Pelham/Pear Tree Cottages

Pelham or Pear Tree Cottage – 817 on the 1841 tithe map.

James Cobner was born in 1787 at Llantilio Crossenny, the son of Andrew and Mary (nee Morgan.)

In August 1805 he married Mary Paske at St Mary’s Church Monmouth, they had three children, Elizabeth, Maria and James before moving to Goytre.  Maria had died at some point as they had another child in February 1818 who they also called Maria, she was baptised at St Peter’s. Sadly, Maria died in 1845 aged 25.

Mary Cobner died in August 1818, James then married Charlotte Williams, she was the ‘base’ (illegitimate) daughter of Elizabeth Phillips of Lanover.

On the 1841 census and tithe, James is a 60 year old shoemaker, the owner of a cottage and garden of 19 perches, Charlotte his wife is 45, Martha is 20, Thomas 13, Rachel 10, George 8, Ann 6 and 4 year old Charlotte.

James Cobner died in December 1848, his age is given as 61, which makes the census age wrong, he was buried at St Peter’s Church. In February 1850 his daughter Rachel died, she too was buried at St Peter’s.

On the census of 1851 Charlotte is 68, William her son is a 26 year old labourer and daughter Charlotte is 14, they were all born in Goytrey.

The 1852 electoral register gives James Cobner of Bettws Newydd (James’s son by his first wife Mary) the owner of freehold land and garden near Penpellenni.

The census of 1861 says Thomas and Esther Cobner are in residence, Thomas is a 37 year old shoemaker, he had only recently married Esther Bevan. Esther was from Goytre but their marriage ceremony was not held at St Peter’s.

Pelham is not mentioned on the 1871 census, although the Cobner family are still in the parish, Charlotte has moved to lived with her daughter Ann Davies at Cerrig Mawr, she is now 79 and a pauper. (Daughter Ann is taken to the Abergavenny asylum early 1878, she was discharged in July the same year being much improved but very feeble.) Charlotte Cobner died in June 1875 aged 83.

An advert was placed in the Free Press on  March 14th 1878 by a Mrs Cobner, for the sale of wheelwright and blacksmith tools along with household effects etc.

The new owner of Pelham Cottage in 1880 was Edward Evans, the census of 1881 says Edward is 56, a master wheelwright who was born in Pontypool, Catherine his 62 year old wife was born in Brecon. Two children are living with them, Sarah Ann 24 and 22 year old John, an apprentice wheelwright.

Edward remains at Pelham Cottage, on the census of 1891 he is living with his wife Catherine, daughter Sarah Ann, Catherine sister, Ann Rosser who was born in Llangattock and an apprentice wheelwright, 18 year old Tom Jones who was born in Llandenny.

By 1901 Edwin Evans had moved in to Pelham (son of Edwin?) along with his wife Sarah Ann, 49 who was born in Goytre. Living with them are their children William 26, a wheelwright, Catherine 16, Albert 14 and 12 year old Arthur.

In 1910 the name has now changed to Pear Tree, number 1 and number 2. Both Cottages were owned by Oliver James Lawrence from Pontypool. Francis Stawford was the tenant at number one, the rateable value being 10s 5d for a house and garden. At number two was Mabel H Roberts where the rateable value was 7s 5d.

Francis Strawford remained at Pear Tree number one on the census of 1911, he is a 26 year old assurance agent, born in Tirley, Gloucester, his wife is Selina Jane, 31 from Crickhowell, their sons are Francis Jeremiah aged 6, young Francis was born in Trostrey, and two year Gordon Grantham who was born in Goytre. Their daughter is Doris Angelina who is 3 and was born in Mamhilad.

At number two on the 1911 census is a 35 year old school mistress, Ethel Mary Elgood. Living with her is 34 year old Elizabeth Jane Ingram, Elizabeth is also a schoolmistress born in Bexley Heath.

In 1923 Charles William Bishop, a 30 year old blacksmith of number two Pear Cottages was killed in a motorcycle accident at Dingestow. His widow Violet remained at their home until her death in early 1950.

At number one the Isaac family remained at Pear Tree Cottage to some date after 1939 when William Arthur Isaac moved with his wife Edith over the road to reside at Coldbrook Cottage.


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