Highways and Byways in Sussex - online book

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

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THOMAS MARCHANT'S HEADACHES            chap.
or Spring : the sale is regulated by measure, from the eye to the fork of the tail. At twelve inches, carp are worth 50s. and 3l. per hundred; at fifteen inches, 6l. ; at eighteen inches, 8/. and 9l. A hundred stores will stock an acre; or 35 brace, 10 or 12 inches long, are fully sufficient for a breeding pond. The first year they will be three inches long; second year, seven ; third year, eleven or twelve ; fourth year, fourteen or fifteen. This year they breed."
Although fish-breeding is not what it was, many of the Sussex ponds are still regularly dragged, and the proceeds sold in advance to a London firm. Sometimes the purchaser wins in the gamble, sometimes the seller. The fish are removed alive, in large tanks, and sold as they are wanted, chiefly for Jewish tables. But we must return to Thomas Marchant:
"January 16th (Sunday) 1715. I was not at church having a bad headache.
"January 25th, 1715. We had a trout for supper, two feet two inches long from eye to fork, and six inches broad : it weighed ten-and-a-half pounds. It was caught in the Albourne Brook, near Trussell House. . . . We staid very late and drank enough.
"April 15th, 1715. Paid my uncle Courtness 15d. for a small bottle of Daffey's Elixir.
"July 18th, 1715. I went to Bolney and agreed with Edw. Jenner to dig sandstone for setting up my father's tombstone, at 55-. I gave him 6d. to spend in drink that he might be more careful.
"August 7th, (Sunday) 1715. I was not at church as my head ached very much.
" November 22nd, 1716. Fisht the great pond and put 220 of the biggest carp into the new pond, and 18 of the biggest tench. Put also 358 store carp into the flat stew, and 36 tench; and also 550 very small caip into a hole in the low field.
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