1825 (Tewkesbury) – 1885 (Tewkesbury)
Joseph Pitman was baptised in Tewkesbury on 17th July 1825, the son of Joseph Pitman, a stocking weaver, and his wife Sarah (nee Roberts). Until around 1870 he worked in Tewkesbury as a butcher, initially assisting John Westbury in Barton Street, and later in his own right, in Oldbury. In 1869 he was taken to court by a customer who complained that meat bought on Saturday night was bad by Sunday morning, but the court found in favour of Joseph for whom witnesses had attested that the sheep had only been killed on Friday, therefore the meat could not be bad by Sunday.
It seems that during the 1850s and 1860s Joseph combined butchering with dealing in cattle (being described simply as a labourer in 1861), with the cattle dealing coming to the fore in the 1870s. In 1881 he was described as a general labourer, whereas in his will of 1885 written just three months before his death, he is described as yeoman. Despite the use of the word labourer, Joseph does not seem to have been a poor man: in 1875 ‘Providence House’ in Union Place, Tewkesbury, was sold at auction on his behalf, the advertisement describing it as ‘a very capital and newly erected dwelling house’, with ‘on the ground floor, entrance hall, parlour, sitting room, and kitchen, nicely fitted up with cupboards, pump with never failing spring of water, brewhouse, coal house, and W.C., on the upper floor, three bedchambers and landing’. The walled garden was ‘planted with choice apricot and other trees’. In 1881 and at the time of his death he was living outside the town, in Gannaway Lane, in the parish of Ashchurch, and left this cottage and the adjacent one to his wife, whilst a cottage in Davis’s Alley in Tewkesbury was left to his daughter.
Joseph married twice, both times at Tewkesbury Abbey. His first marriage was to Hannah Horsnett, in December 1851, but by the end of 1852 Hannah had died, at the age of just 21. A year later Joseph married Elizabeth Bradley: they died within two weeks of each other in late 1885, and were buried at Tewkesbury cemetery.
Hannah Horsnett 1 December 1851 Tewkesbury (Abbey)
Elizabeth Bradley 26 December 1853 Tewkesbury (Abbey)
Harriet Mary Elizabeth 1858 – 1945