Part 1: Caleb and his frowned upon marriage

Roller mill

To turn the old mill into the offices that we now reside in there have been multiple renovations to the existing buildings (see photograph). During the renovations in 1894 a stone was found with an inscription: ‘CP 1792’ and due to the hard work of a local historian Norman Edwards we can tell you about CP and his connection to the mill.

CP’s name is Caleb Pearce, born 1755 in Lewes, but he moved and worked in Uckfield by 1780. We do love a bit of nosing around in people’s history here at Team4 especially when it happens to coincide with our own story now we’re settling into our new offices. More proof that we aren’t only interested in numbers, in fact to be good at what we do we need to be interested in people too.

By learning about Caleb, we discovered a hint of romantic intrigue bound up in the history of our home, the Roller Mill. In 1798 Caleb met and fell in love with Elizabeth Turley, which in most cases would be a cause to celebrate but then again romance is never an easy thing. The issue in this relationship being that, unlike Caleb, Elizabeth was not a Quaker and therefore his relationship with her was frowned upon by the Lewes Society of Friends as Caleb was “inclinable to marry contrary to the rules of” their “Society”. If only the rules of marriage and society were as easy to follow as the rules of bookkeeping …

Despite over the years the Society trying to change Caleb’s mind he married Elizabeth on April 22 1793 at the Holy Cross Church (which by a twist of fate is where the Christmas tree festival is held that Team4 have participated in the last few years… funny, huh?). Due to this the Society disowned Caleb from their number, yet Caleb continued to live a happy and rather prosperous life – buying a warehouse, granary and land in Malling Street, Lewes in 1794 before selling them in 1810.

Caleb died in 1833 when the mill was acquired by William Kenward Junior, who later died in 1874, leaving the property to his son Edwin.

Edwin is where our story continues so stay tuned for part 2 in our history!



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