David Hunnisett (ca.1800 - 1878) of Windmill Hill, Herstmonceux

David must have been born around 1800 but no baptism has been found for him, nor any other record to show who his parents were. It is possible that he was a son of William and Hester of Bodle Street but this is just conjecture.

The first definite fact about David is that he married Frances Tutt (1808-1883, daughter of Robert & Elizabeth) in Herstmonceux on 28 October 1829. They lived at Windmill Hill, Herstmonceux and had the following children:


27 Jun 1830

Stunts Green


28 Aug 1831

Stunts Green


12 May 1833



22 Mar 1835


Robert James

27 Aug 1837

Wartling born 4 July


reg. Q1 1841

Wartling bap. 24 Feb 1847



Wartling bap. 17 Mar 1845 age 2


Q4 1847

Herstmonceux bap. 16 Mar 1862


Q4 1850

Herstmonceux bap. 16 Mar 1862

The 1841 census shows David, an agricultural labourer, and his family living at ‘Posey Green’ with their first six children. Posey Green was a cottage and garden on the south side of the road from Boreham Street to Herstmonceux near the road to Comphurst (TQ649120). The cottage was demolished in 1880, presumably soon after David died and Frances moved to her daughter’s in Worthing.

In 1851 they were still at ‘Piosea Green’ with all their children except Matilda, who was in Ripe working as a servant for the vicar.

By 1861 all the children appear to have left home except the three younger daughters; Frances, Mary and Rosetta. David’s wife, Frances, was not at home on the night of the census. His daughter, Frances (Fanny), had an 8-month-old daughter Matilda Louisa.

In 1871 David and Frances were still at ‘Posey Green’ and although all their children have left home they appear to be still looking after Fanny’s daughter. David was recorded as being deaf.

David died of cancer on 20 November 1878 and was buried at Wartling.

At the 1881 census Frances was staying at Broadwater, Worthing, with her daughter Matilda (now Pierce) and still had Fanny’s daughter Matilda with her.

Frances’ death was registered at East Preston, Sussex, in the last quarter of 1883, so she was probably still living with her daughter, Matilda.

A photo of David's daughter Frances appears in the photo gallery.

Of their children:

  • Louisa married Henry Wicks in Islington on 11 January 1855. Later that year they emigrated to Australia travelling on the ‘Ravenscraig’. Louisa died there on 15 May 1879, aged 48.
  • Matilda married Daniel Pierce in 1877 and in 1881 they have two children aged 6 and 7 with them. They lived at Broadwater, Worthing and also had Matilda’s mother and niece living with them.
  • Philip married Sarah Morley and eventually lived in Eastbourne where he died in 1894.
  • Robert married Hephzibah Smith in London where he was working as a servant. He became a butler and eventually worked for the Freshfield family in Forest Row, Sussex. While in their service he is said to have been to Russia with them. He and Sarah had nine children. Robert died in 1881.
  • Frances became pregnant towards the end of 1859 and in the following June banns were read in Wartling for her to marry James Dench. However, the marriage did not take place, and so Fanny, as she was known, had an illegitimate daughter, Matilda Louisa, born on 4 August 1860. Fanny did eventually marry James Dench in 1864 and by 1881 they were living in Cuckfield with their subsequent children, but not Matilda Louisa.
    • Matilda, or Louisa as she appears to have been known, died a spinster, in Worthing in 1923 leaving an income to her aunt, Matilda Pierce, with the capital passing, on her aunt’s death, to her sister-in-law, Anna Louisa Dench. She had been living at 49 Grafton Road, Worthing, and her estate was valued at over £900.
  • James was recorded in Westminster in 1861 working as an usher for William Gladstone (then Chancellor of the Exchequer). In 1871 he was in Sevenoaks, working as a footman. He married Maria Carver in 1879 and they lived in Sevenoaks with their children. James died in 1916.
  • Mary is believed to have married and lived in London.