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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SOME LOCAL WORTHIES.                         191
reduced circumstances, about six years ago (1856). In his cottage I have often seen the saddle cloth, richly embroidered with gold, the pistols, the sword and the spurs, which his father used as Sheriff, and which the son greatly valued as testifying to the quondam greatness of the family. After his death they were all sold to a broker for a few shillings.
The above notice, in which the date was incorrectly given as 1768, in conjunction with his long strain of East Grinstead blood, would seem to entitle the subject of it to a place among our local worthies. John Payne, mentioned above as Sheriff of Sussex in 1738, was of Legsheath Farm, near Plawhatch, and one of the tribe of Paynes living in our parish, but, for many genera­tions before his day, of a family quite distinct from the " Paynes of the towne," to whom frequent reference has been made in the course of this work ; for we can trace his ancestry back for at least five generations with certainty to John Payne, of Monkshill, yeoman, who was buried at East Grinstead in 1597, probably the above mentioned Patriarch and the same person as John Payne, of Plawhatch, mentioned in our Parish Registers as alive in 1562, and not improbably at that date recognised as a connection by his better known name­sakes "of the town;" but the fact remains that John Payne, of Legsheath, was the descendant of a long line of Paynes who more than 350 years ago began to settle themselves in the small farms on the extreme south border of our large parish and on the verge of Ashdown Forest; such farms were Plawhatch, Legsheath, Monks-hill, Mawles, Walesbeech and, later, Charlwoods, and all owned by some member of the family of what we may call the Paynes of Legsheath, though they seem to have been earlier known as the Paynes of Plawhatch, a name probably derived from the Plawe family, one of whom, viz., John Plawe, held seven acres called Twyfords, in 1560.
In 1560 Leggesheath was held of Duddleswell Manor by Rowland Deane, and consisted of 10 acres of assart land, i.e., cleared of forest or heath, lying in the parish of East Grinstead, to the pale of the Forest towards the south, to the lands of Lord Abergavenny called
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