TPO and B Glyn








Thomas Potter Oyler
– my great, grandfather

Thomas Potter Oyler the eldest child of Potter Samuel Oyler and Mary Ann Hales was born 26th August 1844 in Poplar, London.  He married on 28th October 1873, at age 29, in the Church in the Parish of St James, Edmonton, Essex to Bridget Glyn(n) aged 22. (Variant spellings appear in the official records) b. 1851 Dublin. Bridget Glyn and T.P. Oyler had had three children:

  • Thomas Potter Oyler born and died in early 1875 (probably at, or shortly after birth). He was not baptized
  • Alice Oyler born 24th day of October 1876. Alice married Thomas Porter Grayson.
  • Jessie Oyler daughter born 13th December 1878. Christened Jan 5th 1879. Address given was 113 Commercial St. (The home of her grandmother Mary Ann (Hales) Oyler.         

The marriage of T.P. Oyler and Bridget Glyn did not last. In 1880 Bridget Oyler petitioned for a separation, custody of the two children still living and for alimony. She must have been very brave to file a petition as this was uncommon in the 1880s and she was already threatened by violence from her husband. The records were found in the National Archives.  No record of the results of the petition were found but later records show that Jessie, at least, was living near her mother just before her death in 1881.




An advertisement appeard in the London Standard on Feb. 25th 1880 declaring "I THOMAS POTTER OYLER of Spitalfields' Market, Salesman. Hereby give notice that I will NOT be ANSWERABLE for any DEBTS which my wife BRIDGET OYLER may contract after the date Feb. 24th 1880.  THOMAS POTTER OYLER, witness, B.J. ABBOTT."

It is interesting to note that this notice was sworn two days before Bridget Oyler left their house to avoid personal violence and took refuge in the house of a friend and when she returned home Thomas Potter Oyler shut the door on her and refused to allow her to enter the house and then  refused  to allow her to return.  See clause 7 of the Petition

Jessie Oyler died 15, Jan 1881 of acute hydrocephalus. Address 10 Richmond Villas, High St. Leyton. Present at the death was Marian Parkes “Aunt” (not believed to be a relative). Bridget Oyler died at the age of 35 in 1883, of T.B.

Thomas Potter Oyler married again in 1885. He described himself as a “widower”. In the 1891 census Alice (aged 14) is living in Newington, London with Thomas (father) and her step-mother Mary A. Oyler (born in Bristol). Thomas is a publican of the Swan, 218 Great Dover Street. The Swan pub “lay just south of St. George's Church. It was a large inn with a brew house attached and gave its name to the later Swan Street which was formed in part out of the inn yard” Its origins dated back to the 1600s

            In the 1901 census of England Alice 24, is visiting others in Mile End with Thomas Oyler 57 and his wife (Alice’s step-mother) Mary A Oyler 55.

Thomas Potter Oyler died, aged 62 in 1907. His will.     Alice Oyler, Thomas and Bridget's only surviving child married Thomas Porter Grayson (Jr) in Edmonton, Essex in 1902. Thomas P Oyler is a witness to the marriage.

Alice Oyler

Alice Oyler, my grandmother

Thomas Potter Oyler was involved, with his brother George Benjamin Oyler in businesses in Spitalfields Market. Spitalfields Market was a covered market in the East end of London. It was built in 1887 to service a wholesale market, owned by the Corporation of London. This was on the site of a public market, founded in 1683 by Charles II. The original wholesale fruit and vegetable market moved to New Spitalfields Market in 1991. (Source – Wikipedia)

In 1870 a long report was made on the houses to the Poplar Board of Works, describing their dampness and decay. In default of a response from the owner, called Polley, who lived at Gravesend, they were closed and ordered to be pulled down. The Oylers of Spitalfields Market, who were buying properties nearby, then stepped in and had Nos 199 and 201 Poplar High Street rebuilt in 1880.”

 By 1879 the site was owned by T. and G. Oyler, lodging-house keepers in Wapping, but described as of Spitalfields Market, where the family sold fruit. In that year they had a common lodging house built here in two large blocks. Called St James's Chambers, the establishment housed no fewer than 420 lodgers, in big dormitories.”

 Source: Poplar High Street: North side', Survey of London: volumes 43 and 44: Poplar, Blackwall and Isle of Dogs (1994), pp. 61-77.

Dorset Street 1888 Nos.9 - 10: Edinburgh Chambers, owned by Thomas & George Oyler and operating as a common lodging house.”



 In 1889 the freeholder, a widow in Bedford Park, sold the court and No. 211 to T. P. Oyler, a publican in Southwark and obviously closely related to, if not identifiable with, one of the Oylers who owned the lodging house next door at Nos 203–207. She lent him 400 of the (unstated) purchase price on mortgage. By 1904 they had married and he had sold the property back to her.” 

 Source: Poplar High Street: North side', Survey of London: volumes 43 and 44: Poplar, Blackwall and Isle of Dogs (1994), pp. 61-77.


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