Cropped statistics for Chichester, St. Pancras parish

Chasing the Boxalls through the Census

By Abigail Hartley, Searchroom Archivist The easy answer to 'When was the first census held?' in the British Isles can be as simple an answer as 1801. Or 1841. Or 1086. Or Roman times if you really want to stretch the purpose and definition of a census. So, let's define a census. For our purposes,…

A West Sussex Winter Wonderland

By Jennifer Mason, Assistant County Archivist (Collections Management) It’s definitely feeling wintry in West Sussex as we head towards Christmas. Today’s blog looks back at past West Sussex winters and celebrates a variety of cold weather activities. View of snow on the Downs at Fittleworth, 1947 (John Smith PH 13/156) We’ve had quite a mild…

Stories from the Parish Registers: Maria Sophia Rose, from Bengal to Ifield

By Alice Millard, Research Assistant Following on from the blog on Charles Douglass and Ann Glanville, published in October 2021, this blog explores the story behind another entry in the parish registers. This time, we are looking into the life of Maria Sophia Rose; a Bengali woman who, at a young age, was brought to…

Once Upon A Time… a 75th anniversary retrospective of the places we have called ‘home’

By Nichola Court, Archivist 2021 marks the 75th anniversary of West Sussex Record Office [WSRO]. Although we now occupy purpose-built premises in Orchard Street, Chichester, the Record Office has had a number of other homes – not all of which have been very glamorous! Read on to discover more about our former homes… Door plaque…

Logo for International Men's Day, November 19 2021

International Men’s Day 2021: a celebration of Charles Corbett, campaigner for women’s rights

By Nichola Court, Archivist The theme for 2021’s International Men’s Day is ‘building better relations between men and women’ and few men embodied this mantra more than the barrister and one-time Liberal MP for East Grinstead, Charles Corbett. Today’s blog explores the life and work of this now little-known campaigner and politician. Portrait of Charles…

Transatlantic Ties: American History in West Sussex

By Jo McConville, Transatlantic Ties Project Archivist The much feted Sussex Declaration (see an earlier blog post for more information) represents a remarkable connection between West Sussex and the United States. It may be the most famous, but it’s certainly not the only one. Some of the people and places in the county with significant…

Trafalgar Day 2021

By Imogen Russell, Searchroom Supervisor https://youtu.be/L_dGs0xVM9o Battle of Trafalgar in the Archives: West Sussex Snippets by Imogen Russell AM 760/1/126: Letter from Lady Hamilton written some time after the Battle of the Nile, 1798. ‘Lady H hopes to have the happiness and honour of your company’ Lady Hamilton wrote some time after the Battle of…

Every Picture Tells a Story: Worthing Library Photograph Collections, 1850s to date

By Martin Hayes, County Local Studies Librarian Over the past couple of years some remarkable and extensive photograph collections have been deposited at the Record Office, prompted by a refurbishment project at Worthing Library. Photographs and postcards have been collected by West Sussex CC Library Service for over 100 years and include some of the…

Stories from the Parish Registers: Black residents of West Sussex

By Alice Millard, Research Assistant As part of West Sussex Record Office's Transatlantic Ties project, and ongoing work surrounding intersectionality in the archive, a survey of the county's parish registers for individuals of African, Asian, and Caribbean heritage is underway. London Metropolitan Archives undertook a similar project which began in 2000, the results of which…

Stories from the Surgeon’s Table

By Jennifer Mason, Assistant County Archivist (Collections Management) Acc 14373 - Guinea Pig Club Christmas Magazine, 1948: Drinks with McIndoe! ‘The entrance fee is something most men would not care to pay and the conditions of membership are arduous in the extreme’ These words from renowned plastic surgeon Sir Archibald McIndoe describe the famous Guinea…