The following details have been researched from surviving church Baptism, Marriage and Burial records for the Topham family. George Topham became landlord of the Talbot Inn and The Royal Hotel Richmond during the 1820’s and 1830’s. He was instrumental in the early developement of Twickenham Park.

1780’s Marriage Benjamin & Rachael Topham

This story begins with George Topham’s parents Benjamin and Rachael who married in the early 1780’s. Their first children’s baptism records cannot be traced but a son named John Topham was born in 1787.

The 1787 tax record below shows Topham resident at The Castle Tavern in Hill Street Richmond. The Talbot also listed will feature later in this story.

The engraved view below shows the Richmond bank of the River Thames from the White Cross Inn westwards to Rihmond Bridge.

Image courtesy Richmond local studies lcf10582

Benjamin and Rachael next child was William Topham born in 1788.

1789 Baptism George Topham

Benjamin and Rachael next child was Geoge Topham the main subject of this research. They had a daughter named Rachel born in 1790 but she died aged just 7 months.

Benjamin and Rachael next child was Henrietta born in 1792 followed by Henry William Topham in 1793

Benjamin Topham died in 1793 aged 34 and was buried at St Mary the Virgin Norwood Green Middlesex.

His son John died aged 7 in 1794 and was also buried at Norwood Green.

St Mary the Virgin Norwood Green Middlesex.

1794 Marriage Rachael Topham to Thomas Forty

Rachael Topham following her husbands death remained licencee of the Castle Tavern.

She married Thomas Forty a publican from Lambeth in 1794 and they then jointly managed the Castle Tavern.

Thomas and Rachael’s first child was named Thomas but died aged just 2days in 1795.

He was also buried in the Topham plot at Norwood Green.

Thomas and Rachael’s next child was Michael Forty and was born in Richmond in 1796.

Thomas and Rachael’s next child was Rachel, born in 1798, followed by Elizabeth in 1799 and Mary Ann in 1802.

Rachael’s son Henry William Topham died aged 10 in 1803.

Rachael’s next child was Thomas born in 1805 and Anna Marie Forty born in 1806.

1808 view of the Thames at Richmond by Rowlandson. Click for larger image.

1811 Marriage George Topham

Rachael’s son George Topham in 1811 married Elizabeth Willis at St Mary Magdalene Richmond which is shown below.

Rachael’s Daughter Henrietta Topham died in 1813 aged 22.

We assume she lived with her mother and step father Thomas Forty at the Castle Tavern.

George and Elizabeth Topham’s first child was George born in 1812.

Henry was born in 1813.

This was followed by the birth of Elizabeth Willis Topham in 1815.

George Topham was at this time in business with his brother William as coal merchants in Hill Street Richmond.

Thomas Forty appears to have become licencee of the Talbot Inn at the junction of Hill and Bridge Street around 1807, although by 1822 he was still resident at the Castle Tavern with his step son George Topham now running the Talbot Inn.

George and Elizabeth’s next child Charles was born in 1817 but died in 1818.

George and Elizabeth’s next child was Marianne Hickey Topham was born in 1819.
This was followed by Emma in 1821 and Charles William in 1823.

George and Elizabeth’s next child was Edward Topham born in 1824.

1825 Topham partnership dissolved

George Topham’s coal merchant partnership with his brother William was disolved in January 1825. We believe that George concentrated his interests at the Talbot from this date.

George and Elizabeth’s son Edward Topham died aged 2 in April 1826. Their next son named William Topham was born in August 1826.

The 1826 directory above lists Inns in Richmond at the time. Thomas Forty is resident at The Castle Tavern and George Topham at The Talbot.

William Topham died in January 1829 aged 3 years. George and Elizabeth’s next and last child
was Louisa Topham who was born in April 1829.

Image courtesy Richmond local studies lcf671

Continued in Part 2