Bletchingley Colgates

In 1841 there was only one Colgate living in the area, Henry who was born in 1816. he was living at Leyfield Farm Chipstead which was about 2hours walk away; a married couple farmed there, James and Lucy Brown and their little new born daughter, Lucy Ann, along with several young people,  15 year old Rachel Allen who was a servant, 14 year olds Cornelius Bundle and Henry Troughton, and 20 year old David Collins who were agricultural labourers on the farm. This Henry seems to disappear by the next census, unless he became a wood cutter in east Sussex, or a grocer or draper in Dartford!

In 1851 in Brewer Street, Bletchingley, Henry Colgate from Tonbridge was living with his wife Charlotte, née Jeal, and their three little children, Mary, 4,  Martin, 3 and Henry born that year. Charlotte had probably moved from her home in Horley to work as a servant for Mr and Mrs Hall who ran a brewhouse in Brewer Street;  Henry had probably moved from Kent where he lived to find work  an agricultural labourer. Ten years later, still living in Brewer Street he was a labourer… in a brewery! Their daughter, Mary had left home and was living in Ticehurst where she worked as a servant for a grocer and draper, Mr Anthony Cooper. At the Colgate home in Bletchingley,  as well as Martin and Henry there were John, Jane and Edwin, 5, 3 and 1 and a lodger, thatcher Edward Tong.

By 1871 Henry was no longer a labourer in the brewery, he was a drayman, and living at Unwins with seven of his children at home with him and Charlotte, Henry, John, Jane, Edwin, Charlotte, Susan and Thomas. The younger three were born in 1863, 1867 and 1868. Henry junior was a gardener and his brother John was an agricultural labourer. Living at the same address was their brother Martin, his wife Ellen née Holman and eight month old daughter, Catherine. Also living with them was Mary’s son Arthur Colgate; Arthur’s father is unknown and he was brought up in Martin’s family.

There were more Colgate families in Bletchingley by 1881; Henry and Charlotte are back in Brewer street, Edwin still lives at home with them and young brother Thomas William. Henry and Edwin are general labourers, Thomas of course is still at school.  Martin and Ellen are now living  in Brewer Street too, with their three children, including William Henry, 7,  and Martin junior, 4,  and nephew Arthur. Martin’s brother Henry James is married now, to Harriet Elsey and is living  in Stychens, with young Harry, Burt and Sidney, 6, 5 and 3. Henry is a gravel pit labourer.

Colgates lived in Stychens, but exactly where?

Their younger brother John, also married now to Sarah Jane Day from Suffolk, also lives in Brewer Street with his young family, Alice, Annie and baby Ernest. The little girls are 2 and 4, their brother is only 1 month old. John is a labourer but where is not mentioned in the census.

Jane Colgate who married John Betts, does not appear in the 1881 census, but her sister, Charlotte is now a servant at another draper’s shop, in Nutfield, a village between Bletchingley and Reigate, belonging to Mr James Mitchell who is obviously doing well because as well as a domestic servant, he employs 2 men and 2 boys.

Sarah Jane Day’s story has been told elsewhere:

Sarah Colgate, née Day, as an old lady

By 1881, Henry and Charlotte’s daughter Catherine also was married, to William Dagnall, and you can read their story here:


  1. Rosemary Syrett

    Thanks Lois very very interesting. I remember visiting Stychens cottages to see “Granny round the corner” I could take you there but cannot rember the house number.

    Love Rosemary


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