A Glass Fragment from Goathurst

Marked by Edward Coombes and James Kingson

This is a copy of a pane of glass found in a leaded window in Shattrick Cottage in 1982. Scratched onto the surface are the following words:

James Kingson
Edward Coombes
Boot and Shoemaker –

In between the names is a drawing that appears to be either two flowers or two inverted bells. Edward Coombes appears in the 1841 census living in Goathurst aged 13. He is absent from the 1851 census when he would have been 23 but reappears in 1861, aged 33 when his occupation is given as a tailor. This is the last entry for him.

Another member of the Coombes family, Mary, married Frederick Kingston, a linen draper and widower from Manchester, in 1858. He was the Postmaster for the village and they lived in what is now Vine Cottage, which, with Bramley and Coombes Cottages had been owned by the Coombes family for many years. James Kingston (or Kingson) does not appear in any census for Goathurst but it is presumed that he was related to Frederick in some way.

The etching on this window pane therefore can be dated to between about 1861 and 1871. How the leaded window came to end up in a dormer window of Shattrick Cottage is a matter for speculation but it was probably made redundant from one property, maybe as a result of house improvements, and transferred to Shattrick Cottage when the dormer windows were added as it is obvious that they are not part of the original building.

1841 Edward Coombes, aged 13
1851 [Neither]
1861 Frederick W Kingston, aged 45, Draper and Grocer
Edward J Coombes, aged 33, Tailor but in subsequent censuses he lived in Taunton (1871) Ystradyfodwg, Glamorgan in 1881 and 1891 and he died in Tony Pandy in 1895.
1871 Frederick W Kingston, aged 56, Draper and Postmaster
1881 Frederick W Kingston, aged 65, Draper and Postmaster

Interestingly, with reference to the drawing on the glass, a John Kingston operated a bell foundry in Back lane (now Clare Street), Bridgwater from 1798 to 1829, being joined by Isaac Kingston in 1801, Thomas Kingston in 1808 and Edmund Kingston in 1831. Frederick William Kingston’s father, John Kingston was recorded as a bell founder, so a relationship with the Bridgwater Kingston bell founders seems very likely.

This glass has been donated to the Blake Museum, Bridgwater.

David Bunney, March 2020