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1899: The final days of Sir Charles Lennox at Woodcroft, Cuckfield

Sir Charles Lennox Peel GCB (19 January 1823 – 19 August 1899) was a British civil servant, the nephew of Sir Robert Peel the Conservative stateman who twice served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1834–1835, 1841–1846)

Sir Charles had a house built in Cuckfield called Woodcroft where he lived for 48 years before he suffered a fatal fall.......

St James's Gazette - Saturday 19 August 1899


Sir Charles Lennox Peel is lying seriously ill at his residence, Woodcroft, Cuckfield, Sussex. On Wednesday he fell down and, striking his head, was rendered unconscious. Up to last night there had been no return of consciousness, and his condition is most critical. The Queen has desired to be informed of Sir Charles’s condition. Mr. Algernon Peel, private secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, has been summoned from Dublin and is now with his father. 

Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer - Monday 21 August 1899


Sir Charles Lennox Peel, late Clerk to the Privy Council, died on Saturday at Woodcroft, Cuckfield, Sussex. On Wednesday afternoon, after his accustomed drive, Sir Charles walked to the lodge entrance, and just outside fell in a faint. His head came into violent contact with the ground, and he was rendered unconscious. He never revived, and succumbed at six o'clock on Saturday. Sir Charles Peel was the son of the late Mr. Lawrence Peel, sixth son the first Baronet Lady Jane Lennox, daughter of the fourth Duke of Richmond, and was thus nephew of the famous statesman, and cousin of Viscount Peel, the ex-Speaker of the House of Commons. He was born in 1823, and married in 1848 the Hon. Caroline Georgina Chichester, daughter of the first Baron Templemore, who died in 1892. He leaves seven children. 

From 1875 to 1898 Sir Charles was Clerk of the Council, and he was one of the most conspicuous examples of the discreet civil servant whose influence was felt rather than seen. Of fine presence, genial manners, and great capacity for work, he was one of those men of whom the world at large knew little, but who had rendered excellent service to the State, and deservedly earned the confidence of his Sovereign. He was a member of the Carlton and Wellington Clubs, in the establishment of the latter of which he had taken groat interest, a Conservative and Churchman, but took no leading part in politics. 

Sir Charles Lennox Peel c1898 (colourised)

Brighton Argus - Wednesday 23 August 1899


Funeral at Cuckfield. 

The funeral of the late Sir Charles Lennox Peel, G.C.B., took place this afternoon at Cuckfield. The officiating clergy were the Rev. Cannon Cooper, Vicar of Cuckfield, the Ven. Archdeacon Mount, of Chichester, and the Rev. Frederick Peel. 

The ancient and beautiful church was filled with a large congregation, and the service was fully choral the full choir of the church being present. The mourners were Mr. George Peel, Mr. Horace Peel, Mr. Edward Peel, Mr. Algernon Peel (sons) Miss Peel, Mrs. Corkran, Mrs. M. Turner (daughters), Lord A. Crofton, Lord A. Gordon Lennox, Hon. A. Chichester, Mr, Montagu Turner, Colonel Corkran, Mr. Almerie Fitzroy. Clerk to the Privy Council, and Colonel Bruce Fellowes, C.B. Colonel Donald Brown, Groom-in-Waiting, represented her Majesty the Queen,

Colonel Campion, Major J. J. Lister, General Leigh Pemberton, C. B., and other Magistrates represented the Cuckfield Bench of Magistrates and there was a and representative gathering of residents and tradesmen. The wreaths were many and beautiful and included a magnificent one from her Majesty the Queen, inscribed “A mark of regard from Victoria, R. I.” Floral tributes also came from H.S.H. Princess Victor of Hobenlohe and the Duke of Devonshire, 

Woodcroft c1920 (colourised)

Mid Sussex Times - Tuesday 03 October 1899


By his Will, Charles Lennox Peel, GCB, JP, of Woodcroft, clerk of the privy council 1875 to 1898, who died on August 19 last, aged 76 years, appointed as his executors his sons George Arthur Peel and Horace Peel, by whom the gross value of the estate has been assessed at £104,379.16 shillings and nine pence, including personality of the net value of £97,963.

The testator bequeathed to his brother, Colonel Cecil Lennox Peel, the oil paintings of his father and mother by Partridge; to his son George Arthur Peel the portrait of the first Sir Robert Peel by Sir Thomas Lawrence; to his brother-in-law, Lord Templemore, the portrait of Lord Sussex Lennox; to the Duke of Richmond and Gordon, the portrait of the fifth Duke of Richmond and a miniature portrait of the fourth Duke. Sir Charles bequeathed to Ann Meredith a life annuity of £50; to each indoor and outdoor servant of three years' service two years' wages and of one years' service one years' wages; and £100 each to the Sussex County Hospital, the Brighton female orphan asylum, and the vicar of Cuckfield for charitable purposes.

He left his Woodcroft estate in trust for sale with the option to his sons in the order of their seniority to purchase the same at the price of £5000, and he left the residue of his estate as to £5000 for his son George Arthur Peel, as to £2500 for his daughter Cecilia Georgina Peel, and as to the residue in trust in equal shares for all his children. The will of Sir Charles bears date June 23rd, 1892 and there are codicils dated December 13, 1892, and May 8, 1895.



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