Chapter 4. New Owner, New Farmers, Old Managers—1832–1864

In which it is told of how Kingston became one single estate, managed by wealthy tenant farmers. It s also told of the labourers, and their families, who occupied newly built Newmarket Farm – the remotest of cottages on the estate.

Wiston House, Sussex, home of the Goring family, dating to ca 1890. Anonymous photographer. Image from the personal collection of James Morley [Public domain]

1833 — Gorings of Wiston

Shortly afterwards the Gorings of Wiston (one of the richest families in Sussex) became interested in buying the Manor of Hyde and, shortly afterwards, the Kingston Manor, the two largest estates in Kingston. This involved a huge amount of paperwork in order to prove that each of these landowners really did own all that they claimed. Thankfully most of all of that paperwork has survived as part of what is known as the Wiston Archive held in the West Sussex Record Office in Chichester. It is from studying that archive that we know that Newmarket Farm was built shortly before the Gorings came to own most of Kingston. Henry Rogers was kept on as tenant farmer, and was now responsible for even more of Kingston than ever before, and so became the most important person in the business of the Parish.

1837 — Hodsons move to Falmer

In 1837 James Hodson left his farm in East Dean, and moved to Court Farm in Falmer. The lands he now farmed included the northern slopes of Newmarket Hill. He was now close to the ancestral home of his dearly departed wife, Elizabeth Hodson, nee Rogers.

Earlier, in about 1832, when James Hodson’s eldest son, Anthony William, was old enough to start farming on his own, his father enabled him to do so at one of Thomas Rogers’ former landholdings at Norton Farm, Iford. This was located close by the Parish of Kingston. When his other son, also named James, was old enough it was planned that he would take on responsibility for the farm at Falmer.

He could now easily visit his in-laws who lived over the hill, past Newmarket Farm, and, via the old Juggs Road that led over the hill, to Kingston. From Kingston Ridge he could survey the whole of the parish for which he had been responsible, and beyond to Iford where Anthony William now farmed.

1841 — Davies family in Newmarket Farm

This is the first year for which the ten yearly Census recorded the names of all the residents, and their visitors, in the Parish of Kingston. Unfortunately, at least for Kingston, these records have been difficult to interpret. At these times houses were not numbered, and only rarely named. Also, first the Rogers and then the Gorings had bought practically every house, cottage, and hovel in the village, and just about every one worked directly for the estate. This is almost certainly why so many of the names of the residents of Kingston during this time changed so often; families came and went as and when they could find work. To lose one’s job meant finding work elsewhere, outside the village. In earlier times most of them would have had a little land of their own to tie them over when times were tough. Such times were gone. When new employment became available it would now need to be met by incomers from outside.

Fortunately, the 1841 Kingston Census gave only one unnamed location. The most likely residence to which this referred would be that of Newmarket Farm, so this may be the first record of its tenants. They were:

Name             Age Sex    Occupation Place of birth
William Davies   45  Male   Ag. lab    Sussex
Elizabeth Davies 40  Female            Sussex
Caroline Davies  14  Female            Sussex
Thomas Davies    11  Male              Sussex
Thomas Davies    75  Male   Lad?       Sussex
William Johnson  20  Male   Lad?       Sussex
Susanna Baker    15  Female ?          Sussex

William Davies was from Lewes, and his two children were born in Hellingly, Sussex. The family later moved to Lewes. Whether they were the first tenants remains unknown.

1842 — Hodsons move to Kingston

James Hodson’s brother-in-law Henry Rogers died in 1842, aged 43. The Gorings then allowed James Hodson and his eldest son Anthony William Hodson to take on the tenancy of the Kingston Farm, and manage the affairs of the Kingston Estate on their behalf. Anthony William moved into Hyde Manor, the birth place of his mother, Elizabeth Hodson, nee Rogers.

He was an extremely busy man. As a surveyor he was also at this time involved in mapping and recording the Tithes for the County of Sussex, which was a huge task.

1843 — Hodsons in Kingston—Tithe Map

The Tithe map of Kingston near Lewes refers to James Hodson and his oldest son Anthony William Hodson as “occupying” many of the lands and properties in Kingston, including Newmarket Farm. Since they “occupied” almost every building in Kingston this can only mean that they were merely responsible for paying the Tithes, since they collected the rent from the tenants who did live there, on behalf of the Goring Estate.

1851 — Rich family in Newmarket Farm

The 1851 census describes the Enumeration District as: “The whole of the Parish of Kingston comprising Newmarket Cottage, . . . ” However, the occupants of Newmarket Cottage are not specifically recorded. The most likely are the Rich family:

Name         Position Age   Occupation   Birth Place
John Rich    Head     38    Ag. labourer Kingston, Sussex
Ann Rich     Wife     28                 Stanmer, Sussex
John Rich    Son      9     Ag. labourer Stanmer, Sussex
Frances Rich Dau      8                  Kingston, Sussex
Isaiah Rich  Son      3                  Kingston, Sussex
Charles Rich Son      5 Mo.              Kingston, Sussex

The census of 1841 records two John Rich’s born at about the same time in Sussex. One was in Stanmer, one year before our John Rich was supposed to be married, cohabiting with an Ann Rich, also born at about the same time as our Ann Rich nee Dudeney. The other John Rich was in Lewes prison, serving a six month sentence for larceny. However that may be, our Rich family probably moved into the Parish of Kingston in 1843, at about the same time as the Hodsons.

James Hodson’s eldest son Anthony William is recorded in the same census as being responsible for the farmlands of Kingston:

Name                   Position Age   Occupation   Birth Place
Anthony William Hodson Head     38    Farmer       East Dean
Frances Hodson         Wife     45    Farmers wife West Dean
John Hodson            Son      2     Farmers son  Kingston
James Hodson           Son      6 Mo. Farmers son  Kingston
Elizabeth Tornell      Servant  21    Gen. servant Laughton
Sarah Ann Short        Servant  15    Gen. servant Southover
Mary Miles             Servant  12    Gen. servant East Blatchington
William Kanger         Servant  20    Gen. servant Tarring Neville
Edward Read            Servant  16    Gen. servant Kingston

He was recorded as occupying 1205 acres, and employing 39 men and 13 boys. In 1841 he had been farming in nearby Iford, living with his two youngest sisters, Sarah (23) and Catherine (21), who presumably kept house, aided by two 15 year old servants, and two brothers aged 19 and 10, the oldest of which was an agricultural labourer.

Sadly, later in the same year, Anthony William was thrown by a mare and killed, leaving his children to be brought up by his widow Frances Hodson nee Elliss. By 1861 she had moved with three of her youngest children to Steyning.

The following year James Hodson sold his farm in Falmer and moved into the village of Kingston to replace his recently departed son.

1861 — Rich family — Poverty in Kingston

The earliest definitive record of Newmarket Farm tenants we have identified so far comes from the 1861 Census. They were the Rich family, of Newmarket Hill, Kingston near Lewes:

Name         Family   Age Occupation   Birth Place
John Rich    Husbnd   48  Ag. labourer Kingston, Sussex
Anne Rich    Wife     38               Falmer, Sussex
Fanny Rich   Dau.     18               Kingston, Sussex
Isaiah Rich  Son      14 Ploughboy     Kingston, Sussex
Charles Rich Son      11               Kingston, Sussex
James Rich   Son      9                Kingston, Sussex
Sarah Rich   Dau.     6                Kingston, Sussex
Alfred Rich  Son      6                Kingston, Sussex
George Rich  Son      2                Kingston, Sussex

There were several differences from the Rich family recorded in 1851: John’s wife Anne  was recorded this time as being born in Falmer. However, in the 1851 census she was named as Ann (without an “e”) and was recorded as having been born in Stanmer. This does not have to mean that she is a different woman. More likely the Rich family was illiterate and did not know how to spell Ann(e)’s name. It is also likely that her birth place was wrongly recorded here as Falmer. In 1851 her oldest son John was recorded as having been born in Stanmer. By 1861 he seems to have found work in Ovingdean. In that parish he is still recorded as having been born in Stanmer. This suggests that the 1861 Kingston census officials wrongly recorded Ann (or Anne) as being born in Falmer. An illiterate agricultural labouring family were likely to feel intimidated by, or misunderstand, the questioning of such educated officials. It should also be born in mind that educated individuals are perfectly capable of making errors all on their own. However it may be, errors seem to occur quite often in such documents.

Charles Cooper in his book on the history of Kingston singled out this Rich family as an example of desperate poverty in the 1860’s. He recorded that they had lost a child to rickets sometime before 1861, and that three more children died of scrofula in 1862. In 1864 his wife Ann died of consumption, and not long after, John Rich died of debility and general exhaustion. Between 1851 and 1870 the average age of death in the village of Kingston was just 25 years. John Rich, as an agricultural labourer, was very low in the social order of Kingston, certainly lower than that of the shepherd of Kingston, John Tuppen.

Unlike others who could afford to pay for a lasting memorial, there are no headstones in the Kingston churchyard for the Rich family of Newmarket Farm, even though John Rich was of the Parish—nor are there any to be found for all of the other agricultural labourers who had lived and worked in Kingston, and who made up the majority of its population.

Due to the death of his eldest son, James Hodson moved into the Hyde Manor House to manage the estate. In 1861 he was 81, and lived with his unmarried daughters, Mary (46), and Harriett (41), who kept house, helped by two servants. His youngest son James Hodson junior lived elsewhere in the village with his sister Sarah, and inevitable servant. His occupation was recorded, at the age of 39, as Farmer’s son.

In the Brighton History library we were pleased to find that someone had published a short book by a Mr James Nye, “A Small Account of My Travels Through the Wilderness”, who had lived for a while in Kingston with his family at about this time. When he became sick he was not able to work, but he could not afford the doctor’s fees to enable him to make a recovery. Those who had lived and worked in the Parish for a while might be entitled to Poor Relief, or perhaps would be sent to the Workhouse Infirmary for their recovery. However, James Nye worked as a gardener just outside the parish, and worse still, he not long been living in the parish. Therefore Mr Hodson, who was also responsible for administering the needs of the poor, attempted to have him evicted from his house and sent back to the parish where he had been born. Mr Nye felt that the elderly Mr James Hodson had little or no sympathy for either the poor or the sick. Mr Hodson felt he was just upholding the law.

1864 — Hodsons’ second son dies

James Hodson junior died of delirium tremens. This would have been caused by the withdrawal of alcohol from a long term alcoholic.

Previous: Chapter 3. Origins of Newmarket Farm — 1825–1830

Table of Contents

Next: Chapter 5. Hunting and Mock Battles

2 replies on “Chapter 4. New Owner, New Farmers, Old Managers—1832–1864”

From Sussex Marriage records, John Rich married Ann Dudeney at St Nicholas Church , Brighton on 4th October 1840, fathers John Rich (Labourer and John Dudeney(Shepherd).
They lived at Menegery(Menagerie) Stanmer in the 1841 Census and John their first born bap. Aug 19th 1941 at Stanmer Parish Church had probably not long been conceived.

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