The Tombs Families
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The surname may appear as Tombs or Tombes in different documents - indeed occasionally both ways in the same document. For consistency the version Tombs is used here.
At the turn of the nineteenth century the Tombs family in Quenington consisted of father Henry, probably brother John and Henry’s son James. There was also a Henry junior. Henry was substantial enough to have been tenant of Manor Farm, owned by Hicks Beach in the first available record (land taxes) in 1787, but thereafter farmed his own land until his death in 1798. The land then passed to son James.
Of the others, all that is known so far is that John owned property which was occupied by Henry until his death, then by son James. Henry junior owned property up to 1893 occupied y others, and this then passed to another proprietor.
The records for all the above cease in 1803 but the pattern of ownership presumably continued.
Henry’s son James died in 1825 leaving the land to his daughter Harriett. She was married and the land is shown in the records under her husband’s name, Jenkin Thomas, a church minister of Cheltenham, where couple lived.
After the death of Jenkin and Harriet there are two Tombs families involved, both from Oxfordshire and presumably relatives of the Quenington family. One is James, from Langford, an absent landlord between 1843 and 1853. The second was James Thomas of Filkins. He was farming in Quenington in 1851, and would remain until 1867, when he left the village. He leased his farm to Michael Hicks Beach who later purchased it. It was known as Tombs Farm and is perhaps likely to be continuity of the land that was in the family at the turn of the century.
Mary Harriet Tombs and husband Jenkin Thomas
Mary Harriet was the daughter of James (above), born in Quenington in 1801. In 1822 she married Jenkin Thomas, a Baptist Minister from Oxford and the two settled in Cheltenham. At some point, perhaps on her father's death in 1825, Mary inherited the Tombs farm, and in subsequent records husband Jenkin is shown as proprietor. He held this to the mid-1840s with tenants. Jenkin had died by 1851 when Mary was living in Badgworth, near Cheltenham, with her children and of independent means, the farm presumably having been sold. She was living in Walworth, Surrey, three years later when she died. Her body was brought back for burial at Coln St Aldwyns where her father and grandfather lay.
Between 1843 and 1853 a James Tombs of Langford, Oxfordshire, was the proprietor of land in Quenington occupied by farmer William Clarke. His tenure overlaps (1843-1846) with that of Jenkin Thomas of Tombs Farm, and later (1853) with that of James Thomas Tombs. The only information is from voters' lists in Quenington, though there is no evicence that he ever lived there. He has not yet been further identified.
James Thomas Tombs
James Thomas Tombs farmed on his own land in Quenington in the 1850s and 1860s. He was born in 1815 in Filkins, Oxfordshire, son of a farmer, and was at home until at least 1841. Ten years later he was farming 190 acres in Quenington. Later that year he was near his birthplace in Oxfordshire to marry, and the couple returned to Quenington to continue farming. A son was born. James was still there in 1861, now with 230 acres, but left sometime between 1864 and 1871. He may have retired, as in 1871 he was in Oxford, describing himself merely as a landowner. He then moved to Streatham near London, a retired farmer and gentleman, where he died in 1880 at the age of 74.
Tombs had retained ownership of the farm when he left Quenington. In 1867 it was leased to local landowner Michael Hicks Beach and in 1877 was being farmed by William Stayt Penson. It was then sold to Hicks Beach with at least some of it forming part of the lease of the new Coneygres Farm.
10th November 2020