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John Leach


It is believed that John Leach owned the Clifton ground Leach's Field (1885-1892) and Buffalo Bill's Field (1893-1896)

The dates of John Leach's life in Bristol are

1792 - His father John Leach born in Middlesex, London.

1806 - His mother Eliza Webley born in Winterbourne, Gloucestershire. The daughter of ? and ?. She had previously been married to ?

October 13th 1840 - his parents John Leach and Eliza Webley married at the Parish Church of St Paul, Bristol. Listed as John Leach full age Widower Gentleman Stokes Croft, St Pauls father: John Leach, Sawyer. Eliza Webley full age Widow Stokes Croft, St Pauls father: John Simmons, Hatter. Married in the Parish Church according the rites and Ceremonies of the Established Church after Banns by me, ... in the presence of us Hannah Harris, I B Jackson. Chas P Bullock.

Above St. Pauls Church where his parents were married. It was built in the 1790s but fell into disuse and disrepair by its closure in 1988. In 2005, after a lottery grant, the church was converted into its present form as the home of Circomedia, a circus school.

1841 (April-June) - His sister Elizabeth born.

In the 1841 census the Leach family lived at 7 , Hambrook, Bristol

Name Relation Age Occupation Where born
John Leach Head 49

Army P. Beer Retailer

Middlesex, London
Eliza Leach Wife 36   Winterbourne, Glos.
Elizabeth Leach Daughter 1 month   Winterbourne, Glos.
Thomas Webley Son-in-law 14   Winterbourne, Glos.
Joseph Webley Son-in-Law 6   Winterbourne, Glos.
George Webley Son-in-Law 4   Winterbourne, Glos.

1848 (Apr-June)- John Leach born in Hambrook.

In the 1851 census the Leach family lived at 17 , Hambrook, Bristol.

Name Relation Age Occupation Where born
John Leach Head 59 Chelsea Pensioner Middlesex, London
Eliza Leach Wife 45   Winterbourne, Glos.
Elizabeth Leach Daughter 10 Scholar Winterbourne, Glos.
Ellen Leach Daughter 8 Scholar Winterbourne, Glos.
Mary Leach Daughter 7 Scholar Winterbourne, Glos.
John Leach Son 3   Winterbourne, Glos.
Joseph Webley Son-in-Law 16 Gardener Winterbourne, Glos.
George Webley Son-in-Law 14 Gardener Winterbourne, Glos.

His father John Leach was buried in Frenchay on the 26th November 1854, aged 62. Buried by the Rev. John Carter.

Above Rev. John Carter, Rector St. John the Baptist, Frenchay 1835-1875

In the 1861 census they lived at Faber Farm, Winterbourne. (In farm owned by mothers family, the Webley's, after fathers death).

Name Relation Age Occupation Where born
Eliza Leach Head 55 Charwoman Frampton Cotterell
Mary Leach Daughter 26 Domestic Servant Winterbourne
John Leach Son 15 Scholar Winterbourne
Isaac Webley Boarder 40 Painter Winterbourne

1871 - Lodger at Henleaze Lane, Westbury-on-Trym. A gardener and domestic servant. The 1871 census says

Name Relation Age Occupation Where born
James Saltford Head 80 Formerly Garden Lab. Saltford, Somerset
Rachel Saltford Wife 78   Keynsham, Somerset
John Leach Lodger 22 Gardener (Domestic Servant) Hambrook, Glos.

At the time of the 1871 census his mother, Eliza, was visiting her family, the Webley's, at Albert Villa, Sussex Place, Bristol

In 1872 he married Jane Snell of East Stoke, Nottinghamshire. In 1861 she was a dressmaker at Henly Grove Cottage, Henleaze and in 1871 a Schoolmistress.

1874 - 1880 Lived at Southmead Farm, Eastfield (between Westbury-on-Trym and Horfield)

1875 (Jan-Mar) - Son John Henry Leach born. Christened 28th March 1875 Holy Trinity, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol.

1877 - Son George Sydney Leach born. He was christened in Horfield on 8th April 1877

16th October 1879 - Daughter Ethel Jane Leach born Horfield. Christening 1 February 1880 Horfield.

1881 - Lived at Donnington Villa, Westbury-on-Trym. A farmer of 29 acres and dairyman. The 1881 census says

Name Relation Age Occupation Where born
John Leach Head 33 Farmer and Dairyman of 29 acres Hambrook, Glos.
Jane Leach Wife 36 Farmer's Wife Stoke, Nottinghamshire
John H. Leach Son 6 Scholar Westbury-on-Trym, Glos.
George S. Leach Son 4 Scholar Westbury-on-Trym, Glos.
Ethel J. Leach Daughter 1   Westbury-on-Trym, Glos.
Henry Attwell Serv 15 Farmers Servant indoor Westbury-on-Trym, Glos.

1881 (Oct-Dec) - Son Gilbert Joseph Leach born. He was christened in Horfield on 28th May 1882.

In the 1881 and 1891 census Francis Pearce, his wife Rosa, children and servants lived at Horfield Court Farm. He is listed as a farmer of 220 Acres. They had previously lived at Hanswell Court, Berkeley, Gloucestershire where he farmed 270 acres. Francis Pearce died in 1896.

On the 4th July 1888, William Jones (22), baker; Henry Wilkins (19), labourer; and James Warren (20) labourer, pleaded guilty to stealing a horse, cart, set of harnesses and other articles, value £50, from John Leach, at Westbury-on-Trym, on June 7th. Jones and Wilkins were each sentaced to 15 months imprisionment, and Warren to 12 months, each to be under supervision for 5 years.

On August 6th 1888 at the West Gloucester Farmer's Club in Fishponds, John Leach came 2nd in the Class 42A: Best Jersey Heifer under two years old.

1891 – 1894 Lived at 2 Dorset Villas, Westbury-on-Trym. A farmer and dairyman. The 1891 census says

Name Relation Age Occupation Where born
John Leach Head 43 Farmer and Dairyman Hambrook, Glos.
Jane Leach Wife 46 Farmer's Wife Stoke, Nottinghamshire
John H. Leach Son 16 Farmer's Son Westbury-on-Trym, Glos.
George S. Leach Son 14 Scholar Westbury-on-Trym, Glos.
Gilbert J. Leach Son 9 Scholar Westbury-on-Trym, Glos.

1895 to 1897 - Lived at Coldharbour Farm, Coldharbour Lane, Redland

2nd August 1897 John Leach enters several horses in the West Gloucester Farmers Club Annual Exhibition at Fishponds.

19th August 1897 At Lawfords gate, William Taylor, Daniel Smith, Frank Pike, and John Pike, boys, were summoned for doing wilful damage to a hedge, the property of Mr. John Leach, farmer, Horfield. A similar charge against four other lads was withdrawn by arrangement with their parents. Mr. R. W.Clifton, who prosecuted, said that the prosecutor's son saw the lads in an orchard on the farm, on on running after them they bolted through a hedge which they damaged considerably. The amount of damage was about 10s. The prosecutor had had a lot of trouble with lads who got into this orchard and stole his apples. Captain Belfield said that it was exceedingly troublesome for farmers and other gentlemen to have boys stealing their apples. The defendants were ordered to pay 1s.3d. each towards the damage, and a fine of 2s.6d. and costs, in default for days' imprisonment.

2nd November 1897 John Leach was appointed Chairman of Horfield Urban District Council. Article in Bristol Times & Mirror Nov 6th 1897.

1898 – G.Leach joins Clifton RFC. George (20) or Gilbert (16)?

1898 to 1904 - Lived at Horfield Court Farm, Horfield. A farmer

On the 29th July 1899 John Leach was at the first meeting of the Horfield School Board at the Bishop Road School.

On the 30th September 1899 John Leach, Chairman of Horfield District Council, attended the funeral of W.D.Watts at Horfield Parish Church.

On the 31st October 1899 John Leach was prosecuted for running over Ann Hopegood, a widow of St. Silas Place, St. Philip's Marsh, Bristol. This happened on the 23rd May 1899 on Victoria Street. She was knocked down unconcious when she was crossing the road and Leach turned a corner in his trap and hit her. Leach was with his step-brother Tom C. Webley and Frederick Small in the trap at the time. Leach was fined £25 and costs.

12th March 1900 - His mother Eliza Leach, aged 94 years, buried at Frenchay Church. She had been living at Upper Milton, Worcestershire. The ceremony carried out by William Brooke. Her ?, James Webley, died in Hambrook and was buried on the 8th May 1900, aged 73 years again the burial took place at Frenchay Church and was carried out by William Brooke.

Above Rev. William Brooke, Rector St. John the Baptist, Frenchay 1892-1911

1900 - Land that was part of the Horfield Court Farm Estate was slowly sold off.

1900 - Sale of part of Horfield Court Farm by Mervin Herbert Nevil Story Maskelyne (Swindon) to Samuel Hankins (Stapleton Rd, Bristol) & William John Graham (Montpelier, Bristol). Original agreement was : Maskelyne to sell land to George Lovibond (Bridgwater, Som), who agreed to sell to Job Dunford Helliar (Bath Rd, Bristol), who agreed to sell part to Hankins who agreed to assign ½ to Graham. Incorporates a small location plan, & schedule of Title Deeds back to 1855. On reverse are 7 memos relating to disposal of plots by Graham & Thomas B Miller (Cricklade, Wilts) between 1903 & 1906.

1900 - Mortgage of 30 acres land - part of Horfield Court Farm Estate by Samuel Hankins & William John Graham to Parry Burges (all of Bristol). Refers to an Indenture of even date by which Hawkins & Graham acquired the land. Added to document are 7 memorandum relating to subsequent disposals of plots, between 1903 & 1906. Purchasers include George Humphreys,  John Arthur Lewis,  John Herbert Stephens,   George Rodney Lawrence,  also Rosa Naish Hanney Webster.

John Leach's signature on the minutes of Horfield Urban District Councils meeting on the 27th November 1900.

In the 1901 census the Leach family are listed as living at Horfield Court Farm. They were

Name Relation Age Occupation Where born
John Leach Head 53 Farmer Winterbourne, Glos.
Jane Leach Wife 55   Stoke-on-Trent, Notts
George S. Leach Son 23 Farmers son Westbury-on-Trym, Glos.
Ethel Leach Dau 21   Westbury-on-Trym, Glos.
Gilbert Leach Son 19 Farmer's son Westbury-on-Trym, Glos.
Amy Hucker Visitor 16   Horfield, Glos
Stanley Hucker Visitor 10 months   Horfield, Glos
George Davies Serv 44 Ordinary Agricultural Labourer Berdsmore Gate, Dorset

Above Horfield Court Farm sometime just after 1900. Horfield Common to the left and Trams to the right. Buffalo Bill's Field is behind the trams.

In 1901 his eldest son John Henry Leach is listed as living at 17 Regent Street, Ystradyfodwg, Glamorgan, Wales. His profession Coal Hewer.

22nd April 1901 - John Leach voted out as Chairman of Horfield Urban District Council at a Special Meeting.

Above minutes from that meeting on the 22nd April 1901.

15th April 1902 - The last meeting of Horfield Urban Distract Council attended by John Leach

1902 - Sale of half interest in part of Horfield Court Farm to Thomas Butt Miller the second witnessed by A M Miller (Chippenham, Wilts).

1902 - Sale of half interest in part of Horfield Court Farm by  Samuel Hankins (Bristol) to Thomas Butt Miller (Cricklade, Wilts). The land was jointly owned by Hankins & William John Graham (Montpelier, Bristol), & was Mortgaged to Parry Burges (Bristol). Refers to original acquisition by  Hankins / Graham, & mortgage. 6 page parchment booklet written on 4 sides,  signed / sealed by Burges, Miller, Hankins & Graham. A  memo on cover refers  to disposal of part  of land in 1903 to Graham Humphreys.

1903 - Sale of land at Horfield Court Farm by Thomas Butt Miller (Cricklade)

7th January 1904 - His wife, Jane, died aged 59 at Horfield Court Farm after a long illness and painful illness. She was buried at Holy Trinity Church, Horfield on the 11th January 1904 by Clement Hutchinson.

6th September 1904 - His daughter Ethel Jane married James Percival Maggs at Holy Trinity Church, Horfield. Maggs was born in 1881 (Jan-March) he worked as a clerk at a timber yard and lived on Quarrington Road not far from Horfield Court Farm. His father, Benjamin Harris Maggs, was a foreman at the timber yard

1904 (Jul-Sept) - His son George Sydney Leach married (either Mary Emma Cox or Dora Louisa Wedlake)

29th September 1904 - Final meeting of Horfield Urban District Council before Horfield became a part of Bristol. John Leach did not attend.

Above minutes of final meeting of Horfield Urban District Council.

1905 - Sale of Land by William John Graham (Horfield) & Thomas Butt Miller (Cricklade, Wilts) to William John Graham. Parry Burges (Bristol) is party to agreement, as mortgagee. Various restrictions on use of properties to be constructed. 6 page parchment booklet, includes 1 full page  colour wash location  plan.  Signed / sealed by Burges, Graham, Miller, witnessed by Eliza Prior, widow (Cricklade).

1905 - Horfield Court Farm demolished. An attempt was made to carry off bodily a very fine bas-relief of the "Trial of Abraham’s Faith" but it broke to pieces. Some wood panelling was sent to Bath.

1905 - possibly at 11 Church Street, Temple

1906 (Jan-Feb) - His son Gilbert Joseph Leach married Beatrice Maud Tapp. She was born in 1880 in Bristol and in 1901 was a servant in the Gover home at 3 Dermot Street, St. Agnes. Her father was William Tapp of (in 1897) Harridge Farm, Ashwick, nr. Bath. Her brother was Richard James Tapp. She was a bridesmaid at his wedding on the 29th December 1897 to Laura Sophia James at St. Jame's Church, Ashwick. She died in Wandsworth in 1925.

1906 to 1908 - possibly at 4 Mendip View Avenue, Fishponds.

1911 John Leach was living with his daughter Ethel at 9 Ashley Road, Montpelier, Bristol

Name Relation Marital Status Gender Age Birthplace Occupation
James Percival Maggs Head Married Male 30 Bristol Timber dealer
Ethel Maggs Wife Married Female 30 Westbury-on-Trym  
Clifford Maggs Son   Male 5 Bristol  
Benjamin Maggs Father Widower Male 56 Bristol Timber dealer
Reginald Maggs Brother Single Male 26 Bristol Assistant
John Leech Father in law Widower Male 63 Hambrook Assistant
Dorothy Knowles Servant Single Female 22 Wraxall, Somerset General Servant (Domestic)

John was helping in his son-in-laws timber business.

Above original 1911 census. Of 7 children born to his daughter only 1, Clifford, had survived

In 1911 his son Gilbert Leach was living at Rock Farm, Stratton-on-the-Fosse, near Bath.

Name Relation Marital Status Gender Age Birthplace Occupation
Gilbert J. Leach Head Married Male 29 Westbury-on-Trym Cowman on Farm
Beatrice Leach Wife Married Female 29 Midsommer Norton, Somerset  
Cyril Leach Son   Male 4 Mark, Somerset  
Ralph Leach Son   Male 3 Midsommer Norton, Somerset  
Doris Leach Daughter   Daughter 2 Midsommer Norton, Somerset  

Above Gilbert Leach's signature

12th February 1923 - His son-in-laws brother Reginald Arthur Maggs, 38, a Traveller for Timber Merchant Cotham Villa, Victoria Rd, Cotham married Nellie Blanche Sandy of 43 Spinster Dressmaker The Firs, Hambrook. Her father was Thomas Sandy Butcher. The marriage was witnessed by James Percival Maggs & Ethel Maggs. The ceremony was carried out by Cyril Travers Burges at Frenchay Church.

Above Rev. Cyril Travers Burges, Rector St. John the Baptist, Frenchay 1911-1924.

Above map of area in 1912 with the site of Horfield Court Farm built over with housing.

Above the Wellington Hotel just south of Horfield Court Farm and still standing.

John Leach died on 26th January 1927 in Bristol.

Above article from the Western Daily Press on 31st January 1927 announcing John Leach's death

John Leach was buried on 29th January 1927 at Horfield Church, Kellaway Avenue, Bristol at 11am.

His brother-in-law, James Percival Maggs, died on 22nd February 1952 at The Chesterfield Nursing Home, Clifton, Bristol. Thhe family home was Home Lea, Kellaway Avenue, Bristol.

His daughter Ethel Jane Leach died on 17th October 1958 Bristol. The timber business was left to her son Clifford Humphrey Maggs.

His son, Gilbert Joseph Leach, died in Bath in 1968.

His grandson, Clifford Humphrey Maggs died in 1975 in Bristol.