History Of Brighton And Environs - Online Book

From The Earliest Known Period To The Present Time.

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This woman in early life fell in love with a man of the name of Samuel Golding, a private in the regiment called at that time " Kirke's Lambs." She was then only 15 years of age, but being, as she frequently remarked, a fine lass for her years. Her maiden name was Smith. The regiment to which Golding belonged was ordered for foreign service,—the "West Indies,—in 1728 ; but such was Phoobe's attachment for him, that donning the garb of a man, she enlisted in the 5th Regiment of Foot, commanded by General Pearce, then under orders for the West Indies likewise (in the hopes of joining her lover). There she served five years without making her sex known to any one, she then returned to England with her regiment, and soon after her return it was ordered to join the forces of the Duke of Cumberland abroad, and fought in the battle before mentioned. Golding's regiment and hers were afterwards at Gibraltar, where he got wounded and wras invalided home to Plymouth. She then informed the wife of General Pearcc of her sex and story, who obtained her immediate dis­charge, and she was at once sent to England. She then proceeded to the Military Hospital at Plymouth and there nursed Golding, and on his recovery they were married and lived, until his death, happily together for more than 20 years, on his pension from Government.
After being a widow a short time she came to Brighton, and was married to her second husband, William Hessel, and in 1792 they must have been in indigent circumstances, from the fact of its having been recorded in the parish books of the 5th of December of that year, " That, at a Meeting of the Churchwardens and Overseers, it was ordered that Phoebe, wife of William Hessel, be paid three guineas to get their bed and nets, which they had pledged to pay Dr. Henderson for medicine."
Her husband died the year after, and she then, by the assistance of a few of the inhabitants, purchased a donkey,
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