The Auldjo family: winter visitors to Marina and Warrior Square

The Hastings and St Leonards Observer contains a vast amount of information on visitors to St Leonards, usually cited as “Arrivals” or “Fashionable intelligence.”

The newspaper, with many others, can be searched online for a specific address, either on the British Newspaper Archive or, using the same data, on the Find My Past database, both priced. By combining those words with a surname, evidence is shown of say one family leaving and another arriving the next week. With common surnames it is usually impossible to trace the family as a home address is only occasionally given.

Another strategy is to search for an unusual surname. Take the name of Auldjo. Captain John Auldjo’s family appears to have taken a holiday in St Leonards about a dozen times – and always in winter, presumably to escape the smog caused by London’s coal fires. The St Leonards “season” was in the winter and not the summer, according to remarks in the Victorian newspapers.

In the 1851 census John Auldjo, late Captain in the Army, age 45, was living at Oak Lodge, Emsworth, Hampshire with his wife Fanny. Both were born in Middlesex. They had a son, Henry, age 6, and a daughter, Louisa, four months old. The family was obviously well off, as they had seven servants, including a coachman and a groom. They had married in London in 1841, she as Royds. He had served in three different infantry regiments from 1825 to 1837, when he resigned. In the 1861 census they were staying with his Royds mother in law at 3 Kensington Garden Terrace, London.

John’s father, also John, had died in about 1837, and his mother Jane Irvine Auldjo died in 1861, with an estate of £18000. John’s mother in law died in 1864, with an estate of £9000. He is likely to have benefited financially from all three.

The first known connection of the family with St Leonards is attendance at a ball at the Brassey residence at Beauport in January 1867. Together with their son John Rose Auldjo and their daughter Fanny Louisa Rose Auldjo they attended a ball at the Assembly Rooms on Boxing Day, 1869, with 130 in all attending. Son John was one of 14 stewards at the same ball in 1870. He was also one of those on a “run” with the East Sussex Foxhounds in February 1870.

An unpleasant experience was reported in the Observer, 21 January 1871. Both 90 and 91 Marina had been robbed, with no. 91 being the residence of Capt. Auldjo, A man pretending to be a butler distracted the households, stating that he was viewing houses for his master, while his accomplice stole, from the Auldjo family, between £40 and £50 worth of jewellery.

The 1871 census was held on the 2 April. At 90, and not 91, Marina, there was John Auldjo, 65, late Captain in Army, landowner, born Middlesex, with his wife Fanny Louisa and their daughter Louisa Fanny Rose. There were seven servants including a coachman, so they had their own transport.

Below is a summary list of the family’s arrivals or departures as stated on publication dates of the Observer. If I had added in other details such as attendance at balls there would have been more information on how long they stayed.

26 Nov 1870. Arrived, 90 Marina.

25 Nov 1871. Arrived, 84 Marina.

22 Nov 1873. Arrived, 84 Marina.

28 March 1874. Have left 84 Marina for Westbourne Terrace, London.

28 Nov 1874. Arrived 93 Marina for the winter.

27 Nov 1875. Have taken Prussia, 93 Marina for the winter.

7 Oct 1876. Of White Waltham Grove, Maidenhead. To arrive at 38 Warrior Square from 8 Nov for 5 or 6 months.

3 Nov 1877. Taken 38 Warrior Square from 8 Nov for winter.

9 Nov 1878. Taken 38 Warrior Square for winter.

8 Nov 1879. Expected at 38 Warrior Square on Tuesday last.

23 Oct 1880. Taken 38 Warrior Square from 4 Nov for winter.

2 Apr 1881. Have left 38 Warrior Square.

12 Nov 1881. Of White Waltham Grove, have taken 64 Warrior Square for five months, arrived on the 1st.

The 2 April 1881 citation is tantalising. The day after publication, the 3 April, was census day, and 38 Warrior Square was listed as uninhabited. Instead the family was at 4 Cleveland Gardens, Paddington, with seven servants. With such a large retinue they had apparently rented the entire house.

Many visitors of course would stay in one of the numerous lodging houses on or near the seafront, and these arrivals and sometimes goings were also often reported in the newspapers, though not specifiying if they rented the house or just a room. Those renting entire houses were sometimes doing so while the owners were away on extended holidays. Those in hotels were listed in a separate section.

The family then seem to have switched their affections to Brighton and Hove. In 1884 daughter Louisa Fanny Rose Auldjo died at 15 Brunswick Square, Hove, at the age of 34. In the early 1860s they had stayed at other addresses in Brunswick Square. In the April 1891 census they were at 61 Regency Square, Brighton (where they had previously stayed, in the 6 November 1886 issue of the Brighton Gazette).

John Auldjo died on the 12 March 1895. He was said to be of White Waltham Grove near Maidenhead but died at 4 Brunswick Terrace, Hove. He left the very sizable estate of £84573. This would be close to nine million today. According to the Maidenhead Advertiser, 13 March 1895, he died of shock after his son Henry Francis, a barrister, died on the 1 March, age 50, in London, leaving an estate of £56628.

Fanny, the widow died in 1898 in London, with an estate of £11003. The last of the family, John Rose Auldjo, died in Hove in 1927, leaving an estate of £269142: equivalent to 13 million today.

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