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48 Replies to “Ask a Question”

    1. The 1839 West Hythe Tithe Map shows just the Botolph’s Bridge Inn and the Carpenter’s Arms Inn. The OS maps, starting in 1871 up until WW2 names just the Carpenter’s Arms, but the site of Botolph’s Bridge is shown as PH (Public House) in the later maps. During this period West Hythe has only a handful of houses (not much more than ten), so two pubs is quite good going, even for a thirsty agricultural community.
      I wonder whether the Great Gun was a pop-up pub for the German troops camped on the Roughs during the Crimean War, or earlier for Napoleonic troops.
      Or could it have been in the west part of Hythe proper?

      1. I have been researching a shooting on the beach at West Hythe in 1807. The inquest was held at the Great Gun, which, according to the Kentish Weekly Post of 26 May was ‘near Brockman’s Barn It was still there in 1863 when a bagrant tried to break in – also reported in the press.

  1. There were, it seems, a number of Mills, both water and wind driven, in the local area. Someone is trying to compile an account of these mills and has given me some information and asked if I can put a message out for any knowledge about them.

    1. I have been looking at a typed 24 page booklet ‘Hythe Mills’ compiled by Peter Davies 1934-42, from the Civic Society Archives. It seems to me very thorough (and interesting). I’ll bring to the next group meeting.

  2. Does anyone have a history of the Tin Tabernacle. It may be an idea to publish some findings on the website.

  3. ST MICHAEL AND ALL ANGELS
    “The Tin Tabernacle”
    HYTHE, KENT

    HISTORY

    Whereas the Parish Church of St Leonard’s occupies the most prominent position in the town, St Michael’s Church was situated in the most convenient and accessible. Erected on a triangular site at the junction of Stade Street and Portland Road and adjacent to the Town Bridge, it cannot escape the notice of the passer-by. Lovingly referred to as the ‘tin tabernacle’ (or ‘Tin Tab’) because of its timber frame and corrugated iron construction, it is one of the few survivors of ‘temporary’ or prefabricated buildings erected at the end of the Victorian era.

    At this time Hythe was developing fast; many hundreds of houses were built on the sea side of the Royal Military Canal – Victoria Road, Albert Road, Ormonde Road, Park Road – to which working class families were attracted to move because of their modest cost (most of them were let on weekly tenancies rather than purchases). The Church saw a need to provide services for this influx and, for a time, ‘mission type’ services were held in the school. The vicar cherished his idea of building a place of worship for those who were unable to attend St Leonard’s, and this was made possible by two generous gifts: an offer to pay for the building by a former vicar, the Reverend F.T. Scott, and the provision of a site liberally presented by the Watts family.

    In 1893 matters moved swiftly. An appeal for funds to furnish the church met with generous response. The ‘iron’ church, as it was referred to in those days, was ordered and erected within months. Described as a “pretty building”, it was intended to seat about 280 people. A Mr Andrews donated an altar made from oak grown on his own land, and this continued in use throughout the history of the church. However, in due course the original wooden pews were replaced by more comfortable chairs, and the gas lighting replaced by electricity; other modernisations included removal of the coke stove and the earlier two-manual organ (now in St Peter’s Church, Canterbury).

    The opening of the church took place on Tuesday 19 September 1893 when the Archdeacon of Maidstone dedicated it to St Michael and All Angels. Since then it was lovingly used and was restored for its centenary, celebrated in 1993 with special services, a flower festival, tea parties, etc. Throughout its history, regular Sunday and weekday services, as well as Sunday School classes for children, provided opportunity for thousands of worshippers who would not find it possible to get to St Leonard’s. St Michael’s was also in regular use as a venue for secular events such as talks and meetings; indeed, it was almost a second ‘church hall’ within the parish. It stood witness to the generosity of many people and the faith of those who used it. The building, though not pretentious, always surprises visitors by its homely yet dignified interior.

    St Michael’s remained active as an Anglican church until a final service was held there on Sunday 25 September 2011 and its congregation then moved across the Royal Military Canal to join the Methodists in their stone building in what was to become known as St Michael’s Methodist-Anglican Church Centre. The Tin Tabernacle became Grade II listed to preserve its appearance in the street scene and to preclude the possibility of any development of the site when it was sold subsequently to a private owner.

    Tin tabernacles were a cheap alternative to churches, built by the Victorians to cope with swelling congregations at home and abroad. The churches were ordered as flat-packs; companies all over the country were able to provide the kit. (See http://www.tintabernacles.co.uk for more information.)

  4. Being the leader of the building projects group I find myself in the embarrassing position not being able to find a clear cut way of establishing the history of an individual house via its deeds.
    If documents were readily available with successive owners going back to the date that properties were originally built then life would be a great deal easier. To date, the only source I can find is The Land Registry. There are various options at various prices but no guarantee that one will obtain what one wants. In which case, one pays one’s money and takes one’s chance.
    Does anyone know of a source that will give us a building’s history without having to go round the expensive houses? don’t be worried about giving me a red face. It will be well worth it.

  5. Dear Society Members,
    Re: Christina Irene SEATH, Nee STEERS . Bn,01/08/1919 Irlam, Lancashire.
    I am researching my Mother’s antecedent history.
    That history is veiled in much mystery and is like putting in place the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle without the benefit of the final picture.
    I believe that in 1934 she was possibly at school in Hythe. She is documented as singing with Hythe Choral Society on Monday 3rd December 1934 in a rendition of Hayden’s ” Creation”. She sang, as a soloist, the part of “Eve”
    I recall being sent to Albert Road , Hythe as a child for holidays with Grandmother, Jane Steers ( nee Paton )and two of her sisters, Margaret ( Madge) ?? and one called “Totty”
    My Mother went on to Sing with The Halle Choir until the early 60’s..
    I notice from your site that there is a ” De la Mare” involved with your Society. On another sprig of my research I have found another male De la Mare who was living in a “posh” address with one of my Mother’s Cousins in london . That was in the early 1950s.
    My Mum never gave anything away to me or my brother about her life, especially during the 2nd WW. She spoke German fluently, a bit of Russian and I believe some Romanian !!!
    I could go on for hours of the bits I have been told and some of the facts I have discovered about her and the family. But, I would dearly like to know why she was in Hythe, when her father was possibly still working in Russia as a Steel Foundry Manager in Donetsk.
    Help, Please !!!!

    1. Hi Angus.
      As well as being on this site, I have asked all the members by email, to see if they know anything.
      I will let you know if I hear from anyone.

      Cheers
      Ron

      1. Thanks Ron,
        I very much appreciate your help.
        My Mother’s life is shrouded in , I hate the phrase , mystery. other members of the family are likewise mysterious in their occupations. Some were born in the Ukraine, Nova Scotia and Lancashire. one was a “Diplomat” involved in the disappearance of the RN diver Lionel, “Buster” Crabbe”.in the early 50’s.
        this is becoming a jig saw puzzle where I don’t quite know where to start !!! There are no family members alive apart from me, ….so far as I know.
        Again , thanks and I look forward to hearing from you.
        My e-mail address is angusseath@googlemail.com
        My phone number is 01922 416456.
        Happy to talk and discuss all I have said,
        Regards
        Angus

  6. Interesting that Paton is mentioned – probably no connection, but just in case!
    Paton is a fairly common West of Scotland name – there are more in Glasgow than Edinburgh.

    null Mrs Paton, the wife of the Commandant of the School of Musketry photographed in 1897 at a Competition Event on the Ranges, firing the first round from a rifle already mounted onto a metal frame and aimed at the target!

    In the late 1990s, there was a family called Paton living at Bulls Cottages, opposite the British Legion. Later, around 2010, a Paton, presumably their son, ran in some Rotary Round the Houses Races in Hythe. I assume the family is still in the area.

    None of above are related to me!
    David Paton

  7. Hi,
    I’ve recently moved to Hythe and have discovered that quite a few of my ancestors lived here many moons ago. I’ve discovered the graves of various family members in St.Leonards church graveyard (so beautiful!) using this website to help me. I’m particularly interested in looking for a gravestone of plot 79 …this is my great, great, great grandparents grave, Richard and Sarah Ann Baker who were publicans at the Dukes Head. I have found plot 78 and plot 80 but at where plot 79 should be there is an empty space. Am I to assume the gravestone was removed, crumbled with age etc… I’m only asking as there are no remnants at all so am curious! The PDF describes the inscription on the front of the gravestone so I assume it was once there. Many thanks in advance to anyone who can help me with this. It would just be lovely to visit.

  8. Thank you for getting in touch, Elizabeth. I will go up to the churchyard next week to investigate.

    Kind regards

    Anne Petrie

  9. I was told yesterday that a WW2 german aircraft crashed, while thinking the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway was full size and misjudged the height it was flying at. Can anyone add to this?

  10. 1 What was the of the opening of the Mackison’s off licence on the side of their offices
    2 Hairways,67 High St used to be Harry Wood, butchers. By1992 the business was under new management but still retained the name. It is possible that Sidney Harry Wood (1896-?) was still working in the shop.
    Does anyone remember him or his wife Ethel May Wood who died in 1972?
    Does anyone have,or know the whereabouts of,a picture of the shop? Preferably between 1915 & 1948
    3 From Maurice Youns ‘The Last Days of Hythe. Harbour
    Page 27- What happened to St Katherine’s Cross outside The Bell pub?
    Page 48 – The 1769 map shows Sla Brook-When did someone add the ‘Y’ which presumably started the story of the spying of men in the battle by Slaybrook House/Stream.

  11. is there anything in local records about the history of Windmill Street i.e when the first houses were built and when the windmill was built. and if there are any old photos or engravings?
    if there were houses before the windmill, e.g. the herring hang at no 1, which dates from
    1750s I’m told, was the street renamed later?
    many thanks Kay Rowley

    1. I have this extracted from a booklet

      WINDMILL STREET MILLS.
      The Horton property in Windmill St., was extensive and beside the windmill (and at a later date the steam mill, engine and boiler house, and white store) there was a large enclosed yard – Windmill Yard – this extended to Wood Hoad, and was used to store the coal brought up from the collier brigs after they had been unloaded on the beach. On the other side of the road – opposite the yard gates – was the old black store, a tarred, weather boarded building on a one storey rock base. This building had oak floors and was used, as was the white store, for grain storage.
      Nothing now remains but the white store and the ground floor of the steam mill and engine house, there is nothing to be seen of the windmill, and the old black store has been pulled down to the rock base and this converted into garages.

      THE WINDMILL.
      This was first worked in 1835 – the pulling down of the two St. Leonard’s Road mills coincided with its opening – as in the case of the other Hythe mills very little is known about it. It was quite the largest mill in Hythe and stood on a square brick base, three storeys high, but no mechanical details are available.

  12. I’ve a fair amount of info on this, but won’t be at next meeting, so might need reminding for January, if no-one else has already done it. I’m pretty sure there’s a photo somewhere that this mill, and others, feature in.

  13. From ‘Notes prepared by Mr J A Ames for Hythe Civic Society’:
    The smock mill in Windmill Street was owned by J. Horton and first worked in 1835 and was converted to steam in 1850. It had a White Store and enclosed yard extending to Wood Road for storing coal; grain was stored on the opposite side of Windmill Street where the Masonic Hall now stands and was known as Black Store. It was the largest windmill in Hythe. It had a square, one-storey brick base which was later converted to garages and other buildings used as offices and a builder’s yard.

  14. Hello, My late father in law was placed in a Barnardo’s home in Bolton (c)1930. In 1925, his birth was registered by his mother, Hannah Scott who was living at 36 Marine Parade. She was a single mother who had, eventually, to give him up. Would it be possible to find out who else lived at that address in 1925? I have a Richard Charles Winyard who died there in 1932. His wife Eleanor survived him for 22 years and they had no children. We are hoping to find some information now that he has died. He refused to entertain any searches whilst he was alive. His name was Leonard Scott.

  15. I checked Sherwood’s Directory at Hythe library for 1924, 25 and 26. The householder for all these years is Richard Winyard. No other occupants are listed and nor is there any entry for Hannah Scott elsewhere in the Directories. According to Winyard’s obituary in the Folkestone Herald, he only lived in Hythe in summer. In winter he decamped to Eastbourne.

  16. I’m researching my maternal great grandmother’s history (Clara Frances Thurgood) and know that she died of septicemia at 4 West Parade, Hythe in March 1919 and was buried on 28 March. Her husband (Arthur William Thurgood) was a Brigadier. Are you able to provide any enlightenment as to the property, their lives or her burial? In hope!

  17. Over 30 years ago I discovered an ancestor called Thomas Bass who lived in Hythe from around 1800 until his death in 1842 but wasn’t able find out much more about him. As more sources have become available on-line now, I have had another go and learned quite a lot about his family and descendants who lived in the Hythe area. His wife was called Sarah. There were two Thomas Bass with a wife Sarah in the area around 1800, a wealthy one in Dover and a poor one in Hythe – of course mine is the poor one!
    In the 1841 census, Thomas and Sarah were living on the High Street and interestingly both were marked as not from Kent.
    In the baptism record for their son William at St Leonard’s, Hythe on the 14 June 1801, the vicar notes that Thomas was a Private in the West Kent Militia.
    Apart from the wealthy one in Dover, the only other marriage I have been able to find of a Thomas Bass to Sarah was in Norfolk in May 1795 (to Sarah Killingbeck) and a child Ann in April 1796 but then no further records in Norfolk for any of them afterwards.
    I know that Parishes had ballots to choose men for the militia and that the Anglo-Spanish War was being fought between 1796 and 1802, the South Coast must have needed many men. QUESTIONS:
    Would the West Kent Militia be sent men from other parts of the country?
    Apart from the WO13 Muster Books at Kew (which are not accessible at present) does anyone know of other West Kent Militia resources?
    Has anyone transcribed the gravestones at St Leonards?
    Any suggestions appreciated.
    Also

  18. You will, when it re-opens, find several files on the West Kent Militia in the Kent Archives at Maidstone. Their catalogue is searchable online.

    The British Newspaper Archive has a few references to the Militia’s time in Hythe. They were there for exactly a year, from April 1801 to April 1802, when they went to Maidstone and were disembodied. They were based at the Warren near Dymchurch – there is still a Warren Inn in the town. When they left Hythe, the mayor presented the privates with three barrels of porter (refs: Kentish Weekly Post 17 April 1801; Derby Mercury 23 July 1801; Kentish Gazette 23 April 1802)
    There is also a reference to the death of Thomas Bass in 1842 in the Kentish Gazette 28 June 1842. He had been found dead in bed and there was an inquest which returned a verdict of ‘natural causes’. You may find a report of the coroner’s court in Kent Archives.
    I hope this helps and glad you liked the churchyard research.

    1. Anne,
      Thank you very much for the information about the West Kent Militia and for finding those interesting snippets in the Newspaper Archives (which I have now managed to view). I think my next steps will be to look at the Militia records in Maidstone and Kew (when they open) to see how long Thomas Bass was in the Militia. However, unless there are Attestation Forms in the records, I doubt I’ll find out where he was born from the Muster lists.
      I run our village website, which has a popular local history section. My friend Chris Darvill and I did something similar to you with the memorials in our Churchyard http://www.patterdaletoday.co.uk/history/churchyard-memorials
      We haven’t written any of the lovely mini biographies like you have – I know how much work goes into those, having researched all of the people on our War Memorial.

  19. Forgive me, this is not a question, but a ‘well done’ for Anne Petrie. Lately, I have been walking home through St Leonard’s graveyard. Today, I saw a CWGC headstone and decided to check it out. It is for Private James Trueman, Canadian Army Medical Corps, who died in 1917, aged 40. Immediately behind his stone is a fallen(?) memorial stone to his wife, Cecilia, who died in 1915 and is buried in Canada. These stones raised many questions for me and my thanks to Anne for the information she provides about James and Cecilia (and for his interesting, second wife, Violet).
    ‘Very well done’ Anne.
    Regards,
    Mike

  20. I am researching my forbear John Berry Webster from Lancashire who farmed at Ower Farm, Fawley as a tenant from 1900 until 1914 we think . They were certainly recorded there in the 1901 and 1911 census. Family legend has it that he then moved to Gladstone House in Hythe until his death in 1917. I would be very interested in any evidence to corroborate this , confirmation of whether Gladstone House still exists and any other sources of information that members could suggest.

  21. Hello Richard, I’m afraid I must disappoint you. This is the site for the Hythe, Kent history group. I double-checked on Gladstone House, just in case, but it was definitely in Hants.
    With best wishes for your on-going research
    Anne Petrie

  22. Greetings from Australia
    What a wonderful site this is.
    I have a question, but first a little about my ancestors, the Crouch family, of whom, most were born, married or buried at St. Leonards’ Church, Hythe.
    Thomas Crouch was born at Aldington, baptised 2nd Sep 1777. He married Anna Maria Finnis on 2nd June 1800 at Hougham. Their first child George was baptised 2nd Nov 1800 (very short pregnancy:)) at St.Marys’ Church Dover. George died unmarried 1891 at Hythe.
    Mary Anne was baptised 6th Mar 1803 at Cheriton. Nothing else is known about Mary Anne.
    William was baptised 24th Aug 1805 at St.Leonards’ Church Hythe, married Louisa Tickner 24th July 1830 at Lyminge, and was buried 30th July 1876. Louisa was also buried at St.Leonards 1850.
    Eliza was baptised 18th May 1807 at St.Leonards, married Charles Powell Longly 28th Feb 1837, after birthing Eliza Maria Crouch in 1835. They had four more known children. Both Eliza and Charles are buried at St.Leonards.
    Matilda was born 2nd May 1810 and baptised with her younger brother 28th Feb 1816. Matilda married Sutton Cobb 13th Oct 1859 and was buried 6th Jun 1870 also at St.Leonards. No known children.
    Edward was born 8th Jun 1813 and baptised same day as Matilda at St.Leonards.
    Edward married Elizabeth Ann Rolfe at st.Leonards 8th April 1839.
    Edward and Elizabeth immigrated to Australia, departing 12th May 1839 on the ship “Cornwall”
    My question, if someone can tell me, the name of the Curate at St.Leonards Church in 1839?
    His first name is Edwin and last starts with B.
    Many thanks in anticipation

  23. Hello Peter, thank you for contacting us. The curate was Edwin Biron. If you are interested, you can read about him here:

    https://hythehistoryblog.wordpress.com/2020/05/01/the-very-respectable-vicar-of-lympne/

    I can also send you photos of the grave of Eliza Crouch and her husband Charles Powel Longly and that of their son Frederick William Longly, if you wish, but I would need an email address.

    I would be very interested to hear how Edward and Elizabeth fared in Australia

    Kind regards

    Anne Petrie (Chair, Hythe Local History Group).

    1. My goodness Anne, words fail me, you certainly are a wonderful historian! I am amazed at the detail in your work.
      Many thanks for the reply and the interesting history of Edwin Biron.

      My email is amity.hunts@gmail.com

      a little about Edward Crouch the immigrant..
      Edward was the youngest child of Thomas and Anna Maria Crouch of the town of Hythe in the county of Kent, England.
      Edward was born on the 8th of June 1813 and baptised on the 7th of February 1816 on the same day as his older sister Matilda, who was born on the 2nd May 1810. they were baptised in the St.Leonard Parish Church, Hythe by J Bell.
      Edward married Elizabeth Ann Rolfe on the 8th April 1839 at St.Leonards’ Church, Hythe after banns, by the then Curate Edwin Biron. Edward of full age and occupation as fisherman and Elizabeth of full age and listed as a servant. Edwards’ father Thomas was listed as a fisherman while Elizabeths’ father William was a labourer. Witnesses to the marriage were William Taylor and Richard Chamberlain.
      Edward and Elizabeth must have been involved for some time prior to The Rolfe family decision to pack up and leave for Australia as it was only a few days over a month since they were married that they were boarding ship for a new start in a new land.
      the “Cornwall” sailed on Sunday 12th May 1839 with 387 Emigrants, Kentish people, comprising 150 men, 94 women & 143 children under 15 years, bound for Sydney, New South Wales.
      Sydney Heads were sighted late on the 1st September and it was decided to enter the harbour on the following morning 2nd September. On the voyage there were 5 births & 18 deaths.The immigrants left the ship for the barracks on the 3rd, where they were lodged for up to 14 days at government expense until their respective employers claimed them.
      Edward and Elizabeth were engaged by mr. Simeon Lord of Mudbank, Botany Bay as fisherman and cook.
      It’s not clear if it was Simeon Lord senior or his son Simeon who engaged them, but if it was Simeon senior, it would have been a short engagement as the gentleman passed away 0n the 29th of January 1840.
      Thomas Rolfe Crouch, Edward & Elizabeths’ first child was born at Botany on the 13th of June 1840 and baptised on September 6th. by James Steele.
      The 1841 census of Sydney have Edward, his wife and one child, living at Botany. county of Cumberland, Sydney.
      Apart from births of children not much is known about their lives in New South Wales.
      George Frederick was born on the 12th of March 1842 at Cooks River, Botany
      Edward Walter was born on the 23rd of March 1844
      On the 12th of May 1845, Edward placed an advertisement in The Sydney Morning Herald, which read…
      FOUND, on the beach to the southward of Botany Bay, a dingy, Star, Thompson, painted on her stern. The owner can hear of her by applying to Edward Crouch, fisherman, Botany.
      Botany, May 10. 6966
      William was born on the 17th of April 1846
      Amelia was born on the 10th of May 1848
      Robert Alfred was born on the 19th of July 1850
      James was born on the 28th of May 1852
      Charles was born on the 11th of July 1854
      On the 5th of August 1854 an article appeared in Bell’s Life in Sydney and Sporting Reviewer, which read…
      AQUATICS.—-A whaleboat race will come off at Cook’s River, at noon to day between Edward Crouch and John Maloney for £50 a-side. The course will be from the Cook’s River junction to Botany Heads, and back – a distance of about 16 miles. A considerable amount is depending upon the issue, the pullers being equally favourably known as “good men, and true”.
      The outcome of this race, or even if it went ahead, is not known.
      On the 15th of September 1854…an article in The Sydney Morning Herald read…
      Edward Crouch pleaded guilty to being the keeper of a dog which, at Botany, did rush at, attack, and endanger the limbs of Constable Grayson, and was sentenced to pay a penalty of 20s., with 5s. costs.
      On the 7th of April Edward was back in court…an article in Bell’s Life in Sydney and Sporting Reviewer…
      TWICE CAUGHT FISH. — A pair of fishermen, names William Cook and Thomas Driver, were charged with having, at midnight, stolen 12 bushels of mullet, of the goods and chattels of Edward Crouch, fisherman. The prosecutor, a queer, merry-looking, weather-beaten old fish, attired in his shore apparel, appeared like a fish out of water in the witness box, to the merriment of the Court, and when the book was handed to him to kiss, he put it in his pocket. He gazed around the Court, as if bewildered at the curious descriptions of fish which everywhere met his eye. When his vision glanced at the lawyers table, he started like a dolphin among sharks, and having given his trousers a prefatory hitch, he whispered audibly to one of his boat mates, “My eye, Bill, if the devil cast cast his net in this ere place, wouldn’t he have a heavy haul !” The magistrates with difficulty dragged the net-work of the affair out of gallant Ned Crouch, from which it appeared that he was on the look out at night for an immense school of mullet which were off Botany. At last he got such a tremendous haul that he could not take the contents of his net at once into his fishing smack. Having filled his boat, he stood in for the landing place and discharged his finny cargo, and returned at midnight to his net for the remainder of his haul. The defendant fishermen passed him in their boat, and threatened to settle him. When he returned to the beach, the defendants and another belonging to their boat, claimed the fish, pitched into him, and took away about 12 bushels.
      The defendants asserted that they had been two nights in their boat, watching the school, and had a right to their share, according to the rules of the fishermen.
      The Magistrates held, that as it was a question of disputed property, Crouch must seek his remedy in another Court, and dismissed the case.
      Elizabeth Ann was born on the 2nd of June 1856
      Arthur John was born on the 4th of May 1858
      George Frederick Crouch married Elizabeth Shillington on the 24th of December 1859 at Redfern NSW
      Mary Ann Martha was born on the 18th of October 1860 and died on the 31st of January 1862 at Botany.
      Edward and Elizabeth had 11 children all born at Botany, 8 boys and 3 girls. 10 survived to adulthood.
      On the 21st of August 1863 an article appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald…
      A fisherman named Edward Crouch, whilst fishing in company with three other persons, on the 18th instant, found the body of a man lying in the water, at a place called Donovan’s Flat, on the south side of Botany Bay.
      There is no date when the following extract from ‘Life and adventures (of an Essexman) Captain William Collin’ published in 1914.
      Pages 118 – 119
      Captain Collin talking about the fishing in Botany Bay—-
      Even here we had occasionally some curious adventures, and I remember one day, whilst lying at anchor at La Perouse, when we fell in with a fishing family named Crouch. In course of conversation the old man said he would like to see as many fish in the bay as would fill two boats, and his wish was very quickly gratified. Just afterwards, his son Tom, who was standing on a point of rock on the lookout for fish, called out that he could see a large school in the bay. The boats were in a splendid position, and we soon had the nets so full of king fish that it was only with greatest difficulty we dragged them in. They were indeed a splendid lot, many of them weighing as much as 50lb. each and in cleaning them for market the beach became discoloured with their blood, for there were quite as many as would have filled three boats. It was indeed a splendid haul, and with as little delay as possible we loaded our boats, and went over to Liverpool, by way of George’s River. The railway was being constructed at the time, and we readily disposed of the fish at from 7s. to 19s. each, the navvies being very glad to get them. One good lady refused to have anything to do with them, declaring they were nothing but sharks; in fact she had been told so by one who had been there before. I had some difficulty in persuading her that they were really good king fish, and quite fresh from the sea.
      It’s not known how or exactly when the family moved to Queensland, but if we look at marriages and births of grandchildren we can narrow in down to between the 24th of November 1864 when Edward Walter Crouch married Laura Negus at Redfern NSW, and the 16th of August 1865 when Amelia Crouch married John Negus in Queensland.
      Edward established his family near the Brisbane River at Bulimba and continued fishing and sailing until his death on the 20th of April 1880 at his residence Quay street, Bulimba.
      Edward left a will dated the 6th of January 1868, and a notice in Courier on the 23rd of October 1880 read…
      In the will of Edward Crouch, late of Bulimba, in the colony of Queensland, Fisherman, Deceased.
      Notice is hereby given that, after the expiration of fourteen days from the date of the publication hereof, application will be made to the said Honorable Court that Probate of the Will of the above named Edward Crouch, deceased, may be granted to Elizabeth Ann Crouch, of Bulimba aforesaid, the sole Executrix named in the Will.
      Dated at Brisbane this 19th day of October, A.D. 1880.
      Edwards Will reads…
      Bulimba January 6th 1868
      This is the last will and testament of me Edward Crouch of Bulimba, Colony of Queensland, Fisherman. I hereby revoke all other wills and codicils made by me at any time heretofore. I give devise and bequeath unto my beloved wife Elizabeth Ann Crouch all my real and personal estate whatsoever and wheresoever whereof I may be seized possessed interested in or entitled unto at the time of my decease, to hold the same unto my said wife her successors and assigns absolutely and at her death each of my children to share and share alike, but should my said wife marry again, then she shall only take her share with the children.
      I appoint my said wife sole executrix of this my last will In witness whereof I have set my hand this Sixth of January, One thousand eight hundred and sixty eight.
      Signed……………..Edward Crouch
      ____________________________
      Signed and declared by Edward Crouch for his Robert Bertwistle
      last will and testament in the presence of us
      who in his presence ( all being present at the Witnesses
      same) at his request and in the presence of
      each other as witnesses James Nuttall
      Elizabeth Ann Crouch, Edwards’ widow, died on the 17th of February 1916, and her estate according to Edwards’ will, was sought by her children…
      17th of July 1916…
      Name of deceased proprietor – Edward Crouch, late of Bulimba, fisherman.
      Date of death – 20th April, 1889.
      Names of Claimants,- George Frederick Crouch, fisherman, and Edward Walter Crouch, oysterman, both of Wynnum; William Crouch, of Botany, New South Wales, fisherman; Amelia Negus, wife of John Negus, labourer, Alfred Robert Crouch, fisherman, Arthur John Crouch, fisherman, – all of Bulimba; Charles Crouch, of Brisbane, letter-sorter; Elizabeth Johnson (formerly Thomas), wife of Hollis Johnson, labourer; Thomas Rolfe Crouch (since deceased), and James Crouch (since deceased).
      Description and situation of land. – Subdivision 7 of section 10 and subdivision 21 of section 9 of suburban allotment 8, county of Stanley, parish of Bulimba.
      Estate claimed to be transmitted, – Fee-simple.
      Particulars of will or otherwise. – Will dated 6th January, 1868.
      Date within which Caveat may be lodged. – 22nd August, 1916
      The widows of both Thomas Rolfe Crouch and James Crouch had to go through the same process to secure their share of Edwards’ estate.

  24. Hello, I am interested to find out if there is any more information about an ancestor of mine, William Ryan born in 1810. In the 1841 census he was a coast guard in St. Leonards, Hythe with wife Jane. He continues to live and work in Hythe with his family in the 1871 census. Are there any details of coast guards at this time or other information about his family? Thank you.

  25. Hello Jill
    we do not have any more information about this family. Coast Guard records are held at the National Archives in Kew (sadly, now closed for the duration). However, I could let you have details of the places where the family lived – Fort Twiss in 1841 and Tower no. 12 in 1851, if you are interested.

    Anne Petrie, Chair, Hythe Local History Group

  26. Good evening,
    As regular visitors to Hythe Iwe were wondering about the history behind the memorial stone (I assume) to ‘HTC (?) Taylor Mayor 1934. Can’t seem to find any reference online & would be grateful for any information you may have in your records.
    Many Thanks

  27. Hello Chris

    the stone is, in fact a boundary marker between the parish of Hythe and (depending on where it is) Sandgate, Newington or Saltwood. Every so often the fifteen mile boundary is walked by a group of local people led by the mayor – Beating the Bounds. If a boundary stone is found to be missing or decayed, it is replaced and bears the name of the current mayor. So ‘HTC’ is Hythe Town Council, ‘Taylor’ was the name of the mayor in 1934 when a Beating the Bounds took place.

    The last Beating the Bounds took place in 1999, led by the mayor John Schoner. We hope to organise another event next year.

    Kind regards

    Anne Petrie

  28. Hello!
    I wondered if you could help with a query possibly relating to Hythe.
    A student of mine is researching the early 20th century detective fiction writer Henry Holt (author of the Inspector Silver mysteries among others). We’re not sure if it’s a pen name and it’s hard to find information about him (not helped by his sharing a name with a major publisher!).
    However, I’ve found a reference to the copyright to one of his books linked to Hythe, Kent – see https://archive.org/stream/catalogueofcopy311libr/catalogueofcopy311libr_djvu.txt
    Might anyone have any suggestions, pointers, or leads?
    Many thanks for any help you can offer!

    1. Hello Dr Fallon

      I have searched all the Hythe directories for the 1920s and 1930s and there is no trace of anyone called Henry Holt living in the town at that time. The only Holt is a George Holt, who kept a ‘music warehouse’ in the High Street in the 1920s & was also a piano tuner. By the 1930s he had retired to a terraced house in Dymchurch Road. I think it unlikely he is your man

      Sorry not to be more helpful – but this may indicate that ‘Henry Holt’ was indeed a pseudonym.

      Kind regards

      Anne Petrie

  29. I read that Ladies Walk Bridge was destroyed by rough weather in Victorian times. Given that this is well inland, and relatively protected, how did this come about?

  30. Hello Kevin. The bridge was brought down by the floods of New Year’s Day 1877. It was not only the bridge that suffered. When the water reached the canal, much of it forced its way through the old sewers, and so many of the buildings in the High Street were flooded; by the Duke’s Head bridge, the water extended to the brewery. Stade Street was under water, and the occupants of the Hope inn had to be rescued from the upstairs windows.

  31. Hello, I am researching family connections to West Hythe and came across the 1851 Census ref HO 107 1634 which details # 36, 37 & 38 ‘Black Watch House’ and also # 35 ‘Circular Redoubt’.
    Does the latter refer to the Dymchurch Redoubt and where were the Black Watch Houses located? Close to the Redoubt I assume. Any details and links appreciated.

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