VOL. IV - CHAPTER 10

Thomas Veness and Sarah Fairburn

Thomas Veness son of Joseph and Francis Veness was baptised on 8 October 1826 at Wartling Parish Church (Chapter 4).

At the time of the 1851 census, Thomas, then aged 24 and unmarried, was employed as a groom by and was living with John Turner, the curate of Wartling, his wife Louisa and their three children at Vicarage House, Wartling.

In addition the Turners also had in their employ:

  • Sarah Potter, aged 24, Cook. Born Warbleton
  • Isabella Gander, aged 19, Housemaid. Born Hellingly.
  • Mary Holden, aged 21, Nurse. Born Brighton.

Thomas Veness married Sarah Fairburn on 9 October 1853 at Holy Trinity Church, Coventry. Thomas is a 25 year old servant, the son of Joseph Veness, labourer. He gives his address as Stratton Upon Dunsmore. Sarah was a 25 year old servant, from West Orchard, daughter of Reuben Fairburn, labourer. 

Thomas and Sarah had three children:

  • Mary Veness. Born 1854 in Liverpool
  • Joseph Veness. Born 1856 in Bootle
  • Sarah Frances Veness. Born 1859 in London City. 

On 7 September 1856, their children Mary Veness aged 2, and Joseph Veness were baptised at Wartling Parish Church. 

By 1861 Thomas and Sarah were living at Moor Lane, Cripplegate, London. Thomas Veness, aged 35 was a police constable and later censuses indicated that like his brother William he was with the City of London Police. His wife Sarah, aged 38, had been born in Yorkshire, their daughter Mary, now 7, had been born in Liverpool and their son Joseph Veness, now aged 5, had been born in Bootle. I assume that Thomas had moved north because of his job with the police, had met Sarah and had two children before moving back down to London. I suspect that they did not return to Wartling, but were staying there when they choose to have their children baptised in 1856.

Thomas and Sarah's youngest daughter, Sarah Frances Veness died in 1861 (Reg Gen Dec Qtr 1861 East London 1c 15).

In 1871 the family were living at 77 Lower Thames Street, St Dustan in the East, London. The entry includes:

  • Thomas Veness, head, aged 44, police constable, city, born Wartling
  • Sarah Veness, wife, aged 54, born Yorkshire
  • Joseph Veness, son, aged 15, apprentice carpenter, born Bootle
  • William Dear, lodger, widower, aged 59, Ship brokers messenger

Daughter Mary was no longer at home.

By 1881, Thomas Veness, aged 54, police constable, born Wartling and Sarah Veness his wife, aged 65, born Hamfordwest, Yorks were living at 77 Lower Thames Street, All Hallows, Barking. No children were at home at that time.

I can find no trace of Thomas or Sarah in the 1891 census.

Sarah Veness had died by  1901  and at the time that the census was taken, Thomas Veness, a retired police constable was a widower living at Hankham Cottage, Hankham Street, Westham with his son Joseph Veness, aged 45, a carpenter born in Bootle Lancashire and his daughter Mary Veness a domestic, aged 47, born Liverpool.

Thomas Veness died in 1904 aged 78 years old (Reg Gen Sept Qtr 1904 Hailsham 2b 41).

The following is known about Thomas and Sarah's surviving children:

Mary Veness

Mary Veness was born in 1854 in Liverpool the daughter of Thomas and Sarah Veness.

In 1861 she was a 7 year old living with her parents in Moor Lane, Cripplegate, London.

In 1871, Mary, now 17 was a general servant living and working for Elizabeth A Carpenter, a 79 year old annuitant and her 54 year old daughter Elizabeth at 2 Askew Crescent, Hammersmith.

In 1881, Mary was a housemaid working for John Thomas, the vicar of Hillingdon and his family and living at the Vicarage at Hillingdon.

By 1891 Mary had moved to Sussex and is living at 1 Princes Road, Hastings. She is described as a lodging house keeper and at the time the census was taken she had two boarders, Constance Broadby, 22 and Theodore M Lias, 20, both "living on their own means".

In 1901 Mary was back living with her widowed father and her brother Joseph at Hankham Cottage, Hankham Street, Westham. Mary, now aged 47 gives her occupation as a domestic.

Following her father's death, Mary once again left the area and in 1911, aged 57 she was a cook working for and living with Dallas Oldfield Harrington, a 78 year old widower, a clergyman in the established church at The Rectory, Burghfield, Reading.

Joseph Veness

Joseph Veness was born in 1856 in Bootle, the son of Thomas and Sarah Veness.

In 1871 Joseph was 15 year old apprentice carpenter living in St Dunstan in the East with parents.

I have been unable to find Joseph in either the 1881 or the 1891 census.

In 1901 he was a 45 year old carpenter living with his widowed father and sister Mary at Hankham Cottage, Hankham Street, Westham. The census indicates that he had never married.

In 1911, a former carpenter, Joseph, now 55 was an inmate at Eastbourne Workhouse.

Eastbourne Poor Law Union was formed on 25 March 1835 and its operation was overseen by an elected Board of Guardians representing the parishes covered, namely Alfriston, Eastbourne, East Dean, West Dean, Folkington, Friston, Jevington, Littlington, Lullington, Pevensey, Seaford, Westham, Willingdon and Wilmington.

The new Eastbourne Board of Guardians retained the existing workhouse for use by the Union and in 1859 finally purchased the site. The main building stood at the west with various outbuildings, including converted stables, situated around the rectangular site. A chapel dating from about 1857 stood at the centre. In 1877, an infectious hospital was erected at the east of the site. It was converted to a infirmary in 1887. Later additions included a Master's house in 1913. In 1927-8, a new ward block was built on the site of the old chapel. 

´┐╝The workhouse later became St Mary's Hospital. The buildings were demolished in 1990 and the site now contains a housing development.

Joseph Veness died in 1912 aged 56 years old (Reg Gen Sept Qtr 1912 Eastbourne 2b 92)

Click here to go to "Chapter 11 - James Veness and Mary Cornford".

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