Hugh born 24th February at Sans Souci, Posilipo, Naples. a villa about four miles out of Naples.The villa was built by his mother’s father, and she was brought up there.

Hugh brought to England as a baby and left with his sister Rosie, in the care of his Aunt Annie at Brandsby.
Cant. Thomas posted to Kilrush in Ireland as a Coastguard.

Hugh’s parents collected him from Brandsby.
As a family they lived first in Yarmouth, then Pocklington, then Ripon, Yorks. Hugh missed Brandsby and the countryside.

Captain Thomas Cholmeley succeeds to the estates of Brandsby cum Stearsby.
The family returns to live at Brandsby.
 Brandsby estate stands at 2743 acres.

Captain Thomas inherited the remains of the Fairfax estate, Gilling and Coulton

Captain Thomas takes the prefix Fairfax to family name in recognition of having come into the Fairfax estate.

Captain Thomas struggles with the economic difficulties of the Brandsby estate and in the mid-80s is forced to let the Hall.

Bad agricultural seasons and a collapse in estate rent rolls all over the country.

Hugh at school at Oscott college.

Hugh went up to Christchurch College, Oxford,
His mother obtained special permission from the RC authorities for him to go there.

In April, while still at Oxford, Hugh revisits the villa at Sans Souci for the first time.
In December: Hugh enters the Toynbee Hall Settlement as a resident.

11th April, Hugh comes into possession of the estate on the death of his father, which now totalled around 3200 acres.

May: Hugh moved from Toynbee to set up a community house at 49 Beaumont Square, Mile End, with Hubert Llewellyn Smith, A.P. (Arthur Pillans) Laurie and A.G. (Arthur George) Rogers.

Summer: Started the Reading Room in a vacant cottage in Brandsby village.

Autumn: got some of his friends to come to the Brandsby Reading Room to lecture and facilitate discussions.

Whitechapel School of Handicraft established in Globe Road.

Early part of year spent in Italy and Switzerland on account of his health.

2) First Sunday in May, back in London in time for big Labour demonstration. 

Visited Sheffield in the company of Edward Carpenter and met Socialists, craftsmen and employers. Visited Carpenter’s house at Millthorpe. Stayed in Sheffield with George Hukin’s, the razor grinder,house. Next day visited socialist manufacturing works, Gem & Co in particular, owned by Fox, another friend of Carpenter.

16th August – 14th Sept: The Great Dock Strike, Hugh his associates all involved.

January: Hugh works all winter with Harry Nicholls of the Dockers Union, trying to establish an agricultural workers union around the Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire borders. They made trips into Oxford and spoke there to gain moral and financial support.

First County Council election. Hugh campaigns in Brandsby and surroundings to upset the ruling clique

J.J. Dent came to visit and advised Hugh to affiliate the Reading Room Club to the CIU. 

Hugh got the circulating library to also include the Brandsby Reading Room.

Plans for a Reading Room at Gilling, but this did not materialise.

First dance held for the Reading Room club.

First technical education lectures instituted by the County Council, Hugh applied for a course which was held at Brandsby Hall.

Hugh breaks up the ‘Vestry clique’, demanding open election to the Parish Council.

Hugh starts work on planning his house at Mill Hill with Detmar Blow as architect.

Hugh engages Blow to create plans for the fold yard at Low Farm.

Mill Hill sufficiently finished for friends to come and stay.

1893 or 5
Gilling Castle sold to Legard (former tenant)

Hugh attends Sunday afternoon gatherings at York Powell’s house in Bedford Square, London an meets H.M. Paget, the artist.

Second Reading Room dance, 94 attending.

Blow designs two cottages in the village to house the mason and the carpenter. These are now Bar House.

Hugh sets up the Brandsby Dairy Co-operative Association in the Stables at Brandsby Hall.

July/August, General election: Hugh campaigns for liberal candidate Harold Reckitt (of Reckitt’s blue laundry bags).

Hugh engages G.P. Bankart to do designs for improvements of the Manor House at Stearsby.

Brandsby Bath House built to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. The Bath House operated until 1967.

49 Beaumont Square house in London abandoned through lack of money.
The Craft School in Globe Road continued until 1915.

Hugh engages Bankhart to design and organise renovations at Warren House Farm.

Brandsby Co-op shop built in the village. 

Hugh engages Professor Sommerville, Dept. of Agriculture, University of Cambridge and Board of Agriculture, to do a comprehensive report on all the woodlands on the estate (38 lots in total).

Prof. Sommerville ordered new stock of young trees from Germany on Hugh’s behalf.

Agricultural Organisation Society Ltd inaugurated. Hugh a founding committee member.

29 October, Hugh marries Alice Moverley, at St. Dominic’s Priory, Hampstead, London.
H.M. Paget paints Alice’s portrait as a wedding present.

Hugh takes a studio flat, 6 Wychcombe Gardens, Hampstead. By now, Hugh spending a lot of time in London on AOS business.

20th September birth of Hugh’s first son, Francis William Alfred, Hampstead.

NER steam lorry/rail service, between Brandsby and Tollerton station.

Both steam shed for the lorry and a depot built for BATA.

30th November birth of eldest daughter, Mary Elizabeth (Elsie), Hampstead.

Steam lorry service amended to run from Brandsby, Crayke and Stillington, to Easingwold station.

Dairy building built in the village.  Design by Alfred Powell.

31 October, birth of second son, Richard Hugh at Hampstead. Hampstead Studio abandoned, family returned full time to Brandsby.

Alfred Powell designed the kitchen garden, Mill Hill entrance, including the gate and posts, and other outdoor features at Mill Hill

Hugh started the first account of his life.

Following some sales, the Brandsby Estate then comprised of 2,871 acres, most of this lay in the township of Brandsby, but with small woodlands in Coulton (35 acres), Grimston (41 acres) and Gilling (9 acres),

Alfred Powell designed new wing for Mill Hill. Mill Hill let out. Hugh and family living in Brandsby Hall with a lodger.

27 October, birth of second daughter Joan Alys at Portsmouth.

Brandsby Light Railway proposal approved at North Riding Quarter Sessions.

Work started on planning and building of a village hall

Brandsby Hall sold to Major Pearson with some land.

Town Hall opened – named Cholmeley Hall.

Treasury agrees grant of £20,000 to Brandsby Light Railway.
Public meetings called at Brandsby, Stillington and Sutton -on-the-Forest to raised the other £20,000 needed. 

Hugh decides to live at Brighton, with his family for the forseeable future.

Mill Hill appears also to have been sold by this time.

Opening of the village or ‘town’ hall, including a presentation to Hugh of his portrait from villagers and tenants.

Hugh gives £50 towards the Library and Recreation Room he hoped one day to see alongside it.

Hugh writes main account of his life and work.

3rd July, birth of third daughter, Rosamond Edith at Brighton.

Hugh and family returned to Brandsby to live at SpellaPark.

At Foulrice Farm two rooms added to the house and farm buildings improved.

Death of Hugh’s mother, Rosalie, née St Quentin, Fairfax-Cholmeley.

Hugh becomes Master of Ruskin’s Guild of St George. He remained Master until 1934.

Alice in hospital in May for removal of a cist on her thyroid gland. Hugh has to look after the children with Elsie (Joan and Rosamond). 

Swathgill house being built and gardens and surroundings being planned. Alfred Powell, architect.

Daughter Elsie returns home and commences being trained in farm and estate work.

Hugh and family move to live at Swathgill.

Hugh’s son Richard goes into partnership with H.M. Shepherd-Cross and takes over management of the in-hand farms, Swathgill, Valley Farm, Snargate Farm and some other lands.

Hugh negotiates renewal and formalising of the Town Hall committee, disbands the now defunct Working Men’s Club and promises to hand over ownership of the Hall land to the Trustees as soon as the Committee is in order.

Due to money pressures, Hugh plans to let Swathgill House and go to live at Snargate. This plan not implemented, Snargate Farm House sold instead.

14th April, death of Hugh Charles Fairfax-Cholmeley.

Estate sold.


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