V3.8 – Thomas Maden


Thomas Maden is the only person buried in this vault tomb, which is somewhat unusual. Thomas himself is less unusual, and local history enthusiasts will immediately recognise the address – Dental Villa – as being one of the several noteworthy aspects of Maden’s business advertising over the years. That’s because Maden was one of Todmorden’s most well-known dentists.

Born in 1865 in Water near Newchurch, Lancashire, Thomas married his first wife Margaret sometime before 1891, when they appear living at Burnley Road in Todmorden on the Census. His newspaper advertisements from 1890 mention three years living in the USA training in the production and fitting of false teeth with his brother having carried on the dental practice from Dental Villa during the time Thomas was away. Margaret supposedly was born in Montgomeryshire, though, so whether he married her before he went or after he returned is a mystery (as is her date of death). He later married Emma Harrison in 1897. He and Emma had three children together, a pair of twin girls and a son.

From the Todmorden District News, January 31st 1908:

“On Monday night, Mr. Thomas Maden, who has practised in Todmorden as a dentist for more than 20 years, died very suddenly at Dental-villa, his residence in Burnley Road. Dr. Elliott had been attending him since Friday last. Deceased seemed to be in good spirits and improving considerably on Monday afternoon, taking tea with his wife as usual about five o’clock. Just before ten o’clock, he was seized with an attack of cerebral haemorrhage, from which he never recovered, death resulting a few minutes later. Mr. Maden was only 42 years of age, and leaves a widow and a number of children. He was a past master of the Prudence Lodge of Freemasons, No. 219, having been connected with the lodge for a long number of years. The funeral took place at the Parish Church, yesterday afternoon. Rev. R. R. Baker conducted a service at Dental-villa. At the church the service was conducted by Rev. J. E. Wareham, assisted by Rev. H. Scanes. There were no carriages, a number of Freemasons acting as bearer’s, the bier being covered with a purple pall. An unusually large number of mourners gathered at the graveside. The coffin was of polished oak, with heavy brass mountings, a brass plate bearing the inscription : “Thomas Maden, born 4th October, 1865, died 27th January, 1908.” After the coffin had been lowered in the vault each of the Freemasons dropped a piece of acacia on the top of it. There were a number of large and beautiful wreaths from the following: Mr. and Mrs. Wardle, Woodlands; Mr. and Mrs. Victor S. Widdup, Queen’s Hotel; Mr. J.B. Crossley, solicitor; Mr. and Mrs. Smallwood, York-street; wife and children; brothers of the Prudence Lodge; brother John, wife and family; a few friends in the Cliviger township; Mr. Thomas E. Halstead; Mr. and Mrs. Pickup; niece and nephew, Lily and Walter; Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell and family; Mr. and Mrs. Crabtree and family. Mr. Jackson Stansfield was the undertaken. The relatives of deceased are deserving of great sympathy, as deceased’s brother, Robert, died at Waterfoot, in the early part of the week, and his mother is also suffering from a severe illness.

Thomas Maden, from the 1909 Todmorden and Hebden Bridge Historical Almanack

A terrible week for the Maden family – first Robert and then Thomas. Their mother Hannah died only a few months later.

Interestingly, Thomas’s widow Emma continued to live at Dental Villa for at least a few years afterwards, appearing there with her three children and a servant on the 1911 Census. She is working, too – as a “dentistry dealer”! No doubt she was involved in Thomas’s business before his death and thought, why not continue. It’s likely that she worked alongside or in partnership with Robert Bocklet, another dentist, who worked out of Dental Villa as the next dentist to practice from the address.

No other Madens are buried at Christ Church.

One Comment

  1. Pingback:V12.11 – Richard, Martha, Nellie, Lilian, Sybil, Horace and Ella Hartley – F.O.C.C.T.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *