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Secombe 1This memorial to the Rev Thomas Secombe is in the floor of the chancel of Cameley church.  The  clergy database  records he was ordained in 1742  in Wells and died in 1796. He was the vicar at  Cameley  from 1755 but also held a living in Cricket St Thomas and later Brimpton in Devon. The memorial confirms the record held in the clergy database that he died in 1796 and the memorial gives his date of deaths 21st August and his age as 78. Other members of his family are recorded on the memorial. Mary, his wife died in 1822 aged 94 and their son Thomas Arthur, died in 1778 aged 12.
He was recorded as ‘rector‘ which suggests he had bought a lease from the Hippisley’s  who held the right to collect tithes of Cameley. This made them the lay impropriators or rectors of Cameley which was a financial benefit which they could sell outright or sell short term leases.
He is also listed in both the churchwarden accounts and poor book  of Chewton Mendip. The first record of him was in 1748  which shows that his financial interest in the area preceded his  appointment as rector of Cameley.
This suggests that the Secombes may have been in a similar position to the  Culliford Taswell and Walker families who were ‘middle ranking’ families who relied upon income from  farming in the area.
Thomas Secombe was listed as paying rates for at least three holdings in the East End or Middlesex  tithing. The estates he was paying for were Attwoods, Greens and Thistle.
His farm was described as  including Houses and Whorebury in the list of table of estates taking apprentices in 1754 (page 2228). The House farm was probably the modern Bathway Farm  whilst Whorebury was on the Turnpike cross roads above Kingshill and formed part of Phelps Parks in 1766 according to Hampshire Archive record 19M61/914.
The distribution of the fields suggests that Thomas Secombe was dealing directly with the Waldegraves and Kingsmill families or was involved in a complicated sub letting relationship where the Hippisleys were the primary tenants.
 Thomas Secombe was signing accounts as an overseer  in 1768 so he was more than just an absentee landlord and his widow was still paying land tax in Chewton Mendip in 1799.
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