Can you solve mystery of the horse groom and his ill-fated lover?
Two cousins need help with a family mystery from the 1800s relating to the Golden Green area near Hadlow.
Maureen Tigwell and Karen Brown were told a tale by their late grandmother, Alice Ellen Harris, who died in 1981. She was the daughter of Alice Sunnucks and Albert Harris. Alice Sunnocks was the daughter of Henry Sunnucks and Mary Richardson.
Their grandmother said one of their ancestors, thought to be a horse groom, had attempted to elope with the daughter of a wellto-do brewing family.
They were chased. Their horse bolted and the coach in which they were travelling overturned and both died in the accident.
But that’s about all they know. The cousins would really like to discover the name of their relative and the identity of his beloved.
It is thought the unlucky couple had some connection to Hadlow Castle (demolished in 1951).
Maureen, 73, and Karen, 54, suspect their ancestor involved would have been a Sunnucks or a Richardson. The 1871 census return reveals a number of Sunnucks living in Kelchers Lane, Hadlow.
One suspect is an Albert Richardson, Mary’s brother, who died in 1871, aged 18.
But the 1871 census gives his occupation as agricultural labourer not groom.
There seem to have been several brewing families in Hadlow at that time: Joseph Lamway of Style Place was listed as a “managing brewer” in the 1871 census - though his name was given as Joseph Samway in a previous one. He had two daughters who could have been the unlucky star-crossed lover: Mary aged 18 in 1871 and Florence, aged 14. But Florence is known to have died in 1875, aged 19, four years after Albert. Joseph Lamway, or Samway, was said to have been the manager for a Mr Henry Simmons, brewer, of Hadlow. There is also a “hop grower” Charles Ripping of Gold Hill House, but Mr Ripping had three sons and no daughters.
Anyone who can help should email ajsmith@thekmgroup. co.uk or call 01622 695666