Male portrait placeholder image

Name: William Magness

Burial Number: 1196

Gender: Male

Occupation: Fruit Grower

Born: 00/00/1853

Died: 18/05/1925

Buried: 21/05/1925

Story

William was born in Staunton-on-Wye, Herefordshire, the son of Joseph Magness and Sarah (Biddlestone).

He married Esther (Horton) who was from Staffordshire, in about 1879 and they were in Worthing by 1881, with their first son, William.

At one time he was Foreman to George Beer, Grower of Goring and West Worthing.

Magness’s company, in Lansdowne Road, forced strawberries on a large scale, in pots. At one time they had as many as 40,000 pots of strawberries growing.  In the early days he could realise prices as high as £2/2/- per lb at the beginning of the season. His most eminent customer was King Edward VII who had them delivered to him while visiting Ireland.

In 1891 the family were living in Oxford Road, but by 1901 they had moved to the Nurseries in Lansdowne Road, in partnership with Henry Barnwell, until 1894.

London Gazette 1895
NOTICE is hereby given that the Partnership heretofore subsisting between us the undersigned
William Magness and Henry Barnwell carrying on business as Nurserymen Florists and Fruitgrowers at Crescent-road and Lansdowne-road Worthing Sussex, under the style or firm of Barnwell and Magness, has been dissolved by mutual consent as and from the 25th day of December 1894. All debts due and owing from the said late firm will be received and paid by the said Henry Barnwell at the Nursery in Crescent-road, Worthing.—Dated this 15th day of December 1894.
WILLIAM MAGNESS.
HENRY BARNWELL.

William Magness belonged to the Primitive Methodists and briefly entered into a partnership with fellow worshipper Frederick C Linfield, coal and coke merchant, who supplied coke and cola to many of the local nurseries

From the Worthing Gazette Feb 22 1899 (page 3) ‘A combination of the Fruit-growing business accrued by Alderman F C Linfield some time since and the older undertaking controlled by Mr W Magness, has been carried out, the capital which has been subscribed privately, being £30,000’.

William was joined in the business by 3 of his 5 sons but when all his sons joined up in WW1 he was forced to stop growing strawberries as they were so labour intensive.
He made his sons promise they would restore the name of Magness as quality strawberry growers – by 1927 they were back in production and continued for another 30 years.

 

Edgar John Magness is packing strawberries here.

In the 1911 census at Avenue Nurseries Lansdowne Rd., Worthing were William Magness, Fruit Grower, Employer; wife Esther; sons Alfred Joseph Magness 27, single, fruit and flower salesman born Worthing; James Henry Magness, 25, single, Fruit grower, born Worthing; Edgar John Magness, 22, single, Carnation grower, born Worthing and niece Alice Mary Haines aged 40 and single, a Mother’s help from Kings Pryor, Herefordshire

In the 1925 National Probate Calendar: William Magness of The Avenue Nurseries, Lansdowne Rd. Worthing, died 18th May 1925. Probate London 22 Aug 1925 to William Wilfred Magness and Frederick Horton Magness fruitgrowers. Effects £7420/1/1d

Esther died in 1832 and is buried in the same grave.

 

Researcher: Liz Lane

The Grave

Photograph of headstone for William Magness

Location in Cemetery

Area: SES Row: 8 Plot: 24

Exact Location (what3words): notice.talent.pokers

Ashes or Urn: Unknown

Headstone

Description:

No description of the headstone has been added.

Inscription:

In loving memory of William Magness died 18th May 1925 aged 72 "I have kept the faith" also of Esther his wife passed away 5th Jan 1932 in her 81st year "At rest"

Further Information

Birth

Name: William Magness

Gender: Male

Born: 00/00/1853

Town: Staunton-on-Wye

County: Herefordshire

Country: England

Marriage

Maiden Name: Not applicable

Marriage Date: //1879

Spouse First Name: Esther

Spouse Last Name: horton

Town of Marriage: Unknown

County of Marriage: Unknown

Country of Marriage: Unknown

Information at Death

Date of Death: 18/05/1925

Cause of death: Unknown

Address line 1: The Avenue Nurseries

Address line 3: Lansdowne Road

Town: Worthing

County: Sussex

Country: England

Obituary

No obituary has been entered.

Personal Effects

Money left to others: £7420 1 s 1 d

Current value of effects: Not calculated

Census Information

1861

Living at Cottage, Haughton-on-Wye, – Joseph Magness, 44yrs, agricultural labourer; Sarah, 36yrs; Elizabeth, 10yrs; William, 10yrs;

1871

Living at Garnons, Byford – Henry Geers Cotterall, 36yrs, Baronet Magistrate with his family and 19 servants. William, 18yrs was one of two gardeners.

1881

Living at Park Terrace, Worthing – William Magness, 28yrs, Gardener; Esther 30yrs; William W, 1yrs;

1891

Living at “Staunton” Oxford Road, Worthing – William Magness, 38yrs, Fruit Grower & Florist; Esther, 40yrs; William W, 11yrs; Frederick H, 8yrs; Alfred J, 7yrs; James H 5yrs; Edgar J, 2yrs;

1901

Living at Avenue Nurseries, Lansdowne Road, Worthing – William Magness, 48yrs, Fruit Grower & Gardener; Esther, 50yrs, William W, 21yrs, Fruit Grower & Gardener; Frederick H, 18yrs, Fruit Grower & Gardener; Alfred J, 17yrs, Fruit Grower & Gardener; James H, 15yrs, Florist; Edgar J, 12yrs;

1911

Living at Avenue Nurseries Lansdowne Rd., Worthing – William Magness, Fruit Grower, Employer; wife Esther; sons Alfred Joseph Magness 27, single, fruit and flower salesman born Worthing; James Henry Magness, 25, single, Fruit grower, born Worthing; Edgar John Magness, 22, single, Carnation grower, born Worthing and niece Alice Mary Haines aged 40 and single, a Mother’s help from Kings Pryor, Herefordshire

Miscellaneous Information

No miscellaneous information is available for this burial record.