William Hallett

By Steve Myall

William Hallett was born in Rotherfield, 10th April 1794 and was recorded as living in Brighton by 1811, working as a carpenter on the Royal Pavilion. By 1825 he has his own building business with 150 men working for him. He became Brighton’s second mayor in 1855, was appointed the town’s chief magistrate that year, then again in 1866/67. Also in that decade he was one of the twelve Aldermen of the town. He built St. John the Baptist RC church in Bristol Road, and the Bristol Hotel c1835, on Marine Parade, of which he was the owner.  He also founded the Kemp Town Brewery, built 19 and 20 Sussex Square for the Marquess of Bristol, and was on the committee that ran Brighton Races. He died at 142 Marine Parade on 3rd April 1862. His first wife, Mary Ann had pre-deceased him, and he left two sons by her, William Henry and Frederick Francis. By an indenture on 22nd May 1858 he conveyed his half share in the Steam Brewery of Lewes to his eldest, William Henry, who also ran the Kemp Town Brewery for his father. The business partner owning the other half of the Lewes brewery was Henry Abbey.  

In his will, dated 13th March 1862, he left £14,000, of which £400 went to his second wife, Harriett Rebecca, with whom he had a third son, John. The will goes on to mention a range of Sussex properties that he owned. These included a house in Church Street, Beeding, a blacksmith’s shop in Hereford Street, Brighton, Warren Farm in Rottingdean parish and Black Rock Farm, (also called Manor Farm) in Brighton parish.  

These two farms, totaling 300 acres, were leasehold properties left to his eldest son, but farmed and sub-leased by Frederick Francis, his second son. Further leasehold properties included two inns in Uckfield, the King’s Head and the Bell, and the White Hart at Buxted.  

He also owned a brewery at Uckfield, which was left to the eldest son in trust for the youngest, John, until he was 21. There was also a half-share in the freehold of the War Bill Inn at Warbleton.

This page was added on 15/04/2011.

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