20 Glimpses of Our Ancestors.
Mr. Anthony Stapley had the feelings of a "gentleman and a Christian " for his dumb servants. Here is an example :—
"*735> Octr. 9th. James Matthew had my old white horse away, which I gave him to keep as long as he should live, and when dead to bury him in his skin, and not to flaw him or abuse him in any way."
By a later entry it appears that this old horse died May 21st, 1736, and was buried in the sawpit in the Laines Wood. His age when he died was supposed to be 35 years.
In all articles of home-produce the rise of prices has been immense since the Stapley's days; and horse-flesh has "gone up" with the rest. In May, 1737, Mr. A. Stapley records that "Chowne bought me a mare, which cost me £10 10s., and I gave him is. for bringing her." Again, in 1739, " Bought a black mare for John Stapley to ride; she cost £5, with bridle and saddle in." 1740 : " Bought a mare of John Daulton, for which I gave him £5."
Sometimes, however, a higher figure was reached, as in 1741, when he " bought a mare of John Lindfield, of Dean House, for which I paid him £15."
They were great meat-eaters at Hickstead Place; but they did not go to the butcher for it. "The calves, sheep and lambs," writes Anthony Stapley, " which I have killed in my house this year (1642) are 4 calves, 20 sheep and 45 lambs." The practice of neighbours exchanging meat with each other was, it is evident, common: Thus, in 1645, "Had of Georg Luxford, of Hurst, 21 nailes of beef, which I have since repaid him." And in 1654, "Goodman Butcher owes me 15 nailes of beef and 2lbs., and he has been paid all the beef I owed him."
It was very convenient, doubtless, when it was necessary to kill a sheep in order to get a leg or shoulder of mutton, to exchange in this way with a neighbour.
Brewing, of course, was carried on at Hickstead Place, for home consumption, and doubtless, very good ale was brewed. There are numerous entries of the purchase of malt.