Christopher Thomson, Baron of Cardington

Christopher Thomson, Baron of Cardington

Christopher Thomson, the son of Major-General Christopher Thomson, was born in India on 13th April, 1875. After being educated at Cheltenham College and the Royal Military Academy, he joined the Royal Engineers in 1894.

Thomson served in Mauritius (1896-1899) and South Africa (1899-1902) during the Boer War, where he won two medals and was mentioned in dispatches.

After returning from South Africa he taught at the Engineering School at Chatham and the Staff College, Camberley. In 1911 Thomson went to the War Office where he served under Sir Henry Wilson, director of military operations. The following year he became military attaché with the Serbian Army where he remained throughout the Turkish and Bulgarian campaigns.

On the outbreak of the First World War he was sent to Belgium where he was liaison officer with the Belgian Army. In February 1915, Thomson became military attaché in Bucharest. After the German invasion of Rumania Thomson was sent to Palestine and took part in the advance on Jerusalem. He commanded a brigade at the capture of Jericho and was awarded the D.S.O. in 1918.

Promoted to the rank of brigadier-general, Thomson was a member of the British delegation at the Paris Peace Conference and was highly critical of the Versailles Peace Treaty. In 1919 Thomson resigned from the army to stand as the Labour Party candidate at Bristol. He was unsuccessful and he was also defeated at the 1922 General Election. He also lost at St. Albans in 1923.

After the war Thomson published two important books on European politics, Old Europe's Suicide (1919) and Victors and Vanquished (1924). When Ramsay MacDonald formed the first Labour government in 1924, he raised Thomson to the peerage and appointed him as secretary of state for air. Thomson was largely responsible for the government's decision to start a programme of airship building that included R.100 and R101.

After the fall of MacDonald's government, Thomson became one of the leaders of the Labour Party in the House of Lords. He served as chairman of the Aeronautical Society and the Air League. He also published his book Air Facts and Problems (1927).

Following the Labour victory at the 1929 General Election, Thomson was once again appointed as secretary of state for air. Christopher Thomson, Baron of Cardington, was killed when a passenger of the R.101 airship that crashed on 5th October 1930.

Our Military Attaché in Bucharest was Colonel Thomson, who blamed himself a good deal for his share in bringing Rumania into the war. "They told me at home that I could ask for anything I liked if I brought Rumania in," he said ruefully when disaster was looming near," but I think it would be a little tackless if I asked for anything now."

I liked him very much and was shocked one morning to hear someone say that one of last night's bombs had fallen on the Military Mission. I went round at once. The bomb had blown away half the bathroom, which was on the upper floor, but had left the bath itself in the open, projecting over the ruins. The water-supply was still working, so Thomson was having his bath as usual.

Later, when it was clear that nothing could prevent a general retreat, Thomson picked me up in his car, and I found my knees lifted to my chin. "Have a look," said Thomson and I lifted the carpet to see that the floor of the car was covered with bottles of champagne. Thomson laughed. "Well," he said, "if it has got to be a retreat, I don't see why it should be a dry one.

Years later, in London, I met Thomson hurrying towards the Strand in civilian clothes and carrying a delicately tinted pair of gloves. He told me he was on his way to address a Trade Union meeting. I suppose I must have smiled and he must have noticed my glance at his gloves. "Yes," he said, "I know I don't look much of a Trade Unionist, but that can't be helped." He became Lord Thomson, Secretary of State for Air in the first Labour Government, and to the sorrow of all who knew him was killed on the first flight of the airship R.101.

Christopher Thomson, 1. Baron Thomson

Christopher Birdwood Thomson, 1. Baron Thomson, PC, CBE, DSO (* 13. April 1875 in Nashik, Britisch-Indien † 5. Oktober 1930 in Allonne, Arrondissement Beauvais, Département Oise) war ein britischer Offizier der British Army und Politiker der Labour Party, der 1924 sowie erneut von 1929 bis zu seinem Tode 1930 Luftfahrtminister war. 1924 wurde er als 1. Baron Thomson, of Cardington, in the County of Bedford, in den erblichen Adelsstand der Peerage of the United Kingdom erhoben und gehörte dadurch bis zu seinem Tode 1930 dem Oberhaus (House of Lords) als Mitglied an.

Location of Kearsney Court and Russell Gardens Kearsney circa1960s

The main source of the 4-mile River Dour is at Watersend, Temple Ewell, while that of its tributary is at Drellingore in the Alkham Valley. Kearsney Court and Russell Gardens are on the tributary. An estate map shows that in 1774 there was a continuous stretch of water called Chilton Brook, from roughly where Bushy Ruff Lake is these days to where the road rises near Kearsney Abbey. In the 1820s, two adjoining mills were built on the site of an old mill at Bushy Ruff and it was these that created Bushy Ruff Lake. The Lake had the effect of drying out the land over which Chilton Brook had flooded, although occasionally it still flooded the area. To help combat this, a canal was dug along which the tributary flowed and across which a bridge was built. This enabled people, often with carts, to traverse from the village of Alkham and the Bushy Ruff mills towards Dover.

Prior to this, in 1790 Peter Fector (1723-1814) of the banking family, purchased what was then the Kearsney Court estate, which included what is now Kearsney Manor and all the land westward along what became Alkham Valley Road to the Bushy Ruff estate. The purchase also included land from Temple Ewell to River. Thirty years later, following the Napoleonic Wars (1793-1815), his son, John Minet Fector (1754-1821), built Kearsney Abbey. Members of the Fector family, including his son, also called John Minet Fector (1812- 1868) remained at Kearsney Abbey until October 1844 when the whole estate was sold to E C Jones for £57,000. The estate was then bought by Ebenezer Fuller Maitland but on his death, in 1859, what was the 26acre Kearsney Court Farm, north of the Abbey and west of the Manor was sold.

Alkham Valley Road, Kearsney c1900. Dover Library

The estate again came into the hands of Mr Jones and in 1870, he sold the Abbey for £10,500 to Joseph George Churchward (1818-1900) who had been Dover’s Mayor in 1867 and was the owner of the mail packet service. Churchward also bought Kearsney Court Farm and part of the Bushy Ruff estate, except for the colonial style mansion and gardens. By 1882 this part of his estate had been sold and the remainder was split with the 90 acres making up the separate Kearsney Abbey estate. Following the sale, the name of the old Kearsney Court House and its grounds was changed to Kearsney Manor while Kearsney Court Farm became Kearsney Manor Farm. It would appear that the Spanton family actually ran the the 24.5 acre farm west of Lower Road Temple Ewell fronting the Alkham Valley Road, but not long after it was put up for sale

Alfred Charles Leney (1860-1973), the eldest son of brewer, bought the farm and a little more land, making 28.5 acres in all. He set about building a gentleman’s country home and the work was undertaken by Messrs Hayward and Paramor of London Road, Dover. The proposed mansion was to be of dressed stone and have, on the ground floor, a large hall, 3 reception rooms and a conservatory. The first floor would have 7 bedrooms, dressing rooms, bathrooms and in the basement would be offices. There was to be two servant bedrooms on the second floor, plus work rooms and the mansion was to be surrounded by modern style gardens. There would be stabling for four horses, a coach house, a coachman’s cottage with the remainder to become farmland. The approach was to be by a long drive with two elegant gate lodges and the estimated cost was £13,000.

Edward Percy Barlow of Kearsney Court and Wiggins, Teape, Carter and Barlow known as Wiggins Teape

With the passage of time Kearsney Court, as Leney was to call his residence, became grander as he wanted it to be of greater importance than its neighbour, Kearsney Abbey! For whatever reason is unclear but about 1890, Leney decided to build his new home, called Garden House, at Sandling and sold Kearsney Court privately to Edward Percy Barlow (1855-1912). He was the Managing Directors of Wiggins, Teape, Carter and Barlow of London, a paper-manufacturing company that had recently purchased Buckland Paper Mill on Crabble Hill. Born in Hackney, Barlow had a successful career and was a part owner of the paper-manufacturing company. It had been agreed that Edward Barlow would run the new acquisition and consequently he was looking for a fine residence for his wife, Alice Mary, and growing family. They had two sons, Frank and Keith and two daughters Theodora and Barbara.

Buckland Paper Mill could trace its origin to when a corn mill had stood on the site at the bottom of Crabble Hill, close by the River Dour. This was before Buckland Bridge, that crosses the river nearby was built. By 1777, paper was being made on the site and that year Ingram Horne (1785), a local landowner took over the mill. Having been rebuilt several times – on each occasion following devastating fires – and also having changed hands, in 1840 Charles Ashdown (1808-1888) bought the mill. He eventually went into partnership with Henry Hobday and in 1887 they won a lucrative contract with the giant paper manufacturer, Wiggins, Teape, Carter and Barlow of London, to produce Conqueror Paper. Unfortunately, on 25 September 1887, yet another disastrous fire badly damaged the premises but in order to fulfil the contract, they had the mill repaired and bought new state of the art equipment at a cost £7,000.

Buckland Paper Mill c1910. Dover Museum

Having successfully fulfilled the contract, Ashdown died and the giant company made Hobday an offer that he did not refuse! As one of the owners of the Company, Barlow became the Chairman of the Dover factory, taking up the post in 1900. While Barlow was in charge, the mill prospered and was subsequently enlarged. No2 paper machine installed and No 3 Paper Machine was introduced in 1911. By that time, Buckland Paper Mill’s output was approximately 70-tons of paper a week and it was largest manufacturing firm in Dover.

Alice Mary Barlow wife of Edward Barlow and President of Dover Women’s Suffrage Society. Photo Ralph Harding

As a boss, Barlow was astute though popular with the workers. He was well known for providing support and assistance to his employees when they were in need and actively encouraged a Work’s Social club. In 1904, Wiggins Teape, as it was generally termed, under the direction of Barlow, took over Crabble paper mill and following a disastrous on 10 July 1906, had it rebuilt. The little mill opened the following year and the new building included a dining room and recreation room for the predominantly female workforce. This was in recognition of their attempts to control the fire. Of note, Alice Mary Barlow, became a leading member and in time President of the Dover Women’s’ Suffrage Society and their daughter-in-law, Alice, became the Vice President.

Thomas H Mawson The Art and Craft of Garden Making 1857 – Harding Family

Under the ownership of the Barlows, the red-bricked heavily gabled house was finished. To complement their magnificent home, Barlow hired Thomas H Mawson (1861-1933), the landscape architect of high repute, to create a garden that would show the house to its best advantage. Born in Lancashire, Mawson came to London to train as a gardener and quickly showed an aptitude for laying out gardens. At a time when local governments were endeavouring to cut unemployment by providing parks and gardens, Mawson became the landscape gardener of choice. Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) spotted the young man’s talent and hired Mawson to prepare and execute a plan for Pittencrieff Park in Dunfermline. The successful outcome made Mawson’s name and eventually international fame. By the 1920s Mawson was also an acclaimed town planner his two main published works being The Art and Craft of Garden Making (1900), and Civic Art (1911), in which he discussed the principles of town planning.

Lower Pagola Bridge with cascade 1903 – Harding Family

The basic premise of the gardens Mawson designed was to use the house as the focal point by the creation of steadily increasing informal layouts leading towards the surrounding countryside. At Kearsney Court, Mawson envisaged making a feature of the south facing side the house with a ‘cascading’ formal garden going down to the River Dour tributary. At the time the Dour tributary left Bushy Ruff in a southerly direction, first to Chilton Brook then easterly to Kearsney Abbey. Mawson diverted a stream of the Dour, close to Bushy Ruff bridge, to pass along the front of Kearsney Court from west to east and then to be carried through a culvert across to Kearsney Abbey. The river stream was then designed to enter the garden over a stepped cascade, in order to avoid stagnation. This is almost under the eye catching Pergola Bridge, that can still be seen today, though at the time was next to a boathouse. From the Pergola Bridge, the river was then given the feel of a canal by an elongated lake complimented with the beautifully laid out walkways.

After the second Pergola the Dour stream meandered through the garden before entering a culvert that took the water to Kearsney Abbey. Alan Sencicle

A stream of water fed into a large lily pond situated to correspond with the centre of the house. Equidistant from the lily pond to the first Pergola bridge, a smaller Pergola Bridge was built under which the Dour stream cascaded into a less formal channel that meandered through the east part of the garden. The River stream then entered another culvert that took it across the Alkham Valley Road into Kearsney Abbey.

On either side of the lily pond were tennis courts and there was also a croquet lawn. Going down from the house to the river, were raised semi-circular terraces with linking staircases and sweeping lawns, edged with box and golden yew hedges. The whole vista was interspersed with trees giving the impression of magnificence. Above the formal garden to the west the area was landscaped to give a ‘natural’ feel and included cedar trees and wild flower meadows.

Edward Barlow’s funeral 26 June 1912 at SSPeter & Paul Church, River. Harding Family

A few years after the completion of Kearsney Court gardens Edward Barlow became ill, so during the winter of 1911-1912 he and his wife went to the Mediterranean. Unfortunately, Barlow’s health did not improve. Returning to his beloved Kearsney Court, he died on Sunday evening 12 June 1912. Before Barlow became ill, besides running two mills in Dover and actively involved in the business of Wiggins Teape, he supported both local and county cricket teams and the work of the local Ambulance brigade. Barlow was a Magistrate of the Cinque Ports and as a keen yachtsman, the Vice-Commodore of the Royal Cinque Ports Yacht Club. On the day of his funeral, all the flags on the principal public buildings in Dover were flown at half-mast and the service, which was packed, took place at SS Peter & Paul Church, River, where he was also buried.

On the death of Edward Barlow, Kearsney Court was put on the market. The house was described as being approached by a long drive with three lodges and contained 15 bedrooms, four of which were fitted with baths. It had two staircases, a fine lounge hall, four reception rooms, billiard room, loggia, conservatory, a complete set of offices plus water and gas were laid on. The gardens were described as being terraced and included a croquet lawn and two tennis lawns, large ornamental lake, with streams, cascades and pergola bridges, orchard and grassland all set in about 22acres.

Kearsney Court – Sale Brochure 1912 – Harding Family

The property been put on the market by Keith Barlow (1885-1930) through Worsfold and Hayward of 3 Market Square, Dover. The solicitors were Stilwell and Harby. Mrs Alice Mary Barlow remained at Kearsney Court until the property was sold and then moved to Denton Court. Eventually, she moved to 15 Victoria Park where she died on 2 March 1930 and was buried next to her husband in SS Peter & Paul Churchyard, River. Their son Keith, on the death of his father, became the Chairman of Wiggins Teape’s operations in Dover and also a Director of the parent company. In 1925 he was appointed Chairman of the Wiggins Teape group of companies.

In 1914, two years after the death of Edward Barlow, Kearsney Court had still not been sold, so the asking price was drastically reduced. Eventually, in 1915, Mrs E Johnson bought the property for £9,000 and following the end of World War I (1914-1918) she made the property over to her husband, William Johnson. It was on the market once again in 1925. The main attributes given were central heating, electric lights and main drainage, while the asking price had fallen to £3,500!

Kearsney Court lounge when a nursing Home c1930s. Harding Family

Nonetheless, it was not until circa 1930 the property was eventually sold to Messrs A and H Stocker. They owned two private mental institutions in London and Kearsney Court became a hospital for wealthy alcoholics with Dr Frank Raymond King in charge. Following the outbreak of World War II (1939-1945) the mansion was requisitioned by the War Department and afterwards put on the market through Flashman’s of Dover.

Courtney Dale Ltd, a development company, was interested in buying the mansion, with part of the formal gardens but not all of the land offered as part of the sale. At the time, there was talk of Kearsney Court becoming a temporary school while Castlemount school, in central Dover, was being repaired but this came to naught. Therefore, Courtney Dale’s offer was accepted and they bought the mansion, the upper part of the formal gardens, the driveway and part of the woodland to the west. The mansion they converted into seven maisonettes and the gardens were refurbished. Courtney Dale hoped to sell the woodland but it was in a neglected state and no one was interested. The remaining land, including the lower part of the derelict Mawson formal gardens stayed on Flashman’s books, unsold.

Hilton Ernest Russell Dover Mayor between November 1928 and November 1930

Back in 1904 Hilton Ernest Russell opened a nursery in the village of River and showing an interest in local politics in November 1920 was elected to Dover Corporation. In 1928 he was elected Mayor and again the following year and his incumbency, which lasted from November 1928 to November 1930, was marked by several memorable events. In January 1929 he was in attendance at the council organised eighth annual dinner of Dover’s Klassical Konfraternity of Kongenial Konfrerers. This was a club for locals over the age of eighty years, of which there were 83 members in attendance and a further 800 who could not make the celebration. They received vouchers, which they could exchange for goods. In April, like all of Dover’s mayors since the end of World War I, excepting during World War II (1939-1945), he presided over the annual Zeebrugge celebration.

On 26 June 1929, Mayor Russell welcomed the Prince of Wales (1894-1972), later King Edward VIII (1936), when he arrived at Dover Priory Station. The Prince, along with Mayor Russell and an entourage went to the Dover College playing field at Farthingloe, passing streets lined with local folk waving flags and cheering. At Farthingloe, the Prince inspected the 1st Battalion of the Seaforth Islanders, stationed at the Castle. Afterwards, they all went to the Citadel barracks, on Western Heights to watch the Seaforth Highlanders Games.

Sir William Hillary Lifeboat built 1930 and brought to Dover to deal with aircraft casualties in the Channel.

A month later, on 26 July 1929, to mark the 20th anniversary of Louis Blériot’s historic flight across the Channel on 25 July 1909, Mayor Russell welcomed the great aviator at Swingate Aerodrome. The party then went to Northfall Meadow to see the Blériot memorial commemorating the occasion that was paid for by Duckhams Oil. Alexander Duckham (1877-1945) was in attendance. Almost a year later on 10 July 1930, Prince Edward was again welcomed by Mayor Russell and this time it was the Prince who arrived by plane at Swingate. The Prince had come to the town to officially launch the Dover lifeboat, Sir William Hillary . At the time, she was the fastest motor vessel in the world and had been bought to deal with the increasing number of aeroplanes crashing into the Channel.

Alderman Hilton Russell was coming to the end of his tenure as Dover’s Mayor when one of the worst air crashes to that date occurred. This was on 5 October, during a storm over Beauvais in France, when the R 101 airship crashed. The airship had left Cardington, Bedfordshire on an experimental flight to India when she hit a hillside and exploded. Only six of the fifty-four passengers and crew survived. Amongst the dead was the British Secretary of State for Air (1929-1930), Christopher Thomson, 1st Baron Thomson (1875-1930) and the Director of Civil Aviation, Air Vice Marshall Sir Sefton Brancker (1877-1930).

R101 disaster Beauvais, France 5 October 1930 . Postcard Eveline Larder Collection

The bodies of the victims were brought back to England in the Royal Navy Ships Tribune and Tempest by way of Boulogne and Dover. On arrival at Admiralty Pier, there was a Guard of Honour with Mayor Russell in attendance before they were taken by train to London. With the consent of relatives, the bodies were buried in one grave at Cardington though memorial services were held elsewhere, including Dover. The Inquiry was conducted by John Allsebrook Simon, 1st Viscount Simon (1873-1954) with the resulting abandonment of all airship construction in Britain.

Finally, in the hours before he ceased to be Mayor, Russell made the national press on his own behalf! It was November and one of the final points of discussion by the council was the opening of local cinemas on Sundays. The council had previously agreed that cinemas should close on the Sabbath but this had caused a public outcry so when the subject was debated for the second time in the Connaught Hall of Town Hall, now the Maison Dieu, it was packed. The debate was both stormy and passionate with much heckling against both sides of the argument. When it came to the vote, Mayor Russell was obliged to leave the Chamber so that if the result was hung he would not be influenced when he placed his casting vote. It was hung – 11 councillors for and 11 councillors against. The next decision was who would tell the Mayor to return to the Chamber to make the casting vote.

Former Dover Town Hall where the vote for Sunday opening of cinemas in the town took place. AS 2013

In order to ensure that the Mayor was not influenced, the council took the extraordinary decision to send a telegram informing him of the result. This was written, the telegram was sent and everyone waited. Eventually, the telegram boy arrived with the result sealed in the official envelope. Nearly two hours had gone by when the council official knocked on the door of the room in which Mayor Russell had remained. The mayor, with due solemnity, was asked to return to the Chamber! Mayor Russell stood in front of the assembled councillors, council officials, members of the public and of the media both local and by this time, from distant parts. With baited breath they all watched as he carefully opened the telegram envelope. He read the result, pulled himself up to his full height and announced to the ensembled throng that Dover cinemas would open on Sundays!

During the next few years, Alderman Russell was created an Honorary Freeman , and appointed a magistrate. He was also instrumental in the council’s acquisition of Kearsney Abbey following World War II. During the War the Abbey had been commandeered and after, Dover Borough Council (DBC) commissioned town planner, Professor Abercrombie (1879-1957) to draw up plans for war-torn Dover. He suggested that Kearsney Abbey and grounds should become a recreational focal point by creating ‘ a pleasant riverside walk from the Sea Front to Kearsney Abbey .’ DBC dismissed the idea as ridiculous suggesting that the Abbey be demolished and the grounds used for housing but Councillor Russell endorsed Abercrombie’s suggestion and stuck to his guns. In the local elections of 1946, he made this an issue and lost his seat! A few days later the Dover Rural District Council (RDC) elections were held and Cllr. Russell was elected to represent Temple Ewell.

Lack of money and material resources precluded the Kearsney Abbey being used for a housing development so the site was neglected. Although Kearsney Abbey was owned by DBC it was within RDC’s boundaries. When Cllr Russell was appointed to the RDC Pleasure Grounds Committee he put pressure on DBC to restore both the Abbey and the grounds. This DBC refused and instead successfully sort to change their boundaries to bring the Abbey and grounds within their jurisdiction. The full story of what happened next can be read in the Kearsney Abbey story, suffice to say that although Kearsney Abbey was demolished the grounds were saved for public use as Hilton Russell and Professor Abercrombie envisaged.

Russell Gardens the former lily pond at the time of writing the H E Russell garden. Alan Sencicle

As for the 23-acre Kearsney Court estate, following the conversion of the mansion into seven maisonettes, the development company, Courtney Dale Ltd, put the predominantly neglected woodland that was part of their purchase on the market. The part of the formal gardens that they had not bought remained on sale through Flashman’s of Dover. What happened next is not altogether clear, but it would appear that Cllr Russell, who had been appointed the chairman of the RDC’s Pleasure Grounds Committee, persuaded Courtney Dale to gift the woodland to RDC. At about the same time the company bought the remaining plot that fronted the Alkham Valley Road and included the lower part of the Mawson formal gardens.

Cllr. Russell then set about persuading his colleagues on RDC to buy this plot from Courtney Dale Ltd. They offered £1,500, which was accepted! Once in the hands of RDC, Cllr. Russell, who was a gardener and nurseryman by profession, organised for the lower part of the Mawson formal gardens to be returned to something like their former state. Mrs C G Lines, wife of the Chairman of RDC, officially opened the renovated elongated lake, Pergola Bridges and sidewalks in May 1951. The remaining RDC owned Gardens were, over the next few years, restored when money and materials were available. Councillor Hilton Russell remained on the RDC until his death on 13 January 1959. He was buried near Edward and Alice Mary Barlow in SS Peter & Paul Churchyard, River by which time the Gardens were seen as a jewel in RDC’s and Dover’s crown and were named Russell Gardens after him!

Russell Gardens – Bill Norton Arbour, Victim of the Herald Disaster. Alan Sencicle

In 1974, the newly created Dover District Council (DDC) inherited Russell Gardens. Shortly after, they bought Bushy Ruff house plus 26 acres including the lake for about £90,000. Although various development enterprises were considered for both sites these came to nothing. In the end, DDC accepted local opinion and Russell Gardens remained and Bushy Ruff Lake was opened to the public as an extension of them. The Gardens, these days, are Listed along with three of the buildings and still include tennis courts pleasant walkways, the lake and the romantic bridges. A recent addition is a Men of Trees, Kent Branch, arbour in memory of Bill Norton, (1919-1987) who died in the Herald of Free Enterprise disaster

Water abstraction during the late 1980s and early 1990s took its toll on the Dour tributary and a minor earthquake, that cracked the bottom of the elongated lake, followed this. As DDC are not averse to giving planning permission to projects harmful to Listed buildings and development proposals to Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Russell Gardens came under threat. Developers passed their covetous eyes over the Gardens but regardless of the problems, Russell Gardens remained popular. This DDC acknowledged saying that ‘Russell Gardens are a tourism asset due to the high volumes of visitor numbers, particularly in summer months.’

The elongated lake created out of a stream of the River Dour and entering the garden from under the Pergola bridge. Alan Sencicle

DDC made an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund’s ‘Parks for People’ programme for £3.3million to finance proposals to be carried out in both Kearsney Abbey and Russell Gardens. Regarding Russell Gardens, it is planned they will be restored, as far as possible, back to Thomas Mawson’s original plan. At the same time, recognising that Russell Gardens are a public park while Kearsney Court is in private ownership. Restoration will include removing overgrown shrubs to restore the visual connection between house and gardens, repairing paths and architectural features, improving entrances and planting, reinstating the summerhouse with public toilets, and creating historically sensitive play areas. It is hoped that the gardens will subsequently be maintained by a staff of three.

Russell Gardens story was Published in theDover Mercury 10 December 2009

For further information on the proposals for Russell Gardens:

--> Bibesco, Marthe, 1886-1973

Princess Marthe Bibesco, a Romanian aristocrat raised mainly in France, enjoyed a successful literary career during the first half of the twentieth century. Although never formally educated, Princess Bibesco was an avid reader of classical literature and history, and she possessed a deep appreciation and understanding of contemporary European politics. Throughout her life she associated with the elite and powerful on the European continent, as well as noted literary and artistic figures.

Born Princess Marthe Lucie Lahovary on January 28, 1886 in Bucharest, Marthe Bibesco grew up speaking French, as was common among high-ranking members of the Romanian nobility. As the second daughter of Prince Jean Lahovary, Minister of Romania in France, and Princess Emma Mavrocordato, she spent her childhood in Paris, Biarritz, and Balosti, her family's estate in Romania. Although not formally educated beyond private primary school in Biarritz, she received additional instruction from her French governess. Her father, uncle, and maternal grandfather were also instrumental in cultivating her interest in history and politics.

In 1892, Marthe's brother Georges, only son and heir to the Lahovary name and fortune, died of typhoid fever. His early death deeply marked the family their mother was in perpetual mourning over his passing, and Marthe's own worldview and spiritual beliefs were heavily influenced by this misfortune. Her elder sister, Jeanne, died of cholera in 1911, and her younger sister Marguerite killed herself seven years later. Marthe's mother and favorite cousin also took their own lives.

Engaged at the age of fifteen, Marthe Lahovary married a distant cousin, Prince Georges-Valentin Bibesco in 1902. He was an important industrialist from a distinguished Romanian family, served as ambassador to France, and was a noted civilian aviator. He was instrumental in founding the International Aeronautic Federation and later became its president. At the age of seventeen Marthe nearly died while giving birth to the couple's only child, Valentine. Theirs was not a happy alliance, and Georges was unfaithful throughout their union. During the early years of her marriage Marthe found solace in reading and writing.

In 1908 she published her first novel, Les huits paradis (The Eight Paradises), a travel documentary based on a diplomatic trip to Persia by automobile with her husband. It won critical acclaim and was crowned by the French Academy. Two of her later novels also earned literary distinction: Catherine-Paris (1927), selected by the Literary Guild in the United States and Croisade pour l'anémone (Crusade for the Anemone, 1931), chosen by the Catholic Book Club of New York. Although a celebrated author and laureate of the French Academy, Marthe Bibesco was never elected as a member of that body. She was, however, proud of her election to the Royal Belgian Academy of French Language and Literature in 1955. Other honors she received included nomination in 1958 to the Académie des Jeux Floraux de Toulouse, a literary society founded in the fourteenth century, and designation as a chevalier of the Légion d'Honneur in 1962.

Princess Bibesco's literary works fall into several categories. Her early fictional works are loosely based on her own life and experiences abroad. Non-fiction works include books, stories, and articles about the many illustrious people she knew intimately: writers, politicians, diplomats, monarchs, and aristocrats. Not only did she produce a large body of published works, she was also a prolific letter-writer. She corresponded extensively with friends and family and used some of their letters to create works such as La Vie d'une amitié: Ma correspondence avec l'abbé Mugnier, Churchill ou le Courage (Sir Winston Churchill: Master of Courage), and Échanges avec Paul Claudel . Her literary endeavors also included screenplays and theatrical pieces, as well as several historical novels written under the pseudonym Lucile Decaux.

Marthe Bibesco counted among her circle of friends several monarchs, the closest of whom were King Alfonso XIII of Spain, the Kronprinz Wilhelm of Germany, and King Ferdinand I of Romania. Two of her most beloved friends were British Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald and Lord Thomson of Cardington. Lord Thomson served as British military attaché in Romania during the First World War and later became Air Minister of Britain. He was killed in an aircraft accident in 1930. Other powerful men she knew well included Charles de Gaulle, Winston Churchill, French senator Henry de Jouvenel, and Commanding General of French Forces during World War I, Prince Charles-Louis de Beauvau-Craön. The princess also befriended literary figures such as Edith Wharton, Marcel Proust, Jean Cocteau, Anatole France, Rainer Maria Rilke, Enid Bagnold, Paul Valéry, and Paul Claudel. One of her closest friends was the abbé Arthur Mugnier, who is known for converting J. K. Huysmans to Catholicism.

Princess Bibesco experienced first hand many of the tumultuous events of early twentieth century Europe. During World War I she served as a nurse in a Bucharest hospital under German occupation but was forced to leave the country before the war's end. She also hosted unofficial diplomatic meetings in her palaces Posada and Mogosöea, bringing together representatives of warring governments who could not meet or negotiate in public. In 1938, as a guest of the exiled Spanish king, she witnessed the arrival of Hitler in Rome on his official visit to Italy. Marthe's family was torn apart and her fortune lost during World War II and the subsequent Communist takeover of Romania. She fled to France in 1947, never to return to Romania, but her daughter and son-in-law did not manage to escape. They were placed in detention for nearly nine years by the Communist government.

The postwar years brought financial difficulties to Princess Bibesco. Then in her sixties, she was responsible for supporting her two grandsons while their parents were in captivity. She had no regular source of income after her estates in Romania were confiscated by the Communists. In order to care for her family and live more comfortably, she sold family jewelry she had taken out of Romania. She also depended on the kindness of her wealthy friends. Writing became her livelihood rather than merely a lucrative hobby. With her numerous literary connections she was able to write articles and stories for publications such as Paris-Soir, The Saturday Evening Post, L'Illustration, Les Nouvelles Littéraires, Harper's Bazaar and Vogue . Although she was productive during this time, she was unable to complete what she considered her life's work, La Nymphe Europe, which would be a multi-volume history/genealogy of Europe based on her intimate knowledge of the European aristocracy. Despite years of research and preparation, only one volume, Mes vies antérieures, came to fruition during her lifetime. The second volume, Où tombe la foudre, was published by the executor of her estate after her death.

Princess Marthe Bibesco died quietly at the age of eighty-seven on November 28, 1973 in her home on the Île Saint Louis in Paris.

From the guide to the Princess Marthe Bibesco Papers TXRC06-A4., 1768-1976, (1904-1973), (The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center)

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Please add the profiles off your Bedfordshire born ancestors to the People Connected to Bedfordshire and Bedfordshire - Famous People projects, not here.

Members of Parliament

  • George Acworth 1529, 1532
  • Sir Rowland Alston 1722, 1727, 1734
  • Thomas Alston 1747, 1753, 1754
  • William Bosom 1407, 1413, 1416, 1417
  • William Boteler 1685
  • Sir Gerard Braybrooke I 1390
  • Sir Gerard Braybrooke II 1388, 1399
  • Thomas Bromsall 1698
  • Samuel Browne I 1660
  • Thomas Browne 1690, 1695
  • Robert Bruce, Lord Bruce 1660, 1661
  • Thomas Bruce, Lord Bruce 1679
  • Sir Roger Burgoyne 1735, 1741
  • Pattee Byng 1727, 1733
  • John Cater 1713, 1715
  • Sir Pynsent Chernock, Bt. 1705, 1713, 1715
  • Sir Villiers Chernock, Bt. 1685
  • Sir Henry Chester 1664
  • Sir John Chester 1727, 1741
  • Sir Henry Cheyney 1572 Called to the Upper House
  • Henry Cockayne 1421
  • Edmund Conquest 1545
  • Giles Daubeney 1395, 1401
  • Robert Digswell 1388
  • William Duncombe 1689, 1695, 1698
  • Thomas Durant 1404, 1406
  • Lewis Dyve 1547, 1553
  • John Fitzpatrick Earl of Upper Ossory 1753, 1754, 1767, 1768, 1774, 1780, 1784, 1790, 1794 called to the Upper House
  • Hon. Richard Fitzpatrick 1807
  • Ralph Fitzrichard 1386
  • Sir John Gascoigne 1558,
  • Sir William Gascoigne 1529, 1536, 1542, 1553
  • John Goldington II 1414, 1421
  • John Gostwick 1539
  • Sir William Gostwick 1698, 1701, 1702, 1705, 1708, 1710
  • Sir Henry Grey 1614
  • Hon. Thomas Hampden 1774
  • John Harvey 1705, 1708, 1710, 1713, 1715
  • Hugh Hasilden 1406
  • William Hillersden 1713, 1715, 1722
  • Roger Hunt 1414, 1416, 1420,
  • John Hervy 1386
  • Charles Leigh 1722, 1733, 1734
  • Nicholas Luke 1584 1597
  • Sir Oliver Luke 1614 , 1620, 1624-1628
  • Thomas Manningham 1421
  • Thomas Potter Macqueen 1826
  • Sir Humphrey Monoux, Bt. 1679, 1679, 1681, 1685, 1727
  • Sir John Mordaunt 1553, 1554,1554, 1555
  • Lewis Mordaunt 1562/3
  • Robert Mordaunt 1421
    Bedford 1754-1761 Bedfordshire 1761, 1768, 1774 Robert Ongley, 1st Baron Ongley 1784
  • Sir Danvers Osborn 1747
  • Henry Osborn 1758
  • Sir John Osborn Bt. 1796, 1802, 1806, 1807, 1818, 1820
  • Peter Payne 1831
  • Sir Baldwin Pigot 1390, 1397, 1401,
  • Thomas Pigott I 1559
  • Francis Pym 1806, 1807, 1812, 1820, 1826
  • Sir Edward Radcliffe 1588/9, 1597, 1601, 1604
  • Sir Humphrey Radcliffe 1553 (Mar.), 1554, 1554, 1555, 1558
  • Thomas Radcliffe 1584
  • Reynold Ragon 1394, 1402, 1404
  • George Rotheram 1571, 1572, 1584, 1586, 1593,
  • Thomas Roxton 1417 1685, 1689, 1690 Lord Edward Russell 1695, 1698, 1701, 1702, 1705, 1708, 1710 (1739-1767) 1761, 1767 (1788-1861) 1812, 1818, 1820, 1826, 1830, 1831, 1832
  • William Russell, Lord Russell 1679, 1681
  • Hon. St. Andrew St. John 1780, 1784, 1790, 1796, 1802, 1806 Called to the Upper House
  • Sir Beauchamp St. John 1620
  • Sir John St. John 1532, 1539, 1542
  • John St. John I 1559
  • John St. John II 1562/3
  • Oliver St. John, 1547
  • Oliver St. John I 1604
  • Oliver St. John II 1588/9, 1593, 1624, 1625, 1626 , 1628
  • Oliver St. John IV 1601
  • Robert Scott 1420
  • Thomas Snagge I 1571, 1586
  • John Spencer 1734 1830, 1831
  • Ralph Walton 1388 ( Sept.), 1391,
  • Philip Walwyn 1395
  • Sir Thomas Waweton 1413, 1414, 1419
  • William Wenlock 1404
  • Sir Humphrey Winch 1661
  • John Worship 1393, 1394, 1397, 1397, 1402, 1407

Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire.

Since 1711, all Lords Lieutenant have also been Custos Rotulorum of Bedfordshire. This list is not a complete list

  • William Parr, 1st Marquess of Northampton 1549�
  • Oliver St John, 1st Baron St John of Bletso 1560�
  • Henry Grey, 6th Earl of Kent 12 September 1586– 31 January 1615
  • Charles Grey, 7th Earl of Kent 25 February 1615– 26 September 1623 jointly with
  • Henry Grey, 8th Earl of Kent 27 July 1621 – 31 October 1627 jointly with
  • Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Cleveland 9 May 1625 – 25 March 1667 jointly with
  • Henry Grey, 8th Earl of Kent 29 January 1629 – 29 November 1639
  • Oliver St John, 1st Earl of Bolingbroke 1639� (Parliamentary)
  • Robert Bruce, Lord Bruce of Whorlton 1646 (Parliamentary nominated by House of Lords)
  • Henry Grey, 10th Earl of Kent 1646 (Parliamentary nominated by House of Commons)
  • Robert Bruce, 1st Earl of Ailesbury 26 July 1660 – 20 October 1685
  • Thomas Bruce, 2nd Earl of Ailesbury 26 November 1685 – 10 May 1689
  • William Russell, 1st Duke of Bedford 10 May 1689 – 7 September 1700
  • Lord Edward Russell 22 November 1700 – 27 November 1701
  • Wriothesley Russell, 2nd Duke of Bedford 27 November 1701 – 26 May 1711
  • Henry Grey, 1st Duke of Kent 14 September 1711 – 5 June 1740
  • John Russell, 4th Duke of Bedford 21 May 1745 – 5 January 1771
  • John FitzPatrick, 2nd Earl of Upper Ossory 6 February 1771 – 13 February 1818
  • Thomas de Grey, 2nd Earl de Grey 17 March 1818 – 14 November 1859
  • Francis Russell, 7th Duke of Bedford 7 December 1859 – 14 May 1861
  • Francis Cowper, 7th Earl Cowper 7 June 1861 – 18 July 1905
  • Beauchamp Mowbray St John, 17th Baron St John of Bletso 30 October 1905 – 10 May 1912
  • Samuel Howard Whitbread 16 July 1912 – 8 January 1936
  • George Lawson Johnston, 1st Baron Luke 8 January 1936 – 23 February 1943
  • Sir Dealtry Charles Part 15 May 1943 – 7 June 1957
  • Simon Whitbread 7 June 1957 – 26 April 1978
  • Hanmer Cecil Hanbury 26 April 1978 – 5 January 1991
  • Sir Samuel Whitbread KCVO 28 February 1991 – 22 February 2012
  • Helen Nellis 22 February 2012 - present


Thomson war seiner Familie als Kit und seinen Freunden als CB bekannt. Im März 1915 lernte er als britischer Militärattache in Bukarest die (verheiratete) französisch-rumänische Schriftstellerin Prinzessin Marthe Bibesco kennen und blieb ihr für den Rest seines Lebens treu. Sie korrespondierten regelmäßig. Sie widmete dem "CBT" vier Bücher und besuchte im Dezember 1930 mit ihrem gemeinsamen Freund, dem Abbé Mugnier, den Ort des R101- Unfalls.

Seine zweite Amtszeit wurde durch eine Tragödie unterbrochen, als Thomson beim Absturz des von der Regierung entworfenen Luftschiffs R101 auf seinem Jungfernflug nach Karachi im Oktober 1930 ums Leben kam Der Jungfernflug vor Abschluss der Sicherheitskontrollen und ausreichender Flugerprobungen forderte das Leben von 48 Menschen und führte zur Absage des britischen Luftschiffprogramms durch Thomsons Nachfolger als Luftminister , Lord Amulree .

King's College London: Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives

  • NRA 23081 Sir Ronald Forbes Adam, 2nd Bt: papers link to online catalogue
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  • NRA 23115 Major General Sir George Grey Aston: diaries, corresp and papers link to online catalogue
  • NRA 12964 Major Thomas Balston: misc corresp and papers link to online catalogue
  • NRA 11377 Maj-Gen Nathaniel Walter Barnardiston: corresp and papers link to online catalogue
  • NRA 23061 General Sir William Henry Bartholomew corresp and papers link to online catalogue
  • NRA 12656 Brigadier Sir Edward Henry Lionel Beddington: copy of memoirs link to online catalogue
  • NRA 11378 Lt-Col Sir Reginald Benson: corresp and papers link to online catalogue
  • NRA 11379 Victor Bonham-Carter: papers for biography of Field Marshal Sir William Robertson and BBC TV The Gr link to online catalogue
  • NRA 11380 Maj-Gen Sir Robert Clive Bridgeman, 2nd Viscount Bridgeman: papers link to online catalogue
  • NRA 12657 Lt-General Sir Charles Noel Frank Broad misc corresp link to online catalogue
  • NRA 23116 Field Marshal Sir Alan Francis Brooke, 1st Viscount Alanbrooke: corresp and papers link to online catalogue
  • NRA 11543 Air Chief Marshal Sir Henry Robert Moore Brooke-Popham papers link to online catalogue
  • NRA 23062 Major-General Sir Thompson Capper papers link to online catalogue
  • NRA 23063 Lt-General Lawrence Carr letters link to online catalogue
  • NRA 13003 Brigadier Harold Vincent Spencer Charrington: papers link to online catalogue
  • NRA 11381 Major-General Arthur Reginald Chater: Somaliland papers link to online catalogue
  • NRA 12641 Brigadier Frederick Arthur Stanley Clarke papers and MS memoirs link to online catalogue
  • NRA 23065 Captain Percy Archer Clive, MP: diaries and letter books link to online catalogue
  • NRA 23064 Lt-General Sir George Sidney Clive corresp and papers link to online catalogue
  • NRA 11382 Captain Ralph H Covernton memoirs link to online catalogue
  • NRA 13852 Colonel Sir Henry Darlington: papers link to online catalogue
  • NRA 23066 Major-General Francis Henry Norman Davidson papers link to online catalogue
  • NRA 23067 Major-General Sir Francis de Guingand papers link to online catalogue
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  • NRA 11386 General Sir Alfred Reade Godwin-Austen: Somaliland papers link to online catalogue
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  • NRA 23070 General Sir John Hackett: corresp and papers rel to battle of Arnhem link to online catalogue
  • NRA 11387 Brigadier-General Philip Howell corresp and papers link to online catalogue
  • NRA 23071 Lt-General Sir Thomas Hutton: literary MS link to online catalogue
  • NRA 12103 General Hastings Lionel Ismay, 1st Baron Ismay: papers link to online catalogue
  • NRA 11389 Admiral Francis William Kennedy papers link to online catalogue
  • NRA 11390 Lt-General Sir Launcelot Kiggell corresp and papers link to online catalogue
  • NRA 23072 Captain George Harold Lever papers link to online catalogue
  • NRA 23073 Major-General Sir Richard George Lewis papers link to online catalogue
  • NRA 19291 Sir Basil Liddell Hart corresp and papers link to online catalogue
  • NRA 11391 Lt-General Sir Wilfred Gordon Lindsell: corresp and papers link to online catalogue
  • NRA 11403 London University: Kings College Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives: misc accessions
  • NRA 23082 General Sir Neville Gerald Lyttelton: family corresp link to online catalogue
  • NRA 11388 Colonel Roderick Macleod papers link to online catalogue
  • NRA 11392 Lt-General Sir William Raine Marshall: letters to his brother link to online catalogue
  • NRA 23086 Major-General Sir Frederick Barton Maurice: personal and family corresp and papers link to online catalogue
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  • NRA 23075 Brigadier Edmund Charles Wolf Myers papers link to online catalogue
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  • NRA 11400 Major-General Sir Ernest Swinton: corresp and papers mainly rel to origins of the tank link to online catalogue
  • NRA 23079 Major-General Gerald Lloyd Verney: papers link to online catalogue
  • NRA 11401 CA Vlieland: misc Malayan papers link to online catalogue
  • NRA 23078 Field Marshal Erich Von Manstein: papers rel to his trial link to online catalogue
  • NRA 27839 Air Commodore Reginald Newnham Waite: corresp and papers link to online catalogue
  • NRA 23080 Colonel Christopher Montague Woodhouse, MP: papers link to online catalogue
  • NRA 11402 Captain GC Wynne papers link to online catalogue
  • NRA 13893 Sir Hubert Winthrop Young: Hejaz Operations papers link to online catalogue

Thomson History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Thomson was first found in Ayrshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Inbhir Àir), formerly a county in the southwestern Strathclyde region of Scotland, that today makes up the Council Areas of South, East, and North Ayrshire, where the first listings of the name were found in the early 1300s. They include: John Thomson, "a man of low birth, but approved valour", leader of the men of Carrick in Edward Bruce's war in Ireland in 1318 and Adam Thomson who was listed as Lord of Kylnekylle, Ayrshire c. 1370-80. Closing out that century was Johannes filius Thome who was elected bailie of Aberdeen in 1398. [1]

Interestingly there is a record of the family far to the south and west in the parish of Tywardreath, Cornwall, England. "Treveryon-house and barton in this parish have been for many generations the property and occasional residence of the family of Thomson. This is now the property and abode of their representative H. Thomson, Esq. a captain in the Royal Cornwall Militia. Treveryon-house occupies an interesting situation, and claims something more than the mere mention of its name. In its front, it has four pillars of the Ionic order, cut from Cornish granite, of which they exhibit beautiful specimens. The front of this building displays much architectural elegance. The whole house is neat and commodious, and as a genteel residence according to its magnitude, it is deservedly to be reckoned among the abodes of gentility in this county. " [2]

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Early History of the Thomson family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Thomson research. Another 180 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1318, 1370, 1461, 1547, 1668, 1700, 1619, 1676, 1799, 1841, 1539, 1608 and 1588 are included under the topic Early Thomson History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Unisex Coat of Arms Hooded Sweatshirt

Thomson Spelling Variations

The variation in the spelling of Medieval names is a result of the lack of spelling rules in the English language prior to the last few hundred years. Before that time, scribes spelled according to sound, often varying the spelling of name within a single document. Thomson has appeared as Thomson, Tomson, Tamson, Thomsoun, M'Comie and others.

Early Notables of the Thomson family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was George Thomson (c. 1619-1676), an English physician, medical writer and pamphleteer, leading figure in an attempt to create a "College of Chemical Physicians" and Charles Poulett Thomson, 1st Baron Sydenham (1799-1841), British politician.
Another 41 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Thomson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Thomson family to Ireland

Some of the Thomson family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Thomson migration +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Thomson Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Edward Thomson who died aboard the "Mayflower" at Cape Cod Harbor in 1620 and was liekly buried ashore
  • Morris Thomson, who settled in Virginia in 1626
  • John Thomson, who arrived in Maryland in 1634 [3]
  • Christopher Thomson, who settled in St. Christopher in 1635 along with Edward
  • James Thomson, who landed in New England in 1651-1652 [3]
  • . (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Thomson Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Eleanore Thomson, who landed in Virginia in 1714 [3]
  • Anne Thomson, who landed in Virginia in 1714 [3]
  • Dugald Thomson, who settled in New York in 1739, with his wife and four children
  • Dugald Thomson, who arrived in New York in 1739 [3]
Thomson Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Daniel Thomson, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1803 [3]
  • Hugh Thomson, aged 36, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1804 [3]
  • Jane Thomson, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811 [3]
  • Charles Thomson, aged 55, who arrived in Maryland in 1812 [3]
  • Janet Thomson, who arrived in America in 1822 [3]
  • . (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Thomson migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Thomson Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Ben John Thomson, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Jane Thomson, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Mr. Jacob Thomson U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784 [4]
  • Mr. James Thomson U.E., (Thompson) who settled in Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1784 he was a member of the Penobscot Association [4]
  • Mr. William Thomson U.E. who settled in Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1784 [4]
  • . (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Thomson Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Andrew Thomson, who settled in Harbour Grace, Newfoundland, in 1801 [5]
  • Ann Thomson, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1801
  • Catherine Thomson, aged 18, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Perseus" in 1834
  • Mary Thomson, aged 18, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Perseus" in 1834
  • Catherine Thomson, aged 24, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Robert Burns" in 1834
  • . (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Thomson migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Thomson Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Francis Thomson, English convict from Devon, who was transported aboard the "Ann" on August 1809, settling in New South Wales, Australia[6]
  • Mr. James Thomson, Scottish convict who was convicted in Edinburgh, Scotland for life, transported aboard the "Champion" on 24th May 1827, arriving in New South Wales, Australia[7]
  • John Thomson, Scottish convict from Glasgow, who was transported aboard the "America" on April 4, 1829, settling in New South Wales, Australia[8]
  • Mr. Thomas Thomson, (b. 1809), aged 22 who was convicted in Glasgow, Scotland for 14 years, transported aboard the "Camden" on 21st March 1831, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1831 shortly after arriving [9]
  • Miss Jean Thomson, Scottish convict who was convicted in Stirling, Scotland for 7 years, transported aboard the "Buffalo" on 4th May 1833, arriving in New South Wales, Australia[10]
  • . (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Thomson migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

The Homestead Strike

An illustration from Harper&aposs Weekly depicting the Homestead Strike of 1892 showing Pinkertons, escorted by armed union men, leaving the barges after surrendering.

Bettmann Archive/Getty Images

After Carnegie purchased the massive Homestead steel works in 1883, he spent millions transforming it to become the heart of his steel empire. When he purchased the steel mill, it was already home to lodges of the powerful Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers, and Carnegie ultimately took steps to eliminate the union from the Homestead plant.

The man who wrote of his support of unions now put his opposition in writing on handbills distributed to Homestead employees in April 1892: 𠇊s the vast majority of our employees are Non-Union, the Firm has decided that the minority must give place to the majority. These works therefore, will be necessarily Non-Union after the expiration of the present agreement.”

With Homestead’s labor contract set to expire in the summer of 1892, Carnegie sailed across the ocean for his annual vacation in Scotland and left the negotiations in the hands of his general manager Henry Clay Frick, who was notorious for using hardball tactics to bust unions in the coal mines. “We all approve of anything you do, not stopping short of approval of a contest,” Carnegie wrote to Frick. “We are with you to the end.”

Frick girded for battle with the union to the point of installing three miles of fencing, topped with barbed wire and watch towers, around the mill. After the union refused management’s demands, Frick locked out the workers and hired Pinkerton Detective agents to allow non-union workers into the plant. However, when two barges carrying 300 Pinkerton agents docked at Homestead on July 6, 1892, gunfire erupted and a pitched battle ensued that left at least three Pinkertons and seven union members dead.

Days later, the state militia arrived and secured the mill, which was up and running within a week with non-union labor. With winter approaching, striking union members could hold out no longer and capitulated in November 1892, returning to their jobs with as much as a 60 percent pay cut.

“Our victory is now complete and most gratifying. Do not think we will ever have serious labor trouble again,” Frick wired Carnegie after the end of the Homestead Strike. “We had to teach our employees a lesson and we have taught them one they will never forget.” “Life worth living again,” Carnegie messaged back to Frick.

Christopher C. Thompson, MD

Dr. Christopher C. Thompson is the Director of Endoscopy at Brigham and Women&rsquos Hospital (BWH), Co-director of the Center for Weight Management and Wellness, and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He is also the Advanced Endoscopy Fellowship Program Director and clinical faculty at Boston Children&rsquos Hospital and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Dr. Thompson&rsquos clinical interests include endoscopic surgery applied to foregut conditions, with a focus on endoscopic treatment of obesity, GERD, Zenker&rsquos diverticula, achalasia, gastroparesis, postsurgical complications, and pancreatobiliary disease. He spends the majority of his time performing these advanced endoscopic procedures and also cares for these patients in the ambulatory setting. The remainder of his time is devoted to research in endoscopic surgery, with a focus on device development, clinical outcomes, and endoscopic education.

His research has resulted in numerous patents, development of new endoscopic procedures, and over 300 publications. He was awarded the Brigham and Women&rsquos Physician Organization Clinical Innovation Award in 2007 for developing and performing the first endoscopic suturing procedure to treat obesity. He also invented anastomosis technology, which has been shown to treat type 2 diabetes effectively in early clinical trials. He was responsible for much of the early work in Bariatric Endoscopy, having been called the founding father of the field, and edited the first textbook and video atlas on the subject. Some of his other important clinical innovations include the development of new endoscopic techniques for treating pancreatic necrosis, gastric outlet obstruction, sleeve gastrectomy stenosis, pancreaticojejunal anastomotic strictures, and postsurgical complications. He also developed an endoscopic part-task simulator used by many fellowship programs (the TEST box).

These accomplishments have led to a broad clinical referral base, and to national and international invitations for lectureships and live case demonstrations, including the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) Blackwell Lectureship, ACG American Journal of Gastroenterology Lecture, American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Presidential Plenary Lecture, American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) J Edward Berk Presidential Plenary Lecture, ACG Edgar Achkar Visiting Professorship, all post-graduate education courses for the major US gastroenterology and surgical societies, and numerous respected courses throughout Europe, Asia, and South America. He has also mentored more than 20 fellows, many of whom have gone on to thrive in prestigious academic institutions, and he established the first Fellowship in Bariatric Endoscopy.

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