William Henry SOMERTON (1796-1870)

Name: William Henry SOMERTON
Sex:  Male

Father:  Joseph SOMERTON (1761?- )
Mother:  Martha CLARK (1768?-1840)

Spouse (1):  Jane THOMAS (1798?-1841)

Spouse (2): Elizabeth CURTIS (nee BUTT) (1806-)

Individual Events and Attributes

Birth: 1796 (approximately)
Baptism: 7 Feb 1796 at St Michael’s, Bristol, Gloucestershire [1]
Occupation: Printer, newspaper proprietor and journalist
Census: 1841 (age 45) Broad Street, Bristol. Ref: HO107/372/8/28 [2]
Census 1851: (age 55) Cotham Lodge, Westbury-on-Trym. Ref: HO107/1955/49/6 [3]
Census 1861 (age 65) 21a Prince’s Square, Paddington, London [4]
Death 24 Sep 1870 (age 73-74) Bayswater, Middlesex [5]
Burial:

Marriage (1)

Spouse: Jane THOMAS (1798?-1841)
Children: William Henry SOMERTON (1819?- )
Jane SOMERTON (1822?- )
Charlotte SOMERTON (1822?- )
Charles SOMERTON (1824?-1888)
George SOMERTON (1825?-1898)
Edwin SOMERTON (1832?- )
Jane SOMERTON (1834?- )
Emma SOMERTON (1837?- )

Marriage: 10 May 1817 (age 20-21) at St Philip’s & St Jacob’s, Bristol, Gloucestershire

Marriage (2)

Spouse: Elizabeth CURTIS (nee BUTT) (1806-)

Marriage: 4 Jun 1857 (age 61) at St Nicholas, Brighton, Sussex

Sources

1. “Parish registers of St Michael’s church, Bristol, Gloucestershire.
2. Ancestry.com, “1841 England Census” (Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2006). Census Returns of England and Wales, 1841, Kew, Surrey, England: The National Archives of the UK (TNA): Public Record Office (PRO), 1841.
3. Ancestry.com, “1851 England Census” (Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2006). Census Returns of England and Wales, 1851, Kew, Surrey, England: The National Archives of the UK (TNA): Public Record Office (PRO), 1851.
4. Ancestry.com, “1861 England Census” (Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005). Census Returns of England and Wales, 1851, Kew, Surrey, England: The National Archives of the UK (TNA): Public Record Office (PRO), 1851.
5. “Principal Probate Registry. Calendar of the Grants of Probate and Letters of Administration made in the Probate Registries of the High Court of Justice in England.”  Date: 3 Dec 1870.
6. “Parish registers of St Philip & St Jacob, Bristol”.
7. England & Wales Marriages, 1538-1940. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008. Original data: Genealogical Society of Utah. British Isles Vital Records Index, 2nd Edition.

Additional Information

Occupation:  Quotation from “All the News That’s Fit To Print” by John Penny (Bristol Branch of the Historical Association, 2001).

“Somerton had actually begun work as a printer in 1821 and shortly before he took over at the Mercury had even attempted to establish a new paper called the Bristol Herald & West of England Gazette, which survived for only a few weeks during June and July 1829. At the Mercury Somerton’s reputation as a courageous reporter was established following his work in connection with the Bristol Riots of 1831, while after a switch to Saturday publication on April 7th 1832, he succeeded in doubling the paper’s circulation. Around 1840 Somerton, whilst still retaining control of the Mercury, transferred the editorial work to William Cox, and although the latter died suddenly in August 1847, aged only 42, by that time Somerton was almost certainly receiving help from his two sons Charles and George.”

Probate registry entry: 3rd December 1870. The will with two codicils of William Henry SOMERTON, late of 22 Prince’s Square, Bayswater in the county of Middlesex, esquire, deceased, who died on the 24th September 1870 at 22 Prince’s Square, Bayswater was proved at the Principal Registry by the oaths of Charles SOMERTON of the city of Bristol, newspaper proprietor and George SOMERTON of the city aforesaid, newspaper proprietor, the sons and John Crowther GWYNN of the city aforesaid, the executors. Effects: under £35,000.

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