1831 – 1854

Westbourne 1831- 1854
George Pile returned to Westbourne and on 7 January 1831 applied to the Select Vestry for relief. On 21 January George’s family were relieved once more, this time being placed on the “Flour List”, this was a means of supplementing income and probably assumes that George had managed to obtain work. The Flour List seems to have been a version of the Speenhamland system established in Berkshire in 1795 and linked relief to the price of bread and therefore the cost of living. The system allowed a man to buy three gallons (8lb 11oz) of bread for himself and 1¼ to 1½lbs for each dependant.

The family was granted a further four shillings on 4 February and on 18 July yet another four shillings with the record Pyles’ boy sick. There is no indication whether this is William, David or even Henry.

This is the last entry in the Select Vestry Minutes before 1834 when the Poor Law Amendment Bill of 1834 caused its duties to be passed to the Guardians of the Westbourne Union.

Tragedy struck the Pile family in July 1832 when their first daughter, Sarah died; she was just four years old and was buried in the churchyard on 17 July. It is estimated that in the nineteenth century as many as one in four children died before their sixth birthday. [view parish entry]

Almost exactly nine months later a third daughter was born and christened Jane at the church on 20 April 1833. A third son was born in 1836 and named George after his father, he was baptised on 15 May.

On 21 July 1833 Martha Pile’s eldest daughter Emma Martin married Richard Mathews at Westbourne. Emma, like her mother, was a pregnant bride her first child, Martha being born in January 1834 Three further children are recorded; Henry in 1844, Emma Kate in 1850 and Emily in 1854.

The parish baptism register records on 20 April 1834 the baptism of Ellen Ann Pyles the daughter of Henry and Sarah Pyles, Henry’s occupation is listed as horse dealer. There appears to be no other record of this Henry but he is probably the son of Henry and Elizabeth who was born in 1810.

On 1 April 1839 Martha gave birth to George’s fourth daughter and their last child, Charlotte, she was baptised on April 28. Martha was now forty-nine years old and had been bearing children for twenty-four years! Charlotte’s birth certificate is the only positive clue to Martha’s previous marriage as it gives the mother’s name as Martha Pile late Martin formerly Ranger.

In 1840 a survey known as a terrier was prepared for Westbourne, this listed land and property in and around the village; who owned and occupied it; its area and to whom tithes were payable. The Westbourne tithe award shows that both George and William Pile occupied land. George occupied 23 perches (about 700 square yards) of land owned by Ann Catchlove behind the Free Church in North Street, this was described as a garden, and George paid one shilling and six pence in tithe to the vicar. William, however, owned a house and garden at the south end of North street (where the present-day Co-op stands) and occupied a further six parcels of land in Westbourne, four being meadow and two arable totalling about twenty-six acres. One of these (about six acres) was referred to as ‘Piles Field’ in the late nineteenth century. Three fields, which William rented at the north of the village, were the property of Charles Jackson, the then owner of the nearby Stansted House and Estate.

The following year, 1841, a census was held throughout Great Britain, this records that there were two Pile households in Westbourne; George and Martha Pile are listed together with their children David, Ann, Jane, George and Charlotte. Their eldest son, William is missing from the household and has not yet been found in Westbourne or any of the surrounding Sussex parishes. George is described as a labourer and born (apparently) in Sussex.

Also there is William Pile, his wife Jemima and daughter Kezia. William is shown as a farmer and also indicated as being born in Sussex although we know from later records that this is incorrect.

At some time after 1841 George’s second son David left Westbourne. The reasons for this are unknown although it would be most likely to be in search of work. There is no further known record of him until 1847 when he married Sarah Smith in Grantham, Lincolnshire.

On 7 September 1843 the parish register records the marriage by licence of Emma Pile to James William Deacon. Emma was nineteen years old and her father is described as William Pile a yeoman. Emma is presumably a daughter of William the farmer and sister of Kezia although there is no record in Westbourne of a baptism for either child.

Emma’s new husband, James Deacon was twelve years her senior, his “rank or profession” is that of “gent”. Emma appears not to have signed her own name in the register although whoever completed it for her seems to have mistakenly entered Deacon as her surname and then changed it to Pile!

In February 1849 James and Emma had a daughter called Mary Emma. Sadly the child died before adulthood, a gravestone in Westbourne churchyard reads Mary Emma daughter of James and Emma Deacon of Long Copse Hampshire died June 12 1866 aged 17 years 4 months.

In the quarter up to June 1844 Civil Registration indexes record the death of Ellen Amy Pile, this could be Henry and Sarah’s daughter who would have been around ten years old.

On 6 January 1846 William Pile’s wife Jemima died aged sixty and was buried in the churchyard.

On 20 February 1850 George Pile died at Queen Haven in Westbourne, his death certificate shows him as a 48-year-old farm labourer and that he died of Morbus Coxie, chronic abscess and “general exhaustion”! (Morbus Coxie is a disease of the hip, possibly septic arthritis). He was buried in the parish churchyard four days later; his grave however appears not to be marked, however many of the gravestones in Westbourne churchyard are very badly worn and weathered and most are totally illegible.

In 1851 the next census was taken; this gives far more detail than its 1841 predecessor. Widow Martha Pile is found “in the village” with her children William, aged twenty eight and a farm labourer; Jane, nineteen years old and twelve year old Charlotte who is described as a scholar. Martha is recorded as 61 years old and born at Petworth in Sussex. Also with them is a lodger, Hannah Sparks an eighty-year-old widow born at Chidham. David was by now in Grantham, but no trace of Ann or George has yet been found in this or subsequent censuses.

Also in Westbourne in 1851 is Fanny Pile aged 16 and working as a kitchen maid at Aldsworth House in the employ of John Parnell a perpetual curate minister. Fanny was born in Westbourne around 1835 but there is no record of her baptism in the parish records and therefore no indication of her parents.

William Pile and his daughter Kezia, 25 are also “in the village”. William, now a widower is aged sixty and described as a dealer and farmer employing two labourers, his birthplace is recorded as East Meon in Hampshire.

Henry Martin, Martha Pile’s son by her first marriage, appears to have married around this time as two baptisms are recorded at Westbourne; Sarah in 1854 and David Albert in 1861; their mother’s name is Sarah Anne.