Brett Volume 10: Chapter LXIX - St. Leonards 1863
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Chapter LXIX St. Leonards 1863
St.Leonards Commissioners' Meetings
The West Hill road
Accidents and Fatalities
The Borough Assessment
The Archery Prize Meeting
The Artillery Band
The Bonfire Boys
Concerts and Musical Entertainments
The Cottage Building Company
Church and Chapel News
The Cripples Home
Harvest Homes and Thanksgiving
A new Galley
A St. Leonards Guide Book
Letter Press Music
Lost and Found
"The Biter Bit"
The St.Leonards Mechanics Institution
Presentations and Picnics
Sale of Property
Storms and Atmospheric Phenomena
Earthquakes and Predictions
Earthquakes and fulfilled Predictions
The Weather and its Prophets
A Little Trip to Netherfield
The Temperance Propaganda
Thunderstorms and Fatalities
A Turkish Bath Company
Terrific Storms, locally and generally
A Week's Storms and much damage
A Breach in the Wall
[ 65 ]
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[a], 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.
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.
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
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:-
|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)
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.
Vestry Meetings (St Mary Magdalen)
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
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.
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).
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
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:-
|St. Mary Magdalen Parish||£39,791||£27.86|
|Ore (Borough part)||144||23|
|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
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[b] 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
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."
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.
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
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
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)
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
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.
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' RecreationWith 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."
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[c].
"Bickle and Stoneman, Bowerman and Porter, F. G. Andrews, Edwin Baldwin and John Philpot."
The Cripples' Home
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
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 HomesTo 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"
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.
"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[d], 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[d] 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[d] that she took the poison inadvertently. As many as five other similar cases of acccidental poisoning were mentioned by Dr. Blakiston[d] 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
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
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.
"The Philosophy of a Candle." - Such was the title of a lecture give(sic) by Mr. Butler, of the Eversfield Library on the evening of Jan. 24th, in the St. Leonards Temperance Hall; and a very amusing, as well as instructive lecture it was. It afforded a number of illustrations of the properties of combustion, the different illuminating powers of separate and combined gases, the formation of carbon, and a variety of other matters connected with what may be called the birth, life and death of a candle.
"Why Should I Join the Temperance Movement?" was the title of a practical - not to say eloquent lecture in the Temperance Hall on the 29th of January by the Rev. Robert Maguire, Incumbent of Clerkenwell, London. He explained that his inducement to give another lecture so soon after the one previously delivered was because his family were then staying in the town.
"The Progress of Evangelization in Italy" formed the topic of a lecture in the St. Leonards Assembly Room on Sept. 29th by the renowned Father Gavazzi. Master of the English language as this Italian orator evidently was, his utterance to an English ear was not very distinct, although there was not wanting either animation or eloquence. Of the latter, however, there was judged to be much less than was his general want. This might be partly accounted for by the fact of his audience being exceedingly small, partly by the all-absorbing topics of the American civil war and Polish insurrection, and partly by the Italian nation having become to some extend a reality. A second oration was delivered in the evening on "Italy, its Past, Present and Future". The audience was equally sparse, and if for no other cause, probably because the subject had dwindled into less significance than formerly.
The Moon was ably dealt with at the St. Leonards Temperance Hall on the 4th of November by Mr. J. E. Butler, to a numerous and attentive audience. The moon's distance from the earth, her relative size, the extend of her orbit, the opaqueness of the lunar orb, its power as a solid body to reflect the sun's light and its consecutive phases known under the terms "new moon", "quarter moon", "gibbous moon" and "full moon" were all familiarly explained and illustrated.
Vision. This was the subject of a pleasing lecture delivered at the Working-mens' Institute on the 16th of December by C. H. Stone, Esq., M.D. The lecture was illustrated by means of the phenakistiscope, an instrument whose curious effects it was evidently the Doctor's chief object to exhibit.
On Temperance On this subject, Mr. de Fraine delivered at the Temperance Hall on the 4th. of March one of the most eloquent and practical addresses it had ever been the writer's pleasurable opportunity to listen to.
[ 90a ]
✪"To the Memory of one who has passed Away"
(From Brett's Gazette of Jan. 31, 1863
"Thy labour o'er-thy hard work done;
The love of thousands thou hast won.
Thy manly form has passed away;
Thy sun has set ere close of day.
A sable curtain drawn around
Now tells us thou art under ground;
No more thy watchful, tender care
Which made our ills so light to bear.
Is ours - A higher place is thine!
Among the blessed thou dost shine.
Thy battle fought, thy laurels won,
Our Saviour says to thee "Well Done!"
"St. Leonards, Jan. 17, 1863" L.B.
A SYSTEM OF LETTER PRESS MUSIC Reprinted from the "St Leonards Gazette" April 4th, 1863.
Under the signature of J. M., a writer in Cassell’s Family Paper, of April 4th, has propounded an ingenious mode of printing music with the type used in ordinary letter-press. He tells us that “ the arbitrary and, in many cases, inconvenient character of the present system of musical notation has often suggested the desirableness of its being supplemented, if not even superseded, by another.” “At present,” (continues the writer) “although music is in almost everyone’s mouth; and although from its very nature, it is mixed up with a very important portion of the literature of every land, it can scarcely show its face in an ordinary journal. Music is a universal — the only universal—language, and ought in literature as in speech, to be one of the most generally intelligible and available means of illustration. But whilst old songs and new can readily find their way in type before the public, their sister airs must remain in obscurity waiting for contingencies which may never occur.”
Many of our readers will doubtless agree with us in saying that there is a great deal of truth in the remarks of the writer above quoted; and there is also a becoming diffidence in the same writer when he intimates that he seeks neither innovation nor supersession of the old system of musical notation in the plan which he proposes — a plan which is to help and not displace the method already in use. This is wise; for, undoubtedly, music is a universal language, and the present system of lines and dotted symbols is almost as universal as are the musical sounds they represent. Place before a Frenchman, a German, an Italian, or indeed a denizen of the most remote corner of the earth, any musical composition in what is called the established notation, and if he be a musician, he will have no difficulty in interpreting it although he may know nothing of the language or the country of its composer. It is this universality, then, that will not admit of the present system of musical notation being superseded. There may be, and undoubtedly is, much labor and some difficulty to be encountered in acquiring it, but when once mastered there is, we believe, no system to be adopted that would appeal so readily to the eye, be so thoroughly comprehended, or so expertly written as that which has been so long in use, and which by common consent the whole world delights to call ”music.” Suppose we consider this, then, a settled point, there is still left a wide margin — we will not say for reforming but — for assisting it, and to this end the plan of J. M. in the publication already referred to is propounded. The writer further says, “I propose a method by which music may be printed as readily as poetry; a method too, which will be found to work, as it ought to do, in the most perfect harmony with the system already in use.” The writer then proceeds to shew how the first seven letters of the alphabet, together with the other letters contained in a compositor’s case may be made to represent the musical symbols, not to supplant them in their ordinary use, put to convey to the reader of a newspaper or other periodical such representation of musical sounds as could not through the same medium be effected by the usual music types and plates. The idea, as the writer confesses, is not new; and had not its novelty been admitted, it would not have been difficult to shew that the writer is by no means “solo” in his suggestion of letter-press music. More than twenty years ago we devised a similar plan to that which is now proposed, and had we been at that time as well acquainted with letter-press printing as at present, the probability is that, notwithstanding the disfavour with which it was viewed by our musical companions, and the asserted “ impossibility ” of a journeyman compositor, the plan would, long since, have been before the public in a practical form. As it was, the manuscripts were either destroyed or lost, and to renew them was never seriously entertained until the success of Mr. Curwen’s Tonic Sol-fa method of printing music by means of the alphabet suggested to us the probability of having missed the opportunity of promulgating an original idea. Still more is the conviction forced upon us by the plan now proposed by J. M. - so similar in many respects to our own — that not only is it possible to convey musical sounds in the comparatively limited manner employed by Mr. Curwen in his system of singing, but that the very utmost range of musical notation may be fairly represented by the characters used in ordinary printing. We do not pretend to say that it could be read so promptly as the notes themselves by thorough musicians, but for the for which it is designed, namely to diffuse in a cheap form musical compositions, original or selected, to be afterwards copied into the established notation, it is not only practically available, but extremely desirable. We have carefully examined J.M.’s plan, and while we accord to the writer full credit for whatever merit it possesses, we feel that we might be too indifferent to the attribute of“ self-esteem” did we allow the opportunity to pass without attempting to invite the recognition of a similar, but as we think, a more comprehensive plan devised by ourselves, nearly a quarter of a century since, This plan it is now our intention to lay before the public, not so much to dispute the originality of J. M.’s ideas as to co-operate with him or her, as the case may be, in the adaptation and diffusion of letter-press that shall confer on persons who are musically inclined both benefit and amusement. In the propagation(sic) of our own views, however, let us frankly acknowledge our obligations to JM, for indirectly urging us to a task which had been long deferred and well nigh abandoned; also for suggestions in the use of four kinds of letters, instead of two, (treble and bass) as we had at first intended only to have used. This done, it only remains for us to exhibit the characters intended to be used, and to offer such explanation as appears necessary for the elucidation of the scheme. It will be observed that as in music the first seven letters of the alphabet nominally represent the notes of each octave, so the same letters are here employed to represent the same sounds as would he indicated by the notes. There is, however, this important difference, that whereas in musical notation the true pitch or position of the notes is only made out with the aid of cleffs and other signs, that difficulty is here obviated by the employment of differently shaped letters; for instance, capital letters represent an octave in the bass, from G to F, inclusive, whilst merging upwards into the tenor notes, the sounds of that octave are represented by SMALL CAPITALS. Rising into the third octave—the compass of an ordinary treble voice or the middle tones of a treble instrument— the sounds “g” to ”f” are represented by the more commonly used letters technically known as “lower-case.” Continuing the course upward, g to f in alt, — the upper notes of a flute or violin, — the tones are indicated by what printers call Italic type. Thus a complete range of four octaves is given, which exhibits the relative position of the sounds even more correctly than the musical notation itself, The duration of the notes is the next thing to be considered; and here it will be observed that as in musical characters a crotchet is a sort of dotted stroke, so in our letter-press system the crotchet is a dotted letter. Again as the quaver and shorter notes have one, two or three offshoots frum the stem of the note to distinguish them, so also have our equivalents one, two or three appendages, in the form of apostrophes or inverted commas. — The open and sustained character of the minim is indicated by an attached small o, while the semibreve, of double duration, is symbolized by a double dotted 0, as shewn below. The rests are also made to correspond in a similar manner by means of commas, hyphens and dashes. An accompanying diagram exhibits these and the several other characters proposed to be used, and it only remains for us to express a hope that the plan here propounded may prove of sufficient utility to merit appreciation.
The system is here applied, as a first example, to one of Brett’s new national songs, which, after a few minutes study, may be sung or played as it stands, or may be copied into the old musical emblems, the latter being perhaps the preferable course, The reader will be careful to observe that the first note is ”d” on the 4th line of the musical staff; that the highest note in the tune is “f” on the 5th line; that the F and B are on the 1st line and space, and consequently an octave below f and e; and that the other letters represent intermediate notes.
The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th verses of the above song, together with four other new songs, may be had for ONE PENNY. These songs are harmonized for three and four voices, and will appear in the Gazette.
As relating to the above, the following letter is copied from Brett's Gazette of April 11th, 1863:-
- Seldom, if ever have I gone to the task of writing a letter with greater pleasure than this one. I was so much pleased with your article "A System of Letter-Press Music". It is just the thing we wanted, and I think, as far as I am concerned, that no musician in his senses will fail to see the usefulness of your system. Even to tryos it will prove a boon. I gave the article in question to a young man of my acquaintance, and after perusing it for a short time, he forthwith played your touching air on the concertina. I hope [ 92 ]you will continue with it; so do not let it be idle like many bright ideas for want of scope to develop itself. I shall be on the look out for the music you promise to publish in 'Brett's Notation'" etc. "
Musical Taste. Under this heading a letter appeared in Brett's St. Leonards Gazette, as follows:-
-Metaphysicians tell us that the law of variety is the grandest secret in Nature as regards things material; but who could fathom the multifarious phases, the fine touches and different hues which reign in things purely idealio? Whoever has yet satisfactorily explained the causes of variety as exists in taste, for instance? And, to be more specific, as well as to make the most of the little space that you may kindly allot me. I will at once tell you that I would treat in these brief remarks, on the taste for music. I hear people continually say that England has arrived at a high standard in music - that the taste of the English is becoming more and more refined; yet, in flat contradiction to this, what do I notice? In the public thoroughfares 'Punch and Judies' are the most popular, whilst in second-class concert rooms the low burlesqe(sic) is flourishing. 'Ah! but stop a bit you say, they are chiefly frequented by the lower and uneducated classes; raise your prejudiced vision, and look at our Music-Hall concerts! Well, I do look at them, and I tell you that it your Music Hall which caused me to write this letter.
A fortnight ago I had the pleasure to listen to the exquisite music of the Orpheus Glee Union. It is sufficient for me to say that the performance was beautiful - that it was sold elevating - that its influence must be lasting to many feeling hearts. Does it not reverberate on our inmost self and stir all that is noble, all that is good, all that is God-like in us? Does it not lift us above the destiny of mortals and permit us to breathe and atmophere(sic) of purity, happiness and innocence, so intense and so real that when we awake out of the somnambulic influence, and the aolian strains have ceased, we still carry some of its recollections with us, and resolve henceforth to live brighter and better beings? But alas! how few there were to share those feelings! The room was only half filled, chiefly by the respectable population. Yet, a few days afterwards a traveling harlequin arrived, who told the people in flaming handbills that he would treat them with as much nonsense for one shilling as they could reasonably expect; that he would reverse the order of things, turning the sublime into the ridiculous, and vice versa. And who was there to be amused? Was it the mechanics? No! Representatives of the upper ten thousand crowded the Hall. And listen, oh ye Gods! Paul Howard carried the palm over the Orpheus Union. - Now the question arises "What is to be done to elevate the taste of the masses? Surely it should be to cultivate music among them. I hail, with pleasure and with hope the efforts which are now being made in that direction. All honour to the Rev. Mr. Cur[ 93 ]wen, the founder of Tonic-Sol-fa, and to his indefatigable followers. A man like Mr. Warr, I conscientiously believe to be more useful to society than fifty Howard Pauls or any of his compeers could ever hope to be. All honour, too, to the promoters of the concerts at the St. Leonards Temperance Hall. I am glad to see that their productions are getting higher in tone, and that the mechanic patronises them.
And, lastly, sire, think me not coarse in flattery when I give you a need of praise so richly deserved. I conjure you, sir, not to let your Letterpress Music drop. Like Tonic-sol-fa its usefulness will surely sooner or later, be universally acknowledged if you persevere in its propagation. Allow me, in conclusion, to suggest to you to open a class, either personally, or under your supervision, and the first pupil shall be yours truly,
Foot Note to the last paragraph. "[Our correspondent's commendation of the system of Letterpress music which is being practically developed in this journal, is fully appreciated, but we are, nevertheless chary of its being invested with an undue importance. We have neither time nor inclination to act upon the suggestion to form a class, and shall be quite content with giving to our musical friends, through the new medium such compositions as may not be obtainable in the ordinary way, most of which will probably be our own.]"
Further Remarks The following also appeared in the Gazette of May 11th. -"The adaptation of ordinary type to musical compositions as proposed in last week's St. Leonards and Hastings Gazette, has been received with very considerably favour, many of our readers having testified their appreciation of the plan, both verbal and written communications. One objection only has reached us, which is to the effect that persons who are not printers would not be able to distinguish sufficiently between one octave and another, and would therefore not know the "ups and downs" of the notes; they would also, as amateurs, not know how to write music in such a system for the Press. Now, the only reply to this double objection is that the objector cannot have carefully read the instructions laid down; otherwise he would have seen that the "ups and downs" as he terms it, are as readily distinguishable as in the established notation. This is fully borne out by the statements of other persons. One says that "it is a capital idea"; another, that it is "as plain as A B C"; a third, that "I was able to pick it out and to sing it off, I believe correctly, in a few minutes"; and a fourth that "It is as easy as Sol-fa, and in some respects preferable."
Lost and Found
A triple illustration of the aphorism "Honesty is the best policy" (says Brett's Gazette, of May 23rd has recently come to our notice, and the [ 94 ]circumstances are here narrated as shewing, on the one hand, the prompt restoration of lost articles to their owners, and on the other, the fortunate finding of said articles by persons who, in two cases at least stood in need of pecuniary reward. Two gold watches were lost on two separate occasions, and each by a lady unknown to the other. Somewhat curiously, they were picked up by two persons of the same sex, also unknown to each other - the one a cripple and the other a vendor of water-cresses. The former immediately set about, with her brother's assistance, to ascertain, if possible, to whom the watch belongs, and was not a little rejoiced to find, a few hours afterwards, that a reward of £2 10s. was offered to the restorer of the lost article. With the utmost promptitude the watch and the money exchanged hands, to the satisfaction of all parties concerned. In the other case, an equal anxiety appears to have been manifested by the finder of the watch. The poor woman and her daughter were daily on the look-out for an entire week for some announcement of the missing property, but so silent was the Crier's bell, and so provokingly uncommunicative were the placarded walls and shop-windows on the matter that the woman had well-nigh despaired of finding an owner for the little gold ticker, and was about to give it up to the police authorities. At length, however, the lady who lost the watch took the proper step of making her loss publicly known, and offered, the comparatively small reward of £1 to the finder. No sooner was the announcement by handbills fairly circulated than the poor water-cress seller, relieved of her anxiety, hastened with the watch to claim the reward. If one might judge from the expression of the countenance, it would not be difficult to believe the poor woman's statement that the money was quite a "godsend" to her, as it would enable her to pay her four weeks rent, with something left over for other necessities. The third case was this:- A poor widow, having a large family, sent one of her children with a sovereign - the amount of two or three week's earnings to purchase some provisions, but ere the child reached the shop, the sovereign was lost. Fortunately for the loser, the coin was picked up by honest hands, and was restored to its owner immediately on her loss being made known. The finder, though in humble circumstances, refused even the smallest compensation, feeling, as we believe he did, a consciousness of reward in having performed an honest deed. After the above was written a fourth case, not very dissimilar to the last was reported to us. Let it not be said then, that honesty is not to be found in these towns.
Magnificent Liberality(?) Whether similar honest and generosity to the cases narrated above was exhibited in the following equally [ 95 ]true story the reader must judge. A certain lady of titular distinction having occupied the attendant of a "Registry Office" on three separate occasions in reference to a servant not easy to procure, and desiring that her requirements might be advertised and all other necessary steps taken to supply her want, subsequently demanded the registration fee of one shilling (including advertisement) to be returned to her, she having succeeded by some means - perhaps by the active enquiries of the registry-office attendant - in getting a servant. The refunding of the shilling being refused on the ground of its value in time and labour having been already given to the object, and on the promise of further exertions should the newly engaged servant not suit, or should any other servant at any time be required, the indignant lady liberally promised to do the said registry office all the harm she could "among her very large circle of friends" - Cui Malo[e].
The Biter Bit. - That "Honesty is the best policy" may be shewn in a variety of ways, and although the action described in what follows may be regarded as the negative of the cases previously cited, it is nevertheless adduced as another proof of the proverb. At a spot not a hundred yards from St. Leonards, there was living a certain personage more noted for the love of good things than for his disposition or his ability to pay for them. Having a fancy for choice wines, the subject of this notice entered a wine store, and after tasting some samples proceeded to a branch of the same establishment and ordered half-a-dozen of the very best Burgundy.
The wine-merchant's assistant not knowing the character of his customer, sent the wine as ordered, but in communicating the transaction to the principal, the latter adopted the expedient of sending to the purchaser's residence a similar quantity of "first class" (colored(sic)) water, with a respectful apology for having "by error" sent in the first instance a "third class" article. So tempting a bait could not, of course be resisted, and the customer very readily assented to the exchange, to the delight of the merchant, but as it afterwards turned out, to the mortification of the would-be purchaser.
The enlargement of the Wesleyan Chapel and the great improvement at the South Colonnade have already been described, and it is here added that visitors to beautiful St. Leonards were known to have expressed astonishment at the magnitude and number of mansions that were in progress of erection in Warrior square, on the Marina, at Upper Maze Hill and other localities. It was gratifying to learn that the houses were sold or let as fast as they could be completed and they were likely to produce a fair return for the large amount of capital which was expended on them. The writer was led into these remarks by an interesting event which took place on the 7th of [ 96 ]February in that rapidly improving locality the Upper Maze Hill where the foundation stone of a first-class villa residence was laid by the lady of W. S. Grey, Esq., the latter having purchased a piece of freehold ground on the Eversfield Estate for that purpose. A handsome douceur was given by Mrs. Grey to the workmen on that occasion, and it need hardly be said that the workmen thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Mr. Kenwood began and carried out the work of erection in accordance with his well-known energy. It was then that the workmen received another treat in what was called a "rearing supper". Eighty men were liberally provided for by the munificence of Mrs. Grey, and about thirty others of Mr. Kenwood's workmen similarly regaled by their employer; so that upwards of 100 sat down to the repast, and to a few hours of social and convivial enjoyment. The 8th of June was the date of the latter event, and the Warrior's Gate Inn was the place of meeting.
Another Rearing Supper. Mr. Henry Hughes, sen., of St. Leonards, having been engaged in the erection of an elegant and substantial mansion at Upper Maze Hill for H. C. Caulfield, Esq. and the same having been completed, the workmen, to the number of sixty-four, were treated to a supper on the 14th of May, through the liberality of the respected proprietor. The supper was provided at the Railway-Terminus hotel, Bopeep.
The St. Leonards Mechanics Institution.
The members of this society held a quarterly meeting on the 12th of February, when it was shown by the Committee's report that the number of subscribing members was 127, and life-members, 55; that the receipts were £2 18s. 11d. in excess of the expenditure; that the outstanding liabilities had been reduced by £5, but were still £14. W. Janson, Esq. had presented the institution with 46 volumes for the library, principally classical and educational works.
At the May quarterly meeting it was shown that, as usual the number of members had decreased for that part of the year, there being fewer by 14 than at the previous quarter. Another pound had been paid off the outstanding liabilities, and £2.11s.1d. remained in hand. The French, Writing and Arithmetic classes which were commenced in September were continued longer than usual, and the first-named appeared likely to continue throughout the summer. Thanks were accorded to Messrs. Wilson, Chandler and H. Smith for the gratuitous services as superintendents of the classes.
The August quarterly meeting was thinly attended, and possessed no feature of special interest. There were fewer subscribing members by eleven. The balance of cash in hand was only 1/11½, but it was satisfactory to know that the treasurer had reduced by about [ 97 ]five pounds, the outstanding liabilities to £7 13s. 8d.
The meeting on Nov. 12th was both a quarterly and annual one. The number of members was the same as before - viz. 33 life-members and 103 subscribing ditto. The failure of the usual increase at this period of the year was believed to be due to the extraordinary efforts put forth by the managers and supporters of the Temperance Hall and Workingmen's Institute, where weekly concerts, lectures and other attractions entered into commendable rivalry with the older educational establishment. With such competition, however, it was a solace to find that the Mechanics' Institution was not going back. The treasurer reported a slight adverse balance of 1s/1½, but a further reduction by 30/- of liabilities to £6. 3s. 6d. the French class, superintended by Mr. Wilson, had continued through the summer, and the renewal of other classes was only waiting the requisite number of members to commence operations. The annual election of officers resulted as follows:- President, A. Burton, Esq., Vice-Presidents, Rev. J. A. Hatchards, Rev. W. N. Tilson-Marsh, G. H. M. Wagner, Esq., H. Selmes, Esq., and Messrs. Putland, Stoneman, How, Bickle, and Cuthbert. Treasurer, Mr. T. B. Brett; Secretaries, Messrs. S. Bullard, jun. and J. Davies; auditors, Messrs. Hatchman and Wilson.
On the 21st of May, the church of St. Mary Magdalen was more than half-filled with a throng of respectably dressed persons anxious to witness the nuptials, of Capt. George Shirley Maxwell, adjutant of the East Kent Militia, and Miss Adelaide Frances Taylor, youngest daughter of the late Major William Stanhope Taylor and Lady Sarah Taylor. The wedding party were conveyed to the church in twelve carriages, in which there were eight pairs of "grays" and other horses; also the private carriage of P. F. Robertson, Esq. The bridesmaids - uniformly attired were the Misses Mary Taylor, Pitt Taylor, Emily Maxwell, Amy Macgregor and Constance Macgregor. The bride was given away by her brother, Capt. Wm. O'Brien Taylor, and the marriage rites were performed by the Revs. W. Pope and W. W. Hume. An elegant dejeuner was prepared at 19 Eversfield place.
Mr. Sutherland and Miss Coventry. Another of those interesting events in human life was the means of attracting a large assemblage at the church of St. Mary Magdalen on the 11th of August. The engaged persons were Stanley S. Sutherland, of H.M. Bengal Staff Corps, and Miss Olivia Emilie Coventry, of Springhill Villa, St. Leonards. The bridal party went to the church in carriages drawn by five pairs of greys, and the marriage was performed by the Rev. W. W. Hume, assisted by the Rev. F. Young, rector of Pett. The bridesmaids were Miss Coventry, the Ladies Marsham, the Misses Hume, and Miss Sutherland. The bride was given [ 98 ]away by her brother, Capt. Coventry. On leaving the church, the organ pealed merrily forth its notes of gladness, and the path of the happy couple was strewn with flowers. An elegant breakfast was prepared at Spring-hill Villa, and was partaken of by upwards of forty guests. After breakfast, Mr. and Mrs. Sutherland set out for Brighton, while the large party left behind celebrated the event by a pic-nic at Bodiam, returning at night to finish the proceeding with a supper at Spring-hill Villa.
Mr. Sowerby and Miss Airey. At St. Leonards Church, on the 29th of October, Miss Emily Isabella Jane Airey, daughter of the late Robt. Airey, Esq., of Newcastle-on-Tyne, was led to the hymencal altar by George Sowerby, jun., Esq., of Wycliffe Hall, York. The service was read by the Rev. W. G. Parks Smith assisted by the Rev. H. Blagden, of Christ Church, St. Leonards. The wedding party proceeded to church in four carriages, drawn by 8 greays. There were five bridesmaids, and the marriage was witnessed by a large number of persons. Full details, as in the other cases, are here also omitted.
On Thursday the 26th of February, several of the contributors for a farewell gift to the Rev. B. C. Barnes, late curate at St. Mary Magdalen's on the occasion of his quitting St. Leonards, attended at 21 Grand parade, and there presented an address to the reverend gentleman together with a list of subscribers, and a purse, containing 57 sovereigns.
In the month of December, the Tonic Sol-fa pupils under the training of Mr. Thomas Warr, presented their teacher with a Harmonium, in recognition of his indefagible(sic) labours.
A party of more than 400 persons assembled at that picturesque place then called "The New Roar" on the site of the Old Road at Silverhill on Wednesday afternoon, July 1st, and there engaged in rural games and other amusements of a recreative and harmless character. Of course the inner man was cared for, and for this purpose a variety of delicacies, were provided by Mrs. Porter, Mrs. Rhodda and Mrs. Street. Tea and coffee were also supplied and everything was arranged with tact and taste which could not fail to delight the company. Mr. Rhodda erected some substantial swings and also lent his horses and vans for the conveyance of parties to and from, whilst Mr. Davis provided good service by presenting at the harmonium. The day was remarkably fine, the place was delightfully picturesque, the company was select, and the enjoyment was complete. The profits of the affair - £9 - were added to the fund for the enlargement of the St. Leonards Wesleyan Chapel. [ 99 ]Another Pic-nic was held at the "New-Old-Roar" on Monday the 3rd of April, this time by members of the Norman-road Temperance Society, who there enjoyed the rural felicity of an open-air tea-meeting. They called it a Gipsy Party, but who was the Gipsy Queen was not stated. The tale was told, however, how Mrs. Tree and other ladies exerted themselves to make the party happily comfortable with the "cup that cheers but not inebriates".
Over Three Hundred pic-nic'd on the same day at Ore Valley, the party consisting of persons from both towns, and amused by the "Virginian Brothers", a band of darkies made up by inhabitants of both towns. Tea was partaken of, after which dancing and other amusements were engaged in until the shades of night bade the "gipsies" to return to their homes.
Queen Amelia, the ex-Queen of the French, and suite arrived by special train of the South-Eastern Railway on Wednesday, April 8th, and took up their abode at the Victoria hotel. The royal party consisted, in addition to the ex-queen, of the Duc de Chartres, the Count de Paris, the Prince and Princess de Joinville, the Princess Francoise d'Orlenas, Gen. Count Dumas, Mademoiselle Mûsur, the Marquis Beauvoir, Gen Count Montesque, Dr. Mussy, L'Abbe le Gulle, Capt. Morhain and others.
Burgularies and Robberies.
Nearly £100 was extracted from a drawer in the counting-house of Messrs. Parks, of South Colonnade on the night of Sunday, July 19th. The window facing the sea had been left partly open for air, and as a short ladder was found placed thereagainst, it was supposed that was the ingress and egress of the robber.
Another Robbery appeared to have been attempted, two nights later, at one of the houses on the Marina, but the attempt was unsuccessful.
The Seamen's Missions and London Hibernian Society were benefited - the former by £10 and the latter by about £9, on Sunday, Aug. 2nd, by sermons preached in St. Leonards church.
The Wesleyan Sunday Schools had their annual sermons preached in the Norman-road Chapel on Sunday, Nov. 1st by the Revs. H. Bleby and M. Salt. The collections amounted to a little over £8.
To the St. Leonards Sunday School Fund was added 22l by means of sermons preached in the church of that parish on Sunday, Dec. 13th.
The Wesleyan Sunday-school children, to the number of nearly 250, assembled in the Shepherd-street room on Whit-Monday according to annual custom, [ 100 ]where they were marshalled for a procession through the principal streets and up to Deudney's field. There they indulged in a variety of games suitable to their ages until half-past four, when they returned to the school-room and partook of a bountiful tea.
Three-hundred and fifty Boys and Girls of the St. Leonards National Schools received their annual treat in the Assembly Rooms on Wednesday, Nov. 4th, on which occasion they were regaled with a substantial meal. They sang several musical compositions and were afterwards amused with Mr. Banks's exhibition of dissolving views. The Infant-school children had there(sic) treat on the following day.
The Educational Associations set about their winter campaigns in right good earnest. The evening school in connection with the St. Mary Magdalen Recreation Society was opened in the second week of October; and about 60 lads were enrolled for gratuitous instruction. The Evening school at Hastings known as Mr. Rock's was also opened on the 19th of the same month, when nearly 50 working lads entered their names as pupils. At the St. Leonards Workingmen's Institute elementary classes were established for reading, writing, arithmetic, drawing, &c., the charge for which was one penny per week in addition to the usual 1d. per week, membership.
Sale of Property
On the 29th of June, Mr. Voysey sold by auction Nos. 128 and 129 Marina and also the freehold and materials of 130, 131 and 132, the houses which were damaged by the late great fire as described in Brett's "Our Fires and Firemen". No. 128, which was described as being slightly damaged, was sold to Mr. Gant for £895, and 129, which was more greatly damaged, was purchased by Mr. Mills for £690. The total sum realised for two of the plots of ground, with materials, £885. Mr. Vidler being the purchases, and a third lot, which was subject to a certain drawback, was sold to Mr. Howell for £315.
St. Leonards Caves
These Caves now permanently closed, but in which the excavator and his family once resided, were illuminated on the afternoon of Whit-Monday, and were visited by many persons, who expressed astonishment at finding them so extensive and their ramifications even more curious than those of the Caves at Hastings.
A Turbot of extraordinary dimensions and apparently of good quality was on sale at Mr. Price's Colonnade shop on the 18th of May. Its weight was 32½lbs. A similar fish, which weighed nearly 25lbs, was also on sale at the shop of Messrs. Ingarfield and Goepel, in the same locality. [ 101 ]
Storms and Atmospheric Phenomena
Extract from the St. Leonards Gazette of Oct 10th, 1862. "Many of our readers will remember that, a few weeks back, we started the problem whether the planet Saturn's close proximity to, and transit across the earth's would not engender a series of storms and much unsettled weather, as was the case when similarly posited in the month of January last? We have now to say that the problem has been solved in the most affirmative manner. On the 2nd of September that ponderous orb crossed the equatorial line, and during the previous week and a subsequent period of three weeks, it remained within one degree of the Equator. Now, on the 25th of August - taking that as a starting point - the barometer commenced a continuous and very considerable declension, and a break-up of the generally fine summer soon became apparent. A severe thunder-storm occurred in London and elsewhere on that day, and for more than a fortnight there was a succession of gales, rain-squalls, hail, lightning, &c., throughout the greater part of England as well as in many Continental countries. In America the storms did immense damage both on sea and land, while the extraordinary (Saturn being a refrigerating agent) are said to have destroyed the corn and tobacco crops to the extend of one third. Even in our own favoured locality, the period referred to was of a turbulent and rainy character, as our regatta and flower-show postponements proved; there being between the 24th of August and the 10th of September but one day free from wind and rain or other atmospheric disturbance. This one fine day was the 3rd of September, when the warm and drying influence of Sol and Jupiter came into play, as preintimated, thus:-
"What Saturn may produce 'tis hard to say,
But other orbs bespeak a pleasant day."
On the early morning of the 10th there was a storm of lightning, thunder, hail, rain and wind, thus closing as it commenced a stormy period of about 17 days. From the 10th to the 14th, there was a steady and continuous rise of the barometer, and, as foretold, a more settled atmosphere; but from the 14th to the 18th, the barometric pressure was exhibited in a contra ratio, when on the evening of the last-named day the peculiar appearance of a distended and distorted moon afforded a palpable sign that
At this time the sun was in quartile position with Uranus, while Mars was in parallel declination to Saturn, and the moon also approaching her maximum declination. As the result of this planetary combination writes a London correspondent, "we had on the following day a furious storm, of which the Admiral [Fitzroy] gave no forecast, but which was predicted by Zadkiel[f]! Mr W. H. Wood, of [ 102 ]Weston-super-mare also wrote to the Times as follows:- "A strong south wind arose on th(sic) 19th, which gradually increased in intensity till midnight, when it blew with great fury. More than ordinary interest is attached to this tempest by its sudden appearance . . . The storm has continued, with very little abatement the whole of this day, Sept. 20." The writer last quoted had, probably, no just conception of cause and effect here witnessed, and as little ability, perhaps to trace the cause of the series of storms other meteorological phenomena which immediately followed. There was certainly a rare combination of planetary influence, and, as the sequel proved, an equally rare manifestation of electrical disturbances. What wonder, then, that our "Week to Come" column commenced its previscous(sic) thus? -
"Unsettled weather comes again -
Condensive air for wind and rain.
or that the parallel declination of Mercury and Venus, with numerous similar configurations, produced gales of wind at Portsmouth and other places, and sudden squalls of cold rain and hail in our own locality? This on the 20th, yet, was the 21st a still more noteworthy day; for, besides the hasty showers of the early morning and the frequent squalls of wind, there were mock-suns, mock-moons, rainbows and other atmospheric peculiarities. To begin with the parhelia, we may describe them as differing to any similar phenomena we had previously witnessed. A solar halo was formed about 1 pm., and at 1.30 the solar image was reflected right and left of the true sun, but instead of being intersected, as usually observed by the luminous circle, the mock-suns were seen at some distance beyond. Setting off from the upper portion of the halo was also a segment of another circle of larger dimensions, and forming, as it were, the semicircle of a different radiation. The following rude figure may give some idea of the appearance of the phenomenon.
"The signs which appear together
Denote a week's unsettled weather,"
In the evening an equally beautiful phenomenon in the shape of a lunar halo and two paraselense or mock-moons, was witnessed by many persons in St. Leonards, but before the privilege was extended to the writer, the satellite and her apparition had sunk behind a mass of dark vapour. A sight more rare, but perhap, less magnificent, soon presented itself. High up in a tolerably clear zenith appeared very distinctly, first the major portion, and alternately, the whole of a very bright luminous circle, supposed to be the lunar halo thrown thither by reflection from the upper surface of the opaque clouds, which at some thirty or forty degrees distance hid the moon from public gaze. We are not sure that our explanation of the phenomenon is a correct one, but whether the object was caused by reflection or refraction, or a double reflection, the fact remains the same - namely, that it was an extraordinary occurrence, and one whose like we had never before seen or hear of. It was visi[ 103 ]ble for about twenty minutes. There were frosts that day in Scotland while at Portsmouth and Southampton, as well as several other places, there were gales, thunder, hail, rain and snow; thus pretty rigidly fulfilling the prediction:-
"Sol and Saturn's equal declination
Puts the air in chilly perturbation:
Mars as well, doth cross Equator's line,
And thus for stormy weather is a sign."
Tuesday, Sept. 28th brought on the minimum pressure of the barometer, there having been a continuous fall of the mercury during eight days, amounting to no less than an inch and four-tenths. As might be conjectured, by the low readings of the barometer, there was a continuation of storms, chiefly at Holyhead, Penzance, &c., resulting in some instances in loss of life and property. The temperature, however, was some degrees higher, and thus again was verified the following:-
"It may be that the air's more warm,
yet tokens still of wind and storm."
On the 23rd, the trine aspect of Mercury and Uranus had the effect of repeating the rain-squalls in this locality, accompanied at night by vivid lightning, whilst stormy weather, as reported, was prevalent at Bristol and many other places. The storms and squalls appear to have been of even greater frequency and intensity on the 24th, notwithstanding the supposed improvement for two days indicated by instrumental registration. There were lightning and thunder from 4.15 to 7.30 a.m., and again from 6 till 7. p.m.; there were also turbulent squalls of wind, rain and hail throughout the day, clearly demonstrating the stormy influence of Saturn's conjunction with Venus, &c., as pre-intimated-
"From Venus passing Saturn, Moon in perigee,
Some hasty hail or rain one now expects to see."
The weather - its cause and effect - is in the present investigating epoch a fruitful theme to such as devote a moderate amount of attention to it, and it is therefore not much to be wondered at that although in this article we have already exceeded the proposed limits, we have given but a mere outline of that which we desired to do, and which if time and space permitted, the accumulated accounts before us would have enabled us to do. We have only reached to the 24th of September, and even in that period have said nothing of the rough weather experienced by sailors in the Atlantic, nor of the wrecks and loss of life in the North Sea, caused by violent storms of wind, lightning rain and hail. We have, moreover, almost forgotten to mention the very uncommon occurrence of lightning being observed at St. Leonards during seven successive nights in the month of September. But we hope to have said enough to convince reasonable people that those stupendous orbs which traverse space are mighty instruments in the hands of God for good & evil. Some other phenomena, including the recent Earthquake, may form the subject of a few remarks in our next." [ 104 ]The following article is extracted from Brett's St. Leonards Gazette of Oct. 24th 1863 - "The great convulsions of nature have usually been regarded in quiet England as of foreign pertinence, and not in any way likely to inspire with dread the denizens of these realms. But the early morning of October 6th will be long and vividly remembered as the date of a rare phenomenon by those inhabitants of the British Isles who were then startled from their slumbers in so an unexpected manner. More than a fortnight has elapsed since the occurrence, and during that time, a vast deal has been said and written on the subject of earthquakes, both in reference to the one that has caused so great a sensation in England and to those of a more terrific character pertaining to other countries. As to the former, the statements of persons professing to have experienced the shock are extremely various and somewhat conflicting, both with regard to time and other conditions. Some have even asserted that there were two distinct shocks, whilst others have expressed a belief that the earth was more or less 'shaky' for some hours between midnight and sunrise. We do not learn that anything extraordinary was noticed in our own neighbourhood, although it was somewhat curious that at about the same hour on the following morning an unusual noise, as of a sudden gust of wind with thunder awoke three or more persons in St. Leonards from their sleep, and gave rise to wonderment of what the noise could proceed from. One of these persons was a Mrs. Thorpe, the second was a milkman and the third a tradesman, who mentioned the circumstances to his own family before the arrival of the morning papers which contained the intelligence of the earthquake, but who, after seeing that intelligence (quite unlooked for) was particular not to mention out of his own family circle what he had himself experienced until the testimony of others confirmed him in his impression. Our own notion of this affair on Wednesday morning is that it was an electrical discharge; that it was, in fact, just what it was described to be 'a gust of wind, with thunder!' But to return to the morning of the 6th, it appears certain, from the statements of several persons, that the counties of Sussex and Kent were not wholly free from the tremulous motion of the earth, although it was much more extensively felt throughout Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire. Yet, if we are to believe subsequent reports, there have been one or two shocks experienced more recently. A person writing to the 'Standard' on the 16th instant says - 'Yesterday evening, at 6.52, while sitting by myself, reading in the drawing room, I felt the peculiar undulating wave of the shock of an earthquake. I put my book down instantly and paid particular attention to what had passed, thinking from late events that it might be fancy on my part, but this was soon dispelled by another undulating wave. I then sprang to my feet, and two or three seconds afterwards, I heard the windows of the room rattle and shake. An hour after the above occurrence, I called on some [ 105 ]friends in the Euston road, and enquired of them if anything in particular had happened that evening, when the wife of my friend replied that she had felt the motion of the earthquake that evening at 6.55, which is only the difference of three minutes from the time I felt the shock, and may be accounted for by a difference in clocks!
A smart shock of earthquake (described in our last) was also felt in several towns and departments of France on Sunday, Oct 11th; so that it appears that in addition to the storms round the coast of England and France from the 1st to the 19th of that month, there have been physical disturbances of a more uncommon kind, and yet in perfect agreement with the predictions of astro-meteorologists. We will not assert that earthquakes were foretold to take place exactly in England (although we know of one person who avowed his belief of the probability of such an event), but we do say that the early part of October was distinctly pointed out. Zadkiel, Raphael, Orion and Mr. White, as an extremely likely period for such a phenomenon. All these authorities stated their reasons for believing in the probability of unusual disturbances of earth and air at this particular period; and as most of those statements were in the hands of the public, many months before the event, it hardly seems necessary to refer to them, except, indeed, it be for the information of those persons who have not seen the predictions, or for the purpose of dissipating the too common notion that such an occurrence is a mere come-by-chance. Under the head of October in Zadkiel's Almanac for 1863, we find the following notice:-"The singular occurrence of the Sun joined with both Saturn and Mars on the 2nd will bring some very violent storms, and as Uranus is stationary at the time, I expect earthquakes." Raphael also says "Much electricity and disturbance of the air under the aspect of Sun, Saturn and Mars; probably earthquakes in various parts." Orion speaks of the astrological features of the crowd of planets in Libra, threatening storms and shocks of earthquakes." And a similar strain is reiterated by the less explicit Old Moore who says - "The extraordinary occurrence of the planets Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, Venus and Mercury ominously congregated in the solar beams forms the great celestial phenomenon of the year." Then we come to the calculations of Mr. W. H. White, published in our issue of Sept. 26. "The earth (says this gentleman) passing from the pluvial influence of Venus at the end of September, comes under the combined influences of the Sun in conjunction with Saturn and Mars on the 2nd, which is calculated to produce a reaction in the weather for five or six days, such as strong winds, heavy squalls, great changes of temperature, very humid atmosphere and hasty showers. The earth traveling in close companionship, leaving the lagging Saturn behind them, they come under the electrical influence of Swift Mercury in solar conjunction showing up some thrilling phenomena worthy [ 106 ]of the observer's notice and record. . . . These combined influences will probably cause considerable reaction in the form of low temperature, sharp frost in Scotland and heavy downfall in England, accompanied by earthquakes in those countries in which the overwhelming electrical phenomena so frequently produce disastrous effects." Such were the previsions of the astro-meteorologists in reference to the two or more shocks of earthquakes which occurred in England and France on the 6th, 11th and 15th of October; but our readers will remember that they were not the only phenomena of the kind that the year has produced. Their novelty, as might have been expected, created considerable consternation and alarm throughout England, but, happily, their effects were not of that disastrous character experienced at Rhodes and Manilla in the early part of the year, and of which a pre-intimation was also given by Zadkiel and Orion. The former authority treating of the physical effects of the moon's total eclipse on the night of the 4th of June, says - "The position of Mercury and Saturn are indicative of some violent earthquakes about this eclipse." Orion's prediction was similarly worded; or, at page 52 of his almanac he stated "Saturn and Mercury are both stationary at the time of this eclipse - a certain sign of storms and earthquakes abroad."
Singular as it may appear to those whose prejudices disenable them to trace the connection of cause and effect, the foregoing statement received a complete verification in less than two days of the time mentioned; in fact, during the period of the supposed electrical or magnetic influence. A correspondent of the Overland Mail writes, under date of June 4, "In the 3rd instant, at half-past seven in the evening, a circumambient flame was seen to rise from the earth and give the city of Manilla (the beauteous flower of the east, as she is finely and poetically designated by her possessors), and at the same time, a most terrific quaking of the earth took place. It lasted scarcely a minute, but in that short space, nearly the whole of fair Manilla had been reduced to a heap of ruins. The abomination of desolation has taken possession of her palaces, her temples, and her dwelling-places, and death and destruction have ridden triumphantly over the land. We believe that upwards of a thousand have been killed, and many thousands wounded, but it is impossible to estimate. Scarcely an edifice has escaped without dead or wounded . . . . The flame that surrounded the city was seen from the bay to ascend towards the sky, and another triple-snaked one came from the land over the water to the shipping and threw up at least two or three feet; while on shore the earth has everywhere sunk at least two feet. God help us! We are all sick and nervous, and require all our faith and confidence to sustain us.[g]"
Were it necessary, we could enlarge upon this subject to almost any extent, and in so doing could show that although such earthquakes or earth-waves as we have recently experienced in England, are of frequent occurrence in many parts of the world, they have either occured at places not usually subjected to them, or the most violent kind, dealing death and [ 107 ]destruction around have taken place in the ultra-volcanic regions at the times pointed out by Zadkiel and his compeers. We have no personal interest - as we have more than once before stated in becoming apologists for Zadkiel [Capt. Morrison], but when we remember his many fulfilled predictions and the contumely by which he has sometimes been visited by ill-advised critics, we incline to the belief that he is one of the best abused men of the age. Whatever may be the cause or causes of earthquakes, there appears to be nothing satisfactorily provable in the many theories hitherto advanced by scientific men when viewed apart from magnetic actions; and whilst, therefore, the subject remains in so much obscurity, there ought not to be any repugnance to the investigation of planetary conditions is one means of solving the difficulty. In conclusion, we would direct our readers attention to an interesting letter on the subject by our esteemed correspondent W. H. White, Esq."
[This communication with its diagrams will be found in the St. Leonards Gazette of Oct. 24th 1863.]
The Weather and its ProphetsThe following is also extracted from an editorial article in the St. Leonards Gazette of Oct. 17, 1863.
We accept the truth of this quoted paragraph, and having occasion to know that very many of our readers would willingly endorse the acceptance, we offer that as a reason for again venturing to treat of a subject which repetition has divested of novelty. There was a time, since which no very long time has elapsed; when every person, jealous of his or her reputation as a reasonable being would be slow to admit a belief in human power to foretell the weather, even a few days in advance; but now that the subject has Government authority for its importance in the appointment of a Meteorologic Office and a staff of weather clerks, there seems to be no longer a dread that a belief in weather prophecies will raise the question of one's sanity. The subject, indeed, is now more than ever a topic of daily converse, and although much has yet to be accomplished before a scrutinizing public will [ 108 ]place implicit faith in the pretensions of our leading meteorologists, there is, nevertheless, a growing belief that the means of foretelling storms and atmospheric disturbances are within the reach of science. That belief has been promulgated to some extent by ourselves; for, long before weather forecasts appeared in the daily papers, the St. Leonards Gazette was made the vehicle for disseminating a foreknowlege(sic) of the weather. The principles on which our calculations are based has stood the test of years, and although occasional failures declare the system to be imperfect, there is no one of the several theories which have lately been started that can vie with it in point of accuracy. This is a bold assertation, but it is one that we make with an honest conviction of its truth.
In a humorous paragraph, a London periodical, treating of "The Englishman and the weather" says "Why does Jones - why do I - and if you come to that, why do you, dear Brown, though you won't admit it - why do we all attach so much importance to the weather? Why, because it does of a truth really influence our fate in life, our chance in success, our health and tempers, in a wondrous way on this right little, tight little island. Ask the Cornish fisherman, the under-writer at Lloyds, the station master on a junction line, your London physician, your tradesman or cab-driver, how far the weather concerns them - their cures and profits, and then remember the difference which a bright summer's morning and a dull November fog will make in your spirits. (yes, let us confess that in our variable climate the height of the mercury is an important point)"
Suppose we take a cursory glance at a few of the rules for prejudging the weather adopted by some of our modern theorists. That which, for convenience we will designate No. 1 is the astronomic or planetary theory better known as Astrometeorology. This is a system, as we have more than once explained, which exhibits certain influences exerted by the sun, moon and planets, when in conjunction, opposition, extreme declination, crossing the equator, perigee, perihelion, &c. It is a system, moreover, which enables its professor to calculate the probabilities almost any length of time beforehand. The advantages of such a system to agriculturists, tourists, and to such as make long voyages are too obvious to require enumeration. Number two we will call the linear system by Mr. White, a gentleman who fills the office of meteorologic correspont(sic) to the Mark Lane Express', and one whose incubrations have several times appeared in these columns. Here, too, astronomy is found to supply the chief elements; and it is but fair to say, that although differing in some essential features from the first-named theory, it has borne the test of approximate accuracy, and has proved, we believe, a great boon to farmers and others to whom the periods of heat and cold, dry and wet have been made known.
The Lunar Weather system of Lieut. Saxby takes its rank in our estimation as No. 3; not so much for its novelty, as because it supports, unintentionaly, yet in a remarkable manner, the very principle for which astro-meteorologists have always contended. The one great drawback of Mr. Saxby's system is that it supplies data for only six or eight calculations of weather disturbance in each month, leaving it to be inferred, that the other twenty or more days are, in a negative sense, necessarily under the influence of find and settled conditions. We believe in Mr. Saxby's system so far as it goes, and what he says of the moon, we would say of those planetary orbs many thousand times larger than our satellite, and as having, as has been proved, a chemical action on our atmosphere many times greater. It is this, that the philosophic dogma which declares them to have no influence on teh weather, binds the public mind in prejudices,sends numbers or our [ 109 ]fellow creatures into eternity and scatters an enormous amount of property in wrecks along the coast." We have intimated that the Saxby-Lunar system does not go far enough, and our opinion is based upon the fact that some of the most violent storms have arisen simultaneously with certain configurations of the earth and planets at a time when the moon was in no one of the positions pointed out as likely to cause a disturbance. A pretty good proof of this was given in our article on the "Recent Storms and Other Phenomena."
System No. 4 we will suppose to be that in which the barometer and telegraph play an important part, and with which is associated the name of Admiral Fitzroy. We have dealt with this system in previous articles, and we here reiterate the opinion that notwithstanding the great number of failures resulting to its forecasts hitherto, and the very circumscribed periods of warming in the case of storms, it is one that has already done some good in the saving of life and property, and is calculated to confer on mariners and others a still greater benefit, so soon as the worthy Admiral at its head shall put aside his present prejudice against astronomic meteorology. We have on one or two occasions placed in parallel columns a series of predictions and a corresponding series of the Fitzroy forecasts. Comparing them with actual occurrences it has been seen at a glance that the verifications have been immensely favourable to the calculations deduced from the planetary method. We have again taken some pains to compare notes by placing in juxta-position the said predictions and forecasts with the actual state of the weather for the period of two months and we find the results corroborate previous comparisons; but, to enable the readers of the Gazette to judge for themselves we annex the comparison referred to. The said comparison is in a tabulated form and is too lengthy to be conveniently copied into these pages; it is, consequently omitted. It may be said, however that in the tabulated arrangement the forecasts are given in the exact terms as they appeared in the Times, while the 'predictions', reduced to their simplest and most concise form, are those contained in the metrical effusions which were given from week to week in the Gazette. In order to show that everything is 'fair and above board', we would suggest to those who feel disposed to take the trouble a comparison with the originals in the two journals referred to. And now, what are the results here exhibited?
In the month of August (commencing from the 4th, the earliest Times to which the writer has access) we find no fewer than 25 verified predictions out of 28, whilst out of an equal number of "forecasts", and with the most Liberal interpretations, we cannot find more than 20 fulfilments. The disparity, we confess, is not over large, but in the next month when storms and unsettled weather occurred, both with a high and low barometer, and with the movements of that instrument, sometimes in direct opposition to the rules laid down, the failures of the Fitzroy system were very numerous, they being equal to 17, as compared with only four failures [ 110 ]of the astronomic system. The mode of reckoning we have adopted is that of estimating two partial successes as one fulfilment, and we repeat that we have given our rival as liberal interpretation as possible. We ought, perhaps, to explain that the direction and movements of the wind are purposely omitted, as are also the instrumental readings; first, because they would occupy too much space, and secondly, because it would be an unequal comparison, seeing that our own method does not recognize the power of foretelling the direction of the wind, and that the Fitzroy system, at present is equally unable to grapple with temperature. We may be allowed to say, however, that we have made a very close comparison of the wind's direction as forecasted for the south coast at the Meteorologic Office, and the true direction as observed at Hastings and St. Leonards. By this comparison we arrive at the astounding fact that out of 58 forecasts, there are but five that received a verification in full, whilst there were 18 partially right, and 30 totally wrong. We could not have believed it possible, had we not the facts before us that so many miscalculations could have resulted from a system professedly aiming at correctness in that particular feature of meteorology. Yet, so it is; and if any of our readers are curious in the matter, a call at our office will convince them of the truth of our statement.
A Little Trip to Netherfield.
The following narrative would, perhaps, have been more appropriately classed with the school treats, but as it was not connected either with those of Hastings or St. Leonards, it was at first undecided with which town it should be associated. But without more ado, here it is.
Jumped up from the dinner-table at 2 pm. on New Year's Day and joined the train for Battle, at which place the station was unceremoniously passed by the impetuosity of the iron monster to which we were attached. Put back a short distance and leaped out of the carriage in the teeth of a stiff sou-wester and a pouring rain. Wended our way on foot to the village of Netherfield, and was surprised to find that, notwithstanding the dirty weather which prevailed, the road was in a tenfold cleaner condition than some of those we had recently traversed in St Leonards - the London road to wit. But then, we suddenly remembered that the superiority of the Netherfield road might be accounted for by the fact of its having the Town Council to look after it. Be this as it may, the object of our journey was quickly sighted on an eminence whose approach was not difficult, and the traversing of which was dexterously accomplished. This object, let us say was the picturesque group of a church, schoolhouse and parsonage, not long since erected and endowed by the munificence of Lady Webster. It is not our intention to enter into any detailed [ 111 ]description of these edifices, but simply to say, en passant, that the parsonage house - tenanted by the Rev. R. R. Duke - is a handsome and convenient structure; that the school-house is a substantial building, fitted up with the usual school requisites, and that the church (or chapel-of-ease), dedicated to St. John the Evangelist, is one of the most elegant of its kind hereabout to be met with. Of the exterior of the last named and of its beautiful clock-dial we take a hurried glance and pass under its portal. Here we soon have an opportunity of seeing and hearing how Mr. Charles Figgle, of St. Leonards, trains his little band of rustic choristers, among whom it is no exaggeration to say there is considerable proficiency and implicit obedience. Nor should we omit to state that their biblical knowledge is far beyond what might have been expected in a community for whom religious instruction had been but lately provided? This was attested by numerous questions put by way of recreation by a friend who accompanied us. Proceeding to the school-house, we are ushered into the presence of about 90 scholars, who, at the expense of Lady Webster, are being regaled with tea, bread-and-butter and plum-cake. Some idea of the extent of these provisions may be gleaned from the fact that of the cake alone there was 50lbs. weight, and of a quality too that might be described as rich. The ornamentation of these cakes and of the well-filled tables was of an elaborate character, and which appeared to gladden the eyes of the children who sat around them, as well as of the friends who overlooked them. Graces were sung by the juveniles, after which the Rev. R. R. Duke addressed them in an affectionate and suitable strain, dwellling especially on the great interest evinced on their behalf by Lady Webster, to whose benevolence they were indebted for the good things before them, and the labour of whose hands produced many of the articles that would be presented to them ere they left the building. Several little pieces were then sung by the children, after which they were marched in and around the class-room where was fitted up and prettily illuminated a sort of bazaar, from which the children, according to their age and merit were permitted to select one or more articles of apparel, suitable to the season. . . . it was now time for us to be bending our steps homewards, and as we seized our hat and umbrella, hearty cheers were being given for Lady Webster, the Rev. R. R. Duke, and Mr. Fuggle. - Thus ended our trip to Netherfield.
The Temperance Propaganda
Never in the history of St. Leonards nor throughout the entire borough was the Temperance cause so excitably in evidence, so persistently to the front and so thoroughly successful as it was in the year now under review. During the week immediately preceding the third of January, there had been four meetings in the Norman-road Temperance Hall - namely, a concert, a tea-meeting, and a two nights demonstration of the Band of Hope. The concert was on Saturday night, as usual, the tea meeting, though not quite so numerously attended, [ 112 ]was a pleasurable one, and the Band of Hope demonstration was both novel and successful. On the latter occasion the room was so crowded on both evenings as to necessitate the non-admission of many persons who thronged the entrance. The principal feature of attraction was a monster Christmas tree, ex a superabundance of productions, and illuminated with 50 gas jets. There were also ten smaller trees, which with the profuse decorations of evergreens given by W. Lucas-Shadwell, Esq, and the floral and other decorations bestowed by a number of ladies, formed a coup d'oeil at once novel and attractive. The first evening's entertainment consisted of music by Herr Kluckner's Band, a Temperance address, singing by the Band of Hope boys, recitations, and the presentation of a picture to Mr. Burg. The boys numbered 70 and the audience 350. The second evening was employed in singing and music, an address by Mr. Beagley, the passing of votes of thanks to those who had assisted in the work, and the stripping of the trees by lottery, each person present having a share therein, in addition to which on both evenings, prizes were awarded to the best boys. Master Philip Tree gained the first prize, and elegant alabaster inkstand, the gift of Miss. Pennington. The boys also received a plentiful supply of fruit. The whole affair passed off with great eclat.
The Musical meetings on Saturday evenings have already been described under the heading of concerts.
A Young Demosthenes. During the week which closed on Jan. 24th, quite a sensation was caused in the Temperance Hall (and also at Hastings) by the extraordinary efforts of Master Tregear, 14 years of age, in the recital of some of Gough's temperance orations, and by the still more extraordinary attitudinal imitations of the great orator. It is almost too tame to say that the halls in both towns were literally crowded to hear this young Cornish Demosthenes; and as the attempt to describe the youth's performance as fully as might be wished is out of the questions, it shall be simply said that by seeing and hearing could it be believed.
Other Gatherings On January 13th, the friends of Temperance took tea together in the same hall and afterwards held a second meeting for hearing an able and energetic address by the Rev. W. Burke of the Church of England. The hall was so excessively full that the reporter of the St. Leonards Gazette was unable to elbow his way through the crowd on the stairs at the entrance. Thirteen names were added to the pledge book.
Two Nights later, there was another meeting, when Mr. George Verney, of Houndslow on "Customs New and Old; wise and unwise." lectured to a large audience.
The Rev. A. Maguire of Clerkenwell, was the lecturer on the 28th of January, after which the young Cornish orator recited "The Maniac" in a masterly style. More names were added to the pledge book.
Mr. Hilton's Farewell Address was delivered in the Temperance Hall on the 12th of February, to a full room. The address was based on the 6th verse of the 91st Psalm - "The pestilence that walketh in darkness; the destruction that wasteth at noon-day."
Mr. De Fraine, the celebrated Temperance lecturer, gave a most eloquent [ 113 ]and practical address on Wednesday, March 4th, and was listened with the greatest attention by a very large audience.
. Mr. Beagley occupied the chair and opened the meeting with a telling speech, urging upon the members the advisability of combining with the Society all the advantages of a Working-men's Institute, since it would be instrumental in securing their chief object, Temperance, and would be a grand step in bringing about the amelioration of the working classes.
That in the opinion of this meeting it is expedient to extend the basis of the St. Leonards Temperance Society, so as to combine with the object hitherto promoted, the principal features of Working Men's Institutes, viz., lectures, essays, &c
More Exertions and Successes. It must be confessed that the St. Leonards Temperance Society laboured assiduously to engage the spare time of the working population, the object being, doubtless, to make the non-working hours subservient to the moral and intellectual improvement of such as might otherwise be disposed to spend their leisure in profitless pursuits. Within the fortnight preceding the 21st of March, there were several occasions on which the Hall was filled by an eager public, and on each of which the company evinced a satisfaction of the bill of fare placed before them. In addition to the very able address by Mr. de Fraine, there were the usual concerts, a tea-meeting, and a special social gathering. Of the weekly concerts it might be truly said that the experiment had eventuated in a decided success, the numbers attending them appearing to increase with each successive week from the commencement. Notwithstanding the Committee's original intention to limit the series to a dozen, there was a clamour to extend the number until fourteen had been given, and still the demand was for more. Some objection was made to this kind of amusement by the most staid of the teetotallers on the ground of it being, as they supposed, not in keeping with the design of the Temperance movement, whilst some of the most intelligent tempreance advocaes who moved about the country and saw life in all its phases, contended that one great cause of non-success in reforming drunkards had been the too perpetual sermonising upon the besetting sin, without offering to the man who had been accustomed to his pipe and his glass with cheerful company, an equivalent for that which he was abjured to forsake; in a word, "the man and the woman with only a moderate share of intelligence and possessing no means of amusement within themselves, had been left to fall back on their old associations for recreation which the teetoallers denied them. Objections were also made by persons opposed to the temperance movement that the committee had been obliged to accept the aid of non-teetotallers. But the writer - himself a non-abstainer - opined that the objections thus made were the result of a too restricted mode of reasoning. This opinion was based upon what he conceived to be the fact that people would seek relaxation after a day of toil, whether it was provided for [ 114 ]them or not; and upon another fact, that if philanthropists would succeed in carrying out good intentions they must take society as they find it, to make the best of it, and not wait for that "good time to come" but never coming, when society will make itself what they have so ardently desired to see it. One noteworthy object of the promoters of the cheap concerts was to raise the musical taste of the audience, so that in course of time, compositions and productions of a sterling character might be appreciated by such as could at first bestow applause on mere frivolity. And this to some extent was seen to have been accomplished. At the entertainment given on the 7th of March, the day on which the Princes Alexandra made her public journey through London, four new national songs were sung (three of them by a local composer who, 37 years after, now guides the historic pen), and which with two selections from Shakespeare's writings were so well received as to prove that the objects of the promoters were in course of attainment.
The Prince of Wales' Marriage. The tea-meeting at the Temperance Hall in honour of the Prince of Wales' marriage was so largely attended that many persons could not obtain a seat. The decorations of the hall on that occasion both outside and in, were among the most chaste of the local displays on that auspicious day, and did credit to those who laboured assiduously to achieve it. The tea was a free gift to such members of the society as were disposed to avail themselves of it. The new national anthem was sung and some duets were played by ladies on the piano and harmonium, but beyond that and the sociability of the tea there was nothing to report, it being the desire not to deprive the company of the out-of-door amusements of the evening.
A Later Gathering was that of Wednesday, March 18th, when the Hall was again filled to overflowing. Mr Church, a talented musician, presided at the piano, and the "sons and daughters of song" provided, without stint, for the entertainment of the company. It was noticed at this gathering - a sort of "free - and - easy" - that the same attempts as at the Saturday concerts to raise the tone of the harmony was persevered on, and with good effect, this last meeting being in every way an improvement on the first.
Mr. T. Hudson, of the United Kingdom and General Provident Institution, occupied the platform, on the evening of the 17th of March, and discoursed pleasantly for an hour and a half on the Fictions of Poetry and the Facts of Experience in relation to our Drinking customs". In the course of his remarks the lecturer said he had been over 25 years a teetotaler, and it must therefore be conceded to him that he had had some amount of experience. There were several opinions as to whether the question should be advocated statistically, religiously, physiologically or chemically, but he was persuaded that in whichever phase it was viewed, the whole question of our drinking customs could not be defended. He then gave an amusing sketch of Bachhus sitting astride of a beer barrel, the attractions of the beer houses and gin palaces, the [ 115 ]customs of health-drinking, &c., and argued that the halo of enchantment which poets and novelists had sought to throw around them was a poetic fiction and a philosophical error.
A Tea and Talk Meeting was held on Wednesday evening, Oct. 14th, the "great gun" at which was the Rev. W. Acworth, of Plumstead, who addressed the assembly in a very effective and amusing manner. The same gentleman addressed a similar meeting at the Hastings Temperance Hall in Castle Road, and whilst nearly 60 persons were all that could be got together, the tables at St. Leonards were surrounded by nearly 200, all of whom, judging from their happy appearance were "socialists" of the right sort. The greater number and more complete success of the St. Leonards party were frequently referred to by their Hastings fraternity with jealous but generous admiration.
Living Tableaux representing Cruickshanks "The Bottle" were presented at the Temperance Hall on Wednesday evening, Nov. 18th. It was an amateur performance got up by Mr. William Aldridge and eleven other other[sic] persons. The Hall was crowded, and the representation was so greatly appreciated that by request it was repeated on the following evenings.
"Self Culture" was a theme with which the attention of a large audience was instructed on the evening of Nov. 25th, by Mr. George Clements, a gentleman from Liverpool, and one who had lately been appointed by the Rev. W. N. Tilson Marsh as Town Missionary at St. Leonards.
The Temperance Festival. This annual Christmas Tree Festival was duly celebrated on the evenings of Tuesday and Wednesday, the 23rd and 24th of December. The Hall was gaily decorated with garlands, wreaths, bouquets, Chinese langers, mottoes, &c., the effect of which when lighted with gas jets and other means of illumination was very striking. On a scarlet ground, and suspended along the west wall was an arrangement of laurel leaves, forming in large letters the phrase "Happy New Year to you!" whilst at the head of the room, surmounting the platform were similar devices bearing the inscription "Farewell to 1863 and Welcome 1864." From the centre of the hall, at suitable distances, were also suspended coloured draperies, bearing, among other sentences "Glory to God in the highest; on earth peace, good will towards men." But the platform was the grand centre of attraction, not only because it was occupied by those who had undertaken to carry out the programme of amusements, but also on account of the brilliant display of the illuminated Christmas tree, with which were associated two other exhibitions of its class on a smaller scale. These were heavily laden with fruits of industry, the handiwork and contributions of a number of ladies manifesting a practical interest in the Temperance movement. The proceedings of the first evening commenced with devotional excercies, conducted by the Rev. W. N. Tilson-Marsh, as president, who afterwards gave a [ 116 ]short address. The musical part of the entertainment, consisting of vocal and instrumental pieces, was sustained by the lady friends of the society, assisted by Messrs. Fuggle, Funnell, and the Temperance choir. At intervals during these performances the dismantling of the trees was proceeded with, and the articles with which they were adorned distributed among the company. Most of the articles were as useful as they were ornamental, and as each recipient had the privilege of selecting to the value of his admission ticket - 6d., 1/- or 2/- as the case might be, such selection could not fail to be of a highly satisfactory character. On the second evening the Hall was again overflowingly full, many persons being unable to obtain admission. The proceedings were similar in character to those of the first evening, except that the musical accompaniments were more extensive. The vocalists on this occasion, in addition to the Society's choir, were the Misses Tichbon and Baker, and Messrs. Fuggle, Butler, Tinley, and H. Phillips, jun. After the distribution of articles from the replenished trees, a Dutch auction took place, which, together with the company's speculations in a sort of twelfth-night cake, created no small amount of merriment.
The pecuniary results of the festival were an addition to the funds of about £32. Of this amount, 13 pounds were realised at a stall which was held in the Hall on the afternoon of Tuesday, when numerous useful and fancy articles were disposed of by Mrs. Tilson-Marsh and Mrs. J. Reid.
The thunder-storm, or series of storms which on Wednesday evening, June 24th passed over from south to north by the east and west of St. Leonards, and which raged in proximity to the town in the early morning of Thursday, had a fatal effect in the neighbourhood of Lewes. The story, as reported was that a Mr. Weller, a butcher and grocer, of Glynde, was returning from Brighton on Wednesday evening, accompanied by his wife and another female in a light, spring cart, and that they passed through Lewes at about eleven o'clock, when the lightning and thunder were quite appaling. At about daybreak the following morning, the lifeless bodies of these unfortunate persons were discovered in the road near the Beddingham hills, about 2¼ miles distant from Lewes. The conjecture was that they were either killed by the electric fluid or being thrown violently to the ground by the affrighted and unmanageable horse. The cart had been upset, but the horse was still alive. Another of the (probably many) casualties of the storm was that by which an acrobat at the Cemome Gardens on Thursday evening received such injuries that his life was despaired of. He had been performing on a wire of great length for some weeks, and on repeating his exploits that evening he was precipitated from a great height to the ground. The wire was [ 117 ]supposed to have been injured by the storm of Wednesday night. Apropo of this storm, two of our astro-meteorologists - Zadkiel and Orion predicted "hot weather, cumuli and thunder-storms." At the inquest a theory was broached that although the uncle, aunt and niece might have all been thrown out by the upsetting of the cart it was hardly likely that the trio would have been all killed by that accident alone; and as there were no marks on the bodies to show that they had been struck by the lightning, the probability was that they had breathed the electrified oxygen of the air in its concentrated as set free by the lightning, and that instant death had resulted from that cause.
A Turkish Bath Company
After the accidental burning down of Mr. Groslobb's Russian Bath on the West Hill, there were many expressions of regret that St. Leonards should have been thus deprived of so valuable an adjunct to its health restoring characteristics. To repair and to even supersede the loss of this, a liability company was projected, with a proposed capital of £3,000, in 120 shares of £25 each. The provisional directors, with Alfred Burton, Esq. at their head, had secured the services of Mr. Groslobb, as manager, and they had no doubt that the undertaking would be successful. A considerable number of shares were at once taken up, and in the month of October, the following tenders were received for the erection of suitable premises:- Hayward, London, £1248; Sawyer, London, £1187; Hughes, St. Leonards, £1088; Howell, Hastings, £1030; Kenwood, St. Leonards, £1021; and Palmer, St. Leonards, £997. The last named was accepted and the work was soon commenced. The building was designed and planned by Mr. H. Burton of London, and the entire cost, including the purchase of ground and existing property, was estimated at about £2,500.
Some excellent sport was witnessed on the 12th of February, westward of St. Leonards, on the occasion of a meet with the Bexhill Harriers. This took place at Bulverhithe, from which place the hounds proceeded across the Salts towards Filsham farm-house, in the locality of which a hare was started from a hedgerow, and pursued to a shaw at the end of Pebsham Wood. After going up the shaw, Pussy broke cover at about the centre, when "a view" holloa was given of "sly Renard", a fox having broke cover at the top of the shaw, and stealing away, apparently to Pebsham wood, but turning to his left, came right across the Salts, swimming the Haven, and making away to Mr. Farncomb's house. Then directing his course to Church wood, passed the said wood on his right, on to Monkham's, thence to Ninfield, Hooe and Risk wood, finally whipping off to a shaw belonging to Mr. Brook, the worthy master of the Harriers at Bexhill. The fox was "dead beat", as were also for a time, the hounds which pursued him. It was a most [ 118 ]exciting chase, and was regarded as one of an extraordinary nature, the hounds (not fox hounds) carrying it through without a check.
Oh the Sunning Foxes! they would not hunted be,
Although a host of folk of high and low degree,
With choicest hounds did meet upon St. Leonards Green,
On day October's last - a morning most serene.
Yet 'twas a glorious meet, nor was there lack of pluck,
But Reynard did not choose to give the sportsmen luck.
Other than the "Storms and atmospheric phenomena" described on pages 101 to 103, occurred in the month of October which deserve to be recorded. Rainstorm, wind-storm, gale and hurricane are terms descriptive of a series of atmospheric disturbances that visited St. Leonards and other places on the 28th to 30th of October, resulting in the destruction of property to a considerable amount. The rain of Wednesday evening the 28th, was succeeded by a clear, moonlight night, to be succeeded in turn by a boisterous wind and showers of rain on the following day. This again gave place to a moonlit night, and that again followed by a gale and heavy downfall of rain on Friday, On the last-named day, the barometer which had been previously oscillating, yet with a downward tendency, fell rapidly and from about noon the wind increased in severity until about four o'clock, when it had attained to the strength of a hurricane, blowing down chimneys, uprooting fences, unroofing houses, and doing other damages. The full extent of the damage had not been ascertained on Friday night when Brett's Gazette went to press, but at that time, the following was the list of casualties:- At 24 East Ascent a stack of chimneys was blown down; at 44 Marina, a stack of chimneys had fallen through the roof of 48; at 64 Marina the windows were broken, and at 56 Marina a stack of chimneys had fallen through an upper floor. At Landour House, Upper Maze Hill, also a stack of chimneys fell through the roof, by which a handsome stained-glass window was demolished. In Norman road a fence and out-house were blown down. At The Lawn, there were smashed windows and open roofs; and at the Mount slates were blown from every house, and the field in their rear strewn with slates to the distance of a hundred yards or more. Several houses in Warrior square, Church Road, and other places, together with the St. Leonards National Schools, were partly unroofed and unglazed, whilst the hairbreadth escapes of pedestrians and others from severe injuries by the flying and falling materials was very remarkable.
This series of storms commenced earlier in the north-west part of Europe, and continued for a whole week, and from the accounts which came in day by day, it would appear that Great Britain had a very large share. From every part, disastrous news arrived. The vessels which came [ 119 ]to port told of the fearful perils they had encountered and the narrow escapes they had had from foundering, whilst there were others whose absence excited the most painful apprehensions. Stacks of wheat had been blown down and scattered, hundreds of fine old trees had been torn up by the roots, the rain had descended in torrents, and hail had fallen larger in size than had known to have occurred for years. As in Great Britain, so in France, the stormy weather had been general during the week. A terrific hurricane broke over Paris at 2 o'clock on Monday morning and continued until about 8 o'clock, when the fury of the wind appeared to be subdued by torrents of rain. In the South of France, too the weather was deplorable. An enormous water-spout on Friday on the railway from Nimes to Montpellier. A long list of wrecks during the gales was received from several coast towns. At Liverpool, Shields, Leith, Yarmouth, Lowestoft and Holyhead, the wind blew with hurricane force on Monday and Tuesday, and many parts were inundated by the sea.
As to the [cause] of this series of storms, we are almost in the dark, and in a scientific point of view can offer but a feeble explanation. We know, indeed that the moon reached her greatest northern declination on Friday, and that it was therefore on of the days on which "a change for higher wind or lower temperature" might be expected; but it was not one of Saseby's "cyclone" days, nor was it or its predecessor, a day which meteorologist would have described beforehand as more than "windy", "fresh", or "strong". Certainly our own weather clerk was out in his reckoning, and even Fitzroy, with the declining barometer before him, did not hoist his south or north cone until the storm had commenced its ravages. Sunday and Monday, locally, were remarkably fine days, but the curiously formed lunar halo on Sunday evening, and a more extended one on Monday evening, together with the wind boxing the compass twice within twenty-four hours, with a falling barometer, induced to express to many persons (after our estimate of a "fine week" had gone forth in print) the belief that a storm was on the way; but why it should come was a question still unanswered, except in part by Saxby's Solar-lunic theory. The visible signs just mentioned, as it afterwards became known, were the local indications of the simultaneous bursting of the storm in other parts two or three days before Hastings and St. Leonards were involved in it.
A Breach in the Wall
On Saturday the 13th of June, as some workmen in the employ of Mr. Rhodda, builder, of St. Leonards, were excavating some earth contiguous to Mr. Beaney's premises in Western Road, a portion of the loosened cliff fell against the side wall of a building used as a coach-house and stable, and thereby effected a large and dangerous breach. A cry of alarm was immediately raised by persons who were living in some rooms [ 120 ]over the coach-house, and which, in a short time attracted a number of people to the spot. Active steps were immediately taken to get out the furniture as well as the horses and other things of value, and at the same time to prop up the building which appeared in imminent danger of coming down. No long time elapsed ere the last-named structure was made temporarily secure, and the goods and chattels removed to a place of greater safety. The amount of damage extended only to the falling in of the wall as described, and the breaking of a carriage belonging to Mr. Lester. It is somewhat curious that exactly two years before the same building was nearly destroyed by fire, and by the same agency 35 years later.
Under the head of "Accidents" should have been noticed a singular and serious accident which occurred to Mrs. Pilbeam, of the "Coach and Horses" tavern at St. Leonards, on the 5th of November. The mishap was caused by stepping on a cork, which, rolling forwards, threw the woman back and fractured one leg.The St. Leonards Sol-faers gave a concert at Battle on the 26th of January to a crowded audience, and were very much applauded, as well as being requested to sing six pieces a second time. The same Tonic-Sol-Faers to the number of nearly 100 formed a pic-nic party to the new "Old Roar" on the 22nd of June. Their holiday was cheered by fine weather and their enjoyment was enhanced by the individual and collective ability of the party to minister to the general amusement. As might be expected, singing formed no inconsiderable part of the "play" and it need excite no wonderment that
Hill and dale with song resounded
While shady woods with music abounded.
The Royal Humane Society. appointed R. J. Wilson, Esq., surgeon, of Grand-parade, medical assistant for the district of Hastings and St. Leonards in the place of the late R. A. Gardiner, Esq.
Mr. William Coker Beck, once a pupil of the present writer, was, in November, elected to the office of Assistant-Overseer for the parish of Ore. It is a noteworthy incident that when pedagogue and pupil met at the house of an overseer and the pupil reminded his old master of some lines that the latter wrote for him on his birthday, the overseer and the assistant overseer should have died within a short time of each other.
A Swarm of Bees, in the month of June, was taken from the bedroom chimney of Mr. Starnes, greengrocer of Norman Road.
Ten Thousand Mackerel were caught in the "Kettle" nets, at west St. Leonards on Friday evening, June 5th, many of which were sold at 15., per hundred.
References & Notes
- This F. W. Foster may be a different person - Editor
- Toxophilites - students, or lovers of archery. Transcriber
- 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
- There would appear to be several spellings of the same Doctor's surname in this paragraph - transcriber
- Cui Malo - Latin for 'to whose detriment' - transcriber
- Commander Richard James Morrison (15 June 1795 - 5 April 1874) or Zadkiel was an astrologer and publisher of an almanac under the latter name. Morrison and his daughter feature fairly regularly in Temperance hall readings as evidenced by Brett's history, and it may be presumed that Brett knew Morrison at least at a professional level. One of his (Morrison's) students later continued the almanac under the same pseudonym.
- The London Evening Standard of Thursday 06 August 1863 reported 10,000 dead as a result of this quake, with a mention of the 'flame' to which this correspondent refers, although in this rendition, the 'flame' is reported as being due to volcanic eruptions. - Editor