Coley Park and Beyond

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Richard Thompson (Colonel)

Owner of Coley Park Estate from 1727-1792.

Richard's parents were William and Elizabeth Thompson, and it is believed Richard is the grandson of Sir Samuel Thompson of Bradfield, Berks., sheriff of London in 1688 and kinsman of the 1st Lord Haversham.

Prior to his purchases of Coley Park and Whitley Manor estates, Richard was a Jamaican Merchant, who as a member of the Jamaica Militia attained the rank of Colonel. He was also a member of the Jamaica assembly, which was the ruling local government for the island under British rule and law, and member of the council of Jamaica from 1704 to 1711. In February 1711 he advised the board of trade that he was not returning to Jamaica.

While serving as sheriff for the county of Berkshire he was returned as a Whig for Reading at an unexpected contested by-election in March 1720. Later in that year he was one of the eight patentees of the Royal Mining Company, formed to develop gold and silver mines in Jamaica, who invested their subscribers’ funds in the South Sea Company and went into liquidation. Defeated at Reading in 1722, but successful in 1727, he voted for the Administration on the army in 1732 and the excise bill in 1733. He did not stand in 1734.

Richard married Jane Nicoll and had two known children, both daughters, Anne and Frances.

Their daughter Anne married a Sir Philips Jennings-Clerke and they had a daughter named Frances Jennings.

The Colonel died around September 1736 with the remaining mortage on the Coley House being transferred to the Hunter Family of Berkshire.

July 4, 1754 - Two water mills in Reading. Consideration £2,133 paid to Elisha Biscoe by Jane Thompson and Frances Thompson (Ref: Englefield family of Englefield, Berkshire).

Thomas Shackle was the Yeoman (Farmer) at Coley Farm around 1777.

In 1790, a fishery in the Hallowed Brook (now commonly known as the Holy Brook) extending from Conscience Cross Lane alias Watery Lane to Plumbs Lane, was surrendered from Thomas Buckeridge Noyes of Southcote.

Dame Anne (Jennings) and Frances Thompson sold the estates in 1792 to William Chamberlayne.


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