Broadway Policeman Joseph Henry Yarnold (1860-1923)

Joseph Henry Yarnold
Joseph Henry Yarnold (credit: Fred Gegg, Evesham)

Broadway History Society has been sent the following biography of Joseph Henry Yarnold (1860-1923) by Yocker Yarnold and Ken Edwards. Joseph served with the police force in Broadway in charge of the village’s police station from 1887 to 1894.

Joseph Henry Yarnold was born on the 20th December 1860, in Kingswinford, Staffordshire, the son of Eliza Yarnold. Joseph, known as Henry or Harry, was initially brought up by John and Eliza Bint at Market Street, Kingswinford. Sometime after 1871, Joseph moved to live with his Yarnold relatives1 at Menithwood, Pensax, Worcestershire, where he was brought up alongside his many cousins.

After leaving school Joseph first found employment at the local Hollins Colliery2, however, having received a good education, aged 19,  he joined the police service as a Special Constable. By 1883 Joseph was serving as a full time officer and within a few weeks had been promoted to Constable at Evesham.

In March 1887 Joseph transferred to take charge of Broadway Police Station. During his time at Broadway Joseph met and married Eliza Jane Baskett, daughter of George Baskett the Sexton of the parish of Salford Priors, and they married at Salford Priors on the 20th February 1887. In January 1894 Joseph was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and after serving in Broadway for 7 years moved back to Evesham to the new Police Station in the town. Upon his promotion the village held a dinner in Joseph’s honour. The Evesham Standard on Saturday 20th January 1894 reported:

At the Lygon Arms, on Wednesday, a public dinner was given to present a testimonial to PC Yarnold, on the occasion of his departure to Evesham and his promotion to be Sergeant. Ald. Averill presided, and there were also present – Messrs A Drury, G M Cook, K Averill, A Williams, T Bayliss, R Johnston, J Brick, J W Wilson, B Burrows, H Preston, Haines &c. The Chairman read letters from the Vicar and Mr Pemberton, who expressed regret at being unable to attend. He said they had met to make Sergeant Yarnold a presentation, as a small recognition of his services in Broadway for the last seven years. They were all aware that the life of a police officer was by no means an easy one, and PC Yarnold came to Broadway in troublous times3, just after an election, but his conduct throughout was most satisfactory. All classes of people respected him, and would be sorry to lose him. The Chairman asked Sergeant Yarnold to accept the present, which was a beautiful marble clock, as a mark of appreciation from the Broadway people. Ald. Averill then proposed the health of Mr and Mrs Yarnold, which was cordially drunk. Sergt. Yarnold returned thanks for the way the toast had been received, and for the handsome present made to him. He was sure in after life he should never forget their kindness, and he hoped at the end of the next seven years to have proved himself as satisfactory in his new office. Other toasts were drunk, including the health of Mr Johnston, who had promoted the testimonial. Mr Johnston said he was sure he had never collected money with more pleasure. Sergeant Yarnold had been a splendid officer, and all had responded most generously to his appeal. Mr Averill proposed the health of Mr and Mrs Drury, which was very heartily drunk. Songs were given during the evening by Mr S Jarret, Ald. Averill, Messrs Smith, A Hunt, and others, and the proceedings concluded with the toast of “The Chairman”, which was heartily responded to.

Eight years later Joseph was again promoted to the rank of Inspector a position he held until his retirement in 1909. Joseph was held in high esteem by his colleagues, magistrates and solicitors and on his retirement he was presented with a gold watch by the magistrates at Evesham County Sessions. The watch bore the inscription: Presented to Inspector J H Yarnold on his leaving the Worcestershire Police Force by the Magistrates of the Petty Sessional Division and Borough of Eversham and their Clerk, in recognition of long and faithful service, June 1909.

During his police service Joseph received a merit badge for saving the life of a man who had been pulled out of the Avon river and presumed drowned. Joseph performed respiration on the man and he survived. Upon retirement, Joseph and Eliza went to live at Salford Priors. Following a short illness in May 1923 Joseph was admitted to Clent Nursing Home where he died, aged 63, on 23rd May 1923. His funeral took place at Salford Priors Church the following Thursday. Joseph’s wife Eliza outlived him by 24 years dying at Bream in Gloucestershire on the 21st December 1947, aged 83.

Debbie Williamson
Broadway History Society

Notes:
1. The large Yarnold or Yarnall family had lived in the villages of Menithwood, Lindridge and Pensax for many generations, the men employed as agricultural labourers or coal miners.
2. Hollins Colliery was on the site of a farm of the same name, situated between Pensaz and Clows Top. Samson Yarnold (1860-1937), one of Joseph’s uncles, followed in his father’s footsteps, working at several of the small local Pensax pits. Samson became the owner of the Hollins coalmine in the 1890s and retired from coal mining, aged 70 in 1930.
3. In the late 1880s the country was in deep recession and unemployment and poverty, particularly in Broadway and the surrounding area, was high. However, an article aimed at attracting visitors to Broadway published in the local newspapers in August 1887, painted the village as a rural idyll.

Broadway in 1887

The following article about Broadway was published in the Gloucestershire Echo on 24th August 1887 and the Cheltenham Chronicle on 27th August 1887:

Broadway is geographically in Gloucestershire but topographically is a peninsula of Worcestershire which juts out into the neighbouring shire. Broadway is about five and a half miles from anywhere, and just six miles from everywhere. Two hundred years ago, or even so far back as Shakespeare’s days, Broadway may have been a place of note. Now it is a place of no account, except as one of the quietest, sweetest, most peaceful, and most pastoral “out of the world’ villages in all England. It consists of one wide, straggling street, of quaint old stone-built houses with gables and dormers, Tudor chimneys, casements with leaded panes of old glass, mullions, carved doorways, finials and high-pitched roofs. There is an amazing hotel, the Lygon Arms, which would have driven Dickens wild with delight, and in another ancient hostelry, now turned into a private residence, are the old oak beams and floors, old windows and wide chimney-nooks which were there when Charles I slept – or more probably only laid down his uneasy head – after a disastrous battle. On the walls of these fine houses apricots and vines grow freely, and their fruits ripen.

There is a village green, the chosen club of all the village dogs, who romp and race there from morning till night. The well-planned kennels of the North Cotswold Hounds are in the village, and when they are seen coming down the wide street the way in which the other dogs “get up and slide” is most diverting.

At the extreme end of Broadway in an old house, with an old garden, shut in by a high old wall, an American colony of artists1 have established themselves, painting and drawing all day long with intervals of lawn-tennis for exercise; and there, the world forgetting, but not by the world forgot, they lead an ideal life of work and art and simple healthful occupation. They have their models male and female, after their kind in an adjacent cottage; and they have fitted up a great old barn as a studio, from which are sent out many notable pictures.

The country round about Broadway is a mixture of flat cornlands and rolling hills, profusely timbered with splendid elms, ash-trees, and oaks, and the district is literally studded with old abbey barns, old manor houses, and old churches, in most quaint and picturesque styles of architecture. Beautiful walks through pastures and coppices, over hills, superabound in every direction. People in search of quietness, fresh air, and something rather out of the common-place in rural life might do worse than find their way to Broadway. To get there is not just as easy as to get to Charing Cross, but it can be done by taking the train to Evesham, or utilising a smart four-horse coach2 that leaves the Plough at Cheltenham for Broadway every Saturday afternoon at five o’clock, for a delightfully picturesque drive of sixteen miles to Broadway. The very difficulty of getting to Broadway enhances its charm of isolation. If it were nearer a railway-station it would be more noisy and less nice.

Debbie Williamson
Broadway History Society

Notes:
1. The Broadway Colony of artists included; the American artist Francis Davis Millet (1848-1912) who lived at Farnham House and Russell House and also rented Abbot’s Grange on the village green, and John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) who painted Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose in the gardens of Farnham House and Russell House during the summers of 1885 and 1886 whilst staying with the Millet family. Millet’s most famous painting Between Two Fires was painted at Abbot’s Grange. Frederick Barnard, an illustrator of Charles Dickens’ novels and the portraitist Paul César Helleu were also visitors to Broadway at the time. The Artist Colony Room at Broadway Museum and Art Gallery provides an insight into their art and their lives.
2. The Four-Horse Coach started running between Broadway and Cheltenham in August 1887. The coach ran every Saturday at 9am from the Lygon Arms Hotel, Broadway, calling at the White Hart Hotel, Winchcombe, to The Plough Hotel, Cheltenham, returning at 5pm the same day.

Alderman Isaac Averill, DL, JP (1830-1905), Gentleman of Broadway

Isaac Averill
Alderman Isaac Averill DL JP (1830-1905)

Isaac Averill, was known as the ‘Gentleman of Broadway’. He was born in Broadway on 21st August 1830, the oldest son of Isaac Blakeman Averill JP (for Worcestershire and Gloucestershire) and Mary (née Osborne) of Broadway. Isaac had 12 siblings. His family were wealthy farmers having farmed several hundred acres in and around Broadway for over 300 years.

Broadway Parish records show that there were Averills (surname also spelt Averell or Avery) in the village from the early 1600s and that Isaac was descended from the marriage of John Averell and Alice Hawkes which took place in Broadway on 2nd November 1602.

Isaac grew up in Broadway at South View House, 46 High Street. The house had been rebuilt in 1804 and was later known as Broad Close. He was educated locally before attending Cheltenham College as a day pupil from 1842 to 1847. After leaving school Isaac gained further farming experience when he spent 15 months working for Mr Roberts in Waterperry, east of Oxford. Following his return to Broadway, Isaac went on to farm at Gorse Hill Farm, Clump Farm, Collin Farm and Home Farm, farming several hundred acres of farmland he had inherited on the death of his father in 1858.

High Street, Broadway
46 High Street, Broadway

Aged 30, he married his cousin Sarah Averill (born in Broadway c1827), the daughter of his Uncle Stephen Averill JP of Broadway, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire. Isaac and Sarah were married on 15th December 1860 at St Andrew’s Church, Holborn, in London.

Isaac was an active member of Broadway’s community and described Broadway as an “old fashioned village, healthy and attractive”.  He was a Magistrate (Chairman of the Evesham County Bench), County Councillor and a Parish Councillor from 1855. In 1857 he was appointed Highway Surveyor and he organised the installation of the fence along the bottom of the village green to preserve the green from damage from passing carriages. He was also Chairman of the Gas Company, a Guardian of the Poor and one of the managers of the Samaritan Club.

In 1860 following the death of his Uncle Stephen, Isaac was made a magistrate for Worcestershire and in 1862 he was appointed a JP for Gloucestershire. He regularly attended the sessions at nearby Chipping Campden. He was also appointed Deputy-Lieutenant for Worcestershire and after just losing in the first County Council elections, coming second to Thomas Byrd by 40 votes, the County Council elected him as an Alderman.

Isaac Averill Brass Lecturn St Michael’s Broadway
The Lectern donated by Isaac Averill to St Michael’s Church, Broadway

Isaac was elected a member of the Sanitary Authority for Broadway in 1875. In the early 1870s, following several outbreaks of cholera and typhoid, local authorities were required to provide clean public water supplies and Sanitary Authorities were set up across the country. Isaac purchase the rights to a supply of spring water (located at the top of the village) and gifted the rights to the District Council for the village’s use before Evesham Corporation acquired it.

He took a great interest in the Broadway Mutual Aid Club and was a churchwarden of St Michael’s Church for over 30 years, presenting the church with its brass lecturn in 1899. Isaac also took an active role in the restoration of St Eadburgha’s Church.

On 28th April 1895, a dinner was held in his honour in recognition of his services to the village. The dinner was hosted by the George Coventry, 9th Earl of Coventry, and attended by Lord Lifford, Lieut.-General Henry Fanshawe Davies, JP, DL (of Elmley Castle), the Reverend Francis A. Morgan (Vicar of St Michael’s Church), Reverend S. Clarke and Edgar Flower2. Isaac was presented with a silver cup inscribed with the following wording:

Presented to Isaac Averill, Esq., by his numerous friends in the parish of Broadway and neighbourhood as a mark of their esteem and appreciation of his long and untiring service devoted to the interests of Broadway and district.

He retired as Chairman of Evesham Board of Guardians in 1901 after 40 years’ service on the Board. He had been first elected as Guardian of Broadway in 1861 and after 5 years was appointed a member of the Evesham Board. During his time on the Board he was in charge of building a new chapel and a hospital for the Evesham Union Workhouse (in 1870).

Isaac was also a keen sportsman. He hunted with the North Cotswold for many years and was involved in the building of the hunt kennels and stables in the village in the 1860s. He was also a founding father of Broadway Golf Club (1895) and a member of Broadway Cricket Club and Lawn Tennis Club. In 1897 he gave some of the land he owned opposite South View (Broad Close), adjacent to Keyte’s Lane, to Broadway Fire Brigade1 so that a new engine house could be built which was completed the following spring.

During his lifetime Isaac was interested in his family’s history and had records of his family dating back to the early 1500s. His Uncle Stephen, was a good friend of Sir Thomas Phillipps of Middle Hill and in 1899 Stephen Averill enlisted Thomas’s help along with Reverend Morgan, who held the Averill’s family register, to try and trace his ancestors. Isaac was keen to find out whether his family was related to William Averell, a Quaker,  from Kent, who had fled England for America and settled in Ipswich, Massachusetts, in early 1637. No direct link was made by Isaac and Stephen Averill at the time, however, some references can be found today that possibly link a distant branch of Isaac’s family to the Society of Friends (Quakers) who settled on the east coast of the United States.

Isaac’s wife, Sarah died in 1901 after a period of ill health and it is reported that Isaac never recovered from her death. He died at home in Broadway four years later on 5th July 1905.  He left his effects in his will to his nephews Stephen and George Averill. Isaac and Sarah are buried in St Eadburgha’s Churchyard with Isaac’s parents in the family grave.

When the village allotments off the Leamington Road were built on in the mid 1980s, one of the roads in the new housing development was called ‘Averill Close’ after the Averill family and the Gentleman of Broadway.

 

Isaac Averill St Eadburgha’s Broadway
The Averill Family Grave, St Eadburgha’s Churchyard, Broadway
Averill
Averill Family Plaque in St Michael’s Church, Broadway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Debbie Williamson
Broadway History Society

Notes:

  1. For further information about the history of Broadway Fire Service see: www.broadwayfire.co.uk
  2. Edgar Flower (1833-1905) gifted a supply of spring water from the Middle Hill Estate, Broadway, in 1881, which supplied a reservoir in Childswickham and was piped to Evesham. Further reading: www.badseysociety.uk

Sources:

Ancestry.co.uk
Broadway Parish Records
The Worcestershire Archives
The School Registers of Cheltenham College