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THOMAS & HANNAH SON JAMES TREE-5

 

JAMES  WAS  NAMED AFTER HIS FATHER'S TWIN BROTHER MY NEXT INLINE OF DESCENT MARRIED MARIAH LENNARD ON THE 11th OF FEBRUARY AT ST. DENYS CHURCH ROTHERFIELD. JAMES AT THIS TIME WAS AGED 22. LIKE HIS FATHER THOMAS HE ALSO WAS A STONEMASON & BRICKLAYER, AND PROBABLY SERVED HIS TIME WITH HIS FATHER, AS DID HIS OLDER BROTHER THOMAS.

FOR SOME UNKNOWN REASON JAMES & MARIAH MOVED TO MEREWORTH IN KENT. ABOUT 50 MILES FROM ROTHERFIELD, AND IT IS HERE THAT THEIR FIRST THREE CHILDREN WHICH WERE ALL GIRLS WERE BORN, AND BAPTISM WERE RECORDED. THE FIRST BEING LEAH MAY 25th 1809,FOLLOWED BY SARAH NOVEMBER 10th 1811 AND LASTLY CAROLINE APRIL 17th 1814.

 

JAMES & MARIAH HARMAN WERE AT MEREWORTH IN KENT  IN 1810 THE KING GEORGE THE 3rd BECOME FINALLY MAD, HIS SON FINALLY GOT HIS WAY AND WAS PRONOUNCE PRINCE REGENT.

GEORGE THE 3rd WAS THEN AGED 72,THE END OF HIS LIFE WAS VERY SAD, HE WAS A BLIND OLD MAN WITH A LONG WHITE BEARD. HE WORE A LONG PURPLE GOWN AND SHAMBLED AROUND THE ISOLATED ROOMS AT WINDSOR CASTLE. HE DIED AT THE AGE OF 92 ON THE 29th JANUARY 1820.

HIS SON GEORGE THE 4th REIGNED ON THE THRONE FOR TEN YEARS FROM 1820 -1830,BUT HE HAD BEEN ACTING AS PRINCE REGENT FROM 1812- 1820.AS A YOUNG MAN HE WAS DESCRIBED AS HANDSOME, BUT AS HE GREW OLDER WITH DRINKING AND DEBAUCHERY HE GREW FAT.

 

GEORGE THE 4th GREATEST DISASTER CAME IN 1795 WHEN HE AGREED TO MARRY HIS COUSIN CAROLINE OF BRUNSWICK IN ORDER TO PERSUADE PARLIAMENT TO PAY OFF HIS DEBTS. CAROLINE WAS FAT, COARSE, VULGAR, AND UNWASHED. SHE HERSELF DID NOT THINK MUCH OF GEORGE EITHER AND AFTER HER MARRIAGE SPENT A GREAT DEAL OF TIME IN ITALY, LEADING A LIFE OF DEBAUCHERY.

 

CAROLINE RETURNED TO ENGLAND TO CLAIM HER RIGHTS AS QUEEN IN 1820 WHEN GEORGE WAS CROWNED KING. QUEEN CAROLINE AND GEORGE SHE BECOME THE FOCUS OF POPULAR DISCONTENT. POSTERS APPEARED WITH THE QUEEN FOREVER GEORGE IN THE RIVER!.

GEORGE THE 4th TRIED TO GET HIS MARRIAGE TO CAROLINE ANNULLED BUT PARLIAMENT WOULD HAVE NONE OF IT.  QUEEN CAROLINE TURNED UP FOR THE CORONATION, BUT WAS TURNED AWAY AT THE DOORS OF WESTMINSTER ABBEY. THE QUEEN CAROLINE DIED SUDDENLY IN THE FOLLOWING YEAR ON 7th OF AUGUST 1821.

 

AFTER LIVING IN MEREWORTH FOR NEARLY 6 YEARS JAMES & MARIAH HARMAN RETURNED TO THE VILLAGE OF THEIR BIRTH ROTHERFIELD. IT IS POSSIBLE THAT THE REASON FOR THEIR RETURN WAS THE DEATH OF HIS BROTHER JOHN, THE YOUNGEST SON OF THOMAS & HANNAH. FOR JOHN DIED IN 1613,HE WAS JUST 16.

WITH JAMES & MARIAH AND THEIR GROWING FAMILY.  ON THEIR RETURN THE FOLLOWING CHILDREN WERE BORN AND BAPTISED AT ROTHERFIELD.  FIRSTLY JAMES BORN FEBRUARY 4th 1816. WILLIAM BORN NOVEMBER 18th 1919. THOMAS AFTER HIS GRANDFATHER BORN FEBRUARY 14th 1921,THEN ANOTHER GIRL NAMED HARRIET BORN JUNE 6th1923 NAMED AFTER HIS SISTER, CHARLES A BOY BORN APRIL 4th 1926, THEN JOHN BORN JANUARY 1st 1929 NAMED AFTER JAMES BROTHER JOHN WHO HAD DIED AT THE AGE OF 16.

 

MEANWHILE AT THE TIMES NEWSPAPER DESCRIBE GEORGE THE 4th AS A HARD DRINKING, SWEARING MAN WHO AT ALL TIMES WOULD PREFER A GIRL AND A BOTTLE, TO POLITICS AND A SERMON. GEORGE THE 4th GREATEST CLAIM TO FAME WAS A MAN OF STYLE, A MAN OF TASTE, PLUS HIS FRIENDSHIP WITH Beau BRUMMELL. ALSO THE BUILDING OF BRIGHTON PAVILION. GEORGE WAS AN OLD MAN BY THE TIME HE WAS 60 AND LIVED AT WINDSOR WITH ALL HIS AGEING MISTRESS'S DRINKING BRANDY LACED WITH LAUDANUM. GEORGE THE 4th DIED ON THE 26th JUNE 1830.

GEORGE THE 4th ONLY HAD ONE CHILD FROM HIS MARRIAGE TO QUEEN CAROLINE. THIS WAS A MARRIED DAUGHTER CHARLOTTE, BUT SHE DIED FROM CHILDBIRTH. SO THERE WAS NO HEIR TO THE THRONE EXCEPT THE THIRD SON OF GEORGE THE 3rd THIS BEING HIS SON PRINCE WILLIAM WHO HAD JOINED THE NAVY AS A MIDSHIPMAN AT THE AGE OF 13.

 

S0 WHEN THE DAUGHTER OF GEORGE 4th DIED.  PARLIAMENT DECIDED THAT PRINCE WILLIAM SHOULD BE KING AND MARRIED QUICKLY. THIS TO PROVIDE A FUTURE HEIR TO THE THRONE OF ENGLAND. HIS PRIZE WAS ADELAIDE OF SAXE-COBURGMEIINGGEN. BUT NONE OF THEIR CHILDREN LIVED MORE THAN A FEW HOURS AFTER BIRTH THROUGH OUT THEIR MARRIED LIFE.

HIS TASTE WAS THAT OF A SAILOR, HIS LANGUAGE STRONG AND  HIS OPINIONS FORTH RIGHT. HE OR ANY BODY ELSE NEVER SUSPECTED THAT HE WOULD BECOME KING, BUT DUE TO A CIRCUMSTANCE THAT IS WHAT HE DID. BECOMING, WILLIAM THE 4TH. THE GENERAL OPINION IN THE NAVY WAS THAT HE WAS RATHER A FOOL.  'SILLY BILLY' WAS THE INEVITABLE NICKNAME. WILLIAM THE 4TH BECAME KING ON THE 26TH JUNE 1830 HE WAS AGED 64. HE WAS ALL FOR SLAVERY, AND BELIEVED IN THE FREEDOM OF RELIGION.  ON THE FIRST DAY OF HIS REIGN WILLIAM THE 4TH WENT AROUND LONDON DOFFING HIS HAT TO ALL-ASUNDER. THOSE WHO LOOKED RESPECTABLE HE WAS OFFERING THEM LIFTS.  THIS DID NOT APPEAL TO THE COURTIERS WHO HAD BEEN USED TO A STATELIER KING IN GEORGE THE 4TH EVEN THOUGH HE WAS A WASTREL. WILLIAM THE 4TH SPITTING COPIOUSLY DID NOT GO DOWN TO WELL EITHER. WHEN THE PRIVY COUNCIL LINED UP TO KNEEL TO WILLIAM THE 4TH, HE DECLARED 'WHO IS A SILLY BILLY NOW'?  BUT WILLIAM WOULD HAVE NONE OF THE POMP AND EXPENSE FOR THE CORONATION, AND PEOPLE APPLAUDED HIS THRIFTINESS AS THIS SAVED ON TAXES FOR THEM.

SO IN THE YEAR 1830 WHEN WILLIAM (SILLY BILLY) CAME TO THE THRONE ALL THE ABOVE CHILDREN HAD BEEN BORN.

HOWEVER A FURTHER CHILD WAS BORN IN 1834 BUT HE DIED THIS BEING OBEDIAH.

 

OBVIOUSLY THIS WAS NOT THE BEST TIME OF LIFE FOR MY GREAT-GREAT-GREAT-GRANDMOTHER MARIAH TO HAVE A CHILD AND ON THE DAY IT WAS BORN IT WAS PRIVATELY BAPTISED OBADIAH ON 6TH SEPTEMBER 1834. WHICH MEANT THAT IT WAS NOT EXPECTED TO LIVE.  WITHIN FIVE MONTHS THE BABY BOY DIED AND WAS BURIED IN.  ON NEW YEAR'S DAY, 1ST JANUARY 1834

IN THE YEAR BEFORE 1833 LEAH HARMAN GAVE BIRTH TO A BASE-BORN CHILD SARAH ANNE. SHE WAS BAPTISED MAY 26TH 1833 AND LIVING AT YEW TREE, GILLHAMS BIRCH. WITH JAMES & MARIAH

 

IN THE FOLLOWING YEAR IN 1835 CAROLINE, WHO WAS LEAH'S YOUNGER SISTER HAD A BABY GIRL NAMED ELIZA, ALSO OUT OF WEDLOCK. JAMES & MARIAH UNDERTOOK TO HAVE THEM LIVE WITH THEM.

JAMES & MARIAH HAD BOTH DAUGHTER'S AND THEIR CHILDREN NOW LIVING WITH THEM.

  

THIS WAS MOST UNUSUAL IN THAT NORMALLY  UNMARRIED MOTHER'S WERE NORMALLY OSTRACISED BY VILLAGER'S AND PARENTS.

BUT THIS WAS NOT THE CASE IN JAMES & MARIAH 'S OUTLOOK. FOR IN BOTH CASE'S WHERE THEIR DAUGHTER'S HAD BASTARD CHILDREN, THEY WERE STILL KEPT WITHIN THE FAMILY CIRCLE DESPITE PUBLIC OPINION.

 

IN THE SAME YEAR LEAH HARMAN MARRIED EDWARD DADSWELL. ON OCTOBER 19TH, 1835.  WITNESSES FRANCIS DADSWELL, POSSIBLY EDWARD'S MOTHER AND ONE NAMED NICHOLAS BARHAM.

 

THE FOLLOWING YEAR A DAUGHTER FRANCIS WAS BAPTISED ON NOVEMBER 5TH, GUY FAWKES DAY 1836.  THIS BIRTH WAS TO AFFECT LEAH AS HER BURIAL WAS REGISTERED WHEN THE CHILD WAS ONLY EIGHT WEEKS OLD ON JANUARY 19TH, 1837.AT THE AGE OF TWENTY-SIX.  THIS GIVING US INDICATION THAT LEAH HARMAN WAS BORN IN 1811.

TO FOLLOW THIS TRAGEDY ON THE LOSS OF THEIR DAUGHTER LEAH, A FURTHER TRAGEDY FOLLOWED WITH THE DEATH OF THEIR GRANDDAUGHTER & DAUGHTER OF LEAH.

SARAH-ANN WHO HAD REMAINED  LIVING WITH JAMES & MARIAH AFTER HER MOTHER MARRIED.

DIED AGED FOUR-LIVING AT YEW TREE AND REGISTERED BY CHAPLAIN TURNER CROWBOROUGH AS THE BURIAL TAKING PLACE ON THE 30TH OF  APRIL.

AGAIN THIS DEATH PROBABLY CAUSED BY THE DREADED SPRING WINDS THAT HERALD DIPHTHERIA.

 

 BECAUSE WILLIAM THE 4th HAD NO HEIRS TO THE THRONE FROM HIS MARRIAGE TO ADELAIDE HIS NIECE VICTORIA DAUGHTER OF HIS BROTHER THE DUKE OF KENT WAS NEXT IN LINE TO SUCCESSION. WILLIAM THE 4th HAD NEVER GOT ON WITH VICTORIA'S WIDOWED MOTHER, NOR SHE WITH HIM.  THERE WAS SO MUCH BAD FEELING THAT HIS NIECE VICTORIA NEVER WENT COURT AS HER MOTHER SAID IT WAS A DEN OF VICE.  NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH. WILLIAM THE 4th RESPONDED TO THIS BY PUTTING CRUDE STORIES ABOUT THE DUCHESS OF KENT.  WILLIAM THE 4th WAS A DOWN TO EARTH MONARCH THAT WAS WELL LIKED BY THE COMMON MAN. AT A PARTY PRIOR TO HIS DEATH HE WAS QUOTED AS HAVING SAID THAT HE HOPED THAT HE WOULD REMAIN ALIVE LONG ENOUGH FOR VICTORIA HIS NIECE TO BE OF AGE TO ASCEND THE THRONE.   THIS SO HER MOTHER WOULD NOT BECOME THE REGENT .HIS WISH WAS GRANTED.  ONE MONTH AFTER VICTORIA'S 19th BIRTHDAY, HE EXPIRED. WILLIAM the 4th DIED ON THE 20th JUNE 1837. ADELAIDE IN AUSTRALIA IS NAMED AFTER HIS QUEEN.

 

IN THE SAME YEAR IN 1837 EIGHT YEARS AFTER THE DEATH OF HER HUSBAND, THOMAS HARMAN.  HANNAH HARMAN HIS WIFE DIED IN 1837 AT THE GRAND OLD AGE OF 84. IT WAS AT THIS POINT IN TIME THAT DEATH CERTIFICATE'S BECAME LAW AND ONE WAS ISSUED FOR HANNAH. , WHERE ONE HAD NOT BEEN ISSUED FOR THOMAS HER HUSBAND.  IT WAS HER SON THOMAS WHO REPORTED HER DEATH AND REGISTERED IT.  THE CERTIFICATE STATES THAT HANNAH DIED FROM "OF NATURAL CAUSE" ON THE 21ST OF SEPTEMBER 1837..  HER SON THOMAS WAS NOT MARRIED, BUT AND LIKE HIS FATHER AND BROTHER JAMES A BRICKLAYER.

 

QUEEN VICTORIA CORONATION TOOK PLACE IN JUNE 1839,SHE DISPENSED WITH HER MOTHER AND HER MOTHER'S PRINCIPAL ADVISOR SIR JOHN CONROY, WHO WAS AN AMBITIOUS IRISH OFFICER WHO IT WAS RUMOURED WAS THE LOVER OF HER MOTHER.  ON BECOMING QUEEN SHE SELECTED LORD MELBOURNE AS HER PRINCIPAL ADVISOR, A MAN OF FIFTY-EIGHT HE BEING A WHIG AND A GREAT LAND OWNER, WHO HAD NO TIME FOR THE PLIGHT OF THE POOR, SHOWING NO SYMPATHY OR CONCERN WITH THE SUFFERINGS OF THE POOR IN THE MINES, FACTORIES, AND WORKHOUSE'S. THIS CAUSING GREAT SOCIAL UNREST.

LORD MELBOURNE RESISTING AND ADVISING QUEEN, VICTORIA TO RESIST ALL KINDS OF REFORM.  HIS CONTRIBUTION WAS "LEAVE WELL ALONE". THERE WAS AN ATTEMPT TO ASSASSINATE THE QUEEN IN 1840 WHICH WAS A SYMPTOM OF THE SOCIAL UNREST. , WITH TWO SIMILAR ATTEMPTS IN 1842,FOLLOWED BY ATTEMPTS IN 1849,1850,1872,AND 1882.

 

THIS SHOWING THE HARDSHIPS THAT WAS FACING THE ORDINARY MEN, WOMEN, AND CHILDREN OF THE LAND. QUEEN, VICTORIA WAS FAR FROM THE MOTHERLY OLD LADY THAT YOU MIGHT ENVISAGE FROM THE STATUES THAT DOMINATE MANY OF OUR CITIES.

 

IN FACT WHERE IN THE PAST NO SNOBBERY EXISTED BETWEEN CLASS'S. IN HER REIGN IT BECAME RIFE. FOR MANY YEARS ALL THROUGH THE REIGN OF QUEEN, VICTORIA THE PHRASE THAT THE ORDINARY AND COMMON MAN SHOULD KNOW THEIR PLACE IN THE ORDER OF THINGS IN SOCIETY. THIS ATTITUDE WAS REFLECTED THROUGH OUT THE COUNTRY, AND THIS ATTITUDE WAS REFLECTED IN ROTHERFIELD.

ORDINARY PEOPLE ALL OVER IRELAND, SCOTLAND, ENGLAND, AND WALES WERE EXPLOITED BY THE LIKES LORD MELBOURNE WHO WAS ONE OF  MANY

WITH WORKING CONDITIONS POOR WAGES, AND LIVING AT A NEAR STARVATION LEVEL.

 

IN 1839 QUEEN, VICTORIA MET PRINCE ALBERT OF SAXE-COBURO WHILE HE WAS ON A VISIT TO LONDON, HE BEING THREE MONTHS YOUNGER THAN QUEEN, VICTORIA WHO FELL IN LOVE WITH HIM. PRINCE ALBERT HIMSELF DID NOT EVER FEEL THE INTENSITY THAT VICTORIA DID, ESPECIALLY AT FIRST.  BUT A GREAT AFFECTION GREW FOR HER AND SHE WAS QUEEN OF ENGLAND.  SO HE AGREED TO MARRY HER, AND WHEN BOTH WERE AGED TWENTY, AND MARRIED IN THE FEBRUARY OF 1840.

 

PREVIOUS TO QUEEN VICTORIA'S MARRIAGE TO PRINCE ALBERT IN 1840, IN THE YEAR PRIOR TO THAT IN 1839 JAMES HARMAN THE ELDEST SON OF JAMES AND MARIAH MARRIED MARY- ANN BOERDON A SERVANT ON NOVEMBER 4th 1839 AT ST: DENYS CHURCH.

JAMES JUNIOR HAD BEEN EDUCATED AT SIR JOHN FORMERS SCHOOL AT CROWBOROUGH.  THIS WAS BEING RECORDED IN A MEETING OF THE CHURCHWARDENS VESTRY BOOK FOR ROTHERFIELD PARISH. WHERE IT IS STATED THAT JAMES HARMAN HIS FATHER HAD PUT FORWARD HIS NAME FOR EDUCATION AT THE SCHOOL. THE CHURCHWARDENS AGREED THAT JAMES COULD BE ACCEPTED.

THESE SCHOOLS WERE CHARITY SCHOOLS THAT TAUGHT READING AND WRITING RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION, BUT ABOVE ALL TO TEACH THE PUPILS THEIR PLACE IN SOCIETY AND NOT TO THINK ABOVE YOUR STATION IN LIFE. IN OTHER WORDS YOU WERE NOTHING.

  

IN THE CENSUS OF 1841, JAMES MY GREAT. -GREAT-GREAT-GRANDFATHER AND MOTHER MARIAH WERE NOW LIVING IN ROTHERFIELD AND AT HOME AT THE TIME OF THE CENSUS, SON WILLIAM MY GREAT-GREAT-GRANDFATHER WHO WAS NOT TO GET MARRIED FOR ANOTHER TWO YEARS AT THE AGE OF 22 AND REGISTERED AS BRICKLAYER/JOURNEYMAN.

THOMAS, AGED 19, REGISTERED AS BRICKLAYER JOURNEYMAN, AND SON CHARLES, AGED 14, REGISTERED AS AGRICULTURE LABOURER, AND SON JOHN, AGED 11, HARRIET, DAUGHTER AGED 16.  JAMES & MARIAH  WERE AT HOME.  BUT MARIAH CALLED  LYDIA HARMAN.

WITH JAMES & MARIAH WAS ELIZA AGE 4- THE RELATIONSHIP WAS RECORDED AS GRANDDAUGHTER, THIS BEING CAROLINE'S CHILD BORN OUT OF WEDLOCK.

ELIZA, LIVED WITH HER GRANDFATHER JAMES  UP TILL THE TIME HE DIED.

IN 1853 AT THE AGE OF 18 SHE ALSO HAD A CHILD BAPTISED AS BASE BORN IN THE PARISH RECORDS. THIS CHILD WAS CHRISTENED LOUISA.

WAS HISTORY FOR CAROLINE'S DAUGHTER ELIZA TO BE REPEATED. TO KNOW THIS FURTHER RESEARCH WOULD BE REQUIRED AT EAST SUSSEX COUNTY OFFICE AT LEWES.

 

THE HOUSE THAT JAMES & MARIAH LIVED IN AT THE TIME OF THE 1841 CENSUS WAS SITUATED OPPOSITE THE KINGS ARMS IN THE CENTRE OF ROTHERFIELD, AND JAMES WAS BECOMING REASONABLY WEALTHY.

IN THE YEAR FOLLOWING THE CENSUS ON 8TH FEBRUARY, 1842, HARRIET AT AGE 19, YOUNGEST DAUGHTER OF JAMES & MARIAH MARRIED WILLIAM  HALLETT, THE SON OF JOHN &  ANNE HALLETT, A CARPENTER OF DANE GATE, THEY WERE MARRIED BY THE REVEREND ROBERT CREAME.

 

BY 1847, JAMES AND MARIAH HAVING SIX GRAND-CHILDREN THAT WE KNOW OF JAMES AND MARY ANN HAVING THREE (JAMES, MARIA-ANN AND ELLEN ANN),

WILLIAM AND CHARLOTTE HAVING TWO (HERBERT AND JOSEPH, ) WITH THOMAS AND ANN HAVING ONE CHILD, A BOY NAMED FREDERICK..

IN THE FOLLOWING YEAR ON 11TH NOVEMBER 1848, MARIAH HARMAN NEE LEONARD WAS BURIED AT ST DENYS  AGED SIXTY-ONE. MARIAH HAD BEEN MARRIED TO JAMES FOR FORTY YEARS.

CHARLES AND JOHN STILL BEING AT HOME AND ALSO ELIZA THE GRAND DAUGHTER: THE DAUGHTER OF CAROLINE.

CHARLES NOW TWENTY YEARS OF AGE, JOHN SEVENTEEN AND ELIZA TEN YEARS.

CENSUS YEAR 1851 GRANDDAUGHTER  ELIZA WAS  AGE 14  AND  THE DAUGHTER OF CAROLINE WAS STILL AT HOME, WITH  JAMES HER  GRANDFATHER WHO HAD RE-MARRIED BARBARA BLUNDELL  A WIDOW FROM FRAMFIELD.

JAMES BEING AGED 63 AND BARBARA AGED 66, THE DAUGHTER OF JAMES COTTINGTON.,

 

IT WAS TWO YEARS AFTER MARIAH’S  DEATH IN 1850 JAMES THE WIDOWER MARRIED BARBARA BLUNDELL A WIDOW FROM FRAMFIELD AT ST: DENYS ON THE 9TH MAY 1850.

 

SO AT THE AGE OF SIXTY-SEVEN JAMES, MY GREAT-GREAT GRANDFATHER WHO WAS IN THE YEAR 1854 AND LIVING IN THE CENTRE OF ROTHERFIELD, WITH HIS SECOND WIFE BARBARA NEE (BLUNDELL) HAD ALL HIS SONS LIVING AT FROGSHOLE WITH TWENTY-THREE GRANDCHILDREN FROM HIS SON'S FAMILIES.  TWELVE GRANDSONS AND ELEVEN GRAND-DAUGHTERS.

  

ALTHOUGH HAVING TWELVE GRANDSONS IN THE YEAR 1854 ONLY SEVEN REACHED ADULTHOOD.  THUS SHOWING AGAIN, THE FATALITY OF CHILDREN.

 

IT IS RECORDED IN THE HISTORY OF ROTHERFIELD CALLED 'OUR VILLAGE' PRODUCED BY THE ROTHERFIELD HISTORY RESEARCH GROUP AND HERE WE ARE DISCUSSING1900.FIFTY YEARS ON.

 

IF YOU WERE ILL YOU HOPED TO GET BETTER, IF YOU COULD AFFORD A DOCTOR YOU HAD ONE.  MEDICINE'S (SUCH AS THEY WERE) HAD TO BE BOUGHT AND FAMILY NURSED THEIR SICK.

 

THE WELCOME SUMMER BREEZE BROUGHT AN UNSEEN AND MOST UNWELCOME VISITOR -DIPHTHERIA, WHICH LEFT IN ITS CRUEL WAKE A CRUEL AND SAVAGE LEGACY OF DEATH. THE COST OF ONE FAMILY COULD BE THE LOSS OF EVERY CHILD IN THAT FAMILY.

 

IN THE EARLY 1900'S, A MOTHER OF SEVEN CHILDREN FROM TOWN ROW SET OFF EARLY ONE MORNING WITH HER YOUNG DAUGHTER BY HER SIDE AND WALKED TO TUNBRIDGE WELLS.  SHE RETURNED LATE IN THE EVENING OF THAT DAY CARRYING HER BARELY CONSCIOUS CHILD WHO WAS MINUS HER TONSILS.  BUT LIFE AND DEATH REQUIRED SUCH FORTITUDE AND SACRIFICE TO SURVIVE.

SO THE LOSS OF 50% OF THE CHILDREN REACHING ADULTHOOD IS NOT SURPRISING THE YEAR 1854 ONWARDS.

 

SURPRISINGLY IN THIS HARSH ENVIRONMENT, MY GREAT-GREAT GRANDPARENTS WILLIAM AND CHARLOTTE ONLY LOST ONE CHILD.  THIS EDWIN WHO WAS BORN LATE IN LIFE TO WILLIAM AND CHARLOTTE.

 

HOWEVER, ALL FIVE BROTHERS WERE COMPARATIVELY WELL OFF AND THEIR PARTICULAR STANDARD OF LIVING ABOVE THE NORMAL.

THOUGH LIFE WAS HARD, THERE WERE OCCASIONS FOR FUN.

MY GREAT-GREAT GRANDFATHER WILLIAM LIKE HIS FATHER JAMES AND HIS GRANDFATHER THOMAS BEFORE HIM WOULD HAVE ATTENDED THE ROTHERFIELD FAIR, HELD TWICE A YEAR

IN ALL PROBABILITY MY GREAT-GREAT-GREAT GRANDFATHER JAMES AND GRAND MOTHER MARIAH WOULD SEE ALL THEIR SONS AND THEIR FAMILIES ON THE DAYS THESE FAIRS WERE HELD, WHICH WAS 18TH JUNE AND THE 20TH OCTOBER, THE LAST DATE BEING NEAR ST. DENY'S DAY.

THE FAIRS WERE LARGE AND EXCITING AND WITH ALL SORTS OF SHOWS AND MERRY-MAKING AS WELL AS CATTLE SALES.

YOU CAN IMAGINE MY GREAT-GREAT GRANDMOTHER CHARLOTTE, WITH HER SISTER-IN-LAWS MARY-ANN, RHODA, &  ANN,  THE MARTIN SISTERS AND JANE WIVES OF JAMES, THOMAS, CHARLES AND JOHN.  RESPECTIVELY, GETTING THE CHILDREN READY IN THEIR

BEST CLOTHES AND BOOTS, PACKING FOOD THEY HAD MADE BETWEEN THEM, FRESH FRUIT OR HAM AND FRESH BAKED BREAD AND FLEAD CAKES.

MOST OF THE FOOD HOME PRODUCE.  HAM FROM THE PIG KILLED AND CURED ONCE A YEAR, A COMMON PRACTICE AMONG THE HARMAN' S, AS NEARLY ALL OF THEM FARMS OR SMALL HOLDINGS AS WELL AS WORKING AS STONEMASONS OR BRICKLAYERS.

  

EVENTUALLY THEY WOULD ALL BE READY AND OFF THEY WOULD GO THROUGH FOOTPATHS TO ROTHERFIELD FAIR.

 

TO ENJOY FOR ONCE THE DRASTIC CHANCE FROM NORMAL DAY TO DAY STRUGGLE STRANGERS FROM OTHER AREAS.  SOME AS FAR AWAY AS WALES WHERE A GREAT MANY MEN TRAVELLED FROM WALES STOPPING AT MANY FAIRS TRADING CATTLE AND MANY HORSES.

IT IS ON RECORD THAT IN A QUARREL BETWEEN ROTHERFIELD MEN AND THE WELSHMEN. A WELSHMAN, WAS KILLED.  THE AFFAIR WAS "SETTLED" AND THE DEAD MAN WAS BURIED BY THE ROADSIDE BY LONG CROFT WEST OF THE VILLAGE.

 

EVEN AT TIMES OF FUN AT THE FAIR, TIMES WERE SAVAGE. MY GREAT-GREAT GRANDMOTHER CHARLOTTE AND THE OTHER DAUGHTER-IN-LAWS MARY-ANN, RHODA ANN, AND JANE WOULD VISIT MY GREAT-GREAT-GREAT GRANDFATHER JAMES HOUSE RIGHT SLAP BANG IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FAIR.

SONS WOULD PROBABLY HAVE ACCOMPANIED THE WOMEN-FOLK  AND THE CHILDREN FOR PARTAKING IN THE EXCITEMENT OF THE FAIR.

 

MAYBE THEY ALSO TRADING BUT EVENTUALLY THE SONS WILLIAM, JAMES, THOMAS CHARLES AND JOHN WITH THEIR FATHER JAMES ADJOURNED TO ONE OF THE TAVERN'S IN ROTHERFIELD.

IT COULD HAVE BEEN KING'S ARMS, CATT'S INN NEXT DOOR TO JAMES'S HOUSE OR GEORGE INN WHICH HE LIVED OPPOSITE TO AT ONE TIME.

MEN WERE HARD-DRINKER'S AND THIS WAS THE ONLY FORM OF RECREATION AT THE END OF A HARD DAY'S WORK.  HOWEVER RECORDS SHOW THAT THOUGH HARD-DRINKING A FACT OF LIFE, IT DID NOT REFLECT ON THE FAMILIES CONTINUOUS GROWTH IN BUSINESS OR IN MONETARY TERMS.

 

AT THE END OF THE DAY THEY WOULD HAVE GATHERED TOGETHER PROCEEDING TO WALK HOME WITH THE WOMEN-FOLK A~ CHILDREN ON SHOULDERS THAT WERE TIRING.

WE NOW RETURN TO THE YEAR OF THE CENSUS 1871

 

JAMES HARMAN NOW AGED 73 AND BARBARA 76,. THEY ALSO ARE EMPLOYING A SERVANT TO LOOK AFTER THE BOTH OF THEM. HER NAME BEING EMILY SLATER.AT THE AGE OF EIGHTEEN.

THIS IS THE LAST CENSUS THAT MY GRT- GRT- GRT- GRANDFATHER JAMES HARMAN & HIS SECOND WIFE BARBARA (NEE) BLUNDELL ARE TO APPEAR AS THEY ARE BOTH COMING TO THE END OF THEIR LIFE SPAN. BARBARA NEE BLUNDELL JAMES SECOND WIFE DIED IN 1862 AND WAS BURIED ON THE 3RD FEBRUARY  AND FOUR YEARS AFTER HER DEATH JAMES DIED IN 1868 ON THE TENTH OF JANUARY AT THE GRAND OLD AGE OF 80. HE HAD BEEN MARRIED TO MARIAH FOR 40 YEARS AND HIS SECOND WIFE BARBARA FOR 12 YEARS.

 

MY GRT- GRT- GRT PARENTS JAMES &- MARIAH HARMAN  I BELIEVE A CARING AND DEVOTED COUPLE TO THEIR FAMILY.

AT  ONE TIME THEY HAD LIVING WITH THEM THEIR DAUGHTERS ILLEGITIMATE CHILDREN, ELIZA WHO LIVED WITH THEM UP TO THE AGE OF 16, AND SARAH ANN WHO DIED IN THEIR CARE AT THE AGE OF 4.

  

 THEY ALSO LOST TWO OF THEIR SONS AT A EARLY AGE THOMAS AND CHARLES AS WELL AS OTHER GRAND CHILDREN. JAMES WAS SUCCESSFUL IN BUSINESS AND REASONABLY WEALTHY, AND HIS REMAINING CHILDREN WERE ALSO LIVING REASONABLE LIFE STYLE.

 

IN THE YEAR MY GREAT-GREAT GRANDFATHER JAMES WAS BORN, GEORGE III WAS KING OF ENGLAND BUT TWO YEARS AFTER HIS BIRTH, GEORGE IV TO BE FOLLOWED BY WILLIAM IV IN 1830 AND QUEEN VICTORIA IN 1837.  HE WAS TO LIVE THROUGH FOUR REIGNS.

Harman's History & Index Trees