Laslett family history

George and Charlotte Laslett of Hole Farm

George Laslett was born on 8 July 1796, at Bossington Farm, Adisham, near Wingham, Kent. He was the eldest son of Richard Laslett, a yeoman of Hole, Dene, Wingham Well and Appleton Farms, and his wife Elizabeth Laslett née Denne (page 43).

On 21 April 1831 George was married by licence at St. Marys, Dover to Miss Charlotte Manger, spinster, of St Marys, Dover. Charlotte had been born at Dover on 18 December 1808 and was the youngest daughter of Thomas Manger of Dover and Elizabeth Manger (née Bessey).

George managed the Hole Farm, Sturry near Canterbury, for his father, from 1813 to Michaelmas 1830, when he took the farm and held it till his death in 1853. In all George and his father had it for just over 50 years.

The soil of some of the fields was 'straggling' It was a deep stiff clay which held water to a differing in each field. George was a great advocate for land draining, that is laying tiles made for the purpose a certain depth in the soil to drain away surplus water. These were laid in lime at a distance from one another as judged desirable by the farmer. It was an art in which George excelled.

Richard, George's son, could remember a field at Pomfort, the farthest and more than a mile from the homestead where he used to take the donkey on Saturday afternoon and leave it there till Monday morning when wanted for taking his brother George and him to school. This field was very unproductive but after laying drains similar to other fields of the farm and chalking the soil the field was most returned to full production. In a year the field had a good crop of wheat and nearing harvest, and Richard remembered his uncle Thomas accompanied by his father going into the wheat. His father stood 5'10", without his shoes, and very little of him could be seen so high had the straw grown. In the lower part of the field, near the brook, hops were cultivated producing such good yields that they were much talked about.

Richard made a plan of the drains on the farm and the map was bought by Mr. Apsley who purchased the Estate.

The Hole Farm was the largest holding in the parish except Buckwell Farm, a few more acres. The total acreage of Sturry Parish was 3,064 ac. 1 rd 16 per. The Hole Farm contained 218 ac. 1 rd 9 per. for which an annual rent of £242.4.0 was paid to Earl Cowper. Richard had to get out the yield of the farm for three years, 1847, 1848 and 1849. The produce realised £3,684.16.5d. The working expenses, rent, and cost of living £3,171.9.7d. Resulting in a profit for three years £513.6.10d.

The average growth of wheat per acre 3? quarters. 563 quarters of wheat were sold in the three years from:

1847 to 1848 average price per quarter 53/9
1848 to 1849 ditto 47/-
1849 to 1850 ditto 41/10

In 1849 the Hops for the year were sold for £576.

When George's widow Charlotte left the farm at Michaelmas 1853 the Mr. Lea who took it was going to plough the land with a pair of horses and one man. George had ploughed with two men and four horses, and one added at times. The pair horse plough could not stir the land deep enough on the heavy soils. This four horse plough was a Kentish turn-wrest plough, a juggernaut more like a carriage than a plough. It was so heavy that it could only be pulled by a four horse team. In the eighteenth century a "gentleman farmer near Gravesend" was reputed, as a notable invention, to have used a light plough drawn by a single horse. This plough would have been successful in the lighter soils just East of the Medway though obviously not so in the heavy soils of East Kent.

Leonard used to say that no one could manage the Hole Farm like his late brother. Mr. Lea failed in 1856, that was in three years, Mr. Leward then took the farm, who was there but a few years, dying very suddenly. A good many have had it since.

As a young man George was pressed to join the Army in the war with France. He belonged to the Troop of the Royal East Kent Yeomanry. In later life he was heard to say that he and the Corps formed an escort for King George IV when the King was unpopular with the people.

George and Charlotte in the early years of their marriage were involved in a nearly fatal accident. When driving home from visiting their Blaxland cousins (Mrs Blaxland's maiden name was Denne) at Whatmer Hall the horse bolted in a severe thunderstorm and leapt the Turnpike gate, the top bar of which was broken by the force of the chaise wheel, and the traces breaking relieved the horse which kept going. A turnpike gate is higher than a six-bar gate. Charlotte and George were of course both thrown out and were much injured. Their son Richard remarked in a letter in 1911 that he often has looked at the repaired bar with thoughts of the accident.

The road where this happened is from Herne Bay to Sturry and was given gates just after the Napoleonic War. The toll house and gate at the southern end were at Sweech Farm on the hilltop above Sturry village, one gate on the main road, and a side-gate controlling Sweechgate, the minor road to Broad Oak Common, from which led Barnets Lane, the access to Hole Farm; it was at this gate that the accident occurred. The toll house or rather toll cottage still stands and bears the name Sweechgate.

Blaxland farm the ancestral farm of the Blaxland family and from which the surname of this ancient Kentish family derives is adjacent to Hole (Vale) Farm in Sturry.

George's will, proven 30 July 1853, was dated 14 March 1853. Executors were his brothers John, Leonard and Anthony, while his brother-in-law Richard Manger was added by a codicil dated 28 March 1853. George died about midnight on Thursday 31 March 1853. Charlotte died at about daybreak, 7am, at 48 King Street, Hammersmith, London, on 19 February 1878, in her 70th year. Both are buried in the same grave in St Nichola Parish churchyard, Sturry.

Family of George and Charlotte Laslett


GEORGE (1st) - born at Hole Farm, Sturry near Canterbury on 7 July 1833, died 28 February 1834. Buried in Sturry Churchyard
RICHARD MANGER - born at Hole Farm, Sturry near Canterbury on 20 September 1834. Later lived at Fulham, London. Family historian. Accountant to Contractors, London Underground Railway, Manchester Ship Canal, London Tube Railways, etc. Married Susannah Griggs.

See chapter Richard and Susannah Laslett of Fulham on page 93.

GEORGE (2nd) - born at Hole Farm, Sturry near Canterbury on 6 April 1836. On 27 June 1860 George married Eliza Ann Langford. Settled at Allendale East, resided on a small farm there till his death in 1926.

See chapter George and Eliza Laslett of Allendale East on page 95.

MANGER (John) - born at Hole Farm, Sturry near Canterbury on 27 June 1837.

Went to South Australia with his brother George on 10 October 1854. It is apparent that he came to Mount Gambier before George did. In a letter to England written by George from Dry Creek Stockade and dated 26 January 1866, he states, "Manger is now at Mount Gambier and is getting on very well and quite well when I heard from him last.

From Allendale on 19 June 1867, George wrote to his brother in England and said, "Manger has been staying with me for a few weeks, laid up with a bad cold, but I am happy to say he has got all right again. We are both anxious to hear from you all".

At one stage John tried his hand at gold-mining, but the only result was one tiny nugget which was mounted on a tie-pin.

He never married, but it must have meant a good deal to the brothers to have each other in the land of their adoption. He died on 23 May 1903, at the age of 66 and is buried in the Port MacDonnell cemetery.

THOMAS MANGER - born at Hole Farm, Sturry near Canterbury on 9 February 1839. Married Rhoda Ruffell. He was a Draper at Eynsham, Oxfordshire, and died on 19 January 1899. He is buried at Eynsham.

See chapter Thomas and Rhoda Laslett of Eynsham on page 137.

EDWARD - born at Hole Farm, Sturry near Canterbury on 5 February 1843, died 20 March 1843. Buried at Sturry Churchyard.
ALFRED KENT - born at Hole Farm, Sturry near Canterbury on 23 April 1846, in Grocery business. Married Elizabeth Ann Fleet in early 1868 at Marylebone. See page 93 for the copy of a letter by Alfred concerning his brother Richard’s death.
Alfred John – baptised 28 August 1868 at Hadleigh Suffolk.


CHARLOTTE MANGER - born at Hole Farm, Sturry near Canterbury on 21 March 1832, died 17 May 1832. Buried in Sturry Churchyard.
CHARLOTTE ANN LAURA - born 20 May 1841 at Hole Farm Sturry, died 27 March 1842, buried in Sturry Churchyard.
ELIZABETH MARY - born 15 March 1844 at Hole Farm, Sturry. Married to Harry Edwards Freeman of Swindon, Wiltshire, the Manager to a firm of City Solicitors. They lived at Walcott, New Southgate (in 1911). Alive in 1919.
Annie Charlotte Freeman - born 28 September 1868, kept boarding school, Westcliffe-on-Sea, Essex.
Henry George Freeman - born 22 February 1870, married in 1901, Miss Annie Frances Dale, Crouch Hill, London, Tea-merchant, North Finchley, London.
His sons were:
Harold Dale Freeman - born 8 November 1904
Dudley Freeman - born 8 December 1909
Emily Sarah Freeman - born 9 August 1872. Lived at Westcliffe-on-Sea. Died in 1949.
Kate Maria Freeman - born 12 December 1874, died 18 October 1902, a sister of St. Stephen's orphanage, New Southgate.
Ernest William Freeman - born 27 March 1876. Married Miss Edith Emma Lovell, 1902, New Southgate, London. Life Insurance Office, Norton Lodge, Purley, Surrey.
Ellen Mary Freeman - born October 1881, died April 1882.
Florence Minnie Freeman - born 11 April 1886. Governess.
Elsie Mountford Freeman - born 27 March 1889, Home Housekeeper.
FRANCES - born 28 March 1848 at Hole Farm Sturry, lived in South London.
EMILY CHARLOTTE - born 5 March 1850 at Hole Farm Sturry, Lived at Weston-Super-Mare, Somersetshire. Emily was the nicest looking and tallest of the girls.

Writing in the late 1970s George S. Laslett remembered that during his leave in the U.K in 1919 when he stayed with Annie, Emma and Minnie Freeman at the college for girls that they ran at Southend on Sea. Thirty six years later, on a 40th anniversary of ANZAC trip, George again stayed with the Freeman sisters but this time they were living at Ewhurst.

The Richard Laslett who was born in 1739 and his descendants had Bossington Farm many more years than 100 years. His son, Richard (born 1772) and his grandson, George (born 1796) had Hole Farm over 50 years. Richard (born 1772) and his son Leonard, had Wingham Farm and Appleton Farm 78 years. Richard (born 1772) and his son Anthony, had Dene Farm for 78 years. Lasletts have cultivated as their own freehold property Hoden Farm, Ash, near Sandwich, 300 years. There are at the present day, Lasletts still farming lands at Woodnesborough. Our descent we trace from John Laslett (born 1630), farming lands at Woodnesborough. All our ancestors from the one mentioned were without exception farmers.