Glimpses Of Our Ancestors In Sussex - online book

With Sketches Of Sussex Characters, Remarkable Incidents &c

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The Sussex Diarists.                          17
religious, political, and, above all, scientific and economical —took place in the interval of the commencement and the closing of these Stapley diaries! and yet, in the retirement of this little Sussex homestead, the current of life seems to have flowed on with a quietude that no civil or political con­vulsion could disturb. There were restorations and revolu­tions—plots, sham and real—civil and foreign wars—victories and defeats—the rise and fall of Ministers, the death and banishment of Kings; great discoveries in science, by a Newton, a Hervey, and a Boyle; great changes in the industrial world, such as the introduction of coal and the substitution of the iron of Wales for the iron of Sussex. But, of all these changes, we get little or no indications in the Stapley diaries. A Sussex village like that of Twineham must have been, in those days of impassable roads, almost as remote from the great movements of life at the centres of civilization as the islands of the South Seas are now; and those who lived in them seemed to concern themselves as little about such movements. They paid taxes, of course— and these kept on increasing!—and we presume that they occasionally gave a vote at county elections. But, if so, no note is made of such voting. As Mr. Blencowe remarks, a battle like that of Naseby might have been fought in another county and the news of it never have reached such a village as Twineham!
But there were events and incidents even in the Stapley world. There were children born into the world, and they had to be taught to read, write, and reckon. How cheaply, we may infer from the entry (May, 1731) that "Anthonie Stapley went to school to Thomas Painter by the week, to learn to write and read, and cast accounts, at 6d. per week." Previous to this the same Anthony (a son of Anthony Stapley, we presume) had been to a Brighton boarding school, and we have this entry: "Paid Grover and Browne, of Brighton, £7.6s. iod." Doubtless for the year; for at the same period, • we are told, " Sarah Stapley went to William Best's to board c
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