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

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184                      HISTORY OF EAST GRINSTEAD.
1845, Mar. 23rd. Mary Ann Meads, a blind young woman, was interred in the churchyard without the tolling of the bell or the usual ceremony, the Vicar refusing it in consequence of the young woman never having been baptised.
1847, Mar. 24th. In consequence of the famine in Ireland and some parts of Scotland a general fast has been appointed for this day by the Government. The shops were generally closed and labour, for the most part, suspended. Service twice at church, morning attendance large. The Dissenters took no account of the day.
1849, Feb. 27th. About 25 teams competed in a ploughing match on the Moats and Blackwell Farms.
1849, June 22nd. A company of players have hired the Court House for six weeks. They gave their first performance this evening. It is earnestly hoped that the friends of religion and morality will make some decisive effort to counteract the evil tendency of this dangerous amusement.
1849, July 5th. I enclosed a tract on the immoral and anti-Christian tendency of the Theatre to all the inhabitants of the town.
1849, July 6th. The sending round of the tracts has caused a ferment. Many persons, out of opposition, determined to go to the play. The room was crowded and the Vicar informed me he had heard that the performers passed a vote of thanks to me.
1849, July 9th. Scarely 20 people at the play to-night.
1849, July 12th. A large attendance of the gentry at the play.
1855, June 5th. Took a debtor to Lewes Prison. By the prisoner's desire I walked all the way thi-ough Birch Grrove, Sheffield Park and Newick. From Lewes I walked to Brighton, took train to Three Bridges and walked home. I walked about 35 miles and not over tired.
1858,  Jan. 2nd. An unusually mild season. Ripe strawberries and raspberries have been gathered in several places.
1859, Sept. 6th. Walked to Cowden and summoned a young gentle­man staying at the Rectory. Mr. Harvey, the Rector, invited me into the breakfast room and bade me partake. There was grouse, partridges, tongue, honey, &c, &c. What renders this invitation remarkable on the part of the Rector is, I was dressed in a round frock, came on anything but an agreeable errand and was well known to the Rector as a decided Nonconformist. Mrs. Harvey was equally pleasant and hospitable.
1860,  July 11th. Lord De la Warr's rent audit at the Crown. I did not go, thinking such gatherings—that is, the drinking part of them—great evils.
1860, Oct. 23rd. A most unusual wet summer. There appears to have been nothing approaching it for wetness for nearly 50 years. Parties returned from hop-picking and then went to reaping and mowing again.
1860, Nov. 24th. Robert Payne died. Himself, his grandfather and great-grandfather have all filled the office, of sexton.
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