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The Thomas Tabor line from 1777 to the present

Prior to 1777 the Tabor history is speculative although it is known that the Thomas Tabor 1, who married in Frome in 1777 was born in about 1746. It is not yet known where he was born but probably in Frome or if not then almost certainly within Somerset or Wiltshire. A few possible outlines of family history have been sketched but until a definite date and place of birth of the Thomas who married in 1777 are established these are very much only possibilities. 

On 6 February 1777, Thomas Tabor 1, aged 30, married Hannah King in St Johnís church, Frome, Somerset . He was a carpenter and by the 1785 Frome Census he and his family were living in Whittox Lane ( East Side ). Thomas and Hannah had at least four children, three of whom died in infancy. Their eldest son, also Thomas 2, was born in 1784.

Frome in those times was a noted centre of enthusiastic non conformity with many sects.

Thomas Tabor senior continued to live in Whittox Lane until 26 February 1806 when he died. He was buried at Badcox Lane Chapel. His widow, Hannah, stayed with her son Thomas 2, now 22, also a carpenter. Thomas 2 then married Esther Turner on 23 December 1815 , and they had three daughters, Hannah, Elizabeth and Anne born in 1816, 1821 and 1822. Esther died at some time between 1822 and 1830.

On 22 April 1830 , Thomas 2 married again, this time Sarah Humphries. He was then 46 years old and Sarah was 29. She bore him three children, Sarah Jane on 18 April 1831 , Thomas 3 on 9 December 1832 and William on 15 May 1836 . Sarah Jane died on 2 June 1835 . Her father Thomas 2 died himself on 11 March 1836 and was buried at Rook Lane Chapel, where his children had been baptised.

At some stage the family had lived in Bell Lane, Frome but the 1841 Frome census records that the widowed Sarah was living with Thomas 3, then aged 8 and William, 5 at Whittox Lane

By the time of the 1851 Census, Sarah then aged 49 was listed as living at Long Row, Frome with William, aged 20. In fact his age must have been 16, but local historians tell us that ages over 15 are supposed to be given to the nearest five years but are frequently as much as 10 years out. Williamís occupation is given as cabinet maker.

Much of the older part of Frome remains intact including houses in Bell Lane , Rook Lane and Whittox Lane , although the chapels mentioned have been put to secular use.

By 1851, Thomas 3 the son had moved and was working in Bath and shortly after that his mother Sarah joined him.

In 1857, Thomas 3 married Priscilla King in Widcombe, Bath , and there were three children. Frederick William was born on 20 October 1858 , Tom 4 born on 12 June 1862 and Albert Edward born on 9 August 1864 . Their home and workplace was Beecham Cliff overlooking Bath City (an area largely destroyed in the second world war).

Thomas 3 had obviously been persuaded to move to Bath by the ever growing prosperity of the city,  which would have given him a ready market for high quality cabinet work. By the late 1850s Thomas 3 and Priscilla must have reached a comfortable standard of life; for example he gave his first born Frederick a large family bible with Bartlett engravings and could afford large photographs of himself and his wife.

Thomas Tabor 3 circa 1865

Thomas 3 died on 11 October 1868 of meningitis at the age of 36 years, leaving his widow Priscilla, aged 37 with the three children then aged 10, 6 and 4. This was a tragic blow to the business and the family, but Priscilla continued to run the business from 17 Beecham Cliff and married again on 16 May 1870 . Her new husband was John Chorley, aged 23, who had been Thomasís apprentice. They had a daughter, Mary Elizabeth Chorley born on 4 December 1870 at which date their address was given as 2 Little Bays Hill Terrace, Cheltenham. The house still stands (1997) as do workshops close by. Sarah Tabor died in Bath on 15 September 1877 , aged 76.

Shortly after this the Chorley family moved to London , with Frederick, Tom 4, Albert and Mary ( Chorley ) where John set up a cabinet making business in Shoreditch. Frederick then aged 22 married Elizabeth Mary Newland Morton in Haggerstone, Middlesex on 23 November 1880 . (See also FW Tabor.) Frederick died on 18 July 1913 .

Priscilla Chorley died of bronchitis in the Shoreditch Infirmary at the age of 63 in 1894.

Albert married Maria Grogan in around 1886. (See also AE Tabor.)

Mary Chorley, at the age of 22, married Charles Anthony Mandall, aged 28, a cabinet maker, probably employed by John Chorley on 11 December 1892 in Shoreditch. John Chorley died in 1906. No attempt has been made trace this branch.

On 22 September 1894 , Tom Tabor 4, then aged 32 and a bookbinder, married Maude Hillman, aged 24 and whose father was a Confectioner, at Hackney Parish Church . They lived at 54 Lauriston Road, South Hackney which still (1994) stands.

Their only son Henry Tom was born on 21 December 1897 by which time they had moved to nearby 11 Handley Road. The father was then described as a Leather Gilding journeyman. Some examples of his work, mainly bound volumes of Dickens, remain with the family. Their daughter, Nell Alice was born on 3 March 1906 and died on 25th November 1996 .

They then lived at 649 Lea Bridge Road , Leyton.

They appear to have lived a fairly comfortable life there but the demand for leather gilding and bookbinding contracted with the outbreak of the World War in 1914. Tomís son Harry (Henry Tom) joined the Royal Flying Corps in 1915 when he was 17 and fought in the Battle of the Somme in 1916 (read Harry's diary here) when he was awarded the Military Medal for bravery in the field. His father died of cancer of the colon in 1917 at the age of 55 and thereafter the familyís circumstances were straitened, although they continued to live at Lea Bridge Road.

On leaving the Royal Flying Corps in 1918, (it had by then become the Royal Air Force) Harry (Henry Tom) became a textile buyer and he was to remain in the textile trade all of his working life.

On 12 July 1924 , at the age of 26, he married Harriet Gertrude Gray who was 27 and the daughter of Charles Frederick Gray of 44 Queens Road , Leytonstone. Her father was well educated and a member of the respectable family owning the British Pepper and Spice Company, but although he was the older brother, he held only a fairly junior post.

After marrying, Harry and Gertrude lived in Hatton Middlesex, then a small village (but now on the south side of Heathrow). Shortly afterwards, in 1925, they bought a small house in a new development in Upminster, Essex.

Harry and Gertrude had three children, Kenneth John was born on 29 July 1925 , Denis John (intended to be Denis Charles) on 12 December 1927 and Kathleen Iris on 12 February 1932 . © peter james tabor 2004  

This page was last updated on 16 April 2004.