THE PARISH CHURCH. 79
General Thomas Netherton Harward, who served through the Indian Mutiny campaign and was mentioned in despatches.
John Peat, M.A., formerly Master of Sevenoaks Grammar School, appointed Dec. 26th, 1863.
Mr. Peat gained some repute as an author. He wrote a translation of the Sapphic Odes of Horace and also published a lengthy poem entitled "The Pair Evanthe," in which he described that which is " beautiful, graceful, excellent and holy in women." He died on May 10th, 1871, and was buried at Chevening, near Sevenoaks.
Douglas Yeoman Blakiston was appointed Oct. 30th, 1871. The present Vicar is the third son of the late Rev. Peyton Blakiston, M.D., F.R.S., and Frances, eldest daughter of John Folliot Powell. He is a grandson of the late Sir Mathew Blakiston, the second baronet of the present creation, who was born in 1760 at the Mansion House, London, during his father's Lord Mayoralty, and who married, as his third wife, Annabella, daughter of Thomas Bayley, MP. for Durham. The Vicar was at one time a student at the Royal Academy and a silver medallist. He married on July 11th, 1861, Sophia Matilda, youngest daughter of the Rev. Wm. Dent, of Crosby Cote, Yorkshire. He was educated at Downing College, Cambridge; took his B.A. degree (2nd Class Theological Tripos) in 1868 and M.A. 1872. He was ordained Deacon in 1868 and Priest in 1869 at Ely. From 1868 to 1871 he was Curate of Toft-with-Caldecote, Cambridgeshire, and was then presented to the living of East Grinstead by Reginald Earl De la Warr (then Lord Buckhurst, of Knole).
The earliest records in the parish registers occur in 1558. Twenty years before, Cromwell, as Vicar-General, had issued the first mandate for keeping registers of baptisms, marriages and burials in each parish, and the mandate was repeated, in rigorous terms, on the accession of Elizabeth in 1558. The Rev. Robert Best was then Vicar, but it is doubtful if the existing registers were started by him, for a great uniformity in the earlier entries seems to suggest that they were written at one time, possibly as a result of the ordination in 1597, that parchment register books should be purchased at the expense of each parish and the names in the older books from 1558 re-entered in them. Thus it happens that a vast number of parish registers commence in this year. To give the whole of the local lists would fill a very large volume and a few entries