Friends of Hastings Cemetery
Thomas Elworthy was born in Southwark in 1825, his father being an architect and surveyor. His principal education he received at Maryon's Grammar School, Bermondsey. He was not quite thirteen years old when he was put into a situation, where his chief duty was the taking of warrants from merchants clearing goods out of bond at docks, and seeing that such goods were properly delivered, his employer being Wharfingers in Tooley-
In the evening young Elworthy, who was very fond of drawing, helped his father with his plans, while his sire, in return, gave him instruction as a surveyor, so that in a short period he felt himself fitted for a better berth. By the introduction of his father, who did surveying and constructing for Peto, the great railway contractor, and who died in the employ of that firm at Cambridge, he got an introduction into the same business do general work.
While here young Elworthy then, as ever through life, desirous of acquiring all possible knowledge,” kept his eyes open," and in this way he obtained no inconsiderable portion of that special practical knowledge which has aided him materially in the pursuit of his calling as an architect. He served three years at a carpenter's bench, for the simple purpose of obtaining a full working acquaintance with the trade which might serve him in later days.
It was about the year 1849 that he first came to Hastings, his object in visiting this town at the time being that of a holiday-
Subsequently he kept the books and superintended the work of Messrs. Winter and Son, of White Bock-
Of his coming to the town, and the state in which he found the borough forty-
Mr. Elworthy had not been long in this town when that desire to do something outside the province of his own profession, and, by doing so, help others, which has ever been one of his strongly marked characteristics, manifested itself. He joined the old St. Leonards Mechanics' Institute, the headquarters of which were at that time not far from the British Hotel…………
In connection with this Institute Mr. Elworthy had classes for arithmetic, mensuration [the part of geometry concerned with ascertaining lengths, areas, and volumes.], drawing, geometry, and so on. He did a good deal of this work in the Temperance Hall to begin with. Then the Rev. Andrew Reed came here, and held services in the Assembly Rooms while the Congregational Church was being built, and when the schoolroom in connection with this denomination was ready Mr. Elworthy continued his classes there.
All this was merely labour of love to the teacher, and the only cost to the pupils was that of their books. Some of the young men who were thus instructed have gone abroad; some are in New Zealand, some in Canada, some California, and other far away spots………….. In Technical education he has ever shown the most cordial interest ; indeed………… he preached, and caused to be practised amongst the young as much as he could, the principles of Technical education. This system he holds to be only in its infancy just now. He looks upon the present School of Art as merely a nucleus of what should be a first-
It must be said of Mr. Elworthy himself in this regard that he certainly practises what he preaches. He has given scientific lectures to Board school children and to others, and he has never shown that be felt it a loss of dignity to come down to the level of his audience, and use such language and illustrations as would be most likely to interest, and consequently to instruct, them. …………….. he makes the matter of his lectures appeal to the intelligence of both the cultured and uncultured. It may be deemed a little singular that so matter-
From his youth upward he has been a musician, his father drumming .the notes into him with his ABC. During his lifetime he has played four or five different instruments, the last being a double bass. Some years ago he and Mr. Arthur Butler, now organist at Warrior Square Presbyterian Church, got together a number of young fellows, and formed them into good amateur band, which met for practise his house every week for two or three years, until his son Henri, who played the first violin, died, the bereavement following on the death of another son, Josiah, just twenty months before…….. [Both buried at FB E03] He thought all the members of the Corporation would be pleased if they paid a visit to the school in Bourne-
Mr. Elworthy can do nothing in a half-
He joined the Temperance Society at Norman Road Hall it 1862, becoming acquainted with the late Mr. Richard Beagley and with Mr. Benjamin Tree. Throwing himself with all his powers into the cause of Temperance, he conducted a first-