Richard Hunnisett (1771 - 1839) Cooper of Frant

Richard, the eldest son of Henry and Elizabeth, was baptised in Herstmonceux on 28 November 1771. Shortly after this the family moved to Hailsham and may have lived at 'Coggers' which his father owned. His father died in 1791 and according to his will the proceeds of his estate were to be held in trust until all the children reached the age of 21; this would have been in 1799.

Richard became a cooper. On 3 December 1794 Thomas Oliver was apprenticed to Richard Hunnisett, cooper of Withyham, and on 1 August 1798 Hamilton Davis was apprenticed to Richard Hunnisett, cooper of Frant.

Richard Hunnisett ‘of the parish of Withyham’ married Mary Martin in Frant on 8 May 1795 and they are believed to have had the following children:


17 Nov 1795

bap 27 Dec in Speldhurst



bap 2 Sep 1798 in Frant


8 Jul 1802

bap 15 Aug in Tunbridge Wells


13 Jul 1805

bap in Tunbridge Wells


7 Nov 1808

bap 12 Feb 1809 in Tunbridge Wells


13 Jan 1812

bap 15 Mar in Tunbridge Wells

A Jane Hunnisett, daughter of Thomas and Mary, was baptised in Frant on 2 September 1798 (original PR); this must have been an error in the register as when Jane married in Frant in 1842 her father was given as Richard Hunnisett, a cooper. All the later baptisms were at Lady Huntingdons Chapel (Calvinistic Methodists) in Tunbridge Wells and stated that the births were in Tonbridge.

Richard was buried in Frant on 17 August 1839 aged 67.

At the 1841 census Mary was living in Rainbow Street, Frant, with Jane whose age was given as between 40 and 44. Mary was buried in Frant on 15 September 1841 aged 72.

Of their children:

  • Jane married George Fitness, a labourer 20 years her junior, in Frant on 8 February 1842. They had a son, Ebenezer, born in Sevenoaks in 1843 and emigrated on the 'Eden' arriving in New Plymouth, New Zealand on 29 October 1850. Jane died in New Zealand in 1881.
  • Richard appears to have died when only a few months old and was buried in Frant on 11 January 1803.
  • Charles became a cooper and married Anna Lowe in Frant on 1 December 1835 (Henry Hunnisett was a witness). They had a daughter, Sarah Lowe Hunnisett, in 1839 and in 1841 were all living in Nevill Street, Frant. Anna died aged 43 and was buried in Frant on 6 February 1845. Charles married Susannah Young in 1849 but does not appear to have had more children. Charles, a cooper of Warwick Lane, Tunbridge Wells, died on 1 September 1865 and in his will left everything to his wife and daughter. Susannah, of Camden Cottages, Warwick Lane, died aged 66, on 3 February 1870 and was buried in Frant on 9 February. Susannah's will left everything to her step-daughter, Sarah, who later married Henry Catt Fevre, a gas fitter and locksmith.
  • Henry became a grocer and married Mary Payne in Frant on 11 February 1836 (Charles and Anna Hunnisett were witnesses). They are known to have had two daughters, one of whom died aged 9 and a son. Mary died in 1867, aged 60, and in 1871 Henry, who had become a cooper like his brother, was at 2 Camden Road, Tunbridge Wells, and staying with him was his married daughter, Mary J Reed, and two boarders. Henry died in 1875, aged 66. His son Richard lived in Rye.