The Sussex Diarists. 21
The average consumption at Hickstead was, says Mr. Turner, until 1746, about eight bushels a month. In speaking of malt the Stapley accounts generally describe it as barley malt. This (remarks Mr. Turner) doubtless is done to distinguish it from malt made of other grain. In the early part of the reign of Edwd. II. great quantities of wheat were made into malt, and this, towards the close of his reign, he found it necessary to prohibit. But this practice was subsequently resumed, for in the " Chronicles of London " we find the following receipt: " For brewing 60 barrels of good Songel Beer, 10 quarters of Barley Malt, 2 do. of Wheat do., 2 do. of Oats do., and 4olbs. of Hoppys." And this appears to have gone on until the year 1630, when wheat was again prohibited from being made into malt by royal proclamation, and it was further ordered that " nc grain, meet for bread to feed men, be wasted and consumed in stuff called starch," which was profusely used for stiffening the ruffles, and cuffs, and other linen attire which an ostentatious and inconvenient fashion had been the means of introducing into the habits both of the gentlemen and ladies of the times of Charles the First and Second.
Hops, though grown at Twineham, were also bought by the Stapleys in large quantities.
Whilst upon this subject of liquor, we may note that claret was the principal wine drunk by the Stapleys, and doubtless other families of the period, with a certain quantity of sherry, under the name of sack. Thus (1646), "I had from Cleer, of London, one runlet of sacke, and 3 runlets of claret." "For sack, when strangers were here, 12s. 6d." "Had a dozen of white wine and one gallon of sack, which cost me £1. 17s. 4d."
We have referred to the absence of politics in these diaries, and to the utter ignoring of the rise and fall of Kings and Governments. Only in the payment of taxes, which all Governments, Kingly or Republican, levy, can we detect any signs of the great events going on in England, and this is