Brett Volume 10: Chapter LXIX - St. Leonards 1863

From Historical Hastings

Transcriber’s note[edit]

Chapter LXIX St. Leonards 1863[edit]

[ 65 ]

Commissioners Meetings[edit]

Drainage.- At a special meeting held on the 14th of Jan., 1863, it was ordered that the property of Messrs. Gardiner, Hatchard and Hughes in Cave(sic) road, be drained; that a 9-inch drain be laid from near the engine house through Caves Road to near the Fountain, and then eastward by a twelve-inch drain to the trap, opposite 130 Marina.

A Memorial was received, complaining of the deplorable state of the frontage and suggesting an extension of the parade wall as a means of preventing the houses being flooded by the sea; also that the Commissioners would stop the carting of rubbish and the screening of sand, both of which nuisances were objectionable to visitors. The memorial was signed by Hy. Carpenter, 134 Marina; Wm. Harmer, 133; F. W. Foster[Notes 1], 135; D. Jackson, 136; Mary J. Hogwood, 137; Sophia Gordon, 132; Wm. Goodall, 131; and - Winter, 130. The memorial also protested against paying the town rate of 2/. in the pound, unless they could be put on equal terms with the other inhabitants of the front line.

Extension of the Parade. - Instructions were given to the Surveyor to prepare plans and estimates for an extension of the wall to within 25 feet of Mr. Putland's ground, leaving such 25 feet as a roadway for the use of vessels when unloading &c.

Removal of Obstruction. - Resolved that Mr. Putland be requested to remove obstructions in the pathway from the West Marina to 39 Martello Tower.

Vaults Resolved that permission be given to Mr. How to construct vaults under the footway at 138 Marina.

Bad State of the Road. Resolved that the attention of the Town Clerk be called to the bad state of the road and pathway between the West Marina and the Railway station, beyond the Commissioner's jurisdiction.

Commissioners Present at a special meeting on March 2nd. - Sir Woodbine Parish, - Hunt, Esq., A. Burton, Esq., - Harford, Esq. and Messrs. Parks and Gausden.

Tenders for the new wall were received from Mr. Kenwood at £119 10s and from Mr. Hughes, at £62 7s. 6d. The latter was accepted, and surprise might well have been expressed at the great disparity of the tenders.

Conveyance of Ground. Mr. Wagner having informed Mr. Young that the owners of houses from 65 to 71 Marina were willing to £105 in the event of the ground on the cliff side west of the church being conveyed to the Commissioners for the purpose of keeping it open, such conveyance was ordered to be prepared and the pathway to be made as referred to in Mr. Burton's memorandum of the 2nd of February last. This was, probably, the path which [ 66 ]still leads up from the church to the West Hill.

A New Drain to connect Mr. Woodgate's premises at Mercatoria was sanctioned by the Board.

An Encroachment having been effected at the west end of the Marina, the Surveyor was instructed to see Mr. How and other persons concerning the same.

An Application from Mr. Glenister for an additional hose to the fire-engine, the same was readily granted.

The Government Inspector. It being understood that Government had sent down Mr. Rawlinson, an engineer, to inspect drains, &c., the Surveyor was instructed to call on the Mayor, and then communicate with Sir Woodbine Parish, Mr. A. Burton and Mr. Gausden, with the object of seeing Mr. Rawlinson before his return to London.

Commissioners Present at the quarterly meeting on March 28th were Sir Woodbine Parish, A. and D. Burton, Hunt, Harford, Leslie, and Gausden.

An Experiment was ordered to be made with chalk and beach in a repair of the road.

The New Wall. It was decided to extend the wall, for which Mr. Hughes had contracted, an additional five feet, thus making the length 54 feet instead of 49 feet.

Another Extension. Mr. Putland had intimated his intention of carrying on a sea-wall in front of his ground, with a request to the Commissioners to repay him the cost of such wall as soon as houses were built on his ground. To this the Committee had given no pledge.

The West-hill Path. An outlay having been suggested by the Surveyor for the pathway leading from the church to the West Hill, the same was complied with.

A Memorandum was handed in by Mr. Wagner as follows:- "At Mr. Wagner's on Saturday, Jan. 31st, 1863. In reply to his enquiry whether I would sell the cliff side, west of the church for the purpose of its being vested, together with the path thereon, in the Commissioners of St. Leonards, and if so, at what price? I informed him I would, and that £105 would satisfy me, the object being the benefit of the public. I suggested that as the value of the seven houses (65 to 71) would be greatly increased by an arrangement which would secure them from having buildings erected there, I considered that the amount should be subscribed by the owners of that property. Decimus Burton."

A Drainage Scheme. It was resolved to ascertain if the Hastings Local Board had any intention of draining the ground [ 67 ]west of Bopeep, and whether they would join the St. Leonards Commissioners in a drainage scheme west of the Fountain?

Ordered to Paid(sic), a quarter's salary to Mr. Young £12 10s; ditto to Mr. Gant, £6 5s.; to Mrs C. Mann, for railing at West Marina, £17 3s. 6d.; to Messrs. Johnstone Brothers for iron railing on the West Hill £10 16s. 8d.

The East Groyne being past repair, an estimate was ordered to be obtained for a new one, and the Town Council be asked to contribute a portion of the expense, as it would be close to their boundary.

A Stone Pavement on the south and west sides of the police station being required, the Commissioners would be willing to lay the same if the Local Board would pay half the expense.

The Encroachment at the West Marina not having been removed, Mr. How was to be informed that unless he set his wall back, the Commissioners would remove it.

A Stone Kerb was ordered to be put down on the north side of North Lodge to join the kerb belonging to the Local Board.

The June Meeting was attended by Commisioners Parish, A. Burton, Leslie, Ogle, How and Gausden.

Bills to be Paid:- Shand and Mason, £39 3s. 6d. for hose; half-paving West Hill, £72 17s; Mr. Kenwood £75, for paving West-hill terrace.

Fire-Engine Tackle to be kept an inventory of by Mr. Glenister, the same to be distinguished by a mark.

Rawlinson's Report on the drainage of both towns received and consideration of Town Council's questions postponed as to whether the Commissioners would meet them for putting down a main sewer sufficiently large and deep to take sewage west of the Infirmary?

Ventilating Shafts in Commissioners drains to be placed near the North Lodge, near the police station and near Mr. Cameron's.

Town Council's Reply. The Local Board would pay for half the paving at the police-station, but not anything towards the new groin(sic) at the Archway.

Obstructions:- Mr. Putland to be again ordered to remove obstructions from the pathway leading from West Marina to 39 Tower.

Mr. Joseph Yarroll to be paid £10 3s. Commission, £3 15s. a quarter's rent, and 5s. salary.

More Ventilating Shafts (20 in number and charcoaled) to be put in the Commisssioner's drains.

Not Acceded to (in consequence of agreement with Hughes and Hunter and others, on the 10th of March, 1858), was Mr. Kenwood's suggestion to raise the pavement in front of the houses on the Marina which he was completing.

Drainage Again. The Clerk (Mr. Young) was instructed to write to the [ 68 ]Town Clerk (Mr. Growse), suggesting that a practical engineer be employed to advise on the best system of drainage for the whole borough and outskirts, each town paying its proportion of the expense.

Medical Officer of Health. A letter was received from the Local Board of Health, enquiring whether the Commissioners would join in the appointment of Medical Officer. This was referred to Committee.

Watering the Road. Another letter was received from the Local Board, enquiring if the Commissioners would water the road west of the Fountain to the Railway Station at 1s. a day. This was consented to.

The Autumn Quarterly Meeting. At this meeting, on the 28th of September, there were present A. Burton, C. R. Harford, J. T. Leslie, G. H. Wagner, C. T. How and C. H. Gausden.

The Eastern Groyne. Mr. Major Vidler having reported on this, it was agreed that a specification and estimate be prepared by him.

A Protest having been received from the tradesmen of the South Colonnade against raising the pavement, it was resolved to widen the pavement to the extent of the stuccoed piers, the original proposal being abandoned.

Road Designation. - It was ordered that "Caves Road" be painted up on the Fountain Inn, on the west, and the Marina Inn, on the east.

Bills to be Paid - Hughes, £62 7s. 6d., for the extension of the sea wall; and Fearon and Clabbon £7 14s. 8d. for vendor's costs on purchase of ground behind 65 to 71 Marina, for path to the West Hill.

Groynes to be Repaired at 89 Marina, 28 Marina, the Victoria Library, and the Archway.

Sandstone Wall, east and west of the Library, to be replaced with hard stone.

Surveyor's Salary to be increased to £80 a year, the agreement to be a requirement of 3 months notice on either side, and the Surveyor to take a survey of the town at least once a week.

Widening the Pavement at the Colonnade having cost £15, Mr. Burton's offer to pay half the amount was accepted.

Hoarding at a Fire. - Mr. Glenister's charge of £9, after deducting returned materials, for putting up a hoarding at the Marina fire, was allowed.

Raising of Pavements. - The pavements at 22 to 30 Marina, and on the south side of the Victoria Hotel to be taken up, raised and relaid; and 22 Marina be asked to pay £15, half the cost of paving round that house.

Rating Matters. - Jackson's application for remission of rates for 136 Marina not acceded to; but Drury, at Undercliff terrace to be excused on account of illness and distress.

Accepted Tenders from Mr. Kenwood, £29 for rebuilding wall, east [ 69 ]and west of Victoria Hotel; £35 for paving round east end of 22 Marina; £35 for relaying 22 to 36 Marina; and £19 for relaying pavement at the Victoria Hotel.

Accepted Tender for Groyne £183 15s. from Winter & Son; the rejected tenders being £220 from George Thwaites, and £189 from R. Selden.

Medical Officer not yet decided on, but in the event of the same gentleman acting for both towns, the Commissioners would prefer separate appointments.

At the Winter Quarters Meeting there were present Commissioners Hunt, How, Leslie, A. Burton and Gausden.

Rev. J. A. Hatchard having applied for a copy of Rawlinson's report, was informed that the said report was sent down to the Town Clerk of Hastings and not to the Commissioners.

Orders given that the road back of 44 Marina, eastward to be repaired; that the groyne at 90 Marina be attended too(sic); and that the two benches be placed against the Library walls.

Local Government Acts. The Clerk explained the provisions of the Local Governments Acts of 1858 and 1861 - more particularly clause 15 of the former and clause 2 of the latter. It was resolved that no proceedings be taken thereon at present.

York Pavement ordered to be put down in front of Woodgate's new shop at Mercatoria by his paying half the cost. The same to be put down in front of the nine new houses at the west end of the Marina, half the charge to be borne by the builders.

State of the Roads. - A complaint of the bad state of Caves road was received from Mr. Hughes. Mr Cameron, of Clyde Villas, also complained, by letter, of the condition of the West-hill road. This latter road, the Commisioners thought was sufficiently formed to be paved.

More Light. - Resolved that three additional lamps be placed in Quarry Road and Maze-hill road; and that the lamp north of North Lodge be wholly paid for by the Commissioners, instead of half by Mrs. Wood.

Two Iron Seats having been gratuitously placed by Mrs. Wood in the path leading from the church to the West Hill, resolved that a vote of thanks be passed to that lady.

The West Hill Road[edit]

The foregoing references to the West-hill road serve as a reminder that at a meeting which was held on the 22nd of November, 1858, it was resolved "that it would be advantageous to St. Leonards and conducive to the public at large if the present road over the West hill were continued to the Railway Station; thus affording an opportunity hereafter of having a branch road into the [ 70 ]the(sic) country; and that it would be very desirable to commence the work with as little delay as possible, so as to give employment to labourers during the ensuing winter."
For that purpose the following is a list of signatures and donations:-

£ s. d.
C. G. Eversfield -- 100 0 0 Misses Mackay -- 3 0 0
Alfred Burton -- 50 0 0 Rev. J. Alton Hatchard -- 3 3 0
Decimus Burton -- 50 0 0 C. H. Southall -- 2 2 0
Arthur Burton -- 30 0 0 J. Starkey -- 5 5 0
Hughes & Hunter -- 30 0 0 Mr. Philpot -- 1 1 0
G. H. M. Wagner -- 5 0 0 C. T. How -- 2 2 0
John Carey -- 5 0 0 J. Woodgate -- 2 2 0
Stephen Putland -- 10 0 0 South-Eastern Railway Co. 20 0 0
R. Cooper Gardiner -- 5 0 0 J. Peerless -- 1 1 0
Thomas Hunt -- 5 0 0 Capt. Hull -- 1 0 0
C. H. Gausden -- 5 0 0 S. B. Maggs -- 1 1 0
Wm. Payne (Bopeep) -- 5 0 0 Sam'l Chester, jun. -- 2 2 0
Rev. W. Tilson-Marsh -- 3 3 0 Major Ogle 1 0 0
Lady St. John -- 5 0 0

Vestry Meetings (St. Leonards)[edit]

Constables were appointed at the meeting on Feb. 20th, as follows:- Messrs. Hammond, Cloake, Crittenden, Lamb and Standen.

The Overseers nominated at the meeting on March 27th were Messrs. J. Peerless, W. Payne, C. H. Gausden, and E. Farncomb.

Assessors - R. Eldridge and R. Lamb.

A poor-rate at nine pence in the pound was agreed to.

An additional Guardian was applied for through the Board of Guardians.

The Assistant Overseer was to be paid in future a per centage on sums collected on poor and highway rates, in lieu of a fixed salary, such per. centage to be 5½d in the pound.

Elijah Marsh was elected Assistant Overseer.

Length of Roads repaired by the parish was 3 miles, 7 furlongs and 35 rods of highway and turnpike.

Average Cost per mile for the last five years had been £25 15s. 6d.

Average Highway Rate for the same period had been 2¾d. in the £.

A Poor-rate at 9d. was the only business transacted at a meeting on Oct. 16th.

A Highway Rate at 4d. was agreed to at a meeting on Oct 22nd.

Two Lamps were also voted to be erected - one at the cross roads near St Matthews Church, and the other at the cross roads near Silverlands House. [ 71 ]

Vestry Meetings (St Mary Magdalen)[edit]

Overseers named for selection at a meeting on March 20th, were Mr. G. Church, Chas. Cope, Lowie Dearing, B. Bickle and H. R. Putland.

A Poor-Rate at 9d. was agreed upon.

For Vestry Clerk George Meadows and William Savery were proposed, and the show of hands being in favour of the latter, a poll was demanded for the former. The poll took place on the 27th, and resulted in 448 votes being recorded for Savery, and 405 for Meadows, thus giving a majority of 43 for Savery.

A Poor Rate at 6d. was passed at the meeting held at the Norman Hotel on the 27th of August. Five persons only were present.

Accidents and Fatalities[edit]

Crinoline Accidents at this time were so numerous all over the country, and so persistent were females in wearing the cumbrous crinoline, that it appeared as useless as it was trite to protest against that absurd fashion. The St Leonards Gazette, noticed these accidents that had occurred lately in the immediate neighbourhood, fortunately more vexatious than alarming. The first was that in which a gentleman gave great offence by unavoidably treading on a lady's skirt of unwieldy dimensions, and thereby causing a rent of unsightly appearance, to the no small amusement of bystanders and discomfort of the lady. The next occurrence was the upsetting and dispersion of some baskets of fruit at White-rock place, a lady's hoops having caught hold of the said baskets and tumbled their contents into the road. Whether rejoiced or ashamed was not observed, but it was certain that the lady and her servant or companion hurried on and left the tradesman and his wife to sigh over and pick up their damaged fruit. A third occurrence was one in which a gentleman had been twice thrown to the ground in his endeavour to pass a girl, whose dress was ridiculously hooped.

A Fractured Leg, and other injuries were the result of an accident which befell a workman on the 23rd of January, while excavating the earth near the new buildings in Warrior square.

A Sad Fatality in the hunting field occurred on the 24th of February, near St. Leonards, which caused a painful sensation. The meet was at Crowhurst, and among those who engaged in the sport was a middle-aged gentleman of the name of Arthur Edgecomb Tuke, a commissioned officer of the 21st Regiment, lately serving in India, but recently gazetted to the Lancashire Militia. Capt. Tuke was a friend of Mr. Claude Norris and Mr. Richards, of St. Leonards, and was on a visit at the residence of the latter. A fox having been found, Capt. Tuke, with others followed the hounds in pursuit, and in so doing had to cross and re-cross the Filsham stream, but on one of these occasions he unfortunately leaped the "leap of death." The accident having occurred in a valley between Grove farm and Filsham farm, and death ensuing in a few minutes after, the [ 72 ]body of the deceased gentleman was conveyed to Mr. Farncomb's house at Filsham, and an inquest held thereon the same evening. It was reported that somewhere in the neighbourhood of Pebsham, another horse belonging to the party had a fall, and that although the rider escaped serious injury, the animal's death resulted from having broken its back. It must therefore have been an unfortunate day for the patrons of the hunt. It was said that the deceased captain was unmarried, and that his nearest relative was an aged mother.

A Wonderful Escape of Death, was witnessed on the 4th of May, when a child belonging to Mr. Kenwood, builder, of St. Leonards, and aged about 7 years, was the subject of an accident which at first was thought would have had a fatal termination. The little fellow was riding on a timber truck, and in a mood of playfulness, he either got off, or fell off, in such a manner as to bring the upper part of his body in contact with the wheels of the truck, one of which passing completely over the child's head. The workman who had charge of the truck immediately picked up the child and carried him to his home, where medical aid was soon obtained, by which means the little fellow progressed favourably towards recovery.

Two Other Accidents occurred at St. Leonards on the same day, in both of which there were narrow escapes of severe personal injury. The first happened to Mr. Richard Starnes, who, whilst giving "a drink" to his cow, was so butted or pressed by the animal as to come off but a little short of a broken arm. The second mishap was to a workman named Wood, who narrowly escaped a fractured leg by the rolling or sliding of a large block of stone which was being quarried. In both cases, the injuries, though not serious were painful and inconvenient.

An Incident - 'twere a misnomer to call it an accident where a determined act of mutilation was already manifest, occurred to a man residing in London Road, which must have been as disagreeable as it was ludicrous. The man in question retired to rest as usual, and as he afterwards lay secure, as one might suppose in the oblivious embrace of Morpheus, he became indistinctly conscious of some abnormal weight upon his chest. It could not be the nightmare, that he was convinced of from his former experiences; neither was the mere phantom of a dream. In another instant his nasal protruberance was deprived of its legitimate functions by a convulsive grip as of some demon bent on destruction. The now awakened and affrighted sleeper would know the worst; and lifting his hands to his face, he discovered - oh horror of horrors! - a huge rat tenaciously clinging to his nose. With a violent effort he removed the intruder, and afterwards put it to death, but not till it had lacerated his hand as well as his nose.

Reubin Taylor, a flyman of St. Leonards, fell from his carriage on the 27th of May, and so much injured his back as to necessitate his being con[ 73 ]veyed to the Infirmary.

Another Lucky Escape. At nearly the same date, a horse and cart, with a load of bricks, from the restive action of the former, fell down an embankment of the railway at Bopeep (above the tunnel), and were only saved from imminent destruction by the strength of the tunnel parapet and the tact of the driver.

Curious Results. On the afternoon of Nov. 19th, the neighbourhood of Warrior square was thrown into a state of consternation and alarm in consequence of a horse galloping off without control and committing very considerable damage. A basket carriage had been ordered to St. John's terrace to take a female to the railway station, and before the driver had regained his seat after assisting the person into the vehicle, the horse galloped off at a desparate pace down the Magdalen road. Seeing her danger, the lady jumped down from the carriage, and in her affrightened state received a good shaking and a few scratches. The driver, too received hurts by the wheels passing over his legs. On reaching the bottom of the hill where there is a sharp turn towards a further descent to Warrior square, the horse and carriage dashed violently against the front of No. 3 St. Margaret's place, tearing away the iron rails and severing the carriage from the wheels. Continuing its course the animal came in contact with a horse and cart belonging to Mr. Catt, milkman of Bohemia. The cart was turned completely over at the corner of Warrior square and damaged to some extent, while its contents - 8 gallons of milk and the tin vessels were scattered about the road. The truant horse after performing a somersault speeded onwards in a terrific manner with the wheels at his heels as far as the Norman hotel, where a cart and pony belonging to a marine-store dealer were run into and damage inflicted. Not liking the intrusion, the lesser animal also "bolted", and the curious spectacle of two run-a-way horses in opposite directions was then witnessed. After this last collision, the original deserter pursued his erratic course along the paved footpath by the shops of Messrs. Funnel, Tinley, Cope and others, clearing the shop-fronts and lamp-posts in a miraculous manner and terminating his flight near the Warrior's Gate Inn.
(The Hastings accidents are recorded in the next chapter).

Balls. Etc.[edit]

The Bachelors Ball took place on Jan. 11th, on which occasion the elegant Assembly room was additionally and very prettily decorated. The Committe of management consisted of Dudley North, Esq., J. C. Norris, Esq., J. Coventry, Esq., and H. Brassey, Esq. The company consisted of nearly 160, and the band was supplied by Messrs. Coote and Tinney, of London.

The Christmas Ball came of with customary eclat at the St. Leon[ 74 ]ards Assembly Rooms on the 26th of December. Among the stewards were F. North, Esq. M.P., T. Brassey, Jun., Esq., A. Burton, Esq. and ten other gentlemen. The company was very numerous as usual and an excellent band was supplied by Mr. Dawes, of Magdalen road.

The Borough Assessment[edit]

The Assessment Returns which apply to both towns and their outbound shews a considerable increase in value on that of the previous year as seen in the following figures:-

Parish Value Increase
St. Mary Magdalen Parish £39,791 £27.86
St. Mary-in-the-Castle 23,061 248
Holy Trinity 18,194 3179
St. Clements 14,376 481
St. Leonard 13,082 2021
All Saints 7,414 304
St. Michael 1,778 230
St. Andrew 567 32
Ore (Borough part) 144 23
Bexhill 1,591
Bulverhithe 318
St. Leonards, Winchelsea 115

It is thus seen that in a single year, the increased assessment in St. Leonards was nearly double the amount of five other parishes put together; that the assessment of St. Mary Magdalen was more than the said five parishes combined; and that the increased assessment of Holy Trinity thrice the increase of the five minor parishes added together.

The Archery Meetings[edit]

One of the best opening meetings of the Queen's St. Leonards Archers was held on the Society's grounds on Saturday the 23rd of May instead of on the Queen's birthday anniversary, which fell on Sunday. The ground was in good condition, the walks and bowers were in their neatest trim, Phebus and Flora were in their gayest mood, the toxophilites[Notes 2] were jealously watchful of their individual skills, the onlookers formed a brilliant phalanx, and the air reverberated the harmonious strains of Klee and Fletcher's united band. The winners were Mr. Norris, Miss Julia Brown, Miss Wornald, Mr. Gipps and Mrs. Smythe. The post of honorary secretary and treasurer, held for many years by Mr. A. Burton, was taken over by Mr. Walker, and the prizes were distributed by the President, Mr. P. F. Robertson.

At the great United Kingdom meeting held at Oxford, where 60 societies were represented, prizes were obtained by members of the St. Leonards society as follows:- Ms. C. H. Everett, £15; Miss C. A. Knapp, £2 10s.; Mr. Smythe, £1 10s.;Mr Burnard, £6; Mr. Bolton, £5; Mr. Norris, £5; Col. Smyth, £5; and Mr. Gipps, £3 10s.
[ 75 ]
Another prize meeting of the St. Leonards archers, on Saturday the 25th of July, took place in showery weather. Nothing daunted, however the shooter's dispatch their aerial messengers with the vigour of enthusiasts. The band of the Cinque Ports Artillery contributed to the enjoyment, and thus counteracted in some degree the somewhat depressing influence of the weather. The winners of prizes were Miss Herschel, Mr. J. Walker, Miss A. Macgregor, and Mrs Raymond.

A Week's Shooting - During the week which terminated on August 22nd, there was a succession of gala days of more than ordinary interest. Commencing on Saturday the 15th with what was called a general meeting, it was less special in character than the meetings which followed. The attendance was somewhat sparse, the sun's heat was tempered with lively breezes and the strains of the Artillery Band imparted additional vivacity to the scene. Prizes were won by Mr. Norris, Mr. Butt, Miss Julia Brown, and Miss F. Sheen. Monday was selected for what was termed the "Annual Grand Meeting", in honour of the birthday of the late Duchess of Kent. Upwards of 300 persons were present at this meeting, and but for other attractions and the partially unfavourable weather, that number would have been probably considerably increased. There were about 40 competitors, all of whom, as a matter course did their best to secure one or more of the handsome prizes. The efforts of the following ladies and gentlemen were attended with success:- Miss Julia Brown, Mrs. Thompson, Miss Amelia Herschell, Miss. F. Sheen, Misses E. & A. Rooke, Mr. Claude Novis, Mr. Burrand, Mr. G. Gipps, and Capt. Dawes. On Tuesday, some valuable prizes presented by the Misses Jane and Julia Brown were competed for. The winners were Miss Grace Mackay, Mrs. Smyth and Mrs. Joshua Walker. On Thursday a fourth gathering - postponed from the preceding day, on account of rainy weather - took place, and constituted was(sic) was technically called a "bye-meeting". The prizes on this occasion were very valuable and purchased with a fund to which A. R. Harford, Esq., Col. Smyh, A. G. Norris, Esq., Col. Shakespear, V. B. Crake, Esq.,F. Brandram, Esq., and Joshua Walker, Esq. were the sole contributors. There were 32 competitors, and at the close of the shooting, the President distributed the prizes to Miss Knapp, Mrs. Col. Smythe, Miss Jane Brown, Mr. Bull, and Miss F. Sheen. For Friday another bye-meeting was arranged, when nearly 30 of the Queen's St. Leonards Archers twanged their bows right merrily in a sharp contest for prizes presented by George Gipps, Esq. The fortunate recipients were Mrs. Burrand, Mr. Norris, Miss E. Sheen, Miss Rooke, and Miss Skipwith. Saturday brought forth a third bye-meeting, attended by a large number of shooters and a still larger number of spectators. The prizes competed for were ostensibly the gift of the President, P. F. Robertson, Esq., consisting of six valuable brooches for ladies, added to which were prizes for gentlemen given by Col. Smyth and Claude Norris, Esq. The competition was carried on briskly during a pleasant afternoon until nearly [ 76 ] six o'clock, enlivened by the Artillery Band. The winners were Mrs. Smyth, Miss Knapp, Mrs Raymond, Miss Louisa Butts, Miss E. Sheen and Miss Wood, Col. Smyth, and Mr. Gipps. Monday, August 24th, brought to a conclusion a succession of eight meetings, when 23 ladies and gentlemen contended for some elegant prizes presented by Mr. Knapp, Esq. These prizes were awarded to Mr. Burrand, Miss Julia Brown, Miss Wood, Mrs Smyth, Miss Julia Bonham, Miss Louisa Butt, Mr. G. Gipps, Col. Smythe & Mr. Butts.

A General Meeting, and the last of the season was held in the sheltered grounds at Quarry Hill on Saturday, Sept. 19th. The afternoon was of a generally boisterous nature, and the company was not very numerous. The successful shooters were Miss Mackay, Mr. Drosier, Mr. R. Butt, Miss Julia Brown, and Miss Bonns.

The Artillery Band[edit]

The performances of the Volunteer Artillery Band were so much appreciated at the Archery Meetings and other places that they were engaged for the season by the St. Leonards Band Committee. Mr. Yarrell was appointed to collect subscriptions, and the members of the German band formerly employed were warned that they had no authority to collect subscriptions under the plea that "there is no St. Leonards Band."

Bonfire Boys[edit]

These, to the number of 85, turned out on the 5th of November to celebrate the anniversary of Gunpowder Plot. Their "guy" on this occasion was a huge Russian Bear, rampant, and drawn upon wheels. The coat of Bruin was shaggy as could be, and his claws appeared formidable in the extreme, whilst the face of the colossal brute was of human shape, but of huge and impulsive lineaments. In front of the animal was a pictorial banner, representing a similar animal dragged from his lair by a British soldier, and urged forward by (illegible text) Francais at the point of the bayonet. There were also other banners, with and without motives, and there was literally a "grand procession". The heralds, the chiefs and general retinue were dressed in almost every conceivable variety of costumes, but in which the military predominated. A band headed the procession; and, what with music, gay dresses, banners, torches, coloured fires, and a monster effigy, the carnival formed a tout ensemble of great attraction. The whole of St. Leonards, and a portion of Hastings, were perambulated in an orderly way, after which the great bear was burnt in a merciless manner in front of Grand parade, and in the presence of a host of witnesses.

The Cadet Corps.[edit]

The youthful corps, under this appellation, recently formed in St. Leonards by the Rev. W. W. Hume, Mr Descon and one or two other persons, was [ 77 ]favourably noticed at Dover, on the 12th of January. The meeting for drill and other purposes of the Cadets, were usually successful and were always looked forward to with much enthusiasm by the boys themselves.

Concerts and Musical Entertainments[edit]

People's Concerts. Under this title, the fifth of a series of entertainments came off on the 10th of January at the St. Leonards Temperance Hall with a success equal to those which had preseded it. The instrumental band consisted of 1st & 2nd violins, violoncello, flute, guitar and piano. The vocal pieces were contributed by Messrs. H. Phillips, Morfee, Tinley, Sinden, Tichbon, Cook, and a few lads.

The sixth Concert took place on Saturday evening, Jan 17th, the executants in the instrumental part being Mr. C. Fuggle and his pupils whilst the vocalization was supplied by Messrs. H. Phillips, jun., D. Parks and A. Fuggle. This concert was repeated by request on Tuesday, Jan 27th. This cheap series of concerts for the working classes continued to be vigorously carried on at the St. Leonards Temperance Hall each Saturday night with undiminished success.

The Eleventh of the series, on Feb. 21st, commanded, as usual, a "full house". The orchestra was occupied by eleven performances, and the program was of a varied and pleasing character. The instrumentalists were Messrs. Church (piano), Farnell (flute and piano), Cope (violin), Brett (flute and guitar) and Wise (violoncello). The vocalists sentimental and comic were Messrs. Parks, Bossom, Whiting, Janby, and B. Wood.

Concert No Twelve was given in the St. Leonards Temperance Hall on Saturday evening, Feb. 28th, and was even more largely patronised than the previous similar entertainment. The performance was of a diversified character and much appreciated by the audience. As this is but a simple record of events, in which details are excluded, the names of the executants only (as in other cases) are enumerated. In this instance they were Mr. Wise and his pupils, Mr. and Mrs Butler, Mr. Bailey, Mr. B. Wood and Miss and Master Harman.

The Saturday Concerts continued to be attractive, and the Hall was again crowded on the 21st of March, when among the other performances, Herr Haseneir, the celebrated clarionet player delighted the audiences with his excellent rendering of two difficult solos.

For Seventeen Weeks it was the pleasing task of "Brett's Gazette" to chronicle the Saturday evening Concerts at the St. Leonards Temperance Hall, during which time no single instance had occurred in which the descriptive term "successful" was not applicable. The audience had uniformly increased until the Hall, even with its two principal rooms opened into one was insufficiently capacious.

A Farewell Concert through the instrumentality of Mr. Dorman, a large and fashionable company were afforded the opportunity on the 25th of August of once [ 78 ]more hearing the renowned Thalberg ere he retired from his professional career. The recital took place at the St. Leonards Assembly Rooms and was listened to by about 200 persons. The twelve or more pieces performed by this great artist were real gains, and in the hands of such an extraordinary executant were calculated to afford his audience a rich treat. Every piece appeared to give increased pleasure until the last, when the audience became quite extatic(sic) and broke out in repeated rounds of applaus(sic) which left no doubt of the pleasure in which they had participated.

The Tripolese Minstrels gave a concert at the St. Leonards Temperance Hall on the 22nd of October in aid of the funds of the institution and as a commencement of its winter series of concerts. The program was divided into three parts, the second of which was sustained by the Rifle Band, and by Mr. David Parks and Master Harman as vocalists, with Mr. Funnell as accompanyist. The first and third parts were taken entirely by the Minstrels (Herr Praeger and family), and it is but bare justice to say that they all acquitted themselves to the admiration of a large and respectable company.

The People's Concerts so successfully carried on during the previous winter and spring, were resumed on Saturday evening, Nov. 7th, when the following professional and amateur vocalists and instrumentalists gave their services:- Messrs. Funnell, Wise, J. Elphick, D. Parks, C. Cope, jun., J. Skinner, Walder, and Mrs. Butler.

Sacred Concert.. An excellent concert was given in the St. Mary Magdalen schoolroom on the 20th of November, consisting of selections from "St. Paul", "Eli", "Samson", "Solomon" and "Elijah". The audience numbered 300 or more persons, whose status may be judged of by the fact that there were fifty carriages waiting to company to their homes. The object of the concert in a pecuniary sense was to assist in clearing off a debt connected with the school. Madam Sainton-Folby kindly gave her services, and about £40 were realised. See also page 79.

The Cottage Building Society[edit]

This association which was originated at St. Leonards, met at the Town Hall, Hastings on the 16th of April, for the shareholders' first "draw". Mr. Sharp, one of the directors, took the chair, and Mr. Burg, the secretary, briefly stated that after five months' existence, the success of the Company was assured. Mr. W. Savery, solicitor to the Company was also present. The successful drawers were Messrs Sharp, Hargrave, Hy. Winter (stonemason) and Champion. Although the meetign was interrupted by an alarm of fire, it was well conducted and passed off satisfactorily.

The annual meeting was held on the 5th of October when notwithstanding the stormy condition of the weather, upwards of 30 members attended. The chair [ 79 ] was occupied by Mr. S. P. Miller, one of the directors, who opened the meeting with a narration of the origin and progress of the company, remarking that founding of it was due to the acknowledged want of cottage accommodation, and not as mere commercial speculation. Mr. Burg read the report, which showed that 162 shares had been issued, and that after paying all legal and other necessary expenses of formation, there remained a balance at the bankers of £170 7s. 9d. This was independent of £1280 due on shares. Mr. Kenwood was elected as a director, as were also Messrs. Miller, Bex, Dawes, Sargent, Sharpe, (illegible text), Tree, Hargrave, Orton and Champion. Messrs. Brett and Banks were re-elected auditors, Mr. G. Scrivens, treasurer, and Messrs. Beeching & co. bankers. It was resolved that the directors be paid one guinea per year, and be fined 1s. for each non-attendance.

Concerts (continued from page 78)[edit]

A Sacred Concert took place in the Temperance Hall on the 2nd of Dec. at which a choice selection of music from Eli, St. Paul, the Last Judgement, &c. was creditably executed by some fourteen or fifteen members of the church and chapel choirs, to the gratification of numerous listeners.

A Secular Concert was given at the same place on Saturday Dec. 5th by the Siddons family. These executants gave the utmost satisfaction to a large audience. The excellent singing of Mrs. Siddon, and Miss Villiers elicited hearty encores.

The Band of the 2nd Sussex Volunteers, under Mr. S. Hermitage, gave the concert in the Temperance Hall on Dec. 12th. They were assisted by Mr. H. Porter as a vocalist and Mr. C. Porter as a pianist. Mr. Elphick contributed a well-executed clarionet solo, and Mr. Hermitage played several cornet solos.

The Siddons Family appeared again on Saturday evening, Dec. 19th. This talented musical family were assisted by Miss Villiers, and the enjoyment evinced by a large audience indicated the vigorous judgement which continued to be displayed by the conductors of those amusements. The Siddons Family also engaged to assist at a concert on the 26th, which was intended to be more of a social character, after which, other attractions were immediately to follow.

Church and Chapel News[edit]

St. Matthews church, which had been undergoing an enlargement was again opened for service in the first week of July.

The St. Leonards Wesleyan Chapel, which had also been enlarged and improved, had its re-opening celebrated on Friday, Sunday and Monday, Sept. 18th, 20th and 21st, with special services. About 150 persons partook of tea on Monday afternoon in the schoolroom, and in the evening of the same day, the chapel was filled with members and friends anxious to hear the financial and other statements expected to be made. The chair was taken by Mr. W. Pocock, [ 80 ]a London architect, who in addition to the free gift of the plan of alteration, presented £50 towards the object. The treasurer, Mr. J. O. Davis presented a balance sheet, in which the cost of the alterations was shown to be £696 5s. 8d., and against which were the following contributions:- Mr Pocock 50l.; Mr Putland & family: 30;.; Mr. Reid, of Tunbridge Wells, 20l.; Sir W. Atherton 5l.; and numerous collected sums making up a total of 337l. 8s. 6d. To this was added 33l. 6s. 3d. contributed after the services, and 9l. 4s. 10d. the proceeds of the tea meeting. The Converenfe Chapel-fund Committee had promised to 100l. to be repaid in ten years, and also a grant of 50l. providing the remaining debt be cleared off within a year; thus leaving nearly 168l. to be raised.

The new Organist at St. Leonards Church, commencing his duties on the 25th of March, was Mr. Dawes, whose musical abilities, as exhibited on many occasions, and especially at the late International Exhibition, well befitted him for the position.

Mr. F. Thomson was appointed organist at St. Leonards Church to succeed Mr. Dawes in the autumn, the latter gentleman having resigned for an appointment elsewhere.

Particular Deaths[edit]

R. Cooper Gardiner, Esq. died on Saturday morning, January 17th. This much respected surgeon, whose indefatigable exertions on behalf of his numerous patients, brought on an illness which proved fatal, to the regret of all who knew him.

The gloom that pervaded the public mind in consequence of the rather sudden deaths of several respected inhabitants was in no wise abated on Saturday the 24th of January, when it became known that the remains of Mr. Cooper Gardiner, and those of Mrs Starkey were to be conveyed to their final resting place - the former at Fairlight and the latter at Hollington. The shops were wholly or partly closed during a portion of the day, and a general feeling of sorrow was expressed by all classes. At a somewhat early hour of the forenoon many of the inhabitants congregated about the approaches to the Victoria hotel to witness the departure of the funeral cortege, which was to convey all that was mortal of the above named respected lady to the chosen place of sepulture. The procession consisted of a hearse, four mourning coaches, each drawn by a pair of horses, and the private carriages of the family. In these were seated the family and friends of the deceased. Some difficulty was experianced in getting to the place of interment in consequence of heavy rains having made the roads leading thereto almost impassable. At length, after sundry delays caused by the disconnecting of a wheel and the breaking of traces, the party arrived at Hollington church, where the last earthly rites were performed and the corpse consigned to a vault prepared in that secluded burial place. At a later [ 81 ]hour of the day - namely, one o'clock, a more imposing spectacle was presented in the array of sable vehicles and private carriages drawn up in front of the Marina to attend the funeral of Mr. Gardiner, lately residing there. The concourse of persons was unusually large, and many wore the expression of regret at the removal by death of a gentleman in the prime of life and actively moving in a sphere of usefulness. The funeral procession in this case, consisted of a hearse drawn by four horses, four mourning coaches, each drawn by two horses, the carriage of the deceased, and ten other carriages belonging to the following residents:- Rev. G. D. Quintin, W. D. Lucas-Shadwell, Esq., - Jacomb, Esq., Mrs. Stent, - Brandram, Esq., J. Walker, Esq., Mrs. England, Dr. Blakiston, the Misses Gilliat and the Misses Wheatley. Shortly after the appointed time, the hearse was drawn up to the door and became the receptacle of the deceased gentleman's remains, encased in an outer coffin of polished oak, enriched with gilt furniture. The following gentlemen took seats in the mourning coaches:- Capt. Gardiner (brother of deceased), Dr. Cumming (Brother of Mr. Gardiner), Rev. G. D. St. Quintin, Rev. J. A. Hatchard, Rev. A. Roe, Rev. Cooper, Rev. T. Read, Rev. J. S. Wilkins, R. J. Wilson, Esq., D. Blakiston, Esq., W. B. Young, Esq., Messrs J. Peerless, J. O. Davis, H. Thomas, S. B. Maggs and Edwards. The last four gentlemen officiated at the church as pall-bearers. The long and mournful procession wended its way at a slow pace through St. Leonards and Hastings to the church at Fairlight, where the burial service was impressively read by the Reb. H. Stent, and where the body was finally deposited in a secluded spot of the deceased gentleman's own selection. The grave was of considerable depth (illegible text) with brick, on the east side of the burial ground in a line with the tombs of Earl Waldegrave, Lieut. Menzies, the Rev. Lucius Coglan and the daughter of the late Sir France Burdett. The occasion was sought to be improved on the following Sunday, in the St. Leonards Church by the Rev. R. Roe (who was intimately acquanted with Mr. Gardiner), taking for his text the 25 and 26 verses of the 11th chapter of John. A resume of the sermon appeared in Brett's Gazette of Jan 31st, 1863. An address of condolence to Mrs. Cooper Gardiner, lying at Mr. Dorman's Library, received the signatures of 150 residents and visitors. The committee of the Infirmary also passed a resolution expressive of their deep regret for the lamented death of Mr. Cooper Gardiner, their grateful sense of his valuable services as assistant surgeon, and their heartfelt condolence to his widow in her painful bereavement See page 90a.

In concluding this condensed report of the funeral obsequences, it ought not be out of place to remove from the public mind an erroneous impression which a few deaths had given currency to. It was thought and said by many persons that an extraordinary amount of local sickness and an equally extraordinary number of deaths was daily occurring. It [ 82 ]might be conceded that there had been rather more than the average amount of sickness, but it had been very much below what appeared to have been generally believed, and also much below that which had been experienced in other towns. This was proved by actual facts derived from trustworthy sources. Even in the cases of death, it could have been seen from the weekly obituary of Brett's Gazette, (which always recorded more deaths than any other local journal) that with few exceptions, the ages of those who died were greatly beyond the average duration of life.

Drapers' Recreation[edit]

With the object of giving their assistants an opportunity of a few hours release from the travails of business [in] the summer months, the drapers of St. Leonards signed an agreement as follows:-

"We, the undersigned do agree to suspend business punctually at 5 o'clock every Wednesday afternoon during the months of June, July and August, and to provide an evening's recreation for the assistants of the various firms."


"Bickle and Stoneman, Bowerman and Porter, F. G. Andrews, Edwin Baldwin and John Philpot."

It is almost needless to say that the movement thus set on foot has continued in practice pretty much ever since, and has extended to other trades[Notes 3].

The Cripples' Home[edit]

A "Fancy Fair" was held on the 13th and 14th of August in the grounds of the Misses Mackay, of 6 Upland Views, the articles offered for sale being chiefly such as were manufactured by the children of the excellent institution known as "The Cripples Home". A band of music was engaged on each of the days to enliven the proceedings and refreshments were supplied by Mr. Vidler of the South Colonnade.

The Horticultural Society[edit]

The report presented at a meeting of this society by the secretary, Mr. W. Savery on the 20th of May stated that a dum of £20 unfavourable balance last year had been cleared off and a small balance remained in hand. A vigorous and successful effort had been made to discharge that liability, and the committee hoped that the stimulus thus given would urge them to produce even greater attractions at the next exhibition than any that had been before provided. Thanks were due to Mr. Moreing for kindly placing the Warrior-square Gardens so liberally at the committee's use.

The Autumn Show. Another postponement, another disappointment, and another serious cause for anxiety to the Committee was the result of a day's unpropitious weather on the 9th of September. Wind, rain and mist rendered abortive all attempts to hold the show on the appointed day. The [ 83 ]next day was more favourable and the show came off with more success than had been expected. The Warrior-square gardens were kindly lent by Mr. Moreing, and a well contrived underground thoroughfare was constructed to connect the two enclosures. In each of the gardens was stationed an excellent band of music - one being a German company of operative instrumentalists, and the other a depot cavalry band from Canterbury. Of the exhibition itself, it might be truthfully said that its equal haad not been seen in Hastings or St. Leonards for a considerable number of years. The only regret was that when the rather heavy expenses were paid, there remained a loss of about £15. To assist in clearing off this balance, P. F. Robertson, Esq. contributed three guineas.

Harvest Homes[edit]

To those who delight in historical research and can fairly trace the development of social good in the successive phases of human life, it must be interesting to watch the progress of any particular custom with which they are familiar and which has distinctive features peculiar to their own country. There have been customs handed down to us through many generations which would, doubtless, be far more honoured in the breach than in the observance; yet, as a general rule, there are many traditions dear to English hearts because of the time honoured tendency to promote, on the one hand, good feeling and harmony between persons of similar status, and, on the other, the breaking down the otherwise impassable barriers between one class and another. Thus we find that every season of the year has its peculiar festivity - Spring its May specialities, Summer its excursion parties and pic-nics, Autumn its harvest homes, and Winter its Christmas hospitalities. What can be a truer index to the character of the "Fine old English gentleman" of the olden time than the fact that

"When Winter cold,
Brought Christmas old
The opened house is all"

- that he feasted his retainers in the baronial hall, and that the smoking joints which were so plentifully provided for the delectation of his tenants were "bedecked with bays and rosemarie?" These customs have grown with our growth, and strengthened with our strength until they seem to form part of our national character. Just now that we have to thank providence for a bountiful supply of the earth's fruits, we may well afford to take a glance at the efforts of some of our clergy and landed proprietors to impart to the festivals of an ingathered harvest a more moral and rational tone than was wont to be done in former days. The comparison certainly exhibits these efforts in a favourable light; for whereas the harvest homes of bygone times were too often associated with practical joking, indiscriminate 
[ 84 ]indulgence and boisterous revelry, they are now pretty generally celebrated with loyalty and temperance.

It was our privilige (remarks the St. Leonards Gazette) on Wednesday, Sept. 16th, to attend one of the latter description of harvest festivals at Netherfield; and we have no hesitation in saying that the event was one quite calculated to strengthen the opinion that as these things are now managed there is more to connect the ties of master and man - that there is more truly liberal feeling on the part of one and more obliging feeling on the part of the other than when harvest homes were conducted in a more boisterous fashion. The festival referred to was the second of its kind in that district, and which having been inaugurated by the Rev. R. R. Duke, formerly of St. Leonards, had the effect of attracting a goodly number of persons from our own locality. Among these were Mr. Mrs. and Miss Staines, the Rev. T. E. M. Richards, Miss Ruddach, the Misses Hume, Miss Coventry, Mrs Bones, Mrs Buckland, Mrs Redmayne, Miss Hancock, Mr. C. Hume, Rev. R. Margesson, Mrs Margesson and family, the Misses Falconer, Mr. Beagley, Mr. Tree, Mr. Stubberfield and others. There were also present from other districts the Dean of Battle (Rev - Crake) and Miss Crake, the Rev. B. Hayley, the Rev. J. B. and the Misses Hayley, Revs. J & A. B. Simpson, Rev. H. B. W. Churlow and family, &c. &c. The proceedings commenced with a thanksgiving service in the pretty new church of St. John the Baptist, which was filled with a devout congregation. The beautifully stained glass and other ornamentation of the interior were rendered additionally picturesque by cereal and floral devices, while the general demeanour of the assembly was of a sober earnestness. There was enough of cheerfulness to indicate the speciality of the meeting. The service was opened by the Rev. R. R. Duke, followed by the Dean of Battle and the Rev. J. B. Hayley. The first lesson was read by the Rev. R. R. Natham, vicar of Dallington, and the second by the Rev. Burrell Hayley, of Catsfield. The organ service was conducted partly by the Rev. T. E. M. Richards, of Hastings, and partly by Mr. C. Fuggle, of St. Leonards, while the Revs. J. and A. B. Simpson, of Bexhill and Little Common, respectively, with some ladies, rendered efficient assistance in the singing. A book, containing the hymns and prayers had be specially printed for the purpose, and a copy of the same was presented to each person on entering the church. The sermon was preached by the Venerable the Archdeacon of Lewes. At the conclusion of the service, there was an exchange of friendly greetings among many of the congregation ere they dispersed, while the children of the Netherfield school and the Battle Union proceeded to the Parsonage there to sing a hymn and to receive a large bun. Presto! and another friendly demonstration is witnessed at the school-house, where some thirty or forty labouring persons are being regaled with beef and pudding at [ 85 ]joint expense of the Rev. R. R. Duke and the employers of the locality - Messrs. Smith, Lane, Butchers and Sinden. A novelty in the form of a busel loaf, graced the table. The men bore evidence of having spent their half-holiday in a becoming manner, whilst the general delight to both givers and receivers was highly suggestive of that which has been already intimated - namely, the strengthening of the bonds between employers and employed, as one good result of these improved harvest festivals. With the progress of civilization and refinement, agriculture has advanced, and there is some evidence that it will continue to keep pace with the times. Our flower shows - the shorter name for horticultural exhibitions - and competitive ploughing matches have done much to raise the pursuit of tillage from a mere occupation to a science; and one, too, in which the owners of land are deeply interested, and to which they naturally give their support; whilst the mission of a free and cheap press has been to disseminate among agricultural, as commercial companies the seeds of knowledge and of light. The prejudices which once prevailed against machinery have been removed, and the riots which were instigated by an ignorant alarm, to the injury of farmers and labourers alike, have now, happily disappeared. The earth is more fruitful on the whole, than it ever was before under the old system, and, as a consequence, those who are employed to cultivate it have benefitted in proportion with those who own it. Naturally we have made great progress, and the bountiful harvest which has spread all over the land attests that God has been pleased to bless our efforts with a rich increase. It behoves us, then, in celebrating our harvest homes not to be unmindful of the great mercies which have been shewn us as a nation, while others - the Americans for example - are engaged in civil war or dissensions and to see that our festivals are marked with that temperance which befit the occasion.

Thanksgiving at St. Mary Magdalen. It having been announced that the church of St. Mary Magdalen would be opened on Wednesday, Sept. 23rd "for the purpose of offering humble thanks to Almighty God for the abundant harvest which he had vouchsafed to us" there assembled on that occasion, two full congregations - the first at the usual hour of morning service and the second at seven in the evening. The interior of the church was decorated with wheat, hops, fruits, flowers and other emblems of the season, and the said seasonable produce had the merit of being prettily, but not too profusely arranged. The Rev. J. Butter read the prayers, and the Rev. W. W. Hume preached an excellent sermon from the 1st of Corinthians XV 38. There was also an effective choral service, the organ being substituded by a rich toned harmonium placed in the western gallery. The evening service was specially designed for the working classes, [ 86 ]and, as before intimated, was well attended. The psalms read on that occasion were the 104th and 145th. The lessons were the 28th chapter of Deut., beginning at the 15th verse, and the 5th chapter of the first of Thessalonians. Appropriate hymns were sung. The sermon or lecture as it is the custom to designate the evening discourse was delivered by the Rev. W. W. Hume, from the 9th chapter of Isiah and part of the 3rd verse - "They joy before Thee according to the joy of the harvest." The whole of the reverend gentleman's discourse was of an earnest and practical, and calculated to impress the congregation with a sense of God's bountiful and merciful providence.

Christ Church, St. Leonards. On Tuesday, the 29th of September - the feast of St. Michael and All Angels - there was held a commemoration of the blessing vouchsafed to our land by Almighty God in the late abundant harvest. Large and reverent congregations were present both at the morning and evening services, the said services being chorally rendered. The church was beautifully decorated with appropriate texts and ornamental devices in corn, fruit, hops and flowers. The prayers of the morning service were intoned by the Revs. J. S. Bartlett and J. M. Gripps the proper psalms being sung to Battishill and Woodward, in D. A sermon was preached by the Rev. Henry Blagden from Matt. XIII, 39, followed by a celebration of the Holy Communion, partaken of by 88 persons. In the evening, prayers were intoned by the Rev. H. Blagden and the Rev. T. E. M. Richards (curate of Holy Trinity). The proper psalm was sung to Battishill with great precision. The evening sermon was preached by the Rev. J. S. Bartlett, from psalm XCi, 10 & 11.

Crowhurst Church. A special service was held in the neat little church of Crowhurst on Wednesday afternoon, Oct. 7th, as a thanksgiving for the late abundant harvest. The weather was somewhat unpropitious and the roads by which the church was approached were not in good condition, but the said edifice was, nevertheless, tolerably well filled with a devout congregation. The service was ably conducted by the Rev. H. Olivier, who selected a text for his sermon a portion of the 3rd verse of the 9th chapter - "They joy before thee according to the joy of the harvest." A portion of the service was specially printed for the occasion, a copy of which was presented to each worshipper.

St. Clement's Church. Harvest Thanksgivings were held in St. Clement's church on Thursday, Oct. 15th, when sermons were preached by the Revs. H. B. Foyster and W. B. Bennett. Collections were made on behalf of the parochial funds. A similar service was held at Ore on the following Sunday.

Apropos of the Harvest, a small field of corn, near the Bull inn at Bulverhithe was cut in the middle week of July. [ 87 ]

Coroner's Inquests[edit]

"Found Drowned" was the verdict given by a coroner's jury at the Terminus hotel, St. Leonards, on the 22nd of June. On the preceding day (Sunday) some excitement was caused by the rumour that a man named George Fox, had thrown himself into a river known as the Haven, at Bopeep and had been taken out dead. The depositions at the inquest were to the effect that the body was first discovered by a boy, who communicated it to a coast-guard, by whom the man was got out of the water, apparently dead. Surgeon Trottope was sent for, but the interval was much too long for any attempt at resuscitation to be made. Mrs. Fox, the wife said her husband was 61 years of age. He had a good home and had not received any provocation to do anything wrong; but he had given way to drink and had scarcely been sober for five weeks.

Death by Poison - On the 9th of July, the Borough Coroner (R. Growse, Esq.) and a respectable jury assembled at the British hotel, St. Leonards to investigate the cause of death of Mrs. Elizabeth Mary Davis, a resident at 5 West Ascent. Evidence was given by Mr. Charles Davis, of Wye, a nephew who had been visiting. Miss Maria Danigel, a German companion and Dr. Blakeston[Notes 4], of Warrior square. Mrs. Davis was 60 years of age, and had been in the habit of taking fluid magnesia for heartburn. On the eve of Whit-Sunday she went to her bed-room, on the mantel-shelf of which usually stood a bottle of magnesia and a bottle of Sir Wm. Burnett's disinfecting fluid, both bottles being of similar size and shape. The bottle of magnesia had been removed by Miss Davis for her own use, unknown to Mrs. Davis, and whilst the companion-maid of the latter was gone, as desired to shut the green-house door, Mrs. Davis poured out a glassful of the disinfecting fluid, by mistake and drank it. Dr. Blackinstone[Notes 4] was quickly in attendance and applied suitable remedies. The dangerous symptoms were for a time got rid of, but after some days they returned, and the unfortunate lady lingered on for six weeks, and then died. She had several times during her illness, stated to Dr. Blakistson[Notes 4] that she took the poison inadvertently. As many as five other similar cases of acccidental poisoning were mentioned by Dr. Blakiston[Notes 4] to have taken place within a few miles of the locality, and this fact induced the jury, while returning a verdict of "Accidental Death" to recommend a more conspicuous caution to be given by the manufacturers of the disinfectant, either by adopting a peculiar form of bottle or a more definite label.

Death from Injuries. An inquest was held at the Infirmary on the morning of Oct. 10th on the body of Cornelius Taylor of Bexhill, who was taken to the Infirmary on Sunday, and died on Tuesday. His death was caused by the shock given to his system through falling from a tree whereby he received a fractured thigh and other injuries.

Mysterious Death. Much excitement was created in St. Leonards on Tuesday, Dec. 1st, by the finding of the lifeless body of a respectably attired stranger at the water's edge, near 39 Martello tower. All sorts of conjectures were afloat [ 88 ]as to whom the unfortunate gentleman could be, from whence he had come, and what was the cause of death; whether his death was accidental or suicidal or even murderous. The curiosity of the public increased during the day as it became known that the efforts of the police to obtain identification of the body were ineffectual, and many persons were induced to associate the mysterious death with one of a similar character - that of a lady at Brighton. Two days later, however, the circulation of an official notice and other means adopted by the Superintendent of the Police had the effect of discovering the deceased to be a French merchant, named Emile Alcan, carrying on business in London, and the Borough Coroner then decided to hold an inquest. This took place at the Railway Terminus hotel at Bopeep. The enquiry continued for three hours, the depositions being to the following effect; John Dockings was going from 39 Tower westward at 20 minutes to 7 on Tuesday morning, when he saw a man lying on his face close to the water's edge, with his overcoat and under-coat both buttoned up and the water just leaving him, there being a rough wind at the time from the south-east. He rolled the body over, and found it to be cold and stiff. Mr. Munday, chief officer, was called to the beach by the first witness, where he found the body of deceased, with his clothes buttoned up, his gloves on and his hands by his side. No marks of blood were about his clothes, but blood was oozing from a small cut over the left eye. He took from him his watch, the guard of which had become detached. He believed the body to have been in the water about 8 or 10 hours. He Had the body locked up, and sent for Superintendent Glenister. This witness went to 39 Tower and the deceased in a shed. He saw no signs of his having been engaged in a struggle. He took from him a double link gold chain, a bunch of charms, a breast-pin engraved with the letters E. A. two blue enamel sleeve links set with diamonds, a neck-stud, a pencil-case, two keys on a ring, a small knife, a cigar-case with 3 cigars, a comb, a white hankerchief embroidered "E.E.A.", and a portmanau containing four sovereigns, a half-sovereign, two ten-franc pieces, four half-crowns, a florin, two shillings and 1½d. in copper.
Mr. William Arthur Castle, managing clerk to the deceased, identified the body as that of Mr. Emile Alcan, carrying on business as a merchant at 28 King's street, Cheapside. He last saw him alive in his place of business at about 11 o'clock on Monday morning, when he was in his usually good state of health. He said that he had an engagement and should be back at 2 o'clock, but he did not return. He was a single man and not more than 30 years of age. There was no reason for despondency on account of business. He had a balance of £1500 at the London and Westminster Bank, besides a balance at Paris. When leaving the office he was perfectly harmless, and was believed to be quite a stanger to Hastings, and where he had no business engagement. John Bray, a coastguard, found a hat when going down to his fishing lines at half-past 
[ 89 ]seven. He gave the hat, the brim of which was covered with sand, to his superior officer. Mr. J. G. Savery, a St. Leonards surgeon had examined the deceased externally and internally, and gave details as proof that death had been caused by drowning and that the body could not have been in the water more than 12 hours. There were no marks of violence, and the small wound over the eye might have been caused by sharp beach-stones. The jury retired, and after a short consultation returned with the verdict "Found Drowned", the foreman adding "We are quite satisfied there was no foul play." Thus, in other respects, teh affair still remained a mystery.


The South Colonnade. - A long desired and long delayed improvement in the South Colonnade was commenced in July. The large brick and stuccoed pillars which impeded the thoroughfare and supported an all but useless facade were removed, and in their stead, a series of cast-iron columns, less in number and smaller in size were erected, and a most astonishing improvement was thus effected. But, in addition to the improved appearance and the securing of a better means of traffic, was the enlargement of the superstructure, whereby the sleeping apartments, which had been quite inadequate to the requirements of the tenants were made almost twice as large. Mr. Kenwood undertook the work of alteration, and it downed to his credit that in about three weeks he accomplished what seem to be the labour of as many months.

A New Galley[edit]

On the "no keel" principle, a new galley was received from London by the St. Leonards Rowing Club, and it was said of it that if its capabilities should prove to be as smart as its lines were symetrical, hopeful results would be realised.

A St. Leonards Guide-Book[edit]

The first guide for the two towns published in St. Leonards was issued by Mr. Dorman, of the Victoria Library. It came before the public in the month of July, and differed in many respects from pre-existing Guides, which were always published in the older town. As might be expected, it aimed at being a St. Leonards more than a Hastings Guide; hence its titular distinction "St. Leonards-on-sea and Hastings" - Not for the nominal exaltation of the modern town over her elder sister, but as specially intended for the former, without ignoring the latter. It contained a picturesque map of the borough and its neighbourhood, extending about twenty miles from east to west and ten miles from south to northe. It may be here stated as a mere association that the present writer had been asked, many years before by members of the Burton family to publish a guide with a similar title, and promises of assistance were freely offered in the compilation of the same. Negotiations commenced for that purpose, but as [ 90 ]a considerable number of engravings, from original drawings, together with at least two good maps, were demanded, it was calculated that the book, to yield a profit, could not be sold for less than 5/-, a price which it was thought would be prohibitive; and so the work was abandoned.

References & Notes

  1. This F. W. Foster may be a different person - Editor
  2. Toxophilites - students, or lovers of archery. Transcriber
  3. This would appear to be the commencement (at least locally) of the 'Early Closing' on Wednesdays that prevailed until the late 1970s/early 1980s - editor
  4. a b c d There would appear to be several spellings of the same Doctor's surname in this paragraph - transcriber