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1865: Death of Cuckfield's oldest tradesman

Updated: Dec 3, 2023

Sussex Advertiser - Tuesday 15 August 1865


Death of the Oldest Tradesman.—The oldest established tradesman in this place departed this life on Saturday, in his 84th year. Mr. W. Elliott has been for nearly 60 years at the head of the well known establishment in the town as leather cutter, and boot and shoe maker, and during that long period has kept up an unblemished name for his punctuality and integrity as a tradesman, having carved out for himself a standing in society and an independency from small beginnings, and by his praiseworthy conduct earning the respect and esteem of all classes.

A clicking machine from 1922, used to die cut leather (wikipedia)

Sixty years since, he acted as sergeant in the Cuckfield division of Light Infantry Volunteers, in which he remained until they were disembodied, and has been spoken of by his old comrades as one the best soldiers in the corps. For many years he has been one of the principal promoters and supporters of both the old and new horticultural societies, the bread and soap fund, and was a very useful man in all parochial and public affairs, always taking, and acting up to, a liberal view of matters, political or otherwise.

As a Dissenter he took a mild and proper course at a time when sectarianism had nearly rent the ties of society asunder in the parish, and by his mediating conduct helped materially to heal the wounds it had created. He was, we believe, a native of Penshurst, in Kent, and came into this part of the country as servant under the late Admiral Peyton, of Wakehurst, saving money enough to apprentice himself to his trade, setting up in a small line of business on his own account, with no friends, but such as his conduct had created, to help him, he by a long course of industry and frugality, gained a position, and, going down to the grave, leaves a character of which his family may well be proud.


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