Category Archives: St Nicholas

Laurentia Dorothea and the penniless portrait painter

Before her marriage to Francis Robertson, Laurentia Ross sat for Thomas Lawrence – then a jobbing artist, later to become President of the Royal Academy and acknowledged as the finest portrait painter of the Regency period. They were probably introduced … Continue reading

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From revolution to nobility – the Baronesses Erskine

General John Cadwallader was a hero of the American revolution. Having waged war against Britain it seems odd that his daughter Frances should marry into the English nobility becoming Barroness Erskine. Or maybe not. After their wedding in 1799 They … Continue reading

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Within the Vaults – Outlaws and Others

The Rest Garden is dominated by the series of raised vaults which were designed by Amon Henry Wilds as a part of his initial layout. The inscriptions were recorded by the council in the late 1940’s as part of the … Continue reading

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Henry Smithers: Our most recent deceased.

Many of those remembered at the Rest Garden – especially those with the plusher resting places – were not ‘local’. From across the country and around the world they arrived, saw Brighton and died. Henry Smithers was not one of … Continue reading

Posted in Dignitary, Rest Garden, St Nicholas | 1 Comment

James Justinian Morier and the Adventures of Hajji Baba

James Justinian Morier published The Adventures of Hajji Baba of Ispahan  in 1824 and followed in 1828 with The Adventures of Hajji Baba of Ispahan in England . Satirical novels, they explored contemporary Persian society through he eyes and adventures … Continue reading

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Sir Matthew Tierney: ‘The Bloody Baron of Brighthelmstone’

MATTHEW  TIERNEY, was the eldest son of John Tierney, a  farmer and weaver from Ballyscandland, co. Limerick. The family was not wealthy and   Tierney’s  education comprised what he could pick up at the local Hedge School.  Tierney was apprenticed to … Continue reading

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Ghosts of the stones: if not the bones

Of course, when the monuments – the box tombs, the chest tombs, the headstones, the foot stones, the obelisks, the table tombs, the grave rails, the kerbs and other stonework items of memorial – were cleared, the workers only scratched … Continue reading

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How to Empty a Graveyard

Between 1949 and 1951, all three burial grounds were cleared by the council. Some monument pieces were placed around the perimiter of the site, but most were removed completely. The photographs below illustrate the scale of change; the first was … Continue reading

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How to Fill a Graveyard

The Brighton Herald paints a stark picture of life at Brighton in the first part of the 19th C. Small wonder that first the churchyard, then the northern extension (1825) then the Rest Garden (1841) were filled so swiftly. “There are, … Continue reading

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Smoaker Miles: Phantasmagoria, Swimming with Dr Johnson and other stories

John ‘Smoaker’ Miles (1721-94) In Georgian Brighton, sea bathing was a highly regulated affair, with men and women separated to different times and locations and to protect modesty further, compelled to use bathing machines. These were wooden structures where bathers … Continue reading

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