When I started researching the history of Norton-in-Hales and that specifically of Reverend Frederick Silver in 2012, I came into contact with a lady called Verion from Australia. On behalf of a neighbour, Verion was researching the origins of a mug that was inscribed with Spencer Thornton Silver’s name. Early in 2013 Verion put me in touch with the owner of the mug, Rosemary Bates. Rosemary had inherited the mug from family living in England, the mug with a number of other personal possessions had been shipped to her Australia. Rosemary didn’t feel she was the rightful owner and had it on her ‘bucket list’ to return the mug to the Silver family, so she enlisted the help of Verion to trace Spencer’s descendants. Verion, like me had soon discovered that Spencer’s family line had died out by the 1970’s. However, with Spencer and Frederick both having lived and are buried in Norton-in-Hales, it was agreed that the mug would come back to the village to be displayed in the Jubilee Hall. After years of correspondence, Rosemary and her husband Doug travelled to England and on Sunday 18th August 2019 they came to the village, to meet me and to present Spencer’s mug to the village.
Spencer Thornton Silver was born on the 5th May 1849, at Wendover in Buckingham, to Reverend Frederick Silver and Harriet James. In 1850 Spencer along with his father and mother they came to live at the Rectory in Norton-in-Hales. On the 14th December 1878, Spencer died at Beechen Grove, Watford aged 29 years old. He was buried in the cemetery at Norton-in-Hales on Saturday 21st December 1878. More information on Spencer Thornton Silver can be found at http://www.thehistorydetective.org/reverend-frederick-silver/