Eastbourne Memories - A Victorian Perspective

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Chap. XIX.] Various Extracts from Letters.              269
corruption of Ease-Bourne {i.e., water-brook) a name which a village near Midhurst has retained to this day (cf. South-ease). There is much to be said in favour of this derivation. It is not easy, on the other hand, to find a satisfactory reason for the place being called East-Bourne; and modern nomenclators, by giving the name of South-Bourne to a district 5. E. of the original town, have virtually made the Old Town West-Bourne, and so to be logical, the parishes of All Souls and Christ Church should alone be called East-Bourne. You mention in your Handbook that in the reign of Charles I. there were 3 landowners in the Hundred of East-Bourne of the name of Crunden. You may be interested to know that there are 2 families of that name now (1884) living in Mr. Graham's Cottaaes in Grove Road."
[These have since been pulled down.] Though I am not prepared to adopt the above ideas, yet Mr. Taylor was so high an authority in his own department that I do not like wholly to ignore any suggestions emanating from him.
From Mr. H. M. Whitley, under date of August 31, 1886 :—
" It would be worth your while (if you have not yet done so) to look at the cellar under the house next the new Manor Offices, in which Mr. Welch lived for many years.W It is the highest of the old houses that straggle up the Borough from the Church. These, in my opinion, are the houses that belonged to the ' Guild of Jesus,' or ' fraternitee of East-born,' in which lived the six members, * housf-lying people,' returned at the time of the suppression.
" This guild had lands in East Dean as well as East-Bourne, and its existence will account for some of the curious vaults at the Old Town."
From Mr. John Mills, under date of May 25,1899:—
" I have been reading with much interest your Handbook for East-Bourne and, as perhaps one of the earliest visitors still living, I thought it might interest you if I put down a few of my recollections of the place in 1826 as far as the memory of a child of 6 years old may be trusted. In that year my father, one of the masters of Harrow School, brought his family to spend the summer holidays there. We lodged in one of a row of 6 or 7 houses known as ' The Sea-Houses "... Close by was the Anchor Inn. On the beach nearly in front of ' Sea-houses' were the houses of the preventive officer (as he was then called) and the coastguard men. Behind 4 Sea-houses ' was a small hamlet with about 300 inhabitants—chiefly fishermen and smugglers, and my impression is that a small stream ran into the sea close by . . . We used to go to the old Parish Church. Holywell was then a beautiful clear spring coming out a little way up the cliff, in the course of which we found a layer of jet black flint, and I well remember having a picnic close by, and the failure of our tea-making through the extreme hardness of the water. You mention a plot of ground near Meads bearing the name of * France ' or ' Frenchland,' and say ' These designations await explanation.' I wonder whether I can help you to one. In 1826 there was a spot half-way down the cliff below the Coastguard Station on Beachy Head, called ' Little France' so called from the bodies of one or more Frenchmen from a ship that had been wrecked near by, having been buried there. In 1866, being on Beachy Head, I asked one of the coastguard men if he had ever heard of ' Little France,' and he thought he had heard it mentioned, but knew nothing of its history. In 1826 the traps cut in the turf for the wheatear were very common on the Downs, and visitors used to take out the dead birds
(b) This house was the first inhabited by Dr. D. J. Hall after his marriage in 1834.
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