More questions than answers

Photo:Over Street party 2008

Over Street party 2008

What the deeds of our house say about its history

By Anne Fletcher, North Laine resident

This is the story of our house - No 11 Over Street - according to the deeds.  They give information about who owned the house (but not necessarily who lived in it) from the time it was built to the present day.

The story starts in the 1850s

The house was built around 1850 and the first entry is the sale of No 11 and No 12 Over Street to John Eede Butt and William Dyer in May 1851 by Thomas Over, who is reported to have built the houses.  He sold them with a number of covenants.  The details of the covenants have disappeared over the past 159 years but apparently they included restrictions in use.   We suspect they might have been about keeping animals or noisy or smelly trades.  If anyone knows, it would be really good if you could add a comment below.

Landlords not tenants - the Butts

None of the owners of the house appear to have lived in it until the 20th century.  The first owner, John Eede Butt, lived in Littlehampton.  He was a timber merchant who made furniture and decorative goods as shown in this advertisement.  When he died in May1868, his will left a life interest in his property, including No 11 and No 12 Over Street, to his wife, Rhoda, and his children.

There is no other mention of William Dyer in the deeds.

Edward White - the second owner

Rhoda Butt died in1887 and in 1888 John Eede Butt's children, John Butt, a timber merchant of Littlehampton and George Weller Butt, a timber merchant of Brighton, sold No 11 and No 12 Over Street to Edward White of No 4 London Road, Brighton (later of Bleachley, Preston Road, Brighton).   This looks like the same Edward White JP who funded the terracotta clock tower erected in Preston Park in 1891 - see My Brighton and Hove website

One of his executors lived in North Laine

Edward White died in1906.  In his will, his executors were listed as

·        Sarah White, his wife;
·        George Newman, an accountant;
·        William Barber, a dairyman of 6 Kensington Gardens, Brighton

They were instructed to sell his property to create a trust fund for his wife and then a nephew.

Edward Rowe - the third owner

In December 1906, the executors sold No 11 and No 12 Over Street to Edward Rowe who came from Lincoln originally but was living at Bleachley, 137 Preston Road in 1926.  (This is the house that Edward White lived in so perhaps Edward Rowe bought it at the same time as the two Over Street houses.)

20th century owners

Surprisingly, there is less information in the deeds about the people who owned the house in the 20th century but we know that Edward Rowe sold No 11 and No 12 Over Street to John Stratta of 8 Duke Street, Brighton in 1926.

John Stratta then of No 12 Over Street sold No 11 Over Street to George Percival Goddard who appeared to be living there already in 1954.

And George Percival Goddard sold No 11 to the current owner in 1975.

But who lived in the house?

Seven people have owned the house but none of them appear to have lived there until the 1950s.  The deeds tell us nothing about who lived in the house in the 19th century but we do know a little about who lived in the house in the 20th century.

Alice Reynolds

Alice Reynolds describes living there as a girl from 1918 to 1934 in 'A penny for the gas' and 'Return to Over Street, 2008'.  Her parents must have rented from Edward Rowe and then John Stratta.

This page was added on 12/03/2009.

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