Children of James and Elizabeth Burton

The South Lodge to the Gardens

The first four of these were christened using the former surname Haliburton, but this was later shortened to Burton. James was the only one to return to it again.

1. WILLIAM FORD. Born Jan. 11, 1784, and named after his matemal grand­uncle, Mr. William Ford. Severely injured by a fall from his horse, 1806. Wanted to go up to the university but was dissuaded by his father and started farming with him, 1807. In 1837 he was described as “gunpowder Manufacturer”. Of St. John’s Wood, Regent’s Park and later of South Lodge, St. Leonards. Gave money for paving Bast Ascent, 1848. Died Oct. 18th, 1856. “He has issue (unfortunately illegitimate)”-James Burton’s notebook.

2. EMMA ELIZABETH. Born Aug. 4, 1785, and died of the smallpox Dec. 13, 1785.

3. ELIZA. Born Sep. 29, 1786. Lived for a time at 36 Marina and later at No. 5 West Hill. Died unmarried Feb. 6, 1877. Well known locally for a life of good works.

4. JAMES (the only one to return, in 1838, to the sumame, Haliburton). Born Sep. 22, 1788. On leaving school went for a time to Sir John Sloane the architect. Entered Trinity College, Cambridge, 1805. (His father noted in 1808 “Visited James at Camb. no favourable report from his Tutor MI. Favel of his assiduity.”) Articled to MI. Roupell, 1810. Settled in chambers, Lincolns Inn, 1816. Went to Egypt in the service of the Pasha, 1824 and made a number of journeys up the Nile and elsewhere. Pub­lished Excerpta Hieroglyphica, Cairo, 1825-28. Fellow of the Geological Society. His drawings of Egyptian antiquities presented to the British Museum by his brother, Decimus, after his death, Feb. 22, 1862. Unmarried.

5. EMILY. Born Aug. 10, 1791, and died May 29, 1792, following innocu­lation.

6. JANE. Born Apr. 4,1792. Married at Tonbridge, 1812, to Thomas Walker of Broad Street, merchant (who took the surname of Wood in 1817), with issue (1) George James (1813-1831), (2) Emily (1815-1892), (3) Helen (1816-1903) and (4) Rose Anne (born 1818). Lived at North Lodge, St. Leonards and noted for her work both for the poor and the National School. Died Dec. 11, 1879.

7. SEPTIMUS. Born Jul. 27, 1794. Articled to J. W. Lyon, 1810. Commenced as solicitor, Lincolns Inn Square, with much of his father’s business. Married 1824, Charlotte Lydia Elizabeth Middleton, with issue one son, Arthur (bom 1830, married 1860 Lilian Margaret Robertson, with issue one son, Francis Arthur (1861-4». Of Serle Street, London. Died Nov. 25, 1842. Buried at Chiswick.

8 OCTAVIA. Born May 20, 1796. Married at Tonbridge, 1813, Edmund Hopkinson of St. Albans, banker, without issue.

9. HENRY. Born Feb. 27, 1799. To sea as midshipman, 1811, on the Boyne, 98 guns, Capt. Hanekett, but gave this up and entered The Gunpowder Office. Caius College, Cambridge and St. Bartholomew’s Hospital. Professor of Chemistry at St. Thomas, Sept., 1825. Married, 1826, at St. George’s, Bloomsbury, Mary Elizabeth, eldest daughter of William Poulton of Maidenhead, but she died of consumption 3 years later, without issue. Of 41 Jermyn Street, London, and 58 Marina. Died of the cholera, Aug. 10, 1849. He was noted for his advanced views on public health.

10. DECIMUS. Born Sep. 30, 1800. Left school, 1816 and started in his father’s office. In 1817 his original drawings for a bridge gained him admission to the Royal Academy Schools. Articled in Carlton Chambers, 1823, and built a lodging house in Spring Gardens. In 1823 he built the Colos­seum (now demolished) in Regent’s Park, the inside of the great dome being decorated with a panorama of London as seen from St. Paul’s. In 1825, employed by the Government for the architectural features (arches, lodges, etc.) in Hyde Park. His masterpiece was the great arch­way at Hyde Park Corner, which he intended should be crowned with a bronze quadriga but to his disgust and in spite of his protests the Government placed the Wellington statue on it. This has happily since been removed. In 1823 he demolished Holwood House in Kent once the seat of the Rt. Hon. William Pitt and built a new mansion for John Ward. This led to his employment by the same gentleman for laying out the Calverley Estate at Tunbridge Wells from 1828 onwards. His other works included the Athenaeum in Pall Mail (1827-30), Trinity Church, Tunbridge Wells (1827), buildings for the Zoological Society (1826-41), Charing Cross Hospital (1831) and Adelaide Crescent, Brighton (1835). He built Nos. 72-82 Marina (1850) but arrived there too late to be concerned in its main planning. He also built the Cottage, Maze Hill, where he himself resided, Western Cottage, the Uplands, the Lawn and the houses behind. Other examples of his work locally were Oaklands, Sedlescombe and Coghurst Hall. He was a great believer in the classical tradition, though he made some experiments later with the Gothic revival. Fellow of the Royal Society and of the Society of Antiquaries of London. Died unmarried Dec. 14, 1881, and buried at Kensal Green. (See Dictionary of National Biography, Biographical Dictionary of the English Architects, 1660-1840 by H. M. Colvin, 1954, and The Life and Work of Decimus Burton by R. P. Jones in the Architectural Review, 1905).

11. ALFRED. Born Jun. 18, 1802. Clerk to Thomas Wood and later to his brother, Decimus. To St. Leonards, 1833. The effective executor of his father’s will and chief citizen of St. Leonards, managing the Burton estates. Steward of the Races, President of the Mechanics Institute, on committee re proposed Hastings Harbour, Vice-President of the In­firmary, Trustee of Hastings & Flimwell Turnpike, represented the West Ward on Hastings Town Council and in 1848 became the first mayor of Hastings to come from St. Leonards. Justice of the Peace. Keen member of the Queen’s Royal St. Leonards Archers. Married 1843 Delicia Adams, with issue (1) Alfred Henry (1845-1917), J.P. of Hastings Lodge, Sheriff for Sussex 1902, married Ellen Amelia Dickson, with four children. (2) Louisa Charlotte (1849-1873), unmarried. Died Apr. 24, 1877, buried at Fairlight.

12. JESSY. Born Apr. 12, 1804. Married at St. Leonards, 1833, by special license, John Peter Fearon (1804-1873) of Great George Street, West­minster, solicitor, with issue: (1) Jessy Tyndale (1834-1910), (2) Constance Mary(1835-1915), (3) Francis (1837-1914), married Julia Mary Woodward, with issue. (4) Ethel Anna (1839-1901), married Thomas Ayscough, with issue. On her marriage, James Burton wrote:

“I am well aware, my dear girl, that without having a niggardly disposition you are well inclined to oeconomy, let these combined qualities be cultivated at least until your husband’s finances will allow of a less careful expenditure, this will render you independent, if not rich. Avoid much society, particularly dinner parties-they will interrupt his needful course of business, so essential for a few years and trench inconveniently upon his pecuniary resources, but enough of this prosing ….. Tell Fearon that altho’ I have been so strongly advocating the omission of dinner parties-yet I shall hope now and then to have a slice of his mutton and a sip of his port in my monthly visitations to the great city … With kindest regards and the bene­dictions of your old father, I remain yours ever affectionate, J.B.”

 Note: These stories are based on Burton’s St. Leonards, by J. Manwaring Baines F.S.A., published by Hastings Museum in 1956.

Click here to read the fourth chapter — James Burton’s St. Leonards — The Royal Visitors.

Click here to read the fifth chapter — James Burton’s St. Leonards — The Two Towns.

Click here to read the sixth chapter — James Burton’s St. Leonards — Description of the Town.

Click here to view my video of James Burton’s St. Leonards

About Jack Vanderwyk

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