Halesworth Time Line:
A Walk Through History
1800 – 1860AD
1809 – 1821 Sir William Hooker, the famous botanist, is a part owner of the Bridge Street Maltings and lives in Brewery House (now Hooker House). He becomes Professor of Botany at Glasgow University and the first Director of Kew Gardens.
His son, Joseph, born in Halesworth, follows in his father's footsteps becoming a renowned botanist in his own right. He takes part in a voyage to Antartica as surgeon and botanist. His illustrated account of the voyage takes up three large volumes. He is a friend and correspondent of Darwin and it is said that he encouraged and supported Darwin in the writing of "The Origin of Species".
Joseph becomes the second director of Kew Gardens on the death of his father. At the age of eighty he is knighted by Queen Victoria. He continues to travel the world well into his mid eighties. see also...
1824 Patrick Stead is a successful Scottish merchant who buys the maltings and Brewery House in Halesworth in 1824 - probably from the Hookers. He is the driving force behind extending the navigation between Halesworth and Southwold. He takes on the Harbour Commissioners urging them to tackle the problems of the Southwold Harbour silting up. He lives in Halesworth for thirty years before retiring to Scotland. On his death he leaves a large amount of money to provide for the buillding of a hospital for Halesworth. The hospital is opened in 1882 and still serves the community to this day.
1822 – 1831 The Reverend Richard Whatley is Rector of Halesworth, living in the Rectory, Rectory Lane. He is a renowned and outspoken academic vociferously opposed to slavery. He leaves Halesworth to become Archbishop of Dublin. One of his descendants is the actor Kevin Whatley.