Glimpses Of Our Ancestors In Sussex - online book

With Sketches Of Sussex Characters, Remarkable Incidents &c

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10                 Glimpses of Our Ancestors.
draft of their petition to Parliament for a redress of grievances. On a subsequent occasion the Riot Act was read (by Mr. Mabbott, if we recollect rightly) and the agricultural labourers of East Sussex were put down with a strong hand.
But enough of taxation. Let us turn to more agreeable matters. What will Rectors' wives of the present day say to this indication of the tastes of Mistress Giles Moore?— " Tobacco for my wyfe, 3d." It was, really, a little too bad of the Rector to put down this. Why couldn't he let his "wyfe" have her three pennyworth of tobacco without telling all succeeding generations of it ? Oh, that Mrs. Moore had only thought of setting down all the Rector's little indulgences!
" For a lb. of sugar, to preserve quinces, is." shows the high price of colonial produce at that day (Oliver had only recently annexed Jamaica to the English Crown). There are numerous other proofs of it, whilst, on the other hand, home produce was very cheap. Thus, in 1662, "I pay'd for 3 pecks of barley malt, 2s. 7d.; for nibs, of beef, 2s. 2d."
Wine was also cheap. Claret and " sack "—that is, dry sherry (sherry sec) were chiefly drunk ; the former was is. per bottle, and the latter little more. Here is one entry: " 1st April, 1662. I had 5 bottles of claret, and as many of sack from London, for which I payed, and for the bringing them down, at 2d. the bottle, in all 12s. For a pint of old sack 6d., 2 quarts of muscadine 3s., 2 ounces of tobacco is. For a sugar loafe weighing 4 pounds is."
Mr. Giles Moore was evidently a temperate man for the times, and this entry in February, 1668, on the principle of the exception proving the rule, shows it:—
" This evening, between nine and ten o'clock, when I had began prayers with my family, I was so overpowered with the effects of some perry which I had taken, not knowing how strong that liquor was, that I was obliged to break off abruptly. O God I lay not this sin to my charge 1"
The original entry, we may add, like the Rev. Diarist's political effusions of an earlier date, is in Latin.
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