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Grace Adamson formerly Osborn

1847 - 1938
Telegraph Office
East Dean
United Kingdom

Grace was born 1847 in Telscombe. In 1863 her family moved to East Dean. There she married Edward William Adamson who was in charge of the local Telegraph Relay Station. He was born in Westminster in 1841. They married in Eastbourne in 1868. The couple lived in East Dean at the Telegraph Office where they brought up a family of 6 children. The family appears on the 1871, 1881 and 1891 census.

Went Way in East Dean, meaning to 'wander' or 'meander' is reputed to be the oldest road in the district and was known as the Kings Highway, with lines of telegraph posts conveying wires for the first cross-Channel cable, which entered the sea at Birling Gap. Local Historian Esther Worsfold gives further details: "The Submarine Telegraph Company first laid their cable from Birling Gap to France in 1861, and there was a station situated there now lost to the sea. Mr. Adamson was the first resident telegrapher and lived in the cottage next to the School House, which is now part of Glebe Cottage. When he was to be married to Grace Osborn whose father was the tenant farmer at the Gore he asked for a better house and 'Telegraph House' was built and the relay connection was extended over the hill to the house. This house is what I now believe is called 'Friston Lodge' the flint house half way up Friston Hill on the south side of the road, it can be seen as you drive down the hill from Eastbourne. I believe this remained as the telegraph station until the Post Office took over the submarine cable when the house was sold to the Waterworks Company who moved their Manager into it and renamed it 'Hillside'."

Mr Adamson attended William Souter Osborn's funeral in 1885 (his wife's father).

The 1891 census records the family at the "Telegraph Office" East Dean. Living with them is the wife and son of Grace's brother George, Josephine and her son John William Osborn. This would have been a short term arrangement, pending their future emigration to California where George died in the year 1891.

Edward Adamson, Grace's husband, died on the 9th March 1896, aged 55. His death is recorded as Eastbourne. He was buried in East Dean cemetery next to the Osborn graves and a granite gravestone was erected by the Freemasons of Eastbourne.

The Eastbourne Masonic Lodge was founded in 1866, six years after the formation of the Hartington Lodge, when some of the members deemed it necessary to found another Lodge in the fashionable watering place: a Warrant was obtained, and on the 20th of June, Col. Dalbiac of Brighton constituted the "Tyrian" Lodge, No. 1110, and Bro. Cunningham installed as the first W. Master.

When the Tyrian Lodge held its inaugural meeting at the Lamb Hotel in Eastbourne on 20 June 1866, Edward Adamson was present with George Adamson of the Corinthian Lodge 1208 (believed to be his father). Worshipful Brother George Adamson, P.M. 199. P.P.G.A.D.C. (Kent) Hotel Proprietor, was one of the prime petitioners for the formation of the Corinthian Lodge in Dover 1867. The following year he was Worshipful Master. As a result Edward Adamson SD became a founder member and officer of the new Tyrian Lodge and was to remain an active member for many years.

Throughout the 1860s Edward was active in amending the laws and became noted for his lectures on aspects of Freemasonry. For example on the 27 April 1868 he lectured on 'Tracing Board of Second Degree'. Two years after the Tyrian Lodge was founded Edward Adamson was installed as Grand Master at the anniversary meeting. George Adamson was again present as a guest. In April the following year Edward Adamson is presented with the WM jewel on vacating the chair.

Thereafter Edward holds a number of key titles including PM, DG and PPG. He also continues to lecture and on the 28 February 1876 delivers an address on the First Degree.

By 1877 he has Honorary Membership conferred on him but the following year asks for this to be rescinded. He is unable to meet all the obligations and travel from East Dean for duties is proving difficult. In particular his role with the Provincial Grand Lodge Charity Committee is proving problematic.

The Tyrian Lodge by 1883 numbered fifty-seven members.

Thereafter his attendances at Tyrian Lodge are occasional and on 30th March 1896 his death is recorded. In May the Lodge records a letter from Mrs Adamson expressing thanks and the following year ten pounds is awarded to Mrs Adamson for the education of her daughter (this must have been Ella). This followed a letter received from the Anderida Lodge (Pevensey).

By 1911 however Grace Adamson, now widowed, has relocated at 58 London Road, Reading. Here she lived with her sister Mary and one of Grace's children, Marian, who had married a Thomas Swan, also present. Thomas was a Ship Broker, born in Turkey but British by parenting. The household included in addition, two boarders and a general servant.

The house in Reading was a three storey semi-detached family home in a stylish suburb of the town. In many respects it was similar to aunt Mary's former home in Croydon, where she had also run a boarding house in a stylish suburb of the town. The house in London Road, Reading is illustrated above, albeit no longer a semi detached.

Grace appears to have returned to Sussex in later life. She died in Battle in 1938 aged 92 years. Was it the winding up of her estate that prompted the Bexhill solicitors to try and find her grandson Peter Osborn Adamson? No will or probate has been discovered yet.

Investigating what became of the various offspring of Grace and Edward Adamson, an interesting scenario emerges.

George Osborn Adamson was a son, born in Eastbourne in April 1869, he died in July of the same year.

Another of their children, Osborn Adamson can be traced and his profile can be seen by clicking on relationships below. His descendants are alive today in California.

Ada Adamson Her aunt Mary Osborn in July 1896 moved to Croydon. This is shortly before her cousin John William Osborn also moves to Croydon in 1900. Mary ran a boarding house at 4 Sydenham Road North with her niece Ada M Adamson. Local Directories indicate that they were at the boarding house from 1887-1902. Named Atherton, it was a stylish double fronted detached house near St James's Church. (see William Souter Osborn details)

Marian Adamson, daughter of Grace Adamson of East Dean was born 1876. She married a Thomas Swan. Thomas was a Ship Broker, born in Turkey but British by parenting. By 1911 the couple had relocated to 58 London Road, Reading. Here they lived with her widowed mother Grace and aunt Mary (Grace's sister). The household included in addition, two boarders and a general servant.

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William Souter Osborn

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Mary Osborn

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Edward W Adamson

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George Osborn Adamson 1869 - 1869

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Ada M Adamson bn.1871

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Alfred E Adamson bn.1871

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Ethel G Adamson bn.1873

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Marion Adamson bn.1876

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Osborn Adamson 1877 - 1932

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Ella Adamson bn.1882


19th CENTURY second half, PEOPLE


England - Southern

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