Thomas Mead 1821 – 1887

1821. Thomas Mead was born to parents: George Mead 1780 & Elizabeth Jesper 1784.   See George Mead, 1780, page for details of Thomas’ siblings [maybe 6] in 1841C. He was christened 29 July 1821 at Great Dunmow (ERO DP 11/1/7), father a labourer.


Above tree is missing 2 children for Thomas Mead & Elizabeth: Arthur born & died Mar 1861 & Charles born & died Mar 1872

1841 census Thomas Mead, 21, servant was living at The Rectory, Little Easton (clergyman was John Peter Henry Chophyre). There is a  Joseph Mead, 38, & family living next door in Little Easton, but I cannot connect him to our Meads.

1848   Marries Sarah Wood on 20 Nov 1848 in G.D. church - D/P 11/1/12 marriages 1837-1878, image 77. Witnesses John Wood & Elizabeth Canners?? Both servants, both fathers, George Mead & William Wood labourers.

1849   First child William Mead is born, at Maltings Yard, Gt.Dunmow.1/11/1849 . Have b.c. BM2 .  Thomas is given as "Groom". Birth not reg. till late April 1850! [ The Maltings is now a museum, covering the History of Brewing and past Dunmow life ]. He was baptised on 13/1/1850, in G. D. church, his father a servant


maltings Dunmow .

1850 . July . Church Rate Book D/P 11/4/13 gives Thomas as being in a cottage in Malting Yard with an estimated rental value of £4.[this is above average for a labourer then].

1850    Wife Sarah Mead/Wood dies. Aged 26 , buried on Oct 24 in G.D. Parish Church. ERO. (ref. Dunmow 12.59) ‘Dec’ 1850

St Marys Church, Great Dunmow

St Marys Church, Great Dunmow

1851 Census. No records exist for Dunmow & several other Essex districts, so no trace or consolidation of the family. Church Rate Books??

1851 Thomas Mead marries again to Elizabeth Savill in Great Dunmow Parish Church. 24/10/1851 [a year to the day of the funeral of his first wife!]. Have m.c. BM1.. Both are given as servants, although her father was seemingly quite well off.. Fathers are George Mead and William Savill, both fathers were labourers - but earlier & later William Savill was seemingly a farmer. Witnesses Abnay[?? no death for such a name!, but think I have seen him in later Dunmow censuses] Joyce and Susannah Savill, Elizabeth’s younger (by 2 years) sister.


Surprisingly, Thomas appears as Bachelor and not as Widower

Look at Church Rates Books D/P/11/4/10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17 & 18 - years 1841-1864 - Sep 2014


Thomas Mead and his wife Elizabeth Savill: maybe circa 1860??. Photo owned by Keri Jones

1852. George Mead born.‘Sep’ 1852 . Baptised in G.D. Church, 10 Oct., father a Servant.[ERO]

1855. Thomas Mead born.‘Mar’ 1855 . Baptised in G.D. Church, 14 Jan. , father a Servant.[ERO] [Ancestor of Rachel Meade ( Ancetry tree) , Terry Mead & Valerie Dolan].

1856. Abner Mead [a biblical name - from Book of Kings: 11 Abners born Essex 1841 -1861] born.‘Dec’  1856 . Baptised in G.D. Church, 9 Oct. , father a Servant. [ERO]

1859 Elizabeth Mead born‘Jun’ 1859. I could not find her baptism- tried again in 2014, not recorded as baptised in G.D. This or her b.c. would tell me whether Thomas Mead was yet a Publican

1861. Arthur Mead baptised in G.D. Church 2/2/1861, father a Publican. Both his birth and his death were registered as Mar 1861 . He was buried on 8/2/1861, just 9 days old

1861 Census. Living at The Wheatsheaf, Great Dunmow. As well as the family, are 2 lodgers, one of them an ostler. So, sometime between 1857 and 1861 Thomas has changed from just being a Servant to becoming a Beer Retailer, a publican.

Thomas Mead  39  Beer retailer, The Wheat Sheaf ,  b.Gt.Dunmow.
Elizabeth 30   
William  11  
George  8  
Abner  4  
Elizabeth 2  

1862 Walter Mead born  2/06/1862. Have b.c. BM3.. Thomas given as Innkeeper. Address Causeway, Gt. Dunmow. He was baptised in G.D. Church on 15/7/1862, his father a Beer Retailer



1863 .Wife Elizabeth writes letter to Great Dunmow National School complaining about her 4 boys [these would be William, George, Thomas & Abner] having to do cleaning duties in the school (Dorothy Dowsett book in Great Dunmow Library). See Walter page .

1863 Paid rates of £16.0s on Beer House & brewery 'Wheatsheaf'. [From Church Rate Book D/P 11/4/17 - any earlier books??]

1864 Susannah Mead born.‘Sep’ 1864. Baptised in G.D. Church, July, father a Publican [ERO] .

1864. Paid rates of £13.5s[ property assessment] on Beer House & brewery 'Wheatsheaf'. [From Church Rate Book D/P 11/4/18]

1865. Paid rates of £13.5s on Brew House & brewery 'Wheatsheaf'. [From Church Rate Book D/P 11/4/19]

1866 Alfred Mead born. ‘Dec’ 1866 . Baptised in G.D. Church , 26 Oct., father a Publican. [ERO].

1866 & 1867 In Gas Rate Books D/P 11/23/8 , Thomas Mead, Beer House & Brewey, annual value £13.5s, assessed 13s.3d. ,

1870 Sarah Mead was baptised on 5/1/1870 but her birth was not registered until .‘Mar’ 1871 .

The Wheatsheaf, Great Dunmow

The Wheatsheaf, Great Dunmow

1871 Census. In Causeway ( King’s Head is 3 doors away-no mention of The Wheatsheaf here).  All the family are born in Dunmow.

Thomas Mead 49    Brewer & Beer House keeper.  b. Gt. Dunmow
Elizabeth   40  
William    21  Shoemaker
George 18 Bricklayer
Thomas 16  Painter & Glazier
Abner  13
Walter   8 ''
Susanna   6 ''
Alfred 4 ''


Education would seem to have been important to Thomas & Elizabeth, as Abner is still at school aged 14 & 6mths at least- although Census states 13. Also Elizabeth's 1863 letter to the school

1872. Charly Mead was baptised in G.D. Church on 21/2/1872 . Charles Mead was both registered as born and died Mar 1872 , He was buried on 2/3/1872, 1 month old.

1872-7 . Given as Thomas Mead, GD, Beer House & Brewery, Wheat Sheaf in the Electoral Registers Q/RPr 2/12-2/27

1873   Benjamin Mead born.‘Jun’  1873 . Baptised in G.D. Church, April 13, father a Brewer. Karen Thomas is descended through his daughter Annie Mead .Keri Jones is descended through another daughter, Esther . Thomas' and Elizabeth's family now complete with 10 children, 7 boys & 3 girls, 2 other boys having died in the first month of life. . Elizabeth was 43 by this birth and had borne at least 11 children in 21 years, the eldest surviving boy being her step-son.

1874 Listed in the 1874 Post Office Directory as a Beer Retailer

1881 Census. North Street Wheat Sheaf Inn (3 doors away from Kings Head Yard - Causeway now called North St)

Thomas Mead 60   Brewer & Beer seller. b. Gt.Dunmow
Elizabeth  51  
Thomas    26
Abner  24  Chimney Sweep
Susannah  16   Brewers daughter
Alfred   14  Scholar
Sarah  11
Benjamin   7  


Thomas is listed as a Beer Retailer in 1861,1871 & 1881 censuses, & in Post Office Listings in 1871, 1874 & 1878, &  in Kelly’s in 1882, 1886. But there is also a Post Office listing for 1862 & 1867 for George Mead [ & none for Thomas], but not necessarily at the Wheatsheaf.. Who is this George? Probably he is the George born as Thomas’ elder brother in 1815. I can find no evidence of him in 1861 & 1871C. (There is a George, 46, living in Chelmsford  in 1861 as a journeyman bricklayer, so maybe he is a  possibility, as Thomas’s son,George 1852, is also a bricklayer in 1871- see Children of George Mead). Only death of a George Mead in 'Dunmow' is Mar 1874, aged 81, so born around 1793 [ possible grandson of George 1856 on above tree?]. Also a death of one in Chelmsford, aged 66, in Sep 1896, thus born around 1830 : seemigly unrelated.

1881-1883. D/P 11/23/9 Lighting Rates for G.D, in all 3 years a D.Taylor owned the Wheatsheaf, rates for Thomas Mead were 7s 2d, going up to 11s.11d in 1882, then down to 8s.5d in 1883

1887   Is down as of ‘no occupation’ on son’s (Walter’s) marriage cert. Probably in ill health by then (8/10/1887). He had transferred the license of the Wheatsheaf to Walter on 9/9/1887

1887. Dies 17/11/1887 aged 66. This is from the family Bible [ in possession of Hazel Richardson[nee Lyons]] but Rachel Meade has his d.c. too, and he died of Paralysis at Church End, Dunmow[ Church End is where his widow Elizabeth is living in 1891C, so they obviously moved out of the Wheatsheaf before Walter's marriage]. . Son, Alfred, of 19 North Street, was informant of the death. He was buried in G.D, church, aged 66, on 23/11/1887. No probate. No obituary for him in FMP Newspapers

1888. Curiously, he is still listed in the 1888 Electoral Register for G.D.: Thomas Mead, Wheat sheaf Inn, dwelling house.

church end dunmow

Church End Dunmow


One of two identical tankards, in the possession of Hazel Richardson, that Thomas Mead's greatgrandddaughter, Joan Lyons[Turner], owned for many years. One of them now mine!


Walter Mead

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