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Tuesday 27 May 2014

Tombstone Tuesday - Thomas and Martha Robinson, Market Gardeners

Memorial to Thomas and Martha Robinson, St Michael's churchyard, Bray, Berkshire, England.

"In Loving Memory of
Thomas Robinson
Who Died January 28th 1885
Aged 83 Years
- Them Also Which Sleep In Jesus Will God Bring With Him -
Also of
Martha Robinson
Wife Of The Above
Who Died January 1st 1892
Aged 81 Years
-The Memory Of The Just Is Blessed-"
Thomas Robinson was born in Hambleden, Buckinghamshire in 1802 to John Robinson and his wife Elizabeth.  Thomas was christened on 21st March 1802.
On 8th October 1833 Thomas married Martha Abdy at St Michael's Church in Bray, Berkshire.
In 1835 they celebrated the birth of their son, Thomas Jr, soon followed by George in 1837 and a daughter, Elizabeth, in 1839.
The young family first appears in the 1841 Census living in Windsor Road, Bray, Berkshire, where Thomas is working as a gardener. 
1842 saw the birth of a third son, Ephraim.  A second daughter Mary followed in 1845, a third daughter Louisa in 1847 and a fourth Sarah in 1851
At the time of the 1851 Census, Thomas and Martha are still residing in their home in Windsor Road.  Thomas Jr is now working as a bricklayer at the age of sixteen and fourteen year old George has left home to work as a errand boy for Mr Charles Jones, a baker in Bray.  In 1854 Thomas and Martha's youngest child, a son, William, was born.
In 1856 George Robinson marries Mary Pearson in Windsor, Berkshire.
Thomas and his family are still living at their home in Windsor Road, Bray by the time of the 1861 Census.  Thomas has now become a market gardener. Market gardens were relatively small scale productions of fruits and vegetables grown on a small area of land.  The produce was often sold direct to customers or to restaurants and Inns.  Elizabeth is working as a servant whilst living at home, while Ephraim has left home to work as a baker for Mr Henry Cowdery in Cookham High Street.  Interestingly on the 1861 Census, Ephraim is living next door to Sir Stanley Spencer's paternal grandfather, Julius Spencer.
George, now working as a baker, and his new wife Mary are lodging at The Cricketer's Beer House on Holyport Green in Holyport, Berkshire (now a private house).

Photo of Holyport, the Green 1909 - Francis Frith. The linked photograph shows Holyport Green in 1909.  The public house furthest from the camera is the George Inn which is still in business today.
In 1867 Thomas Jr marries Eliza House, daughter of Ephraim House of the Wheatsheaf Inn, Grazeley, Berkshire in Salford, Lancashire.
By 1871 Thomas and Martha had moved to Money Row Green in Holyport Berkshire.  At the age of seventy, Thomas is still working the land as a market gardener.  Staying with them at the time is their eldest son Thomas who has unfortunately fallen on hard times and is out of employment.  Elizabeth, Mary and William are still living with their parents.  Sarah has left home to work as a general domestic servant in the home of Mrs Elizabeth Stephenson at 1 Carlton Villas, Hencroft Street, Upton-cum-Chalvey in Slough, Berkshire. Louisa has moved to Grazeley in Berkshire to work as a house keeper for Ephraim House at the Wheatsheaf Inn.

The Wheatsheaf Inn as it is today.

© Copyright Andrew Smith
and licensed for reuse
under this Creative Commons Licence
George, his wife Mary and their daughter Eliza are living and running a bakery from 23 Oxford Road, Clewer in Windsor, Berkshire.
1881 finds the now elderly Thomas and Martha still living at their home in Money Row Green, Holyport.  At eighty years old Thomas is still listed as working as a gardener.  Elizabeth and William are still living with their parents.
Thomas Jr has taken over the running of the Wheatsheaf  Inn in Grazeley, Berkshire, along with his wife Eliza.  Thomas's sister Louisa is living and working at The Inn as an assistant.  Thomas's other sister Mary is visiting at the time.

Sarah has moved to Putney in London to work as a general domestic servant in the home of tea merchant D. Bigwood at 6 Ravenna Road.
Four years after the 1881 Census was taken, Thomas Snr passes away aged eighty three.
1891 finds the eighty one year old widowed Martha still living in Money Row Green in Holyport.  Martha's youngest son, William has taken over the market garden business but it is clear Martha is still in charge as her occupation is listed as a market gardener proprietress.

A year later Martha joins her husband in enternal rest at St Michael's churchyard in Bray.

St Michael's Church, Bray, Berkshire.

© Copyright - Rob Neild
and licensed for reuse
under this Creative Commons Licence 


  1. Nice bit of research there, are the photos of Geograph by any chance, I recognise Andrew Smith

  2. Lovely to find this as Thomas and Martha are my ancestors, and I've been recently researching their family. Thank you


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