Samson Samuel Hall was the third son of William and Frances (Fanny) Hall (nee Smith). William and Fanny were married in 1858 at East Meon church. William had been born there in 1833 and Fanny was born in Froxfield in 1837. William died in 1900 when he was 66 yrs of age, at Froxfield and was buried at High Cross churchyard. Frances however, lived on until 1923 when she died at Petersfield, aged 85 yrs then being a resident of Ramshill. She, too, was buried at High Cross churchyard
When the 1891 census was conducted, William and Fanny were living at Church Farm Cottage at Priors Dean. Church farm was part of the Tichborne Estates derived from Compton Tichborne, who had died without issue several hundred years earlier in 1657. In 1891 they were living at Church Farm Cottage with three of their children who still lived at home, Benjamin then 29 yrs, Daniel then 17 yrs and Eveline Fanny who was 10 vrs old. After William died in 1900, Fanny had to move out of the tied cottage and start to make a living on her own. This she did by taking in washing, and some ten years later Evie and Olive walked for miles through the lanes of Froxfield collecting and delivering this washing. Fanny lived firstly at Hall Place for a short time, then Old House, which she then vacated in 1911 for her grandson Robert who had married Ivy Hickman. Fanny went to a small house at Trooper Bottom until she was too old to work any longer and was admitted to an institution at Petersfield in Ramshill. There she died six years after her son Samson.
William and Frances had seven children altogether. The eldest was George William (b. 1860) and following the practice which was common in those days he was given the names of Kings. Some of the others were given Biblical names and Benjamin (b. 1862) followed George, then Samson Samuel (b. 1867), Gomer (b. 1869), Agnes Johanne (b. 1871) Daniel (b. 1873) and Eveline Fanny (b. 1880).
The circumstances in which Alice Wright met Samson Hall are not recorded but they were married at Priors Dean Church on 20th October 1888 by the notable Rev Thos. Hervey of Colemore. Alice had come to Froxfield from Chesham in Bucks just a year earlier. The couple set about making a home for themselves at Hermitage Cottages and had seven children of their own. Agnes Kate (b. 1889), Robert Alfred (b. 1890), Caroline Elizabeth (b. 1892) who was known as Bessie. Samuel William (b. 1893), Olive Alice (b. 1898), Eva May (b. 1902) who was known as Evie, and Jack who was born in 1908.
They were resident there at the time of the 1891 census but the cottages no longer exist today, having been demolished after the second world war. They too were part of the Tichborne Estates but in 1923 or thereabouts the farm was bought off Tichborne Estates by a grandfather of John Nicholson, who lives there today. This Nicholson is not any relation to the W G Nicholson, a distiller of gin in London, and of Basing Park, Privett. John Nicholson set about rebuilding the farm house quite recently.
At the turn of the century, Samson moved to the W G Nicholson Estates for employment and was temporarily given accommodation at Alexanders until Hall Place had been vacated by Fanny Hall and the house had been renovated. Samson & Alice and family moved in there in about 1905. Samson was very good with horses, he and his two sons Robert and Sam Junior) worked at Claypits Farm until the first world war when both Robert and Samuel joined the army; Robert in the Grenadier Guards and Sam in the Hampshire Regiment. Jack was too young and learned to become a master plumber.
Samson was a kindly man and was devoted to his children, who loved him too. But the bringing up of them was left to Alice to do so in a fairly strict way. Samson's occasional visits to the White Horse public house then known as "The Barnett" were only with the acquiescence of Alice of whom Samson had to ask for a shilling to go there. On one occasion. he was severely reprimanded by Alice for spending two shillings and sixpence on two very attractive pictures of Highland Deer when they were so short of money. The pictures still exist and their daughter Evie had them in her possession as a loving reminder of her father until she herself died.
Sam became very ill from what he thought was influenza and on Saturday 5th May 1917 he walked the four miles or so to Petersfield in order to get for himself some medication. His condition worsened rapidly and he died on Monday 7th May, being buried at High Cross churchyard on Monday May 14th 1917. His grave is today unmarked but is located between the Yew Tree and the nearest Oak tree at the south-east corner of the church yard. Samson was only 50 yrs of age and his children were heartbroken when he died.
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