People, Society & Culture of Tunbridge Wells in the 18th Century & later.

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Development of Tunbridge Wells
being few neighbours of their own rank within a reasonable distance, and the upper-middle class being then non-existent. The state of the roads in winter was such as to render intercourse between comparatively near neigh­bours at that season of the year almost im­possible. A few invalids journeyed to Bath, but more undertook the hazardous journey to Spa or Bourbonne; and Lord North counted his discovery of the wells at Tunbridge no small boon to society, since, as he said in the post­humous work, A Forest of Varieties, " The Spaw is a chargeable and inconvenient journey to sick bodies, besides the money it carries out of the Kingdom, and inconvenience to religion." Those who went to Tunbridge Wells in the first two decades of the seventeenth century were, then, few in number, and went not for gaiety and social intercourse, but solely in pursuit of health. Lord Abergavenny was consequently unable to see that any advantage would accrue to himself from sinking any money in providing conveniences for the visitors, and he made no attempt to develop the place, though, out of sheer good nature, he cut down a few trees that were in the way and made a road from the wells to the little town of
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