Brett Volume 1: Chapter VIII - Hastings 1832
- 1 Transcriber’s note
- 2 Chapter VIII Hastings 1832
- 3 Footnotes (including sources)
| This is a verbatim transcription of Brett’s work, which comprised both manuscript and typescript cuttings, and therefore reproduces Brett’s variations in style, capitalisation, punctuation and spelling. The only alterations made have been to the pagination and images whereby both page titles and images have been moved to the most appropriate paragraph as opposed to where they were pasted into the texts by the author. Where possible, personal names have been checked against census, parish records and the Central Register of Births, Marriages and Deaths. A number of footnotes have been inserted by the transcriber when this has been thought to be useful.
Readers should be aware that Brett’s narrative was written some forty to fifty years after these events and his memory has occasionally been found to be at fault by later historians.
Chapter VIII Hastings 1832[edit | edit source]
Investigation of the Charities Corrective items in 1781, 1787, 1796, 1801, 1807 & 1809
The Chancery suit
£1232 borrowed for defending the suit, and more than £1000 otherwise paid to the Chancery Court
A gift by Mr. Milward of £492 to the Corporation.
Explanation of the Drowned lands.
The Enquiry of 1832, and report of committee
Death of C.S. Crouch, 8 times Mayor
Important political and: municipal changes
The Commissioners' new Act obtained and the old one repealed
Deaths and fatal accidents
An exciting race
A violent hurricane
Arrival of the Duke, Duchess and Prince George of Cumberland for 6 months
First election under the provisions of the Reform Bill. political dinners, balls, etc.
On the 26th of April a Committee was formed from the enlarged Corporation to investigate the condition of the several charities, and to report thereon, but before even a summarised copy of that report is here produced it will add greatly to the elucidation of a somewhat complicated theme if recourse be had to an antecedent period of about fifty years for tracing the varied phases and circumstances leading up to the present enquiry.
The Charities[edit | edit source]
Pg.64 At the epiphany quarter sessions in 1781 Mr. Milward requested the Mayor to call to his assistance as soon as convenient some jurats, freemen and principle inhabitents to examine and settle the account of moneys received and paid on behalf of Saunders Charity and for other matters. On the 7th of April, 1796, the same gentleman delivered up his lease of the Maudlin [Magdalen Charity] lands of 21 years (from 1787) then occupied by Charles Deudney as his under-tenant, in consideration of the then recent advance value of lands in general, so that the rents and profits of such named land might be for the benefit of the poor of All Saints' and St. Clement's. It was then ordered by the Corporation that Messrs. Jeremiah Smith, of Crowhurst, and Thos. Cruttenden, of Westfield, be requested to re-value the said land.
At the quarter sessions held on the 7th of April, 1801, the a/c of moneys received and paid by Mr. Milward for Saunders' Charity from 1753 to 1795 was examined and allowed, the balance in favour of the Charity being £33 11s 5¾d. At the March quarter-day of 1807, the 86 acres of Charity land at Wittersham, which had before been loaned by William Taylor, was let to Smith Crouch at a rental of £80. To the Corporation on the 27th of May, 1809, was presented a copy of an information in Chancery at the suit of the Attorney-General upon the relation of Thomas James Breeds, of Hastings, and Thos. Clark of Rye, against the Trustees under the will of Mr. James Saunders, and it was then ordered that the Town Clerk, with the assistance of the Mayor and jurats prepare an answer to such information. The Mayor reported that he and the Deputy Mayor met the trustees of the Rye part of the Charity at the Town Hall of that town and inspected the a/cs which appeared to be just. The first letting of the Charity land was for £36 per annum; the second (in 1740) was £32; the third (in 1787) was £32, when was paid off £35 borrowed money; the fourth (in 1797) was £50; and the 5th was £89 5s 6d. There appeared, said the Mayor, nothing to be dissatisfied with. On the 25th of September in the same year, the Corporation received from Mr. Hoad a valuation of Parker's school lands in the parish of Ore, comprising 5 pieces in the occupation of Samuel Satterly (45a. 2r. 9p) valued at £44 per ac.; one piece of arable land called Bunger field (6a. 1r. 24p.), occupied by Mr. Weller, valued at £6; seven pieces of arable land and a shaw (44a. 2r. 37p.) occupied by Richard Edwards, valued at £36 10s.; four pieces of arable and pasture land (9a. 2r. 3p.) occupied by Thomas Sinnock, valued at £47 10s. Total £134.
Mr. Hoad further reported that Mr. Edwards had greatly improved his land since 1802 by underdraining, grubbing and manuring, which ought to be taken into account. Also that Thomas Sinnock's land was much improved, but that in consequence of the barracks close by, it required fencing from the road with post and rail, or its value would be lessened. The Corporation resolved that Mr. Hoad's valuation would be accepted, their belief being that he was a competent judge and a man of strict integrity. The different tenants also agreed to accept his valuation. On the 12th of April, 1810, at a Corporation meeting after the reading of two letters from James Breeds and James Hallaway, the Mayor states that the several augmentations in the rents of charity land had been in 1787 from £30.6s. to £49.16s.; afterwards, under the valuation of Mr. Skinner, from £49.16s. to £67; under the valuation of Mr. Hoad, in 1802, from £67 to £75; and in 1809, Pg.65 under Mr. Hoad's valuation from £75 to £134. At the same meeting, it was resolved "that the Corporation entirely approve of the conduct of the Mayor and jurats, and hereby ratify and confirm all that has been done by them." The suit against the Corporation at the instance of Thos. Jas. Breeds and Thomas Clark, having now commenced caused much ill-feeling amongst the inhabitance, some of them siding with the so-called narrators and some of the believing that the Corporation had faithfully and honourably carried out their trusts. Thomas Breeds, it was said entirely disapproved of his brother's James' interference, and roundly abused him, for which he was summonsed for an assault, but the case was withdrawn. It was also said that he was vexed at his brother for using his baptismal Thomas James instead of James only, as many persons might suppose that it was he (Thomas) who had been one of the instigators of the Chancery suit. Another withdrawn indictment at the Quarter Sessions was that against George Carswell for an assault on his brother Rowe Carwell. At the Corporation meeting of December 4th, copies of affidavits made by Thos. Jas. Breeds and William Amoore - re the Chancery suit were read and explained.
At another assembly of the Corporation (Feb 28th, 1811), the answer to the amended information in the Chancery suit at the instance of Thos. Clark and Thos. Ellsworth, of a fourth part of the Priory lands, was entirely approved and put in before Messrs. Bishop and Thorpe, the Commissioners appointed for that purpose. It was also ordered that notice be given to the respective tenants of Parker's lands to quit at Michaelmas, as directed by the Lord Chancellor. On the following 11th of June, it having been stated by the Town Clerk that upwards of £300 had already been spent in defending the Chancery suit on a charge of mismanagement of the Charity estates, and that a further sum for conducting the defence would be required, it was ordered that £500 be borrowed at 5 per cent interest and that the Mayor or his Deputy be authorised to apply for the same. It would appear that the Corporation had been asked for the original deeds of the Magdalen lands, and being unable to produce any, a memorial was presented at the adjourned Michelmas Sessions in 1812, as follows:-
That whereas the real estate of the Magdalen lands, consisting of 9 pieces or parcels of arable, and meadow pastures and woodland, containing 55 acres and 31 perches with a barn and close situate in the parish of St. Mary Magdalen near Hastings & the gross income amounting to £49. per an & the objects of which foundation are the poor of Hastings, was founded by some person unknown, and that there are no deeds, wills or other instruments in our possession or any other person to the best of our knowledge.— The Mayor and jurats of the Corporation of Hastings
The Charities (cont.)[edit | edit source]
It has been here shown that the several tenants of Parker's Charity were to quit possession, as ordered by the Lord Chancellor at the ensuing Michaelmas quarter-day. Presumably, this order was complied with, and Pg.66 on the 7th of December the Corporation ordered that the Charity Lands be let by tender for 14 years, to commence from such time as the Corporation could legally possess themselves thereof conformably with the direction given by the Court of Chancery.
From a letter of this date which once caught my vision in a County newspaper, it would appear that someone personally interested in the case had written disparagingly of the action taken by Breeds and Clark, and which provoked the following reply:-
The trustee who undertook to remark so illiberally upon the statement of these proceedings, would have done well had he consulted certain records and founded his observation on well known facts. Mr. Saunders gave a considerable landed estate to establish a grammar school and two children's schools, and to put out annually two apprentices. Mr. Parker also gave a large estate to establish a grammar school, and a Mr. Richard Ellsworth gave considerable property for a school. The prinicpal schools are all under one master and the children's schools are under two old women as mistresses. These are recorded facts. It was not our wish to mislead your readers, but we feel we did commit an error in stating the rent obtained for the farm was only £225 10s. instead of £240. It may be well also to observe that by the interference of the relators, Hastings has derived an annual increase of rents, and altogether an addition of £338 10s. to what was received by the Trustees.— C.B. for the Relators
The foregoing correspondence does not throw much light on the affair as it might be read by a stranger, and when all the facts are fairly stated, the advantages gained by an appeal to the Court of Chancery were not beset by such roseate views as might have appeared at first blush. When, as has been shown, the Corporation had to borrow £500 to defend their position against the charge of mismanagement, add to which more than a thousand pounds had to be paid from the Charities' funds as the costs incurred in the Chancery Court by Breeds & Clark, and that one school was suspended for five or six years in consequence, it will be admitted that these conditions were a great drawback to the otherwise improved regulations.
As the main provisions of these Charities are given or are intended to be given in the "Premier Cinque Port" under the years in which they were granted by the testators, it will not be necessary to repeat Pg.67 them here; but as the present History dates only from 1828, it has been thought desirable to go back to an earlier period and trace this particular feature from such earlier period to the year 1832, in which a later enquiry has given rise to this review, many items of which are published for the first time.
By the new regulations as decided by the Court of Chancery, £50 instead of £20, were to be applied to apprenticeships; £35 to each of the school dames and the residue (about £100) to the master of Saunder's school, such master to find his own school room and to teach 70 boys reading writing, arithmetic, mathematics, navigation and Latin. The land in future to be let to the highest bidder, such bidder to give security for the rent; but if the rents decreased, the salaries to the schoolmaster and mistresses to be reduced. The accounts to be gratuitously kept by the schoolmaster, and separate from all other accounts. The schoolmaster to have no other avocation, and to be appointed or dismissed by the Mayor, jurats and commonality, who would also have power to make rules for the better management of the schools if not contrary to the intention of the founder.
A present of £492 3s. 10d. by Mr. E. Milward to the Corporation[edit | edit source]
For twelve years, Mr. Joseph Hannay had been master of the Saunders and Parkers schools, united and had limited the number of scholars to 55, the income from the two charities being very small even for that service; but after the Chancery arrangements, he tended his resignation of Saunders School and on the 2nd of March 1813, the Corporation resolved
That this assembly highly approves the unremitting attention which has been shown by Mr. Hannay to the moral and religious instruction of scholars entrusted to his care ever since he was appointed master of the charity schools in 1800, at which time he was permitted by the Commissioners of Excise to resign his office in their department for the purpose of being eligible for the management of such schools. And we are unanimously of opinion that he is eminently qualified to teach the youth of this town to get their own living comfortably in the benevolent intentions of the founder as expressed in his will, and the inhabitants would derive great advantage from his continuance as master of the school on Mr. Parker's foundations whenever it may be thought fit to separate such school from the one founded by Mr. Saunders
The £500 borrowed by the Corporation for the expenses of the Chancery Suit being insufficient for the purpose the following resolution was passed at their meeting on May 4th, 1813:-
Whereas it appears that further expenses to the amount of £732 over and above the aforementioned sum of £500 have been incurred in defending the Chancery Suit, and that it is expected a sum should be raised immediately to defray the same, as well as to pay off the said £500 and interest, it is ordered that £1,232 be borrowed of Messrs. Tilden, Sampson Harvey and Gill, bankers upon bond, at lawful interest, under the seal of the Corporation. Also at this assembly it appears that whereas the sum of £492 3s. 10d. had at different times been borrowed by the Corporation of E. Mil- Pg.68 -ward, Esq., deceased, and as appears by the promissory notes now produced by his son, as well as by the public a/cs. of the Corporation, audited on the 15th of March, 1813 - Now it be known that at this assembly, the said son, E. Milward Esq., requested the Corporation's acceptance of the said sum of £492 3s. 10.d, as a mark of his esteem and respect for the Corporation; and the said E. Milward delivered up the promissory notes to be cancelled, and the same are cancelled accordingly.
After Mr. Hannay's resignation of the mastership of Saunder's school, the scholars which he then had continued with him as upon Parker's foundation, but in 1816, he also resigned that office and was succeded by Mr. Slade who had the reputation of being a good educationalist. On the 5th of October, 1817, (after several years suspension of Saunder's school in consequence of the funds being absorbed by the costs of the Chancery suit), the Corporation appointed Mr. W. H. Prior[Notes 1] as schoolmaster, who, not being able to afford, as required, or even to obtain a school room in the town, had to put up with the loan of a loft over Breeds's Warehouse at the White Rock end of the Rope Walk. Also in the same year, Mr. Jas. Thorpe was engaged as master of Parker's school, using an inconvenient building near The Croft, this attended by "The Postman"
From Eighteen-fifteen until Thirty three
It was his right or privilege here to be
He bought the house, adjoining store as well
The last for school, the first wherein to dwell.
This Mr. Thorpe for fifteen years or more
At Coburg Place, schoolmaster was before
In Eighteen-sev'nteen, Mr. Thorpe became
Of School the master Parker's school by name
On the 7th of December, 1818, an official enquiry was held by the Charity Commissioners, in which evidence was given by E. Milward, Esq. (Mayor), J. G. Shorter, Esq., Mr. Tompsett (Town Clerk), Mr. Edwards (chamberlain) and Mr. Prior (schoolmaster). The facts elicited as pertaining to Saunder's Charity were that the costs of the Chancery suit had to be paid out of the charity estate, and the costs of the defence to be paid out of the Corporation funds; that the property consisted of two houses, a barn and buildings, with about 75 acres of land at Wittersham, in the Isle of Oxney, let in 1812 for 14 years to David Dunk at a rent of £233 10s. Also 17 acres of so-called drowned lands, then only at times covered with water, but the boundary undetermined, for which £4 11s. 8d. was paid as rent. Also an undivided moiety of lands called Starvenden, let to Mr. Goble at £22; that for about six years past there had been no schoolmaster; that the two schoolmistresses had been paid a part of the time; that no apprentices had been put out since 1810; that the re-opened school was now filled; that a permanent schoolroom was much needed, but difficult to get; that the master was obliged to find a room out of his salary, and not being able to get a proper place was thankful to Mr. Breeds for the loan of his warehouse; that the chamberlain, as advised by the solicitors on both sides, received from Mr. Dunk only a rent of £212 10s. instead of £233 10s. until 17 acres of drowned land were recovered and enjoyed by the tenant; that Dunk complained he could not live on the farm at so high a rent; that more than £1000 had been paid into Chancery; and that there was a balance of £54 8s. 1d. in the bank due to the trustees.
The Drowned Charity Lands[edit | edit source]
Of Parker's Charity, the property taken under the will dated Nov. 15th 1619 consisted of 113 acres and 22 poles in the parish of Ore, which in 1780 was let for 21 years to Mr. Milward at a varied rent of Pg.69 from £36 6s. to £49 16s. In 1802, it was let in three separate parcels to an equal number of tenants, for a total of £134. Shortly before the filing of the information, Mr. Thos. Jas. Breeds, one of the relators, offered £210 for it, but the offer was declined on the ground that it would be unjust to the tenants, who had increased the value of the lands by very considerable improvements under the belief that they would be permitted to occupy them for at least seven yers. In 1811, however, the Chancery order was that they should be let by auction but that Mr. Breeds should not bid less than the price he offered. As no other person would bid at so high a price, Mr. Breeds became the lessee for 14 years at £210, clear of all deductions. After that the Chancery Court ordered the Corporation to pay £137 13s. out of their own funds, being nearly the difference between the old rent and £200 for two years. It has been already shown how great was the expense to the Corporation - and, consequently, the town - were put to by the Chancery suit, and how one of the schools was not re-established for five or six years, and how Mr. Milward generously gave to the Corporation the £492 3s. 10d. for which his father held bonds for lent money.
Another investigation and report of Charity Lands[edit | edit source]
As there are so few persons acquainted with the history of the so-called drowned lands mentioned in the foregoing official enquiry the following explanation is presented. Wittersham Level is referred to in a decree of Lord Clarendon dated from June 6th 1666, which
SHEWETH - That in 1604, Thomas Fane and others exhibited their bill of complaint into the Court of Chancery against Sir Edward Hales and others, to the effect that they (the complainants) are owners of lands in Wittersham Level - and that the said Level that, for the last forty years & upwards, consisted of 1000 acres or thereabouts of low marsh land, & of 1500 acres, or thereabouts, of high marsh land; all of which said high lands about 37 years ago were good summer and winter lands, & all of the said low lands were then also good summer lands, & for the most part good winter lands, & that the said level is governed by a particular Commission of sewers, & that the upper levels for the last 40 years did consist of 5000 acres or thereabouts, of marsh adjoining the said Wittersham Level, the greatest part of which were, about 36 years since, drowned & lost, yielding no profit and the residence were then decaying and in danger of being lost, also; that the said Upper Levels were governed by another particular Commission and that owners (having fruitlessly spent about £20,000 about the draining & preserving the said marsh by the old circular way of sewering by Appledore) took into consideration a new course or channel, which might be made through Wittersham Level in a direct line, and five miles in ten nearer to the sea than the former old circular way; but as the same could not be effected but by sew[er]ing through Wittersham Level, they made several propositions to the owners of the said marsh to obtain their consent. The parties having agreed, the owners of the Pg.70 two Levels petitioned the Lord Keifer, the owners of the Upper Levels, that they & the owner of Wittersham Level that they might be governed by their own particular Commission as formerly. And, upon hearing of counsel on both sides, Nov. 11th, 1629, his Lordship ordered—
That there should be six indifferently chosen of the owners of the Upper Levels, who had no lands in Wittersham Level, and six owners of Wittersham, who had no lands in Upper Levels, and the twelve or major part, should consider of some means for the draining of Upper Levels, without prejudice to Wittersham, or, if they should receive prejudice, then they might be secured out of the lands of the said Upper Levels. In pursuance whereof, Sir George Fane, knt., and five others were chosen for the Wittersham Level, at Robertsbridge; and Sir Edward Hales, knt., and five others, were chosen for the Upper Levels, at Maidstone. That, after the space of two years or so, upon February 15th, 1631, these twelve made an agreement for completing certain works for the recovery and preservation of the Upper Levels, and also for securing and indemnifying Wittersham Level.
Then followeth the several articles of agreement, and the Decree further sheweth —" that all these articles were agreed to and benefit reaped therefrom by Upper Levels; but before all things were accordingly accomplished, the sea and dead waters of the Upper Levels broke in upon above 1500 acres of land in Wittersham Level, and that great danger threatened the rest: whereupon the aforesaid Lord Keeper, in September 1635, ordered (on complaint made to him) that the waters broken in should there remain, and Sir Edward Hales and others should enter into convenants to Sir George Fane and others, to make satisfaction for damage which was, or should be, sustained by the owners of Wittersham Level, by reason of the continuing the sea and letting off the river of Rother into the indraught until such securities as formerly mentioned should be perfected; or otherwise Krell Dam should be made up at the charges of the said Upper Levels."
Other articles of agreement follow, including one in which Sir Edward Hayles and others “agree to pay the rent by indraught landowners half-yearly, at the church porch, in the town of Rye, and to make good all damages done."
The Charities - Important Changes[edit | edit source]
And now-to repeat what was first stated-on the 26th of April 1832, another enquiry was suggested, and the Corporation
Resolved that in consequence of the late increased number of freemen it was deemed necessary to examine and regulate the several charities and funds invested in the Corporation, the same to be reported on at the next meeting by the following committee:- The Mayor and Deputy Mayor, W. Scrivens, Jos. Hannay, Walter and Nathaniel Crouch, Wm. Thorpe. Geo. Duke, K. B. Baker, Wm. Edwards, Wm. Amoore, Geo. Robinson, Geo. Jackson. Jas. Winter, Wm. Ransom, Wm. Longley, J. Mannington, Wm. Chapman and Jas. Emery.
The committee appointed to investigate the condition of the Charities submitted their report at a meeting of the Corporation on the 28th of May nearly as follows:-
"We find on J. Henbry's part of Parker's Charity that several buildings have been erected, the whole hedge is in a dilapidated state, thus making the high road dangerous, the hen-house adjoining the Fortune of War, encroaching 3 feet, a footpath leading to the side door also an encroachment, the meadow land badly farmed, a large piece of the 8½ acres in a filthy state, with hog-sties and a slaughter-house, all of which are encroachments, and a footpath made across the 8½ acres opposite the beer shop on the Barrack ground towards Mr. Puttock's house which has no right. We recommend that Mr. Henbrey have notice to put all things to rights and to use the land in a husbandry-like manner. On proceeding to that part of the said estate let on lease to George Robinson and now occupied by Mr. Wyatt, we find the land in a very good state of cultivation, all in good repair and no encroach Pg.71 ments.
With respect to the Magdalen Charity, we carefully examined the land occupied by Ransom and Ridley, and find it well used and fences well kept up. We are of the opinion that the present mode of distributing the funds of this charity is highly objectionable and that it confers no real benefit on anyone. We suggest that the rents should be distributed in sums of £10 amongst such poor deserving families of St. Leonards and All Saints as the Corporation shall select.
Of Saunders' Charity, we recommend that the £139 80. 10d now in the Court of Chancery be obtained if possible, and appropriated towards the erection of a schoolroom on the ground lately purchased, and that the relators, Messrs. Breeds and Clarke be applied to as to whether they will resist the application.
The application, as is shown in the next year's items was not resisted and the money was recovered, less the legal expenses. The following changes were also recommended by the committee to be effected by the Corporation:-"That for the better administration of justice, a barrister of 9 or 10 years standing, be engaged to attend Quarter Sessions, at ten guineas each session; that the Hundred and Audit dinners hitherto paid for by the Corporation be abolished; that Stephen Waters be apprenticed with Saunders Charity, to Hugh Penfold, ironmongerer and gas fitter; that the Hundred Court in future to be held annually, and that in settling the pier dues with the merchants no deductions be allowed for suppers as heretofore; that payment of the fee-farm rents be strictly enforced and that the same rents and compositions of rents of all premises held in fee and collected by the chamberlains be offered to the owners of the premises, out of which they are issuing at 20 years purchases on the amount of their respective rents, and that the annuity of £25 payable for the fee-farm rents to Mr. Milward be purchased of him provided he is willing to sell the same; that £500 be invested by the Mayor in the new Commissioners' Act when that Act has become law; and that the freehold of the ground applied for by the Castle parish overseers at the price of £400 be granted. The Corporation received and adopted all the recommendations of the Committee, except those which relate to the distribution of the Magdalen Charity fund, the payments for the ringing pf church bells on H. M. birthday and Coronation anniversaries (which were to be continued as usual), and the price of land to the Castle parish overseers (which was to be £200, instead of £400).
To understand the purpose for which the said land was wanted, it is necessary to state that on the 30th of March, at a vestry meeting, the overseers and others resolved to apply to the Corporation for a conveyance of the freehold of the Workhouse ground, and upon what terms, so that a plan and elevation for 3 or 4 small houses might be prepared by Mr. Walter Inskipp. At another vestry meeting (June 21st), it was ordered that the offer of the Corporation to sell the ground to the overseers for £200 be accepted, the conditions being that no building was to be erected beyond a line from the corner of John Simmons's house, near the Priory Bridge to the corner of the Wellington Library. At the next meeting (Aug 2) it was resolved that £100 be raised during the year Pg.72 towards the purchase of the Workhouse ground, and that tenders be invited for a sixty years' lease for the two pieces of the Workhouse land for building thereon, the erections not to exceed three storeys, including basements - Hence the dwarfed appearance of those houses and shops opposite to York Buildings, even at this time (1897). The three lots were sold - so it was understood - to Peter Banks, Thomas Nelson and Edward Honess, the price of each lot being £14 15s. and the leases ordered to be prepared at once. An engine-house was also permitted to be built on a piece of the Workhouse yard for which the Corporation was to pay 1s. a year.
On the sea-front of this ground was Denmark Place, and a complaint was made to the Corporation that the taking of beach from the mouth of the Priory Water was endangering the houses. It was therefore ordered that Messrs. Ransom, Prior and Gallop see that the waggons remove the beach from a spot where no harm would accrue.
On the 5th of April, Robt. Ranking, a surgeon and a freeman was called to the magistrates' Bench to serve as a jurat, for the honour of which he paid a sum of 40s. In the following year he was chosen Mayor. He also in 1836 took the office a second time, in the place of solicitor W. Thorpe, who had been declared a bankrupt. Later in the yer, the Corporation ordered to be written on the minutes the following
Memorandum, that on the 22nd of October 1832, at 11 p.m. Charles Steevens Crouch, Esq., one of the jurats, departed this life at 53 years of age, universally respected.
Mr Crouch had been Mayor in 1817, 1819, 1821, 1823 (when he laid the first stone of the High-street Town-hall and Market), 1825, 1827, 1829 and 1831; altogether eight time. He, like Mr. Ranking, was a surgeon by profession. At the same meeting that Mr. Ranking was made a jurat, a letter was received from Messrs. Shipdeen and Stringer (solicitors to the Cinque Ports) requesting the interference of the Corporation at the House of Commons in relation to a Bill of the Commissioners of Sewers, containing clauses which would impinge on the ancient jurisdiction and liberties of the Ports. The action taken on this communication was a petition against such clauses, presented by the town's representatives, Messrs. North and Warne. As a detailed account of the Reform Banquet, and festivities of 1832, appears in Chapter VII under the heading of St. Leonards, it will not, of course, be repeated here - but as the money collected for the purpose did not quite meet the expenses, it was ordered by the Corporation on the 2nd of August that £25 be paid by the Chamberlain to make up the deficiency. In the same chapter, reasons are given for recording the joyous event under the head of St. Leonards, rather than that Pg.73
- Baines gives the spelling as 'Pryor' - see Hastings Grammar School - Transcriber