Eastbourne Memories - A Victorian Perspective

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28                   Old Memories of East-Bourne. [Chap. III.
Century by J. Royer, one John Leach being the architect, and a very indifferent one if The Grove was a fair specimen of his skill. He came under the notice of Sir Arthur Piggott, M.P., Attorney-General in 1807, who advised him to become a Barristers The advice was taken, and eventually he reached in 1818 the high position of Vice-Chancellor of England ; was made Deputy-Speaker of the House of Lords in 1827 and died in 1834. Before Leach reached the Bench this is what is said to have happened :
" Mr Leach
Made a speech, Angry, neat, but wrong;
Mr Hart
On the other part, Was heavy, dull, and long;
Mr, Parker
Made that darker, Which was dark enough before;
Mr. Cooke
Quoted a Book, And the Chancellor said, 'I doubt.'"(*)
These lines are said to have been composed by Sir George Rose, a well-known politician in the reigns of George III. and George IV. The Grove in my early days was let as a lodging-house, and afterwards became a preparatory school for boys, conducted by two Misses Shoosmith.
Lady Piggott when she became a widow moved to Willingdon, and died there in the " Forties," many years after her husband.
Two or three small houses finished the frontage of Grove Road on the right-hand side ; one of them, which I remember as Thurlow House, is said to have received its name because Lord Thurlow, the great Judge, once lodged in it. The last house on this side (but it was not really on this side, because it was round the corner) was a house which I remember as a grocer's shop, kept by a
man named Turner. It was afterwards converted into a
{a) Sir Arthur wandered about a good deal in a Parliamentary sense. He was first elected for Steyning at a By-election in 1806. At the General Elections of 1806 and 1807 he was elected for Arundel: at the General Election of 1812 he obtained a seat at Horsham ; at that of 1818 he went back to Arundel and died Member for Arundel in 1819. He was evidently a " Carpet-bagger " in modern electioneering parlance.
(b) The Chancellor was the Earl of Eldon, and his favourite phrase was "1 doubt.' There is more than one version of the above poem [!] in circulation; I quote that which is given in Campbell's Lives of the Chancellors.
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