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Alexandra & Jocelyn & William Thomson

Memorial plaque Archbishop William Thomson daughter Alexandra son Jocelyn Home memory restoration porch St Giles church Stoke Poges StokePoges

The latin on the plaque when translated is in memory of a father called William Thomson who was Archbishop of York from 1863-1890. Also it is in memory of two of his nine children, called Alexandra and Jocelyn. The last line refers to the restoration of the porch by one of William’s daughters.

Memorial to Archbishop William Thomson.
South transept, York Minster

None of those named on the plaque or Zoë, the daughter who had the memorial fitted in St Giles’ are buring in Stoke Poges. Alexandra is buried in South Canterbury in New Zealand. Jocelyn is buried in Brompton cemetery, London. Archbishop and other family members, including Zoë, are buried adjacent to Bishopthorpe Palace, near York.

One of the five daughters of the Archbishop was Zoë Jane Thomson. In 1863 she was born in Oxford and in 1891 she married Revd Joshua Fielding Hoyle in Bishopthorpe, near York. Revd Hoyle became Vicar of Stoke Poges in 1901 for ten years. Therefore, it is not surprising to find the Vicar’s wife involved in the restoration of part of St Giles’ and remembering her family members.

Alexandra was born at Bishopthorpe Palace in 1868 and in 1897 she married Lt. Col. John Studholme in Canterbury, New Zealand. They had a farm in Coldstream on the south island, which is still run by the Studholme family. She died in Coldstream.

Jocelyn was born in Oxford in 1859 whilst his father was working at Queens College. After schooling he was an officer in the Royal Artillery. He went on to serve in the War Office and became Chief Inspector of Explosives. During 1888 he was secretary under Sir Frederick Abel to the War Office explosives committee, for whom he carried out the first experiments on a new smokeless explosive. Thomson named this new substance cordite.

The home of the Archbishop of York
Bishopthorpe Palace, near York

William was born in 1819 at the seaside town of Whitehaven, Cumbria and educated at Shrewasbury school and Queen’s College, Oxford. He went on to become a Tutur, Chaplain, Dean and Provost of Queen’s College. In 1861 he was consecrated to the see of Bristol and Gloucester. Yet only ten months later he was appointed Archbishop of York. He died on Christmas day 1890 in Bishopthorpe Palace, near York.

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