Scrapbook, 1890s-1920s (Cobden Mss 1102)

      Chosen by Sarah Head, current member of staff As the daughter of the reforming and renowned Liberal MP Richard Cobden, it is not surprising that Jane Cobden was a woman of strong beliefs. However, it is perhaps surprising when you consider the era in which she grew up, a time when women…

Inventory and valuation of the estate of Doctor John Channing of South Carolina, 1817 (Acc 15714)

 Chosen by Ann Parsons, volunteer In this post we are featuring one of the many collections held at the Record Office that contain records relating to American history. As with many of the family archives in West Sussex, the White family papers include links to overseas estates and business that give us an insight into…

Graylingwell patient case book, 1909-1910 (HCGR 9/1/11 p31)

 Chosen by Susie Duffin, member of staff Graylingwell Hospital, formerly known as the West Sussex County Asylum, was opened in 1897, just north of Chichester. Some years after its decommission in 2001, the Graylingwell Heritage Project, a community based heritage and arts programme, received funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to explore the history of…

Vote of thanks to Lord Kitchener and others, 1898 (Acc 17902)

Chosen by Lady Kenya Tatton-Brown, depositor Field Marshal Horatio Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener was born on this day in 1850. In 1896 an expedition to the Sudan was announced to combat the Mahdist uprising and my great uncle, Lord Kitchener, was appointed leader. The Nation had been traumatised by the rise of the Mahdi…

Indictment for incitement to a duel (Quarter Sessions), 15 April 1828 (QR W/747 ff11-12)

Chosen by Nicky Rutherford, Volunteer Prior to the Courts Act 1971, which replaced them and the assizes with a single permanent Crown Court, the courts of Quarter Sessions were local courts held 4 times a year since the 14th century. West Sussex Record Office holds the records of the Sussex Quarter Sessions, c1350-1914, and the…

Duncton tithe map, 1837 (TD W41)

  Chosen by Ian Pennicott, member of staff Tithe maps represent the earliest attempt at the large scale mapping of the whole country. They were a product of the Tithe Commutation Act of 1836 which allowed tithes to be paid to the Parish in cash rather than tithes i.e. pay with trade-able goods like wool,…

Bognor chemist’s prescription book, 1874-1876 (AM944/1)

   Chosen by The Sussex Family History Group This chemist’s prescription book from Bognor was bought by the Record Office using a grant from the Sussex Family History Group in 2015. It records a patient index and ingredients for prescriptions, and not only provides a unique look into the ailments and cures available in the…

780 AD ‘Oslac’ Charter granting land south of Chichester (Cap/I/17)

 Chosen by Caroline Adams, former member of staff This charter grants land somewhere south of Chichester – we’re not sure of its precise location. The grant dates from 780 and is from Oslac, leader or King (styled ‘Dux’ in the charter) of the South Saxons at the time, to the church of St Paul the…

Happy 70th Birthday West Sussex Record Office

In 2016, West Sussex Record Office is celebrating its 70th Anniversary. In celebration, we have asked our users, depositors, volunteers, supporters and staff to explore the archive and nominate their favourite document. Over the coming months, 70 of these unique records will be featured on this blog, each with its own story to tell and…