Fanny Guppy (aka Frances Oram Guppy) 1844-1925

Born: 8 Oct 1844 in Sparkford, Somerset, England

Parents: James Guppy c1820-1880 and Elizabeth Oram c1818-1878

Siblings: Albin Guppy 1846-1905

Married: 1.William Humphries 1806-1887 in 1873 in Warminster Registration District, Wiltshire, England

2. Thomas George Coles 1855-1912 on 26 Sept 1888 at Ibberton, Dorset, England

Offspring: None known

Lived in: Sparkford and North Cadbury, Somerset; Okeford Fitzpaine, Dorset; Crockerton and Chapmansdale, Wiltshire; Ibberton, Dorset; Draycot Foliatt, Wiltshire; Kidmore End, Oxfordshire; Bucklebury and Newbury, Berkshire, England

Died: 16 January 1925 in Newbury, Berkshire, England

A map of locations for places mentioned on this page 

Early life

Fanny, the only known daughter of Elizabeth Oram c1818-1878 and horse dealer James Guppy c1820-1880, was born on 8 Oct 1844 in Sparkford, Somerset about six months before her parents were married. She was given the surname Guppy on her birth certificate.

By the 1851 census the family, now including Fanny’s brother Albin 1846-1905 were living in North Cadbury. During the 1861 census Fanny was living in Okeford Fitzpaine, Somerset with her mother while her father and brother were in West Sussex, no doubt on horse dealing business. Ten years later for the 1871 census the family were together living in Crockerton, Longbridge Deverill, Wiltshire.

Fanny’s first marriage

Fanny, giving her name as Fanny Oram Guppy, married William Humphries 1806-1887 in 1873. William was nearly 40 years older than Fanny. Two years earlier in the 1871 census William described himself as an ‘unmarried’ 65 yr old annuitant living in Chapmansdale, Corsley about 3 miles north of Crockerton. He had been born in nearby Frome, Somerset where he owned some shops († below).

Fanny and William lived in Chapmansdale until William died on 23 March 1887 when the National Probate Calendar below † shows that his personal estate was valued at £2,877 6s 9d. “The will in writings A and B with two codicils ….was proved … by Richard Sheering Brodribb … wine merchant and Joseph Rawlins bank manager ….executors”. Without sight of the will we do not know if Fanny was a beneficiary.

Fanny’s second marriage

In 1888 Fanny was living in Ibberton, Dorset a village close to Okeford Fitzpaine where she had lived in the 1860s. At Ibberton church Fanny, calling herself Frances Oram Humphries, married Thomas George Coles 1806-1887 on 26 September 1888. The witnesses were Walter and Sarah Ross who farmed about 200 acres of land in Ibberton. Thomas Coles described himself as a 33 year old bachelor farmer living in Warminster, Wiltshire close to where Fanny and her parents had lived, and his father Richard Newberry Coles as a gentleman. Thomas has been born in Hale, Hampshire on the northern edge of the New Forest. At this time Fanny would have been 44 years old, though census to census she tended to change her age and birthplace.

Kidmore House c2010. Derek Harper,

By 1891 Thomas was farming at Farm House, Draycot Foliatt south of Swindon in Wiltshire.  During the next ten years they moved again as in 1901 Fanny’s brother Albin Guppy 1846-1905 was with Thomas and Fanny at Kidmore House, Kidmore End, to the north of Reading. Then, by the 1911 census another move to Manor Farm, Bucklebury. Bucklebury is now known as the hamlet that includes the family home of Kate Middleton wife of Prince William.

Manor House Farm, Bucklebury. Pam Brophy,

Thomas died there on 15 July 1912 and the National Probate Calendar † below, shows his wife Frances was his executor and that he left effects valued at £3848 3s 8d.


When Fanny died on 16 January 1925 leaving effects worth £2,211 9s probate was given to Tryphosa Elizabeth Coles, spinster. Tryphosa was the late Thomas Coles’ 77 year old eldest sister. In the National Probate Calendar Fanny is described as being ‘of 6, Beaconsfield Terrace, Newbury’.

Probate †

Twenty four years earlier in the 1901 census Tryphosa Coles and her parents were living next door at 5, Beaconsfield Terrace, London Road, Newbury. In the 1911 census 84 year old widow Ann Coles, lived at number 5, Beaconsfield Terrace, with her daughter [Tryphosa] Elizabeth and a servant. In the late 20th century Beaconsfield Terrace and the surrounding area has been redeveloped to allow the main A4 road to be widened into a dual carriageway.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.