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

Date: June 14,2017


Sydney Kenneth Lazell was an interesting character, best known for his work as an accomplished photographer in Tunbridge Wells in the post WW II era. Shown opposite is a photo of Sydney from his younger years.

He had been born 1909 in Cuckfield, Sussex and was one of three known children of Henry Charles Lazell (1882-1946) and Frances (Fanny) Lazell, nee Head (1878-1954). At the time of the 1911 census, taken at Beechurst, Haywards Heath, Sussex Sydney was living with his parents in a cottage at Butlers Green where Sydney’s father was a head gardener domestic. By about 1930 Sydney took up residence in Tunbridge Wells

In 1934, at Waldon, Sussex Sydney married Emily Mary Russell (1912-1975) and with her had three sons and two daughters, the eldest being his son Bryan Lazell (1935-1010) who had been born in Tunbridge Wells not long after Sydney and his wife took up residence in the town.

From Sydney’s obituary in the Courier, that reported on his death in Tunbridge Wells on September 14,1981, at his residence at 167 Upper Grosvenor Road, the account stated that Sydney began his working career as a civil servant but that on his arrival in Tunbridge Wells he worked in the offices of the Kent & Sussex Courier on Grove Hill Road. During WW II Sydney served with the National Fire Service and after the war his main interest in life was photography and set up his own business in this field in Tunbridge Wells. Later in life he concentrated on medical photography and examples of his photographs can be found in articles written by various medical practitioners of the Kent & Sussex Hospital. His obituary states that he regularly carried out work at the Pembury and K&S Hospital and for a number of years worked closely for the pioneer plastic surgeon Sir Archibald McIndoe, who was noted for his work on wartime servicemen who suffered from severe burns. Sydney was still carrying out work for the K&S Hospital right up to the weekend before his death. He was survived by his wife, who died 1975 in Tunbridge Wells, and by all five of his children.

This article reports on the life and career of Sydney with a particular emphasis on the time he lived and worked in Tunbridge Wells. This article includes several photos of the Lazell family and several examples of his photographic work in the town, both of medical nature and also of various views of the town while a member of the Tunbridge Wells Photographic Society.  One of his photos of the Pantiles was turned into a travel poster promoting Britain and several have appeared in books and articles.


Sydney Lazell, sometimes given as “Sidney” was born July 11,1909 at Cuckfield, Sussex. He was baptised at “Sydney” October 17,1909 at Cuckfield and given as the son of Henry Charles Lazell (1882-1946) and Frances (Fanny) Lazell,nee Head (1878-1954). His siblings were Dorothy (1914-2000) and Leonard Henry (1922-1997) who was born in Sevenoaks.

The 1891 census, taken at Canning Town, Essex gave Henry Charles Lazell living with his parents and siblings where his father Ephraim Lazell was an agricultural labourer. This no doubt is why Henry became a gardener.

The 1911 census taken at “cottages, Butlers Green” in Haywards Heath, Sussex gave Henry Charles Lazell as born 1882 in Plaistow, London with the occupation of “head gardener domestic”. With him was his wife Frances born in Shillington, Bedfordshire, and their son Sydney Kenneth Lazell. Also there in premises of five rooms was one visitor. Henry and his wife Frances were married in 1905 and by 1911 had just the one child. Shown opposite is a photo of the couple.

In the 1920’s Sydney was living with his parents and siblings in Sevenoaks but by 1930 had taken up residence in Tunbridge Wells


In about 1930 Sydney took up residence in Tunbridge Wells where he gained employment in the offices of the Kent & Sussex Courier on Grove Hill Road (photo opposite). Sydney’s obituary had this to say about him in the pre WW II era. “ Mr Lazell began his working life as a civil servant, but later became a member of the office staff at the Grove Hill Road office of the Kent & Sussex Courier….”

The Kent & Sussex Courier of March 17,1933 gave a report on a photographic competition in which the entrants competed for Sir David Salomons Memorial Prize. Salomons, who lived in a grand estate, was one of the founding members of the Tunbridge Wells Photographic Society, which Society Sydney had joined. The newspaper gave a list of prize winners among which was given “Mr. S.K. Lazell for his picture of the Old Castle”.

On September 29,1934 Sydney married Emily Mary Russell (1912-1975) at Waldron, Sussex. Emily Mary Russell was one of three daughters born to George Russell (1878-1954) and Caroline Russell, nee Briggs (1879-1943). Shown above is their wedding photo  and one of Emily herself shown to the right.

The Kent & Sussex Courier of April 8,1938 reported on a photographic competition in which S.K. Lazell came second for a colour transparency showing a beach scene and came first for a monochrome lantern slide of Scotney Castle.

Sydney’s obituary recorded that “During the war (WW2) Sydney served with the National Fire Service. But his main interest in life was photography and when he left the Courier it was to set up his own business in that field, later concentrating on medical photography. He regularly carried out work at the Pembury and Kent & Sussex Hospital (photo opposite), and for a number of years worked closely for Sir Archibald McIndoe, the pioneer plastic surgeon who became famous for his ‘guinea pig’ work on wartime servicemen who suffered from severe burns…”. Archibald McIndoe (1900-1960) was a pioneering New Zealand plastic surgeon who worked for the RAF during WW II in Britain. In 1932 he received a permanent appointment as a General Surgeon and Lecturer at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. In 1934 he received a Fellowship of the American College of Surgeons, where he worked until 1929 when in that year he became a consulting plastic surgeon to the Royal North Stafford Infirmary and to Croydon General Hospital. In 1938 he was appointed consultant in plastic surgery to the RAF. During WW 2 he was at the Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead, Sussex and it was while there that Sydney Kenneth Lazell joined his staff. What Sydney’s role in this position was is not well defined but it appears that he took before and after photos of the servicemen for Mr McIndoe. Further information about Mr McIndoe can be found on a number of websites. Shown above is a photo of Mr McIndoe and one of him operating at the Queen Victoria Plastic and Jaw Injury centre in East Grinstead. I have not shown for reasons of sensibility any photos Sydney may have taken or was given credit as taken of the burn victims.

Sydney’s obituary noted that he was still working for the Kent & Sussex Hospital on the weekend before his death in 1981 and his photographs appeared in a number of articles written by various medical practitioners at this hospital, of which the following examples are given, all of which were published in the British Journal of Opthalmology.

The first appeared in 1967 in an article by D.C. Gibbs of the Kent & Sussex Hospital who wrote an article entitled “ New Probe For The Intubation of Lacrimal Canaliculi With Silicone Rubber Tubing”. Four photos of this medical apparatus are included in the article and the author states “ I am grateful to  Mr S. K. Lazell for the photographs”.

An article in the Journal of Laryngology & Otology dated October 1960 entitled “ An Unusual Case of Tuberculosis” by Kelvin E. Thomas (Tubnridge Wells) stated “ I wish to thank Mr. S.K. Lazell for the excellent photographs”.

The British Journal of Urology dated 1955 refers to photos by S.K. Lazell of Tunbridge Wells to whom thanks were offered.

The British Journal of Optholmology dated 1967 in an article entitled ‘Fixation Device For Central Field Examination’ by H.M. Symons of the Kent & Sussex Hospital gave thanks to Mr S.K. Lazelle A.R.P.S. for the photographs. The photo referred to is shown above.  The designation “A.R.P.S”  according to the Royal Photographic Society, of which Syndey was a member, gave the definition “ ARPS (Associatship)-Images of exceptional standard and a written statement of intent. This is a significant step up from the LRPS. At this stage creative ability and personal style, along with compete control of the technical aspects of photography must be evident”.  

Sydney Kenneth Lazell (photo opposite) through his membership in the Tunbridge Wells Photographic Society also became associated with the Kent County Photographic Association (KCPA) which was founded in the early 1950’s when the clubs from Maidstone, Medway, Tunbridge Wells, Canterbury and Folkestone joined to form a Kent bases association. Their first print competition was in 1951 for the Festival of Britain. The cup, known as the ‘Ross Cup’, donated by Mr Ross was awarded annually. Today there are about 50 Associate clubs belonging to the KCPA. Their records show that in 1953 S.K. Lazell of the Tunbridge Wells Photographic Society was awarded the Premier Award, Mick Smithson Shield Landscape trophy, and Mr Lazell was a regular exhibitor at their competitions.

Shown opposite is a photo by Sydney dated 1962 that appeared on a website in which he was referred to qas S.K. Lazell, A.R.P.S. of 167 Upper Grosvenor Road, Tunbridge Wells.

A number of books authored by A.C. Shaw, S.K. Lazell and G.N. Foster include the work of Sydney. One came out in 1965 entitled “ Photomicrographs of Invertibrates” and one in 1971 by the same three men was entitled “Photomicrographs of the Non-Flowering Pland’. Photomichrographs was a process by which photographs were taken through a microscope.

Sydney’s photographic work extended well beyond his medical related images. Shown opposite is a travel poster for Britain showing an image of The Pantles. Just below the image on the right hand side can be seen that his photograph was taken by S.K. Lazell of Tunbridge Wells. This poster was printed for The Travel Association circa 1948 . Copies of it have recently been offered for sale on the internet.

Other examples of Sydney’s photographs can be found in the J.C. Trewin Photographic Collection (20 images) among which is a photo by Sydney of a ceremonial cup engraved ‘The Frank Benson Memorial Cup’.

As can be clearly seen he was an accomplished and skilled photographer who took many photos of buildings and scenic views of the town. The majority of these photos appear to date from the 1950’s. Shown opposite is a photo of Sydney with his camera. Members of his family state he “was a skilled wedding photographer” and this image appears to show him dressed up for a wedding.

Syndey Kenneth Lazell passed away at his home on 167 Upper Grosvenor Road after a heart attack, according to family members and that “he died peacefully at age 77 after lovingly nursing his wife through her terrible illness for her last five years” His wife Emily died in Tunbridge Wells in 1975 and was cremated at the Kent & Sussex Crematorium on December 10th.  Probate records gave Sydney Kenneth Lazell, otherwise known as ‘Sidney’ of 167 Upper Grosvenor Road, who died September 14,1981 leaving an estate valued at 48,053 pounds. He was cremated at the Kent & Sussex Crematorium on September 22nd.  He was survived by his children . A photo of Sydney’s children is shown opposite. His obituary states “ A widow, Mr Lazell was a former President of the Tunbridge Wells Photographic Society. He leaves three sons and two daughters. The funeral service will be held at the Tunbridge Wells Crematorium on Tuesday (Sept 22) at 11 am”.


Two books by Rowland and Beavis, namely Tunbridge Wells in Old Photographs (1991) and Tunbridge Wells in Old Photographs 2nd Edition (1994) present a total of ten photographs by Sydney Lazell of which I provide just two examples. His photos are well executed and demonstrate his skill as a photographer. These photographs date from after 1939 up to the late 1950's taken during the period in which he was most active.

Given below is a list of his photographs from the aforementioned books. He was a prolific photographer and the images in the books represent only a small sample of his work.

1. Christian Science Church (before 1959)
2. Assembly Hall (after 1939)
3. Civic Centre (after 1940)
4. Church Road (after 1934)
5. Calverley Grounds (1950's)
6. Calverley Grounds Floral Display (taken in 1953 Coronation of QE II)
7. Southborough Cricket Ground (abt 1950)
8. Open Air Baths (circa 1939 at the Grosvenor Recreation Grounds)
9. Calverley Grounds Bandstand (early 1950's)
10. Hop Pickers (1950's)




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

Date: June 23,2017


The following information is from the Wikipedia website. “The game that most people call 'tennis' is the direct descendant of what is now known as real tennis or royal tennis (which continues to be played today as a separate sport with more complex rules). Most of the rules of the game commonly known as tennis derive from real or royal tennis. It is reasonable to see both sports as variations of the same game. Most historians believe that tennis originated in the monastic cloisters in northern France in the 12th century, but the ball was then struck with the palm of the hand, hence the name jeu de paume ("game of the palm"). It was not until the 16th century that rackets came into use, and the game began to be called "tennis." It was popular in England and France and Henry VIII of England was a big fan of the game, now referred to as real tennis.”

“Many original tennis courts remain, including courts at Oxford, Cambridge, Falkland Palace in Fife where Mary Queen of Scots regularly played, and Hampton Court Palace. Many of the French courts were decommissioned with the terror that accompanied the French Revolution. The Tennis Court Oath (Serment du Jeu de Paume) was a pivotal event during the first days of the French Revolution. The Oath was a pledge signed by 576 of the 577 members from the Third Estate who were locked out of a meeting of the Estates-General on 20 June 1789. Any history of tennis that ignores its origins in the game that was (and is still in certain circles) known as tennis until "lawn tennis" became popular in the late nineteenth century is inaccurate.”

“The Davis Cup, an annual competition between men's national teams, dates to 1900.The analogous competition for women's national teams, the Fed Cup, was founded as the Federation Cup in 1963 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the International Tennis Federation, also known as the ITF.”

“In 1926, promoter C.C. Pyle created the first professional tennis tour with a group of American and French tennis players playing exhibition matches to paying audiences. The most notable of these early professionals were the American Vinnie Richards and the Frenchwoman Suzanne Lenglen. Once a player turned pro he or she could not compete in the major (amateur) tournaments.”

“In 1968, commercial pressures and rumors of some amateurs taking money under the table led to the abandonment of this distinction, inaugurating the "open era", in which all players could compete in all tournaments, and top players were able to make their living from tennis. With the beginning of the open era, the establishment of an international professional tennis circuit, and revenues from the sale of television rights, tennis's popularity has spread worldwide, and the sport has shed its upper/middle-class English-speaking image (although it is acknowledged that this stereotype still exists).”


The website of the current Tunbridge Wells Lawn Tennis Club states that it is one of the oldest clubs in England and one of the largest in south east England with thirteen all-weather courts (hard and clay)and eight grass courts. Their clubhouse is located in Warwick Park on the Nevill Grounds, where it has been since the Nevill Grounds was opened in 1898. They state that “the club has been part of the Tunbridge Wells life for over 100 years; that it has a friendly clubhouse, with licensed bar, television and changing facilities. It hosts a number of tournaments throughout the year and employs four full-time coaches. It has 7 men’s teams, 4 women’s teams and 4 mixed teams, playing in the Kent League and also has teams in the Maidstone League, junior teams and a veterans team”.  Two photos of this club are given below.

Also in Tunbridge Wells is the St John’s Tennis Club that was founded in 1922 and has its facilities on St John’s Road near the Sports Centre. Since the game is so popular there is no shortage of facilites to play the game in the area , among which are clubs in Groombridge and the town of Tonbridge. Shown below is a postcard mailed in 1908 taken at the St John's Recreation Ground which refers to the tennis court and bowling green.

An early reference to  tennis in the town is given in Peltons 1896 Illustrated Guide of Tunbridge Wells in which is given “ The social game of Lawn Tennis, Croquet etc have been hitherto played chiefly in private grounds, in many of which lawn tennis parties are one of the main attractions of the summer season. Excellent courts, pleasantly situated will be found in the Frant Road and in the back of the Great Hall, Claremont Road and elsewhere. The game can also be enjoyed in the winter months in the Drill Hall.” The Great Hall referred to still exists and is located on Mount Pleasant Road just north of the SER station. Beside the Great Hall is the entrance to the Calverley Grounds, acquired by the town in the 1920’s but previously enjoyed as a park by the residents of Calverley Park and by guests to the Calverley Hotel. The Drill Hall referred to was on Victoria Road but the building ceased being a drill hall many years ago and came into use by theatre groups. Shown below is a postcard view of the Calverley Grounds taken in 1974 after re-landscaping and to the right of it is a photo of the Drill Hall building on Victoria Road.

Peltons 1912 guide of Tunbridge Wells, listed two sports clubs in town, including “Tunbridge Wells Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. Grounds situated in Nevill Athletic Grounds, Warwick Park. Visitors admitted as temporary members”. When the Nevill Grounds opened in May 1898 it included a track and facilities for playing football, cricket, lawn tennis and croquet. The Grounds were used almost constantly and the annual cricket tournament was held there.

As noted in my article ‘ Croquet in Tunbridge Wells’ dated June 21,2017 the name “ Tunbridge Wells Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club was still found listed in local directories up to at least 1938 but later this club was split into two clubs namely the Tunbridge Wells Lawn Tennis Club and the Royal Tunbridge Wells Croquet Club. Both of these clubs continue operations today with tennis played at the Nevill Grounds and Croquet in the Calverley Grounds on what used to be the site of tennis courts which had become disused. On July 11,1953 the Royal Tunbridge Wells Lawn Tennis Tournament was held and special first day covers for the event were issued. Examples of them can be found on the internet.

Much like the game of Croquet , lawn tennis began as game of leisure but later evolved into an organized game of competition. Many of the large fine homes in the town had within their nicely landscaped grounds a tennis lawn, carefully maintained on which the occupants of the home and their visitors could play a game of tennis. One such home was Beechwood (image below left) on Pembury Road,particularly during the years in which ceased being a private residence and became a religious based girls school. A similar religious based facility (Blessed Sacrament)was located on the south-west corner of Pembury Road and Calverley Park gardens and the girls there played tennis as shown in the photo below right.

Local hotels like the Spa Hotel on Langton Road and the Beacon Hotel further westward both had tennis lawns/courts for the enjoyment of their guests. Shown below is a postcard view of the Spa Hotel and to the right is one of the Beacon Hotel. References to two C20 tennis courts at the Beacon Hotel is  given in a Kent Garden Trust report.

Men’s and particularly ladies tennis apparel has changed greatly over the years . Shown opposite left is a view of a lady playing tennis with her long dress in 1906.  Being trussed up in corsets and covered from head to toe must have been quite a challenge to the ladies playing the game. Things had not changed much in the pre WW1 years but as the years passed quite a change in their dress took place and now women wear very short skirts.

Men's apparel has also changed. Where they once wore trousers they now wear shorts. It must have been difficult playing tennis under the restrictions of long clothing.

Tennis remains today a popular sport in the town and apart from its social value it is a great form of exercise. The local club always welcomes new members. If you have not played tennis why not give it a go.




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

Date: April 11,2015


The development of Camden Park by the 2nd Marquess Camden began in the 1840’s but by 1851 only two entrance lodges had been built with two houses under construction. The first house to be occupied was Salesmere at No, 1 Camden Park  in 1851 and although work on the park continued the construction of homes in the park was slow. A series of land transfers in 1856 seemed to indicate a renewed interesting in building but there is little evidence in the directories of the 1850’s and early 1860’s that much building had gone on.

The home, at No. 5 Camden Park, which became known as ‘The Lawn’ does not appear to have been built until the late 1860’s as no listing for it appears in the directories of 1858,1862 or 1867. By 1871 however the home became occupied by Major General John Fowler Bradford, a gentleman with a long and distinguished military career.

The home itself was a very large 2 sty stuccoed /brick home ,of Italianate style, recorded at the time of the 1911 census as being 22 rooms.The home has undergone significant alteration over the years, and a review of Planning Authority files shows that in the 20th and 21st centuries  the home was greatly altered by a series of partial demolition work, extensions, alterations and additions.The home was given a Grade II listing by English Heritage in 1988.As you will see from the English Heritage listing, given in the next section, they dated the home as C 1853.

During the 1880’s the home was the residence of James Cambell and his family, a Justice of the Peace for County Argyle. The family had begun in Scotland and were still there in 1858. From at least 1859 to 1863 they were living in Germany. By 1881 they had taken up residence at No. 5 Camden Park but left the home before 1891, when by that year it became the residence of a George Swesey (sp) who was a civil engineer.

From the late 1890’s up to 1952, the end of the study period, The Lawn was the residence of the well –known Cripps family, most notably William Charles Cripps, a solicitor, who had been born in Tunbridge Wells in 1854 and became a partner in the early 1900’s in the firm of W.C.Cripps, Son & Daish.

This article provides information on the history of this grand home and information about some of its early occupants/owners. Shown above is a 1909 os map on which No. 5 is highlighted.


English Heritage gave the residence a Grade II listing on June 20,1988. Details of the listing are given below.

“The following building shall be added to the list: CAMDEN PARK No 5 (The Lawn) 9/340 including garden boundary wall and gate piers to north GV 11. House. Circa 1853, architect not known. Stuccoed, probably brick walls. Low- pitched hipped slate roof with lead rolled hips and ridge and deep eaves on brackets with acanthus leaf decoration. Stacks with tall stuccoed shafts with modillion cornices and square yellow clay pots. Plan: An Italianate villa of double-depth plan with 2 principal rooms on the front facing the garden to the south, the right hand (east) room has a canted bay at the front and the left hand room a verandah at the front. Behind is the stair hall with the main entrance on the north elevation and a room to left and right. On the right hand (east) side a large conservatory and on the left hand (west) side a lower service wing, set back, with a small single storey range around a small yard on the extreme left. Exterior: 2 storeys: The elevations have rusticated and moulded quoins, moulded stringcourse at first floor level on console brackets and a moulded string alcove at first floor sill level. All C19 sash windows without glazing bars in moulded architraves. Asymmetrical elevations. The south garden front 2:3 windows, the right hand 3 windows in a large 2-storey canted bay around which the stringcourses and eaves cornice continue. To the left on the ground floor a pretty cast-iron verandah with thin posts and ornate spandrels supporting a tented roof and with pierced cast-iron steps up to the terrace of the verandah. Set back on the left (west) the lower 2-storey service wing is plainer and has a C19 tripartite sash on each floor. On the right (east) side an ornate wooden C19 conservatory with a canted front, gabled side, 3-centred arch lights, dentil cornice and elaborate cast-iron cresting to the ridge. The main entrance elevation facing north is asymmetrical: Shallow porch with pilasters, round arch doorway with keystone and imposts, cornice and parapet. C19 moulded and panelled inner door with side lights and overlight with console brackets. Projecting stack to left of porch and sash window on both floors in shallow project- ion to right of porch. Including front garden boundary wall to north: Mid C19 rendered and with rendered moulded coping ramped up at west end to a pair of carriageway gate piers which have large moulded caps and C20 wrought-iron gates. Interior: Was not inspected but photographs show that it is largely intact and includes original joinery such as panelled doors and chimneypieces etc and the plaster cornices are complete. The staircase has an elaborate cast-iron balustrade with a wreathed mahogany handrail. One of the rooms has what appears to be later C19 Jacobean style panelling and a large carved wooden chimneypiece with a pilastered overmantel. Note: No 5 is one of a crescent of Italianate style detached villas in their own gardens overlooking Camden Park. Camden Park was laid out in circa 1853 in imitation of Decimus Burton's Calverley Park which was started in 1828. 'According to the 1847 edition of Colbran's 'New Guide to Tunbridge Wells', Burton had by then planned an estate at Tunbridge Wells for the Marquess Camden, but Camden Park does not appear to have been laid out until circa 1853, and the five Italianate houses built by 1863, when work stopped, were probably designed by another architect'. (Colvin). Source: Colvin, H. A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840, pg 172.”

The  1909 OS map given in the overview shows that the house was  located on an odd shaped plot of land of about four acres.The home was constructed on the west half of the grounds,right up to the property boundary with its neighbour to the west (No. 4 ). The homes closest neighbour to the east was St Peter’s Vicarage. The land between No. 5 and St Peter’s was in the 20th century redeveloped and other new homes constructed on it namely Perrys immediately  to east of No. 5 on the east half of the grounds of No. 5 and the Willows located between Perrys and St Peter’s Vicarage, effectively reducing the grounds of No. 5 to about two acres.  It should be noted that ‘Perry’s’  as it appears today is a 21st century home built in the grounds of the original Perry’s. The exterior finishing of No, 5 was similar to No. 4 and unfortunately a good photograph of No, 4 itself was not available at the time of writing this article. However some architectural plans of the building showing its elevations and floor plan details are given later.

Like all of the homes in this park, the grounds sloped down from north to south and backed onto a meadow.Along the Canden Park Road frontage No. 5 had a border wall with gate posts and a black wrought iron gate.
A map dated 1898 shows the footprint of the house and its location .That map also shows the strip of land on the north side of Camden Park Road that belonged to the homes on the south side. That strip of land was intended to be used by residents for their carriage houses, and across from No.5 is a building, referred to in census records as No. 5 Stables which was the homes coachhouse/stables in which the owners carriage and horse were kept, and later the motor vehicle. This small building was later known as ‘Lawn Cottage’ and became a private residence. An important feature of No. 5 that should be noted is that at the time of its construction the home was quite large covering the entire footprint shown on the plans given thus far. Later in the buildings history a portion of the western end of the house was demolished creating a courtyard. A further explanation of this point is given later and shown on plans.  In the photo opposite, provided by Brian Dobson,a partial view of No. 5  Camden Park (far left of photo )is given in the photograph of No. 4 and as can be seen, it was finished in white stucco.

There is a poor quality plan of No 5 dated 1955, too poor to show here. What can be seen on the plan however, in the bottom right corner is that  by this time a portion of the western half of the home had been demolished. In the place of the western end of the house was courtyard screened from the road by a wall, which was attached at the went end  to a garage. Also of note is the existence of a circular drive leading to the garage and the front of the house. Also of note on the plan is the existence of a number of bay windows at the eastern end of the house, a typical Victorian era architectural feature.

A site plan from 1960 shows that the footprint of the home has changed from that shown on earlier maps, in that it shows a  courtyard between the main house and the garage. The garage is later referred to in the Planning Authority files as ‘The Annex’ to No. 5.

In 1985 an application for Planning approval was made by Mr David Judd for an extension and alterations to form a granny annex and workshop. This application was approved. Shown above  is the site plan from the file dated 1985. This plan also gives a good view of the footprint of No. 4 to the west and No. 5a (Perry’s) to the east.

In 1986 an application by Mr Judd for Planning approval for “extension to provide a separate accommodation for caretaker” was approved . No other details were given.

In 2004 listed building consent was requested by Mr and Mrs Brauer for ‘demolition of existing extensions and alterations to and erection of new extension to existing dwelling’. This request was refused The Design statement from the file which in part stated “ In forming the proposals for the extension to The Lawn,Camden Park, reference has been made to the original building and its annex as it existed before 1955. In this year planning consent was granted to remove a large two storey element of the house as it stood at that time. Unfortunately the historical records do not explain why this action was taken. However it left the property without the range of ancillary accommodation on would normally expect for a house this size and importance. As can be seen from the plan and elevations that accompanied the application made in July 1955, the existing building covered all the land to the west of the main house for the full two storeys. The plan also shows a basement to the house immediately to the west of the current kitchen, which site investigation has proven to still exist below the current courtyard area. The building has not changed substantially in the interim, other than by the addition of a small ‘granny’ unit and garage built to the west of the original house and close to the western boundary of the property, consented in the mid-1980’s. The building has, however, since been listed and it is with this in mind that the current proposals have been formulated. It is proposed to build a 2 sty extension to the side of the current remaining part of the two sty annex and remove the single sty caretakers annex which was erected after its planning consent in 1986.By inspection this building is of poor detail design with badly built openings, render work, and low quality joinery items. There is also visible sagging to the roof, which is covered in man made artificial slates some of which have slipped and all of which will require a large amount of work to bring to an acceptable modern standard. The internal layout leaves small pokey rooms, with evidence suggesting that some of these walls provide support to the roof, making removal more difficult. Looking to the proposed requirements this building does not lend itself to conversion, and given its age and current quality should be removed….The design of the new extension is in two main parts.A two-storey element and a single-story element to the side.The principle is to extend the current annex maintaining its width and replacing the roof to form a new outline reminiscent of the original, with a single storey pitched roof element to the south-west.The north-west will have an expanse of flat roof stretching over the existing store area all housing a new double garage adjacent to the current store adjacent to the boundary.The intention in the design is to form a gradual step arrangement from the main house to a lower two storey but more subsifdiary annex, with a further step to a single storey pitched roof addition nearing the current boundary, predominantly in place of the caretakers annex.” The document goes on to describe construction details.  The proposed work was not supported by English Heritage who stated in part “Both the annex and wind are original parts of the house and appear to be in good condition.The design of the new extension is also unacceptable”.

As a result of the comments the design of the work was changed  and the work subsequently approved, and undertaken. It was stated “The revised scheme does not propose to demolish the truncated section of the main house to the west but rather to incorporate and extend it.A later cottage and garage are proposed to be demolished. The new extension will extend near to the west boundary and will therefore incorporate the inner courtyard that was created through the previous demolition. The applicant has provided evidence that the house covered a much larger footprint than it does today and that by way of a consent in c1955 the house was part demolished soon after, leaving the current truncated extension to the main house. Early os maps show a much larger building on the site; a 1960 os base map shows the footprint reduced, due to the demolition that was carried out. The applicant suggests the demolition of the circa  1980’s garage and cottage as they are of little architectural merit….” Shown above from this file are two site plans. The plan on the left is “existing” and the one on the right is “proposed”.

Shown below is a set of elevation and floor plan drawings from the 2004 application showing the homes “proposed’ state

Shown below is a set of elevation and floor plan drawings from the 2004 application showing the homes “existing” state.

In 2005 an application was approved for ‘modification to principal en-suite and kitchen and addition of bay to breakfast room . Also that year an application by Mr & Mrs N. Brauer was approved for ‘single sty rear extension. It was noted in the application that the site of the home was 0.43 hectares. A  review of the drawings shows that the floor plan is much the same as that of 2004 with the exception that a bay window was to be installed on the ground floor with a corresponding bay window installed above it in bedroom 4. Also in 2005 approval was given for ‘changes to fireplaces’ as was ‘addition of railings to west boundary, and  ‘reposition of boiler flues’.

In 2006 an application by Mr & Mrs N. Brauer was approved for ‘detached garage and store’. The Design and Access Statement with this application stated in part “ Set in its own garden the house is a very large Victorian villa with access from the private road known as Camden Park. There is a lengthy planning history relating to the main house extension and refurbishment with applications dating from 2004 through to the discharge of conditions in 2003, with associated tree works. Records also exist of two applications to build a caretakers store and granny annex datged 1985 and 1986 although consented and built these were both demolished when the extension consented in 2004 and noted above were built. There is also archive record dating to the early 1950’s showing the demolition of the original two storey annex that stretched right up to the western boundary. The proposed work is for the a detached single storey natural slate covered pitched roof timber framed and clad garage and store. The new garage will wholly replace the existing dilapidated timber frames store located within the front garden. Access will be from the existing drive.Although larger than the existing store the proposed new garage had been designed in sympathy with the surrounding area and will sit well in its location. It is located approximately 9 metres away from the listed building and will be much smaller in scale and massing that the main house”. Shown here is the 2006 plan showing the main house and the proposed garage.


Given in this section is a list of known occupants of the residence from the time of its construction to the end of the study period in 1938. Some information about this topic from ab out 1985 onward is also given in my review of Planning Authority records. This list is by no means complete. It is based largely on a review of census and directory records, for which annual records were not available to the researcher, supplemented by other related records.

1871-1880………..Major General John Fowler Bradford

1881-1890………..James Cambell

1891-1898……….George Swesey

1899-1952………..William Charles Cripps and family


The Bradford family of three generations were closely connected with Empire building in India.

General Sir John Fowler Bradford was born in London on 28 February 1805 in London. He had been baptised at St George The Martyr, Queen Square, London on March 18,1805. He was one of three known children born to Captain Edward Chapman Bradford (1764-1848) and Eliza Bradford, nee Fowler, who was born about 1783. Captain Edward Chapman Bradford was of the Honorable East India Company and a Master of Trinity House. Shown opposite are two images related to Captain Bradford.On the left is an image of him from a painting and on the right is a plaque dedicated to him.

Given here is a summary of the military career of Sir John Fowler Bradford. “On 5 May 1821, Bradford was posted as a Cornet to the 1st Light Cavalry. He arrived in India in September of that year, following which he served as Instructor and Quarter Master (6 October 1825-13 March 1832). After a furlough from 26 January 1837-10 May 1840, Bradford returned to India, where he fought in several engagements in the First Afghan War (October 1842-October 1843) leading to the re-occupation of Kabul. He also served in the Gwalior Campaign at the battle of Maharajpoor (December 1843).At the battle of Aliwal, during the First Sikh War (18 December 1845-22 February 1846), Bradford commanded the 1st Light Cavalry in the famous charge with the 16th Lancers. The cavalry broke directly through an enemy square and routed the Sikh army, but at a high price. Bradfords regiment lost 9 men and some 23 horses. For the manner they contended for the glorious prize of victory, the 1st Light Cavalry under the command of Major Bradford received an honourable mention in the Dispatch of Major-General Sir Harry Smith, the Commander-in-Chief. In the Second Sikh War (7 September 1848-14 March 1849) Bradford again distinguished himself in the battles of Chilianwala and Goojerat. He was mentioned with great approbation in the Dispatch of Major-General Sir Joseph Thackwell, Commander-in-Chief of the Cavalry Division.For his gallant service in the Sikh Wars, Bradford was appointed a Companion of the Bath on 9 June 1849. On 20 May 1871 he was promoted to Knight Commander of the Bath. He retired from active service on 31 December 1877 with the rank of General.”

His notes and diaries on Indian life can be found at the British Library. Shown opposite is a photograph of his military medals , as listed below.

(1)    Knight Commander of the Bath (K.C.B.) breast star, circa 1871, hand embroidered in gold bullion and silk;

(2)    First Afghan War Campaign Medal, October 1842-October 1843, with reverse for Cabul 1842 (Captain Bradford 1st Light Cavalry);

(3)     Gwalior Campaign Star, December 1843, for Maharajpoor, with ornate silver clasp on the ribbon inscribed Maharajpoor 29 Dec. 1843 (Captain J.F. Bradford 1st Regt. Light Cavalry) (note that Henry Garnet Man was also involved in the battle of Maharajpoor / Maharajapore);

(4)    Sutlej Campaign Medal, 18 December 1845-22 February 1846, with reverse exergue for Aliwal 1846 (Lieut. Col. Bradford 1st Light Cavalry);

(5)    Punjab Campaign Medal, 7 September 1848-14 March 1849, with bars Goojerat, and Chilianwala (Bt. Lieut. Col. J.F. Bradford, 1st Bengal Cavy.).

On February 13,1824, at Sultanpur,Benares,India,John married Eliza Martha Maria Ouseley (1805-1875), the second daughter of Sir William Ouseley, Knight.Sir William Ouseley (1767-1842) was a British Orientalist,Diplomatic Secretary,artist and linguist. He had been tutored at home in the company of his brother, Gore and his cousin, Gideon Ouseley.All three had notable career. William went to Paris in 1787, to learn French, and there he laid the foundation of his interest in Persian literature. In 1788 he became a cornet, a junior cavalry officer, in the 8th regiment of dragoons. At the end of 1794 he sold his commission and went to Leiden to study Persian. In 1796 he married Julia Frances irving and with her had a number of children, the eldest of whom was Sir William Gore Ouseley, who was a diplomat in South America and a renowned artist. Sir William was knighted in 1800 in recognition of his promotion of oriental studies. In the period of 1795 to 1801 he wrote and had published a number of books on Persian, Oriental topics. In 1819-1823 he published, in three volumes ‘Travels in Various Countries of Middle East as well as other important works. He died 1842 at Boulogne-sur-Mer. An  image of him is shown opposite from by painting by H.R. Cook.

John and Eliza had the following sons (1) Captain Edward Ouseley Bradford(1825-1908) (2) William James Bradford(1828-1877) (3)Henry Richard Bradford (born 1830)(4) George Septimus Bradford (1832-1858).It is to be expected that the couple also had some daughters but their names are not known to the researcher.

The earliest record of Sir John Fowler Bradford in Tunbridge Wells is the 1871 census, taken at No. 5 Camden Park. He was given as  “Lieut. General H.M. Indian Army Active List”. Living with him was his wife Eliza Martha Maria Bradford and four domestic servants. Eliza had been born 1805 at Langaltock, Brecknockshire,Wales , and was one of seven children born to Sir William Ouseley (1767-1842) and Juluia Frances Irving (died 1850). Eliza died January 18,1875 in Brighton,Sussex but was buried in the Tunbridge Wells Borough Cemetery on January 23,1875.

John left Tunbridge Wells by 1881, no doubt soon after the death of his wife in 1875, although no details in this regard are known , except he was still listed at No, 5 Camden Park in the 1874 Kelly directory, and also in the directory from the Kent & Sussex Courier of February 24,1875.

The 1881 census, taken at 40 Norfolk Square, Paddington London gave him there along with his son Henry Richard Bradford, a retired Lieut Colonel with the Indian Army Staff, and his niece Julia M. Wodogate (age 24). Also in the home was three domestic servants.

Sir John Fowler Bradford died at 40 Norfolk Square on April 11,1889, but interestingly he was buried at the Tunbridge Wells Borough Cemetery on April 15,1889. A photograph of his grave is shown opposite. Probate records gave him late of 40 Norfolk Square, Knight Commander of the Most Honorable Order of the Bath, a general in the army who died on the date above. The executors of his 23,846 pound estate was Henry Richard Bradford, esq., a Liet. Col. (retired) Army, the son, and Emma Chalons Bradford,widow, both of Norfolk Square. Details of about Johns marriage to Emma Chalons Bradford are not known but it is understood that she died also in 1889. There is no record of her buried in the Tunbridge Wells Borough Cemetery. Shown here is his obituary which was published in The Times on April 15,1889.


James Cambell appears to have moved into No. 5 Camden Park after the departure of Sir John Fowler Bradford about 1875.

James Cambell was born 1817 in Scotland. No information is known by the researcher about his parents or siblings. A review of birth records for his children show that based on the 1881 census, his first child was born in 1849 suggesting that he had married Mary Cambell in 1848. Mary had been b orn 1827 in Scotland.

A further review of birth records show that James and Mary had the following children (1) Elizabeth, born 1849 Scotland (2) Isabella, born 1851 Scotland (3) Mary, born 1858 Scotland (4) Christina, born 1859 in Germany (5) Jessie, born 1863 in Germany.

Based on the above it can be seen that the Cambell family lived in Soctland up until and including 1858 and that from 1859 to at least 1863 they were living in Germany.

The 1881 census, taken at No. 5 Camden Park is the earliest record of the family living in Tunbridge Wells, In this census James was given as a landed proprietor and J.P. for County Argyle, Scotland. Living with him was his wife Mary ; their five children, and William H. Cambell,born 1848 in Scotland, brother-in-law, who was a” J.P. and Captain with the R.Aur. Militia”. Also in the home were six domestic servants.

By 1891 the Cambell family left Tunbridge Wells. The 1891 census, taken at 45 Cornwall Gardens on Gloucester Road, St Stephens, London, gave James living on own means. With him was his wife Mary ; four of their children and seven servants.

What became of James Cambell and his family after 1891 was not established.


A Civil Engineer by the name of “George Swesey” was found in the 1891 census at No. 5 Camden Park. He was born 1835 at Islington,Middlesex. Living with him was his wife Harriett, born 1835 at Rochwester, Kent. Also in the home were three servants. At No. 5 Camden Park Stables was a coachman with his wife and son.

Due to a misspelling of his surname all traces of this gentleman were lost. About all that can be said about his occupancy at No, 5 Camden Park is that he was gone by `1899 for in that year the Kelly directory lists the Cripps family at that address.


The Cripps family are an old and historically significant family in Tunbridge Wells and the surrounding area. As noted in my article ‘ Charles Cripps-A Tunbridge Wells Builder & Developer’ dated March 28,2015, the Cripps clan have in residents here since the early 1700’s. The Charles Cripps referred to in that article was the grandfather of the William Charles Cripps, who is the central figure at No, 5 Camden Park. A portrait studio photograph of Charles Cripps is shown opposite.

Another article of relevance is ‘The Life & Times of William Charles Cripps (1831-1882),a local solicitor, who was the father of William Charles Cripps (junior) of No. 5 Camden Park. Given below is an extract of some parts of that article for it presents information about the early life of William Charles Cripps (junior), and his family. Shown below left is a portrait studio photo of William Charles Cripps senior.

William Charles Cripps senior was born 1831 in Tunbridge Wells,although his death record of 1882 gave his age as 57, which would make his year of birth 1825. In the years leading up to and including the 1851 census, William lived with his parents and siblings in Tunbridge Wells at the family home called Clifton Villa, a fine home, perhaps built by his father, located in the Camden Park area of town just west of the entrance to Camden Park.

On June 28,1854 William married Catherine Charlotte Shearly (1831-1913) at Bloomsbury St George. William and Catherine had the following children (1) William Charles (1855-1952) (2) Sophia Cross (1856-1867) (3) Edith Kate (1858-1934) (4) Herbert Henry (1860-1867) (5) Emily Mary born 1865 (6) Arthur Shearley (1869-1952) (7) Louisa Mamie,born 1868, baptised February 23,1868. Shown opposite right is a photo of William Charles Cripps senior and junior and below is a photo of William Charles Cripps junior.

Catherine Charlotte Shearly had been born in the 4th qtr of 1831 at New Kent Road,London. She had been baptised October 12,1831 at Newington St Mary, London and was one of several children born to William and Charlotte Shearley. In 1841 she was living at Lambeth,Surrey and in 1851 she was living as a visitor in Tunbridge Wells, which no doubt is how she came to known William Charles Cripps. The record of the marriage showed that William Charles Cripps was a  bachelor, a solicitor and resident of Tunbridge Wells and that his father was Charles Cripps,gentleman. Catherine’s father William Shearley was given as a gentleman.

The 1858 Melville directory gave the listing “William Charles Cripps, solicitor 3 Lansdown Place. The law firm of Cripps Harris Hall, which exists today (although not by that name) had been founded by William Charles Cripps in 1852. William used to take prosecutions on behalf of the Tunbridge Wells RSOCA in the 1870’s.  Frank Harris had joined the law firm in 1929 and in 1933 Geoffrey Hall joined the firm, who’s son Christopher was appointed senior partner in May 1991.Like all law firms there have been a number of changes in the organization of the firm and I would suggest looking on the internet or in other sources for a more complete history of the company.What I will mention is that William was active in the firm throughout his career and that his son William Charles Cripps (1855-1952) also entered the legal profession and the firm his father founded.

The Jurist of June 9,1861 reported that law firm, a partnership between William Charles Cripps and George Palmer Clarkson of Tunbridge Wells ,was dissolved by mutual agreement.

The 1861 census, taken at “Calverley Lodge” (Mount Calverley Lodge) recorded William Charles Cripps as a solicitor. With him was his wife Catherine and their children William Charles,age 5; Sophia Cross,age 4; Edith Kate,age 3 and Herbert Henry, age 8 mths, born 1860 Tunbridge Wells. Also present was Martha Fisher, given as a married daughter, age 29, born 1832 at Shotley,Hampshire. As noted above William’s son Herbert Henry Cripps died in 1867. Williams son William Charles Cripps junior had been born in the 2nd qtr of 1855 in Tunbridge Wells.

The 1871 census, taken at Mount Calverley Lodge ( a home located on Prospect Road), recorded William Charles Cripps as a solicitor. Living with him was his wife Catherine Charlotte, born 1832 New Kent Road, London.Also in the home was their children William Charles born 1855,Emily Mary,born 1865 and Arthur Shearly,born 1869.His son William Charles was given as “student”.

The 1874 Kelly directory gave the listing “William Charles Cripps, Mount Calverley Lodge”. The 1881 census, taken at 11 Prospect Road, which was the address of Mount Calverley Lodge, gave William as a solicitor. With him was his wife Catherine; his children Edith Kate and Arthur Shearley and two domestic servants.

Probate records for William Charles Cripps gave him late of Tunbridge Wells, gentleman, and that he died February 22,1882. The executor of his 8,482 pound estate was his wife Catherine of Mount Calverley Lodge. Probate records for his with gave Catherine Charlette Cripps of Tunbridge Wells, widow, died March 14,1913 at Knoll Barton Rd,Torquay. The executor of her 11,871 pound estate was the Public Trustee.

The Friends of Woodbury Park have a booklet about three generations of the Cripps family which may be purchased from them. They state that there is a Cripps memorial at the Woodbury Park Cemetery for William Charles Cripps and four of his children, three of whom died within a fortnight of one another from diphtheria and another two years later from whooping cough. In a letter written by Hannah Cripps (Williams mother) dated October 25,1871, which was written from her home at Clifton Villa,Tunbridge Wells, Hannah says in part “William has four children (still living)-he lost four with diphtheria”. The Friends of Woodbury Park reported that “On 30 January 2010: the anniversary of the birth of William Charles Cripps the elderThe Mayor laid a wreath on his memorial, newly repaired with the help of Cripps Harries Hall, the legal firm Cripps founded in the 1850s. Snowdrops were also planted in memory of his four children who died young, and a reception was held in the Library of Cripps Harries Hall and a  booklet was published for the event”.

William and his wife suffered great tragedy in their lives when four of their children died from illness at an early age. As noted earlier William’s mother Hannah reported in a letter dated October 25,1871 that “William has four (children) he lost with deptheria”. The Friends of Woodbury Park reported that “three of whom died within a fortnight of one another from diphtheria and another two years later from whooping cough.” Given in this section is a brief account of each of Williams children.

Given below is some information about the children of William Charles Cripps senior from my previous article, except for his son William Charles Cripps(1855-1952)  of 5 Camden Park, for whom more detailed information is given later

[1] SOPHIA CROSS CRIPPS……Sophia was born in Tunbridge Wells in the 3rd qtr of 1856. She died in the 4th qtr of 1867 in Tunbridge Wells

[2] EDITH KATE CRIPPS…….Edith was born in Tunbridge Wells in the 2nd qtr of 1858. In about 1887 Edith converted religions and became a Roman Catholic. At the time of the 1891 census she was living on independent means as a lodger at ‘Wellesley’ in Tormoham,Devon with the Moore family. Her brother Arthur Shearly Cripps was with her. As noted in the article by June Bridgman both Edith and her mother left Tunbridge Wells to a teaching convent in Torquay. The 1911 census, taken at this convent at “The Knoll, Barton Road,Torquay” recorded Maria LeLitiz as the head of the convent. Staying there was Catherine Charlotte Cripps and her daughter Edith Kate Cripps. There were nine others at the convent at that time, being a mixture of teachers, servants and a nurse. Probate records show that Edith Kate Cripps was of Stoodley Knowles Ilsham,Torquary Devon , a spinster, when she died at the Tobey Hospital in Torquay on August 20,1934. The executor of her 3,808 pound estate was Edward John Francis Tozer, solicitor.

[3] HERBERT HENRY CRIPPS……….Herbert was born in Tunbridge Wells in the 3rd atr of 1860. He died in Tunbridge Wells in the 3rd qtr of 1867

[4] EMILY MARY CRIPPS……….Emily was born in Tunbridge Wells in the 1st qtr of 1865. At the time of the 1881 census she was living as a boarder at 11 Maze Hill in Hastings, St Mary Magdalen,Sussex and was staying with Matilda Austin who was the principal of the girls school that Emily was attending. She married a High Church minister she had met at St Barnabas Church in Tunbridge Wells.

[5] ARTHUR SHEARLY CRIPPS……..Arthur was born in Tunbridge Wells June 10,1869 and was baptised in Tunbridge Wells July 24,1869. He became an Anglican Priest and short story writer and poet. The Civic Society Newsletter of Spring 2010 included a fine article by June Bridgeman entitled ‘Arthur Shearly Cripps 1869-1952-The man who walks like thunder’ from which  I give a brief summary. For full details I would suggest reading the article in its entirety on the Civic Society website. As shown opposite there is also a book about him.Arthur grew up in the family home at Mount Calverley Lodge. “Arthur’s early years must have been anxiously watched over by his parents, for in 1867 they had lost three children to diphtheria. Two months after his birth (1869),another sister died from whooping cough.All four are buried in Woodbury Park Cemetery”. June goes on to state that that the family had worshipped at Holy Trinity Church but around 1869 switched to St Stephen’s Mission Church in Camden Road. After the death of William Charles Cripps his wife Catherine became a Roman Catholic (circa 1882). Five years(1887) later Arthur’s sister Edith became a Roman Catholic. Arthur however remained an Anglican and ‘was throughout his life ecumenical in approach and worked happily alongside other Christian denominations. Encourage by his sister Edith, Arthur started composing verses at an early age and when he was 15 had his first volume of poems privately printed. In 1887 he went up from Charterhouse School to Trinity College,Oxford. Four of Arthur’s poems are in the Oxford Book of Mystical English Verse. Besides poetry he wrote novels,articles, short stories and pamphlets.While at Oxford he took up boxing, rowing and long distance running, and acted in OUDS plays. The influence of Charles Gore, Principal of Pusey House, led Arthur to seek ordination and was appointed to the comfortable Trinity living of Ford End in Essex in 1893. By 1899 he took an interest in Africa and at the end  of 1900 he became a missionary and set off for Africa on a salary of 16 pounds/ mth. Although he had planned to only stay for two hears his stint was to stretch to 50 years dedicated to the Franciscan ideal of living as one of the poor. He adopted the African way of life and lived in a thatched hut. He gave away all his possessions, including most of his clothes to those poorer than himself and travelled around the district on  foot. In 1903, having grown indignant at the growing exploitation of Africans, he walked 95 miles to Salisbury to protest to the Anglican diocesan synod about the raising of the hut tax by the British South African Company. He obtained money from family and friends to buy two large farms and gave the land rent-free to tenant Africans. He ran a VD clinic and built schools and churches.When Arthur left Tunbridge Wells for Africa his brother William wrote to his mother stating that “We got him a comfortable carriage…I gave him 12 pounds (and) impressed on him that this was for his own personal use and that he would be committing a breach of trust if he expended it either on church matters or charity. He is a real good fellow-too good in fact and too impractical just at present to cope with the world” or as his sister later put it “poor Arthur is quite mad”…. Over the years his sister Edith kept him supplied with books and newspapers and basic clothing.” Quite a fascinating chap indeed. He died August 1,1952 .A photo of his shrine in Rhodesia is shown above.

[6] LOUISA MAMIE CRIPPS……..Louisa was born 1868 in Tunbridge Wells and was baptised February 23,1868 at St James, Tunbridge Wells.

Now focussing on William Charles Cripps  junior (1855-1952) I present the following.William had been born in Tunbridge Wells April ,1855 and was baptised in Tunbridge Wells April 10,1855. He was living with his parents and siblings in Tunbridge Wells up to the time of his marriage. Shown opposite is a photograph of William his legal attire from the book ‘Tunbridge Wells in Old Photographs’, 2nd Edition.

On February 20,1878 he married his first wife Fanny Newington (1852-1904) and with her had the following children (1) Charles Henry Cripps (1878-1934) (2) Constance Maud Cripps (1882-1905) (3) Violet Mary Cripps (1880-1955). Marriage records gave William of St James Paddington and is wife of Tunbridge Wells.

Fanny Newington was born 1852 at Wadhurst,Sussex, one of seven children born to Joseph J. Newington(1825-1882), a landowner, born  in Wadhurst, and Fanny Winton. Newington, nee Tomsett (1823-1890)born at Piddinghoe,Sussex. Fanny lived all her life, before her marriage, in Wadhurst,Sussex, The 1871 census , taken at Town Gate, Wadhurst, gave Joseph J. Newington as the head of the household and a landowner. With him was his wife Fanny W. Newington; five of their children, including Fanny; one governess and four servants. Three of the children were being schooled at home.

A death notice for Fanny Cripps in the newspaper stated she was of “The Lawn, Camden Park, Tunbridge Wells” and that she died February 16,1904.

Williams second wife was Janet Bunyard Colston (1876-1938) who he married in the 2nd qtr of 1909 at Epping,Sussex. With his second wife he had the following children (1) Edith Elizabeth Cripps, born 1911 (2) Christine Cripps, born 1916 (3) Janet Cripps (1916-2000).

Janet Bunyard Colston had been born November 9,1876 at Lothian Road, Dalkeith,Edinburgh,Scotland. Her only known sibling was Christina Gibson Colston (1873-1962), a photograph of whom is shown opposite right.  Shown opposite left is a group photo from a Colston family tree labelled “ Christina, her father, her sister, Jack,Betty,Christine,William and Janet Cripps”.  Janet died February 9,1938 at 20 devonshire Place,Marylebone,London.Her body was returned to Tunbridge Wells for burial.

Like his father he received a good education and became a solicitor, and became the son in the law firm of William Cripps & Son. He prospered as a lawyer and Town Clerk and he managed all the family financial affairs from the time of his father’s death in 1866. William had been appointed Clerk to the Local Board, the town’s original local government, in 1887. When Tunbridge Wells became a borough in 1889, he became town clerk, serving until 1925. On retirement he was elected a freeman of the borough. In 1929 he became a member of Kent County Council, and in 1940 was elected a county alderman. The book ‘Tunbridge Wells in 1909’ by Chris Jones of the Civic Society gives some mention of Williams activities in that year as the town clerk.

Directories throughout the period of 1899 to 1938 record William Charles Cripps as a resident of The Lawn. The 1882 Kelly directory gave the business listing “ W.C. Cripps & Son”. The 1913 directory gave “ W.C. Cripps, Son & Daish, 84 Calverley Road and town hall; solicitor, town clerk to the burial board, borough education committee,the common conservators and Old Age Pensions Committee.

The 1881 census, taken at 20 St James Rd,Tunbridge Wells, gave William Charles Cripps as a solicitor. With him was his wife Fanny and daughters Violet Mary Cripps and Constance Cripps. Also present was three domestic servants.

The 1891 census, taken at Mounford, Grove Hill Road, gave Wiliam C. Cripps, solicitor, with his wife Fanny ; two of their children, and two servants.

The 1901 census, taken at No. 5 Camden Park gave William as a solicitor employer. With him was his wife Fanny; his son Charles Henry Cripps, a solicitors articled clerk; and his two daughters Violet and Constance. Also in the home was a governess and five servants.

The 1911 census, taken at The Lawn No. 5 Camden Park, gave William as a solicitor. With him was his second wife Janet Bunyard Cripps and William’s daughter violet. Also present were five servants. The census recorded their home had 22 rooms; that they the couple had been married one year and had no children.

William Charles Cripps died in Tunbridge Wells October 31,1952 while a resident of “The Lawn” at No. 5 Camden Park. Probate records show that the executors of his 104,367 pound estate were Edith Elizabeth Roberts, married woman, Charlotte Gibston Hanbury, widow, Charles Douglas Roberts, CBE. Civil servant, and Eric Donaldson,chartered accountant.

On his death the Courier wrote that “His name will always be associated with the history of Tunbridge Wells,for no one rendered it more eminent service, nor was there a man who was more respected”. Shown opposite are the headstones for William Charles Cripps and his wives and children.

Below are a few notes about the children of William Charles Cripps. 

1)      Charles Henry Cripps (1878-1934)….Born in Tunbridge Wells, son of William and Fanny Cripps. Baptised February 19,1874 Tunbridge Wells. Living at Heene,Sussex in 1871; at Tunbridge Wells 1881 to 1901. At the time of the 1911 census at Withyham,Sussex at Blackham, Langtron Farm, single,occupation-solicitor. With him were just two servants. He died December 17,1934 in Tunbridge Wells and was of Rock Lodge at 64 Dudley Road.
2)      Constance Maud Cripps. Born in the 4th qtr of 1882 in Tunbridge Wells. She was the daughter of William and Fanny Cripps. She never married and died at The Lawn, No. 5 Canden Park on April 5,1905

3)      Violet Mary Cripps. She was born in Tunbridge Wells in November 1880 and was baptised in the town November 24,1880.She was the daughter of William and Fanny Cripps. She was living with her parents at the time of the 1911 census. On July 29 she married Sir Bart. Arthur Henry Talbot Chetwynd (1887-1972) at Abergavenny,Monmouthshire,Wales. Violet died October 13,1955 at New Forest,Hampshire

4)      Edith Elizabeth Cripps. She was born in Tunbridge Wells in 1911, the daughter of William and Janet Bunyard Cripps. She married Charles D Roberts (1897-1983) and had a daughter.

5)      Christine Cripps. She was born in Tunbridge Wells in 1916, the daughter of William and Janet Bunyard Cripps. She married William D.V. Barton and had three daughters.

6)      Janet Cripps. She was born in Tunbridge Wells in 1916 and was the daughter of William and Janet Bunyard Cripps. She married Geoffrey Sheers (1913-2007) and had 2 sons. She died in 2000 at Monmouthsire,Wales.

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