Jesse Washington White

Jesse Washington White was born in Chiddingly, near Hailsham, Sussex, in 1841, the son of Richard and Eliza. Richard was an agricultural labourer. By 1861 Jesse was working as a groom for George Dempster a farmer at Muddles Green. It was here that he noticed an 18-year-old housemaid called Maria Onion, and they started going out  together. Consequently, Jesse married Maria in Hove, Sussex on Christmas Day 1865.
Jesse started working at Oldland Mill in about 1869 and their son George Frederick was born in Keymer late that year. In 1873 Jesse commissioned a new cast iron wind shaft which was manufactured and installed by Lewes based Millwright Boaz Medhurst. Jesse organised an event at the Mill for Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee celebrations on 20th June 1887, providing a bunting which he affixed to the four sweeps, and a large union flag on top of the mill which presented an excellent photo opportunity. By May 1888 he was employing an assistant loader/miller Frederick Newnham to help with the workload.  Frederick, full name John Frederick, was born and lived in Ditchling. Maria died on 17th July 1890 at Mill House after a lingering illness. Jesse died there on 30 November 1891, he was only 50 years old.

Text from: “The Millers’ of Old Land Mill” by Colin Hewitt.