WEEKE LOCAL HISTORY
Burnett Hitchcock Family
Thomas junior had come to Weeke when his mother Mary was allocated the Manor House as part of the Chancery allocation of his grandfather’s assets.
Thomas junior became friends with Herbert Stewart (later Sir Herbert Stewart) whose father Reverend Edward Stewart was Rector of Sparsholt church (the next parish after Weeke as you leave Winchester). Rev Stewart was also Chairman of the Royal Hants Hospital, where Thomas Juniors father was a senior physician.
Thomas junior entered Winchester College as a Commoner day student in 1857 and had as close friends the late Sir Herbert Stewart and Capt. Crawford R.N.
At Winchester he was Captain of the Commoners’ football team, and also was one of the Lord’s Cricket Eleven. From Winchester he went to Worcester College, Oxford passing direct into the Shropshire Light Infantry (53rd), the date of his first commission being November 17th 1863. He passed his final examination at the Staff College in 1874 and became Brigade Major at Chatham.
He had previously served with his regiment in Ireland, and he went to Canada in connection with the Fenian Raids (an Irish Republican organization based in the United States, on British army forts, customs posts and other targets in Canada, were fought to bring pressure on the UK to withdraw from Ireland.) Whilst in Canada he met and married his wife Amelia Ferguson and then proceeded to the West Indies.
By the census in 1871 they were back in the UK at Aldershot and they had a daughter Marie Frederica christened at Weeke on 6/12/1870. In 1874 they moved to Chatham, Kent when Thomas became Brigade Major. The family was increased with Basil Ferguson Burnett Hitchcock (1877) and Harry William Geddes Burnett Hitchcock (1879).
Thomas was Brigade Major at Chatham for 5 years. Just after he had finished his five years’ appointment, the Egyptian Expedition 1882-84, was undertaken, and he became Brigade Major to Sir Evelyn Wood. On the outbreak of the Soudan War in 1884 he was appointed Brigade Major to Sir John Davis (2nd Brigade). He was present at the battles of El Teb and Tamai, and was mentioned in dispatches. He received his Brevet – Lieutenant – Colonelcy on promotion to Major he had long been senior Captain of his regiment.
In addition to the Egyptian Medal, bronze star, and two clasps, he was awarded the 4th class Medjidie in respect of the Egyptian Expedition, and the 4th class, Osmanieh for the Soudan Campaign. He retired from the army on the 31st December 1887, and on the death of his father in 1888 he took up his residence at Weeke Manor.
His family had stayed in Kent at Chatham whilst Thomas was abroad. When his father died his family moved to Weeke Manor with him.
He was appointed a Magistrate for the County in 1888, and, like his father, he was most constant and painstaking in the fulfilment of his duties. He was Chairman of the Visting Justices of H.M. government JP and was involved in the early days of Hampshire County Council.
During the period from 1888 to 1908 Thomas sold many plots of land for houses in Bereweeke avenue and other areas around the Weeke Manor house.
Thomas was involved in the moving of the early Winchester Golf club moved to an area of Teg Down owned by the Church Commissioners, who were prepared to offer a long lease. Colonel Burnett Hitchcock provided a silver salver for a club competition.
In 1906 a group of Winchester residents met to discuss the idea of forming a tennis club. Colonel Burnett Hitchcock agreed to lease more than five acres of land along Bereweeke Road and by February the greens and courts had been laid out. After the Colonel’s death in 1909 his son, Captain Basil Burnett Hitchcock, continued the family’s support and in 1913 agreed to sell the land in Bereweeke Road to the club.
When he died in 1909 his family decided to leave Weeke Manor. Both his sons were in careers in the Army and Amelia and their daughter moved to London. They do not appear in the 1911 census, it may well be that Amelia decided to take her daughter to see relatives in Canada. She returned later and died in London in 1930 at the age of 83.
In 1911 the Colonel’s assets were taken over by a Trust for the benefit of his family, and by 1914 there was no family living in Weeke Manor.
Release 1.0 last update 02/09/08