C. H. Southall

From Historical Hastings


Born circa 1802 in Worcestershire, Charles Haywood Southall was proprietor of the Royal Victoria Library and author of Pocket guide to St Leonards and Hastings (C. H. Southall) , was also Postmaster for the town of St. Leonards[1]. A Quaker, he most likely was instrumental in setting up a collection to construct the Friends Meeting House - the visiting Quakers having utilised his library for their meetings from around 1859[2].

He married Charlotte Webb during 1831 in St John the Evangelist, Lambeth[3], moving into St. Leonards soon afterwards - certainly by 1834[4] - he having named the Royal Victoria Library in that year, having gained permission from the Duchess of Kent who was visiting St. Leonards with the Princess Victoria.

Whilst in St. Leonards, he became one of the first Commissioners of Burton's new town, although was disqualified from holding that position by virtue of being the Postmaster of St. Leonards - this only being discovered following an opposed re-election; Charles also using this as an excuse to avoid joining another committee[5]. Notwithstanding this, he did re-join the Commissioners during the following year[6] and would appear to have continued as Postmaster until at least 1839[7], and Commissioner until 1857[8] and resided at 17 Undercliff in 1837[9].

His daughter, Charlotte passed away on the 6th of May, 1847 when she was 15[10].

By 1841, Census records list he and his wife being resident at 6 Maze Hill, although just his wife is listed with his two surviving daughters (Hannah, aged 15 and Ellen, aged 10) and a housemaid and servant by 1851[11], his daughters continuing to live here for at least a further ten years as per the 1861 Census.

In 1855, he exhibited 'imitations of wood on paper' - possibly examples of book-binding methods - at the Paris Universal Exhibition[12]. His wife, Charlotte passed away in January, 1858[13].

There is a reference to a Charles Southall being manager of the St. Leonards branch of the London & County Bank in 1864, but it is not known as yet whether this is the same person[14]

He died in St. Leonards on the 31st of October, 1870[15], his estate being valued at under £8,000[16]

References & Notes

  1. Pigot's 1840 Directory
  2. Meeting House Name - Hastings LM.pdf, accessdate: 18 January 2021
  3. St John the Evangelist Banns , Lambeth 1825-1833 Pg. 113
  4. British Newspaper Archive Brighton Gazette 20 November 1834 Pg. 0003
  5. Brett Manuscript Histories Vol. 1 Chap. 9 Pg. 84
  6. Brett Manuscript Histories Vol. 1 Chap. 11 Pg. 97
  7. Brett Manuscript Histories Vol. 2 Chap. 22 Pg.217
  8. Brett Manuscript Histories Vol. 6 Chap. 57 Pg. 74
  9. Brett Manuscript Histories Vol. 1 Chap. 3 Pg. 19
  10. British Newspaper Archive The Sun (London) 13 May 1847 Pg. 0004
  11. UK Census Return, , 1851; St Mary Magdalen; , enumeration district 5a, folio 523 page 49, line 128.
  12. British Newspaper Archive London Daily News 23 April 1855 Pg. 0002
  13. Brett Manuscript Histories Vol. 7 Chap. 59 Pg. 16
  14. British Newspaper Archive Sussex Advertiser 27 December 1864 Pg. 0003
  15. British Newspaper Archive Hastings & St. Leonards Observer 6 May 1871 Pg. 0002
  16. UK Register of Wills