Male portrait placeholder image

Name: John Raven

Burial Number: 0119

Gender: Male

Occupation: Curate; Rector; Canon; Minister; Anglican Priest;

Distinction: Pioneer Christian

Born: 14/03/1821

Died: 27/07/1886

Buried: 30/07/1886


Heene Hallmark

Rev John Raven 1821 – 1886

Pioneer Christian

John was born in Croydon, the son of Henry Richard and Ann. He was baptised at St John, Croydon on 22 June 1821. His father died in 1831. John studied at Caius College Cambridge in 1839 before transferring to Magdalene College. He gained a BA in 1844 and an MA in 1851. In 1846, John was appointed curate at Oxton in Nottinghamshire. He married Sarah daughter of Samuel Hole of Caunton Manor on 15th July 1847. From 1849 until 1852, John was rector of Broughton Astley in Leicestershire. In 1852, the family (John, Sarah, their three children and John’s sister Ann)  sailed from Plymouth aboard the “Minerva” arriving at Port Cooper, New Zealand on 2nd February 1853. They settled in the Canterbury area. John was canon of Christchurch Cathedral from 1859 until 1864. He bought land at Woodend and built a farm which was called “Ravenswood”. It had a flour mill and the house dealt with the local mail. John became the minister at Kaiapoi. He donated land for a new Anglican church, becoming the first Anglican priest in North Canterbury. Sarah kept a diary from 1862 until 1864 which is held in Canterbury Museum. Five children were born during their stay in New Zealand. Rose was born in 1855, followed by Edith Della Janette in 1856, Percy Earle in 1858, Lizzie Geraldine in 1860 and Algernon Wilmer Isle in 1863. In 1864, the family returned to England, where John became the curate of Cowley in Gloucestershire. Sarah died in 1868. John moved the family to Hastings. In 1872, John took his daughters back to New Zealand to sell his farm and visit Edith who had stayed in the country. The family survived a shipwreck aboard the “Tartar” on their return to England. In 1875, John married Louisa Jane Hoskyns at Blaby in Leicestershire on 22nd July. The family were living in West Hoathly by 1881. John died at The Grosvenor Hotel in London on 27th July 1886. The newspapers reported that he had died of the effects of sunstroke. At the time, John was living at “Rutland Lodge” in Gratwicke Road, Worthing. Probate was granted on 30th September to John Earle Reynolds Raven barrister at law, son and Henry Peregrine Birch solicitor. Effects £13307 18s 1d (approx £1 million in 2020).

Researcher: Carol Sullivan

The Grave

Photograph of headstone for John  Raven

Location in Cemetery

Area: EB Row: 1 Plot: 50

Exact Location (what3words): froth.cherry.voter

Ashes or Urn: Unknown



Low peaked altar slab with crozier decoration on spine


John Raven, Priest, born March 14th 1821 died July 27th 1886

Further Information


Name: John Raven

Gender: Male

Born: 14/03/1821

Town: Croydon

County: Surrey

Country: England


Maiden Name: Not applicable

Marriage Date: 15/7/1847

Spouse First Name: Sarah

Spouse Last Name: Hole

Town of Marriage: Caunton Manor

County of Marriage: Nottinghamshire

Country of Marriage: England

Marriage Date: 22/7/1875

Spouse First Name: Louisa

Spouse Second Name: Jane

Spouse Last Name: Hoskyns

Town of Marriage: Blaby

County of Marriage: Leicestershire

Country of Marriage: England

Information at Death

Date of Death: 27/07/1886

Cause of death: Effects of Sunstroke

Address line 1: Grosvenor Hotel

Town: Mayfair

County: London

Country: England


West Sussex Journal 3rd August 1886


Funeral of Rev. John Raven

The funeral of our respected townsman the Reverend John Raven MA of Rutland Lodge, Gratwicke Road who died in London while on a visit there took place here on Friday, and was attended by a large number of personal friends and members of the congregation of St Botolph’s Church where deceased had frequently officiated. The Rev. H M Beckles read the burial service. The coffin which was brought from London and taken to Heene Church was of polished oak and completely covered with floral tokens of respect and sympathy. Amongst those who were present besides the members of the family, were the Rev. Canon Bailey; Rev. Canon Whitelegge; and the Revs-Field (Lancing College), A K Nairn, F Stapley, W H Brown-Warleigh, Lieut. Gen Kaye CB; Capt. Huston; A H Collet Esq; and several ladies including Mrs Gresson; Mrs Hall; Mrs Woollaston; Mrs Nairn etc.

The funeral arrangements were efficiently carried out by Messrs Patching and Jordan.

Personal Effects

Money left to others: £13307 18 s 1 d

Current value of effects: £1000000.00

Census Information


Park Lane, Croydon

Anne aged 60, independent. Ann aged 30. Henry aged 35, farmer. Alfred aged 31, independent. John aged 20. Plus 3 servants.


The Rectory, Broughton Astley

John aged 30, rector. Sarah aged 29. Sarah Marion aged 2. Annie Emma aged 1. John Earle aged 1month. Anne Raven aged 40, sister. Emma Wilmer aged 34, sister, widow. Plus 3 servants.


In New Zealand


Living at 4 Upper St Paul’s Villas, Upper Church Road, Hastings

John aged 50, widower, priest without cure of souls. Annie E aged 21. John E aged 20. Rose E aged 16. Edith D aged 14. Lizzie G age 10. Mary O aged 5. Ann aged 60, sister. Plus governess, nurse and 3 servants.


Hoathly Hill Lodge, West Hoathly, Sussex

John aged 60, clergyman, priest in Holy Orders without care of souls. Louisa aged 45. Emma aged 29 (Annie Emma). Rose Emma aged 27. Louisa Margaret aged 5. Henry C aged 3 (Reginald). Plus nurse and 3 servants.

Miscellaneous Information