Brighton and Hove people: C

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CALVERT, Louis James
      Born in Brighton (some sources say Manchester), the son of actor/comedians, his father becoming stage manager and principal actor at the Theatre Royal Manchester, where they settled soon after Louis was born. At least four of his siblings went on the stage. Louis spent much of his career in the USA. He had a limited but significant connection with early cinema: he played in King John (1899), starring Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree and directed by William K L Dickson (who defined 35mm film when working for Edison) and Walter Pfeffer Dando for British Mutoscope and Biograph Company—almost certainly the first ever film of a Shakespeare play (albeit only two minutes long). He made only one more film, for Hepworth in 1913. In 1918 he wrote a book, Problems of the Actor, which is still available1. He died in New York.
1Problems of the Actor
CAMELFORD, 1st Baron
Camelford Street
CAMPBELL, John George Edward Douglas Sutherland, 9th Duke of Argyll, Marquess of Lorne
      His mother was Lady Elizabeth Sutherland-Leveson-Gower and her father was the 2nd Duke of Sutherland (see Sutherland Road). He married Princess Louise, Queen Victoria's fourth daughter, on 21 March 1871. He was governor general of Canada 1878-1883..
Argyle Road
Campbell Road
Lorne Road
CANNING, Rt Hon George
      He was an MP at age 23, supporter of William Pitt and prime minister for four months before his death in office, lived in Brighton (see plaque on the former Royal Crescent Hotel). Until 2022 he had the shortest term in office of any prime minister at 119 days.
Canning Street

Royal Crescent Mansions, Marine Parade
CARDEN, Alderman Sir Herbert
Herbert CardenSolicitor and local politician.
      A socialist, he was councillor for Preston Ward, Brighton 1902-1904 and Portland Ward, Hove 1903-1905, and served as mayor of Brighton for three terms from 1916 to 1919. He played a major part in the development of Brighton, notably in the creation of Greater Brighton with an extensive expansion in 1928.
Carden Avenue
Carden Close
Carden Crescent
Carden Hill

30 Old Steine
Charles Carpenter. Sailor, magistrate.
      Born in Saltash, Cornwall, he joined the Royal Navy and retired as a lieutenant on half pay (1851). He was chairman of the Brighton bench and first chairman of the Hove Commissioners. Father of Edward Carpenter.
Edward Carpenter [right]. Poet, pioneer socialist and writer.
      He was born in Brunswick Square, the son of Charles Carpenter, and educated at Brighton College. He has acquired a status as a notable gay writer.
45 Brunswick Square
CARSON, Rt Hon Sir Edward KC MP
      He lived in Rottingdean around the time he became the founder leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (1912) and formed the loyalist paramilitary organisation, the Ulster Volunteers (1913).
Bazehill Road
      One of the Lewes Martyrs.
Black Lion, 37 Black Lion Street
CASEY, Terance
Terance CaseyMusician.
      Resident organist at the Regent Cinema, Brighton, playing the Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre organ imported from the USA. The 35 recordings he made on 78rpm discs playing the organ at the Regent for Columbia between 1930 and 1934 were re-mastered onto CD by Beulah Records but are not currently available. His recording of Nauticana includes the sound impression of vomiting. Born in Leeds, he lived in Brighton in the mid 1920s but later moved to Henfield. Douglas Reeve was a pupil. His compositions include 'By the Adur', published as mood music by Francis Day & Hunter.
32 Devonshire Place [residence]
Regent Cinema, Queen's Road and North Street
CATHCART, General Sir George
      Aide-de-camp to the Duke of Wellington at the battles of Waterloo and Quatre Bras in 1815, he was appointed colonial governor of the British Cape Colony, South Africa, where he granted the first constitution and defeated the Basutos, ending the 8th Cape Frontier war. He died at the battle of Inkerman during the Crimean war.
2 Lewes Crescent [residence]
CATT, William
CATT, William
CATT, Charles
CATT, Henry
CATT, Charles William
An extensive family, mainly concerned with brewing, several of whose members changed their surname to the maternal Willett, where they are listed.
William Catt. Farmer and miller.
      Born in Uckfield, he operated the Tide Mills at Newhaven and became a partner in the brewing firm of Vallance & Catt in West Street in 1827. In 1850 the firm bought the Ship Street brewery from the Wigney estate. He had 12 children, one of whom died in infancy. He died at Newhaven as a result of injuries and shock when nearly thrown from his gig on the cliffs near the Black Rock gas works.
William Catt. Brewer.
      Fifth child and second son of William Catt. See William Willett
Charles Catt. Brewer and landowner.
      Born at Bishopstone, 10th child and fifth son of farmer William Catt. He retired to Summer Hill at Lindfield by 1881, where he died. He left £174,312 19s 11d (equivalent to £18.1m in 2019).
Henry Catt. Brewer and politician.
      Seventh son and youngest of 12 children of William Catt. See Henry Willett.
Charles William Catt. Master brewer.
      Born in Brighton, son of Charles Catt, he was baptised in the Chapel Royal. He sold off his business in 1899, retired and moved to Derbyshire.
PERSONAL (William)
80 West Street [residence 1841-1854]
West House, 12 Portland Place [residence 1859-1866]
PERSONAL (Charles)
52 (previously 44) Middle Street [residence 1852-1881]
PERSONAL (Charles William)
7 Cambridge Road [residence 1881-1884]
52 Middle Street [residence 1885-1896]
CAVENDISH, William George Spencer KG, 6th Duke of Devonshire
Landowner and Whig politician.
      He inherited 200,000 acres of land when he succeeded to the dukedom at the age of 21. He was a close friend of the Prince Regent and a leading courtier at his coronation as George IV. As president of the Royal Horticultural Society from 1838 to 1858, he established the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew.
Image: Portrait by Thomas Lawrence
13 Chichester Terrace/1 Lewes Crescent [residence]
Surgeon and anaesthetist.
      Trained at St George's Hospital, London, where he was one of the authors of Nine Medical Songs (1895). He was a house surgeon in Swansea before coming to the Royal Sussex County Hospital. By 1939 he had retired to The Limes Nursing Home in Ditchling, where he died.
Chadborn Close

10 Cambridge Road [residence 1905-1938]
CHANNON, John Henry Whitlock (Jack)
Cinema exhibitor.
      Born in Woolwich, the son of a vet, he joined the Sussex Picturedrome Company, which acquired the Duke of York's Cinema, Brighton in 1918 and the Pavilion Cinema, Portslade around the same time.
135 Preston Road [childhood home]
Dundalk, Stanford Avenue [residence 1911]
CHART, John (Jack)
Soldier, actor, film director and publican.
      This sergeant-major briefly turned actor directed four films for James Williamson in 1908, in all of which he also appeared. According to Williamson's son Alan, Chart was a PE instructor at an army reserve post near Brighton. (Could that be Preston Barracks?) In his book The Romance of the Movies (London: Heinemann, 1937), Leslie Wood proposes that Chart was a minor heartthrob and could have been the first actor to be of greater interest to the audience than the films he was in; Alan Williamson said he was popular with audiences. Penny postcard portraits of Chart were sold at shows of his films—an unusual, even unprecedented promotional move. It appears that after his brief film career he ran the Sea Serpent PH in Gloucester Road, Brighton.
Sea Serpent, 83 Gloucester Road [residence, business]
CHATFIELD, Frederick
Frederick ChatfieldSoldier, diplomat.
      Born in Brighton, after eight years of military service, in 1826 he was appointed consul at Memel (now Klaipėda in Lithuania) and was in Aachen during the Belgian revolution of 1830. His reports of a cholera outbreak in Memel in 1831 led the foreign secretary, Lord Palmerston, to appoint Chatfield consul at Warsaw and in 1833 as consul to the Federal Republic of Central America. He remained in that region until his retirement in 1852. He donated an obelisk and fountain in Victoria Gardens to the town in 1871. Chatfield also donated a portrait of his mother to Brighton Museum in 1872.
Image: National Portrait Gallery
CLARKE, Somers
Solicitor and local government officer.
      Born in Southwick, the son of a vicar, he qualified as a solicitor and weas a partner in the firm of Attree & Clarke. He was Vestry Clerk of Brighton for over 60 years from 1830 until his death and father of architect George Somers Clarke. He left £91,469 19s 8d (equivalent to £1.96m in 2022). His bust is in Brighton Town Hall.
27 Oriental Place [residence before 1845-1854]
57 Regency Square [residence 1856-1892]
CLEMENTS Sir John (Selby) CBE
      Best known as a stage actor and as the second artistic director of the Chichester Festival Theatre, succeeding his friend and neighbour Laurence Olivier. He made a number of films and television appearances between 1935 and 1982, including South Riding (1938), The Four Feathers (1939), Oh! What a Lovely War (1969) and Gandhi (1982). He had previously had more minor roles in Alexander Korda's Things to Come and Rembrandt (both 1936).
7 Royal Crescent [residence 1966-]
CLIFTON, Lieut-General Sir Arthur Benjamin GCB KCH KSA KSW
      Decorated for his part in the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, when he commanded the Second Union Cavalry Brigade, he succeeded Prince Albert as Colonel of the 11th (Prince Albert's Own) Regiment of (Light) Dragoons (Hussars) in 1842. He lived on to be the oldest knight in the country by the age of 97. He died, unmarried, at his home in Old Steine, where he had lived for at least 30 years.
Image: Portrait by William Salter
56 Old Steine [residence 1838?-1869]
CLIVES, Captain See Alfred Holmes
COBB, Alderman George, Jr
      He inherited a half-share in the Theatre Royal from his uncle, Hewitt Cobb, in 1822 and bought the other half share for £1,650 in 1842. He was one of the first Brighton councillors under the Charter of 1854, representing West ward. He was a friend of J M W Turner and may have drawn up the painter's will.
1 Hampton Terrace [residence]
Theatre Royal, New Road
COBBOLD, Charles H
Music hall artiste.
      Brighton-born son of a wine merchant, he described himself as a physical culturist and gymnastic instructor, who appeared in two films made by James Williamson: No Bathing Allowed (1903) and The Acrobatic Tramps (1902), the latter apparently anticipating Charlie Chaplin by more than a decade, although tramp characters were not unfamiliar in films of the time. John Cobbold, his brother, also a gymnastics instructor, appeared with him in The Acrobatic Tramps.
43 Western Road Hove [father's business, home in infancy]
4 Stirling Terrace (c1891-c1900) [family home]
54 Stirling Place [family home becoming own residence c1901-c1931]
63 Wilbury Road [residence]
45 Norton Road [deathplace]
COCHRAN, Sir Charles Blake (CB)
Theatrical impresario.
      He was a pioneer of the intimate revue.
15 Prestonville Road [birthplace]
Sir Edward CodingtonSailor.
      Joined the Royal Navy in 1883. Rising steadily, he was commissioning commander in 1805 of HMS Orion, in which he fought at the Battle of Trafalgar. Appointed naval commander-in-chief in the Mediterranean from 1826, he triggered (and won) the Battle of Navarino when he sailed into the bay there. This secured Greek independence from Turkey. MP for Devonport 1832-1839. Commander-in-chief Portsmouth 1839-1842. His two surviving sons had distinguished naval careers. The family retained ownership of properties in Western Road until 1899.
Codrington Mansions, 140 Western Road [plaque removed because of his association with the slave trade]
Codrington Place
Codrington House, Hampton Place
COHEN, Joseph
Cinema exhibitor.
      Born in Sokal, Austria, son of a tailor who came to England and settled in Carlton Hill. In his early married days, before setting up on his own account, he had lived in Grand Parade. He took over the Hove Cinematograph Theatre (later the Tivoli, then the Embassy) in partnership with John Harris in 1916, was described in the 1911 census as a financier (with the enumerator's pencilled annotation: 'moneylender').
7 Carlton Hill [childhood residence]
20 Grand Parade [residence 1911]
3 Sillwood Street [residence 1916]
COHEN, Levy Emmanuel
Levy Emmanuel CohenNewspaper proprietor and editor.
      He was the founder in 1827 of the Brighton Guardian. He is buried in the Brighton Jewish Cemetery in Florence Place.
Line engraving portrait by Thomas Vernon after Edward Daniel Leahy (1862) [National Portrait Gallery].
39 Clarence Place [residence 1851]
Levy Emmanuel CohenActress.
      Brighton-born, she appeared on stage in musical comedy, operetta and pantomime. She made only 16 films in a screen career that began in 1925 and lasted until 1953. Her only television appearance was in The Shop at Sly Corner, six weeks after the BBC television service had resumed in 1946, although she was replaced by Muriel Pavlov in the following year's film version.
COLLINGS, Arthur Albert (Esmé)
Photographer and pioneer film-maker.
      The first local person to move into cinematography, he abandoned it within a year. Nonetheless, he is counted as one of the Hove Pioneers and sometimes credited with the world's first 'blue movie'. He made what is almost certainly the first film of a named performer, Auguste van Biene. As a photographer he had been in partnership with William Friese Greene in 1887-1888.
See Sussex Photohistory for an exhaustive description of his life and work.
13 Alexandra Villas
120 Western Road, Hove
59 Dyke Road
89 King's Road
143 Ditchling Road
COMBRIDGE, John Theodore
Mathematician and educational administrator.
      Son of a retired butcher, educated at Brighton College.
5 Leopold Road [birthplace, childhod residence]
Ivy Compton-BurnettNovelist.
      Eldest of seven children Dr J C (James Compton) Burnett by his second wife, added to the six from his first marriage. Her father developed a number of properties in West Hove, particularly in St Leonard's Avenue.
20 The Drive [residence 1897-1915]
William ConinghamPolitician.
      Liberal MP. Resident in Kemptown, he was nominated to context the 1847 general election but was defeated, as he was in 1852 for the Westminster seat. He was returned as MP for Brighton in 1857 and 1859. In January 1864 he stood down on health grounds. His health restored, he stood again for Brighton in 1868 but was not elected. He was an art collector, notably of Italian old masters, and friend of Thomas Carlyle.
Image: Portrait by John Linnell
26 Sussex Square [residence]
John ConstableArtist..
      One of the greatest painters of his and any other age, he visited Brighton on a number of occasions and painted scenes of the beach and the fishing fleet, the Chain Pier, the downs and the area around his lodgings.
Image: Portrait of Constable by Charles Robert Leslie RA (c1830)
9 Sillwood Road [residence 1824,1828]
COPINGER, Walter Arthur
Walter Arthur CopingerBarrister.
      He wrote the standard legal reference work on copyright (now Copinger and Skone James on Copyright). He lived with his parents at various addresses in Brighton during his childhood and was educated at John Andrews' private school, Wellesley House.
5 Roundhill Crescent [childhood home]
18 Wellington Road [school]
COPLEY, John See 1st Baron Lyndhurst. PERSONAL
Lyndhurst Road
COPPARD, A E (Alfred Edgar)
A E CoppardPoet and writer.
      Born in Folkstone to a tailor and laundress, and with little education: he attended Lewes Hill Boarding School but left at the age of nine to serve as errand boy for a Jewish tailor in Whitechapel and then as a messenger for Reuter's Telegraph Agency. He returned to Brighton c1891 and worked as an office boy. At the turn of the century he was a clerk for a Brighton electrical engineer, living with his widowed Brighton-born mother. He moved to Oxford in 1907 after marrying. In his forties he was a member of the New Elizabethans literary group in Oxford, where he worked as a clerk and bookkeeper for a foundry and engineering firm. He became a full-time writer at the age of 41.
Image: portrait by Howard Coster, 1931 [National Portrait Gallery]
28 Melbourne Street [childhood residence]
27 Gladstone Place [residence 1901]
CORDY, James
Wine merchant and farmer.
      He took over a business as a wine and spirit merchant in Brighton in the 1820s to c1850. As Worshipful Master of the Royal Clarence Lodge of Freemasons, he laid the cornerstone of the Adelaide wing of the Sussex County Hospital in 1840. In 1845 he was appointed deputy chairman of the Brighton & Chichester Railway and a town commissioner (1850). He left Brighton to become a farmer of 190 acres at Hurstpierpoint. He was buried in St Nicholas' churchyard, where he had been a churchwarden in 1832.
53 North Street [business, 1832-1846]
Portslade Lodge, Locks Hill [residence 1837-1841] now Manor Lodge
• Brighton Lodge, London Road [residence 1841]
12 Grand Parade [residence 1845-1854]
CORNFORD, Ernest James (Ernie)
      Born and died in Brighton, he made only two known films, both directed by David Aylott for Williamson Kinematograph Company in 1909 with Cornford as an actor, although in the 1911 census he gave his occupation as cinematographer.
44 New Dorset Street [home in infancy to 1888]
9 Model Dwellings, Jew Street [childhood home]
27 Shanklin Road
      Proprietor of 30 dry-cleaning shops with the Courtneys brand. Director of Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club from 1960 and chair from 1963 to 1968. A freemason and Rotarian, involved in the establishment of the Brighton Festival.
Courtney King House, 169 Eastern Road
Harry CowleyChimney sweep, social activist and campaigner.
Cowley Drive
33 Lincoln Street [birthplace]
CRAVEN, John Chester
John Chester CravenLocomotive engineer.
      Born in Hunslet, Yorkshire, he served an apprenticeship with Robert Stephenson in Newcastle and worked for various companies before becoming locomotive foreman of the Manchester and Leeds Railway, from which he moved to Eastern Counties Railway. He was appointed locomotive, carriage and wagon superintendent of the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway in December 1847. He expanded the Brighton railway works and pioneered locomotive production, leading to the production of 72 different clases of locomotive by 1869. When asked to economise by reducing the number he resigned and was replaced by William Stroudley. He was a councillor for St Peter's Ward 1871-1882, served on several council committees, especially those concerned with physical infrastructure, and became an alderman in 1881. He was buried in Brighton Parochial Cemetery.
Image: National Railway Museum
Craven Road
Craven Vale

Wellesley House, Wellington Road [residence to 1887, deathplace]

Obituary (1887)
      In 1928 he built Crowhurst Hall in memory of his first wife Charlotte Elizabeth, who died in a nursing home at 31 Brunswick Road in May 1927. He re-married in 1931.
Crowhurst Hall, Knoyle Road

57 Beaconsfield Villas [residence 1915-1943]
CROWN, Jacob (later James) Leslie
Cinema exhibtor and entrepreneur.
      An American who became an early cinema exhibitor in Brighton. He appears to have arrived recently from Vienna when he opened the Coronation Cinema in North Road in 1911. At that time he was described as having 'private means'. In 1914 he took over the Palladium Cinema and sold the Coronation to George Bloch. He made regular Atlantic crossings during and after the First World War. After selling the Palladium to Blue Halls in 1924 he returned to the United States and in due course settled in Beverly Hills, California , where he had a vocal studio and gave his profession as teacher.
29 Denmark Villas [residence 1911]
60 The Drive [residence c1923-24]
CRUNDEN, Thomas Brown
CRUNDEN, Frederick
A family of cabinet-makers, upholsterers and furniture dealers.
Thomas Crunden. Cabinet-maker, upholsterer.
      The business was established in 1832 and employed 15 workmen in 1851, 30 in 1861 and 28 in 1871. The family lived in Keymer in 1861. Thomas lived towards the end of his life at Oak Hall, Burgess Hill. He retired by 1881, died in Brighton but was buried at the Church of St John the Evangelist in Burgess Hill, as were the rest of his family. He left £88,469 11s 4d. His sons Thomas Brown Crunden and Frederick Crunden joined him in the business as Thomas Crunden & Sons and continued after Thomas's death.
Thomas Brown Crunden. Cabinet-maker, upholsterer.
      Eldest son of Thomas Crunden, who joined his father in the furniture business. He too lived latterly at Oak Hall, Burgess Hill and left £74,695 0s 9d.
Frederick Crunden. Cabinet-maker, upholsterer.
      Second son of Thomas Crunden, who joined his father in the furniture business. He too lived latterly at Oak Hall, Burgess Hill and left £110,043 15s 0d.
• 20-21 New Road [business 1841-1893 and family residence]
• 17, 26 Bond Street [stores 1880]
• Jew Street [stores 1880]
• 8 Percival Terrace [family residence 1871]
• 5 Marlborough Place [family residence 1881]
• 9 Eastern Terrace [family residence 1891]
• 3 Modena Terrace [Frederick residence 1901]
CURWEN, Eldred Vincent Morris
CURWEN, Elizabeth Caroline Colebrook Gordon (née Cameron)
Eldred Curwen. Landowner.
      Born at Workington Hall, Cumberland, son of Sir Edward Stanley Curwen. The Curwen family had estates in the north of England. His aunt was married to William Wordsworth's eldest son. In 1865 he married Hebe Emily Moritana Ogle, heiress to the Withdean estate, of which he became owner on his wife's death in 1889. He spent much of his time abroad and left administration of the estate to his daughter-in-law, Elizabeth Curwen. His house, Capo Di Monte, in San Remo, Italy, where he died, was requisitioned by the Italian fascist government in the 1930s.
Elizabeth Curwen. Landowner.
      Born in Aden, eldest daughter and fourth of 11 children of General Sir William Gordon Cameron, in 1892 she married Chaloner Frederick Hastings Curwen, son of Eldred Curwen. After her husband's death in 1897, she effectively took over administration of the Withdean estate in her father-in-law's absence and was responsible for the gradual disposal of it.
Eldred Avenue
Colebrook Road
CUSACK-SMITH, Colonel Sir (Thomas) Berry JP, 5th bt
Soldier and diplomat.
      HM Consul to Samoa 1890-1897, British Consulate-General, Valparaiso 1898-1907. During World War I he commanded to 1st Home Counties Brigade in India and Mesopamia. He is buried in Woodvale Cemetery.
Aylesbury House, Furze Hill [residence 1913-1928]
CUSTANCE, Olive Eleanor (Lady Alfred Douglas)
Lady Alfred DouglasPoet.
      A member of the aesthetic movement of Aubrey Beardsley and Oscar Wilde among others, in 1902 she married Lord Alfred Douglas, Wilde's former lover, against her father's wishes. Although eventually they separated, they did not divorce and she moved to be near her husband's home in Nizell's Avenue, Hove.
8 Viceroy Lodge, Kingsway [residence]
45 Viceroy Lodge, 143 Kingsway [residence -1944]
47 Valley Drive [residence -1944]
CUTTS, (John Henry) Graham
Film director.
      He was born in Brighton but grew up in Eastbourne and attended St John's College at Hurstpierpoint. Having trained as a marine engineer, he started his film career as an exhibitor by 1909, moving into film-making as a director by 1922 in partnership with Herbert Wilcox. He was involved with Michael Balcon in founding Gainsborough Pictures in 1924, with the aim of making high-quality films for international audiences. However, he did not stay long at Gainsborough, despite his reputation as a highly regarded visual artist, although he continued to make popular films until the outbreak of war. In 1940 he joined World Wide Pictures where he made documentaries.

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Page updated 3 August 2023