Eastbourne Memories - A Victorian Perspective

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Chap. V.]                    Royal Visitors.                                53
to Lady Betty Compton. . . . We stay an hour at East­bourne Place, and Lady C. F. accompanies ps. Elizabeth to the Sea House, who then reads the Psalms and chap­ters of the day, and attends to various lessons from Lady C. and myself in ye absence of her teachers. At 1 o'clock Ly. Charlotte leaves us; returns at 3, when Prince Edward, his governor, Mr. Buggmers [Bruyeres], and sub-governors, Mr. Farhill and the Rev. Mr. Fisher, come to dinner. His R.H. and the gentlemen go away at 5."
Note that the dinner hour was 3.0. I may add that that hour and 4.0 were ordinary hours for dinner in the early part of the 19th century!
Judging by old Guide-books of which I possess copies, this Royal Visit did something to advertise the town, and a few years after the Royal Visit of 1780, another of the children of George III., the Princess Amelia, was taken to East-Bourne. Some very brief particulars are to be found in Mrs. Papendiek's Court and Private Life in the time of Queen Charlotte (London, 1887). No dates are given, but there seem to have been two visits two years running, possibly in 1789 and 1790. A rowing match presumably took place during the latter visit, for under the date of January 1, 1791, Mrs. Papendiek records an extemporised picture of such a match being placed on the table at a Royal juvenile party given at Windsor by the Lady Charlotte Finch.
My first date for Royal Visitors must be 1852 when the Prince and Princess of Capua stayed at the seaside. He was a son of Ferdinand II., King of Naples, otherwise known as " Bomba." I remember sitting near them at a travelling circus set up close to South Street, not far from the New Inn.
About this time, or earlier, Lucien Bonaparte, Prince of Canino, visited East-Boume. His visit was really rather to Sussex, because, as is well known, he was an eminent philologist and he spent a good deal of time and labour in studying dialects and languages, and amongst others the dialects of England, including that of Sussex. The results of his labours were subsequently published.
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