Photo:Leonard Cole Hibling & Sarah (nee Knighton)

Leonard Cole Hibling & Sarah (nee Knighton)

Photo:Sarah Hibling with sons Arther, Len, Dick & Lawrence

Sarah Hibling with sons Arther, Len, Dick & Lawrence

Photo:Wedding of Gertrude Hibling - photo probably taken at the rear of Meeching Road

Wedding of Gertrude Hibling - photo probably taken at the rear of Meeching Road

By Carol Walton

The Hibling family originally lived in Peterborough, moving to Steyning around 1878 and then settling in Chapel Street, Newhaven in 1883.  Leonard Cole Hibling, head of the family, earned his living as an engine fitter, and was for several years connected with the cross channel ferries.  Leonard was also a member of the Ouse Valley Lodge, R.A.O.B.  The family tell the story of how Leonard, for a wager, climbed to the top of the sheerlegs and sat and played his cornet.  Leonard died in 1909 leaving his widow Sarah with ten children whose ages ranged from 9 to 30 years.

Sons and daughters of Leonard and Sarah were Alice, Edith, Gertrude, Leonard, Louise, Arthur, Florence, Horace, Emily and Lawrence.  In 1918 son Horace Richard (Dick) was drowned when HMS Narborough was wrecked off the Orkneys.  Son Arthur was killed when the cliffs at Newhaven collapsed in 1920, and daughter Louise, a nurse, died from blood poisoning in 1921.

Most of the family remained in Newhaven - Reg, son of Florence, worked for many years in the Newhaven Post Office.  But David, grandson of Lawrence, did what many boys have only dreamed of - at the age of 17 he left to join the circus, eventually becoming an animal trainer/presenter with Chipperfields. Over the years David has worked as a ringmaster for all of the major British circuses, hosted circuses for the BBC, and worked for Disney. In 1996 he became artistic director for Zippos Circus.

We would be interested to know if anyone has any other memories or knowledge of the family. 

This page was added by Carol Walton on 12/03/2010.
Comments about this page

I went to school with a girl named Lyndsey Hibling during the late 50's and early 60's. She lived with her parents in Lawes Avenue, No.7 or 11 maybe. Saw her at a reunion in 1998. Wonder if she is a descendant of the family above.

By Paul Blackman
On 13/03/2010

I went to school with David Hibling. I remember going round to his house one night to play (must have been about 10 years old, I suppose) and was amazed to see his room packed full of circus stuff. He knew what he wanted to do even then.

By Andy Gilbert
On 15/03/2010

Fascinating but think there is a typo. I am the grandson of Lawrence Hibling who married Alice (née White - another family with strong Newhaven connections). My father is Barry Hibling, only son of Lawrence and Alice.

By David hibling
On 15/03/2010

Apologies David, now corrected

By Carol Walton
On 15/03/2010

Yes, Lindsey is daughter of Reg Hibling and granddaughter of Florence.

By Carol Walton
On 19/03/2010

I am the only son of Laurence and Alice Hibling. I am married to Janice [Noakes]. David is our youngest son, and we have two other children Christopher and Margaret. For many years we lived in Newhaven, but Janice and I now live in Yorkshire to be near our daughter. Christopher is still living in Sussex.

By Barrymore Hibling
On 10/04/2010

My grandmother was Alice Hibling, eldest daughter of Leonard Cole & Sarah. My mother is Alice's only daughter, also named Alice.

By Carol Walton
On 10/04/2010

I am the daughter of Margaret Hibling (Sister of David Hibling) and I was just wondering where all the information and photos came from?

By Zailie Barratt
On 10/04/2010

The photos belonged to my mother, Alice, and the info came from Leonard's obituary and my own knowledge of the family.

By Carol Walton
On 10/04/2010

This is really fascinating. We are family Carol. Myself, my brother and our families are coming to Sussex in October to visit family places, would love to meet up.

By Zailie Barratt
On 14/04/2010

I would love to Zailie, email me on enquiries@ournewhaven.org.uk (I am one of the website editors) when you are in the area.

By Carol Walton
On 14/04/2010

So many Alice's!!! Carol your Grandmother was Alice Hibling and your Mum called Alice!! The Alice mentioned by my Dad (Barry Hibling) in his post was the wife of Lawrence (the youngest son of Sarah and Leonard) but she was born Alice White from another family of strong Newhaven connections - Carol it would be fascinating to know how we are related are you a cousin? cousin three times removed or???

By David Hibling
On 18/04/2010

Yes, lots of Alice's. My mother and your father are cousins. My grandmother was the eldest daughter of Leonard and Sarah and your grandfather was the youngest son. I think that makes us second cousins.

By Carol Walton
On 18/04/2010

Hi Carol. Will email you nearer the time, and arrange a meet. Would you like some pics of Barry Hibling and family? Zailie

By Zailie Barratt
On 18/04/2010

Some information on the family connection with Peterborough that may be of interest. Leonard Cole HIBLING was born 1857 at Peterborough, being the eldest son of William Barron HIBLING (1832-1901) of Westwood Street, Peterborough, railway engine driver, by Alice Elizabeth (1833-1909) daughter of Joseph YATES of Peterborough. He married in 1879 at Peterborough Sarah KNIGHTON of Peterborough (she was born 1861 at Peterborough). Their eldest daughter Alice Elizabeth was born 1879 at Peterborough and in the 1881 census they were residing at Preston Sussex where his occupation was described as an engine fitter. The Hibling family of Peterborough were descended from Edward HIBLING (1773-1863), the great grandfather of Leonard Cole, who had settled in Peterborough by 1808 being originally from Manea in Cambridgeshire. The descendants of Edward not only lived in Peterborough but also in Manea with others settling at Brighton, Maidstone and London. The Hibling family appear in the Downham and Welney area of Cambridgeshire from before the early 1700`s.

By David Fitzjohn
On 03/05/2010

David, thank you for this information. Are you related?

By Carol Walton
On 04/05/2010

Zailie, it would be great to see some more pictures of the family.

By Carol Walton
On 04/05/2010

I also went to school with David and spent several years as a child living next door to his grandparents in Lawes Avenue. I wasn't the least bit surprised when I saw David on TV years later as a circus ringmaster - as others have said, he was determined he'd do this from a very early age!

By Antony Golding
On 04/05/2010

Hi Barry, do you remember me? We went to the same school, nice to know you are alive and well. I remember Janis as well,  they were good old days, met your son David some time ago.

By johnny snow.
On 14/05/2010

Anthony TREE Golding !!!! well I never there's a blast from the past - by the way I am still in touch with Ian Marchant and Caroline Andrews

By David Hibling
On 14/06/2010

Hello David! You may remember my surname -we lived in Norman Road and you used to come round and play when we were quite small. I was interested to see you mention Ian Marchant - I don't remember him from my Newhaven days but have bumped into him several times since I moved to Shropshire- he comperes the annual Tour De Presteigne for electric bikes, and I've taken part most years. It was when I bumped into an old friend from Lewes School, also now living in Shropshire, that she mentioned that Ian came from Newhaven. Small world.

By Alan Terrill
On 24/07/2010

Hi, Some more information for you. Leonard Cole HIBLING b1857 (the eldest son of William Barrow HIBLING b1832) had a brother called Harry Cole Hibling b1863. Harry had 6 children, I believe, (Emily b1886, Walter b1887, Harry b1889, Albert b1890, Ernest b1893 and Rowland b1898). I am the great granddaughter of Rowland. Rowland had 2 sons Stanley and Kenneth. Kenneth is my grandfather and still bears Cole as his second name. Lovely to hear about you all.

By Leandra Graham-hibling
On 26/07/2010

Hi David, yes, I'm in touch with Ian too, and Richard Parker, Nick Shelley, Nick McNeil and Alain Saunders (although haven't seen him for a couple of years). Not in touch with Caroline though. In fact Nick Shelley, Richard Parker and I met up for (too much) beer last Friday!

By Antony Golding
On 04/09/2010

Hi folks. Yes I remember the Terills! Diane - sister? And Tree well there's a few from the old Tideway days. Nick McNeil used to frighten the life out of me!!! Say hello to Nick and Nick Shelley and Richard Parker when you next meet.

By David Hibling
On 19/09/2010

Reading through all the information on this page, I recognise the man in the centre of the second photo who is the father of my Mother-in-law (Edith Mary Funnell, nee Hibling). I remember Chris Hibling, at school many years ago.

An interesting page with an expanding family tree and links!

By Chris Young
On 01/10/2010

ttp://www.kaleidoscopepublishing.co.uk/books-manymoons1.html - autobiography just published by my Great Uncle Leonard White

By David Hibling
On 08/11/2010

We are a branch of the same family. My husband's family lived in Hove and he had an uncle and aunt = Percy and Aida Hibling. His grandfather Harry Hibling lived in Cuckfield. Strangely I once received an email from an elderly lady in Peterborough who was doing her family history and she mentioned Leonard Cole .... Also when we were first married and living in a flat in Hove we received some 'O' level results for I think David Hibling - wrong address of course and at that time we had not heard of the name...! My husband is Tony and he has been trying to do his family history in his retirement. We visited a place called Manea in Cambridgeshire which had a Hibling link and we found a house called Hibling House!

By Sue Hibling
On 07/01/2011

Hi I have a mystery in my family tree - my ancestor was John Peach, bapt May 1812, father was William mother Elizabeth. She was a Elizabeth Golding who married Thomas Peach in Parsons Drove, Cambs. Thomas died 1808, Elizabeth then married John Hiblin in Sept 1812. John Peach claimed John Hiblin as his father on his marriage cert. I believe that John Hibling was the father and some subdufuge was to cover up an embarrasing pregnancy. Could this John Hiblin be an ancestor of yours? thanks for any info from late 1700's and early 1800's Fiona

By Fiona
On 11/02/2011

I'm related to Sarah Knighton. Her brother Jabez is my 3rd Great Grandfather. The Knightons still live in Peterborough, which is where I was born.

By James Knighton
On 14/09/2012

James, I remember Sarah, she was my great grandmother and she lived in Newhaven with two of her daughters (Alice and Edith) until she died. Alice was my grandmother.

By Carol Walton
On 21/09/2012

Hi Just looking through the census for the Hiblings and think I may have found a mistake. You mention Arthur was drowned at sea and Horace was killed in an accident with the cliffs. Looking at the naval records, it was Horace that went down with his ship not Arthur. This is also inscribed on Arthur's headstone... Could this please be corrected in honour of Horace. Thanks

By Zailie Barratt
On 06/04/2013

Hi Carol. I am the Granddaughter of Lawrence Hibling who married Alice White. I would love to hear more about your Grandmother Alice, as I have just looked up Grandad's siblings but no Alice. Was she known by another name?

Alice was the eldest daughter of Sarah & Leonard and was only known by that name - Carol (Editor)

By Margaret Hibling
On 06/04/2013

Zailie - apologies, I got them muddled up - have now corrected.

By Carol Walton
On 11/05/2013

I am through Sarah Cole (nee Hibling). Sarah and William's daughter married William Howlett in 1854 and went on to have my 3x g.grandfather - Everett Howlett.....I always wondered where the Everett came from and interestingly I found Everett Hibling, who moved from Peterborough to Brighton. Would love to hear from anyone who can help with the jigsaw.

By Emma
On 08/09/2013

Hi everyone. I am currently searching my family tree and am overwhelmed by all these relations.  My great grandfather was Harry Cole Hibling, my grandfather being Walter Hibling married to Jessie, my dad was Maurice Walter Hibling.  From Peterborough this side of the family moved to Doncaster, Yorkshire probably because of the railways connection.  As a young man my dad was a mechanical engineer on the Flying Scotsman and Mallard. I know this posting is somewhat later than everyone else but I would love to hear if anyone has a Hibling connection to Yorkshire.  We also watched the circus every Christmas with David as ringmaster.  My dad said we were related somewhere down the line but I'm not sure how.

By Laurie Summerill (nee Hibling)
On 21/06/2016

Hi, I was Diane Terrill. I saw my brother Alan has already commented on here.

I looked you up as I was talking to a neighbour Bryan Rose and when he said he had lived at The Cloisters, I asked if he knew you. He said he lived 2 doors away. 

I remember your mum Jan and my mum Joyce were good friends. My mum is 90 now and still in very good health.  

By Diane Winser
On 11/02/2018

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