WELCOME TO THE BAYLISS LINE. This blog has been created for my family. By "my family" I mean all those who are related to the Bayliss family either by blood, marriage or even relationship. There are, of course, other Bayliss families not related to us but this blog has at its heart a very specific family who had their origins in Gloucestershire. I am connected to that family because my mother was a Bayliss and it was her curiosity that started my research back in the early 1990's. So, what are you likely to see on this blog? Well, as it is a blog, I want it to be as entertaining as possible rather that a dry listing of facts (that is for Ancestry.com). I will, hopefully, be posting entries on our ancestors and relatives, on the places where they lived, and the historical times they lived through. I have an extensive collection of photographs of people and places which I will, of course, be sharing.

I'd like to ask anybody who reads this blog to give me some feedback. I'd really like this to be a two way thing. It sometimes unearths new information and, to be honest, it gives me encouragement. There will be two ways of providing feedback - either through the comment button (you will need a Google account for this) or via the e-mail address which appears on this page - alternatively, ring me. Now scroll down to read the latest entries.....and, of course, via Facebook.

Monday, 20 June 2011


 Sometime in 1846 Charles and Hannah left Charlton Kings and moved to London. They took their four year old son Charles William with them. The development of the railway system had created lots of work for men like Charles - builders, plasterers, labourers. Rural workman were streaming into the city. Charles and Hannah took lodgings  at 17 Plumber Street, just off City Road, not far from the The Eagle Public House made famous In the nursery rhyme "Up and down the City Road, in and out The Eagle".  Both The Eagle and Plumber Street are still there today, although the latter has been renamed Provost Street. The house where Charles and Hannah lodged has long gone but Plumber Street probably looked very similar to the photograph printed below.  We don't know if the couple intended the move to be a permament one but the very fact that Charles brought his family with him indicates that the stay was intended to be a long one.

In an age of engineering wonders such as the Thames Tunnel and the spread of the railways, there were extraordinary deficiences in sanitation and domestic water supplies. The majority of homes still relied on street pumps for their water and many houses still had cesspits. There was terrible poverty and disease. Typhus and smallpox killed thousands in the slums and overcrowded tenements. A cholera plague was spreading across Europe. Precautions were taken but they were half-hearted. The new Board of Health had no power to enforce its recommendations. The Times, a militant reforming newspaper, printed a letter signed by fifty-four of the slum dwellers of the Parish of St. Giles, it read : "sur, may we beg and beseech your proteckshon and power - we live in muck and filth. We aint got no privez, no dustbins, no drains, no water splies and no drains or suer in the whole place...IF THE COLERA COMES LORD HELP US."

And cholera did come. From 54 deaths in the first week of 1848, the mortality roll rose to 2,036 eleven months later. In the last three months of 1849 the death toll was 12,807. It is estimated that the total figure for the cholera outbreak of 1848/1849 was more than 60,000.  This would have been worrying enough for Charles Bayliss with a wife and young son to consider, but Hannah had given birth to another baby on 8th September 1847. This was Elizabeth Ann Bayliss - the first member of our Bayliss family born in London. The rural village of Charlton Kings certainly must have seemed a safer location.  So, late in 1848 or early in 1849 Charles and his family set off on the journey back to Gloucestershire.

By luck or design they were able to move back to their old home in Coltham Field.  As reported earlier, by 1851 they have a third child, Frances Mary, and were comfortable enough to have a servant girl, the sixteen year old Sarah Stiles. In the next part of the story I will temporarily leave Charles and Hannah in Charlton Kings and introduce two other families that play an important part in our story.


  1. The amount of research and detective work involved here is considerable, well done Ernest!

  2. Thank's Back of Beyond...and you are only getting the "light" version!

  3. I agree! It's a wonderful read. You give Peter Ackroyd a run for his money!

  4. Praise indeed. Ackroyd is one of my literary heroes and inspirations.