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.

Saturday, 15 September 2012


Alexander Brown 1870-1945

Alexander Brown was born in 1870 at 10 Essex Hall Road, Lexden, Colchester. He was the third child of Henry Whitmarsh Brown and Belisaint Eliza Brown. By the age of eleven he had moved with his parents to Halliford Street in Islington. In 1891, surprisingly, we find him working as a grocers assistant in the shop run by Fred Bassingthwaighte and his wife Gertrude on the corner of West End Road and Hawthorne Road in Heigham Norfork. Although Hawthorne Road no longer exists its position is almost certainly marked by the present day Hawthorne Close and, although much changed, the grocer's shop was probably the building now occupied by a photocopy business.

In 1899 Alexander married Lilian Gertrude Boden.  Gertrude had been born in Camberwell, Surrey (before it was absorbed into London) in 1877, her parents were Edward Boden (born 1848) and Mary Ann Elizabeth Burton Townsend (born 1854). Their first home was in Salisbury Road, Tottenham. Their first child, Lilian Ada Alexandra, was born there on 11 August 1900. By this time Alexander was making his living as a professional billiard player - an occupation that seems to have been centred on the billiard tables at the nearby Salisbury public house.

The Salisbury Pub today.

The new family then moved to 22 Oxford Road, N4 where their second child, Edith Frances was born on 20 January 1904.  Edith and her older sister were baptised together on 16 March 1904 at St.Mark's Church Tollington Park.  The next child was a boy, Alexander Edward, born 27 May 1908.

37 Lambton Road N19

The 1911 census locates the family at 37 Lampton Road, Upper Holloway, N19, a familiar area to anybody following the history of the Bayliss family. A problem arose when I tried to locate Lampton Road. The name is clearly printed on the official census form but no street of that name existed in Islington in 1911, nor had ever existed. After a short time of research I realised that the census form had spelled the name incorrectly.
The street was actually Lambton Road. It was soon after the family arrived in Lambton Road, where they occupied for unfurnished rooms on the first floor (that's second floor to our American readers) that another daughter was born on 9 May 1911,  Phyllis May Brown.  Another child, Iris Gertrude followed on 2 April  1915.

Standing : Iris, Phyllis, Edith, Lilian
Front : Lilian Gertrude Brown (ex Boden)

By 1920 Alexander and his family had moved again, this time to 141 Fairbridge Road, Upper Holloway.
They would remain in Fairbridge Road  for the rest of their lives. Alexander passed away in 1945 after sliding down the banisters at his home, according to Alvin. Lilian died in 1966. Although our main interest among the Brown children is Phyllis it is worth saying a few words about the others, particularly Alexander Edward Brown, but first the girls.  Lilian married Cecil Reardon in 1931 and passed away in Folkstone, Kent in 1972. Edith married George Taylor and died in Islington in 1963.  Iris married Peter Taplin  and they eventually moved to New Zealand where Iris died in 1998.

Alexander Edward Brown preferred to be known as "Alec".  I believe he was an engineer by trade but, like his father, his passion was billiards and more particularly snooker.  He was a champion player and played in several world championships including reaching the semi-finals of the 1936 World Snooker Championship in 1936 only to lose to Joe Davis (you can see some of his match results by clicking the highlighted link) but perhaps he is best remembered today for an incident that changed the rules of championship snooker for ever.

November 14th 1938. Snooker.  Alec Brown in a match against Tom Newman in the Daily Mail Gold Cup at Thurstons, used a cue the length of a fountain pen to play a tricky shot after the cue-ball became obstructed by the pack of reds. The referee, Charlie Chambers, immediately ruled that the stroke was foul, claiming it was not within the spirit of the game. This incident was responsible for the governing body, the Billiards Association and Control Council, to form a new rule stating that the minimum length of a cue would be three feet.

Another mention of Alec can be seen below.

News of the World Snooker Championship

"Professionals did not retire. They received more start. Alec Brown, a former world semi- finalist who was in decline, was awarded a 30-point start in the 1950 News of the World tournament. He practised diligently and thrashed everybody, Joe Davis included."

Alec, who was married to Maureen Crosby at Westminster in 1949 passed away in Plymouth in 1995.


Phyllis May Brown, as we know from a previous article on this blog, met and fell in love with Arthur Bayliss. They were married at Islington Registrar's Office in Liverpool Road  on 3 January 1935. They had a long and happy marriage. Arthur died in 1989 and Phyllis passed away in 1997.

Although this is the last article in the story of the Brown family I have been promised some interesting pictures of both Alexander and Alec from cousin Alva's collection and I will publish these in due course.

Photographs in this article were supplied by Alvin Bayliss.

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