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“The Royal Standard”, Littlehampton

I have been trying to find out whether the Reed/Adams connection may have been earlier than Elizabeth’s marriage to Charles Reed. Both surnames are fairly common in their areas of Hampshire/West Sussex, but they may not even have met until they were both in London and their birthplaces were coincidental or perhaps they knew each other already. Maybe her paternal grandfather was the William Adams born in Aldingbourne in 1766 …. ….


The Residents of 1 & 2 Pier Road, LIttlehampton

In the early Spring of 2018, I decided to see if I could find out more about what became of the rest of William Cheesman’s ancestors, his siblings and their descendants. Although not related to me by blood, they were local to me so it wasn’t going to be time wasted and perhaps there may be a connection to the Adams or Reeds to be found.

A “google” search for Pier Road. Littlehampton where William’s brother Benjamin lived from at least between 1861 and his death in 1883, took me to a newly opened cafe/art gallery. I wasn’t sure if it was the same building but promised myself that I would follow it up at some point. I had been looking for one off art workshops which I found they ran, so I signed up for one and Mike, the owner, confirmed that it was the same building which had once been a pub, The Royal Standard. I decided to follow not only Benjamin and his descendants but also other residents of the building.


The building today ~ Pier Road Coffee and Art

Pier Road Coffee & Art is an independent gallery based in Littlehampton, West Sussex.

Mike La-Traille (photographer and director) owns the gallery with his partner Lucy Harvey (photographer). The gallery opened in November 2017, and last year won the Arun Business Partnership Award for New Business of the Year.

The unique selling point  is an art gallery which serves Lavazza Coffee and locally homemade cakes as opposed to a cafe exhibiting some art.

The gallery holds new exhibitions every month, meaning it constantly changes. There are resident artists who they always exhibit, but the rest changes. There are over 90 artists that love to make and create. The gallery changes their exhibitions monthly, meaning unlike most galleries that have work for long periods of time, they change frequently. It is also changing throughout with the arrival of new work from artists, if they are changing pieces or replacing sold items.

As well as the amazing artists there are also art courses run throughout the week and weekends.

Pier Road Coffee & Art, Littlehampton on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook & Instagram.


Benjamin and Harriet Cheesman

St Mary’s Church, Clymping

Benjamin Cheesman was baptised in Climping, West Sussex on the 30th November 1818 the son of John and Martha Cheesman.

He was their second child and they also had three younger daughters, Amy, Jane and Harriet, Their oldest child was William, born in 1817.

Benjamin married Harriet Till, his first cousin, at St Andrews in Ford on 19 September 1845.

Harriet was the daughter of Richard Till, Martha’s older brother and was baptised in Ford on 11th May 1817.

Benjamin and Harriet had four daughters, Mary, Martha, Jane and Charlotte. Mary was baptised in Ford on 27 June 1847, Martha in Climping on 28 May 1849, Jane in Climping on 14 December 1851 and Charlotte at St Mary’s in Littlehampton on 19 March 1854. None of the girls seem to have had their births registered (this was not compulsory then).

Church of St Andrew by-the-Ford, Ford

In 1851 they were living in Climping Street in Climping. Ellen, Harriet’s younger sister was with them. Benjamin was listed as an agricultural labourer.

In 1861 the family were in Surrey Street in Littlehampton – 14 year old Mary is listed elsewhere in Surrey Street as a house servant at the home of Thomas Blake, butcher. Mary died aged 23 in 1871 before the census which was held on 2nd. April.

In 1866, Benjamin is listed as a beer retailer in the Post Office Directory.

In 1871 and 1881, they were still in Pier Road , Littlehampton. In 1871, they were living at The Royal Standard and in 1881, were listed as living at 2 Pier Road, presumably the same building.

In 1871 they had Chas. Stamp aged 22, a blacksmith born in Chichester (see below) and a George Campbell aged 3 staying with them. George is listed as a nephew born 1868 in Littlehampton. In 1881, a John Campbell, nephew, Blacksmith’s Apprentice aged 12 born in London in 1868 is listed with them. John George Campbell was the son of Harriet’s sister Ellen and a gunner in the Royal Artillery, George Campbell. He was born in the 28th December 1867 and was baptised at St Peter’s in Stepney on the 15th January 1868. Ellen and George were married at St James the Great, Bethnal Green on 10th March in the same year. The marriage, the baptism and her death are recorded in the Army Registers.  In 1871, Ellen was listed as a monthly nurse in Kensington. She died on the 22nd November 1874. I don’t know what became of John/George or his father.

Benjamin died in Littlehampton on 23rd October 1883 and was buried on the 26th in Climping. Administration was granted to Harriet on 12th January 1884, his personal estate being £41 9s. Harriet died in 1889 and was buried on 2nd September 1889 in Climping.

The children of Benjamin and Harriet

Martha married William Norris Peskett of Arundel in Littlehampton on 23rd August 1875. In 1881 and 1891, they were living at 16 Howard Place. He was in the Mariner merchant service. William died on the 3rd April 1892. Martha remarried in 1895 to David Gale, a greengrocer, and in 1901 and 1911 they were living at 15 New Road. She died in 1919. She does not appear to have had any children.

Charlotte, the youngest daughter, married George Robinson in 1879. In 1881, they were living at 32 Arundel Road and in 1891 they were living at 110, Shirley Road, Freemantle, Millbrook in Hampshire. They had had a daughter, Alice, born in 1879 who had died in 1889. George was the captain of the ‘Margaret and John’ and died at sea off Yarmouth on the 26th October 1891. Probate was granted to Charlotte – his estate was valued at £354 5s.

In 1891, Charlotte was in Littlehampton, at 20 New Road and in 1911, she was back in Southampton at 99 Shirley Road. She died at the end of 1923 in the Westhampnett registration district.

Jane, the third daughter married Charles Pile, a painter, in 1874 and they went on to have two sons and three daughters. I 1881, they were living at 39 Duke Street, Littlehampton. In 1891 they were at 13 Howard Place, in 1901 they were at 32 Gloucester Place. Charles died in 1910 and in 1911, Jane was living in Chichester at 37 Adelaide Road with her oldest son Charles, his wife and family and her daughter Charlotte. Daughter Lilian had married Ernest North, an accountant born in Stratford, Essex, and they were living in Cricklewood.

Jane’s daughter Clara was in Horsmonden, Kent in 1911, she was a teacher. Later, she emigrated to New Zealand where she married William Evans. Her sister Charlotte had married Walter Doughty Bond in 1912 and they had already emigrated in 1914. They are listed as having travelled to Sydney, Australia in 1914 but their daughter Irene is born in New Zealand in 1915. Walter enlists in New Zealand in 1916. By 1928 he is the lighthouse keeper at Farewell Spitt Lighthouse in Motueka, Tasman, New Zealand. From 1938 they were in Palmerston where they died, Walter in 1956 and Charlotte in 1973.

Jane’s youngest child, William was in Henfield in 1911 listed as a chauffeur.

Charles, Jane’s oldest child had married Fanny Kneller in 1904 in Stockbridge, Hants and they had one son, Charles William Leslie Pile who married Rosa May Peskett in 1931 in Chichester. Jane’s grandson, Charles died in 1994 and Rose in 2004. They have living descendants.

Charles Stamp was born in Chichester in late 1844. His father was Walter James Stamp, a painter journeyman, was born 1820 in Chichester and his mother name was Hopestill  Ide, daughter of Thomas Ide, born 1817 in Bosham and baptised along with her siblings in South Bersted in 1821. They were married at St Mary’s, Portsea in 1841.

Charles was baptised on the 3rd November 1844 at St Andrew’s, Chichester. His parents were living in Baffins Lane.
In 1851 they were in Orchard Street, Chichester and in 1861 West Pallant, Chichester, when he was listed as a Brazier.
/in 1871 he was with the Cheesemans at the Royal Standard, Pier Road listed as a Blacksmith.
On the 31st March 1872, Charles married Fanny Richardson at St John’s, Littlehampton and they were living at 4 East Court, Littlehampton in 1881. He was a shoeing smith.

He married his second wife, Emma Southgate nee Harding, a widow, on 22nd September 1888 in Broadwater.
In 1891 and 1901 they were living at South Marshes, Arundel. He is listed as a blacksmith/labourer and in 1911 they were back in Littlehampton living at  56a East St Littlehampton, when he was listed a Farrier.

Charles’s death was registered in September 1926 in the East Preston Registration area.


A ghostly connection?

The building gets a mention in “Littlehampton Ghost Tour: A self-guided walk around Littlehampton town and harbour“, published in June 2018. It seems that there was an unlucky chair in the cellar and there were reports of an angry man on the cellar stairs who may have been the ghost of either the owner of the dairy who surprised his wife with a sea captain or maybe the sea captain himself. Remembering that Benjamin’s daughters had married sea captains, I decided to investigate.

Martha Cheesman’s first husband, William Norris Peskett, was in the Mariner merchant service and died in Littlehampton in April 1892. His cause of death as stated on his death certificate was valvular heart disease and exhaustion. The place of death was 16 Howard Street and the informant was his brother-in-law, Charles Pile, Jane’s husband. so not impossible for him to be the source of the ghostly tale if he rushed home which is not far away and had a heart attack there. As George Robinson died at sea, it is less likely that it was him, but not impossible! I guess it depends whether a ghost will only haunt his place of death, who knows!

Crown copyright


Census returns

The Royal Standard was situated at 2 Pier Road. Present by 1866, this pub closed in 1907. Latterly known as The Standard. Source: Brian Haines.

Royal Standard, 2 Pier Road, Littlehampton (Littlehampton pub history index)

British Newspapers. Findmypast









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