Brett Volume 6: Chapter LV - St. Leonards 1856
| This is a verbatim transcription of Brett’s work, which comprised both manuscript and typescript cuttings, and therefore reproduces Brett’s variations in style, capitalisation, punctuation and spelling. The only alterations made have been to the pagination and images whereby both page titles and images have been moved to the most appropriate paragraph as opposed to where they were pasted into the texts by the author. Where possible, personal names have been checked against census, parish records and the Central Register of Births, Marriages and Deaths. A number of footnotes have been inserted by the transcriber when this has been thought to be useful.
Generally the transcription follows the guidelines set out by the National Archives. Work is in hand to identify and annotate hand-written sections and other annotations within the transcriptions, the main difference being that hand-written sections are indicated by a Cursive font on screen. If any portions are
Readers should be aware that Brett’s narrative was written some forty to fifty years after these events (the typeset portions being perhaps 20 years earlier) and his memory has occasionally been found to be at fault by later historians.
Chapter LV - St. Leonards 1856
St. Leonards Commissioners' Meetings, 1856
Pg.1 The first quarterly meeting of the year was held at the Victoria Hotel, on the 25th of March, when there were present Sir WoodbineParish, Alfred Burton, Esq. and Messrs.Carey, Southall and Chester. Mr Bridgeland, of Hastings, having received for work at the East Ascent wall, £20 and £30, the balance of £35.15s.4. was ordered to be paid to complete payment of contract. Mr. Robt. Deudney was also to receive £24 3s. for carting away snow and beaching the roads, whilst Messrs. Hughes and Hunter were to be paid £14 10s. 10d. for the cartage of beach. Another bill ordered to be paid was Mr. Carey's £7 14s. 9d. for repairing groynes. William Tutt was to be paid 3s. per week to watch the entry of coals into St. Leonards and report twice a week to the Collector.
The second quarterly meeting was held on the 4th of June and the following Commissioners were present:- Alfred and Decimus Burton, G. H. M. Wagner, C. H. Southall, J. Carey and Mr. Parks. Mr. Gausden having complained of an offensive smell at the outlet of 120 Marina, an order was passed for it to be seen to at once. Rate-defaulters were ordered to be summonsed as follows: Stanton Noakes, £2; Jas. Drury, £2; Henry Beck, £12; Jas. Beck, £7 10; and Frederick Beck £6. The last three tradesmen became bankrupts, and as if to prove the aphorism that "misfortunes never comes(sic) singly", the father had been called upon by the Board of Guardians for his portion of surety for Everett's defalcations.
At a ratepayers' meeting on the 30th of September, new Commissioners were elected in the persons of Daniel Smith, Esq, James Harwood, Esq, and the Rev. J. A. Hatchard, to take the place of the disqualified members - Arthur Ogle, Esq, Jas. Foster, Esq. and W. F. Burton, Esq.
On the same day, the Commissioners held their quarterly meeting, and ordered the drain pipe at 120 Marina to be lengthened to obviate nuisance. A letter having been received from Mr. Shorter, clerk to the Hastings Local Board, re Mr. Batstone's drainage, and Mr. Laing the new surveyor to the Local Board being present, it was resolved "That though the Commissioners do not feel bound to lay down any further drains under their contract with the Local Board of Health, they will accede to the request in Mr. Shorter's letter, to the extent of 75 feet." This referred to the sites laid out by Mr. Batstone for six houses fronting the Archery Gardens entrance; also for another villa Pg.2 N. E. corner of the ground abutting on Quarry Hill road, the whole being outside of the Commissioners' boundary. The Local Board would pay a rate on such houses if the drainage were carried into the public sewer. The Local Board, to accommodate Batstone, had extended a junction sewer 60 feet up the Quarry Road.
A Voluntary Rate & Generous Gifts
A Voluntary Rate. At the last meeting of the year (Dec. 1st), the Commissioners present were Alfred Burton, Decimus Burton, G. H. M. Wagner, Rev. J. A. Hatchard, D. Smith, J. Carey, C. H. Southall, J. Harwood, Arthur Burton and Arthur Ogle. The last two were new members, they having been elected on the same day by the ratepayers in the place of the Rev. St. Quintin and Henry Hughes, who had become disqualified. It was resolved that in consequence of the impoverished condition of the Commission's finances, the inhabitants be appealed to for a voluntary rate of 6d. in the pound. The following sums were also handsomely contributed:- £50 each by Alfred Burton, Arthur Burton and G. H. M. Wagner esquires; and £5 each by D. Smith, Rev. J. A. Hatchard, Capt. Hull and Major Ogle. In consequence of these generous gifts, the Royal Exchange Insurance Company were informed that the Commissioners hoped not to need that corporation to forgo the next payment of interest. The moneys to be paid at the time of meeting were £203. 3s. 6d. to Smith, Hilder & Co repayment of load; £3. 7s. to Carey and Avery for repairs to groynes; £7. 8s. to S. Woodgate for public seats; £6 7s. 8d. to J. Mann for sharpening tools; & £29 10s. 5d. to S. Willar for repairing iron pipes and piles.
Mrs. Wood's application for a lamp outside of North Lodge was acceded to, on condition of her paying half the cost of lighting - The sixpenny voluntary rate produced £186.
St. Leonards Mechnics Institution
"The Chemistry of the Atmosphere" was the title of a lecture delivered on the 8th of January in connection with this institution, illustrated by experiments by Mr. J. E. Butter.
"The Honey Bee" was the heading of an interesting lecture by Mr. W. R. Selway of London, delivered in the rooms of the Institution on the 22nd of January.
"Nitrogen Gas" was treated of in a lecture by Mr. John Banks before the members of the Institution on the 19th of February.
"Druidism and Christianity in England" was the text of an interesting lecture by the Rev. J. Stent on February 5th.
Music was Mr. Thomas Elliott's theme for a free lecture on March 4th, and
"Little Things" were shown to be of great importance by the Rev. George Steward on the 18th of March.
"Analogy of the Human Mind and the Soil" formed the subject of a lecture by H. Selmes Esq. on the 8th of April; and on the 17th of the same month.
A Musical Entertainment by Messrs. Skinner, Beck, Diprose and Thomson, brought the lecture season to a close. For this entertainment, the reasonable charge of 6d. was made to non-members which realised a profit of £1. 16s., the room being densely crowded.
At the Quarterly Meeting, which was held on the 14th of February, the Committee's report stated that, considering the general depression that had for a considerable time existed and the shortness of employment together with the high price of the necessaries of life, the Institution continued in a buoyant condition. The number of members was 202, being an increase of 25 during the quarter. Subscriptions, including a donation of £5 from F. North Esq. M.P. had come in sufficient to enable the Building a/c to be closed, and the Treasurer had £9 0s. 5d. in hand on the general account. The lectures had been well attended and fully justified the Committee's view that fortnightly lectures to a good audience was better than weekly lectures to a sparse audience, as had been the case sometimes in the previous lecture session. This was virtually a reply, tho' not intended to the expressed desires of the Hastings News for weekly lectures. The writing, Arithmetic, Drawing and French classes had also been well attended. The committee regarded as a pleasing sign that even with the distracting influences of war, the Institution was able to keep out of debt and to keep in the path of progress. The Library.On the 9th of April, in addition to 22 new volumes purchased by the Committee, the following were received as a gift from Sir Woodbine Parish:- 12 Nos. of Fraser's Magazine, 1 vol of Buenos Ayres(sic) and La Plata, 1 vol. letters from Scandinavia, 2 vols. Jeerman's St. Petersburg, 1 vol Shobel's Description of Sussex, and 1 vol Geographical Society. Less EncouragingAt the quarterly meeting on August 14th, it was shown that the members had declined from 194 to 174 in consequence of some who used the Institution during the winter, declining to take their tickets in the summer, and after getting into arrears, being struck off the books. By this means, the income was lessened and a balance of £5.6s.7d. against the society was the result. To clear off this balance, Mrs. Cripps, of Verulam Place, generously presented five guineas through Mr. Brett, the treasurer. G. H. M. Wagner, Esq., also presented a guinea.