Glimpses Of Our Ancestors In Sussex - online book

With Sketches Of Sussex Characters, Remarkable Incidents &c

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4                   Glimpses of Our Ancestors.
of the hall or refectory of an old English mansion it is said that an aperture was left in the " bower" of the lady in the upper story, through which she could hear the wise, and, doubtless, sometimes the foolish things said by her lord when he was feasting with his friends below. Now, a diary is just such a peephole as this, through which the actions of one generation are revealed to another; and, to be complete, the lady should tell her story as well as the lord. But, unfortu­nately, no lady thought of doing this in Sussex—at least, if kept, her record has not been found, and so we must be content to take the evidence from the only party who puts in an appearance, and that is the male.
The first witness whom we will call into Court is the Rev. Giles Moore, Rector of Horstead Keynes, whose diary extends from 1655 to 1679. He is methodical, frank, concise, and good-tempered; in fact, has most of the good qualities of a good diarist, and though we could have wished he had told us a little about things more interesting than the price he paid for his extinguishers, his bellows, his grate, the shoe­ing of his horses, &c, &c, yet, as it was in order to chronicle these items that he kept the diary, we must take the boon as he gives it, and get as much instruction and information out of it as we can.
The Rev. Giles Moore was, we are afraid, open to the charge of "time-serving." He was one of those gentry called, in the Commonwealth times, "Compounders;" and it was with his own conscience, as well as with the Protector, Oliver Cromwell, that he compounded. He was, in point of fact, a Royalist and an Episcopalian. According to his own statement, he was serving in the ranks of the Royalists (in what capacity he does not say—perhaps as Chaplain) when he was taken prisoner by Essex's army. How long he remained so we do not know; but in 1655 he was presented to the Rectory of Horstead Keynes (then vacant by the death of Mr. James Pell) by Mr. William Michelborne, of Broadhurst and Stanmer, whom he calls his patron, and being admitted by "the
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