JOHN HOARE'S FAMILY HISTORY
George Cheesman the younger
Updated 22/11/2005 reformattted 1.2012
George Cheesman the younger was born about 1814, and baptised at St. Nicholas, Brighton in Sussex that year.
George worked alongside the business of his father George senior as designer of houses and churches from about 1838 until about 1853. his work is covered in my page covering the family building businesses.
George played an active part in the business life of Brighton. He was high Constable at a very young age, and was a Freemason for many years, although he took no office.
George was destined to lead a remakably full life. The first, and perhaps most dramatic, illustration I have found is that at the beginning of December, aged 21, he was married under Scottish law in Gretna Green to Emma Chandler. Emma was only (about) seventeen and lived in Brighton like George; her father was dead.
We can only guess what transpired when they returned home to mother, but straight after Christmas, on December 30th, George and Emma were married under English law in St. Nicholas Church, Brighton. The revd. Wagner, a customer of the family building business, officiated (normally the service was taken by the curate). The wording on the marriage record shows the careful thought that went into its writing -
'a spinster and a minor'
Lest anyone suggests any further impropriety, George and Emma's first daughter Emma Eliza was Christened in July 1837. Census records suggest she was born in the spring of that year.
There are no pictures of Emma, but a photograph of her second daughter Isabella (below) suggests that she may have been quite a beauty.
Emma bore George another two daughters but died of cancer in 1855. George appears to have accumulated quite a lot of money, and taken what would now be called early retirement. He moved to Tunbridge Wells.
George married Amelia Caroline Davies, who was twenty one years his junior, in 1859 in Hastings. The wedding must have been quite a grand affair - the fathers of both bride and groom were recorded as 'gentleman', and one of the witnesses was the Mayor of Brighton. They had a second family, two boys and two girls. The first born, Edmund George, settled in America. There are family photographs in my 'Cheesman family in America' page. The second was Alfred Addison, who is in my family page.
George later moved to St Florence, near Tenby in South Wales, where he ran a farm. According to one reference book there was at one time a monument to him there, but it seems to have been lost - unless you know better!.
George had a substantial amount of money. He was able to look after both his families, and in particular stayed in contact with Isabella Maria, who never married, right up to his death. He invested in property in America, which was to lead his sons to set up business there.
George died in St. Florence in 1882 leaving £28,000, a very substantial amount in those days. His obituary from the local newspaper is below. His will with three codicils is still in the archives. To the modern eye it is almost impenetrable in its complexity, although its general aim was relatively simple. George made provision for his daughters by both marriages as well as his wife in the form of annuities, but he left his stables horses and cows and associated fixtures to his wife Amelia Caroline, and land he had bought in Leavenworth county, Kansas, to his oldest son Edmund George. The younger son, Alfred Addison, received a comparable cash inheritance, and the will went to great lengths to treat the family fairly. The original will made 'his friend' Frederick John GILBURD an executor with a small inheritance. However, the second codicil replaced him with Isabella Maria, George's daughter by his first marriage, who never married. The American family maintain that George was cheated out of a substantial amount of money by a close friend.
(The previous paragraph appears as the starting point for my page covering the Cheesman family in America)
© John Hoare 2006