Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: June 30, 2018
Webpage updated: June 30, 2018




The founder of the Baudains dynasty in Plymouth was Mr Philip Baudains, who came over to Britain from Jersey between 1867 and 1870 and chose to settle in the Town.  At that time his family consisted of wife, Mary, one son, George, and three daughters, Louisa, Alice and Laura, all born on Jersey.  The 1871 census shows them living at number 47 Flora Street as part of the household of Mr Philip Coutanche and his wife, Elizabeth, both also from Jersey.  It transpires that Elizabeth was Philip Baudains sister.  Mr Coutanche was a tailor and Philip Baudains was a labourer in a sugar works.  The Coutanche's son, Walter, was born in Plymouth in 1870 and the Baudains' second son, Winter, was born in the Town in 1871.  Philip and Mary Baudain were to have two more sons in Plymouth, Frederick and William, born in 1872 and 1875 respectively.

Mr George Francis Baudains, 1863, married Miss Emily Annie Starkey Richardson at Christ Church, Plymouth, on December 25th 1886 and their first child, George Edward Harry Baudains, was born on October 12th 1887.

It was Philip and Elizabeth's third son, Frederick John Baudains, born in Plymouth in 1872, that first became the first Upholsterer in the family and thus the founder of the family business.  He married Mrs Elizabeth Northmore, of Ivybridge, at Stoke Damerel Register Office in 1897.  The 1901 census records them living at 11 Glanville Road, Plymouth, where they had five boarders all helping with the upholstery business.  The eldest, at 22 years of age, was Miss Lily Tucker, from Kingston, Devon, who was a sewing machinist; next came 20-years-old Charles Luscombe, from Plympton, a wire mattress weaver; then came the two Northmore brothers, Frederick John Baudains' step-sons, 18-years-old William, from Ivybridge, an apprentice upholsterer, and 16-years-old Francis, from Plympton, another wire mattress weaver.  Youngest of all was George Edward Harry Baudains, Frederick's nephew, the son of Mr George Francis Baudains and the former Miss Emily Annie Starkey Richardson, who was born in Plymouth on October 12th 1887.

At the time of the 1911 census Frederick and Elizabeth Baudains were living at 14 Trafalgar Street, Plymouth while Mr George Francis Baudains was a wall mason so had nothing to do with the family business.  Elsewhere in Plymouth, Mr George Edward Harry Baudains married Miss Ada Ferris and on August 8th 1911 Ada gave birth to George Francis Ferris Baudains.

At the start of the Great War Mr Frederick John Baudains signed up, or was conscripted, and joined the Hampshire Regiment and was killed overseas in 1917.  His widow remained in Plymouth, where she died in 1930.

On July 15th 1936 at Stoke Damerel Mr George Francis Ferris Baudains married Miss Doreen Faith Higham Love.

The business seems to have passed to Frederick's nephew, Mr George Edward Harry Baudains for on December 4th 1946 a new limited company, Messrs Baudains Limited, was registered to acquire the business of Mr G E H Baudains at 44 York Street, Plymouth.  The directors were Mr Baudains himself and a Mr C S Parnell, of the Ridgeway, Plympton.  The Company initially had a capital of 6,000 in 1 shares.  Although there is no mention of his son, Mr G F F Baudains, it is noted that he was living at the York Street premises in 1953.

Mr George Edward Harry Baudains died at Plymouth on May 30th 1976 and it is believed that the business ceased at that time as well.  His son. Mr George Francis Ferris Baudains, lived until 1994 and he was buried at Weston Mill Cemetery on March 9th that year.  It it thought that he was the last of the family who had been involved in one of Plymouth's most well-known business houses and which had held a local purchase contract with the Admiralty's Naval Store Department in the Royal Dockyard for many years.

An unusual feature of the business was its "Mattress Hospital" in Hastings Street, where four craftsmen could turn your lumpy, bumpy 4 feet 6 inch mattress back into its as new condition for about 10 5s.  Almost all work was done by hand as there were only two machines in the workshop, a sewing machine and a carding machine, which cleaned mattress fillings.  In actual fact very little of the old mattress was used in the remake so the customer really got back an inexpensive new mattress.