History Of Brighton And Environs - Online Book

From The Earliest Known Period To The Present Time.

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Messrs. Hardwick, of Hangleton, is called "Gibbet Barn" ; the remains of the gibbet, &c, were in existence till 1822, when they were burnt by some gypsies who frequented the neighbourhood.
It was evident that Phoebe could not exist without parish aid, as the following minute from the Vestry book will shew:—" 1797.—20th May, at a meeting of the Churchwardens and Overseers held at the Hen and Chickens (now the Eunning Horse, King Street),— Ordered, that Phoebe Hessel's rent be paid from the present time, and that her weekly allowance be discontinued."
In the early part of the present century the in­firmities of age began to tell upon her, and, being no longer able to get about the country, she was taken into Brighton Worldioupe; from which, however, at her own request, she was discharged in August, 1800, as a minute of the Vestry held on the 14th of that month states:—"That Phoebe Hessel be allowed a pair of stockings and one change on leaving the poor-house."
After this period she obtained a subsistence by selling fruit, bulls-eyes, pin-cushions, &c, at the bottom of the Marine Parade, near Old Steine Street, where, in sunny weather, she used to sit in a chair with her basket of wares beside her, and obtained a good amount of custom. Her costume would, at the present day, form a great attraction. She wore a brown serge dress, a white apron, —always clean,—a black cloth cloak with a hood, sur­mounted by a red spotted with white handkerchief. Her head-dress was a black antique shaped bonnet over a mob cap. Her shoes were for service and not look, without any regard to "rights and lefts;" and her hands and arms wrero usually encased in a pair of long woollen mittens. Her walking-stick, was formerly in the possession of Mr Edward Blaker, of Portslade ; his father, a resident of Brighton and Churchwarden of the Parish at the time of Phoebe's death, having received the same. During one
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