Stories from the Parish Registers: George Diamond Yacoodh

By Alice Millard, Research Assistant During our survey of parish registers for entries relating to people of African, Afro-Caribbean, and Indian heritage*, we found the baptism of a teenaged boy called George Diamond Yacoodh in New Shoreham, 1869. George's baptism entry notes that he was a "native of Zanzibar", but was living at St Saviour's…

All Creatures Great and Small: the story of a Chichester veterinarian

By Jennifer Mason, Assistant County Archivist (Collections Management) Anyone who lives and works in West Sussex is likely to be well aware of what an important role agriculture has played in the history of the county. At WSRO we have photographs, farm diaries, account books, and maps all of which record agricultural activity through the…

A Pugilist’s Paradise: Prize Fighting in 19th Century West Sussex

By Alice Millard, Research Assistant Puglism, n. The art, sport, or practice of fighting with fists; boxing. In the few years that I have been working at West Sussex Record Office, I have stumbled across several 19th century documents relating to pugilistic pursuits in the county. I had wrongly assumed prize fights were the domain…

A celebratory end to the Transatlantic Ties project!

After almost three years, our Transatlantic Ties project came to a joyful conclusion on Saturday 11th June with a symposium at the University of Chichester. With all the challenges of the last few years, we were delighted to be able to hold the event as originally intended, and the appearance of our often elusive British…

West Sussex Unwrapped III: Summer – Chichester Festival Theatre, 1959-1962

Chichester Festival Theatre, 1959-1962 Sixty years ago, in 1962, Chichester's brand new Festival Theatre opened. Looking rather like a mid-century spaceship, the theatre had come into existence so quickly it may have indeed appeared out of thin air. It was the brainchild of optician Leslie Evershed-Martin, who, in just two years, had planned, funded, built,…

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…

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…

West Sussex Unwrapped II: Month 5 – South Downs National Park

Oh! the Downs high to the cool sky;And the feel of the sun-warmed moss;And each Cardoon, like a full moon,Fairy-spun of the thistle floss;And the beech grove, and a wood-dove,And the trail where the shepherds pass;And the lark’s song, and the wind-song,And the scent of the parching grass! By John Galsworthy Linseed mowing at Strood,…

The (futile) war on smuggling: Accounts from the archives

By Alice Millard, Research Assistant. In the archive, there is a report from 1806 (Add Mss 2610) which its author endorsed as "a most stupid, bombast report drawn by me for Captn. Lepper touching Smuggling." It's author, Job Gipps, was the Commander of the "Hawk" Revenue Cutter moored at Littlehampton. Gipps spent his days patrolling…