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Thomas Heath

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Thomas Heath (7 Aug 1818 - 19 Jun 1903) worked as a labourer on the Fleming Estate, and was North Stoneham's parish clerk for 31 years[1]. He lived at Cottage No. 39 in Spring Lane, Middle Stoneham for '60 years of happy wedded life'.

In Memoriam

We laid our old friend's body to rest on Tuesday, June 23rd, with a Choral Service full of beauty and hope. The Rector said the Office and read the Lesson, and his favourite Hymn "Lord Divine" was sung before leaving Church; then the Nunc Dimittis as the procession moved slowly to the grave; and before the final “grace” the Hymn, “Now the labourer’s task is o’er.” A large number of mourners and friends were present, and the flowers were beautiful, especially a large cross sent by Mrs. Bramwell. Thomas Heath's long life included many and varied experiences: he was born in 1818, and was a boy of 14 when the Bread-rioters came from Botley and marched down Doncaster Drove till they were met by Squire Fleming and his retainers, who read the Riot Act and dispersed them. This was just before the passing of the first Reform Bill in 1832. He was in the service of Mr. Fleming, M.P., Mr. John Brown Willis Fleming, Mr. Thomas Willis Fleming, of South Stoneham House, and the Rev. Canon Beadon. He remembered the time when the music in Church was led by two clarionets, played by J. Goodman and T. Colmer, and a bass viol; the same J. Goodman became the first Organist, when the small organ was placed in the Tower during the restoration of 1826-30, where it remained till 1890. He was appointed Parish Clerk by Canon Beadon in 1862, and served under three Rectors; for many years he tolled the three cracked bells with tied clappers, until the present peal was given in 1893. In the same year he resigned the office of Clerk and Sexton, and was presented with a silver-mounted Aneroid and a purse of £14 contributed by many friends. He and Mrs. Heath, nee Mary Parker, commemorated their diamond wedding day on November 29th, 1898, after living for 60 years of happy wedded life in the same cottage and with a numerous family. After a few weeks’ illness he fell peacefully asleep all the morning of June 19th, and our united prayer may well be “May he rest in peace.”


  1. Parish register
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