Brett Volume 10: Chapter LXXI - St. Leonards 1864
| 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.
Generally the transcription follows the guidelines set out by the National Archives. Work is in hand to identify and annotate hand-written sections and other annotations within the transcriptions, the main difference being that hand-written sections are indicated by a Cursive font on screen. If any portions are
Chapter LXXI St. Leonards 1864
Accidents and Fatalities (pg. 155)
An Unfortunate Church (pg. 157)
Workman alias Rawlings (pg. 167)
Mr. Workman inhibited by the Bishop (pg. 171)
Letters and Replies re the St Leonards Church (pg. 173)
Attempted Murder and Arson – Burglaries (pg. 177)
Mose v. Gas Company (pg. 178)
Archery Meetings (pg. 178)
Sale of Archery Grounds – Archery Gardens Company (pg. 179)
Scripture Readers Society (pg. 181)
Balls and Fashionable Parties (pg. 183)
The Board of Guardians (pg. 184)
Battle and Sedlescombe New road (pg. 185)
Bonfire Boys (pg. 186)
Concerts (pg. 186)
Churches and Chapels (pg. 186)
Christmas Amusements (pg. 191)
Dissolution of Marriage (pg. 192)
Fires and Fire Brigade (pg. 193)
Influx of visitors (pg. 192)
Facetiae (pg. 193)
East Sussex Fox Hunt (pg. 196)
The Health of the Borough (pg. 197)
Coroner's Inquests (pg. 197)
An Industrial Exhibition (pg. 199)
Loss of Sheep (pg. 200)
Lord's Day Observance Society (pg. 200)
Fashionable Marriages (pg. 203)
Mechanics Institution (pg. 207)
The "New Old Roar" (pg. 207)
Fancy Fair at the "New Old Roar" (pg. 208)
Testimonials (pg. 209)
Popular Readings (pg. 209)
Powder Mill Explosion (pg. 209)
Royal Visit (pg. 209)
Visit of the Prince and Princess of Wales (pg. 209)
St. Leonards Commissioners (pg. 218)
Special Sermons (pg. 221)
Sudden deaths (pg. 222)
Suicide Mania (pg. 222)
St.Leonards Total Abstinence Propaganda (pg. 223)
School Treat (pg. 223)
Temperance Hall and Working mens Institute (pg. 224)
Temperance Matters (pg. 225)
Editorial Articles (pg. 227)
The Permissive Bill (pg. 224)
Temperance and Total Abstinence (pg. 226)
Editorial Comments, Temperance versus Total Abstinence (pg. 226)
Temperance Hall Festival (pg. 234)
The Turkish Bath opened (pg. 234)
Vestry Meetings (pg. 235)
Wesleyan Meetings (pg. 236)
The Sheffield Disaster (pg. 237)
Another Great Calamity (pg. 238)
A Tarry Subject (pg. 238)
The Tarred Hedge (pg. 239)
"Guy Fawkes Re-enacted" (pg. 239).
[ 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 clerical arrangement, let it suffice to say that the new clergyman 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 mutandi, there were better preaching, better singing, and greater comforts in consequence of these changes Certainly the religious ordinances 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 jubilant. But, mirabile dictus! our clerical hero, after some months of petting and 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 presume, 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 paid the full penalty of the offence, would brand for ever as a felon; nor would we object to his assuming a new name is avoid recognition, as long is we could be sure 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 conduct - supposing all that is rumoured be true is not of a character to warrant so favourable a construction, then we say the sooner the public is disabused of its misplaced confidence the better. Personally, we have to regret that much of the odium attached to this scandal of the church has been thoughtlessly thrown upon a gentleman whose ireproachable character ought to be a sufficient warranty of his inmocence in the matter. That a clergyman so esteemed and so careful as Mr Tilson-Marsh is known to be should be suspected of a dereliction of duty in handing over of souls to a stranger without taking some steps to enquire into the status of he man is barely conceivable, Yet, so it is, and without waiting for any communication with that gentleman on the subject, we are almost tempted to become his apologist, and to rebut the insinuation of improper conduct on his part.
In conclusion, we shall probably, not be far wrong in describing the present situation to a two great precipancy in taking into our confidence a stranger whose credentials we never asked for, and whose walk in life we never waited to see developed.
Article No.2. (from the Gazette of June 11th.)
"How often slender is the peg on which there hangs a tale. and taking up the poet's strain we may say now often slender is the mind that [ 160 ]cannot bear reproof! The suggestion comes to us forcibly whilst reflecting for a moment on some ill judged criticisms that, a few days since, were given utterance to anent[a] our editorial remarks on a recent local event and which are referred to in common parlance as the "Church Article" That in these days of reading and reflection, the critic should himself be criticised is but a natural inference, and therefore it is that the publicist or the ordinary journalist expects his writings 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 abrogation. A public writer, notwithstanding that he may be more skilled and more thoughtful in matters pertaining to his profession than a majority of persons for whom he writes, would be more than mortal did he not sometimes err; yet, as a rule, if he possess any mental calibre above mediocre, his perpetual round of thought and a 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. Now, if we were disposed to treat the matter facetiously (as our humour might sometimes incline us to do), we should say Good gracious! how alarming! - how dreadful? But as we are just now in a more serious mood, we will simply indulge in a little expansion of our own views on the matter, in justapositon to those of our would be censor. Yet us say then, firstly, that we had neither part nor parcel in the "raking up of things" beyond the mere record of recent doings as associated with certain other events of local importance in the history of one of churches, and, secondly, that in so far as our conduct lies, we have reason to be satisfied with the comments and compliments which it has elicited from those a goodly number- whose minds are sufficiently educated, and, above all, sufficiently free to form a correct estimate of our intentions as well as of our duties. We wrote both temperately an truthfully - not to say charitably- and have not one word to retract.
If a local journal submits to the dogma that it should not comment on local occurrences, but should simply confine itself to the mere record of what commonly called news, it surrenders at once its highest prerogative and sacrifices its power for the public good, which was, or ought to have been the chief incentive to its establishment. Such a condition may be borne - because compulsory - under [ 161 ]the censorship of continental despotism, but can never be tolerated in the land of liberty-loving England. That newspaper criticisms are not always 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 conduct of this journal is, we think an an acknowledgement due from those who have longest been acquainted with it. It is an acknowledgement, too, which we are proud to say has been on many occasions freely conceded. We need only refer the unprejudiced reader to our remarks 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 generally, but somewhat unintelligibly employs and we never resort to vulgar abuse; but amidst all the difficulties which usually, beset a local journal we follow the bent of our inclination with a due regard to the duties require of us, and with a freedom compatible with unfettered thought and an untrammeled position.
It may not be out of place in these remarks to correct an erroneous impression which we find has been made in some quarters as to our "Church Article" 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 social, local and meteorological (Mr White’s Weather Theories excepted) are written by ourselves; that most of our political and metrical effusions are also derived from the same source, and that no person has access to our editorial column who is not connected with the paper. Thus it may be seen that we accept the bona 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 assurance of an opposite character - namely that everything which bears a signature, seal or assured, whether it be is in our present issue, a Greek symbol, or any other distinguishing adjunct, it is to be, regarded as a contribution, and not an office production. With this candid statement 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 cannot but express a hope that we have not raked up things that we had no business with whilst we reiterate a determination to disseminate 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 identical with our own.
We shall therefore, continue our present course, undeterred by the animadversion of opponents, 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 unostentious means hitherto employed.
A Lament (contributed to the Gazette)
Unlucky flock, unlucky church
just now, as ever, in the lurch
Tossed by an unresisted fate.
From Surrogate to surrogate!
We plot, we labour and contrive
In vain to make the parish thrive
For some good reason or another,
Each new misfortune has a brother
Till the poor fold beneath the rock
With all its unregarded flock.
Is filled with bleatings wild and strange
At shepherds that for ever change.
Meantime the sects and parties all
Thrive by this unseemly brawl
our enemies look up and smile
Or shed the tears of crocodile,
Delusive over our hapless state
That seemed so flourishing of late
The Papists love to point at us
With all our scandal, feuds and fuss,
And show how peace and work are found
united on their special ground.
Though all our workmen cant be named,
A, those who nee not be ashamed,
According to St. Paul, tis strange
No labourer even had the range
of this, our fair St. Leonards field,
But soon or late he had to yield,
And own, that whether rough or tame
Savage or mild, twas all the same!
Those sheep within the sandy nook
are difficult for pastor's crook.
and twill be long eve they can find
The sort of man that suits their mind
letting them think they have their way
(yet bearing undisputed sway.
Tharp and yet easy, - close, yet free,
All things to all men quick to be;
And also harder far to do
Be all things to old women too.
The mediaeval Bethels use,
Souring aloft Cathedral- wise
and flout the paltry gap we spare
Of space from dingy house of prayer.
Carpenter gothic dark and dank.
Cooped up beneath the sandstone bank
Inside and out, a mere disgrace!
It shows its dirty crumbling face,
Fit only for the pick and crown
Blest be the hand that lays it low!
St. Leonards, June 6th, 1864
It should be stated that since the above lines were contributed the church has been in every way greatly improved.
The Church Again
How matters stood at the end of three months after the first article on the church difficulty appeared may be learnt from the following extract from the St. 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 conception so deeply tinged with holiness be permitted to dwarf into mere sentiment. For 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 pride, 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 perhaps, 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 destruction of the sacred fabric appears to be within the scope of human ability to effect. Starting, as it were from these premmises, let us see how best we may avert the commotion which through the agency of certain clerical movements is imminent in this locality. Our readers will at once recognise the threatened 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 J. M. R. Workman, a clergyman who was once known as the Rev. James Murray 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 parishioners" and goes on to say that about two months ago when some circumstances in my past life became known to you, it was my immediate wish and intention to resign the Incumbency of St. Leonards. My means of information were then few, but I heard that this was also your wish. With a view, therefore, of enabling me to resign as soon as possible. I consented to a proposal being made to the patron that he should pay, the money expended 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 improvements. It was, moreover a proposal made by his own friends, and I believe, universally admitted to be the right course for him to adopt. However, the proposal has never been accepted 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 resignation, and so obtain the church improvements for nothing. At least I was threatened with proceedings on account of certain liabilities unless I did resign. I cannot characterize such a threat made under such circunmtances. However, it left me but one course, and pence the protection I have [ 164 ]recently sought."
Mr. Workman does not enter into an explanation of what he calls "the circumstances of my past life. On the contrary, he says I will not attempt to be a judge of my own case, and I shall therefore abstain from any mention of the circumstances to which I refer it might be objected - and, indeed, has been - that as the scripture moveth us in sundry places to acknowledge and confess our manifold sins and wickedness with an humble, penitent and obedient heart so ought a clergyman, above all others, to make no reserve in the confession of his misdeeds.
But were this a rule to be observe with undeviating consistency, we fear there are many among both clergy and laity, whose numerous instances of departure from a course of rectitude would place them ill at-ease before the exactions of a rigid morality. We would be charitable in this matter, - not perforce not from a craven fear of litigation with which we are threatened, nor of the very serious consequences to which (if it be meant for as) we have exposed ourselves in what we have "said and printed" – but because it is our wont to be so. We would even reiterate our own remarks of the 28th of May last namely, that We are not among those who because a man had once trangressed and paid the full penalty of the offence, would brand him for ever as a felon; nor would we object to his assuming a new name to avoid recognition, so long as we could be sure that his later conduct was such as to justify a belief in his sincere repentance and such also as would place him above suspicion. Nor we have not the slightest objection to call Mr Rawlings by his adopted nane of Workman, nor do we refuse to recognise the two additional initials which still more recently appear as prefixes to the latter name. True, we may have some misgiving as to the alleged justice of Mr Patron being called upon to relieve Mr Surrogate or Mr. Incumbent of heavy pecuniary liabilities contracted in opposition to Mr. Patrow’s wishes; and we may have even stronger doubts of the universally admitted justice of such a course? Yet, we are determined to be charitable, and if the reverend gentleman smite us on one check, we will turn to him the other also. We will however, indulge in a gentle intimation that the smiting process may extrude some tears of pity, but it can never seal the month against the free, respectful utterance of opinion in matters of public importance. The pulpit and the press have each an onerous duty to perform, and if it be allowable - as it undoubtedly is sometimes the practice for the first to censure the shortcomings of the second, it should be equally the privilege of the second to criticise the performances of the first.
In alluding to his bankruptcy. Mr. Workman says. "I may here renwark that the liabilities arose from my connection with a literary paper which failed several years ago, and by which I lost a large sum of money. With these exceptions and the bills due for the church I owed nothing [ 165 ]at all. I am always very careful not to contract private debts. Sympathy with our fellow-tradesmen who have suffered loss in the execution of Church improvements; would make us regret the circumstances, whether it resulted from the contraction of private or any other description of debts; and when we find not in Mr. Workman's statement, but in the columns of a contemporary that the claims of unsecured creditors amounted to £2278 11s 6d, and that the assets in the shape of property held by the assignees and creditors, amounted to only £30, we are almost constrained to regard the difference between the two sums as one of very considerable disparity, and at the same time to believe that the pecuniary suffering in one direction or another must have been in similar proportion. As, however we still desire to be charitable, we will not obtrusively venture any remarks of our own on this point, but simply quote those of Mr Commissioner Goulburn, who, in granting the discharge of the banrkrupt, said The court has sometimes to animadvert upon the conduct of the uneducated and ignorant; but it was much more reprehensible in a gentleman of position and intelligence like the bankrupt to get so largely into debt and without assets to pay anyone!
Turning again to Mr. Workman's letter to his parishioners, we find him saying For the sake of those who consider my resignation a duty, I have done all I could, but in vain. An unconditional resignation would have been not only impossible, but unjust, and even immoral. It would have involved a reckless sacrifice, not merely to myself, but of interests far dearer to me than anything personal, and of the interests also of others to whom I am pledged to protect. I feel the more strongly with regard to this reimbursement, because a very hard bargain was forced upon me. The Patron did not carry out his original arrangement; and after a long delay, by which I was put to great expense, and when I had gone too far to withdraw, it was insisted that I should pay £250 for the first year, and £300 for all subsequent years of my incumbency. I have since ascertained that £250 is the maximum ever paid by any previous incumbent, even or when the burial fees existed and afforded a considerable revenue. Here or then is a large source of income cut off, and yet I have to pay more for my tenure or to resign and sacrifice all that I have spent in order to make the tenure available! Again, he says "I have incurred severe censure in consequence of a letter which I am informed has given rise to much scandal. Allow me to state that that letter was written on Sunday, Feb 7th, the fifth day after my late accident, and when I was suffering so severely with my head that ice applications were necessary from hour to hour. The party addressed had, as I thought at the time, "undergone some annoyance on my account, and I [ 166 ]wished to make what reparation I could. Beyond this I have nothing to say. I regret the letter most deeply, not because harm was meant by it, but because harm has been made of it, and it has been open to misconstruction.
Then, in a concluding paragraph, Mr. Workman states "It is my determination, God helping me, to persevere in the steady discharge of my duty, and all I ask of you is to judge me thereby, and by my daily life among you. On every ground of Christian principle I feel that I may ask so much, and I ask no more."
We have quoted largely from Mr. Workman's letter, and by, so doing we shall have been the means, as we conceive, of helping that gentleman to put his own case before the public, and shall also have assisted the public in forming an estimate of some of the relations recently an presently existing between Mr. Workman and his Patron. Mr. Workman and his work people, and Mr Workman and his flock. It will be seen that - nothing daunted - the reverend gentleman is determined to resume his ministration, but it is not so clearly set out what will be the effect. Our own opinion is that the "tug of war" is yet to come, and that, whatever may have been the dissensions hitherto, there will yet be a wider breach than ever. We have several communications lying before us which, for the present we withhold from publication, but which impel us to the conclusion that Mr. Workman's resumption of pulpit duties in St Leonards is viewed, not only with disfavour, but in a spirit of decided opposition. In one of these the writer says several ladies, with myself, are earnestly wishing that the weight and influence of your journal will be brought to bear against the scandal being enacted in our church. In another, the writer informs as that Mr. Workman or Rawlings is again at Leonards, and in defiance of public opinion, is going to officiate to officiate[sic] next Sunday. A third writer - an invalid lady stating her communication from a distance is afraid she will not be able to take her old lodgings at St. Leonards, as wishing to be near a church and not liking to sit under Mr. Workman's preaching, after all that has taken place, she is likely to spend the season elsewhere.
The whole affair is very regretable, and we do sincerely hope that Mr. Workman - who by this time must be convinced that his presence here has been a mistake from first to last will renounce his intention of continuing his ministrations in a sphere where they cannot fail to be distasteful to his friends and obnoxious to his foes. A house divided against itself cannot stand; and as there is already a talk in influential quarters of school room preaching (and iron churches, the now unpopular gentleman must either withdraw from his present occupancy or incur fresh liabilities which someone must pay or someone must lose. [ 167 ]In the next article quoted as under from the St. Leonards Gazette, it will be seen that Mr. Workman alias Rawlins, has put himself further in the wrong. The said article - the whole of which is here produced, asks, under date of August 13th, "What shall we do with our church and what shall we do with our churches the question by everyone who meets his fellow one in this good town of ours". It is a question of hourly repetition, the sole response to which is a mocking interrogative 'Ah what, indeed?' With unsatisfied persistence the querist then asks, will Mr. Workman resign his incumbency, or will he obdurately invoke the hatred of even would be friends until a storm of indignation overwhelms him which he may have case to with he had averted by a timely and peaceful withdrawab2 Who shall solve this all important problem, or who shall relieve the now scattered flock of a great an serious difficulty? Would that it were in our own power to accomplish a thing so devoutly desired? Would that we could be instrumental as we have already striven to be - in inducing an unpopular clergyman to study his own interest in receding from a position which can never again be either pleasant or profitable to him! Did Mr. Workman imagine that we were not serious when, last week, we intimated that his presence in St. Leonards was a mistake from first to last? Or, did he suppose we were trifling when we pronounced an opinion that the resumption of his ministrations would lead to a wider breach than ever between pastor and congregation? If the reverend gentleman did really harbour the that he would be welcomed back to St. Leonards after all that had happened, the events of Sunday last should have been sufficient to to undeceive him under an impression that Mr. Workman to preach on that day, an extraneous congregation, from motives of curiosity attended the service, whilst the recognized flock scattered in various directions were crowding to inconvenience other places of worship, under feelings of offended morality and a painful sense of duty to withdraw from the ministrations of one whose conduct they could neither approve or condone. And then, as if that was not sufficient to convince the by no means obtuse intellect of Mr. Workman of the unfavorable feeling that prevailed, an unmistakable manifestation was apparent when even the exemptitious congregation refused to do the bidding of Mr. Workman who by the month of his clerical assignee, requested them to keep their seats during the collection of the offertary.
It would appear from the course Mr. Workman is pursuing, that he is hopeful, by, a resolute persistence, of ultimately regaining the sympathy an confidence of the now scattered congregation, or [ 168 ]failing that by dint of energetic action and his reputed astuteness, to become the shepherd of a new flock in the same fold. But in this, we have reason to believe, he will be sorely disappointed. His every movement will be closely watched in order to test the genuineness of his professions, and his past and future career will, we opine be associated in such manner as to militate against the successful discharge of his clerical duties. already his pastoral address has provoked a reply from the Rev. Tilson-Marsh’s solicitor - a reply, which we are not at all - surprised to find is placing Mr. Workman still deeper in troubled water. As we did the latter gentleman the justice to insert the greater portion of his address in our last impression, we are not slow to accord a similar privilege to his respondent in our present issue. The subscription to the said reply is that of Mr. Bridges, a respectable legal practitioner, of Red Lion Square, London who thus commences: "A pastoral, addressed to the parishioners of St Leonards, dated August, 1864, an signed J.M.R. Workman, has been place in my hands as solicitor to Mr. Marsh, the patron of the church, and I feel it only right, in Mr. Marsh’s interest to point out some very serious mis-statements which it contains.
Mr. Bridges then refers to the writer of the letter, and tells us that he shall speak of him by his true name of Rawlins, and not Workman, and after quoting a paragraph of said letter, goes on to say "The first inference to be drawn from the statement is that Mr. Rawlins had been always ready to resign on terms which would have been acceptable to the congregation, approved of by the patrons friends ran just to himself and the particular creditors, but that up to the present time Mr Marsh has refused to adopt any such terms or a suggestion more contrary to the real facts of the case was never made. The actual facts are there:- On the 6th of June Mr. Marsh informed me of the extraordinary disclosures connected with Mr. Rawlins past history which had been made; of his Mr. Marsh's earnest desire in the interests of the congregation and the church generally that what appeared to be a public scandal should at once be removed, and stated that he wishes to settle such liabilities connected with the chapel as had been bona fide incurred provided he could thereby secure the resignation, and that it could be lawfully arranged. The next day I sought an interview with Mr. Hughes, Mr. Rawlin's London solicitor, who had acted for him in the previous arrangements, but owing to his absence I had no interview with him till the day following, when I stated Mr. Marsh'’s readiness to meet the case fairly and to relieve Mr. Rawlins of such liabilities as were properly incurred [ 169 ]He was to write to Mr. Rawlins and get general instructions. The same day (the 8th of June) I caused a communication to be made to Mr Axford, the incumbents churchwarden, to the following effect: that if it could be made clear that the bills in question had been long fide incurred, Mr. Marsh was prepared (if need be) to undertake to settle with the creditors, provided that by so doing he could at once secure the removal of the present incumbent. On the 10th of June I received in reply a letter intimating that Mr. Rawlins had left Hastings before my letter arrived, and that Mr. Axford did not know his address. I wrote two subsequent letters to Mr. Hughes, and on the 17th I received from him the letter which I subjoin as addendum to this statement.
[The letter referred to, which appears in the printed circular, we are compelled to omit, for the want of space. This communication seems to preclude all prospect of arrangement, notwithstanding this - when Mr Rawlins was gazetted a bankrupt, I found out and called upon the solicitor whom he employed to take him through the court, and this eventually led to an interview with a Mr. Gardines (the accountant employed by Mr Rawlins and his friends) on the 6th of July. Mr Gardiner then and there stated that there appeared to be but one course under the circumstances, viz, that Mr. Rawlins should resign but that some consideration should be shewn him by discharging the bills for repairs, though it would not be prudent for Mr. Rawlins to resign until after the final meeting in Basinghall street, which was fixed for the 30th of July. I admitted there was some reason in this, and stated Mr. Marsh’s readiness to assume the liabilities referred to on his furnishing me with particulars, which he promised to do), and provided there was nothing illegal in the transaction. I have since written two letters to Mr. Gardiner for such particulars, but have never received from him any communication whatever. It is difficult to see what more could have been done by Mr. Marsh to meet the case, or how in common honesty can now intimate that on the part of the patron the proposal has never been accepted throughout this protracted delay and that there was an evident wish to force a resignation and obtain the church improvements for nothing. It is but just to Mr. Marsh to add that the alterations, &c, for which the incumbent claims compensation, were objected to and protested against by Mr. Marsh, thro' my intervention while they were being incurred, and were such as the incumbent had no legal right to make. It is therefore a hardship on the patron to be now saddled with the expense of them. The second inference from Mr. Rawlins's statement is that Mr. Marsh threatend him with proceedings unless he would resign" .As a matter of fact Mr Marsh never did anything of the kind, and I challenge some verification of this unworthy insinuation. It is highly probable [ 170 ]that the Diocesan, in his sense of what was due to the church may have intimated a prospect of proceedings, but this is no concern of mine to ascertain or discuss. A third statement contained in Mr. Rawlins' address is that the terms on which he holds are unduly hard. This is, of course, beside the question, but I may observe that he was represented in the transaction by his own solicitor, who gave him, as I know, tho best advice, and Mr Marsh, so long as April last, offered virtually to release him from his agreement, which by the bye was never intended to bind both parties for more than a year. One more point, and that is a practical one Mr. Rawlins says "now the opportunity is lost?" If he means that Mr. Marsh is still unwilling to accept the proposal to which he refers, I trust I have said enough to rebut such a suggestion, but if he means to say "I will not give you the opportunity" the remark, coupled with the facts I have detailed, carries its own condemnation? It has, I believe been suggested that Simony Laws[b] would have made it difficult to carry out the proposal; it would be relieving the incumbent from certain liabilities on condition of his resigning. That objection, if a valid one two months ago, cannot prevail now, as Mr. Rawlins has obtained through the Bankruptcy court a discharge from all such liabilities, and therefore there seems no impediment to Mr. Rawlins doing all that his congregation have a right to expect of him. It may now. I think well be left to the judgment of the parishioners, whether Mr. Marsh has not abundantly done his part towards removing removing the unhappy scandal which has been created; while, on the other hand, with a real reluctance throughout to resign, may, I not almost doubt if the ever meant to do it. Mr. Rawlins has been seeking to establish his position by disparaging, without regard to facts, the conduct of others. It is right that I should say, Mr. Marsh had wished to address to a circular to the parishioners himself, but I have taken upon myself to dissuade him from embarking in a paper controversy with Mr. Rawlins. He will not see my statement before it is printed, as he is not on the spot, and I consider that no time should be lost in contradicting the incumbents circular, it will be seen that the facts are within my own knowledge.
Aug. 8th, 1864 Nath. Bridges
We would not willingly add to Mr. Workman's embarrassment by any apparent autagonism of our own, preferring rather (as we have all along endeavoured to show) to put the most charitable construction upon his motives; but the peace of the town, and, above all, the unity and sacredness of the church, demand that we shoutd reiterate our conviction that he is now unwisely prolonging a contest in which he can achieve neither honour nor success. We have the satisfaction of knowing that a very large majority of our fellow-townspeople and many of the visitors are in perfect accord with us in [ 171 ]wishing Mr. Workman to resign, as the only apparent solution of the difficulty, and as the best thing that can be done for all parties. We have also the opportunity of knowing that in the event of that gentleman's continued refusal to leave the church other means will be resorted to secure a suitable place for the peaceable worship of the parishioners.
The Incumbent Inhibited. Says the St. Leonards Gazette. of August 20th - As intimated in our second edition of last week, the Rev. J.A. Hatchard and the Rev. J.A. G. Colpoys, by request of the Lord Bishop of the diocese, have undertaken the duties at the St. Leonards Church until the difficulties originating with Mr. Workman have been put an end to. How soon that may be depends on Mr. Workman himself. At present his proceedings do not appear calculated to do other than intensify the estrangement from the offended parishioners. He has issue another printed address; also a sort of financial statement, both of which are receive by the public either with a knowledge or a grave suspicion of their incompleteness and incorrectness. He has also taken some legal steps which it is believed will ultimately lead to disclosures which cannot fail to place him in a still more unenviable position. For the present, however, he and his curate (the Rev. Mr. Willis, who never sought the requisite permission of the Bishop) are restrained by a letter of inhibition from taking any part in the sacred functions of the church; and it was under the Bishop & instruction that these two gentlemen were courteously informed on Sunday last that they would not be allowed to officiate. Thus far, we conceive, the churchwardens, Messrs. Peerless and Axford, have nobly performed their duty; and the re-occupation of sittings in the church by the regular worshippers since Mr. Workman’s prohibition has become known may be taken as an earnest that the present churchwardens and officiating clergymen will not lack the support of the public.
Further Remarks. On referring again to the Church difficulty, the Gazette of August 27th, observed - In the remarks which appeared in our last issue touching the condition of the St. Leonards church, we intimated that since Mr. Workman's prohibition had become known, the regular worshippers were reoccuping their seats. This statement was literally true; an it was not until after those remarks were printed that we had an opportunity of knowing that the Rev. Dr. Willis had obtained or would obtain the Bishops license as Mr. Workman’s curate, and that he (Dr. Willis) would conduct the services of the ensuing Sunday on the strength of our remarks we have since been assured that many persons went to the church on Sunday morning who would otherwise have stayed away, This would seem to receive a corroboration from the fact that the evening service was very thinly attended. The absence of [ 172 ]the organist, who had refused to play, also tended to increase the gloom, which seemed to attach itself to the service. Since then, the exodus - if we may so call it - has continued, and we see no other prospect at present than the fulfilment of our prediction that there would be a wider breach than ever between pastor and congregation. As an illustration of this sad state of things, only ten persons were seen coming out from the service on Friday morning last. We might greatly extend these remarks, but reserving further observations for another opportunity, we will try to believe that, for the present, a still tongue maketh a wise end.
Letter to the Editor of Brett's Gazette. "Sir. - Having been a regular visitor to St. Leonards for upwards of five years, and feeling a great interest in all that concerns its welfare. I trust that I may be considered justified in the following remarks. On the Sunday before last, as I have always done while staying here. I took my family to St Leonards church. To my great surprise, in addition to a small congregation, there was no organ and when I enquired the cause of this great change, I was enlightened as to the breach between the Incumbent and the parishioners, whom I am given to understand, have left the church, en masse. Whilst truly deploring this state of things, I certainly could not allow my family to attend the church under the circumstances, and although the Rev. Dr. Willis officiates and not the incumbent, I should consider it countenancing the cause of this evil should I allow myself or any of my family to attend the service. Dr. Willis being the incumbent's nominee and friend, and not the Diocesans. Moreover. I am afraid it will compel me to remove from this most pleasant part of the town, as it is a great and serious drawback having no place of worship near, where one can conscientiously attend. This unhappy state of things will greatly affect the welfare of this part of the town, as I am certain that it will influence other persons who are in the habit of visiting this beautiful watering place, in like manner as it has myself, and very probably prevent some from visiting this place at all. I do not know whether any steps have yet been taken to rectify this unhappy state of things, but I should hope that the parishioners, in the interest of the place will see it their duty to do something in the matter, as apart from its being incumbent on then as a religious duty to do all in their power strenuously to oppose and put a stop to such a scandal, its injurious effects upon the prosperity of this highly favoured watering place, will soon make themselves manifest. Trusting soon to see a better state of things in this town. I subscribe myself an Annual Visitor. Marina. August, 1864.
Dr. Willis and the Gazette. The following letter from the Rev. or Willis, (a schoolmaster at Upper Waze Hill) and the Editor’s reply, were published in the St. Leonards and Hastings Gazette of September, 3rd, 1864.[ 173 ]
Letters and replies re the St. Leonards Church
"To the Editor of the Gazette, - Sir, I observe that you have taken the liberty of of appending to my name in your Gazette of last Saturdays a remark highly prejudicial to me, and besides altogether untrue. You there state (upon what authority I care not to enquire) that I never applied to the Bishop of this diocese for permission to officiate in St. Leonard's Church. Now the truth is I applied for his Lordships license at the earliest period I could do so; in fact, within eight or nine days after commencing my duties as curate. Moreover, I have obtained the Bishop’s license of which my officiating last Sunday, may perhaps be sufficient proof. In justice to myself, therefore, I beg that you will in your next number correct your own misstatement, and thus, in some measure, set me right with the readers of your paper; but before you publish anything detrimental to the character of another, I trust you will see the necessity of first satisfying yourself of its undoubted truth. I am, Sir, your obedient servant"
The Editor's Reply. - A foot note to the above epistle was as follows: The Editor has taken another liberty with the Rev. Dr Willis, - a pardonable one, he hopes and that is to italicize such portion of the reverend gentleman’s communication as carries with it its own refutation. The fact that he applied for the Bishops license within eight or nine days of his doing duty as Mr Workman's curate, is sufficient proof that he never sought the requisite permission before he commenced or strove to commence his ministrations. There are some other points in Mr. Willis's letter that might be notice, and probably will be noticed at a convenient season, but, for the present, the Editor is content to let the public draw their own inference. It may not be amiss however as the above letter has reference to the unhappy scandal in connection with St Leonards church to intimate to numerous querists, that there is a probability of other accommodation being soon provided for the now scattered congregation.
Another Letter. - "Sir, - Having seen the letter of 'An Annual Visitor' in your paper. I have ventured to add my testimony as to the prejudicial effects the state of things at St. Leonards church will have upon visitors, I having been necessitated through it to remove to Hastings. I was very glad that An Annual Visitor cleared up the doubt as to the true position in which Dr. Willis stands towards Mr. Workman as curate as I know from actual experience that there was an opinion abroad that he was the Bishops representative and several friends of mine had been misled by it into attending the service which they otherwise would not have done. Without making any surmise as to how by whom or for what purpose this opinion was first promulgated, it is very obvious to those whose interest it is that it should be generally [ 174 ]entertained, as it would, by creating a false impression as to Dr. Willis's position, possibly secure the attendance of some of the congregation who would otherwise stay, away. There is a saying that if you cannot touch a man through his heart, you can through his pocket; and as all friendly remonstrance have failed, as I have been given to understand they have, I should feel inclined to try the efficacy of the latter course, and if the parishioners would refuse to attend the ministrations at the church, under any circumstance, even if it entailed a little inconvenience, it would be utterly impossible, with no congregation to meet the heavy annual expenses of the church, unless
the incumbent has ample means (which would certainly be very incompatible with a recent bankruptcy), and even then it would be a very heavy drain on a person's resources, independently of knowing the fact that the sympathies of the parishioners are decidedly against him. I see you mention it as likely that some place of meeting will be shortly provided for the scattered congregation. I am very glad of it, and it is a step in the right direction. Enclosing my card, I remain - Eversfield place, Sept. 7.
A Temporary Relief. Referring to the above communication, the St. Leonards Gazette of Sept. 10th remarked "It may be a consolation to the writer, as well as to many others of the late congregation, to be informed of a proposed plan by which, on and after the 5th instant, there may be four services on each Sunday at the church of St. Mary Magdalen. These services, commencing at 10 and 11.30 a.m., and 4 and 7. p.m, will not only afford present accommodation for the now scattered flock of St Leonards church but will also tend to relieve in a great measure the church of St. Mary Magdalen of the pressure which its own overcrowded congregation has for a long time be subjected to. We have seen a circular in which the proposed change is announced, and have reason to believe that the cooperation of the public, which is therein invited will be cordially given towards making the experiment a success."
Other Arrangements. In the protracted contention with the Rev. J.M.R. Workman alias Richard Rawlins, the local Gazette continued to give its readers up to date information, and on the 17th of September it remarked "St. Leonards Church, or in other words the unhappy scandal pertaining to that place of worship continues to be a source of discomfort to the parishioners, although is it satisfactory to know that the Bishop of the diocese, when memorialised last week, lost no time in acceding to the wishes of the townspeople, to license the Assembly Rooms for devotional and preaching purposes. We had hoped to have been able to announce [ 175 ]this in our second issue last week, but the license arrived too late on Saturday for that to be done. It sufficiently shows, however, the eagerness with which the Bishops permit was accepted that on the next (Sunday) morning no fewer than 340 persons assembled in the building and there engaged in divine service according to the ritual of the Church of England. And notwithstanding so large a congregation at such short notice, it was conjectured that nearly one hundred persons were unable to gain admittance. The Rev. Mr. Stuart read prayers and the Rev J.A Colpoys preached an eloquent and impressive sermon, the effect of which was to move more than one person to outward manifestation of feeling. The evening meeting was equally large, and on that occasion the Hon. and Rev. E.V. Bligh delivered an excellent discourse, in which the uncertainty of human life was dwelt upon as instanced in the deaths by drowning on the previous Sunday. The services will continue to be held every Sunday at 11 a.m. and 6.30 p.m., and it is understood that arrangements are in progress by which a larger congregation mar be accommodated.Contributed Lines.- To the following poetic lines are given the title of The Battle of St. Leonards Altered without license, from Thomas Campbell.
St Leonards parish, months ago,
Was famed for ministrations Low:
The music mild, the preaching low
Marsh level all decidedly.
But now we see another sight.
Good natured folk start up and fight
And does begin to bark and bite
Who dozed before so quietly.
Meetings were held, a stir was made,
We called the Bishop to our aid,
And Chapel-Wardens, once so staid
Forgot their calm propriety
Then shook the boards with stampings riven
Then rose the loud appeals to Heaven
The strong press'd on, the weak were driven;
No place for cold neutrality
But hotter still our wrath shall glow
And not a soul of us will go;
The old church to that lies below,
Till all be ended peacefully.
'Tis sad, yet we will not be done.
Struggles like these are sorry fun;
We know that in the longer run
We beat the short breathed enemy,
The int'rest deepens. Now we have
Th' Assembly rooms, and all we crave;
And not one partide we'll waive
of rights we've won so wearily
A few excursionists may meet
And think St. Leonards Church a treat.
But in the old accustomed seat
Where are the ancient worshippers?
A CLERICAL SCANDAL.-
The Rev. G.J. Merest of Britannia Square, Worcester, has been committed by the Worcester Magistrates for trial at the ensuing Worcester Assizes, on a Charge of sending threatening Letters to another Clergyman, the Rev M. R. Workman, manager of the Church and School Gazette, 10, Southampton street, London, demanding money of him. Mr Montagu Williams Q.C., conducted the prosecution, and Mr Meredith, Solicitor, Worcester, the defence. The case excited great stir in Worcester and occupied the Bench from noon on Friday until nearly Six PM. There were numerous letters produced which were said to have been sent to the complainant by or at the instigation of the defendant, but the following was the letter on which the prosecution was based:-
Mount-Villa, Newtown, Worcester, October 2. My dear Sir. - I am sorry to say that some startling disclosures of your antecedents have lately reached me. I am informed upon undoubted authority that your name is "Rawlings" and that you were once curate of Huntsbourne, in Hants and perpetual curate of Bardsley, Lancashire. I have to say that unless the £405 that's paid you for Branksen be returned, together with the documents that I agreed to when last in your office, and a full explanation given of how the money for the house at Upton and the restoration of the church is invested, it will come before the public. A relation of a friend of mine, who is a writer to the Times is anxious for me to hand over to him all of the correspondence I have received from you, but I have at present not done so - Yours faithfully, James J. Merest.
The other letter referred to allegations against the complaint of having misapplied certain sums received from the sale of livings and the complainant himself on examination admitted that his name had been originally Rawlings, and that in 1854 he had been convicted of forgery and served two years in Coldbathfields prison. [ 176 ]Church Services continued to be conducted in the St. Leonards Assembly Rooms on Sunday mornings and evenings, and eager worshipers continued to fill every available space. Such persons as had been excluded for want of room, had learnt, with pleasurable feelings that steps were being taken to procure an iron church, capable of accommodating not fewer than 600 persons. This was the aspect and prospect on the 24th of September, but as the latter had not been realised by the 15th of October, the following letter appeared in the Gazette of that date:-
Sir. - Having understood that the sanction of the Bishop had been obtained for the erection of an iron church for the use of the congregation now worshipping in the Assembly Rooms at St. Leonards, and that the expense of it has been guaranteed, I have been waiting and expecting to hear from day to day some further particulars as to where the site will be, and where it is to be erected. For the convenience of the congregation the erection should be delayed as little as possible, as the size of the assembly will not admit the full number who every Sunday desire to attend. Though an extra afternoon service will be commenced next Sunday, still, the erection of the Iron Church should be vigorously carried forward, as it would, besides accommodating the large congregation be certainly a very important step towards bringing about a satisfactory settlement of this unhappy state of things. Hoping soon to hear when and where the church will be erected I remain
One of the congregation.
Attack on Mr. Axford. The two church wardens (or as they were then styled, chapel wardens) were Mr. J. Peerless, a retired tradesman, and Mr. J.C. Axford a respected surgeon. As the latter gentleman, in his connection with the church, could not be induced to favour the views and actions of Mr Workman, a pamphlet was issued in which Mr. Axford was made to appear as having acted arbitrarily and unjustly. The response to this were the following letters, published in the Gazette of Oct 29th.
A Reply to an Attack made on Mr. Axford in a Pamphlet entitles "The St. Leonards Church Controversy."
49 Marina, St Leonards-on-Sea
October 29, 1864.
Sir, - A Pamphlet has lately appeared entitled "The St. Leonards Church Controversy", in which my name has been mentioned in a most unwarranted manner by the writer. It would not be difficult to prove why this Controversy has arisen, but as the circumstances are so widely known (at any rate to the Congregation of St. Leonards Church, who are the parties most interested in the matter). I shall simply state in reply that my course of action throughout has been in strict accordance with the commands of the Bishop of the Diocese, who has honoured me with his kind aprroval of my conduct and has permitted me to make public the following letter.
CHARLES J. AXFORD
The Bishop of Chichester's reply to C. J. Axford, Esq.
25th October 1864.
My Dear Sir, - Your letter dated 22nd inst. had not been delivered here when I left home for Brighton, whereas I did not return until between 6 and 7 o'clock.
I bear willing testimony to my conviction that throughout the transactions relating to St. Leonards Chapel, and the Service thereof, in which you were obliged by your position with regards to it, and under directions from me to bear a part, it has been your desire, in very delicate and difficult circumstances to act uprightly and honestly, and that you succeeded in regulating your conduct so as to entitle you to append to your note as having emancipated from such a desire. I am sorry to learn that you allow anxiety in connexion with these reollections to disturb you.
There is no real reason why you should do so in the slightest degree. I trust, therefore, you would act upon the conciousness of the integrity of your purposes, and you will perhaps not unwillingly accept my assurance that I believe few in the same position could have done better.
Believe me, My dear Sir,
A. J. CHICHESTER.
Settled at Last. Whilst treating of the mid winter festival, the Gazette of December 24th remarked - and while we are speaking of the sacred character of Christmas, let us congratulate ourselves on the prospect of a happy termination of that unfortunate condition of clerical affairs which for months past has divided the church of St. Leonards against itself and placed the parishioners as well as many of the visitors in a position [ 177 ]of great embarrassment and inconvenience. It is pleasant to know that matters have now been arranged, and that the J. M. Workman, whose several acts had made him obnoxious to a majority of the church-going community, has at last resigned his incumbency upon certain stipulations which, while they insist upon pecuniary exactions of questionable righteousness, will have the effect of freeing the church from still heavier liabilities, incurred by himself, despite the protestations of the patron.
There were, however, some few difficulties in the negotiations which required at least another month to elucidate. This carries the matter into the following year, when, in a paragraph, the St. Leonards Gazette of February 4th, had much pleasure in announcing that the episcopal services which, for some months past have been held in the Assembly Rooms by permission of the Bishop will, in future be held in the St. Leonards Church. It will be remembered that the cause of separation was removed at Christmas by the resignation of the incumbency by Mr. Workman, but as the Rev. Dr. Willis, acting as curate, had a legal right to retain his situation for some weeks longer, a request was made by the Bishop to Mr. Colpoy to continue the services in the Assembly Rooms until matters were finally arranged. The retirement of the late curate has at length settled the question, and the clergymen, with Mr. Colpoys at their head, who have gratuitously officiated at the Rooms, will, by the request of the Bishop, transfer their ministrations on Sunday next, Feb. 5th. Mr F. Thomson, who voluntarily resigned his situation under Mr Workman, has been re appointed organist, and will take with him the efficient choir recently organised by him. Mr. Workman, alias Rawlins, died, some years after, and the London Times, in noticing his death, spoke of him as being notorious for his irregular dealings in church matters. (see also 204).
Attempted Murder and Arson
At the Sussex Spring Assizes, Thomas Bowstreed, a carpenter, 23 years of age, was sentenced to 20 years penal servitude for shooting at William Edward Tew, also a St. Leonards carpenter with intent to murder him. Prisoner had been employed by prosecutor, but had been discharged. On the 4th of march, while going to his workshop and unlocking the gate, prosecutor heard the report of a pistol, felt as if he had been shot in the back, and saw prisoner behind. David Duke also heard the report of a pistol, and saw the prosecutor stagger. Mr. Deacon, a jewellers assistant, sold to prisoner on the 2nd of March, a pistol for 5/- the prisoner also taking away some bullets. Aaron Tellman remembered selling some percussion caps to prisoner. Alfred Chapman saw prisoner running along the path where the pistol was found. Several witnesses [ 178 ]gave evidence that they had heard prisoner utter threats against prosecutor. Mr. Penhall, surgeon, found prosecutor’s back inflamed over the spine as though caused by a burn, a spent ball, or a discharge of powder, Prisoner, in defence, said he was on the road to Bexhill at the time. He believed all the witnesses were bought to give false evidence. The second charge of arson was not gone into, the twenty years penal servitude, doubtless being deemed a sufficient punishment.
Also at the same assizes, Edward Jonesand James Harvey were each sentenced to three years penal servitude for having been found on the 2oth of January, attempting to enter 38 Marina.
Another Burglary case
At the same assizes, Frederic Williams, alias Butcher, was sentenced to three years penal servitude for burglariously entering the house of Margaret Peddie, at Hastings and stealing various articles of plate.
(see also page 182).
Action against the Gas Company
At the Nisi Prius Court at the same assizes in the case of Mose and Wife against the Hastings and St Leonards Gas Company, the jury awarded damages £160, in addition to an admitted liability of £7 185. 9d. It was argued that the plaintiff was a painter and house agent at St. Leonards, and that at a short time before an explosion took place there had been a strong smell of gas observed about Mose's premises, to which the Company's attention had been drawn. A man was sent to make an examination, who did not consider that there was any danger. Shortly afterwards an explosion occurred in the Kitchen of plaintiff's house, 20 London Road, and one or two houses adjoining, a result of which was that the plaintiff and his wife received some personal injury.
The St Leonards Archery season commenced on the Queen's birthday anniversary, as usual, in the Society's beautiful grounds, under a brilliant sky, with charming music and a very large and fashionable meeting. The shooting was excellent, and everything went off with eclat. The winners of prizes were hip Julia Brown, Mr. C Norris, Mrs. Burrard and Mr. Burran.
After an interval of comparative quiescence, the St. Leonards toscophilites were buckling on their armour in right good earnest.
The Grand meeting, so called, was held on the birthday anniversary of the Duchess of Kent (Aug. 17th), followed by a handicap meeting two days later, and a general meeting on the succeeding day. The grand meeting was attended by at least 500 persons, the admission money for visitors alone, being upwards of £21. More than forty competitors [ 179 ]entered the lists, the successful shooters being Mrs. Everett, Miss I. Butt, Miss A. Herschell, Miss Penton, Miss Kent, Miss Timmins, Mr. C. Norris, Mr. W. Butt, Col. Smyth, Capt. Dawes, the Rev McGill, and Mr. Harris. This being a mere record of the event, the description of the handsome prizes is omitted, as in other cases.
The handicap meeting was less numerously, attended, albeit, the shooting party composed of the fair and the brave, made a respectable display of over thirty. The winners of the elegant prizes were Mrs. Skipwith, Miss I. Butt, Miss Julia Brown, Mrs. Everett, Miss S. Butt, Miss E. Sheen and Mrs. Burrard.
The next meeting was adjourned from Saturday to Monday in consequence of showery weather. The succesfull competitors were Mrs. Everett, Miss Butt. Miss Kent, Mr. Norris.
A Bye Meeting was held on the 27th of August to shoot for prizes annually given by the president, P.F. Robertson, Esq. there was a numerous assemblage to witness the sport, the enjoyment of which was enhance by the cheering strains of Herr Klee's band. The winners, after more than six hours competition, were Ms R. Fenton. Mrs. Fenton, Miss Kent Miss Julia Brown, Mrs. Everett, and the Rev. C. Everett.
Another prize meeting was held on Saturday, Sept 24th, the award of prizes being to Miss Julia Brown, Miss Sheppard Mr. Fenton, and Mr. Norris.
The Archery, Grounds.
According to a circular issued by J. Walker, Esq, secretary to the Queens St Leonards Archers the Archery Grounds were in a fair way of getting into the market for building purposes, unless something was quickly done to secure their continuance to the object for which they were originally laid out, and for they had been so admirably adopted for thirty years The committee proposed to raise the necessary funds (£4,000) to purchase the ground, or to obtain a long lease thereof, fully, by donations, and secondly by shares (as a company) of £5 each. A meeting for such purpose was held at the Assembly Rooms on the 4th of June, when there were present P. F. Robertson, Esq (in the chair), Sir Woodbine Parish, J. Rock, Esq, (Mayor) and other gentlemen whose names are those of the following speakers:- The chairman observed that St Leonards took its use in the Burton family, and that when they alone were interested in the town, it was natural that the towns attractions should be supported; hence, upon their shoulders had rested the expense of the Archery ground until within the last year or two. Changes had taken place in those persons who formed the Burton trust, and although Mr. Alfred Burton had taken a great interest in the archery, he was but one of a large number, and it [ 180 ]was fair enough that those who were not connected with it should wish to make the most of the property. Offers had been made for the ground which was understood to be about £5,000. It had become then a matter for the Archery Society to consider whether they had the means of paying that sum to secure the ground and they could not see that they had. The Burton family then said they were as anxious as anybody to preserve the grounds and would give £1,000 towards its purchase. That, he thought would bring the amount down to within reach. Mr. Mock, in addressing the meeting said he had attended as Mayor of Hastings, because he felt that anything by which the attractions were diminished would be so much to the detriment of the whole borough. He thought that those having property in the neighborhood should contribute largely, but also that the public generally should make a joint effort to keep the ground open for ever, if only on sanitary considerations. The Mayor then proposed That the preserving as Archery Grounds the present ornamental gardens is an object deserving the support of the public; and for this purpose it is desirable to raise the required sum, partly by donations and partly by shares as proposed in the prospectus.
Sir Woodbine Parish, in seconding the resolution, remarked that it was essential to those who had houses to let or to sell that places like the Archery Ground should be preserved. They had lost their cricket ground at Bopeep, and with it many young men and visitors to whom it was an attraction.
Mr Crake said the stipulation of the Burton family was that there should be no buildings erected on the ground except for pleasure garden purposes. The present donations for relieving the share capital were £611, and the promised shares were 233, representing a sum of £1165, making a total of £1761, independent of 25 shares a gentleman said he would take. He read a letter from Mr. Brassey and estimated the subscriptions in this neighborhood to amount to about £2000. The theory on which they had proceeded was that the Company would purchase the grounds and become owners in fee; that they would be as landlords using the grounds for certain purposes to be expressed in the articles of association; and that they would let to the Archery Society under certain reservations.
Mr. Gipps thought that the statement that the Archery grounds had been supported by the Burton family was a mistake. The Archery Society had been entirely self-supporting, and while their average receipts for the last twenty years had been £164, the average rent had been £21. Mr. Burton said the full value had never been put on the ground, as proof of which, Mr. Gant, who valued the land in 1861, had offered to [ 181 ]to pay a rent which at 25 years purchase, would amount to £6,200 and was ready to put down a deposit at once.
Mr. Gant corroborated, and gave it as his opinion that instead of the Burton family giving £1000 if their offer were accepted, they were really giving £2,200.[Cheers].
Mr Gausden, as chairman of a tradesmens meeting held the previous evening, said they were fearful that if a good sale was effected of the archery ground, the subscription Gardens might be afterwards brought into the market. That, the tradesmen thought, would be a more serious matter, for if those gardens were likely to be built upon, they had better wait and support a company for those rather than for the Archery ground. If satisfactory replies could be given, he was authorised to guarantee shares to the extent of £1000 within a week [Cheers].
Mr Burton, as only one of the trustees, could not pledge himself as to those gardens being built upon. There were no legal restrictions, but he thought there was no probability of the lower part being built upon during the present generation.
Mr Kenwood remarked that if compelled the Subscription Gardens, they could make archery grounds there.
Mr. Crake, in reply to a question, said they proposed to avail themselves of the Limited Liability Act, and he imagined they would make the Archery Society their yearly tenants as the society was not constituted to take a lease He was glad to have the assistance of the trade-people.
Mr. Montgomerie would be happy to take 20 or 25 shares, but only on the understanding that it was to be an Archery Ground, and not a mere joint Stock Company.
Mr. Bezeth thought that donors of £50 and upwards should have free access to the gardens, and believed if such a privilege were granted more donations would be obtained.
It was understood that until the articles of association were duly registered the directors would be P. F. Robertson, J. Rock. F. H. Brandram. T. Brassey, A Burton V. B. Crake, J. Walker and J Ward, Esqrs.
Scripture Readers Society.
The Army Scripture readers and soldiers Friend Society announced for the first time a meeting to be held in the Assembly Room on the 29th of December, and judging from the numerous and influential assemblage, there could be little doubt that a local auxiliary to that admirable society could be formed. The chair was occupied by Col. Leslie, and among the persons present were the Revs. T. Vores, W. W. Hume J. A. G. Colpoys and H. A. Taylor, General Hancock. Lady Waldegrave, Lady Elizabeth Waldegrave, Major General Lawrence, &c &c. The last named gentleman addressed the meeting at great length, and at the close, £19 was collected. [ 182 ]===Another Attempted Burglary.=== Notwithanding that at the Spring Sussex Assizes, one man was sentenced to three years penal service for a burglary at Hastings, and two men were sentenced each to the same length of penal servitude for attempted burglary at St. Leonards another attempt at house breaking at St. Leonards was made, the offending parties being Alfred Brand and John Steadman. They were taken before the Borough Magistrates on the 27th of May, and were convicted under the Vagrant act for loitering to commit a felony, and sentenced to six weeks imprisonment in Lewes gaol. Considering that the Bench had power to commit them for three months, it was regarded as a light sentence. True, they did not obtain at 91 Marina what, perhaps, they attempted to get; but they got at the county asylum free bed and board for a few weeks with livery servants to wait upon them, and a railway ride to boot, as was once expressed by "Codger" Ransom, a St. Leonards misdemeanant, who had been similarly favoured. Perhaps they were as thankful as was the felon under sentence of penal servitude for the second time and who wrote on the prison slate
I cannot take my walks abroad
I'm under lock and key,
And much the public I applaud,
For all their care of me.
Not more than others I deserve,
In fact much less than more
Yet I have food, while others starve,
Or beg from door to door.
The honest pauper in the street
Half naked I behold
While I am clad from head to foot
And covered from the cold.
Thousands there are who scarce can tell
Where they may lay their head
But I've a warm and well air'd cell
A bath and books and bed
While they are fed on workhouse fare
And grudged their scanty food
Three times a day a meal I get
Sufficient, wholesome, good.
Then to the British public, health.
Who all our care relieves
For, while they treat us as they do
They'll never want for thieves.
Balls and Fashionable Parties.
Fashionable Movements. The most noteworthy of the dancing and other parties given by the beau monde during the first week of February were the two brilliant balls of Mr and Mrs. Fletcher Norton of 4 Wellington square, and Mr. Harford, of 95 Marina. The former was graced by about 150 of the elite of both towns, and the latter by about 110. The first was on Tuesday night, and the second on Wednesday night, Mrs. Fletcher Norton's was held at her own residence and Mr. Harford's at the decorated Assembly rooms. The supper-room of the latter was supplied from Gunter's London establishment, and the whole arrangements were such as to afford the utmost enjoyment to the large and brilliant assemblage.
A Soiree Dansante was also given by Mr. and Mrs Fletcher Norton on the 5th of January to upwards of 120 fashionables of both towns and neighbourhood. Many other similar but less numerically attended parties during the week were given in different parts of the borough.
Mr. Brassey's Costume Ball. On Thursday evening the 21st of January, the beautiful mansion of Beauport, the residence of T. Brassey Esq. was the scene of a splendid entertainment in the form of a fancy ball, the invitations to which were very numerous, and the preparations for which, judging from their completeness, must have been very extensive. It was understood that about 300 invitation had been sent out, but that the company, including several parties of friends previously entertained at dinner, considerably exceeded that number. Full deatails appeared at the time in the St. Leonards Gazette.
Another Costume Ball. It is generally admitted that there are but few, if any places in England whose natural attractions are superior to those of our own locality, and yet, for all that, there is a time when if no other source of recreation is discoverable but that which is presented by external nature, our townsfolk in general and fashionable society in particular, must needs find the short days and long nights, somewhat dreary, and monotonous, fortunately, in the one case, at least, the dullness is occasionally relieved by the soirees daurantes and other reunions of the haut ton, and these, while they afford rational amusement to such as more in that particular sphere, are also conducive to the interests of the trading classes. A week after the splendid ball at Beauport, another fancy dress ball took place at Grand parade, the residence of Col. Shakespeare. Invitations were sent to as many friends at the house would accommodate, and at the tine of assembling, the party numbered about 70, of whom 50 were similarly attired to many of those who graced with their presence the costume ball at Beauport.
The Annual Christmas Ball. This yearly demonstration of our terpsichorean elite was consummated at the St Leonards Assembly Rooms on Thursday evening, December 29th, when a gay company of about 160 persons took part therein. The whole suite of rooms were employed and the ball in all respects passed off to the delight of the brilliant company. [ 184 ]
The Board of Guardians
Non-admisson of the Press. Said the St. Leonard Gazette of March 26th There is, confessedly, a dignified utility attached to the duties of those gentlemen who gratuitously undertake the management of public matters, and it is with no disposition to undervalue those duties that we sometimes call in question the particular manner in which some such duties are performed. It is admitted that public bodies are the servants of the public, and, such being the case, every individual has a desire and equally a right - to have an account of their stewardship. We are at a loss then, to understand how it is that the ratepayers of this important borough tolerate what we may call the "hole and corner" meetings of our Board of Guardians. The refusal of the Board to admit the press to their meetings and consequently, to allow their proceedings to be made known to the public through the medium of the newspapers, is of far more importance than at first sight may, appear. We have now nearly surmounted the prejudices against the publication of matters affecting public interest, and in all large communities the right of the Fourth Estate to attend, and comment upon such meetings is never disputed. But there are still out of the way districts where this rule does not hold good. Boards of Guardians are to be found refusing to concede a right founded upon the strictest rule of justice and one which affords the only safe ward that the business of the public is not neglected nor wrongly conducted. The journalist is the watchman of society, holding up wrongs and aiding the cause of right. Any attempt to deprive him of these functions must be looked to with a jealous eye, as tending to destroy a power which exists for so important a purpose. The Guardians of the Hastings union however appear to think differently; hence it that for a long time past the Press has been excluded from their weekly meetings, and no thorough report of their doings has appeared. We are aware that a minority of the Board fully share our views; but unfortunately that minority is lost in a majority, who, from fear or some other weak minded cause, refuse a privilege - nay, a right - which as servants of the public, they have no grounds for withholding. We do not know on what point this majority argues the publication of the evils which would result from the publication of the business of the Board; but we would remind them in the words of Dante -
....."Be not over exquisite
to shape the fashion of uncertain evils"
and would counsel them not to continue a great public wrong that a fanciful bugbear may be avoided. Really there is no justifiable reason why this Board should not report itself to its constituents in the same convenient manner as do other public bodies, and there is a very strong reason why the heavily taxed ratepayers should be in possession of every information affecting their interests. We have done what we conceive to be our duty in thus bringing the matter once more before the public, [ 185 ]and we are content to leave the question in the hands of the ratepayers who in the course of a few days will be called upon to elect the guardians for the ensuing year, It will be for them to decide by their votes whether the press of this borough - circumspect as it usually is in all things requiring secresy(sic) - shall be allowed to exercise its legitimate functions at the Board of Guardians, or whether the public shall continue in comparative ignorance of how the money goes.
In Darkness Still. There having been no opposition in the election of Guardians, we as a matter of course, arrive at the conclusion that the public are satisfied with their representatives and the manner in which the affairs of the union are conducted. We content ourselves with the decision of the ratepayers; and of course they are fully aware that we shall still be precluded giving the information which is often sought at our hands.
Still Shut out. At the meeting of the Board of Guardians on the 5th of May, Mr Guedalla, in a long and able speech, introduced his motion for the admission of reporters of the public press. The motion was seconded by Mr. Putland and supported by Mr Gutsell, the only three out of sixteen guardians present who had the courage to vote for their meetings to be made public. Mr. Harvey, as might have been supposed, was strong against the motion, whilst the following gentlemen also gave an adverse vote: Messrs. Free Beerless, Wickens, Cook Wod, Winter Hutchings, Woodhams, Jarvis and Howiss. Mr Broinley was in the chair.
A New Road.
The long desired and projected road between Battle an Seddlescomb was commenced in the month of May, and was regarded when finished, as of some convenience to the people of Hastings and St Leouards, in-as-much as Battle could be reached by train, and Seddlescomb, Brede and other places via the said new road. The writers experience of the completed road was to encounter a large snake lying therein.
Billies and Nannies
to the number of 70 literally flocked into St. Leonards on Monday the 22nd of August, and although they under the watchful eyes and sturdy care of two or three goatherds of the Welsh mountains, they gamboled briskly along the Marina, and with a nonchalance of perfect indifference as to whether the drovers were intent on selling them or not. Among them were sizes and colours of all shades and degrees, including the sleek and the slim, and the rough and the ruddy; but the gist of this paragraph lies in the fact that so large a flock of goats in these parts is a decided novelty.
To the number of one hundred or more, the St. Leonards Bonfire Boys turned out on the evening of Guy Fawkes Day, as was their annual [ 186 ]wont, in grand and imposing array. In expectation of the event. The thoroughfares about Stanhope place and Norman road were thronged at an early hour by eager sightseers, and as the lengthy and grotesque procession debouched from behind the first named place, the curiosity of the public appeared to be at its height. Foremost in the procession was an excellent brass band, then came the javelin men, torch bearers, lifeguard, and a general masquerade of stalwarts and liliputians. Following these was a huge effigy, some ten or twelve feet in height, intended, it was presumed to represent Chosin (Prince of Nagato) or some other Japanese chief. Then followed more torchmen, soldiers, sailors, livery-servants, niggers, celestials, flying-dutchmen, dames descauteen (with Biddy the basket woman), and a motley retinue more easily imagined than described. It may be said, however, that the costumes and properties were remarkably, smart and that the general make up was a vast improvement on the "Old Guys" of a few years back, with their lump-back attendants and hideous jargon. It was, indeed, a carnival equal to the time an money bestowee upon it, and one that was calculated to please rather than offend the public eye. Omitting further details, suffice it to say that the money collected during the procession was sufficient to cover all expenses, including the annual supper, and a small balance left as a donation to the Infirmary.
Concerts and Musical Parties
Of all the musical entertainments which has been given in the St. Leonards Temperance Hall, the concert of Jan. 9th was considered to be one of the most enjoyable. The vocal part was under the management of Mr. J. E. Butter and Mr. H. Phillips, jun, whilst the instrumentalists were Messrs. Barnett (sen and jun). Mr. Elworthy, Mr. Funnell and Mr. Lambert, leader of the 4th Cinque Ports Artillery Band.
The concert in the same hall on the 16th of January was given by the Artillery Band, and was highly appreciated.
On the following week (Jan. 23rd) the concert was under the direction of Mr. Stephen Hermitage, who with a well appointed band, afforded evident satisfaction to an audience less numerous than usual.
A Farewell Concert was given in the Shepherd-street schoolroom on the 7th of June, by about fifty adult and juvenile members of the amateur vocal Association and Tonic Sol Fa classes, the proceeds of which were to be devoted to the Wesleyan Chapel building fund. The concert was conducted by Mr. Warr, the energetic teacher of sol fa singing in this district. On that occasion, Mr. Warr was presented with a purse of money on his leaving the town. (For Hastings concerts see next chapter).
Churches and Chapels
On the 9th of April the St. Leonards Gazette had the following remarks:-
Preachers and Preaching Places are topics which, undoubtedly, it is the province of the professedly religious press to descant upon; yet there may [ 187 ]be times when a few comments may be permitted to appear even in the columns of a secular journal. Far be from us, however to enter into a disquisition upon such a theme, our intention being merely to jot down a few items of local interest which for convenience may be classed under the terms here used.
Beginning with the Established Church of which, claiming to be dissenting members, we subscribe to a paradox - our thoughts naturally revert to that venerable structure known as St. Clements, within whose walls it has many times been our privilege to listen to the exhortations of a Whistler or a Foyster, and within whose sepulchral domain the mouldering remains of our sires and grandsires have been made additionally sacred by recent legislation. Would our readers know why we are dissenting members of that church? It is because we could not comprehend the incomprehensible malediction of the Athanasian greed, because we could not perjure ourselves at the baptismal font, and because our rebellious spirit would not submit to church rates. Yet, with all her faults we love the church; and we love our old St Clements with greater fervour now that she accepts the voluntary offerings of her parishioners in lieu of the compulsory rates. May those offerings be made in a liberal spirit!
Our Mayors and Corporate bodies have many times and oft assembled in that old grey church, an it gives us pleasure to note that on Sunday next (tomorrow) our present respected chief magistrate (J. Rock, jun), together with the members of the Town Council and the Artillery and Rifle Volunteers have arranged to be there, and where also a sermon is to be preached by, the Right Rev. the Bishop of Carlisle.
From the Church to the kirk is but a step, and we may therefore travel that one step out of the way to make known to such as do not already know, that "supplies" of Scotch ministers have been for some time past furnished by the Presbyterian Synod at the Quadrangle Chapel at St Leonards. A small, but, apparently increasing congregation doth there assemble, and we have heard it stated by members of such congregation that better sermons were never preached in the town. If by this is meant that the ministers officiating in St. Andrews (Quadrangle) chapel on the West Hill, have preached some very excellent analytical, logical and soul stirring sermons, then, as an occasional hearer, we can support the opinion thus proffered.
Let us not forget, while noticing the Presbyterians that the chapel at Silverhill belonging to that denomination continues its usefulness in an increasing ratio. We have no doubt that many will have cause to bless the day when a few generous persons set about to [ 188 ]establish a chapel and school in that neighbourhood. There is, however, a small debt on the building which the promoters and the congregation are anxious to see cleared off; and for this purpose it has been proposed to hold a sale of Ladies Work, a few months hence.
Turn we now to the Congregationalists a body of professing Christians whose simple mode of worship is akin to that of the Presbyterians, and whose numbers are greatly increasing. Their place of worship at Hastings has been undergoing a considerable enlargement, and when completed sometime next month the Rev.C. H. Spurgeon, of the Tabernacle, London, is expected to conduct the re-opening service.
The St. Leonards Congregationalists continue to meet for worship in the Assembly Rooms, every Sunday and will probably so continue until their new building in the London road is sufficiently reared to admit of service being conducted in that portion of it designed for a school and lecture room. Apropos of this building, the work is proceeding rapidly and the contributions towards the expense of erection (£1000) have reached to a sum not far short of the first moiety. Subscriptions continue to be receive by Mr. Arnold, 18 Grand parade; T. Spalding Esq. Ore Place; and the Rev. A. Reed Upper Mage Hill. It will be a chaste and spacious edifice, and will form an additional attraction to that which is already presented by Christ Church, in the same locality.
The mention of Christ Church leads to another association- namely the marriage of its senior curate, the Rev. Henry Blagden. This event occurred on Wednesday last (April 6th) at a church in Paddington, bearing the same title as the one at St Leonards in which the bridegroom officiates. The name of the bride was Isabella Catherine Searight, second daughter of Jas. Searight, Esq. of Upper Hyde-park Gardens. And this, again, is a reminder of another event of equal interest and equally entitled to a brief notice in our jottings on preachers an preaching places standing in the same parish and at a few hundred yards from Christ Church is another devoted to sacred purposes, and one usually regarded as the parent church, or more precisely, the church of St. Mary Magdalen. The worthy pastor of this church had the happiness on Thursday morning (April 7th) of giving in marriage his esteemed daughter. Miss Emma Heme. The partner selected by this amiable young lady is also a spiritual pastor, doing duty at the parish church of Bexhill.
In concluding these remarks, we may intimate that according to present arrangements, the preaching of the Rev. C. H. Spurgeon in the Robertson-street chapel is to be anteceded by the preaching of his brother, the Rev. J. Spurgeon, in the Wellington square chapel; the latter place of worship, like the former, being about to be re-opened after extensive alterations and repairs. [ 189 ] The West hill Presbyterians. On the 26 of June, the committee of the United Prestyterian church announced to their friends and the public generally, that they had obtained a lease of the church on the West Hill at St Leonards, and that public worship would be conducted in it every Lords Day, at 11 a.m. and 6.30 p. m.
St. Mary's Chapel - more usually called the church of St. Mary in the Castle - was re-opened on Sunday, Sept. 25th, after the extensive alterations and improvements which it had previously undergone the congregation at each of the services was unusually large, and very considerable comfort was experienced in the adaptations for light and ventilation. The Rev. F. Vores preached in the morning, and the Rev. J.W. Tottenham in the afternoon. A sum of £60 was contributed, notwithstanding that the Incumbent stated that he did not expect the congregation to pay for the alterations.
A New Church. In the month of October it was in contemplation to build a church on a portion of land on the Eversfield estate at Upper Maze Hill, a short distance above the archway known as North Lodge. The building was to be of a durable construction and an ornament as well as a convenience to the locality. Pending the necessary preliminaries, it was intended within the next two months to place near the site an iron church as a temporary place of worship, for which the Bishop had given his consent. This, however was not put into execution during that year.
The Congregational Church. On the 23rd of February, the Prince and Princess of Wales took their departure from St Leonards after a brief sojourn and on the same day, the first stone of a new building to be called by the above title was laid in solemn form. In the short space of eight months a beautiful edifice had been raised. Although barely completed, the schoolroom in the basement had been ready for several weeks, and services were there held until Thursday, the 1sth of October, when the church itself was in a sufficiently forward state to admit of a formal opening. It was therefore arranged that there should be on that day two full services and that the interval should be employed in a social gathering of members and friends around refreshment tables in the spacious school room. Although the weather was unfavourable, there were about 350 persons at the morning service and 200 at the dinner. The opening sermon was preached by the Nev. Samuel Marlin, of Westminster and the other part of the morning service was taken respectively by the Revs. A. Reed (the pastor), W. Barker (Hastings) and A. Foyster (Eastbourne). The musical adjuncts were conducted by Mr. Lindridge, and at the bountiful collation provided by the congregation, T Spalding Esq. of one place, presided. The church was designed by Edward Habershon, Esq. and built by Mr. Simpson, both gentlemen of London, at a cost of about £8,000. There was a collection after the morning service in aid of the building fund; also after a well attended evening service. [ 190 ]With a view to the further liquidation of the debt upon the building, special services were engaged in on the following Sunday, and a sum of £22 was realised. Nor were the Robertson street church idle, a sum of £15 being the result of the days services for the same object, thus making £37 the proceeds of that Sunday's efforts.
The Memorial Chapel. The ceremony of laying the chief corner stone of a new edifice of this name was performed on Thursday, Nov. 3rd at Hastings in a formal and interesting manner. The event was further celebrated in the evening by a tea meeting and addresses in the temporary preaching room in the rear of the Castle Hotel. Mr. Elworthy was the architect of the new building, and Mr. Howell was the contractor.
A Remarkably Busy year, as thus shewn, was that of 1864, as connected with the enlargements, improvements, erections, reopenings and other specialities of churches and chapels, and if space were no object it could be here also shewn that there were much friendliness and assistance afforded by one religious community to another. Meekness and Christian charity will break down the strong partition which divides sects, and give birth to love and unity of action among professing Christians of every denomination. Mighty work has been effected by the evangelical Alliance towards this consummation, and let us hope that the days of disruption and rancorous feelings in the church militant are now or soon to be at an end. In this hope we are encouraged by what passes before our eyes. When one congregation has a difficulty to overcome, and needs the countenance and support of the public, how willingly in a general way it is given! The main barrier in the way of almost every church or chapel is the expense of building, and few they are in number that are wholly free of debt. The simple knowledge of this creates a sympathetic feeling among various classes, and this is shewn by the encouragement given to members of congregation when they set their faces towards the said barrier and devise honourable means to remove it. Amongst the most popular methods are those of special services, tea-meetings, bazaars &c, which give an opportunity to each and all of contributing either by money or service from the smiling child of sx or seven summers to the hoary headed grandsire of three score years and ten. Ladies are more particularly in their element here, and in this as in other spheres of life, are indispensable. If proof were wanting they may be found in the foregoing references to churches and chapels of our own neighbourhood. (see preceding page) *
Curiosities from Japan.
We have been favoured (remarks the St. Leonard Gazette of Dec. 10th), with an opportunity of inspecting a variety of Japanese articles of beautiful design an workmanship, just received by Mr. Davis, of Lavatoria, St Leonards, from his son, who is serving with the British forces in that country. They [ 191 ]consisted of china cups (curiously overlaid with a kind of grass), gold and silver coins (square, oval and annular shaped), silk handkerchiefs, silver opium pipe for ladies, silver and ivory chop sticks, tobacco pouches, grotesque images, papier mache, match boxes a mirror or "mira" of solid steel, raw silk, a mariners compass, and other articles. Two of these curiosities were specially worthy of notice, the one a set of drawers of papier-mache, with the exterior entirely inlaid with squares of silver, and the other an elegant cabinet, with solid silver hinges, cramps corner pieces and ornaments; portions of the exterior and interior being also exquisitely inlaid with coloured fibre peculiar to the country. Some of the goods appeared to have been purchased of a tradesman in Yokohama, whose cognomen is so unlike the names of the St. Leonards trading community, that for the life of us, we cannot recognize it. Should any of our readers think of spending their Christmas holidays in Japan the name and address of the said purveyor are Moo-sa-shi-ya Sadagiro, Hou0cho micheni Street, Yokohama.
The edibles, wearables, toyables and other displayables (for surely we may use a few expressibles, when everybody was making something for Christmas) appeared to be quite equal to the productions of previous years. Among the most substantial articles were those usually denomenated Butchers Meat, and considering the high range of the markets, after a droughty summer and a stormy autumn, the wonder was that the butchers were able to make such an admirable display.
To see the "Old Folks at Home" to sit once more under the parental roof and to rest awhile from the fatigues of business or travel may be enough for the Christmas Day; but on the morrow the uppermost question is where shall we go and what shall we see? The question receives a practical solution in a variety of ways. While some of our pleasure seekers, fresh from the "salt-sea waves" avail themselves of certain railway facilities to visit the Crystal Palace or the huge metropolis, others from the Cockey town or the green lanes of the country seek amusement in this ancient Cinque Port of ours. Money at this time is hardly worth a thought, we part with it as freely as water if it only brings some novelty in return. We want nothing and ask for nothing during Christmastide but the opportunity of throwing care to the winds. We sip of enjoyment wherever
it is to be found, and determine in so far as in us lies to have a Merry Christmas.
First at the Music Hall, where Professor Pepper (or his representative) stalks forth his scientific Ghost, and where Mr. and Mrs. Matthews give their seance of prestigiation and artificial clairvoyance, secondly, to the Market Hall, where in pantominic carnival, we behold clowns, pantaloons, sprites, fairies and gnomes in all the grotesque postures and galvanised action; thirdly to the Christmas festival at the Temperance Hall and lastly to the Terpsichorean display at the [ 192 ]St Leonards Assembly Rooms, which on such occasions is a veritable palace of enchantment. Should these amusements not have sufficed, we take another round, commencing on Saturday at the Music Hall, where for the last time, Pepper's Ghost gets the Artist in a fix. Then on Monday, if our taste lead us that way, we can join the social tea and talk of the St. Leonards Wesleyans at their schoolroom in Shepherd street. On the Tuesday, if we are privileged, we can enjoy the delight of a charade and ball at 84 Marina. Then, on the morro - and still on the morrow we may attend the levees of General Tom Thumb at the Market sale. During three days and thrice each day these levees are held, and on each occasion the lilliputian general exhibits his little wife and daughter and the magnificent jewels presented by the crowned heads of Europe. These and other pastimes are those which served the healthy population of Hastings and St Leonard during the Christmastide of 1864.
A Local Divorce Case
In the Divorce Court on Wednesday the 15th of June, the suit of Turner v. Turner and Garde, was tried, when the Queens Advocate and Dr Spinks appeared for the petitioner, Dr. Wambey for the respondent, and Mr Day (or Dale) for the co-respondent. The London papers in reporting the case appeared to have fallen into some errors with respect to dates, and to be otherwise conflicting in several of their statements. The facts were briefly these:-
The petitioner, Dr. Turner, who was in professional practice at St Leonards and who had been married some seven or eight years sought a legal separation from his wife on the ground of illicit intercourse between the latter and a Mr. Garde, a gentleman who had once been at the Irish Bar, but who had more recently resided at St. Leonards as a tutor of young gentlemmen, and had also been a patient of Dr. Turner. The improper conduct of the respondent was alleged to have taken place first at Hastings, and afterwards at Guildford, the evidences of witnesses being taken as proof thereof. The attested deposition of the respondents father was also handed in he having been examined abroad under a commission, as to the respondents confession of guilt. This attestation was, no doubt, painful to a parents feelings, but it appeared to be neccessary to complete the evidence in support of the petitioner's claim for separation. The father, H.Selmes, Esq. had been a respected resident of St Leonards, and had supported its institutions. At the close of the examination, the court declared in favour of the petitioner but as affecting the co-respondent, reserved the question of costs for a future decision.
Overland Route to India was shown in an exhibition of dissolving views which was given in the Alfred street Reading room, together with a descriptive lecture.
A Shakesperian Reading was given in the St. Leonards Assembly Room on the 24th of November by Mrs. Fanny Hemble. Hamlet was the subject of [ 193 ]the reading, the selections from which were given in a style of such impassioned elocution and in characters so polyphonous as to rivet the profound attention of a crowded audience for a period of two hours. The lady was greatly applanded.
Harp Recitals. What Thalberg was to the piano, such was Aptomas to the harp; a fact which no one denied who had witnessed the performance of those two musical celebrities. An opportunity was afforded of hearing the latter gentleman on the afternoon of Nov. 2nd, when a rich and varied programme was set before a St Leonards audience.
A Harp and Vocal Concert was also given in the same room on the 1st of October by Mr. Frederick Chatterton and Miss Arabella Smyth.
Fires and the Fire Brigade
"May they never be requred!" was the expression of one who on the evening of the 16th of March witnessed a sortie of two fire engines and their gallant staff in the locality of the Sussex Hotel. Here both men and engines were thoroughly drilled in the presence of a large number of spectators. The next move was a vigorous attack upon the refreshments which were provided through the liberabity of the Rev. J.A. Hatchard.
A fire occurred at the house of Mr. Richard Lamb, St. Leouards Green, on the 23rd of April, which, by prompt exertion was fortunately extinguished but not without damage.
A Lighter Fusee, thrown upon the dry grass near the Harpsichord house on the 30th of July, set the furze on fire, which being in close proximity to some timber built dwellings, the services of Supt Glenister and other members of the Volunteer Fire Brigade were called into requisition, and the fire was soon extinguished.
Influx of Visitors.
Full to overflowing were the hotels and lodging houses of both towns in the month of March, a feature which at that period of the year bespoke the healthiness and general attractiveness of the place, and as a rider to the last clause of the sentence the marriages during the past year had been 344, whilst the births had exceeded the deaths by upwards of 340. The trains of Good Friday and the preceding Thursday brought into Hastings an St Leonards some extraordinary living freights, numbering in the aggregate about 4,000 persons. Of this number, the South Eastern trains via Tunbridge Wells, imported on Thursday 826; and on Friday morning there came by the same route a still larger number in three long trains. By the Brighton and South Coast line on Friday morning there arrived a monster train of 28 carriages and two engines, and one of 19 carriages and two engines. The large number thus brought to the seaside appeared to be of a respectable class, very many of whom were seen throughout the day in search of apartments. The weather was delightful, and those who came only for the day, as well as those who came for a longer period, must have their enjoyment heightened thereby [ 194 ]A Farewell Tea meeting to Mr. Thomas Warr took place in the Shepherd street schoolroom on the 10th of May as a parting respect to that gentleman as the founder and teacher of the sol-fa system of music in this borough. After tea the chair was taken by Mr. Stevens, who introduced Mr. Dobson of Pimlico as Mr. Warr’s successor, who intimated that he was willing to continue the system so long as the class was sufficiently remunerative to defray his expenses to and from London. Mr. Warr followed in an energetic speech, thanking the class for the support he had received, and remarked that although leaving his present sphere of labour, he was not giving up sol-fa, having already formed a class of one hundred where he was about to take up his abode.
The Boot-lace Trick. "Master, your boot-lace is down " shouted a frolicsome urchin as he passed a gentleman on the East Ascent on Friday morning. You little fool, sharply retorted the elder person, how can that be, when your father has made spring side boots for me these two years? Need it be said that it was the first of April? It may be added, however, that the youngster sought to hide his diminished head.
What's the Time, young man? asked a gentleman, of a cabman. "Four-and-eightpence" was the reply. "What is the time?" reiterated the gentleman. "That is the next carriage£ was the not over ready response, but which was rendered peculiarly emphatic by a few hiccoughs. This was thought to be a proper case for the tectotallers; as was, perhaps, another case (but which was not local) in which a moralising clergyman asked a man who had to support himself on a grave stone in his endeavour to reach home, where he expected to go to?, and received for answer in a few stuttering efforts, "I s'pose where I. I can get the best gin.Breakfast for one. Stepping out of the police-station on the early morning of the 26th of April, the resident Constable Cripps had a narrow escape of crockeryware or chinaware it is not remembered which. Attracted by the novelty of such commodities at such a place, at such a time, and in such a fashion, Mr. Cripps lost no time in commencing an investigation. He stooped yea! and he stooped to conquer; for although his olfactory organs were assailed by the tempting odours of coffee, eggs and bread and butter, he actually had the courage to say thankee? not for me!" There was, however a mystery about it- a mystery which, some hours later, had its solution thus: Have you (asked a woman whose appearance bore evidence of working habits) a basin, a plate and a knife and fork belonging to me? for, do you know, my old man got up in the night, and said his sister was in the lock-up, and he should get her some breakfast and carry it up to her. I hadn't much recollection of what he said at the time, for I was very tired and sleepy. I am sorry to say, he had been drinking. The cases here enumerated were of themselves almost a justification of the extrordinary efforts that were this year, being made by the Temperance leaders. [ 195 ]"Mulum in Barvo." This phrase, which by mistake, appeared in some early copies of the St. Leonards Gazette, but corrected in a later edition, having caused a letter to the Hastings News, under the heading of "Our West-End Latinity the following lines of innocent banter in reply were written on the spur of the moment and appeared in the Gazette of the next day.
To those who Hastings News
Did yesterday peruse
And wondered what a letter there did mean
This curt impromtu ditty
More free, perhaps, than witty
Without their leave, has dedicated been
It, doubtless has affinity
With our "West end latinity
Which dares to rob a multum of its t
And thus the grand old much
When minus of a crutch,
Is muletized, as anyone may see.
Where did they learn their latin,
er case and press and "platen?"
or did they get it from the k-mino breed
Dog-latin may be fine
But mulam, how divine!
To such as multum ne'er can print nor read.
A son of T.B. Brett-
just then the printer's pet-
Ten years of age, or somewhere there about.
Nor much had been to school
He was the little mule
Wis muletized the multum, out and out.
But oldermen of letters
professedly his his betters.
Did very soon the grand mistake discern,
And felt or feigned distress
whilst shouting stop the press
This mongrel of a mulem let's outturn.
Do no such thing said one,
For whats the hybrid done
To be thus turned adrift by our P.D.
We'll do a thing much better-
Ay interpose a letter
And suit the word and meaning to a "t"
Bryant at evenfild
sehitlenards on sey, no
so near hustings.
To place on record the general proceedings of the East-Sussex Hunt is not one of the projected features of this History, but an occasional allusion to the sport may be allowable when a meet takes place within the borough. One of these was on the morning of Friday, the 4th of November. The meeting took place on St. Leonards Green, and some idea of the number of persons present may be gathered from the fact that there were no fewer than 57 well filled vehicles and over 100 horsemen at the rendezvous. The sun shone brilliantly and reflected alike the scarlet coats of the huntsmen and the less prominent but elegant attire of the ladies. Altogether the scene was of a picturesque and animated description. At about half past eleven the hounds - followed, probably by a thousand persons - were led off by the huntsman to a copse at Hollington, where they soon scented the object of their search. No long time elapsed ere they uncovered Mister Reynard, who made away up the hill towards the church in gallant style. At the brow, however, he was met by a greyhound, who disputed his advance, and poor pussy was compelled to double back to the wood. The dogs were recalled and soon got again on the track of the fox, who gave them a run for a short distance in the opposite direction. The chance of getting clean away surrounded as he was by to large a number of pedestrians and horsemen was so slight that the affrighted annual stole back a second time to his hiding place. He was at length caught and killed in the presence of a large number of onlookers who were in at the death, and who [ 197 ]some of them at least - bore testimony to the "critter" being a gallant "triennial" deserving of a better fate. The brush was carried off by Miss Deudney, of Gensing Lodge. After the death of poor pussy, the dogs were led away to Monkham Wood, where a second fox was started, but after a short hunt, was given up as lost.
Weekly Ante Business.
The example set by the St Leonards tradesmen in the previous year of summer half-holidays, was again adopted by the drapers and some of the tailors. Handbills were issued, setting forth that Messrs. Andrews, Philpot and Baldwin would close their shops on Wednesdays at 5 pm from June 1st to August 31st, and that Messrs. Bickle and Stoneman would close theirs at 2 o’clock from the 29th of June till the 31st of August. It was afterwards understood the 2 o’clock closing would be adopted by all. The Wednesday half-holiday arrangement became for more general than was at thought first likely to be observed. Besides the fifty, and odd drapers, clothiers and upholsterers of both towns who had agreed to close their establishments on Wednesday afternoons, there were twenty or more of other trades (chiefly booksellers) who joined in the movement.
The Health of the Borough.
In the returns of the Registrar General for the quarter ending June 30th, it was shewn- so far as figures without a proper accompaniment of facts could show that the mortality of Hastings was at the rate of 24 to the thousand. This estimate was so wide of the mark as deduced from correct analysis and by those who were acquainted with the locality that it was very satisfatory that our worthy and intelligent mayor wrote to the Times newspaper in explanation of the matter. Had the Registrar General known that our visiting population during the period named was larger by three or four thousand than that of any previous spring and that a proportionate number of death-expecting invalids was included in that population, he would not have asked "Why is the mortality of Hastings 24 in the thousand?" But that figure has never been reached since; for, although there have been naturally variations in the returns, the mortality upon the whole has continued to decrease, until the time of writing (Sept. 30th 1900) it is as low as 10.32 per thousand.
The uncertain tenour of human life was instanced in a somewhat unusual manner on the manner(sic) of March 3rd, in the sudden demise of a gentleman while taking his ticket at the St. Leonards railway station for London. This gentleman was John Cramer Roberts, Esq., [ 198 ]of West hill, St. Leonards, a retired officer of the army, ranking as Lieut. Colonel. He appeared to have been suddenly seized with death without a moment’s warning and without even so much as a struggle the melancholy event became the subject of a judicial enquiry, and a coroner's inquest was held on the following morning at the [[Railway Inn]], a house contiguous to where the body was lying. The enquiry was conducted by R. Growse, Esq, and the jury was composed of more than the average amount of intelligence and respectability. The depositions were to the effect that the deceased gentleman had not complained of illness, that he ate a hearty breakfast, that he had walked behind his coachman very steadily to the station and that he was not the least excited. Dr. Turner gave it as his opinion that the gentleman had died of heart-disease, and a verdict in accordance with that opinion was recorded. The deceased’s brother had died from that complaint.
A St. Leonards child killed. A lamentable accident occurred in High street on the evening of June 20th, which resulted in the death of a child, severe injuries to another child, scratches to a third child and injuries to a flydriver. An inquest was held at the warriors Gate inn St Leonards, by which it was learnt that Edmund Walker, a child eleven months old, had been taken to Hastings by its mother, the latter on a visit to a married sister, and while there, the child and its cousin were sent out in a perambulator in charge of a girl nine years of age. While on the pavement at the Roebuck yard, Mr Spencer’s vehicle, the horse of which was driven by a steady young man named Walker, was pushed by the animal suddenly towards Mr. Tindall’s stable and in contact with the perambulator and three children. The driver was also thrown of the box, the result of which were the death and injuries above stated.
Two Inquests by the Borough Coroner were heed on Wednesday, September 7th, and both at St. Leonards. The first inquisition was at the Warrior Gate on on the body of a child named Smith, which had died unattended by any medical practitioner. From the evidence that was given and a postmortem examination, it was found the child had died from exhaustion consequent on continued diarrhoea. The second inquest was held at the Railway Terminus hotel, the object of which was to ascertain the cause of death of Charles Lee, a St Leonards boatman. The verdict in this case was Found Drowned. The particulars are are as follow:- on the preceding Sunday. Charles Lee and his son were engaged to row a gentleman to Eastbourne, and having accomplished their task, instead of returning directly home, they put ashore at Wallsend, near Pevensey, where they stayed some two or three hours, drinking with an acquaintance or two, and making it late and quite dark before they [ 199 ]again put off to sea. A squally night ensued, and the unfortunate men, together with a stranger, met an untimely fate, the first intimation of which was received by the picking up along shore of some fragments of the missing boat. At a later period the lifeless body of the elder lee was washed ashore at Bopeep, but the body of the younger Lee and that of the stranger who left Wallsend with the boatmen, were not recovered. The sad loss of three lives and a large family left unprovided for, appeared by the evidence at the inquest to have been another melancholy instance of the effect of drink. (See also page 222)
An Industrial Exhibition.
Encouraged, probably, by the great success of the exhibition held, some years before, by the Mechanic's Institution, the managers of the Workingmans institute got up a display bearing the above title, and on the evening of November 5th, a meeting was held for the awarding of prizes to the successful competitors. The chair was occupied by the Mayor J. Rock, jun, Esq, who remarked that it was gratifying to find the Exhibition had been financially successful, but that he had been disappointed at the collection of incongruous objects that were curious than useful or beautiful. He suggested that in any future exhibition the articles for competition should be more in accordance with the trade or profession of the exhibitor - Mr. Thomas Elworthy read the report, which showed that subscriptions had been collected to the amount of £Typos52 2s 6d, and that the proceeds of the Exhibition, including admission fees, had brought a further sum of £57 2s.10d. making the total receipts £119 55. 4d.
The expenditure, including prize money had absorbed the receipts, but left the undertaking free of debt. - F. North, Esq, M.P., expatiated at considerable length on the advantages of Industrial Exhibitions, and endorsed the Chairman's remarks that the articles should bear more relation to the trade or calling of the Exhibitor. T. Brassey, Esq. moved That in consequence of the success of the Hastings and St. Leonards Industrial Exhibition it is expedient to hold another next year within the Borough! He had great pleasure in giving his subscription, and was pleased also to look upon the list of philanthropic persons whose names were appended to the balance sheet. He considered that it was by stimulating the working-classes that they were elevated. It should not be supposed that after the toils of the day there was any pleasure in were idleness. If a man did not employ his time in some useful construction or his talents for the instruction of others, it very often followed that intemperance was the result. - Councillor Putland seconded the proposition. After some remarks by the Rev. R. Duke, and G. Gipps, Esq., the chairman said he had another duty to perform. He need not tell them that the success of the exhibition was mainly due to the indefatigable exertions of Mr. Thomas Elworthy, with whom it originated and was suc[ 200 ]cessfully carried out. A handsome Bible and a purse of £10 had been placed in his hands to present to Mr. Elworthy as a slight acknowledgement of that gentleman's valuable services, and as a testimony of the good feelings of the committee towards him.- The recipient, who rose amidst prolonged applause, thanked the Mayor, the committee and all who had worked with him in the undertaking.
Great Loss of Sheep
On Monday night, the 9th, of May, and more effectively on the following night, Mr. Eldridge of the Grove farm, Hollington, suffered a serious loss, amounting to £40, by the deaths and mutilation of his sheep. Two ferocious lurchers, said to belong to Anscombe and another man, got among the flock and committed the destruction thus indicated.
A Lords Day Obervance Society.
On Wednesday the 6th of April was formed a Lords Day observance Society which gave rise to the following editorial remarks in the St. Leonards Gazette: - In our indebtedness to Creative Wisdom, it seemeth meet to acknowledge that a religious observance of the Sabbath is a duty incumbent on all men. There are very few persons, we think, who would not be ready to admit this to be their "bounden duty" but there are, doubtless, very many who regard the Sabbath as something more than a mere church going institution. Among this latter class we find a feeling of suspicion is being awakened that the recent formation of a Lords Day Observance Society at Hastings has for its object a gloomy and rigid Sabbatarianism, at once distasteful to an intelligent perception of one’s duties and incompatible with the requirements of modern society. Whether there are good grounds for this suspicion we will not presently attempt to determine but we think a little calm consideration of the subject is worthy of serious attention. We know that at the meeting of Wednesday week, when it was resolved to form a branch society for the better observance of the Sabbath there were present some well-known good-intentioned and God fearing men; and we also know that our worthy Mayor who presided at that meeting, distinctly stated that while he loved the Lords day and wished to see it kept holy, he was desirous that the Society's efforts should be strictly confined to the obtaining a proper and reverential observance of that day, and not to insist upon anything approaching to the rigid observance of a Jewish Sabbath. He believed that the seventh day's rest was instituted at the creation and for a particular people; that the Lords day and the Jewish Sabbath were two different institutions; and that the death of Christ blotted out the hand-writing of ordinances; also that another day of rest was appointed [ 201 ]which is now called the Lords Day. The obligation to observe the day of rest was the same, but the particular day and manner of observing it was not the same as that for the Jews. The Mayor further stated his belief that there were sufficient grounds based on moral and physiological considerations to justify the religions observance of the day and that the object should be to secure such observance not by legislative enactment, but by reasonable argument and moral suasion. Here, then we have at least one element of assurance that our priviliges should not be tyrannically wrested from us, and that whatever may be done to realise more fully than hitherto our sense of Christian obligations, the same should be attempted in a kind considerate and conciliatory spirit. Mr. Rock’s name in connection with such a movement is to some extent a quarantee that none but legitimate means would be employed in furtherance of the object His acquaintance with the world in its relations to commerce and science his knowledge of the necessities and capabilities of workmen as their employer; his intimacy with local peculiarities an requirements, in his capacity as chief magistrate, his own religious tendencies, seasonable liberality, gentlemanly deportmnent, and general intelligence, all unite to make him something of an authority in matters affecting the wellbeing of his fellow men. We have no need, therefore, to suppose that our respected Mayor will be willing to give his countenance to any movement that is not based on something like christian charity blended with English liberty.
So also if words mean anything we have the assurance of a similar desire for tolerant action on the part of some other persons who spoke at the meeting referred to, as, for example, in the remarks of Capt. Hope, who said he quite agreed with the chairman that it was a subject which must be entered upon in a spirit of forbearance temperance and kindness towards those who might differ from them and he was quite sure that anything like forcing the observance of the Sabbath or Lord's Day would do more harm than good Thus far then, the movement would appear to have been commenced in a generous spirit, and had there been unanimity of sentiment, it would have been difficult to discover any just grounds for the apprehension and distrust which we find have already sprung up in the minds of some persons in reference thereto. Let us say, however, that we hope for the best; and whilst we venture an opinion that individual or united effort may yet be instrumental in relieving from Sunday wit such as are anxious to attend more frequently some religious ordinance, let us not forget that in many cases and under certain conditions, what is intended to be rest and [ 202 ]and relief may be tantamount to arbitrary restriction. If, for instance, we so contrive it that a tailor a shoemaker, a clerk or any other person engaged in a sedentary occupation, shall conpulsorily exchange his seat at home for, perhaps, a less comfortable one at church or chapel, and that as often as three times a day, we ask, in all seriousness, to what extent and in what manner do we confer a benefit on that man? We believe it is one of the maxims of the Lords Day Observance Society that the more rest a man allows himself on Sunday, the more labour he will be capable of during the other days of the week. We are willing to endorse this idea, but let us understand what it is that constitutes an actual day of rest. To all such as are engaged in muscular occupations, and exercise in the open air during the six working days, it is undeniably a rest to abstain therefrom every seventh day; and equally is it a recreation both to mind and body for them to spend the day in a quiet and devout manner; but to the hundreds of thousands whose lot it is to live and labour in dark and dreary hives, where nought but health-destroying gases are inhaled, it is, undoubtedly, the best rest we can give them when we allow them an opportunity of exercising and expanding alike their corporeal and mental powers in the blessed light of heaver and in the pure air of God's creation.
Sorry should we be to say a single word or do a singe deed with a view to frustrate the good intentions of the Lords say observance Society, for we think there is a fair field open to them in which their labour of love may be usefully performed+ but, as we happen to know as already hinted at that some of our townspeople are watching with a suspicious and jealous eye this new movement as applied to Hastings, we feel that we should not be performing our duty a duty for which we are accountable to God - if we neglect to give an affectionate word of caution to those advocates of Sabbath Observance whose opportunities for examining this important question in its entirety have been probably less than our own. We may indeed say with truth that we have closely studied the Sunday question for many years, and have come to the conclusion that all systematic coertion and restriction in religious matters is fraught with evil. It is a trite but true saying that mankind cannot be made religious perforce.
Correspondence Thereon. Of the letters to the Editor of the Gazette, the following, as being the most apposite, as well as the most temperate, is the only one extracted: - Sir.- I was much pleased with the sensible and temperate remarks in the Gazette of last week in reference to the [ 203 ]question of Lords day Observance. I, for one, fully coincide with the main points of those remarks. Especially do I agree with you, and, as it appears, with our worthy Mayor also, that while a proper and reverential observance of the first day in the week is desirable, no attempt ought to be made to bind down the proferring christian of these times with the old world fetters of Judaism. The Jews dont believe in Christ and Christian doctrines, and if they like to observe their Sabbath in the (to them good old-fashion way, let them do so by all means; but let not men of the present day band together to compel their fellow men to keep the Sunday according to the stern and impracticable of Moses.
Why, sir, this law, if it ever was strictly adhered to by any nation (which I very much doubt) could no more be observed in these days than the world, itself, could go back to the condition when inhabited only by a comparatively small community of Israelites or Egyptians. Show me the man who doesnt do any manner of work on the Sunday or the Sabbath, if you like it better), nor his son, nor his daughter, nor his man servant nor his maid-servant, nor his cattle, nor the stranger that is within his gates. Show me also the man who being compelled to learn and labour to get his own living and a living for his family, dare content himself with working, at all times, no more than six days to the week; or show me the man whose position enables him to bask in the sunshine of prosperity and to live in the lap of luxury, but who, nevertheless, compels himself to follow the injunction, "six days shalt thou work?" I say, sir, show me such men and I shall have no hesitation in saying that they are the rarest specimens of humanity to be found in the universe. I am one of those who believe in God and goodness; and I believe moreover that the world is progressive and progressing. I also believe that the people of Hastings and St Leonards are among the best conducted in Queen Victoria’s dominions. And this remark applies equally to the Sunday! I have no doubt that they will continue to be so as long as they are not arbitarily interfered with but if there be too much restraint put upon them by Sabbaterians or other persons, as has been unhappily attempted in some other places. I would not answer for the result. I am, sir, yours, &c A Tradesman!
An interesting scene was presented at the church of St. Mary Magdalen on on the 7th of April, when the Rev. Arthur Barwick Simpson of Bexhill, was married to Emma, the daughter of the Rev. W. W. Hume. Details of this picturesque wedding are given in the memoir of the brides father on page 63 of the 3rd volume of Historico Biogrophies, and it must suffice here to say, that the bridesmaids were eight in number, that Miss Hume was given away by her father, that her uncle read the marriage service, and that the musical portion was conducted by Mr Hutt, the organist.
[ 204 ]
Garnett-Key.- At the St. Leonards Church on the 14th of April, Capt. Alfred Ingilby Garnett was married to Katherine, daughter of Stephen Halloway, Esq., and widow of Capt. Key. It was a curious coincidence that the bride, a good looking, comparatively young (and as it was said) amiable lady, was married to her first husband just eleven years before, in the same month, on the same day of the month and the same day of the week. She was two years a widow. The bridal party proceeded from the church to 8 Warrior square where the wedding breakfast was prepared, after which the bride and bridegroom started on a tour to Folkestone and Paris.
Sterry - Middleton. Another interesting scene was presented at the same church on the 19th of May, when the Rev. Francis Sterry, son of Wasey Sterry, Esq., was married to Augusta Emily, second surviving daughter of Hastings Nathaniel Middleton, Esq. On leaving the church, the bridal party were conveyed in six "pair greys" and two other carriages to Gloucester Lodge, where and elegant and sumptuous dejenuer was awaiting them. Herr Klee's band played the Wedding March and other music, and in the afternoon the bride and bridegroom took their departure westward, enroute for the wedding trip. The event was further celebrated in the evening by a dinner and ball. [Curiously enough, it was at this wedding that the Rev. R. Workman, who being present at the breakfast, was discovered by another of the guests to be not Workman, but Rawlins, a returned convict, who had suffered the penalty of the law for an act of forgery. This discovery being communicated from one to another cause quite a sensation in the town, the result of which is described under the heading of An Unfortunate Church; Workman alias Rawlins pages 157 to 177.
Wollaston - MacGregor. Another of those interesting events which were not altogether rare in the locality took place at the so called old church on Tuesday, May 24th, when the accomplished Miss Constance Sophia MacGregor was led to the hymeneal altar by the Rev. W. Mouro Wollaston, vicar of Merston, Oxon. The bridesmaids were seven in number, among whom were four sisters of the bride; the marriage service was performed by the Revs. I. Blagden, of Christ Church, St Leonards, and C. Wollaston, vicar of Felphan. The bride was given away by P. F. Robertson, Esq. (cousin of the lady). On leaving church, the bridal party repaired to the Sussex Hotel, where a recherche dejeuner was prepared, and partaken of by about 30 guests. Of this pretty wedding witnessed by a crowded church, interesting details were reported by the St. Leonards Gazette.
Smith-Baldy. At the Wesleyan Chapel, St. Leonards, were married, on the 12th of January, Mr Henry Albert Smith and Miss Harriet Baldy. This being the first event of the kind that had taken place [ 205 ]in the said place of worship, which had been only recently licensed, the bride and bridegroom were each presented with an elegantly bound copy of Wesley's hymns, as a mento.
Brisco - Smyth. Over 300 persons assembled in and around the St. Leonards church on the 13th of January as spectators of a marriage ceremonial in which the affianced parties were Captain H.W. Brisco of the Royal Artillery (eldest son of H.W. Brisco, Esq of Ireland), and Caroline Emma, third daughter of J.A.F. Smyth, Esq. of St. Leonards and London. The wedding party were conveyed to and from the church in nine carriages. The bride was attended by her four sisters and the two Misses Lee in the capacity of bridesmaids, the marriage rite was performed by the Revs W.N. tilsow Marsh and W. Jay, and the wedding breakfast was partaken of at 16 Eversfield place, the residence of the bride’s parents.
Cobb - Kenward. Also at St. Leonards Church, on the 16th of January, the marriage took place of Adolphus, youngest son of Mr. Charles Cobb of Brighton, to Ellen Ann, second daughter of Mr Geo. Kenward, of St. Leonards.
Bradshaw - Gladwish. At the same church (St. Leonards) were married on the 23rd of January, Mr. David Bradshaw, of the Marina, St. Leonards, and Maria, youngest daughter of Thomas Lovell Gladwish, of Ore.
Duke - Addes. Also at St. Leonards Church, on the 4th of Feb., were married Mr. John Duke, of Hastings, and Miss Sarah Addes, of St Leonards.
Shoebridge - Wilson. on the 6th of February, was witnessed at the church of St. Mary Magdalen the marriage of Mr. James Shoebridge, to to Miss Ann Wilson, both of St. Leonards.
Prior - Wheatley. Also at St. Leonards Church, on the 12th of March, Mr Prior, of White-rock place, Hastings was married to Miss Susan Wheatley, of St. Leonards.
Wilson - Levin. On the 5th April at St. Leonards Church, Hugh Wilson Esq, was married to Henrietta Martin, second daughter of the late J. H. Levin, Esq., of Upper Clapton, Middlesex.
Bignald - Morgan. - A marriage was effected at the church of St. Mary Magdalen, on the 6th April, between S.H. Bignald, Esq. of Liverpool, and Julia, eldest daughter of the late Stephen Morgan, jun, Esq, also of Liverpool.
Peddle - Smith. At the St. Leonards Church, on the 14th of April, Mr. William Peddle of Ayr, was married by the Rev. Henry, Lateward, to Miss Louisa Smith of St. Leonards.
Roberts - Beckley - on the 12th of May, Major H.C. Roberts, of Kensington was married at the St. Leonards church to Miss J. Beckley, of Eversfield place, St. Leonards.
Christian - Foster. At the same church on May 15th, a marriage took place between Mr. William Christian and Miss Mary Ann Foster, both of St Leonards. [ 206 ]Veness - Phillips. On the 16th of May, Mr. Joseph Veness was married at the St. Mary Magdalen Church, to Miss Elizabeth Phillips both of Hastings.
Moore - Ball. At the same church, on the 7th of June, Mr. Benjamin Moore was married to Miss Charlotte Ball, both of Hastings.
Adey - Homewood. On the 31st of May, Charles Augustus Adey, Esq, M.D. of St Leonard, and Ellen, eldest daughter of Edward Homewood, Esq. of Upton Court, Tunstall, were married at St. John the Baptist Church, Tunstall, Kent.
Wise - Thompsett. At St. Leonards Church, on the 20th of June, Mr. Stanley Leopold Wise, took for his partner in marriage, Augusta, only daughter of the late John Thompsett, Esq., of Goudhurst, Kent
Martin - Legg. At the same church, on the 23rd of June, were united in marriage, John Bell, eldest son of Dr Martin of Edinburgh, and Helen Frances, daughter of T.R. Leg, Esq. of Blackheath.
Streeter - Clark. - At the Wesleyan Chapel, St. Leonards, on the 21st of June, Mr. William Streeter was married by the Rev. M. Salt, to Miss Mary Clark, both of St. Leonards.
Smith - Cooke. At the same chapel, on the 25th of June, Mr. John Smith, of 24 North street, St. Leonards, was married to Miss Charlotte Cooke, of Battle, the officiating minister being the Rev. M. Salt.
Brunton - Knight. At St. Leonards Church, on the 10th of August, W.E. Brunton, Esq. was married to Fanny Wright, widow of R.G. Knight Esq. The brido’s first and second husband were both civil engineers.
Wood - Sadler. on the 6th of October, Mr. William Wood, formerly of Battle, was married to Miss Sadler, widow, of Norman road, St. Leonards.
Hoad - Ades. On the 10th of October and at the church of St. Mary Magdalen, Mr. John Hoad, of St. Leonards, was married to Miss Mary Ades, of the same town.
Agnew - Burgess. At St. Mary Magdalen church, St. Leonards, was married, on the 10th of November, Alfred Nichael Agnew, Esq., of Guernsey, to Emma, third daughter of the late George Burgess, Esq. of Maidstone, Kent.
Hancock - Hume. On the third of October, Lieut. George Edward Hancock, R.S. (son of Major-gen. Hancock) was married at Bombay, to Augusta Elizabeth, daughter of the Rev. W. W. Hume, Incumbent of St, Mary Magdalen, St Leonards.
Englehart - Barnes. On the 27th of December, at the church of St. Mary Magdalen, the Nev. W. W. Hume joined in holy matrimony Mr. Frederick Henry Charles Englehart and Miss Irene Elizabeth Barnes.
(For marriages at Hastings see next chapter)
Meteors and Butterflies
Where do they come from? This question applied equally to the very large number of meteors which during the second week of August were observed shooting athwart the heavens and to the myriads of white butterflies which on the 15th of August were beheld, with astonishment, to come over the Bri[ 207 ]ish Channel and alight on our coast. This latter phenomenon was pronounced by a St. Leonards naturalist, who had watched it for several hours, to be the French Invasion.
The Mechanic's Institution.
At an adjourned quarterly meeting on the 18th of February, the committee reported that the Institution from free from debt except that which was secured by mortgage. The number of members, however, had fallen off from 103 to 97, but there was a cash balance in hand of £250.3d. Twenty-one new volumes had been added to the library, and several additional papers had been placed in the reading room. The classes for French, Arithmetic, Writing and Grammar, continued to meet.
At the quarterly meeting on the 12th of May, the members had increased from 97 to 102, and the balance of cash had decreased from a favourable one of £25s 3d., to an unfavourable one of 2s. 7d. The classes had been discontinued for the summer months, and repairs and improvements had been effected, the expense of which was intended to be borne by the voluntary contributions of members and friends, so as not encumber the institution with debt, a condition from which it had lately emerged.
The next quarterly meeting was held on the 11th of August, when the committee's report showed the life-members to be 34, and the subscribing members 104, an increase of three. The treasurer had a surplus 1s.10d., instead of a deficit of 2s 7d. Congratulations were exchanged on the continued prosperity of the society.
At the quarterly and annual meeting on the 10th of November, it was shown that there was a further slight increase of members and a balance of 12/4 in the treasurer's hands. The repairs and improvements had cost £26. 18s. 6d, which had been met by special donations and three life-memberships. Mr. Puttand's resignation as secretary was reluctantly received and a eulogy passed upon for his past valuable services. The following officers were appointed: - President, Alfred Burton, Esq. (re-elected); Vice presidents, Rev. J A. Hatchard, Rev. W. N. Tilson-Marsh, W. H. M. Wagner, Esq., Mesrs. S. Butland, sen, Stoneman, Bickle, S. Putland, jun and Kenwood; Treasurer, T.B. Brett (re-elected); Secretaries, J. Davis and A Neve; auditors, Messrs. Wilson and Hatchman; Committeemen, Messrs. Bovis, Gibson, Page Stanford, Elphick, Kennard, Neve, Bevins and Jackson.
Old Roar Fair versus Old Rock Fair.
Such was the heading under which in the St. Leonards Gazette of July 9th appeared the following remarks: - It affords us considerable pleasure to learn that in the year of grace, 1864, the anniversary of an antiquated monstrosity y'clept the Hastings Rock Fair is to be observed by many of our townspeople in a more befitting manner than by visiting the relic of our ancient jewgaws and mountebanks. It certainly is an indication of progress when the debasing scenes of the tors-ring and the prize-ring, the river-sousings and [ 208 ]other ruffianism of old Rock Fair associations, are exchanged for those purer enjoyments suggested by a Fancy Fair for religious objects. As intimated some time since a few ladies, interested in the Presbyterian church and school at Silverhill resolved to prepare a stock of useful and fancy articles, the same to be offered for sale (and the proceeds to be devoted to the clearing off the remaining debt upon the church). The sale is announced to take place on the 26th and 27th - the Rock fair anniversary - in the beautiful grounds of Old Roar. The romantic and picturesque seclusion of that favourite spot has of late received additional charms, in the laying out of the grounds, the preservation of the waterfall, and the formation of walks and roads; and thus the combined effect of Nature and Art is pleasingly visible in the present condition of what some of our townspeople paradoxically describe as the New Old Roar. The grounds will of course, be rendered additionally attractive on the occasion referred to when the fair sex will grace the lawn in their fascination of buying and selling, and when the "lords of the creation" it is hoped will also be present in suitable numbers.
The holding of the Fair. Returning to the subject, the Gazette further remarked – The very name of Old Roar is associated with pleasant recollections of pic-nics and ramblings, and the spot is at once recognised by visitors and natives alike. It was described by the old guide books as a pretty waterfall, situated in the middle of a wood at about two miles north of Hastings. This suburban retreat has, however of late, partaken of the metamorphoses of the place, and amidst the shifting scenes of
modern improvements, has materially changed from a wild sequestered dingle, abounding in adders and blackberries, to prettily formed dells, lawn, tea-gardens, and a fishing-lake. Nature, in fact, has been assisted by Art, and a beautiful combination is the result. To Mr Clement is due the credit of this improvement, as well as of other improvements in the neighbourhood. But this by the way! our present intention is to treat as briefly as may be of the two gala days which, in the garb of a fancy, fair
attracted the old and the young to the number often or twelve hundred. That the attraction was something out of the ordinary way may be judged from the fact that a respectable denizen residing for forty four years within a mile of the place, paid his first visit to the Old Roar on those days. The object of the fair, as before stated, was to realise a fund for clearing off a remaining debt upon the Silverhill Presbyterian church, the said debt having been incurred a year or two previously in the enlargement of
the building necessitated by the increased want of accommodation. When this effort was once suggested, it was warmly espoused by the ladies, whose heads and hands were industriously employed until the affair culminated in complete success. The sale was conducted beneath the large marquee of the Agricultural Society, generously lent for the occasion, and the appearance of the stalls (nine in number) prettily draped and festooned, and laden with a profusion of articles, made an elegant fair. [ 209 ]
In the month of May, the Rev. Henry Blagden, senior curate of Christ Church was presented with a testimonial by members of the congregation, as a memento of their appreciation of his ministerial labours. The testimony consisted of a massive silver inkstand, elegantly designed, together with a gold pen and holder.
Presentation to Mr. Warr. During a concert in the Shepherd street schoolroom on the 7th of june, by the Tonic Solfa Class, a presentation of a purse of money was made to Mr. Warr by Mr.S. Putland, sen, on behalf of a few friends who had noticed the good results of the recipients musical teaching the Sol-fa method of singing.
The first of a series of popular readings was given in the Working-men's Institute at St. Leonards on the 27th of April, under the presidency of the Rev. Andrew Reed who, after some appropriate remarks, called on Mr. T. Brett, who, in a humorous strain read the "Meditations of a lady who wished she were a man', and 'Were I the Queen of England'. These were followed by "Nine hours excursion to the seaside", by Mr. Skinner, and "King John and the Abbot of Canterbury" by the chairman.
Another Series of Readings was given in the same hall on the 2nd of June to a crowded audience, the chair being taken by Dr. Hale, and the readers being Messrs Raisdale, Beaney, Skinner, Britter and Stevens.
Some further readings took place on the 13th of July, and, as suggested by T. Brett, were interspersed with vocal music. The plan succeeded admirably, the readers and singers being the Mesrs. Burr, Tichbon, Quaife, Tree, Burg, Saunders and Russell, and the Misses Tichbon, Baker, Chenning and Bashford.
The Penny Readings - so called were continued on the 13th of August, with equal success in every way. The performers were Messrs. Booth, Welton, Brown, Finley, Skinner, and Ticehurst, the last name an excellent player on the concertina.
Powder Mill Explosion
On the 6th of July a report and the shaking of windows were experienced in St. Leonards, which some persons ascribed to thunder and by others to an earthquake, but which was afterwards ascertained to have been caused by a dreadful explosion of Curtis and Harvey's powder-miles at Tonbridge, which resulted in the blowing to pieces [of] three of the workmen and the drowning of another.
Throughout the entire week which closed on the 13th of February a pleasurable excitement pervaded all classes in both towns in consequence of an intimation that St Leonards was to receive a visit from the Prince and Princess of Wales. This intimation was at first communicated to Mr. Starkey of the Victoria Hotel, who was honoured with the commands of his Royal Highness through Gen. Knollys, to prepare a suite of rooms. With an understanding that the visit was to be as private as possible, the very few who were first apprised of the intention were studiously reticent. It was not to be supposed, however, that so auspicious an event [ 210 ]could be very long a matter of secrecy, and thus by degrees the welcome intelligence got to be general. yet no very great credence was given to the widespread rumour until Monday morning when notice appeared in most of the London papers that their Royal Highnesses would leave Frogmore House about the middle of the week for a fortnight's residence at St. Leonards on sea. It was then that the gratifying news was spread with the greatest alacrity, and the borough was at once jubilant thereat. The selection of our favoured locality as the fittest place on the south coast for her Royal Highness to recruit her health was felt to be an honour worthy of some acknowledgment, and the inhabitants of both towns began to consider how best they could show their appreciation of the event. The loyalty of the townspeople had been evinced on several occasions, and it was therefore no wonder that their first impulse was to make some public demonstration; but with the assurance that they would best consult the feelings of the royal couple by abstaining from all outward manifestations of loyalty, it required but little reflection to convince the inhabitants of the propriety of adopting the latter course.
Intervening the order to prepare the hotel for their reception and the time of the royal party's arrival there were but a very few days, and it therefore behoved Mr. Starkey to at once set about making the necessary arrangements. For this purposes the services of Mr. Kenwood, cabinet maker and upholsterer of Mercatoria, and those of Mr. George Goldsmith, carpenter, of Shepherd street, were secured and a suite of rooms numbering upwards of twenty underwent the process of renovation for the royal party’s requirements. This work was fully described in Brett's St. Leonards Gazette at the time, which with some other preparations are not here repeated. The day first appointed for the royal pair and their suite to enter on their journey was Wednesday, but in cousequence of the wintry character of the weather, on the morning of that day, the departure was postponed. So sunny and beautiful aye, and even mild was the weather at St. Leonards that the inhabitants were slow to believe that the visit could have been deferred in consequence of severe weather. They consequently collected in and about the thoroughfares leading to the railway station to the number of some thousands, and only only thoroughly dispersed when the approach of night and the fatigue of standing induced them to return to their homes. On the following morning there existed much dubiousness as to whether the arrival would be witnessed on that day; and it was probably owing to that circumstance that the throng of persons was less dense on the arrival of the royal train than night otherwise have been the case. The knowledge, however, that eleven horses of the Prince of Wales stud and three of the Royal carriages (a Clarence, a Phaeton and a Wagonette) had arrived by the South Coast line on Wednesday afternoon, coupled with the announcement per telegram on Thursday morning that the royal party would leave Frogmore for St. Leonards on that day, had the effect of raising the hopes of the inhabitants who, at the appointed time of arrival turned out in large numbers to get a glimpse of those in whom the whole country evinced a deep interest, the special train left Windsor by the South-Western railway at half-two, and ar[ 211 ]rived at the Waterloo station shortly after three. The south western engine was here detached and its place supplied by one belonging to the South-Eastern Company. The train being then under the direction of the latter company, proceeded slowly on to London Bridge, passing that station at only a walking pace. It then proceeded again slowly on its journey, via Croydon, Redhill and Tonbridge, to Tunbridge Wells, where it was timed to arrive at 4.28. The train was there delayed for a few minutes for taking in water, and for examining and greasing the wheels. It then set off for St. Leonards direct, where it arrived at 17 minutes past five. Every precaution had been taken by both railway companies against the possibility of accident, the latter company having also arranged to have the royal train signalled by hand, men being stationed for that purpose at all the crossings, tunnels, curves, &c throughout the journey. It was said that an arrangement was also made whereby the royal train could be put into instant communication with any station on the route. Notwithstanding the slowing down and other precautions taken to insure safety, the journey from London Bridge was accomplished in two hours and from Tunbridge Wells in 47 minutes. The train consisted of six carriages, the first of which was the magnificent saloon of the South-Western Company. This contained the royal pair, and a second saloon was appropriated to the use of two nurses and the royal infant. The third carriage contained the Hon. Mrs Coke, Magor-Gen. Knollys, and Major Teesdale. The Prince and Princess on alighting, bowed graciously to the officials and then proceeded in their own carriage to Starkey's Victoria Hotel. The route to the hotel, about half a mile, was thronged on both sides with carriage occupants and pedestrians, and a welcome more sincere than boisterous was given to and acknowledged by the royal visitors.
Friday being the first complete day of their Royal Highnesses sojourn, was, unfortunately one of those rainy and boisterous days which are not over numerous in this locality mild winters excepted. It is pretty well known, however, to meteorologists at least, that when they do occur, they not only clear the air of noxious vapours, but bring also, in the case of south west gales, an amount of ozone which confers on those who inhale it a greater boon than bane. During the roughest part of the day it would have been impossible for the royal visitors to have taken outdoor exercise, but as the storm abated in the afternoon, the Princess took an opportunity of an airing in her carriage, whilst the Prince walked on the esplanade The members of the gentlemen's club, in the immediate vicinity of the hotel, placed their billiard and reading rooms at the disposal of the Prince during his sojourn, and Mr. Curteis, master of the East-Sussex hounds, kindly offered to give his Royal Highness a meet on any day he might be pleased to appoint. It was worthy of notice that the lamps within and around the hotel had been fitted with new burners, portions of unmelted snow had been removed, and the approaches in [ 212 ]every direction which the previous frost and snow had rendered less clean than usual, had been relaid with beach. This last was done by order of the Commissioners, who likewise directed the other roads, together with the parade walks to be rolled and otherwise kept in as good a condition as circumstances would permit. A flagstaff was erected opposite to the east front of the hotel to correspond with the one ordinarily at the west front, and upon which the Royal standard and the Danish flag were hoisted. A flag staff was also placed at the Archwway, another on the clock-tower, and a fifth at the North Lodge. These bore emblems of royalty during the visit in a quiet unostentious manner.
Or Saturday, the St. Leonards Gazette was issued as usual, and besides containing a full account of the royal visit up to that time, published also the following lines of Welcome.
Hail glorious scion of a noble race!
Hail lovely Princess of a Royal line!
Hail sacred babe - our country's hope and pride
Welcome all to St. Leonards on the sea.
'Tis here those infant eyes will first behold
That element which hath made England great
secured her fame and honour, wealth and joy
Whilst other nations have been wrecked and torn
She hath sailed on as mistress of the sea.
Oh! may that Power which dwells beyond the stars
Be ever watching over all your heads
To guard, to guide, to bless and comfort you.
Through all the anxious years which are to come!
hay every blessing heaven can bestow
Be shed around your paths - around your beds.
way peace an joy within your bosom live
And when all eartly honours fade away
May you with everlasting joy, be crowned!
St Lconards on sea.
Feb. 11th, 1864
Continuing its narrative of the royal movements, the St Leonards Gazette rejoiced to say that notwithstanding the realisation of its own weather forecast of wintry squally and unsettles weather, the princess of Wales was able to take out of door exercise, more or less, every day, and that her strength and general health continued to improve. The growth and condition of the royal infant were also pronounced to be satisfactory.
Saturday was the worst day in respect to weather of any day during their stay, there being an almost continuous fall of snow from morning till night accompanied by a cold, bleak wind, which embued it with a thoroughly wintry aspect. Yet, conscious, as it would seem, of the health giving pro[ 213 ]perties of our south coast atmosphere, the Princess resolved to take an airing during the day in a close carriage, whilst the Prince braved the inclemency of the weather in a more sturdy fashion by a walk along the sea-front. Extending his ramble into Hastings, his Royal Highness called at the studio of Messrs. Ayles and Boniwell and favoured those gentlemen with a sitting for his portrait. On the same day he honoured Capt. Gough with a reception an chatted affably with him for sometime. When prince Michael of Russia visited Cl. Leonards in 1862. Capt. Gough received from him as a souvenir an imperial gift in the shape of a superb Russian revolver. This token of regard the captain had the honour of showing to his Royal Highness, who examined it minutely, and apparently with much interest. Questions were also put to Capt. Gough, pertaining to matters in this district, which his experience enabled him to reply to.
On Sunday morning the Prince and Princess attended divine service for the second time at St. Leonards church. The princess was attired in semi-mourning costume, as was also her lady-in-waiting, the Hon. Mrs. Cope. Their Royal Highnesses and the lady just name occupied the first of two specially covered pews in the chancel, the second pew being occupied by Major General Knollys, Major Teesdale and the Hon. R. Meade. A large crowd appeared at the church porch, many of the persons composing it being unable to obtain admission, said admission being as on the previous Sunday, by ticket. This arrangement was designed to prevent confusion and overcrowding. Their Royal Highnesses and attendants made their ingress and egress by the vestry door, and thus avoided the inconvenience of passing through the crowd. The service was impressively performed, the prayers being read by the Rev. J. Stuart (curate), the first lesson by the Rev. C. M. Ramus, the second lesson by the Rev. R. Workman (incumbent), the litany by the Rev. G.D. St. Quintin, and the Communion by the Rev. R. Workman. The last named gentleman also preached the sermon, from the 11th verse of the 97th Psalm - "There is sprung up a light for the righteous and joyful gladness for such as are true hearted." As the said preacher was afterwards discovered to be a returned convict, and continuing in wrong doing (see pages 158 to 177), the question suggests itself what were the preacher's feelings as to the application of the text to his own conduct? He might have appropriately remarked as did on one occasion, the Rev. W. Whistler, a Hastings rector "Don't do as I do, but as I say!" The musical service was ably performed by the choir, under the direction of Mr. G. Thomson, the orgainst; and their Royal Highnesses, on returning to the hotel, expressed themselves very much pleased with the manner in which the chanting and other portions of the musical service were conducted. In the afternoon the Princess took a carriage drive into Hastings, whilst the Prince went thither on foot. [ 214 ]Monday morning appearing to give promise of more genial weather, it was thought that the Prince having been disappointed of the fox hunt on the preceding Friday, would join the meet at Crowhurst park; but if such had been his intention, the had frost of Sunday night would have been an obstacle in the way. So, instead of hunting foxes, the royal pair went upon the beach and hunted pebbles. Less animate, and of course less cunning than Reynard, some half dozen of the flinty tribe allowed themselves to be seized by royal hands an conveyed to Mr. Bissenden, the lapidrist, who selecting two of the best for bisection and other manipulation, soon made it evident that under a rough exterior, there lay a precious gem! Mr. Bissenden had previously been honoured with royal commands to manufacture a paperknife, the handle to be formed of the right foot of the fox which was hunted by the Prince at the Sidley grand meet. The brush of the said fox (a very fine one) had been entrusted to Mr. Kent, the naturalist, of London road, who preserved it and shaped it for the Princess’s hat. The whole of the articles when sent home were highly approved of.
The afternoon of Monday, notwithstanding that a gentle thaw had set in, and the barometer was rising to the fair weather index brought more snow-showers; yet, nothing daunted, the Prince and Princess, with their attendants took a drive to Hastings in the waggonette, and paid a visit of inspection to those curious and extensive excavations known as St Clements caves. These were illuminated throughout and the effect was such as to evoke an expression of surprise and admiration, as the royal party were being conducted through the curious ranifications by Mr. Golding. The Princess and her attendant returned, apparently in good spirits, as the snow flakes fell thickly upon them; and the Prince, with Major Teesdale visited the White Rock bazaar, there to make several purchases, consisting chiefly of baskets peculiar to the locality. It was pleasurable to the townspeople to know that notwithstanding the prevalence of weather more wintry and ungenial than the average for St. Leonards, there were intervals of mitigation every day sufficient to enable the Prince and Princess to take walks and drives, by means of which the former was enabled to preserve his robust health, and the latter to become more and more her former self in strength an vivacity. A band was engaged to play in front of the hotel every evening during and after dinner, the honour being first conferred on that of Kluckner's, and afterwards on the one known as Klee's. The change thus made was said to be in consequence of Kluckner's allowing its German nationality to so far influence it as not to play or to play only very indifferently, the Danish National air thus incurring the displeasure of the Prince. Several purchases were made at Dorman’s Victoria Library, one of the articles being an elegantly bound St Leonard Guide. The Prince of Wales having mentioned his gratification at the sight presents by the Fire 13rigade soon after his arrival, some thought of a second procession was entertaind by its members, but this was not carried into effect. There was also an [ 215 ]intention on the part of some fifty or sixty of our amateur vocalists to serenade the royal party on one evening during their stay, provided the same were approved. His Royal Highness, however, graciously declined this exhibition of loyalty, stating that he thought it would be unkind on his part to allow ladies to be standing in the street during such indclment weather. The intimation was accompanied with thanks for kind intentions.
His Royal Highness gave ten guineas to the widow of the coastguard who was unfortunately drowned at Cliff end, and the following are additional instances of liberality: - Twenty guineas were given to the Rev. R. Workman for St. Leonards Church and parish charities; 15 guineas to J. Montgomerie, Esq. for the Invalid Gentlewomen’s Home; 10 guineas to the Dispensary; 25 guineas to the Infirmary; and 10 guineas to the St. Leonards National Schools.It was most gratifying to Mr. Starkey, personally, an to the town and borough at large, to know that the Prince of Wales and his beloved lady expressed their delight with the arrangements made on their behalf. Not only was this expression verbally conveyed to Mr. and Miss Starkey, but an entry in the visitors book was made also by the prince himself, as follows: - Feb. 23rd. The prince and Princess of Wales perfectly satisfied. His Royal Highness also expressed his entire approval of the police and other arrangements in the following letters to the mayor:
His Royal Highness has been pleased to direct Lieut. General Knollys to convey to the Mayor his approval of the arrangements made for the arrival of their Royal Highnesses, than which nothing could be more satisfactory.— Victoria Hotel, Feb. 22nd, 1864.
Dear Sir, - The Prince of Wales has directed me to express to you, on his leaving St. Leonards, the satisfaction he has experienced at all the arrangements connected with the towns of Hastings and St Leonards, wherein His Royal Highness and the Princess have been concerned. Their Royal Highnesses will each retain a most agreeable recollection of their visit and ever feel a strong interest in the prosperity of the two towns. Their Royal Highnesses desire me to add their sense of your own personal attention to their comfort and convenience, and to request you will make known to the superintendent of the Police and his force their appreciation of their services.— I am, dear, sir, very faithfully yours "The Mayor of Hastings. W. Knollys
Tuesday having been fixed for the departure of their Royal Highnesses, two special trains were provided by the south Eastern Railway company to convey them and their retinue to the Charing cross station, en route to Marlborough House. The morning came in with a prospect of fine weather, and which being realized, must have given the royal pair a tolerably good idea of what St. Leonards really is under its usually favourable conditions. The first train that in which their Royal Highnesses and the infant prince were to travel- was arranged to leave at ten minutes before noon, and although punctuality was duly observed, the Princess - so it was said lingered at the window of the hotel to the latest minute watching the bright blue waves as they rippled almost beneath her feet. A consi[ 216 ]derable number of persons assembled near the hotel to witness the departure, and along the route to the railway station many were on the look-out to give their Royal Highnesses a respectful greeting. The Prince and Princess rode in their own carriage followed by a second carriage containing the royal infant and its two nurses, and a third carriage in which were Lieut Gen. Knollys and Major Teesdale. Traveling, as before, by the South Eastern railway, Mr. Descon, the station master had arranged to have the approaches unobstructed, and had covered the platform with crimson coloured baize. The royal party were received on the platform by the following members of the Corporation: - J. Rock, Esq Mayor; R Growse, Ex Town Clerk); Aldermen Hayles, Ross and Ticehurst and Councillors Putland, Bromley, Winter, Gutsell, How, Gausden, and Picknell. On alighting from their carriage the Prince and Princess bowed to the authorities present and immediately entered the royal saloon. This was the magnificent carriage of the South-Eastern Company, consisting of a spacious centre compartment, lined and cushioned with amber damask, an ante saloon, lined with similar material, and having a communicating door also a coupée, lined with blue damask. On the elegant exterior were gilded devices, including the royal arms, recumbentions, and the rose, thistle and shamrock. There were also two ordinary saloons and two first class carriages, which, with the guards vans made up a train of eleven carriages drawn by a powerful engine. . . The train moved off within one minute of the appointed time, amidst the quiet but respectful salutations of those who witnessed it. Mr. J. Knight, superintendent of the traffic department, took up a position on the engine, while other duties were assigned to Capt. Warren, one of the directors. There were also carried out on this occasion the signalling by hand and the means of communicating with any station in case of need, as was the system on the down journey.
Moving out slowly from the St Leonards station, the royal train soon increased its momentum to an express rate of speed, arriving at Tunbridge Wells shortly after midday and at Charing Cross at 1.44. Thence the Royal party travelled in their private carriages and arrived at Marlborough House by two o'clock. The second special train was despatched at about half past one and was made up of one first-class carriage, three carriage trucks, four horse boxes, and two guard's vans. These conveyed the coachmen an grooms, the horses and carriages, and a portion of luggage belonging to the royal household. It was gratifying to all parties that the journey of their Royal Highnesses and suite to Marlborough House was accomplished rapidly, easily and pleasantly, and that an assurance to that effect was conveyed to the railway officials in charge of the train.
Said the St. Leonards Gazette, from which the foregoing extracts are taken, We cannot conclude this notice of the royal visit without congratulating the townspeople upon so fortunate an occurrence; being well convinced that such a visit must needs confer a lasting benefit upon a [ 217 ]locality justly described as the Queen of Watering places, but a locality, albeit, which, for some time past has had the misfortune to suffer from prejudice and misrepresentation. We have long felt that some such a visit was necessary to restore our prestige, and as an earnest of that feeling, many of readers will remember that in an article headed "Invitation to Royalty", a few months back, we stated that "There can be but lit the divergence of opinion as to the benefit likely to accrue to our lodging-house keepers and tradesmen by a large influx of visitors, and as little diversity of sentiment respecting the attractions of Royalty to any place where the latter can be induced, even for a brief period to take up its abode. Supposing then that the well-known loyalty and salubrity of these towns, and the equally well-known fact of our good and gracious Queen and her beloved mother, the Duchess of Kent, and their royal relatives, the Queen Dowager Adelaide, the Princess Sophia of Gloucester, the Duke and Duchess of Cumberland, and of the present King of Hanover, having all resided among us, should be some inducement to the Prince and Princess of Wales to accept an invitation to Hastings or St. Leonards let us see &c. – Well, we have only is to say, in conclusion, that we are heartily glad that the realization of the views and wishes at that time set forth in this journal has been so little remote, and that the prospect of better times is already enabling our towns–people to ejaculate with heart and voice God Bless the prince of Wales."
Assuming that the above indicated benefit arising from the Royal visit would be forthcoming through the newspaper reports, it may be here stated that in addition to the influence of other local journals, the output of the St. Leonards Gazette for two weeks was more than tripled, the extra demand being probably for sending copies to friends at a distance. One gentleman - who, perhaps, was in some way connected with the distinguished visitors, but who merely said he was staying at the hotel during the occupancy of the best apartments by the royal party purchased nearly or quite one hundred copies, which he addressed and stamped for post in the shop adjoining the printing office of the said paper. The distribution of this number alone to different towns and districts must have done good by the advertisement which the borough thus obtained.
Another incidental feature was the weather forecasts of the Gazette, which proved to be so nearly accurate day by day as to evoke remarks from correspondents mostly of a complimentary tone. One somewhat amusing circumstance was this: On the second Saturday, when taking an additional supply of his paper to the Eversfield Library, the proprietor of the Gazette ran against Miss Capel who emerged from the shop, laughing, The explanation was voluntarily tendered by Mr. Beagley to the effect that the said lady, just before seeing the journalist, who was his own messenger, said - "I would not have cared a jot about those weather predictions if they had not, unfortunately, come true." [ 218 ]
Another Royal Visit. The ex-Queen of the French (Queen Amelie) at the age of 83 years, honoured St. Leonards with another of those visits which may be taken as alike gratifying both to the visitor and the visited. Her Majesty and suite arrived by a special train of the South Eastern railway on the afternoon of Monday the 2nd of May, and were conveyed directly to Starkey's Royal Victoria Hotel, where their Royal Highnesses, the Duke and Duchess of Chartres, had previously taken up their abode. The visit of the royal party was not a protracted one, as the approaching marriage of the Count de Paris would be causing an assemblage of the family at Claremont, there to meet the bride-elect, together with other notables from Spain.
A Daring Robbery. on the evening of Friday, Nov. 4th a robbery of jewels, valued at from three to four hundred pounds, was said to have been effected at Mr. Fuller's, in Warrior Terrace. The daring act took place between the hours of seven and nine, and at the time of missing the property there was no clue to the thief or thieves.
St. Leonards Commissioners.
A meeting of the inhabitants assessed at £20 and upwards, took place on the 24th of March (Sir Woodbine Parish presiding), when J. Cameron, Esq. was elected in the place of J. Carey (deceased); Henry Carpenter, vice, J. Platt, G. C Schutz, vice, Rev. W.W. Hume (resigned), S. Chester, vice N Parks (disqualified) and N. Parks, vice J.R. Holden (disqualified). At the Commissioners meeting there were not sufficient members to form a quorum.
At the adjourned quarterly meeting on the 4th of April, it was ordered that 130 feet of iron fence on a low kerb be put up on the West hill road from the public foot path adjoining Mr. Schutz’s house to a point at the Burial ground as soon as the Incumbent's consent could be obtained. The estimated expense was six or seven shillings per foot, towards which Mr. D. Burton and Mr. Schutz offered £5 each.
Bills to be paid as follows:
|Kenwood, for channeling, drains, &c||£35.10.8|
|Do. for walls, pavements, &c||163.1.3|
|Alderton & Shrewsbury for posts and gratings.||3.17.10|
|Jas. Reeves for gulley gratings||7.11.8|
|T. Jordan for fire engine sundries||5.0.6|
|Lovell, for repairs to fire-engine||4.18.6|
|Mrs. Mann for sundries||9.7.3|
Parade seats ordered to be painted and the copings, where bad, to be attended to Mr. Hughes’s tender for Aberdeen granite kerbing £80 9s. accepted but afterwards by request supplied Cornish, at a reduction of £11. Messrs. Adamson's tender for Aberdeen granite was £113 6s. 8d. Also Mr. Hughes's tender of £38 168 for paving north side of Victoria hotel was accepted; Mr. Kenwoods tender for the same being £49.
Resolved that in a reply, to the Rev. J.A. Hatchard's letter, he be informed that the sanitary condition of the town had the attention of the Commis[ 219 ]sioners, and that an important scheme of drainage is under consideration.
Paid Mr. Langham £21 5.4 costs for prosecuting French and Taylor, for placing their boats on the parade; paid Mr. Growse £1 for a copy of Rawlinson's Report; paid Mr. Kenwood for granite crossings, £28 3 6; paid Mr. Woodgate for painting seats £14.13.2; paid Hastings Town Council £5 for one year's rent of engine-house; paid £192.19.7 for half a years gas; also £4.7. 1 for removing lamps.
Letters received from Messrs. Cameron and Carpenter, declining to serve as Commissioners.
Mr. Hughes to be allowed to put a wine vault on the west side of 109 Marina.
Estimate of the Surveyor £90 for lengthening out-lets, 9 in number to the extent of 27 feet (£10 each)
Resolved that Mr. Young see the Mayor and enquire if there is any probability of the Local Board carrying out in any reasonable time a scheme of drainage in which St Leonards can participate. or avail itself of by a reasonable contribution, and to intimate that in default, the Commissioners contemplate taking an independent course in the alteration of their drainage.
An application received from Mr. How to widen the road from 135 to 146 Marina.
A request to be made to Mr. Winter that he remove the vessel on the beach at the west end of the town.
June 24th, Quarterly Meeting at 21 East Ascent. Present A. Burton, C.R. Harford G.H.M. Wagner, Col. Leslie and Sir W. Parish.
Committee reported having ordered pavement in front of five houses at the Fountain, to cost about £19.
The Clerk had seen the Mayor as requested, and was informed that he (the Mayor) had with other members of the Local Board, seen Mr. Rawlinson the engineer, and the subject was under consideration, but nothing more definate could be said at present.
Paid Mr. Rodda £41.0.3 for putting West-hill in order; paid Mr. Glenister £5.50 subscription to Fire Brigade; paid Mr. Willard £8.17.8 for sundries; paid Mr. Kenwood £47 16 9 for watering and cartering.
Notice to be given to the owner of an unbuilt on plot at 132 Marina to make the same secure.
Fireengine to be painted by Mr. Neve
In consequence of the bad state of the fence at the West hill, ordered that the iron fence be put up at once; also an iron gate in lieu of the wicker one.
Rate book at 1s to be made as usual.
Special Meeting, August 20th. Members present Col. Leslie, G. H.N. Wagner, [ 220 ]C.R. Harford, C.T. How, C. H. Gausden, A Burton, and C.H. Southall.
Letter received from the Town Clerk stating that at a quarterly meeting of the Town Council on Aug. 5th it was resolved that the report of the Local Board in committee be adopted and so far as can be legally done the work recommended be carried out, and the surveyor be directed to prepare plans sections and estimates, and the Town Clerk forward same to the Home secretary for his sanction to borrow the money.
Meeting of Committee on drainage outlets, Feb. 25th. The Surveyor presented his report, showing shewing(sic) the fall from Rock a Nore to the outlet of the Commissioners of Levels at Bopeep. The Committee reported that the average fall in both districts, east and west, was 3 inches in 100 feet, and that the estimated cost would be about £10,000, Out of that sum the proportion for the Commissioners to pay would be about £3,250, which it was assumed would be repaid by them to the Local Board at 3 per cent. per annum for sinking fund, and 5 per cent. interest in the same way as the Local Board would pay their proportion, namely £6,750. At each end - viz., the new haven and the Rock a Nore, the committee proposed to construct a large iron tank to receive the drainage, the two tanks to discharge themselves at convenient periods of the tide by means of flood gates, the pipes from the tanks to be carried out to low-water mark under water. There would be overflow pipes to carry off the surplus water when the tanks were full, at the west end an inlet would be made to connect the water from the new haven, for flushing purposes.
Adjourned Meeting of tocal Board, in Committee, July 4th. The committee recommended carrying out the drainage from the Infirmary westward to Bopeep railway arch, and eastward to 200 feet further than the existing outfall, with iron deposit tanks at each end, at an estimated cost of £10,000, and generally to embrace the report of sub-committee made on the 25th of Feb, and that the St. Leonards Commissioners be met by the local Board with a view to arrange with them to pay their fair proportion for use of the western drain.
"Resolved that the whole body of commissioners do meet the local Board of Health at the Town Hall, any day the Board may appoint."
"Resolved, further, that it is the opinion of this meeting that the report of some eminent engineer be jointly agreed upon, prior to arrangements being made"
Hastings Town Hall. Commissioners present, neprs. Lestie, Wagner, Gausden, How and Southall. Local Board present, Messrs. Rock (mayor), Stoneman, Winter, Howell, Vidler, Davis, Burchell, Picknell, How, Gausden Harvey and Putland. After considerable discussion it was stated that the plans prepared by the Board of Health had received the sanction of Mr Rawlinson, the Governnent surveyor, and that the local Board were [ 221 ]entirely satisfied with them. The local Board therefore declined to incur further expense in the getting of any other opinion on the plan; and the following resolution was passed by the Board - "That the plans and sections relating to the proposed alterations of the drainage outlet be placed in the hands of the St. Leonards Commissioners to allow them the opportunity of testing the same."
The Commissioners resolved that an early meeting be called to take into consideration the above resolution.
Quarterly Meeting, Sept. 29th Resolved that an engineer of eminence be employed to report on the local Boards scheme of drainage before the Commissioners treat with the local Board.
A letter having been received from Mr. Decimus Burton, recommending Mr. McLean, president of the Institution of civil Engineers to advise on the drainage it was resolved that the local Board scheme be transmitted to him, and that Mr Gant and Mr. Andrews be requested to meet him and afford him all the information in their powers.
At a Meeting of Inhabitants on 31st Oct. Rev. E.V. Bligh was elected a Commissioner in the room G. J. Murton, and Wm John Rodda, in the place of Mr Cameron.
At the Quarterly Meeting Dec. 23rd, the Clerk was desired to inform Mr. Marsh that if the fence at the churchyard be not put into immediate repair the Commissioners would take the matter into their own hands, and hold him responsible for any accident reminding him at the same time that they had already to do at their own expense what was necessary in an ornamental way.
Mr. Rodda declined to act as a Commissioner.
Paid to Mr. Hughes £159, the balance due for drainage and paving Tenders received for scavengering and ashes – Mr. Mitchell’s £103 and Mr. Hughes's, £112. The latter was accepted.
A letter having been received from Mr. Stileman (McLean & Stileman) stating that Mr McLean was on the continent and would not be home for a month. the Clerk was desired to write, expressing surprise and disappointment, and to say that if nothing more to be done for another month, another engineer would have to be appointed.
Leave was given to the Hastings postmaster (Mr. Temple) to place a pillar letter box near the Sussex Hotel.
Resolved that the footpath on the side of 109 Marina be paved by Mr. Hughes for £39 11s. 2d., Mr. Holford paying half the cost.
The steps leading from the Caves Road to the top of the cliff and dedicated to the public being in a bad condition, the surveyor was desired to examine an report on the same.
On behalf of the Wesleyan Foreign Missions, two sermons were preached [ 222 ]in the Norman-road Wesleyan Chapel on Sunday the 17th of January by the Rev. William Wedlock, a blind minister, formerly a missionary at Houduras Bay. A public meeting was also held on the following day, The collection was something over £14.
For the St. Leonards National Schools three sermons were preached in the parish church on Sunday the 13th of March, that in the morning by the Rev. J. Stuart, the one in the afternoon by the Rev. W. Bradley, and the evening sermon by the latter gentleman. The result of the appeal was £33. The children of these schools were upwards of 500.
For the Invalid Gentlewomen's Home the Bishop of Carlisle (Dr. Waldegrave) preached in the church of St. Mary Magdalen on the 2oth of March, and obtained by collection the sum of £48 12s.
On behalf of the Infirmary sermons were preached in the St. Leonards Assembly Rooms on Sunday, December 18th, by the Revs. J A.G Colpoys and J. W. Tottenham, and a sum of £21 was contributed. (For Hastings special sermons see next chapter and preceding chapter).
An inquest was held at the Railway Jun, St. Leonards on the 14th of April to ascertain the cause of death of Mrs Campbell, a widow, 75 years of age whose somewhat sudden death occurred, two days previously. She was the mother of the innkeeper’s husband and had resided at the inn about 18 months. She had generally good health, but on the morning of her death had complained of weakness and giddiness, and asked for some tea. A change in her condition was noticed and surgeon Penhall was sent for, who found her dying. On a post-mortem examination a small shell was found, which had probably been swallowed some years before, This had caused a large ulcer in the stomach, which had the effect of opening an artery, and hence the cause of death.
Sudden Death occurred to Mrs. Ashby, at 7 Cross street on the evening of Monday, Sept. 19th. She was 56 years of age and had been for some time the victim of heart disease. On the evening name she left the room where her invalid daughter was for another part of the house, but after a short time as she did not return the daughter gave an alarm, which having attracted the attention of a neighbour, the latter entered and stumbled over Mrs Ashby's dead body. (See also sudden deaths and inquests, pages 197 to 199)
Said the St. Leonards Gazette of July 9th - Should the Suicide mania continue we shall, ere long, obtain a most unenviable notoriety, - almost as popular as that of Cheltenham, which can now boast of having as many as seven or eight suicides in as many weeks. The last foolish fellow who attempted self-destruction in this borough was John Thomas Hayward, who was discovered in the water at Bopeep. He was got out, and after the usual means of restoration had been applied by Mr. Munday and Dr. Trollope, he was brought to consciousness. After being in durance vile for four days he was placed before the [ 223 ]the magistrates, and as he exhibited deep penitence, he was discharged.
Susan Crouch, a servant, of Northiam, and Samuel Rogers, a clerk of London, the former ago 28, and the latter, 18, appeared before the magistrates of Hastings, on the 28th of July, charged with an attempt to drown themselves. They were liberated on the promise not to repeat the offence.
A Schoolmaster's Attempt. At county Bench, Hastings on Saturday, Sept. 17th, Charles Edward Gladman, master of the endowed School at Guestling was placed at the bar, charged with having attempted to commit suicide by cutting his throat on the preceding Wednesday. He had lodged at the house of Mark Ramsey a grocer, more than twelve months and on the morning here stated was found in bed, with a superficial wound in his throat about two inches long, from which a good deal of blood had flown. On being questioned he said he did not know why he did it, and on a statement of Mr. Groom, a surgeon, that the prisoner was not, in his opinion, accountable for his act, he was placed under the care of the Relieving Officer with the view of being sent to an asylum.
A School Treat
As the summer comes round with each revolving year it brings with it, apparently an increased number of of outings; all of which partake more or less of rural recreations. These are made up of pic-nic parties, archaeological gatherings, philosophical jaunts, club festivities, volunteer reviews, flower shows, fancy fairs, and other out-door amusements. But among them all, there are, probably, not any which call up more pleasant associations than a school treat. Happiness is supposed to consist mainly in making others happy; and when we reflect upon the gleeful heart throb of our own childhood on the occasion of a school treat being near at hand we can readily enter into the
feelings of those youthful members of the community who have stepped into our places. Hastings and St. Leonards are fortunately blessed with a full complement of Sunday and other schools, each of which in some not very definite order of succession, holds its annual treat, to the mutual enjoyment of both old and young, whose privilege it may be to engage therein.
One of these unpretentious, but felicitous meetings on the 21st of July, when the Silverhill Sunday scholars, to the number of 120, and afterwards the teachers and friends, numbering about forty, partook of tea together in the locality indicated by the name. The whole party entered with a rest into the festivities of feeding, singing, talking and gaming (not gambling) which occupied them until the shades of evening bade them depart in peace.
The St. Leonard's Temperance Propaganda.
A Feast without Fuddle. On Wednesday, the 4th of January some fifty or more persons congregated at the Norman road Temperance Hall at 7 pm, and by the time that Mr. Verney had loaded four long tables with the substantial fare of smoking meats and delicious puddings, the hall assumed a very comfortable and cheerful aspect. Most of the decorations, including the illuminated tree specially arranged for the Christmas festival were retained, and a small, but [ 224 ]excellent band was present to enliven the proceedings. The whole company having sung grace, no time was lost in putting to a practical test the qualities of several roast and boiled meats, plum puddings, mince pies, tarts, fruits, etc, which, as already intimated, were provided by Mr. Verney of Hastings. Ample justice having been done to the viands, the cloths were removed, and Mr. J.E. Butter was called to the chair. This gentleman said he need not tell them how happy he was to meet them on that festive winding up of the Temperance year, which had been a great success, not only in the ordinary Temperance movement, but also with the institute connected with the Hall, more particularly the classes, lectures, concerts and other arrangements which had been made for the instruction, amusement and well being of its members. He stated the circumstances connected with the offer of prizes by the committee for the best essays on given subjects, and gave an outline of the evenings proceedings, explaining that in lieu of toasts that were usually given at convivial meetings, they would propose votes of thanks to such of the persons present as had rendered services to Total Abstinence. This was done, and many of the propositions as well as the responses, were accompanied by good, practical, and in some cases, eloquent remarks. The entertainment concluded with the National Anthem and a round of cheers for the Queen.
The Musical Entertainments have been described under the head of concerts, and the lectures, with other movements of the Temperance party will now be briefly recorded.
Richard Noah Bailey, the reformed pugilist, as the Londoners delighted to call him, met with a hearty reception at the Temperance Hall on the 19th of January, when in the presence of a crammed house he delivered an address on The Struggles of Early life. In this address the speaker's own experience, both as a professor of fistiana and as a teltotaller was given in a forcible and amusing manner.
A Juvenile Panorama. The entertainment at the Temperance Hall on the evenings of the 27th and 28th of January consisted of a cleverly got up panorama by Masters Philip Tree and Arthur Butler. The subject was "Masterman Ready" and was accompanied by verbal descriptions and music.
The Permissive Bill was the subject of an explanatory discourse on the 24th of February by Mr. Roper, parliamentary agent of the united Kingdom Alliance. Other speakers were W. D. Lucas Shadwell, Esq., Mr. Ranger, Rev. W. N. Tilson Marsh, and Mr. Warr. [See page 226].
A Shadow Entertainment. There being at the time a craving for the supernatural with a prevailing taste for the comic, it had an opportunity of having its desires satisfied to some extent at a Shadow Entertainment exhibited in the Temperance Hall by a local Phantom Troupe. A white screen had been stretched across the platform and a strong light placed at the extreme back of it, whilst the other part of the room was kept in darkness, consequently, the [ 225 ]minicry of the troupe, which was performed in front of the light was thrown in well defined shadows on to the screen. The phantoms represented all the characters of a pantomime, and as such the affair was very amusing. It was accompanied by an excellent band of music.
A repetition of the Shadow Entertainment took place on March 3rd, and again by request, on March 5th. "Didn't they cut and caper about" said one of the audience, as he was telling the story, next day, "and didn't they make us fellows laugh? There were necromancers and witches, and tumblers and clowns, and pantaloons, and harlequins, and volunteers, and skeletons, and ghosts, and I can't tell you what else. Then there was a hatching of chickens- no, not exactly that, but there were two funny looking fellows, with their big spoons and knives pitching into a boiled egg, I suppose they called it, when out hopped a chicken, as large as life. To tell you the truth, there were all sorts of funny things which I can't think of now; but I know we all laughed heartily, and wondered too how they did it, especially when they one and all jumped clean up to the ceiling and down again."
A Lecture on George Stephenson was delivered in the Temperance Hall on the 16th of March, by the Rev. Andrew Reed. The hall was well filled, and the lecturer was attentively listened to throughout.
"Luther the Monk and Luther the Reformer" was the title of a lecture delivered at the same place on March 23rd, by Mr. George Clements.
"Social Economy" was the subject on which the Rev Kennedy discoursed upon at the Temperance Hall and Workingmen's Institute on the 13th of April, The reverend gentleman urges upon his hearers the importance of temperance and economy in all concerns of life.
Man Traps. A lecture thus entitled was delivered in the same hall on May 11th by Mr. Ranger, of Lewes. It was well attended, and was really a discourse on Temperance.
Missionary Enterprise engaged the attention of a good audience at the hall on the 18th of Way. The lecturer was Mr. J. Hutchings of Hastings, who gave a lucid description of the work in which the various missionary societies were engaged.
Mr. Noah Bailey gave addresses in the Temperance Hall on the evenings of the 2oth and 21st of May, preached in the same building on the following Sunday, and addressed a Hastings audience on Monday. In all these he was received with manifest pleasure. In one of his addresses he said he had never been to school in his life, being the offspring of a drunken and infidel father and a drunken mother. His own early career had been a bad one, but he had come out of it, helped as he had been by his God-fearing and teetotal wife.
Popular Readings. The introduction and dates of the so-called Denny Reading are described on page 209.
The Third Annual Meeting of the Working news Institute was held in the [ 226 ]Temperance Hall on June 8th, when about 40 members of the society attended and officers were elected for the ensuing year.
Mr. Hutchings's second Address on Missionary Work" was delivered in the Temperance Hall on June 15th. It was chiefly of a biographic character, in which reference was made to the almost insurmountable difficulties of the earlier missionaries Swatto, Carey Brown, Wilson Martin, Buchanan, and others.
Presentation of Prizes. The most fashionable and nearly the largest company that had been seen in the Temperance Hall assembled on the 22nd of June when the Mayor (J. Rock, Esq.) distributed prizes for architectural drawing to the successful competitors, Philip Henry Tree, Henry Edward Cruttenden, and Elkanna Russell. His Worship opened the meeting with an appropriate address, after which several excellent readings.
A lecture on Madagascar was delivered in the Temperance Hall on Wednesday evening, July 6th, by the Rev. Andrew Reed. It(sic) past and present were ably dilated on, and the lecturer closed with the hope that ere long Madagascar would be the great Britain of South Africa.
Editorial Articles from the "Gazette". After the lecture by Mr. Raper on the Permissive Bill mentioned on page 224, a discarded workman from the Gazette office who had been found wanting in honesty and almost as much in sobriety, but who afterwards joined the total abstainers, wrote thus to the Alliance News:– "We had a glorious Alliance meeting and among these electors I noticed town councillors, church wardens, lawyers, and men of property. So at it we went in right good earnest. Our glorious three decker, Mr. Raper, began pouring in shot and shell until all the bulwarks of ignorance and doubt and selfishness, were vanquished, and parties who to my certain knowledge had come to oppose it, were quite enthusiastic in its advocacy. I send you a copy of our town's paper which contains a report of our meeting. The editor of it had quite a tussle with Mr. Raper at the close of the meeting, but was completely beaten.
Now (said the editor) as the statement of that correspondent if true, would have put it out of our power to write in the strain we have done without a tacit admission of duplicity we were never guilty of, we will simply say we attended the meeting in question not to oppose it, but to report it; and at the close of the meeting, through the officiousness of the said member were led to make some remarks which did not subject us to defeat, but which were listened to in a respectful manner by the gentleman to whom they were addressed. It is due to ourselves to say that not wishing to disturb the harmony of the meeting by a prolonged discussion that would have re-opened the subject, and perhaps have damaged a cause to which we had strong leanings, we confined our remarks on that occasion to such facts as would justify our dissent from the principles of the Permissive Bill as explained by Mr. [ 227 ] [ 228 ]regret the baneful result of intemperance. It is beyond all question a gigantic evil, and one which requires to be grappled with by every fair and legimate means with the view of its extermination. The fearful amount of immorality, the immense sacrifice of comforts, the misapplication of working men's earnings, the prevalence of misery and destitution, the homes that are made cheerless, and the social degradation which result immediately from, or are the companions of intemperance, are enough to lead the mind to view our drinking customs as a national curse. What wonder then is it that, after listening to the stirring appeals of a Gough or the sweeping denunciations of a Burns, persons are ready to cry "Down with the liquor traffic! away with it! shut up the public-houses? &c.?" For ourselves we are not surprised that our horrified philanthropists join in the shout; nor do we hesitate as the foregoing sentiments show to disclose our conviction of the vast magnitude of the evil in question. We have indeed, an utter abhorrence of every species of intemperance, and therefore it is that we hope to be free from the chore of wishing to advocate a system so undeniably pernicious in its consequences, and fraught with so many disadvantages to the community. But to annihilate the trade in liquors at one fell swoop, as the Alliance would have us do, is a proposition so utterly at variance with present notions of unrestricted commerce, that we cannot allow ourselves either persuasively or compulsorily to adopt a principle of so arbitrary a character. We are moreover so practical in our habits as to view with some degree of suspicion the soundness of more than one of the theoretical speculations which agitate the public mind. We give the Alliance credit for sincerity and purity of motive, and so far agree with its members as to believe that some legislative interference may be necessary to protect the public from fraudulent adulterations, and to enable the retailer of beer and spirits to approximate his hours of business to those usually observed in other retail trades. We would also like to see the number of public houses limited to actual requirements but which should be regulated by the law of demand and supply so that the publican being freed from the ruinous competition which more or less in all towns, may have less occasion to resort to those questionable means of enticement now so universally practiced. But so long as the public demand to be supplied with beverages, the evil effects of which they believe to be due only to an immoderate use of them, so long, in our humble opinion, has the Government no right to suppress a traffic which is as much the privileges of Englishmen to engage in as is that which pertains to any other business. Thus it may be seen that in the above extract from a previous article, no attempt is made to conceal the evils of drunkenness, nor of that habitual practice of certain members of our common brotherhood and sisterhood which [ 229 ]closely, borders on intoxication; yet, as opposed to the method which the United Kingdom Alliance would employ in its infatuation for the "Maine Law" theory, there is equally no disposition to sit calmly by while an experiment is being tried that in the very nature of things can only add fuel to the fire, and in so far as the reformation of our species is the avowed object, must prove as great a failure in liberty-loving England as has resulted in the more lawless states of America. We shall probably be told by some of our teetotal friends - those for whom we entertain the highest regard, and whose praiseworthy exertions in the Temperance cause we shall notice at another time that we have prejudged the case, and that at least some of our views are fallacious. We may also be invited to peruse the "Condensed Argument for the Legislative Probibition of the Liquor Traffic" founded on Dr. Lees’s Prize Essay. We will therefore anticipate both the objection and invitation by saying that the facts (numerous and powerful as they are) of Dr. Lees's work, now lying before us, are altogether insufficient to wean us from a settled conviction that legislative prohibition, even if desirable, would not be tolerated for a single day. We know what we ourselves as strict temperance observers, would do if our quarter pint of dinner beer were denied us; and, knowing also that we are not the exceptional moderates that some of the total abstinence advocates have represented us, we can readily conceive that there are thousands like ourselves who, while they are proof against insidious temptations to ibibe undue potions of alcoholic drinks, would be very determined to secure by some new means their favourite beverage, which Government, if it had unwisely adopted Mr. Lawson's measure would have deprived them of. It is not many, weeks since we had occasion in our reputed "tussle with Mr. Raper", to give some practical illustrations of the sort of energy which would be manifested by persons like ourselves if subjected to the dictation of neighbours, whose infatuation for a wrong principle or whose impotency of self-control left them expose to the dangers which the moderate drinkers – the true temperance men are not in the least degree apprehensive of. The so called illustrations were such as had come under our notice, and were of a very, decided character, yet, should we not have burdened these remarks with any allusion to them but for the tissue of untruths which appeared in the Alliance News of March 12th. We make no charge against the conductors of that paper and only regret that the misstatements contained in a paragraph there inserted should have had for their author a member of the St. Leonards Temperance Society.
The foregoing editorial remarks, as might be imagine, were not at all pleasing to the members of the Temperance Society (Mr. Beagley and one or two others excepted), and the exposure of Mr. Burg’s misstatements was particularly annoying to that over-zealous individual; in so much that he afterwards exhibited a spirit of resentment which not only induce the [ 230 ]editor of the Gazette to withhold his theretofore assistance to the Society, but had the effect also of injuring the society in other ways. one result of this disagreement will be seen in the following correspondence and foot-note:-
A lady subscriber has received a circular, signed by one Thomas Elworthy, cautioning her against having her mind biased by invidious comments of a small journal, and she asks, with good natured simplicity if such caution has any reference to the mild and to her at least satisfactory explanation given for not reporting the Workingmens' exhibition.
Our correspondent further asks, should her suspicion be correct, if we intend to repudiate what in her judgment appears to be an unfair accusation our reply is that certain persons, using Mr. Thomas Elworthy as their mouth piece to damage the position of the Gazette - for, that is the "small" journal referred to have, inadvertently laid themselves open to animadversion, which may prove exceedingly inconvenient to them. If to convert a real friend into an implacable enemy is the aim of Mr. Elworthy and his coadjutors, then they are doing the surest thing to accomplish it. But more of this anon. In the mean time let us give utterance to the following brief lament:-
Alas! poor Ed. - thou man of plebian birth.
Dire is thy fate, sad soul of honest worth.
The world must mourn thy overpowerng woes,
Stabbed as thou art by pseudo friends and foes.
Compelled to meet an arch conspiring band,
Alone, by Knight, and in thy native land.
Four swords 'gainst one, thy righteous arm of might
Hath scarce a chance in such unequal fight.
yet, nobly wilt thou foil each vengeful thrust
That would thy life's blood mingle with the dust,
Till one by one thy base opponents fall-
Helworthys, Gips-ies, Knights and Burg-ers, all
It should be explained that Elworthy and Bung were professedly total-abstaners, and that the term "small journal" used by them was the invention of Mr. Knight; proprietor of a paper considerably smaller than the Gazette to which the description was applied. Gipps was the name of a gentleman who wrote libellous letters against the gazette in Mr. Knights paper, whose proprietor got a "Roland for his Oliver" and had hide his "diminished head."
The exaggerations and misrepresentations of Total Abstinence lecturers at that time were greatly inimical to success; and had it not been for frequent musical and other entertainments - many of them of a novel character - in which moderate drinkers assisted, together with the annual festival, to the financial part of which now-abstaining gentlemen and ladies contributed the Temperance Hall instead of being the great attraction that it was, would [ 231 ]not have received sufficient support for its maintenance, albeit it had in Mr. Beagley and others an executive of never ceasing activity.
Another editorial from the St. Leonards Gazette is here reproduced as a local contribution to the literature of the year, and as showing some of the exaggerations of teetotal lecturers to which reference has been made.
Said the Gazette – "Raked Up" was the text of our leading remarks in the last but one issue of this journal, and the term would not be inappropriate if applied to those of the following week; for, although the latter had reference to a subject entirely diverse from the former, they consisted mainly of arguments raked up from a decadal past. The production, in fact, was a sort of plagiarism, but the piracy was akin to that which at a Social science Congress the venerable Brougham once justified as a plagiary of one's own writing. In plain terms, it was confessedly a reproduction of facts and fancies in support of temperance; but real temperance as opposed to total abstinence. The ostensible object was to show (1st) that the views we entertained in earlier life had been confirmed by an experience of ten later years, and (2nd) that howsoever annoying the parliamentary veto of Mr. Lawson's Permissive Bill might be to the advocates of the proposed measure, such veto would prove a blessing rather than a curse to the country. A correspondent is of a different opinion, and he expresses a belief that if we would only defer our promised resumption of the subject for a few years longer we shall have arrived at a different conclusion. The reply to our friend’s suggestion is this:- The few years may never be ours, but even if they should be, the probability is that - as it now happens - the more we read and hear of total abstinence, the more rooted is our belief against the universality of its application, the chances of conviction are but few, and therefore whatsover further we may have to say, there is no time, we think, so good as the present. Quoting again our own words- We should be sorry to venture a single remark that would militate against the praiseworthy efforts of the teetotal fraternity; we acknowledge the many benefits conferred on society by those efforts, and wish them Godspeed. But we claim pardon for our temerity in venturing to remind our readers of a few conditions which it may be convenient to the advocates of universal total abstinence and the supporters of the Maine law to overlook We know the weakness in some cases of human nature, and how prone it is to be led this way, and that way by influences good or bad with which it may come in contact; and we can readily understand the mission of those persons who, having uppermost in their mind the welfare of their fellow-creatures, employ their talents, their leisure, or their eloquence for their country's good.
But we imagine how possible - we had almost said how allowable to overdraw a picture, or to deepen its tints for effect, or to exhibit only its dark side, leaving its brighter side turned to the wall. But, for all that, the sentiment "Every evil has some good, and every good some evil", forms part of our creed; and hence it is that if we would be honest, it becomes us to examine a question in all its [ 232 ]bearings, and in the course of our enquiries to admit every truth which may present itself to our discernment, even though it may be opposed to our predilection. Keeping this in view, and holding to the conviction that whatever may be the frailty of mankind, the practice of fortifying both the mental and corporeal powers against the allurements of an existing evil is far more easy of attainment than some persons suppose, we proceed to a further consideration of the subject. We admit that alcoholic beverages contain poison; so does the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat; aye! and we have heard it affirmed that with many physiologists it is a disputed point as to how much of certain prisons are necessary for the vilification of dormant faculties, the eradication of painful disease and even to health and life itself. Be that as it may, there have been persons dosed with alcohol from the cradle to the grave and yet have attained an age much beyond the average duration of life They have lived in spite of themselves" say, the teetotallers. Well, they may have done so; but we confess to the inability of comprehending the logical truth of the statement. There is, perhaps, a certain degree of probability that by a different course, there might in such cases have been even a greater prolongation of existence; and our own opinion so far favours this assumption that if we were compelled to diverge in either direction from the "happy medium", we would certainly have no hesitation in adopting, as the least of two evils, total abstention in preference to perpetual repletion. We would even now admit that although some persons have imbibed large quantities of alcoholic drinks with impunity, there are others who have succumbed to the destructive influence ascribed to such a course. But the case here supposed is one of extreme indulgence one of decided intemperance; and no more shows that because there is a destructive element in alcohol it is therefore not required any more than that because there are millions of lives sacrified by fire, water, electricity, and other agencies, those are not necessary elements to mans existence. That alcoholic beverages contain poison we have already admitted, and we have not the slightest doubt that an immoderate use of them is injurious to man’s constitution; but the same holds good in a modified degree in the excessive use of other stimulating or refreshing drinks, such as tea, coffee, especially when consumed, as is the practice with many persons (teetotallers included) at a temperature only a few degrees below boiling point, and in which the drinker could not bear his finger. When we heard a female member of a total-abstinence society boast that she could at any time drink half a pint of vinegar, we exclaimed interrogatively is that temperance? and if repeated daily would it not be far more injurious to the human system then the same daily quantity of beer? And when, on a cold snowy morning we heard a teetotaller, in refusing some mulled ale, make a statement to the effect that he had consumed four bottles of ginger beer before breakfast, we who can rarely take one bottle without discomfort, shuddered for the ultimate effects, and the more so, as the assurance was given that the drinking of such a quantity was by no means uncommon, particularly in hot weather. Again, when we heard a teetotaller lecturer [ 233 ]expatiate upon the beneficial effects of the ordinary domestic beverages, and declare that his hearers might never be afraid, even if they drank up to mother so-and-so’s standard of nineteen cups, we who could never with comfort exceed at one time the limit of two small cups, yet were never inconvenienced if, occasionally, we drank a similar quantity of beer, could only, smile a silent refusal to accept the well meant, but utterly fallacious teetotal dictum. Also, when we heard Mr. Ranger, of Northiam, with great self complacency offering a prize to any gardener or agriculturist who could grow a bushel of malt - not barley merely, we were tempted to offer a greater prize to the man who could grow a bushel of bread - not wheat or flour, merely. These and other vagaries of our teetotal advocates may, perhaps, be looked upon as harmless eccentricities, and as being of little moment compared with the totality of good resulting from the so called Temperance movement. We are ready to admit that the preponderance of benefits lies on the side of teetotalism and that every reasonable allowance ought to be made for the excess of zeal occasionally displayed in praiseworthy efforts to rescue drunkards from their evil ways: but, with all the charity which we can summon to our did, we are still averse to sailing under false colours; still disbelievers in exaggeration; and still adherents to that precept which says - "Be ye temperate in all things". It is this condition of ours- a condition springing out of many years experience of alternate abstention and moderation, but from no single instance of experimental or accidental repletion which leads us to repudiate the doctrine of teetotallers that a moderate drinker is worse than a drunkard! There would, indeed, be just as much logical acumen displayed in advancing a similar dogma that a moderate eater is worse than a glutton.
It cannot be denied that there exists in the present day an abundant testimony in support of moderate drinking, and to the effect that to certain individuals, under certain conditions, the use of beer or wine is of greater benefit than that of the ordinary domestic beverages. Who will deny that unadulterated malt liquor possesses two properties that are of value to a patient in his convalescence from acute disease. Who does not know that really sound port wine is frequently one of the best remedial agents in the hands of the physician. Why then should we utterly exterminate the legitimate that is to say, the moderate or medicinal use of that which the bountiful hand of Nature has bestowed from all time, and that which has received the stamp of Divine Authority (deny it who may) merely because a depraved take and the want of moral fortitude have engendered associations of a baneful tendency? As well might we pray for the removal of the sea, because it proves every days destructive to life and property; or the annihilation of knives and guns because they are dangerous in the hands of madmen. No! rather let us meet the evil, gigantic as it is, with a bold front, without reserve, without exaggeration, without subterfuge, and without distortion of facts. Let us call drunkenness by its right name, and let our magistrates mete out to all its sturdy devotees a fuller measure of punishment than hitherto, and not allow the detestable [ 234 ]vice to be, as it too often has been a palliative for other offences. Such a course would, doubtless, effect some improvement, but even that would be only to a limited extent, for, we can only to eradicate the evil after a long battle with ignorance, and by a persistent course in the general amelioration of the people. This brings us to the consideration of the means already in operation for so desirable a consummation, and towards which our Mechamic's Institutes, Workingmen's Institutes, Literary Societies, Evening Schools, &c. are rendering good services.
The Christmas Festival. We have heretofore shewn how greatly aided were the total abstainers of St. Leonards by ladies and gentlemen who were temperance people only; and at a time - to again quote the St. Leonards Gazette - when our aristocratic neighbours are showing their hospitality, who can wonder that those of a more humble, but, perhaps of an equally happy sphere should be devising means by which themselves and others of similar statues might have an evening or two of enjoyment during the
Christmas holidays? It was, probably, the idea embodied in the foregoing remark that induced the committee of the St. Leonards Workingmen's Institute to repeat the Christmas Tree and Festival of last year, and to invest it with some additional attractions. It was a pleasing sight to witness the numbers who paid a visit to this entertainment, on the 27th and 28th of December.<bt/>The building was most tastefully decorated, and numerous devices afforded a relief to the evergreens and banerets, around the room were numerous stalls of useful and ornamental articles which had been obtaind through the exertions of Mrs. Lucas Shadwell, Mrs Hale, Mrs. Penhall, Mrs. Mirlees, Mrs. Janson, Mrs. J. Reid, Mrs. Trollope, Mrs. Dunne, Miss Bleazly, Miss Pennington, Miss Kinder and Miss Rapsdell. To the right of the entrance and midway in the hall was the monster tree, brilliantly illuminated by a number of gas-jets and laden with prizes of every description which were distributed to all holders of tickets to the value of admission charge.
Master Butter’s model engine also was at work, and together with the dancing nigger was another means of swelling the funds. An excellent collection of Chinese and Indian curiosities was exhibited by Mrs. Dunne, the proceeds of which amounted to £1 10s 6d.
The money taken at the stalls, added to the entrance money of £18 4s. 6d. amounted to the large sum of £66 1s. 2 d. The so called Festival assumed the character of a promenade entertainment, an agreeable diversion being afforded by the singing of Messrs J Skinner, A. Burr, W. Hayward, S. Tichbon, the Misses Tichbon and Chenming, and the instrumental performance of Messrs. Giles, Thomson, Barnett, Elworthy and Macrae.
The Turkish Bath
On the 8th of August the St. Leonards Turkish Bath was opened, and the curative process which invalids had been long waiting for had its commencement. Elegance and substantiality of the building were prominent features of the building, both without and within, whilst the convenience and general completeness were spoken of in commendatory terms. It was regarded as a valuable acquisition to the town, and as a decided improvement on the Russian Bath, which [ 235 ]it succeeded. In the St. Leonards Gazette of August 6th was a lengthy description of the building and its uses, but it must here suffice to say that its manager, Mr. Grosslob was well known as for many years manager of the spa, on the west hill. It was he, also, who, on the contiguous ground erected the Russian Bath, and obtained numerous testimonials of the efficacy of that establishment. It was patronised by persons near and far, and several long standing personal maladies were eradicated. But the building being composed chiefly of wood, was not fire-proof, and was accidentally burnt down. Sentiments of regret were freely expressed for the loss of the Russian Bath, and in a short time, mainly through Mr. Grosslob's suggestion, a limited liability company was formed for building larger and more suitable premises. The site of the old Bath was purchased, an architect (Mr. Henry Burton, of London) was engaged to prepare the design and plans, and the erection of the building was the result. The Company wisely secured the services of Mr Grosslob, and it was felt that the excellent management and good deportment of that gentleman would be a sufficient guarantee of the thorough attention that would be paid to all who might patronize the establishment.
Vestry Meetings (St. Leonards
A rather numerously attended meeting, with A. Burton, Esq. in the chair was held at the Railway Inn Bopeep on the 29th of March, when Messrs. Peerless and Payne (returning officers) together with Messrs, Gausden, and Rodda were nominated for magisterial selection of overseers. Mr. J. Phillips was re-elected vestry-clerk, Mr. Draper (an official of several years standing), and Mr. Livermore were elected Road-Surveyors, and Messrs Eldridge and Lamb were reappointed assessors. some little discussion took place as to the difficulty of keeping the roads in repair, it being stated that less satisfaction had been given although double the amount of time and money had been devoted to the object. It was, finally resolved to use broken hard stone in future instead of beach. A poor rate at 7d. and a highway rate at 4d. were agreed to.
At a previous meeting (Feb. 19) Jeremial Cruttenden, brichlayer; Chas. Wrenn, shoe-maker; Geo. Roberts, carpenter; Michael Dickson, upholsterer; and Geo. King, carpenter, all of the Tivoli, were appointed constables.
At a meeting on the 29th of April. W.E. Skinner and A Harwood, were elected assessors, and C. H. Gausden, waywarden.
At the meeting on Nov. 3rd, the only business transacted (at the Terminus Hotel, Bopeep) was the passing of a poor rate at 8d. and 6d respectively for inbounds and bounds of the parish.
Westry Meetings (St. Mary Magdalen)
A meeting of ratepayers of this parish was held at the Norman Hotel on the 28th of March. Mr. Church was called to the chair. There being no rate to be made, the business was confined to the nomination of L. Deering, B. Bickle, H.R. Putland, W. Harman and J. Moffatt, for overseers; the election of W. Skinner and A. Harwood as Assessors, and W. Savery, as Vestry-Clerk. A a previous meeting (Jan. 7) A poor rate [ 236 ]at 6d. was resolved upon.
On the 28th of April at a meeting held in the British Hotel, Mr Anslie Harwood having resigned the office of Assessor, he was again elected by the seven parishioners present.
On the 8th of September a meeting was held at the Norman Hotel to elect an assistant overseer. Councillor Putland detailed to the meeting the duties pertaining to the office vacated by the death of Mr. John Ward and pointed out the necessity of having a qualified officer - Mr. Benjamin Tree was nominated by Mr. Jackson, and Mr. Edward Skinner was proposed by Councillor Gausden, who remarked that if Mr. Skinner were elected, he would relinquish his office as tax-collector. A show of hands being taken, there appeared 25 for Tree and 10 for Skinner. A poll was then demanded for Skinner, and after a lengthy and warm discussion, it was resolved to proceed with the election on Monday the 26th of September. There were eleven ratepayers who did not vote, probably because they had not paid up their rates. Mr. Tree was supported by teetotallers and disputers, whilst Mr. Skinner, an older and more experienced man, was chiefly supported by churchmen and non-classified ratepayers. When the day arrives, Mr. Tree was formally elected, Mr Skinner, although sanguine of success, declined the contest on considerations of policy connected with the approaching borough election, the principal feature of which was the desire not to raise a premature excitement, the party feeling being somewhat strong on both sides. The salary was £20 per annum and a commission of 6½d on the pound on the amount collected.
On Easter Monday about 150 friends and supporters of Wesleyan Methodism met in the schoolroom, where tea was provided and partaken of after which the company were entertained by the choir, assisted by Mrs. Begbie, a professional vocalist. Mr. W. Coleman officiated as leader, while Mr. J.O. Davis presided at the harmonium.
Whit Monday was also a red letter day with the St. Leonards Wesleyans. At half past one, the children of the Sunday school met in the schoolroom, and at 2 o’clock commenced walking in procession through the principal streets, and thence to Mr. Deudney’s field, where sports and games so well known to children occupied them until four o’'clock. They then returned to the schoolroom and partook of a bountiful tea. After that, about 300 persons partook of tea and remained to hear addresses delivered by the Revs. Salt and Penrith, and Misses Salt, Putland, Southurst, Pankhurst, and Neve.
Jubilee Missions.- On the evening of June 8th, the friends interested in the Wesleyan Missionary cause celebrated the jubilee in the Norman road chapel. The speakers were Mr. Taylor of London; the Rev. J. Martin, a former missionary in Western Africa; the Rev. G.D. Brocklehurst, the Jubilee secretary, and the Rev. John Kirk. The chairman (Mr Taylor) announced his intention of adding [ 237 ]ten pounds to the Jubilee fund, which was being raised, the wished for amount being £190,000.
Anniversary Services. On Sunday, August 2sth the Rev. W.R. Jones, formerly, pastor of the St Leonards Wesleyan Chapel, preached two eloquent sermons, the financial result of which was a collection of £9. 2s. 5d. On Monday a tea-meeting was held in the school room, and £4 additional contributed. The following ladies gave, and presided at the tables: Mrs. Porter, Mrs. Davis, Mrs. Crisford, Mrs. Pankhurst, Miss Rodda, Miss Streeter, Miss Lewis, Miss Beck, and Miss Tree.
Local Help for Sheffield
On the 26th of March the Mayor made known through the local journals that he had received a communication from Sheffield in reference to the sad catastrophe at that place, and that he would be happy to receive contributions for the relief of the sufferers. With the object of assisting the Mayor's appeal the following remarks appeared in the St. Leonards Gazette;- That was a laudable and noble outburst of generous and sympathetic liberality which was evoked by the sad catastrophe at the Hartley Colliery. These benevolent and timeous charities greatly relieved the distressed and bereaved, and illumined the gloom of their earthly future. Frequent repetition of such cheerful and bounteous kindness is not to be expected; still, there are many sights that will appeal touchingly and irresistably to the human heart, for, as the poet beautifully expresses it, "one touch of nature makes the whole world kin". We question very much if there be one more potent to move us to tears or send a thrill of agony through the breast than the recent calamity at Sheffield, by which two hundred and fifty lives have been sacrificed, property estimated at half a million sterling destroyed, and numbers of fellow-creatures deprived of their only means of obtaining an honest livelihood as a castastrophe of this kind - let humanity and convention be as hard and hollow as they may - is a positive shock to all our sympathies, arresting, as it were, the tide that courses through our veins. At first we were disinclined to credit the unwelcome messenger of such painful intelligence, until slowly the dreadful reality forced itself upon us in all its naked and terrible truth. Nobly has our borough at all times contributed its portion to alleviate distress when occasioned by unseen circumstances, right glad therefore are we to Gazette the fact that the present distress cause by the inundation will not be passed over unheeded. Already our worthy and respected Mayor (J. Rock, jun., Esq.) has, through our columns, intimated that subscriptions for the sufferers will be received by himself or the Town Clerk. We trust, however, that matters will not rest thus, but that a committee will be formed and a house-to-house visitation will be made. We are confident that our borough will not be behind in expressing its sympathy with the unfortunate sufferers, and that a substantial proof of the same [ 238 ]is safe to follow an actual canvass. Let us be up and doing. We cannot let the sobs of mothers and wives and the cries of orphans ring upon our ears without stretching forth our hand to assist in the drying of the widows and the fatherless and aiding them in their hour of need. We know not how soon a calamity of similar severity befall ourselves in one shape or another. May that day be far distant. The cause of the disaster was the breaking of a pump at the Spittlewell Ironstone pits and the drowning of the men and boys before they could be got out. Also the bursting of the embankment of the Bradfield water reservoir, by which the town of Sheffield and the country round for 12 or 14 miles were flooded. About 250 lives were lost, and property destroyed to an estimated value of £327,000.
Another Great Calamity.
True is the aphorism "water and fire are good servants, but bad masters". The narrative of disaster given in a second edition of the St. Leonards Gazette on October 1st (the day of its occurrence) and more minutely detailed in its issue of Oct 5th was one of the most terrible of its kind that had ever happened near the metropolis. It is not here attempted to relate the whole story of a calamity by which in the explosion of about 104,000 lbs of gunpowder at Plumpstead, near Woolwich thirteen persons were killed, and many were wounded, but no one can contemplate its leading features without drawing an obvious moral from it. On a Saturday morning when the inhabitants of the metropolis and its suburbs were principally asleep; a terrific sound vibrated throughout its length and breadth. The ground shook as if an earth quake was threatening to engulf the city; and over fields and roads, and far away, even to the sea-shore, the report of some terribly calamity - no one knew what at the moment made itself felt. Far distant from the scene of the calamity men and women rushed out of their dwellings to know what had occurred, whilst nearer to the scene of the disaster there was confusion dismay, destruction and death. Two magazines of gunpowder had exploded, and had carried devastation in a number of homes which a few minutes before had been shrouded in the peacefulness of sleep. The full narative of the disaster would fill a small volume with its details, harrowing in its darker episodes, an painfully instructive in its moral. It was said that upwards of one hundred thousand pounds of gunpowder exploded. The mind can hardly grasp the effects of this vast explosion. Take but one instance in the painful narrative. Near to the place where the jury met to enquire into the deaths of several persons, all about were little parcels which it was sickening to look upon. They were outwardly stained with blood, and contained human toes heels, jaws, parts of skin, portions of lungs and pieces of charred and roasted flesh. It must have been a positive relief to turn from what be called the curiosities the explosion, in which was the strange way in which death was dealt here and life was spared there, one house being greatly damaged, and another [ 239 ]close to it wholly escaping. Pleasanter it was to turn for a moment to turn from the sad scene to look hopefully for the future in expectation that some means would be taken to prevent any such calamity again occurring. gunpowder was supposed to be a necessary evil. War was still scourging the earth, and our American cousins were at that moment scientifically and deliberately killing each other with the same deadly material. But there was no reason why this terrible compound should be stored near towns or villages, nor ought there to be any necessity for so large a quantity to be kept in one place. one of the visitors to the locality, a powder-manufacturer of extensive experience, speaking of the explosion, said If Purfleet were to go, the country for twenty miles round would, in his opinion, be devastated; and, as to Dartford, he did not believe there would be left one stone upon another. The last named town at that time 7,000 persons. As the powder and premises were the property of Messrs. Hall and sons who might have been descendants direct or indirect – of the powder-makers Harvey and Hall of Battle, Crowhust and Brede, the said Messrs. Hall would be likely to have heard of the twenty or more explosions that occurred in those parts of Sussex during the war with France (as described in an earlier volume of this History), and if so, they should have recognised the possibility of such a calamity as this, with such an immense storage, occurring at one time or another. The coroner, in opening the enquiry, well observed "It is deemed necessary to prohibit the storage of more than a certain quantity of petroleum or fireworks, and it is hard to say why no limit should be placed upon the amount of gumpowder, which is the most dangerous compound of all." Hard indeed, it was to account for such strange neglect.
A Tarry Subject
In the St. Leonards Gazette of Jan. 9th were letters of complaint, one of which was as follows: - "Sir, - are we, or are we not in a civilised country, and if the latter, is your town of great beauty and greater boast the most uncivilised of any? You may, perhaps, start up at such a question, but let me tell you why I ask it. I was, yesterday, attracted, like many other persons, to the gardens near the clock tower, where a number of gentlemen and some ladies were skating. I should tell you I was on the outside of the enclosure, and very naturally got close to the hedge with the object of getting a view of the skaters, when, to my horror, I found that my dress (not a common one) was frightfully besmeared with tar, and so far as I now know, completely spoiled. I at first looked upon it as a mere accident, but I soon found, both from what I saw (and heard, that the obnoxious tar had been maliciously trailed all along the Hedge, and the bank beneath. I also learnt from some friends whose clothes were in a similar condition, that this shabby trick was supposed to have been done by order of the proprietor. I ask again, sir, is this civilisation? is it humanity? is it courtesy? is it decency? - A visitor." The Editors remarks were without presuming to know by whom or by whose authority the annoyance and injury complained of [ 239a ]originated, wee may, at least surmise the possibility of anticipated damage to the hedge by rough boys or inconsiderate men; yet, do we hold it to be quite a mistaken policy to debar by such means, the public (subscribers as well as others) from what may be justly regarded as an innocent pastime, excusable curiosity, and in these times of mild winters, a real novelty. Surely the wiser plan would have been to place a man to guard the hedge in question, if depredation by juveniles was the only thing sought to be prevented. - Ed.
The following also appeared as paid advertisements: - As a most spiteful and wanton outrage has been perpetrated by covering with tar the hedge of the Subscription Gardens at Maze Hill, to prevent the unwary passer by from looking over at the skaters, by which the dresses of ladies have been totally spoiled, and having had a valuable toilette shamefully destroyed, to show disgust at such proceedings, I shall withdraw my subscriptions from the gardens, &c. and wish to make known to the proprietors of the gardens this infamous act, as I hear that it is not the first time that it has been perpetrated. Another advertisement was thus worded; Caution! Pitch! Pitch! The Public are respectfully informed that the hedge overlooking the skaters in the Subscription Gardens is besmeared with this adhesive compound, familiarly known as the "Crinoline Dodge" by order.
One of the Defiled.
Guy Fawkes Re-Enacted.
By prophetic seers mind,
By the cutting wintry wind
By the keen and searching air
By the sure thermometer,
By the clear, transparent sky
Well, I know that frost is nigh.
Frost, kind harbinger of gain
From our Gardens, which in vain
Steep’d in damp, in darkness hid,
Youths and maidens now avoid.
Well my feelings indicate
I must forth to Golding straight.
Golding, when the gas burns low,
and no mortal eye can know,
When the Peeler on his beat
Traverses the distant street
When all nature sunk in sleep,
Blissful dreams their vigils keep,
Hie thee, Golding need I tell?
What I would you know full well.
When the clock doth midnight sound
get thee to the beaten ground.
Pry thee, Sir, I understand.
With a tar pot in my hand
Ere the latest echo sound
I shall be upon the ground
Through the Garden wend thy way
Lest some gas-light thee betray
Paths obscure suit dirty jobs
P'licemen's truncheons hurt men's nobs,
Captain Canister may be, [Glenister]
Promenades by night; and he,
Should he meet you with the pot,
May demand what soup you've got?
And, indignant, should he taste,
Pour it o'er your head in haste.
Or, perhaps, request, he might,
Why you carry pitch at night?
Fear not! Master Golding knows
In the dark, where'er he goes,
Can, in silence, wend his way
To the hedge; and break of day
Shall reveal a finished int
And, yet turncock save his not.
Dirty jobs by night are done.
And the Turncock likes the fun
Homeward then unto my bed,
There I'll rest my weary head
Skate in sleep and dream of ten
With a steady frost set in.
Is this pot of pitch I see
And tar-brush let me clutch thee?
I have thee not, and yet my brain
Bids thee clearly come again.-
Hast thou feelings, or is sight
Cheated by my brain to-night:
Yet I see thee - Far brush, still
Clutch thee, or be hanged I will
On thy bristles gouts of tar,
Stinking drops, as oft before.
Foul dream, away! Ghosts depart;
Give, oh, give me back my heart!
Round about the hedge I go,
On the adhesive pitch I throw
Pitch defiling to a dress,
Coat or breeches- filthy mess!
Far, tenacious now I shake
on the worn out rotters brake.
Crinolines shall rue the day
When I, Golding, came this way
Pot of trouble there and here
Yard by yard, I now besmear
Maidens stockings, manly breeks,
Well bedaubed with tarry streaks
High or low, or poor or sick,
Equal all defiled with pitch
Though Golding's nick name is Yeh you,
He, in the morn will shout Ah. oh!
As people oer the tarr'd-hedge bow
Ah ah! he'll shout, Ive got you now.
By the pricking of my thumbs
Some policeman this way comes!
By the earliest morning streak
By the clock I hear a beak
By my brush well skilled to smear,
Peeler must not catch me here
Adieu, old hedge! I'll say no more
Thou hast been tarred by me before
To. in these depths of garden shade,
I you policeman will evade.
Another of the Defiled
Repudiation. The following appeared in the Gazette of January 16th. In reply to numerous questions that have been put to us, as well as the several communications in our last issue in reference to the tarring the hedge which circumscribes the Subscription Gardens, we are authorised to state that while the proprietor very much regrets the injury to the dresses of persons who came in contact therewith, he emphatically disclaims all knowledge of the same until his attention was drawn to it by what appeared in the Gazette. With a consciousness of not having ordered it to be done, the proprietor immediately instituted an enquiry, which resulted in the discovery that a servant had done it of his own accord, and before there was any skating on the pond. The object is said to have been the prevention, if possible of the damage to the quick-set Hedge and bank so frequently perpetrated by boys clambering thereon, even after repeated notices to desist.