Joseph Henry Lelliott 1856-1914

Joseph Henry Lelliott was born on 17 April 1856 at 25 Field Row, Worthing the sixth child of Henry Lelliott and Mary Churcher.

On 19 April 1879, at Broadwater, Joseph married Susan Hay of Heene, Sussex. He gave his address as 7 Graham Road, Worthing and occupation as carpenter. The witnesses were his brother and sister, Alfred and Kate Lelliott.

Susan was born in Tenby, Wales in 1854 the daughter of John Hay and Elizabeth Belt. Her parents were married in 1843 and her mother died in 1860 when Susan was only six. Her father was a coal miner but Susan gave his occupation as carpenter.

Joseph is always recorded as a carpenter in the censuses but he was a lot more than this, starting a building and blind making business in the 1880's which was in the family for more than 90 years, being sold in the 1980s. The blind making side continued trading under the Lelliott name in Worthing until 2020.

Gordon Road, Worthing

From left

12 Ivy Cottage
11 Ashton House
10 Dorn-den
 9 El Dorado Cottage
 8 Lancaster House

(the road has since
been renumbered)

In the 1880's Joseph and his brother Frederick, a bricklayer built a row of terrace houses on the west side of Gordon Road, Worthing. The 1883 rate book shows only two of the houses, both owned by their occupants. Joseph lived in the far right house named Lancaster House, presumable after his grandfather Lancaster Lelliott, and Frederick lived next door. By mid 1886 Joseph and his family were living in the upstairs of the end house and Frederick downstairs. Fredrick still owned the adjacent house but he rented it out. The newly built third house in the row was also owned by Fredrick and rented. In 1889 plans submitted by Joseph for number 15, which was to be the last house in the terrace, were approved. This house was to have a narrow passageway on the left side giving access to the alley which runs along the back of the terrace. The upstairs was to be built out over this passageway making it slightly larger than the other houses. The 1905 Worthing Street Directory shows the last house on the east side of Gordon Road to be Vainona (number 13). I do not know whether numbers 14 and 15 were ever built, but they are no longer standing. Number 13 has also been demolished.

By 1891 Joseph had moved into number 13 calling it Imrie and Frederick lived next door at Ivy Cottage presumably called after his only daughter, Ivy.

In 1899 Joseph took out a full page advertisement in the Worthing Directory as a builder and contractor, shop fitter and blind manufacturer. His business address was Oxford Road, Worthing.

In December 1903 Joseph purchased 29 High Street on the corner of Chatsworth Road (where the Guildbourne Centre car park is now). He swapped the name of this house, Vainona with his old house Imrie. The 1911 census shows this house as having 12 rooms. There was a workshop at the back where the blinds were stitched and a shop in Chatsworth Road.

Joseph died aged 57 on 28 January 1914. He is buried in Broadwater cemetery. A report of his funeral in the Worthing Gazette says that he was a member of Christ Church choir. Wreaths were sent from relatives including his father-in-law John Thomson and J.G and J.J. Pitarc, business associates of his son-in-law Charles Thomson. Both Charles and John Thomson were drapers in Greenwich, Kent. I know of no connection between the two families before the marriage of his daughter Gertrude Lelliott to Charles Thomson, a year previous, but this does suggest that Charles might have originally met his wife while visiting her father on business.

In his will Joseph left his eldest son Herbert the goodwill of the business and £150 worth of stock and plant of his choosing and he was also to be given the option of purchasing the remaining plant and stock and the freehold business premises. The money raised was to be given to Joseph's widow.

Susan died at Imrie, High Street on 3 March 1929. She left the freehold of the house to her daughter Mary who was living there at the time. Her son Herbert was to be given the option of purchasing the freehold of the business premises in Chatsworth Road. He had not taken up the option of buying this on the death of his father but took a lease instead.

photo of family and employees; 8 adult children

Family and Employees of Joseph Lelliott
Photo taken at back of Imrie, High Street, Worthing, about 1905



  1. Mary Kate Lelliott christened 26 February 1881 at Christ Church, Worthing

    Known as May. Mary together with her sister, Gertrude, used to stitch the blinds for their father's business. In 1929 she married Harry Hodger Chadwick Marsland. They lived at "Imrie" 29 high Street, Worthing. Harry died in Worthing, aged 69, in 1949 and Mary in 1964 also in Worthing aged 82. Mary was aged 47 when she married so there were no children.

  2. Herbert Charles Lelliott christened 12 July 1885, born Worthing

    He has his own page

  3. Gertrude Susannah Lelliott born 24 June 1886, Worthing

    She was called Betty but it is not known why. She used to stitch the blinds in her father's workshop until she married Charles Thomson on 17 April 1913 at Worthing. See her husband's page for details of her later life.

  4. Joseph Henry Lelliott born 8 April 1888, Worthing

    In 1912 he married Ethel Kate Feest, known as Dot, who lived in Montague Street and whose family were market gardeners. Joseph was in the navy from June 1917 to March 1918, being discharged to the RAF. He later became a fruiterer with a shop in Montague Street, Worthing which he sold to Marks & Spencer as they wanted the site to build their new store. Joseph died in 1964 at Worthing aged 76 and Ethel died in 1977 aged 91. They are buried in the same grave in Durrington Cemetery. They had two children

    • Lawrence Henry born 1917, Worthing
    • Robert Joseph born 1922, Worthing
  5. Dorothy Ella H Lelliott born 1894 Worthing

    Known as Dolly. In the 1911 census she is an apprentice in millinary showrooms. In 1914 she married Lionel A Williams at Greenwich, Kent and died shortly after giving birth to her first child in 1915. Her son was raised by relatives of his father but he did later become involved in the blind making business.

    • Lionel John Hay Williams born 1915 Woowich district

      He died in Worthing aged 36 in 1952.