Frederick Parsons (1844-1900)
Born in Rye on the 6th of October, 1844, Frederick Parsons was the son of Isaac Parsons a newspaper proprietor and printer. Frederick moved to Hastings in 1864, where his father had recently started publishing the Hastings Herald in 1861. The Observer was purchased from its founder, a Mr JH Knight in 1866 and then merged with the Herald, the resulting periodical being called the Hastings Observer from 1873. Over the following years he created a large business, centred in Hastings, but with outposts along the south-east coast, the Hastings & St Leonards Observer being under his ownership until 1971.
When he died on January the 21st 1900 , he owned the newspaper, the large printing and stationery business in Claremont, and was director of many other companies, including the Albany Hotel (of which he was chairman), Skinners, the Hastings Bus Company, the Electric Light Company and the Steamboat Company. He was described as ‘an orthodox Conservative’ and known to be a freemason. He lived at Cumberland House, Laton Road, next door to Christ Church Blacklands.