Thomas Bardel BRINDLEY (1818–1876)
His common-law wife Mrs Elizabeth BRINDLEY, née PATCHETT (1832–1902)
Their son Harry Edgar BRINDLEY (1866–1870)
Their daughter Ellen Leonora BRINDLEY (1869–1881)
St Giles section [Ss Philip & James]: Row 2, Grave B31

Brindley grave




"COME U… … …"



Thomas Bardel Brindley was born in Stourbridge, Worcestershire on 13 February 1818, the son of Thomas & Ann Brindley.

His first and real wife Anne Willcox was born in Enville, Staffordshire in 1817 and baptised at St Mary’s Church there on 6 April 1817. She was the daughter of Richard and Sarah Wil[l]cox.

In the second quarter of 1839 in Dudley (then an exclave of Worcestershire), Thomas Bardel Brindley married Anne Willcox, and they had the following children, the first born soon after the wedding:

  • Lorenzo Florello Valentine Brindley (birth and death registered in Dudley third quarter of 1839)
  • Philander Alphonso Augustus Brindley (born in Dudley in 1840, reg. third quarter)
  • Walter Roland Lewellin Brindley (born in Enville, Staffordshire in 1843, reg. third quarter)
  • Albert Henry Bardello Brindley (born in Staffordshire in 1846, reg. Stourbridge third quarter)
  • Florence Louisa Miranda Brindley (born in Stourbridge, Worcestershire in 1848, reg. second quarter;
    died in Wolverhampton in the fourth quarter of 1852)
  • Lorenzo Florello Valentine Brindley (born in Wolverhampton early in 1851;
    died there in the first quarter of 1852)
  • Rowena Louisa Florence Brindley, known as Florence (born in Kings Norton in the fourth quarter of 1858)
    died in Birmingham in 1865.

Thomas Bardel Brindley is likely to be the man of that name who was the author of various books, including The Omnipotence of the Deity and Other Poems, dedicated to Charles Dickens (Stourbridge,1843) and The Evening Walk and Other Poems (London, 1843). Some of his other works are listed here.

At the time of the 1851 census the family was living at Snow Hill, Wolverhampton. Thomas Bardel Brindley (33) was the editor of the Herald newspaper there, employing four men and one boy. His wife Anne (34) and four of their children were at home: Philander (10), Walter (7), Florence (2), and the second Lorenzo (one month). The family had one general servant. Their son Albert, who would have been aged four and was still alive, is hard to find. The two youngest children died in Wolverhampton the following year: Lorenzo (reg. first quarter) and Florence (reg. fourth quarter).

Elizabeth Patchett was born at Vauxhall Road, Birmingham on 2 January 1832 and baptised at St James's Chapel Aston on 25 August 1833. She was the daughter of Septimus Patchett, a plumber & glazier, and Elizabeth Harris, who were married at Solihull on 21 July 1822. Elizabeth had six siblings: William (1822), Emma Susanna (1825), Eliza (1829), Sarah Anne (1834), Harriet (1836), and Amelia Maria (1839). At the time of the 1851 census Elizabeth (19) was at home in Little Francis Street, Aston with her parents and her sisters Eliza and Sarah.

Around the early 1850s, Thomas Brindley began an affair with Elizabeth Patchett, who was later to become his common-law wife.

On 28 August 1852 the former slave Henry Box Brown (who escaped from bondage by being packed in a box, in which he travelled 300 miles), successfully sued Brindley for libel. The case was reported in various newspapers, including the Hull Packet and East Riding Times of 6 August 1852:

LIBELLING A NEGRO.—At Warwick assizes, an action for libel was brought against the proprietor of the Wolverhampton Herald, for delating—in certain paragraphs—that the panorama and lectures of Henry Box Brown, who represented himself as a runaway slave from Richmond, in America, were “gross and palpable exaggerations.” The plaintiff stated that he was receiving in Wolverhampton from £50 to £70 per week until these paragraphs appeared, and then his audiences fell off, and he was obliged to leave the town. The jury gave him a verdict, with £100 damages.

In 1854 Elizabeth Patchett gave birth to the first of four children that she had by Brindley. For the third time he chose the name Lorenzo:

  • Lorenzo Valentine Patchett (born in Birmingham in 1854, registered second quarter; later known as Lorenzo Valentine Patchett Brindley and acknowledged as Thomas Bardel Brindley's son).

Also in 1854 the following notice appeared in the London Gazette:

NOTICE is hereby given, that the Partnership subsisting between us the undersigned, Thomas Bardel Brindley and Jesse Ascough, at Wolverhampton, in the county of Stafford, as Proprietors of the Wolverhampton Journal, under the firm of T. B. Brindley and Company, was this day dissolved by mutual consent.—Dated this 27th day of May, 1854.

Brindley soon started publishing another newspaper. The 1855 Post Office Directory of Birmingham described him as follows:

Brindley, Thomas Bardel (late Williams), publisher of “Staffordshire Sentinel & Birmingham & Wolverhampton & Midland Counties Advertiser & Wolverhampton Journal,” 29 Queen street removed from King Street.

On 10 May 1860 Thomas Bardel Brindley inserted two notices in the Birmingham Daily Post. The first warned persons owing accounts to the Birmingham Times and Midland Advertiser not to pay the same to any person except himself or his cashier John Houghton; and the other was a public protest about the illegal seizure of that paper by Joseph York. In the same edition, York put in a notice of his own, saying that Brindley had been discharged from his employ and was not authorized to receive any money on the newspaper’s account. On 11 May Brindley declared that this was libellous, and that York had seized the paper illegally. On 18 June the case was in Chancery, with Brindley restrained from receiving any moneys.

By the time of the 1861 census Thomas Brindley and his wife Anne had gone their separate ways. Thomas (43), described as a newspaper editor, was living at 30 Friston Street, Birmingham with Elizabeth Patchett (29), who was described as his housekeeper, and their son Lorenzo. He described himself as a newspaper editor, and as married. Elizabeth Patchett's sister, the dressmaker Mrs Eliza Williams, was paying them a visit, and was later to work as their housekeeper.

Meanwhile in 1861 his real wife Anne Brindley (43), who was working as a dressmaker, was living at Nelson Street South, Birmingham with three of her children: Walter (22), who was a janitor, Albert (14), who was a gunmaker, and [Rowena] Florence (2). Philander (born 1840) is missing from the 1861 census, and it is likely that he was in the army, as he was appointed a Sergeant in the 13th Hussars by the end of 1864.

Elizabeth Patchett gave birth to another son by Brindley in Birmingham in 1861, after the census:

  • Thomas Julian St John Patchett (born at 6 Cambridge Street, Birmingham on 28 August 1862; later known as Thomas Julian St John Brindley and acknowledged as Thomas Bardel Brindley's son).

By 1866 Thomas had moved down to Oxford to live as man and wife with Elizabeth Patchett and their sons Lorenzo and Thomas. They had two more children in Oxford both registered (illegally) with their father’s surname:

  • Harry Edgar [Patchett] Brindley (born in Oxford in 1866, registered Headington district fourth quarter)
  • Ellen Leonora [Patchett] Brindley (born in Oxford in 1869, registered Headington district second quarter).

Their home in the newly built Park Terrace in north Oxford was a grand one, and is now part of Park Town. Their third son Harry died there at the age of four, and was the first buried in this grave:

† Harry Edgar Brindley died at Park Terrace in north Oxford at the age of four in November 1870 and was buried at St Sepulchre's Cemetery on 9 November (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church).

In January 1871 Thomas Bardel Brindley contributed a guinea to the special relief fund for the industrious poor of Oxford.

At the time of the 1871 census Thomas (53), who was working as a commercial traveller for a Scotch whisky distillery, was living at Park Terrace with Elizabeth Patchett (39), who was described as his wife with her name recorded as Elizabeth Brindley; but in fact they were never able to marry, as his first wife outlived him. Also at home were their son Lorenzo (17), who was articled to an architect and their daughter Ellen (1); and Elizabeth Patchett's sister Mrs Eliza Williams was working as their housekeeper, and they also had one general servant. One of Thomas’s two surviving sons by his first wife, Walter Brindley (27), was also paying them a visit: he was a commercial traveller like his father. Thomas's second son by Elizabeth Patchett, Thomas junior (9), was a pupil at Carlton Lodge Academy in the Iffley Road, and his surname was recorded as Brindley.

In 1871 Thomas Bardel Brindley's real wife Anne Brindley (54), described as an annuitant, was living at 19 Princes Street, Kings Norton with her daughter Lizzie (22). This is the first appearance of Lizzie, who was born in Castle Bromwich, Warwickshire in c.1848, and it is hard to see how she fits in with the family.

In 1875 Thomas Bardel Brindley's booklet Hints, Humorous and Satirical, to all the World and his Wife was published in London by Simpkin, Marshall, and Co. The following Literary Notice was published about it in The Times on 7 June 1875:

Mr. Brindley possesses a considerable fund of humour and sarcasm, which we are pleased to see from this little brochure he uses in the interests of morality and religion, and against all who are either open or covert enemies to the same. The passages also such as those on page 111, where he replies to Darwin, are particularly good, and we have seen many worse and more pretentious answers to “natural selection”. The book is full of amusement, and shows how much sound philosophy can be expressed in the language of fun.

Later that year Thomas Bardel Brindley, described as a gentleman, became the first leaseholder of 61 Banbury Road, which was then called May Villa. He died there five years later and was buried with his young son Harry:

† Thomas Bardel Brindley died at May Villa, 61 Banbury Road on 5 September 1876 at the age of 58 and was buried in St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 8 September (burial recorded in the parish register of Ss Philip & James’s and St Giles’s Church).

His effects came to nearly £1,000, and his executors were William Patchett of Greenfield, Shrewsbury, Gentleman; Sarah Anne Patchett, spinster of St Giles; and Elizabeth Patchett, spinster of May Villa, Banbury Road. The last-named, of course, was the woman who lived with him as his wife, while William Patchett was her older brother and Miss Sarah Anne Patchett was her younger sister, who now kept a lodging house at 58 and 59 St Giles’s Street.

Thomas Brindley's common-law wife Elizabeth Patchett/Brindley came down in the world after his death: at the time of the 1881 census “Mrs Brindley” was living over Elliston & Cavell’s in Magdalen Street, employed as the housekeeper of John Caldecott Cavell, who died in 1887. Her two surviving sons were both clerks: Lorenzo (26) was a bank clerk, lodging at 134a Belgrave Road, Edgbaston, and Thomas (19) was a railway clerk, boarding at 45 Great Russell Street, Northampton. Her only daughter Ellen (11) was boarding not far from her mother at the ladies’ seminary of the Misses Howe and Beaufoy at 60 St Giles’s Street, Oxford.

Meanwhile in 1881 Thomas Brindley’s real wife, Mrs Anne Brindley, a widow of 64, was lodging on her own in Aston, Birmingham.

Elizabeth Patchett/Brindley's daughter Ellen died at Magdalen Street (probably at her mother's lodgings over Elliston & Cavell) less than six months after that census:

† Ellen Leonora Brindley died at Magdalen Street on 21 September 1881 at the age of 12 and was buried in St Sepulchre's Cemetery on 23 September (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles's Church).

Also in 1881, Elizabeth's second son was married at the age of 20:

  • On 4 October 1881 at Swindon Parish Church, Thomas Julian St John Brindley [born Patchett] married Amy Nelly Bridgwood of Chasepool Lodge, Swindon, the daughter of the felt-monger George Woolley Bridgwood. He appears to have already had a child with her: Charles Horace Bridgwood (born in Hackney in early 1881).

At the time of the 1891 census Elizabeth Patchett/Brindley (described as living on her own means) was staying at 184 Alexandra Road, Hampstead with her son Lorenzo (37) and his family.

In c.1892 “Mrs Elizabeth Brindley” was listed as running a lodging house at 12 Museum Terrace (now 23 Museum Road).

In 1901 Elizabeth Patchett/Brindley was a visitor in the home of the upholsterer John Carter and his family at 23 Cardigan Street, Oxford. She died in hospital the following year, and was buried with her son Harry and her common-law husband:

† Elizabeth Patchett aka Brindley died in the Radcliffe Infirmary in September 1902 at the age of 70 and was buried in St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 22 September (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles’s Church only, as she did not die in her home parish of Ss Philip & James).

Her death was registered at the General Register Office under the false name Brindley, but although the inscription on the grave gives her surname as Brindley, she is not actually described there as Thomas’s wife.

Three of Elizabeth Patchett's sisters followed her to Oxford:

  • Eliza Patchett (born 1829) had married James Williams in Chester on 5 November 1853, but they do not appear to have had any children. At the time of the 1871 census she was was housekeeper to her sister Elizabeth and Thomas Brindley in Oxford.
  • Miss Sarah Ann Patchett (born 1834) kept a lodging house at 59 St Giles' Street in St Mary Magdalen parish. She died there at the age of 65 in January 1899 and was buried on 22 January. It is possible that she was the first person buried in the grave in the St Mary Magdalen section of St Sepulchre's cemetery where her niece Lilly Arabella Jones was buried later that year.
  • Mrs Amelia Maria Patchett (born 1839) married Francis Jones in Manchester and 1865 and they were living in Cheshire in 1871 with their first three children. By 1874 they had moved to Summertown, and their son Francis Robert Jones was registered there in the third quarter of that year.
    Amelia's husband Francis Jones died in Summertown at the age of 32 shortly after Francis junior's birth and was buried there on 16 December 1874. At the time of the 1881 census Amelia (39) was a lodging house keeper at 53 St Giles Road West (the south end of the Banbury Road). In 1891 she had a lodging house at 18 Museum Road (soon to be renumbered 21 Museum Road) in St Giles's parish, where she lived with her daughter Lilly (22) and son Francis (16), who was a brewer's clerk.
    Her son Francis Robert Jones (22) died in St Giles parish and was buried in St Sepulchre's Cemetery on 23 March 1896, and her daughter Lilian (Lilly) Arabella Jones died at 21 Museum Road and was buried with her brother on 19 November 1899.
    Mrs Amelia Jones
    , with five of her six children dead, was living on her own at Harrold, Sharmbrook at the time of the 1911 census. She died at the Causeway, Clarlton, Bedfordshire at the age of 84 in November 1923 and was buried in St Sepulchre's Cemetery on 19 November in the same grave as daughter.
The Jones grave

The Jones grave in the St Mary Magdalen Church section of St Sepulchre's Cemetery at Row 24, Grave G65 (no biography prepared) bears the names of Amelia Maria Jones, née Patchett (1839–1923) and two of her children who predeceased her: Francis Robert Jones (1874–1896) and Lilian (Lilly) Arabella Jones (c.1858–1899). There is a fourth illegible name which could be that of Mrs Jones's sister Sarah Ann Patchett, buried ten months before Lilly.

Thomas Brindley’s surviving children by his wife Anne Brindley
  • Philander Alphonso Augustus Brindley (born 1840) served as a Sergeant in the 13th Hussars and had one daughter by his first wife, Ellen: Alice Lavinia Alice Brindley, whose birth was registered in the Brentford district in the fourth quarter of 1864, and who was baptised at the nonconformist chapel in the barracks at Heston, Middlesex, on 1 January 1865. His wife Ellen died in 1864 (registered Marylebone third quarter). By the time of the 1871 census he was a billiard room keeper living in Bath Street, Manchester with his second wife Letitia (born Nottingham 1847/8). Letitia died at the age of 25 (death registered King’s Norton district in the first quarter of 1873). By 1881 he was a commercial traveller for spirits at 92 Belgrave Road, Edgbaston with his third wife Carrie (born Jersey 1849/50) He does not appear to have had any more children. He died at that address at the age of 43 on 28 March 1884. He left £208, and his half-brother Lorenzo was his sole executor.
  • Walter Roland Lewellin Brindley (born 1843) was a commercial traveller aged 27 visiting his father in Oxford in 1871 and described as single. By 1881 was married, and he and his wife Elizabeth (born in Castle Bromwich, Warwickshire in 1848/9) were living at 29 Princes Street, Kings Norton; he was now described as a commission agent. By 1891 they were at Glenmore House, Cambridge Road, Kings Norton; by 1901 at 10 Bennett Street, Aston Manor, Warwickshire; and by 1911 at 33 Archway Road, Islington. They had no children. Walter died at the latter address at the age of 75 on 30 May 1919 and was buried in Islington Cemetery.
  • Albert Henry Bardello Brindley (born 1846) is hard to find after the 1861 census, when he was a gunmaker of 14. It is possible that he also joined the army
Thomas Brindley’s two surviving children by his common-law wife Elizabeth Patchett, known as Brindley
  • Lorenzo Valentine Patchett Brindley (born 1853/4) grew up in Oxford, and at the time of the 1871 census was articled to an architect in Oxford. On 26 April 1873 at the age of 19, he was matriculated at the University of Oxford from Worcester College. By 1881, when he was 27, he was lodging at 134 Belgrave Road, Edgbaston and working as a bank clerk. In the third quarter of 1882 at Hampstead, he married Fanny Nathan (born in the Strand area in 1852/3). In 1884 they were living at 30 Braithwaite Road, Sparkbrook, near Birmingham. They had two sons: Thomas Patchett Brindley (born in the Aston district in 1884) and Lawrence Valentine Patchett Brindley (born in the Aston district in 1886 but baptised at Holy Trinity Church, Kilburn on 30 July 1887). Their daughter Gladys Constance Patchett Brindley was born in the Hendon district in 1889 and baptised at Holy Trinity Church on 29 November, but died in Hampstead before her first birthday. At the time of the 1891 census Lorenzo was a sheriff’s officer and his family was living at 184 Alexandra Road, Hampstead with two servants (a governess and a house-boy). In 1901 Fanny was at the house on her own with her elder son Thomas (16), a bookseller’s clerk, and she described herself as both married and the head of the household: this implies that Lorenzo had left his wife, and he ceases to be on the electoral roll in 1909.
  • Thomas Julian St John Patchett Brindley (born 1862) was a jeweller's factor's cashier in 1891, living at 50 Newport Road, Kings Norton, Birmingham with his wife Amy and their son Charles (12), and two children born in Kings Norton after their marriage: Bertie Cecil Brindley (8), and Agnes Gertrude Brindley (7). In 1901 Thomas was a jeweller's traveller, living at 40 St Albans Road, Kings Norton with his wife Amy and Charles and Agnes, and another child, Tom Leslie S. J. Brindley (5), who was born in Kings Norton in 1895. Thomas is hard to find in 1911, but his wife was still listed as married. His son Tom was killed in the First World War at the age of 19, and his wife was described as a widow when she died in Brighton at the age of 71 on 2 March 1932.



Please email
if you would like to add information

These biographies would not have been possible without the outstanding transcription services
provided by the Oxfordshire Family History Society

© Friends of St Sepulchre’s Cemetery 2012–2017