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Written By : Edward James Gilbert-Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

Date: December 2,2017


William James Stockdale(1783-1847) was a coachman and operated a coaching business in Tunbridge Wells in the 1820’s and 1830’s.The 1824 Pigots directory of Tunbridge Wells referred to coaches running to London from “Stockdale’s office and the Sussex Hotel”daily except on Sunday. His main competitor at that time was Mr Beale who ran coaches from Tunbridge Wells to London and also to Brighton and Maidstone.

A most interesting article about the Stockdale family was published in the London Magazine of 1840 which referred to one of the sons of the infamous book publisher John Stockdale (1750-1814) of London who “now drives, and for many years has driven the Tunbridge Wells coach". Other sources note that Stockdale the coachman “had been a large publisher in Piccadilly until his business failed and he took to the road”. He was referred to in other sources as a man of great literary interests and that he frequently quoted from the works of authors while driving his coach and on other occasions, quite untypical of coachmen of the times who were much less learned.

Stockdale the coachman had at least two siblings connected to the publishing and bookselling business in Piccadilly namely John Joseph Stockdale and  Mary Ridgeway Stockdale.

Several accounts about coaching in connection with the Hastings Road and Brighton coaches  such as ‘ An Old Coachman’s Chatter (1890); Ainsworth’s Magazine (1843); ‘The Hastings Road’ 1906 and ‘Brighton And Its Coaches (1894) all make reference to “Stockdale” as a coachman with his connection to the coaching trade from Tunbridge Wells.

In this article I present information about the Stockdale family with an emphasis on William James Stockdale who ran his coaching business from Tunbridge Wells. Shown above is an advertisement for the Sussex Hotel in the Pantiles dated 1846. Note the stage coach in front of the hotel.


I begin my account with John Stockdale (1750-1814), the father of William James Stockwell the coachman. A detailed description of John is found in the Dictionary of National Biography and in various websites including Wikipedia. An image of him from Wikipedia is shown opposite.

John was born March 25,1750 at Caldbeck, Cumberland, one of several children born to Joseph Stockdale (1722-1781) and Priscilla Stockdale, nee Crosby (1726-1789).John was baptised April 14,1750 at Caldbeck.

It is believed that he was raised to have been a blacksmith, like his father, and then became a valet to John Ashtley of Duckinfield, Cheshire. He then married Mary Ridgeway a native of Roe Cross, Mottram-on-Longdendale, Cheshire, who was the sister of James Ridgeway, a well-known publisher of Piccadilly, London. John had met Mary in the Dukinfield Moravian chapel. Mary died in 1824 and her will was probated at Piccadilly October 5,1824.

John Stockdale then moved to London about 1780 and worked as a porter to publisher John Almon, near to the premises of his brother in law. When Almon retired from business in favour of John Debrett, John opened a book shop in competition and “being a man of natural parts, he soon became conspicuous in business in spite of much eccentricity of conduct and great coarseness of manners”. Both John Stockdale’s and Debrett’s premises became meeting places for the political classes.

John was an industrious publisher and a long list of his work can be found on the internet. He also issued the London Courant newspaper etc.

In 1788 he published John Logan’s Review of the Charges against Warren Hastings, which work was conceived by the government to embody a libellous charge of corruption and injustice against the House of Commons. John was prosecuted for this and the case came before Lord Kenyon in December 1789, the end result being that John Stockdale was acquitted. John again figured as defendant in an action for libel brought by Joseph Nightingale in 1809 and John had to pay 200 pounds damages.

Towards the end of his career John dealt largely in remaindered books from other publishers, and caused some resentment among the regular traders by a series of sales of books by auction which he established in various parts of the country. Early in his enterprise he had acquired considerable property, but afterwards he was less successful and went bankrupt. The circumstances of having to make an arrangement with his creditors is said to have caused him much anxiety which accelerated his death in London on June 21,1814. He was survived by his wife and several children. His will, which can be seen online, was probated December 20,1814 with his residence given as St James Piccadilly, Westminster. The main heir of his will was his wife.

John and his wife Mary Ridgeway (sometimes given as Ridgway) had several children. Some insight into the family was given in The London Magazine of 1840 under the heading of ‘ Parva Scintilla Sepe Magnam’ or, Some Account of Stockdale’. The article begins with a reference to John Stockdale in connection with the uprising he caused over the libel case before the House of Commons and then states in part “ We are grateful to be enabled to present our readers with some particulars of the history of the cause of this difficulty. John Joseph Stockdale (1770-1847) is the son of a person named John Stockdale who was for many years a bookseller and publisher in Piccadilly, and was rather eminent in his day. His shop was the resort of the high Tory party (as his neighbour Debrett’s was of the Whigs), and Joseph was his assistant in the business. The father (John) was reckoned “a very great bounce”, and had the cognomen of “Bouncing Jack” accordingly. Joseph and his brothers were generally reputed to be worthy scions of so goodly a stock. One now drives, and for many years has driven, the Tunbridge Wells coach. His mother was sister to Debrett, the Whig publisher. We do not believe that he is in the least related to Harriette Wilson, although it has been so rumoured. Joseph had tried many things in his day, but none appear to have answered. He is deficient in some qualities….” This quotation appeared on page 49 of the referenced publication and unfortunately the remainder of the article was not available for viewing on the internet and so the story about the Stockdale family abruptly ended. Fortunately in contained an important reference to one of the sons of John Stockdale being the driver of the Tunbridge Wells coach.

The Wikisource website gave an account for John Stockdale which expanded on the information about the family so far provided. One of John’s children was identified as being Mary Ridgeway Stockdale who wrote (1) The Effusions of the Heart; Poems 1798 (2) The Mirror of the Mind. Poems with an autobiography 1810 2 volumes (3) The Life of a Boy; 1821 in 2 volumes. She also did translations from Berquin and others and some minor pieces. From other sources it was stated that Mary Ridgeway Stockdale(1774-1854) was a writer and publisher and had a booksellers shop in Piccadilly between 1816 and 1833 and that she was a poet. Wikipedia had the following to report on Mary Ridgeway Stockdale. “ Mary was an English writer on the themes of Christian spirituality. She was born May 18,1774 in the parish of St James, Piccadilly,Westminster and was the daughter of John Stockdale and the sister of John Joseph Stockdale. Mary was a sickly child, educated at the home of her father. As she grew older her health recovered and she persued her own education, reading widely and enthusiastically. She soon devoted herself to nursing her mother and family and a young maid servant Elizabeth Haws.  When Elizabeth died, Mary wrote her first poem ‘The Effusions of the Heart’ which her father offered to publish. However, Mary modestly refused and only allowed publication when she herself again fell ill and believed herself near to death. In ‘the Mirror of the Mind’ she wrote of “the emptiness of sublunary things” and that she held “ the most perfect indifference for everything around me”. She died at the age of 80 and was buried June 16,1854 in the parish of Hayes, Middlesex.”

Returning to the Wikisource article the story continues after the reference to Mary Ridgeway Stockdale with the following reference to the eldest son of John Stockdale, namely John Joseph Stockdale (1770-1847). “John Joseph Stockdale was admitted to the freedom of the Stationer’s Company on August 2,1802 and afterwards took up the livery” . The reference to him later taking up the livery is an interesting one as Livery by definition refers to “the feeding, stabling, and care of horses for pay;  livery stable; a concern offering vehicles (such as carriages) for rent”.

Wikipedia continues with “ John Joseph Stockdale compiled and edited a large number of books and was the publisher of the notorious ‘Memoirs of Harriett Wilson’ (1826). During the recess of 1836 John Joseph Stockdale commenced an action against Messrs Hansard for the publication of a libel in an official ‘Report of the Inspectors of Prisons’ in which certain strictures were made on some obscene books alleged to be published by Stockdale”. This legal dispute is given in detail in Wikipedia in which the court ruled at variously in favour of Stockdale and Messrs Hansard. In the end “ Proceedings were only brought to a close by the passing in 1840 of an Act and Stockdale was thus finally defeated, and the printer was indemnified.” The National Archives has in their collection records for “John Joseph Stockdale of the Strand, Middlesex, bookseller, printer, publisher” who went bankrupt August 10,1822 and who died at Bushey February 16,1847, aged 70.

In 1805 John Joseph Stockdale married Sophia, a niece of Philip Bar, banker. John and his wife had a number of children. Sophia survived her husband as did many of their children.

Returning now to the children of John Stockdale (1750-1840) and his wife Mary Stockdale, nee Ridgeway (died 1824), a review of a family tree and baptism records noted that they had the following children (1) Mary Ridgeway Stockdale (1774-1854) (2) John Joseph Stockdale (1770-1847) (2) William Robert Stockdale , born 1779 and baptised that year at St James, Westminster (3) William James Stockdale (1783-1847). He married Caroline Ridgeway (1790-1857) on January 5,1808 at St Leonard Shorditch,and had ten children between 1809 and 1832, the three youngest of which were born in Speldhurst,Kent between 1825 and 1832. It is he who was the coachman of Tunbridge Wells referred to simply as Stockdale in various coaching accounts. He died in Bulogne France February 8,1847 and was buried February 11,1847 at Boulogne, France. Details about him and his family and career are given in later sections of this article. (4) Thomas Richard Stockdale, born December 28,1786 and baptised February 16,1787 at St James, Westminster. There is a reference to a Lt. Thomas Richard Stockdale who married Miss Mary Vrilla September 11,1808 in Madras India and that they had a son Thomas John Stockdale who was born Madra in 1819. This Lt Stockdale is listed in India Government records as having died Mary 3,1814 age 28 (born 1786) which burial record stated “ He was the most dutiful son, the kindest of brothers, the most tender, indulgent and affectionate of husbands” and that his wife was Mary Stockdale. (5) Caroline Priscilla Stockdale born December 21,1788 at Piccadilly.She was baptised July 13,1789 at St James Westminster. She married William Poston Compton (1781-1837) at Christ Church, Greyfriars, Newgate, London but does not appear to have had any children. Probate records for her gave her late of 41 Grove Camberwell,Surrey when she died January 11,1879 with an estate valued at under 5,000 pounds. She was buried January 17,1879 in the Norwood Cemetery, Norwood Road, Lambeth. (6) George Mottram Stockdale, born August 13,1792. He was baptised September 8,1792 at St James Westminster. He died in India while on missionary work in 1823. ‘The Evangelical Magazine and Missionary Church’ of 1824 reported that he had died October 9,1823 in his 32nd year and that he was the youngest son of the late John and Mary Stockdale of Piccadilly and that “he was born on his mother’s birthday and died in the same month as she did, one year before her”. The notice of his death had not reached this publication for several months as he had “gone on an investment from Calcutta to the Burmah Country where scarcely a European resided and in a remote area he died from a fever the day after he arrived at Amerapourch,the capital of the Burmah Empire.


William (image opposite) was born May 19,1783 in London. He was baptised May 30,1783 at Westminster, London and given as the son of John Stockdale (1750-1814) and Mary Ridgeway (1749-1824). He lived in London with his parents and siblings and for a time worked as a bookseller in Piccadilly but was unsuccessful in this business.

On January 5,1808 he married Caroline Ridgeway (1790-1857) at Saint Leonards, Shoreditch, London. Caroline Ridgeway was the daughter of James Ridgeway (1755-1838) and Caroline Carrington (1766-1832) and was one of five known children of this couple. She had been born January 20,1790 at St James, Middlesex and died March 22,1857 in Middlesex.

William and Caroline had a large family consisting of seven daughters and three sons born between 1809 and 1832 namely (1) Caroline (1809-1820) born February 14,1809 at Westminster. She was baptised May 11,1809 at St James Piccadilly She does not appear to have been married and was buried July 8,1820 at Mottram-in-Longdendale, Cheshire (2) Maria (1812-1858) who was born 1812 at St George Hanover Square, Middlesex. She married William Simson (1817-1900) March 28,1842 at St James Westiminster and with him had three children between 1843 and 1853. She and her husband and children lived in Birkdale,Lancashire in 1843 and in Saddleworth, Yorkshire 1850-1851. She died 1858 at Saddleworth. (3) William Stockdale who was born 1813 in London. He may have died in infancy as no other information was found for him (4) Emily Stockdale (1816-1898) who was born June 13,1816 at Westmimnster. She was baptised June 13,1816 at Piccadilly St James. On August 26,1845 she married Rev. Charles Courtenay (1792-1848) at Capel St John Surrey and had a child who was born 1846 at Ockley,Surrey. Her husband died November 24,1848 in Van Ockley,Surrey. Emily was living in Finchley,Middlesex in 1871 and in Ealing Middlesex in 1891. She died in 1898 and was buried July 23,1898 at Capel St John, Surrey. (5) James Stockdale who was born April 3,1818 at Westminster and was baptised April 23,1818 at St James, Westminster. No other definitive information was found about him (6) July Stockdale who was born May 13,1819 at Westminster. She was baptised June 16,1819 at St James Westminster. No other definitive information was found for her (7) Caroline Stockdale was born 1821 in London and baptised November 26,1821 at St James Piccadilly. No other definite information was found for her (8) Eliza Stockdale (1825-1878) who was born April 20,1825 in Speldhurst,Kent. At the time of the 1851 census she was living with her parents and siblings in Hammersmith. On May 8,1860 she married George Kent Manley (born 1823) at St Pancras Church St Pancras. In 1871 she was living in Finchley, Middlesex. She died in the 4th qtr of 1878 at Hendon, Middlesex. It was not established if she and her husband had any children. (9) Clara Stockdale (1827-1912) who was born in Speldhurst, Kent 1827. She was baptised in Speldhurst April 6,1827. She married Felix James Corniel (born 1824) on August 22,1849 in Boulogne, France. She was living in Chiswick,Middlesex as a boarder in 1891. She died at St Marylebone,London February 11,1912.

The last child born to William James Stockdale was Charles Carrington Stockdale (image opposite) who was born in Speldhurst, Kent July 25,1832. He was baptised in Speldhurst July 15,1832. He was living with his parents and siblings at the time of the 1851 census at King Street, St Pauls Hammersmith. On September 30,1857 he married Eliza Fielder (1831-1881) (image opposite) at Dobroos, Saddleworth, Yorkshire and with her had twelve children born between 1858 and 1874. He was living at Barnet, Middlesex from 1863 to 1870. At the time of the 1871 census he was a customs clerk and living with his wife and children at Trinity Road in Finchley, London. In 1874 he and his family were living at Barnet. At the time of the 1881 census he and his family were living at 3 Avenell Road in Highbury where he was working as a clerk in a cooperative house. His wife Eliza died April 7,1881 in Islington. In 1891 Charles was living at No. 4 Elphinstone Street, Islington and lived in Islington East from 1893 to 1896. He died November 13,1898 at Harpenden, Hertsfordshire. His wife Eliza was one of ten children born to George Fields (1804-1878) and Eliza Fields, nee Farrar (born 1807). Before her marriage to Charles she living with her parents and siblings in Dobroos, Saddlworth, Yorkshire.

From the above list of children it can be seen that William James Stockdale was living in Speldhurst from at least 1825 to 1832 and accounts about him operating a coaching business in Tunbridge Wells extend his living in the town and operating his business from at least 1824 until the end of the 1830’s, details of which are given in the next and last section of this article.


From the above it was noted that William James Stockdale (1783-1847) was the coachman referred simply as “Stockdale” in various coaching accounts and that based on the dates and locations of births of his three youngest children he was living and working in Tunbridge Wells in the 1820’s and 1830’s.

The Pigots directory of 1824 gave the following information under the heading of coaches  (1) London, from the Sussex Hotel and Stockdale’s office, at seven in the morning (Sunday excepted). (2) London –from the Kentish Hotel and Beale’s office, at nine in the morning, (Sunday excepted). (3) London-Sussex Hotel and Stockdale’s office at three in the afternoon, (Sunday excepted) (4) London-from Eastland’s office, at twelve noon (Sunday excepted) (5) Brighton-from Beale’s office Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, noon (6) Maidstone-from Beale’s office, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, at two in the afternoon.

The 1840 Pigots directory lists the coaches by name operating to and from Tunbridge Wells but did not list the names of those operating them. It is known that William James Stockdale died in Boulogne France February 8,1847 and that his daughter Clara was married 1849 in Boulogne, France. When he left Tunbridge Wells and moved to France was not established but the information below from various accounts casts some light on the years in which he operated his coaching business. Shown opposite is a photo of the Sussex Hotel in the Pantiles dated 1840 with a coach waiting in front.

The book ‘ The Hastings Road and the Happy Springs of Tunbridge’ dated 1906 by Charles G. Harper stated in part “ Of the coachmen on the road to Tunbridge Wells and Hastings, we know as little as –may even be less than-of the coaches, and most the only touch of character is that drawn by the writer in the ‘Sporting Magazine’ of 1830, which refers to one Stockdale, who drives some coach unnamed. He was, are told, a good whip. He was also, like poor old Cross, on the King’s Lynn roadf, and something of a literary character, and beguiled the time on the road with cockney slang And quotations from Pope! He drove to London and back six days a week. On Sunday he (Stockdale) said that he spent the day at home studying the Greek Testament and translating Greek into English”.

The book ‘ Brighton and its Coaches’ (1894) referred on pgs 274 and 275 to comments made by Stockdale the coachman, on the badness of Tunbridge Wells roads. In this regard the book gave an account of a coach accident in which Stockdale was called to testify at the inquest of a Mr Fleet, a coachman who was going down a steep hill and could not stop the coach. The coach had two ladies inside and Mr Fleets niece and a sailor outside when the coach overturned and Mr Fleet was killed February 19,1832. Mr Stockdale stated that the road was dangerous and state of the turnpike where the accident happened was terrible. Despite this the fault of the accident was blamed on the driving of the coach by Mr Field and not the condition of the road.

‘Ainsworth’s Magazine’ of 1843 also made reference to Stockdale. In part is referred to Ensign Captain Arthur O’Brian O’Blatherington who had scoured Margate, Ramsgate, Broadstairs and other places before “a  thought and hack-horse took him to Tunbridge” where he had some interesting encounters with a “powdered footman” and “pretty maid in black”. He had arrived at the Pantiles and fell into conversation with one of ‘the dippers” dispensing the wonderful Tunbridge Wells waters. Afterward he “cheerfully repaired to the gloomy coffee-room of the Royal Victoria and Sussex Hotel where he had the usual variety of beef-stead, mutton chop, “just as Mr Stockdale’s swell coach was starting for the metropolis. Dispensing his three and sixpence to the care of the inn-ostler, until his return on the morrow, he mounted beside that classical coachman, who’s dog-Latin he did every time put him out of thinking of his spec. The Tunbridge Road is favourable to sentimental, or at all events Plutonic reflections” and continues with other comments on the road and his visit to the town.

The book ‘ An Old Coachman’s Chatter (1890) by Edward Cobett “ the late Colonel of the Shropshire Militia” had the following to report on Stockdale. “ Indeed it is difficult to determine from what ranks and professions the large body of coachmen required in those days was not recruited. I suppose few would have looked among the list of publishers for one, but, nevertheless, one, at any rate, from that business was drawn into the service of the road, not having been successful in the former trade. A letter from an old friend of mine, also a coachman, will, I think, interest or amuse some readers, and will show that he possessed a considerable amount of grim humour as well as some acuteness of business. Many years ago,says my friend, I took up my residence for a short time at the Kentish Hotel in Tunbridge Wells-the best hotel there, and at that time there were very few houses built upon the Common. After stopping there some time, the season ended, and the exodus of visitors had commenced. I took the box seat on Stockdale’s coach. I must tell you he had been a large publisher in Piccadilly, but failed, and then took to the road, this being the first coach he had driven, and being part proprietor. He was an exceedingly good amateur whip, but still, not a first-rate artist, as he would try to make you believe. A short time before we started, a lady with her maid, who had been stopping in the hotel, sent her luggage to be placed on the coach, and upon Stockdale seeing it, he said to the porter, ‘ How many passengers Tom?”. ‘Two, sire, says Tom. ‘Scale it, Tom, syas he, which he immediately did. When twelve shilling was demanded for extra luggage, the lady said. ‘ I never paid it before, and have taken two inside places’. ‘ You see, ma’ame, says he, ‘I horse this coach over Maramscote hill, and I cannot carry your luggage for nothing; you will bring the kitchen range next time if you have nothing to pay.’. Having seated myself very comfortably on the box seat, our friend Stockdale and myself lit out cigars, going at a fair pace till we were descending Maramscote hill, the skid-pan being on the wheel, The wheel horses did not step well together, and we rocked very considerably, which led me to observe he had better be careful, or he would put the passengers down to count them. Upon this he turned to me, looking daggers, and asked me to look what was painted on the board at the side of the hill, and looking, I read ‘Dry rubbish may  be thrown here’. You may be sure I did not offer any more advice for the remainder of the stage; but our contretemps soon cooled down, and when we were changing horses, ‘ I say, governor!’ says he, ‘forget the dry rubbish, and come in and take a little cold brandy and water. It’s the only place I ever go into on the road, for it’s the only place where you can escape being poisoned’. After our refreshment we went at a very jolly pace, having Robert Nelson’s horses, which were first-rate, and soon arrived at the Belle Sauvage, Ludgate Hill, where we found a great bustle of coaches, and luggage just come by other coaches, arriving from different parts of the country, and porters were calling out, ‘ Any passengers for Leeds “Courier”, “Hope”, “Halifax’” etc. etc. It was not only necessary that a coachman should be able to drive well, which required time and practice to acquire, but, what was of nearly equal importance, he had to learn how to get his coach quick through the country”. The book continues with an account of the remainder of the trip on Stockdale’s coach but offers nothing more about the man himself.

With this I end my coverage of Stockdale the Coachman, a learned man from a book publishing background from a family of noteworthy publishers and book sellers in London, who after the failure of his book business settled in Tunbridge Wells; opened his coach office there and took to the road as a coachman operating to and from the town to London, Brighton and Hastings.



Written By: Edward James Gilbert-Thunder Bay, Ontario,Canada

Date: December 4,2017

William Eastland operated a coaching business in Tunbridge Wells from the early 1800’s until his death in 1840. His office was located in The Parade (Pantiles). An early view of The Parade is shown opposite. His headstone at Trinity Church in Tunbridge Wells gave his date of death but no information about his age at the time of death or his date of birth. It is believed that he was in his 60’s when he died making born about 1778. No information about his family was found but it appears from his will, which makes no mention of any members of his family, that he was not married (or his wife was deceased) and that he had no children.

The earliest record for him was from a 1816 guide of Tunbridge Wells in which was given “ Eastland’s Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells Light Coach carrying four (passengers) inside only, leaves the Sussex Hotel, Tunbridge Wells every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning at 7 o’clock, and Tunbridge Town at 8; arrives in London at 12 and returns each following day, from the Black Lion, Water Lane, Fleet Street at half past one; calls at the Nags’ Head Inn, Borough at quarter before two, and the Bricklayer’s Arms at five minutes after two”. An image of the Sussex Hotel in the Parade from 1840 is shown opposite.

A Guide from 1822 gave the following “ London-W. Eastland’s Light Post sets out from his office in the Parade,Tunbridge Wells every afternoon at 3 o’clock to the Bolt-in-Tun, Fleet Street, and Green Man and Still, Oxford Street,London (photo opposite); from whence it returns every Monday at seven. In the summer months it runs alternately on Sunday”.

The 1824 Pigots directory for Tunbridge Wells listed six coaches, two by William James Stockdale (1783-1847) from Stockdales office and the Sussex Hotel to and from London; one each from Beale’s office to London, Brighton and Maidstone and “London, from Eastland’s office,at twelve at noon (Sunday excepted)”.

A 1826 Guide gave the following “ Coaches-W. Eastland’s Light Post coach sets out from his office on the Parade every morning, during the Summer and Autumn months at 7 o’clock and in the winter (indecipherable)”.

A Guide of 1829 gave “ Coaches-W. Eastland’s Light Post coach sets out from his office on the Parade every morning at 7 o’clock to the Bolt-in-Tun, Fleet Street, London; from thence it returns every afternoon at half past 1 o’clock”. An image of the Bolt-In-Tun is shown above left.

The next record for William appeared in the Parliamentary Papers of 1831, the details of which are given here. “ No. 554-County of Kent, Division of Lower South Aylesford……….Assessed Taxes Cases………At a meeting of the Commissioners of Assessed Taxes acting for the said Division, held at the Camden Arms Inn, Pembury (photo oppoiste) on the 2nd day of February 1831;- William Eastland, of Tunbridge Wells, appealed against an increased charge made by the Surveyor of from one to two stage-coaches. Appellant states that he runs a daily coach from Tunbridge Wells to London (a distance of 36 miles) and back; that he contracts with a coach-maker at Greenwich for the supply of a stage-coach at a certain sum per mile, and the coach maker under such contract is bound to keep the coach in repair. The coach has the appellant’s name, William Eastland, Tunbridge Wells, painted on the panels of the doors, as required by law. When the coach is out of repair the appellant sends it to a coach-maker, and is furnished by him with another coach (under the same contract), whilst the former is undergoing the necessary repairs. This coach has also the appellant’s name, William Eastland, Tunbridge Wells, painted in the pannels of the doors, and is kept in readiness by the coach-maker to be used by the appellant whenever the first-mentioned coach is out of repair, but at no other time. Appellant further states, that he pays nothing extra for the use of the second coach, as the coach-maker contracts to supply him with a coach in complete repair, as above mentioned. Appellant declares he has no coach of his own. Appellant is licensed at the Stamp-office for but one coach, the number of which he makes use of for both. Appellant admits that one coach only would not be sufficient to carry on his business throughout the year. The Commissioners on this statement relieved the appellant from the charge. But the Surveyor being dissatisfied with such determination, after producing the case No. 438, decided by the Judges 27th May 1830, which he conceives to be closely analogous hereto, has requested this case for the opinion of the Judges, which is hereby stated and signed accordingly-Dated this 17th day of February 1831. Stephen Woodgate and Wm. Alex Morland-Commissioners.  On May 17,1831 five men (Judges ?) stated “ We are of the opinion, That the determination of the Commissioners is Wrong”.

It is not known how long after 1831 William Eastland continued to operate his coaching business. The 1840 Pipots directory gives the following information about the coaches operating by name but did not provide the names of their operators. “ To London, the MORNING STAR, from the Kentish Hotel, every morning (Sunday excepted), at eight-The AGE, from the AGE office, at half past eight-the INDEPENDENT from the Kentish Hotel, at nine - the TELEGRAPH from the Sussex Hotel,at ten-the UNION, from the Kentish Hotel, forenoon at eleven and the PARAGON afternoon at two-and the SUSSEX, from the Sussex Hotel, afternoon, (Sunday excepted), at half past three, and on Sunday at four; all go through Tonridge, Seven Oaks and Bromley. To Brighton, the ROYAL BLUE,from the Sussex Hotel, every Tuesday,Thursday, Saturday noon at half past twelve; goes through Maresfield, and Lewes-and the DEFIANCE, from the Kentish Hotel, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoon at half past one. To Hastings, the PARAGON, from the Kentish Hotel,every afternoon (Sunday excepted), at two. To Maidstone, the ROYAL BLUE, from the Kentish Hotel, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoon at half past one; goes through Tonbridge, Hadlow etc.” Shown below left is a view of the 'THE AGE' from a painting by E.F. Lambert and to the right is an image of the DEFIANCE from a painting by George Henry Boughton. Both images are of the coaches in London.

William Eastland died in Tunbridge Wells June 18,1840 and was buried in the Trinity Church cemetery. A photo of his headstone is shown below as well as an image of Trinity Church.

The Will of William Eastland provides some interesting information and perhaps most interesting is that no members of the Eastland family are mentioned suggesting that he was not married, or that he was predeceased by his wife and no children are mentioned. His will however provides an interesting connection between him and Mary Ann Gibbs and her mother. The Will , which can be read in its entirety on the internet states in brief that William Edwards was of Tunbridge Wells and left “the whole of household furniture, plates, linen, china in my dwelling house is the entire property of Mary Ann Gibbs who now resides with me and which formerly belonged to her mother Mary Gibbs, widow.” From his estate any debts to creditors were to be paid. He continues “ I am greatly indebted to the said Mary Ann Gibbs for money lent and advanced at various times to a reasonable amount and to have given to her my “bous” (not clear) for 500 pounds in part payment or security thereof with interest and in consideration of those advances and for my great regard towards the said Mary Ann Gibbs I give and bequeath to her all and singular the rest and remainder of my estate and effects. I appoint the said Mary Ann Gibbs and John Terry of Tunbridge Wells aforesaid coach maker and wheelwright my executors dated October 8,1839”.  John Terry, referred to in the will was listed in the 1840 Pigots directory as a coachbuilder and wheelwright with premises on London Road.

An attempt was made to locate Mary Ann Gibbs in the 1840 census and beyond but nothing definite about her was found. From the will it is clear that she was living with William Eastland at the time of his death and it was interesting to note from his will that most if not all of the contents of his dwelling once belonged to her widowed mother. Since the Gibbs had provided money to William Eastland it appears that they were in a better financial position than he was.  The 1840 Pigots directory gave a listing for an Abraham Gibbs as a boot and shoe maker in Mount Ephraim . There was also listed a Martha Gibbs who was a straw hat maker at Mount Ephraim. It was not established if any of these Gibbs were related to Mary Ann Gibbs.



Written By:Edward James Gilbert-Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

Date; November 27,2017


Tunbridge Wells was first settled in the 17th century and since that time it has grown substantially. Throughout the period leading up to WW 1 the town relied mainly on horses and horse drawn conveyances to get around. For residents who lived in the town and worked in London the trip by coach was a long and tiring one. With the arrival of the railway from London to the town of Tonbridge in 1842 travel times were reduced and the pleasure of travelling became more enjoyable. In connection with the train an omnibus ran between Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells. The line was extended to Tunbridge Wells in 1845 and the use of coaches went into decline, but were still in use at the end of the 19th century. By the early 20th century travelling by coach was over having been replaced by the train and the arrival of motorized transport.

Many men who owned Stage Coach companies ,and those who were at the reins ,became well-known, not the least of which were several members of the Fownes family, who are featured in this article, and who ran coaches to Tunbridge Wells on the London to Brighton route.

The Brighton & Hove website gave an article about the naming of their buses and that one named ”Edwin Fownes” (photo above) was named after Edwin Kopetsky Fownes “born in 1851, who was perhaps the most famous four-on-hand coachmen serving Brighton. He was based in Brighton and retired in 1916 but did not die until 1943 by which time all the horses used for transport had gone”. It was only his father Edwin Fownes senior (1820-1898), known also as Edwin “Daddy” Fownes and “Father Fownes” who surpassed his son in notoriety.

This article provides some background information about the coach service with a more in-depth coverage of the topic as it applies to Tunbridge Wells.


Two types of coach service existed, namely the Mail Coach which handled the delivery of mail but also carried a few passengers, and the Stage Coach operated by private companies to convey passengers and their baggage on fixed routes on a fixed schedule. Various companies provided service to and from Tunbridge wells. Because travel times and distances could be long, coaching inns were established along the routes, spaced at varying intervals depending in some measure on the terrain travelled. Large numbers of horses were required and had to be changed at stages so that fresh horses could continue the trip. At the coaching inns passengers could rest, obtain food and refreshment and even accommodation.


In Great Britain, the mail coach or post coach was a horse-drawn carriage that carried mail deliveries, from 1784. The coach was drawn by four horses and had seating for four passengers inside. Further passengers were later allowed to sit outside with the driver. The mail was held in a box to the rear, where a Royal Mail post office guard stood. The mail coach was faster than the stage coach as it only stopped for delivery of mail and generally not for the comfort of the passengers. Travel could be uncomfortable as the coaches travelled on poor roads and passengers were obliged to dismount from the carriage when going up steep hills to spare the horses.

The coaches averaged 7 to 8 mph (11–13 km/h) in summer and about 5 mph (8 km/h) in winter but by the time of Queen Victoria the roads had improved enough to allow speeds of up to 10 mph (16 km/h). Fresh horses were supplied every 10 to 15 miles (16–24 km). Stops to collect mail were short and sometimes there would be no stops at all with the guard throwing the mail off the coach and snatching the new deliveries from the postmaster.

The cost of travelling by mail coach was about 1d. a mile more expensive than by private stage coach, but the coach was faster and, in general, less crowded and cleaner. Crowding was a common problem with private stage coaches, which led to them overturning; the limits on numbers of passengers and luggage prevented this occurring on the mail coaches. Travel on the mail coach was nearly always at night; as the roads were less busy the coach could make better speed.

The guard was heavily armed with a blunderbuss and two pistols and dressed in the Post Office livery of scarlet and gold. The mail coaches were thus well defended against highwaymen, and accounts of robberies often confuse them with private stage coaches, though robberies did occur. To prevent corruption and ensure good performance, the guards were paid handsomely and supplied with a generous pension. The mail was their sole charge, meaning that they had to deliver it on foot if a problem arose with the coach and, unlike the driver, they remained with the coach for the whole journey; occasionally guards froze to death from hypothermia in their exposed position outside the coach during the harsh winters. The guard was supplied with a timepiece and a posthorn, the former to ensure the schedule was met, the latter to alert the post house to the imminent arrival of the coach and warn tollgate keepers to open the gate (mail coaches were exempt from stopping and paying tolls: a fine was payable if the coach was forced to stop). Since the coaches had right of way on the roads the horn was also used to advise other road users of their approach.

Mail coaches were slowly phased out during the 1840s and 1850s, their role being replaced by trains as the railway network expanded. Shown above is a print from a painting by James Pollard showing a mail coach decorated in black and red near Newmarket,Suffolk in 1827. Note the scarlet uniforms worn by those operating the coach, a typical uniform of the postal service.


The Private Coach or Stage Coach is a type of four-wheeled closed coach used to carry passengers and goods inside, and various private companies operated them throughout England. The coach was strongly sprung and generally drawn by four horses, usually four-in-hand. Widely used before the introduction of railway transport, it made regular trips between stages or stations, which were places where the coach's horses would be replaced by fresh horses. The business of running stagecoaches or the act of journeying in them was known as staging.

The primary requirement was that it was used as a public conveyance, running on an established route and schedule. The coaches used varied in design. On the outside were two back seats facing one another, which the British called 'baskets'. In addition to the 'stage driver' who guided the vehicle, a 'shotgun messenger', armed with a coach gun, often rode as a guard beside him.

The stagecoach traveled at an average speed of about five miles per hour, with the total daily mileage covered being around 60 or 70 miles.

The term 'stage' originally referred to the distance between stations on a route, the coach traveling the entire route in 'stages', but through metonymy it came to apply to the coach. A fresh set of horses would be staged at the next station, so the coach could continue after a quick stop to re-hitch the new team of horses. Under this staging system, the resting, watering and feeding of the spent horses would not delay the coach.

With most roads being in rough condition passengers found trips to be uncomfortable, bumpy and in dry weather dusty. Stage Coaches were run by a number of companies in England, some better than others. Riders often complained that the coaches were dirty and often overcrowded, causing them in some cases to overturn. Accidents sometimes occurred causing injury or death to horses, and or coachmen and passengers.

The speed of travel remained constant until the mid-18th century. Reforms of the turnpike trusts, new methods of road building and the improved construction of coaches led to a sustained rise in the comfort and speed of the average journey.

The arrival of the railroad caused a downturn in the coaching trade but it continued throughout the 19th century but faded away altogether with the arrival of motorized transport in the early 20th century.


Tunbridge Wells relied on horses and horse drawn conveyances since first settled in the 17th century right up to the period before WW 1. Motorized transport in the town, as a replacement for coaches, and also in the form of private motor cars, did not arrive in the town until circa 1895, and not in number until much later at the beginning of the 20th century.

Train service had been put in place between London and the town of Tonbridge in 1842 and with that service an omnibus was put on to convey passengers to and from Tunbridge Wells. It was not until 1845 that the rail line was extended to Tunbridge Wells (Goods Station) and soon after the line was extended by way of a tunnel to the Central Station on Mount Pleasant Road and then beyond to the south coast.

The arrival of the train afforded residents of the town a quicker and much more pleasant trip to and from London that what had previously been provided by coaches. Even though the train had a major impact on the coach service it did not fade away altogether. The 1860s saw the start of a coaching revival, spurred on by the popularity of Four-in-hand driving as a sporting pursuit .There was a resurgence in the coach trade in the 1880’s also but its fate was sealed by the arrival of faster and cleaner  motorized transport.

The best sources of information on coach service to and from Tunbridge Wells is found in local directories and  Guides, a sample of which is given below.

A local guide from 1808 gave a listing of stage coaches, waggons and postal service coaches. The only stage coach listed was “ Beale’s & Lipscombe’s stage coach to London. Sets out from Tunbridge Wells every Monday at 8 o’clock (Sundays excepted) through Tonbridge, Sevenoaks, Farnborough, Bromley and Lewisham. Arrives at the Golden Cross Inn, Charing Cross, London at 3 in the afternoon and sets out from there at 8 every morning”.

Clifford’s directory of Tunbridge Wells for 1822 listed six coaches and four waggons. The coaches listed left Battman’s Coach Office opposite the Chapel of Ease (King Charles the Martyr Church) and included (1) A light post coach to London ever morning at 7 o’clock (Sunday excepted) to the Golden Cross, Charing Cross; from whence it returns every afternoon at four (2) A day coach leaves for London three times a week at 9 o’clock in the morning for the Golden Cross, Charing Cross; from whence it returns the following morning at nine. (3) The Royal Blue Post Coach sets out for Brighton every Tuesday,Thursday and Saturday at 1 o’clock for the Blue Coach Office; and returns the following morning at eight. (4) A light post coach leaves every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at half past 2 o’clock for Maidstone; from whence it returns the following morning. (5)W. Beale’s light coach leaves his office at the foot of Mount Sion three times a week, at 9 o’clock in the morning for Golden Cross, Charing Cross and returns from thence the following morning at 9 o’clock.

The 1824 Pigots directory recorded the following. “London, from the Sussex Hotel and Stockdale’s office, at seven in the morning (Sunday excepted). London, from the Kentish Hotel and Beale’s office, at nine in the morning, (Sunday excepted). London, Sussex Hotel and Stockdale’s office, at three in the afternoon, (Sunday excepted). London, from Eastland’s office, at twelve  noon (Sunday excepted). Brighton, from Beale’s office, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday noon. Maidstone, from Beale’s office, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, at two in the afternoon”. This directory also gave a listing of “Carriers” operating to London, which transported freight.

William Beale, his wife Mary and their children William, John, Emily and Harriett lived in Mount Sion in Jerrington House and at Mrs Wilmot’s cottage on Frog Lane. William passed away intestate in 1808 in Tunbridge Wells and his wife Mary died in Tunbridge Wells in 1829. His daughter Emily,(born 1796) went on to wed Robert Stannard Foreman, a solicitor, (1792-1866) in 1825 in Tunbridge Wells and had children. Emily died in Tunbridge Wells in the 3rd qtr of 1842. Emily and her husband and eight year old daughter Emily were living at Jerrington House in Mount Sion at the time of the 1841 census. Emily’s  sister Harriett appears to have never married and looked after her mother up to the time of her mother’s death. When William senior died his sons William and John inherited the bulk of their father’s estate. William senior was given in records as a coach master and coach proprietor and for a time worked in partnership with Edward Lipscombe who was born 1790 and baptised August 4,1790 at Saint Martin in the Fields, Westminster, the son of John and Mary Lipscombe. The London Gazette of April 1821 announced that the partnership between Edward Lioscombe, John Battman and John Goodsham, coachmasters and farmers of Tunbridge Wells was dissolved by mutual consent April 24,1821. At the time of the 1841 census, Edward Lipscombe was living in Mount Sion at Frog Cottage with the occupation of “coachman”. With him was his wife Jane, born 1791 in Kent and baptised as Jane Groombridge April 13,1791. She was the daughter of Edward and Elizabeth Groombridge. Jane Groombridge married Edward Lipscombe at Westminster St Martin in the Fields January 18,1818 and had two children namely Jane in 1826 and George in 1827.  Jane, Edward’s wife, died in Tunbridge Wells in the 3rd qtr of 1842 at Frog Cottage. Edward continued to live there after his wifes death with his son George who worked as a grocer and tea merchant. Frog Cottage became known as Groombridge for a time and later became Groombridge House at 5 Murray Road. Edward Lipscombe died in Tunbridge Wells soon after his wife (according to Roger Farthing in his book about the history of Mount Sion, but there is also a death record for a Edward Lipscombe in Tunbridge Wells in the 1st qtr of 1848 which contradicts that source.  Today in Tunbridge Wells is a Lipscombe Road, believe by the researcher to be named after Edward Lipscombe or perhaps his son George who died in Tunbridge Wells in 1893. George’s  grave is in the Tunbridge Wells Borough Cemetery and below his name is that of his wife Mary Ann Lipscombe (1838-1916).

The 1840’s Pigots directory gave “ To London, the MORNING STAR, from the Kentish Hotel, every morning, (Sunday excepted), at eight-the AGE, from the AGE office, at half past eight-the INDEPENDENT from the Kentish Hotel, at nine-the TELEGRAPH from the Sussex Hotel, at ten-the UNION, from the Kentish Hotel, forenoon at eleven and the PARAGON afternoon at two-and the SUSSEX, from the Sussex Hotel, afternoon, (Sunday excepted), and half past three, and on Sunday at four, all go through Tonbridge, Seven Oaks and Bromley. To Brighton, the ROYAL BLUE, from the Sussex Hotel, every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday noon at half past twelve; goes through Maresfield, and Lewes-and the DEFIANCE, from the Kentish Hotel, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoon at half past one. To Hastings, the PARAGON, from the Kentish Hotel, every afternoon, (Sunday excepted), at two. To Maidstone, the ROYAL BLUE, from the Age office, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoon at half past one; goes through Tonbridge, Hadlow etc.” The 1840 directory also provided information about “Vans for passengers and goods”to Dover and Maidstone, and “Carriers” of freight to London. Brighton and Maidstone.

As you will read in the next section on the Fownes family Edwin Fownes senior, also called Edwin “Daddy” Fownes (1820-1898) was at the reigns of several of the coaches referred to above and three of his sons and even his father were also involved in the coach trade. Edwin Fownes senior was often seen in Tunbridge Wells, particularly in connection with the DEFIANCE on trips between London and Brighton.

By 1861 the town’s population had grown to 13,807 and by 1871 it was over 19,000. The 1874 Kelly listed no coaches but omnibus ran in the town to the train station from the hotels; one to Maidstone from Mount Sion daily and three times a day one ran to Southborough.

The 1891 Kelly directory listed no coaches but that an omnibus ran to Southborough Spittles five times daily and in addition there were two carriers in operation that connected to the railway.

Moving ahead in time to 1903 one can see the state of the coaching service to and from Tunbridge Wells. No coaches are listed but Omnibus and Carriers are. The Omnibus service listed was “Hoadley's meet all trains. Omnibuses to Southborough from railway stations every 20 minutes. Omnibuses to Pembury eight times daily. Omnibuses to Langton seven times daily. Omnibuses to Speldhurst three times daily”. Further information about the history of Omnibus service, with a concentration on Tunbridge Wells was given in my articles ‘ The First 100 Years of Omnibus Service’ dated March 10,2013 and ‘The Horse Drawn Omnibus in Tunbridge Wells’ dated September 18,2014.


Edwin Fownes (1820-1898) also known as Edwin “Daddy” Fownes (image opposite) and “Father Fownes” was perhaps one of the best known coach drivers. He was one of some eleven children born to Samuel Fownes (1793-1871) and Dorothea Fownes(1796-1874), nee Bishop. I begin my account below with Samuel Fownes who was also in the coaching trade. Three sons of Edwin Fownes senior were also in the coaching trade, the most noteworthy of them being Edwin Kopetsky Fownes in connection with coach service to and from Brighton.

[1] SAMUEL FOWNES (1793-1871)

Samuel was born 1793, the son of Gilbert and Hannah Fownes, and was baptised at Birmingham Cathedral. He was one of nine known children.

He eventually came to London around 1815 and married Dorothea Bishop(1796-1874) of Camberwell, which was the centre of the coaching and carrying trade. He soon moved to Clapham. Samuel and Dorothea had some eleven children including most notably a son Edwin (1820-1898).

Samuel’s name appears in the Surrey directory of 1832 under the heading “ Coachmaster, Bellevue, Clapham” In 1827 his coach office was in Old Town, Clapham, halfway between the Cock Tavern and the road to Grafton Square. He ran a daily omnibus service from Clapham to London- 3 a day to the City and two to Westminster. In 1841 an additional coach was running on each route. Between 1844-1870 his coach office was next door to the Plough.

Samuel died in 1871 and was buried in the Norwood Cemetery. His wife Dorothea was buried in the same cemetery in 1874.

In the will of Samuel Fownes, that was proved in 1872, he made provision of rents to be paid to his wife Dorothea and also a legacy to his daughter in law Charlotte, the wife of his son William Bishop Fownes.

[2] EDWIN FOWNES (1820-1898)

Edwin was born 1820 at Clapham and baptised August 27,1820 at Lambeth,Surrey. In this section are some images of him.

Edwin married Ann Mary Kopetsky (1831-Aug 2,1894  Surrey) about 1850. His children were (1) Arthur Sidney Fownes, baptised Bromley Holy Trinity August 5,1855.He was born 1853 at Clapham, Surrey.He married Helen Hughes November 1888 at St Marylebone and had two children. He died in 1907. (2) Edwin Kopetsky Fownes, baptised Bromley Holy Trinity August 5,1855 . His birth was registered in the 3rd qtr of 1851 at Greenwich, London. He died in the 4th qtr of 1943 at Andover, Hampshire. He had married Jane Harvey at Lambeth, London in the 3rd qtr of 1870 and with her had at least four children born between 1872 and 1881.(3) Kate Theresa Fownes, baptised Bromley Holy Trinity August 5,1855. On June 3,1876 she married tobacconist Edward Walter Jenkins (born 1850) at Lambeth St Philip. Her father was given in the marriage records as an omnibus proprietor and her father in law was given as Edward Thomas Nash Jenkins, a tobacconist. She was born 1856 and died in 1932. (4) Ernest Kopetsky Fownes, baptised Bromley Holy Trinity June 21,1857. He married Agnes Richardine W. Preston in the 4th qtr  if 1870 at Marylebone. (5) Beatrice Fownes, baptised Bromley Holy Trinity June 26,1859.She married a Mr Graham. Mr Graham was referred to in the San Francisco newspaper ‘The Call’ dated December 3,1895 which stated in part “ Horse show…At 9 o’clock Richard Graham, as ringmaster, in top boots and breeches, with a half a dozen assistants, will take charge of the arena and the show will begin. Mr Graham is an Englishman, superintendant of the Burlington Stable, and son in law of Edwin Fownes of London, one of the greatest masters of four-in-hand driving living”. (6) Christina Kopetsky Fownes baptised Bromley Holy Trinity January 1,1865.She was born 1863 and died in 1911. (7) Laura Kopetsky Fownes, baptised January 1,1865 Bromley Holy Trinity.She died in 1894. (8) Amy Kopetsky Fownes, baptised Bromley Holy Trinity January 21,1857.  On February 28,1879 she married Thomas George Beard. A photo of Amy is shown opposite. She died in 1917. (9) Nan Fownes-date of birth and death not known but appears to have died just after birth (10) Charles Kopetsky Fownes, date of birth and death not established but was a benefactor of his fathers will in 1898. For a time he lived and worked in the USA (Columbus) and ran a business providing coach driving lessons and offered coach tours.

Shown opposite are photos of three members of the Fownes family published in ‘Coachmen of Various English Counties’ (The Road coachmans guide dated 1894). Shown is E. (Daddy) Fownes snr of the DEFIANCE; his son Arthur Fownes (the VENTURE)  and his other son Ernest Kopetsky Fownes (the ROCKET).

Two other confusing records was the baptism of Ernest Kopetsky Fownes December 10,1876, the son of Ann Mary Fownes and Edwin Fownes at Lambeth, Clapham Holy Trinity, and the death of Ernest Kopetsky Fownes registered in the 2nd qtr of 1862 at Bromley.

The 1861 census, taken at Keston Villas in Keston, Kent gave Edwin as an omnibus proprietor. With him was his wife Anna Mary, given as born 1831 in Walmer, Kent. Also there were his children Edwin, Arthur,Kate, Amy,Ernest,Beatrice and Annie, born between 1851 and 1861. Based on the birth records of the children in this census the family was in Deptford, Kent in 1852; in Clapham, Surrey in 1853; in Bromley from 1855 to 1859 and in Keston in 1861. Also in the home was one domestic servant. No other census records were found for Edwin Fownes, suggesting he was away working at the time the census was taken.

Shown below are two photos showing E. Fownes as the driver with P. Sory (died 1913) beside him. The text related to the images state it shows them at the start of a coachman’s race.

A number of advertisments can be found in various newspapers regarding the sale of horses by Edwin Fownes, such as the Livestock Journal of 1889. Certainly the working life of a coach horse was relatively short for even though they were changed often at the stages of the trips, they were worked hard and worked often, and thus needed to be replaced with new horses.

The Illustrated American of September 1891 published an article entitled ‘Coaching and Coachmen’, which article ran on for some 15 pages. This article is too long to include in its entirety in this article but can be seen online. In part it stated “ The only professional coachmen now living who occupied a position of prominence during the coaching days are Edwin Fownes ,Sr., and Charles Ward. The former is now over seventy and the latter is in his eighty-first year. These men drove regularly on fast coaches for many years…Edwin Fownes drove many coaches in his time, and since the revival of coaching has been connected with the various coaches running out of London for the past twenty years. He was employed by Mr James Gordon Bennett this spring as professional coachman on the POISSY, one of the road coaches running out of Paris. Shown here is a photo from the article of Mr Fownes driving the same coach.

The Illustrated American continues with “ Mr Fownes is a jovial, attractive old gentleman, and, with the exception of Charlie Ward, has no equal as a coachman. Both these gentlemen enjoy the friendship and consideration of their many patrons and pupils in the highest degree.They have brought up large families most credibly, and their honesty and good manners are an example of the excellence of good old English stock. Their sons are already well-known whips…”

Shown opposite is another photo with related caption which shows Edwin Fownes “the veteran professional whip”.

Baily’s magazine of Sports and Pastimes dated June 1893 gave an interesting article under the heading “ Edwin Fownes”, which stated “Now that the summer season of stage coaching has commenced, it is fitting that the fontispiece of Baily’s  current volume should represent the doyem of the professionals now at work-Edwin Fownes- one who remembers coaching as it was in the olden days; and one of the few left to us to hand down the traditions of the road. In 1886 it was that “Father Fownes’s jubilee was celebrated by the presentation to him of a new coach, but as a matter of fact he had then been connected with the road for fifty three years. When no more than fourteen years old, Edwin Fownes was guard of the Tunbridge TELEGRAPH, and , as the custom was in those days, the guards picked up a good knowledge of driving. Eventually the3 original of our portrait ran a coach of his own THE MAID OF KENT, from Keston to the Ship at Charing Cross; and when coaching was fairly driven off the road, and the currency, as NIMROD wrote, was tampered with, Mr. Fownes turned his attention to working the road between Clapham and London. The coaching revival which began in 1866 had not long been in progress ere the subject of these lines had something to do with it, as in 1878, if we remember rightly, he horsed Mr Charles Hoare’s coach between Beckenham and Sevenoaks; in 1878 he became professional of Mr Cooper’s afternoon Dorking coach; and next went on the Virginia Water road, with Col. de Lancy Kane. Edwin Fownes was the first professional on the Portsmouth ROCKET, started by Mr Reginald Hargreaves, and drove the DEFIANCE for Mr Carleton Blyth, when that gentleman ran from Oxford to Cambridge via London. In subsequent years Edwin Fownes has often been his own master; he ran the AGE to Brighton in 1881, and the DEFIANCE to St Albans, and afterwards to Bentley Priory. Soon after this he handed over the business to his son Ernest; and when Mr Mackenzie ran the ITEM from Brighton to Eastbourne, “Father Fownes” was installed as coachman. At the present time the subject of this sketch is not at work on his own account, though he may sometimes be seen driving the Boxhill ROCKET; and, as a workman on the bench, Edwin Fownes’s skill is acknowledged on all hands. In the days when the White Horse Collar was the starting point of the modern coaches, a brother professional paid the subject of this memoir a very graceful compliment. He was in the act of conferring with Mr. Banks on subjects of the morrow’s way-bill, when a horn was heard. “ I must go and see the DEFIANCE come in, “quoth the junior jehu; “ it’s always worth something to see Ned Fownes pull up”. With him the driving of four horses seems to be the simplest thing imaginable; but, then, he has that invaluable gift-the gift of hands. Though past the allotted span of life, he can still hold a team which would beat many a younger man; while, if it comes to getting a slug along, his right arm can, in  a very short time, convey the necessary hint in a style at once effectual and graceful. The last time we say Mr Fownes he looked hale and hearty; and we trust that he may for many years to come be spared to show the rising generation how four horses should be driven”.

From a family tree of the Fownes family is the following article from The Courier of unspecified date  that refers to Edwin Fownes in Tunbridge Wells. “ Daddy Fownes Coaching Story”….Coachmen in a bid to outdo the “Daddy”. “Swiftly through the rural beauties of Southborough, the four horses pulled the heavy coach at a slashing trot down the steep slope of Mount Ephraim drawing up to cheers at the door of the Kentish Hotel.” These are the words from a passenger’s account of a commemoration coaching run in the late 1800’s when gentlemen enthusiasts, and earl among them, took the ribbons and competed to equal four hours from London achieved by “Daddy Fownes” and other famous coaching men. A key stop on the outward route to the White Horse Cellar in central London was “Sherry Castle”, Charles Fitch-kemp’s home at Foxbush, Hildenborough, now Sackville School. Mr Fitch-Kemp had servants waiting with trays of invigorating sherry as the coach slid to a brief halt before tackling River Hill. The aristocratic coach drivers never paused for long in their bid to equal the times achieved 50 years earlier by THE TELEGRAPH  from Tunbridge Wells and the FLOWER OF KENT from Hastings. In 1837 “Daddy Fownes” had the honour of carrying Queen Victoria’s speech to her first parliament to Tunbridge Wells. Thirty years later he was on the Sevenoaks to Beckenham run. Sixteen leading coachmen, including his great friend Daniel Hoadley from Tunbridge Wells ,attended his funeral in Putney Vale. By the end of the century commemorative runs were well established with four hours as an attainable target from Tunbridge Wells to central London using 40 horses on five stages. Colonel Chaplin was noted for his skill on the home run, weaving through a confusion of carts and tramcars over Westminster Bridge and into the Old Kent Road before tickling up his leaders with a “one, two three and draw” as they burst into the country. Then it was Locks Bottom and Farnborough Hill, with two minutes to change horses for a more powerful team on River Hill, before the yard o’ tin (the trumpet) announced the arrival in Sevenoaks. Tunbridge Wells saw the urgent dispatch of a telegram recording the time of the run. Then came lunch, with everyone in their places for the return run at three o’clock. Even after the railways took most of the traffic coaches remained popular. The EXCELSIOR ran between Tunbridge Wells and London each day in the Season. Beale’s and Lipscombe’s stage coach left for London at eight o’clock each weekday morning, guaranteed to reach Charing Cross at ‘about three”. Fares were 12s inside, half price in the open “on top”, with up to 14 lb of luggage per passenger at a penny a pound”.

A related account to the one above is from the book Tales of Old Tunbridge Wells’ by Frank Chapman (1999) from which the photo opposite was given. In part is stated that “At the turn of the century commemorative coaching runs were popular. The target was four hours from the Kentish Hotel in Tunbridge Wells to the White Horse Cellar in central London. This was the time over 40 miles regularly achieved by former professions, such as “Daddy Fownes”, who drove THE TELEGRAPH from Tunbridge Wells and THE FLOWER OF KENT from Hastings as far back as 1837. The route was divided into five stages, using 30 horses. Northbound offered the added attraction of sherry at the Hildenborough home of the Fitch-Kemp family, where, as an appreciative passenger wrote “mutual good wishes pass cordially, and with a hurried goodbye and raised hats in recognition of the fair faces of the sweet English girls in the background, the wayfarers speed away from Sherry Castle”. After being handled for several years by Colonel Hathorn the Tunbridge Wells coach was taken over by the Earl of Bective and Colonel Chaplin”…… “Coaching remained a popular summer excursion to the end of the century and beyond. The EXCELLSIOR, Tunbridge Wells to London daily in the Season, followed the route  and timing of Beak and Lipscombe’s 18th century stage which left the Wells at eight each morning, except Sunday, reaching the Golden Cross Inn at Charing Cross at about three, fare twelve shillings inside, half price outside and up to 14 lb of luggage at a penny a pound. Coach travel had become swift and comfortable over improving roads by the time the railways arrived and took most of the trade. The day of the stage coach, despite all the romance still attaching to it, was comparatively short, although Tunbridge Wells, a late arrival in the steam age because of its hills, kept coaches going longer than most places. “

Probate records gave Edwin Fownes of 4 Oakley Street, Chelsea and that he died July 3,1898. The executors of his 801 pound estate were Amy Kopetsky Mavor, daughter (wife of Alex Mavor) and Christiana Jeram, daughter (wife of George Harry Jeram). Edwin was buried at Chelsea July 7,1898. Shown below are two photographs of Edwin as given in Bailey’s Magazine of Sports and Pastines, dated 1898.

The Will of Edwin Fownes of 1898 bequeathed plate, linen,glass,books, pictures, prints, wines, liquors,household stores, furniture and other household effects to his daughter Amy Kopetsky Noys. His pearl horseshoe pin went to his son Edwin. His diamond and turquois snake ring was left to his son Arthur. His diamond fox head pin that was given to him by Count Turin was left to his son Ernest. His son Charlie (Charles) was left a gold watch. His single stone ring was left to his daughter Mrs Beard and his gold watch chain was left to his son in law Walter Jenkins. His engraving entitled “The Forge” was left to his friend Arthur Mewburn Walker. The residue of his estate was left to his daughters Kate Theresa Jenkins, Beatrice Graham, Amy Kopetsky Noys, Christina Jeram. One of his executors was Amy Kopetsky Mavor, wife of Alex Mavor.

The Carriage Journal of March 1964 gave an retrospective article (undated but 1898 or soon after)  by the Carriage Association of American in which an advertisement appeared. Unfortunately I was not able to provide the image here but it stated “ Daddy Edwin Fownes, the dean of English coachmen who’s death was the cause of universal sorrow. Photograph of Charlie (Charles Fownes) one of the old pattern. “Charles K. Fownes driving lessons four-in-hand. Tanden and Single. Coaching Tours conducted. Waldorf Stables 103 and 105 West 53rd Street Tel 17 Columbus Tel Res. 356 Columbus”. Also in this article was a photo of Ernest Fownes.  One can conclude from this that Charles left England and emigrated to the USA, perhaps around the same time that his brother Arthur went to the USA to work. Charles Kopetsky Fownes was Edwin senior’s son who emigrated to America in the late 19th century.


Edwins birth was registered in the 3rd qtr of 1851 at Greenwich, London. He was baptised at the Holy Trinity Church in Bromley August 5,1855.

In the previous section I gave the 1861 census at Keston Villas in Keston, Kent, where Edwin was living with his parents and six siblings.

He had married Jane Harvey at Lambeth, London in the 3rd qtr of 1870 and with her had at least four children born between 1872 and 1881.

The 1881 census, taken at 23 Wellington Road in Lambeth gave Edwin as born 1851 Kent and working as a coachman domestic. With him was his wife Jane, born 1851 in Islington and five of his children, born between 1872 and 1881 at Clapham (1872) Newington (1875-1877) and Kensington 1881. Also there was one domestic servant.

From a book entitled ‘ The History Of The Horse Drawn Carriage” was reference to Mr Chandos Pole quitting the Brighton Road run in 1882 …and that E. Fownes and John Thorogood were the coachmen; E Graham and E. Fownes Junior were the guards”.

He died in the 4th qtr of 1943 at Andover, Hampshire. Probate records gave him of Parkhouse Shipton, Bellinger, Hampshire when he died December 16,1943. The executors of his 1,797 pound estate was his spinster daughter Jane Valverdie Fownes and his accountant.


Ernest was baptised at Holy Trinity Bromley June 21,1857. He was found living with his parents and six siblings in the 1861 census at Keston Villa in Keston, Kent. Shown opposite from a Fownes family tree is a photo of Ernest in his coaching attire. Shown below is another image of him from a painting by Thomas Frederick Mason Sheard.

In the 4th qtr of 1870 he married Agnes Richardine W. Preston at Marylebone and with her had several children.  

He is also referred to in some records as Ernest “Ted” Fownes and is recorded as having driven the last NIMROD coach service from London to Brighton. An article in the New York Times about a coaching race made reference to him.

When his father Edwin senior retired from business sometime prior to 1893,  Ernest took the business over.

[5] ARTHUR SIDNEY FOWNES (1853-1907)

Arthur Sidney Fownes was born 1853 in Clapham, Surrey and was  baptised at Bromley Holy Trinity Church August 5,1855. At the time of the 1861 census he was living with his parents and siblings in Keston.

He married Helen Hughes November 1888 at St Marylebone and had two children.

On the website “Historic Pelham (New York USA)” an article dated January 8,2008 appeared entitled “A Brief History of Coaching”. It referred to “a revival of coaching in England” and that some years since had no more enthusiastic admirer than Colonel Delancey Kane who ran a coach called “TALLY HO” between New York City’s Hotel Brunswich on May 1, 1876.  In 1875 the TALLY HO was running from London to Virginia Water, with Edwin Fownes senior as professional coachman, guide and mentor. The following year the Colonel returned to New York “bringing the TALLY HO and Arthur Fownes, son of the former mentor, with him, to act as guard, in which capacity he has had no equal on this side of the water”. The article continues with an account of the TALLY HO but makes nor further mention of Arthur Fownes, except to note that in 1891 Frank Swales was professional coachman, and H. Distin acted as guard. When Mr Distin replaced Arthur Fownes was not established but from the marriage record above it is clear that Arthur returned to England sometime before 1881. There was no record for him in England at the time of the 1871 census.  He died in England in 1907.  

The publication ‘The Road’ of 1894 which I referred to earlier gave a photo of Arthur Fownes in connection with the coach THE VENTURE, which I also gave earlier.



Written By: Edward James Gilbert-Thunder Bay,Ontario, Canada

Date: December 1,2017


Daniel Hoadley (1832-1910) was one of five children born to John and Maria Hoadley, ne Comber. John and Maria had been married 1819 in the town of Tonbridge. After the marriage they settled in Speldhurst where their first three children Martin,Mary Ann and Harriett were baptised 1820,1826 and 1830 respectively at St Mary’s Church, Speldhurst.

In 1831 the Hoadley family settled in Tunbridge Wells where the central figure in this article Daniel was born in 1832at the Lodge House to Calverley Park known as the Victoria Lodge, His birth was followed by that of Daniel’s sister Emma in 1837.  His parents for a time kept the lodge gate to the park.

In 1853 Daniel Hoadley married Sophia Thompson ,who was born 1832 at Silmanston, Kent, and with her had just one child Anna who was born in Tunbridge Wells in 1859 and baptised September 4,1859 at St Alban’s Church in Frant,Sussex.

Daniel’s family came from an agricultural background and he decided upon a career centered around the horse and carriage trade. In Tunbridge Wells Daniel founded D. Hoadley & Co, which business operated various livery stables; ran flys,coaches and omnibus; rented out horses and carriages of all types and for all occasions, including funerals and marriages and even repaired and manufactured coaches and carriages. Census records typically described Daniel as a fly proprietor, job master  and livery proprietor and directories from 1899 to 1903 listed him as a farrier, carriage proprietor, jobmaster, livery stable keeper, fly/omnibus & funeral carriage proprietor.

Daniel  employed a large staff and during the 19th century the name of Hoadley was synonymous with the horse and carriage trade in the town. He was described in 1892 as man of practical experience and thorough business ability. He was a Freemason, first with the Pantiles Lodge but transferred to the Holmesdale Lodge in 1892.

Shown above is a photograph of Hoadley’s premises, dated 1892 on Crescent Road, with perhaps Daniel at the reins of one of his conveyances.


For the purposes of this article the patriarch of this branch of the Hoadley family is John Hoadley. He was born circa 1795 in Kent and worked as an agricultural labourer. No definitive information about his parents and siblings was found. There was a John Hoadley baptised October 19,1800 in Tunbridge Wells at “the chapel” who was the son of Henry and Ann Hoadley, but whether this is the same John Hoadley of this article was not established.

On August 10,1819 John  married Maria Comber who was born circa 1797.  Marriage records show that neither John nor Maria had been married before. The marriage took place at the St Peter and St Paul Parish Church in the town of Tonbridge (photo opposite). Since Maria was not from Kent the location selected for the marriage perhaps indicates that John Hoadley was from the Tonbridge area, although it is known that apart from Tonbridge there was a large concentration of Hoadley’s in Frant (where his youngest daughter was baptised) and in Pembury and for that matter elsewhere around Tunbridge Wells. It is known from the 1841 census and birth records of the children  that sometime after 1837 and before 1841 John Hoadley passed away in Tunbridge Wells. No definite death record was found for him. It is known the prior to his death he and his wife kept the gate known as Victoria Lodge at Calverley Park.

Birth and baptism records for the children of John and Maria Hoadley, nee Comber, show that the couple had the following children (1) Martin, born 1820 in Speldhurst. Baptised April 23,1820 at St Mary’s Church, Speldhurst (2) Mary Ann born 1826 in Speldhurst and baptised at St Mary’s Church Speldhurst February 5,1826 (3) Harriett born 1830 in Speldhurst and baptised June 6,1830 at St Mary’s Church, Speldhurst (4)Daniel born 1832 in Tunbridge Wells (5) Emma, born 1837 in Tunbridge Wells. Shown opposite is a photograph of St Mary’s Church in Speldhurst by Tunbridge Wells photographer and postcard printer/publisher Harold H. Camburn.

From the birth records it is clear that the Hoadley family moved from Speldhurst to Tunbridge Wells in 1831.

The 1841 census taken at Grove Cottage in Tunbridge Wells gave Maria Hoadley as a widow and born 1797, “not of this county”. With her was her children Harriett,age 10; Daniel,age 8 and Emma,age 4. Also there were four lodgers. The only birth and baptism record located for a Maria Comber was for a baptism on May 13,1798 at Rotherfield, Sussex who was the daughter of William and Mary Ann Comber.  No census record was found for Maria Hoadley after 1841 and a death record for a Maria Hoadley was found for the 3rd qtr of 1847 in Tunbridge Wells.

What became of the children of John and Maria Hoadley was not established apart from their son Daniel. No Tunbridge Wells 1851 census was found for the family.

In the 4th qtr of 1853 Daniel Hoadley married his first wife Sophia Thompson, which marriage was registered in the Tonbridge District, which marriage likely took place in Tunbridge Wells.

Sophia Thompson had been born 1832 at Silmanston, Kent. She was one of four known children born to John and Sarah Thompson. Sarah Thompson had been born 1802 at Stpdmarsh, Kent. John Thompson passed away sometime before 1881.The 1841 census, taken at Ashley Street in Northbourne, Kent gave John Thompson as born 1801 in Kent and working as a gardener. With him was his wife Sarah, born 1806 in Kent and their children Sophia, born 1832 Kent; William, born 1833 Kent; Frederick, born 1836 Kent and John, born 1839 in Kent. The 1851 census, taken on a farm at Coldred,Kent gave Sophia Thompson as born 1832 at “Tilmanstone, Kent” and that she was working as a house servant for the Kelsey Richards family. Kelsey was a farmer of 22 acres employing eight men and lived on the farm with his wife and six children and six servants (farm and house).

There was no listing for Daniel Hoadley in the private and trades Melville directory of 1858 in Tunbridge Wells. In 1859 Daniel and Sophia had a daughter Anna born in Tunbridge Wells. Anna was baptised at St Alban’s Church in Frant, Sussex (photo opposite). Information about the early career of Daniel is given later in his obituary.

An account from 1892 about Hoadley & Co in Tunbridge Wells states that Daniel started his business in the town in 1860. Details about his business are given in his obituary (given later) and in the last section of this article. No 1861 census record for Danial was located. The 1871 census below casts some doubt on the accuracy of the claim that he began his business in 1860 but this is clarified by the information contained in his obiturary.

The 1871 census, taken at Stork House in Lambourn, Hungerford gave Daniel Hoadley born 1832 as a coachman servant. With him was his wife Sophia, given as born 1832 Kent as a cook servant. They were two of 17 servants employed by the Frederick Bates family. No 1871 census for Daniel and his family was found in Tunbridge Wells. Lambourn is described as being “in the heart of the valley of the racehorse” and a website about Lamborun provides many horse racing images, including the two below of Stork House. The one on the left is if the main house and the one on the right is a view of the stables on the estate. Sadly this home no longer exists and site has been redeveloped with new homes on Stork House Drive.

No 1874 directory listing for Daniel Hoadley was found in Tunbridge Wells.

The 1881 census, taken at 28 Crescent Road in Tunbridge Wells gave Daniel Hoadley as a jobmaster. With him was his wife Sophia and their daughter Anna. Also there was Sarah Thompson, given as mother-in-law, a 79 year old widow born 1802 at Stodmarsh,Kent. Also there was one domestic servant.

A directory of 1899 gave the address of 21 Monson  Road as the private residence of Daniel Hoadley. A directory of 1903 gave his private residence as 29 Prospect Road. Business directories for these two years are given in the last section of this article and not his presence on Crescent Road and elsewhere.

Probate records gave Sophia Hoadley (wife of Daniel Hoadley) late of 28 Crescent Road, Tunbridge Wells, died February 12,1890 at 28 Crescent Road. The executor of her 117 pound estate was her husband Daniel, a postmaster.

The 1891 census, taken at 37 Crescent Road, Tunbridge Wells gave Daniel Hoadley as a widow with the occupation of fly proprietor, job master and livery proprietor. With him was his married daughter Anna (given as Annie) Fulleylove and her husband Thomas Fulleylove, son in law, born 1851 in Bulkington,Warwickshire. Thomas was working for Daniel as a groom assistant. Also there was Mary Thompson given as “Niece” born 1865 in Ash, Kent. Also there were two men in their thirty’s working for Daniel as stablemen grooms.

Anna, sometimes given as Anne or Annie, the daughter of Daniel Hoatley who’s birth was registered in1859 and who was baptised that year, married Thomas Fulleylove (1851-1929) in the 4th qtr of 1886 in Tunbridge Wells and had a daughter Grace Annie Fulleylove (1892-1977) in Tunbridge Wells. Thomas had been born in the 1st qtr of 1851 at Bulkington,Warwickshire and was one of six children born to William Fulleylove (1809-1861) and Ann Fullylove,nee Spencer (1811-1885).  Thomas also had one half sibling. Thomas was living at Bulkington at the time of the 1861 census with his parents and siblings. Thomas’s wife Annie died in Tunbridge Wells in the 1st qtr of 1899. Probate records for Annie Fulleylove gave her of 37 Crescent Road, Tunbridge Wells (wife of Thomas Fulleylove) who died February 21,1899. The executor of her 611 pound estate was her husband Thomas, a fly proprietor manager. Annie was buried in the Tunbridge Wells Borough Cemetery March 4,1899.

After her death he continued to live in Tunbridge Wells. The 1901 census, taken at 37 Crescent Road, Tunbridge Wells gave Thomas Fulleylove as a widow with the occupation of job master’s manager, groom, indicating that he was employed by Daniel Hoadley. With him was his daughter Grace and his sister Mary A. Fulleylove,age 53, hosekeeper.Also there was one domestic servant.

At the time of the 1911 census, taken at 37 and 38 Crescent Road Thomas was given as a widower. He was living with his only child Grave Annie Fulleylove, born 1892 at 38 Crescent Road, Tunbridge Wells. Also there was his sister Mary Ann Fulleylove,age 63, housekeeper and one general servant. The census recorded that they were living in premises of 8 rooms. Probate records for Thomas Fulleylove gave him of 18 Whitefield Road, Tunbridge Wells when he died October 9,1929 at the Infirmary Sandhill Pembury, Kent. The executor of his 422 pound estate was his daughter Grace Annie Fulleylove, spinster.

Records of the Freemasons gave Daniel Hoadley being initiated into the Pantiles Lodge April 30,1890 with the occupation of jobmaster. The publication ‘The Freemason’ of September 17,1892 stated in part “ A well- attended convocation was held at the Pump Room on Tuesday the 6th inst. A ballot for Brother Daniel Hoadley of the Pantiles Lodge, proposed by the M.E.Z. and seconded by the S.E. was next proceeded with and being unanimously approved, the exeltation was at once proceeded with by the M.E.A. and his officers. Afterwards the companions adjourned to the Swan Hotel for the usual refreshments….”. Shown below left is a postcard view of the Pump Room by local photographer and postcard printer/publisher Harold H. Camburn and to the right is an image of the Swan Hotel.

In the 2nd qtr of 1892 Daniel Hoadley married  his second wife Frances Eliza Wiseman,born 1843 in Oxford. Frances. Frances was one of several children born to William and Mary Ann Wiseman. At the time of the 1851 census Frances was living at 1 High Street in Oxfore St Martin where her father ran a drapers shop. Also there was her mother and her four siblings, some of whom were working for their father as draper’s assistants.  At the time of the 1861 census, taken at 1 & 2 High Street in Saint Martin, Oxford her father was running a drapers shop. Frances was living there with her parents and siblings but had no occupation. At the time of the 1871 census Frances was in Oxfordshire and living as a lodger with the Bryant family with the occupation of “annuitant”. No 1881 or 1891 census record was found for Frances.

The 1901 census, taken at 21 Monson Road in Tunbridge Wells gave Daniel Hoadley as a jobmaster and stable employer. With him was his second wife Frances and two men working as groom servants.

The death of Daniel Hoadley was registered in the 3rd qtr of 1910 in Tunbridge Wells. Probate records gave him of Tunbridge Wells when he died September 24,1910. The executors of his 2,163 pound estate were Thomas Folleylove, jobmaster; Charles Norton, architect and Alfred Thomas Simpson, a well- known solicitor of Tunbridge Wells. Daniel was buried in the Tunbridge Wells Borough Cemetery on September 28th.

Given here is the obituary of Daniel Hoadley as published in the Courier September 30,1910 and shown opposite is a photo of Daniel from that article. “ Death of Mr. D. Hoadley-Removal of a Notable Figure………We regret to record the death of Mr. Daniel Hoadley at his residence  31 Prospect Road on Saturday morning.He had been ailing for some time past but his illness did not assume a serious form until the previous Monday evening. He was 77 years of age. By his death Tunbridge Wells is deprived of one its most notable figures, and a native who had been actively identified with the life of the place for sixty years. He was born at the Lodge House to Calverley Park, known as the Victoria Lodge, where his father and mother kept the lodge gate. He first started business for himself over half-a-century ago, when Tunbridge Wells was nothing like so extensive a place as it is today,although in all its mid Victorian popularity. Mr Hoadley commenced business as the owner of a donkey chaise, then a very fashionable vehicle for driving about the lovely Kentish scenery close to Tunbridge Wells. It was upon this comparatively humble foundation that he built up one of the largest businesses of carriages proprietorship in the county of Kent. In 1873 he commenced business as a fly proprietor and job-master at the stables attached to the hostelry now known as the Hull Hotel in Frant Road, with one horse and carriage. His in variable willingness to oblige and his charm of manner won him a great amount of patronage, and he soon commenced to build up a large connection. Until the advent of motors Mr Hoadley owned probably the largest collection of carriages and horses for public hire to be found anywhere in the county. Even now the business, which has be admirably managed by Mr. T. Fulleylove, Mr Hoadley’s on-in-law, for some years, is an extensive and important concern, employing a considerable amount of labour and catering for the convenience and pleasure of residents and visitors. Who has not seen Mr Hoadley’s well-known figure, in clothes and had which gave him so typical a “John Bull” appearance? His cheery, honest face, scared by the storms of many winters and tanned by the suns of many summers, was always smiling. It was a good kindly face which correctly indexed his nature, for he was upright and honourable in business, and a man much loved by his friends. To hear him talk about Tunbridge Wells in his early days, and to listen to his recital of personal experiences was a privilege indeed. In his younger days Mr Hoadley was in great request as a postilion, and it is interesting to recall that on the day of the celebrations of the incorporation of the Borough, Mr Hoadley rode as postilion to the carriage in which the first Mayor, Mr J. Stone-Wigg, and the Town Clerk, Mr W.C. Cripps, were driven to the Brighton Station to obtain the charter of incorporation. In the old coaching days Mr Hoadley was one of the best-known whips on the road, and could handle a team with a master touch. He was a great friend of James Selby, the celebrated four-in-hand coachman. He was a great favourite with the coaching fraternity in London, and was warmly respected by all who knew him. When his business was well-established he ran a coach from Tunbridge Wells to London for a considerable time. He also drove a coach from Tunbridge Wells to Bodiam, and frequently handled the reins at the meets of the Coaching Club. Captain Broadwood and Mr Mackenzie were two of his chief patrons in those days. Until quite recent years Mr Hoadley was active in the management of his business, and could drive with the best of the younger generation. There was one capacity in which he was in great demand, and that was to drive the bride to, and the bride and groom from the church at smart weddings. On such occasions his smiling face was a benediction in itself. A more melancholy duty which he performed some scores of times was to drive the hearse at funerals. This he did in the old-fashioned black gown. Both of these diverse tasks he carried out with equal dignity. He was rather proud of the duty which had fallen to him of driving Royalty on various occasions. He was frequently on the box of the carriage of the Marquis and Marchioness of Lorne, and when the Princess Christian visited Tonbridge some years ago, Mr Hoadley drove horses attached to her carriage. On many occasions he steered teams of four at coaching meets attended by the late King Edward. The coming of the motor car was rather too late in Mr Hoadley’s life for him to take very kindly to it, and many amusing stories are told of his aversham to petrol driven machines. On one occasion, it is said, a few friends nearly invelgled him into mounting a motor, but kept clear of the hated thing. During cricket week Mr Hoadley got into a motor bus of his own accord at the station, and was driven to the Nevill Ground. Mr Hoadley was the pioneer of the omnibus service between Tunbridge Wells and Southborough, and he ran public vehicles on the road up to about twelve years ago. He then had a difference of opinion with the local authorities on the question of licenses, which led to him taking off the service, and driving the busses to London and there selling them. He was a Freemason, and belonged to the Pantiles Lodge, but had not been an active member of the craft for the last few years. Mr Hoadley is survived by a widow, but no children”. The article continues with a lengthy account about Mr Hoadley’s funeral and that the internment “was at the Borough Cemetery, and the coffin was deposited in a bricked grave. The hearse was preceeded into the cemetery by six of the employees, the funeral having taken place on Wednesday afternoon…One of the wreaths-that from the employees-was of very beautiful design. It was in the form of a horse-shoe, composed of white chrysanthemums and lilies. The nails were represented by some choice violets. Across the horse-shoe was a whip with a broken thong, also in violets”. The remainder of the article gave a long list of mourners among which was Mr Hoatley’s on-in-law Mr T. Fulleylove and Messrs W. Thompson, James Thompson and Alfred Thompson (nephews). The who’s who of the town showed up to pay their respects and those who viewed the courtage from the side of the road stopped and tipped their hats to pay respects to this well-known gentleman.

The 1911 census, taken at 32 Prospect Road, Tunbridge Wells, gave Frances Eliza Hoadley as a widow with no occupation. Living with her were just two domestic servants. The census recorded that she was living in premises of six rooms; that she had been married 18 years and had no children. Her death was registered in Tunbridge Wells in the 3rd qtr of 1926. She was buried in the Tunbridge Wells Borough Cemetery on September 3,1926. No probate record was located for her.


From the census records given in the previous section one can find his occupations given at various times as “coachman domestic servant”, jobmaster, livery stable proprietor and fly proprietor. The best source of information about Daniels career is that given in his obituary, presented in the previous section.

From the Pictorial History of Tunbridge Wells and District of 1892 was given the following. “ Messrs Hoadley & Co. Job Masters, Crescent & Calverley Mews…..This important concern was founded by its present proprietor (Daniel Hoadley) in 1860 and is carried on in premises well adapted to the requirements of a large and ever-increasing business. The Crescent and Calverley establishment comprises large and well-appointed livery stables, with coach and carriage houses, offices, and all accessories essential to an extensive business. The premises at Great Culverden Mews, Mount Ephriam , are also most commodious and comprise loose boxes for hunters, and lock-up coach –houses for private residents. The stock of conveyances includes open and closed cars, broughams, landaus, phaetons, waggonettes,dog-carts, wedding and funeral carriages, etc., the wedding chariots being a special feature of the business. A large staff of employees is kept, the whole being under the personal supervision of the principals, whose practical experience and thorough business ability are adequate guarantees for the efficient fulfilment of any commissions entrusted to them”.  As no trade directories for Daniel Hoadley in Tunbridge Wells was for 1858,1862it would appear that the reference in the above source about the business being founded in 1860 must refer the business being founded by someone other than Daniel Hoadley and that in 1860 he took the business over under the name of D. Hoadley & Co.

The earliest local directory listings for him begin in 1882 with the last found in 1903. The 1882 directory gave “ Daniel Hoadley &Co., fly and omnibus proprietors, 28 Crescent Road, Tunbridge Wells”.

The Livestock Journal of June 12,1891 reported on events at “The Horse Markets” and in part stated “ Aldridges catalogue on Saturday contained some useful stock. Mr D. Hoadley sending up 8 omnibus horses from Tunbridge Wells, four of which were sold at 30,38,36 and 30 guineas respectively”.

The 1899 directory  gave “ Daniel Hoadley 37 Crescent Road, Station Yard S.E.R. and Mount Ephraim, livery stables keeper, jobmaster, fly,omnibus and funeral carriage proprietor and farrier Calverley Street.

The 1903 directory gave “Daniel Hoadley, livery stable keeper, jobmaster, fly, omnibus and funeral carriage proprietor, 37 Crescent Road, Station Yard S.E.R and Mount Ephraim Municipal Tel; 21; National Tel; 32. An advertismemt for his business from a 1902 directory is shown above .

The Royal Tunbridge Wells Civic Society Newsletter of Spring 2009 include an article entitled ‘Tunbridge Wells Motor Industry’ which in part stated ‘Brackett’s auction catalogue of 1909 included the sale of a brougham made by D. Hoadley of Crescent Road. Hoadley’s were essentially job masters ( ie they hired out horses and carriages) but like many such concerns, they had facilities for manufacturing and maintenance, in this case in Garden Street”.

The publication ‘Archaeologia Cantiana Vol 127 pg 230” gave ‘The Road Services of Kent in the 19th century by F.W.G. Andrews, who in part gave “ Daniel Hoadley was listed in the 1899 directory. He had been in business at Tunbridge Wells as early as 1882 but no indication is given as to whether or not he provided what might be recognized as a “bus service” today. Since his order office was given as being at the S.E.R. station gates, it seems possible that he did no more than provide a service between the railway station and the various parts of the town, on an ‘as requested” basis. This seems to have been the normal pattern of omnibus service in the last 10 years of the 19th century in Kent”.

The Sevenoaks Chronicle of May 12,1939 reported in part “ Mr Daniel Hoadley, actively working in the town of Tunbridge Wells for 60 years was Postillion Rider to the carriage in which the Mayor (Alderman J. Stone Wigg) and the town clerk (Mr. W. Delves) travelled……”

From my articles ‘The First 100 years of Omnibus Service’ dated March 10,2012 and “The Horse Drawn Ommibus in Tunbridge Wells’ dated September 18,2014 was the following reference to Daniel Hoadley. “In 1891 the omnibus service from Tunbridge Wells consisted of a run to Southborough,operated by "Spittles" eight times daily;one by "Osbornes's" ten times daily;one by "Hardwick's,six times daily;one by Hoadley's,13 times daily.Pembury was served 4 times a day with Langton and Speldhurst twice a day.”….” In 1899 "Hoadley's" met all the trains in Tunbridge Wells.There was also at this time an omnibus to Southborough from the train station every 20 minutes; an omnibus to Pembury 8 times daily;one to Langton 7 times daily and one to Speldhurst 3 times a day. Mr Hoadley was a Tunbridge Wells resident and had been in business for many years operating as a fly proprietor but he soon took advantage of the increasing trade by expanding his business to include being an omnibus proprietor.”

My article ‘The Fownes-A Family of Coachmen’ dated November 27,2017 reported on the history of mail coach and stage coach service in general and more specifically to and from Tunbridge Wells. The central character in this article was Edwin Fownes senior (1820-1898) who was one of the most notable coach drivers of his time . An account about Edwin Fownes references in the article stated that he and Daniel Hoadley were good friends and that Daniel was one of several coachmen who attended Edwin’s funeral. The actual quote was “Sixteen leading coachmen, including his great friend Daniel Hoadley from Tunbridge Wells ,attended his funeral in Putney Vale.” Another reference to Danial Hoadley was “The Omnibus service listed was “Hoadley's meet all trains. Omnibuses to Southborough from railway stations every 20 minutes. Omnibuses to Pembury eight times daily. Omnibuses to Langton seven times daily. Omnibuses to Speldhurst three times daily”. Shown above is a postcard view of a typical omnibus in the early 20th century travelling between the railway station and the hotels, this one shown on Mount Pleasant Road approaching the Opera House shown on the right in the background with its distinctive dome.

The Crescent Road  mews referred to above were adjacent to the Calverley Hotel. Guests staying at the hotel who had travelled by horse and carriage kept them at Hoadley’s . Similar news were located behind the Calverley Parade on Mount Pleasant Road, accessed off Monson Road and at that place the residents of the Calverley Parade kept their horses and carriages. Similar mews could be found in other parts of the town.

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