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     Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 64  1993  page 186


Sir Thomas Colyer-Fergusson 1865-1951

THE death, on 7th April, 1951, of Sir Thomas Colyer Colyer-Fergusson, Bart., F.S.A., of Ightham Mote, has closed a long and valued association with the Kent Archaeological Society. He became a life member oní election, in 1889, and was Honorary Treasurer in 1903-4. After resigning that office, he served as an elected member of the Council in 1946, when he was appointed a Vice-President of the Society, which office he retained till the end of his life. He was also a member of several other learned Societies, antiquarian and genealogical.
Sir Thomas was most widely known as the owner of the charming moated house in which he dwelt for over sixty years from 1889, when he purchased the Mote estate from the representatives of the ancient family of Selby. He was High Sheriff of Kent in 1905-6, a Warden. of Rochester Bridge, and in addition to other activities he held many other voluntary offices. He had an unusually wide circle of friends and acquaintances, was an ideal host and whilst playing his full part in the normal life of a country gentleman, he was perhaps happiest, at least during his later years, when working quietly in his fine old library at the Mote, well-stocked with Kent books, or when discussing an 

archaeological subject with a kindred spirit. And be it noted to his honour that the years that he devoted so assiduously to genealogical work and his  sustained industry have provided .him with a lasting memorial in his transcripts of parish registers.
   The problems that he met with in his genealogical researches, entailing as they did the exhaustive examination of ancient registers, often written in script difficult to decipher and seldom, if ever, indexed, suggested to him the preparation of typed, indexed copies in which surnames could be traced in a moment. He carried this idea into such effect that during the last forty years of his life he made and indexed copies in triplicate of the registers of nearly sixty parishes in the Diocese of Rochester, presenting one copy to the incumbent, another to the Society of Genealogists, and retaining the third copy himself. By this persistent work he has earned the gratitude of many people of Kentish descent who come, year by year, from all over the world to trace their ancestry.
   Sir Thomas published in Archaeologia Cantiana (XXVII, p. 31) a pedigree of "Selby of Ightham Mote," and in collaboration with   continued

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