THOMAS MEYRICK was born about 1762 in Broseley, Shropshire, England to Thomas Meyrick and, according to family stories, Miss Foley (daughter of Lord Foley). No christening record is found in Broseley for Thomas. The only Meyrick christened in Broseley at that time was James Merrick, son of Thomas and Eleanor Merrick, christened 19 October 1760 in Broseley. This may be Thomas' brother.

Thomas married SUSANNAH COLEY or COWLEY 25 December 1788 in Coates, Gloucestershire: "Banns of marriage between Thomas Merrick & Susanna Cowley both of this parish were published in this church September 28 & October 5 & 12 1788 by Mr. William Pitt, curate", and then the marriage, "The said Thomas Merrick, labourer & Susann Cowley, spinster, were married in this church this twenty fifth day of December 1788, by Mr. William Pitt, curate". The record has the mark of Thomas Merrick and the mark of Susanna Cowley, along with the mark of John Hayley, and the signature of Wm. Benson, witnesses. 

Thomas Merrick marriage

Marriage record for Thomas Merrick and Susanna Cowley in Coates, Gloucestershire

Researcher Anne Merrick provides additional insight into the location of the marriage, suggesting that Thomas was a canal labourer. Her Gloucestershire researcher supports this view: "I very much support the suggestion that Thomas Merrick was a canal labourer during the early part of his working life. The dates when various canals were built coincide with his geographical movements.  Canal labourers, ‘navigators’ or ‘navvies’, were perhaps the most mobile group of people at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th Century, as were the railway labourers 50 years later.  It offered better money than working in the fields.My theory is that he was born in Shropshire, quite possibly in Broseley. The Ketley Canal, 10 miles from Broseley, was probably the first to be built in the area, from 1787 to 1788. This could be the first that Thomas worked on.  When a canal was about to be built or extended agents would often go to where work on another canal was about to finish and recruit workers.  This could explain why he then appears almost 80 miles away in Coates around 1788 where the Thames and Severn Canal was being built.  This opened in 1789 although some work continued after the official opening."

"We know that by November 1792 when his eldest son Thomas was baptised he had moved to Neen Sollars.  This was where the Kington Canal was being built.  It was started in 1791 which coincides exactly with the date when Thomas might have moved there. If I understand correctly, the Kington Canal was part of a larger scheme – the Leominster Canal – which went through Knighton on Teme.  This would explain Thomas’s next move to Knighton on Teme.  This scheme fizzled out in June 1797; other work was planned but nothing came of it.  Presumably, now with a growing family, Thomas decided he needed to settle down and stayed in Knighton on Teme." (Clive Andrews)  Anne reports that his son Thomas was also described as a "navigator" in an incomplete baptismal record from Lydia Merrick at Tenbury.

Susannah was born about 1770 in Gloucestershire, England, the daughter of Robert Cowley and Mary Brown. Susannah was christened 25 March 1770 in Cherington, Gloucestershire.

Thomas Meyrick death certificate

Death record for Thomas Merrick, Tenbury parish

Thomas died 24 January 1848 in Darnal Cottage, Tenbury, Worcester, England, and was buried 28 January in the Knighton churchyard, Knighton-upon-Teme, Worcester, England. His death certificate shows his occupation as labourer. He was 86 years old. The cause of death was old age. The source of information was William Adams (his son-in-law), present at the death. 

Thomas Meyrick death

Death certificate for Thomas Meyrick, 1848

Susannah died 28 July 1826 in Darnal Cottage, and was buried in the Knighton churchyard.

A diary left by John Meyrick, the son of James Meyrick records,

"Thomas Meyrick is my grandfather. He was born at Brosley, Shropshire, England. Died at Darnell Cottage near Trembery. Buried in Nighton Church Yard, Nighton Parish, Worcestershire, England. His wife's name Sushannah Coley. She died at the same place and was buried by his side."

John Meyrick Diary

John Meyrick's diary

1841 census

1841 census Dearnall, Knighton

Thomas was found in the 1841 English census in Dearnall, Knighton, Worcestershire. His daughter, Maria's family lives with him:

Thomas Merrick, age 75, occupation ag. lab, not born in this county
William Adams, age 30, ag. lab.
Maria Adams, age 30
Pemala, age 4
Charles, age 2
Thomas Merrick, age 10
Ann Adams, age 20

Darnall Cottage

Darnal Cottage, Tenbury
Top floor has been removed. Originally had on large bedroom, one room and kitchen on ground floor.
Variously referred to as Canalside, near Dotcroft  (Deep Croft Farm), Darnil, Darnal, Dearnal or Darnell. The house behind is new.

Thomas and Susannah had the following children:

1. Hannah, christened 4 April 1790 in Coates, Gloucestershire; died in Plymouth, Devon, England. .

2. Thomas, born 18 November 1792 in Neen Sollors, Shropshire, England; died in Worsell, England.

3. Helen, born about 1793.

4. Mary, born in 1794 in Darnal Cottage; died September 1826 at the same place.

5. *James, born 15 January 1796 in Darnal Cottage; married Elizabeth Ann Bumford; died 11 May 1871 in Mt. Pleasant, San Pete, Utah.

6. Eleanor, christened 21 January 1798.

7. Delia (Delilah), born 16 Feb 1800 in Knighton, Worcester, England; died in Darnal Cottage; buried 24 November 1801 in Knighton.

8. Ann, born 28 March 1802 in Knighton; died 2 March 1827.

9. Keziah (Kizirey), born about 1803 in Darnal Cottage; died at the same place.

10. Sarah, born 11 March 1804 in Knighton; died in November 1823 in London, England.

11. John, born 17 April 1806 in Darnal Cottage; died at sea.

12. Elizabeth, born at Darnal Cottage; christened 17 Oct 1808; married Thomas Ayens; died in Clibery, England.

13. Maria, born 19 February 1811 in Knighton; married William Adams.

14. Emma, christened 30 May 1814 in Knighton; buried 3 August 1815 in Knighton.

SOURCES: John Meyrick's diary; Family Group sheet prepared by Bryant Merrick; IGI; Knighton parish register, FHL# 992215; death certificate (Thomas); e-mail from Anne Merrick.


Thomas Meyrick was born in about 1740 of Broseley. According to a diary left by John Meyrick, Thomas' great-grandson, he married Miss Foley: "Great-grand Father's name is Thomas Meyrick. His wife's name was Foley. She was a daughter of Lord Foley in England. She died in England. I do not know where he died. That is the great reason the Meyricks cannot get the money that is coming to them, for there was a great sum of money left for three children by the mother, for them when they came of age. It is in the Bank of England. It was put in that Bank for them and Thomas Meyrick (his son) is my grandfather."  Whether this story is true or just family legend has not been proven. No marriage record has been found for Thomas Meyrick and Miss Foley.

Thomas had the following child:

1. *Thomas, born in about 1762 in Broseley; married Susannah Coley; died 24 January 1848 in Darnell Cottage, Tenbury, Worcester; buried 28 January 1848 in Knighton.

SOURCES: John Meyrick's diary; IGI;  death date by CJF Comyn from family papers.
Other Meyricks are found in the Broseley parish register:

In the neighboring parish of Much Wenlock:

No other Merricks are found in the parishes surrounding Broseley in the right time period. These are the parishes of Barrow, Buildwas, Coalbrookdale, Madeley and Sutton Maddock.

No record for Thomas Meyrick (1762) has been found in Broseley. His father Thomas is also not found in the Broseley records. There is a James Meyrick, son of Thomas and Eleanor, christened in Broseley. A search of the surrounding parishes shows only one possibility for Thomas, who was born about 1740. That is the christening record of Thomas Merrick, son of John and Joan Merrick, in 1740.

Thomas Merrick (1740) is the son of John and Joan Merrick. John, born 1696, is the son of Edward and Elizabeth Merrick. Edward and Elizabeth seem to be the parents of most of the Merricks in Much Wenlock - John, Joseph, and George. Edward (1670) is the son of John and Sarah Merrick.

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