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

Date: December 7,2017


George Cheverton was a well-known member of the community in Tunbridge Wells serving on town council representing the north-east ward and was a Magistrate and Justice of the Peace. He was active with the Tonbridge Union, providing annual excursions for the children.

He is perhaps best known as a homeopathic chemist and druggist and later practiced veterinary homeopathy and was an antivivisectionist and a vigorous defender of animal rights. As a British Orthodox chemist he was a member of the Chemical Society of Great Britain; a member of the Pharmaceutical Society; a member of the Linnean Society and a member of the Quekett Microscopical Club. He had converted to homeopathy to become Secretary and Treasurer at the Tunbridge Wells and West Kent Homeopathic Dispensary and served as Secretary of the Homeopathic Pharmaceutical Company of Great Britain.

He had been born 1841 in Newport, I.O.W, one of eight children born to tailor and men’s outfitter William Cheverton (1802-1881) and Ann Cheverton, nee Meager (1801-1861).

He began his career as chemists assistant in Taunton about 1860. In 1862 he married Harriett Ellie Webber(1845-1922). Harriett was one of seven children born 1845 to hat merchant Joseph Webber (1811-1862) and Ellinor Webber, nee Distin (1812-1891) at Newton Abbot,Devon. Harriett had been born 1845 at St Stephens, Cornwall and with George Cheverton went on to have nine children between 1863 and 1885 but their first two children died age 1 and age 6

By 1865 George and his wife and son Harold took up residence in Tunbridge Wells and opened a chemists shop on the High Street, where he remained until about 1870, at which time he moved to new premises at 6 The Broadway on Mount Pleasant Road across the street from the SER station. At the time of the 1871 census he was found with his wife and three children, his married sister Elizabeth , a nurse and two domestic servants at 7 Calverley Parade. He remained at the shop on The Broadway as the sole proprietor until about 1899 when by that year he took on a partner by the name of John Henry Ogle (1865-1901) and the business then operated as Cheverton and Ogle. Mr Ogle died at their shop on the Broadway at only age 36. John Henry Ogle had been born in Pimlico, London, one of several children born to hotel keeper John Ogle and his wife Sarah. John Henry Ogle began his career as a chemists apprentice in London but by 1881 was a chemists apprentice in Bath, Somerset. By 1891 he was working as a chemists assistant in London to John J. Snook. In 1896 he married Eliza Marsha Doorman who had been born 1868 in Chelsea, London.  At the time of the 1901 census John Henry Ogle was living at 19 Mount Pleasant Road, Tunbridge Wells with his wife; three chemists assistants and one domestic servant. John’s occupation at that time was “pharmaceutical chemist employer at home”. When John died May 14,1901 the partnership ended with George Cheverton and George left Tunbridge Wells and moved to Greenwich, London where he died January 1904 and was buried in Lewisham January 6,1904. He was survived by his wife and six of his children. His wife died 1922 in Wandsworth, London.

George was in interesting man and had a long and successful career, most of it spent in Tunbridge Wells. This article presents information about George Cheverton and his family as well has his business as well as information about his business partner John Henry Ogle. A number of photographs of his shops and the products he sold are also provided. Shown above is a view of The Broadway where George had his chemists shop. This photo gives a view looking south toward the High Street Bridge. Cheverton's shop on the left of the image is the tall building with the white front.


I begin my account with the birth of George Cheverton, who’s birth was registered in the 3rd qtr of 1841 in the Isle of Wight. He was one of eight children born to tailor and men’s outfitter William Cheverton (1802-1881) and Ann Cheverton, nee Meager (1801-1861).

The 1851 census, taken in Carisbrooke, Hampshire gave William Cheverton as born 1803 in Shirwell,Hampshire and operating a tailors shop where he employed three men. With him was his wife Ann, born 1801 in Devon and their two children Edwin, born 1837 at Carisbrooke and George, given as born 1842 at Newport, IOE who at that time was attending school.

George left home in the late 1850’s and by the time of the 1861 census he was in Taunton at 21 North Street. At this location he was a boarder living with the Edward Heath family. Mr Heath was a running a home dispensary and George was working as a chemist’s assistant.

In the 4th qtr of 1862 George married Harriett Ellie Webber at Newton Abbot, Devon. Harriett had been born 1845 at St Stephens, Cornwall and was one of seven children born to Joseph Webber (1811-1862) and Ellenor Webber, nee Distin (1812-1891). Harriett was living with her parents and siblings in Tormoham,Devon at the time of the 1851 and 1861 census where her father was a hat merchant.  A photo of Harriett is shown opposite.

George and his wife had the following children (1) Percy George Webber Cheverton (1863-1864) (2) Harold Wilberforce Walker Cheverton (1865-1871) (3) Ellen Gertrude Cheverton who was born 1868 in Tunbridge Wells. She married George Paul Mallard (born 1869) April 4,1894 at Greenwich, London and with him had five children between 1895 and 1904. She died 1933 in Uxbridge,Middlesex (4) Bernard Alabone Cheverton who was born in Tunbridge Wells in the 1st qtr of 1870. He married Cecile Marguerite Mollard(1872-1962) in the 2nd qtr of 1894 and had four children between 1895 and 1904. He and his wife and children were living in Acton, Middlsex at the time of the 1901 and 1911 census with the occupation of “solicitor”. He died in the 4th qtr of 1918 at Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. (5) Mabel Ettie Cheverton, who was born in Tunbridge Wells in the 1st qtr of 1871. In 1899 she married Charles William Nock (born 1856) and with him had three children between 1899 and 1904.  She and her family were living at the time of the 1901 and 1911 census in Willesden, Middlesex. She died February 6,1938 at Surbiton, London (6) Beatrice Antionette Cheverton, who was born in Tunbridge Wells in 1874. She was living with her parents in Tunbridge Wells at the time of the 1891 census. She died a spinster November 12,1935 at Penzance, Cornwall (7) Courtney Graham Cheverton, who was born in Tunbridge Wells in the 3rd qtr of 1877. On March 6,1909 he married Gertrude Sarah Harris (1883-1973) at St Leonard, Stretham and with her had two children between 1910 and 1913. At the time of the 1911 census he was working as a commercial traveller wines and spirits and living with his family at Portsmouth,Hampshire. He died May 11,1921 at Bechenham, Kent (8) Seymour Harold Cheverton, who was born in Tunbridge Wells in the 2nd qtr of 1881. He was living with his parents in Tunbridge Wells at the time of the 1891 census and at the time of the 1901 census with his parents in Deptford St Paul, London. On October 13,1913 he married Jessie Marion Hall at Christ Church in Greenwich. His second marriage was in the 2nd qtr of 1927 at Amersham, Buckinghamshire to Catherine Dorothy S. Johnston (1891-1976). No children were located from either marriage. He died in the 3rd qtr of 1936 at Watford, Hertfordshire.

From the birth records of George’s children it is known that the first child born in Tunbridge Wells was his eldest daughter Ellen Gertrude Cheverton (1868-1933). His eldest son Percy died only one year old in 1864 before the family moved to Tunbridge Wells . Georges second eldest son born 1865 elsewhere died in Tunbridge Wells in 1871 before the 1871 census was taken.

As you will read in the next section George Cheverton set up his chemists shop on the High Street by 1865 (his obituary says 1868)where he remained for a number of years before moving his shop to The Broadway on Mount Pleasant Road, which shop he continued until he left Tunbridge Wells in 1901.

The 1871 census, taken at 6 Calverley Parade (photo above) gave George Cheverton as a chemist Master with two assistants. With him as his wife Harriet and his children Ellen, Bernard and Mabel. Also there was his married sister Elizabeth; one nurse and two domestic servants.

The 1881 census, taken at his private residence at “South Lawn” No. 2 Clarence Road (photo opposite) gave George as a “chemist F.C.S.” With him was his wife Harriett and his children Ellen, Mabel, Beatrice and Courteney, all of whom were in school. Also there was his niece Ellen Anne Goss,age 22’ a nurse domestic and two house servants.

On July 13,1881 George’s father William Cheverton passed away at Node Hill, Carisbrook, I.O.W.The executor of his 1,267 pound estate was his son George Cheverton, chemist of Tunbridge Wells.

The 1891 census, taken at the family home “Melrose” on Upper Grosvenor Road, gave George as a veterinary surgeon and chemist on own account. With him was his wife Harriettt and his children Ellen, Bernard (student of laws), Mabel, Beatrice, Raymond and Olive. Also there were two domestic servants.

The 1901 census, taken at 23 Hilby Field Crescent at Deptford St Paul, London gave George as veterinary surgeon on own account. With him was his wife Harriett ; his children Seymour (commercial clerk) and Olive. Also there was one visitor. George Cheverton’s death was registered in January 1904 at Greenwich. He was buried in the Brockley Cemetery at Lewisham January 6,1904. His wife Harriett died in the 2nd qtr of 1922 at Wandsworth. His death was also announced in the Kent & Sussex Courier of January 8,1904  stated “ Death of Mr George Cheverton- We regret to record the death of a former resident of Tunbridge Wells, who, in his day and generation, did much useful work for the town, in which he spent many years of his life. Mr George Cheverton, J.P., who left Tunbridge Wells a few years ago to reside at Brockley, S.E., died somewhat suddenly at his residence there on Saturday last, after only two days’ illness, from cerebral hemorrhage. The sad news will be regretted by a wide circle of old friends. The deceased gentleman came to Tunbridge Wells in 1868, having very high qualifications as a pharmaceutical and homeopathic chemist, and practised first in High Street, and subsequently, where the Broadway was built, had for nearly a quarter of a century the well-known chemist’s business there, in which, in late years, he went into partnership with Mr Ogle, who predeceased him. Mr Cheverton for many years took a very active part in local affairs. He was a prominent member of the old Local Board, and only retired from a share in the local government of the town at the time of the charter of incorporation , to which he was opposed. Mr Cheverton was a great advocate of the earlier form of local administration, and when the charter was obtained took the opportunity, with several of his colleagues who held similar views, not to seek re-election. It was, however, on the Board of Guardians, of which he was for many years Chairman, that Mr Cheverton did his most useful public work. He took a great interest in Poor Law administration, and devoted a very considerable amount of time to the affairs of what it was his favourite boast to call a model Union. In the local Hospitals, particularly the Homeopathic Hospital, with which he was chiefly associated, Mr Cheverton too an active interest, and was a supporter of a variety of local institutions. In politics he was a Liberal, and was for some years treasurer of the local Radical Association, but at the time of the Home Rule split in 1885 he became a Liberal Unionist, and took a similar leading part in the formation of a local Liberal Unionist Association, and this remained his political creed until his death. At the time of a separate Commission of the Peace being granted for the Borough, the dignity of J.P. was conferred upon him, and the esteem of his fellow townsmen was shown by more than one presentation, as well as complimentary illuminated addresses. He4 was one of the early supporters of the Baptist Tabernacle and of the Plymouth Brethren persuasion, and in an unostentatious manner was a liberal giver to charity, while in public matters he was a very practical organiser. Sime removing from Tunbridge Wells he had periodically visited here for professional purposes at the request of old clients, and one of his last visits to the town was in connection with the local Plate Glass Insurance Association, in connection with which he retained an official position. The funeral took place quietly at Brockley Cemetery on Wednesday afternoon, being attended by a few old friends in addition to the members of the family”.

The 1911 census, taken at 25 Gleneagle Road in Stretham, gave Harriett Cheverton as a widow and living as a boarder with the  Elizabeth Wright (a boarding house proprietor and her three sisters).



As noted in the previous section George began his career as a chemists assistant and chemists apprentice before moving to Tunbridge Wells by 1865 where he established his chemists shop on the High Street.

Electoral records for 1865 to 1868 gave “George Cheverton, 1 Albert Place, High Street, Tunbridge Wells. The 1874 directory gave “ George Cheverton M.P.S. chemist and druggist (homeopathic)”. The 1882 directory gave ‘George Cheverton F.C.S. homeopathic chemist The Broadway”. The 1891 census gave “George Cheverton,F.C.S. chemist The Broadway. A 1899 directory gave “ John Henry Ogle, chemist (see Cheverton & Ogle”.

Colbrans 1855 guide provides the following information about the location of Cheverton’s premises at 1 Albert Place. “Near to the remaining part of Edger Terrace [ The larger portion of this Terrace has been taken down to form the Railway.] is Albert Place and Christ Church; next to this, on the property of R.W. Blencowe, Esq., is a range of six shops, with dwelling houses attached, called Grove Terrace; and a little beyond, near Colbran's Library, other similar buildings are erected, known as Camden Place, the property of Messrs. Edger. These improvements fully support in character and name the High Street, of which they form a part.” This description locates Albert Place at the north end of the High Street on the east side near Christ Church (later demolished).

Peltons 1876 guide listed “ George Cheverton F.C.S. (Member of the Pharmaceutical Society) The Broadway, Tunbridge Wells.

The book ‘ Yesterdays Bottles’ by Tucker and Hetherinton (1981) gave the following listings;

(1) G. Cheverton, homeopathic chemist High Street circa 1863

(2) G. Cheverton, F.C.S., chemist, The Broadway circa 1874-1898

(3) Cheverton & Ogle J. ,homeopathic chemists, The Broadway circa 1899-1902

From the aforementioned book is a table listing Known Local Under-Glaze Printed Pot Lids, in which was given “G. Cheverton M.P.S. The Broadway, cold cream and lip salve posts small with blue background. Shown above is an 1884 advertisment for Cheverton’s business on the Broadway and an advertisement for Chevertons toothpaste.

In December 2017 an ebay listing appeared for a 19th century burr walnut homeopathic specimen box which held some 28 specimens. This well constructed box was 10” in length with a brass shield shaped excutcheon on the front of the box. Inside the box was the gold label shown opposite bearing the name of “George Cheverton High Street Tunbridge Wells, Homeopathic Chemist”.

Shown below left is a postcard view of the High Street where George has his chemists shop and to the right is a view of The Broadway in which can be seen a Cheverton sign on the wall of the building next to the Bridge Hotel across the street from the SER station. The shops opposite the train station did a good trade, with people coming and going all the time.

As noted in the overview George Cheverton was a well-known member of the community in Tunbridge Wells serving on town council representing the north-east ward and was a Magistrate and Justice of the Peace. He was active with the Tonbridge Union, providing annual excursions for the children.

He is perhaps best known as a homeopathic chemist and druggist and later practiced veterinary homeopathy and was an antivivisectionist and a vigorous defender of animal rights. As a British Orthodox chemist he was a member of the Chemical Society of Great Britain; a member of the Pharmaceutical Society; a member of the Linnean Society and a member of the Quekett Microscopical Club. He had converted to homeopathy to become Secretary and Treasurer at the Tunbridge Wells and West Kent Homeopathic Dispensary and served as Secretary of the Homeopathic Pharmaceutical Company of Great Britain.

George Cheverton was also a medical publisher and he gave talks on homeopathic pharmaceutical practice and history. He wrote ‘The Present State of the Practice of Physic’ (1868) which appeared in The American Observer Medial Monthly in 1868. and also contributed to local horticultural publications and to his local Photographic Magazine.

‘Sue Young Histories’ available online gave a biography of homeopaths and provide information about the Tunbridge Wells Homeopathic Hospital which comprised a number of dispensaries and that in 1868 George Cheverton was the Secretary and Dispenser of the Tunbridge Wells and West Kent Public Homeopathic dispensary. Shown below are photos of two of the Homeopathic Hospitals in Tunbridge Wells.

George Cheverton expanded his business from that of a chemist to that of a veterinary surgeon, but it was not an easy transition. The Tunbridge Wells Courier published an article about it which also appeared in the Monthly Homeopathic Review of January 1,1884 which is given here in its entirety. “ The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons And Homeopathy…..Some sixteen years ago, our townsman,Mr George Cheverton, F.C.S., of The Broadway, having practically studied veterinary surgery, applied to the Royal Veterinary College for examination, and that he should be saved the necessity of having to attend a given number of lectures, business engagements necessitating his attendance at home. This application the Council refused, but intimated that Mr Cheverton could practice without examination. On the Act of 1881, demanding that all veterinary surgeons should register being passed, Mr Cheverton applied in the ordinary course. That application was communicated to the veterinary surgeons practising locally, who objected to the registration, the homeopathic treatment of animals being quite foreign to their ideas of rational treatment. The Veterinary College, upholding the local member desire, refused the registration, but Mr Cheverton appealed to the Privy Council, to whom he communicated the facts. After hearing his application, they decided at once that it was the duty of the Veterinary College to register the applicant, and forthwith issued an order directing the College to immediately place Mr Cheverton on the register. This, or course, had to be done, and we congratulate Mr Cheverton on his success”.  An article related to this matter also appeared in the Transactions of the International Homeopathic Convention held in 1886.

A number of publications and local newspaper announcements were found for George Cheverton, too many in fact to include them all here but below is a sample.

The Chemist and Druggist of February 17,1894 published a letter by George Cheverton on Homeopathy.

The Animal Defender and Zoophilist of January 1,1894 listed “ George Cheverton ,esq., CC Veterinary Surgeon, The Broadway, Tunbridge Wells”.

The Chemist and Druggist of March 6,1897 gave “ Mr George Cheverton, a magistrate living in Tunbridge Wells and the Hon. Secretary to the Homeopathic Society, stated in his opinion…”

The Kent & Sussex Courier of January 18,1889 gave “ The candidature of Mr George Cheverton-On Tuesday evening a meeting was held in support of the candidature of Mr George Cheverton to represent the North-East Ward of Tunbridge Wells on County Council, where there was a very large attendance..”

The Kent & Sussex Courier of September 12,1879 gave in part “ For some years past it has been the annual custom of Mr George Cheverton, one of the guardians for Tunbridge Wells, to organize an excursion for the children in the Union…” The Courier of September 17,1880 referred to the Tonbridge Union having their annual excursion and that they went to Brighton. “Thanks to the efforts of Mr George Cheverton one of the Guardians of the poor for Tunbridge Wells, the necessary funds for the excursion were collected without difficulty”.

The Kent & Sussex Courier of April 4,1879 announced “ Mr George Cheverton has been elected member of the Board…”

The Kent & Sussex Courier of February 28,1896 announced that George Cheverton was “the newly appointed Justice on the Borough Commission and took the oath of office”.  

Several advertisments appeared in the Courier in the 1890s under the heading of ‘Dogs, Dogs, Dogs  and noted that George Cheverton was a ‘veterinary and canine surgeon’ with premises on The Broadway and that he sold surgical appliances for individuals

The Courier of March 17,1893 gave the notice that George Cheverton of The Broadway Pharmacy wanted “a gentleman, well -educated youth as an apprentice” in his business.

The Courier of January 24,1890 announced “ High Class Pharmacy-George Cheverton M.R.S. Fellow of the Society , analysed drugs, qualified dispenser”.

George’s obituary was published in The British Homeopathic Review, Volume 48 in 1904, which obituary began “ Mr George Cheverton, J.P….We regret to record the death of another of our well-known homeopathic chemists Mr George Cheverton, who for many years carried on a very successful business in Tunbridge Wells”.


As noted above John Henry Ogle became a business partner of George Cheverton in 1899 and operated at Cheverton & Ogle at The Broadway on Mount Pleasant Road, Tunbridge Wells. The partnership ended upon Johns death at The Broadway shop May 14,1901.

John’s birth was registered at St George Hanover Square in the 2nd qtr of 1865. His place of birth in census records was given as Pimlico, London. He was one of several children born to John Ogle, a hotel keeper born 1830 at Warmouth, Derbyshire, and Sarah Ogle, born 1838 at Hastings, Sussex.

The 1871 census, taken at Park Street in London gave John Ogle as a hotel keeper. With him was his wife Sarah and his three children John Henry,age 6; Eveline E, age 3 and Florence J,age 2. Also there were hotel guests and 10 servants.

The 1881 census, taken at 6 Wilson Street in Bath,Somerset gave John Henry Ogle as a chemists apprentice working for John H. Marcsh a dispensing chemist.

The 1891 census taken at 239 Oxford Street in London gave John as a chemists assistant working for John J. Snook who was a chemist and druggist.

On August 27,1898 John married Eliza Marsha Boorman, a 27 year old spinster born 1868 in Chelsea, London; the daughter of John Boorman of independent means. The marriage took place at St Andrew, Enfield. John was given in the marriage records as a pharmacist and chemist of Tunbridge Wells.

The 1901 census, taken at 10 Mount Pleasant Road, Tunbridge Wells gave John as a “pharmaceutical chemist employer at home”. With him was his wife Eliza’ one domestic servant and three chemists assistants.

John had a short live for probate records gave him of the Broadway Chambers (same chemists shop he and George ran) when he died at only age 36 on May 14,1901. The executor of his 1,789 pound estate was his widow Eliza Martha Ogle. John was not buried in Tunbridge Wells and appears to have been buried in London in accordance with the wishes of his parents.

John’s widow Eliza Martha Ogle remarried June 15,1905 at St John Holburn,Camden, London to John Henry Triston. Marriage records gave John Henry Triston as a bachelor and a chemist of Tunbridge Wells and not doubt Eliza remained in Tunbridge Wells after her first husband died and it was while there that she came to know Mr Triston. No record of Eliza and her husband were found in Tunbridge Wells after the marriage.


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

Date: November 18,2017


Clifford Walter Revell (1880-1956) was born in Great Clacton,Essex, one of several children born to Robert Smith Revell, a grocer and draper born in Suffolk in 1849, and Fanny S. Revell, born 1847 in Great Clacton. Clifford’s mother Fanny passed away in 1882 and his father then married Alice Simpson with whom he had no children.

Clifford was living with his parents and siblings on Brook Street in Great Clacton at the time of the 1881 and 1891 census, and was attending school.

At the time of the 1901 census Clifford was living as a boarder on Brampton Road in London where he was working with 18 others as a draper’s assistant.

By the time of the 1911 census, Clifford was living in Tunbridge Wells at his photographic dealers shop at 76 High Street, which building had been the premises of the Newcastle Tavern/Beerhouse from 1874 until the women’s temperance movement forced a cancellation of its license in 190/1909 and Clifford took over the premises for his shop.

In the 2nd qtr of 1914 Clifford married Edith Rosewarne Wren. Edith had been born 1885 in Finchley, Barnet, Middlesex,one of two known children born to Edward Stephen Wren, a ladies costume manufacturer and retailer, born 1849 in Westminster, London, and Catherine Husking Wren, born 1849 in Cornwall. Edith was living with her parents and siblings in Finchley in 1891 but by 1901 was living with them in Islington, London where her father was running a ladies outfitters shop. At the time of the 1911 census Edith was living in Tunbridge Wells where she met and fell in love with Clifford, and was working at that time as a draper’s clerk in a large drapers business at 15,17,19,21 High Street, a business managed by Henry John Blow, a 55 year old gentleman born in Marylebone, London. In total the business employed 10 drapers assistants, 2 dressmakers and one drapers clerk.

The Royal Navy Registers of seamen’s services during WW 1 record that from 1917 to 1918 Clifford served with the Royal Navy Air Service (RNAS). During the war his wife ran the photographic dealers business and when the war ended Clifford returned to Tunbridge Wells to take over its operation. His wife for many years assisted her husband in the business.

Clifford was referred to both as a photographic material dealer and a photographer but no examples have been found to date of any photographs bearing his name. However, it was quite common for photographic dealers to take portrait photos (CDV’s) in their shop. Clifford sold all types of camera equipment, photographic chemical/paper/ plates and film etc and did such a good business that he was still there when he died in the shop in 1956.

Clifford and his wife had just one child, namely the well-known economist, of international reputation, John Robert Stephen Revell (1920-2004) who had been born in Tunbridge Wells and was educated at Skinner’s School on St John’s Road, Tunbridge Wells. He later went on to obtain a degree at the London School of Economics. He held many important positions over his career and was the author of some 30 books and over 75 articles. He married Pat Hyatt in 1946 and with her had one son and two daughters. He died in Cambridge November 4,2004.

This article is rather broad in its coverage for it provides information and photographs pertaining to the people and places associated with the Revell family,with a concentration on the Tunbridge Wells part of the story. Information is also given about the Wren family, with the central figure being Clifford’s wife Edith Rosewarne Wren. Some information is also given about her place of employment at the large drapers shop at 15-21 High Street before her marriage in 1914. Another section of this article provides information about John Robert Stephen Revell , the economist, and only son of Clifford and his wife. Last but not least  brief coverage is given to the history of 76 High Street, where Clifford ran his business and its prior use as the Newcastle Tavern/Beer House.


In this section I provide information about the Clifford Walter Revell and his family covering the period before 1908 when in that year Clifford moved to Tunbridge Wells and established his photographic dealers business at 76 High Street, the former premises of the Newcastle Tavern/Beerhouse.

Clifford was born August 30,1880 at Great Clacton, Essex, the son of Robert Smith Revell (1849-1933) and Fanny S. Revell, nee Parker (1847-1882). Robert and Fanny’s marriage was registered in the 4th qtr of 1869 at Tendring, Essex. Clifford was baptised 1880 at St John the Baptist Church in Clacton on Sea (photo above).

Robert Smith Revell was born 1849 at Woodbridge,Suffolk and his wife Fanny was born 1847 at Great Clacton,Essex, the daughter of Sophia Parker who was born 1816 in Martlesham, Suffolk. Sophia was a widow by the time the 1881 census was taken.

Clifford Walter Revell was one of eight known children born to Robert Smith Revell and his first wife Fanny.

The 1881 census, taken at Brook Street in Great Clacton, Essex gave Robert Smith Revell as a draper employing two men. With him was his wife Fanny and six of their children born at Great Clacton between 1871 and 1880, of which Clifford was the youngest and appears to have been the last child born to the couple.  Also there were two shopmen and Sophia Parker, the widowed mother of Fanny S. Revell, nee Parker. Fanny’s death was registered in the 3rd qtr of 1882 at Tendring, Essex, having died at Great Clacton.

The 1891 census, taken at Brook Street, Great Clacton, Essex gave Robert Smith Revell as a grocer. With him was his second wife Alice Simpson Revell who was born 1857 at Holland, Essex.

The marriage between Alice Simpson Revell, nee Lucas, and Robert Smith Revell was registered at Kensington, London in the 1st qtr of 1884. Based on the 1891 census Robert and Alice had three children between 1885 and 1890.  Since Alice was just age 33 in 1890 it is likely that the couple had more children after the birth of Stanley Revell in 1890.

Sometime after the 1891 census Clifford left the family home and began his working career. He was found in the 1901 census living as a boarder at 112 Brompton Road, Westminster, London, where he and 17 other boarders were working as drapers assistants and drapers clerks. The person in charge of this place of residence/work was Thomas Wheatley who lived there with his family. Thomas was listed in the census record as the caretaker of the premises.

In 1908 Clifford moved to Tunbridge Wells and opened a photographic dealers business at 76 High Street. In the next section I provide some brief information about 76 High Street before 1908 which was known as the Newcastle Tavern/Beerhouse.


The Newcastle Tavern was referred to variously as a tavern and as a beerhouse and was located at 76 High Street, Tunbridge Wells on the west side of the High Street at the south end just north of the junction of the High Street with Mount Sion Road. Shown opposite, highlighted in red, is a 1907 os map showing the location of 76 High Street.

The earliest reference found for this tavern was William Moon in 1874 , listed as a beer retailer. By the time of the 1881 census the establishment was taken over by Philip Butler. Philip had been born 1842 at Ticehurst, Sussex one of five children born to Henry Butler (1789-1874) and Judith (Judy) Walker Chantler Butler (1801-1875). Henry’s wife Judith had been previously married and had several children with the surname of Chantler. The 1851 census, taken at
Ticehurst gave Henry Butler as an agricultural labourer. With him was his wife Judy; three Chandler children and four Butler children, including Philip who was attending school. The 1861 census, taken at High Street, Ticehurst gave Henry Butler as an agricultural labourer. With him was his wife Judith; their son Philip, an agricultural labourer, and one granddaughter. No 1871 census for the family was located.

The 1881 census, taken at 76 High Street gave Philip Butler as a beerhouse keeper. With him were five boarders. Next door at No. 74 was at that time George Donevan, a 29 year old cabinet maker with his family. At No. 78 in 1881 was Edward Kingswood, a 35 year old boot maker and his family.

Philip soon after the 1881 census vacated the Newcastle Tavern and Thomas Field took over, who was there up to June 1882 when the licensee became James Coomber. James remained there for a few years. The next person to run the business was Henry Rogers who remained there until September 1889. He was followed by Frederick who was there from 1889 to 1891. Who ran the business after 1891 up to 1908/1909 was not established.

The Civic Society book by Chris Jones entitled ‘Tunbridge Wells in 1909’ refers to the Women’s Temperance Movement in the town in the early 1900’s  and that the 1904 Act had sought to reduce the number of licensed premises in the town. The Act introduced compensation for premises that were closed by the Act. Among the establishments closed was the Newcastle Tavern who’s license was refused and “which everyone knew was suffering such poor trade that it could not pay its rates. How convenient that Kelseys should receive 250 pounds compensation to close it”.

In 1908/1908 Clifford Walter Revell moved into 76 High Street and from this location operated his photographic dealers business until he died there in 1956.

Since 1956 No. 76 High Street has been the premises of several businesses. Among them is perhaps the longest tenant, namely G. Collins & Sons who have operated their jewellers business at that location since 1986 and are still in operation there today (November 2017).

Within this section are a number of postcard views of the High Street showing the south west end of the street on which can be seen on the left of them the building at 76 High Street, including at least one recent image of the building during its occupancy by Collins, the jeweller.


Clifford was working as a draper’s assistant in Westminster, London at the time of the 1901 census. He had taken up this line of work since his father Robert Smith Revell was, at the time of the 1881 census on Brook Street in Great Clacton, both a grocer and draper employing two shopmen. At the time of the 1891 census Clifford was still in school, but his sister Fanny, age 16, was working for her father as a drapers assistant. Although in the 1891 census Robert Smith Revell was only listed as a grocer it is most likely that he was both a grocer and draper. His son Ernest William Revell in 1891 was working for his father as a grocers assistant.

The 1911 census, taken at 76 High Street gave Clifford as a single gentleman with the occupation of photographic dealer on own account at home. Clifford lived above the ship in what was described as premises of 6 rooms.

In the second qtr of 1914 Clifford married Edith Rosewarne Wren in Tunbridge Wells. Which church they were married at was not established but most likely was Christ Church on the High Street (photo opposite).

Edith Rosewarne Wren was born in the 3rd qtr of 1885 in Finchley, Barnet, Middlesex. Although her middle name appears in most records, including her probate record as Rosewarne, she was baptised as “Rosewarn” October 4,1885 at Holy Trinity, Finchley, Barnet,Middlesex .Edith was one of two known children born to Edward Stephen Wren and Catherine Hosking Wren. At the time of her baptism her father was recorded as a “manufacturer”.

The 1891 census, taken at Ivy Cottage in Finchley gave Edward Stephen Wren, born 1849 at St James London as a “dress costume manufacturer”. With him was his wife Catherine, born 1849  Cornwall, and their two childen Harold,age 8, and Edith,age 5. Also there was a cousin Edward T. Ayor, a dress costume manufacturer.

The 1901 census, taken at 169 Stroud Green Road in Islington, London gave Edward Stephen Wren as a ladies outfitter. With him was his wife Catherine ; their two children Harold, a commercial clerk, and Edith of no occupation. Also there was Edwards cousin Edward T. Ayor,a ladies costumer.

Sometime after 1901 and before 1911 Edith moved to Tunbridge Wells. She was found in the 1911 census at 15,17,19,21 High Street in the employ of Henry John Blow, age 55, a “manager counting house draper”. Edith was working there as a clerk in the drapers business. With her was 10 assistant drapers and two dressmakers. The census recorded that the premises were of 14 rooms.

No. 15-21 High Street were located at the northern end of the High Street south of the High Street Bridge. A postcard view of this part of the High Street is shown opposite, looking south, with the shop located on the east side of the High Street and shown on the left hand side of the postcard.  This business was obviously a large one . At the time of the 1881 census No. 15-21 High Street was four separate shops with No. 15 being the silk mercers shop of Walter Ellis; No. 17 a pharmaceutical and chemists shop of Robert Bennett; No. 19 the jewellers shop of George Farrer and No. 21-23 the drapers and milliners shop of Thomas H. Jones who had working for him 8 drapers and dressmakers and one domestic servant.

Clifford Walter Revell and his wife Edith had just one child namely John Robert Stephen Revell (1920-2004) who was born in Tunbridge Wells in the 2nd qtr of 1920. Details about this gentleman, with an international reputation as a distinguished economist, are given in the last section of this article.

Clifford served during WW 1 with the Royal Navy Air Service (RNAS) from 1917 to 1918. While he was away his wife Edith ran the business at 76 High Street. Clifford’s war service records can be found online and record that he had been born August 30,1880 at Clacton On Sea and that he first served May 17,1917 (service # 229335) with his next of kin given as his wife Edith Rosewarne Revell. The Royal Navy Register expanded on the above by recording that the first vessel Clifford served on was the PRESIDENT II. His last date of service was March 31,1918 on the H.M.S. DAEDALUS. The military records gave his occupation as “photographer”.

After Clifford’s war service ended her returned to Tunbridge Wells and took over the running of the business at 76 High Street from his wife. The National Archives have in their collection the business ledger of his business covering the period of 1935-1956 and record him as a “photographer”. No listings of any “photographer” was found was found at 76 High Street in the directories of 1903,1913 and 1918 but Clifford is listed there as a photographic material dealer in 1913 and 1918 and also in directories with the same occupation from 1914 to 1938. It is known from probate records that Clifford was still at 76 High Street at the time of his death in 1956.

Probate records for Clifford Walter Revell gave him of 76 High Street, Tunbridge Wells and that he died February 6,1956. The executor of his 527 pound estate was his son John Robert Stephen Revell, a journalist. No burial or cremation record for Clifford was found at the Tunbridge Wells Borough Cemetery/Crematorium.

The probate record for Clifford’s widow, Edith Rosewarne Revell gave her of 4 Windsor Road in Cambridge and that she died September 14,1963. The executor of her 561 pound estate was her son John Robert Stephen Revell, a university research economist.  Her son John had been a resident of Cambridge for many years and it is known that from 1957 to 1963 that that he was an officer in the Department of Applied Economics at Cambridge University and it is highly likely that his mother lived with him and his wife and children at his home in Cambridge. She most likely left Tunbridge Wells shortly after the death of her husband to live with her son.


John had been born in Tunbridge Wells. His birth was registered in Tunbridge Wells in the 2nd qtr of 1920. His date of birth was given as April 15,1920 and was the only child born to Clifford Walter Revell and Edith Roswarne Revell, nee Wren.

On the internet one can find a number of websites providing information about John, who is described as a gentleman with a long and illustrious career as an economist with an international reputation.

He began is education in Tunbridge Wells, having attended Skinner’s School on St John’s Road. A postcard view of the school by well-known Tunbridge Wells photographer and postcard printer/publisher Harold H. Camburn is shown above. To date no photograph of John has been located by the researcher.

John later went on to obtain his bachelor’s degree from the London School of Economics (LSE). Before going to the LSE in 1947 he spent 10 years in the Civil Service and Army and during that time he became an Associate in the Institute of linguists (French and Spanish). He graduated from the LSE in 1950, following which he worked as a research economist for a commercial organization.

He served as an Officer in the Department of Applied Economics at Cambridge University 1957-1963; Senor Research Officer 1963-1968; Director of Studied in Economics, Selwyn College, Cambridge 1960-1965; Director of Studies in Economics, Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge 1964-1967; Fellow 1965-1968; Tutor in Economics 1965-1967; Senior Tutor in Economics 1967-1968; Professor of Economics, University College of North Wales, Bangor 1969-1983. He married Pat Hyatt in 1946 and with her had one son and two daughters. John died in Cambridge November 4,2004.

John, most often referred to as “Jack” acquired an international reputation for his emphasis on the importance of understanding how financial institutions and markets work in practice in order to help improve both policy formulation and economic theory development. His work began in earnest in 1957 at Cambridge University. During the period of 1969 until his retirement in 1983 John never stopped writing, and authored some 30 books and over 75 articles on his field of expertise. On the last decade of his life he wrote on savings banks and cooperative models of banking and became something of a modern-day guru.

Further details about his life and career can be found from his obituary by Ted Gardener of 2004 on the website under the heading of “Professor Jack Revell”.



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

Date: November 14,2017


The Meadows Home, on London Road in Southborough began as a Dr. Barnardo’s Home, which opened in 1939 for boys over the age of 11 with learning difficulties. The large multi sty brick building sat on large grounds and was set well back off the road. The construction of the building was made possible when its namesake Captain Thomas Gerald Meadows (1878-1933) passed away and left his estate to the Barnardo’s charity.

Captain Meadows had been born 1878 in Manchester Lancashire. The circumstances under which he became a Dr Barnardo’s boy are not known but due to a lack of any genealogical records for him it appears he entered the home at a very young age.  Barnardo’s was founded in 1866 in London by Thomas John Barnardo to care for vulnerable children. By the time he died in 1905 Barnardo’s had provided care for over 8,500 children in 96 locations, one of which becoming a home that Thomas Gerald Meadows stayed at as a boy.

Thomas Meadows, like many other children were sent to the colonies at about age 10 to reduce the cost to the state and to satisfy the demand in the colonies for labourers. Typically these children were between age 7-10 but on occasion some children as young as age 2 were sent away to start what hoped would be a productive life in their new country. In Thomas’s case he was sent to New Zealand, no doubt to work on a sheep farm or in some other form of manual labour. A 1918 account stated that Captain Meadows “was a stout good natured mariner formerly of Auckland, New Zealand…”

Thomas however decided to make the sea his life and worked his way up to being a Master Mariner (Captain). Details about his nautical career in the merchant marine were found in the records of Lloyds of London from their register off ships captains and a Certificate of Competency by the Council for Trade  dated September 7,1906 that was issued to Thomas Gerald Meadows as a “Master of a foreign-going ship in the Merchant Service”.  

Thomas’s career as a ship’s captain is a fascinating one, and includes him being taken captive and detained as a POW by the Germans in WW 1, when his ship the SS TURRITELLA (an oil tanker) was captured by the German Raider SMS WOLF in 1917. He survived the ordeal and after the war returned to the merchant marine.

Thomas was employed by the Singapore Pilot Service in 1925 having previously served with the Asiatic Petroleum Company for about 17 years from 1908-1925. In October 1933 he boarded an Imperial Airways flight from Singapore and arrived at the Croydon Aerodrome on October 13th and within an hour of his arrival at his hotel in London he died of heart failure.

In the 1950’s Meadows Home was changed to a Barnardo’s residential school for children with learning difficulties. It is often referred to variously as the “Meadows Memorial Home/House/ or School

The Meadows House continued to be a Barnardo’s home until 1991, when according to Ronald Smith, who was a boy at the home stated ,“ In 1991 the school needed to move to a temporary building during the redevelopment and so Knotley Hall was made available to us and we used the buildings on that site for about three years and 1994 the school moved back to the home site into what was then state of the art buildings.” A review of Planning Authority records showed that Planning approval was given in 1991 for the replacement of the old Meadows Home with a new modern building.

The old building was demolished given that it became unsuitable for those with physical and learning disabilities. The decision was taken to construct a modern replacement school on the site where all facilities were to be  provided on one level. The new school was designed by the architect Gerald Kelly and is still in use today.

This article provides a selection of maps and photographs of the original building and its replacement as well as their history. The major portion of this article reports on the life and career of the buildings namesake and benefactor Captain Thomas Gerald Meadows. At the top of this section is a photograph of Meadows Home taken in the 1950’s.


The original Meadows House/School was a 2 sty brick building constructed in the 1930’s  on a site claimed to have been bequeathed to Barnardo’s on the death of Captain Thomas Gerald Meadows (1878-1933).  Captain Meadows did not pass away until October 1933 and the probate of his will did not take place until 1936 in London. Since the bulk of his estate was in Singapore, the earliest time at which his estate could have been disbursed would have been towards the end of 1936.

Planning Authority records ,from an application in 1990 ,recorded the first conveyance of land from  a J.F.W. Deacon to Dr Barnardo’s Home on March 11,1938, which land appears to be the site upon which Meadows House was constructed.  It was not Captain Meadows who owned the land but rather it was money that Captain Meadows  bequeathed to Barnardo’s and because of his generosity Barnardo’s named the home after him.  In the course of investigations, no record was found of Captain Meadows ever living in Southborough or owning land there. Shown opposite is a photograph of Meadows Home dated 1961.

Meadows House was completed in time to open its doors to children in 1939. Those admitted to it were boys over age 11 with learning difficulties. This home later evolved into a Barnardo’s residential special school for children with learning difficulties.

Shown opposite is a map from the Planning Authority files of 1990 with the boundaries of the site bordered in black. As can be seen from this map the school was set well back off London Road on the western side of the property, accessed by a long drive. The original building is he one highlighted in red on which an addition to the building had been made before 1976 on the south-eastern end of the building as denoted by the dashed line. One can also see several other buildings on the site associated with the Home, including a large building to the north with the caption :” Meadows House (Dr Barnardo’s Homes) and others not labelled. Connected to the main building by a pathway located in the southern part of the grounds can be seen two other buildings, one labelled “Deacon House” and the other “Broomfield”. Another building of unknown use can be seen just south-west of the original Meadows House, which is likely the “bungalow” referred to in the Planning Authority files. The rest of the grounds were largely taken up by playing fields. Both Broomfield and Deacon House were also accessed from Vicarage Road to the east by a drive suggesting that they were originally private residences and not part of the original site of Meadows Home.

It is apparent that the site as it appears on the 1990 map reflects and expansion of the original school site and the construction of buildings on it. Also of note from a 1990 record is that there was a conveyance March 3,1942 from P.H. Middleton & L. Plowman to Dr Barnardo’s; a conveyance October 19,1948 from S.M. Warren to Dr Barnardo’s Homes; a conveyance December 10,1956 from C.W. and G.M. Henderson to Dr Barnardo’s and two deeds of exchange dated February 2,1962 and February 23,1976. Details about what property was conveyed was not investigated, but all of it pertained to the Meadows House site.

Online Planning Authority records covering the period of 1976 onwards were consulted and the information given below provides information in this regard.

The first application was in 1976 for advertising boards for the “Meadows Memorial School” by Dr Barnardo’s, which application was refused. Also in 1976 an application was made and approved for the construction of a greenhouse at the school. This application was made by Mr. P.L. Brooks, Dr Barnardo’s St Christophers, Pembury Road, details of which institution I have reported on in another article in connection with “Willicombe House” on Pembury Road.

In 1988 an application by Dr. Barnardo’s was approved to and extension and alteration to “Deacon House Meadows Memorial School”, which house is shown on the 1990 map above.

The most significant application, which was approved, was that dated October 26,1990 where consent was given for the demolition of the Meadows Memorial School and the construction of a new school of the same name.  The original 2 sty Meadows House/school was found to be no longer appropriate to meet the needs of pupils with physical disabilities and learning difficulties and so it was decided that a replacement school was needed with all of the facilities on one level. A special appeal was launched, which raised 2.5million pounds required to carry out the work. The new building was designed by architect Gerard Kelly.

From the Planning Authority Files from 2003 was a Deputation Report for Meadows Memorial School which in part stated “ The site concerns the curtilage of a vacant bungalow, which is within the grounds of a special educational needs school (Barnardo’s). The site is extensively planted with mature trees extending from the northern end and along the northeastern boundary. The site is presently enclosed by 2 metre high close board fencing with an access from the car park, at the rear next to the school. There is a public footpath adjoining the site on its south eastern boundary. The submission concerns the construction of a detached building with floor space of some 700 sq. m. located on two floors to provide residential respite care centre for up to six children with severe learning difficulties to stay overnight with a range of day services providing up to 45 children and their parents, including after school clubs play schemes, parental support group. The scheme would entail the demolition of the bungalow, the formation of a vehicular access from the school service road and the formation of a vehicular servicing and turning area with 12 parking spaces. An illustrated site layout plan has been provided.” Since no objections were raised for this work it was approved.

A total of 10 Planning Authority applications were made for this school between September 2004 to March 2011 involving demolition and construction work and extensions, the details of which are not given here but can be found online.

In preparation for the demolition of the old school and the construction of the new one, the pupils were moved out of the school in 1991. Ronald Smith, who was once at this school, provide an interesting account, which is given in its entirety in the next section. From it was in part “In 1991 the school needed to move to a temporary building during the redevelopment and so Knotley Hall was made available to us and we used the buildings on that site for about three years and 1994 the school moved back to the home site into what was then state of the art buildings.”

The new Meadows School was a special school catering for 56 children with emotional and behavioural difficulties. The Administration block was separated from the central Resources Block by the Main Entrance Rotunda (photo above).

Two smaller rotundas serve as the entrances to the Lower and Upper Schools and are situated so as to be easily reached from the two large houses (not shown) where the pupils live. On a ridge, accessed by a ramp, there are two other buildings; a gymnasium block and a DT classroom with adjacent motor workshop. Further information about the school and its facilities are given below in the account by Ronald Smith.

The website of the Meadows School gave the following. “Meadows School is a non-maintained special school in Kent run by Barnardo’s. The school building is purpose-built and offers excellent facilities on a 19 acre site. We provide education and care for up to 80 students; residential and day students; girls and boys aged 7-19; young people who have social, emotional and mental health difficulties; young people with speech, language and communication needs, who are on the Autistic Spectrum or who have other associated needs.” For further details about the services they provide visit their website. Shown opposite is modern site map showing the new school.


Ronald Smith was born in England at the end of World War II. Ronald's mother placed him in the Barnardo's Babies Castle on Cranbrook Road in Hawkhurst, Kent in southeast England, when he was six months old. Opened in 1886 for the reception of babies (or in the words of Dr Thomas Barnardo "the waifs whom I find deserted and maimed on the very threshold of life"), Babies Castle became a mixed home for children under eight in 1908. Babies Castle housed thousands of infants for 79 years, until its closure in 1965. It was renamed Hawkhurst Castle and operated as a private nursing home for the elderly. The property was sold in 2005 for residential development.

Ronald was later placed in Howard House on Cardington Road in Bedfordshire and then Meadows Memorial Home on London Road, Southborough, Kent. Meadows Memorial Home was established in 1939 for boys over 11 years of age with learning difficulties. Meadows Memorial still operates today, as a residential special school for children with learning difficulties.

Ronald stayed at Meadows Memorial Home for about six years. There were around 60 boys at the home, and Ronald recalls volunteering for kitchen duty to avoid school. He helped with scrubbing, cleaning and peeling potatoes to earn pocket money.

In 1961 Ronald remembers a Barnardo's representative coming to the home and asking if any of the children wanted to go to Australia. The children were attracted by stories of adventure, sunshine and freedom in the outback - as well as a six week voyage on a big ship. Ronald, aged 16, was amongst those who eagerly put up their hand to migrate.

Barnardo was one of the pioneers of British child migration to the colonies, migrating some 30,000 children to Canada from 1882-1939 and 2,784 children to Australia from 1921-1967. Children were sent to Canada and Australia to relieve the population pressure in overcrowded British cities, to populate the empire with 'good British stock' and to give them a new start in the dominions.

Ronald was one of three boys selected to feature in an English newspaper article titled 'Boys will start a new life 'down under'' (see file 2009.0956). The photograph accompanying the article shows the boys pointing to Australia on a globe, with the caption "Off to Australia to become sheep farmers."

There were about 17 children in Ronald's migration party, with two adult escorts, one male and one female. They were taken to Barnardo's Barkingside Village in northeast London, where they stayed for a few days before departing for Australia. The children were supplied with suitcases, clothing, underwear, footwear, a mackintosh, combs and brushes. Ronald also packed his prayer book and sporting trophies from Meadows Memorial School "because that's all I owned. I was proud of them and still am."

The children boarded the P&O liner SS STRATHEDEN at Tilbury on 7 November 1961. STRATHEDEN was launched on 10 June 1937, with accommodation for 448 first and 563 tourist class passengers. It embarked on its maiden voyage from England to Australia on 24 December 1937. STRATHEDEN was requisitioned as a troopship during World War II and was involved in the North African landings. In 1946 STRATHEDEN became the first vessel to be returned to P&O after the war. It was refitted to accommodate 527 first and 453 tourist class passengers in 1947, before being converted into a one-class liner for 1,200 passengers. STRATHEDEN was sold to Greek ship owner John S Latsis and renamed HENRIETTA LATSI, and eventually broken up in Italy in 1969.

Ronald arrived in Sydney on 17 December 1961 and was taken to the Barnardo's Tooloogan Vale training farm at Scone in the NSW Hunter Valley. Barnardo's had sold its Mowbray Park farm at Picton (opened 1929) in 1960 and purchased the Scone property to establish a farm training school for migrant boys of post-school age.

After completing his farm training, Ronald stayed on at Tooloogan Vale for 12 months as an overseer. Ronald was then posted to a dairy farm in north Scone, where he remained for four years until gaining his truck driver's licence at the age of 21. He is still working as a truck driver today.

In 1991 the school needed to move to a temporary building during the redevelopment and so Knotley Hall was made available to us and we used the buildings on that site for about three years and 1994 the school moved back to the home site into what was then state of the art buildings. Home to eight primary classrooms and at least ten specialist classrooms for art, cookery, I.T., sports, woodwork, pottery, science, photography, car mechanics and a soft play room for the younger pupils. also there were other facilities e.g. library, dining hall, assembly hall, outdoor play area, tarmac football cage, car track and sports fields. as well as all that it had all the usual none pupil areas such as the main kitchen, administration room, staff meeting room, principles office, deputy heads offices, storage equipment, resources room, staffrooms, toilets (both pupils and staff), caretakers rooms, outdoor pursuits storage and car parking.there are also residential units, there were originally four, they were Deacon House (Nurture Unit), Vicarage Road, Broom Hill Park Road and Stone Street (Later Replaced by Madeira Park). After being replaced Stone Street was turned into staff accommodation. There are now only three, but they have been renamed. Each unit has a team of staff headed by a team leader and deputy team leader, all of which are under the deputy, head of care.

The educational department is very similar, there teachers assistants and teachers, all of which are under head teachers, one for the junior school and one for the senior school, which in turn are the deputy, head of education.

Other staff include kitchen staff, administration staff and cleaning staff and also the caretaking staff.All the school staff are under the principle the overall head of the school.

Obviously there have been a lot of changes of the years e.g. the extension to Deacon House (now Bradbury House), the renamed house units, Broomfield House (Vicarage Rd), Isis House (Broom Hill Park Rd) and the new solo room.

As far as special events go you can't get better than famous faces making appearances e.g. when the old building was ready for demolition one time world heavyweight boxer Frank Bruno was invited to K.O. the first few bricks from the building and Legendary boxer Henry Cooper was invited to open the new building.”

The photograph of the school given earlier dated 1961 is part of a collection of items including luggage, clothes, personal effects etc relating to the journey of 16 year old Ronald Smith from England to Australia.


No genealogical records were found for Thomas, such as birth and census records but it is known that at an early age he was placed in a Barnardo’s Home. It is known from the records of ships captains held by Lloyds of London that Thomas was born 1878 in Manchester, Lancashire. Who his parents and siblings were (if any) was not established, nor were the circumstances that resulted in him becoming a “Barnardo’s Boy”.  It is known from shipping records and various other accounts that he was a “New Zealander” and it is known that he was one of many children sent by Barnardo’s as a home child to New Zealand to work on a sheep farm or some other form of manual labourer. Typically the children sent off were age 7-10, suggesting that Thomas may have arrived in New Zealand about 1888.

Barnardo’s have in their archives records for most if not all of the children they took in but the fee for the records of 100 pounds was too steep for the researcher to obtain Thomas’s records.  It is known from a review of Barnardo’s Homes that they did not have one in Lancashire until 1894 and so one can conclude that Thomas was sent out of the country.

Manual labour did not appeal to Thomas and his interests turned to the sea. He no doubt began as a ships boy at the beginning of his career, but over the passage of time he worked his way up to Master Mariner (Captain). Shown above is a photograph of an unidentified Master Mariner, fitting the physical description of Captain Meadows but it may not be a photo of him at all. In the least it shows what his uniform was like if it is not him.

Shown opposite is a “Certificate of Competency” date September 7,1906 for Thomas Gerald Meadows as a “Master of a foreign-going ship” in the Merchant Service “ By order of the Board of Trade”. Another record from the same source as well as records of Lloyds of London, both confirm that Thomas was born 1878 in Manchester. The Captains Registers of Lloyds of London list Captain Thomas Gerald Meadows and are held for viewing at the London Metropolitan Archives. These records give a listing of the ships and dates that Thomas served on various ships throughout his career. A trip to the archives would be necessary to view these records.

The best records found providing information about the life , death, and career of Thomas were the following newspaper articles that stemmed from his death in London in 1933 under unusual circumstances (1) The Malaya Tribune of October 14,1933, which gave the same article as the Singapore Free Press but noted that he had never been married (2) The Singapore Free Press of October 14,1933 (3) The Straits Times of October 14,1933 which gave only a brief notice of death and referred to Thomas as a Master Mariner and a member of the Singapore Pilot Association.  Of these I give below the full article from the Singapore Free Press.

“ DIED AN HOUR AFTER ARRIVAL……….Singapore pilot tragic flight home having flown from Singapore by the Dutch air mail Captain Thomas Gerald Meadows, a well-known and popular member of the Singapore Pilot Service, died yesterday afternoon within an hour of his arrival at his London hotel. Captain Meadows left Singapore by last week’s air mail plane via Bangkok and within an hour of leaving Croydon Aerodrome, with her had flown from Amsterdam, he died as he was entering the Hotel Metropole in London. He died from heart failure according to the coroner, who undertook no autopsy. Captain Meadows, about age 51, had suffered from blood pressure problems for some time. He was laid up for a few days about 18 months ago. He joined the Singapore Pilot Service from the Asiatic Petroleum Company (APC) about 8 years ago. He had been with the APC for about 17 years and he was on one of their oil boats when she was held up off the Australian Coast during the war (WW1) by the German Raider WOLF. Captain Meadows, as a result, spent time as a prisoner in Germany”.

From the above account one can determine that Captain Meadows served as Captain with the APC from 1908 to 1925 and from 1925 onwards with the Singapore Pilot Service. As you will read later from Thomas’s probate record that he was affiliated at the time of his death in 1933 with the Anglo-Saxon Petroleum Company Limited. The reference in the above newspaper article about Thomas being taken as a POW  after his ship (the SS TURRITELLA) was captured and taken as a prize by the German Raider WOLF pertains to an event in 1917, the details of which are given in a later section of this article.

With respect to Thomas’s service as a “Pilot” with the Singapore Pilot Service, anyone familiar with shipping will be aware of the important role a pilot plays in assisting the captain of vessel getting his ship safely into port. The port of Singapore was ,and no doubt still, is a busy port with ships coming and going at frequent intervals. Pilots are experts when it comes to understating the nature of the sea floor and what the best route is to navigate safely.  Information about the Anglo Saxon Petroleum Company and the Asiatic Petroleum Company are given in later sections of this article.

The probate record for Thomas gave him as Thomas Gerald Meadows of 10 Rochalie Drive (photo opposite) Singapore Straits Settlement, who died October 13,1933 at Hotel Victoria, Northumberland Avenue,Westminster, London. The executor of his estate was Alfred Lionel Drew, solicitor, syndic of Anglo Saxon Petroleum Company Limited. The value of his estate in England was just 2,058 pounds but had a far more substantial estate in Singapore, which together formed his entire life savings, which he bequeathed to Dr Barnard’s Homes. The date on the probate record in England was November 7,1936, some three years after he had passed away.

As one can see there is a discrepancy with regards to the hotel that Thomas died at. The probate record gave it as the Hotel Victoria on Northumberland Avenue, Westminster, yet the newspaper accounts of his death gave him as dying at the Hotel Metropole in London, which hotel was and is located on the same street. Shown below left is a photo of the Hotel Victoria and below right is a photo of the Hotel Metropole.

The Singapore Free Press article given above refers to Thomas flying on a mail plane and landing at the Croydon Aerodrome. The airline he flew on was that of Imperial Airways. A photo of one of their planes from the 1930’s at the Croydon Aerodrome is shown opposite. Imperial Airways was the early British commercial long-range air transport company, operating from 1924 to 1939 and serving parts of Europe but principally the British Empire routes to South Africa, India and the Far East, including Malaya and Hong Kong. Imperial Airways Limited was formed on 31 March 1924. The land operations were based at Croydon Airport to the south of London. The  airline focused on international and imperial service rather than domestic service. The London to Singapore service began in 1933, carrying mail and passengers. Imperial's aircraft were small, most seating fewer than twenty passengers; about 50,000 passengers used Imperial Airways in the 1930s. Most passengers on intercontinental routes or on services within and between British colonies were men doing colonial administration, business or research. To begin with only the wealthy could afford to fly, but passenger lists gradually diversified. Travel experiences related to flying low and slow, and were reported enthusiastically in newspapers, magazines and books.

The London Gazette of December 4,1936 reported, regarding Thomas Gerald Meadows, deceased that in accordance with the Trust Act of 1925 notice is given to creditors etc against the estate of Thomas Gerald Meadows, “late of 10 Rochalie Drive, Singapore Straits Settlements, formerly of St Helens Court, Great St Helens, City of London, a master mariner who died October 13,1933…” The rest of this entry matches that of his probate record. Great St Helens is part of London in Bishopsgate about 1.2 km from the Tower Bridge. Shown opposite is a photo of St Helens Church in Great St Helens.


Anglo-Saxon Petroleum Co Ltd is a private company owned by Royal Dutch Shell. Around 1898 the company became responsible for the ships of Shell Transport and Trading In 1907 Continued to be responsible for the trade in oil by-products when the Dutch Petroleum Company was established to take over the petroleum business of the Dutch state authorities and the Shell company. The same year it was incorporated into Royal Dutch Shell.

In 1908 Shell Transport and Trading had placed all of its assets in Anglo-Saxon Petroleum Co and Bataafsche Petroleum Maatschappij which also held all of the assets of Royal Dutch Shell Since then the company owned and ran the oil transport and storage activities of the Shell group of companies.

During the following two decades Anglo-Saxon became the most progressive, innovative and forward-looking of all the oil carriers. In order to match transport demand, they commissioned new buildings based on their own design or, indeed, bought and re-designed existing ships with an amazing degree of innovative thinking and fantasy. Liner ships, general cargo vessels, sailing ships and even train ferries were re-built and made into oil carriers.


The Asiatic Petroleum Company was a joint venture between the Shell and Royal Dutch oil companies founded in 1903. It operated in Asia in the early twentieth century. The corporate headquarters were on The Bund in Shanghai, China. The division tested the limits of corporate liability in the Lennard's Carrying Co Ltd v Asiatic Petroleum Co Ltd case.

The company was involved in the early developments of Frank Whittle in the jet engine field, a Mr. I Lubbock of the company devising a suitable combustion chamber design, known as the 'Lubbock Burner' and used in the Power Jets WU and subsequent engines.

In 1951, China requisitioned all property belonging to the company in retaliation for the Hong Kong Government's requisitioning of the tanker Yung Hao.

In November 1955 The Shell Petroleum Company Ltd. took over the assets of Anglo-Saxon, which ceased to function as a separate company.


As noted in the Singapore Free Press article dated October 14,1933, which I gave above reference was made to Captain Meadows being on an oil boat when she was held up off the Australian coast during the war by the German Raider WOLF (SMS WOLF) and that he was taken prisoner and became a POW in Germany. A number of websites provide information about this event and identify the ship that Thomas captained as being the SS TURRITELLA. A photograph of the SMS WOLF is given below left and the photo of the TURRITELLA is shown below right. In the accounts about this event Captain Meadows was referred to as “a New Zealander”, but this refers to his early years in New Zealand for during his adult life he lived in Singapore.

The TURRITELLA  began as the GUTENFELS  and was launched by Flensburger Schiffbau for the DDG Hansa in 1905. In August 1914 the GUTENFELS was captured by the Admiralty and renamed  POLAVON. In 1915 she was sold to the Anglo Saxon Petroleum Company Ltd and renamed the TURRITELLA.

As you will read later, in a more detailed account, the TURRITELLA was recaptured in 1917 by the German auxilliary cruiser  SMS WOLF off Colombo and was scuttled by the prize crew. Captain Meadows and some of his crew were taken prisoners but the Germans who murdered the Chinese crew members of the TURRITELLA were dealt with in proceedings held in India. The SMS WOLF , during the 451 days that she was deployed (1916-1918) destroyed 35 trading vessels and two war ships.

The capture of the TURRITELLA by the SMS WOLF occurred on February 17,1917 while on passage from Colombo to Port Said in a position west of Minikoi. A prize crew was placed on board together with a quantity of sea mines. The British officers were removed to the SMS WOLF as prisoners and the Germans used the Hong Kong Chinese crew to sail the ship. Off Aden the TURRITALLA laid her mines and when challenged by the HMS ODIN in the Red Sea she was scuttled by her prize crew. Before the scuttling charges exploded the prize crew and member of the ships crew made their escape in the ships boats. Many others went down with the ship. The prize crew were taken to a POW camp in India and some appeared in court charged with murder. Captain Meadows lived out the rest of the war as a POW and when the war ended he returned to civilian life and resumed his career as a ship’s captain with the Asiatic Petroleum Company.

On the internet one can find reference to the “MT9 Project” which pertains to POW records of the British Red Cross, and referenced to Thomas Gerald Meadows can be found in these records including those dated April 30,1918 and June 18,1918 regarding “ Captain T. G Meadows of the SS TURRITELLA. There is also in this source an “Official German List” dated May 21,1918 for “Thomas Gerald Meadows of SS TURRITELLA. There is also in this file a letter by T.G. Meadows regarding the fate of A. Steers.

One last account about Captain Meadows appeared in the Oakland Tribune, of Oakland California February 21,1919 which referred to the capture of Captain Meadows  in 1917 on the TURRITELLA. In part the article stated that “Captain Meadows was a stout good natured mariner formerly of Auckland, New Zealand and that for him there was but one creed; ‘the British Empire’. Everything that was beneficent and beautiful must be British. At times he was exceedingly droll and witty as prison officials testified. Captain Meadows appeared to be a leader among the prisioners, prisioners that remained on board the WOLF until the ship returned to its port in Germany more than three months after Captain Meadows and the others were taken prisoner…. The WOLF had been fitted out in preparation for accommodating prisoners by the installation of hammock rails in the mine compartment…”

From 'British Naval History' is the following " TURRITELLA, Admiralty chartered red-ensign oiler, 27 February 1917, Indian Ocean - built 1906 as German dry cargo ship Gutenfels, seized at Alexandria in August 1914, renamed Polavon, converted to tanker with tanks installed in holds in 1916 as Turritella 5,528grt, London-reg, Anglo-Saxon Petroleum (sl - Admiralty oiler No.147, presumably Y7.147), Mr T Meadows, Rangoon for Port Said. Spotted by German raider Wolf at 0625, after a short chase stopped at 0800 with shot across the bows 600 miles W3/4S true of Minikoi island, off S India (kp - in 08.40N, 63.15E), converted to minelayer Iltis with 25 mines, laid field in Aden approaches on night of 4-5 March, interecepted by sloop HMS Odin afternoon of 5th, scuttled at 1650 near Perim island to avoid capture (L - in 12.30N, 43.48E; kp - generally accepted as 12.26W, 44.12E). Note: the range of dates for her scuttling include: HMSO Section I - 4 April; HMSO Section II/Lloyds - 4 March; kp/sl - 5 March (H/L/Mn/kp/sl)".



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

Date: November 13,2017


The Morland family are perhaps best known as a wealthy family  who since 1733 and for nine generations afterwards lived at Court Lodge in Lamberhurst, the dwelling house of the manor of Lamberhurst which can be traced back to the reign of King John (1199-1216). Court Lodge is a large and grand estate featured in The Kent Gardens Trust (Autumn 2014) and many other publications.

Among the Morland clan was Colonel Henry Courtenay Morland (1855-1934), one of several children born to William Courtney Morland and Margaretta Eliza Morland, nee Cator. When W.C. Morland died his eldest son Charles William Morland inherited the bulk of his father’s estate, including Court Lodge, and his brother Henry Courtenay Morland persued a military career, having served in India.

The Morland men took a great interest in hunting and among their hunting party was the well- known poet,writer and soldier  Siegfried Sassoon (1886-1967)who made reference to the Morlands and Court Lodge in his 1928 book ‘Memoirs of a Fox Hunting Man’. The same book also refers to Siegfried playing golf on the estates golf course.  Siegfried’s aunt was Rachel Beer “The First Lady of Fleet Street” who helped him financially. Siegfried took a great interest in cricket and played the game on the Nevill Ground in Tunbridge Wells with the local cricket team. A photo of Siegried is shown opposite.

Henry Courtenay Morland  married Lady Alice Maud Nevill (1858-1898) on September 30,1884 at Frant, Sussex and with this marriage a connection of the Morland family to Tunbridge Wells began. Lady Alice Maud Nevill was one of about twelve children born to the Most Hon. William Nevill (1826-1915). 1st Marquess of Abergavenny, 5th Earl of Abergavenny, 5th Viscount Nevill and 19th Baron Bergavenny, a man of great wealth and position which among his many land holdings was the Eridge Estate.

Although Henry and Alice did not live in Tunbridge Wells after the marriage, they visited the Nevill clan and Tunbridge Wells frequently. Henry and Alice had only one child, namely Violet Alice Morland (1886-1976) who was born in Westminster, London November 12,1886.  Two photographs of Violet, in the form of CDV’s , taken in the period of 1887-1889,were produced at the Tunbridge Wells studio of George Glanville at 1-2 The Broadway, located on Mount Pleasant Road opposite the SER station. 

Records of the Morland family, which include many family photographs, which can be viewed online in their accounts about Court Lodge, provide a fascinating insight into the family. With regards to Henry Courtenay Morland, he was described as a stern man who was “brutish” to his wife Alice and that she took to drink and died at only age 40. His daughter Violet Alice Morland was equally mistreated and cut out of her father’s will, although was well provided for by her uncle. Henry was displeased that his daughter Violet had converted to Catholicism and decided to be an actress. Violet went on to marry Major Robin Alexander Graham Wilson December 14,1914 and was a wealthy woman in her own right.

Although Henry Courtenay Morland never owned Court Lodge in Lambershurst it became his principal residence from 1926 until his death in Tunbridge Wells on June 30,1934. Probate records show that he had died at the Tweedale Nursing Home , a home he no doubt lived in for some time before his death. It is known from directory listings that although Court Lodge was his principal residence that he owned and lived in other fine homes ,at various times of the year. The 1922 Kelly directory ,for example, recorded him living in Tunbridge Wells at 11 Sandrock Road.

Although a book, or books, could be written about the Morland family, this article concentrates on the family connection to Tunbridge Wells and even then provides only a relatively brief account. Also shown are a number of photographs that relate to the main characters in the article.


‘The Kent Compendium of Historic Parks and Gardens for Tunbridge Wells Borough’,dated April 2014, which can be read in its entirety online, provides details of this grand mansion and grounds, that serves today as the residence of Mr and Mrs Morland, a residence that has been in the Morland family for nine generations. A photograph of Court Lodge is shown opposite and a map of the estate is given below. Given below is an overview from the aforementioned document.

“Court Lodge’s landscape comprises historic, designed gardens, pleasure grounds and parkland which have evolved and expanded since the mid C18 under successive generations of one family. They provide an appropriate setting for a former Manor house (listed grade II) which is of C13 origins, rebuilt and enlarged in the C17 and C18 and extended in the C19. The gardens and parkland were also extended in the C19; two interconnected walled kitchen gardens (listed grade II) were built, for which the international landscape firm of Thomas Mawson and Son made proposals in the mid-1950s, some of which were implemented. The pleasure grounds were extended with ornamental planting and a surviving rockery which evidence suggests was built by James Pulham II of the nationally known firm of Pulham and Sons (who also installed a fernery, now gone, in the house). A 9 hole golf course, one of the earliest in Kent, was laid out in the late C19 in the parkland. Redesigned in the 1920s, Sigfried Sassoon was a frequent golfer as he recorded in his autobiography “Memoirs of a Fox Hunting Man”. A further redesign was undertaken in the 1970s by Cotton, Pennick, Lawrie and Partners, one of the leading golf architects in Europe when the golf course was enlarged. Dennis Thatcher maintained a flat and club membership when his wife Margaret Thatcher was Secretary of State for Education and Science in 1970s, illustrating Court Lodge’s role as one of many historic houses in north Kent and Surrey (others include Chartwell and Bedgebury) which provided countryside retreats for political and financial figures in the late C19 and C20. An extensive archive of family papers, documents and photographs is held by Maidstone History and Library Centre, Cumbria Archives and in private collections.”

There is no shortage of photographs and information about Court Lodge in books and various online sources and for that reason I do not go into any further detail about this grand estate. The Kent Garden Trust newsletter of August 2014 for example presented an article entitled ‘A History of Court Lodge’, which in part noted that in 1733 William Morland from Westmorland became the owner of it and it has remained in the family since that time.

As I reported earlier, one of the principal characters in this article, namely Col. Henry Courtenay Morland (1855-1934) never owned Court Lodge as his older brother inherited it from his father. However Henry was born there and lived at Court Lodge from 1926 until his death in Tunbridge Wells in 1934 .He  also had other homes he lived in throughout his life.


Henry was born at Court Lodge in Lamberhurst, Kent March 21,1855 and was one of several children born to William Courtenay Morland(1818-1909) and Margaretta Eliza Morland, nee Cator(1826-1897), who were married in 1843. Henry had been baptised at Reigate St Mary Magdalene, Surrey on August 17,1855 and lived with his parents and siblings at Court Lodge until his marriage in 1884. His older brother Charles William Morland (1849-1926), as the eldest son (Henry was the 2nd eldest), and a JP, inherited his father’s estate, which in part included Court Lodge. The family was very wealthy and held an important place in society. An image of Charles William Morland is shown below right and below left is an image of William Courtenay Morland and his wife Margaretta.

Henry decided on a military career, and was for a time serving in India. He worked his way up through the ranks, as noted in the London Gazette and other military records, eventually obtaining the rank of Colonel. He had served with the 9th Lancers and held the office of Justice of the Peace.The Morland family had a long record of military service. Shown opposite is a painting showing Henry in his military uniform.

On September 30,1884 in Frant, Sussex Henry married his first wife Lady Alice Maud Nevill (1858-1898) who was one of at least a dozen children born to the Most Hon. William Nevill (1826-1915). 1st Marquess of Abergavenny, 5th Earl of Abergavenny, 5th Viscount Nevill and 19th Baron Bergavenny, a man of great wealth and position which among his many land holdings was the Eridge Estate. Henry and his wife did not remain in Frant or live in Tunbridge Wells after the marriage but during their marriage they visited the Nevill clan and Tunbridge Wells frequently. Further information about the Nevill family is given in the next section.

Henry and his wife had only one child, namely Violet Alice Morland (1886-1976), one of the principal characters in this article, details of whom are given in a later section of this article. In 1887 Henry was knighted.

In 1890 Henry built the first nine hole Lamberhurst Golf Course in the park of his families Court Lodge manor house. This was a club for the gentry of the area and membership in it was limited to only 50. The poet, writer, and soldier Siegfried Sassoon was a regular visitor to the golf course in the early days and recalled that the course was maintained by sheep grazing on the grass. In 1923 the golf course was redesigned and local businessmen took over the responsibility for the course. Siegfried Loraine Sassoon (1886-1967) not only played golf on this course but also hunted with the Morland family. He had been born in a fine home called ‘Weirleigh’ in Matley,Brenchley,Kent. The Sassoon family resided at that home from 1884 to 1947. Details about the Sassoon family and Weirleigh are given in my article ‘ The History of ‘Weirleigh’ And Its Occupants’ dated April 6,2014. Details about his aunt Rachel Beer, who lived for a time in Tunbridge Wells and was known as “The First Lady of Fleet Street’ are also given in my article of that name from a few years ago.

Decendents of the Morland family have reviewed family wills and diaries, including that of Henry. They note on their website that a review of Henry’s diaries “did not warm them to him” as it became known that “ Henry was beastly to his first wife Alice, and that she died young-aged 40. I know that he once threw a burning log from the fire at his second wife Bessie. The butler, it is said, always bought the cheapest crockery he could, as he knew it would end up being thrown by Henry at someone. He was a very charming and sociable man, who enjoyed big game hunting, and in the late 1890’s went on a two year tour of India and Africa, where he dined and danced at one embassy after another, and kept a tally of all the creatures he killed. There is in our dining room a elephant’s foot that has been converted into a decanter holder, a lasting reminder of his big game hunting. His sons bought farms in Kenya in their twenties, in order to escape from him. His diaries show that he was in India with the army in 1883 and in 1879 in the Zulu war. Reading his diary I concluded that he was, to a large extent, a product of his time.”

Henry’s wife Alice did not have a happy marriage and turned to drink, and it was perhaps alcohol that contributed to her early demise, dying February 19,1898.

Henry’s second marriage, was to Bessie Josephine Laird, the daughter of John Laird of Birkenhead, Cheshire, shipbuilder and Josephine Laird, on July 29,1902. Bessie was most likely born in Cheshire in about 1872. This marriage produced two sons, namely William Morland born Mary 28,1903 and John Courtenay Morland December 18,1904, both of whom were born in Cheshire.

Although no specific accounts of Henry’s visits and life in Tunbridge Wells were located it is known that he and his wife Alice and daughter Violet often visited the Alice’s parents and siblings at Eridge and two photographs of his daughter Violet prove that that were visiting Tunbridge Wells in the 1880’s.

It is also known, that although Henry’s principal residence was Court Lodge from 1926 up to his death in 1934 that the 1922 Kelly directory gave his as a resident of 11 Sandrock Road in Tunbridge Wells.

A 1930 directory for Lamberhurst gave the following under the heading of ‘principal owners’. “Henry Courtenay Morland, J.P., Lord of the manor of Lamberhurst, Court Lodge, the seat of Lt Col. Henry Courtenay Morland, is a mansion of Jacobean date pleasantly situated on an eminence in a park commanding some fine views of the surrounding country”.

Probate records for Henry Courtenay Morland gave him of Court Lodge, Lamberhurst when he died June 30,1934 at Tweeddale Nursing Home in Tunbridge Wells. He appointed three men, none of them Morlands, as the executors of his 22,842 pound estate. A previous grant had also been made.

When Henry’s brother passed away, he died without children and so Court Lodge passed to Henry’s eldest son William. Henry had his own personal wealth to beqeath  and left nothing to his daughter Violet; 500 pounds to his second wife Bessie; 1,000 pounds to his son William and 220 pounds to his youngest son John.

The Tweeddale Nursing Home, began as Tweeddale Terrace, a large building on London Road occupying all of the road frontage between Vale Avenue and Clarence Road and began as a five unit lodging house. Later it was converted into a nursing home and later still into flats. It was later demolished and became the current site of Merevale House, which is the building occupied today by the Tunbridge Wels County Court. Details about the history of this building was given in my article ‘ The History of Tweeddale Terrace and Richmond Terrace’ dated January 21,2013.The name Tweeddale is a Scottish term referring to an area in the Scottish Boarders and is also a historic district of Scotland and there is a Marquess of Tweeddale, a title of peerage in Scotland.

Shown above left is a postcard view of Tweeddale Terrace by local photographer and postcard printer/publisher Harold H. Camburn.The building itself was designed by well- known local architect William Barnsley Hughes, whose architectural drawings of the place survive and bear his name at the bottom. Shown above right is another view of the building, this one by Robson, taken about the same time as the Camburn image.

Regarding Henry’s residence of 11 Sandrock Road, it is not known over what time he lived there nor whether he owned the residence of leased it but he was listed there in a 1922 Kelly directory. Sandrock Road runs more or less from east to west from St. James Road to Pembury Road and upon it were initially built many grand homes. The area has undergone significant redevelopment over the years and few of the original homes have survived. The Civic Society book by John Cunningham, entitled ‘ The Residential Parks of Tunbridge Wells (2004) refers to Sandrock Road and homes built on it, largely by William Willicombe, in the 1860’s. The homes built on the north side included Rocklands, Fairlawn, Northbank, Fairlight, Dungarvan House and Clayton House, with Shrublands, Courtlands, Broadlands and Heathfield on the south side. The northern side remains largely intact with only Dungarvan House and Clayton House being demolished. Most of the homes on the south side however were demolished. No. 11 Sandrock Road was the home called Clayton House, a large residence located on the north west corner of Pembury Road and Sandrock Road. As can be seen on the 1907 os map opposite (highlighted in red) it sat on large landscaped grounds. Unfortunately no photograph of the home was located to show here.


The central figure in this article from the Nevill family was Lady Alice Maud Nevill (1858-1898) who married Col.Henry Courtenay Morland (1855-1934) in Frant, Sussex, September 30,1884. She was one of at least a dozen children born to the Most Hon. William Nevill (1826-1915). 1st Marquess of Abergavenny, 5th Earl of Abergavenny, 5th Viscount Nevill and 19th Baron Bergavenny, a man of great wealth and position which among his many land holdings was the Eridge Estate.

The Nevill family have been long associated with Tunbridge Wells, with many places including Nevill Court, Nevill Park, the Nevill Cricket Grounds, to name only three, deriving their name and in fact existence to the family. The name “Marquess of Abergavenny” appears throughout the documents and photographs associated with the town. Their main place of residence was Eridge Park and during my visit to Tunbridge Wells John Cunningham of the Civic Society took me out to Eridge Park and the church where members of the clan are buried. On another occasion, during my three week visit to Tunbridge Wells my friend Mrs Susan Price and I visited the Tunbridge Wells Museum and Art Gallery, where in one room were many paintings of the Nevill family.

The Civic Society book ‘ The Origins of Warwich Park and the Nevill Ground by John Cunningham gives a detailed account about William Nevill (1826-1915) and shown opposite from this book is an image of him. William had been born September 16,1826 without any title and took up a military career. At age 48 he married Caroline Vanden-Bempde-Johnstone (1826-1892), the daughter of Sir John Johnstone, 2nd Bt., of Hackness Hall, Scarborough, Yorkshire. Of the children to this marriage only 9 reached adulthood. For the next 20 years, until he succeeded to his father’s title he lived principally in Yorkshire, when his military duties permitted. He was a great sportsman throughout his life, particularly hunting and shooting, an interest he shared with the Morland family. When he became the 5th Earl in 1868 he moved to Eridge where his younger brother Ralph had lived for many years. From all accounts he was well liked and was “a model landlord”.

It was in this setting of wealth and privilege that Lady Alice Maud Nevill lived after her birtg in Bramham, Yorkshire in 1858.

After her marriage to Henry Courtenay Morland September 30,1884 at Frant,Sussex she had just the one child,namely a daughter Violet Alice Moreland (1886-1976) who was born November 12,1886 in London. As I have pointed out in the previous section her marriage to Henry was an unhappy one, being treated ‘brutishly’ by him  and her consumption of Alcohol no doubt resulted in her early death at only age 40 on February 19,1898 at Brighton,Sussex.


Violet was the only child of Col Henry Courtenay Morland (1855-1934) and Lady Alice Maud Morland, nee Nevill (1858-1898). Violet had been born in London November 12,1886, at St George Hanover Square. She was baptised December 11,1886 at St Saviour Church .

On two trips of Violet to Tunbridge Wells with her parents, two photographs of her were taken at the studio of George Glanville, at 1&2 The Broadway on Mount Pleasant Road opposite the SER station. Shown opposite is a postcard view of this part of Mount Pleasant Road by local photographer and postcard printer/publisher Harold H. Camburn.  Information about the life and career of George Glanville was given in my article ‘ Glanville, Skinner & Wyles’ dated March 21,2012. George Glanville was an accomplished portrait studio photographer who in the late 19th century came to Tunbridge Wells from Surrey and established two portrait studios in the town.George was born 1846 at Sutton,Surrey. In the 1855 Tunbridge Wells directory George was listed with a photographic studio at No. 1 The Broadway on Mount Pleasant Road near the train station and was still there in the late 1880’s but had expanded the business to include 1 & 2 The Broadway. 

In 1878 George wed Ellen Mary Josolyne ,born 1848 at Wareside,Hertfordshire and the couple began a family.The 1881 census,taken at #12 Mount Pleasant,records George as a 35 year old photographic artist.With him at this address is his wife,his mother-in-law Mary Ann Josolyne,age 72, and his two children,Ruby Ellen,age 2 and Walter J,age 2 mths,both born in Tunbridge Wells.An 1882 directory lists "George Glanville,photographer,The Broadway". He had a second studio on the High Street.

By 1893 George took on a partner in the business and a directory for that year lists the company as Glanville & Skinner at 2 The Broadway and Mount Pleasant Road.The Skinner referred to was Edwin Mark Skinner.A 1899 directory listing records George Glanville as an artist and photographer at 2 The Broadway as Glanville & Skinner and he also became a partner with a Mr Wyles.At the time of the 1901 census, taken at 48 Grove Hill Road George was given as a"pet photographer(retired)".

George Glanville passed away in Tunbridge Wells on April 9, 1925 and was buried in the Tunbridge Wells cemetary on April 12th. Probate records show George "of Ashley House,Grove Hill Road" and that he left an estate valued at about 15.000 pounds. His executors were Walter Josolyne Glanville,a major in H.M's Army and Charles Henry Bertram Draper,manager.George's wife passed away before him and the Walter referred to in the probate records was his son Walter J ,born in Tunbridge Wells in 1881.

Shown above  is a photo taken by George Glanville of Violet dated 1887 . He took a second photo of her in 1889 also.

At the time of the 1891 census, taken at the family estate (Court Lodge) in Lamberhurst she was living with her grandparents William Courtenay Morland and Margaretta and her uncle Charles William Morland and his wife Ada.

The 1901 census, taken at 2 Trinity Gardens, Folkestone gave Violet as a pupil, living at a school for ladies run by Emily Lemay. At the school were 49 girls; four female teachers of music, English and French and a large number of servants. Shown below  is a photo of Violet with her half- brother William dated 1904 from a Morland family album.

The 1911 census, taken at 20 Noel Street in Islington, London gave Alice living in premises of 5 rooms as a boarder in the home of Mary Jackson and her family. Violet’s occupation at that time was given as “ bookfolder”.

On December 14,1914 Violet married Major Robin Alexander Grahame Wilson in London. Major Wilson gained the rank of Major in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO).

As noted in a previous section Violet was treated ‘beastly’ by her father, and never got along with him, and when she converted to Catholicism, and according to her family became an actress, she was cut out of her father’s will. She did however come into a large inheritance by way of her uncle  William Charles Morland who placed land at Playden known as Boonshill as well as Cliffs Farm in Playden in trust for Violet stating that he was “desirous of making such further provision for the said Violet Alice Morland”.

No information about Violet as an actress was found and if the family information is correct she may have performed under a stage name.

Violet died in the 1st qtr of 1976, in Camberwell, London.

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