Signing Off

I am hoping to produce an article in the next issue of Longshot about the Coolhurst branch of the Linfields. This family is particularly interesting, especially as we presently have no idea where they came from – so they form an isolated branch of their own.

The earliest known member of this branch is John Linfield, attorney who married Anne Coe at Horsham in 1690. John became involved in illegal vote rigging at Horsham in one of the general elections, for which he was severely reprimanded by the Sergeant-in-Arms at the House of Commons. It was he who purchased the Coolhurst estate, to the east of Horsham, which remained in the family till 1807 when his grandson Charles sold it to the Earl of Chichester. Unfortunately, there are possible indications that some of the members of this family suffered from a mental illness, and I will expand on this in the forthcoming article. Since the Coolhurst Linfields were among the minor Horsham gentry, there are plenty of references to them in various records (including John Baker’s Horsham diary) and my intention will be to reveal the full extent of our current knowledge about them.

At AGM in June, Eric asked whether anyone was acquainted with a member of the Littlehampton branch of the Linfields. I believe the long established building firm of James Linfield & Sons was founded in Littlehampton in the 1880s, and we have a reference to the company building houses in Gloucester Road in 1893. Is there is anyone out there who has access to information about this business, as we would really like to know more about it? It would make a very interesting article.

I am also hoping to start a regular series about some of the houses where the Lin(d)fields lived, hopefully accompanied by photographs if the properties still survive. There is a picture in the current issue of Palmer’s Cottage in West Chiltington, home of Peter Linfield and his family before they moved to Storrington in 1779. This property will be the first to feature in the series. Interestingly enough, the premises where they moved to – including the shop – also survive. I have seen a photograph of this building around 1890, showing a wonderful display of animal carcases hanging along the front. This was taken just a few years after the death of Thomas Linfield in 1884, and it must have looked exactly the same during the time of the Linfields.

Finally, you will have read Alan’s piece about the Reunion next year. Please let me remind you that we will be wanting a lot of volunteers on the day. If you can help, then please contact Alan as soon as possible since we need find people willing to carry out the various tasks long before the event! People are particularly wanted for manning the door, collecting data and hosting the displays connected with their branches. Duties can also be rotated to enable everyone to fully participate in the day’s activities. We hope to make the day a great success, but we will only be able to achieve this with a certain amount of help.

Malcolm Linfield

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