Highways and Byways in Sussex - online book

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

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90
JACK PUDDING'S WISDOM
CHAP.
having purchased it, not as a residence, but with the view of increasing the local property in the neighbourhood of Arundel, pulled down the house, and felled one or two of the trees on which the herons had constructed their nests. The migration commenced immediately, but appears to have been gradual; for three seasons elapsed before all the members of the heronry had found their way over the Downs to their new quarters in the fir-woods of Parham. This occurred about seventeen years ago [written c. 1848]."
Sussex, says Mr. Borrer, author of The Birds of Sussex, has two other large heronries—at Windmill Hill Place, near Hails-ham, and Brede, near Winchelsea—and some smaller ones, one being at Molecomb, above Goodwood.
Betsy's Oak in Parham Park is said to be so called because Queen Elizabeth sat beneath it. But another and more pro­bable legend calls it Bates's Oak, after Bates, an archer at Agin-court in the retinue of the Earl of Arundel (and in Henry V.). Good Queen Bess, however, dined in the hall of Parham House in 1592. At Northiam, in East Sussex, we shall come (not to be utterly baulked) to a tree under which she truly did sit and dine too.
Beyond Parham, less than two miles to the east, is Storrington, a quiet Sussex village far from the rail and the noise of the world, with the Downs within hail, and fine sparsely-inhabited country between them and it to wander in. The church is largely modern. I find the following sententious paragraph in the county paper for 1792 :—"This is an age of Sights and polite entertainment in the country as well as in the city.—The little town of Storrington has lately been visited by a Company of Comedians,a Mountebank Doctor,—and a Puppet Show. One day the Doctor's Jack Pudding finding the shillings come in but slowly, exclaimed to his Master, ' Gad, Sir, it is not worth our while to stay here any longer, players have got all the gold, we all the silver, and Punch all the copper, so, like sagacious locusts, let us migrate from the place we helped to impoverish."
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