Glimpses Of Our Ancestors In Sussex - online book

With Sketches Of Sussex Characters, Remarkable Incidents &c

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The Sussex Diarists.
the diary. " I was bled, as usual at haemorroyadal times, the quantity of 10 oz., for which I paid Mr. Parker 3d." On which entry, Mr. Blencowe remarks, "The custom of being blooded at the spring and fall of the year prevailed till within a few years. The labourers generally attended the village surgeon on a Sunday morning, that their week's work might not be interrupted; the charge for bleeding them being 6d. each."
It is only in our days that this most pernicious practice has been completely exploded, though Le Sage had made it the object of his satire, directed against Dr. Sangrado, in Gil Bias, 150 years before.
Newspapers had no existence in the Rev. Giles Moore's days; but the "Gazettes" and "Letters" out of which they sprang had made their appearance during the preceding civil war, and they were not to be rooted out by the Licenser of the Press, Sir Roger L'Estrange. Our Sussex Diarist had evidently acquired a taste for them. Ex. gr.: " To John Morley, for gazettes read from Lady Day till Midsr., at id. per each gazette, is. 3d. I payed him for 1 qr. newes bookes, 2s. 6d.; and I promised him a paier of old breeches for his letters." A mode of barter not very complimentary to litera­ture. But, doubtless, John Morley was only the carrier, not the inventor of the news! Another entry of a payment to the same person has a curious addendum':—" I payed John Morley for a letter 2d., for carrying news books 2s. 6d., and 6d. more gratis to stop his mouth." Doubtless there had been some scandal at Horstead Keynes which the Rector did not wish to spread!
One entry would puzzle modern readers, did not Mr. Blencowe kindly append an explanation to it. It is this :— "26th Dec. I gave the howling boys 6d." This was not the waits! " On New Year's Eve," writes Mr. Blencowe, "it was, and it still continues to be the custom, to wassail the orchards. At Horstead Keynes and elsewhere, the ceremony retains the name of ' Apple Howling.' A troop of boys visit the different
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