The Sussex Diarists.
costing mee £1; I bought for my wyfe a lute string hood, costing 6s."
And so this amusing and instructive diary goes on from
its beginning, in 1655, to its termination, in August, 1679,
when it closes in the following suggestive entry:—
"3rd of August, I payed to Capt. Fishenden for a cephalic playster, and to Mr. Marshall, of Lewis, for a julep, and for something to make mee sleep, 2s. 6d."
The narcotic must have had the required effect, for the
next extract, from the Parish Register, is as follows:—
"Mr. Giles Moore, Minister of this parish, was buryed the 3rd of October, 1679."
So the Rector of Horstead Keynes slept the long sleep to which there is only one awakening. But his diary survives, and in it he and his doings will live for many a day, to amuse and interest Sussex people.
The Stapleys, of Hickstead Place, in the parish of Twine-ham, may be said to have been a family of diarists. Their memoranda, in account books and journals, extend from 1607 to 1743—a period of 136 years! The example was set by John Stapley, who, in addition to being the Squire of Hick-stead Place, was a Trainband Captain. His career was in the latter years of the reign of "Good Queen Bess" and the earlier ones of James the First; but his memoranda, or what remains of them, are limited to one item, namely, " that for all my landes within the whole parish I am to impaile of the churchyard of Twineham 174^ feet. The churchyard is in compass 28 rods and 2 feet."
This refers to a custom still, according to the late Rev. E. Turner, observed in some places, of the fences of the churchyard being kept up by the landowners according to the number of acres they possessed in the parish. But, for the most part, we take it, the custom is obsolete, and the burthen is borne by the whole of the parishioners.
At this early period—1607-10—the prices of all home-productions were very low, as compared with those which they