the burtons' st leonards blog

John Kenwood, builder and upholsterer

I recently came across John Kenwood when I found an advertisement for numerous houses being sold from his estate. The newspapers give much detail on his activities, though it is [...]

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The temperance movement in Victorian St Leonards

Many local branches of national societies urging temperance or total abstinence flourished in St Leonards on Sea in Victorian times. This article gives an idea of the scale of the [...]

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St Leonards in the newspapers, 1832-33

25 April 1832, Brighton Guardian The ball at the Assembly Rooms on Tuesday, under the auspices of the Stewards, Captain Jelf Sharp and A. Burton, Esq., was numerously attended.The elegant [...]

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Charles John Batstone and his many occupations

In transcribing the 1861 census for St Leonards I noticed that the very last household is an “omitted” entry, though we are not told from where the details had been [...]

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The landlord and the soldiers

This post’s title is the headline of a case before the Hastings Bench, as reported in the Hastings and St Leonards Observer, 7 September 1878. I was astonished that billeting [...]

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Quebec House School, Pevensey Road

I came across a newspaper account of an extension to Quebec House School, Upper Maze Hill, in the Hastings and St Leonards Observer, 12 July 1873. The principal, Mr T. [...]

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A husband on sufferance in his wife’s house

This post’s title is the dramatic first sentence, in capital letters, of a report from the magistrates’ court at Hastings, in the Hastings and St Leonards Observer, 22 October 1870. [...]

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St Leonards in the newspapers, 1831-32

The 1 September 1831 edition of the [London] Evening Standard has a very detailed, and interesting, advertisement for auction properties in St Leonards. It includes mention of The Conqueror Hotel, [...]

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‘The growth of Hastings’: a walk on the outskirts of St Leonards in 1889

The 20 July 1889 issue of the Hastings and St Leonards Observer has a long, anonymous article titled ‘The growth of Hastings, new buildings, a casual survey’. It is in [...]

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Crystal Square, St Leonards on Sea: an unsanitary place

Crystal Square in St Leonards survives only as a name of a car park close to the Kings Road. It used to be a courtyard surrounded by tiny houses, with [...]

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A walk for Hastings & East Sussex Natural History Society through Burtons’ St Leonards & beyond

“Walking is how the body measures itself against the earth”, a quote from Rebecca Solnit’s ‘Wanderlust: a history of walking’. Usually in a catchment area of 30 miles, the Society [...]

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Lin’s Personal Exploration of Hastings’ Musical History

These are extracts from a dissertation. In these recession-hit times, a traveller to Hastings, walking from the railway station past boarded-up shop fronts towards the fire-damaged pier and on to [...]

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Highbury House School and the Duffs

Although many schools put adverts in local newspapers, they nearly always give details of their teachers, and the subjects covered, rather than how much they charged. By chance I came [...]

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St Leonards in the newspapers, 1830-31

A selection of newspaper articles relating to St Leonards between 1830 & 1831.

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Thomas Laws the flyman: a tragic end

The burial registers of St Leonards church for 1836 lists two burials on the same day: Thomas Laws. [Of] St Mary Magdalen. [Buried] Septr. 17th. [Age] 29 years. Mary Jane [...]

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No votes for women: an 1889 plea

In 1889 the journal Nineteenth century published a petition asking that women not be allowed the vote. All of the signatories were women. They appear in an appendix to the [...]

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Some notes on the Olby family of Elmside, 30 Charles Road

I have often admired Elmside, the house at the corner of Charles Road and Brittany Road. Here are some notes on the history of this 1920s house. As we shall [...]

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More newspaper extracts, 1828-29

In my post on St Leonards in the newspapers, 1828-29 I missed many items because I did not search for “new town” in connection with Hastings. Many of these, given [...]

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The Censi family of 14 Eversfield Place

A big advantage of searching for people with unusual names is that they are easy to trace in databases. Here is one example, a family who fell upon hard times. [...]

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A Warrior Square postcard

I recently bought some oldish postcards of St Leonards on Sea at Teddy Tinker’s, 134 London Road. If you don’t know it, this shop is full of vintage clothes and [...]

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St Leonards in the newspapers, 1829-30

5 November 1829,  Brighton Gazette: ST LEONARD’S NEW TOWN, NEAR HASTINGS OCT. 28. – The sports and pastimes at the opening of the Grand Hotel, in the entirely New Town [...]

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Notes on the history of Coonoor, 2 Woodland Vale Road

I have often walked past this attractive house, at the bottom end of Woodland Vale Road, and decided to have a look at its history. Here are some notes about [...]

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St Leonards in the newspapers, 1828-29

This is the first of an occasional series, in chronological order, of some mentions of St Leonards in newspapers, as found on the priced British Newspaper Archive. 12 April 1828, [...]

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Houses for sale on Maze Hill, 1836

I recently gave a talk on 6 Maze Hill to the Society. In carrying out the research, I searched for “6 Maze Hill” in the newspaper archive on the priced [...]

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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 [...]

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Our man in the archive: St Leonards Gardens

Tucked away in a secret underground location known only to committee members (and the people who ask them) are the Society archives. The hefty files are a fascinating collection of [...]

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Mr Cutting of 10 Vale Road and 2 Victoria Road

I have been researching the houses on my road, Vale Road, Silverhill, and found on a family tree on the priced Ancestry website an interesting photo. It showed a woman [...]

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John Gibbs the pamphleteer of Maze Hill Cottage

Genealogy very often results amassing information such as dates and places of birth, marriage and death. It is rare that one is able to add flesh to the bones, so [...]

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A peepshow of St Leonards on Sea, 1840

    The Hastings Museum acquired in 1947 a peepshow of St Leonards on Sea, numbered 947.43. This is full of interest, as it shows an unusual view of the [...]

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Marina in the electoral registers, 1860 and 1866

Electoral registers are often a neglected source for house histories. Quite apart from giving the names of voters living there, they can provide extra information. For example, you can sometimes [...]

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