A Woollen Draper and Liberal Councillor for the Borough of Ipswich.


Born: 22nd November 1791, Tile House Street, Hitchin, Hertfordshire.


Member of the Liberal Party.


Thomas was elected to the Council unopposed, on the 1st November 1847, as one of the representatives of the Westgate Ward for the term of three years. Upon the expiration in 1850, Thomas retired and did not subsequently seek re-election.


Thomas was a member of the Society of Friends – Quaker.


Father: Thomas Shewell, born 2nd June 1754, at St. Edmund ye King, City of London – eldest son of Sarah and Edward Shewell, a gentleman, of Camberwell. Thomas was a broker at the Stock Exchange. In 1786 Thomas withdrew from business and moved his young family out of London to Ickleford, Hertfordshire. In 1790, for the education of his children, Thomas moved his family to Tile House Street, in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, but by 1793 Thomas was missing the hustle and bustle of London and moved his family to Mile End in London. Later Thomas and Ann made their home at Bethel Place, Camberwell, Surrey. Thomas Shewell died on the 29th January 1831, at Castle Street, Reading, Berkshire, late of Bethel Place, Camberwell, Surrey and laid to rest on the 6th February 1831, Reading.


Mother: Ann Shewell (nee Talwin), born 26th January 1760, Royston, Hertfordshire – youngest daughter of Elizabeth and John Talwin, a surgeon, of Royston. Ann Shewell died on the 8th May 1822, at her residence Bethel Place, Camberwell, Surrey.



JOHN TALWIN SHEWELL, born 26th January 1782, Old London Street, Tower Hill, London. In 1796, through the kindness of Dykes Alexander, of Ipswich, John Shewell was introduced to the notice of Mr. Isaac Liversidge, a linen draper, of Tavern Street, Ipswich and his wife Mary, both worthy members of the Society of Friends. Mr. Isaac Liversidge was seen in a highly respectable position as a neighbour and tradesman and so in 1796, 15 year old John Shewell was placed as an apprentice with Isaac Liversidge. But in January 1802, before John’s apprenticeship had expired, Isaac Liversidge died, and whilst still a minor the care of the extensive draper’s business devolved upon John Shewell, who for the benefit of the widow Mary Liversidge, he exerted himself most industriously and soon Mary arranged to take John as a partner in the business under the title “Liversidge and Shewell.” They carried on the business conjointly for 13 years with great success until Mary Liversidge died in 1815. In April 1823, John took into partnership with his trusted assistant (and future brother-in-law) Edward Corder. The linen drapery, silk mercery, and hosiery business would be titled “Shewell & Corder.” At the same time, the premises at Tavern Street underwent some repairs and alterations to allow for a new and extensive assortment of good articles.

John Shewell accepted Jesus as the Rock, the Strength, and the believer’s Crown and in January 1829 became a Minister in the Society of Friends. He was a diligent attender of Meetings and planned his business arrangements so as not to prevent his dedication to his Lord’s service. He was one of several Friends appointed by the Yearly Meeting at different times on different Committees to visit various parts of England, Ireland and Scotland.

In 1831, John Shewell retired from business.

On the 2nd May 1833, at the Friend’s Meeting House, Bridge Street, Downham Market, Norfolk, John, a draper, of Ipswich married Elizabeth Pickover, born 9th June 1795, Wisbech, Cambridgeshire -daughter of Jonathan Pickover, a banker, and Susanna Pickover (nee Payne), of Wisbech, Cambridgeshire. John and Elizabeth were proprietors of land, houses, and funds. They first made their home at Orwell Lodge, Ipswich. In 1840, John and Elizabeth moved to Rushmere St. Andrew, Suffolk where they erected a house of white brick with a stone portico “Pinetoft House,” and laid out the gardens and grounds to their taste in the 15 acres.

At the Annual Meeting of the members and friends of the East Suffolk Auxiliary to the Bible Society, and of the Ipswich Ladies’ Association, held at the Council Chambers at the Town Hall, on Monday, 17th October 1864, the Chair Mr. J G Sheppard, Esq., read out a letter from John Shewell announcing his retirement as Secretary through ill-health and increasing infirmities – an appointment he had received in 1811 – the first meeting held in Ipswich for the promotion of the Bible cause.

John Shewell died 4th June 1866, at his residence, Pinetoft House, in Rushmere St. Andrew, Suffolk. Laid to rest at Ipswich Old Cemetery – Quaker Section.

John Talwin Shewell, Esq., this respected townsman, who had for nearly seventy years been an inhabitant of Ipswich and its immediate neighbourhood, was, as is known, a member of the Society of Friends, amongst whom he was a valued Minister. Retiring from business at a comparatively early period of life, he devoted his time to works of benevolence, and whatever promoted the good of his fellow creatures found in him a liberal supporter. One of the subjects in which he felt the greatest interest was the circulation of the Holy Scriptures, and it was mainly through his exertions that the British and Foreign Auxiliary Bible Society was established in Ipswich. As a last mark of the interest he felt in some of the charitable institutions in which he was engaged, he wished legacies to the British and Foreign Bible Society, London Missionary Society, East Suffolk Hospital, the Boys’ British School, and the Girls’ Free School, at Foundation Street, Ipswich. Suffolk Chronicle – Saturday, 6th October 1866

BRITISH AND FOREIGN BIBLE SOCIETY – The Annual Meeting of the East Suffolk Auxiliary and Ladies’ Branch of the British and Foreign Bible Society was held on Monday, 8th October 1866 at the Lecture Hall. Mr. W. D. Sims, Esq., in the Chair opened the business of the meeting by recollecting their venerable friend Mr. John Talwin Shewell who 55 years ago was a member of the original committee. Ipswich Journal – Saturday, 13th October 1866

Elizabeth Shewell died on the 19th February 1871, at her residence Pinetoft House, in Rushmere St. Andrew.

In June 1871, Pinetoft House, the family home of John and Elizabeth was sold by auction by Mr. John Fox, at the Golden Lion Hotel, Ipswich, under the direction of the Trustees, under the Will of Elizabeth Shewell. The excellent family mansion, most charmingly placed, at Rushmere, near Ipswich, and surrounded by ornamental pleasure grounds, well studded with trees and shrubs, flower and fruit gardens, conservatories and forcing house, stables, and coach houses, paddocks, gardener’s cottage, entrance lodge.

In 1870, John Talwin Shewell’s memoir was compiled from various papers, collected and in part arranged by his widow Elizabeth and written by his nephew, Alfred Corder. It was published for private circulation only by William Hunt, of Steam Press, Tavern Street, Ipswich. The memoir includes John’s poems, and the journal of John’s ten months travelling in France, Switzerland, and Italy, with William and Frederick Janson in 1824/25. “MEMOIR OF THE LATE JOHN TALWIN SHEWELL – to which is appended notes of his Italian journey and fugitive poems.”

JOSEPH SHEWELL, born 10th August 1785, Bow, Middlesex. In the summer of 1799, Joseph joined his brother, John Shewell in Ipswich to serve an apprenticeship with Mr. Isaac Liversidge, a linen draper, of Tavern Street, Ipswich and his wife Mary. Joseph was 22 years old when he entered business as a linen draper with Mr. Henry Willis, in Deptford St. Paul, Kent. On 21st September 1814, at White Hart Court Meeting House, Gracechurch Street, London, Joseph, a linen draper, of St. Paul Deptford, Kent, married Sarah Bevington, born 9th October 1791, St. Margaret Pattens, London – daughter of Richard Bevington, a merchant, and Ann Bevington (nee Beesley), of Kennington, Surrey and Rose Hill Place, London Road, Worcester. Sarah and Joseph had twelve children. On the 1st September 1827, the business partnership between Joseph and Henry Willis was dissolved.

After 35 years in business, he willingly gave up the attractions and gains of trading to devote himself more completely to the Ministry of the Gospel and to make his life useful to the community. In 1843, Joseph and Sarah moved to Colchester, Essex where he held the tenancy of 8, St. Mary’s Terrace, in Lexden Road, a house that would remain their home for the rest of their lives.

During his residence in Colchester, Joseph Shewell, a Minister and a highly respected member of the Society of Friends attached himself to the Board of the Essex and Colchester Hospital as well as an earnest House Visitor. Joseph was also on the Board of the Essex Hall Asylum for Idiots. Joseph was a staunch teetotaller and a member of the Colchester Temperance Society and the East of England Temperance League, of which he was later secretary. In 1862, he was a petitioner to ban the sale of intoxicating liquors, at public houses in Colchester on the Lord’s day. Joseph was for the abolition of slavery and in 1848 he attended meetings at the Colchester Town Hall calling upon the Spanish and Brazilian Governments to immediately liberate all Africans illicitly imported into Spanish colonies and the Brazilian empire, urging the treaties made between these Governments, which have been injuriously and notoriously violated. In 1867, Joseph and Sarah’s daughter, Anna collected over 500 various kinds of clothing for men, women and children for the freed American Negroes in very destitute circumstances having spent a life in servitude, some of the clothing were sent to Memphis, Tennessee. Joseph was a member of the Abolition of Capital Punishment and presided over many meetings that promoted the abolition of capital punishment which he felt was of great importance to the best interests of society and the cause of humanity. He considered that under the New Testament dispensation, they were justified in taking away the lives of their fellow creatures under any consideration. The taking of a life he regarded as the Divine prerogative; and secondly he maintained that the punishment of death had not proved effectual in the prevention of crime. He hoped to see capital punishment be done away with during his lifetime. Joseph was also a supporter of the Colchester Provident Labourers’ Society, the Colchester Soup Kitchen and the British and Foreign Bible Society. He was an advocate of the Peace Society and was in favour of retrenchment of public expenditure, and a reduction of the army and navy.

As a member of the Society of Friends, Joseph Shewell was against paying Church Rates due to the parish of St. Mary-at-the-Walls. He became well-known for never paying the Church Rates. Every year, he was summoned by the Churchwardens of St. Mary-at-the-Walls to appear before the Mayor of Colchester for non-payment of church rates. Joseph would assure the Bench that he did not object to paying the rates from any faction spirit, but because he conscientiously dissented from the place of worship in support of which the rates were raised. He thought that not deriving any benefit from the ecclesiastical institution or burial ground, it was hardly fair that he should be taxed for this rate. He would remark on how obsolete this sort of thing was becoming in many towns and cities across the country – why not in Colchester?

Sarah Shewell died from heart disease on the 13th February 1864, at her residence 8, St. Mary’s Terrace, Lexden Road, Colchester, Essex. Laid to rest on Friday, 19th February 1864 at the Friends’ Burial Ground, Roman Road, Colchester, Essex.

On the 25th August 1875, 90 year old Joseph went with his family to Clacton-on-Sea for a change of air. On Sunday, 29th August Joseph began to feel unwell, but there was no need for alarm until Tuesday, when a doctor was telegraphed for, it was then found that Joseph had been attacked with bronchitis. Joseph Shewell died on the 3rd September 1875, at Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, of 8, St. Mary’s Terrace, Lexden Road, Colchester, Essex. Laid to rest on Thursday, 9th September 1875, at the Friends’ Burial Ground, Roman Road, Colchester, Essex.

Shewell Road in Colchester was named after Joseph Shewell.

SARAH SHEWELL, born 27th November 1786, Ickleford, Hertfordshire. Sarah often travelled to Ipswich to visit her brothers. Eventually, she stayed and lived with her brother John Shewell, where she helped him with household management and domestic affairs. In 1818, Sarah accompanied her brother John on his travels through France. In 1821, Edward Corder came to Ipswich and was employed as an assistant to her brother John. On Wednesday, 11th May 1825, at the Friends Meeting House, Ipswich, Sarah married Edward Corder, a linen draper, of Tavern Street, Ipswich, born 1799, Horsleydown, Surrey. Edward was the brother of Thomas Corder, husband of Sarah’s sister, Mary. Sarah and Edward had one son – Alfred Corder, Born 1827, St. Lawrence, Ipswich. Sarah Corder died on Tuesday, 22nd July 1845, at her home at Tavern Street, Ipswich. On the 1st November 1858, Edward Corder was elected, as a Liberal, one of the representatives of the Westgate Ward for a term of three years. Edward Corder died on the 29th June 1861, at his home at 133, Woodbridge Road, Ipswich.

Suffolk Chronicle – Saturday, 29th June 1861 – DEATH OF MR. EDWARD CORDER – We regret to have to record the sudden death of an old and greatly respected townsman, Mr. Edward Corder. On Thursday, the deceased gentleman was pretty well and went from his business establishment at Tavern Street to his residence in Woodbridge Road, at the usual time in the afternoon. As he was going upstairs about half-past ten, he was, it is supposed, seized with giddiness or a slight fit, and fell down, his head striking against the stone flooring of the hall, rendering him insensible. Medical assistance was sent for, but he never recovered, and died on Saturday morning, from concussion of the brain, aged 63. It will be seen that the members of the Burial Board have given full expression to a feeling of regret at the loss of the deceased, which we feel confident will be reciprocated by the town at large. Mr. Edward Corder was for many years an active member of the old Paving and Lighting Commission, and subsequent to its discontinuance became a councillor and a member of the Paving and Lighting Committee – of which he was vice-chairman – where, we venture to say, he will be as much missed as at the Burial Board. Uniting thorough independence and uprightness with good judgement and a conciliatory demeanour, he was a valuable representative of the ratepayers at the public bodies already referred to.

Suffolk Chronicle – Saturday, 6th July 1861 – The funeral service was held on Thursday, 4th July 1861, at the Ipswich Old Cemetery. All the tradesmen in Tavern Street closed their shops, as a mark of respect for the deceased. The funeral cortege arrived at the Cemetery gates at half-past eleven, where it was met by a large number of members of the Ipswich Corporation. It then proceeded through the grounds to the grave in the following order:

Members of the Corporation and other friends.

The Hearse.

Mourning carriages.

Private carriages of friends of the deceased.

Carriages containing employees and domestic servants of the deceased.

Upon the arrival of the procession at the grave, around which a large concourse of people had assembled, the coffin was placed upon bearers, and for a quarter of an hour, a most impressive silence prevailed. A Member of the Society of Friends then delivered a touching address from the words contained in the 6th and 7th verses of the 12th chapter of Ecclesiastes. Shortly after the coffin was lowered and the mourners after each taking a last look at the coffin as it lay in its tenement, departed. A Service was afterwards performed in the chapel, to which the assembled spectators were invited.

On Wednesday, 18th July 1861, Mr. Nathaniel Catchpole, a brewer, was elected a member of the Council for the Westgate Ward, in the place of Mr. Edward Corder.



EDWARD SHEWELL, born 25th December 1787, Ickleford, Hertfordshire. Edward was an officer in the British Army. In December 1813, Edward, of the 35th Regiment of Foot, was promoted without purchase from the rank of Ensign to Lieutenant in the place of Lieutenant Gregory. Whilst ranked a Lieutenant, Edward Shewell served with the 35th Regiment of (Sussex) Foot, 2nd Battalion, under Captain Nicholas Fleming Dromgoole, during the Battle of Waterloo, in Belgium. He fought on Sunday, 18th June 1815 and was awarded the Battle of Waterloo Campaign Medal. In May 1820 Lieutenant Edward Shewell, of the 35th Regiment of Foot was on half-pay when he took the place of Lieutenant Henry Butterworth of the 32nd Regiment of Foot, who exchanged, receiving the difference. On the 29th August 1826, Lieutenant Edward Shewell, of the 32nd Regiment of Foot, was promoted to Captain, by purchase from Captain Molyneaux, who was promoted; Ensign Thomas C. Crawford purchased Edward Shewell’s rank of Lieutenant. In December 1827, to go onto half pay, Captain Edward Shewell traded places with Captain John Rowland Smyth, who had to give Edward the difference between half pay and the full price of the rank. Captain Edward Shewell, in October 1838, was receiving half-pay and officially Unattached to any regiment when he was permitted to retire from the Army, by the sale of his commission, as he was about to settle in the colonies. Extra military information and help on Edward Shewell courtesy of Mr. Taff Gillingham –

On the 15th October 1835, at St. Michael and All Angels Church, Mickleham, Surrey, Edward, of Reading, Berkshire married Eliza Holahan, born 8th June 1814, Prospect Row, Horsleydown, Surrey – daughter of Patrick and Sukey Holahan (nee Curtis), of Reading, Berkshire. Eliza and Edward had eight children. In October 1838, Captain Edward Shewell, upon half-pay Unattached, was allowed to retire from the Army, by the sale of his commission, he being about to settle in the colonies.

Edward and Eliza with their two young children, John and Susan immigrated to Ontario, Canada in 1839. On their journey a daughter, Mary Curtis Shewell was born in New York, U.S.A. The Shewell family settled in Ernestown, in Lennox and Addington County. Edward became a farmer. One of the crops was rye. As soon as Edward arrived in Ontario he volunteered as a Private in the 2nd Battalion, Incorporated Militia. On the 5th April 1842, Edward became a newly appointed Justice of the Peace for Camden in the Midland District. Eliza Shewell died on the 13th January 1849, at Mill Creek Village, near Kingston, Ontario.

In 1849, in Ontario, Canada, Edward married Sophia Mancur, born 1813, London – daughter of John Mancur and Sophia Mancur (nee Aldred), of Ernestown, near Kingston, Ontario, formerly of Wood Street, Cheapside, City of London. Sophia and Edward had three children and made their home in Ernestown, Lennox and Addington County.

Sophia Mancur was 24 years of age and could read and write when she immigrated to Canada with her parents and siblings. They embarked at the Port of London on board the S.S. “Gladiator,” and arrived at New York, U.S.A., on the 30th August 1841. The Mancur family were Methodists.

Edward Shewell died on the 10th February 1879, at Lennox and Addington, Ontario. Sophia Shewell died on the 10th November 1898, at Greater Napanee, County of Lennox and Addington, Ontario.

ELIZABETH SHEWELL, born 8th February 1789, Hitchin, Hertfordshire. On the 15th July 1818, at the Friends’ Meeting House, Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey, Elizabeth married Joseph Marsh, a hosier, of Watling Street, City of London, born 6th May 1790, Ratcliff, Middlesex. Elizabeth and Joseph had four children. Just a few weeks after the birth of her fourth child, Elizabeth Marsh died on Sunday, 31st July 1825, at Bethel Place, Camberwell, Surrey. Laid to rest at the Friends’ Burial Ground, Brook Street, Ratcliff, Middlesex. On the 9th April 1828, at the Friends’ Meeting House, Taunton, Somerset, Joseph Marsh, a Secretary of the National Provident Institution, married Hannah Clark, only daughter of George and Jane Clark, of Taunton, Somerset. Hannah and Joseph had four children. Joseph was a member of the Croydon Relief Committee of the Society of Friends Liberated Slave Fund. Joseph Marsh died 3rd March 1870, at Bedford Park, Croydon, Surrey. Hannah Marsh died 22nd December 1888, at 60, Carlton Hill, St. John’s Wood, London.

MARY SHEWELL, born 2nd August 1790, Hitchin, Hertfordshire. On the 26th April 1810, at Ratcliff Meeting House, Brook Street, Middlesex, Mary married Thomas Corder, a farmer, of Widford Hall, Essex, born 21st December 1780, at Great Coggeshall, Essex. Thomas was the brother of Edward Corder, husband of Mary’s sister Sarah. Mary and Thomas Corder had twelve children. Thomas was often called upon as a judge of the local ploughing matches and was a strong supporter and campaigner of the abolition of the slave trade. Just a year after the Corder family moved from Widford Hall to Reed’s Farm, Writtle, and, with their youngest child just 6 weeks old, Thomas Corder died after a short illness on the 15th December 1833, at Reed’s Farm. Mary Corder stepped into the role of farmer of the 300 acres at Reed’s Farm and employer of the men and boys. Just six months after the death of Thomas, their eldest daughter, Mary Ann Corder died in June 1835, aged 18 years. Mary Corder died 11th March 1871, at Reed’s Farm, Writtle, Essex.

WILLIAM SHEWELL, born 15th April 1793, Hitchin, Hertfordshire – died 7th October 1801, Mile End, Middlesex – laid to rest 13th October 1801, Whitechapel Quaker Burial Ground.


ANN TALWIN SHEWELL, born 11th December 1796, Mile End Old Town, Stepney, Middlesex. On the 23rd March 1824, at the Friends’ Meeting House, Redcross Street, Southwark, London, Ann married Thomas Morris, born 25th November 1791, Ampthill, Bedfordshire. Ann and Thomas had ten children.

Thomas Morris was a woollen draper in a business partnership with brothers Thomas Letchworth and Henry Finch Letchworth, at Market Place, Reading under the title “Letchworth & Morris – Woollen Drapers, Tailors.” In 1830, the Reading Anti-Slavery Society kept a book under the care of “Letchworth & Morris,” of Market Place, for any male inhabitant of Reading over the age of 18, who wished to become a member of the Reading Anti-Slavery Society. In 1838, Thomas Letchworth announced his retirement. On the 27th March 1844, the business partnership between Henry Finch Letchworth and Thomas Morris was dissolved by mutual consent. In thanking his friends and the public, Thomas Morris advertised in local newspapers that he would continue with the woollen draper and tailor business at Market Place under the title “ Thomas Morris – Woollen Drapers & Tailors.” Mr. John Hutchinson would be his foreman in the tailoring department. In the spring of 1855, Thomas Morris made alterations to his premises, and in May 1858, announced in the local newspapers to respectfully inform his patrons and the public that he had taken into partnership with his sons – John Talwin Morris and Edward Morris under the title Thomas Morris & Sons, Tailors, Outfitters, and Men’s Mercers” – they offered winter hosiery, underclothing, shirts, gloves, scarfs, neck ties etc., and funeral furnished.

On Thursday, 23rd March 1837, Thomas Morris was elected to the office as Town Councillor for the Abbey Ward. At the Reading Town Council Quarterly Meeting, held on Monday, 9th November 1846, in the Council Chamber of the Town Hall, and chaired by Mayor James Allaway, the election for a new Mayor for the ensuing year took place. Alderman William Tiley begged to nominate Mr. Thomas Morris and Mr. William Blandy reiterated the sentiments expressed by Alderman Tiley and seconded the nomination. Thomas Morris was unanimously elected Mayor of Reading for the ensuing year. During his first speech as Mayor, Thomas said he was a humble tradesman amongst them, and he felt he had no qualifications for the prominent position they had given him, but the good opinion, confidence, and esteem which he knew he had. He assured the Council that to the best of his ability, he would discharge the duties that had been imposed upon him honourably, faithfully, and impartially, and hoped to meet with the satisfaction of that body and the approval of the town at large.

On the 16th January 1844, Thomas Morris wrote a letter of resignation to confirm that he and Ann were leaving the Society of Friends. On the 9th November 1853, Thomas Morris was elected an Alderman and Borough Magistrate.

Ann Morris died 25th October 1860, at her home in Prospect Street, Reading. Laid to rest at Reading Cemetery, Berkshire. Thomas Morris died Tuesday, 16th January 1867, at his home in Prospect Street, Reading. Laid to rest at Reading Cemetery on Tuesday, 22nd January 1867. As a mark of respect many of the tradesmen in the town partially closed their shops for the day.

Reading Mercury – Saturday, 19th January 1867 – In our obituary will be found the name of Thomas Morris, Esq., whose name has long been associated with magisterial and other affairs affecting the prosperity of the town. Mr. Thomas Morris had for some time been labouring under a painful malady, which resulted fatally on the 16th January. Many friends will lament his death, as the deceased gentleman was held in the greatest respect. He was a magistrate for the Borough, and till lately frequently sat on the Bench.

Berkshire Chronicle – Saturday, 19th January 1867 – DEATH OF MR. THOMAS MORRIS – It is with sincere regret that we have to record the death of Mr. Thomas Morris. For a long time Mr. Morris had been failing in health, but it was not anticipated that his end was so near. He died at his residence in Prospect Street on Tuesday morning. A long, useful, and honourable life has thus closed, one who had been for upwards of fifty years a resident in the town, who had identified himself with its interests, and had occupied its chief positions, has been taken from amongst us. Of later years Thomas Morris has taken little part in public affairs, but formerly he held a conspicuous place in the parliamentary and municipal struggles of the town. For many years Thomas was a member of the Town Council, and also filled the office of Mayor, and discharged its duties with zeal and judgment. Mr. Thomas Morris’ connection with the Corporation came to an end some years ago, but he was subsequently appointed a Magistrate and in that capacity, he displayed those qualities of calm sagacity and perfect impartiality which should ever adorn the Bench of Justice. He had won for himself, and the esteem of his fellow-townsmen, and it is not too much to say that no man in the borough was more universally respected. His character was marked by so much sterling worth and softened by so many kindly sympathies that its influence and its teaching will not soon be forgotten.

Thomas Shewell’s nephew: JOHN TALWIN MORRIS (second son of Ann and Thomas Morris) was elected Mayor of Reading from 1867 – 1868.

Thomas Shewell’s nephew: WILLIAM MORRIS (eldest son of Ann and Thomas Morris) was a barrister before becoming a bank manager for Messrs. Stephens, Blandy & Co., for 43 years, the latter 28 years in Maidenhead, Berkshire. In 1884, William Morris was appointed Recorder of Maidenhead, Berkshire. As well as his assigned duties, William renovated and restored the ancient Mace at his own expense. William Morris died in 1886, and at his request was laid to rest next to his parents at Reading Cemetery.



1841   Tavern Street, St. Mary at the Tower, Ipswich.


Thomas was 49 years old, and a Woollen Draper.  He was married and head of the household.

William, 20.

Robert Smith, 25, a Woollen Draper’s Apprentice, born Suffolk.

2 female house servants.


1851   Norwich Road, St. Matthew’s, Ipswich.


Thomas was 59 years old, and a Woollen Draper. He was married and head of the household.

1 female house servant.


On the 1851 census, Thomas’s wife, 53 year old Maria Shewell, was visiting their daughter and son-in-law at their home – Clapton Road, Hackney, Middlesex.

Charles Morris, 43, a Woollen Merchant.

Ann Morris (nee Shewell), 28.

1 cook.

1 housemaid.


1861   Park Grove, Hampton Wick, Middlesex.


Thomas was 69 years old, and a Gentleman. He was married and head of the household.

Maria, 63.

Ann Morris, 38.

Charles Morris, 53, a Gentleman.

1 cook.

1 housemaid.

1 lady’s maid.


1871   Church Grove, Hampton Wick, Middlesex.


Thomas was 79 years old, and a Gentleman. He was married and head of the household.

Maria, 73.

Ann Morris, 48.

Charles Morris, 63, a Gentleman.

nephew – John Marten, 28, a Commercial Clerk – Railway, born Margate, Kent.

1 cook.

1 lady’s maid.

1 housemaid.


On the 24th March 1819, at the Friends’ Meeting House, at Lewes, East Sussex, Thomas, a woollen draper, of Ipswich, married Maria Marten, born 22nd August 1797, at Lewes, East Sussex – only daughter of William and Jane Marten, of Lewes.


Father: William Marten, born 25th May 1764, at Barcombe, East Sussex. When William was a teenager, he moved to Lewes to live with his aunt Elizabeth Marten and uncle Thomas Marten, a linen and woollen draper and silk mercer who employed him in his shop. His aunt and uncle were members of the local Society of Friends and soon William joined them and became a Quaker. In March 1787, Thomas Marten’s health was failing, and he stepped back from the business in favour of his nephew, William, under the title WILLIAM MARTEN & COMPANY. As a prominent member of the Society of Friends in Lewes William became a minister. He was also an author and diarist covering the events in Lewes from 1789 – 1822 – including the victory at Trafalgar and the visit to Sussex of Emperor Alexander I of Russia in 1814. ‘Selections from the Diary and Epistolary Correspondence of the Late William Marten of Lewes’ (1828), Harvey & Darton.

William Marten died on Monday, 6th January 1823, at Lewes and was laid to rest on Sunday, 12th January 1823, in the burial ground at the front of the Friends’ meeting house, Friars Lane, Lewes.

Sussex Advertiser – Monday, 13th January 1823 – On Monday, 6th January, at his home in Lewes, aged 58, Mr. William Marten, one of the Society of Friends, and well known in Sussex, and the neighbouring counties, as a man of eminent piety and the most diffusive benevolence. Though little in his own apprehension, he was, in the truest sense of the world, GREAT in the estimation of all who knew him. His talents were of the most solid and useful order; his sound and discriminating judgment, his engaging affability of manners, his unimpeached uprightness, his known generosity, and the holiness of his life, made him not only a chief pillar and ornament of the Society of Friends to which he belonged, but an invaluable member of the community at large, and especially of the many religious and charitable institutions which he was concerned in conducting. As his memory is endeared to numbers, may his example long be remembered, and the same spirit and the same faith that guided him in life and supported him in death, influence many to trend in his steps and thus supply the loss the public has sustained. His remains were interred yesterday morning, in the Friends’ burial ground in Lewes, attended by a numerous and respectable train of relatives and other sincere mourners; and also by about 500 children from the Lewes Subscription School, of which William Marten had been one of the first promoters and most active Directors.


Mother: Jane Marten (nee Cruttenden), born 1860, Cliffe, Kent. Jane Marten died after an illness which confined her to her bedchamber for about five weeks on Tuesday, 7th February 1837, at her residence, Burlington Street, Brighton, East Sussex and laid to rest on Sunday, 12th February 1837, with her husband in the burial ground at the front of the Friends’ Meeting House, Friars Lane, Lewes.


Maria and Thomas had two children:


WILLIAM MARTEN SHEWELL, born 7th September 1820, at St. Matthew’s, Ipswich. William graduated at Worcester College, Oxford, where he became S. C. L., in 1851. On Trinity Sunday, 15th June 1851, the Lord Bishop of Exeter held an Ordination in the Cathedral of Exeter, William Shewell, S.C.L., Worcester College, was admitted Deacon. On the 5th February 1852, the degree of Bachelor of Arts was conferred on Reverend William Shewell, of Worcester College, at a Congregation held at Oxford University. On Sunday, 13th June 1852, the Lord Bishop of Exeter held an Ordination in the Cathedral of Exeter, William Shewell, B.A., Worcester College, was ordained a priest. On the 9th July 1854, the Master of Arts degree was conferred on the Reverend William Shewell, of Worcester College.

In 1851, William became Curate at St. Andrew’s Church, Cullompton, Devonshire, before moving on to the Royal Berkshire Hospital as Chaplain and Treasurer for the Convalescent Fund for the relief of patients discharged from the Royal Berkshire Hospital. In April 1858, William resigned as Chaplain at the Hospital and became Curate at St. Nicholas’s Church, Rotherfield Greys, Oxfordshire, followed by a Curacy in 1860 at St. Margaret’s Church, Mapledurham, Oxfordshire. In 1862 William accepted a Curacy at St. Mary’s Church, Amport, Hampshire. From 1863 William Shewell served as Curate to Reverend William Plucknett, Rector of St. Giles Church, Horsted Keynes, West Sussex. Reverend Plucknett, died in September 1868, and William stayed one more year before moving to St. Peter and St. Paul Church, at Rustington, West Sussex, under the Reverend Henry John Rush. Subsequently, William held a curacy in Kent.

Whilst in Mapledurham, William met Richard Bird and his family. Richard Bird and his wife Mary Bird (nee Pebody) were employed as the gardener and housekeeper at the parsonage. When William moved to Rustington, Richard and Mary’s son James Bird became William’s servant and gardener. James Bird was born in 1845, at Staverton, Northamptonshire, and stayed with William when he moved back to Horsted Keynes. On the 20th April 1872, Reverend William Shewell was the officiating minister when James Bird married Isabel Galloway, at St. Giles Church, Horstead Keynes. They had two sons and made their family home at Rose Cottage, Horsted Keynes; James was a farmer and coal merchant. The Reverend William Marten Shewell became part of the Bird family and lived with the Bird family at Rose Cottage until his death on Monday, 23rd April 1900, at Rose Cottage, Horsted Keynes, West Sussex. Laid to rest on the 27th April 1900, at Walstead Cemetery, Lindfield, West Sussex.


ANN SHEWELL, born 11th June 1822, at St. Mary at the Tower, Ipswich. On the 25th July 1846, at St. Matthew’s Church, Ipswich, Ann Shewell married Charles Morris, a gentleman and a Quaker, born 16th June 1807, at Ampthill, Bedfordshire. Ann and Charles made their home at 4, South Terrace, Upper Clapton, Middlesex. Charles Morris died on the 9th December 1883, at Everendens, High Street, Lindfield, West Sussex. Laid to rest at Walstead Cemetery, Lindfield. Ann Morris died on the 26th March 1884, at Lindfield, West Sussex.


Thomas Shewell died suddenly, at Melrose House, Lindfield, West Sussex, on the 31st March 1872. Laid to rest on the 4th April 1872, at Walstead Cemetery, Lindfield, West Sussex


Probate to the Reverend William Marten Shewell – son, a Clerk in Holy Orders, of Lindfield, West Sussex, and Charles Morris – son-in-law, a gentleman, of Folkstone, Kent.


Maria Shewell died on the 29th April 1873, at The Wallands, Lewes, East Sussex. Laid to rest 5th May 1873, at Walstead Cemetery, Lindfield, West Sussex.










At the annual meeting of the Town Council held at the Town Hall, on the 9th November 1847, Thomas as a newly elected Councillor was appointed to serve on the Watch Committee, on the motion of Mr. John Wretts, and seconded by Mr. William Bransby Faiers.


The Gaol Committee report was read at a special meeting of the Town Council held on Monday 24th January 1848 for the transaction of business, Alderman William May was called to the chair, in the absence of the Mayor. that six hand labour machines had been fixed in the Borough Gaol. The total expense was 54/. 3s., which the Committee had approved of, except for one item, which was still under consideration. The expense of the one item, 4/. 15s., which the Gaol Committee considered to be too high a charge; but the general expense of the machines had to be approved of. Mr. Thomas Shewell moved that the report from the Gaol Committee should be received and adopted, and Mr. Samuel Harrison Cowell seconded. Suffolk Chronicle – Saturday, 29th January 1848




The annual meeting of the Town Council was held on Thursday, 9th November 1848, in the Council Chamber of the Town Hall. The Mayor, Mr. John May said the first duty they had was the election of the Mayor for the year ensuing. He called upon the gentlemen to nominate a fit and proper person to fill the office. Two gentlemen were nominated and seconded – Mr. Thomas Baldock Ross and Mr. Charles Burton. The Mayor, Mr. John May then proceeded to put the question…. Thomas Shewell gave his vote to Mr. Charles Burton. The Town Clerk then stated the number of votes to be 15 for Mr. Ross and 15 for Mr. Burton; three remained neuters, and the two gentlemen proposed could not vote. The Mayor of Ipswich, as Chairman had to give the casting vote and announced Mr. Charles Burton as Mayor for the ensuing year.  Suffolk Chronicle – Saturday, 11th November 1848.

WOOLLEN DRAPER, of Tavern Street, Ipswich.

At the beginning of February 1815, business partners, William Bleckly and John Talwin Shewell disposed of their Woollen Drapers concern carried on by them under the title of “William Bleckly and Co.” to Thomas Shewell.

Having entered on the Woollen Drapers business Thomas Shewell respectfully solicits a continuance of the support conferred on the late firm “William Bleckly and Co.,” and assures his friends and the public, that no exertion shall be wanting, on his part, to merit their future favours.

On the 25th February 1819, a meeting, chaired by Mr. William Batley, Esq., for the inhabitants of Ipswich was held at the Town Hall, to take into consideration the propriety of presenting a Petition to Parliament, in consequence of the quantity of Manufactured Goods which are frequently brought into the town of Ipswich to be Sold by Auction. A variety of Goods of an inferior make, to a large amount, had been introduced into Ipswich from time to time, for the explicit purpose of being Sold by Auction, to the great injury of the Fair Trader. It was felt that the tactility with which these Goods are disposed of opens a road to every species of swindling. A Committee for the purpose of forwarding the objects of the Meeting was appointed and Mr. Thomas Shewell was appointed alongside Mr. Jeremiah Head, Mr. Thomas Shuttleworth, Mr. Bevil, Mr. John Talwin Shewell, Mr. Robert Deck, and Mr. Richard Frankland. The gentlemen also entered into a subscription to defray the expenses that may be incurred in promoting the views of the Meeting. Ipswich Journal – Saturday, 27th February 1819


In March 1827, Thomas Shewell, submitted to the local newspapers an advert to announce he would now enter the Tailoring business under the title –

Thomas Shewell Woollen Draper and Tailor, 3, Tavern Street, Ipswich.

Thomas Shewell, having for many years kept a large and well-assorted Stock of Woollen Goods, which it is his intention still to continue to do, begs to acquaint friends and the public, that having entered the Tailoring Business, he has engaged an experienced Foreman from London to superintend that department, and assures them, that every attention shall be given to such orders as he may receive, and that they shall be executed on the most reasonable terms. Ladies’ Habits, Children’s Dresses, Traveling Cloaks, Box Coats, Liveries, Mourning etc. N.B. Every article of Gentleman’s Apparel is made in the best style and with the utmost dispatch.

Suffolk Chronicle – Saturday, 17th March 1827.



Suffolk Chronicle – Saturday, 28th July 1827 – Tuesday, 24th July – Michael Jordan was charged with stealing three-quarters of a yard of blue cloth from the cutting shop of Mr. Thomas Shewell. The prisoner, whose age is only twelve years was employed as a knife boy by Mr. Thomas Shewell. John Crispin, foreman to Mr. Shewell, observing on the 13th June, a piece of cloth laying in the cutting shop, in a rugged way, and suspecting part had been stolen, charged Michael Jordan, who was the only person that could get into the shop unobserved; he at first denied having been there, but upon being threatened with a constable, he produced the cloth from a cupboard in the knife-house. Michael Jordan was found Guilty – six months’ solitary confinement in the Bridewell, and during that time once privately whipped.


In March 1833, Michael Jordan, now aged 17, was again in trouble. This time his punishment was 14 years’ transportation.

Recorder, Charles Frederick Williams, Esq.

Suffolk Chronicle – Saturday, 16th March 1833 – IPSWICH BOROUGH SESSIONS – On Wednesday, 13th March 1833, at the Shire Hall, Michael Jordan, aged 17, his brother William Jordan, aged 21, and Elizabeth Bidwell, aged 31, were brought before the Recorder, Charles Frederick Williams, Esq., the Bailiffs, and Assistant Justices charged with robbing Peter King of a canvas purse and 18s. in silver, on the 24th August 1832. (They had first been committed at the Borough Gaol, Ipswich by Mr. John Chevalier Cobbold, Esq., in September 1832.) Witness, Charles Smith stated, that between 7 and 8 o’clock in the evening, he saw William Jordan lying under the hedge of St. Matthew’s Churchyard with Elizabeth Bidwell. Charles Smith concealed himself behind a tombstone and observed three men and two other women come up to Peter King and surround him, he fell down apparently as if he were tripped up, but he recovered his legs and proceeded onwards when he was again surrounded and hustled; the men and women then left, and Charles King followed them to a dancing booth, near the Lamb’ Fair, and gave them into custody. Peter King is since dead, but the evidence was corroborated by a youth named William King – the prisoners were seen under a tree, money was heard to jingle as if they were parting it, and the pocket of Peter King which had been cut off, was found the next morning near the spot. Michael and William Jordan had been previously convicted and were sentenced to 14 years’ transportation, and Elizabeth Bidwell to one year’s solitary confinement. Their companions have hitherto escaped detection.

On Tuesday, 19th March 1833, convicts, Michael and William Jordan were removed from the Borough Gaol, in Ipswich, and put on board the Leviathan hulk, at Portsmouth.

On the 2nd May 1833, Michael (a shoemaker, born 1814), and William Jordan (a tailor) were two of the 230 convicts transported on the ship “Captain Cook.”

Arrived at New South Wales, Australia on the 26th August 1833 They could both read and write and were Catholic.

Michael Jordan was recorded in Parramatta, aged 22, and in Sydney in 1838, aged 23.

William Jordan received his Certificate of Freedom on the 27th March 1847, aged 35, from his Master Thompson, of Penrith, New South Wales.



Thomas Shewell in offering his best acknowledgements to his friends and the public for the confidence reposed in him during nearly thirty years, begs to inform them that he has taken into partnership ROBERT SMITH, who has been his confidential assistant for many years.

The new business partnership under the title “Shewell & Smith” offered their long experience in the Trade, and the facilities possessed by them of purchasing their Goods on the best possible terms, combined with an unremitted exertion to meet the wishes and wants of their customers, they shall merit a continuance and increase of those favours which have been so long conferred on “Shewell & Smith.” In the Tailoring Department the utmost attention will be paid alike to fashion, quality of materials, and workmanship; and the prices such as to ensure general satisfaction. “Shewell & Smith” offered to purchasers of woollen cloths, fancy waistcoats, and Manchester goods a more extensive assortment of plain and fancy goods than is usually met with, at prices that will meet competition, are such to ensure for it a continuance of that preference it has so long experienced.

Ipswich Journal – Saturday 25th February 1843


On the 31st January 1857, Thomas Shewell and Robert Smith announced the dissolution of their 22 year business partnership by mutual consent. As 66 year old Thomas Shewell, retired and left Ipswich, 44 year old Robert Smith stayed at 3, Tavern Street, and continued under the title “Robert Smith.” He offered to maintain to the numerous friends and customers of “Shewell & Smith,” the same utmost promptitude and personal attention as a woollen draper and tailor.

Robert Smith’s long and extensive experience offered careful attention to fashion, quality of materials, and superior workmanship, Robert would also make available to those customers who prefer to be themselves purchasers of the materials for clothing, he offered new stock of Woollen and Manchester Goods. Suffolk Chronicle – Saturday, 16th May 1857


In the 1830s, Thomas Shewell, as a Burgess on the Municipal Roll was elected as a Commissioner for improving the Port and constructing a Wet Dock. The meetings were held monthly at the Town Hall.


In December 1811, Thomas Shewell donated £1. 1s. to the Suffolk Auxiliary Bible Society for supplying the poor in the county of Suffolk with the Holy Scriptures – President, The Right Reverend the Lord Bishop of Norwich. Suffolk Chronicle – 21st December 1811


On Monday, 26th February 1838, a Lecture was delivered in the Lecture Room of the Institution. Thomas Shewell, Esq., was called to the Chair. He expressed the pleasure he felt in seeing so numerous and respectable in attendance on the occasion and then he announced the subject of the Lecture – “Chronology of the Ancient World,” by Mr. William Henry Alexander, Esq. Suffolk Chronicle – Saturday, 3rd March 1838


Throughout the 1840s, Thomas Shewell was a regular House Visitor at the East Suffolk Hospital.


In May 1846, Thomas Shewell contributed an individual subscription of £1. 1s. to a proposed presentation of a Testimonial to Mr. John Chevallier Cobbold, marking the inhabitants of Ipswich and its vicinity’s sense of his exertions in procuring for this locality the advantage of direct railway communications.


In December 1846, Thomas Shewell contributed £20 to the Society of Friends – Ipswich Fund for alleviating the Distress in Ireland.


Throughout the 1840s and 50s, Thomas was a trustee of the Ipswich Savings Bank – established in 1816, at Queen Street, Ipswich.


In 1853, Thomas Shewell served as a Director of the Ipswich Gas Light Company for three years. By rotation, in 1857 Thomas Shewell went out of the Direction.


In fine summer weather, Thomas Shewell and his family would spend time in the pleasant town of Aldeburgh, to enjoy the pleasure and partake of the benefits of the sea.



SOURCES:   for census returns, births, marriages, deaths, probates, military records and other historical online records.

Members of the Council – in and since 1835 – Mr. B.P. Grimsey – July 1892.

John Talwin Shewell

Thomas Morris / 33 1989/3/‘Morris of Reading A Family of Architects 1836-1958′ by H. Godwin Arnold and Sidney M. Gold



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