The Weald of Kent, Surrey and Sussex
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Historical records

3rd Apr 1881CensusGeorge H. Martin, M, Head, married, age 29, born Great Bedwin, Wiltshire; occupation: farm labourerHenry George H. Martin, farm labourerLong Barn1881 Census
Sevenoaks, Kent
3rd Apr 1881CensusHarriet Martin, F, Wife, married, age 32, born Sevenoaks Weald, KentHarriet Martin [Gasson]
3rd Apr 1881CensusEllen A. Martin, F, Daughter, age 7, born Sevenoaks Weald, Kent; occupation: scholarEllen A. Martin
3rd Apr 1881CensusHannah Martin, F, Daughter, age 5, born Sevenoaks Weald, Kent; occupation: scholarHannah Martin
3rd Apr 1881CensusHenry G. Martin, M, Son, age 3, born Sevenoaks Weald, KentHenry G. Martin
3rd Apr 1881CensusAda Martin, F, Daughter, age 1, born Sevenoaks Weald, KentAda Martin
3rd Apr 1881CensusAlfred Gasson, M, Stepson, age 12, born Sevenoaks Weald, Kent; occupation: scholarAlfred Gasson

3rd Apr 1881CensusJohn Davey, M, Head, married, age 30, born Sevenoaks Weald, Kent; occupation: labourerJohn Davey, labourerLong Barn1881 Census
Sevenoaks, Kent
3rd Apr 1881CensusMartha H. Davey, F, Wife, married, age 28, born Sevenoaks Weald, KentMartha H. Davey
3rd Apr 1881CensusEmily Davey, F, Daughter, age 9, born Sevenoaks Weald, KentEmily Davey
3rd Apr 1881CensusAnn Davey, F, Daughter, age 3, born Sevenoaks Weald, KentAnn Davey
3rd Apr 1881CensusClara Davey, F, Daughter, age 2, born Sevenoaks Weald, KentClara Davey
3rd Apr 1881CensusJohn Davey, M, Son, age 2 m, born Sevenoaks Weald, KentJohn Davey
3rd Apr 1881CensusRichard Curtis, M, Nephew, age 16, born Sevenoaks Weald, KentRichard Curtis

3rd Apr 1881CensusJames Aylward, M, Head, married, age 30, born Chiddingstone, Kent; occupation: farm labourerJames Aylward, farm labourerLong Barn Cottages1881 Census
Sevenoaks, Kent
3rd Apr 1881CensusFanny Aylward, F, Wife, married, age 23, born Wythiam, SussexFanny Aylward
3rd Apr 1881CensusMary Aylward, F, Daughter, age 4, born Sevenoaks Weald, Kent; occupation: scholarMary Aylward
3rd Apr 1881CensusAnnie Aylward, F, Daughter, age 2, born Sevenoaks Weald, KentAnnie Aylward

3rd Apr 1881CensusThomas Gasson, M, Head, married, age 34, born Sevenoaks, Kent; occupation: farm labourerThomas Gasson, farm labourerLong Barn Cottages1881 Census
Sevenoaks, Kent
3rd Apr 1881CensusEmma Gasson, F, Wife, married, age 28, born Edenbridge, KentEmma Gasson
3rd Apr 1881CensusThos. H. Gasson, M, Son, age 8, born Sevenoaks, Kent; occupation: scholarThomas H. Gasson
3rd Apr 1881CensusJosheph Charles Gasson, M, Son, age 6, born Wrotham, Kent; occupation: scholarJosheph Charles Gasson
3rd Apr 1881CensusEllen Gasson, F, Daughter, age 4, born Sevenoaks, Kent; occupation: scholarEllen Gasson
3rd Apr 1881CensusHerbert A. Gasson, M, Son, age 1, born Sevenoaks, KentHerbert A. Gasson

Mar 1915PurchasedHon. Victoria (Vita) Mary Nicolson [Sackville-West]Long BarnNigel Nicolson's
Portrait of a Marriage

Mar 1915PurchasedHon. Sir Harold George NicolsonLong BarnNigel Nicolson's
Portrait of a Marriage

1915 to 1930HistoryLong Barn

Victoria Mary (Vita) Sackville-West, poet, novelist and gardener, was born on 9th March 1892 at Knole, Sevenoaks, the only child of Lionel Edward Sackville-West (18671928), and his wife and first cousin, Victoria Josefa Dolores Catalina Sackville-West (18621936), the illegitimate daughter of Sir Lionel Sackville Sackville-West (18271908) and the Spanish dancer Josefa Durán (known as Pepita).

Vita grew up at Knole House and her early experiences there, including her often difficult relationships with other Sackvilles, were to have an important bearing on her writings. In 1913 she married the diplomat and broadcaster Harold Nicholson. They lived in London and at Long Barn, a house near Knole, between 1915 and 1930 where she wrote many of her early books (including Knole and the Sackvilles in 1922 and the pastoral poem The Land in 1926 which was awarded the Hawthornden Prize) and where she and her husband developed and experimented with their first garden. In 1930 they bought the ruined Sissinghurst Castle and spent many years creating Sissinghurst Gardens including the famous White Garden, Rose Garden, Orchard, Cottage Garden and Nuttery - now run by the National Trust. Her attachment to Knole led to her publishing English Country Houses in 1940 and records her love for such houses from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. She wrote extensively about gardening including a weekly column for the Observer from 1946 until 1961.

Vita was a prolific writer from an early age. But it was in the 1930s that she published her best known work The Edwardians (1930), All Passion Spent (1931), Family History (1932) which portrayed English upper-class manners and life, and Pepita (1937) which recalls her early life and her relationships with her mother and grandmother.

Throughout her life Vita's private life led to numerous affairs including Violet Trefusis (daughter of Mrs Alice Keppel the mistress of Edward VII), Evelyn Irons and Hilda Matheson. She was also very close to Virginia Wolfe about whom she wrote Seducers in Ecuador (1924) to which Wolfe responded with Orlando (1928).

In 1948 she was appointed a Companion of Honour for her services to literatures and in 1955 was awarded the gold Veitch medal of the Royal Horticultural Society. In later life she became reclusive at Sissinghurst and in 1961 became ill with stomach cancer and died there on 2 June 1962. She was cremated and buried in the Sackville family vault at Withyham, Sussex.

After her death, her son Nigel published Portrait of a Marriage in 1973. It was based on an autobiographical manuscript found in Sissinghurst and written when Vita was 28 - in 1920

See also

The Weald is at  Database version 13.2 which has ongoing updates to the 391,245 people; 9,000 places; 613 maps; 3,308 pictures, engravings and photographs; and 246 books loaded in the previous version

Fasthosts web site  
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