House Library 1816 to 1916
|Some major entries on this page:|
|Various painting and decorating jobs were done between 1870 and 1897:|
|Estimate or tender
|Contracted 'to paint Library'||4/7/1870||7/11/1870||This is possibly the £98 18s 6d recorded in March 1871|
|Interior and exterior painting||£36 8s 0d||2/6/1873||7/7/1873||The sum of £37 8s 0d is recorded as paid in March 1874.|
||£23 14s 0d||7/5/1877||4/6/1877||£24 8s 4d||3/9/1877|
|Another decorating job
||£21 19s 0d||3/2/1879|
|Painting staircase||£39 0s 0d||5/6/1882||Immediately||£48 19s 0d||8/8/1882|
|Invited to tender for external painting along with two others||7/5/1883||£59 11s 0d||7/8/1883|
|Exterior painting||£23 18s 0d||3/5/1887||A payment of £41 1s 0d was recorded for March 1888.|
|Painting||6/5/1890||£134 2s 0d||£134 2s 0d|
|Invited to tender for external painting||£25 18s. 0d||5/4/1897||6/4/1897||£43 12s 0d||6/7/1897|
|Her diary for 1804 reads:|
Snowed; at a sandwich party at Mr Thomas Smith’s Bromley House, above 50 people. Captain Fothergill intoxicated and behaved rude to Mr Ray.
|The back cover of this book has this written inside it:|
|Mr Gawthern gave up the key of the garret 31 May 1834 and at the same time entered tennant of one of the upper rooms No 4.|
John Gilbert (1725-1801)
m. Sarah Hellerby (b.c.1746; d.1780).
|Rev Joseph Gilbert
(b.20 Mar 1779 in Wrangle, Lincolnshire; d. 12 Dec 1852 at St James
Street, Nottingham; bur. Nottingham General Cemetery)
m.(1) Sarah Chapman (d. Jan 1812)
She was the daughter of a surgeon in Burgh, Lincolnshire;
m.(2: 24 Dec 1813 at Ongar) Ann Taylor (1782-1866), the eldest child of the Independent Minister, engraver and educational pioneer, the Rev Isaac Taylor (1759-1829) and Ann Martin (1757-1830).
m.(1:17 Jan 1839 at Chorlton, near Manchester) Susanna (or Susan) Green (1809-1871), daughter of hosier John Green (d. before 1839) and Sussannah Hine (d.1811);
m(2: 9 Aug 1880) Mary (1835-1925), daughter of the Rev George Steward, a Congregational Minister.
Mary’s first husband was William Henry Angas (1833-18?79), a son of George Fife Angas (1789-1879).
Taylor Gilbert (1816-1887)
m. John Newham Dunn, the Nottingham printer and bookseller;
|Sir Joseph Henry Gilbert
m.(1) Eliza Laurie.
He was an agricultural chemist, who, with John Bennett Lawes, founded the Rothamsted Agricultural Research Station. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society and was knighted;
Williams Gilbert (b.1818; d.1827 aged 8 years)
He was said to be academically the brightest of all the children;
Jefferys Gilbert (1820-1907) She never married;
Charles Gilbert (1822-1855)
m. Anne Gee.
He was an architect practising in Nottingham. Anne wrote an evocative slim volume entitled Recollections of Old Nottingham and became an expert on local botany;
She never married;
Montgomery Gilbert (1825-1864)
m. Jemima Taylor Herbert (his cousin)
He was a civil engineer whose promising career in business was cut short by his early death.
|The Rev Joseph Gilbert
(1779-1852), Congregational Minister , was born on 20 Mar 1779 in
Wrangle, Lincolnshire, the son of a farmer of Wesleyan sympathies, John Gilbert (1725-1801), and his
wife Sarah, née Hellerby
(b.c.1746; d.1780). As a child and young man, his only formal education
was at the village school. After a brief, but successful, career
business at East Retford in Nottinghamshire, during which he played an
active part in the local Independent congregation, he entered the
Independent College at Rotherham in 1806.
On completing his studies (at which he excelled), he was called to the Ministry and was briefly Pastor to the Independent congregation at Southend (1809-1811), before returning to Rotherham as Classical & Mathematical Tutor and, from December 1813, also as Pastor of the Nether Chapel in Sheffield. On the death in March 1813 of the Principal of the College, Dr Edward Williams who was also his mentor, Gilbert was the students' unanimous choice to succeed him , but in the event the appointment went to another.
|A move to Nottingham
He later served in Hull (1817-1825), at the thriving Fish Street Chapel, and in Nottingham, where, after a brief and, professionally, unhappy period as co-Pastor, with his former pupil, the Rev Richard Cecil, of the St James Street congregation, he left to form the Friar Lane congregation in 1827. He remained Pastor at Friar Lane until a few months before his death. The Friar Lane Chapel was opened in 1828.
Gilbert published a number of sermons and a Life of Dr Williams (1825). In 1826-7, he delivered a highly successful course of public lectures and seminars in Nottingham on the Evidences of Christianity, which achieved many converts from atheism and brought him into conflict with the radical freethinker Richard Carlile (1790-1843). This encounter resulted in Carlile's suing for libel, losing the case with costs and being imprisoned in default of payment, until Gilbert and his friends themselves raised the money to free him. These lectures were delivered without benefit of a script and were thus never published .
However, Gilbert's most important theological work was The Christian Atonement (1836), the edited texts of his Congregational Lectures of 1835. His approach to his faith was rational, intellectual and socially liberal, but in his preaching he was always concerned to ensure understanding by all his hearers regardless of their educational attainments. He did not allow theological or political differences to engender a lack of respect or charity towards his opponents and usually contrived to maintain good and even cordial personal relations with those with whom he disagreed on such matters, including Richard Cecil and his brother-in-law, Isaac Taylor of Stanford Rivers. He and his second wife Ann were also closely involved in promoting many of the social and political causes of the day, including the abolition of slavery, Catholic emancipation and Free Trade, and Gilbert represented the Congregational Church in Nottingham in several petitions to Parliament; he was also a strong proponent of disestablishment. The Gilberts were part of a wide circle of influential Dissenters in Nottingham, including the Morleys, the Wilsons, the Hines, the Herberts and, probably, the Howitts . Joseph Gilbert was admitted a Burgess of the Town of Nottingham in December 1830. Towards the end of his life, Gilbert took in a small number of pupils as part of his household.
Joseph Gilbert’s first wife Sarah, née Chapman, was the daughter of a surgeon in Burgh, Lincolnshire, where, as a very young man, Gilbert had been apprenticed to a shopkeeper. Sarah had died childless in January 1812, but her orphaned niece, Salome Goodricke, was Gilbert's ward. Salome married one of Gilbert's pupils at Rotherham, Richard Cecil, who invited Gilbert to Nottingham in 1825 and later became one of the Rev Isaac Taylor's successors as Pastor of the, by then, Congregational Church at Ongar in Essex.
On 24 December 1813, at Ongar, Joseph Gilbert married Ann Taylor (1782-1866), the eldest child of the Independent Minister, engraver and educational pioneer, the Rev Isaac Taylor (1759-1829). He had proposed to her before even having met her on the strength of an estimation of her character formed by reading her work. This was almost certainly, her work as a literary critic in the Eclectic Review rather than her poems for children, as has often been stated.
There were eight children of the marriage:
Gilbert died at his home in St James Street, Nottingham on 12 December
His grave, and that of his second wife Ann, marked by a vast High Victorian monument, are in the General Cemetery in Nottingham.
death, his widow published A
Sketch of the Rev. Joseph Gilbert (1853), which included the
beginnings of an autobiography by Gilbert himself (the manuscript of
which survives in the family). His brother-in-law Isaac Taylor
described him as:
A man of the warmest benevolence, of extraordinary intelligence, extensive acquirements,
excellent judgement in common affairs, and withal of deep and elevated piety. 
|Josiah Gilbert was born on 7 October 1814 at Masborough, near Rotherham, the eldest child of the Rev Joseph Gilbert (1779-1852), an Independent Minister, and his wife Ann, née Taylor (1782-1866). At that time, Joseph Gilbert was Tutor in Classics and Mathematics at the Rotherham Independent College and Pastor of the Nether Chapel in Sheffield; in 1817, he moved to Hull as Pastor of the Fish Street Chapel there.|
|Josiah’s early years
In 1819, Ann Gilbert’s parents, the Rev Isaac Taylor (1759-1829) and his wife Ann, née Martin (1757-1830), paid a visit to their daughter in Hull, at a time at which Ann Gilbert was far from well. When they returned to Ongar, they took with them their eldest grandchild Josiah, then not quite five years old.  He was to make his home with them for the rest of his grandfather's life. The reason for this apparently drastic step is hard to fathom. It certainly does not betoken any lack of affection between parents and child, nor did it lead to any such lack in later life. Josiah grew up to be a loving and loyal son, whose editing and completion of his mother's biography shows his pride in, and affection for, both his parents wherever one looks, while the evidence in Ann's letters of her devotion, and her husband Joseph's, to their children, and particularly to Josiah, is too overwhelming to be gainsaid. . Initially at least, the move was presumably intended, at a time of sickness, to reduce the pressure on a busy Minister's wife and mother of, by now, four children. However, this would not explain why Josiah did not return once Ann was recovered. At Ongar, no doubt with the encouragement of his grandfather, who was an eminent engraver, Josiah first developed an aptitude for art, originally with the emphasis on sculpture. A rough sketch by Isaac Taylor of Josiah with one of his early sculptures survives in the Nottingham Castle Museum.
|He becomes an artist
On the death of his grandfather in December 1829, Josiah returned to his parents’ home, which was by this time in Nottingham. Within a few years, however, he moved to London to undergo formal training as an artist. He was first a pupil at Sass's Academy , which cost his father the substantial sum of £40 a year , moving to the Royal Academy in 1833, where he was one of the prize students of his year.  He exhibited his portraits, most of which were crayon drawings, regularly at the Royal Academy between 1847 and 1865 [10 and his wife Susan’s diaries record the names of many of his sitters, ranging from relatives to the Marquis of Devonshire.
A brief account of Josiah Gilbert's career as a painter is given by Heather Williams in The Lives and Works of Nottingham Artists 1750-1914 (1981), an unpublished doctoral thesis, a copy of which is held by the Nottingham Castle Museum. Unfortunately, the present whereabouts of only a small proportion of his many portraits are now known. There are a few in the Nottingham Public Library, the Nottingham Castle Museum and the Bromley House Library in Nottingham, at least one in the Taylor Room in the Guildhall in Lavenham, one or two in the National Portrait Gallery collection, two in the Laing Gallery in Newcastle, one in the Colchester Museum Resource Centre and a few in private hands.
Josiah Gilbert married Susanna Green (1809-1871), usually known as Susan, at Chorlton, near Manchester, on 17 January 1839. Entries in Susan’s diaries suggest that their relationship had first blossomed at Thrumpton near Nottingham on 1 November 1834. Susan's father was John Green, described on the marriage certificate simply as ‘Gentleman’, but almost certainly a hosier; in an entry in Ann Gilbert’s Album  commemorating the wedding, he is described as ‘the late John Green Esq of Castlegate, Nottingham’. Her mother Sussannah, née Hine, had died in 1811 soon after Susan was born. The address of both bride and groom is given on the certificate as 3 Richmond Terrace, Stretford, the home of Susan’s sister and brother-in-law, Anna & John Latham . Notwithstanding the place of marriage, the Greens were a Nottingham family. Between 1841 and 1866, Susan Green kept diaries, most of which have survived and are preserved in the Essex County Record Office at Chelmsford. 
By 1841, Josiah and Susan were living in Berners Street in London, but, in 1843, Josiah accepted an invitation from his uncle, Isaac Taylor of Stanford Rivers, to collaborate with him in the development of a mechanical engraving device  and, in September of that year , Josiah and Susan moved to a house at Marden Ash on the southern outskirts of Chipping Ongar, which Josiah initially rented, but later bought. The original house dates from 1556. A facade was added in the mid-18th century and the building extended at the back at various times.  According to the present owners, Dr & Mrs Andrew Morrison, the name ‘Dyers’ appears in early deeds going back to the sixteenth century. However, Josiah Gilbert's writing-paper was headed simply ‘Marden Ash’, and, as far as the present writer is aware, there is no reference to a house name in Taylor or Gilbert sources. An obituary letter in The British Weekly of 25 August 1892 by ‘Claudius Clear’ refers to ‘his beautiful home of many years - Marden Ash, Ongar’. When the contents of the house were dispersed after the death of Mary Gilbert in 1925, a chair was bought by the Padfield family and taken to New House Farm, where Josiah Gilbert had lived with his grandparents as a small boy, and remained there until the house was sold in 1996.
Despite his involvement in the development of the engraving machine, Josiah Gilbert continued actively to pursue his career as a portrait painter, which was fortunate, since the unexpected death of the project’s principal backer, Dr Traill, in 1847 almost brought it to the point of financial disaster . 
Josiah Gilbert was a loyal member of the Congregational Chapel at Ongar, where his grandfather had been Pastor, and he was for many years one of its Deacons. A benefaction from him enabled the Congregation to buy the Livingstone Cottages adjacent to the Chapel, which remain to this day an important source of income for what is now the United Reformed Church.
For several years in the early 1860s, Josiah and Susan Gilbert made extended visits to the Dolomite Mountains in the company of George Cheetham Churchill and his wife Anna Maitland, née Laurie, the daughter of one of Ann Gilbert’s oldest friends and sister of Eliza, the first wife of Josiah’s younger brother Henry . A collection of water colours painted by Josiah during these and subsequent trips to the area was bequeathed to the Nottingham Castle Museum by Josiah’s second wife in 1925. Josiah Gilbert and George Churchill were largely responsible for bringing the Dolomites to the attention of the British public.
|Death of his first wife and re-marriage
Susan Gilbert died on 30 March 1871 in Nottingham and is buried in Nottingham General Cemetery. Josiah subsequently married again on 9 August 1880, his second wife being a widow, Mary Angas, née Steward (1835-1925), the daughter of the Rev George Steward, a Congregational Minister. George Steward’s widow Mary had moved to Ongar in 1869, and it is likely that Mary Angas and Josiah met through her mother. Mary’s first husband was William Henry Angas (1833-18?79), a son of George Fife Angas (1789-1879), whom the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography notices as having been born in Newcastle and being a fervent Baptist, the founder of the National & Provincial Bank and one of the founders of South Australia.
Josiah Gilbert died at Marden Ash on 18 August 1892, but is buried in the Nottingham General Cemetery near his first wife Susan, his grave being marked by an elaborate monument, which contrasts with the simpler, yet rather unusual, stone over Susan’s grave. Mary Gilbert, who died on 20 March 1825, is buried in the Ongar General Cemetery. In her widowhood, though small in stature, she was a formidable presence well remembered by at least one inhabitant of Ongar who survived into the 21st century, the remarkable Marie Korf (1903-2003).
|The obituary cited
above speculates that he was also the
author of one of Murray's early guides to Switzerland, a thesis
strongly supported by several entries in Susan’s diaries to his working
on ‘his Guide’ and one to his paying a visit to Murray in London.
He contributed articles on theological topics to The Congregationalist and to The Expositor.
||Autobiography & Other Memorials of Mrs
Gilbert (formerly Ann Taylor) vol 1, p.257.
||Ibid, vol 2, pp.69-72.|
||See, e.g. Ann Gilbert’s pocket-book for 1829. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.|
|| Memoirs and Correspondence of Jane Taylor
by Isaac Taylor
(1787-1865) (originally published in 1825) in The Family Pen,
Memorials, Biographical and Literary, of the Taylor Family of Ongar
(1867), edited by Isaac Taylor (1829-1901), vol I, p.282.
Also quoted in Autobiography & Other Memorials of Mrs Gilbert (formerly Ann Taylor), vol 1, p.261).
||Autobiography & Other Memorials of Mrs Gilbert (formerly Ann Taylor), vol 2, pp.17-18.|
||Ibid, vol 2, pp.19-21|
||Letter of Joseph Gilbert, 27 Feb 1832, Nottinghamshire Archives, M 22880/60.|
||Letter of Joseph Gilbert, 21 Jul 1832, Nottinghamshire Archives, M 22880/65.|
||Letter of Ann Gilbert, 20 Nov 1833, Nottinghamshire Archives, M 22880/74.|
||The Royal Academy Exhibitors, pp.236-237, Suffolk Record Office HD 588/11/5.|
||See, e.g. Ann Gilbert’s Album, p.309.|
||See, e.g. Ann Gilbert’s Album, p.309 & numerous entries in Susan Gilbert’s diaries.|
||Essex County Record Office at Chelmsford, D/DU 1545/1-18.|
||Autobiography & Other Memorials of Mrs Gilbert (formerly Ann Taylor) vol 2, pp.209ff.|
||See also Susan Gilbert’s diary for 1843.|
||Survey of Architecture in Ongar produced by the Workers' Educational Association in the 1950s. Essex Record Office T/P 96.|
||Autobiography & Other Memorials of Mrs Gilbert (formerly Ann Taylor), vol 2, 219ff.|
|Gill had expressed his aim as follows:|
|It is my earnest desire that it prove to the industrious classes of the town and neighbourhood a pleasant resort from the business and cares of life, and conduce to their temporal well being and happiness, as well as to their mental and moral improvement.|
|In this temperance institution (tobacco was also forbidden), the librarian was required to provide refreshments 'such as tea, coffee, cocoa, bread, butter, cheese, fruit, buns, biscuits, soup, vegetables, and meat'. In other respects, however, it had a rather more liberal constitution than, for example, the Artizans' Library, and has been described as 'a democratised mechanics' institute'.|
|Payments were made to Glover as follows:|
|Services of a locksmith||4s 6d||19/11/1870||Repairs||£1 12s 4d||24/9/1881|
|Services of a locksmith||7s 3d||15/3/1874||Repairs||£5 14s 6d||24/6/1882|
|Services of a locksmith||15s 3d||30/3/1878||Other work||£5 12s 8d||3/7/1882|
||£5 19s 0d||9/8/1880|
|He studied mathematics and said that he had:|
|.... been obliged to obtain the little knowledge he possessed, at such intervals,and by such means, as other indispensible avocations which offer but few opportunities of mental improvement afforded.|
|It was also written of Green that:|
as a mathematician he stood head and shoulders above all his
companions in and outside the University.
|John Alfred Henderson Green
|He bought a books from the Library for:|
|6s 0d||6/12/1907||14s 0d||1/1/1910|
|1s 0d||9/12/1907||13s 6d||16/1/1911|
|They were elected at the 1906 General Meeting and the annual report states:|
|The Committee note with satisfaction that two ladies have been nominated to serve on their body next year. As there are no fewer than 60 shares standing in ladies’ names, it seems only reasonable that ladies should have some direct share in the management of the Library.|
|On 4/6/1912 she and Miss Sanday were .....|
|.... to buy what is necessary for the Ladies Lavatory.|