Highways and Byways in Sussex - online book

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

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284                          THE SOUTH DOWN SHEEP                      chap,
that he was right. His neighbour at Glynde, Mr. Morris, differed from him in the matter of crossing, and his cousin Thomas had other views on many points touching the flock. In the follow­ing passage Arthur Young expresses the extent to which individuality in sheep breeding may run :—" The South Down farmers breed their sheep with faces and legs of a colour, just as suits their fancy. One likes black, another sandy, a third speckled, and one and all exclaim against white. This man concludes that legs and faces with an inclination to white are infallible signs of tenderness, and do not stand against the severity of the weather with the same hardiness as the darker breed ; and they allege that these sorts will fall off in their flesh. A second will set the first right, and pronounce that, in a lot of wethers, those that are soonest and most fat, are wrhite:faced ; that they prove remarkable good milkers ; but that white is an indication of a tender breed. Another is of opinion that, by breeding the lambs too black, the wool is injured, and likewise apt to be tainted with black, and spotted, especially about the neck, and not saleable. A fourth breeds with legs and faces as black as it is possible ; and he too is convinced that the healthiness is in proportion to blackness ; whilst another says, that if the South Down sheep were suffered to run in a wild state, they would in a very few years become absolutely black. All these are the opinions of eminent breeders : in order to reconcile them, others breed for speckled faces ; and it is the prevailing colour."
It is told that when the Duke of Newcasde used to pass through Glynde, on his way from Halland House, near East Hoathly, to Bishopstone, the peal of welcome was rung on ploughshares, since there was but one bell.
Ringmer, which lies about two miles north of Glynde, is not in itself a village of much beauty. Its distinction is to have provided William Penn with a wife—Gulielma Springett, daughter of Sir William Springett, a Puritan, whose bust is in the church and who died at the siege of Arundel Castle. The
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