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SPURRETT, Thomas Richard

b.1851-d.1908

Thomas Richard Spurret was born in the December quarter of 1851 to Richard (1829 – 1893) and Emma CRIPPS (1833-1887). They had married in 1851 at Witney, Oxfordshire. Thomas was baptised on November 23rd 1851.

Thomas was the eldest of eleven children. His father Richard was an agricultural labourer, so work and life must have been quite hard.

The family consisted of:

Thomas Richard     1851 – 1908

Arthur  George       1854

Mary Ann               1856

Emma Miranda      1858

Louisa Ann             1860

Rosollah Elizabeth 1864

Herbert William      1866

Frederick John       1869

Mary                      1869 – 1869

Edith Emily             1872

Ethel Lucretia         1874

Thomas was baptised on November 23rd 1851, at Bampton, Oxfordshire.

Following Thomas through the censuses brings us to 1861, when he is recorded as a school boy. 

At the time of the 1871 Census, he was a telegraph clerk and storekeeper, living in the St. Thomas area of Birmingham. On 26th December that year, he married Emily Anne Pettifer. 

Embezzlement

Unfortunately, life begins to fall apart, when on 5th May 1880, Thomas is in the Quarter Sessions Court at Liverpool, for stealing 10s from the Postmaster General, on 24th March. 

He was arrested under a warrant issued and executed upon, on the 14th April.  Then, as now, it was ‘theft in breach of trust’ incurring a prison sentence for, “ Embezzlement whilst employed in the public service of our Lady the Queen”. He served two months in prison with hard labour. He did not reoffend! 

I do not know what happened between Thomas and Emily. They are together on the 1881 Census and have no children. I cannot find a divorce or annulment but in the June quarter of 1889, Thomas marries a Clara deBank, born in 1872. She is the daughter of George and Mary deBank.

Emily is still alive in 1910, when she emigrates to Wellington, in New Zealand. She died in 1941.

11 children

Clara and Thomas had eleven children:

Louisa Mary Blofield        1890

Ann Clara Blofield            1892

Emily Jane Blofield          1894

William John  Blofield       1895

Albert Charles  Blofield    1897

Thomas Henry  Blofield    1899

Walter George  Blofield    1900 (see his own published story)

Katherine Ellen   Blofield    1901

Emma Rosalie Blofield   1903

Henry Edler                    1905

Ivy                                   1907

Despite Thomas’s early brush with the law, he appears to have kept himself in employment. 

It is not clear why but, on 11th January 1906, Thomas was admitted to Hellingley Asylum, in Sussex. He stayed there until 16th October 1907, when he was transferred to Long Grove Asylum in Epsom. On 20th April 1908, Thomas died at Long Grove, as a result of an internal haemorrhage from a gastric ulcer of six days duration. Clara registered his death.

Clara

Soon after Thomas’s death, Clara married John George Grace, on 1st August 1908. Unfortunately, their married life did not last long as Clara died from cervical cancer on 1st October 1910. She had had it for three years.

Walter George Blofield   

Walter, son of Thomas, also died in Long Grove.  His story is also available to read on the Horton Cemetery website.


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