Eastbourne Memories - A Victorian Perspective

An Account of, notable events, Persons and town history - online book

Home | Order | Support | About | Contact | Search

Share page  

Previous Contents Next

108                 Old Memories of East-Bourne. [Chap. IX.
In 1860 there occurred a remarkable crime which ■caused a great sensation in the South of England. On the Grand Parade there lived a schoolmaster named
H------. He was a clever, interesting, scientific man.
His pupils were not numerous ; only I think about 6 in number, but select. He was a great disciplinarian, his principles of discipline being not of the ordinary sort. Though a man of, I suppose, 50 years of age then, he liad a young wife to whom he extended his principles of discipline which in these days would have secured for her judicial separations many times over. One of his boys was named Reginald Cancellor, the son of an Official of the Court of Chancery. Administering •corporal punishment to this boy he (to cut a long story
short) beat him to death. H------ laid out the poor
boy's body himself on his bed, concealing the effects of the castigation by putting kid gloves on the boy's hands. An inquest was held and the Jury displayed the usual limited amount of insight common to Coroner's Juries, and recorded a verdict of " Death from natural causes." This sham finished, the body was removed to London by the family for burial. Owing to the gossip of two maidservants, further inquiries were made, and ultimately at the Sussex Assizes held on July 23, 1863, before Sir
A. J. Cockburn, C.J., H------ received a sentence of 4
years' penal servitude for manslaughter. Ere he came out of prison, his wife was sent away from Sussex to commence housekeeping under an assumed name ; and various East-Bourne people subscribed to help her.
H------himself, nothing abashed at the fact that he had
been boarded and lodged for 4 years at the expense of Her Majesty, came back and settled in Sussex in a perfectly genial frame of mind. I sat through the whole of the trial, and I need hardly add that several other spectators took tickets from East-Bourne with the same object in view.
It was a brother of Mrs. H-----, who was nearly
frozen to death under Beachy Head as related in another ■chapter.
Before my time I do not think that the parish of
Previous Contents Next