Eastbourne Memories - A Victorian Perspective

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178                Old Memories of East-Bourne. [Chap. XIII.
of the habitual visitors of previous years. The lodging-house keepers in despair lowered their rents materially, and a new class of visitor, despising fever risks (which were really very small then), nocked to the Town and helped to fill the Churches to overflowing. About the same time Sir Charles Locock, the well-known London Doctor, whose eldest son had married Mr. Pitman's 2nd daughter 5 years previously, offered to start a Building Fund for a new Church with a donation of £ 1000 if a younger son of his were appointed the first Incumbent. Nothing came of this offer, and the field was open for new proposals. One soon came in the form of an offer from Mr. George Whelpton, a London business man, to build a complete new Church and Parsonage-house if a suitable site could be obtained on the Duke of Devon­shire's land. This offer, in spite of its completeness and munificence, was not acceptable to Mr. Pitman because the first Incumbent of the proposed Church was to be the founder's son, the Rev. H. R. Whelpton, then a beneficed Clergyman in the diocese of Salisbury. It was ascertained that Mr. Whelpton was " High Church," and that was sufficient to make Mr. Pitman decline the proposal, and Mr. G. Whelpton made at first no further attempt to go on with the matter. The facts just stated happened to be made known to me, and I took the liberty of entering into a correspondence on my own account with the Rev. H. R. Whelpton, to whom I was then personally unknown. The anti-High Church reasons which swayed the Vicar, though in my opinion good reasons up to a certain point, did not justify the Town of East-Bourne being deprived of a completely-equipped new Church with its accompanying parochial organisations, at a moment when there was a grievous deficiency of Church accommodation—a deficiency which was daily increasing and which nobody was in sight to supply if the refusal of Mr. G. Whelpton's handsome offer was persisted in. I am glad to say that my intervention had the effect which I desired it should have ; the offer was revived ; Mr. Pitman was persuaded to see the matter in a new light, and the Church was built and consecrated on
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