This record is held by East Sussex and Brighton and Hove Record Office (ESBHRO)

Details of HIL
Reference: HIL

HIL/1 Records of firm and Hillman family


HIL/2 Co-partnership agreements


HIL/3 Apprenticeship indentures


HIL/4 Assignments of debts


HIL/5 Wills and executorship papers


HIL/6 Title deeds of clients' properties


HIL/6/1-14 Lewes: St Thomas at Cliffe


HIL/6/15-29 Lewes: other parishes


HIL/6/30-32 Alfriston


HIL/6/33 Arlington


HIL/6/34-36 Barcombe


HIL/6/37 Bishopstone


HIL/6/38-40 Brighton


HIL/6/41 Ditchling


HIL/6/42-48 Eastbourne


HIL/6/49 Framfield


HIL/6/50 Friston


HIL/6/51-53 Hailsham


HIL/6/54 Hellingley


HIL/6/55-56 Hove


HIL/6/57-58 Isfield


HIL/6/59 Laughton


HIL/6/60 Mayfield


HIL/6/61 Newhaven


HIL/6/62-63 Newick


HIL/6/64 Nutley


HIL/6/65 Plumpton


HIL/6/66-68 Ringmer


HIL/6/69-74 Rodmell


HIL/6/75-77 Seaford


HIL/6/78 Waldron


HIL/6/79 Wartling


HIL/6/80 Wilmington


HIL/6/81 Ditchling


HIL/6/82 Kingston


HIL/6/83 Lewes All Saints


HIL/6/84 Uckfield




HIL/7/1-7 Lewes


HIL/7/8 Barcombe


HIL/7/9 Brighton


HIL/7/10 Buxted


HIL/7/11 Denton


HIL/7/12 East Blatchington


HIL/7/13-14 Eastbourne


HIL/7/15 East Chiltington


HIL/7/16 East Hoathly


HIL/7/17 Firle


HIL/7/18 Hellingley


HIL/7/19 Kingston


HIL/7/20 Mayfield


HIL/7/21 Ringmer


HIL/7/22 Ripe


HIL/7/23 Uckfield


HIL/7/24 St Leonards by Sea


HIL/7/25 Selmeston


HIL/7/26 Westham


School Records


HIL/8/1 Central National School, Lewes


HIL/8/2 Executive Committee and Central Maintenance Board for the Lewes Voluntary Schools


HIL/8/3 St John's National School, Lewes


HIL/9 Other records


ACC5390 Clients' papers


ACC6208 Deeds


ACC7663 Deeds


ACC8065 Deeds

Date: 1624-1977
Related material:

For a cartulary of the estates of John Webb Woollgar in Lewes and the Cliffe, 1736-1830, see AMS 5735/16

Held by: East Sussex and Brighton and Hove Record Office (ESBHRO), not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Wynne Baxter Godfree, Lewes, solicitors

Wynne Baxter, Hillman and Carter, Lewes, solicitors

Physical description: 9 Series
Access conditions:

Records are open for consultation unless otherwise indicated

Immediate source of acquisition:

Deposited by Wynne Baxter Hillman and Carter, 221 High Street, Lewes, on 18 Mar 1964 (ACC 607), 17 Oct 1972 (ACC 1532), 30 Jan 1980 (ACC 2507), 20 Nov 1981 (ACC 2769) and 23 May 1990 (ACC 5501)

  • East Sussex
  • Land tenure
Administrative / biographical background:

The firm was established by John Webb Woollgar (1795-1851), son of Thomas Woollgar of Cliffe, draper (1761-1821), and his wife Ann Webb of Southover. Thomas Woollgar, the secretary of the Lewes Library Society, was a noted antiquary and botanist, and the manuscript of Spicilegia, his collections for a history of Lewes, is preserved at the library of the Sussex Archaeological Society. An obituary was published in the Gentleman's Magazine of January 1822, page 89


John Webb Woollgar was born on 7 November 1795 and baptized at Lewes All Saints on 16 December. He was clearly in practice by March 1819, when he witnessed the deed by which his father became a trustee of the Particular Baptist Chapel in Cliffe (AMS 216)


In May 1823 he was joined in a seven-year partnership by Jacob Boys of Ashcombe near Lewes, gentleman. The firm was to be styled Woollgar and Boys, and to be conducted at John's residence in the Cliffe (HIL/1/1)


In June 1822 John Webb Woollgar had married Sarah Jenner, whose elder sister Mary (c1795-1881+) married John Tattersall Auckland of Cliffe in 1835


Auckland, who had been born in Doncaster, had joined Woollgar in partnership by 1839 and in 1851 was enumerated, a visitor at a farmhouse in Friston tenanted by his brother-in-law John Guy, as an attorney employing three men (PRO HO 107/1637 223-4). Woollgar had retired from practice by January 1851 when he made his will, referring to Auckland as his late partner. As well as leaving the office drafts and papers to Auckland, Woollgar left his law books to his daughter Ann Webb Verrall, and printed astronomical works to the Royal Astronomical Society and to John Dudeney (see AMS 6326/148)


Edward Hillman (1828-1899), the son of Samuel Hillman of Cliffe, Lewes, bargeman, was articled to John Tattersall Auckland and had joined the firm by 1848. In Kelly's directory for 1855 Auckland is listed as clerk to Cliffe Improvement Commissioners, auditor to the Ouse Navigation and Newhaven Harbour Company and clerk to Lewes Gas Company. He died in Eastbourne in 1862 at the age of 57, having been retired from active professional duties for some time. Hillman was his executor and the firm continued as Auckland and Hillman until the death of Auckland's widow in 1892. By 1878 a branch had been opened at Eastbourne, and in 1881 Edward's sons George E Hillman and Arthur Hillman were enumerated as solicitor's clerks (PRO RG 11/1038/41)


Edward Hillman played an active part in the town affairs of Lewes, being elected to the town council in 1887, and becoming alderman in 1890 and mayor in 1892. He was clerk to the Cliffe Commissioners and West Firle Union, deputy coroner and director of the gas and waterworks companies. Like Auckland, he retired to Eastbourne and was a member of Eastbourne Town council for six years. He was married firstly to a daughter of George Elphick, by whom he had one daughter and six sons, and secondly to the eldest daughter of James Broad, the merchant and candle manufacturer, by whom he had two daughters and a son


But it was Hubert James Hillman (1871-1940+), who had been admitted in 1895, who succeeded to the firm on his father's death in 1899. He in turn was joined by his sons Rex Anthony Edward Hillman (admitted 1925) and John Michael (admitted 1935). The firm was styled Hillman and Sons until about 1960 when, after a merger with Vinall Sons and Reidf, their neighbours at 220 High Street, the practice became Hillman, Sons, Vinall and Carter; J M Hillman's son Bryan Michael Godfrey Hillman (admitted 1962) had joined as a partner by 1965


Between 1970 and 1980 the style of the firm was changed to Wynne Baxter, Hillman and Carter, incorporating the name of Wynne Edwin Baxter, (1844-1920), East Sussex coroner 1880-1887, who had left Lewes on his appointment as coroner of East London and the Tower in 1887. As coroner of East London he conducted inquests on the victims of 'Jack the Ripper', and of the deaths arising from the siege of Sydney Street in 1911


By 1990 the firm, now Wynne Baxter Godfree, had 17 partners, four consultants, four associates and three assistant solicitors, and offices in Lewes, Brighton, Eastbourne (formerly Wintle and Company), Seaford, Newhaven, Woodingdean, Peacehaven and Lingfield. By 1993 they had merged with Coles and James, a long-established Eastbourne practice, at 47 Cornfield Road, Eastbourne

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