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

Details of GWY
Reference: GWY

The Gwynne family settled in Sussex in 1876 when James Eglinton Anderson Gwynne (1832-1915), a London engineer, purchased the Folkington Place estate. He was the son of James Gwynne (1804-1850), who invented the centrifugal pump, and his wife Agnes Anderson, and was born on 8 June 1832; Gwynne married Mary Earle Purvis, the daughter of William Purvis of Edinburgh, on 2 December 1862. Gwynne's interests were wide: he filled Folkington Manor and his London house with books on topography and travel, paintings and furniture, he bought and restored Michelham Priory and built up a celebrated herd of Sussex cattle. When he died on 15 March 1915 leaving four sons and three daughters, his estate contained some 8,000 acres


His eldest son, Reginald John Gwynne (1863- ) was educated at Eton College and Pembroke College, Oxford. He retired as a Brigadier-General in 1921 and married Mary Myall Taylor, the daughter of the late S Taylor of Canada


The second son, Nevile Gwyn Gwynne (1868- ), was educated at Lancing College and Pembroke College, Cambridge and was awarded a CBE in 1920. He lived at Deans Farm, Piddinghoe and was for many years the managing director of Gwynne's Engineering Company Limited and Gwynne Cars Limited, Chiswick. In 1894 Nevile married Isabel Violet Wake, the daughter of the late Admiral Charles Wake


Folkington Manor passed to James's third son, Rupert Sackville Gwynne (1873-1924), who was born on 2 August 1873 and was educated at Shrewsbury school and Pembroke College, Cambridge. He was a barrister (Inner Temple) and Unionist MP for Eastbourne, 1910-1924. Rupert was appointed Financial Secretary to the War Office in 1923 but a promising political career was cut short by his early death in the following year (12 October 1924) at the age of 51. He was married on 3 May 1905 to Stella Ridley, the daughter of Matthew White Ridley, Viscount Ridley, and was survived by two daughters, one of whom is the depositor of these documents


Rowland Vaughan Gwynne (1882-1971), the fourth son, inherited the Michelham estate, though he lived at Folkington Manor until the end of the Second World War. He was born on 16 May 1882 and was educated at Trinity Hall, Cambridge and the Inner Temple. He served in the First World War, initially in the Sussex Yeomanry, then in the 10th Queen's Royal West Surrey Regiment and was awarded a DSO in 1917 for gallantry at Ypres. After the war he devoted much of his time to public life: as a magistrate and Chairman of Eastbourne RDC and Hailsham RDC, 1924-1947 and as Alderman and Chairman of East Sussex County Council, 1937-1940. He was Mayor of Eastbourne, 1928-1931, a Deputy Lieutenant of Sussex, 1922 and Sheriff of Sussex, 1926-1927, receiving a knighthood for services to the county in 1957. He was well known as a breeder of horses and lover of the countryside, being president of the Society of Sussex Downsmen. In the 1920s he played a prominent role in saving Beachy Head and Willingdon from development. He died unmarried on 15 November 1971


James also left three daughters, Evelyn Mary Isaacson (1865-1840), Violet Kate Woodhouse (1871-1948) who was one of the most outstanding musicians of the day, specialising in the harpsichord, and Dorothy Blanche Eglinton Gwynne (1877- )


James Eglinton Anderson Gwynne (1832-1915)


GWY/1 Personal papers: diary, patents for engineering devices, papers concerning his work as a Middlesex JP, annual report of the Royal Botanic Society, petition of Mrs Sarah Purvis (his mother-in-law) concerning her late husband's estate, birth certificate of his daughter Dorothy Blanche Eglinton Gwynne, abstract of the Sussex section from the Quaker book of sufferings, notes concerning Magdalene Bridge in Oxford; 1853-1877


GWY/2 Manor of Folkington records: court books, rental and accounts; 1628-1877


GWY/3 Title deeds: Folkington Manor and Folkington Place, Wootton Farm and Otham Court in Folkington, Jevington and Hailsham, Streat Farm in Jevington, Abbott's Wood in Arlington, The Potters in Wilmington, Milton Court in Arlington, Teague's Field in Wilmington, messuage in Uckfield, house in Alfriston, abstracts of settlements and mortgages, downland in Jevington, sale particulars of lands in Wilmington and Jevington, land adjoining the railway in Jevington, Pound and Perry's Field in Wilmington, 12 Grenville Road, Kilburn in Middlesex, land in Gwynne Road, Battersea in Surrey, 30 Palace Road, Lambeth in Surrey, Evelyn's Buildings, Holborn; 1701-1949


GWY/4 Estate papers: letter book, labour account book, newspaper cutting books, legal papers in cases concerning trespass, other papers relating to the stopping up and diversion of roads, water supply, sale particulars, parish boundaries, electricity supply, plans of new boiler at Folkington Place, report concerning the liability for the upkeep of Chilver Bridge, details of Land Tax redemptions in Wilmington, certificate that Eastbourne Troop 'D' Squadron hold the Challenge Trophy, schedules of deeds petition of Eastbourne RDC about the Eastbourne Gas Bill; 1877-1909; Folkington School Log-book, 1878-1884


GWY/5 Maps: Milton Street Farm and lands in Arlington, copies of the tithe maps of Folkington and Lullington, alterations to the line of a road in Folkington, Ordnance Survey 6 and 25-inch sheets annotated to show the extent of the Gwynne estate in Folkington, Holborn, Abbott's Wood in Arlington, Wootton Wood, Natewood and Folkington Wood in Folkington, building plans of Folkington Place, the Wheatsheaf Inn and cottage at Willingdon, proposed building development at Polegate, plan of excavations at Michelham Priory; 1827-1910


Rupert Sackville Gwynne (1873-1924)


GWY/6 Tithe papers: extracts from the tithe apportionments relating to the Folkington estate, papers concerning redemption of tithes on the estate; 1915-1958


GWY/7 Plans: plans for a new wing at Wootton in Folkington; 1915


Rowland Vaughan Gwynne (1882-1971)


GWY/8 Scrapbooks: early career (including Sussex Yeomanry, marshall to Justices Grantham, Pickford and Bray, racing and hunting, councillor on Eastbourne RDC), First World War, general (local government, magistrate and social), Sheriff of Sussex, Mayor of Eastbourne, visit of HRH Prince of Wales to Eastbourne, coronation of George VI; 1901-1943


GWY/9 Other personal papers: papers concerning his mayoralty of Eastbourne, the Sussex County Agricultural Society, his election to East Sussex County Council, papers in R V Gwynne v Hastings Corporation Water Scheme, letters about a case he dealt with as a JP concerning cruelty to a dog; 1926-1933

Date: 1628-1958
Held by: East Sussex and Brighton and Hove Record Office (ESBHRO), not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Gwynne family of Folkington

Physical description: 9 Series
Access conditions:

Records are open for consultation unless otherwise indicated

Immediate source of acquisition:

Deposited on 24 May 1973 (A1594), 15 April 1985 (A4436), 22 August 1986 (A4706) and via the Sussex Archaeological Society (ACC 1216) on 21 June 1982 (A3440)

  • East Sussex
  • Land tenure

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