William Orchard 1815 - 1887
"In 1830, when I was 15 years old, protesters gathered at my village to demand higher wages."
I am William Orchard, founder of Orchard's Stores at Freshwater Bay, Isle of Wight. I started the business in 1865 when I was 50 years old; but in fact I have been running businesses of one form or another for most of my life.
I have come a long way, starting life as the seventh child of a rural labourer and growing up in hungry times. In 1830, when I was fifteen years old, protesters gathered at my village, Winfrith Newburgh in Dorset, to demand higher wages. They were turned away by 150 mounted farmers who had been sworn in as constables.
Since then I have run a greengrocery business in Weymouth, an inn at nearby Broadwey and have been a tenant farmer at Thorley and Easton on the Isle of Wight.
I returned to shop-keeping when I took over this grocery business in 1865, renting at first and then buying outright at auction.