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Thomas Martin was born in Bromyard in Herefordshire.

He enlisted in the army and after contracting Malaria at Walcheren he was discharged in 1817. He returned to Bromyard sometime between 1818 and 1820.

Market Place with the old Market Hall about 1840....

 

Bromyard is a market town situated very pleasantly between the hills and the inhabitants boast that they live in one of the most ancient market towns in England - as said by Silas Taylor in 1652.

 

There has been settlement in the Bromyard area since pre-historic
times and artifacts found in the vicinity point to man working and hunting here more than 5,000 years ago. The Bromyard area appears to have been populous and extensively farmed when the Roman army reached here about 70 AD and within a short time a Roman marching camp was established.

The earliest known reference to Bromyard is an Anglo-Saxon charter of about 840 when the Bishop of Hereford granted about 500 acres of land to a farmer for three generations. Bromyard was not only a major religious centre. It was an ancient meeting place for religious, administrative and judicial occasions.

Little of the old street plan has changed (a new road was cut about 1835) but Thomas Martin would have no difficulty finding his way around the Bromyard of 1120 developed by Richard Capella and except for a by-pass of 1967, would have no trouble today.

Trading and exchange would inevitably take place and Bromyard was probably a marketing focus long before the Norman Conquest. The Doomsday survey of 1086 reveals Bromyard as a large agricultural manor belonging to the bishop of Hereford. Within 200 years Bromyard was an established borough containing seven streets, a market square and a population of 1200 people. This was the result of episcopal enterprise.
Many new towns were founded in the vigorous days following the Norman Conquest; an urban centre was both a profit to the lord of the manor and a benefit to the people of the surrounding countryside.

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Copyright 2001 - A Martin

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