William May was fourth child of Elizabeth Agent & John May christened January 27th, 1811 at East Grinstead, Sussex.
William married Mary Cox on April 30th, 1836 at East Grinstead, Sussex. Mary was christened March 22nd, 1812 at Hartfield, Sussex, the daughter of Anne & Benjamin Cox.
In 1841 William & Mary were living at ‘part of Great Surreys’, East Grinstead with their 2 children, William (4) & Mary (5 months). William was an agricultural labourer as was his brother Richard who was also living at ‘part of Great Surreys’ with his family. William’s father & his brother George were living at neighbouring ‘Woodies’.
By 1851 William & Mary had moved to ‘part of Hollywich House’, Hartfield, Sussex. Children at home were William, Mary, John (8) & Sarah (4). William was still an agricultural labourer as was son William.
In 1861 William & Mary were living at Pilegate Farm, Cowden, Kent where William was working as an agricultural labourer on the farm of George Heddon, a farmer of 197 acres. There were no children at home. Son William was now married to his cousin Elizabeth, the daughter of Charles May [m.5] & they had a 2 week old son Arthur. They were living at Chiddingstone, Kent where William was a carter. Daughter Sarah was working as a house servant for Francis Dodson, a grocer & draper, & family at Penshurst, Kent. Daughter Mary had gone to London & was employed as a servant for the 2nd Earl of Durham, George F. D'Arcy Lambton & family at St George Hanover Square (interestingly Mary's uncle Thomas May was a game keeper for Lord Lambton on his Durham estate).
It appears that son John also went to London & became a valet for (Augustus) Henry Vernon, a peer of the realm. They were at the home of Lord Vernon’s brother, William J B W Vernon, J.P. at 43 Grosvenor Square, St George Hanover Square at the time of the 1871 census.
Daughter Mary married George Brown, a railway guard, in 1868. They were to have just one son Fred while living in Battersea, London, before Mary’s death.
William & Mary had returned to Hartfield in 1871 & were living at Hollywich Farm, which was owned by Col. Frederick T Maitland. William was employed as a farm bailiff & Mary was working as the cook.
In 1881 William & Mary were found at the High St, Cowden, Kent & William was again working as an agricultural labourer at the age of 70.
The children of William May & Mary Cox were:
m.4.1 William Mays christened July 9th, 1837 at East Grinstead, Sussex
m.4.2 Mary Mays christened January 17th, 1841 at East Grinstead, Sussex
m.4.3 John Mays christened February 26th, 1843 at East Grinstead, Sussex
m.4.4 Sarah Mays christened September 13th, 1846 at Hartfield, Sussex