JOHN HOARE'S FAMILY HISTORY
George Cheesman senior
first draft 28/2/2004 reformatted 1.2012
George Cheesman senior was also known as George Cheesman the elder, and George Cheesman Childrens, a reference to his grandmother's name. His father was baptised 'John Cheesman, son of Barbara Childrens', and the record shows 'baseborn'.
George was the third born. The first was John, who died as an infant, and the second was also John. Several members of the family were builders, but George was to build up a substantial business and play a large part in the growth of the town. There are countless references in the official records and books and newspaper articles to the work of the family:often these merely refer to the surname, making it difficult to know who was involved in a specific project. I have gathered together all the records I can find on my 'Cheesman Builders' page.
The situation is made more complicated by the fact that George's first son was also George (George the younger), but was not the 'son' of 'George and son': this was George's second son Charles. George the younger, who also has his own page, was an architect, although probably not formally trained, credited with the design of many building projects.
As if running a major business wasn't enough, George owned several sea-going ships, and there are many newspaper references to mackerel caught by his fleet of fishing boats. These are recorded in my 'Cheesman shipowners' page.
George played a major part in the running of the town as a member of the Directors and Guardians of the poor. However, there are suggestions that this group sometimes used their position to their own advantage. This is described in some detail (although names are not named, unfortunately!) in 'The History of Brighton' (also titled 'the History of Brighthelmstone') by John Ackerson Erridge, published 1862, available to read at East Sussex Records Office in Lewes.
George and his family spent their lives in Kensington Street, in the North Laines of Brighton, although at thev time it was rather different to how it is now.
George married Alice Taylor, a local girl, in 1813. They had eight children, but three died as children. Alice last appears in the 1851 census.
George died in 1866, aged 74, from rheumatic gout. The local newspaper, the Brighton Gazette, carried a report of his illness on February 8th, and an obituary on February 15th. This makes generous reference to his involvement in the life of the town, but there is an interesting reference to the fishermen of his fleet not being properly appreciative of his kindness to them.