Thomas Brazenor (1800 – 1885) A Shropshire Lad

Shropshire’s last male Brazenor, Thomas was the son of Thomas and Mary Brazenor, nee Dolphin, whom they baptised at Alberbury on 11th April 1800. He was probably brought up at Alberbury but on 26th February 1824, he married Margaret Poole, at Condover, which lies just to the south of Shrewsbury. They had three children, Samuel, Thomas and Mary, all born at Cardington, where Margaret died in 1827. Thomas must have been farming at Cardington because, in 1831, he took on George Bullock, as an apprentice in husbandry.

Alberbury, Shropshire

Alberbury, Shropshire

In 1835, Thomas married his cousin Sarah Dolphin, at Westbury, who then proceeded to have five daughters in eight years, including Martha, Sarah, Ann, Sarah Elizabeth and Eliza, all baptised at Alberbury. The census of 1841 has Thomas keeping a grocery shop at Coedway, in the parish of Alberbury, just on the border with Montgomeryshire. As well as the five daughters of his second marriage, two of his children by his first wife Margaret were also at Alberbury. His eldest son Samuel was working as an agricultural labourer at Worthen, for a Corfields family who were possibly his relatives. Thomas next appears in 1844, enpanelled on a jury at Westbury, but by 1851, he was the innkeeper of the Elephant and Castle at Stoney Stretton, a hamlet to the

The Yockleton Arms, once the Elephant & Castle, Stoney Stretton, Shropshire

The Yockleton Arms, once the Elephant & Castle, Stoney Stretton, Shropshire

east of Westbury, on the Roman road from Wroxeter to Wales. The pub was still in operation in 2011, but it was then known as the Yockleton Arms. Thomas is mentioned again in the Quarter Session Rolls, at Westbury in 1853.

By 1856, Thomas and Sarah had moved into Shrewsbury, as Thomas is listed in the Post Office Directory as the publican of the Cross Guns Inn, at Frankwell. The family was still together at the Cross Guns in the 1861 census, but their daughter Martha Beach was by then married with a daughter of her own and they were just visiting. That same year Thomas and Sarah’s youngest child Eliza died, aged 18. In 1863, they were still in Frankwell, keeping the Cross Guns but it is recorded that in the following year the publican was a Joseph Harris. Thomas’ sister, Ann Brazenor, of Cound, made a will in 1864, in which she records that her brother Thomas was then a publican at Ironbridge, Shropshire. (I have no further information about his sojourn at Ironbridge- any help anyone?)

However, by 1870, he was keeping the Bulls Head at Hook – a – Gate, in the parish of Meole Brace, which lies just to the west of Shrewsbury. Thomas and Sarah, now by themselves, were still keeping the Bulls Head, in the 1871 census. A few years later, in 1874, Thomas inherited a quarter share of his sister Ann’s estate. He was called upon as a juror at Meole Brace several times between 1871 and 1881, when Thomas and Sarah were still keeping the Bulls Head. Sarah Brazenor died in 1882, aged 72, followed by Thomas in 1885, aged 85. They probably both died at Hook – a – Gate, which was in Atcham registration district.

Thomas was the last male Brazenor to live and die in Shropshire. His daughter Ann, who did not marry, died in Shropshire, in 1915, the last Brazenor so to do. There are no current holders of the Brazenor name who are descendants of Thomas. His two sons by his first wife, Samuel and Thomas, both migrated to the English Midlands. Samuel married Elizabeth Bodin but they did not produce offspring. Thomas married Mary Price and they had a son John, who unfortunately died young and unmarried.