John Akehurst of Alfriston
Joseph Akehurst of Beddingham
(-Aft 1792)
Joseph Akehurst of West Firle


Family Links

1. Mary Stephens, widow
2. Elizabeth Ellman, widow

Joseph Akehurst of West Firle 1

  • Christened: 3 Apr 1757, Beddingham, Sussex, England 2
  • Married (1): 16 May 1787, West Firle, Sussex, England 3
  • Married (2): 21 May 1792, West Firle, Sussex, England 4
  • Buried: 24 Dec 1809, West Firle, Sussex, England 5

  Research Notes:

Family name also spelled ACKHURST.


25 Jul 1789: Copy of court roll, manor of Preston Poynings. 6

Surrender by Alexander Carr, gent, the surviving devisee in trust under the will of Thomas Stephens deceased, to the use of William Hall [Gage], Viscount Gage, [various tenements].

Subject to the estate for life of Mary late the widow of Thomas Stephens, and then the wife of Joseph Akehurst, in a messuage and premises late Burgess's and an annuity to her admission of Lord Gage by his attorney John Hoper the younger, and surrender to the use of his will.


In 1799 Joseph Akehurst was co-executor and a residuary legatee of his father's Will.


Writing his Will in Sep 1798 Robert Wisdom of St. Thomas at Cliffe, sieve maker, gives to Joseph Akehurst of Firle and George Grantham of Lewes St. Michael his house and garden in St. Thomas at Cliffe, in trust to sell for the benefit of Elizabeth Akehurst, wife of Joseph Akehurst. 7


11-12 Nov 1800: Lease and release to use of Mr Akehurst. 8

Joseph Akehurst of West Firle, yeoman, and wife Elizabeth; George Grantham of Lewes, basket maker (both devisees in trust by will of Robert Wisdom); James Wisdom of Brighton, grocer, only son of James Wisdom, deceased, who was only brother of said Robert Wisdom that left issue (his brothers dying in his lifetime without issue) and as such heir at law of said Robert Wisdom; Samuel Dunstone of Lewes, Postmaster (a trustee of Joseph Akehurst); consideration of £5 paid by Joseph Akehurst to James Wisdom, and 5s each to Jospeh Akehurst, George Grantham and James Wisdom; house with garden in St Thomas at Cliffe, abutting to high Street on W, to Cliffe Hill on E, to house and garden of Thomas Davey on n, and to house and garden of edward Nutley and Caleb Nutley on s, late in tenure of said Robert Wisdom and now of john Butcher and formerly purchased by Robert wisdom of Thomas Cruttenden.


1808: Two messuages in East Dean, purchased by Charles Gilbert from Joseph Akehurst. 9

In 1715 John Philpott of East Greenwich, Kent, mariner, only son of Jabez Philpott late of Eastbourne and formerly of St Olave Southwark, yeoman, sold the property to John Dippery of East Dean, yeoman and his wife Elizabeth.
On 20 May 1715 John and Elizabeth Dippery released the property to Edward Buckwell of East Dean, yeoman, and his son Edward Buckwell, who predeceased his father. Edward Buckwell left the property (described as in two dwellings) to his grand-daughter Ann Reeds and died in 1725.
In 1745 Elizabeth Dippery released the property to Ann Reeds, now wife of Benjamin Brook of Wilmington, husbandman, according to the agreement of 1715; Brook and his wife immediately sold the property to John Akehurst of Alfriston, husbandman, who in 1767 sold to Joseph Akehurst of Beddingham, husbandman. The covenant to levy a fine drawn up on that sale also refers to a messuage in two dwellings in Lewes All Saints.
Joseph Akehurst died in 1799 and the property passed by his will to his son Joseph who, described as of Firle, yeoman, sold it to Charles Gilbert in 1808.


Abstract of the Will of Joseph Akehurst of the Parish of West Firle in the County of Sussex, Yeoman, written 22 Nov 1809, proved 3 Feb 1810. 10

(Names of family members are underlined.)

Gives to his wife Elizabeth his messuages, lands, tenements, hereditaments, and real estate both freehold and copyhold, for the term of her natural life.

After his wife's death he gives his freehold house in Cliffe near Lewes in co. Sussex to Robert Ellman of Brightelmston in the said county, conditional on Robert paying £80 each to his brother Thomas Ellman and his sister Mary Verrall.

After his wife's death he gives his copyhold messuage and garden in Alfriston to Richard Ford Akehurst of Beddingham in the said county.

Direct his executors to hold his personal estate in trust and to permit his wife to receive the interest and produce thereof during the term of her natural life, and after her decease, to pay £100 to Mary the wife of John Fuller of West Firle, carrier.

The residue of his personal estate he gives to his sister Frances the wife of William Stevens of West Firle, yeoman.

Appoints the said Robert Ellman and John Stevens of West Firle, yeoman, co-executors in trust of his will.

Witnesses: George Hoper, Abrm. Liney, Chas. Hollebone

  Marriage Information:

Joseph married Mary Stephens, widow of Thomas Stephens, on 16 May 1787 in West Firle, Sussex, England. (Mary was buried on 8 Jul 1790 in West Firle, Sussex, England.)

  Marriage Notes:

Joseph Akehurst of this parish, bachelor, and Mary Stephens of this parish, widow

Married by Banns

J? Mockett, William Weller

  Marriage Information:

Joseph also married Elizabeth Ellman, on 21 May 1792 in West Firle, Sussex, England.

  Marriage Notes:

Joseph Akehurst of this parish, widower, and Elizabeth Ellman of the same, widow

Married by Licence

Witnesses: Thos. Collingham, William Weller


1 The Akehurst Wills of East Sussex (1541-1858), Geoffrey Barber, 2nd Edition, Tree 4, p. 23.

2 Beddingham Parish Registers, Baptisms.

3 West Firle Parish Registers, Marriages, p. 21, no. 77.

4 Ibid., Marriages, p. 27, no. 100.

5 Ibid., Burials, p. 55.

6 East Sussex Record Office, ESRO reference: SAS/G 31/153.

7 Ibid., ESRO reference: SAS/LEW 2.

8 Ibid., ESRO reference: SAS/LEW 3.

9 Ibid., ESRO reference: GIL 1/35.

10 Sussex Wills and Administrations in the District Probate Registry at Lewes, ESRO reference: PBT 1/1/70/692.

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