Angmering is northeast of Littlehampton, but inland from the coast. It is built on two small hills amid rolling agricultural land, and has been inhabited since prehistoric times. There are signs of a hill fort, and nearby are Harrow Hill flint mines, worked by early Neolithic man. The Romans settled here, although the site of the Roman Villa has now been covered over. The church was built by the Normans, but the tower was added in the 14th century, and the Victorians re-built a good part of it.


There are still a number of old houses in the central part of the village. Ecclesden Manor is a Tudor building, as is nearby New Place Farm. There has been quite a lot of modern development on the outskirts, especially since the war. There were Goddards recorded here in 1668, although the first records relating to our family do not start until 1729. The last of our family to live there died in 1879.


Robert Goddard and Abigail Newick

Robert Goddard baptised 15.10.1696 in Stopham, son of Phillip and Alice. Married Abigail Newick at St Martins Church, Chichester on the 7th September, 1728. Buried in Angmering on the 18th November 1776.


John baptised 29.6.1729
Robin baptised 22.8.1731
Mary baptised 12.8.1733, buried 10.6.1786
Benjamin baptised 29.12.1735
Anne baptised 18.5.1737
Phillip baptised 4.11.1742
Thomas baptised 24.9.1749, buried 5.12.1816

All the children were baptised at Angmering.

Note: Robert was born during the reign of William and Mary. William died in 1702, and Ann continued to rule until 1714. Ann encouraged and financed the great Palatine migration from Germany to America, partly to populate the new colonies there. 14,000 people went during her reign. Bach and Handel were composing. The last execution for Witchcraft took place in England in 1712.

The assumption I have had to make, is that this Robert is the son of Phillip, and that he was born at Stopham. The dates are about right, the distance is not too far, and apart from another one in the 19th century, Robert’s father (if my theory is right), and Robert’s son are the only two Phillips in the 1992 IGI, (and one other mentioned below). There are very few Robert Goddards recorded at all, although 120 years later one of the few Roberts is possibly his great grandson. I have no other proof at all that all the Goddards mentioned so far have any connection whatsoever with those mentioned below, the connection is purely speculative. I wouldn’t be at all surprised, though, if I am able to prove it one day!

Robert and Abigail were married by licence and Robert was described as a ‘taylor, batchelor’. Abigail was from Ashurst, and a maiden. The surities were the ‘said R.G. and Martin Chesman of Angmering, yeoman’. Abigail’s father William Newick had married her mother Alice Tearle on the 29th July, 1679. He came from an Ashurst family, and was described as a husbandman. They had had two children before Abigail was born and baptised on the 22nd April 1705 and went on to have two or three more children afterwards. In the parish register Abigail is described as the daughter of William Newick and a “poor laborer”. What are we to make of that! Did he have an eye for the dairymaid? He obviously accepted Abigail as his child, as she was baptised in his name, and later in life her (half) sister Mercy was living near her in Angmering, so she surely grew up as one of the family.

How a maiden from Ashurst, and a tailor, who was possibly born in Stopham, came to be married in Chichester, with the backing of someone from Angmering, and finally to settle in Angmering is one of the mysteries it would be nice to sort out. It is possible that they married in Chichester because the local priest, from either Ashurst or Angmering, had two livings, – one in the city and one in the country. If he happened to be living in Chichester, then those wishing to marry would have had to go there for the ceremony. Robert doubtless made a reasonable living as a tailor. One wonders where he was apprenticed and trained, any clues to that do not appear to have survived.

The children

I have not, as yet, traced marriages for John, and Robin or Mary. A Philip Goddard married a Mary Churcher at Washington on the 20th October 1783, and this is probably Robert and Abigail’s son. I have not yet traced any children from this marriage. Benjamin married twice, both times in Angmering. The first time to Elizabeth Short on the 20th August 1765. Elizabeth was buried on the 11th November, 1782. After Elizabeth’s death Benjamin married Suzanna Pollard on the 2nd September, 1783. There do not appear to be any children from either of these marriages. Anne married John Fibbens on the 6th September, 1758 at Angmering.

An Abigail Goddard married John Parham on the 19th April, 1780 at Angmering. This must have been Robert’s widow, she would have been about 70 years old at the time. She died in Angmering and was buried on the 14th December, 1780, and her second husband was buried there on the 29th May, 1786.