Tom Patch

Tom Patch of West Haddon

This Thomas Patch was the grandfather of the man who was to found the Guilsborough Road Brickyard, which operated throughout much of the 19th century, providing materials for local building. How old had Tom been when he left his home village to make a new life for himself in West Haddon? The description ‘yeoman’ is probably a bit of youthful swagger – his father had been called a labourer, although he was a man of some property, with a cottage in Yelvertoft and another in Lutterworth (perhaps his wife’s marriage portion?). Tom had now inherited the Lutterworth property and probably based his yeoman status on that. There was no great family wealth. After his funeral expenses had been paid, the old man’s personal estate was assessed at two pounds and sixpence (£2.21/2p).

So young Tom was probably living off the rent from the Lutterworth cottage and whatever he could earn as a labourer in West Haddon. At what point did his eye light on a girl with prospects? (Or perhaps she was just very pretty.) Her name was Elizabeth Richards. Her mother had been Beata Bayly, the daughter of a West Haddon farmer, while her father was William Richards of Kings Lyn. When Beata died in 1707, William had brought her home to West Haddon for burial and left his infant daughter Elizabeth to be cared for by her mother’s family. In 1725 the aunt and cousin she may have lived with both died and left her some money in their wills. Then in 1726 her grandmother died too and left her more. Now she was a young woman with a ‘fortune’ of nearly £30. And in 1727 Tom married her.