Bexhill People

A. G. Moore (Bexhill Fishing Station)

The following is the story of the man and the fishing industry he founded, in Bexhill, in the early 1900s. It closed in the 1950s purely because there was no one willing to carry on the business. Over the years that followed, the fact that this business had ever existed was forgotten until a descendant …

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Alex Sanders 1926 – 1988

King of the Witches. Alex Sanders was born in Lancashire and was initiated into witchcraft by his grandmother at the age of 7 and marked with a magical symbol by Aleister Crowley at the age of 10. Alex Sanders was credited with the leadership of 107 covens worldwide. The local coven used to hold meetings …

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Annie Brassey 1839 – 1887

Traveller, Collector and Writer. Annie Brassey was the only child of John Allnutt a wealthy London wine merchant and jockey. In 1860 she married Thomas Brassey junior, son of Thomas Brassey, the famous Victorian railway contractor. Annie and Tom Brassey travelled around the world on their steam yacht the Sunbeam. Annie wrote about their adventures …

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Arabella Sackville, Duchess of Dorset

Arabella Diana was the daughter of Sir Charles Cope, Bart. and in 1790 was married to John Frederick Sackville, 3rd Duke of Dorset. They had three children: Lady Mary Sackville (1792 – 1869); George John Frederick Sackville, styled Lord Middlesex, (1793 – 1815); and Lady Elizabeth Sackville (1795 – 1870). On the death of her …

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Arthur Sawyer Brook 1811 – 1890

Arthur Sawyer Brook, ‘Squire’. 1811 – 1890. Land-Owning Farmer.  “Arch-Tory, and sometime king of Bexhill”. The Brook family moved to Bexhill from West Hoathly in the 1750s. Arthur Sawyer Brook’s grandfather built Brook House, now renamed ‘The Grange’, located in the Old Town at the top of Sea Road. By 1755 he was farming some …

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August Neven Du Mont 1867 – 1909

August Neven Du Mont (born August Ludwig Mathaeus Neven du Mont) was a German painter, a Master of Foxhounds for East Sussex and an aristocrat. While he was very famous, successful, and popular during his lifetime, he went to being an, almost, unknown after his early death in 1909. He was the son of the …

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Baron von Ompteda 1765 – 1815

Colonel Christian, Baron von Ompteda, Brigade Commander. Four Line Battalions of the K.G.L. On disbandment of the Hanoverian Army in July 1803, following the Convention of Artlenberg, Ompteda joined his friend Charles von Alten in England in the October to reconstitute Hanoverian forces here. On the 5th November, 1803 Ompteda’s former Foot Guards became the …

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Christabel Goodwin 1884 – 1971

Christabel Goodwin was the youngest daughter of the artist Albert Goodwin (1845-1932) and his second wife, Alice. Albert Goodwin was born at Maidstone in Kent in 1845, one of a large family consisting of nine brothers and sisters. He studied under the guiding hands of Pre-Raphaelite artists Arthur Hughes and Ford Maddox Brown. His work …

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Desmond Llewelyn ‘Q’ 1914 – 1999

Desmond Llewelyn. ‘Q’. 1914 -1999. Although he is most famous for his 17 appearances in the Bond films starting with From Russia with Love in 1963 and ending with The World is not Enough in 1999, his other films include A Night to Remember, Cleopatra and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. His career after RADA started …

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Dr Thomas Pye died 1609

Rector of St. Peter’s Church from 1589-1609. Dr Pye was born at Darleston in Staffordshire and educated at Merton College Oxford. He became rector of Bexhill parish in 1589 aged 28 years. He restored the Chantry Chapel in St. Peter’s Church and opened it as a ‘schole house’ in 1597 and so founded Bexhill’s first …

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Ebenezer Warburton 1845 – 1929

Ebenezer Warburton, founder of Bexhill’s longest surviving business, was born in 1845 in the County of Bedfordshire. He was apprenticed to Mr Heaver of Hempstead mill near Uckfield and married the miller’s daughter, Harriet, in 1870. They had eight sons, two dying in infancy, and three daughters. Ebenezer eventually ran the Hempstead Mill and also …

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Eddie Izzard 1962 – Present

Eddie was born in Aden in 1962. His association with Bexhill came through his father, grandparents, great grandparents, etc., who all lived in Sidley. He visited Sidley as a baby in 1962 and lived there for a year in 1963/64 until moving to Bangor, Northern Ireland. He spent about six months in Sidley in 1965 …

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Edna May (May Pettie) 1878 – 1948

Born May Pettie on 2 September 1878 in Syracuse, New York State, she embarked on a stage career, adopting the ‘stage’ name of Edna May. She was a classical beauty and the most famous American ‘musical’ artiste of her day. She conquered London in 1898 with a record run of 697 appearances as Violet Gray …

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Edward Shoesmith 1803 – 1889

One of the eight smugglers captured during the famous Battle of Sidley Green in 1828. They were Spencer Whiteman, Thomas Miller, Henry Miller, John Spray, Edward Shoesmith, William Bennett, John Ford and Stephen Stubberfield. Edward Shoesmith died at the age of 86 in New South Wales, Australia, where he had been transported for smuggling. The …

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Erich Mendelsohn 1887 – 1953

Erich Mendelsohn was born on the 21 March, 1887 in Allenstein, East Prussia (now in Poland). He studied architecture in Berlin and Munich and in 1915 married Louiser Maas. He opened a studio in Berlin after the First World War. In 1921 he lost the sight of one eye, the result of a tumour. In …

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Frank Nichols 1920 – 1997

Frank Nichols was born in Bexhill in 1920. In the late 1940s he opened a small garage in Pevensey with his savings and army gratuity. Subsequently he moved the business into Bexhill at the London Road Garage where the first Elva -“Elle va” French for she goes – car appeared in 1955. Some 20 to …

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George Gillham 1773 – 1831

Leader of the Little Common Smugglers. Thomas Gillham moved to Little Common from Marden in Kent in the second half of the 18th century and married Elizabeth Smith in 1768 at St. Peter’s Church. Later generations of the Gillhams were builders by day and smugglers by night. George Gillham was leader of the Little Common …

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George Herbert Gray d.1929

Mayor of Bexhill 1918 – 1919. George Herbert Gray was for some 30 years, from the 1890s, the Agent for the De La Warr Estate and as such was much involved in the creation of Bexhill-on-Sea. He was responsible for laying out Dorset, Magdalen and Manor roads. He was the architect for St. George’s Presbyterian …

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Henry Sargent 1891 – 1983

Curator of Bexhill Museum. Henry Sargent was the Curator of Bexhill Museum for 63 years. He died in Bexhill Hospital on the 12 December 1983 at the age of 93. Born in 1891 in Hastings, he obtained a bursary to the Hastings School of Art. His special interests were Natural History and Photography. His first …

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Jimmy (James) Glover 1861 – 1931

Manager of the Kursaal. Born James Mackey in Dublin 18th June 1861, he adopted the surname of his grandfather Professor J.W. Glover, a composer and editor of Moore’s ‘Irish Melodies’. As a boy soprano he assisted his grandfather in his lectures on ‘Ancient Irish Music’ and also became deputy organist at Dublin Cathedral. His grandfather …

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John Lambert Walker 1821 – 1903

City Business Man. John Lambert Walker was born in 1821 in London. He left school at the age of 15 and through personal endeavour became a very successful and well travelled City business man. His wife died young leaving seven children. He purchased Woodgate Park estate in 1874 and moved to Bexhill the following year. …

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John Logie Baird 1888 – 1946

[button link=”https://bexhillmac.co.uk/”]Back to Home[/button] John Logie Baird was born in Helensburgh, Scotland in 1888. He was plagued by poor health throughout his life but had a keen and inventive mind. His studies at Glasgow University were cut short by the First World War but his weak chest made him unfit for military service so that …

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John William Webb 1840 – 1922

“The Builder of Bexhill”. A builder by trade, John William Webb, or Johnny Webb as he was affectionately known, owned a thriving business at Brockley in South London. His connection with the town lasted some 40 years. As the caption to his obituary indicated, he was for the greater part “the maker of Bexhill” as …

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Joyce Alexander 1891 – 1982

Alderman Mrs Joyce Oliver Alexander, MBE. 1891 – 1982. Town Councillor. Mrs Alexander moved to Bexhill with her husband Captain D F Alexander in 1939. At the outbreak of war later that year she began her long career in the town’s public life. She joined the Women’s Voluntary Service (WVS) and was largely responsible for …

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Kate Marsden F.R.G.S. 1859 – 1932

Kate Marsden was born in Edmonton, North London, on 13th May 1859; she was the 8th and youngest child of a London solicitor, Joseph Daniel Marsden, born in London in 1814, and his wife, Sophia Matilda, née Wellsted, born 1822 in Marylebone, Middlesex. Kate was one of only three who survived death from tuberculosis. Alter …

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King Offa of Mercia 757 – 796

The Bexhill Charter of 772AD The Anglo-Saxons were eventually conquered by King Offa of Mercia who made a grant of 8 hides (approximately 500 acres) to Bishop Oswald of Selsey with instructions to build a church at the existing manor of Bixlea – the Charter was dated 17th August 772AD. A Saxon village, seen today …

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Leonard J. Bartley 1910 – 1975

Editor of Bexhill-on-Sea Observer and Author. Leonard Bartley was born in St Leonards-on-Sea in July 1910. His father was a chief mechanic to a dental practice. After being educated in Kent, he started his career in journalism in 1927 in Northamptonshire. During the Second World War he served in the Royal Engineers and the Royal …

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Lt. Col. Henry Lane 1827 – 1896

Lt. Col. Henry Lane. 1827 – 1896. ‘father of local government’ in Bexhill. He retired with the rank of Lt. Colonel at the age of 38 years on the death of his father, killed in a road accident at Ninfield in 1865. He took up residence at the family home at Broadoak Manor (which exists …

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Mariana Alice Browning 1844 – 1910

Founder of the Beehive School. The Beehive School was founded by Miss Mariana Alice Browning, sister of Oscar Browning, a Cambridge don and a master at Eton. She started the school in Windsor in 1876 with eight boarding girls. It has been said that it was founded to accommodate the sisters of boys attending Eton. …

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Marie Brassey 1875 – 1960

Marie Adelaide Brassey (Freeman-Thomas). 1875 – 1960. 1st Marchioness of Willingdon. Marie Adelaide, youngest daughter of Thomas Brassey (cr. 1886 1st Baron, later Earl) and Annie Brassey, was born in 1875. The family’s adventures on their steam-yacht Sunbeam were recorded by Lady Brassey in a number of books. Marie as the youngest child was usually …

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Max Faulkner 1916 – 2005

Max Faulkner. born 1916. British Golfer. Max Faulkner was born in Bexhill on the 29th July 1916. His father, also a golfer, taught his son the game at the old Bexhill Golf Course which extended from De La Warr Road to the East Parade to Galley Hill and had been built on the De La …

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Minnie Pallister 1885-1960

Born in 1885, in Kilkhampton, Cornwall, Minnie’s early years involved regular moves as her Wesleyan Minister father, William, travelled the country with his wife Rose and family. At 16 Minnie was in Haverfordwest where she was educated at Tasker’s High School for Girls, where she took her London Matriculation (1st class). She went to Cardiff …

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Muriel Brassey 1872 – 1930

Muriel Brassey (Sackville). 1872-1930. Lady De La Warr. Daughter of Annie Lady Brassey and Sir Thomas Brassey. Muriel accompanied the rest of her family on their famous voyages on the steam yacht Sunbeam and in Annie Brassey’s books was usually referred to by her nick-name ‘Munie’. In 1891 Muriel married Viscount Cantelupe, who in 1896 …

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Reginald Arthur Larkin 1897 – 1985

Founder of R. A. Larkin & Bros. Ltd. When R. (Reg) A. Larkin first came to Bexhill in the early post-first world war period, he started sub-contracting in Knebworth Road. Conditions on the site were shocking and there was no organisation. He knew that during bad weather men were unemployed for many months at a …

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Robert Count of Eu 1026 – 1089

Lord of the Rape of Hastings. Following the conquest, Sussex was divided into six rapes. William granted his cousin, Robert, Count of Eu, the Rape of Hastings, which included the Bexhill Hundred consisting of 60 hides (1,200 acres and Church land). The adjoining Rape of Pevensey was granted to his half-brother Robert, Earl of Mortain. …

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Saint Richard 1197 – 1253

Bishop of Chichester. Richard was born at Droitwich in 1197. On the death of his parents the family farm was neglected by those who held it in trust, which necessitated Richard interrupting his education to help save the farm and property. Richard resumed his studies at Oxford then in Paris and Bologna. In 1235 he …

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Saint Wilfred, Bishop of York 633 – 709

Bishop of York. Wilfred, born in Northumbria in 633AD., was educated at Lindisfarne, northern centre of Irish culture and learning. He furthered his studies in Rome and took the tonsure in Lyons where he spent three years. On his return to England, at the invitation of King Alcfrith, he became Abbot of Ripon where he …

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Samuel Ockenden 1807 – 1895

Samuel Ockenden (2nd) was born in the Gunn Inn which lay on the west side of Bexhill Down. His father, Samuel (1st), who married Jane Mitten, ran the inn which must have seen much activity at the time when the King’s German Legion was stationed in Bexhill. Their artillery was based on the Down. He …

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Samuel Scrivens 1816 – 1898

Samuel Scrivens is remembered for his land holdings in Bexhill. These holdings passed to him from his wife’s family. Thomas and Joshua Moorman were Iron Founders and Saw Makers of Old Street, London. Ann Moorman was married to Samuel Scrivens and after the death of the Moorman brothers their property, which covered a large acreage, …

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Sec. Lieut. & Alderman E.W.C. Bowrey

E.W.C. Bowrey. Mayor of Bexhill 1923/24 and 1944/46. Mr L. J. Bartley in his book The Story of Bexhill tells us that Mr Bowrey retired to Bexhill from business in India. We find Bowrey Place located off Hillside Road (off London Road – a few yards from King Offa crossroads) bearing his name in Bexhill. …

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Sir Edward Malet 1837 – 1908

Diplomat and Owner of Wrestwood Estate. Born on 10 October 1837, Sir Edward was a direct descendant of a close companion of William the Conqueror. It was therefore a noteworthy coincidence that he chose to domicile himself in Bexhill later in life. He married Lady Ermyntrude Sackville Russell, daughter of the 9th Duke of Bedford. …

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Sir Thomas Brassey 1836 – 1918

Politician & Mayor of Bexhill. Thomas Brassey was the eldest son of Thomas Brassey the railway contractor, who was said to be worth five million pounds when he died in 1870. Thomas Brassey was born at Stafford in 1836, educated at Rugby School and University College, Oxford. In 1860 he married Annie Allnutt daughter of …

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Sir Thomas Sackville 1536 – 1608

The first Baron Buckhurst and first Earl of Dorset. Sir Thomas Sackville, son of Richard, was born in 1536 and died on the 19th April 1608. Queen Elizabeth I in 1566 granted him the great estate of Knole near Sevenoaks in Kent, in 1567 created him 1st Baron Buckhurst and in 1570 granted him the …

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Spike Milligan 1919 – 2002

Bexhill was very empty when I was there – I was the only one there Spike Milligan was born at Ahmednagar in India where his father was serving as a gunner in the army, as had his grandfather and great-grandfather. The family came to England in 1934 and prior to the start of World War …

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The 7th Earl De La Warr 1817 – 1896

Reginald Windsor Sackville. 1817 – 1896. 7th Earl De La Warr. Reginald Windsor Sackville, third son of the 5th Earl De La Warr and Elizabeth, daughter of the 3rd Duke of Dorset, was born in London on the 21 February 1817. Educated at Balliol College, Oxford (BA 1838 and MA 1840). He entered the Church …

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The 8th Earl De La Warr 1869 – 1915

Gilbert George Reginald Sackville. Viscount Cantelupe / 8th Earl De La Warr. Gilbert Sackville was born on the 22nd of March 1869. He was second in line to the earldom but his elder brother died in a sailing accident in 1890 leaving Gilbert as the heir and with the title Viscount Cantelupe. In 1891 Gilbert …

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8th Earl of De La Warr

The 9th Earl De La Warr 1900 – 1976

Herbrand Edward Dundonald Brassey Sackville. Son of the 8th Earl De La Warr and Countess Muriel Agnes, second daughter of the 1st Earl Brassey, was born on the 20 June, 1900. He succeeded his father, Gilbert George Reginald Sackville, as 9th Earl De La Warr at the age of 15. After Eton he served in …

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The Maharajah of Cooch Behar

Maharajah of Cooch Behar There are many local myths regarding the Maharajah of Cooch Behar, the most popular being that he built Marina Court Avenue on the seafront, as a seraglio for his harem – which is not true. The oriental style of many of the buildings on the seafront was simply an expression of …

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William the Conqueror 1027 – 1087

William the Conqueror. 1027 – 1087. King of England and Duke of Normandy. He defeated King Harold on the 14th October, 1066 at the Battle of Hastings and was crowned King of England in Westminster Abbey on the 25th December, 1066. In 1085, William ordered the Domesday Survey of England. The knights in William’s army …

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