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

Date: March 12,2019



Since postcards first came into use in the 19th century they have produced in many forms. Perhaps one of the most unusual types were those known as silk patch postcards produced by the firm of W.N. Sharpe which was a large printing company that established its business premises in Bradford, Yorkshire in 1871.

In the early years of the company’s operations, as noted in directories of 1879 to 1891, the company had premises at 39 Kirkgate and 15 Howard Street. On November 22,1912 the company received a patent for the use of the name “Classic” which was used as their brand name. The company defended their patent vigorously as noted in The Illustrated Official Journal of Patents dated October 7,1914 when they won their lawsuit for patent infringement of the work “Classic” against Solomon Bros. Ltd.

The business prospered and in 1937 they opened a large printing plant on Listerhills Road in Bradford (image above) and also had premises in London and elsewhere where they manufactured and sold boxed and loose cards of all types, stationary, postcards, cigarette cards, calendars etc. The company became one of the largest employers in Bradford.

In 1984 the American card giant Hallmark (which had been in Bradford since 1958) bought out the firm of W.N. Sharpe and moved into the company’s former premises which, until they sold the building in 2016 was known as Hallmark House.

For anyone interested in a more detailed account of the history of this business there is a pamphlet entitled ‘ The History of W.N. Sharpe Ltd’ available from the Bradford Historical and Antiquarian Society, which can be ordered from their website.


The firm of W.N. Sharpe Ltd (William Norton Sharpe) printed a wide range of postcards of many types but the type that is the subject of this article is the one shown opposite for Tunbridge Wells showing the town’s motto “Do Well Doubt Not” a motto that had been in use in the town since it became a Borough in 1899 and became “Royal Tunbridge Wells”.   Since 1899 this motto has appeared on souvenirs of the town, on plaques, postcards, signage etc. Further information about this motto was given in my article ‘ Do Well Doubt Not-A Tunbridge Wells Logo’ dated January 27,2015.

The unique thing about this postcard is that it was made of cardstock like all others but on the front was a silk patch in the middle which could be detached from the card by cutting along the dotted lines. Once detached the patch could be sewn on clothing, cushions, and anything else you chose to display the patch on. The cards measured 3-1/2” by 5-1/2” and so the patches were quite small.

The company produced several series of silk patch postcards among which were cards showing crests of town and cities of the British Commonwealth (image opposite); cards showing flowers of various types; cards showing views of Britain; Images of Royalty; Flags of WW1’ ; cards entitled ‘ Keepers of the Empire’ and ‘Help the Empire’ and others. Many examples of these cards can be found offered for sale on ebay.



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

Date: January 8,2015


Two separate images are printed side-by-side on thick cardboard stock. When viewed without a stereoscopic viewer the user is required to force his eyes either to cross, or to diverge, so that the two images appear to be three. Then as each eye sees a different image, the effect of depth is achieved in the central image of the three. A camera with two lenses is required to take the photographic images and a hand held device called a Stereograph is required to view the image in 3D. Further information about these technologies are given in later sections.

A simple stereoscope is limited in the size of the image that may be used. A more complex stereoscope uses a pair of horizontal periscope-like devices, allowing the use of larger images that can present more detailed information in a wider field of view. The stereoscope is essentially an instrument in which two photographs of the same object, taken from slightly different angles, are simultaneously presented, one to each eye. Each picture is focused by a separate lens, and the two lenses are inclined so as to shift the images toward each other and thus ensure the visual blending of the two images into one three-dimensional image.

During the Victorian Era , people were greatly interested in travel and those with money travelled extensively outside of Britain. Most people could not afford to travel however, and it was for them that stereographic  views of local points of interest and of far off exotic lands were produced by the thousands, giving them an relatively inexpensive way of seeing places they otherwise would not get to see.

The stereoscope used to be as commonplace in British homes as televisions are today. In the 19th century, stereoscopes provided an escape for people who never had a chance to see much of the world. Stereoscopes had tremendous popularity in a time when people not have access to long-distance, rapid transportation so they could see the world first-hand. People did not have television or movie theaters to connect them visually to a fantasy world. Stereoscopic pictures were used as Victorian travel guides, story tellers, educators, and even pornography. By the 1920's, the world had changed greatly and stereoscopes fell out of favor as the most popular form of entertainment. Fortunately, people who are interested in history and photography have preserved this unique niche of recorded history.

Many companies, such as the London Stereoscopic Company in London produced and offered for sale thousands of views, from all parts of the world, and the Victorians couldn’t get enough of them. This company had been founded in 1854 .They did a prosperous business selling stereo views and viewers to the public and they were the leaders in a boom-a craze- which swept around the world. In February 1856 they advertised “the largest collection in Europe, upwards of 10,000 stereo views”. One of their advertisments of 1855 stated that stereo views could be purchased for 1s to 3s 6d depenting on whether you wanted black and white of hand coloured views. Their stereoscopes were advertised at that time for 4s 6d (a Mahogony one) or up to 7s 6d for one made in varied woods.

By the 1860’s the stereo card craze began to fade but later there was a resurgence. The second great stereoscopic boom occurred at the turn of the century and was dominated by such firms as Keystone ,and Underwood and Underwood. The London Stereoscopic Company finally dissolved in 1922, only later to be resurrected in the later part of the 20th century.

An indication of how popular stereo cards were can be seen from the following comments from 1857-8. “Wonderful instrument” (the Times). “No family or school should be without one. It is one of the wonders of our age” (Britannia).”A new filed of entertainment and instruction “ (Illustrated London News). “Invaluable aid to intellectual progress” (The Globe). “All nature and art are subordinate to it “ (Morning Herald). “Everything that is beautiful brought within the circles of our own homes” (Morning Advertiser). “Sir David Brewster, for the wonderful invention, merits the thanks of the nation “(Morning Chronicle).As noted above Brewster was the first to admit that he was not the  actual inventor.

Shown above and throughout this article are various stereographic  views of Tunbridge Wells. The one at the top of this article is a view of the Pantiles.


Stereoscopic pictures are pictures taken by a special camera with two lenses with a separate image sensor or film frame for each lens. The resulting 2D pictures are set two and half inches apart, which approximates the distance between adult eyes. This arrangement “fools” the eye into seeing what appears to be a 3D image. In the mid 20th century special #D cameras were invented that create the #d image internally, a process known as stereo photography.


A stereoscope is a device for viewing a stereoscopic pair of separate images, depicting left-eye and right-eye views of the same scene, as a single three-dimensional image.A typical stereoscope provides each eye with a lens that makes the image seen through it appear larger and more distant and usually also shifts its apparent horizontal position, so that for a person with normal binocular depth perception the edges of the two images seemingly fuse into one "stereo window". In current practice, the images are prepared so that the scene appears to be beyond this virtual window, through which objects are sometimes allowed to protrude, but this was not always the custom. A divider or other view-limiting feature is usually provided to prevent each eye from being distracted by also seeing the image intended for the other eye.

The earliest type of stereoscope was invented by Sir Charles Wheatstone in 1838 (photo opposite). It used a pair of mirrors at 45 degree angles to the user's eyes, each reflecting a picture located off to the side. It demonstrated the importance of binocular depth perception by showing that when two pictures simulating left-eye and right-eye views of the same object are presented so that each eye sees only the image designed for it, but apparently in the same location, the brain will fuse the two and accept them as a view of one solid three-dimensional object. Wheatstone's stereoscope was introduced in the year before the first practical photographic process became available, so drawings were used. This type of stereoscope has the advantage that the two pictures can be very large if desired.

The next stereoscope to appear was the Brewster Stereoscope (shown opposite), as it was referred to. Contrary to a common assertion, David Brewster did not invent the stereoscope, as he himself was often at pains to make clear.A rival of Wheatstone, Brewster credited the invention of the device to a Mr. Elliot, a "Teacher of Mathematics" from Edinburgh, who, according to Brewster, conceived of the idea as early as 1823 and, in 1839, constructed "a simple stereoscope without lenses or mirrors", consisting of a wooden box 18 inches long, 7 inches wide and 4 inches high, which was used to view drawn landscape transparencies, since photography had yet to be invented.Brewster's personal contribution was the suggestion to use lenses for uniting the dissimilar pictures in 1849; and accordingly the lenticular stereoscope (lens based) may fairly be said to be his invention.This allowed a reduction in size, creating hand-held devices, which became known as Brewster Stereoscopes, much admired by Queen Victoria when they were demonstrated at the Great Exhibition of 1851.Brewster was unable to find in Britain an instrument maker capable of working with his design, so he took it to France, where the stereoscope was improved by Jules Duboscq who made stereoscopes and stereoscopic daguerreotypes, and a famous picture of Queen Victoria that was displayed at The Great Exhibition.Almost overnight a 3D industry developed and 250,000 stereoscopes were produced and a great number of stereoviews, stereo cards, stereo pairs or stereographs were sold in a short time. Stereographers were sent throughout the world to capture views for the new medium and feed the demand for 3D.Cards were printed with these views often with explanatory text when the cards were looked at through the double-lensed viewer, sometimes also called a stereopticon, a common misnomer.

The Holmes Stereoscope became the most popular type during the 19th century. A photo of one is shown opposite. In 1861 Oliver Wendell Holmes created and deliberately did not patent a handheld, streamlined, much more economical viewer than had been available before. The stereoscope, which dates from the 1850s, consisted of two prismatic lenses and a wooden stand to hold the stereo card. This type of stereoscope remained in production for a century and there are still companies making them in limited production currently. It is primarily American, although it is often named "Mexican stereoscope.



Throughout its history , since photography was invented, Tunbridge Wells has been well represented by a large number of skilled photographers and although not all of them produced stereographic views of the town many did, especially those interested in working outside of their studios. Vies and viewers could be purchased at their place of business and chemists and other shops who sold photographic supplies also had them available. Today can be found a nice collection of views and viewers at the Tunbridge Wells Museum and Art Gallery.

Brackett’s Guide of 1863 included an advertisement by Mr Brackett himself, who had premises at “the Parade”. His advertisment for Bracketts Library offered for sale “Poulton’s Forty Stereographic Views in or near Tunbridge Wells” for 1s each. Among other things Mr Brackett was a bookseller and publisher.

Colbrans 1860 Guide included an advertisement for local photographer Henry Loof who offered “ New Series of Stereographic Views of all the objects of interest in Tunbridge Wells and its Neighbourhood” and that they are “now ready” at a price of 1s for plain ones and for 1s 6d for coloured ones. His premises were located at that time “adjoining the mineral springs, Bath Square, Tunbridge Wells. He also offered “groups on paper or glass for the stereoscope”. Shown opposite is one of his views of the Commons.  The Loof family were long term residents of Tunbridge Wells and members of the family can be found in a wide range of occupations. Henry William Loof (1831-1880) became a photographer and in 1862 his studio was located at The Parade and in 1864 at Bath Square in the Pantiles. In 1864 he left town and established a studio in Brighton Sussex. For details about Henry Loof and other members of his family and their careers see my article “ Loof & Ninnes of Tunbridge Wells” dated April 21,2013.

A catalogue of stereographic views available in England in 1864 for Tunbridge Wells listed four pages of them.

Shown opposite is one of several  by local photographer David Everest( 1814-1887) and his son David Robert Everest (1852-1925). The Everests  were active in the town as photographers  from 1845 to 1881. For details about the family and their career see my article “The Photographic Works of David Robert Everest” dated February 29,2012. The views shown from left to right are (1) The Parade (2) The Corn Exchange (also known as the Sussex Hotel in the Pantiles) (3)High Rocks, Tunbridge Wells . All three images were taken when David Everest had his premises at 20 Mount Ephraim and date from circa 1875.

A photographer by the name of F. Beasley,  of London, was a regular exhibitor of photographs in the period of 1888 to 1897, and during that time was a member and fellow of the Royal Photographic Society (1870-1915). In 1897 he exhibited a number of images, including a stereographic image of Tunbridge Wells entitled “ On the Commons Tunbridge Wells’. He produced a large body of work and several references to him and some of his images can be seen on the internet.

Another Tunbridge Wells photographer was H.G. Inkskipp of Southborough. Three of his images found to date are  (1) The Rocks in the common dated September 1875 (2) St Johns Church, Ferndale, dated September 1875 (3) A View of Rusthall Church, dated September 1875.(shown opposite).This gentleman was Henry Guy Inkskipp (1840-1888).He had been born in Battle Sussex in 1840. In 1851 he was living with his parents and siblings at the George Inn in Dover where his father was the innkeeper. He married in 1870 and by 1871 he and his family were at 2 Sheffield Place,Tonbridge, where he was a photographer. By 1881 he had moved to Tunbridge Wells and in the 1881 census he and his family are found at  13 Calverley Street,Tunbridge Wells where he had his studio. From 1885 to 1888 he was in Sussex and had a studio at 135 Ditching Rise,Brighton,Sussex. He died February 14,1888 at this same address. He was a regular exhibitor at the Royal Photographic Society and was a member of that society. At the 1871 exhibtion, for example he exhibited 12 photographs, several of which were of Tunbridge Wells. He was still exhibiting in 1878. For more information about the family and photographic career of this man see my article ‘H.G. Inskipp-A Tunbridge Wells Photographer’ dated January 9,2014.

Shown here is a view by F. Cooke , a photographic artist from Tonbridge entitled “High Rocks”. This was Frederick Cooke. Born 1849 who was still active in 1891. He had been employed by photographer George Avery who was listed as a photographer in the 1867 directory. Frederick in fact lived with George Avery’s address on the High Street. Cooke’s work includes many interesting views of the local area, especially buildings in the town. His studio was located on the High Street end of Bank Street in the 1870’s. Apart from stereographic views , he produced postcard views of Tonbridge as well as Tunbridge Wells and the surrounding area such as two images entitled ‘Broadwater Church, Tunbridge Wells’ and ‘Rusthall Church’.




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

Date: January 11,2015


The story of the life and times of Thomas Panuwell   and his decendents and their connection to the lands that came into possession of John Ward in the early 1800’s ,which formed part of what became known as John Ward’s Calverley Estate, is one  that  is difficult to be exact about.However ,the general theme of events  and certain facts involving the Panuwell’s and eventually John Ward , with respect to extensive land holdings in Tunbridge Wells owned , at least for a time, by Thomas Panuwell, are given in this article.

The seat of Calverley was owned in the early 1700’s by William Strong, and when he died in 1713 it passed into the possession of Thomas Panuwell  (the first) who died in 1749 and who’s remains were buried at the church in Tonbridge and  where a memorial plaque to him can be found. Thomas never married and had no family member to leave his estate to, and so he left his estate to a close friend of his by the name of Thomas Smith, who as a condition of Panuwell’s will ,was required to take on the surname of Panuwell. This he did and so Thomas Smith became Thomas Panuwell  (the second).

In 1784 Thomas Panuwell (the second) passed away and left his estate, which included a substantial amount of “Calverley” land, to his eldest son Thomas Panuwell (the third). This gentleman still held the seat of Calverley in 1798 and lived in a large home on the estate.

In 1824 Thomas Panuwell (the third) passed away ,and John Ward(1779-1855) purchased much ,if not all of the land from the estate, and proceeded to implement a long term development plan that included such projects as Calverley Park, Calverly Park Terrace, the Calverley Colonnade and other ambitious undertakings. When John Ward died  his two sons, Arthur Wellesley Ward (1813-1900) and Neville Ward (1814-1872), picked up where their father left off and were actively involved in further developments in the following years, giving rise in part to most of the development of the land along Pembury Road and in other parts of the town. The development activities of the Ward family after 1824 are not the subject of this article and nor is an investigation into the origins of the seat of Calverley or the family of Calverley. These are topics which warrant separate articles to do them justice.

THOMAS PANUWELL (The first) (1672-1749)

The year of his birth was derived from the inscription on his memorial at the church in Tonbridge. It is not known by the researcher who his parents and siblings were but it is known that he died a bachelor in 1749. A review of baptisms for the 1672 period (1671 to 1873) turned up five Thomas Panuwell baptisms but which one if any relates to the Thomas Panuwell in this article was not determined.

Thomas Panuwell was a wealthy gentleman, who derived much of his income from rents received from the large number of buildings and vast acerages of land he owned in Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge. Among his holdings was the seat of Calverley which had been the property of William Strong.

Chris Jones, in reply to my inquiries stated “ The first Thomas Panuwell bought most of his land (between Tunbridge Wells and Pembury) from the family of William Strong circa 1720”.

In a publication entitled ‘Memoir on the Origin and Description of the Trinity House of Deptford Strand’ by Joseph Cotton. London 1718 lists “Captain Thomas Panuwell, elected September 28,1714”. There is also reference to him in various records held by the National Archives.  The Magnae Britanniae of 1718 lists Captain Thomas Panuwell as a member of the Royal African Company of England for the year 1716, Another publication, dated 1721 listed Captain Thomas Panuwell as “an assistant to the Royal African Company”. A publication of 1718 called ‘Poems on Several Occasions’ listed Captain Thomas Panuwell as a subscriber.  A publication dated 1718 about Mercer’s Hall gave Captain Thomas Panuwell as a subscriber and appears on a list for raising one million sterling as a fund for insuring ships at sea. The Daily Journal of February 1,1733, London. referred to the South Sea Company with a letter of thanks to those on the list thanking them for their votes at the election of Governors, and among those on the list was Captain Thomas Panuwell.

Directories of 1726 to 1750 gave CaptainThomas Panuwell at Mansel Street, Goodman’s Fields, London. Being identified as a “Captain” may explain, as you will read later, that his memorial in Tonbridge refers to him as “Brave”, suggesting that he had an interesting military career. The directory of 1738 referred to Captain Thomas Panuwell of London, Mansel Street Goodman’s Field. This directory was ‘The Intelligencer, or Merchant’s Assistant  showing the names and places of all the merchants and considerable traders in London and Westminster and the Borough of Southwark. He is also found  listed at the same place in ‘The Universal Picket Companion ‘2nd edition in which traders are given. He was also in the 1740 publication ‘A Complete Guide to all persons who have any trade or concerns with the City of London’.

A 1739 directory referred to Thomas Panuwell, Esq.,of Tunbridge in connection to him being a subscriber o sermons upon several subjects preached in the Cathedral Church of St Peter, in Exeter.

Reference was found to approval being granted by the directors of the Royal Exchange Assurance Company of London to James Armour, a writer in Edinburgh, to offer proposals for making the Book of Scotland more useful and profitable. This book was published in 1727 and one of the six authors of the book was a Thomas Panuwell.

British History Online 1798 gave the following “ Calverley is another seat, situated likewise near the southern bounds of this parish (Tonbridge), at no great distance from Tunbridge Wells, which was many years ago the property of William Strong, edq., from whom it came into the possession of Thomas Panuwell, esq., who died unmarried in 1750 and was buried in this Church (Tonbridge). By his will he gave this seat to his friend Thomas Smith, esq., who took on him the name of Panuwell, and dying in 1786 was succeeded in it by his eldest son of the same name, who is the present owner, and resides in it”.  As noted below the year of Thomas Panuwells death can be taken as either 1749 or 1750 depending on which calendar is used. Also noted from other research is that the year of death of Thomas Panuwell (the second) was 1784 and not 1786 given in the above quotation. Details about this are given later.

A 2012 report entitled ‘The Kent Compendium of Historic Parks and Gardens of Tunbridge Wells’ in discussing Sherwood Park on Pembury Road gave “ The Manor of Calverley, in Tunbridge Wells, was owned by William Strong and passed to Thomas Panuwell who died in 1750”. The land of Sherwood Park became part of the Ward family holdings, as did the land that became Dunorlan Park (image opposite), which appeared under the name of Burnthouse or Calverley Manor Farm on a Tunbridge Wells map produced by John Bowra in 1738, and which in 1823/1824 was part of the land that John Ward acquired from the estate of Thomas Panuwell (the third). This had been passed down to him by his ancestors and which no doubt was originally part of the land holdings of Thomas Panuwell (the first).

Henry Irelands book of 1829 entitled ‘Englands Topographer’ repeats the above quotation and added that William Strong died in 1713 “who is said to have held the seat of the Calverley manor.William Strong, in his will, specified that he was to be buried in the vault of St Mildred, Poultry Church in London and I have confirmed that he was in fact buried there. There is a record of him regarding a vestry held May 13,1670 pertaining to this church in which he and three other men “desired to join with four of the parish of St Mildred to manage the affairs of rebuilding the church (it had burned down in 1666). The beneficiary of his will of 1713 was his neice Mary. Kipps engraving of 1719 shows on plate 36 a large home on the hill that was the property of William Strong, which later became the Calverley Hotel and came into the possession of John Ward. Details about the history of the Calverley Hotel (image opposite)can be found in my article ‘ The History of the Calverley Hotel’ dated May 9,2014. Another interesting thing about the will of William Strong was that he set up a trust intended to provide an apprentiship for students of the King Charles the Martyr (chapel of Ease) church (image opposite)and the school in Tonbridge and that this apprentiship applied only to candidates relating to ships (sail making and other similar trades). Today in Tunbridge Wells there is a charity called ‘The William Strong Foundation’ with premises at 5 Blatchingon Road which provides funds for young people’s training. William Strong was also one of eight trustees appointed to the Chapel of Ease in Tunbridge Wells, and so he had a strong connection to this church as a trustee and by the trust from his will. Details about the William Strong trust can be found in Colbrans Guide of 1844. The Chapel of Ease referred to was completed in 1678 and named after King Charles the Martyr. The chapel became a church with a parish in 1889.

Thomas Panuwell passed actually passed away in 1749 as recorded on an urn tablet for Thomas Panuwell esq. that can be found today in the church of St Peter and St Paul (image opposite) in the town of Tonbridge. The magazine of this church ‘Perspectives’ Autumn 2013 gave a photo of this urn tablet and a brief article. The article stated that the urn tablet records that Thomas Panuwell died February 21,1749 and that the urn for him is located upstairs on the wall of what used to be the balcony. Dr Jeremy King wrote “ I strongly suspect the double date 1749/1750 on the monument of death of Thomas Panuwell is due to the switch from the Julian to the Gregorian Calendar. He goes on to explain these two calendars and states “ So February 21,1750 by our modern calendar would have officially been called 1749 in England because it fell before their New Year on March 25th. But it would have been called 1750 in France  because it fell after their New Year January 1st. The confusion between English and continental dates was ended by an Act of Parliament in 1750, possibly before the monument was erected. It is likely that the continental years were already used before they were officially adopted, and using both years for dates from January to March would remove any ambiguity”. So depending on which calender you want to use Thomas’s date of death would be either February 21,1749 or February 21,1750. For my purposes I have used the date of 1749.

From the ‘Perspectives’ article I referred to above is a photo of the Thomas Panuwell urn. The inscription associated with this urn reads “ To the memory of Thomas Panuwell, Esq., a generous Brave and honest Englishman, And wellwisher to his country, whose heart whilst alive was as open as his table, the first every ready to assist the distressed and the other to entertain all parties without distinction. His integrity was as much above corruption as his spirit above dependence. He died at his seat Calverley in this Parish on 21st day of February in the year 1749/1750 and of his age 78, a Bachelor”. Based on this it can be stated that he was born in 1672.

There is a probate record dated March 3,1749 for a Thomas Panuwell, esq, who died abt 1749 who was residing at Ennbhridge,Kent which said he was of the parish of Tonbridge. In this record some money in the amount of 100 pounds  and other unspecified amounts were given to Alexander Horton, William Horton and Sarah Eldon and three children of Sarah Horton of Warriham. A Mrs Susannah Traryfor of Embridge was left 100 pounds and 10 pounds was left of a person in Rochester “for morning” and some money left to this persons two sisters. It is not clear if this probate record applies to the Thomas Panuwell who is the subject of this article and I could find no mention of Thomas Smith who it is known inherited at least the property of Thomas Panuwell.

THOMAS PANUWELL (The Second) (1731-1784)

Thomas Panuwell was born Thomas Smith in 1731 but in 1750 changed his name by a petition to Parliament to Thomas Smith Panuwell. He was the son of James Smith, who died in 1714 (who was the son of Edmund and Grace Smith). The petition to Parliament regarding his name change is recorded in a Private Act of Parliament 1750 (ref 24 Chapter Geo 7 C.8) which stated “Enabling Thomas Smith to take the surname and arms of Panuwell. An act to enable Thomas Smith, now called Thomas Panuwell, and  his heirs to take and use the surname and arms of Panuwell”. This bill passed on March 11,1751.  

There was an Edmund Robert Smith born 1619 who was in the merchant navy, who traded wine from the Canaries with sons William and Edmund Smith, whos father was Robert William Smith (he died 1651) and whos mother was Alice Bower, who died in 1629. His wife was Eleanor Smith who died in 1695 and was buried September 10,1695 at Ilminster,Somerset. His children were (1)  James Edmund Smith born 1714 who was with the Honorable East India Company Service. His wife was Grace Smith. He was known as captain James of Poplar. (2) William Edmund Smith born March 11,1652 at Ilminster,Somerset. He traded wine from the Canaries with his father and brother, He was later a miller of Poplar and Millwall. (3) Edmund Smith, born July 23,1658 at Ilminster,somerset. He died in 1745 and was buried at Christchurch,Newgate St in London. He was a wine merchant and consul in Tenerife. His wife was Isabel who he married in 1697 on board the English man of war ‘King William’ at Orotova. He was prosecuted by Spanish Inquisition.

The ‘Journals of the House of Commons’ for 1803 refer to a petition of Thomas Panuwell,heretofore called Thomas Smith, that was presented to the House and refers to Thomas Panuewell, deceased, late of Tunbridge,Kent, who made his last will and testament January 27,1749 from which he has bequeathed all his lands etc in the parishes of Tonbridge and Speldhurst to trustees to support the estates and they were to take the surname of Panuwell.  And so from this, Thomas Smith became Thomas Smith Panuwell.

An allegation of marriage dated December 18,1752 in the parish of Tonbridge recorded his proposed marriage to Honor Ellis of Tonbridge. The marriage took place January 2,1753 at St Gregory by St Paul, in London. Thomas had by this time changed his name to Panuwell and his age at the time of this allegation was given as 21. The couple had been married at the parish church  of St George, Hanover Square, London.

Thomas and his wife are known to have had the following children (1) Thomas Smith Panuwell (1757-1823).Trinity College records indicate he was born 1753 (2) James Smith Panuwell, born 1755, baptised Tunbridge Wells May 17,1755 (3) Sophia Smith Panuwell, born 1753 in London, christened February 22,1753 at St Andrew Hubbard with St Mary at Hill, London (4) Grace Smith Panuwell.

The Tunbridge Wells Guide of 1782,1797 and 1801 by J. Strange refers to the appointment of Nevill of eight trustees of land for a chapel of ease, among which Thomas Smith Panuwell became one of the trustees on December 30,1775. On January 19,1776 the deed to the land was presented to Thomas Smith Panuwell.

Thomas died in 1784. The National archives has a copy of his will under the name of Thomas Smith Panuwell dated December 6,1784, but their records show he died November 24,1784 and that he was a captain who was living at Calverley Park,Tunbridge Wells, and was known as Captain Thomas Panuwell. Sometimes the year of death is given incorrectly in other sources as 1786 and that he was succeeded by his eldest son . His will identified his father s Thomas Panuwell and that he had a daughter Sophia and other children including Grace Smith Panuwell and a son James Smith Panuwell. He left 10,000 pounds to be divided up in accordance with the terms of his will to his family and stated that a vault was to be built for him “ at the place of his father and brother at Poplar (indecipherabvle), Blackwell. So it would appear that he was buried in his” natural” fathers place of buriel.

The Gazette of December 2,1785 gave a notice stating in part “ wherein James Smith, esq., and others are plaintiffs and Thomas Panuwell and another are defendents, the creditors of Thomas Smith Panuwell, late of Tunbridge Wells, Kent, esq, deceased are to come and prove their debts before Alexsander Thomfon, Esq., one of the trustees of the said court at his chambers in Symund’s Inn, Chancery Lane,London”.


THOMAS PANUWELL ( The Third) (1753-1823)


The records of Trinity College admissions for 1771 record “Thomas Panuwell, son of Thomas Panuwell, Tunbridge,Kent. School, Westminstter (Dr Smith). Age-18 (1753). Pensioner on Westmosnter election, June 17,1772. Tutor, Mr Collier (scholar, 1773); Matriculated 1775; BA 1776”. A second record from Trinity college gave “Entered Easter 1775 Admin Pens, on the Westminster election (age 18 at Trinity June 17,1772. Son of Thomas [Smith], of Calverley,Tonbridge (and Honor Ellis) .[B. 1754] .School [Tunbridge and ]Westminster. Scholar 1773; matric Easter 1775 BA 1776. Admitted to Inner Temple January 25,1771. Died January 1824 aged 70  at Calverley House, Tonbridge. Buried Jan. 7,1824 at Tonbridge”.

Thomas wed Mary and had a son Henry who was christened May 8,1777 in Tunbridge Wells. This record indicated that Henrys father was “T.S. Panuwell” and his mother Mary Panuwell.

A hunting book dated 1800 referred to a Thomas Panuwell racing pigeons, so it appears he was a bit of a sportsman.

A map of 1808 refers to Mr Panuwell owning a cottage and house in Culverden (lodging houses) both located on Mount Ephrain Road just north of Fenners Tunbridge Ware premises. 

Chris Jones of the Tunbridge Wells Civic Society, who has studied and written about the activities of the Ward family in Tunbridge Wells, reported to me, in reply to an inquiry, that “ Larks Nest Farm was one of the farms that John Ward(1779-1855)bought from the Panuwell trustees, in 1825/6”. It is also known that John Ward took title to several other tracts of land from the Panuwell estate for his Calverley Estates Development. Chris continued by stating “ William Edwards was the lessee of the farm . In my notes from the Ward papers ,William Edwards had a 7 year lease on the farm in 1807(with Panuwell not Ward) which was presumably renewed whenever it expired. There is also a statement about some agreement with William Edwards in 1825. I see on an 1899 map that there are some tiny buildings where the farmhouse might have been. Larks Nest farm was between the Nags Head crossroads (later the Royal Oak crossroads) and Hall’s Hole corner. It was on the left-hand side about half way along-so opposite the Calverley Mill and brickworks. More or less where the southern end of Kingswood Road joins Bayhall Road.” For further information about the Edwards family see my article ‘The Edwards Family of Tunbridge Wells’ dated December 23,2014.

Thomas’s year of death is most often given as 1823 in reference to the year in which John Ward purchased the land in his estate. The National Archives has the will of “Thomas Panuwell of Tonbridge, dated March 31,1824, which is no doubt the date of probate. In looking at the contents of this will Thomas states that he “bequeathed all my estates, properties to my eldest sister Sophia Smith Panuwell”. He also refers to a brother. The executors were William Scoones of Tonbridge and John Carvoll. It stated that Thomas was “late of Mount Calverley, parish of Tonbridge, esq”. The will was made May 27,1823 at Brighton “being very ill but sound in mind”. Probate was to the “oath of Sophia Smith, spinster”.

The name of Scoones shows up in a memorandum dated June 19,1776 in connection with achapel taken by Thomas Scoones  “of Tunbridge Town, the attorney appointed by the late trustees, owned by him and devolved to Thomas Smith Panuwell, esq., according to the form and effect of the deed in the presence of Christopher Pinchbeck, Richard Delves, John Fry and John Knight of Tunbridge Wells.

Chris Jones, in reply to my inquiry, stated that although John Ward acquired Panuwell lands upon his death in 1823 the purchase was not made from the executors of his estate in one transaction. Chris also stated  that” Thomas’s brother James died before he did and when Thomas died his estate was left to his sisters and nieces and that he had a lot of debts so  about half the value went to his creditors”.

A report about the history of Dunorlan Park states that this land was owned by Thomas Panuwell in 1823 ‘when it was purchased by a land developer called John Ward, who intended to build a 1,000 acre Calverley Estate to rival the lower village of Tunbridge Wells which was centred around the spring in the Pantiles. However, in the 1850’s the farmhouse and lands were purchased by Henry Reed who was the driving force behind the park as it stands today”. For further information about the history of Dunorlan Park see my article ‘ A Retrospective View of Dunorlan Park’ dated December 28,2011.

The 2012 report about Sherwood Park (image opposite) entitled ‘The Kent Compendium of Historic Parks and Gardens of Tunbridge Wells’ refers in part to the inheritance of this land by Thomas Panuwell (the third) from his father and that “A John Ward had acquired the estate’s land by 1829, which became known as the Calverley Estate and soon after the architect and developer Decimus Burton was employed to design much of the housing. The land that was to become Sherwood Park estate was bought by retired solicitor, John Guy in about 1867 to build an Italianate mansion house surrounded by some 68 hectares of ground”. For further information about Sherwood see my article ‘ The Sherwood Estate Tunbridge Wells Kent’ dated December 28,2011.

Chris Jones who has done a considerable amount of research in connection to John Ward, stated in reply to one of my inquiries that Thomas Panuwell (the third) will of 1812 stated he wished to be buried in the Tonbridge Churchyard in the same vault “with my deceased friend”. In researching the church records Chris stated  that there is only one entry for a Panuwell in grave No. 8 in row G but that it seems to be the grave of a daughter of one of the Thomas Panuwells and implies that she shares it with someone. Chris was also of the opinion that Thomas Panuwell “might have been living at Calverley Lodge when he died, which is at the Royal Oak Crossroads, sometimes called the Nag’s Head, but there is also an earlier reference to a building on what became the site of Dunorlan Park.

In response to my inquries Chris Jones of the Tunbridge Wells Civic Society referred me to a map on page 10 of his thesis ‘ Ferndale A Different Kind of Suburb’dated 2011,and stated “the bits on that map that aren’t outlined in colour came from the Panuwell purchase by John Ward, except for one field in the bottom left-the one with the mill on it, which was bought separately”. This map is shown above.The thesis also records that by 1827 John Ward had accumulated an estate of some 870 acres.

With this I end my coverage of the Thomas Panuwell story.



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