William Albert Priday - Blacksmith & Bridge Keeper

reabridge-elemorelanewest-glosWilliam Albert Priday was the grandson of the husband of the wife of my great, great, great grandfather and the actual lineage to me is:

  • William Albert Priday (1880 - 1926) - grandson of husband of wife of 3rd great grandfather
  • Albert Joseph Priday (1853 - 1943) - father of William Albert Priday
  • Thomas Priday (1799 - 1883) - father of Albert Joseph Priday
  • Sara Ann Kembrey (1815 - 1885) - wife of Thomas Priday
  • Nathaniel Priday (1794 - 1883) - husband of Sara Ann Kembrey
  • Nathaniel Priday (1830 - 1900) - son of Nathaniel Priday
  • Joseph Priday (1853 - 1933) - son of Nathaniel Priday
  • Joseph Priday (1888 - 1954) - son of Joseph Priday - my maternal grandfather
  • Alice May Priday (1917 - 2009) - daughter of Joseph Priday - my motrher
  • William G Hyde - me

His Family

William Albert was born on the  25 March 1880 at 47 Bristol Road, Quedgeley, Gloucestershire, England. His father, Albert Jospeh Priday (my first cousin four times removed) was from a line of Bridge Keepers on the Gloucester & Berkley Canal and there is some suggestion that the family were involved in the construction of the bridge (and perhaps the canal itself).

reabridge-3Albert Joseph married Eliza Jane Ryder during April 1878 at Cheltenham, Gloucestershire and they moved into 47 Bristol Road, Quedgeley, Gloucestershire and set about creating their own family. William Albert was their second born and eventually their were 11 children:

  • Arthur Thomas Priday (1878 – 1926)
  • William Albert Priday (1880 – 1926)
  • Annie Elizabeth Priday (1882 – unknown)
  • James Ernest Priday (1884 – 1965)
  • Hubert Charles Priday (1886 – 1961)
  • Margaret Jane Priday (1888 – unknown)
  • Hubert Charles Priday (1889 – unknown)
  • Dennis Harry Priday (1891 – 1983)
  • Christopher George Priday (1893 – 1978)
  • Reginald John Priday (1896 – 1985)
  • Frederick James Priday (1916 – 1988)

rea-bridge-houseBy the time Wlliam Albert was 11 (in 1891) the family had moved to The Rea Bridge House, Quedgeley, Gloucestershire  and he remained living at the same address till his death in 1926. The Rea Bridge House & The Rea Bridge Cottage were at the same location, beside the Gloucester & Berkley Canal, adjacent to Rea Bridge on Elmore Lane West, Quedgeley, Gloucestershire. It is thought the family extended the Cottage into the House to accommodate the enlarged family group. A property still exists on the same site today.

Military Service

In 1899 William Albert was in the Army, joining the Royal Army Service Corps on its formation. I have a feeling he joined the RASC to learn a trade. They used horses to move the stores & supplies of the British Army (both in peacetime & during wars like the Boer War & WW1).

The 1901 Census shows William Albert was a Blacksmith & he was still living at the Rea Bridge House with his family and with his parents.


During July 1911, William Albert married Minnie E Browning at Gloucesters, England. Minnie was born during 1890 in Wanswell, Berkeley, Gloucestershire, England. I have a feeling Minnie may well have died in childbirth because she died in October 1914, just three years after marrying William Albert at the young age of 24.

After their marriage, William Albert & Minnie moved in with William's parents in The Rea Bridge House.

His Death

William Albert died 21 March 1926 at the relatively young age of 45. he died at  the home he had known since he was 11, The Rea Bridge House. He had a will and officially left the following:

To Albert Joseph Priday (bridgekeeper) & Eliza Jane Priday (wife of Albert Joseph) his personal effects + £33 14s 6d.

Or to put it another way, he left everything to his parents who succeeded him and continued to live at The Rea Bridge House.

Note: I have discovered some details about the Gloucseter & Berkeley Canal Company bridge keepers houses and will pull it all together into a separate article.