230 HISTORY OF EAST GRINSTEAD.
specially convened Vestry meetings, and the last occasion on which this was done was October 13th, 1892. Since that date the Overseers have exercised their powers and gone direct to the Magistrates without consulting the ratepayers. The last appointment of Overseers by the Vestry was on March 26th, 1894. Since then appointments have been made by the Urban Council.
An order was issued on September 5th, 1835, assigning three Guardians to the parish of East Grinstead. On September 10th, 1874, the Local Government Board was asked to increase the number to five and a schedule was attached to the appeal, showing the increase of population from 1841 to 1871. But the figures for the 1831 census were inserted instead of those for 1841 and the petition was ignored. In 1889 the ratepayers again appealed for an increase, and on June 26th of that year the Local Government Board issued an order dividing the old parish into two wards and assigning three Guardians to the Urban District and two to the Rural, and the first election under the new system took place in March, 1890.
One of the most important local law cases ever fought concerned the old Workhouse in the London Road. In 1747 Sir Thomas Webster was a considerable owner of property in East Grinstead and it was represented to him that the inhabitants of the parish " had come to a resolution to build a Workhouse for the better reception and employment of the poor." Sir Thomas was desirous of helping in this good work, so he leased an acre of land in the centre of the town to Elfred Staples, Benjamin Faulconer, Edward Green, Nathaniel Moore, John Smith and Thomas James, the last-named being the Vicar of the parish, that they might build thereon a Workhouse for the reception, employment, lodging and entertainment of all the poor people of East Grinstead. The lease was dated March 10th, 1747, and was for a term of 150 years, at a rental of one shilling a year. This appears to have been paid up to April 4th, 1776, on which date an endorsement was made on the lease by Thomas Bankin, an attorney residing in East Grinstead,