Francis Henry Milsom
Francis Herny Milsom was the Grandson of Charles Milsom Snr a prominent and well respected Bath businessman. He, his father Charles Milsom Jnr and Grand-father Charles Milsom Snr are all buried at Smallcombe.
The Milsom name is well recognised not just in Bath but internationally due to the famous shopping street which bears the name. But the Milsoms also had other interests in the town over a period of many hundreds of years.
Francis Henry Milsom (1855-1937)
After his education in Germany, Francis joined his father in the music business of C Milsom & Son, in the year 1875, and was made a partner in 1880.
Besides his inherited advantages and technical ability, Mr F H Milsom was greatly helped in developing the business through his knowledge of German, which enabled him to trade directly with the best continental houses, and engage the best skilled workmen for the new factory in Berlin, where the first of pianos of C Milsom & Son were manufactured.
Mr F H Milsom assisted by his partner, Mr H Hermitage, a gentleman of considerable experience, and with a large staff of men fully qualified in every branch of the trade maintained the high reputation of the firm of C Milsom & Son until his death in April 1937 in his 83rd year. The business continued for a further 68 years under the name Duck, Son & Pinker.
Francis and his wife Agnes Mary Cocks with whom he lies, had 5 sons, and later he had a 6th with his second wife Kate Isobel Milsome (no relation!). The sons all featured in the war, 4 as officers, 1 as an ambulance driver. Two sadly were killed in action and 1 recieved the Croix de Guerre from the French Red cross for his dedication on the frontline.
Charles Milsom Jnr (1825-1892)
A composer and the son of Charles Milsom and Hannah Cole (Parents of Francis) was born in Bath on 15 April 1825. He was a fine composer of music for the pianoforte, and together with his father Charles Milsom Snr set up C.Milsom & Son for the distribution of sheet music for the piano and the manufacture of pianos. One particular piece (of 35 currently identified) that has been discovered is The Beaufort Polka written by Charles in c.1844 and respectfully dedicated to Lady Blanche Somerset. This has recently been transcribed and brought back to life and plans are afoot to do the same with others that have been discovered.
Charles Milsom Snr (1800-1880)
Charles Milsom Senior was born in Bath, Somerset on 8 May 1800 to parents Henry and Mary Ann Milsom. He was christened at St James’ Church, Bath on 30 May 1800. When Charles was 21-years of age he married Hannah Cole on 19 November 1823, just two years following the death of his father Henry Milsom in 1821.
On 15 April 1825 Hannah was delivered of a son and named him Charles after his father. (Charles Milsom Jnr’s gravestone is sited just behind his parent’s and is a cross in three plinths with a kerb).
The Census’s of 1841, 1851 and 1861 show that Charles and Hannah lived at 1 Johnstone Street, Bath. Charles was predominantly a Town Councillor of the City of Bath and a music seller employing six men and one woman; Hannah was a chiropodist and presumably practiced from their home at 1 Johnstone Street, Bath. According to the Census, Charles was appointed Justice of the Peace sometime between 1861 and 1871.
In 1825 upon the birth of his son, Charles established Messrs C. Milsom & Son and located the business at 14 Argyle Street, Bath. On page 27 of the 1830 edition of Pigot’s Directory of Bath we see an entry which reads, “Milsom Charles (Music and Music Seller) 14 Argyle Buildings”
Interestingly, nine years later the 1839 edition of Robson’s Directory shows an entry which reads “Milsom Chas Professor of Music and music seller at 2 Argyle Buildings”; and in the 1842 Pigot’s Directory a listing reads “Milsom Charles, music warehouse, 2 Argyle Buildings”.
As you can see from the notice below, Charles dissolved the partnership between himself and his son, Charles Jnr, in 1866, which appears to coincide with the death of his wife Hannah and with him being appointed Justice of the Peace.
London Gazette, 6th November 1866 article reads:
is hereby given, that the Partnership heretofore subsisting between us the undersigned, Charles Milsom and Charles Milsom the younger, as Pianoforte and Music Sellers, at No. 2, Argyle-Street, in the city of Bath under the firm of Milsom and Son, is, from the day of the date hereof, dissolved by mutual consent; and that, by the like consent, all debts due to or from the said firm will be respectively received and paid by the undersigned Charles Milsom the younger, by whom the said business will in future be carried on upon his own sole credit and account, —As witness our hands this 2nd day of November, 1866. Charles Milsom. Charles Milsom the younger.”
Charles Milsom’s wife Hannah died in 1865 and the Census of 1871 shows that Charles had moved to live at 10 Darlington Place, Bath. Charles did not remarry and he died on 3 August 1880 aged 80 years.
More detailed information about this famous family name can be found at www.milsoms.net - a site maintained by their descendent Sally Milsom.
The street named after this eminent Bath family is familiar to all readers of Jane Austen's Persuasion.