The Family History Home Page of Lawrence P. H. Bradley
Updated June 25, 2003
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My roots lie largely in the beautiful county of Kent in England, sometimes called "The Garden of England." During the 19th century my father's line consisted largely of agricultural workers, labourers, brick-yardworkers, carters and publicans who were almost exclusively located in the contiguous towns of Sittingbourne and Milton Regis, and surrounding villages. They strayed for a while to the nearby Isle of Sheppey but returned to the immediate Sittingbourne area. Surnames include Bradley, Sage, Seager, Pearce and Barber. Several Bradleys and Sages emigrated to the USA and Canada early in the 20th Century. Many of the Pearces were involved in education, one emigrated to South Africa and has a school house named after him at the famous Hilton College near Durban.
Some of my mother's line also came from Kent, not from the Sittingbourne area, but an area known as "The Weald" not far from the county town of Maidstone. They were agricultural workers, possibly involved with the cultivation of hops. Many more of my mother's line have their origins north of the Thames Estuary in the counties of Suffolk and Essex. Those from the Weald were named Smith and Johnson. Those from Suffolk and Essex Brown(e) and Newman.
One other line on my mother's side, named Sinclair, came from Dublin, Ireland. Richard Sinclair settled in Canterbury in the 1870's after a career in the army and became a painter and photographer. I have been fortunate to have tracked down several of his paintings and photographs. Richard married one of the Brownes who had also settled in Canterbury; a sister of Frederick Henry Browne a well-known church organ builder. Several of the Brownes emigrated to Canada, Australia and South Africa.
- Harbour Street Whitstable (29 KB)
I grew up in the quaint Kentish seaside town of Whitstable. I am particularly fond of this picture of Harbour Street from an old postcard. Sydenham Street, where I lived, is very close by.
- The Chequers Pub, Doddington, Kent (42 KB)
May of my ancestors, particularly the Sages, were publicans. Alf Sage was the landlord of the Chequers in Doddington for about 25 years at the end of the 19th Century. This view of the pub shows how it probably looked in his days there.
- Cromwell Road, Whitstable (20 KB)
In this old postcard of Cromwell Road, Whitstable you can see the first school I attended, Westmeads Infants, on the left-hand side of the picture.
- A painting by Richard Sinclair (65 KB)
Richard Sinclair became a "military artist" after his service with the 10th Royal Hussars. His shop was in Northgate Canterbury, near the barracks where he had ended his service days. He subsequently became a photographer as well. He would sometimes paste a photograph of the face of his subject onto the body in the painting. This is what he did in this instance. Glare from the photograph has made the face appear a little indistinct in this picture.
- The Chequers Pub, Doddington, Kent (21 KB)
Another old photograph of the Chequers Pub.
- Painting by Richard Sinclair (14 KB)
This painting is one of six known to exist by Richard Sinclair. This one is of a soldier in the 10th Royal Hussars which was Richard Sinclair's regiment.
- Detail of a painting by Richard Sinclair (19 KB)
A detail from one of Richard Sinclair's paintings.
- Chequers Pub today. (14 KB)
This is a view of the Chequers as it appears today: still a very beautiful building.
- Another painting by Richard Sinclair. (49 KB)
This is the earliest known painting by Richard Sinclair. The date on the painting is 1879. It is of a soldier in the 10th Royal Hussars, Richard Sinclair's regiment.
- Browne Family (50 KB)
Frederick Henry Browne was a noted organ builder in Deal and then Canterbury, Kent. Here he is surrounded by his family. This photograph was probably taken in the late 1920's or early 1930's.
- Another photograph from Sinclair Studios (5 KB)
This photograph of an unknown soldier ended up in Leeds and was recently offered for sale on eBay--what would Richard Sinclair have thought about that?
- Richard Sinclair "Coster Comedian." (7 KB)
This Richard Sinclair was the son of Richard Sinclair the photographer and painter. He often appeared on stage in the Canterbury, Kent area performing music hall style songs dressed as a street trader such as might be found in the East End of London.
- Leslie Newman's business card (10 KB)
My grandfather Leslie Newman ran a hire car business in the 1930's. Here is his business card. You will notice he was also a "Mr. Fix-it!"
- Walter Sinclair (18 KB)
Walter Sinclair was a farrier in the Army. His shoulder badge appears to be that of the Royal Army Service Corps. Walter was also an artist and craftsman; a skilled cabinet maker and woodturner.
- Canterbury Barracks 1877 (16 KB)
This is a map of the area of Canterbury where the 10th Royal Hussars were located at approximately the time of Richard Sinclair's service. (Image produced from the www.oldmaps.co.uk service with permission of Landmark Information Group Ltd. and Ordnance Survey.)The following Url will show you what this area looks like today!
- A "sporting" photograph from Sinclair Studios (13 KB)
This photograph from the late 19th century shows two pugilists posing for Richard's camera. This photo sold recently for about $50.00 on Ebay--I wish I could have afforded to bid on it!
- Valentine and Ladysmith Sinclair (12 KB)
This is a photo of my great-grandfather Valentine and his daughter, my grandmother, Ladysmith Daisy. I would imagine this photo to have been taken in about 1920.
- Royal Flying Corps (6 KB)
This photograph of a member of the Royal flying Corps was taken in the Sinclair studios in about 1917
- John Bradley (14 KB)
This is a photo from the collection of family member Russell Primrose of John Seager Bradley and family taken in about 1910
- Valentine Sinclair and family. (10 KB)
This is photo is of my great-grandparents Valentine and Kate Bertha Sinclair, their children and dog Flossie.
- Lewis Thomas Bradley (14 KB)
Sadly, I have no pictures of my grandfather Josiah Bradley. This is a photo of one of his brothers, Lewis Thomas Bradley.
- Another painting by Richard Sinclair. (21 KB)
Dated 1903, this painting is of the 16th Lancers.
- Whitstable High Street. (21 KB)
Just along from Harbour Street is the High Street. This postcard dates from the 1950's. On the right of the picture is the ironmongers Arthur Collar's. The last time I visited Whitstable a Boot's chemists occupied the site.
- Archibald Pearce, Hilton College, 1896 (27 KB)
Archibald Pearce was a renowned teacher at the famous Hilton College in South Africa. He is in the centre of the back row in this photograph of a school cricket team.