Skip to content

Harriet Smithson

John Ladd (Landlord of the Crown Inn from 1847 to 1866) successfully bid for the Crown and land in the William Horn Harvey Auction of 1849. To fund the purchase, John Ladd borrowed (12th January 1850), £550 plus interest (at 5% pa) from Clare Neales of Margate (spinster) with entitlement to all the lands and premises listed prior as security. On 14th November 1854 John borrows a further £100 plus interest at 5% also from Clare Neales.
On 13th October 1865 John took a loan for £100 plus interest at 5% from Frederic Augustus Chalk of Eythorne (surgeon). The reason for this loan is unknown. During his lifetime John had only paid interest on the loans but paid off none of the capital.
Shortly after John Ladd’s death on 4th July 1869, the sole beneficiary of his will, his great friend and housekeeper Harriet Smithson paid off the loans. That originally with Clare Neales but since passed on to others was paid 21st June 1870 and that to Frederic Chalk was paid to the executors of his estate (Briseis Chalk and Percy Claris) two days later.
Harriet Smithson then put the land containing the Crown Inn, the land behind and land along the current Sandwich Road up for auction in July 1870 in four lots, as laid out in the plan. The sale was announced in the press thus “Sale, at 12.00 for 1.00 pm precisely, Crown Inn, Upper Eythorne to inn keepers, farmers, livery stable keepers and others. To be sold by auction by Mr Philip Harvey by order of Mrs H Smithson, Executrix of John Ladd, deceased, on Tuesday, July 5th 1870″.
On the plan, adjacent to Lot 1 was land reserved for a road from the current Sandwich Road to Lot 4, being 12 foot wide. Presumably this has been done for future plans of the owners of the Crown Inn and its surrounding land.
Adjacent to this “road” to the left in the figure was land and property already owned by Mr Peter Decent. This building is absent in the 1840 map of Eythorne but is believed to have been a transaction undertaken when William Horn Harvey owned the land, although not shown on the 1849 auction plan.
The land to the left of that belongs to the Trustees of Eythorne Chapel but is believed to be unbuilt upon at this time (it is currently an empty plot for No 9 and the current No 11 Sandwich Road). Again there is every probability that this transaction was enacted when William Horn Harvey owned the land as he was a very active member of the Baptist Church.
The Illustration also shows land belonging to the executors of Mr Henry Maxted. We can assume that Maxted was the land owner, not just the occupier. This is believed to be the current Longacre with an entrance at the top of the Street. Langdown House is not shown on the plan as its location is obscured by the documents title. The same applies to the current numbers 5 and 7 Sandwich Road.
Lots 1 and 3 were bought by Peter Decent from Harriet Smithson, spinster for £73. The two pieces of land as per the plan were, one of 34 perches the other 38 perches. It is not known who purchased Lot 2 at the auction.
Lot 3 (38 perches) then went to George Moore (who was a butler by occupation) on 22nd October 1872 shortly after the 1870 Auction. A house, Industria (also known as Beehive Cottage and currently no. 21 Sandwich Road), was built on the plot in 1875. “George Moore, formerly of Eythorne but late Church Cottage, Otham, Maidstone, retired Butler, dies 5th September 1898”.
It does not appear that Harriet Smithson became wealthy through the transactions as the census of 1871 shows her living in Sandwich Road as a boarder (aged 69). The Head of Household is Eliza Hubbard, widow (aged 59) whose occupation was launderess. In the 1861 Census Eliza was also a widow and launderess and living at 2 St Marys Street, Canterbury. Harriet died June 1878 (aged 77) with the death registered in Eastry District.
Perhaps material to Harriet’s finances is the fact that in the census of 1861 John Ladd (70, born in Ash) is stated as head of Household and Harriet Smithson (59, born in Goodnestone) as his housekeeper but also living in the household is Frederick G Smithson (14), stated to be an orphan and born in Chelsea, London. It is not known why Frederick came to be present in the household at the time of the census, or his fate, but there is a marriage of a Frederick G Smithson with the same date of birth (1846) in Chelsea in June 1869.
Vince Croud

Our sponsors - thank you!

Click below for more information