Eastbourne Memories - A Victorian Perspective

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Chap. XIIL]           St. Mary's Church.                           165
so-called, but the apartment of unknown origin and intention built against the E. window was used as a Vestry, access to it being had from inside the Church by passing through the Communion rails and past the S. •end of the Communion table. The use as a Vestry of the enclosed space in what is sometimes called the *' Wilson " or " Cavendish " Chancel was of much later date ; whilst the user of the " Gilbert" Chancel as a Choir Vestry was much later still.
The Church was repewed and considerably repaired in 1851 under the supervision of the well-known church architect, Carpenter. A wooden pulpit was replaced by the present stone one, but the old one was not very old. I possess a leaden tablet found in it which is thus inscribed : 41 This Pulpit was made by Moses Vine, 1816, Aged 18 Years." In 1851, the pulpit was placed in the nave in a position near the Chancel arch. There was much controversy over pews. One difficulty which frequently crops up in such cases, namely, the existence of " Faculty Pews " was got over by Mr. J. D. Gilbert surrendering his two pews. Of course the new pews were viewed with disfavour by some of the old inhabitants. For instance my grandmother never entered the Church again, going ever afterwards to Trinity Church, but the cuhninating point of controversy was as to whether the new pews should have doors! And there arose a pro-door and anti-door party! The matter was finally left to the arbitration of Lord Burlington who decided in favour of doors. Whenever he was at Compton Place he was a regular attendant with his 3 sons, afterwards Lord Hartington and Lords Frederick and Edward Cavendish, and his one daughter Lady Louisa Cavendish, afterwards the wife of Admiral Egerton, M.P. The old-fashioned reading desk was replaced in 1851 by one of open iron­work painted blue with the desk arranged for the reader to face W. This was replaced in 1873 by a carved oak desk, given by Mrs. Cuthell as a memorial of her husband. Further changes in the seating of the Chancel were carried out in 1892 when Mr. Ottley became Vicar. The first Parish Clerk and Sexton who I remember was
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