Eastbourne Memories - A Victorian Perspective

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170                Old Memories of East-Bourne. [Chap. XIII.
of money, and great commercial distress overspread the country. Mr. Pitman often told me that a stated weekly allowance from the overseers out of the Poor Rate, of money and loaves of bread, came gradually to be regarded as the regular and proper supplement to the ordinary weekly wages of every farm-labourer. This state of things lasted up to and beyond the passing of the " Poor Law Amendment Act, 1834," which revolutionised the Poor Law system of the Country, amongst other things by grouping parishes into " Unions," and establishing Boards of Guardians, instead of every parish doing its own Poor Law work in its own way.
Mr. Pitman once related me the following significant incident. He was waited upon by a coastguard who asked him to take care of the large sum of 100 until such times as he was due to go back to Ireland to his home. Mr. Pitman asked the man, who was a Roman Catholic, why he came to a Protestant clergyman to take care of his money instead of putting it into the hands of the Romish priest of his parish in Ireland. The man's reply was " Plaize, your Riverence, I think the money will be safer in your hands than in the hands of my priest. He would find some excuse for diminishing the amount before it reached myself or my wife."
Mr. Pitman was very conservative in the matter of vestments, so naturally he would not patronise any of the illegal Romish vestments which many of the Clergy wear in these days; not even the " moderate" but nevertheless illegal black stole. He stuck to the tippet or scarf. Of course he wore the bands which one now sees only round the necks of barristers, and also of course the surplice in the reading-desk and the black gown in the pulpit. Bands went out, more or less, about 1870, the all-round clerical collars being a sort of subterfuge substitute for them. The black gown was so universally recognised in the " Fifties " and " Sixties " as the vestment de rigueur that a new gown was an ordinary and frequent presentation to a clergyman whom his congregation wished to honour. I remember that Mr. Pierpoint, whilst Incumbent of Trinity Church, was so
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