Thomas Pattenden

Thomas Pattenden from DOVER St Marys Churchyard  Memorials List – KFHS 1991



“ PATTENDEN (headstone, one of two removed as a result of overlarge tree in grave - photographed and accompanying article in Dover Express 1908.Grave situated not far from the churchyard wall, along the north side of the church, front of stones facing east, near where the a tree planted by the Queen Mother is situated); Here rests / the remains of Ann Pattenden / of this town / she died ? February 1806 / aged (?) years / Also... (?) / Thomas Pattenden - [Burial Records say: 16 Feb 1806 Ann Pattenden; 10 Nov 1819 Thomas Pattenden, Town Wall St. aged 72 yrs]

PATTENDEN (headstone, second of two removed as a result of overlarge tree in grave - photographed and accompanying article in Dover Express 1908, situated next to above): - / -of / Thomas Pattenden / - December 1847 / - Years / - Sarah (wife?) (died?) December 1779 / - years / [Burial Records say: 3 Jan 1747-8 Thomas Pattenden, schoolmaster;

10 Dec 1779 Sarah, widow of Thomas Pattenden]

From DOVER St Marys Churchyard Memorials List - KFHS 1991:

PATTENDEN (headstone, one of two removed as a result of overlarge tree in grave - photographed and accompanying article in Dover Express 1908.

NOTES: “Thomas Pattenden, gentleman of Dover, left by Will, dated 1817, in trust to the minister and churchwardens of the parish of St Mary, for the time being, the sum of £800, 3 per cent reduced bank annuities, the dividends arising from which, to be partly appropriated towards repairing, from time to time, the fencing round his grave; and the remainder, to be yearly applied to the relief of six poor widows who have most recently been so unfortunate as to lose their husbands by the dangers of the sea” (History of Dover etc. 1828 by W.Batchellor, p.213)

[Since the Pattenden headstones were removed because of the large tree, and not replaced, no memorial in the churchyard now exists for Thomas Pattenden, despite his having left a small fortune to St Marys Church to maintain his grave, see above NOTES K.H.]From Dover Express between August 1 1908 and 1 January 1909 weekly notes about Dover were published, compiled from the diaries of Thomas Pattenden.

The first part is copied here:

“The Story of Dover A Century Ago” told by Thomas Pattenden “In these days, when there are public papers of all sorts recording the details of passing events, a diary, apart from the private and personal information that it contains, is of slight value compared with the precious records which daily scribblers of past centuries have left behind. The famous diaries of Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn are of abiding interest, and the journals of John Wesley have a freshness which never fades. It has been observed that the darkest period of the night is just before the dawn; and in like manner it is a fact that the half century just before the commencement of the publication of newspapers and periodical literature is the time concerning which it is most difficult to obtain accurate detailed information of local affairs. Few towns in England have been so fortunate as to have had in their midst a quiet observing man, who was at that time making careful daily records to hand down to posterity; but Thomas Pattenden rendered great service to the town, port and fortress of Dover.“In the year 1742, Thomas Pattenden was born in an old Elizabethan house that abutted the north side of the Three Gun battery on the margin of Dover Bay. Of his early years we know nothing except that he must have had a very fair education, of which his exceptional abilities enabled him to take advantage. Early in life he lost his father, and being thrown on his own resources, formed the habit of correctly observing and judging of men and things which imparts great value to his manuscripts. His residence formed a unique point of observation from which to note all that was happening, and being both a commercial and a public man, his insight into affairs was deeper than that of the ordinary spectator. The interest attaching to his notes, on passing events, is due not only to his opportunities for acquiring information, but to the ripeness of his intellect, for he did not commence writing his daily observations until the year 1797, when he was 55 years of age, and the 22 years during which he continued his daily notes covers a period of Dover history unequalled in importance.

“Pattenden was never a member of the Dover Corporation, although he was on intimate terms with successive Mayors and other leading members. He was pressed to be a member of the Dover Paving Commission, but he declined to take that office. He valued not popularity, and for that reason, when he was not in his shop he devoted himself to quiet work, such as assessing the King’s taxes, and sitting as Commissioner in the Dover Court of Requests, while for relaxation he cultivated the choicest flowers then known, in his long garden beside the River Dour, which extended from the Three Gun Battery to the Freemen’s Prison, now represented by the seaward side of Townwall Street from New Bridge up to Mr Cuff’s stationery shop. He was passionately fond of that garden. He liked to have not only the choicest flowers, but the earliest bloom. In the last year of the 18th century he notes that on the 29th of March he had tulips, daffodils and polyanthus in bloom. It was so notable a sight that he found it necessary to erect a fence along the river side to prevent those who came in boats to see his treasures, stretching over to pick them. Some of his friends brought him choice roots and slips, and others baskets full of virgin soil to enrich his beds, and he makes note of the fact that, when they were digging trenches in the Shoulder of Mutton Field in the year 1797, he himself carried off several baskets full of fresh earth to stimulate the growth of his favourite tulips. Even at a time when the din of battle was within earshot, when Militia regiments from all over the country were being drilled on the Ropewalk, when the army of England was encamped on Barham Downs, ready to resist Buonaparte, and when Lord Nelson and Sir Sidney Smith were pounding away at the Boulogne flotilla, Thomas Pattenden could for brief moments disengage his interest from all these exciting things, and walk calmly with great enjoyment to this Dourside garden of flowers.

“It is difficult to deal with Pattenden apart from his diary; but there are a few other hobbies of his which may be mentioned. He was a student of Nature in all her moods. He loved to climb the Dover hills and cliffs, to watch the effects of light and shade on the sea, and to admire the tints reflected by the setting sun. His favourite point of view was the ridge, between Farthingloe and Shakespeare cliff. There he used to carry his telescope (and he must have had a remarkably good one) to view the French agriculturists working in the fields across the Channel. He tells how he could see them unhook their horses from the ploughs and go home to their farmsteads at eventide. Here and there in his manuscript he makes little pen and ink pictures to illustrate his notes.

“Mr Pattenden must have been no mean draughtsman. He was a close friend of the Rev.John Lyon, Minister of St Mary’s, and when Lyon was writing his history of Dover, he had frequent interviews with Pattenden, who drew all those plates for the work which illustrate the building of the western harbour in the days of Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth.

“In February 1806, Mr Pattenden had the misfortune to lose his wife, to whom he was deeply attached. The part of his diary recording her death is very touching. He wrote under date 7th February 1806, “This evening Mrs Pattenden sat with me in the parlour until 9 o’clock, and although very ill, went to bed as usual. This was the last evening we shall ever sit together.” Under February 8th he writes: “This morning about 9 o’clock, Mrs Pattenden was taken very much worse. She called me to her bedside and said “Give me your hand, I am dying. Send for Mr Hannam.” He was the doctor. When he came he found her failing fast. She lingered till evening, and of the last scene Pattenden thus writes: “At 6 I felt the parting pang, and saw her breathe for the last time, when she expired without a struggle, and fell asleep till the last trump shall wake the dead, that those which sleep with Jesus will God bring with Him.” Then follow a few sad notes about the funeral arrangements, and her burial in St Mary's churchyard, on the north side of the church, where she and Pattenden now lie. For many days after his bereavement Pattenden took little note of public affairs, but by degrees he dropped into his old habit of recording passing events in his diary, and sitting to adjudicate in the Court of Requests, which course of life he seems to have continued for 13 years more, until his own end came on the 1st of November 1819.

“His diary seems to have been continued until four days after his death; but the last event recorded - a Corporation dinner to the Duke of Clarence - was fixed some time in advance, and the entry was doubtless made by him on the eve of his decease. Pattenden died a fairly wealthy man, but the most valuable possession he left was his diary, which is an important contribution to Dover history from which we propose to cull passages, which will be read with special interest by Dover people of the present day.

[NB. Thomas PATTENDEN’s birth date is given as 21 May 1748 and christening from the IGI on 7 June 1748 at St James Dover - both mentioned in Archaeologia Cantiana Volume 94 p.139, and it would appear that the date of 1742 was given erroneously in the above Dover Express article]

OTHER information on THOMAS PATTENDEN:

Thomas Pattenden’s Diaries: Volume I: AD1797-1799; Vol II AD1799-1802; Vol IV AD1805-1808

The above mentioned three manuscript volumes form part of a very valuable record which Mr Thomas PATTENDEN, of New Bridge, Dover, wrote during a period of 22 years. It will be observed that Volume III is missing. It was written with about the same fullness as the others. There is no explanation as to why it was kept back, it might have been lost, after the summary, to follow, was made, or it might have contained matters which either Mr Pattenden or his representatives did not think it desirable to make public. This diary, in a continuous series of volumes, ran from 1797 till 1819, when the writer died.

Summaries: Mr Henry Morris, who was Mr Pattenden's executor, and also the first Borough Treasurer, made a complete summary of the whole of the diary, which he presented to the Corporation together with the three above mentioned original volumes. “Diaries of Mr Thomas Pattenden and Mr James Boyton: This manuscript book, in one volume contains summaries of Mr Pattenden’s diary and interesting extracts from the diary of Mr James Boyton of Dover. James Boyton was a brother of Thomas Boyton who was Mayor of Dover from 1743 to 1756, and reveals much of the inner working of the Corporation as well as interesting particulars of the privateering enterprises of Dover mariners. The writer gives his experiences as a mariner in the Scottish Rebellion. This summary of the two diaries was made by Mr Edward Knocker, who presented the volume to the Corporation.”

TAXES: In Thomas Pattenden’s diaries, he makes reference many times to assessment of taxes, including:

“Th 31 Aug 1797 Went to the Court Hall as Assessor to make the additional taxes and those on the Watches and Clocks, present Mr Finnis Mayor, Mr Wm King and Mr Phini-Kennett Clerk.

“Tu 28 Sept 1797 At 3 went to the Court hall and gave in the Book for the New Taxes, there was only Mr Wm King and Mr P.Kennett there; the Town Book was for: Inhabitated Houses £71.3.5 ½d; Male Servants: £6.3.9d;

Riding Horses: £5.16.3d; Husbandry Horses: £10.13s.9d. 20 per cent: £18.14.10d. 205 Clocks, 31 Gold Watches, 235 Silver Watches: £73.10s. Total: £186.2s. 0 ½ d; and references to a variety of other things happening in Dover viz:

“Wed 7 Nov 1798 This day the sea rolled into the Bay very heavy and washed away a deal of beach between Gardeners and Igguldens jetty and beat down Mr Witherden’s pales running quite through into the field.

“W 14 November 1798 This morning between 1 and 2 o’clock the town was alarmed by the Drum beating to arms and the cry of fire which was at Br Bowles the Bakers near the Sluice Bridge. It consumed the Bakehouse only but was providentially put out without injury to the house or neighbours.”

Advertisements of Thomas Pattenden’s business appear in the Kentish Gazettes, eg in January 1790: PATTENDEN was selling Face Whitener.

From “Dover” by J.B.Jones, 1907, page 144

“Other Manuscripts of Thomas Pattenden: There are in the Muniment Cabinet three other volumes compiled by Thomas Pattenden, in his 75th year. He wrote that he had prepared these volumes “in a time of pain and illness during the winter of 1817” . The collection is a curious record, commencing with Noah's Deluge, and it is continued to the end of the 17th Century. There is a good deal about the County of Kent in the third volume.

Pattenden the artist: At various times, Mr Pattenden made some very good drawings of Dover scenery, some of which were lithographed. He left another volume of extracts from various sources illustrated by his own drawings. He also drew illustrations for Lyon's History of Dover. The illustrated book is in the Muniment Cabinet, drawer M.” (from “The Records of Dover” , by J.B.Jones, 1920 pages 201-202)

No.1 Townwall Street: “Townwall Street, adjoining Bench Street, partook of the improvement made in that thoroughfare, and in New Bridge in 1836 and 1840. The houses on the seaward side of Townwall Street, next New Bridge, are of older date. No.1 Townwall Street, and No.2 were built in 1779.

Mr Thomas PATTENDEN who resided at No.1 in 1799, had a charmingly picturesque flower garden running down to the river. In No.2 resided Mr Boyton…..”

(*NB No.1 was built much earlier, in 17th century, and 1 and 2 were NUMBERED in 1799 - see Thomas Pattenden’s diary)

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