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Charles Richard Smith



Old German meaning a man ‘in the sense of a supporter or churl’.  The name of lots of kings across all of Europe and still quite common, though more probably today, as Charlie. Not at all sure who this Charles was named for, unless it was some peculiar anglicisation of his Swedish grandfather’s name - Christian.


Carl, Carlos,Karl


Chas, Charlie, Chuck




Another royal name, and also the name of his father.  It is an old English name from the Teutonic meaning ‘ruler’ and ‘hard’.  Another very popular name throughout history.


Ricard, Ricardo, Rickert


Dick, Dickie, Rickie, Rick, Ricco, Dicko

Charles Richard Smith

b 5 October 1812, Stoke Newington

m Ann Kenward 27 July 1837, Brighton

d 1904, Portslade?



Wihelmina 1839-?

Frederick Sundius 1841-1914

Richard 1843-1912

Caroline Margaret 1845-1929

Barbara Henrietta Louise 1847-1931

Mary Ann 1850-?

Charles Mollett Sundius 1851-?

Jane Vizelle 1854-?

Wilhelmina Aitken 1857-1936




Marriage Certificate

Census - 1841-1901

Caroline’s birth certificate

Mill lease documents

Founder of a milling dynasty down on the south coast near Brighton, he broke away from his London origins.  Maybe he preferred the sea air.  For some reason I think of Charles as an old man - maybe it is because I first heard of him late in life living with his son.  Anyway I have chosen a portrait by Van Gogh to represent him.  Van Gogh’s old man with a beard looks a little sad.  I don’t have any real reason to suspect that Charles would have been sad, but we shall see as we explore his life.


I have all the relevant records for Charles, except his death certificate, which I must order.  I also have a few ‘extras’ from the Brighton Encyclopedia and also from local newspapers, and lease documents, so I guess I know quite a lot about him.  And yet he remains somewhat elusive for me.  I do wonder as I write these stories, why some are more real to me than others.  It has nothing to do with the amount of information I have.  Anyway, here is his story.  An impressive one, with the inevitable mystery here and there.

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