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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118                      HISTORY OF EAST GRINSTEAD.
The Manor of Horsted Keynes Broadhurst, also comprised, in East Grinstead, the Lanefeld of 10 acres, Tannershyll of seven acres, and Stonefeeld of 10 acres, Nicholas Lewkenor and Richard Michelborn being the joint Lords a couple of centuries ago.
At a much earlier date there was a religious house known as East Grinstead Place, situate possibly in or near the field now lying between the Institute and Placeland stables. From this is evidently derived the name Place-land. The Moat Pond and the Dean Fields may have had some connection with this religious house. Placeland at one time belonged to Nicholas Firminger, who left it to his wife Frances for life, with remainder to his and her daughter, also named Frances. The family of the present owners, the Hasties, like their cousins, the Nairnes, were settled in Scotland prior to the Jacobite rising of 1745. After the rising many members of both families were attainted by Act of the Scotch Parliament and they fled to the Court of France. Archibald Hastie, with his two sons, Hepburn (who became in 1799 a Director of the Westminster Fire Office) and James, returned to London between 1750 and 1760. They took building leases from the then Duke of Portland and laid out a number of important areas, including Harley Place, Devonshire Place, &c. These leases remained in the family for 99 years, the last of them expiring about 1870. Hepburn's son, Charles Nairne Hastie, was a London solicitor in partnership with the solicitor to the then Duke of Portland, and used to stay with his cousins, the Nairnes of Barnets Place, who owned much of the parishes of West Hoathly and Horsted Keynes. While there he met and married the only daughter of Nicholas and Frances Firminger, and so became in time possessed of Placeland, where he came to reside soon after the marriage. Representatives of the family have ever since been in residence there. A former occupier of the property was John Ready, one of whose relatives entered the Army and rose to the rank of Major-General, being afterwards appointed Governor of the Isle of Man. His daughter Mary married Dr. Charles Milner, and their
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