Coaches and Horsemen

In June 1791, James Pursey of Chard, Somerset, posted the following ad in the Bath Chronicle:


(A post-chaise was a closed four-wheeled horse-drawn coach used as a rapid means for transporting mail and passengers in the 18th and 19th centuries.)

He seemed to be a wealthy man, certainly an entrepreneur and although I cannot link him with any other Pursey line, I believe he provided employment for many of the wider Pursey family.

For example, the 1841 census list John Pursey (wife Hannah Vickery) as an ostler. (An ostler is someone employed to look after the horses of people staying at an inn.) John’s brother George, living North Petherton was likewise and Ostler.

John’s son William was a coach smith, living with wife Eleanor and son John George in Marylebone, London in 1851. [Eleanor was William’s cousin – the daughter of George above.] Another son Thomas was a coach trimmer, living in Market Street, Paddington, London with wife Margaret and their children. Other sons Robert and James were harness-makers.

John had a brother Thomas b 1802, Pitminster, Somerset. He is likely to be the coach trimmer who had brushes with the debtor’s court in 1832, 1837 and 1846.


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