Sir Thomas Brassey 1836 – 1918

Earl BrasseyPolitician & Mayor of Bexhill.

Thomas Brassey was the eldest son of Thomas Brassey the railway contractor, who was said to be worth five million pounds when he died in 1870.

Thomas Brassey was born at Stafford in 1836, educated at Rugby School and University College, Oxford. In 1860 he married Annie Allnutt daughter of the wealthy London wine merchant, John Allnutt.

Thomas and Annie Brassey had five children: Thomas Allnutt Brassey, who married Lady Idina Neville; Mabelle Brassey, who married Charles Egerton of Mountfield; Constance Brassey, who died of scarlet fever aged five; Muriel Brassey, who married the 8th Earl De La Warr; and Marie Brassey who married Lord Willingdon.

Annie Brassey died at sea in 1887 and in 1890 Thomas married Sybil de Vere Capel. They had one daughter, Helen de Vere Brassey.

Thomas Brassey pursued a political career. He was elected as MP for Birkenhead in 1861 and for Hastings in 1868. The Brasseys were Liberals and Gladstone with members of his cabinet often visited them at Normanhurst Court in Catsfield. Thomas Brassey received a knighthood in 1881, was made a baron in 1886 and an earl in 1911.

He was Governor of Victoria, Australia from 1895 to 1900. He was also president of the Statistical Society from 1879-1880, a Civil Lord of the Admiralty from 1880-1884, and a Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports from 1908-1913. He was Lord-in-Waiting to Queen Victoria from 1893-1895.

In 1865 the Brasseys acquired Buckholt as part of the Normanhurst estate and therefore had an interest in Bexhill. In later life Earl Brassey switched his attention from Hastings to Bexhill and was mayor in 1907-8. His son Thomas Allnutt Brassey was mayor in 1908-9.

Thomas Brassey presented Bexhill with its gold mayoral chain in 1906 and a gavel made from the wood of the Old Town walnut tree.

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