Brett Volume 10: Chapter LXX - Hastings 1863
| This is a verbatim transcription of Brett’s work, which comprised both manuscript and typescript cuttings, and therefore reproduces Brett’s variations in style, capitalisation, punctuation and spelling. The only alterations made have been to the pagination and images whereby both page titles and images have been moved to the most appropriate paragraph as opposed to where they were pasted into the texts by the author. Where possible, personal names have been checked against census, parish records, contemporary newspaper reporting and the Central Register of Births, Marriages and Deaths. A number of footnotes have been inserted by the transcriber when this has been thought to be useful.
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Chapter LXX Hastings 1863
Accidents at Hastings (pg. 121)
Fashionable-Balls (pg. 121)
Concerts (pg. 121)
Wonderful Discovery of Gold (pg. 123)
Entertainments (pg. 124)
Fire Alarms – The Fishery (pg. 125)
Forresters' Fete (pg. 125a)
Lectures (pg. 126)
The Letter H and its Friends (pg. 126)
Mnemonics Entertainments (pg. 127)
Municipal Matters (pg. 129)
Maritime Casualties (pg. 129)
Weather Predictions (pg. 129)
A Promenade Pier (pg. 131)
The Volunteers and the Brighton Review (pg. 132)
Volunteer Review at Hastings (pg. 133)
Volunteer Prize Meeting
Town Council Meetings
Agitation for a Central Ward
Council Meeting; Re-division of Wards
Election of Mayor
The Queen's Hotel
A Dutchman on the Mayor's Dinner
The Royal Marriage
The Roman Catholics
Marriage of the Prince of Wales
The Royal Marriage General Notice
The Wedding Festivities – Aquatics: Success of Hastings Men
Successes of Hastings Rowers
[ 121 ]
Accidents at Hastings
A Serious Accident occurred on the 2nd of October at the recently erected saw-mills in Middle street belonging to Mr. John Howell. It appeared from enquiries made on the spot, that a man named Peter Gain whose duty it was to superintend the engine department, got by some accidental means entangled in a part of the machinery, and in the effort to release himself was deprived of one leg in the most frightful manner, the limb, in fact, being completely torn away at or above the knee joint. Several surgeons were immediately sent for and were quickly in attendance, but from the excruciating pain and copious hemmorrhage(sic), the sufferer sank rapidly, and when taken to the Infirmary, the surgeons pronounced to be in great danger. The mill was ordered to be stopped for the day.
Accident at the Dripping Well. In the second week of September, some ladies, with their friends were viewing the Dripping Well when they were affrighted at seeing a boy of ten or eleven years rushing headlong over the precipice above them. The shrieks of the terrified ladies were of no avail in arresting the boys perilous descent, and he fell with a precipancy that threatened serious consequences. He was picked up, however, with no other injuries than those of sprains and bruises.
A Fractured Arm occurred on the 25th of June to a lad named Thomas Salmon. While engaged at cricket on the West Hill, he ran against another lad with such force as to cause the injury here stated.
A Soiree Dansante was given on Monday evening, January 12th, by Mr. and Mrs. Fletcher Norton at their residence in Wellington square. Upwards of 100 persons moving in a fashionable sphere were present. In addition to the usual light refreshments, a splendid supper was placed upon the table at midnight, consisting of hot turkeys, pheasants and other delicaties. Mr. Dawes's band was in attendance, and dancing was kept up till 4 o'clock.
A Second Ball was given by Mrs. Fletcher Norton on the 26th of January, which was attended by 160 of the haut ton. There was the usual sumptuous supper, and dancing was again to the strains of Mr. Dawes's band.
For the Lancashire Distress Fund a sacred concert was given in the Music Hall, Hastings, on Wednesday evening, Jan. 21st, with great success. The vocalists were principally those who were connected with the church and dissenting choirs, assisted by Mrs. Begbie, late professor of music at the Royal Academy. The instrumentalists were Messrs. Fuggle and Gilbert (violins), Mr. Parks (violoncello), Mr. F. French (double-bass), Messrs Funnell and Coleman (flutes), Messrs. S. French and S. Hermitage (cornets), Mr. [ 122 ]Thomsett (piano), and Mr. Funnell (harmonium). There were altogether nearly 50 performers, all of whom appeared to perform their allotted task in the most creditable manner indeed, it was said by some of the audience that they were surprised to find so much musical talent in the town. The hall was full in every part. The Concert realized £25 for the Lancashire Distress Fund.
Sol-Fa Concert. A monster meeting of Mr. Warr's pupils and the public took place at the music Hall on Tuesday evening, the 10th of February, for the two fold purpose of assisting public charities and of affording an opportunity of judging how far the Tonic-Sol-Fa method of singing had been successful. The vocalists were about 140 in number, and the audience nearly a thousand and the ante-room being nearly filled as well as the large hall. The programme consisted of 32 pieces, all of which gained applause and a few of them repeated, thus protracting the performance considerably beyond the usual time. The admittance was without charge, but about £22 was voluntarily contributed and a note of thanks was vociferously accorded by the audience to Mr. Warr for his indefatigable exertions.
Volunteer-Band Concert. - A vocal and instrumental concert was given in the Music Hall on the evening of the 19th of March for the benefit of the bands of the 4th Cinque-Ports Artillery and the 1st Cinque-Ports Rifles. There was a numerous and fashionable audience who evinced their pleasure by frequent manifestations of approval. The concert was regarded as being in every way successful.
The Orpheus "Glee" Union (with whom on one occasion the writer held it to be a privilege to sing) appeared in a concert at the Music Hall on the evenings of Monday and Tuesday, April 6th and 7th, with Mr. T. Cooke, as pianist and Madame Alexander Newton as lady vocalist. The names of the executants in addition to those already cited were Messrs. Fielding, Carter, Fagan, Baxter, Ball, Percy and Theodore Distin. On each evening about 16 pieces constituted the programme, the performance of which, as solos, duets, part-songs and glees, elicited in every instance lively plaudits and in several cases enthusiastic demands for repetition. To have heard only Mr. Fielding, "the best alto in Egland[sic]", was of itself a rich treat; but with the addition of his compeers - all talented musicians - and Madame Newton + a powerful sopranoe may be said to have afforded the acme of delight to an appreciative audience.
Christy's Minstrels gave two entertainments at the Music Hall on the 9th of November, and on each occasion to a crowded audience. These artists - for such they really were - had always met with a good reception at Hastings, but in none of their previous visits had their powers of pleasing been exhibited to greater advantage. To say nothing of their funny jokes and comicalities, there was a full equivalent to the price of admission in the rich and varied harmony of their instruments and voices. If there was anything more prominently praise-worthy than the last, it was the marvelous solo performances [ 123 ]on the double-bass and cornet-a-piston.
Another Sol-Fa Concert took place at the Music Hall on the evening of Nov. 16th, when there were assembled upwards of 400 persons to listen to the singing of 30 senior members of Mr. Warr's classes. The delight of the audience was unmistakably manifested by the numerous calls for repetition of some of the productions. The band of the 4th Cinque Ports Artillery was present and played some difficult music with much eclat.
A Grand Evening Concert, under Mr. Lockey's arrangement was held at the Music Hall on Monday, November 30th, when the performances of Madame Sainton-Dolby, Madmlle. Parepa, Mr. J. G. Patey, M. Sainton, Herr Kuhe and Herr Meyer Lutz attracted a large and fashionable audience. With such an array of musical talent, it is needless to say the company was greatly delighted.
Discovery of Gold
For several weeks preceding the 7th of March, considerable excitement prevailed in the neighbourhood of Robertsbridge in consequence of the alleged finding of a large quantity of treasure-trove in the form of solid gold. The excitement extended to Hastings, and was made the subject of a magisterial enquiry at Battle. It appeared that in the month of January, a labourer of the name of William Butchers who was employed by Mr. Adams, of Robertsbridge on a farm at Mountfield, was at work in a field, when he turned up with his plough a quantity of old metal, consisting of broken links of chains of various sizes. Not knowing their value, Butchers endeavoured to dispose of the metal as old brass. He was offered 4½d per pound for it, which he refused, but afterwards sold it to a marine store dealer for 6d per. pound. The latter was shrewd enough to discover the nature of the metal he had purchased and resold it - so it was said for £60. The story soon got about, and it came to the knowledge of a fly-driver at Hastings named Willett, who had been for some time at the Californian gold diggings, and was therefore well acquainted with the appearance of the precious metal. As soon as Stephen Willett heard of the circumstance he started for Robertsbridge and sought out the ploughman who had turned up the valuable article. Entering into conversation with him, Willett asked if he had not found some old brass chain in a field, and the ploughman readily enough said he had, adding that he had found another big piece, which was hanging in the stable. Willett then asked to see it, and a cursory examination convinced him that it was gold. He was not long in coming to terms with Butchers for its purchase, and on weighing it, he found it to turn the scale at eleven pounds avvoirdupois. Willett returned to Hastings highly delighted with his purchase, and was not long in disposing of it for a considerable sum of money, which report said it was £200. He made no secret of the matter - his good luck as he called it - and with the money was in negotiation for the purchase of a house. It caused quite a sensa[ 124 ]tion in Hastings, the startling news having spread like wild-fire. It at length reached the ears of the lord of the manor, E. G. Egerton Esq., M. P. who laid claim to the gold as having been found on his premises. Application was made to Willett for the restoration of the property, but he refused to give it up. Mr. Egerton communicated with the Lords of the Treasury, and a warrant was issued for Willett's apprehension, who was handcuffed and taken into custody. On the 24th of Feb. Willett appeared before the magistrates at the Battle petty sessions, and was remanded, on bail till the following Saturday, when he was again brought up and examined on the charge. Mr. Langham, of Hastings, was retained on the part of the Crown, the Lords of the Treasury being the prosecutors, and Mr. Lewis, of London, for the defence.
Mr. Lewis, in a lengthy address, objected to the jurisdiction of the magistrates, contending that the investigation, if any were necessary, would fall solely within the province of the coroner, and referred to the statute (4th of Edward I), and several other authorities in support of his objection. After some discussion, the magistrates discharged the prisoner, but the matter did not end there. it afterwards turned out that Willett had sold a portion of the metal to Mr. Murray, a jeweller at Hastings, whilst the larger part he took to London, where he sold it for £529, 13s. 7d. to Messrs. Brown and Windgrove, of Cheapside. By these purchasers the articles were melted down before their antiquarian value was ascertained. On the 27th of March a so-called inquest was held at the John's Cross inn, when Mr. Reynolds, solicitor to the Treasury was in attendance to show that treasure trove or concealed treasure was the property of the Crown. Silas Thomas, the marine-store dealer and Stephen Willett, the fly-driver, were tried at the Lewes Assizes on the 22nd of July, when the property in question was described as having consisted of a number of rings, one of them supposed to have been made for encircling the body, and some others for the neck and arms. It was also stated that there were several pieces in the form of horse-shoes. There were also other pieces, the use of which was conjectural. The prisoners were judged to be guilty and were sentenced to a term of imprisonment. Although these ancient ornaments - if they were such - were struck by the plough at about 18 inches below the surface, they were believed by antiquarians to have lain in the ground nearly or quite two thousand years.
Mr. Chas Matthews, the well known histrionic professor, gave an entertainment at the Music Hall on the 12th of January, and notwithstanding Mrs. Fletcher-Notron's great dancing party the same evening, such was Mr. Matthew's attractive performance that there [were] no fewer than fifty carriages in waiting at the approaches of the Hall.
England and Australia were presented to the Hastings people [ 125 ]during the week which ended on the 31st of January in a grand panorama, and for the greater convenience of the St. Leonards people, Mr. Batchelor, the proprietor shifted his exhibition to the Assembly room for four days.
Mr. Thurton's Odd Folks appeared at the Music Hall on the evenings of the 3rd and 4th of August, and fully sustained the character that had been given of them. Mr. Thurton was the sole embodiment of thirty or forty of the drollest characters imaginable, and it is no exaggeration to say that his delineations transformations and ventriloquism, were truly surprising.
A Week's Entertainments The past week (says Brett's Gazette' of Aug. 22nd), has indeed been one of stirring interest, notwithstanding the unavoidable postponement of the Regatta; for, besides the series of great archery meetings, there has been one continued round of amusements. On Monday and Tuesday the Christy's Mistrels delighted large audiences, as they have done before. On the same days Sanger's monster circus and Wombwells menagerie were exhibited to immense crowds. Then there was the annual Fête Champêtre of the Mechanic's Institution which for the sixth time came off in the grounds of P. F. Robertson, Esq., and whilst whilst[sic] delighting some 1600 persons, added £37 to the fund. On the afternoon and evening of Wednesday Professor Jacobs entertained large audiences with his magical illusions and ventriloquism. As an improvisatore, he also displayed his usual, or rather, his unusual ability, the song which he improvised at the evening meeting being superior to anything we have heard before, and as he afterwards asserted, superior to anything he ever before attempted. In the same or a similar line, the Music Hall was the scene of Professor Wohlgemuth's labours on the evenings of Thursday and Friday.
Herr Dobler, a celebrated professor of Legerdemain, greatly amused and astonished three assemblies at the Music Hall on the 7th and 8th of December, and, a week later, three similar entertainments at St. Leonards.
On Sunday evening, March 22nd, an accidental fire occurred at the Royal Oak, Hastings, which although promptly subdued, was sufficiently critical to create an alarming excitement.
Another accidental fire occurred on the evening of the 15th of April at the cottage of a laundress in the rear of 104 High street. It consisted of the burning of some clothes only that which were put in front of the fire to dry or to air.
A fire was discovered on the 6th of June at Mr. Child's eating-house in the Fishmarket. No. 1 section of the Fire Brigade hastened to the rescue and the fire was quickly extinguished.
[ 125a ]A fire occurred in one of the bedrooms at 13 Magdalen road on the 7th of September, which might have resulted in serious consequences had it not been energetically suppressed by Mr. and Mrs. Raven.
[The details of these and all other fires are given in "Our fires and firemen."]
The FisheryDuring March and April trawl-net fishing became a topic for discussion in consequence of an attempt emanating from Sunderland, having been made to abolish the taking of fish by that means. A meeting to consider the question was held in the fishermen's club room at Hastings on the 11th of April, at which was expressed a pretty general opinion to the following effect:-
Herrings, in large quantities were caught by the Hastings in the second week in November, but apprehension were rife that the season would be a short one.
The trawl-fishing could not be dispensed with; that the trawls of the Hastings boats were smaller and less injurious than those of smacks; that the meshes of the nets might be made uniformly larger; and that at certain periods, a closing or fencing near the shore might be adopted with advantages.
A Grand Demonstration was, according to previous announcements, to be made by the Ancient Order of Forresters on Monday the 8th of June at Battle Abbey. That there was a demonstration, no one could deny, but that such demonstration was attended by any considerable number of the a la Robin-Hood fraternity stood in the same category of uncertainty. So far as the public were concerned, however, there was little cause for complaint. A railway ride to Battle and back, including admission to the Abbey, was obtained at the low charge of 1s. 3d., and what with perambulating the beautiful grounds, archery shooting, foot races, leaping, &c., he must indeed have been a misanthropic being who could have grumbled at the sociality and amusements there witnessed. There wer fourteen hundred persons conveyed in three special trains from Hastings and St. Leonards, in addition to specials from Tonbridge, Rye and Brighton. There were also number of persons who went in hired vehicles and on foot to the scene of attraction; so that there must have been a very large number admitted within the Abbey ground during the day. Preparations were made by the inhabitants for a holiday, most of the shops being closed in the afternoon. There were many attractions in addition to those of the Abbey, and among them was a large dancing booth and a refreshment stall at the top of the town. Also in [ 126 ]in the open space in front of the Abbey, were shows and ginger-bread stalls, having all the appearance of a fair. Most of the excursionists were brought back to Hastings in two monster trains, each with a couple of engines, the first train arriving at 9 pm., and the second at 11.30. Messrs. Kennett and Descon, the Hastings and St. Leonards station-masters, went with the trains to Battle and superintended the traffic arrangements.
"The Chemistry of Food, or a day at the boilers" formed the subject of an instructive and interesting lecture delivered at the Hastings Institution on the evening of the 10th of January, by J. G. Savery, Esq. On the various articles of food under their separate heads of "necessary", "accessary(sic)" and "auxiliary", the lecturer descanted in a pleasingly familiar style, and illustrated many of his statements in a reference to some analytical tables. He also treated of the laws that should be observed in the roastings, boiling and otherwise cooking of our ordinary food.
The Letter H and its Friends was the title of an instructive and somewhat amusing lecture delivered by Mr. John Stewart, A.C.B. on the 9th of December. In commencing his lecture, Mr. Stewart assured his hearers that his H was not the H family of Frederica Bremer, for hers died at about the usual age, whilst his had lived for the space of 6000 years, although it had been many times murdered. Need he say that his real subject was language, and that it carried them back to the days of Adam and Eve. The precise spot where their first parents flourished was a disputed point, but he thought he should not be far wrong if he placed it in Armenia. He then traced the constituent of oral and written language from the earliest times to the present, showing by means of diagrams, the course it had taken through Egypt, Greece, Italy, France, &c. to our own country. The Greek and Hebrew alphabets were minutely described and traced back to their original symbols in a manner that afforded some amusement to the audience. Coming to the letter H, the lecturer represented it as having a power and character superior to the other letters, because the latter could be classified in their pronounciation, whilst the former was simply aspirated. This power, however, had become less and less in its travel westward, as each nation's breath - so to speak - became weaker, until it was drawn up from Rome, through France to England, when the Saxons gave to it the hearty aspiration with which it was now endowed. There were only three words, said the lecturer, which were not aspirated - namely; hear, honour and honest. There were some few others it was true of doubtful pronounciation, such as herb, hospital, humble and hosier, but which he believed would, before long, have their aspirated sound. The lecturer expiated on the force and value of the aspirated H, and expressed a hope that [ 127 ]his favourite town would never have to be written as it was too often, he feared pronounced, Astins or Astings. He advised his audience to keep both the aspirate and the nasal g in the English language, the latter being the only nasal sound in that language, whilst a number of them might be found in the French language. Then there was the "ch", in speaking of which he must again find fault with our alphabet makers, whoever they might be, for they had given us the character, but not the sound. The Scotch had it, whilst we gave to it the sound of k, as in chord, charcter, &c. Like the sh it had a simple sound, and ought not therefore to be made up of two characters. Passing to SH, Mr. Stewart jocularly remarked that it was still his disposition to find fault. He objected to the employment of a double character to represent a single sound. He directed attention to Pitman's Phonography, a work which he described as being highly philosophical, and as containing in its extended alphabet the true elements of sound. The sh was used either as a prefix or a terminal, it being never employed in the middle of a verbal root or root-word. It was purely Saxon, and was very expressive, as in those (illegible text) words splash, rush, gnash, josh, &c. But still he contended that it was a simple sound, and ought to be represented by a simple character. Passing to another member of the H family, the lecturer observed that we had two th's, althoguh he supposed we were to proud to acknowledge it. It was notorious that the th in thin and thine were materially different, and this reminded him of the inadequacy of our own alphabet to represent the true sounds, and of the energetic attempt to bring into general use of a system of phonetic spelling. The last of H's associations was w, and here again, the lecturer said he was disposed to find fault with the alphabet makers for putting, as it were, the cart before the horse. It was evident that in all the words beginning with wh the sound was that of hw. The latter was the form in which the Saxons used it, and it was the one which ought to be observed by us. He delighted in such old Saxon words as whisper and whistle, and intimated a desire that their expressive pronunciation would not be corrupted. After further remarks in which he spoke of the general excellence of the English language, and of its use in Australia, America and many other parts, the lecturer brought his theme to a close amidst the applause of the audience, supplemented by a vote of thanks.
At the Music Hall, on the 23rd of February, in connection with the Hastings Mechanics’ Institution, Mr. Stokes gave what might be described as both a lecture and an entertainment on memory. He was assisted by three gentlemen from among the pupils in this district [who] had recently attended Mr. Stokes's classes. In commencing his explanations Mr. Stokes [ 128 ]said the gentlemen who had promised to assist him had never appeared on a public platform before, and had known nothing of the system they were about to illustrate until about two months ago. He then entered into details of his system of mnemonics as applicable to the several occupations of life, and invited the company to test its efficacy by calling out a number of isolated words, the same to be written down in numerical order on a black board. This was done to the extent of 14 words, and some amusement was caused by the apparent oddity of the words thus announced from different parts of the room. The pupils - Messr. Baker, Hunter and Amoore - then, without looking at the board, repeated the words in numerical order and reversed order without a single mistake, much to the astonishment of the company. Mr. Stokes then entered into further explanations as to what his system of memory was capable of achieving, and to some slight extent described the principle on which the system was based; namely, association and localization - an acquired method of going from what one did know to what one did not know. As a further illustration of the results to be obtained by the act of artificial memory, Mr. Stokes again solicited the audience to dictate to his pupils any number of figures they thought proper, and which being done to the extent of forty-eight, they were written on a black board in the order named by the company thus:-138159849646835106120072160660720072089101235. In a short time the whole of these figures were repeated singly and in triplets forwards and backwards, and in any irregular order demanded by the company. This apparently difficult feat was performed by the three gentlemen in the most admirable and correct manner, Mr. Hunter being, apparently the most expert. In resuming his remarks, Mr. Stokes assured the company that the system was so easy to acquire as not to be beyond the capacity of the merest child, and that however strange it might appear, a boy or girl might by its means be taught the multiplication table in half an hour. He had taught his system in most of the principal schools and educational establishments and to persons of advanced life as well as those of tender age. It had been found a valuable aid to public speakers, many gentlemen having learnt to speak from thirty or forty points without notes. In fact, the more the system of(sic) investigated the more it was liked. A variety of other illustrations were next given by the three persons on the platform, consisting of answers to questions relative to the days of the week that any day of the year fell or would fall; also to the dates that referred to the historical events of this locality during several centuries, and finishing of with the recitation of Southy's "Cataract of Lodore". The whole of these difficult tests were per[ 129 ]formed with a degree of exactitude and readiness of response that called forth repeated signs of approbation from the audience, and at the conclusion elicited the thanks of Mr. Stokes himself for the assistance thus rendered him by pupils who had so recently acquired the system.
Mr. Stokes having returned to Hastings in the winter gave a lecture on Mnemonics at the Mechanics' Institution on the 14th of December, in which were set forth the great utility and easy acquirement of the system taught by him. Some of his pupils were present and evoked warm applause by their feats of artificial memory. Mr Stokes announced his intention to form classes in Hastings.
The Municipal Elections took place on March 1st, when Messrs. Anthony Harvey and James Breeds were chosen auditors:John Fisher and William Edward Skinner, West-ward assessors: Thomas Tutt and John Ashbey, East-ward assessors.
The Town Councillors elected on the 1st of November were Messrs. Putland and How (unopposed) for the West-ward; and Messrs. Harvey, Jas. Reeves, F. Duke and H. Winter for the East-ward. The election of Mr. Harvey at the head of the poll appeared to give as great satisfaction to the independent Liberals as to his own political party, the Conservatives.
Damage to a Smack. During the gale of the 19th of May, the "Britannica" fishing-smack, of Ramsgate struck upon the rocks at Hastings, while towing a small boat to the shore, and ultimately grounded on a sand bank. The crew were taken off by the lifeboat, the latter attempting for an hour and a half to secure the vessel. At a later period, the smack having become water-logged and immovable, a party of beachmen proceeded in a boat to recover some of the property and claim the vessel as a derelict. The master (Coates) was part owner of the Brittanica, which was said to have cost £900 about 16 months before, and was insured by a Ramsgate society or club for £400. There would therefore be a considerable loss to the owners. The nets and gear were all removed but the hull was still partly submerged.The 19th of May on which the disaster to the Britannica occurred was ushered in with violent winds and dashing showers, the former continuing throughout the day and the latter occurring at short intercals. On many parts of the coast as well as inland, the north-easterly gale was very severe causing shipwrecks and other disasters. Thunder and Lightning also visited many parts of England and France. The mean temperature [ 130 ]was fully 8 deg. lower than that of a few previous days, even in the comparatively equable climate of this locality, whilst in Wales there were both frost and snow. Be it observed that on this day the planet Mercury arrived at its greatest elongation and that whilst the moon was in her apogee, she was also conjoined with Venus and Uranus, and in trine with Saturn, while the last-named refrigerating orb was approaching an aspect of the sun. It was these positions from which was calculated and published as usual a week beforehand the forecast-
"Unsettled, cold and stormy air,
With fitful showers, here and there."
A Derelict. The Ocean queen fishing lugger brought into Hastings a boat which the crew picked up, ten miles at sea, which it was supposed had drifted from a steamer or other vessel.
Vessels Wrecked - The predicted storms of Sunday, Monday, and Thursday, the 27th and 28th of September and the 1st of October had their fulfilment, and many maritime disasters resulted therefrom. The gale of Wednesday night and Thursday morning was more particularly note-worthy in this locality, as having caused the wreck of two vessels, the Perseverence and the Milward, which were unfortunately - and as the writer thought at the time, indiscreetly - ashore, discharging their respective cargoes. Great efforts were made to save them, but so violent was the wind from a southerly direction that, being unable to get off again to sea, the former became a total wreck, and the latter was so shattered as to make it doubtful if she would ever be be(sic) again seaworthy. Both vessels were said to be owned by the Messrs. Winter and were uninsured. These storms were the supposed effects of some rare positions of the sun, moon and planetary bodies, as were certain other meteorological phenomena. The forecast in Brett's Gazette for Sunday was "Now Moon and Mars, and others stellar powers, Denote a turbid sky, with wind and showers". For Monday, the calculation was - "Electric tokens still remain; high tides and windy, also rain." For Wednesday the forecast was "Of this day's weather one doth feel some doubt, but very soon some storms will fly about". And for the Thursday, on the early morning of which the local wrecks occurred, the weather prediction was - "Now Mars and Saturn meet, nor meet in jest, While Rugged Herschel still remains at rest; And thus, unless, for once, their mission fail, Magnetic storms extensively prevail."
The Stranded Smack, a fortnight after the event as described above was hauled ashore. Its keel was the only part that was much damaged.
Wreck of the Louise. "Misfortunes never come singly" is an old saying, and in a majority of cases it is grievously verified. Scarcely had the excitement of a fire been allayed when it was found that the storm [ 130a ]which had been predicted was making its appearance in such manner as to endanger the safety of two colliers, the William and the Louise, which the writer thought and said at the time, imprudently came ashore. The William was beached at Hastings, and the Louise at St. Leonards. The former, after much exertion and some damages, was made secure, but the Louise - an unfortunate vessel from the first - became a wreck. Her cargo had been got out during the night, and she had been ballasted for another voyage, but the on-coming gale had reached her from the south, and it was impossible to get her off. Stong head-ropes and other means were therefore resorted to for her security during the storm, but after a good deal of knocking about, some of the ropes gave way and the vessel fell over on her beam ends and there lay until the waves with terrific force, tore away her masts and rigging, when she again righted, to the surprise of those who were watching her destruction. As may be supposed, most of the loose materials capable of floating, were washed out, and it caused some amusement to see the boatmen, with ropes secured to their waists, wading in the foaming tide to recover them. The crew remained on board as long as it was considered safe, and were drawn through the surf by means of ropes fastened round the waist. In this operation, a lad was in some danger, either from his own timidity, or from the too slow movements of those on shore. They were all, however landed safely. The boat belonging to the vessel became a wreck, and the Louise herself sustained damage amounting it was thought to two or three hundred pounds. The vessel was owned by Mr. C. T. How and others. [ 131 ]
At the monthly meeting of this society on Wednesday evening, November 11th, there was a large attendance for the purpose of hearing Dr. Moore's excellent paper on "Man's place in Creation". The Dr. argued that man was a primate, and took the first class; also that not what it was like, but what it could do, was the rule to fix the difference between men and animals. A discussion followed as usual.
A Promenade Pier.
The following are extracts from two letters, which appeared in the St. Leonards Gazette of Dec. 19th and 26th, 1863. They speak for themselves, without comment.
I observe that at the last meeting of the Local Board this subject was brought forward through the intervention of a letter, stating that some persons proposed to erect opposite the works of the Mayor at Stratford place. A pier had been previously introduced by Mr. Howell in lucid and practical terms at his Worship's dinner, in which the speaker, after manifesting laudable zeal for the prosperity of this fashionable watering place, demonstrated to my mind the entire feasibility of carrying out a promenade pier such as that at Worthing, the cost of which and its power of resisting the sea he also showed. Now, the resuscitated 'Hastings Harbour Company' is about to construct for Hasting (it is so worded) a pier of 750 yards in length. The contract is taken for so doing. They guarantee £2000 per annum from promenaders. Hastings then is provided for. Now a pier at Stratford place, so immediately adjacent to the Harbour of refuge pier would be a most unkind cut. It would be really Peter robbing Paul, and while the denizens of George Street and Robertson Street strut by with-holding their patronage, would compel a ruinous competition, the incorporated companies would find very limited returns. It will, I assume, be granted that a promenade pier should be constructed in the midst of promenaders, so as to afford a free scope for their indulgence in their particular walk in life. To speak plainly, neither of those streets would provide daily promenaders. A promenade pier should be as nearly as possible be central between the Queens Hotel and the Sussex Hotel, and you have at once a site immediately in front of Warrior Square, superior to any site in any known watering place. . . . Some persons having, no doubt, by personal enquiry, discovered the varied and profitable uses of Worthing pier, propose to construct one here, and very frequently it would prove highly preferable to, and a great relief from the dust, glare, heat and bustle of the parade in summer, and the fatiguing roar of the heavy surging breakers in the winter. If the owners of house property are desirous of enhancing the value of their houses they will, advisedly, as I venture to think, summon a general meeting setting forth statistics of population, and for three reasons; first, to show that the position and mixed purpose of the Hastings conglomeration Refuge Harbour and breakwater company will not meet the requirements of our two [ 132 ]miles of residents and visitors; secondly, to show that a promenade pier is wanted, we being behind other fashionable watering places in that respect; and, thirdly, now while the local authorities are about to discuss the point, that a central position be fixed upon.
I am, sir,
G. G., Upper Maze Hill"
The Artillery Fifers and Drummers (Band of Hope lads) marched the rounds of the towns on the 20th of March, with a spirited tootle-too and row-de-dow, after partaking of a good tea in Mr. Foster's schoolroom provided for them at the expense of Capt.-Commandant Scrivens and Mrs. Scrivens.
The Volunteers (Artillery and Rifles) were actively preparing for an important part allocated to them in Brighton Review. When the day arrived, the Artillery carried with them two great guns, and our local corps were praised for their general efficiency and soldierly bearing on the so-called battle field. The steady increase of the volunteer movement and the sacrifices of its followers furnished no contemptible index to the traditional English character. The sneers of the evil-disposed and the jibes of the bilious when the movement was inaugurated had been often disproved and requires no comment in these pages, but a few remarks on the minor details of the great national event may not be out of place. For three years a large body of English volunteers assembled on the Brighton Downs at Eastertide to undergo the trying ordeal of an inspection by an officer of the regular army in such branches in the art of military manoeuvering as should best attest their merit. In all three occasions they proved themselves equal to the occasion, and came out of the ordeal with honour and credit. Though comparitively a small army, twenty thousand was a large body of men to bring to a high state of efficiency. The aggregate skill of the volunteers there assembled represented an immense amount of care, expense, labour and self-sacrifice - a collective action which in its self-denying attribute shone forth pre-eminently in the English character. It was hoped that Englishmen might never be called upon to defend their hearths and homes, but the then unsettled condition of foreign politics was, not favourable to the continuance of European peace. The display at Brighton, therefore, though taking place as an annual pageant, was regarded as a significant reminder that the loyalty of Englishmen remained undisturbed, and that our volunteers would be as ready as ever, did occasion require it to protect their country's interest. In this case the enemy in the mimic battle was the "invader", and the fight terminated as it should have with the pseudo invader's complete defeat. Happy would it be for the peace of the world if such a discomfiture was never rendered necessary. Though equipped and drilled in such completeness as [ 133 ]as(sic) to afford just grounds of praise in the eyes of practised generals in the regular army, the motto of the volunteers was "Defence, not Defiance". Though possessing great influence their conduct had been uniformly good and in striking contrast to that of the colonels of a certain army on the continent; and many were fain to believe that it had been thus uniformly quiet sternness in awaiting any hostile action that might have prevented a storm from bursting where it had been gathering. Nor was the exertion of the volunteers abortive because it had not been put to the test of a real battle. The benefits accruing to them personally were great. The remark made by a Russian gentleman as to the development of physique in this country in relation to the pastime of rowing held equally good in reference to the exercise of the parade-ground and the review. Hard work, fresh air, and considerable powers of endurance, are highly necessary to the making of an efficient volunteer. Another lesson might be learnt from the Brighton Review. There was the example of twenty-thousand men meeting together in one place, at one time, and with one object, and as far as it was learnt, the day was not marked nor marred by a single disturbance. Comparisons may be odious, but one cannot help inferring how different the conduct of twenty-thousand men of some other nations would have been! Not to carry the comparison further, it may yet be remarked that all minor shades of opinion seemed to verge into the one grand object of efficiency in that branch of military study to which they had devoted themselves; whilst the joyful receptions afforded to several distinguished corps - those of Hastings among the number by the gratified spectators, showed how much the interest of the country was bound up in their excellence.
The Artillery Band was referred to by the St. Leonards Gazette of May the 2nd in these words:- "The 4th Cinque Ports Artillery Band, which under the training of Herr Reiger, has made excellent progress, may now be heard two or three times a week on one or other of the esplanades of the two towns. It is not the object of this notice to vaunt the merits of this or that band, but merely to intimate that the band of our gallant volunteers is now getting to be a very efficient one, and that as the maintenance of such a band is attended with considerable expense, which ought not to be solely borne by the Volunteers themselves, some encouragement by the publie in the way of subscriptions or donations is, perhaps, needed, and would be thankfully received." The Gazette had the satisfaction of knowing that although this and other notices, the band referred was engaged by the St. Leonards Band Committee to play for the season. It also played at the Archery meetings.
The Review at Hastings. The West Hill was the scene of an imposing spectacle on Friday, May 29ths, surpassing anything that had taken place in this locality since the first enrolment of the volunteers. There [ 134 ]was a large number of spectators of all grades, and the corps constituting the 1st Administrative Battalion of Cinque Ports Rifles mustered also in strong force. The ground was kept by the Cinque Ports Artillery, assisted by the Borough Police, whilst the Castle slopes and other parts of the hill where a sight could be obtained, were thickly occupied by the sight-seers. The review - or in more precise terms, the "Inspection" commenced in the afternoon. The Hastings corps mustered at the depot at half-past two, and from that time until three the several other corps continued to arrive. The battalion was formed of the 1st Cinque Ports (Hastings and Rye), Second Sussex (Cuckfield), 4th Sussex (Lewes), 16th Sussex (Battle), 17th Sussex (Etchingham) and 19th Sussex (Eastbourne). The muster for Hastings was 86, and were commanded by Capt. Rock with whom were Lieut. Cooper, Lieut. Field (paymaster), Lieut. Cole; Ensigns Savery and Langham, Hon. Surgeon Savery and Hon. Chaplain J. Parkin. The Rye sub-division under Lieut. Frewen and Ensign Crowhurst, numbered 30 thus making the 1st Cinque Ports, including the band, 116. The Cuckfield Rifles were as many as 161, including officers and band. The other numbers were Lewes 67, Battle 62, Etchingham 42 and Eastbourne 38. The total number was about 500, which force as a whole was commanded by Col. Hon. H. Gage, assisted by Capt-Adjutant Mackenzie. The battalion formed into eight companies and marched from the depot to the hill, the band of the Lewes corps taking the lead. On their arrival the battalion took up position opposite the mills, where the ground had been marked out for the purpose. Each company having been put through a few evolutions, the whole wheeled into line, and after taking ground to the left by fours, they again appeared in open line. This position was continued until the arrival of Col Luard, the inspecting officer, when the men presented arms, and the fife and drum band of the Cuckfield corp commenced playing. The Colonel, with the commanding officer, then rode along the line for the inspection, after which a series of evolutions in battalion took place. All the men displayed great precision therein. Platoon exercise followed, both in slow and quick time, the men receiving orders from Capt. Coombe. The next move of the battalion was to advance in line, return by fours and form squares to receive cavalry. After re-forming column, they advanced and halted for file firing, which being well done, was followed by volley firing in companies. The battalion next advanced in line, formed quarter distance column and prepared for skirmishing. It was now seen that an action was intended and that an attack was to be made on the Castle or on the precincts of that ancient but ruined fortress. The whole force having marched down the hill, some were placed for skirmishing, some for support and others held in reserve. The skirmishing party descended the valley and commenced firing, but were compelled to retreat, which they did under cover of their supports. Another advance was ordered, and the skirmishers having crossed the valley, ascended the mount from which they opened a supposed successful fire on the enemy. They again retired under cover of supports as before; but there being an attack on the left wing, and the cavalry of the enemy approaching, [ 135 ]the supports formed squares to receive the charge, and then opened fire, with apparent success, which concluded the action. The skirmishers retraced their steps, and after joining the reserves, re-formed into columns and companies, and obeyed the order to fix bayonets. - Col. Luard then rode up and said "I shall be able to report favourably of what I have seen today. But I wish to impress upon you how very important battalion drill is. The whole of you have not been together before, and I can therefore make every allowance for the looseness I observed. You have an officer who is well able to command you, and will, no doubt, drill you as frequently as you desire. I observed that you were sometimes ahead, when the word of command was given, but if you had attended more battalion drills that would not have been. From what I have seen of your skirmishing, I may say it was pretty well done, and I hope that in future there will be an improvement in battalion movements." A few other manoeuvres followed the address, and the day's proceeding closed with the serving out of refreshments. - The officers of the several corps afterwards dined together at the Castle Hotel.
Artillery Inspection. The inspection of the 4th Cinque Ports Artillery Volunteers, took place on a June evening in the drill-ground, Meadow Road at about 8 o'clock. There were about 150 present, including bandsmen and cadets. The command devolved on Capt. Scrivens, the other officers present being Adjutant Hunter, Capt. Lewis, Leiuts. Turner, Gant and Starkey. Hon. Surgeon Ticehurst, Master-gunner Coleman, (illegible text) Brigade-Sergt. Major Murray, Sergt Majors, Picknell and Walter, and Band master Lindridge. Lieut-Col. Rotton R. A., the inspecting officer was accompanied by Lieut-Col. Harcourt, commanding officer of the brigade. The general salute was followed by an inspection in open order and the march past. The cadets then retired, and the company went through the manual and platoon exercises. Several movements, under Capt. Scrivens's command were executed, such as changing front, diminishing and increasing front, marching in column of subdivisions, &c. Soon after that, as darkness began to show itself, the men formed fours and marched to the depot, headed by the band. A considerable time was there spent in gun-drill, and after limbering up, a hollow square was formed, and the men were addressed by Lieut-Col. Rotton in a somewhat uncomplimentary strain. He desired to impress upon them that it was a sine qua non, now that the volunteer corps were under government that they should attend the annual inspection, and that if they did not attend, they would not be able to participate in the advantages which others would have. [Out of the nearly 150 present there 30 bandsmen and 34 cadets]. The Marines had about 50 curotts, but he observed that not much more than half of them were there. With regard to the gun drill, three of the detachments were very smart, but with others, there was a certain amount of carelessness. They must remember that they were not to play at soldiers, but to be soldiers; and he hoped that should he have to come round next year, there would be no occasion for such remarks. [ 136 ]A Grand Day at Rye. Tuesday, the 23rd of June was a grand military day at the ancient town of Rye, on which occasion detachments of Artillery Volunteers from Hastings, Dover, Sandwich, Ramsgate, Hythe, Folkestone and Deal competed for certain prizes and honours in manner hereafter described. The old town presented quite a cheerful aspect in its display of bunting, in the ringing of church bells, in the booming of guns in the pomp of military parade, in the reverberations of nautical music, in the influx of strangers, and in the holiday character of the inhabitants. The 4th C.(illegible text) to the number of about 120, started from Guestling by a special train shortly before 10 o'clock, under the command of Capt. Commandant Scrivens, other officers also accompanying. No very great number of the unarmed public manifested a desire to begin the campaign at so early an hour, so that the later trains, especially the one at 2.p.m. conveyed the greatest bulk of mere sight-seers. Arrived at Rye, the Hastings Volunteers joined their comrades from other Cinque-port towns, and marched to the battery familiarly known as the Gun Gardens, lying south of the church and overlooking the marsh. Within the spacious battery were seats and other erections for the accommodation of visitors who were admitted by tickets, stationed on an eminence contiguous to the battery were the bands of the several corps, which performed for an hour each in the following order:- Hastings, 13 in number, Folkestone (10), Dover (23), Ramsgate. The present writer imagined the Dover band to be the best, but he was informed by competent judges that taken the disparity of the ten in number into account, the Hastings band was considered to have carried off the laurels for superior performances. - The several corps were divided into detachments, two to six, in proportion to the numbers present, each of which handled the guns with a dexterity that was said to be a decided improvement on their practive of the previous year. Two targets were placed in the direction of the sea, on at 1200 and the other at 1500 yards. The result of the firing was that Hastings won the 1st prize (£30), Folkestone the second £10 and Deal, the third prize (£5). At the conclusion of the firing the whole of the brigade, about 400 rank and file assembled on the Town Salts, where an inspection was made by Major-Gen Cuppage, who addressed them in complimentary terms. They were then marched off - the officers to dine together at the George Hotel, and the men to amuse themselves until the hour of returning home. The Hastings division arrived home at about 10pm, evidently gratified at their success, the band with lively air, leading them through the town.
A Church Parade. - The 4th Cinque Ports Artillery, to the number of about 70, mustered at the depot on Sunday the 28th of June, and proceeded to All Saints Church, where the Rev. G. A. Foyster preached from the 10th verse of the 9th chapter of Ecclesiastes- "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in the grave, whither thou quest."
A Sham Fight, between the Hastings, Rye and Battle Rifle Volun[ 137 ]teers, took place at Beauport, on Tuesday the 29th of September, after which a sumptuous feast was liberally given by Mr. T, now Lord Brassey, the then owner or occupier of the mansion and grounds, to some hundreds of persons; also refreshments to the Volunteers during the afternoon.
The following business was transacted at the quarterly meeting of the Town Council on the 1st of May:-
The rateable value of the borough was shewn to be £120,431, as against the previous year's assessment of £100,000.
The plan of the new building for Volunteers(Artillery), as recommeded by the Committee was agreed to.
The recommendation of the committee not to take any steps against trawl fishing, was adopted.
For a Central Ward, a petition (or as it was called, a memorial) was received from the ratepayers of Holy Trinity, St. Michael, St. Andrew and a part of St. Mary Magdalen. It was referred to committee.
Complaints of inefficient watering, having been received from Church road and other western districts, suggestions for remedying the evil were adopted.
The Police Amalgamation Bill was discussed and a resolution passed that the Corporation petition against it.
The Sale of Ashes was also talked over, and it was resolved to invite tenders for their purchase at per thousand bushels.
Two Additional Coal Meters being wanted, it was resolved to issue notices for applications.
Water-mains at the Lower Croft were agreed to be laid down on the application of Mr. Tutt.
The Appointment of a Medical Officer was, on the motion of Councillor Gausden, referred to the Roads Committee.
Tenders were accepted from Mr. Kent for the freightage of coals, and from Mr. Stubberfield for forage.
Re-Division of Wards. At the Council meeting on the 5th of June, this question gave rise to a long and animated discussion. The Town Clerk read the following report:-"The Committee having taken into consideration the memorial presented to the Council in relation to the re-division of the Borough Wards, report that they do not consider it advisable at present to carry out the memorial, as it is shown on the Ward list that the representation is in due relation to the number of burgesses. The Committee also recommend that application be made to the Home Secretary to ascertain whether in apportioning the wards, the basis is population, rateable value, or Burgess Roll - either whole or in part" - Coun. Ross moved that the [ 138 ]first part of the report be adopted. Coun. Picknell thought they should first get the opinion of the Secretary of State. - Coun. Gausden did not think there was any necessity for that. He should make the same challenge as he did at the Committee meeting, and if it could be shown that the Barrister gave his decisions upon the burgess list alone, he would admit that they had no case; but if he did not take that list as a guide, then in his opinion they had a case. The Act of Parliament under which the application was made was the Municipal Corporation Act 1859; and, referring to the 3rd clause of that Act, which gives power to set out boundaries of wards, he explained that by that clause the provisions of sections 39, 40 & 42, and so much of section 43 as remained un-repealed of the Act (illegible text) Wm IV, cap. 76 shall extend to any such division of a borough into wards, or to any such alteration of the number and boundaries of wards into which any borough is or may be from time to time divided. Mr. Gausden next referred to the Act 5 and 6 Wm IV, and quoted the 40th section, by which it is enacted that the Barrister, in assigning the number of Councillors to each ward "shall as far as in his judgement he may deem it to be practicable, have regard as well to the number of wards, &c., as well as to the aggregate amount of the sums at which all the parishes whall be rated provided always that the number of councillors assigned to each ward shall be divisible by three. The Barrister, therefore, had positive instruction and he, Mr. Gausden, took it that it was the rateable value and the number of persons assessed which were to be considered. The Act said nothing about burgesses. Mr. Gausden then went fully into statistics and argued for his amendment at great length for the making of a central ward. After some few questions and answers by Messrs. Bromley, Howell and Ginner. Mr Gausden resumed - He would really ask the Council to consider seriously before they objected to his amendment; for, without wishing to make any threat, he must say that he believed if they rejected it the inhabitants of the west ward would be bound to have a public meeting, and apply for an Act of Parliament; and although they would be put to considerable expense, he had no doubt that they would be able to lay such a case before Parliament as would lead to their obtaining their request. They could not suppose that the west was to be put down. They had their ire raised on one or two occasions, and had shown what they were made of; and, if necessary, would do so again. From time to time, whenever East and West questions arose, they had full proof that the 12 East ward Councillors voted for whom they pleased. They appointed their own aldermen, and whenever for whom they pleased. They appointed their own aldermen, and whenever East and West ward questions were introduced; they always voted in favour of the East. - Alderman Rock believed in the general truth of Mr. Gausdens observations and in the desirability of a re-arrangement of the borough for municipal purposes, but he did not think the time had [ 139 ]had(sic) arrived for the change to be made. Great alterations were taking place, and it was impossible to know what would be a proper division of the borough in a few years' time. He would admit that the proportions of the Council were both unequal and unfair. Coun. Bromley said that under the Municipal Act if they made any division of the wards, they could not add to the number of councillors, but must take from one and give to the other. He thought the change would be far more unequal than it was. Gausden"The Burgers roll has nothing to do with it." - Bromley "I say it has." Gausden "Upon what grounds?" Bromley - "Upon the numbers." Gausden "The Act does not mention burgesses; it distinctly says ratepayers" - Coun. Winter was pleased that they had got beyond the limits of the memorial presented to them; he got it was wise to give that the go-by, and to argue upon the broad principle as to the benefit of the town. During the last few years the parish had sprung up like a mushroom, but he did not think it had presented a case for the proposed alteration, and he would oppose it with all honesty and sincerity. He thought they should rest a few years and see how the town progressed. - Coun. Howell represented the East ward, but rose, he said to support the amendment (Hear hear!) He must say that he felt astounded at Mr. Rock's argument, for a more monstrous one he had never heard. It would justify any wrong upon the face of the globe. It was the answer that Russia had given to Poland for the last forty years, and one that would be given to the West ward for the next forty years, unless the question was forced upon the attention of that ward. There was an old saying that taxation without representation was tyranny, and he maintained that it was tyranny for the West ward to pay upon 73,000l towards the expenses of the borough, and not to be allowed a fair share in the representation. - In reply to a question, the Town Clerk said the number of Councillors in each ward must be divisible by four. Mr. Howell in resuming, said the 2,314 assessments in the East was paid upon something like 19l each, whilst the 1635 in the West ward represented 40l each. Mr. Rock had confessed it was a great wrong and he was one of the first who knew of a wrong, would set about to crush it. It ought not to be a question of East and West, except as an endeavour to obtain justice. - Ald. Ross, in his reply maintained that Hastings was one of the most efficiently conducted towns in the kingdom. He could not see the slightest reason for this agitation. They ought to be satisfied with things as they were. He thought the East Ward had no more councillors than it ought to have, and that the West Ward was just as it ought to be. In putting the question to the vote two East-ward council and the six West Ward voted for Mr. Gausden's amendment; whilst three aldermen and nine East Ward councillors voted for Ald. Ross's motion, thus carrying the original motion by a majority of four. Coun. Gausden then proposed that an application should be made to the Home [ 140 ]Secretary, as recommended in the second part of the report. This was seconded by Ald. Rock, and carried without opposition.
Groynes. At the same meeting, it was resolved on the motion of Counl. Winter that in the future, the maintenance of groynes westward of the Priory station should be charged to the Local Board account, and that all receipts from the sale of beach and dues from vessels be credited to the same account.
Standards for Blinds were granted on condition that they be placed 6 inches from the kerb and 7 feet in height.
Medical Officer. On the motion of Coun. Gausden it was agreed to appoint a Medical Officer to the Local Board of Health.
Coal Meters - It having been determined at a previous meeting to appoint two additional Coal meters, 7 applications were received, and on the election being made, it was found that 16 votes had been recorded for Edwin Chatfield, and 10 each for George Wenman and David Deeprose. The Mayor gave the casting vote for Wenman.
Committee Room & Office - The Surveyor having reported that the construction of the proposed building at the Priory would be £700 instead of £600, the additional sum was voted.
The Election of Mayor, took place at the Council meeting on Monday, November, May 9th, when the civic honour fell upon James Rock, jun., for the second time. The proposer was Alderman Ross, and the seconder was Councillor Putland. It was celebrated in the evening, as usual, by a dinner at the Swan hotel.
The Queen's Hotel
A meeting of the Queens hotel company was held on the 25th of June, with W. F. Agar, Esq., in the chair. A report of the directors was read, and after some discussion was adopted. After congratulating the shareholders on the prosperous state of affaires, the report went on to show that the receipts of the past six months had been £6,269, and the expenditure, $5650, leaving a profit for the half year of £618, being at the rate of 10 per cent. on the subscribed capital. This was felt to be gratifying in considering the circumstances under which the house was opened in mid-winter and the prejudice naturally existing against entering a new building. The amount of subscribed capital was £11,920, while the outlay on the hotel for furniture, utensils, fittings, &c., had been £14,867, including preliminary expenses. Shares to the number of 817, representing £4,080 were still unalotted, and the directors asked the shareholders to co-operate in getting those shares taken up, when the deficiency on the capital a/c would be fully covered. It was recommended that the consideration [ 141 ]of a dividend be deferred till the next half-yearly meeting, by which time it would, they believe, the capital account would be placed in a satisfactory condition. It being the first general meeting of the Company, the retiring directors were re-elected. Major Murray was surprised that the directors had worked without recompense, and proposed that they should be paid at the rate of £300 per year. Mr. Horner proposed, as an amendment, that the sum be £150 a year, and this was carried.
Apropos of the Queen's Hotel, it was rumoured in the month of August that an Hotel company on a large scale at St. Leonards, corresponding with the noble Queen's Hotel at Hastings, was in contemplation, the site selected being that occupied by the Sussex hotel, and the adjoining six or seven houses. It was said that a liberal offer was about to be made to Mr. G. Giovannini, the proprietor of that hotel, for the purpose. The present writer, who was on friendly terms with Mr. Giovannini, was assured by that gentleman that whatever foundation there might have been for such rumour, the project, so far as a the Sussex hotel was concerned, the project had been abandoned.
Messrs. Rock and Son, whose regard for the welfare of those connected with the firm was well known, gave their employees a "day out" on Saturday June 27th, in conformity with their annual custom. Nearly 40 of these work men, having elected to spend their day at Bexhill, the party proceeded thither by a morning train, and where on their arrival, they set about to enjoy themselves in a variety of games (including cricket), and at suitable hours adjourned to the Bell inn for dinner and tea at which Mr. J. Rock jun. presided.
Mr. Howell's 39th Birthday Anniversary was celebrated in a manner that bespoke the good feeling that existed between master and men. Mr. Howell was an energetic and successful builder, and the men in his employ might be numbered by the hundred. It was not long before that his workmen presented him with an elegant silver inkstand in token of their esteem; and, as a proof that the good feeling was reciprocated, Mr. Howell on more than one occasion feasted and otherwise treated his numerous workpeople. In the present instance, there was a twofold incentive to the holiday - the birthday-keeping and the completion of a steam saw-mil. The huge chimney of the latter, which reared its head high above the contiguous building in Station road was completed on Saturday morning, July 11th, and then it was that all hands struck work and proceeded to the pay-table. The next general move was to the East hill, where cricket and other sports were indulged in until the evening, when a party of about 300 assem[ 142 ]bled at the Music Hall to partake of a substantial repast. The meeting was presided over by the founder of the feast, and near him sat J. Phillips, Esq. G. Clement, Esq, J. Rock, jun, Esq., T. Ross, Esq. G.D. Neil, Esq, T. Ross, Esq, Mr. Miles, Mr Kenwood, and the humble writer of this paragraph.
Said the St. Ceonards Gazette of Dec 12th, We are glad to learn that the Hastings Workingmen's Club- following that of St. Leonards - is likely to have a good start and to prove sufficiently attractive to lure our population from the seductive influences of the tavern and the street. The newspapers, books, games and means of refreshment, we learn, are all provided, as set down in the programme, and it only remains for those on whose behalf it was set on foot to enrol themselves as members, and to assist in the management of the cub. We are also pleased to see that our metropolitan neighbours are making progress in the establishment of workingmens clubs. Although not always the first to institute reforms, they are usually quick to carry them out once commenced. We see a record of eight meetings in the different suburbs of London where the movement was ably supported both by noble and distinguished chairmen. That it will be a great benefit to society there can be but little doubt, for, it will effectually lure men from the tap-rooms to the more elevating associations of literature and discussion. One great feature is the unsectarian principle of the clubs. For a small entrance fee and subscription the working man can enjoy the perusal of the current literature and compare opinions on interesting topics with his fellows. This surely is a great object of itself, and worthy of all the efforts of philanthropists to attain it. The present state of society where no amusement save the pothouse is provided for the lower orders is much to be reprobated, and therefore the present movement is greatly calculated to amend it. We heartily wish the movenment sucess in general and locally in particular.
The Mayors Dinner
The civic banquet was described by one who was present, in a letter to the St. Leonards Gazette, as follows:
M. Editeur, - I von Deitchman travel in England for to see your Institutions. Mayor, Aldermen, Roast Bif, Port wine in big bowl, be your institutions. So I go see eat drink your Institutions. I take one big green fly; (why call fly?) and say, Swan. Horse seem to smell Roast Bif, go much quick. Fly no enter George street. I say, why you no enter Hastings that way. He say Lane too narrow; of green fly meet blue fly, then come block up, no turn. I find zum swan barlady (why call bar?) much mediaeval. I say, Madame, M. Mayor's dinner free I suppose. She say one ticket 7s.6d, so I pay seven silver groschen and halben; not much if Bit be good. She sing out shew M. Knic[ 143 ]kerbocker up. I find few people, but one Red coat mit fur. All pay much respect to the Red coat mit fur. I ask dapper little man "What that Coat". He say Mayors toga; institution set off. One gent say Corporation snip have taken in three reefs of red coat, and garder de l’stoffe literal cabbage, de three reef of fur. I ask how Mayor made: He say five Aldermen mit cards of same colour, and St. Leonards, no have Mayor. Cards shiiffle. one turn up trump, Rock, littleman, Mayor. St. Leonards man much too big; chair much too small; want new red coat.
Then three great men mit medieval hats an ver large staves clap red coat on Dapper Man, which hang gracefully. Mayor then say. Eyes front, forward take post right and left. grace a Bon Dien. Ven before Roast Bif in my stomach, music play, Roast Bif of Old England too soon. Oyster soup. sair, good. Horace say s o. I find it much piquant. Seventy two knives and forks all at once; no other noise Knicrbocker bien occupe. Try to eat seven shillings and sixpence. Much Institution after, but let out reef and wait for what come next. Thought the ceiling crack, Mayor hammer table so hard and say Queen! All shout Queen, eat, drinks sing play god bless Her. Good song, quite apropos now, help digestion, Hammer Prince and Princess, and the expectancy. Much cheers.
Then some gentleman give Capt House and the great Squirt Brigate. He say vant water, you talk of Fire Brigade, but your house burn, you vant water; suppose great wind blow, Hastings var old and dry; burn like chip; houses touch wood, like Dutch town, feed the fire, great Squirt Brigade; come Adjutant Turncock far away, no vater; what use Brigade?
Then speaker look at Mr-Ross and say, where Hastings boundaries now? Sweep all away, make new parent like child, build new Town Hall. old chair stuffing worn out, make big chair, soon wanted - too small for child; let in sun, burn less gas, let out reef, do much good. Then M.R propose M. Mayor. Both Mayors look at M. P. who say his Worship. Then the other Mayor look the other way; all round four or five old Worships waiting next shuffle of the one coloured cards. Mayors badge (antiquarian say what it mean?) shine in the gas dazzle my eyes; not all gold must glitter; wonder whether it be one large nugget; not like to ask. Both Mayors speak much well; both trumps, no mistake, long live all give. One gent say, bell toll for harbour! I not understand. Where the harbour? One say Hastings go too fast. What wonderful place Hastings is. All about parent, out child make parent big always; child grow when parent done growing. I ask where child St. Leowards? My friend say Hastings stick past at White Rock, then St. Loonards wear crinoline and expand, not Hastings. One gentleman say, have pleasure pier at Warrior square houses bring pier and pier help houses. So I believe you shall have pier. I see Corporation one big Institution. It mean self-government, which always much difficult. All this great big tows took to one coloured Corporation, and the press take care of [ 144 ]the Corporation. Mayor look to Town Clerk; no do without his solicitor; him luminate old Hall and Mayor and explicate the law; him three parts mayor; much fine Institution. Town Clerk him no right to go to battle. This indenture witnesseth said one gent to me let captain Mayor go there! Your Servant saar, Von Roon
At the Quarter sessions held at the Town Hall on Wednesday, March 18th, there were but two cases to be tried - a theft of boots and a theft of deals, in both of which the accused were found guilty.
The Midsummer Calender contained as many as ten charges, which was a longer lest than had been known for some years, and was thought to have been likely to cause more than one days trials. In three cases, however, the prisoners pleaded guilty, and the work was thus considerably shortened. George Kilpin was sentenced to 3 months imprisonment for stealing clothes; Jane Barton, to 6 months for stealing apparel and linen; Sarah Westwood (a clergyman's daughter and twice before convicted) to 1 years imprisonment, with hard labour, for victimizing a lodging house keeper; Alfred Smith to 4 months hard labour for stealing money, and James Brand to one days imprisoment for receiving some of the same, Chas-Lewis to six months hard labour, for stabbing while drunk: George Jinks, to a mouth's imprisonment for stealing a watch; and William Beaney to 4 months imprisonment for an aggravated assault.
The Michaelmas Indictments were six in number, in three of which a plea of guilty was recorded. Two of the not guilty cases occupied so long a time and the consultations of the juries were so protracted that the court sat altogether a period of nine hours. Eliza Evans was sentenced to six months hard labour in each case for stealing hymn books and bed-clothes; Joshna Golden to six months imprisonment, for a theft of money: W.J. Foster, to 6 months hard labour for embezzlement; and John Brocklebank, to six months hard labour also for embezzlement.
The December Calendar consisted of six indictments, in all of which the prisoners were found guilty and sentenced as follows: George Rummins to one month's imprisonmment for stealing 5 shillings; John Pearson to 12 month's imprisonment for stealing corn; Edward Gillingham to 4 month's imprisonment for receiving stolen forage; Julia Davis and Frederick Dunot each to 12 month's imprisonment for theft; Thomas Barden, to 4 month's imprisonment for an assault on policemen; and Henry Goodwin to two month's imprisonment for embezzlement.
The Roman Catholics.
This religious body, during the year, came into possession, by purchase through the Duchess of Leeds, of Hastings House and Fairlight Hall. the former previously occupied by John Phillips, Esq., and the latter by Robert Hunt, Esq. [ 145 ]
Marriage of the Prince of Wales.
Those who could carry their minds back to the year 1837 would still retain in their memory, as a green spot, a recollection of the heart-felt affection with which the English people welcomed her Majestys accession to the throne, and nowhere more so than those of Hastings and St Leonards. Again on the occasion of the marriage of the Queen with that prince who so nobly devoted his life to the encouragement of the arts and sciences the people rejoiced with her who did rejoice, whilst on that sad 14th of December which younger persons can recollect, and still perpetuated by the local memorial to "Albert the Good", we wept with her who wept. And once again the nation was preparing to do all honour to an event which it was hoped would exercise no small influence on the domestic happiness of her Majesty and an incalculable influence on the destinies of the nation. The veil of grief which had so long hidden our Queen from the realities of passing life was to be for a brief space tor aside, and she was to witness with the affection of a mother the betrothal of her eldest son to a Princess of Denmark. In this marriage her Majesty would see not the cold diplomatic union of the heir to the throne, but a marriage calling to mind the endearing associations of former times, and based on the surest foundations of mutual love. It was with just pride that was observed a desire to celebrate the marriage-day of the Prince of Wales in a manner befitting the occasion. It was many years since the like event occurred in this country, and under circumstances, as it turned out, how different with the former Prince of Wales, Albert Edward ought not to be placed in comparison. With the combined advantages of classical education and home training with the accumulated refinement of a civilised age- with examples of paternal and maternal solicitude unexampled in the English Court, combined with many experiences of foreign travel, Albert Edward was looked upon, apart from his kingly destiny, as the very type of a young English gentleman. The Princess, too to whom it was his fortune to be allied, was a lady endowed with the highest mental and physical gifts, and it was as sincerely hoped as it was firmly believed that it would prove to be a happy alliance. The following lines were communicated to the St. Leonard Gazette:
Some few hundred years ago-
Time exact I do not know -
Guests unwelcome came by sea
To this home of libery.
Devastating all the land
Came there many a ruthless band;
Came there also good and wise,
Who of course, were deemed a prize.
Amongst the last, Canute the great
Landed here in martial state:
And, as shewn by His'try clear,
Denmark's chief ruled many a year.
How twas told, we're all aware,
By the sea he placed a chair,
Taking calmly there his seat
daring tide to wet his feet.
But the waves would not obey.
and the king had washed away,
Had he not removed his seat
To a more secure retreat.
Thus did canute wisely move,
Simplo courtiers to reprove;
Thus he made it understood
Great is he who first is good.
Now the time is drawing near
His descendant to appear.
with her pretty Danish fare,
Comely form and youthful grace.
joining in procession gay,
The to Windsor wends her way,
where to give her maiden hand
to the first Prince in the land.
"Hastings surely, will not be
Backward in its loyalty.
let us their request the Mayr
Meetings call and take the chair.
There to plan the means & way
How to mark the festal day
That shall join the two as one
Denmarks maid and Snglands son.
Hastings, Feb. 9, 1863
The Editor's foot note:
The hint is good, but ere the hint was hinted
official placards had been duly printed;
A public meeting ordered by the Mayr,
Has placed the hint a day behind the fair.
In the St. Leonards Gazette of February 28th appeared some other lines on
The Royal Marriage
Sub rosa may I whisper in your ear
That which to speak about I greatly fear-
that which in low tones dare I only say?
is this the London Clergy without pay
Will on the 10th the Prince's marriage day-
All such as utter "Cherish, love, obey
In wedlocks sweet felicity unite;
An thus t'express the hope I fain would write,
That Hastings clergymen - a goodly sample-
will not be slow to follow this example.
And now, beneath a veil. I do subscribe,
Yours very truly, An Expectant Bride.
Hastings. Feb. 18th
The Royal wedding.
The wedding is a theme most ripe on which we all dilate,
sud one on which our batchelors most do prate
Ne suctor ultra crepidam, an often quoted adage.
Is rarely sought to be applied by people bent on marriage.
Now, is it that the men, as men-folk ought, do fail to say.
or is it that the women shrink from uttring I Obey2
The latter, one inclines to think, must really needs be so,
And that instead of saying yes, the ladies will say No!
Example is than precept better, it is said,
And thus our Royal Family doth think it right to wer.
For man's enjoyment in this world the fair creation came:
If failing then to act their part, they only are to blame.
our ancient sire in Edens bower, we read did lonely walk,
With goods and chattels for his use, but none wherewith to talk.
Though Lord of all that he surveyed - magnificent his lot-
contentinent did not fall to him till he an eve had got.
To double our joy and diminish our sorrow
is good for today, and as good for tomorrow;
And this, be it known is a true woman's part
Twards him unto whom she has plighted her heart.
The seeing of sights and partaking of treats,
suminations and boufires, and dances and feats,
and music and marcng, saluting and ringing
And coastgwards and firemen, and torches and singiig,
Are all very well in their joyous array
against which I surely have nothing to say,;
But still, I maintain that the most loyal plan
Is for each single lady to marry her man.
Hastings, March 4th.
The Royal Marriage General Notice
Regulations, &c for the 10th of March, drawn up under the command of General Notice. The whole public on the above mentioned day will enlist under geveral Enthusiasm, and General Plenty will select the pass-word General Business will be superseded by General Holiday, and the nation will march under the banner of General Harmony. Pretty girls must not be too timid if General Salute makes himself heard in thundering tones, but of course under the guide of General Decoram. General Care, whose namesake killed the cat, will be driven away from all ranks by General Gollity; and General Illumination, aided by Generals Bonfire and Fireworks, and also by General Dance, Gaiety and Good-humour will command all ranks on the evening of the 1oth of March.
Proclamation signed by General Notice
Countersigned by General Agreement.
Vivant Cupido Psyche et Hymen!
St. Leonards Gazette, March 7
The Wedding-day Arrived.
One of those never to be-forgotten days which but rarely occur in the course of an ordinary life time, arrested the attention of the entire nation on Tuesday the tenth of March, and among the thousands- nay, millions of people who turned out to do honour to the occasion, by none will the event be remembered with more enjoyable feeling than by the loyal and patriotic denizens of the Premier Cinque Port. The only wonder was that with so little time for preparation, and in a district where during a whole year immense pecuniary sacrifices had been made for charitable purposes, the necessary money, time and zeal could be found for carrying to a successful issue an imposing spectacle which while it exhibited an indubitable attachment to the Royal Family, provided for the wants of many hundreds and the enjoyment of many thousands of our townspeople. That the Committee and subcommittees appointed for arranging and conducting the said demonstration must have been of a sufficiently energetic character to entitle them to the thanks of the community is proved by what further follows.
at first appeared to be upon a somewhat limited scale, and a considerable amount of uncertainty was equally apparent, especially in the western-part of the borough, as to whether private efforts for decoration or illumination would not subject individuals to the charge of wishing to be conspicuously distinguished above their neighbours. There was also considerable doubt as to whether the stupendous preparations in the Metropolis would not prove an irresistible attraction to a vast number of our well to do people, and by the aid of liberal inducements in the matter of railway transit, thus stultify to a great extent home efforts to get up anything like a respectable show. The weather, moreover, was of an unstable character, and fostered the notion that unless we were fortunate enough to get a calm day, the preparations along an exposed front of two miles would prove to be abortive. It was true that our local weather prophets led us to expect just the sort of day which it turned out to be, but with the presence of stormy weather on the preceding Saturday, the strong gusts of wind on Sunday, the rain and lightning on Sunday evening, and a low barometer of Monday, there was quite enough to engender misgivings in reference to the fulfilment of meteorological requirements. [ 150 ]Then there was a dread among timorous persons that as fires and fire alarms had been unusually frequent of late some accident from that source might happen. These and other causes were known to have operated at a great extent in preventing an earlier and more general preparation for the illuminations; and yet, when the day arrived people were astonished to find how much had been done to celebrate the event in a manner to preserve the prestige of our ancient loyalty. It may have been that the publication of an attractive programme of the days proceedings and the issue of the Mayors mandate for a general holiday removed all doubt as to the intention of the borough to be jolly; and hence the feeling of emulation to make merry and be glad on the day when two hearts and two nations should rejoice together as one.
The Festivitiescommenced with the booming of cannon at sunrise and with merry chimes from the churches of All saints and St Clements, the then recent new bells of the latter more fully emitting their metallic euphony, agreeably to the previsions of a few years before which described them as those
Which should at least, when nuptial exist
For royalty was spreading,
Be made to play a jocund day,
In honour of the wedding.
At 1 o'clock a special service of music and prayers was held at the Trinity Church, the same being largely attended. The wedding[ 151 ]March was played at the opening and the National Anthem at the close of the service.
At 12 o’clock royal salutes were fired by the Coastguards at Bopeep and other batteries, an at one o’clock a similar honour was observed at Government House and at the Castle. The Volunteers also after their perambulations fired a royal salute with the big guns and a few de joie with the rifles.
During the afternoon a variety of old English sports were engaged in at the West Hill, where thousands congregated to enjoy the fun.
At 5 o’clock, tea meetings were held at the Hastings and St. Leonards Temperance Halls, at which latter three new loyal songs by a local composer were sung, and the largely attended meeting was very enjoyable.
At about the same time an open-air tea meeting was improvised by the jovial dames of All Saints Street, who swung their kettles a la gipsy, in the street, and invited all comers to a bit of bread and butter and a "cup of tea". A fidler(sic) was afterwards pressed into their service and the merry old dads and dames tripped it merrily O! to the music of "The Wedding Day."
At 6 o clock the illuminations commenced and at 7 or soon after, the Fire Brigade started for their grand procession.
At half-past eight, signal guns were fired, and as though by magic, blue lights or port-fires were displayed by the Coastguards all along the parades. This was followed, first, by a flight of rockets from the revenue cutter, and then by a pyrotechnic exhibition on land. The scene altogether was one of enchantment.
At from about 9.30 till 10, a succession of coloured fires lighted up the already illuminated Castle, and this, with salvoes of artillery, formed a coup d'oeil such as perhaps was never witnessed in Hastings before.
The out door amusements were brought to a close with an immense bonfire, and the festivities were afterwards kept up by public balls at various places.
Several dinners and suppers to employees during the day were given, among whom were the police constables, the workmen of Mr. J. Wood (builder) and the servants of the south Eastern Railway Company.
To see a band of three thousand young and joyous faces marching round the town to music's cheering strains was a sight was a sight that must have gladdened the hearts of all who witnessed it. At an early hour they emerged from their respective school-rooms and hied them to the rendervous in Wellington square; the eastend schools, with two bands, descending thither from the top of High street, and the west end schools, with a band, getting there from St. Leonards After singing the National Anthem, the procession moved [ 152 ]off in the following order:-
Members of the Committee.
The 4th Cinque Ports Artillery Brass Band.
St Clements schools (540).
St. Mary's Evening Schools (69), with two handsome banners
Parker's Endowed School (Banks) 60.
St Mary's Parochial schools (350).
Baptist and Congregational Sunday Schools (244)
Herr Klee's St. Leonards Band.
St. Leonards National Schools, boys and girls (492).
St Leonards Wesleyan Sabbath Schools (120)
Holy Trinity Sunday School (60).
St Leonards and Bohemia Primitive Methodist Sabbath Schools (103).
The Rifles Brass Band.
St Mary Magdalen National Schools (330).
Alfred-Street Sunday School (70).
Hastings Ragged School (67).
British Schools and Wesleyan Sunday Schools (340).
Workhouse Schools (38).
Artillery Drum and Fife Band.
Saunders's endowed (Fosters) School (70).
Halton National Schools (127).
The procession extended in distance upwards of half a mile, and formed a cheerfully interesting sight. The route lay along the western part of the borough by Robertson Street, Eversfield place and the Marina as far as the St. Leonards Church, thence by East Ascent and Norman Road, to Warrior square where after singing the National Anthem conjointly with the united bands, and giving some hearty cheers, the children were led off to their respective school rooms for the substantial refreshment there provided for them in abundance. It should be noticed that all the schools were supplied with a large number of flags, those of St Leonards being the most numerous, and those of St. Mary Magdalen the most unique, the bannerets, specially made for the occasion, having a very pretty effect. It should also be observed that throughout the route the children frequently sang national and other airs in a joyous strain.
The Volunteer procession, under the command of Captains Scrivens and Rock, consisted of the Cinque Ports Artillery and the 1st Cinque Ports Rifles, with a part of the new cadet corps. Each corps was headed with its excellent brass band, and the whole marched off briskly round the principal parts of both towns and finished off with salutes at East parade and East Well.
The torch light procession of the Volunteer Fire Brigade was also as gay as it was novel. The decorations and illuminations of houses and shops, though not general, were very numerous, and some of them original as well as pretty. [ 153 ]
Aquatics. Success of Hastings Men
The Hastings Regatta Committee met at the Royal Standard in Robertson street on the 11th of June, and there reappointed Mr. Burchell as chairman, Mr. Develin, sen. as treasurer, and Mr Develin, jun. as secretary. They also decided to hold the regatta on Monday Aug. 17th, wind and weather permitting. Commenting on this selection of the day, the St. Leonards Gazette remarked As the success of any regatta on our open coast depends mainly on the condition of the weather, we here give data whereon to found an estimate of the probable weather for the day above name. The sun will be passing from an angle of 60 degrees with Jupiter to a similar angle, with Uranus, which indicates a warm and mutable atmosphere. Jupiter will also form an angle of 450 with Mercury, a position which usually induces a brisk movement of the air, either as strong breezes or fitful gusts. The moon will be 90 degrees from Uranus and crossing the Equator on the day of maximum spring tides, which is also an untoward symbol. Altogether, and considering that there are electrical indications a day or two later, it seems reasonable to suspect the 17th of August as likely to be much less calm than those who man the frail skiff would desire. Should the weather prove to be not sufficiently favourable, our advice to the Committee would be to select the first fine day that offered. It is quite a mistake, as we have for several years contended, and as experience has proved, to postpone and re--postpone the regatta a fortnight each time. It is also a mistake to suppose that the highest spring tide is the only or even the best of the fortnightly series that can be selected for a regatta. This was demonstrated in the regattas of 1861 and 62, both of which occurred with tidal advantages greater than those usually afforded by a moontide high water.
When the day arrived, the forecast of the weather was realised, and the regatta had to be postponed. The same thing happened in the following year, as will be shown in the next volume. Then again, the maximum spring tide period was selected not withstanding past experience, when after a compelled postponement, the regatta was abandoned altogether for that year.
Hastings Rowers Elsewhere. Three of the local galley crews, while traversing the coast in search of prizes, were considerably successful. In the first class match at the Worthing regatta The Brothers of Hastings carried off the first prize, the "St. Leonards" of St Leonards, the second prize and the "Lord Warden" of Hastings, the third prize, the last name missing the first prize in consequence of turning the wrong buoy. The same three boats competed with several other "cracks" at the Deal and Walmer regatta, and in the principal match for £12, £6 and £3, occupied the same positions as at Worthing. Also in the match for first- class Amateurs, open to the coast, the "Brother's" gallantly won the first prize, whilst the St Leonards took the second prize. At the Brighton [ 154 ]Regatta there was a smart competition between the "Lord Warden" of Hastings, and the "St. Leonards" of St. Leonards for the first prize in one of the principal races, the former being first by a few feet only, but obliged to take the second prize through turning the wrong buoy. No fewer than twelve galleys were entered for this match. The "Brothers", of Hastings lost its chance of a good place in this match through generously rescuing from drowning of another boat's crew, and for which noble act the men were loudly cheered. In the Brighton amateur match also, the "St. Leonards" brought off the second prize, whilst the Brothers took the third. The last-named boat gained a second prize (£3) in the Volunteer's match at Folkestone.
Wesleyan Anniversary Sermons were preached in the Bourne-street chapel on Sunday, June 28th by, the Rev. J. Tweddle, of London, at the close of which the sum of about £10 was collected.
For the Irish Church Missions two sermons were preached in the church of St Mary-in-the-Castle on the 12th of July, the pecuniary result of which was an offertory of £27 85. 7d.
In St. Clement's Church, on the 8th of November, sermons were preached on behalf of the Expenses fund, in lieu of church-rates, and £18 15s. obtained.
At St Mary's-in-the-Castle on Sunday, Dec. 13th sermons were preached in aid of the Infirmary, for which the collection amounted to about £57. [ 155 ]
Accidents and Fatalities
The Rev. J. Workman alias Rawlings, on the evening of Feb. 2nd, while listening to the new choir then forming in the St. Leonards Church, incautiously walked backward, down the aisle, and fell into a hole that had been dug during the process of alterations. He was considerably bruised, but with medical assistance, recovered within a few days.
A Little Girl, named Davis, had a very narrow escape from drowning on the 9th of April. While playing with other children on the beach, she ran along an iron culvert in front of Warrior square, and fell into the sea 9as many others have done since that time). The cries of her companions attracted a gentleman who was passing, and he seeing the child's danger rushed into the water and succeeded in bringing her safely to land.
Drowned at Sea. The Shipping Gazette', of May 10th, stated that the William Pitt of Hastings, lost a man overboard when off Orford Ness, on the Suffolk coast, and that all attempts to save him were futile. His name was James Morris, a native of Baldslow, near Hastings.
Carriage Accident. On the 17th of May, as Mr. and Mrs. Voysey were being driven in their close carriage down the Magdalen Road from their residence at Silverhill, the horse became restive and threw the coachman off near the school-house in that district. Released from control, the animal dashed down the road and overturned the vehicle with its occupants near Mr. Raven's, 13 Magdalen road. Mr. & Mrs. Voysey were rescued from their dangerous position and taken into Mr. Ravens, where they were promptly attended to by two medical practitioners, and where they remained for several hours. They were both cut and bruised, but ultimately recovered, the gentleman to live until he was an octogenarian, and the wife until she was 91.
Another Carriage Accident. As Dr. and Mrs. Reed, with other members of the family, on the 29th of May, were being driven in their carriage from their residence at Ore to the St. Leonards Assembly Rooms, where Congregationalist services were being conducted by their brother, some part of the harness became disarranged, and the horse, while descending Upper Maze Hill, started off at a good speed, subject to no control of the driver. In that unmanageable state, the animal dashed headlong into and through the hedge of the Subscription (now the Public) Gardens. There the carriage became fixed, with a smashed window and in a partly overturned condition. A rescue having been effected by persons who ran to assist, the next thing was to enquire for the driver. Was he behind, before, under the horse, the wheels, or where? "Here I be and not hurt" was the quiet response, as the young man somewhat ludicrously peeped over the hedge. A carriage belonging to Mr. Middleton, was placed at their disposal, and they were driven to Henly Lodge, the residence of the Rev. Andrew Reid, where they remained during the day, attended by Dr. Shaw. Beyond a severe fright and a good shaking, no personal injury was sustained. It was regarded as a miraculous escape. [ 156 ]
Fatal Accident Great excitement was created on the afternoon of Sept. 12th in consequence of a lady, and gentleman being knocked down by an uncontrolable(sic) horse, the frightful collision resulting in the death of the gentleman, a fractured leg to the lady, a fall to the horse and its rider, and injuries to the last-named person. The two gentlemen were carried to the Infirmary as was also the lady, after she had been first taken into Balmoral House, there to have the broken limb set by Mr. Wilson and Dr. Turner. The rider of the horse was a gentleman named Pierce Edgecourt, who from some cause not clearly ascertained lost control of the animal, and kept his seat only by holding on to the mane and saddle till the collision occurred which proved so disastrous. The other unfortunate gentleman was a Mr. Coleman, chemist of Brompton, 43 years of age. He had been with his wife on the water, and both of them being cold and sick, they were crossing the road to the other side for sunshine and shelter, when the gentleman, not seeing the danger probably through the loss of an eye from a gunshot wound was knocked down and killed. An inquest was held, but the injured rider was not sufficiently recovered to give evidence.
A Miraculous Escape. Mr. B. Chaffey, a gentleman residing at 128 Marina, in calling attention of the local Board to the unprotected state of the parade, described a most miraculous escape in the following terms:- On Thursday last [Sept. 24] the nurse had charge of my children on that part of the parade at the western end of the Collonade, when on turning round for one of them and releasing her hold of the perambulator, it immediately ran down the sharp incline, and, with the child in it, was precitated over the wall down to the beach, a distance of fully ten feet. Fortunately, the child escaped almost unhurt, but the result might have been very different.
Fatal Bathing Accident - Mr Richard Baxter, a young gentleman 23 years of age, who had come down on the 1st of October to visit a family at 54 Eversfield place was drowned on the following day while bathing in front of his lodgings, and in sight of many persons who were powerless to rescue him. The weather was fine, but a strong easterly breeze prevailed, and caused what is called a chopping sea. The deceased with a friend named Stoddart, hired a machine, and both gentlemen considering themselves expert swimmers disregarded the caution of the machine proprietors not to go beyond the end of the rope, swam out, apparently, without difficulty, about 100 yards, Mr. Stoddart went farthest, but turned towards the shore before his companion, who in less than five minutes was holding up his arm and in apparent difficulty. The bathing attendants immediately ran up the beach for a boat always kept in readiness. This was launched and was pulled gallantly through the breakers and had reached within a few yards when the unfortunate man sank for the last time. Mr. Stoddart(sic). Meanwhile, Mr. Stoddart, on[ 157 ]seeing the imminent danger of his friend swam out again, but without success, and returned greatly exhausted. The unfortunate gentleman was the third son of Mr. Theodore Bagster, of Great St. Helens, who, with an elder son, was sitting on a machine at the time and witnessed the painful occurrence. £10 was offered for the recovery of the body.
An Unfortunate Church.
What with the repeated falls of cliff, the crushing in of the building, the several disputes between incumbents, organists and others, together with the generally unfortunate position of the first built place of worship, it is neither irrelevant nor irreverent to bestow upon it the epithet of "An Unfortunate Church". Details of the circumstances to which reference is here made may be found in the earlier volumes of this history. But there was probably, no event in which the worshipers at that church were so painfully interested as in the story now to be told of the pulpit being occupied by an incumbent who, as it turned out, was a returned convict, and who had assumed a name that was not his own. The story is here commence with the reproduction of a leading article in "Bretts St. Leonards Gazette", of May 22th, 1864. An unfortunate church! a truly unfortunate church! Such is the expression which continues to escape the lips of our townspeople in connection with the original edifice devoted to sacred purposes in St. Leonards on sea. And such, indeed, has been the significant qualification as applied to that building almost from the commencement. Well we know that there are unfortunate ships and unfortunate people, but why they should be unfortunate may ever continue to be less within the scope of mortal ken. Someone has somewhere said that our patron saints were not equally good, and some not good at all. If then, it be true - forgetting for the once, the paradox - that there are good saints and bad saints, it may be logically inferred that there fortunate saints and unfortunate saints. Granting, for the sake of argument, that such is the case, it would seem to follow as a reasonable sequence that our unfortunate church must have been dedicated to an unfortunate saint. Assuming then without stopping to enquire who and what St. Leonard really was that the dedication of our church to that saint was an unfortunate mistake, we seem to get, as it were a sufficient due to the lack of good fortune ever attendant on the building under consideration. It appears never to have been the right church in the right place. Local history tells us that the foundation of the church was originally laid on the high ground of the West cliff, and that Mr Burton was induced to abandon the site in consequence of objections to its exposed situation. Then, as it could not be on the hill, it must be under the hill; and so, instead of having its light to shine before men on a hill of Zion,[ 158 ]it was made to flicker merely under a bushel Placed in an out of the way situation, in an unsightly recess, and exposed to the fury of southern gales, intensified by the contracted space in its front, the church has been from its earliest career in an unfortunate predicament. The cliff in its rear would crumble to its base, the long flight of steps to its entrance would prove tedious to invalids, and the contracted strong currents of wind would continue to inconvenience female worshippers. By degrees, however these difficulties, if not entirely surmounted, were considerably modified; yet, other difficulties arose and misfortunes multiplied. It might require a volume to recount the thousand incidents of trouble, annoyance, inconvenience, acrimony, recrimination, sacrilege, alteration and change to which the church and its associations of pastors organists schools &c. have been subjected; and we shall, therefore wisely abstain from entering upon such a task. We may say, however, that there are few, if any, places of worship that in the space of thirty three years have undergone so many and varied vicissitudes as the church of St. Leonards-on-sea.
Its revenue appears never to have been sufficient to meet the requirements; and had it not been for the private wealth of the several clergymen into whose hands the incumbency has successively passed, we do not see how the establishment could well have sustained even its present dignity. But then, the private wealth, so called, while it has been, perhaps, a blessing to our poor, has given its possessor a position sufficiently independent to be, at least in some cases, distasteful to our rich. Hence, it may be that our clergymen from Leslie to Tilson-Marsh, have failed in their ministrations to unite in the bonds of christian fellowship the bulk of the St. Leonards community. And yet -judging from one's own observations during a period of twenty-four years - there appears to have been no lack on energy on either side to accomplish the desired end; and one is therefore forced to the conclusion that either the said energy has been mispent in regretable(sic) antagonisms, or that the persistent statement of an unfortunate church has really some foundation in fact.
Let us go a little farther. Some six months back, as is pretty well known, the then incumbent, Mr. W.N. Tilson-Marsh, after unsuccessful attempts to secure the sympathy and earnest co-operation of the parishioners, and with impaired health to boot, sought in the usual clerical channels for a surrogate. It was not long before a gentleman offered himself for the situation and the required stipulations entered into. The principal point in these stipulations - if our information is correct was that the new incumbent or surrogate was to pay £250 as rent of the church for one year, and if at the end of the year a continuance could be agreed upon, the annual payment was to be increased to £300. But, not to trouble our readers [ 159 ] with details of this clericab arrangement, let it suffice to say that the new cergyman entered upon his duties with a great show of energy, and effected very considerable changes, all of which appeared to meet with the appreciation of a majority of persons interested in the church. It was said that, mutatis mutandis, there were better preaching, better vinging, and reat- -er comforts in consequence of these changes Certainly the religious ordi- -nances were better attended, the worshippers were more numerous and regular, and the new pastor became suddenly popular. He even had the honour of preaching before Royalty,, and our townspeople were quite jro- -bilant. But, mirabite dictu! our sericab hers, after some months of petting an other kind attentions, us a "dear, good man! was discovered to be one who had suffered the legal penalty of a grave misdemeanor. The fact and the thought of it were alike horrible to those who had been taking him by the hand, and but little consultation, we presueme, was required to arrive at the conviction that a man whose antecedents were thus unfavourable to his morality had better withdraw from the sacred avocations of the pulpit. We are not among those who, because a man had once transgressed and fraid the full penalty of the offence, would brand for ever as a felow; nor would we obect to his assuming a newname is avoid ecogni uors, s wong is we could be oure that his after conduct was such as to justify a belief in his sincere repentance, and such also as would place him above suspicion. But if, as in the present instance, the con -duct - supposing all that is rumourd betrue is not of a character to warrant so favourable a construction, then we say the sooner the public is disabuse of its inisplaced confidence the better. Personally, we have to egret that much of the odium attached to this scandal of the church has been troughtlessy turown upon a yuittemar whose ireproachable aracter ought to be a sufficient warranty of his inmocence in the watter. That a clergyman so esteemed and so care -ful as Mr Tilson- warsh is known to be should be suspected of a dere- -liction of duty in bcinding over of souls to a stranger without taking some steps to enquire into the status of he man is burely conceivable, Yet. so it is, and without waiting for any communication with that gentle -man on the sub ect, we are almost tempted to become his aoosist, and to rebut the insuation of improper conduct on t is part In conclusion, we shall probably, not be far wrong in describing the present situation to a two great procipancy in taking into our con- -fidence a stranger whoxcredentials we vever asked for, and whose walk o life we never waited to see seveloped. Article No.2. (from the Gazette of June 11th. "How of ten stender is the peg on which there hangs a tale. and taking up the poet's strain we may say now of en stender is the mind tat [ 160 ]cannot bear reproof! The suggestion comes to us forcibly whilst e- reflecting for a moment on some ilb judged criticisms that, a few days since, were given utterance to anent our editorial remarks on a recent local event and which are referred to in common partance as the "Church Article" That in these days of reading and reflection, the critis should himself be criticised is but a natural inference, and there -fore it is that the publicist or the ordinary journalist expects his wri- tings or deductions to be scanned by the scrutinising eye of the public. It is well that it should be so, it is, indeed, a legitimate and healthy state of things, and far be it from us to desire its abrogution. A puiblic writer, notwithstanding that he may be more skilled and more thought =ful in matters pertaining to his profersion than a majority of persons for whom he writes, would be more than mortal did he not some- -times err; yet, as a rule, if he possess any mental calitre above me- -diocre, his perpetual round of thought an means of observation must necessarily lead him to more correct conclusions than would usually be arrived at by those whose opportunities do not lie in the same direction. Thus much by way of introduction, and now for the "Head and front of our offending? The charge against the Gazette is that it has raked up things that it had no business with, and if its editor had not been a foolish fellow. he would have seen that his living was at stake by such conduct bow, if we were disposed to treat the matter facitiously, as our humour might somettines incline us to do), we should say Good grucious! how alarming! - now dreadful? But as we are just now in a more serious mood, we will simply iduge i little expansion of our own views on the watter, inustapositon to those of our woild be censor. Yet us say thei, firstly, that we had neither part nor parce in the "raking up of things" beyond the mere record of recent doings us associated with certain other events of local importance in the history of one of churches, and, secondly, that in so far as oun son- -duct lies, we have reason to be satisfied with the comments and com -pliments which it as slicited from those a goodly number- whow winds are suffsenty educated, and, above all, sufficiently free to form a corred estimate of our intentions as well as of ounduties. We wrote both temperately an truthfully - not to say charitably- and have not one word to retract.
It a local journal submits to the dogina that it should not com -ment on local occurrencies, but should simply confine itself to the anere record of what commonly cased news, it surrenders at once its highest pre ogative and sacrifices its power for the public good, which was, or ought to have been the hiep insentive to its sta- -blishment. Such a condition may be borne _ because compulsory - under [ 161 ] the censorship of continental despotisin, but can never be tolerated in the land of liberty-loving England. That newspaper criticisms are not al- -ways tempered with so much charity and sagacity as might be wished none than ourselves will be more ready to admit, but that a due regard to at least the first of these qualifications has always been shewn in the con =duct of this journal is, we think an an acknowledgement due from those who have longest been acquainted with it. It is an acknowleage ment, too, which we are proud to say has been on many occasions freely concedsd. We need only refer the imprejudiced reader to our remarks <s on the unfortunate Church the condemnation of which by a select few has prompted us to return to the subject, as proof of the justness of our claim. We never indulge in personalities in the sense in which that term is gene -rally, but somenhat unintelligibly employs and we never resort to vulgar abuse; but amidst all the difficulties which usually, beset a local journed we follow the bent of our inclination with a due regard to the duties require of us, and wrtt a freedom compatible with unfettered thought and an untrammeled position. It may not be out of place in these remarks to correct an eeroneous impression which we find has been made in some quar- -ters as to our Church Articlo having been written by a clergyman; and we do this by the solemn avoival that all comments on local matters emanate solely from the office of our journal; that all our sociat, local and meteorological, Mr White’s Weather Theories excepted are written by ourselves; that most of our political and metricas effusions are also derived from the same source, and that no person has accers to our editoriab column who is not connected with the paper. Thus it may be seen that we accept the boun fides of all that we publish without sign or signature; and for the edification of such persons as are curious in the matter, we complete our information by an everyiting which assurance of an opposite character- namely that bears a signature Geal or assumed,, whether it be is in our present issue, a Greek sym --bol, or any other distinguishing adjurct, it is to be, regarded as a con- -tribution, and not an office production. With this candid state- -ment we hope to have made less difficult task of any busybody who may wish to speculate as to the conduct of the St. Leonards and Hastings Gazette. In bringing these remarks to a close we can- not but express a hope that we have not raked up things that we had no business with whilst we reiterate a determination to dis- a seminate truth to the best of our ability (howsoever distasteful it may be in some quarters), and to study the morality and general interest of a community whose welfare is edenticat with our own. We shall therefore, continue our present course, undeterred by the anisnadversion of opporents, and without being too greatly elated by [ 162 ] the approval of friends. We are sufficiently sensible of our position and influence not to attempt to make more secure the one or more effective the other by any than the independent but unostentous means hitherto employed. contributed to the Gazette) A Lament of this, our fair St. Leowards field, "ronlucky flock, unlucky, church But soon or late he had to gield; just now, as ever, in the lurch; And own, that whether rough or tame, Tossed by an unresisted fate. savage or mild, twas all the same! From Surrogate to surrogate! Those sheep within the saway nook We plot, we labour and contrive are difficult for pastor's crook: In vain to make the parish thrive. And twill be long eve they can find For some good reason or another, The sort of man that suits their min Each new misfortune has a brother; letting them think they have their way, Till the poor fold beneath the rock, (yet bearing andisputed sway. With all its unregarded flock. Tharp and yet easy, - close, yet free, Is filled with bleatings wild and strangs All things to all men quick to be; At shepherds that for ever change. And also harder far to do Be all things to old women too. eantime the sects and parties all Thrive by this unseemly brawl. 1 The mediceval Bettrels rise, our enemies look up and smile souring aloft Cathedral- wise, Or shed the tears of crocodite, and flout the paltry gap we spare Delusive over our hapless state of space from dingy house of prayer. That seemed so flourishing of late. Cartenter gothic dark and dank. The Papists love to point at us, Cooped up beneatt the sandstono bank; With all our scaudal, fends and furs; Inside and out, a mere disgrace! And show how peace and work are found It shows its dirty crumbling faco, united on their special ground. Fit only for the pich and crows- Though all our workmen cant be named, Blest be the hand that lays it low As those who nee not be ashamed, According to St. Paul, tis strange (St. Leowards, June 6to, 1864 A? No labourer even had the range It should be stated that since the above lines were contributed the church has been in every way greatly improved. The Church sgain How matters stood at the end of three months after the first article on the church difficulty appeared may be leant from the following extract from the 3t Leonards Gazette, of August 6th: Next, to reverential thought of the great God we worship should be our veneration of the place in which we worship Him, nor should a concep -tion so deeply tinged with holiness be permitted to dwvart into were sents -ment. Fur sanctuary should be jealously guarded within and without from [ 163 ] schism and its attendant evils, and a practical test of sincerity should be manifest in our everyday walk as we pray for deliverance from all blindness of heart; from prido, vainglory and hypocrisy; from envy, hatred and malice and all uncharitableness? That all should be sunshine and fair weather in this as yet unmillennial age is perhops, more than we have a right to expect; but, as professing Christians we should at least be free from storms which at our own hands involve the destruo -tion of the sacred fabric appears to be within the scope of human ability to effect. Starting, as it were from these preminises, let us see how best we may avert the commotion which through the agency of certain clerical movements is imminent in this locality. Tur readers will at once recognise the threatenes rupture as connected with the st. Leonards incumbency which we believe a large majority of the parishioners had devoutly hoped would have been transferred to other hands, but in which hope then have been grievously disappointed by a printed manifesto specially addressed to them. The document in question- freely exhibited and criticised by those into whose possession copies of it have fallen is of interest not only to the parishioners and the town- -ship generally, but also to the occasional and permanent community within and around. On this account, and to enable the parties thus interested to judge of the situation we deem it right to furnish some extracts from the manifest alluded to. It bears the signature of p. M. R. Workman, a clergyman who was once known as the Rev. James Marray Richard Rawlins, and who, under that appellation was been recently discharged from the Court of Bankruptcy. This gentlemen in the document referred to appeals to his "dear parishiowers" and goes on to say that sbout two months ago when some circumstances in my past life became known to you, it was my immediate wish and intention to re- -sign the Incumbency of St. Leonards. My means of information were then few, but I heard that this was also your wish. With a view, there -fore, of enabling me to resign as soon as possible. I consented to a pro¬ posal being made to the patrow that he should pay, the money ex- -pended on the church and so release me from all liability. This was a mere act of justice, as he alone could have the value of the various improve- ments. It was, moreover a proposal made by his own friends, and I rbelieve, universally admitted to be the right course for him to adopt. However, the proposal has never been occepted throughout this protracted delay, and now the opportunity is lost; indeed there was an evident wish to take advantage of my trouble by attempting to force a resig- i-nation, and so obtain the church improvements for nothing. At least I was threatened with proceedings on account of certainliabilities untess I r did resign. I cannot characterize such a threat made under such cir ss-cunstances. However, it left me but one course, and pence the protection I have