for other reasons, the debateable district is St Leonards. I do not say that it is the property of St Leonards to the west of the Archway, either in a municipal or in any other sense: but that for a period of more than twenty years it has acquired the name of St Leonards. Under this appellation it is widespread; under this appellation it has given adherence to the Mechanics Institution; and with this appellation the Postmaster General and the people of the district wish it to remain, even to say nothing of Mr Putland’s allusion to the Turnpike [and the deeds of conveyance]. If I have been personal, “Via Media” should do me the justice to acknowledge that it has been in self-defence. I have assailed the letter of a merely anonymous writer, and, perhaps, after all, irrespective of this business, the individual is one between whom and myself there is much personal respect.
With many apologies,
I remain, Sir,
your obedient servant,
Samuel H Beckles”
Sir,- I was somewhat surprised to see in your columns that one “In Via Media” vauntingly makes the assertion that certain questions put to him in a former letter are up to the present unanswered. I, for one, saw not the knotty points. Admitted that I might have been rather “obfuscated” and might have been “snuffed out” for a time; at any rate I will try to relight by rushlight by the aid of your correspondent’s coruscations, when I hope to have a little more light on the subject. We all admit it to be hard to convince a man against his will; yet we find a writer condemning another for liking and using those things which seem best, in preference to those which are worse. If one “In Via Media” were building a house with two kinds of stone, good and inferior, would he not face it with the better kind. Again “Mr Vidler’s deed of property in this disputed district is of infinitely more value than anyone’s statement”. Perhaps so; yet I have seen several deeds connected with the district in which the person is said to be of St Leonards-on-Sea – not of Hastings. An old Act, too, empowering Trustees to grant leases, speaks – as many persons, perhaps, know – of St Mary Magdalen and St Michael being not in Hastings but near Hastings; others also as near Hastings. Surely, if on no other grounds, we may also say the same – viz. that we are near the ancient and patriarchal Hastings, but not in it; St Leonards being our nucleus, and we its adjunct. Yours, truly, Young St Leonards