No 47 Sydney Buildings

No 31a and Holly Villa pre 1902

No 47 today

Seven of the original documents, dated from 1837 to 1907, relating to the acquisition of the plot and subsequent ownership of what is now No 47 are still in existence, including a 1901 Abstract of Title.

A transcript of the 1901 Abstract can be accessed as an eight page PDF document by clicking here.

In 1837 there was a formal Lease and Release between the Duke of Cleveland, John Jacques and George Edwards, for the plot of land, and including the dwelling house, coach house and stables built by John Jacques, where No 46 and No 47 now stand. The annual rent of £8 3s 4d to be paid to the Duke of Cleveland.

The 1837 Indenture

The Tithe Map dated 1840, shows the plot as number 260.

Section of the 1840 Tithe Map

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Plot 259 [No 45, then 30]: owned by Benjamin Colborne. Benjamin Colborne, a Carver and Guilder, had died in 1837 leaving his widow, Frances living at No 45.

Plot 260 [No 46, then 31]: owned by John Jacques. This large plot shows two buildings, presumably the dwelling and coach house referred to in the documents.

Plot 261 [No 48, then 32]: owned by Robert Voysey.


The 1841 Census for No 30 records Francis Colborne[47], her son Henry[25], a Gilder, her two daughters, Jane[20] and Mary Eliza[15], with two others, probably lodgers, and a servant. Frances Colborne was the daughter of John Jacques. Mrs Hillcoat, with three other members of her family and two servants lived in the adjacent property [No 31] owned by John Jacques.

The Conveyance of 1846 by Mr George Edwards, executor of the will of John Jacques and trustee, and Mrs Ann Jacques, his widow, granted and released the plot and buildings of No 31 Sydney Buildings to the use of Jane Colborne and (Mary) Eliza Colborne, and their heirs, as tenants subject to the annual rent charge of £8 4s 3d payable to the Duke of Cleveland.

The Settlement in 1852 upon the marriage of Mary Eliza Colborne to John Gregory , a schoolmaster, made between John Gregory, Mary Eliza Colborne and George Edwards entrusts the rents and profits to be paid to Mary Eliza Colborne and her assignees from her half of No 31 during her lifetime and then to John Gregory if he should survive her.

The 1852 map shows the same buildings on the plot as the 1840 Tithe map.

Section of the 1852 Map

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Jane Colborne married John Brauston Sharland, a commercial traveller. John Sharland had been a lodger with her family at No 45.

By an Indenture in 1866 between George Edwards, John Sharland and his wife Jane, Henry Isaac Colborne [brother to Jane and Mary Eliza], and John and Mary Eliza Colborne, George Edwards was given consent to dispose of the rights to the inheritance, including half of No 31, previously granted to Jane Colborne [now Sharland] to Mary Eliza Gregory for £300.

Plot map included with the 1866 conveyance and the 1901 Abstract

This map shows the division of the original plot into two sections. No 31 now has an extension on the side.


In 1868 the Post Office Directories show that John and Mary Eliza Gregory had moved back to No 30. In 1873 Mary's mother, Frances Colborne, died aged 83. And in 1875 her husband, John Gregory, died aged 50, leaving everything to his wife. Francis Colborne and John Gregory are buried at Smallcombe Cemetery.

Section of the 1886 Map

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The map of 1886 shows the extension to No 31 [now 46], as shown on the plot map above, and a substantial house standing on the adjacent plot where the coach house had been situated. Built by John Gregory shortly after the 1866 Indenture and known as Holly Villa. The Post Office directories list tenants from 1871.

A Conveyance was made in 1896 between Mary Eliza Gregory, widow, of 30 Sydney Buildings, and William Lionel Hillary, of 11 Darlington Street, for the sum of £30 per year paid to be paid to Mary Eliza Gregory by William Hillary during her lifetime for Holly Villa. The annual estate rent of £8 4s 3d to be shared between them. William Hillary rented out the property.

In her will dated July 1900, Mary Eliza Gregory nominated her brother-in-law Alfred Gregory of 267 Leytonstone Road, Essex, and her nephew Francis John Sharland [called Frank in the will], of 14 Bulstrode Road Hounslow, to be trustees and bequeathed to them her estate and effects.

In August 1900 Mary Eliza died at 30 Sydney Buildings, aged 75, and is buried at Smallcombe Cemetery with her husband.

Holly Villa was purchased in 1902 by Ernest James Belsten from the beneficiaries, Francis John Sharland and Alfred Gregory. James Belsten, listed as a Traveller, had been living at Holly Villa since 1899.

In 1907 Holly Villa was purchased by James Edwin Sculthorpe from Ernest James Belsten for £285.

The 1907 Conveyance

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James Sculthorpe, with his wife Jane, moved from Green Street Bath in 1908 to Holly Villa, and remained there until his death in 1916. Jane Sculthorpe died in 1914. They are both buried at Smallcombe Cemetery.

Frederick Harris and his wife were the next residents.

Information from the deeds with the kind permission of Mrs Simone Johnson.

Neal Kerss

September 2011

Sydney Buildings History Group ©