Welcome back, Sir Jeffrey

A fund-raising campaign has performed a small miracle and seen the return of a much-loved figure to Folkestone's Kingsnorth Gardens.


A new statue of Sir Jeffrey Hudson - who was also known as Tom Thumb - was reinstated after the original had to be removed two years ago because of wear and tear, and vandalism.

It followed a fund-raising campaign led by David Noble and Folkestone Town Councillor, Richard Wallace, of the Go Folkestone community group and included the sale of a specially-produced 2017 calendar.

At the unveiling on Wednesday (5 September) Mr Noble thanked people for their support for the project and the generosity of main donors - Cllr David Monk, Leader of Folkestone & Hythe District Council;  Folkestone Mayor, Cllr Ann Berry; Folkestone Town councillor, Richard Theobald, and Mick Walton, whose parents lived in the village of  Oakham  where Sir Jeffery was born in 1619.

His statue had been in Kingsnorth Gardens since 1928 and it is good to see him back  just 50 feet away from where he had stood for all those years. The success of the campaign reflects the affection and curiosity that Sir Jeffrey has always attracted. David Noble, who led the fundraising campaign

Folkestone Mayor, Cllr Ann Berry, who unveiled the new statue, said it was good to see Sir Jeffrey back in his rightful place.

This has been a wonderful project. Sir Jeffrey led a colourful life and it's very pleasing to see him back where he belongs. Cllr Ann Berry, Mayor of Folkestone

Sir Jeffrey was a court dwarf of Charles l's Queen, Henrietta Maria of France.

He was considered one of the "wonders of the age" because of his extreme but well-proportioned smallness.  He had an exciting life, and always fought against prejudice. He shot a man dead in a duel who had insulted him .The man had been silly enough to come along to the duel with a water pistol.

Published on 10 September 2018