Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Thomas Kinchin and family


Famed for her 17th century version of online shopping, Lady Johanna St John’s first stop shop was the Lydiard estate home farm Windmill Leaze.

courtesy of the Rumming family, Park Farm, Lydiard Tregoze

The farm appears on the 1672 estate ‘Rent Roll’ when Anthony Street paid £116 per annum for lands at 'Winmill Leeze'.  Elizabeth Beames was the tenant at the beginning of the 19th century but by the 1820s Thomas and Maria Kinchin had taken over the reins, a tenancy that would last for more than 80 years. 

Following Maria’s death in 1837, Thomas married for a second time.  He died on July 18 1840 and is buried with his infant grandson James Henry Pyke Kinchin at St Mary’s, Lydiard Tregoze.



Thomas had written his will the previous year.  He dispenses with the usual religious preamble and cuts straight to the chase.

‘This is the last Will and Testament of me Thomas Kinchin of Liddiard Treegooze in the County of Wilts Yeoman I give and bequeath unto my wife Martha all the goods and plate which she possessed before our marriage to and for her own absolute use and benefit.’

He names his executors as neighbour Henry Eveleigh and William Bryant of Broad Town and sets aside the sum of twenty pounds a piece for them.

‘My will and mind is that my said trustees or the survivor of them his executors or administrators shall in the meantime carry on the farming business now carried on by myself for the benefit of my said wife and children if permitted by my landlord to occupy the farm now occupied by me and from the profits arising therefrom to maintain my said four children and my said wife Martha,’ Thomas writes.  If this is not possible he instructs that his executors to sell everything and divide the proceeds between his four children and Martha, providing she hasn’t remarried.

courtesy of Lydiard Park www.lydiardpark.org.uk

But just three months before his death he adds a codicil to the will.  William Bryant, his named executor, has recently died and Thomas appoints Thomas Withers of Haydon, Rodbourne Cheney in his place.  Thomas’s wife’s maiden name was Withers, so this is no doubt a member of her family.

Lord Bolingbroke was obviously happy for the farm to remain in the Kinchin family hands, which it did until the next century.

Marriages with neighbouring Plummer and Cole families followed and the Kinchins spread their wings. Thomas’s great grandchildren, William John Plummer Kinchin, Thomas Stephen Cole Kinchin, Annie (Elsie) Elizabeth Kinchin and their newly married sister Eleanor and her husband Frederick Sutton all left for Australia in 1913.  Annie (Elsie) eventually returned home where she married William Grewcock in 1923.  William and Thomas appear on the Victoria electoral roll where William is working as a fencer while Thomas is a labourer.  Thomas came home to visit his sister Ethel who farmed at Elm Grove in Shaw during 1949 but by 1962 he was back in Australia.

courtesy of Duncan and Mandy Ball - www.oodwooc.co.uk

Sisters Hilda and Ethel never married and continued to live in the Lydiards.  Hilda died in 1973 – a chair in All Saints Church, Lydiard Millicent is dedicated to her memory.

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