Thomas Kinghorn was my 4x great-grandfather and although I have written much about him in the past, mainly about his experiences as a guard on the mail coaches, I know very few hard facts about his life.
Based on his age in his death announcement and his entry in the burial register it seems that he was born about 1781 but I have no clues about where he was born or who his parents were.
Thomas married Margaret Sewell on the 5th May 1803 at St. Cuthbert’s Church, Carlisle, Cumberland. Their marriage licence bond gives Thomas’ location as Moffat, Dumfriesshire, Scotland or North Britain as it was refered to at time. However, I have been unable to find any records for a Thomas Kinghorn originating north of the border.
Thomas and his wife had six children, it seems that all six were born in Moffat, but were baptised at St. Cuthbert’s Church, Carlisle south of the Scottish border.
- John Kinghorn (baptised 30th October 1803)
- Mary Kinghorn (baptised 3rd August 1806)
- Thomas Kinghorn (baptised 13th March 1808) [my 3x great-grandfather]
- Abraham Kinghorn (baptised 10th June 1810)
- Elizabeth Kinghorn (baptised 19th March 1815)
- George Kinghorn (baptised 11th May 1817)
I am still not sure what happened to their two daughters Mary and Elizabeth, but only one of their sons (George) appears to have remained in Carlisle, the others making their way south to London, presumably through Thomas’ connection with the coaching trade.
The earliest record I have for Thomas’ employment as a mail guard is the marriage licence bond dated 4th May 1803 and the occupation is consistent across all the subsequent baptisms of his children.
The most notable occurrence during his time as a mail guard is his involvement in an accident on the 25th October 1808, which I have written about before, during which he was injured, but seemingly recovered quickly and returned to work.
It has been suggested that because they were armed many mail guards had served in the army previously, but I have found no record of this in Thomas’ case yet.
Thomas died on the 30th April 1833 (as recently discovered in a newspaper announcement) and was living in Crosby Street, Carlisle at the time. He was buried in St Cuthbert’s Church, Carlisle on the 4th May 1833. I don’t know whether a headstone was ever erected or if it still survives if it was.
Clearly there are many gaps in my knowledge of Thomas Kinghorn and his ancestors and descendants, the most obvious of which is who were his parents and where was he born/baptised. I am pretty certain it was south of the Scottish border, maybe even as far south as London (as that is where most of his children ended up).
Unfortunately because of my distance from Carlisle I don’t see the opportunity for doing much more research in the near future, however where there is a will there is a way and maybe the opportunity will present itself. I certainly need to re-visit the main online resources and see if anything more can be discovered at this time.