History of Hontion: four generations of the Hussey family

12:00 14 August 2022

Margaret Lewis, curator of the Honiton Museum.

Margaret Lewis (outside the Honiton Museum) is keen for the building to house the town’s new ICT. mhh 25-16TI 2287. Photo: Terry Ife
– Credit: Archant

If any resident of the East Devon area needs a surveyor, assessor or auctioneer to sell cyder, livestock, land, property or household goods there is chances are one of the four generations of the Hussey family will be hired to sell it. stopped. Between 1777 when William Hussey founded the business until the 1960s, the family business held thousands of auctions throughout East Devon.

William’s son James Hussey took over the business in 1830 and was held in high regard. In 1882 a testimonial and public dinner was held at the Dolphin Hotel, Honiton to show the venerable auctioneer’s appreciation for his honesty and integrity over his fifty years in business.

Over 800 people subscribed and he received a purse containing £350, a silver tray and a silver tea and coffee service.

James’ son, Thomas Davy Hussey, attended Allhallows School. Edward Wood remembered Tom leading the auction of all their material possessions before leaving for the United States in 1884.

The town crier had already distributed posters all over town and Tom Hussey arrived with his pony and trapdoor. He stepped onto his temporary rostrum – an old wooden crate – and proved to be an expert in his craft and a man with a big heart.

Edward’s little brother was so impressed by the magnitude of the man and the event that he whispered, “Right before our eyes stands the King!” At the end of the auction, Tom gave each of the Wood kids three shiny pennies in case they needed it. the new World.

Tom Hussey and his wife Thirza had six children. Their second son Michael died of tuberculosis at the age of 26.

Their eldest daughter Ethel was only sixteen when she was killed in a bicycle accident. She crashed her bicycle into a horse on Stoney Bridge and the horse trampled her.

His eldest son James Hussey succeeded his father in the business. A local farmer said: “Jimmy Hussey was a lovely man who helped us tremendously every time we changed farms. One of his favorite sayings when he was struggling to sell calves was “If someone gives me a haystack and a field, I’ll buy it myself.

When his only child Catherine was born in 1917, his diary entry for the day is “The child is here.”