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Ebenezer Howard

posted by Kathryn on 28 Dec 2015 at 5:06 pm

Is the Ebenezer Howard who was Bexhill's first mayor the same person who became Sir Ebenezer Howard famous for Garden Cities? If so where did he live and what were his ideas about Bexhill?

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Ebenezer Howard

posted by Dave Hatherell on 04 Jan 2016 at 4:51 pm

Hello Kathryn, plenty of scope for confusion here. The Garden City Ebenezer Howard is not the chap who was Bexhill's first mayor. Same name - same age - both with London connections. Our Bexhill Ebenezer was cricket mad, holding annual cricket gatherings.
These excerpts are from articles by L J Bartley:
" Mr Howard’s family link with Bexhill dated back to 1860 when his uncle bought Birchington Farm. After his death in 1880 Mr Howard, as one of his trustees, made several visits to the property, of which Mr William Duke was the tenant, and he was so attracted to the locality that in 1900 Mr William Gillham built him a small house on the south side of Collington Lane as a summer residence and adjoining which he laid out the cricket ground which became the scene of many memorable matches and festival weeks. After Mr Howard’s departure from Bexhill Birchington House was enlarged to become St Wilfrid’s School and re-built after the fire of 1925, subsequently became Bicton Place and is now Falconbury School."
"“1902-03: Ebenezer Howard.- As the borough’s first mayor Mr Howard set a high standard and his conduct of affairs and firm chairmanship were of the greatest value. Although the manner of the invitation to him caused temporary controversy, the election of one who was dissociated from the feuds of the day was a wise move. He declined a second year of office, and although induced to stand for St Mark’s ward for which he was elected, he was one of those who resigned after the ratepayers’ rejection of the Town Bill of 1904 and thereafter took no part in public life. This was a sad loss, but his great service to the town was never forgotten by his contemporaries, and when he died in October 1930 the tribute was paid that he ‘proved himself a veritable king in Israel, towering head and shoulders over the people who he led to break the last shackles of feudalism and guided into the paths of social peace and good government’.”

Thank You

posted by Kathryn on 18 Jan 2016 at 4:28 pm

Dear Dave

Many thanks for this information. Sorry it has taken me so long to pick up. Also found some references at Bexhill Library in their folder on Collington but your information provides more insight as to character. Although sad there is no connection to garden city thinking nice to know that both Ebenezer Howards were 'good eggs'.

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