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Fittleworth

Henry JOYES, miller of Storrington, signed an indenture on a large sheet of parchment for the lease of the Fittleworth water corn mill in 1877. John JOYES, a son, ran the business there until his father moved to Fittleworth, at which time John became the owner and operator of the family mill back in Storrington.

Henry's youngest son Hugh eventually became his business partner in corn milling. They also raised cattle and pigs at Lower Street farm opposite the mill and were wood and coal merchants. At one stage a grandson Ernest JOYES was an assistant miller.

Another son Edgar Walter JOYES became the farmer of an adjacent property, Lea [Lee] Farm.

Edgar Walter Joyes married Marian Moore. The pair were to become known in the family as Uncle Ted and Aunt Pete. They had five children, the youngest, Wilton Henry, not surviving his infancy. During the early part of his marriage, Edgar leased Lea Farm, which straddled the borders of the Fittleworth and Stopham parishes. Its very large barn is thought to have been an early tithe barn.

Their eldest daughter, Grace Lilian [b1887] married Geoffrey Carter at the Fittleworth Church. They later emigrated to Canada and had two sons and a daughter.

Dorothy Alice, the second daughter [b1888] married Maurice Jennings, farmer of Stopham Farm. They had a daughter and two sons.

The third daughter Margaret Marian known as Madge [b1890] married Charles Slatter in South Africa. There were three daughters born to them.

The three Jennings sisters were briefly reunited in England in 1921, when a photograph was taken of them with their children [see photo album pages]

Charles Edgar Joyes was born in 1892. He served with the British Army as a corporal in the Royal Field Artillery during WW1, but died of wounds on January 18th 1918 at Wimereux. His name is inscribed on a marble plaque inside the Pulborough church.


After the loss of his son, Edgar gave up his corn business and built a bungalow at Marehill, Pulborough, where he and Marian lived until her death in 1941. He then spent the rest of his retirement at Stopham Farm with his widowed son-in-law and granddaughter. He died in 1951 and is buried with Marian in the Pulborough Churchyard.

There is also a stone in the churchyard of Stopham St Mary, for Wilton Henry Joyes, who died January 16th 1895 aged one year & four months.

There are several photos of Edgar and his family on the album pages.


Henry Joyes and family 16th June, 1895

All members of the family took an active part in village life. They were willing committee members, energetic in parish fund raising activities, were not shy to sing at concerts and Henry, once elections had taken place in 1895, served on the Fittleworth Parish Council for secular affairs.

The picturesque old mill standing back from the road, between an ancient stone bridge and the well known Swan Inn, was always a favourite subject for visiting artists and an inspiration for budding poets among the many 19th century visitors to the village. Henry and family impressed one writer, whose verse written in the Swan Inn's visitors' book begins :

The jovial miller with his sons at work

Are good examples of our English race

And strolling through the village to the 'Kirk'

We meet with many an honest rustic face.

When his youngest son, Hugh, married, Henry bought a burnt out house near the mill. It was rebuilt for the young couple and named 'The Laurels'. There were many happy occasions when the extended JOYES family from other villages gathered at the Mill House and sometimes grand children came to stay during their summer holidays. Hugh's son must have caused a stir in Fittleworth when he became the first person in the district to have a motor cycle. After Henry's death in 1907 Hugh JOYES operated the mill until around 1918.

Henry's Peccadillos !!

One Henry Joyes of Fittleworth was summonsed to appear before Magistrate W J Mitford Esq.16 Aug 1882 Summons # 1328 for Breach of Dog Order. The Hearing was held 19 Aug, 1882 and Henry was ordered to pay 5/- costs. He was described as of previously good character.

But by 1903 things had become far more serious.

On 30th November 1903, Henry Joyes of Fittleworth, miller, was charged as follows:

"that being the driver of a certain cart on a certain highway there situate unlawfully was negligently in such a situation whilst the same was then passing upon the said highway that he could not have and had not then the direction and government of the horses then and there driving the same. "

On this occassion Henry was fined 1/6 with 3/6 costs. NB Failure to pay said fine would result in 7 days in Portsmouth prison. Prisoner to be charged for transport thereto !!!!

Henry was well known for this often given piece of advice. He would say "All you need, to go around the world, is a piece of string, a pen knife and a sixpence". [One doubts if he did much travelling himself]

His idea of thrift was carried to extremes though in his use of over writing on a page of a letter, presumably to save paper.

Henry Joyes, his wife Jane [MARSHALL] and daughter Ellen [who did not marry] are buried in the churchyard of Fittleworth's St Mary the Virgin. Inside the church there is a commemorative plaque which includes the name of Henry's grandson Ernest JOYES, [son of Albert William] for service to his country in WW1.[see Petworth Page]

The Hugh Joyes family

In 1896 Hugh married Alice Edith Smith, the daughter of James Smith a councillor, builder and property developer of South Norwood and Fittleworth [see page Family Album page 5 for newspaper report of wedding.]

Number 2 Norwood Cottages, near the Fittleworth Mill, was renovated and given to Hugh and Alice, as a wedding present, by Alice's parents. In 1898, Henry James Hugh [always known as Jim] was born there. The 1901 census gives Hugh as head of the household at 'Woodleigh', Trip Hill, with Alice Jim and one year old Marjorie Alice. Another move in 1903 found them living once again close by the mill, at 'The Laurels' in Lower Street. A daughter, Constance Margaret was born in 1905 and son Leonard Robert, in 1907.

Hugh Joyes' Model T Ford, 1912 outside Fittleworth Mill

Hugh was always a willing and energetic worker for the community, organizing and acting as MC at parish social functions, and he gradually took over more responsibility in the running of the milling and farm business. After his father's death, the family took over the old mill house. Hugh converted the mill to steam, but eventually competition from modern corn mills in larger centres, forced him to give up milling of flour and he used the mill for the production of animal food.

He was the first person in Fittleworth to own a motor car and it was to give Jim a life long interest in motor engineering. Jim was the first in the village to have a motor cycle and later served in the Transport Dept. of the RAF.

As the Great War 1914-18 came to an end, it became evident to Hugh that neither of his sons had interest in either farming or milling. By this time large modern mills were producing flour and Fittleworth Mill was producing only animal food.

Jim [Henry James] and his cousin are remembered for their service in WW1 by a plaque in the Fittleworth Church which reads:

James Joyes RAF and Ernest Joyes RGA

These men went to serve their King and Country

During the Great War 1914 - 1918

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