Elizabeth Oram & James Guppy Branch

Elizabeth Oram c1818-1878 & James Guppy c1821-1880

To locate places mentioned in the text, see the map at bottom of page.

Albin Guppy Case:


Albin Guppy died by drowning in the River Avon in Bristol on 11 February 1905. At the time he held an interest in property about 20 miles away at The Cross Keys, Corsham, to the west of Chippenham, Wiltshire. (See https://www.francisfrith.com/corsham/corsham-the-cross-keys-inn-1907_57821 for a 1907 picture)

Cross Keys, Corsham
© Copyright Stuart Logan 

As Albin was a horse dealer the inn, on the main London to Bristol road would have been a good location for stables and pasture for the horses. Albin held the property as a ‘copyholder‘  within the Manor of Corsham. The Manor would have regulated the transfer of copyhold property on the death of a copyholder. The executors of Albin’s will were William Barrett and John Law who appear to have no family connection to Albin. No doubt the action described below was brought about as the Manor of Corsham had to check that Albin had no living relatives who could have claimed the property.

Death certificate

Death Certificate: transcript below

Bristol Registration District 1905 DEATH in the Sub-District of St Paul & St Augustine
203 / Eleventh February 1905 River Avon U.D / Albin Guppy / Male / 59 years / Horse dealer of 16 Northcote Road St George / Found drowned / Certificate received from Arthur E. Barker deputy Coroner for Bristol inquest held 13th February 1905 / [date registered:] seventeenth February 1905 / [signature of registrar:] Ernest Dunnan Registrar


“GUPPY Albin of 16 Northcote-road St. George Bristol died 11 February 1905 Probate, above † London 10 March to William Henry Barrett solicitor’s clerk and John Law farmer Effects £1552 18s.”

John Oram diary entries

5 May 1905 “getting certificates of sister’s marriages”

23 May 1905 “Castle Cary affidavit Guppy case”

This letter shows that enquires were made back to Albin’s grandparents John & Susannah Oram.

The London Gazette, July 21, 1905

For larger image. The case starts at the bottom of the first column.

Excerpts from “An action BARRETT v GUPPY 1905”

“An enquiry who was the heir of the testator at the time of his death according to the custom of the Manor of Corsham, whereof his copyhold estates were holden…”

“..the testator, the said Albin Guppy, late of Cross Keys, Corsham, in the county of Wilts, England, Horse dealer …”

Following postscript given:

NB – The deceased Albin Guppy was son of James Guppy and Elizabeth, formerly Oram, of Weston Bampfylde, Sparkford, Somerset, England.

George Guppy (born 23rd August, 1824), and Samuel Guppy (born 5th November, 1827), two of his parental uncles, it is believed went to America or some part of Canada more than 50 years ago, and have not since been heard of, and

John Guppy (born 8th June, 1819) another parental uncle is believed drowned in the Bristol Channel, off Burnham, about 30 years ago, and

Susanna Oram (born 20th August, 1817), a maternal aunt of said Albin Guppy, it is believed went to New South Wales about 50 years ago, and

Sarah Oram (born 27th January, 1820), who married in July 1844, Charles Bewsey, and was another maternal aunt of the deceased, it is believed went to Melbourne in the Colony of Victoria, more than 50 years ago, and neither of the last named have since been heard of.

Implications for Oram family research

In 2012 John’s evidence was the only source for the dates of Susannah and Sarah’s births and when they went to the Australia.

Three times John uses the benchmark ‘fifty years ago’.  This would have been 1855.  John went to Ireland in 1852 and made his first visit home in June 1857.  Maybe he remembered his aunts’ emigration to Australia in relation to the period 1852 – 1857.  This would explain why Susannah’s last census return was in 1841 and Sarah’s in 1851.  Charles and Sarah emigration is narrowed to the time between the 1851 census and June 1857.

In the action the Manor of Corsham appears to be interested in all Albin’s uncles and aunts. There is no indication that there is an interest in their children. John’s evidence shows that there were no known children of Susannah and Sarah. Does it also support Carolyn’s research that William, Mary and Elizabeth’s lines had died out by 1905?

No doubt when John made his affidavit he also relinquished any interest in the property on behalf of himself and his offspring.

View Elizabeth Oram and her husband James Guppy and their family in a larger map

Queen Camel
Elizabeth’s birthplace
Weston Bampfylde
Elizabeth at 1841 census. Birthplace of Albin Guppy
Birthplace of Fanny Guppy
North Cadbury
Family’s home at 1851 census. Probable birthplace of James Guppy.  Home to James’ parents in 1841
Possible birthplace of James Guppy
Castle Cary
Possible birthplace of James Guppy
Okeford Fitzpaine
Elizabeth and Fanny at 1861 census. Visited by John Oram 1857.
Iwerne Minster
John Oram’s residence prior to going to Ireland in 1852
1861 residence of James and Albin Guppy
Guppy family lived in Crockerton for 1871 census, James & Elizabeth died there.  Albin married Frances Maxfield, the widow of the local innkeeper.
Longbridge Deverill
Crockerton is under Longbridge Deverill in the census returns.
Birthplace of William Humphries where he owned freehold shops in South Parade.
Home of Fanny and William Humphries 1873-1887
Fanny married Thomas Coles 1888
Birthplace of Thomas Coles
Home of Thomas Coles on marriage certificate 1888
Draycot Foliat
1891 residence of Thomas and Fanny Coles
Kidmore End
1901 residence of Thomas and Fanny Coles
1911 residence of Thomas and Fanny Coles.
Fanny died in Newbury in 1925
Henry Maxfield died at Weymouth prior to marriage of Albin and Henry’s widow Frances.
Kington Langley
Home to Albin & Frances Guppy 1881 and 1891
Lamb & Lion, Bath
Henry E Maxwell was ostler at the Lamb & Lion in 1901 and 1911
Pulteney Ave, Bath
Frances Guppy (Albin’s wife) died at 9,Pulteney Avenue in 1900.
St. George, Bristol
Albin Guppy was living at 16 Northcote Road when he was drowned in the River Avon that flows less than 400m south of Northcote Road
Cross Keys Inn, Corsham
Albin was a copyholder of land and/or property near the Cross Keys.
Sandford Orcas
Birthplace of Robert Guppy (James’ father)
Birthplace of Deborah Andrews nee Guppy (James’ mother)
West Camel
Residence of James Guppy’s parents 1850s & 60s.

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