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The Gommes and The Forge

The first Census was in 1801 and provided only totals of houses and occupants.

1841 was the first modern census including details of occupants.

John Gomme

Research: Rita Probert

The Early Years

John Gomme was born c.1813 at Loosley Row which, at that time, came within the Parish of Princes Risborough and he may have been Baptised at St Mary's Church. No details of his parentage have been found to date, but it is possible that they and earlier members of the Gomme family had lived/worked on the same premises in Loosley Row for many years earlier.

The 1823 Enciosure Act of the area mentions land, a blacksmith's shop and cottage on the current site. Names of occupants are not mentioned, but by at least 1834 the premises described were occupied by John Gomme and family.

On 27th October 1834 there was a Baptism at St John's Church, Lacey Green of Moses, son of John and Mary Ann Gomme, Blacksmith of Loosley Row. Whether Moses died soon afterwards is not known as there is no burial recorded, but as he does not appear in the 1841 census, it can oniy be assumed that he did not survive.


1841 census

1851 census

1861 census

1871 census

One year old John Gomme in the 1841 census was born on 18th November 1839 and Baptised at St. John?s Church, Lacey Green on 7th January 1840. The entry in the church register includes:

"..son of John & Mary Anne Gomme of Loosley Row, Blacksmith."

When William Tomkins, Wheelwright of Horseshoe Cottage, Loosley Row made his Last Will and Testament, John F Gomme, the Blacksmith was one of the two Executors named, which suggests that the men were friends/colleagues. The Will was proved in April 1851.

In 1859 John Gomme (junior) married Sarah Thompson, whose birthplace was Towcester, Northamptonshire.

After the wedding, they resided with John's parents.


Grannies in foundry Lane

1871 census

John & Mary Ann's son, daughter-in-law and children were iiving in a separate property nearby - perhaps at the house now known as ?Grannies? opposite the Foundry?

in 1875, Mary Ann Gomme died at the age of 65. She was not buried in St J0hn?s Churchyard, Lacey Green, but was possibly interred in the Baptist Cemetery, Loosley Row.

Widower John Gomme passed away five years later in 1880 aged 68.

Their son John and family were residing at the Foundry by 1881. He also made and repaired farm machinery, as well as shoeing the horses which drew the ploughs. At one time he employed 16 men ?Smiths, Farriers, iron Founders, Pattern Makers etc.


1881 census


John Gomme: Administration of the personal estate of John Gomme, late of Loosiey Row in the Parish of Princes Risborough in the County of Buckingham, Engineer and iron Founder, who died 9 Dec 1882 at Loosiey Row, was granted at Oxford to Sarah Gomme of Loosiey Row, Widow, the relict. Personal' Estate: £783. 15s. 6d.


A year after the 1881 census, on 9th December 1882, John Gomme (junior) died aged 42.



After John's death his resourceful widow Sarah then took control of the Foundry / Forge and aiso maintained the administrative side of the business.



20th December 1888 at St John's Church Lacey Green

Albert Wood, 27 Bachelor
Chairmaker of Speen
Son of John Wood, Shoe Maker
Witnesses:Kilburn Gomme and Julio Rixon

Eva Gomme, 25 Spinster Loosley Row

Daughter of John Gomme (deceased)

On 25th Auqust 1890 at St. John's Church, Lacey Green

Kilburn Gomme 29 Bachelor
Iron Founder of Loosley Row
Son of John Gomme,
Iron Founder (deceased)
Witnesses: Frederick Gomme and Jane Rixon

Julio Rixon 30 Spinster of Loosley Row

Daughter of Jesse Rixon
Publican, The Sprat, Loosley Row






Minnie Gomme to Harry George Wood

In 1894 - date and location unknown, but within the Wycombe Registration District, the marriage of Minnie Gomme and Harry George Wood took piace.


On 4th October 1905 at St John's Church, Lacey Green

Ralph Gomme 31 Bachelor
Fitter, Loosley Row
son of John Gomme, Iron Founder (dec'd).
Witnesses: Michael and Constance Tighe of Loosley House

Ellen Nolan Thrupp 29
Spinster of Loosley Row
daughter of Charles Thrupp, Policeman.

Later, Ralph Gomme was employed as Chauffeur to the Tighe family and Ellen also worked at Loosley House, as a Nursemaid and Cook.


The Gomme Family

Ralph also served as a Special Constable

Special Constable Ralph Gomme's Certificate.


Con Baker aged 2

Con Baker aged 12


Constance 'Connie' Gomme

aged 2 and 12


The Thrupp Family


They resided in a cottage (later demolished] adjoining Loosley House, where Ellen Gomme's mother, Eiizabeth Thrupp aged 80, born Liminster, Somerset, was employed as Cook/Housekeeper.

Loosley House
Loosley House


1911 Census


By the time that the next census was taken in 1911, Sarah Gomme had retired from the family business and son Kiiburn had taken over.

Ralph and Ellen's daughter, Constance Lillah , was born and Baptised at St John's Church, Lacey Green on 6th September. Constance was later to become a village celebrity - Con Baker, who lived to be 105.



Connie Gomme & Ralph Baker wedding

Founddry House

Back row from left: Alf BAKER; Bridesmaid; Fred BAKER; Roger TIGHE
RH side middle row: Constance GOMME; Bridesmaid; Ralph GOMME (bride's father)
Front row from left: Mrs TIGHE?; three small bridesmaids; Mrs R. GOMME (bride's mother)
Connie's dog ‘BIMBO' wearing white ribbon bow.

Photograph taken in garden of ‘Grannie's Cottage, Loosley Row, opposite the Foundry.

Foundry House

And so it can be said that
'Gomme's Forge became a Bakers'

Notwithstanding - all are direct descendants of John Gomme and the Forge retains his name and continues to function.

See also Gomme's Forge today


Gomme's Stile

This stile can be claimed to be one of the most unusual in Buckinghamshire and is well worth a closer inspection. It is located at the start to The Grubbins footpath at the juction of Foundry Road and Little Lane. Constructed of iron, the stile has two steps upon which is emblazoned with raised letters, the following:

"Footpath No. 6. Through the
woods leads to Small Dean.
Down Little Lane to the Rose
and Crown Inn.

The Whip
Public House - along Lower
Road and turn right at the

The Post Office is near The
Whip - nearest telephone box
along Lower Road

1784-I984 Gornmes Forge,
Showroom and Workshop -
230 paces down Foundry

The step also bears the points of the compass.

Gomme's Style

Gomme's Style

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