|1737 to 1802||History||The Royal Victoria and Sussex Hotel [als Sussex Tavern]||Colbran's Tunbridge Wells|
The earliest information we have been able to collect concerning the theatricals of this place is, that in 1737, an itinerant group of comedians exhibited here. Afterwards Mr. Smith, better known as Canterbury Smith, visited it occasionally. He was succeeded in 1753 by an actor of his company named Peters, who used a room belonging to a public house not far from the present theatre. About 1770, Mrs. Baker erected a "Temple to the muses" on Mount Sion, a short distance from Cumberland House. She occupied this building two seasons only … Mrs. Baker afterwards pulled down the original theatre on Mount Sion, and erected a new one partly with the old materials, on the site of some premises adjoining the Sussex Hotel. But in 1801, finding it much out-of repair, she determined upon pulling it down, and building a new one upon a more extensive scale. This was accordingly done, and the present theatre was opened on the 8th July, 1802. It is a neat building, and, if properly painted and decorated, its appearance would be superior to most theatres of a similar size. … The theatre stands in two counties; the stage being in Sussex and the auditory in Kent.
|1776||History||The Royal Victoria and Sussex Hotel [als Sussex Tavern]||Burr's Tunbridge Wells|
The Wells, properly so called, is the center of business and pleasure, because there the markets, the medicinal water, the chapel, the assembly-room and the public parades are situated
These parades are usually called the upper walk and the lower walk; the first being neatly paved with square brick, raised about four steps above the other, and particularily appropriated to the company; the second remains unpaved, and is chiefly used by country people and servants.
On the right hand of the paved walk in the way from the well is the assembly-room, the coffee-houses, and the shops for silver-smiths, jewellers, milleners, booksellers, Tunbridgeware, &c. From thence a portico is extended the whole length of the parade, supported by Tuscan pillars, for the company to walk under occasionally. This walk is shaded by a long row of large and flourishing trees planted on the left hand of it, in the midst of which is erected a gallery for musick; and the whole is properly separated from the lower walk by a range of neat palisades, opposite to which are the taverns, a few decent lodging-houses, and a very elegant assembly-room, with a coffe-house, and all needful conveniences for the entertainment of company.
|c 1800||The Theatre, Tunbridge Wells||Private collection|
|1830||Sussex Hotel, Tunbridge Wells by J. Clifford, Tunbridge Wells||Guide of Tunbridge Wells|
|1831 to 1840||History||The Royal Victoria and Sussex Hotel [als Sussex Tavern]||Colbran's Tunbridge Wells|
The management for a few seasons was in the hands of Mr.W. Dowton, and in 1831 they were taken on lease by Mr. Sloman, who married the widow of Mr. H. Dowton. Mr. Sloman's lease having expired in 1838, he resigned the management, and the property is again in the hands of Mr. W. Dowton, son of the veteran actor. The theatre is open for about three or four months in the season; and, in addition to the "London stars," there is generally a very respectable company.
|4th Nov 1834||Princess Victoria and Duchess of Kent leaving Tunbridge Wells||Victoria I Alexandrina von Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha [Hanover], Queen of the United Kingdom||Private collection|
|1839||Tunbridge Wells||Sussex Hotel||Colbran's Tunbridge Wells|
|1840||Royal Victoria and Sussex Hotel, Tunbridge Wells by J &E Harwood||Colbran's Tunbridge Wells|
|1840||History||The Royal Victoria and Sussex Hotel [als Sussex Tavern]||Colbran's Tunbridge Wells|
The Royal Victoria and Sussex Hotel is pleasantly situated facing the Parade. Within the last few years it has been greatly improved, both externally and internally; and in addition to the comforts of the house there are gardens at the back of it, which, besides being a pleasant lounging place, present most delightful views of the surrounding country.
|1880||Royal Victoria and Sussex Hotel, Tunbridge Wells||The Royal Victoria and Sussex Hotel [als Sussex Tavern]||Pelton's Tunbridge Wells|
|3rd Apr 1881||Census||Edward Martini, M, Head, married, age 45, born Naturalist (N B S), Germany; occupation Hotel keeper||Edward Martini||The Sussex, 51 53 & 55 The Parade||1881 Census|
Tunbridge Wells, Kent
|3rd Apr 1881||Census||Clara Martini, F, Wife, married, age 41, born Dover, Kent||Clara Martini|
|3rd Apr 1881||Census||Kate Martini, F, Daughter, age 14, born London, Middlesex; occupation Scholar||Kate Martini|
|3rd Apr 1881||Census||Frederick Martini, M, Son, age 12, born London, Middlesex; occupation Scholar||Frederick Martini|
|3rd Apr 1881||Census||Sophaine Martini, F, Daughter, age 10, born London, Middlesex; occupation Scholar||Sophaine Martini|
|3rd Apr 1881||Census||Alfred Martini, M, Son, age 7, born London, Middlesex; occupation Scholar||Alfred Martini|
|3rd Apr 1881||Census||Florence Martini, F, Daughter, age 5, born London, Middlesex, handicap: dumb||Florence Martini|
|3rd Apr 1881||Census||Lily Martini, F, Daughter, age 2, born Tunbridge Wells, Kent||Lily Martini|
|3rd Apr 1881||Census||Frederick Newman, M, Visitor, widowed, age 78, born Gravesend, Kent||Frederick Newman|
|3rd Apr 1881||Census||Elizabeth Andrews, F, Servant, single, age 41, born Catford, Kent; occupation: housekeeper||Elizabeth Andrews|
|3rd Apr 1881||Census||Susan Whittingham, F, Servant, single, age 33, born Dowling, Shropshire; occupation Cook||Susan Whittingham|
|3rd Apr 1881||Census||Mary Leggett, F, Servant, single, age 25, born Norwich; occupation: kitchenmaid||Mary Leggett|
|3rd Apr 1881||Census||Mary A. Wood, F, Servant, single, age 26, born London, Middlesex; occupation Chambermaid||Mary A. Wood|
|3rd Apr 1881||Census||Anna Dean, F, Servant, single, age 21, born London, Middlesex; occupation: housemaid||Anna Dean|
|3rd Apr 1881||Census||Anna Sutton, F, Servant, single, age 24, born Ingfield, Sussex; occupation Nurse||Anna Sutton|
|3rd Apr 1881||Census||John Sheely, M, Servant, single, age 27, born Germany; occupation Hotel waiter||John Sheely|
|3rd Apr 1881||Census||Henry Fielden, M, Servant, single, age 23, born Rochdale, Lancashire; occupation: hotel porter||Henry Fielden|
|3rd Apr 1881||Census||Frances J. Walshe, F, Visitor, widowed, age 43, born Addington, Sussex||Frances J. Walshe|
|3rd Apr 1881||Census||Susan C. Keane, F, Visitor, single, age 38, born Ireland||Susan C. Keane|
|3rd Apr 1881||Census||Ernest F. Wilson, M, Visitor, single, age 35, born Middlesex||Ernest F. Wilson|
|3rd Apr 1881||Census||Sophie Jacobson, F, Servant, single, age 21, born Germany; occupation: nurse||Sophie Jacobson|