Dr Thomas Harrold FENN M.R.C.S. 
- Born: 1815
- Baptised: 27 Mar 1815, Coddenham SFK
- Marriage: Maria ALSTON  on 19 May 1840 in Nayland SFK
- Died: 13 Apr 1870, Nayland SFK aged 55
- Buried: Nayland SFK
Thomas was apprenticed to Dr Edward Liveing Nayland 1833-38 then Barts. L.S.A. 3 May 1838, MRCS 1838. First lived Rushall Wilts after his marriage, then lived at "Stourbank" Nayland which he rented from his uncle Edward Liveing. Described in medical records as; "a most precise man, did a good practice, but very unfit for it as he was very deaf, quite the old fashioned gentleman with his white shirt, tie and stock". Practiced for 27 years in Nayland.
Merchant Taylors School Register 1827.
Thomas Harrold Fenn, b 15 Dec 1815, s of Robert and Harriett, schoolmaster, Harleigh, Suffolk.
Enquiry with Merchant Taylors School in 2009:
Dear Mr. Fenn,
We have records of Thomas H. Fenn as born 15,12.1815 M.T.S 1827-31 with 2 terms in the Sixth Form. No further details under his entry in the 1561-1934 Register published in 1936
The Ipswich Journal Saturday, 31 March 1838.
Mr Thomas Harrold Fenn, of Nayland, in this County was admitted a member of the Royal College of Surgeons on Friday the 16th inst.
Colchester Medical Society Records;
Elected 15 Aug. 1843.
On Thursday evening, the fourth inst., a lecture was delivered by T. H. Fenn Esq., on "The Circulation of the Blood". After some observations on the muscles generally, and the heart as one of them, together with the blood as the fountain of life, the lecturer explained separately the actions of the muscles and ventricles of the heart, as also the attendant tubes, both arterial and venous. The difference between the lesser or pulmonary, and the greater war systematic circulation, was the next elucidated. The valves of the heart were then noticed, and subsequently, the action of the air on the blood in the lungs, shewing its effect in converting venous blood into arterial. Several arguments were adduced to shew that Harvey's discovery of the circulation was founded on fact, viz., that the circulation in the arteries is from the heart, in the veins towards it. An explanation of the system of blood vessels in reptiles and fishes followed, and the lecturer concluded his able and interesting address by elucidating, in the dissection of a bullocks heart, several points before dwelt on. The lecture was illustrated by means of large and well executed drawings. We understand the same gentleman has promised another lecture, on "The Hand and Fore Extremities of Animals".
Ref: Ipswich Journal Saturday 13 January 1849.
Glimpses into the life of a village Surgeon:
This is a report on the inquest into the death of Robert Bond before Harry Wayman Esq Coroner.
Thomas Harrold Fenn, surgeon, of Nayland, sworn ' Last night, about 9:30 o'clock, in consequence of being sent for, I went to the house in Stoke where the deceased resides. He was sitting in a chair in a state of insensibility. He was suffering from the effects of a fracture upon the base of his skull, which extended into the right year; blood was running from the year will stop there was also dislocation of his neck which must have proved fatal; the immediate cause of his death was the pressure upon the brain occasioned by the fracture
Ref: The Suffolk Chronicle; or Weekly General Advertiser & Country Express. Saturaday the 10 June 1843.
Suicide at Great Horkesley.
This reports that George Wenlock, blacksmith, was to shoe a horse for Thomas (Fenn), he is reported to have risen at 5:30 a.m. but at 6 a.m. when the horse was brought to be shod he was found hanged in his kitchen, and medical assistance was to no avail.
Ref: extracted from Ipswich Journal Saturday 13 March 1852.
Accident from Firearms.
Mr Deives was shot by his friend Mr Herbert Wyles while rabbit shooting however "Mr Fenn surgeon Nayland, being sent for, succeeded in extracting several shots from the back part of the man's head, and we are glad to say the patient is doing well"
Ref: Ipswich Journal Saturday 13 May 1854.
Colchester - Melancholy Occurrence.
A carpenter named Jeremiah Cobney, aged 42, cut his throat. "Mr Fenn, surgeon of Nayland was promptly in attendance, and sewed up the frightful wound, but gave no hope of the patient's recovery, as he had completely cut a piece out of his windpipe".
Ref: Ipswich Journal Saturday won July 1854.
Felonious Assault at Stoke by Nayland
Frederick Jones aged 16 is charged with abusing Emma Osborne, she being between the age of 10 and 12 years." The prisoner pushed her down and committed the abominable offence of which he stood charged. Mr Fenn, surgeon, Stoke by Nayland, who was sent for, described the girls state, which left no doubt as to the commission of the offence"
The Jury found Jones guilty and after a tongue lashing by the magistrate he was sentenced to 18 months prison with hard labour, only his age saved him from a long period of penal servitude.
Ref: Ipswich Journal Saturday 6 August 1859.
Fatal accident at Stoke by Nayland.
On Thursday an inquest was held before J Green Esq deputy coroner at the Angel Inn, Stoke by Nayland, on the body of a child named Henry Scowen aged 2 years. The child was run over by a cart at Hall Farm. Thomas Harrold Fenn, of Nayland, surgeon, deposed: on Tuesday last, about 11 o'clock, I saw the deceased child on the ground at Tendring Hall farm. It was bleeding from the nose and ears, and was quite dead. On examination I found that the skull was fractured from one ear to the other, and above the left ear was the mark of a wheel having passed over. The child's death was no doubt caused by that injury. Verdict of accidental death.
Ref: Bury and Norwich Post 19 August 1862.
DAILY NEWS Friday March 28th 1856
DAILY NEWS. Sunday March 30th 1856
BURY ST. EDMUNDS.
[Before the Lord Chief Justice Jervis.]
CHILD MURDER-Emma MUSSETT, a married woman, was charged with the wilful murder of her male infant, at Nayland, on the 29th of February. The prisoner is the wife of a labouring man at Nayland, and for some time before the 29th of February had been observed by her neighbours to be in the family way.
She did not deny that she was enceinte, and stated that she expected to be confined in May. On the afternoon of the 29th of February she sent for Mrs Pressney and Mrs. Oakes, two of her neighbours, and requested them to clean up the house. From what they observed, Mr. Fenn, a local surgeon, expressed his conviction, after examining her, that she had been delivered of a child. She at first denied it, but afterwards opened, a box and produced. the dead body of an infant, which, she said. was still-born. It was a full-grown child, but had sustained severe injury on the head. The principal questions for the jury were -first; whether the child was born alive; and, secondly, whether the injuries observed on it were inflicted intentionally or accidentally. The medical evidence was, therefore, especially important Mr. Fenn, surgeon, was examined, and having described the injuries on the head, the state of the lungs, heart, &c, he gave it as his opinion, formed after a most careful investigation , that the child had been laid down, and direct violence applied to the left side of the bead. The injuries might have been caused by the old brick found by the police in the house with blood and hair upon it. The prisoner asserted that the blood and hair were those of a rabbit which she had killed, but he (Mr. Fenn) had carefully examined them with a microscope, &c , and found they presented a marked difference to those of a rabbit. On the whole, he was decidedly of opinion that the child was born alive, and came to its death by violence. Mr. Duncan, another surgeon, gave similar evidence,. He believed death was caused by part of the parietal bone being driven into me brain. The injuries were too great to have been produced by a fall
The Chief Justice, in summing up the evidence produced, said- If the jury believed that the child was born alive, and that the unfortunate prisoner killed it, then whatever might be the consequences they must find her guilty of murder ; if they thought that it was born dead, the would be guilty of the offence of concealing the birth . At the same time they must not find her guilty of concealing the birth, in order to escape the responsibility of finding her guilty of murder. The jury, after a short deliberation , returned a verdict of Wilful Murder against the prisoner. The Chief Justice, in passing sentence, said his duty was most painful, but at the same time plain and simple. It would rest with others, in whose hands the merciful prerogative of the crown was vetted, to take the prisoners case hereafter into consideration; he could only pass upon her the awful sentence of death. The prisoner, who had suffered throughout the proceedings from a fit of trembling, to which, it was said, she was continually subject, heard the dread sentence, which was pronounced in the usual terms, without making any exclamation, and was removed in a kind of stupor.
A letter dated 29 April 1870 from his wife Maria to C M Liveing describes his death "Tues evening he looked over Ernest's note books and was very pleased with them and joked with him about his medical knowledge, and in an hour and half afterwards was seized with apoplexy, and died so quietly we did not know when he drew his last breath"
Ipswich Journal Saturday, 23 April 1870.
Fenn 13th inst., at Nayland, Colchester, aged 54, Thomas Harrold Fenn, surgeon.
Bury and Norwich Post Tuesday, 26 April 1870.
The late Mr T.H. Fenn: This village has sustained a heavy loss by the death of one of its worthiest inhabitants, Mr Thomas Harrold Fenn, who has resided here for the last 27 years as a medical practitioner of great skill and ability. The announcement of his death on Wednesday, the 13th inst., cast quite a gloom over the village, and at the funeral on Tuesday last all the shops were closed and a large concourse of people from the village and neighbourhood assembled to show their respect for his memory.
His will dated 4 Oct 1869 was proved 11 May 1870 at Bury, it was under L12000. His wife Maria and son Edward were appointed executors. Maria was the sole beneficiary.
Thomas's grave in St James Churchyard Nayland reads Thomas Harrold Fenn M.R.C.S. died April 13th 1870 aged 54 "for so he giveth his beloved sleep"
Portrait by Sydney Buck dated 1851 in possession of E L Fenn Auckland 1999.
Wedding Guests at the Marriage of Thomas Fenn and Maria Alston in order of procession:
Mr S Alston - Miss M Alston
Mr T Fenn - Mrs Alston
Mr R Fenn - Mrs Fenn
Miss Alston - Miss Foaker
Miss Liveing - Miss F Liveing
Miss E Simas - Miss E Tiffen
Mr E Liveing - Mrs Harrold
Mr Harrold - Mrs Ambrose
Mr Ambrose - Mrs C Liveing
Mr C Liveing - Miss M Sims
Mr T Ambrose - Miss E Liveing
Mr H Tiffen - Miss Barker
Mr F Sims - Miss M Tiffen
Mr G Sims - Miss H Tiffen
Mr Boldero - Miss S A Liveing
Robert Liveing - Anna Liveing.
Ref: Dr Edward L Fenns book of notes pg 67
Thomas had his family painted in pastels in their youth by Sydney Buck artist, son of Adam Buck artist. Sydney exhibited R.A. 1839 - 1849, he specialised in landscapes, minatures, and domestic subjects. (Dict of Brit miniature painters)
A large King James Bible was given to Thomas & Maria "with their Uncle Henry's most affectionate regards 19 May 1840" presumably as a wedding present. Their children's details are entered into it. Uncle Henry may be Rev Thomas Henry Liveing b.1805. This bible was given to Nayland Parish Church by Dr Charles Fenn in 1943, where it was used until it was returned to the family many years later. Now in the possession of E L Fenn 2000. Ref B/35
The 1860's Log Books of the Nayland School show members of the Fenn family were frequent visitors, listening to the children recite, or helping with needlework etc. The names mentioned were Mr. T.H. Fenn, and Miss Lucy and Miss Kate Fenn
D J Halliday in a lecture given to the Nayland/Wissington Conservation Soc. 11 June 1991 says;
"Bear House or Stourbank as it was known then, . was sold in 1873 to Dr Henry Drake Palmer by Dr Edward Liveing Fenn, when he left Nayland to join a practice in Richmond Surrey".
A2A Ipswich RO Nayland Land etc Fenn HA/108 Rowley Tendring Hall
Many of the family photographs in this record are from an album belonging to Thomas and Maria's family which was lost on the mid 20th C. It was rediscovered intact in the possession of a photo and card collector, David May of Brick Lane Great Horksley who had bought it at the sale of Alston Court in 1968 and Edward L Fenn was gratefully able to purchase it back into the family. Thank you David, who has sadly now died - 2010.
1. Dr Thomas Harrold Fenn: Merchant Taylors School, Thomas, His Watch and Grave, 1815 1870.
2. Census: England, 7 Jun 1841, Rushall WIL. Thomas is described as a surgeon aged 25 not born Wiltshire.
Also in the house were Robert Barns aged 25 surgeons assistant not born in Wiltshire and two servants.
3. Census: England, 30 Mar 1851, Nayland SFK. Thomas is recorded as a 35 yr old General Practitioner born at Coddenham. living at Stourbank Nayland with his wife and household comprising six children, a Doctors Assistant, an Apprentice, four servants: Frederick Branch gardener, Maria Griggs nursemaid, Elizabeth Griggs housemaid, Elizabeth Cook cook, and a visitor one Francis Torlesse  a 19 year old woman born in Tasmania of independent means.
4. Census: England, 8 Apr 1861, 43 Bear St Nayland SFK. Thomas is described as head of house married aged 45 General Practitioner MRCS LAC born Coddenham
5. Letter Dr Thomas Fenn: To Catherine Liveing nee Downing, Dated 13 Apr 1870.
A letter to Catherine Mary Liveing.
13 April 1870 (shortly before Thomas's death.)
My Dear Aunt
I enquired of Maria what reasons she gave in answer to your saying why Annie had determined not to fulfil her intention of going out to Halifax and she tells me that she quite forgot to answer the question. I rather suspect that the loss of the City of Boston which had on board Captain and Mrs Stirling and their baby and nurse (through whose return home George got his appointment to the Royal Alfred) produced some degree of shock and fright upon Annie had much to do with her determination and secondly Annie having no milk whatever after affording her baby two meals would have left the little boy very much in the lurch for want of babies ? food and thirdly the difficult position in which it would have placed her personally - and fourthly the uncertainty where the Royal Alfred would be docked for necessary repairs to her machinery whether in
an American or English dockyard all combined to determine her not to go out this year: perhaps also Kate's marriage and departure for China for five years may have given some weight to her decision. I do not know how George will take it but I hope patiently as all the reasons are good ones and not capricious - we ourselves have had scarcely anything to do in the matter and have scarcely ever alluded to it except as regards the baby's sustenance. I feel quite satisfied about Mr Giles and I think Katie's prospects a happy one as they will start very fairly and if health is vouchsafed them the progress is humanly speaking certain and not slow and Mr Giles is eminently qualified to take advantage of opportunities.
Love to you all and extreme joy to find you so much recovered
T H Fenn
Thomas always referred to Catherine Mary Liveing as Aunt although she was his wifes first cousin.
Origional E L Fenn archive 2005.
6. Nayland surrounding Villages & River Stour, 1885 1900.
Courtesy National Library of Scotland.
Thomas married Maria ALSTON  [MRIN: 44], daughter of George ALSTON  and Anne Margaret VANDERZEE , on 19 May 1840 in Nayland SFK. (Maria ALSTON  was born on 19 Jul 1815, baptised on 12 Sep 1815 in Nayland SFK, died on 21 Mar 1871 in Nayland SFK and was buried in Nayland SFK.)