Displaying items by tag: John Philipps

REVEREND THOMAS THOMAS

1741 – 1826

Part 1

Revd. Thomas Thomas was born on 24th November 1741 at Castell Gorfod, in the parish of Trelechar Bettws, Carmarthenshire in Wales. Thomas was one of the three children of George and Catherine Thomas. The elder son, Samson Thomas, became a Calvinist Methodist Minister and his sister Rosamond married Thomas Howell in 1769.

Revd. Thomas Thomas was ordained and appointed as Rector of St Peter’s Church in the parish of Isham, Northamptonshire by the then Bishop of Peterborough, John Hinchcliffe in 1773.

TThomas1

Appointment letter from the Bishop of Peterborough

By 1788 Revd. Thomas Thomas was living, with the Foxton family in the Manor House (Manor Farm House), 39 Main Street, Kibworth Harcourt.

On 21st September 1796 at St Wilfrid’s Church, Kibworth Beauchamp the Revd. Thomas, age 55,  married Elizabeth Foxton aged 51 years. Their marriage was conducted by the Revd. Jeremiah Goodman, Headmaster of the Kibworth Grammar School. Their Marriage bond* names Richard Coltman, yeoman, grazier and Churchwarden, of East Farndon promising with Revd. Thomas Thomas the £200 surety. 

Elizabeth Thomas, nee Foxton, died on the 6th September 1797, sadly this was within a year of  their marriage. Following her death Thomas wrote a letter written on 8th October 1798 to his brother Samson in Pembrokeshire describing his grief at his wife’s death and saying;

The coming of death was in so gradual a manner, that for days before her departure, she ordered everything about her burying without any signs of confusion. She told her maid to pin the cap and handkerchief ready against the time they should be wanted for use whilst the shroud was to be fetched from Harborough.  She was very fond of reading pious books and conversing about a future world. She retained her senses to within a very little time of her last moment and expired in the comfortable persuasion that Christ is the only saviour’.  He describes in detail her memorial in St. Wilfrid’s Church and signs the letter‘Care dig Frawd’.(Dear Brother)

On Thursday 5th December 1805 Revd. Thomas notes that he held a ‘Thanksgiving for Lord Nelson’s Victory on the 21st  October off Cape Trafalgar’ at East Farndon church. (See Rev. Thomas Thomas Part 2)

Revd. Thomas’s sister Rosamond and her husband, Thomas Howell wrote from the family farm in Carmarthenshire to Revd. Thomas on 6th February 1805. They were asking about how to raise £150 for ‘India equipment’ for their youngest son John, who wished to enter employment as an assistant surgeon with the East India Company. This money was to purchase clothes, a surgeon’s apothecary kit and to fund his entry into the Company.

John Howell also wrote to his uncle about a possible appointment with the East India Company and received a withering reply criticising the spelling errors in his letter. Rev. Thomas tells him firmly ‘to use a dictionary, however his uncle includes a draft for £20 expenses in the letterto encourage him to find a position locally in England. However, as a young man will do, in March 1806 John Howell accepted a position with the East India Company as an assistant surgeon recommended for a position in Bengal, India and sailed on the ‘Matilda’ to Calcutta. It would seem that this money was, possibly reluctantly, found by Rev. Thomas because in his will John Howell leaves £300 to his uncle, Rev. Thomas, in a codicil repaying his kindness.

Not only had Revd. Thomas been instrumental in mentoring, educating and financing his nephew John Howell through his medical training at the London Hospital.  Letters discovered at the Northampton Record Office confirm Thomas also financed the training of another surgeon at St. Thomas’ and Guy’s hospitals namely his nephew Poyntz Adams (his late wife’s sister’s son.) (see Rev.Thomas part 2)

The following year Thomas is still living in The Manor Farm House, Kibworth Harcourt and in a letter to his niece, dated 31st October 1807 he says that he has ‘leased some grounds from Merton College for 21 years renewable every 7th year by paying a fine for its renewal’. (Merton College, Oxford owned the Manor Farm House and still owns much of the land at the rear of houses on Main Street and Albert Street, Kibworth Harcourt.)

In 1814 Revd.Thomas Thomas is appointed Rector of St Dionysius Church, Kelmarsh and then Curate of the Church of St. John the Baptist at East Farndon. As the curate at East Farndon Parish Revd. Thomas was assistant to the Rector, William Brooks, who was also Rector of St John’s Church, Coventry where he spent the majority of his time. Revd. Thomas was left to administer the East Farndon Parish and to sort out the many problems and issues which ensued.  This is confirmed by correspondence between Thomas and the Bishop of Peterborough where he outlines issues with the enclosures and the upkeep of tenements and buildings, not least the fabric of the church which needed much attention.

In 1815 Revd. Thomas’ sister Rosamund Howell died in Carmarthenshire and his nephew, her son, John Howell, surgeon, for the East India Company died in 1819 in Bengal, India aged 36 years.

On 10th  October 1818 Revd. Thomas bought a farm, Penriwbaily, from his cousin James Howell in his home parish of Trelechar Bettws hoping he says, one day to return there to his dear ‘Kingdom of Deheubarth’. Interestingly, on the same day his clerk sold the lease of the farm for a term of 21 years for the sum of £32 annually to Benjamin Howell, farmer, (a nephew).

In 1824 Revd.Thomas Thomas, aged 83 years, retired from his clerical positions at Isham and East Farndon.  Noting in a family letter that he had lived in Kibworth Harcourt and the neighbouring area for 56 years. However, his love for his homeland and Welsh culture never left him. His family letters and indeed his church records are often written in both Welsh, his native tongue and English.

Revd.Thomas Thomas is recorded in Crockford’s Clerical Directory, as being an ordained minister of the Anglican church from 1773 to 1826 the year he died on 20th May.

Plaque commemorating the lives of Revd. Thomas Thomas BD and his wife Elizabeth in St Wilfrid’s Church, Kibworth Beauchamp

TThomas memorial
Consoled in approaching Death by Faith scripture and the Hope of Advancement to Life eternal on September:1797 dyd Elizabeth the Daughter of George Foxton of Kibworth Gentleman and Wife of reverend Thomas Thomas. BD. Rector of Isham. Alfo in Memory of Revd. Thomas Thomas BD. who died Dec 1st 1825 in the 85th Year of his Age. O Grief allow that Death nor Tomb profound Can duft reviving lock in charnel Ground When JAH commands the Clay dead form arise And Spirit like ascend to Sion Skies so Grievance more to feel nor fancyd Gloom But Rapture that confess a glorious Doom Where Saint becomes in Soul embodying Frame. A Monument of Praise to Shiloh’s Name.

In 1885 the family executors of his estate in Wales sold The Manor House, (Manor Farm House) Kibworth Harcourt for £4,450 to another nephew he had educated and financed, John Philipps, who had lived there with him as a proxy son. (see John Philipps 1801 – 1867 – Modern)

John Philipps inherited a love for antiquities from his uncle and kept all his uncle’s letters, papers etc. in a trunk in the attic. A chest of Revd. Thomas’ papers including manuscripts, broadsides from the Manor Farm House, Kibworth Harcourt is lodged at the Northampton Record Office.

A poster was discovered among Revd. Thomas’ papers at the Northampton Record Office advertising a production on 28th October 1802 at the Kibworth Theatre of School for Scandal’ a 1781 comic opera to music by Samuel Arnold with a libretto by John O’Keeffe. This includes an American romantic comedy ‘Gretna Green’ written by Grace Livingston Furniss. This suggests that Revd. Thomas may have attended the Kibworth Theatre. (see The Kibworth Theatre-Modern).

*  Marriage bonds were used when a couple applied to marry by licence and were not married by banns.  The marriage allegation was a document in which the couple alleged (or frequently just the groom alleged on behalf of both of them) that there were no impediments to the marriage.  The marriage bond set a financial penalty on the groom and his bondsman (usually a close friend or relative) in case the allegation should prove to be false.  Marriage bonds ceased to be used after 1823.

Acknowledgements

Pembrokeshire Record Office
Northamptonshire Record Office
British History on Line
East Farndon Village Website Group
The Gentleman’s Magazine

Researched by Jeni Molyneux & edited by David Adams

 

 

Published in Modern

John Phillips*, landowner, grazier, antiquarian who lived for many years in in the Manor House (Manor Farm House) 39 Main Street, KibworthHarcourt, was born in 1801 at the farm Esgerfa in Abernant parish,Carmarthenshire.

John was the son of Jonathan Philipps (1765 Conwil Elvet -1849) and Catherine Howell (1770- 1849 of Rhydd y garreg ddu, Talog. Carmarthenshire.) John Philipps was also the nephew of John Howell - surgeon in the East India Company, whose memorial is adjacent to his in St Lucias Church, Abernant. Jonathan and Catherine Philipps had married on 1st June 1790 in St Lucias, Abernant.

From a family letter it would seem that John had been well educated. My thoughts from reading family letters being that this was paid for by his mother Catherine Howell ’s uncle the Rev. Thomas Thomas who lived in Kibworth Harcourt, Leicestershire. John Philipps was the grandson of Rosamond Howell nee Thomas - the Rev Thomas Thomas ’ sister.

In 1823 the Rev David Lewis writes from Carmarthen to John Phillipss uncle the Rev Thomas Thomas of Kibworth Harcourt describing the 22 year old John Phillips at Lampeter Collegethus

I must not omit that he bears the best character for assiduity and regular deportment in school and at home: and such is the improvement of our country in dress, or rather perhaps the deterioration of it, that our Welshmen, in our great school, dress as well as in any part of England.’

After his uncle Rev. Thomas Thomas s death in 1826 John Philipps aged 25 undertakes renovations of the Manor House, Kibworth Harcourt. (see Manor House (Manor Farmhouse) 39 Main Street, Kibworth Harcourt- Ancient)

Three years later, John Phillips now aged 28 married Elizabeth Smeeton aged 19 on the 30th July 1829 at Kibworth Beauchamp by license and with the consent of her parents. A son, John Smeeton Philipps, was baptised on the 17th November 1830 at Kibworth Beauchamp.

On the 1841 census John Philipps says that he is aged 35 and that he was born in 1806 in Abernant, Carmarthenshire. Making himself a little younger? He is living in Kibworth Beauchamp with his wife Elizabeth who is now aged 30 who was born in 1811 in Leicestershire. John and Elizabeth’s son, John Smeeton Philipps, is aged 11 and John’s mother in law Elizabeth Smeeton is aged 70 (born in 1771) and living with them.  Their housekeeper Elizabeth Day is aged 20; she was born in 1821.

Five years later in 1846 John Philipps is living at the Manor House in Kibworth Harcourt.

On the 1851 census John Philipps is aged 50 and now a widower continuing to live at the Manor House in Kibworth Harcourt. John is described as a Grazier of 30 acres with no labourers. His son John Smeeton Philipps is now aged 20 and described as a hosier who was born at Kibworth Harcourt.

In a letter from Richard Thomas at Haverfordwest in the Pembrokeshire Archives we learn that John Philipps bought the Manor House at Kibworth Harcourt from his uncle the Rev ThomasThomas’s estate for £4,450 on the 5th November 1855.

Later in 1863, we learn that ‘John Philipps had rebuilt the Manor House, Kibworth Harcourt with twin gables and barge boards as well as putting up a wall around the garden and land.  The brick front with its twin gables and ornamental barge boards is evidently his work.  The garden wall also built by Philipps carries tiles dated 1475, 1690 and 1860. As both he and his uncle were local antiquarians there may be good evidence for the earlier dates. About 200 yards north of the house are two fishponds probably of medieval origin.

In August 1863 The Leicestershire Architectural and Archaeological Society held its AGM over two days in Kibworth (see Historic Gathering at Kibworth 1863-Modern) On the aft ernoon of the first day of the meeting an exhibition was held in a museum (temporarily formed in the National Schools by permission of the Rector) which was opened to the public. In this exhibition the objects of antiquarian interest were numerous and interesting.

John Philipps exhibited the following items:

  • Belt
  • Court cupboard.
  • Queen Elizabeth’s Poem in her own handwriting, signed,
  • Charles II’s autograph for signing the warrant to elect Wm Hanbury Esq, High Sheriff of the county of Northampton, December 1665 (William Hanbury was a friend of John Philipps’s uncle the Rev. Thomas Thomas this must be how it was acquired)

At 5pm that day the attendees of the meeting visited the Tumulus (The Munt) then The Manor House, 39 Main Street, Kibworth Harcourt, the residence of John Philipps Esq and the many objects of interest to antiquarians there afforded much pleasure. Mr Phillips, after a good old English fashion, requested the members of the company to partake of good and homely beverage.

John Philipps' Will 21st April 1866

John Philipps leaves his son and his nephew Thomas Philipps of 182 Piccadilly (Fortnum and Masons grocers in their early days! ) son of my brother Thomas Philipps and my friendsThomas George Langham of Oxford Terrace, London butcher and John Langham of Walton in Knaptoft, joint executors of his will.

I direct a small tablet to be placed by my executors in the parish church of Abernant in the county of Carmarthen with the following inscription

This tablet is placed to the memory of John Philipps son of Jonathan and Catherine Philipps late of Skyrfa in this parish‘ with the date of my demise annexed.

I revoke all former wills in witness whereof I have to this my last will and testament ….

He leaves 19 guineas to his friend Emily Sarah Slatter and £10 each to his three executors. (Emily was a governess)

Phillips

Tablet in the Parish Church of Abernant in the
county of Carmarthen with the following inscription:
‘ This tablet is placed to the memory of John Philipps Son of Jonathan Catherine
Philipps late of Skyrfa in this parish who departed this life December 23rd 1867
Aged 67 Years’

In 1706 the Manor House was sold to the Foxton’s who owned it until 1797 when the last of that family died the office and property passed to the son- in -law The Reverend Thomas Thomas of East Farndon, Northamptonshire. The property remained college leasehold, but both the Reverend Thomas and later John Philipps made considerable alterations.In 1972 the Manor House was sold by Merton College, Oxford to Mr P Thurnham.

  


John Philipps - a letter to family in Wales.

On 1st December 1853 he writes…

Dear Sir,

I have seen the minister of the chapel this afternoon and he will send the rent down to you in about three weeks’ time, be so kind as to send me how much he owes you. There is no tithe in this parish and I can’t give you my account of other parishes.

You asked what family I have -only one son and he is in a very good situation at Leicester in a country house, he is nearly 24 years of age and very steady. My dear wife has been dead 6years last August, almost all your old friends at Kibworth are no more. I shall be very pleased to see you at Kibworth to spend a week or two with me.

Let me know when you will be likely to come. I shall be in London about the 2nd of January for a week or two. I was at Dublin last August and through North Wales and I enjoyed the trip very much.  Give my best respects to your family and let me know how many you have.

I remain, dear sir

yours truly

J Phillips

P.S. I have one of best Durham bulls in the county 2 years old on the 13th of last month he has now served a great many cows this last summer at 6s per cow the mother was counted the best cow in the county and was got by one of the Marquis of Exeter’s bulls.

* Philipps is the original spelling of his name on the baptism entry denoting his ancestry to the Philipps of Picton Castle - however it is often later spelt ‘Phillips’

© Jeni Molyneux 14th November 2019

(John Philipps was my 4x great grandmother’s younger brother.)

Acknowledgements

Information extracted from Family Letters which were deposited at both the National Library Wales and Pembrokeshire Archives at Haverford West.
The Leicester Journal

 

Published in Modern
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