Eastbourne Gallery (A2H)

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 Hylands Family Group by George Austin (c1901)

[BACK ROW standing] : Alfred Henry Hylands*(born 1876, Alciston) labourer ; Emily Hylands (born 1885 Berwick) ; Arthur Hylands (born 1881 Berwick) carter ; Charles Hylands (born 1884 Berwick) agricultural labourer;
[MIDDLE ROW seated on chairs] : Albert William Hylands*(born 1877, Rodmell) labourer ; Sarah Ann Hylands; (born 1854, West Blatchington) ; Alfred Hylands (born 1858, Ringmer) carter ; Ruth Hylands (born 1879 Berwick) laundry maid ;
[FRONT ROW seated on floor] : George Hylands*(born 1887 Berwick) ; Frederick Hylands*(born 1889 Berwick) ; Edward Hylands (born 1891 Berwick)          [ NOTE : * = identification not conclusive - based on age in 1901.]

ABOVE] The trade plate of George Austin, photographer, of 70 Seaside, Eastbourne, which appears on the front of the photographic mount, beneath the Hylands family group portrait shown above.(c1901)



[ABOVE] Alfred Hylands (born 1858, Ringmer, Sussex). The decoration on Alfred's lapel was probably worn to celebrate his 25th wedding anniversary in 1901.
[ABOVE] Mrs Sarah Ann Hylands (born 1854, West Blatchington)
[ABOVE] Arthur Hylands (born 1881 Berwick). Like the other male members of the Hylands family pictured in the group portrait (top), Arthur probably wears a flower in his buttonhole to celebrate his parents' 25th wedding anniversary.
The group portrait of the Hylands Family photographed by Eastbourne photographer George Austin was kindly provided by Teresa Whetstone, the great grand daughter of Arthur Hylands, the tallest young man standing in the back row of the group. Sitting immediately in front of Arthur, seated in the centre of the family group and surrounded by their nine children, are Mrs Sarah Ann Hylands and her husband Alfred Hylands. The Hylands family group portrait was photographed by George Austin of 70 Seaside, Eastbourne probably early in 1901, possibly to mark the 25th wedding anniversary of Alfred and Sarah Hylands. George Austin (born 1864, Bromley-by-Bow, London), who began his photographic career in Eastbourne as a beach photographer in around 1894, opened his photographic portrait studio at 70 Seaside Road, Eastbourne sometime before 1899. Austin was to operate the photographic studio in Seaside, Eastbourne for approximately twenty-three years.

Alfred Hylands, the head of the family, sitting with his wife Sarah in the centre of this group portrait, was around 43 years of age when this photograph was taken. Alfred Hylands was born in the Sussex village of Ringmer (about 3 miles east of Lewes) around 1858, the second child of Caroline Elphick and Alfred Hylands, an agricultural labourer. Alfred Hylands (born c1834, Ringmer) and Caroline Elphick (born c1836 Maresfield) had married in Ringmer on 31st January 1855. The couple's first child, Mary Ann Hylands, was born later that year. Alfred Hylands junior, Alfred and Caroline's son, arrived a few years later and was baptised in Ringmer on 7th March 1858.

When Alfred Hyland junior began his working life, he earned his living as an agricultural labourer, like his father before him, on the farming land that surrounded the market town of Lewes. During the First Quarter of 1876, Alfred Hylands, then aged about 18, married twenty-one year old Sarah Ann Dann. (Sarah Ann appears to have been born in West Blatchington in 1854, but her baptism seems to have taken place in St Nicholas Church, Brighton on 24th December 1854). After his marriage, Alfred Hylands worked as an itinerant labourer, gradually moving towards Eastbourne. By 1876, Alfred and Sarah Hylands had reached the Sussex village of Alciston, where their first child Alfred Henry Hylands was born during the 2nd Quarter of 1876. Towards the end of the following year, Alfred were in the area of Rodmell, where his wife gave birth to a second son, Albert William Hylands.

By the early Summer of 1879, the Hylands family had settled in the village of Berwick, seven miles north-west of Eastbourne. Alfred's parents, Caroline and Alfred Hylands senior, were also living in Berwick around this time. It appears that Alfred Hylands junior, now in his early twenties with a wife and two young children to support, had found regular work on a farm near Berwick. Ruth Hylands, Alfred and Sarah's third child, was born in Berwick on 30th June 1879 and christened in Berwick Church on 31st August 1879. When the 1881 census was taken, Berwick had a population of around 170. At the time of the 1881 census, Alfred and Sarah Ann Hylands, together with their three young children, were living in a cottage in Berwick's main street, less than a hundred yards from the cottage of Alfred's parents, Caroline and Alfred Hylands senior. Both Alfred and his father were employed as agricultural labourers. Mrs Sarah Ann Hylands, Alfred junior's wife, gives her age as 26 and her place of birth as West Blatchington. Sarah Ann was expecting her fourth child and heavily pregnant when the census was taken. Alfred and Sarah Hylands' three children were all under five years of age, and only the eldest boy, four year old Alfred, was attending school. Berwick had its own National School, which had been built in 1854 to accommodate 45 children. (According to Kelly's Directory of Sussex, the National School at Berwick had an average attendance of 34 children at this time). Alfred's head teacher would have been Miss Catherine Jack, a middle-aged spinster from Scotland, who resided at the School House in Berwick's main street.

Alfred and Sarah Hylands remained in Berwick for over ten years. During this decade, Sarah Ann Hylands produced six more children. Not long after the 1881 census was taken, Sarah Ann gave birth to a baby boy. Alfred and Sarah Ann's third son was named Arthur Hylands and his birth was registered during the 2nd Quarter of 1881. A further five children followed during the family's residence in Berwick - Charles Hylands (born 1884), Emily Hylands (born 1885), George Hylands (born 1887), Frederick Hylands (born 1889) and Edward Hylands (born 1891).

Sometime after the birth of their last child, Alfred and Sarah Ann Hylands moved to Willingdon, near Eastbourne, where Alfred Hylands found work as a carter on a farm. When the 1901 census was taken, Alfred and Sarah Hylands were residing in Willingdon with seven of their children. At the time of the 1901 census, twenty-one year old Ruth Hylands, Alfred's eldest daughter, was employed as a laundry maid in Westham and Albert Hylands, a bricklayer's labourer, aged 23, was working away from home. Alfred Hylands was 43 years old when the census was carried out on 31st March 1901. Alfred Hylands, like his nineteen year old son Arthur, was employed as a carter at a local farm. Alfred Hyland's two other grown-up sons were working as labourers. Alfred Henry Hylands is entered on the census return as a "General Labourer", aged 24, and his seventeen year old brother was employed as a labourer on a farm.

In 1902, Arthur Hylands married seventeen year old Catherine (Kate) Cottington (born c1885, Chailey), who at the time of the 1901 census was working as a laundry maid and ironer in Willingdon. Arthur Hylands later found employment at Wannock on a farm owned by the wealthy Caleb Diplock junior (1842-1936), a retired brewer and wine merchant who resided at Southdown Hall in Polegate.


Click on the link below to read notes on the photographic career of George Austin of Eastbourne :

George Austin of Eastbourne


Click on the link below to view a selection of other portraits taken at George Austin's Studio in Seaside, Eastbourne :

George Austin Gallery



Thanks to Teresa Whetstone for providing the group portrait of the Hylands Family and for supplying family history details on the Hylands Family. Teresa Whetstone is the great grand daughter of Arthur Hylands.

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