The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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short time with the hand of Margaret Alston, who brought him a large estate in Buckinghamshire, which on the whole he preferred to Herstmonceux. Her sister was afterwards married by the ex-member of the Hell Fire Club, who thus became his (late) father's brother-in-law. When he died the castle passed to Robert Hare, son of the Bishop by Margaret Alston. His affectionate godfather, Sir Robert Walpole, had given him as a christening gift the dignified office of Sweeper of Gravesend, whose duties seem to have consisted of sweeping in £400 a year and once in the twelve months going to the mouth of the Thames to dole out ten guineas of it to the watermen. The Sweeper was likewise a clerk in Holy Orders and a canon of Winchester. His second wife, Henrietta Henekell, was a woman designing and bad, who had the castle inspected by James Wya'tt, the destructive architect who wrought so much mischief to our cathedrals, though he made some slight atonement in Sussex by building a striking Gothic church at East Grinstead about the year 1790. This vandal recommended the demolition of Herstmonceux as dangerous and unsafe. Destroyed it accordingly was, all but the outside shell, and all that it con­tained was disposed of by a great sale in the park. The reason for all this iniquity was that the newer house which Wyatt enlarged and made even uglier than the usual buildings of the period, using materials from the old castle, was believed to be on unentailed land, so that it could be willed to Henrietta's own son and her stepson be defrauded. Providence, however, by no means invariably ordains that the ungodly shall flourish even in this world, and it was eventually found that the site of the new house was equally entailed with
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