Thomas William Usherwood Robinson

Thomas William Usherwood Robinson was born on 26th January 1826. He was the son of George and Elizabeth Robinson and he was baptised at St Michael & All Angels Church, Houghton Le Spring on 14th July 1826.

Thomas’s father George was the Maltster at the Brewery in Houghton Le Spring, a role his mother Elizabeth would take over on the death of his father and eventually Thomas.

Thomas was married twice, firstly in 1854 to Margaret Webster the marriage having taken place in the district of St George Hanover Square in London. Margaret however died in 1865 and was interred at Hillside. They did however have 3 children, George, Gertrude and Avery Norman.

Thomas later married Isabella Widowfield in 1869. Thomas had further children with Isabella, Abbot Harold, William G, Richard H, Elfrida H and Mary.

As well as being the local owner of the Brewery he was also the Church Warden during the controversy which took place over the consecration of Hillside. Thomas was totally against its consecration and was one of the main objectors. This was a major issue for
the Church Warden to go against the Rector, Rector Grey being the person responsible for the decision to consecrate Hillside. Thomas believed that no-one would wish to be buried in a ’quarry hole’. Thomas William Usherwood Robinson died on 25th August 1888 and ironically enough was laid to rest at Hillside. Throughout the records recording the burials which took place at Hillside 99% of the time the curates carried out the burial. Only on the odd occasion did the Rector carry out the service. However the entry showing the record of the burial of Thomas William Usherwood Robinson clearly shows that Rector Grey carried out the service. We can only imagine what Rector Grey would have been thinking in that his main objector to Hillside was actually being buried there and he was carrying out the service.

Thomas’s second eldest son Avery Norman Robinson inherited the brewery from his father and also eventually became one of the Trustees of Hillside. Again ironic to think his father had been one of the main objectors.

When Avery died he was the last of the Trustees to die and in his place G H Stevens a Solicitor became the manager of Hillside. His grand-daughter Virginia Gatherer is a current active member of the Friends Committee.

Avery was also interred at Hillside in 1923.