International Women’s Day: Gertrude Brand (1844-1927) and Maud Brand (1856-1944)

Gertrude Brand at the back with sister Maud on the right and another sister Alice seated (c1862)

10th March 2015

By Andrew Lusted

Gertrude and Maud Brand were two of the five daughters of Henry Brand of Glynde Place, owner of the Glynde estates, and great granddaughters of Georgina, Duchess of Devonshire.

Both sisters were prominent in the great Sussex women’s game of stoolball, playing for the Glynde Butterflies who were instrumental in establishing the game as the first women’s team sport in the world. Unlike the game of cricket at this time, stoolball teams were comprised of women from all classes in Victorian society.

Gertrude captained the Butterflies against the Firle Blues in the first ever recorded stoolball match played between villages in September 1866. Two years later she scored the first century at stoolball, scoring 110 against the Chailey Grasshoppers. There were no boundaries in the match, so Gertrude had to run all 110 runs – a distance of one mile – as well as complete the runs of her batting partners. This can be contrasted with the perception of female athletes in the twentieth century who were not allowed to run distances of over 800 metres as recently as the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome.

Gertrude’s younger sister Maud Brand, then only 12, also played in this match scoring 33 runs.

Gertrude married Henry Campion of Danny in West Sussex in 1869 at the age of 25, which brought an end to her stoolball playing. Gertrude’s daughter, Mary Campion, would later play stoolball for the Danny Daisies.

Maud Brand depicted in her stoolball costume in a painting by her sister Gertrude c1866The report of Gertrude’s funeral in the Sussex Express of 30 December 1927 recorded that she was a clever woman who ‘did much to benefit her own sex’. She was a patron of the Girls Friendly Society and the Sunshine Home at Hurstpierpoint, where women and girls could recuperate after illness. She was also involved with Chichester House, where training was given for domestic service.

After Gertrude’s marriage her sister Maud became the star of the Butterflies. She too gave up stoolball, when she married David Bevan 22 October 1885. However, the previous year Maud had taken part in what may have been the first recorded match involving ladies’ cricket clubs. The Southdown Ladies Club played against Heathfield Park in a match in Glynde Park on 2 September, 1884; Maud hitting 65 runs, not out, the top score in the match. She appeared in two more recorded matches in 1885 before her marriage and in one of them, against Mrs Frank Whitfield’s XI, Maud’s older sister, Gertrude Campion, batted at number 11 and scored 9 runs. In a match on 8 Sep 1885 Maud scored 93 runs for the Southdown club, while Mabel Ingram scored 87 in the same innings.

Ladies cricket in Sussex was played only by the landed classes. So, unlike stoolball, which the daughters of the upper classes gave up when they married, Maud continued to play cricket after her wedding. She is recorded as playing for the married versus single ladies in 1887 and the following year appeared for Miss M Thomas’ XI against the Hon M Brassey’s team at Catsfield.

When Maud died the Sussex Express noted that she had been commandant of the Royston Auxilliary Hospital (1914-1918) and was created a Dame of the British Empire in 1918 in recognition of her work as president of the Hertfordshire Red Cross.


Tomorrow,  Anna Manthorpe will be writing about Jam, Jerusalem and history; the WI archive at East Sussex Record Office.

Behind the Scenes: The Keep Research Service

15th August 2014

By Andrew Lusted – The Keep ResearcherResearch Service Images 010


For those who are unable to visit The Keep, or have reached a dead-end in their research, we offer a Research Service. This can cover many types of documents: from original parish register entries, school records, police service records and inmates of workhouses, to Women’s Institute minutes and unique maps of places in East Sussex. In fact, The Keep’s Researcher can access most things housed at The Keep* – this is what makes their job so interesting.

Sometimes original material cannot be viewed in our Reading Room, because the Data Protection Act restricts access. For example, records of inmates in St Francis Hospital are closed for 100 years, for the reason that they contain sensitive medical information. Our research service is able to look through these records and extract non-medical information.

The physical condition of a document can also prevent it from being produced. Researchers often ask to look at witness statements in Quarter Sessions rolls, but these are stored in a way that makes them very difficult – sometimes impossible – to photograph. Our Research Service can carefully look through the rolls, and transcribe requested information. Many families who had members transported to Australia use our service to unearth fascinating details from these Sessions rolls.

On other occasions, it might be difficult for a member of the public to actually read a document, or they might not be sure which avenue to explore next. The Keep Research Service can transcribe difficult to read records, such as early wills, and offer advice on how to go about your own research, and the best documents to look at.

If you would like to find more information about how to use the service, please visit The Keep Research page.


*The service does not cover documents written in Latin or any other foreign language.