John & Sarah Funnell of Chiddingly

John Funnell, son of Joseph and Lucy, was born on 7 February 1798 and baptised in Chddingly, as an adult, on 16 July 1820.

Sarah Colbran, daughter of Thomas and Ann, was baptised in Arlington on 14 July 1799.

John married Sarah in Chiddingly on 27 March 1819 and they had six children christened in Chiddingly:


15 Aug 1819

born 19 July, bur. 16 Dec 1819


16 Dec 1821

born 17 Nov


21 Sep 1828


16 Oct 1831


6 Feb 1834


26 May 1839

The 1841 census shows John and Sarah living in Nash Street, Chiddingly, with all the children shown above except Henry. John's occupation was given as agricultural labourer. On his daughter Mary's marriage certificate in 1848 John was also described as a labourer.

In 1851 John and Sarah were at Little Hewin Street, Hamsey, just north of Lewes with children Ann and William. Also with them was their son George with his wife Lucy and their son George.

By 1861 John and Sarah were at Ham Farm, Ringmer and John was described as a farm bailiff. Their son William was living with them and by 1871 William had married but was still sharing their house at Ham Farm.

Sarah died on 21 March 1880 and at the 1881 census John was staying with his son George at Cock Road in Ringmer. He died on 15 April 1881 and a headstone to John and Sarah stands in Ringmer churchyard.

headstone to John Funnell
in Ringmer churchyard

To the memory of
who departed this life
April 15th 1881
aged 84 years
Also of SARAH his wife
who departed this life
March 21st 1880
aged 81 years
We spend our years as a tale
that is told Psalm XC:9

John made a will in February 1880, in which he left everything to his wife, or in the event that she died first, which she did, everything was to be divided into 5 equal parts, one to each of his sons and one each to be divided between the children of his 2 daughters, both of whom had died young.

Of their children:

  • Thomas married Sarah Ann Reed in Chiddingly on 12 April 1845 and they are known to have had at least seven children:


    ca. 1845



    Q4 1846



    Q2 1847



    Q3 1851


    Sarah Ann

    Q3 1854


    Frederick William

    Q2 1858



    Q1 1863


    Thomas was a farm labourer living in Chiddingly in 1851 and East Hoathly in 1861, but by 1871 he was a carter and living in Lewes. By 1881 they were living at the swimming baths in Lewes where Thomas worked as an attendant. With them was his daughter, Ruth, who was an assistant at the baths. By 1891 Tom was a widower and was living in Lewes with his married daughter, Eliza Wellfare. Tom died in 1895.

  • George was a farm labourer, married Lucy Diplock, a shoemaker’s daughter from Ringmer, in 1850 and at the 1851 census they were staying with his parents in Hamsey with their only known child:


    ca. Apr 1850


    By 1861 they had moved to Ringmer where they were living on the London Road, near Park Gate, with their son George. In 1867 George purchased six cottages on Church Hill.

    In 1871 George and Lucy were living at Park Gate Cottage, possibly the same one as ten years earlier, with 3 servant girls, one of whom was George’s niece, Esther Hunnisett, daughter of Thomas & Mary. By 1878 George was listed in Ringmer directories as farm bailiff to George Bushby, the owner of Ham Farm. By 1881 he had moved to Cock Road, near the Cock Inn, and his widowed father, John, was living with them.

    In 1881 he added two cottages to the north of those on Church Hill and subsequently sold them. He also purchased for £175 an old cottage on Ringmer Green which he demolished and probably by 1884 he had replaced it with 1-3 Church Villas. By 1891 George was living at 1 Church Villas and was described as a Farm Bailiff and Road Surveyor. He retired in 1894 and was presented with a black marble clock by the family of the recently deceased George Bushby.

    Lucy died on 2 April 1898 and was buried in Ringmer. George probably moved to Brighton to stay with his son although he was not shown there in the 1901 census. He lived to be 78 and died on 13 August 1907 at 175 Queens Park Road, Brighton. This was the Beaufort Hotel where his son George was the licensed victualler.

    In June 1908 his executors sold his land and buildings including 1-3 Church Villas "with stable and coach house" and the cottages on Church Hill. Also sold was “a 7 acre meadow at Norlington Lane with a slaughterhouse, cattle shed, two stall stable, yard, piggery etc.”

    A memorial to George and Lucy stands in Ringmer churchyard:

    In loving memory of
    Beloved wife of
    Who passed peacefully away
    April 2nd 1898
    In her 68th year
    Into thy hands O Lord
    This precious soul welcome

    headstone for George and Lucy Funnell

    In loving memory of
    Who died August 13th 1907
    In his 79th year
    Life's race well run
    Life's work well done
    Here let him rest

  • Mary married Thomas Hunnisett in 1848 and they lived in Handcomb in the parish of Westham (see page for Thomas & Mary).
  • Ann married William Sands in 1853 and their children were:










    Jane Ann



    Frances Julia






    John William






    The family were in Falmer in 1861 and Folkington in 1871 by which time William had become a farm bailiff. Ann died later that year.

  • William, a farm labourer, married Ruth Carey in Chiddingly on 28 June 1862 but they do not appear to have had any children. They lived in Ringmer, where they shared a house at Ham Farm with William's parents until his mother died. In 1881 they had Fanny Case staying with them and it was, presumably, her daughter Catherine Case (born ca.1881) who was living with them in New Town, Ringmer, as their adopted daughter in 1891. William and Ruth were still living in New Town in 1901. Ruth died in 1907 and William in 1920. A memorial to them stands in Ringmer churchyard.