Thurtell and Related Families
Notes for Thomas THURTELL
According to the History of the Thurtell Family done by Susan Persia
Thurtell about 1968 and information from the Norwich Public Library,
Thomas Thurtell, sometime of Poringland, was a lesser character in the
Weare murder drama. He was living in October 1851; and there is no
reference in the Norwich Public Libraries to his being hanged for
horsestealing. He was associated with John, was involved in debt and
shady financial dealings, and was a farmer for a time. He was acquitted
of complicity in the Weare murder but arrested immediately thereafter for
attempting to defraud an insurance company by arson. He married Sarah
Information received from Peter Murray in 1997 shows that Thomas
Thurtell, (died April 8, 1846? - probably an error confusing him with his
father), eventually lived at the Hartford Hall Farm, in the Ipswich Rd
(meaning apparently Harford Hall farm, Lakenham Norfolk). Much earlier
he was involved in his brother John's bombasin manufacturing business in
1814. In connection with this he became embroiled with John in a
spectacular bankruptcy in 1821, and a highly suspicious but successful
insurance claim on a warehouse fire. He was also briefly under suspicion
as a co-conspirator in his brother's murder trial but was released.
Indeed he always remained very devoted to his rascally brother and
involved in much the same enterprises. Thomas was licensee of Cock
Tavern, Haymarket, London, in 1822; and both he and his brother John took
part in and promoted illegal boxing contests. He was financed by his
father as a farmer (when?), but in this venture too he went bankrupt.
That he afterwards lived in his father's parish of Lakenham, Norfolk (at
Harford Hall farm, perhaps with his father?) seems confirmed since one of
his children is said to be buried there.
He married Sarah Brooks, who died in1859 (and whose sister Mary Brooks
married John Thurtell, the son of John and Anne Thurtell). Two young sons
of Thomas are mentioned at the time of his brother's trial. A son who
died young is buried in Old Lakenham churchyard, and probably this is
"Thomas, the devoted child of Thomas & Sarah Thurtell, died January 1816
aged 4 months," who appears in the Lakenham burial register. There may
have been at least one or two other children as well.
The 1998 British Vital Records Index CD shows Thomas Thurtell married
Sarah Brooks on May 3, 1813, and that the marriage was recorded in
Lakenham, Norfolk, England (source: FHL number 1526494).
The 1851 British Census shows Thomas Thurtell as age 59, an Annuitant,
born in Bradwell, Suffolk, with an address of Hall Lane, Norwich, and a
census place of Norwich Lakenham Norwich, Norfolk. (PRO Reference
HO/107/1815, Folio 44, Page 22, FHL Film 0207468). He is shown living
with his wife, Sarah Thurtell, age 64, born in Holborn, Middlesex. Their
unmarried daughters, Sarah B. Thurtell, age 37, born in Hampstead,
Middlesex, and Louisa B. Thurtell, age 33, born in Poringland, Norfolk,
are also living with them.
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