STIFF, Thomas (1750-1825). Mourning brooch. A moderately large oblong gold brooch (max length 28mm) consisting of a glazed cover over woven hair within a decorative gold frame, surrounded by a black enamel band and a border of mounted pearls. On the reverse, a pin, a suspension loop, and engraved wording: Thos. Stiff Esqr. Died 27th Novr 182 Aged 75 Years. In excellent condition.
Thomas Stiff lived in New Street, Covent Garden in London, and was an active nonconformist who supported many humanitarian and educational establishments. His name can be found in several subscribers lists for a range of publications allied with his interests. He would appear to have Devon connections judging from a gift of a small plot of land made in 1812 to the Cross Street Chapel in Barnstaple for a burial ground. He died on 27th November 1825 while visiting Poundisford Park, the seat of Thomas Wellman. His obituary was published in the Evangelical Magazine & Missionary Chronicle (unseen, vol 3 1825). His wife had died in 1807 at the age of 54.