top of page

1935: Celebrated Poet's daughter-in-law laid to rest in Cuckfield

Daughter of Thomas Butler Coddington and Almira Huxton Price. Sister of Emily Coddington (1850-1924) and Marie Frederica Coddington (1855-1929).

Mid Sussex Times - Tuesday 24 September 1935


Haywards Heath Lady's Funeral at Cuckfield

Mrs. Fannie Coddington Browning, widow of Robert Wiedemann Browning aka Pen, the only son of the poet and of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, has died at Anchorhold, Paddockhall Road, Haywards Heath, the residence of the Misses Dorothy and Maude Ivatt. Mrs. Browning had lived at this address since 1931, and of late had been in remarkably good health. On September 6th she celebrated her 82nd birthday, and attended a party in London. The end came unexpectedly on Friday, after only a few days illness.

The deceased lady was an American, of a well-established family . She was married to Robert Barrett Browning at Pembury, Tunbridge Wells, on October 4th, 1887. They went to live at the Palazzo Rezzonico in Venice, and it was here that Robert Browning (the poet) died on December 12th, 1889. Deceased, who was greatly attached to him, was present at his death, and she came with the body to London for the burial in Westminster Abbey.

Her feeling for the poet is shown in a little book entitled "Some Memories of Robert Browning" which she wrote and had published in Boston in 1928. Mrs. Browning's husband died in 1912. When the Great War broke out she went back to Washington, where she lived until after the war. She then returned to England and came to live in Sussex, where she had relatives.

Fannie Coddington Browning circa 1880

Mrs. Browning was a great personality, and was much loved by a large circle of relatives and friends. From Friday until yesterday (Monday), the coffin of plain oak rested in the private chapel at Anchorhold. Here the Rev. P. T. Browning, Vicar of St. Martin's, Brighton (a distant relative of the poet), said a Requiem Mass yesterday morning.

Later, a service in Cuckfield Parish Church was followed by the interment in the adjoining churchyard. Members of the staff at Anchorhold (Messrs. C. Holman and H. Chapman) were responsible for beautifully lining the grave with greenery and white and yellow chrysanthemums. The officiating clergyman was the Rev. Canon C. W. G. Wilson (Vicar of Cuckfield), the Rev. Prebendary J. A. W. Bell (Vicar of St. Wilfred's, Haywards Heath) and the Rev. P. T. Browning.

The principal mourners were Major Ernest Berly (representing Mrs. Schlesinger, of Slough Place, Cuckfield, a cousin), Miss Dorothy Ivatt, Miss Maude Ivatt, Lieut.-Colonel and Mrs. G.J.F. Talbot (Balcombe), Major and Mrs. Corse-Scott, (London), Mr. Francis Berly (London), Mr. George R. Gregory (an executor), Dame Sarah Swift, Miss Anne Nash and Mrs. Guy Campbell.

Memorial to Fannie Coddington Browning in Cuckfield Churchyard

For a biography of Fannie Coddington Browning and her husband Robert Wiedeman Browning please follow the links:

bottom of page