Nat Gould

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Thomas Anderson 1795-1872

Thomas Anderson
Born: 1795
Died: 1872 Felsham, Suffolk
John Anderson 1747-1809
Susanna Fraser died 1800
Elizabeth Anderson 1793-1823
Harriet Sarah Anderson 1794-
George Henry Anderson 1795-
Charles David Anderson 1797-
William Anderson 1797-
Susanna Fraser Anderson 1800-1884
Lydia Gould 1795-1854
Mary Anderson 1821-1882
John Thomas Anderson 1822-1894
James Richard Anderson 1824-1872

Thomas Anderson was born in 1795 at Woodford in Essex, the son of John Anderson 1747-1809 of Philpot Lane in London and Woodford. John Anderson and his brother were sons of a family living at Caithness in Scotland, and having been taken into the business of their childless uncle Richard Oswald 1704-1784, became involved in the West African slave trade until its abolition (1).

Having matriculated on 6 November 1812, Thomas Anderson had graduated Bachelor of Arts at Exeter College, Oxford in 1816 and Master of Arts in 1819 (3).

On 22 September 1819 he married Lydia Gould at Northaw in Hertfordshire. She was born on 24 May 1795, the daughter of Thomas Gould 1752-1829 and his wife nee Frances Hunt 1766-1836. The ceremony was conducted by the bride's maternal uncle the Reverend Dr Philip Hunt 1772-1838 (2).

Felsham Church

Felsham Church

Thomas Anderson was ordained deacon at Lincoln cathedral on 29 October 1820 and appointed on the same day as stipendiary curate at Wilden in Bedfordshire. He was ordained priest at Lincoln on 14 October 1821. On 8 February 1822 the Reverend Thomas Anderson became Rector of Felsham in Suffolk, where he was to serve throughout the rest of his life. The patron of the benefice, who appointed the new rector, was his wife’s brother, the Reverend Joseph Gould 1797-1866.

The children of Thomas and Lydia Anderson were:

Mary Anderson. She was born in 1821 at Northaw Place, the home of her paternal grandparents. She died on 6 May 1882 (4).

John Thomas Anderson. He was born in 1822 at Cardington in Bedfordshire, and was baptised at Felsham on 8 September 1822. He married his cousin (5) Mary Montgomerie on 8 August 1872 (6). She was born in 1831 in Scotland, the daughter of William Eglinton Montgomerie and his wife nee Susanna Fraser Anderson, and died in 1914. Felsham House was built for them by his father (7). John Thomas Anderson was a barrister-at-law, and became a Queen's Counsel in Canada. When the Census was taken in 1881 he was living in retirement with his wife at 108 Northgate Street, Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk. By 1891 they were living at Newlands, Bury Road, Felsham. He died in 1894.

James Richard Anderson 1824-1872. He was born at Northaw Place. He became a clergyman.

In 1851 Thomas and Lydia Anderson were living at Felsham Rectory with their unmarried daughter Mary Anderson, their son John Thomas Anderson also unmarried, a manservant and three female servants.

Lydia Anderson died on 21 March 1854 at Felsham Rectory aged 58 years (8).

In 1861 the Reverend Thomas Anderson was living as a widower at Felsham Rectory with his unmarried daughter Mary, a manservant and three female servants. He was there when the 1871 Census was taken, with his unmarried daughter Mary Anderson, but the household had increased to five female domestics and two male servants. Also living with them was a granddaughter Mary Elizabeth Anderson aged 22 years and born at Wolverton in Warwickshire, the daughter of the rector’s son the Reverend James Richard Anderson.

Thomas Anderson served as a magistrate for Bury St Edmunds Petty Sessions from soon after arriving in Felsham until shortly before his death, and achieved the rare distinction for a clergyman of becoming Chairman of Bury Quarter Sessions where the more serious cases were heard (9). Although combining Church duties with those of the Bench may seem incompatible today, such was not uncommon at that time. Clerical magistrates were noted for their zeal in punishing wrongdoers, and from the evidence of cases reported in the press Thomas Anderson as magistrate was no exception.

The Reverend Thomas Anderson died at Felsham on 4 December 1872 (10). His Will was proved (11) on 27 March and 14 May 1873 (12).


(1) The career of the Anderson brothers has been fully described in a scholarly but very readable account of the life of Thomas Anderson 1795-1872 primarily dealing with his life as Rector of Felsham : Thomas Anderson: Rector of Felsham 1822-1872 Christopher Bornett (2013) pages 3 to 4 and 38 to 42 (hereafter cited as C. Bornett op cit and is a major source of information about Thomas Anderson). See also Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage Charles Moseley (editor) 107th edition (2003) volume 1 page 1281.
(2) "MARRIED. On Wednesday, the 22d inst., at Northaw-church, Herts, by the Rev. Dr. Hunt, Thomas Anderson, Esq., of Exeter-college, Oxford, M.A., to Lydia, second daughter of Thomas Gould, Esq., of Northaw." The Times 24 September 1819.
(3) Alumni Oxonienses 1715-1886 Later Series A-D (1882) page 23.
(4) Bury and Norwich Post 9 May 1882.
(5) Notes for the History of Felsham Sir John Tilley (1951) page 5.
(6) Ipswich Journal 10 December 1872; Chelmsford Chronicle 16 August 1872.
(7) "Country houses in East Anglia" article in Country Life by Penny Churchill 26 April 2007.
(8) "DIED ... On the 21st inst., at Felsham Rectory, Suffolk, aged 58, Lydia, wife of the Rev. Thomas Anderson." Morning Chronicle 25 March 1854. Similar reports in Norfolk Chronicle 25 March and 8 April 1854.
(9) C. Bornett op cit page 33 quoting Ipswich Journal 13 July 1872.
(10) Pall Mall Gazette 10 December 1872; Cambridge Independent Press 14 December 1872.
(11) Probate of his Will caused some difficulty, as one of the executors, his son John Thomas Anderson, was in Canada. Probate had to be granted at Bury St Edmunds first to him in March 1873, and then in the following May to the other executor his brother-in-law Nathan Wetherell of Pashley House at Ticehurst in Sussex.
(12)"ANDERSON The Reverend Thomas. 27 March. The Will with three Codicils of the Reverend Thomas Anderson late of Felsham in the County of Suffolk who died 4 December 1872 at Felsham was proved at Bury St. Edmunds by Nathan Wetherell of Pashley in the County of Sussex Esquire one of the Executors. Double Probate passed at Bury St. Edmunds May 1873. Effects under £60,000.
ANDERSON The Reverend Thomas. 14 May. The Will with three Codicils of the Reverend Thomas Anderson late of Felsham in the County of Suffolk who died 4 December 1872 at Felsham was proved at Bury St. Edmunds by John Thomas Anderson of Toronto in Canada the Son the other Executor. Former Grant at Bury St. Edmunds March 1873. Effects under £60,000." England and Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations) 1858-1966 (1873) page 72.