David Driver


Roundel transparent white background and edge 97 copy

David Dennis Driver was born in Nutfield in Surrey in 1872 the son of Jacob and Rhoda Driver, who were originally from Norfolk. By 1881 the family had moved to Ditchling  and were living in a cottage on East End Lane. Jacob was a Cowman, and nine-year-old David was at school. Aged 19, David was already employed as a “miller flour mill”, so probably assisting Jesse White at Oldland. It was here that he met Hephzibah White, Jesse’s niece. She most likely would have visited the mill with her father John, especially if John took over from his older brother when Jesse died in November 1891. David married Hephzibah in Keymer in 1894. They had one son Albert William born in 1895 in Ditchling. By 1901 they were living in Oldland Cottage and David was earning a living as a corn merchant and miller and was assisting his father in law, who by now was the tenant miller. It is interesting to note they were milling corn at this time. In 1904 David took over fully the milling duties when John White died suddenly following an accident, becoming a business partner with Sarah, John’s widow. In 1910 they tried unsuccessfully to sue Major Patton-Bethune, from Burgess Hill who they alleged owed them nearly £19. With his son Albert assisting, they were both still working the Mill in 1911, they also had the services of John Frederick Newnham who had been working as the miller’s assistant for more than 20 years. David was the last full time miller at Oldland Mill when milling ceased in about 1912. He died at the Manor House, Keymer in 1949.

Text from: “The Millers’ of Old Land Mill” by Colin Hewitt.