Edward Smeed was the eleventh child of William Smeed and Caroline Turner, born 1835 at East Grinstead & christened March 22nd, 1835 at St Mary Magdalene, Cowden, Kent.
In 1841 Edward was one of 10 children living at home, which was Brooklands Farm, East Grinstead, where his father was a farmer.
In 1851 Edward was still at home and helping his father on Brooklands Farm.
Edward married Sarah Ann Hayward on 26th January 1860 at St, Swithin’s, East Grinstead. Sarah was born in 1836 in East Grinstead, the daughter of Ann Stephens and James Hayward, a stationer.
Edward and Sarah Ann were living at Fairlight Cottage in 1861 with 11 month old son Edward. Fairlight Cottage was next door to Fairlight Farm, where Edward’s father, William, was farming. Edward was working on the farm.
In 1871 Edward and Sarah Ann were again found at Fairlight Cottage and Edward continued to work on his father’s neighbouring farm. They had five children living at home- William J (9), Kate (7), Mary (4), Caroline A (2) and Elizabeth (11 months). Son Edward (10) was with his grandparents (William and Caroline) next door. Edward and Sarah Ann had another daughter, Alice, aged 5, who was living with Edward’s brother George and his wife Mary at the High Street East Grinstead at the time of the census. Alice continued to live with George and Mary until she married in 1893.
The Kent & Sussex Courier of June 11th, 1880 reported on a court case in which Frances Barber of Old Mill Cottage, East Grinstead brought a paternity charge against Edward Smeed of Fairlight Farm. The complainant said she was a single woman & that her child was born on March 18th, 1880 at the East Grinstead Union Workhouse. Frances Barber’s mother gave evidence that Edward Smeed made visits to her house. The case was dismissed due to lack of corroborative evidence. (Whether this case referred to Edward snr or jnr is unclear!) The child in question was registered as Amy Smeed Barber & was found living with her unmarried mother in East Grinstead at the time of the 1881 census. For the rest of Amy’s story see Ann Smeed [sm.8] who was involved with Amy’s upbringing until her marriage.
Edward’s father died in 1880 and Edward took over Fairlight Farm, where he and Sarah Ann were living in 1881. Helping him on the farm were sons Edward and William James. Other children with them were Mary, Caroline Ann, Elizabeth, Edith Sarah (9), Emily Ethel (8), George Fred (6) and Thomas Harry (5). They also had 2 farm servants and a general servant. Daughter Kate was living in the High Street, East Grinstead with her widowed grandmother, Ann Hayward, who ran a printers and stationers company. Kate was helping in the shop.
Sadly daughter Edith died from consumption (TB) on August 20th, 1888, aged just 16 years. Her funeral was attended by many young friends & companions, all of whom greatly respected her. (Surrey Mirror, August 25th, 1888)
In July 1890 daughter Kate married Samuel Reuben Schofield at East Grinstead Parish Church. The marriage took place at 8a.m. & was followed by a wedding breakfast at Fairlight Farm. Kate, who wore a cream cashmere dress, tulle veil & orange blossoms, was attended by her sisters Alice & Carrie (Caroline) & cousins Mabel & Eva Smeed who were all bridesmaids. The couple honeymooned in Bournemouth. (Surrey Mirror, July 12th 1890). An article in the Sussex Agricultural Express of June 21st, 1890 reports that an unfortunate event prevented the marriage from taking place previously as had been planned. Kate had driven into town in a horse & cart to obtain medicine for her fiancée, Samuel Schofield, his illness being the reason for the postponement of the marriage. While she was shopping the horse bolted & Kate attempted to stop it by catching hold of the reins. Unfortunately she was dragged along the road & one of the wheels went over her leg causing bruising & swelling but happily no broken bones. She was able to return home later in the day.
Fairlight Farm continued to be home for Edward and Sarah Ann in 1891. Only 3 children remained at home at this time, Caroline A, George F and Thomas H, both sons working on the farm. They also had a general domestic servant.
An article in the Sussex Agricultural Express of May 31st, 1892 reveals that Edward had charged George & Fanny Ovill with stealing a number of items to the value of 12 shillings from him. The couple had been living in a cottage on Fairlight Farm & the items had been loaned to them by Mrs Sarah Smeed. The couple had suddenly left the cottage taking the goods with them & proceeded to sell them. In their defence they said they left because they could not get their wages. However Sarah Smeed said that she had given the man a sovereign (his wage for the week was 15 shillings) the day before he left & that he owed her 5 shillings in change. The Ovills were both given 21 days hard labour.
The next year Edward was declared bankrupt as revealed in an advertisement in the Kent & Sussex Courier of April 12th, 1893. All his farming stock & equipment was for sale by auction as well as a large quantity of quality furniture including old oak furniture, mahogany chests, antique clocks, carpets, couches & chairs.
In 1901 Edward and Sarah Ann were living with son William James and his wife, Jean, at North Sewage Farm, Tonbridge Wells, Kent, where William was a farmer.
Sarah Ann died on September 8th, 1901 at Great Lodge, Tonbridge, aged 66, & was buried at Queens Rd Cemetery, East Grinstead.
Daughter Emily Ethel married James Marr on June 28th, 1904 at St James Church, Tunbridge Wells. James was a tobacconist & newsagent & he & Emily Ethel lived in Scotland where their silver wedding was announced in the St Andrews Citizen of June 29th, 1929. They were living at 5 Melbourne Place, St Andrews, Scotland at the time.
By 1911 widowed Edward was living with son George F who worked as a stockman for the borough council. With them at Great Lodge, Tonbridge was George’s widowed sister Kate Schofield, her daughter Kathleen M & son Edward W Schofield, a store keeper.
Edward died on July 17th, 1917 at Great Lodge, Tonbridge, aged 83, & was buried at Queens Rd Cemetery, East Grinstead.
The children of Edward Smeed & Sarah Ann Hayward were:
sm.11.1 Edward Smeed born 1860 in East Grinstead and christened March 18th, 1861, at St. Swithun’s Church, East Grinstead, died October 8th, 1883 at Fairlight Farm, East Grinstead.
sm.11.2 William James Smeed born 1862 in East Grinstead and christened on March 30th, 1862 at St. Swithun’s Church, East Grinstead, died August 20th, 1918 at North Sewage Farm, Tonbridge, Kent.
sm.11.3 Kate Smeed born November 24th, 1863 in East Grinstead and christened December 27th, 1863 at St. Swithun’s Church, East Grinstead,
sm.11.4 Alice Smeed christened July 30th, 1865 at St. Swithun’s Church, East Grinstead; died April-June 1931 at Gravesend, Kent
sm.11.5 Mary Smeed born February 16th, 1867 at East Grinstead & christened June 30th, 1867 at St. Swithun’s Church, East Grinstead; died May 5th, 1927 at Withyham, Sussex
sm.11.6 Caroline Ann Smeed born September 15th, 1868 & christened November 29th, 1868 at St. Swithun’s Church, East Grinstead; died Oct-December 1942 at Maidstone, Kent
sm.11.7 Elizabeth Smeed born April 12th, 1870 at East Grinstead & christened March 17th, 1871 at St Swithun’s Church, East Grinstead; died February 27th, 1949 at St Augustines Hospital, Chartham, Kent
sm.11.8 Edith Sarah Smeed christened February 27th, 1872 at St Swithun’s Church, East Grinstead; died August 20th, 1888 at East Grinstead
sm.11.9 Emily Ethel Smeed christened April 2nd, 1873 at St Swithun’s Church, East Grinstead; died December 22nd 1936 at 5 Melbourne Place, St Andrews, Scotland & buried in St Andrews Western Cemetery, Fife
sm.11.10 George Frederick Smeed born 1874 at Fairlight Farm, East Grinstead & christened July 29th, 1874 at St Swithun’s Church, East Grinstead; died Jan-March 1959 at Midhurst, Sussex
sm.11.11 Thomas Henry Smeed christened October 17th, 1875 at St Swithun’s Church, East Grinstead; died April-June 1960 at Romford, Essex