Moorland Farm & Mrs Jane Hills

Hello I am researching my family tree and the daughter of my 3rd great grandfather, Lawrence William Caesar, was Jane Caesar born 1850 in Alton. She married William Hills a farmer at Moorland farm in Lodsworth. I would be very interested in any information about the Hills and their farm. Jane Hills (Caesar) had a cousin called Julius Caesar who was a famous cricketer from Godalming in Surrey. He played for England. Many thanks for your time.

Tim Waters

6 thoughts on “Moorland Farm & Mrs Jane Hills”

  1. Thanks for your enquiry through our website.

    As we discussed on the phone, we have records of most of the businesses in Lodsworth parish. William Hills was indeed the proprietor of Moorland Farm at Gosden Heath, Lodsworth around 1870-71 (1871 Census and Kelly’s Directory) and Mrs Wm Hills was the proprietor in 1874 (Kelly’s). A William Hills died on 9 April 1874 aged 37 or 38 and was buried in St Peter’s churchyard in Lodsworth (burial register says one age, gravestone says the other!), so it looks as if his widow took over the farm. Before William, Charles Hills was the proprietor from at least 1841 to 1867 (censuses and various trade directories): it sound likely that this was William’s father.

    Hills were also proprietors of South Heath Farm for most of the 19th century. Other Hills were wheelwrights, tool makers and blacksmiths. I think it likely that these were all related. Thomas Hills was the proprietor of the Three Horseshoes (now the Lickfold Inn) between at least 1859 and 1867.

    Let us know how you get on with your research. If I find out more, I will email you.
    Ian Buckingham

    1. Anthony Ayling

      With regard to your enquiry about Jane Hills nee Caesar, My 2nd great grand father was Henry Ayling 1784-1861. His sister Priscilla Ayling 1795-1867 married Charles Hills 1795-1865.
      Their son William Hills 1836-1874 married Jane Caesar 1850-1905. After the death of her husband she ran ‘Moorlands Farm’ for about a year and then moved from Lodsworth. She later married twice more.

  2. I see from the baptism register that William and Jane had two children baptised in St Peter’s, Lodsworth. One of the names of the first child indicates the link.

    Date – Child – Father – Mother – Surname – Occupation
    28/05/1873 – Lawrence William Cesar – William – Jane – HILLS – Farmer
    01/07/1874 – Ellen Kate – William – Jane – HILLS – Farmer

    The second was baptized a few months after her father’s early death.

    There is no Hills – Cesar/Caesar marriage in the Lodsworth marriage register.

    Ian Buckingham

  3. Dear Ian, very nice to talk with you on Friday. I am doing very well with my research with Jane Caesar and her arrival in Lodsworth, her marriage to William Hills and their two children. I have lots to send you when I have put it all together. I am sure that William Hills was the brother of Henry Hills, your famous Lodsworth Folk singer. I am trying to get a copy of the Journal of the Folk Song Society 1901, where Henry’s songs were published. It is amazing they I am connected to such a wonderful man!! I will be in contact soon. If you find any extra copies of the Henry Hills CD by Denise & Stewart Savage I would be happy to purchase it at the drop of a hat!!
    My Kindest Regards, Tim

  4. The Caesar who came to Lodsworth

    It has been quite fashionable of late to research one’s own family tree. What with programmes like ‘Who do you think you are’ and ‘Long lost families’ etc. I started my own research two years ago and have discovered many surprises.

    My grandmother was Alma Kate Caesar and with a name like Caesar I could not wait to get going. I followed her line back to 1668 (no link as yet to 49 BC and the Roman Emperor Julius Caesar!!).
    I did however follow one member of the Caesar family to Lodsworth, and her name was Jane Caesar. Jane and was born in 1850 in the market town of Alton in Hampshire. Her father was Lawrence William Caesar (my 3rd great grandfather) was both Hairdresser and the Publican at the Wheatsheaf pub in Market Square and later at the White Horse on Alton High Street. He had settled in Alton ten years before where he married Mary Ann (Cooper) from Aldershot. Lawrence went by his middle name of William and his younger brother had the monumental name of Julius Caesar, born in 1830 in Gadalming (the Caesar’s home town). Julius (Jane’s uncle) became the famous Surrey and All England cricketer who, in 1859, was in the first England team to tour Canada and the United States.

    In the Alton census of 1861 we see Jane, aged 11 years, living at home at the White Horse pub in Alton. Just after the sudden death of her father in 1866, Jane met Mr William Hills, a farmer from Lodsworth in Sussex. He was older than Jane by 14 years, but they decided to get married and on Tuesday 24th March 1868 they travelled to Poplar in London and at the parish church of Bromley St. Leonard their wedding service was conducted by Rev. George Augustus Mayo How, M.A. and Prebendary of St. Pauls. On their wedding certificate both ages are given as ‘Full’, meaning they have declared their ages are over 21 years. In fact William Hills was 32 years old, but Jane was only 18 years old and legally she needed permission from her mother Mary Ann to get married. Maybe because of their age difference her permission was not been given. This would answer why they had come all the way to London and away from their families. Their two witnesses were James and Alice Foard (un-known). Also on the marriage certificate Jane entered her father with his full ‘real’ name Lawrence William Caesar – Hairdresser, and William Hills notes his father was Charles Hills – Farmer. The Hills family were farmers of Lodsworth in Sussex and it was to Lodsworth that William and Jane returned as a married couple. William Hills had a brother Henry Hills (b. 1831) who was also a Farmer and a famous Folk song writer and singer.

    In 1912 fifteen of Henry Hills Folk Songs appeared, dressed up with piano accompaniments by Ralph Vaughan Williams the famous composer. This was owed much to Lucy Etheldred Broadwood a friend of Vaughan Williams who introduced him to Folk Music.

    Jane, now Jane Hills, moved in with William at Moorland Farm which was of some 200 acres and employed six staff including Ellen Wrapson who was William’s niece. William had worked on Moorland Farm all his life, His parents Charles and Priscilla Hills had been proprietors in 1841 when the farm was 300 acres and employed 10 men.. William’s other brother Thomas Hills was the Publican of the Three Horseshoes in 1859 (now Lickfold Inn) just outside of Lodsworth.

    Jane spent the next five years as the ‘Famers Wife’ before she became pregnant with their first child who was born on Sunday 30th March in Lodsworth. Jane had given birth to a boy who they named Lawrence William Caesar Hills, after Jane’s father. Then just over a year later William Hills contacted Tuberculosis and died on 9th April 1874. Present at his death was Charles Osborne who was their ‘Farm Carter’ (Driver of the horse Cart for heavy goods) who had also worked for William’s father Charles Hills. William was only 38 years old when he died and it was just over a month later that Jane gave birth to their daughter Ellen Kate Hills on 5th May 1874.

    Now Jane, at only 24 years old, had two very young children to care for and the farm to manage. She would have relied heavily on the Farm’s employees to keep it all going. We know that the farm was in Jane’s name in 1874 and that by 1878 it had been transferred to a Mr. William Duck. The next document I found relating to Jane Hills was dated 10th August 1876 recording her marriage to Mr. Richard John Carveth.

    In my family we were told that Mr Carveth was a ‘Sea Captain from Petworth’. Petworth is probably where Jane had met him and at that time he was a ‘Navy Pensioner’. He was 9 years older than Jane who was now 27 years old with two children aged 3 and 4 years old. My research found that Richard was never a ‘Sea Captain’ but he did serve some 20 years in the Navy and was employed on 10 different ships. He had shown a big interest in the art of the Cannon and spent a number of years training on Whale Island within Portsmouth harbour. At the end of his 20 years in the Navy he had made the rank of Petty Officer 1st Class.

    So Richard John Carveth, now a Naval Pensioner, married Jane Hills (Caesar) on 10th August 1876 at the Parish Church of Portsea. One of the witnesses at their wedding was Jane’s brother William Butler Caesar, who at this time was working for his uncle Frederick Bowler Caesar at his pub the ‘Valentine & Orson’ on Long Lane in Bermondsey, London.

    Five years after their wedding Richard, Jane, her 2 children (from her first marriage), Lawrence William Caesar Hills aged 8 years and Ellen Kate Hills aged 7 years, along with Richard’s mother who was also named Jane Carveth aged 68 years, all moved up to London where Richard got a job at the Limehouse Gas Works. They were living at 33, Burgess Street in Limehouse.
    It is not clear what happened to the family unit, but by 1886 Richard John Carveth was working as a Dock Foreman in Deptford and was living at 61, Evelyn Street, Deptford with E. Parry (unknown). On 21st June 1886 Richard died at his home in Deptford.

    Jane may have separated from Richard sometime before his death as 3 months later Jane had moved to Surrey and was re-married to Mr Thomas Williams, born in 1828 at Bishops Waltham, Hampshire. Their wedding was held on 29th September 1886 at St. John’s Church, Woking in Surrey. Thomas Williams was a widow and 22 years older than Jane (she did like older men!). He was employed as a nurseryman, following his father, Allen Williams who was a Gardener. After their marriage they moved to Greywell Street, Greywell, Hampshire. Thomas Williams had a son from his previous marriage named William Williams who lived seven miles from Greywell, on Hares Farm in Hartley Wintney.

    From the 1891 Census we can see Jane and Thomas had a son together in that year, naming him Frederick George Williams. When Frederick was born Jane was 42 years old and Thomas was 60 years old. The following year on 2nd May 1892 Jane’s son Lawrence William Caesar Hills was married to Ann Maria Olding at the Trinity Church in Stepney, London. Lawrence entered his age as 21 but he was in fact only 19 years and Ann writes her correct age of 22 years. Lawrence would have needed his mothers consent to get married. This she clearly gave as she was a witness at their wedding.
    Jane’s brother, William Butler Caesar had left the Valentine & Orson pub in London after his Uncle Frederick died and as he never married he moved down to live with Jane and Thomas in Greywell Street. Here he became the Manager of a local Hotel. But at the age of only 38 William Butler Caesar died of Tuberculosis. Jane was with him when he died at their home on 24th November 1892. In 1897 Jane’s daughter Ellen Kate Hills married Mark Miller a Gamekeeper from Charlwood in Surrey. They moved to Bidborough in Tunbridge Wells, Kent where they lived at Savage Farm Cottage.

    Back in Greywell Street, Jane, Thomas and their son Frederick remained. Thomas was now in his 75th year and Jane was aged 51 while their son Frederick was 10 years old. Jane lived in Greywell Street for four more years until her death on 9th November 1905. She was admitted in the Cottage Hospital in Fleet, about 8 miles from Greywell where Jane’s step-son William Williams was with her when she died.

    A few words about Jane’s children:
    Lawrence William Caesar Hills

    As we have seen Lawrence was Jane’s son from her first marriage to William Hills. He was born 30th March 1873 at Lodsworth in Sussex and was wonderfully named after his grandfather Lawrence William Caesar. At the age of 19 years his marriage to Ann Maria Olding took place on 2nd May 1892 at the Trinity Church in Stepney, London. Ann Maria Olding was the daughter of William Olding a Stud Groom for the Horse Racing Stables at Houghton in Hampshire and connected to the Stockbridge Racecourse. The Olding family home in 1892 was in the village of Nether Wallop, near to the racecourse. After their wedding Lawrence and Ann set up home some 33 miles north of Greywell at Ewelme in Oxfordshire. Here, in 1894 Ann gave birth to their first child, a boy who they named Arthur William Hills. Their second son, Ernest Cecil Hills was also born here two years later but sadly he died in October 1903 at the age of 9 years.
    From Ewelme they moved down to Tilford in Surrey and in 1899 their daughter Stella May Hills was born. Two years later they moved again to Milford not far from Godalming where their second daughter, Olive Kate Hills was born in 1901. After their son Ernest died in 1903 aged 9 years they moved back to Tilford where another son was born the following year, they named Charles Hills. After another move in 1907 to Cripley Cove, they had two more children Ethel Maud Hills and George Hills two years later. Their last child was Stanley Walter Hills was born in 1912 at Farnborough. Lawrence and Ann had 8 children together, and Lawrence had been employed, at different times, as a Gardener, Labourer and a Cowman on the farms (I like Cowboy better!). Their son Arthur William Hills was employed in 1911 as a Golf Caddy.
    Lawrence had more in common with his grandfather than both having the same name. They both used their middle name of William (even on official forms). This gave me a hard time researching their movements.
    In 1936 at the age of 63 Lawrence William Caesar Hills died in Bradfield. His wife Ann died 13 years later in 1949.

    Ellen Kate Hills
    Jane’s only daughter Ellen Kate Hills was born on 5th May 1874 in Lodsworth. The tragic death of her father, William Hills, the month before left the responsibility of Moorland Farm to her mother Jane. In the census of 1891 Ellen was living at home aged 17 years and by the age of 23 she was married to Mark Miller a Gamekeeper from Charlwood in Surrey. In Greywell the following year, Ellen and Mark had their first child, a son who they named Stanley Mark Miller.
    They move to Bidborough in Tonbridge Wells, Kent where the rest of their seven children were born on Savage Farm.
    Born 1899 Alma Daisy Miller
    Born 1900 Lilian Kate Miller
    Born 1903 Nellie Violet Miller
    Born 1906 Percy Charles Miller
    Born 1908 Ivy May Miller
    Born 1910 Ethel Florence Miller
    The following year Mark works at Hillside Farm as Gamekeeper.
    On 16th October 1932 Ellen Kate Miller (Hills) died at the age of 58 years.

    Frederick George Williams
    I do not have any information about Frederick, Jane’s son from her third marriage to Thomas Williams, other than he was born in 1890.
    A brief time in Lodsworth but Jane Caesar would have looked back with both sad and fond memories.

    Tim Waters

  5. Anthony Ayling

    I have been very interested in reading all the comments with regard to the Hills family at Moorlands farm, Gosden Heath, Lodsworth. Charles Hills married Priscilla Ayling who I believe was the sister of Henry Ayling my second great grandfather. I am happy to share what information I have.

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