VOL. IV - CHAPTER 12

James William Veness and Charlotte Edith Pocock

James William Veness was born on 4 December 1871 at The Common, Hooe, the son of James Veness, grocer and Margaret Cornford (Chapter 11). Father James registered the birth. He was christened on 25 February 1872 at Hooe Parish Church.

The 1881 and 1891 censuses show 'William' living with his parents firstly at Hooe Common and then at Sandhill Farm, Hooe. By 1891, aged 19, he is working as a butcher.

James William Veness married Charlotte Edith Pocock on 28 February 1900 at Hooe Parish Church. James William is described as a 28 year old bachelor, a butcher, the son of James Veness, butcher. Charlotte is described as a 26 year old spinster daughter of Thomas Pocock, labourer. Both parties signed the register. The witnesses were Mary Louisa Pocock and George James Pocock, Charlotte's brother and sister.

Charlotte Edith Pocock was born on 15 January 1874 and baptised on 22 February 1874 at Hooe Parish Church. Her line has been traced back to 1812 and can be found at Appendix E.

The couple had four children all baptised at Hooe Parish Church:

  • Margaret Mary Veness. Born 17 March 1901 at Hooe (Reg Gen June Qtr 1901 Hailsham 2b 89).
  • William Douglas Veness. Born 24 July 1902. (Reg Gen Sept Qtr 1902 Hailsham 2b 94). Baptised 28 September 1902 at Hooe Parish Church
  • Agnes Charlotte Veness. Born 21 April 1904 (Reg Gen June Qtr 1904 Hailsham 2b 91)
  • Edith Annie Veness (Reg Gen Dec Qtr 1906 Hailsham 2b 84).

The 1901 census shows the family living at The Common, Hooe. The entry reads:

  • James Veness, head, aged 29, butcher, born Hooe
  • Charlotte E Veness, wife, aged 24, born Hooe
  • Margaret M Veness, daughter, aged 1 month, born Hooe

The 1901 through to 1905 "Bexhill Almanac" lists Mrs James Veness and William Veness as butchers and Miss Edith Veness as running a grocery and general store at Victoria Villa, Hooe. No Veness's are listed in the 1906 or 1907 additions.

James and Charlotte with their three eldest children are pictured below. It is believed that James's mother Margaret Cornford is also pictured. Family members report the Margaret tried to discourage Charlotte from marrying her son, but to no avail. I have been told that "he liked a tipple" and would often stop at the pub while out delivering meat, only to come out later and find all his meat had disappeared. 

James and Charlotte's daughter Edith Annie Veness died in 1908 aged 1 year old (Reg Gen March Qtr 1908 Hailsham 2b 67))

James Veness had left the family home by 1911 and was seemingly never heard of again.  Again I have been told that when Charlotte approached the local police officers, they were reluctant to look for him suggesting that she was better off without him and her eldest daughter agreed, 

By 1911 Charlotte Edith Veness and her children were living at The Old Toll House, Ninfield. Charlotte , 37 shows herself as married and her occupation as 'charring'. Daughter Margaret was 10 years old, son William, 8 and daughter Agnes 6 years old. The property consisted of 2 rooms including the kitchen, but excluding the scullery, landing, lobby, closet and bathroom.

Toll houses were built by turnpike trusts in England, Wales and Scotland during the 18th and early 19th centuries to house the toll collector. In 1840, according to the Turnpike Returns in Parliamentary Papers, there were over 5000 tollhouses operating in England. These were sold off in the 1880s when the turnpikes were closed. Many were demolished but several hundred still survive as domestic houses. The old toll house in Ninfield has not survived, but was demolished for road widening. 

The remaining family is pictured below:

After the toll house was demolished Charlotte Veness worked as a housekeeper for "Old Mrs Scott" at Hollis Street Farm.  The open entries in the 1939 register include:

  • Ellen Scott. Born 25 March 1854. "Private means"
  • Adrian G Scott. Born 6 August 1892. Architect F.R.I.B.A
  • Barbara A Scott. Born 8 October 1893
  • Charlotte Veness. Born 15 June 1874. Domestic servant.  

Ellen Scott was the widow of George Gilbert Scott Junior (Born 8 October 1839. Died 6 May 1887), a gothic revival architect responsible for buildings at Cambridge Colleges, Dulwich College, etc. They had two surviving sons, one of which was Adrian Gilbert Scott was living with his mother in 1939. George Gilbert Scott Junior had married Ellen King Sampson in the 1870's. He was the son of Sir George Gilbert Scott (Born 13 July 1811 at the Vicarage, Gawcott, Died 27 March 1878 at South Kensington), also a gothic revival architect responsible for Midland Grand Hotel, at St Pancreas, the Albert Memorial and the London Chapel, Kings College. 

For a time during World War II it is believed that Charlotte lived at Recovieu, her son's house with "Old Mrs Scott" whilst the family were away, possibly because Hollis Street Farm had been requistioned. 

Towards the end of her life she went to live permanently with her son William Douglas Veness and his family at Recovieu. 

Charlotte  Edith Veness of Recovieu, Ninfield, married woman, died on 25 May 1956. Probate was granted to William Douglas Veness, butcher. 

My grandfather, William Douglas Veness is the subject of  Chapter 13. There is some information about his surviving sisters below:

Margaret Mary Veness

Margaret Mary Veness was born on 17 March 1901 at The Common, Hooe. Her father James occupation is 'journeyman butcher'. Her mother Charlotte registered the birth on 19 April 1901 (Reg Gen June Qtr 1901 Hailsham 2b 89).

"Meg" went into service where she remained throughout her life, working most latterly for the Adderley's in Chinnor, Oxfordshire. 

However at the time that the 1939 register was taken she was staying with her sister Agnes at 39 Aurelia Road, Croydon. 

"Meg" died on 31 March 1982 at Watlington & District Hospital. Her usual address had been "Two Shires", Sprigs Alley, Chinnor and her occupation is given as domestic service (retired).

Agnes Charlotte Watson nee Veness

Agnes Charlotte Watson was born on 21 April 1904 at Hooe (Reg Gen June Qtr 1904 Hailsham 2b 91)

"Peg" married Walter Watson in 1926 in Eastbourne. Walter had been married before and had a son, Tony who was killed in the World War II. They had no children of their own.

In 1939, Walter, a 38 year old plasterer and his wife Agnes were living at 39 Aurelia Road, Croydon. Agnes' sister Margaret was living with them.   

Walter Watson died in 1978.

Agnes Charlotte Watson died in 1994 aged 90 (Reg Gen October 1994 Croydon B73B 189)

Click here to go to "Chapter 13 - William Douglas Veness and Alice Emma Stranack"

To find out more about the Pococks click here to go to "Appendix E - Pocock"

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