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 Richard Flower

Richard Flower

Birth
Hertfordshire, England
Death 8 Sep 1829 (aged 68–69)
Albion, Edwards County, Illinois, USA
Burial Albion, Edwards County, Illinois, USA
Memorial ID 77794035 · View Source
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Park House was the name of Richard Flower's residence, built for him by his son, George. It was located approximately one mile south of Albion. Richard was a brewer, author, and pamphlateer.

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FLOWER, RICHARD (1761-Sept. 2, 1829), Illinois pioneer, was born in England, presumably in Hertfordshire, the son of a tradesman, George Flower. He married a daughter of Edward Fordham of Kelshall near Royston and for more than twenty years was proprietor of a flourishing brewery in Hertford. Like his elder brother, Benjamin Flower [q.v. in Dictionary of National Biography], he was somewhat of a reformer and took naturally to pamphleteering. When Government paid no heed to his Observations on Beer and Brewers, in Which the Inequality, Injustice, and Impotency of the Malt and Beer Tax are Demonstrated (Cambridge, 1802), he disposed of his business, invested the proceeds in an estate, “Marden,” three miles from the town, and devoted his time to agriculture and sheep husbandry. As a dissenter he was galled especially by the tithe and published Abolition of Tithe Recommended, in an Adress to the Agriculturalists of Great Britain (Harlow, 1809; another edition, 1813). Extortionate taxes, the mounting poor rate, and the low price of farm products made matters still worse for him in the years following the Napoleonic wars, and at the persuasion of his friend, Morris birkbeck, and of his eldest son, George Flower [q.v.], he sold “Marden” in 1818 for £23,000 and emigrated, with his wife, three sons, and two daughters, to the United States. The next winter he spent in Lexington, Ky., while George Flower was laying out the village of Albion in southeastern Illinois. A heavy loss to him was the death, that winter, of his second son, William. Letters from the Illinois, 1820, 1821 (London, 1822) were answers to the strictures of William Cobbett [q.v.]. In the spring of 1819 he moved to Albion and occupied the “Park House,” which his son had built for him. There he entertained visitors from all over the United States and England, regaling them with plum pudding and other English dishes. For some years the house was an object of interest because of its plastered and papered walls, its ornamental stone hearth, and elegant furniture. Flower built a two-story brick tavern and several other buildings, founded what was probably the first library in Illinois, and conducted religious services every Sunday. In the fight to check the introduction of negro slavery he took a prominent part. By his American neighbors he was respected rather than liked, for they distrusted his dignity and the freedom with which he expressed his opinions. In 1824 he returned to England as agent for George Rapp [q.v.] and negotiated the sale of the village and lands of Harmony, Ind., to Robert Owen. His youngest son, Edward Fordham Flower [q.v. in Dictionary of National Biography], went over with him and remained in England. Flower died at Albion on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 1829, after a protracted illness.
[Geo. Flower, Hist. of the English Settlement in Edwards County, Ill. (Chicago, 1882); Benj. Flower, Statement of Facts Relative to the Conduct, etc. (privately printed, Harlow, England, 1808). For correct date of death see the Vandalia Ill. Intelligencer, Sept. 12, 1829 (erroneously dated Sept. 13, on the first page). The Illinois pamphlets have been reprinted by R. G. Thwaites, Early Western Travels, 1748-1846, X (Cleveland, 1904), 85-169, and by E. E. Sparks, The English Settlement in the Illinois (Cedar Rapids,Iowa,1907).] G. H. G.
(Source: Johnson, Allen Ed., and Malone, Dumas, DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY, 1931, p. 479-IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN, Internet Archive (archive.org)


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Gravesite Details Only Richard and his wife, Elizabeth, are buried on the property.

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  • Created by: Michael J. Fryman
  • Added: 7 Oct 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 77794035
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Richard Flower (1760–8 Sep 1829), Find A Grave Memorial no. 77794035, citing Park House Cemetery, Albion, Edwards County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by Michael J. Fryman (contributor 47343561) .