Thomas de Trafford

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Thomas de Trafford was the first de Trafford Baronet. Sir Thomas Joseph de Trafford 1778 - 1852.jpg
Thomas de Trafford was the first de Trafford Baronet.

Sir Thomas Joseph de Trafford, 1st Baronet, DL (22 March 1778 – 10 November 1852) was a member of a prominent family of English Roman Catholics. He served as commander of the Manchester and Salford Yeomanry at the time of the Peterloo Massacre. He was born at Croston Hall near Chorley, Lancashire on 22 March 1778, son of John Trafford and Elizabeth Tempest, and was christened Thomas Joseph Trafford (no de).

Manchester and Salford Yeomanry cavalry was a short-lived yeomanry regiment formed in response to social unrest in northern England in 1817. The volunteer regiment became notorious for its involvement in the 1819 Peterloo Massacre, in which as many as 15 people were killed and 400–700 were injured. Often referred to simply as the Manchester Yeomanry, the regiment was disbanded in 1824.

Peterloo Massacre Massacre of protesters in 1819

The Peterloo Massacre took place at St Peter's Field, Manchester, England, on 16 August 1819, when cavalry charged into a crowd of 60,000–80,000 who had gathered to demand the reform of parliamentary representation.

Chorley town in Lancashire, England

Chorley is a town in Lancashire, England, 8.1 miles (13 km) north of Wigan, 10.8 miles (17 km) south west of Blackburn, 11 miles (18 km) north west of Bolton, 12 miles (19 km) south of Preston and 19.5 miles (31 km) north west of Manchester. The town's wealth came principally from the cotton industry.


Marriage and family

Thomas married Laura Anne Colman (born 18 August 1780, baptized 9 November 1780, Cullompton), daughter of Francis Colman (d. 1820) of Hillersdon, Devon, and Jemima Searle (d. 1807), on 17 August 1803, and the couple lived at Trafford Hall, in Trafford Park. They had nine daughters and five sons, [1] including:

Cullompton town and civil parish in Devon, England

Cullompton is a town and civil parish in the district of Mid Devon and the county of Devon, England, locally known as Cully. It is 13 miles (21 km) north-east of Exeter and lies on the River Culm. In 2011 the parish as a whole had a population of 8,499 while the built-up area of the town had a population of 7,439

Hillersdon House

Hillersdon House in the parish of Cullompton in Devon, is a grade II* listed late Georgian style manor house overlooking that town. It was built in 1848 by William Charles Grant (1817-1877), to the design of Samuel Beazley, the notable theatre architect.

Devon County of England

Devon, also known as Devonshire, which was formerly its common and official name, is a county of England, reaching from the Bristol Channel in the north to the English Channel in the south. It is part of South West England, bounded by Cornwall to the west, Somerset to the north east, and Dorset to the east. The city of Exeter is the county town. The county includes the districts of East Devon, Mid Devon, North Devon, South Hams, Teignbridge, Torridge, and West Devon. Plymouth and Torbay are each geographically part of Devon, but are administered as unitary authorities. Combined as a ceremonial county, Devon's area is 6,707 km2 and its population is about 1.1 million.

Felton, Northumberland village and civil parish in Northumberland, England

Felton is a village in Northumberland, North East England, 8.9 miles (14 km) south of Alnwick and 12 miles (19 km) north of Morpeth. The nearest city, Newcastle upon Tyne, is 24 miles (39 km) south of the village, and the Scottish border 37 miles (60 km) north of it. At the 2011 Census, it had a population of 932.

Heaton, Greater Manchester human settlement in United Kingdom

Heaton is a mostly residential district and council ward of Bolton, Greater Manchester, England. It lies about two miles north west of Bolton town centre. It is bounded by Deane to the south, Markland Hill to the west and Smithills and Halliwell to the north.

Le Gendre Nicholas Starkie was an English landowner and Liberal Party politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1853 to 1857.


After his father's death on 29 October 1815, and despite his position as the fifth son, Thomas inherited his father's estates in Lancashire and Cheshire. Two elder brothers, both named Joseph, had died in infancy and two others, Humphrey and John, had both died before their father.

By 12 November 1819, he is recorded as selling the advowson of the parish of St Bartholomew's Church, Wilmslow to Edward Vigor Fox for £6,000. This gave the right to nominate the rector when the parish became vacant, and was a right conferred by lordship of the manor in many cases. Selling that right was legal, so long as the post was not already vacant. However, in this case it appears that Trafford and Fox drew up the sale after they learned that Joseph Bradshaw, the incumbent, was close to death. The sale was concluded at ten to three in the afternoon, and Bradshaw died at half past eleven the same night. [6] At the time of the sale, Trafford was major-commandant of the Manchester and Salford Yeomanry, and Fox was a lieutenant in the same force.

Advowson is the right in English law of a patron (avowee) to present to the diocesan bishop a nominee for appointment to a vacant ecclesiastical benefice or church living, a process known as presentation.

St Bartholomews Church, Wilmslow Church in Cheshire, England

St Bartholomew's Church is in the town of Wilmslow, Cheshire, England. The church is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade I listed building. It is an active Anglican parish church in the diocese of Chester, the archdeaconry of Macclesfield and the deanery of Knutsford.

Lord of the manor title from the feudal system of manorialism

In English and Irish history, the lordship of a manor is a lordship emanating from the feudal system of manorialism. In modern England and Wales, it is recognised as a form of property, one of three elements of a manor that may exist separately or be combined, and may be held in moieties:

  1. the title ;
  2. the manorial, comprising the manor and/or its land; and
  3. the seignory, rights granted to the titular holder of the manor.

Fox's subsequent nomination of George Uppleby as rector, on 30 December 1819, was contested by the Bishop of Chester, and the case wound through the courts during the 1820s. Eventually on 3 June 1829, the House of Lords heard Fox's appeal of earlier decisions voiding the appointment. The Lords could not find any evidence that Uppleby had conspired with Trafford and Fox to buy the appointment (an offence known as simony) and so they ruled in favor of Fox and Trafford. [6]

The Bishop of Chester is the Ordinary of the Church of England Diocese of Chester in the Province of York.

Judicial functions of the House of Lords Historical judicial role of the UK House of Lords

The House of Lords of the United Kingdom, in addition to having a legislative function, historically also had a judicial function. It functioned as a court of first instance for the trials of peers, for impeachment cases, and as a court of last resort within the United Kingdom. In the latter case the House's jurisdiction was essentially limited to the hearing of appeals from the lower courts. Appeals were technically not to the House of Lords, but rather to the Queen-in-Parliament. By constitutional convention, only those lords who were legally qualified heard the appeals, since World War II usually in what was known as the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords rather than in the chamber of the House.

Simony act of selling church offices and roles. It is named after Simon Magus

Simony is the act of selling church offices and roles. It is named after Simon Magus, who is described in the Acts of the Apostles 8:9–24 as having offered two disciples of Jesus, Peter and John, payment in exchange for their empowering him to impart the power of the Holy Spirit to anyone on whom he would place his hands. The term extends to other forms of trafficking for money in "spiritual things." Simony was one of the important issues during the Investiture Controversy.

Slater's Directory for 1845 names Thomas Ayres as Sir T. J. de Trafford's land agent in Stretford. In Edward Twycross's The Mansions of England and Wales (1847), Thomas is noted as the owner of Trafford Hall in the parish of Eccles on the southern bank of the Irwell, 5 miles (8.0 km) west of Manchester. The mansion is described as built of stone with a front featuring a classical portico with columns and a pediment. [7] Tithe maps from the mid-19th century show that Thomas owned more than 700 plots in the Bollin valley near Wilmslow, amounting to about 430 acres (1.7 km2). [8]

Stretford town in Trafford, Greater Manchester

Stretford is a town in Trafford, Greater Manchester, England, on flat ground between the River Mersey and the Manchester Ship Canal, 3.8 miles (6.1 km) southwest of Manchester city centre, 3.0 miles (4.8 km) south of Salford and 4.2 miles (6.8 km) northeast of Altrincham. Stretford borders Chorlton-cum-Hardy to the east, Urmston to the west, Salford to the north, and Sale to the south. The Bridgewater Canal bisects the town.

Edward Twycross (1803–1852) was a Dublin silversmith, solicitor, and author who in 1847 published a book, "The Mansions of England and Wales," that is used as a historical reference for the stately homes of England and in tracing genealogies of members of the British aristocracy.

Eccles, Greater Manchester town in the City of Salford in Greater Manchester, England

Eccles is a town in the City of Salford Greater Manchester, England, 2.7 miles (4.3 km) west of Salford and 3.7 miles (6.0 km) west of Manchester city centre, between the M602 motorway to the north and the Manchester Ship Canal to the south.

Thomas is recorded as having divided the Manors of Trafford and Stretford, giving land including a portion of Croston Manor to his son John Randolphus. [9] In 1853, John Randolphus applied for a £5,000 government loan to drain lands in "Croston, Penwortham, Wigan." [10] In 1874, John Randolphus reunited Croston Manor for the first time since 1318 by purchasing the remainder from trustees of Thomas Norris.

It appears that Thomas Trafford was alert to the financial opportunities presented by the burgeoning coal mining industry. He leased mining rights at the Pemberton Four Feet Mine in Hindley to a partnership of Byrom, Taylor and Byrom for 33 years from 24 December 1849. Trafford was entitled to rent of "£75 per foot per Cheshire acre, and £100 per annum at the least." This venture evidently did not prove as profitable as the lessors had hoped. Within three years the partnership was bankrupt and the mine lease was auctioned on 27 October 1852. [11]

Military service and role in Peterloo Massacre

Thomas Trafford was commissioned as a Captain in the Third Battalion of the Royal Lancashire Militia on 6 March 1801, towards the end of Britain's involvement in the French Revolutionary Wars. [12]

Much later, after the Blanketeers' march of 10 March 1817, the Manchester and Salford Yeomanry was formed in response to the perceived threat of riot, Trafford was commissioned as the Major-Commandant in charge of the Manchester and Salford Yeomanry on 23 August 1817. [13]

By 1819, social discontent because of rising food prices and lack of suffrage had fueled a rise in radical groups in northern England. On 16 August 1819, Major Trafford was sent a note by a magistrate, local coalowner William Hulton, urging him to dispatch the cavalry regiment to a public meeting being addressed by the orator Henry Hunt. Major Trafford did send his 116 troops in response, but he appears not to have been present for the disastrous attack on the assembled crowd. Fifteen people died and hundreds were wounded. The government and landowners viewed the yeomanry's actions at Peterloo as a courageous defence against insurrection. Following the Peterloo Massacre, on 27 August 1819, Lord Sidmouth sent a message of thanks from the Prince Regent to Major Trafford, among others. However, public horror at the actions of the yeomanry grew after the massacre. Major Trafford resigned his commission in 1820, and the yeomanry corps was disbanded on 9 June 1824. [14]

Public office and creation of baronetcy

After the repeal of the Test Acts and the passage of the Roman Catholic Relief Act 1829, the Trafford family became eligible for offices previously barred to them by their religion. Thomas Trafford was appointed High Sheriff of Lancashire in 1834. [15] [16] He is also recorded [7] as serving as Deputy Lieutenant of Lancashire.

He was created the First Baronet de Trafford on 7 September 1841. On 8 October 1841, Queen Victoria issued a royal licence to "Sir Thomas Joseph Trafford ... that he may henceforth resume the ancient patronymic of his family, by assuming and using the surname of De Trafford, instead of that of 'Trafford' and that such surname may be henceforth taken and used by his issue." [17] The anglicisation to Trafford had probably occurred in the 15th century, when the Norman article "de", signifying that a family originated from a particular place, was generally dropped in England. The resumption of such older versions of family names was a romantic trend in 19th-century England, encouraged by a mistaken belief that the article "de" indicated nobility. [18]

Later life

Thomas de Trafford is recorded as living at 12 Grosvenor Street, in Mayfair, London from 1847 to 1852. [19] In 1852, Thomas was thrown from his horse and broke several ribs. While he was convalescing, his wife, Laura, died on 22 October 1852. The family delayed Laura's burial to 5 November, and Thomas died five days later at Trafford Park on 10 November 1852. Thomas de Trafford's funeral was held on 19 November 1852, with a procession departing Trafford Park at 8:30am. An immense crowd attended the service at Salford Cathedral. [20] [21] [22]


  1. Lodge, Edmund (1877), The Peerage and Baronetage of the British Empire as at Present Existing, Hurst and Blackett, p. 732, retrieved 2007-10-22
  2. Keon, Miles Gerald (1845), "Marriages", Dolman's Magazine, General Books LLC, 2 (8): 308, retrieved 2007-10-22
  3. "A Gazette of the Month, Deaths", The Genealogical Magazine, Elliot Stock, 3: 565, May 1899 – April 1900, retrieved 2009-11-05
  4. "Third Regiment of the Duke of Lancaster's Own Militia". The London Gazette . No. 20592. 7 April 1846. p. 1280.
  5. "AUGUSTUS HENRY DE TRAFFORD Deceased". The London Gazette . No. 26708. 11 February 1896. p. 807.
  6. 1 2 Tudor, Owen Davies, ed. (1856), A Selection of Leading Cases on Real Property, Conveyancing, and the Construction of Wills and Deeds: with Notes., London: Butterworths, pp. 134–165, retrieved 2010-01-22
  7. 1 2 "The Trafford Family" . Retrieved 2007-10-20.
  8. "e-Mapping Victorian Cheshire: Twin Maps (Thomas Joseph Trafford)" . Retrieved 2007-10-22.
  9. "Townships: Croston", A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6, Victoria County History, 1980, pp. 91–96, retrieved 2007-10-18
  10. "The Inclosure Commissioners for England and Wales hereby give notice..." The London Gazette . No. 21469. 23 August 1853. p. 2330.
  11. "To be sold by auction (under an adjudication of Bankruptcy against Byrom, Taylor, and Byrom, bankrupts)..." The London Gazette . No. 21371. 22 October 1852. p. 2786.
  12. "Commissions in the Cheshire Militia, signed by the Lord Lieutenant. 3d. Battalion". The London Gazette . No. 15352. 7 April 1801. p. 382.
  13. "No. 17405". The London Gazette . 6 October 1818. p. 1791.
  14. Kippis, Andrew; Godwin, William (1824), The New Annual Register, Printed for G. Robinson, Pater-noster-Row, p. 28, retrieved 2009-11-05
  15. "No. 19125". The London Gazette . 4 February 1834. p. 206.
  16. Baines, Edward (1836), History of the County Palatine and Duchy of Lancaster, London: Fisher, Son, & Co.
  17. "No. 20025". The London Gazette . 8 October 1841. p. 2471.
  18. PD-icon.svg Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Gentleman". Encyclopædia Britannica . 11 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 605.
  19. "Grosvenor Street: North Side", Survey of London: volume 40: The Grosvenor Estate in Mayfair, Part 2 (The Buildings), English Heritage, 1980, p. 35, retrieved 2007-10-18
  20. Crofton, H.T. (1903), A History of the Ancient Chapel of Stretford, in Manchester Parish. Volume III., Remains Historical and Literary Connected with the Palatine Counties of Lancaster and Chester, New Series, Volume 51, Manchester: Chetham Society, pp. 148–149, retrieved 2010-01-21
  21. "Sir Thomas Joseph de Trafford, 1st Bt. at" . Retrieved 2007-10-18.
  22. "Obituary. Sir T. J. de Trafford, Bart.", The Gentleman's Magazine, Printed by F. Jefferies, pp. 198–199, February 1853, retrieved 2007-10-18


Baronetage of Great Britain
Preceded by
New Creation
de Trafford baronets
Succeeded by
Sir Humphrey de Trafford
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Sir John Gerard, 12th Baronet
High Sheriff of Lancashire
Succeeded by
Thomas Clifton
Military offices
New regiment Major-Commandant of the Manchester and Salford Yeomanry
Succeeded by

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