Eastbourne Memories - A Victorian Perspective

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14                   Old Memories of East-Bourne. [Chap. II.
day an important public personage, having been M.P. for Helston and afterwards (1806) for Bodmin, and President of the Royal Society. His wife was a woman of mind and character. Amongst her public good works was that of dedicating a number of acres on the estate to allotment gardens. I have heard funny stories of her, though I do not remember her personally as I was only three or four years old when she died. My grandmother called to see her on a certain occasion and was told by the servant that his mistress was busy in the kitchen. Thither my grandmother went and was much surprised at finding Mrs. Gilbert only partly visible, the principal part of her body being up the chimney where she was oiling, or otherwise renovating, the smoke-jack which would not work. Once, on the occasion of a large dinner party, they had no dish of sufficient size to accommodate an unusually large turbot so Mrs. Gilbert removed the oval lid of a wine hamper and covering it with a table cloth had the fish brought to table on this extemporised dish. Being proud of her cleverness she partially uncovered the hamper lid to show her friends the situation of affairs. The Manor House though called so of recent years was not the original Manor House of the estate which was a flint-built house in the High Street, now turned into cottages. The present Manor House was built by Dr. Lushington, Vicar 1734—1779, the father of the well-known Sir S. Lushington, Judge of the Admiralty Court who retired in 1867.
On the death of Mr. J. D. Gilbert in April 1854, his widow (a daughter of Lord Carew) and infant son continued to reside for many years at the family seat in Cornwall—Trelissick, near Truro, where I paid them a visit on March 8, 1884. The situation of the house is very striking, overlooking the beautiful bay of Falmouth with its singularly interesting coast line. The East-Bourne house was occupied during many years by Mrs. Sancroft Holmes, Mr. J. D. Gilbert's widowed sister, and her son and four daughters. During that occupation I was a frequent visitor there and made the acquaintance
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