The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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BRIGHTON                               187
the crust, to his very agreeable surprise he found it contained a quantity of very valuable lace, which he conveyed safely to Shoreham Custom House, while he left the poor Frenchman to bewail his sad misfortune."
The Gentleman's Magazine in 1766 allows us a peep of the material condition of the town after its sea air had begun to attract visitors, but before it had been patronised by Royalty. " Bright-helmstone, in the county of Sussex, is distant from London 57 miles, is a small, ill-built town, situate on the sea coast, at present greatly resorted to in the summer time by persons labouring under various disorders for the benefit of bathing and drinking sea-water, and by the gay and polite on account of the company which frequent it at that season. Until within a few years it was no better than a mere fishing town, inhabited by fishermen and sailors, but through the recommendation of Dr. Russel, and by the means of his writings in favour of sea-water, it is become one of the prin­cipal places in the kingdom for the resort of the idle and dissipated, as well as of the diseased and infirm."
The magnificent granite sea-wall that extends along the whole front of Hove and forms so delightful a promenade, with similar works that defend the gardens and esplanade of Brighton—not to mention the effective groins that preserve the shingle of the beach—make a great storm at the present time an impressive spectacle, especially when the waves rise seventy or eighty feet into the air, but it was nothing of the kind to Brightonians of the eighteenth century. J. D. Parry, in his Coast of Sussex (1833), preserves the following from a letter of 1775, written at Lewes. " At Bright-
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