Concession map of Sena Sugar Estates in Portuguese East Africa, c1920 (Acc 15353)

Chosen by Rhodri Lewis, former member of staff In 1890, a young British man named John ‘Pitt’ Hornung decided to try his luck at founding a sugar cane plantation on the banks of the Zambesi in Portuguese East Africa. Battling setbacks such as flood, drought and plagues of locusts, Pitt succeeded where others had failed…

Petworth House Laundry and the Kevis Photographic Collection, late 19th century (Acc 18163)

  Chosen by Diane Ladlow, member of staff This is a photograph by Walter Kevis who worked as a photographer in Petworth from c1877 to his retirement in 1908. I like this picture because it gives an insight into the immense amount of work that goes into servicing the needs of the family above stairs.…

The Earliest Known Written Rules of Cricket, 1727 (Goodwood Mss 1884)

Chosen by James Peill, Curator at Goodwood House This thin sheet of heavily-folded paper is probably the single most important document in the Goodwood archive. It is the earliest known written rules of cricket in existence. They were drawn up for matches between the 2nd Duke of Richmond’s XII (instead of the ususal XI) and Mr…

Album/Scrapbook History of George Hilton & Sons, 1872-1992 (Add Mss 54798)

 Chosen by Lauren Clifton, member of staff George Hilton & Sons was a business in Haywards Heath for over a century, starting as an upholstery, cabinet makers and house furnishers in 1882, the family company developed to include removals and warehousing, an undertakers, and became Hiltons Department Store 100 years later in 1982. From the…

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…