2 io Glimpses of Our Ancestors.
which stands out from the ordinary class of " bloody deeds," not only by the social position of the victim, and the utter failure to discover his " takers-off," but by the strange circumstance which preceded the deed, and by the puzzling fact which, after a considerable lapse of time, recalled the memory of it.
We refer to the death of Mr. George Stonhouse Griffith, the owner of the Rock Brewery, in Brighton, on the night of Tuesday, February 6th, 1849.
At the time of his death few men were better known at Brighton than Mr. Griffith. He was indeed a new comer; he had resided in Brighton little more than three years, and he was a stranger when he came; but his manners were open, frank, and pleasant, and his countenance was in harmony with his manners. It was a pleasant and good-looking one. Then his position—as the head of a brewing establishment—(he had previously been connected with the law)—was a good one, and he had taken the popular side in local politics, and distinguished himself as a Commissioner by his spirited opposition to the Clerk of that body, Mr. Lewis Slight, then exercising a predominant influence over that body, but with a growing opposition to his rule in which Mr. Griffith took a leading, if not a very successful, part.
Such was Mr. Griffith's position ; a man happy in his domestic circumstances—with a wife and children—at the head of a large and, it is to be presumed, prosperous business —enjoying good health, good spirits, and the good opinion of his fellow-townsmen—on the day in February, 1849, on which he set out on that journey from which he never returned alive.
It was customary with the "house" to visit its customers in the north-west of Sussex—at Horsham, Henfield, &c.—on the first Tuesday of the month ; and at one time Mr. Griffith made the journey himself; but for the twelve months preceding this February of 1849 he had discontinued it; his head clerk, Mr. Martin, taking his place. A circumstance, however, now occurred which induced him once more to make the journey.