Thomas died on 4th September 1899, aged 71 and is buried alongside his first wife, Jemima nee Taylor[1], in Loughborough Cemetery, Leicester Road.

The funeral, took place on 7th September and at the deceased’s request it was a very quiet affair with no flowers[2]. Only close relatives, a few members of the Plymouth Brethren and a few friends were present. Mr. F.W. Cox, Miss Wale, together with Alderman Walter Burder and Alderman Alfred Bumpus who took-over the horticultural business also attended. Some of the Thomas Messenger’s old workers followed the cortege.

The following obituary appeared in The Loughborough Herald and North Leicestershire Gazette on Thursday, 7th September 1899: –

DEATH OF Mr. T. G. MESSENGER, – We have to record the death, at a late hour on Monday night, of Mr. Thomas G. Messenger, at his residence Linden, Burton-street, Loughborough. Although not a public man in the usual sense of the term, Mr. Messenger was one of Loughborough’s prominent townsmen, and one of Loughborough’s prominent townsmen, and one who in years gone by was closely connected with the industrial and commercial life of the borough. The deceased gentleman began his business career as a plumber, gradually developing his trade in the special line of horticultural and inventive turn of mind, with the result that he soon, gained a name and reputation in the country. Among his inventions was a hot water boiler, which he patented, and for which there was a considerable demand. He also became one of the three or four firms in the country with whom large horticultural contracts were placed. During Mr. Messenger’s connection with the business, it was carried on in the premises at the back of the High-street. About the year 1876 he retired from the concern, which was taken over by Mr. W. C. Burder and Mr. A. A. Bumpus. A few years later in partnership was dissolved, and Mr. A. W. N. Burder took the place of Mr. Bumpus in the firm. For some time after giving up this business, Mr. Messenger carried on a smaller concern, the principal work of which was the manufacture of valves, but after a few years he gave up this too. Since his retirement, the deceased gentleman devoted considerable attention to building operations, for which he had a keen fancy, and also entered on various speculations in brickworks with more or less success. At the time his last illness began, he was engaged in laying out a new street on the Park-road estate, which he was not to live to see complete. For several years Mr. Messenger had lived in Burton-street, and before then occupied the house now the residence of Councillor E. Moss, in Park-road[3]. His last illness had not been of long duration, a severe attack of jaundice, with complications, proving too serious for him at his advanced age. He was about 72 years of age, and leaves a widow, one son, and two daughters, one of the latter married and living at Derby, and the other at Loughborough. Mr. Messenger was a member of the Plymouth Brethren[4], and was one of the principal supporters of their place of worship in School-street. It was in conformity with the tenors of his faith that he took no part in public life, nor in politics.

It appears that he had moved a short period before his death, for some unknown reason, from No. 20 Burton Street, next door, to No. 21, another of his other properties. There are four independent references attaching him to No. 21 around the time of his death. Firstly, the notice of the death that appeared in the local newspapers (The Loughborough Monitor and News, and The Leicester Chronicle and The Leicestershire Mercury); secondly, the obituary references Linden, which is No. 21; thirdly, Wright’s Directory of Leicestershire for 1899; fourthly, a sale of furniture by his wife in November 1899[5]. The last known reference to him living at No. 2o is in the 1899 edition of Wills’ Loughborough Almanac and Street Directory, although actually compiled in November 1898.


Thomas Messenger left an estate valued at £39,167 14s. 4d.[6] and in his will[7], dated 25th June 1899, he appointed his son Hugh and brother-in-law, Douglas Rickard as both executors and trustees.


  1. Plot 10067.
  2. The Loughborough Monitor & News, 14th September 1899.
  3. In 1899 (Kelly’s Directory of Leicestershire and Rutland), Mr. Edwin Moss was living at No. 55, Park Road.
  4. The Brethren movement began in Dublin in the late 1820s with a group of men (John Nelson Darby, Anthony Norris Groves, John Bellett, Edward Cronin and Francis Hutchinson) who felt that the established Church had become too involved with the secular state and abandoned many of the basic truths of Christianity.The first Brethren assembly in England was established at Plymouth in 1831, which is why Brethren are often called Plymouth Brethren.
  5. The Loughborough Monitor & News, 16th November 1899.
  6. In 1899, £39,167-14s-4d would have the equivalent spending worth of about £2.15 million today.
  7. Leicestershire Record Office