The Sussex Diarists. i1
Close to this entry we have two "signs of the times." Videlicet: "I was with Mistress Chaloner and bargained with her at £12 per an. for board and schooling for Mat." "I gave Mr. Salisbury, a begging Minister, 4d."
The Mistress Chaloner to whom Mat. (an adopted daughter of the Diarist) was sent for a year's schooling and board at £12 a year (!), was, doubtless, a member of the great Chaloner family, whose Sussex seat in the 17th century was at Kennard's, Lindfield, and whose head, now in exile—"Ye Major Chaloner of Kennard's"—had been an active adherent of the Commonwealth and was punished by the confiscation of his estates. His family, doubtless, shared in this reverse of fortune, and this "Mistress Chaloner" had to keep a school in London, to which " Mat." was sent, on terms which would make the heads of modern seminaries cast up their eyes in wonder. The " begging Minister" was, doubtless, as Mr. Blencowe surmises, one of those unfortunate Ministers of the Church of England who, admitted, like Mr. Giles Moore, to benefices during the Commonwealth, refused—unlike him—to conform to the new doctrines introduced after the Restoration, and so "went out"—one "black Monday"—to poverty and often destitution, to the number of 2,000. Nonconformists do not forget this little fact even at the present day.
Two circumstances point significantly to the alteration in diet which has taken place since the days of the second Charles. The first is, the frequent reference in this and other diaries to fresh-water fish, now so insignificant a matter in domestic economy; the other is, the total absence of any mention of the potato. It was, as Mr. Blencowe remarks in a note, introduced into England—probably by Raleigh—in the reign of James L; for, in an account of the household expenses of his Queen, there is an entry of their purchase at 2s. per lb. But the cultivation of it was slow, " and," says Mr. Blencowe, "before the year 1684, when they were first planted in the open fields in Lancashire, they were raised only in the gardens of the rich." And then Mr. Blencowe gives