Page 2



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

Date: May 30,2017


James Ward (1840-1918) ,who was born in Bethnal Green, London, was living in Islington London at the time of the 1871 census with his first wife Sarah and their first son William James Ward (1870-1931). Their second, and last child, Edmund John Ward (1874-1926) was also born in London.  His wife Sarah died in 1874 and in 1879 James married Margaret Henderson Ward (maiden name unknown). He had no children with Margaret, as reflected in the 1911 census, and by 1880 James and Margaret and his two sons moved to Tunbridge Wells where they were found in the 1881 census at 2 Stanley Road.

Upon arriving in Tunbridge Wells James Ward established a corn and coal merchants business at 2 Stanley Road, a 2 sty red brick building with developed attic space, located across the laneway immediately west  of St Barnabas Church(built 1887). His business was listed in directories from 1882 to 1899 as “James Ward,corn and coal dealer, 2 Stanley Road”.

By 1903 James eldest son William James Ward entered the business and from that time until the business ended in the 1950’s it was known from 1903 to 1913 as James Ward & Son, corn dealer, then by 1918 as J. Ward & Son, coal and corn merchants; and lastly from 1922 onwards as Ward & Son, coal merchants.

James Ward had retired from business after 1901 but before 1911 and took up residence at 37 Culverden Park Road, where he died October 27,1918. His son William carried on the business and when he retired his son Geoffrey Harold S. Ward (1906-1985) took over. William James Ward died at 2 Stanley Road March 11,1931. James second son Edmund left Tunbridge Wells and got married in 1907 and raised a family. He became an Architect and Surveyor and worked in London and died August 24,1926 in Eastbourne.

This article reports on the Ward family and their business operations in Tunbridge Wells. Shown above is a photo taken in 1932 at the time the porch was being constructed on St Barnabas Church and in this view can be seen the building and sign of Ward & Son. I thank Brian Dobson for providing this photograph.


James Ward (photo opposite), of indeterminate parents, was born 1840 in  Bethnal Green, London.  He no doubt grew up in London and received a basic education and based on the 1871 census must have come from a working class family of modest means.  In 1869 he married his first wife Sarah Ann Ward (maiden name unknown) who had been born 1835 in Mayfield, Sussex.

The 1871 census, taken at 14 Courtney Road in Islington gave James Ward and his wife Sarah working as servants of Pullack A Beechy, a barrister. Their son William James Ward was also with them.

James and Sarah had two children namely William James Ward (1870-1931) who was born at St Luke, London in the 1st qtr of 1870  and Edmund John Ward (1874-1926) who was born in the 1st qtr of 1874 at St Mary’s Islington. James wife had a short life for she died, possibly of childbirth complications, in February 1874 and was buried February 23rd at Kensington and Chelsea.

 With the assistance of a nanny James two young children were raised in London, but in 1879 (according to the 1911 census) James married Margaret Henderson Wilton (photo opposite).The 1911 census recorded that James and Margaret had no children. Margaret had been born June 26,1851 at Newcastle Upon Tyne. She was baptised July 20,1851 at Christ Church, Tynemouth, Northamptonshire and was given as the daughter of James George Wilton (1818-1883) and Helen Wilton, nee Brodie (1825-1889). Margaret was one of seven children in the family. At the time of the 1861 census she was living with her parents and siblings at Millbrook, Hampshire and with them at the time of the 1871 census in Freemantle, Hampshire.

By 1880 James and Margaret and his two sons moved to Tunbridge Wells where they were found in the 1881 census at 2 Stanley Road. James occupation was given as coal merchant and his two sons were attending school. Also here was one lodger and Christina Winton (Wilton), a 14 year old visitor, who may well have been the younger sister of James wife.

The 1891 census, taken at 2 Stanley Road gave James as a coal merchant employing others in his business. With him was his wife Margaret; his sister in law Christina Wilton, single, born 1868 at Southampton; and one boarder.

At the time of the 1901 census, taken at 37 Culverden Park Road  James occupation was given as a corn, coal and wood merchant employing others. By this time his eldest son William James Ward had entered the family business. Living with James was his wife Margaret. His sons had left the family home by this time.

The 1911 census, taken at 37 Culverden Park Road gave James Ward as a retired coal merchant. With him in premises of 6 rooms was his wife Margaret. The census recorded that the couple had been married 32 years and had no children.

James and his wife continued to live at 37 Culverden Park Road up to the time of James death there on October 27,1918. Probate records note that the executors of his 1,879 pound estate were his widow Margaret Henderson Ward and his sons William James Ward, corn and coal merchant of 2 Stanley Road,Tunbridge Wells, and Edmund John Ward, an architect and surveyor. James was buried in the Tunbridge Wells Borough Cemetery on November 2nd.

Sometime after the death of James his wife Margaret moved to premises on York Road (photo opposite). Probate records gave Margaret Henderson Ward , widow, of 25 York Road, Tunbridge Wells, when she died February 3,1935. The executors of her 1,932 pound estate were Bertie Twigg Lawrence, solicitors clerk, and Herbert Cooper, farmer. Both of Margaret’s step sons had passed away by the time of her death. Margaret was buried near her husband in the Tunbridge Wells Borough Cemetery on February 13th.

Given below is information about James two sons.

[1] WILLIAM JAMES WARD (1870-1931) 

William had been born 1870 at St Lukes. London. His birth was registered in the 1st qtr of 1870 at Mile End Town, London. He was baptised January 2,1870 at Bethnal Green, London and given as the son of James and Sarah Ward. A family photo of him is shown opposite.

William lived with his parents and stepmother up to the time of the 1891 census, taken at 2 Stanley Road, Tunbridge Wells. William had been educated at a local school and decided to join his father in the family corn and coal merchants business. When his father retired sometime between 1901 and 1911 William took over the operation of the business.

In 1900 William married Mary Ann Martin (1875-1919). She had been born in Waltham, Kent and no doubt the marriage took place in Waltham.

The 1901 census, taken at 2 Stanley Road, Tunbridge Wells gave William as a corn and coal merchant employing others. With him was his wife Mary Ann and their daughter Margaret Olive Ward, who had been born in Tunbridge Wells in 1901. William and Mary Ann went on to have two other children namely Lilian Mary Ward, born 1902 and Geoffrey Harold S Ward (1906-1985), both of whom were born in Tunbridge Wells.

The 1911 census, taken at 2 Stanley Road gave William as a corn and coal merchant employer. With him was his wife Mary Ann and their three children, all of whom were attending school. The census recorded that they were living in premises of 8 rooms; that they had been married 11 years and that they had just the three children.

William and his wife lived out the remainder of their lives in Tunbridge Wells. Probate records gave William James Ward of 2 Stanley Road when he died March 11,1931. The executor of his 3,559 pound estate was his widow Mary Ann Ward. William was buried in the Tunbridge Wells Borough Cemetery on March 17th. Probate records for Mary Ann Ward gave her of 5 Wilman Road, Tunbridge Wells when she died on February 10,1963. The executors of her 10,070 pound estate were her spinster daughters Margaret Olive Ward and Lilian Mary Ward. Mary Ann was buried in the Tunbridge Wells Borough Cemetery on February 15th.

When William James Ward died in 1931 his son Geoffrey Harold S. Ward took over the business and ran it until the business ended in the 1950’s. Geoffrey, born May 29,1906 died in the 3rd qtr of 1985 at Hastings and Rother, East Sussex.

[2] EDMUND JOHN WARD (1874-1926)   

Edmund’s birth was registered in the 1st qtr of 1874 at St Mary’s Islington. Baptism records show that he was the son of James and Sarah Ward and was baptised at St Mary’s on March 25, 1874.

Edmund was living with his parents and brother at 2 Stanley Road in Tunbridge Wells at the time of the 1881 census, but is not found with them in any census records afterwards. He however returned to visit the family from time to time. A photo of Edmund is shown here.

Edmund decided not to join his father in the corn and coal trade and instead obtained training to be an architect and surveyor.

The 1901 census, taken at 4 Queens Terrace in Ilford, Essex gave Edmund living there and working as an architect and surveyor.

On July 25,1907 at St Marylebone, Westminster, Edmund married Margaret Jessie Holland, a 32 year old spinster. The marriage record recorded that Edmund was a 33 year old bachelor of 84 Marylebone Road with the occupation of architect. His father was given as James Ward, gentleman, and his wife’s father, who was deceased, was Phillip Holland, a wine merchant. An Eliza Holland was one of the witnesses to the marriage and it is believed by the researcher that she was Margaret’s mother.

The 1911 census, taken at 265 High Road in Ilford, Esssex gave Edmund as a surveyor with the Stepney Borough Council. With him in premises of 8 rooms was his wife Margaret, given as born 1875 ibn Ryde, Isle of Wight. Also there were their children Margaret Alice, born 1909 in Ilford and Eileen Mary, born 1910 in Ilford. Also there was his wife’s mother Eliza Holland, age 72, born 1839 in Southampton, Hampshire. One domestic servant was also in the household. The census recorded that the couple had been married 3 years and that they had just the two children.

The Directory of British Architects gave the following information about Edmund. His address was given as 34 & 35 Norfolk St, Strand, London (1911) and from 1911-1914 at 265 High Road, Ilford,London. He had been articled to Thomas Vincent Davison of Windsor 1890-1893 and was assistant to G.A. Wilson of London from 1893 to 1900. His professional qualifications were LRBA July 20,1911; proposed by A.W. Tanner, H,W. Rising and C.J. Dawson. He began independent practice in 1900. His is listed in the RIBA Licentiates Nomination Papers and appears in ‘Who’s Who in Architecture in 1914 and 1923.

Probate records gave Edmund John Ward of 77 Ringwood Road, Eastbourne, Sussex when he died August 24,1926 at 27 Hyde Gardens, Eastbourne. The executor of his 2,544 pound estate was his widow Margaret Jessie Ward who survived him for several years.


The company was founded in Tunbridge Wells by James Ward after his marriage in 1879 and before the time of the 1881 census, and most likely came to Tunbridge Wells in 1880. He established his business in a new building at 2 Stanley Road. The building measured, based on scaling of the 1909 os map(shown opposite), some 20 feet wide facing Stanley Road and extended some 50 feet north fronting on the laneway that ran between this building and St Barnabas Church.  This two sty red brick building also had what might be called a 3rd sty in the attic area which received natural light from several windows on all sides and it was not doubt in this part of the building that living accommodation was provide for the Ward family.

The church itself had been built in 1887. A map of 1874 shows that the land upon which the church and Ward’s building were erected was all open land although Stanley Road and the laneway I referred to were both shown on the 1874 map. The location of 2 Stanley Road has been highlighted by a red arrow on the 1909 map  and just to the east of it on the opposite side of a narrow lane is St Barnabas Church. Shown opposite is a postcard view of St Barnabas Church taken in the early 1900’s which shows Ward’s building just to the left of the church. Several other photographs on the website of St Barnabas Church provide other , and better,views of Ward’s building taken in 1932 when the porch was being constructed on the church. One of these images was shown in the 'Overview'. Shown below the St Barnabas postcard is a 1930 wedding photo taken at this church  which in the background can be seen  a partial view of Ward’s building. The images of 1932 clearly show the sign on Ward’s building that was painted on the red brick wall facing the lane, which sign could be easily seen while going west on Stanley Road. The sign in 1932 read “ Ward & Son For Corn and Coal Tel 18” indicating that Ward was one of the very early subscribers for telephone service in the town.

When the business began it was under the name of James Ward. Directories of 1882 to 1899 gave the listing “ James Ward, corn and coal dealer, 2 Stanley Road, Tunbridge Wells”. In 1900/1901 James son William James Ward entered his father’s business. Directories of 1903 to 1913 gave the listing “ James Ward & Son, corn dealer, 2 Stanley Road”. By the time the 1918 directory came out the business was listed as “ J. Ward & Son, coal and corn merchants, 2 Stanley Road. When James Ward died in 1918 his son William took over sold control of the business. Directories of 1922 to 1951 gave the listing “ Ward & Son, coal merchants, 2 Stanley Road. As noted in the 1901 census James Ward gave his occupation as a corn, coal and wood merchant employer and in the 1911 census as a retired coal merchant.

William James Ward continued to run the business up to the time of his death in 1931 at 2 Stanley Road. The Courier of March 20,1931 posted the notice shown here about his death and funeral. His son Geoffrey Harold S. Ward born in Tunbridge Wells in 1907 took over the business from his father. The 1951 directory was the last listing found for the company. Geoffrey passed away in 1985 in Hastings and Rother, East Sussex.

The building at 2 Stanley Road served as living quarters for the family but most of the building was a warehouse where bags of corn and coal were stored awaiting sale and delivery. The coal had arrived in the town at the Goods Station on private 7 plank 4 wheeled coal wagons. A view of coal wagons at Goods station is shown above ,along with a Dapol model, which will be of interest to model train collectors. Shown below is a photo of Ward & Sons coal wagons at the Goods Station, which photo was sent to me by Brian John Arkell, along with the following information, which I thank him for.

Shown below is a view of coal wagons at the High Brooms Station and to the right of it is a view of men loading sacks of coal at the Goods Station.

John Arkell stated that the photo of Ward’s coal wagons (shown opposite)was supplied by David Ward “ J. Ward & Son are listed in Kelly’s for 1907 as coal dealers and they also feature in 1909 in the account ledger of the LNWR. By 1918 they were listed as Coal Merchants and they joined both the 1926 and 1933 commuted charge schemes. They continued to be listed in Kelly’s and the 1938 Coal Trades Directory. They were listed as having an account with the LMS in 1942. The livery of the wagons was red oxide bodywork with white lettering shaded darker than the lettering and may be cream or light yellow. Sketches of the livery were published in the Model Railway Constructor in 1958 and by A. G Thomas in his volume 3 of a Modeller’s sketch book of Private Owner Wagons” . John’s book , on the topic of Private Wagons can still be purchased.

Shown opposite ,from the files of the Planning Authority is a map dated 1968 on which I have highlighted the location of 2 Stanley Road. The building at that time looks in plan view much as it did on the 1909 map apart from a small extension on the south-west corner of the building.

A review of Planning Authority Files show that the former site of 2 Stanley Road and surrounding buildings was levelled in 1985-1986 to make way for the St Stephens Court residential development. Shown below left is a modern view of Stanley Road looking west past St Barnabas Church which can be seen on the right. Of particular interest is the modern building just past the church on the site of Ward’s former building. This building is but one of about four similar buildings forming part of the St Stephens development. Shown beside this photo is a colour photo of the same St Stephens building, taken in 2009, with a partial view of St Barnabas Church on the right across the laneway.









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

Date: May 26,2017


William Hutchison was born 1818 in Whitechapel, Middlesex, the son of William Hutchison, gentleman. He grew up in the London area and in  1838 he married Elizabeth Reddick, the daughter of Lewis Reddick, a farmer,in London. With his wife he had six children, two of whom were the twins Georgina Bell Hutchison and Robert Bell Hutchison, who were born in Tunbridge Wells in 1850. Birth records for the other four children show that the family resided in London up to 1846.

William, in addition to being a stone merchant, he was a stone mason and the holder of patents pertaining to the making of artificial stone ; the cutting of stone; and the treatment of natural stone to protect it from the elements. His first patent dates from 1843 but in 1847 ,while a resident of Tunbridge Wells he took out a second patent,and another in Tunbridge Wells in 1856. William also had business premises in London. His patents have been referred to in a number of publications in England, the United States and even New Zealand.

At the time of the 1851 census he and his wife and six children and one domestic servant were living in Tunbridge Wells at 4 Edgar Terrace, a group of shops with accommodation over (now gone) on the north east corner of Grove Hill Road and Mount Pleasant Road near the SER train station. At that time he was working as a stone merchant but by 1861 he and his family were living in Mount Sion where his occupation was given in the census of 1861 at a “soft stone indurator”, which related to a process he patented to treat sandstone for the local quarry against the elements, a process he named “Hutchisonized Stone”.

William had been in financial troubles for in 1843, while a marble and stone mason, he ended up insolvent and served time in “the Queens Prison”. In 1857, while a resident of Tunbridge Wells, he filed for bankruptcy again. It appears that William’s inventiveness in the stone industry was not rewarding financially. What became of him after 1861 was not determined as all trace of him disappears and definitive information about his life and death after that time was found.

Of his children perhaps the most interesting are the twins born in Tunbridge Wells in 1850 at Edgar Terrace namely Georgina Bell Hutchison (1850-1914)and Robert Bell Hutchison (b1850).Georgina lived with her parents and siblings in Tunbridge Wells in the 1850’s and 1860’s and attended a local school for girls. In 1869 at Lambeth St Mary she married Sidney Philpot Packman (1848-1917)who had his own baker/ confectioners business. With him she had six children between 1871 and 1887. In the 1870’s the family lived first at Sandwich, Kent and later Hythe, Kent. By 1887 the family were living in Herne Bay, Kent, where Georgina died. Her husband died in the 1st qtr of 1917 in Faversham.

Robert Bell Hutchinson went on to be a successful photographer in Hastings, Sussex. In 1867 he married Clara Sparke at St Mary’s Church in Lambeth. He and his wife had a number of children but some did not survive infancy. After the marriage Robert and his wife settled in Hastings. In the 1870’s Robert established a photographic studio on St Andrews Road but towards the end of 1874 he acquired a well- equipped studio at 52 Robertson Street, one of the most fashionable shopping parades in Hastings. In 1876 he sold the studio and moved with his family to Lambeth in south London and for most of the remainder of his life worked as a photographer in the London area. His wife Clara died in the East End of London in 1910 and at the time of the 1911 census Robert was living with his married daughter Mrs Ida Sparham and her two children at 1 Courtenay Road in Walthamstow, Essex. Robert appears to have died in Lewisham, London in 1927.

A third child of William Hutchison was George Ferguson Hutchison,born 1843 in London. He and some of his other siblings were baptised 1861 in Frant, Sussex. He was living with his parents and siblings in Tunbridge Wells at the time of the 1851 and 1861 census, who in the 1861 census was a “stone maker”, producing for his father artificial stone. George however did not continue this line of work and by the time of the 1871 census he was in the army and living at the Calvary Barracks in Lancashire. In 1877 George married Elizabeth Cowell, the daughter of George Layton Cowell. Elizabeth had been born 1851 in Miltown, Dublin,Ireland and gave George four children, two of which were born before the marriage in Manchester (1872)and  Egham, Hertfordshire (1873). By 1879 the family were living in Crowborough, Sussex where their son George Cowell Ferguson Hutchison was born. At the time of the 1881 census George and his wife and four children were living in Kensington, London where George was a riding master. At the time of the 1891 census, George and his wife and two children were living in Eastbourne, Sussex where George’s occupation was given as “ professor of equestrian school”. George’s wife passed away in the early 1900’s and at the time of the 1911 census, taken in Eastbourne, George was a widower and working as a riding master at a livery and hunting stables. His son Ernest William Andrew Kennedy Hutchison(born 1880), who was living with his father in 1911 had the same occupation as his father. George Ferguson Hutchison died in the 1st qtr of 1915 in Eastbourne.

This article reports on the life and career of William Hutchison and provides information about his patents. It also provides information about some of his children and their life/careers.


William Hutchison was born 1818 in Whitechapel, Middlesex, the son of William Hutchison, gentleman. Details about his parents and siblings are sadly lacking but it is known that he grew up in the London area.

On August 25,1838 William married Elizabeth Reddick, the daughter of Lewis Reddick, a farmer. The couple had been married at St Katherine Church  in the Coleman parish,City of London. St Katherine Coleman was a parish church in the City of London, situated in St. Katherine's Row, on the south side of Fenchurch Street, in Aldgate Ward. Of medieval origin, it narrowly escaped destruction in the Great Fire of London in 1666, but was rebuilt in the eighteenth century. The church closed in November 1926 and was demolished soon afterwards.

William and his wife had the following children (1) Mary Ann, born 1840, Bow, Middlesex (2) William Andrew, born July12,1843 Strand, Middlesex. He was baptised at Frant, Sussex February 10,1861. (3) George Ferguson Hutchison born 1843 Strand, Middlesex, the twin brother of William. He was baptised at Frant, Sussex February 10,1861 (4) Susan, born 1846 St Martin in the Fields, London (5) Georgina Bell born 1850 in Tunbridge Wells (6) Robert Bell, the twin of Georgina, born 1850 Tunbridge Wells.  Further details about some of these children are given in a later section of this article. Base on the birth records of the children it is known that the family resided in London up to the end of 1846

From patent records it is known that William and his family had taken up residence in Tunbridge Wells but that William also had business premises in London. Before arriving in the town William had suffered from financial troubles for in 1843, while a marble and stone mason, he ended up insolvent and served time in “the Queens Prison”. This matter was reported on January 25,1843 in the records of the Court of Relief of Insolvent Debtors and stated William Hutchison was late of No. 37 Southampton Street, Stand, Middlesex.

The Mechanics Magazine (Vol 39 1843) under a listing of new patents gave “William Hutchison of Ivy Bridge Lane, Strand, marble and stone merchant “ For improvements in machinery for cutting marble and other stones (July 12 for six months)”. This same announcement appeared in ‘The London Journal of Arts and Science’ of 1843 under ‘patent inventions’.

Williams arrival in Tunbridge Wells is noted by the following patent record. “Patent 11,979 William Hutchison,Tunbridge Wells, November 25,1847 For treating pasteboard and other substances, recovering them  compact and impervious to wet, frost, vermin and other destructive agents”. This appeared in a publication under the heading of ‘Preserving Stone and Plaster’.

Papers read in 1854 at the Royal Institute of British Patents (page 33) stated that oiling stone only protected it for a few years and that “The first patents for indurating and preserving stone was granted to Francois Teychenne, a foreigner, residing abroad dated February 1847. It afterwards became the property of William Hutchison. I believe the works are now carried out in Tunbridge Wells and the patent belongs to the Indurated Stone Company. The stone is to be worked to the requisite form, then thoroughly dried in a heated chamber. The stone is then immersed in  a solution of resin,turpentine, oil, wax and tallow and allowed to soak it up”.

The Scientific American of September 29,1888; the Encyclopedia Britanica of 1860 ; the Tretise on Archicture; The Industrialized Arts of 1889, and ‘The Manufacturer and Builder’ of 1888 all gave the following “ Induration of Stone……The rendering of soft stone hard, and in protecting the stone from the weather when worked and set, has been the subject of great investigation. The first patent was taken out by Mr. Hutchison at Tunbridge Wells in 1847, and was applied to new sandstone there. The stones when worked, were boiled in a solution of resin, turpentine, wax, oil etc and sometimes were believe, pitch, till they are impregnated a sufficient depth from the surface”.

A book entitled ‘J.G. Knight and the Prehistory of Architectural Science in Australia’ by Miles Lewis from the Department of Architecture, University of Melbourne, gave the following  “ In England two other preservative methods have been invented by William Hutchison, and after some delay they were put on a commercial footing by a firm at Tunbridge Wells. They are said to be effective for indurating and rendering impervious soft sandstones, plaster of Paris etc, and one of them brought about a small colour change while the other made the stone nearly black. These processes were patented in Victoria by W.J. Barton. The one which caused the major colour change made use of coal tar, and was suitable for both stone and timber. The other process made use of resin, and was suitable only for treating stone, but the method was precisely the same as for the coal tar- it was heated for 48 hours at 99 degrees C, then cooled to 43 degrees while the stone was immersed for an appropriate period, according to how thick it was. A contemporary report stated that Barton’s process was in fact the same as Hutchison’s , which had been used in London and found especially satisfactory for treating the Bath sandstone. Barton & Co. established works on the property of Henry Groom in Ransden Street, East Collingwood (Clifton Hill)(, where they sank tanks to hold what the Australian Builder described, apparently mistakenly, as soluble silicates. The company had specimens showing that the treatment penetrated eighty millimetres into the stone, and they proposed to use it for paving stones and especially for slabs of sandstone from Groom’s quarry at Bulleen”.

The 1851 census, taken at 4 Edgar Terrace, Tunbridge Wells, gave William Hutchison as a stone merchant. With him was his wife Elizabeth, born 1811 at West Ham, Essex ; six of their children and one domestic servant.  Edgar Terrace (mostly gone now) is shown on the 1846 map opposite. Edgar Terrace was a row of shops with accommodation above, located on the south east corner at the intersection of Grove Hill Road, High Street and Mount Pleasant Road. When the High Street bridge was rebuilt most of Edgar Terrace was demolished to make way for the work. Details in this regard are given in my article ‘ The History of the High Street Bridge’ dated October 6,2015. Shown below is a view of Edgar Terrace looking south on the High Street.

A directory for 1851 gave the listing “ William Hutchison, Hutchisonised Stone Depot, High Street, Tunbridge Wells, and 156 Stand, London.”

A Patent List for patents sealed to October 23,1855 gave the following “ Patent 685…….William Hutchison of Tunbridge Wells, Kent, Stone Merchant and Indurator, For improvements in manufacturing artificial stone and in giving colour to the same-Dated March 28,1855, Sealed September 25,1855”.  The following detailed account about this patent was given in a book of patents and reads “ To William Hutchison Patent 685, of Tunbridge Wells for improvements in manufacturing artificial stone, and in giving color to same dated March 28,1855…….This invention relates to a peculiar preparation of sand, loam, chalk,gravel, shingle, plaster,cements,lime, or other similar loose and friable substances, combined with coal-tar, common resin, or other suitable resinous or similar bituminous material, whereby a new compound is produced, which may be  moulded into blocks or any desired shape, and coloured according to taste. These blocks, when completed and hardened, are perfectly impervious to wet and vermin, and durable in the highest degree. To manufacture an artificial stone of a dark color, coal-tar is used, but if a light artificial stone is required common amber resin is employed”. The text continues for this patent,describing the process in detail and runs on at length. For that reason the long and technical description of the full process of manufacture has not been given but can be found in its entirety on the internet. The artificial stone was made in moulds.

Newtons London Journal of Arts and Science of 1856 gave “Patent to William Hutchison of Tunbridge Wells for improvements in manufacturing artificial stone and in giving colour to the same dated March 28,1855”.

William ran into financial problems once again. The Spectator of September 12,1857 reported under bankrupt “William Hutchison, Frant, Tunbridge Wells, stone merchant Sept. 15 Oct 21-Solicitors; Clarke and Carter, Moorgate Street. Official assignee; Stonefield, Basinghall Street”. The Jurist of 1858 under bankruptcy announced a meeting of creditors of William Hutchison of Frant near Tunbridge Wells, a stone merchants November 17 in London. The Worcester Chronicle of September 1857 also  reported that William Hutchison was a bankrupt “ stone merchant of Frant near Tunbridge Wells.

The 1861 census. taken in Mount Sion, in the vicinity of Elizabeth Cottage; 1-3 Meadow Cottages and 1-6 Poona Place and not far from Claremont Cottage and Belleview was William Hutchison and his wife Elizabeth and three children, including his son William Alexander Hutchison, age 17, a stone maker. William himself was given as a “Soft Stone Indurator”. Where exactly his residence was is not clear due to almost illegible writing by the census taker but appears to be “ No. 1 Poona? Place”.A search in Roger Farthing’s book ‘A History of Mount Sion’ published in 2003 provided no clarification to William’s residence.

In the first qtr of 1870 William’s wife Elizabeth passed away. There was no probate record for her nor any information about when or where she was buried.

William was not found in any census records after 1861 and so my account of him ends there.


Although William and Elizabeth had six children, this section reports on three of the most interesting ones, particularly the twins Georgina Bell Hutchison and Robert Bell Hutchison who were both born in Tunbridge Wells in 1850 and the only two born in the town. Georgina and Robert were the two youngest children in the family.


George was the second eldest son in the family and was born in Strand, London July 12,1843. He lived with his parents and siblings in London until his family moved to Tunbridge Wells in 1847. As I noted earlier he was living in Tunbridge Wells with his parents and siblings at the time of the 1851 and 1861 census and in the 1861 census his occupation was given as “stone maker”.  Interestingly for reasons unknown he and some of his siblings were baptised in Frant, Sussex on February 10,1861.

George decided not to continue his work in the stone industry and instead joined the military. He was found in the 1871 census, as single, and living in Lancashire at the Calvary Barracks with many others.

On July 17,1877 he married Elizabeth Cowell at Clifton, Christchurch, Gloucestershire. She had been born 1851 in Miltown, Dublin, Ireland and was given in the marriage record as the daughter of George Clayton Cowell.  The marriage took place after the couple already had two children. The children of the couple were (1) Helen Muriel Hutchison, born 1873 in Manchester (2) Edgar Percy Hutchison, also given as born 1873 but in Egham, Hertfordshire (3) George Cowell Ferguson Hutchison, born 1879 in Crowborough, Sussex (4) William Andrew Kennedy Hutchison(also given as Ernest William Andrew Kennedy Hutchison in the 1881 census) born 1880 in Kensington. From the birth records of the children it can be seen that George moved about a lot with his family.

With the army he came to be experienced with the riding of horses, something he decided to make an occupation of. The 1881 census, taken at 96 Warwick Gardens in Kensington, gave George as a riding master,. With him was his wife Elizabeth and his children Muriel, Edgar, George and William(Ernest). Also there was one boarder.Shown above is an advertisement of a riding master.

The 1891 census, taken at 107 Lideswell Road in Eastbourne, Sussex gave George as a professor of and equestrian school. With him was his wife Elizabeth and his children Ernest and George. Where the family was at the time of the 1901 census was not established.

The 1911 census taken at St Ivo Motcombe Road in London gave George as a widow and working as a riding master at a livery and hunting stables. With him was his daughter Helen Muriel living on private means; his son George of no occupation and his son Ernest who had the same occupation as his father. The census recorded that they were living in premises of seven rooms.

George  returned to Eastbourne sometime after 1911 and died there in the 1st qtr of 1916.  No probate record was found for him and it is believed that he died with little money.


Georgina was the youngest daughter and was born in Tunbridge Wells July 8,1850 along with her twin brother Robert Bell Hutchison. She was living with her parents and siblings in Tunbridge Wells at the time of the 1851 and 1861 census and was educated at a local girls school.

On August 8,1869 she married Sidney  Philpott Packman (1848-1917), one of six children born to William Packman (born 1809) and Jane Packman (born 1822). Sidney had been born in Canterbury, Kent and was living in Canterbury at the time of the 1851 and 1861 census. The marriage between Georgina and Sidney took place at St Mary, Lambeth, Surrey.

The 1871 census, taken at Charles Street in Herne Bay, Kent, gave Sidney and his wife Georgina and their son Thomas S.E. Packman (born 1870 at Sandwich, Kent) all living with Sidney’s brother and his wife Jane (a dressmaker). Sidney at that time was working as a baker.

The 1881 census, taken at High Street, Hythe, Kent gave Sidney as a pastry cook and confectioner. With him was his wife Georgina and the following children (1) Thomas S. E born 1871 Sandwich, Kent (2) William E, born Hythe, Kent (3) Harry J. R. born 1875 in Hythe (4) Walter E, born 1877 in Hythe (5) Caroline M, born 1881 in Hythe.

The 1891 census, taken at 3 Beech Street in Herne Bay, Kent gave Sidney as a baker and pasty cook worker. With him was his wife Georgina and their children William, Harry, Walter, Caroline and Sidney Edwin, who had been born in Hythe in 1887. His son William was working as a baker; Harry as a clothiers apprentice and Walter as an errand boy. The younger children were attending school.

The 1901 census, also taken at 3 Beech Street gave Sidney as a baker. With him was his wife Georgina and their youngest child Sidney who was working as an ironmongers errand boy.

The 1911 census, also taken at 3 Beech Street, gave Sidney as a baker and pastry cook, His wife Georgina and son Sidney were with him. The census recorded that the couple had been married 42 years and of their eight children only four were still living.

In the 1st qtr of 1916 Georgina passed away in Blean, Kent. Her husband died in the 1st qtr of 1917 at Faversham, Kent.


Robert was the youngest son in the family and was born on July 8,1850 along with his twin sister Georgina. He lived with his parents and siblings in Tunbridge Wells as noted in the 1851 and 1861 census and attended a local school.

On August 4,1867, at St Mary’s Church Lambeth (photo above) Robert , who was at that time employed as a photographer, married Clara Sparke, born 1849 in Westmnster, the youngest daughter of Eliza and Washington Fox Sparke. At the time of their marriage Clara was carrying twin boys where were delivered September 7,1867 but neither of the boys survived infancy. Henry James died within a few days and his brother Robert George a few months later.

Robert and his wife settled in Hastings, Sussex where their daughter Fanny Georgina Hutchison was born February 7,1869. Their next child was Robert George Hutchison who was christened soon after his birth January 24,1871. The 1871 census taken at 66 Stonfield Road in Hastings gave Robert as a photographer and living with his wife Clara and their children Fanny, 2 years old, and Robert junior.

Within a year or so Robert Bell Hutchison had established a photographic studio at 81 St Andrews Road, Hastings and on November 18,1872 a son William Henry Hutchison was born.

Towards the end of 1874 Robert was given an opportunity to acquire a well- equipped photographic portrait studio  at 52 Robertson Street in Hastings in one of the most fashionable shopping parades in Hastings. Thomas Mann, who had run this studio passed away in the 2nd  qtr of 1874 and it was from his estate that Robert bought the studio. During the time Robert was at this studio he fathered a fourth child, a daughter by the name of Ida Clara Hutchison who was born January 15,1875.

In 1876 Robert sold his studio to Thorpe & Friederich and Robert and his family moved to Lambeth in south London. Their fifth child , Jihn Bell Hutchison was born in Lambeth January 22,1877 and on April 13,1879 their sixth child Eliza Isabel Hutchison was born in Brixton.

The 1881 census, taken at 205 Mayall Road in Lambeth, Surrey, in the Brixton area, gave Robert as an “artists photographer” With him was his wife Clara and all six of his children. Another child, Elizabeth Alice Hutchison was born in Brixton September 14,1881.

By 1883 Robert and Clara were living in the East End of London. A son by the name of Arthur Edward Hutchison was born in Bow, East London August 21,1883 and a further three children were born in the Mile End district of East London during the next decade namely Emma louise, Rose Marion and Mabel Ellen, the last to be born on June 12,1892.

At the time of the 1891 census Robert was employed as a photographer while at 2 Rasleigh Street, Heath Road, Clapham, London. It appears that Robert was operating a photographic studio at 29 Grove Road, Mile End, Stepney between 1887 and 1888 yet circumstances forced him into the poor and rundown area of Clapham by 1891. By the time the census was taken in 1901 Robert and Clara were back at Mile End living in London’s East End, where Robert was recorded as a photographer.

Robert’s wife Clara died March 1,1910 in the East End of London. The 1911 census gave Robert as a widower and employed as a photographer. He was living with his married daughter Mrs Ida Sparham and her two children at 2 Courtenay Road. The death date and details for Robert were not established but he most likely died in London circa 1912.

Shown above is a sample of some of his portrait studio CDV’s taken from his studio in Hastings.


From my article ‘Stone Quarries of Tunbridge Wells’ dated September 20,2015 is the introduction to that article. See the full article for information about the use of stone (largely sandstone) in the town and the quarries it came from. Shown opposite is a photo by Tunbridge Wells photographer H.P. Robinson of a stone quarry in Rusthall.

“This article reports on an investigation that was conducted into the location and history of the various stone quarries in Tunbridge Wells and the surrounding area. From this study it was determined that the quarrying of stone in the area dates back to the mid 17th century  in the Culverden area off St John’s Road where rough stone was extracted for use in road construction. The quarrying of stone and the working of it by quarrymen and stone masons to form blocks of stone for building construction dates back to the 1820’s when at the time John Ward acquired land in what became known as the Calverley Estate on a site that today was near the junction of what became Quarry Road and Albion Road on the east and Upper Grosvenor Road, just south of what later became Grosvenor Park, and the site of the Goods Station. This quarry became known as the Calverley Quarry and continued in operation well into the 19th century until the site was redeveloped. The Calverley Quarry was the largest and longest lasting quarry in the town ,and the stone from it was used for the construction of many fine buildings such as Trinity Church.”

“In the southern part of the  town, in the area of Broadwater Down, within Hargate Forest, south and south west of St Marks Church can be found the remains of two quarries (one small and one large)which date back to the first half of the 19th century. Stone from the smallest one near St Mark’s Church was used in its construction in 1864.”

“A small quarry once existed in The Common on what became the site of St Helena, one of three small cottages built on rock  towards the north east end of The Commons ,beside Mount Ephraim Road.”

“Going west from the town  there was at least one quarry in Rusthall and three in Langdon Green from which most of the stone was extracted and used for the construction of buildings in Tunbridge Wells. It appears that these quarries were begun in the early 19th century and their operation coincides with the construction boom in the town of Tunbridge Wells during that century.”

“Going even further west one finds evidence of the Groombridge Quarry located in the vicinity of the village of Groombridge. Dotted across the landscape surrounding the town of Tunbridge Wells there is evidence ,in the form of maps and other documents ,of the operation of quarries. In most cases the stone being quarried was sandstone, most often referred to as Tunbridge Wells Sandstone, which is generally overlayed with a deposit  of Wadhurst Clay(used to make bricks,tiles etc) and above that sand, but the topography and geological formations throughout the region vary and in the case of stone, it appears in many locations at or near the surface ,and one does not need to look far to see massive sandstone formations forced up over time, such as those known as  Wellington Rocks (photo opposite), High Rocks, Harrisons Rocks and others.”

“As a starting point in reporting on the quarries of this area I begin with some background on the geology of the region and a description of the material that was quarried.”



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

Date: May 27,2017


This article reports on the life and activities of Jack Mellor, based on evidence of his work as a photographer and postcard publisher and from information provided by Graham Downie, the chairman of The Fairground Association of Great Britain, and an advisor to the National Fairground and Circus Archive (NFCA), who had knowledge of Jack’s reputation. Shown opposite is a photo of ‘Sally Clarks Wagon Stretford 1941’  which on the back gives this title and the name J. Mellor.

Jack Mellor’s photographic work appears to have been limited to images of fairgrounds and the rides and equipment used in fairs. His images can be found in various collections of the NFCA and elsewhere, and are occasionally found for sale on such websites as eBay. Jack’s work was motivated by his involvement as a Fairground Enthusiast, an interest which saw him travel extensively across Britain to most of the fairs, including those held annually in Tunbridge Wells. A few examples of his photographs and postcards pertaining to Tunbridge Wells are given in this article as well as a small selection of images taken at fairs elsewhere.

His roots appear to be in Halifax, Yorkshire, for his pre WW II divided back postcards bear the inscription on the back “ Jack Mellor, 9 Brunswick Street, Halifax” , a small terrace home in St Mary’s Parish in South Halifax, West Riding. Auction houses who advertise the sale of postcards by Jack Mellor refer to him as a “postcard dealer”.  Later the backs of his photographs do not appear on postcard stock but rather bear the ink stamp inscription “Copyright Jack Mellor (Wanderer)” in which “Wanderer” was a pen-name he used in correspondence, and which was a fitting description of his lifestyle. Shown below left is a postcard back bearing the name of Jack Mellor and his address and to the right of it is a view of Brunswick Street where Jack lived, a row of terrace homes.

Jack was a rather strange and colourful character accused of stealing photographs; of reproducing photographic images by others under his own name without permission; and described by those who knew him as a bit of a rogue ;a philanderer; and someone who in some respects wasn’t exactly likeable.  Jack appears to have been most active in the post-war period and is reported to have passed away in the 1970’s , who from a 1969 photo was estimated to be about age 80. A complete lack of census, birth ,death, and directory listings for him is perhaps indicative of a man who moved about, adopting a nomadic lifestyle.


The information in this section is based almost entirely from emails forwarded to me by Graham Downie, the chairman of The Fairground Association of Great Britain, and an advisor to the National Fairground and Circus Archive (NFCA), who had knowledge of Jack’s reputation.

Graham provided this information in response to an inquiry I made to the NFCA after finding on their website a series of photographs under the name of  Jack Mellor that form part of their extensive collection of fairground related images. I wish to thank Graham for his invaluable input, for without it little would be known about Jack Mellor. My search for information about Jack Mellor on the internet only turned up examples of photographs and postcards under his name. Nothing of the man himself , his ancestry,or details of his life up to the time of his death were found. For that reason this article does not contain the usual genealogical information normally found in my articles.

From emails Graham had this to say…” Matt Neil at the NFCA has passed your enquiry re Jack Mellor to me. Unfortunately, most of that generation who would have known him better than me are no longer with us. I didn’t know him personally, although he appears in a photograph I took at a fair in 1969 when I was unaware of his identity. He was an old man, about age 80 and I think he probably died in the 1970’s”

“ However I did know him by reputation. He was a rather strange character who in some respects wasn’t exactly likeable. To several of the older generation of fairground enthusiasts who I used to know, he was a rogue. Apart from a reputation (presumably in his younger days) as a bit of a philanderer, the most common accusation directed at him was that he was a thief! Objects that he was often accused of taking were other people’s photographs. Some of these he would copy, add a caption and then sell them under his own name. It sounds as if you may have come across some of these that have led you to think he was active as far back as 1904. He wasn’t.” What Graham is referring to here is that I found dated examples of images of fairgrounds covering the period of 1904 to the 1930’s with one taken in Tunbridge Wells in 1919 bearing the name of Jack Mellor on the back. It appears that the original images were taken by others in those early years and reproduced at a later date by Jack Mellor as postcards. Show above is the original postcard of E. Andrew’s traction engine and fair equipment on London Road, opposite the common in Tunbridge Wells. Shown below left is Jack Mellors reproduction of this image shown as card 56 entitled E. Andrews Bursell ‘Pride of Kent’ dated 1919 and to the right of it is what appears on the back of this postcard. It is clear that the images are the same and that Jack Mellor “borrowed” it for his own gain. This photograph was taken on London Road opposite the common, where the fair was held, as the procession of fairground equipment was proceeding towards the intersection of London Road and Mount Ephraim.

Graham continues “ Quite when he was born, I don’t know and I would imagine that there are very few, if any, people around now who could tell you. He first came to prominence after the formation of the Fairground Circle of Showlands Fans in 1940-the very first enthusiast’s club. His name often appeared in their magazine –‘Merry –G-Round’- which was published until 1966, when the club folded. Quite what he did for a living is unclear, but he did move about the country quite a lot, living in digs (and sometimes making a pass at the landlady). As far as I know he was a single man who came from goodness knows where.”

“He did take a lot of his own photographs and although taken on a rather simple camera they were often intriguing records of fairground activity. A friend of mine acquired a collection of his negatives he had taken in the Black Country in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. They came from someone he had once lodged with. Sadly, these weren’t the ones he sold-they tended to be much older photos (taken by others) which he had copied. Most of those in the Rod Spooner collection that bear the name Jack Mellor would fall into this category”.  From my own research I found the photos referred to by Graham in the Spooner Collection on the NFCA Digital website (some 45 images) of which several were attributed to Jack Mellor with the rest by other photographers. I have not shown images of the collection in this article except for those taken in Tunbridge Wells, which are presented later.

Shown above left is a postcard of Pat Collins Amusements, recorded on the front in Jack Mellor’s hand and stamped on the back “Copyright Jack Mellor (Wanderer). Above right is another card marked the same by Jack Mellor of ‘Wilmots Steam Motor Cars Dumfried 1910’. Information about Pat Collins Amusements referred to Pat Collins as “The Boxwich Showman’ and that photos of Collins operations in 1949-1950 were by Jack Mellor.

Graham continues “ The matter of copyright in ‘his’ pictures is rather confused. Anything he took himself would still be in copyright-but as he had no known relatives this comes rather academic. In the case of those he copied the copyright lies elsewhere, if it is still valid. I have a feeling he was in the Tunbridge Wells area at one time-perhaps in the early 1960’s. “Shown opposite is a photograph taken by Jack Mellor in Tunbridge Wells dated 1960 when the fair was in in town. This photo shows a model of a Galloper on display being shown to Tunbridge Wells Mayor Norman Lawrence Glenfield who served as mayor of the town in the term of 1959-1960. With him is no doubt the Mayoress and a young man describing the model to the Mayor.

Shown below are two other Tunbridge Wells images bearing the name of Jack Mellor. On the left is a postcard of J. Matthews Fowler Engine 13047 ‘Wanderer’ taken at the Tunbridge Wells Fair whit Monday 1943. To the right of it is a photo taken at the Tunbridge Wells Fair of 1964 during a social event. Shown in this image are F. Parsons, Mr. & Mrs Hewitt, Mr & Mrs George Marsh, Jack Mellor, Fred Rowlett, Harry Lee, Father Greville and Herbert Thompson.  The Father Greville in this image is the same gentleman that Graham refers to in the next paragraph.

Graham continues “ A late friend of mine used to claim that he lent a collection of photos to the Rev. Father Greville, the founder of the FCSF, when he lived at a convent in Burwash in the 1960’s. After Father Greville’s death in 1966 the photos disappeared-stolen by Jack Mellor, my friend always said. Burwash is not far from Tunbridge Wells, I think”

“ Jack Mellor wasn’t a circus performer or involved in the operation of fairs. His chief interest was the fairground and one possibility for Jack referring to himself as “Wanderer” on his photographs is that he was a commercial traveller-which might explain why he moved from place to place. From the photograph I took in 1969, in which I later discovered that Jack Mellor was shown, he appears to be about age 80, making him born about 1889”.  Shown opposite is photo from the collection of the NFCA dated 1952 which shows on the left Eddie Bathe and on the right Jack Mellor. From the appearance of the clothes Jack is wearing he appears to be a man of limited financial means, a rather dishabilled person. This photo was taken at the Sutton Coldfield Amusement Park.

Shown below is a photo taken August 1961 of fans on Pettigroves Galloper. In this photo are included George Cornfield, Frank Wells, R. Morris, Ron Newbold and Jack Mellor, who is the elderly man in the front row on the right wearing a dark suit with hat and walking stick.

Regarding  Jacks postcards and use of the name ‘Wanderer’ Graham offered the following. “ I went through an envelope of photographs I was given recently and found that many of them carried the Jack Mellor name. One of them was actually printed on a postcard blank, giving his address as being in Halifax, Yorkshire. He must have had these blanks specially printed, suggesting a degree of professionalism- even if the photograph wasn’t by him! I think it was fairly easy to buy these postcard blanks coated with a photographic emulsion as quite a lot of local photographers –cum-shopleepers printed and sold their own local views in the first half of the last century. It was probably before WW 2 when he must have been base in Halifax-possibly his home town. Later (post-war) prints simply have his name stamped on the back: Jack Mellor-‘Wanderer’. The Wanderer title being the nickname by which he liked to be known. In the post-war years many of the correspondents who wrote for ‘The World’s Fair’, the showman’s weekly newspaper, used pseudonyms. They, like Jack Mellor, were all enthusiasts who delighted in using pen-names. One man, Jack Wilkinson, who wrote for the paper for around 50 years was always styled as ‘Cyclist’ –because he went everywhere on a bike”.


From the website of the NFCA can be found photographs of fairgrounds across Britain from the 19th and 20th century including the ones  held  in Tunbridge Wells.  Details about fairs and circuses in the town , and more photographs can be found in my article ‘ The Day the Circus Came to Town’ dated September 8,2013.


The website of ‘The National Fairground and Circus Archive contains in part an article entitled ‘ The Fairground Enthusiast Movement in the UK’ in which they note that the period immediately following WW2 saw big changes on the fairground scene in the UK, through the introduction of faster and more thrilling rides, adding the spice of rock’n’roll and decorating the rides with artwork suitable for the public’s engagement with the design and imagery of the time. The article describes the changes that resulted from a new modern style of fairs. These pronounced, radical changes were spotted by some of the fairground ‘fans’ of the time. These individuals were not yet organised beyond the simple purpose of meeting and enjoying fairgrounds, but all shared a common ground in their appreciation of the wonder of the fairground. They met at the larger fairgrounds and shared stories and photographs. Views were expressed and exchanged in the columns of the Word’s Fair newspaper. The records of the NFCA show that in their archive are some letters written by Jack Mellor.

The preservation movement started in the 1940’s as a result of the changes on the fairground. This resulted in an initiative to preserve the rapidly changing elements of the fairground by withdrawing engines, organs and items from the fairground scene and resurrecting them as preservation projects in the emerging rally scene. Alongside this preservation scene was the formation of the Friendship Circle of Showland Fans (FCSF) who commenced their ‘Merry-Go-Round’ bulletin in March 1941. Photographing fairs and fairground equipment became popular and a means of preserving images of traction engines, rides etc. Many of these photographs were taken by amateurs and were generally sold or exchanged and some people enjoyed collecting fairground images. The website states that of the photographs sold and exchanged stemmed from “regular producers like William Keating and Jack Mellor.

Further information about this topic can be found on their website.



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

Date: May 16,2017


Mary Sarah Goldie (1834-1933), born in Chelsea, Middlesex, was one of five known children born to Robert Goldie (1804-1874), born in Scotland and Mary Goldie, nee Odell (1813-1896), born in Southwark,Surrey.

Robert Goldie was a military man serving in the army for many years as a captain. He and his family, including Mary Sarah Goldie, were living at the Hyde Park barracks at St Margaret Westminster, Middlesex at the time of the 1841 census. Robert died in Greenwich, London in the 1st qtr of 1874 and his wife took up residence with her daughter Mary Sarah Goldie at the Hamilton House girl’s school on Amherst Road in Tunbridge Wells.

Mary Sarah Goldie was living in Tunbridge Wells at the time of the 1851 census where she was a pupil at a girls boarding school located at 15 Mount Ephraim. This school, described as “ a school for the education of young ladies” was run by Sophia Felgate born 1801 in Chelsea. Mary remained at this school up to the age of 18 in 1852 and it is expected that she began her education at this school when she was about age 12, (based on the ages of other girls attending this school).

At the time of the 1861 census, taken at Summerville Lodge on Mount Ephraim (near the Ephraim Tap and Boyne House) she was living as the niece of Sophia Felgate, a 61 year old widow and two domestic servants. No occupation was given for Mary at that time but she decided to make educating young ladies her vocation in life.

The 1871 census, taken at 3 Church Road (Hamilton House) gave Mary as the schoolmistress of this school which she founded. The school itself was a large white building (photo opposite) situated on large landscaped grounds, complete with a lodge (Hamilton Lodge) and coachhouse. Her long-time companion of over 70 years (Marie Helena Hake) was a German governess at this school from the time the school was founded up to the time of her death in 1934. Although some information is given in this article about Marie Helena Hake, details about her life and career can be found in my article ‘ Marie Helena Hake and Hamilton House’ dated May 16,2017.  Neither Mary Sarah Goldie or Marie Helena Hake ever married.

Mary Sarah Goldie continued to run Hamilton House School up to the time of her death on February 4,1933 .She was buried in the cemetery at St Paul’s Church Rusthall along with other family members.  

This article reports on the life and career of Mary Sarah Goldie; her parents and siblings; and the Hamilton House School.


Her father was Robert Goldie born in Ayr, Scotland August 22,1804. He was baptised at Ayr,Scotland on August 24,1804 and given in baptism records as the son of Francis Goldie and Elizabeth Goldie, nee Spence. He was one of several children in the family.

In about 1833 (based on birth dates of his children) Robert married Mary Odell who had been born 1813 in Southwark,Surrey. Although no marriage registration was found it appears that the couple were married in Chelsea, London.  Their eldest child was Mary Sarah Goldie, born 1834 in Chelsea.

The 1841 census, taken at the Hyde Park Barracks in St Margaret, Westminster, Middlesex gave Robert Goldie as “Troop Corporal Major Royal Horse Guards. Also at the barracks was his wife Mary Goldie (1813-1896) and his children Mary Sarah Goldie, age 7;  William Cliefden Goldie, age 5 and Martha Harriet Goldie, age 2.

Regarding Roberts military career, records for him show he was born at Ayr, Scotland and that he started service in the army in 1824 and continued in the service until 1846. He had served with the Royal Regiment of Horse Guards and for part of his career had served in Elgin County, Canada with the 23rd Foot Soldiers. He was described as being 6 feet tall with fair complexion and brown hair.  He is also listed in records as “ Troop Corporal Major Robert Goldie”.

From the birth records of Robert’s children Mary, William and Martha, it is known that the family was residing in Chelsea in 1834 and at St Margaret’s from 1836 to 1844.

Robert and his wife then moved to Scotland where Robert and his wife had the following children (1) Lewis Alexander Grant Goldie (1846-1927) (2) Francis Goldie, born 1854. Mary Sarah Goldie did not move to Scotland with her parents, for by 1851 she was attending a school for young ladies in Tunbridge Wells and never lived with her parents again.

The 1871 census, taken at 18 Donorth Road in St Paul Deptford,Kent gave Robert Goldie as a retired captain. With him was his wife Mary; their son Francis, born 1854 in Scotland and one domestic servant.

Robert Goldie died January 28,1874 , his death being registered in Greenwich, London. Probate records gave Robert Goldie formerly of Millburn near Inverness, Scotland but late of 98 Manor Road,New Cross, Deptford, Kent and that he died at 98 Manor Road January 28,1874. The executor of his under 600 pound estate was his widow Mary Goldie of 98 Manor Road.

Upon his death his wife Mary went to live with her daughter Mary Sarah Goldie in Tunbridge Wells. More information about her is given later in the section devoted to Mary Sarah Goldie but I will note at this time that Mary Goldie died in Tunbridge Wells in 1896.


Mary had the following siblings (1) William Cliefden Goldie, the eldest son and second eldest child, born 1835 at St George Hanover Square, London(2) Martha Harriet Goldie , the second eldest daughter, born 1838 at St Margaret’s (3) Lewis Alexander Grant Goldie (1846-1927) who was born Scotland (4) Francis Robert Spence Goldie, born 1853 in Scotland.

[1] WILLIAM CLIEFDEN GOLDIE………William was born October 22,1835 at Coleshill Street, St George Hanover Square, London. He was baptised October 29.1835 at Ranalagh Chapel,George Street Calvinistic Methodist, Chelsea. London and given as the son or Robert Goldie and Mary Odell (her maiden name). William was living with his parents and siblings at the time of the 1841 census at Hyde Park Barracks at St Margaret’s. At the time of the 1861 census, taken at 220 Kings Road, Chelsea, Middlesex he was living as a boarder and working as a clerk of works. Definitive information about him after 1861 was not found.

[2] MARTHA HARRIET GOLDIE…..Martha was born September 19,1838 at St Margaret’s Westminster, London. She was baptised October 21,1838 at Ranelagh Presbyterian Church in Chelsea, London and given as the daughter of Robert and Mary Goldie. At the time of the 1841 census she was living with her parents and some of her siblings at the Hyde Park Barracks at St Margaret’s. Details about her are not clear but there is a record of a Martha H. Goldie marrying Kenneth Bethume April 26,1855 at Inverness, Scotland and it is known that her family was living in Scotland at that time. It appears that she lived out the remainder of her life in Scotland and no doubt there were children from the marriage.

[3] LEWIS ALEXANDER GRANT GOLDIE…….Lewis was born April 5,1846 at Inverness, Scotland and baptised there on May 4,1846 given as the son of Robert Goldie and Mary Odell (her maiden name). He was still living with his parents and some of his siblings in Scotland in 1854. On April 19,1866 , at Islington,Middlesex, he married Anna Elizabeth Adelheid Margarete Hake (1842-1931) who is often referred to in census records as “Elise”. Details about the Hake family can be found in my article ‘ Marie Helene Hake and Hamilton House’ dated May 16,2017. Anna and her sister Marie both worked as governesses at the Hamilton House girls school run by Mary Sarah Goldie. Marie was at the school for over 70 years but Anna was there for only a short time as can be seen in the census records given later in this section.

Lewis and Anna had the following children (1) Robert Henry Goldie born 1867 in Deptford, Kent, who died May 31,1901 in Kent (2) Louisa Sophia Maria Goldie born 1869 at New Cross, London and who married a Mr Warde. She died in 1959. (3) Lewis Alexander Goldie born 1871 at New Cross, London and died December 14,1926 at Bodmin, Cornwall  (4) Francis Wilhelm Goldie born 1874 in London and died in 1894. More information about these children is given later.

The 1871 census, taken at 17 Donath Road, Deptford, Kent gave Lewis Alexander Grand Goldie as a writer in the Board of Trade in London. With him was his wife Anna (given as “Elise”) and their children Robert H. goldie, age 4; Louisa M Goldie, age 2 and Lewis Alexander Goldie age 43 mths. All three children had been born in Deptford, Kent.

The 1881 census, taken at “Hamilton Lodge dependence of Hamilton House, Amherst Road, Tunbridge Wells, gave Lewis as a clergyman without care of souls. With him was his wife “Elise” (Anna) who was working for Mary Sarah Goldie as a governess at the Hamilton House school. Also with Lewis was one nurse; one governess; two French teachers’ one music teacher; one domestic and six girls who were pupils at the Hamilton House school. Hamilton Lodge was located adjacent to the Hamilton House School. Also in Hamilton Lodge was Mary Godie, age 68, widow, the mother of Lewis Alexander Grant Goldie.

At the time of the 1891 census Lewis and Anna were living in Rochester, Kent. The 1899 Kelly directory gave Lewis Alexander Grant Goldie at 16 South Avenue, Rochester.

The 1901 census, taken at 16 New Road, Rochester gave Lewis and his wife “ Elise” and two servants. Lewis was at that time a government clerk with the Board of Trade in London.  The 1903 Kelly gave the family still living at 16 New Road, Rochester.

The 1911 census, taken at “Park House”48 St John’s Road, Tunbridge Wells gave Lewis as a clerk with the Board of Trade in London. With him was his wife “Elise”; his daughter in law Susan C. Goldie, a 52 year old widow born 1859 in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire; and one domestic servant. The census recorded that they were living in premises of 10 rooms; that the couple had been married 44 years, and that of their four children only two were still living.  Today 48 St John’s road is a shop located on the east side of St John’s Road, north of Queens Road and south of Newcomen Road and not far from Hamilton School on Amherst Road. After this census the family continued to live in Tunbridge Wells.

Probate records gave Lewis Alexander Grant Goldie of 10 Culverden Grange, Tunbridge Wells when he died January 10,1927. The executor of his 3,601 pound estate was his widow “Anna Elisabeth Adelheid Margarethe Goldie”. Probate records gave “Anna Elisabeth Adeilheid Margarette Goldie” of 5 Chilston Road, Tunbridge Wells, widow, when she died March 26,1931. The executors of her 3,699 pound estate were Frank Wyndham Goldie, grandson, actor,  and Mildred Warde, spinster.

[4] FRANCIS ROBERT SPENCE GOLDIE………Francis was born April 18,1853 in Scotland. He was baptised May 25,1853 at Inverness, Scotland and given as the son of Robert Goldie and Mary Odell (her maiden name). At the time of the 1871 census, taken at 18 Donarth Road in Deptford, Kent he was the only child living with his parents and one servant. No occupation was given for him in this census record. What became of him after the 1871 census was not established.


Mary was the eldest daughter of Robert Goldie(1804-1874) and Mary Goldie, nee Odell (1913-1896). Mary was born February 25,1834 in London . Mary was baptised May 4,1834 in Chelsea at the Ranelagh Chapel  on George Street, which was a Calvinistic Methodist Chapel. The same place most of her siblings were baptised.

The 1841 census, taken at the Hyde Park Barracks gave her living with her parents and siblings William and Martha. Her father at that time was serving with the army achieving the rank of Captain.

The 1851 census, taken at 15 Mount Epraim,Tunbridge Wells gave Mary as a pupil at a girls school run by her aunt Sophia Felgate, The census gave the occupants as Thomas James Felgate, age 57, born 1794 in Gravesend, gentleman. Also there was his wife Sophia Felgate, age 50, born 1801 in Chelsea, with the occupation of “ select establishment for the education of young ladies”. Also there were two governesses; one visitor; six servants and twelve girls, age 12 to 18 who were attending and boarding at the school.  Mary completed her education at this school when she was age 18 in 1852 and remained in Tunbridge Wells.

The 1861 census, taken at Summerville Lodge on Mount Ephraim ( near the Ephraim Tap and Boyne House) gave Sophia Felgate (the same woman from the 1851 census) who by this time was a widow, as the head of the home. With her was her niece Mary Sarah Goldie and two domestic servants.

When Hamilton House was built and came into use as a girls school was not established. Jan Holly who is connected with the Woodbury Park Cemetery stated in a document sent to me that Hamilton House School was founded in 1860 by Mary Sarah Goldie but she was still at Summerville Lodge at the time of the 1861 census. Strangely Hamilton House School  was not found listed in the 1867 Kelly Directory but was in existence at the time of the 1871 census.  Initially the road on which the school was located was called Church Road but later its name was changed to Amherst Road.

The 1871 census, taken at 3 Church Road, Tunbridge Wells gave Mary Sarah Goldie as a schoolmistress of the Hamilton House girls school. With her was her close friend and companion Marie Helena Hake who worked at the school as a German governess. Also there was Rose Feliss, a French governess, born 1850 in Switzerland; 8 girl pupils aged 8-15; 3 pupil teachers; one visitor and four domestic servants. At that time the road behind St John’s Church on St John’s Road was called Church Road and still went by that name as shown on a map of 1899 given opposite. Jan Holly states “ In 1860 Mary founded Hamilton House School, Amherst Road after teaching at Plaisance House, Mount Ephraim and 3, Church Road”.

The 1881 census, taken at Hamilton House, Amherst Road gave Mary Sarah Goldie as the school mistress. With her was Marie Helena Hake with the occupation of teacher, several other members of the teaching and domestic staff and some 37 pupils between the age of 6-17.  Next to the school was Hamilton Lodge described as “a dependence of Hamilton House “ at which place was Lewis Alexander Grant Goldie ( 1847-1927) the brother of Mary Sarah Goldie, who had been born in Scotland, and who’s occupation was “clergyman without souls” With him was his wife  Anna Elisabeth Adelheid Margarethe Goldie, nee Hake, who was the sister of Marie Helena Hake, born in Hanover, Germany, who worked as a governess at Hamilton House school. Also there were three of his children and his widowed mother Mary Goldie. Also there were several members of the teaching and domestic staff of the school and eight more pupils.  Further details about Anna are given later.

The 1891 census taken at Hamilton House on Amherst Road gave Mary Sarah Goldie as the schoolmistress. With her were seven governesses, including Maria Helena Hake(born 1846 Hanover) and Hermanne Nicoline  Hake (born 1847/1848 Hanover) who was Maria’s sister,and five other governesses. Also there were 42 pupils between the age of 11 -18; and ten domestics. Next door at Villa Como was Mary Goldie, the widowed mother of Mary Sarah Goldie; three more governesses of the school , three servants and 9 pupils of the school. Shown opposite is  a modern view of  Hamilton House.

At the time of the 1891 census Hamilton Lodge was occupied by Mary M. Caruthers, a 55 year old widow living on own means and with her was her daughter Janet A Caruthers, age 30, a teacher of music and two of her daughters Katherine M, age 16 and Louisa M, age 12 who were scholars. Also there were three servants, a nephew, six girl scholars between the ages of 13-16 and two visitors including Frank Goldie born 1875 at New Cross, London, who was a student of medicine. Next door at the coachhouse was a coachman and his wife and two children.

The 1901 census, taken at Hamilton House, Amherst Road gave Mary Sarah Goldie as the schoolmistress. With her was Marie Helena Hake, a teacher; seven other teachers; one school matron; 16 domestics and 61 girls aged 12-18.

Shown opposite is the 1909 os map on which can be seen that Church Road had been renamed Amherst Road. This map shows the location of the Hamilton House girls school (highlighted in red), St John’s Church and its vicarage and other buildings in the area.

The 1911 census, taken at Hamilton House, 5 Chilston Road, gave Mary Sarah Goldie as the schoolmistress of a private boarding girls school. With her was two domestic servants; a classical mistress; a mathematics mistress and Marie Helena Hake a German mistress. The census recorded that the school had 13 rooms. The census record was signed by Mary S. Goldie of Hamilton Lodge, a lodge on the site of the school where she resided. Mary Goldie, the mother of Mary Sarah Goldie died December 31,1896 in Tunbridge Wells while a resident of Villa Como leaving an estate valued at 1,011 pounds to her daughter Mary Sarah Goldie.

Mary Sarah Goldie continued to run the Hamilton House school up to the time of her death. Probate records gave Mary Sarah Goldie of Hamilton Lodge, Tunbridge Wells, spinster, when she died February 4,1933. The executors of her 12,769 pound estate were Albert Jeffery Mitchell, solicitor, and Norman Odell Searle, architect. Although information about Norman Odell Searle was not investigated is appears that he was related to Mary Goldie, nee Odell, the mother of Mary Sarah Goldie. The London Gazette of May 5,1933 gave an announcement of the death of Mary Sarah Goldie and stated that Norman Odell Searle was of Peternaster House, London and Albert Jeffery Mitchell was a solicitor of 3 The Priory, Tunbridge Wells.

Mary Sarah Goldie was buried in the cemetery at St Paul’s Rusthall Church  in the same grave as her aunt, Sophia Felgate,after a service for Mary at St John’s Church. A  postcard view of St John’s Church is shown below left. There is a  window on the south wall of St John’s Chruch donated by Mary Goldie as a thanksgiving for her life. There is also a memorial to Mary Sarah Goldie in St John’s Church which was laid in 1934. A postcard view of St Paul's Church Rusthall is also shown below right.

Burial records supplied to me by Jan Holly read  gave “Anna Elizabeth Adelheld Margarita Goldie, Hamilton House, March 30,1931 age 90 yrs; Frank Wilhelm Goldie of Clapham Nov. 6,1894 age 20 years; Lewis Alexander Grant Goldie, 10 Culverden Grange, Tunbridge Wells January 12,1927, age 80 and Robert Henry Goldie  St John’s June 3,1904, age 37 years”. 

Also from Jan Holly is the following transcription of the headstones at St Paul’s Rusthall “ Sacred to the memory of Peirce Odell late of Chelsea who died at Tunbridge Wells July 4th 1856 in the 85th year of his age ‘My flesh shall rest in hope’ (this headstone was erected by his loving daughter Sophia Felgate) And also of his daughter Mrs Robt Goldie who died December 31st 1896 in her 85th year. Sacred to the memory of Sophia Felgate of Tunbridge Wells who died April 29th 1878 aged 79 yrs’ To me to live is Christ and to die is gain’ Also in memory of her husband Thomas James Felgate who died at Tunbridge Wells December 31st 1855 in the 63rd year of his age. God is Love Here lies Mary S. Goldie 1834-1933 of Hamilton House School who for over 60 years carried it on with the devoted help of Marie Hake. She loved and was loved.”

Some indication of Mary’s connection to St John’s Church is given in the following account entitled “ David Vipan, the Hakes and the German Connection’ written in 2014 on the occasion of a concert put on at the Woodbury Park Cemetery by the Wiesbaden Brass Band. The full account about the Hake sisters from that article was given in my article “ Marie Helene Hake of Hamilton House” dated May 16,2017. The concert article states in part “The school was a model of its time. founded and run by the formidable Miss Mary Goldie it was among the first to enter girls for public examinations and to encourage cycling and cricket. Marie Helene Hake, the middle sister, was her vice principal, and her lifelong companion for 60 years. The pupils and teachers of the school were deeply engaged with many of St Johns activities, with Miss Goldie regarded as one of its strongest and most liberal supporters. Her pupils held fund raising events and helped to run its soup kitchen for the poor of which there were many in the surrounding Lew area. The school premises were used for some church activities like Bible classes, since no parish hall existed at that time. The big stained glass window in the south side of St Johns was erected in 1890 to mark Miss Goldie’s 30 years in the town.”


Lewis Alexander Goldie (1871-1926)was the son the Lewis Alexander Grant Goldie (the brother of Mary Sarah Goldie). His siblings were given earlier and no research was undertaken about them. To restate what was given earlier his siblings were (1) Robert Henry Goldie (1867-1901) (2) Louise Sophia Maria Goldie (1869-1959) (3) Francis (Frank)Wilhelm Goldie (1874-1894).  Lewis was born April 13,1871 at New Cross London and died December 14,1926 at Bodin, Cornwall. He had been baptised April 30,1871 at Deptford St John.

At the time of the 1871 census he was living with his parents at St Paul, Deptford and at the time of the 1881 census he was living with his parents in Tunbridge Wells at Hamilton Lodge on Amherst Road.

The Law times of March 1,1892 gave examination results of students of law and noted that Lewis Alexander Goldie had passed his final exam January 1892. The same source reported July 15,1896 that Mr Lewis Alexander Goldie, solicitor, had been appointed Assistant Overseer of St Margaret parish,Keent in the room of the late Mr T.S. Warne and that Mr Goldie had been admitted to the Law Society in 1893.

Lewis married Phillis Wyndham in the 2nd qtr of 1896 in London .She had been born 1869 at Wandsworth, London. Lewis and his wife had two known children namely (1) Frank Wyndham Goldie born July 5,1897 at Rochester, Kent. He died September 26,1957. (2) Maurice Wyndham Goldie born 1899 in Rochester, Kent. He died in 1928.

The 1901 census, taken at 16 Smith Avenue in Rochester, Kent gave Lewis Alexander Goldie as a solicitor, born 1871 at New Cross, London. With him was his wife Phillis Wyndham Goldie; their children Frank W, age 3 and Maurice W, age 2. Also there were two domestic servants.

The London Gazette of March 25,1910 reported that the partnership between Lewis Alexander Goldie and Frank Henry Chapman, carrying on business as solicitors under the name of Greathead, Goldie and Chapman at 272 High Street in Rochester, had been dissolved by mutual agreement as of January 1,1910 and that the business was to be carried on by Lewis Alexander Goldie under the name of Greathead and Goldie.

The 1911 census, taken at 17 & 18 Waterloo Crescent in Dover, Kent gave Lewis Alexander Goldie as a solicitor employer. With him was his wife Phillis; his two sons Frank and Maurice, who were attending school. The census recorded that the family were living in premises of 3 rooms; that the couple had been married 14 years (1897) and that they had just the two children.

Directories of 1913 to 1918 gave “Lewis Alexander Goldie, solicitor, commissioner for oaths, vestry clerk of St Margaret’s and assistant overseer of St Margarets (firm: Greathead & Goldie 60 High Street, Rochester, Kent)”.

A 1922 directory gave “ Lewis A. Goldie member of County Council of Kent (electoral division Rochester borough) No. 1”.

Records of St Margarets Cemetery on Maidstone Road, Rochester noted on the west side a monument which read “ In ever loving memory of Lewis Alexander Goldie who died the 14th December 1926 aged 56 year and that on the east side was Phillis Wyndham Goldie the beloved wife of L.A. Goldie who died in 1921.  Her actual date of death was June 9,1921 at 17 South Avenue, Rochester. Probate records gave Lewis Alexander Goldie of Fairview Port Isaac Cornwall when he died December 14,1926. The executors of his 2,898 pound estate were Reginald Thomas Phillip Bennett, solicitor and Robert Michael Hall, gentleman. Probate records for Phyllis Wyndham Goldie gave her of 17 South Avenue, Rochester when she died June 9,1921. The executors of her 1,377 pound estate was her husband Lewis Alexander Goldie, solicitor, and her son Frank Wyndham Goldie, agricultural student and Fanny Strouts, spinster.

The UK Navy list gave Maurice Wyndham Goldie as a 2nd Liet on a list of January 27,1916 and his brother Frank Wyndham Goldie was on the list of the Royal Marine Forces dated December 5,1915. Medal index cards for their service in WW 1 can be found on the internet although there service records do not appear to have survived. Wikipedia stated that “Frank Wyndham Goldie was a lieutenant in the Royal Marine Light Infantry during WW 1 and his elder brother Maurice held a commission in the same corps during the war”.

Maurice Wyndham Goldie had been born in the 4th qtr of 1898 in Rochester and died May 18,1928 in Northamptonshire. He was living with his parents at Rochester at the time of the 1901 census and with them in Dover at the time of the 1911 census. As noted above he served with the Navy during WW 1. He married Betty who is noted ih his probate record which gave Maurice Wyndham Goldie of the Central Flying School Wittering Nothampstonshire who died May 18,1928 at 57 Manchester Street, Marylebone, Middlesex and that the executor of his 239 pound estate was Betty Wyndham Goldie, widow.

Of these two sons perhaps the most interesting was Frank Wyndham Goldie (photo opposite dated 1935)for he went on to have an acting career and married a woman of some distinction herself. Frank is found in electoral records at Kensington from 1937 to 1948.  Wikipedia states that “Frank came onto prominence as an actor at the Liverpool Playhouse from 1927 until the summer of 1934, the last year during which he also directed plays. He was married to television producer Grace Wyndham Goldie”. For details about his acting career see the Wikipedia website.

On July 30,1928 Frank married Grace Murell Nisbet (photo opposite) She had been born March 26,1920 at Inverness Highland, Scotland and died June 3,1986 at Kensington,London.  Grace is noted as being a pioneer of Current Affairs programming with BBC television.  Wikipedia states that “ Grace was a producer and executive in British television for twenty years, particularly in the fields of politics and current affairs. During her career at the BBC, she held her own as one of the few senior women in an establishment dominated by men. As a producer, she pioneered many of the television formats now taken for granted in Britain. She became Head of Talks, and later Head of the Current Affairs Group at BBC Television. Details about her early life and career can be found on the Wikipedia website  and in a fine article about her by Charlotte Higgins dated June 12,2015 entitled “ Prejudice and a BBC pioneer-the amazing story of Grace Wyndham Goldie” which can be found on the website

Probate records gave Frank Wyndham Goldie of 86 St Mary Abbots Court, London when he died September 26,1957 at Beaumont House, Beaumont Street, St Marylebone, London. The executor of his 2,094 pound estate was his widow Grace Murrell Goldie.


In previous sections I provided some images of the school ; a map from 1899 showing its location on Church Road (later known as Amherst Road)and a 1909 os map on which I highlighted the location of the school, a school which one can see from the photographs was large (given as being 13 rooms in the 1911 census) with a white exterior finish. Shown below are two postcard views of the school from 1931 and below it one dated 1937.

In 1856 the Conservative Land Society became owners of a large part of the land that became the Woodbury Park Estate. They had acquired the land to develop it for residential purposes. They divided about half of the land (about 60 acres) into some 75 lots. By 1897 the whole development was complete. The Woodbury Park Cemetery was opened in 1849 when the graveyard at Holy Trinity Church was full. The creation of the cemetery and the carriage road leading to it from St John’s Road presumably gave the impetus for the development of the whole estate.

When Hamilton House School was built, who designed it and who build it were not established. Information from Jan Holly suggests Mary Sarah Goldie founded the school in 1860. It is known that no listing for it was found in the 1867 local directory but it is listed in the 1871 census.

As I have noted in previous sections the school was located on large landscaped grounds and Hamilton Lodge formed part of the school being used as a residence for school staff and pupils. Also on the premises was a coachhouse occupied by a coachman and his family.  The 1909 map shows that the school property extended all the way for Amherst Road to Chilston Road to the east and that access to both Hamilton Lodge and the Coachhouse were off Chilston Road.

Apart from a selection of old and modern photographs of the school given in this section and elsewhere the best description of the school is given from an article that appeared in a directory dated 1934,which article I presented in the 'Overview'.  Included in that article is a photo showing  girls in the school yard.  The article read “ Hamilton House,Tunbridge Wells, recognized as efficient by the Board of Education. Principals; Miss Ferguson, B.A., S.TH., A.R.C.M. and Miss Body, B.A. Hamilton House is a school for the daughters of gentlemen, and is healthily situated in one of the highest parts of Tunbridge Wells, over 400 feet above sea-level. The houses are provided with ever comfort, including central heating and electric light, and the life is made as homelike as possible. Entire charge is taken of pupils whose parents are abroad. A well-appointed Gymnasium is attached to the house, and great attention is paid to health and physical development. Plenty of time is given to open-air exercise. There are four grass and two hard Tennis Courts, and in winter Hockey, Tennis and Netball are played. There is a fully-equipped Chemical Laboratory. The school had its own companies of Cadet Rangers and Guides, and its own Brownie Pack. There are excellent indoor and open-air Swimming Baths in the town, and to these the girls have the opportunity of going in the summer. The school is examined annually by the Oxford Schools Examination Board, and pupils are also prepared for the entrance and scholarship examinations at all Universities. In Music and Elocution, pupils enter for the Examinations of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music; and in Drawing and Painting for those of the Royal Drawing Society. Prospectus on application. Telephone: Tunbridge Wells 509”.

Shown opposite is the front cover of a book entitled ‘English Men of Letters’ which on the front cover has ‘Hamilton House Tunbridge Wells’. Also shown is the label inside the book given as a prize to Isobel Carruthers October 1913 which is signed by Mary S. Goldie and Agnes F. Ferguson.

The National Archives holds records for this school for the period of 1961 to 1965 and also the Royal Tunbridge Wells, Hamilton House School (incorporating Ramsgate, St Lawrence Cliffs, St Winnifred’s School ) 1936-1940.

In 1948 the school moved to Speldhurst but it was not a success and it returned to Tunbridge Wells in 1953 at 9 Calverley Park but closed in 1969.

The former old school grounds behind the school towards Chilston Road were redeveloped after the school closed and is now a housing development known as “Hamilton Cottages”.

Publications of the Educational Times from 1895 onwards gave listings of the students attending this school.

Hamilton House School(Tunbridge Wells) Limited  (charity 307878) was a registered charity formed March 2,1967 but removed November 5,1971 as it ceased to exist then. Its objective was to provide first class education combined with sound training in Christian Faith by establishing, acquiring, supporting, managing and running schools and places of education.

The London Gazette of July 31,1969 gave “ Hamilton House School (Tunbridge Wells) Limited …registered office 130 Wood Street, Cheapside, London and that on July 18,1969 Frederick Roy Coud of 21 Manchester Square, London had been appointed by creditors as the liquidator of the schools assets, thus bringing to an end the operation of the school.

The Margaret Thatcher Foundation reported that on July 15,1968 Margaret Thatcher gave a speech at Hamilton House School. The Kent & Sussex Courier of July19,1958 reported : Mrs Margaret Thatcher MP, who presented the prizes, likened education to dress-making. The cut-out pieces bore no resemblance to the finished article, but, in the same way, the different subjects studied and character lessons learned at school combined to make up a “dress” that was either smart and attractive or cobbled at the seams. Mrs Thatcher told the parents that the struggle involved in giving children the advantage which went with attending such a school as Hamilton House were well worthwhile”.

A review of online Planning Authority records from 1974 onwards shows that by 1974 the school building had been converted into 20 flats, a use it retains today. Much of the exterior of the school looks today as it did when it was a school but of course over the years there had been improvements and additions to the school building during its time as a school and since it was converted into flats. Local estate agents from time to time advertise these flats and the photographs they provide of the interior show that many of the interior treatments and fireplaces have been saved.


As was noted from census records, on average some 60 girls boarded at this school annually. Given that the school began circa 1869 and continued for 100 years, one can state that several thousand girls received a good education at this school.  It would of course be impossible to list every student or for that matter construct a list of “Most Notables” . Several forums contain information about many students who attended the school and in some cases obituaries, books and articles either contain information about former students or highlight certain individuals of particular note.

Some books that include information about the staff and student of Hamilton House are (1) ‘Life in letters; selected correspondence’ by Max Horkheimer, as it refers to the daughter of Jella Lepmann who attended the school in the 1930’s (2) Charles Williams: The Third Inkling’ by Grevel Lindop , as it related to Phyllis born September 9,1901 in Tooting, London, the daughter of a hosiery salesman. She was at King’s College for Women in Kensington where she studied Household and Social Science. She became a science teacher at Hamilton House but left there in 1923 and in 1924 became a librarian at Amen House. (3) F.A Mann: A Memoir’ by Geoffrey Lewis, as it relates to Richard Mann and his wife Ida who had a daughter. Ida’s sister Laura taught German at Hamilton House. (4) ‘Essentially Canadian; The Life and Fiction of Alan Sullivan 1868-1947’ by Gordonb D. McLeod (1882) which refers to Mr Alan Sullivan of Canada who was involved in prospecting and mining in Canada. His sister Nora was a student at Hamilton House and Alan corresponded with her regularly in the 1890’s.

No doubt many other books with similar references to the School can be found. Given below is just a sample of some noted students of the school during my research.

[1] Dr Muriel Port……..Born July 25,1915; died June 13,2007. The following was published about her in the Winnipeg Free Press on June 16,2007. “DR. MURIEL PORT 1915 - 2007 Peacefully, on June 13, 2007, in the Convalescent Home, Muriel passed away at the age of 91 years. She was predeceased by both parents and her brother John. She will be missed by her close friends, Nancy and Lou Fontaine, Tricia and Chris Fontaine, Diane and Gary Goldburg, Marilyn Thomas, Marilyn Hunter, Brian Thomas, Sueann Thomas and John Thomas. Muriel was born July 25, 1915 in Cape Town, South Africa of English parents. She received primary education in South Africa and at Hamilton House, Tunbridge Wells, Kent England for the last six of the school years. Muriel then returned to South Africa where she graduated in medicine at the University of Cape Town in 1939. After working at her chosen profession in Cape Town and Durban (Natal), she returned to England to specialize in Internal Medicine. Subsequently, Muriel was appointed to the staff of the Wright-Fleming Institute, St. Marys Hospital, London and continued working there until January 1957 when she immigrated to Canada. Muriel settled in Winnipeg becoming a member of the Manitoba Clinic in the Department of Internal Medicine until her retirement in July 1980. Muriel was a member of the University Women's Club of Winnipeg and of The Women's Committee of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. Recreation included bridge and a membership in The Tuxedo Bridge Club. In keeping with Muriel's wishes, cremation has taken place and a service of remembrance will be held on Monday, June 18, 2007 at 1:30 p.m. in Thomson Funeral Home, 669 Broadway Ave.

[2] MILDRED FAULKNER (1897-1982) …………The following information was provided by the Royal College of Surgeons of England. MRCS 1921; FRCS 1922; MB BS London 1921; MS 1929; LRCP 1921.  Born February 18,1897 Knowsley, Lancashire, died October 8,1982 . Occupation” ENT surgeon and General surgeon. Mildred Faulkner (née Warde) was born in Knowsley, Lancs, on 18 February 1897 the daughter of Wilfred Brougham Warde who was medically qualified holding a London MD. She was educated at Hamilton House, Tunbridge Wells, and studied at Manchester University from 1915 to 1918. She studied medicine at the School of Medicine for Women at the Royal Free Hospital, London, and was the first woman to be awarded the gold medal in the examinations for the MS. She went on to become a surgical registrar at the Royal Free and had an ENT practice in Harley Street. She was on the council of the Medical Defence Union.In 1931 she married Mr O T Faulkner and gave up surgery. She brought up her husband's sons by his previous marriage, Denis and Alan, and had two of her own, Henry and Tony. When her husband died in 1958 she took up painting and was chairman of the Norfolk and Norwich Art Circle. She was still painting a few weeks before her death. She was also a Samaritan helper, manning the Norwich telephone at even the most unpopular times. She died on 8 October 1982 survived by her sons and eight grandchildren.”


Margaret was born in London May 4,1910 and died April 1,1986. She was a British linguist and philosopher. Margaret Mary Masterman was the daughter of Liberal politician and author Charles F.G. Masterman, and poet Lucy Blanche Lyttelton. She was educated at Hamilton House, Tunbridge Wells, at the Institut Britannique in Paris, and at Newnham College, Cambridge, where she studied from 1929-32. She married philosopher Richard Bevan Braithwaite in 1932, and had one son and one daughter.The author of three novels - one, Gentlemen's Daughters, written while she was a student at Cambridge - Masterman had a varied career, involved in everything from theater and film production, to the creation of philosophical circles ('Epiphany Philosophers') and publications (the journal Theoria to Theory). She lectured for the Moral Sciences Faculty at Cambridge, founded and directed the Cambridge Language Research Unit (CLRU), which would become a major research center in the field computational linguistics, and was a founding Fellow and Vice President of the Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge, named after a maternal aunt.

[4] BARBARA DUNCAN (1910-2001)

Barbara Mary Pycraft was born on 22 February 1910. Her sister, Margaret, who has supplied some of the following information, was born five years later. Their father, William Pycraft,was an ornithologst on the staff of the Natural History Museum, South Kensington, author of several books, and for many years editor of the science page in the Illustrustrated London News. The girls went to a boarding school in Cambridge, where Barbara 'refused to fit into the jelly mould', and then to Hamilton House School, Tunbridge Wells. This was an establishment which turned out young ladies, so before entering London University to read history, Barbara found that in order to matriculate she had to repair the deficiencies in her education. This involved much hard work in Latin, and, as an alternative to maths in which both sisters were hopeless, logic.

In February 1931 the Wellcome Historical Medical Museum, still in Wigmore Street, was looking for a research assistant, and Barbara, fresh from university, aged 21, secured the job.

She left the Wellcome Museum in November 1937, for an appointment at the Institute for Research in Agricultural Engineering in Oxford.

Barbara obtained her D Phil in 1945, and immediately set about rethinking, rewriting, and augmenting her thesis to make it suitable for publication. At the end of 1946 she was offered employment with the Nuffield Foundation, so the Duncums moved to London, where Philip continued his work in journalism, and Barbara researched in the major scientific libraries.

At the Nuffield Foundation Barbara researched the history of hospital architecture for a book on hospital planning, wrote reports and speeches for the Director, and undertook general administrative duties. She retired in the late 1970s, but found herself in the limelight when, with the founding of the History of Anaesthesia Society, she was elected with acclaim as one of the first group of honorary members.

Latterly travel became difficult, but Barbara attended meetings in London and contributed papers, her last being at the Joint Sesquicentennial Meeting with the Section of Anaesthetics of the RSM in December 1994, when she spoke, with much new information, about the reintroduction of nitrous oxide in the 1860s.

She died on 16 October 2001, after a short illness at the age of 91. She is survived by her husband of 61 years of married happiness, and her sister, Mrs Margaret Frost. The History of Anaesthesia Society, the Nuffield Foundation, and the Wellcome Trust were represented at her funeral at Putney Vale Crematorium, on  November 2,2001.


In an article by Jane Bakowski dated July 6,2016 she wrote about Maud’s quest to save vanishing English fold music. She had trekked through the Applachian mountains in 1916 as war raged in Europe. A decade after leaving Hamilton House School in Amherst Road she was on a mission to save traditional folk music from extinction. With a passion for fold music and dance, she had been invited to accompany renowned expert Cecil Sharp on his journey to collect as many songs as possible. They headed for America in the belief that songs which had all but disappeared back home in England may have continued among British settlers in the remote valleys hidden deep in the mountain ranges. There they found hundreds of songs still being sung by people of all ages.

Maud came from a wealthy German Jewish family in London. Her five years alongside her two sisters at Mary Goldie’s progressive Hamilton House School, which regularly sent pupils to Oxford, Cambridge and other universities, had been followed by six months piano study in Berlin. She then came home to work among some of London’s poorest communities with her sister Helen. They were working hard to enable girls to enjoy sport and cultural activities, but they wanted to find ‘something creative’ to inspire them. Folk dance provided the answer and they immediately set up a club. Before long, members were taking part in demonstrations, and Karpeles herself quickly became absorbed into Sharp’s collecting expeditions.

After Sharp’s death in 1924, Karpeles, who became his biographer, followed up his suggestion that English and Scottish emigrants to Newfoundland would have taken their songs with them, travelling there herself in 1929. Four years later, her classic Folk Songs from Newfoundland was published. In the 1950’s, by now and established authority on her subject, she returned twice to the Appalachian mountains and recorded the songs on a recording machine.

Maud returned regularly to Tunbridge Wells to attend Hamilton House events. Her sister Helen spent her last years in the town at Mount Ephraim House.

For the complete article and other information about her take a look for it on the internet.


Her scrapbooks form part of the collection of the Women’s Library and date from 1912 to 1929. The following biography from this library was posted online.

“Maud Isabel Crofts (1889-) née Ingram was born in 1889, the daughter of a barrister, Thomas Lewis Ingram. She was educated at Hamilton House School, Tunbridge Wells and at Girton College Cambridge (1908-1912) where she studied history and law. She was among the group of Oxbridge women who took the Law Society to court in 1913 over its refusal to allow women to qualify as solicitors. She became the first woman to be articled (in 1919) and to take out a practising certificate as a solicitor (1922). In 1922 she married John Cecil Crofts, also a solicitor. She wrote, lectured and broadcast on legal topics and in 1925 she published a volume entitled, 'Women under English Law' with a foreword by Dame Millicent Fawcett. Amongst her other activities, Maud was a member of the Executive Committee of the National Council of Women.”

There are several websites that provide a more detailed account about her life and career.


The following account was written by her son David Barrie and was published in the Guardian August 16,2015.

My mother, Patricia Barrie, who has died aged 94, was a successful actor in her early 20s, before she gave up her career to raise a family.

Paddy – as she was always known – fell in love with acting as a child. Born in Pembury, Kent, to Sydney Tucker, a doctor, and Winifred (nee Chatwin), a nurse, she attended Hamilton House school in Tunbridge Wells and then became a prizewinning student at Rada in London. She graduated in the summer of 1939 and landed a job at the Open Air theatre in Regent’s Park, playing Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

She appeared in that production with her flatmate, the future Hollywood star Deborah Kerr, who had a walk-on part. The principal of Rada then recommended Paddy to John Gielgud, who offered her a job on the spot. But my mother felt she should honour her commitment to the Open Air theatre, so turned Gielgud down. It was, she said, the biggest mistake of her career.

During the second world war she appeared at the Vaudeville theatre in London at the height of the blitz – and had a narrow escape when a bomb landed right outside her flat without exploding. She also worked in repertory companies during the war, travelling all over the country. She particularly liked performing in Dundee, appearing alongside Patrick Cargill in various productions and remembering in vivid detail one especially wild all-night party in the city that took place on board a submarine. Wartime theatre also meant entertaining the troops around the country, occasionally with an all-female cast.

Around this time the film director Michael Powell asked to see Paddy and said he could give her work – “ but,” he insisted, “you’ll have to go back to your natural hair colour”. My mother, a blonde, was outraged: “I beg your pardon! This is my natural colour!” Powell gave her a part in The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943), though she ended up on the cutting room floor.

My mother’s career was starting to take off when Alec Barrie, the man she loved, returned from the war. She had met Alec, who was the great-nephew of the author JM Barrie, in 1940, shortly before he was posted abroad for four years with the Royal Artillery. He was a civil engineer by trade, and after his job eventually took the couple down to the New Forest, Paddy concentrated on raising a family and her acting career ended in her early 30s.

After my father died in 1969 she worked briefly as a presenter for BBC Radio Solent and later in a bookshop in Lymington, Hampshire. Although she always regretted the sacrifice of her acting career, she continued to enjoy all things theatrical and retained her terrific zest for life almost to the end. She volunteered for local charities, was a keen sailor, and loved reading, walking and, of course, going to the theatre.

She is survived by her three children, Fiona, Lindsay and me, by five grandchildren, and by nine great-grandchildren.


The Designing Women website has a very long article by Rosemary Addison about Wendy Wood, too long to include in its entirety here. She was born as Gwendoline Meacham at Maidstone October 29,1892 but adopted her mother’s maiden name in 1927. In 1894 her family moved to Cape Town, South Africa. Both of her parents were amateur artists. Of her time at Hamilton House school in Tunbridge Wells she wrote “ It was to draw and paint that I rose at six on winter mornings and stole on tiptoe to the cold school studio to work in secret…Drawing filled every margin of my exercise books, painting filled ever second of my spare time…” On leaving school in 1905 she went to London where she joined her sisters. She enrolled for drawing lessons at Westminster School of Art and also for evening classes from Walter Sickert, who encouraged her interest in print and in the traditional discipline of drawing. In 1913 she married Walter Cuthbert who added a studio to their home in Ayr. In 1917 she began to look for a niche in the film industry and the following year, when the mother of two daughters, founded a documentary film company, but her initiative with Ayrshire Cinematographic Theatres Limited failed and she suffered further bouts of ill health. She refreshed her skills at the Glasgow School of Art and joined the Ayr Sketch Club. In 1923 she produced illustrations and poems for her first book ‘The Baby in the Glass’ . She took a job as ‘Auntie Gwen’ on a children’s radio programme broadcast from Dundee and worked as an illustrator for the children’s magazine ‘Little Dots’. She went on to produce a collection of verse for children ‘The Chickabiddies Bood’ in 1927. She joined the Scottish National Movemet and supported the campaign of Lewis Spence as a Nationalist Candidate for North Midlothian in 1929.

During the 1940’s and 1950’s  she turned out several other books and illustrations. Her second volume of autobiography was published in 1970. She appeared in the children’s programme ‘Jackanory’ between 1973 and 1979. She died sometime before 1985. She remains a controversial figure. Wood was driven by her belief “ in freedom, of the individual, of the nation”.  See the original article for a more comprehensive account and several more photographs.


                                                                            GO TO PAGE 3













Web Hosting Companies