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Not Brentford

Brentford Families - Tayler

Susan Parkinson wrote:

My paternal Taylers (I don't know when they started spelling it with an "e" rather than the "o") were publicans in the town with connections to the Hand & Flower, The Bull and The Windsor Castle. (Also the King's Head in Acton).

My 2xgrt grandfather, William, was born in 1826, son of the William who in the 1841 census is publican at The Bull. Like his brother Henry (1822 - 1857) he was a publican up to his death in 1902. His son, another William (1860 - 1896) was a publican in Acton, and at the time of his death was publican at The Windsor Castle, Old Brentford. This William also had a brother Henry, who was in the trade in the Richmond area.


Taylers in the Censuses

The 1861 census shows William Tayler living at the Hand & Flower (no. 378) with his wife Mary A and two young sons: Henry (2) and William (1). In the same household was his "sister" Sarah Sims, aged 17 and, like William and the boys, born in Old Brentford, whereas William's wife was born in New Brentford.

By 1871 William Tayler was a widower living with his son William (11) and daughter Marion (9). Anne Sims "sister in law" was also living with the family, and two servants.

In 1881 William Tayler had just his daughter Marrion (19) and "sister in law" Annie Sims at home. Ten years on and Marion had moved away, the Hand & Flower was occupied by just William Taylor, Annie Simms, his assistant, a potman and domestic.


Working back to a previous generation, the 1851 census showed the Hand & Flower run by Henry J Taylor, 29. His younger brother William, a waterman, aged 25 also lived here.

Ten years previously in 1841 the Hand & Flower was run by John Fisher, brickmaker - but he had a "20" year old Henry Taylor living with him.

Michael Taylor kindly sent details of the 1841 census entry for The Bull:
William Taylor      50    publican Not born this county
Elizabeth Taylor45ditto
Maryanne Taylor20dressmakerditto
William Taylor20engineerBorn this county
Joseph Taylor21labourerditto
Mercey Taylor15servantditto
Mathilda Taylor15servantditto
Henry Taylor13ditto
Charlotte Taylor9ditto
Frederick Taylor7ditto


The only slightly odd thing that struck me about the 1841 census was William junior's age: 20 (which in 1841, when ages over 15 were often rounded down to the nearerst 5 years, can mean 20 to 24). He should have been 15: he gave his age in successive censuses very consistently as 35, 45 etc.

The second thing, which I missed at first, was the presence of a Henry aged 13 at The Bull: was this the right family for Susan? See conclusions below or read on for more about the Sims family.


The Sims Family

It looked as if there was a connection between the Sim(m)(s) and Tayler family as William had two sisters in law of this surname living with him in successive censuses so I tried a few speculative searches.

A Sarah Sim, aged 7, lived at about 47 High Street, Old Brentford in 1851: she is the right age to be the "sister" living with William Tayler and his wife in 1861. Sarah was the daughter of John Sim, carpenter, and his wife Clara. Assuming William's wife was born Mary Ann Sim, the best match in 1851 for her was a 17 year old Mary Ann Simes (or it could be Sims) who was working for Charles Brooke, surgeon in practice, as an "Under nurse" in St George Bloomsbury. She gave her birthplace as 'New Brentford'.

Going back another 10 years, it is possible to knit the family strands together: John Sims, carpenter J(ourneyman), aged 30, and Clara his wife are recorded living at 2 Albany Place West,Old Brentford, along with their daughter Mary, 8 and, helpfully, their baby Michael, who appears in 1851 aged 10.

John Sims appears in the 1871 census at 'Bensons Gateway, High Street, Old Brentford' which was around no. 312 High Street. He was aged 61 and still working as a carpenter. His wife Clara was 56 and their son Charles, aged 16 and a general labourer, was living at home.


The Other William Taylor

The Tayler family details from the 1861 - 1881 censuses at the Hand & Flower confirmed Susan Parkinson's findings. However when I looked at my notes for The Bull, where William Tayler senior lived in 1841, I found that the son William claimed by Susan was also claimed by Michael Taylor as part of his family.

Michael's William Taylor was running The Bull in 1861, aged 42, married to Caroline and had three sons and a daughter aged 1 to 10, all born in Brentford except the eldest son, William Beck Taylor, aged 10, who was born in Bristol.


There are marriage entries in the Brentford Registation District index which suggest a William Taylor married a Caroline Meall in 1847 (although this does not explain the middle name of their first son). In 1851 William Taylor was a rail engine driver, with his wife and baby son William Beck, in Bristol.

William Taylor senior at The Bull had died by 1851 and his wife Elizabeth died in 1852 according to Michael Taylor, so it seems probable that son William was called back to Brentford from Bristol to take over the business: his second son Fred was born in Brentford, confirming he did not stay in Bristol long after 1851.

So it does seem highly likely that the Taylors who ran The Bull in 1841 - 1861 were related.


That leaves Susan's William Tayler, who appears at the Hand & Flower in 1861. It is known he had a brother Henry J born about 1821 as Henry J is recorded at the Hand & Flower in 1841 and 1851.

To find out more about Susan's William Tayler it will be necessary to search baptismal records for Brentford at LMA, or to buy William's marriage certificate which should name his father.

Other records may help: A2A also has references to a John Tayler who was a victualler at 'The Old Hats' in Ealing in 1826.

TNA Documents Online has two wills of Taylers or Taylors in Ealing who were victuallers:

  • William Tayler otherwise Taylor, late Victualler of Ealing , Middlesex 28 June 1808 PROB 11/1481
  • William Tayler, Victualler of Ealing , Middlesex 25 August 1828 PROB 11/1745


The Windsor Castle

Geoffrey Parkinson noted "The only thing I can't confirm is the existence of the pub The Windsor Castle. I know it existed and that my grt. grandfather was publican there when he died in 1896, but I cannot find any records of it or any mention of it anywhere."

Searches of the Access to Archives site (A2A) showed there was a Windsor Castle PH in Hammersmith, 1842, but I couldn't find any record of a pub of this name in Brentford.

The Taylor Public Houses

Interested in the pubs? See The Bull (no. 350) or Hand & Flower (no. 378).