Brighton and Hove people: M

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MACDONA, Charles
Dublin-born actor. In 1921 he founded the Macdona Players, which specialised in productions of Bernard Shaw plays, for which he had the touring rights, which included his base at the Regent Theatre in King's Cross, London. He was the first to produce the previously banned Mrs Warren's Profession commercially in the UK. He died in Brighton.
McKAY, Jock
Scottish comedian and actor (real name Maxwell Kuttner), who appeared in a dozen films between 1933 and 1957. White Walls, 13 Founthill Avenue, Saltdean [residence 1939- ]
McNAIR, Squadron Leader Robin John
Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, son of a banker, but sent to boarding school in England. The family returned to England and settled in Hove shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War. He joined the Royal Air Force in 1939 and as a pilot took part in the Battle of Britain in 1940, the raid on Dieppe in 1942 and the Normandy landings in 1944. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) and bar. He played scrum half for Brighton & Hove Rugby Club and was a leading batsman at cricket for Hove. McNair Court, Portland Road*
8 Norton Road [residence c1939]
MADDICK, Edmund Distin CBE
Born in Clerkenwell, London, the son of an advertising agent, Maddick qualified as a surgeon in 1879 and was commissioned in the Naval Medical Service in 1887. He became Admiral Surgeon in the Royal Navy and a prominent socialite, friend of Edward VII, George V and Edward VIII, who entertained Edward VII and the King of Italy, among others. In 1903 he bought the former Prince of Wales Theatre in Tottenham Street, London and adjacent properties. To a design by Frank T Verity, he converted them into the Scala Theatre, reopening in 1905. It was here in 1911 that Charles Urban began the very successful Kinemacolor presentations. [The score for Things to Come (1936) was recorded there and much of the Beatles' A Hard Day's Night was filmed there.] Maddick was well connected—his wife's cousin was Field Marshall Viscount Byng of Vimy, one of the top three British commanders in the second half of the First World War—and he was appointed by the army as Director of Kinematograph Operations, although he served in France early in the war and rose to the rank of major. He produced the official film of The Battle of the Somme (1916), which Urban edited. He was awarded an OBE in January 1918. He left £98,648 11s. His mausoleum in West Norwood Cemetery is now Grade II listed. Little Courtenay, Courtenay Terrace [residence -1938]
'Fyfteen', 15 Grand Avenue [residence and deathplace 1939]
MAHOMED, Sake Deen
MAHOMED, Frederick
MAHOMED, Frederick (Henry Horatio) Akbar
MAHOMED, James Kerriman
Sake Deen Mahomed was a surgeon and entrepreneur, born in Patna. Before coming to Brighton in 1814, Mahomed published a book about his travels, regarded as the first book in English by an Indian author, and opened the first Indian restaurant in Britain in London in 1810. He opened his indoor baths in Pool Valley, using warm sea water. He introduced shampooing with Indian oils and, with the addition of vapour, pioneered aromatherapy. He treated George IV and William IV at the Royal Pavilion. He is buried in St Nicholas Churchyard.
Portrait of Sake Dean Mahomed by Samuel Drummond
Frederick Mahomed, Sake Deen Mahomed's son, trained a dancer and began his career in Liverpool. Back in Brighton at the age of 20 he established an academy in Preston Street to teach gymnastics, fencing and callistenics.
Frederick Akbar Mahomed was the son of Frederick and grandson of Sake Deen Mahomed. A pioneer in the treatment of hypertension, he is noted for the development of the sphygmomanometer for measuring blood pressure. He died young of typhoid fever while working at the London Fever Hospital and is buried in Highgate Cemetery.1
James Kerriman Mohamed, another grandson of Sake Deen Mahomed, graduated from Oxford, was ordained and became vicar of Hove.
49 Preston Street [Frederick's academy c1840-c1847]
109 Church Street [Frederick's academy c1847-c1851]
2 Black Lion Street

1 Cameron, J Stewart & Hicks, Jackie: 'Frederick Akbar Mahomed and his role in the description of hypertension at Guy's Hospital' in Kidney International, vol 49, 1996
MAINSTONE, Francis Ignatious Dominic (Frank)
Born in Southend, son of a shoemaker who settled in Turville, Buckinghamshire. In 1881 he was a resident domestic servant at the Convent of the Sacred Heart in Preston, Brighton. At the time of his marriage in 1885 he lived in Cliftonville. By 1901 he was a pig keeper at Marmion Road, Hove and from c1905 a farmer in Mainstone Road, which may have been self-named initially as he was the only resident when it was first listed. He was the Duke of Portland's local bailiff. Mainstone Road [naming]
46 Wordsworth Street, Cliftonville [residence 1885]
The Cottage, Mainstone Road, Aldrington [residence and deathplace 1905-1926]
MAITLAND, Admiral of the Fleet Sir Thomas, KCB, 11th Earl of Lauderdale
Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Station in 1860-1862.
Portrait by Benjamin Cheverton
21 Adelaide Crescent [residence 1859-1864]
MANTELL, Gideon Algernon
Surgeon and archaeologist, lived in the house in Old Steine that housed the Sussex Scientific Institution and Mantellian Museum from 1833 until his archaeological collection was sold to the British Museum in 1838. 20 Old Steine [residence 1833-38]
MARRIOTT, Rt Hon Sir William Thackeray
MP for Brighton from 1880 to 1893. 22 Brunswick Square
d 1899
Headmaster of Brighton Grammar School 1861-1899. 79 Buckingham Road
MARX, Eleanor
Daughter of Karl Marx, lodged in Vernon Terrace in c.1873 when supporting herself as a teacher at a school run by the Misses Hall in Sussex Square. 6 Vernon Terrace
Sussex Square
MARX, Emile (Maurice)
A solicitor (Marx & Thompson) at 52 North Street, one-time owner of the Devil's Dyke estate and a captain in the 1st Sussex Royal Engineeers (Volunteers). He was mayor of Brighton in 1903/04 and became a member of the Earl of Sussex masonic lodge on 25 April 1903. He moved to London by 1919 and left £11,421 6s 3d. 6 Buckingham Road [residence]
50 Buckingham Road [residence 1903]
8 Hanover Crescent [residence 1909-1918]
MAUGHAM, Robert Cecil (Robin), 2nd Viscount Maugham
Playwright, novelist and screenwriter, nephew of the novelist W Somerset Maugham. 2 Brunswick Terrace [residence 1957-1968]
5 Clifton Terrace [residence 1976-1981]
MAXWELL, Col Sir William Alexander of Calderwood, 8th bt
30 Adelaide Crescent [residence 1862]
27 Adelaide Crescent [residence 1864-1865, deathplace]
MAYALL, John Jabez Edwin
Photographer, opened a studio on 18 July 1864. Mayor of Brighton in 1877-78. 90-91 King's Road
MEADE, Theodosia (née Hawkins-Magill), Countess of Clanwilliam
The heiress of Robert Hawkins-Magill of Gill Hall, Co Down, who died when she was only 18 months old. Some sources say she was born in Brighton. In 1765 she married John Meade, who succeeded to a baronetcy but was created successively Baron Gillford, Viscount Clanwilliam and Earl of Clanwilliam. She died in Brighton 'after a fortnight's illness' and was buried at St Peter's, Preston.
Portrait by Thomas Gainsborough
Violet Melnotte was born Emma Solomon in Birmingham. She became a professional actress around the age of 20, made her London début in 1880 and toured the English provinces in comic operas and pantomime until she took over the Avenue Theatre for a season in 1885. In autumn 1885 she presented and appeared in the comic opera Erminie at the Comedy Theatre, Birmingham, which went on to great success. Also in the cast was Frank Wyatt (1852-1926), whom she married at the fashionable St George’s, Hanover Square in 1886. (Wyatt is best known as the creator of the role of the Duke of Plaza-Toro in the Gilbert & Sullivan opera The Gondoliers.) They built the Trafalgar Square Theatre, the first theatre on St Martin’s Lane, London, in 1892, renaming it the Duke of York’s three years later. In the census of 1901 she shaved eight years off her age and her birthplace had become Warwick.
      Who's Who in the Theatre (1925) says she built several ‘picture theatres’ (there was one in Brixton), including the Duke oF YorK’s in Brighton in 1910—the first purpose-built cinema in the area and now the oldest surviving one in the country. Violet Melnotte Picture Theatres Ltd, which owned the Duke of York’s, was bankrupt within a year but continued in business until she sold the cinema in 1918. By the 1920s she had reverted to calling herself Miss Melnotte and gave her address as the Duke of York’s Theatre. Frank Wyatt died in 1926 and Violet continued to run the London theatre until she sold it in 1928 but resumed ownership in 1933 until her death. In later life her Brighton base was at the Metropole Hotel.
Duke of York's Cinema, Preston Circus (1910)
MELVILL, Sir Peter Melvill KCB
Son of the governor of Pendennis Castle, Cornwall, where he was born. Joined the Bombay Army on 1819. He served in administrative various, including as secretary to the government of Bombay from 1840 to 1859. He retired with the honorary rank of major-general in 1861. In 1886 he succeeded his next-door neighbour, Field Marshall Sir Richard Dacres, as president of the Hove Club. 27 Palmeira Square [residence 1862-1895]
Humorous writer and occasional performer, most of whose work was for television where, in addition to writing he also presented programmes and was briefly a panellist on What's My Line. He first encountered moving pictures in 1952, when he wrote dialogue for an Anna Neagle film, Derby Day, and had two stage plays filmed: Castle in the Air, for which he wrote the screenplay, and Hot Ice, possibly made at Brighton Film Studios. 17 Clifton Terrace [residence 1951-1973]
18 Victoria Street [residence 1973-1983]
MERRIFIELD, Mary Philadelphia
MERRIFIELD, Charles Watkins
MERRIFIELD, Henry Constable
Mary Philadelphia Merrifield [right] was the daughter of barrister Sir Charles Watkins and born in Brompton, Middlesex, she married John Merrifield, also a barrister. By 1835 they were living in Brighton. Her first book, Treatise of Painting, was a translation from the Italian of Cennino Cennini in 1844. Two years later she published The Art of Fresco Painting, a commission by the Royal Commission on the Fine Arts. Her paintings were included when the first art exhibition was held in the newly civic-acquired Royal Pavilion. Her Brighton Past and Present was published in 1857, when she was also awarded an annual £100 civil list pension. She became an expert on marine algae and seaweed and published on that subject as well as a scientific approach to dress. She appears to have left Brighton following the death of her husband in 1877. She died at her daughter's home in Chesterton, Cambridgeshire.
Charles Watkins Merrifield [right], eldest son of John and Mary Philadelphia Merrifield, was a mathematician and barrister but never practiced at the bar. He was an examiner in the Department of Public Education and honorary secretary of the Royal Institute of Naval Architects and principal of the Royal School of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering 1867-1873. He served on several Royal Commissions and died in Hove.
Henry Constable Merrifield, the second son, sailed to New York in 1850 and joined the army; he died a civil-war Confederate soldier in Virginia in 1862.
Frederic Merrifield was the third son of Mary Philadelphia Merrifield, born in Lambeth. Barrister and clerk to the East Sussex County Council. In 1865 he and his wife were founders of the Brighton branch of the National Society for Women's Suffrage with Henry and Millicent Fawcett; his daughter Flora was a local campaigner for women's suffrage. He was chair of Brighton School of Art in 1877 and, having published numerous papers on lepidoptera, was president of the Royal Entomological Society in 1905-06. He died in Hove.
4 Grand Parade [family residence 1841-1846]
8 Dorset Gardens [family residence 1848]
23 Dorset Gardens [family residence 1851]
2 Dorset Gardens [family residence 1854-1877]
45 Church Road [Charles's residence 1884, deathplace]
3 Prince Albert Street [Frederic's practice 1861-1875]
2 Prince Albert Street [Frederic's practice 1877-1886]
24 Vernon Terrace [Frederic's residence 1872-1906]
14 Clifton Terrace [Frederic's residence 1907-1924]
METTERNICH, Prince Klemens Wenzel Nepomuk Lothar von
When forced from office as Austrian Chancellor in 1848, the year of revolutions throughout Europe, stayed in Brunswick Terrace.
Portrait by Lawrence
33 Brunswick Terrace
Clergyman and teacher, born in Lewes. He was a fellow of Clare Hall, Cambridge and ran a school in Nile Street in the 1770s, which was attended by Arthur Wellesley, the future Duke of Wellington. Vicar of Brighton from 1744 until his death. He had 16 children by Faith Reade, whom he married at Maresfield in 1747; eight of them did not survive beyond childhood. He wrote on classical antiquities and was the maternal grandfather of Rev H M Wagner. Nile Street
MICHELL, James Charles
Attorney, born in Brighton, 15th child (fifth surving son) of Rev Henry Michell. He married Catherine Constantia Abmuty. Uncle of Rev H M Wagner. 68 Great East Street [office, residence 1833]
MIGHELL family (pron my-ell) Landed proprietors to the east of the town centre.
      Philip Mighell was a farmer, who assigned the New Steine Pleasure Ground in 1806.
      Richard Mighell
Mighell Street
New Steine
43 Albany Villas
Music hall comedian, the 'Cheeky Chappie', whose statue stands in New Road. His final home, from 1948 until his death, was in Burlington Street. 25 Hereford Street [birthplace]
25 Burlington Street
3 Rose Hill Terrace [residence 1929-1931]
2 Prince's Terrace [residence c1932]
160 Marine Parade [residence 1936-1946]
25 Burlington Street [residence 1948-1963]
Author of Homeopathy: the first authoritative study of its place in medicine today. The eastern pillars at the entrance to Lewes Crescent bear a plaque of unknown origin to Mitchell and his wife Anne, who lived in the crescent 1960-1983. 19 Lewes Crescent [residence] *[on pillar]
Businessman, member of the firm of Mocatta and Goldsmid, from which he retired to pursue philanthropic works. Father of architect David Mocatta. 122 King's Road
MONTEFIORE, Jacob Barrow
A merchant, born in Barbados, who was active in the formation of the South Australia colony in the 1830s-1840s, being appointed one of the 11 original commissioners in 1834. He was in business with his brother Joseph Barrow Montefiore. His brother Horatio married Rebecca Mocatta, daughter of the architect David Mocatta.
Portrait by Barnett Samuel Marks
1 Oriental Place
32 Grand Parade [deathplace]
Eva Moore [right] was born at 67 Preston Street on 9 February 1870 and made her stage début in 1887. She and her sister were active suffragettes in the Actresses' Franchise League and other organisations. She appeared in 28 films, successfully making the transition from silents to talkies. In 1932 she made two films in the USA. She married the actor Henry V Esmond and had two children: Jack Esmond, the racing driver, and Jill Esmond, the actress and first wife of Laurence Olivier. She died at Maidenhead on 27 April 1955.
Decima Moore [right] was the ninth daughter (and tenth child—hence Decima) of the Sussex county analytical chemist. She was born on 11 December 1871 and grew up at 21 Regency Square. She attended Miss Pringle's school in Lansdowne Place, Hove, followed by Boswell House College in Brighton. She won a scholarship to study singing at the Blackheath Conservatoire and made her stage début in 1889 with the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company, creating a leading role in The Gondoliers. She went on to star in a number of West End productions, making her last London appearance in 1914. She and her fellow suffragettes used stage and film for their cause. She was active on war work in France during the Great War, for which she was awarded the CBE, and devoted much of the rest of her life to charity work, appearing in only one film, Nine Till Six (1932), which starred Elizabeth Allan. She died in Kensington on 18 February 1964.
67 Preston Street [Eva's birthplace]
21 Regency Square [family residence]
MOORSOM, Lt-Col Robert
His uncle was Admiral Sir Robert Moorsom KCB and his brother Commander William Moorson RN, a specialist in naval gunnery who invented Moorson's Director (a portable device for directing fire of ships of the line) and the first practical percussion fuse for use with spherical shells. As chairman of the Board of Guardians he laid the foundation stone of the workhouse in Elm Grove (now Brighton General Hospital) on 11 May 1865. He died in San Remo, Italy. His brother William died at Robert's home. 6 Vernon Terrace [residence c1854-1867]
MOSLEY, Sir Oswald 4th bt
MOSLEY, Sir Oswald 5th bt
 Sir Oswald Mosley [right] 4th bt, lived in Brighton before he succeeded as 4th Baronet in 1890.
Sir Oswald Mosley [far right] 5th bt, lived in Brighton with his father, the 4th baronet, until 1890. He was father of the 6th Bt, politician and founder of the British Union of Fascists.
14 Chichester Terrace [residence]
MOWATT, Rt Hon Sir Francis CB
Permanent Secretary to the Treasury (1894-1903). See also Erik Stenbock. Withdeane Hall, Approach
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Page updated 3 October 2021