Market Lavington Museum

The Reverend Frith

Also some Coleman Family History

We have seen this photo before – or rather this composite photo which shows the Market Lavington Vicar with a wonderful name (The Reverend William Blackstone Cockayne Frith) hovering over St Mary’s church in the village.

The Reverend Frith and Market Lavington Church on a card posted in 1905

The Reverend Frith and Market Lavington Church on a card posted in 1905

It’s a lovely image and we rather expect Alf Burgess enjoyed putting it together.

What makes this card different is the family history contained in the message.

The back of the card

The back of the card

The card was sent to Miss A Coleman and was posted in Chippenham at 10.45 pm on May 27th 1905. Although posted in Chippenham the writer has given his address as Chapel Gardens, Easterton and he has sent this card to ‘Dear Sister’.

‘Just a line wishing you many happy returns of the Day’

With the speed of postcards in 1905 it’s a fair bet that Miss A Coleman’s birthday was the next day – 28th May.

After a quick ‘hope you are well’ the card is signed by ‘your loving brother Charlie’

What is effectively a PS then goes on to say that ‘Stephen and Alice had a son this morning.’


Alice, Charlie and Stephen are three of the children of William Coleman, a shoe maker and one time Town Crier for Market Lavington. Alice was in service in Kensington, working as a cook. Charlie, as we saw, lived in Easterton where he was a Baker. Stephen was living in Market Lavington where he worked as a groom and gardener. The son born that day was also Stephen – the father of the person who has let us copy the card but understandably, with so much information he wishes to retain the original for the family.