Thomas Toft was born in 1647 in Norwich, Norfolk, England to father John Toft (1623-1696). Thomas was baptised on 9 May 1647 at St George Tombland in Norwich, one of four children.
Thomas was a worsted weaver by trade.
Worsted is a high-quality type of wool yarn and the name derives from Worstead, a village in Norfolk which formed a manufacturing centre for yarn and cloth in the 12th century.
Worsted was made from the long-staple pasture wool from sheep breeds such as Teeswaters, Old Leicester Longwool and Romney Marsh. Pasture wool was not carded; instead it was washed, gilled and combed (using heated long-tooth metal combs), oiled and finally spun. Worsted wool fabric is typically used in the making of tailored garments such as suits. Wikipedia.
Thomas married around 1683 was the father of six children in the parish of St George Tombland in Norwich –
- Benjamin b 1685 Norwich – was apprenticed at the age of 14 to John Stone of the Company of Drapers in London. (Freedom of the City Admission Papers, 1681-1930).
He married Sarah Stone on 24 Dec 1713 at St Mary le Bow in London and had two children Thomas b 1718 and Sarah b 1720. This Stone family appear in Boyds Inhabitants of London & Family Units. He died in London.
2. Ann b 1687 Norwich d 1759 Norwich.
Her will leaves bequests including a cypher ring with two diamonds to her niece Mary, dau of Timothy and Mary.
3. Timothy b 1691 Norwich d 1765 Norwich. Marr Mary Finch. 8 children.
4. Mary b Norwich d Norwich
5. Thomas b Norwich, had daughter Anna. Anna Toft’s will of 1780 left everything to her cousin Sarah Toft. Anna married John Stone, and was buried in St Mary le Bow.
6. John d 1734 Norwich. Married Lydia Baker ca 1696. Lydia died 1700 Norwich.
There is an entry in the Norwich Freedom records for a Thomas Toft, Worsted Weaver, purchased freedom by patrimony (father was in the same trade), son of John Toft. I’m unsure if this is the same Thomas as it occurred when Thomas would be 67 years. It may be the son of John Toft above.
Thomas Toft died in 1719 in Norwich. His PCC will leaves bequests to his sons John, Thomas, Benjamin and Timothy. Other people named are his granddaughter Ann Toft, sister Mary Toft, kinsman Jonathan Toft and kinswomen Margaret Toft.
As yet I haven’t been able to find his burial, but it wasn’t at St George Tombland as I have checked the parish burial register between 1715-1720.