The Twickenham Museum
People : Merchants and Entrepreneurs

Thomas Twining I
Tea merchant
1675 - 1741

Thomas Twining I

Comes to Dial House

Thomas Twining came from Painswick in Gloucestershire. In about 1722 he bought the property later known as Dial House, next door to St Mary's Church, Twickenham. He either rebuilt, or converted and extended the buildings already on the site. The sundial on the fašade carries the date 1726, possibly commemorating completion of the new building. Tradition has associated John James with the design and execution of the house but there is no documentary evidence for this.

Thomas appears also to have bought other properties in the area, probably as investments. One of these, 25 The Embankment, is now the Twickenham Museum.

An entry in the Churchwardens' Accounts for 1729 notes that he was credited with an abatement on his rates, of 6/0d "on account of his giving ye latches with brass knobs for ye Church doors." Curiously, his rated liability was only 3/4d that year.

Dial House, Riverside, Twickenham

Dial House remained in the family although members did not always live there. It was occupied by Elizabeth Twining from 1866 until her death on Christmas Day 1889 and her wish that the property should be given to the parish for a vicarage was honoured by her brother Richard.

Further reading:

S H Twining, The House of Twining, 1956
B L Pearce, Thomas Twining of Twickenham 1806-1895, Borough of Twickenham Local History Society Paper No 61, 1988
Anthony Beckles Willson, The Church of St Mary the Virgin, Twickenham, 2000

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