THOMAS TUNALEY, FORMERLY THOMAS "TUNALLI" OF ITALY
"THOMAS TUNALLI, MERCHANT OF MILAN"
BACKGROUND TO THOMAS'S NAME CHANGE
THE ORIGINAL THOMAS TUNALEY
Thanks to the efforts of contributor Mr. Richard Clarke, a book has been located written by Francis Boott Jnr. (b. Boston MA.
1810) whose father, also Francis Boott and born Derby, married Mary Tunaley, daughter of Robert Tunaley, 1805.
Francis Boott Jnr. wrote a summary of his life and on page two of his book entitled "Recollections of Francis Boott: for his
grandson F.B.D." Francis Boott informs us, "My mother Mary Turnaley (sic) was also born in Derby. Her father (or grandfather)
came from Italy with the name "Tunalli". She too showed independence, for she left her father on his second marriage and resided
with a cousin, Mrs. Haden...."
(N.B. It is given in the book that Mrs. Haden was the wife of Mr. Thomas Haden, a Derby surgeon. Thomas Haden later became
Alderman and Mayor of Derby (1811 and 1819) - click here).
On page fifty-two of the book, the author recounts how Francis travels to England in 1838, visits Derby and meets his mother's
half-brother "Tom Tunaley" whom F.B. befriends and refers to as "Uncle Tom" - on this occasion the Tunaley surname spelt
The half-brother referred to almost certainly Thomas Snape Tunaley (b. 1802).
One short extract: "I went by the way of Cambridge and Derby. I stayed in Derby several days, as it was the native place of my
father and mother. I found many of the latter's friends and her half-brother, Tom Tunaley".
A portrait painting of Mary Tunaley by Joseph Wright of Derby is held by the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. In April/May 2014,
this painting previously titled "Mrs. Francis Boott" was retitled "Miss Mary Tunaley" with fresh provenance (click here).
There is also a Joseph Wright painting of Thomas Haden's twin daughters Sarah and Ann (click here to see the painting), held
at the Worcester Art Museum, Massachusetts (click here for New York Art Resources). The N.Y.A.R website gives details of
the painting "Portrait of Sarah and Ann Haden" c. 1796, by Joseph Wright of Derby. (N.B. the website informs that an alternative
name for the painting is "The Twins: Sarah and Anne Haden").
The article states the provenance for the painting is as follows; "According to some family letters this picture was presented
by the artist on April 30 1796 to a friend, Mary Tunaley, Mrs. Francis Boott, a direct ancestress......"
This means that Ann and Sarah, born 1888, were approximately 8 years old when the portrait was painted. In which case Mary
Tunaley may well have been acting as the twins' governess.
Moreover, the paintings are a significant piece of British/American history.
Ann Haden (b. 1788, Derby, England) married Kirk Boott Jnr. (1790-1837), an American industrialist, instrumental in the early
history of Lowell, Massachusetts. Mary Tunaley's husband Francis Boott, who set up the trading partnership Boott and Farrow on
arrival in Boston, was the cousin of Kirk Boott Jnr. whose father, also Kirk Boott, had emigrated to the United States from
Derby, England in 1783 and worked in Boston as a successful import merchant. Prior to his death in 1817 , Kirk Snr. had already
had dealings with Francis Cabot Lowell who, in 1813, had set up the Boston Manufacturing Company whereby investors bought shares
in manufacturing stock - in itself, a pioneering movement.
With these investments and with the help of skilled engineers including the inventor Paul Moody, Lowell was able to set up
the "Waltham-Lowell System" of textile manufanufacture, meaning that for the first time in America, spinning, weaving,
dyeing, and cutting were completed in a single plant.
F.C. Loweell had himself been a successful import merchant and in 1815 at F.C.'s request, Kirk Boott Snrs.'s company took on
Francis Cabot Lowell's son-in-law and nephew, John Amory Lowell, as an apprentice.
Given the close relationship between the Lowells and Bootts that had been forged by Kirk Snr., this would have been one
factor in Kirk Boott Jnr. being given the opportunity to supervise and develop a new complex of textile mills, later known
as the Boott Mills, close to the Merrimack River and city of Lowell, MA.
Indeed, it was John Amory Lowell, Kirk Boott Snr.'s former apprentice, who was influential in the Boston Manufacturing Company
following F.C.'s death in 1817. In 1822 he became a major stockholder in the Merrimack Manufacturing Company of which Kirk
Boott Jnr, was appointed First Agent and Treasurer and in the same year Lowell became a director of the Suffolk Bank created
by investors in the Boston Manufacturing Company (these people known as the "Boston Associates"). Lowell later became Treasurer
of both the Boston Manufaturing Company and the Merrimack Manufacturing company following Kirk Boott Jnr.'s death in 1837.
According to records, Kirk Snr., born Derby 1750, was a friend of Joseph Wright the painter.
For further information on Mary Tunaley and the Boott family click here.
N.B.: Pallott's Marriage Index (1780-1837) and the Phillimore Derbyshire Parish Register both confirm the marriage of Francis
Boott and Mary Tunaley in 1805.
For further general information, contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org
"Thomas Tunalli, Merchant of Milan"
George Sorocold: "The First British civil engineer"
Investigations into the Geographical Origins of the Tunaley Name
The Early Thomas Tunaleys - the Feltmaker and the Throwster
"Hall and Tunaley" 1780
The Early Tunaleys and A Timeline
Huguenot Connection to the Silk Mill
Back to Tree