yeovil people

JOHN Greenham

Gentleman, Glove Manufacturer, Burgess and Town Commissioner


John Greenham was born 7 February 1769 in Yeovil, the son of John Greenham (1716-1774) of Norton sub Hamdon. The Universal British Directory of 1790 listed him as a 'Glover, Lamb & Kid Leather Dresser' of Yeovil.

On 29 May 1795 John married Elizabeth Parsons. Elizabeth was born on 29 July 1768, daughter of the Rev Francis Crane Parsons (1730-1798) and his wife Jane née Evered (1739-1822). John and Elizabeth were to have five sons and three daughters; John born 1796, Charles born 1797, Elizabeth born 1799, Frederick born 1802, Isaac Grant born 1804, Henry born 1810, Jane born 1811 and Emma born 1816.

Pigot's Directory of 1824 listed the company of Greenham & Edwards as Glove Manufacturers of Vicarage Street, however this was a company formed between John's sons - John Jnr, Charles and Frederick - and John Edwards of Yeovil. According to Perry's Bankrupt Gazette of 16 October 1830 the partnership was dissolved on 29 September 1830 "so far as regards J Edwards".

The jury list of 1827 listed John Greenham Snr as a Glover of Vicarage Street. Pigot's Directory of 1830 listed the company as Greenham, Sons & Edwards, Glove Manufacturers of Vicarage Street.

The poll book of 1832 shows that John Greenham was living in Vicarage Street but also owned property in Hendford and in fact he lived in Hendford House (now the Manor Hotel) in Hendford. Hendford House was one of the properties attacked and damaged by the mob of hundreds of protesters in the Yeovil Reform Riot of Friday, 21 October 1831.

John Greenham was a prosperous and wealthy glove manufacturer, and Greenham & Sons were listed as subscribers to William Hull’s “History of the Glove Trade” in 1834. He was also owner of quarries at Ham Hill and was an importer of Carrera marble.

He was a member of Yeovil's Vestry, a Yeovil burgess and elected Portreeve in 1797 and Custos of Woborn Almshouse on five occasions between 1796 and 1834 as well as Warden for five terms between 1797 and 1838. He was a member of the Vestry between 1813 and 1837 and was Churchwarden at St John's in 1794, 1795 and 1796. He  was an original Improvement Commissioner for Yeovil, elected in 1838 as was his son Frederick Greenham who was elected in 1841. The Improvement Commissioners were established by Act of Parliament in 1830 and played a key role in the early development of Yeovil.

John Greenham died on 29 December 1838 in Yeovil aged 70. Elizabeth, died 5 May 1860 aged 91. There is a memorial window in St John’s church, (see below), provided by their children.


See Family Tree




From my collection

George Wellington's signature as Portreeve and the signatures of Burgesses John Greenham and Thomas Andrews on a lease, dated 1815, for a Corporation property in South Street.


The memorial window to John and Elizabeth Greenham depicting the last supper. It is the south window in the south transept of St John's church and dates to 1862.