Urijah Rees Thomas
June 20, 2024
Urijah Rees ThomasBusiness man1829 to 1906
June 20, 2024

Uriah Alsop – BusinessmanBusiness man1829 to 1906

Early life

Smiling Victorian man posing in smart suit and top hat

Urah Alsop

Uriah Alsop was born in 1829, the son of a clockmaker, with his maternal grandfather being a carpenter. Uriah continued the family tradition of working with wood, and became a cabinet maker. At the age of 21, he married 19-year-old Ann Naish.

Cabinet and furniture making

His business expanded fairly rapidly, and eventually the works stretched from Broadmead to Fairfax Street with an entrance on Union Street. It was a large successful company, supplying the people of Bristol and further afield with furniture for every room of the house. Uriah was innovative in his use of steam machines to make cabinets.


He was involved in local politics. In 1868 the Conservative John Miles was elected MP for Bristol, but the election was declared void because Uriah had supplied beer money to the voters. However, in 1870 Uriah challenged Elisha Smith Robinson’s election as Liberal MP, alleging that his agents had spent £10 on beer money. So Elisha lost his seat. In 1880 Uriah was elected a local councillor for Clifton ward.

A complicated home life

On the family front he had no less than 15 children by Ann over a quarter-century period. Then, remarkably, Uriah transferred his affections to Ann’s sister Selina and started having children by her – 10 in all. The half-siblings knew each other, and two actually married, a relationship that was illegal because considered incestuous but made possible by the couple filling in fictitious Christian names for their mutual father. In 1885 Uriah and Ann formally separated, and Uriah moved into The Lons, a country estate at Bitton (in South Gloucestershire) with Selina.

Later life and death

In 1904 he took out a new will and left most of his domestic possessions to Selina, and the business to some of his sons. Uriah and Selina are buried at Arnos Vale in the same grave, with one of Ann’s children and two of Selina’s, Ann being buried separately nearby.

Square Victorian grave with top, pillars at corners, and a cross on the top

Grave of Uriah and Selina and sons

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Uriah Alsop – Businessman<span class="ag_notability">Reverend and supported the needy</span><span class="ag_event_date"><i class="icon-calendar"></i>1839 to 1901</span>
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