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A miscellany of Tilbury-related items

Research by John Tilbury of Nottingham


A 'Tilbury' was a nickname for a sixpence, this being the fare from Tilbury Fort to Gravesend across the Thames. (H. Vaux Flash Dict. 1812: Tilbury, A Sixpence).


Some early Quaker settlers in the USA were Tilburys. One such, a Thomas Tilbury, signed an issue of  100,000 legal tender bills of credit issued in Pennsylvania on April 25th 1759 to support military expenditure on the French and Indian war. Printed by Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia.

Picture on another website


There is a pub called 'The Tilbury' (after the carriage) in Datchworth, Near Stevenage in Hertfordshire, U.K. Picture courtesy of hosts Ian Miller and Sheila Humphreys.Worth a visit - good food and friendly atmosphere.


More than 20 different ways to spell the word:

Telbury, Tilbarie, Tilbary, Tilberrie, Tilberry, Tilbery, Tilbre, Tilbry, Tilburey, Tilburie, Tilbury, Tillbrey, Tillesbry, Tilsburry, Tilsbury, Tylbery, Tyllberry, Tylberry, Tylbery, Tylburie, Tylbury, Tailby, Taleby, Tilby, Talby, Tilbey, Talebury, Taleberry, etc, etc. !!

Most of these were early phonetic spellings used by whoever made an entry in the parish register. 'Tilbury' seems to emerge as the most common spelling around 1650 although Tilberry and Tilsbury are still in use today. (Extracted from listing from Mormon Church archives provided by David Tilbury, USA)


The Royal Observatory at Greenwich, London, was built on the site of Greenwhich castle using stone from the castle, and bricks, iron and lead from a demolished part of Tilbury Fort. [This may have been the old dismantled battery at East Tilbury]

More on Tilbury Fort


In 1727 chalybeate water was found in West Tilbury: one spring on the glebe of the vicar (whose income it improved!!) 'in a field below the church, covered by a small building', the other 'a well ... in the manor-house, adjoining the church' (1811).

The 'Traveller's Guide' of 1805 mentions:

"At West Tilbury, Essex, on the top of a hill, near a farm-house, rises a celebrated spring, which has a soft pleasant taste, as if mixed with milk, and has been found very beneficial in the gravel, asthma, and some kind of scurvies: it is also considered as a specific in diarrheas, dysenteries, the piles, &c."

The 1823 Encyclopaedia Britannica referred to it as containing fossil alkali; medicinal virtues: diuretic and diaphoretic. Anyone tried it?


The 1992 World Book of Tilburys:

I now have a copy... it consists of a general section on genealogy (not Tilbury specific), followed by a simple list of names and addresses of Tilburys worldwide - at least those they could find. There are plenty missing in the UK list. Many entries simply say 'Mr. and Mrs. Tilbury' followed by the address. Others give forenames.

In my opinion it is an interesting reference but in the UK the price (about £ 30) would pay for many hours of telephone time; or several years subscription to your local Genealogy Society! - JT.



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