Can you solve mys­tery of the horse groom and his ill-fated lover?

Kent Messenger Maidstone - - FRONT PAGE -

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. or call 01622 695666

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