Thurtell and Related Families
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 Brooks.

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.

Thomas Thurtell is probably the Thomas Thurtell found in the Free BMD index on the internet in August 2000 at This index shows that Thomas Thurtell, age 83, died in the June 1875 quarter in Norwich, England, and the record is in Volume 4b, Page 95.

Additions and corrections are always appreciated!

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Susan T. Miller
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