HIGH HURSTWOOD

ITS HISTORY from the STONE AGE to the 21st CENTURY

 

ITS BUILDINGS AND LANDS, THE FAMILIES THAT OCCUPIED THEM,

AND THE ACTIVITIES THAT WENT ON THERE

 

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The HOATH & BROWN Family

 

 

John & Harriet Hoath’s Family

 

Chart of John & Harriet Hoath's Family

 

John Hoath was the third of the twelve children of Jesse and Ansley Hoath. He was born at Jarvis Brook in Rotherfield Parish, Sussex, and baptised at the Parish Church of St Denys in Rotherfield on 30 October 1831. (John’s baptism record was erroneously recorded under his mother’s maiden name of Card instead of Hoath.) He was a second cousin once removed of the Henry Hoath, who was the originator of the Hoath & Bailey family of High Hurstwood. In the census of 6 June 1841 John, at the age of 9, was living with his parents at Coes Farm in Rotherfield. Then in the census of 30 March 1851 John, now aged 19, was working as a live-in farm labourer for farmer William Corke at Bletchingly in Rotherfield.

When he was 21 years old John married 20-year-old Matilda Izzard at the Parish Church of St Swithun in East Grinstead, Sussex on 2 May 1853. They were both then living at East Grinstead, where John was working as a farm labourer and Matilda was a domestic servant. Matilda was the daughter of Mark and Mary Anne Izzard; she had been born at Rotherfield and baptised at the Parish Church of St Denys in Rotherfield on 17 June 1832. John and Matilda are not thought to have had any children as Matilda died the following year at Pinehurst in Rotherfield, at the age of 22, and was buried in the Churchyard of St Denys at Rotherfield on 17 September 1854.

Three years after Matilda’s death John, at the age of 27, married 28-year-old Harriet Roberts at the Parish Church of St Denys in Rotherfield on 27 February 1858. Harriet was the daughter of Jesse and Mary Roberts and she had been born at Bethersden near Ashford in Kent in about 1830. Harriet already had a son who had been born at Great Chert in Kent in about 1853.

John and Harriet had eight children born between 1859 and 1874. They were living at Ragged Boy in Rotherfield when their first two children were baptised in 1859 and February 1861. Then in the census of 7 April 1861 they were living at Gravel Hill in Rotherfield with their two children and Harriet’s son Charles Roberts, and John was continuing to work as a farm labourer. They then moved to Paddock Wood in Kent where their third child was born in 1863, but they were back in Rotherfield when their fourth child was born in 1865. They then moved to Buxted in Sussex where they were living at Rose Common when their fifth child was baptised in 1868 and at Pounsley when their sixth child was baptised in 1870. In the census of 2 April 1871 they were living at Pounsley in Buxted with their six children. By the time their seventh child was baptised in 1873 they were living in Rotherfield village, and when the eighth was baptised in 1874 they were living at Little Ease Farm near Coes Farm in Rotherfield. In the census of 3 April 1881 they were still living at Little Ease Farm, and they had their four youngest children living with them.

Then in the census of 5 April 1891 they were living at New Barn Farm near the Crow and Gate public house in High Hurstwood Parish; their two youngest children were still living with them, and they also had Edwin Brown, who was to marry their daughter Alice, as a boarder. During all this time John had continued to work as a farm labourer, but by the time his son John married in 1895 he had become a farmer. So it was sometime between 1891 and 1895, and probably in 1892,[1] that they moved to Mill Farm at High Hurstwood, where John became the tenant and farmed the land while his son James, who had been working in mills at Crowborough learning the trade, returned home to operate the water mill that went with the farm. The 1899 edition of Kelly’s Directory of Sussex lists John Hoath as a miller (water) and farmer at High Hurstwood. In the census of 31 March 1901 John and Harriet were living at Mill Farm, and living with them were their sons James, who was operating the mill on his own account, and Alfred, who was described as being an imbecile; and their daughter Alice and her husband and two children. Alice’s husband Edwin Brown was then working with John on the farm. Their son James died in 1902 and their son-in-law Edwin Brown then took over the operating of the mill as well as working with John on the farm. The 1905 edition of Kelly’s Directory of Sussex lists Edwin Brown as a miller at High Hurstwood and in a separate entry Hoath and Brown are listed as farmers at High Hurstwood.

On the 17 October 1906 the freehold property of Mill Farm, described as Hurstwood Mill and land, was sold by the trustees of Mrs Foster to James Fitzalan Hope, who incorporated it into his property company, Heron's Ghyll Estates Ltd.[2] So John was now a tenant of Heron's Ghyll Estates, though as John was now 75 years old this was possibly when the tenancy passed to his son-in-law Edwin Brown.

Harriet died on 6 August 1908, at the age of 78, and she was buried in the Churchyard of Holy Trinity in High Hurstwood on 9 August 1908. In the census of 2 April 1911 John was living with the family of his daughter Alice Brown at Mill Farm. Then two years later John died on 31 March 1913, at the age of 81, and he was buried with his wife in the Churchyard of Holy Trinity in High Hurstwood on 6 April 1913. Their grave is marked by an inscribed headstone, which also records the deaths of their grandsons, John Hoath and Charles Brown, in the First World War.

 

 

 

John and Harriet’s eldest child was John Hoath who was born at Rotherfield in Sussex on 3 January 1859, and baptised at the Parish Church of St Denys in Rotherfield on 13 February 1859. In the census of 7 April 1861 John, at the age of 2, was living with his parents at Gravel Hill in Rotherfield. Then in the census of 2 April 1871 John, now aged 12, was working as a farm labourer and living with his parents at Pounsley in Buxted, Sussex.

As he got older John left home to find work. In the census of 3 April 1881 John, at the age of 22, was working as a general labourer and boarding with the family of general labourer Thomas Prince at 98 Goldstone Road in Hove, Sussex. Then in the census of 5 April 1891 John, at the age of 32, was working as a general labourer and excavator, and lodging with the family of foreman on public works John Archer at Harris End in Nether Wyresdale, Lancashire. His younger brother David, who was also a general labourer, was lodging a few doors away at Harris End.

It was in about 1892 that John’s parents moved to Mill Farm in High Hurstwood, Sussex and it is thought that this was when John returned to live with his parents so that he could help his father on the farm.

When he was 36 years old John married 20-year-old Elizabeth Streater at the Parish Church of Holy Trinity in High Hurstwood on 30 November 1895. Elizabeth was the daughter of James and Harriet Streater, she had been born at Fletching in Sussex on 29 March 1875, and baptised at the Parish Church of St Andrew & St Mary the Virgin in Fletching on 2 May 1875, when her father was recorded as being a miller's loader.

John and Elizabeth lived at High Hurstwood where they had four children; the first two born in 1896 and 1900. In the census of 31 March 1901 John and Elizabeth and their two children were living with Elizabeth's parents, James and Harriet Streater, at Stonehouse Cottages in Royal Oak Lane at High Hurstwood, and John was working as a farm labourer. Their third child was born in 1905 and in the census of 2 April 1911 John and Elizabeth were living at Stonehall Cottages with their three children and John was now working as a roadman. Their fourth child was born in 1914 while they were living at Stonehall Cottages, and they were still at Stonehall Cottages when this child, daughter Annie, was confirmed in 1930.

In the National Register of 29 September 1939 John and Elizabeth were living at 3 Stonehall Cottages with their 24-year-old daughter Annie, and John was continuing to work as a roadman. They were still living at Stonehall Cottages when John died at the age of 88, and was buried in the Churchyard of Holy Trinity at High Hurstwood on 2 June 1947. Eight years later Elizabeth was living with her daughter Annie at Cherry Tree Cottage, Gun Lane, Blackboys, Sussex when she died at the age of 79. She was buried with her husband in the Churchyard of Holy Trinity at High Hurstwood on 19 March 1955. An inscribed wooden cross marks their grave, number 466.

 

 

 

John and Elizabeth’s eldest child was John Sydney Hoath who was born at High Hurstwood in Sussex in late 1896 and baptised at the Parish Church of Holy Trinity in High Hurstwood on 3 January 1897. In the census of 31 March 1901 John, at the age of 4, was living with his parents at Stonehouse Cottages in Royal Oak Lane at High Hurstwood, the home of his grandparents James and Harriet Streater. Then in the census of 2 April 1911 John, now aged 14, was still living with his parents at Stonehall Cottages.

John never married, he enlisted in the Army during the First World War as Private 27185 in the 2nd Battalion of the Suffolk Regiment. He was killed in action on 11 May 1917 at the age of 20, when the ‘Brown Line’ trenches of the Monchy Defences, on which his battalion was doing maintenance work, were heavily shelled by the Germans. He is buried in plot 1, row F, grave 38, of the Feuchy Chapel British Cemetery, Wancourt, Pas de Calais, France. He is also commemorated on the War Memorial inside the Parish Church of Holy Trinity at High Hurstwood, and on his grandparent’s grave in the Churchyard of Holy Trinity at High Hurstwood. For his service during the war John was awarded two campaign medals, the Victory Medal and the British War Medal.[3]

 

 

John and Elizabeth’s second child was Jesse Charles Hoath who was born at High Hurstwood in Sussex on 3 April 1900 and baptised at the Parish Church of Holy Trinity in High Hurstwood on 13 May 1900. In the census of 31 March 1901 Jesse, at the age of 1, was living with his parents at Stonehouse Cottages in Royal Oak Lane at High Hurstwood, the home of his grandparents, James and Harriet Streater. Then in the census of 2 April 1911 Jesse, now aged 11, was still living with his parents at Stonehall Cottages and he was going to school.

When he was 30 years old Jesse married 33-year-old Gladys E Moore in Godstone registration district in Surrey during the 4th quarter of 1930. Gladys had been born on 24 March 1897. There were no children from this marriage. In the National Register of 29 September 1939 Jesse and Gladys were living at 373 Limpsfield Road in Warlingham, Surrey, Jesse was a jobbing gardener and handyman, and Gladys did part time daily domestic work. Gladys died at the age of 69, her death being registered in South Eastern Surrey registration district during the 1st quarter of 1967.

Jesse, at the age of 67, then married 51-year-old Eileen Marian Morris in South Eastern Surrey registration district during the 1st quarter of 1968. Eileen had been born on 25 November 1916. Jesse died at the age of 86, his death being registered in Crawley registration district in Sussex during September 1986. Then fourteen years later Eileen died at the age of 83, her death being registered in East Surrey registration district during October 2000.

 

John and Elizabeth’s third child was Alice Harriet Hoath who was born at High Hurstwood in Sussex on 7 March 1905, and baptised at the Parish Church of Holy Trinity in High Hurstwood on 14 May 1905. In the census of 2 April 1911 Alice, at the age of 6, was living with her parents at Stonehall Cottages in Royal Oak Lane at High Hurstwood.

When she was 26 years old Alice married 45-year-old James Skilton in Dorking registration district in Surrey during the 1st quarter of 1932. James was the son of James and Eliza Skilton; he had been born at Holmwood near Dorking in Surrey on 21 December 1886. James and Alice had two children, both daughters, born in South Eastern Surrey registration district in 1939 and 1941. In the National Register of 29 September 1939 James and Alice were living at 35 Vincent Road in Dorking with their young daughter, and James was a general labourer working in the building industry. Four years after the birth of their second child James died at the age of 58, his death being registered in South Eastern Surrey registration district during the 3rd quarter of 1945.

Eighteen years later Alice, at the age of 58, married 78-year-old Sydney Booth in Mid-Eastern Surrey registration district during the 3rd quarter of 1963. Sydney had been born on 11 June 1885. He died at the age of 91, his death being registered in Mid-Eastern Surrey registration district during the 4th quarter of 1976. Nine years later Alice died at the age of 80, her death being registered in Mid-Eastern Surrey registration district during April 1985.

 

John and Elizabeth’s fourth child was Ansley Annie Hoath, known as Annie, who was born at High Hurstwood in Sussex on 21 October 1914, and baptised at the Parish Church of Holy Trinity in High Hurstwood on 20 December 1914. Annie was admitted to High Hurstwood School on 6 April 1920, at the age of 5, and left on 21 December 1928, at the age of 14. In the National Register of 29 September 1939 Annie, at the age of 24, was working as a cook and general daily domestic servant, and living with her parents at 3 Stonehall Cottages in Royal Oak Lane at High Hurstwood.

When she was 26 years old Annie married 28-year-old Stanley John Eade at the Parish Church of Holy Trinity in High Hurstwood on 19 May 1941. Stanley was then a labourer living at Cherry Tree Cottage in Blackboys, Sussex. He was the son of Isacca and Mary Eade and he had been born in Uckfield registration district in Sussex on 7 April 1913. There were no children from Stanley and Annie’s marriage. Annie’s mother was living with them at Cherry Tree Cottage, Gun Road, Blackboys when she died in early 1955. Stanley died at the age of 67, his death being registered in Cuckfield registration district in Sussex during the 3rd quarter of 1980.

Seven years later Annie, at the age of 72, married 76-year-old Robert James Douglas in Uckfield registration district during May 1987. Robert had been born on 15 March 1911. He died just over a year after his marriage to Annie, at the age of 77, his death being registered in Eastbourne registration district in Sussex during June 1988. The electoral register has Annie still living at Cherry Tree Cottage, Gun Road, Blackboys up to 2008.

 

 

John and Harriet’s second child was Jesse Hoath who was born at Rotherfield in Sussex and baptised at the Parish Church of St Denys in Rotherfield on 10 February 1861. In the census of 7 April 1861 Jesse, at the age of 4 months, was living with his parents at Gravel Hill in Rotherfield. Then in the census of 2 April 1871 Jesse, now aged 10, was living with his parents at Pounsley in Buxted, Sussex and he was going to school.

When he was about 22 years old Jesse married Mary Jane Sykes in Sculcoates registration district in Yorkshire during the 1st quarter of 1883. They had six children; the first two were born at Preston in Lancashire in 1885 and 1887, and the next two were born at Patricroft near Eccles in Lancashire in 1890 and 1891. In the census of 5 April 1891 they were living at 246 Peel Green Road in Patricroft with their four children, and Jesse was working as a weaver’s labourer. Their then youngest child died later in 1891. Their fifth child was born at Patricroft near Eccles in Lancashire in 1893 and their sixth child was born at Barton upon Irwell in Lancashire in 1900. Mary died at the age of 39, probably as a result of giving birth to her sixth child, her death being registered in Barton upon Irwell registration district in Lancashire during the 2nd quarter of 1900.

Jesse, at the age of 39, then married Eleanor Hunt in Barton upon Irwell registration district during the 3rd quarter of 1900, and they had one child born in early 1901. In the census of 31 March 1901 they were living at 4 Chapel Place in Barton near Eccles with their young child and Jesse’s five surviving children from his first marriage. Jesse was now general foreman at the canal works. Jesse died at the age of 46, his death being registered in Barton upon Irwell registration district during the 3rd quarter of 1907. Seventeen years later Eleanor married Joseph E Burgess in Barton upon Irwell registration district during the 4th quarter of 1924.

 

John and Harriet’s third child was David Hoath who was born at Paddock Wood in Kent, and whose birth was registered during 3rd quarter of 1863. In the census of 2 April 1871 David, at the age of 7, was living with his parents at Pounsley in Buxted, Sussex and he was going to school. In the census of 5 April 1891 David, at the age of 27, was working as a general labourer and lodging with the family of general labourer Arthur Degance at Harris End, Nether Wyresdale, Lancashire. His elder brother John, who was also a general labourer, was lodging a few doors away at Harris End.

When he was about 30 years old David married 24-year-old Mary Jane Helmn in Preston registration district in Lancashire during the 3rd quarter of 1893. Mary was the daughter of Robert and Mary Ann Helmn; she had been born at Preston in Lancashire and her birth registered during the 1st quarter of 1869. David and Mary had three children born at Patricroft near Eccles in Lancashire in 1895, 1897 and 1899. In the census of 31 March 1901 they were living at 61 Park Street in Patricroft with their two youngest children, and David was working as a navvy. There eldest child was staying with Mary parents. Mary was described in this census as being deaf. Their son Robert died in mid-1902 at the age of 5, and then later that year Mary died at the age of 33, her death being registered in Barton upon Irwell registration district in Lancashire during the 4th quarter of 1902.

Five years later David, at the age of 43, married Ellen Smethurst, who was about 55, in Barton upon Irwell in Lancashire during the 2nd quarter of 1907. In the census of 2 April 1911 they were living at 8 George Street, Fiddlers Lane, Irlam, Lancashire with David’s youngest son and David was working as a general labourer. Ellen died at the age of 64, her death being registered in Barton upon Irwell registration district during the 1st quarter of 1917. Twenty years later David died at the age of 74, his death being registered in Barton upon Irwell registration district during the 4th quarter of 1937.

 

John and Harriet’s fourth child was Ansley Harriett Hoath who was born at Rotherfield in Sussex on 20 October 1865, and baptised at the Parish Church of St Denys in Rotherfield on 10 December 1865. In the census of 2 April 1871 Ansley, at the age of 5, was living with her parents at Pounsley in Buxted, Sussex, and she was going to school. Then in the census of 3 April 1881 Ansley, now aged 15, was a live-in general servant to the family of farmer John Baldwin at Biseden Farm in the Tidebrook area of Wadhurst, Sussex.

When she was 20 years old Ansley married 28-year-old George Edward Ralph in Tonbridge registration district in Kent during the 2nd quarter of 1886. George’s birth had been registered in Tonbridge registration district during the 3rd quarter of 1857. George and Ansley had ten children; the first was born at Rotherfield in 1887, and the second at Rusthall near Tunbridge Wells in Kent in 1889. In the census of 5 April 1891 they were living at 8 Second Street in Rusthall with their two children; George was working as a plasterer’s labourer, and Ansley was a seamstress. Their next four children were born at Tunbridge Wells between 1891 and 1900. In the census of 31 March 1901 they were living at the Grape Vine in Gladstone Road, Tunbridge Wells with their five youngest children, and George was now a general labourer. Their last four children were born at Tunbridge Wells between 1903 and early 1911, the last of whom died soon after birth. In the census of 2 April 1911 they were living at 27 Salisbury Road in Rusthall with five of their children; George was still working as a general labourer and Ansley was now working at home as a tailor’s sowing machinist.

George died at the age of 59 (not 60 as given on his death certificate), his death being registered in Tonbridge registration district during the 1st quarter of 1917. In the National Register of 29 September 1939 Ansley was living with the family of her daughter Daisy Warner at 27 Salisbury Road in Rusthall. Then thirty-eight years after the death of her husband Ansley died at the age of 89, her death being registered in Tonbridge registration district during the 3rd quarter of 1955.

 

John and Harriet’s fifth child was Ellen Hoath who was born at Buxted in Sussex on 8 December 1867, and baptised at the Parish Church of St Mark the Evangelist in Hadlow Down, Sussex on 9 February 1868. In the census of 2 April 1871 Ellen, at the age of 3, was living with her parents at Pounsley in Buxted. Then in the census of 3 April 1881 Ellen, now aged 13, was living with her parents at Little Ease Farm in Rotherfield, Sussex, and she was going to school.

When she was 20 years old Ellen married 21-year-old William Luxford at the Parish Church of St Denys in Rotherfield on 4 February 1888. William was then a miller from Hartfield. He was the son of Charles and Elizabeth Luxford; he had been born at Rotherfield on 11 May 1866, and baptised at the Parish Church of St Margaret the Queen in Buxted, Sussex on 22 July 1866.

William and Ellen first lived at Hartfield where their first two children were born in 1889 and 1890, the second of whom died soon after birth. In the census of 5 April 1891 they were living at Newtons Terrace in Hartfield with their then surviving child, and William was working as a miller. Later they moved to Wateringbury in Kent where their other three children were born in 1899, 1902 and 1903. In the census of 31 March 1901 they were living in Bow Road at Wateringbury, with their then two surviving children and William was working as a corn miller. Then in the census of 2 April 1911 they were living at Elmhurst in Hurst Green, Surrey with their four surviving children and their son’s wife and young child. William was now working as a boiler stoker at a sanitary laundry. In the National Register of 29 September 1939 William and Ellen were continuing to live at Elmhurst, now with just their daughter Florence, and William was retired.

William died at the age of 81, his death being registered in South Eastern Surrey registration district during the 2nd quarter of 1948. Six years later Ellen died at the age of 86 (not 87 as given on her death certificate), her death being registered in South Eastern Surrey registration district during the 4th quarter of 1954.

See the section on William Luxford in the 'SMITH family of OLD HALL COTTAGE' for details of William & Ellen's children.

 

John and Harriet’s sixth child was James Hoath who was born at Buxted in Sussex and baptised at the Parish Church of St Mark the Evangelist in Hadlow Down, Sussex on 17 April 1870. In the census of 2 April 1871 James, at the age of 1, was living with his parents at Pounsley in Buxted. Then in the census of 3 April 1881 James, now aged 11, was living with his parents at Little Ease Farm in Rotherfield, Sussex, and he was going to school.

In the census of 5 April 1891 James, now aged 21, was a live-in assistant miller to William Bingham, a miller and corn dealer, at Oriental Place, South View Road, Crowborough, Sussex. James worked both of Bingham’s mills, the Post Mill at Crowborough Beacon and a Steam Mill at South View in Crowborough, thus gaining experience of both wind and steam driven mills.[4]

After his parents moved to Mill Farm at High Hurstwood in Sussex, in about 1892, James went back to live with them and operate the water mill while his father farmed the land. In the census of 31 March 1901 James, at the age of 31, was living with his parents at Mill Farm and he was a miller working on his own account. James never married, he died on 11 April 1902 at the age of 32, and was buried in the Churchyard of Holy Trinity in High Hurstwood on 16 April 1902. An inscribed headstone marks his grave, which also contains his brother Alfred.

 

 

John and Harriet’s seventh child was Alfred Ernest Hoath who was born at Rotherfield in Sussex on 31 December 1872, and baptised at the Parish Church of St Denys in Rotherfield on 9 February 1873. In the census of 3 April 1881 Alfred, at the age of 8, was living with his parents at Little Ease Farm in Rotherfield, and he was recorded as having been dumb since birth. Then in the census of 5 April 1891 Alfred, now aged 18, was living with his parents at New Barn Farm near the Crow and Gate public house in High Hurstwood Parish, Sussex, and he was now working as a farm labourer. In the census of 31 March 1901 Alfred, at the age of 28, was living with his parents at Mill Farm in High Hurstwood and he was described as being an imbecile.

Alfred’s mother died in 1908 and in the census of 2 April 1911 Alfred, at the age of 38, was, together with his widowed father, living with the family of his sister Alice Brown at Mill Farm, and he was described as being an imbecile from birth. Alfred never married, he died on 21 September 1920, at the age of 47 (not 48 as given on his gravestone and burial record), and he was buried with his brother James in the Churchyard of Holy Trinity in High Hurstwood on 25 September 1920. An inscribed headstone marks their grave.

 

John and Harriet’s eighth child was Alice Jane Hoath who was born at Rotherfield in Sussex on 19 April 1874, and baptised at the Parish Church of St Denys in Rotherfield on 14 June 1874. In the census of 3 April 1881 Alice, at the age of 6, was living with her parents at Little Ease Farm in Rotherfield, and she was going to school. Then in the census of 5 April 1891 Alice, now aged 16, was living with her parents at New Barn Farm near the Crow and Gate public house in High Hurstwood Parish, Sussex.

When she was 18 years old Alice married 27-year-old farm labourer Edwin Brown, who had been boarding with Alice and her parents at the time of the 1891 census, at the Parish Church of Holy Trinity in High Hurstwood on 27 August 1892. Edwin was the son of farm labourer Stephen Brown and his wife Caroline; he had been born at High Hurstwood in Buxted Parish on 6 November 1864, and baptised at the Parish Church of St Margaret the Queen in Buxted on 11 December 1864.

After their marriage Edwin and Alice lived with Alice’s parents, and it had been just before their marriage that they had moved with them to Mill Farm in High Hurstwood where Edwin worked the farm with Alice’s father. They had five children born at High Hurstwood between 1895 and 1909.

In the census of 31 April 1901 they were living with Alice’s parents at Mill Farm, and their then two children were living with them. Alice’s brother James, who had been operating the water mill, died in 1902 and Edwin then took over the operation of the mill as well as working the farm with his father-in-law. The 1905 edition of Kelly’s Directory of Sussex listed Edwin Brown as a miller at High Hurstwood and in a separate entry Hoath and Brown are listed as farmers at High Hurstwood, then the 1909 edition just lists Edwin Brown as a miller at High Hurstwood.

It was possibly on 17 October 1906 when the ownership of Mill Farm passed from the trustees of Mrs Foster to James Fitzalan Hope, who incorporated it into his property company, Heron's Ghyll Estates Ltd, that the tenancy of Mill Farm passed to Edwin from his father-in-law John Hoath, who was then 75 years old.

Alice’s mother had died in 1908 and in the census of 2 April 1911 Edwin and Alice, together with their five children were living at Mill Farm; Edwin was working on his own account as a farmer and miller, and they had Alice’s widowed father and imbecile brother Alfred living with them. Alice’s father died in 1913; then their son Charles was killed in 1918 serving in the First World War, and Alice’s brother Alfred died in 1920.

The 1911, 1913 and 1915 editions of Kelly’s Directory of Sussex all list Edwin Brown as a miller at High Hurstwood, then the 1918 edition has Edwin Brown as a miller (water) and farmer at High Hurstwood.

The 1930 and 1938 editions of Kelly’s Directory of Sussex both have Edwin Brown as a farmer at High Hurstwood. And in an article on High Hurstwood in the 22 January 1938 edition of the Southern Weekly News Edwin states that he had then been at Mill Farm for 45 years and that it was 15 years ago [about 1922] that he gave up milling when the mill machinery broke down and was not repaired. He then continued as a farmer working 50 to 60 acres.

 

 

In the National Register of 29 September 1939, 74-year-old farmer Edwin Brown and his 65-year-old wife Alice were living at Mill Farm with their two bachelor sons, 44-year-old Edwin Brown, who was a farm carter assisting his father, and 30-year-old Jim Brown, who was a cowman and part-time postman. There were also three other occupants whose records are blanked out and are thought to be three evacuee children that belonged to the school that had recently been evacuated from London with its teachers and was sharing High Hurstwood School with the local school children.

On 3 April 1949 Edwin and his son Jim purchased an acre of land from Elaine Rowena Judith Fenner, widow of Cecil Fenner and owner of Forge Farm that was on the southern boundary of Mill Farm. This was land that had been part of the Common or Waste of the Manor of Framfield plus a very small section of Mill Mead field; it fronted onto Chillies Lane about 200 yards south of Mill House. On this land they built a house that they called Hoathley and it was in 1950 that Edwin, at the age of 85, retired and the family moved from Mill Farm to Hoathley. The 11 August 1950 edition of the Kent & Sussex Courier carried the notice that the live and dead farming stock of Messrs Brown & Son would be auctioned at Mill Farm on 30 September 1950. This all coincides with James Fitzalan Hope dying on 14 February 1949 and his Heron's Ghyll Estates, including Mill Farm, being sold to Metropolitan Railway Country Estates on 5 January 1950, who then sold Mill Farm to Stanley Heywood Smalley and Kenneth Embden Archer on 12 October 1950.

Edwin and Alice lived at Hoathley where they celebrated their Diamond Wedding Anniversary on 27 August 1952. Alice died at the age of 79, and was buried in the Churchyard of Holy Trinity in High Hurstwood on 7 May 1953. Then two years later Edwin was still living at Hoathley when he died at the age of 90, and was buried in the Churchyard of Holy Trinity in High Hurstwood on 8 February 1955.

 

 

 

Edwin and Alice’s eldest child was Edwin Jesse Brown, known as Jesse, who was born at High Hurstwood in Sussex on 3 April 1895 and baptised at the Parish Church of Holy Trinity in High Hurstwood on 19 May 1895. In the census of 31 March 1901 Jesse, at the age of 5, was living with his parents at Mill Farm in High Hurstwood, the home of his grandparents John and Harriet Hoath. Then in the census of 2 April 1911 Jesse, now aged 15, was living with his parents at Mill Farm and he was going to school. In the National Register of 29 September 1939 Edwin, at the age of 44, was living with his parents at Mill Farm and working as a farm carter assisting his father. Jesse never married, he died at the age of 76, his death being registered in Lewes registration district in Sussex during the 2nd quarter of 1971.

 

Edwin and Alice’s second child was Charles Ernest Edward Brown who was born at High Hurstwood in Sussex and baptised at the Parish Church of Holy Trinity in High Hurstwood on 21 May 1899. In the census of 31 March 1901 Charles, at the age of 1, was living with his parents at Mill Farm in High Hurstwood, the home of his grandparents John and Harriet Hoath. Then in the census of 2 April 1911 Charles, now aged 11, was living with his parents at Mill Farm and he was going to school.

After leaving school Charles worked for the Hon. H B Portman in the gardens at Buxted Park. Then as soon as he became 18, during the First World War, Charles enlisted in the Huntingdonshire Cyclists and was sent to France on 18 April 1918. In France he was transferred to the 1st/5th Battalion The King’s (Liverpool Regiment) as Rifleman 99400. He was wounded and gassed on 8 June, but was not returned to England, remaining in France where he recovered. In August he was back in the front line, where on 21 October he received wounds from which he died the following day, 22 October 1918, at the age of 19. He is buried in plot 5, row G, grave 14, of the Estaires Communal Cemetery Extension, Nord, France. Estaires is about 11km west of Armentieres. He is also commemorated on the War Memorial inside the Parish Church of Holy Trinity in High Hurstwood, and on his grandparent’s grave in the Churchyard of Holy Trinity in High Hurstwood. For his service during the war Charles was awarded two campaign medals, the Victory Medal and the British War Medal.[5]

 

 

Edwin and Alice’s third child was Rose Alice Brown who was born at High Hurstwood in Sussex on 24 February 1902, and baptised at the Parish Church of Holy Trinity in High Hurstwood on 11 May 1902. In the census of 2 April 1911 Rose, at the age of 8, was living with her parents at Mill Farm in High Hurstwood and she was going to school.

When she was 23 years old Rose married 23-year-old Ernest Edward Curd in Uckfield registration district in Sussex during the 1st quarter of 1926. Ernest was the son of Thomas and Elizabeth Curd; he had been born at Buxted in Sussex on 27 July 1902. He was the brother of the Archie Stanley Curd who married Rose’s sister Emily. In the National Register of 29 September 1939 Ernest and Rose were living at 15 Vernon Road in Uckfield and; Ernest was working as a motor mechanic. Living with them was 14-year-old schoolboy Dennis Bryant and there are two closed records that are probably other children.

Ernest died at the age of 56, his death being registered in Brighton registration district in Sussex during the 3rd quarter of 1958. Ten years later Rose died at the age of 66, her death being registered in Cuckfield registration district in Sussex during the 2nd quarter of 1968.

 

Edwin and Alice’s fourth child was Emily Annie Brown who was born at High Hurstwood in Sussex on 24 June 1905, and baptised at the Parish Church of Holy Trinity in High Hurstwood on 13 August 1905. In the census of 2 April 1911 Emily, at the age of 5, was living with her parents at Mill Farm in High Hurstwood and she was going to school.

When she was 21 years old Emily married 23-year-old Archie Stanley Curd in Uckfield registration district in Sussex during the 3rd quarter of 1926. Archie was the son of Thomas and Elizabeth Curd and he had been born at Buxted in Sussex on 1 September 1903. He was the brother of the Ernest Edward Curd who married Emily’s sister Rose. In the National Register of 29 September 1939 Archie and Emily were living at 1 Chestnut Cottages in Uckfield High Street; Archie was a road labourer for East Sussex County Council, and there is one closed record that is probably their child.

Emily died at the age of 45, her death being registered in Uckfield registration district in Sussex during the 1st quarter of 1951. Thirty-seven years later Archie died at the age of 85, his death being registered in Uckfield registration district during the 3rd quarter of 1988.

 

Edwin and Alice’s fifth child was James John Brown, known as Jim, who was born at Mill Farm in High Hurstwood, Sussex on 2 July 1909, and baptised at the Parish Church of Holy Trinity in High Hurstwood on 22 August 1909. In the census of 2 April 1911 Jim, at the age of 1, was living with his parents at Mill Farm in High Hurstwood. Jim was admitted to High Hurstwood School on 6 July 1914 at the age of 5, and left on 17 August 1923 at the age of 14.

 

 

Jim then helped his father on their farm as well as for many years being the postman at High Hurstwood doing the rounds on his bicycle before later transferring to Uckfield. In the National Register of 29 September 1939 Jim, at the age of 30, was living with his parents at Mill Farm and working as a cowman and part-time postman. Jim was an enthusiastic supporter of Holy Trinity Church, being a member of the Parochial Church Council from 1930 and then in 1952 becoming the People's Churchwarden, a position he held until his death 15 years later.

When he was 46 years old Jim married 48-year-old Mary Cecilia Baker at the Parish Church of Holy Trinity in High Hurstwood on 9 June 1956. Mary was the daughter of Samuel and Jane Baker and she had been born at Tottenham in London on 26 December 1907. There were no children from this marriage as Mary was too old. They lived at Hoathley in in Chillies Lane at High Hurstwood. Mary shared Jim's love of Holy Trinity Church and after their marriage also became a member of the Parochial Church Council.

Jim died on 26 November 1967 in St Mary’s Hospital at Eastbourne, Sussex after an operation, at the age of 58, and he was buried in the Churchyard of Holy Trinity at High Hurstwood on 2 December 1967. Jim had for many years been the Honorary Secretary and Treasurer of the Parish Magazine and after his death Mary filled these positions for several years, as well as, for a time, being the magazine editor. Mary continued to live at Hoathley where for a number of years she held Bible Classes, then thirty-five years after Jim’s death Mary died at the age of 94, her death being registered in Uckfield registration district during August 2002.

 

 


[1] Their son-in-law, Edwin Brown, who lived with them, stated in an article on High Hurstwood in the Southern Weekly News of 22 January 1938 that he had been at Mill Farm for 45 years, i.e. from 1892.

[2] ESRO: BMW A/14/3/42 Strutt & Parker Purchase Book B &

      ESRO: BMW A/1/17/57 Strutt & Parker Valuation Books, first series, volume 17.

[3] TNA: WO 372/9 First World War Medal Card for John S Hoath.

[4] Science Museum Library: Simmons Collection of records relating to British Windmills & Watermills.

[5] TNA: WO 372/3 First World War Medal Card for Charles E E Brown.

 

Copyright © Derek Miller 2014-2016

Last updated 10 August 2016

 

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