Glimpses Of Our Ancestors In Sussex - online book

With Sketches Of Sussex Characters, Remarkable Incidents &c

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Social Changes in Sussex.                    291
there are only three high roads laid down from London to the sea-coast, and of two of these Shoreham was the terminus ! The other one passed along the coast to Brighthelmstone and Newhaven, and from thence through Lewes to London. It was traversed by one stage-coach, which started at a very early hour on the Monday morning, and arrived late in London on Tuesday evening; returning in the same way on Friday and Saturday.
The work thus edited by Mr. Owen, " Britannia depicta," was undertaken in the preceding century by a Mr. Ogilby by the express command and at the expense of Charles II.; and, of the 73 roads there described, only five are assigned to Sussex; 1, from London to Arundel; 2, from London to Newhaven, with a continuation to Shoreham; 3, from London to Rye; 4, from London to Chichester; 5, from Oxford to Chichester. Ogilby anticipates the complaints of Dr. Burton as to the character of the Sussex roads, and more than once advises the traveller to break off" the road either to the right hand or to the left, to avoid the mud. These are samples of his warnings to travellers: " Backward turnings to be avoided: at the end of Maudlin, the left to Petworth; in Amberley, the left," &c. He also takes note of "the gallows" being a frequent direction post to the traveller; as they were doubtless intended to be a warning to ill-doers not to persist in the path leading to them.
De Foe, who published his tour through Great Britain in 1724, says he has seen a tree drawn on a "tug" by 22 oxen, and even then it was sometimes two or three years before it got to Chatham ! Not far from Lewes he had seen a sight "I never saw in any part of England before, namely, going to a church at a country village I saw an ancient lady—and a lady of very good quality, I assure you—drawn to church in her coach by six oxen; nor was it done in frolick or humour, but from sheer necessity, the way being so stiff and deep that no horses could go in it."
Judith, the widow of Sir Richard Shirley, of Preston, was
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