Died 23rd October 1849
Thomas Thompson has the unenviable distinction of being the last person recorded by Rawlinson to die in Alnwick from cholera in the 1849 outbreak.
Thomas was a shoemaker, or cordwainer, born in Alnwick in September 1797, but not baptised until the following April, on 15/4/1798. He was the fourth son of Thomas Thompson from Howick and “Mar” (presumably Margaret) from Embleton. Her maiden name was Learmouth.
Thomas Jnr was also a shoemaker when he married Eleanor Luke in St. Michael’s Church on 19th June 1825. They were living in Pottergate Place when daughter Jane was born in 1827, when son Robert was baptised on 7/10/1831 and when son Benjamin was baptised on 17/10/1832. The family had moved to Lisburn St. when sons William ( baptised 6/4/1835) and James (1837-79) were born.
Son Thomas was born when the family was living in Percy Street, in 1840. This was a newly developing area at that time. What made them move once more, to Clayport?, we wonder. It was the wrong decision to move, because Clayport was the worst affected area when the cholera struck in 1849. Thomas was 52 when he died from cholera leaving a wife, one daughter and five sons to manage without him.
By the 1851 census for Clayport Street, Eleanor and Jane (24) were dressmakers, Benjamin (18) was a tobacconist and James(14) was an errand boy, so they were all earning. Benjamin married Hannah Barber in 1858, and lived in Lisburn Street until after the 1871 census. He was still a tobacconist when they moved to Newcastle before 1881, and then up to Scotland.
Son James moved to the opposite end of the country, to Ashford in Kent. He became a coach painter by trade and lived in Drum Lane, Ashford with his wife and daughter. Sadly he died young in 1879, age 42. Mother Eleanor and daughter Jane lived together until Eleanor died in 1879, age 74. They both worked as dressmakers in Clayport and later in Chapel Lane.