ALL ABOUT
TUNBRIDGE WELLS

Page 4

THE CURTEIS FAMILY OF 16 CALVERLEY PARK GARDENS

 

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

Date: March 6,2018

 

INTRODUCTION 

On January 23,2016 I wrote an article entitled ‘The History of 16 Calverley Park Gardens’ which provided maps and photographs of the residence as well as a listing of its known occupants over the years, among which was a listing for the family of Frederick William Curteis who lived there from the early 1860s until about 1900. Frederick was a magistrate for Kent and lived at the home with his wife Maria and several of his children. Frederick had been born February 15,1815 and died at 16 Calverley Park Gardens in 1894. His wife and children continued to live there for a few years more but by 1900 left Tunbridge Wells.

Since the aforementioned article was posted to my website in April 2016  this article provides only a brief summary of that article so that further information about the Curteis family can be presented. The impetus for revisiting this topic is the discovery this week of a  226 page scrapbook assembled by the Curteis family while living in Tunbridge Wells. This scrapbook unfortunately does not include any family photographs but it is an amazing leather bound album bearing the name of Frederick’s wife Maria  who assembled the album. It contains many hand decorated pages; the usual scraps and lithographs but also artwork by various members of the family and newspaper cuttings on a variety of topics (some pertaining to Tunbridge Wells ) and personal poems and riddles and various other interesting artifacts. Images of all the pages in this album weighing 9.2 pounds and measuring about 15”x 11.5” x 2-1/2” thick were not given by the seller but some 13 pages of it were. A selection of some of these pages are given in this article.  On the image above there is a little drawing on the bottom of the right hand page labeled "Miss Janet Curteis" who was one of Frederick's daughters.

16 CALVERLEY PARK GARDENS OCCUPANY RECORD

1860-1894…………Frederick William Curteis

1894-1900…………Mary Louisa Curteis

1900-1911…………Edward Elvy Robb

1912-1963…………Convent of The Blessed Sacrament Sisters

1963-1985…………St Augustines RC School

1985-2016…………Flats-various occupants

DESCRIPTION OF 16 CALVERLEY PARK GARDENS

Calverley Park Gardens was one of John Ward’s developments dating back  to 1828. The road, called Calverley Park Gardens , runs in a gentle arc from its beginning on Calverley Road to its eastern end at Pembury Road. On this road, over a period of several years, were initially constructed sixteen large homes, but there has been much redevelopment of the area and newer homes built. Many of the original homes on the north side of the road were the work of the well-known builder William Willicombe (1800-1875). No. 16 Calverley Park Gardens,on the south side of the road, was constructed in white render and stone on a large plot of land that extended northward from the intersection of Pembury Road and Bayhall Road up to the south west corner of Calverley Park Gardens and Pembury Road.













The home is believed to have been built in 1860 or in the late 1850’s , for there is an occupancy record for it in 1861 where from that year  up to 1894 it was the private residence of Frederick William Curteis (1815-1894), a wealthy magistrate with a large family, who died at the home. During the time of his occupancy the home went by the name “Wissenden”, a name derived from the Curteis families connection to the Wissenden estate at Bethersden that Frederick William Curteis inherited in 1849.

After the death of Mr Curteis it became the private residence of local solicitor Edward Elvy Robb (1872-1950), who at the time of the 1901 census was living in the home with his wife Adeline, four servants and two visitors. He left the home and took up residence in London by 1911.

In 1912 the home was taken over by The Blessed Sacrament Sisters for use as a convent which they named “Misbourne House” (photo opposite dated 1913). Below this photo is a view of the Convent Chapel in Misbourne House. By 1913 the Sisters had two convents in Tunbridge Wells, the second one being at 25 Prospect Road, both of which they still occupied in 1922. By 1930 they left 25 Prospect Road and set up a convent at 78 Prospect Road and still had their convent at No. 16 Calverley Park Gardens. By 1934 they disposed of the convent on Prospect Road and from at least 1934 to at least 1938 they only had the convent at 16 Calverley Park Gardens.  The records of The Blessed Sacrament Sisters show their presence in Tunbridge Wells from 1902 to 1963 and there is a 1959 directory that records them still at No. 16 Calverley Park Gardens.

After the Sisters left the convent on Calverley Park Gardens in January 1963, after it was closed in 1962. It had been sold to the diocese for 20,000 pounds and became the premises of St Augustine’s Roman Catholic School who continued to operate the school there  until 1983 or soon thereafter for in 1983 the Trustees of the R.C. Diocese for St Augustine’s Church obtained Planning Authority approval to convert the building into flats, and in 1986 they obtained Planning Authority approval to convert the old entrance lodge into flats. Further changes to the building were approved in 1987 . A map dated 1983 shows that  there had been a number of changes to the original house by way of a very large extension and to other parts of the grounds. Later in the 20th century Planning Authority approval was given for the construction of a long narrow modern home of some 2,490 sf called “Mulberry House” which fronted on Calverley Park Gardens and ran westward for some considerable distance from the corner of Pembury Road and Calverley Park Gardens.

The old original home from the 1860’s still exists ,and from a comparison of an old photo to a current one it is somewhat surprising that it looks ,from the front at least,about the same today as it did when built. It has of course been extensively changed inside and added on to. A modern view of the north elevation of the house is shown here.

The large single family home was 2 stys finished on the exterior in stone and white render, an appearance which it retains today. At the time of its construction it had a slate roof and as one would expect its interior has undergone extensive change over the years, including the installation of electric lighting, a more modern heating system, and other required comforts of modern times. The home was built about 200 feet back from Calverley Park Gardens. Access to it was via  a long sweeping drive past an entrance lodge, which still exists today, but was converted into flats in the 1980’s.

THE CURTEIS FAMILY

Frederick William Curteis (1815-1894)  was born February 15,1815 at Camberwell, Surrey. He was baptised at Camberwell on May 29,1815. He was one of several children born to William Curteis II (1776-1832) and Infield Curteis, nee Hains (1776-1834). His parents spent their lives living in the London area. Shown opposite is a photograph of Frederick taken at the Tunbridge Wells studio of Sims & Bertin.

It is believed from research that Frederick had been married three times. His first wife was a Mary Jane Boodle (1816-1841) who Frederick married October 12,1837 at Clutton,Somerset. Mary was the daughter of Rev. Richard Boodle who was the rector of Radstock. Frederick was described in the Gentleman’s Magazine, at the time of the marriage as “esq. late of Eastleigh Lodge near Warminster”. There were no children from this marriage. Mary died in the 2nd qtr of 1841 at Hailsham,Sussex.

Fredericks second marriage was on July 30,1842 at Wellow to Elizabeth Mary Whilby (1815-1859). She  was the daughter of Lt. Col. Whilby, 90th regiment and the niece of the Rev. Charles Paul, the vicar of Wellow. She died September 15,1859 at Bridge, age 42 and was buried at St Mary’s Churchyard in Bishopbourne, Kent. She and Frederick had the following children (1) Revd Reginald Whitfield Curteis (born 1847 at Bath, died October 18,1909 at Kensington. He married and had children. He had attended Tonbridge School and Trinity College, Cambridge.(2) Col. William Frederick Curteis (C.B. B.A. Colonel) born 1849 at Bath died September 20,1901 at Lewes,Sussex .He along with his brothers all attended the Tonbridge School (image above).He had an extensive military career. He had also attended Jesus College, Cambridge. (3) Louisa Elizabeth Whithenden Curteis born 1850 at Corsley, Wiltshire (4) Capt. Edward Witherden Curteis ,born 1853 at Sturford House, Warminster, Wiltshire and died February 25,1902 at Maclesfield, Cheshire. He married and had children.

Frederick’s 3rd marriage was to Maria Louisa(sometimes given as Luis instead of Louisa) Richardson. The Brighton Gazette of October 18,1860 reported the event of the marriage which took place in Tunbridge Wells at the Holy Trinity Church. A postcard view of the church by Tunbridge Wells photographer and postcard printer/publisher Harold H. Camburn is shown opposite. This postcard is one of a series Camburn produced of winter views of the town. Frederick was described as being of Bethersden, Kent and that Maria was the eldest daughter of William J. Richardson MD of Tunbridge Wells and Maria Luis Richardson. Maria had been born 1838 with her birth registered at Guildford, Surrey. The Gentleman’s Magazine reported that the marriage had taken place on October 9,1860.

Frederick and Maria had the following children (1) Mabel Ellen Witherden Curteis who was born 3rd qtr 1861 in Tunbridge Wells and died 1924. She married a Mr. Stileman and had children (2) Margaret Rose Curteis, born 3rd qtr 1862 in Tunbridge Wells (3) Ernest Norton Curteis , born 1st qtr 1864 in Tunbridge Wells . Ernest is found in Hart’s Army list of 1882 as a Lieut and he was listed as having resigned his commission February 7,1883 in the 4th Btn the Queens Own RWK Regiment. He had been made 2nd Lieut as per the London Gazette February 26,1881 in the West Kent Regiment. (4) Emily Beatrice Curteis, born 1st qtr 1865 in Tunbridge Wells (5) Henry Adair Curteis, born 3rd qtr 1866 Tunbridge Wells, died September 1902 at Maidenhead, Berkshire. He had attended Magdalean College Cambridge. (6)  Janet Auria Curteis, born 1st qtr 1870 in Tunbridge Wells.She died in the 2nd qtr of 1958 at Honiton.  (7) Claude Stuart Curteis born in the 1st qtr of 1876 in Tunbridge Wells. Claude is listed in the records of Cambridge  University who had been admitted at age 19 at Magdalean August 1,1895. Claude died in the 2nd qtr of 1953 in Devon.

As can be seen from the above list of children’s names, the middle names of WITHERDEN and WHITFIELD are found and were used by Frederick and his wife as it pertains his connection to the village of Bethersden,in Kent, where in the Parish Church l can be found several monuments pertaining to the Witherden and Whitfield family. More specifically, Thomas Witherden, who died in 1800 had extensive land holdings in the Bethersden and Wissenden ,which was a hamlet located about a mile and a half from the village of Bethersden on the way to Smarden. When Thomas Witherden died his immense estate was inherited by his only son George Witherden, who was age 19 at the time, and who over his life was not a good manager of his fortune and estate, although still substantial, was depleted. For the last 30 years of his life George lived in Wissenden and when he died in 1849 without an heir the “Wissenden Estate” passed to a distant kinsman named in records as Frederick William Curteis, esq. of Wissenden House, Tunbridge Wells. One source gave the date of inheritance as 1867 rather than 1849  but it is in error. Shown above is a photograph of the Parish Church in Bethersden.

The birth records of Fredericks children show that the first child to be born in Tunbridge Wells was in 1861 and it believed by the researcher that  1861 is the date (at the latest )that he moved into 16 Calverley Park Gardens. His move there may be better timed by his marriage in Tunbridge Wells October 9,1860 to Maria Louisa Richardson. He named the home “Wissenden” (Wissenden House) after the Wissenden estate at Bethersden which I reported on above. While living at Wissenden in Tunbridge Wells he was admitted pensioner at Christs College Cambridge, where he had been educated.  He also increased his financial fortunes when he inherited and sold “The Thorn” in Bethersden (photo opposite). He also inherited the Wissenden estate at Bethersden in 1867. He became a magistrate, J.P. for Kent.

Information about his places of residence prior to the families arrival in Tunbridge Wells can be gleaned from the birth records for his children that I have given above.

The 1861 census, taken at “Wissenden” 16 Calverley Park Gardens, gave Frederick as a magistrate. Living with him was his wife Maria Louisa; four of their children and four servants.

The 1871 census taken at the same address gave Frederick as a landowner and magistrate. With him was his wife Maria Louisa; eight of his children and eight servants.

The 1881 census, taken at the same address gave Frederick as a magistrate, with his wife Maria Louisa; his eight children and eleven servants. His younger children were attending school.

The 1891 census, taken at the same address gave Frederick as a J.P. With him was his wife Maria Louisa, a son in law, four of his daughters and three of his sons and ten servants. None of the children had an occupation. The size of his family; his position and the number of servants, not to mention the grandier of his home, certainly says a lot about his financial status.

Probate records gave Frederick William Curteis of “Wissenden” Tunbridge Wells when he died April 1,1894. The executor of his 148,793 pound estate (a staggering sum for the times) was Alfred William Boodle, esq. As you will recall from the marriage records Frederick’s first wife was a “Boodle”.

Shown here is a photograph of Frederick’s cemetery plot and a closeup of his headstone. The inscription on the stone states “ This stone is erected by his widow and children in loving memory of Frederick William Curteis of Wissenden Tunbridge Wells and Wissenden of Bethersden,Kent. Born February 15th 1815 Died April 1st 1894. Also of Maria Louisa Curteis widow of the above born Jun 20th 1837 died Sept 13th 1912. They were both cremated at the Kent & Sussex Crematorium and their ashes buried in a funeral urn in the plot shown at the Tunbridge Wells Borough Cemetery. It is surprising and that no photographs of any members of this family could be found. After Frederick’s death his widow continued to live in the home until 1900. She died September 13,1912 at 32 South Terrace Littlehampton, Sussex.

 

THE FIELDER & JARRETT POSTCARDS OF SOUTHBOROUGH

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

Date: November 4,2014

OVERVIEW           

In the period of about 1910 to 1931 a series of postcard views of Southborough,Kent began to appear in the marketplace attributed to “Fielder & Jarrett”, and all of the postcards bearing their name were limited to views of Southborough . At first glance,one might presume that Fielder & Jarrett was a partnership of gentlemen who were photographers , and some sellers of their postcards have in fact mistakingly identified them as such.The truth of the matter is that John Fielder ran a grocers shop at 30/33 London Road; Richard Fielder a stationers/newsagents/booksellers shop at 47 London Road and James Jarrett was a stationer and news agent with premises at 47 London Road. All of them had their business premises on London Road, and the two families were related by marriage. It was at the premises of the Jarrett and Fielder, like those of other stationers in Tunbridge Wells and elsewhere, that the postcards were sold, and Mr James Fielder most likely sold them at his grocers shop as well.

An examination of the back of their postcards, combined with knowledge of the operations of Tunbridge Wells photographer and postcard printer and publisher  Harold Hawtrey Camburn, establishes that Fielder and Jarrett had nothing to do with the creation of the postcards bearing their name.All of their postcards were  from photographs taken by Mr Camburn and turned into postcards at his business premises. Stationers and newsagents, and in some cases those who ran other types of shops,wanted to sell local postcard views with their name printed on them, both as advertising for their business ,and as a source of revenue.The  proof of this is established  by way of examining the backs of the postcards. Harold Camburn’s cards were always identified on the back as divided back cards ,most often but not always in  the  “Wells Series” with the familiar symbol of the wishing well with the bucket suspended on a rope. Harold Camburn usually only printed his name on the backs of cards he sold under his name and when a customer like Fielder & Jarrett wanted cards with their name on them, Harold Camburn was quite happy to replace his name with theirs. This is the case with the cards of Fielder and Jarrett for Camburns name is not on the back, but only the name  of “Fielder and Jarrett Southborough” printed vertically up the left hand side.There are cases however when Camburn’s name also appeared on the backs of postcards he produced for others. This symbiotic relationship between the creator of the postcard and the seller of it proved to be financially rewarding to both parties. It allowed Camburn to increase his production and sales by having a retailer to buy and sell them, and it helped the retailer for reasons I have given above. Shown below is  a postcard showing a school class held outdoors on a summers day 1914  in Southborough. The card bears the name of Fielder & Jarrett up the left side with Camburn's typical Wells Series Logo in the middle













The most curious aspect of this research is that although all of the Fielder & Jarrett postcards I have seen date from 1910 onwards the main characters in this story died quite early. Richard Fielder, the news agent etc died in 1908; James Crestwell Jarrett the stationer etc died in 1917. John Holland Fielder the grocer however lived until 1959.

The Kent & Sussex Courier of August 6,1920 gave in part the following announcent “ Death- Miss Rose Fielder, age 43, a partner in the firm of Messrs Fielder & Jarrett, the Parade, Southborough. The deceased was the eldest daughter of the late Mr. B. Jarrett, and a life long resident of Southborough, where she was greatly esteemed”. The article continued with an announcement of her funeral.

It is expected the children of the founders of the business carried it on. The Sevenoaks Chronicle dated June 11,1937 for example ran the advertisement “ Southborough-Varied stocks at all prices-Fielder. Jarrett and Ransome, the Parade, Southboorough. Visit our china department for presents, tea services, toilet ware,trinket sets, lemonade sets glass dishes, jugs, teapots etc-Fielder,Jarrett and Ransome, the Parade, 41 and 32 London Road, Southborough”.

This article provides a photogallery of some of the postcards in the Fielder & Jarrett series and gives information about the lives and businesses of Fielder and Jarrett, with a brief overview of the postcards creator Harold Hawtrey Camburn.

THE PHOTOGRAPHER PRINTER & PUBLISHER                

Harold Hawtrey Camburn(1876-1956) was born 1876 in Sutton Surrey. Near the end of the 19th century he took up an interest in photography and began practicising his trade in Tunbridge Wells. After a brief time on his own he joined forces with local photographer Percy Squire Lancaster (1866-1930) and with him conducted their business from a studio in the Great Hall. About 1906 he established his business premises at 21 Grove Hill Road and began to promote himself as a photographer and photographic printer.Also about 1906 Camburn purchased one of the Rotary Photographic Postcard Printing machines manufactured by Ellis Graber of Tunbridge Wells and in subsequent years he bought more of Graber's machines.These machines were expensive but they significantly increased the speed by which postcards could be printed and no doubt were of great benefit to Camburn's business especially as he increased the number of views available for sale and built up his business with his customers.Camburn’s specialty was “Real Photo “ postcards, which showed photographic images of landmarks and local scenes of interest. His postcards typically bore the hand written title of the view and the number of the card on its face. He typically produced a number of cards of a particular locality with the numbered group forming a separate series.Although variations in colour and style of the backs of his cards can be found the majority of his cards bore the trademark name of “Wells Series” and he adopted the symbol of the wishing well with a bucket suspended on a rope, a style  he adopted about 1910. In 1901 Harold wed Mary Jane Gillett who assisted him the business and when Harold left to serve with the Royal Navy Flying Corp, as a mechanic, in WW 1 ,his wife carried on the postcard business in his absence.

In 1919, Harold returned to Tunbridge Wells after his war service and resumed operations form his premises at 21 Grove Hill Road,where he remained up to the end of 1923. .In 1924 Camburn appears in the directories at two locations namely 21 Grove Hill Road and 80 St.John's Road but from 1925 onwards is given only at 80 St. John's Road. During the second world war Camburn's business would have been affected by shortages of photographic materials and when the war broke out in 1939 Camburn was 63 years old and nearing the end of his career. In 1951 Camburn retired from business,vacated his premises on St.John's Road and sold his printing equipment and other supplies to Tempo Laboratories Ltd.In June 1951 Tempo started operations at both 80 and 82 St. John's Road, producing “Wells Series” cards.

When Camburn retired in 1951 he and his wife moved to Havant,Hampshire to live out the remainder of their years.Unfortunatley it was a rather short retirement for Harold as he passed away in the period of July-September 1956 at Portsmouth,Hampshire leaving a modest sum in his will.His wife Mary passed away at Gosport,Hampshire April-June 1967.

Further details about the life and career of Harold Hawtrey Camburn can be found in my article ‘The Life and times of Harold Camburn’ , initially published August 12,2011 but updated May 3,2014.Shown above are various Fielder & Jarrett views by Harold Camburn.

JAMES CRESWELL JARRETT (1862-1917)         

James  was  born 1862 in Chelsea,London, and was one of several children born to Edward Jarrett, and art and colourman, born 1829 in Creeswick.Kent, and Eleanor Jarrett, born 1832 in Lambeth,Surrey. In 1871 James was attending school and living with his parents and siblings at 25 Park Street in St Marylebone,London. By 1881 the family had taken up residence at 2 Acton Terrace in Micham,Surrey, where James father ran a an art shop. James occupation at this time was not given in the census record of 1881.

On April 20,1889 James married Caroline Ransome at Hammersmith and Fulham,Middlesex. Caroline had been born 1862 at Alne,Yorkshire and was baptised April 6,18562 at Alne. She was one of five children born to Thomas Ransome (1826-1876) and Caroline Kidby (1834-1906). Her siblings were (1) Elizabeth Sarah (1863-1898) (2) Rosa Louisa (1864-1935) (3) Edith Jessie (1869-1946) (4) Alice (1872-1937). The significance of including details about Caroline’s siblings will become apparent later in this account for records indicate a marriage of one of her siblings into the Fielder family, thereby binding the Fielders and Jarretts in business and by family relationship. Caroline would go on to survive her husband and pass away 1953 in Bromley,Kent. As noted in the overview the firm of Fielder & Jarrett later became Fielder, Jarrett and Ransome.

The 1891 census, taken in Fulham,London recorded James Jarrett as a brass finisher, worker. Living with him was his wife Caroline.The 1901 census, taken at 75 Petersborough Road in Fulham, recorded James as a brass finisher worker, with his wife Caroline  and their daughter Helen,age 5, James and Caroline only had one child during their marriage namely Helen Rosa Jarrett (1895-1977).

Sometime between 1901 and 1910 James and his family moved to Southborough, where he opened a shop. The 1911 census, taken at 47 London Road recorded James as the proprietor of a stationers and news agents shop. Living with him in 5 rooms was his wife and daughter Helen.The census records that they had two children but one of them died in infancy.Of particular interest are the two other residents of the place, namely Alice Ransome , given as sister in law,single,age 48, born 1873 at Westminster “a partner in the business”, and Rose Fielder, sister in law, single, age 31, born 1877 at Southborough “a partner in the business”.  As noted in the overview Rose Fielder died in August  1920. Who Alice Ransome was is clear from the information I gave earlier about the siblings of James wife Caroline, for she was Carolines youngest sister Alice Ransome (1872-1937).

Probate records show that James Jarrett was of 43 London Road,Southborough when he passed away November 430,1917. The executor of his 890 pound estate was his wife Caroline. Whether or not she continued the business of her husband is not known by the researcher but as noted above she died 1953 in Bromley,Kent.  Given that the name Ransome appears in the business name in the 1930’s it appears that she and Rose Fielder became partners in the business of Fielder, Jarrett  and Ransome.

THE FIELDER FAMILY           

John Holland Fielder was born 1868 in Southborough and was baptised April 26,1868. He was one of four children born to John Fielder (1829-1901) and Fanny Holland, born 1846 at Robertsbridge,Sussex, who’s mother was Mary Holland, born 1802 in Burwash,Sussex. Johns siblings were (1) Fanny born 1866,(2)  Mary born 1867 (3) Annie born 1870).

The 1871 census, taken on London Road (probably No. 30) ,Southborough recorded John Fielder ,born 1829 Southborough as a master grocer employing 2 men and his wife Fanny, born 1846 at Robertsbridge,Sussex. Also present was his daughter Mary,age 14, John Holland, age 13 and Annie,age 10.

The 1881 census, taken at 30 London Road,Southborugh recorded John Fielder as a grocer. Living with him was his wife Fanny and their children Mary, John Holland, and Annie. All three children at this time were attending school.

The 1891 census, taken at 33 London Road recorded John as a 62 year old grocer, and at a point in his life when he is about to retire and pass along the business to his son John Holland Fielder. Also present was John’s wife Fanny; his daughter Fanny, who is working as a clerk, and his mother in law Mary Holland, an 89 year old widow living on private means.

The publication ‘Pictorial History of Tunbridge Wells and District’ dated 1892 gave the following. “ Mr J. Fielder, Grocer, 30 London Road-The premises in which this business is carried on are well and conveniently situated, and. Although of no considerable extent, are neat and compact, and quite in keeping with their general surroundings. The business premises at situated at 30 London Road. The shop contains a large and well-selected stock of the many goods which are necessary to the proper equipment of the business. Teas, Coffees.cocoas,spices and sugars are always available at this establishment, together with a large number of other articles peculiar to the trade. The business is conducted with energy and ability, and the proprietor’s practical acquaintance with every branch of the trade renders him, specially well adapted to the carrying on of the business. Mr Fielder is well known and in receipt of the respect and esteem of all those with whom he has business dealings”.

By the time of the 1901 census, John Fielder had passed away and his grocers business was taken over by his son John Holland Fielder.

In 1899 John Holland Fielder married Amelia Jane Britton at Bradfield,Berkshire. John and his wife had the following children (1) Cecil John Fielder (1902-1988) (2) Lesley Britton Fielder (1904-1984). Amelia Jane Britton had been born 1874 at Bucklebury, Berkshire, the daughter of Thomas Britton and Mary Ponton. Amelia died 1966 in Southborough.

The 1901 census, taken at 33 London Road, the same premises his father operated from, recorded John Holland Fielder as a” grocer shopkeeper at home”.Living with him was his wife Amelia.

The 1911 census, taken at 2 Parade, 33 London Road gave John Holland Fielder as a “grocer employer at home”. With him was his wife Amelia and their two children Cecil and Lesley, and one domestic servant. The census records premises of 7 rooms and that they had been married in 1900 and had two children.

Probate records gave John Holland Fielder of Grey Lodge, 1 Pennington Road,Southborough when he died September 17,1959 at 13 Park Road,Tunbridge Wells. The executors of his estate were his son Leslie Britton Fielder, chartered accountant, and Dennis Britton Fielder, schoolmaster, who’s relationship to John Holland Fielder was not established. Probate records also give Amelia Jane Fielder of 13 Park Road,Tunbridge Wells when she died June 23,1966 at the Kent & Sussex Hospital. The executor of her 2,435 pound estate was he son Leslie Britton Fielder.

A review of local directories produced the following results; 1867-John Fielder, grocer, South Fleet,Kent; 1874-John Fielder, grocer, London Road,Southborough; 1882-John Fielder, grocer, 30 London Road,Southborough; 1899 to 1938-John Holland Fielder, grocer, 33 London Road,Southborough; 1938-1959 John Holland Fielder, Grey Lodge,Pennington Road,Southborough. It would appear based on this and the occupations of his sons that the Fielder grocers shop ended business in about 1938.

Earlier I referred to a relationship between the Jarrett and Fielder families by marriage and that the 1911 census taken at 47 London Road for the Jarrett family listed a Rose Fielder as the sister in law of James Jarrett and that she was a partner in his business and that she was born 1877 in Southborough. The following information clarifies her relationship to both the Fielder family and the Jarrett Family.She was not ,as you will see a sibling or daughter of any of the Fielders I have mentioned thus far.

RICHARD FIELDER AND FAMILY

The 1891 census, taken at 47 London Road, Southborough, which was the business premises of James Jarrett, the stationer and news agent at the time of the 1911 census, was occupied in 1891 by Richard Fielder, age 45, born 1846 in Southborough.Richard Fielder is given in the census as a “bookseller, stationer and news agent and a clerk at St Thomas Church and a freehold land owner “. Living with Richard was Caroline, born 1840 Beatings,Suffolk, who was actually Caroline Kidby (1834-1906) who became the wife of Thomas Ransome (1826-1876) and who upon the death of her husband married Richard Fielder. This is supported by the fact that in the 1891 census at 47 London Road living with Richard and Caroline was an Edith Ransome, age 21, born 1870 London who was working in the shop as an assistant. This Edith Ransome is the Edith Ransome (1869-1946) I referred to earlier as one of five daughters born to Thomas Ransome (1826-1876) and Caroline Kidby (1834-1906), and it was Ediths sister Caroline Ransome (1862-1953) that had married the central figure in this article James Creswell Jarrett (1862-1917). Continuing with the 1891 census, also present were four children of Richard Fielder, namely George,Joseph,Jane and Rose,age 14, born 1877 Southborough. It is this Rose Fielder that was given as the sister in law of James Jarrett in the 1911 census at 47 London Road. The 1901 census records Rose Fielder as age 24 living as a boarder with the family of Charles A. Pearce, at which time she was working as a nurse domestic.

Richard Fielder had been born in the 4th qtr of 1845 at Southborough, one of eight children born to Joseph Fielder (1801-1883), a postman in Southborough, and Mary Wickenden (1809-1880). His siblings were Joseph (1826-1887) John (1829-1901) Susannah (1834-1897) Mary, born 1838, Jane (1840-1871) Henry born 1843 and Harriett (1848-1923).

In 1851 Richard was living with his parents and siblings in Southborough. He remained in Southborough for the rest of his life. Moving ahead to the 1871 census, taken at No. 2 Edward Place on Pennington Road, Richard is working as a letter carrier and living with his parents and two siblings. His father is also working as a letter carrier.

In 1871 Richard married Susan Frances Riches(1843-1881) in Southborough, and with her had the following children (1) Richard 1872 (2) George(1874-1902) (3) Joseph (1875-1897) (4) Rose, born 1876 (5) Jane, born 1878. Susan Frances Riches had been born 1843 in Margate,Kent, one of nine children born to John Hillier Riches (born 1817) and Sarah Bowman Watler, born 1810. She lived with her parents in Margate up to the time she married Richard.

The 1881 census, taken at 6 Pennington Road recorded the presence of Richard, a booksellers assistant. With him was his wife Susan, and his children Richard,Rose and Jane. Next door at No, 5 was his father Joseph, a postman. Not long after the 1881 census Richards wife passed away and in 1882 he married Caroline Ransome (1834-1906), nee Kidby,who was the former wife of Thomas Ransome (1826-1876).

The publication ‘Pictorial History of Tunbridge Wells and District” dated 1892 gave the following . “ Mr Fielder, Stationer, London Road- A leading position among the many branches of industry which form the mercantile activity of Southborough is held by Mr. Fielder, stationer and bookseller. It enjoys the destinction of being an old established concern, having been for a considerable portion of its career under the guidance of the present proprietor. The premises are of ample dimensions ,and the shop is well fitted up ,presenting an attractive appearance, which is further enhanced by the fine display of goods in the windows. The stock of stationary contains all that one desires in the way of ,commercial, antique, fancy and general  paper. As wholesale newsagent the house does a far more extensive business than any other, supplying the town of Southborough ,and also numerous towns and villages ,in the district, with dairy and weekly newspapers, monthly magazines and other periodicals.A very large trade is carried on ,and the organization and management are perfect and the result of the able proprietor’s spirited enterprise and undoubted ability.He has had a long and varied experience in every branch of the business,and is well known and highly respected throughout the district”.

The 1891 census I have given at the top of this section and so moving to the 1901 census taken at 47 London Road was Richard Fielder, a shop keeper stationer on own account. With him was his wife Caroline and his children George and Jane and step daughter Alice Ransome.

Probate records gave Richard Fielder of 47 London Road, died April 20,1908. The executors of his 947 pound estate was John Hallond Fielder (the grocer I referred to in the previous section).

With this I end my coverage of the Jarrett and Fielder families.

LIST OF FIELDER & JARRETT POSTCARDS

Given here is a list of postcard views attributed to the name of Fielder & Jarrett. The list does not represent a complete record of all postcards produced but was compiled solely from those listed on the internet .Further research is required to compile a complete list. One can judge from the numbers given on the front of the cards just how large the production run must have been . Beside the title of each card I have given the number of it for referene purposes and to illustrate the size of the series. Also shown in the case of used postcards is the date of the card based on its postmark or as dated by the sender. The highest number in this series found by the researcher to date is No. 205, implying that the complete list must be extensive. Only a sample of images from the list below is presented .

(1)    Benham Hill…………………not numbered…………c1910

(2)    Ormonde Lodge ……….. not numbered………..postmark 1910

(3)    Park House…………………………….No. 62…………dated 1915

(4)    Heath View…………………………….No. 66…………c1910

(5)    Holme School…………………………No. 10…………c1910

(6)    Southborough House and Greenhouse………….not numbered  ……dated December 22,1910 (photo below)

(7)    Southborough Common (vertical)………..No. 85……….postmarked 1920

(8)    Gorse Moor and Heathview…………………..No. 65  ……….circa 1910

(9)    Crowthers VAD Hospital…………………………No. 205 ……… dated 1915

(10) Richemont & Lynmouth………………………..No. 103………..c 1925

(11)Victoria Road………………………………………… No. 59 ……….posted 1931

(12) Uplands……………………………………………….No. 52……..postmarked 1927

(13) St Peters Church………………………………….No. 19

(14) Mount Sandford……………………………………No. 128…………c1910

(15) Southborough Common (horizontal)…….No. 22………..postmarked 1920

(16) Hand & Sceptre Hotel…………………………..No. 18

(17)Holden Road………………………………………….not numbered…posted 1919

(18)Bidborough Road……………………………………No. 121………….dated July 28,1919

(19)London Road………………………………………….No. 33

(20)London Road………………………………………….No. 89……………dated 1918

(21)The Old Hall……………………………………………No. 36

(22)Southborough Common……………………….No. 67……………dated 1915

(23)Gorse Moor and Heath View…………………No. 68

(24)Holme School…………………………………………..No. 10

(25)Holden House……………………………………….No. 23

(26)Heathview…………………………………………….No. 66

(27)London Road the common…………………….No. 92

(28)Holden Road………………………………………….No. 198

(29)VAD  Kent Crowthers Hospital……………….No. 205

(30)Southborough school staff……………………No. 175

(31)Southborough Cemetery    ……………………not numbered

(32)The Old Hall……………………………………………not numbered

(33)Brachen Southborough common……………No. 152

(34)Trotting Hill Southborough…………………….not numbered

(35)Pennington Road…………………………………….No. 100

(36)View from Bidborough Road…………………..No. 121………………..posted 1919

(37)Holden Road……………………………………………No. 25

(38)Victoria Road ………………………………………….No. 59

(39)Top of Common……………………………………….No. 46

(40)Holden Road……………………………………………No. 102

(41)Clidersleigh Southborough…………………….. not numbered

(42)Southborough First Eleven 1920-21…………not numbered

(43)St Thomas Vicarage………………………………….No. 54

(44)Bidborough Corner………………………………….No. 155

(45)The Common…………………………………………..No. 42

(46)Crowthers Hospital………………………………….No. 202

(47)Great Bounds……………………………………………No. 185

(48)Hand & Sceptre Hotel……………………………….No. 3

(49)Holden House……………………………………………No. 23

(50)Holden Pond……………………………………………No. 107

(51)Holden Road from Common…………………….No. 27

(52)Ormonde Lodge………………………………………..No. 62

(53)St Thomas Church……………………………………..No. 47

(54)St Thomas Church……………………………………..No. 48

(55)Uplands…………………………………………………….No. 52

(56)View from Mount Sandford……………………..No. 129

 

 

MOTORING HISTORY –THE LIFE AND TIMES OF WALTER ARNOLD



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

Date: March 9,2016

OVERVIEW  

Walter Arnold (1856-1916) (image opposite)was one of three children born to William Arnold (1819-1897) and Cary Arnold, nee Walter (1825-1891). His brother George Arnold (1860-1925) played an important part in the history of the family as a partner for a time with his brother Walter in the firm of William Arnold and Sons, later William Walter and Sons Limited, when the business was incorporated June 26,1909.

William Arnold had been born in 1819 at West Hoathly,Sussex, one of several children born to John and Martha Arnold. John was a farmer and William followed his father in this line of work. In 1847 William married Cary Walter, who had been born in Rotherfield, Sussex, one of three known children born to Edward Walter, a farmer, and his wife Nancy.

After the marriage William worked as a millwright and lived with his wife in Lamberhurst, Sussex. In the early 1850’s William and his wife settled in Wadhurst, Sussex where their three children Walter, Anna and George were born.

By the time  of the 1861 census the family moved to Frant, Sussex where William ran the Bartley Mill, a watermill which received its power from the Winn stream. There William ran a successful flour mill, bags of which were sold in many places but most notably in the shops of Tunbridge Wells. His flour was reported in several advertisments of the 1890’s  in the Kent & Sussex Courier stating “ Arnold’s flour is absolutely pure-Don’t eat dirt!” and bread made from it won prizes.

William and his two sons were mechanically minded. The Kent & Sussex Courier of July 29,1891 reported for example that “Messrs Arnold of Frant received no end of attention with their steam hop washer at work-Levett and Arnold’s patent, which claims to be unequalled in economy and efficiency.

The Arnold family became well known in Frant and several references to the father and his two sons were found in the Courier throughout the mid to late 19th and early 20th centuries.

By 1861 William Arnold was a miller and farmer of 23 acres employing five men and one boy. By 1871 he had increased his land holdings to 150 acres employing 15 men and 2 boys. By 1881 he was employing 27 men and 5 boys at his flour mill and farm and was still at the Bartley Mill at the time of the 1891 census. His two sons, in the period of at least 1881 t0 1891, were living with their father in Frant and worked as farmers,millers and corn merchants. William Arnold’s wife died at the Bartley Mill house in 1891 and William, although passing away while visiting his sons in East Peckham on October 18,1897, was given in the probate record as being of the Bartley Mill in Frant. Upon his death his sons Walter and George continued to operate their business under the name of William Arnold and Sons but expanded their business operations and became motor car manufacturers, as well as makers of other mechanical contraptions in Paddock Wood, near Tunbridge Wells.

George Arnold left the business about the time that Walter went into partnership with Henry Hewetson, a motoring pioneer in his own right. With Henry Hewetson they became the first concessionaire for Benz cars commencing in 1894/1895 and commenced trading as the Arnold Motor Carriage Co. in Mark Lane, London.  

In 1895 the first Horseless Carriage show in England was held in Tunbridge Wells. Walter Arnold was a close friend of Sir David Lionel Salomons and joined with Salomons to organize this historic event and was present when thousands of people took in the spectacle.

Motoring history was made on  January 28,1896 when Walter Arnold, of East Peckham,Kent, was summonsed for travelling at 8 mph in a motorised vehicle, thereby exceeding the contemporary speed limit for towns of 2 mph. He had been caught by a policeman who had given chase on a bicycle. He was fined 1 shilling plus costs, the first speeding fine in England, thus he achieved the soubriquet the first person to be convicted of speeding in the UK.. He was described at that time as a “traction engine proprietor of East Peckham”.

In 1897 the Automobile Club of Great Britain and Ireland was formed which held its first general meeting on December 8th that year. Walter Arnold was at that time among those listed in its Honorary Committee and he remained a member and played an important role in this club up to the time of his death. He had visited Tunbridge Wells on many occasions most often to meet with Sir David Lionel Salomons but also for a holiday to the country.

Walter then started manufacturing Benz cars at his Paddock Wood factory as Arnold Oil Carriages which later became Hewetsons Motor Car Co and in 1899 the company was registered as Hewetsons.

Walter Arnold, who never married, lived at Branbridge House, near Paddock Wood, East Peckam and was still there at the time of the 1911 census. Branbridge House was a grand home of 12 rooms. He was given in the census as a “flour mill owner, machine engine owner and hop grower”.

Walter Arnold passed away in Tunbridge Wells on November 16.1916 but was still a resident of  Branbridge House ,leaving an estate valued at almost 22,000 pounds. His obituary, which forms part of this article ,provides details of his life and career.

Walters brother George Arnold made a success of his life as well, although he was not as well- known as his brother.  Born in Wadhurst in 1860 he left the family home in Frant Sussex about 1891 when at that time he was still single and working as a farmer, miller and corn merchant. In 1902 at Maidstone, he married Agnes Crowhurst and with her had two daughters born in East Peckham between 1905 and 1909 but sometime after 1911 he had a son William George Patrick Arnold who was given as a company director and one of the executors of his mother’s estate in 1962.

The 1911 census, taken at Hale Place in East Peckham gave George as and an “engineer agricultural” and employing others. In this business he manufactured agricultural equipment. He was living in a fine 12 room home with his family and was financially well off. At the time of his father’s death he was described as a miller and farmer. When George died in East Peckham April 11,1925 he left an estate valued at almost 116,000 pounds.

The Arnold family hold an important place in the history of Frant, Sussex  with regards to their farming and milling operations. Not to diminish the importance of George Arnold in the field of agricultural equipment, it is Walter Arnold who is the most remembered and referred to as one of the pioneers of motoring in England. This article reports on all the members of the Arnold family with a particular emphasis on their connection to Tunbridge Wells.

The photograph at the top of this section appeared in ‘Motorsport Magazine’ March 1996 from an article entitled ‘ Forgotten Makes-The Arnold Motor Carriage Company’. The photo was taken in Brighton two days after the 1896 Emancipation Run and shows one of the ‘Arnolds’ motor cars with an unknown lady driver. Walter Arnold is the gentleman standing behind the motor car , with a beard and wearing the bowler hat, jacket, white shirt and tie with handkerchief in his top pocket. To the right of him in the dark suit with white shirt and hat and with his hand resting on the mudguard of the motor car is Mr Hewetson, Walter Arnolds business partner. The motor car behind the Arnold is a Panhard-Levassor. On the front of the Arnold motor car where the little boy is positioned you can see a sign on the motor car that in part reads “Arnold’s”.

WILLIAM ARNOLD (1819-1916)

William Arnold was born 1819 at West Hoathly, Sussex, one of several children from a farming family. He was baptised August 15,1819 at West Hoathly, the son of John and Martha Arnold.

On April 5,1847 he married Cary Walter (1825-1890) at St Denys, Rotherfield, Sussex. Cary Walter was one of several children born to Edward Walter (1792-1873) and Nancy Walter, nee Packham (1797-1877). Cary was born May 14,1825 at Rotherfield and baptised at Rotherfield June 26,1825 and was living in Rotherfield with her parents and two siblings. Her father was a farmer.

After the marriage William and his wife took up residence in Lamberhurst, Sussex. They are found there at the time of the 1851 census at the “Pepper Mill” where William was a millwright. Also in the residence was one servant labourer. By 1856 William and his wife moved to Wadhurst, where they had the following children (1) Walter (1856-1916) (2) Anna b1858 (3) George (1860-1925).

In 1861 William and his family moved to Frant, Sussex and are found in the census of that year at the Bartley Mill. William and his family were living in Bartley Mill House and on the site were four cottages referred to Bartley Mill Cottage occupied by various families largely connected with working in the mill. In the census William Arnold was given as a miller and farmer of 23 acres employing 5 men and one boy. In the next section of this article I provide information and photographs of the Bartley Mill. In 1861 Williams wife and three children were living with him as was one domestic servant.

The 1871 census, taken at the Bartley Mill House, gave William as a miller and farmer of 150 acres employing 15 labourers and 2 boys. With him was his wife Cary; his three children, and one domestic servant. All three of his children were attending school. Sometime in the 1870’s his daughter Anna left the family home on the occasion of her marriage.

The 1881 census, taken at Bartley Mill, Frant gave William as a miller and farmer of 167 acres employing 27 men and 5 boys. In addition to one domestic servant living with him were his sons Walter and George, both of whom were millers and corn merchants.

The 1891 census taken at the Bartley Mill in Frant gave William as a miller and farmer employing a large but unspecified number of men and boys, His wife Cary had passed away at Bartley Mill House in 1890. Her death was registered in the 1st qtr of 1891. Living with William, a widower, was his son Walter, now age 35 and single, who was a farmer, miller and corn merchant. Also there was William’s son George, age 31, single, who was also a farmer, miller and corn merchant. Also there was one niece (a child of his daughter Anna) and two domestic servants. In this census four “Bartley Mill Cottages” were listed on the site of the mill lands. The heads of the households in these cottages had such occupations as milkmen, miller worker, millers labourer, labourer with traction engine and labourer in flour mill.

Williams farming activities included the growing of large acerages of hops ,wheat and corn. There was at least one oast house on the site, similar to the one shown opposite and his wheat was taken to the Bartley Mill where it was ground into flour. The growing, and harvesting of hops was labour intensive. At harvest time it was picked and placed in baskets, then taken to the oast house for processing and drying and placed in sacks. The sacks of hops were stored until enough had been produced to be placed on horse drawn waggons and taken to a brewery for use in the production of beer and ale. Shown below are some images pertaining to hops. The corn was harvested to produce corn seed which the two sons of William sold and no doubt some of it was also ground at the mill to make corn flour and corn meal

William and his sons were forward thinking men and were advocated of mechanizing farming operations and to this end William employed a traction engine on his farm and other equipment to improve the efficiency and cost effectiveness of his business operations. He was also a member of various farming and agricultural associations where he made some useful business contacts. William Arnold was the founder of the firm William Arnold & Sons which in an 1882 directory was listed as “ William Arnold & Sons, corn merchants, millers (water and steam) at Lamberhust and at the Bartley Mill, Frant, Sussex.

One of William Arnolds contacts was William Levett (1830-1921) who like William Arnold ran a major farming operation called the Glassenbury Farm in Glassenbury, Cranbrook, Kent.  The International Inventions Exhibition official catalogue gave a listing of exhibitors at the event, which was held at the Central Institution of the City of Guilds on Exhibition Road in Kensington from May 1885 for a period of about six months. On that list was a patent (No. 1604 in the catalogue) in the name of “Levett, W., Glassenbury Cranbrook and Arnold W. Frant Tunbridge Wells –steam [or othet] power hop-washing apparatus for destroying aphides”. The date on which the patent was taken out was not given but only items patented between 1862 and 1884 were to be exhibited.

William Levett was born 1830 in Cranbrook, Kent, one of six children born to Thomas Levett (1786-1855) and Hannah Levett, nee Butler(1790-1863). On May 26,1853 William Levett wed Mary Williams (1830-1909) and with her had five children between 1855 and 1868, all of whom were born in Cranbrook. At the time of the 1861 census William was a farmer of 240 acres at “Glassenbury Farm” employing 18 men and 7 boys. By 1871 his farm was 504 acres employing 24 men and 9 boys. By 1881 his farm had grown to 550 acres where he employed 23 men and 4 boys. His father Thomas was in 1851 a farmer of 230 acres and employed 8 labourers. When Thomas passed away in 1855 his son William took over the farm at Glassenbury. William Levett died at Glassenbury July 23,1921 . The executors of his 10,596 pound estate were Arthur Levett and Bertram Levett, farmers and Henry Levett, ironmonger. Like William Arnold, William Levett was a hops grower and therefore shared an interest in measures/ inventions that could be employed to improve the production of their respective hops crops and of those in the general industry, for which Kent was well known.  Inventions seemed to run in the Levett family for the English Mechanics and the World of Science dated 1892 advertised “the sale of new model launch engine by A. Levett of Glassenbury, Cranbrook”. The Journal of the Royal Agricultural Society of England, dated 1879 listed both William Arnold and William Levett as members of this society and it is perhaps at one of the meetings of the society that the two gentlemen came to know one another. The Farmers Magazine of 1877 and the Gardeners Chronicle and New Horticulturalist refer to William Levett of Glassenbury purchasing 5 tons of manure and 1 ton of nitrate of soda for his farm from J.L. Hale & Co of London which after testing it was found to be inferior and that Mr Levett had paid far more for it than it was really worth and that Mr Levett was trying out the “British Economical Manure” (artificial manure) as a substitute.

The Kent & Sussex Courier dated July 29,1891 gave the following reference to the Levett-Arnold patent. “ Messrs Arnold of Frant attributed no end of attention with their steam hop washer at work. The Levett-Arnold’s patent,claims to be unequalled in economy and efficiency……..”

Another example of William Arnold’s interest in mechanization was given in the ‘Farm Implement News’ of 1894 ‘ where an article appeared by William on the subject of traction engines. The article stated that a meeting of traction engine owners was held in London in December in which the following speech was made. “ W. Arnold (W. Arnold & Sons) East Peckham and Frant, Kent, having been called upon to propose a second resolution  “That this meeting is of the opinion that the increased use of road locomotives and the improvements effected in their construction demand an amendment of the Highway and Locomotive Act 1878 and especially urge (1) that a license should avail for the whole county (2) that the limitation of hours in adjoining districts should be regulated as to enable engines to move freely. Mr Arnold said that he was interested in the trade of milling and farming principally hop-growing in the neighbourhood of Tunbridge Wells and he could say that so far as the milling industry was concerned if farming had suffered from depression, the milling trade had suffered to a tenfold greater extent. He held in his hand a list of 28 flour mills within a radius of 10 miles of Tunbridge Wells, which 30 years ago were in operation in the production of flour. Every one of them had been destroyed, or had ceased to exist as flour mills. It was only by the introduction of new machinery, and to a very large extend by the introduction of traction engines that they have been able to keep their mill running whilst others have been ‘tumbling down’ in all directions” Mr Arnold then continues to comment on the advantages of traction engines over the use of horses and he estimate “that in Kent there was currently 500-700 traction engines in use costing on average 1,000 pounds each”. Shown above is an example of a traction engine similar to the one that William Arnold used in his business.

William’s two sons were equally interested in mechanization, with George Arnold going on to be an agricultural engineer in East Peckham where he designed and sold agricultural equipment. Walter Arnold, Williams eldest son went on to be a motor car pioneer, one of the few motor car owners in Britain in the 19th century and went on to became a noted motor car manufacturer. The life and careers of these two sons are reported on later in this article.

William Arnold passed away October 18,1897 . The probate record gave him of Bartley Mill, Frant, Sussex , a miller and farmer, and that he died at East Peckham, Kent. The executors of his 4,627 pound estate were his two sons Walter Arnold and George Arnold, millers and farmers. William was predeceased by his wife Cary at the Bartley Mill House in the 1st qtr of 1891.

THE BARTLEY MILL IN FRANT SUSSEX

The Weald website provides a historical record of ownership/operation of this mill. The mill itself was a waterwheel mill located on the Winn Stream. A map shows the mill located north east of Barley Mill Road and south-west of Bayham Road.

The historical record begins back in about 1350. From 1600 to 1806 Bartley Farm and Verridge werfe owned by the Abbey of Bayham but appear to have been separated at the dissolution of the monastery. The site passed through the hands of the Barthams of Great Shoesmiths. When the Egles, the heirs of this branch of the family sold their estates, Bartley Watermill was purchased by the Ashby family and it was the heirs of Thomas Ashby who sold the property in 1806 to the Bayham Estate.  Land tax records of 1802 to 1808 show that the owner of the Barley Mill was the Earl Camden and that after the Ashby family in the period of 1807-1908 the mill was occupied by Mr Beazley.

The 1841 census gave James Powell as a miller at the Bartley Mill, living there with his wife Miriam and their four children. Also there in the 1841 census was William Wood, age 26 with three others including his brother George Wood, age 21.

The 1851 census gave Leonard Latter at Bartley Mill, a farmer and miller employing 2 people. With him was his wife Ann; five sons and one daughter; a millers apprentice; two visitors and two house servants. Also living at Bartley House was William Hickmott, labourer and his family and Henry Hubbard, labourer and his family.

As noted in the previous section William Arnold was still in Wadhurst in 1860 but by the time of the 1861 census he was a miller and farmer at. the Bartley Mill. With him was his wife Cary; their three children and one servant.

William Arnold remained at the Bartley Mill right up to the time of his death in 1897. The ownership/occupancy of the mill after 1897 was not investigated. Shown above are two images of the mill. The first is from the late 19th century. The second is of Barley Mill pond dated 1925 and the one below it is of the Bartley Watermill dated 1997.

The flour produced at the mill by William  Arnold was referred to and praised in various editions of the Kent & Sussex Courier and was a product marketed in and sold in various shops in Tunbridge Wells and elsewhere.

The Kent & Sussex Courier of January 19,1877 referred to “Messrs William Arnold (Bartley Mill); A.Arnold (Furnace Mill) Arthur Arnold (Lamberhurst).The same newspaper dated July 29,1887 referred to the Frant Flower Show at which there was a very fine show of bread in the open class and for Messrs Arnold’s prize must have been very satisfactory to Messr Arnold to find that the first prize bread in both classes had been made from his flour”.

The Kent & Sussex Courier of April 17,1891 advertised “ Pastry-The whitest and best is made from Arnold’s flour. Don’t eat dirt”. The same newspaper of May 8,1891 gave “ Arnold’s flour is absolutely pure. Don’t eat dirt”.

GEORGE ARNOLD (1860-1925)

George Arnold was born in Wadhurst,Sussex in 1860 and was the youngest of two sons born to William Arnold (1819-1897) and Cary Arnold (1825-1891).

George moved to Frant, Sussex with his parents and three siblings in 1861, living in Bartley Mill House at the Bartley mill. At the time of the 1871 census he was still there and attending school. The 1881 census taken at the same mill gave George living with his parents and brother Walter where at that time both he and Walter were engaged in their fathers business and given in the census as millers and corn merchants. This same information was given at the mill at the time of the 1891 census and were all given as employers. Although no 1901 census was found it is most likely that George was still living at the mill.

In the 4th qtr of 1902 George Arnold married Agnes Crowhurst. The marriage was registered at Maidstone. Agnes Crowhurst had been born in Maidstone in 1874. George and Agnes had the following children (1) Norah Phyllis, born 1905 (2) Joan Cary, born 1909. Both girls were born in East Peckham.

The 1911 census, taken at Hale Place, East Peckham gave George as an “engineer agricultural employer” With him was his wife Agnes; their two daughters and three domestics. The census recorded that they were living in premises of 12 rooms; that they had been married 8 years and had just the two children. It is known from later records that he also had a son who is referred to in the probate record of his wife. Shown below is a map labelling the location of Hale Place. Located there was an old farm house there dating back to the 17th century occupied by the Arnold family. Today this farmhouse and another building on the site is the Hale Place Care Home and is a listed building. At the time Mr Arnold had extensive land there on which he grew hops.

Probate records gave George Arnold of Hale Place, East Peckham, and that he died at the Quarries Barming, Kent. The executors of his 115,850 pound estate was his wife Agnes, Frederick Crowhurst and Cecil Crowhurst, veterinary surgeons, and William Charles Cripps of Tunbridge Wells, Solicitor.

Probate records for Agnes Arnold gave her of Hale Place, East Peckham when she died February 6,1962 at Victoria Cottage Hospital, Tonbridge. The executors of her 20,847 pound estate were her daughter Joan Cary Arnold, spinster, and her son William George Patrick Arnold, company director, who had taken over his father’s business.

George Arnold’s career was an interesting one. He along with his brother Walter and father William spent their lives up to about the end of the 19th century in Frant Sussex at his father’s mill and worked as a farmer, miller and corn merchant and with Walter was a partner in the business of William Arnold and Sons. He shared his father’s interests in agriculture and particularly the mechanization of farming operations. Like his brother Walter he also shared an interest in motor cars not only as the owner of one but also in their manufacture. The firm of William Arnold & Sons became William Arnold & Sons Limited when it was incorporated June 26,1909.  George Arnold worked a good part of his life at his hops growing farm at Hale Place near East Peckham. Hops was a major crop in Paddock Wood and the surrounding area as can be seen in the postcard opposite of hop picking in Paddock Wood.

With respect to motor car ownership, the 1900 ‘Automotor Pocket Book’; which listed firms and individuals who were owners, users and makers of motor cars listed both George Arnold and his brother Walter Arnold , both of East Peckham, as owners of motor cars.

A 1913 directory gave the listing “ George Arnold-farmer and hop grower, Hale Place Farm, East Pechham”. East Peckham was a large straggling village and parish 2-1/2 miles north of Paddock Wood station and 6 miles N.E. of Tonbridge. The directory adds “ The extensive mills of Messrs William Arnold & sons is found here. The chief crops grown are hops, wheat, beans and fruit…..Great quantities of hops are grown here”. A second listing gave “ William Arnold & Sons, agricultural engineers, iron & brass founder, millwrights, patent steam hop washers, traction engines and thrashing machine proprietors, Branbridges mills and at Tunbridge Wells”. Also given in 1913 was “Walter Arnold, Branbridge House, East Peckham.

The obituary of Walter Arnold had this to say in part “ Mr Walter Arnold, like his brother George Arnold, was a familiar and popular figure in agricultural Kent and Sussex. Residing formerly at Bartley Mill, Frant and latterly at Branbridge, East Peckham”. Both George and Walter left Frant and moved to East Peckham about the same time but evolved their businesses separately but not exclusively. Initially George Arnold worked closely with his brother closely but George was more interested in all matters agricultural while Walter moved towards the motor car industry.

WALTER ARNOLD (1856-1916)

Although the lives and careers of William Arnold and his son George were most interesting it was Walter Arnold who gained the most notoriety particularly as it pertains to motoring history. Walter had been born in the 3rd qtr of 1856 at Wadhurst but moved to Frant Sussex in 1861 with his parents and siblings.  One of the earliest newspaper article referring to Walter Arnold was he Kent & Sussex Courier of January 6,1878 regarding a Fancy Dress Ball held January 11,1878 at the Assembly Rooms of the Royal Sussex Hotel in the Pantiles which listed several people connected with this event including “ Mr. Walter Arnold of Frant”.

Like his brother George he spent most of the 19th century living and working in Frant, Sussex at the Bartley mill where he was a farmer, miller and corn merchant. He was still living there at the time of the 1891 census and may well have been there at the time of the 1901 census, although no census records for him or his family was found for that year. Like his brother George he began his career as a partner in his father’s company William Arnold & Sons.

I begin my account of Walter by presenting his family information and then devote the last part of this section covering his career. His family information is brief since Walter never married.

The Kent & Sussex Courier of October 17,1902 referred to an event in East Peckham namely “ Accident to Mr Walter Arnold-on Saturday evening Walter Arnold left Branbridge and arrived at Hook Green, where the firm was giving a supper to their old employees of Bartley Mills in Frant…”

The 1911 census, taken at Branbridge House near Paddock Wood, East Peckham gave Walter Arnold as a flour mill owner, machine engine owner and hop grower. With him was his cousin Catherine Anne (Kate) Bayley, age 47 living on private means.  She had been married 30 years and had no children.  The census recorded that his home was a substantial one being 12 rooms.  The mill referred to that he owned was the Branbridges Mill, a waterwheel mill. The Kent & Sussex Courier of September 13, 1912 refers to Lots 6 and 7 that were let to Messrs Arnold in East Peckham. One of the lots was described as ‘building land’ and the other ‘arable field’ located near Hop-Pole Inn, East Peckham.

At an early age Walter took a great interest in motor cars and owned his first motor car circa 1894, one of the earliest motor cars in England. Although beginning his working carer with his father and brother in Frant as a farmer, miller and corn merchant he was a forward thinking man and turned to the new and evolving motor car industry in England. With Henry Hewetson they became the first concessionaire for Benz cars commencing in 1894/1895 and commenced trading as the Arnold Motor Carriage Company in Mark Lane, London.  Graces Guide reported “ In 1895 Mr Walter Arnold, of the firm of William Arnold & Sons of East Peckham and Frant, Tunbridge Wells, said they had 13 traction engines at work in their business for carting different material.

Perhaps the one thing he is most noted for is being the first person in England to be charged with speeding. The book ‘The Birth of British Motor Cars 1769-1897 ‘ by T.R. Nicholson said in part “Walter Arnold of Tonbridge was taken to court January 28,1896 for “offences committed at Paddock Wood a week or so earlier. The charges and penalty he was given all suggested that an example was being made. The self propelled vehicle interests had been particularly strong in Kent since the earliest days of the traction engine but the corollary was endemic hostility. Sir David Lionel Salomons of Broomhill, Tunbridge Wells had avoided prosecution by exercising ,as he cheerfully admitted; but local businessmen such as Hewetson and  Arnold, though prominent figures, were lesser fry, and operated with less discretion. A Kent County Councillor brought the prosecution, making no fewer than four arguments-there was no man in front, there were insufficient people in charge, no name or address was displayed, and the speed was over 2 mph (he had been travelling at the breakneck speed of 8 mph). Again the defence was made that a carriage license had been obtained, and that the car was therefore not a locomotive but a carriage; and again it failed. Arnold was found guilty on all four charges, and this time the fines and costs totalled a punitive 4 pounds, 7 shillings, with the alternative of seven days imprisonment on each charge. The Court’s action had the effect of enlisting the outspoken sympathy of the Kent & Sussex Courier and the Tunbridge Wells Gazette, which were already friendly with Mr Salomons. At most, Arnold had been guilty of a technical breach of statute, which would actually be a good thing, as it would draw attention to a bad law. The Gazette referred to a “Vexatious” prosecution that pandered to an absurd anomaly”. The Courier appealed for a public subscription to pay Arnold’s fine; this “Horseless Carriage Defence Fund” was oversubscribed. The contributions were accompanied by many friendly letters, which the Gazette printed. When thanking the subscribers Walter Arnold stipulated that the money should be turned over to the Tunbridge Wells Hospital, in acknowledgement of the town’s apparent support for motor cars”.

The case against Walter Arnold was widely publicised and the articles repeat the facts given above but mention that Arnold had been caught by a policeman “who had given chase on a bicycle for five miles” and that since Arnold was travelling at 8 mph it took quite some time for the constable to catch up with him. Arnold was initially going to be fined one shilling but as noted in the article above the court decided to make the penalty more severe to make an example of him.

In the latter part of 1896 the Locomotives Act governing the operation of motor cars was amended with the need to have a man in front with a red flag dropped and the speed limit was increased to 14 mph. In celebration of this the ‘Emancipation Run’ was organized in which motor cars made a run from London to Brighton.

Another event related to Walter Arnold in 1896 was his participation in the 1896 Emancipation Run between London and Brighton. His participation took the form of being in the run himself with one of the motor cars he had built and a second one of his cars was also in the run driven by a lady.  A film from 2006 called ‘Nation on Film’ shows Walter Arnold driving the motor car with another man beside him who appears to be his business partner Mr. Hewetson.

In the ‘Overview’ I presented a photograph of an ‘Arnold’ motor car at this event and stated “The photograph at the top of this section appeared in ‘Motorsport Magazine’ March 1996 from an article entitled ‘ Forgotten Makes-The Arnold Motor Carriage Company’. The photo was taken in Brighton two days after the 1896 Emancipation Run and shows one of the ‘Arnolds’ motor cars with an unknown lady driver. Walter Arnold is the gentleman standing behind the motor car , with a beard and wearing the bowler hat, jacket, white shirt and tie with handkerchief in his top pocket. To the right of him in the dark suit with white shirt and hat and with his hand resting on the mudguard of the motor car is Mr Hewetson, Walter Arnolds business partner. The motor car behind the Arnold is a Panhard-Levassor. On the front of the Arnold motor car where the little boy is positioned you can see a sign on the motor car that in part reads “Arnold’s”.  Shown above is a photograph from 1896 showing Walter Arnold at the wheel of his motor car in the Emancipation Run and seated beside him is Henry Hewetson. Below is a another photo from the aforementioned article.

There is also a documentary film from 2006 which shows an image from 1896 of an Arnold 1-1/2 hp motor car. Also at Beaulieu was a 1896 Arnold, which was an anglicised version of the German Benz dogcart built by William Arnold & Sons, who in part were agricultural engineers from East Peckham. As ‘Arnold’s Motor Carriage Company’ they exhibited two motor cars at the Crystal Palace show in May 1896. However, Arnold’s built only a dozen horseless carriages in 1896-1898.  The 1896 Arnold 1-1/2 hp Dogcart is only one of two still surviving of the twelve built. It had a single cylinder engine of about 1190cc.  Walter Arnold agreed with Benz to produce a British version of the motor car. His motor cars were patterned after the Benz but fitted with their own engines. The first customer for the motor car was sold before the 1896 Act liberated the British car, almost certainly making the Arnold-Benz the first ‘British’ motor car to go on sale. This surviving motor car is the same one that ran in the London-Brighton Emancipation Run in November 1896 and is today on show in the National Motor Museum at Bealieu (photo above). The 1895 Panhard & Levassor which I referred to in the photo behind the ‘Arnold’ is stated to be the first motor car imported to Great Britain which was exhibited at the London Science Museum. The winner of the first ever London to Brighton race drove an Arnold motor car.

Returning to the book ‘The Birth of the British Motor Car’ referred to above the book stated in part “ Walter Arnold visited the continent in 1894 where he bought a Benz engine and took it back to England from which he built his first motor car (a prototype).  He and his brother George were partners in the firm of William Arnold & Sons, agricultural engineers and traction engine contractors of East Peckham, Kent-a considerable business. Walter Arnold’s earliest traceable connection with motor cars was as a spectator at the 1894 Paris-Rouen trials. His friend Henry Hewetson was a tea broker of Catford. Visiting Mannheim with Walter Arnold in 1894 he rode in a Benz, and visited the Benz works. In August Hewetson ordered a motor car of his own. In November he took delivery of it-the earliest documented importation of one of the new generation of motor cars. Hewetson was well aware of the restrictions on such vehicles, and by openly driving about without a man in front, at above the legal limit, he courted police attention in the hopes to make publicity for the cause of the motor car. He arranged for a boy on a bicycle to ride ahead to warn of policemen, while another boy rode on the car, dismounting on a signal from the cyclist to walk in front of the motor car with a red flag. His flag consisted of a piece of red ribbon tied to pencil, on the grounds that that the size of the flag was not specified in the law”.  Mr Hewetson was more than a friend of Walter Arnold and in fact became his business partner. More information about Mr. Hewetson and his business dealings with Walter Arnold are given later.

The Automobile Club of Great Britain and Ireland in their proceedings of November 22,1897 announced the first general meeting of the club. Among the Honorary Committee members was Walter Arnold. On December 8,1897 Walter Arnold and 149 others attended the inaugural meeting and the opening of the clubs premises at 4 Whitehall Court, London which consisted of six rooms on the ground floor. Roger W. Wallace presided at this meeting. Arthur and Evelyn H. Ellis, two motor car pioneers were on the clubs Organizing Committee and Evelyn Ellis and F. Simms were two of the 9 gentlemen listed as Directors of the Club. Mr Simms was, like Sir David Lionel Salomons, connected with the 1895 Horseless Carriage Exhibition held in Tunbridge Wells. Shown opposite is a photograph of an ‘Arnold Benz’ of 1897 with a single cylinder 1,190 cc engine and top speed of 16 mph. The text with this image states “ William Arnold & Sons built Benz like motor cars with their own 1.5 hp engines. One was fitted with the first electric self start dynamotor, which also assisted the engine on hills”.  This dynamotor was coupled to the flywheel and had been designed by electrical engineer H.J. Dowsing.

 

Graces Guide stated that circa 1897 Walter Arnold started manufacturing Benz cars at his Paddock Wood factory as ‘Arnold Oil Carriages’ which later became Hewetsons Motor Car Co. In October 1899 the company was registered as ‘Hewetsons’. ‘The Autocar’ of September 4,1897 referred to “Walter Arnold and Mr Cornell of Tonbridge”. ‘ The Autocar Journal of March 17,1897 stated “ We understand that, to meet the special requirements of the British public, Arnold’s Motor Carriage Company, of 59 Mark Lane, London, and East Peckham, Kent, has arranged to offer an entirely new pattern of motor-carriage fitted with the well-known “Benz” motor. This improved type may now be obtained with double cylinders, and is made in three sizes, 3, 5, and 8.5 hp respectively. The motor, which is placed horizontally on the carriages, and therefore easy of inspection, is run at the reduced rate of 300 revolutions per minute, this reduction of speed minimising wear and tear, and practically doing away with unpleasant vibration, when travelling at full speed. The engines are fired by the electric spark from and induction coil worked by a two-volt accumulator. The connecting up of the coil is done in a very simple manner: one wire from the coil runs direct to the sparking tube, which is fixed in the end of the cylinder, and the return wire from the tube is led to an insulated spring, and makes and breaks contact by the action of the engine, the framework of the engine being used as a return for the current. The exhaust box is placed directly under the engine, and the carburettor, being fixed at the back of the carriage, is easily accessible. The shaft of the engine is fitted with a conical pinion or cam, working a small shaft, which revolves at half speed of the engine, and the cams put in and out of gear the exhaust valve, whilst the air valve works automatically. The intermediate shaft, which carries the balance gear and two speeded pulleys, is driven by means of belts from the English shaft, this means of transmitting power being found to be very suitable for motor carriages, as the slight slip in the belt causes the carriage to start very gently. The motor is fitted with a tank holding sufficient water for cooling the engine for three or four hours”.

Shown above is a photo dated 1897 showing an Arnold-Benz driven by A. Cornell of Tunbridge. This image is from ‘The Engineer’ dated June 4,1897. Shown below left is an advertisement for the Arnold’s Motor Carriage Co in London dated 1897, and below right is a photo of an Arnold dated May 1898.













The Kent & Sussex Courier of Friday July 1,1898 stated in part “ A visit was paid to the workshops in connection with the Arnold Motor Company’s works, where motor cars in various stages  were seen in the course of construction”.

Some directory listings relating to Walter Arnold include from 1903 “ Walter Arnold, Branbridge, East Peckham’. From 1904 in East Peckham was Walter Arnold, Branbridge (private residence) and two commercial listings (1) Wm Arnold & Sons-engineers (2) Wm and G. Arnold, road contractors. A 1913 directory gave “ Walter Arnold, Branbridge House, East Peckham”.

In 1915 Walter Arnold of Brandbridges resigned from the Tunbridge Wells Farmer’s Club due to ill health.

Probate records gave Walter Arnold of Branbridges, East Peckham,Kent when he died November 16,1916 at Tunbridge Wells. The executor of his 21,948 pound estate was his brother George Arnold, merchant.

The Kent & Sussex Courier of Friday November 17,1916 gave the following obituary. “We regret to announce the death yesterday of Mr. Walter Arnold, of Branbridge House. East Peckham. The deceased gentleman, who was aged sixty, had been in failing health for some time. Coming of an old Sussex family, which had farmed on the Bayham Estate for nearly half a century, as well as carrying on an important milling industry. Mr. Walter Arnold, like his brother, Mr. George Arnold, was a familiar and popular figure in agricultural in Kent and Sussex. Residing formerly at Bartley Mill, Frant, and latterly at Branbridge, East Peckham, Mr. Arnold was a recognised authority on motor traction and agricultural implements, not to mention milling, hop-growing, and agriculture generally. His judgment and advice were always greatly valued. He was one of the pioneers in Kent in motor traction. He was Chairman of the Kent Traction Engine Owners' Association, out of which was evolved the National Association, of which he was one the founders, and he did excellent work the time Sir Arthur Boscawen was the Member for Tonbridge securing greater legal facilities for motor haulage. At the time Sir David Salomons organised the first motor exhibition in England in 1895,Mr. Arnold was one of the few members of the Agricultural Association to recognise the great future of automobiles, and he, with his brother, supported the request for the use of the Show Ground for the exhibition, which other members were inclined to oppose. Mr. Arnold was for many years one of the Judges of the implement section of the Agricultural Show in Tunbridge Wells, and materially raised the importance of the Show in this respect. He served two years President of the Farmers' Club - the first of the Presidents to be thus re-elected - and during this period he read several valuable technical papers to the members. In parochial affairs Mr. Arnold was former Chairman of the Mark Cross Highway Board and a member of the East Peckham Parish Council. He was connected with the Medway Navigation and Conservancy, and took a practical and useful part in the reconstruction scheme, which has now greatly increased the importance of the Upper Medway for barge traffic. In East Peckham he took a kindly interest, with his brother, in the welfare of his work-people, and the provision of an excellent recreation hall is largely due to his generosity. A wide circle friends will regret the death of one who had endeared himself to all, not only his genial nature, but his readiness to place his great practical experience at the disposal of all who his advice. The funeral will take place at the Frant Churchyard to-morrow (Saturday) afternoon, at three o'clock.” Shown above from Graces Guide is a photo dated 1931 of a Waveless road roller built by Walter Arnolds company.

During Walter Arnold’s life he first came to know Sir David Lionel Salomons while in Frant. Since he and Salomons shared a common interest in motor cars and in changing the laws to make the operation of motor cars more practical he and Salomons developed a friendship that would endure his entire life. Walter often visited Tunbridge Wells on holiday and at times to visit with Salomons and as noted in his obituary worked with Salomons in preparations for the Horseless Carriage Exhibition of 1895 in Tunbridge Wells. For more information about this exhibition see my article ‘ The 1895 Horseless Carriage Exhibition’.  Sir David Lionel Salomons was the main mover behind this event which was held in the local agricultural society’s showground on October 15,1895.  A photograph of Salomons at this event is shown opposite.

In closing off my coverage of Walter Arnold I present below in its entirety an article that appeared along with the photo in the ‘Overview’ and the one below, in the publication ‘Motorsport Magazine’ of March 1996. Although it repeats many of the facts given above about the Arnold family and Walter Arnold in particular, it gives a good overview of Walter Arnold’s connection to the early motoring history of England

Walter Arnold is remembered today from the naming of the Arnold Business Park after him, which park is located on the western side of Branbridges Road just north of the River Medway accessed off the  East Peckham by-pass about 300 yards to the south.

‘This is Kent’ dated October 27,2008 in part reported that a Mr Lester, a motoring enthusiast from Pembury would be participating in the annual London-Brighton run and that during last year’s run he talked with Tim Scott who was the owner at that time of Walter Arnolds motor car that was in the run of 1896. He hoped to find the medal that was awarded to Walter Arnold from the race and reunite it with the motor car. The archive of Arnold’s former motor car is so complete that it even includes the 1896 speeding ticket given to Mr Arnold.

HENRY HEWETSON

As noted in the previous section Walter Arnold and Henry Hewetson became business partners. A photograph of Mr Hewetson is shown opposite.

Henry Hewetson was born at Battersea,Surrey  October 5,1852, one of at least three children born to John Hewetson, a merchant and his wife Emma. Henry was baptised at Battersea November 21,1852.

The 1861 census, taken at Muddleworth Road in Battersea, Surrey gave John Hewetson as born 1808 in London with the occupation of corn merchant. With him was his wife Emma, born 1820 at Wandsworth, Surrey and his children Agnes, age 14; Henry,age 9; Edward,age 6 and Francis, age 1. Also present were eight servants ( seven domestics and one gardener).

Henry became a tea and coffee trader and the proprietor of a milling and general engineering business in Paddock Wood, near Tunbridge Wells.

On September 14,1875 Henry was granted Freedom of the City of London by patrimony. Hewetson was of Mitcham and a clerk in a Merchant’s House.

At the time of the 1891 census Henry was single and given as a coffee merchant living at 12 Clifford Inn in the City of London.

When Henry went on a visit to Mannheim he was impressed by the Benz motor car and immediately ordered a two seater 3 hp model for 80 pounds. He was so impressed that his enthusiasm infected his business partner Walter Arnold and they became the English concessionaire for Benz cars in late 1894 and early 1895. The commenced trading as the Arnold Motor Carriage Co. in Mark Lane, London.

In 1895 Henry drove his motor car from Liverpool Station to Charing Cross Station where he was accosted by police and given a warning. Later in the year he drove the car in Ireland.

The London Gazette of January 20,1899 reported that In September 1898 the partnership with Walter Arnold was dissolved and the business continued by Henry Hewetson on his own was called Hewetsons. The dissolution of the partnership read “ The partnership heretofore subsisting between us the undersigned, Henry Hewetson and Walter Arnold, carrying on business for the supply of Motor Cars and all accessories thereto at 59 Mark Lane, London, under the style of firm of Hewetsons Motor Car Company, has been dissolved by mutual consent as from the 30th day of September 1898. All debts due to the said firm will be received by Hewetsons Limited of 77 Oxford Street, London , who will continue the said business under the style of Hewetsons Limited”. 

An account from 1904 read “ Henry Hewetson, 3 Bryamnston Street, Portman Square, London. Cars: 4.5 hp., 7 hp and 10 hp Benz. Hobbies: yachting, football, sports generally. Was the owner of the first petrol motor car introduced into England, and the first to ride a bicycle from London to Brighton-a feat accomplished on a wooden machine fitted with iron rims, the journey occupying thirteen hours. Imported the first Benz car into England in 1893, and sold sixty in three years. During June, July, and August 1902, drove 100 miles a day for fifty consecutive days, and when 5,000 miles were completed the car was sold at public auction for the benefit of King Edward’s Hospital Fund. He was sixth on a Benz car in the inaugural motor car trip to Brighton in 1896. Clubs: Junior Constitutional, A.C.G.B. & I. In 1905 the Hewetson busness ceased trading

The website of Graces Guide has some 27 images pertaining to Hewetson’s business operations from the period of 1893 to 1903, the majority of them covering the period when he was manufacturing motor cars. Shown opposite is one of these images dated 1895 showing J.A. Koosen and Henry Hewetson in a Lutzmann motor car.

The 1911 census, taken at 3 Old Quebec Street, London gave Henry Hewetson, age 59, born in Battersea, as unmarried  with the occupation of “ Tea Business” at 39 Seethings Lane.

Probate records gave Henry Hewetson of 7a St Peters Square at Stamford Brook, Middlesex when he died July 28,1930. The executors of his 11,465 pound estate were his brothers Edward Hewetson, a retired architect, and Francis Hewetson, a retired merchant.

 

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