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Who was the first to write a History of East Grinstead, 
and whose great knowledge and valuable collection of 
documents concerning the Town have been freely placed 
at my disposal, this Volume is respectfully dedicated by 
his grateful Servant, 





TJ^ROM an enormous mass of material available, never yet collected 
into one volume, and much of it never before put into print, I 
have selected that which is of general as distinguished from purely 
antiquarian interest. I have endeavoured to sketch the rise and 
progress of the town and the history of its institutions those which 
have passed away, as well as those which still exist. 

In my researches I have received valuable help from very many, 
both old friends and those who, until this work was taken in hand, 
were entire strangers to me. My grateful thanks are especially due 
to the officials at Somerset House, the Record Office, the Charity 
Commission and Brighton Free Library and of the L.B. & S.C. Eailway 
Company for courteous assistance readily rendered at all times. I 
also desire to express my gratitude for the loan of documents and rare 
books and for help in other ways to the Most Noble the Marquess of 
Abergavenny, the Right Hon. the Earl of Liverpool, Sir Augustus 
Oakes, the Rev. D. Y. Blakiston, Mr. J. Batchelar (Lingfield), Mr. 
W. H. Campion (Danny), Mr. F. GK Courthope (Lewes), the Rev. C. 
W. Payne Crawfurd, Mr. R. P. Crawfurd, Mr. Jury Cramp (Horsham), 
the Chaplain and Mother Superior of St. Margaret's, Mr. C. H. 
Everard, Mr. D. W. Freshfield, Miss M. K. Gainsford (Keston), Mr. 
A. H. Hastie, Mr. Evelyn A. Head, Mr. W. A. Head, Mr. James 
Harrison, Mr. E. P. Whitley Hughes, Mr. Alan Huggett, Mr. S. J. 


Huggett, Mr. J. E. Lark, Mr. John Mooii, Mr. J. R. Fearless, Mr. J. 
J. Pierce (Lamberhurst), Mr. R. G. Payne, Mr. J. Rice, Mr. H. Smeed, 
Miss Stenning, Mr. J. C. Stenning, Mr. W. V. K. Stenning, Mr. Alan 
Stenning, Rev. C. N. Sutton (Withyham), Rev. A. J. Swainson, Mr. 
John Tooth, Mr. F. Tooth, Mr. A. W. True and Mr. Edward Young. 

My grateful thanks are particularly due to Mr. R. P. Crawfurd, 
Mr. A. H. Hastie, Mr. Evelyn A. Head and Mr. J. C. Stenning for 
their great assistance in reading and correcting proofs. In fact I have 
received nothing but kindness from all I have approached, and my 
task has thereby been made an exceedingly pleasant one. To mention 
all the published works which have been consulted would be impossible, 
but it is only right that I should acknowledge the great help which 
the Sussex Archaeological Society's Collections have been to me. 

I sincerely hope this book will be found to supply, in some small 
measure, a want which has long been felt. 




APRIL, 1906. 




The Origin of the Name Ashdown Forest Royal 
Properties The Sackville Ownership Area 
Population Rateable Value The Borough 
The Medway Industries Traders' Tokens 
The Town Arms 1-18 




Members elected from 1300-1 to 1831, with 
Biographies and Notes on Local Families 
Election Petitions The Eight of Voting 
Burgage Holders The Reform Act The 
Abolition of the Parliamentary Borough 
County Elections 22-62 



The Establishment of a Church Its Destruction 
by Fire The Rebuilding The Fall of the 
Tower The Last Rebuilding Church Loans 
and Rates The Restoration Gifts The Bells 
The Church Terrier List of Vicars, with 
Biographies The Registers The Tithes and 
their Owners The Payne and Crawfurd 
Families Chantries and Fraternities St. 
Mary's Church 03-86 




The Countess of Huntingdon's Church Moat 
Congregational Church The Wesleyan The 
Eoman Catholic Church Other Places of 
Worship 87-95 


The Founder His Will The Statutes The 60 
years' Law-suit Sources of Income The 
Warden List of Wardens, with Biographies 
Assistant Wardens 96-107 


Grinstead and Sheffield Grinsted Brambletye and 
Lavertye Imberhorne Shovelstrode Place- 
land Duddleswell Walhill Walstead 
Ashurst or Grinsted Wild Standen Brock- 
hurst Hazelden By sshecourt Maresfield 
Mayes Bower Goddenwick Pixtons 108-121 


The London Road Almshouses The Church 
Street Almshouses Henry Smith's Charity 
The Payne Endowment Thomas Hall's Charity 
Haire's Charity John Smith's Trust The 
Hoper Trust Rev. B. Slight's Trust John 
Southey Scholarships Felbridge School The 
Evelyn Monument Felbridge Beef and Faggot 
Charity 122-140 


List of Local Furnaces Surreptitious Exportation 
of Guns The Work at Gravetye, The Warren 
and Millplace The Timber Industry Some 
Curious Recipes 141-146 




The London and Lewes Eoad Coach Services 
John Batchelar's Diary A Newspaper Duel 
The Change of the London to Brighton Route 
The Establishment of the Railway Connec- 
tions with Three Bridges and Godstone The 
Last Coach 147-154 


The First Turnpike Trust A Table of Weights 
Allowed The Tolls Payable Farming the 
Tolls The Measurement of every Road in the 
Parish 155-160 


Early Agitation The First Local Bill The East 
Grinstead to Three Bridges Line A Local 
Company Transfer to the L.B. & S.C.R. Co. 
Extension to Tunbridge Wells The Low-level 
Line The Parish Pound Lengths of Line 
The First Time Tables 161-165 


The North Pevensey Legion Plans for Resisting 
Invasion Disbandment of the Legion Forma- 
tion of a Rifle Corps Local Contingents in the 
Boer War Officers of the Local Corps 
Sergeant Instructors 166-175 


John Rowe Bishop Kidder Spencer Perceval 
The Rev. C. J. Paterson The Rev. F. Mills 
Dr. Epps Thomas Cramp and his Diary Mrs. 
Neighbour Sir Edward Blount John Payne, 
Sheriff of Sussex The Paynes of East Grin- 
stead The Sussex Diarists and Local References 1 76-1 99 




The Building of Kidbrooke Successive Owners 
The Abergavenny Vault List of Burials 
therein 200-205 


The Life of Dr. J. M. Neale The Founding of 
St. Margaret's Its Branches Qualifications 
for the Sisterhood Rev. Laughton Alison .... 206-213 


Foxe's Reference The Families and Homes of 

the Martyrs 214-215 


The Assizes Fall of the Court House Floor 
The Rents of Assize and Irnberhorne Manor 
Police Courts and Constables The Wall Hill 
Mail Robbery The Law's Severity in Olden 
Time The Agricultural Riots The Sussex 
Smugglers A Brambletye Suit A High 
Treason Trial 216-227 


Ancient Poor Laws Locally Applied The Old 
East Grinstead Workhouse and the Webster 
Law Suit Guardians and Rural District Council 228-233 


The Local Board and Urban Council Street 
Watering The Drainage System The Burial 
Board and Cemetery Tree Planting Fairs 
and Markets The Fire Brigade The County 
Court The Post Office East Grinstead Cricket 
Cottage Hospitals The General Dispensary 
Literary and Scientific Institutions Public 
Halls and Meeting Places The National 
Schools The Modern School -Banks.. , 234-263 




The Freemasons The Foresters The Shepherds 

The Odd FeUows 264-267 


The Gas and Water Company Sanitary Laundry 
Company Constitutional Club Company Rice 
Brothers, Limited The Southdown and East 
Grinstead Breweries, Limited A. & C. 
Bridgland, Limited Farncombe & Company, 
Limited Fosters, East Grinstead, Limited 
II. S. Martin, Limited John Stenning & Son, 
Limited 268-274 






EAST GRINSTEAD is a town of considerable antiquity 
and importance. As its name implies, it possibly owes 
its origin to the fact that it was a "green stede" or a 
pasture clearing ("East" being added later to distin- 
guish it from West Grinstead) in that great Forest of 
Anderida, 120 miles long by 30 miles wide, which 
formed an almost impenetrable barrier stretched along 
the northern boundary of the County of Sussex, but 
which, in time, got cut up into several minor forests, of 
which that of Ashdown was one of the most extensive. 
This latter is now mainly within the boundaries of the 
parishes of Buxted, Forest Row, Hartfield, Maresfield, 
Fletching and Withyham. The site of the Forest of 
Anderida can be still traced in a complete line from 
Tunbridge Wells to Horsham, there remaining to this 
day portions known as the Forests of Frant, Broadwater, 
Ashdown, Worth, Tilgate, Balcombe and St. Leonard's. 
In Saxon times it must have been the scene of many 
wild forays and freebooting encounters. The kingdom 
of Sussex was founded by Ella in 491. In 650 it was 
ruled by Ethelwald and was unsuccessfully invaded by 
Ceadwalla, a Prince of Wessex, who was repulsed, how- 
ever, and had to seek refuge in the Forest of Anderida, 
where he drew to his side a band of outlaws, whose 
numbers so increased that finally he met and slew King 
Ethelwald in battle. Then followed years of bloodshed, 
of which this district must have seen its full share. In 
time the kingdom was conquered, and annexed, in 803, 
by Egbert, King of Wessex, to his dominions. 

From the time of Edward III. down to the reign of 
Charles I. Ashdown Forest was strictly preserved as a 
Royal hunting ground, and our Monarchs often followed 


the chase within its boundaries. It formed part of the 
possessions of John of Gaunt, fourth son of Edward III., 
by whom it was enclosed, becoming known as Lancaster 
Great Park. The hunting castle, erected by the Duke 
of Lancaster, was in the Vechery Wood (a name derived 
from the Norman-French "vacherie" a cow-house or 
dairy) a part of the Buckhurst property, but now 
belonging to Mr. S. M. Samuel, M.P. Herds of deer and 
swine formerly roamed at will through its glades and 
woods ; wolves and wild boars had haunts therein ; less 
than a century ago eagles frequented its almost untrodden 
warrens ; and the now rare blackcock was often seen. 
Mr. John Turley, a local poet, in a volume issued in 
1856, records the fact of two eagles being caught alive 
in dog traps some years before on the Forest. They 
were brought to Counsellor Staples, who lived at Hurst- 
an-Clays, and the men in charge of them started, later 
on, to take them to London. They never reached 
the Metropolis, however, for a press-gang seized the 
men, and the fate of the birds is unknown. The 
presence of deer in the Forest gave rise to several of 
the local names, such as Hart-field, Buck-hurst, Buck- 
stead (now Buxted), Hind-leap and Kid-brook. The 
last of the wild deer was killed by the Hartfield Harriers 
about 1808. 

In time the Forest became neglected, fences went to 
decay, the public gradually began to regard it as a sort 
of no-man's land, and in 1611 common rights were 
granted over about 6,400 acres, of which some 800 were 
in East Grinstead parish. In 1625 the Earl of Dorset 
was appointed Master of the Forest, Governor and 
Master of the Game and Keeper and Surveyor-general 
of the Woods. This appointment was made by the 
Duchy of Lancaster. 

When Charles I. was dethroned, Parliament took 
possession of all the Royal lands and Cromwell had a 
very careful survey made of the Forest. To inhabitants 
in East Grinstead rights were confirmed over two 
sections, in all 723 acres in extent, one part lying 
between Plawhatch, Wych Cross and Kidbrook, and the 


other between Mudbrook, Dallingridge and Plawhatch. 
Between thirty and forty persons were named as possess- 
ing these rights and they were allowed to turn out 445 
head of cattle. On April 1st, 1662, the Forest was 
leased to the Earl of Bristol for 99 years, at 200 a 
year, but it is doubtful if he made much use of his 
tenancy. The rent was made part of the Queen Dowager's 
jointure, but the Earl did not pay it, made no profit 
from the grant and allowed it to become void. In 1678 
the Forest was granted to Charles, Earl of Dorset, and 
his heirs for ever, and in his descendants it is still 

The open part of the Forest, to be preserved for ever 
for public enjoyment, is now managed by a Board of 
Conservators, the first election of whom took place on 
August 18th, 1885. How its present name was derived 
is unknown, certainly not from the number of ash-trees, 
for of such scarcely any traces can be found. The present 
name may be a corruption of the word " Archedown." 
The ordinary acceptation of the word " Forest" must not 
be taken as applying to that wild tract which formerly 
surrounded East Grinstead. In mediaeval times a forest 
meant an extensive territory of uncultivated ground, not 
necessarily a thickly wooded portion of country. It was 
regulated by special laws and guarded by special officers. 
Dr. Cox, in his book on parochial histories, says : 

A forest included within its boundaries, not only the King's land, 
but often also many manors belonging to private lords, whose rights, 
however, were much restricted, for they could not change their land 
from pasture to arable, nor cut down their woods, nor make enclosures 
such as would prevent the free access of the larger game. Though a 
forest was unenclosed, it frequently had, within its limits, several 
parks, which were always enclosed by a wall or pale. 

The Royal properties in East Grinstead were not 
confined to the Forest area, but extended into the town 
itself. In 1650 a survey was made of certain lands 
and tenements in East Grinstead, " late pcell of the 
possessions of Charles Stewart, late King of England, 
as p te and pcell of the Dutchy of Lancaster," and though 
the Earls of Dorset had sold or leased those properties, 

B 2 


the Commissioners valued them among the Royal estates. 
They included a messuage and dwelling-house called the 
George, with its four burgages, two barns, stable, stall, 
garden, orchard and yard, occupied by Robert Pickering, 
who had recently built the house of stone and had secured 
a demise of it for ever on the payment to the Earl of 
Dorset of twelve pence and to Richard Amherst of forty 
pounds. A second property was Hartscroft, or Bushfield, 
or Bushcroft, of 4 acres, in the tenure of Edward Paine, 
who had acquired it of two persons named Allen Carr, 
possibly father and son (one was Vicar of East Grinstead), 
for 40. A third was known as Digman's Mead or 
Katteraw's Mead and two parcels called the Riddens, 
of 11 acres, then held by Richard Cole, whose family 
acquired this also of the Carrs for 120. Katteraws is 
no doubt a corruption of " Katherines " and was a meadow 
originally belonging to the chantry or guild of that name. 
The revenue arising to the King from these three and one 
other property in Lingfield was 6 per annum, and a jury 
sitting at East Grinstead on May 20th, 1646, apportioned 
a rent of 2 to the George, 1 to Hartscroft, 2 to 
Digman's Mead and 1 to the Lingfield property. 
Cromwell's Commissioners valued the improved rent four 
years later at 24. 10s. and reported that they were 
unable to ascertain by what right or title the vendors 
had sold to the tenants named. But we know now that 
there was established in the town, a least a century 
before this date, a fraternity or merchant guild of St. 
George and St. Catherine. It had a chapel and owned a 
messuage called the George. In 1547, on the abolition 
of chantries, the George and other premises belonging to 
St. Catherine's Chantry passed to Edward VI. by Act of 
Parliament, and in 1551 the King granted these premises 
in fee simple to John Johnson and others for the use of 
Lord Richard Sackville, who thereupon granted the 
premises to his son, Thomas, for 60 years, and about six 
weeks later granted them in reversion for 99 years to 
William Sackville. But in the same year the premises 
came again to the Crown on an exchange made with 
Lord Clinton. 


For a very long time the Sackville family owned the 
greater part of the town proper, the final portions of 
their property being sold on June 8th, 1882. They 
were not bad landlords and often dealt generously by 
the town. The following extracts from the Stewards' 
Accounts relating to East Grinstead, being payments 
made on behalf of Charles, Duke of Dorset, are interest- 

s. d. 
Pd. to the Poor in Sackville Colledge in East Grinstead 

for two years pension at Michmas, 1696 241 11 8 

Charge for two special Courts at East Grinstead 116 

1698. Paid Mr. William Smith and others for the 
purchase of 560 acres of land in Ashdowne Forest. . . . 280 

1699. A horse sent to Knowl, which was seized in my 
Lord's Borough of East Grinstead, upon conviccon of 
one who was executed for picking a pocket there. 
Charge in seizing of the horse on conviccon of the 
pickpocket at East Grinstead and sending him to 

Lewes 10 

Of Mr. Edward Head for East Grinstead Parsonage per 

ann. 120, for one year, due at Mich as , 1700 120 

Of Matthew Lant, Esq., for a croft of land p. ann. l u iiij s , 

for two years rent due at Michmas, 1720 002 8 

Of Mr. Head for East Grinstead Parsonage p. ann. cxx u 

for the like 240 

Of the Widow Cheal, vice Head, for a Cottage on East 

Grinstead Common p. ann. x 8 for the like 001 

Of John King for a Tenemt near Sackvil Colledge in East 
Grinstead, formerly p. ann. 1", but lately burnt down, 
so remains for the like 

Of John Heaver for a windmill newly erected on East 

Grinstead Common, p. ann. xiij s iiij d , for the like .... 001 6 8 

Casual profits. Timber, wood, faggots, &c., in the Manor 

of Imberhorne 167 1 1 

Paid Mr. Staples and Mr. Millington, which his Grace was 
pleased to order to be paid to the poor Sufferers by 
ffire, lately happening at East Grinstead, as by two 
acquittances appears 40 

Paid him two years Pension to the Poor of Sackville 
Colledge, at East Grinstead, due at Michmas, 1720, 
being cxxij" i" viij d p. ann., as by acquittances 
appear 244 3 4 

Paid Mr. Edward Head, which his Grace was pleased to 
order him, for collecting Eastgrinsted quit rents, due at 
Michmas, 1718, as by acquittances appears 001 


The parish of East Grinstead was originally the largest 
in Sussex, with the possible exception of Kirdford and 
Rotherfield before Frant was taken from the latter. It 
consisted of about 15,138 acres, but the exigencies of local 
government in time demanded that this rather unwieldy 
district should be divided, so in 1894 the district of 
Forest Row was created a separate parish, taking 8,635 
acres and leaving East Grinstead, which is co-terminous 
with the urban district formed in 1884, with 6,503. 
According to the Tithe Commutation approved on July 
26th, 1842, the parish then contained, of: 

A. II. P. 

Arable land 4,569 2 5 

Meadow 2,034 5 



2,595 2 7 

20 1 18 

1,265 31 


4,585 1 8 

The last occasion, so far as is known, of " beating the 
bounds" of the Parish of East Grinstead took place on 
May 23rd, 1808, and two following days. At Baldwins 
Hill on this occasion the boundary stone was moved from 
private land to its present position in the roadway. 

According to a license granted to Edward and James 
Woodman, in 1635, to sell wine, "Forest Roe" was also 
then known as " Walhatch." This latter may be a 
contraction of Wallhill Hatch, Wallhill being a farm near 
Forest Row and the Hatch or entrance to the Forest of 
Ashdown being named from the nearest recognised point. 
These hatches, or forest gateways, had an upper and a 
lower division, the latter for the passage of persons on 
foot and the upper to prevent the deer leaping over the 

It is difficult to get at any very accurate idea of the 
population of East Grinstead in early days, but in 167(> 
a religious census was taken of the Province of Canter- 
bury, inquiries being sent to all ministers and church- 
wardens as to the number of persons above 16 years of 
age, " by common account and estimation inhabiting 
within each parish." The return from East Grinstead 


showed a total population of 800 above the age named, 
though this is possibly an approximate estimate. It 
would make the total population of East Grinstead about 
1,100. Those concerned were also ordered to ascertain 
11 what number of Popish recusants are there among such 
inhabitants ? " They found that there were only five in 
this parish. Thirdly, they were required to state " what 
number of other dissenters are resident in such parishes 
which either obstinately refuse, or wholly absent them- 
selves from the communion of the Church of England ? " 
East Grinstead was found to contain 28 of such, so that 
the seed of Nonconformity had not taken very deep root at 
that date. This left 767 " Conformists." In the whole 
county at that time there were only about 52,000 inhabi- 
tants over 16 years of age and of these, all but 385 Papists 
and 2,452 " Sectaries," were returned as members of the 
Church of England. A somewhat similar census was 
taken again in 1 724, when it was ascertained that out of 
310 families in the parish of East Grinstead eleven were 
Presbyterian, one was Quaker and one Anabaptist, all the 
rest belonging to the Established Church. This would 
mean a total population then of about 1,250. 

The first properly organised census of England was 
made in 1801 and has been continued every 10 years 
since, generally being taken on the first Sunday in April. 
Until 1891 the parish included Forest Row and no 
separate returns were made for the town and country 
divisions of the parish. Appended are the complete 
returns for the whole parish of East Grinstead from the 
commencement : 

1801 2,659 

1811 2,804 

1821 3,153 

1831 3,364 

1841 3,586 

1851 3,820 

1861 4,266 

1871 5,390 

1881 6,968 

1891 , 7,569 

1on1 ( East Grinstead 6,094 ) Q Rin 

1901 < -r, , -r, ctzial 8,610 

( Forest Kow 2,516) 


It is difficult to compare the present rateable value of 
the parish with any of the very early figures obtainable, 
but the few following facts are interesting : 

May 7th, 1333. The value of taxes and rates in East Grinstead 
was returned at 3. 4s. Id. 

April loth, 1524. The total value of the rates in East Grinstead 
was returned at 5. 14s. 6d. 

February 20th, 1620. Total value of the rates in East Grinstead 
returned at 6. 4s. 8d. 

June 18th, 1649. A return made this day showed that the total 
value of all lands, quit rents and tithes in East Grinstead was 
3,178. 9s. 

The rateable value of the real property in the parish 
has shown a very large increase during the last 80 years, 
as the following figures will show : 

March 25th, 1825 4,141 

1826 3,949 

1827 4,459 

1828 3,974 

1829 4,025 

1842 9,720 

1852 9,145 

March 25th, 1864 (when the first valuation 

list on the present lines came into force) 16,380 

March 25th, 1874 19,932 

1884 28,741 

1894 41,540 


East Grinstead. 37,845 ) , , _,. 
Forest Eow .. 17,128) &4 ' y7 
November, 1905 : 

East Grinstead. 42,076 \ 

Forest Eow . . 17,755 ) y ' 8d 

The increase of values during the last half century 
has been very great. A typical instance is afforded by 
the two houses which formerly stood where the premises 
of Rice Bros., Limited, now are. These were sold by 
Mr. Morphew in 1850 for 150 and bought by Messrs. 
Rice Bros. 40 years after for 750. 

Apart from its history as a parish, East Grinstead has 
a very distinct and interesting history as a borough. 
At one time the town formed a part of the Royal possess- 
sions which went with the Castle of Pevensey, and it is 
still in the Pevensey Rape, one of the ancient divisions 


of the County of Sussex, now used principally for excise 
and ecclesiastical purposes. Henry I. gave the estates to 
Gilbert de Aquila, whose son forfeited them by engaging 
in a rebellion, when the King re-took possession and 
settled them on his grandson, who afterwards became 
Henry II. This monarch assigned them to William, son 
of King Stephen, who held them until Henry came to 
the throne and four years later surrendered them back to 
his lord, conditionally that he should have an hereditary 
right to all lands belonging to his father, King Stephen, 
before he became King of England. The King there- 
upon returned the estates to the family of de Aquila, 
who appear to have enjoyed them quietly for some years. 
In the reign of Henry III. the head of this family made 
himself obnoxious to the King, and, as he went over to 
Normandy without the Royal license, the King seized all 
his property, which included his manor of East Grinstead, 
and in 1234 granted it to the Earl of Pembroke, but 
seems to have taken it back six years later, when he gave 
it to Peter de Savoy, who was uncle to his Consort. A 
few years later the property appears to have once more 
reverted to the Crown, and the King then gave it to 
Prince Edward and his heirs, Kings of England, on 
condition that it should never be severed from the Crown 
a condition not long observed. 

In the thirteenth century the mother of King Edward I. 
held the Barony of the Eagle and with it the Borough 
and Hundred of East Grinstead. The Hundred of East 
Grinstead was described as an escheat of the Normans, 
an escheat being a property reverting to the Crown by 
reason of the failure of lawful heirs or the offences of 
the owners. The jurors of the Hundred of East Grin- 
stead reported about the same time that there were in 
the "Barony of Aquila (Latin for an eagle) 62 knights' 
fees which pertained to the Castle Guard of Pevensey." 
A "knight's fee," as applied to land, represents no definite 
quantity, but anything between one and five hundred 
acres of cultivable land. 

King Edward I. paid one visit to his mother's borough. 
He came from Horsham on Tuesday, June 30th, 1299, 


and departed on Wednesday, July 1st, for Leigh, on his 
way to Canterbury, where he was married for the second 
time on September 10th. In connection with this Royal 
visit a record is in existence of the following payments : 

To the Clerk of the Marshalsea, advanced for the cure of certain 
sick horses of the King by the hand of Nicholas the Marshal, 10s., 
and for 8 quarters of oats at 2s. 6d., 20s.; to the Clerk of the Kitchen, 
for 2 quarters of wheat bought of Isabella de Puleyne at Chichester 
at 6s. per quarter, 12s. ; to the Clei'k of the Pantry, for 6 score gallons 
of beer bought from Gunnora, wife of Walter Alewede, 4s. 2d. ; and 
for 55 gallons of beer from Peter de Hakenden, 4s. 7d. 

In the reign of Edward III. the lordship of the town 
belonged to Reginald Cobham, Lord Stereborough, who 
in 1340 procured a charter of free-warren, namely, an 
exclusive right to kill all hares, rabbits, partridges and 
pheasants over its area, and he left it so privileged to his 
son, Reginald, in 1361. 

According to the Harleian MSS. an inquisition was 
taken in 1559 in regard to the extent of the Borough of 
East Grinstead, and the jurors found that it was 

a Liberty of itself, without any intermeddling of ye hundred, or vice 
versa ; is within ye parish of East Grinstead, within ye Dutchy of 
Lancaster and ye liberty of ye same. There is contained within the 
said boro' of lands and tenements, as they are divided, 48 burgages, 47 
Portlands, 24 cottages, besides a stable and a smith's forge, and there 
be divers owners of the said burgages. The burgage holders and 
cottagers are all the Queen's tenants, and hold their tenements of her 
Majestie, as of her Manor of East Grinstead, by fealty only and suit 
of Court. This boro' is within the Liberty of the Dutchy and within 
ye parish of East Grinstead only, and there is no more of ye boro' of 
East Grinstead, but only ye town, and yet there is a common or heath, 
which is a common appendant to ye said boro', and lieth also within 
ye said boro' and is altogether within ye said parish of East Grinstead 
and within ye said Dutchy and Liberty of ye same. This boro' 
boundeth to ye lands of John Duffield, called Browning's Cross, and 
to ye glebe land of ye Parsonage of north part ; to Love Lane of ye 
east part ; to ye lands of John Duffield the elder, and lands late John 
Leedes of ye south ; of ye Queen's highway leading from said boro' 
to Westleigh and to ye lands late Richard Homewood west. Ye said 
common or heath boundeth to Edw. Goodwin's lands south ; to certain 
copyhold lands belonging to Imberhorne manor and ye demesne lands 
of said manor west ; to ye lands of Thos. Sands, Esq., lands Birchcroft, 
Edw. Goodwin's lands, a croft late Thos. Durkins, ye lands of Win. 
Outred and John Besh, lands belonging to ye George Inn and Win. 
Langridge's tenements ; and it is to be remembered that there is on 
ye common or heath one little piece of ground called the Windmill 


Place, wch Henry Duffield purchased to him and his heirs of King 
Henry VII., with one tenement and a piece of ground lying west of 
ye said common and called Ye New House, wch Edw. Duffield now 
hath and holdeth. 

The Duffields were long resident in East Grinstead 
and one of them named Thomas, a yeoman, was convicted 
for participating in 1541, at Laughton, with Lord Dacre, 
in that unfortunate poaching affray which brought this 
nobleman to the gallows. The mill spoken of was not 
pulled down until about 1900. 

On May 15th, 1626, the Hundred of East Grinstead 
was ordered to raise money for 10 barrels of powder to 
be kept in store and also to keep the beacons sufficiently 
repaired and watched. A year later, on August llth, 
the Hundred was called on to find 3s. and two men 
towards a press of 50 required from the county, no doubt 
to help in our ill-fated struggles in France and Spain. 

The Alderman or High Constable of the Hundred 
had annually to appear at a " Sheriffes turne Court" 
held upon Berwick Common on the Thursday in Whitsuii 
week. In a return to Parliament, dated June 1st, 1650, 
the duties of the "Aldermen" are thus quaintly set 
forth :- 

The Aldermen of the sevall hundreds (w ch are chosen at y e leetes for 
evy hundred one) are then to appeare, and to certify how many head 
borrowes are in each hundred, and to bi-ing 12 men with every alderman 
according to custome, to make a grand inquest, and the head borrows 
of evy borrough in the said hundreds are to appeare w th two side men, 
w th each of them to psent all publique abuses w th in their said borroughs 
and hundreds ; any of these fayling are severally amerced, viz', the 
Aldermen xx s each at the least, and their jurates vj s each, the head- 
borrough each iij" iiij d at y e least, y e side men vj d , and all deodans 
fellons goods, fugetives and fellows of themselves, &c., psented and 
amerced, and all publique annanses, all y e fines and amercan ts at y* 
said court are levied by y e feodary BailifFe of y e Dutchy, and ought to 
be accompted or compounded for by him . . . 

A deodand was a personal chattel which had been the 
immediate occasion of the death of a rational being and 
for that reason " given to God" that is, forfeited to the 
King to be applied to pious uses and distributed in alms 
by his high almoner. The Crown, however, frequently 
granted the right to deodands to devolve with certain 
lands. They were abolished in '1846. 


"Annanses," or annants, or annates, were the "first 
fruits," or a year's income of a spiritual living, given to 
the Pope on the death of a bishop, abbot, or parish priest, 
and paid by his successor. At the Reformation they were 
vested in the King and by Queen Anne restored to the 
church and appropriated to the augmentation of poor 
livings, forming the nucleus of the well-known Queen 
Anne's Bounty Fund. 

It is impossible to conceive what a vast difference there 
would have been in the whole character of the town and 
neighbourhood if East Grinstead but possessed a navigable 
river. Our forefathers were not blind to the advantages, 
both commercial and otherwise, which the district thus 
lost and they made several attempts to remedy the 
deficiencies of nature. In the sixteenth and seventeenth 
years of the reigri of Charles II., Parliament passed an 
Act for making the river Medway, which originates from 
a number of little streams rising in and around East 
Grinstead and Turners Hill, navigable in the counties of 
Kent and Sussex. This vast work was never executed 
and 65 years later private individuals took the matter up 
and got a second Act passed authorising the formation of 
a company, to be called " The Company of Proprietors 
of the Navigation of the River Medway," and the making 
of that river navigable from Maidstone to Forest Row, 
but this enterprise lingered on in imagination only until 
the country gradually became covered with a network of 
railways, when the project was finally abandoned. 

For centuries the town proper consisted of only one 
straggling street reaching from the paygate, which stood at 
the east end of the High Street, to a spot near the present 
Literary Institute. There were a few houses between 
there and the White Lion. The town was entered from 
the London direction under a magnificent avenue of 
elms, which occupied both sides of the roadway from 
where the Tunbridge Wells railway line now goes under 
it to Queen's Road, and a portion of which still remains 
on the Placeland Estate. 

The Common, already referred to, commenced just 
beyond the White Lion Hotel and, but for a few isolated 


cottages, formed a wild open tract reaching practically 
from the town to Felbridge and from Baldwins Hill to 
Imberhorne. The Duke of Dorset, as Lord of the 
Manor, began its enclosure about 1760 and his successors 
continued it until the only public piece now remaining 
is the Ling-field Road Recreation Ground. At North End 
formerly stood the public lime-kilns. Farmers used to 
fetch chalk by road from Lewes and make their own 
lime, for agricultural purposes, in the kilns on the 
Common. These were used by whoever needed them 
and, as may be imagined, disputes in regard to their 
occupation were not rare. The cartage of chalk was 
so great and so necessary an industry that by many 
general and local Acts carts conveying it were exempted 
from the payment of tolls, but a special clause was 
inserted in the last Act governing the East Grinstead 
roads (1850), withdrawing this exemption in regard to 
chalk and lime and continuing it in regard to lime only 
when being conveyed for use in improving land. 

The town has never had much more than its residential 
and sporting capacities and its agricultural industry to 
depend on. It has long been the centre of a very fair 
timber trade, and at one time was enriched by the iron 
industry, but no large manufactories have ever been 
established, though many industries, such as brewing 
and mineral water making, boot and harness manufactur- 
ing, have been well represented in a moderate way. 
The quill pen manufactory established by Mr. Palmer, 
the issuer of penny and twopenny bank-notes, gained a 
wide repute and secured for the establishment the grant 
of the Royal Arms, the only one ever obtained by a 
local tradesman, arid still to be seen over the premises, 
now owned and occupied by Mr. W. H. Dixon. The 
old felt hat manufactory was a fairly large one. Thomas 
Boille, assistant warden of Sackville College, and who 
issued his own farthing, was a hatmaker here in 1680 
and in 1798 William Tooth was carrying on the same 
business. It was located where the boot shop of Mrs. 
Roberts, in the London Road, now stands. The Tooth 
family then owned almost all the land between what is 


now London Road and Hill Place, including Glen Vue, 
Queen's Road andWest Street, then mainly of an agricul- 
tural character. A diary kept by the great grandfather 
of Messrs. Frederick and Edwin Tooth, who are now 
partners in business in the High Street, contains the 
following concerning his nephew : 

December 19th, 1827, John Tooth sailed in the "Bencoolen," Captain 
John Martin, Master, for Van Diemans Land and New South Wales, 
with hops, rum, porter and hats for sale. 

His brother had established himself as a brewer at 
Cranbrook and thence came the hops, rum and porter 
which formed part of this miscellaneous cargo. The 
hats came from East Grinstead. The goods apparently 
sold well, for John Tooth settled down in Sydney, 
established a brewery there and died worth over 
300,000. His descendants have come back to England 
and are famous for their munificent donations to national 
and charitable institutions. 

As already mentioned a few of our traders have had 
their own coins. In the reign of Charles I. and during 
the Commonwealth, before regal copper money was 
brought into general use, many tradesmen issued tokens 
of a farthing value, and the following were struck by 
East Grinstead residents : 

1. Obv.: THOMAS . BODLE . ix. (The Mercers' Arms.) 

Thomas Bodle was a mercer and hat maker. The 
name is a fairly common one in Sussex, and Mr. Lower 
suggests it was possibly corrupted from Bothel. 

2. Obv. : WILL . CLIFTON . SVSEX. (A sugar loaf.) 
Rev. : ix . EAST . GRIMSTED. W. S. C. 

This trader was apparently a grocer, but the name is 
not a common one in the district. 

3. Obv. : AT . THE . CATT . ix . EAST (A cat). 
Rev.: GREEXSTED . 1650. T. E. P. 

This was issued by the proprietor of what is now the 
Dorset Arms. The famous old coaching house has borne 
several names. It comprised two of the 36 burgages, 
giving its tenant a right to a vote for the Members of 


Parliament, and when first built was called " The Newe 
Line." Subsequently it was named "The Ounce" and 
afterwards " The Cat," both these titles being derived 
from the two leopards which form the supporters of the 
Dorset arms. It was not called "The Dorset Arms" 
until the "Dorset Head," which stood where Barclay 
and Co.'s Bank now is, was done away with. This was 
originally named " The Chequer, 7 ** and gave the name to 
the mead in the rear, which was subsequently attached 
to the Crown Hotel. John Taylor's " Catalogue of 
Tavernes in tenne Shires about London," published in 
1636, says: 

At East-Greensteed John Langridge and Henry Baldwin ; the signes 
at East Greensted are the Crown and the Cat. 

In 1811 The Dorset Arms was let at 30 a year, and 
The Crown, with its " outhouses, stables, yard, garden 
and bowling green," at the same figure. Both then 
belonged to the Sackville family. A considerable farm 
at that time went with the Crown, including the Friday, 
Chequer and Hips fields, and this farm was valued at 
42 a year. The three coins named above were all 
farthings ; the next, though practically of the same size, 
was a halfpenny : 

4. Obv. : *RICH . PAGE . AND . HEX . SEASTID. (A Cl'OWn.) 


Richard Page also issued a Hellingly halfpenny in 
1669, and he may have been in partnership with Seastid 
in East Grinstead. The latter name is a rare one, but 
may be .the same as Isted or Histed, both of which are 
possessed by old local families. 

In the latter part of the eighteenth century the copper 
coinage ran very short, and tradesmen again issued their 
own tokens in vast quantities. The only local one was 
issued by J. H. Boorman, a grocer and draper : 

Obv. : The Freemasons' Arms, supporters, crest and motto, with 

Rev. : The script cypher "J. H. B." in the field, with a pair of 

scales above and "1795" below and legend "EAST 


Edge : PAYABLE AT j -f- H. BOORMAN + + 0. 


Our traders at one time strongly resented the intrusion 
of outsiders, for the House of Commons minutes for 
February 9th, 1705, inform us that a petition of the 
aggrieved shopkeepers in the Borough of East Grinstead 
was presented to Parliament against continuing the 
licensing of hawkers and pedlars, and praying that 
some effectual remedy might be had to suppress such 
"intestine enemies." The petition was referred to a 
committee of the whole House, and possibly never 
thought of again. 

It is quite possible that such an old Parliamentary 
Borough as East Grinstead had its coat of arms at a very 
early date, but it was either forgotten or in abeyance in 
1572. In this year Thomas Cure, of Southwark, was 
elected M.P. for the Borough of East Grinstead, and he 
appears to have signalised his return by procuring for 
the town a grant of arms, presenting to the township a 
silver seal engraved therewith. What appears to be the 
original parchment grant of arms from the Heralds 
College is still in the possession of the Crawfurd family, 
to whom it has probably descended from their ancestor, 
John Payne, of East Grinstead, who died in 1579, and 
is one of the burgesses named in the grant, which reads 
as follows: 

Be it remembered that Gilbert Dethik alias Garter, Principall Kinge 
of Armes did graunt and allowe tlie xxx th day of May anno dni 1572 
Anno Eegni Eegine Elizabethe viiij to At y e specyall suyt of wyllyam 
Langridge then baylyffe of the bowronage towne of Estgrinsted in 
y e Countye of Sussex, Edwarde Goodwyne, John Payne, Thomas 
Lullingeden junior, John Duffylde, Edward Duffylde, Thomas 
Lullingeden senior, James Baldwin, Robart Hartfylde, wyllyam Bryan, 
Thomas ffawrkenor, John Atree, Edwarde Langredge, John Saxpes, 
Henry Browne, Thomas Dureky, Thomas Homewoode, George Partrydg 
and John Hazelden then being burgesses in the sayd burrowe towne 
and other the inhabytants of the sayde towne. fc!r And by the 
procuremente of maister Thomas Cure of Sowthwarke in the countye of 
Surr' esquyor, the paterne of y e Seale herein enexed to be a paterne 
of y e seale for the sayd Borrorghe towne, and that y e same paterne, 
and a Seale graven in sylver, accordinge to the same paterne was cawsed 
to be made and geven to the sayde Bayliffe, burgesses, townshipe and 
inhabj'tants to the use of the sayde townshipe by the sayd Thorns' Cure 
at his proper cost & charges only, for the love & good wyll that he the 


sayde Thomas Cure bare unto the sayd Burrowe towne and inhabytants 
thereof. Dated the day and yeare before written. 

Per me Humfridum Boydon 


A Paterne of a Seale for the Borroughe 
Towne of Estgrinsteed in Sussex. 

Graunted by Garter Principall 

Kinge of Armes 
by me Gilbert Dethick, 
als garter principall 
King of armes. 

The five Prince of Wales feathers are in blue, with gold 
touches to the tips, the ground yellow, the rim gilt and 
the letters brown. The silver seal referred to has long 
since disappeared. 

According to some authorities the town had another 
coat of arms a rose surmounted by a crown. Cox's 
11 Magna Britannia" gives a ducal crown, with rose below 
and "Sus" "sex" on either side, as the arms of the 
town, but there is no record of this at the College of 
Arms. Some local bodies have adopted this rose and 
crown as their seal, but they do not agree either as to 
the shape of the rose or the formation of the crown. The 
Gilbert Dethick who signs the grant was first Norroy 
and then Garter King of Arms, being raised to the latter 
office on April 29th, 1550. He was succeeded by William 
Dethick (possibly his son) on April 21st, 1586, and in 
connection with the grant to East Grinstead it is interest- 
ing to note that about this time gross irregularities with 
regard to the granting and confirmations of arms obtained 
in the Heralds College. " Some of the Heralds," we are 
told, " had taken to visiting and giving grants of arms 
on their own initiative, which they had no right to do 
except as deputies to one of the Kings of Arms." Their 
action brought about a positive scandal, so on July 18th, 


1568, the Duke of Norfolk, as Earl Marshal of England, 
issued fresh regulations, one of which was : 

That from henceforth there shall be no new arms granted to any 
person or persons without consent thereunto of the Earl Marshall had. 
Provided always that it shall be lawfull for Garter, Clarenceux and 
Norroy and every other of them jointly together to give new crests 
and confirinances as heretofore they have done . . . and that no 
patents of arms he granted unless the hands of the three Kings of 
Arms be thereto subscribed. 

Four years later the East Grinstead arms were granted. 
The latter part of the Earl Marshal's rule had been 
generally disregarded and new grants of arms continued 
to be issued on the authority of the Garter or one of the 
Kings of Arms alone. This is the case with East 
Grinstead ; Garter alone signs it and the Earl Marshal's 
warrant is not mentioned and presumably was not 
obtained. The order had so little effect, and the scandal 
of unauthorised grants increased so much, that the public 
executioner obtained a grant with the Royal Arms of 
Aragori and Brabant ! This was too much and the 
granter, Segar, successor to W. Dethick, was sent to 
prison for his freely bestowed favours. 



IN the year 1086 a survey was completed of that 
portion of Great Britain ruled by William the Conqueror. 
Appended is a translation of the local part of that 
very famous manuscript volume, written at Winchester 
from notes made by special officers sent to every part of 
the realm. Obsolete names and words are explained in 
parentheses, the renderings being mainly those suggested 
in the issue of Domesday Book published by the Sussex 
Archaeological Society, or the Victoria History of 
Sussex : 

In Grenestede Hundred. 

In Calvrestot (Shovelstrode Manor) the Earl (Earl 
Robert of Mortain, half-brother to William the Con- 
queror) has 1 hide (probably meaning as much land as 
one plough could cultivate), which lay in the rape of 
Lewes. It is now outside the rape. It does not pay 
geld (land tax called "Dane-geld"). Alnod held it of 
King Edward (Edward the Confessor). There is land 
for 2 ploughs. There they are with one villein (persons 
in absolute servitude with their children and effects) and 
3 bordars (cottagers). From the herbage 3 hogs. From 
the wood 5. (Rents were then often paid in swine.) 
In the time of King Edward and now worth 20 

In Celrestvis (? Shovelstrode Manor) Ansfrid holds one 
virgate of the Earl outside the rape. It has never paid 
geld. ^Elmar held it of King Edward. There is land 
for 1 plough. There it is with one villein. From the 
wood and herbage 2 hogs. In the time of King Edward 
it was worth 5 shillings ; now 7 shillings. 

In Felsmere (Falmer or Felbridge) the Earl holds 1 
hide and a half outside the rape. It has not paid geld. 
Villeins held it, and it is rated in the manor. 

c 2 


In Berchelie (Burleigh, Turners Hill) William holds 1 
hide and a half of the Earl. It is outside the rape. It 
has not paid geld. In the time of King Edward Alfer 
held it of the Holy Trinity (probably some ecclesiastical 
establishment), in the Manor of Odetone (Wootton Manor 
in Westmeston), as the hundred testifies. There is land 
for 4 ploughs. There are 3 villeins and 1 plough. In 
the time of King Edward it was worth 20 shillings ; 
now 10 shillings. 

The same William holds Warlege (Warley) of the 
Earl. There are 2 hides. It has never paid geld ; it is 
outside the rape. Ulueva held it of King Edward for 1 
manor. There is land for 5 ploughs. There are 3 
villeins with 3 ploughs. From the herbage 5 hogs and 
wood 2 hogs. Then 20 shillings; now 15 shillings. 

The same William holds Sperchedene outside the rape 
of the Earl. It lay in Wildetone (a Manor of Ashurst 
or The Wilde) and has never paid geld. Cano held it of 
King Edward. There is land for half a plough. It was 
then worth 3 shillings ; now 2 shillings. 

Ansfrid holds 2 hides less one virgate outside the rape 
of the Earl. King Edward held them. They lay in the 
Manor of Diceninges (Ditchling), and have not paid geld. 
There is land for 6 ploughs. From the wood and herbage 
6 hogs. There is one acre of meadow and one iron mine. 
(The only mine mentioned in the Sussex survey.) There 
are six villeins with two ploughs. In the time of King 
Edward they were worth 15 shillings ; now 20 shillings. 

The same Ansfrid holds half a hide outside the rape. 
It is called Halseeldene (Hazelden ; or Hazeldene in 
Dallington ; or Haselden in Burwash). Ulward held it 
of King Edward. It lay in Alitone (Allington in St. 
John's, Lewes) and has never paid geld. There is land 
for 2 ploughs. It was worth 10 shillings : now 5 shillings. 

The same Ansfrid holds half a hide Biochest (Buck- 
hurst in Withyham ; or Brockhurst, an extinct manor in 
East Grinstead ; or Burghurst, near Horsted Keynes) 
outside the rape of the Earl. Frane held it of King 
Edward. It lay in Waningore (Warringore Manor in 


Chailey). It has never paid geld. There is land for 1 
plough and there it is with one villein. It was worth 15 
shillings ; now 5 shillings. 

Ralph holds Branbertie (Brambletye) of the Earl. 
Cola held it of King Edward. It then and now vouched 
for one hide. There is land for 1 plough and a half. 
There is a priest with one villein and one plough and a 
hah and 14 bordars. From the wood and herbage 12 
hogs and 5 acres of meadow and I mill of 2 shillings. 
(This mill still exists and is occupied by Messrs. Hohnden 
and Son. The only other mill in the district was at 
Hertevel Hartfield and its annual rent was 4s. and 
350 eels, rent being then often paid in eels, which 
abounded in the mill-ponds.) In the time of King 
Edward it was worth 30 shillings ; now 20 shillings. 

The same Ralph holds Waslebie (Whalesbeach Farm 
in East Grinstead) outside the rape of the Earl. There 
is 1 hide. Fulchi held it of King Edward. It lay at 
Lovintune (East Lavant). It has never paid geld. There 
is land for 3 ploughs. There are 2 villeins with half a 
plough. It was worth 30 shillings ; now 20 shillings. 

The Earl himself holds outside the rape one virgate 
and a half, Standene. (Possibly Standen, but if really 
outside the rape then Standean in Pyecombe and 
Ditchling.) Azor held it of King Edward. It lay at 
Bevedene (Bevendean in Falmer). It has never paid 
geld. It is accounted for and rated in the manor of 
Torringes (Tarring Neville). 

The Earl himself holds Ferlega (?Fairlight) for one 
rod. It is outside the rape, in the rape of Lewes. It lay 
at Dicelinges( Ditchling). It has never paid geld. There 
is land for half a plough. There is one villein with one 
plough. It was worth 10 shillings ; now 5 shillings. 



FOR more than 530 years the Borough of East 
Grinstead was represented by two Members in Parlia- 
ment and the town has sent many famous men to the 
House of Commons. The privilege was possibly first 
conferred in 1295, when the "First Complete and Model 
Parliament " met, but the earliest record of any return 
is in the year 1300-1, the 29th of the reign of Edward I. 
The right of voting, when it came to be exercised by 
the inhabitants, was almost exclusively confined to the 
holders of burgages, and the number of this class of 
tenements seems never to have exceeded 36, of which 
almost the whole were for many years vested in the 
Sackville family, so that it was essentially a " nomination 
borough." The last patrons of the nomination borough 
were the Earl De la Warr and the Earl of Plymouth, 
their Lordships having married two sisters, co-heiresses 
of the Duke of Dorset, a former patron. A burgage 
holder was a burgess, citizen or townsman who held his 
land or tenement direct from the King, or other lord, for 
a certain yearly rent, or who held it under socage the 
tenure of one over whom his lord had a certain jurisdic- 
tion. There were several kinds of socage, the most 
common in East Grinstead being "free socage," implying 
that the service to be rendered was not only certain, but 
honourable, such as the payment of a merely nominal 
yearly sum or the declaration of fealty, meaning, "If 
you need my sword to be drawn on your behalf it shall 
be at once unsheathed." Thus an independent free- 
holder or a tenant under any but the King or Lord of 
the Manor had no vote whatever. Appended are the 
names of Members, so far as they can be ascertained, 


with brief biographies of the more famous and notes of 
petitions and other events of interest : 

1300-1. Willielmus ate Solere and Willielmus le Fughel. 

Both these were East Grinstead people, their names 
appearing in a local subsidy roll of that date. 

1307, Oct. 13th. Galfridus le Fissher and Thomas Squier. 
1309, April 27th. Willielmus de Holindale vel Holmdale and 
Galfridus le Fisshere. 

It was evidently the first named of these two members 
who founded, in 1325, a chantry in the parish church of 
East Grinstead and endowed it with lands in the parish 
and rents out of the Manors of Duddleswell and Imber- 
horne. There were Hollingdales living in East Grinstead 
at the Round Houses until they were pulled down to 
make room for the Constitutional Club. 

1311, Aug. 8th. Thomas Flemyng and Galfridus ate Solere. 

1311, Nov. 12th. Willielmus de Holyndale and Johannes atte 

1313, Sept. 23rd. Galfridus le Ku and Willielmus de Holyndale. 

For the four next Parliaments no returns were made 
for the Borough of East Grinstead. 

1322, Nov. 14th. Willielmus de Holindale and Galfridus Cocus. 

The latter was possibly the same person as " le Ku" 
returned in 1313. 

1325, Nov. 1 8th. Willielmus atte Sol ... and Willielmus de 
Holy . . . 

The finals of both these names are defaced in the 
original returns. They possibly were Solere and Holyn- 

1348. Willielmus le Couk and Johannes atte Solere. 

1354. Thomas Rous and Willielmus le Couk. 

1355. Willielmus Couk and Thomas Rous. 
1357-8. Willielmus Couk and Thomas Rous. 
1360. Thomas Rous and Johannes Alfray. 

The Alfreys were a well-known Sussex family, for a 
long time owners of Gulledge and Tilkhurst, which now 
form part of the Imberhorne estate. 

1360-1. Thomas Rous and Johannes Alfray. 
1362. Gregorius atte Hole and Johannes Alfray. 


1363. Gregorius atte Hole and Johannes Alfray. 
1 364-5. Gregorius atte Hole and . . . Holyndale. 
1366. Gregorius atte Hole and Eicardus Clerk. 

1368. Gregorius atte Hole and Johannes Alfray. 

1369. Thomas Eston and Galfridus Cook. 

1371. Gregorius atte Hole. 

1372. Galfridus Cook and Gregorius atte Hole. 

1373. Eicardus Mayhew and Eicardus Danyel. 

1378. Eicardus Hygon and Eicardus Woghere or Wowere. 

" Woghere" is possibly the same as the modern name 
of Woolgar, which is well known in East Grinstead and 
common throughout Sussex. 

1381. Johannes atte Sloughtre or Sleghtre and Johannes Farlegh. 

1382. Eicardus Woghere and Eicardus Danyel. 
1382-3. Thomas Wykes or Wyke and Johannes Dyn. 

John Dyn or Dyne was probably descended from the 
Dynes of Wikedyn, Northampton, who came over with 
the Conqueror and branches of which family afterwards 
settled at Bethersden, Kent, and Westfield and East 
Grinstead, in Sussex. The present representative of this 
old family is Mr. John Bradley-Dyne, of Lincolns Inn, 
Barrister-at-law, one of the Conveyancing Counsel to the 
Court of Chancery. 

1383. Johannes Sleghtre and Thomas Wyke. 

1384. Eicardus Danyell and Eicardus Wcghere. 

1385. Eicardus Danyel and Eicardus Woghere. 
1387-8. Johannes Dyn or Dyne and Johannes Heldele. 
1388. Eicardus Wowere and Willielmus Nelond. 
1391. Johannes Alfray and Johannes Dyn. 
1392-3. Thomas Easse and Thomas Aleyn. 

1394-5. Thomas Farlegh and Willielmus atte Hulle. 
1396-7. Johannes Punget and Johannes Dyn. 
1397. Johannes Dyn and Johannes Punget. 
1399. Johannes Dyne and Eicardus Woghere. 
1402. Johannes Dyne and Eicardus Wowere. 
1407. Johannes Dyn and Eicardus Wowere. 

In this year the Commons established the Constitu- 
tional maxim that all money grants must originate in 
their House and not in the Lords. 

1413. Johannes Hoke and Thomas Aleyn. 

1414. Johannes Dyn and Thomas Wower. 

1419. Willielmus Fenyngham and Johannes Hamme. 

The Fenningham or Frenyngham family lived at 
Waldron and during Jack Cade's insurrection the rebels 


plundered their house of precious stones and other 
valuables and held the owner, William Fenningham, 
possibly the member who sat for East Grinstead in 1436, 
to ransom. 

1421. Johannes Wower and Ricardus Fowell. 

The Fowles are still a well-known East Grinstead 

1421. Johannes Alfray and Johannes Wower. 

1422. Willielmus Fenningham and Johannes Alfray. 

1423. Johannes Wowere and Johannes Dyne. 
1425-6. Johannes Wowere and Georgius Eyr. 

This was the "Parliament of Bats," which met at 
Leicester, so called because the members had to take 
cudgels to protect themselves. 

1427. Johannes Mason and Ricardus Foull. 
1429. Thomas Bordeveld and Ricardus Foghell. 
1430-1. Johannes Huddle or Hudde and Jacobus Janyn. 

1432. Jacobus Janyn and Johannes Hudde. 

1433. Jacobus Janyn and Thomas Russell. 
1435. Robertus Davers and Johannes Page. 
1436-7. Willielmus Fenyngham and Johannes Wogher. 
1441-2. Ricardus Dalby and Willielmus Redeston. 
1446-7. Johannes Alfray and Radulphus A. Legh. 
1448-9. Johannes Blakeney and Johannes Stokke. 

1449. Hugo Huls and Johannes Blakeney. 

1450. Johannes Alfray and Johannes Westbourne. 

The dates hitherto given are those on which Parlia- 
ment was summoned to meet. In the original records 
the actual dates of election at East Grinstead now begin 
to find a place, and where these can be ascertained they 
are inserted. 

1452-3, Feb. 20th. Ricardus Strickland and Johannes Alfray. 

1459. Johannes Alfray and Robertus Rednesse. 

1460. Thomas Chaloner and Ricardus Alfray. 

Thomas Chaloner lived at Deanlands, Hurstpierpoint, 
and was one of the well-known Cuckfield Chaloners. He 
died on January 3rd, 1481. In 1621-2 one member of 
the family married Fortune Mascall, a widow, of East 
Grinstead, and in 1632 Richard Chaloner was a mercer 
in East Grinstead. He married Anne Bryant, of this 
town, and then removed to Cuckfield. 


1467. Nicolaus Morley and Ricardus Alfray. 

1472, Sept. 18th. Ricardus Lewknor and Robertus Foster. 

Foster has always been a fairly common name in East 
Grinstead. The Lewknor family occupied a very high 
position in Sussex from 1300 to 1550. Its members 
frequently filled the office of High Sheriff and represented 
East Grinstead and other towns in Parliament. Richard 
Lewknor, who was elected M.P. for East Grinstead in 
1472, lived at Brambletye. He was Sheriff of the County 
in the years 1471, 1492 and 1496. When Richard III. 
came to the throne there was trouble in the State and 
Richard Lewknor was one of several called on to besiege 
Bodiam Castle, which the rebels were holding and 
which belonged to Thomas Lewknor. He served in two 
Parliaments as M.P. for this Borough and died February 
13th, 1503. His second wife was Katherine, daughter of 
Lord Scales, to whom further reference will be found in 
the chapter dealing with the Charities of East Grinstead. 

1477, Dec. 31st. Bicardus Lewknor, sen., and Ricardus Alfray. 
1529. Willielmus Rutter and Edwardus Godewyn. 

This was the beginning of the " Seven Years' Parlia- 
ment." From the 22nd year of King Edward IV. down 
to the 14th of Henry VIII. it is the only return for East 
Grinstead of which any record has been preserved. To 
a certain extent this is accounted for by the fact that 
Parliament was rarely summoned. It only met once 
during the 13 years of Henry VII. 's reign, and very 
rarely during the first 20 years of Henry VIII. 's. 

1541-2. John Sakevyle. 

This apparently was the first member of the illustrious 
Sackville family sent to Parliament by East Grinstead. 
He lived at Chiddingly, and married an aunt of Anne 
Boleyn's, so was great uncle, by marriage, to Queen 
Elizabeth. He died on October 5th, 1557, and was 
buried at Withy ham. He willed that at his funeral " 12 
great tapers of viii. Ib. a piece be alight all the service 
time and every man receive a gown, vii d and his dinner." 

1547. Jasperus Culpeper and Johannes Sakvyle, junior. 

The Culpepers were a very old Sussex family and for 
a long period of years occupied Wakehurst, the mansion 


there being built by Sir Edward Culpeper in 1590. They 
were the owners of " divers lands and tenements in East 
Grinstead," held of the Manor of Walstede "by fealty 

1552-3, Feb. 18th. Sir Eobert Oxenbrege and George Darell. 

Sir Robert Oxenbridge, of Brede, was a famous public 
character and statesman. He sat for the County of Sussex 
in 1554, 1555 and 1557. In 1539 he was one of the Com- 
missioners of Musters for the Rape of Hastings, and in 
1551 was Sheriff of Sussex. He was Constable of the 
Tower of London in 1556-7. 

The Darell family for a time resided at Scotney, 

1553, Sept. 25th. Sir Thomas Stradling and John Story, D.C.L. 

According to an ancient historian the first named of 
these Members was the eldest of 12 brothers, "most of 
them bastards," who had " no living but by extortion 
and pilling (? pillaging) of the King's subjects." He 
was born in 1498, his father being Sir Edward Stradling, 
of St. Donats, Glamorgan. He became Sheriff of 
Glamorgan and was knighted on February 17th, 1549. 
He represented first East Grinstead and then Arundel in 
Parliament. He was a staunch Roman Catholic, but 
early in 1561 was arrested for having caused four pictures 
to be made of the likeness of a cross, as it appeared in 
the grain of a tree blown down in his park at St. Donats. 
For a long time he was kept prisoner in the Tower, but 
was finally released on entering into a bond for 1,000 
marks to appear when called on. He died in 1571 arid 
was buried in the private chapel attached to St. Donats 

The Member returned with him to represent East 
Grinstead " The Blessed John Story, Roman Catholic 
martyr," according to one authority, and " the bloody 
butcher and traitorous rebel," according to another had 
a most remarkable career, which merits more than passing 
notice. He was a north-countryman, born about 1510, 
and early became a lay brother of the Grey friars. He 
was educated at Oxford, took the B.C.L. degree in 1531 


and four years later was appointed Civil Law Lecturer, 
becoming Principal of Broadgates Hali (afterwards 
Pembroke College) in 1537. This post he resigned two 
years later, but got his D.C.L. degree before doing so. 
In 1544 he was in Boulogne and rendered great services 
during the siege in the administration of the Civil Law. 
As a reward for his services he received a fresh patent 
for his office at Oxford and ranks as the first Regius 
Professor of Civil Law at the University. Soon after the 
boy Edward VI. came to the throne Story recanted 
his Romanist opinions, but this secession was only 
temporary. He strongly opposed the Act of Uniformity 
and caused a great sensation in the House by exclaiming, 
during the debate, " Woe unto the land whose king is a 
child ! " For this he was thrown into the Tower and 
thus provided the first known instance of the Commons 
punishing one of their own members. In time he made 
submission and was released, but thought it advisable to 
get out of England, so he retired to Louvain until Mary 
came to the throne. Lady Jane Grey safe in the Tower 
he at once came back, was restored to his Professorship 
and a month later was elected M.P. for East Grinstead. 
He soon resigned his Oxford appointment and became 
the most active of all the Queen's agents in bringing 
heretics to trial and the stake. Foxe, in his " Book of 
Martyrs," says he " consumed to ashes two or three 
hundred blessed martyrs," and applies to him some of 
the strongest epithets which he uses throughout the work, 
such as "bloody tyrant," "bloody persecutor" and 
"bloody Nimrod." In 1555 he was appointed Queen's 
Proctor for the trial of Cranmer. On Elizabeth's accession 
he renounced all foreign jurisdictions, but in 1559 he 
made a speech glorying in what he had done during 
Mary's reign and quickly found himself in the Fleet 
prison. But only for a time. Liberty, however, was 
almost as brief and his next compulsory home was the 
Marshalsea. From here he escaped to the Spanish 
embassy and was smuggled away to Flanders. Philip 
II. granted him a pension, the Duke of Alva put him 
into office and he established the Inquisition in Antwerp. 


In England a plot was hatched for his capture. A vessel 
sailed to Bergen, Story was enticed on board by a tale 
that forbidden books were among the cargo, the hatches 
were battened down, the vessel at once set sail and Story 
soon found himself at Yarmouth. He was taken to the 
Tower and on May 26th, 1571, brought to trial in 
Westminster Hall on a charge of inciting the Duke of 
Alva to invade England. He refused to plead and 
claimed to be a Spanish subject, but was condemned 
for treason, sentenced to be hung, drawn and quartered, 
and on June 1st this sentence was carried out at Tyburn 
in its entirety and with cruelties too horrible to detail 
here. Three centuries later Pope Leo XIII. honoured 
his memory by raising him to the ranks of the Blessed 
one stage below the Saints the decree of beatification 
being dated December 29th, 1886. 

1554, April 2nd. Eicardus Whalley and Anthoninus Stapleton. 

Richard Whalley was a famous man in his day. 
Born in 1499, he was the only son and heir of Thomas 
Whalley, of Kirkton, Northampton. Introduced at 
Court he ingratiated himself with Henry VIII. by 
reason of his grace and skill in martial exercises, and 
being entrusted with some work in connection with 
the suppression of monasteries did it so well that on 
February 26th, 1538-9, he was rewarded with a gift 
of Welbeck Abbey and other lands. Some seven years 
later the Manors of Sibthorp and Wimbledon were 
added to his possessions. When Somerset became Lord 
Protector to the young King Edward VI. Whalley was 
made his steward and for a time stuck to him through 
all his intrigues, though he found himself in the Fleet 
prison as a consequence. But when Somerset was 
arrested, Whalley's fidelity gave way and he was one 
of the principal witnesses against him. The master 
went to the block ; the man was deprived of all his 
manors and on September 19th, 1552, was committed 
to the Tower. Immediately on Mary's accession he was 
released, and a few months later was sent to Parliament 
by East Grinstead. He subsequently got into favour 


with Elizabeth, and on July 3rd, 1561, she granted him 
the Manors of Whatton, Hawkesworth and Towton, and 
he finally passed away on November 23rd, 1583, despite 
all his troubles, a very wealthy man. He was three 
times married and was the father of 25 children. 

1555, Oct. 14th. William Berners and John Wiseman. 
1557-8, Jan. 18th. Thomas Sakevyle and Thomas Parker. 

Thomas Sackville was a famous statesman, who after- 
wards became Lord Buckhurst and first Earl of Dorset. 
He was born at Buckhurst in 1536, and as a youth 
showed great ability and wrote some poetry which won 
him a very early reputation, while a play of his was 
produced with great success at Drury Lane 175 years 
after his death. He was first elected to Parliament for 
both East Grinstead and the County of Westmoreland 
and elected to sit for the latter, but when Elizabeth 
came to the throne he chose to represent East Grinstead. 
For six years, from 1561, he was Grand Master of the 
English Freemasons. He became attached to the Court 
of the Virgin Queen and, after his father's death, was 
granted by her the reversion of Knole. He was 
knighted on June 8th, 1566, by the Duke of Norfolk, 
and on the same day Ellizabeth raised him to the degree 
of a peer, making him Baron of Buckhurst. In 1570 
he was sent as a special ambassador to Charles IX., 
King of France, and a year later was one of the peers 
who tried and condemned the Duke of Norfolk, the very 
man who knighted him, for high treason by reason of 
his connection with Mary, Queen of Scots. Lord 
Buckhurst was chosen to convey to this unfortunate lady 
her sentence of death, and he did this so delicately that 
she presented him with a carving from her private chapel, 
a gift which is still preserved at Knole. His conduct 
of a mission to the low countries to inquire into 
complaints against the Earl of Leicester incurred the 
Queen's disfavour and on his return he was confined to 
his house by her orders for nearly a year, during which 
time he never saw his wife or children. The Earl of 
Leicester dying soon after, Lord Buckhurst stepped 
immediately into Royal favour again, was made a Knight 


of the Garter and Chancellor of Oxford University, 
being finally raised, on Lord Burleigh's death in 1598, 
to the office of High Treasurer of England, in which 
appointment he was continued by King James, who 
made him Earl of Dorset on March 13th, 1604. At a 
Council Meeting at Whitehall on April 19th, 1608, he 
had an apopletic seizure and died suddenly, leaving 
behind him, says Southey, " an umblemished reputation 
in murderous times." He was buried at Withyham. 

1558-9, Jan. 14th. Thomas Sackvile and Humphrey Lloyd. 
1562-3, John Sackvile and Lawrence Banister. 

1571. Sir John Jefferay and Henry Berkley. 

Sir John Jefferay was raised to the judicial bench five 
years after his election for East Grinstead. Having held 
the appointment a year and a half he became Chief Baron 
of the Court of Exchequer, but died in the succeeding 
year " at London in the Ward of Collmans Streate, 13 
May, 20th Elizabeth." His mother was, before her 
marriage, Miss Elizabeth Whitfeld, and it was one of her 
relatives who afterwards owned Rowfant and carried on 
the ironworks there. Sir John was a considerable owner 
of property in and around the parish of Chiddingly, in 

1572. Thomas Cure and Michael Heneage. 

Thomas Cure, of Southwark, in the year he was first 
elected, presented East Grinstead with its coat of arms. 
He was Lord of the Manor of Lavorty, and died May 
25th, 1588. 

Michael Heneage in turn represented Arundel, East 
Grinstead, Tavistock and Wigan. He was a famous 
antiquary, and he and his brother were appointed joint 
keepers of the records in the Tower. Though living in 
London he was a landed proprietor in Essex. He died 
December 30th, 1600. 

1584, Oct. 22nd. Francis Alforde. 

1586, Oct. 1st. John Coverte and Drew Pickesse. 

The first-named of these members lived at I^whurst and 
was the second son of Richard Covert, of Slaugham. He 
married Charity, daughter of Sir Martin Bowes, jun., 


and a niece of his father's second wife. His nuncupa- 
tive will was proved in 1589, and contains the following: 

That for his bodye, his disease excepted, he was as sounde as any 
man in Englande, and concerning his landes and goodes, if he had 
ten 1000 pounds I would put iny brother Walter in trust withall, unto 
whom all things shall goe if my daughter fail. 

The Walter named was his elder brother, knighted in 
1591, and the builder of the magnificent mansion at 
Slaugham, of which only ruins now remain. 

Drew Pickesse came of a family which, for a brief 
period, occupied Brambletye. 

1588, Oct. 21st. Francis Alford and Thomas Frere. 
1592-3. Reade Stafford, of Bradford, Berks, and John Shurley, of 
Isfield, Sussex. 

The latter was the son of Sir John Shurley and died 
October 24th, 1611. 

1597, Sept. llth. George Ryvers and Eichard Baker. 
1601, Sept. 25th. Henry Compton and Q-eorge Rivers. 

Henry Compton, of Brambletye, was afterwards 
knighted. He built the house which now stands in ruins. 
He was a son of Sir Henry, afterwards Baron, Compton, 
of Compton Wynyates, Warwick, an ancestor of the 
present Marquess of Northampton. He married, firstly, 
Cecille, daughter of Robert, Earl of Dorset, and, secondly, 
Mrs. Mary Paston, a daughter of Sir George Browne. 
The name is derived from the lordship of Compton, near 
Warwick, of which place its founders were lords previous 
to the Conquest. Sir Henry, for many years, held the 
post of Ranger of Ashdown Forest and he was apparently 
a very easy-going official, for there are several instances 
on record, in Parliamentary reports, of his allowing 
people to erect houses on the Forest and enclose portions 
of it " contrary to the laws in force " and exempting the 
tenants from all rents or service for the same. 

1603-4, Feb. 8th. Sir Henry Compton and Sir John Swynerton. 

This was the first Parliament of James I. It sat 
until 1610. From then until 1614 there was no sitting; 
then " The Addled Parliament" met, but did no business. 


1620-1, Jan. 1st. Sir Henry Coinpton and Thomas Pelham. 

This was the third Parliament of James and the first 
in his reign to do any real work. Thomas Pelham was, 
no doubt, the second holder of the Pelham baronetcy, to 
which he succeeded in 1624, and an ancestor of the present 
Earl of Chichester. 

1623-4, Feb. 7th. Sir Robert Heath and Mathias Caldicote. 

Sir Robert Heath was made Solicitor-General on Jan. 
22nd, 1620, and Attorney-General on Oct. 31st, 1625. 
When the House met on Feb. 9th, 1625-6, the Speaker 
drew the attention of the Members to the fact that the 
Bailiff of East Grinstead had returned the Attorney- 
General as a Member contrary to the decision the House 
had come to on April 8th, 1614, that this officer of the 
Crown should not be allowed a seat in Parliament. The 
House decided to uphold this decision, and the next day 
a new writ was ordered to be issued for East Grinstead 
in the room of Robert Heath, Attorney-General, declared 
incapable of sitting. He became Chief Justice of the 
Court of Common Pleas in 1631 and Chief Justice of 
the King's Bench in 1643. The Heaths were a well- 
known Exeter family, who from 1685 to 1785 owned 
and resided in the house at Ottery St. Mary, the present 
seat of Lord Coleridge, whose ancestors bought it from 
the Heath family about 1795. 

1625-6. Sir Henry Compton and Sir Eobert Heath. 
1625-6. Sir Henry Compton and Robert Goodwyne, Goodwin or 

Robert Goodwin, a Covenanter, was afterwards knighted 
and four more times elected for East Grinstead. He last 
sat in Richard Cromwell's Parliament, which met on 
Jan. 26th, 1659. 

1627-8, Feb. 18th. Sir Henry Compton and Robart Goodwyn. 

From 1629 to 1640 there was no Parliament, Charles I. 
dissolving it because of the u seditious carriage of some 
vipers, members of the Lower House." 

1639-40, March 4th. Sir Henry Compton and Robert Goodwin. 

This was the " Short Parliament." Charles wanted 
money, the Commons would give him none, so he dismissed 


them after they had sat only three weeks. The East 
Grinstead election led to the first petition of which 
there is any record in connection with this borough. It 
appears that some of the inhabitants, other than the 
burgage holders, were allowed by the Bailiff of East 
Grinstead, Mr. Blundell, to record their votes, and others, 
being dissatisfied, petitioned Parliament, which met on 
April 13th, 1640. Mr. White got 13 votes, Mr. Goodwin 
14, and the allegation was that the latter made "a 
feoffement . . . w oh did multiply voices." Mr. Goodwin 
affirmed that the inhabitants as well as the burgage holders 
had a right to vote, and Parliament at that time upheld him 
and declared him and Sir Thomas Compton duly elected. 
It was stated during the hearing of this case that Mr. 
Blundell, the bailiff, threatened both at the time of elec- 
tion and to witnesses who were going to give evidence at 
the trial that if people would not vote for Mr. White, or 
if they raised their voices for Mr. Goodwin, "their 
servants should be prest and their carts taken." On behalf 
of the Earl of Dorset, however, it was affirmed that he 
wrote to the town " to make a fair and a very free elec- 
tion." The House decided, on April 24th, that Sir H. 
Compton and Mr. Goodwin were well elected, and they 
were duly called to their seats in the House. Edward 
Blundell, the bailiff, was sent for by the messenger of the 
House, "as a delinquent for misdemeanours by him com- 
mitted at, before and since the election." How the over- 
zealous Bailiff subsequently fared the House of Commons 
journals do not record. His delinquencies were possibly 
overshadowed by the more serious affairs of State. The 
Bailiff had returned Mr. White as duly elected, but that 
Member was returned also for Rye, and elected to sit for 
that borough, so that the whole petition, so far as it 
concerned the actual representation of East Grinstead, 
was quite a useless one. 

1640. Richard, Lord Buckhurst, and Robert Goodwin. 

There seems to have been a complaint about this 
election also, for on Nov. 16th the Committee of 
Privileges reported that Lord Buckhurst was well 


elected and well returned to serve for East Grinstead, 
and ought to be admitted to sit. On Dec. 24th a 
similar report was presented in regard to Mr. Goodwin. 
Accordingly they were called to their seats. This was 
the memorable "Long Parliament," which met on Nov. 
30th, 1640. The Civil War broke out on Aug. 22nd, 
1642, and on Jan. 30th, 1648-9, Charles I. was beheaded, 
but the Parliament, or such as remained of it, for its 
Members were less than 100 in number, continued sitting 
until it was personally expelled by Cromwell on April 
20th, 1653. Lord Richard was a Royalist, who after- 
wards became fifth Earl of Dorset. He was born Sept. 
16th, 1622, so was only 18 when returned for East 
Grinstead. When the Civil War broke out he joined 
the King's forces and on Sept. 12th, 1645, was disabled 
for continuously absenting himself from the service of 
the House. After Cromwell's death he became the 
leader of the Royal party and was one of those mainly 
instrumental in bringing about the peaceful restoration 
of the Monarchy. 

1645, Oct. 10th. John Baker. 

This was the by-election held to fill the vacancy 
caused by the disablement of Lord Buckhurst. There 
was at this time trouble about the office of Bailiff of 
East Grinstead. Mr. Cole and Mr. Bowyer both claimed 
to hold the position ; the former returned Mr. Pickering 
as Member, the latter Mr. Baker. In February of the 
following year the matter came before the House, and it 
was decided that Mr. Cole had no claim to the office of 
Bailiff; that Mr. Bowyer had, and that therefore Mr. 
Baker was the proper person to sit for East Grinstead. 

1653. In this year the "Barebones" Parliament 
assembled, but it does not appear that East Grinstead 
was represented therein. Cromwell called together an 
assembly of 140 nominees, " men faithful, fearing 
God and hating covetousness." This Parliament soon 
voluntarily resigned. Cromwell now became Lord Pro- 
tector, and called his first real Parliament to meet on 
September 3rd, 1654. This was dissolved without passing 

D 2 


a single Act. Cromwell's second Parliament met in 
1656 and his third in 1658, and the records of the repre- 
sentation of East Grinstead again become obtainable. 

1658-9. Sir Robert Goodwin and George Courthope. 

This Parliament met on Jan. 27th, dissolved itself 
on March 16th, 1659-60, and issued writs for a new 
Parliament to meet on April 25th, 1660, which assembly 
called back King Charles II. to the throne. 

George Courthope was a man of considerable repute 
in his day, and his descendants still occupy honoured 
positions in this county. He wrote his autobiography, 
and from a manuscript copy of it, the only one known, 
in Mr. Courthope's library at Whiligh, the following 
particulars are taken. He was born in 1616, and was the 
only son of Sir George Courthope, of Whiligh, Ticehurst, 
a Commissioner of the Alienation Office. This Commis- 
sionership was held by a long and unbroken succession of 
Courthopes, the first of whom was appointed by Queen 
Elizabeth, while the last held the post until the abolition 
of the office in the reign of George III. After spending 
some time at the Merchant Taylors' and Westminster 
Schools, young Courthope went to Oxford, and on leaving 
the University joined the suite of the Earl of Leicester, 
who was then on his way to France to take up the post 
of English Ambassador at the French Court. But, in 
consequence of an accident, Courthope had to leave the 
party before Paris was reached. In time he resumed his 
travels and made a long tour through Switzerland, Italy 
and other countries bordering on the Mediterranean. At 
Mitylene he was arrested on a charge of investigating, 
too closely, the fortifications of that island, but judicious 
and judicial bribery secured his early release. While 
at Constantinople he got news of his father's serious 
illness and hastened home, arriving on Christmas Eve, 
1641, in time to see his father before he died at their 
house in Leadenhall Street, London. This fine old 
mansion was only demolished about 20 years ago, and 
the site is now occupied by the spacious range of build- 
ings known as Africa House. This is still the property 


of the family, and came to them, together with other 
houses and land on which now stands a great part of 
Liverpool Street Station, when the subject of this notice 
married Elizabeth Hawes, a daughter of his father's second 
wife by her first husband. On his father's death he 
hurried to the North of England to interview Charles I., 
to whom his uncle, Mr. John Courthope, was a gentleman- 
in-waiting, and managed to secure from the King, on 
payment to His Majesty of 1,300, the appointment to 
the Alienation Commissionership, which had been held 
by his father and grandfather. During the Protectorate 
he was summoned to appear before Cromwell's Council on 
a charge of having supplied the King and his family with 
money, and the charge was, no doubt, to an extent, true, 
but the trial was adjourned sine die and never completed. 
On the restoration of Charles II. he was present at the 
great banquet given by the King at Windsor Castle, being 
in attendance on the Earl of Northumberland, Lord 
Lieutenant of Sussex. That same morning he received 
the honour of knighthood, and the King remitted the fee 
of 100 usually demanded from those raised to this dignity, 
and also granted Sir George pardon for having sat as M.P. 
for East Grinstead in the Protectorate Parliament. Sir 
George subsequently sat in several Parliaments for Sussex 
constituencies and finally resigned in consequence of 
severe illness. His death occurred at Whiligh in 1 685, and 
a mural tablet, with a Latin inscription, in Ticehurst 
Church, commemorates a man of considerable talent and 
a loyal servant of his King. 

1 661 , March 28th. Charles, Lord Buckhurst, and George Courthope. 

Lord Buckhurst, who became sixth Earl of Dorset, 
was born on Jan. 24th, 1637. He was elected to Parlia- 
ment for East Grinstead soon after the restoration of 
Charles II., with whom, by reason of his courtly 
manners, generous nature and sprightly wit, he became 
a great favourite, being appointed a gentleman of the 
bedchamber. He saw some active service against the 
Dutch and went on several embassies to France. He 
was made Baron of Cranfield and Earl of Middlesex in 


1675, and went to the House of Lords, a new writ being 
issued for East Grinstead, for which town he was then 
Member, on April 4th of that year. On the accession 
of James II. he withdrew from the Court, being strongly 
opposed to many of the stringent measures directed 
against the Protestants. He was one of those mainly 
instrumental in placing the Prince of Orange on the 
throne, and he got his immediate reward by being made 
Lord Chamberlain of the Household to King William. 
On Feb. 3rd, 1691, he was created a Knight of the 
Garter. He died at Bath, Jan. 19th, 1705-6, and a 
month later was buried at Withy ham. 
1678. Capt, Edward Sackville. 

This Member was son of Richard, Earl of Dorset, and 
he died while representing East Grinstead. He was 
buried at Withyham on Oct. 18th, 1678, and a new writ 
was issued for East Grinstead on the 28th of the same 

1678-9, Feb. 14th. Thomas Pelham and Henry Powle. 

This election seems to indicate the existence of a 
family quarrel between some members of the Sackville 
family. Richard, Earl of Dorset, died on August 
27th, 1677, and left a widow, Frances. In 1687 
Henry Powle appears as owner of the Manor of 
Imberhorne "jure uxoris, Frs. Countess of Dorset," he 
having married the Dowager Countess. The marriage 
was apparently ignored by the Sackville family, for at 
her death she was buried as " The Rt. Horible. Frances 
Countess Dowager of Dorset, wife to the Rt. Honble. 
Richard Earl of Dorset," her relationship to Mr. Powle 
being unmentioned. The Dorset nominees at this elec- 
tion would appear to have been Thomas Pelham and 
Edward Sackville. They were opposed by Henry Powle 
and William Scroggs. The bailiff returned the two 
former as duly elected. It was in this year that the 
terms Whig and Tory first came into use. On March 
18th, 1678-9, as soon as Parliament met, several of the 
inhabitants of East Grinstead complained that there had 
been an undue return at this election and that Henry 


Powle should have been one of the burgesses returned for 
the Borough. At the same time William Scroggs com- 
plained that he ought to have been returned in the place 
of Edward Sackville. Both petitions were referred to the 
Committee of Privileges and Elections, and on April 7th 
following the report of this Committee on the subject 
was presented to the House. The great question at issue 
was whether the inhabitants at large or the burgage 
holders only had the right of election. Records from the 
reigns of Mary, Elizabeth, James I. and Charles I. were 
produced, setting forth that the returns of Members were 
made by " The Bailiff, Burgesses and all other the 
Inhabitants," or words to that effect, and a number of 
witnesses were examined to bear out the same contention. 
Mr. Robert Goodwin, a former M.P. for East Grinstead, 
who said he had known the Borough for 60 years, 
averred that he was always elected by the inhabitants 
as well as the burgage holders. Thomas Cockett 
said he was never a burgage holder, but he voted for 
Mr. Goodwin 40 years before. At this actual election 
it appeared some 60 inhabitants voted for Mr. Powle and 
no more than 18 for anyone else, but the Bailiff declined to 
return him. Counsel on both sides agreed that the inhabi- 
tants as well as burgage holders had a right to elect, but 
as Mr. Scroggs had not petitioned against the return of 
Mr. Pelham his petition was practically rejected, and the 
Committee decided that Mr. Powle should have been 
returned instead of Mr. Sackville. The House adopted 
this view and decided to amend the return, which was 
accordingly done on April 14th, 1679. But Henry Powle 
" had something up his sleeve." Had the petition gone 
against him he would still have been an M.P., for he was 
also elected for Cirencester, and immediately the House 
had amended the return and he had ousted Mr. Sackville, 
he declared his intention of sitting for Cirencester, so a 
new writ had to be issued for East Grinstead, and this 
was done on the very same day as the Bailiff's return 
was amended. Henry Powle was a man of high repute. 
In regard to his subsequent career we need to look a few 
years ahead. The first and only Parliament of James II. 


was a packed one. It was prorogued in 1685 and finally 
dissolved in 1687. The King, in the meanwhile, tried 
to get together a Parliament of Catholics and Noncon- 
formists, but he failed, and for the remainder of his reign 
there was no Parliament in England. When the Prince 
of Orange came over, the Convention which had invited 
William and Mary to occupy the throne changed itself 
into a Parliament without an election. It was first sum- 
moned to meet on January 22nd, 1688-9, at 9 a.m., and 
as soon as the Members had gathered the Earl of Wilt- 
shire rose and said, " There is an honourable person in 
my eye whom I conceive very well experienced in 
methods of Parliament and in every way qualified for 
the Speaker's place." He thereupon proposed the former 
Member for East Grinstead and the proposition was 
unanimously agreed to. Mr. Powle begged the House 
to choose some more worthy person, but his excuse was 
not allowed and he continued as Speaker until a new 
Parliament met on March 20th, 1689-90, when he was 
succeeded by Sir John Trevor. 

There were apparently at this time about 33 burgage 
holders and their names are set forth in the following 
copy of a parchment document still in existence : 


A Rental of the Lords rent of the said Burrough, due and payable to 
the Right Honorable the Countess of Dorsett, from the yeare 
1678 to thy present yeare 1683. 

s. d. 

Edward Payne, Esqr., five burg es and six portlands .... 00 02 09 

Andrew Ledger, one burgage 00 00 03 

William Relfe, one burgage, one portland 00 00 06 

William Austen, one burgage, one portland 00 00 06 

Robert Mathew, Jun., two burg es , two portlands 00 01 00 

Richard Page, two burgages, two portlands 00 01 00 

Jarvas Thorp, one burgage, one portland 00 00 06 

William Taylor, one burgage, one portland 00 00 06 

Tobyas Shewin, one burgage, one portland 00 00 06 

Widd Moore, one burgage, one portland 00 00 06 

John Butching, one burgage, one portland 00 00 06 

Thomas Cooper, one burgage, one portland 00 00 06 

James Levett, two burgages, eleven portlands 00 03 03 

Henry Brasted, one burgage . 00 00 03 

Widd Elmer, one burgage 00 00 03 


s. d. 

Thomas Broomley, one burgage 00 00 03 

James Linfeild, three burgages, fower portlands 00 01 09 

John Bodle, two burgages, two portlands 00 01 00 

Alexander Luxford, Gent., one burgage 00 00 03 

Robert Wickersham, one burgage 00 00 03 

Thomas Wood, one burgage 00 00 03 

Jeremy Johnson, Gent., one burgage 00 00 03 

Bryan Walton, Esqre., 4 burg es , 5 portlands 00 02 03 

The Occupiers of Mr. Does, 2 burg" and 2 portlands . . 00 01 00 

William Coster, 2 burgages, 4 portlands 00 01 06 

James Blott, one burgage 00 00 03 

William Putland and Tho. Piggot, one burgage 00 00 03 

John Butchingson, 2 burgages, 2 portlands 00 01 00 

John Underbill, two burgages, two portlands 00 01 00 

William Langridg, One burgage, one port 00 00 06 

William Butching, 2 burgages, 2 portlands 00 01 00 

Edward Payne, Gent., one burg, one port 00 00 06 

There are 29 other entries of cottagers paying 2d. 
each, but the occupation of these did not confer the 
privilege of voting. The total rental was 1. 14s. lid. 

The manorial rent for each burgage was, therefore, 
threepence and for a portland the same. The portlands 
were small fields or portions of the common-land of the 
Borough allotted to burgages in much the same way as 
common rights of pasture on Ashdown Forest were 
allotted to estates in East Grinstead and other parishes. 
The Portland Road in East Grinstead is so named 
because some early deeds of that estate show that some of 
the portlands were there situate. It ought properly to 
be called Portlands Road, its present name suggesting 
that it had something to do with the Portland family, 
which is not the case. 

1679, Aug. 19th. The Hon. Goodwyn Wharton and William 

The Hon. Goodwyn Wharton was no doubt connected 
with Lord Wharton, whose descendant, Philip Wharton, 
was created Duke of Wharton, January 20th, 1718, but 
was attainted for joining the Chevalier, and all the 
family honours died with him. Goodwyn Wharton was 
appointed by James II. one of the Lords of the 


William Jephson belonged to Mallow and was con- 
nected with the well-known Jephson family of Froyle, 
in Hampshire, ancestors of the present holders of the 
Jephson baronetage. 

1680-1, Feb. llth. Sir Cyril Wyche and Henry Powle. 

This Parliament last met in 1681 at Oxford, but only 
for a week, and was not called together again during the 
reign of Charles II. 

1684-5, March 19th. Simon Smith and Thomas Jones. 

On May 23rd, 1685, John Conyers complained to 
Parliament of the undue election of these two Members, 
but nothing was done in the matter. 

1688-9. Sir Thomas Dyke, Bart,, and Thomas Sackville. 

This was the Convention which called William of 
Orange to the throne and afterwards formed itself into a 

The Dyke family belonged to Horeham, Sussex, and 
were owners of the Star Inn and of the "two burgages 
formerly called the New Inn, alias The Ounce, after- 
wards The Cat and then called The Dorset," the famous 
old house not being so last named until the Sackville family 
acquired the freehold from Sir John Dixon Dyke, the 
third Baronet, and who married a Miss Jane Philadelphia 
Payne Home, of East Grinstead. This lady was the 
daughter of Mr. George Home, of London, banker, who 
is buried in the chancel of East Grinstead Church (1738), 
under a stone engraved with his name and coat of arms. 
This Mr. Home had married Philadelphia, daughter of 
Edwd. Payne, of East Grinstead (1662-1713) and half- 
sister of Chas. Payne, of East Grinstead and Newick 
(1707-1734), whose monument may also be seen on the 
walls of the chancel of our Parish Church, so that old 
John Payne, of Pixtons, in East Grinstead, who died in 
1507 and whose will is set out in the chapter dealing 
with the church history, may claim amongst his many 
other lineal descendants the present representative of the 
Hart Dyke family. Sir Thomas, the Member for East 


Grinstead, succeeded his father as Baronet on March 3rd, 
1677, and died October 21st, 1706. 

Thomas Sackville belonged to Sedlescombe, near 
Battle, and in 1 688, replying to the test questions, stated 
that he was for liberty of conscience and was prepared 
to support the King's declaration and to live friendly 
with those of all persuasions as subjects of the same 
Prince and as good Christians ought to do. 

This election was petitioned against by John Conyers, 
and the question as to who really had the right to vote 
was again fully gone into. Witnesses were called on 
either side, some averring that the inhabitants generally 
had often voted, others that only burgage holders had 
done so. The Committee came to the conclusion that 
the privilege did not rest with the latter only, and that 
John Conyers, and not Sir Thomas Dyke, should have 
been declared elected ; but the House disagreed with the 
report and Sir Thomas retained the seat. 

1689-90, Feb. 25th. Thomas Sackville and Sir Thomas Dyke, 

Thomas Sackville died while still Member, and a new 
writ was issued on January 5th, 1692-3. 

1692-3, Jan. 18th. Simon Smith. 

Smith died before Parliament was dissolved and a new 
writ was issued on Feb. 2nd, 1694-5. 

1694-5, Feb. 26th. Et. Hon. Lyonell, Earl of Orrery and Baron of 

In reference to this by-election the Steward's accounts to 
Charles, Duke of Dorset, contain the following entries : 

Charge of electing my Lord Orrery a Burgess for the 
Borough of East Grinstead on Mr. Smith's death as 

by bills 0044 05 10 

To the Eingers in Beer x 8 0000 10 00 

To Mr. Jodrell for the Speaker's order 06" 8 d . Secretary 
Blan for the Warrant x'. Ld. Keeper's Secretary 
for the Writt a Guinea being then xxv*. To the 
Sheriffe for the precept xl'. To the Sollicitor for 
his fee and often attending xx" in all 0005 01 08 


Lord Orrery was connected with the Dorset family, 
being the son of Roger, second Earl Orrery, by his 
marriage with Lady Mary Sackville, daughter of Richard, 
fifth Earl of Dorset. He died August 24th, 1703, and 
was buried at Withyham. 

1695, Nov. 19fch. Sir Thomas Dyke, Bart., and John Conyers. 

Four days before this election the leading residents of 
East Grinstead were entertained at supper at the expense 
of the Earl of Dorset, the meal costing him 10. 16s. 6d., 
a fair sum over 200 years ago. The " bribe," however, 
seems to have been ineffectual, for the Dorset nominees 
were defeated. They were Lord Orrery and Sir Spencer 
Compton. John Conyers, who was son-in-law to Robert 
Goodwin, the Covenanter and a former M.P. for East 
Grinstead, had evidently taken a considerable part in the 
public life of the town. He owned Mill Place and Pick- 
stones (?Pixton Hill), but is described as living at 
Walthamstow. Ten years before his election he had 
petitioned Parliament as to the right of the inhabitants to 
vote, and he again went before them on the same grounds 
in 1 688. Lord Orrery petitioned Parliament on Nov. 25th, 
1695, that John Jenner, the bailiff of East Grinstead, 
had refused to admit several good votes, and that Sir 
Thomas Dyke and John Conyers were declared wrong- 
fully elected. At the same time Spencer Compton pre- 
sented a petition setting forth that the Bailiff arbitrarily 
returned the two Members named, though the petitioner 
had a majority of legal electors voting for him. Both the 
petitions were referred to the Committee of Privileges, as 
was also another petition from the inhabitants of East 
Grinstead, presented four days later. On this occasion the 
matter seems to have been more fully gone into than ever 
before. Numerous witnesses were examined and some 
interesting side-lights were thrown on the conduct of 
elections in those days. A man named Ledger swore 
that when Sir Thos. Dyke canvassed him, just before the 
election, he pulled out a handful of money and said he 
would do the voter quite as much kindness as Mr. Compton 
would, while a canvasser named Payne offered him " the 


running of a horse" if he would vote for Sir Thomas. 
The other side seems to have gone one better. Thomas 
Pollard's evidence was this : 

Mr. Packer desired his vote for the Earl of Orrery and Mr. Compton 
and promised to be a good friend to him, and told him Sir Thomas 
Dyke had been in the House a good while and had done no good, and 
that he was a Jacobite and kept a Jesuit in his house, and that he 
would not be suffered to sit in the House. 

All this seemed to trouble Pollard very little and he 
intimated that Sir Thomas would have his vote, where- 
upon Packer threatened him with a " stone-doublet " (i.e., 
imprisonment) and carried it into effect, for three days 
before the election he was arrested, confined for a period 
and then let out without any charge, apparently, being 
brought against him. Another canvasser, named 
Percivall, seems to have been very active. He offered 
to treat Pollard to a trip to London to get him out of the 
way and he told Jeremy Johnson that if Sir Thomas 
Dyke was elected he would not be allowed to sit, for he 
knew the House was going to turn him and fifty-nine 
other Members out again. Another active agent was 
Robert Bodell, who, before the election, warned the 
tradesmen that if they disobliged "my Lord of Dorset 
they should be troubled with soldiers and lose the 
Assizes." When the fight was over he told the same 
people that he had the order of the Lord Chamberlain to 
stop the pensions of Widow Taylor and Widow Jenner, 
because some persons had voted for the sitting Members. 
Another man was heard to declare that if he voted for 
the Dorset nominees " he could have a place for his 
mother in the College of 8 a year," and he estimated 
this was worth 100 to him. The Committee came to 
the conclusion that the right of election rested with the 
burgage holders only, but that Sir Thomas Dyke and 
John Conyers had been duly elected. The general 
question was forced to a division in the House and the 
Committee's resolution was confirmed by 221 votes to 

1698, July 25th. Lyonell, Earl of Orrery, and John Conyers. 
1700-1, Jan. 7th. John Conyers and Mathew Pryor. 


Matthew Prior rose from the ranks to become a famous 
poet and diplomatist. He was born at Wimborne 
Minster, in Dorset, on July 21st, 1664, and was the son 
of a joiner. On the death of his father an uncle got him 
up to London and sent him for a time to Westminster 
School, but soon took him from there and set him to 
work in a tavern which he owned near Charing Cross. 
The Earl of Dorset was there one day with some friends 
when a dispute arose concerning the meaning of a 
particular passage in Horace. Young Prior was called 
in and soon satisfactorily solved the difficulty. Finding 
he was a studious youth the Earl of Dorset took him 
under his protection and on April 2nd, 1683, sent him to 
St. John's College, Cambridge. Here he remained for 
five years and was then appointed Secretary to the 
English delegates at the Hague Congress. He became 
Gentleman of His Majesty's Bedchamber to William of 
Orange and was made Secretary for the English 
negotiations in settling the Treaty of Ryswick. In the 
same year he became Principal Secretary of State in 
Ireland, and the next he was made Secretary to the 
British Embassy in Paris. On being elected for East 
Grinstead he was made one of the Lords of Trade, and 
subsequently Chief Commissioner of Customs. In 
settling affairs with France, after the termination of the 
war, he took a leading part and in course of time became 
our Ambassador in Paris. The Earl of Stair succeeded 
him and when Mr. Prior arrived in England on March 
25th, 1715, he was immediately arrested and a month 
later was ordered into close custody and no person 
admitted to see him without leave of the Speaker. He 
was imprisoned, without trial, in his own house for two 
years, the complaint against him being his supposed 
share in the treaty of Utrecht. On his release he* 
published, by subscription, an edition of his poems, 
which brought him the handsome sum of 4,000 guineas, 
doubled by the generous gift of his friend, Lord Harley, 
son of the Earl of Oxford, at whose house, at Wimpole, 
in Cambridgeshire, Prior died on September 18th, 1721. 
He was buried in Poet's Corner, Westminster Abbey, 


where a monument was afterwards erected to his memory 
by order of the King of France. He was a pleasing 
poet, remarkable for his skill in versification, though 
many of his pieces border on the indecent. 

1701, Nov. 24th. Lyonell, Earl of Orrery, and John Conyers. 

1 702, July 1 7th. John Conyers and John Toke, of Godinton, Kent. 

John Toke was born in 1671, and married Susannah, 
daughter of Rev. Daniel Miles, D.D., of Crutched 
Friars, London. He died in 1746 and was connected 
by marriage with the Paynes of East Grinstead, the 
wife of Edward Payne, already referred to, being Miss 
Elizabeth Toke, of Godinton. 

1705, May llth. John Conyers and John Toke. 
1708, May 5th. Richard Lumley and Henry Campion. 

Henry Campion, of Combwell Priory, Kent, was the 
first of the name to occupy the Danny Estate at Hurst- 
pierpoint. This property had been for many years in 
the possession of the Courthope family, and it came to 
the Campions when this Member for East Grinstead 
married Barbara, daughter and sole heiress of Peter 

John Conyers was this time a defeated candidate, and 
he petitioned Parliament that he had a majority of votes 
and ought to have been returned, but the admitting of 
" double voices for one and the same burgage-hold," and 
permitting others to vote who had no right, and 
threats and other undue practices, Henry Campion, 
alleged, was returned. Parliament decided to have the 
matter threshed out at the bar of the House, but before 
it came on for hearing John Conyers withdrew his 

1710, Oct. 7th. John Conyers and Leonard Gale. 

Leonard Gale was of humble origin, but rose to become 
a very wealthy man and M.P. for East Grinstead. He 
was the grandson of a blacksmith at Sevenoaks, and his 
father managed to save up enough money to start a forge 
at Tinsley, in Worth, where, in the flourishing days of 


the Sussex iron industry, he amassed a considerable 
fortune and left a decent property to his son Leonard. 
This young fellow soon after purchased Crabbett, giving 
for house, land and timber 9,000. He had been called 
to the bar, but he gave up all idea of practice in order to 
devote himself to the management of his Sussex estates. 
He married Mrs. Sarah Knight, his "mother's sister's 
only daughter," at Charlwood, on August 19th, 1703. 
By the time he was 52 years of age he estimated he 
was worth 40,667. One of his aunts married the Rev. 
Henry Woodward, Vicar of East Grinstead. He was 
elected Member of Parliament for this Borough, as he 
tells us, " without expense or opposition," and he has left 
on record this scathing denunciation of the electioneering 
tactics then in vogue : 

We have seen of late innumerable instances of the power of bribes 
and threats in the election of Members to Parliament. Men have 
deserted their old friends and neighbours to whom they have been 
pledged every day of their lives, and gone over to strangers they never 
saw or heard of, who come with money in their hands and empty 
promises in their mouths, to the eternal scandal of the whole nation, 
from the highest to the lowest, whereby our lands and liberties are, 
and must be, precarious, and our so much boasted privilege of having 
free Parliaments utterly lost ; for this is an observation founded on the 
greatest truth, that he who will buy his seat in Parliament will sell 
his vote, and to what misery and poverty such men will soon bring this 
nation God only knows ! 

Leonard Gale died in 1750 and was buried at Worth 
Church. Mr. W. S. Blunt, the present owner of Crabbett, 
is a lineal descendant. Leonard Gale also owned Shep- 
perds and Scarletts, in East Grinstead. 

1713, Aug. 28th. Spencer Compton and John Conyers. 

Spencer Compton was the son of James, third Earl of 
Northampton, and rose to positions of the highest 
possible importance in the State. He was Chairman of 
the Committee of Privileges and Elections, and at the 
assembly of the first Parliament of George I., on March 
17th, 1714-5, he was unanimously elected Speaker of 
the House of Commons, being described by one of his 
proposers as " descended of a very noble and honourable 
family, in all times famous for their steady adherence to 


the constitution in Church and State and for their 
inviolable loyalty to a deserving Master." He was 
re-elected to office in the next Parliament and held the 
position for 13 years. He was subsequently Paymaster- 
General of the Forces and Treasurer of Chelsea Hospital. 
On January llth, 1728, he was raised to the peerage as 
Baron Wilmington and in 1730 was made Lord Privy 
Seal and advanced to the dignity of Viscount Pevensey 
and Earl of Wilmington. He was next made Lord 
President of the Council and a Knight of the Garter. He 
was one of the Lords Justices during the King's absence 
in Hanover and was also one of the Governors of Charter 
House. On the accession of George II. he was named 
by the King as Prime Minister, bu^he did not take this 
office until February llth, 1742, holding it until his 
death on July 4th, 1743. He died unmarried and all his 
honours became extinct, his estates passing to his nephew, 
James Compton, fifth Earl of Northampton, and subse- 
quently to the Dukes of Devonshire. He was owner of 
the house in this town in which Mr. George Bankin, the 
lawyer, lived and sold it to Lord Geo. Sackville. 

1714-5, Jan. 28th. Spencer Cornpton and John Conyers. 
1721-2, March 21st. Spencer Compton and John Conyers. 

John Conyers died while still Member for East Grin- 
stead and a new writ was issued on March 22nd, 1724. 

1727, Aug 19th. Richard, Lord Viscount Shannon, and Henry, 
Lord Viscount Palmerston. 

Viscount Shannon was the second holder of this title. 
He was a grandson of Francis, fourth son of Richard 
Boyle, commonly called " The great Earl of Cork." He 
died in 1740, when the title of Viscount Shannon became 

Henry Temple, born in 1673, was the first Viscount 
Palmerston. His father was Speaker of the Irish House 
of Commons and his great grandson, the third and last 
Viscount Palmerston, the famous Prime Minister and 
statesman of the early years of Victoria's reign. This 
M.P. for East Grinstead, when only seven years old, was 
made, with Luke King, Joint Remembrancer of the Court 


of Exchequer in Ireland. When Charles II. died the 
post was renewed to him and his son for their lives, and 
as it was worth 2,000 a year it was a very snug position 
for an "infant." On March 12th, 1722, he was raised to 
the peerage of Ireland as Baron Temple and Viscount 
Palmerston. He sat in the English House of Commons 
from 1727 to 1731 and died at Chelsea on June 10th, 1757. 

1734, April 26th. Charles Sackville, Earl of Middlesex, and Edward 

The Earl of Middlesex was Governor of Walmer 
Castle, and afterwards became the second Duke of 
Dorset. He was for a long time Master of the Horse to 
Frederick, Prince of Wales. 

1741, May 5th. The Earl of Middlesex and Whistler Webster. 

The Earl of Middlesex accepted office in the following 
January as Steward of His Majesty's Honour of Otford, 
Kent, and thus vacated the seat. Whistler Webster 
afterwards became Sir Whistler Webster, Bart., of Battle 
Abbey. He married Miss Nairne, daughter of the Dean 
of Battle and a relative of Mr. Charles Nairne Hastie, of 
Place Land, East Grinstead, who used sometimes to stay 
at Battle Abbey and knew Isaac Ingall, the old butler, 
who died there in 1798 (as appears from the Court Rolls 
of the Manor of Battel) at the remarkable age of 120 
years. There are many people who can remember Mr. 
C. N. Hastie, and it thus follows that they knew one who 
often conversed with a man born in 1678, so that the 
record of three such lives covers a period of no less than 
12 reigns in English history. The Websters were 
formerly considerable owners of property in East Grin- 
stead. Among their possessions were the Crown Inn, the 
Chequer Mead, the Friday Mead, the Hipps Mead, part 
of the Middle Row (originally built on the Lord's waste) 
and some half-dozen burgages, all of which were purchased 
of Sir Godfrey Webster, by Lord George Sackville. 

1741-2, Jan. 23rd. John Butler. 

1747, July 1st. Whistler Webster and Sir Sidney Stafford Smythe. 

The latter Member is said to have been " The ugliest 
man of his day." He was born in 1705 ? was called to the 


Bar in 1728, in 1740 was made Steward of the Court of 
the King's Palace at Westminster, in 1747 was made a 
K.C., and at the general election in that year was returned 
to Parliament for East Grinstead. While still Member he 
was made a Baron of the Court of Exchequer, and a new 
writ was issued for the Borough in consequence on January 
1 7th, 1 750. The new judge was knighted before the year 
closed and became Lord Chief Baron on October 28th, 
1772, but resigned three years later in consequence of 
infirmities, and died on November 2nd, 1778. His wife 
was a daughter of Sir Charles Farnaby, and they both 
took very great interest in the Evangelical movement. 

1750, Jan. 22nd. The Hon. Joseph Yorke. 

The Hon. Joseph Yorke was the third son of the first 
Earl of Hardwicke, Lord High Chancellor of Great 
Britain. He was elected for East Grinstead when about 
25 years of age, was afterwards knighted, rose to high 
rank in the army and was aide-de-camp to H.R.H. the 
Duke of Cumberland at the battle of Fontenoy. He was 
elevated to the peerage as Baron Dover, from which town 
the family emanated, on September 18th, 1788, but he 
married very late in life, and having no family the title 
died with him. 

1754, April 19th. The Hon. Joseph Yorke and Sir Whistler Webster, 

1761, March 31st. Charles Sackville, Earl of Middlesex, and Lord 

George Sackville. 

The Earl of Middlesex became Duke of Dorset while 
still a Member, and on his going to the House of Lords 
a new writ was issued in December, 1765. The latter 
Member was also returned for Hythe, for which con- 
stituency he elected to sit, and a new writ was issued for 
East Grinstead December 1st, 1761. 

1761, Dec. 8th. Sir Thomas Hales, Bart. 

Sir Thomas belonged to Bekesbourne, in Kent. He 
died the following year and a new writ was issued. 
November 25th, 1762. 

1762, Nov. 30th. John Irwine. 

E 2 


This Member afterwards became the Rt. Hon. Sir J. 
Irwine, Major-General of the Forces. 

1765, Dec. 30. Sir Ohas. Farnaby, Bart., of Sevenoaks. 

1768, March 18th. Lord George Sackville and Major-Gen. Irwine. 

At this election boroughs were openly bought and sold, 
the price for the right to represent a small borough being 
4,000, and Pitt declared that the House elected repre- 
sented, not the nation, but " ruined towns, noble families, 
wealthy individuals and foreign potentates." 

Lord George Sackville was born on January 26th, 
1715-16, and assumed the surname of Germaine, in 
compliance with Lady Elizabeth Germaine's will, by 
which he inherited a considerable fortune, in 1770. 
Long before this time he had acquired a world-wide 
reputation in consequence of his trial, at his own request, 
for disobedience to orders at the battle of Minden, fought 
on August 1st, 1759. In this struggle the French were 
beaten by British and Hanoverian troops and the victory 
practically ended the seven years' war. It is memorable 
as having been the only known occasion on which 
infantry charged through and destroyed more than their 
own number of cavalry. The allied forces were com- 
manded by Prince Ferdinand of Prussia and Lord George 
served under him as commander-in-chief of the British 
cavalry of the right wing. The allegation against him 
was that, when told to advance his brigade, he neglected 
to immediately comply and so jeopardised the safety of 
the infantry. It appeared that two aides-de-camp took 
different orders to him and Lord George's defence was 
that, in the confusion thus caused, he did what he con- 
sidered best. Though the battle was won Prince 
Ferdinand reported Lord George to the King, he was 
recalled, tried, convicted and judged "unfit to serve His 
Majesty in any military capacity whatever." He was a 
man of great educational attainments and one of those 
credited with writing " the letters of Junius," a most 
elaborate book being published with a view to proving 
this contention. Though his career as a soldier was thus 
cut short, he afterwards rendered great services to his 


country as a politician. He filled some of the highest 
offices in the State, being for many years Secretary for 
the American department prior to the war of indepen- 
dence. He was elevated to the Peerage on February 
llth, 1782, as Baron Bolebrook and Viscount Sackville 
and died October 10th, 1795. He lived at Stoneland 
Lodge, Sussex, and was the owner of much of the 
Sackville property situate within the Borough, and 
according to an Act passed on May 6th, 1811, for vesting 
the estate in trustees, it comprised 33 distinct tenancies, 
let at rents amounting to 467. 15s. per annum. 

1774, Oct. 10th. Lord George Germaine (Sackville) and Lt.-Gen. 


1775, Nov. 15th. Lord George Germaine (Sackville). 

This was a by-election consequent on Lord George 
being made one of the Principal Secretaries of State and 
having to seek re-election. 

1780, Sept. 8th. Lord George Germaine (Sackville) and Lt.-Gen. 
Sir John Irwine. 

Lord George was made a peer during this Parliament, 
and a new writ was issued for East Grinstead, February 
12th, 1782. Sir John Irwine was Colonel of the 57th 
Regiment of Foot, Commander-in-Chief of the Forces in 
Ireland, and a Privy Councillor of that kingdom. He 
accepted the Stewardship of the Chiltern Hundreds, and 
a new writ was issued April 25th, 1783. 

1782, Feb. 19th. Henry Arthur Herbert. 

1783, May 3rd. George Medley. 

This Member was the owner of several local properties, 
including " The Chequer Inn," subsequently named " The 
Dorset Head," and two fields called " Pigeon House or 
Slaughter House" and " Play-field," let to the then Vicar 
for 12. 15s. a year. These were sold to Lord George 
Sackville, of Minden fame. Medley also owned Buxted 
Place, Friston Place and Coneyboro' Park, all in this 
county, acquiring these properties on the deaths of his 
three elder brothers. His lather was Thomas Medley 
and his mother a daughter of Sir Samuel Dash wood, 
Lord Mayor of London, and granddaughter of John 


Smith, Speaker of the House of Commons. He was in 
business as a wine merchant at Lisbon when the great 
earthquake of 1755 occurred and sustained severe losses 
in consequence of it. He was M.P. for Seaford, 1768 to 
1780, and for East Grinstead from 1783 to 1790. He 
had no children and all his estates passed to his niece, 
Lady Shuckburgh Evelyn, only daughter and sole heiress 
of James Evelyn, of Felbridge, by his first wife, 
Annabella Medley. His only daughter by his second wife 
was accidentally burnt to death. 

1784, Nov. 30th. Henry Arthur Herbert and George Medley. 

Herbert accepted the Chiltern Hundreds Stewardship, 
and a new writ was issued February 24th, 1786. 

1786, March 3rd. Lt.-Gen. James Cunninghame. 

This Member died in October, 1788, and the Speaker 
issued a new writ during the recess. 

1788, Oct. 8th. The Et. Hon. Lt.-Gen. Eobert Cunninghame. 

This Member accepted the Stewardship of the Chiltern 
Hundreds, and a new writ was issued February 20th, 

1789, Feb. 27th. Eichard Ford, of the Inner Temple. 

1790, June 18th. Nathaniel Dance, of Carnborough, near Win- 
chester, and William Nisbet, of Portman Square, London. 

The first-named famous, but somewhat eccentric, repre- 
sentative was born in London in 1734, of a family that 
possessed artistic talent. His father, George Dance, was 
the architect of the Mansion House, London, and also of 
several city churches. Nathaniel was for some time in 
Italy, from whence he sent to England pictures, chiefly 
of classical subjects. While here he fell in love with 
Angelica Kauffman, and persistently followed her, renew- 
ing his matrimonial offers again and again. But that 
famous lady would have nothing to do with him, so he at 
last returned to England, and some years later consoled 
himself by marrying a widow named Mrs. Dummer, who 
brought him a fortune of some 18,000 a year. He had 
himself, by this time, amassed considerable wealth. He 


was one of the founders of the Royal Academy and his 
portraits were in great request. The most famous of 
his pictures was "David Garrick as King Richard III." 
After his marriage he dropped his profession and became 
Member of Parliament for East Grinstead from 1790 to 
1801. He changed his name, and when made a Baronet 
in 1800 appeared as Sir Nathaniel Dance Holland. It is 
reported that his head was turned ; he withdrew from the 
Academy, bought up all his pictures he could lay his hands 
on, and burned them without a qualm. Perhaps he was 
a good critic. He died suddenly at Carnborough, on 
October loth, 1811, leaving a fortune of 200,000. A 
new writ was issued for East Grinstead during the 
Christmas recess. 

1796, May 25th. Nathaniel Dance and James Strange, of Hertford 
Street, Mayfair, London. 

This was the first Imperial Parliament of the United 

1802, July 7th. Sir Henry Strachey, Bart., of Rooksnest, Tandridge, 
and Daniel Giles, of Lincoln's Inn, London, and Youngsbury, 

The voting at this election was: Strachey and Giles, 
nine each; John Frost, one. The two elected were the 
nominees of the Duchess of Dorset, who at this time 
controlled 29 out of the 36 burgage tenements. The 
defeated candidate petitioned against the return, as also 
did Mr. T. Hurt, Mr. John Turley, after whom Mr. F. 
Maplesden's house in Ship Street is named, and others. 
John Frost alleged that a considerable majority of the 
show of hands was in his favour, but when he demanded 
a poll Mr. Geo. Bankin, senior, the bailiff, said "a poll 
for the Borough of East Grinstead was unusual and 
uncustomary." After some hesitation, however, it was 
granted, and at the poll Mr. Frost alleged the Bailiff 
accepted several "illegal, split and occasional votes" for 
the returned Members. He also alleged that the can- 
didates, their friends and agents were guilty of many 
"undue, illegal, unwarrantable and corrupt practices." 
A special committee of 49 members was elected by the 


House on March 17th, 1803, to try the petition. An 
objection was first taken to Mr. Frost being heard, on the 
ground that he had been convicted in the Court of King's 
Bench of a libel on the Government, had been struck off 
the roll of attorneys and had been ordered to stand in the 
pillory, but though this sentence was passed it was never 
put into execution. Accordingly he was allowed to 
proceed, but the committee declared the sitting Members 
duly elected and that the petitions were frivolous and 
vexatious. It came out in evidence during the trial that 
the burgages were let at sums varying from 3d. to Is. per 
annum, but not one of the voters who voted at this election 
had ever paid these quit rents or the land tax. The 
majority of the tenants had had to sign a declaration that 
they held as trustees of the Duchess of Dorset, and only 
two of them held their own title deeds. Very few of the 
voters lived in, or had any connection with, East Grin- 
stead, being simply brought down to vote, fed and sent 
away again. The costs of this petition came to 
706. 3s. 4d. and their recovery led to further lengthy 
suits, but in 1808, six years after the election, Messrs. 
Burt, Turley and those associated with them had to pay. 

Sir Henry Strachey was born May 23rd, 1 737. In 1 764 
he was private secretary to Lord Olive, subsequently 
Joint Secretary to the Treasury, one of the Under 
Secretaries of State and Master of the Household. He 
was created a Baronet on June loth, 1801, and died 
January 3rd, 1810. 

1806, Oct. 31st. Sir Henry Sti-achey, Bart., and Daniel Giles. 

1807, May 8th. Sir Nathaniel Holland Bart, (previously named 
Dance), and Charles Rose Ellis, of Claremont, Surrey. 

This was the last contested election for the Borough 
and it led to another petition. Only 19 electors polled 
and the defeated candidates were Sir George Wright, 
Bart., and Mr. Samuel Hill. They went before Parlia- 
ment on July 10th and alleged that the Bailiff, Mr. 
George Bankin, had rejected legal votes tendered for 
them and received votes in favour of those returned from 
persons who had no right to vote, but they failed to 


deposit the required security, so the petition was dis- 
charged 15 days after presentation. 

Mr. Ellis, who afterwards became the first Lord 
Seaford, was a member of a wealthy West Indian family. 
He was born in 1771, and first entered Parliament when 
only 22, being returned for Heytesbury. His wife was 
the daughter and heiress of Lord Hervey and on July 8th, 
1803, their son succeeded his great-grandfather, on the 
maternal side, in the Barony of Howard de Walden. 
Mr. Ellis was a strong supporter and friend of Canning's 
and was the acknowledged head of the West Indian 
interest. For some years he represented Seaford, but 
lost his seat for that town in 1806, and the following 
year was returned for East Grinstead. In 1826 Canning 
nominated him for a peerage and he was created Lord 
Seaford on July 16th. He died July 1st, 1845. 

1812, Jan. llth. Richard Wellesley, of Grosvenor Square, London. 

This Member accepted the Chiltern Hundreds during 
the following year, and a new writ was issued March 
3rd, 1812. 

1812, March 9th. George William Gunning, of Horton, North- 

Mr. Gunning was the only son of Sir Robert Gunning, 
who was made a Baronet after serving as Minister- 
Plenipotentiary at the Courts of Denmark, Prussia and 
Russia. The Member for East Grinstead, who had 
also represented the Boroughs of Hastings and Wigan, 
succeeded to the baronetcy on September 22nd, 1816, 
and died on April 7th, 1823. He only sat for East 
Grinstead three months on this occasion, accepting the 
Chiltern Hundreds on June 1st, 1812. 

1812, June 8th. Nicholas Vansittart, of Great George Street, 

This Member was a son of one of the Directors of the 
old East India Company and was born in 1766. When 
30 years of age he was elected M.P. for Hastings, and 
early in 1801 was sent as Minister-Plenipotentiary to 
Copenhagen with a view of detaching that power from 


the northern alliance, but his mission was a failure. On 
returning to England he was made Joint Secretary to 
the Treasury, three years later became Chief Secretary 
of Ireland and, after a while, again went back to the 
Treasury. In 1812 Lord Liverpool wanted a successor 
to Spencer Percival as Chancellor of the Exchequer, so 
Mr. Gunning resigned his seat for East Grinstead. Mr. 
Vansittart was elected in his stead and four days after 
his return for this Borough was appointed to the office 
named. During his tenure of it he carried through a 
conversion of the National Debt and the consolidation of 
the English and Irish Exchequers. He held the office for 
about eleven years and, on his resignation early in 1823, 
was raised to the Peerage by the title of Baron Bexley, 
a title which died with him. He continued to hold a 
seat in the Cabinet as Chancellor of the Duchy of 
Lancaster until 1828. Lord Bexley occupied a very 
conspicuous position in the religious world. The late 
Mrs. 0. A. Smith, of Hammerwood, East Grinstead, was 
related to this statesman. 

1812, Oct. 8th. George William Gunning and James Stephen, of 
Great Ormond Street, London. 

Stephen accepted the Chiltern Hundreds and a new writ 
was issued April 4th, 1815. 

1815, April 14th. Sir George Johnston Hope, K.C.B. 

Sir George was appointed a Rear- Admiral in the British 
Navy on August 1st, 1811, and subsequently became one 
of the Lords of the Admiralty. He died in 1818 and a 
new writ for East Grinstead was issued on May 4th. 

1818, May 13th. The Et. Hon. Charles Gordon, Lord Strathaven. 

Charles, Lord Strathaven, who became 10th Marquess 
of Huntly, was the son and heir of George Gordon, 5th 
Earl of Aboyne, by his wife Catherine Anne, younger 
daughter and co-heir of Sir Charles Cope, 2nd Baronet, 
of Brewerne. He was born January 4th, 1792, and suc- 
ceeded his father, who, in 1836, on the death of the last 
Duke of Gordon, had become 9th Marquess of Huntly, 
on June 17th, 1853. He married, firstly, Lady Elizabeth 
Conyngham, and, secondly, Maria Antoinette, daughter of 


the Rev. P. W. Pegus and the Dowager Countess of 
Lindsey. He died September 18th, 1853. 

1818, June 19th. Lord Strathaven and the Hon. Charles Cecil Cope 

This election afforded the rare instance of nephew and 
uncle being returned for the same constituency. The 
second of these Members afterwards became the third 
Earl of Liverpool. He was a son of the first Earl 
of Liverpool, his mother being a daughter of Sir Cecil 
Bisshopp, Bart., of Parham, Sussex. He was a Page of 
Honour to George III., served in the Royal Navy 1794-7 
and fought in several naval actions, including Lord 
Howe's victory of June 1st, 1794. He was afterwards 
attached to the Embassy at Vienna, and, later, fought at 
Austerlitz as a volunteer in the Austrian army. He held 
various posts as an Under Secretary of State in the 
Ministry of his brother, who was Prime Minister for 15 
years. He was Lord Steward of the Household to Queen 
Victoria from 1841 to 1846, and died at Buxted on Oct. 
3rd, 1851. He lived for a time at Fel bridge Place, having 
acquired that property in 1810 by marriage with Julia, 
the only daughter of Sir George Augustus William Shuck- 
burgh-Evelyn, a baronet distinguished for his scientific 
researches, and who married in 1785 Julia Annabella, 
daughter and sole heiress of James Evelyn, of Felbridge 
Place. Shuckburgh Cottage, in East Grinstead, is named 
after this nobleman, but the family belonged to Warwick, 
where it had been located for over eight centuries. The 
Member for East Grinstead, who became the third Earl of 
Liverpool, was also Baron Hawkesbury, and the latter 
title was revived in 1893, when his grandson, the Rt. Hon. 
Cecil George Savile Foljambe, was raised to the Peerage 
as Baron Hawkesbury, and the former in 1906, when he 
became Earl of Liverpool. 

1820, March 9th. Lord Strathaven and the Hon. C. 0. C. Jenkinson. 
1826, June 9th. Lord Strathaven and the Hon. C. C. C. Jenkinson. 
1829, Feb. llth. The Et. Hon. William Pitt Amherst, Lord 
Viscount Holmesdale. 

This Member afterwards became Earl Amherst, and he 
lived to see East Grinstead, as a County Parliamentary 


Division, again return its Member to Parliament in 1885. 
He died March 26th, 1886, aged 81. 

1830, July 31st. Viscount Holmesdale and Frederick Richard West, 

of Ruthin Castle, Denbigh. 

Mr. West was a grandson of John, second Earl De la 
Warr. He was born in 1799 and died May 1st, 1862. 

1831, April 30th. Viscount Holmesdale and Frederick Richard West. 

This was the last election for East Grinstead. Parlia- 
ment was dissolved on December 3rd, 1832, and on that 
day the existence of the town as a Parliamentary Borough 
came to an abrupt termination. The Bailiff of East 
Grinstead was, ex-officio, the Returning Officer, and in 
1831 Mr. Edward Cranston occupied this position. He 
was called on by Parliament to furnish a report, and this 
interesting document is dated December 23rd, 1831. In 
it Mr. Cranston stated that he believed the then number 
of electors was 36 and that at the last contested election 
in 1807 19 electors polled. In the town of East Grin- 
stead there were then 131 houses, and about 50 of these 
were outside the old Borough. In the previous year these 
houses paid 21. 19s. 6d. in assessed taxes, and the 
total assessed taxes paid by the Borough amounted to 
162. 5s. 3d., the total assessment for the whole parish 
at Lady-day, 1831, being 763. 3s. 6d. 

This report was of such a nature that Parliament at 
once sent down a Surveyor to go more fully into details. 
He ascertained that there were 36 burgage tenements 
(these alone giving the right to vote), but in four 
instances two burgages were occupied together as one 
house, leaving really only 32 places in respect of which 
a vote was allowed. Of these, 24 were estimated to be 
worth 10 a year or upwards. The Commissioner 
estimated that there were 151 occupied and two 
unoccupied houses in the town, there being, in addition 
to the burgage tenements, 79 rated houses and 80 
cottages, not rated, in the town division of the parish, 
40 of the latter being in the town proper. The 
Commissioner summed the facts up by stating : 

The boundary of the old Borough is entirely unknown, as I was 
assured both by the old and present Bailiffs. All that I could learn 


was that the Borough is certainly not co-extensive with the town 
division of the parish, which is merely a division made for the con- 
venience of the parish officers in collecting the rates. It was stated 
to me as probable that the Borough does not extend beyond the town 
on any side but the north, on which last-mentioned side is a burgage 
tenement at some distance from the town. It appears certain that no 
part of the Borough can be out of the town division of the parish and 
it probably falls very short of it. 

This report was accompanied by a map showing the 
Borough boundaries so far as they could be ascertained. 
They included the whole High Street back as far as the 
Hermitage ; Ship Street ; and the London Road, about as 
far as Newlands. The result of these reports was that in 
the Act passed the following year East Grinstead was 
one of the many small Boroughs disfranchised, and its 
political life was henceforth merged in a county con- 

The same Act practically abolished the office of Bailiff. 
This officer had always been annually elected at the 
Courts Leet of the Duke of Dorset, and the position had 
been held alternately for some years by Mr. John 
Stenning and Mr. Edward Cranston. The latter's final 
work was the preparation of the report just quoted; the 
former was elected to succeed him at a gathering of the 
tenants of the Manor held in Sackville College on 
November 23rd, 1 832, and this was the last appointment 
to the time-honoured office. 

For 50 years afterwards East Grinstead remained a 
part of the county constituency of East Sussex, and it 
then gave the name to the existing Parliamentary 
Division. At the first election for the newly-formed 
constituency, on December 2nd, 1885, Mr. G. B. Gregory, 
of Boarzell, Hawkhurst, who had sat for East Sussex, 
and was for many years Treasurer of the Foundling 
Hospital, was elected in opposition to Mr. C. J. Heald, 
who stood in the Liberal interest, but who, on September 
19th, 1885, had been thrown over by all the wealthy 
leaders of his party. On May 5th, 1886, the old 
Member was entertained at a complimentary banquet in 
East Grinstead, and on July 13th following the Hon. 
A. E. Gathorne Hardy, son of Viscount Cranbrook, and 


now a Railway Commissioner, was chosen to succeed 
him. The next Member, the Hon. G. J. Goschen, son 
of Viscount Goschen, opened his political campaign on 
January 17th, 1894, Lord Cantelupe and Mr. C. Goring, 
who both sought to come forward in the Conservative 
interest, having retired in his favour. Mr. Goschen was 
duly elected and again chosen on October 10th, 1900. 
The Government then formed remained in power until 
the close of 1905, and Mr. Goschen sat for the constitu- 
ency until the dissolution in January, 1906. 

At this election Mr. C. H. Corbett, of Woodgate, 
Danehill, stood for the third time, his opponent being 
Mr. E. M. Crookshank, of Saint Hill, East Grinstead. 
The former was declared elected on January 26th, 1906, 
and thus became the first Liberal Member for the Division. 
Appended are the results of all contests in the constitu- 
ency : 


Mr. G. B. Gregory (Conservative) 3530 

Mr. C. J. Heald (Liberal) 2579 951 


Hon. A. E. G. Hardy (Conservative) 3289 

Mr. C. J. Heald (Liberal) 18771412 


Hon. A. E. G. Hardy (Conservative) 3987 

Sir E. G. Jeukinson (Liberal) 2349 1638 


Hon. G. J. Goschen (Conservative) 3731 

Mr. C. H. Corbett (Liberal) 2874 857 


Hon. G. J. Goschen (Conservative) 3890 

Mr. C. H. Corbett (Liberal) 3003 887 


Mr. C. H. Corbett (Liberal) 4793 

Mr. E. M. Crookshank (Conservative) 4531262 



ALTHOUGH the first mention of a church at East 
Grinstead is subsequent to the founding, in 1078, of the 
Priory of St. Pancras at Lewes, it is possible that a 
church had existed in the town long prior to that date. 
Christianity was introduced into Great Britain during 
the Roman occupation from B.C. 55 to A.D. 418, when 
the Romans were compelled to withdraw their forces 
from the extremities of their empire, including this 
island, in order to protect themselves at home. The 
Christian religion was tolerated during the Roman 
dominion and the churches were under the rule of their 
own British clergy and so remained until A.D. 449, when 
the invasion by the Angles and Saxons commenced. 
During the 200 years of Saxon domination the paganism 
of the conquerors was practically supreme throughout 
the country. When Christianity re-appeared, East 
Grinstead was possibly one of the last places, owing to 
its then isolated and inaccessible position in the Forest 
of Anderida, to be brought to the Christian faith. One 
of the earliest churches is supposed to have been 
dedicated to St. Edmund, King and Martyr (A.D. 840 
to 870). Subsequently St. Swithun became the patron 
saint. His translation took place on July 15th, 971. 
No means seem available to ascertain why or even when 
the alteration (if such occurred) in the dedication took 
place, but it may have been due to the building of a 
new church in place of a former one. No mention of a 
church in East Grinstead is made in the Domesday 
Survey, but this is no argument for its non-existence, as 
churches are known to have been then existing, though 
not mentioned j the reason being that the Survey dealt 


only with rateable lands, and churches were then, as 
now, exempt from taxation. 

On September 6th, 1683, the church was struck by- 
lightning and set on fire. The following account of this 
catastrophe is from Mr. J. C. Stenning's "Notes on East 
Grinstead," the MS. having been furnished him by the 
late Mrs. Chevall Tooke : 

In the year 1683, on the 6th Sept., about half an hour after 6 p.m., 
Greensted steeple was set on fire by lightning, which began in the 
cross and then continued burning in the Shaft that went up to the 
Cross, but were two hours before it came to the shingles and yet could 
not by no means that was used be prevented from going farther. At 
length it took hold of the shingles and after an hour more made the 
steeple so hot, by reason of the falling of fire, that people could work 
there no longer. They then attempted to save the bells, but too late, 
for the fire fell so fast that none could stand to work. The fire which 
fell from above into the battlements fired the steeple at the lower side, 
which after a small space burnt with intolerable violence and in a 
short time burned down all the steeple, melted all the bells, burnt the 
bell lofts, stick and stake, all to the ground. But it was six of the 
clock the next morning before the lofts and all were burnt down, and 
yet notwithstanding this great fire and mighty heat in the belfry, by 
reason of the fire falling so fast, together with the melting of the 
bells, the Church, by God's mercy and the people's industry, was 
preserved untouched by the fire. But the mercy of God was yet more 
remarkable in the preservation of the town, for when the fire began 
the wind was high and in the east, which drove it over upon our back 
houses and barns very terribly. Although the fire was but small in 
comparison of what it was after, yet people were obliged to get upon 
the barns and back houses and defend them with wet sheets, quench 
the fire with water and beat it out with poles as it fell ; and had the 
wind then continued our Town had certainly been burnt which many 
expecting pulled their goods out of their houses as fast as they could. 
But God in his infinite mercy had better things in store for us ; the 
wind turned immediately as by a miracle and blew the sparks quite 
from the Town the best way that could possibly be imagined, for 
which benefit God of his infinite mercy make us truly and heartily 
thankful. Amen. Amen. 

Some of the bells destroyed by this conflagration had 
been purchased a few years before from Framfield 
Church, the tower of which fell in 1667. 

On June 9th, 1684, the first stone was laid towards 
the re-building of the tower. It was a noble structure, 
upwards of 80 feet high, exclusive of the minarets, and 
27^ feet square. But bad materials and faulty workman- 
ship seem to have been used, for it stood only a 


century, the tower then falling on to the body of the 
church and almost completely demolishing it. The 
following account of the event appeared in " The 
Gentleman's Magazine " for 1785 : 

This stately building, the tower of the Parish Church of East 
Grinstead, was re-built in 1684 (the old one having been burnt down 
by lightning in 1683), but had for some years past been in a state of 
decay, owing to the want of judgment in the architect, bad workman- 
ship and worse materials. But within this twelvemonth it hastened 
very rapidly to its dissolution, by showing a large crack at the 
foundation of the north - east (? north - west) angle, which passed 
through the stone staircase contained in that angle, and which led 
to the top of the tower by winding steps. A large part of the outside 
of the foundation of that angle had at several times fallen down, which 
discovered the badness of the materials, being nothing but a case of 
stone filled up with rubbish, and that stone being very indifferent. 
The bells, which were six and very heavy and hung in the third loft, 
had not been rung for some time past, as it was observed that they 
shook the tower very much. 

On Saturday, the 12th November, 1785, a very considerable quantity 
of stone fell from the north-west angle, some distance up the tower ; 
this brought near a hundred persons into the churchyard. The 
stones kept continually falling, and many of them, from the violent 
pressure, flew from the foundation to a considerable distance, as if 
thrown from an engine ; when another large parcel of stone fell from 
the same angle, and raised a great dust, which served as a warning to 
the spectators to keep at a greater distance. The grand crack was then 
observed to run very fast up the tower, and about a quarter of a hour 
before two o'clock it gave some dreadful cracks, and stones were heard 
to fall withinside ; when the tower immediately divided north and 
south at the top, and the north-west minaret tottered for some seconds, 
which, together with the south-west and south-east minarets, fell down 
almost perpendicularly. The north-east minaret immediately followed, 
but unfortunately fell on the roof of the church, and, driving one pair 
of rafters against another, beat down three pillars out of the four and, 
with some large stones which fell from the south-east angle, unroofed 
all the north, and middle aisles, beyond the pulpit, and beat down one 
of the pillars in the south aisle in such a manner that the roof there 
also must be taken off ; so that it may fairly be said two-thirds of the 
roof are destroyed by the fall of the north-east minaret and the stone 
from the north-east angle. The west part of the tower sinking almost 
perpendicularly, the stones did not reach so far into the churchyard on 
the west and south sides as might have been expected ; so that none of 
the houses (though very near) were damaged and providentially no lives 
lost, though some persons had been both in the church and belfry, but a 
few minutes before, and the master and scholars had just left the School 
Room, which was adjoining to the steeple (sic} and was also destroyed. 

The tower, being very large and of a great height, fell with the 
most dreadful noise, and shook the earth to a very considerable 


distance round the town, and the cloud of dust raised by it was beyond 
description, insomuch that the spectators could not distinguish an 
object a foot distant from them. Five of the bells lay on the top of 
the rubbish, only covered by the lead of the roof, but the fourth bell 
was buried some distance, and has since been dug out, and they are 
whole to appearance, but whether any of them are cracked cannot be 
determined till they are hung up to give their sound. 

John Bridgland and Avis Austen, the grandparents of 
Mr. R. Bridgland, who now lives in the East Grinstead 
Timber Yard, were married in the church in the morning 
before the tower fell. 

"Nov. 12th, 1785. The steeple of East Grinstead 
church this day suddenly gave way and falling upon the 
body of the church utterly demolished it." Thus was 
this sad misfortune described in a petition presented to 
Parliament on March 4th, 1790, by the owners and 
parishioners of East Grinstead. They stated that since 
the tower fell there had been no religious services, and 
though they had exerted their utmost endeavours they 
could not raise money sufficient, by voluntary means, to 
re-build the church. They begged Parliament to pass a 
Bill enabling them to make a rate for the purpose. The 
House acted very expeditiously. Parliament referred 
the matter to a Committee, who had Mr. Gibbs Crawfurd, 
of Saint Hill, before them, and on his evidence they 
found the allegations proved, and recommended that a 
Bill should be brought in. This was done on March 
12th and by the 29th it had been read a second time and 
sent to another Committee. Several amendments were 
made in it and it finally passed the Commons on April 
26th and the Lords on May 18th, the Royal Assent being 
given on June 9th. 

The secret of this expedition possibly lay in the fact 
that Mr. Abbot was then Speaker of the House of 
Commons. He resided at Kidbrooke and took a deep 
interest in the matter. He declared, " I will have a 
tower I can see and a bell I can hear at Kidbrooke," and 
in complying with his wishes it was said that the last 20 
feet of the tower cost as much as all the rest put together. 
By the measure referred to it was enacted that it should 
be lawful for the trustees or any five of them to cause 


the church to be re-built, and to raise a total sum not 
exceeding 4,000 for that purpose. The names of the 
first trustees were: William Board, John Shelley, 
George Bankin, Charles Sawyer, William Isted, R. 
Hilton, Alexander Donald, John Batchelor, John 
Balcomb and Thomas Richardson. Meetings were to 
be held at the house known by the sign of the Swan, 
and a Treasurer, Clerk and Collector were to be 
appointed. The trustees were to allot pews, following 
old legal titles therein ; to build the church by contract ; 
and to make rates which should be paid half by the 
landlord and half by the tenant. The rates might be 
levied by distress, and persons quitting their house 
without paying the rates might be followed. The 
trustees might raise money by sale of annuities or 
mortgaging the rates, the annuities were to be exempt 
from taxes and might be assigned. The rates might also 
be assigned as security for money borrowed. Twenty-one 
years later a second Act was passed authorising the 
borrowing of a further 4,000. But it cost 30,000 to 
erect the building and pay the contingent charges. The 
architect was Mr. Wyatt and the stone came from Selsfield, 
Black well and Wych Cross. 

Among the loans made was one of 1,000 by Mr. 
Gibbs Crawfurd. He afterwards disposed of his claim, 
five-ninths of the amount being acquired by William 
Boorman, who gave it to his daughter, Mary Nash 
Boorman, as a dowry, on the occasion of her marriage 
to Mr. John Jones Pierce, who still lives at Lamberhurst. 
The Boorman family was at one time in business in East 
Grinstead, J. H. Boorman issuing his own halfpenny in 
1799. Mrs. Pierce's sum was paid off, capital and 
interest, 555. 10s. 10d., in January, 1858. Another 
loan was one of 2,000 by Sir Alexander Munro, one of 
the Commissioners of H.M. Customs, for which sum he 
purchased an annuity of 220 a year, which terminated 
at his death. Mr. James Evelyn, who then occupied 
Felbridge Place, advanced 1,000 on July 30th, 1791, 
at the low rate of 3 per cent., and on his death this 
became vested in the third Earl of Liverpool. In 

j? 2 


1852 the authorities began to pay off this loan by 
sums of 100 to 300 a year, the final instalment being 
paid on Jan. 1st, 1856. The final payments on the 
original loans were made on Nov. 29th, 1876, being the 
last of three life annuities held by the Sun Insurance 

The Act abolishing compulsory church rates was 
passed on August 4th, 1868, but they continued to be 
made in East Grrinstead for some seven years after that 
date, in order to realise the amounts still due on the old 
loans for the church re-building. To meet the ordinary 
church expenses a voluntary rate was first tried, but so 
few people paid, that, at a meeting held on October 10th, 
1872, it was decided to take no further steps in this 
direction, but to provide in future for the necessary 
annual expenses of the church by voluntary contribu- 
tions, a practice which still continues. 

The original design of the building has never been 
completed. The whole of the side buttresses were to 
have had pinnacles similar to those on the tower, of 
which St. Peter's Church, Brighton, affords a very good 
example, but funds fell short, and the present capitals 
were substituted. There was not even enough money to 
complete the roof or seat the church, so a flat ceiling of 
plaster and whitewash was put in and the floor was paved, 
rushes were strewn and people brought their own chairs. 
Various plans for pewing the church were prepared from 
1796 onward, but it was not until 1806 that it was deter- 
mined to act upon any one of them. A few pews were 
early built by private enterprise, until the Trustees passed 
a resolution forbidding the practice. Eventually the 
interior was allotted, as set forth in the Act for rebuilding, 
to the various estates in the neighbourhood and a uniform 
plan of pews adopted. These were of deal, 4-ft. 6-in. 
high. When the Rev. D. Y. Blakiston was presented to 
the living he at once set about remedying this undesir- 
able state of affairs. At a public meeting held on April 
llth, 1872, he suggested the formation of a Church 
Council, but the meeting negatived the proposal by a 
small majority. A resolution was, however, passed in 


favour of re-seating the church, and on a poll being 
taken it was confirmed by a majority of 20 voters 
with 40 votes in favour, to seven voters with 15 votes 
against. A committee was formed to carry the matter 
through. Mr. J. M. Hooker, an architect, of Seven- 
oaks, was consulted, plans for 1,013 seats and estimates 
were got out and an appeal was issued for 900, 
to include also the cost of installing gas, oil lamps 
having, up to this time, been used. In the year 1855 
some progressive worshippers had sought to secure the 
introduction of gas in the place of these oil lamps, in 
order that evening services might be tried, but on 
December 6th of the year named the parishioners decided 
in Vestry that it was not desirable to have evening service 
in the Parish Church and refused to sanction tne rate 
proposed for fitting up and lighting the edifice with 

The estimate for the re-seating was far too low. The 
work was carried out by the late Mr. John Godly, and 
the total cost of re-seating, lighting and cleaning was 
1,523. It was not completed without opposition. A 
few opposed the granting of the faculty, but all finally 
fell in with the scheme except the late Mr. C. C. Tooke, 
of Hurst-an-Clays, and the late Mr. Henry Taylor, the 
latter then one of the churchwardens. The former's large, 
ugly pew was especially exempted by the faculty from 
the scheme, and it remained in the church, a sad dis- 
figurement to the whole interior, until his death on October 
21st, 1890, when, by the consent of his daughter (Mrs. 
Henry Padwick), it was speedily removed. The church 
was closed on September 7th, 1874, and re-opened by the 
Bishop (Dr. Durnford) on November 14th following; in 
the meantime the services were held in the School and 
the Holy Communion administered in Sackville College 
Chapel. On the re-opening day, for the first time, the 
church choir appeared in surplices. 

The re-seating with oak threw into prominence the 
ugliness of the dirty deal panelling, which ran round the 
whole church to a height of over 5-ft., the plastered walls 
and fiat whitened ceiling. The committee decided to build 


a new open roof, remove the panelling and clean the beauti- 
ful stonework of the whitewashed plaster which hid it from 
view. This led to almost interminable disputes. An indig- 
nation meeting was held, law-suits were threatened and 
the re-appointment of Mr. John Tooth as parish church- 
warden, he having by this time succeeded Mr. H. Taylor, 
was opposed. At the Easter Vestry Mr. C. R. Duplex 
was elected people's warden, and Mr. Tooth thereupon 
demanded a poll. This was the only contested election 
of a parish churchwarden that, so far as can be ascertained, 
has ever occurred here ; certainly there has been no other 
during the past century. The voting took place amid 
intense excitement on April 2nd, 1875, and the result was: 
J. Tooth, 247 ; C. R. Duplex, 180. The victor was after- 
wards drawn through the streets in a carriage, and the 
Volunteer Band turned out and played "See the Conquer- 
ing Hero comes." Meanwhile the committee had gone 
on with its work unmoved. The present roof was put on 
arid the walls pointed as now, for a sum of 858. By 
this time "dry rot" had manifested itself in the floor and 
another 200 was expended on curing this. The work 
of restoration occupied no less than 12 years, and of the 
1 members on the committee at the beginning, only four 
the Vicar, Messrs. C. Absalom, W. V. K. Stenning and 
J. Tooth remained in office the whole time. Messrs. E. 
L. Hannam and E. A. Head were among those elected to 
fill vacancies and they served until the work was com- 
pleted. Others who acted on the committee for a time 
were the Rev. T. D. Hopkins, the Rev. C. W. Payne 
Crawfurd, Mr. A. Hastie, Mr. W. A. Head and Mr. C. 
Sawyer. The whole 2,500 was raised by voluntary 
contributions. Of the 1,013 seats about 400 are unappro- 
priated. The present iron fencing which borders the 
churchyard and paths bears peculiar evidence of an act 
of fanaticism. All the main supports were formerly 
surmounted by an ornament which bore resemblance to 
a cross. People awoke one morning to find that the 
whole of these, with one solitary exception, and over one 
hundred in number, had been knocked off during the 
night, and the fence, so mutilated, remains to-day. 


In addition to many works, the cost of which has 
been defrayed by public subscription, the following 
personal gifts have been made towards the adornment 
or furnishing of the existing fabric : 

Work. Donors. 

The Eestoration of the Chancel Eev. C. W. P. Oawfurd. 
East Window Miss E. H. Clarke, in memory of her 

First Window in South Aisle Mrs. Stenning, in memory of her 

husband, William Stenning. 
Second ,, ,, ,, ,, The Misses Clarke, "In Memoriam," 

by desire of their father, G. E. 

Clarke, and other members of his 

Fourth ,, ,, ,, ,, Mrs. A. K. Whyte, in memory of her 

husband, John Whyte. 
Fifth ,, ,, ,, ,, Miss K. G. Clarke, in memory of her 

sister, Eebecca Worrell Clarke. 
First ,, ,, North ,, Mrs. Buckley, in memory of Eichard 

Theodore Buckley. 
Second ,, ,, ,, ,, The Misses Moir, in memory of their 

parents, Peter and Margaret Moir. 
Altar Table, Eed Frontal and 

Credence Table Miss E. H. Clarke. 

Carved Oak Pulpit The Misses Clarke, erected by desire of 

their father, George Elliott Clarke, 

to the memory of his wife, Eebecca, 

his only son, Forster Mayers, and 

his daughter, Marion Crawfurd 


Oak Lectern Eev. C. W. P. Crawfurd. 

Service Books Mr. and Mrs. K. E. Murchison. 

,, ,, Sir George Wyatt Truscott and Lady 

The Organ The Mother Superior and Sisters of 

St. Margaret's. 

Decoration of the Organ-pipes Eev. D. Y. Blakiston. 
The Gates at the South Porch Mrs. Covey, in memory of her husband, 

the late George Covey. 
Bell - ropes and Chiming 

Apparatus Eev. C. W. P. Crawfurd. 

Some interesting gifts are referred to in the will, 
dated July 8th, 1507, of John Payne, of Pixtons. The 
following is translated from the original Latin : 

In the name of God Amen. I John Payii the elder of fforestrowe in 
the parish of Estgrensted being of sound mind and memory make my 


will in form following. Imprimis I bequeath, my soul to almighty 
God, to the blessed Virgin Mary and all the Saints, and my body to 
be buried in the Churchyard of the parish Church of Estgrenstede. 

Also I bequeath to the mother Church of Chichester 8 d . Also to 
the high altar of Estgrensted for tithes forgotten and unpaid 12 d . 
Also I bequeath to Elizabeth my wife for the term of her life my 
manor farm called Pyckestonns (now Pixton Hill, a small estate and 
private house near Forest Row occupied by Mr. T. Hyde) and at her 
decease to my eldest son then surviving and his heirs and in default 
of this heir to the next heirs of me the aforesaid John Payn. 

Also I will that whosoever shall possess the aforesaid manor-farm 
of Pyckestonns shall pay a yearly sum of 16 d so long as the world 
endures for the maintenance of a lamp before [the image of] St. 
Mary the Virgin situate in the church of Estgrenstede in the north 
part of the aforesaid Church. 

Also I devise to George my son the tenement Beeches (ten m de 
Beeches) and to his heirs and in default of an heir of him then to 
the next heirs of me the aforesaid John Payn. 

Also I bequeath to each of my sons and daughters two young bulls : 
also I devise the tenement called Maveld (ten m de Maveld) to Elizabeth 
my wife and after her decease to [my] elder son then surviving and to 
his heirs and in default of heirs of him to the next heirs of me the 
aforesaid John. Also I devise Shoberys to the use and behoof of 
John Payn junior my brother. Also I will as to Westfeld, late 
Robert Kelys, provided that at the end and term of 5 years he shall 
pay or cause to be paid to my relict Elizabeth or to John my younger 
brother 5 marks, that he shall have again the aforesaid Westfeld, but 
otherwise I will that the aforesaid Westfeld shall remain to John 
Payn my younger brother. Also I bequeath for the reparation of 
Wallhill one cow. Also I bequeath to the church of Estgrenstede 
one torch of the value of 6 s 8 d . But the residue of my goods 
undisposed of (after deducting debts due) I give and bequeath to 
Elizabeth my wife that she may dispose of them on my behalf as to 
her shall seem best : and her I ordain and constitute my true and 
lawful executrix, but John Payn junior my brother I make overseer 
before these witnesses, viz., Mr. Thomas Dagnall, Chaplain, John 
Sprengett and others. Dated 8th July 1507. 

Dagnall was probably a chantry priest or chaplain to 
a nobleman ; he was not Vicar of the parish. The 
statue of the Virgin Mary, like the bequest, has long 
since been forgotten. 

The organ, presented by St. Margaret's Sisterhood and 
decorated by the Vicar, was used for the first time on 
April 5th, 1888. 

There is no doubt that at one time the churchyard 
extended over a portion of what is now the vicarage 
garden. The old vicarage stood closer to the church 


than the existing house, being near the corner of the 
churchyard and Church Street. The present house was 
built largely at the expense of Mary Lady Amherst, 
who was the patron of the living, and who spent 
considerable sums on religious objects. She charged 
the estate of Imberhorne with three separate rent 
charges amounting to 70 annually, for ever, towards 
the support of the church at Forest Row. 

The church possesses as fine a peal of bells as there is 
in the South of England, and the tenor is one of the 
largest in the county. It measures 52J-in. in diameter 
and weighs a ton and a quarter. Each bell, from the 
first to the sixth, is inscribed, " T Mears of London, 
fecit, 1813." The seventh has simply " T Mears fecit," 
and the eighth the fuller inscription, "East Grinstead, 
Thomas Mears, fecit 1813." The first complete peal of 
Grandsire Triples (5,040 changes) was rung on them on 
December 21st, 1843. 

The last attempt to enforce the " Church Terrier" was 
made on August llth, 1869. This was a document 
setting forth the liabilities of certain properties in regard 
to the upkeep of the churchyard wall and fences. The 
Vestry called on Mr. Capes "to repair the carriage gate 
leading into the churchyard at the east end by the beer- 
shop, as he was bound to do such repairs according to 
the Church Terrier in respect of his property called 
Brookhurst." The churchyard wall along Church Street 
gives good evidence of the effect of the old Terrier. It 
is built and repaired in about ten distinct sections, some 
of brick, some of stone, being at one time evidently 
maintained by people of very diverse tastes and means. 

Appended is a copy of the "Terrier" as prepared in 


1. The Church Gate on the South Side of the yard containing eight 

foot to be made by the Town. 
From the Church Gate towards the East and so forward. 


2. Dallingridge 7 foot. 

3. Hazleden 8 foot. 

4. Sheppards & Scarletts 8 foot. 

Leonard Gale, Esq., Owner ; Arthelbert Wicking, Tenant. 

5. The Manor of Weild, alias Wallhill, 10 foot. William Peck, 

Esq., Owner ; Thomas Martin, Tenant. 

6. Eidgehill, 9 foot. John Shelley, Esq., Owner ; Abraham 

Huggett, Tenant. 

7. Millplace, 8 foot. John Conyers, Esq., Owner ; Edward Creasey, 


8. Homestall, 8 foot. Charles Goodwine, Esq., Owner ; Ninnon 

Creasey, Tenant. 

9. Pauls farm, 4 foot. John Storror, Owner. 

10. Mays farm, 11 foot. Michael Mateire, Gentleman, Owner; 

Edward Bannister, Tenant. 

1 1 . Frampost, Thomas Maynard, Owner ; Edward Godley, Tenant, 

4 foot. 

12. Charlwood, Elizabeth Nickoll, Owner ; Robert Langridge. Tenant, 

4 foot. 

13. Whalesbeech, 12 foot. John Biddulph, Esq., Owner; Henry 

Lindley, Tenant. 

14. Lovekines, 7 foot. Mary Thatcher and Sarah Wheeler, Ownei's ; 

Jno. Payne, Wheelrit, Tenant. 

15. Harwoods. John Hurst, Gentleman, Owner; Henry Johnson, 

Gentleman, Tenant, foot. 

16. Send ere, Brambletye, Twenty and nine foot. Jno. Biddulph, 

Esq., Owner; Henry Lindley, Tenant. 

17. Boylies, Fifteen foot. Thomas White, Gentleman, Owner ; John 

Tyler, Tenant. 

18. Cullens, Ten foot. John Biddulph, Esq., Owner ; Thomas 

Suxford, Gentleman, Tenant. 

19. Eenvills, Twenty foot. John Biddulph, Esq., Owner; Herbert 

Maynard, Tenant. 

20. Eutters Worsteds, Nine foot. John Pickering, Gentleman, 

Owner ; Nathaniel Austen, Tenant. 

21. Worsteds. John Earle, Owner ; Eight foot. Richard Good wyne, 


22. Bucknors, Brokehui'st, Five foot. Jno. Pickering, Esq., Owner ; 

Nathaniel Moore, Gentleman, Tenant. 

23. The Manor of Brokehurst. James Tulley, Gentleman, Owner, 

being the carrying gate contain'g Ten foot. Jervise Thorpe, 

24. The Bower, Thirty foot and the stile, 5 foot, in all, thirty and 

five foot. Jno. Payne, Gentleman, Owner. 

25. The Shewill, Ten foot. Widow Woodgate, Owner. 

26. Pickstones, Ten foot. John Conyers, Esq., Owner; William 

Norris, Tenant. 



Soon after the Priory of St. Pancras was established 
at Lewes in 1078, Alured, who was " Pincerna," or cup 
bearer, to Robert, first Count of Mortain, gave the church 
of East Grinstead and half a hide of land belonging to 
it at Imberhorne towards the support of this Priory. 
This is the first mention of such a building in East 
Grinstead. This grant was confirmed by William Count 
of Mortain, half-brother to the Conqueror, by a charter 
circa 1108. In 1352 the living was exchanged by the 
Prior and Convent of Lewes for the church at Burton, 
but the living continued in the presentation of the Prior 
until 1554, when Anne of Cleves appointed a Vicar. 
She lived for a time at Lewes and had been divorced in 
1540, the right of presentation probably being given her 
at the time of the confiscation of ecclesiastical property 
in 1545. She died in 1557, and the privilege of 
presentation has since belonged to various branches of 
the Sackville family, now represented by Lord Sackville, 
of Knole. 

Appended is a list of Vicars, so far as they can be 

Peter, 1241. An entry in the muniments of St. Mary Magdalen 
College, Oxford, says, "Grinstead Eay Peter Rector." 

Alard, 1285. 

Robert de Wynton, 1296. This Vicar got into trouble for fishing in 
a pond at Hymberhorne without permission from the Prior of St. 
Pancras, Lewes. 

William de Astania or Estanaye, 1304. Was also Rector of West 
Grinstead and Prebend of Lincoln, Wells and St. David's. 

Thomas, 1306. 

Peter, 1327. Deemed to be Vicar, as he headed the list and paid 
the largest sum of those taxed in the Borough of East Grinstead. 

Johannes de Wynton or Wyntonia, 1328. John de Wanenne 
brought an action against Adam de Wyntou, monk, and John, "p'sona 
ecclie de Estgrenestede." Exchanged the living of Atherton with 

Raymond Pellegrini, 1331. Exchanged livings with 

Annibaldus (Cardinal), 1331. Bishop of Tusculum and holder of 
several benefices and high offices. Died at West Grinstead, 1351. 

Richard de Bannebury, 1346-7. This rector was summoned by John 
de Warrenne, Earl of Surrey, for breaking into Worth Park and 
hunting therein. 

Richard de Derby, 1350-1. 


William de Lougburgh, 1351. 

Simon de Breden, Oct. 3rd, 1351. 

John Kirkeby, formerly Vicar of Sidleshain and Rector of Horsted 
Keynes. Exchanged livings with 

Richard Markwyk, from Little Horsted, admitted Oct. 17th, 1381. 

Richard Stoneherst, 1387-8. 

Thomas Fferryng, 1395. Was summoned by the Prior of Lewes for 
breaking with force of arms into a close belonging to the said Prior in 
East Grinstead. 

John Bakere, 1397. 

Ricardus atte Estcote (? East Court), 1410. 

Michael Preston, appointed April 27th, 1411. 

Robert Burgh, exchanged livings with 

John Mankyn, Feb. 26th, 1417. Rector of North Lidyard Milcent. 

Adam Newyle or Alan Neroyle, exchanged livings with 

John Bennet. who' was Yicar of Wadhurst, Jan. 12th, 1423. 

William Lane, exchanged livings with 

GeofFry Medewe, Rector of Rosfphlegh, Diocese of Lincoln, 24th 
July, 1438. 

Robert Blowere, formerly Rector of St. Michael's, Lewes, appointed 
Dec. 10th, 1438. 

John Cook, 1463. 

John Brether or Crothes, or Crowther, 1478. Died Jan. 16th, 

Edward Prymer, 1528-9. 

William Breton, LL.D., appointed Feb. 28th, 1528. 

Robert Best, appointed 1552-3, deposed, but reinstated in 1556-7. 

William Devonishe, appointed Sept. 23rd, 1554. 

Robert Best, Vicar for a second time, 1556-7. 

Richard Burnopp, or Burnap, the first Vicar presented to the 
living by the Sackville family, was appointed Sept. 24th, 1563; died 
1595. The Star Chamber proceedings state that this Vicar being "a 
very lewd and wicked p'son altogether swarvinge from his profession 
nor having the fear of God before his eies " did, at Lewes Sessions, 
falsely swear that James Pickas, gent., arrested him. while at the 
communion table, to the great disturbance of the communicants. It 
was proved that such an event never took place and that Richard 
Burnopp was "a common reporter of manifest untruths and dayly 
disturber of his quiet neighb" and an intermeddler in other men's 
causes," having procured them to spend over 500 in useless law suits. 
What the Star Chamber did to him is not stated. 

John Walwyn, M.A., appointed Nov. 28th, 1598. Formerly Vicar 
or Rector of Wisborough Green, Arundel, Withyham and Fletching, 
and afterwards Vicar of Heathfield. 

Edward Topsell, M.A., appointed May 5th, 1610. He was an author 
of considerable repute and published some books which were, in those 
days, very popular. His chief works were "The Historie of Foure- 
footed Beastes " and "The Historie of Serpents." He was perpetual 
curate of St. Botolph, Aldersgate. but held several country livings, 
including East Grinstead, at the same time. 


Alan or Allen Carr, appointed May 6th, 1615. He owned several 
parcels of land in East Grinstead and Lingfield. 

James Inians, appointed Sept. 2nd, 1637. Was formerly Rector of 
Streat and St. Ann's, Lewes; buried Feb. 23rd, 1642, at East 

Richard GofFe or Gough, appointed 1643; ejected because he was 
proved to be "a common haunter of Tavernes and Alehouses, a 
common swearer of bloudy oathes and singer of baudy songs, and 
often drunko and keepeth company with Papists and scandalous 

Samuel Pretty, 1 645. The living was sequestered from Gough to this 
Vicar, who does not seem to have been in Holy Orders. He was ordered 
to pay a fifth part of the profits of the Vicarage to his predecessor's 
wife, and neglecting to do so an action was brought against him. 
While it was in progress the Committee of Plundered Ministers 
sequestered the Vicarage from Pretty and returned him " into the 
County of Wiltshire, from where he had been driven by the King's 
forces." This was on Feb. 17th, 1645-6. 

Stephen Watkins, Puritan, appointed Feb. 17th, 1645-6, but resigned 
before Aug. 27th, 1647. 

George Blundell, appointed Aug. 27th, 1647. Described as "a 
godlie man and orthodox Divine " (a Puritan), but he afterwards con- 

Robert Crayford, appointed Feb. 10th, 1657. A Puritan. Sub- 
sequently Rector of Barcombe ; buried there Sept. 21st, 1709. 

Christopher Snell, appointed 1658, a Puritan ; ejected 1662. 

John Say well, D.D., appointed Aug. 31st, 1671. Resigned in the 
following Nov. and reinstated the same month. 

John Staples, M.A., appointed Jan. 25th, 1689. Died of small-pox 
Aug. 2nd and buried at night Aug. 4th, 1 732. 

George Gurnett, M.A., appointed Nov. 15th, 1732. Formerly Rector 
of West Chiltington; died Aug. 2nd, 1746. 

Thomas James, M.A., appointed Nov. 25th, 1746. 

Henry Woodward, M.A., appointed June 9th, 1757. Died Nov. 
20th, 1763. 

Charles Whitehead, M.A., appointed Jan. 13th, 1764. Afterwards 
Rector of Worth. 

Stileman Bostock, M.A., formerly Rector of Folkington, appointed 
Mar. 15th, 1792. 

Richard Taylor, M.A., appointed April 23rd, 1811, died Mar. 20th, 

Christopher Nevill, M.A., appointed May 27th, 1835, died Dec. 
15th, 1847. While acting as English chaplain at Lisbon in 1830 
Mr. Nevill collected the necessary funds for the erection of a sarco- 
phagus over the grave of Henry Fielding, the novelist, who died at 
Lisbon in 1754. 

John Netherton Harward, M.A., appointed June 6th, 1848, died 
Nov. 24th, 1863. 


It may not be out of place to record here that this 
Vicar had two sons who won great distinction in the 
Army. At the battle of Inkerman, at a moment when 
the Russians had the ascendant, and the defeat of the 
Allies looked almost assured "with what to the Russians 
seemed absolute suddenness," says Kinglake in his 
" Invasion of the Crimea," "a new power came into 
action." Lord Raglan ordered up two heavy guns, 
weighing over two tons each, and known to bear very 
strong charges of powder and carry an 18-lb. ball with 
precision and terrific power. They were located in an 
exposed position and the gunners working them were 
exposed to a perfect hurricane of shot, directed on one 
narrow spot from several batteries, and the losses were 
very heavy. But as a gunner dropped out, dead or 
wounded, another took his place, and they never ceased 
to hurl back their fateful answers. One of the guns was 
laid every time by Lieut. Greorge Sisson Harward and 
every shot fired carried havoc into the enemy's batteries. 
It was one of the most marvellous artillery duels of 
the whole Crimean campaign. Two guns against a 
hundred, but, to quote again from Kinglake, " at the 
end of a quarter of an hour it could be seen that our 
gunners were conquering for themselves a comparative 
immunity. The slaughter, the wreck, the confusion 
they spread in the enemy's batteries had by that time 
weakened his fire and henceforth, every instant, it 
began to seem more and more plain that this was an 
unequal conflict. . . . Whether tearing direct through 
a clump of the enemy's gunners or lighting upon some 
piece of rock, and flinging abroad, right and left, its 
murderous splinters; whether bounding into a team of 
artillery horses, or smashing and blowing up tumbrils, 
the terrible 18 pounder shot never flew to its task 
without ploughing a furrow of ruin." The change 
wrought by the duel was one of great moment and it 
was the first real agent in the ultimate defeat of the 
Russians. Lieut. Harward and his men, according to 
Lord Raglan, rendered " distinguished and splendid 
service." The other son who attained distinction was 


General Thomas Netherton Harward, who served 
through the Indian Mutiny campaign and was mentioned 
in despatches. 

John Peat, M.A., formerly Master of Sevenoaks Grammar School, 
appointed Dec. 26th, 1863. 

Mr. Peat gained some repute as an author. He wrote a translation 
of the Sapphic Odes of Horace and also published a lengthy poem 
entitled "The Pair Evanthe," in which he described that which is 
" beautiful, graceful, excellent and holy in women." He died on May 
10th, 1871, and was buried at Chevening, near Sevenoaks. 

Douglas Yeoman Blakiston was appointed Oct. 30th, 1871. The 
present Vicar is the third son of the late Rev. Peyton Blakiston, M.D., 
F.R.S., and Frances, eldest daughter of John Polliot Powell. He is a 
grandson of the late Sir Mathew Blakiston, the second baronet of the 
present creation, who was born in 1760 at the Mansion House, London, 
during his father's Lord Mayoralty, and who married, as his third wife, 
Annabella, daughter of Thomas Bayley, M.P. for Durham. The Vicar 
was at one time a student at the Royal Academy and a silver medallist. 
He married on July llth, 1861, Sophia Matilda, youngest daughter of 
the Rev. Wm. Dent, of Crosby Cote, Yorkshire. He was educated at 
Downing College, Cambridge ; took his B.A. degree (2nd Class Theo- 
logical Tripos) in 1868 and M.A. 1872. He was ordained Deacon in 
1868 and Priest in 1869 at Ely. From 1868 to 1871 he was Curate of 
Toft-with-Caldecote, Cambridgeshire, and was then presented to the 
living of East Grinstead by Reginald Earl De la Warr (then Lord 
Buckhurst, of Knole). 


The earliest records in the parish registers occur in 
1558. Twenty years before, Cromwell, as Vicar- 
General, had issued the first mandate for keeping 
registers of baptisms, marriages and burials in each 
parish, and the mandate was repeated, in rigorous terms, 
on the accession of Elizabeth in 1558. The Rev. Robert 
Best was then Vicar, but it is doubtful if the existing 
registers were started by him, for a great uniformity in 
the earlier entries seems to suggest that they were 
written at one time, possibly as a result of the ordination 
in 1597, that parchment register books should be 
purchased at the expense of each parish and the names 
in the older books from 1558 re-entered in them. Thus 
it happens that a vast number of parish registers 
commence in this year. To give the whole of the local 
lists would fill a very large volume and a few entries 



must suffice. The following is a complete list of the 
11 Christeninges " from December 26th to the end of the 
year, March 25th (old style) : 

Dec. 26, 1558 IsabeU Allyn. 

Jan. 21 
Feb. 20 
March. 3 


John Humffrey. 
Willm. Soane. 
Alice Milles. 
John Baylie. 
John Palmer. 
John Hartfield. 
Margarett Smythe. 
Thomas Drewrie. 

The marriage entries begin on November 17th, 1558, 
but time, damp, rust and moth have mutilated the out- 
side leaves and nothing is legible before the following : 

John Payne and Johane Wood. 
Harrie Cooper and Anne Humffrey. 
Roger Heathe and Ursula Alfrey. 
Thomas a Kent and Alice Boyes. 
John Huggett and Elizabeth Humffrey. 
Alexander Coxe and Isabel Canawey. 
Edward Soane and Dynnesse Page. 
Roger Spurway and Margrett ffoster. 

The first few pages of burials have evidently been 
detached from the book and lost, but appended are all 
the entries from January 18th to March 25th, the end of 
the year (old style) : 

Jan. 18, 1574 . . Nicholas, son of Robert Walter. 


15, 1560 











March 15, 

Margerie Brian. 
John Page. 
John Mawle. 
Samuell Drewe. 

Families bearing several of the above names still 
reside in the district. 

In all the earlier volumes there are, at the ends, 
records of " Briefs " received from other parishes. 
These were royal letters patent authorising, almost 
ordering, collections in churches for charitable and other 
purposes. The repair and rebuilding of churches was 
for a long period of years effected by this method. They 
were originally issued from the Court of Chancery, but 
grew so frequent that they were latterly only granted by 


that Court on the application of Quarter Sessions. The 
records in the East Grinstead registers only refer to 
briefs received from other parishes and not to those issued 
on behalf of this parish, so that they are devoid of local 

The average nett yearly value of the living is now 
about 300, with a good house and over two acres of 
glebe land. The owners of the great tithes are Lord 
Sackville, Earl De la Warr and the Rev. C. W. Payne 
Crawford. Their predecessors gave up their claims on 
a tithe of the produce of the parish under the Tithe 
Commutation Act in 1842, as did also the Vicar his 
claim to the small tithes, and received instead rent 
charges, varying with the price of corn, fixed then at 
the following amounts and in the following proportions: 

s. d. 

To Earl Amherst (now represented by Lord Sackville) . . 932 13 9 
To Mr. Robert Crawf urd (now represented by Eev. C. W. 

Payne Crawf urd) 300 

To Earl De la Warr and Earl Amherst jointly 67 6 3 

To the Vicar of East Grinstead 500 

To the last-named amount was also added an extra- 
ordinary tithe of 10s. per acre on all cultivated hop lands 
in the parish. 

The Crawfurd family, long resident at Saint Hill, then 
at East Court, but now at Ardmillan, hold their portion 
of the Rectorial tithes of the parish and their rights in 
the chancel of St. Swithun's by virtue of a deed dated 
29th June, 1624, which is still preserved among the title 
deeds by the present owner, viz., the Rev. C. W. P. 
Crawfurd, J.P., of Ardmillan. This deed is a convey- 
ance for the sum of 635, of a certain portion of the 
Rectorial tithes, and is made by Robert Cooper, citizen 
and alebrewer, of Southwark (who had quite recently 
acquired them by purchase from the Dorset family) 
in favour of Edward Payne, the younger, of East 
Grinstead, gentleman, and Hanna, his wife. From a 
recital in the same deed we learn that the "chauncell" 
of the Parish Church was then in ruin and decay, and 
Cooper covenants to indemnify Payne, his heirs and 


assigns against all claims for present or future repair of 
the said chancel. 

It is an interesting fact, and one that brings out 
clearly the continuity of our parish annals, that these 
same tithes, with certain rights in the chancel and the 
Payne vault beneath it, have descended lineally through 
seven successive generations to Mr. Crawfurd, their 
present owner, while each successive holder has been 
a resident landowner in the parish and buried in the 
chancel of St. Swithun's, until the late Mr. Robert 
Crawfurd, J.P., D.L. (formerly of Saint Hill and father 
of the present holder), dying in 1883, was buried in the 
Cemetery. The direct ancestors of that Edward Payne 
(born 1593, died 1660), who purchased the tithes in 
1624 and became Sheriff of Sussex in 1644, had already 
been resident landowners in this parish for some 200 
years certainly, and probably for much longer, and con- 
tinual references to members of the family occur among 
old local records. Thus in 1588, when Queen Elizabeth 
made a special appeal to the nobility and gentry to 
contribute funds "for the better withstanding the intended 
invacon of this realme " by the King of Spain, the con- 
tributions sent from East Grinstead included one of 25 
a handsome sum in those days from Edward Paine, 
jun. (1560-1643). 

This was the father of the Edward Payne who, with 
his wife Hanna, is party to the above-mentioned deed of 
1624. Edward was born and baptised at East Grinstead 
in 1593, and was son and heir of Edward Payne (1560- 
1643) of the Borough of East Grinstead, gent., by Anna, 
his wife, daughter and heir of John Payne, of Hicksted, 
in Twineham, yeoman, and granddaughter of John 
Payne, of Hicksted, who died in 1545. 

In 1619 he married Hanna, daughter of Richard 
Yerwood, of South wark, gent. In 1644 he was Sheriff 
of Sussex, and dying in 1660 was buried at East Grin- 
stead. At his death he owned freeholds, burgages and 
Portlands in East Grinstead and Hartfield, the manor and 
lands of Gravetye and Wildgoose, Goddenwick Farm in 
Lindfield, John Bartholomew's house in East Grinstead, 


Cooke's Mead (ten acres held of Irnberhorne Manor), 
Pilsliers or Gallows Croft (three acres near East Grin- 
stead Common and now forming part of the Halsford 
estate), the manor and farm of Burley Arches in Worth, 
a farm and lands in Barcombe and the manors and 
farm of Chiddingly in West Hoathly. The Hicksted 
property in Twineham thus came to the Paynes of East 
Grinstead by marriage in 1583, and so descended to 
Charles Payne Crawfurd, of Saint Hill, who sold it 
about 1800. Goddenwick, Pilsners, Burley Arches and 
Chiddingly also descended to the late Mr. Robert 
Crawfurd, of Saint Hill, and were sold about 1850. 

Almost a century later, viz., in 1685, we find the 
Sessions House at East Grinstead being rebuilt by local 
contributions, and chiefly by the aid of yet another 
Edward Payne (1622-1688), then bailiff of the borough 
town. This was the eldest son of Edward Payne, the 
purchaser of the tithes. The second son Richard (1629- 
1694), a considerable landowner, settled at Lewes and 
there founded a thriving family, he himself being Sheriff 
of Sussex in 1690, and his son Richard becoming M.P. 
for Lewes at intervals between 1702 and 1707. The 
purchaser's third son, Robert (1632-1708), of Newick and 
East Grinstead, founded in East Grinstead the Free 
School, now represented by the Payne Endowment 
Scholarships, a matter more fully referred to in the 
chapter which deals with the charities of East Grinstead. 

They were evidently useful citizens, these " Paynes 
of the Towne," as they are frequently styled in the early 
Parish Registers and elsewhere, to distinguish them from 
the many other families in the parish of the same name 
but of rather humbler degree, e.g., the Paynes of Ashurst 
Wood, Wallhill and Pickstones; the Paynes of Plaw- 
hatch, Legsheath, Walesbeech, Monkshill and Maules ; 
the Paynes of Horshoe (now termed " Horseshoe ") ; 
the Paynes of Blackwell and others, who, though pro- 
bably connected in the distant past, had been left 
behind by " the Paynes of the Towne " in the race of life. 

However this may be, the latter seem to have risen, by 
dint of frugality and industry, from substantial yeomen 

o 2 


in early times, to become in the sixteenth century, and 
long thereafter to continue, ironmasters of some note and 
considerable landowners in the parish and surrounding 
district, till, in the year 1661, we find them applying for, 
and obtaining, a grant of arms from the Heralds' College, 
duly issued to " Edward Payne, Richard, Robert, Charles 
and Henry, his brothers, the sons of Mr. Edward Payne, 
late of East Grinstead, in the County of Sussex, deceased." 
The arms and crest then assumed by the family appear 
on several of the monuments in the chancel. Much of 
local interest might be recorded of this quiet, undis- 
tinguished family, but enough has been said to suggest 
how long and how closely successive generations of the 
old stock continued to identify themselves with their 
native parish. 

The male line of this particular family of Paynes died 
out in East Grinstead upon the death of Charles Payne, 
of East Grinstead and Newick, Esq., in 1734, but his 
only surviving daughter and heir, Miss Anna Payne 
(1732-1797), married, in 1760, Gibbs Crawfurd, of Saint 
Hill, J.P., a Clerk of H.M. Ordnance and M.P. for 
Queenboro', in Kent, thus merging in the Saint Hill 
estate the bulk of the old Payne possessions in this and 
the surrounding parishes. Mr. Gibbs Crawfurd (1732- 
1793) was son and heir of John Crawfurd (1694-1763), 
of Saint Hill, Messenger to the Great Seal, who came 
into Sussex from Ardmillan, co. Ayr, about the year 1725, 
and shortly afterwards built the original house at Saint 
Hill, of which there may be seen a water-colour sketch, 
dated 1733, among the Burrell MSS. in the British 
Museum. By his wife Anna (nee Payne) Mr. Gibbs 
Crawfurd left two sons, viz., Charles Payne Crawfurd 
(1765-1814), of Saint Hill, J.P., Paymaster of Widows' 
Pensions and Barrister-at-Law, and Thomas Gibbs 
Crawfurd (1768-1832), of Paxhill Park, Lindfield, J.P., 
an officer in the Royal Horse Guards (Blues). 

It was during the lifetime of the late Mr. Robert 
Crawfurd (1801-1883), of Saint Hill, J.P., D.L., only 
child and heir of Charles Payne Crawfurd, that the 
family estate of Saint Hill, including, as we have seen, 


the bulk of what was once the Payne property, was sold 
by degrees to various purchasers, though his son, Mr. 
Crawfurd, of Ardmillan, still retains the Payne tithes, 
purchased, as stated, in 1624, with certain rights in the 
chancel of St. Swithun's and also part of the Dean Fields, 
adjoining College Lane, which were a small farm with 
oast-house and stables upon it when purchased by the 
Payne family about 1700. 


In very early times there were undoubtedly chantries 
in East Grinstead. A chantry in the church was 
founded in 1325 by William de Holyndale, who was M.P. 
for the Borough of East Grinstead. It was endowed 
with lands in the parish and rents out of the Manors of 
Imberhorne and Duddleswell. These chantries often 
formed part of a church and were built and founded by 
someone who paid a priest to chant masses (hence their 
name), generally daily, for the soul of the donor or for 
the souls of persons named by him. The priest some- 
times lived in a chamber or parvise over the porch of 
the church. Old East Grinstead Church had such a 
porch with a chamber above. A pension of 5 a year 
was granted to the last incumbent of the East Grinstead 
chantry when all such were dissolved in 1547. 

There was a fraternity and chapel of the Blessed 
Virgin Mary in 1603, but perhaps not located in the 
town. It owned lands here, however, and in the year 
named they were returned as valued at 35. 18s. The 
chantry of St. Catherine has already been referred to in 
the opening chapter. Established, it is supposed, for 
the benefit of those who were too feeble to walk as far 
as East Grinstead Church, there was a chapel at 
Bramble tye as early as 1273, and at East Grinstead on 
January llth, 1389, writs for the returns of all guilds 
in the parish were proclaimed by John Bradebrugg, who 
is described as " Bailiff of the Liberty of John, King 
of Castile and Leon." This is John of Gaunt, Duke of 
Lancaster and Lord of the Honour of the Eagle. He 
took the kingly title on marrying Constance, heiress of 


Don Pedro, King of Castile. Unfortunately this return 
does not seem, to have been preserved. The "true 
worth " of the chantry of Brambletye was put at 30s. 
in 1357-8, when a valuation was made of all benefices. 


The Church of St. Mary the Virgin is not yet com- 
pleted, but has been in use about 15 years. Its 
foundation stone was laid by the Ven. Archdeacon 
Sutton, acting for Bishop Durnford, on July 7th, 1891. 
That part of the church at present in use has been 
erected and furnished at a cost of 4,686. In addition 
a sufficient endowment has been provided to enable the 
Ecclesiastical Commissioners to contribute 100 a year 
on their usual terms. The Vicarage is practically 
completed at a cost of about 1,700 and stands on land 
adjoining the church and which was purchased some 
years ago for 300. The organ has been partially 
erected at a cost of 600. The building was not 
consecrated until July 1st, 1905, fourteen years after 
its commencement, the ceremony being performed by 
Dr. Wilberforce, the Lord Bishop of the Diocese. On 
December llth, 1905, the King signed an Order in 
Council assigning a district chapelry to the Church, the 
district in question comprising the whole of the parish 
which lies to the north and west of the high level line 
from Imberhorne Bridge to East Grinstead Station, and 
the low level line from East Grinstead to the Surrey 
boundary, except that portion which had already been 
assigned to the district of Felbridge. The Rev. W. W. 
Handford was appointed Curate-in-Charge of the Church 
at its establishment and he is now its Vicar. Mr. 
Handford was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, 
and obtained his B.A. degree in 1886 and M.A. in 1890. 
He was ordained a Deacon in 1888 and Priest in 1889 in 
the Diocese of S. Albans. Prior to his residence in 
East Grinstead he was Curate of Castle Hedinghani, 



IT was about a century ago that Nonconformity gained 
a sufficient hold in this town to justify the establishment 
of a place of worship for the promulgation of doctrines 
other than those taught in the Established Churches of 
the land. Since that time there has been a great growth 
in all phases of religious life, and the history of each 
place of worship is hereafter briefly outlined. 


Zion Chapel, the first Nonconformist place of worship 
erected in East Grinstead, was opened for public service 
on April 23rd, 1811, when that famous man, the Rev. 
Rowland Hill, was one of the preachers. The necessary 
funds had been provided from the Countess of Hunting- 
don's Trust. The foundation stone was laid on July 2nd 
of the preceding year by the two sons of Mr. John Burt, 
of Stone House, Forest Row, in the presence of about 
200 persons. A month after the chapel was opened the 
first Sunday School in the district was started by Mr. 
Burt, and at the beginning 50 boys and 54 girls put in 
an appearance, but before a year had passed the scholars 
numbered close on 400. They came for miles to get 
the benefits of the education imparted, and the school 
flourished exceedingly. The children from the Poor 
House were, after a time, allowed to attend, but the then 
Vicar of East Grinstead, the Rev. Richard Taylor, 
stepped in, and by some means prevented this. In the 


old register he is described as " a dog in the manger 
who will not either teach the children or let them be 

But later Vicars of East Grinstead wiped away this 
reflection, the first Sunday School in connection with the 
Parish Church being established in 1848, the necessary 
funds having been raised by means of a series of dramatic 
readings given by Mr. R. Crawfurd in Thompson's corn 
store, and commenced as long before as May 2nd, 1845. 
As showing to what free use wine was then put, it is 
interesting to note that at a treat given to the scholars of 
this school on Nov. 20th, 1849, every child present was 
given a glass of wine, though the few who professed 
temperance sought to induce the Vicar and teachers to 
abandon the idea. The late Lord Colchester soon after 
opened a school at Forest Row, and, others also springing 
up, the attendance at Zion naturally began to dwindle, 
though for nearly 40 years the number on the register 
exceeded 300. In the early days the anniversaries were 
of such a nature as to attract the children. An old 
record states that in 1812, after service, 341 children, 50 
teachers and visitors, and 15 of his own family, "400 
souls in all," were entertained at Stone House to a 
dinner of "cold rounds of beef and plumb puddings." 
This was repeated a year later. 

The registers contain some very quaint records. The 
worst boys in the school were named Ellis and this shows 
a sad decadence, as they, possibly, were descendants of 
Anne Tree, one of the three martyrs burnt in East 
Grinstead. One girl, named Gorringe, drowned her 
mistress's baby in a copper of water and her parents 
believed it was religion drove her to commit this awful 
act, so they at once withdrew the other members of the 
family from the school. To these particulars the recorder 
adds a note: " Dreadful idea." In another case two 
girls named Chapman were taken away because they 
found that if they went to church instead of chapel they 
could do a better trade with the milk they sold in the 
town. Self-preservation 80 years ago was evidently as 
keenly thought of as it is to-day. 


The house adjoining the chapel was added in 1813 and 
the vestry was built in 1862 and opened on April 9th. 
The chapel underwent extensive repairs in 1880. 

The following is as complete a list of ministers as can 
be compiled from such records as are still in existence : 

Rev. A. Start, appointed 1813. Died at Ashbourne, Derbyshire. 

Rev. Geo. Mottram, appointed 1820. Died at Ashbourne, Derby- 

Rev. James Trego, appointed 1825. 

Rev. W. Alldridge, appointed 1829. 

Rev. Cole. 

Rev. J. Blomfield, preached his farewell sermon March 24th, 1844. 

Rev. Robinson, preached his first sermon March 31st, 1844. 

Rev. Gibb, afterwards went to America. 

Rev. W. Sisterson, Dec. 9th, 1855, to Dec. 12th, 1858. 

Rev. D. Davies, appointed without the church members being con- 
sulted, March 27th, 1879. 

Rev. E. E. Long, Aug. loth, 1869, to Jan. 28th, 1877. 

Rev. W. A. Linnington, appointed Oct. 6th, 1878. 

Rev. Joseph Bainton, appointed July 1st, 1888, now at Ashbourne, 

Rev. J. Campbell began his ministry June 28th, 1903. 

Burials formerly took place in the tiny piece of ground 
in front of the chapel and the last of these interments 
was the occasion of a very remarkable demonstration. 
On May 13th, 1846, a young man named George Pobgee 
died at the age of 23. He was a very intelligent fellow 
and possessed high educational attainments. He had 
publicly expressed his scepticism in regard to religion, 
so the Rev. C. Nevill, the then vicar, declined to allow 
the relations to inter the body in the family vault in the 
churchyard, and himself picked out a place for burial 
close to the back door of the Rose beerhouse, where the 
Pobgees resided, so that the body should be brought 
no further into the churchyard than was absolutely 
necessary. He declined to read the burial service or 
allow anyone else to do so. The relations refused to 
fall in with the conditions and the body remained 
unburied for 10 days. Then the Dissenters offered to 
bury the young fellow in front of Zion Chapel. This 
offer was accepted and the funeral on May 23rd was the 


occasion of an immense gathering. A Mr. Veal, of 
Forest Row, read the burial service. 


According to the Trust Deeds of this church it is to be 
used " for the public worship of God, and other religious 
and philanthropic purposes, according to the principles 
and usages of Protestant Dissenters of the Congrega- 
tional Denomination, called Independents, being Psedo- 
Baptists," i.e., those who believe in infant baptism. The 
Congregational Connexion first established itself in East 
Grinstead about 1866, beginning with Sunday services 
in the old Town Hall, conducted by an P^vangelist named 
Parry, of the Nottingham Institute. The Rev. Benjamin 
Slight had given up his work at Tunbridge Wells, and 
at his instigation it was decided to erect a church and 
mainly by his instrumentality the necessary funds were 
raised, but of the thousand pounds collected only 5 was 
subscribed by persons residing in the town, so small was 
the Nonconformist interest. On October 1st, 1868, Mr. 
Joshua Wilson, who was Treasurer to the Home 
Missionary Society, and Mr. John Finch, both of Tun- 
bridge Wells, acting as Trustees, purchased from the 
late Mr. Edward Steer, for 191. 2s., the plot of land at 
the corner of London and Moat Roads, with a frontage 
of 91 feet to the former and 102 feet to the latter. On 
December 7th, 1870, they purchased for 115 an 
adjoining plot with a frontage of 79 feet to Moat Road. 
On December 13th following, Messrs. Wilson and Finch 
conveyed their interests in the first plot to the Church 
Trustees, namely: Rev. B. Slight, of Ashurst Wood; 
Rev. J. Radford Thomson, of Tunbridge Wells ; Messrs. 
W. H. Steer and Wm. Clark, of East Grinstead; E. 
Steer, of Turners Hill ; James Waters, of Forest Row ; 
and J. Towlson, W. Brackett, J. Whittem Hawkins and 
E. H. Strange, of Tunbridge Wells. The second plot 
was handed over to the survivors of these Trustees on 
March 5th, 1874. 

The title deeds to the property contain what is rarely 
found in such documents, namely, a schedule specifying 


the doctrinal beliefs necessary in those who occupy the 
property. They are : 

1 . The Divine and special inspiration of the Holy Scriptures of the 
Old and New Testament and their sole authority and entire sufficiency 
as the rule of faith and practice. 

2. The Unity of God, with the proper Deity of the Father, of the 
Son, and of the Holy Ghost. 

3. The depravity of man and the absolute necessity of the Holy 
Spirit's agency for man's regeneration and sanctification. 

4. The Incarnation of the Son of God in the person of the Lord 
Jesus Christ, the universal sufficiency of the atonement by His death, 
and free justification of sinners by faith alone in Him. 

5. Salvation by grace, and the duty of all men to believe in Christ. 

6. The Resurrection of the dead and the Final Judgment, when 
the wicked shall go away into everlasting punishment and the righteous 
into life eternal. 

The church was built by the late Mr. Edward Steer at 
an expense of just over 1,000 and was opened on April 
5th, 1870, the whole cost up to date having been met. 
The opening services were conducted by the Rev. 
Joshua Harrison, then a popular minister in London, 
and who had been at college with Mr. Slight. Various 
ministers supplied the pulpit until the Rev. J. T. 
Maxwell, who had preached here on August 14th and 
28th, 1870, began his fixed ministry on January 1st, 

1871. His congregation on the morning of the opening 
day consisted of 11 adults and a few children, and in 
the evening of 22 persons. But by the end of February 
the chapel was crowded at all services and money came 
in well. By June, 1871, 1,335. 7s. 8d. had been 
raised and this had more than paid for both plots of 
land and the building of the church. On April 30th, 

1872, Mr. Maxwell was publicly ordained and the church 
formally constituted. A service of Communion plate 
was, at the close of this meeting, presented to the 
church by the Pastor's mother. The plate now in use 
was given by Mr. Gaius Idiens, of Blindley Heath. By 
the end of 1872 the church was self-supporting, arid 
from January, 1873, managed its own finances and 
affairs according to Congregational usage. A school 
had been established, under the superintendency of the 


late Mr. Thomas Cramp, in May, 1870, and the school 
buildings to accommodate it, which cost 600, were opened 
on April 29th, 1874. Mr. Maxwell gave notice of his 
intention to resign on September 28th, 1875, leaving on 
November 1st of that year. He was succeeded a year 
later by the Rev. J. Brantom, whose ministry lasted 
from September 25th, 1876, to August 24th, 1884. 
While he was in charge the manse was built at a cost of 
over 800 ; a warming apparatus was installed in the 
church and the existing organ was obtained. The 
foundation stones of the manse were laid on June 4th, 
1878, by Mrs. and Miss Brantom, Mr. T. H. W. Buckley 
and others, and the house was formally dedicated on 
November 25th following. The total debt on the 
manse was liquidated by the end of 1882 and the organ 
was opened on January 30th, 1884. Mr. Brantom was 
succeeded, some three months after his departure, by 
the Rev. J. J. Brooker, who began his ministry on 
January 3rd, 188(>, and resigned on December 2nd, 
1891. The Rev. F. J. Austin began his charge of the 
church on July 3rd, 1892, and continued until March, 
1899. Twelv 7 e months later the Rev. W. Hipkin under- 
took the pastorate, preaching his first sermon on April 
1st, 1900. He left to go to Canada on July 22nd, 1903. 
The present minister is the Rev. W. H. Edwards, B.A., 
whose pastorate dates from May 1st, 1904. Since he 
has been in charge new and spacious vestries have been 


The Wesleyan community began operations in East 
Grinstead on Sunday, April 14th, 1878, when they hired 
the Public Hall for religious services and continued them 
until their chapel opposite was ready. The Rev. John 
Mack started the services. The purchase of land and 
the erection of chapel and school room cost about 
2,800. Two foundation stones were laid, one by Mr. 
R. W. Perks, who subsequently became M.P. for the 
South Division of Lincolnshire and President of the 
Wesleyan Methodist Twentieth Century Million Fund, 


and the other by Mr. John Turner, of Langton, but, 
contrary to the usual custom, those foundation stones have 
never yet borne an inscription. The existing chapel was 
opened on March 16th, 1881, by the then President of 
the Conference (Dr. E. E. Jenkins). East Grinstead 
had been made part of the Tunbridge Wells circuit in 
1879 and continued as such until 1902, when it became 
amalgamated with the Sussex Mission, which has its head 
quarters at Lewes. Appended is a complete list of local 
ministers, with the year of their appointment : 

1878. Eev. W. A. Labruni. 

1881. Eev. V. W. Pearson, now Principal of the Sheffield Training 
College for Pupil Teachers. 

1884. Eev. D. W. Barr. 

1886. Eev. T. L. Walton, died at New Cross, Jan. 22nd, 1894. 

1889. Eev. W. C. Bourne. 

1892. Eev. A. E. Eaw. 

1895. Eev. Frank Edwards. 

1898. Eev. Austin Davey, died at East Grinstead, 1901. 

1901. Eev. AUan Parsons. 

1902. Eev. E. Hugh Morgan. 
1905. Eev. J. G. Gill. 

The following were the first appointed Trustees of the 
Chapel : Messrs. H. A. Perkins and Frank Skinner, East 
Grinstead ; S. W. Jenks, Ashurst Wood ; Joseph Wilson, 
Crawley Down ; Richard W. Tregoning, Worth ; John 
Newman, Copthorne; Henry W. Andrew, Lingfield ; 
John Turner, Langton ; John B. Wells, Win. G. Harris, 
Wm. H. Coates, Jos. H. Nye, Benj. Pomfret and Win. 
Oliver, Tunbridge Wells ; Win. Baldwin, Tonbridge ; 
and John Beauchamp, Highgate, London. Of these only 
Messrs. Turner, Jenks, Newman, Pomfret and Skinner 
now hold office. The local Trustees appointed to fill 
vacancies are Messrs. G. H. Broadley, A. W. True and 
A. G. Reeves. 

The adherents of the Church of Rome early found 
opponents in East Grinstead. On February 23rd, 1813 ; 
several of the inhabitants of the Borough and its vicinity 
petitioned Parliament, setting forth that they observed 
with astonishment and alarm the persevering efforts of the Eoman 
Catholics to obtain admission to all offices of trust and authority, both 


Civil and Military, and to the exercise of legislative functions, and 
that it is with unfeigned satisfaction that they see their fellow subjects 
of the Romish Church freed from all pains and penalties on account 
of their religion, and in the full enjoyment of the blessings of tolera- 
tion; but the Petitioners feel it their bounden duty, not only to them- 
selves, but to posterity, to resist their endeavours (notwithstanding the 
numerous concessions already made to them) to get possession of 
political power and legislative authority, and thereby to destroy that 
Protestant ascendency to which the people of this country are indebted, 
under Providence, for the establishment of their liberties on a firm 
and solid basis ; for they consider it as a fixed and unalterable principle 
of our glorious Constitution, as settled at the Eevolution, that the 
Legislative and Executive Authorities of this Protestant Country can 
be administered only by Protestants ; and that the Petitioners regard 
the Laws by which that principle is established as no less sacred and 
inviolable than Magna Charta and the Habeas Corpus Act ; and they 
implore the House steadfastly to reject all applications for the repeal 
of those Laws. 

All of which had little effect. In 1850 there was again 
a stir against the aggressiveness of the Roman Catholics, 
and at a public meeting held in the town on November 
25th addresses to the Queen and Bishop of the Diocese 
were adopted, praying them to curb the energies of the 
Pope's emissaries. So far as is known the first recognised 
place of worship which the fraternity possessed was the 
chapel established by Sir Edward Blount at Imberhorne. 
The mission here was superintended by the monks from 
the Franciscan Monastery at Crawley, and soon after its 
establishment Sir Edward arranged for a school to be 
started for Catholic children. Instruction was for some 
time given in an improvised school room in a granary 
at Imberhorne. Later, the Catholic schools now in exist- 
ence between the mansion and the town were built at Sir 
Edward's expense. They are under the charge of several 
Sisters of Mercy, and a small convent is attached. About 
80 children there receive an excellent education. 

The Roman Catholic Church in the London Road, 
dedicated to " Our Lady and St. Peter," is a massive 
structure in the Early Norman style. It was built at the 
expense of Lady Blount, who, however, did not live to 
see its completion, and was opened on October 2nd, 1898. 
The Rev. J. Burke has been the priest-in- charge from 
that time to the present. 



The Rocks Chapel formerly stood in the corner of Old 
Road, facing the East Court Estate. It was established 
in the year 1847 by members of the Charlwood family 
and others, who withdrew from the Countess of Hunting- 
don's Connexion in April of that year. They made shift 
for a time in a temporary room and opened the chapel 
on Good Friday, March 29th, 1850, as a Congregational 
Church ; 20 years later the Primitive Methodists occupied 
it, and it continued in existence until Moat Church was 
established, when its supporters gradually dwindled and 
it was soon closed. On Sept. 24th, 1861, a chapel, built 
by Mr. Berger, was opened at Saint Hill. 

Providence Chapel, in the London Road, was built in 
1891 and is occupied by the sect known as Strict 
Baptists. It has no resident minister. 

The Salvation Army commenced its operations in East 
Grinstead on Feb. 5th, 1887. 



FOR nearly 300 years the fortunes of this institution 
have been very closely interwoven with the history of 
East Grinstead. 

The College was founded by Robert, second Earl of 
Dorset, a man of great ability and who spoke, which was 
rare in those days, several languages with much fluency. 
His father was the famous Thomas Sackville, Queen 
Elizabeth's High Treasurer and one of the Judges who 
sent the Duke of Norfolk to the headsman's block for 
his complicity in the alleged attempt to get Mary Queen 
of Scots placed on the English Throne. Through the 
founder of Sackville College these two families became 
closely united, for this eldest son of the High Treasurer 
married Margaret, the only daughter of the beheaded 
Duke. He held the title but a short time, dying on 
February 27th, 1608-9, at the comparatively early age 
of 48, having made his will on February 8th of the same 
year. It contained the following : 

Whereas I have been long and still am purposed to build and erect 
an Hospital or College in the said Town or Parish of East Grinstead, 
in the County of Sussex, and to bestow on the building thereof the 
sum of one thousand pounds, or such a sum as shall be necessary, and 
to endow the same with a rent charge of 330 by the year, to be 
issuing out of all and singular my lands and tenements in the said 
County of Sussex, or elsewhere within the Eealm of England, for 
ever, towards the relief of one and thirty single and unmarried 
persons, thereof one and twenty to be men and the other ten to be 
women, there to live, to pray, serve, honour, and praise Almighty 
God : I therefore will and devise that mine executors, if I shall not 
live to perform the same in my life-time, shall bestow a sufficient sum 
of money in the purchase of a fit place in the said Town or Parish of 
East Grinstead, to thereupon erect and build a convenient house, of 
brick and stone, with rooms of habitation for the said one and thirty 
persons, employing and bestowing thereupon such reasonable sums of 
money as they shall think fit in their discretions, and that they shall 
incorporate the same, according to the laws and statutes of this Eealm, 
by the name of Sackville College for the poor. 


When the building was commenced is now unknown. 
It is supposed that much of the stone and timber used 
came from Buckhurst, the old mansion there being dis- 
mantled about this time. The earliest date recorded is 
1619, which is on the knocker that used to adorn the 
great door, and also on a triangular shield in the hall, 
inscribed, "I pray Grod bless my lord of Dorset, and my 
ladie, and all their posteritie. Ano. do. 1619." The 
College was evidently in use by this time ; we know it 
was on April llth, 1622, for the parish registers record 
the first burial from Sackville College on that date. 
A contemporary document says : 

Richard Sackville, Lord Buckhurst, was, after the death of his father, 
the third Earle of Dorset of that family, and is now living Anno. 1622. 
Hee finished the aforesaid College beganne by his father, and new built 
our Lady Chappell at Withyham. in Sussex, where his Ancestors lye 

A draft of a Bill laid before the House of Lords on 
February 14th, 1620-1, recited, " The executors of the 
will have bought lands and have begun to build at East 
Grinstead ; but the College or Hospital has not been 
incorporated, and the endowment intended to be given 
thereto is liable to uncertainty in consequence of entails 
and incumbrances of the Earl's estates." The Act for 
establishing the College was not passed until 1624, though 
the first draft of the Bill had been laid before the House 
of Lords ten years earlier and read a first time. The 
Charter of Incorporation, still preserved in the College, 
was granted it by Charles I., on July 8th, 1631. The 
statutes governing the College, and based on the provi- 
sions of the founder's will, were approved in the same 
year. They forbade any inmate to "lodge or receive 
any person in the house, or secretly entertain any 
stranger ; " to ever be out, without permission, for more 
than twelve hours at a time, or to ever secretly use u any 
dicing, carding, or unlawful games for any money or 
money's worth." The last rule, however, was relaxed at 
Christmas-time, for then they were allowed to play 
publicly, but "in noe sort in any corners or private 
rooms." Regular tines were to be imposed for secret 


feasting, excessive drinking, swearing and frequenting 
taverns. The doors were to be open in the winter from 
seven a.m. to seven p.m., and in the summer an hour 
earlier and an hour later. The hour of closing in the 
summer is now nine p.m. All fines were to be put in a 
"box or hutch" fixed in the chapel, and were to go 
towards the College repairs. The first record of the 
opening of this box is on June 12th, 1718, when it was 
found to contain only 5s. 9d. During the next 12 years, 
however, the fines amounted to 26. The fines box has 
long ceased to exist. 

The College had not long been established before it 
became involved in a disastrous series of law -suits 
lasting over 60 years. The founder's son, Earl Richard, 
sold many of the family estates and the purchasers were 
not told, or said they were not told, of the rent charges 
on the land and which formed the sole income of the 
College. They declined to pay, so the inmates 
appointed Thomas Maynard and William Vargis to 
commence action. On February 8th, 1631, the Court 
of Chancery ordered Lord William Howard, the 


surviving executor under Earl Roberts' will, to make 
good the yearly sum of 330. The order seems to 
have had but little effect, for it is on record that on July 
5th, 1632, the poor brethren were "left destitute of all 
relief and maintenance and are ready to perish for want 
of bread." The Court thereupon ordered Lord William 
to pay up 200 at once or go to prison. He paid the 
money. Then came the Civil Wars and the impossi- 
bility of enforcing the decrees of any Court of Law. 
Once more money failed to come in. The College 
inmates were reduced to the lowest possible state of 
destitution and five of them actually died of starvation. 
Their condition at this time is thus described in an 
affidavit, dated November 3rd, 1648, by Emery Allen, 
one of the inmates, who affirmed that : 

William Vergis, late Warden of the College, lived in great want 
and misery because the pay was detained from the College and was 
forced to pawn or sell his gown for bread, and had not wherewith to 
subsist, but did merely starve for want of subsistence, having nothing 


wherewith to relieve himself or to satisfy his creditors ; that William 
Harman, late one of the almsmen of the College, lived in great misery 
for a long time for want of his pay, ran into debt, sold his bed and 
lay upon straw, and, though he had two gatherings made for him in 
East Grinstead Church, at last starved for want of sustenance; 
another almsman lived in great misery for a long time, went about 
the country begging and finally died for want of sustenance ; whilst 
other almsmen have been forced to run into debt and are very likely 
to starve if speedy relief be not given them. 

On the establishment of the Commonwealth, action 
was again commenced and between the years 1645 and 
1656 Edward Lucas, the receiver, managed to get in a 
good sum of money, but still leaving arrears of 2,389. 
On January 23rd, 1663, the Earl of Thanet was sent to 
prison for ignoring an order to pay up some of these 
arrears, and the money was then forthcoming. This 
nobleman was one of the chief of those who defended this 
lengthy and disastrous law-suit. His defence was fully 
set forth in his answer to a petition presented to the 
House of Lords on August llth, 1648, by the inmates 
of the College. He contended that : 

The persons calling themselves the poor of Sackville College were 
not placed there by the heirs of Robert Earl of Dorset, and ought not 
therefore to have any benefit from the gift of the founder ; the Earl of 
Thanet acknowledges that in right of his wife he holds lands late the 
property of Richard Earl of Dorset, but he conceives that they are not 
liable in law to the charge nor to the decree in Chancery to which 
he and his wife were no parties, but that the rent - charge should 
issue solely out of the Manors of Buckhurst, Munckloe, Hendall and 
Fiscaredge, which he trusts to prove by review in Chancery ; not only 
are the petitioners not placed in the College according to the will of the 
founder, but they are not qualified for an hospital, few of them being 
resident in the College, some of them tradesmen abroad, and many of 
debauched and most of idle lives. 

Slowly the suit dragged itself on and did not finally 
end until 1700, the ultimate result being that 113. 7s. 3d. 
of the annual College income was extinguished and the 
revenue permanently reduced to about 217. 

This is derived from property scattered all over the 
south of England. A few of the rent charges have been 
redeemed during latter years by the payment of a capital 
sum and its investment in 2 per cent, annuities to yield 
an equivalent income. On January 24th, 1899, Mr. 
William Davey, of Brighton, paid 46. 13s. 4d. to redeem 

H 2 



1. 3s. 4d. a year charged on three pieces of land, part of 
the Manor of Brighthelmstone; on September 30th, 1902, 
Lieut.-Col. C. A. M. Warde paid 4. 13s. 4d. to redeem 
2s. 4d. a year charged on Kent Hatch Farm, Westerham, 
belonging to him ; on the same date Mr. Francis Verrall, 
Lord of the Manor of Southover, Lewes, redeemed three 
separate charges of lid., 4s. and 2 on land called the 
Hydes, at Lewes, by paying 90, and on November 4th, 
of the same year, the Corporation of the City of London 
freed themselves for ever from paying 1. 5s. 8d. a year 
charged on 54, 57 and 57a, Shoe Lane, City, by a purchase 
of 51. 6s. 8d. annuities. The following table gives the 
other sources of income : 

Land or Estate. 


Manor of Michelham Park Gate . . Lord Sackville 

,, Milton ,, 

,, Lullington ,, 

Hangleton ,, 


,, Imberhorne Mr. Edward Blount 

,, Knowle Lord Sackville 

The Rectory of East Grinstead . . ,, 

,, Manor ,, . . Lord Sackville and 

Earl De la Warr 
Lands of St. Catherine's, East 

Grinstead ,, ,, 

Chantry -lands, East Grinstead .... ,, ,, 

Priors .... 

A messuage ,, .... ,, ,, 

Two burgages 

For other various properties ., ,, 

Manor of Swanburgh Earl De la Warr 

Diggens Land, Kingston 

Manor of Blackham 

,, Cullinghurst 

,, Broome 

John A. Bowrie's land in Kingston 
Messuage called Coppers Bowker, 

in Kingston 

Manor of Chariness 




. East Bourne Measey . . 

Muncklow ... 


Amount of 
Rent charge. 








2 4 













































Land or Estate. 

Manor of Lewes , 

Part of Stoneland 

Dorset House, garden, &c., Kent. 
Sir H. Compton's messuage. 
The Vechery Wood, Maresfield , 

An acre and a half in Kingston , 

Manor of Bolebrook 

St. Tyes 

,, Houndean, Lewes 

Earl De la Warr 

Mr. E. S. Samuel, 


Earl De la Warr . 

Amount of 
Rent charge. 
s. d. 
1 3 4 
5 16 8 


Five parcels of Brook meadow 
called Thackwood 

Pound Farm, Withyham 

Bartletts, ,, 



Inn at Withyham 


Manor of Eeigate 

46 to 53, Shoe Lane, London .... 

132, Salisbury Square, London . . 

Eectory of St. Dunstans, W 

Manor of Wilmington 



Marquess of Aber- 
gavenny 6 8 4 

Mr. J. E. Haig . 
Earl De la Warr 

Living of Eottingdean 

,, Southover, Lewes .... 
The Shelleys, Lewes (formerly 

known as The Vine) 

Manor of Claversham 

,, Allington 

,, Meeching, Newhaven . . 

,, Holywych 

Mill Field, Cowden 

Ware Land, ,, 

The Cemetery, Lewes 

11 8 


1 19 7 
1 2 
Lady Henry 

Somerset 9 5 4 

Messrs. Pontifex and 

Wood 317 8 

Mr. W.G.King .. 11 8 
Eev. L. James .... 140 
The Duke of Devon- 
shire 20 

1 4 10 
17 4 8 

Mr. Eichard Greene. 
Mrs. Miles, Croydon. 
Lord Monk Bretton. 
Earl of Sheffield . . 
Capt. F. Maitland. . 

Trustees of the 
Harvey Estate . . 

All Saints and Cliffe 
Burial Board . 


2 16 
2 19 

5 10 


There is little more to add concerning the College 
itself. During the last 200 years it has quietly served 
its intended purpose, but to a limited extent, and has 
undergone various improvements. The hall and porch 
have been restored, the belfry (which had been beaten 
down by a storm on November 26th, 1703) and the 


chapel re-erected at a cost of 700, the foundation stone 
being laid on August 1st, 1850, the latter decorated; 
and the massive roof slates re-laid. 

On February 25th, 1851, there was a riot at the 
College in consequence of some objections made by the 
relatives and others to the form of burial service it was 
proposed to observe at the funeral of a female inmate 
named Alchin. The relatives and a body of townspeople 
went to the College in the afternoon, got the body, and 
carried out the funeral as they desired. In the evening 
the mob re-assembled and the College windows were 
smashed. Ten of the townspeople were subsequently 
summoned and seven of them were sent for trial at 
Lewes Assizes. They subsequently issued a public 
apology for their conduct and at the Assizes pleaded 
guilty. The case against them was thereupon not 
pressed, and they were bound over to come up for 
judgment if called upon. 

It is not now a place where pensioners are starved to 
death, for the inmates afford several instances of longevity. 
On October 2nd, 1819, there died Elizabeth Knight, who 
had lived in the College 52 years, and on March 21st, 
1829, Mary Knight, who had been for 42 years a 
pensioner in the institution, breathed her last. Nicholas 
Piggott, who died on December 21st, 1784, was a 
pensioner for exactly the same period. At the present 
time there are 18 inmates, 14 women and four men, of 
whom seven of the women and all of the men get 
allowances of 14 a year, the remainder getting their 
rooms only. 

The right of appointing the Warden, who gets his 
residence and 28 a year, has always rested with the 
heirs of the founder, the privilege, to-day, being in the 
hands of Earl De la Warr, who, on a vacancy arising, is 
supposed to appoint within "the space of three score 
dayes." If he neglects so to do then the assistants and 
inmates meet on the afternoon of the first Sunday after 
this allotted time has expired and propound the name of 
one of their own number to the Patron for appointment. 


The following ordinance setting out the Warden's duties 
is very quaint : 

If the Warden shall, in anything, neglect his duty and swerve from 
the orders and statutes of the said College or Hospital then being in 
force, in regard he should be a light and lanterne to the rest, and his 
bad example very pernicious to the whole company ; the two Assistants 
shall hear and determine any question arising between him and the 
thirty Brethren or Sisters, or any of them; and if in their judgments 
he shall appear faulty, they do admonish him thereof, as also of any 
other error they shall observe in him, toties qiwties, to the third 
admonition and thereupon to advertise the heirs male of the body of 
the said Robert, Earl of Dorset, and he either to cause the Warden 
to reform himself or else to expell and displace him if he continue 
obstinate and perverse. 

The following condition is now more honoured in the 
breach than the observance, but it shows that the 
introduction of tobacco had by no means met with 
universal favour in 1631 : 

If either the Warden or any brother or sister do take any tobacco 
in the house, or keep any in the said Colledge or Hospitall, shall forfeit 
five shillings, to be deducted out of his or her next quarter's wages 
. . . for that the same is offensive to many, procureth much drink- 
ing and other inconveniences most meet to be forborn by all and used 
by none. 

The ordinances further set forth that the Warden, the 
assistants and all the inmates should dine together each 
quarter day " at their equal charges, soe it be not 
respectively under twelve pence and not above two 
shillings a peece, the Warden to be double to any of the 

The Warden had further to see the " Brethren and 
Sisters morning and evening, to meet at a certain due 
hour in their Chappel, there to pray, serve, honour and 
praise Almighty God," and he, or such as he might 
appoint, was to read the service and prayers. 

The name of the first Warden is now unknown. 
Appended are brief particulars of all his successors : 

2. William Vargis was appointed in 1638. He had been joint 
collector and procurator for the College since 1629. He was buried in 
the Parish Church on April 6th, 1646. 

3. The Rev. Reyner Herman was appointed on July 7th, 1646, and 
held the office ten years. He carried on a Grammar School, and among 
his pupils was Richard Kidder, afterwards Bishop of Bath and Wells. 


On leaving the College Herman was presented to a good living in 
Sussex, but being a Royalist Bichard Cromwell accounted him a 
malignant and declined to sanction his institution. Kidder was then at 
Cambridge, and he was instrumental in getting his old master appointed 
head master of Stamford Grammar School. He subsequently became 
rector of Tinwell, in Rutland, where he was buried in 1668. 

4. George Parkyns was appointed in 1657 and died in 1663. 

5. William Bushey, 1663, to Jan. 21st, 1677. 

6. Joh. Cuttefordwas first sent to the College by the Earl of Dorset 
on Aug. 10th, 1673, as a pensioner. He had previously lived at Bristol, 
where he attained to civic honours and was one of the chief inspectors 
of the port. At the Restoration he was granted a certificate of loyalty. 
He seems to have fallen on hard times, and when he was appointed to 
a pension in the College he was described by the Earl as " very aged, 
and a fit object of my charity." He was subsequently appointed 
collector for the Earl of Dorset's estates in Sussex, and stepped into 
the Wardenship on the death of William Bushey, holding it until 
March 24th, 1680. 

7. Rev. Thomas Grice, appointed on Aug. 20th, 1680, was also 
incumbent of Gosport. He held the office until June, 1684. 

8. Richard Jux, previously an inmate of the College since Aug. 
18th, 1676; was Warden for nine months only, July 18th, 1684, to 
April 8th, 1685. 

9. Rev. Thomas Hardmett held office less than seven months, May 
22nd, 1685, to Dec. 5th, 1685. 

10. Rev. Thomas Winterbottom was appointed the same day as 
his predecessor was buried, Dec. 8th, 1685. He resigned after holding 
office 31 years. On May 12th, 1687, the Rev. John Wood, Rector of 
Horsted Keynes, made an agreement with this Warden that for 1 a 
year the latter should read Divine sevice every Sunday and Saint's day 
at Horsted Keynes, and preach a sermon when required at 8s. extra 
for each sermon. 

1 1 . John Millington, a native of Coventry and long in the Dorset 
service, was admitted as a pensioner on Nov. 4th, 1710, was made 
Assistant Warden on Aug. 27th, 1715, and stepped into the office of 
Warden on Sept. 29th, 1716, the only person who ever occupied all 
three positions. 

12. John Bright, 1733 to 1751. 

13. William Wood, 1751, to Sept. 14th, 1772. 

14. George Knight, April 21st, 1772, to Oct. 7th, 1813, a Warden- 
ship of 41 years, exactly half the length of his life. 

15. Thomas Palmer, Nov. 3rd, 1813, died Dec. 4th, 1844. During 
his term of office he got the Patron to appoint inmates, who, without 
receiving pensions, should occupy the vacant rooms, and this practice 
has been continued ever since. 

16. Rev. John Mason Neale, D.D. The warrant of this famous 
Warden bears date May 26th, 1846, eighteen months after his 
predecessor's death, but he arrived at the College about a month 


before his formal appointment. During his regim6 the dilapidated 
buildings were completely restored and numerous improvements 
carried out, the Warden himself spending something like 2,000 on 
the building during the time he was resident there. The Warden 
re-established the daily services, from time to time administered the 
Sacrament of the Holy Communion, and frequently preached. Dr. 
Gilbert was then Bishop of Chichester, and after a confirmation held 
in the Parish Church on May 7th, 1847, he visited the College chapel 
and the next day inhibited Dr. Neale from celebrating Divine 
worship and from the exercise of clerical functions in his diocese. 
Dr. Neale, after consulting with the Patron, decided to ignore the 
inhibition so far as services within the College were concerned. The 
Bishop appealed to the Court of Arches and a private inquiry was 
opened in the Parish Church of East Grinstead on April 4th, 1848, and 
on June 3rd of the same year the case came on for trial. The real 
point at issue was whether the College was subject to the Bishop's 
jurisdiction and Sir H. J. Fust, the Judge of the Court of Arches, 
decided that Dr. Neale was liable to ecclesiastical censure, but the 
Court would be satisfied with admonishing him to abstain from 
officiating in future without due authority, that authority being the 
license of the Bishop. Dr. Neale was condemned in the whole costs. 
The Bishop remained of the same mind for 1 3 years, when he virtually 
withdrew the inhibition, it being formally withdrawn in November, 
1863, though Dr. Neale had never, as he himself writes, "withdrawn 
a single word, nor altered a single pi'actice (except in a few instances 
by way of going further)." Dr. Neale at once responded by dedicat- 
ing his "Seatonian Poems" by permission "to the Lord Bishop of 
Chichester, in token of veneration of his character and office, and of 
thankfulness for his many labours." Thus was the matter happily 
and gracefully ended. Dr. Neale died on Aug. 6th, 1866, aged 48 
years, greatly loved by the College pensioners. His work in connec- 
tion with St. Margaret's Sisterhood is dealt with elsewhere. 

17. William Hooper Attree, Nov. 28th, 1866, to March 18th, 1872. 

18. John Henry Rogers, M.D., March 28th, 1872, to Oct. 18th, 
1879, when he died suddenly. He was the founder of the first 
Cottage Hospital in East Grinstead. 

19. George Covey, M.E.C.8. Eng., L.S.A., Dec. 25th, 1879, to 
July, 1893. 

20. James Harrison, the present Warden, was appointed on July 
10th, 1893. He was educated at Rossal School, Owen's College, the 
London Hospital and Edinburgh. He was made a Licentiate of the 
Royal College of Physicians at the last named place in 1881, and in 
the same year became a Member of the Royal College of Surgeons of 
England. He is also a Member of the British Medical Association 
and was for a time senior house surgeon at the Manchester Royal 
Infirmary. He came to East Grinstead from Devonport, where he 
was medical attendant to H.R.H. the Duke of Edinburgh and his 
household and also assistant surgeon to the Royal Albert Hospital in 
that town. He is at the present time one of the Medical Officers to 
the East Grinstead General Dispensary and Cottage Hospital, also 


Medical Officer of the East Grinstead Workhouse and the High Grove 
Sanatorium, Public Vaccination Officer for East Grinstead, and 
Surgeon to the East Grinstead Court of Foresters and Sanctuary of 

By his will the founder of the College ordained that 
" there shall be two of the honest and better sort of the 
inhabitants of the said town of East Grinstead, 
associates to the said Warden, to be elected and chosen, 
from time to time, by me and my heirs for the better 
government and ordering of the said Hospital or 
College." They were each to receive 3. 6s. 8d. per 
annum. This office of Associate or Assistant Warden 
has been held by many distinguished people, as the 
following list will show : 

Edward Iron. 

Edward Balder. 

Sackville Turner. 

Sir Henry Compton, Bart., of Brambletye, son-in-law of the 
founder, appointed 1628. Sir Henry took more interest in the cause 
of King Charles than he did in Sackville College. He was one of 
the Sussex Eoyalists whose estates were sequestered by an ordinance 
issued on Aug. 19th, 1643, but he was allowed to compound by paying 
to Cromwell's Exchequer the sum of 1,372. 2s. 

Edward Bender. 

John Thacker. 

Edward Lucas was elected by the pensioners themselves about 1645. 
He worked extremely hard in promoting the claims of the inmates to 
the money left them by the founder, and it was almost solely due to his 
voluntary exertions that the College was preserved as a charitable 
institution. He was receiver of the College, and died, deeply mourned, 
on Nov. 29th, 1667. 

Eichard Cole. 

Eev. E. Crayford, Vicar of East Grinstead, appointed in 1668. 

James Linfield, appointed 1674. 

Thomas More, appointed 1674. 

Eev. John Saywell, DD., Vicar of East Grinstead, appointed 1684. 

John Milles, appointed Sept. 29th. 1688. 

Thomas' Bodle, appointed Sept. 29th, 1689. This sub-warden farmed 
the land around the College and also owned property in Church Street. 

Edmund Head, appointed Sept. 29th, 1706. 

John Millington, appointed Aug. 27th, 1715, afterwards Warden. 

Eichard Still, appointed Sept. 29th, 1716. 

Francis Green, appointed Dec. 25th, 1718. 

Benjamin Faulconer, appointed March 25th, 1727. 

John Thorpe, appointed Sept. 29th, 1727. 

Edward Green, appointed March 25th, 1749. 

John Smith. 


Nathaniel More, 1762. 
John Cranston, of East Court, 1767. 

Lord George Sackville, appointed Sept. 23rd, 1769. For an account 
of the life of this famous nobleman see Parliamentary History. 
Edward Bodle, June 13th, 1829. 

Charles Nairn Hastie, of Placeland, appointed June 13th, 1829, 
died 25th December, 1860. 

Hon. and Rev. R. W. Sackville West, M.A., appointed Aug. 26th, 
1848, afterwards Earl De la Warr. 
George Lowdell, appointed Aug. 26th, 1848. 

John Heniy Rogers, M.D., appointed Sept. 12th, 1853, subsequently 

George Elliot Clarke, of Frampost, appointed 1872, died 1879. 
Kenneth Robert Murchison, J.P., of Brockhurst, appointed 1873. 
He bore the expense of erecting the west boundary wall of the College 
grounds, and one stone, with the following inscription, now almost 
defaced, was built into it : 






Arthur Hastie, of Placeland, appointed 1878, died Nov. 10th, 1901. 

Charles Henry Gatty, M. A., D.L., J.P., of Felbridge Place, appointed 
1881, died Dec. 12th, 1903. 

Arthur Hepburn Hastie, of East Grinstead, and 17, Queen Street, 
Mayfair, practising as a solicitor at 65, Lincolns Inn Fields, appointed 
17th November, 1901. 

Muriel Countess De la Warr, appointed April 8th, 1904, the first 
lady to hold the office. 



THE manorial history of East Grinstead is very vague 
and it is difficult to identify modern names with the 
Manors or pieces of Manors referred to in such ancient 
documents as are accessible to the student of archaeology. 
The old manors were by no means co-terminous with the 
parish, or even the county, neither did they comprise 
unbroken estates, but included lands scattered all over 
the Kingdom. 


The Manor of Grinstead is not mentioned in Domesday 
Book. On September 29th, 1284, Alexander ffoghell 
(Sergeant of Grensted) returned 2. 10s. 9|d. as Queen 
Eleanor's rents from the Manor of Grensted for one year. 
In 1346, Edward III. gave it to the Cobham family, it 
having been forfeited to the Crown by Sir Thomas de 
Arderne, who had been convicted of rape and murder. 
According to a return dated January 2nd, 1412, John 
Halsham had the Manor of Grenstede, and it was then 
worth 13. Galfredus de Say gave the Manor to the 
Knights Templars, but by 1468 it had got back again 
into Royal hands, for Edward IV. granted it to his 
Queen Consort for life. 

In 1565 the Manor was greatly enlarged by the addition 
of lands in the neighbourhood of Eastbourne, for on 
December 8th the Manor and demesnes of Wilmington 
and other possessions of the Dean and Chapter of 
Chichester in that neighbourhood were conveyed to the 
Queen that she might grant them to Sir Richard Sackville 
(Under Treasurer of the Exchequer) and his heirs for 
ever, the Manor and demesnes of Wilmington to be held 
of the Crown in capite by the service of the 20th part of 
a knight's fee and the residue in free socage, as of the 


Manor of East Green stead by fealty only. This Manor 
of Wilmington was afterwards charged with 20 a year 
for the support of Sackville College, Elast Grinstead. It 
now forms part of the possessions of the Duke of 

At an inquest held in East Grinstead on August 19th, 
1574, concerning the possessions of Henry Alfrey, an 
idiot, who had died on March 6th preceding, it appeared 
that he held certain lands and tenements called Heathland, 
in Estgrynsted, of Philip, Earl of Surrey, as of his Manor 
of Sheffield Grensted, by rent of 20s. in free socage ; and 
they were computed to be worth 7. 7s. lOd. This same 
family owned Gulledge, Tilkhurst and other properties. 

In 1580, at an inquest held concerning the estates of 
John Payne, of East Grinstead, it was proved that two 
burgages and two portlands called Gaynesford, and a 
cottage called the Forge, were held of Queen Elizabeth 
in chief, as of her Manor of Estgreensted, the two 
burgages by fealty and rent of 12d. and the cottage by 
fealty and rent of 10d., the burgages being worth 53s. 4d. 
and the cottage 13s. 4d. The same person held another 
burgage and portland of the same Manor, and these were 
rented at 17d. and worth 20s. He was also seised of a 
croft containing three acres and called Shortes Crofte, 
and a field of seven acres called the Greenefylde, held of 
Philip, Earl of Arundel, as of his Manor of Sheffyld 
Greenested by fealty, the former at a rent of 18d. and 
worth 6s., and the latter at a rent of 7d. and worth 4s. 

In 1606 the Manor of Grinstead was rented at 
11. 8s. ll^d. per annum, and in 1835 it belonged to 
the Biddulph family, of Petworth. The Manor of 
Sheffield Grinsted was purchased, about 60 years ago, by 
the late Mr. William Pearless, and the Lordship is now 
held by his two sons, James and Reginald, as his trustees. 


The Manor and ruined mansion of Brambletye have, 
by means of Horace Smith's well-known novel, very little 
of which is based on fact, acquired a fame which they 


scarcely merit. It is undoubtedly the most interesting 
of the old East Grinstead Manors, but the ruined 
" castle" was never the scene of the events which are so 
graphically described in " Brambletye House." It is 
referred to in Domesday Book as " Branbertie." In the 
time of Edward the Confessor it was possessed by one 
Cola, and after the Conquest was held by Ralph, of the 
Earl of Moreton and Cornwall, half-brother to the 
Conqueror. His barony subsequently became known as 
" The Honour of the Eagle," a corruption from the name 
of Gilbert de 1'Aigle, to whom Henry I. gave all Earl 
Moreton's estates. The term " Honour" was usually 
applied to a lordship which possessed subsidiary lordships, 
though at one time no lordship was deemed an "Honour" 
unless it belonged to the King. 

In the reign of Edward I. (1272-1307) the Manor and 
the right of the patronage to the chapel were vested in 
the Aldham or Audeham family. The first of the family 
was Baldwin de Aldham, who succeeded as heir to his 
mother, Isabella de la Haye, who was heiress of William 
of Montacute. About 1285 the Bishop of Chichester, 
John, Prior of Lewes, and Alard, parson of the church 
of Grenestede, granted license to John de Monte Acuto 
to set up a private chapel in his house of Lavertyefor the 
use of his mother, probably an infirm or aged woman 
who was unable to reach the Parish Church. For this 
privilege Montacute paid the incumbent of the parish a 
bezant yearly during the mother's lifetime, on the 
understanding that at her death all divine offices should 
cease in the chapel at Lavertye. On the death of William 
of Montacute his widow, Nicholaia, held the hamlet and 
patronage of the chapel, with knight's fees in Buckhurst 
and elsewhere. 

In 1322 Francis Aldham forfeited his property, includ- 
Brambletye and Lavertye. These were granted on April 
loth, 1326, to Panciusde Controne, the King's physician, 
for life, to secure him an annuity of 100 per annum so 
long as he should stay in this country. Francis de 
Aldham was at the Battle of Borough bridge 16th March, 
1322, and was taken prisoner, and afterwards sentenced 


to be drawn for acts of treason and to be hanged for 
homicides and robbery committed by him, which sentence 
was executed at Windsor. 

Brambletye seems, however, shortly to have reverted 
to the Aldhams, for we find (1 Edward III., 1326-7) that 
a Francis de Aldeham held on the day of his death the 
Manor of Brambletye of the King in chief, as of the 
Honour of the Eagle, by the service of half a knight's fee, 
a whole knight's fee being then 640 acres of land under 
cultivation. In this family it seems to have continued 
until 1336, when John, son of John Seynclere, was 
declared to be the nearest heir. He died in 1389, and 
upon an inquisition taken it appeared that he had held 
Brambletye of the Duke of Lancaster as of the Honour 
of the Eagle. In 1386-7 John Seyntclere held jointly 
with Mary, his wife, inter alia, the Manors of Brambletye 
and Lavertye. Thomas Seyntclere is mentioned in 1412 
as having lands in East Grinstead of the yearly value of 
10, and a certain annuity receivable from the Lordship 
of Lewes of 20. Thomas Sender (the name occurs 
variously spelt), of East Grinstead, Heigh ton, &c., was 
at the Battle of Agincourt 25th October, 1415. In 1411-2 
John Pelham (a connection of the Seyntclere family) had, 
inter alia, " the Manor of Bembiltye 2, and the Manor 
of Lavertye, worth nothing beyond reprises ; " that is, 
yearly deductions, duties, charges, &c. According to the 
Felham deeds, in 1422, Heyton St. Clare has a certain 
park called Lavertye. This park and the house were 
returned as worth nothing, beyond the upkeep of the 
fencing of the park and of the ditches ; to the same park 
belonged 100 acres of arable land, of which the value per 
annum was put at 6d. per acre, and 12 acres of meadow 
valued at 16d. per annum and assessed at 20s. It was 
then still held of the Duchy of Lancaster as of the Honour 
of the Eagle. 

In 1428 Galfridus Motte, a priest, re-conveyed to 
William Cheyne, Knt., and others, inter alia, his right 
in the Manor of Brambletye ; William Cheyne had lands 
in Dalyngregg (Dallingridge), in East Grinstead, worth 
4 yearly. The Manor of Brambletye was in the 


possession of Sir Thomas Seyntclere at his death, 6th 
May, 1435. He left three daughters co- heiresses 
Elizabeth, then aged 12; Eleanor, 11 ; and Edith, nine 
years. The property was held of the King by military 
service and was worth 100s. a year. Brambletye came 
to his eldest daughter, Elizabeth, who married, firstly, 
William Lovell, by whom she had one son, Henry, who 
died, leaving two daughters co-heiresses, Elizabeth and 
Agnes, and, secondly, she married Richard Lewkenor. 
On 10th December, 1473, a jury found that Elizabeth, 
wife of Richard Lewkenor and daughter of Margaret 
Seyntclere, was the co-heiress of Sir William Bulleyn. 
Richard Lewkenor is the first person of that name who 
is described as of Brambletye. He probably built the 
house at Brambletye which preceded the one now in 

In 1503 died Sir Reginald Bray, who married Catherina, 
daughter of Nicholas Hussey, who was described as of 
Brambletye, and was probably a relative of the Lewkenors. 

In 1551 a return was made of the extent of all the 
manors, &c., being the inheritance of Harry Wyndsor, 
Esq., an idiot (committed to the care of Sir Andrew 
Dudley), and Constance, wife of Thomas Ryve, Esq., 
was declared his sister and next heir apparent, his 
moiety of the Manor of Brambletye and Lavortye being 
16 per annum. 

In the will of John Shery (archdeacon of Lewes and 
precentor of St. Paul's), dated 1st August, 1552, proved 
in November following, he leaves to his nephew, John 
Monke (possibly John the Monk), "my parte moite and 
purparte of the Manors of Bravelly and Lainerty in 
Grynsted and Hartfield." In 1589 William and John 
Shrev, or Sherry, or Sheref, seem to have been connected 
with the Manor. 

A family of the name of Pickas, Pycas, or Pykas, 
were at Brambletye circa 1579. James Pickas held it 
in this year. John Payne held the Tanhouse Mead of 
three acres in East Grin stead of James Pickas, gent., 
as of his Manor of Brambletie, in free socage by fealty 
and rent of 7d., the mead being valued at 6s. Drew 


Pickesse was returned, 1st October, 1586, as M.P. for 
East Grinstead, and in 1589 was found seized of the 
Manor of Brambletye. 

On 25th May, 1588, Thomas Cure died seized of 
the Manor of Lavortye, leaving George his eldest son 
and heir. This Thomas Cure was the donor of the Seal 
to the Borough Town of East Grinstead in 1572. 

In 1603 Thomas, Lord Buckhurst, possessed the Manor 
of Brambletye; 1610 to 1621 Richard Earl of Dorset 
held it of the King as of his Honour of Aquila at the 
value of 4. 

The property next came into the possession of the 
Comptons, and to Sir Henry Compton is ascribed the 
building of the house which now stands in ruins. 

Henry, Baron Compton, of Compton Wynyates, who 
died in 1589, married Lady Frances Hastings, who died 
in 1574, and then Anne, (laughter of Sir John Spencer 
and widow of Lord Monteagle. Sir Henry Compton, of 
Brambletye, was a son of this second marriage. He 
married Lady Cecille, daughter of Robert Sackville, Earl 
of Dorset, who bore him three daughters and four sons. 
The second son, Henry, was slain in a duel by Lord 
Chandos and was buried at East Grinstead in June, 
1652. The fourth son, Thomas, was the last of the 
family to possess Brambletye. 

The family resided here during part of the Common- 
wealth, 1649-1659, and James Compton, the son of Sir 
Henry Compton, died there on 28th July, 1659, and 
was buried at Withyham, which circumstance disposes 
of the report that the house was destroyed in the time of 
Cromwell. The last Court held by the Comptons was 
on January 13th, 1660, the year of the Restoration, and 
was the first act of the then proprietor, George Compton, 
on the return to peaceable times. 

Sir James Richards next lived at Brambletye. He was 
of a French family, his father having come into England 
with Queen Henrietta Maria, the unfortunate wife of 
Charles I. For saving several men of war James 
Richards was knighted and afterwards February 22nd, 
1683-4 was raised to the rank of a baronet, being then 


described as "of Brambletye House." He is the last 
known occupier of the mansion, or castle, as it is now 
termed. It is said that the owner was suspected of 
treasonable practices, and officers, on visiting the house, 
found there a considerable quantity of arms and military 
stores. The owner, whoever he may have been, was 
then out hunting, and getting wind of the discovery, 
never returned to his house. It may have been this same 
baronet, for he is known to have married, as his second 
wife, a Spanish lady, named Beatrice Herrara, and to 
have quitted this country and settled in Spain, where 
some of his descendants rose to high positions in the 
army of that country. The fourth baronet was Sir 
Philip Richards, a general officer in the Spanish service. 
He married the eldest daughter of the Duke of Montemar, 
but of this baronet or his descendants nothing further is 

No Court appears to have been held after 1660 until 
August 19th, 1714, when the Biddulphs held their first 
Court. They purchased the Manor about 1673. In 1774 
Charles Biddulph, of Burton, near Arundel, was owner 
of the Manor and of the lands his ancestors purchased. 
In 1790 John Biddulph held it, and it continued in that 
family until 1866, when the late Mr. Donald Larnach 
purchased the land, but not the manorial rights, and 
built the existing mansion, which was partially destroyed 
by fire on September 18th, 1903, but immediately 

The present Lords of the Manor are Mr. J. R. Fearless 
and Mr. R. W. Fearless, of East Grinstead, who hold 
the lordship jointly as Trustees of their late father, Mr. 
William Fearless. The Manor, according to the accounts 
of Mr. Geo. Bankin, who was steward in 1782, consisted 
chiefly of freehold tenants, who held of the lord by 
fealty, suit of court, heriot, relief and other ser\ 7 ices and 
certain yearly rents. The best beast was due for a 
heriot, for every tenement of which a tenant died seized. 
Some of the copyholds were subject to heriot in kind 
and fineable at the lord's will. Other copyholds were 
stinted as to heriot and fine, 


Lavertye or Lavortye seems to have been a sub- 
feudation of the Manor of Brambletye, and the two have 
not always been held by the same person. In 1691 
John Newnham, the elder, gent., was seized of the Manor 
of Lavertye and 500 acres of land thereto belonging. In 
this family it seems to have remained until 1774. In 
1793 an Act was passed for investing the fee simple of 
part of the Manor and estates of Lavertye in East 
Grinstead, in John Trayton Fuller, of Ashdown House, 
who was succeeded by his son, Augustus Elliott Fuller, 
whose daughter Clara married Sir George Tapps, Bart., 
who afterwards assumed the name of Tapps Gervis. His 
daughter Clara (Miss Tapps Gervis) is the present life 
tenant of the Ashdown House Estate and the Manor of 


This is a very widespread Manor, over which Lord 
Sackville now exercises rights. In the early days it was 
in the possession of the Priory of St. Pancras at Lewes, 
and possibly included a gift of 100 solidates or one hide 
of land made by Alured de Bendeville and Sibilla his 
wife to the monks of Lewes and confirmed by King 

In 1288 Roger de Sautknappe gave up to the Monks 
of Lewes all the rights which he had in a certain land 
called Hengteswynde, in the Manor of Hymberhorne. 
There is an extremely interesting deed preserved of 
about the year 1336 which, reduced to modern language, 
shows that Peter de Joceux, then Prior of Lewes, 
granted to Walter le Fyke and his heirs for ever a field 
called Feldlonde, which abutted on the road leading 
from East Grinstead to Imberhorne, on payment of a 
yearly rent of 4s. and the customary heriots, the new 
owner to make " suit at our Court of Imberhorne for the 
said tenement from three weeks to three weeks for 
ever." He was never to part with it except to the 
Priory of St. Pancras so long as they were minded to 
give for it as much as would be offered in good faith by 

a stranger. 

i 2 


In 1537 the Manor was granted to Thomas, Lord 
Cromwell. A few years later it came by exchange 
into the hands of William, Earl of Arundel, who 
held it for about 12 years and then granted the 
Manor to the Crown in exchange for other lands. 
From, the Royal hands it passed to the Sackvilles, who 
have long since sold all the lands, but have retained the 
manorial rights. In 1567, according to an inquest held 
at Cokefield to ascertain the estates of Stephen Bord, 
Lord Bukherst was then the owner of this Manor ; 
Stephen Bord holding Racies of the Manor by fealty and 
rent of 3d., and numerous records since show that it has 
never left the possession of the family. The last Court- 
leet was held at the Crown Hotel, East Grinstead, about 
20 years ago, when the only tenant who put in an 
appearance to do homage and be sworn in on the silver 
rods was Mr. Head, of Kingscote Nursery. He paid a 
penny and had a glass of whiskey and a cigar in return. 
The custom of Borough-English is believed to have at 
one time prevailed in connection with this Manor a 
custom whereby entailed property went to the youngest 
son. The Plawhatch estate was originally part of the 


This was a fairly large Manor owned in the 12th and 
13th centuries by an important family bearing the same 
name as the estate. In the reign of Henry VII. it 
belonged to John Aske, whose family had long held it, 
but who was convicted of high treason and forfeited his 
possessions to the King, by whom the Manor was 
granted, under a patent dated August 23rd, 1536, to Sir 
John Gage and his heirs. It was charged, at one time, 
with 6s. a year, due to the King in respect of his Forest 
of Ashdown. 

Sir John Gage, K.G. (1481-1557), of Firle, was 
Constable of the Tower of London and an eminent 
statesman and general. His tomb may still be seen in 
the church of West Firle, with the recumbent figures of 
himself and his wife beautifully sculptured in marble. 


Sir Edward Gage, son of Sir John Gage, K.G., who 
died on December 26th, 1567, was seized of the Manor 
and by his will : 

In consideration of her years and the number of children it hath 
pleased Almighty God to send me of her body, for the which I take 
myself to be more bound and thankful to Him than for all the worldly 
goods and treasures, I give to my said well-beloved wife Elizabeth 
further all the whole rest of my Manors of Hedgecourt and Burstowe 
and my Manor of Marisfield and all my lands in Estgrinsted. 

At an inquest held at Lewes on March 23rd following 
it appeared that the Manor of Shovelstrode was held of 
the Queen in chief by service of part of a knight's fee 
and was worth 14. 19s. lOd. 

On April 12th, 1614, John Avenn became tenant of 
the site and demesne lands of the Manor for 21 years at 
an annual rental of 55, one fat bullock and six capons. 
Subsequent owners of all or portions of the Manor were 
Robert Goodwyn and his son-in-law, John Conyers, who 
both represented East Grinstead in Parliament, Sir 
William Gage, Bart. (1718), Sir John Major (1773), Sir 
John Henniker, Bart. (1787), and the Harcourt family 
(1835). The early Court Rolls of this Manor are 
preserved among the manuscripts of Lord Gage, of 
Firle Park, near Lewes. 


This was formerly a Manor known also by the names 
of Haskenden, Harkenden or Stone Rocks. According 
to the Burrell MSS. it was contained within the parish 
of East Grinstead, and on an inquisition held in 1593 
William Ridder was found seized of it. In 1627, at a 
Court held for the Manor of Horsted Keynes Broad- 
hurst, a presentment was made that Robert Goodwyn, 
the Covenanter M.P. for East Grinstead, held to himself 
and his heirs " a Manor freely called Stonrocks, alias 
Haskinden alias Placeland by the rent of 5d. yearly." 

In 1579 John Payne died seized of a field called 
Conyclappers, held of John Duffeld, jun., as of his Manor 
of Hakenden in free socage by fealty and rent of Id., 
the field being worth 4. 



The Manor of Horsted Keyries Broadhurst, also 
comprised, in East Grinstead, the Lanefeld of 10 acres, 
Tannershyll of seven acres, and Stonefeeld of 10 acres, 
Nicholas Lewkenor and Richard Michelborn being the 
joint Lords a couple of centuries ago. 

At a much earlier date there was a religious house 
known as East Grinstead Place, situate possibly in or near 
the field now lying between the Institute and Placeland 
stables. From this is evidently derived the name Place- 
land. The Moat Pond and the Dean Fields may have had 
some connection with this religious house. Placeland 
at one time belonged to Nicholas Firminger, who left it 
to his wife Frances for life, with remainder to his and her 
daughter, also named Frances. The family of the present 
owners, the Hasties, like their cousins, the Nairnes, were 
settled in Scotland prior to the Jacobite rising of 1745. 
After the rising many members of both families were 
attainted by Act of the Scotch Parliament and they fled 
to the Court of France. Archibald Hastie, with his two 
sons, Hepburn (who became in 1799 a Director of the 
Westminster Fire Office) and James, returned to London 
between 1750 and 1760. They took building leases 
from the then Duke of Portland and laid out a number 
of important areas, including Harley Place, Devonshire 
Place, &c. These leases remained in the family for 99 
years, the last of them expiring about 1870. Hepburn's 
son, Charles Nairne Hastie, was a London solicitor in 
partnership with the solicitor to the then Duke of 
Portland, and used to stay with his cousins, the Nairnes 
of Barnets Place, who owned much of the parishes of 
West Hoathly and Horsted Keynes. While there he 
met and married the only daughter of Nicholas and 
Frances Firminger, and so became in time possessed of 
Placeland, where he came to reside soon after the 
marriage. Representatives of the family have ever since 
been in residence there. A former occupier of the 
property was John Ready, one of whose relatives entered 
the Army and rose to the rank of Major-General, being 
afterwards appointed Governor of the Isle of Man. His 
daughter Mary married Dr. Charles Milner, and their 


son is Lord Milner, the famous statesman and late High 
Commissioner of South Africa. 


In 1650 this Manor comprised in the parish of East 
Grinstead : " One messuage or tenem 4 one barne and 
certaine assart lands called leggs heath" containing 10 
acres and rented at Is. per annum ; " one tenem* called 
Brockets als Tyces al Tavels and one barne and 3 crofts 
of assert lands at Plawhatch " of four acres at 9s ; " one 
cottage and one pcell of land called the Clay Pitts" of 
2^ acres at Is.; "ij peeces of assert lands called Clay- 
pitts" of six acres at 2s.; and "two pcells of assert 
lands called Twy fords " of seven acres at Is. 6d. At 
this same date there was held for this Manor, according 
to the returns of the Commissioners appointed to report 
on the royal lands, "a Court Barron or three weekes 
court, still continued from three weeks to three" for 
trial of actions under 20s. The jurisdiction of this 
Court extended over the Hundred, the Town and the 
Borough of East Grinstead. The tenants of the Manor 
had to perform their service at these Courts. There was 
also the Aves Court held annually on the next Tuesday 
after All Saints Day and the Woodmote Court held three 
weeks later. At the former the tenants had to pay their 
fees for turning out cattle on the Forest "yearely for a 
bullocke half a penny, and for a horse a penny," and at 
the latter Court make presentments of abuses of customs, 
of encroachments, &c. The custom of this Manor was 
for land to descend to the eldest son or daughter, who 
had to pay one year's quit rent for admission upon 
decease. A heriot of best beast was payable on death 
or surrender. Mr. Barchard is the present Lord of this 


Walhill was probably at one period part of the Manor 
of Imberhorne, but in time became distinct and may be 
the Warlege referred to in Domesday Book. 


John Culpeper died at Wakehurst on March 25th, 
1565, leaving as his son and heir Thomas Culpeper. 
He died seized of divers lands and tenements in East 
Grinstead and elsewhere, held of Sir Thomas Browne 
by fealty only as of his Manor of Walstead. When an 
inquisition was taken after the death of Thomas Culpeper 
in 1571 this was confirmed. 

From a petition presented to Parliament on February 
23rd, 1802, by certain inhabitants of East Grinstead it 
appeared that there was " a certain common and waste 
land called Ashurst Wood lying and being within the 
Manor of Ashurst, or Grinsted Wild, or Walhill Manor," 
and the petitioners set forth that it might be much 
improved if enclosed, divided into allotments and dis- 
tributed among them. In 1835 the Manor of Ashurst, 
or Grinsted Wild, or Walhill, belonged to the Earl of 
Burlington, from whose family it was purchased by the 
late Mr. William Fearless, whose two sons and Trustees 
are the present Lords of this Manor. 

The Manor of Standen was subordinate to the Manor 
of Imberhorne, but Horsfield states that it paid quit 
rents, and courts were held for it down to 1835. 

The Manor of Brockhurst is possibly the Biochest of 
Domesday Book. Its records are very scanty, but we 
do know that in 1574 it belonged to Philip, Earl of 
Surrey, and that it then chiefly consisted of freehold 
tenements held of the Lord by fealty and certain rents 
and heriots. The custom of Borough-English prevailed 
in regard to it. By an inquisition taken at Horsham 
in 1606-7 it appears to have been subordinate to the 
Manor of Sheffield-Grensted, of which it was held by 
John Leedes by fealty and 4d. rent yearly. 

The Manors of Hazelden (granted by Henry VIII. to 
John Baker, his Attorney-General), Bysshecourt and 
Maresfield (which included the Priory, Forest Row and 
100 acres of land) were also partly in the parish of East 

There was also a Manor of Mayes within the parish, 
and in 1624 it belonged to Richard, Earl of Dorset. 
John Gowland, apothecary to the King, owned it 150 


years later, and he sold it to Mr. Gibbs Crawfurd, who 
exercised Lordship over it from 1786 to 1790. 

The Bower was a reputed Manor in East Grinstead and 
Hartfield, and Goddenwick another in East Grinstead, 
owned in 1788 by Mr. Gibbs Crawfurd. There is still a 
Bower Farm at Hammerwood. Goddenwick Manor 
possibly extended to Lindfield and was connected with 
Mr. Gibbs Crawfurd's estate there. 

Pixton's was also a reputed Manor, and in 1507 we find 
John Payne, senior, of Forest Row, leaving to his widow 
for life the Manor called Pyckestorms. 



THE following particulars of the charities of East 
Grinstead have been gathered from the manuscript and 
printed records in the Charity Commissioners' office and 
from other sources : 


There are eight very small old cottages, situate well 
back from the London Road, opposite the White Lion 
Hotel, which have always been known as "The Alms- 
houses." It is supposed that they were left to the town 
by Richard Lewkenor, of Brain bletye, or his wife, Lady 
Katherine. The only direct evidence that they so left 
such a property is furnished by an inscription on a brass 
now fixed to the east wall of East Grinstead Church. 
This has often been quoted in whole or in part, but rarely 
correctly given. It reads : 

Here under this marbille stone lyeth Dame Kateryne Ore}', daughter 
of Thomas, some tyme Lorde S (*) lis, wyff to Sir Thomas Grey, 
Knyght and banneret, and after wyff unto the Honorable Esquyer 
Richard Lewkener the elder of Brambilletey and oon of the ladys to 
Quene Elizabeth, wyff of blessed memory Edward iiij the and after- 
warde to Quene Elizabeth, wyff unto owre Soffereyne Lorde Kyng 
Harry the vij tbe the wiche passed owte of this transsitory worlde the 
ix th day of June the yere of owre Lorde Grod M'CCCCCV. ; and the same 
Dame Kateryne and Richard her husbonde have fownded, indued and 
inorned thys present Churche of Estgrenested to the lawde and honor 
of God in dyvers ornamentis and a almess howse of iij parsons on 
whose sowlis Ihu for thy bitter passion have on them thy mercyffulle 
compassyon. Amen. 

This brass was rescued from the ruins of the church, 
inserted in a tablet of marble, and placed on the east wall 
by Thomas Wakeham, of the Hermitage, in 1798. 

There is not the slightest record concerning the alms- 
houses to be found anywhere. In 1835 the Charity 

* The brass is here pierced and a few letters (possibly " ca ") obliterated. 


Commissioners made an investigation, and ascertained 
that they were occupied by labouring people, whose only 
right seemed to rest on permission given, as vacancies 
occurred, by Mr. George Bankin, Steward of the Manor 
of Brambletye, to whom all applications were made. 
This had for many years been the custom. The Lord of 
the Manor claimed no right in connection with the houses, 
and Mr. Bankin had granted to such persons as he thought 
deserving the privilege of living in the different tene- 
ments, without entertaining the slightest notion of any 
legal power vested in him to do so. In many cases the 
privilege had descended from parent to child. The 
repairs were always done by the occupants, and when 
Mr. Bankin died those then in residence retained posses- 
sion and the property became " key hold," the only 
evidence of ownership being the holding of the door- 
key. The houses have since been several times sold, but 
all early title deeds are missing. The general belief that 
they were the almshouses referred to in the inscrip- 
tion quoted above is strengthened by the fact that the 
founders lived at Brambletye, and that the Steward of 
that Manor long exercised the right of nominating the 

The houses in Church Street, which face the church- 
yard, are described in some of the title deeds as "The 
Old Almshouses," and it is possible that they once con- 
stituted one of the local charities and were the houses 
referred to in the will dated December 12th, 1579, of 
John Payne, of the town of East Grinstead, which con- 
tained the following : 

Item I give unto James Duff eld, Stephen Ffrenche and George 
Harman churchwardens of Estegrensted and to their successors wardens 
there for ever to the only use of the most needy poor persons of 
Estegrensted all that tenement and orchard which I late leased to one 
John Hastinges and which was formerly in the possession of one . . . 
widdow paying the services due to the lord thereof. 

He died on January 19th, 1580, and in the report of 
an inquest held at East Grinstead on March 21st following 
all the words quoted above are scratched out, as though 
the testator had altered his mind, or the writer of the 


inquest report had made an error, but the following 
appears as a codicil to the same will : 

He did bequeath and give by words nuncupative unto James 
Duffeilde, Stephen ffrench and George Harman churchwardens of 
East Greensteade and their successors wardens there for ever to the 
onlie use of the most neede poore persons of East Greensteade all that 
tenement or orcharde w th th'app'tancs w h he late leased to one John 
Hastings and w ch was sometime possessed of one Baylies widow paying 
the services to the chiefe lorde thereof. 

The above testator, John Payne, was son of George 
Payne, of East Grinstead, who died in 1538, grandson 
of John Payne, of Pixtons, in Forest Row, who died in 
1507, and an ancestor of Robert Payne, who founded 
the free school in East Grinstead in 1708. 


This ancient and very widespread charity has a deeply 
interesting history. Henry Smith, commonly known as 
" Dog Smith," was a citizen and alderman of London, 
and by a deed dated October 20th, 1620, he conveyed 
all his real estates in Sussex, Middlesex and London for 
charitable uses, subject to the Trustees paying him 500 
a year for his own use. He at first retained power of 
revocation, but after a time withdrew this, and then, 
becoming dissatisfied, brought an action against his 
Trustees, and as a result, in a decree dated June 20th, 
1626, they were ordered to let him have the use, for life, 
of his mansion in Silver Street, London, and all the 
profits arising therefrom. In a deed bearing date January 
20th, 1626-7, he fully set forth his intentions as to the 
class of people he desired to benefit by his large 
gifts. His primary intention was to help the poor and 
infirm and he ordered that none of his money was to go 
" to or for the relief of any persons who should be given 
to excessive drinking, common swearers, pilferers, or 
otherwise notoriously scandalous, or to any persons that 
should have been incorrigible or disobedient to those 
whose servants they should have been or to any vagrant 
persons." He further directed that all recipients of his 
bounty must have resided five years in the parish before 


receiving the relief and, if able, must have worked when 
work was offered them. He died on January 3rd, 
1627-8, aged 79, and by his will, dated April 24th, 1627, 
he greatly augmented his previous gifts. The extent 
of the estate to be administered may be gathered from a 
Parliamentary report issued in August, 1828. At that 
date the Trustees of the charity held 4,047 acres of land, 
yielding a rental of 3,760. 4s. lOd. per annum; from a 
further unstated quantity the sum of 95 was realised ; 
tithes brought in another 520. 8s. 4d. per annum ; and 
the average profits of a manor were 186. 13s. 4d. In 
addition nine houses yielded 116. 7s. 6d. a year; fixed 
rent charges 215, and quit rents 56. 19s. 8d. There 
was a further sum of 6,185. 12s. Id. invested in redeem- 
able consols, 9,158. 15s. 4d. in 3 per cent, stock and 
1,890. 14s. 7d. in consolidated stock, these three last 
items bringing in 508. 6s. 8d. a year. The Treasurer 
further had in hand a cash sum of 2,335. 17s. lOd. 

On December 20th, 1641, a deed was executed setting 
apart the rents of a certain estate to be divided among 
21 parishes, of which East Grinstead was one. It was 
ordered that the churchwardens and overseers of this 
parish the Vicar, strange to say, is not named should 
receive 15, or an equivalent portion, this sum being 
then 15-220ths of the whole income from this specific 
estate. The income received by East Grinstead has 
varied greatly. From 1813 to 1818 it ranged from 
30. Os. lid. to 35. 11s. 6d.; in 1847 it was 40. 7s. 2d.; 
in 1878 it rose to nearly 60 ; and in 1904 it had dropped 
to 17. 15s. The estate in question is called Stoughton, 
and consists of a house and 315-a. 3-r. 9-p. of land in the 
parishes of Stoughton, Houghton, Errington and Busby, 
in Leicestershire. The first charge on the rent is one of 
24. 2s. 8d., payable to Worth as interest on 804. 10s. 7d. 
borrowed from that parish for the redemption of the land 
tax on Stoughton. 

Up to 1835 it had been the custom to spend all the 
money received by East Grinstead on gowns, costing 
6s. 6d. each, and giving them at a public meeting to the 
poor women belonging to the parish, but not always 


residing in it. The Charity Commissioners characterised 
this as a most undesirable method of dealing with the 
money and suggested that some more fitting appropriation 
of it should be devised. Accordingly a change was made, 
and general drapery goods have since been purchased and 


This educational charity was founded in the year 
1708 by Robert Payne, of Newick, a member of a very 
old East Grinstead family to which reference has already 
been made. In the chancel of East Grinstead Church is 
a tablet bearing the following quaint inscription : 


to the Memory of 
Those Worthy Persons and Loving Brothers 


of Newick, in this County, Gent 8 

the Sons of Edward Payne, late of this Parish, Esq. 

True Friends to Monarchy and Episcopacy 

Generous Promoters of Piety and Charity. 

The Elder in Particular 
Liberally endowed a Free School w th a farm call'd Serreys 

in Eastgrinsted for ever. 

Moreover they left behind them 

a Rare Example of Fraternal Affection 

for they lived together above 40 years 

without the least interruption and with constant agreement. 

As in Life united so in Death not divided 

for they soon followed each other the same year 

and near this Place are both interr'd 

amongst their Ancestors. 

:& ! Carted this Hfe { $ } o, his age. 
An Dom in 1708. 

On the monument appear the arms of the Payne 
family, quartered with, it is presumed, those of Yerwood, 
to which family belonged Hanna, the wife of Edward 
Payne and mother of these two " loving brothers." 

Robert Payne's will was dated August 16th, 1708, the 
same year as he died, and it contained the following : 

Whereas I am minded and intend to found a Free Grammar School 
in East Grinstead aforesaid, to teach and instruct the youth of the said 
parish, and to endow the same with the farms and lauds hereinafter 


mentioned ; And that my Trustees shall and may provide a pious and 
learned master, to teach in the school-house now built in the said 
parish, and adjoining to the said church of East Grinstead aforesaid, 
and to be from time to time nominated and appointed by my said 
Trustees hereafter named, and the Vicar of East Grinstead aforesaid 
for the time being ; And for the better maintenance of such school- 
master I doe hereby give and devise unto the aforesaid Eichard Payne, 
Edward Payne, John Payne, son of the said Charles Payne, and to my 
cousin, Thomas Moore, and to John Staples, clerk, now Vicar of East 
Grinstead, and to their heirs and assignes for ever, all that my 
messuage or tenement, barns, buildings, land and hereditaments, with 
all the appurtenances, commonly called Serryes Farme, or by whatever 
other name or names called or known, situate, lying and being in the 
aforesaid parish of East Grinstead and now in the tenure or occupation 
of the said John Aynscomb or his assignes ; To the intent and purpose 
and upon this trust and confidence that they the said Eichard Payne, 
Edward Payne, John Payne, Thomas Moore and John Staples, and 
the survivors and survivor of them, and his heirs, shall yearly for ever 
pay the whole clear rents and profits of the said farme (after the taxes, 
reparations, and their necessary charges and disbursements deducted) 
to such person for the time being as shall be schoolmaster of the said 
school. And for the continuing of the said charity above mentioned 
for ever, I doe will and appoint, that when all my said Trustees but 
one or two, shall be dead, then the surviving Trustees or Trustee 
shall, by his or their deed of feoffment or other lawful conveyance, 
convey to six others of the most able and nearest relations of the said 
surviving Trustees (whereof the Vicar of East Grinstead for the time 
being, to be one of the said Feoffees) and to their heirs, All the said 
farme, lands, and premises in the occupation of the said John 
Aynscomb, or his assigns to the respective uses and trusts aforesaid, of 
which said new Trustees or Feoffees, after they shall all be dead but 
one or two, the survivors or survivor in like manner to convey to six 
others and their heirs ; and soe to be conveyed by the survivor or two 
survivors, to six others and their heirs for ever, in like manner, for the 
preservation of the said charity for ever, according to the true intent 
of this my last will and testament. Provided always, in case at any 
time hereafter the Vicar of the said parish of East Grinstead, for the 
time being, or any of the inhabitants of the said parish of East 
Grinstead, shall hinder or molest the schoolmaster of the said intended 
Free School to teach in the said school-house adjoining the church of 
East Grinstead, then the said devise of the said farme, lands and 
premises called Serryes, to the said Eichard Payne, Edward Payne, 
John Payne, Thomas Moore, and John Staples, and their heirs, shall 
be void ; and in such case I give and devise my said farme, lands, and 
premises, called Serryes, to my own right heirs for ever. And my further 
will and meaning concerning the said Free School is, that my said 
Trustees and their successors shall order and direct how many scholars 
the schoolmaster shall teach from time to time, at their discretions. 
And that my Trustees and their successors shall have power to let 
leases, for one and twenty years, of the said farme and land called 
Serryes, from time to time, at the full improved rent thereof. 


Thomas Moore, one of the Trustees, was son of the 
testator's kinsman, Eliot Moore, of Wivelsfield, an old 
family, whose monuments appear in their Parish Church. 

For a long time the school was accommodated in the 
vestry of the Parish Church, and the number of scholars 
varied according to the rent received from the farm. In 
the year 1772 the school was closed for a time, as the 
Trustees could not procure a master able to teach Latin in 
addition to other subjects. Nearly three years later the 
following advertisement appeared in the Lewes Journal : 

Twenty pounds a year to teach, ten boys. Apply to Elfred Staples, 
Esquire, East Grinstead. 

Mr. Palmer, of Eastbourne, applied for and obtained 
the situation, and with the accumulated rent an additional 
free scholar was added, making the number eleven. Then 
came the destruction of the church, and consequently the 
school room, in 1785. After its re-building the vestry 
was reported to be ready for re-occupation by the school 
on September 24th, 1808. This vestry is no less than 30 
feet high, it having been intended, when the church was 
built, to divide the space into two rooms, one to be used 
as a vestry, the other as a school room, but the lack of 
funds led to the combination of the two. In 1816 the 
school was associated with the National Society and 
removed to Sackville College, where it flourished until 
1839, when, owing to no room being available, and to a 
quarrel which arose between the master and trustees, it 
was again suspended for about eight years. The average 
number of scholars was then 80, of whom 25 were admitted 
free at the expense of the Trust. The Charity Com- 
missioners held an inquiry into the matter, and in the 
year 1842 the Court of Chancery approved of a scheme 
for the future conduct of the school, which led to bitter 
disputes between Churchmen and Nonconformists and the 
issue of strongly worded pamphlets by the Rev. Christopher 
Nevill, vicar of East Grinstead, on the one side, and the 
Rev. James Blomfield, pastor of the Countess of Hunt- 
ingdon's Church, on the other. This scheme set forth 
that in lieu of the Greek and Latin languages there should 


be taught " the English Language, Reading, Writing and 
Arithmetic, the Catechism of the Church of England and 
the Holy Scriptures." The Trustees and master had all 
tq be members of the Church of England, every child 
admitted had to produce a certificate of baptism, and 
each Sunday, Christmas Day and Good Friday the 
scholars had to attend, with their master, at the morning 
and afternoon services held in the Parish Church. Subject 
to the approval of the Trustees the master was allowed to 
take other than the free scholars. The final clause in the 
scheme was : 

That the children of persons, dissenters from the Established Church, 
shall be permitted to attend at the said school, and shall be capable of 
baing elected scholars of the said charity, such children in all respects 
observing the directions and regulations of the said Trustees of the 

The specific rules drafted by the Trustees under this 
scheme incorporated Psalmody among the subjects 
taught and increased the number of free children to 50, 
allowing others to come in on payment of one shilling a 
week each for one class of scholars and fourperice a week 
for another. The following rules proved particularly 
objectionable to many : 

Every child taught in the school is to be brought to the parish 
church by the master, whenever that church is opened for the celebra- 
tion of divine worship. 

The school on Sunday is open at nine in the morning, and two in the 
afternoon, into which are received all children without any payment, 
who are unable to attend the school during the week. 

The following rule, though quaint, is not of a very 
obnoxious character: 

The master is particularly enjoined, as well by precept as example, 
to see that all the children entrusted to his care, both in school and 
out of school, behave themselves lowly and reverently to all their 

While the school remained closed some evening classes 
were formed at Zion Chapel and over 40 children 

The Free Grammar School was re-opened on November 
8th, 1847, when it found for a time a habitation at 


Cromwell House, in the High Street, and later on in 
what now forms part of Mr. J. B. All work's private 
house. Then at a cost of 5 a year Mr. C. R. Duplex, 
who was at that time the master, hired a stable-like 
tenement of two rooms, which stood in the corner of the 
Hipps field, facing the cottages which now stand in Old 
Road. Here the school was carried on until he retired 
on a pension of 40 a year about the year 1880. 

In 1887 the Charity Commissioners formulated an 
entirely new scheme and founded the Payne Endowment 
as it exists to-day. It is administered by a body of 
Governors, of whom the Vicar for the time being is the 
only ex-officio member. One other is appointed by the 
Urban Council, one by the Magistrates for the Petty 
Sessional Division of East Grinstead and two by the 
Educational Authority. There are also three co-opted 
Governors, elected by the remainder, but the first 
co-opted Governors were nominated in the scheme and 
numbered five. They were Lord Colchester, the late 
Earl De la Warr, the late Mr. K. R. Murchison, of 
Brockhurst, the late Mr. H. R. Freshfield, of Kidbrook, 
and the Rev. A. J. Swainson, Vicar of Forest Row. 
All religious differences were stifled by the following 
clauses : 

Religious opinions or attendance or non-attendance at any particular 
form of religious worship shall not in any way affect the qualification 
of any person for being a Governor under this scheme. 

No boy or girl shall, by reason of any exemption from attending 
prayer or religious worship, or from any lesson or series of lessons on 
a religious subject, be deprived of any advantage or emolument out 
of the endowment of the Foundation to which he or she would other- 
wise have been entitled. 

The scheme authorises the spending of the income on 
evening lectures on u scientific, technical or literary 
subjects," and on the founding of exhibitions each of a 
yearly value of not less than 10 nor more than 30. 
The conditions attaching to them are : 

These Exhibitions shall be awarded on the result of such examina- 
tion as the Governors think fit as nearly as may be equally to boys 
and girls, not less than 12 nor more than 14 years of age, who are of 
the parish of East Grinstead. 


These Exhibitions shall each be tenable for not more than three 
years at any place of education, higher than elementary, approved by 
the Governors. 

Every Exhibition shall be given as the reward of merit, and shall, 
except as herein provided, be freely and openly competed for and shall 
be tenable only for the purposes of education. 

If the holder of an Exhibition shall, in the judgment of the 
Governors, be guilty of serious misconduct or idleness, or fail to 
maintain a reasonable standard of proficiency, or wilfully cease to 
pursue his or her education, the Governors may deprive him or her of 
the Exhibition. 

About 20 years ago Serryes or Surries Farm, situate 
at Ashurst Wood, was sold to the late Mr. Oswald Smith, 
of Hamrnerwood, and has ever since formed part of the 
Hammerwood estate, and the capital is now represented 
by the sum of 3,937. 12s. lid. invested in India 3 
per cent, stock and producing an annual income of 
118. 2s. 4d. The present Governors are: The Rev. 
D. Y. Blakiston, ex-oMcio; Mr. Joseph Rice, nominated 
by the Urban Council ; Mr. W. V. K. Stenning, by the 
Justices ; Mr. W. Young and Mr. S. Jenks, by the Educa- 
tion Authority ; and the Rev. A. J. Swainson, Mr. C. H. 
Everard and Dr. H. S. McCalmont Hill, co-optative 
governors. Mr. E. P. Whitley Hughes is the Clerk to 
the Endowment Trust. 


Thomas Hall, by his will, dated August 12th, 1817, 
left " 20 to be placed out on sound security, the interest 
to be given for ever in bread to 20 poor women, a 
sixpenny loaf to each to be given twice a year on January 
6th and July 6th." He, however, left no instructions as 
to whom the money was to be paid to or who were to be 
Trustees. Messrs. Russell Hall and William Hall, his 
brothers, were the executors, and for three years after his 
death they distributed 10s. worth of bread on each of the 
dates named. They repeatedly applied to the Vicar and 
parish officers to receive the money and invest it, but 
they declined to accept it, so the money remained in the 
executors' hands, was never invested and in time the 
charity entirely lapsed. 

K 2 



Mary Ann Haire, the wife of Thomas Haire, a doctor, 
of Lewes, died on May 3rd, 1854, and by her will, dated 
December 13th, 1845, she directed 400 to be invested 
on trust, the income to be expended annually at Christmas 
on the purchase of bread for distribution among such 
poor as were not in receipt of alms or parochial relief. 
Three-eighths of the income were to go to All Saints 
Parish, Lewes, and one-eighth each to East Grinstead, 
Lindfield, Buxted, Maresfield and Ardingly. Her estate, 
however, did not realise sufficient to pay the bequest in 
full, and in 1879 the Rev. William John Langdale, of 
Ormonde Terrace, Regent's Park, hearing that the various 
beneficiaries under the will were bitterly disappointed 
at the smallness of the legacies as realised, expressed a 
desire to make a free gift out of his own money to the 
various charitable institutions which had suffered in 
consequence of the deficient realisation. Accordingly 
he paid 968. 17s. Id., and by order of the Court of 
Chancery a sum of 142. Os. lOd. was allotted out 
of it in augmentation of the bread charity. The 
Charity Commissioners prepared a scheme dividing up 
the augmented capital among the parishes interested, 
and they appointed the Vicar and Churchwardens trustees 
for East Grinstead, but invested the money in their own 
names. The share of this parish is represented by 
28. 2s. 6d. consols, yielding just over 15s. a year, and 
this is paid annually to a special account in the name of 
the Rev. D. Y. Blakiston at Barclay & Co.'s Bank. The 
income is so small that it is allowed to accumulate, and in 
years of severe distress is used for the purchase of bread 
or the augmentation of other charities. 


This Trust has a very peculiar history and might well 
be called " The Smith and Mills Charity," for the name 
of the late Mr. John Mills, of The Rocks, Ashurst 
Wood, as much merits association with it as that of Mr. 
John Smith, who was an auctioneer in East Grinstead, 


and died on June 10th, 1862. By his will, he directed 
his Trustees to purchase so much consolidated three per 
cent, annuities, or to invest a sufficient sum on real 
securities, as would enable them to provide an annuity 
of 300 a year for his wife and 80 a year for his 
mother during their respective lives, and he gave the 
residue of his real and personal estate to his wife and to 
John Mills, sen., in equal shares. There was no mention 
of any charity in the will, but shortly after his death a 
memorandum was found amongst his papers to the effect 
that he wished that all the residue of his property and 
the funds from which the annuities might arise should, 
subject to such annuities, be applied to the benefit of 
the poor inhabitants of East Grinstead and adjoining 
parishes. His widow married the late Mr. William 
Burgess, of Jacks Bridge, Lingfield, in January, 1864, 
but previous to this marriage her interest under her first 
husband's will was assigned to the Trustees of her first 
marriage settlement. Mr. John Mills, sen., was most 
anxious to see the discovered wishes of his old friend, 
Mr. John Smith, as to the devotion of the money to 
charities, fully carried out, and he strongly impressed on 
his wife and two sons the fact that though the legacy was 
left to him, he or they had no real right to it. He died 
on April 8th, 1865, before he could carry his desires into 
effect, leaving a will dated February 5th, 1853. His 
property was left to his widow and sons, and it naturally 
included his share of John Smith's estate. The opinion 
of the Court of Chancery was sought on the subject, and 
an order was made on June 1st, 1867, by which it was 
declared that the property of John Smith was given to 
his widow and to John Mills, not on trust, but for their 
individual benefit entirely. Despite this decision Mrs. 
Mills, the widow, was most anxious to carry out the 
desires of both the original testators, Mr. Smith and her 
husband, and in this wish she was joined by her sons, 
Messrs. John and Henry Mills. A deed was drawn up 
setting forth that they were desirous of assigning their 
individual moiety, and in order to carry out this desire 
the money was assigned to John Mills and two others. 


The indenture was dated March 6th, 1871, and was made 
between Mr. W. A. Head, Mrs. Mills, Mr. John Mills, Mr. 
Henry Mills and others. In the agreement come to it 
was arranged that three equal twenty-seconds of the whole 
sum so assigned should be set apart 

to pay the interest, dividends and income thereof to the vicar, 
churchwardens and overseers of the poor for the time being of the 
parish of East Grinstead to be applied by them in such manner as 
they or the majority of them for the time being should think fit for 
the purchase of coals for or otherwise for the benefit of the poor 
inhabitants of the said parish or any of them not being inhabitants of 
the ecclesiastical district of Forest Row. 

At this time the Trustees had 6,550 out on eight 
mortgages and had also 1,107. 5s. lOd. cash in hand. 
Half of this, being Mr. John Mills' share, came to the 
Trust, the other half, on Mrs. Burgess's death, being paid 
over to the Trustees of her marriage settlement and it 
has never come into the charitable trust. The present 
Trustees or Governors are Mr. W. V. K. Stenning 
(chairman), Mr. J. McAndrew, Mr. G. F. Walker and 
Mr. A. Bridgland. Mr. E. A. Head is Clerk to the 
Governors. The capital sum quite voluntarily handed 
over by Mrs. Mills and her two sons, in accordance with 
the wishes of both Mr. Smith and Mr. Mills, is now 
represented by 400 on mortgage of two freehold houses 
in St. James' Road, East Grinstead, of which the 
Governors are at present in receipt of the rents ; 1 , 1 30 on 
mortgage of freehold houses at Richmond; 998. 3s. lid. 
in India 3 per cen't. and 836. 10s. lid. in 2f per cent, 
consols : a total of 3,364. 14s. lOd. The income is 
about 115 a year and it has to be divided into 22 parts, 
of which Cowden, West Hoathly, Withy ham and Hartfield 
take two each; Forest Row and East Grinstead, three 
each ; and Lingfield and Worth, four each. Each share 
being at present worth about 5, East Grinstead con- 
sequently gets some 15 a year from this charity. 


Mrs. H. L. Hoper, whose family owned and lived at 
Thorn Hill, left the sum of 1,077. 9s. 3d. stock for the 
benefit of the Forest Row portion of the parish. A 


declaration of trust, dated 1869, set forth that half the 
income, then 29. 12s. 4d. per annum, was to be devoted 
to the benefit of the church schools in Ashurst Wood and 
Forest Row, and the other half distributed among the 
poor. There being no church school at Ashurst Wood, 
Forest Row gets the full half. The other half is equally 
divided between the Coal and Soup Fund and the 
Clothing Club. The conversion of consols by Mr. Goschen 
slightly reduced the income from this Trust and it is 
now about 25 per annum. 


The Rev. Benjamin Slight, for many years a Noncon- 
formist minister at Tunbridge Wells and during the 
closing period of his life resident in East Grinstead and 
then at Nen thorn, Ashurst Wood, died on August 17th, 
1889, and by his will, dated March 22nd, 1883, left to the 
Trustees of the Congregational Church at Ashurst Wood 
the sum of 500, less legacy duty, on trust, "that they 
and the other Trustees from time to time of the said 
church do invest the same and apply the income towards 
the support of the minister or the current expenses of 
the said church as to its Trustees shall from time to time 
seem expedient." The capital sum is now represented 
by 471. 16s. 5d. invested in India 3 per cent, stock in 
the names of the Charity Commissioners and yielding 
14. 3s. a year. There are no expenses of management 
and the whole income is used to pay the rent of the 
minister's house or expenses in connection with the 
chapel. The present Trustees of the chapel are Messrs. 
Wm. Brackett and F. Bell, of Tunbridge Wells; J. W. 
Hawkins, of Upper Tooting ; James Waters, of Forest 
Row ; Edward Young, of East Grinstead ; and B. Grove, 
G. Mitchell and S. Jenks, of Ashurst Wood. The last 
named acts as Treasurer and Correspondent. 


Mr. John Southey, an old and esteemed tradesman of 
East Grinstead, died on March 3rd, 1899, and by his 


will, which was proved on May 1st following, he instructed 
his executors 

To set aside the sum of Four thousand two hundred pounds and 
invest the same in Two pounds ten shillings per centum Bank 
Annuities and stand possessed of the same and use the income resulting 
therefrom for the purpose of endowing three Scholarships for two Boys 
and one Girl the Children of Tradesmen or of any person below the class 
of a Tradesman and whose parents or parent having the custody of 
such Children or Child shall have been resident in the Parish of East 
Grinstead for not less than five years, such Fund when set aside to be 
called "The John Southey Endowment Fund" and such Scholarships 
to be called " The John Southey Scholarships," and I direct that my 
Trustees or such persons as they shall think fit to appoint to administer 
this Trust and their successors for the time being shall fix the time 
for which any Scholarship shall be held by any one Boy or Girl and be 
the sole judges as to whether any and what Boy or Girl shall be 
entitled to compete for and hold any Scholarship and to make such 
arrangements for the examination of the Candidates for such Scholar- 
ships as they shall think advisable. 

The two Trustees appointed were Mr. Bromley Hall, 
of Ivy Mill, Godstone, and Mr. Evelyn A. Head, of 
East Grinstead. On June 8th, 1901, they applied to 
the Charity Commissioners for sanction to a scheme for 
administering the Trust and this sanction was given on 
August 28th of the same year. This sets forth that the 
Trustees of the Charity shall consist of the Governors, 
for the time being, of the Payne Endowment and two 
co-optative Trustees Messrs. Hall and Head who 
are to hold office for life. On the death of either of these 
the remaining Trustees can appoint any person residing 
or carrying on business in or near East Grinstead to act 
for a period of five years. 

Mr. Southey's estate did not realise the amount he had 
anticipated, and instead of 4,200 being available for 
investment the total received by the Trustees was 1,725, 
now represented by 1,671. 7s. 6d. in 2J per cent, 
annuities, yielding 41. 15s. 8d. per annum. Mr. E. P. 
Whitley Hughes acts as Clerk to these Governors. 


The benefits of this charity extended to East Grin- 
stead. It was founded during his lifetime by Mr. 
James Evelyn, of Felbridge. He was born on July 


17th, 1718, and died July lltli, 1793, being buried 
at Godstone. By an indenture dated November 4th, 
1783, made between himself and the Rev. Geo. 
Bethune, of Rowfant, it was set forth that Mr. Evelyn, 
having recently built himself a mansion on Felbridge 
Heath, had caused a piece of land adjoining, with a 
house thereon, to be fenced in for the use and support of 
the master of the school, and he proposed to convey, for 
the schoolmaster's benefit, the said house and parcel of 
land and 21 a year, clear of all deductions. Accord- 
ingly, for the nominal sum of 10s., he sold the house, 
land and rent charge to Mr. Bethune and his heirs for 
ever. The 21 was charged on Stocklands House and 
12 pieces of land, 48 acres in all, situate in the parish of 
Bletchingley and then let at 35 per annum. On the 
death of James Evelyn, Jane, his wife (who was a 
daughter of Sir Richard Oust, of Belton, Lincolnshire), 
and their direct heirs, the appointment of the school- 
master was to devolve upon the Rectors or Vicars of 
Godstone, Home, Worth and East Grinstead. The 
master was to teach the children reading, writing, 
arithmetic and to repeat the catechism. Eight boys and 
four girls were to be admitted free of charge and the 
master was to find them in quills and ink, but to teach 
them to make their own pens. The boys were to be 
between the ages of six and 10, the girls between six and 
13, all were to reside within 2^ miles of the school, and 
they were to be drawn from the parishes named in the 
following proportions : Godstone, three boys and one 
girl ; Home and Worth, each two boys and one girl ; 
East Grinstead, one boy and one girl. The right of 
nomination was to be in the hands of the respective 
Vicars of the parishes after the deaths of James Evelyn, 
his wife and direct heirs. This arrangement continued 
in force until 1864, when a scheme was approved making 
the owner of the mansion at Felbridge a trustee of the 
charity, authorising him to receive the income, giving 
him the power of appointing the schoolmaster, the 
right to decide as to the best matters to be taught in 
the school, and the power to exclude any children for 


misconduct. Such drastic powers in one man's hands 
did not long remain, for in 1866 another scheme was 
sanctioned, giving him the power of appointing the 
schoolmaster and mistress, subject only to the consent of 
the other trustees, who then were Mrs. Gatty, Mr. C. H. 
Gatty, Rev. G. W. Banks (Rector of Worth), Rev. G. 
Bird (incumbent of Blindley Heath) and the Vicars of 
East Grinstead and Godstone. Despite this arrangement 
the management of the whole affair drifted exclusively 
into the hands of Mr. Gatty and the rent charge on the 
Bletchingley property was not collected for many years. 
When Mr. C. H. Gatty died inquiries were instituted 
and as a result Mrs. Pelly, the owner of Stocklands, 
without admitting liability, and, as an act of grace, paid 
over, to the school funds, the sum of 400 in full dis- 
charge of any claim which might be made on her. As 
there is now universal free admission to elementary 
schools the charity has practically lapsed. 

It may not be out of place here to add that James 
Evelyn, who founded this charity, erected the obelisk 
which still stands in Felbridge Park, to the memory of 
his father and mother, Edward and Julia Evelyn. The 
inscription on it, in hardly classical Latin, reads : 


Et JuliiE uxoris ejus 
(0 Beiiignissimi Parentes) 

Hanc Columnam 
Hac Terra (Natale Solum) 


Pientissime Gratissimeque 


Johannes Soane 


Much of the base of the column is further occupied 
by the whole of Addison's exquisite Hymn of Gratitude, 
commencing " When all Thy mercies, my God." 

Some lengthy references to members of this remark- 
able family will be found in the chapter which deals with 
the Parliamentary history of East Grinstead. They were 
the possessors of the Felbridge estate for nearly 300 years, 


it being purchased by the late Mr. George Gatty, in 1856, 
from Selina, Viscountess Milton, mother of the present 
Earl of Liverpool, and the second of the three daughters 
and co-heirs of the third Earl of Liverpool and third 
Baron Hawkesbury. The estate fell to her share on the 
death of her father on October 3rd, 1851. John Evelyn, 
author of " Sylva," in his diary, makes frequent mention 
of visits paid by him to his relative, Sir John Evelyn, at 


More than half the inhabitants of East Grinstead have 
the right to participate in the benefits of this interesting 
charity. It was founded, like the Felbridge School 
Charity, by Mr. James Evelyn, who, by a codicil to his 
will, dated July 3rd, 1793, recommended that four stone 
of beef should be provided and made into broth and 
distributed, as during his lifetime, from the first Thursday 
in November to the last Thursday in April, and that a 
round of beef, weighing not less than 4-stone 2-lbs., 
should be provided every Sunday in the year, as during 
his lifetime, and that the schoolmistress should be allowed 
at the rate of one penny per head for beer and one penny 
per head for bread for those who partook of it. The 
number of guests was not to be less than 12 nor more 
than 14. Two hundred faggots were to be provided 
yearly for the schoolmistress to dress the meat with, and 
she was to be allowed sixpence a week for preparing the 
broth. On April 19th, 1807, the Court of Chancery 
made an order setting aside the sum of 3,500 from a 
total capital of 11,327. 8s. 9d. invested in 3 per cent, 
annuities, to meet all future expenses of this charity. 
On July 15th, 1821, the Hon. Chas. Cecil Cope Jenkinson, 
who had married James Evelyn's granddaughter, was 
M.P. for East Grinstead, and afterwards became Earl of 
Liverpool, together with Samuel Forster, of Lincoln's 
Inn, were made trustees of the charity, and the costs of 
this order were paid out of the capital sum belonging 
to it, the amount invested being thereby reduced to 
3,441. 10s. 6d. It was invested in the names of the 


Official Trustees of Charitable Funds for the County of 
Surrey. On Jan. 29th, 1864, a scheme was authorised 
by the Charity Commissioners making the owner of 
the mansion at Felbridge manager of the charity and 
receiver of all the income. This scheme further con- 
firmed the rules as to the distributing of broth on 
Thursdays in the winter and the provision of Sunday 
dinners at the school. The recipients were to be 
residents in the district of Felbridge or within 2J miles 
of the school house, "and shall be selected and excluded 
at the discretion of the Manager." The recipients were 
not to be less than 12 in number, and the Manager was 
given power to increase them as funds allowed. An 
amended scheme was approved on December llth, 1866. 
The Trustees named were those already given as acting 
for the School Charity. The mode of distribution was 
altered. The Manager was to provide victuals and coals, 
the victuals to consist of beef or other good meat, with 
or without vegetables, to be distributed each Saturday 
afternoon or evening, the victuals not to be cooked, but 
the Schoolmaster to receive 6d. per week for receiving 
and distributing them. Coals were to be provided to 
warm the school house at a cost of 30s. a year. As 
with the School Charity, so with this, its management in 
time drifted entirely into the hands of Mr. Gatty, who, 
though supposed to annually make a return of the income 
and expenditure to the Charity Commissioners, only did 
so on three occasions, and even then did not trouble to 
balance his accounts. From the returns made it 
appears that the annual income was 94. 12s. 8d., arid 
Mr. Gatty regularly spent a small portion of this on 
the school insurance, on coal for warming the building 
and on cleaning the church, the value of the meat 
annually distributed being just under 90. The weekly 
distribution still takes place, but a new scheme is in 
course of preparation whereby a fresh set of Trustees, 
of whom Mr. W. V. K. Stenning represents East Grin- 
stead, will no doubt be given a wider discretion in the 
application of the income. 



TO 1769. 


To the prosperous days of the famous Sussex ironworks 
several of the local stone-built houses owe their origin. 
Gravetye, Gulledge and Rowfantare examples of mansions 
built by the old ironmasters of the neighbourhood, who 
employed a vast number of hands and amassed consider- 
able fortunes. Among the places in and around East 
Grinstead where furnaces existed were Tickeridge, Cans- 
iron, Millplace, Hammerwood, Furnace Farm (Cowden), 
Furnace Pond (Felbridge), Wire Mill, The Warren 
(Crawley Down), Gravetye (where the mansion was built 
by Richard Infield, who married one of the Culpepers, 
and died March llth, 1624), Parrock (Hartfield) and 
Rowfant. The destruction of timber to feed the furnaces, 
coal being too costly and difficult to obtain in large 
quantities, was necessarily very great, and as early as the 
reign of Henry VIII. (1543) it was enacted " that no wood 
shall be converted into pasture ; that in cutting coppice 
woods at 24 years' growth or under there shall be left 
standing and unfelled for every acre twelve standils or 
storers of oak, or in default of so many, then of elm, ash, 
asp or beech ; and that if the coppice be under 14 years' 
growth it shall be enclosed from cattle for six years." 
Many subsequent Acts were passed to the same effect. 

On February 15th, 1574, Ralph Hogg complained of 
the infringement of the patent granted him by the Queen 
as to the exportation of ordnance, and a list was prepared 
of the owners of ironworks in Kent, Surrey and Sussex. 
It included the following : 

Mr. Mighell, 1 furnace in Hoadlee (West Hoathly). 
Mr. Reynoldes, 1 furnace in Mylplace (Millplace). 
Mr. Payne and Duffild, 1 fordg, 1 furnace in Grynsted, 


This Mr. Payne was John Payne, a burgess of the 
town at that time, who, in his will dated December 12th, 
1579, gave to his cousin, Roger Hayte, his tenement and 
" Smythes fforge now in the occupacon of Joseph Duffield 
and John Larke scytuat in East Greensted." From the 
fact of its being styled "le fforge in Burge de Est 
Greensted" in an inquisition held in 1580 on the death 
of its owner, John Payne, it would seem to have been 
the only forge within the limits of the borough, which 
were by no means coterminous with the parish, as already 

The Lord of Bucklierst, 1 fordge, 1 furnace in Parrock, in the 
hands of George Bullen. 

The Quene's Ma tie , 1 fordge, 1 furnace in Ashdowne, in the hands 
of Henry Bowyer. 

Ashdown Forest was at this time held by the Crown, 
and the forge referred to was at Newbridge. 
Robert Whitfelde, 1 fordge in Rowfants. 

This was an ancestor of the Whitfelds, the well-known 
Sussex bankers. 

Henry Boyer, 1 fordge in Tynsley (Worth). 

The following were ordered to appear before the 
Council : 

John Blacket, furnace at Hodley (West Hoathly). 
Robert Reynold, a forge at Brambletynne (Brarubletye). 

From the following bonds were taken, under a penalty 
of 2,000, not to found or sell ordnance without license 
from the Queen : 

Robert Reynolds, of East Grinstead. 
John Thorpe, of East Grinstead. 
John Duffold, of East Grinstead. 
Robert Whitfylde, of Worth. 
George Bulleyn, of Hartefeild. 

In defiance of these measures, however, the surrep- 
titious exportation of Sussex cannon went on. In 1587, 
the Earl of Warwick, as Master of the Ordnance, 
despatched "a gentleman of his, one Mr. Blincoe," into 
Sussex, to summon all the gunfounders of the county up 
to London to understand his pleasure respecting their 


further continuance of the manufacture. " Henry Nevel, 
and the rest of that occupation," obeyed the summons, 
and the matter was referred to the arrangement of Mr. 
Hockenal, the Deputy Master of the Ordnance, and Mr. 
Blincoe. The result was that not more than a certain 
quantity of cannon was to be cast annually for the 
necessary provision of our own navigation, a certain 
proportion being allowed to each founder. It was also 
stipulated that no ordnance should be sold except in the 
city, and not even there but to such merchants "as my 
lord or his deputy should name." These instructions 
seem to have been quickly disregarded, for two years 
later Thomas, Lord Buckhurst, Queen Elizabeth's Lord 
High Treasurer, wrote a letter complaining of the 
infringement of the regulations by the ironmasters : 

Their Lordshypps doe see the little regard the owners of furnaces 
and the makers of these peeces have of their bondes, and how y* 
importeth the state that the enemy of Her Majesty should not be 
furnished oute of the lande with ordnance to annoy us. 

The Lord Treasurer goes on to direct the Magistrates 
to enforce the provisions made by the Earl of Warwick. 
Another letter, from the same officer to the local Justices, 
dated October 6th, 1590, directs them as to " straighter 
restraint of making shott and ordnance," and to take 
bonds of 1,000 each of every furnace owner and 
farmer; and also to forward their bonds, and a list of 
their names, to him with all convenient speed. 

According to a return made about 90 years later the 
ironworks at Millplace and Rowfant had been discon- 
tinued before 1664, and partly ruined, but the former 
were re-stocked and started again when the Civil War 
broke out, and guns or shot were made there for the 
supply of the King's stores. Millplace was owned in 
1711 by John Conyers, M.P. for East Grinstead. 

In 1740 there were only 10 furnaces in all Sussex, 
turning out 1,400 tons of iron in the year, but as late as 
1769 local ironworks were in a very flourishing state. 
Those at Gravetye ; at the Warren, which was near the 
borders of Sussex and Surrey, in the Crawley Down 
district; and at Millplace, situated about midway between 


Stone Farm and Tickeridge, in East Grinstead, were all 
doing a considerable trade in the casting of ordnance, as 
is shown by the journal kept by Robert Knight, who 
had a very prosperous carrier's business in East Grin- 
stead at that time. In the year 1761 Gravetye furnace 
was carried on by Messrs. Glutton & Co., and in August, 
1762, the business was apparently sold to Messrs. Eade 
and Wilton. From April 23rd, 1761, to the end of the 
year 1762, from this one furnace alone, Robert Knight 
carried to London or Woolwich, principally to the latter 
place, over 225 guns, of which 27 were of unstated 
calibre, 20 were three-pounders, 29 four-pounders, four 
six-pounders, 66 nine-pounders, 35 twelve-pounders, 33 
eighteen -pounders, and 18 thirty-two-pounders. From 
the very careful entries which Robert Knight made in 
his account book we are able to gather the approximate 
weights of some of these guns. A four-pounder weighed 
about half a ton, a nine-pounder 25 cwt., a twelve- 
pounder 36 cwt., and a thirty-two-pounder 56 cwt. 

The Warren furnace was then being carried on by 
Messrs. Masters & Raby, and later on by Messrs. Raby 
and Rogers, and was also doing a very considerable 
trade with the Government. Its owners supplied 
numerous guns of various weights and calibre to Wool- 
wich and also cast a large quantity of shot and shell. 
On three days in December, 1768, Knight carted to 
London 187 pieces of 10 and 13-inch shells, and brought 
back two tons of pig iron to the Warren and a plate of 
iron and a mould to Gravetye. This would seem to 
indicate that Messrs. Raby & Rogers had more casting 
orders on hand than they could produce local iron for. 
Occasionally the waggons came back loaded with coal or 
steel. Through January the work of carting shells and 
guns to London continued, 165 shells or 32-lbs. shot 
being taken in the first eight days of the year 1769. 
By this time the Gravetye and Warren furnaces were 
apparently under the same management, for Knight 
makes very frequent entries in his ledger of ordnance 
carted between the two, the Warren supplying Gravetye 
with iron and Gravetye sending to the Warren guns 


11 with the heads on" or " with the heads off," nearly 
100 pieces, ranging from " half-pounders " to nine- 
pounders, being thus specified. The Wakehurst Estate 
sent in a lot of timber for use at Gravetye, and coal was 
brought up in considerable quantities from Lewes, being 
water-borne thus far, the quantity averaging about 12 
loads a month. One of Mr. Raby's places is described 
as Woodcock Forge. This was the one known to be in 
use at Wire Mill, or Weir Mill, as it used to be called, 
adjoining the well-known pond at the foot of Woodcock 

In 1763 Millplace furnace was in the hands of Messrs. 
Ralph Glutton & Durrant, and guns of a much finer make 
were apparently manufactured there. During February 
of the year named they consigned to Seamans Wharf, 
London, about 150 swivel guns, weighing only about 
one cwt. each. They also cast a number of twelve- 
pounders, as eight of these were sent to Woolwich in 
May, 1763. That this business was a considerable one 
is shown by a written statement in the ledger setting 
forth that during the year ending in August, 1762, Mr. 
Glutton paid to Knight the sum of 293. 12s. lOJd. 
on account of his cartage bill and there was then a 
balance due of 40. 5s. 4Jd. 

These furnaces must have ceased operation very 
shortly afterwards, for in 1788 there were only two 
charcoal fuel furnaces in the whole county of Sussex, 
and in 1796 only one, the last to cease working being 
that at Ashburnham, near Battle, in 1823. 

Mr. Robert Knight's journal contains much other 
interesting mattter, in addition to the numerous entries 
in reference to the cartage of guns and shells. The 
blacksmiths who shared his work were Master Burr and 
William Wren, the latter then holding the forge at 
Felbridge, which for a century or more remained in the 
same family. The amount of timber and bark carted to 
London was enormous. In one day, July 18th, 1764, he 
took from Hasleden to " Mr. Coleman's, the tanner, in 
Long Lane, London," 25 bags of bark, each weighing 
over three cwt. Messrs. Clifford & Gardner then carried 


on business as timber merchants here and their bill was 
a very heavy one. Mr. Whatley and later on Mr. 
Jourdon were also frequent consignors of timber from 
the Bower Farm and Gotwick Farm, in East Grin- 
stead, and also from Blindley Heath and West Hoathly 
to Westminster, Vauxhall or Lambeth ; Messrs. White 
and Jourdon from Crabbet, Worth ; the Crosses, Lingfield, 
and elsewhere to London. Another merchant doing a 
large business then between this town and London was 
Mr. Walters. " Esquire " Evelyn then had Felbridge 
Park, and his name figures frequently in the book as a 
creditor for corn, &c., sold to the worthy carrier. 

lt Master Turner of Ember Horn," also figures 
occasionally in the ledger, as also does Mr. Edward 
Prentis as a buyer of timber from the same estate, and 
from Laberty (possibly Lavortye, a part of Brambletye), 
his timber going to Tonbridge wharf, for distribution 
over Kent. Mr. Edward Belchambers and afterwards 
Messrs. Belchambers & Rose were apparently trading in 
1769 as timber merchants, for some thousands of planks 
and scantlings were brought for them to East Grinstead 
Common from Blockfield Farm, Blackham, Crawley Down 
and elsewhere, and thence distributed to London and all 
parts of the country. 

The whole of the entries in this extremely interesting 
book are beautifully written, though the orthography 
is peculiar. The following recipes on the final page may 
give a useful (?) hint to horse owners of the present 
time : 

A Reaceat for to Cure a Brokeing Winding Horse. The first thing 
you must do is to Bleed the Horse in the Vain of the Nick, then give 
him. Holfe a Pint of Sweet Oile the first day, the nixt day you most 
give him a quort of Ases milk, a quort of Surrup of Howr Hound, a 
Pint of Bed Wine, a Pound and quorton of Honey, 2 ounces of 
Spanish Lickrish, and Stire it all togather for 10 minnetts and Keep 
him fasting for 2 Howrs bfore and after. this Eeaseat will Cure. 

A Eeaceat for to Cure a Horse that Bleed at nose. Take three 
Handfulls of Bramble Leaves and Three Handfulls of Hunny Suckles 
Leaves and three Handfulls of Stinging Nettles. Put them in 3 
quorts of Spring Water and Stew them till it Comes to a quort. 




EXCEPT for the carrying of merchandise, East Grinstead 
seems for a very long period to have contented itself 
with the facilities for passenger traffic afforded by the 
through coaches which ran between London, Lewes and 
Brighthelmstone. The road through this town was by 
far the oldest and for a long period the chief route. The 
distance was 58 miles and horses were changed at 
Croydon, Godstone Green, East Grinstead, Uckfield and 
Lewes. The first person to set up any stage coach 
between London and the county town was one Batchelar, 
who ran a coach long prior to turnpikes being created. 
This business was handed from father to son until it 
came into the hands of the real pioneer of the Brighton 
coaching era, James Batchelar, whose family had by this 
time become of some importance and considerable 
owners of property in and around East Grinstead. 
They originally sprung from Easingwald, in Yorkshire, 
one branch settling in Norfolk and another in Sussex. 
Their coat of arms three wings and three fleur-de-lis 
suggests that the family had a French origin. James 
Batchelar began a proper coach service through the town 
of East Grinstead in May, 1756. In this year the 
Batchelars were living at the Dorset Arms, in this town, 
while they also held a lease of the Moats Farm, granted 
them by Mrs. Payne, widow of Mr. Charles Payne, and 
her daughter Anna, afterwards Mrs. Gibbs Crawfurd, of 
Saint Hill. 

Moat Road, East Grinstead, is named after this 
particular farm, which then covered the whole site of 
the present thoroughfare and included also Stoneleigh 
and the nursery gardens. The following entry is from 

L 2 


John Batchelar's account book, he apparently looking 
after the agricultural work at that time and James 
dealing with the coaching : 

Janry. the 9, 1764. Then A Greed with John Hills to do all ye 
work in the hop Garding att the Motes as the year before for Six 
pounds 6s. 

The hop garden disappeared many years ago. It is 
clear that Batchelar kept a good supply of horses before 
this date, for his own records, kindly placed in my 
hands by his descendant, Mr. George Batchelar, of 
Lirigfield, show that in 1743 76 was paid for oats at 
home, but in 1764 this item had risen to 148. 19s. 9d. 
for the year, the price at this time ranging from 13s. 6d. 
to 17s. per quarter. The family then occupied not only 
Moats, but also Lunnenden (now Lullenden) Farm, while 
they also owned the Anchor at Croydon and Stumps 
and Gates Farms, in the parish of Lingfield, then held of 
the Manor of Imberhorne. On July 21st, 1817, James, 
the then owner, cut 33 oak trees on Gates Farm and sold 
them to Mr. John Stenning for 150, handing over to 
Mr. George Bankin, jun., "for his part for the Lord of 
the Manor," 70. Mr. Bankin was a well-known solicitor 
in East Grinstead and died on February llth, 1847, 
aged 75. Mr. George Batchelar's grandfather, James, 
and his three brothers were all born at the Dorset Arms, 
East Grinstead. A sister, Mary, married a clergy- 
man named Blagden, and an oil painting still exists of 
her and her husband. The James of coaching fame 
died about 1763. His brother John continued to drive 
the coach and the widow carried on the business for 
some years; indeed, she did not die until 1817. The 
property passed to her son James and he sold Stumps 
and Gates Farms to a Mr. Grange, who amalgamated 
them under the one name of The Grange, after his own 
patronymic, and the estate has perpetuated the fact of 
his brief ownership ever since. The property was after- 
wards sold to Mr. St. George and it has since passed 
through the hands of the Dumelope, Hastie, Yatman, 
Budd and Hubbard families, and is now owned by Mr. 


But to return to coaching matters. Mr. George 
Batchelar has one of the original posters, issued in May, 
1756, announcing that James Batchelar's " New 
Machine " would run every Monday, Wednesday and 
Friday from the George Inn, Haymarket, to East 
Grinstead, Lewes and Brighton, completing the journey 
in one day, returning on the other days of the week. 
The full fare between London and Brighton was 16 
shillings (including 14-lbs. of luggage) for inside 
passengers), but only half that sum for those who rode 
outside. The fare from East Grinstead to London was 
6s. The old account books contain many entries show- 
ing the payment of this sum per seat. The turnpike 
dues between East Grinstead and London were 2s. and 
the sum paid for stabling in town was always 7s. 2d. a 
day. At the same time Batchelar ran a second coach 
from the Talbot Inn, in the Borough, to Godstone, East 
Grinstead and Lewes, starting each Tuesday at nine 
o'clock and Saturday at five o'clock. In all his 
advertisements and on all his posters he inserted the 
words "If God permit," a provision possibly rendered 
necessary in consequence of the disgraceful state of the 
roads in these early days. The payment to the employes 
at this time was not a particularly heavy item, as witness 
the following extracts from Batchelar's diary : 

May 19, 1734. Agreed with John Stenning to sarve me to old Mich' 
Day for 2s. 6d. for weeke. 

July 2, 1742. A Greead with Bob. Wickarsham to mow 15 akars 
of grass for one and twenty pence per akar. 

This man farmed part of the present East Court Estate. 

Oct. 10, 1746. A Greade with old Gibb for James for four pound 
four shillings and a pair of shows (shoes) for one year. 

Sept. 29, 1750. A Gread with Eich d Mills for three pounds ten 
shillings for a year. 

Feb. 9, 1750. Pd. Eichd. Mathews in full for one yeares wagers toe 
Feb. the 6th. 3-3-0. 

A year later the same man got seven guineas for his 

Oct. 7, 1759. Agreead with John Hills to old mickelmas next for 
seven shillings pr. week. 


Occasionally his men gave him trouble, for we find 

Aug. 17, 1750. Crissmas Kilner lost a tosing up att London of my 
money=14s. 6d. 

Dec. 25, 1754. Crismas Kilner pd. me short 9s. 

Judging from his name he had possibly been celebrating 
his birthday. 

Ap. 23, 1755. Crismas Kilner pd. me short 14s. 

Some of these men were, no doubt, agricultural 
labourers and not all engaged solely in the coaching 
business. His general cartage work entailed other 
expenses, as this entry shows : 

Nov. 3, 1754. Gave Mr. Harman and his wife one ginney for to go 
through his ground with my waggons from the Mays wood till one 
month after Lady Day next. 

The business was, no doubt, a profitable one and opposi- 
tion soon sprang up. J. Tubb and S. Brawne started, on 
June 7th, 1762, a "new Flying Machine, hung on steel 
springs, very neat and commodious," from the Golden 
Cross, at Charing Cross, via East Grinstead to Brighton. 
This vehicle did the down journey on Mondays, Wednes- 
days and Fridays, and the up on the alternate days. The 
fares were the same as Batchelar's, who, in order to cope 
with this interference with his old custom, started " a new 
large Flying Chariot, with a box and four horses to carry 
two Passengers only, except three should desire to go 
together." But the new-comers still drew his patrons 
away, so Batchelar lowered his prices. This so irritated 
Tubb that he rushed into print, and in the Lewes Journal 
of November, 1762, then the only paper published in the 
County of Sussex and now known as the Sussex Advertiser, 
appeared a notice in which he said : 

Gentlemen, Ladies, and others, are desired to look narrowly into the 
Meanness and Design of the other Flying Machine to Lewes and 
Brighthelmston, in lowering his prices, whether 'tis thro' conscience or 
an endeavour to suppress me. If the former is the case, think how 
you have been used for a great number of years, when he engrossed 
the whole to himself, and kept you two days upon the road, going fifty 
miles. If the latter, and he should be lucky enough to succeed in it, 
judge whether he wont return to his old prices, when you cannot help 
yourselves, and use you as formerly. As I have then, been the remover 


of this obstacle, wliicli you have all granted by your great encourage- 
ment of me hitherto, I, therefore, hope for the continuance of your 
favours, which will entirely frustrate the deep-laid schemes of my great 
opponent, and lay a lasting obligation on, 

Your very humble servant, 

J. Tubb. 

The blood of the Batchelars was up, and the following 
week the same paper contained this answer : 

Whereas Mr. Tubb, by an Advertisement in this paper of Monday 
last, has thought fit to cast some invidious reflexions upon me in respect 
of the lowering my Prices and being two days upon the road with other 
low insinuations, I beg leave to submit the following matters to the 
calm Consideration of the Gentlemen, Ladies and other Passengers, of 
what Degree soever, who have been pleased to favour me, viz. : 

That our Family first set up the Stage Coach from London to Lewes, 
and have continued it for a long Series of Years, from Father to Son, 
and other Branches of the same Eace, and that even before the Turn- 
pikes on the Lewes Eoad were erected they drove their Stage, in the 
Summer Season, in one day, and have continued to do so ever since, 
and now in the Winter Season twice in the week. And it is likewise 
to be considered that many aged and infirm Persons, who did not chuse 
to rise early in the morning, were very desirous to be two Days on the 
road for their own Ease and Conveniency, therefore there was no 
Obstacle to be removed. And as to lowering my prices, let every one 
judge whether, when an old Servant of the Country perceives an 
Endeavour to suppress and supplant him in his Business, he is not well 
justified in taking all measures in his Power for his own Security, 
and even to oppose an unfair Adversary so far as he can. 'Tis, 
therefore, hoped that the Descendants of your very ancient Servants 
will still meet with your farther Encouragement, and leave the 
schemes of our little Opponent to their proper deserts. 

I am, Your old and present 

most obedient Servant, 

J. Batchelar. 

disingenuous Batchelar ! You did not inform your 
London and Brighton patrons that the two-days' journey 
was broken at the Dorset Arms, East Grinstead; that 
your own family owned that famous hostelry, and that 
they drew not only the coaching fee, but also the lodging 
bill of those who u did not chuse to rise early in the 
morning." But his burst of virtuous indignation seems 
to have had its effect, for J. Tubb did not reply to his 
" great opponent." He bided his time and a few years 
later purchased from Batchelar's executors the rival 
business which had given him such sad worrying. 


In 1770 East Grinstead was served from London on 
Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, the coach leaving 
the Golden Cross at Charing Cross at five a.m., passing 
through to Brighton and returning during the night, 
leaving the coast town at five p.m. and East Grinstead 
about nine p.m. At this same time a waggon regularly 
ran between the Dorset at East Grinstead and the Talbot 
in the Borough, but what accommodation it afforded is 
not now known. We do know its outgoings, for Batchelar 
records in his journal, under date November 4th, 1761, 
the fact that his 

Expences for the wagon and man three days to the Talbot Inn 
without going into the settey (City) come to about 1. 2s. 

Shortly afterwards the present main road between 
London and Brighton began to meet with more favour, 
and one by one the through coaches ceased to visit East 
Grinstead, until at last our town was almost left to shift 
for itself in providing communication with the outside 
world. In 1790 the East Grinstead route had fallen so 
low in favour that a writer afterwards thought fit to say 
of it : " There were three roads from Brighton to 
London. The first and chief passed through Cuckfield 
and Reigate. This was the Appian way for the high 
nobility of England. The other two were vulgar." 
tempora, mores ! What a slight on the wild beauties 
of Ashdown Forest and the quaint picturesqueness of 
our fine old town ! 

According to Gary's "Itinerary of the Great Roads," 
only one coach was running in 1815 solely between 
London and East Grinstead. This left the Spur Inn, 
Borough, at three o'clock each day, arriving at the 
Dorset Arms, East Grinstead, at eight o'clock in the 
evening. It returned each morning at 7 a.m., arriving 
in the Borough at 12 noon. The service from the south 
was also daily, a coach starting from North Street, 
Brighton, every morning "in the season" at seven 
o'clock and going through East Grinstead to London, 
completing the journey in ten hours, so that this town 
had a second service to the Metropolis. 


Another volume published at the same time, entitled 
" The Three Grand Routes from Brighton to London," 
announced, as one of the attractions of the town at that 
time, that at the Dorset Arms Hotel a ball was annually 
given by the subscribers of a Book Society. In a con- 
temporary diary is recorded, " 1842, Oct. 19. Book 
Club Ball at the Crown. A scene of vanity." Dumsdale, 
a tailor in a small way of business in East Grinstead, 
had a son who was a cripple from his childhood, and he 
built for him a light four-wheeled cart, to which young 
Dumsdale used to harness an unicorn team of bulldogs. 
He made his way to London in February, 1830, and 
drove down the Strand. He used to do the 28 miles 
from East Grinstead to Brighton comfortably in four 
hours, and often beat the coach that travelled by this 
road, occasionally doing ten miles an hour. Dumsdale 
was generally permitted by the toll-gate keepers to travel 
toll free. 

Some ten years later a pair-horse coach used to run 
daily from the Dorset Arms through Lingfield on to 
Godstone, with passengers. Here they were met by a 
four-horse coach which ran from Bletchingley to London, 
until the line from Godstone to London was opened, 
and then on October 5th, 1842, a daily service between 
East Grinstead and Godstone Station was commenced. 
This was temporarily stopped on March 20th, 1843, but 
resumed in the course of a few months. The coaches 
seem to have been fairly free of mishaps, but on 
September 7th, 1842, the Grinstead coach was over- 
turned on the Common. The horses were blinded by a 
flash of lightning, got off the road and upset the coach, 
but the six passengers all escaped with nothing worse 
than a severe shaking. 

This pair-horse coach was for a long time driven by a 
man named Bashford, who died on December 31st, 1846, 
and to him succeeded William Thomas, whom many will 
still remember as the driver of Mr. Southey's hearse. 
The Godstone vehicle was always called "the bus" and 
had its headquarters at the Dorset. On May 16th, 1849, 
it commenced to do the journey twice daily. The 


opening of the main line at Three Bridges took place on 
July 12th, 1841, but East Grinstead took no steps to get 
a regular connection with the line there until June 4th, 
1849, when a vehicle, always called "the coach," to 
distinguish it from the Godstone " bus," began to run 
twice daily from the Swan at East Grinstead to the 
Station at Three Bridges, and was driven by a man 
named Holdsworth until 1855, when the railway 
between Three Bridges and East Grinstead was opened. 
By the time the South-Eastern Line was opened the 
Batchelars had removed to Lingfield, and the James of 
that day issued a bill on March 28th, 1844, stating that 
in future his goods would be taken by rail from Godstone 
to London and back every Tuesday and Friday, 

by which arrangement he will be enabled to deliver them, at a much 
CHEAPER KATE than before, and most respectfully solicits a continuance 
of those favours which have been entrusted to him and his Family 
upwards of 100 years, feeling confident that, with the aid of the 
Railway, he shall be able to forward, in any quantities, to the perfect 
satisfaction of his Friends and Employers. 

The last of the mail coaches which ran between 
London and Brighton was taken off the road in 1841. 
Among the habitual visitors to the Dorset Arms during 
its long career as a coaching house were the eccentric 
Lord Liverpool, who owned Buxted Park ; Lord 
Abergavenny, who then lived at Kidbrooke Park ; Lord 
Seymour, Lord Delawarr, Spencer Perceval the Prime 
Minister who was murdered and several of the ladies 
who attracted the amorous attentions of the Prince 
Regent, one of whom actually left her luncheon bills to 
be settled by the State. In 1827 the Princess Victoria 
passed through East Grinstead, accompanied by her 
mother, the Duchess of Kent. They changed horses at 
the Dorset Arms and while waiting there were loudly 
cheered by a great gathering of inhabitants. 



THE first effective attempt to get the main road running 
from London to East Grinstead put into a proper state of 
repair and placed under organised management was made 
in the year 1717. Many of the users of the road became 
alarmed at the proposals and petitioned Parliament that 
they might be freed and exempted from any charge likely 
to be enforced in consequence of making good the high- 
way, and that they might be at liberty to pass as usual 
to and from London free of expense. But their prayer 
was not listened to, and in the following year the Act 
was passed creating the Turnpike Trust over the road 
which ran from London, through Godstone to East 
Grinstead. At this time and for many years later an 
argument prevailed with Sussex people that if they 
made good roads through the county the French would 
immediately invade England and use the roads on their 
march to the Metropolis. 

The Act in question set forth in its preamble that the 
road running from London to East Grinstead, by reason 
of the heavy traffic, was becoming a very ruinous and 
almost impassable for the space of five months in the 
year," therefore Trustees were appointed with power to 
erect turnpikes and charge tolls and devote one-third of 
one-half of the proceeds to amending the road from 
Croydon to East Grinstead. This Act was to continue 
in force for 21 years, but by 1720 the Trustees had 
expended 11,000 on the road over and above the 
amount of the tolls, and to enable them to borrow with 
greater ease the Act was extended for 23 years in all. 
In 1724 another Act was passed extending the Trust so 
as to include the road right through the town of East 
Grinstead and on to Highgate, which was then the 
entrance to Ashdown Forest. 

The borrowing of 2,500 for repairing the road from 
Croydon to Highgate was authorised ; the meeting place 


for the local Trustees was fixed at the Crown Inn ; and, 
for the first time, all coaches and persons on horseback 
were ordered to be allowed to go free on the days of 
election of Members of Parliament in Surrey or Sussex. 
Funds running short, another Act was passed in 1731 
putting on additional tolls of one penny for animals and 
threepence to sixpence for vehicles. Six years later 
Parliament again dealt witli the matter and continued 
the Acts for 15 years after March 25th, 1762, and as and 
from July 25th, 1737, doubled many of the existing 
tolls. A general Act passed about the same time fixed 
very severe penalties for those who interfered with the 
toll-gates or their keepers. They were to undergo 
imprisonment for three months and to be " once publickly 
and openly whipt" in the market place of the nearest 
town to which the offence was committed. 

The whole of the general laws relating to turnpike 
roads in England were embodied in one Act passed in 
1768. Specific widths of wheels and weights were 
defined for every class of vehicle, and the Turnpike 
Trustees were empowered to erect cranes, machines or 
engines at each toll-gate to weigh all vehicles and charge 
all overweight 20s. per cwt. No four-wheeled vehicle 
was allowed more than eight horses and no two-wheeled 
vehicle more than four, but the number could be increased 
during times of deep snow and ice. Every vehicle with 
wheels less than six inches wide had to pay half as much 
again as the specified tolls, and after 1776 this penalty 
for light running traps was increased to double the 
amount set forth in any previous Act of Parliament. In 
the same year all tyres were first compelled to be flat and 
the nails sunk so as not to rise above the surface. 

This is a copy of the notice as to weights posted on 
the East Grinstead toll-gate 130 years ago: 

Table of Weights Allowed in Winter and Summer 
(including the Carriage and Loading). 



To every Waggon upon Rollers, of the Breadth 

of 16 Inches 8 .. 7 

To every Waggon with 9 Inch Wheels, rolling 

a Surface of 16 Inches on each Side. ... 6 10 .. 6 




To every Waggon with. 9 Inch. Wheels 6 .. 510 

Cart 3 .. 2 15 

Wagon ,,6 4 5 .. 3 15 

n rolling 

a Surface of 1 1 Inches 510 .. 5 

To every Cart with 6 Inch Wheels 212 . . 2 7 

,, Waggon with Wheels of less Breadth 

than 6 Inches 3 10 .. 3 

To every Cart with Wheels of less Breadth than 

6 Inches 110 . . 1 7 

In 1784 the powers of the London to Highgate 
Trustees were greatly enlarged and they were given the 
sole control of the road between the points named. The 
Trustees were about 200 in number and included the 
Vicar of East Grinstead and some 20 other local residents. 
Their qualification was the enjoyment of land worth 40 
a year, or the possession of personal estate worth 800. 
For the purpose of carrying out the Act they were given 
all the powers of Justices of the Peace, whether they 
were Magistrates or not. They were strictly forbidden 
to appoint any innkeeper to any office under the Trust, 
but this did not apply to a person who farmed the tolls, 
as the last toll-gate keeper at the point where Surrey and 
Sussex joined at Felbridge was Mr. George Worsell, who 
also occupied the Star Inn. The following were the 
tolls then demanded at the toll-house in East Grinstead, 
which stood at the southern entrance to the town, on the 
land which now forms part of the forecourt of Dr. 
Poynder's house : 

For every Horse, Mule or Ass, laden or unladen, and not drawing Id. 

For every Chaise, or other such like Carriage, drawn by One 

Horse only 2d. 

For every Coach, Chariot, Landau, Berlin, Hearse, Chaise, 
Calash or other such like Carriage, drawn by Two or more 

Horses 6d. 

For every Cart, Dray or other such like Carriage 2d. 

For every Wagon, not laden with Hay or Straw 6d. 

For every Waggon, laden with Hay or Straw 3d. 

For every Drove of Oxen, or other Neat Cattle, the sum of Two- 
pence per Score ; and so in proportion for every greater or lesser number. 

For every Drove of Calves, Hogs, Sheep or Lambs, the sum of One 
Penny per Score; and so in proportion for every greater or lesser 


These tolls were considerably increased in after years, 
for some vehicles had to pay as much as eighteenpence. 

Among the vehicles exempted from tolls were those 
which carried fish ; road-mending material ; manure for 
local land; bricks or timber for local buildings; hay, 
corn or straw during harvest time ; agricultural imple- 
ments ; vagrants sent by legal passes, and persons going 
to or from an election. 

In 1850 occurs the first mention of horseless vehicles, 
the Sussex and Surrey Roads Act (13 and 14 Victoria) 
fixing these tolls for East Grrinstead : 

8. d. 

For every carriage with, four or more wheels, not drawn by any 

horse or other beast, but propelled or moved by machinery 2 

For every carriage with three or a less number of wheels, not 
drawn by any horse or beast, but propelled or moved by 
machinery 1 

The first steam plough passed through the town on 
April 18th, 1864, and its passage, without horses, excited 
intense interest. 

The instances in which the Turnpike Trustees them- 
selves managed the toll-gates were comparatively few 
in number. They farmed the tolls, the same being 
disposed of, at a properly convened meeting, by public 
auction. Parliament itself laid down the conditions of 
sale, which included the following : 

To prevent fraud or any undue preference in the letting thereof, the 
Trustees are hereby required to provide a Glass with so much Sand in 
it as will run from One End of it to the other in One Minute ; which 
Glass, at the Time of letting the said Tolls, shall be set upon a Table, 
and immediately after every Bidding the Glass shall be turned, and as 
soon as the Sand is run out it shall be turned again, and so for Three 
Times, unless some other Bidding intervenes : And if no other Person 
shall bid until the Sand shall have run through the Glass for Three 
Times, the last Bidder shall be the Farmer or Renter of the said Tolls. 

On February 15th, 1809, the Trustees of that portion 
of the turnpike road running from Godstone to Highgate, 
Forest Row, petitioned Parliament for an enlargement of 
the powers given them under three previous Acts, as the 
money already borrowed on the security of the tolls was 
not sufficient to keep the road in decent repair. The 
expedition with which Parliament dealt with the matter 


is little short of marvellous. The petition was referred 
to two Members. A week later leave was given to bring 
in a Bill. It was before the House on March 13th ; passed 
its third reading by April 1 8th ; was agreed to by the 
Lords on the 24th, and received the Royal assent on the 
28th. Thus in a little over two months was done what 
would possibly now take two years. The local turnpikes 
were abolished some 70 years later, and on June 27th, 
1882, the road through East Grinstead was declared a 
main road and taken over by the county authorities, as 
and from October 16th following. 

We hear very little now about the " Old Road" and 
the " New Road," though the names still linger in the 
memories of some residents. The town was originally 
approached from Forest Row by the disused road which 
turned in some 50 yards on the town side of Budgen's 
Barn and traversed what is now called Frog's Hole, a 
dangerous, circuitous route for vehicular traffic. About 
70 years ago the then Earl De la Warr purchased a 
number of old and dilapidated buildings which sur- 
rounded Sackville College and had them removed, the 
present wide roadway which provides so charming an 
approach to our town from the Lewes road being made at 
the same time. 

The approach to the town from what is now known as 
Sunnyside was originally by way of Hurst -an -Clays 
coach road, that being a public thoroughfare up to 1860. 
The necessary land for the making of Ship Street on its 
present site was given by the late Mr. C. C. Tooke, in 
return for a relinquishment of all public rights over the 
old road which led immediately past his front door and 
under the dove-cote. The scheme was approved by the 
Vestry on October 2nd, 1860. 

An exact and careful measurement of all the roads in 
the parish was completed on March 14th, 1881, and the 
following table of distances was compiled : 

Miles. Yds. 

From Felbridge, through the town, to Wych Cross 6 1653 

Imberhorne Lane, from near Felbridge, to Hazelden Cross 1 1 395 

From Hazelden Cross to Saint Hill Green 1 186 

,, ,, ,, ,, Hurley Farm 1 556 


Miles. Yds. 

From the town end of West Street to Hazelden Cross .... 1 528 

the top of West Street, by the Ship Inn, to Tyes Cross 3 1546 
the Crossways, near Hurst-an-Clays dove-cote, to the 

Town by the Hermitage 692 

Tyes Cross to Forest Eow Church 3 826 

Ashdown Park to Stone Farm. 4 246 

the Forest Road to Twyford Lodge 548 

Lingfield Eoad, from London Road to the County Boundary 833 

Opposite Miles' Cottage at Felbridge 216 

Hartfield district turnpike road 1 888 

From Forest Row to Park Corner 1 128 

,, Ashurst Wood to East Grinstead Lane, by Shovel- 
strode 2 648 

Road at Ashurst Wood, opposite Brambletye lower lodge . . 40 

From. Hartfield Parish, by East Grinstead Lane, to the Town 3 1 700 

Frog's Hole Road 243 

Shepherd's Grove Road 596 

From the Larches to Sandhawes Hill. . 182 

Total 33 1570 

Since that date many new roads have been laid out, 
and the following, within the Urban District, at present 
taken over by the public authority, completes the list to 

date I Yards. 

Portlands Road 417 

Moat Road 434 

Cranston Road 418 

Maypole Road 121 

Durkins Road 1 80 

Green Hedges Avenue 99 

Queen's Road 440 

Wellington Town Road 264 

Charlwoods Row 70 

Lower Glen Vue 110 

GlenVue 313 

Station Road 209 

De la Warr Road 330 

Cantelupe Road 418 

Chequer Road 99 

St. James' Road 198 

Fairfield Road 225 

This gives a total of 36 miles, 635 yards, of which 
there are in the existing parish of East Grinstead : 

Miles. Yds. 
Main County Road 3 338 

District Roads ., 15 1330 

Total.. 18 1668 



THE residents of East Grinstead and the neighbour- 
hood first began to agitate for railway facilities in 1845. 
On October 10th of that year a public meeting was held 
at the Crown Hotel and an influential committee, under 
the chairmanship of Mr. Robert Crawfurd, of Saint Hill, 
was formed to facilitate the scheme. Numerous meetings 
followed in rapid succession and at a very large gather- 
ing held on November 6th a decision was come to, but 
not unanimously, in favour of a branch running from 
East Grinstead to join the South-Eastern Company's line 
at Godstone. This gave great annoyance to many of 
the gentry, who strongly favoured a branch to join 
the South Coast Company's line at Three Bridges. 
Encouraged by both the decision and the opposition, 
surveys were immediately commenced for both lines, 
and the two Companies named went to Parliament, each 
with a Bill to secure the necessary powers. The South- 
Eastern was unwise enough to change the proposed site 
of its terminus from where the Urban Council offices now 
stand to a less convenient spot ; a public meeting held on 
March 4th, 1846, protested against the alteration; the 
Company would not give in, so on the 14th of the same 
month, at a great public gathering, the inhabitants 
decided that " owing to the want of straightforwardness 
in the South-Eastern Company " they would withdraw 
support from their scheme and transfer it entirely to the 
Brighton Company's proposals. This was apparently 
the turning point in the fight between the two Companies, 
for six days later the Brighton Company's Bill passed a 
Committee of the House of Commons and that of the 
South-Eastern Company was rejected. The raising of 
106,666 was authorised to carry out the work and duly 
subscribed, but the railway panic of the following year 
induced the Company to devote the money to some other 
purpose, and so the town lost the benefit of both schemes. 


This action on the part of the Railway Company gave 
great dissatisfaction, and so indignant did the residents of 
East Grinstead become at the delay shown in carrying 
out the approved proposals that on June 5th, 1848, a 
public meeting was held and a large number of signatures 
obtained to a petition to the House of Lords praying 
them not to grant permission to the South-Coast Company 
to commence any more new projects until they had com- 
pleted the East Griustead and Three Bridges branch. 
Nothing came of the agitation, however, and in the 
summer of 1852 the residents of East Grinstead and the 
district intervening between this town and the main line 
themselves took the matter up in earnest, formed a Com- 
pany in September of that year, raised the necessary 
capital, went to Parliament and got their Bill provisionally 
approved on May 12th, 1853, the reception of the news 
being made the occasion of great rejoicing in the town. 
The Act finally passed both Houses on July 8th. The 
first sod was cut by Mrs. A. Hastie on November 22nd 
of the same year, and the first engine passed over the 
new line on June 6th, 1855. A month later, on July 
9th, ordinary traffic commenced. The first train ran out 
of East Grinstead at 12.15 and returned from Three 
Bridges at one o'clock, some hundreds of townspeople 
being carried free of charge. It was a day of great 
festivity in East Grinstead. All the shops were closed 
at noon ; a band came up from Brighton ; the church 
bells were rung; flags were flying; over 200 sat down 
to a banquet served on Mr. Hastie's lawn ; and the six 
trains in and out were all well patronised. The building 
of the line cost 53,000, and incidental expenses brought 
up the capital expenditure to 60,000, of which 10,000 
was raised by debentures and 50,000 by shares of 25 
each. The original East Grinstead terminus was where 
the goods station house now stands. Later, when the 
line was extended to Tunbridge Wells in 1866, the now 
disused station below the bridge in London Road came 
into use, and the entrance on the bridge and down the 
steps was provided. This finally ceased to be used for 
passenger traffic on October 14th, 1883, when the present 


more commodious station was opened and approached by 
way of Glen Vue. There was originally no station at 
Grange Road. Sir C. M. Lampson sold his land rather 
cheaply on condition that a station should be built at 
Rowfant and that the train leaving East Grinstead each 
morning between nine and ten o'clock, or the nearest to 
those hours, should always stop there, and this arrange- 
ment is still in force. 

The provisional Directors of the Company, according 
to its prospectus, were Mr. J. Dorrien Magens, of Hammer- 
wood (Chairman), Mr. George Head (Banker, of East 
Grinstead), Mr. F. Moor ( Holy wych, Hartfield), Mr. Wm. 
Stenning (Halsford), Mr. C. C. Tooke (Hurst-an-Clays) 
and Mr. F. C. Worsley (Imberhorne), with Messrs. Wm. 
Fearless and Arthur Hastie as joint secretaries. The two 
latter acted until the Company was wound up, but the 
Directors were reduced to four in number, and the 
following acted for almost the whole time of the Com- 
pany's existence: Messrs. J. D. Magens, B. Hale, W. 
Stenning and G. Head. Before it was completed arrange- 
ments were made for leasing the line to the Brighton 
Railway Company for 2,000 per annum, not a very 
satisfactory financial bargain, as by the time all expenses 
had been met and interest on debentures paid there was 
not enough left for a 3 per cent, dividend on the 
ordinary shares, and the most the shareholders ever got 
in one year was 2. 18s. 8d. per cent. The Brighton 
Company had a purchasing clause in the lease, and in 
1865 they put this in force, taking over the debenture 
debt of 10,000 and paying 43,000 in addition, so 
that the shareholders in the East Grinstead Railway 
Company did not get back their capital in full. The 
expenses of managing the Company were only about 
b'0 a year. The Directors drew 20 a year between 
them, the two Secretaries only 12. 10s. each and the 
two Auditors (Messrs. John Mills and John Turley) a 
guinea each. Such economy of working is sufficiently 
rare as to merit notice. 

At the outset the Sunday trains were naturally more 
freely patronised than were those on week-days, and this 

M 2 


brought about strong protests, the leader in the agitation 
being the Rev. H. Woodingtori, who was then Curate 
here. He used to go to the station at train time, 
distribute tracts and urge the people to listen to the 
church bell rather than the railway bell. A public 
meeting was held in reference to the matter, but the 
agitation was devoid of results, for Sunday trains have 
not yet ceased to run. 

The first turf of the section between East Grinstead 
and Tunbridge Wells was cut on July 18th, 1864, by 
Lord West; and a company of about 300, including 
the Bishop of Oxford and many noblemen, celebrated the 
event with a sumptuous luncheon, at which there was 
no stint of either wine or meat. This section of line 
was opened on October 1st, 1866, without any public 
ceremony in East Grinstead. At the same time there 
were numerous other projects in view in which East 
Grinstead was to play a leading part. Bills were intro- 
duced for a line from London to Beckenham, East Grin- 
stead, Lewes and Brighton; another from Redhill to 
East Grinstead; and a third from East Grinstead to 
Uckfield; but not one of these projects met with the 
approval of Parliament. The first-named did pass the 
Lords on July 25th, 1866, and the East Grinstead church 
bells were set ringing, the band was called out and torches 
and tar barrels were lighted and carried through the town. 
The place of this proposed line was taken nearly 20 years 
later by the South-Coast Company's low-level route from 
Lewes, through East Grinstead, to a junction with the 
old main line at South Croydon. The southern section 
below East Grinstead was opened in August, 1882, and 
the northern part in March, 1884. 

In making the new line from East Grinstead to 
Croydon the Railway Company took possession of the 
Old Parish Pound and paid the sum of 50 to the 
Churchwardens and Overseers for it. Subsequently, 
Mr. A. H. Hastie, on behalf of Lord Sackville, Lord of 
the Manor of Imberhorne, claimed the money. The 
ratepayers, in vestry assembled, declined to part, so 
Lord Sackville claimed the sum from the Company and 



they eventually paid him and reclaimed the money from 
the parish, and it was refunded to the Railway Company 
some three years later. 

The following table gives particulars of the lengths 
and dates of opening of the five lines running out of 
East Grinstead :- Length- 

Route. Authorised. Opened. Miles. Chains. 

East Grinstead to Three 

Bridges July 8, 1853 July 9, 1855 6 71 

East Grinstead to Groom- 
bridge Aug. 7, 1862 Oct. 1, 1866 10 10 

East Grinstead to Culver 

Junction Aug. 10, 1877 Aug. 1, 1882 17 13 

East Grinstead to South 

Croydon June 17, 1878 Mar. 10, 1884 18 70 

East Grinstead to St. 
Margaret's Junction 
(loop line) 55 

In the following table is given the train service as it 
was on the opening day of each section : 

JULY, 1855. 

Week-days. Sundays. 

London (dep.) 6.0 10.0 12.0 4.0 5.5 6.0 j 7.0 6.0 

East Grinstead ....(arr.) 8.20 11.20 1.20 5.15 6.30 7.40 | 9.14 7.50 

East Grinstead .... (dep.) 6.55 8.30 11.30 3.50 6.50 7.50 6.50 
London (arr.) 9.15 9.50 1.0 5.25 8.45 10.45 9.0 


OCTOBER, 1866. 

Tunbridge Wells .. (dep.) 7.53 9.0 11.10 3.5 5.40 7.35 
East Grinstead ....(arr.) 8.25 9.26 11.42 3.27 6.12 8.7 

East Grinstead .... (dep.) 9.33 1.7 
Tunbridge Wells . . (arr.) 10.5 1.39 


5.16 6.13 
5.40 6.45 


8.16 5.46 

8.48 6.18 

10.20 8.5 

10.52 8.37 

AUGUST, 1882. 

Lewes (dep.) 8.15 10.47 2.42 6.30 9.0 

East Griustead (arr.) 9.25 11.53 3.48 6.35 10.6 

East Grinstead .... (dep.) 6.45 9.55 1.20 5.45 9.10 
Lewes (arr.) 7.46 10.56 2.21 6.51 10.22 

8.52 2.47 6.37 

9.58 3.52 7.43 

10.35 4.20 8.15 

11.36 5.21 9.16 

MARCH, 1884. 

London (dep.) 8.10 11.50 4.10 7.27 

East Grinstead ....(arr.) 9.23 1.3 5.26 8.40 

East Grinstead (dep.) 8.7 10.22 2.55 8.55 

London (arr.) 9.24 11.35 4.8 10.8 

8.40 6.50 

9.53 8.3 

9.58 8.8 

11.12 9.22 


A COMMITTEE was appointed in 1779 to carry into 
execution a plan for raising 24 Volunteer Companies to 
be associated for the defence of Sussex, and Captains 
were appointed in the different Rapes of this County, but 
the movement would seem to have been of a temporary 
character. However, in the year 1803 so real and acute 
became the fear of an invasion of this country by the 
French that the inhabitants of East Grinstead and the 
surrounding neighbourhood, comprising the northern 
district of the Rape of Pevensey, offered to form a legion 
of 1,220 men, consisting of two troops of cavalry, two 
companies of riflemen or skirmishers, and 12 light 
infantry companies. The then Lord Sheffield was at 
the head of the movement ; it was strongly backed up 
by the Duke of Richmond, and George III. was 
" graciously pleased to approve and accept" it, especially 
as the Legion asked nothing from Government but arms 
for the infantry and "a jacket and pantaloons for such 
of the infantry as cannot afford to supply themselves ; or 
an allowance of one guinea each to furnish the same." 
Thus sprung into being the first local volunteer military 
organisation. The first East Grinstead officers were : 

The Et. Hon. Charles Abbot, Kidbrook 

(Speaker of the House of Commons) Lieut. -Colonel. 

Edward Cranston, East Court Major. 

Magens Dorrien Magens, Hammerwood Capt. -Lieutenant. 

Alexander Geo. Mackie, East Grinstead 1st Lieutenant. 

John Shuter, East Grinstead 2nd ,, 

Thomas Palmer, jun., East Grinstead . . ,, ,, 

The following were the first non-commissioned officers : 

David Duke Pay master Sergeant (afterwards 2nd Lieut.). 

John Stenning .... Sergeant. 

John Palmer ,, (afterwards Qr.-Master-Sergt.). 

William Moon .... Drill Sergeant. 

James Lynn Corporal. 

John Trice ,, (afterwards Sergeant). 

William Pobgee . . 

Henry Bysh ,, 


The oath of allegiance required from each Volunteer 

I, A. B., do sincerely promise and swear that I will be faithful and 
bear true allegiance to His Majesty King George the Third, and that 
I will faithfully serve His Majesty in the North Pevensey Legion 
against all his enemies and opposers whatsoever. So help me God. 

This was taken after Divine service in the morning on 
Sunday, October 23rd, 1803, and in the evening the 
men were drilled for the first time in the Chequer Mead. 
A month later Lord Sheffield issued a special order, in 
which he thanked the Volunteers of East Grinstead " for 
their great attention and steadiness under arms, which at 
once renders them equal to any service." 

By the end of the year the East Grinstead contingent, 
which had a total strength of 84, was in good working 
order. Sunday was always the day set apart for drills 
and field days, the former taking place in a large barn 
at the back of Newlands, the firing in the Pit field at 
Fairlight Farm, on Major Cranston's East Court estate, 
and the field manoeuvres on Ashurst Wood Common. The 
men always slept with their arms and uniforms by their 
side and several days' provisions packed ready for use, 
so that no delay should ensue when the beacon signal 
flashed its warning light over the country side. It was 
arranged that in the event of invasion by Napoleon 
the families of all the gentry resident in the Lewes 
and Pevensey Rapes should be conveyed for safety 
to the wild district of Copthorne, the famous rendezvous 
of prize-fighters, smugglers and poachers. An enormous 
number of cartridges, both blank and ball, were served 
out, and the consumption of flints for use in the old flint- 
lock muskets was also considerable. At Christmas 
the signal for assembly was hourly expected. The 
East Grinstead Company was ordered to remain in 
the town, except for detaching a Lieutenant, Sergeant, 
Corporal and 20 men to Hartfield or Withyham. The 
general orders were amplified by Major Cranston on 
New Year's Day, 1804, in the following terms : 

The following regulations for the good of the Company, the Com- 
manding Officer thinks it both prudent and proper to insert in orders, 


to prevent confusion, should the enemy occasion an alarm, which seems 
to be daily expected. On the beacons being fired, or any other certain 
intelligence arriving, the drums are to beat to arms and the Company 
will immediately assemble, sending away one or two of the Volunteers 
to summon in the out-resident men. After the names are called over 
and the Officer Commanding has made out the real strength, he must 
then send a Sergeant to the Magistrate requesting him to order the 
constables to billet the Company as equally as possible among the 
public-houses. Those men, however, who have homes and families in 
the town will, of course, have no occasion for billet. 

The men were divided up into messes of seven, orderlies 
were appointed, sentries nominated and every possible 
detail arranged to fit the Company for immediate active 
service. Before the Legion had been in existence nine 
months Lord Sheffield was able to issue the following 
very complimentary order: 

Lord Sheffield has been highly gratified by the general good conduct 
of the North Pevensey Legion, as observed during the late inspection. 
The attention, steadiness and soldierlike appearance of the Volunteers 
is truly honourable to them. The perseverance they have manifested 
will ensure that degree of perfection which is necessary to the forma- 
tion of good troops, on which the welfare of the nation is to depend. 

It may not be necessary during the ensuing hay and corn harvest to 
assemble for exei'cise on the week-days, but it is earnestly requested 
that the several troops and companies meet either early on the Sunday 
morning or in the afternoon, in order that they may not lose the 
ground they have gained so creditable to themselves, the necessity for 
their preparing to defend their religion, their liberty, their families 
and property being no less urgent than it has been at any period during 
the existence of the nation. 

On July 8th, 1805, the Legion received its colours and 
the men swore they would never allow them to fall into 
the hands of the enemies of our country. They kept 
their word. Major Cranston occasionally read his men a 
severe lecture, but always finished with a stirring appeal 
to their patriotism. Here is an eloquent conclusion to 
one of his addresses : 

Let us then go forward with our present undertaking hand in hand, 
and become, in unanimity and in discipline, an example to the Legion, 
and still endeavour to retain that credit we already have acquired 
that our names may be recorded for posterity to see that in an hour 
when danger threatened this happy Isle we (the Volunteers of East 
Grinstead) came forward to protect and defend our country and our 


During August and September of 1805 the whole 
nation was in a ferment, and no one doubted but that 
the Frencli would be landing before many weeks had 
passed. Precautions were doubled and all possible 
preparation made to resist invasion. Napoleon had 
concentrated an army of 130,000 men, 15,000 horses, 
600 guns and a vast flotilla at Boulogne, and was only 
waiting for the junction of the French and Spanish 
fleets in the English Channel to carry out his purpose. 
Then came the ever memorable battle of Trafalgar on 
October 21st, 1805, and the temporary shattering of the 
maritime power of the two countries opposed to us. 
England breathed freely again and the general feelings 
of jubilation which prevailed may well be judged from 
the following " Orders" issued in East Grinstead : 

In consequence of His Majesty's proclamation for a general thanks- 
giving on Thursday, the 5th day of December next, for the late 
florious and unexampled victories obtained over the combined fleets of 
ranee and Spain, by the late tho' ever memorable and most gallant 
Admiral Lord Viscount Nelson, and other distinguished officers of 
His Majesty's Royal Navy, the Volunteers are desired to assemble for 
parade in uniform with side-arms only at past 10 o'clock in order to 
proceed to church to unite in prayer and thanksgiving for those signal 
exercises so recently received, whereby the dread of invasion is in a 
great measure removed and may ultimately open to us the prospect of 
peace, when each of us may, without interruption from military 
service, pursue our respective avocations and rest secure under the 
pleasing reflection that in an hour when our country was in danger from 
the threatened attacks of our enemies in which all that is dear and 
valuable would have fallen a sacrifice, without that general spirit and 
unanimity which hath so manifestly appeared in every rank and 
condition in life we also came forward to contribute all in our power 
to the general cause. 

On September 28th, 1806, the Legion was disbanded 
and the East Grinstead men were called on to hand back 
their arms and accoutrements at the Vestry on October 
8th and to dine with the Speaker of the House of 
Commons at the Swan Hotel that evening. The order 
of dismissal seems to have given intense dissatisfaction. 
The Company met in the Play Field on Sunday, October 
5th, to receive it, but before doing so addressed a letter 
to their Commanding Officer, Lieut.-Col. Cranston, 
setting forth that Lord Sheffield had tendered the 


resignation of the services of the Legion " without any 
general consultation of the members thereof," and that 
the East Grinstead men, to vindicate their own honour 
and credit, could not but express their deep concern at 

so unexpected and as we conceive unreasonable an event and do 
consider it is an extreme hard case that after a conscious and faithful 
discharge of our duty for upwards of three years, we should now be 
reduced to the unpleasant situation of meanly retiring from so 
laudable and beneficial an undertaking and, in consequence, becoming 
liable to serve in the Militia or other additional promiscuous force, as 
also that our past exertions should be thus ungratefully rewarded. 

The letter proceeded at great length much in the 
same strain and the writers concluded by offering their 
services to form a distinct Company under the command 
of Lieut.-Col. Cranston. The offer was refused and on 
October 7th the East Grinstead men again met and 
decided to present a similar petition to the Speaker, who 
was also an officer of the Legion. Their wishes were 
again set forth at great length and the writers concluded 
with the following expressions : 

It is then, Honourable Sir, iinpress'd with these sentiments, we are 
now induc'd to tender our services under your command, for your 
acceptance and that of our country. But should our application fail 
and from other important duties of your exalted station, you cannot 
possibly meet the wishes of the Company We shall then retire in 
silence under the reflection of having done, thus far, all in our power 
to assist in the general cause ; and tho' obliged to yield to resignation 
on one hand, yet on the other willing to renew our services, were they 
thought of sufficient moment to meet acceptance. Still should the 
horrors of war threaten our native land and the inveteracy of our 
enemies increase towards us, we are determined individually to act 
like Britons, and in an hour of impending danger to use our efforts to 
defend and rescue our weeping country from every foe. 

The Rt. Hon. Lieut.-Col. Abbot wrote back express- 
ing his deep regrets that he was unable to accept the 
patriotic offer, but he promised that if the war continued 
and circumstances changed he would do his very best to 
enable the men of East Grinstead to give effect to their 
loyalty and ardour. Thus closed the three years' history 
of the East Grinstead contingent of the North Pevensey 

The warlike spirit of our ancestors seems to have 
slumbered for 46 years, but in 1852 groundless fears of 


another invasion by the French were disseminated and 
some of the townspeople were induced to ascertain which 
of the inhabitants would be ready to take up arms in 
case their hearths and homes were threatened. On July 
12th of that year a public meeting was convened by Mr. 
R. Crawfurd, of Saint Hill, and the matter was talked 
over, but nothing definite was done. The Crimean war 
soon began and the Alliance between England and France 
caused public fears to subside, and no further attempt to 
re-establish a local Volunteer Company was made for 
seven years. Then came the Carbonari's attempt to 
assassinate Napoleon III. The conspirators had lived 
and prepared their bombs in London and the French 
soldiers looked on our Metropolis as a centre of con- 
spiracies. A number of French colonels sent an address 
to the Emperor asking to be allowed to invade England 
and " rout out this nest of treasons." The address was 
published in the official organ of the French Government 
and England's immediate reply was the formation of the 
present body of Volunteers. 

East Grinstead again took its fair share in the move- 
ment. A Rifle Club was formed in 1859, with Mr. 
W. A. Head as its Honorary Secretary, and a large sum 
of money was raised for its support. But it was thought 
better to form a Rifle Corps and some members were 
sworn in during November, 1859, but owing to infor- 
malities the ceremony had to be gone through again a 
few months later. The oath was administered by Earl 
De la Warr, and present on the Bench when the first 
contingent made allegiance was Mr. John Stenning, who 
was not a Magistrate, but had served in the local Company 
of the North Pevensey Legion as a Sergeant 56 years 
before. The first officers were Major A. R. Margary, 
Captain ; Mr. A. C. Ramsden, Lieutenant ; and Mr. W. A. 
Head, Ensign ; and all three attended the reception of 
Volunteer officers held by Her late Majesty early in 1860. 
The first muster was on February 23rd, 1860, and 60 
members formed the local Corps, which was known as the 
5th Sussex Rifle Volunteers. In April of the same year 
three Administrative Battalions were formed for the whole 


county and East Grinstead was put in the Third, with the 
Brighton, Ouckfield, Lewes and Battle Companies. It 
remained associated with this Battalion until January 
22nd, 1862, when it was united to the 2nd Administrative 
Battalion of the Sussex R.V., the head quarters of which 
were at Petworth, where they remained until 1869, when 
they were removed to Horsham. On February 20th, 
1874, the two Battalions were consolidated, and the head 
quarters have since been at Worthing. On February 
7th, 1880, the existing Corps were formed into one 
Regiment, and that in East Grinstead became " C " 
Company of the 2nd Sussex Rifle Volunteers, after- 
wards the 2nd V.B. of the Royal Sussex Regiment. 
The Company wore the grey uniform until March, 
1880, when the colour was changed to scarlet, the 
present drab uniforms being first worn in the spring of 

The Boer War which broke out in 1899 gave the 
Volunteers their first chance to engage in active fighting. 
The East Grinstead men were possessed of a good deal 
of that spirit which animated the members of the North 
Pevensey Legion a century before and several members 
of "C" Company were among the first to offer their 
services. The contingent, consisting of 116 officers and 
men, under the command of the late Major Sir Walter 
Barttelot, sailed for South Africa on March 10th, 1900, 
and two months later a further draft of 21 was sent out. 
The Company embarked for home on May 15th, 1901, 
having seen some severe fighting, and leaving 16 of 
their number, including Private Caldwell, of the East 
Grinstead Company, buried beneath the African veldt. 
Meanwhile steps had been taken to form a second Active 
Service Company, and on April 27th, 1901, Lieut. 
S. W. P. Beale, of the East Grinstead Company, and 
who was given the temporary rank of Captain, sailed 
in command of 115 officers and men. They remained 
in South Africa 12 months. A third contingent was sent 
out on April 17th, 1902, but the war was over before it 
reached the scene of actual fighting, and this third 
Company returned immediately. 


The following is a complete list of the officers who 
have commanded the East Grinstead Company : 

Capt. A. E. Margary, of Chartham, Feb. 9th, 1860, to May 4th, 
1861. Capt. Margary was formerly in the 54th Foot and was made 
an honorary major in the Army on retirement. 

Capt. Grenville Granville Wells, of Ashdown House, May 4th, 1861, 
to June 27th, 1863. This officer joined the Corps as a Lieutenant on 
Oct. 3rd, 1860. 

Capt. W. A. Fearless, June 27th, 1863, to Feb. 16th, 1866. Mr. 
William Austen Fearless, a member of the well-known firm of local 
solicitors, joined as an Ensign on May 4th, 1861, and got his Lieutenancy 
on April 18th, 1863. On Feb. 16th, 1866, he resigned the captaincy 
and was made Honorary Assist. Quarter-Master of the Regiment. He 
rejoined the East Grinstead Corps on March 7th, 1871, and for a 
second time became Captain, commanding the Company until June 
28th, 1885, when he died at Uplands, while his men were encamped 
at Arundel Park. He had been made an Honorary Major on Nov. 
23rd, 1881. 

Capt. F. S. Blunt, of Crabbett, Feb. 16th, 1866, to March 7th, 

Major E. Henty, of Crawley, from the autumn of 1885, to Dec. 9th, 
1893. This officer also served in the Cuckfield and Arundel Com- 
panies. He holds the Volunteers Officers' decoration for 20 j'ears' 

Capt. J. 8. Oxley, of Fen Place, Dec. 9th, 1893, to Aug. 8th, 1902. 
Mr. Oxley joined the Company as 2nd Lieutenant on June 25th, 1887. 
He was made Lieutenant on Jan. 26th, 1889; Captain on Feb. I Oth, 
1894 ; and Honorary Major on Nov. 10th, 1897. He was first appointed 
to the Staff of the Battalion on Dec. 6th, 1890, as Instructor of 
Musketry. He was formerly a Captain in the 1st V.B. Royal Fusiliers 
and since 1901 has been A.D.C. to the Brigadier commanding the 
Sussex and Kent Volunteer Infantry Brigade. On Aug. 9th, 1902, 
he was on duty as a Gold Staff Officer at the King's Coronation 
in Westminster Abbey and received the Coronation medal. As a 
long range shot Major Oxley has had few superiors. He has often 
been included in the English team for the Elcho Shield and has 
won many valuable prizes at Wimbledon and Bisley. 

Capt. S. W. P. Beale, of Standen, took command Aug. 8th 1902. 
He joined the Corps on April 28th, 1887, as 2nd Lieutenant; became 
Lieutenant on March 15th, 1899; was made an Honorary Captain in 
the Army on July 26th, 1902, and Captain of "C" Company on 
Sept. 27th of the same year. He commanded the second Active 
Service Company sent out to South Africa from Sussex, and served 
in the Boer War from April, 1901, to June, 1902. He acted as 
Intelligence Officer to Lieut. -Col. Du Moulin's and Major Gilbert's 
column from Aug., 1901, to March, 1902. He wears the Queen's 
medal, with clasps for Cape Colony and Orange Free State. 


Since the establishment of the Corps the following 
have also held commissions : 

Arthur Charles Eamsden, Lieutenant from Feb. 20th, 1860, to 
Oct. 3rd, 1860. 

William Alston Head, of High Street, now of Domons, East 
Grinstead, joined as Ensign Feb. 20th, 1860, made Lieutenant May 
4th, 1861 ; resigned April 18th, 1863 ; made Hon. Assist. Quarter- 
Master in the Battalion March 7th, 1871, resigned April 24th, 1880. 

John Whyte, Lingfield Lodge, East Grinstead, Hon. Assist. Surgeon 
from May 18th, 1860, to Dec. 19th, 1864. 

Rev. Edward Polehampton, Rector of Hartfield, Hon. Chaplain from 
July llth, 1861, to July 24th, 1880. 

John Cuthbert Stenning, Steel Cross, Tunbridge Wells, Ensign 
April 18th, 1863; Lieutenant June 27th, 1863; resigned Sept. 6th, 1867. 

William Rudge, Ensign from June 27th, 1863, to December 19th, 

James Richardson Fearless, of The Hermitage, now of Sackville 
Cottage, East Grinstead, joined the Corps on its formation ; made 
Ensign Dec. 19th, 1864; Lieutenant March 7th, 1871 ; Hon. Capt. on 
his resignation Feb. 7th, 1891. Received a public presentation on 
completing 30 years' service Feb. 22nd, 1890, and Volunteer Officers' 
Decoration in July, 1892. 

Robert Turner Head, High Street, East Grinstead, Hon. Assist. 
Surgeon from Dec. 19th, 1864, to Dec. 22nd, 1875; Assist. Surgeon 
to the Regiment Dec. 21st, 1872; Surgeon Oct. 1st, 1877; resigned 
Jan. 5th, 1881. 

William Vicesiinus Knox Stenning, Halsford, East Grinstead, 
Ensign March 7th, 1871 ; Lieutenant June 1st, 1873; resigned July 
7th, 1880. Mr. Stenning was a renowned county shot and brought 
several valuable prizes to East Grinstead. 

Charles Edward Collins, Redstede, East Grinstead, Assist. Surgeon 
December 22nd, 1875; Surgeon Oct. 1st, 1877; Staff Surgeon Feb. 
7th, 1880 ; Surgeon- Major Aug. 29th, 1891 ; resigned Feb. 10th, 1894. 
Mr. Collins has been a well-known shot at Wimbledon, where he won 
many valuable prizes, including the Wimbledon Cup in 1886. 

Evelyn Alston Head, of Westfields, now of Daledene, East Grinstead, 
2nd Lieutenant May 18th, 1881 ; Lieutenant July 1st, 1881 ; resigned 
Nov. 17th, 1883. 

Reginald Wilson Fearless, of The Hermitage, now of Green Hedges, 
East Grinstead, Lieutenant from Oct. 24th, 1885, to March 26th, 1887. 

John Ashburner Nix, Tilgate, Crawley, 2nd Lieutenant Nov. 2nd, 
1889; Lieutenant June 13th, 1891; made Captain and posted to the 
command of the Worthing Company, March 24th, 1897. 

John H. Luscombe, Hayheath, Worth, 2nd Lieutenant April 28th, 
1897; Lieutenant June 3rd, 1899; resigned Aug. llth, 1902, and 
joined the Royal Garrison Regiment, 


Ernest Gresham Moore, High-street, East Grinstead, Lieutenant 
since Feb. 27th, 1901 ; made Captain March, 1905, and granted at the 
same time the honorary rank of Major. Is Commanding Officer of 
the Cyclist Company of the Battalion. Was formerly a Captain in 
the 1st Notts (Eobin Hood) E.V. 

The following have held office as Sergeant-Instructors : 

Sergt. Smith, Royal Sussex Militia. He did not nominally rank as 
Sergeant-Instructor, but did excellent work in getting the Corps into 

Sergt. Edward Brind, 21st Scots Fusiliers, died in 1870. 

Sergt. Hand, 60th Rifles. 

Sergt. J. C. Raw, 100th Foot, from Nov. 15th, 1878, to Aug. 3rd, 1886. 

Sergt. James Palmer, Royal Sussex Regiment, Sept. 15th, 1886, to 
April 15th, 1897. 

Col. -Sergt. H. W. Saynor, Royal Sussex Regiment, April 1st, 1897, 
to Jan., 1905. 

Col.-Sergt. H. W. Gallop for two months in 1905. 

Col. -Sergt. A. Nye, Royal Sussex Regiment, appointed July, 1905. 



THE lives of many local worthies have already been 
dealt with, but there are others who also merit mention. 


John Rowe, a most able lawyer and antiquary, 
described by one writer as " The Father of Sussex 
Archaeology," came, on the maternal side, from an old 
East Grinstead family. His father was John Rowe, of 
Tonbridge, and his mother was the daughter and 
co-heiress of Thomas Drew, of East Grinstead. He 
was born in 1560 and became principal of Clifford's Inn. 
He died on November 27th, 1639, and was buried at St. 
Anne's, Lewes. For a quarter of a century he was 
Steward to Lord Abergavenny, and while so acting made 
a vast collection of manuscripts relating to the manorial 
history of Sussex, and a copy of this, ornamented with 
the arms of the owners of the Manors, was for a long 
time kept at the Hermitage, East Grinstead, while Mr. 
Wakeham and his widow resided there. It is not known 
where these documents now are, but a duplicate is 
preserved in the British Museum. His daughter Anne 
married Edward Raynes, of Lewes and Conyboro', 
which marriage resulted in an only daughter, Susanna, 
who became the wife, on August 15th, 1672, of Thomas 
Medley, of Buxted, ancestor, through female lines, of the 
present Earl of Liverpool. 


Richard Kidder, afterwards a distinguished Bishop, 
was born at East Grinstead and christened in the Parish 
Church on February 9th, 1633-4. The family of Kidder 
came from Maresfield, but the future Bishop's direct 


ancestors established themselves in East Grinstead prior 
to 1571. They were originally bailiffs under the Duchy 
of Lancaster for part of Ashdown Forest. Richard 
Kidder's father was William Kidder and his mother's 
maiden name was Wickenden. The father was a mercer, 
but possibly fell on hard times, for both he and his wife 
died while inmates of Sackville College. Richard was 
the youngest but one of a family of nine, and in his 
early days was taught to read by a lady living in the 
neighbourhood. He made such good progress that he 
was sent to a grammar school carried on by Reyner 
Herman, who was Warden of Sackville College from 
1646 to 1656. At the age of 15 he was so far advanced 
that he was fitted for a University, but as his relatives 
did not possess the means to enable them to continue his 
education he was sent to Sevenoaks to learn the business 
of an apothecary. Some friends, however, took pity on 
the lad and raised enough money to send him to 
Cambridge. Here he made good use of his time and in 
1659 was presented to the living of Standground, Hunts. 
After the Restoration of 1662 he declined to subscribe 
to the revised liturgy, so was one of the 2,000 clergy 
ejected from their benefices on that account. At length 
the Earl of Essex offered him the living of Raine, near 
Braintree, and Kidder lived there for 10 years in great 
discomfort. Other incumbencies followed and on the 
accession of William and Mary he was made Dean of 
Peterborough and one of the King's Chaplains, and the 
degree of D.D. was conferred on him in the King's 
presence. Finally he was consecrated Bishop of Bath 
and Wells on August 30th, 1691, and controlled this 
diocese with much zeal and ability until his awful death 
during the night of November 26-27th, 1703. That 
night a storm of almost unparalleled fury passed over 
England. It did enormous damage in East Grinstead 
and also swept down a stack of chimneys in the 
episcopal palace at Wells, and the good Bishop and his 
wife were killed as they slept and both buried in the 



The Right Hon. Spencer Perceval, a son of the Earl of 
Egmont, and the Prime Minister who was shot in the lobby 
of the House of Commons in 1812, after holding his high 
position for nearly two and a half years, by a man named 
Bellingham, has quite an accidental, but romantic, con- 
nection with East Grinstead. In 1787 the Hon. Chas. 
Geo. Perceval, his eldest brother, married the eldest 
daughter of Sir Thomas Spencer Wilson, Bart., an 
ancestor of the well - known family still occupying 
Searles at Fletching. His brother, the Hon. Spencer, 
also became attached to one of the sisters, Miss Jane 
Wilson, a beautiful girl, but as he was then only a 
briefless barrister his suit was not encouraged by her 
parents. When Miss Wilson came of age the affection 
was as strong as ever, so her father apparently decided 
to give way, but not publicly. He accordingly discreetly 
remained ignorant while his daughter was sent to East 
Grinstead on a visit to Mr. Thomas Wakeham, an 
attorney in this town and estate agent for the Wilson 
family, then living at the Hermitage. Her lover followed 
her and on August 10th, 1790, the bride being dressed in 
her riding habit, they were married here, report com- 
monly saying, in the ruins of the church which had been 
but recently destroyed. This is quite possible, as the main 
walls had been rebuilt in the preceding year. But the 
idea is not favoured by the family, for Sir Spencer 
Walpole, writing in 1876 to the Rev. D. Y. Blakiston, 
says : 

I understand from Mr. Perceval's relatives that the wedding did not 
take place in East Grinstead Church, but in a blacksmith's shed where 
service used to be done at the time. Miss Wilson was staying for the 
occasion at Mr. Wakeham's (The Hermitage), who, it is believed, was 
Sir Thomas Wilson's agent. So far as I know Mr. Perceval did not 
afterwards visit East Grinstead. 

According to Cooke's " Topographical Description of 
Sussex," services were held, while the church was in 
ruins, in Sackville College Chapel. 


The following is a copy of the entry in the parish 
register : 

1790. The Honorable Spencer Perceval, of Lincoln's Inn, in the 
County of Middlesex, Batchelor, and Jane Wilson, of this parish, 
spinster, married in this church by licence this tenth day of August in 
the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety by me Chars. 
Whitehead, Vicar. 

Witnesses. Dorothy Wakeham Spencer Perceval 

T. Wakeham Jane Wilson 

The marriage was a happy one and the union was 
blessed by a family of twelve children. Two days after 
the assassination Parliament voted a pension of 2,000 a 
year to Mrs. Perceval and the sum of 50,000 to be 
invested for the benefit of her large family, some of whom, 
living to extreme old age at Baling and elsewhere, have 
only quite recently died. 


The Rev. Charles John Paterson was a Curate of 
East Grinstead who gained considerable fame beyond 
this town, and an interesting account of his life was 
afterwards written by Archdeacon Hoare, of Winchester. 
He was born on March llth, 1800, and educated at 
Putney, under Dr. Carmalt. His widowed mother 
removed to Brighton as soon as he left school, and here, 
while still a lad, he devoted himself to the study of the 
mineral, animal and fossil kingdoms. He formed one of 
the most valuable collections of Sussex shells and insects 
ever got together. He went to Cambridge when 19 
years of age and was ordained at Easter, 1824, being 
immediately appointed to the curacy of East Grinstead, 
under the Rev. Richard Taylor, taking up work princi- 
pally in the Forest Row district. He became " admired, 
applauded, courted and engaged in most of the circles of 
general society in the neighbourhood." From the 
proceeds of a purse presented to him for extra voluntary 
work undertaken while in East Grinstead, he provided a 
service of sacramental plate and a statuary marble font, 
executed with much taste under his own immediate 
order. Finally his outspoken sermons lost him many of 

N 2 


his friends, and in 1826 he resigned and went to Hasle- 
mere, in Surrey. His farewell sermon here was preached 
on July 4th, 1826, and a great part of the congregation 
were moved to tears and left the church, so he himself 
writes, " as returning from a funeral." A year later 
very strenuous efforts were made by Lord Colchester and 
others to get him back to East Grinstead, and though 
they failed in this they got him appointed on August 
29th, 1827, to the living of West Hoathly. Here he 
accomplished a remarkable work, and his touching, 
eloquent sermons, which changed the character of the 
whole neighbourhood, were published in 1838. It was 
while here, on November 10th, 1836, that he married 
Miss Cordelia Cranston, third daughter of Mr. Edward 
Cranston, of East Court, East Grinstead, but their happy 
married life was of very brief duration, for Mr. Paterson 
died on January 22nd in the following year, having won 
a reputation which few men of 36 are able to enjoy. 
His widow lived until November 13th, 1847, and accord- 
ing to the diary of one who knew her well, " exhibited 
a decision of character and devotedness rarely exceeded 
in the circle in which she moved." Her only daughter 
married the Rev. G. H. Marriott, the present owner of 
part of the Cranston Estate, formerly comprised in the 
East Court Estate, which, before its partition, consisted 
of about 900 acres round the present house. 


An extremely interesting career was that of the Rev. 
F. Mills, who was born at East Grinstead of very poor 
parents, and gained what little education he had at Zion 
Chapel School. He was a wild youth, got into trouble 
and spent a month in Lewes Prison. He afterwards 
enlisted as a soldier and was sent out to Jamaica. In 
time he was invalided home and discharged from the 
Army. By this date he had entirely changed his mode 
of life and became a city missionary and lay preacher. 
In due course he was ordained and obtained a Church 
of England curacy in the North of England. About 


1860 he was presented to the living of Lindfield, near 
Hayward's Heath. Coming back so near his home 
proved a serious error. Stories of his past career were 
spread about, the gentry ignored him and steps were 
taken to have him removed, but he remained in the 
place five years, lived down all calumny and made many 
friends. He died on August 9th, 1867. 


Dr. John Epps was a famous writer and social 
reformer. He published some two dozen botanical and 
medical works and classical translations. He was born 
at Blackheath on February 15th, 1805. The family, 
which traced its origin in this country from a Frenchman 
who came back with Charles II. at the Restoration, after- 
wards removed to Sevenoaks, and in due course young 
Epps was apprenticed to Mr. Durie, a London surgeon. 
He soon commenced to write poetry and published a 
tragedy dealing with the life of John the Baptist, w r hile 
still a lad. After a course of study at Edinburgh he 
commenced to practice in London in 1827, and while 
there married Miss Ellen Elliott on August 24th, 1831. 
He started the Medical Reform Association and was one 
of the founders of the Homoeopathic Society. He 
lectured all over the country on many subjects, being 
particularly active in urging the abolition of capital 
punishment and church rates. He lived for a time at 
Warlingham, and after a visit to Hastings was driving 
back through Ashurst Wood when he saw a bill announcing 
a small property for sale. He liked the situation of the 
land, so he drove on to East Grinstead, called on the late 
Mr. Pearless, whom he then met for the first time, and 
told him to go and buy the place. The deal was carried 
through and the transaction led to a sincere and lasting 
friendship between Mr. Epps and Mr. Pearless. He 
afterwards bought more land adjoining and built The 
Yews, since enlarged and re - named Yewhurst. He 
permanently took up his residence there on April 
30th, 1861, and remained for eight years, going back to 


London early in 1869, where he died on February 
12th of that year. He had been invited to contest 
Northampton for Parliament, but he preferred to work 
outside Westminster, and became very intimate with all 
the great Radical leaders, the Chartists, the Cobdenites 
and the Friends of Italy, being on the Council of the 
latter Society. As a speaker and writer he won a world- 
wide reputation. By reason of his connection with 
Epps's cocoa, Yewhurst was at one time locally known as 
Cocoa Castle. 


Mr. Thomas Cramp, the founder of the Temperance 
cause in East Grinstead, was born at Lewes, where his 
father was a veterinary surgeon, on April 21st, 1810. 
He spent his boyhood at Bexhill and came to East 
Grinstead as an apprentice to Mr. Palmer, the bookseller, 
stationer and u Royal Quill Pen Manufacturer." He 
married Miss Jane Pretty, the daughter of a Wesleyan 
minister, on June 25th, 1841. He had begun his total 
abstinence practice exactly four years earlier total 
abstinence from tea and coffee as well as alcoholic 
liquors, water being his only beverage. The Society he 
started met with most violent opposition. Its members 
were stoned in the public streets; Mr. Cramp was 
suspended from Zion Church and removed from his post 
of Superintendent of the Sunday School ; and his pastor 
preached a public sermon strongly condemning the new- 
fangled craze. The chapel was crowded and at its close 
an adjournment was made to one of the local inns and a 
dozen of wine voted the preacher for his excellent dis- 
course. But he declined the gift. It took many a long 
day to live down the opposition, and it was not until 
August 25th, 1845, some eight years later, that the use 
of the same chapel was first granted for a temperance 
meeting. But the cause grew and in due course East 
Grinstead boasted of one of the strongest temperance 
societies in the county. In 1887 Mr. Cramp's temperance 
jubilee was publicly celebrated, and on April 21st, 1890, a 
public meeting was held to congratulate him on attaining 


his 80th birthday. He lived to celebrate one more, 
passing away on August 18th, 1891. The clock in front 
of the Literary Institute was afterwards erected to 
perpetuate his memory. 

Mr. Cramp was a useful public man. For over 35 
years he was High Bailiff of the County Court, now an 
obsolete office ; he founded the Penny Bank in East 
Grinstead ; he was one of the founders and for 25 years 
Secretary of the first Gas Company ; and he served most 
of the parochial offices. For a long term of years he 
kept a brief diary, which now fills five fairly large 
volumes. By kind permission of his son, Mr. Jury 
Cramp, of Horsham, the following interesting extracts 
are made : 

1842, June 22nd. Mr. Edwards was buried. He was carried to 
church by dissenters, who were detained with the mourners in the 
church for almost an hour, the Vicar (Eev. C. Nevill) being at a 
cricket match and forgetting the funeral. 

1842, June 25th. The anniversary of Thomas and Jane Cramp's 
wedding day. Their wedding was celebrated on the teetotal principle ; 
they have neither tasted, given nor kept in the house any intoxicating 
drinks throughout the year ; they have been preserved in health no 
doctor has been near ; in peace no quarrel has arisen ; in comfort 
no want has been unsupplied. 

1842, Aug. 22nd. A cricket match with East Grinstead and 
Lingfield in the Chequer Mead. A great number of persons present. 
At about 3 o'clock a heavy thunderstorm stopped the play. They are 
now (10 p.m.) singing and rioting at the Crown. Such are the usual 
endings of cricket matches. They have led many a young man 
astray and brought him to ruin. 

1842, Sept. 17th. Walked to Edenbridge Station and rode per 
railway to London. This mode of travelling is superior to any other. 
There is no stopping at public-houses no fees to coachmen and guards 
no suffering and cruelty to the poor horses- 1 but there is regularity, 
speed, accommodation, civility and cheapness, and with at least an 
equal degree of safety. 

1844, Aug. 14th. Miss C. Cranston was this day married to Col. 
Leslie. In consequence of the Vicar's Puseyite views and practices 
the parties were forced, though very reluctantly, to have the marriage 
performed at Lingfield Church. 

1844, Nov. 15th. Lord Ellenborough passed through the town on 
his way to Kidbrooke. An arch of evergreens made in honour to him, 
music played and bells rang also, but all was got up by a publican, 
who reaped the principal benefit, for the rioters spent the evening and 
part of the night at his house. 


1845, Mar. 23rd. Mary Ann Meads, a blind young woman, was 
interred in the churchyard without the tolling of the bell or the usual 
ceremony, the Vicar refusing it in consequence of the young woman 
never having been baptised. 

1847, Mar. 24th. In consequence of the famine in Ireland and 
some parts of Scotland a general fast has been appointed for this day 
by the Government. The shops were generally closed and labour, for 
the most part, suspended. Service twice at church, morning attendance 
large. The Dissenters took no account of the day. 

1849, Feb. 27th. About 25 teams competed in a ploughing match 
on the Moats and Blackwell Farms. 

1849, June 22nd. A company of players have hired the Court 
House for six weeks. They gave their first performance this evening. 
It is earnestly hoped that the friends of religion and morality will 
make some decisive effort to counteract the evil tendency of this 
dangerous amusement. 

1849, July 5th. I enclosed a tract on the immoral and anti-Christian 
tendency of the Theatre to all the inhabitants of the town. 

1849, July 6th. The sending round of the tracts has caused a 
ferment. Many persons, out of opposition, determined to go to the 
play. The room was crowded and the Vicar informed me he had 
heard that the performers passed a vote of thanks to me. 

1849, July 9th. Scarely 20 people at the play to-night. 

1849, July 12th. A large attendance of the gentry at the play. 

1855, June 5th. Took a debtor to Lewes Prison. By the prisoner's 
desire I walked all the way through Birch Grove, Sheffield Park and 
Newick. From Lewes I walked to Brighton, took train to Three 
Bridges and walked home. I walked about 35 miles and not over 

1858, Jan. 2nd. An unusually mild season. Ripe strawberries and 
raspberries have been gathered in several places. 

1859, Sept. 6th. Walked to Cowden and summoned a young gentle- 
man staying at the Rectory. Mr. Harvey, the Rector, invited me 
into the breakfast room and bade me partake. There was grouse, 
partridges, tongue, honey, &c., &c. What renders this invitation 
remarkable on the part of the Rector is, I was dressed in a round frock, 
came on anything but an agreeable errand and was well known to the 
Rector as a decided Nonconformist. Mrs. Harvey was equally pleasant 
and hospitable. 

1860, July llth. Lord De la Warr's rent audit at the Crown. I 
did not go, thinking such gatherings that is, the drinking part of 
them great evils. 

1860, Oct. 23rd. A most unusual wet summer. There appears to 
have been nothing approaching it for wetness for nearly 50 years. 
Parties returned from hop-picking and then went to reaping and 
mowing again. 

1860, Nov. 24th. Robert Payne died. Himself, his grandfather 
and great-grandfather have all filled the office, of sexton. 


1861, May 29th. Mr. Palmer was buried to-day in the family vault. 
A legacy of 100 was left me by my old master. 

1861, Nov. 28th. Took a debtor to Lewes Prison. He walked 
four miles and brought me a rabbit by 6.30 a.m. It is not common to 
find prisoners so obliging. I walked round the town of Lewes with 
him before I lodged him in prison. 

1862, June 10th. Mr. John Smith died. Having been auctioneer, 
banker, &c., for so many years he will be missed. He had obtained a 
respectable standing, being a man of integrity and had acquired 

1862, Aug. 14th. Rev. J. H. Bray died this evening. He has been 
curate here 1 1 months. His simple, direct and earnest preaching of 
the Gospel, coupled with a consistent life, secured the approval and 
attachment of the parishioners generally, including the Dissenters. 

1864, May 31st. Went to Felbridge Park and seized a horse for a 
heriot, in consequence of Mr. Gatty's death. 

1867, May 22nd. Snow storms not a stray flake or two, but 
actually fierce and plentiful falls of snow, covering the house-tops. It 
is the Derby day. 

1867, May 24th. Ice this morning half an inch thick. 

1868, Feb. 4th. Mr. John Stenning died at Brighton, aged 93. A 
remarkable instance of what industry and sobriety, when blessed by 
God, will do. 

1868, Aug. 12th. The Judge has an attack of gout Drinkers 
have not always settled their wine account when they pay their wine 

1870, June 8th. I now cease my connection with Zion Sunday 
School, after about 38 years' close attachment and steady attention to 
it. I have not had fair play from the ruling deacons and shall join 
the new Moat School, where I anticipate a wider and fairer course of 

1871, Feb. 6th. Mr. Murphy lectured on The Confessional. I 
doubt whether the evil is not more likely to predominate than the good 
from such revelations. 

1872, March 14th. Wound up accounts of Thanksgiving festivities 
for recovery of Prince of Wales. Besides their subscriptions each 
member of the Committee had to pay 8s. to make fund balance. 

1872, Dec. llth. Fair day. In consequence of the liquor shops 
being compelled to close at 1 1 , there were but few cases of rioting. 

1873, Feb. loth. Coal is now 50s. a ton. 

1874, Jan. 2nd. Mr. Wm. Stenning died; a gentleman highly 
respected by all classes and who, by a generous and consistent life, 
showed that he was a doer as well as a hearer of Christ's words. 

1875, August 30th. Mr. Pearless was buried to-day. There was a 
marked absence of the too frequent funeral trappings, no hat-bands, 
no scarves, no feathers, no mutes, no coaches, mourners walked behind 
an unadorned hearse. 


1877, Sept. 24th. Mr. T. E. Burt, solicitor, died. He was the 
oldest professional. He was practising and living where he died when 
I came to East Grinstead in 1825. 

1877, Dec. 13th. Fat Stock Show a large display. I doubt the 
Tightness of making the poor creatures so helplessly fat. I think the 
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals should look into the 

1881, Oct. 14th. Heavy gale ; 12 large elms blown down in 
Chequer Mead and near there. 

1881, Oct. 23rd. I resigned my offices as Treasurer and Superin- 
tendent of the Moat Sunday School. Nearly all the teachers resign also. 

1884, July 25th. Attended a Conservative meeting at the Crown 
Assembly Koom. I moved a vote of thanks to the Chairman and 
commended the plain and gentlemanly manner the speakers stated 
their views, although I was not able to endorse them. 

1885, May 5th. To the Exhibition. Just as we entered there was 
a little bustle, when lo ! the Queen, having hold of the Prince of 
Wales's arm, was just coming out. We were almost touching her. 
I had not seen her for 53 years. She was a little 12-year-old girl 
then, now a bulky, serious-looking old lady. 

1891, Feb. 9th. A beershop closed at Crowborough Town by the 
East Grinstead Magistrates. Hoo-rah ! ! 

1891, March 3rd. Not well enough to attend County Court. Only 
the second time absent during the 36 years I have been High Bailiff. 
Judge Martineau called on me and very kindly chatted for a while. 

1891, April 17th. First visitor to-day, a retired brewer (Mr. 
Absalom) ; second, a fierce innkeeper and violent opponent of our 
temperance work (Mr. Tracy). Both stayed awhile and chatted very 

1891, June 22nd. The 28th temperance excursion. I never missed 
one before. 

With this very appropriate entry the diary closes. 
Two months later the good old gentleman passed away. 


Although East Grinstead is located in one of the 
healthiest parts of this favoured county it cannot boast 
of a long list of centenarians to hold up as witnesses to 
its health giving properties. Many residents have closely 
approached five score years, but history records only one 
instance of an individual who passed that number. In an 
old Family Bible the following was the quaint record : 

Mary Taylor Wos Bornd December 5 5 minets Be for to in mornen 


On December 5th, 1896, I visited her a pleasant 
faced, but feeble old lady and got from her some very 
interesting particulars of her life. Her father was James 
Taylor, who was for many years tenant of the still 
existing blacksmith's forge at Lingfield, where the old 
lady in question first saw the light. He committed 
suicide by hanging himself when his daughter Mary was 
but four years of age. Mary Taylor first married a 
Mr. Baker, a carpenter, and gave birth to her first child 
on November 16th, 1814, before she was 18 years of age. 
Her second husband was John Neighbour, a tanner, who 
worked first at Lingfield and then at Ashurst Wood. 
By her first husband she had four children, not one of 
whom survived her, and by her second husband seven 
children. The chief branches of the family are now the 
Huggetts, of East Grinstead, holding responsible and 
honoured positions, one the Clerk to the Guardians, 
another the Assistant Overseer and Rate Collector, and a 
third the Parish Sexton and Cemetery Caretaker, and 
the Inglefields, tradesmen of Westerham and Limpsfield. 
When she was 100 years old her descendants numbered 
303, namely, 11 children, 86 grandchildren, 172 great 
grandchildren, and 34 great great grandchildren, of 
whom, at that time, about 200 were living. Before she 
died, on September 5th, 1897, in her 101st year, the 
number had been still further increased. Mrs. Neighbour 
was over 90 before she gave up active work. She used 
to walk into East Grinstead daily from Ashurst Wood 
to work as an upholsteress and was very clever indeed 
at the trade. 


Sir Edward Blount was born on March 14th, 1809, at 
Bellamour, near Rugeley, Stafford. He was the second 
son of Mr. Edward Blount, M.P., at one time Member 
for Steyning in this county, by Frances, daughter of Mr. 
Francis Wright, of Fitzwalters, Essex. The family 
trace their origin to the Le Blounds, Counts of Guisnes, 
in Picardy, the head of whose family accompanied 
William I. when the Conqueror invaded these islands. 


One of them is said to have been Commander of the 
ships of war, and another brother General of the Army. 
Many members of the family were knights, but the first 
baronet, Walter, was created by Charles I. in 1642. Sir 
Edward's grandfather was the sixth baronet of this 
creation. The family has always remained staunch to 
the Roman Catholic Church and Sir Edward fully main- 
tained the faith of his fathers. 

Sir Edward's education was commenced at Rugeley 
Grammar School and continued at St. Mary's College, 
Oscott. He first began work in the London office of the 
Provincial Bank of Ireland, but soon gave this up and 
became an attache at the Home Office, being afterwards 
appointed to a like position at the British Embassy in 
Paris. This was when he was 20 years of age. After 
a time he was transferred to the Consulate at Rome. 
He went back to Paris in 1831, where he joined the 
banking house of Callaghan & Company. He soon 
launched out on his own account, and, with his father's 
help, founded the bank of Edward Blount, Pere et Fils. 
It was about this time that he married the beautiful Miss 
Gertrude Frances Jerningham, and their happy union 
lasted only nine days short of 63 years, Lady Blount 
dying at Imberhorne on November 9th, 1897. In due 
course the Paris banking house became that of Charles 
Laffitte, Blount & Company, and the partnership lasted 
until the Revolution of 1848, when the bank was ruined, 
but young Blount afterwards paid all his creditors in 
full. Four years later, mainly by the help of the late 
Mr. Brassey, he re-established himself as a banker under 
the style of Edward Blount & Company. This bank 
lasted until after the Revolution of 1872, when it was 
wound up and the business transferred to the Societe 
Generale of Paris, of which Mr. Blount became President, 
holding the position until he resigned, much against the 
wish of his colleagues, on June llth, 1901. 

Sir Edward was the founder of railway enterprise in 
France and practically financed the Western Railway 
Company, of which he was chairman for 30 years, being 
then ousted from the position by the demands of the 


French Government, who professed to see danger in an 
Englishman having too intimate an acquaintance with 
their army mobilisation arrangements. 

His connection with the political history of France 
was an intimate one. He had the honour to be the 
personal friend of its monarchs and leading statesmen ; 
he was on intimate terms also with Kings and Queens 
in other countries, and was always proud of the great 
consideration ever shown him by the late Queen Victoria, 
who, had she had her own way, would have raised him 
to the Peerage. With the Pontiffs of Rome his 
connection had been very intimate, for he was long the 
banker of the Papal Government, and after the annexation 
of the Papal States to the kingdom of Italy he arranged 
the transfer of the financial liabilities and the conversion 
of the Papal debt. 

It was Mr. Blount's self-sacrificing, noble conduct 
during the siege of Paris in 1870-1 that will for ever 
endear his name to the English people. When nearly 
all the wealthy foreigners fled, he remained, making his 
starving compatriots, who were unable to leave the city, 
his chief care. On January 24th, 1871, he was 
appointed British Consul and his whole conduct of 
difficult affairs was such that Lord Malmesbury, speaking 
of him in the House of Lords, said his name would be 
" considered noble as long as the history of the siege is 
recorded." He had 2,200 English poor on his hands 
and spent an enormous sum out of his own purse in 
relief; indeed, he and Mr. Wallace and Dr. Herbert 
distributed 40,000 in all, and the total returned to Mr. 
Blount by the British Government was only 1,000. 

Mr. Blount remained officially in charge of the British 
Embassy until the end of March, 1871, when he left for 
London. In recognition of his services Mr. Blount was 
made a Companion of the Bath and on June 2nd, 1888, 
was promoted to the rank of K.C.B., being at that time 
President of the British Chamber of Commerce, of 
which he was one of the founders. 

His connection with the great financial houses of the 
world was an important one. Not only was he at the 


head of the Societe Generale, but he was also a 
director of the General Credit and Finance Company 
of Lothbury, of the Union Discount Company and of 
the London Joint Stock Bank. 

Honours had naturally been showered on him from all 
sides. In addition to his English knighthood he was a 
Chevalier of the Legion d'Honneur and Commander of 
the Orders of Pius IX., of Isabella of Spain and of the 
Crown of Italy, and also held the Grand Cross of 
Osmanli, Turkey. 

In his younger days Sir Edward was a keen sports- 
man. He was a partner in Count Lagrange's racing 
stable, and as such had the honour of sharing in the 
carrying off of many of the chief prizes of the Turf, 
including the English Derby, which their horse, 
Gladiateur, won in 1865. One of his chief hobbies 
used to be coaching, and long after he was 80 he used to 
handle his four-in-hand along the tortuous roads and 
hills around East Grinstead with a skill which many a 
young whip might envy. He died at Imberhorne on 
March 15th, 1905, aged 96, and was succeeded in the 
ownership of the estate by his grandson, Mr. Edward C. 
Blount, J.P. 


In the 14th Vol. of the Sussex Archaeological Society's 
Collections, in an article on Ashdown Forest, by the 
Rev. Edward Turner, appears mention of a John Payne, 
of Plawhatch, and the writer proceeds : 

The old Payne here alluded to was probably the Patriarch of the 
ancient family of Payne long resident at Legge's Heath, in East Grin- 
stead, and a Master of the Forest. A descendant of his was Sheriff of 
Sussex in 1738, of whom it is currently reported that during the year 
he served the office he never went to church, or in any way appeared 
in public, except in full dress, with a cocked hat on his head, and a 
sword by his side, and whenever he went to market or a meeting of 
any kind at East Grinstead, he had, in addition, his State saddle, 
saddle cloth and holster furnished with a pair of richly silver-chased 
pistols. When questioned on the subject, his reply was that in his 
opinion the dignity of the office required it. The last of the family 
of the direct line died in Maresfield at an advanced age and in very 


reduced circumstances, about six years ago (1856). In his cottage I 
have often seen the saddle cloth, richly embroidered with gold, the 
pistols, the sword and the spurs, which his father used as Sheriff, and 
which the son greatly valued as testifying to the quondam greatness 
of the family. After his death they were all sold to a broker for a 
few shillings. 

The above notice, in which the date was incorrectly 
given as 1768, in conjunction with his long strain 
of East Grinstead blood, would seem to entitle the 
subject of it to a place among our local worthies. John 
Payne, mentioned above as Sheriff of Sussex in 1738, was 
of Legsheath Farm, near Plawhatch, and one of the tribe 
of Paynes living in our parish, but, for many genera- 
tions before his day, of a family quite distinct from the 
" Paynes of the towne," to whom frequent reference has 
been made in the course of this work ; for we can trace 
his ancestry back for at least five generations with 
certainty to John Payne, of Monkshill, yeoman, who 
was buried at East Grinstead in 1597, probably the 
above mentioned Patriarch and the same person as John 
Payne, of Plawhatch, mentioned in our Parish Registers 
as alive in 1562, and not improbably at that date 
recognised as a connection by his better known name- 
sakes "of the town;" but the fact remains that John 
Payne, of Legsheath, was the descendant of a long line 
of Paynes who more than 350 years ago began to settle 
themselves in the small farms on the extreme south 
border of our large parish and on the verge of Ashdown 
Forest; such farms were Plawhatch, Legsheath, Monks- 
hill, Mawles, Walesbeech and, later, Charl woods, and 
all owned by some member of the family of what we 
may call the Paynes of Legsheath, though they seem to 
have been earlier known as the Paynes of Plawhatch, a 
name probably derived from the Plawe family, one of 
whom, viz., John Plawe, held seven acres called 
Twyfords, in 1560. 

In 1560 Leggesheath was held of Duddleswell Manor 
by Rowland Deane, and consisted of 10 acres of assart 
land, i.e., cleared of forest or heath, lying in the parish 
of East Grinstead, to the pale of the Forest towards 
the south, to the lands of Lord Abergavenny called 


Hownynggrove towards the north, to the lands of Richard 
Infelde called the Plawe towards the west, and to the 
lands of Umphreyes called Mawles towards the east, but 
by degrees, before 1600 and in the decade succeeding it, 
not only Legsheath and Monkshill, but also Maules and 
Walesbeech Farms had come under the rule of the 
Paynes, and so continued down to the time of the 
subject of this notice and after him to about 1825. 

A bird's-eye view of John Payne's ancestry may be 
given as follows, and its connection with farms in the 
parish gives it special interest : 

JOHN PAYNE, of Monkshill, Yeoman (probably of Plawhatch in 1562), 

owned, freehold lands called Malls ; buried at East Grinstead as 

John Payne, senr., of Monkhill, in 1597. 

JOHN PAYNE, of Maules, Yeoman, owned 7 acres at Buncegrove, called 
Baches, Legsheath and Dockets ; died 1624. 

WILLIAM PAYNE, of Walesbeech, Yeoman, owned Legsheath, Maules, 

Dockets ; buried at East Grinstead as William Paine, of 

Walesbeech, 1657. 

WILLIAM PAYNE, of Maules, Yeoman (5th son), owned Legsheath and 

Monkshill ; died 1658 ; by his will " to be buried at 

East Grinstead." 

Mu. WILLIAM PAYNE, of Legsheath, owned Velvicks ; his brothers, 

Edward and Robert, lived at Maules and Monkshill ; buried at 

East Grinstead as Mr. Wm. Payne, of Legsheath, 1727. 

JOHN PAYNE, of Legsheath, Esqre., owned Maules, while his cousin, 

Edward, owned Monkshill ; Sheriff of Sussex 1738 ; buried at 

East Grinstead as " John Payne, Esq.," 1760. 

So much for his ancestry, which shows him to have 
been a true son of our parochial soil and to have made 
strides forward, socially and financially, since his grand- 
father, Wm. Payne, of Maules, yeoman, in an interesting 
will, dated 1658, bequeathed 

Unto Susan my nowe wife seaven fields or severall closes and one 
coppice wood next adjoining to my customary tenement or house 
com only called Munkshill with the orchard and garden plott there- 
unto belonging, conteyning in all by estimacon 18 acres of land more 
or less for and during the terme of her naturall life. And also three 
rooms in the said Munkshill house during her naturall life viz. the 
Hall, the chamber over the Hall, and the upper chamber over the 
same with egresse and regresse to and from the same and to have and 
take water and other convenient necessaries. . . . 

The testator goes on to give 150 to each of his 
daughters, five pair of sheets to each of his children 


and Monkshill to Robert, his younger son, who also 
occupied Stone and Standen Farms. In such surround- 
ings was John Payne, of Legsheath, born in 1675, and 
duly baptised at East Grinstead, succeeding his father at 
Legsheath in 1727, as we learn from the Court Rolls of 
Duddleswell Manor, of which Legsheath was held. In 
1693 he married, at Hartfield, Bridget, daughter and 
co-heir of Richard Knight, Esq., sen., of Cowden, 
whose family had come to prosperity by virtue of the 
iron industry of those days. This useful marriage may 
account for John's somewhat sudden rise in the social 
scale and may also account in a measure for his little 
weakness for display in his official capacity of Sheriff, 
a position that would have, no doubt, vastly astonished 
his father, Wm. Payne, of Legsheath. There seems to 
have been no issue of this marriage when his first wife 
died in October, 1736, so he re-married, with no undue 
delay, Margaret, daughter of John Shelley, of Fen 
Place, Worth. As John was already 62 years of age 
his prompt re-marriage was probably accelerated by the 
meritorious desire, as strong in those days with yeoman 
as with peer, to leave a son to inherit the ancestral 
acres, however modest their extent. John's acres seem 
from his will to have been numerous and productive, but 
disappointment was his lot, for we find no issue of the 
second marriage beyond an only daughter, Margaret, 
baptised at East Grinstead in 1738 (the year of his 
Sheriffdom) and buried there in 1751. This accounts 
for his making his nephew, William Payne, son of 
Edward Payne, of Monkshill, his heir, and, so far as 
we can now ascertain, these farms remained in the 
hands of Mr. William Payne until about 1827, when 
he, or possibly his son of the same name, sold Stone 
Farm to Mr. R. Crawfurd, of Saint Hill, and it is 
not unusual about this date to find our local yeomen 
tempted by the high price of land then prevailing 
to part with their long cherished acres to the gentry 
of the class above them, with the idea of living in 
ease upon the proceeds of the deal. Unfortunately 
in too many cases the yeoman had no knowledge of 


investing his money safely otherwise than in farming 
land, and the expulsion from the ancestral acres by the 
prosperous Squire only too often resulted in pauperising 
and extinguishing such old families as we are here 
speaking of. Some such disaster would seem to have 
overtaken the Sheriff's successors, for if any descendants 
of the name now exist they are not known to local 

John Payne, ex-Sheriff and squire, died 110 doubt in 
his picturesque old farmhouse at Legsheath at the age of 
85, and was buried in the Churchyard of East Grinstead, 
13th March, 1760. Whatever his foibles, his will shows 
him to have been a careful man, of kindly and genial 
disposition, with a due allowance of family pride and 
other pleasant traits, nor could his worst detractor say 
that he was too little appreciative of the dignity to 
which he was called. 

The following interesting extracts are from his will, 
dated 3rd May, 1754, and proved 2nd May, 1760: 

To Mary Head, wife of Edward Head, the interest of 100 to be 
put out at four per cent, for her natural life, with remainder to her 
daughter Mary Taylor. 

To William How 50, and to Elizabeth How, and Sarah How his 
two sisters 30 each. 

To Joseph Bridgeland son of John Bridgeland 100. 

To John Showing 50. 

To William Payne, son of Edward Payne of Monkshill 450 to be 
laid out on a mortgage upon Monkshill, The interest of which 450 I 
give to my cousin Edward Payne of Monkshill for his life. I also 
give to my cousin Edward Payne, of Monkshill his living in Legsheath, 
and the use of all the goods there till his son William Paj'ne is 23 
y r old. 

To Robert Payne 5 p. ann. for his life, to be paid out of a ffarin 
called Smiths in Surrey. 

To Mary Payne 40/- p. ann. for her life, to be paid out of " Smiths " 

To Susannah Shewing 30. 

To Richard Payne I give a small ffarm called " Holehouse " for his 

To Colonel Joseph Ottaway 50. 

To John Smith Esq 500. 

All the residue of my estate real and personal ; all my ffreehold 
and copyhold Lands in Sussex, Kent, and Surrey I give to my cousin 
William Payne son of Edward Payne, of Monkshill for his natural 
life, and I make him the said William Payne, son of Edward Payne, 


of Monkshill, my heir after my decease and from and after his 
decease I give all to his heir male and for want of such heir I give it 
all to John Payne second son of Henry Payne of Worth. 

I desire John Turner of Imberhorne, and Edward Jenner of East 
Grinstead to be trustees for the said William Payne, whom I make 
heir till he arrives at the age of 23 y", and to receive the rents, and 
put out money at four per cent, for the benefit of the said William 
Payne and to put him to school till he is a compleat scholar. And 
I desire my executors to make up that 1000 for my wife out of 
Lockyer's mortgage, and that mortgage upon Eichard Martin's estate 
at fforest rowe. 

I desire that Edward Payne pay unto his son Edward 10 p. ann. 
during the time he lives at Legsheath. 

I desire to be buried in a Christian manner, and to be carried upon 
men's shoulders. And I desire there may be roast beef, and boiled 
beef for all the people to eat of that come to my ffuneral. And I 
desire Master Bond, Master Humphry, Master Browne, Master 
Banester, and Charles Woodman, may all have mourning hatbands. 
And I desire they shall all have beer, wine, and gloves that are invited, 
and the relations to have mourning hatbands. 

My cousin William Payne son of Edward Payne, of Monkshill, to 
be full and sole executor. 

And I make John Turner and Edward Jenner executors, in trust to 
William Payne my heir, till he arrives at three and twenty years. 

And I desire to be buried by daylight. 

The comment suggests itself that, whatever his 
harmless predilection for public display, the careful 
forethought of providing roast beef as well as boiled 
beef for his own funeral banquet, when he would no 
longer be acting host, is indicative of a kindly and 
thoughtful nature. Possibly the " desire to be buried 
by daylight" was due to some misgivings as to the 
duration of the little orgy he thus anticipated over his 
remains, for, considering what the nearest route must 
have been like in those days between Legsheath Farm 
and East Grinstead Church, it would need an early start 
and resolute bearers to have accomplished the task set 

Much of old Monkshill was standing fifteen years ago 
as it probably was in Queen Elizabeth's time. Mawles 
has disappeared, though its site near Monkshill is well 
known to old inhabitants. Legsheath, though restored, 
still remains much as the old Sheriff knew it in his boy- 
hood more than 200 years ago, and, as a farmhouse, 
remote from the haunts of men, happily retains much of 

o 2 


its pretty old-world character amid surroundings which 
have probably altered little since the days of Queen 
Elizabeth, when the Sheriff's ancestors at Plawhatch 
and Monkshill added Legsheath to their modest landed 


It is impossible to write much concerning East Grin- 
stead without making constant reference to one branch 
or another of the numerous families of Paynes. The 
origin of the name is by no means certain. The theory 
generally accepted is that it is derived from the French 
pain bread, and that the earliest owners of it in this 
county were those who came from Normandy many 
centuries ago and settled in the neighbourhood of Rye 
and Winchelsea. The Paynes of Pixtons are referred to 
in earlier chapters and the following additional particu- 
lars are of interest. The will of George Payne was 
proved November 7th, 1538, and is here subjoined: 

In del nomine Amen, the xxix. day of August in the yere of our 
lord god a Thousande fyve hundreth xxxvij. I George Payne of 
Estgrensted in the countie of Sussex being hole in mynde and w th 
good remembraunce make this my last wille and testamente in fourme 
following, in primis I bequeth my soule to almighty god our lady 
Saint Mary and to all the holy company of hevyn, and my body to be 
buried in the Churchyearde of Saint Swythvne in Grensted aforsaid. 
Item I bequeth to the high awter there for my tithes and offeryngs 
forgotten 3" 4 d . Item I bequeth to Agnes my wife a bedde with all the 
things apperteyning therto. Item I will to hir twoe kyne and a mare. 
Item I will to Joane my doughter twenty pounds of lawfull money. 
Item I will to Clemens my doughter twentie poundes. Item yf my 
wife be with childe w* a doughter I will to it twentie poundes, yf any 
of the said doughters to dye or she be maried that then I wille every 
of them to be others heires equally to be devided among them. Item 
to Johnne my sonne all my freeholds to him and his heires. Item all 
suche lands as I have in morgage as doth appere by Indentures that 
John my sonne shall have them, yf my wife be with childe w' a man 
childe that then I will that Edward my sonne shal have the money of 
the said morgage landes yf the money be paid agayn or ells the lands 
whether it be. Item yf my wife have no man childe then I will that 
the money that comyth agayn in payment shall be equally devided 
amonge all my children. Item I will to John my sonne my fferme of 
Brestowe parke w* all goods and catalls being uppon the said grounde 
at the making of this p'sent testamente. . . . Item I will to Roger 
my servant shal have his mendyng of wayes betwene fforest Bowe and 


Grensted 20 s . Item I will that John Boton my servant shal have his 
indenture and 6 s 8 J of money. Item I bequeth to every of my god 
children 4 d . Item I will that my good maister Sir John Gage twoe 
colts nowe being in Brestowe parke and to goo there tyll they twoe 
be able to be rydden, if it please him desiring him to be good maister 
to all my children and specially to John my sonne, all the residue of 
my goodes not bequethed I give to my sonnes John and Edward except 
that my wyfe have a man childe that then I will that Edward shall 
have all the said goodes to his owne use and profite ffurthermore I 
make and ordeyne my brother John Payne and Thomas Pellam of 
ffyrryll my executoures to see my children ruled and this my testamente 
f ulfillyed to the pleasure of god and the welthe of my soule and every 
of them to have for their labours fyve mrks. Testes William Auery, 
James Cole, Thomas Rutter cum multis aliis. 

The above testator, George Payne, son of John Payne, 
of Pixtons (see pp. 71 -2), was evidently a yeoman of 
good substance as money went in those days. His 
father in 1507 had devised to him the tenement of 
Beeches (?in Ashurst Wood), but whether George lived 
there we have no certain information beyond the fact 
that he seems from the evidence of his own will to 
have undertaken repair of the road between Forest Row 
and East Grinstead. 

His elder brother, John, had succeeded his parents at 
Pixtons and his descendants seem to have owned that 
farm until, in 1615, John Payne, sen., of Pickstones, 
and Elizabeth, his wife, sold it to John Goodwin, gent., 
from whose family it seems to have passed to Mr. John 
Conyers, who married a Miss Goodwin and was M.P. 
for East Grinstead in 1695, and later it belonged to Mr. 
Wicken and the Trulock family. 

In 1615 the Manor of Pixtons seems to have consisted 
of one messuage, one barn, one garden, one orchard, 20 
acres of arable land, 16 acres of meadow land, 14 acres of 
pasture, four acres of wood and three acres of moorland, 
all in East Grinstead, and the whole appears to have been 
acquired by John Goodwin for the modest sum of 100. 

George Payne, whose will is quoted above, left two sons, 
John and Edward, who both became prominent townsmen 
of East Grinstead. John was the testator, whose will, 
proved in 1580, is mentioned on pp. 123-4, in connection 
with the old almshouses in Church Street, and he was 


also one of the burgesses of East Grin stead to whom the 
silver seal was presented in 1572, and a prosperous iron- 
master, as mentioned on p. 142. 

Edward, the younger son of the testator, George 
Payne, born about 1536, was buried at East Grinstead 
in 1599 as "Edward Paine the Elder." He was a 
burgess of East Grinstead and had married Katherine 
Losco, a widow of means belonging to Southwell, Co. 

Their eldest son Edward (1560-1642) became the 
direct ancestor of a long line of Paynes " of the Town," 
who, as ironmasters and landowners, rose to considerable 
affluence in East Grinstead and the neighbouring district 
during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Their 
daughter Clemence married John Farley, of East Grin- 
stead, and had a numerous family. 

Burstow, or Brestowe Park Manor, mentioned in the 
above testator's will, was originally a possession of the 
Archbishop of Canterbury arid included in the Manor of 
Wimbledon. In 1531 Archbishop Warham granted the 
manor to Sir John Gage on lease for 80 years, which 
accounts for the testator's reference to Sir John Gage, 
and his desire that the latter should be a good master to 
his children, and also perhaps accounts for his choice of 
Thomas Pelham, of Firle, as an executor. In 1649 
Edward Payne, of East Grinstead, gent., a descendant 
of the testator, George Payne, bought the Manor of 
Burstow Park and it descended for many generations in 
his family. 


Mr. Cramp was by no means the first Sussex diarist. 

The Rev. Giles Moore, Rector of Horsted Keynes, 
was one of the first of this small band. He died on 
October 3rd, 1679, and from his diary the following 
references to East Grinstead are taken : 

Oct. 2nd, 1656. J. Dawes brought mee from Grinstead 4 stone of 
beefe, which at 22d. the stone and 2-lb. of sewet at 4d. come to 8s. 


Aug. 18th, 1662. I set forwards on my journey to Chichester with 
Mr. Hale and Mr. Chatfield, physician and scholemaster at East 
Grinstead, who met us at Portslade, whither wee went together and 
came back together. On the 19th I payed in theyr presence to 
Eobert Symes, sub-collector for the tythes of 1660 and 1661 due at 
Christmasse, the summe of 2 and a marke all over and above for 
charges, to the which he knavishly and unjustly put me, amounting to 
1. 6s. 7d. I spent in charges going and coming, 10s. lOd. 

Aug. 10th, 1667. To Mr. Moore, of East Grinstead, collector, for 
8 fire hearths due for one whole yeare expiring at Michaelmas, 
together with one yeare more for the brewhouse chimney, I payed 
18s. (The hearth and chimney tax was clearly no light one at this 

Sept. 12th, 1669. I spent at East Grinstead when Mat (apparently 
his daughter) was confirmed by the Bishop, Is. 4d. 

In the journal of Timothy Burrell, barrister-at-law, of 
Ockenden House, Cuckfield, occurs the following : 

March 24th, 1687. Church tax lid. Letter 4d. 9 ells of Holland 
1. 4s. I spent at East Grinstead (possibly during the Assizes) 
1. 2s. 

March 26th, 1693. I spent at the Assizes at East Grinstead 1. 5s. 
(The Winter Assizes in these days were held alternately at East 
Grinstead and Horsham, and in the summer at Lewes.) 

Richard Stapley, in his diary, under date August 3rd, 
1697-8, notes :- 

Bought a pair of double sewed ramskin gloves of Tobie Showen, of 
East Grinstead, which cost me 2s. 6d. 

Tobias Shewin will be found mentioned on page 40 as 
a burgess of the Borough in 1678-1683. 

Thomas Turner, of East Hoathly, who belonged to 
the family which for several centuries has occupied 
Tablehurst, Forest Row, left this record in his 
voluminous diary : 

May 2nd, 1764. This day was fought a main of cocks at our public- 
house between the gentlemen of East Grinstead and the gentlemen of 
East Hoathly, for half-a-guinea a battle and two guineas the odd 
battle, which was won by the gentlemen of East Grinstead, they 
winning five battles out of six fought in the main. I believe there 
was a good deal of money sported on both sides. 



THIS ancient and noble family, described bv one 

J * / 

historian as being to mediaeval England what the Douglas 
family was to Scotland, had a very intimate connection 
with East Grinstead for a period which extended a little 
over a century. 

The mansion of Kidbrooke, at Forest Row, was built 
for William, the 42nd Lord Abergavenny and 14th Baron 
of the present creation, the money for the purpose being 
provided by a special Act of Parliament passed in 1733, 
authorising the sale of the Abergavenny entailed estates 
at Kidderminster, known as the Manors of Kidder- 
minster Borough and Kidderminster Forren, and the 
re-investment of the proceeds in this parish. In 1744 
another Act of Parliament was obtained for settling the 
mansion of Kidbrooke and the lands belonging to it to 
the uses of the family estates. 

The Harleian manuscripts in the British Museum 
contain a pedigree which professes to show the descent 
of this illustrious family from Adam, through Enos and 
Mahalahael to Noah, thence on to Woden, from him to 
Hengist, King of Kent, then to Uchtred the Saxon, then 
through the Earls of Northumberland to the present 
known line. But modern historians generally content 
themselves with tracing its descent from Gilbert de Nevill, 
a Norman chieftain, who is said to have been Admiral to 
William the Conqueror. 

The particular branch of the family which occupied 
Kidbrooke sprang from Sir Edward Nevill, K.G. 
(whose mother was a daughter of John of Gaunt), sixth 
son of Ralph, 1st Earl of Westmoreland, and uncle to the 


famous Earl of Warwick and Salisbury, commonly known 
in history as " The King Maker." This Sir Edward was 
the 27th Baron of his line and the first Baron Abergavenny 
of the present creation. He was a Yorkist, high in 
favour with Edward IV., and one of his nieces married 
the Duke of Clarence, brother of this monarch. Another 
married, firstly, Edward, Prince of Wales, son of Henry 
VI. , and , secondly, Richard III. , who stepped to the throne 
after his murder of Edward V. and his brother in the 
Tower of London. The all-powerful Earl of Warwick 
seized his nephews' lands, castle and lordship, and himself 
became Baron Abergavenny, but the possessions were 
re-granted to George Nevill, grandson of Edward, by 
Henry VIII. 

It was in 1735 that the family removed from Birling, 
in Kent, to Kidbrooke, in East Grinstead, and in 1805 
they transferred their residence back to Eridge, the castle 
there, which was one of their ancestral homes many 
centuries before, having been re-built. The then Lord 
Abergavenny sold Kidbrooke to the Right Hon. Charles 
Abbot, who was Speaker of the House of Commons for 
over 15 years, and was made Lord Colchester at his 
retirement on June 3rd, 1817. He died on May 8th, 
1829. Kidbrooke was greatly altered by him under the 
superintendence of Mr. Robert Mylne, the architect of 
Blackfriars Bridge. On November 3rd, 1874, the 
mansion and park of 207 acres were sold by his 
grandson to the late Mr. H. R. Freshfield, J.P., D.L., 
Sheriff of Sussex in 1885. 

When Mr. Abbot sent down his agent to look at the 
property in 1805 the only good road was that which 
ran through the village from London to Lewes ; that to 
Tunbridge Wells through Hartfield could be used by a 
carriage in summer only. The query as to the principal 
product of the place was answered in one word Rabbits. 
Mr. Abbot, under the direction of the famous garden 
architect, Repton, laid out the grounds, planted exten- 
sively and made ornamental lakes and cascades. He 
purchased, either with Kidbrooke, or very shortly 


afterwards, Hindleap Warren, which he also laid out as 
an ornamental ground, with drives, walks and summer- 
houses. He planned a lodge to be built near Hindleap 
Farm on the top of the hill, but it was never erected. 
Among the documents left by Mr. Abbot is a draft of a 
letter to the Home Secretary asking that the bodies of 
the highwaymen hung on Wall Hill might be taken 
down before his wife drove to town. Thirty years ago 
persons were living in Forest Row who remembered 
having been taken, as boys, to touch the heels of the 
corpses, a custom in vogue in order to impress their 
minds with the results of such crimes. It is on record 
that at this time half the hands employed in the 
garden at Kidbrooke were "dames." In Kidbrooke 
woods there is a spring of water very strongly impreg- 
nated with iron, and near it an obelisk, erected by the 
first Lord Colchester in remembrance of the escape of one 
of his sons from shipwreck in the China Seas. 

When the late Mr. Freshfield bought the estate he 
built a new west wing, an entrance tower and remodelled 
the hall and offices, making also considerable improve- 
ments outside. He also built the Village Hall at Forest 
Row as a memorial to his grandson, the architect being 
the late J. M. Brydori, who designed the great block 
of public offices now in course of erection opposite the 
Houses of Parliament. The estate of Kidbrooke, 
together with Hindleap, Broadstone and Pressridge 
Warrens, is now owned by his son, Mr. Douglas W. 
Freshfield, the well-known traveller, who, in the last 
named Warren, has built, for his own use, a magnificent 
mansion, surrounded by beautiful grounds, in which the 
wild beauties of nature are charmingly blended with the 
art and skill of man. 

The founder of Kidbrooke was the first of his line to 
be buried in the extensive vault beneath the Parish 
Church of East Grinstead. He died on September 21st, 
1744, at the early age of 46, and it is to his memory 
that the only mural tablet concerning the Abergavenny 
family remains on the walls of the building, others 
having possibly been destroyed when the church was 


wrecked by the falling of the tower in 1785. The 
inscription on this reads : 






The bodies of two other Lords Abergavenny lie in 
the vault, namely, George Nevill, the first Earl of 
Abergavenny, who died on September 10th, 1785, 
aged 58, and the Rt. Hon. Henry Nevill, the second 
Earl of Abergavenny, Viscount Nevill and Baron of 
Abergavenny, K.T., who died, aged 88, on March 27th, 
1843. The funeral took place on April 4th. The 
remains of the deceased nobleman were brought in great 
state from Eridge Castle. The hearse and chief mourn- 
ing coach were each drawn by six horses ; three other 
coaches were drawn by four horses each ; numerous 
carriages were also included in the cavalcade, and many 
retainers on horseback brought up the rear; but the 
grandeur of the display was greatly interfered with by a 
heavy and incessant rain. The clergyman who officiated 
was the Rev. Robert Gream, Rector of Rotherfield, 
Chaplain to Lord Abergavenny, and the father of the 
first Mother Superior of St. Margaret's, East Grinstead. 

The vault was in use exactly 100 years and the 
following is a complete list of the 20 members of the 
Abergavenny family interred therein : 

William Nevill, Lord Abergavenny, the founder of Kidbrooke. 
He was the son of Commodore Edward Nevill, who died abroad, by 
his marriage with Hannah, daughter of Mr. Jervoise Thorp. He 
succeeded his cousin Edward as 14th Baron and as 42nd Lord 
Abergavenny on October 9th, 1724. Lord Edward died when only 18 
years of age and left a young widow, Catherina, daughter of Lieut. - 
Gen. Tatton, of Withenshaw, Cheshire. After seven months of 
widowhood, this lady married Lord William, so that she was twice 
over Lady Abergavenny. She died in 1729 and nearly three years 
later his Lordship married Lady Rebecca Herbert, daughter of the 
Earl of Pembroke. Lord Abergavenny was for a time Master of the 


Jewel Office. He died on September 21st, 1744, aged 46, and was 
buried at East Grinstead on September 30th. 

The Hon. Maiy Nevill, daughter of Lord William by his second 
marriage with Lady Rebecca Herbert, died July 24th, 1758, aged 22. 
Buried August 2nd. 

Lady Rebecca Nevill, Dowager Lady Abergavenny, widow of Lord 
William, of Kidbrooke, died September, 1758, aged 54. Buried at 
East Grinstead, September 22nd. 

The Hon. Sophia Nevill, daughter of Lord William, of Kidbrooke, 
died December 29th, 1758, aged 21. Buried January 4th, 1759. 

Mary Rebow, wife of Mr. 0. C. Rebow, of Smallfield Place, 
Burstow, daughter of the Hon. Edward Nevill, younger brother of 
Lord George, the llth Baron Abergavenny, died June 26th, 1762, 
aged 63. Buried July 3. 

The Hon. Harriet Nevill, daughter of Lord William, of Kidbrooke, 
died August 8th, 1762, aged 28. Buried August 14th. 

Hannah Nevill, widow of Commodore Edward Nevill and mother 
of Lord William, of Kidbrooke, died March 25th, 1764, aged 96, 
having survived her husband by no less than 63 years. Buried 
April 2nd. 

Henrietta Nevill, wife of George, 1st Earl and 15th Baron of 
Abergavenny. She was a daughter of Thomas Pelham, of Stanmer, 
and sister of the first Earl of Chichester. She died August 29th, 
1768, aged 38, and was buried on September 8th. 

George Nevill, 1st Earl and 15th Baron Abergavenny, the only son 
of William, 14th Baron, by his marriage with Catherine, widow of 
Lord Edward, 13th Baron. This nobleman was Lord Lieutenant of 
Sussex and was raised to the dignity of an Earldom on May 17th, 
1784. Died September 10th, 1785, aged 58. Buried September 18th. 

Lord Henry George, Viscount Nevill, eldest son of Henry, 2nd Earl 
and 16th Baron of Abergavenny, died April 8th, 1806, aged 21. 
Buried April 20th. 

The Hon. and Rev. William Nevill, son of William, 14th Baron, 
by his second wife, daughter of the Earl of Pembroke. Rector of 
Bishopston, Wilts, and Burghley, Hants. Died July 22nd, 1810, 
aged 69. Buried July 30th. 

The Hon. Catherine Nevill, only daughter of Lord William, of 
Kidbrooke, by his first marriage with his cousin's widow. She was 
Maid of Honour to Queen Charlotte, Consort of George III., and 
died unmarried on January 19th, 1820, aged 92. Buried January 

The Rev. George Henry Nevill, Rector of Chiltington, Sussex, 
eldest son of the Hon. George Henry Nevill, by his marriage with 
Caroline, daughter of the Hon. R. Walpole, M.P. for Yarmouth, died 
September 20th, 1825, aged 33. Buried September 27th. 

Capt. Lord Ralph, Viscount Nevill, R.N., second son of Henry, 2nd 
Earl and 16th Baron of Abergavenny, died May 20th, 1826, aged 39. 
Buried May 29th. 


The Hon. Lady Henrietta Nevill, second daughter of Henry, Earl 
of Abergavenny, died July 28th, 1827, aged 39. Buried August 6th. 

Mary Ann Bruce, Viscountess Nevill, daughter of Mr. Bruce Elcock, 
widow of Capt. Viscount Nevill, E.N., second son of the 2nd Earl 
Abergavenny, died June 6th, 1828, aged 32. Buried June 16th. 

The Rev. Henry Walpole Nevill, second son of the Hon. George 
Henry Nevill. He married a daughter of Sir Edmund Bacon, and 
she being left early a widow, married Col. Sir Hambleton Francis 
Custance, K.C.B. Died March 3rd, 1837, aged 33. Buried March 

Caroline, wife of the Hon. George Henry Nevill, of Flower Place, 
Godstone, second son of the 1st Earl Abergavenny, died December 21st, 
1841, aged 76. Buried December 28th. 

The Et. Hon. Henry Nevill, 2nd Earl of Abergavenny, Viscount 
Nevill, 16th Baron of Abergavenny, K.T., died March 27th, 1843, 
aged 88. Buried April 4th. 

The Hon. George Henry Nevill, of Flower Place, Godstone, second 
son of George, 1st Earl of Abergavenny, died August 7th, 1844, aged 
84. Buried August 15th. 



No history of East Grrinstead would be complete which 
did not contain some account of the rise and progress of 
that beneficent and popular institution known as St. 
Margaret's, and some outline of the career of the 
scholarly and remarkable man who founded it. John 
Mason Neale was born in London, January 24th, 1818. 
His father was a highly-gifted clergyman and his mother 
a lady remarkable for her force of character. He was 
brought up as a strict Evangelical, but after entering 
Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1836, his views soon 
broadened and he became a co-founder of the " Cam- 
bridge Camden," afterwards called " The Ecclesiological 
Society," its object being to re-construct the visible 
worship and Church architecture of England. How 
vast was the work it accomplished is known to all 
students of Church history. In 1842 Mr. Neale was 
made a priest and presented to the living of Crawley, 
but he held it for six weeks only, resigning in consequence 
of ill-health. The next three years he spent abroad with 
his wife, who was a Miss Webster and aunt to Lord 
Alverstone, the present Lord Chief Justice of England. 
He was far from idle during this time. The amount of 
literary work he accomplished was marvellous. He 
wrote magazine articles and pamphlets by the hundred, 
poems and hymns by the dozen, entered the domain of 
fiction, but shone most as a Church historian, his uncom- 
pleted "History of the Holy Eastern Church" gaining 
him a world-wide reputation and winning him the special 
thanks of the Czar of Russia, who made him a valuable 
present in recognition of his great labours. He came to 
East Grinstead, as the Warden of Sackville College, in 
1846, and here he remained for 20 years, never resting, 
always devising something for the benefit of his poorer 


neighbours, always having some literary work on hand. 
It was while here that he received the degree of Doctor 
of Divinity from Hartford College, Connecticut. Those 
still living can well remember the bitter opposition which 
his earlier efforts aroused, nor are the riots in East 
Grinstead and Lewes forgotten, while we still occasionally 
get vague echoes of the vituperation which poured upon 
him through the Press of Sussex. But quietly, lovingly, 
this great scholar and earnest worker plodded on, until 
he lived down all opposition and won for himself and his 
work a love and a reverence which is intensified as the 
years roll on. 

It is impossible to exaggerate the great value of his 
contributions to our national literature. The hymns 
composed or translated by him are sung in every country 
where the Christian faith is known, and the popularity 
will never fade of such beautiful lines as " Brief life is 
here our portion," " To thee, O dear, dear country," 
" Art thou weary ? " " Jerusalem the golden " and " The 
day is past and over." About one-twelfth of " Hymns 
Ancient and Modern " are from his pen. He won the 
Seatonian prize for poetry about a dozen times in all ; 
he was for three years leader writer for The Morning 
Chronicle; he published works in many different languages 
he was a master of about twenty; and the British 
Museum Library catalogue contains a list of something 
like 140 books written by him. Everything he under- 
took he did thoroughly and he was wont to say, " What 
is possible may be done ; what is impossible must be 
done." The keynote of his life is beautifully expressed 
by his own words in his Seatonian poem on Egypt : 

Go forward ! 

Forward, when all seems lost, when the cause looks utterly hopeless ; 
Forward, when brave hearts fail, and to yield is the rede of the 

coward ; 

Forward, when friends fall off, and enemies gather around thee ; 
Thou, though alone with thy God, though alone in thy courage, go 

forward ! 

So much for the man ; now for the work. Of the 
reasons which led to the founding of St. Margaret's, no 
better account can be given than that written by Dr. 


Neale himself. His study window commanded a view 
of Ashdown Forest, and gazing over its wide expanse he 
saw "scattered farms, lonely groups of two or three 
houses in an isolated green, 'ellenge' (i.e., solitary) 
cottages, charcoal-burners' huts, places four or five miles 
and then through the worst of lanes from any church : 
how are the poor inhabitants to be attended to in this 
world and prepared for the next ? " This question often 
forced itself on his notice and in the winter of 1854 two 
friends offered to engage in any work of mercy he cared 
to suggest, so it was determined to start a Sisterhood. 
A few weeks later Miss Gream, daughter of the Rector 
of Rotherfield, and who afterwards became Sister Ann 
and the first Mother Superior, offered her services. In 
the spring of 1855 a circular was issued, stating that it 
was proposed to establish an institution for supplying 
the clergy of Central Sussex and South Surrey with 
nurses trained for attendance on the sick poor, and their 
services were to be entirely gratuitous. Funds soon 
came in and one of the future Sisters was sent to West- 
minster Hospital to get nursing training. A second 
Sister soon followed, and in July of the same year the 
operations of the Sisterhood began. Its two first members 
were for a time resident in Sackville College and attended 
to the needs of the old people there. They also had a 
small house at Rotherfield, where one or two resided 
when not engaged in nursing work. The first Sister 
who went out on a nursing expedition of mercy left East 
Grinstead for Shoreham by the very first train which ran 
out of East Grinstead Station on the day of opening the 
line, July 9th, 1855. 

The need of a central home in East Grinstead soon 
became apparent, so the house now used as offices by 
Messrs. Fearless & Sons was taken and the Sisters 
moved into it in June, 1856. Old Mr. Gream died at 
the same time and his daughter was free to take up her 
duties as Mother Superior and to devote the remainder 
of her life to the work of the Sisterhood. Then came 
the death of Miss Scobell and the riot at her funeral at 
Lewes, at which Dr. Neale and the Sisters barely escaped 


serious injury. The owner of the house occupied in 
East Grinstead had conscientious scruples about allowing 
the Sisters to remain there any longer and they had to 
seek premises elsewhere. For a while they sought a 
home in vain, but finally rented premises, also in Church 
Street and nearer the main road, subsequently acquiring 
also the house where Mr. F. M. Wilcox now carries on 
his saddlery business, and afterwards getting the use also 
of the two adjoining houses. The premises were found 
most convenient and here the Sisters remained from 
Midsummer, 1858, until the present head-quarters were 
ready in 1870. Prior to this change the original scope 
of the work had been enlarged. Early in 1857 Miss 
Elizabeth Neale, who had for some time carried on an 
Orphanage at Brighton, was invited to take charge of a 
Sisterhood at St. George' s-in-the-East, and at her request 
her brother took over the orphans and placed them under 
the charge of the Sisters at East Grinstead, a house 
being specially hired in the town. Dr. Neale took 
for the purpose the house known as The Hollies in 
London Road, where Mr. Henry Young now resides. 
It was called St. Katherine's Orphanage and two Sisters 
were placed in charge. This is his own simple, delightful 
description, from one of his children's books, of the house 
as it was then:" This house stood by the roadside on 
the outskirts of a country town. It was built of brick, 
but in summer it had white roses that climbed very 
prettily over it. On one side was a fruit garden, on the 
other a little paddock ; and in the distance there were 
pretty blue hills. If you went in, on the left hand was a 
kind of school room, and on the right a parlour; and if 
you went upstairs, there were bedrooms for a number of 
children, and beyond these a little chapel, where these 
children went in to prayers." The Orphanage was only 
located here until Midsummer, 1858, when it was removed 
to one of the houses adjoining the Home in the High 
Street and re-named St. Margaret's Orphanage, by which 
title it is still known. 

St. Agnes' School for girls was opened in May, 1862, at 
the house in Moat Road where Mr. Charles Wood, the 


dentist, formerly resided, but it soon outgrew that and 
was removed to the larger residence now occupied by the 
Rev. J. Waller. In time this likewise got overcrowded, 
so the next house, now occupied by St. Margaret's School, 
was also taken, and the two were joined by a covered 
corridor, long since removed. One house was known as 
St. Agnes, the other as St. Cecilia. The school was 
removed to the mother home in 1874 and now has about 
65 boarders. The necessity for some larger building, 
where all the various branches of the work might be 
centralised, had long been apparent, and ten acres of 
ground for the intended buildings, with the stone quarry 
adjoining, were purchased in 1864. The first stone of the 
magnificent pile was laid on July 20th, 1865, by the late 
Mr. Francis Barchard, of Little Horsted, near Uckfield, 
and a blessing was pronounced on the work by the 
Archimandrite Stratuli of the Russian Church. Dr. 
Neale thus saw the beginning of the work which lay 
nearest his heart. He never lived to see its completion. 
A year after the foundation stone was laid he passed 
peacefully away, his premature death a distinct loss to all 

The founder's death was not allowed in any way to 
interfere with the progress of the noble works which he 
had initiated. St. Margaret's was at once looked on as a 
memorial to Dr. Neale, and was ready for occupation 
in 1870. First the Sisterhood and Orphanage, then St. 
Agnes' School, then the Industrial Training School for 
Servants were removed there, and to-day the institution 
has an average residential population of 230. The 
magnificently proportioned chapel, considered one of the 
late Mr. Street's masterpieces, was opened on February 
24th, 1883, and the next development was the building 
of a Guest House. In 1892 St. Margaret's College was 
opened in the old premises which had been known as St. 
Cecilia, and here there are now about 40 boarders and 45 
day scholars. Some exquisite work is carried on within 
the Convent walls. The Sisters make ecclesiastical and 
secular embroidery of delicate and most artistic design. 
They have established guilds, meetings and schools for 


all classes of the inhabitants, and many a stricken home 
has been brightened and many a weary sufferer cheered 
by the presence of one of the self-sacrificing, kindly ladies 
of St. Margaret's. 

The work has long reached beyond the confines, not 
only of Sussex, but of England. There are to-day branch 
Orphanages in Hitchin, Worcester and Burton-on- Trent ; 
Missions in Cardiff, Sunderland, Dundee, Newcastle and 
Chichester ; a Home for Consumptives at Ventnor ; a 
Convalescent Home for Ladies at Kingsand ; a Cottage 
Hospital and Nursing Home at Saltash ; a Home of Rest 
at Shincliffe ; a Free Home for the Dying at Clapham 
Common ; and a number of branch works in Ceylon and 
Johannesburg. There are daughter houses, each with 
several branch works of her own, known as St. Margaret's 
of Scotland, Aberdeen; St. Saviour's Priory, London, 
E. ; and St. Margaret's Home, Boston, U.S.A. These 
three daughter houses are governed by the same rules, 
but they elect their own Superiors and are dependent on 
their own friends and resources for income. 

A lady who feels disposed to devote herself to the work 
of St. Margaret's must first enter as a postulant for six 
months, during which time she is bound by no engage- 
ment, but lives in the House, shares the life and keeps 
the rules of the Sisters, in order that a judgment may be 
formed on both sides as to her fitness for the community. 
If the judgment be mutually favourable she stands for 
election as a novice, and must be elected as such by a 
majority of the Sisters. The novitiate lasts not less than 
two years, arid the votes of a majority of two-thirds of 
the professed Sisters of the House is necessary in order 
to admit a novice to full profession, by which act she 
devotes herself to God and the service of the poor for 
life as a Sister of Charity. How well this work is 
performed is recognised and appreciated wherever the 
name of St. Margaret's is known. 

Dr. Neale was succeeded in the chaplaincy of St. 
Margaret's by the Rev. Laughton Alison, M.A., who, 
coming of a family settled at Chorley, in Lancashire, and 
in enjoyment of an honourable record in that county, 

P 2 


graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge, and after- 
wards served the Curacy of Cuckfield, Sussex. He was 
appointed Chaplain in March, 1867, soon after completing 
his 31st year, and held the position until his death on 
September 19th, 1892. He was a worthy successor to the 
great founder; a man of sincere piety, of wide general 
information and cheerfulness of spirit ; eloquent in speech 
and kindly in manner ; a man who could not fail to win 
the affection of all he met ; the friend of all in suffering, 
need or distress. Regarded here in his early days with 
distrust, by reason of his advanced views, he lived down, 
and more than lived down, every vestige of this early 
unpopularity, never personal to himself, but attaching to 
the office he held in a community, viewed in those days 
with somewhat general disfavour, but now enjoying 
almost universal esteem. Many probably will credit 
Laughton Alison, and justly too, perhaps, with a prime 
share in effecting this pleasant change of sentiment 
towards an institution of which East Grinstead may 
well be proud. Certain it is, that for all his retiring 
habits, and almost unconnected as he was with the 
parochial life of East Grinstead, he somehow came to be 
known and held in affectionate esteem by all classes in 
the town, and on the day of his quiet funeral the place 
seemed hushed in general mourning for a well-loved 
friend. Such in brief outline was Father Alison, a title 
gradually conceded to him outside his cure, even by those 
who in matters of ritual stood far apart from him, but 
learnt to know his worth, and to read in him the record 
of a useful, unselfish and singularly blameless life. To 
him succeeded the Rev. R. E. Hutton, the present 
Chaplain, who was born in 1859 at Sompting Vicarage, 
Sussex, and ordained Priest in 1885 in Chichester 
Cathedral. Prior to coming to East Grinstead Mr. 
Hutton held several curacies, among others that of 
Pevensey, under the Ven. Archdeacon Sutton, and All 
Saints', Clifton, under Dr. Randall, the late Dean of 

The first Mother Superior, Miss Gream (Sister Ann), 
was succeeded by Miss Crocker (Sister Alice), a very 


gifted lady, who acted as amanuensis to Dr. Neale for 
many years, writing, at his dictation, in several different 
languages, which he himself had taught her. She died 
on June 2nd, 1902, and was buried with every token of 
wide-spread respect in the recently-opened burial ground 
attached to the Convent. Sister Ermenild, a daughter 
of the founder, and a lady whose election gave intense 
satisfaction to all friends of St. Margaret's, succeeded 
her in her honourable office. 



EAST GRINSTEAD did not escape the persecutions which 
became almost universal in England during the reign of 
Queen Mary. On July 18th, 1556, Anne Tree (familiarly 
known as Mother Tree), Thomas Dungate and John 
Form an were burned at the stake in East Grinstead, and, 
so far as is known, were the only martyrs who met their 
doom in this town. No record of their examination and 
sufferings has been preserved, but the martyrdom is thus 
quaintly and briefly recorded in the second volume of 
Foxe's " Book of Martyrs : " 

Nere about the same tyme that the three women with the infant 
was burned at Guernsey suffered other three likewise at Grenested in 
Sussex, two men and one woman, the names of whom were Tho. 
Dungate, John Forman and Mother Tree, who for righteousness' sake 
gave themselves to death and tormentes of the fire paciently abidyng 
what the furious rage of man could say or worke against them at the 
said Towne of Grrenested endying their lives the xvin. of the sayd 
moneth of July and in the yeare aforesayd (1556). 

Anne Tree's granddaughter of the same name resided 
at East Grinstead and was married in the time of 
Elizabeth to Edmund Ellis. The late George Ellis, of 
East Grinstead, was a lineal descendant. There were 
Dungates here 100 years later, as is shown by the record 
of special marriage licenses granted in the Lewes 
Registry and recently published by the Sussex Record 
Society. From these it appears that : 

Stephen Dungatt, of East Grinstead, yeoman, was married 13th 
July, 1611. 

Edward Dungat, of East Grinstead, weaver, was married 14th 
June, 1632, to Anne Bowre. 

John Dungate, of East Grinstead, yeoman, was married 1st Nov., 
1642, at St. Ann's, Lewes, to Anne Constable, also of East Grinstead. 

In a deed dated April 9th, 1609, Stephen Dungate 
appears as owner of lands near Saint Hill, and as late as 


1800 "Dungates Fields" were held with Hollybush and 
Standen on the Saint Hill Estate. 

By 1687 the Dungates had removed to Shoreham, 
where one John Dungate carried on business as a mercer. 
On November 10th of the year stated he and his wife 
Susannah parted with their property in Church Street, 
East Grinstead, where Mr. J. E. Lark now resides, to 
Thomas Bodle, yeoman, and his wife Elizabeth, with 
remainder to Thomas BodJe, junior, a hat-maker, and 
his wife. This particular property was long known as 
the Old Almshouses, for what reason is now unknown, 
except it be that mentioned in the chapter dealing with 
the charities of East Grinstead. Not only did one of 
the East Grinstead martyrs evidently reside there, but 
they were the home also of the Kidders, parents of the 
boy who became Bishop of Bath and Wells. Margaret 
Kidder, a widow, sold the property on April 30th, 1639. 
Much of the adjoining property, then called Gaynesfords, 
belonged to the Paynes, and a branch of this numerous 
family held the Old Almshouses quite recently. In 
1580 the forge near by was occupied by Joseph Duffelde 
and John Larke, and it is peculiar that one of the same 
name, but not sprung from a Sussex family, should be 
residing there over 320 years later. 

About three weeks before the burning of the martyrs 
in East Grinstead, Henry Adlington, a sawyer, of 
Grenestead, which may have been either East or West, 
or Greenstead, in Essex, was burnt with 12 others at 



VERY few, if any, crimes of world-wide notoriety have 
been associated with the town of East Grinstead, but it 
has been the scene of events, both civil and criminal, 
which have excited considerable local interest and which 
will bear re-telling in brief form. 

The old records tell us that, in consequence of the 
deplorable condition of the roads in Sussex, the Winter 
Assizes were held alternately at East Grinstead and 
Horsham and the Summer Assizes at Lewes, the county 
town, but this was by no means a fixed rule, for reports 
are still obtainable of cases tried at Assizes held in East 
Grinstead during the months of summer. On July 7th, 
1565, the Charter of Seaford was exhibited before the 
Judges here, and Assizes were also held on June 17th, 

The Court House stood in the High Street, the Middle 
Row at one time forming one end of an almost continuous 
line of buildings, which joined the four cottages, known 
as the Round Houses, formerly standing on the site now 
occupied by the Constitutional Club. At the Lent 
Assizes in 1684 the floor of the Court gave way while 
a trial was in progress, and in Sir William Burrell's 
collection of manuscripts this event is thus described by 
Mr. Bachelor, who appears to have been at that time 
a surgeon of East Grinstead : 

On the 17th. of March, 1684, the second day of the Assizes, a jury 
being sworn, consisting mostly of Knights and gentlemen, on a trial 
between Lord Howard and another person of distinction, the floor of 
the Nisi Prius Court fell down, and with it all the jury gentlemen, 
counsel and lawyers into the cellar ; yet no person received any con- 
siderable injury except one witness, who was cut across the forehead. 
The bench where the Judge sat fell not, but hung almost to a miracle. 
The rest of the trials were held in the Crown Court, and the Sessions 
House was soon after quite pulled down. 

The building was, however, immediately re-erected, 
principally at the cost of the "burgage holders" or, in 


other words, the owner of this " pocket borough." The 
last Assizes at East Grinstead were held in 1799. 

The Judges were not the only people who held their 
Courts at East Grinstead in the olden days. On April 
30th, 1605, Archbishop Bancroft, who was distinguished 
for his opposition to the Puritans, came to the town on 
his Metropolitical Visitation and deprived ten ministers 
of their livings. 

The old Sessions House, with its adjuncts the lock-up 
or cage at the west end and the stocks and whipping- 
post at the east were removed during 1829. The 
building materials were taken over to Buckhurst to aid 
in the construction of the mansion there, and the Judge's 
chair used in the Court still forms part of the furniture of 
the De la Warrs' ancestral home. The old Court House 
was occasionally used by a company of strolling players, 
and at one time just prior to its demolition an unsuccessful 
attempt was made to establish a meat and vegetable 
market therein. The Dukes of Dorset, as owners of the 
Manor of Imberhorne, long claimed a rent in respect of 
the Assizes held here. The following interesting entries 
are copied from the rent roil of the estate : 

s. d. 
1700. Of the Bayliffe for the rents of Assize of the said 

Borough pr ann 1 11 8 

For one year due Mich"' 1700 Ill 8 


Of the Baylift for the Rents of Assize of the said Borough 
p. ann l lb xi 9 viij d for two years, rent due at 
Michmas 1720 003 3 4 


Of the Baylift for the Rents of Assize of the said maunor 
p. ann xiiij lb xij 8 for two years due at Michmas 

1720 due 029 4 

ffive years taxes due at Ladyday 1720 006 5 

recvd 022 19 

Of the Baylift for three years rent of Assize being 

xxxi 8 viij p. ann 004 1 5 

Of the Baylift for three years rent of Assize being lv 8 p. ann. 008 o 


The last execution took place on the Gallows Croft, a 
field now forming part of Halsford Park, in 1799, a man 
being hanged for horse stealing. Gallows Croft, described 
in 1710 as Pilchers, being three acres near East Grinstead 
Common, was, for many generations, part of the Paynes' 
property, and so descended to Mr. R. Crawford, of Saint 
Hill, by whom it was sold to the Stenning family about 
1840. The name Gallows Croft does not appear to have 
attached to the field until late in the eighteenth century. 
In still earlier times executions took place immediately in 
front of the fine old stone house in Judge's Terrace, 
belonging to Mr. P. E. Wallis. These houses are so 
named as they stand on the site of an earlier residence 
occasionally used as the Judge's lodgings during the 
Assizes, though for some years the representatives of the 
law found accommodation in Sackville College, where 
the suite of apartments reserved for the use of the Dukes 
of Dorset was placed at their disposal. 

For Magisterial business Courts were for very many 
years held alternately at East Grinstead and Forest Row, 
at the former place at the Crown Hotel, on the fourth 
Monday in each month, and at the latter place at the 
Swan Hotel, on the second Monday. The present Police 
Station in West Street, or, as it was then called, Chapel 
Lane, was erected in 1860, and the Bench Room added 
in 1875, being first used for a Petty Sessional Court on 
January 17th, 1876. From 1820 to 1860 the Clerkship 
to the Justices was held by Mr. C. N. Hastie, who was 
succeeded by his son and partner, Mr. A. Hastie, who was 
again succeeded on his retirement, January 27th, 1896, by 
his partner, Mr. E. P. Whitley Hughes. 

In former days the ordinary police were helped in 
their duties by the parish constables, who were annually 
appointed long after the creation of the existing county 
force. The last of these appointments in East Grinstead 
was made on February 23rd, 1872, and of the twelve 
townsmen then nominated Mr. John Tooth is now the 
only survivor. Under an Act, which did not long remain 
operative, he was also appointed, by the Vestry, on 


October 21st, 1869, the first and only local Inspector of 


On July 19th, 1801, the Beatsons robbed His Majesty's 
mail on Wall Hill, East Grinstead. John Beatson was a 
Scotchman, who, after serving in the merchant service, 
settled in Edinburgh as an innkeeper. He had adopted 
a child and named him William Whalley Beatson, who, 
in due course, married and took over the father's tavern. 
His wife dying he sold the house arid went to London, 
where he soon lost all his savings at the hands of some 
unscrupulous sharps who got hold of him. His father 
became a butler, and both seem to have got into low water. 
For a time they lived at Hartfield and then drifted back 
to London. On Saturday, July 18th, 1801, they left the 
Metropolis and came as far as the Rose and Crown, at 
Godstone, where they slept for the night. Next morning 
they came on to the Blue Anchor, at Blindley Heath, and 
stayed there until the evening. 

Then they tramped on through East Grinstead to Wall 
Hill, and there stopped the mail soon after midnight. 
They did not injure the driver, but led the horse into an 
adjoining enclosure and carried off the mail bags to 
Hartfield, where they hid in a field of standing corn. 
They opened all the letters and took from them the Bank 
of England and country notes, leaving the remainder 
of the contents in the field. These were discovered a 
month later when the reapers got to work. In drafts, 
bills, &c., over 9,530 had been left behind. This makes 
a total of 13,000 or 14,000 carried by the mail. The 
large sum is accounted for by the fact that in those days 
even the town of Croydori and the whole district of 
Godstone and Bletchingley were served from East Grin- 
stead every day except Sunday, for no mail ran on 
Saturday nights, and the neighbourhoods of Crawley, 
Cuckfield and Lindfield got their letters on three days a 
week only, also through East Grinstead. The mail cart 
used to leave Brighton just after seven o'clock in the 


evening, and the Sunday mail, carrying two days' letters, 
was naturally a heavy one, a fact, no doubt, known to the 

Meanwhile the Beatsons had gone to Westerham, 
thence to Deptford and London and finally on to 
Liverpool. They had been suspected, their descriptions 
circulated and, a hue and cry being raised throughout 
England, they were finally arrested at the port named. 
Property to the value of close on 3,000, chiefly in 
bank notes, was found on them. They were taken to 
Bow Street and thence to Horsham to await their trial 
at the Assizes. 

Here young Beatson nearly succeeded in escaping 
from prison, but was re-captured in a sewer. The trial 
took place on March 29th, 1802, before Baron Hotham, 
and about 30 witnesses were examined. The father 
acknowledged his guilt and both he and his son denied 
that the latter had any hand in the robbery. The jury, 
however, found both guilty and sentence of death was 
passed. On April 17th they were brought from Horsham 
to East Grinstead, and, on a gallows specially erected in 
the field where they robbed the cart, were hung in the 
presence of 3,000 spectators. Both acknowledged their 
guilt and begged forgiveness of all whom they had 
injured. After death their bodies were taken back to 
Horsham for burial. It is said, and probably with truth, 
that the place of execution is clearly indicated to this day 
by two conspicuous holly trees, which stand out against 
the sky-line from the modern road running below. 


In 1710, at East Grinstead, William Longley and 
Samuel Kingston were convicted of burglaries and 
sentenced to be hanged by Baron Bury, but they were 
reprieved and assigned for transportation. Twenty-four 
years later three death sentences were passed at East 
Grinstead Assizes, one on a woman for robbery from the 
person, but all got off with imprisonment. Baron 
Perrett, in sentencing a real old offender named William 


Boldry at East Grinstead in 1771, after ordering him to 
be hung by the neck till he was dead, added, " Let him 
be hung in chains on the most convenient spot upon 
Burpham New Downs, in the parish of Burpham, nearest 
to the gate at the end of Blakehurst Lane, near Arundel, 
in the County of Sussex." 

At the East Grinstead Assizes on March 24th, 1789, 
one James Winn was convicted of horse stealing, and as 
a reward for his efforts in securing a conviction, Henry 
Bye was granted what was known as a " Tyburn ticket" 
in reality a certificate exempting him from all parish 
and ward offices. 

There were East Grinstead bank notes as early as 
1812, for on March 23rd of that year Michael Ury was 
sentenced to death for stealing a 2 East Grinstead 
bank note. 

On August 9th, 1817, sentence of death was passed on 
James Graham for burglary at Worth. 

On March 16th, 1818, James Cooper was sentenced to 
death for cattle stealing at East Grinstead ; at the Assizes 
a year later, on March 24th, James Betchley suffered a 
like penalty for horse stealing at Hartfield, and nine 
years later, on the same day of the month, William 
Clarke was similarly sentenced for a like offence in the 
same parish. 

At the Summer Assizes at Lewes on July 29th, 1820, 
there were two cases sent from the East Grinstead Bench, 
and the death penalty was the Judge's order in both 
Horton Clarke for horse stealing at West Hoathly, and 
William Harcourt and John Butcher for highway 
robbery at Worth. Three years later, at the corres- 
ponding Assizes on July 26th, George Wood was 
sentenced to death for robbery from the person at Withy- 
ham, having been committed from East Grinstead. The 
ages of prisoners had little effect on the sentences in those 
days. For instance, two young boys named Wale and 
Chitter were sent for trial from East Grinstead in 1824 
for housebreaking at Hartfield, and on August 14th, at 


Lewes, were sentenced to death, but a reprieve, as was 
usual in such cases, was granted. 

East Grinstead Fair yielded its troubles then as it 
does now. On December 20th, 1824, William Thompson 
was transported for life for stealing, in the Fair, a pocket 
book from Mr. John Hillman, of Lewes; and on March 
19th, 1832, George Robinson and Robert White were 
sent beyond the seas for 14 years for stealing 80 in 
bank notes from John Wickens, a farmer, who had come 
to the Fair to trade. 

For a burglary at East Grinstead in 1826 William 
Harvey and James Smith were transported for life, but 
for the less serious crime of housebreaking at Withy ham, 
on December 18th of the succeeding year, John Holmes 
was sentenced to be hung. A year later, on December 
19th, a like penalty fell to the lot of Samuel Thompson 
and Edward Moon, who were convicted of horse stealing 
at East Grinstead. Exactly a year later, for a similar 
offence in the same town, William Payne was also 
ordered to the scaffold. Two years later, for cattle 
stealing at East Grinstead, James Booth got off with 
transportation for life, but on December 14th, 1833, 
Charles Arnold incurred the death penalty for stealing 
the paltry sum of 4s. 6d. from the person at Worth. 

It is given to but few men to be twice sentenced to 
death, but such a record is connected with this town. 
On January 3rd, 1827, Cufty Brooker was ordered to be 
hung for housebreaking at East Grinstead. He was 
reprieved and imprisoned for six months only. On 
August loth, 1829, he was again sentenced to death for 
an exactly similar offence in the same town, and a second 
time he got off with imprisonment. Whether he 
eventually died on the gallows cannot be traced. 

On October 19th, 1829, was executed Richard Gifford, 
aged 26, whose father was for many years butler to Lord 
Colchester, at Kidbrooke Park. Lord Colchester had 
got young Gifford into a Government office, but he went 
wrong and was hung for obtaining two sums of 125 
and 27 by fraud. 



At the close of 1830 the riots throughout the South of 
England left their effect on this district. The outrages 
commenced in the adjoining county of Kent and the 
progressive march of incendiarism was as much feared 
as that of an invading army. Stacks of grain and farm 
buildings were everywhere burned and consumed ; gangs 
of men went from farm to farm, breaking all the 
machinery on the premises, and where the general body 
of rioters did not go the local discontent was sufficient 
to change the character of the simple labourer to that of 
the midnight incendiary. Some neighbouring villages 
actually assumed the appearance of encampments, as the 
military and yeomanry made their presence felt and 
arrested the rioters. The first local convictions took 
place at the Lewes Assizes on December 18th, 1830, 
when no less than 45 persons were charged with arson, 
riot, threats and assaults. In almost every case there 
was a conviction and a number of men were sentenced 
to death, but the majority were reprieved, only two, 
Thomas Goodman, a hoopmaker, of Battle, and Edmund 
Bushby, a labourer, of East Preston, suffering the 
extreme penalty, both being executed on New Year's 
Day, 1831. Among those who escaped entirely was 
George Buckwell, charged with firing a barn belonging 
to William Ken ward, of Hartfield. Richard Hodd had 
been committed by the East Grinstead Magistrates for 
compelling two other men " to go along with him and join 
a mob who had collected together for riotous and illegal 
purposes." He was convicted and got off with 18 
months' hard labour. A Magistrate on the East Grinstead 
Bench (Mr. Robert Crawfurd, of Saint Hill, J.P., D.L.), 
himself a considerable landlord, records in a letter 
written some years afterwards to an agricultural news- 
paper an anecdote which illustrates vividly enough those 
troublous days in Sussex. He writes: "During the 
riots of 1830 I dined with the late Sir Godfrey Webster 
(of Battle Abbey) at Lewes. At a not very early hour 
the Baronet prepared for his homeward journey. ' You 


are a marked man,' said I ; * how are you armed ? 
Barkers ? ' ' Pooh,' said he, pulling from the right and 
left pockets of his great coat a couple of hog knives, 
1 these are the tools they never missjire.' '' 


The Summer Assizes at East Grinstead in 1749 were 
famous as marking the final break-up of one of the most 
notorious gangs of smugglers, thieves and murderers that 
ever infested this country. Thwarted in an attempt to 
smuggle a cargo of tea from Guernsey, a gang of 30 
men, aided by 30 others who kept watch, on the night 
of October 6th, 1747, broke into the King's Custom 
House at Poole, and stole the whole consignment of 
which the revenue officers had deprived them. They 
then scattered themselves over the counties of Hampshire 
and Sussex, but the affair was too serious for the law to 
overlook, and a man named Daniel Chater was brought 
by a Custom House officer, named William Galley, to this 
county in order to identify one of the smugglers, named 
Diamond. They got as far as Rowlands Castle, near 
Havant, where they were seized by a gang of the men 
they were in search of. For several days the poor fellows 
were subjected to the most brutal tortures, and finally 
Galley was buried before he was quite dead and Chater 
was thrown into a well in Lady Holt Park, and there 
stoned until he succumbed. One of those who assisted 
in Chater's murder was John Mills, and shortly afterwards 
he and Jeremiah Curtis, suspecting a labourer named 
Richard Hawkins of having stolen one of their bags of 
tea, took him to the Dog and Partridge, at Slindon 
Common, where they were met by several of their 
companions, including a man named Rowland, or Robb, 
and commonly called " Little-Fat-Back," who lived in 
East Grinstead. They thrashed Hawkins to death, tied 
stones to his arms and legs and threw his body into a 
pond in Parham Park, where it was discovered nine 
months later. A great number of arrests followed, and 
the first batch of this dangerous gang was convicted at 


Chichester in January, 1748, and met the doom they 
richly merited. At the East Grinstead Assizes in August, 
1749, there were numerous additional trials. 

John Mills, called Smoker, a colt breaker of Trotton, 
whose father and brother had both been hung, was 
tried for participation in the murder of Hawkins, and 
Henry Sheerman, otherwise Little Harry, of West 
Strutton, for his share in the murder of Galley. Both 
were sentenced to death and numerous other charges 
against them were not gone into. Among others of the 
gang convicted and sentenced to be hung at the same 
Assizes were John Brown, called " Jockey," a well- 
known young smuggler, for robbing John Walter of 12 
guineas in gold and 12 in silver at Bersted; Lawrence 
Kemp and Thomas Kemp, two members of the notorious 
Hawkhurst gang, for burglary at the farmhouse of 
Richard Havendon, of Heathfield ; and Robert Fuller, a 
keen old smuggler, for stealing 7s. 6d. from William 
Wittenden, at Worth. All these men were executed, 
Mills on Slindon Common, where his body was after- 
wards hung in chains, and the others at Horsham. 
Among the counsel who appeared for the prosecution in 
these various trials were Mr. Smythe, K.C., M.P. for 
East Grinstead, and Mr. Staples, of Hurst-an-Clays. 


Let us now take a look backward for three centuries. 
Queen Elizabeth's Council of State had a most peculiar 
matter brought to its notice from East Grinstead in the 
year 1579. Brambletye House was then occupied by 
James Pickas and Katherin, his wife, and they both seem 
to have been mixed up in strange matters. The Vicar 
of East Grinstead at that time was Richard Burnopp, 
who was brought before the Council of State for falsely 
accusing this James Pickas of having arrested him at his 
own altar. According to the Star Chamber proceed- 
ings, this Vicar was a man 

that p'cured his said neighbours to spende in trobles and sutes in law 
above five hundred poundes and to the end he may still dwell in bralles 


and sutes of lawe he hath, very shamefully offered certain somes of 
money unto one Thomas Ellis to enter into sutes of lawe again with 

He may therefore have had a finger in the following 
strange suit, in which a lady figures very prominently. 
John Turner was the attorney appointed for the " liverie 
and sesin of a dede made from John Farnam of a chapel 
and certain lands to the Lord Buckhurst," and Katherin 
Pickas hunted him up at the house of Stephen French 
in East Grinstead and asked him what he was up to. He 
told her he was there "to take possession for my Lorde 
of Buckhurste of the chapel of Brambletie and land 
which pertanied thereunto." Thereupon ensued, accord- 
ing to the lady, the following conversation : 

Mrs. Pycas : By what authoritie ? 
John Turner : By authoritie from John Farnam. 
Mrs. Pycas : What hath he to do here ; this matter is ended by the 
Quene, God save her highness. 

John Turner : Yt makes no matter for the Quene. 

Mrs. Pycas : No ; Is my Lord of Buckhurst above the Quene ? 

John Turner : Yes, in this respect. 

This was enough for my lady of Brambletye. Here 
was rank sedition ; here was a false allegation against 
the Queen. Off she went with her six attendants and 
very soon made her way to Lewes, where she laid her 
version of the story before six Magistrates. They hardly 
cared to deal with it, so they drew up a statement of the 
facts and laid them before " the Right Honable and our 
verie good Lordes the Lordes of her Majestie's most 
honourable Privee Counselle." Katherin Pycas was 
supported in her version of what was said by her six 
attendants. John Turner's story was a very different 
one. He stated that when he went to make " liverie and 
seizin" of the chantry and chapel of Brambletye he 
and his men were set upon and beaten and had to flee. 
Katherin Pycas followed and on catching Turner up 
said, "What have you to do here, and will you show 
your authority ? " He produced the deed and the lady 
thereupon claimed that her title to the chapel was a good 
one, so Turner asked her to prove it. So she would, 
" to his betters," she said, and as the lady was apparently 


losing her temper Turner walked away, but she and her 
men, armed with staves and other weapons, followed 
him, she saying, "You Berkshire gentlemen, you think 
to make me stoop to you, but I will not." Eventually 
Turner got away, and so ended the episode. The Privy 
Council possibly smiled and put it all down to a woman's 
wilfulness, for nothing was done to the " seditious " 


A special commission of Oyer and Terminer, addressed 
to several Peers, Judges and Esquires of the County of 
Sussex, opened at East Grinstead on February 1st, 1586. 
Before the Court was brought William Shelley, of 
Michelgrove, who was charged with having, on Septem- 
ber loth, 1583, imagined and compassed the death of 
Queen Elizabeth, the subversion of the established 
religion and government and the procurement of an 
invasion of the Kingdom. It appeared that one, Charles 
Paget, who had been an exile for treason, came back 
secretly to England and Shelley met him in a wood at 
Patching, and there the pair " held traitorous intercourse 
touching the proposed invasion and the elevation of 
Mary Queen of Scots to the throne." It was occurrences 
of this character that no doubt helped to bring about the 
execution of that unhappy monarch a year later. 
Shelley was found guilty, committed to the Tower and 
later on brought to Westminster Hall for judgment. 
He was sentenced to death at Tyburn, but he escaped 
the headsman, his attainder was subsequently removed 
and when the order of Baronets was instituted in 1611 
his son was the fifth person placed on that roll of 

Q 2 



ABOUT the year 1631 there was great distress through- 
out England, and the Poor Law Commissioners were 
called on to make special reports to the King as to the 
state of their respective districts. Those acting for East 
Grinstead and the 17 other parishes forming the northern 
part of Pevensey Rape were Sir Henry Compton, of 
Brambletye, Sir Thos. Pelham, Sir Richard Michel- 
bourne, Robert Morley and Anthony Fowle. They met 
monthly at Uckfield and gave instructions to the 
Overseers to make provision for the poor more plenti- 
fully. Contributions were raised from the more wealthy 
inhabitants and a "badger" was appointed to buy corn 
and sell it to the poor at one shilling per bushel less than 
it cost. They also got 30 boys apprenticed and found 
that, by reason of the flourishing state of the Sussex 
ironworks, there was ample employment for those who 
wanted it. They routed out the vagabonds, punished 
some of those who harboured them and closed up 16 
alehouses where the poor were tempted to spend what 
little cash they had. 

One hundred and fifty years later the cost of maintain- 
ing the poor of the parish of East Grinstead was 
exceedingly heavy. The money raised by assessment 
was, in s. a. 

1783 1,48219 6 

1784 1,374 14 9 

1785 1,532 6 

and the average yearly amount spent exclusively on the 
maintenance of the poor was 1,349. 15s. 8d. The same 
return sets forth that the average yearly cost of enter- 
tainment for those who attended meetings relative to 
the poor was 1. 10s. 

At a Vestry meeting held on November 14th, 1821, 
the Overseers reported that a number of paupers were 


out of employ, that their numbers were daily increasing 
and that they were costing the parish nearly 20 a 
week. It was proposed to ballot off the unemployed 
poor, according to the rentals of the respective occupiers, 
each man to be employed for a certain number of days 
by such person and to be paid by him after the rate of 
18d. per day to married men and 12d. per day to single 
men. At this date the amount of the poor rate was no 
less than 5,391. 2s., an average of 34s. per head per 
annum, 7s. more than the average for the whole 

In December, 1832, another meeting was held in the 
town to consider the better employment of agricultural 
labourers. It was resolved that every ratepayer should 
employ his share of labourers at 10s. a week each, but 
the Magistrates considered this insufficient remuneration 
for the best workers, so local agriculturists finally agreed 
to pay 12s. per week and fine every ratepayer 10s. a week 
for each labourer not employed according to his propor- 

In 1847 the prices of provisions generally rose to a 
most prohibitive figure. Seconds flour advanced to 
2s. l^d. per gallon, and in May of that year there were 
no vegetables, except a few cabbages, to be had at any 
price in East Grinstead. The Queen herself issued an 
order that only seconds flour was to be used in all the 
Royal palaces and the strictest economy everywhere 
observed. It is on record that several of the East Grin- 
stead gentry followed her example. 

Distress became so acute in East Grinstead during the 
winter of 1852-3, that on February 1st the parishioners 
met in the Vestry and decided to supplement what was 
being done by the Guardians. Having regard to the 
extreme wetness of the season and the advanced prices 
of provisions generally, the meeting authorised the free 
distribution of 100 gallons of soup per week to the poor 
and this was continued until the warmer weather set in. 

On August 30th, 1869, the Vestry decided for the first 
time to allow owners to compound for their rates at a 
discount of 25 per cent. Poor rates were authorised at 


specially convened Vestry meetings, and the last occasion 
on which this was done was October 13th, 1892. Since 
that date the Overseers have exercised their powers and 
gone direct to the Magistrates without consulting the 
ratepayers. The last appointment of Overseers by the 
Vestry was on March 26th, 1894. Since then appoint- 
ments have been made by the Urban Council. 

An order was issued on September 5th, 1835, assigning 
three Guardians to the parish of East Grinstead. On 
September 10th, 1874, the Local Government Board was 
asked to increase the number to five and a schedule was 
attached to the appeal, showing the increase of popula- 
tion from 1841 to 1871. But the figures for the 1831 
census were inserted instead of those for 1841 and the 
petition was ignored. In 1889 the ratepayers again 
appealed for an increase, and on June 26th of that year 
the Local Government Board issued an order dividing 
the old parish into two wards and assigning three 
Guardians to the Urban District and two to the Rural, 
and the first election under the new system took place in 
March, 1890. 

One of the most important local law cases ever fought 
concerned the old Workhouse in the London Road. In 
1747 Sir Thomas Webster was a considerable owner of 
property in East Grinstead and it was represented to him 
that the inhabitants of the parish " had come to a resolu- 
tion to build a Workhouse for the better reception and 
employment of the poor." Sir Thomas was desirous of 
helping in this good work, so he leased an acre of land 
in the centre of the town to Elfred Staples, Benjamin 
Faulconer, Edward Green, Nathaniel Moore, John Smith 
and Thomas James, the last-named being the Vicar of 
the parish, that they might build thereon a Workhouse 
for the reception, employment, lodging and entertain- 
ment of all the poor people of East Grinstead. The 
lease was dated March 10th, 1747, and was for a term of 
150 years, at a rental of one shilling a year. This 
appears to have been paid up to April 4th, 1776, on 
which date an endorsement was made on the lease by 
Thomas Bankin, an attorney residing in East Grinstead, 


that he had " Received from East Grinstead parish, by 
Thomas Foster, the sum of one pound nine shillings, 
being 29 years' rent of the land let by lease." From 
that day the existence of the lease was absolutely 
forgotten for over 100 years. In due course a new Poor 
Law was passed, parishes were amalgamated for poor 
law purposes, and the Workhouse having been built in 
Glen Vue, the parishioners of East Grinstead, in Vestry 
assembled, authorised the sale of the old Workhouse, as 
well as the pest house on the Common, on February 
14th, 1861, fully believing the former was their free- 
hold property. It was at first proposed to sell the 
land in plots, but finally on October 9th, 1862, it was 
sold, as a whole, to Mr. Joseph Turner, the well-known 
land agent and auctioneer, who sold it to Mr. Robert 
Pink, but before the latter signed the conveyance he 
re-sold it to the late Mr. C. C. Tooke, to whom it was 
conveyed on December 16th, 1862. Subsequently Mr. 
Tooke sold back the present site of the Grosvenor 
Hall on May 25th, 1864, to Mr. Pink; in the same 
month he sold to the late Mr. James Bridgland the 
property now occupied by A. & C. Bridgland, Ltd., 
and on October 4th following he sold the remaining and 
centre plot to the late Mr. John Southey. 

Meanwhile the Websters had lost touch with East 
Grinstead and disposed of all their local property. Sir 
Thomas Webster was succeeded by Sir Whistler Webster, 
who was M.P. for East Grinstead. He left his real 
estate to his brother Godfrey and then came several Sir 
Godfreys in succession. The estate finally passed into 
the hands of Lady Webster, who conveyed it to her son, 
Sir Augustus Webster, on March 21st, 1886. It was 
about this time that the old lease turned up. By this 
time the land had had valuable buildings erected on it 
and was of the estimated value of 12,000. Sir Augustus 
demanded his shilling, payment was refused, so an action 
was brought to recover this sum, but in reality to get a 
declaration that a presumed freehold was only a leasehold 
expiring- in 1897. The case was tried in May, 1887, 
before Mr. Justice Kay, and after a very lengthy hearing 


judgment was given for the defendants on the ground 
that the lease was bad ab initio. 

May 16th, 1887, will not be readily forgotten. A 
special edition of the East Grinstead Observer was issued 
giving the result, and scenes of extraordinary excitement 
were witnessed in East Grinstead. " As the news 
spread," says a newspaper account, " people shouted, 
danced, sliook each other's hands and alternately 
laughed and cried for joy." Flags and bunting of 
every kind hung from numerous windows ; favours of 
white and blue ribbon were distributed by hundreds ; 
places of business were closed; and the streets became 
crowded with people. Over 1,000 persons gathered at 
the station to meet the defendants on their arrival ; 
their carriage was drawn to the town by the Fire 
Brigade ; the Town Band led the way, and con- 
gratulatory speeches were delivered in the presence of 
3,000 listeners. The scenes of excitement continued 
until long after midnight. To show his disapproval of 
the Band taking part in such a demonstration the late 
Mr. C. H. Gatty, J.P., of Felbridge Place, resigned his 
presidency and withdrew all support from the Band for 
several years. 

The parishes at present forming the East Grinstead 
Union, together with Lingfield in Surrey, were united 
for the purposes of Poor Law administration in the year 
1835, but it was not until 1860 that they opened the 
existing Workhouse in Glen Vue for their joint use. As 
a result of the Local Government Act of 1894, the 
parish of Lingfield was eventually transferred to Godstone 
Union, wholly in its own county of Surrey. By the 
same Act was brought into being the Rural District 
Council, the members of which, together with five elected 
for the urban parish of East Grinstead, form the existing 
Board of Guardians. Of the Rural Council Mr. W. V. K. 
Stenning, J.P., of Halsford, was co-opted as the first 
Chairman at the opening meeting held on January 3rd, 
1895. To him succeeded, on May 5th, 1898, Mr. Job 
Luxford, of Forest Row, an elected member, who held 
the position seven years and had the honour of being 


the first ex-officio Justice of the Peace to act on the 
local Bench of Magistrates. He was followed, in 1905, 
by Mr. J. Waters, of Hartfield. The Clerkship to both 
authorities was for many years held by Mr. W. A. Head, 
who resigned in November, 1 902, and was succeeded by 
his partner, Mr. F. S. White, as Clerk to the Rural 
Council and Mr. Alan Huggett as Clerk to the Guardians. 
The present Chairman of the Board of Guardians is Mr. 
John Longley, of Turners Hill, who succeeded the Rev. 
C. D. Nix, of Worth. Prior to his term of office the 
position was held for several years by Mr. W. V. K. 
Stenning, and his predecessor was the late Mr. Bernard 
Hale, J.P., who presided over the Board for a very long 
period. He bought and presented to the Union the 
piece of land adjoining the railway and now used as a 
stone depot. 



THE present excellent condition of the town of East 
Grinstead has been brought about very gradually, most 
new proposals meeting at first with opposition and only 
becoming permanent institutions after most persistent 
efforts. Details are appended of the inception of schemes 
which are now part of our ordinary life and government. 


The agitation for the formation of East Grinstead into 
an urban district took definite shape in the year 1881, 
when a Committee, with Mr. "W. V. K. Stenning as its 
chairman, was formed to carry the project through. 
The promoters met with more than one serious rebuff. 
The first Local Government inquiry was held on February 
28th, 1882, and the opposition to the scheme from all 
outside the town was tremendous. It was at first 
proposed that the area should be that already in exist- 
ence for lighting purposes, having a radius boundary of 
1^ miles from the Parish Church tower. In the end the 
Local Government Board positively refused the applica- 
tion. But the Committee, though rebuffed, were not 
disheartened. They amended their proposals, renewed 
their application, and on February 2nd in the following 
year a second inquiry was held. The applicants proposed 
to relieve Forest Row of all liability in regard to the 
drainage rate, and not to include the village in the urban 
district. The residents there at once withdrew opposition 
and the chief opponents left were mainly the proprietors 
of the parks and agricultural land which it was sought to 
include in the Local Board area. Their opposition was 
futile, and finally, on March 25th, 1884, the desired 
sanction was given by the Local Government Board, 


though they had intimated ten months previously that 
the scheme would be approved. 

At the first election no fewer than 61 candidates were 
put forward, and though many withdrew, yet 34 finally 
competed for the 12 seats. 

At the first meeting of the Board on August 30th, 
1884, the Rev. C. W. P. Crawfurd was elected chairman 
without opposition, and he held this office throughout 
the whole of the Board's existence. The earlier meetings 
were often the occasions of stormy scenes, but the 
Chairman's tact in time led to smoothness of working, 
and the Local Board served its purpose and did a good 
public work. 

Mr. Hastie, the first clerk and solicitor, gave good 
advice to friend and foe alike, and when two years later 
the exigencies of his London business compelled him 
to retire, his partner, the late Mr. H. S. Little, was 
elected to succeed him, and on his death Mr. E. P. 
Whitley Hughes stepped into the breach. 

First a Mr. Brown and then a Mr. Gordon held the 
position of surveyor, but the Board never got on well 
with the holder of that particular office until Mr. W. W. 
Gale was appointed. When he came, the late Mr. G. 
Ranger, who died on June 5th, 1891, was relieved of 
the rate collectorship and for the sake of economy the 
offices of surveyor, sanitary inspector and rate collector 
were amalgamated. The combination of these multi- 
farious duties was not found to work well and in time 
the offices were again divided. Mr. S. J. Huggett 
became the Rate Collector and Mr. R. Wilds succeeded 
Mr. Gale as Surveyor and Inspector of Nuisances. The 
present holder 01 the latter position is Mr. W. E. 
Woollam. The post of Medical Officer of Health was 
held first by Mr. G. Covey and then by Mr. P. E. Wallis. 

The Board came to an end in order to give place to an 
Urban Council in December, 1894, and during the decade 
which covered its existence the town in all its public 
thoroughfares was well lighted ; High Street and London 
Road paved, channelled and properly metalled; the 


drainage very largely extended; owners of some half- 
dozen private roads compelled to place them in such a 
state of repair as to make them fit to be taken over by 
the public authority; street watering adopted and the 
collection of house refuse inaugurated. As a mark of 
their appreciation of his conduct of business the members 
of the Board, before they went out of office, entertained 
their Chairman at a complimentary banquet on December 
5th, 1894. 

The first Urban Council election, at which plurality of 
voting was for the first time missing, took place 011 
December 17th, 1894, and the good work done by the 
Local Board has been well continued by the existing 
authority. The Rev. C. W. Payne Crawford was con- 
tinued in the chair, and occupied the post until he retired 
from public work in April, 1897. Mr. Evelyn A. Head, 
who had for years been an active worker in the cause of 
local government and solicitor to the original promoters 
of the Local Board, then got a deserved reward in being 
elected to the chair. The office has since been held by 
Mr. T. J. P. Hartigan, Mr. W. Milburn (Brockhurst), Mr. 
R. Chignell (Stoneleigh), Mr. C. H. Everard (Newlands) 
and Mr. J. Rice. The last-named was the first repre- 
sentative of the trading community to attain the honour 
and thereby become an ex-qfficio Justice of the Peace for 
the county. 


The plan of watering the streets during the summer 
months was first adopted in East Grinstead in 1863, 
when the heat was very oppressive, and the dust so bad 
that tradesmen were quite unable to have shop doors or 
windows open. It was thought that a supply of water 
might be obtained from a disused well, situated partly 
under the house then occupied by Mr. Bailye, in the 
Middle Row. This well, in former years, had a pump 
fitted to it, and was used by Lord De la Warr's tenants 
in the High Street, but it got very much out of repair 
and neglected, and as no subscriptions were forthcoming 
for its restoration it was closed about the year 1840. The 


views of the principal tradesmen of the town were 
obtained in 1863 as to the advisability of watering the 
High Street and part of the London Road, and at a public 
meeting on May 1st a committee was formed to consider 
the matter, consisting of the Vicar (the Rev. J. N. 
Harward), Mr. T. R. Burt, Mr. E. Wilkinson, Mr. T. J. 
Palmer, Mr. Gr. Shepard, Mr. Meades and Mr. T. Cramp. 
Proposals were submitted by Mr. J. Tooth, and the Com- 
mittee placed the work in his hands. Permission was 
obtained from Lord De la Warr's agent to re-open and 
examine the well mentioned, and it was found that the sides 
had fallen in. When the well was dug it was six feet in 
diameter, but the bottom was now found to have widened 
in diameter to 14 feet. There was no water in the well. 
It was decided to remove all stones and rubbish, have the 
sides made secure and dig the well a few feet deeper, on 
the chance of striking a fresh inlet of water. The well 
was accordingly sunk five feet more and an abundant 
supply of water secured, rising to a height of 12 feet. 
A brass pump, with a standpipe at the top fitted with two 
nozzles (one for pails and the other for the water barrow), 
was then erected, and enclosed on three sides by walls of 
brick and cement, with an ornamental cast-iron railing. 
There were two accidents while the work was in progress, 
Mr. Thomas Criswell being badly injured about the legs 
and Mr. Simmonds (who is still alive to tell the tale) 
getting his shoulders hurt. When the well was finished 
and in proper working order it proved a great boon to 
the High Street residents, as hitherto they had had to 
fetch their water in a barrel fixed on a wooden frame, and 
drawn by a horse, from a spring situated beyond the 
Prince of Wales Inn, at Baldwins Hill. For the purpose 
of street watering the Committee bought a galvanised 
hand-barrow, capable of holding 100 gallons, and a man 
named Edward Geer undertook the task at the rate of 
6d. per hour. This went on for two summers, but for 
want of sufficient subscriptions the practice was then dis- 
continued and the water barrow sold, the sum of one 
guinea, which it realised, being given to the funds of the 
Cottage Hospital. The pump, however, continued to be 


used by the inhabitants until Mr. Bailye built the present 
premises, now occupied by Mr. Alex. Johnson, over the 
site, when the pump, iron railing, &c., were removed in 
October, 1877, by the parish authorities to the Union 
" for safe custody." The refusal of the Rural Sanitary 
Authority, which then controlled the town, to continue 
the watering was one of the things that helped on the 
agitation for the formation of a Local Board. 


The universal use of cesspools in East Grinstead was 
abandoned very many years ago, but the- drainage 
system adopted was an extremely crude and dangerous 
one. At the centre of the town there was a brick drain 
on each side of the road, receiving both surface water 
and sewage. These drains united in one sewer, which 
emptied itself into the Swan Mead, irrigating this large 
meadow, which was close to the town and extended from 
the present Police Station in West Street, across Queen's 
Road and Glen Vue to the Railway Hotel. It then 
flowed towards a pond, the outfall passed into an open 
ditch, which in course of time also received drainage 
from cottages in Glen Vue, two or three pigstyes, the 
occasional overflow of the Workhouse cesspools and the 
irrigation from a field near the present Cemetery, over 
which a drain taking the sewage from the houses in 
Chapel Lane, now West Street, emptied itself. This 
accumulation found its way along the stream and entered 
the Medway at Old Mill Bridge. Another drain com- 
menced at the back of the Church, passed through 
Brewer's or Brewhouse Lane, arid emptied itself on to a 
field near the Hermitage. A third commenced in the 
garden at the back of the Swan, receiving the sewage 
from several houses in that neighbourhood. This was 
carried to a cesspool built in an old stone pit at the back 
of Chapel Lane and the overflow passed into a cleft in 
the rocks and disappeared. The Rocks district at the 
north entrance of the town was drained by another 
sewer emptying into the Dean cherry garden. The 


Railway sewage and that from a dozen houses near 
the old station was taken along the line towards 
Tunbridge Wells until it ultimately disappeared in a 
cleft in the rocks. There were three other minor 
sections, all equally primitive and dangerous. Each 
person disposed of his refuse just as it seemed him best, 
without reference to any law save that of gravitation. 

Things had got so bad by 1853 that on October 27th 
of that year Mr. C. R. Duplex was appointed Nuisance 
Inspector, but he was unable to do anything. The first 
Sewage Authority for the town was appointed on 
September 18th, 1866, but this also was able to do very 
little. On June 25th, 1875, a Parochial Committee, 
consisting of Messrs. W. V. K. Stenning (the first public 
office he ever held), C. Absalom and T. Cramp, were 
appointed to act in conjunction with the Board of 
Guardians in carrying out a drainage system for the 
town, which was by this time in a fearful condition. 
The hollow in the fork formed by the junction of Ship 
and West Streets was nothing but a large pond of 
reeking sewage ; the whole of the Swan Mead, where 
Queen's Road and Glen Vue now stand, was merely a 
receptacle for filth ; while on the other side of the town 
the Moat fields were in almost as bad a condition 
and typhoid fever was rampant. The Committee first 
endeavoured to get land for a sewage farm in the valley 
between East Grinstead and Forest Row, but the 
opposition was so powerful that they were compelled to 
look elsewhere, and eventually the present site of 30 
acres in the parish of Lingfield was purchased. Five 
loans, altogether amounting to 13,000, were raised 
during 1879, and necessary extensions caused a further 
expenditure of 2,630 before the end of 1882. The 
pumping engine was fixed in May, 1879, and the bulk 
of the connections were made with the farm during 
1880. The broad irrigation system of treatment was 
continued most efficiently until 1903, when the bacteria 
system was introduced with even more satisfactory 



The churchyard of East Grinstead was closed for 
future burials on July 1st, 1866, except in existing 
vaults, and in them it was ordered that each coffin should 
be embedded in charcoal. On September 9th of the 
previous year the Home Secretary had given notice of 
his intention to close the churchyard, and on September 
22nd the Vestry decided to purchase from Earl De la 
Warr a portion of the "Green Field" at 100 an acre 
for use as a cemetery. The negotiations with his 
Lordship, however, fell through, and on July 16th, 1866, 
the present cemetery site was purchased from Mr. W. 
Fearless at 200 per acre. It was consecrated by Bishop 
Trower on February 3rd, 1869. The first burial therein 
was that of Mr. William East on February 6th, 1869. 
The lowest number of burials in any one year since has 
been 47 in 1889 and the highest 79 in 1893. The Burial 
Board was formed in 1867, and at its first meeting on 
July llth, Mr. T. R. Burt was elected chairman and 
Mr. A. Hastie clerk. Subsequently the Rev. C. W. 
Payne Crawf urd became chairman and remained so until 
the extinction of the Board. It existed for nearly 30 
years, the last election of members to it by the Vestry 
taking place on July 26th, 1894. The duties were then 
transferred to the Urban Council. The Mortuary at the 
Cemetery was added in 1879. 


In the year 1874 it was thought that it would be a 
great improvement to the old town to plant some lime 
trees on the High Street slope, the houses facing which 
at that time belonged to Earl De la Warr. The sugges- 
tion had been made by the Vicar to Mr. John Tooth, 
who had an interview with Lord De la Warr's steward, 
and he was granted permission to plant the trees, provid- 
ing the tenants gave their consent to the proposal. All of 
them fell in with the suggestion with the exception of 
Mr. E. Gatland (who owned the premises now tenanted 


by Mr. J. H. Honeycombe), Mr. Thos. Steer (who lived 
where Mr. F. C. Watford's house now is) and Mr. Joseph 
Sheppard (whose premises now form the shop of Messrs. 
Brooker Bros.). The trees were planted at the expense 
of the late Mr. W. A. Head and Mr. Tooth, and are 
flourishing to this day, being now taken care of by the 
Urban Council. The refusal of the three gentlemen above 
named to allow the trees to be planted in front of their 
premises accounts for two of the gaps in the row of 
greenery which so charmingly sets off our quaint and 
handsome old High-street during the summer months, the 
space in front of Messrs. Brooker Bros, having been filled 
up at a later period. 


The date of the establishment of East Grinstead Fair 
was July 16th, 1247. The following is a translation of 
an entry in quaint and very abbreviated Latin, which 
appears in a Chancery Charter Roll of this date : 

The King, &c. Know ye that we have granted and by this our 
charter have confirmed to our trusty and beloved Peter de Sabaudia 
and his heirs that his market, which was accustomed to be held every 
week in his Manor of Grenested, henceforth shall be held every week 
on Monday in the said manor. We have granted also to Peter that 
he and his heirs may have a fair in his aforesaid Manor of Grenestede 
every year, to last for two days, that is to say on the eve and day of 
St. James the Apostle, unless that market and fair should be to the 
hurt of the neighbouring markets and neighbouring fairs. Whereas 
we will, &c. 

W. Bishop of Salisbury. 

S. de Monte Forti, Earl of Leicester. 

John de Lexinton. 

William de Vescy. 

Paulinus Peyvere. 

William de Say. 

Robert de Musegros. 

William de Bello Monte. 

Robert le Norreys. 

And others being witnesses. 

Given by our hand at Clarendon on the 16th day of July in the 
31st year of our reign. 

The day of holding the market would seem, for some 
reason, to have been changed from Monday to Sunday, 


for in a Chancery Close Roll of 1285, the 13th year of 
the reign of Edward I., appears the following entry, 
also in abbreviated Latin : 

Whereas the King wills that his market, which the King's most 
dear mother, Eleanor, Queen of England, has in dower, to be held in 
the town of Grenestede on Sunday, shall henceforth be held on 
Saturday, the Sheriff of Sussex is commanded that he do publicly 
cause that market henceforth to be held on Saturday, to be proclaimed 
in every market town of the county aforesaid. 
Witness as above. 

Witness the King at Neubiry on the 9th day of Jan. 

The dates were frequently changed. The " Travellers' 
Almanack" for 1697 notes that two fairs are held at 
East Grinstead, viz., on the 16th of April and 25th of 
September, but in 1766, according to the "Youths' 
Faithful Monitor" for that year, the dates were the 13th 
of July and the llth of December. Both books mention 
that Thursday was then, as now, the market day. 
According to the diary of Thomas Marchant in 1716 a 
fair took place at East Grinstead on the 30th of 

The 13th of July fair has not been held since 1816. 
In this year the spring and summer fairs were trifling 
events, but the winter fair was one of great importance. 
In 1826 a sum of 2. 16s. 6d. was collected for the 
payment of special constables and watchmen during the 
fair. The dates of the two fairs now are April 21st 
and December llth. 

In years gone by the fair lasted far beyond the 
authorised day. In 1848 it began on Monday, December 
llth, and a local record of Thursday, the 14th, says: 
" The fair not done yet ; from the testimony of all there 
appears to have been more dissipation this year than at 
any preceding fair." It was not until December, 1875, 
that the authorities succeeded in limiting it to the one 
day allowed by the charter. 

The first Fat Stock Show ever held in East Grinstead 
took place on December 14th, 1876. After being 
allowed to lapse for some years the stock market was 
re-established on November 13th, 1884, and has since 
flourished exceedingly. 



The first Fire Brigade was formed in East Grinstead 
in the year 1863. Long prior to this time the town had 
possessed two fire engines, which were kept in the west 
room of the church under the belfry. At a Vestry 
meeting held on February 6th, 1852, it was resolved 
that the belfry of the Parish Church was "an incon- 
venient and improper depository" for the parish fire 
engines, and the parishioners decided to request Lord 
De la Warr to appropriate some building for their safe 
custody. But his Lordship apparently took no heed of 
the request, for the engines were still in the belfry more 
than ten years later. These "engines" were very 
primitive machines indeed. The pumps were mounted 
on small open trolleys drawn by hand, and when a serious 
fire broke out on November 9th, 1863, at Messrs. Stenning 
and Sons' timber yard, then situate in the field now 
occupied by Buckhurst House and grounds belonging to 
Mrs. Thompson, they were found to be of very little use. 
The pumps were not in working order, the supply of 
hose was very scanty and what there was was leaky. The 
need of some change was evident. A public meeting was 
held, and the following gentlemen were appointed the 
first Fire Brigade Committee : Rev. J. N. Harward (who 
died a few days later), Mr. G. Head (chairman), Mr. A. 
Hastie, Mr. T. R. Burt, Mr. C. Absalom, Mr. C. 
Sawyer, Mr. H. Gatland, Mr. William Head (the then 
landlord of the Crown Hotel), Mr. William Stenning 
and Mr. E. Steer, sen. Their first work was to have 
the engine pumps mounted on carriages to be drawn 
by horses and make the vehicles such that twelve 
or fourteen firemen could also ride on them. This 
work of re-construction was carried out within three 
months by Mr. John Tooth at a cost of 95. A Fire 
Brigade was organised and its first members were : 
Edward Steer (the late), captain ; John Tooth, engineer ; 
James Cooper, R. Puddicombe, R. Cheal, Wm. Tooth, 
F. F. Payne, George Hills, William H. Steer (who 
subsequently became Captain and was accidentally killed 


on the railway at Grange Road Station on January 
23rd, 1895), R. West, J. Hay ward and H. Skinner, fire- 
men. One of the engines was placed at Forest Row and 
a separate Brigade formed there. The two sections met 
to test the engines at Moat pond and they were found to 
act admirably. Of course, the completion of the work 
and the formation of a Brigade had to be celebrated by a 
dinner at the Crown Hotel. Helmets, boots and tunics 
were provided for the firemen out of voluntary subscrip- 
tions collected in the neighbourhood. The first fire the 
Brigade was called to was at Wilderwick, where two large 
haystacks were burnt, but some stables close by were 

The re-built engine was too large to go back to the 
church tower and it was for a time kept in a shed in the 
Crown yard ; then it was removed to the Police Station ; 
and when the late Mr. James Cooper became captain of 
the Brigade he found a place for it at the rear of his 
premises in the High Street. Later the premises now 
used by the Central Meat Company were specially built 
as a Fire Brigade Station by the late Mr. A. Hastie, and 
finally the engine found a habitation at the present building 
adjoining Mr. Heasman's corn stores. The existing engine 
was purchased in 1884 with subscriptions collected by Mr. 
A. H. Hastie, and its reception in the town on October 
21st of that year was the occasion of great public rejoicing. 

Up to March 25th, 1895, the affairs of the Brigade 
were managed by a Committee elected by the Vestry, 
and since that date the Brigade has been under the 
control of the Urban Council. Mr. Evelyn A. Head and 
Mr. H. Young have acted as Captains during that period. 


The first County Court was held in East Grinstead on 
Wednesday, April 28th, 1847, when Judge Furner 
commenced monthly sittings at the Dorset Arms Hotel. 
In 1858, owing to the small amount of business, the 
Judge, despite a memorial to the contrary, abandoned 
monthly sittings and held his Court but six times in 


each year. This remained the custom until 1904, when 
Judge Scully instituted a system which gives five Court 
days to East Grinstead in one year and six in the next. 
The Court was held at the Dorset Arms until 
Thompson's corn store was turned into a Court House, 
when the sittings were transferred to the more com- 
modious building and continued there after its conversion 
into the Public Hall. Then for a time the Police Court 
was utilised and finally the Queen's Hall came into use. 
Judge Furner, when first appointed, was a solicitor, and 
almost the only member of this branch of the legal 
profession who secured such an appointment. He got it 
by virtue of being Judge of the "Court of Requests" 
or " Court of Conscience" at Brighton, a civil court held 
in the larger centres for the summary recovery of debts 
under 40s. and which were superseded by the County 
Courts. Judge Furner afterwards qualified as a barrister. 
He remained in office for 30 years, the late Mr. Martineau, 
one of the most able County Court judges ever appointed, 
coming to East Grinstead as Judge for the first time on 
October 24th, 1877. He died on September 30th, 1903, 
and Judge Scully, a son-in-law of the late Speaker of the 
House of Commons (now Lord Selby), entered on his 
duties on November 1st of that year. The duties of High 
Bailiff were at first performed by the late Mr. Lewis, of 
Lewes. Mr. T. Cramp was appointed to this now obsolete 
office on March 25th, 1855, and resigned it in July, 1891, 
a month before his death. The office was then amalga- 
mated with that of Registrar. The first Clerk to the 
Court was the late Mr. Edgar Blaker, of Lewes, with 
the late Mr. William Pearless as his assistant. The 
latter in time became the first Registrar and he was 
succeeded, in 1873, by his son, Mr. J. R. Pearless, who 
still occupies the position. 


In the early days the Post Offices of the kingdom were 
open on Sundays the same as week-days, but in 1846 
there was an agitation set afoot in the town, and the 


Postmaster-General acceded to a very numerously-signed 
petition and allowed the East Grinstead office to be closed 
from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Four years later all the Post 
Offices of the country were entirely closed on Sundays by 
order of Parliament, but the innovation caused such 
intense excitement throughout the country that the order 
was soon rescinded, and the East Grinstead office was 
only entirely closed from Sunday, June 23rd, to Sunday, 
August 25th. Mr. T. J. Palmer, for so many years post- 
master, was succeeded in that position by Mr. J. Hay ward 
on January 1st, 1870. Subsequent holders of the office 
have been Mr. T. Isley, Mr. R. S. Whitehead and Mr. W. 
Cleaver. The first postage stamps were issued in May, 
1840. The first telegrams were received in East Grin- 
stead on September 21st, 1870, and the first halfpenny 
postage operated on October 1st following. 

The Post Office was originally at Mr. W. H. Dixon's 
shop in the High Street, then at the corner now occupied 
by Lloyds Bank and Mr. F. Maplesden's printing works, 
the present commodious premises being opened by the 
Duke of Norfolk, then Postmaster-General, on September 
16th, 1896. The day was one of public festivities and 
Miss Head, daughter of Mr. Evelyn A. Head, the then 
Chairman of the Urban Council, had the honour of 
posting the first letter at the new premises. 


So far as the memory of living men runs, and 
apparently much further back too, East Grinstead has 
enjoyed throughout Sussex, Surrey and Kent a continuous 
and well-merited reputation for cricketing prowess of a 
high order. When it first acquired this celebrity in our 
great national game I cannot pretend to say, but 
certain it is that for many generations cricket has been 
indigenous in the town and in a lesser degree in the 
district, of which the town naturally formed a convenient 
central arena. Even now, natives who have passed their 
three score years and ten talk, and talk credibly too, of 
their feats, as boys, on local fields and of the feats of 


their fathers before them. Arrangements may have 
been primitive, fixtures few, grounds rough and the 
pavilion a luxury non-existent and undreamt of, but 
though doubtless in cricket, even beyond other sports, 
the laudator temporis acti is a person to be seriously 
reckoned with, yet we may none the less accept the 
established fact that our local champions did inspire 
terror among the surrounding tribes, at least 70 and 80 
years ago. Precise authentic records of these prehistoric 
battles seem difficult now to collect and classify, but 
amongst other slight references to old local cricket we 
have distinct notice of an important match played in the 
town in 1835; the venue at that date being probably 
either the present Play Field (fronting the Council 
Schools) or the field on East Grinstead Common, now 
the Lingfield Road Recreation Ground, for both seem to 
have been used in old days, though soon after 1840, if 
not before, the Chequer Mead, behind the Crown Inn, 
was also in use, and was probably the scene of a grand 
match on July 21st, 1845, when a team came up by 
coach from Lewes to try conclusions with an East 
Grinstead eleven. Be this as it may, and doubtless as 
an outcome of the cricket spirit already prevailing in 
the town, the East Grinstead Cricket Club as it now 
exists was founded in 1857, the then Vicar (the Rev. 
J. N. Harward, M.A.), with his sons and various 
members of the Hastie, Head, Pearless and Stenning 
families, being prominent among its original supporters, 
and the Chequer Mead came into regular use as the 
head quarters of the newly -founded club. There, on 
September 20th, 1864, eighteen of East Grinstead and 
District defied and played the County eleven, sustain- 
ing, however, a signal defeat, and about seven years 
later a similar match was played with a not dissimilar 

From the Chequer Mead the club migrated back again, 
about 1878, to the field on the Common, but this ground 
was inconveniently placed and never enjoyed the same 
popularity as the Chequer Mead ; besides which troubles 
arose owing to public footpaths crossing the field 


inconveniently near to the pitch and making it impos- 
sible to keep the premises in good order, so, after a 
troublous tenure of some 10 years' duration, the club 
finally abandoned the Common about 1889. 

In July, 1890, Reginald, Earl De la Warr, announced 
that this field would be sold by public auction, but the 
general outcry against interference with rights so long 
exercised was such that the owner countermanded the 
sale and formally handed over the field to the care of 
the Local Board, in whose successors it now remains 
perpetually vested. 

Meanwhile the pretty Chequer Mead, the scene of so 
many cricket exploits in past days, had also become no 
longer available for cricket, and indeed soon became 
seamed with new roads and entirely covered with houses, 
so that the next generation will find it hard to picture 
such world-famed bowlers as Lilywhite and Southerton, 
and such famous batsmen as H. Charlwood and the 
Cotterills, playing on this site not so many years ago 
against our undaunted local giants, among whom it would 
be fairly safe to wager, without turning to the score 
sheet, that there would be found some or all of such 
names as Draper, Reynolds, Simmonds, Merchant, 
Hooker, Payne, Head, Hoare, Moor and others, who 
helped to make East Grin stead cricket famous in their 
day, just as their successors, G. H. Lynn, Arthur 
Huggett, Alfred and Wm. Payne, H. Tebay, J. 
Charlwood, H. Gibb and others of more modern days 
have done by appearing in the ranks of the Sussex 
County XL 

To return to plain facts, the Club, having left the 
Common, turned in their hour of need to Mr. C. C. 
Tooke and rented from him the present small, but 
excellent, cricket field in West Street, then an outlying 
strip of the Hurst-an-Clays Estate, and once, as it seems, 
a cornfield. This satisfactory arrangement was largely 
due to the good offices of Mr. P. E. Wallis, then, and for 
many years previously, a prominent member of the Club, 
as also to the aid of Mr. J. Sou they, always an energetic 
supporter of local cricket till his death in 1899. 


The new ground was opened on May 26th, 1890, and 
for several years, under the management of Mr. R. P. 
Crawford (hon. secretary) and an able committee, cricket 
flourished exceedingly on the new ground and the matches 
were once more well attended by the town and prominent 
residents from round about. The wickets, provided by 
Alfred Payne, the groundman and an old county player, 
were in high favour far and wide, and were justly 
eulogised by such famous cricketers as Hay ward, 
Brockwell and Lockwood, of Surrey, Mr. F. B. Whitfeld, 
Mr. H. Whitfeld, W. Humphreys, Tate and Marlow, of 
Sussex, Mr. A. J. Web be, of Middlesex, Mr. F. 
Mai-chant and Mr. G. Weigall, of Kent, Mr. H. 
Leveson-Gower, of Oxford fame, Mr. W. L. Murdoch, 
the great Australian, and others too numerous to recall, 
who have played in modern times on the West Street 
ground and delighted spectators with their prowess. 

On July 21st and 22nd, 1896, a bazaar, organised by 
the Hon. Secretary of the Club and opened on successive 
days by Lady Evelyn Goschen, wife of Mr. G. J. 
Goschen, Member for the East Grinstead Division, and 
Sir Edward Blount, of Imberhorne, was held on the 
ground and brilliantly patronised by the neighbourhood 

The bazaar yielded the handsome net profit of 465, 
and this sum was handed over to a body of seven 
trustees, who in November of the same year purchased 
the freehold of the field from Mrs. Henry Padwick, 
daughter of Mr. C. C. Tooke, for 1,000, the balance of 
the purchase money being raised by a mortgage on the 
premises for 600. 

The trustees first appointed were Mr. Henry Blount, 
D.L., and Mr. Robert P. Crawfurd (then respectively 
president and lion, secretary of the club), Mr. C. H. 
Everard, M.A., Mr. F. Maplesden, Mr. J. Southey, Mr. 
P. E. Wallis, M.R.C.S., and Mr. T. S. Whitfeld, and in 
them and their successors is vested the freehold of a 
field, as conveniently placed as it is, in respect of its 
outlook over distant Ashdown Forest, delightfully 
situated. Soon after the purchase of the ground in 


November, 1896, Mr. R. P. Crawfurd resigned the 
honorary secretaryship of the Club, and during the last 
10 years this office has been filled by various members, 
including Mr. F. Maplesden and Mr. E. T. Berry. 

In 1901 an excellent pavilion, well worthy of the 
ground, was added to the general amenities of the cricket 
field, at a cost of 300, largely by the exertions of Mr. 
F. S. White, then captain of the Club. 

Cricket, we fear, since the advent of golf, does not 
hold the same place as formerly in local affection, or 
indeed in the country generally, but in East Grinstead 
its roots struck deep, and with such famous traditions 
behind it, of skill and knowledge of the game, unusual 
in country towns, the Club will never allow itself, even 
in days of partial eclipse, to despond or to forget the 
palmy days of its pre-eminence among all surrounding 


East Grinstead was the fourth place in the British 
Islands to boast of a cottage hospital for the reception of 
those suffering from accident or illness not easily treated 
in their own homes. The first of the kind was opened 
at Cranleigh, in Surrey, in 1859, and the little seed 
planted there has since borne fruit throughout the length 
and breadth of the land. The great cities and towns 
had long had their hospitals and dispensaries, but in the 
large tracts of country between these centres of civilisa- 
tion there was, prior to the year stated, no refuge to 
which poor creatures suffering from accident could be 
taken but the Union Workhouse. Fowey followed the 
example of Cranleigh a year later, and in 1861 the third 
institution of the kind sprang into existence at Bourton- 
on-the- Water. 

The Rev. C. W. Payne Crawfurd was then curate 
there, and he rendered very material assistance to its 
energetic surgeon and founder, Mr. J. Moore. On his 
return to East Grinstead he was able to render similar 
aid to Mr. J. H. Rogers, then assistant warden and after- 
wards warden of Sackville College. Mr. Rogers then 


lived at Green Hedges, where Mr. R. W. Fearless now 
resides, and he hired the cottage in the lane immediately 
opposite his own residence. It was, and still is, a 
delightfully situated cottage, its charming garden being 
well bedecked with beautiful blooms and shrubs, the 
cultivation of which was a great hobby with the doctor. 
At his own expense he added a spacious room at the back 
of the house, amply lighted by two large windows. He 
was materially helped by local residents, one lady 
supplying the entire furniture of a room, another person 
giving all the medicinal and surgical appliances, and 
others helping in various ways. It was opened in 1863 
and gave accommodation for seven patients. For a short 
time Mr. Rogers carried it on almost entirely at his own 
expense, but others being desirous of helping, he accepted 
subscriptions and it was thus maintained until 1874. 
Its first balance sheet was issued for 1865, in which year 
34 cases were beneficially treated. The donations and 
subscriptions were 75. 12s. 6d., the payments by 
patients 33. 12s. and the collecting box at the hospital 
realised 2. 7s. 6d., a total income of 111. 12s., not 
quite sufficient to meet all outgoings. Food, wine, 
medicine, appliances, fuel, &c., cost 86. 7s. 4d., the 
nursing staff 17; rates, insurance, furniture and other 
sundries 12. 5s. 5d. This was hardly a typical year, 
for the hospital accumulated considerable funds, having 
nearly 370 to its credit when it was closed in 1874. 

The need of such an institution soon again became 
apparent. The late Mr. C. H. Gatty took an interest in 
the matter and in 1881 built a splendid cottage hospital 
in the Moat Road. This he completely furnished and 
equipped even to the provision of surgical instruments, 
but because people grew impatient and ventured, both 
publicly and privately, to ask him when he proposed to 
open it he took offence, removed the equipment and 
finally sold the property to Mr. John Betchley. East 
Grinstead remained for seven years, after Mr. Gatty 
built his, without the benefits of a cottage hospital, but 
in 1887 the late Mrs. Oswald Smith, of Hammerwood, 
took the matter up and hired the premises now known as 


Lansdowne House, then only just completed. They 
were opened as a hospital on January llth, 1888. Mrs. 
Smith formed a ladies' committee, consisting of herself, 
Mrs. Collins, Mrs. Covey and Miss Wallis. Feeling, 
however, that it was not right to keep the hospital 
entirely in their own hands, Mr. and Mrs. Smith decided, 
in May of the same year, to make it known that they 
would be willing to receive subscriptions and hand the 
hospital over to a properly appointed committee. In 
July a public meeting was held, presided over by the 
late Mr. H. R. Freshfield, and the first meeting of 
subscribers was held in the following November. It 
was then announced that the cost of maintaining the 
hospital would be about 300 a year. On January 
8th, 1889, the first meeting of the properly appointed 
committee was held. That meeting was attended by 
Mrs. Smith and her eldest son, Mr. Guy Smith, and they 
formally handed over to the committee the possession 
and care of the hospital. At the same time Mrs. Smith 
handed them the sum of 50 given by the late Mr. 
Bernard Hale, and on behalf of herself and family 
guaranteed handsome yearly subscriptions. At that 
same meeting Mr. H. A. Perkins was appointed to the 
secretaryship and he has held the appointment ever 
since. The Trustees then elected were Messrs. H. 
Jeddere-Fisher, B. G. 0. Smith and W. V. K. Stenning, 
and they still hold office. On February 9th, 1900, the 
sum of 374. 6s. 9d., the balance of funds remaining 
from the original cottage hospital started by Mr. Rogers, 
was handed over to these Trustees. The work went on 
smoothly and beneficially until 1892, when, owing to 
the lamentable failure of Head's Bank, the hospital had 
to face an initial loss of 473. 5s. That was very 
unfortunate for the hospital, as in June the premises 
were thrown into the market for sale, and the committee 
felt it was their duty and for the advantage of the 
hospital to purchase the property, which they did at a 
cost of 675 and 25 legal expenses. In consequence of 
the loss by Head's Bank failure the committee had to 
make a special appeal for 300, and the response was 


so liberal that 347. 3s. 6d. came in. Of that sum Mr. 
Oswald Smith gave 100. The committee sold out the 
Consols standing 1 in the Trustees' names to the extent of 
364. 4s. 6d., making a total of 711. 8s., as compared 
with 700 which the premises cost. Subsequently 
dividends were received out of the bank's assets amount- 
ing to 116. 11s. 4d., and that, added to the result of the 
special appeal, meant a total loss owing to the bank 
failure of only 9. 10s. 2d. From 1892 to 1899 the 
hospital went on quietly with its work. In the latter 
year, at the annual meeting, the following resolution 
was moved by Mr. C. Wright Edwards (one of the 
medical staff, who then had Dr. Poynder's practice) 
and unanimously adopted: "That the meeting recom- 
mends the committee to take steps to consider the 
advisability of making improvements and alterations in 
the hospital accommodation." A sub-committee was 
appointed to seek an available site for a new hospital, 
with the result that a piece of land in Imberhorne Lane 
was purchased for 275. 

The endeavours to erect a hospital on that site were 
much quickened by Mr. T. H. W. Buckley's liberal offer 
of a sum of 250 towards the building in memory of his 
mother. In July, 1900, the committee endeavoured to 
get out plans for a building to cost not more than 3,000, 
but after making most careful inquiries and visiting other 
hospitals the sub-committee found that at least 4,200 
would be required to erect a hospital replete with neces- 
sary modern requirements. An appeal was accordingly 
issued on January 8th, 1901. Eight days later it came 
to the knowledge of the Secretary that the Holiday Home 
in Queen's Road was likely to come into the market. 
This place was erected, and for some years carried on, as 
a coffee tavern, known as the Elephant's Head, after the 
crest of Mr. 0. A. Smith. Then it was let to the Ragged 
School Union, and by that body opened as a holiday 
home on September 2nd, 1885. 

Certain communications passed between Mr. Oswald 
Smith, the owner of that property, and the Rev. C. C. 
Woodland (chairman of the Hospital Committee), with 


the result that Mr. Smith offered the holiday home and 
the land surrounding it absolutely free of cost for the 
purposes of a hospital. At that time the whole country 
was being moved to erect memorials to the late Queen 
Victoria, and the committee thought it a grand oppor- 
tunity to associate such a memorial with the new hospital, 
and at a public meeting held on March 28th it was 
unanimously decided that the memorial to Queen Victoria 
should take the form of a new cottage hospital, and that 
Mr. Smith's munificent offer should be gratefully accepted. 

Plans for altering the building were got out by Mr. H. 
E. Mathews, Mr. H. Young's tender to do the work for 
2,345 was accepted, and in September, 1901, the work 
was commenced. In May, 1902, Mr. Abe Bailey, of 
Yewhurst, gave 1,000 in memory of his late wife, and 
this practically freed the committee from serious financial 
worry. The land in Imberhorne Lane was subsequently 
sold to Mr. Alan Stenning, from whom it had originally 
been bought, and the old hospital in London Road to Mr. 
W. H. Hills. The total cost of adapting the Queen's 
Road " cottage hospital " and contingent expenses came 
to 3,276, and after it was paid for nearly 300 remained 
in hand, a result not often achieved in connection with 
public institutions. It was opened for use on October 
15th, 1902. 


In August, 1858, a movement was set on foot to establish 
a Dispensary in East Grinstead, and after a few pre- 
liminary meetings two rooms were taken at the house 
now occupied in the High Street, and the institution was 
started on September 30th of the year named, 1 1 patients 
being treated the first day. The first meeting of sub- 
scribers had been held on September 23rd, the Honble. and 
Rev. Reginald W. Sackville West (afterwards 7th Earl 
De la Warr) being in the chair, but it is to Mr. Henry H. 
Kennedy, then tenant of Saint Hill, that the institution 
really owes its existence. At this meeting the late Mr. 
J. H. Rogers, of Green Hedges, proffered his gratuitous 


professional services to the charity, which were gratefully 
accepted. For a long period the institution did good 
work therapeutically, but was less successful financially. 
Mr. Rogers controlled the finance department as honorary 
secretary until January, 1865, when he tendered his 
resignation of this office, and was succeeded by the Rev. 
C. W. Payne Crawford, who still carries out its duties. 
It may be remarked that the position of the Dispensary 
now greatly differs from that which it held at its incep- 
tion. It then occupied a hired house, there was no 
patients' waiting room, the medical officers received no 
salary, the credit balance was at zero. But the curtain 
has risen on a transformation scene. The freehold house 
has been purchased and vested in trustees, a commodious 
waiting room has been supplied, the medical officers are 
salaried, there is a credit balance in Consols. The Com- 
mittee of Management embody the principal residents in 
the district, and the average annual number of medical, 
surgical and dental cases treated may be taken to be about 


One hundred years ago, when circulating libraries in 
the country were unknown, book clubs were common 
institutions in the country districts. Some survive in 
parts of Cardiganshire to the present day. A number 
of people associated together and each was allowed to 
order books to a given amount. These were then circu- 
lated for a year in regular order amongst the members, 
and at the end of 12 months each member had the first, 
privilege of purchasing any book which he had ordered 
at a given discount, and those books which were not so 
disposed of were put up to auction among the members 
generally and a fresh stock procured for the following 
year. A club of this kind existed in East Grinstead, at 
any rate, from 1811 to 1841, and possibly for a much 
longer period. The only relic of it now is a decanter 
waggon (for passing the decanters round the table after 
dinner) in the form of a large boat mounted on wheels, 


framed in oak made from the "Royal George" and 
decorated and modelled in silver, with a very beautiful 
silver chiselled dolphin's head for a figure head, now in 
the possession of Mr. Hastie. On one side is the following 
Latin inscription : 


qui sodalitatis literariae in Villa de East Griiisted constitute 

per xxx annos immunis suaque voluntate rationes 

fideliter procuravit 


Benevolentise simul gratique animi qualecunque 

Amici ejus sodalesque 


The following is a free translation : 

To Charles Nairn Hastie, who of his own free will for thirty years 
gratuitously managed the affairs of the Literary Society of East 
Grinstead, this slight testimonial of goodwill and grateful mind was 
given by his friends and companions in 1841. 

On the other side is another Latin inscription as 
follows : 

E Nave 

in classe Brittannica 

Regalis Georgii cognomine insignita 

qua? A.D. MDCCLXXXII rnari subinersa est 

Anno MDCCCXLI e fluctibus revocata 

Excerptum est 

hoc robur. 

This may be freely translated : 

This piece of oak is taken from a ship in the British fleet known 
by the name of the "Royal George" which was sunk in the sea in 
1732 and raised from the water in 1841. 

When the book club came to an end in 1841 a 
circulating library was established in the back room of 
the shop of the late Henry Nicholas in the High Street. 
He was the first person to undertake the sale of daily 
newspapers in East Grinstead. 

As the outcome of a meeting held on November 14th, 
1843, at the Hermitage, the residence of Mr. W. 
Fearless, the first Literary and Scientific Institute was 
founded in East Grinstead. It occupied two rooms at 
Mr. Paul's, adjoining the Swan Hotel, and among the 


furniture purchased were 12 candlesticks and four pairs 
of snuffers. The committee was soon charged with 
promulgating infidel principles, but at a specially 
convened meeting on September 13th, 1844, the accusa- 
tion was denied. Some dozens of lectures were given, 
but the committee refused to hear one on capital punish- 
ment. The Institute was dissolved for want of patronage 
on October 14th, 1847. Then the East Grinstead Young 
Men's Mental Improvement Society sprang into being 
and lasted from August 22nd, 1849, to October 10th, 
1851, meeting in Zion School Room. Another Institute 
was established on December 15th, 1851, and used 
rooms at Mr. Garrett's in the Middle Row for two years, 
when it ceased to exist. On March 28th, 1853, a 
Mechanics' Institution was founded and flourished for a 
long time at the old Court House, which stood on a part 
of the site now occupied by Mr. C. M. Wilson's furniture 
stores. On November 26th, 1855, the experiment was 
made of lighting one room by gas. On March 31st, 
1858, the Court House and a coachbuilder's shop 
connected with it were demolished by fire and the 
Institution Library of some 700 volumes entirely 
destroyed. The organisation continued to exist until 
September 26th, 1861, when its remaining property was 
handed over to the landlord in lieu of rent. The fifth 
institution of the kind was called " The East Grinstead 
Association and Circulating Library," and this also used 
the rebuilt Court House, lasting from March 10th, 1862, 
to April 2nd, 1869. Nothing more was done until 
January, 1881, when Messrs. F. Tooth and C. F. W. 
Stannard were the means of forming a Mutual Improve- 
ment Society at the Elephant's Head, now the Cottage 
Hospital. Mr. W. Hosken was its first President and 
Mr. F. Tooth Vice-President. This changed its name 
to the East Grinstead Debating and Social Club. From 
the Elephant's Head the Society moved to a room at the 
then Public Hall and became the East Grinstead 
Debating and Social Club. About this time some 
gentlemen (Mr. E. A. Arnold, Mr. C. E. Collins and 
others) felt the desirability of and need for a Library for 


the town. They collected a sum of money sufficient to 
form the nucleus of a Library, and, not wishing to create 
another Society, approached the members of the Social 
and Debating Club and amalgamated with them, the 
Society becoming, on October 13th, 1882, the East 
Grinstead Literary and Scientific Institute. At the same 
time it moved to a room in the premises now occupied 
by the International Tea Company, and from here to 
rooms then in the possession of Mr. Geo. Bridgland and 
now occupied by Haylock & Co. In October, 1888, the 
members, with the Societies' effects, went over en bloc to 
the new Institute established in the present building, 
which was first used on November 3rd, but formally 
opened by Lord Hampden on November 24th of that 
year, the foundation stone having been laid on April 7th 
by Mrs. Oswald Smith, whose husband had granted 
the land on which the building was erected on a 999 
years' lease, commencing on December 9th, 1887, at 
a rental of Is. a year if demanded. The Trustees 
nominated in the trust deed were Messrs. B. G. 0. 
Smith, C. E. Collins, W. V. K. Stenning, G. S. Head, 
H. S. Little (since deceased), J. Rice and W. Young. 
This building stands as the town's memorial of the 
celebration of Queen Victoria's first jubilee, and when 
the 999 years of the lease have expired Mr. Smith's heirs 
will have the right to take possession of it on paying 
its full ascertained value. 


East Grinstead possessed its theatre as long ago as 
1758, but it was evidently of a very primitive character, 
for an old play bill announcing the performance of the 
" Tragedy of Theodosius" for May 4th of that year 
states that: " On account of the prodigious demand for 
places, part of the stable will be laid into boxes on one 
side, and the granary be open for the same purpose on 
the other." Another play bill of June 7th, 1826, 
announces " the elegant comedy of ' How to Get 
Married,' " in the " Theatre, Town Hall, East Grinstead." 


For many years the room used for public entertainments 
was known as " Thompson's Corn Store," and then it 
became known and used as the County Court House. 

The first step towards building a really suitable Public 
Hall for East Grinstead was taken on November 20th, 
1867, when a town meeting was held to consider the 
matter, a committee formed and a deputation appointed 
to wait on George, 5th Earl De la Warr, and Lord West to 
seek their aid. In due course a Company was formed, the 
site of the old County Court House, which belonged to Mr. 
William Fearless and Mr. John Smith, was secured, and 
the Public Hall erected. Builders varied in their tenders 
in those days. The highest was 1,750, the lowest 
1,007. The building was commenced in June, 1875, 
and first used on January 4th, 1876. 

Mr. G. Bridgland erected the Grosvenor Hall, London 
Road, in 1883, and it was first used for a C.E.T.S. 
musical entertainment on February llth, 1884. 

The Queen's Hall was commenced by the late Mrs. 
Murchison, widow of Mr. K. R. Murchison, of Brockhurst, 
as a part of the Workmen's Club and as a memorial to 
her husband, but she suddenly stopped the work when 
she discovered that it was proposed to let the hall for 
public purposes. The Trustees took possession of the 
unfinished building, borrowed money for its completion, 
and it was opened on July 8th, 1899, by the late Sir 
Edward Blount. 

The Parish Hall, standing in a corner of the old 
Chequer Mead, was erected by members of the Church 
of England connected with the Parish Church, and 
opened on December 28th, 1899. 


The need of Elementary Day Schools became very 
pressing in 1859. For those who would not or could 
not get accommodation at the Grammar School, there 
was no alternative but to walk to Forest Row, and many 
lads did so, while the occasional closing of the Grammar 
School, owing to disputes as to its management, rendered 

s 2 


the need all the more imperative. On January 13th of 
the year named a public meeting was convened and 
immediately two factions sprung into existence. The 
Church of England adherents urged school establish- 
ment on the National or Church system, and the 
Nonconformists favoured the British and Foreign School 
Society. The meeting adopted a resolution favouring 
the latter, but a fortnight later the Rev. J. N. Harward 
(Vicar) announced to a second meeting that the site for 
the new buildings, money for their erection and means 
for their maintenance were all forthcoming for schools 
upon the National system. The Dissenters strongly 
protested, but without avail, and the building of the 
present Boys' and Infant Schools, with the school-house 
between, was almost immediately commenced, the date 
"1859" appearing over the centre doorway. The site 
and much of the necessary fund for erecting the build- 
ings were found by the Countess Amherst, a lady who 
took the deepest interest in all religious work in East 
Grinstead and provided large sums of money for Church 

On October 23rd, 1860, as the buildings were nearing 
completion, she and her trustees granted and conveyed 
them " without valuable consideration" to the Vicar and 
Churchwardens, as trustees for the time being, "to be 
used for a school for the education of children and adults 
or children only of the labouring, manufacturing or other 
poorer classes in the parish of East Grinstead and for no 
other purpose." The schools were to be " always in 
union with and conducted according to the principles 
and furtherance of the ends and designs of the National 
Society for promoting the education of the poor in the 
principles of the Established Church." They were to be 
managed by a committee, of whom the Vicar was to be 
one, his curate or curates, if he cared to appoint him or 
them, others and ten more elected by subscribers of 10s. 
each, but no one was to be qualified to serve as a Manager 
unless he subscribed 20s. or more annually and was a 
member of the Church of England. The first 10 
nominated by the trust deed were Messrs. R. W. Smyth, 


G. E. Clarke, W. Stenning, W. A. Head, G. Head, J. 
Whyte, G. Covey, J. Smith, A. Hastie and J. Hayward. 
Not one of these survive to-day. The schools were 
opened on January 1st, 1861, but the committee 
appointed soon ceased to take an active interest in 
them. For some 10 years or more they were con- 
trolled by the Rev. C. W. Payne Crawfurd and for a 
time flourished exceedingly, but after a while there was 
a decided falling off in the voluntary subscriptions, and a 
demand for public control arose. At a specially convened 
Vestry meeting, however, held on June 17th, 1875, the 
ratepayers decided by 11 votes to eight that a School 
Board would be very prejudicial to the parish, but on 
September 28th of the same year, the schools having 
been entirely closed for a time, this decision was reversed 
and the formation of a School Board decided on. The 
first members of this body were the Rev. D. Y. Blakiston 
(Vicar), the Rev. G. C. Fisher (afterwards Bishop of 
Ipswich), Rev. E. E. Long (the Pastor of Zion), Mr. G. 
Head, Mr. T. Cramp, Mr. J. Mills and Mr. W. Young. 
For six years a contested election was avoided, but in 1881 
there were nine candidates for the seven seats. Messrs. T. 
Cramp and W. H. Steer were rejected, and those chosen 
were Rev. J. Brantom (now of Hurstmonceux), Rev. W. 
A. Linnington, Mr. J. Bridgland, Mr. J. I. Glaysher, Mr. 
J. Mills, Mr. H. Morris and Mr. Ovenden (then landlord 
of the Crown Hotel). Mr. Evelyn A. Head was Clerk 
to the School Board for the whole time of its existence. 

In 1877 the Vicar and Churchwardens leased the build- 
ings to the School Board for seven years, at a rental of 
5s. per annum, and in 1884 this lease was renewed for 
another 21 years on the same terms. When the School 
Board commenced work there was accommodation for 473 
scholars, and when its duties were taken over by the 
Education Committee of the County Council 837 scholars 
could be dealt with. The present schoolmaster's house 
and the girls' school were erected by the School Board 
on land other than that conveyed by Lady Amherst, the 
whole forming part of what was once known as Slaughter- 
house Mead. 


At the present time, the lease having expired, there is 
some talk about the Church party re-taking possession of 
the old section of the buildings and carrying on therein 
a Church of England Voluntary School. 


This valuable and much - needed institution was 
established at its present location in the Cantelupe Road 
in the year 1894 by the Rev. Robert Bid well Matson, 
B.A., who had for some time been Curate here and who 
saw the great need of a high-class day school for the 
sons of the trading and professional classes in the town. 
The number of scholars averages from 30 to 40 and the 
boys are given a thoroughly sound and Christian educa- 
tion. In fact, Mr. Matson not only turns out good 
scholars, but he makes gentlemen of them. Though the 
school has only been established twelve years, several of 
its old boys have already attained honourable positions 
in private life or public service. Mr. Matson is a B.A. 
of Merton College, Oxford, was ordained in 1884 and 
prior to coming to East Grinstead held a curacy at 
Busbridge, Surrey, and a lectureship at the Exeter 
Training College for schoolmasters, and was head master 
of Zonnebloem College, South Africa. 


The East Grinstead Savings Bank was started on 
February 1st, 1819, and it very rapidly developed into 
an important and popular institution, its deposits reach- 
ing to 20,000 in a very short time. Its affairs were 
managed by a number of local residents and it served a 
useful purpose until the need for it ceased in consequence 
of equal facilities being afforded by the Government 
through the Post Office. Mr. Charles Turner was its 
last Actuary and under his superintendence its affairs 
were wound up and it ceased to exist on January 
20th, 1896, the accounts of depositors, amounting to 
11,553. 19s. lid. and a clear surplus of 114. 12s. 5d., 


being handed over to the Post Office Savings Bank. 
The owners of several accounts, some running into 
hundreds of pounds, have never been traced, and of 
these the National Debt Commissioners stand a fair 
chance of reaping the benefit. 

To meet the needs of the poorer classes a Penny Bank 
was established on September 18th, 1851, and opened on 
the following Saturday week, when 28 individuals made 
deposits amounting to 16s. 2d. A week later 58 deposits 
were made, amounting to 2. 2s. 2d., and by October 
llth the depositors numbered 85. In the first half-year 
they grew to 215 and the amount deposited was 
61. 17s. 8d., increased to 121 by the time the year 
closed. Mr. A. Hastie was the Treasurer and Mr. T. 
Cramp the Secretary throughout its existence. It came 
to an end on December 21st, 1877, when the 20 balance 
remaining in hand was divided amongst the six Sunday 
Schools in the parish. 

The existing commercial banks are all of comparatively 
modern date. At the beginning of the last century and 
down to about 1810, there was a bank in East Grinstead, 
known as John and Andrew Burt, carried on at the 
house in the High Street now occupied by Messrs. Young 
and Sons' extensive grocery establishment. After the 
Burts gave up business Mr. John Head, grandfather of 
Messrs. William and Evelyn Head, now in partnership as 
solicitors, had the same premises and became agent for 
the Lewes Old Bank, and he was succeeded in the same 
agency by his son George, who in time established 
himself as a banker, and Mr. John Smith then became 
Messrs. Molineux, Whitfeld & Co.'s agent. To him 
succeeded Mr. William Rudge, and at his death, on 
February 23rd, 1887, the bankers themselves took over 
the direct management of the branch here. Their firm 
was amalgamated with that of Barclay & Co. in 1897. 
Head's Bank failed on February 24th, 1892, and this 
immediately brought into existence here branches of 
Lloyds Bank Ltd. and the Capital and Counties Bank, 
both of which were opened in the town the day the 
failure was announced. 



BENEFIT CLUBS had a footing in East Grinstead in very 
early times, but those which existed in the opening years 
of the last century were all conducted on the share-out 
system, and in course of time shared the fate of all such 
societies and one by one became extinct. 


The Sackville Lodge of Freemasons, No. 1,619 in 
the Register of the Grand Lodge of England, and the 
18th oldest of the 35 Craft lodges in the Province of 
Sussex, was consecrated by Wor. Bro. E. J. Turner, 
Dep. Prov. G.M. of Sussex, on July llth, 1876, its 
warrant being dated May 9th of the same year. Its 
founders were Bros. W. Hale, C. Sawyer, J. H. Heckford, 
W. H. Hook, C. T. Young, J. Clements and W. Clilverd. 
The following have held office as Worshipful Masters : 

1876. W. Hale. Also P.M. of Lodges 78 and 1,351 ; Prov. S.G. 
Deacon of Sussex in 1878; Lodge Treasurer from July llth, 1876, 
to July 5th, 1881. Died April, 1883. 

1877. W. H. Hook. 

1878. Chas. Sawyer. Lodge Secretary from July 1st, 1879, to 
September 7th, 1880. Bro. Sawyer went to New Zealand in 1885 and 
in 1891 became Junior Grand Deacon of the Grand Lodge of New 

1879. J. G. Horsey. 

1880. S. Davison. 

1881. E. A. Head. Prov. G. Steward, 1881 ; Prov. S.G. Deacon 
in 1882; Secretary of the Lodge from July 3rd, 1877, to July 1st, 
1879; Treasurer since July 3rd, 1883. Is a Life Governor of the 
Eoyal Masonic Institution for Girls, and has twice served as Steward ; 
also a Life Governor of the Boys' Institution. 

1882. W. Eudge. Prov. G. Steward, 1883; Prov. G. Standard 
Bearer, 1884. Died February 23rd, 1887. 


1883. J. G. Calway. Prov. Assist. G-. Pursuivant, 1887. 

1884. J. Hopkinson. 

1885. A. M. Betchley. Prov. G. Steward, 1888; Prov. G. Sword 
Bearer, 1889; Secretary of Lodge since July 5th, 1887. Is a Life 
Governor of the Boys' Benevolent Institution. 

1886. T. Smith. Prov. G. Standard Bearer, 1893. 

1887. G. D. Woolgar. 

1888. W. Hosken. Prov. Assist. G. Pursuivant, 1894. 

1889. G. Mitchell. Prov. G. Pursuivant, 1890. Lodge Secretary 
from October 5th, 1880, to July 5th, 1887. Is a Life Governor of the 
Boys' Benevolent Institution. 

1890. W. H. Brown. Prov. G. Standard Bearer, 1891. 

1891. G.Wilson. Prov. G. Standard Bearer, 1892. 

1892. F. J. Budd-Budd. Prov. G. Steward, 1896; Prov. S.G. 
Deacon, 1897. Is a Life Governor of the Boys' Benevolent Institu- 
tion, and has twice served as Steward. 

1893. F. J. Budd-Budd. 

1894. D. Wood. 

1895. G. M. Wilson. Prov. Dep. Assist. D. of 0., 1900. 

1896. W. H. Dixon. 

1897. J. E. Lark. Prov. G. Sword Bearer, 1902. 

1898. F. J. Budd-Budd. 

1899. A. Brandt. Is a Founder of the Gatwick Lodge. 

1900. J. Harrison. Is a Founder of the London Hospital Lodge. 
Prov. Dep. D. of C., 1905. 

1901. W. H. Hills. Is a Life Governor of the Boys' Benevolent 

1902. H. Young. Is a Life Governor of both the Boys' and Girls' 
Benevolent Institutions and has served as Steward for each. Is a 
Founder of the " Semper Paratus " (Fire Brigade) Lodge. 

1903. W. J. S. Mann. Is a Life Governor of the Royal Masonic 
Benevolent Institution and has served as Steward. 

1904. E. P. Whitley Hughes. 

1905. H. E. Mathews. Is a Life Governor of the Boys' and Girls' 
Institution, and a Founder of the Royal and Loyal Lodge, No. 2,952, 
a Coronation Lodge in connection with the King's Royal Rifles. 

From its establishment until May 19th, 1885, the 
Lodge met at the Crown Hotel. The Masonic Rooms 
over the Ironworks at the top of West-street were then 
furnished, and here the brethren met from July 7th, 
1885, until March 3rd, 1891, when they went back to 
the Crown Hotel until the Masonic Hall in St. James's 
Road was opened on Sept. 6th, 1898, the foundation 
stone having been laid on June 22nd in the same year. 



Court " Hand-in- Hand," No. 4,660, of the Ancient 
Order of Foresters is the largest and oldest of the local 
permanent benefit societies. It was opened at the Dorset 
Arms Hotel on June 18th, 1857. Some six years later 
the Sussex Arms was made its head quarters, and even- 
tually it migrated to the Crown Hotel, which house has 
remained its place of meeting ever since. Mr. W. Harding, 
the present librarian of the Literary Institute, was its 
first secretary, a position which has been held for the 
past 36 years by Mr. John Moon. The membership roll 
totals 481 and its funds to-day reach the very gratifying 
total of 10,104. 12s. lOd. 


The Ancient Order of Shepherds was founded as an 
off-shoot of the Ancient Order of Foresters, the rules of 
the latter at one time not admitting of the payment of 
more than 14s. a week sick pay. The Shepherds was 
started in order that those Foresters who could afford it 
might secure an extra 7s., and for many years no person 
was allowed to join who was not already a Forester. A 
Sanctuary was opened at the Dorset Arms Hotel a year 
or two after the founding of the Foresters' Court. The 
late Mr. William Tooth was its first scribe, or secretary, 
and he was succeeded by Mr. A. M. Betchley. The 
membership in time became so small that those remaining 
eventually amalgamated with the "Star of Sussex" 
Sanctuary at Brighton, about a dozen members passing 
over. In 1882 Mr. Charles Betchley took the matter up 
in earnest and was instrumental in re-establishing a 
Sanctuary in East Grinstead. This was opened on 
September 26th of the year named at the Railway Hotel, 
and Mr. Betchley became its first scribe. The position 
has since been held by Messrs. W. Grove, J. W. Brown 
and Geo. Bristow. The Sanctuary has, for some years 
now, had its head quarters at the Crown Hotel. There 
are at present 71 members, with accumulated funds 
amounting to 390. 15s. 6d. 



This Lodge was opened on October 26th, 1864, at the 
Station Inn, now the Railway Hotel, by the officers of 
the Lewes District, a dispensation for the purpose having 
been granted to the "Victoria" Lodge at Uckfield. 
Twenty members joined the first evening. Two years 
later the Lodge, at its own request, was transferred from 
the Lewes to the Tonbridge District. In 1878 the head 
quarters were removed to the Crown Hotel, which has 
been the place of meeting ever since. Mr. W. H. Wood 
has been Secretary to the Lodge for 28 years. The 
members now number 256 and the funds, exclusive 
of a large share in the district capital, amount to 
4,371. 11s. lid. 

There are branches in the town of the Redhill Work- 
men's Provident Society ; the Tunbridge Wells and 
South -Eastern Counties Equitable Association; and the 
Hearts of Oak Friendly Society. 




THE question of establishing a Gas Company for East 
Grinstead was first considered in 1847, a committee being 
appointed at a meeting on January 19th in that year to 
consider the matter. Nothing came of it, however, and 
on October 25th, 1854, another public meeting was 
held and the question taken up in real earnest. The 
necessary capital was soon guaranteed; the provisional 
directors were elected on November 16th; a week later 
Mr. T. Cramp was appointed the first Secretary ; a 
month after a site for the works was chosen ; and on 
February 1st, 1855, the P^ast Grinstead Gas Light and 
Coke Company was formed under a deed of settlement 
and duly registered. In its early days the Company did 
well. For many years its capital did not exceed 1,780, 
arid dividends reaching 10 per cent, were paid. Then it 
fell upon bad times and the whole concern was mort- 
gaged for 500. But in due course, with a change of 
management, its old prosperity was restored and enough 
was earned to pay a dividend of 22% per cent. Then 
came the addition of the Water Works, which were 
opened with some ceremony on December 21st, 1880. 
To meet the great expense involved a new Company, 
with increased capital, had been formed under an Act 
passed on June 17th, 1878. It was named the East 
Grinstead Gas and Water Company. The shareholders 
in the old Company received 12. 10s. of stock in the 
new for every 5 of their holding in the first Company. 
Mr. William Pearless was the first Chairman of the old 
Company and he was succeeded by Mr. W. V. K. 
Stenning, who still holds office. The first Directors, in 
addition to Mr. Pearless, were Messrs. W. Chapman, J. 


Sheppard, T. Gravett, T. Foster, J. Fowle and A. T. 
Hooker. The present Directors are Messrs. W. V. K. 
Stenning, J. B. Allwork, P. E. Wallis, T. Fieldwick, F. 
Turner and J. Donaldson. Mr. Evelyn A. Head has held 
the position of Secretary for many years. Mr. D. T. 
Livesey is in charge of the Gas Works and Mr. R. G. 
Payne, who comes of a very old East Grinstead family, 
has the superintendence of the Water Works. The 
authorised capital is 57,814, of which 5,814 is "A" 
stock, 7,000 "A" shares, 5,000 "B" shares and 
40,000 " C " shares. The whole of the " A " stock and 
"A" and "B" shares have been issued, together with 
20,000 of the "C" shares. There have also been 
debentures issued to the amount of 8,053. 10s., making, 
with premiums, a total capital issue of 48,232. 7s. 6d. 

The progressive section of the community were not 
long in making their presence felt after the establishment 
of the Company. The subject of public lighting was 
brought before a specially convened Vestry meeting, held 
on September 22nd, 1855, and a resolution in favour of 
the adoption of the Watching and Lighting Act was only 
defeated on the casting vote of the Chairman. Nothing 
daunted, the promoters began the collection of subscrip- 
tions, and on November 9th, 1855, the streets of the 
town were lighted for the first time by gas. The 
benefits of the system were so appreciated that a year 
later, October 16th, 1856, the Vestry reversed its prior 
decision and agreed to adopt public lighting by gas for a 
radius of 1^ miles from the Parish Church at an expense 
not exceeding 80 a year. Having got the required 
permission, the Gas Company lost no time in extending 
the system under the direction of the lighting inspectors. 
To meet the cost, the charge then being 7s. 6d. per 1,000 
feet, it was found necessary at the ensuing Easter Vestry 
on March 19th, 1857, to make a lighting rate over the 
specified area of 8d. in the on houses and 2d. in the 
on land. As soon as they had to pay people began to 
grumble, and the result was that on November 27th of 
the same year a poll was taken on the question of the 
amount to be allowed and 152 people voted for 80 a 


year, but only 16 for cutting it down to 40 a year. 
Since then the system has gradually developed until now 
East Grinstead is as well provided with public lights as 
any town of its size in the South of England at a cost of 
about 500 per annum. 

In 1896 an attempt was made to introduce the electric 
light, and on June 26th of that year the East Grinstead 
Electric Lighting Company was incorporated with a 
capital of 15,000. The Urban Council, however, gave 
notice that it would oppose the Company's provisional 
order, as it desired itself to have control of the electric 
light. Consequently the Company died out, and in time 
the Urban Council changed its mind and abandoned all 
idea of building electric light works. The electric light 
was first used in East Grinstead on January 13th, 1885, 
when it was temporarily installed for a bachelor's ball at 
the Crown Hotel. 

Gas was first publicly used in the village of Forest 
Row on November 18th, 1903. 


This Company was incorporated in September, 1889, 
with a capital of 4,000 in 800 shares of 5 each, of 
which 590 shares, producing 2,950, have so far been 
issued. The Company was formed to take over the 
laundry which had been built in Wood Street, Station 
Road, and to carry on there or elsewhere the business of 
a laundry company in all its branches. The premises 
were publicly opened for use on November 2nd, 1889. 
The present Directors of the Company are Messrs. Evelyn 
A. Head (chairman), H. S. Martin, A. Bridgland, C. M. 
Wilson and W. H. Hills. Mr. S. J. Huggett is secretary. 


This Company was incorporated on July 3rd, 1890, 
with a capital of 4,000, divided into 4,000 shares of 1 
each, of which 2,124 shares have at present been issued. 
The Directors of the Company are Messrs. W. V. K. 


Stenning (chairman), W. H. Hills (managing director 
and secretary), H. Daniels, H. B. Harwood, A. Heasman, 
H. S. Martin and J. A. Payne. The Club was opened 
on March 30th, 1893, the building occupying the site of 
several small shops and cottages formerly known as 
" The Round Houses." 


This highly-reputable and widely-spread business is 
one of the oldest of the local trading companies, and 
has had a successful career since its formation. Its 
certificate of incorporation is dated August llth, 1893. 
The Company was formed to take over the business of 
saddlery manufacturers and implement agents carried on 
by Mr. Thomas Rice and Mr. Joseph Rice, which had 
been established many years before in the premises 
now owned by Mr. George Brinkhurst and adjoining 
the Swan Hotel. It was for a long period owned by 
members of the Hay ward family, and then passed through 
the hands of the Charlwood and Brinkhurst families 
before coming to the Rices. The capital of the Com- 
pany is 4,200, divided into 100 four per cent, preference 
shares of 10 each and 320 ordinary shares of 10 each. 
The whole of this has been issued. Since its incorpora- 
tion the Company has opened up branches at Edenbridge, 
Tunbridge Wells, Hay wards Heath, Lindfield and 
Horsham. The Directors are Messrs. P. E. Wallis 
(chairman), T. Voice, Thomas, Joseph, Alfred and James 

/' ' * ' 

Rice, the last-named having taken the place of Mr. Henry 
Smith, who was an original Director. 


This Company was registered on June 1 1th, 1895, with 
the object of acquiring the businesses of brewers and 
maltsters and wine and spirit merchants of Messrs. 
Dashwood & Co., East Grinstead, and Messrs. A. G. S. 
and T. S. Manning, of the Southdown Brewery, Lewes, 
as from July 1st, 1895. 


The capital was originally 95,000, divided into 5,000 
5 per cent, preference shares of 10 each and 4,500 
ordinary shares of like value. There was also a 4 per 
cent, first mortgage of 25,000 on the Southdown 
Brewery, and 4 per cent, debenture stock for 50,000. 
In 1898 Messrs. Monk & Sons' Bear Brewery, at Lewes, 
and the Dolphin Brewery, at Cuckfield, having been 
purchased, the share capital was increased to the present 
total amount of 165,000, by the creation of 4,500 pre- 
ference and 2,500 ordinary 10 shares, which were offered 
for public subscription in March, 1898, the preference 
shares at a premium of 10s. and the ordinary shares at 
par. At the same time subscriptions were invited at 103 
per cent, for 96,000 4 per cent, perpetual "A" mortgage 
debenture stock, forming part of an authorised total of 
170,000. By this means the total capital was increased 
from 170,000 to 321,000, the mortgage on the South- 
down Brewery having been paid off. The balance of 
the authorised debenture stock has since been issued, so 
that the paid-up capital is now 335,000, made up of 
95,000 in preference shares, 70,000 in ordinary shares 
and 170,000 in debenture stock. 

Mr. A. G. S. Manning is the chairman, the other 
Directors being Mr. William Pawley and Mr. T. S. 
Manning (managing director). The Company has been 
most successful, dividends on its ordinary shares having 
reached 18 per cent. 


This Company took over the well-known manufactur- 
ing and furnishing ironmongery business established in 
the High Street in the year 1840 by the late Mr. James 
Bridgland. It was removed in 1865 to the existing 
premises in London Road, and there carried on by Mr. 
Bridgland until his death in 1887, and afterwards by his 
sons, Messrs. Alfred & Charles Bridgland. The Company 
was registered on November 3()th, 1898, with a total 
capital of 10,000, in 5,000 5 per cent, preference shares 


of 1 each and 5,000 ordinary shares of 1 each. There 
have so far been issued the whole of the preference shares 
and 4,000 of the ordinary shares. The Directors of the 
Company are Messrs. A. Bridgland (chairman and 
managing director), A. Heasman, J. B. All work and A. 
Davis. Mr. E. T. Berry has been secretary from the 


This Company owns businesses at Lewes, Eastbourne 
and East Grinstead. It was registered on August 31st, 
1899, to take over the general printing works in the 
towns named long owned by Mr. Joseph Farncombe and 
the newspapers published by him, including the East 
Sussex News, Eastbourne Clironicle, East Grinstead 
Observer, Sussex and Surrey Courier and other well- 
known county journals. The capital of the Company is 
30,000, divided into 6,000 shares of 5, of which 4,300 
shares, making a capital of 21,500, have up to the 
present been issued. The Directors from the first have 
been Messrs. J. Farncombe, J. Farncombe, jun., T. J. 
Farncombe, F. R. Terson and H. G. Walston. 


This Company was registered on April 10th, 1901, 
with a capital of 3,000 in 600 shares of 5 each, for 
the purpose of taking over the business of steam road 
roller proprietors and reaping, mowing and haulage 
contractors hitherto carried on by the Executors of the 
late Mr. Abraham Foster, of Hazelden Farm, East 
Grinstead. Up to the present 500 of the shares have 
been issued. The first Directors were Messrs. Joseph 
Rice (chairman), D. Dadswell, W. Miles and W. H. 
Hills, and they still hold office. The character of the 
business has been greatly changed during latter years 
and the Company has now the largest engineering works 
in the neighbourhood. 



This Company was registered on June 23rd, 1904, 
with a capital of 10,000 in 10,000 shares of 1 each. 
It was established to continue the business so long 
conducted by Mr. H. S. Martin, and subsequently by Mr. 
W. Carter, of chemist and mineral water manufacturer. 
Only 2,880 of the share capital has been issued. 
There is also a debenture issue of 3,000 out of an 
authorised series of 3,500. The Directors are Messrs. 
J. C. Umney, W. Carter, H. S. Martin and W. H. Hills. 


This Company has a capital of 36,000, divided into 
3,600 shares of 10 each, of which 2,276 shares, repre- 
senting a capital of 22,760, have been issued. It was 
incorporated on July llth, 1900, for the purpose of 
acquiring, carrying on and working as a going concern 
the business of John Stenning & Son, timber merchants 
and sawmill proprietors, of London, East Grrinstead and 
Robertsbridge, and which was originally established in 
1792. The Directors of the Company are Messrs. A. H. 
Stenning (chairman), W. J. Stenning and H. B. Harwood. 


Pages 16 and 31. Thomas Cure, who obtained the grant of arms for 
East Grinstead on being returned by the Borough to Parliament, 
was buried in Southwark Cathedral, and over his tomb is a marble 
stone, inscribed : 


(of Southwark) 
Obiit 24 th May, 1588 

Elizabetha tibi princeps servivit Equorum 
A Sellis Gurus quern lapis iste tegit. 
Serviit Edwardo Regi Mariaeque Sorori ; 
Principibus magna est laus placuisse tribus. 
Couvixit cunctis charus respublica Curae 
Semper erat Curo Coinmoda plebis erant. 
Dum vixit, tribui senibus curavit alendis 
Nummorum in sumptus annua dona domos. 

Tliis piece of punning poetry has puzzled many a latter-day scholar. 
Was Cure a prosperous tradesman who served three monarchs, or 
was he an officer in three successive Royal households those of 
Edward VI., Mary and Elizabeth ? Bearing in mind that it was 
in the reign of the last-named monarch that he was elected to 
Parliament and that Lord Buckhurst, the patron of this Borough, 
was Lord High Treasurer to Queen Elizabeth, the latter was 
possibly the honour he enjoyed, and the following is perhaps not 
a very incorrect free translation of the inscription : 

Cure, whom this stone covers, served Elizabeth as Master of her saddle-horses. 
He served also King Edward and Mary his sister. A great honour is it to have 
pleased three Sovereigns. He lived beloved by all. The State was ever a care to 
Cure. The welfare of the people was a care to him. During his lifetime he 
cared for the support of the aged and caused annual gifts of money to be assigned 
to meet the expenses, and he gave houses also. 

Page 24. In 1384 Ricardus Danyell and Ricardus Woghere were 
returned M.P.'s for East Grinstead on April 29th and November 

Page 30th. At the bye-election in 1557-8, caused by Thomas Sackville 
electing to sit for Westmoreland, Thomas Farnham was returned 
for East Grinstead. 

Page 38. On April 21st, 1675, Edward Sackville was elected for 
East Grinstead in the place of Lord Buckhurst, created a Peer. 
On October 25th, 1678, Thomas Pelham was returned in'ce Edward 
Sackville, deceased. 

Page 49. The following were additional bye-elections : On April 5th, 
1715, and November 6th, 1722, Richard Lord Viscount Shannon 
was returned for East Grinstead vice Spencer Compton, who on 
each occasion elected to sit for the County of Sussex ; on April 
6th, 1725, Edward Conyers was returned vice John Conyers, 

T 2 



The Most Noble the Marquess of Abergavenny, K.G., Bridge Castle, Sussex 3 

J. Brook Allwork, 28, High Street, East Griustead 1 

Colonel C. H. Bagot, C.B., Brook Cottage, East Grinstead 1 

Abe Bailey, J.P., Yewhurst, East Grinstead 2 

J. S. Beale, J.P., Standeu, East Grinstead 1 

Alfred M. Betchley, White Lion Hotel, London Road, East Grinstead ... 2 

The Rev. Douglas Y. BlaMston, M. A., The Vicarage, East Grinstead ... 1 

Edward C. Blount, J. P., Imberhorne, East Griustead 2 

Alfred Bridgland, 33 and 35, London Road, East Grinstead 1 

Frank Brinkhurst, Henfield Villa, Cranston Road, East Grinstead 1 

Frederick Bristow, Elm House, East Grinstead 1 

W. Brunsden, Camden Cottage, East Grinstead 1 

T. H. W. Buckley, The Grange, Crawley Down, Sussex 1 

Harry Bentinck Budd, F.Z.S., Cromwell Hall, East Grinstead 1 

F. J. Budd-Budd, 76A, Marine Parade, Brighton 2 

Miss Bunting, The Larches, East Grinstead 1 

Colonel W. H. Campion, C.B., V.D., J.P., Danny, Hassocks 1 

F. H. Champneys, M.D., L.R.C.P., Nutley, Uckfield, and 42, Upper Brook 

Street, Park Lane, London, W. 1 

T. H. Church, 20, Bucklersbury, London, E.C 1 

Mrs. Clark, 6, Cyril Street, Northampton 1 

Alfred Clark, Moat Nursery, East Grinstead 1 

Mrs. Stephenson Clarke, Brook House, West Hoathly 1 

The Right Hon. the Lord Colchester, F.S.A., Carlton Club, London, S.W... 1 

F. G. Courthope, Southover, Lewes 1 

The Rev. C. W. Payne Crawfurd, M.A. Oxford, J.P. for Sussex, Ardmillan, 

East Griustead 2 

The Rev. Gibbs Payne Crawfurd, M.A. Oxon., The Vicarage, Bicester, Oxon. 1 

Robert Payne Crawfurd, Baidland, Seaford, Sussex 1 

The Rev. Chas. H. P. Crawfurd, M.A. Oxon., The Vicarage, Milbonie Port, 

Somerset 1 

The Rev. Lionel P. Crawfurd, M.A. Oxon., St. Cuthbert's Vicarage, 

Gateshead, Durham 1 

Raymond H. P. Crawfurd, M.A. Oxon.,M.D., F. R.C.P., 71, Harley Street, W. 1 

Edgar M. Crookshauk, J. P., Saint Hill, East Grinstead 1 

J. Dalziel, Craigcoila, East Griustead 1 

The Rev. Prebendary Deedes, M.A., Little London, Chichester 1 

John Ditch, Old Buckhurst, Withyham 1 

W. H. Dixon, 51, High Street, East Grinstead 2 

\Vm. Eagles, Falconhurst, Lingfield, Surrey 1 

The Rev. Arthur Eden, M. A., Ticehurst, Sussex 2 

J. Kennedy Esdaile, J.P., Hazelwood, Horsted Keynes 1 

Chas. Hugh Everard, M.A. , J.P., Newlands, East Griustead 1 

Miss Everard, Newlands, East Grinstead 1 

John H. Every, The Croft, St. Anne's, Lewes 1 



A. Faber, Offerton, Forest Row 1 

Alderman Jos. Farncombe, Saltwood, Spencer Road, Eastbourne 1 

Sir Richard Farrant, Rockhurst, West Hoathly 1 

The Rev. Robert Fisher, M. A., St. Thomas's Vicarage, Groombridge ... 1 

W. H. B. Fletcher, M.A., J.P., Aldwick Manor, Bognor, Sussex 1 

Geo. P. Forwood, Great House Court, East Grinstead 1 

Alex. Freeland, The Hermitage, East Grinstead 2 

Douglas W. Freshfield, M.A., Wych Cross House, Forest Row, and 1, Airlie 

Gardens, Campden Hill, W 1 

The Hon. A. E. Gathorne-Hardy, 77, Cadogan Square, London, S.W. ... 1 

Geo. A. D. Goslett, Chelworth, Chelwood Gate, Sussex 1 

J. Eglinton A. Gwynne, J.P., F.S.A., Folkington Manor, Polegate, R.S.O., 

Sussex 1 

R. Hall, Bookseller, Tunbridge Wells 1 

J. Southey Hall, Albion House, London Road, East Grinstead 1 

A. H. Hastie, 17, Queen Street, Mayfair, London 6 

Miss H. A. Hastie, Place Land, East Griustead 1 

Evelyn Alston Head, Daledene, East Grinstead .. 1 

W. Alston Head, Domons, East Grinstead 1 

Alfred Heasman, Holmewood, Station Road, East Grinstead 1 

H. Heasman, South wick House, East Grinstead 1 

H. S. McCalmont Hill, LL.D., The Priory, Argyll Road, Boscombe ... 1 

M. Hills, Hadfold Villa, Boundary Road, Hove 1 

Alfred Hoare, Charl wood Farm, East Grinstead 1 

John H. Hooker, Courtfield, Cranston Road, East Grinstead 1 

J. H. Honeycombe, High Street, East Grinstead 1 

W. Hosken, The School House, East Grinstead 1 

Ethelbert Hosking. M.R.C.S. Eng., Turners Hill, Sussex I 

Robert Hovenden, F.S.A., Heathcote, 12, Park Hill Road, Croydon ... 1 

Sydney J. Huggett, Belvedere, Cantelupe Road, East Grinstead 1 

E. P. Whitley Hughes, The Moat House, East Grinstead 1 

The Rev. R. E. Hutton, St. Margaret's Lodge, East Grinstead 1 

T. Hyde, J.P., Pixtoii Hill, Forest Row 1 

Herbert Jeddere -Fisher, M.A., Apsley Town, East Grinstead 1 

A. Johnson, Greenstede House, High Street, East Grinstead 3 

W. H. Johnson, Dover Cottage, East Grinstead 1 

Sydney Larnach, Brambletye, East Grinstead 1 

G. Locker-Lampson, Rowfant, Crawley, Sussex 1 

Oliver Locker-Lampson, Rowfant, Crawley, Sussex 1 

The Honourable Society of Lincolns Inn, Lincolns Inn, London, W.C. ... 1 
The Right Hon. the Earl of Liverpool, Kirkham Abbey, York, and 2, Carlton 

House Terrace, London, S.W 2 

Gerald W. E. Loder, F.S.A., Wakehurst Place, Ardingly, Sussex 1 

Henry Lucas, Bramblehurst, East Grmstead 2 

Job Luxford, Forest Row 1 

Major T. A. Maberly, Mytten, Cuckfield 1 

W. J. S. Mann, Middle Row, East Grinstead 1 

T. S. Manning, The Brewery House, East Grmstead 1 



Edward Martin, J.P., Woodcote, Forest Row 1 

H. S. Martin, 5, Compton Avenue, Brighton 2 

G. M. Maryon- Wilson, J.P., Searles, Fletching 1 

H. E. Mathews, Woodbury, East Grinstead 1 

The Rev. R. B. Matson, B.A. Oxon., The Modern School, East Grinstead ... 1 

Admiral Wm. H. Maxwell, J.P., Holywych, Cowden, Kent 1 

John McAndrew, J.P., Holly Hill, Coleman's Hatch, Tunbridge Wells ... 1 

Wm. Milburn, J.P., Shabden, Chipstead, Surrey 1 

C. G. Morris, Ashurst Wood, East Grinstead 1 

The Mother Superior, St. Margaret's, East Grinstead 1 

J. G. Mortimer, 20, Clifton Street, Brighton 1 

Lady Musgrave, Hurst-aii-Clays, East Grinstead 1 

Frank Newington, 208, High Street, Lewes ... 1 

J. A. Nix, Tilgate, Crawley 1 

His Grace the Duke of Norfolk, E.M., K.G., Arundel Castle, Sussex ... 2 

The Most Noble the Marquess of Northampton, 51, Lennox Gardens, S.W. 1 

E. L. Nunneley, Summerford, East Grinstead 1 

J. S. Oxley, M.A., 44, Beaufort Gardens, London, S.W 1 

Harry Payne. 151, London Road, East Grinstead 1 

R. G. Payne, Waterworks, East Grinstead 1 

James R. Pearless, LL.B., Sackville Cottage, East Grinstead 1 

Pearless & Sons, Solicitors, East Grinstead 1 

Sir W. ]). Pearson, Bart., M.P., Paddockhurst, Worth, Sussex 4 

H. Perkins, Old Bank House, East Grinstead 1 

Childe Pocock, R.B.A., Birkbeck College, Bream's Buildings, E.C 1 

F. C. Poynder, M.B., 92, High Street, East Grinstead 1 

W. W. Radcliffe, M.A., Fonthill, East Grinstead 1 

T. E. Ravenshaw, J.P., South Hill, Worth 1 

Mrs. Geo. Read, 19 and 21, London Road, East Grinstead 1 

Stuart J. Reid, Blackwell Cliff, East Grinstead 1 

Walter C. Renshaw, K.C., Sandrocks, near Hayward's Heath 1 

Thomas Rice, London Road, East Griustead 1 

George Rice, Godstone, Surrey 1 

Henry Rice, High Street, UckfLeld 1 

Alfred Rice, Fernleigh, Ship Street, East Grinstead 1 

Joseph Rice, J.P., Wesley House, Cantelupe Road, East Grinstead 1 

James Rice, 63, West Street, Horsham 1 

Wm. Ridley, St. Wilfrids, East Grinstead 2 

F. S. Robertson, The Mount, East Grinstead 1 

R. Rouse, Middle Row, East Grinstead 1 

John G. Scaramanga, 5, Campden Hill Terrace, London, W 1 

Edgar Soames, Oasted, East Grinstead 1 

J. C. Stenuing, Steel Cross House, Tuubridge Wells 6 

The Rev. Canon Stenning, Overton Rectory, Hants 1 

Frederick Stoveld Stenuing, M.A., St. Stephen's Club, Westminster, S.W. 1 

Alderman Wm. V. K. Stenning, J. P., Halsford, East Grinstead 1 

Alan II. Storming, F.Z.S., East Griustead 2 



Miss Stenning, Halsford, East Grinstead 2 

Alex. R. Stenning, J.P., Hoathly Hill, West Hoathly 1 

Edward Stewart, M.D., J.P., Brook House, East Grinstead 1 

G. F. Stone, Station Road, East Griustead 1 

Walter John Sykes, M.D., "Westfields, East Grinstead 1 

The Rev. J. Thorp, Felbridge Vicarage, East Grinstead 1 

W. Tongue, Rocklands, East Grinstead 1 

John Tooth, 1, Hawthorn Villas, Sydney Road, Hayward's Heath 1 

Sir Geo. Wyatt Truscott, Suffolk Lane, Cannon Street, London, E.G. ... 1 

Chas. Turner, Oakhurst, Maypole Road, East Grinstead 1 

Henry Turner, Elmstead, East Grinstead 1 

Frederick Turner, Moor Place, East Grinstead 1 

Geo. Underwood, Crown Hotel, East Grinstead 1 

T. Voice, Wilmington House, High Street, East Grinstead 1 

P. E. Wallis, M.R.C.S., Old Stone House, East Grinstead 1 

Sir Spencer Walpole, K.C.B., Hartfield Grove, Coleman's Hatch, Sussex ... 1 

A. E. N. Ward, Yewhurst, East Grinstead 1 

Arthur C. Waters, Durkins, East Grinstead 1 

F. C. Watford, High Street, East Grinstead 1 

James Watson, M.D., Dormans House, Dormans Park, Surrey ... .. 1 

Edward Waugh, Hayward's Heath 1 

Geo. Webb, 87, Chelsham Road, South Croydon 1 

Mrs. Whidborne, Hammerwood, East Grinstead 1 

F. A. White, J.P., Oakleigh, East Grinstead 1 

F. S. White, Portlands, Portland Road, East Grinstead 1 

T. S. Whitfeld, Dormans Cross, East Griustead 1 

Noah Whitman, Turners Hill, Sussex 1 

Francis Moore Wilcox, Tor Leven , Cantelupe Road, East Griustead ... 1 

C. M. Wilson, London Road, East Grinstead 1 

R. Winser, London Road, East Grinstead , 1 

Leslie S. Wood, High Street, East Grinstead 1 

Chas. Wood, 76, Moat Road, East Griustead 1 

William Jasper Wood, New Maiden, Surrey 1 

The Rev. Clement C. Woodland, M.A., Hammerwood Vicarage, East 

Grinstead 1 

W. E. Woollam, Council Offices, East Grinstead 1 

J. H. Woollan, 19, Deerbrook Road, Tulse Hill, S.E 1 

Edward Young, 39, High Street, East Grinstead 1 

Ernest W. Young, 49, High Street, East Grinstead 1 

Henry Young, The Hollies, London Road, East Grinstead 1 




Alchornds, 100. 

Almshouscs, The, 122 to 124, 215. 
Anderida, Forest of, 1. 
Ardingly, 132. 
Ardmillan, 81. 

Ashdown Forest, 1, 2, 3, 5, 32, 41, 116, 
142, 152, 155, 177, 190, 191, 208, 249. 

Ashdowii House, 115, 173. 
Ashdowu Park, 160. 
Ashurst, or The Wild, 20, 120. 
Ashurst Wood, 83, 90, 93, 120, 132, 
134, 160, 167, 181, 187, 197. 


Baches, 192. 

Baldwins Hill, 6, 13, 237. 

Beeches, 72, 197. 

Birchcroft, 10. 

Birch Grove, 184. 

Blackham, 100, 146. 

Blackwell, 67, 83. 

Blackwell Farm, 184. 

Bletchingley, 137, 138, 153, 219. 

Blindley Heath, 138, 146, 219. 

Blockfield Farm, 146. 

Bolebrook, 101. 

Bower, 74, 121, 146. 

Boylies, 74. 

Brambletye, 21, 26, 32, 74, 85, 86, 106, 

109 to 115, 122, 123, 142, 146, 160, 

225, 226, 228. 

Brestowe, or Burstow Park, 196 to 198. 
Brewers, or Brewhouse Lane, 238. 
Brewery, The, 271, 272. 
Broadstone, 202. 

Brockets, 119. 

Brockhurst, or Brookhurst, or Broke- 
hurst, 20, 73, 74, 107, 120, 130, 236, 

Broome, 100. 

Brownings Cross, 10. 

Buckhurst (Withyham), 2, 20, 97, 99, 
100, 110, 217. 

Buckhurst House (East Griiistead), 243. 

Bucknors, 74. 

Budgens Barn, 159. 

Buncegrove, 192. 

Burghurst, 20. 

Burleigh, or Burley Arches, 20, 83. 

Burstow, 117. 

Bushcroft, 4. 

Bushfield, 4. 

Buxted, 1, 2, 59, 132, 176. 

Buxted Park, 154. 

Buxted Place, 53. 

Bysshecourt, 120. 


Cansiron, 141. 

Cantelupe Road, 160, 262. 

Capital and Counties Bank, 263. 

Cat, The, 15, 42. 

Cemetery, 238. 

Chapel Lane, 218, 238. 

Charlwood, or Charlwoods, 48, 74, 191. 

Charlwoods Row, 160. 

Chartham, 173. 

Chartness, 100. 

Chequer Inn, The, 15, 53. 

Chequer Mead, The, 15, 50, 183, 186, 

247, 248, 259. 
Chequer Road, 160, 167. 
Church Street, 73, 106, 123, 197, 209, 


Clay Pitts, 119. 

College Lane, 85. 

Common, The (East Grinstead), 5, 218, 

231, 247, 248. 
Coney boro' Park, 53. 
Congregational Church, Ashurst Wood, 


Constitutional Club, 23, 216, 271. 
Conyclappers, 117. 
Cooke's Mead, 83. 
Copthorne, 93, 167. 
Cottage Hospital, 105, 237, 250 to 254, 


Court House, The, 216, 217, 257, 259. 
Cowden, 134, 141, 184, 193. 
Crabbctt, 48, 146, 173. 



Cranston Estate, 180. 
Cranston Road, 160. 
Crawley Down, 93, 141, 143, 146. 
Cricket Field, 248, 249. 
Cromwell House, 130. 
Crosses, 146. 

Daledene, 174. 
Dalliugridge, 3, 74, 111. 
Danny, 47. 

Dean Cherry Garden, 238. 
Dean Fields, 85, 118. 
De la Warr Road, 160. 
Digrnan's Mead, 4. 
Dispensary, 105, 254, 255. 

Crown Hotel, The, 15, 50, 116, 153, 156, 
161, 183, 184, 186, 218, 243, 244, 247, 
261, 265 to 267, 270. 

Cullens, 74. 

Cullinghurst, 100. 


Dockets, 192. 
Demons, 174. 
Dorset Arms, The, 14, 15, 42, 147 to 

154, 244, 245, 266. 
Dorset Head, The, 15, 53. 
Duddleswell, 23, 85, 119, 191, 193. 
Dungates Fields, 215. 
Durkins Road, 160. 


East Court, 76, 95, 107, 149, 166, 167, 

Edenbridge, 183. 

Elephant's Head, The, 253, 257. 
Bridge, 201, 203. 


Fail-field Road, 160. 

Fairlight, 21, 167. 

Felbridge, 13, 19, 54, 59, 67, 86, 107, 

136 to 141, 145, 157, 159, 160, 185, 


Feldlonde, 115. 
Fen Place, 173, 193. 
Fire Brigade Station, 244. 
Fiscaridge, 100. 
Fletchiug, 1. 
Flower Place, 205. 

Forest Row, 1, 6, 12, 73, 88, 90, 121, 
130, 134, 158 to 160, 179, 195 to 197, 
200 to 205, 218, 232, 234, 239, 244, 
259, 270. 

Framfield, 64. 

Frampost, 74, 107. 

Friday Mead, 50. 

Friston Place, 53. 

Frogs Hole, 159, 160. 

Furnace Farm, 141. 

Furnace Pond, 141. 


Gallows Croft, 83, 218. 

Gas Works, The, 268 to 270. 

Gaynesfords, 109, 215. 

George, The, 4, 10. 

Glen Vue, 160, 163, 231, 232, 238, 239. 

Goddeiiwick, 82, 83, 121. 

Godstone, 136 to 139, 147, 149, 153 to 

155, 158, 161, 219. 
Gotwick Farm, 146. 
Grange, The, 148. 

Grange Road, 163, 244. 
Gravetye, 82, 141 to 146. 
Greenfylde, or Green Field, 109, 240. 
Green Hedges, 174, 251, 254. 
Green Hedges Avenue, 160. 
Grinstead, Manor of, 108, 109, 241. 
Grinsted Wild, 120. 
Grosveuor Hall, 231, 259. 
Gulledge, 23, 109, 141. 


Halsford, 83, 163, 174, 218, 232. 
Hammerwood, 58, 121, 131, 141, 163, 

166, 251. 
Hackenden, Hakeudeii, Harkeuden, or 

Haskenden, 117. 

Hartscroft, 4. 

Hartfield, 1, 2, 21, 82, 112, 121, 134 

141, 142, 160, 167, 174, 193, 201, 

219, 221, 223, 233. 
Harwoods, 74. 



Hayheath, 174. 

Hazelden, 20, 74, 120, 145, 273. 

Hazelden Cross, 159, 160. 

Heathland, 109. 

Hedgecourt, 117. 

Hendall, 99. 

Hengteswynde, 115. 

Hermitage, 61, 122, 160, 174, 176, 178, 

238, 256. 
Hicksted, 82, 83. 
Highgate, 155, 157, 158. 
High Grove Sanatorium, 106. 
High Street, 61, 130, 174, 175, 209, 

216, 235 to 237, 240, 241, 244, 246, 

254, 256, 263, 272. 
Hill Place, 14. 

Hiudleap, 2, 202. 
Hips Fields or Mead, 15, 50, 130. 
Holehouse, 194. 
Holiday Home, 253. 
Hollies, The, 209. 
Holywych, 101, 163. 
Homestall, 74. 
Home, 137. 

Horshoe, or Horseshoe, 83. 
Horsted Keynes, 76, 104, 118, 198. 
Horsted Keynes Broadhurst, 117, 118. 
Hownynggrove, 192. 
Hurley Farm, 159. 

Hurst-aii-Clays, 2, 69, 159, 160, 163. 
225, 248. 


Imberhorne, 5, 10, 13, 23, 38, 75, 83, 85. 
94, 100, 115, 116, 119. 120, 146, 163; 
164, 188, 190, 195, 217. 

Imberhorne Lane, 159. 253, 254. 


Jack's Bridge, 132. 

Judge's Terrace, 218. 


Katteraw's, or Katherine's Mead, 41. 
Kidbrooke, 2, 66, 130, 154, 166, 183, 
200 to 205, 222. 

Kingscote, 116. 


Lancaster, Duchy of, 10, 177. 

Lancaster Great Park, 2. 

Lanefeld, 118. 

Lansdowne House, 252. 

Larches, The, 160. 

Lavertye, or Lavorty, 31, 109 to 115, 


Legsheath, 83, 190 to 196. 
Lewes Old Bank, 263. 
Lindfield, 121, 132, 181. 
Lingfield, 4, 77, 93, 132, 134, 146, 148, 

153, 154, 183, 187, 232, 239. 
Lingfield Lodge, 174. 

Lingfield Road, 160. 

Lingfield Road Recreation Ground, 13, 


Literary Institute, 183, 256 to 258, 266. 
Little Horsted, 76, 210. 
Lloyds Bank, 263. 
London Road, 61, 90, 95, 122, 160, 230, 

235, 237, 254, 256 to 259, 272. 
Lovekines, 74. 
Love Lane, 10. 
Lower Glen Vue, 160. 
Lullenden, or Lunncndcn, 148. 


Mareafield, 1, 120, 132, 176, 190. 
Masonic Rooms, or Masonic Hall, 265. 
Maules, Mawles, or Malls, 83, 191, 192, 

Maveld, 72. 

Mayes, 120. 
Maypole Road, 160. 
Mays Fann, 74. 
Mays Wood, 150. 
Mechanics' Institution, 257. 



Medway, The, 12, 238. 

Middle Row, 50, 216, 236, 257. 

Mill Place, 44, 74, 141 to 146. 

Moat Church, 90 to 92, 95, 185, 186. 

Moat Fields, 239. 

Moat Pond, 118, 244. 

Moat Eoad, 90, 147, 160, 209, 251. 

National Schools, 259 to 262. 
New House, 11. 
Newick, 126. 
New Inn, The, 42. 

Old Mm Bridge, 238. 
Old Road, 95, 130, 159. 

Moats Farm, 147, 148, 184. 

Modern School, The, 262. 

Monkshill, Monkhill, or Muiikhill, 83, 

191 to 196. 
Mudbrook, 3. 
Muuckloe, 99, 100. 


Newlands, 61, 167, 236. 
New Road, 159. 
North End, 13. 


I Ounce, The, 15, 42. 


Parish Hall, 259. 

Parish Pound, 164. 

Park Comer, 160. 

Parrock, 141, 142. 

Pauls Farm, 74. 

Paxhill Park, 84. 

Pevensey Rape, 8. 

Pigeon House, 53. 

Pilchers, or Pilshers, 83, 218. 

Pixtons, 42, 44, 71, 72, 74, 83, 121, 124, 

196 to 198. 

Placeland, 12, 50, 107, 117 to 119. 
Pluwe, The, 191, 192. 

Plawhatch, 2, 3, 83, 116, 119, 190 to 192, 


Play-field, 53, 169, 247. 
Police Court, or Station, 218, 238, 244, 


Portland, or Portlands Road, 41, 160. 
Post Office, 245, 246. 
Pressridge, 202. 
Priory, The, 120. 
Priors, 100. 

Providence Chapel, 95. 
Public Hall, 92, 245, 257, 259. 

Queen's Hall, 245, 259. 


| Queen's Road, 160, 238, 239, 253, 254. 


Racies, 116. 

Railway or Station Hotel, 238, 266, 


Redstede, 174. 
Renvills, 74. 
Riddens, 4. 
Ridgehill, 74. 

Rocks Chapel, 95. 

Rocks, The, 132, 238. 

Roman Catholic Church, 93, 94. 

Rose Beerhouse, The, 89. 

Round Houses, 23, 216, 271. 

Rowfant, 31, 137, 141 to 146, 163. 

Rutters Worsteds, 74. 


Sackville College, 5, 13, 45, 61, 69, 96 
to 107, 128, 159, 177, 178, 206, 208, 
218, 250. 

Sackville Cottage, 174. 

Saint Agnes School, 209, 210. 

Saint Cecelia, 210. 

Saint Hill, 62, 66, 81 to 84, 95, 147, 
159, 161, 171, 193, 214, 218, 223, 254. 

Saint James's Road, 134, 160. 265. 

Saint Margaret's Convent, 203, 206 to 

Saint Margaret's School, 210- 



Saint Mary's Church, 86. 

Saint Swithuu's Church, 63 to 85, 90, 

105, 122, 178, 196, 213. 
Saint Tyes, 101. 
Sandhawes Hill, 160. 
Scarletts, 48, 74. 
Searles, 178. 
Selsfield. 67. 

Serries, or Surreys, 126, 127, 131. 
Sessions House, 216, 217. 
Sheffleld-Grinsted, 109, 120. 
Shepherds, 48, 74. 
Shepherds Grove Road, 160. 
Shewell, 74. 
Ship Inn. The, 160. 
Ship Street, 55, 61, 159, 239. 
Shoberys, 72. 
Shortes Croft, 109. 
Shovelstrode. 19. 116, 117, 160. 
Shuckburgh Cottage, 59. 

Slaughter - house, or Slaughter - house 

Mead, 53. 261. 
Smallfield Place, 204. 
Smith's Farm. 194. 
Standeii, 21. 120, 173, 193. 
Star, The. 42, 157. 
Station Road, 160, 270. 
Steel Cross, 174. 
Scone Farm, 144, 160, 193. 
Stonefeeld, 118. 

Stonehouse, Forest Row, 87, 88. 
Stoneland Lodge, 53. 
Stoneleigh, 147, 236. 
Stone Rocks, 117. 
Stumps and Gates Farms, 148. 
Sunnyside, 159. 

Sussex Arms Beerhouse, The, 266. 
Swan Inn, The, East Griiistead, 67, 154, 

169, 238, 256, 271. 
Swan Inn, The, Forest Row, 218. 
Swan Mead, 238, 239. 


Tablehurst. 199. 

Tannershyll, 118. 

Tavels, 119. 

Thompson's Corn Store, 259. 

Thorn Hill, 134. 

Three Bridges. 154. 161, 162, 184. 

Tickeridge, 141, 144. 

Tilgate, 174. 

Tilkhurst, 23, 109. 
Tinsley, 47, 142. 
Town Hall. 258. 
Turners Hill, 12, 90, 233. 
Twfford Lodge. 160. 
Twyfords, 119, 191. 
Tyces. 119. 
Tyes Cross. 160. 

Uplands, 173. 


Vechery Wood. 2, 101. 


Velvicks, 192. 


Wakehurst, 26. 120, 145. 

Wallhill. or Wall Hill, 6, 72, 74, 83, 119, 

120, 202, 219. 
Walstede. 27, 120. 
Warley, 20. 

Warren. The. 141 to 146. 
Water Works, The. 268 to 270. 
Weild, Manor of, 74. 
Wellington Town Road, 160. 
Wesleyan Church, 92, 93. 
Westfeld, 72. 
Westfields, 174, 

West Hoathly, 83, 118, 134, 141, 142, 

146, 180, 221. 
Westleigh. 10. 
West Street, 160, 218, 238, 239, 248, 

Whalesbeach or Walesbeech, 21, 74, 

83, 191. 192. 

White Lion. The, 12. 122. 
Wilder wick, 214. 
Wildgoose. 82. 
Windmill Place, 10. 
Wire Mill, 141, 145. 


Withyhani, 1, 26, 31. 38, 44, 76, 97, 

113, 134, 167, 221, 222. 
Woodcock Forge, 145. 
Woodcock Hill, 145. 
Wood Street, 270. 

Workhouse, 106, 230 to 232, 238, 250. 
Workmen's Club, 259. 

Worth, 77, 83, 93, 125, 134, 137, 138, 

142, 146, 195, 221, 233. 
Worth Park, 75. 
Worsteds, 74. 
Wych Cross, 2, 67, 159. 


Yews, The, or Yewhurst, 181, 182, 254. 


Zion (Countess of Huntingdon's) 
Chapel, 87 to 90, 128, 129, 180, 182. 
185, 257, 261. 




Los Angeles 
This book is DUE on the last date stamped below. 

Form L9-10m-3,'48 ( A7920 ) 444 

A 000997213 4