Highways and Byways in Sussex - online book

An illustrated appreciation, of the most interesting districts in Sussex.

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li                             MR. LA THANGUE'S HOME                             21
the stag-beetle buzzes with its multiplicity of wings and fierce lobster-like claws out-stretched.
Following the Rother to the west one comes first to Ease-bourne, a shady cool village only a few steps from Midhurst, once notable for its Benedictine Priory of nuns. Henry VIII. put an end to its religious life, which, however, if we may believe the rather disgraceful revelations divulged at an epis­copal examination, for some years had not been of too sincere a character. In Easebourne church is the handsome tomb of the first Viscount Montagu (the host of Queen Elizabeth), which was brought hither from Midhurst church some forty years ago. Beyond Easebourne, on the banks of the Rother, is Woolbeding, amid lush grass and foliage, as green a spot as any in green England.
On the eastern side of the town (with a diversion into Queen Elizabeth's sombre wood-walk) one may come by the side of the river part of the way to West Lavington, which stands high on a slope facing the Downs, with pine woods immediately beneath it, perhaps as fair a site as any church can claim. The grave of' Richard Cobden, the Free Trader, a native of Heyshott, near by, is in the churchyard. Here, in 1850, Henry Edward Manning, afterwards Cardinal, preached his last sermon for the Church of England. It is, indeed, Manning country, for besides being curate and rector of Woollavington with Graff ham (four or five miles to the south-east) from 1833 until his secession, he was for nine years Archdeacon of Chichester; he married Miss Sargent, daughter of the late rector and sister of Mrs. Samuel Wilberforce of Woollavington ; and while rector, he rebuilt both churches. Graffham is in­teresting also as being the present home of one of the most truthful of living painters, Mr. Henry La Thangue, whose scenes of peasants at work (in the manner of Barbizon) and studies of sunlight spattering through the trees are among the triumphs of modern English art.
One more village and we will make for the hills. A mile
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