I see, now that I guessed completely wrong with respect to the appearance of Thomas Merrick. The portrait I chose is of Edwin Drinker Cope by C. A. Worrall. Cope was an American paleontologist, not a solicitor as our Thomas was, so a rather more glamorous profession perhaps. And I think the Americanism of the painted portrait is probably rather too obvious. I don’t think the real Thomas looks quite as benign - but then people rarely do in those stiff Victorian studio portraits. Thanks to Tom Merrick for the wonderful photograph.
I am not going to write a ‘story’ of Thomas, because I frankly know just about nothing about him. Maybe one day I shall know more. For now here are the facts as I know them.
Born around 1827 in the city of Cork, according to the 1901 census. His father was Thomas and mother Elizabeth (Eliza) Warren of Castle Warren - Warren being a name that is often used as a middle name when naming children in the Merrick family. At some point he qualified as a solicitor and moved to Dublin where he seems to have spent the rest of his life. He married Mary Anne Lyster of one of Ireland’s notable families at St. Nicholas Church in Cork. They had eleven children at least, only two of them girls, the last of the children being born in 1874. I do not know either, when his wife died, but he was still alive and living in Dublin with his older daughter and two of his sons in 1901. I do not know when he died, although in the 1911 census his son Thomas, still living in the same house, states that the Head of the household (Thomas senior?) is away from home. He was Church of Ireland of course not Roman Catholic.
I’m sure he would be an interesting man to know more about but so far we have not been able to discover more.
b ca 1827 County Cork
m Mary Anne Lyster December 1 1855 Cork
d 1901 Dublin
Elizabeth Henrietta Louisa 1858-?
Augustus Warren 1859-1933
Agnes Letitia 1860-1920
Frederick L. 1861-1902
Horace Townsend Newman 1865-1952
Robert Warren 1866-1948
Ferdinand Richard Holmes 1869-1940
Ernest Edwin 1871-?
Arthur Henry 1872-?
Herbert Alexander Stuart 1874-?
Marriage certificate of Ferdinand
Census for 1901
Baptism records of some of the children
Aramaic, meaning ‘twin’ but I suspect that not many Thomases were named Thomas because they were twins. It’s a biblical name - Thomas became popular because of Thomas A’Beckett, and, of course, one of the disciples was Thomas - Doubting Thomas. Maybe an appropriate name for a solicitor.
Tom, Tommy, Thommo