yeovil people

william bide snr

Glove Manufacturer


William Bide was born in Yeovil in 1780. His parents are unknown and nothing is known of his early life. On 18 May 1806 at Yeovil he married Elizabeth Mullins of Yeovil. They were to have six children; Elizabeth (1807-1881), William (1809- 1864), Mary Ann (1812-1857) Louis (b1813, Paris, d1885, Gloucester), John (b1814) and Susan (1817-1830).

William Bide was an affluent glove manufacturer and was listed in Pigot's Directory of 1824 as a glove manufacturer of Reckleford (today's Market Street). He was also listed on the jury list of 1827 by virtue of owning freehold property in Reckleford. Pigot's Directory of 1830 listed him working with his son in the company of William & William Bide in Reckleford.

Around 1828 (not 1850 as frequently recorded) William built the large glove factory with a four-storey leather-dressing warehouse on the corner of Kiddles Lane (now Eastland Road) and Reckleford. William died in 1830 and the factory was left to his son, William Bide Jnr, and described in his will as a "newly-built glove factory, a yard and an old loft adjoining and around with a wall and parting door."

He died on 6 December 1829 "after a lingering illness", aged 49, and was buried at St John's on 14 December 1829. He left his widow Elizabeth "a dwelling-house in Reckleford together with an orchard and garden; also four cottages and gardens, all occupied, and a little garden adjoining". To his son, William, he left a "newly-built glove factory, a yard and an old loft adjoining and around with a wall and parting door."

William Bide left to his son William his 'new-built' glove factory. In 1841 William Jnr was employing 200 men, 60 boys and 2,000 women in the gloving trade. He died in 1864 having been an Alderman, Mayor of Yeovil and a Borough Magistrate.

The Bide arms are argent, on a pale azure three anchors erect of the field (on a silver shield, a blue vertical stripe a third of the shield wide containing three anchors displayed upright).


See Family Tree




The entry in St John's Register of Burials showing the burial of William Bide. He was, in fact, 49 years old when he died, not 55 as recorded in the register.


The notice of William Byde's death in the 17 December 1829 edition of the Worcester Journal.


Elizabeth Bide (1807-1881), the daughter of William Bide and wife of Thomas Dampier.