Brett Volume 3: Chapter XLI - St. Leonards 1849

From Historical Hastings

Transcriber’s note

Chapter XLI - St. Leonards 1849

Mr. Catley's register of the extraordinary rainfall of the preceding year
The tabulated rest of St Leonardensis, and curious extracts from his diary
The birth of Mr. Burton's daughter in the year of her father's Mayoralty
The event forgotten 37 years later, when Mrs. Bradnam is presented with a silver cradle for giving birth to a child while her husband was Mayor, as "the only instance known to the Council during a mayor's term of office"
Twenty-one similar cases enumerated to dispel the illusion for Burton (the first Mayor elected from St. Leonards) during his official year; attends the annual Bachelor’s Ball; convenes a meeting for getting the County Leamstock Show at Hastings; corrects the Times paper concerning some brown lands; gives a dinner to the Corporation and Borough officials; suffers bereavement by his brother, Dr. Henry Burton; is elected President of the newly formed Mechanics Institution; is present at its first soiree when the town is 21 years old; is an invited guest at the London Lord Mayor's banquet; is chairman of the St.Leonards Commissioners; displays a generous spirit towards the towns improvement; and is highly complimented on retiring from office for his impartial conduct and valuable services
The drainage of the town the uppermost question
Parochial business of St.Leonards and St. Mary Magdalen
Wreck of the "Perseverance"
Dr. MacCabe' s letter concerning the port Campbell, with copy of a parody on the poet's "Address to the sea"
Lectures and concerts
The Liberals complain of Mr. Hollond not voting for Cobden's motion for Financial Reform
Mr. Hollond's reply
Sundry occurrences, including the death of Mrs. Hannah Beck, aged 98
Accidental fires
Meteorological phenomena
"A Ramble through St. Leonards"
The French ex-Royals at St.Leonards
Another royal exile
Obituary of the Queen Dowager

[ 328 ]

Rainfall of 1847 - Mr. A. Burton's Mayoralty and other movements

145 Sl In January was published a tabulated account of rainfall in 1847 and 1848, as measured by Mr. Catley in his rain-guage(sic) at Montpelier House, Old London ​road​. This showed for 1847 more or less rain on 106 days, and the total depth of 22.30 inches, whilst in 1848 — that very eventful year — the rainy days were 151, and the total amount 42.72 inches, or nearly double that of the separate years 1847, 1845, 1843, and 1842, the average of which, with four other years, was 22.30 inches. The daily condition of the weather, but without the measured rainfall, was being at the same time recorded at St. Leonards, whilst in juxta-position to the same register of the weather was a tabulated record of each night’s rest by that eccentric being whose nearly 70 years of double-day labour have recently been reviewed by the local press in the present year of grace, 1893. The said register — which may be seen by the curious in such matters - consists of six columns, showing the exact hour and minute of courting and quitting Somnus, or in other words, the time of retiring to, and rising from rest each night and morning. Three columns are devoted to the eccentric man’s action in this matter, and three parallel columns to that of his wife. The third column in each case give the average amount of rest separately by man and wife; which, to take only one month for exemplification, shows the former to have had during January, 1849, an average nightly rest of 5h. 32m., and the latter, 7h. 24m.

These averages, be it remembered, are those of the periods of getting in and out of bed, and not those of actual sleep. Also in parallel lines to the dates are brief notes of personal occupations and ventures, of which the following few are extracted as a sample. Jan, 4, cold and hungry; breakfast 3½ hours after rising. Jan, 5, severely bruised by a fall during a snowstorm. Jan. 9, walked 20 miles. Jan. 10, superintended grammar-class at Mechanics’ Institution. Jan. 11, engaged with band at 66 Marina, Jan. 12 and 13, walked 16 miles, ran 44 miles, played all night for a ball at the Queen’s Head, Hawkhurst, returned by way of Hurstgreen, witnessed the performance of Capt. Spirling’s two daughters, and reached home at midnight. Jan. 14, had 64 hours rest out of 48, Jan. 15, witnessed a Roman Catholic funeral. Jan. 18, played at King’s Head ball, and had three hours rest afterwards. Jan. 22, set poetry to music for Mr. Tyrie. Jan. 24, Amer Scott, a cousin, married to Mr. Willard. Jan. 26, fifth anniversary of wedding-day. Jan. 28, a vessel wrecked at St. Leonards by a terrific tide; the Moon, Saturn and Venus all in conjunction at the exact time, 1.15 a.m. Feb. 1, Corn Law abolished. Feb. 6, helped to get signatures to a Peace petition, Feb. 9, wrote the song of “California.“ Feb. 19 and 20, attended Mr. Tyrie’s lecture on “Popular Amusements,” and Mr, Rock’s on “The Steam Engine.” Feb. 21, played at the Anchor ball. Feb. 22 to 24, altering shop and accomplishing self imposed task of putting up new fixtures — 87 hours labour and 9 hours rest.

On the 7th of January was announced the birth of a daughter of Mrs. Alfred Burton, of St. Leonards, the father of the child being at the time Mayor of Hastings. The event is the more noteworthy in consequence of a statement at a more recent date (6th of October, 1886) when Mrs Bradnam gave birth to a son, that a silver cradle would be presented to Mr. Bradnam as the first civic chief known to the Corporation who had been similarly blessed during his term of office. It was pointed out at the time in BRETT’s GAZETTE that Mr Burton’s was another case. and that similar events occurred in ancient times — notably in 1585, 1641, 1644 and 1765. To that statement of the GAZETTE I will now add that before the Elizabethan charter of incorporation in 1588, there were born during their several years of office as Bailiffs, a son to George Porter, in 1565; a daughter to William Mitchell, in 1569; and a son to Thomas Haye, in 1585. Then, during their mayoralties, a son was born to James Lasher, in 1589; a daughter to Richard Witheris, in 1609 (his wife also dying the same year); a son to Richard Waller, in 1620; a son to Jeremy Bryham, in 1621; a son to John Bailey, in 1624; a son to Thomas Palmer, in 1644-5; a daughter to Edward Milward, in 1683; a daughter to John Collier, in 1722, and another daughter, in 1723; a daughter to Edward Milward, in 1759; a son (a born mayor) also to E. Milward, in 1765; a son to Thomas Evitt, in 1770; and a stillborn child to E. Milward (first husband of the Countess Waldegrave) in 1818.

As the above retrospect has arisen from the birth of the mayor Burton’s daughter in 1849, it will be apropos to review some of the public matters in which Mr. Burton interested himself A memorial signed by him as Mayor, had the effect of reducing the express fare on the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway from 17/6 to 15/-; and this allusion to the railway is a reminder that the Hastings Commissioners received from the Ashford-Extension (now recognised as the South-Eastern) Railway Company the sum of £92 19s. as compensation for the Ashyard in the Ozier-bed, in the parish of St. Andrew.

In his private capacity, Mr. Burton attended the Batchelors’ Ball at the St. Leonards Assembly Room on the 18th of January, the said ball having been established as an annual diversion from the first year after the foundation of the town. On this occasion, it was very numerously attended, as usual, and among the gay company were the Earl and Countess of Antrim, Lord Glenelg, Lady Victoria Wellesley, Lady Webster, Lady and the Misses Hussey, Capt. Wellesley, Mrs. Robert Hollond, &c.

On the 16th of February, Mr. Burton, in his capacity of Mayor, convened and took the chair at a public meeting, which was attended by only six or seven townspeople. in addition to the members of the Corporation. Commenting on the smallness of the attendance, Mr. G. Scrivens remarked that when they wished to ensure the most meagre attendance possible, they had only to advertise a general meeting of the inhabitants. They would not, however, be daunted in their efforts to get the County Lean Stock Show held at Hastings for which purpose £86 was subscribed at the Mayor's dinner, thus leaving about £120 to be additionally raised. The old saying that great things often result from small beginnings was realised in this case, for, notwithstanding the apparent indifference of the townspeople, an influential committee was formed, and five months later (July 27th), despite an unfavourable condition of the weather, there was an excellent show in the field east of the convent, the novelty of which would partly account for the formidable pressure for admission when the gates were opened at 12 o'clock. Three and a half hours later, over 400 persons sat down to a sumptuous dinner provided by Mr. Yates, of the Royal Oak Hotel, in an elegantly decorated marquee erected on the Priory ground. The Duke of Richmond presided, and was supported, among others, by A. Burton, Esq (Mayor), M Brisco, M.P.; C. A. Frewen, M.P.; R. Hollond, M.P.; H. M. Curteis, Major Curteis, G. Webster, F. Smith and G. Scrivens, Esqs. A superior band was engaged for the occasion, which was also used at night to play to a ball at the Anchor Inn. I still see and hear, as it were, the efficiency of that band and the clever playing of country dances by one of the performers on a tenor trombone, the reminiscence being presently as vivid as was the actual experience 45 years ago.

Another action of Mr. Burton was to write a letter to the Times, in correction of an article which appeared in that journal concerning some Crown lands, The letter stated that “the late James Burton [father of the writer] had a lease granted to him by the Crown in March, 1827, which will expire in 1924, of 41 plots of ground now forming part of Chester Terrace, Regent’s Park; and he caused to be erected thereon, free of expense to the Crown, 41 first-class houses, with stabling, &c. The aggregate of the ground-rents payable to the Crown by James Burton or his assigns is £711 per annum, or above £17 per house — £260 per acre per annum. The expense of enclosing and forming the ornamental garden and ​road​ in front of the terrace, was also to be borne by him or his assigns. I have also to add that upwards of £140,000 were expended by my late father in ​building​ on the ground in question, and that, so far from the transaction having proved to be one for congratulation, he, on the contrary, sustained a loss of many thousand pounds.”

On the 24th of April, Mr. Burton gave a dinner at his residence, 36 Marina, to members of the Corporation consisting of Aldermen Scrivens and Ticehurst, Councillors Emary Ross, Harvey, Chamberlin, Deudney, Penfold, Amoore and Burfield; the Town Clerk (J. G. Shorter) being also present. A similar entertainment at the same a was provided, two days later, for Alderman Farncomb, Councillors Putland, Yates, Hutchings, Beck, Stubbs, Mann, Hicks,

On the 10th of August, Mr. Burton suffered a bereavement by the death of his brother, Henry Burton, Esq., M.D , of 31 Jermyn street, London, the residence of the esteemed gentleman. He was the senior physician of St, Thomas’s Hospital, and the son of James Burton, Esq., the founder of St. Leonards. Like his brother Alfred the then Hastings Mayor, and other members of the family, the deceased doctor was of an amiable disposition, and was greatly esteemed in private life. His death occurred after a brief illness.

I have said that Dr. Burton’s was a brief illness; it was, indeed but of a few hours duration, his valuable life, like that of his eminent contemporary, Aston Keys, having been a sacrifice to the prevailing epidemic — the cholera — a life undoubtedly spent in active exertions to alleviate the sufferings of others. The house in St. Leonards known as 58 Marina was Dr. Burton’s property, and after the death of its owner, it was purchased, together with its furniture, by the Rev. G. D. St. Quintin.

It must have been gratifying to Mr Alfred Burton to know that; as the first mayor elected from St, Leonards, he was warmly supported by the West Ward Councillors. An instance of this was shown on the 12th of October, when, notwithstanding that the place of meeting was almost at the extreme east of the borough and the weather very unpropitious, all the members from the west were the first to assemble, whilst several from the east were absent altogether.

Another of Mr. Burton’s mayoral duties was to receive a memorial signed on behalf of the Temperance people by James Beck, William Ransom, Frederick Beck, Joseph Pitter, and Frederick Streeter, begging of him not to sanction the holding of Rock Fair beyond the usual two days, 26th and 27th of July, In support of the memorial Mr. Ransom very truthfully added that Rock Fair had been for many years a grievous moral pest, and that although both private and magisterial efforts had been made to abolish it altogether they had, unfortunately, been unsuccessful, The non-existence, however, now these many years, of both the Rock Fair (which prior to 1822 was held on the N.W. side of the White Rock) and the two town fairs held in the Fish Market, is evidence of itself that the repeated efforts to abolish them were ultimately successful.

Mr. Burton took a practical interest in the newly formed Mechanics' Institution, and although not its President at the time under consideration, he was present at its first soiree held in the Assembly Rooms on the 23rd of October. Of that enjoyable event the following is a condensed report from the Hastings News :— {{Quote|”The first soirée of this institution took place at the St. Leonards Assembly Rooms on Tuesday evening, Oct. 23rd. The assembly Rooms presented a most animated scene, the large and handsome room being filled with a delighted company. The Hastings friends rallied round the standard of the young institution with the utmost cordiality. The strains of Mr. Brett’s harmonious band, which rendered its services gratuitously, agreeably occupied the spare moments of the evening. The intricate arrangements of the tea-tables passed off in a most satisfactory manner. There was only one thing which tended to abate the general satisfaction of the festival — that of Mr. Chamberlain being unable to be present to occupy the chair, owing to the severe illness of a near relative. The post was assigned to Mr. S. Putland|Mr. Putland]], who, after the repast, remarked that perhaps no institution similar to their own had made so great a progress in so short a time. It was singular that they should be celebrating their first anniversary when the town had reached its 21st year, and that the town also should be supplying its first mayor to the borough at the time of its coming of age. He felt sure that if it had pleased Providence to have spared the life of the founder of the town till then, he would have rejoiced at its prosperity, and would have been pleased to be at their happy gathering. — Mr. C. T. How was gratified to find the cause of education countenanced by so large an assembly, numbering among the company so many of their fair friends at its first anniversary. The infant life of an institution was the most interesting of its career; hopes for good were centred in this stage of its existence, and every change of prospect was received by its promoters with joy or sorrow as it conduced to the success or otherwise of the enterprise. The first year of working had been a cause of congratulation to all those who had laboured for it. The library already contained 500 volumes, for which, as well as for some of the expense of starting a new venture, they were in no small measure indebted to private friends for their liberal presents. The number of members was 148. — Mr. G. Scrivens felt it to be both a pleasure and a duty to be then present, and he thought that if some who were not present could be induced to make one trial they would attend again. The success of the St. Leonards institution had been greater than chat which fell to the lot of the Hastings institution in its earlier years. He hoped to see the young plant take deep root, grow up into a vigorous tree, and bear satisfactory fruit. — Mr. S. Putland expressed his deep interest in their new institution, and thought that as St. Leonards had only one fourth the population of Hastings, and its new institution had more than one half the number of members that the Hastings institution had, there was much cause for congratulation. — Mr. Edwards dilated on the necessity for going forward with education, and laid down the duties of all persons and all classes in so great.a work. Where facilities existed for the acquisition of knowledge. there, he maintained, it was a duty to diffuse it. — Mr. James Smith, of St. Leonards, delivered an interesting address, followed by Mr. Tyrie, who spoke at some length on the benefits which the Press had conferred upon society in helping to sunder the bonds of ignorance and superstition which otherwise might have enslaved146St[ 329 ]the people to that hour. - Mr. Weller of Battle, said that although unaccustomed to address large assemblies except after a careful preparation, he felt that such a meeting as that was enough to make the dumb speak. He then spoke of the necessity for classes on the higher branches of physical science. Science had done much for these towns, and was probably destined to do more. They had a railway which was favourable to mutual intercourse, and intercourse was favourable to the progress of knowledge; for as “Iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” Addresses were also given by Mr. W. Walter and the chairman, and after votes of thanks being passed to Mr, Brett and his band, to Mr. Banks, and to the chairman, the meeting, at a late hour, dispersed.}}

Mr. Burton's Public Movements - Parody on Campbell's Address to the Sea

To pursue the account of Mr. Burton's public movements, it should be said that on the 9th of November, on his retiring from the mayoralty, he was complimented by Councillor Harvey for his excellent service and impartial conduct during the year. Then in the evening he presided over the assembly at the banquet, which took place in the newly decorated room at the Swan Hotel. A summary of that festive gathering will be given when treating of municipal matters, it being now my purpose to relate a serio-comic occurence(sic) elsewhere. While the Mayor and others were enjoying their civic feast, Mr. Womersley was hammering away at 57 George Street in the disposal of a clothier’s stock under a distress warrant for rent. As he was taking the several bids with the customary “going, going, gone!” the floor of the shop gave way, precipitating the auctioneer and the whole of the company into the cellar—a fall of about 7 feet. The “going, going, gone!“ was thus realised in a most unexpected manner. The dust rose in a stifling cloud, the auctioneer’s money was scattered, and the struggling company uttered a cry of terror. Two surgeons— Messrs Duke and Ticehurst — were fetched away from the Mayor’s dinner to attend to what might have been the killed and wounded. Happily, however, the injuries were limited to a few bruises and scratches, together with crushed hats and torn garments. Upon the whole, therefore, after the first alarm, the scene was one in which mirth rather than of grief was the preponderating feature. General hilarity was also provoked at the festive board when the surgeons returned and told the story. Just such an accident happened some years before in the neighbourhood of Gardiner’s street, while an auction sale was being conducted by Mr, George. Thomas, of Bexhill.

The next public compliment of which Mr. Burton was the recipient, was the making him President of the St. Leonards Mechanic’s Institution at its first annual meeting, when Messrs. Austin and Carey gave a guinea each to the fund. It was there Shown that the members were 156, receipts £106, expenditure £104, and number of books 461, Mr. Carey was elected treasurer. Messrs. How and Walter, secretaries, and Messrs Brett, Putland, Bacon, Smith, Beck, Banks, Mitchell and Coleman, committeemen. A {French class offered to be conducted by Mons. Burguieres, a grammar and arithmetic class by T. B, Brett, and a writing-class by Mr. Hook.

Mr. Burton was one of the invited guests at the Lord Mayor's (Mr. Farncomb’s) banquet at the Egyptian Hall, to the Mayors and Corporations of Hastings and Rye. He also attended, at an after period, the annual dinners of the Society of arts, to which society he paid the two guineas, annually as president of the St, Leonards Mechanics’ Institution, that being its contribution for its affiliation with the said Society.

Mr. Burton was usually selected as chairman of the St. Leonards Commissioners, and at the ordinary quarterly meeting on the 28th of March he was present, together with his brother Decimus, when a committee’s report was presented respecting the protection of the foreshore. This report is important as disproving the ever repeated statement by certain wiseacres that the shingle always collects on the west side of the groynes, and never on the east. True it is that the general drift of the beach is eastward, but I have both known and recorded numerous instances of a westward drift during a persistence of E. and N.E. winds. The condensed report here referred to was as follows :— “After the last satisfactory report of the two new groynes, to be called Nos, 3 and 4, a continuation of easterly winds removed the shingle to an unprecedented extent westward, and the accumulation on the east side of No. 3 groyne was so great as to force it out of an upright position. When the wind shifted to the S.W., operations were undertaken to right it, and, to prevent a recurrence, iron ties were put in on the side opposite to the original ones, From No, 2 groyne, the beach was also washed out, and for the safety of the parade wall, some planks were taken off the top of the groyne to allow the shingle to pass over, whilst the wall itself had been pointed with cement. It is deemed desirable to lengthen No. 3, about 25 feet At the same meeting, Messrs. Chamberlain and How made application (which was complied with) for a lamp to be placed on or near the Mechanics’ Institution, then situated at Mount Pleasant.

At the next quarterly meeting, on the 25th of June. Mr. Burton, who was regarded as the resident- representative of the town designed by his father, was gratified at the reading of the Committee’s further report, as follows :— “Your committee record their satisfaction for the improvement that appears to be taking place in the borough generally, and in St. Leonards move particularly. Houses of a very superior character are fast rising to completion, and, doubtless, will soon come into rating. The present demand even for unfurnished houses will probably cause additional ​building​, thus bringing an increased revenue to the town. Your committee, however, foresee the absolute necessity of an outlay of about a thousand pounds in order to maintain this improved condition, and have prepared the following estimate:—

Lengthening drain opposite 68 Marina 28
New main drain from 68 Marina to the new houses westward 60
Do. west end of Market to the Haven 75
Stone pavement 71 to 77 Marina 40
Do. opposite to the Fountain ​road​ 7
Alteration of kerb in Caves ​road​ 6
Continuing kerb to W. end of Market 17
Continuing iron post to same 75
Filling-in earth to form parade as far as Putland’s ground 16
Concrete wall in front of same 475
Stuccoing retaining wall at East Ascent 75
Completing stone channel at East Ascent 6
Altering channel at back of 68 Marina 3
Total £879

At the same meeting it was resolved that all persons having pigs and slaughter-houses in the town be ordered to remove them at once, Also ordered that the master of a vessel be summonsed who had unloaded a cargo of coal without having it metred or paying duty, It was further resolved that a sworn constable as parade-keeper be appointed, at a weekly wage of 14s.

These and other accounts to follow will show some of the conditions of St. Leonards in the earlier years of its existence, and how the town grew under the rule of the Board of Commissioners now defunct.

As at Hastings, so at St. Leonards, the drainage of the town was the uppermost question with the Commissioners, and at their September quarterly meeting, held at the Victoria Hotel, Mr. Alfred Burton’s suggestion was approved of to build an 18 inch brick drain through the West-Marina Market and carry it through the area of 116 Marina into a receptacle on the vacant ground to the westward, the work to be considered as of a temporary character until the Commissioners of the Pevensey Levels could see their way to permit the draining into the haven. Such a course, it was argued, could not possibly be any detriment to the said Commissioners. The several improvements recommended by the Commissioners at the last meeting were still in abeyance, the advertisement for a loan of money in the Times having brought no satisfactory response. The only portion of the work that had been carried out was the paying with York stone from 72 to 75 Marina, and the replacing of steps at the parade that had been washed away by the sea.

At the next meeting, on the 26th of December, Mr. Burton and his brother again displayed a generous spirit with a view to the town’s improvement, Mr. Decimus Burton offered to give a sufficient quantity of his land - 460 feet lineal on the south side of West cliff ​road​ (now West Hill) -- to allow the ​road​ being thirty feet in width, with two footpaths on condition of the ​road​ being of a similar width to the extreme limit, and the footpaths six feet wide. Mr, Alfred Burton also offered to give up land on the south side of the ​road​ for a similar purpose. These offers were accepted, and a rate made at 6d. and Is. in the £ as usual.

On the 29th of December, a public meeting of ratepayers was convened for the purpose of electing commissioners in the place of Mr. Charles Deudney (deceased) and Robert Hollond, M.P., Mr. Jarman and Dr. Harwood (disqualified), Messrs Hollond and Jarman were re-elected, and the Rev. G. D, St. Quintin and R. B. Brander, Esq., were elected to fill the place of two others.

Parochial Business

The St. Leonards vestry meetings which used to be held at the “Old England Bank” at Bopeep, as the only available inn within the parish before the railway station was built, were now being held at the ”Railway Terminus Inn” whose landlord (Mr. W. Payne) had removed from the old house to the new. The only business transacted at the February meeting — adjourned from January, for want of attendant parishioners — was the making of a poor-rate at 3d. At the March meeting a Highway-rate at 6d. in the £ was agreed to, and the following officers elected :— R. Deudney and E. Farncomb, overseers; Wm. Noon and Newton Parks, assessors; E. Farncomb and R, Lamb, surveyors of highways; and John Phillips, vestry clerk. At a meeting in April it was resolved that the railway from Bulverhithe to Bopeep be rated at £125 a year, and the county part at £61. Also the 8 railway. cottages at £100, less 20 per cent. and the smaller cottages at £25, lees the same percentage. At an Autumnal meeting the only business was to agree to a poor-rate at 3d. and a borough rate at 6d.

Of the 19 or 20 persons who attended those meetings, one regrets to find that the present writer is the only one now alive.

Magdalen Parish

As the larger portion of the inhabited township of St. Leonards was situated in the parish of St. Mary Magdalen, the vestry meetings were generally more numerously attended and the proceedings conducted with more animation, At a meeting in March on having the 12th day, it was ”Resolved that this vestry upon consideration of the notice given by Charles Gilbert Eversfield, Esq., to the Surveyors of his intention to dedicate certain highways, cartways, and horseways to the use of the public, and having considered the report of the appointed committee, deems that the said highways, &c., are of sufficient to utility to the inhabitants to justify their being kept in repair at the expense of the parish; but that Mr. Eversfield give an understanding that he will keep Norman ​road​, east of Warrior square, as well as Bohemia ​road​, in repair one year beyond the period which by law is required.“ Also “Resolved that Wastel Brisco, Esq., be requested to make some alterations in Bohemia ​road​ and at the east end of Norman ​road​-east by widening the same where enclosed by him as suggested by the committee. This said meeting was held at the Coach and Horses, and it may be here remarked that while the St. Leonards parish had only a solitary licensed house available for such meetings, the Magdalen parish had no fewer than seven. The above resolutions being quoted simply in their briefest form, it may be well to annotate them from a reporter’s notes... The ​road​s to be dedicated were Gensing ​road​, 297 x 30 feet; North street, 447 x 30 feet; Shepherd street, 447 x 24; Norman ​road​ west, 612 x 40; Market cottages, 274. x 10; Market street, 444 x 30 & 20; Norman ​road​, east, 3180 x 40; London ​road​, 517 x 40; East street, 256 x 20; Mews ​road​, 130 x 20; each side of Warrior square, 180 x 40; and Bohemia ​road​, 1815 x 40, As affecting the last-named thoroughfare, the committee’s report. recommended that the stone pier built by Mr. Brisco at the back of Whiterock place, be set back so as to give the 40 feet width of ​road​, and that he be requested to remove the post and wire enclosing a small plot of waste ground at the north-end of Bohemia ​road​ leading to Hollington, so as to give not less than 34 feet, W. Noon proposed and T. B. Brett seconded that the committee’s report be received and adopted. R. Deudney had instructions that Mr. Eversfield would put down the required gratings and would keep the ​road​s in repair for two years — one year longer than was legally demanded. J. Austin had attended the meeting with an intention to oppose the dedication, but in consideration of Mr. Eversfield’s liberal offer, he would cheerfully. acquiesce. The resolutions were carried by 37 to 1, the dissentient being J. Peerless, who said he would appeal against the decision. Of the 38 parishioners, who took part in that meeting, George Voyney, Frederick Tree and T, B. Brett are the only survivors, al) the rest having gone over to the silent majority more than 14 years ago. The only other meeting of public interest that year was the one on Oct. 18, which was a special one to determine on the best mode of maintaining and preserving the ​road​ between the St. Leonards Archway and the Saxon Hotel from further encroachments of the sea. After some discussion, it was “resolved that a vote of confidence be given to the Surveyors, and thanks for what they had done, with a request that they will go on in the course they have pursued.” The Vestry book received the signatures of 17 persons besides that of St. Leonardensis.

In chapter XLII I have described the maritime casualties of in 1849 of at Hastings or among Hastings vessels elsewhere. I have now to speak treat of the wreck of the Perseverance at St. Leonards on the 27th of January. This unlucky vessel was beached near the Saxon Hotel for the purpose of discharging her cargo, which having been accomplished, she was ballasted, and efforts were made to get her again to sea in the presence of a south-west gale. In such attempt a part of the capstan gave way, and the vessel was driven over a groyne east of the slipway, where she became helplessly b​road​side to the waves. Her doom was now in evidence, and the next thing to be done was to rescue the crew. These were saved by being drawn through the surf with ropes fastened to them, most of their clothes being necessarily left on board, and ultimately lost. In a very short time the vessel’s bulwarks were stove in and her deck broken up. She was owned by Messrs. Putland, Winter and Chester, and was built about six years previously at Sunderland. Four days after the wreck the hull of the Perseverance was hauled up close to the parade wall, and repairs were commenced, it being found on examination that she had withstood her tremendous buffeting with less damage than was anticipated.

And, now, ere leaving the topic of the sea and its associations, I will cribb from the Hastings News a letter contributed thereto by the late Dr. MacCabe dated, July 3rd, 1849. It is addressed to the Editor thus:

”Sir, In the last number of your progressing paper you favoured your readers with Mr. Campbell’s beautiful ‘Address to the Sea’ which I saw him compose, as he was then my friend and patient. A short time after that talented effusion was written. I met him at dinner in London, at the residence of Dr. Madden, the gifted writer of 'Travels. in Turkey,’ ‘Infirmities of Genius,’ &c. There were also present some other literary men — the learned Dr. Beattie, author of ‘Travels in Germany,’ and (as it has since appeared), one of Mr. C.'s executors and the author of his life, the late respected Dr, James Johnson. . . Soon after dinner the two-Penny postman — or, at least, his knock — was heard at the door and a letter was handed to the host (in fact the anonymous author), Seeing him smile on reading the letter, we all requested that he would make us participate in the pleasure he appeared so much to feel; to which request, he, with affected coyness, assented, and read aloud the lines I now have the pleasure of enclosing, to the great amusement of those present, and to none more than to Mr. Campbell himself, who laughed most heartily.

— I am,
sir, yours &c.,
P. F. M.”

Soon after Sending the above letter to the News, the late P. F, Maccabe, a Popular local physician, who had been twice Mayor, was himself out of health, and went from Hastings for a change of air. The parody which accompanied his letter, and which here follows, is described as {{Quote| “A SEAVIEW (NOT CAMPBELL’S) FROM ST. LEONARDS.”

“I hate your hoary face, gruff sea! ,
T'were vile hypocrisy in me
To say I love you,—If I do,
May I be d—round, and Campbell, too!
Great Briny Being! at whose roar
My stomach heaves, and every pore
Exhales a moisture, damp and cold—
I know your horrors well of old!
To me more welcome is the growl Of
Thames street fish-fags, or the howl
Of hungry wolves, than your dull moan,
And yonder shingles surly groan,
That man, by Jove, who gives the sea
The preference to land must be A fool — or a philosopher
Whom no privations can deter,

[ 330 ]

147 StThe glories of the ocean grand
'Tis very well to sing on land;
'Tis very well to hear them caroll’d
By Thomas Campbell or Child Harolde;
But very sad to see that ocean
From east to west in wild commotion;
To hear the burly billows roar
Around, behind us, and before;
To view the red and lurid sky
In all its ’constant sympathy,’
With sea as mad as moon can make
The mistress of that reckless rake;
Tis sad to trust the wintry wave,
Too oft, alas! the seaman’s grave;
To brave the fury. of the storm,
Some notion of its rage to form;
To feel the ‘dread sublime’ in all
The terrors of a sudden squall;
To grasp the gunwale every time
The ruffian billows upward climb,
And cling to rope at every lurch
That might upset a solid church;
To see huge trunks and packing cases
Fly off at tangents from their places;
The chairs and tables emulate
The evolutions of a plate;
The larger dishes fiercely fall
In mortal conflict with the squall;
The locomotive saucers chase
Inconstant cups from place to place;
Grave mustard-pots to, tea-pots setting,
And pepper-castors pirouetting;
To hear the same eternal thump
From, morn till night at either.pump;
To bear the same infernal strife,
For days, for weeks — perhaps for life;,
The rattling blocks, the tempest’s howl,
The rough command, the surly growl,
With men of unccngenial mind
To be ‘cribbed, cabined and confined’;
To tug at beef, in rounds and briskets,
Salt pork and adamantine biscuits;
And, finally, from first to last,
To be convinced all sufferings past
Are ‘trifles light as air’ to those
A sea-sick landsman undergoes;
And own a ship is but a jail
Of wooden walls, of structure frail,
Where one, not doomed to die aground,
 Is very likely to be drowned.”


But if Dr. (or Mr. R. R.) Madden could write so serio-comically of the mal-de-mer, as against the opposite strain of his friend Campbell, in his ”Address to the Sea,” while residing at No, 10 South Colonnade, the former gentleman also showed that he was enthusiastically in love with the town which Mr. Campbell had selected for his abode at the time when he wrote his admired ode. Madden’s, poem “ St. Leonards by Moonlight for Me.” was as much in adoration of the town as Campbell’s was in praise of the sea. It was set to music by T. B. Brett, as stated in chapter 39 and the words were there quoted.

Personal Matters - Robert Hemsted - Robert Hollond - H. Braze

From April to November was an off season in regard to lectures, and the winter session commenced on Nov. 21st with a lecture on History by Mr. S. A. Bacon at the St. Leonards Mechanics’ Institution. There was a large audience, notwithstanding that on the opposite side of the ​road​ the members of the Adelaide Lodge of Oddfellows were holding their annual festival, The next lecture was by the Rev. Wiliam Davis, and on a topic that was then more serious — “The Cholera.” The lecture was held to be so timely instructive as to be printed by request. The deaths during the then past year in this country from cholera alone were no fewer than 53,000, since which time, it is gratifying to know, its virulence has decreased at each visitation. In 1854, it was not much over 20,000; in 1866, the deaths were 14,378, and in 1893, they were only 135.

The next lectures were two, on Astronomy, by Mr. H. O’Connell, of the Edinburgh Observatory, illustrated by apparatus and dissolving views. These were delivered in the Wellington-square Lecture Hall on the evenings of Dec. 10th and 11th. On the next evening, Mr. S. A. Bacon delivered his second lecture on History at the St. Leonards Mechanics’ Institution. This gentleman, some of my readers will remember, was then at the Saxon Hotel, and was one, with the late Mr. Hempsted, who took an active interest in collecting the means. for the erection of St. Mary Magdalen’s Church. The history of this church has been given in my still unfinished biography of the Rev, W. W. Hume, but the associated names of Bacon and Hempsted are opportune with a letter from Mr Hempsted, which I find pinned to my diarian notes of the year now under review. As in the said letter there are some items applicable to the History of St. Leonards, it will be proper to extract them. It is dated Rose Cottage, Somersham, Jan. 13th, 1879, and after sympathising with the present writer for the loss of his son, says.

“I read with great interest in the GAZETTE — to which I have been so long a subscriber — the History of St, Leonards. I think mine was the first plate-glass window in the town, and insured by yourself. In the year 1848, I hired of ‘Old Ben. Tree’ Saxon House, then a Berlin Wool shop, going up a flight of six steps. I altered it, and opened it as a chemist’s shop, and it is now known as 14 Grand parade. I continued there, as you know, until 1854 ”

Mr. Hempsted’s reference to the “History of St. Leonards” going on in the GAZETTE in 1879, is a reminder that it has continued to go on at the rate of several columns per week for 17 years, and has not yet reached the half-way point of its projected journey. The sad reflection is that as St. Leonardensis enters his 80th year of existence while writing these remarks, there is no probability of his being able to bring the work to completion, notwithstanding that he still labours incessantly at the rate of 18 hours per day. Other duties and other labours — all of a necessitous character — leave him but a small amount of time for the history in question; and hence the regret of not being, able to finish and prepare the same for book form, in compliance with the many urgent requests to do so.

It may be true, as has been said, that he will leave much historical material behind him, but he cannot leave his memory, and this latter fact may be. something less than an advantage.

Various other matters other than the lectures already described may appropriately come under the same classification of Personal.

On Valentine’s Day, Mr. Robert Hollond, with Mrs. Hollond, travelled from his house at St. Leonards to the opening of Parliament, It has before been shown that Mr. Hollond (of whom I have an excellent portrait) was M.P, for Hastings in the Liberal interest. He, however. voted against Mr, Cobden’s motion for Financial Reform, whereupon the Liberals’ committee drew up a memorial to their member in which they expressed their surprise and regret, believing, as they did, that there had been a lavish expenditure of the people’s money by successive Governments.

Mr. Hollond replied to his memorialists at considerable length, remarking that he could have hoped that, considering the years of mutual confidence that had passed since the electors first thought him worthy to represent them, and what they called the general consistency of his votes, they would have deemed him rather entitled to a demand for an explanation than to so peremptory an expression of dissatisfaction. He agreed with them that there had been a lavish expenditure, and when any really practical motion for reduction was brought forward he would give it his support. His objection to Mr. Cobden’s motion was that it was an abstract proposition, not intended to be carried into immediate effect; and, like all abstract resolutions, was calculated to embarrass rather than to promote the cause which it was intended to advance. Neither the House of Commons nor the English people were enamoured with abstract resolutions on matters of practical Government, and he confessed that he partook of that feeling. Very sweeping resolutions usually produced a strong feeling of hostility, and exposed the party and the cause to a dangerous feeling in the public mind — a conviction of the want of reality. If the House granted no more than the exigences which the public service required, it did not want the aid of a previous formal resolution to be of any avail.

On the 8th of March, Mr. Wise held his annual "Juvenile Concert", the chief executants being two of his children, Miss and Master Wise, who were assisted by himself, Mr. Woollett and others. Mr. Wise was a schoolmaster at Hastings at a time when the present writer was a pedagogue at St. Leonards, each having a band of his own, and, not infrequently, the two practising together alternately in each other’s schoolroom. Unfortunately, the young violinist (Stanley Wise) in after years whilst becoming an efficient leader of small orchestras, gave way to drink and became a ruin, while his sisters acquired a competency by conducting a school for young ladies, with other accomplishments.

From Mr. Wise’s musical family I turn to Mr. Lindridge, the then efficient organist of St. Mary's-in the-Castle, who having first brought to Hastings the harmonium as a French invention, tested its powers on the 27th of March in the Baptist Chapel.

While referring to musical matters, it occurs to me that some tradesmen had raised subscriptions for the performance of a German band, as against the old Town Band, which had served the public well and truly for many years. Much correspondence resulted and much bitter feeling was manifested. On the 26th of June, however, the local bandsmen marched round the town and took their station on the parade as a commencement of the season. Seeing this determined attitude, the German Band committee expressed a desire to make terms with the committee of the Town Band for securing harmony without collision. A disadvantage of the Town Band was that being mainly composed of tradesmen and mechanics, it could only regularly perform at eventide and on holiday occasions; hence the German Band — the first of that nationality ever engaged at Hastings—obtained a permanent footing, to the disparagement and ultimate breaking-up of its local rival, which, both from efficiency and long service, deserved better treatment. An attempt. was also made with a German band to supplant Brett's younger band at St. Leonards, already alluded to, but without success.

One more reference to musical matters and then I shall have done with that phase of amusements. On the 12th. of October the St. Leonards Assembly Room was crowded with a fashionable audience to listen to a concert given by Mons. Julien’s celebrated London Band. It consisted of selections from eminent composers, as well as some of Julien’s own favourites, including his popular Post-Horn Gallop; which was lustily encored. The performance of Mr. Lazarus on the clarionet and that of Herr Koenig on the cornet were simply unique, and evoked enthusiastic plaudits. Being myself a subscriber to Julien’s Journal, a monthly publication for septett and orchestral bands, I was favoured with a free ticket for the concert here described. In my own out-door band at the time was a violinist and cornet player, named Clark. from Brighton, to whose memory it is but a just tribute to say that his execution of the Galop, first on the cornet and next on the shrill post horn, attracted crowds of listeners on the St. Leonards parade.

When referring to Mr. Hollond’s departure for London, it might have been said that his near neighbour, Emile Grosslob, was preparing his chalybeate spa. The formal opening of the same by Lady Helen Mc Donnell took place on the 17th of April, when Brett's Band was stationed on the lawn, and ninety persons were present to partake of the water.

On the 26th of March as Mr. Daniel was returning home from Hastings to Bexhill he fell into a hollow place and fractured one of his legs.

In the same month, Mr. Henry Harrison, of Quarry Castle, St. Leonards, was appointed a Commissioner of the Exchequer-Loan-Board, in the room of Viscount Melbourne.

About the same time, or a little later, Mr. Todhunter, previously of Hastings, but then senior wrangler of St. John’s College, Cambridge, obtained the Burney Prize for an essay, entitled “The Doctrine of a Divine Providence is inseparable from the Belief in the Existence of an absolute perfect Creator.” This gentleman, while living with his widowed mother at Hastings, was a studious and an esteemed companion of the present writer.

In the month of April, Mr. George Fry was the appointed surgeon to the whole line of railway works between Bopeep on the west and Lidham Hill on the east, a district which included from 3,000 to 4,000 workmen. He was also Medical Officer to the Adelaide Lodge of Oddfellows at St. Leonards, and being naturally on intimate terms with the Permanent-Secretary (T. B. Brett) he occasionally pressed him into his assistance when accidents occurred near home.

In the month of April, Mr. Charles Clark, engineer, commenced a system of waterworks in his own name, albeit, Mr. Eversfield was regarded as the real proprietor. Two reservoirs were constructed, to be supplied from springs in the Newgate, Shornden and Ore woods.

Mr, J. C. Savery received two medals and a book at the distribution of prizes at the Charing Cross hospital, for proficiency in medicine and surgery.

On the 27th of June, Mr. C. J. Jeudwine, a grocer, of All Saints’ street, was elected a member of the Town Council, with 124 votes as against 38 for his rival, Mr. John Cousens.

The Rev. C. D. (now Canon) Bell, then curate at St. Mary in-the-Castle, was presented with a pair of silver candlesticks and several other articles in commemoration of his approaching marriage.

Capt. F. W. Paul, of the Express, belonging to the South-Western Steam Navigation Company, had sent to him from St. Leonards, an elegant present, consisting of a case containing a beautiful silver vase and cover, with a chased foot, surmounted with shells. The cover had a wreath of flowers round the margin, and the handle exhibited the figure of a sailor resting his right hand on an anchor, the cable of which was held by the left hand. On the body of the vase was an antique shield, surrounded by flowers, and bearing the inscription “Les Roi Louis Phillipe et la Reine Amelia au Capataine Paul d Express, en souvenir des 28 Février et 2 Mars, 1848.” This was a second substantial acknowledgment(sic) of a service rendered to the ex-King by Capt Paul. During the French revolution of 1848, Louis Phillipe and his Queen made their escape from Havre in the Express steam boat, then running between that town and Southampton. The ship had lain in the dock several days with her steam up ready for starting at a minute's notice, as arranged by those who were secretly aiding the escape of the royal fugitives. Immediately they were on board, the Captain put to sea in the midst of tempestuous weather. The night was a perilous one, but with good handling. the steamer — a small one — landed the party at Newhaven. On parting with Capt. Paul, Louis Phillipe expressed his deep obligation and presented him with a valuable diamond pin, and as a further acknowledgment(sic) their ex majesties, while sojourning at St. Leonards, sent the handsome present here described, together with an autograph letter.

In the month of October, Mr. Thomas Ross (1810-1881) published the sixth edition of his ”Hastings and St. Leonards Guide,” and at the same time Mr, Curling Hope published a sixpenny Guide, with nearly 50 illustrations.

In the same month, Earl Waldegrave went on board of several vessels lying in Rye harbour and conversed with the sailors, who hoisted flags and gave three cheers in honour of his visit. At about the same time this nobleman gave back to his tenants ten per cent. on their rentals.

Another personal eventuality in October — and a very sad one — was the accidental shooting of Elizabeth, the wife of George Harman, a labourer at Ore, by a lodger named George Stone, who, while taking up a gun loaded and capped without his knowledge, was horrified and wild with grief to find it go off and the charge enter the woman's head just as she was going through the doorway. A verdict of ”Accidental death” was recorded in this fatal case.

Another personal action in the same month was that which applied to a master carpenter, named William Standen, who was honoured with the sobriquet of “Born Drunk.” He was summoned for abusive language, but having gracefully apologised, and produced a certificate of having taken a temperance pledge, was discharged.

The next personal reference is to the death of Mrs, Hannah Beck, who at the age of nearly 98 years, died at St. Leonards on the 18th of October.

On the 24th of the same month, as Messrs. Mann and Chester — two of the earliest St, Leonards tradesmen — were superintending the removal of cliff near the Fountain Inn, a loaded waggon knocked down Mr. Chester and ran over both legs, fortunately without breaking them.

About the same time, the Rev. J. G. Foyster, Rector of St. Clement’s returned after a lengthened absence, but with health still precarious.

On Dec. 9th, the Right Rev. Lord Bishop of Chichester, who had been staying at the Victoria Hotel, preached in the St. Leonards church, and on the following Sunday, at St. Clement's, where an offertory of nearly £50 was obtained for the schools. And while referring to sermons, be it said the collection at St. Leonards church on the day of Humiliation amounted to £95 3s. and the sermons at St. Mary’s Schools on Oct, 28th realised over £44. The day for Humiliation and Special Services on account of the cholera was Wednesday, Sept. 26th, and it was observed at all the churches and chapels. At the Croft Chapel £20 was collected for the school.

The Borough Recorder had the felicity at the Epiphany Quarter Sessions of receiving a pair of white gloves as a memento of a maiden Sessions.

In the month of June the Rey. H. A. Barrett was presented with a valuable writing desk, with an appropriate inscription, by the principal drapers, for his services in the Early Closing movement. [ 331 ]

Meteorological Phenomena - "Ramble through St. Leonards

148 St During the sojourn at St. Leonards of the ex-Royal Family of France (to be noticed further on) our now old townsman, Mr. Hardwicke Bray, was engaged as tutor to the Count de Paris and Duc de Chartres. He has since died (in 1897) at 86 years of age.

Mr. Richard Hawkins was elected out of 52 applicants as dispenser at the Dispensary, in the room of Mr. Jackson who had resigned.

Mr. T. N. Ward, of Ore, created a little sensation by the erection of a Steam flour-mill at Ore, which ground 4 sacks of wheat per hour.

“The Cow jumped over the Moon,” but it was not the moon in the heavens nor the ** man in the moon,” but a young man named Moon, who, on the 5th of December, was tossed by a cow, and, luckily, without doing him serious bodily harm, a good shaking and a few bruises being the result only.

Mr. F. Ticehurst, on the 20th of December, was presented with a silver tea-service valued at 100 guineas by a body his public services as Mayor, his exertions among the sick poor during the cholera, and his detection of the Guestling poisoning cases.

The last personal matter of 1849 to be noticed is that which relates to Mr, (“Crazy Tom“) Richardson, whose ingenuity and eccentricity has been fully set forth at another place. Among other works of his handicraft was a six feet refracting telescope which was raffled for by 40 persons at 10/- per chance.

Accidental Fires

Allusions have been made to water and to Clark's new water-works, and as water is generally used to extinguish fires, it seems but a connective step to a narrative of the fires which occurred in 1849. The first was on the 7th of February, and its site was in Norman Road, next door to what was afterwards, and still is, the St. Leonards Mechanics’ Institution. It occurred about noon in Mr, James Smith’s work shop, and though it was put out in a short time with the assistance of neighbours, the damage was considerable.

The next accidental fire occurred on the 15th of October, and although it was extinguished, as in the first case, with the help of neighbours, it created much alarm. It was at 3 Edith place, St. Mary’s terrace, more commonly known at that time as the “Long Fields.” The house was inhabited at the time by the Rev. J. Sheal. A brick had fallen out of a copper flue connected with the chimney, and the bond-timber having got ignited, the flame ascended the lath and plaster into a bed-room, and had it not been for the help so quickly rendered, the whole house might soon have been in flames.

The next providential prevention of destruction by fire was not in Hastings or St. Leonards, but its discovery was by a St. Leonards tradesman, In the month of November as Mr. Albert Parks was returning from Battle, he saw smoke issuing from a stable near the Black horse mill. He entered and found two horses kicking in a frantic manner from the smoke and heat of smouldering straw. After releasing the horses, which he did at great risk, he cleared away the ignited straw, and discovered one of the posts of the partition on fire, Water being at hand, the fire was soon put out, and but for Mr. Parks’ discovery and prompt action, the entire stable, together with the horses, and contiguous stacks and ​building​s might have been destroyed.

But the greatest loss by fire during the year in the neighbourhood of Hastings was at Ore on the 18th of September. The fire occurred at a barn and farm premises, owned by Musgrave Briscoe, Esq., and tenanted by Godfrey Philcox, near the Westfield lane at its junction with the Rye ​road​. A portion of the premises had been let to Mr. Parks, a bricks contractor to the railway works. One of his men who slept in the barn was awoke by the fire, and immediately gave the alarm. A number of railway labourers collected and assisted in the attempt to put it out, but it raged for nearly three hours, and when the Hastings firemen with their engine arrived they found only a heap of ruins. The loss, including the value of a ton of hay, was estimated at £100.

Another fire — this time supposed to have been caused by a lighted candle — occurred at the Foresters’ Arms inn on Dec. 3rd. There were forty railway navvies lodging in the house at the time, and great confusion prevailed when the fire was discovered. Everything in one room, valued at £40, was consumed before the tire could be extinguished.

Two nights later, a fire broke out in the rear of 22 All Saint's street, owing to the combustion of slaked lime. It was soon subdued, and very little damage resulted.

Meteorological Phenomena

From terrestrial fires, I take an imaginary flight to a celestial one. On August 7th during a thunderstorm, the house No. 9 Maze hill, St. Leonards occupied by Mr. Nathan and family, was struck by lightning, soon after midnight. It entered the top front bed-room in which two females were sleeping, both of whom were greatly alarmed, but not injured. It then passed along the bell-wires, through bedrooms and sitting-rooms, to the kitchen, where the ceiling was much scorched, It then appeared to have travelled to the entrance hall (where the bell was standing upon its head) and to have escaped at the front door, “like a thief in the night.” Wires were broken at several places, cranks and brackets melted, bed room ceilings partly torn down and bed-clothes singed; yet, as though by a miracle, not any person was injured, On the preceding Sunday evening, a beautiful lunar Rainbow was observed from the hill near the same spot,

On Monday. Sept. 10th, a violent storm occurred at a time when 1,200 excursionists were assembled at the railway station previous to departure. It caused much confusion — not to say fear — among them, but no bodily harm came of it.

Another electrical tempest occurred on June 4th, but its most destructive effects were in the neighbourhood of Brighton. In that town, some of the hail-stones were as large as hen’s eggs, the damage by which was very great. The Brighton Guardian, which enumerated the principal conservatories, sky lights and windows which suffered, stated that 20,000 squares of glass were broken.

And now, to have done with the celestial fire works and their coneomitants, I come to the story of Nature's waterworks. The month of October is one when the winter gales most usually begin, and the said month in this Particular year was ushered in by a strong gale and turbulent sea, by the action of which the parade and sea-wall on the eastside of the Archway were destroyed. The gales continued during the greater part of the first week, and on the 6th and 7th days, there was an eighteen-hours’ fall of rain. On the latter day (Sunday) the flood poured down the valley, through the hop-gardens and brick-fields, where is now the lower part of the Alexandra Park, into the meadows and brooks (now St. Andrew’s Square, Recreation Ground, Town Hall, &c.) and nearly swept away two of the navvies’ huts. Planks, wheelbarrows and other objects were floating in all directions, and a community of pigs near the Gas Works had to swim for their lives, The rats also, in countless numbers, which had burrowed for years in and about the slaughter-house, were driven out by the water. At high water of the sea the outlet of storm-water was blocked, and York ​building​s, as well as Meadow Cottages (now the General Post-office and adjoining ​building​s), were inaccessible for several hours. From the Ozier gardens to Cambridge ​road​, the area was — as I had several times before seen it — one vast lake. The gales here noticed were southerly and westerly ones, but on the 28th of December, there was a northerly gale which continued the whole day, preceded by a fall of Snow, and a bitterly cold air, the thermometer registering 14 degrees’ below the freezing point, Notwithstanding that the sky was clear and the sun shone brillantly, the frozen flakes of snow were taken up by the gale in clouds and drove over the fields into the sea. Among other incidents, a hayrick in the Long Fields was levelled to the ground and scattered.

Having shewn the effects of southerly gales and a northerly gale, it may be appropriate to describe the freaks of a westerly gale which paid us a visit on the 7th of March. Many persons were taking walking exercise on the Eversfield parade, when they were startled at seeing a huge column of dust rising and travelling in the direction of Hastings, arid then mingling apparently with a mass of scudding clouds, swept on furiously and blinded the pedestrians with dust and grit. This was the herald of a spring winter, as will be now seen.

On the following day (March 8th) having gone through the period of winter with an autumn temperature, all on a sudden, Hastings, with other places, was visited with snow and hail, and the landscape, smiling with the verdure of spring, was transformed into a scene of wintry desolation. At night the thermometer registered 4 deg. of frost.

From that day until the 12th of May continued cold and ungenial, with falls of snow and hail, several solar halos (caused by frigid particles in the air) and some thunder. This period, however, was remarkable for a large amount of sunshine, but, as is often the case in winter and spring, the greater the sunshine the greater the cold. The condition of the weather for the whole year, with its assumed causes, was shown by St. Leonardensis in his “Tales and Times of the Hilders,” and it must suffice here to say that the temperature of January was above the average for 70 years; February was 4 deg, above March very mild till the said 8th, and April 3 deg. below. All the mild periods were moister and much less bright than the colder ones.

In the chapter succeeding this are described the improvements of the walks and ways of Hastings in 1849. Whilst here it will not be inappropriate to extract from the Hastings News a paragraph by a correspondent under the heading of

A Ramble through St. Leonards

I made occasion to visit St. Leonards, a few weeks back, on a fine sunny day, and have since been to it in all shades of light, and at nearly all hours. My first wonder in casting my eyes about was that local pens had been so sparing in their black libations: to this goddess of the southern coast. For myself, I love not only to admire, but to feel a resurrection of my first emotions of pleasure always occurring in the act of recording equal admiration for other minds. The lovely promenade before the placid sea delighted me much. Minds like Byron’s and Campbell's find here a congenial theme: and Madden might, for his reputation’s sake, have spared himself his burlesque on Campbell’s magnificent ode. Southall’s Library occupied my attention for awhile, and then came the baths — food for the mind and comfort for the body nearly contiguous. Opposite is the Victoria Hotel, lately the abode of the exiled royalist of La Belle France. This is a noble ​building​; and on the principle of Johnson’s parody — ‘He who keeps fat oxen should himself be fat,’ I thought the keeper of such an hotel should himself be a noble fellow, I was curious enough to enquire, and was glad, for the sake of my powers of divination, to find it was so, The shady Colonnades, the overlooked Undercliff, the well-arranged lodging houses, and well-stored shops on the Marina, are all good, even if the architectural style of some of them may be faulty. The Assembly Room is a much larger one than some towns can boast of. The Subscription Gardens are most beautiful — a fitting place for the loveliest fawns and nymphs of the loveliest poetry to dwell in. And lovely beings are here too, for ladies wander in fairy groups for health and converse amid the cultivated luxuriance of this racy spot. The clock-house smiles down in this retreat as if to give a gentle caution that in pleasure-time the hours fly most swiftly away. Allegria, the residence of Mr. Robert Hollond, M.P. for the borough, is on the other bank of the gardens, and near to it is a feudal-looking edifice called Quarry Castle. The Archery Grounds next meet the eye; and here both Art and Nature divide the thoughts and claim the heart. Further on I saw the word Chalybeate in a neat little garden by the ​road​side. My curiosity led me in, and here I was introduced to Mr. Grosslob, a German gentleman, with whom I passed a very agreeable hour. Is my reader's patience spun out? If so, suppose I pause awhile, and let the rambler tell you of other rambles another time.”

The Ex-Royal Family

In the preceding ”Ramble at St. Leonards,” the writer refers to Mr. Robert Hollond, M.P., and to the parody on Campbell's Ode to the Sea, as well as to Mr. Grosslob and his chatybeate spa, all of which, it will be remembered, have been noticed in these pages. The Rambler also refers to the Victoria Hotel as being lately the abode of the exiled royalists of La Belle France. This last-named reference is just that which leads to the next employment of my own pen.

The first intimation given to the public that the ex-King and Queen of the French would come to St. Leonards to reside for some time was in the announcement that a suite of apartments, numbering 88 rooms, had been taken at the Victoria Hotel for the Count and Countesse de Neuilly, whose arrival was fixed for the 12th of April. The arrival, however, was not effected until the following Saturday, April 18th. The visitors consisted of Louis Phillipe, Queen Amelie, Prince and Princess de Joinyille, Duke and Duchess de Neymours, and the several attendants.

At the West-Marina station the door of the saloon carriage was opened by Mr. Wm. Chamberlin, jun., and his ex Majesty was handed out by Mr. Sutton, the station-master. Three hearty cheers were given for the Count and Countesse de Nenilly (the names which the ex-King and Queen had assumed), while several voices shouted ”Welcome to St. Leonards.” The Count bowed gracefully, and personally thanked the company for their kind reception. He also cordially shook hands with an elderly gentleman on the platform, The route from the railway to the hotel was lined with carriages and bystanders, and with the waving of handkerchiefs and lifting of hats, the scene was one of unusual animation. The royal visitors were received at the hotel by the Mayor and Corporation, the reception being witnessed by some hundreds of persons.

It is somewhat curious that Lady Lubbock when she fled from Paris during the revolution of 1830 should first reside at the Victoria Hotel, and that Louis Phillipe, who was proclaimed King of the French during that revolution, should also take up his residence at the same hotel after his flight from Paris during the revolution of 1848. Not less curious is the fact that the Empress Eugenie, after her flight from France during the disturbances of 1870, should come to the Marine Hotel, at Hastings, which was next to the house where her future husband (Louis Napoleon) resided ere he was proclaimed President of the Republic in 1848.

The next day after the arrival of the ex- Royals being Sunday, they attended service at the Catholic Church of All Souls in the morning, and afterwards walked on the parade. On Monday, several parts of the town were visited, and sketches were taken by. Prince de Joinville from the Coastguard Station on Cuckoo Hill. By the great respect that was everywhere shown them it soon became manifest to the distinguished family that commiseration was felt for the reversal of their position. The yacht British Lion was engaged for their use, and on it the tricolour was displayed as an emblem of courteous nationality. The Prince de Joinville made excursions almost daily in the British Lion, or on horseback,

in the town’s vicinity. During the first week the royal party visited the Castle, Battle Abbey and other places, and the ex-Queen, it was said, felt herself gradually improving in health. Several French fishing-boats anchored in the ​road​stead and about 40 of their crews came ashore and conversed with their late King, and to whom he ordered money to be given. On the 23rd of April, the Duke and Duchess of Saxe Coburg Gotha and suite arrived by train at the hotel, thus augmenting the number who sat at meals to about 40. A few days later brought another addition in the persons of the Duke and Duchess d’Aumale, whilst a friendly letter from Queen Victoria was visibly gratifying to the whole party.

On the 24th of May (Queen Victoria’s birthday) the ex-Royals honoured with their presence the first of the season’s prize-shooting meetings of the Queen's St. Leonards Archers. The party consisted of the Count and Countesse de Neuilly, the Duc and Duchesse d’Aumale, the Duke and Duchess of Saxe-Coburg Gotha and their families and suite. The following autographs were written in the Society’s book : S. M. Louis Phillipe and S. M. Marie Amelie (ex King and Queen), Louis d’ Orleans and Victorie (Due and Duchesse de Neymours), and Marie Caroline Auguste (Duchesse d’Aumale), In the following week the Duc d’Aumale and Prince de Joinville went out fishing in the British Lion, and his ex-Majesty also had a marine excursion in the same yacht. On the following Sunday, after a prolonged visit, the Duke and Duchess of Saxe-Coburg left St. Leonards. for Dover, en route for Ostend and Brussels, On the 23rd of June was held the second prize-meeting for that year of the Queen’s St. Leonards Archers, at which a great number of distinguished persons were present, including some of the ex-Royals’ party, Brett's St. Leonards Band enlivened the proceedings.

Royalty at St. Leonards and Bexhill

On Thursday, June 28th, the Count and Countesse de Neuilly, with the Duke and Duchess d’Aumale, and the Duchess de Neymours, left the Hotel in a splendid saloon carriage of the L B. & S.C, Company) for Lewes, there to await the arrival of the Duchess of Orleans, who was expected, via London, from the Continent, and to come on to St. Leonards, accompanied by the Queen of the Belgians, the Prince and Princess de Joinville, the Duke de Neymours, the Count de Paris, and the Duke de Chartres. The Duchess of Orleans had been travelling on the con[ 332 ]tinent under the title of the Countess de Villiers. The distinguished personages, with their suites, including the above arrivals, then numbered about 60. Dr, Muser had also joined them. On the 2nd of July the French yacht St. Marie arrived off St. Leonards and fired a gun, at the same time it ran up the tricolour.

Soon after, the Count de Neuilly, the Duke de Neymours, the Duke d’Aumale, the Count de Paris, the Duke de Chatres, the Duchess d’ Orleans, Gen. Dumas, Gen, Chambonnes and Gen. Moerkerke put off in two boats to the yacht, and when they had got on board a second flag was hoisted and hats were waved. The party cruised for about two hours and then returned, with the master of the yacht to dine altogether. On the same day an elegant present was sent off to Capt. F. W. Paul, as elsewhere described, under

the heading of Personalities. Also on the same day some of the Royal exiles, together with the Queen of the Belgians, visited the Castle ruins.

On the 31st of July the ex-Royal Family took their departure from the Victoria Hotel, after a stay of 16 weeks, for Claremont. They expressed themselves highly gratified with Mr, Chamberlin’s arrangements and general attention. There was a large concourse of people at the hotel to witness their departure, and after again thanking Mr. Chamberlin, sen., Louis Phillipe turned to Mr, Chamberlin, jun., and assured him that he had very greatly enjoyed the loveliness of the scenery and the courtesy of the inhabitants.

When narrating the journey of the ex-King and Queen of the French and others of the family to meet the Queen of the Belgians and the Duchess of Orleans at Lewes for the purpose of accompanying them to St. Leonards, I intended to have added a description of that meeting as reported by a correspondent of the Brighton Herald; but as a copy of that paper — now before me — could not then be found, it was necessary to proceed with the account in its absence. Taking for granted, however, that their(sic) is truth in the aphorism “Better late than never,” the description is as follows:—

“ There was a considerable number of people at the station, and when the Queen of the Belgians and the Duchess of Orleans alighted from their carriage it was with difficulty that the way was made for the royal ladies to pass to the room which had been given up to Louis Phillipe, who, while advancing eagerly from it exclaimed “Ou, Ou?” (Where, where?) as though searching for the new comers, These now advanced — the Duchess first, with the young Count de Paris in her hand, who directly he saw the aged Queen, ran up to her, and placing his hand affectionately on her arm, looked up and exclaimed “Ma bonne Maman!’ Louis Phillipe met the Duchess with every sign of joy and affection. It was the first time he had seen her and the young Count since the fatal day when they were separated at the Tuilleries. The Duchess has a firm, almost a martial carriage. Her step is that of a heroine, but the deep marks round her eyes show that her woman's spirit has deeply mourned her own calamities and that of her husband’s house. The King, who never looked better, led her to the carriage. The aged Queen, who is tall and erect as ever, followed with the young Count de Paris — a fine boy, whose height and bearing make him look much older than his real age of ten years. The Queen of the Belgians followed, with the young Duke de Chartres, a beautiful boy, the second son of the Duchess of Orleans, and after her the other members of the Orleans family now in England. Thus they entered the large saloon carriage which had been prepared for them to proceed to St. Leonards. As the old King entered the carriage with his young grandson, the people raised a cheer, which appeared to be not unpleasing to him, as he turned round on the step and bowed. He also said something which our correspondent did not hear, and then the fortunes of the Orleans were whirled away.”


At about the same time that the ex Royal Family; of France came to reside at St. Leonards another illustrious visitor arrived at Hastings on his way to Bexhill, where a residence had been taken for him.

This was no other than the Portuguese Dom Miguel de Braganza, a legitimate descendant of the Kings of Portugal. As compared with the wealth of Louis Phillipe and his family, Dom Miguel was decidedly poor, he having declined a good pension offered to him by the Government of Donna Mana (his niece) to renounce his right to the Crown of Portugal. His lack of wealth, therefore, necessitated his living in a quiet way, surrounded only by a few faithful domestics; and as his sojourn was at Bexhill rather than at Hastings or St. Leonards, I had thought that a notice of him would be more appropriate under the heading of ”The Brooks of Bexhill.” But, while reserving a portion to be thuswise told, there are some letters written by a gentleman at Hastings having special reference to the Prince, which thus connects him with the Premier Cinque Port. There: are also allusions by the exile himself to the French exiles at St. Leonards, which further suggest that the narrative of the one should follow that of the others. The letter written from Hastings was as follows :—

“July 2nd, 1849, My dear Marquise,—
You wish me to give you an account of my visit to Dom Miguel, and as you were the means of my being introduced to his Majesty, I owe a ready compliance with your request; and it is a duty I most willingly perform as I dwell on the recollection of my most agreeable visit. Upon my arrival at. Hastings, I called with your letter of introduction on Senor de Pereda, and found him on the point of starting for Bexhill, where Dom Miguel is now residing. The Senor's cordial reception showed his reciprocity of friendship towards you. He made me quite his friend in a few moments, and it was soon agreed that be should solicit for me the honor of being received by the Portuguese King on the following day. Next morning. we proceeded together to Bexhill, a village six miles from Hastings, delightfully situated on the sea-coast, and one of the neatest looking places I have seen in England. Dom Miguel’s house is at the south west end of the village. very retired and with extensive sea and land views. Although the outside looks rather mean for the residence of a crowned head, still the part that fronts the garden and the interior are quite comfortable enough to satisfy a man who, like the Prince, cares more for independence than ostentation, Indeed the abode and the situation are quite fit for a philosopher such as I found the Prince practically to be, when, after the loss of wealth and power he was living cheerfully in the recollections of a proud conscience and in the fullest conviction of the justice of those rights the exercise of which he lost by violence, and for the recovery of which he has always determined to struggle, Dom Miguel received me with that noble frankness of manner — that truly polite simplicity which I have always found in the high born and high minded, These qualities, had I accidentally met such a man without knowing who he was, I should not for a moment have hesitated to ascribe to him, I will not undertake to relate to you in a letter all I remarked in his conversation that gave me an exalted idea of his sound sense, his discretion, his magnanimity, and — when speaking of his enemies — his Christian and philosophic resignation to his position. But I cannot refrain from mentioning two circumstances which are strongly characteristic and do him infinite honour. Having myself purposely turned the conversation upon another royal personage staying also with his family in the neighborhood(sic) [St. Leonards]. (and to whom Dom Miguel might reasonably be supposed not to entertain the most friendly feeling) I was surprised to hear from him no other observation than an acknowledgement of the particularly kind attention and obliging reception he had experienced from the Duc d' Orleans and his family in Paris in 1828. The other instance is that in speaking of the parties who now destroy Portugal, and of the difficulty in the event of his restoration being effected of bringing the nation back to unity and civil concord, he earnestly observed that the thing did not appear to him of such a hopeless character as night be imagined. The people would at once see — firstly, that he had no other interest than that of doing justice to all; secondly, that he had no wish to be a party King, but the King of all the Portuguese. The Prince lives a very retired life; and, Senor Pereds assured me, the villagers and neighbours show him the greatest respect. His suite is now reduced to three or four domestics, besides Viscount a Queliz, a most worthy and amiable gentleman, entirely devoted to his master and his constant attendant for the last 27 years. I must now conclude, although I know the subject is most interesting to you.”

Although living in comparative seclusion at his chosen residence at Bexhill, Dom Miguel of Braganza was often to be seen walking or riding with other persons in attendance. He was at the Hastings Races, which took place in the Filsham Vale on the 27th and 28th of September, 1849. He there witnessed some exciting sport, particularly on the first day, which, in consequence of favourable weather, was the most enjoyable The stakes on that day were the Town Plate of £40, added to a sweepstake of £2 each, the Ladies’ Plate of £25, added to a sweepstakes of £2 each, and a match for £100 between Mr. Edney’s and Capt. Ottway’s horses. On the second day, the stakes competed for were the South-Coast Railway Plate of £25, added to a sweepstakes of £2 each, a hurdle-race of £2 each, -with £20 added, the St. Leonards Plate of £40 added to a sweepstakes of £2 each, and a Plate of £20 for losing horses. It was so nearly dark when the last heat was run, and the horses reached the goal so near together that it was impossible for the umpires to decide which was the winning horse. But the circumstance which has induced me to describe thus much of that year’s races, is a generous act of Dom Miguel’s which called forth the admiration of those who witnessed it. That act of the Prince is referred to in a letter written by Senor Pereda, a Spanish gentleman, several years a resident in Hastings. The said letter was sent to a friend of the Senor’s in London, and published in the Hastings News as well as in the London Morning Post. It was as follows :—

“ Hastings.
Sept 29th, 1849.
My dear Friend,—
As you could not come and join us on St. Michael’s Day, you naturally wish to know how we spent it. The relation, though simple, will not be uninteresting to you and to all our friends. Dom Miguel, whose unobstrusive(sic) retirement becomes his position and marks his judgment, made no display on this occasion; indeed, I was his only guest. O, that all his people could have similar opportunities of observing his noble character! We met this morning at the Catholic Chapel, [in St. Leonards] and after mass he drove us himself to his peaceful retreat, where amidst quiet pastures, we gave full scope to the recollection of past events. The King delighted me with several entertaining anecdotes of his youth in the Brazils, of his family, and of his past political life, interspersed with thoughtful reflections of his own. To my expression of a hope that I wight on some such day present to his Majesty my congratulations at his palace of Queluz (which, as you know, he loves as his birthplace), he replied ‘I cordially thank you, for I see that your good wishes arise from the interest you take in my cause; and as far as might be conducive to the happiness of Portugal, and especially to the majority of the Portuguese nation who love me, and would view with delight my restoration to the country, I cannot but have the same wish. As far, however, as concerns me personally, you may well imagine how many more cares, troubles and anxieties I should then be required to sustain; and that under such circumstances we could hardly pass there so quiet, and may say, so happy a day as here it is our lot to enjoy.’ And, indeed, I cannot. but be of the same opinion myself. I much wish you had been with us, but as it has otherwise happened, I imagine, from your fondness for national dishes, you will be interested to hear that besides the historical goose, religiously eaten to-day throughout all England, we had excellent riza la Portuguese, not that wretched French riz ou lait, but the genuine Portuguese arroz doce. Apropos of the national goose, while the King was helping to some, the Viscount remarked, ‘Your Majesty, I think, ought not on this day, without apology, help a Spaniard to goose.’ ‘On the contrary.’ he rejoined, ‘a Spaniard, in my opinion, may feel pride in joining the English people at their goose, which commemorates the defeat of the great Armada by the winds. Its memory thus maintained for nearly three centuries is a clear testimony to the awe which Spanish power and greatness once inspired in Britain.’ Before I conclude I must relate to you a trait which, yesterday, publicly exhibited the King’s character in an amiable light. We were at the Hastings Races, a sport of which the King is fond, feeling, as he does, a great interest in all that is national and peculiar to a people whether English or Portuguese. At the first heat of the last races two jockeys were thrown and bodily hurt. Being conveyed past the King’s carriage, wine was called for as one of them was famishing. On the instant, the King opened our provision basket, drew the cork of a bottle, filled a glass with wine, and himself presented it to the injured man, with the most unaffected kindness, I remarked the surprise and admiration of the bystanders at such an act of kingly good nature — the action of a Samaritan which sprang from a feeling heart and a religious soul. Happily, this time he displayed himself unawares in his truly amiable character in the presence of hundreds of people, and many in this neighborhood(sic) will be slow to forget so affecting an incident. Always affectionately yours,

— V.M.P”

The celebration of St. Michael’s Day by Dom Miguel and a few of his friends at Bexhill, had a complimentary observance in Portugal, which was described in a legitimist Portuguese paper. and, as translated by the Spanish gentleman at Hastings, was inserted in the Hastings News, with the following editorial introduction:- ‘The deep feeling in which it expresses. the affection and almost heroic attachment of the party of Dom Miguel towards its exiled head is a testimony of no common political devotion, which does honour to the people who show so much constancy, and to the Prince, who by his personal character

inspires such lasting fidelity.” The translation of the paragraph is as follows:—

“Lisbon. Sept. 29th, 1849
We to-day commemorate an anniversary which prosperity has already seen saluted by the cannon of our fortresses and the vivats of a whole people, but to which misfortune at present scarcely allows the demonstration of fond and affectionate remembrances. The salutations of that time were, sincere ones, but those of to-day were more valuable, Those were pompous, brilliant, and public; these are without pomp, without display, and almost in secret; and although both came from the heart, the last one is refined by pure affection, and therefore less liable to the suspicion of flattery. We hail this day. We are not paying a tribute to a sceptre that now lies broken in a foreign land. but homage to a character noble in itself and rendered sacred by adversity. Our homage is not the compliment of a courtier which might yet he imagined as possible towards a brow that once shone adorned by the crown; it is but the continuance of a faith, the respect and love due to the incarnation of a principle which we defend. Let no adversaries blame us for this; we offend no one by it; we only perform the right of opinion.”

Aug 17/95


To the accounts already given of the French and Portuguese exiles at St. Leonards and Bexhill may be added some obituary notices of the Dowager Queen Adelaide, whose residence at St. Leonards in 1837 has been described in this History. The death of Her Majesty occurred at Bentley Priory at 7 minutes before two o'clock on Sunday morning, December 2nd, 1849, at the age of 57 years. The remains of the Queen Dowager were interred at Windsor on the 13th of December, and the shops at Hastings and St. Leonards were closed from twelve to two. o'clock, in obedience to the Mayor's request. Flags were flaunted at half-mast, minute guns were fired from the East Hill, and the church bells rang a muffled peal. A sermon was also preached at St. Mary’s, by the Rev. T. Vores, from 2 Chronicles, xxxii, 33. Her late Majesty gave directions for her funeral, and which directions she desired should be made public. They were worthy of her exalted piety, and, notwithstanding that they differed from the ceremonial usually observed in the funeral of our kings and queens, they were, as far as possible, carried into effect. The publicity of her desires, as issued from Whitehall, was as follows:—

”I die in all humility, knowing well that we are all alike before the throne of God, and: request, therefore, that my mortal remains be conveyed to the grave without any pomp or state, They are to be removed to St. George’s Chapel, Windsor, where I request to have as private and quiet a funeral as possible. I particularly desire not to be laid out in state, and the funeral to take place by daylight; no procession, and the coffin to be carried by sailors to the chapel. Those of my friends and relations, to a limited number, who wish to attend, may do so, My nephew, Prince Edward of Saxe Weimar, Lor ‘Howe and Denbeigh, the Hon. William Ashby, Mr. Wood, Sir Andrew Barnard, and Sir D. Davies, with my dressers and those of my ladies who may wish to attend. I die in peace and wish to be carried to the tomb in peace, free from the pomps and vanities of the world. I request not to be dissected nor embalmed;' and desire to give as little trouble as possible.

— Signed Adelaide, Nov. 1849.”

It was only eleven days before the Queen’s death that the St. Leonards Oddfellows — who adopted the title of the Adelaide Lodge in compliment to Her Majesty — celebrated their anniversary by the customary dinner. The vice chairman on that occasion in proposing the health of the Queen Dowager, remarked that she was an estimable lady, whose benevolence and virtues were the admiration of Englishmen and whom some persons then present had a personal knowledge. If not too egotistical, it may here be permitted to state that the present writer who had had the privilege of serving the ex-Queen's household when at St, Leonards — was called upon at the said anniversary dinner, as Permanent Secretary, to respond to the toast of the "Adelaide Lodge", in that response he remarked it had been in bygone days the custom of the world to view with indifference those societies with which its human constituents were not immediately connected, and to regard them as things which existed in name only, and unattended with benefits to the great mass of mankind. But, thanks to the intelli[ 333 ]gence that was now bursting the fetters of ignorance, a different feeling was beginning to pervade society. ”Friendship, Love and Truth,” the words to the original music they had permitted him to sing, were those of the motto,of the Order “Faith, Hope and Charity” its sentiment, and ”Goodwill to all Men” its universal prayer. The second toast of the evening was ”The Health of Prince Albert and the young Prince of Wales,” after which Mr. Brett sang another of his original songs, “The future King Albert.” I think it should not be omitted that in the same year in which Queen Adelaide died, and left instructions for all ostentations to be avoided at her funeral, a correspondent of the Hastings News called attention to a similar manifestation of humility contained in an epitaph to be found in St. Clement's Church, thus :—.

“In the catacombs of this church lie the remains of John. Thomas Justice, Esq., Barrister-at-law, eldest.son of Francis Justice, of Abbey-house, Sutton-Courtney, Bucks., who died at Hastings on the 18th of March, 1836, leaving the following testimonial:— “Let no word of eulogy stain this stone; it might mislead, and would be undesired. Enough that I was a lost sinner, saved only by the free grace of Redeeming Love — by the wondrous and perfect, work of salvation, solely completed by the Lord God Jesus Christ, and brought to my heart by the Eternal Spirit.”

The correspondent wrote ”It added to the interest with which I read it to learn that it was found in the deceased's own hand-writing in his pocket after death, and that the person whose instrumentality was honoured in bringing about so touching an allusion to the great change was the present incumbent of St, Dunstan’s-in-the-West, but then curate of the united parishes of St. Clement’s and All Saints.”


On the 20th of April, whilst the excavators were engaged on the St. Leonards portion of the new railway, they discovered the fossil remains of the iguanodon. Also at St. Leonards, about a month previously, the workmen employed in the railway cutting near Mr. Deudney’s Gensing farm-house, dug up a cannonball about the size of a twelve-pounder, and a bar-shot, consisting of two 16lb cannon-balls joined by a bar of iron a foot long and 1½ inches thick. The two relics were about four feet below the surface of the ground, nearly a ¼ mile apart, and more than the same distance from the sea. Another remarkable discovery was made by the railway workmen during the third week in June at a cutting near the eastern mouth of the tunnel in the Gensing valley (now known as the Warrior square station), and at about 35 feet below the surface of the ground, a heap of petrified bones embedded in blue marl. An interesting discovery was made at No. 2 shaft, consisting of a block of sandstone, in which was embedded some petrified ears of grain, apparently wheat, but smaller than is now grown. These relics were placed in possession of Capt Barlow, the engineer of the works.

I have described the numerous accidents and personal injuries at the railway works during the year, and I had here purposed giving a history of the South-Eastern Railway itself, but as it would occupy considerable space and retard the progress of my general narrative, I will now bring the year 1849 to a close with the record of a few various events.

On the morning of the 13th of March, the inhabitants of Maze Hill, Norman ​road​ and Shepherd street were astonished to find their doors minus the knockers and scutcheons, the work, it was supposed of a party of, young gentlemen from Battle, who were then out of more suitable employment.

In the month of April, brick-making was commenced in a field near the hop-gardens (now the Alexandra Park), to be used in the erection of the mansions on the Government ground.

At a hop-sweepstake dinner which - took place at the Coach and Horses, St. Leonards, the nearest forecast of the duty was £212,416, the amount realised being £213,000. One of the tickets drawn was figured for 12 millions.

An enormous cabbage, weighing 25lbs., and another, weighing 18lbs., were cut in Richard Cramp’s garden on the Barrack Ground. They were planted in marrow-bones filled with earth.

On the 10th of October one of Messrs. Burfield’s horses in drawing a heavy load on the sands broke a leg and had to be shot.

On the 5th of November, Guy Fawkes and his misdoings were shown up as usual with effigies, masks and squibs.

Also, as customary, on the 23rd and 24th of Nov. the Town Fair for toys, gingerbread and pedlary was held in the Fishmarket, where the display was meagre, the mud was abundant, and the noise was great.

Cooke’s Circus being at. Hastings, Mr. Nelson, one of the clowns, advertised his benefit by going off to sea in a tub, with four geese attached.

References & Notes