Thursday, February 4, 2010

My Legacy...lost

One of my great-grandfathers was Thomas DAWES (1840-1925) whom I call "The Builder" because he built more than 100 houses in Brighton during the first part of the twentieth century. I do this to differentiate him from his predecesors Thomas (1809-1851) "The Bricklayer" and Thomas (1769-1943) "The Labourer."

In his will dated 22 Sep 1924 and probated 21 Apr 1925 Thomas left sixteen of his houses to his children and grandchildren among other things. Here is a transcript of that portion of the will

"I give and devise my freehold houses as follows: (a) No 25 Belton Road and No 66 Beaconsfield Road to the said Walter Dawes in fee simple (b) Nos. 44 and 46 Belton Road and No. 114 Chester Terrace to Ernest Dawes in fee simple (c) No. 92 Chester Terrace to my Grand-Daughter Gladys Dawes of 11 Havelock Road, Brighton in fee simple (d) No. 27 Belton Road and No. 112 Chester Terrace to Minnie Barnes in fee simple (e) Nos. 40 and 48 Belton Road and No. 94 Chester Terrace to Tom Dawes in fee simple (f) Nos. 29 and 31 Belton Road and No. 2 Sandgate Road to Albert Henry Dawes in fee simple (h) No. 20 Lowther Road and No. 16 Dyke Road Drive to the said George Dawes in fee simple"

What is interesting here is he left out some children. His daughter, Bertha Tampkin, died in 1921 but he omitted her widower and his two grandsons Charles and Sydney Tampkin. Also excluded was his daughter, Alice Goldsmith, who had emigrated to New Zealand. He included his daughter, Minnie Barnes, but excluded the others, why?

These terrace houses are worth about £300,000, or more, in today's market making their total value C$1,530,000. If my father only knew!
My grandfather, Tom Dawes, died in 1933 shortly after inheriting the houses. His widow, my grandmother Carrie, had to sell the houses to survive after he died. Unfortunately, that was just before WWII and they weren't worth much. Family lore has it that his half-brother, George, either looked after the sale or bought the houses himself.

The top photo is No. 48 Belton Road, the middle is No. 40 Belton Road and the bottom is No. 94 Chester Terrace.

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