Byles Family

Overview of the Byles Family
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UK prior to 1750
Henley on Thames
UK 1800-1900
Cyril B Byles Family


Locality Map
Locality Map

The town of Henley-On-Thames, west of London, is a significant place for the Byles, Beuzeville, Unwin, Roussel and Hewlett families. Here, in the period from 1760 to at least 1880, they were intertwined in business, the church and socially.

In particular for me, it was here that John Curtis Byles (1773) who married Bridget Beuzeville lived. The two families were to again be united with the marriage of my parents in 1930.

The following references provide us with information on this period:

"Henley-On-Thames - A Pictorial History" Cottingham and Fisher 1990

"This Glorious Henley" George Peters 1950

"William Byles" F.G.Byles 1932

"The Emma Byles Family Notes" E.M.Byles 1926

'Memorials of Practical Piety as exemplified in the lives of Miss Marianne Beuzeville and Mrs Bridget Byles'Esther Copley, (nee Beuzeville) 1830

"The Church Book of The Henley Congregational Church 1807-1878"

Register of Baptisms - Henley Congregational Church 1841-1937

Draper Shop Wharfhouse Warehouse Friday St Brewery Southfield House St.Mary's Church New Street Independant Chapel Thamesfield

1 = Draper Shop and house owned by John Byles(1836)
2 = Wharf House (Baltic House) where John(1773) & Bridget Byles' lived
3 = Warehouse on the wharf used by John Byles(1773)
4 = Site of the Friday Street brewery
5 = Southfield House where the Beuzeville's lived
6 = St. Mary's Church where Rev. Hewlett was curate
7 = New Street where the Pierre Beuzeville Byles lived
8 = Site of the Independant Chapel (demolished 1909)
9 = "Thamesfield" Home of Thomas Fox Byles

John and Margaret Byles

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The first Byles to move to Henley was John Byles(1736) and his wife, Margaret (nee Hodge). They had been married and possibly living, at Shadwell, 40Km NW of Ipswich. F G Byles, (p.9) quotes a paper written by his father, William Byles(1807) stating that John(1736) was a draper and auctioneer, and that the family moved to Henley about the time that George III ascended the throne,(1760). This could possible be after their marriage in 1761, making John 25 years old. It appears the family maintained strong links with Ipswich since, after this date, some of the children were born in Henley and some in Ipswich. John died in Henley in 1785 (aged 47) but Margaret died in Ipswich in 1895.

F G Byles, (p.7) states that John Byles set up shop on the corner of Bell and Hart Street. Whereas H N Byles(1867) notes in his family tree that it was on the corner of Bell St and Market Place. The difference being the west or east side of the intersection. Evidence leans in favour of the former given that "A Pictorial History" shows (plate 72) a drapers shop on the western, or Market Place side, albeit 100years later

Draper's Shop in 1890
Plate 72 in "A Pictorial History" taken in the 1890's showing on the left, the Bell Street/Market Place corner. At the time it was occupied by Charles Monk, a linen and wool draper

John and Margaret had 10 children, 7 surviving to adulthood.

Elizabeth 1763 Married into the Soundy family. Their daughter, Emma married Jacob Unwin
Isabella 1765 Ran the Mile End school. Instumental in the meetinfg of John(1773) and Bridget Beuzeville
Martha 1769
John 1773 alert My Line Click for more info
James 1774 Migrated to Jamaica heading a vast branch of the family in the Americas plus Australia. See The Family Tree produced by Alan St.Clair Byles
Marianne 1778 Married her cousin, Nathaniel Byles
Henry 1780

John died prematurely in 1785 at the age of 47 from a fit of apoplexy whilst riding over Nuffield common.(10Km NW of Henley) He saw none of his children married. Margaret died in Ipswich in 1805 aged 64.

Peter and Mary Beuzeville

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Peter Beuzeville was the grandson of Jacques Beuzeville(c.1685), the original Huguenot emigrant. Their story is told in my Beuzeville page. Mary was his first cousin She was the grandaughter of Francis Roussel, the hero of the pannierescape from France.

The Beuzeville's had been in the silk business in the London East end for several generations.Peter had set up a silk loom at Twyford some 8Km south of Henley. Esther Copley ,their 2nd daughter writes in "Memorials.." that they had moved to Henley in 1797, ie the year after their 1st daughter, Bridget, married John Curtis Byles.
Emma Byles notes that they lived "in a house quite close to the whitewashed meeting house that they attended stood back from the road and was surrounded by a wall of mellow brick which enclosed a good garden with some fine trees. It was pulled down years ago to make way for...the post office"

Southfield House
Plate 147 in "A Pictorial History" taken c.1908 looking south along Reading Road. On the right is Southfield House, demolished to make way for the new post office.

This was the home of Peter and Mary Beuzeville

Ordinance Map
Plate 1 in "A Pictorial History" ordinance map of 1884 enlarged to show detail of the Southfield House garden as described by Emma Byles. (She lived in Henley until aged 16 in 1881)
See also the Independant Chapel further south on Reading Road.

John Curtis Byles(1773)

Story re house at wharf

Story re warehouse

story re brewery

Southfield house and photos

StMary connection Rev Hewlett

Family in new Street

Chapel connections
Independant Chapel
Interior of old chapel
Independant Chapel
old chapel

Thamesfield - home of Thomas Fox Byles

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Ralph Byles

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