Glimpses Of Our Ancestors In Sussex - online book

With Sketches Of Sussex Characters, Remarkable Incidents &c

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22                    Glimpses of Our Ancestors.
shown in the curious admixture of " King" and " Parlia­ment" in the following entries :—
" 1644. To the King, £1. 4s. 2d. To "William Dumbrell, for tax, £1. 15s. 2d. To the Parliament, £1. To Goodman Erie, for a six months' tax, £2. 7s. 6d.
" 1645. To the Parliament, £1. 7s. 6d.
" 1646. Taxes for the Parliament, April 8th. To Arthur Luxford, for four months' tax, 10s. To William Dumbrell, for eight months' tax, £1. os. 4d. To do. for twelve months' tax, £1. 10s. 6d.
" 1649. To William Dumbrell, for a tax, 13s. 5d. To Thomas Averie for a do., 14s. 6d. To Thomas Marchant, of Hurst, for a tax for the Par­liament, £$. To Arthur Luxford for the use of the King and Parliament, 14s. To William Dumbrell, for an eight months' tax, £2. 10s. 6d. For the King's Provision, 14s. 8d."
The contribution to King and Parliament is pretty equal, and perhaps the feelings of the Stapleys—who counted Roundheads and Cavaliers among their successors, and one of whom was a friend of Cromwell, and figured as a Regicide —were pretty equally balanced. All that they cared for at Twineham was to be let alone!
As we go through the entries of the Squires of Hickstead Place, as to their eatings and drinkings, buyings and sellings, we cannot help wishing that they had given us a glimpse of themselves and of their "interior"—the ways and fashions of the house and of its inmates, male and female. But we look in vain for anything of the sort. It was a diary for the use of Richard and Anthony Stapley, and not for the informa­tion of those who might come after them. If it had not been for entries of fees paid to Mr. Nightingale—" for his journey half-a-guinea, and 2s. for things which he brought with him " —we should scarcely have known that Richard Stapley had a wife, until her death, from a cause which is thus quaintly but forcibly described :—" Struck with the dead palsy from head to foot in a moment of time."
For pictures of the mode of life of such families as that* of the Stapleys—the squires or gentry of the 17th and 18th centuries—we must go to other sources. The Rev. E. Turner, who edited these Stapley diaries for the Archaeological Society, and who had other sources of information as to the
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