Born around 1818 in Southampton, Thomas De Vine was a Church of England Lay Reader who, in 1856, was appointed by Richard Barrow to teach the Sunday Schools and conduct church services at the new school/ church at Barrow Hill.
The 1861 census shows him, aged 43, living at 45, The Blocks, Barrow Hill with his wife Sarah and his children, Anne and Wilson, and describes him as a Lay agent of the Church of England . The house was incorrectly numbered and was in fact one of the managers houses on Station Road (now number 15).
Mr T Martin wrote in 1932, “My earliest recollections of the Church life of Barrow Hill go back to when, as a very small boy, I was taken by my Father and Mother to Church; my father being a Sunday School teacher. This was in the days of Mr Devine during the 1860’s. Mr Devine was Scripture Reader until he was ordained when he went into the Potteries, afterwards being appointed to a living.”
By 1871, De Vine was the Curate in Charge of Wellington Parish, Hanley, Stoke on Trent shortly after which he became the Vicar of Northwood, Hanley, Stoke on Trent.
De Vine died on 22 Nov 1890, aged 72 at Stoke on Trent. He left £1373 in his will.
© Ann Lucas