genealogy of the Bird and Musgrove families
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Thomas Ross - Mayor & J.P of Hastings

A well respected five time Mayor of Hastings in 1856, 1861, 1870, 1871 and 1872.

An article in the Hastings and St Leonards Observer dated 18th June 1898 primarily about an alteration to the frontage to the Coastguard Station premises at Marine Parade.  It goes on to say :

But I wonder in how many minds today will this little item revive personal recollections of, or stories concerning, the history of this block and the adjacent Pelham Cottage which they heard from their fathers or others of their predecessors who have long since passed away.  There are some, a few, living who remember when Master Gunner Ross, great grandfather of Percy Ross of Tudor House, was in command of the Coastguard Station at, what was then known as "Government House" and who, from personal memory, though alas in the whole town these few might be counted on the fingers of one hand, can recall the erection of "The Cottage" and the leasing of these latter premises to Lady Claremont who was one of the leading fashionable dames of her day and whose name, through the grateful remembrance of the Late Alderman Ross, five times Mayor of and a Justice of the Peace for the Borough of Hastings, is perpetuated, so to say, in the throughfare in which "The Observer" office and the Brassey Institute stand.

In "The Cottage" resided for a time the Emperor Napoleon the Third almost immediately previous to his descent to the French Coast.  That house, nay the whole block, has a record which is well worthy of preservation and which indeed is not wholly without a historian, Mr T.B.Brett has written much of it.  But when shall we have in accessible form the collected printed reminisences of our locally erudite and venerable townsman ?  Someday these may come and when that time arrives not the least interesting and valuable chapter of the towns annals will be that concerning the story of Government House and Pelham Cottage.  

6th August 1898

Within these last few years it has been frequently complained that the people of Hastings take very much less interest in the Sussex Archaeological Society than they were wont to exhibit in the days when the late Mr Thomas Ross was one of the locally active spirits of this association.  That there should be a decline in the sympathy shown by the inhabitants of historic Hastings in the objects and operations of the society is in no way remarkable seeing that reverence to things antiquarian usually diminishes in proportion to the advance of the commercial importance of a town.


The announcement of the meeting the Sussex Archaeological Society in the vicinity of Hastings will recall to some a melancholy event connected with the meeting of the association in our neighbourhood seventeen years ago.  I refer to the death of Alderman Ross, five times Mayor of the Premier Cinque Port, who unfortunately caught, on the occasion the outing, a chill, which led to fatal results.  Alderman Ross, who was the grandfather of our young townsman, Mr. P. T. Ross, was well versed in archaeological lore, and did much towards upholding Hastings’ claim to be the first of the Cinque ports.


3rd September 1898

Nearly a decade passes before a further guide appears, when, in 1835, "ROSS’S HASTINGS AND ST. LEONARDS GUIDE saw the light.  Mr Thomas Ross was a well known townsman, being successively Councillor and Alderman of the borough, and five times Mayor.  As it is only seventeen years since died, he will be remembered by many readers of this article.  In his guide, which it will be noticed that St. Leonards is introduced, he has much of interest to tell. Noticeable features of "Ross's Guide" are the marked evidences of the growth of the Old Town.  Several pages are devoted to the description the places of worship, for, as becomes a good Churchman of the old school, Mr Ross gives these the first place.



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