Frederick Leith

Occupation: Solicitor, Landowner, JP for Kent & Cinque Ports

The Lease for 8 The Strand

According to Charles Elvin in his ‘History of Walmer and Walmer Castle’, in the early part of the reign of George 3rd two naval surgeons, named Pack and Leith, contracted with the Admiralty to, ‘victual and render medical assistance to the sick and wounded’. It seems the pair used an old hospital, owned by Leith, which stood on the site of the later, Admiralty owned, Royal Marine Infirmary, to deliver care to sick and wounded seamen.

There is not much doubt that the contract with the hospital and possibly similar contracts made Leith’s fortune enabling him in 1789 to purchase the Walmer Court estate from William Western Hugessen.

The Leith family owned huge swathes of land in Walmer, including The Strand where they erected the impressive row of shops and homes we see today. Two of these buildings were eventually leased to Edward Rose the tailor and James Peake the chemist.

Frederick Leith was the youngest surviving son of George Urmstone Leith Esq of Walmer Court and Elizabeth, daughter of John Sladden, Esq. Of Herne. Kent. In 1846 he married Elizabeth Williams it seems that this marriage produced no children. In 1871 he married Jane Ball daughter of Warren Squire Bradley, Commander RN of Strete, Devon and swiftly set about rectifying this with his young, second wife. There was an age gap of 28 years. 

Frederick Wingfield Leith

Their eldest son Frederick Wingfield Leith inherited the estate on the death of his father. Frederick jnr was sent to Dartmouth to train to as a Naval Officer where he remained until he was 19 years old and despite being thought ‘zealous and promising’ by his superiors he failed to impress and resigned. Frederick then seemed to spend the rest of his life ( apart from a stint in the Royal Naval Reserves during WW1 ) living the life of a landed gentleman.

Three Divorce Cases

He was named in three divorces and eventually died in a beautiful house on the Quay in Burnham on Crouch, Essex where he was living with his third wife, Lily and youngest son Frederick. He never lost his love of the sea and is to be found in the 1911 Census crewing a yacht on the Hamble in Hampshire with his lover, Florence. 

Name Born Baptised Married Died Buried
Frederick Leith 1818 1 July 1818
St. Mary’s, Walmer 
1) Elizabeth Alice Williams
31 August 1846
Shoreditch, LondonBorn

2) Jane Ball Bradley
October 1871
Kingsbridge, Devon

Liverpool House, Walmer
3 October 1889
St. Mary’s, Walmer

The Children of Frederick Leith & Jane Ball Bradley

Name Born Baptised Married Died Buried
Frederick Wingfield  22 August 1872 Dartmouth, Devon   26 September  1872 St. Petrox, Dartmouth.  1)Helen Philip (Divorcee)
13 October 1897
St. Pancras

2)Florence Gertrude Marden (Divorcee)

3)Lilian J Spurgin 1932

wanwick, Hampshire 
Henry Hugesson 27 May 1874
16 June 1874
St. Mary’s Walmer 
Unknown Presume an infant death  Not found
Florence  1875
28 October 1875 St. Mary’s, Walmer  Reynell James Pack Beresford
St Mary’s, Walmer 
George Piercy 1877 2 September 1877
St. Mary’s, Walmer
Unknown Unknown
Alexander James 1879
18 May 1879
St. Mary’s, Walmer
Killed in Action
Departement de la Somme, Picardie, France


Year Address Name Relationship Occupation
1841 Not Found


Year Address Name Relationship Occupation
1851 15 Russell Place, Islington, London Frederick Head Solicitor
Elizabeth A


Year Address Name Relationship Occupation
1861 5, Bronte Villas, Milton, Gravesend Frederick Solicitor
Elizabeth Wife
Charlotte C Dawson Sister Sip Builder’s Wife
Julia Seamark Servant Cook
Mary R Easdown Servant House Servant


Year Address Name Relationship Occupation
1871 New Quay Castle Hotel, St Saviour, Totnes, Devon Frederick Boarder Gentleman


Year Address Name Relationship Occupation
1881 Liverpool Road Frederick Head J.P. For Kent And Cinque Ports Land Owner
Jane B Wife
Henry H Son
Florence Daughter
George P Son
Alexander J Son
Clara A Chandler Servant
Louisa C Arnold Servant
Ellen Q Pullen Servant

Poll Books (selected)

Year Profession Residence
1856 Liverpool House (Cottage & Garden) Castle Street, Walmer
1859 7 Furnivals Inn , Holborn, London(Freehold House & Garden)
Qualifying property to vote in Kent –
Liverpool House, Walmer
1861 Liverpool House Castle Street, Walmer (Cottage & Garden)  in joint occupancy with James Leith
1871-1875 Liverpool House (Freehold buildings and land) & Walmer Court Farm
1885 Liverpool House, Liverpool Road Walmer
Sources and further reading:
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