Brighton and Hove people: C

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Born in Brighton, the son of itinerant actors. On stage he spent much of his career in the USA. He had a limited but significant connection with the cinema: he played in King John (1899), starring Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree and directed by William K L Dickson (who defined 35mm film when working for Edison) and Walter Pfeffer Dando for British Mutoscope and Biograph Company—almost certainly the first ever film of a Shakespeare play (albeit only two minutes long). He made only one more film, for Hepworth in 1913. In 1918 he wrote a book, Problems of the Actor, which is still available1. 1Problems of the Actor
CAMELFORD, 1st Baron
Camelford Street
CAMPBELL, John, Marquess of Lorne
Married Princess Louise, Queen Victoria's fourth daughter, on 21 March 1871 and was heir to the dukedom of Argyll. COMMEMORATION
Argyle Road
Campbell Road
Lorne Road
CANNING, Rt Hon George
MP at age 23, supporter of William Pitt and prime minister for four months before his death in office, lived in Brighton (see plaque on the former Royal Crescent Hotel). COMMEMORATION
Canning Street
Royal Crescent Mansions, Marine Parade
CARDEN, Alderman Sir Herbert
Herbert CardenSolicitor and socialist local politician, served as mayor of Brighton for three terms from 1916 to 1919. He played a major part in the development of Brighton. COMMEMORATION
Carden Avenue
Carden Close
Carden Crescent
Carden Hill
30 Old Steine
Magistrate, chairman of the Brighton bench; first chairman of the Hove Commissioners. Born in Saltash, Cornwall. Royal Naval lieutenant on half pay (1851). Father of Edward Carpenter. 45 Brunswick Square
Poet, pioneer socialist and gay writer, was born in Brunswick Square, son of Charles Carpenter, and educated at Brighton College. 45 Brunswick Square
CARSON, Rt Hon Sir Edward KC MP
Lived at Northgate House in Bazehill Road, Rottingdean around the time he became the founder leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (1912) and formed the loyalist paramilitary organisation, the Ulster Volunteers (1913). Bazehill Road
Martyr. Black Lion, 37 Black Lion Street
CASEY, Terance
Terance CaseyResident organist at the Regent Cinema, Brighton, playing the Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre organ imported from the USA. Between 1930 and 1934 he made a number of recordings for Columbia at the Regent. Born in Leeds, he lived in Brighton in the mid 1920s but moved to Henfield. 32 Devonshire Place [residence]
Regent Cinema, Queen's Road and North Street
CATHCART, General Sir George
English soldier. aide-de-camp to the Duke of Wellington at the battles of Waterloo and Quatre Bras in 1815. He was appointed colonial governor of the British Cape Colony, South Africa, where he granted the first constitution and defeated the Basutos, ending the 8th Cape Frontier war. He died at the battle of Inkerman during the Crimean war. 2 Lewes Crescent [residence]
CATT, Charles
Brewer and landowner, born at Bishopstone, son of farmer and miller William Catt (1776-1853), who operated at Newhaven Tidemills. Brother of Henry Willett. He retired to Summer Hill at Lindfield by 1881, where he died. He left £174,312 19s 11d (equivalent of £22.2m in 2019). 52 (previously 44) Middle Street [residence 1852-1881]
CATT, Charles William
Master brewer. Born in Brighton, son of Charles Catt, baptised in the Chapel Royal. He sold off his business in 1899, retired and moved to Derbyshire. 7 Cambridge Road [residence 1881-1884]
52 Middle Street [residence 1885-1896]
CATT, William
Brewer, partner in the firm of Vallance & Catt in West Street. He died at Newhaven as a result of injuries and shock when nearly thrown from his gig on the cliffs at Kemp Town.
CAVENDISH, William George Spencer KG, 6th Duke of Devonshire
Landowner and Whig politician. Inherited 200,000 acres of land when he succeeded to the dukedom at the age of 21. Close friend of the Prince Regent and a leading courtier at his coronation as George IV. As president of the Royal Horticultural Society from 1838 to 1858, he established the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew.
Image: Portrait by Thomas Lawrence
13 Chichester Terrace/1 Lewes Crescent
Surgeon and anaesthetist. Trained at St George's Hospital, London, where he was one of the authors of Nine Medical Songs (1895). He was a house surgeon in Swansea before coming to the Royal Sussex County Hospital. By 1939 he had retired to The Limes Nursing Home in Ditchling, where he died. COMMEMORATION
Chadborn Close
10 Cambridge Road [residence 1905-1938]
CHANNON, John Henry Whitlock (Jack)
Local cinema exhibitor with the Sussex Picturedrome Company, which acquired the Duke oF York's Cinema, Brighton in 1918 and the Pavilion Cinema, Portslade around the same time. Born in Woolwich, the son of a vet. 135 Preston Road [childhood home]
Dundalk, Stanford Avenue [residence 1911]
CHART, John (Jack)
This sergeant-major briefly turned actor directed four films for James Williamson in 1908, in all of which he also appeared. According to Williamson's son Alan, Chart was a PE instructor at an army reserve post near Brighton. (Could that be Preston Barracks?) In his book The Romance of the Movies (London: Heinemann, 1937), Leslie Wood proposes that Chart was a minor heartthrob and could have been the first actor to be of greater interest to the audience than the films he was in; Alan Williamson said he was popular with audiences. Penny postcard portraits of Chart were sold at shows of his films—an unusual, even unprecedented promotional move. It appears that after his brief film career he ran the Sea Serpent PH in Gloucester Road, Brighton. 83 Gloucester Road [residence, business]
CHATFIELD, Frederick
Frederick ChatfieldBorn in Brighton. In 1826, after eight years of military service, he was appointed consul at Memel (now Klaipėda in Lithuania) and was in Aachen during the Belgian revolution of 1830. His reports of a cholera outbreak in Memel in 1831 led the foreign secretary, Lord Palmerston, to appoint Chatfield consul at Warsaw and in 1833 as consul to the Federal Republic of Central America. He remained in that region until his retirement in 1852. He donated an obelisk and fountain in Victoria Gardens to the town in 1871. Chatfield also donated a portrait of his mother to Brighton Museum in 1872.
Image: National Portrait Gallery
CLARKE, Somers
Born in Southwick, son of a vicar. Solicitor in the firm of Attree & Clarke. Vestry Clerk of Brighton 1830-1892 and father of architect George Somers Clarke. He left £91,469 19s 8d. His bust is in Brighton Town Hall. 27 Oriental Place [residence before 1845-1854]
57 Regency Square [residence 1856-1892]
CLEMENTS Sir John (Selby)
Best known as a stage actor and as the second artistic director of the Chichester Festival Theatre, succeeding his friend and neighbour Laurence Olivier, he made a number of films and television appearances between 1935 and 1982, including South Riding (1938), The Four Feathers (1939), Oh! What a Lovely War (1969) and Gandhi (1982). He had previously had more minor roles in Alexander Korda's Things to Come and Rembrandt (both 1936). 7 Royal Crescent [residence]
CLIFTON, Lieut-General Sir Arthur Benjamin GCB KCH KSA KSW
Decorated for his part in the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, when he commanded the Second Union Cavalry Brigade, he succeeded Prince Albert as Colonel of the 11th (Prince Albert's Own) Regiment of (Light) Dragoons (Hussars) in 1842. He lived on to be the oldest knight in the country by the age of 97. He died, unmarried, at his home in Old Steine, where he had lived for at least 30 years.
Image: Portrait by William Salter
56 Old Steine [residence]
CLIVES, Captain See Alfred Holmes
COBB, Alderman George, Jr
Attorney, who inherited a half-share in the Theatre Royal from his uncle, Hewitt Cobb, in 1822 and bought the other half share for £1,650 in 1842. He was a friend of J M W Turner and may have drawn up the painter's will. 1 Hampton Terrace [residence]
Theatre Royal, New Road
COBBOLD, Charles H
Brighton-born son of a wine merchant. A music hall artiste, describing himself as a physical culturist and gymnastic instructor, who appeared in two films made by James Williamson: No Bathing Allowed (1903) and The Acrobatic Tramps (1902), the latter apparently anticipating Charlie Chaplin by more than a decade, although tramp characters were not unfamiliar in films of the time. John Cobbold, his brother, also a gymnastics instructor, appeared with him in The Acrobatic Tramps. 43 Western Road Hove [father's business, home in infancy]
4 Stirling Terrace (<1891-c1900) [family home]
54 Stirling Place [family home becoming own residence c1901-c1931]
63 Wilbury Road [residence]
45 Norton Road [death]
COCHRAN, Sir Charles Blake (CB)
Theatrical impresario and pioneer of the intimate revue. 15 Prestonville Road* [birthplace]
Sir Edward CodingtonJoined the Royal Navy in 1883. RIsing steady, he was commissioning commander in 1805 of HMS Orion, in which he fought at the Battle of Trafalgar. Appointed naval commander-in-chief in the Mediterranean from 1826, he triggered (and won) the Battle of Navarino when he sailed into the bay there. This secured Greek independence from Turkey. MP for Devonport 1832-1839. Commander-in-chief Portsmouth 1839-1842. His two surviving sons had distinguished naval careers. The family retained ownership of properties in Western Road until 1899. COMMEMORATION
Codrington Mansions, 140 Western Road*
Codrington Place
Codrington House, Hampton Place
COHEN, Joseph
Born in Sokal, Austria, son of a tailor who came to England and settled in Carlton Hill. In his early married days, before setting up on his own account, he had lived in Grand Parade. He took over the Hove Cinematograph Theatre (later the Tivoli, then the Embassy) in partnership with John Harris in 1916, was described in the 1911 census as a financier (with the enumerator's pencilled annotation: 'moneylender'). 7 Carlton Hill [childhood residence]
20 Grand Parade [residence 1911]
3 Sillwood Street [residence 1916]
COHEN, Levy Emmanuel
Proprietor and editor of the Brighton Guardian. 39 Clarence Place [residence 1851]
Brighton-born actress, she appeared on stage in musical comedy, operetta and pantomime. She made only 16 films in a screen career that began in 1925 and lasted until 1953. Her only television appearance was in The Shop at Sly Corner, six weeks after the BBC television service had resumed in 1946, although she was replaced by Muriel Pavlov in the following year's film version.
COLLINGS, Arthur Albert (Esmé)
Photographer and pioneer film-maker, the first local person to move into cinematography, although he abandoned it within a year. Nonetheless, he is counted as one of the Hove Pioneers and sometimes credited with the world's first 'blue movie'. He made what is almost certainly the first film of a named performer, Auguste van Biene. As a photographer he had been in partnership with William Friese Greene in 1887-1888. 13 Alexandra Villas
120 Western Road, Hove
59 Dyke Road
89 King's Road
143 Ditchling Road
COMBRIDGE, John Theodore
Mathematician and educational administrator. Son of a retired butcher, educated at Brighton College. 5 Leopold Road [birthplace, childhod residence]
Ivy Compton-BurnettNovelist. Eldest of seven children Dr J C (James Compton) Burnett by his second wife, added to the six from his first marriage. Her father developed a number of properties in West Hove, particularly in St Leonard's Avenue. 20 The Drive* [residence 1897-1915]
William ConinghamLiberal MP. Resident in Kemptown, he was nominated to context the 1847 general election but was defeated, as he was in 1852 for the Westminster seat. He was returned as MP for Brighton in 1857 and 1859. In January 1864 he stood down on health grounds. His health restored, he stood again for Brighton in 1868 but was not elected. He was an art collector, notably of Italian old masters, and friend of Thomas Carlyle.
Image: Portrait by John Linnell
26 Sussex Square [residence]
John ConstableArtist. Visited Brighton on a number of occasions and painted scenes of the Beach and the fishing fleet, the Chain Pier, the downs and the area around his lodgings.
Image: Portrait of Constable by Charles Robert Leslie RA (c1830)
9 Sillwood Road* [residence 1824,1828]
COPINGER, Walter Arthur
Walter Arthur CopingerBarrister who wrote the standard legal reference work on copyright (now Copinger and Skone James on Copyright). He lived with his parents at various addresses in Brighton during his childhood and was educated at John Andrews' private school, Wellesley House. 5 Roundhill Crescent [childhood home]
18 Wellington Road [school]
COPLEY, John See 1st Baron Lyndhurst. Lyndhurst Road
COPPARD, A E (Alfred Edgar)
A E CoppardPoet and writer, born in Folkstone to a tailor and laundress, and with little education. He attended Lewes Hill Boarding School, leaving at the age of nine to serve as errand boy for a Jewish tailor in Whitechapel and then as ,=messenger for Reuter's Telegraph Agency. He returned to Brighton c1891 and worked as an office boy. At the turn of the century he was a clerk for a Brighton electrical engineer, living with his widowed Brighton-born mother. He moved to Oxford in 1907 after marrying. In his forties he was a member of the New Elizabethans literary group in Oxford, where he worked as a clerk and bookkeeper for a foundry and engineering firm. He became a full-time writer at the age of 41.
Image: portrait by Howard Coster, 1931 [National Portrait Gallery]
28 Melbourne Street [childhood residence]
27 Gladstone Place [residence 1901]
CORNFORD, Ernest James (Ernie)
Born and died in Brighton, he made only two known films, both directed by David Aylott for Williamson Kinematograph Company in 1909 with Cornford as an actor, although in the 1911 census he gave his occupation as cinematographer. 44 New Dorset Street [home in infancy to 1888]
9 Model Dwellings, Jew Street [childhood home]
27 Shanklin Road
Proprietor of 30 dry-cleaning shops with the Courtneys brand. Director of Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club from 1960 and chair from 1963 to 1968. A freemason and Rotarian, involved in the establishment of the Brighton Festival. COMMEMORATION
Courtney King House, 169 Eastern Road
Harry CowleyA Brighton chimney sweep and social activist and campaigner. Cowley Drive
33 Lincoln Street [birthplace]
Tailor. In 1928 he built Crowhurst Hall in memory of his first wife Charlotte Elizabeth, who died in a nursing home at 31 Brunswick Road in May 1927. He re-married in 1931. COMMEMORATION
Crowhurst Hall, Knoyle Road
57 Beaconsfield Villas [residence 1915-1943]
CROWN, Jacob (later James) Leslie
An American who became an early cinema exhibitor in Brighton. He appears to have arrived recently from Vienna when he opened the Coronation Cinema in North Road in 1911. At that time he was described as having 'private means'. In 1914 he took over the Palladium Cinema and sold the Coronation to George Bloch. He made regular Atlantic crossings during and after the First World War. After selling the Palladium to Blue Halls in 1924 he returned to the United States and in due course settled in Beverly Hills, California , where he had a vocal studio and gave his profession as teacher. 29 Denmark Villas [residence 1911]
60 The Drive [residence c1923-24]
CURWEN, Eldred Vincent Morris
Born at Workington Hall, Cumberland, son of Sir Edward Stanley Curwen. The Curwen family had estates in the north of England. His aunt was married to William Wordsworth's eldest son. In 1865 he married Hebe Emily Moritana Ogle, heiress to the Withdean estate, of which he became owner on his wife's death in 1889. He spent much of his time abroad and left administration of the estate to his daughter-in-law, Elizabeth Caroline Colebrook Gordon Curwen (qv below). His house, Capo Di Monte, in San Remo, Italy, where he died, was requisitioned by the Italian fascist government in the 1930s. COMMEMORATION
Eldred Avenue
CURWEN, Elizabeth Caroline Colebrook Gordon (née Cameron)
Born in Aden, eldest daughter and fourth of 11 children of General Sir William Gordon Cameron. In 1892 she married Chaloner Frederick Hastings Curwen, son of Eldred Curwen (qv above). After her husband's death in 1897, she effectively took over administration of the Withdean estate in her father-in-law's absence and was responsible for the gradual disposal of it. COMMEMORATION
Colebrook Road
CUSACK-SMITH, Colonel Sir (Thomas) Berry JP, 5th bt
HM Consul to Samoa 1890-1897, British Consulate-General, Valparaiso 1898-1907. During World War I he commanded to 1st Home Counties Brigade in India and Mesopamia. He is buried in Woodvale Cemetery. Aylesbury House, Furze Hill [residence 1913-1928]
CUSTANCE, Olive Eleanor (Lady Alfred Douglas)
Lady Alfred DouglasPoet, a member of the aesthetic movement of Aubrey Beardsley and Oscar Wilde among others. In 1902 she married Lord Alfred Douglas, Wilde's former lover, against her father's wishes. Although eventually they separated, they did not divorce and she moved to be near her husband's home in Nizell's Avenue, Hove. 8 Viceroy Lodge, Kingsway [residence]
45 Viceroy Lodge, 143 Kingsway [residence -1944]
47 Valley Drive [residence -1944]
CUTTS, (John Henry) Graham
Film director, born in Brighton but grew up in Eastbourne and attended St John's College at Hurstpierpoint. Having trained as a marine engineer, he started his film career as an exhibitor by 1909, moving into film-making as a director by 1922 in partnership with Herbert Wilcox. He was involved with Michael Balcon in founding Gainsborough Pictures in 1924, with the aim of making high-quality films for international audiences. However, he did not stay long at Gainsborough, despite his reputation as a highly regarded visual artist, although he continued to make popular films until the outbreak of war. in 1940 he joined World Wide Pictures where he made documentaries.
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Page updated 4 March 2022