An engraving of the Marine Parade, Hastings, Sussex, as it was in 1824, showing the sloping sandy beach below the wall, several bathing machines, a bark anchored in the background
1824: The Marine Parade
"The History and Antiquities of the Town and Port of Hastings"


"also occupies a considerable number of hands, and the people of Hastings have gained as high a reputation for their skill in the construction of their vessels, as for their courage and dexterity in the management of them."
William George Moss, author

Eleanor Tilbury m. William Churcher

They married on 25 December 1851 in registration district Hastings, Sussex (ref. 7/648). A possibility exists (according to recent findings) of a link between one or both of their families, and the elusive "ship carpenter" father of William Henry Tilbury.

Previous to marriage, Eleanor (Ellen) appeared in the UK Censuses as COLLINS, mother Sarah, father Henry COLLINS. However, since Eleanor married as TILBURY (father William TILBURY, deceased seaman), the probability is that mother Sarah was a widow when she married Henry COLLINS (marriage not found to date by this researcher) - a hypothesis supported by "son" William COLLINS also marrying as TILBURY, and subsequently appearing in UK Censuses as William TILBURY.

If, as seemed to be believed a few years ago, Eleanor had been an illegitimate child - with Henry COLLINS as father - I would have expected her name to have been ... Collins TILBURY.

The family - marriage and baptisms not discovered (by me) as at August 2017 - now appears as:

William TILBURY (Seaman)
m. Sarah [--]
- William TILBURY b./Chr. c.1831/2 [Poplar or Mile End area], Middlesex
- Eleanor TILBURY b./Chr. c1832/4 [Poplar or Mile End area], Middlesex

This part of the east end of London was frequented more by merchant seamen than by the Navy who had their ports and docks elsewhere. In the 17thC the east end docks were created for the East and West Indies trade.

Widow Sarah TILBURY
m. Henry COLLINS [when, where?]
- Henry COLLINS b. 4Q 1837 (Hastings 7/263)
- Sarah Ann COLLINS b. 2Q 1845 (Hastings 7/364)
- Clara Eliza COLLINS b. 4Q 1847 (Hastings 7/384)

There is an 8-year gap between the birth of Henry COLLINS and his sisters Sarah and Clara - might there have been a particular reason for this?

1841: Queens Arms Court, Christ Church, Surrey
Henry COLLINS age 29 b. [1812] OutofCty (Sawyer)
Sarah [--] [TILBURY] COLLINS age 30 b. [1811 Surrey
- William [TILBURY] COLLINS age 9 b. [1832] Surrey
- Ellenor [TILBURY] COLLINS age 7 b. [1834] Surrey
- Henry COLLINS age 3 b. [1838] OutofCty
1851: Castle Terrace, St. Mary in the Castle, Hastings, Sussex
Henry COLLINS Head age 39 b. [1812] Battle, Sussex (Sawyer)
Sarah COLLINS Wife age 41 b. [1810] Poplar, Middlesex (Sawyer's Wife)
- Ellen COLLINS Daughter age 17 b. [1834] Mile End, Middlesex (Dressmaker)
- Henry COLLINS Son age 13 b. [1838] Hastings, Sussex (Errand Boy)
- Sarah Ann COLLINS Daughter age 6 b. [1845] Hastings, Sussex (Scholar)
- Clara COLLINS Daughter age 3 b. [1848] Hastings, Sussex
William STEEL* Visitor (Unmarried) age 23 b. [1828] Winchester, Hampshire (Plasterer)

* A surprising similarity to Willliam CHURCHER?

1851: Bohemia Cottage, St Mary Magdalen, Hastings, Sussex
William COLLINS Visitor (Unmarried) age 20 b. [1831] Poplar, Middlesex (Joiner) - with:
George SALES Head age 28 b. [1823] Tunbridge Wells, Kent (Carpenter)
Elizabeth SALES Wife age 28 b. [1823] Shoreham, Sussex
- Sarah SALES Daughter age 0 b. [1851] Hastings, Sussex

m. William CHURCHER 25 December 1851 Hastings, Sussex (reg. 7/648)
- Eleanor Harriet CHURCHER b. 1Q 1853 (Islington 1b/170)

William Edward TILBURY
m. Hannah SCOTCHER 4Q 1851 (Hastings 7/632)

Unfortunately the person I was trying to help, and whom I believe to have bought a copy of the above marriage certificates, was disinclined to share, so that I have no absolute confirmation of the identity of William Edward's father. By a long process of elimination I believe W.E.T. to be the son of Sarah, and brother of Eleanor, but no proof at present. (August 2017)

Having been unable to find another TILBURY family in the Hastings area as suitable parents, I think this may have been William & Hannah's only child, who sadly died:
- Emily TILBURY b./d. 2Q 1852 (Hastings 2b /22, /20)


There was another William CHURCHER of the same age, mother Sarah, and in Islington:

1841: Abbott Street, Hackney, London
Samuel ASTLEY age 80 b. [1761] OutofCty (Pauper)
Ann ASTLEY age 60 b. [1781] Middlesex (Milk Carrier)
Sarah CHURCHER age 45 b. [1796] OutofCty (Charwoman)
- William CHURCHER age 10 b. [1831] OutofCty

1851: Edwards Place, Islington, London
Sarah CHURCHER, Head age 50 b. [1801] Shrewsbury, Shropshire
- William CHURCHER, Son (Unmarried) age 20 b. [1831] Milborne Port, Somerset (Toll Gate Keeper)

1861: 24, Prospect Row, Islington, London
Sarah CHURCHER (Widow) age 75 b. {1786] Shrewsbury, Shropshire (Pay from Parish)

Sarah CHURCHER d. 3Q 1870 age 85 (Islington 1b/267)

I have been unable to find Sarah's son William after 1851.

The ship's manifest lists William CHURCHER (m. Eleanor TILBURY) as b. Islington; perhaps this was a confusion between place of birth and place of residence? William & Eleanor's first child was b. Islington.


1855: William & Eleanor, Eleanor Harriet, Churcher emigrated to Australia: see below

In England: the Collins Family; William & Hannah Tilbury

1861: Heads Building, 5, Winchelsea Road, Rye, Sussex
Henry COLLINS Head age 48 b. [1813] Sussex (Sawyer)
Sarah COLLINS Wife age 50 b. [1811] Poplar, Middlesex
- Sarah Ann COLLINS Daughter age 16 b. [1845] Hastings, Sussex (Scholar)
- Clara Elisa COLLINS Daughter age 13 b. [1848] Hastings, Sussex (Scholar)
(neighbours: a mariner's wife with 2 ship's carpenter boarders, next house a shipwright & family)
1861: Sumner Road, Croydon, Surrey
William TILBURY, Head 28 b. [1833] Poplar, Middlesex (Carpenter Journeyman)
Hannah TILBURY, Wife 28 b. [1833] Ashburton, Sussex
1871: 2, Wheat Road, Croydon, Surrey
W. TILBURY, Head age 31 b. [1840] Pop___, Middlesex (Carpenter)
Hannah TILBURY, Wife age 31 b. [1840] Ashburton, Sussex
1881: Union Road, Croydon, Surrey
William TILBURY, Head age 30 b. [1851] Middlesex (Carpenter)
Hannah TILBURY, Wife age 44 b. [1837] Essex (Deaf)
1891: Beulah Grove, Croydon, Surrey
William TILBURY, Head age 60 b. [1831] Surrey (Carpenter)
Sarah TILBURY, Wife age 53 b. [1838] Surrey

Hannah TILBURY d. 3Q 1900 age 69 (Croydon 2a/167)

1901: Croydon Union Workhouse, Queens Road, Croydon, Surrey
Robert and Emma BILLINGTON, Master and Matron
William TILBURY, Widower, Pauper age 70 b. [1831] Mitcham, Surrey (Carpenter)

Unable to identify William T. in the 1911 Census.

William TILBURY d. 2Q 1915 age 84 (Croydon 2a/478)


Churcher Family in UK

From online notes by a descendant, this was William C's family:

1841: Lower Brook Street, St Maurice, Winchester, Hampshire
Luke CHURCHER age 50 b. [1791] Hampshire (Lab.)
Ann CHURCHER age 50 b. [1791] Hampshire
- Phillip CHURCHER age 20 b. [1821] Hampshire (Lab.)
- Charles CHURCHER age 15 b. [1826] Hampshire
- Sarah CHURCHER age 10 b. [1831] Hampshire
- William CHURCHER age 10 b. [1831] Hampshire
- George CHURCHER age 9 b. [1832] Hampshire
1851: Lower Brook Street, St Maurice, Winchester, Hampshire
Luke CHURCHER, Head age 67 b. [1784] Hampshire (Hire Cart or Carman)
Ann CHURCHER, Wife age 65 b. [1786] Stockbridge, Hampshire
Henry MACK, Visitor (Widower) age 30 b. [1821] Broughton, Hampshire (Coal Porter)
William MACK, Visitor age 3 b. [1848] Winton, Hampshire


Tilbury & Churcher in Australia

Details of William & family's passage to Australia from this website:
The Ships List

1855: on board S.S Caroline, 967 tons, Captain Ramsay WALKER, from Southampton 11th January, arrived at Port Adelaide, South Australia 25th April -

Passengers ...
- William age 28 b. Islington, Middlesex (Plasterer)
- Eleanor [TILBURY] age 20
- Eleanor Harriet age 1

1855: "South Australian Government Gazette"
Ship "Caroline" - Arrived from Southampton on the 24th of April with 358 immigrants. There were six births and thirteen deaths at sea. The ship was commanded by Mr. Ramsay WALKER, and Mr. John M. BURKE was the surgeon-superintendent. The general management on board was good, though it was found necessary to withhold the gratuity of the chief mate, as his conduct was far from satisfactory. The immigrants by this ship appeared to have been well selected.

From the IGI: a list of children provided by a researcher
Additional notes from online notices on the "Trove" (Australian) server:

Children of William CHURCHER (d. 11 June 1905 Kew, Victoria) & Eleanor TILBURY (d. 7 September 1876 Collingwood, Victoria):
- Eleanor Harriet CHURCHER b. 1853 Islington, Middlesex, UK
- Elizabeth Annie CHURCHER [b./d. 1859?]
- Emmeline May CHURCHER b. Collingwood, Victoria, Australia; Cert. no. 08196; d. 1874
- Alice Jane CHURCHER b. 1872, d. 12 July 1920 age 48; m. PRYOR
- Henry George CHURCHER b. 1863, m. Frederica Eleanor HODGSON: son Percival William b. 1891
- Charles Luke CHURCHER of Kew, d. 1914, no. 06124 [age 45?]
- Phillip William CHURCHER b. 1866, d. 4 July 1916, age 50
- Charles Henry CHURCHER [2 Charles's?]
- Herbert CHURCHER
- William CHURCHER

Frederica Eleanor HODGSON b. 1865, father Frederick Lampley HODGSON, mother Emilly PONTIN

1916: "The Argus" (Melbourne, Victoria) Wednesday 5 July (Page 1 - Family Notices)
CHURCHER - On the 4th of July, after a short illness, Philip William CHURCHER, of Sutro, 18, Raven street, Kew, the dearly beloved husband of Louisa Amelia CHURCHER, and loving father of Studley, second surviving son of the late William and Eleanor CHURCHER, of Abbotsford, and much loved brother of Eleanor H., Henry G., the late Charles L, and Mrs. T. M. PRYOR, age [50] years. (No flowers by request.)
"He always lent a willing hand
To those who needed help.

1920: "The Argus" (Melbourne, Victoria) Wednesday, 14 July (Page 1, Family Notices)
PRYOR - On the 12th of July, Alice Jane, the dearly beloved sister of Eleanor H. CHURCHER (Studley Park), Henry George (Malin street, Kew), and dearly beloved sister-in-law of Mrs. Henry G. CHURCHER (Malin street, Kew), Mrs; Philip W. CHURCHER, and Mrs. Charles L. CHURCHER (Studley Park), aged 48 years.
"She is not dead, but sleepeth."


Notes and messages on the web: from descendants of Eleanor Tilbury, in Australia:

William and other children of Luke CHURCHER & Johanna TAPHOUSE, Hampshire, UK
"They arrived in South Australia, 25 April 1855 on the 'Caroline' then moved to Victoria Australia four months later. They had twelve children and lived in Collingwood and Kew."

A Descendant, also in Australia
On whose family tree appear: William CHURCHER 1827-1905, Eleanor TILBURY 1832-1876

FreeBMD note to the marriage entry:
"15/02/2006 ... William and Eleanor are my G/GGrandparents ..." [with contact e-address]


Other webpages in this group, supposing the relationship to William Henry Tilbury to be true:

William Tilbury, Ship Carpenter

The Hon William & Yorick Webb in the Bahamas

Dagnall & Tilbury, rope, mat makers

William Tilbury, clerk, cashier, brushmaker

Update: 24 August 2017

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