1906: A former court beauty dies


St Mary's Church, Slaugham

Aberdeen Press and Journal, 15 December 1906

The death is announced of Mrs [Catherine] Sergison, in her ninetieth year. She was the daughter of Major Colegrave, and her mother was one of the Frazer family, of which Lord Saltoun was the head. She was a great favourite at Court, alike in the reign of King William IV and Victoria, and delighted to recall in later years the children's parties given at Brighton by the former and Queen Adelaide.


She was a great dancer, and the Duke of Cambridge and a former King of Spain always sought her as a partner. She was presented to Queen Victoria by Lady Phipps, who was one of her close friends. She was born in Lon-on in 86 married, in 1850, Prebendary Sergison, rector of Slaugham, of which parish he was the squire. The name of Sergison is a household work [sic ie word] in Sussex, and Cuckfield Park, the original of Harrison Ainsworth’s 'Rookwood', has been in the family for generations. The deceased charities were large, and she will be regretted by a large circle of friends.


Notes: The subject of the story is Catherine Frances Eleanora Sergison who married Rev William Thomas Sergison (1802-1874) on 28 Nov 1850 in Hove. He was Rector of Slaugham from 1839 until his death in 1874.


Catherine died in Steyning in 1906 and is buried in St Mary's churchyard.


Catherine was his second wife. In May 1874, with their daughters aged 17 and 19, went to stay at Netherseale House, the home of Catherine’s sister. Under tragic circumstances the daughters lost their lives in a fire. More of this will be in another article.


Catherine's father was Major William Colegrave.


Sadly there is no photo of the court beauty, so a photo of a beautiful church will have to suffice!


Contributed by Malcolm Davison.