The Bomfords of Worcestershire
The Death of Mr Thomas Bomford 1831-1910
We regret to record the death of Mr Thomas Bomford, which occurred at his residence, Upper Farm, Drakes Broughton, in his failing health for some time, the last few weeks he has been seriously ill, and on Saturday last he passed peacefully away in his sleep. In him there has passed a man of great industry, integrity in principles, high ideals, whose life was one of earnest endeavour, and who possessed to a remarkable degree the esteem of his fellowmen. The deceased was a native of Bricklehampton, where he worked the same farm that his father and grandfather occupied before him.
He was the oldest representative of the Wyer branch of the Bomford family, dating back in the village to the early part of the sixteenth century, which prominent in its allegiance to the principles of Whiggism and which in this district was the pioneers of Nonconformity. It is reputed that it was a Bomford, of Wyer, who entertained Oliver Cromwell, the great Protector, about the time of the Battle of Worcester, but certain it is that the influence of this family helped to establish the Baptist cause in Pershore in the 1650, soon after the termination of the Civil War, and this name was one of the earliest to be entered on the membership roll of many of the Nonconformist places of worship, and undoubtedly it was some of the most zealous of Cromwell’s followers, settling down after their conscientious and successful struggle for their liberties of their country, who joined to erect for themselves a common meeting house. While living in Bricklehampton Mr and Mrs Bomford were highly esteemed, and when leaving the village in 1875, the inhabitants manifested their feeling in a practical manner by presenting them with a very handsome grandfathers clock suitably inscribed, which is still a valued treasure in the home. On taking up his residence at Upper Farm, Drakes Broughton, Mr Bomford identified himself with the Primitive Methodist cause, subscribed liberally toward the cost of a new chapel, and when it was built in 1877 his carts did a good proportion of the hauling. From the first year he came to Broughton he had lent a field on his farm and near his house for the school children to have their annual treat in on Whit Monday, and almost his last wish was that his death should not be allowed to rob the youngsters of their pleasure. They met, therefore, on Monday as usual, but it could not be described as a happy event for both teachers and scholars were overshadowed by the sorrowful thought that their good old friend was lying silent and dead in the house near by, and that they would never hear his kind voice or see his engaging smile again.
In 1857, fifty-three years ago, Mr Bomford married Emma, youngest daughter of Mr Robert Kirby of Charlton Kings. The wedding took place at Prestbury Church near Cheltenham, the bride being married from her uncle, Mr Henry Kirby, of Manor House, Prestbury. Mrs Bomford, and ten children of the marriage are left to mourn his loss. In 1907 a large family party gathered at Upper Farm, Drakes Broughton, to celebrate the golden wedding. It was then a joyful occasion.
On Wednesday, the day of the funeral, the children again met together, but it was to mourn the loss of their revered father, and in that grief the whole of the village of Broughton took a share, for deceased was a good man in every respect, and his memory will be cherished for many years to come.
At one o’clock the coffin was taken into the Primitive Methodist Chapel at Broughton, where the Rev. Freer Bell, circuit minister of Worcester conducted a short but most impressive service in the presence of a crowded assembly. In a beautiful prayer spoken with much feeling, the minister thanked God for the life of their departed brother, and for the good influences which emanated from him. Two hymns were sung, “I know my Redeemer lives” and “Jerusalem the golden.” Mr David Martin presided at the harmonium, and at the close rendered the Dead March. The mourners included Mr Thomas Reginald Bomford (Stoulton). Mr Robert Bomford (London). Mr Frank Bomford (The Laurels, Broughton and sons). Mrs T Westwood, Mrs F Coomber, Mrs William Wood (Pershore). Mrs Tom Gordon (Stafford). Mrs Sidney J Stainer (Southsea) and Miss Bomford (daughters), Mr T.R Bomford (Stoulton, grandson), Mr W Wood, Mr T.B Gordon (son-in-laws) Mrs T.R Bomford, Mrs Frank Bomford (daughter-in-laws), Mr George Phillips, Mrs and Miss Jones, Mrs and Miss Martin, Mr and Mrs W. Harley, Mrs and the Misses Panter, Mr F. Harley, Mrs Tolley, Mrs Turvey, and many others. Mr F.H Bomford, Birmingham, the second son , the only one of the children absent, was too ill to be present.
Their were many tear-dimmed eyes as the village on the Pershore road en route for Bricklehampton, where the remains of the deceased were interred by the side of his father in the quiet and beautifully-kept little churchyard there. The Rev. C Hawkes-Field (of Pershore) conducted a short preliminary service in the church. The oak coffin, made by Mr Harley, of Broughton, bore the following inscription:- “Thomas Bomford, died May 14th 1910. Aged 79 years.”
The bearers were Messrs H. Willington, W. Harley, Fred Harley, and S Roberts. Beautiful floral tributes were sent by “Sorrowing wife and Suie” “ Redge, Nora and family”; “Tom, Girtie, and Elsie”; “Harry and family”; “Frank, Mabel and family”; “Frank, Emma and family”; “Will, Kate and grandson”; “Tom, Lily, and children”; “Linda, Frank, and Phylis”; “Miriam and grandson Sidney Felix Stainer”; “Tim” “His twenty grandchildren”; Lieut, Edgar Riley, R.N.; Dr G.G Rusher; Mr and Mrs C Whitaker, Caldwell Park; Mr Fred Davis Woolla Hill; Mr Robert Hill; Mr and Mrs Cheeketts and family; Mr T. Milward, Pershore; Mr and Mrs D Martin and family; Mr and Mrs W Harley; Mr and Mrs F Harley; Mr and Mrs G Phillips; “members of the chapel choir”; Mr and Mrs W.J Gardener, Pinvin; Mrs Helen and Mrs Oliver; Miss Emily Edwards; Mr Reeks; “Buller Millington”; John and Elizabeth Quarrell”; “Job and Mrs Clayton”; and some without signatures.
THE LATE MR. T. BOMFORD
The funeral of the late Mr. Thomas Bomford took place at Bricklehampton on Wednesday.
Mr. Bomford’s death took place at his farm at Broughton on Saturday after an illness lasting only one month. Up to that time he had led a most active life for his age, and superintended the working of his farm. The Bomfords are among the oldest Worcestershire families, and deceased was of the Wyer branch, which dates back to the time of Oliver Cromwell, whom the family entertained at the time he, march on to Worcester. The Bomfords are scattered over the county and are well known and highly respected. As farmers their judgement and experience is always sought and relied upon. The deceased gentleman’s father was the first man to make the experiment of the cultivation of peas in the open field, which industry is now so lucrative in the district. His predecessors emigrated from Wyer to Bricklehampton where they carried on farming in a most successful manner. It was not until the late Lord Norton, under whom the deceased rented at Bricklehampton, sold that property that the deceased left and went to Broughton, at which place he had resided ever since.
On leaving the village of Bricklehampton he and his wife were presented with a handsome grandfather’s clock, as a mark of the high esteem in which they were held by the villagers. On the clock was an inscription as follows: “Presented to Thos and Emma Bomford by the inhabitants of Bricklehampton as a mark of respect on their leaving the village in 1875.” Mr and Mrs Bomford three years ago celebrated their golden wedding, when they were joined by the whole of their family, ten in number. The deceased was a member of the Pershore Volunteers in the early stages of the move-men.
The Company was them commanded by Captain Shekill, and the men had to buy their own uniforms. When the deceased lived at Bricklehampton he maintained the chapel there, and when he went to Broughton he became a member of the Broughton chapel. In politics he was a Liberal, and he ------? at the last General Election. On Wednesday the first part of the burial service was conducted at the Wesleyan Chapel in Broughton by the Rev. Freer Bell of Worcester.
All the family were present. The body was then conveyed to Bricklehampton, where a portion of the service was conducted in the church of St. Michael and All Angels by the Rev. C. Hawkes-Field, of Pershore. Several old parishioners were present. They included the Rev; H. B. S. Fowler (Vicar of Elmley Castle). Mr G. Corbishley (Bricklehampton) Miss Edwards, and Mrs Tombs.
The chief mourners were: Messrs. T.R. Bomford, A.R. Bomford, F. Bomford (sons), H Coomber (Worcester) W. Wood (Pershore) T. Westwood, Walcot (sons-in-law), T. Bomford jun (grandson), and O. Bomford (Evesham). The coffin, of oak with brass furniture bore the inscription “Thomas Bomford. Died May 14th, 1910. Aged 79 years”
There was a large number of handsome floral tributes from family and friends.
(Transcribed by Kim Bomford (email 11 Sep 2010) from newpaper copies provided by Majorie Susan Cooke nee Bomford)