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Sarah May [m.6]

Sarah May was the sixth child of Elizabeth Agent & John May christened August 18th, 1816 at East Grinstead, Sussex.

In 1841 Sarah was working as a servant & living at Kidbrook House, East Grinstead. With her was her sister Elizabeth, also a servant. Head of the household was Mary Middleton, also a servant.

According to the Sussex Weald, the Kidbrooke estate which belonged to the Neville family in 1805, was sold by Lord Abergavenny to the Right Hon. Charles Abbot, who was Speaker of the House of Commons for over 15 years. Kidbrooke was greatly altered by him under the superintendence of Mr. Robert Mylne, the architect of Blackfriars Bridge. On November 3rd, 1874, the mansion and park of 207 acres were sold by his grandson to the Sheriff of Sussex in 1885.

Sarah married James Cox on April 10th, 1842 at East Grinstead. James Cox was was christened February 7th, 1819 at Hartfield, Sussex, the son of Ann & Benjamin Cox.

In 1851 Sarah & James were living at Hendermans, Cowden, Kent. James was an agricultural labourer & Sarah was a laundress. They had 4 children – James (7), Alfred (5), Elizabeth (2) & Emily (6 months). With them at the time of the census was niece Caroline Mays, daughter of Sarah’s brother Richard, who was also a laundress.

By 1861 Sarah & James had moved to Gottice Hill House, Cowden. Children at home were Elizabeth, Fanny (8), Benjamin J (4) & Ellen (1). They had 2 servants Harriet Foster & Sarah Norman, both laundresses.

Son Alfred married Rebecca Sophia Barnett in January 1868 in Fulham, London.  Son James, a gardener, also married later in 1868.  He married Elizabeth Hannah Armstrong in East Grinstead.

The family were still at Gottice Hill House in 1871 & Sarah was still a laundress & James an agricultural labourer. Fanny, Benjamin & Ellen were still at home. Fanny was now working as a laundress.

Sarah died in April-June, 1876, aged 59, at Cowden, Kent.

In 1881 widower James was still at Gottice Hill House & was described as a farmer of 2 acres. Daughter Fanny was still at home & worked as a laundress.

In 1882 daughter Ellen married John Hambrook, a railway inspector in Sevenoaks, Kent.

Son Benjamin married Mary Jane Foster in 1888 in London.

In 1891 James was still at Gottice Hill but now with daughter Elizabeth, a laundress. James was now described as an agricultural labourer. Living next door were James & Louisa (nee Fry) Goodwin & their son & daughter. Elizabeth was to marry Louisa’s brother Arthur J Fry [f.2.6.4] in 1898.

At the time of the 1901 census James, now 82, was found living with his daughter Elizabeth & husband Arthur Fry at Broxhill Farm, Hartfield, East Grinstead, Sussex. James was described as living on his own means.

James died in Jan-March 1906, aged 87, the death being registered at East Grinstead.

The children of Sarah Mays & James Cox were:

m.6.1 James Cox christened July 30th, 1843 at East Grinstead, Sussex; died Jan-March 1885 in East Grinstead
m.6.2 Alfred Cox christened April 26th, 1846 at East Grinstead, Sussex
m.6.3 Elizabeth Cox born Oct-December 1848 at Cowden, Kent
m.6.4 Emily Cox born Oct-December 1850 at Cowden, Kent, died Oct-December, 1851 at Cowden, Kent
m.6.5 Fanny Cox born Oct-December 1852 at Cowden, Kent
m.6.6 Benjamin Joseph Cox born Jan-March 1857 at Cowden, Kent; died Jan-March 1917 in Camberwell, London
m.6.7 Ellen Cox born July-September 1859 at Cowden, Kent


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