Mark Tristan Cooper 073


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NLHG Newsletter Editor

John Cheshire

NLHG Newsletter




0642 Roger at Church farm


2013 2014 2015 2016

Light at the end of the tunnel? Let us hope we can meet in September as restrictions gradually get lifted.


Forthcoming Meetings: 7.30 in the Methodist Hall unless stated otherwise


July 16th                  The Sporting History of Sussex Matt Homewood cancelled

August                     No meeting

September 10th      (2nd THURSDAY of the month)  The Brede Giants by Barbara Atkinson

October 8th             The History of Herstmonceux Castle by Melinda Stone

November 12th        The Sporting History of Sussex by Mat Homewood


Pavilion sessions are still suspended at the moment.

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Don’t forget to jot down some thoughts about being in lockdown or shielding during the Covid 19 pandemic. This will be a really valuable contribution to our social history records for future generations.


Crime and Punishment:

In the 19th century penalties for wrongdoing were extreme. The government transacted legislation favouring the landowners. There are records from the Quarter Sessions showing the men TRANSPORTED from here:  

1831 Joseph Simmons, age 27 and his friend John Markwick were convicted of stealing 8 bushels of peas, the property of John Farmer, Ninfield. Markwick was sentenced to 3 months hard labour but Simmons was transported for 7 years. Simmons received a further 7 years for the theft of 9 chickens from the same farm.

1837 Joseph Foots, age 16 and his brother Stephen aged 18 sent away for 7 years. The brothers were both labourers and were indicted for breaking and entering the dwelling house of Henry Crisford in Ninfield. They stole a piece of pickled pork, 16lbs of butter and a crock.

1844 James Gilmer, alias Davis, a Labourer with a record of petty theft, aged 52 years transportation for 7 years.

1848 John Markwick a labourer, aged 65years deported for 7 years. He had pleaded guilty to stealing one bushel and a half of oats, the property of James Gates. He was sentenced to transportation because of a previous conviction. Thanks to Ann Martyr for these items.

July 1827: Joseph Crouch of Ninfield was imprisoned for a fortnight of hard labour for stealing one truss of straw, the property of his master Francis Tapsell.

December 1845: Stephen Wenborn a labourer aged 37, pleaded guilty to stealing, at Ninfield, 6lbs ground oats, value 6d, the property of Thomas Oxley. Sentenced to three months hard labour.


During the 1830s there was a great deal of unrest throughout the area due to the effects of a severe agricultural depression. From the Brighton Gazette 11th November 1830: ”The first overt act was the destruction of the barns and premises of Mr Emery, the Overseer of Battle, which were burnt to the ground. This outrage, had been preceded by a demand of increased wages on the part of the labouring classes, who were assembled in great numbers. The premises occupied by Mr Emery belonged to John Fuller Esq. of Rosehill. Since that event the state of Battle and its neighbourhood has been most alarming. The population has always been known as comprising many reckless and abandoned characters, and there is now a perfect reign of terrorism. On Tuesday we were alarmed by a tumultuous assemblage of labourers from Ninfield. They had put their Overseer into a cart and brought him to Battle, but were met in the street by Sir Godfrey Webster, Mr Briscoe, the constabulary and many of the inhabitants. The Overseer was liberated and the ringleaders seized, an event they seemed quite unprepared for. Four ringleaders were sent off to Lewes jail that afternoon”.


Photo from the Archive: Workers at Clarks Nursery, Downs View is built on this site now. Upper Church Path is behind them?


















Group Contacts:

John Cheshire (Chair/Newsletter) Tel: 892248, Anthony Gibbons (Treasurer) Tel: 892612 , Jackie Cheshire (Secretary) Tel: 01323 833897, Corinne Gibbons (Membership)  Tel: 892612, Jan Cooper (Archivist) Tel: 893381, Janet Savage Tel: 892749, Jane Dommersen Tel 892428.

To email the committee members please use [email protected]



Please note that from April 2017

the NLHG Newsletter will be published

                                         Bi Monthly


                                    July 2020

2018 2019 2020 02550 Workers at Clarks nursery