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William BLISS (1810-1883)

Known As
Old Bliss; Mr B
Biographical Details

William Bliss was the father of William Bliss who became a good friend of Julius Sladden when the latter went to work in Chipping Norton in the early 1870s.

William Bliss (1810-1883) was born at Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, the sixth of seven children of William Bliss and his wife, Hannah (née Lay).

William married Esther Cleaver of Essex on 18th September 1838 at St Botolph without Aldersgate, London.  William took his new bride back to Chipping Norton where they lived on New Street, next to the chapel.  They had one son and three daughters:  Anna Maria (1842-1883), William (1844-1925), Esther Elizabeth (1847-1935) and Mary Jane (1850-1916).

William was a woollen manufacturer, senior partner in the firm of “William Bliss & Son”.  He was responsible for building the ornate mill (closed 1980, now residential apartments) which may be seen when approaching Chipping Norton on the road from Badsey.  A full-length article in The Oxfordshire Weekly News of 12th February 1873 gave a detailed account of the opening; the mill had been built in record time to replace the former mill which had burnt down only a year earlier.  Julius Sladden was present on the occasion and responded to a toast proposed by William Bliss Junior, “Success to the Town and Trade of Chipping Norton”.  Julius concluded his response wittily by saying:  “… as a brewer, I will make this stout affirmation, that whatever shall ail the trade of Chipping Norton, it shall not be the beer vat that shall run dry first.”

The 1881 census described him as a woollen manufacturer employing 381 hands.  He was several times Mayor of Chipping Norton and, for many years, was an active member of the Council.

William Bliss died on 26th February 1883 at Chipping Norton, three months after the death of his wife.  He was buried at Chipping Norton five days later.

Letters mentioning this person: