Glimpses Of Our Ancestors In Sussex - online book

With Sketches Of Sussex Characters, Remarkable Incidents &c

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The Sussex Ironmasters.                    69
which are the ruin of all men's estates, that are ruined in this nation, and pride of apparel, which is a great consumer of men's estates in this kingdom."
Neither did Leonard Gale, in his last advice, lose sight of the "main chance:"—"If you can get," he says, "one of the Cowden furnaces, it will be very well, for I do assure you that, if I were but 40 years old, I would, by God's help, get a good estate by this employment, for I have within these 20 years cleared near £300 per annum out of that very forge."
Leonard Gale died in 1690, leaving the larger share of his estate to his son Leonard, who had received a liberal education and was called to the bar, but did not practice. In 1698 he purchased the house and estate of Crabbett, in the parish of Worth, for £8,ooo, and took his position among the gentry of the county, the son of the blacksmith being, as Mr. Blencowe remarks, elected one of the Members for Eastgrinstead in 1710. He, too, like his father, was a deeply religious man, and he, too, had his annoyances in life —some of them proceeding from " those inferior beggarly fellows," as he calls them, who had been the plague of his father, and who, it appears, had brought about the ruin of the previous owner of Crabbett, Mr. John Smith.
At 52 years of age Leonard Gale had so far successfully carried out his father's precepts as to be "now worth, at Michaelmas, 1724, at a reasonable computation, £40,667, though," he adds, " I have been guilty of a great many oversights in missing good bargains and taking bad (particularly the Mayfield estate), and not for want of care, but of understanding; but I will not look back upon what is passed, but with a thankful heart daily praise Almighty God for what I have."
He had married, and had a large family, and the terms in which he records this event of his life are very simple and touching. " I marryed with Mrs. Sarah Knight, my mother's sister's only daughter, after I had made my court to her two or three years; by her I had a plentiful fortune: we were
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