORGE ROGERS 15 July 1901 in Trowbridge, Wiltshire.

Children of ALICE COLES and SAMUEL ROGERS are:
 ii. HARRY GEORGE ROGERS, b. 30 September 1903.
 iii. EDWARD ROGERS, b. Unknown; m. MARJORIE ?.

EDWARD was born 27 May 1879, and died 1 May 1945 in Australia.  He married EVELYN ANNIE JENNINGS.

 i. JOHN HENRY COLES, b. 25 October 1910; d. 26 March 1912.
 ii. EDITH COLES, b. 17 April 1913; Adopted child; m. RICHARD CAREY BRYANT.

Generation No. 3

HARVEY NIMROD WHITE was born 7 February 1895, and died 5 November 1970.  He married HONORIA MARY DELANEY 4 August 1922 in Holy Trinity Church, Sydenham, daughter of J DELANEY.

LAWRENCE EDWARD WHITE married ETHEL BRIDGES 6 September 1924 in St Stephen's Church, Shepherds Bush, daughter of F C BRIDGES.

ROBERT CHARLES COLES was born 11 December 1908, and died 26 September 1978 in Trowbridge, Wiltshire.

ROSEMARY ELIZABETH COLES born 15 December 1916, and died 14 October 1997.

HARRY GEORGE ROGERS was born 30 September 1903.

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