Brett Volume 6: Chapter LV - St. Leonards 1856

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[ 1 ]

Chapter LV - St. Leonards 1856

St. Leonards Commissioners' Meetings, 1856

The first quarterly meeting of the year was held at the Victoria Hotel, on the 25th of March, when there were present Sir WoodbineParish, Alfred Burton, Esq. and Messrs.Carey, Southall and Chester. Mr Bridgeland, of Hastings, having received for work at the East Ascent wall, £20 and £30, the balance of £35.15s.4. was ordered to be paid to complete payment of contract. Mr. Robt. Deudney was also to receive £24 3s. for carting away snow and beaching the roads, whilst Messrs. Hughes and Hunter were to be paid £14 10s. 10d. for the cartage of beach. Another bill ordered to be paid was Mr. Carey's £7 14s. 9d. for repairing groynes. William Tutt was to be paid 3s. per week to watch the entry of coals into St. Leonards and report twice a week to the Collector.

The second quarterly meeting was held on the 4th of June and the following Commissioners were present:- Alfred and Decimus Burton, G. H. M. Wagner, C. H. Southall, J. Carey and Mr. Parks. Mr. Gausden having complained of an offensive smell at the outlet of 120 Marina, an order was passed for it to be seen to at once. Rate-defaulters were ordered to be summonsed as follows: Stanton Noakes, £2; Jas. Drury, £2; Henry Beck, £12; Jas. Beck, £7 10; and Frederick Beck £6. The last three tradesmen became bankrupts, and as if to prove the aphorism that "misfortunes never comes(sic) singly", the father had been called upon by the Board of Guardians for his portion of surety for Everett's defalcations.

At a ratepayers' meeting on the 30th of September, new Commissioners were elected in the persons of Daniel Smith, Esq, James Harwood, Esq, and the Rev. J. A. Hatchard, to take the place of the disqualified members - Arthur Ogle, Esq, Jas. Foster, Esq. and W. F. Burton, Esq.

On the same day, the Commissioners held their quarterly meeting, and ordered the drain pipe at 120 Marina to be lengthened to obviate nuisance. A letter having been received from Mr. Shorter, clerk to the Hastings Local Board, re Mr. Batstone's drainage, and Mr. Laing the new surveyor to the Local Board being present, it was resolved "That though the Commissioners do not feel bound to lay down any further drains under their contract with the Local Board of Health, they will accede to the request in Mr. Shorter's letter, to the extent of 75 feet." This referred to the sites laid out by Mr. Batstone for six houses fronting the Archery Gardens entrance; also for another villa [ 2 ]N. E. corner of the ground abutting on Quarry Hill road, the whole being outside of the Commissioners' boundary. The Local Board would pay a rate on such houses if the drainage were carried into the public sewer. The Local Board, to accommodate Batstone, had extended a junction sewer 60 feet up the Quarry Road.

A Voluntary Rate & Generous Gifts

A Voluntary Rate. At the last meeting of the year (Dec. 1st), the Commissioners present were Alfred Burton, Decimus Burton, G. H. M. Wagner, Rev. J. A. Hatchard, D. Smith, J. Carey, C. H. Southall, J. Harwood, Arthur Burton and Arthur Ogle. The last two were new members, they having been elected on the same day by the ratepayers in the place of the Rev. St. Quintin and Henry Hughes, who had become disqualified. It was resolved that in consequence of the impoverished condition of the Commission's finances, the inhabitants be appealed to for a voluntary rate of 6d. in the pound. The following sums were also handsomely contributed:- £50 each by Alfred Burton, Arthur Burton and G. H. M. Wagner esquires; and £5 each by D. Smith, Rev. J. A. Hatchard, Capt. Hull and Major Ogle. In consequence of these generous gifts, the Royal Exchange Insurance Company were informed that the Commissioners hoped not to need that corporation to forgo the next payment of interest. The moneys to be paid at the time of meeting were £203. 3s. 6d. to Smith, Hilder & Co repayment of load; £3. 7s. to Carey and Avery for repairs to groynes; £7. 8s. to S. Woodgate for public seats; £6 7s. 8d. to J. Mann for sharpening tools; & £29 10s. 5d. to S. Willar for repairing iron pipes and piles.

Mrs. Wood's application for a lamp outside of North Lodge was acceded to, on condition of her paying half the cost of lighting - The sixpenny voluntary rate produced £186.

St. Leonards Mechanics Institution

"The Chemistry of the Atmosphere" was the title of a lecture delivered on the 8th of January in connection with this institution, illustrated by experiments by Mr. J. E. Butter.
"The Honey Bee" was the heading of an interesting lecture by Mr. W. R. Selway of London, delivered in the rooms of the Institution on the 22nd of January.
"Nitrogen Gas" was treated of in a lecture by Mr. John Banks before the members of the Institution on the 19th of February.
"Druidism and Christianity in England" was the text of an interesting lecture by the Rev. J. Stent on February 5th.
Music was Mr. Thomas Elliott's theme for a free lecture on March 4th, and [ 3 ]
"Little Things" were shown to be of great importance by the Rev. George Steward on the 18th of March.
"Analogy of the Human Mind and the Soil" formed the subject of a lecture by H. Selmes Esq. on the 8th of April; and on the 17th of the same month.
A Musical Entertainment by Messrs. Skinner, Beck, Diprose and Thomson, brought the lecture season to a close. For this entertainment, the reasonable charge of 6d. was made to non-members which realised a profit of £1. 16s., the room being densely crowded.
At the Quarterly Meeting, which was held on the 14th of February, the Committee's report stated that, considering the general depression that had for a considerable time existed and the shortness of employment together with the high price of the necessaries of life, the Institution continued in a buoyant condition. The number of members was 202, being an increase of 25 during the quarter. Subscriptions, including a donation of £5 from F. North Esq. M.P. had come in sufficient to enable the Building a/c to be closed, and the Treasurer had £9 0s. 5d. in hand on the general account. The lectures had been well attended and fully justified the Committee's view that fortnightly lectures to a good audience was better than weekly lectures to a sparse audience, as had been the case sometimes in the previous lecture session. This was virtually a reply, tho' not intended to the expressed desires of the Hastings News for weekly lectures. The writing, Arithmetic, Drawing and French classes had also been well attended. The committee regarded as a pleasing sign that even with the distracting influences of war, the Institution was able to keep out of debt and to keep in the path of progress.
The Library.On the 9th of April, in addition to 22 new volumes purchased by the Committee, the following were received as a gift from Sir Woodbine Parish:- 12 Nos. of Fraser's Magazine, 1 vol of Buenos Ayres(sic) and La Plata, 1 vol. letters from Scandinavia, 2 vols. Jeerman's St. Petersburg, 1 vol Shobel's Description of Sussex, and 1 vol Geographical Society.
Less EncouragingAt the quarterly meeting on August 14th, it was shown that the members had declined from 194 to 174 in consequence of some who used the Institution during the winter, declining to take their tickets in the summer, and after getting into arrears, being struck off the books. By this means, the income was lessened and a balance of £5.6s.7d. against the society was the result. To clear off this balance, Mrs. Cripps, of Verulam Place, generously presented five guineas through Mr. Brett, the treasurer. G. H. M. Wagner, Esq., also presented a guinea.
Better ProspectsThe commencement of the winter session brought another turn of the tide, whereby the ebb of 20 members was changed to a flow of the same number, thus making once more a total of 194; also changing the deficit of £5 6s. 7d. to a surplus of £1 9s. 2d. At the annual meetingon the 13th of November, the officers elected were A. Burton, Esq. president; G. H. M. Wagner, Esq., Rev. W. W. Hume, Rev. J. A. Hatchard, H. Selmes, Esq., Messrs. S. Putland, W. G. Stoneman, F. Tree, J. O. Davis and Dr. Hale, vice-presidents; T. B. Brett, treasurer; [ 4 ]S. Putland and R. J. Davis, secretaries. On the 14th of October in the same year, The 8th Annual Soiree was held in the Assembly Rooms, and was in every way enjoyable, but not being quite so numerously attended as in previous years, the expenses were 10/7 more than the receipts.

The Queen's Royal St Leonards Archers

Archery Meetings

The first of the prize meetings for the season of the Queen's Royal St. Leonards Archers was held as usual on the Queen's birthday anniversary, which, on this occasion, was truly "Queen's weather." The day was beautifully fine and the company was numerous. The prizes and honorary stars were carried off by Miss Bartleet[Notes 1] and the Rev J. H Timmins.
The Second Meeting was held on Saturday, June 28th, with a temperature of nearly 80 degrees, followed by some fog and rain, thus preventing the company being so numerous as usual. Miss Bartleet won the Ladies' prize and honorary star and Mr. A. Day won the Gentlemen's prize and Honorary star.
The Third Meeting took place on Saturday, July 26th and the sport was witnessed by a large company of visitors. Miss Yeoman again won the Ladies prize and honorary star, and the Rev. J. Simpson took the Gentlemen's prize, whilst Mr. Day secured the honorary star.
The Annual Grand Meeting on the 17th of August, by almost incessant, yet, daunted, the shooting was perseveered(sic) in, whilst a German Band discoursed music and Mr Vickery supplied refreshments. The first-class Victoria prizes fell to Mr. and Mrs. Knapp, and the second-class to Miss. Mackay and Mr. Simpson. The. The(sic) Society's prizes were awarded to Miss Daniell and Mr. Cancellor. The Subscribers' prizes were taken by Miss Hancock and Mr. E. MacKay, and the central-hit prizes by Miss Yeoman and Mr. Willis. The ball was held in the evening at the Assembly rooms, attended by about 80 persons, to with whom, probably, on this occasion Terpsichore was more in favour than Robin Hood.
The Fifth Meeting was held on Saturday, August 23rd, in fine weather and with good music. Miss Parish won the Ladies' prize and the Rev. J. Simpson the Gentlemen's. Miss MacKay won a set of arrows, and Miss Hancock the Visitor's prize.
A Bye Meeting took place on the 27th of September to shoot for prizes by P. F. Robertson, Esq., president of the society. These were won by Miss Yeoman and Miss Bartleet. Mr. W. Parish won the Society's prize.

The Fashionable Season

The season, so-called, of 1856, began with better prospects than in any of the autumns for three or four years preceding. The Visitor's List published by the present writer was a very long one; and it might be truly said that at no antecedent years was the visitorial population so numerous. There had been times, as shewn in local records, when the old [ 5 ]town of Hastings was full to overflowing, but those times were when there was no St. Leonards, and when the accommodation of Hastings itself, was very limited. In the more recent years, the number of first-class houses had so rapidly increased as to engender fears of financial difficulties and absolute loss by the non-occupation of the same. Those apprehensions were unfortunately realised to a considerable extent. Capital had been sunk by speculators who had not the wherewith to tide over the depression of the previous three or four years, and financial paralysis was the result. But to those whose means enabled them to withstand the dull seasons, there appeared to be a good time coming.

Bankruptcies, Dissolutions &c.

Bankrupts

As an illustration of the above-stated results, the bankruptcies were very numerous during 1856, inluding those pertaining to three separate establishments of the Beck family and three of the Amoores; also that of T. A. Young, a hotel-keeper, and Mr. E. Morgan, a wholesale grocer. Mr. Henry Beck was a draper and lodging house keeper of St. Leonards. His balance-sheet shewed secured creditors for £3,985, and unsecured £1882. He had a wife and six children who afterwards emigrated to New Zealand. His brother, James Beck was a grocer at St. Leonards and a member of the Town Council. He afterwards became a commercial traveller, and ultimately died in the neighbourhood of London. Frederick Beck, another brother was also a grocer, and his effects were sold off under assignment. He afterwards removed to Portsea, where he died. Mr. Morgan paid a dividend of 4/4 in the pound. Mr. Alfred Amoore, also a grocer assigned his effects to Charles Alderton and Boykett Breeds. Mr. Andrew Amoore's steam-mill and plant with other effects were sold off by the assignees. Mr. Alfred Amoore afterwards emigrated to America. Mr. Holloway, also a grocer, assigned his effects to Henry Dunk and another person, on April 9th. Robert Lye's shop, fixtures and furniture were sold off by the trustees.

Dissolutions

Messrs. Rankin & Gabb, surgeons, dissolved partnership; Messrs. Ball and Stace, fishmongers, dissolved partnership; and Messrs. Harman and Mitchell, builders, also dissolved partnership. Several of the tradesmen here named were of Hastings and are included with those of St. Leonards, as coming under the category of failures, &c.

Moreing versus Troup

This was an action by the plaintiff, an architect of Regent Street, London, and Warrior square, St. Leonards, to recover from the defendent possession of the lease of a piece of ground in the rear of Warrior square granted in 1849, by Charles Gilbert Eversfield to the defendant. Mr Moreing produced the proceedings in the Insolvent Court, vesting the defendant's estate and effects in his assignees, Messrs. Roe and Brighton, who sold both the freehold and leasehold of Warrior square to the plaintiff (subject to a mortgage of £11,500) for £5,600. The jury found a verdict for plaintiff for £1,000, to be reduced to a nominal amount on defendant giving up the lease. [ 6 ]

Storms, Gales and High Tides

At the maximum (full moon) spring tide on the 24th of January, the gale which prevailed at the time caused the sea to flow over all the parade walls of Hastings and St. Leonards, but the Channel water being less high than might have been had the moon been at perigee instead of near her apogee, no damage was reported.

Disastrous Storm and Tide

Very different was the effect of wind and sea on the 20th and 21st of August, when a violent storm accompanied a perigee instead of (as in the previous case) an apogeal spring tide. A south-west gale which had been threatening from the south-east, came in with almost hurricane force, accompanied by heavy rain. With the roaring and strengthening of the wind, the tide flowed to an unusual height, and as the boatmen and fishermen were to a large extent unprepared for such a visitation, much trouble and damage was the result. After the Thursday's midnight tide, the fishmarket presented a scene of great confusion; boats, tubs, fish-baskets, fish-stalls and other things being piled up in promiscuous heaps. The Custom-house was undermined and the stade in front of the Cutter inn was much broken down. The eastern end of the East parade was greatly damaged, the coping and paving stones being torn up and some of them washed away. The parades and parallel roads were covered with beach, and the lower windows of many houses were blockaded by the same material. Cobby's bathing machines, although half buried did not appear to be greatly damaged. At the Pelham place slipway several boats had their sides knocked in, a little further westward, the Beach terrace houses suffered by inundation, and the sea wall thereat was considerably broken down. At the east end of Caroline place the sea came round into Castle street, as it has often done on similar occasions, and here also was found the stern of a boat that had been washed away from St. Leonards and broken up. In front of Carlisle Villas and Denmark place, the road was greatly torn away. Further westward, Dunn's machines were in an awkward predicament. At Eversfield place John Oliver's pleasure boats were saved by the timely assistance of a preventiveman. From the Warrior square slipway Wratten's pleasure boat was broken up and the wreckage of near the Victoria Library was very serious. The Queen sailing boat belonging to "Alec" Taylor was a complete wreck and the Bethel row-boat owned by "Zuck" (Henry) French, was swept away. French had also great difficulty in saving his bathing mac hines. The capstans, bars and all other gear at that spot were carried away by a tide, the like of which, many of the inhabitants had not before witnessed.

Another boat, with seine nets was entirely lost. About 25 boats were out at sea with their nets down and were consequently overtaken by the storm, and nearly all of them lost some of fishing gear. Eight men were drowned at Brighton and men were lost on other parts of the coast. As before stated this was a perigeal tide, and its probable dangerous effects were pointed out in Brett's Almanack for that period, as well as in Brett's St Leonards Gazette. There [ 7 ]had been a full moon on the 16th, thus causing the spring tides to reach their maximum of the 19th, accelerated in height by the perigee of the moon on the 18th, the first effects of which were felt in the Atlantic and of the Irish and Southwest English coasts. On the 20th the storm and tidal wave were heralded on the S. and S. E. coasts by the backing of the wind to the S. E. and also freshening considerably a circumstance which of itself should have made the fishermen and boatmen more prepared. At midnight the gale arrived at Hastings and rapidly increased in violence until the time of high water, between one and two o'clock. It was neither the first nore last time that the inhabitants were warned to be on their guard when such positions of the sun and moon occurred, and it was neither the first nor the last disaster overtook them in consequence of their unpreparedness. In addition to the losses here enumerated, one of the Hastings fishing boats, in running for Rye harbour, stove in on one side by colliding with the stonework.

A Strong Gale occurred, also on the 23rd of September, which blew of two of the sweeps of Mr. Crisford's "Batchelors Bump" mill at Fairlight Down, but as there were neap tides and the moon not near her perigee, no danger resulted from the action of the sea.

Another Perigeal Tide. On the 13th of October, the full moon was eclipsed, and at her perigee position on the same day. Simultaneously an abnormal tidal wave was experienced in the Atlantic, and two days after, as the spring tide reached its maximum and a great inflow again took place all along the Hastings and St. Leonards shore. Fortunately, the accompanying gale was not so severe as the previous one in August, and the sea-front inhabitants, taught by experience, were more prepared for the intruder; and so, upon the whole, the inconvenience was greater that the damage. To describe it in the briefest of terms, washed round the Customs-house, blockaded Beach Cottages, bombarded Breeds place, gave Caroline place more than was wanted and administered to the South Colonnade and the West Marina an overdose of salt water.

Another Gale swept up Channel four days after the one on the 23rd of September, but as the tides were still low, and non-perigeal, there was no danger to property on land from inroads of the sea; but it drove ashore between Cliff End and Winchelsea, a billy-boy schooner, named John and Mary, of Sunderland, which became a wreck, when the captain's wife and his four children were drowned. It had left Caen the day before with a cargo of stone, and being overtaken by a southerly gale of hurricane strength, it could not keep to sea. Four coastguards under the direction of Lieut. Fermor, exerted themselves mos gallantly and at great personal risk to rescue those on board, but could only save the captain and mate. The drowning of the captain's wife and family was a melancholy scene.

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Great Storm of Wind and Rain

Great Rain Storm - On Monday the 14th of April, a deluging rain came on about noon and continued till about 9 o'clock the next day, the following graphic account of it appeared in the Hastings News.

On Tuesday morning there was water, water, if not everywhere, certainly in a good many places where it ought not to be. The watershed that throws its water into the Priory meadows is a large one. There are large streams from the valley leading to the Union House, from the valley leading to the Old Roar, from the valley leading by the Eversfield Waterworks to the Tivoli, besides other smaller valleys, all throwing their water into the Priory meadows. In the good old times there was a bridge at the Priory, and the stream bed was allowed to carry its water undisturbed into the sea. Then we had no floods, or we had them very rarely. But the march of civilisation has thrown down the bridge, as substituted a more appropriate for our iron age, an iron culvert of rather puny dimensions. Besides, the railway has thrown a rather large embankment over a great part of the Priory Meadows, and thus lessened the area available for any accidental overflow. During the latter part of Monday and throughout Monday night, we had something like a tornado [forshadowed by a large lunar halo the night before]. Rain and wind kept boisterous company, the latter bellowing bass to the treble splashing of the former. Extempore streamlets established themselves everywhere sweeping ruthlessly over the pedestrian's shoes, as well as deepening the furrows in the ploughed fields; whilst countless cascades dropped from every house and every tree. The Old Roar, proverbial for its gentleness of voice was roused to proper dignity and made itself heard like distant thunder in the town itself. The first warning of the coming torrent was given about midnight, and before two o'clock an immense body of water had surged and eddied and dashed over barriers and through outlets until it reached the Priory Meadow. Here the wind swept it on with amazing violence; and, in coming in contact with the lower road leading to the station, it bounded over the bank and threw its spray into mid-air like the waves of the sea. Our Council, envious of the immortal Canute, have for many years stereotyped the command 'thus far shalt thou go and no farther!' Canute failed - his voice was powerless; but our Council have succeeded only too well. When this torrent of a hundred streams reached the railway bank it found that its egress was by a narrow iron pass through which the streams were obliged to march single file. Like a rebel crowd, those that were left waiting got angry and chafed, broke into people's houses, barricaded the roads and caused as much confusion as they could. The houses most exposed were those built on the left-hand side of the lower railway road. These were completely surrounded by water and the lower floor half-full. Fortunately, the inmates received timely warning, and were enabled to make some preparations. Early in the morn-

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-ing a boat was had in requisition, and by means of ladders, several of the inmates were liberated, while provisions were introduced through the upper windows for the benefit of those who remained in the houses. The York Hotel suffered considerably, the flood flowing half round it, and reach[ed] several other houses at that end of York buildings. Meadow Cottages were as secure from intrusion and extrusion as any moted(sic) castle without a drawbridge. While the road in front was blocked up from the Castle Mews [afterwards the Gaiety Theatre ] to York buildings. This continued till some time after noon on Tuesday, when the water began to subside and the road was clear about four. On the next day, scarcely any traces could be seen of the flood, and what appeared on Tuesday a broad noble river was nothing but a little stream meandering through a bright green meadow. Fortunately, little mischief was done beyond the inconvenience and domestic annoyances of floating furniture and irritated tempers. It was reported that the Eversfield waterworks suffered considerably. At daylight, the water from the Old Roar stream alone overflowed a dyke six feet wide. It then gathered the Shornden Valley stream, and the volume of water from Fairlight and Bunger Hill, which flows by Hole Farm. The culvert at the Priory is four feet diameter, or in other words is capable of letting out twelve cubic feet of water in a body, whilst no less than 50 cubic feet was being incessantly poured into the meadow. The culvert is also obstructed by a dam and water-wheel which is gradually filling up the channel. Not a few anathemas have been hurled by the Prioryites against our Council for supply such puny means of egress for water in the meadow. . .But we can assure our readers that at last, the Council have grown wiser. As it was in the days of Noah, so it is to be now. We are to have no more floods [until the next great storm]. We have a new and energetic surveyor. The Council, at their last meeting, ordered the drainage of the Priory meadow to be carried out forthwith. And now we lay our plume once more on the velvet desk, set ourselves in our cosy armchair, draw our bandanna across our face, and take a gentle, tranquil siesta, satisfied that the time has come when there shall be no more floods" [until another opportunity!]

The quantity of rain during the storm was 2.40 inches & during the week 4.05 inches.

An Electrical Storm of lightning, thunder, wind and rain visited St. Leonards and Hastings on the 15th of July, and a similar storm occurred a week later, both of them on a Tuesday. In each case although the lightning and thunder were of an appalling character, no serious damage in this neighbourhood was heard of. Not so could it be said of Lewes, Newhaven and Seaford, in which localities considerable damage was done and sheep were killed. On the latter occasion, previously to a deluging rain, Powell's circus at Lewes was wrecked by a whirlwind, which snapped the ropes [ 10 ]

Thunderstorms, Heat, Meteor, &c.

as though they were only pack thread, blew up the canvas and turned the whole thing inside out. The fright of the men, the screams of the women and the children, and the dismay of the performers may well be imagined. The mysteries of dressing and undressing were exposed to public gaze and the fright of the horses rendered them difficult to manage. Of course the circus was soon emptied of its sight seers; and fortunately with no injury to life or limb. There were, however, some fractured, some fractured(sic) bonnets, crumpled hats, as well as spoilt dresses by the blowing over of oil lamps. It was somewhat of a coincidence that another thunderstorm happened on the 11th of August, the day on which Gunnett's circus entered Hastings.

Another Thunderstorm occurred at night on the 16th of August with rain and hail, the latter of a larger size than many persons had before witnessed. The heavy rain, however, which fell at St. Leonards did not extend to Hastings - a feature which on three separate occasions has been noticed and recorded by the writer. In this particular instance the sound of the rolling thunder was like the roar of a turbulent sea.

The Weather, with two exceptions, was fine and dry from July 21st to Aug 19th, with an abnormal maximum temperature; the thermometer in the house registering 85, 86, 89, 88 & 84 respectively, on the 7th to 11th of August.

A Remarkable Meteor was observed on the 6th of January at St. Leonards, as well as at Hastings and numerous other places. It was seen at about 5 o'clock like brilliant star, descending from a point of the heavens near the planet Jupiter. It travelled in a S. W. direction, with a train resembling the tail of a comet, and before reaching the horizon, it appeared to explode or to expand into a ball of fire. Its coure as afterwards shown by a line of phospheric light, which changes its form to a serpentine shape, as though differently curved by opposing currents or attractive forces. It also had varied hues from white to a dull red. The atmosphere was very clear at the time, and the barometer low.

The Lunar Eclipse on the 13th of October, and the view of bright Jupiter just after his opposition, formed together an interesting sight.

Balls, Concerts and other Entertainments

Mr. and Mrs. Wastel Brisco, at Bohemia House in the parish of St. Mary Magdalen, gave a grand entertainment on the 15th of January to a very large circle of friends, the double drawing-room being specially decorated for the occasion. There was dancing efore and after supper to the music of Wood and Elford's full band.

Mr. and Mrs. Montgomerie also gave a grand evening party on the 18th of January at their residence, 15 Eversfield place.

Dr. Turner, of Warrior square, had an evening and dancing party of forty friends on the 28th of April.

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Entertainments

Mrs. Kemble, the well known talented lady, gave a reading at the St. Leonards Assembly Rooms on the 19th of February to a crowded audience. Her subject was "Thw Winter's Tale", and her success was complete. On the preceding evening, she read "The Merchant of Venice" in the Hastings Market Hall, and in an equally inimitable manner, but her audience there was somewhat small.

A High-Class Concert of an enjoyable character, took place in the Assembly Rooms, on the 8th of August, on behalf of the Hollington school Building fund.

A Grand Morning Concert was given in the new school rooms on Sept. 30th under the patronage of Lady St. John, on the occasion of opening the St. Mary Magdalen Schools.

Another Grand Concert was given in the St Leonards Assembly Rooms on the 21st of November When Miss Catherine Hayes, whose performances over more than half the civilised globe had been an unbroken series of triumphs delighted a crowd of about 250 persons. She was assisted by the vocalists Mable Corelli, Mr. Charles Braham, and Signor Lablanche, the violinist Herr Ernst, the ciolonchellist Mons.Pque and the pianist Mr. G. A. Osborne.

A Musical Entertainment given in the rooms of the Mechanics' Institution by Messrs. A. Beck, S. Diprose, J. Skinner and J. Thomson, was so crowded that notwithstanding the many persons who could only be accommodated with standing room on the stairs, in the lobby and in the recesses, a number of persons were obliged to go away without even so much as a peep. Judging from the large number of members present and the sixpenses from non-members amounting to upwards of £2, there must have been 200 persons present. The programme of 14 pieces was successfully executed.

The St. Leonards Choral Society gave a much admired Sacred Concert in the St. Leonards Assembly Rooms on the 4th of April in presence of a numerous and fashionable audience. The pieces performed were seven of Handel's, five of Mozart's, one of Kent's and nine of Haydn's.

A Grand Concert by English artists was given before an exceedingly numerous and distinguished company on the 4th of October. The performers conducted by the veteran Balfe, were Madam Endersjohn, Miss F. Huddart and Mr. Sims Reeves as vocalists; and Miss Arabella Goddard and Mr. George Case, instrumentalists.

Mr. Woodin exhibited his "Olio of Oddities" to crowded and delighted assemblies on the 30th and 31st of October, and the 1st of November at the St. Leonards Assembly Rooms. Also at Hastings on the 28th and 29th of October.

A Soirée Dansante was given by Mrs Braham at 80 Marina on the 31st of December, when a fashionable company danced the old year out and the new year in.

The Annual Christmas Ball took place, as usual, at the Assembly Rooms and was attended by 150 of the nobility and gentry of the locality and neighbourhood. [ 12 ]

School Notes- Church Matters

St. Mary in the Castle Schools had collected for them, after sermons on Sunday April 20 the sum of £46 7s. 7d.

The St Leonards National School children had their annual treat in the St. Leonards Assembly Rooms on the 16th of October. They numbered 300 and walked in procession to the rooms, where a liberal supply of tea, cake and buns, was provided by Mr. Carey, after which part-songs were sung by the children, an address given by the Rev. Chalmers, and dissolving views exhibited by Mr. Banks.

The St. Mary Magdalen New Schools were opened on October 6th, by a sermon at the church by the Rev. W. W. Hume, and by a dinner of roast-beef to about 140 children in the school-rooms. Games and other amusements were engaged in after dinner, and in the evening, both the children and their parents were regaled with a tea. The scheme of education The whole expense was borne by the Dowager Lady St. John. The scheme of education was a most liberal one. Both boys and girls were to be taught scripture catechism, reading, writing, arithmetic, grammar, geography, English History and choral singing, whilst those boys whose parents desire it would be further taught drawing, book-keeping, mensuration, land-surveying, geometry, algebra, music, Universal History, a general view of manufacture and practical gardening. The girls would also be taught needlework, and for those for whom it would be thought needful or desirable would further be taught Universal History, drawing, music, cooking, baking and household work. The schools were to be under the superintendance of Mr. Chealse and Miss Caldwell.

An Industrial Kitchen in connection with the above named schools having been provided for the instruction of a certain number of pupils in cooking, baking and domestic economy, with the approval of the Committee of Council on Education, it was proposed to raise a fund for the purpose of making it also available as an invalid kitchen.

Church Matters

Proposed New Church. At a vestry meeting of the parish of Holy Trinity held at the Wellington Inn on the 21st of January, the chairman, MR. G. C. Hope, stated that it appeared the three parishes of Holy Trinity, St. Michael's and St. Andrew could not be consolidated into one district as was wished without the agency of a special Act of Parliament, but a church could be built for Holy Trinity under the provisions of the "Private Patronage Act" since the parish was not ecclesiastically constituted. For that purpose it was necessary to give a legal notice to the Biships of the intention to build and endow a church. The only remaining difficulty was to find a gentleman in the parish willing to give the notice, which would not involve any personal responsibility.

A second meeting was held two days later, when Mr. Hope stated that no parishioner could be found to undertake the responsibility of giving the requisite notice, and he then read some correspondence which had[ 13 ]

Holy Trinity Church

- passed between himself and the Rev. G. D. St. Quintin. It appeared that the Bishop was of the opinion that it would be best to postpone the erection of a church in the extra-parochial place of the Holy Trinity or Dissolved Priory until a Private Act should have been obtained. On the motion of Dr. Greenhill, a memorial to the Bishop was agreed upon, setting forth that there was no necessity for a private Act of Parliament, &c. It was also proposed and carried unanimously that the overseers treat with the Countess Waldegrave for the immediate purchase of the land in the Step Meadow as a site for the proposed church. The Countess had kindly promised to pay for the land. Another meeting was held on the 12th of March - this time at the "Royal Standard" with Dr. Greenhill in the chair. A letter was received from the Bishop in reply to the memorial, which stated that his Lordship was willing to assent to the church being built on the following conditions:- 1st that the patronage be vested in the Bishop; 2nd, that the first incumbent be the Rev. G. D. St. Quintin or someone nominated by him; 3rd, that the district attached to the church may be enlarged hereafter beyond the limits of the said parochial place if the law provide the means of effecting it, with the consent of the Bishop and Incumbent for the time being; 4th, that a suitable maintenance be provided for the Incumbent in the usual way of pew-rents (the remainder of the sittings being subject to a nominal rent of 1s. or a higher rental to be claimable by residents in the district in preference to all others; 5th, a residence house be erected as early as may be found practicable. If the promoters should be willing to proceed on such conditions, the Bishop offered £500, and promised his aid to obtain grants from the Diocesan Association and the Church Building Society. It was resolved by the meeting to accept the conditions.

The founding of this church would have been more properly noticed in the next chapter under the head of Hastings; but as the initiative and correspondence with the Bishop was undertaken by the Rev. G. D. St. Quintin, once the Incumbent of St. Leonards Church, and the promoter of and liberal subscriber to the St Mary Magdalen Church, as well as being a permanent St. Leonards residents, one's thoughts in commencing the account unconsciously drifted from St. Leonards to Hastings, unmindful of the usually observed distinction.

At the date of April 14th, the Queen had contributed £100; the Countess Waldegrave, £1,000; the Bishop, £500; the Rev. G. D. St. Quintin, £500; Mrs. St. Quintin, £10 10s., Miss Quintin, £20; Rev. J. A. Hatchard, £20; E. Vernon Harcourt, £50; F. North M.P., £20; a lady, by Countess Waldegrave, £30; a "thank-offering", £50; Miss F. Clarke, £20; and Rev. H. S. Foyster, £20;- altogether £2,456.

Operations for the church were commenced on Nov. 27th, by the Rev. G. D. St. Quintin breaking ground in the Step Meadow. [ 14 ]

Accidents - Curiosities

The Church collections, on Thanksgiving day, Sunday, May 4th were £34 for the Memorial Church at Constantinople and £54 at St. Mary Magdalen's for widows and orphans of the Crimean soldiers. The collections at the Hastings churches are stated in the next chapter.

Accidents

A Broken Breast Bone and other injuries were sustained by Richard Craig on Jan. 24th, just as he was leaving work on a new building at the Tivoli through a ladder being blown down by the wind, whereby he was thrown a distance of 30 feet.

Thrown from their horses were Mr. and Miss Hanbury on the 25th of September at the St Leonards Archway, they having previously lost control of the animals which galloped at a fearful pace along Eversfield place and Grand parade. The gentleman was not much hurt, but the lady was carried unconsciously into Hempsted's chemist's shop, where restoratives were applied sufficiently for her to be sent to her lodgings at Caroline place.

Another Archway Accident occurred a week later by the falling of a horse while conveying some ladies in a fly, by which the shafts were broke, the horse's shoulder injured. and the ladies much alarmed.

A Fortunate Escape from fatal or serious injury was that of Mrs. Hills, who whilst cleaning windows at Eversfield place, lost her balance and fell on to the balcony below.

Curiosities

A Sword Fish, which is a rarety in the Channel, was caught in the "kettle" nets at Bulverhithe on the 4th of June; and two days later another of the species got entangled in the nets of a fishing lugger. They were sent to the London market the flesh of this kind of fish having the reputation of being a great delicacy.

A Remarkable Flint. At a little further westward - namely at Bexhill, was discovered a mass of flint, in which was embedded a large piece of fossil wood, completely petrified and which appeared to have been bored in holes by worms or some other means, previously to its being embedded in the flint; but the said holes were filled up by the flint, thus showing that the flint must have been in a soft condition at the time when the wood was enveloped by it. A sub-marine forest exists at Bexhill, as well as at Bulverhithe and Hastings.

Belgravia

Under this name, on the 13th of September, was laid the first stone of what are now Nos. 18 to 24 Warrior Square - four houses that were built by Mr. John Kenwood and Mr. Joseph Sidney Cooper. The former was a builder by trade, and the latter had retired from the "Battery" (or East Parade) Library, originally known as Powell's. The formal laying of the stone was by Miss Baynes of London, in the presence of a considerable number of persons. In a cavity of the stone were deposited a medal, having on one side the "Lord's Prayer" and on the other the "Apostles' Creed". The young lady pronounced[ 15 ]the words "I hereby lay the first stone of Belgravia, and may God prosper the undertaking!" Three hearty cheers were then given by the men assembled in honour of the occasion, and three more for Mr. Charles Moreing, the proprietor of the Warrior-square estate. The workmen - about 40 in number - were regaled with refreshments, when the healths of Mr. Cooper and Mr Kenwood, the principles of this new enterprise were drunk by all present.

Peace with Russia

Thanksgiving for Peace

Peace with Russia having been proclaimed on the 1st of May, and Sunday, the 4th of May having been appointed for a general thanksgiving, special services were observed, and collections made, the latter being as follows:- At St. Leonards Church for Memorial Church at Constantinople, £34; at St. Mary Magdalen's, for widows and orphans of Crimean Soldiers, £56; at St. Mary's-in-the-Castle, for church at Constantinople and Protestant College at Malta, £57; at St. Clement's for the parish schools, £16; at All Saints' for ditto, £11; and at Halton, for enlargement of the school-house for infants, £9. (For Peace celebrations see next chapter).

War is Over

Such was the heading of the following jubilant lines by "Candidus" which appeared in the Hastings and St. Leonards News:-

War is over! war is over!
Loudly now the strain is sung;
Let the careworn joy recover,
And the silent harps be strung!

Sing, O Nations, sing for gladness,
Ye whos plains blood-stained have been
Chase away those scenes of sadness
Now the star of Peace is seen

War is over, now let sorrow
Hide it's face in present mirth;
And today, and e'en tomorrow,
Vanish from the face of earth

Ye, the mournful and oppressed
See the rising beam of love
Offers calm to all distressed -
Balms from realms of peace above

War is over, gladsome story,
Brighter than a poet's dream
Nobler far than Warrior's glory,
Beauteous as the morning's beam

We in raptures hail thy coming
As the dawn of brighter days;
Even Nature's voices humming
Seem united in thy praise.

War is over! war is over!
Loud resounds o'er all the earth
War is over! war is over!
And we yield ourselves to mirth

Now the din of battle's ended,
And the deadly struggles cease;
May not angels' notes be blended
In our joyous song of Peace?

[ 16 ]

Parochial Meetings

Vestry Meetings - St Leonards

At the Easter vestry (March 28), after passing a highway-rate at 3d., Richard Gausden and John Peerless were elected overseers; Wm. Payn, sen., assistant overseer at £12; Jos. Yarrol and John Carey, inbounds assessors; Wm. Draper and Chas. Farncomb, outbounds assessors; Wm. Draper and Jas. Mann, surveyors of highways; & John Phillips, vestry clerk. At a meeting on the 9th of May, a poor-rate at 4d. was figured for the Borough part only, and at a meeting on Nov. 14th a poor rate at 5d. for the borough part and one at 3d for the county part, were agreed on by a quorum of three.

Vestry Meetings - St. Mary Magdalen

At the Easter vestry (March 27th), with W. M. Eldridge in the chair, and more than 20 other parishioners present, Thos. Burgess and Richard Farmer Davis were elected overseers; Jos. Yarrol and John Carey, assessors, and Wm. Pain Beecham, vestry clerk. At a meeting on the 16th of May, with S. Putland presiding, and about half a dozen others present, a poor-rate at 4d. was passed, and the Assistant overseer instructed to collect all papers relating to the business of the parish from the persons then holding them. At a third meeting, on Sept. 5th, a poor-rate at 6d. was agreed to.

Vestries and the Burial Board

The following letter by the Rev. John Stent, dated Feb 19th, 1856, was published in the Hastings and St. Leonards News:-

On looking again into the Acts of Parliament, I find, first - that the Burial Board have nothing whatever to do with the fees for buying, either for the Church or the Dissenting clergyman. As to the latter, I am right in what I said in my last. As to the former, the Laws place the clergyman and the other officers in the consecrated ground exactly where they were in the parish burial ground. He cannot, nor can the Board, alter, either to diminish or increase the fees. Any change that may be wished for, can only be made by a majority of a majority of(sic) the vestry of the parish and with the consent of the Bishop. The utmost which laws allow is, that the clerk to the Board may take the fees which have been otherwise determined on in behalf of the officiating clergyman, Dissenting and Church, when he takes the fee for the grave, &c., charged by the Board. If, however, the vestry should determine that instead of a graduating scale of fees, there shall be one fixed fee for burials, then the consent of the Bishop having been obtained - the law enacts that that fee shall be levied by the Board and paid to the clergyman. It follows, second, that the Board cannot engage a chaplain under any circumstances whatever. The law distinctly provides for the contingency, by enacting that the incumbent may agree to engage a chaplain. If there be not unanimity, then the Bishop is to confirm the decision of the majority. If the votes are equally divided, then the Bishop gives a casting vote, and his decision is final. Some of your reader may be glad to consult the Acts. There are three of them, which may be had for 10d. and a digest of the whole may be had for 6d. from No. 2 Serjeants(sic) Inn, Fleet street, under the title of the New Burial Acts

— John Stent
[ 17 ]

Cemetery Tenders - Consecration &c.

Cemetery Tenders. In correlation to Mr. Stent's letter re. the Cemetery, it may here be stated that the tenders for building the chapels and the front wall were £2830 by Pattenden; £2714 by Burchell; £2701 by Cousens; £2533 by Philcox of Brighton; and £2145 by Smith of Brighton. Thus not less than £685 difference between the highest and lowest.

The Consecration. Another connective event in the same year was that of the consecration of the cemetery. This, as reported in the St Leonards Gazette, was performed in the following manner:-

The ceremony of consecrating the Borough Cemetery took place yesterday (Nov. 28th) in the presence of the Municipal authorities, clergy, magistrates and a large concourse of inhabitants and visitors. The proceedings commenced with the reception of the Bishop at the church of All Saints, where a petition was formally presented to him by the Mayor and other members of the Corporation, praying to consecrate the said ground. The Bishop having consented, the ordinary morning service was engaged in, the proper psalms being the 39th and 90th, and the lessons taken from the 23rd chap. of Genesis and the 5th chap. of John. The hymn selected for the occasion was that of which the first verse was "Beneath our feet and o'er our head, Is equal warning given; Beneath us lie the countless dead, Above us is the heaven". At the conclusion of this part of the service, Archdeacon Otter preached a suitable and impressive sermon from Act. XVII 32. "And when the heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked, and others said 'we will hear thee again of this matter'". The service at the church being over, carriages and flys were quickly in requisition for conveying the officials and others to the ground, where on arrival the Bishop proceeded to explain some alteration in the law relating to burial grounds that had been made for the better. The deed of conveyance and the sentence of consecration having been read, and the Bishop's signature attached thereto, his Lordship delivered an extempore address, after which the ground was traversed and the proceedings closed with prayor and benediction."

The 'First' Interment - Mr John Smith

Although the ground was consecrated, the buildings were not yet completed, and the said ground was not fully laid out; yet, only one day later, the death of an inhabitant occurred, who although one of the objectors to the site was the first to be interred thereat. It was the well-known builder and contractor, Mr. John Smith, more familiarly known as "Yorky" Smith, in contradistinction to other John Smiths, one of whom was a painter, and another, whose sobriquet was "Canary" Smith. The deceased had resided in Hastings about forty years, his last place of residence being Stratford (now White-rock) place. He was a native of Woodhouse, near Leeds, in Yorkshire and was born in the year 1788. He was apprenticed in Leeds, but before the term expired, he left his master, and walked to London in search of employment. He was engaged, with other workmen on extensive alterations at the Bank of England, Sir John Soane being the architect. He had not more than arrived at man's estate when he was employed in the construction of the Grand Redoubt at Eastbourne. He was, after- [ 18 ]

Particular Deaths

-wards engaged as foreman of works under Mrs. Edwards, of Rye, whom he ultimately married. He came to Hastings in 1816; and from the erection of Nelson Buildings, in High street for Mr. Breeds, soon made his way as a builder and contractor, successively undertaking work on the first houses of Wellington square, Pelham place, Pelham place(sic), Breeds place, Bohemia house, 57 Marina &c. He was an active politician in the Liberal interest and was greatly respected. He died suddenly of heart disease on the 29th of Nov. 1856, at the age of 68 years. A more detailed account of his local career is given in Historico Biographies of Local Worthies.

Another Death - Mr Henry Inskipp

This gentleman, brother to James Inskipp (artist in water-colours), Walter Inskipp (an architect of St. Leonards and Hastings), George Inskipp (a local draper), and Frederick Charles Inskipp (many years clerk to the Board of Guardians) died suddenly, in London on the 27th of July, in the present year, 1856, at the age of 63 years. The following obituary appeared in the Morning Post of July 29th:-

With deep regret we announce the death of one, whose loss, as well from his personal worth, as from his valuable services to this journal, extending to a period upwards of 20 years [about 26 years], will be long and severely felt, both by his friends and colleagues. We allude to the gentleman whose name precedes this paragraph, whose labours for the period beforementioned, have been employed in the responsible duties of superintending the monetary and city department of this paper. To record the death of one whose presence is familiar to us is at all times painful; but it is especially so, when, with the man is lost the friend, and, when that friend is endeared to use by those high characteristics to which so few, alas! in this everyday working world can lay claim. In addition to that intellectual clearness and activity so necessary to one dealing day by day with matters of finance and the complications of our extensive commercial relations, the subject of this brief memoir was remarkable for qualities of a higher and a nobler order.
He was a man preeminently distinguished for a nice and scrupulous honour, for great natural kindness of heart, and an extensive sympathy for the wants of others. With such qualities of heart and mind, combined with a peculiar simplicity and gentleness of manner, he endeared himself to a very large circle of friends, many of whom - ourselves among the number - will not cease to mourn his removal from amongst us.
The deceased gentleman, after discharging his duties in the city, returned to his residence, complaining of cold and general physical derangement, which scarcely seemed to threaten so fatal termination. Not long after, however, his countenance was observed to chang, and an attack of paralysis immediately deprived him of his speech and of the use of his right side. The hand of Deth was weighing heavily upon him. He lingered on for a few brief and anxious days until one o'clock on Sunday -

[ 19 ]

Comparative Mortality

- morning, when the world closed on the life of one whose manly virtues, whose simple and unassuming character may well be imitated by those who survive him.

Mr. Henry Inskipp was not the only member of the family to whom all the above-named virtues might be ascribed. My personal knowledge of the family enables me to say that just such a man was his brother Frederick, the many years faithful and scrupulously honourable, honest and single-minded clerk to the Hastings Board of Guardians. The same unpretentious, the same geniality, and to a great extent the same other good qualities - and, withal the same educational and mental endowments were observed in his other brothers, who, though born in Battle, lived and died in our own borough; hence the greater propriety of this notice.

General and Local Mortality

The Registrar-General's returns for three months in 1856 showed the general average mortality to have been nearly 21 in a thousand, which with the three preceding months, was much below the longer-period average, that being 23 per thousand, whilst the general average rate for the spring quarter was 24 per thousand in large towns and their suburbs. On an average of ten years (1841-50), the mortality in three English districts was 15 per 1000 in fourteen places; 16 in forty-seven; 17 in Eighty seven; and 18 in others. Thus, it is now an established fact that although English people go abroad for health, England is the healthiest country in Europe. In continental cities the annual death rate is seldom less than 30 per 1,000 and it frequently rises to 40.
For the ten years 1841-'50, the average death-rate in proportion to population was

24 at Bath.
23 at Bristol, Clifton and Yarmouth
21 at Brighton, Dover, Scarborough, Whitby and Bangor.
20 at Tunbridge Wells, Cheltenham, Leamington, Harrowgate, Mattoc, &c.
19 at Ramsgate, Margate, Torquay and Teignmouth.
18 at Hastings and Malvern.
17 at Worthing, Arundel, Cowes, Ryde, Lowestoft and Ilfracombe.

Thus, Hastings, which includes St. Leonards, with perhaps a greater proportion of visitors in declining health, is almost lowest in the scale of mortality.
In 1851, the Hastings district contained 21,215 inhabitants, of whom 3594 lived in the villages of Pett, Guestling, Farlight and Ore. The number of males was 9,786 and females, 11,429. In the seven years, 1838-'44, the Registrar-General gave the mortality of Hastings as 18.73 among males and 17.79 among females. The highest rate was 25.36 in the cholera year, 1849, and the lowest 15.80 in 1854. It might have been thought that in the sub-district the highest rate would have been found in the oldest and poorest parish of All Saints, rather than in the newer and richer parish of St. Mary-in-the-Castle; but whilst in the latter it was 19, in the former it was ony 18.48. This -
[ 20 ]

Vaccination Facts and Petitions

-resulted from the number of ill-health visitors who died at Hastings, most of whom lodged in the more fashionable parts of the town.

It may be further stated that since 1856, the comparatively low death-rate up to that time has been steadily decreasing in our own borough until now, February, 1889 (when this portion of Local History is being written) the Medical Officer of Health's returns show it to be only 12.1 per thousand, and the deaths from zymotic deceases, as 0.6 per thousand.

Vaccination.

During forty years of journalism the compiler of this History collected a vast number of reliable statistics and wrote a few hundreds of articles and paragraphs, shewing the non-prophylactic effects of vaccination, and the fatalities, diseases and other evils resulting from the system. He hopes to be able to reproduce the same in book form, that the public may have a permanent record of the erroneous statements and mystifying figures by which pro-vaccinators have been misled by well-paid Government officials and pecuniarily interested vaccine operators - the latter being school into the belief of vaccination safeguards and thus freed from the responsibility of personal examination or question of efficacy. Believing as I do, that the time will come when the wants will wonder that so expensive and disease-propogating(sic) rite should have endured so long a time. I repeat the hope of been{sic} able to reproduce what I have written in a separate volume. In the meantime, I here copy one of the numerous contributions to the local press by the late John Gibbs, Esq., of Maze Hill Cottage, St Leonards. To do so is the more appropriate as being coincidental with the largely signed petitions against vaccinations presented to the House of Commons from Hastings and St. Leonards, and which, as an historical fact it becomes me to notice. Mr. Gibbs, dating his letter, Feb. 18th, 1856. wrote:-

Sir, - your last impression contains some extracts from the current quarterly return of the Register-General in which appears the following passage: 'Small-pox prevailed among the soldier at Canterbury, who had not been vaccinated.' As this extract insinuates a most pernicious error, perhaps you will allow me to supply the antidote from the same source - the Returns of the Registrar-General.
"Greenwich; Woolwich Arsenal. - At Royal Hospital, on 28th December a private in Royal Sappers and Miners, aged 18 years, smallpox (24 days), exhaustion, marks of vaccination indistinct.
In the same sub-district at Royal Ordnance Hospital, on 4th of Jan., a sergeant, Royal Artillery, aged 18 years, small-pox (18 days), after vaccination.
At Royal Ordnance Hospital, on 14th of January, 1856, a gunner, aged 19 years, small-pox (12 days), after vaccination.
At same Royal Ordnance Hospital, on 15th of January, a gunner, aged 26-

[ 21 ]

-years, small-pox (13 days). Had marks of vaccination!
At the same Hospital, a bombadier, aged 20 years, small-pox, confluent (20 days). Vaccinated! [Return, week ending Jan. 19th]
Same Hospital. 'On 28th of January, a gunner, Royal Artillery, aged 20 years small-pox (22 days), after vaccination!
Same subdistrict - 'small-pox (21 days) marks of vaccination distinct, phleg mon et abcesses (11 days).
In same Hospital; on 3rd of February, a gunner, Royal Artillery aged 19 yeas, small-pox (1 month) after vaccination, abcesses in the thigh!
In the same, on 28th of January, a driver, Horse Artillery, aged 18 years, 'Variola Confluenta (13 days), marked with cow-pox!' [Week ending Feb 16th 1856]

Petitions

At about the first week in April, petitions against compulsory vaccination were presented to the House of Commons - One from St. Leonards and St. Mary Magdalen signed by 221 persons; and one from Hastings with 324 signatures. Also a separate one from John Gibbs, Esq., of Maze-hill cottage.

Just before Whitsuntide a petition against the Compulsory Vaccination Bill, from Dr. Hale, of St. Leonards was presented by Dr. Mitchell, making the seventh petition from these towns, with 1043 signatures.

In the month of June, two more petitions against the Compulsory Vaccination Act were presented to Parliament by Dr. Mitchell - one from St. Leonards, with 34 signatures, and the other from Hastings, with 61 signatures, making with those previously sent, 1,138 signatures.

A Cure For Smallpox

From the 18th Report of the Select Committee of the Commons on Public Petitions. -

For inquiry as to inventions, 6,716 Thomas Rose, of West street, Dorking. The petitioner states that in 1826, he discovered cream of tartar to be a specific for the fever of small-pox, and has since found the remedial action of the same to be assisted by rhubarb. He has tested his system, unprofessionally, and without fee, in upwards of 3,000 cases, and proved its efficacy in every stage of that disease, only one person of all those cases - a child, suffering from whooping cough - having fallen a victim. He considers that the publication of such a remedy would prove to be a general blessing and prays the House to adopt measures for testing the same, and aso that his petition be printed with the votes.

I was well acquainted with Mr. Rose as a visitor at Pelham Crescent, Hastings, and both before and after that period received testimonies of his philanthropic attentions to small-pox sufferers and with invariable success.

The petitions, as here stated, show that the people of both towns were by no means apathetic in the threatened deprivation of liberty in the matter of Vaccination, and to one like myself, who has not an atom of faith in it is pleasant to know that there still living (in 1899) Mr. Womersley, Mr. Ransom, and some others of the 1856 opponents of compulsory personal infliction. A would-be defendant- [ 22 ]

"Anti-Humbug" versus "Anti-Prejudice"

-of compulsory powers availed himself of the local news sheets in his endeavour to prove that those who had signed the petitions more from prejudice than from reason, and signed himself Anti-Prejudice. He was soon, however met with rejoinders, not only from local ant-vaccinators, but also from a person at Tunbridge Wells, who, for his signature used the prefix anti in a difference sense. I will therefore call his communication "Anti-humbug" versus "Anti-prejudice". The former wrote as follows:-

Sir,—“Anti-prejudice” and vaccination! what a droll combination of words! Can ”Anti-prejudice” know the meaning of the compounds comprised in his signature? Prejudice has been defined as ”judgment without enquiry,” and it is more than a hundred years since as Essayist wrote :—

”Prejudice is that habitual notion of things and persons that a man receives from the information of others; it is early engrafted in the mind and the last to be got rid of. It is the sense of a second person, which a man makes use of for his own, and is led into the fatal mistake of believing that the effect of his judgment which came to him another way......The exertion of this no-principle will produce equally terrible or equally calm actions of life, and a man shall reckon it either his duty to sit still, or murder just as any young imbibed opinion directs him...... Thus, whatever is done upon this foundation, though never so faulty, shall find advocates, because it meets with some similitude of action in your neighbour, and that is reason enough for his approving it.”

Before ”Anti-prejudice” again assumes his pen and a nom de plume, I would tenderly advise him to consult some sensible friend, if he have one.

”Anti-prejudice” would cram Mr. Marson down our throats; but, who is Mr. Marson? He is a member of a self-constituted clique of medical quacks who have the vanity to style themselves the ”Epidemiological (query illogical) Society,” the folly to thrust their unasked-for advice upon Parliament, and the impertinence to require power to coerce into the acceptance of their opinions and their nostrums a free and thoughtful people. Mr. Marson is likewise resident surgeon to the Small-pox and Vaccination Hospital; he-is a mere trader in cow-pox vaunting his wares, and what is death to others is more than sport—it is life—to him.

Mr. Marson states that he vaccinated more than 40,000 persons—poor things!—and that.he has never seen any evil results traceable to vaccination, When evil results follow, he would attribute them to other causes. Is Mr. Marson sincere? Because he can wield a lancet and inflict disease, is he therefore qualified to trace cause and effect? Is Mr. Marson fitted with even ordinary powers of observation? I have seen a man daily, for months, stand before a fire, and that same man afterwards printed a book descriptive of certain scenes, in which, describing that very apartment, I had so often seen him warming himself, he says: “Of course there was no fire there.“ Some persons have not the gift of observation.

Even if Mr. Marson be qualified to observe and to trace cause and effect, has he honestly endeavoured to do so? How many cases has he followed to their homes and watched through subsequent years after they had passed from his cruel hands and without the doors of his slaughter-house? Mr. Marson reminds me of a celebrated quack who kept a record of all persons who consulted him. An inquisitive friend of mine visited him, and, on looking through the record, observed opposite every name the word “ cured,“ although it seemed that the great majority never paid the second visit. “How is this,” said my friend, “those people do not seem to have come a second time, and yet you mark them cured?—how do you know they are cured?” “For that very reason,“ said the quack, “because they never returned.“ But if those patients swallowed the quack’s prescription, perhaps their friends could tell a different tale, and thus it may be with many of the victims of Mr. Marson’s quackery. Go where one will, one hears lamentable accounts of the evil consequences of vaccination.

In your columns deaths from vaccination have been frequently reported on the authority, of the weekly returns of the Registrar-General. Is Mr. Marson ignorant of those important papers? Apropos to this question, in the current weekly number, he may find the following:—

Greenwich, East.—At 3, Bromley place, on 19th September, the daughter of a waterman, aged 3 months, ‘erysipelas (after vaccination), convulsions,’ ”

Poor murdered innocent !—the victim of quackery misnamed science! How many similar cases are never reported? How many deaths from convulsions are attributed to teething, which should be attributed to vaccination ?

Is Mr. Marson acquainted with the opinions of his late colleague and senior, Dr. George Gregory? who declared that vaccination does not lessen the general mortality—that its blessings (whatever they may be) are met and counterbalanced by the law of vicarious mortality; and that, contrary to what obtains amongst the unvaccinated, the susceptibility to small-pox increases amongst the vaccinated as life advances. In short, vaccination is a great juggle.

Does Mr. Marson know that Gregory neither vaccinated nor inoculated in his own family? and that Jenner (!) inoculated his second child ?

Mr. Marson is not aware of any evil consequences resulting from vaccination. Has he read the writings of Copland, Bayard, Carvot, De Lisle, Lutze, Zimpfel, Schreiber, Nittinger, and others? If not, the sooner he informs himself the better. A few extracts may be useful here. Io his “Dictionary of Practical Medicine“—a text-book of the Profession—Dr. Copland, after quoting Rilliet and Barthez, says, “that scrofulous and tubercular affections have increased since the introduction of vaccination is undoubted.......As already shown, it cannot be doubted that vaccination favours the prevalence of the several forms of. scrofula.” (Part 15. Article, Scrofula.) Again:—“At the time of my writing this, just half a century has elapsed since the discovery and introduction of vaccination; and after a quarter of a century of most transcendental laudation of the measure, with barely occasional whisperings of doubt, and after another quarter of a century of reverberated encomiums from well-paid vaccination boards, raised with a view of overbearing the increasing murmurings of disbelief amongst those who observe and think for themselves, the middle of the 19th century finds the majority of the Profession, in all latitudes and hemispheres, doubtful as to the preponderance of advantages, present and prospective, to be obtained from inoculation or from vaccination.“ (Part 15. Article, Small-pox.)

This revival of the controversy as to the respective merits (or demerits) of vaccination and inoculation—of tweedledum and tweedledee—is the condemnation of both.

Dr. Bayard says:— ”Since vaccination, mortality has doubled amongst the French youth. The military hospitals ere doubly peopled. The number of marriages has augmented in proportion double the number of marriageable females by the rapid succession of second marriages. Fertility has diminished. Constitutions and the public health have become worse. Mental and bodily infirmities have increased. Existing generations have deteriorated. The proportion of adults to minors is no longer what it was in the eighteenth century, consequently the tables of mortality of Davillard and Duparcieux are no longer correct. The nation, by the daily loss of its best strength, overburthened with old people and children, beholds the public misery increasing, and hastens on rapidly to decay. Mr. Herpin and others had noticed this displacement by smallpox in the age of the vaccinated, which caused M. Serres to say— 'Whereas, amongst the unvaccinated, mortality strikes the young under ten years and afterward declines; amongst the vaccinated, oo. the contrary, it is from this age up to 28 or 30 that the mortality is highest.'” as —Influence de la. Vaccine sur le population, p. 10.)

M. Anceton shows that ”The vaccinated child of five years is more liable to smallpox than the unvaccinated child of the same age.”

M. Garnot says:—” The babe just born had, in the 18th century, a probability of living 16 years; in the 19th century, 26 years. On the other hand, in the last century; the young man of twenty years had a probability of adding 37 years to his life; to-day the young man of the same age can only hope for 26. The budget of death has not diminished, it is filled with the corpses of the youth of from 18 to 30 years old.”

M. Carnot finds the cause in vaccination.

Dr. Woirot is of opinion that,—” Notwithstanding that the mortality of all ages has successively diminished, that of the period from 10 to 30 years has considerably increased. A disturbing cause has therefore appeared in our day, not only to arrest, during that period of life, the progressive decrease of mortality, but even to give it an impulse in the opposite direction.”

Dr. Woirot is of opinion that this cause is vaccination.

M. Castel says of vaccination:— ”How much this practice (on which we had built the most flattering hopes) has left of taint in the animal juices, has caused of dissolution in the elements of life, is manifest; so great is the temerity to oppose an obstacle to an eruptive malady, so difficult is it to supply the place of nature.”

M. Anceton says:—” One is moved at the thought of a vaccine constitution.” ”Vaccination,” says Professor Trousseau, ”is an error which has had its turn.” ”Government,” says Professor Chrestien, ”will perhaps be obliged to repel it with as much energy as they propagated it.”

In another place, M. Anceton says:—” The German populations, astonished at having to confide in the assertions of a few vulgar milkers, have never yielded with a good grace to the interested zeal of the vaccinators; the medical police, armed in this country with the rigour of a Deaconian law, could never make them comprehend that inoculation with the product of the morbid secretions of cattle should be without danger, when the same police forbids them, under pain of hideous and mortal diseases, to use the flesh of these same contaminated animals. They have instinctively divined, even before M. le Docteur Boissot (1815), before MM. Teuffer and Berlan, before the publication of those satires, the orders for re-vaccination in the Prussian army, that cow-pox has its errors, weakness and eccentricities, and that far from causing variolous epidemics to recede a hair’s breath, it only facilitates their development. This sentiment of popular hostility, partaken successively by a considerable number of learned physicians in different states of Germany, found on the borders of the Rhine a worthy interpreter in Dr. E. Schreiber, who wrote an eloquent argument against vaccination, in 1832, In his opinion, ‘the vaccine juggleries have been accepted too carelessly and without examination.’”

Dr. Zimpfel says:- ”Every practical physician, whose conscientious efforts are directed, not to treat the maladies of his neighbours superficially, but to cure them radically (which can only be done by discovering the cause of the evil, as far as the fundamental laws of nature permit), is forced to confess that, notwithstanding the immense progress of science in every country, the general infirmities increase more and more, in a dreadful manner, amongst all civilised people.”

Dr. Zimpfel attributes this deterioration to vaccination.

Dr. Lutze says:-”If by these communications we are satisfied that there is Sufficient proof of the inutility and absolute uncertainty of vaccination, another question arises, namely, as regards the danger of the proceeding.

Reil alleges that malignant cow-pox is accompanied by violent inflammations, fevers more or less violent, and ulcers difficult to cure. Exanthematic cow-pox displays, in its diverse modifications, scurf, corroding scabs, erysipelatous inflammations, &c., noticed. by Peerson, Sedfearn, Balhora, Val. Muller, and Stromeyer, Hafeland, Reil, Jarandt, and others, make similar mention. of this exanthem, and Jong communicates several. cases where it degenerates into furuncule. Michaelis gives several cases of scurf and corroding scab. Schreiber gives many cases of metastases from this exanthem—inflammation of the eyes, affections of the glands and bones, of which even Schoenlein makes mention, as the consequence of vaccination. That during dentition vaccination carries off many children, is a fact beyond the least doubt, although they attempt to place it to the account of the teeth. The Court physician, Rublack, at Dresden, although a zealous partizan(sic) of vaccination, warns respecting this period. At this time it is greatly to be feared, lest, exacting too much activity from the system of lymphatic vessels by means of vaccination, and the disturbing consequences thereof, a vicious weakness be engendered of which scrofulous diseases are somewhat later the pernicious results. Also, Schoenlein, as well as Aken, pronounce similarly, and, nevertheless, so many children are vaccinated at this period! Moreover, every year we have distinctly recognised that the vaccine lymph not only is the principle of contagion of simple cow-pox, but that it propagates dartres, scab, scrofula, s—s. There are numerous examples of the communication of s—s by vaccination. Dr. Evertzan relates a remarkable one :— An infant, apparently full of health, who had not a single defect. in his whole body, but whose mother had been attacked by. s—s, communicated this disease to six children by means of: its cow-pox. These children infected their mothers who pursed them. French doctors, especially Ferguson and. Raspail, furnish abundant similar examples. _Raspail alone. observed 60 cases in 1845. Very recently, Nov. 10, 1853, many cases, in which, through the medium of. vaccination, s had been transmitted to children, and by. them to their mothers, were tried before the tribunal at Bamberg, putting beyond doubt the gravity of the danger of vaccination. Similar cases which occurred at Cologne were communicated by the public press”

Dr. Verdi de Lisle says:- ”The human race degenerates. The present generation is the prey of new maladies, and a number of old ones have become more frequent, more grave, more deadly. The efforts of Government are useless; progress is paralysed; there is a radical evil.... The sole cause of multiplied disasters is vaccination.”

Drs. Michell, M.P., Hering, Liedbeck, Chapman, Shew, Trall, Johnson, Newman, Schiefferdecker, Laurie, Chepnell, and a host of others, bear similar testimony. The compulsory, vaccinator, Mr. Borham, confesses that ”this vitiated virus is transmitted to scores of others, who shortly after suffer from fulsome eruptions, or the foundation is laid for, scrofula or tuberculous consumption.” And the Lancet admits that ”few medical practitioners would care to vaccinate their children from a source of the purity of which they, were not well assured.”

Here are a few opinions- with which ”Anti-prejudice” may season the opinions of Mr. Marson.

Mr. Marson will not admit that. the diseases which frequently immediately follow vaccination result from it. Has he quite considered what he says? of what avail in such cases is his vaccination? With all his boasted experience, does he really know cow-pox when he sees it? Does he ever mistake another exanthem for cow-pox.? Is he aware: that, according to the best authorities, genuine cow-pox cannot be communicated when another disease lurks in the blood, but a spurious cow-pox is the result of vaccination.

”Anti-prejudice” desires to know, ”from statistics, the proportion of blind now and before vaccination was introduced.”

I know not if ”your energetic correspondent” (whoever he may be) to whom ”Anti-prejudice” appeals, will respond, but, in case he should not, let me advise. “ Anti-prejudice” to apply to his friend, Mr. Marson, and perhaps he may oblige him with the desired information. In the meantime, ”Anti-prejudice” might profitably cogitate upon the influence which enforced inoculation must have had (before the practice became illegal) in spreading death and blindness throughout the community.

As “ Anti-prejudice” and Mr. Marson betray so much fondness for statistics, let me indicate two more directions in which they might usefully push their researches:— the one is to ascertain the relative proportion of children respectively attaining a healthy maturity in a thousand vaccinated and a. thousand unvaccinated:— the other is an enquiry into the cause of the ”constant tendency in the general mortality of the country, to an increase,” as noticed by Dr. Farr, in a recent blue-book.

In return for Mr. Marson’s statistics of deaths from small-pox, allow me to present ”Anti-prejudice” with the following :—In 1850, in the General Hospital, Calcutta, the deaths from small-pox, amongst the vaccinated, were twenty-four per cent.

For my part, it would require something more than the interested vaunts of Mr. Marson to tempt me to buy and use his filthy, pernicious nostrum. ‘To ask a rational being to believe that health can be propagated by the transmission of disease, is to insult his intelligence. A belief in the transmigration of souls, or in the Popish dogma of transubstantiation, is a trifle to the belief in vaccination, Cow-pox repelling, or expelling, small-pox! Satan casting out Satan! Credat Judaeus!

What share of good sense, independent thought, and reasoning power, can be accorded to the believers in vaccination? The root of this fallacy may be traced far back to barbarous times and the love of the marvellous. Achilles imagined he had found a prophylactic in his dip in the Styx — but his heel showed he was vulnerable. The alchymists sought for the elixir vitae, which was to confer immortality, and fancied they had found it. The belief in prophylactics still lingers to testify to the credulity and cowardice of a part of mankind. They would be-wiser than their Maker and improve their organization. Jenner dexterously ministered to their weaknesses, or their vices, and made his fortune. Recent imitators propose inoculation with-s—s as a prophylactic against scarlatina, and inoculation with mingled adder’s poison and rotten liver as a prophylactic against yellow-fever. Madness and impiety !

Physicians find their account in upholding delusion. Doctor-craft aspires to an equality with priest-craft, and humbug in physic is fashionable and profitable. But common sense and science repudiate the belief in a prophylactic. There is no such thing, in the sense in which vaccinators use the word. The only protection against disease is to be found in maintaining the vis vitae by living in accordance with the natural laws—by attention to diet, temperance, air, temperature, ventilation, exercise, rest, clothing, cleanliness, and the due control of the moral and mental faculties.

— I am, sir, your obedient servant,

ANTI-HUMBUG.

Tunbridge Wells, Oct. 6, 1856.
[ 23 ]But "Anti-Humbug", and "Anti-Prejudice", together with Anticompulsory Vaccinationists were not the only Antis who were prominent at the same time; there was, in fact, an unusual amount of Anti-ism prevalent throughout the borough, some of it even reaching to a compound condition. There were Anti Anti-Sabbatarians, and these also sent petitions to Parliament, against the proposed anti-Sabbath measure of Sir J. Walmsley. Most of the parishes sent one each, and one for St. Mary's parish which was lying at the News office, in George street, received 202 signatures, classified as follows:-
Clergymen and Dissenting Ministers - - - - 8
Medical practitioners - - - - 5
Gentlemen - - - - 28
Brewers - - - - 3
Tradesmen - - - - 63
Mechanics, flymen and others - - - - 92
Schoolmasters - - - - 3
202

The petition to the Commons was sent to P. F. Robertson, who promised to support its prayer, and the one to the Lords was sent to the Earl of Shaftesbury.

Municipal Matters

The election of Town Councillors for the West Ward resulted, contrary to general expectation in the return of Messrs. Eldridge and Tree, the out-going Councillor, Mr. Peerless, being in a minority with 120 votes, whilst Mr. Eldridge obtained 190, and Mr. Tree, 15. To prevent Mr. Eldridge's candidate for the Council in the West-Ward, as well as Mr. Harvey's in the East Ward, the dominant power of the H. I. P. S. made those two gentlemen assessors; but at the Council meeting on the 7th of November, the Clerk reported that Messrs. Eldridge and Harvey had each paid the fine of £25 to relinquish the office of Assessor, and had been elected to the Council. Thus, for once, the H. I. P. S. had overreached themselves, the onlooked-for payment of fines having thwarted their intentions. The result of the West-Ward election being to lose Mr. Peerless his seat, the St. Leonards Gazette endeavoured to show "How to Get Out of the Council".

As the expiration of your term of office approaches, announce by means of placards and circulars, your intention of again soliciting the suffrages of the burgesses. Prevail on your colleague - that is, the gentleman who retires from office with you - not to allow himself to be nominated for re-election. This done, there will be an open field for a new-adventurer, with whom let there be a tacit understanding, or, - still better, - a verbal agreement not to oppose each other. But, above all things, be sure that your provisional colleague be not of that political party with whom and for whom you have done duty, as this is essential to the succes of your scheme. The party alluded to will, of course, elect the new candidate

[ 24 ]

to the office of Assessor, which will either disqualify him for a Councillor or subject him to a fine of £25. Now begins the business in earnest; for, your provisional colleague, not falling in the views of those who think that no other person could fill the office of Assessor so well as he, is determined to pay the fine and get out of it. Yet, being somewhat chagrined by the disbursement of five-and-twenty pounds, without, as he thinks any just necessity, he creates a contest by bringing to the arena a third candidate. An excitement is thus produced, and if you do but make a little show of antagonism, depend on it, your rivals will go the whole hog, even in defiance of the H. I. P. S. vengeance and Peacock's pride. All that now remains to be done is to carefully abstain from a personal canvass, and to prevail on your friends to exert themselves on your behalf as little as possible. If these means do not suffice to get you out of the Council, we know of no others that will.

Another Change. Earlier in the year (July 21st) in consequence of Mr. James Beck having become a bankrupt, his seat in the Council became vacant, and was filled, unopposed, by Mr. Charles Thomas How.

Various Occurrences

Gallantry Rewarded. On the afternoon of August 5th, a young lady from the All Souls Convent, while bathing from Robinson's machines at Eversfield place, lost her hold of a rope and got out of her depth. She was in danger of being drowned and Robinson's son was unable to reach her. At this critical moment, a man named William "Nun") Baker, being on board of a vessel, with five others, waiting for the tide to float them off, plunged into the water from the vessel's side, swam to the assistance of the lady, got behind her and pushed her inshore before him (the only safe way of rescuing a drowning person), where she was got into the machine in an exhausted condition. When sufficiently recovered to be taken home, Baker was rewarded with £5, half of which he kept for himself, and the othe money he gave to his mates, they sharing 10s. each.

A Child Suffocated. On the 4th of August, a three months old child named William Stephen Griffen, whose parents lived at 6 Lavatoria, St. Leonards was found dead in bead, it having rolled over on its face.

A Gentlemen's Club at St. Leonards was formed, during January, with about 60 members, and a portion of the Assembly Rooms was handsomely fitted up for the same. The club continued for many years.

Prince William of Prussia passed through, on May 21st, by rail on his way from Dover to Portsmouth.

Also en Route from Portsmouth to Canterbury, 550 of the 12th Lancers, just returned from the Crimea, passed through in a long train on the 2nd of June. [ 25 ]Maritime Casualty. On the night of the 11th of June, the "Three Brothers" brigantine, laden with coal for Tynemouth, got on some rocks at Bexhill, and as the tide receded, she lurched over on her beam ends. The crew were taken off by a Hastings fishing boat.

Cricket. On the 6th of August, two elevens of the St. Leonards Club competed on the St. Leonards Green, when Cheale's eleven were the victors, Cheale himself getting more runs than all the others put together.

More Soldiers from the Crimea. The 41st and 44th Highlanders arrived from Portsmouth on Saturday, Aug 16th. and on Sunday evening took train for Dover.

The Horticultural Society held their autumn show in the St Leonards Gardens. It was favoured with splendid weather, attended by a brilliant company and enlivened by the excellent local Brass Band. Lord Palmerston was at the same time staying at the Victoria Hotel.

A Gold Ring was put into the plate at a meeting of the Bible Society on the 25th of September, the collection of money at the time being £14 odd.

An Immense Gurnet was caught with hook and bait by a gentleman on the 7th of August, the length of the fish being two feet, and its weight nine pounds.

A Stormy Petrel - a rare bird in these parts - was shot at a short distance from shore, in November.

A Gigantic Skate, weighing 140lbs., was trawled up on the 29th of the same month by one of the Hastings fishing boats.

The First Monumental Stone in the new cemetery was erected to the memory of Major-General Cox, who died at St. Leonards. The sculptor was Mr. Henry Vennell, who put up the marble chimney-piece within 3 feet of where I am writing.

The Registrar-General's Returns for the last quarter of 1856, showed that the pressure and temperature of the air was very variable. October was warm, November was cold, and December was warm. The rainfall at Greenwich, 3.9, was less than the average by 3.7. The average price of wheat was 63/4 per quarter, whilst that in the preceding year was 79/4. The average rate of mortality was 20 per thousand, or 24 in large towns and 17 in small towns and country parishes.

St. Leonards-on-sea. This was the title of a poem by Margaret Whiteman, published in the Hastings News, of July 4th 1856

Proud is thy seat by ocean wave,
A prouder scarce might be;
Fair as a bride, like Venice, old,
Thou sittest by the sea.
List'ning the chant of breeze and surge,
Sound ceaseless, night and day;
Now sad, now solemn as a dirge,
Now glad as childhood's lay.

And weary hearts by grief and pain,
Harrowed and fettled long,
Forget their wild wor, list'ning
To that triumphal song,
Telling of pains and partings past -
Of tears and trials o'er;
Of love that shall eternal last,
And peace for evermore

[ 26 ]

Bright, ocean home, the beautiful!
Fair are thy vales and bowers;
Joyous thy glow of morning light,
Solemn thy ev'ning hours.
And proudly rise the graceful homes
Along thy golden shores,
Where the dark spoiler's war-song sung
In stormy days of yore.

But those stern scenes of strife and crime
Have pass'ed from earth and thee;
And gentle peace thine advent hailed,
Fair watcher by the sea.
Sweet peace that now o'er land and wave
We trust may linger long -
Peace and goodwill like that foretold
In Bethlem's angel song.

Fair art thous as cities old
Raised by the Geniis power,
Of which loved lips strange stories told
In childhood's dreamy hour.
No wonder that from fashion's toils
Its weary notaries flee
Forgetting pomp, to dwell awhile
With summer and with thee.

Bright scenes! how had I loved you on
Ere came chilled heart and brow;
If sad I hailed your presence first,
Sadder I leave you now
Yet still for thee in heart of mine
Fond memories shall be;
And blessing fall on thee and thine,
St. Leonards-on-the-sea!


References

  1. This name is uncertain due to Brett's handwriting