Britannia Square House Histories

33 Britannia Square
by Anna Hooper

When our family moved to 33 Britannia Square in 2007 we discovered some of our house history from our neighbours and also from Richard Lockett's articles, The Origins of Britannia Square. We learned that a plot had been acquired in 1825 to build a terrace of three houses, 31 to 33 Britannia Square. In the 1950s all three houses were bought by the Alice Ottley School to be used as a boarding house known as Oaklands. In the 1990s the houses were returned to their original design of three separate dwellings.

I decided that for our community house history project I would try to find an occupant from the past who might have an interesting story to tell. A random search of the local history shelves in The Hive turned up the 1896 Register of Voters in Worcester. The only name listed for No 33 as a registered voter was Revd Ellis Davenport.

A search for Revd Ellis Davenport of Worcester on the Ancestry website showed that he was the head of a large family. At the time he lived in Britannia Square his occupation was as a Congregational Minister and Bee Expert. He was born in Lancashire in 1834, married his first wife in Kent, aged 26, his second wife in Hampshire, aged 47, and his third wife in Herefordshire aged 59. It might have been this last that brought him to settle in Worcester. By this time he had fathered six children.

Next I tried googling Ellis Davenport. I found the following article from The Cheltenham Chronicle of 1895.


At Kidderminster County Court on Tuesday, James Jones, greengrocer, Stourport, sued the Rev. Ellis Davenport, Expert to the Worcestershire Beekepers’ Association, for the sum of £15 damages sustained by himself, his horse and cart, though the alleged negligent and insecure packing of two hives of bees on 16 July. ...Plaintiff was badly stung, and so was the horse, so much so that the animal reared and kicked, and bolted. The trap was damaged, the harness broken, and the Palintiff was unable to do anything for an entire week. the horsewas in the hands of the veterinary surgeon for five weeks. The Defendant claimed the bees were upset by the Plaintiff’s fast driving. It was also suggested he had been drinking. the Judge held that the Defendant was liable, and assessed the damages at £10 10s.

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