William Horn Harvey was born in Eythorne in 1795. His parents were Thomas Harvey (born Eythorne, 1757-1844) and Mary Horn (born Whitfield 1759-1824). He was the second youngest of six children and had one older brother (Thomas Harvey 1784-1855). Whilst the Harvey family is generally important in the history of the village and surrounding area, being significant land owners and supporters of the Baptist Church, the activities of William Horn Harvey had a specific impact on Upper Eythorne and its development.
In May 1839 William bought, from the Estate of the late John Pain, the land known as Church Field adjacent to The Street, plus some other smaller plots of land alongside it. The total plot is outlined in blue on the above plan (plots 183, 184,198 and 199 on the 1840 map).
When William purchased the land, it was occupied by Henry Heritage, a farmer from Minacre, and seemingly by other farmers (such as Thomas Stokes) before him. In the Tithe Award listing of 1845, plot 183 is described as arable land and plot 198 as pasture. Plot 199 (where the Crown Inn presently is) is simply described as a house, garden and buildings and there is no mention of the Crown Inn (whereas the White Horse in Lower Eythorne is specifically mentioned).
One of the first actions of William Horn Harvey was to build two messuages (dwelling houses) “then used as one dwelling with the School Room”.. “then in the occupation of Theophilus Hewlett“. This building is shown as plot 184 on the map, indicating it was completed by William Horn Harvey before 1845. This building exists today as Nos 5 and 7 Sandwich Road. Theophilus Hewlett, a teacher, was the son, by her first marriage, of Esther Copley the noted author who lived in Eythorne and is buried in Eythorne Baptist Churchyard. Esther Copley was a prolific writer of religious literary works, didactic books for children and domestic economy.
At some point before William Horn Hewitt auctioned off this parcel of land in 1849, he developed the buildings on Plot 199, “by taking down and rebuilding and enlarging a portion of same messuage theretofore in two dwellings and such messuage in two dwellings” to form the Crown Inn. This, I believe, was in about 1847 (possibly slightly earlier). Whilst still held by William Horn Harvey, John Ladd rented the Crown Inn and adjacent Church Field from William Horn Harvey before buying it himself an Auction in 1849.
Whilst William Horn Harvey owned the land, he also sold off part to Susannah and John Mount which became Mount’s Sadlers at the top of the Street (then Holly Tree House before being demolished and replaced by the current Longacre.). Parts were also sold to the Cinque Ports, Trinity House Pilot Peter, Decent and his wife Anne becoming Nos 13 and 15 Sandwich Road.
He also sold land to James Smeed. There is a James Smeed (3rd January 1806 – 16th November 1834) buried in Eythorne Baptist Church graveyard and it would appear he was ordained very shortly before he died. This land may be the land identified as belonging to the trustees of Eythorne Chapel in a later plan of 1870 and may be where Nos 9 (vacant) and 11 Sandwich Road are today.
All the above developments by William Horn Harvey, made between 1839 and 1849, are marked on the second plan above.
It should be noted that if any of the above cited persons acquiring land from William required a mortgage to secure it, then the documented owner of the land would be the money lender, not the occupier, until the loan was paid off.
William died at the age of 59 in 1855. The measure of the man can be seen from the obituary in the Baptist Reporter and Missionary Intelligencer, Volume 29, 1855.