. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .The Tapscott-Kennington Butterfly


Town Bridge, Bridgwater

Fred Tapscott was born on 17th July, 1850 in Shapwick, Somerset, the son of Robert Vincent Tapscott and Ann Hucker. When Fred was only 17 his father died leaving him the main earner to support his mother and six siblings, one having died the previous year. They had a carpentry business in Puriton, Somerset, where they were then living and his two younger brothers were likely working alongside him. Fred went to Bridgwater to seek employment, soon moving the family there, to 11 Wellington Road.

In 1872 Fred sailed for Chicago where he helped for a few months to rebuild the city after the Great Fire and on his return formed a building company with his friend, neighbour and soon to be brother-in-law, John Harris.

This company built many of the Victorian villas in Bridgwater including his own, one of the locally named 'Twelve Apostles' on Wembdon Road and also rebuilt a vestry of Wembdon Church, where Fred and John had a joint wedding.

The newly built  'Twelve Apostles' advertising photograph

Fred's home today, 'Fieldside', Wembdon road, Bridgwater

Fred Tapscott married Emma Rawlings and John Harris married Eliza Rawlings on 26 August, 1875. Fred and Emma had eight children, two of whom died in infancy.

Children of Fred Tapscott and Emma Rawlings are:

Harold James Tapscott, born 13 May 1876, Bridgwater. Somerset; died August 1932, Toronto Canada. Harold married Elizabeth Mary Trayhurn in Thornbury, Gloucestershire where he had a grocery and home named Crossways. They emigrated to Canada in 1910, taking their first son, Norman, with them and had another son and a daughter in Canada, Ronald and Muriel.

Harold, 1898

Otson Rawlings Tapscott, born September 1878, Cornborough Place Bridgwater Somerset; died 2 May 1879, Bridgwater Somerset.

James Herniman Tapscott, born 1879, Bridgwater, Somerset; died 1970, Bridgwater, Somerset. James married Lydia Millard Wilcox and was a director of his father’s company in Bridgwater. James and Lydia had a son, Frederick and daughter, Dorothy.  Frederick married and has a daughter, Wendy, who also married and has three children. 

James Tapscott and family

Millicent Tapscott, born 1884, Bridgwater. Somerset; d. 1958, Bridgwater Somerset. Millicent didn’t marry.

Wilfrid Rawlings Tapscott, born 19 January 1885, Cornborough Place, Bridgwater Somerset; died 24 September 1969, Kilkenny South Australia.

Gertrude, Wilfrid, Millicent, 1916

Bessie Tapscott, born 1887, Bridgwater Somerset; died 1915, Bridgwater Somerset. Bessie died unmarried, aged 28.

Gertrude Tapscott, born 1888, Bridgwater. Somerset; died 1974, Bridgwater Somerset. Gertrude didn’t marry.

Ella Tapscott, born 1889, Bridgwater Somerset; died 20 February 1892, Bridgwater Somerset.

In 1906 Fred and Emma moved into one of 12 similar detached Victorian villas in Wembdon Road, Bridgwater which his company had built. They were known locally at the time as the 12 Apostles. He died in 1941 aged 89.

Clockwise from top left: Harold, James, Bessie, Wilfrid, Emma, Gertrude, Millicent  and Fred 1902

Fred and Emma about 1940