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

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famous Earl of Warwick and Salisbury, commonly known in history as " The King Maker." This Sir Edward was the 27th Baron of his line and the first Baron Abergavenny of the present creation. He was a Yorkist, high in favour with Edward IV., and one of his nieces married the Duke of Clarence, brother of this monarch. Another married, firstly, Edward, Prince of Wales, son of Henry VI., and, secondly, Richard III., who stepped to the throne after his murder of Edward V. and his brother in the Tower of London. The all-powerful Earl of Warwick seized his nephews' lands, castle and lordship, and himself became Baron Abergavenny, but the possessions were re-granted to George Nevill, grandson of Edward, by Henry VIII.
It was in 1735 that the family removed from Birling, in Kent, to Kidbrooke, in East Grinstead, and in 1805 they transferred their residence back to Eridge, the castle there, which was one of their ancestral homes many centuries before, having been re-built. The then Lord Abergavenny sold Kidbrooke to the Right Hon. Charles Abbot, who was Speaker of the House of Commons for over 15 years, and was made Lord Colchester at his retirement on June 3rd, 1817. He died on May 8th, 1829. Kidbrooke was greatly altered by him under the superintendence of Mr. Robert Mylne, the architect of Blackfriars Bridge. On November 3rd, 1874, the mansion and park of 207 acres were sold by his grandson to the late Mr. H. R. Freshfield, J.P., D.L., Sheriff of Sussex in 1885.
When Mr. Abbot sent down his agent to look at the property in 1805 the only good road was that which ran through the village from London to Lewes; that to Tunbridge Wells through Hartfield could be used by a carriage in summer only. The query as to the principal product of the place was answered in one word—Rabbits. Mr. Abbot, under the direction of the famous garden architect, Repton, laid out the grounds, planted exten­sively and made ornamental lakes and cascades. He purchased, either with Kidbrooke, or very shortly
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