Kings Lynn butcher: Thomas Fiddaman BLOMFIELD (1883 - 1953)

  Eight Late Victorian Families ©2010-2017 Rosemary & Stan Rodliffe

One of a large family

Thomas Fiddaman BLOMFIELD, known as Tom, was born at Kings Lynn in Norfolk, one of eleven children born to Thomas William BLOMFIELD and Frances née LOWE. His only brother John Joseph was born in 1892 and died in 1894. Two of his sisters died in childhood: Deborah Lowe (1878 - 1879) and Eleanor Gertrude (1891 - 1901). He had seven other sisters: Matilda Johnson (1873 - ), Alice Theresa ( 1874 - ), Florence Burcham (1876 - ), Mabel Wainer (1880 - ), Violet Springall (1882 - ), Jemima Grace (1885 - ) and Fanny Daisy (1887 - ). In 1891 he was at school with Mabel and Violet at 7 Church Lane, where the Headmistress was Mary POWLEY, whilst Matilda and Eleanor, his eldest and youngest sisters, were living with their parents at the Princess Royal, No. 42 Blackfriars Street.

Family of Thomas William Blomfield and Frances

Seen here around 1900, from left to right. (Photo courtesy of Richard Gaunt)
Back: Thomas Fiddaman, Violet, Mabel
Middle: Alice, Florence, Frances (nee Lowe), Thomas William, Matilda
Front: Grace, Daisy, Nellie

In 1901 Thomas Fiddaman was a butcher's apprentice living at the Princess Royal Inn, Blackfriars Street, Kings Lynn with his parents and sisters Jemima.Grace and Fanny Daisy, both of whom were draper's apprentices.

Own shop

By the time that he was 22 he had his own butcher's shop, shown in the 1905 Kelly's Directory at 54 London Road. He is shown outside his shop in this photograph around 1910. He was at the same premises in 1920 when his son, Thomas William (Rosemary's father), joined him. They had their own slaughterhouse at the back of the shop, advertising themselves as "Purveyors of Home-Killed Meat and Dealers in Game" .

Thomas Fiddaman Blomfield

Why middle name 'Fiddaman'?

The middle name 'Fiddaman' was a puzzle for many years because we had been unable to find ancestors of that surname. However, there was a Fiddaman's Hotel in Lynn and at least one citizen of that name. The Hotel was in Chapel Street where Thomas Fiddaman's grandfather John LOWE kept the Black Horse. Also John LOWE and James FIDDAMAN were close friends, in the catering business together and organised events such as the Gala in 1868 at the Old Cricket Field, the Chase, which was attended by 4000 people (History of Kings Lynn Vol. II by Henry James Hillen).

This puzzle was the start of an intriguing search which ended with our publication of Glimpses of Fiddaman's Lynn', where we tell the story of James FIDDAMAN, who turned out to be Thomas Fiddaman BLOMFIELD's godfather. Amongst our first discoveries was his tombstone with this inscription:

"In remembrance of James Fiddaman who died 20th January 1884 in his 62nd year.
Also of Frederick son of James and Jemima Fiddaman who was lost in the steamer Ionia in the Bay of Biscay October 1876 in his 21st year.
Also Jemima Fiddaman his widow who died 8th August 1907 aged 81 years.
At rest."