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Article by Kay Collins, 2014
Tailby & Putnam Families
Note: A box of discarded photos and documents was brought to 'Hearts & Soles' by a railway worker who had found them. After he had kept them for 10 years, he decided to try and find a rightful owner. He contacted us, and we were surprised to find that we already knew a member of the Putnam family. We have since contacted the family to pass the box to them. The contents include many letters addressed to Doreen Putnam. A founder member of Rushden History Society, Janet Presland, had said some time ago that she knew something of the Tailby family, so I asked for her notes. Along with research by Gill Hollis, I have now compiled this short history of the two families in Rushden, to compliment the page we have about the business of Tailby & Putnam; well known throughout the town as provision merchants, and also advertised on the railway bridge.

The Tailby (or Tealby) family were at Slawston, Leicestershire, from 1600, then later generations were at Glooston, where one William Tailby met Mary Tebbutt and they married at Foxton in 1717. They moved to Braybrook in Northamptonshire. Their son John married Ruth Coe of Desborough.

John Tailby, the son of John & Ruth, was baptised at Braybrooke, on the 9th of November 1748, and he married three times. His first wife was Sarah Tolton by whom he six children: William at Braybrooke, then Sarah, Ruth, John, James and Robert Edward at Desborough. Sarah died and was buried on 2nd August 1779. The following year John married Sarah Burditt, of Rushton, by licence on 13th of March at Desborough, and eight more children were born, including James in 1782, Edward 1784, George 1787 (baptised 24th Sept), Thomas 1788, and Ann 1790. Sarah II was buried on 6th February 1798. John married again to Ann Nursey on 1st December 1799 and they had one son, Joseph baptised on 18th January 1802. Ann was buried on 23rd February 1827.

Following his marriage to Susannah Todd of Irthlingborough, at Rothwell in 1822, George had moved to Rushden by 1827. Joseph had moved to Brigstock by 1851, but by the next census he had joined his half brother at Rushden. George was a wheelwright, and was farming 40 acres of land at Rushden, and his only child, George born 1827, was also working on the farm.

George junior married Sarah Jaques in summer 1866, and his father died in December of that year. Sarah was 14 years younger than George, and bore him 7 children at Rushden: George, Charles, Mary, Clement, Gertrude E, Sarah E, and Gerald T.

George Tailby (b 1868) married Ellen Lamb of Higham Ferrers in 1897. She was the daughter of Thomas and Jane (nee Parker). George and Ellen had 4 children, Nellie, Grace, Brenda, and Muriel, and lived at 123 Higham Road.

23 May 1874 - Northampton Mercury

At Dover county court on Wednesday the case of Lukey v. Tailby was heard. Plaintiffs, wine and spirit merchants, Dover, sued the defendant, who resides Rushden, in this county for £6 3s. on account….

05 September 1874 - Northampton Mercury

RUSHDEN, Northamptonshire.
Messrs. PENDERED & SON are instructed by the
Trustees of George Tailby SELL BY AUCTION,
On Monday, 14th September 1874

The Live and Dead Farming Stock &c.

Comprising one fat cow, two in-calf cows, two barren cows, nine heifers and steers and two claves, poultry, &c.; Agricultural Implements, Household Furniture, &c.

For particulars see handbills.

Also about Twenty-One Acres of Grass Keeping to Christmas next

Sale to commence at Twelve o’clock.

George started a sand business alongside the farming, and also founded the Tailby and Putnam business, with Charles Putnam who had come to Rushden from Chesham, Buckinghamshire where he was born in 1867. Clement Tailby (George’s brother) was an assistant in the grocery business.

Postcard sent to Clement Tailby from London, of the Cenotaph. (possibly dated 1921) Reads:

Dear Auntie, Uncle and Gwen.

Having a bon time, hope you all well. I am placing some flowers on the cenotaph tomorrow in memory of Den, George, Len, Arthur, Tom.

Best love from all. Ted, Ann, Lil, Joe. xxxxx

sent in by Bill Wright via email

postcard cenotaph

Charles Putnam married Emma Knight in 1899, the daughter of Samuel Knight, draper, and Sarah his wife. At first they lived at 11 Irchester Road, later moving to ‘Ormidale’ in Victoria Road. They had five children, Charles, Stewart, Ray, Doreen and Marie. (Marie married Dr. Tom Parr of the R.A.M.C., who served at a hospital in India)

In 1915 Charles Putnam bought the company of P Collins & Co, following the deaths of Percy Collins, and Henry Collins. His children Doreen Maud, Stewart Augustus, Frank Raymond and Marie Louise were the company directors, along with their father. The company was re-titled Putnam Ltd. in 1965.

Charles' eldest son, Charles Edward Putnam (born 1902), married Betty Botwright (born 1918) in 1937. Together they ran the Tailby and Putnam shop in Newton Road, Rushden.

The business seems to have started about 1897 at 129 High Street. In about 1903 another shop at 32 Grove Road was opened, and another at 219 Wellingborough Road about 1912. There is no advertising in the trade directories after 1928, although Clement Tailby’s wife Ada (nee Helsdown) is listed trading as a grocer at 21 Midland Road in the 1930s. Clement died in 1951.

The shops closed in the 1960s.

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