1854 – 1901

Westbourne 1854 – 1901
In 1855 The Post Office Directory of Sussex (later Kelly’s Directory) records a William Pile trading in Westbourne as a cattle dealer. This is most likely the farmer but could be George and Martha’s eldest son.

Martha Pile died at Commonside on 13 January 1858, her death certificate records her as seventy years old and the cause of her death as enlargement of the liver. Emma Mathews, her daughter by her first marriage registered the death. Martha was buried in the churchyard with her second husband, the grave however remained unmarked.

On 11 November 1859 William Pile, the farmer, died at the age of seventy years, he was buried in Westbourne churchyard next to his late wife Jemima. [photo]

George and Martha’s eldest son William appears to have had a long-standing affair with a local girl, Harriett Griffin. They had probably known each other from childhood as in 1841 she appears as a fifteen-year-old living next door to George and Martha Pile.

Westbourne parish registers list nine children born illegitimately to a Harriett Griffin between 1841 and 1867, in all cases no father is recorded. The first is the baptism of George Griffin on 12 October 1841; if this is our Harriett she would have been only fifteen.

In the eighteen years between 1849 and 1867 Harriett had eight children, four sons and four daughters. Two of the sons, William baptised in 1852 and James baptised in 1860 were Christened William Thomas Pile Griffin and James Pile Griffin respectively ensuring that the father was identified.

In the 1861 census they are all listed as living at Queen Haven in Westbourne although Harriett and the children are in the household of her mother, Mary and are all recorded as Griffins. William meantime is living just two doors away as a lodger with his youngest, now married sister, Charlotte Creese, her husband George and children Ernest and Harry aged four and one respectively.

William and Harriett had two further children, David in 1865 (christened David Henry) and Louisa in 1868.

By the time of the next census in 1871, William Pile was living at North Street in Westbourne with Harriett Griffin living with him as his “housekeeper”. William is an agricultural labourer and Harriet a needlewoman, both are listed as forty-six years old. Their children Mary Jane, James, David and Louisa are all present but now all bear the name Pile, all are listed as scholars.

The 1881 census again shows William Pile now 56 years old and a labourer on the railways, Harriett Griffin is now living with him, her occupation is given as laundress, their children James, David and Louisa are still at home and there is also a grand-daughter, Ellen, although it is not clear who her father is. Also in the village is Charlotte with her husband George Crees, they now have ten children; Ernest, 23 a till maker; Harry, 17 a brickmaker (like his father); Lizzie, 17 a domestic servant though not employed at this time; William, 15 a “general” labourer; Martha, 12; Henrietta, 11; Charles, 9; Frances, 7; Florence, 4 all listed in the census as scholars) and Mabel aged just two.

Elsewhere in the village Sarah Bargent, a baker’s wife, had given birth to a daughter the day before the census was taken (April 3), listed in the household is a nurse Jane Kennett, she is George and Martha’s second daughter who had previously married William Kennett.

Later that year James Pile married Ila Goble, the eighteen-year-old daughter of Edward Charles and Martha Goble.

On November 29 1883 Charlotte and George Creese’s son William died at the age of just seventeen years and less than a year later, on October 3 1884 his brother, Harry died aged 24. Both are buried together in Westbourne cemetery.

The last census of the nineteenth century, taken in 1891, records two Pile families, William and Harriett, both 66 and now (apparently) married, William being employed as a railway platelayer. Their son William a 39-year-old naval pensioner is also in the household together with their granddaughter, 13-year-old Ellen Griffin.

Elsewhere is William and Harriett’s son James and his wife Ila. James is now a 31-year-old bricklayer’s labourer; Ila is 28 and was born in Westbourne. They have two sons James who is six and William, four.

The first census of the twentieth century was taken on the night of 31 March 1901 and records only one Pile household in Westbourne, that of James Pile a 41-year-old bricklayers labourer, his wife Ila is now 38 and three sons are now recorded, 16-year-old James and 14-year-old William are also bricklayers labourers, the youngest is nine-year-old Harry.