This web site contains information about William Vine, miller, 1782-1836, and his family.


In 1811-12, when he was operating his first mill at Windover Hill, East Sussex, William kept a meteorological diary which he entitled 'Wheathers'. This came up for sale in 1990: we do not know who sold it or who bought it, but the auctioneers recognised its historic importance and deposited a complete photocopy in the East Sussex Records Office, of which I have now placed a complete set of scanned images on this web site.

(Click here for scanned images of Wheathers)


An article about William Vine was published in 1934 by one of his great grandchildren Raymond Henry Belton, in the Sussex County Magazine (click here to download a PDF). This article includes reproductions of a portrait of William Vine by Henry Bodle, husband of William's daughter Mary. (click here to view a high-resolution copy), and a watercolour of his mill (see picture above, or click here for high-resolution copy) painted by Henry Bodle in about 1843 (i.e. 6 years after William's death, and shortly before his widow Mary sold the mill).

These high resolution images are photographs of the originals which have been in the possession of Vine and Stuart Molony, and reproduced here by their kind permission. Also in their possession are four further paintings by Henry Bodle and his son Henry W. Bodle, copies of which you may see here:-

It seems highly likely that Henry Bodle's paintings were inspired by John Constable, with whom he was almost certainly acquainted since William Vine's mill was the subject of at least six of Constable's works.

The painting of Vine's mill and the portrait of William Vine were generously donated by Vine Molony to Brighton Museum on 21st June 2010, and after cleaning by the museum's paper conservator Heather Wood the watercolour of the mill was on display until 24 October 2010 in the Prints and Drawings Gallery at the Museum in The Pavilion at Brighton. It was then placed in storage and will be made available for Exhibitions as appropriate.

It is with sadness that we report that Vine Molony died on 9th August 2017 after a long illness.


There was also a portrait of Esther Vine, which certainly survived into the 20th century, of which we have a monochrome photograph, from the papers of Hubert Leggatt (her great-grandson via George Henley, Ethel Henley) but no provenance, and no clue as to the location of the original. (Click here to view). Another, different photograph is in the possession of another of Esther Vine's descendants, Anne Dubbelt, in Auckland, New Zealand. It is possible that the painting was taken to New Zealand by Esther's eldest son John Henley when he emigrated to Christchurch in 1874. If you have any information, please click here to email us


There is a surviving collection of letters connected with the Vine family.

For many years these letters were in the possession of Vine Molony, a descendant of both Rhoda and Mary Vine, and are now held by Andrew and Karen Belton, with whose kind permission I am now posting them on this web site, together with transcripts that were done by Andrew's grandfather Raymond Belton (who wrote the 1934 article).

There are copies of these letters and other information also on the 'Letter in the Attic' website. There is also more information on the My Brighton and Hove website.

Please click here to browse the collection.

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