Development of Tunbridge Wells
was used as a manufactory of " Tunbridge Ware." " Tunbridge Ware," it may be explained, was the principal trade of the place, and it took the form of a variety of toys and small articles, usually made in beech or sycamore, inlaid with yew or holly, and beautifully polished. Visitors to "The Wells " often purchased some pieces of the ware as souvenirs or for presents, and in the eighteenth century a considerable number of people were employed in its preparation, but it never became a thriving industry, in spite of the assertion of. local writers, perhaps for the reason given by Samuel Derrick. " Were this manufacture probably smuggled abroad, and then imported as a foreign commodity, I am persuaded the people would run after it," he wrote in 1762; " but alas! everybody knows that it is English; and the encouragement is therefore poor." 1
Grammont, it may be observed, accompanied King Charles to Tunbridge Wells, "the place," he said, " of all Europe the most rural and simple, and yet, at the same time, the most entertaining and agreeable." Certainly
1 Letters from Liverpoole . . . Tunbridge Wells, Sept. 2, • 1762, II. 66.