Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Flowers to commemorate Thomas Kelly

Posted on by royvickery |

Thomas Kelly was born in the Surrey parish of Chelsham in 1772, leaving it when he was 14 to find fortune and fame in London, becoming the city’s mayor in 1837.  He left a bequest to provide bread for the needy of his home village.  This is distributed on the first Sunday in July each year at the end of a service held in St Leonard’s church.  According to Averil Shepherd’s invaluable  Calendar Customs website:  ‘Following the sermon (which refers to Mr Kelly), flowers are placed upon the graves of Thomas [see image above] and his parents [see image below] in the churchyard, then the service continues back inside the church ending with the bread dole at the altar.’

Photographs taken Monday 3 July, the day after the service, 2023.

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