THE HISTORY OF EAST GRINSTEAD - Online Book

The rise and progress of the town and the history of its institutions & people.

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36                        HISTORY OF EAST GRINSTEAD.
a single Act. Cromwell's second Parliament met in 1656 and his third in 1658, and the records of the repre­sentation of East Grinstead again become obtainable.
1658-9. Sir Robert Goodwin and George Courthope.
This Parliament met on Jan. 27th, dissolved itself on March 16th, 1659-60, and issued writs for a new Parliament to meet on April 25th, 1660, which assembly called back King Charles II. to the throne.
George Courthope was a man of considerable repute in his day, and his descendants still occupy honoured positions in this county. He wrote his autobiography, and from a manuscript copy of it, the only one known, in Mr. Courthope's library at Whiligh, the following particulars are taken. He was born in 1616, and was the only son of Sir George Courthope, of Whiligh, Ticehurst, a Commissioner of the Alienation Office. This Commis-sionership was held by a long and unbroken succession of Courthopes, the first of whom was appointed by Queen Elizabeth, while the last held the post until the abolition of the office in the reign of George III. After spending some time at the Merchant Taylors' and Westminster Schools, young Courthope went to Oxford, and on leaving the University joined the suite of the Earl of Leicester, who was then on his way to France to take up the post of English Ambassador at the French Court. But, in consequence of an accident, Courthope had to leave the party before Paris was reached. In time he resumed his travels and made a long tour through Switzerland, Italy and other countries bordering on the Mediterranean. At Mitylene he was arrested on a charge of investigating, too closely, the fortifications of that island, but judicious —and judicial—bribery secured his early release. While at Constantinople he got news of his father's serious illness and hastened home, arriving on Christmas Eve, 1641, in time to see his father before he died at their house in Leadenhall Street, London. This fine old mansion was only demolished about 20 years ago, and the site is now occupied by the spacious range of build­ings known as Africa House. This is still the property
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