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

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SOME LOCAL WORTHIES.                          187
On December 5th, 1896, I visited her—a pleasant faced, but feeble old lady—and got from her some very interesting particulars of her life. Her father was James Taylor, who was for many years tenant of the still existing blacksmith's forge at Lingfield, where the old lady in question first saw the light. He committed suicide by hanging himself when his daughter Mary was but four years of age. Mary Taylor first married a Mr. Baker, a carpenter, and gave birth to her first child on November 16th, 1814, before she was 18 years of age. Her second husband was John Neighbour, a tanner, who worked first at Lingfield and then at Ashurst Wood. By her first husband she had four children, not one of whom survived her, and by her second husband seven children. The chief branches of the family are now the Huggetts, of East Grinstead, holding responsible and honoured positions, one the Clerk to the Guardians, another the Assistant Overseer and Rate Collector, and a third the Parish Sexton and Cemetery Caretaker, and the Inglefields, tradesmen of Westerham and Limpsfield. When she was 100 years old her descendants numbered 303, namely, 11 children, 86 grandchildren, 172 great grandchildren, and 34 great great grandchildren, of whom, at that time, about 200 were living. Before she died, on September 5th, 1897, in her 101st year, the number had been still further increased. Mrs. Neighbour was over 90 before she gave up active work. She used to walk into East Grinstead daily from Ashurst Wood to work as an upholsteress and was very clever indeed at the trade.
Sir Edward Blount was born on March 14th, 1809, at Bellamour, near Rugeley, Stafford. He was the second son of Mr. Edward Blount, M.P., at one time Member for Steyning in this county, by Frances, daughter of Mr. Francis Wright, of Fitzwalters, Essex. The family trace their origin to the Le Blounds, Counts of Guisnes, in Picardy, the head of whose family accompanied William I. when the Conqueror invaded these islands.
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