Edward Cruttenden was born in 1843 at Battle, Sussex, the second son and
third child of John Cruttenden and Hannah Eldridge.
was the eleventh child of fifteen born to Thomas Cruttenden, a farmer, and
his wife Ann Baker. With so many siblings John did not carry on as a
farmer but became a painter instead. John found enough work in Battle but
in 1852 the family moved to Borough, London; probably in search of work.
They were only here a couple of years before returning to Sussex and the
expanding resort town of St Leonards-on-sea, a couple of miles west of
Hastings and some six miles south of Battle. In 1841 John was described as
a Painter; in 1851 a Glazier; in 1861 a Plumber; by the time he retired he
was described as a Builder.
this parentage Henry, in 1861, was described as a Cabinet Maker;
in 1871 he was now calling himself a Master Plumber; by 1881 he
was a Builder and Sanitary Engineer. In the mid-1880s St Leonards,
Hastings and near by Bexhill were still growing and there were
plenty of opportunities for entrepreneurial builders.
1868, Henry, married Frances Jane Clark. They were to have three
children: Thomas Frank (born 1870), Frances Elizabeth (born 1873)
and Alice Jane (born 1879).
these Henry was in some form of partnership with his brother
Frederick. The Hastings and St Leonards Chronicle reported, 11
July 1879, that Messers. F. and H. Cruttenden's employees
"held their outing at Hawkhurst on Saturday, when a most
enjoyable day was spent. The party was conveyed by waggonettes,
and was accompanied by the St. Leonards Artillery Band. Dinner was
partaken of, and the usual toasts honoured".
joined his father and in 1891 was described as a Builder's Clerk
and in 1893, when he married Eleanor Hemmings he is recorded as a
the 25 March 1896 Henry signed an agreement with Right Honorable
Earl De La Warr and others to build on the Bexhill Estate: 4 plots
fronting Cantelupe Road not less than £700; 8 plots not less than
£800; and 14 plots not less than £500 in road off Cantelupe Road
opposite Bolebrook Road. [De La War MS420, ESRO].
on 15 November 1897 Henry signed an agreement with Earl De La Warr
to build six dwelling houses not less than one thousand pounds
fronting the Marina, right hand corner of Dorset Road facing
north. [De LA War MS421, ESRO].
MR. HENRY E. CRUTTENDEN, BUILDER, CONTRACTOR, DECORATOR, AND BRICK, TILE AND POTTERY MANUFACTURER. OFFICES : LONDON ROAD AND TOWER ROAD WEST, ST. LEONARDS-ON-SEA. WORKS: LOWER LUNSFORD,
BEXHILL .- Mr. Henry E. Cruttenden originally commenced business as a builder and decorator about twenty-eight years ago. He has since executed a large amount of important work, not only in Hastings and St. Leonards, but in several other of the county centres, and is now generally regarded as one of the leading representatives of his profession connected with the district. Amongst the several contracts recently completed by this gentleman in St. Leonards alone, we may instance the erection of the Tower Road Board Schools and the Bohemia Wesleyan Chapel, and the extension of the Grand and Alexandra Hotels on the sea front. His principal offices and show-rooms are located in London Road. They comprise every accommodation necessary to the business carried on, and the show-rooms will be found to contain a splendid stock of fashionable wall papers, and artistic decorative accessories, together with representative assortments of gas-fittings, heating apparatus and sanitary appliances of the newest and most improved manufacture. At the Tower Works, some little distance away, commodious building yards, saw-mills
and stores are available, and it is from here that the practical operations of the house are mainly conducted. An effective plant of machinery driven by gas power, has been laid down, the whole of the departments being equipped in thoroughly up-to-date style ; and a staff of between sixty and seventy hands is employed, so that the resources of the concern are obviously of no ordinary character. As a builder, Mr. Cruttenden undertakes the erection of houses, shops, hotels, places of worship and public edifices in any part, besides doing a brisk trade in the execution of all manner of repairs and alterations. Bricklaying, stone working, slating and plastering likewise receive attention, whilst a special feature is made of plumbing and sanitary work, and hot water engineering, branches in which Mr. Cruttenden has had exceptional experience. The decorating department is equally well organised, and in each line none but competent and reliable men are engaged, the result being that efficiency and the unqualified satisfaction of clients are the rule. The brick works at Lower Lunsford, Bexhill-on-Sea, were started in 1888, and have already become the centre of a substantial industry, involving the employment of upwards of sixty hands. They cover a total area of about twelve acres, including in addition to the works proper, a valuable bed of clay, said to be one of the finest in the locality, and they have been fitted with all the latest brick making machinery, as well as with an improved Belgian
kiln - the first erected in this country. They have a tunnel drier, fitted with a Blackman's fan and furnace, which enables bricks to be made all the year round without loss of time. The output embraces plain and ornamental bricks in great variety of shape and finish, architectural terra cotta work of every kind, flower pots from two and a half inches to eighteen inches diameter, garden and roofing tiles, chimney pots and finials, and vases, baskets and fancy ware ad infinitum. The goods are noted for their excellent colour, texture and weather resisting properties, and have come into steady demand throughout the country. Price lists and other particulars will be forwarded free on application. We should mention before concluding that Mr. Cruttenden is highly respected in local and commercial circles, and has for some time past been a
member of the Sanitary Association and the Worshipful Company of Plumbers, London; member of the Committee of the Worshipful Company of Plumbers of Sussex; Guardian of the Poor for the St. Leonards district; chairman of the Rural District Council; and president of the Hastings and St. Leonards Builders' Association.
Views & Reviews. Hastings – Special Edition. Approx 1898]
this boom did not continue; on the 24 July 1900 a Deed of
Assignment and Arrangement was executed by Henry Edward
Cruttenden, of Tower Road, St Leonards-on-Sea, and of Lunsford
Brickworks, Bexhill-on-Sea, Builder, Contractor and Brick Tile and
Pottery Manufacturer. It looks as if Henry was about to become
bankrupt. This situation continued until late 1901 when Henry's
business appears to have finished.
all probability Henry and his wife emigrated to Australia. His son
Thomas Frank emigrated to the state of Victoria around 1913.