Thomas Ford a Brewer of Tiverton 1819 - 1913

Thomas Starkey - George Knight


Thomas Ford was born in March 1819 to John and Sarah Ford at Tiverton

Thomas Ford married Ann Grater in October 1843 and had six children Ann born 1846, Thomas born 1847, Bessie born 1852, Arthur born 1856 and Frank Steele born 1859, Alice Mary born 1861 the family were living at the Swan Inn in Tiverton.

Frank (Fred) who died in August 1863 and Bessie daughter who died in July 1872 aged 20 of Consumption

Thomas Ford and Son was founder of the Tiverton Brewery in Devon in 1852. Thomas was a philanthropist who in 1890 bought and built houses for his employees against the time they might become incapacitated.

He also set up a trust fund to allow them a portion of up to 2/3rds of their previous wage.
The following year he built almshouses for past workmen and their wives and was considering what to do to help his ex-employees widows.


Thomas Ford snr married Frances Maria Royle in March 1879 at Epsom

Funeral of Thomas Ford Snr

The funeral of Mr Thomas Ford J.P who was known as Tiverton’s “Grand Old man” whose death took place at the age of 94 on the 8 September took place at St George’s Church in Tiverton on Thursday last the Rev T.C. Bewes officiating.

The deceased who had only been ill a week was a native of Tiverton was thrice married and leaves a widow and one son. Mr Arthur Ford who resides in Dorset.

Mr Ford served on the Town Council and in 1881-2-3 was Mayor of the Borough. His grandson Mr T H Ford is a director of the firm of Messrs Starkey, Knight and Ford well known in Bridgwater and Taunton brewers and valued member of the town council.

The brewery now conducted by Messrs Starkey, Knight and Ford as a limited company was founded by the deceased. It began in a small way in 1852. The only help secured by the founder of the firm was that of one workman with a cart in which to convey ale to his customers. A great step forward was taken in 1857 when Mr Ford was fortunate in acquiring excellent premises in the centre of Tiverton with frontage in Fore street, a house belonging to the Duntz family and which had in the previous century been the headquarters of some of the great woollen merchants who were at that time among the chief traders of the West.

After the death of the deceased’s son the late Mr Tom Ford the brewery was amalgamated in the joint stock company of which it now forms part.

At the funeral on Thursday the immediate mourners were Mr Arthur Ford of Weymouth (son). Mr T H Ford of Tiverton (grandson), and the Misses A and D Ford (grand-daughters), together with the two nurses and the household staff. There were also present the Mayor Mr A T Gregory and the corporation.  

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