THE STORY OF TOM PUDDING
From Our Archive
Clayton History Group
An abundance of material has been offered to the GOSSIPERS of Clayton, by the death of eccentric poultry dealer Thomas Harrison alias “Tom Pudding”.
It appears that Tom who had no wife or family was a native of Clayton and until recently lived in a cottage in Back Lane.
Being an dealer in poultry of all kinds, he was well known in Bradford Market which he regularly attended to transact his business.
His cottage had only one low room, in which he kept his stock of poultry consisting of different breeds of hens, pigeons and rabbits. He also kept a “Galloway”
A “Galloway” was a small horse native to Scotland which is now extinct, which he kept in a stall at the side of his bed.
Tom was extremely mean and would not spend a farthing in soap or cleaning materials or white wash . This at one time brought him into conflict with the township authorities as they carried out their sanitary inspections. It was decided to remove him to a place where the inhabitants in this respect were not so particular.
Tom however has, bowed to the decree of fate and has died.
After his death a number of his neighbours entered his house for the purpose of performing for him the last kind of offices.
While thus employed it is said that, secreted in different parts of the cottage, a considerable amount of money was found, some in an old jacket which had been thrown to the door as almost worthless, it was taken in again with a view to it being disposed of to the rag man and in cutting up the jacket it was found that no less than seventy gold sovereigns sewn into the linings.
The rumour was that £300 in all had been found.
The deceased was about sixty years old, and it is said his father is still alive, but they did not meet or converse with each other.
According to the Office for National Statistics. £300 in 1869 is worth £35.000 today