Jonathan & Mary Douch of Westham

Jonathan Douch, a son of Richard and Mary, was born in Westham in about 1813.

Mary Catt, daughter of John and Philadelphia, was baptised in Willingdon on 9 May 1813.

Jonathan married Mary in East Blatchington on 25 October 1834. They had seven children in Westham:


ca. 1836


born 11 Aug 1838


Q1 1840


Q4 1842


Q1 1849


Q1 1851


Q3 1854

Jonathan was an agricultural labourer and lived in Willingdon Drove in 1841 and in Friday Street in 1851, '61 and '71. He is known to have been a looker working for John Waters of Langney Farm and to have had his own herd of dairy cows. He also owned a house in Seaside which he rented out.

Jonathan hanged himself in a barn on 3 July 1874, aged 61, and was buried in Westham. There was an inquest at the Red Lion Inn and there were reports in the Eastbourne newspapers. From Jonathan's will it is apparent that he owned a cottage, 1 Norway Cottage, one of 16 on Seaside just opposite the Arlington Arms which was then in Willingdon parish and now part of Eastbourne. In 1871 it was occupied by Alfred Smith and his family.

By 1881 his widow, Mary, was a Cow Keeper on 20 acres at Friday Street employing one person, her son Andrew, who appears to have continued to manage the farm for a while after she died.

Mary died on 3 December 1888, aged 75. Headstones to Jonathan and Mary can still be seen in Westham churchyard.

headstone to Jonathan Douch

Affectionate Remembrance
Who Died July 3rd 1874
Aged 61
plagues and death around me fly
till he bids I cannot die
not a single shaft can hit
till the god of love sees fit

headstone to Mary Douch

Loving Remembrance
Who Departed This Life
December 3rd 1888
Aged 75 Years
when he giveth quietness
who then can make trouble?

Of their children:

  • Naomi married Caleb Elphick and they lived in Friday Street. (See page for Caleb and Naomi).

  • David started work as an agricultural labourer but by 1861 had joined the Royal Navy as a seaman. He married Eliza Parker (born ca.1840 in Farnham, Essex) in 1867 (registered in Eastbourne) and in 1871 he was a boatman in the Coast Guards stationed in Rye Harbour. In about 1875 he moved to Hastings and by 1881 he was stationed in Pevensey, still employed as a coastguard. David and Eliza are known to have had 6 children:

    Florence Eleanor

    Q1 1868


    David Charles Edgar

    Q4 1869


    George Ernest Victor

    Q4 1873


    Lily Annie M

    Q2 1878


    Albert William Parker

    Q2 1880


    Ellen Maude H

    Q3 1882

    St Leonards

    Eliza died in 1884 and in 1885 David married Elizabeth Allen (born ca.1857 Portsmouth) and they had three more children:

    Edith Grace

    Q4 1888


    Ethel Ella E

    Q1 1890

    Lydd, Kent - died 1894

    Frederic Arthur B

    Q4 1903

    St Leonards

    By 1891 David had been pensioned off from the navy and was running the Foresters Arms in Shepherd Street, St Leonards, which had been rebuilt and renamed in about 1887. He was still running the Foresters Arms in 1901 but seems to have given up the licence after Elizabeth died towards the end of 1904. The Foresters Arms still exists but is now a private house. By 1911 he was living in York Road, St Leonards with his son, Frederic, his married daughter, (Ellen) Maude Tildesley and her family. David died in 1922 aged 82.

  • Jesse is a mystery as although it is clear from his birth certificate that he was Jonathan and Mary’s child and born in 1838, he has only been found with them at the 1851 census. No other trace of him has been found.

  • Samuel joined the Royal Navy and was recorded in Portsmouth harbour in 1861. In 1871 he was at home with his parents and recorded as a farm labourer but I have not found him in the 1881 or 1891 census records so I suspect he was again serving in the Navy. In 1901 he was an inmate in Eastbourne Union Workhouse and his occupation was given as Navy. He died in early 1911 aged 68.

  • Grace was working as a housemaid for Mr Breton at Peelings Manor House in Westham in 1871. She married David French (born ca.1845 Wartling) in 1871 and they lived in Eastbourne with their children:

    David John W



    Albert Charles

    ca. 1876



    ca. 1881



    ca. 1890


    David was a dairy man and in 1881 they were living at 25 Bourne Street and in 1891 at 81 Ashford Road. By 1901, still in Ashford Road, David had become a bath chair proprietor. By 1911 Grace was a widow, still living in Ashford road with her son Percy who was a piano tuner. She died in 1931 aged 82

  • Charles was described as a carriage builder in 1871 and in later census records as a wheelwright. In 1873 he married Emma Fanny Ward and they lived in Eastbourne with their children:


    ca. 1873



    ca. 1874



    ca. 1876



    ca. 1878


    Mary Ann

    ca. 1880



    ca. 1881


    William Samson



    Georgina Florence



    Nelson Ernest

    ca. 1890


    In 1881 Charles the family were living at 4 Vine Square, in 1891 they were at 17 Bexhill Road, in 1901 they were at16 Lower Sidley Road and in 1911 at 8 Carlton Road.

  • Andrew was an agricultural labourer and worked for his mother after his father died. In 1881 he married Ellen Kemp (born ca.1858 in Herstmonceux) and they had at least 3 children:

    Ernest Jonathan

    Q3 1883


    Arthur James

    Q1 1886


    Alfred Leonard

    Q2 1887


    After his father died in 1874 he helped his mother run their herd of dairy cows until she died in 1888. He then appears to have inherited the herd and continued to run the 20 acres of land at Langney Farm where he is shown as a dairy farmer in 1891. However by 1901 he was working as a coachman and living at 26 Battle Road, Hailsham.  He was still there in 1911 but then working for himself as a Marine Store Dealer. He died in 1933, aged 78.