Highways and Byways in Sussex - online book

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

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3i6                                 CZAR AND QUAKER                             chap.
home a little " contrary " he wore his hat on the back of his head, and then she never said a word; and if she came in a little cross and crooked she threw her shawl over her left shoulder, and then he never said a word.
A little to the east of Hellingly is Amberstone, the scene, in 1814, of a pretty occurrence. Alexander, the Czar of all the Russias, travelling from Brighton to Dover with his sister, the Duchess of Oldenburgh, saw Nathaniel and Mary Rickman of Amberstone standing by their gate. From their dress he knew them to be Quakers, a sect in which he was much interested. The carriage was therefore stopped, and the Czar and his sister entered the house ; they were taken all over it, praised its neatness, ate some lunch, and parted with the kindest expressions of goodwill, the Czar shaking hands with the Quaker and the Duchess kissing the Quakeress.
A few minutes on the rail bring us to Hailsham, an old market town, whose church, standing on the ridge which borders Pevensey Level on the west, is capped with pinnacles like that of East Grinstead. Walking a few yards beyond the church one comes to the edge of the high ground, with nothing before one but miles and miles of the meadow-land of this Dutch region, green and moist and dotted with cattle.
Hailsham's principal value to the traveller is that it is the station for Hurstmonceux ; whither, however, wreareto journey by another route. Otherwise the town exists principally in order that bullocks and sheep may change hands once a week. Hailsham's cattle market covers three acres, and on market days the wayfarers in the streets need the agility of a picador.
We ought, however, to see Michelham Priory while wre are here. It lies two miles to the west of Hailsham, in the Cuck-mere valleyŚnow a beautifully-placed farmhouse, but once a house of Augustinian Canons founded in the reign of Henry III. Here one may see the old monkish fish stews, so useful on Fridays, in perfection. The moat, where fish were probably also caught, is still as it was, and the fine old
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