The rise and progress of the town and the history of its institutions & people.

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About the year 1631 there was great distress through­out England, and the Poor Law Commissioners were called on to make special reports to the King as to the state of their respective districts. Those acting for East Grinstead and the 17 other parishes forming the northern part of Pevensey Rape were Sir Henry Compton, of Brambletye, Sir Thos. Pelham, Sir Richard Michel-bourne, Robert Morley and Anthony Fowle. They met monthly at Uckfield and gave instructions to the Overseers to make provision for the poor more plenti­fully. Contributions were raised from the more wealthy inhabitants and a "badger" was appointed to buy corn and sell it to the poor at one shilling per bushel less than it cost. They also got 30 boys apprenticed and found that, by reason of the flourishing state of the Sussex ironworks, there was ample employment for those who wanted it. They routed out the vagabonds, punished some of those who harboured them and closed up 16 alehouses where the poor were tempted to spend what little cash they had.
One hundred and fifty years later the cost of maintain­ing the poor of the parish of East Grinstead was exceedingly heavy. The money raised by assessment
and the average yearly amount spent exclusively on the maintenance of the poor was £1,349. 15s. 8d. The same return sets forth that the average yearly cost of enter­tainment for those who attended meetings relative to the poor was £1. 10s.
At a Vestry meeting held on November 14th, 1821, the Overseers reported that a number of paupers were
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