Rev. Thomas Tilbury
1780 - 1856
Priest of Radipole, Dorset

 Family Tree

1. Carolie (Charles) TILBURY
m. Lydiae (Lydia)
2. Mary TILBURY Chr. 17 January 1773 Midhurst, Sussex, d. 7 November 1773
2. Thomam (Thomas) TILBURY b. 16 October 1780 Midhurst, Chr. 18 October 1780 [March 1780] Cowdray-Rc, Cowdray, Sussex
2. Jacobum (James) TILBURY Chr. 5 January 1784 Cowdray-Rc, Cowdray, Sussex
m. Clarae (Clara)
3. Emily TILBURY Chr. 28 May 1809 Graffham, Sussex
3. Jacobum (James) TILBURY Chr. 15 August 1815 Cowdray-Rc, Cowdray, Sussex
(This would seem to be James who married Bethia TRAMPLING; and was in Acton, Middlesex, in 1881)
2. Charolotte TILBURY Chr. 9 January 1778 Midhurst, Sussex
2. Maria TILBURY Chr. 7 December 1787 Midhurst, Sussex

Lydia TILBURY [daughter or widow?]
m. Benjamin ANDREWS 8 December 1794 Midhurst, Sussex

Rev. Thomas Tilbury

1809: to [Thomas] WELD (I) of Lulworth Castle, Dorset
Communication from Thomas A. TILBURY, priest in Pilewell, Hampshire; concerning candles, salary, and other matters
Dorset Record Office (ref. D/WLC/C153)

1838: The Catholic Directory, Ecclasiastical Register, & Almanac
Thomas TILBURY of Lulworth Castle, Wareham

From the Trade Directories

1844: Dorsetshire
Rev. Thomas TILBURY (Roman Catholic priest), Dorset Place, Radipole

1851: Hunt & Co.'s Directory of Dorsetshire
Rev. Thomas TILBURY (Roman Catholic Priest), Dorset Place, Radipole (nr. Weymouth)

1852-53: Slater's Directory of Berks, Corn, Devon ...
Rev. Thomas TILBURY, priest (Roman Catholic), Dorset place, Weymouth, Dorset

1855: Post Office Directory of Dorsetshire
Rev. Thomas TILBURY, Dorset Place, priest of the Catholic Chapel, Radipole, Dorset

Radipole in 1855

"Radipole is a parish and pleasant village, situated in a valley on the banks of the river Wey, 2 miles north from Weymouth and 5 south from Dorchester, in the Weymouth Union, Hundred of Culliford Tree, and diocese of Salisbury.

The living is a rectory, value 300 per annum, in the patronage and incumbency of the Rev. Dr. Wyndham; the curate is the Rev. Charles Blackden, M.A. The church is the mother church to Melcombe Regis; it consists of a nave, north and south chaplets, and a chancel; the architecture is Gothic.

Part of the parish is in the borough of Weymouth and Melcombe Regis, and a great number of genteel residences have been erected. Here is a mineral spring, or spa.

The Independents and Catholics have chapels here.

The population, in 1851, was 600; the area in acres: 1,300. The principal seats are Corfe Hill, Mrs. Balston, and Nottington House, Mrs. Steward. Marvel and Mount Pleasant are farms."

From the Censuses

1841: Dorset Place, Chafield [?] House, Radipole
Thomas TILBURY, Head, age 60, Clerk, born out of County
Ann LEDBER [?], age 60, female servant, born in County
Elizabeth MULLINS, age 15, female servant, born in County

1851: Radipole 39; 3 Dorset Place
Thomas TILBURY, Head, unmarried, age 65 (Roman catholic priest), b. Midhurst, Sussex
Catherine DWYER, age 30 (House servant) b. Midhurst, Sussex (Ireland)

Thomas' Death

Thomas TILBURY d. 2Q 1856 (Weymouth 5a/[--])
Will of the Reverend Thomas TILBURY, Clerk of Weymouth, Dorset
Probate: 22 November 1856 (PCC ref: 11/2242)

Directory of 1859:
Rev. James DAWSON, (Catholic priest), Dorset Place, Radipole


From "Hardwicke's Annual biography", by E. Walford, published 1857

Obituaries, Clergy: (page 120)

June 10th, aged 76, the Rev. Thomas Tilbury, many years Catholic pastor of Weymouth. - He was educated at Stonyhurst College, which he entered in 1793. Having been ordained in 1806, he went on the mission in the course of the following year, and officiated as chaplain in the family of the late Mr. WELD, at Pylewell, Hants, from whnce, two years later, he was transferred to Chideock, Dorset. Here he remained until 1840, when he was promoted from his quiet country village and the society of the WELD family to whom he was devotedly attached, to the more important mission of Weymouth, where a Catholic church had been opened a few weeks previously. Here he laboured for upwards of fifteen years, enjoying the respect of all who knew him, both Protestants and Catholics. He was especially beloved by the family of the WELDs, of Chideock, and by the TALBOTs, of Rhode Hill, as well as by the Very Rev. Dr. OLIVER, of Exeter, who loved him as a brother. He was buried at Stapehill. (From The Tablet)

Texts from "Collections, illustrating the History of the Catholic Religion in the counties of Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Wilts, and Gloucester in Two Parts, Historical and Biographical, by the Very Reg. George OLIVER, D.D., Canon of the Diocese of Plymouth (London, Charles Dolman, 61, New Bond Street) 1857

Chapter IV - The Sufferers for the Faith in Dorsetshire (page 44)

"A reverend gentleman named MURPHY now supplied during three months, when, for the comfort of the faithful, and of all that is respectable in society, my dear friend Canon TILBURY was substituted, on 20th November, 1840. His experience and venerable age, - his character of quiet and solid virtue and spotless integrity, were rapidly restoring the credit of the religion which the conduct of his penultimate predecessor had served to obscure and injure; But, alas! he expired on 9th June last."

(page 37)

"... In April 1594, F. John CORNELIUS ... was apprehended in his hiding-hole at Chidiock Castle.* After eluding a diligent search of the sheriffs' officers for five or six hours, his cough at length led to his discovery, as I find in a MS. of Father John GERARD. Mr. Thomas BOSGRAVE, a relative of Mr. ARUNDELL, and two sevants, Terence John CARY and Patrick SALMON ... were committed to prison, and suffered death with him, at Dorchester, on 4th July following. A poor malefactor whom he had converted - executed at the same time - declared aloud, he was a happy man to die in such good company."

"* Of Chidiock Castle (at the foot of which flows the brook called Wynneford), so long the asylum of religion and the sanctuary of loyalty, hardly a vestige remains. An inventory taken on 7th August, 1633, proves that it was of considerable dimensions. In one of the towers mention is made of the chamber and the chapell chamber. The gateway was taken down in 1741: a tower was partially standing in 1756. The site is called "The Ruins." During the civil wars it was regarded as a position of importance. HUTCHINS, vol. i. Hist. of Dorset, p. 326, does justice to the incorruptible devotion of its owner and defenders to the royal cause. Seven of the neighbours, he adds, had their estates sequestered in 1645: they were no doubt concerned in defending Chidiock House, and were thus punished for their loyalty."

Appendix - Biographical List of the Clergy (page 421)

"TILBURY, Thomas, born at Midhurst 17th October, 1780; began his education at Stonyhurst in March, 1795; was ordained priest by Bishop GIBSON at Durham, on 28th May 1806; and on 29th October, the following year, became domestic chaplain to the WELD family at Pilewell. His kind patron, Mr. J. WELD, who admired his sterling good sense and peaceful virtues, and felt a special interest in the Chidiock mission, void by the death of F. LEWIS, requested as a favour that he would transfer his services to this larger field for exertion. My reverend and dear friend readily consented, and took possession of the missionary premises of Chidiock on 14th November, 1809; where for thirty-one consecutive years, amidst many discomforts and trials, and much bodily pain, he exhibited the character and the pattern of the flock from the hears; - (I Peter, v. 3.) On 20th November, 1840, he quitted for Weymouth. This patriarch of his brethren was made a canon of the Plymouth chapter 6th December, 1853. After struggling with a most painful disorder, which he endured with _____ ___ __tience and fortitude, he meekly resigned his innocent soul to the God he had loved and honoured, on 9th June, 1856; and was the first that was buried in the new cemetery at Stapehill, on Saturday, 14th."

Pius, prudens, humilis, pudicus,
Sobriam duxit sine labe vitam.

(page 414)

"SPEAKMAN, Thomas, S.J., nephew of the Rev. Thomas TILBURY, was born at Ashton, co. Lancaster, on 18th January, 1811. He is connected with the west by being appointed assistant to F. George BAMPTON at the restoration of St. Joseph's mission, Bristol, and to the Jesuits in October, 1847. I understand that he is at present employed at Lydiate, near Liverpool."

(page 228)

"Mr. AGAR ... on 16th September, 1856, he was installed a canon of the Plymouth chapter in the room of Canon TILBURY, deceased."

Chapter XVI - Tables of Succession of the Incumbents of the Principal Missions in the Counties Aforesaid (page 177)

"In the days of persecution, when the pastors were afraid of keeping registers, lest they might furnish evidence of their priesthood, and imperil those who harboured, them - when the clergy could have little intercourse with each other, and bishops could but seldom perform their visitations, the wonder ceases, that it is such a difficult task to ake out the succession of our Catholic incumbents. Most of the regular and secular clergy were private chaplains; some were itinerant missionaries over a wide extent of country, without any fixed abode - shepherds to use the words of the Prophet Ezekiel (xxxiv 12) to seek out the sheep and deliver them out of all places, where they have been scattered in the cloudy and hard day. In vain have I attempted to form out the list of incumbents at Lanherne, Arlington, Stourton, Hatherop, Canford, and several other ancient missions; and for the present must be contented to enrol what disjointed names I can recover, in the second and Biographical part of this feeble compilation."

(page 179)


1.F. Thomas PILCHARD,martyred 21st March, 1587.
2.F. John CORNELIUS, S.J.,martyred 4th July, 1594.
3.F. Hugh GREEN,martyred 19th August, 1642.
4.F. ____ HIGGS 
5.F. William BYFLEET, alias GILDON, O.S.B.This venerable man, at the age of 100, suffered the amputation of a leg: at the age of 102 he baptized, at Chidiock, the late Thomas TAUNTON, Esq., born 9th June, 1745. Retiring to Bonham, the patriarchal priest died there 19th October, 1746.
6.Richard SHIMELL*,died at Chidiock in December, 1763, aet. seventy-six.
7.Philip COMPTON,served Chidiock twenty-five years.
8.Thomas LEWIS, S.J.,altogether twenty-three years, until his death 5th September, 1809, aet. sixty-nine.
9.Thomas TILBURY,from 14th November, 1809, till 20th November, 1840.
10.William Peter BOND,quitted for Hobart Town with Bishop WILLSON 29th January, 1844.
11.F. Robert PLATT,supplied until October, 1844.
12.F. John RYAN,succeeded - opened the new chapel at Bridport on 2nd July, 1846; quitted in November, 1850.
13.F. Henry O'SHEA, O.S.F. 
14.F. J. J. GALLAGER. 
15.F. Basil THOMAS, O.S.B.,reached early in 1853, but died 7th September, 1858, aet. thirty-nine.
16.F. wilfrid PRICE, O.S.B.,ordained priest at Ampleforth December, 1849.
17.F. Placidus SINNETT, O.S.B.,in 1855.

* I am credibly informed that his nephew, the Rev. Charles SHIMNELL, had assisted him, and even succeeded him, but died of a rapid decline ___________ter, in April, 1764.

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