Blog Archives


Abraham Cowley (1618-1667)

Abraham Cowley was born in London in 1618. He was educated at Cambridge University, but was expelled after refusing to sign the Solemn League and Covenant. In 1644 he joined the exiled English court in France where he was appointed

Agnew Nicholson (1876-c.1968)

Agnew Nicholson was the son of a ship’s broker, born in Greenwich, London in 1876. He was educated at the Annan and Dumfries Academies and qualified as a chemist, before enlisting for service in the Boer War. On his return

Albert Smith (1816-1860)

Albert Smith was born in 1816, the son of a Chertsey doctor. He initially followed in his father’s footsteps, but soon abandoned medicine in preference of his real passion, drama and literature. Between 1843 and 1851 he wrote at least

Anna Maria Hall (1800-1881)

Anna Maria Fielding was born in Dublin in 1800. She moved with her widowed mother to London in 1815 and married the journalist and art critic Samuel Carter Hall in 1824. Her mother lived with the couple until her death

Charles James Fox (1749-1806)

Charles James Fox was born in 1749, the third and favourite son of Henry Fox, later Lord Holland. From an early age Fox became infatuated with gambling, losing small fortunes at cards, such debts were always settled by his father.

Edward ‘Lumpy’ Stevens (1727-1810)

Edward Stevens was born in Send and became a semi-professional cricketer. He worked as a gardener on the riverside estate of his patron, Lord Tankerville, at Mount Felix in Walton. It was Tankerville that introduced Stevens to cricket. He gained


Two generations of the Eldridge family of bell-founders worked in Chertsey from about 1619 until 1716. Bryan Eldridge was the son and grandson of bell founders of Wokingham. He died in 1640, leaving his bell house and all his working

Frank Galsworthy (1863-1959)

Frank Galsworthy lived and worked as an artist in Chertsey for most of his adult life, almost 70 years. He is known mainly for his paintings of flowers and plants, though he also produced a number of idyllic landscapes. Galsworthy

Gerry Cottle (b. c.1940s)

Gerry Cottle was brought up in South London during the post-war years. The highlight of his year was the annual trip to see Bertram Mills circus at Olympia. It was this show which inspired him to devote his life to

Henry Strode – 1704

Like his father before him, Henry Strode was a Cooper and businessman.  He worked as a member of the Worshipful Company of Coopers from 1680 until 1704, becoming the master in his penultimate year.  Although his work was in London,

James Douglass (19th century)

The history of James Douglass, the clock-maker is complicated by the fact there must have been a succession of clock-makers of the same name. The Douglass whose clocks are shown in the Museum is recorded in local directories as having

John Augustus Tulk (1882 – 1956)

John Augustus Tulk was born in Addlestone in August, 1882. He was the last in line to a distinguished local family, and lived at Ruxbury House, St. Ann’s Hill, Chertsey. After reading law, John became a solicitor, but ceased practice

Keith Moon (1946 – 1978)

Keith Moon was born in Wembley, London on 23 August 1946. At the age of 12, he joined his local Sea Cadet Corps where he was soon promoted from bugle player to drummer. By the time he was 17, he

King Henry VI (1421-1471)

Henry VI was born in 1421, the only child of Henry V and Catherine of Valois. Henry came to the throne as an infant after the early death of his father. In name he was King of both England and

King John (1167-1216)

John was born into the Royal House of Angevin on Christmas Eve 1167.  His parents Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitane had seven other children, including Richard the Lionheart.  As the fourth son, John did not benefit from inherited land,

Louis Blériot

In 1909 Frenchman Louis Blériot became the first person to fly the English Channel, six years after the Wright Brothers’ famous flight. Within months he had had requests to make over 100 aircraft, many of which saw active service during

Manwaring Shurlock M.R.C.S. (d.1899)

Manwaring Shurlock wrote `Tiles from Chertsey Abbey Surrey representing early romance subjects’, published in 1885. The book followed the accidental discovery of Medieval tiles on Chertsey Abbey Estate in 1852. Shurlock had been studying encaustic tiles in Eynsham, Oxfordshire, but

Mary Ann Blaker (1869-c.1940)

Mary Ann was born in Lyne and lived in the district all her life. She married Mr. Albert Blaker, and took over his job as Chertsey Town Crier in 1914, when he was called up for service in the First

Olive Matthews (1887-1979)

Olive Mary Matthews was born in London, the only child of John Thomas Francis Matthews, a master saddler, and Rachel Butler Cottrell. Olive’s mother died in 1889 when Olive was only two. As a middle class child, Olive was well

Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603)

Elizabeth I was the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. She became the Queen in 1558 and reigned for 44 years. She was the last of the Tudors, having entertained many marriage proposals but she never married or had

Reginald Brabazon, 12th Earl of Meath (1841-1929) Lady Mary Jane Meath (1847-1918)

Lord and Lady Brabazon (later Meath) leased Ottershaw Park in 1882.  They enjoyed their time in the area so much they acquired a cottage opposite the Anningsley Park gates two years later, which they proceeded to enlarge.  Upon the death

Sir George Ayscue c.1616-1672

George Ayscue came from a distinguished Lincolnshire family, and was knighted by King Charles I in 1641. However during the English Civil War he supported the Parliamentarians and served as a captain in their navy. After serving as governor of

Sir John Denham (1615-1668)

John Denham, son of John Denham the Judge and Baron of the Irish Exchequer, was born in Dublin in 1615. He graduated from Oxford University and went on to divide his time between practising law at Lincoln’s Inn and writing

Sydney Oliver (c.1906 – 1986)

Mr. Oliver was born in Egham and lived in the town for most of his life. He started his career as a gentleman’s outfitter, in Egham High Street, but was best known for his historical knowledge and his work as

Thomas Daniell (1749-1840) William Daniell (1769-1837)

Thomas was the son of John Sheppard Daniell, the lessee of the Swan Inn at Chertsey. In 1763 he was apprenticed to a coach-builder, a Mr Maxwell, where he learnt the elementary skills of painting. After completing his apprenticeship in

Thomas Holloway (1800-1883)

The son of an ex-sailor and a farmer’s daughter, Thomas Holloway was born in Devonport in 1800. He began to make ointments and pills in 1837, claiming their use could cure a number of ailments. Thomas became a driving force

Thomas Love Peacock (1785-1866)

Thomas Love Peacock is one the most unusual and little known authors of the 19th century. Peacock was born in Weymouth in 1785, his father died when he was very young and consequently he grew up at his grandfather’s house

William Anthony Herring (c.1830s-1903)

William Anthony Herring was the third generation of the Herring family to run their successful ironmonger and foundry business in Chertsey. His grandfather Anthony Herring founded the business by 1814 and his father, William, expanded the firm in its Gogmore

Woburn Farm & Philip Southcote – 1698 – 1758

Philip Southcote created the first Ferme Ornée (or ornamental farm) of its kind at Woburn Farm (then known as Wooburn Farm) in Addlestone. He and his wife, the Dowager Duchess of Cleveland, purchased the 116 acre farm in 1735, and