12 January 2016

Brunswick Terrace's Famous Residents, Hove

Judy Middleton (2001 revised 2012)

2 Brunswick Terrace   
Robin Maugham (1916-1981) He was a nephew of the famous novelist Somerset Maugham and he too became a writer much to the surprise of his family. Robert Cecil Romer Maugham was born in London and it seemed he was destined for the legal profession. His father had been Lord Chancellor, his maternal grandfather and his uncle had both filled the post of Lord Justice of Appeal while his great-grandfather had founded the Law Society. In later life Maugham was to say that practically the only thing he regretted in life was the time wasted in studying law.

copyright © J.Middleton
Brunswick Terrace

In World War II he joined the Army. He recalled he was late in arriving to sign up because he had been to a cocktail party and therefore he joined the shortest queue, which is how he landed in the tank section. In 1940 he was part of the 22nd Armoured Brigade and fought in Crusader tanks. He received a premonition he would be killed or wounded before he was hit in the chest and arm. Some shrapnel also lodged in his brain, which led to frequent headaches and the occasional blackout. He was invalided out of the Army.
 In 1957 he moved to the top flat of 2 Brunswick Terrace, owned by the Durnford family who ran a prep school in London. His partner Jim (he called all his lovers Jim) had a flat in the same building. Maugham referred to his time at Hove as the happiest days of his life. He had a housekeeper to look after him and there were several good friends nearby including Enid Bagnold, Terence Rattigan, Hector Bolitho and Gilbert Harding. Other friends travelled down from London to spend the day with him including Hermione Baddeley, Marguerite Steen, Graham Greene and Beverly Nichols.
In 1960 Maugham was staying at the Hotel Saada at Agadir (on the recommendation of TS Eliot) when he had another premonition. Hundreds were killed in the Agadir earthquake and Maugham was dug out of the ruins, injured but alive.

Maugham’s most famous work was The Servant, a play written in 1948, which was made into a film starring Dirk Bogarde in 1965. He also wrote biographies, travel books, and film scripts and at least seven of his books were turned into films. On 22nd December 1960 an intriguing work entitled The Two Wise Virgins of Hove was broadcast on ITV. In 1966 Maugham left England to live in Ibiza, followed by spells in Hong Kong and Morocco. Although Maugham died in 1981, it seemed the executors were taking an inordinate amount of time in sorting out his estate with the final part not being dealt with until 2000. In September 2000 it transpired that Boston University and Texas University were involved in a bidding war to secure his personal papers and manuscripts.

13 Brunswick Terrace
Hannah Brackenbury (1795-1873) Like many wealthy residents in Hove, the Brackenbury family moved south in search of health. If it had not been for an unfortunate set of circumstances, Hannah would have lived and died in obscurity and indeed nothing is known of her early life. It was her brother James who was in poor health and he died in 1844 shortly after their removal to Hove. Hannah and her brother Ralph were unmarried but James had been married and there was an only child Harriette but she died aged 28 in 1861 and her uncle Ralph died three years later. Thus Hannah became the sole survivor and heiress to a fortune so great that she was able to give away at least £100,000 during her lifetime.
Hannah was born on 17th November 1795, daughter of Francis Brackenbury, a member of the medical profession living in Richmond, Yorkshire. But he did not found the family fortunes; that honour was down to James B Brackenbury who settled in Manchester where he was a solicitor and whose firm eventually became Brackenbury & Lewis. Crucially, the firm advised the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Company. As the Manchester Guardian wrote candidly ‘it was no secret that in the early days of railway enterprise they made a large fortune’. Indeed when Hannah died she still held shares in the Great Northern Railway, the Midland Railway, the London, Dover and Chatham Railway, and the Crystal Palace and South London Junction Railway.

Pride in family history is nothing new but Hannah cherished delusions of a grand ancestry, claims that may or may not have been accurate. One claimed ancestor was John de Balliol, father of John Balliol, King of Scotland 1292-1296. It was Lady Devorguilla, John de Balliol’s widow, who founded Balliol College in 1282. In the 1860s Hannah donated at least £20,000 to Balliol College towards the construction of buildings on the south side of the quadrangle facing Broad Street. The plans provided for a tower over the front gate known as the Brackenbury Tower, which perhaps was some consolation for the crumbling condition of the original Brackenbury Tower at Barnard Castle where once John de Balliol had been a powerful lord. Hannah also endowed some scholarships at Balliol College for students wishing to qualify in law or medicine and these scholarships still exist.

In the 1840s the Brackenbury family lived in Brunswick Square but when the 1861 census was taken, they were living at 13 Brunswick Terrace. It was Hannah who was noted as head of household although she lived with her brother Ralph who was two years younger and a retired surgeon. But perhaps he was already ailing for he died three years later. Hannah described herself as a gentlewoman and the size of her domestic staff was about average for the area consisting of a butler, a housekeeper, a cook and two housemaids. Yorkshire-born Alice King was the housekeeper and by 1871 she had become Hannah’s trusted companion.
Alice was devoted to her employer and she seems to have been a gentle soul, quite unlike the rest of her grasping family. Hannah provided generously for all members of the King family including £1,500 in trust for each of Alice’s two nieces, and ‘£10,000 in trust for my faithful and affectionate friend Alice King, spinster, now residing with me’.

But less than a month after Hannah’s death, Alice’s brother John King, wrote to the trustees demanding an advance of £722. The trustees had a great deal of trouble with the wrangling amongst the King family, some of whom considered Hannah’s trinkets should automatically go to them. Mrs Bessie Churchyard, Alice’s niece, asked if she might have Hannah’s diamond bracelet. But the Revd William Rooper, one of the trustees, gave her instead a moral rap on the knuckles, not that he thought it would do much good. In fact Rooper was wrong on that count and the impoverished Mrs Churchyard did have a claim on the bracelet, which apparently was already adorning the wrist of Mrs Harper whose husband was one of the trustees.
Meanwhile it was said at the time of Hannah’s death Alice did not have two pennies to rub together. But when her late employer’s effects came up for sale, she bought some furniture although she had to borrow the money and had nowhere to keep the items. In 1873 the trustees sold to Alice King for £1,000 the villa in Portslade later known as Sellaby House in honour of the ancient Brackenbury link with Selaby in Durham and her brother lost no time in moving in too.    

copyright © J.Middleton
St Andrew Chapel, Waterloo Street 

It seems probable the Brackenburys attended services at nearby St Andrew’s Chapel, Waterloo Street whose incumbent from 1856 to 1863 was the Revd WH Rooper. But it is something of a mystery as to why the Brackenburys chose St Nicolas’s Church, Portslade for their family vault. If such an option was no longer available at St Andrew’s, Waterloo Street, there was always St Andrew’s Old Church, Hove. Perhaps they admired the picturesque location or perhaps they knew the vicar. When James Brackenbury was buried the long-time vicar was the Revd Henry Hoper who became vicar in 1815 and remained until his death in 1858. But when Harriette, Ralph and Hannah were buried, the next vicar, the Revd FG Holbrooke, was in charge (Hannah left him £300 in her will). In 1869 the elaborate Brackenbury Chapel was erected at St Nicolas and in 1871 the Brackenbury Schools at Lock’s Hill, Portslade were built at Hannah’s expense.

copyright © D. Sharp
Brackenbury Chapel at St Nicolas Church, South Street,

Hannah died on 28th February 1873, by which time she was living at 31 Adelaide Crescent (having also lived at 30 Brunswick Terrace after Ralph’s death). Her friends were surprised she lasted so long as she did because she had been very ill. Hannington’s arranged her funeral and the cortege took an hour to travel from Adelaide Crescent to St Nicolas’s Church. Her mourning coach was drawn by four black horses and followed by four other coaches, each drawn by four horses and Hannah’s private carriage was also in the cortege. The polished oak coffin with silver furniture and nails was placed in the family vault.
(see "St Nicolas Church" and "St Nicolas Church Monumental Inscriptions" pages on  for further information on the Brackenbury Chapel)

Samuel Lewis (1828-1901) In 1892 Lady Emily Williams sold the house to Samuel Lewis. The Williams family had lived in the house since at least 1871 and Lady Emily was the daughter of an Earl. The property included stabling of four stalls, a loose box, a harness room, a double coach house with three rooms and a hayloft above. Lewis spent a large amount of money re-decorating and improving the house. But then he could well afford to do so because he was the famous Sam Lewis of Cork Street, a moneylender par excellence. He came from a very poor Jewish background and started off as a humble pedlar but at the height of his powers he was acquainted with top members of society, including friends of the Prince of Wales. It was said he purchased properties in fashionable places in order to keep an eye on his clientele or to be available for business. His other properties included a prestigious address in Grosvenor Square and a house in Maidenhead.

One of the advantages of his Hove house was that he could attend services at the Middle Street Synagogue, Brighton, where he became a friend of the Rabbi. Two of Sam’s clients had Hove connections; they were the 4thMarquis of Ailesbury (who had a house in Eaton Gardens) and Lord William Nevill (4th son of the Marquess of Abergavenny). Not that these particular clients did much for Sam’s fortune but that of course was why he charged such a high rate of interest on his loans. His connection with the Marquis of Ailesbury cost him at least £73,000 and with Lord William Nevill he lost £11,000. The courts were not sympathetic towards Jewish moneylenders, whatever the rights and wrongs of a case, and so it was a risky business. But more often than not Sam backed the right horse and by the time he and his wife Ada died, they were able to bequeath £2 million to charity.

In 1991 the Samuel Lewis Group consisted of four registered housing associations that managed 4,500 homes. It is interesting to note the Samuel Lewis Housing Trust was involved in converting Hove Hospital into housing. As for the Brunswick house, after Sam died on 13th January 1901, Ada put it on the market. Louis Woolf Frankel lived in the house in the 1920s until around 1935. He was one of the prime movers of the Hove New Synagogue and meetings concerning the foundation of the congregation were held in his home. Later, he became one of the trustees when the old gymnasium in Holland Road was purchased in 1928 and converted into a synagogue.

15 Brunswick Terrace
copyright © J.Middleton
John Horace Round (1854-1928) was born on 22 February 1854 at 15 Brunswick Terrace. The house was built in 1827 for his grandfather John Round and J.H. Round continued to keep the property when he was grown up. The Rounds must have had one of the longest family associations with Hove.

The Rounds had extensive connections with Essex and John Round served as Member of Parliament for Ipswich from 1812 to 1818 and for Maldon from 1837 to 1847. John Round died in 1860.

J.H. Round’s father married Laura, youngest daughter of Horatio Smith whose best-known poem was Ode to an Egyptian Mummy. Smith also wrote novels and made a fortune as a stockbroker. It is interesting to note that a Miss Smith, daughter of Horatio Smith, was considered in the 1830s as the beauty of the exclusive school for young ladies founded by Miss Poggi at 32 Brunswick Terrace. It was said that Thackeray named the heroine of Pendennis after Laura Smith.

Unhappily, Laura died at the early age of 36 in 1864 when J.H. Round was only ten years old. Her death was such a blow to her widower that he could not bear to live in the house where they had been so happy. Although he retained ownership, he lived elsewhere for some 23 years and only returned to Brunswick Terrace in 1903 and there he remained until he died.

In view of this history, perhaps it is not surprising that J.H. Round liked to keep everything inside the house precisely the same as it had always been. Therefore ‘every glass shade and every antimacassar occupied exactly the same place that it had occupied when his father was alive.’

The Times described J.H. Round’s influence on the development of historical scholarship as profound ‘for he was a pitiless critic, attacking with impartial violence friend or foe, if he or she … dared to make an avoidable mistake, somewhat in the spirit of those Renaissance scholars for whom an error in grammar was a crime more revolting than murder.’

Antony Dale wrote of Round ‘He is perhaps best remembered for the violence with which he set forth or maintained his opinions in all historical arguments – a violence probably unequalled in the whole of English historical literature.’

Round waged a long war with Mr Freeman, a fellow historian, over the knotty problem of the Battle of Hastings.

The Round family connection with Essex has already been mentioned. It is interesting to note that one of Round’s most recognised achievements was a translation of the part relating to Essex in Domesday Book. He was in the forefront of meticulous historical research. But he was also fascinated by genealogy, which in his time was not considered worthy of academia, but of course is today considered of great importance to many people. 

There exists in a private collection a letter written by J.H. Round to Charles Thomas-Stanford dated 22 August 1923. The address was printed in red letters at the top of the page as 15 Brunswick Terrace, Brighton. He used to say this was the address that his grandfather used and he was adhering to family tradition. He had in his possession letters to his grandfather going back to 1828 with this precise address.

The letter was written in a large, untidy scrawl but he apologised for this and explained he had been laid up in bed as an invalid. He wrote the letter to Thomas-Stanford concerning the latter’s recent publication of Wick: a Contribution to the History of Hove.

Round wrote ‘it recalls to me memories of my youth, when I was too delicate to be sent to school and had to spend most of my time in solitary tramps over the Downs in search of health. I well remember the sudden sharpness of the break from the town to the open country at the top of Lansdowne Place. On the left were the stacks of Wick Farm; on the right was the farm yard – with the guns of the volunteer artillery packed under a long lean-to shed. My father used to take me to call on Mr Rooper, the quaint old clergyman who then lived in what is now Wick Hall.’ (Whatever his medical problems, Round managed to study at Balliol College, Oxford and came away with a First Class Honours degree).

But Round also took Thomas-Stanford to task as to the correct meaning of the word Wick, the appearance or non-appearance of Hove in Domesday Book, and whether or not Simon de Pierpoint took part in the siege of Acre in 1191 in the company of Richard, Coeur de Lion. But this was mild behaviour for Round and after all, the two families knew each other.

John Horace Round died at Hove on 24 June 1928.

In November 1990 Thomas Woodcote, Somerset Herald of the College of Arms, unveiled a plaque at 15 Brunswick Terrace to commemorate J.H. Round.


Revd Thomas Richard Rooper (the quaint old clergyman mentioned in the letter above) was a man of note at Hove. Although he moved south because of delicate health, he managed to survive for another 30 years at Hove. When he came to live at Wick Hall, he found there was no parochial school and he was instrumental in persuading the National Society to start educating poor children from 1834. At first the school met in the Old Market until 1840 when enough money was raised by public subscription to build new schools in Farman Street. Rooper was also a Brunswick Square Commissioner, a Hove Police Commissioner and a governor of the Royal Sussex County Hospital. Rooper was involved in the building of St John’s Church at Hove but he resigned from the building committee because he was angry that poor people were not being allocated a fair share of seats and there was no evening service for tradesmen. He was also unhappy at the soaring cost, which was well beyond the £3,000 of the original estimate. Rooper died in 1865 and part of his memorial inside St Andrew’s Old Church records his unremitting endeavour to alleviate the sorrows of the afflicted and distressed and to elevate the religious and moral condition of the children of the poor by improved education.’ His widow Persis died in 1871.

Rooper’s youngest son, Major Edward Rooper of the Rifle Brigade, died of wounds received at the Battle of Inkermann in the Crimean War. Another son, Revd William Henry Rooper was the incumbent of St Andrew’s, Waterloo Street from 1856 to 1863.

Prince and Princess Lieven. When the Rounds were not occupying the house themselves, they leased it out. In October 1830 Prince and Princess Lieven stayed in the house and they often dined at the palace with the King and Queen. Princess Lieven usually enjoyed Brighton but on this occasion she was out of sorts and wrote a letter to Lord Grey grumbling about the crowds and the tiresome cliffs and claiming she detested Brighton. During their stay, the Prince and Princess accompanied the King and Queen on their state visit to Lewes. Princess Lieven (1774-1857) was also a good friend of Prince Metternich (see 42 Brunswick Terrace).

16 Brunswick Terrace
Henry Brougham (1778-1868) In 1833 Henry Brougham, 1stBaron Brougham and Vaux, rented the house for the season and he and his wife stayed there at least twice for a few days. The Broughams must have enjoyed their time there because in 1834 they rented the house again. Although Brougham was born in Edinburgh, helped to found the Edinburgh Review and was called to the Scottish Bar, his views were too liberal to further his career there and so he moved south. Brougham became a popular hero with ordinary folk after he made some spirited speeches in defence of Queen Caroline in 1820, which caused the Divorce Bill to be dropped. Creevey was moved to comment on his incomparable speeches by which he so essentially served or rather saved the Queen, the Lords and the Constitution. However, Brougham’s actions placed him out of favour with the establishment. In 1822 he tried but failed to establish a scheme of national education. In 1839 he became Lord Chancellor and assisted in the passing of the Reform Bill. His knowledge was extensive but he had a bumptious personality that made him unpopular among his peers. In 1838 he invented the carriage that bears his name; it was a closed four-wheeled carriage light enough to be drawn by one horse.

Thomas Creevey (1768-1838) In the autumn of 1837 Lord Sefton stayed in the house and in October he entertained a party of guests including Creevey. Thomas Creevey, although a minor politician then, is now famous for his Creevey Papers – a journal that provides us with a window into Georgian society. An intriguing piece of gossip claims the 1st Earl of Sefton was Creevey’s real father. But there is no evidence the family provided a helping hand in his career and indeed Creevey was in his forties before he became acquainted with the 2nd Earl. They became firm friends after Sefton’s daughter Georgiana died suddenly and Sefton was inconsolable. It was Creevey who helped him out of his misery. In is interesting to note that when Creevey died suddenly, Sefton got in touch with Creevey’s solicitor and had all his papers sealed up.

18 Brunswick Terrace
The Earl and Countess of Munster In 1836 the Earl and Countess of Munster leased both numbers 18 and 19 from March to October. Their third son George was born there in April and baptised at St Andrew’s Chapel, Waterloo Street. George FitzClarence 1st Earl of Munster was the eldest son of ten children born to Prince William and his mistress of 22 years, the actress Dorothea Jordan. They led a contented domestic life until financial difficulties made him review the situation. Eventually in 1818 he married Princess Adelaide and in 1830 the couple became King William IV and Queen Adelaide.

George Augustus Frederick FitzClarence 1st Earl of Munster (1794-1842) started his military career before the age of fourteen as a cornet in the 10th Hussars. He served in the campaigns of the Peninsular from 1809 to 1811 and he was taken prisoner at Fuentes d’Onoro but managed to escape in the confusion. He also took part in the campaign of 1816-1817 against the Mahrattas in India and he was aide-de-camp to the Marquess of Hastings. He travelled overland from India and through Egypt carrying duplicate despatches and he published an account of his travels complete with sketches he had made of various Indian military uniforms of the day.

He married Mary Wyndham, an illegitimate daughter of the 3rdEarl of Egremont. The Munsters also stayed at 26 Brunswick Terrace. By all accounts he was an amiable man and very popular with his old comrades in the 10thHussars. But in later years he suffered from gout and possibly the pain or depression had an effect on him because he shot himself at his residence in Upper Belgrave Street on 20th March 1842. The implement he used was a pistol that had been presented to him by the Prince of Wales (later George IV).

19 Brunswick Terrace
Marquess Wellesey (1760-1842) Richard Colley, Marquess Wellesey, occupied the house from September 1828 to February 1829. He was the elder brother of the great Duke of Wellington (1769-1852) but found the reflected glory hard to bear. Yet the Marquess had spent an interesting time in India and enjoyed the posts of Governor of Madras and Governor General of Bengal both at the same time. He had also extended British influence in the sub-continent by defeating the celebrated Tipu Sahib, Sultan of Mysore. In the same year in which he lived at Brunswick Terrace, he had resigned the Lord Lieutenancy of Ireland. In later life he came to believe his career had been more important than it actually was and took to wearing his medals in bed.

Duke and Duchess of St Albans (Harriot Mellon) The Duke and Duchess of St Albans were resident in the house during the winter of 1829 and the previous year they lived at number 28. The Duchess started life as Harriot Mellon, illegitimate and Irish-born. But by 1796 she was established at Drury Lane and became a successful actress. An admiring contemporary actor described her as a countrified girl with a blooming complexion, a very, tall, fine figure, raven locks, ivory teeth, a cheek like a peach and coral lips. She caught the eye of Thomas Coutts, who was described as an old, pallid, sickly, thin gentleman dressed in a shabby coat and brown scratch wig. But he was also a banker and one of the richest men in England. He was 42 years her senior and after his wife died he married Harriot in 1815. Naturally enough his three daughters were horrified at the turn of events. They had married well and become the Marchioness of Bute, the Countess of Guildford and Lady Burdett. 
Harriot gave up the stage in 1815 because Mr Coutts objected to the costume she wore as Audrey in As You Like It, which included yellow, silk stockings and a short petticoat. Thomas Coutts died at the age of 90 in 1822 leaving Harriot the wealthiest widow in the kingdom. Her second husband, the Duke of St Albans, whom she married in 1827, was 24 years younger than her but both marriages were based on genuine affection. Harriot’s wedding present to her Duke was a gift of £30,000. People could not forgive her for being so fortunate and royalty and society in general snubbed her while wicked rumours and hurtful stories circulated about her. Even her generosity to local charities was held against her and finally she decided enough was enough and in March 1837 vowed she would never return to Brighton. She died the same year. 

Samuel Laing (1812-1897) In 1891 Scottish-born Samuel Laing aged 79 lived in the house with his wife and seven servants (five female and two male). He came from an old Orkney family and he represented Wick, and later Orkney and Shetland, as an MP. He was also something of an expert on railways and was chairman of the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway from 1848 to 1894. It was not until he retired from Parliament at the age of 70 that he turned his hand to authorship and published Modern Science and Modern Thought in 1885. It was a bestseller in its day, being an early example of how to bring science before a wider public. Writing must have been in his genes because his father (another Samuel Laing) had written popular works on his observations in Norway and Sweden in the 1830s while his uncle Malcolm Laing penned a notable 4-volume History of Scotland. 
 copyright © J.Middleton
John Waddington J.P.

John Waddington (1855-1935) He was born at Leeds but was educated at Brighton Grammar School and in Germany and he trained to become an engineer. His father constructed the first railway bridge over the Thames at Battersea while his grandfather made the first wheels and axles for George Stephenson in 1830 for use on the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. Waddington took a leading part in the development of Western Australia. In 1883 the area offered little attraction to the London investor but Waddington promoted and constructed 350 miles of railway there, which were still privately owned in 1935. He was the founder and chairman of Great Boulder Proprietary Gold Mines and helped to develop other industries too. 
The family seat was at Waddington Old Hall, near Clitheroe, Yorkshire but Waddington lived at 19 Brunswick Terrace from 1920 to 1935. In September 1920 he wrote to Hove Council complaining some ceiling ornaments had been displaced owing to the ‘pace of heavy Chars-a-banc and Motor Lorries’. He was reassured police were to clamp down on speeding, the speed limit being 12 miles an hour. He died on 12th October 1935 and his funeral was held at St John’s Church before burial in the family vault at Hove Cemetery.
Baroness de Chessiron Alice Margaretta Crichton Baroness de Chessiron died in the house on 27th September 1938. She married firstly the Revd John Crichton (a wealthy church dignitary) and after his death she married Baron (Guy) de Chessiron, son of Princess Caroline Murat whose grandfather was King Joachin Murat of Naples. She lived at 1 Brunswick Terrace (her first husband’s marriage settlement) then sold up and moved to 19 Brunswick Terrace. She worked for many charities, notably the British Sailors Society (she was president of the Brighton & Hove branch) and St Dunstan’s. Every Armistice Day, she sold poppies outside one of the three prestigious London hotels such as the Savoy, Berkeley or Grosvenor House.

23 Brunswick Terrace
Duke of Bedford (1766-1839) John Russell 6th Duke of Bedford lived in the house during the 1827 season. Evidently he enjoyed the environs of Brunswick Terrace for he had been one of the earliest visitors, staying at number 9 in 1826, and number 27 in 1828. The Duke was an officer in the Bedfordshire Militia from 1778 to 1781 and an ensign in the 3rdRegiment of Footguards from 1783 to 1785. But he soon transferred his attention to politics and improving his mansion at Woburn. The Duke married twice. His first wife was Georgiana Elizabeth, second daughter of George Byng 4thViscount Torrington. They had three sons including Lord John (1792-1878) who survived being born two months prematurely and went on to become an English statesman known as Earl Russell. The Duchess died in 1801 and the Duke’s second wife, also called Georgiana, was the fifth daughter of Alexander Gordon 4thDuke of Gordon. The couple produced seven sons and three daughters.

24 Brunswick Terrace
Sir Robert Peel (1788-1850) This British statesman and Prime Minister stayed at the house from August to September 1828. He was the son of a wealthy cotton manufacturer and calico printer. At Oxford University he gained a double first and he was as interested in sport as he was in the refinements of art and literature. Indeed it was a fall from his horse that led to his death. He is best remembered today for founding the Metropolitan Police (nicknamed Bobbies or Peelers after him) and for the repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846.
Sir Francis Burdett (1770-1844) He occupied the house during the winter season of 1829-1830. He was said to be the most popular politician of his time. In 1793 he married Sophia Coutts, a member of the important banking family. Their daughter Angela Burdett-Coutts inherited much of her paternal grandfather’s wealth and became a famous philanthropist. At the same time as Sir Francis was resident here, his wife’s former step-mother was not far away at 19 Brunswick Terrace. The lady was Harriot Mellon, second wife of Thomas Coutts but by then Duchess of St Albans.

Daughters of Spencer Perceval (1762-1812) By the 1840s the house belonged to the Misses Perceval whose father Spencer Perceval was the second son of the 2nd Earl of Egremont. Perceval became Prime Minister in 1809. On 11th May 1812, as he was entering the lobby of the House of Commons, he was shot and killed by John Bellingham who was hanged for the crime on 18th May. Perceval left behind a large family of six sons and six daughters. Mary, one of the daughters, died on 4thJanuary 1847 and on 2nd May the same year her sisters Margaret and Isabella made the Brunswick house over to Spencer Horatio Walpole and Dudley Montague Perceval. At the time the sisters lived in Crofton Hall, Orpington, Kent. Number 24 Brunswick Terrace was let to the Earl of Rosse whose widowed mother lived at 33 Brunswick Terrace. Isabella Perceval married Spencer Horatio Walpole, formerly Home Secretary, and in 1861 his sister lived at 7 Brunswick Terrace.

25 Brunswick Terrace
Baron de Moncorvo. In April 1844 Baron de Moncorvo, the Portuguese Minister, stayed here. He obviously had a dark complexion because Creevey rather unkindly described him as ‘a diplomat as black in the face as one’s hat’.

Earl and Countess of Scarborough They occupied the house in 1861 with their daughter, son, niece and a retinue of servants (seven female and five male). The 9th Earl of Scarborough (1813-1884) was a Lieutenant Colonel of the West Yorkshire Yeomanry. He married Frederica Mary Adeliza Drummond in 1846 and they had three sons, the third being born in 1862.
In September 1885 Jenner & Bell disposed of the lease of the house and the contents were sold off at auction. Among the items were a Spanish mahogany dining room suite upholstered in morocco leather, a rosewood library suite, a handsome enamelled white and gilt drawing room suite upholstered in figured blue damask, a pair of walnut cabinets, japanned bedroom furniture and brass and iron bedsteads.  

26 Brunswick Terrace
Comte de Flahaut. In 1830 the Comte de Flahaut and his English wife Margaret Elphinstone (daughter of Admiral Lord Keith) lived in the house. The Comte was the illegitimate son of Talleyrand and the Comtesse Adelaide de Flauhaut. To complicate matters further, the Comte was believed to be the father of the Duc de Morny by Queen Hortense of Holland. Hortense was Napoleon’s step-daughter and she was married to Louis Bonaparte, Napoleon’s third brother. The Duc took a prominent part in the 1848 coup d’etat on behalf of his half-brother Louis Napoleon.

George Wombwell (1788-1850) In August 1844 George Wombwell, founder of Wombwell’s Menageries, lived in the house, having stayed previously at 27 Brunswick Terrace in 1833. He died on 16th November 1850 of bronchitis. In spite of long standing ill-health, he was on the road with his menagerie when he died at Northallerton. The Times (27thNovember 1850) had this to say. ‘His enterprise and perseverance coupled with the possession of sound judgement and strict integrity, had gained for the deceased considerable wealth, and he has long maintained the position of being the largest proprietor of wild animals in the world. No one probably has done so much to forward practically the study of natural history among the masses, for his menageries visited every fair and every town in the country and were everywhere popular’.

Philip Salomons (1796-1867) On 4th September 1852 the house was almost entirely destroyed by fire. The Salomon family already lived there but while reconstruction work was going on, they had moved along the terrace to number 18 where their son David was born. The 1861 census records that London-born Philip Salomon (now a widower) was back at number 26 with his butler and six female servants and his son David was nine years old. Philip Salomons had married Emma Abigail, daughter of Jacob Montefiore, and they had four children; the 1861 census lists three, David, Stella and Laura. Emma became a beautiful woman and Nathaniel Hawthorne saw her at a Lord Mayor’s Banquet and was so enthralled he modelled Marion in The Marble Faun on her. Philip Salomons was one of the first serious collectors of Jewish ritual silver in Europe and he had his own private prayer room constructed on the roof of his house in Brunswick Terrace where the outline can still be seen today. He was involved in some land speculation at Hove when on 26th May 1849 he purchased fourteen acres of land for £8,250; the land was later covered by properties in the Upper Cliftonville development. Philip Salomons was the elder brother of Sir David Salomons who was the first Jew to become a Sheriff, an Alderman and Lord Mayor of London. Sir David Lionel Salomons (who was born at Brunswick Terrace) had the misfortune to lose both his parents at a young age and his uncle brought him up and his three sisters at Broomhill, Kent; a property he later inherited from his uncle as well as the baronetcy. David Salomons’ grand-daughter Vera Frances Bryce-Salomons died in her eighties at Limerick in 1969. She was the last survivor of one of Anglo-Jewry’s most distinguished families. 

Lord and Lady Lurgan. In 1881 Lord and Lady Lurgan were in residence. He was aged 49 and he was Lord Lieutenant of County Armagh, Ireland. Lord Lurgan had married the Honourable Emily Anne Browne, daughter of the 3rdBaron Kilmaine. By 1881 the couple had six unmarried daughters living with them ranging from 26-year old Mary to Isabella 18, Clementine 13 and Emmeline aged 7. James McLoughlin, Irish-born house steward, headed the retinue of servants. There were three male servants and amongst the eleven female servants were two lady’s maids, two sick nurses, a still-room maid, a school-room maid, and a nursery maid. There was also a Russian-born governess and altogether there were 24 people in the household. The following year Charles Brownlow 2ndBaron Lurgan (1831-1882) died and was buried in the churchyard of St Andrew’s Old Church. A family vault was created there, which by 1932 contained five coffins although apparently there was ‘room for two more’. The other coffins belonged to Roderick Cecil Brownlow, a 5-week old baby who died in 1914; the Hon Mary Emily Jane Brownlow (1854-1917); the 2nd Baron’s widow Emily Anne who died in 1923 and Lieutenant Colonel the Hon John Roderick Brownlow (1865-1932). When it was decided to build a new St Andrew’s Church of England School and playing field on top of this part of the cemetery, the five Brownlow coffins were discreetly removed and re-interred in Hove Cemetery on 1stMay 1973. In fact these were the only burials to be thus removed – all the others stayed put. This was because despite the necessary publicity nobody else came forward to lay claim to deceased relatives.

27 Brunswick Terrace
Sir Edward Kerrison (1776-1853) He owned this house from 1825 to 1853 and before that he had been living at Hove at Wick House from 1818. But it did not mean he always occupied the Brunswick house; for instance in the winter season 1828-1829 the Duke of Bedford and Lord Granville both lived at the house on separate occasions. Kerrison started his Army career as a cornet in the 6th Dragoons in 1796 and two years later he was promoted to captain. In 1798 he transferred to the 7th Hussars and by 1808 he was their Lieutenant Colonel. He saw action in Spain with his regiment and in 1809 he was severely wounded. At the Battle of Orthes, Kerrison and the 7th Hussars played a prominent part in the charge led by Lord Edward Somerset and the Duke of Wellington highly commended Kerrison. At the Battle of Waterloo on 18th June 1815 Kerrison was slightly wounded but his horse was shot from under him. He was knighted on his return to England in 1816 and he was made a General in 1851. He was also an MP, representing three different constituencies from 1812 to 1852. He married Mary Martha Ellice in 1813 and they had four children. Their son Edward Clarence was born at Wick House in 1821 and baptised at St Andrew’s Old Church but sadly the following year in June their two young daughters aged five and four were buried in the churchyard six days apart. The surviving daughter Emily Harriet grew up and married Philip Henry, later 5th Earl Stanhope. Kerrison died at his London residence in Great Stanhope Street on 9th March 1853.
Lord Granville. He was British Ambassador to France and lived in Paris from 1824 to 1827. He married Lady Harriet Cavendish whose brother was the Duke of Devonshire. Lord Granville stayed in the Brunswick house during the 1828-1829 winter season.

28 Brunswick Terrace
Hans Busk (1815-1882) He owned this house but leased it to various individuals. In 1828 the Duke and Duchess of St Albans were in residence (see also 19 Brunswick Terrace). Busk was one of the chief originators of the Volunteer Movement and founded a rifle club at Cambridge. His sister Rachel Harriette Busk (1818-1907) was fascinated by folk songs and travelled extensively gathering material, publishing them as collections from Italy, the Tyrol and Spain and the east.
Duke of Gloucester (1776-1834) In 1832 the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester stayed in the house. Frederick 2nd Duke of Gloucester married his first cousin Princess Mary. The Duke was therefore first cousin of William IV and the Duchess was the King’s sister. During the six weeks the Gloucesters were at the Brunswick house, the King, Queen and Princess Augusta visited often. Princess Augusta was also the King’s sister. In January 1835 the Marquess of Conyngham, an illegitimate son of George IV and his last mistress, lived in the house.

31 Brunswick Terrace
Major General Frederick Melkington-Stow. In 1891 Frederick Kenyon-Stow occupied the house with his wife Alice aged 41, and their children Arthur 16, Alice 14, Frederica 12, Ida 10, a governess, three female servants and two male servants including a boot boy.

32 Brunswick Terrace

copyright © J.Middleton
Imposing entrance on the corner of  Lansdowne Place but numbered as 32 Brunswick Terrace.

School for Ladies. For around 50 years this building was run as an exclusive private school for young ladies. Miss Poggi founded the school but by the time Frances Power Cobbe arrived there as a pupil in 1836, Miss Runciman and Miss Roberts ran the establishment. There were 25 girls ranging in age from nine to nineteen, several governesses and teachers and a considerable staff of respectable servants. Standard dress for the girls was evening attire of silk or muslin complete with kid slippers and gloves. The noise was considerable since each girl was obliged to spend two hours practising the piano, and lessons were taught in large double rooms where the girls recited their lessons in English, French, German and Italian. At least their accents should have been authentic because native speakers taught languages. Alessandro Manzoni was amongst the number and he was the author of the famous work I Promesi Sposi. Music and dancing were very important subjects and besides the piano and singing, lessons could also be taken on learning to play the harp, accordion or concertina. Old Madame Michaud came to teach the girls English dancing and other national dances, her stout frame draped in a heavy, green, velvet gown with a deep sable hem. Exercise was limited to decorous walks along the promenade accompanied by a governess (only six girls at a time) and the wielding of dumb-bells under the supervision of a military gentleman. Lessons in history and geography were limited to once a fortnight, and for science the girls attended public lectures given by a Mr Walker at Brighton. Religious instruction barely featured except for the girls having to learn a daily text from a little red book entitled Daily Bread.

All the girls had fathers of some social standing, country gentlemen, MPs, or offshoots of the aristocracy. There were several heiresses and a grand-daughter of a duke who was teased for being somewhat dim. Miss Smith was the school beauty and she was the daughter of the poet and author Horace Smith. The nominal fee was around £120 or £130 a year but there were so many extras that £1,000 for two years of education was probably nearer the mark.
By 1851 Mrs Jane Bushman, a 53-year old widow, and her daughter were running the school with the assistance of six governesses who taught Italian, German, French, English and music. There were seventeen girl pupils and six female servants. In 1861 Rebecca Davis, 40, ran the school with her sister Elizabeth, 33, who worked as a governess too. There were four other governesses and fifteen girls, including Lady Emily Corry, and seven female servants. By 1881 there were only eight pupils (two of them born in India). They must have had intensive tuition since there were four governesses to teach English, French, German and music. There were eight servants (seven female and one male). Mrs Harrington Clyde, a 48-year old widow, ran the school and her daughter lived in the house as well. By 1891 the school was gone.

Frances Power Cobbe (1822-1904) She came from a wealthy and distinguished Anglo-Irish family and was the only daughter of Charles Cobbe and Frances Conway. She had three much older brothers and she enjoyed a happy childhood and a close relationship with her mother. In her autobiography she wrote at length about the two years she spent at Miss Poggi’s School at Brunswick Terrace. Parts of it are often quoted as a classic example of the sort of education well-bred young girls received in the 19thcentury. Cobbe arrived at the school in 1836 and left two years later, quite satisfied she had received a thorough education. But she soon became aware of the limitations to her knowledge and set about educating herself.
When she returned home, she found her mother virtually bedridden and so she took over most of her duties and when her mother died, she became housekeeper and sole companion to her father. She was not close to her father, he having shown much more interest in his sons. But duty kept her at his side until he died in 1857 leaving Cobbe, now in her mid-thirties, free of family responsibilities. Her father left her an income of £200 a year, which was less than the pin money she received while running his home. Her brother and his wife inherited the family home and rather than linger on as the resident maiden aunt, Frances took off for a long journey around Europe and the Middle East.

She went to live in England in 1858 and sometime in the early 1860s began sharing a house in London with Mary Lloyd. Cobbe became a professional journalist contributing to a wide range of periodicals and supplying a regular leader for the daily paper Echo. In fact she was the most prolific writer among mid-Victorian feminists. She was involved in a number of good causes such as the Workhouse Visiting Society and the Society for Friendless Girls. She campaigned for female suffrage and played an important part in bringing about the 1884 Matrimonial Causes Act.
In the 1870s she became passionately involved in the anti-vivisection movement, establishing the Victoria Street Society, the most important organisation in the campaign. By 1892 she recorded she had written 320 books, pamphlets and leaflets for the anti-vivisection cause. But it came to a bitter end because she adopted an uncompromising approach whereas the Victoria Street Society began to accept lesser measures in view of the continuing failure to have vivisection made illegal. When the Society adopted this line officially in 1898, Cobbe resigned in disgust, seeing it as a betrayal of fundamental principles. Her support for Girton College ended in similar circumstances in the 1870s when female students were allowed to attend some lectures and demonstrations including vivisection of animals under anaesthetic. Although Frances had been the first woman to speak publicly about the benefits of university examinations for women, this was a step too far.          

One of Cobbe’s best-known articles was Wife Torture in England published in the Contemporary Review in 1878. She saw the tolerance of successive governments to violence against women was a direct result of women’s lack of political rights. She sought to make violence the grounds for a separation order. Another powerful piece was The Medical Profession and its Morality published in the Modern Review in 1881. She was angry at the contemporary belief that too much study had a bad effect on a woman’s health, upsetting their delicate constitution. She wrote sarcastically doctors had made a great discovery that mental labour was peculiarly injurious to the weaker sex and one term at Girton was worse than five London seasons.
In the mid-1880s Cobbe went to live in Mary Lloyd’s property in Wales. It was a sad blow when Lloyd died in 1896 because according to Cobbe they had enjoyed 32 years of mutual affection. 
33 Brunswick Terrace
Countess Rosse. Alice, Dowager Countess Rosse, lived in the house in 1841 with her grandson Hector, her grand-daughter and six servants (five female and one male). In 1797 Alice had married Lawrence, Earl of Rosse and Baron Oxmantown (1758-1841). He was joint Paymaster-General from 1809 to 1831 and Wolf Tone once remarked he was of the very few honest men in the House of Commons. By 1861 the Dowager Countess’s household consisted of herself, her grand-daughter and four female servants. She died in the house on 5thMay 1867 aged 87. Her son William Parsons, 3rd Earl of Rosse died in the same year. He was a well-known Irish astronomer and in the 1840s he spent £30,000 on constructing a giant reflecting telescope (58 feet long) in the park of his Irish home Birr Castle.

Field Marshal Sir William Gomm (1782-1875) He was born in Barbados but lived in this house from around 1867 until 1875. He followed a military career that spanned an amazing 60 years. He saw action in Hanover, Copenhagen, the Peninsular War (including the Battle of Coruna in 1809) the siege of Flushing, and Flanders (including the Battle of Waterloo in 1815). He was sent to Jamaica and Mauritius and ended his career as Commander-in-Chief of India from 1851 to 1855. By the time he came to live at Hove he was married to his second wife who was the grand-daughter of the 5th Marquis of Lothian. Probably the Field Marshal was used to plenty of space and so he occupied both numbers 33 and 34 although by 1871 there was only he and his wife plus seven servants (five female and two male). The Gomms used to spend winters in their Brunswick house. He was still in full possession of his faculties when he died at Hove on 15th March 1875.

36 Brunswick Terrace
Alan Lennox-Boyd (1904-1983) He lived in the house in 1954 but he had an earlier experience of Hove when he arrived in May 1940 to train at HMS King Alfred. He served in the RNVR during World War II and he commanded a motor-torpedo boat off the east coast in the Dover patrol. He cut an imposing figure, as he was 6 feet 5 inches in height. 
He had been educated at Sherborne and Christchurch, Oxford. In 1938 he married Patricia, daughter of the 2nd Earl of Iveagh, a member of the Guinness family and enjoyed a considerable fortune.  He was MP for mid-Bedfordshire from 1931 to 1960 but his great interest and expertise was always colonial history and in 1954 he achieved his ambition of becoming Secretary of State for the Colonies. He believed colonies should evolve to self-government by a gradual process but circumstances and Harold Macmillan conspired against him. He had an unusual capacity for work and when he was Colonial Secretary he used to arrive at his office before 6am.

37 Brunswick Terrace
Sir George Buller (1802-1884) In 1871 Sir George Buller, retired Lieutenant General aged 67, lived in the house with his wife Lady Buller who was 27 years his junior. Their household contained four female servants and four male servants plus the coachman’s wife. Buller spent the first 25 years of his Army career in perfect peace but he certainly made up for it later. In 1848 while serving in South Africa he was severely wounded leading the attack on Boem Plaats and his horse was killed under him. In 1854 at the Battle of Inkerman during the Crimean War he was again badly wounded, this time in the left arm. But he was a tough old soldier and survived to the age of 82. In the Crimea, he was appointed a Brigadier General and was in command of the 2ndBrigade, which consisted of the 19th, 77th and 88thRegiments. (He was no relation of Sir Redvers Buller).

38 Brunswick Terrace
Harrison Ainsworth (1805-1882) In August 1845 the novelist Harrison Ainsworth was in residence while the following year he stayed at 6 Brunswick Square. By this time he was already a celebrated novelist having published Rookwood (1834) Old St Paul’s (1841) and Windsor Castle (1843). But for Sussex readers his best-remembered books are Ovingdean Grange and Old Court for their local connections. Cruickshank, who illustrated the works of Charles Dickens, also illustrated many of Ainsworth’s works.

42 Brunswick Terrace
Prince Metternich (1773-1859) His full name was quite a mouthful, Prince Klemens Wenzel F├╝rst von Metternich. His name became known throughout Europe because he was the foremost diplomat of his time and he had taken part in the Congress of Vienna. But even such an eminent personage was not immune to the dangers of popular unrest and indeed the year 1848 was dubbed the year of revolutions. In that year Metternich fled the turbulence of the continent and found refuge in England. It was a relief to the family to spend some months in a country that was not in turmoil.

Metternich’s private life was also worthy of note because he fathered sixteen children and there may well have been others; seven of the children were born to his first wife.

When Prince Metternich arrived at Hove, his third wife Princess Melanie and their four youngest children Richard, Melanie, Paul and Lothar, came too. The arrival of such an eminent party meant that the Brighton Master of Ceremonies, Colonel Eld, hastened to meet them at Brighton Station and escort them to 42 Brunswick Terrace where they took up residence. The Metternichs thought their Hove house was superior to the one they had occupied in Eaton Square, London. The Metternichs remained at Brunswick Terrace from September 1848 to April 1849. 

The season that year at Brighton was brilliant with the place full of celebrities. Many prominent people also beat a pathway to Brunswick Terrace to visit Prince Metternich. They included Lord Brougham, Lord Aberdeen, Lord and Lady Palmerston and Disraeli. Prince Metternich also entertained his sister Princess Koresewich.

Metternich’s daughter Melanie was the person responsible for the reconciliation of her father with his old flame Princess Dorothea Lieven. Princess Lieven (1784-1857) had a famous Paris salon and the two lovers exchanged letters for eight years but by the time of their rapprochement, they had not set eyes on each other for 26 years. The first impression of the ravages that time had wrought on both of them was not favourable. But they had so much in common because they shared a wide circle of mutual friends and acquaintances to gossip about and there was always politics. They met most days, either at the Bedford Hotel where she was staying or at Brunswick Terrace. She did not like the fact that Metternich had known Napoleon and she had not.

Metternich enjoyed the mild temperature and pure air at Hove. He was astonished to see a magnificent magnolia grandiflora in Brunswick Square Gardens and it reminded him of a similar one he had enjoyed at his villa on Lake Como. He liked to walk beside the sea, watching the procession of carriages and pedestrians taking their constitutional with the shipping out at sea providing another point of interest. Meanwhile, Princess Metternich rediscovered her faith in God by contemplating the wide expanse of sea in front of her windows.    

The stone plaque commemorating Prince Metternich’s stay must be one of the first plaques put up at Hove and the Regency Society were responsible for its installation rather than Hove Council. The stone plaque follows a classical style and blends well with its surroundings but it cannot be said the inscription is as legible as white lettering on a blue background.

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