The Hole Family Part One


Sacred/to the memory of/James Hole/who died/1 April 1860/aged 74 Years

Also Elizabeth, his wife/who died illegible May 1869/aged 85  Years

Remainder illegible

James Hole, born in Hythe, was baptised in St Leonard’s Church there on 4 March 1787. He was the son of John and Elizabeth Hole. He married a Lydd woman, Elizabeth, and they went on to have five children, Thomas, William, Elizabeth, Mary and John. James was a fishmonger with premises in Hythe High Street. We know little of their lives, but Elizabeth was admitted as a ‘sister’ of St Bartholomew’s hospital in 1867, two years before her death. (1)

Thomas, the eldest son, born in 1817, married Susan Dowle in Hythe in 1840 and went with her to live in Ashford where, like his father, he set up as a fishmonger and became the father of many children. He died there in 1872.


Inscription William Walker Hole/of illegible/who died illegible July 1882/ aged 59 years

Also of/ Olive

Remainder illegible

William, born 1822,  married Olive Tickner from Charing and took over his father’s fishmonger’s shop in Hythe High Street, while his father James, perhaps sick of fish, opened a beer shop instead. William and Olive lived in Stade Street, where Olive took in lodgers. She also assisted William in his business, ran a fruit stall on the same premises and quarrelled with the neighbours. Two of these arguments ended in court.

In 1866, Olive attended evening service at St Leonard’s and headed for her usual pew, to find it already  already occupied by Charles Nelson and Kate Godfrey.  Charles said it was his usual pew, and although there was room for one more, he would not allow her in – they were box pews then, with doors. The next Sunday, the couple were there before her again. After that, things got confused. Olive said Charles attacked her and to save herself from falling she grabbed hold of his whiskers. She then went into the pew in front, climbed over the partition and chaos ensued. The sidesman sensibly refused to get involved and sent for the vicar. Olive sued Charles and Charles sued Olive. On this occasion, Olive won.

The next year, she was back in court. She and William were on bad terms with their next-door neighbour in Stade Street, Alfred Day. The cause of most of their animosity was the height of the fence between the two back yards. One day, Olive found Alfred’s ladder in her yard, put there so that could tar the fence. When he would not move it, she did so herself, putting it in her kitchen (William gave it back that evening).  The next day, it was back and Alfred was standing on it. He dared her to move it – quite a reckless thing to do as he was tarring at the time – and Olive, who seems to have been a nimble woman,  climbed up onto the roof of her outside toilet and then onto the fence, getting covered in tar in the process. She tried, unsuccessfully to push the ladder down, but Alfred stood his ground and pushed her away. She charged him with assault, but this time the case was thrown out.

Rows with the neighbours apart, the couple must have prospered in their business, as by 1866 their house in had in the yard a new brick building with a slate roof, which housed a stable and had a herring-hang attached and a large wooden shed built against it. William woke one night to find the lot in flames. He ran into town to summon the fire brigade.

Hythe fire Brigade had been founded in 1802, the first in Kent. It had just acquired a magnificent new  Paxton fire engine at a cost of £173. 3s. 0d raised by public subscription. This was capable of discharging a hundred gallons of water a minute to a height of a hundred and twenty feet – depending, of course on there being a suitable water supply at the premises.

Eight volunteer firemen and the new engine, drawn by a horse, attended the blaze, and forty-odd men from the School of Musketry which had been based in the town for the last thirteen years, also arrived. Unfortunately, the water main in Stade Street was only two inches in diameter and useless for a major fire. The fireman had to take water from the sea and four nearby wells. They stopped the fire spreading and saved the houses in Stade Street, but had to let the fire in William’s outbuildings burn itself out.

William lost everything – his van, cart, sets of harness and fishing nets and his black mare. The total cost was between five and six hundred pounds, a huge sum, and William was not fully insured.  It must have been a terrible blow, but William had other sources of income as a property owner who rented out houses, so he was not left entirely bankrupt.

William and Olive did not have children.


In loving memory/of/Frances/wife of John Rann Hole/who died(illegible) November/1886/aged 78 years

Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord

Also of John Rann Hole/died 3rd November 1897/aged72 years

I have fought a good fight I have finished the course I have kept the faith

The youngest son, John, born 1826, started his working life as a footman and at the age of thirty-two married Frances Smith, who had also been in service, working as a servant to the Fagge family of Hythe. She was fifteen years John’s senior.  After their marriage, they went to live in Sheerness, where John worked as a labourer in the royal dockyard. By 1871 he was back in in East Kent, in Folkestone, working as a lay missionary at the new Church of England Mission in Sidney Street. The Mission was set up for the poorest people in the town, the railway workers. Its first premises were in a former baker’s shop in Sidney Street and housed a Mission Chapel, Sunday School and Cocoa Tavern – a teetotal alternative to the public house. John and Frances lived just around the corner in the Mission Room in Canterbury Road. After his wife’s death, John returned to Hythe where he lived in Stade Street until his death.

Continued in The Hole Family Part 2

  1. Kent Archives EK2008/2/Book 16




11 thoughts on “The Hole Family Part One

  1. Hi Anne.

    Still read your posts with pleasure and interest. Just heard about Crunden’s closing. Do we know what is happening to it? Are there new owners yet? Are Chris and or David going to take the opportunity to research and document the building before it gets any work done on it? Thank everyone from me for doing such a fine job with the group. You especially for keeping it growing and strong. Special regards to Alethea.

    My health is OK and I will have my Kidney stones finally taken care of next week and the prostate in he near future. I’m in the hands of a very good surgeon and feel confident that all will be well.

    Miss you all.



    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi John, they want to put flats in the first floor & roof of Crundens and destroy the medieval infrastructure! The application is being vigorously opposed, of course.
      Hope all your procedures and health issues have a very positive outcome. As Bette Davies said ‘growing old isn’t for sissies.’
      Everyone in the History Group joins me in sending our best wishes


  2. Do you know anything about Richard Hole who was married to Elizabeth Bould? They were married at St. Leonard’s and had two children – Mark Paige Hole and Anne Bowles Hole. Mark Paige Hole married Mary Nash and had three children in Saltwood before going to America. Anne Bowles Hole supposedly married Thomas Payor. I am a descendent of Mark Paige Hole and have researched his family extensively.

    Is it possible that James and William Walker are brothers and/or uncles to Richard? Richard’s marriage was in 1807.


    1. Hello again Linda. I checked the Hythe records today. Richard Hole was the son of John and Mary Hole and was baptised in St Leonard’s on 9 July 1781. The James Hole I refer to in the blog was baptised in 1787, the son of John and Elizabeth Hole. Now, John & Mary had three children baptised 1779, 81 and 84, and John and Elizabeth’s children were baptised in 87, 89, 91, 92 and 95, so it is possible that Elizabeth was John’s second wife. I will need to check further next week


      1. Hello Anne,
        My name is David & I live in Queensland, Australia. I am a descendant of Daniel Beck (Back) who married Elizabeth Hole in 1837, Marylebone, London, England. Elizabeth (b 1815) was the daughter of James Hole & Elizabeth Walker. Daniel & Elizabeth departed England, leaving from Plymouth, Devon on 13th May 1839 aboard the “Lady Raffles” and arrived in Australia 12/09/1839. (He was a Bounty Immigrant). The shipping record says he was brought out by Jn Marshall, native of near Lewes, Sussex – & that he was a Protestant, & the son of Daniel Back (Baliff, near Lewes & his wife Elizabeth Reynolds). He was also a Labourer & Indoor Servant of good character & in very good health. Elizabeth was a domestic servant. They were with Captain Hight (Master of the ship “Lady Raffles”) & 236 Bounty Immigrants under the Superintendence of James Sullivan, Ship’s Surgeon.
        After Elizabeth Beck (nee Hole) returned to England (possibly abt 1842), Daniel remained in the new colony of New South Wales. In about 1843, he developed a new partnership with another Elizabeth (nee Price), daughter of 2 convicts, & eventually married her in 1858 – but this was not before they had 6 children. Daniel died in 1862. I have an enormous family history file on them.
        I have for many years been trying to discover what happened to Daniel’s first wife Elizabeth Hole …. now I know. If you would like any further info, please contact me. Thank you so much for the info on your website about Elizabeth Hole’s family.


      2. Hello David. How absolutely fascinating. No wonder I couldn’t find out about her. I would love to include this information on the blog, if you are agreeable.


  3. Hi again Anne,
    By all means, yes that would be nice. I’m not certain of Elizabeth’s return to England however. I only see her mentioned in England 1871 Census, as married, & an Employee (Lady’s Maid) in Lewes, Sussex & then again in 1881, in Hythe, Kent as an Annuitant Widow.
    Daniel & his wife Elizabeth Hole were enticed into applying for emigration to the new colony of New South Wales by various advertisements in London & other city newspapers, by the Agent-General for the NSW Government. This whole adventure must have seemed quite attractive at the time, whereby their passage by ship was paid for (Bounty / Assisted type fare), & employment was virtually assured once they arrived in Sydney.
    This was not the adventure it seemed however, & once there, they & all the Bounty Immigrants were “abandoned”, & left to fend for themselves. No accommodation, no jobs – nothing! This was according to a Newspaper report in the Australasian Chronicle (Sydney, NSW : 1839 – 1843) Tue 17 Sep 1839.
    Daniel became a goldminer & storekeeper before dying in 1862.
    I think the illness Elizabeth suffered was virtually from the many years of separation & trauma waiting for husband Daniel’s return home – it never came, of course.
    Need any info more, please ask.


    1. Thanks for the extra information. I’ll update the post in the next couple of days. I found Elisabeth as a lady’s maid with the same family in 1851 and 61 too. The name was transcribed as Beck and Buck!


    2. Hello again, David. I see from their immigration record that when they arrived in NSW, Daniel and Elizabeth had a child, another Daniel, born 11 June 1838/9, with them. I can’t find a birth registration in the UK, so presumably he was born at sea. Do you know what happened to him?

      Kind regards



      1. Hi Anne,

        Short answer is NO. I also found according to a Bounty Immigrants record sheet, a son Daniel was born on 11 June 1838 or 1839. If 1838, then the birth would have been in England, otherwise it is the year Daniel & Elizabeth arrive. (There are no birth or death records for a son born in 1838 or 1839 – in England, Australia or even onboard the ship). Some newspapers reported that there was both a birth of an infant & a death of an infant during the voyage, however no names were mentioned. One can only guess – perhaps a birth & burial at sea for the same child??
        In 1840, there is also a birth record in NSW for a child (Susan) – BECK, SUSAN registration 3548/1840 V18403548 37A Father:DANIEL Mother:ELIZABETH.
        But once again, no more records can be located. ?? Sorry.

        The main record I would dearly love to find is when (actual date/year) Elizabeth returned to England. eg Shipping/passenger list either departing Aust or arriving England. Probably no chance!

        Many thanks also for those other 2 Census records (1851 & 1861) – very much appreciated.
        You mentioned the annuity that Elizabeth had. (Don’t think it was from Daniel). Elizabeth had been working for the same rich family (Crofts) for more than 30 years (ever since returning to England), & then finally the widow Mrs Crofts died in 1878. Obviously, it must have been Mrs Crofts who left Elizabeth Back a pension (an annuity). Elizabeth then returned to her home town of Hythe, where she lived out her remaining life.
        Cheers, David


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