Parish: St Edward

This grave was not located by CFHS in 2000, but we know from Parish records that the Richard was buried in Mill Road Cemetery.  The grave is located 21 rows from the west wall.

Richard Thomas (11 February 1832 – 16 June 1905)

Richard was born in Eton, Buckinghamshire and baptised there on 27 July 1832.  He was the son of painter Daniel and his wife Maria.  Richard grew up at Upton Cum Chalvey, in what is now Slough. He went to work at King’s College, Cambridge and married Penelope Davis (1826-1858) in 1856.  The couple lived at Newnham Walk, but Penelope died in June 1858, most probably as a complication after the birth of their only daughter Penelope Anne (1858-1926).

Richard then married Ann Eliza Playle on 30 August 1860 at All Saints’ Church, Purleigh.  They had at least nine children together: Sarah Ann (1861-), Emily Mary (1862-1921), Richard (1863-1863), William  Richard (1864-1947), Susannah Maria (1866-1950), Honor Elizabeth (1868-1942), Helen (1873-1944), Edith Gertrude (1876-1958) and Harry (1879-1961).  The family lived at Newnham Walk (1861) before moving to the Porter’s Lodge at King’s College (at least 1871 onwards).  Richard was head porter at King’s College for 44 years and died at the Porter’s Lodge.

His funeral took place on Friday 23 June, and the first part of the service was held at King’s College.  The report in the local newspaper said ‘the service was fully choral and the coffin was met at the west door by the surpliced choir’.

Ann Eliza Thomas (née Playle) (1838 – 3 June 1908)

Ann was born in Purleigh and baptised there on 19 August 1838.  She was the daughter of William Raven Playle and his wife Susannah.  She married widower Richard Thomas when she was 22 years old.  After his death she went to live at 43 Lensfield Road with her daughters Honor, Helen and Edith and died there aged 69 years old.

Helen Thomas (26 August 1873 – 18 March 1944)

Helen was the seventh of Richard and Ann’s nine children.  In 1911 she was living at Lensfield Road with her two sisters and working as a stationer’s book keeper.  By1939 she was living at 1 Wray’s Court on Sidney Street, and her occupation was recorded as a clerk.  She died aged 70 years old at Grantchester Street.



Newspaper archives

by Claire Martinsen

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Richard Thomas
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