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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THE CARE OF THE POOR.                    231
that he had " Received from East Grinstead parish, by Thomas Foster, the sum of one pound nine shillings, being 29 years' rent of the land let by lease." From that day the existence of the lease was absolutely forgotten for over 100 years. In due course a new Poor Law was passed, parishes were amalgamated for poor law purposes, and the Workhouse having been built in Glen Vue, the parishioners of East Grinstead, in Vestry assembled, authorised the sale of the old Workhouse, as well as the pest house on the Common, on February 14th, 1861, fully believing the former was their free­hold property. It was at first proposed to sell the land in plots, but finally on October 9th, 1862, it was sold, as a whole, to Mr. Joseph Turner, the well-known land agent and auctioneer, who sold it to Mr. Robert Pink, but before the latter signed the conveyance he re-sold it to the late Mr. C. C. Tooke, to whom it was conveyed on December 16th, 1862. Subsequently Mr. Tooke sold back the present site of the Grosvenor Hall on May 25th, 1864, to Mr. Pink; in the same month he sold to the late Mr. James Bridgland the property now occupied by A. & C. Bridgland, Ltd., and on October 4th following he sold the remaining and centre plot to the late Mr. John Southey.
Meanwhile the Websters had lost touch with East Grinstead and disposed of all their local property. Sir Thomas Webster was succeeded by Sir Whistler Webster, who was M.P. for East Grinstead. He left his real estate to his brother Godfrey and then came several Sir Godfreys in succession. The estate finally passed into the hands of Lady Webster, who conveyed it to her son, Sir Augustus Webster, on March 21st, 1886. It was about this time that the old lease turned up. By this time the land had had valuable buildings erected on it and was of the estimated value of £12,000. Sir Augustus demanded his shilling, payment was refused, so an action was brought to recover this sum, but in reality to get a declaration that a presumed freehold was only a leasehold expiring in 1897. The case was tried in May, 1887, before Mr. Justice Kay, and after a very lengthy hearing
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