SEAWARD SUSSEX - online book

A Description of Travels in Sussex During the early 1900s

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The long street of Cliffe leads northwards to South Malling; here is a conventicle named "Jireh" erected by J. Jenkyns, W.A. These cryptic initials mean "Welsh ambassador." In the cemetery behind is the tomb of William Huntingdon, the evangelist, whose epitaph is as follows:
"Here lies the coalheaver, beloved of his God, but abhorred of men. The Omniscient Judge at the grand assize shall ratify and confirm this to the confusion of many thousands; for England and her metropolis shall know that there hath been a prophet among them.
"W.H., S.S." (Sinner Saved.)
The evangelist was wont to say "As I cannot get a D.D. for want of cash, neither can I get a M.A. for want of learning, therefore I am compelled to fly for refuge to S.S."
Malling Church is of no interest except perhaps for the fact that John Evelyn laid the foundation stone. At Old Malling once stood a Saxon collegiate church founded by Caedwalla in 688 and therefore one of the first Christian churches erected in Sussex. The Archbishops of Canterbury had a residence near, and in the Memorials of Canterbury Dean Stanley tells how Becket's murderers entered the house and threw their arms on the dining-table, which immediately threw them off; replaced, they were again thrown farther off with a louder crash. One of the knights then suggested that the table refused to bear its sacrilegious burden. This is still a popular local legend.
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