ALL ABOUT
TUNBRIDGE WELLS

Page 3

 

THE LANCASTER FAMILY OF TUNBRIDGE WELLS

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

Date: December 25,2017

OVERVIEW

The central focus of this article is Henry Lancaster(1806-1887) and his two children Henry Lancaster(1828-1902) and Charles Lancaster (1836-1902). Henry Lancaster senior and his son Henry are best known as accomplished cabinet makers but expanded the business into other profitable areas

Henry seniors youngest son Charles was trained at the Royal Academy of Music and worked all his life as a professor of music.

The last member of the Lancaster family reported on is Ernest Clemmans Lankaster, one of the sons of Henry Lancaster (1828-1902) who was born 1866 in Hastings, and one of at least eleven children in the family. He came to Tunbridge Wells after his marriage in Hastings to Frances Semple in 1893 and is found in Tunbridge Wells directories of 1899 and 1903 as a furniture manufacturer on Nevill Street , where his art furnishing establishment was located  and the proprietor of the Grosvenor Gallery on Grosvenor Road. His place of residence in the town was on Cumberland Walk. By 1911 he and his wife and daughter were living in Watford where he was working as a furniture salesman. He died in Watford in 1943.

HENRY LANCASTER (1806-1887) 

Henry Lancaster was born in Bethnal Green London September 9,1806. He was baptised at Saint Matthew Bethnal Green January 25,1897 and given as the son of John and Eleanor Ann Lancaster.

The earliest record of this family in Tunbridge Wells was a patent registration for Henry Lancaster in February 1834. He was also listed in the 1840 Pigots directory which gave Henry Lancaster senior(born in Bethnal Green,London) as a cabinet maker and upholsterer operating from premises at 8 Edger Terrace on the High Street just south of the SER train station and the High Street Bridge and just north of Christ Church on the High Street. Shown opposite is an advertisement for his business from Colbrans 1860 guide.

On July 13,1827 Henry married Harriett Robinson at St Lawrence, Reading, Berkshire.

Henry Lancaster senior was found at 8 Edger Terrace at the time of the 1841 census with his wife Harriett and son Charles, who had been born in Tunbridge Wells in 1835, suggesting that Henry had established his business at Edger Terrace in the early 1830’s.  A patent by him as an upholsterer of Tunbridge Wells was registered February 14,1834.

By the time of the 1851 census Henry Senior was running his cabinet makers business at 6 Camden Place on the High Street where his son Henry (born 1828 in Reading,Berkshire) worked with him as a cabinet maker. Henry senior at that time was employing three men and his son Henry and two boys. Living with him was his wife Harriet; his two sons Henry and Charles; a shop woman and one servant. The 1858 Melville guide gave “Henry Lancaster, cabinet maker, High Street”.

At the time of the 1861 census Henry and his wife and son Charles (a music professor) were at 4 Camden Place on the High Street where Henry was an auctioneer and upholsterer employing five men. Directories of 1859 to 1868 record Henry at 4 Camden Place but Colbrans 1860 guide gave him as an upholsterer, undertaker, auctioneer, valuer and a house and estate valuer at Edger Terrace. Electoral records for 1859 to 1868 gave “Henry Lancaster, 4 Camden Place, High Street,

By the time the 1871 census was taken at his private residence called Mortimer Villa on Queens Road Henry senior had retired from business and he was living there with just his wife Harriet. He was still living in this residence with his wife Harriet at the time of the 1881 census along with his son Charles and one servant.

Henry died in Tunbridge Wells in 1887.  The 1874 directory gave “Henry Lancaster, 2 Mortimer Villas, Queen’s Road.

CHARLES LANCASTER  (1836-1902)

Henry’s son Charles was the youngest of two sons of Henry Lancaster (1806-1887). He had trained in music as a pupil to piano virtuoso and composer Cipriani Potter (1792-1871) a gentleman noted in this field of work at the Royal Academy of Music. Charles was born in Tunbridge Wells in 1836 and lived with his parents up to the time of the 1861 census.He was listed in a 1860 Colbran directory (image opposite) as being with the Royal Academy, and working as a professor of music at 3 Camden Place.

Charles was still living in Tunbridge Wells with his parents at the time of the 1861 census and given as a professor of music.

On January 18,1871 at Scaldwell, Northamptonshire, Charles was a widower and married Sarah Jane Langley. He was a professor of music at that time and his wife was a spinster, the daughter of William Langley, a farmer, and his wife Emma. Who his first wife was has not been established but the marriage took place after 1861 and before 1871. Sarah Jane Langley had been born 1850 at Scaldwell and at the time of the 1871 census Charles and his wife and two servants were living at 4 Royal Terrace in Northamptonshire where Charles was a professor of music. His second wife Sarah died sometime before 1901 in Northamptonshire. It appears there were no children from either of his marriages.

The 1871 census, taken at 4 Royal Terrace in Northamptonshire gave Charles as a professor of music. With him was his wife Sarah and two servants.

The 1881 census, taken at 82 Midmay Park in Islington gave Charles as professor of music. With him was his wife Jane, born 1851 in Haldwell, Northamptonshire; four of their children and one domestic servant. In the 1901 census Charles was a widow living at 40 Spencers Square as a lodger at a lodging house and living on own means.

Charles was living at 34 Adelaide Gardens in Thanet, Kent when he died September 7,1902. The executor of his 876 pound estate was Charles Edward Lancaster, a pianoforte tuner.

HENRY LANCASTER (1828-1902)

Henry Lancaster junior was the eldest son of Henry Lancaster(1806-1887) and was Henry Lancaster (1828-1902) who had been born at Reading. Berkshire. Henry junior was baptised June 8,1828 at St Lawrence, Reading, Berkshire.

Henry junior was living with his parents at the time of the 1851 census in Tunbridge Wells at 6 Camden Place, but was not living with the family at the time of the 1841 census and was absent from the 1861 census.

On October 25,1858 Henry married Harriet (Harriett( Wright at St Giles, Camberwell, London . She was a minor of George Street, Asylum Road and the daughter of licensed victualler William Wright.

The 1861 census, taken in Chichester gave Henry as an upholsterer employing 2 men. With him was his wife Harriet, born 1838 in London; his daughter Constance, born 1860 in Hastings and two servants.

The 1871 census, taken at 5 Linton Terrace in Chichester, Sussex gave Henry as an upholsterer employing 8 men and 4 boys. With him was his wife Harriet and seven of his children, ages 1 to 11 and two servants. Also here was his brother in law William J. Wright, a 25 year old chemist born in London.

On October 18,1876 Henry married his second wife, Hannah Clemmans, at St Barnabas Hornsey Road, Islington. She was a spinster, the daughter of John Edward Clemmans, an upholsterer.

The 1881 census, taken at Grays Lodge in Hastings, Sussex gave Henry as a cabinet maker employing 3 clerks; 15 men and 3 boys in what obviously was a large business. With him was his wife Hannah, born 1841 in London; thirteen of their children including a son Ernest Clemmans Lancaster, details of who are given in the last section of this article. Also there were three domestic servants. Henry’s son Henry W. Lancaster, age 19 was working as a bookeepers clerk and  his son Louis, age 18 as an upholsterer. The rest of the older children were attending school.

The 1891 census, taken at Grays Lodge in Hastings gave Henry as a cabinet maker employing others. With him was his wife Hannah and nine children but his son Ernest was not among them.

The 1901 census, taken at Grays Lodge in Hastings gave Henry as a widower and an upholsterer employer. With him was three of his spinster daughters and three servants.

The Hasting’s & St Leonards Observer of November 9,1901 gave the following. “ Interesting Business Change…..Some fifteen years ago one of the best known men in Hastings was Mr Henry Lancaster, the eldest son of Mr Henry Lancaster, who had carried on a very flourishing furniture business for upwards of half a century. Socially and commercially, by his pleasant manner and ability, he made for himself hosts of friends. With his father, who had recently retired from business, he received a thorough training and knowledge of he business, which has stood him in good stead during fifteen years in Eastbourne, London, and Paris. Our readers will be interested to hear of Mr Lancaster’s return to our town during the last few days, and of his intention to carry on the business at 61 and 62 Lambridge Road. The extensive showrooms he had thoroughly refurbished with an up-to-date stock of artistic and well-made furniture at store prices. He can show may beautiful specimens of the cabinet maker’s and upholsterer’s craft.,and they are to be bought at very reasonable prices. As a West End branch Mr Lancaster will open No. 2 Warror Square, and there have a comprehensive display of his wares. Removals and warehousing will be made a speciality, and customers will have the beefit of Mr Lancaster’s personal supervision of and attention to work, At Eastbourne, where Mr Lancaster has recently sold his business, he was entrusted with some very important orders, including the re-furbishing of Compton Place, the Duke of Devonshire’s seat, while King Edward VII has also bestowed his patronage on Mr Lancaster, who, needless to say, gave every satisfaction to his exalted clients. Continental removals too, may safely be entrusted to him, for he has an agency in the Fanbourg St Honore, Paris, and a large clientele in that city. Our readers are cordially invited to inspect his large and new stock. They will not be pressed to buy. He has many suites of exclusive pattern, artistic bedroom suites, and toilet sets in the new atistic colourings, which are at once unique and beautiful. As advertised on another page we set out more fully some of the merchandise”.

Henry died in Hastings, Sussex in the 3rd qtr of 1902. Probate records gave him of Grays Lodge in Hastings when he died August 21, 1902. The executors of his 11,524 pound estate was his son Ernest Clemmans Lancaster, upholsterers manager and his accountant.

ERNEST CLEMMANS LANCASTER (1866-1943)

Ernest had been born February 17,1866 in Hastings Sussex and was one of the sons of Henry Lancaster(1828-1902). He had been baptised August 5,1866. He was the executor of his father’s estate in 1902.

He had lived with his parents and siblings from 1866 until 1881 or soon after the 1881 census was taken in which he was in school.

He was admitted to the Freemasons (Derwent Lodge) in Hastins in 1887 and was still a member of the lodge in 1891.

The 1891 census, taken at Upperton Gardens in at Havering House in Eastbourne, Sussex gave Ernest living with his brother Henry William Lancaster (an upholsterer employer) and Henry’s wife and two children. Also there was Henry’s mother Harriet Lancaster,age 57 and Henry’s father in law Richard M. Fisher, age 58, a refreshment purveyor.

On November 8,1893 he married Frances Semple (1868-1963) at Eastbourn,Sussex. In 1896 at Eastbourne his wife gave birth to Leila Louise Lancaster. Frances Semple was born January 8,1868 in Dundalk County Louth, Ireland, the daughter of Isabella Jane Buckley and the sister of Louisa Semple.  Frances died February 22,1963 at 231 Victoria Drive in Eastbourne.

Sometime after 1896 but before 1899 Ernest and his family moved to Tunbridge Wells. The 1899 directory gave the listing ‘Ernest Lancaster, 4 Cumberland Walk’. Shown opposite is an advertisement for his business from Peltons 1896 guide. The 1903 Kelly directory gave ‘ Ernest Lancaster 3 Cumberland Walk. Shown above is a photograph and related text about Ernest’s premises in Tunbridge Wells from a publication entitled “ Pictures of Tunbridge Wells’ by the Lewis Hepworth Company on Vale Road, a company that my grandfather Francis Reginald Gilbert worked for as a printer before emigrating to Canada in 1922 with his wife and children.

The 1901 census, taken at 4 Cumberland Walk in Tunbridge Wells gave Ernest as a furniture manager employer. With him was his wife Frances; their daughter Leila and one servant.

The 1911 census, taken at 70 Marlborough Road in Watford, Hertfordshire gave Ernest as a furniture salesman worker. With him was his wife Frances and their daughter Leila and one servant. The census recorded that the couple had been married 17 years; that they were living in premises of 8 rooms and that they had just the one child.

Ernest died in the 2nd qtr of 1943 at Watford, Hertfordshire.

 

HATTER & STEEL -THE MOUNT EPHRAIM DAIRY

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

Date: December 24,2017

OVERVIEW 

Hatter & Steel was a dairy located at 30 Mount Ephraim on the west side of the street opposite the George Hotel  between Mount Ephraim Road and Grosvenor Road.

In 1874 30 Mount Ephraim was a toy repository owned by William Usher, the proprietor of the George Hotel across the road. The first person to operate 30 Mount Ephraim as a dairy was John Dunn, born 1819 and died in Tunbridge Wells in 1896. Upon his death the dairy became that of Hatter & Steel.

Edward John Hatter (1843-1903) and William Steel (1848-1931) were the partners of Hatter & Steel. The dairy is  found in Tunbridge Wells directories of 1899 and 1903 as Hatter & Steel.

In 1906 John Brown, of John Brown’s Dairy took over the business of Hatter & Steel and through this acquisition continued to expand his dairy business in the town. When this amalgamation was completed Mr Brown’s business operated as The South of England Dairies Limited. Later the dairy moved to 87 St John’s Road and became known as John Brown’s Dairies until the early 1960’s when it became Home County Dairy and then Unigate. Details about John Brown and his dairy empire were given in my article ‘ John Brown’s Dairy’ dated March 19,2012 .

Edward John Hatter had been born in Remenham,Berkshire and was one of several children born to agricultural labourer Kepler Hatter and his wife Anne. Edward began his working career as an agricultural labourer but by 1861 the family was living in Ayslesford Kent where Edward was a domestic groom and his father a farm bailiff. In 1866 at St Peter Hammersmith Edward married Hannah Rebecca Heartt, the daughter of Lacey Heartt, a farmer. By the time of the 1871 census Edward was living with his wife and two children in Chiswick where Edward was working as a brewers assistant and chemists shop keeper. At the time of the 1881 census in Chiswick Edward was a dairyman employing one man and one boy. With him was his second wife Mary Hatter, nee Steel,and four children. The 1891 census taken in Chiswick gave Edward as a dairyman employer. With him was his wife Mary; three children; two milk carriers and one domestic servant. By 1899 Edward and his wife Mary and at least one of their children moved to Tunbridge Wells and in the 1901 census taken at 13 Lime Hill Road, Tunbridge Wells, Edward is a dairyman and a partner in the firm of Hatter & Steel. Edward died 1903 at Wandworth leaving his partner William Steel to run their dairy business until  John Brown took it over in 1906.

William Steel and his family were certainly interesting, the story of which begins in England with the birth of William Steel 1848 in Chard,Somerset. He was one of several children born to James  and Mary A Steel. James Steel was living with his wife and four children, including William at the Chard Wharf where James Steel was a clerk at the coal wharf. The family consisting of James Steel and his wife Mary and five children, including William were still living in Chard,Somerset at the time of the 1861 census, where at that time James Steel was a coal agent and William was in school. William left the family home about 1871 and where he got to in the 1870’s and 1880’s remains a mystery except in the 4th qtr of 1883 William married Henrietta Louisa Jeffreys (1856-1846) at West Ham,Essex. Not long after the marriage William and his wife emigrated to Sydney Australia where they had four children at Canterbury namely Ida in 1885; Dorothy in 1886; Magnus in 1888 and Lorna in 1890. For some unknown reason William and his entire family left Australia and returned to England not long after the birth of their fourth child and by the late 1890s took up residence in Tunbridge Wells, where William became a partner with Edward Hatter and formed their dairy business as Hatter & Steel at 30 Mount Ephraim. As noted earlier Mr Hatter died in 1903 and William Steel continued the business until John Brown took it over in 1906.

When the firm of Hatter & Steel ended in 1906 William Steel and his family decided to leave England and return to Australia. On May 31,1907 they boarded the Orient Royal Mail steamship OMRAH in London and disembarked in Sydney, Australia.

William Steel never returned the dairy business after arriving in Australia and settled in Yerong Creek, south west of Sydney where he stablished a general merchants business which by 1913 was joined by his son Magnus and operated under the name of William Steel and Son and for a time (1911) had a shop at The Rock nearby. Williams three daughters never married and his daughter Dorothy went into business with three other ladies in a typewriting and typists agency business, which business was registered in November 1917.

William Steel died March 1,1931 at his residence Tatworth at 1 Prince Albert Street in Mosman (near Sydney). His daughter Ida died 1962 with Dorothy passing away in 1963. They were followed by the death of Magnus in 1974 and Lorna in 1975. All of them were buried in the Macquarie Park Cemetery, one of the most beautiful memorial parklands in NSW, located across the road from the North Ryde train station. Magnus Steel in 1927 took over the management of Weeden’s Store in Young NSW (near Sydney) and had been in business before that on his own account at Oberun and at Wagga Wagga.

This article provides details about the Hatter and Steel families and their dairy business in Tunbridge Wells. It’s an interesting story spread across two continents and contains many photographic images.

Further information about the occupants of 30 Mount Ephraim as a dairy are given in my article ‘ The Dairy at 30 Mount Ephraim’ dated September 22,2015 but updated December 24,2017.

LOCATION AND DESCRIPTION

The Hatter & Steel dairy was located at 30 Mount Ephraim, of a few shops on the west side of Mount Ephraim, across from the George Hotel, just south of Grosvenor Road that date back to the early 19th century.

The exact date on which this dairy began operations was not established but it  was listed in the 1899 Kelly directory as Hatter & Steel, dairymen, 30 Mount Ephraim”. Also listed in the same directory was William Steel, dairyman, see Hattter & Steel.  Mr Hatter, who you will read about later passed away in 1903 and upon his death William Steel operated the business on his own. A 1903 Kelly directory gave the listing “ William Steel, dairyman, 30 Mount Ephraim. No listing for the two partners in the business or the business were found in Tunbridge Wells in 1892 or 1913.

The book ‘Yesterdays Bottles’ by Tucker and Heatherington published in 1981 gave the following information on page 77 under the heading of dairies. “ One of the big names in dairy products in Tunbridge Wells was John Brown who in 1870 founded a dairy at Ramsley Farm, Eridge Road, his offices were at 34 High Street, Tunbridge Wells. In an advertisement of 1892 it was said of John Brown Dairies,’there is not, we believe within the limits of the country, a dairy managed on principles better calculated to secure highly satisfactory results than the one over which John Brown presides’. In 1906 we find Mr Brown amalgamated with Mr Steel (William Steel) and calling themselves the South of England Dairies Limited, Manager T. Francis. Later the Dairy moved to 87 St John’s Road, and was known as John Brown’s Diaries until the early 1960’s when it first became Home County Dairies and then Unigate”. The dairy referred to in this account was that originally called Hatter & Steel at 30 Mount Ephraim run by Edward John Hatter and William Steel. It is to be expected that the dairy at 30 Mount Ephraim continued to be in business there for some time under the business operations of John Brown.

Recently a 3-4” cream pot was offered for sale on ebay bearing the name of Hatter & Steel Mount Ephraim Dairy. On the bottom of this jug was its maker “ Port Dundas Pottery, Glasgow”. A photograph of this “very rare”,as it was described by the seller, cream pot is shown above. Details about the business of John Brown was given in my article ‘John Brown’s Dairy’ dated March 19,2012. Given below left is a photograph  showing milk carts in the town used to make home delivery of dairy products.














Shown above right is a recent photograph of the shop at 30 Mount Ephraim when it was the premises of Polka Deli Ltd just to the left of Taven’s flower shop and at one time as the premises of Bindi’s Sweets N Snacks.

THE HATTER FAMILY

Edward John Hatter (1843-1903) was the gentleman that formed a partnership with William Steel (1848-1931) under the name of Hatter & Steel in Tunbridge Wells.

Edward was born 1843 in Remenham,Berkshire, one of several children born to agricultural labourer Kepler Hatter (born 1817/1818 at Grays, Oxfordshire) and Ann Hatter, born 1817/1918 at Henley, Oxfordshire. His birth was registered in the 1st qtr of 1843 at Henley, Oxfordshire.

The 1851 census, taken at Spencer’s Lodge in Cookham, Berkshire gave Kepler (sometimes Kapler) Hatter as an agricultural labourer. With him was his wife Ann and his sons William, born 1841 in Henley, an agricultural labourer; EDWARD JOHN, born 1843 at Remenham, an agricultural labourer and one lodger, also an agricultural labourer.

The 1861 census, taken at Parton Hall Cottage at Aylesford, Kent gave Kepler as a farm bailiff. With him was his wife Ann (Anne) and their children William, an agricultural labour; EDWARD JOHN, a groom domestic; Rose L. born 1854 Maidenhead, Berkshire, scholar, and Horace F. Hatter, born 1858 in Aylesford,Kent.

On December 22,1866 Edward John Hatter married Hannah Rebecca Heartt, a spinster born 1841 in East Ruston, Norfolk who was given as the daughter of Lacet Heartt, a farmer. Kepler Hatter was given in his sons marriage record as a farm bailiff. The marriage took place at St Peter Church in Hammersmith .

The 1871 census, taken at 38 Paxton Road in Chiswick, gave Edward John Hatter as a brewers assistant and chemists shop keeper. With him was his wife Hannah, given as born 1841 at East Ruston,Norfolk, and their two children Ernest Edward, born 1869 in Chiswick and Herbert Lacey Hatter, born 1871 in Chiswick. Also there was one visitor. His wife Hannah passed away before 1879.

On August 27,1879 Edward John Hatter married Mary Steel, a 34 year old spinster of Chiswick and the daughter of James Steel. Mary Steel was the sister of William Steel, one of the central figures in this article, and it is from this marriage and family association that William Steel and Edward John Hatter came to know one another. The marriage took place at Saint Paul Church in Chiswick (photo opposite). Mary Steel’s father was given as James Steel, a farm bailiff and Edward’s father was given as Kepler Hatter, a farm bailiff. William Steel, the brother of Mary Steel was one of the witnesses at the marriage.

The 1881 census, taken at 73 Paxton Road in Chiswick gave Edward John Hatter as a dairyman employing one man and one boy. With him was his second wife Mary, born 1845 at Chard, Somerset and four Hatter children namely Ernest E, born 1869 at Chiswick; Herbert L, born 1871 in Chiswick; Laura, born 1876 Chiswick (daughter of Hannah) and Mary Rebecca Hatter, born 1881 in Chiswick. Also there was one domestic servant.

The 1891 census, taken at 2 Paxton Road in Chiswick gave Edward John Hatter as a dairyman employing others. With him was his wife Mary and his children Laura Sarah, born 1876 Chiswick; Mary Rose, born 1881 Chiswick and William James Hatter born 1885 in Chiswick. Also there were two men,ages 20 and 21, who were milk carriers and one general servant.

Sometime after 1891 and before 1901 Edward John Hatter and his wife and at least one child moved to Tunbridge Wells.  A directory for 1899 gave the listing “ Edward John Hatter, The Glen, Park Road,Tunbridge Wells. The 1901 census, taken in Tunbridge Wells as 13 Lime Hill Road (photo opposite) gave Edward John Hatter as a dairyman. With him was his wife Mary; his son William James Hatter and one domestic servant.

Edward John Hatter died in the 2nd qtr of 1903 at Wandsworth. He was survived by his wife and all of his children. No record of him buried in the Tunbridge Wells Borough Cemetery was found. Probate records gave Edward John Hatter of 10 Bank Parade Streatham Common, Surrey when he died June 1,1903. The executor of his 2,753 pound estate was his widow Mary Hatter ; Henry George Aldington, farmer, and his solicitor.

THE STEEL FAMILY BEFORE 1884

The central figure in the Steel family is William Steel (1848-1931), the business partner of Edward John Hatter of the Mount Ephraim Dairy in Tunbridge Wells, and the brother of Mary Steel who married Edward John Hatter in 1879.

The birth of William Steel was registered in the 4th qtr of 1848 at Chard, Somerset. He was one of at least five children born to James Steel, born 1800 in Ayrshire Old Commock, Scotland and Mary A. Steel, born 1814 in Bridgewater, Somerset. Chard became the terminus of the Chard Canal in 1842 and the terminus of two railway lines in 1860.

The 1851 census, taken at Chard Wharf in Chard, Somerset gave James Steel as a clerk at the coal wharf .A photo of Chard is shown opposite. Living with James was his wife Mary A, age 37 and their children (1) MARY, born 1845 Chard (2) James Peden (1847-1920) born in Chard (3) WILLIAM STEEL, born 1848 Chard (4) John H. Steel, born 1851 in Chard.

The 1861 census, taken at Chard, Somerset gave James Steel as a coal agent. With him was his wife Mary and all four of the children listed above plus a son Alexander Steel, born 1852 in Chard. Janes Peden Steel was working at that time as a coal agents clerk; WILLIAM STEEL as a drapers apprentice and the rest of the children were attending school.

No census records for William Steel were found in 1871 and 1881 but it is known that he had left the family home by the time of the 1871 census.

The next record for William Steel is that of his marriage in the 4th qtr of 1883 to Henrietta Louisa Jeffreys at West Ham, Essex. Her mother’s maiden name was given as Johnson and Henrietta’s birth was registered in Poplar (Union) in the 2nd qtr of 1856 with her exact date of birth given as May 26,1856. Henrietta Louisa Jeffreys was baptised at Saint Dunstan Church in Stepney, London  and given as the daughter of Henry Jeffreys and Louisa Johnson.

The 1861 census, taken at 4 Devons Road in Bromkley, Middlesex gave Henry Jeffreys, as a manufacturing chemist, born 1805 at Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire. With him was his wife Louisa, born 1821 at Stepney, Middlex and their children (1) Magnes,born 1854 at Bromley (2) Thomas, born 1856 at Bromley (3) HENRIETTA, born 1857 at Bromley (4) James, born 1859 at Bromley (5) Charles, born 1860 at Bromley. Also there was Louisa Jeffreys 45 year old spinster sister Sarah Johnson.

The 1871 census, taken at 66 George Street in the Isle of Wight, gave Hentrietta as a visitor with the family of Thomas Young, a 52 year old chemist and druggist.

The 1881 census, taken at 27 Victoria Terrace, Kingston on Thames, Surrey gave Henrietta working as an assistant draper along with others at the linen drapers shop of Elizabeth R. Stone, a 48 year old widow. It seems likely that since Henrietta was in the linen drapers trade that it was from this occupation that she met and fell in love with, and married William Steel, who at the time of the 1861 census was working as a drapers apprentice. Although not confirmed it would appear that William was working in the drapers trade from at least 1861 up to the time of his marriage to Henrietta in 1883.

It is known from later records that soon after the marriage of Henrietta to William Steel that the two of them emigrated to Australia, details of which are given in the next section.

THE STEEL FAMILY IN AUSTRALIA PART 1

Not long after the marriage between William Steel and Henrietta Louisa Jeffreys in 1883 in West Ham, Essex, they decided to leave England and emigrate to Australia. The reasons for this move were not established but many people in England at that time emigrated to the British Colonies, perhaps for economic reasons. It is known from the birth records of their children in Australia that their first child was born in NSW in 1884.

After sailing from London and upon their arrival in Sydney, Australia William and his wife settled in Canterbury, where all four of the following children were born (1) Ida Lylius Ayr Steel born 1884.She was baptised October 7,1884. (2) Dorothy Irene (Beau) Steel, born 1885 and baptised November 18,1885(3) Magnus Hewbrow Steel, born 1887 and baptised August 26,1887(4) Lorna Muriel Steel, born 1889 and baptised October 5,1889.

William Steel opened a drapers shop in Canterbury where his wife worked as an assistant and he employed other staff to assist in the business.

Canterbury, NSW (map above) is a suburb in the south-western Sydney being located 10.5 kilometres south west of the Sydney central business district. This first land grant in this part of Australia was in 1793. The first industry established there was the Australian Sugar Company’s sugar mill in 1841 and the first church was built there in the same year. In 1895 it became served by the railway and since then the community has expanded to some 7,233 people (2016 census).

STEEL FAMILY LEAVE AUSTRALIA SETTLE IN ENGLAND

For unknown reasons the William Steel and his wife and four children decided to leave Australia and move back to England. Perhaps they had become homesick and wished to spend more time with their families in the motherland.

The family boarded a ship at Sydney sometime after the birth of Lorna MurIel Steel in 1889 and arrived at London . From there the family made their way to Tunbridge Wells after a short visit with family before settling in.

From the business directories given earlier of Hatter & Steel it is known that no listing from William Steel in Tunbridge Wells was found in 1882 but a local directory of 1899 listed him in the town and was still there in a 1903 directory and until at least1906 when he sold the business to John Brown. As you will read in the next section William and his wife and four children decided one again (in 1907) to leave England and head back to Australia where all of them lived out the remainder of their lives.

The 1901 census, taken at 53 Culverden Park Road, Tunbridge Wells gave William Steel as a dairyman milk employer. With him was his wife Henrietta and their four children Ida, Doroty, Magnus and Lorna, none of whom had any occupations given and would have been attending a local school.

STEEL FAMILY BACK IN AUSTRALIA

On May 31,1907 William Steel and his wife and four children boarded the Orient Mail Ship OMRAH at London, sailed as cabin passengers,  and arrived at Sydney NSW a few weeks after.

The OMRAH (photo above) was an ocean liner for the Orient Steam Navigation Company built by the Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company of Clydebank, Scotland. It was launched September 3,1898 and completed in January 1899. The ship had been built for passenger service between the UK and Australia. During WW 1 the ship was taken over for use as a troopship. On May 12,1918, while headed from Marseilles to Alexandria it was torpedoed and sunk by a German submarine UB-52 40 nautical miles from Sardinia. One person on board the ship died in the attack. The ship was some 8,291 tons displacement measuring some 458 feet in length with a beam of 57 feet powered by twin propellers. The ship carried a total of 350 passengers in first and second classes and 500 in third class and travelled at a speed of 18 knots.  The passenger list of this vessel confirmed that all six members of the Steel family were on board and headed for Sydney NSW.

For over 40 years the steel family lived at 1 Prince Albert Street,Mosman. Mosman, a suburb of Sydney NSW. A photograph  of Mosman is shown below left and to the right is a modern view of their home at 1 Prince Albert Street which was a fine looking home and quite large. It was typical of the style of homes built along this road and was located just past Whiting Beach Road which itself boardered the Tarongqa Zoo. In this photo you can see the number “`1” on the stone wall just to the right of the tree.











A review of businesses gave a record of William Steel, a General Store Keeper, July 24,1913 at Yerong Creek run by William Steel and his son Marcus under the name of William Steel & Son. A 1913 directory listed William Steel at 1 Prince Albert Street in Moshan. In December 1907 they were at Yerong Creek and in 1911 at The Rock nearby. Yerong Creek is a town in the Rioverina area of southern NSW about 29 miles south west of Wagga Wagga and at the time of the 2006 census had a population of just 149. This town is served by a train station and there is also a train station at The Rock to the north. The post office at Yerong opened in 1882 and this area is primarily noted for mixed farming and grazing.

A second steel business was that of Dorothy Irene Steel in partnership with Misses Nora Kathleen Towns and Nina Mary Christie who on November 12,1917 registered their business as a typing office and typing agency operating at AMP Chambers Pitt Street.

The deaths of all members of the Steel family were announced in the Sydney Morning Herald. For William Steel it announced that he had died March 1,1931 at his residence Tatworth 1 Prince Albert Street, Mosman. “Wlliam Steel beloved husband of Henrietta Louisa Steel and father of Ida, Dorothy, Henbrow (Marcus) and Lorna, aged 83 years.” The same paper of May 6,1946 announded “ Steel-May 5,1946 at her residence 1 Prince Albert Street, Mosman Henrietta Louisa Steel, a widow of William Steel and loving mother of Ida, Dorothy, Hembrow, and Lorna in her 91st year. The same newspaper of August 6,1963 announced “ Dorothy Irene Steel died August 3,1963 at her residence 1 Prince Albert Street, Mosman, beloved sister of Ida (deceased), Magnus H and Lorna M Steel”.  The newspaper of March 23,1974 announced “Steel-Magnus Hembrow Steel died suddenly on March 20,1974 at his home in Mosman. Beloved son of the late Mr. & Mrs W. Steel and loved brother of Ida (deceased) Dorothy and Lorna. At Rest”. The same newspaper of April 18,1975 announced “Steel-Lorna Muriel Steel died April 26,1975 at hospital, late of Mosman. Beloved daughter of the late Mr. & Mrs. W. Steel and loved sister of Ida, Dorothy and Hembrow (all deceased). At Rest”.  Ida had died April 14,1962 at Chatsword NSW. None of the Steel daughters ever married.

An obituary for William Steel from the Wagga Wagga Express of March 7,1931 gave “ The death took place in Sydney on Sunday of Mr. William Steel, the father of Mr M.H. Steel, manager of Weeden’s store, Young,Australia. The late Mr Steel was 83 years of age.

The Cootamundra Herald of December 1,1927 reported from Young “Weeden’s store had been placed under the management of Mr M.H. Steel, who was in business on his own account in Oberun, and prior to that for a number of years in the Wagga Wagga District”.

The Cootamundra Herald of September 7,1931 reported from Young, Australia, “Another of our good tradesmen Mr M.H. Steel, manager of Weeden’s emporium, is leaving for Sydney. His place will be taken by Mr McKay of Sydney. Mr Steel has occupied the position of manager of Weeden’s store for over three years. He proved himself capable and efficient and displayed all those civic qualities which go to make up the good citizen. In the sporting sphere Mr Steel was president of the men’s hockey club, and he took a prominent part in the affairs of the football club, and was never averse to taking off his coat and doing his share of voluntary work for these bodies”. Young NSW is a town in the south west slopes region of NSW and the largest town in Hilltops Council. In 2016 the population as 7,000. Young is marked at the cherry capital of Australia and every year hosts the National Cherry Festival.

An obituary in the Henty Observere and Culcairn Shire Register of June 7,1946 gave “ The death of Mrs Steel at her home in Mosman early in May. Relict of the late W. Steel, who about 40 years ago conducted a general store at Yerong Creek. The late Mrs Steel would have reached her 92nd birthday on May 26th”.

Mosman NSW is a suburb on the lower north shore of Sydney located 8 kilometres north-east of the Sydney central business district. In 2016 its population was 28,475.

William and his wife and four children were all buried in the Macquarie Park Cemetery at North Ryde near Sydney. A photo of the cemetery is shown  opposite.

The Macquarie Park Cemetery and Crematorium is situated on 59 hectares of Crown land owned by the NSW government. The first burial there took place in 1922 and is one of the loveliest grounds in Australia.

 

THE LIFE AND TIMES OF MAJOR LIONEL THOMAS SPENS

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

Date: December 21,2017

OVERVIEW

Major Lionel Thomas Spens was decended from a long line of military men in the Spens Clan dating back into the early 19th century. He was born December 3,1850 in Barrackpure, Bengal, India, one of several children born to Captain James Spens (1811-1856) and Penelope Clarina Spens,nee Westropp (1831-1897). He was baptised January 19,1851 at Hyra, Bengal, India.

At the time of the 1861 census Lionel as a scholar living with his widowed mother and brother James in Rugby, Warwickshire.

In the 2nd qtr of 1875 Lionel married Eliza Margaret Alseger Blake (1850-1888), the daughter of William Wood Blake, at Northwich, where she was born. She died October22,1888 at The Bower, Staplehurst, Kent leaving an estate valued at 2,491 pounds to her husband Major Lionel Thomas Spens of the 3rd East Kent Regiment.

Hart’s Army list records the various military appointments of Mr Spens from 1869 as an Ensign to 1871 as a Lieutenant, to 1878 as a Captain and finally becoming a Major in 1885. All of his service was with the 3rd Btn The Buffs, one of the oldest regiments in the army dating back to 1572.

The 1881 census, taken at Hartford Manor in Hartford Cheshire gave his wife Eliza and daughter Maud living with Eliza’s parents and seven servants. Her father William Wood Blake was a solicitor.

The 1891 census, taken at the Royal Military College barracks in Berkshire gave Lionel living as a retired officer with his widower brother James Spens, a Major in the army, born 1853 at Sabathoo, India and three of James young children.

A directory of 1903 gave Major Spens as a J.P. and living at 26 Broadwater Down, Tunbridge Wells. When he moved to Tunbridge Wells was not established but it was after 1891 and before 1895.

He was a Justice of the Peace for Sussex as noted in the 1911 census taken at 26 Broadwater Down (14 rooms) when he was living there as a widower and retired army officer with three servants.

Perhaps his most noteworthy contribution in Tunbridge Wells was his involvement with the establishment of the Tunbridge Wells Cricket, Football  and Athletic Club Limited in 1895 in which he was one of several distinguished gentlemen who were directors of the company. Major Spens was an accomplished cricketer having played for many teams over his life in England. The Nevill Ground served as the site for this clubs teams. Major Spens as also a committee member of the Kent County Cricket Club.

Lionel died in Tunbridge Wells while a resident of Hargate Court at 26 Broadwater Down May 2,1921.  His obituary noted that he had been educated at Rubgy and Sandhurst and in addition to his military career and being a member of the Kent County Cricket Club, that he was also on the Young Player’s Cricket committee. A plaque in his honour was erected inside St Mark’s Church in Broadwater Down, a plaque which can still be seen today. His home at 26 Broadwater Down was demolished many years ago, the details of which can be found in my article ‘ The History of Hargate Court 26 Broadwater Down’ dated November 25,2013 but updated May 19,2015.

He was survived by his only child Maud Ethel Margaret Hutchings (1876-1952), who was the executor of his 11,850 pound estate. She was living with her father at 26 Broadwater Down at the time of her marriage to Frederick Vaughan Hutchings May 22,1907 in Canterbury.

THE PRE TUNBRIDGE WELLS YEARS

Lionel Thomas Spens was decended from a long line of military men in the Spens Clan dating back into the early 19th century. He was born December 3,1850 in Barrackpure, Bengal, India, one of several children born to Captain James Spens (1811-1856) and Penelope Clarina Spens,nee Westropp (1831-1897). He was baptised January 19,1851 at Hyra, Bengal, India.

At the time of the 1861 census ,taken at 1 Warwick Street, Rugby, Warwickshire Lionel was a scholar. He was living with his widowed mother Penelope, who had been born 1831 in Ireland , with the occupation of “annuitant”. Also there was Lionel’s brother James Spens (1853-1934), also a scholar. A niece Helen Spens, age 21, born in the East Indies was also there along with two domestic servants.

James Spens  became Major-General Spens, CB, CMG born March 30,1853 in India and died August 19,1934 at Folkestone,Kent. He was a first class cricketer and an officer in the British Army. He had played cricket while at school, and after joining the army played for Hampshire and the Marylebone Cricket Club in the 1880’s. and returned to first-class cricket for Hampshire in 1897-1898. His military career included service in the Boer War and later commanded a Territorial Division in the UK. He retired shortly before the outbreak of WW 1 and when he returned to service commanded the 12th (Eastern) Division, then a training depot and a military district in Egypt. He had been educated at Haileybury and the Imperial Service College. Further details about him can be found on such websites as Wikipedia. Lionel Spens, like his brother, was a great enthusiast of cricket and the game played an important part in his life.

In the 2nd qtr of 1875 Lionel married Eliza Margaret Alseger Blake (1850-1888), the daughter of William Wood Blake(1818-1881), at Northwich, Cheshire where she was born. Her mother was Margaret Alseger Pollock (1830-1868). Eliza was baptised August 5,1850 at Witton-cum-Twambrook, Cheshire. At the time of the 1851 and 1861 census Eliza was living with her parents and four servants at Northwich. At the time of the 1871 census Eliza was living with her widowed father and four servants at Witton, Cheshire. Eliza Spens died October22,1888 at The Bower, Staplehurst, Kent leaving an estate valued at 2,491 pounds to her husband Major Lionel Thomas Spens of the 3rd East Kent Regiment, also of The Bower.

Hart’s Army list records the various military appointments of Mr Spens as an Ensign August 21,1869 by purchase; a Lieutenant October 28,1871’ a Captain November 30,1878 and a Major November 30,1885. All of his service was with the 3rd Btn The Buffs, one of the oldest regiments in the army dating back to 1572.

The 1881 census, taken at Hartford Manor in Hartford Cheshire gave his wife Eliza and daughter Maud living with Eliza’s parents and seven servants. Her father William Wood Blake was a solicitor. Lionel and Eliza had just the one child, a daughter Maud Ethel Margaret Spens (1876-1952), further details of whom are given later.

The 1891 census, taken at the Royal Military College barracks in Berkshire gave Lionel living as a retired officer with his widower brother James Spens, a Major in the army, born 1853 at Sabathoo, India and three of James young children.

Sometime after 1891 and before 1895 Major Lionel Thomas Spens moved to Tunbridge Wells with his daughter Maud and took up residence at Hargate Court, 26 Broadwater Down.

LIFE IN TUNBRIDGE WELLS

The earliest record of Lionel being in Tunbridge Wells was that of 1895  as reported in the book ‘The Origins of Warwich Park and the Nevill Ground’ by the Royal Tunbridge Wells Civic Society as written by John Cunningham (2007).

The first reference appeared on page 76 of the book  in connection with the formation of a limited company called The Tunbridge Wells Cricket, Football and Athletic Club in 1895 with an authorized capital of 10,000 pounds (1,000 shares of 10 pounds each). The prospectus for this company, dated October 18,1895 indicated that the Marquess was to be President and that there was a Committee of 14, of which twelve became directors, among whom was Major Lionel Thomas Spens. The prospectus proposed to lay out the Nevill Grounds with a circular track to form a football ground; lawn tennis courts, a cricket pavilion, a bandstand and other assets. Work began on the grounds and the costs of it soared. On page 87 of the book it was recorded that by 1901 this club ran into financial problems and became technically insolvent. In 1901 the County 1st XIs returned to Tunbridge Wells after an absence of 18 years “no doubt an important influence was Major L.T. Spens who was both a committee member of the Kent County Cricket Club and a director of the Tunbridge Wells Athletic Club Ltd”. Shown below are two photographs of the Nevill Ground.

Local directories from 1891 to 1909 gave the listing “ Major Lionel Thomas Spens, JP, 26 Broadwater Down.













A directory of 1903 gave Major Spens as a J.P. and living at 26 Broadwater Down, Tunbridge Wells. When he moved to Tunbridge Wells was not established but it was after 1891 and before 1895. The home at 26 Broadwater Down was known as Hargate Court, named after Hargare Forest. It was one of several Homes and St Mark’s Church that were part of the development of Broadwater Down in the 1860’s. Details of the Broadwater Down Development were given in my article ‘ The Broadwater Down Development’ dated November 22,2013 and my article ‘Broadwater Down in Old Photographs’ dated July 14,2016. Details about Hargate Court were given along with maps and photographs and information about the history of its residents in my article ‘The History of Hargate Court 26 Broadwater Down’ date November 25,2013 (updated May 19,2015).

Lionel was a Justice of the Peace for Sussex as noted in the 1911 census taken at 26 Broadwater Down (14 rooms) when he was living there as a widower and retired army officer with three servants. His daughter Maud had lived with him at this home before her marriage in 1907.

Lionel died in Tunbridge Wells while a resident of Hargate Court at 26 Broadwater Down May 2,1921.  His obituary noted that he had been educated at Rubgy and Sandhurst and in addition to his military career and being a member of the Kent County Cricket Club, that he was also on the Young Player’s Cricket committee. A plaque in his honour was erected inside St Mark’s Church in Broadwater Down, a plaque(photo opposite) which can still be seen today. His home at 26 Broadwater Down was demolished many years ago, the details of which can be found in my article ‘ The History of Hargate Court 26 Broadwater Down’ dated November 25,2013 but updated May 19,2015.

Lionel was survived by his only child Maud Ethel Margaret Hutchings (1876-1952), who was the executor of his 11,850 pound estate.

Maud was born in Canterbury October 17,1876 at 3 Walking Street. St Mary.Bredin.. She was living with her father at 26 Broadwater Down at the time of her marriage to Frederick Vaughan Hutchings May 22,1907 at Holy Trinity, Chelsea. A photograph of her is shown above.

Frederick Vaughan Hutchings was born in Southborough. His birth was registered in the 3rd qtr of 1880. A photograph of him is shown opposite. He was the son of Edmond James Hutchings, a surgeon born 1848 at Dorchester and Catherine Lotherington Hutchings, nee Colebrooke (1857-1920). He had three siblings, all brothers born between 1881 and 1884.  Frederick and his brother William were living with their parents Edmond and Catherine, born 1857 in Tunbridge Wells, at 51 London Road in Southborough at the time of the 1881 census. Frederick was living with his parents, three siblings and two domestic servants at 71 London Road at the time of the 1891 census and was still at that address with his parents , two siblings and two servants at the time of the 1901 census, and at that time Frederick was a stock brokers clerk.

The 1911 census, taken at Kettlewell, Kettlewell Hill Horsell, Woking gave Frederick living on private means. With him was his wife Maud; their daughter Iris Vera Huthings (1910-1991) born 1910 at Horsell, Surrey, and four servants. The census recorded that the couple had been married 4 years; that they just had the one child, and that they were living in premises of 10 rooms. A photo of Iris is shown opposite.

Maud died February 22,1952 at Kensington and Chelsea, Middlesex. Frederick died August 6,1934 in Hamburg, Germany.


THE HISTORY OF HARGATE LODGE-26 BROADWATER DOWN

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

Date: November 25,2013   (updated May 19,2015)

INTRODUCTION          

The Broadwater Estate Development was an undertaking of the 4th Earl of Abergavenny,the Rev’d William Nevill ,who set about to transform,what was in 1860, an area that had become a heather covered ridge, but  originally part of the ancient Waterdown Forest, into a residential estate complete with a church (St Marks),church vicarage and church parsonage  and eventually, in the initial development, a residential  subdivision of 45 grand Victorian mansions  on a lovely tree lined road named Broadwater Down. Shown opposite is an early 1900’s postcard view of Broadwater Down by Lewis Levy.

Work began on the development in the 1860’s with the construction of the road Broadwater Down between Eridge Road on the West and Frant Road on the East along with St Marks’ Road which ran south off Broadwater Down at the proposed location of St Mark’s Church for some distance upon which was initially constructed St Marks Vicarage and the Parsonage, two lovely Victorian style  homes  built of locally quarried stone.

The completion of St Mark’s church in 1866 dominated the early development of the estate with the construction of homes slowed as a result. Construction of the homes began at Frant Road and progressed westerly until by 1867 there had been eight houses constructed # 1-7 and #10 but by 1874 all but 10 of the proposed 45 homes had been constructed and occupied with all but one finished by 1899.

Since then, and particularly in the years after WW II, the area has undergone significant redevelopment. Several of the original mansions were demolished to make way for new roads branching off Broadwater Down Road in north and south directions at various points along its route . As a result the  formerly unoccupied lands in the area became developed with large numbers of homes constructed, some grand, and some not so grand. Along Broadwater Down there has been a significant amount of infilling as once large estate grounds were subdivide to make way for new homes, a typical trend in most parts of the town.

All of the land in this area belonged to the Marquess of Abergavenny .He was a man interested in seeing his property put to good use and as a consequence was the driving force behind much of the development that took place. Part of the south side of the development abuts a conservation area referred to as Hargate Forest, which still exists.Hargate Forest is an ancient woodland more than 400 years old.It is said that strong hunters on horses once chased deer across the land and that it was once part of Waterdown Forest, one of the four great forests of the Weald, being some 152 acres in size. Today Hargate Forest is accessed off of Broadwater Down near Eridge Road where one can see a “Welcome” sign posted just back of the sidewalk in front of a gated entrance to the forest. These gates were erected to provide access to the site and beyond the gates have been installed various trails.These gates and other improvements were funded in the 2009-2012 timeframe by the Weald Forest Ridge Landscape Partnership Scheme with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Although the Broadwater Estates Development created the road Broadwater Down and resulted in the construction of the church and its related buildings and the grand mansions along the road Hargate Lodge ,located at #26 Broadwater down ,was not one of the new homes built in the development, for it had been there ,surrounded by open land, since the 1840’s.

This article traces the history of Hargate Lodge up to the 1930’s and to a lesser degree up to current times.

THE WILLIAM DELVES ERA

The following information comes from a Hargate Forest Archeological Assessment Report . “ In 1800 the area of Hargate Forest was shown enclosed and divided into fields. In 1846 Hargate forest was planted to conifers and a carriage drive from Eridge Park to St Marks church was instated”. It is believed by the researcher that it was this carriage drive that provided access to Hargate Lodge for in the period before work began in 1860 on creating the Broadwater Estate, there was no road by the name of Broadwater Down to travel on and Hargate Lodge was surrounded by undeveloped land before 1860.The report adds “ In the 19th century William Delves the estate Steward was having problems with poaching”.

Shown opposite is a map dated 1875 of Broadwater Down as it appeared soon after the development had been completed. The lodge was located on the north side of Broadwater Down just east of but almost across from St Mark's Church and was back off of Broadwater Down at a much greater distance than the surrounding new homes .The name “Hargate Lodge” was printed on the map at the time it was produced. Another view of the location of the residence is given later.

The first known occupant of Hargate Lodge was William Delves(1804-1886) who became the Steward of the Earl of Abergavenny at the age of 40 ( in 1844) and who remained in this position until he retired in 1880, at the age of 76. William Delves  came from a long line of Delves who’s presence in the Tunbridge Wells area dates back several centuries.

William Delves was one of eleven  children born to Thomas Delves (1769-1846) and Mary Ann Delves, nee Mills (1778-1815). William also had seven half siblings.On November 11,1828 he married Elizabeth Jane Nash at Speldhurst. Elizabeth had been born March 24,1809 at Speldhurst and died May 22,1835 in Tunbridge Wells. She was one of the children born to John Nash, born 1770 and Mary Nash,born the same year. Those who read my article about the Nash family in 2012 will recall the important role they played as early postmasters in the town.

With Elizabeth William had the following children; William Henry Delves (1830-1922) who  during his career was an Alderman and  Mayor of Tunbridge Wells 1900-1901; Rose Delves(1832-1917) and Matilda Delves(1833-1890). Elizabeth died at only the age of 29. A photo of her headstone at St Alban’s Church in Frant is shown opposite.

With the passing of his first wife, William remarried, this time to Sarah Amoore(1814-1864) in 1836 at Speldhurst. William was up to this time working as a butcher in Tunbridge Wells and other members of the Delves clan were working in the same trade.

The 1838 Stidolph’s map shows a part of town that would later be the site of the creation of the Warwick Park Development. On that map is labelled “Delves Farm”. John Cunningham, in his 2004 book, entitled ‘The Residential Parks of Tunbridge Wells’ gives a detailed account of the history behind the creation of Warwick Park. Today just north of this development is “Delves Avenue”, named in honour of the Delves family. John states on pg 67 of his book “ While Linden Park and Madiera Park continued to be developed, the Marquess of Abergavenny was making plans to develop his land known as Home Farm, but previously as Delves Farm and Forest Farm,which was still largely but not entirely in the country of Sussex. This consisted of all the land between Nevill Street in the west and,Forest Road in the east, Frant road in the south, and to the north beyond the London-Hastings railway line….Home Farm had been leased for many years to the Delves family,well known in the development and life of Tunbridge Wells from the mid- 18th century. The Delves family started as butchers in the Pantiles and Chapel Place, but over time expanded their interests to include property and other well-known Tunbridge Wells businesses, such as banking. They seem to have held a lease of Home Farm from about 1800 and it is reasonable to assume with their butcher’s business, that the farm was used in the days before refrigeration as a ‘fattening pen’ for stock awaiting slaughter.It probably helped that the then-current ‘paterfamilies’, William Delves, had become Steward to the Marquess in 1844.But the Delves seem to have given up the lease of Home Farm about 1870…With the Delves no longer holding the head-lease,the Home Farm fragmented into a number of relatively short-term leases and it is therefore not surprising that when the Marquess had his cash flow problems in the 1880-90’s ,the site which was less than 100 yards from the Pantilles should become a prime opportunity for development.” Although a development plan had been created in 1879 it was not until London architect Henry Currey was engaged that meaningfull work on the development plan was created in the 1890’s and in 1896 an invitation for tenders was made for the new roads etc., and the rest , as they say, is history.

The 1840 Pigots directory records William Delves as a butcher in Market Place and the 1841 census, taken at that location records William as a butcher, with his wife Sarah and children Rose,age 9, Matilda,age 7 and Howard, age 1. Sarah had been born 1814 in Hastings,Sussex and died May 1867 in Hastings and was one of at least two children born to William Amoore(1784-1864) and Lucy Amoore, nee Hardham (1776-1828). She had been baptised July 15,1814 at Hastings. William and Sarah went on to have the following children; Howard Delves (1839-1853), Cecillia, born 1846; Emily Fearon Delves(1848-1926)  and Rowland Ward Delves (1851-1881).

Somehow William was persuaded to end his work as a butcher and in 1844 became the Steward (land agent) for the Marquess. It is believed by the researcher that it was at or around that time that the Marquess had Hargate Lodge constructed for William and his family to live in and where he took care of the Marquees business affairs.

The 1851 census, taken at Hargate Lodge, records William living there with his wife Sarah and their six children and two servants. He gave his occupation as “farmer of 130 acres, employing eleven men.

The 1861 census records this family at Hargate Lodge with William giving his occupation as’ land agent’.Living with him was his wife Sarah; two of his children, and two servants.

The National Archives holds a large collection of records pertaining to the Marquess and William Delves is mentioned in several of them in connection with correspondence and other materials in his role as land agent to the Marquess, with the place of Hargate Lodge given on them. Colbrans 1850 guide lists William Delves as a town commissioner and the 1863 Bracetts guide gives William as being on the ‘Ratings and Finance Committee’ and the ‘Local Government Act Committee’.  The Royal Agricultural Society  Journal of 1873 listed “William Delves, Hargate Lodge,Tunbridge Wells” as a member of the society. Similarly the Sussex Archeological Society list of members for 1850 gave “William Delves,esq., Hargate Lodge. It also records that William Henry Delves of 23 Mount Sion, had also been a member of this society since 1857.

The 1871 census for ‘Hargate Lodge 26 Broadwater Down’ records William as a widow  and land agent. Living with him was his children Rose,Matilda and Roland and eight servants. At Hargate Lodge Cottage the his gardener and family. The 1874 Kelly directory gives ‘William Delves, Hargate Lodge,Broadwater Down”.

The 1881 census,taken at 26 Broadwater Down records William Delves, age 73, a land agent and valuer.Living with his was his daughers Rose and Matilda and two servants. At 26 Broadwater Lodge is his gardener and family. His son Roland had passed away. His obituary, which was published in the Journal of Forestry and Estates management in August 1881 states “ Mr Rowland Ward Delves, of Hargate Lodge,Tunbridge Wells, died recently in his 30th year. He had been failing in health for some time, and last year a voyage to Australia was advised by his medical attendants. The deceased gentleman has for 13 years assisted his father, Mr William Delves, in the management of Lord Abergavenny’s estates and he will be long remembered for his high character, excellent business habits, and gentlemanly demeanour”.

Probate records give William Delves, late of Tunbridge Wells, land agent, died August 6,1886 at Tunbridge Wells. Proved by William Henry Delves, actuary, the son, William Howells Rix,the nephew and John Read, accountant, all of Tunbridge Wells. William left an estate valued at about 6.700 pounds. He was buried August 10,1886 in the St Alban’s Church(photo opposite) cemetery grounds in Frant. The plaque shown above was put in the church in his memory. From the Kent & Sussex Courier it is mentioned that apart from his former life as a butcher and later as a land agent he ‘was a Director of the Gas Company which had been formed in 1843; and from 1860, one of the Commissioners who ran the not yet incorporated borough of Tunbridge Wells. For 50 years he held the post of parish officer for Frant as either churchwarden, overseer or guardian. He was truly a pilar of society and he was very highly esteemed by the tenantry for his habitual fainess and urbanity and without doubt by the Marquess as well, who sent his private carriage and his two sons, Lords George and Henry Nevil, to the funeral. His obituary also records that “Broadwater Down and Hungerhsall Park were entirely his own creation, and to his active brain, many other improvements are due”.

The Kent & Sussex Courier also said “ it is with great regret that we have to record the death of Mr William Delves, which occurred at an early hour on Friday last, at his residence Montacute Gardens,Tunbridge Wells. Mr Delves name may be said to be a familiar one to even the oldest inhabitants of the town for a very long period. Connected as he was with the affairs of the town over a long space of time, and general and deservedly respected, Mr Delves death causes another gap in the town between the present history and its past, which will be very generally recognized and regretted. Mr Delves, before he retired, was one of our oldest Commissioners, having been on the original Board, while in his position as steward to the estate of the late Earl.He had retired from his post as stewart due to failing health and advancing years, a comparatively short time ago,general regret was expressed and a very handsome testimonial subscribed to the now deceased gentleman.Mr Delves was also an active member of the Board of Directors of the Gas Company, while his name has been associated with a great many institutions and events in the town. He took a very great  and also active interest in local affairs. Mr Delves death occurred at two o’clock a.m. on Friday in the eightieth year of his age.The sad news first became generally known by the tolling of St Mark’s bell.Mr Delves has held the post of parish officer for Frant for upwards of fifty years as a churchwarden, overseer and guardian, and for a period of about forty years has been connected with the Eridge and Abergavenny Estates..”

THE POST DELVES ERA   

After Mr Delves passed away details about the history of the residence  and it occupants became difficult to determine. Census records for  #26 were found for years 1891,1901 but in all cases the owners/occupants of the residence were absent and the home was left in the care of servants.  The 1899 Kelly directory provided no listing for the residence.Shown opposite is a map on which various features from the WW II era are shown when many of the homes in Broadwater Down were requisitioned for war use. Hargate can still be seen on this map.

One record found that relates to Hargate Lodge was one obtained from the names of the fallen on the plaques in St Marks Church, where the name Albert Forrester Ryall is found and a transcription of his name records that he was the son of John Forrester Ryall of The stables 26 Broadwater Down.The reference to the’ stables’ would relate to the stables associated with the original Hargate Lodge. Here is the transcription. “RYALL, ALBERT FORRESTER. Serjeant, 9261.16th (Service) Battalion, Highland Light Infantry (2nd Glasgow).Died Monday 9 July 1917. Aged 23.Born Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent. Enlisted Edinburgh, Scotland. ResidedLoanhead, Midlothian, Scotland.Son of John Forrester Ryall of 26, Broadwater Down, Royal Tunbridge Wells,Kent, and of the late and Mary A. Ryall Buried Coxyde Military Cemetery, Koksijde, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.Grave Ref: I. B. 1.At the time of the 1911 census, the Ryall family resided at The Stables, 26 Broadwater Down, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent. Head of the house was 56 year old Milton Abbot, Devon native .John Ryall, who was employed a Coachman, and 18 year old Albert was recorded by the enumerator as being employed as a Chauffeur. Albert enlisted in the army on a Short Service Engagement of 3 years with the Colours on Saturday 12 September 1914, at which time he stated that he was 22 years of age, employed as a Chauffeur, and that he was born in the parish of St. Mark, Tunbridge Wells, Kent. He named his father as his next of kin, and also stated that his home address was 11, Woodbarn, Loanhead, Midlothian, Scotland. After being attested for service as a Private in the Highland Light Infantry, Albert was posted to the 4th (Extra Reserve) Battalion of the regiment at Plymouth, Devon. He was appointed a Lance Corporal on Wednesday 17 February 1915, and was serving in the battalion when it moved back to Scotland and was stationed at Haddington, Edinburgh in May 1915. On Thursday 1 June 1915, Albert was posted as a Lance Corporal to the 11th (Service) Battalion, Highland Light Infantry for service with the British Expeditionary Force, and embarked at Folkestone for France where he joined the battalion in the field on Sunday 6 June 1915. On Friday 30 June 1916 whilst serving in “G” Company, 11th (Service) Battalion, Highland Light Infantry, Albert suffered as serious gunshot wound to his back. He was initially treated at the No.45 Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps, and then at the 33rd Casulty Clearing Station the following day. Albert was taken to the 3rd Stationary Hospital at Boulogne-sur-Mer, Pas de Calais on Wednesday 5 July 1916, at which time a letter was sent to his sister Miss Rose Forrester Ryall at 6, Brook Street, Tavistock, Devon, who by then was Albert’s next of kin, as the death of their father 60 year old John Forrester Ryall had been recorded in the Ticehurst, Sussex, Registration District during the second quarter of 1915. The letter sent to Albert’s sister Rose was to inform her that he had been seriously wounded and that it would not be possible to visit him. Either due the fact that Rose had not notified the military authorities of her change of address and status, or the same had not been properly recorded by an army records office, resulted in another letter being sent to her, but as Mrs. Rose Forrester Cuddeford at Elfrida House, 2 Lifton Road, Plymouth, Devon. The marriage of Rose to Frederick Cuddeford was recorded in the Plymouth, Devon, Registration District during the first quarter of 1916. Albert was evacuated back to England from Boulogne-sur-Mer on Thursday 6 July 1916 on the 1767 ton Belgian hospital ship H.S. Jan Breydel, which prior to being used as a hospital ship was a Belgian Government owned 22 mail steamer. On Friday 7 July 1916, Albert was admitted as a patient at the 4th Northern General Hospital, Lincoln, Lincolnshire, and was placed on the nominal roll of the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion, Highland Light Infantry. During the Great War the 4th Northern General Hospital, Lincoln occupied the old buildings and fields of the former Lincoln School which is now Lincoln Christ's Hospital School. It held 41 officer beds and 1126 other ranks beds, with over 45,000 men being treated there during the war. Lincoln (Newport) Cemetery, near the hospital, contains 139 Great War burials. Albert remained at the hospital receiving treatment until Thursday 2 November 1916. On being discharged from the hospital Albert was granted a period of leave until Monday 13 November 1916, which he took at the home of his sister Rose and her husband Frederick at Elfrida House, 2 Lifton Road, Plymouth, Devon. Albert then served in the Edinburgh area in the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion of his regiment until being posted back to serve in France, where he arrived on Monday 8 January 1917, going to the 21 Infantry Base Depot, Etaples, Pas de Calais the following day. From the Base Depot, Albert was posted to the 16th (Service) Battalion, Highland Light Infantry (2nd Glasgow) on Wednesday 24 January 1917, and joined the battalion in the field on Friday 26 January, remaining in the battalion until being numbered amongst the 9 other ranks serving in his battalion that were killed in action on Monday 9 July 1917.” The reference in this transcription of the owner of Hargate Lodge being Mr Milton Abbot is incorrect, as I point out below.

The 1911 census taken at Hargate Lodge, #26 Broadwater down records as the occupied of the premises Lionel Thomas Spens, a 60 yer old widower, born in 1851 at Barrackpore Bengal,East Indies, a retired army officer. Living with him were three domestic servants. Lionel was born at the place given in the census but in 1850, according to birth records. He was the son of James Spens(1811-1856) and Penelope Clarina Westropp (1825-1897). In April 1875 he married Eliza Margaret Alsager Blake(1850-1888) at Cheshire. With her Lionel had just one child namely Maud Ethel Margaret Spens(1876-1952). Eliza had been born 1850 at Witton-Cum-Twambrookes,Cheshire and was baptised August 5,1850. She was the daughter of William Wood Blake (1817-1881) and Margaret Alsager Pullock(1830-1868).

Probate records give that Eliza Margaret Alsager Spens late of Bower Staplehurst,Kent died October 22,1888 at the Bower. Her husband was the executor of her 2,4912 pound estate.Lionel continued to live at Hargate Lodge after 1911 and probate records show that he died at Hargate Lodge on May 2,1921. Probate was to his daughter Maud Ethel Margaret Hutchings(wife of Frederick Vaughan Hutchings). He left and estate valued at about 12,000 pounds.

Local directories listed Major Lionel Thomas Spens, J.P. at Hargate Lodge, 26 Broadwater Down from  1891 up to the time of his death May 2,1921. There is a plaque in his honour at St Mark’s  Church on Broadwater Down.  Further details about the Spens family can be found in my article ‘The Life and Times of Major Lionel Thomas Spens”.

The next record for the residence is one found in the London Gazette of March 17,1933 in which it was announced that “the following land is to be registered ‘ Hargate, 26 Broadwater Down,Tunbridge Wells, by Annie Greta Doxford of that address. It is possible that this date coincides with the date that the Marquess transferred a freehold interest in the land to its occupant, which is something he began to do in the 1920’s and continued to due up to about 1944.Annie Doxford was still a resident of the home in 1938. The occupants of the home after 1938 were not investigated.

It is known that the land upon which Hargate Lodge was located had been redeveloped in the 20th century several years before 1978,along with other land in the area to  create the Glenmore Park development. A number of old mansions surrounding Hargate Lodge had also be demolished to make way for redevelopment.

There is today, and has been as far back as the 1970’s a home fronting on Broadwater Down in about the same location as the old mansion, and in addition to having #26 on its driveway gate posts was referred to in planning applications from the 1870’s onward as Hargate Lodge. The only relationship between the old original mansion and the recent and still existing Hargate Lodge is the use of the name.

Sadly the old Hargate Lodge was one of those old mansions that fell victim to the wrecking ball and was a casualty of redevelopment. It is also sad that no photographs of Hargate Lodge are known to exist.

 

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