Marine and General Mutual register of life claims, 1853-1895 (Acc 17933)

Chosen by Jennifer Mason, member of staff This register, from the archive of Marine and General Mutual Life Assurance Society of Worthing, provides a fascinating insight into life at sea in the 19th century. The entries record the far-flung cities sailors visited, from Alexandria to Hong Kong, Bombay to Balaklava. The volume also records the…

Non-conformist records: Bosham Congregational Church Book (NC /C1/2/1)

  Chosen by Imogen Russell, member of staff Those tracing their family history within the Church of England will find that it is fairly straightforward, discovering baptisms, marriages and deaths in the parish registers held at the Record Office. However it is not always clear how you search for families who subscribed to a religion…

Court book for the Manors of Woolavington, Wonworth and East Dean, 1597-1620 (Lavington Mss 2)

Chosen by Richard Mant, researcher This is a copy in English of the entry for 12 March 1611 in the Court Book for the Manors of Woolavington, Wonworth and East Dean, dealing with the surrender of land by Edmund Maunt at the court baron in East Dean. The book covers the period 3 Oct 1597-28…

The Birth of Crawley; Master plan for Crawley New Town, 1947 (Par 60/26/4)

Chosen by James Gaffney, member of staff This is the original Master Plan for Crawley New Town, one of eight new ‘satellite’ towns created by the Government in the late 1940s on the outskirts of London. The aim of these new towns was to encourage people to relocate from an over-crowded capital, which had been…

Worthing coaching poster, c1828 (MP 17)

Chosen by Kim Leslie, former member of staff This coaching poster is dated about 1828, when Worthing was an important coaching centre between Brighton and Portsmouth. Stage coaching was at its peak between 1820 and 1840, a time when many coach proprietors were locked in furious competition to outbid each other’s reputation for speed, comfort…

Ballooning incident in Horsham Police Occurrence Book, 1891-1899 (Pol/W/H/1/1)

Chosen by Andy George, member of staff Police occurrence books were daily diaries containing a record of every official occurrence reported within the Division. The books contain reports of enquiries and observations made by the police whilst out on patrol; incidents attended by the police; attendance of person at a police station, and many notes.…

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.…

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…

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…