Friends of Hastings Cemetery

Hastings and St Leonards Observer - Saturday 15 February 1896
Charles Chapman, dairyman and farmer, of 23, North-street, St Leonards, and Battle Barn Farm.-This debtor appeared for public and in reply to Mr. Finney (Deputy Official Receiver) said he commenced a dairyman in 1852 or 1853 at 3, North-street.  He had no capital.  He continued it till he failed.  He worked the business up to a fair extent. When his father died in 1869 he was left executor with his brother, and his father's business was carried on for 17 years. His mother had a life interest in the properry.  She died about nine years ago.  His share in the property was £72 odd.  He started farming at Bohemia Farm about 1878. He began practically without capital.  It paid at first, but in the last few years he lost about £600.  He paid £70 a year for eight acres, and £95 for a vinery in St. Margaret's road. At the time when he took on the farm he was quite solvent.

He took Battle Barn Farm in 1891.  He was to pay £97 per year rent for 10 acres of ground. He bought the live stock, crops, etc., of Mr. Knight for 675.  He left £400 at 5 per cent., but Mr. Knight died, and he had to pay some of the remainder off before he otherwise would have done, and that crippled him.  Latterly the farm had been carried on at a loss because he lost a number of cows.  He'd spent £160 in improvements.  He bought the equity of his mother's property for £900 on her death.  He paid £72 at the time, and got some on mortgage.  He had "fought from hand to mouth" all his life. had been going to money lenders off and on for the last three years.  In the first case he was bound for three £20 bills, surety for a friend.  During the last two or three years the amount of money he had raised from money lenders, interest and all, went into hundreds of pounds, at 40 to 60 per cent interest. He was lucky to get oft with that sometimes. He was under the impression when he started borrowing money that he would get on all right by working hard.

He was in difficulties, but he thought he would get out of them. He gave the" cause of his insolvency payments for debts of other persons, at least £2,000 during the last few years. It would come to that with the renewals for money hired, as the interest was going on. Some of the amount was for money hired for himself. In answer to Mr. J. F.Nock (acreditor for £3 18s.), debtor said he had given a correct statement of his affairs. He had not had some pigs of Mr. Wm. Barnett lately.—The Registrar expressed regret at seeing Mr. Chapman, whom he had known for many years, in difficulties.— examination was adjourned to the next Court.    

Hastings and St Leonards Observer - Saturday 22 February 1896
LOCAL CONSERVATISM. ST. LEONARDS DISTRICT. The annual meeting of the St. Leonards District of the Hastings and St. Leonards United Conservative Association
...They had an unfortunate and impossible candidate in Mr.
Charles Chapman; a fact which had shown itself so unfortunately, and he (the speaker) would take that opportunity of expressing his great sympathy with him. (Loud applause.)  He worked hard in the Council, and was extremely good to the poor while the Board of Guardians.  Where Mr. Chapman failed was doing too much. (Loud applause.)  If they had only known Mr. Chapman's financial state two months, or he ventured to say one month, before the election, they could have looked about for a good candidate, and Mr. Chapman would have had the good sense to give way.    

Hastings and St Leonards Observer - Saturday 26 February 1898
Local residents were painfully surprised on Monday when they received intelligence that an old and esteemed resident of St. Leonards, in the person of ex-Councillor
Chapman, …had passed away under most distressing circumstances.  It appeared that the deceased, who for many years had carried on business as a cow keeper and dairyman, started his round, in apparently good health, on Monday morning.  About 7.10 a.m. he called at Springfield road with milk, but five minutes later a carter from Hollington found him lying on bis face on the pavement, with a milk-can still clutched in his hands. The man very wisely turned him over, and undid his collar, Mr. F. B. Lewis, surgeon, was called, but found life was found extinct. ……The deceased gentleman first saw the light at 22 North-street, on December 2nd, 1836. He  was thus 61 years of age.  He was a son of the late Mr. Charles Chapman, also a dairyman, and who curiously enough. dropped dead suddenly along the Marina, October 16th. 1869, whilst on his round.

The late ex-Councillor, who was educated at the National Schools, had been married twice, having issue two children by his first wife, and one by the second.  He was a supporter of the Charity Organisation Society, and also one of the oldest members of the St. Leonards Adelaide Lodge of Oddfellows, in which he always took the greatest interest, whilst he had done good work in connection with the Friendly  societies and other benefit associations in the borough.  In politics he was an uncompromising conservative. During the time he sat on the Council he showed himself to be a strict economist. he was returned un-opposed in 1889 and 1892, but in 1895 he was defeated by Mr. W. G. Morgan by 61 votes  Mr. Chapman was quite an authority on cattle, and frequently acted as judge at shows in the neighbourhood. The deceased was for some years a strict teetotaler, and was invariably found in the Norman Road Wesleyan Chapel on Sundays.  Of late years he had met with misfortune.  Since his defeat in 1895 he had kept closely to his business, and worked hard to regain his former position.

Buried in FC H07 with his wife, Mary Anne


Charles W Chapman & Family, cont.