48 HISTORY OF EAST GRINSTEAD.
the Sussex iron industry, he amassed a considerable fortune and left a decent property to his son Leonard. This young fellow soon after purchased Crabbett, giving for house, land and timber £9,000. He had been called to the bar, but he gave up all idea of practice in order to devote himself to the management of his Sussex estates. He married Mrs. Sarah Knight, his "mother's sister's only daughter," at Charlwood, on August 19th, 1703. By the time he was 52 years of age he estimated he was worth £40,667. One of his aunts married the Rev. Henry Woodward, Vicar of East Grinstead. He was elected Member of Parliament for this Borough, as he tells us, " without expense or opposition," and he has left on record this scathing denunciation of the electioneering tactics then in vogue:—
We have seen of late innumerable instances of the power of bribes and threats in the election of Members to Parliament. Men have deserted their old friends and neighbours to whom they have been pledged every day of their lives, and gone over to strangers they never saw or heard of, who come with money in their hands and empty promises in their mouths, to the eternal scandal of the whole nation, from the highest to the lowest, whereby our lands and liberties are, and must be, precarious, and our so much boasted privilege of having free Parliaments utterly lost; for this is an observation founded on the greatest truth, that he who will buy his seat in Parliament will sell his vote, and to what misery and poverty such men will soon bring this nation Grod only knows!
Leonard Gale died in 1750 and was buried at Worth Church. Mr. W. S. Blunt, the present owner of Crabbett, is a lineal descendant. Leonard Gale also owned Shep-perds and Scarletts, in East Grinstead.
1713, Aug. 28th. Spencer Compton and John Conyers.
Spencer Compton was the son of James, third Earl of Northampton, and rose to positions of the highest possible importance in the State. He was Chairman of the Committee of Privileges and Elections, and at the assembly of the first Parliament of George I., on March 17th, 1714-5, he was unanimously elected Speaker of the House of Commons, being described by one of his proposers as " descended of a very noble and honourable family, in all times famous for their steady adherence to