Brett Volume 4: Chapter XLIII - St. Leonards 1850

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Transcriber’s note[edit]

Chapter XLIII St. Leonards 1850[edit | edit source]

 Pg.01 Contents—Transactions of the St. Leonards Commissioners—Railway Company charged with having caused danger to the parade; correspondence thereon and calling in competent opinion; action at law advised, but abandoned— New assessments—Vestry meetings of St. Leonards and Saint Mary Magdalen—Wesleyan matters—Mechanics Institution—St. Leonard’s church; its baptisms and burials—Marriage in high life—Death and interment of the Rev. John Jones, the founder of All Souls Convent—Deaths of Sir Thomas Marrable and Sir John Buchan—Converts to Romanism—Accidents and incidents—Railway works and their progress—Counterfeit tickets and coins—The Eversfield waterworks—Storms and destructive tides—Mr. Woodford’s new houses and why they were named “Agincourt” (an item of ancient history)—Public amusements—Royal visitors—The Queen’s St. Leonards archers—Atmospheric and other phenomena—Miscellaneous occurrences.

Transactions of the St. Leonards Commissioners[edit | edit source]

The first quarterly meeting of the Saint Leonards Commissioners in 1850 was not held until the 25th of March. I will follow my rather usual course of reviewing those meetings first; and this will afford an explanation of some of the business transacted or matters discussed at the meetings of the Town Council. Presiding at this meeting was Captain Davies, and the other commissioners present were Messrs. Alfred and Decimus Burton, James Mann, H. W. Brown and the Rev. G. D. St Quintin. The following report was received from the committee.

“The Superintending Inspector from the board of health having, in consequence of a petition from the borough, given notice of his intention to come down for the purpose of obtaining evidence as to the sanitary state of the town, and as the Commissioners had, on a previous occasion, expressed their disapprobation of the Health of Town Act being applied to St. Leonards, your committee consider it their duty to obtain the feelings of the inhabitants on the subject by having a petition to the Board of Health drawn up, praying that the Act shall not be applied. This was agreed to by about fifty householders. The clerk subsequently had an interview with the Inspector (Mr. Cresy)[1], who intimated that the Act would be applied to Hastings only, but suggested that certain improvements might be made in the local Act by means of a provisional order of the General Board of Health, to be sanctioned by a public General Act which, if approved, would be noticed in the Inspector’s report. But doubts having occurred as to the  Pg.02 possibility of making alterations in the local Act without the town being put under the application of the Public Health Act, a case was submitted to Mr. Lawes for Counsel’s opinion. This opinion was that such amendment could not be effected except for the purpose of applying the whole or part of the Public Health Act to the town. A copy of this was forwarded to Mr. Cresy[1].”

Whether Mr. R.B. Brander and Mr. G. F. Jarman were for or against the Health of Towns Act being applied to St. Leonards does not appear, but it was announced at this meeting that they declined to serve on the Board of Commissioners to which they had been elected in the preceding December.

At their next quarterly meeting on the 24th of June the members present were Messrs. St. Quintin, Davies, A. and D. Burton, W. J. Burton, C, H. Southall, J Mann. S. Chester and G. B. Greenough; the last named gentleman in the chair. The business transacted was that in future every proposition intended to be made should be put in writing, and sent to the clerk a week prior to the meeting; that a committee confer with Dr. Harwood, he having applied to lay down water-pipes to his house at The Uplands from a well that Messrs. Eversfield and Deudney allowed him to sink; that the east line of boundary be correctly laid down in the Commissioners’ map and that Mr. Decimus Burton be permitted to drain his houses leading west from the National Schools into the sewer at Mercatoria.At the September meeting it appeared that Mr. Jarman had revoked his determination to resign and then took the usual oath to serve. The matters discussed were few, and the decisions arrived at were Mr. D. Burton to be allowed to drain his “Cottage” at Maze Hill, and Dr. Harwood “The Uplands” on certain conditions of payment.

The next meeting held on the 27th of the same month was special and important. A loan of £1000 was obtained from a Mr. Marrable, bearing interest at five per cent. Of this sum a moiety was invested in an Exchequer bill, and deposited with the Treasurer. Tenders were received to complete the channel on the East Ascent as authorized, with other work as far back as June 25th in the preceding year. John Burgess’s tender of £10 18s. was accepted for the work. Mr. Chamberlain having complained of the noise occasioned by carriages crossing the stone pathway leading from the hotel to the Assembly Rooms, the stones were ordered to be taken up and used for the fly-stands. The occupiers of Mercatoria having applied to have York-stone pavement put down, and promising to pay half the expense, the same had been done by Hughes and Hunter for £15 14s. and 6d. — a very modest price and the half sum had been charged to G. Potten, T. Ranger, W. Pannett and C. Vine. The pavement at the Sussex hotel had been relaid for £5.00.

Petition Against the Health of Towns Act, 1850[edit | edit source]

The committee  Pg.03 further reported that having observed the sea’s encroachment near the west end of the town caused by the bank of earth deposited by the railway contractors on the beach, which had already been the means of an overflow into the haven, against which, and to preserve the hutch, the Commissioners of Levels had commenced putting down a groyne, the committee considered it to be urgent to protect the shore to the eastward, and had consulted Mr. Major Vidler, under whose advice Nos. 3 to 5 groynes were put up. It was then decided to advertise for tenders for a groyne nearly opposite to 102 Marina. The tenders were those of Jas. Hutchinson, jun., £126 10s.; John Carey £99 10s.; W. Winter, £96; and Richard Selden, £94 10s. The last-named tender being sent in too late, and irregularly accepted, the commissioners agreed to pay him £8 out of their own pockets, and to advertise for fresh tenders.—A rate at 1s. and 6d. respectively, was ordered as usual. It was next resolved to adopt the following memorial, to the General Board of Health:—

“The humble memorial of the Commissioners for the Improvement of St. Leonards, sheweth that your memorialists have taken into consideration the report of Mr. Cresey[1] on the sanitary condition of the Town and Port of Hastings, recommending that the Public Health Act (11 & 12 Vic. Cap. 63) should be at once applied to the entire borough, including St. Leonards, by which the corporation will be the Local Board of Health; that there are many errors in the Report, calculated to injure the town of St. Leonards, and such as to induce your honourable Board to believe that the Public Health Act is properly applicable thereto, inter alia.— The limits of the said town are so indistinctly defined, and districts within the said town so blended therewith that many statements in the report apparently applying to the inefficient sewage, drainage and supply of water; and the sanitary condition of the inhabitants thereof, have, in reality nothing whatever to do with the said town, but relate to a district eastward of the archway forming the eastward boundary thereof. That the correct limits of said town are set forth at page 18 of Mr. Cresy’s[1] report, and are delineated in the plan annexed thereto and distinguished thereon by dotted lines; and to which plan your memorialists crave leave more particularly to refer. That by reference to such plan it will appear that the town of St. Leonards reaches more than half a mile along the sea-beach, from which the ground rises rapidly to the north or upper part of the town; that it possesses great natural advantages for draining, and that it is situate 1½ miles westward of the town of Hastings. That the proposed drainage of the populous district forming the East Ward of the borough by means of a sewer, to be carried through and to terminate westward of St. Leonards, and the proposed manufacture of the sewage water to be collected by such sewer at such western termination into solid manure will be injurious to  Pg.04 the health and comfort of the inhabitants and visitors, in as much as the only level carriage-drive into the country is westward of the town, and that the W. and S.W. winds prevail on this part of the coast for three-quarters of the year. That your memorialists are fully aware of the advantages that would be gained in many places by the collection of sewage water, but they are entirely convinced that in this case the nuisance and inconvenience to invalids and others would very greatly counterbalance any profit likely to accrue by the sale of such manure. That the contents of all houses may be discharged into the sea without any of the evils referred to by your Inspector by the adoption of the reservoir plan patented by Mr. Page, C.E. That the proposed union of the two towns for the sanitary improvement of Hastings being therefore unnecessary, will manifestly be most unjust. That St. Leonards is of recent formation and consists chiefly of first-class houses in wide, airy streets, built on one uniform plan, with well-constructed sewers, and a sufficient water supply; whereas the town of Hastings is of great antiquity, and where, according to your Inspector’s Report a great proportion of houses are of an inferior class, many of them having cesspools only—many having no supply of water, some having no drains whatever, and many of the streets without cover sewers. That it will be most unjust to throw a portion of the expense of improving the drainage and water supply of Hastings or of the intermediate district of the two towns, which has no local Improvement Act upon the owners and occupiers of property within the town of St. Leonards. That by the Municipal Corporation Act the borough of Hastings is divided into two wards, viz., All Saints and St. Leonards. That All Saints ward comprises the parishes of All Saints, St. Clements, part of St. Mary-in-the-Castle, and part of Ore. That St. Leonards ward comprises the parishes of St. Andrew’s, Holy Trinity, St. Michael, St. Mary Magdalen; part of St. Leonards and St. Mary Bulverhithe (sic). That All Saints ward returns 12 Councillors, and St. Leonards only six. That the town of St. Leonards is situate partly within the parish of St. Leonards and partly in St. Mary Magdalen; is wholly within the borough of Hastings, but is, in fact, only a fractional part of the area of the St. Leonards ward or western division of the borough. That new houses being continually erected in the district lying between the two towns, the owners or occupiers whereof would be eligible as councillors for the said ward, the town of St. Leonards would not be fairly represented at the proposed Local Board of Health; and that even assuming that the full number of six councillors were elected from its inhabitants (a circumstance most unlikely considering  Pg.05 the smallness of the town as compared with the remainder of the district forming the western division of the Borough), the same objection would prevail, the proportion of voters in the proposed Local Board of Health,—exclusive of the Mayor and Aldermen—being 12 to 6. That if the Public Health Act be applied to St. Leonards, the interests of its inhabitants will not therefore be so well protected as they are at present. Your memorialists, with hardly one exception, being deeply interested in promoting their prosperity, and having each of them a considerable amount of property at stake in the town, and it not being for one moment capable of supposition that the Town Council of the borough would be influenced by a similar desire to watch over the welfare of St. Leonards. That by the St. Leonards Local Act, certain “rates, assessments, tolls, duties and impositions are authorised to be made, raised and collected”; and your memorialists are thereby empowered to borrow and take up at interest any sum or sums of money not exceeding in the whole the sum of £16,000; and by writing or writings under the hands and seals of any seven or more of your memorialists to mortgage or assign the said consolidated rates, &c., as the case may be, or any part or parts thereof to the person who shall advance money thereon, as security. That under such powers, various sums of money, amounting, in the aggregate to £13,300, have been borrowed, and the debt so incurred is still a charge on such rates. That if the St. Leonards Local Act be repealed by means of the Public Health Act, the mortgages or securities given will be invalidated. That the provisions of the Public health Act St. Leonards Local Act are amply sufficient for all sanitary purposes of the Public Health Act within the limits and jurisdiction of St. Leonards. Your memorialists, therefore protest against the injustice of the proposed application of the Public Health Act to St. Leonards.”—Signed W. W. Burton, clerk to the Commissioners.

The committee further reported that having observed the sea’s encroachment near the west end of the town caused by the bank of earth deposited by the railway contractors on the beach, which had already been the means of an overflow into the haven, against which, and to preserve the hutch, the Commissioners of Levels had commenced putting down a groyne, the committee considered it to be urgent to protect the shore to the eastward, and had consulted Mr. Major Vidler, under whose advice Nos. 3 to 5 groynes were put up. It was then decided to advertise for tenders for a groyne nearly opposite to 102 Marina. The tenders were those of Jas. Hutchinson, jun., £126 10s.; John Carey £99 10s.; W. Winter, £96; and Richard Selden, £94 10s. The last-named tender being sent in too late, and irregularly accepted, the commissioners agreed to pay him £8 out of their own pockets, and to advertise for fresh tenders.—A rate at 1s. and 6d. respectively, was ordered as usual. It was next resolved to adopt the following memorial, to the General Board of Health:—

“The humble memorial of the Commissioners for the Improvement of St. Leonards, sheweth that your memorialists have taken into consideration the report of Mr. Cresey[1] on the sanitary condition of the Town and Port of Hastings, recommending that the Public Health Act (11 & 12 Vic. Cap. 63) should be at once applied to the entire borough, including St. Leonards, by which the corporation will be the Local Board of Health; that there are many errors in the Report, calculated to injure the town of St. Leonards, and such as to induce your honourable Board to believe that the Public Health Act is properly applicable thereto, inter alia.— The limits of the said town are so indistinctly defined, and districts within the said town so blended therewith that many statements in the report apparently applying to the inefficient sewage, drainage and supply of water; and the sanitary condition of the inhabitants thereof, have, in reality nothing whatever to do with the said town, but relate to a district eastward of the archway forming the eastward boundary thereof. That the correct limits of said town are set forth at page 18 of Mr. Cresy’s report, and are delineated in the plan annexed thereto and distinguished thereon by dotted lines; and to which plan your memorialists crave leave more particularly to refer. That by reference to such plan it will appear that the town of St. Leonards reaches more than half a mile along the sea-beach, from which the ground rises rapidly to the north or upper part of the town; that it possesses great natural advantages for draining, and that it is situate 1½ miles westward of the town of Hastings. That the proposed drainage of the populous district forming the East Ward of the borough by means of a sewer, to be carried through and to terminate westward of St. Leonards, and the proposed manufacture of the sewage water to be collected by such sewer at such western termination into solid manure will be injurious to the health and comfort of the inhabitants and visitors, in as much as the only level carriage-drive into the country is westward of the town, and that the W. and S.W. winds prevail on this part of the coast for three-quarters of the year. That your memorialists are fully aware of the advantages that would be gained in many places by the collection of sewage water, but they are entirely convinced that in this case the nuisance and inconvenience to invalids and others would very greatly counterbalance any profit likely to accrue by the sale of such manure. That the contents of all houses may be discharged into the sea without any of the evils referred to by your Inspector by the adoption of the reservoir plan patented by Mr. Page, C.E. That the proposed union of the two towns for the sanitary improvement of Hastings being therefore unnecessary, will manifestly be most unjust. That St. Leonards is of recent formation and consists chiefly of first-class houses in wide, airy streets, built on one uniform plan, with well-constructed sewers, and a sufficient water supply; whereas the town of Hastings is of great antiquity, and where, according to your Inspector’s Report a great proportion of houses are of an inferior class, many of them having cesspools only—many having no supply of water, some having no drains whatever, and many of the streets without cover sewers. That it will be most unjust to throw a portion of the expense of improving the drainage and water supply of Hastings or of the intermediate district of the two towns, which has no local Improvement Act upon the owners and occupiers of property within the town of St. Leonards. That by the Municipal Corporation Act the borough of Hastings is divided into two wards, viz., All Saints and St. Leonards. That All Saints ward comprises the parishes of All Saints, St. Clements, part of St. Mary-in-the-Castle, and part of Ore. That St. Leonards ward comprises the parishes of St. Andrew’s, Holy Trinity, St. Michael, St. Mary Magdalen; part of St. Leonards and St. Mary Bulverhithe (sic). That All Saints ward returns 12 Councillors, and St. Leonards only six. That the town of St. Leonards is situate partly within the parish of St. Leonards and partly in St. Mary Magdalen; is wholly within the borough of Hastings, but is, in fact, only a fractional part of the area of the St. Leonards ward or western division of the borough. That new houses being continually erected in the district lying between the two towns, the owners or occupiers whereof would be eligible as councillors for the said ward, the town of St. Leonards would not be fairly represented at the proposed Local Board of Health; and that even assuming that the full number of six councillors were elected from its inhabitants (a circumstance most unlikely considering the smallness of the town as compared with the remainder of the district forming the western division of the Borough), the same objection would prevail, the proportion of voters in the proposed Local Board of Health,—exclusive of the Mayor and Aldermen—being 12 to 6. That if the Public Health Act be applied to St. Leonards, the interests of its inhabitants will not therefore be so well protected as they are at present. Your memorialists, with hardly one exception, being deeply interested in promoting their prosperity, and having each of them a considerable amount of property at stake in the town, and it not being for one moment capable of supposition that the Town Council of the borough would be influenced by a similar desire to watch over the welfare of St. Leonards. That by the St. Leonards Local Act, certain “rates, assessments, tolls, duties and impositions are authorised to be made, raised and collected”; and your memorialists are thereby empowered to borrow and take up at interest any sum or sums of money not exceeding in the whole the sum of £16,000; and by writing or writings under the hands and seals of any seven or more of your memorialists to mortgage or assign the said consolidated rates, &c., as the case may be, or any part or parts thereof to the person who shall advance money thereon, as security. That under such powers, various sums of money, amounting, in the aggregate to £13,300, have been borrowed, and the debt so incurred is still a charge on such rates. That if the St. Leonards Local Act be repealed by means of the Public Health Act, the mortgages or securities given will be invalidated. That the provisions of the the Public Health Act St. Leonards Local Act are amply sufficient for all sanitary purposes of the Public Health Act within the limits and jurisdiction of St. Leonards. Your memorialists, therefore protest against the injustice of the proposed application of the Public Health Act to St. Leonards.”—Signed W. W. Burton, clerk to the Commissioners.

St. Leonards Commissioners v. S.E. Railway Company 1850[edit | edit source]

Considerable correspondence took place in December, 1850, and continued during January, 1851, between the St. Leonards Commissioner and the Hastings, Rye and Ashford Railway Company, the former seeking compensation for alleged damage to the parade wall by an inrush of the sea consequent on the deposit on the beach of a large quantity of earth, forming a high bank at Bopeep. The railway company would not admit their liability, their engineer, Capt. R. H. Barlow, stating that there was no proof that such deposit was the cause of the damage; that such an inundation had occurred before, time out of mind; and that people had been allowed to carry away the beach, the natural protection, also time out of mind; that the diverting the deposit to another place, about  Pg.06 the time the damage was done was merely a coincidence, it being so diverted because it was more convenient, and not because the Company considered that harm would be done. Counsel’s opinion was, however, obtained by the Commissioners, which was strongly in favour of an action lying either against the Company or the contractors, but not undertaking to say which.

Mr. Major Vidler’s opinion was also that the said bank of earth had caused the damage, and he recommended the Commissioners to employ Mr. Elliott, of Dimchurch (sic) (Surveyor of Romney Marsh) to act as their surveyor at a proposed meeting with Capt. Barlow. This was done, and Mr. Elliott afterwards expressed his opinion in the following letter:—

“There can be no doubt that the damage was caused by the throwing out, at some small distance to the westward, of a large bank of earth brought from the works of the Hastings and Ashford Railway. The effect of this, which acted as a groyne on a large scale, would be to stop the natural progression of the shingle eastward, and it would then follow that deeper water and a stronger eddy would be created on the east side of the bank of earth. The result of all this, combined, would be precisely what has occurred at the spot referred to. By what right—legal or illegal—the Company deposited the earth I have nothing to do with; I can only speak as to the fact; and that this bank caused the damage there can be no reasonable doubt. The question now is—What is to be done so as to give security and confidence to the owners or occupiers of property? My opinion is that as the earth bank has now considerably worn away, and released a large body of beach that had been accumulating westward, a groyne is unnecessary, as the shingle will continue to increase at the spot most wanted; and at the best, a groyne would do but little beyond preventing matters getting worse than they now are, and would not restore the esplanade which has to some extent been carried away. Without such restoration it is probable that every extreme tide will continue to encroach on the highway, even though there should be the usual quantity of shingle below. I should rather recommend the construction of an inexpensive sea-wall, which, I think, would answer every purpose at this point for many years. This, built of concrete, and faced with small hard stone, would not cost, probably, more than £400, the whole of which, it might be too much to ask the Railway Co. to pay; but as the necessity for the outlay has arisen and great positive damage occurred from—to say the least—by an oversight of  Pg.07 theirs, I do think they ought to bear the larger portion of it. I would recommend you to bring all the influence you can to bear on the Commissioners of Sewers to induce them to keep the new groyne they have erected eastward of the Sluice as low as possible. My opinion is that this groyne is now to a great extent unnecessary.”“John Elliott, jun.”

By appointment, Mr. Elliott met Capt. Barlow, and after the conference he wrote as follows:—“It rests with the Commissioners as to what evidence they can bring to refute Capt. Barlow’s objections, but I shall be prepared at any time to prove to the utmost of my power the truth of the conclusions to which I have come. I have had too much experience in such matters, and am too well aware of the action of the sea under such circumstances to be easily driven from the position I have taken: but it must rest with the Commissioners as to the evidence they can bring to support my views.”

The clerk having laid before the Commissioners so much as could be adduced, it was resolved at their next meeting “That under the circumstances, the Clerk be authorised to make such arrangement with the Company as he may consider advisable to bring the matter to an amicable settlement.”

Parochial Matters 1850[edit | edit source]

Parochial Matters — St. Leonards[edit | edit source]

A Vestry Meeting was held at the Railway Terminus Inn on February 13th, when, there were present C. M. Thorpe, Robert Deudney, Rich’d Lamb, John Bray, and W. Payne, jun. The only business transacted was to appoint as constables, Wm. Gower, Joe Bird, Jesse Marchant and Rich’d Catt.

At the meeting on the 28th of March, the persons named for overseers were Wm. Payne, Rich’d Lamb, F. R. Gausden and John Bray. The election of Surveyors of Highways fell to R. Deudney and Edward Farncomb. The assessors were W. Noon and N. Parks. Mr. John Phillips was Vestry-Clerk.

At a meeting on the 5th of April, a borough rate of 3¼d was agreed to. It was also resolved that Mr. S. Putland be rated at £10 a year for his timber-yard on the beach opposite the Fountain Inn; that Newton Parks be rated £18 for his slaughter-house and yard; and that Wm. Kirby be assessed at £12 for his cottage and garden. — At the meeting on Oct. 3rd, after making a poor-rate at 3d. and a highway-rate at 4d., the new houses on the Marina were assessed as follows:—

No72 £110 as £88 No 116 £30 as £24
Nos 73 to 76 £100 as £80 Sussex House £150 as £120
No 77 £120 as £96 Railway £120 as £120 net

 Pg.08 At a November meeting the two overseers and one other person only were present, who decided to levy a borough-rate at 3½d and a county rate at 4d.

Magdalen Parish[edit | edit source]

The first vestry meeting in 1850 was at the Warrior’s Gate Inn on the 4th of April. There were 14 persons present with R. Deudney in the chair. The persons named for selection of overseers were Jas. Smith, Jas. Nocholas, Fred. Tree, John Wellsted and Sam. Woodgate. The Surveyors of Highways were Hy Tree and Hy Hughes. The Collector of the highway rate was Jas. Everett. — On the 17th of the same month the accounts produced showed £24 due to the Surveyors (Voysey and Roberts) and £17 7s. uncollected of the 1849 rate. — A meeting on May 9th was held at the Horse-and-Groom when it was resolved to expend a small sum from the highway rate to put into a better state the road disturbed by Mr. Clark in laying down water mains — a work that it would be reasonable to suppose Mr. Clark should have done at his own cost. A borough rate at 2d. was passed, and an order made for the parish boundary to be walked on the 16th of May, commencing at the St. Leonards Hotel. — On the 11th of July the meeting was again held at the Warrior’s Gate, attended by only four persons, who passed a poor rate at 4d. in the pound. — The next and last meeting for the year was at the Anchor Inn, where seven parishioners passed a poor rate at 4d. in the pound. Much would it add to the source of contentment if the ratepayers of half a century later could get off so lightly. — At one of the meetings Mr. Metcalf complained of the dusty state of the roads, and regretted that so large and influential a parish should allow visitors and others to be thus incommoded. He was told, however, by Messrs. Austin and Eldridge that the surveyors could not legally apply the rates for watering the roads except for the purpose of preserving them. Counsel’s opinion had been taken, in which it was stated that there was no other means but for those who wanted the roads regularly watered to pay for it.

Wesleyan Items[edit | edit source]

On the 8th January two elegant discourses were given by the Rev. Dr. Joseph, of London, to large audiences in aid of a fund for erecting a new gallery for the Norman road Chapel. The services for this purpose were continued on the 13th of the same month, when sermons were preached by the Revs. S. Coley and H. W. Williams. The financial result of these efforts was a collection of about £30. — On the 27th of January the Rev. W. Barton, of Brighton, preached in the St. Leonards Chapel the anniversary sermons in aid of the Wesleyan Missions, and a meeting was held on the following evening, presided over by Mr. S. Symonds, a  Pg.09 gentleman from Madras. There was a full attendance, and the collection was said to be above average. — The Good Friday anniversary services were conducted by the Rev. J. Hollis, from Margate, and the Rev. W. Close. — On Whit-Monday, an annual treat was given to the Sunday-school children, who to the number of 180 (including those of the Bopeep branch) assembled for the purpose, after which 100 teachers and other persons took tea together.

Mechanics’ Institution, 1850[edit | edit source]

The Mechanics’ Institution[edit | edit source]

To a full audience in the rooms of the society, a lecture on “Sleep, its Nature and Effects” was given by T. B. Brett, on the 16th of January. In its report of the same the Hastings News said — “The subject was treated in a lucid and philosophical manner, and a great deal of valuable matter was produced which must have cost the lecturer a vast amount of labour to collect.”

On the 23rd of January Mr. William Ransom delivered to members of the same Institution an interesting lecture on “”The Nature and Influences of Superstition.”

On the 29th of January, Mr. Brett delivered his second lecture on “Sleep” to a numerous and attentive audience. He considered the nature of trances and adduced (said the Hastings News) some valuable information on the subject. The lecture was received with applause, and a third lecture was announced for the 13th of February. Mr. Chamberlain, jun., presided on each occasion, and at the conclusion of the series, whilst proposing a vote of thanks to the lecturer, expressed surprise at the comparatively small amount of sleep which (by a tabulated record of two years there produced) Mr. Brett had found to be sufficient. The Chairman also expressed his belief that the lecturer, although perhaps unconscious of it, possessed the power requisite for a mesmerist. As Mr. Chamberlain was himself an adept at Mesmerism, and solicited a trial of his powers on Mr. Brett after the close of the lecture, the experiment was made and continued for an hour, without the slightest effect, although no resistance was offered. “This,” said the Mesmerist, “quite confirms me in my belief". Thus armed with a sufficient amount of confidence, on getting home, the subject of the operation became himself the operator on two persons, with but little difficulty. This newly discovered (and later exercised) power might be profitably enlarged upon, but it must be at another place.

The talented Mrs. Balfour lectured for the same Institution on the 13th of March, her theme being “Perseverance in Relation to Self-Education". Her hearers were numerous and  Pg.10 enthusiastic. — A week later, Mr. Chamberlain gave a lecture to a crowded room on “Phrenology”, a subject which he had well studied under Professor Donovan.

At a quarterly meeting of the Institution on the 8th of Aug., the Committee’s report showed the number of members to be 201, and that, in round numbers, the receipts were £22, as against £16 disbursements.

On the 29th of October the second annual soiree of the society was held in the Assembly Rooms. Mr. Chamberlain presided, and 255 persons were present. The tea, music, addresses, and other features of this intellectual feast, were completely successful, the details of which are given in a separate “History of the St. Leonards Mechanic’s Institution”.

St. Leonards Church — Baptisms, Marriages, &c, 1850[edit | edit source]

This church, which, by Act of Parliament, was erected for the two parishes of St. Leonards and St. Mary Magdalen, registered during the three years which ended with 1849, the number of baptisms 225 and of burials, 141, apportioned as under: —

1847 Baptisms 71 Burials 30 Excess of births 41
1848 Baptisms 79 Burials 37 Excess of births 42
1849 Baptisms 75 Burials 74 Excess of births 1
225 141 84

Of the 74 burials in 1849 there were 32 of strangers, so that, probably, the excess of births over deaths was considerably greater than the figures represent. During that period the Rev. G. D. St. Quintin was the Incumbent or Perpetual Curate, with assistant curates G. W. Phipps, C. W. Blathwaite, A. F. Pedigrew, H. C. Carter-Smith, T. A. Sprowle, E. Rudge and J. F. Pizey. The subordinate clericals did not, of course, all officiate at one time.

On the 11th of March, the Revs. G. D. St. Quintin, T. A. Sprowle and H. C. Carter-Smith attended, with clergymen from Hastings, a Church-Missionary meeting in the Assembly Rooms, presided over by Earl Waldegrave. — Mr. St. Quintin was also the officiating clergyman at a marriage in high life, which took place at the St. Leonards Church on the 9th of April. The bride was Helena, eldest daughter of William Bosanquet, of London, and the bridegroom was Mr. Robert Meade, son of the Rev. Percé Meade, of Ireland, and nephew of the Dowager Lady Howden; also cousin to Lord Howden, Lord Clanwilliam and Viscount Brabazon. The bridesmaids were Miss C. Bosanquet, Miss Meade, Miss A. Meade and Miss Percy. Among the wedding party were the Dowager Lady Howden, the Hon. General and Mrs. Meade, Earl Clanwilliam, Viscount Brabazon, Sir Godfrey and Lady Webster, Capt. Meade, and Mrs. R. Shafto Adair.

All Souls Convent — Prosetylism, &c. 1850[edit | edit source]

 Pg.11 At the church of All Souls, the Rev. C. Garside (curate of Margaret Street Chapel, London), the Rev. C. Cavendish (rector of Little Casterton, Rutland) & the Hon. C. Pakenham (Capt. of the Grenadier Guards), were received into the Roman Catholic Faith; the first gentleman by the Rev. Dr. F. Melia, and the other two by the Rt. Rev. Dr. Wiseman. — Birds of a feather flock together; so these three Charlies all went together.

The conversion or perversion — as differently viewed at All Souls is a reminder that the Rev. Jones, the founder of the Convent, died rather suddenly at about 9 a.m. on Thursday, the 27th day of February. He had long laboured under an affection of the heart, and had been more than usually indisposed for a few days before his death. He proceeded, however, to his duties as usual, but was seized with a fainting fit, which, in about half an hour, proved fatal. He had been always kind to the poor, irrespective of their religious profession, and was greatly respected by the inhabitants. At his interment high mass was celebrated, and a sermon was preached by Dr. Wiseman.

Some other Deaths[edit | edit source]

Twenty days after the death of the Rev. John Jones, it was announced that Sir Thomas Marrable had died at his official residence in London. His Out-of-Town residence was at 34 Marina, St. Leonards, which he and his family had occupied for several years; hence the record here of his demise. Sir Thomas had been connected with the Royal Household for 34 years. He filled the office of Secretary to the Board of Green Cloth in the Lord Steward’s department, and had been previously in the Privy Purse and Private Secretary’s department. He was knighted in 1840, after 34 years service, and, as a coincidence had a residence at St. Leonards in a house bearing the same number 34.

Another St. Leonards resident also died at his house in London, on the 2nd of June. This was Sir John Buchan, K.C.B., who, with Lady Buchan, had successively occupied 14 Undercliff, 19 Marina, and 5 Seymour Place. This distinguished officer was the second son of George Buchan, Esq., of Kelloe, Berwickshire, his mother being a daughter of Robt. Dundas, Esq., of Arniston, Edinburgh. Sir John entered the British service as a lieutenant in the Scottish Brigade in 1795, became a full colonel in 1819 and a lieutenant general in 1841. He saw much service and on all occasions displayed great courage and ability.

Accidents and Inquests 1850[edit | edit source]

On the 8th of January a labourer, named Francis Cook was seriously hurt by a fall of earth on the railway works; and, on the following day,  Pg.12 Edward Harris broke his collar-bone and was otherwise injured by a fall of earth which pressed him against a waggon-wheel. In the same week the coachman to Miss Mossip, of 9 Maze Hill, fractured a leg while riding a horse slowly past the Colonnade, where was a baker’s cart, at which the horse took fright and threw his rider. — On the 7th of February an inquest was held at the Warriors’ Gate Inn on Richard Gwyatt, aged 19, who had been fatally jammed between two waggons in the railway tunnel. The result of the enquiry was “Accidental Death”. — On the second of February there was a slip of earth in the St. Leonards tunnel just before the workmen commenced operations, consequently no one was hurt; but, in the same tunnel, three days later, a labourer had one leg broken by being run over by a waggon. — On the 22nd of March a pair-horse fly, owned by Mr. Emary, of the Castle Hotel, having been left a few minutes at the Bopeep station, the horses started off, and collided with a train of trucks that was being run across the road with earth from the tunnel to the beach. The horses were knocked down, the fly turned over and the harness broken. — On the 14th of May, a man was seriously injured in the tunnel by a collision of the contractor’s trucks. — On the 10th of June, Walter Friend, age 16 years, whilst driving Mr. How’s horse with a cart of coals, applied the whip, which caused the animal to start forward, when a wheel of the cart caught the lad’s leg, threw him down & broke a thigh-bone. — On the following day, two railway labourers, while passing a pond at the foot of the road west of the Catholic establishment, observed a child rise to the surface, to rescue which, one of the men plunged in and brought it out. It was all but suffocated, but by prompt exertions, was restored to life and to its mother. — Also, on the succeeding day, (the third day in succession) a railway man, while dozing by the side of a brick-kiln, fell into the fire, and was seriously burnt. — An inquest was held at the Warrior’s Gate Inn by J. G. Shorter, Esq., on June 15th, in consequence of a suspicion that the death of Rebecca, wife of James Hyland, of the “Black Horse” beer house, had been caused by blows from the husband while in a soberless condition. But, as the deceased had been attended by surgeon Gardiner, and the evidence was conflicting, “Death by natural means” was the verdict. — On the 30th July, a horse belonging to Mr. Bodkin, a sub-contractor of the railway, fell over the cliff, near the Fountain Inn at the West Marina, and was so badly injured that he had to be killed. — On the 1st of September, as Mr. Lindridge, organist at St. Mary’s, was returning in a chaise from Bexhill, with his mother, wife and child, he had to drive through a crowd of quarrelling and fighting navies, consequent upon which his horse took fright and dashed off at great speed. Getting into contact with a column at the Colonnade, the whole party was thrown out, and Mr. Lindridge  Pg.13 from injuries received, became insensible for several hours. — Also on the same first of September, another George — Mr. George Clement, whilst out shooting with a party of friends, received several shots in one of his legs from one of the guns which in the first aiming at a flight of birds went off all together. — About the same time a man named Ashdown, whilst sinking a well at St. Leonards, fell a distance of 40 feet, and though he was much shaken and bruised, no limbs were fractured. — On the 4th of October, some squibs let off in the public road so frightened a team of horses that one of them reared up and broke the shaft of a waggon and one of his own legs. The horse — a valuable one — had to be killed. — On the 21st of the same month, a fatal accident occurred in the railway tunnel to Wm. Clark, of Coggeshal (sic), Essex, 34 years of age, by the falling of the tail-board of a loaded waggon, thus letting him down, to be run over by the next waggon. — Four days later, another, but less serious accident occurred to a youth named Cripps, who fell down while cleaning bedroom windows at the South Colonnade. — [The numerous accidents at and near Hastings are described in the next chapter.]

Railway Progress. 1850[edit | edit source]

In the month of March, at the suit of a shareholder, the Rolls Court granted an injunction to restrain the South-Eastern Company paying any more dividends until so much of the line from Bopeep to Hastings as had been transferred from the Brighton, Lewes and Hastings Railway Company to the South-Eastern Company should be open for public traffic. This decision caused a fall in the price of shares, but quickened the work of construction between Ashford and Hastings.

On the 18th of June — a memorable day in military annals — 200 persons availed themselves of a cheap train from Bopeep to Portsmouth, to witness the celebration of the battle of Waterloo, including a review of the troops, and the inauguration of the statues of Wellington and Nelson. The excursion was for two days, and most of the Hastings excursionists — the present writer among the number — crossed over to the Isle of Wight there to seek Somnus for the intermediate night.

Two days later the same (South-Coast) Company trains brought nearly 1,000 persons from London to Hastings and St. Leonards.

On the same Company’s line in the same month (the exact day is not remembered) were conveyed 1,247 persons, in 37 carriages, drawn by two engines, to the Swiss Gardens at Shoreham. This excursion was got up by the Benefit Societies of Hastings.

Urged on to expedite the work on the South-Eastern line by the recent decision of the Rolls Court, the contractors were at this time employing 3,000 men, and only 200 yards of the St. Leonards tunnel remained to be bricked.

 Pg.14 Messrs. Newton and Smith, the contractors for the western portion of the S.E. Company’s line had arranged to issue tickets to their workmen instead of money, and to exchange them for cash with such tradesmen as received the tickets, on the understanding that five per cent. would be deducted when the exchange was made. By this arrangement the local tradesmen were protected from the competition of “Tommy shops” on the works, and the system appeared to be perfectly satisfactory. The present writer, who was then a draper and clothier in Norman road, received a great many pounds worth of such tickets, and one noticeable feature in his dealings with the navvies was the purchase by them of smart trimmed caps for their wives. To their credit, it may be said, that upon the whole, they displayed very good taste, and never objected to a reasonable price. The tickets were of different values and were ingeniously printed and signed; but on one occasion, some hundreds of the shilling tickets were counterfeited and got in to circulation. As soon as the fraud was detected, tradesmen were cautious against taking the forged tickets, and a fresh batch, with new devices, was issued. There was at the same time a number of spurious half-crowns and sovereigns in circulation. As regards the counterfeit tickets, if I remember rightly, the loss upon them was equally borne by the contractors and tradesmen. Messrs, Newton and Smith gained the respect of the inhabitants, as did also their secretary, Mr. Fisher, and their partner or sub-contractor, Mr. Munday. The after history of these gentlemen at St. Leonards and elsewhere is somewhat curious and instructive, and may find a place further on for description. Their contract proceeded, briskly, and by the middle of September the completed western entrance to the Hastings tunnel and eastern entrance to the St. Leonards tunnel as viewed from where is now the Gensing or Warrior-square station, were looked upon as creditable pieces of brickwork. A small shaft had been sunk through 30 feet of solid sand-rock; and, owing to the many springs that had been tapped in excavating the tunnels, the arched brickwork was to be lined with grooved galvanised iron to carry the water to the bottom, where a channel was made for its exit. The first permanent rail was laid in the St. Leonards tunnel on the 16th of October.

Waterworks[edit | edit source]

Whilst writing of the numerous springs that somewhat impeded the work in the tunnel, I am reminded that the intercepting or diverting them did not appear to affect the several wells in the Magdalen parish from which numerous families were supplied. Those, for instance in Lavatoria, Shepherd street, North street, Crystal square, Western road,  Pg.15 etc., did not appear to be deprived of their usual quantity; and whilst the cry for water at Hastings was daily increasing, with a falling-off in the supply of that necessary commodity, it was given out that the proprietors of the Eversfield waterworks intended to add to their reservoirs, one with a surface of seven acres and a depth of 50 feet. This, it was said, would have a sufficient area to supply not only St. Leonards eastward of the Archway, but also Hastings; each district with 50,000 gallons of pure filtered water daily. It was further stated that the supply from such a source would enable the Hastings Commissioners to reduce their water-rate by at least one-third of that which had been theretofore made. The Eversfield reservoirs were supplied by springs in the Newgate and Shornden Woods, and the water, which was said to be of excellent quality, was conveyed in 6-inch pipes through the lands belonging to the Countess of Waldegrave (who gave permission for the same), past St. Andrews terrace, across the Priory ground, to the St. Leonards Archway. Consumers were supplied to an elevation of 100 feet above the road, and stand-pipes had been connected with the main for purpose of watering the roads — a service which the different parishes had already availed themselves. The rate levied by the proprietors from Jan. 1st, 1850 was 6d. in the pound, which was one third lower than the rate at Hastings. At a meeting of the consumers it was resolved that a memorial should be presented to C. G. Eversfield, of Deane Park, stating the benefit that the enlarged supply would afford, and urging that the additional works might be completed as soon as possible. Further on it will be seen that Mr. Clark was the proprietor of the so-called Eversfield Waterworks, and that Mr. Eversfield was the lessor of the ground.

Storms and Tides 1850[edit | edit source]

The blizzard of wind and snow; with 14 degrees of frost, which at the close of last year scattered hay-ricks and corn-stacks, and was in other ways unpleasant in our own locality, wrought terrible havoc at Yarmouth — a place which for centuries had been familiar to Hastings fishermen. The spring tides, increased by tempestuous winds from the north-west, laid under water the towns of Yarmouth and Lowestoft, together with miles of adjacent country. Eleven vessels were driven onto the sands, and were partially wrecked.

On the 28th of January, the schooner “Perseverance”, of St. Leonards, while running for the harbour at Ramsgate, collided with the Pier-head, broke her anchor, and started several planks in her bow.

On the 9th of May, a water-spout passed over St. Leonards from west to east at about noon. It was apparently of great altitude, and had  Pg.16 the form of an inverted cone, the apex of which was near the earth. It had a rotary motion, and dissipated itself in a heavy shower, instead of a torrent or a deluge as was feared it might do.

On the night of June 26th, a heavy thunderstorm passed over St. Leonards and Hastings, during which what is popularly called a “fire-ball”, descended in a field near Bunger Hill, in the parish of Ore, where the ground was pierced to a considerable extent. Another thunderstorm occurred on the 27th of September, and the lightning which immediately preceded a deafening detonation, killed two sheep belonging to Mr. Edward Farncomb. Whether these were the sheep that, one morning, were taken to the railway station to be conveyed to the London market, this deponent sayeth not; but he doth aver that when Mr. Gilbert, the Goods-station clerk, asked in a jocular strain, the bearer of the said sheep if they died by the visitation of God, the reply of the man was — “I’m sure I don’t know, but they died in the night".

On the 6th and 7th of October a strong gale caused a very high sea, which swept the parades, both at St. Leonards and Hastings, whilst the large bank of beach at Bopeep was cut through, the sluice choked up, and the adjacent levels were flooded. At Yarmouth, too, a Hastings boat named “Betsy” lost all of her nets, ropes and other gear. The gale commenced on a Sunday, as did also a terrific gale on the 24th of November. During the later storm, notwithstanding that the tides were falling away from their maximum spring-tide run, the waves bounded over the parades in grand style, and once more broke down the wall in front of the new houses then building east of Warrior Square, to be called “Lossenham”. At that place the earth was scooped out even into the road outside of the parade railing.

A Scrap of Ancient History[edit | edit source]

The houses which were next to “Lossenham” were built for Mr. Woodford, and were called “Agincourt Terrace”, for the supposed reason that in an ancient chartery, in the British Museum, is preserved the following:

“Kyng Henry the Fyfte rayned Kyng of Yngland IX yere and more; and in the third yere of his reyne he wan Harfleur by a sege; and on the Friday in the fest of St. Cryspyn, and Cryspryngam erly in the mornyng, he dubbyd Sir Robert Woodford Knyght, and many odure at that Sege beyng present; and anon, aftr that same friday he faught manfully agens a 100,000 of frenchmen at Agincourt, and had the victory of them. And toke the Duke of Orlyaunce, and odur Dukes and grete Lordis of F’nce; and there was slayn of frenchmen yt day thirteen thowsand. And after, he wan ye cytie of Paryse, and mykill all F’nce. And he made his brodr Sir John the Duke of Bedford, Regent of all Fraunce. And after that at the IX yere of his Reygne, he passed to God Almighty, on whos soulle J’hu have m’cy. Amen.”[2]

Public Amusements[edit | edit source]

On Friday, the 18th of January, the annual Batchelors’ Ball took place in  Pg.17 the Assembly Rooms, and was regarded as the most splendid affair of the season. Upwards of 150 distinguished fashionables were present and dancing was kept up till the roseate morn broke forth, and chased away the festive night.

A week later, Robert Hollond, Esq., M.P., entertained a numerous party of nobility and gentry at his residence, “The Allegria”, where all was mirth and jollity, and where also dancing was kept up till the small hours of the morning.

On the 25th of September, a large and fashionable company assembled in the St. Leonards rooms to witness and to enjoy a performance by Richardson’s Rock and Steel Band. The inventor of these unique instruments of harmony and melody was highly complimented for his ingenuity.

On the 21st of December, the same rooms were engaged by the celebrated Distin Family, who gave a morning concert on their Sax-horns, the instrumental portions being relieved by a lady vocalist and pianoforte accompaniment.

Royal Visitors[edit | edit source]

The French Royal Family[edit | edit source]

Louis Phillipe and his family arrived at Chamberlain’s Victoria Hotel at 5 p.m. on the 22nd of May. The illustrious party consisted of the “Count and Countess de Neuilly” (ex-king and queen), the Queen of the Belgians, the Duke and Duchess de Nemours, the Count d’Eu, the Duke d’Allencon (sic), the Princess Margeurite, the Prince and Princess de Joinville, the Duke de Pentheeve, the Princess Francois, the Duke and Duchess d’Aumale, Prince de Condé, Gen. Chabannes, Gen. Dumas, Gen. Hendetot, the Duchess de Marnier, Dr. de Mussey, Madame de Vanderstatten, Col. Moerkerke, and the Countess de Montguyon. They alighted from the Bopeep (now West Marina) station, the approaches to which were lined with respectably dressed people, who saluted the Royal party. About a week later, the Duchess of Orleans, with the Count de Paris and the Duke de Chatres (sic), arrived at 65 Marina, where Mr. J. Hardwicke Braye was again in daily attendance as English tutor. Most of the Royal family were said to be improving in health since their arrival, except the ex-king, whose feebleness gave his family no permanently good hope. Visits of royal or distinguished persons were frequent, and among them were the Duke and Duchess of Saxe Cobourg and Gotha, the Duke de Montmorency, the Marchioness of Loban, and Lord John Russell. At a later date the health of the Count de Neuilly was said to be improving, and on June 17th the dinner party consisted of 41 persons, including the Duke de Broglie, M. Guizot, M. Duchatelle and M. Durmon. On the 22nd of June, the ex-royals having passed Wellington Place, where a man had been accidentally killed [See next chapter], one of the party went  Pg.18 into the “Pelham Arms”, whither the dead man had been taken, and left £5 from the ex-Queen to head a subscription for the young widow of the deceased. On the 3rd of June the Prince and Princess de Joinville and their younger children left St. Leonards for Scotland, whilst the Duchess d’Orleans was still occupying 65 Marina. At that time the health of Louis Phillipe was said to be still improving, he being able to take an airing twice a day in a Bath chair. — After many weeks residence at the Victoria Hotel, amongst much English sympathy and affection the royal party effected their departure, as arranged, on Thursday, the 8th of July. The Duchess d’Orleans and her two sons, however, remained at 65 Marina several weeks longer, finally leaving on the 16th of August.

The Queen’s St. Leonards Archers[edit | edit source]

This Society held its prize meetings as usual, and were more than once honoured by members of the French ex-royal family. The winners that year of the Royal Victoria prizes were Miss Bramley, Mr. W. G. Flood and Rev. J. Simpson. The winners of Her Majesty’s annual prize, gold bracelet and silver cup, given by the Society, were also Miss Bramley, and Mr. W. G. Flood. The winners of other prizes were, on July 20th, Miss Helen Wood, Miss Rander, and Capt. Davies; and on Sept. 14th, Miss Pearson and Mr. Day.

Atmospheric and other Phenomena[edit | edit source]

A brilliant arched aurora was observed in the north-west on the night of Feb 16th, consisting of luminous rays elevated a few degrees above the horizon, and presenting a beautiful appearance. On the following morning, soon after sunrise, a mock-sun appeared below the true sun and resembled the latter as though veiled by attenuated vapour.

On Saturday, June 15th, after a sharp shower of rain, a mass of dark vapour appeared over the channel, within a few degrees of the horizon; from which a mass of cloud depended four or more cones, each with an inverted apex. In a few minutes they became elongated, and a long waving column descended from each till it met a cone or mound rising from the sea, the surrounding water at the same time being much agitated. Ultimately, they were either dissipated or drawn up to the upper mass of vapour, the last phase of the phenomena giving place to heavy rain.

Demand for Cheaper Gas[edit | edit source]

Meeting of Gas Consumers[edit | edit source]

 Pg.19 On the 31st of January about 50 gas consumers met at the Saxon Hotel to consider the means of getting gas at a cheaper rate. Mr. C. Duke was voted to the chair. The first speaker was Mr. W. P. Beecham, who, in some lengthy remarks, said he hardly need tell the meeting that a good supply of gas in towns like our own was the best kind of police (sic), and that it was to the corporate body what the loaf was to the natural body. At the same time it was one of those articles which it was the duty of the consumer to obtain as good and as cheaply as possible. This view, he believed, induced a gentleman who was then with them, as secretary, pro tem (Mr. S. A. Bacon), to commence the present movement. Although bacon was only part of an animal, yet he might possibly go the whole hog [Laughter]. Since the meeting was announced a little change had taken place, which had some reference to the other side of the question. He alluded to the offer of a reduction in 1851. The notice contained no signature, yet, as it has not been denied, by any of the Company, they were bound to assume that it had come from that body. The question now would be should they accept the offer of 2/- a thousand feet reduction in 1851, or should they attempt to get something better?

Mr. Bacon, in some able remarks, proposed “That in the opinion of this meeting, gas can be supplied for the lighting of the borough at a charge not exceeding 5/- per 1,000 cubic feet, after allowing a fair percentage to the shareholders”. The chairman put the motion, and produced statistics to show that where Gas Companies had reduced the price, they had increased their profits.

Mr. Putland moved “That the most beneficial system is that the consumers of gas should be the manufacturers of it, but that it is not the object of this meeting to interfere with the existing Company, provided they will supply gas at about the price at which it could be obtained by the formation of a Consumers’ Company”.

Other resolutions were carried, the most important one being “That this meeting having seen that bills, assumed to be publicly posted by authority of the Gas Company, stating their intention to reduce the price of gas to 6/- per 1,000 feet from the 1st of January 1851, entertain the hope that an amicable arrangement may be made, not doubting that the present company will consent to an immediate reduction, with an understanding that further reductions will be made from time to time, as circumstances may arise, to keep pace with the price at which it shall be ascertained that gas can then be fairly supplied”. A deputation was then appointed to wait on the Gas Company. [See next chapter for reply, etc.]

Miscellaneous Occurrences 1850[edit | edit source]

At night, on the 28th of January a desperate poaching affray took place on the grounds of Sir Charles Lamb, at Beauport, between Henry  Pg.20 Sims (head keeper), T. Stubberfield (under-keeper), and Eldridge (a watcher), on one side, and “Turf” Highland (of St. Leonards), Frank Coote (of Spittleman’s Down), and William Smith (of Bohemia) on the other side. Blows with the butt ends of guns were given by both parties, and severe injuries were inflicted. The poachers, however, were secured, and committed for trial.

At a hop-sweepstakes dinner, presided over by Mr. R. Deudney, thirty persons were present. On opening the box, one person had set the duty as high as £195,000, but the three nearest were £78,000 15s. by William Walter, £78,000 by Fredk. R. Gausden, and £83,000 by C. H. Gausden. The actual duty was £79, 7s. 1d. (sic, should be £79,000 7s. 1d.). Apropos of hops, a fine hop, rising 38 feet from the ground, was seen during the autumn in front of Mr. Ross’s house, No. 1 Claremont.

Mr. Groslobb having effected great improvement in his ground at the West Hill, re-opened his chalybeate spa on the 22nd of April; and on Whit-Tuesday, Brett’s St. Leonards Band was engaged to play on the lawn, thus forming an additional attraction to visitors.

On the 24th of October, a running-match took place, between Albert Parks, butcher, and a footman named Barnes. The stakes were £2, the race ground was the parade, and the distance was 100 yards. On this occasion the footman “leg’d” behind and the knight of the cleaver proved to be the best footman.

Up to this time £2,508 had been given or promised for the proposed new church of St. Mary Magdalen.

Footnotes (including sources)[edit]

  1. a b c d e Brett's spelling varies, correctly Edward Cresy, F.S.A., C.E., Superintending Inspector for the General Board of Health for the purposes of the Public Health Act, 1848
  2. Transcriber's note: Brett is partially quoting the “Woodford Chartulary”, Woodforde of Ansford House, pp 762, Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry, Volume 4, 1888. Pub. Henry Colburn.