BLOWER, Thomas (C29)
We know exactly what this beautiful Tea Chest Tomb cost because, in his will, Thomas BLOWER instructed his sister, Ann WHITE, to pay his funeral expenses and erect a Tomb over his and his wife's grave to the value of fourteen pounds!
In exchange he left Ann two houses, located opposite the Old Vicarage in Castle Street (now The Malthouse). He also left her his household furniture and chest of carpenter's tools. Although a Yeoman, Thomas was frugal. After the death of his wife, Mary, he separated his house into two and rented them out while he became a lodger of independent means at Cross Keys Inn on Castle Street.
Today, Thomas Blower's property is comprised of 4 linked cottages and gardens (including the Old Post Office, lot 529).
Tea Chest Tombs are scarce in our Churchyard. This one probably includes the body of Thomas' wife, Mary, who died 8 years earlier than Thomas, in April 1834. Why have a Tea Chest Tomb? Well, the Raglan History Detectives suggest that 'they tell everybody they are rich' and 'coffins fit nicely into tea chest tombs'.
(C29) In Memory of THOMAS BLOWER of this town. He died November 12 1842, Age 78 years AND Mary, died 2 April, 1834, aged 70
Thomas BLOWER (1764 - 1842) was a yeoman. His wife, Mary, died 8 years earlier in 1834. In his will, Thomas asked his Sister, Ann WHITE, to erect a tomb over him and his wife. Thomas might have also been a carpenter because he left his chest of carpenter's tools to his wife (which is strange as she had no need for them after her death!).
Other facts: - Mary BLOWER, wife of Thomas BLOWER, died 2 April 1834
- Thomas BLOWER'S sister was ANN BLOWER / PRITCHARD (married Thos Pritchard, 19 June, 1758). (St Cadoc's Marriages, 1725 - 1900) nb. not S - Thomas BLOWER'S brother, George BLOWER, Corviser, married Mary JAMES, widow, 20 Aug, 1760 - Thomas BLOWER'S sister, Mary BLOWER, married Cradock JENKINS, 29 July, 1774 - Thomas BLOWER'S nephew also called 'Thomas BLOWER' (cited in 1842 will) -Thomas BLOWER'S sister was ANN WHITE (wife of Richard WHITE) (cited in Thos Blowers last will), 1842 = Cousin, Elizabeth STEPHENS
We have been able to uncover two potential fathers for Thomas BLOWER:
- 1725; No. 2,012. 20 Aug. 1725 By: William Griffith, Monmouth, and John Edmonds, Ragland, yeoman. To: William Blower, Monmouth, gent.1/2 m., etc. called y Werne. (Raglan historical docs and people). nb. This is probably not Thomas' father as there isn't any indication that Thomas had inherited property called y Werne.
- 1738 Birth register: Edward Blower b. 21 Jan. 1738. Father Thomas BLOWER, Raglan, Mon. nb. This is a good possiblity for Thomas' father as they share the same name and the age is just about right.
It doesn't seem that Thomas BLOWER had any living children to inherit his estate. There is but one nephew that we have been able to locate.
Family Tree: Thomas BLOWER (1764-1842
LL/1844/156 - Ragland - Thomas BLOWER Admin Will Granted 23 October 1844 Monmouth
This is the last Will and Testament of me Thomas BLOWER of the Parish of Ragland in the County of Monmouth Yeoman. First I give and devise all those two messuages or dwelling houses with the appurtenances and gardens thereunto belonging together with all my household furniture and chest of carpenter’s tools, situate lying and being opposite the National School in the Village and Parish of Ragland in the County of Monmouth to my sister Ann WHITE for and during the term of her natural life, and my said sister Ann WHITE is to pay my funeral expenses, and for erecting a Tomb over me and my wife’s grave of the value of fourteen pounds,
and from and immediately after her decease I give and devise the said messuages or dwelling houses with the appurtenances and gardens thereunto belonging to my nephew Thomas BLOWER and his heirs for ever, and my said nephew Thomas BLOWER is to pay to my cousin Elizabeth STEPHENS the sum of twenty pounds of lawful money of great britain immediately after my said sister Ann WHITE’s decease, and my said nephew Thomas BLOWER is to pay to my said sister Ann WHITE’s heirs or assigns immediately after her decease whatsoever expence she may go to in putting the said two messuages or dwelling houses in tenantable repair and also the sum of fourteen pounds of lawful money of great britain for erecting the said Tomb,
and I hereby nominate constitute and appoint John NICHOLAS of the parish of Cwmcarvon in the County of Monmouth, Farmer, sole Executor of this my Will and Testament, In Witness whereby I have subscribed my name and seal this fourteenth day of May one thousand eight hundred and forty two. Thomas BLOWER
Signed sealed declared and published by the said Testator Thomas BLOWER as and for his last Will and Testament in the presence of us and who at his request and in his presence and in the presence of each other have subscribed our names as witnesses thereto Edward LEWIS Thomas STEPHENS
23rd day of October 1844 Ann WHITE (the wife of Richard WHITE) the lawful sister one of the next of kin and substitute residuary Legatee in this Will was sworn well and faithfully to execute the same and that the goods chattels and credits of the deceased are under the value of one twenty pounds (John NICHOLAS the sole Executor in this Will named having first personally renounced the probate and execution thereof) before me William CRAWLEY? (Surrogate)
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