Eastbourne Memories - A Victorian Perspective

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104                 Old Memories of East-Bourne. [Chap. IX.
When the town received its Charter of Incorporation in 1883 the question came up for discussion whether it should ask for a separate Bench of Magistrates and its concomitant a separate Police Force. For the moment the matter was resolved in the negative, and the town left for magisterial and Police purposes under the jurisdiction of the County. This continued for several years. Meanwhile the town continued to grow, and some people gifted with powers of research came to the conclusion that justice would be more conveniently administered and the cost of the Police, as charged by the County, would be lessened if the Borough were emancipated from the County in respect of these matters.
Thus it came about that a Borough Bench was set up and a Borough Police Force likewise. The following were the names given in the first Commission issued by the Crown :—
A. Mayhewe                      E. L. Beckwith
Major H. P. Molineux G. A. Wallis
Sir A. Dent                       G. Boulton
H. W. Keay                      Col. C. J. 0. FitzGerald
J. C. Foran                      R. C. Lambert
G. F. Chambers               E. K. Rodwell, Q.C.
W. L. Wallis                    Col. E. W. Shaw
H. D. Farnell                   N. Strange
I should like to say in regard to myself that my name was included without my knowledge, and without my consent being asked. Least of all did I take any steps to bring about the honour.
Several years elapsed before I qualified by taking the Oath, and as later additions made the Bench not only a numerous but also a strong one, I have never taken a very prominent part in the work, rather reserving myself for seasons of the year and days of the week when a scarcity of Justices might be expected. This does some­times happen. I remember once hearing of a certain Thursday when the Police had an important case to submit to the Bench, one which under a certain Statute required 2 Magistrates, whilst one only was in attendance.
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