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Section 1

Foreword

The third edition of "The History of Hooe Church" was received with much interest and enthusiasm, it was felt the "Records of Hooe" by J. J. Newport should also be published.

Many hours of work by my father resulted in a draft ready in 1938. The draft was loaned to a few people of note, for comment, prior to printing. This proved to be a great mistake, as many months later the draft was returned incomplete. The onset of the 1939-45 war ended any progress.

In 1946 my father died after a road accident at the junction of the Ninfield-Hooe Road and Straight Lane. He was buried in Hampstead Cemetery.

Some missing pages of "Records of Hooe" came into my possession after a certain Rector retired from Ninfield. This enabled me to attempt what I hope is as my father would have wished, in these records. I have been helped and supported by all my family in this difficult project.

Donald H. Newport.
Ninfield
Battle
East Sussex TN33 9EE

Preface

The compiling of these records of Hooe commenced in 1898 through a visitor's unsatisfied inquiry as to the age of the church.

A summer holiday of that year was spent in London in research, in the British Museum and other libraries, to find the answer.

Two hundred copies of the manuscript then written were duplicated and sold. They were all disposed of in a few days, and printed ones were asked for.

"An Illustrated Historical and Descriptive Account of Hooe Church, Sussex" followed in June 1899. Some fourteen hundred copies of the book were circulated. It is now out of print. A list of works consulted in preparing the Account is appended.

On reading the book, the late Miss Hannah Routh (of "Hurchington", Bexhill) offered a gift of £700 for the renovation of the tower and the recasting and tuning of the bells.

A further sum of £400 was raised by donations and expended on repairs to the porch, the vestry and other parts of the edifice.

Thus, as an outcome the Church and its bells were put into a good condition.

Secrets stir our minds to seek solutions; in the seeking we may find both pleasure and profit. In the realm of Nature we inquire, "How?", "Why?", "When?"; we observe, we experiment; we analyse, we synthesise.

So we gain knowledge - and more, we train our mental powers to deal with problems of our own human circumstances. Searching records to read the story of the lives of our forefathers, we come upon items of deep interest, our emotions are purely kindled, and we realise that a bond unites us in a fellowship with them.

JOHN J. NEWPORT
June, 1936

SOME WORKS CONSULTED

Archaeological Collections (Sussex),
Archaeologia,
Archaeological Journal,
Antiquarian,
Antiquarian Repertory,
Antiquary,
Black's "Normandy",
Beauties of Sussex (Shoberts),
Camden's Britannia (1586),
Crose's Antiquities (1775),
History of Bec (1779),
Horsfield's "Sussex", Lower's "Sussex",
Magna Britannia (1720),
Monastica Anglicanum,
Moss's "History of Hastings",
Notitia Monastica (1744),
Rouse's "Sussex", Saxton's Map (1579),
Speed's"Theatre of Great Britain" (1610),
Hooe map Plan of Hooe Parish with 17th Century Place Names. (J. J. Newport 1936. Click on the picture to see a larger version.

Records of Hooe

In "Sussex-by-the-Sea" is historic Pevensey, the site of the Roman fortress Anderida, which was one of two built to protect the Regni coast of Britannia Prima against marauding Saxons. Pevensey yet boasts a Norman Castle, now a picturesque ruin.

On the rising ground to the north-east of the town, beyond the River Ashburne and above the marsh, lies Hooe, with a parish of 2,472 acres, for many years advertised, as a "breezy village."

Hooe occupies a central position between Bexhill, Battle, and Pevensey. In the past it has been of considerable importance.

The parish is bounded by several streams - Moorhall Stream, Wallers Haven and Waterlot Stream on the north, west and south. Close to the boundary, on the east, are the Whydown and East Streams. Of its nine miles of boundary, seven miles are of water. These streams are crossed by substantial bridges - Hogtrough Bridge, Home Bridge, Horse Bridge, Middle Bridge, Sewer Bridge, Stone Bridge and Waterlot Bridge, and by wooden footbridges (formerly known as "liggers"). They drain the marsh land on which cattle and sheep graze.

Many acres of the levels are liable to floods in winter. The old Barnhorn-Pevensey road at times became impassable. Willow trees were planted at the sides of it to show its course and so prevent people falling into the ditches.

The new coastal road, being raised considerably above the marsh level, avoids flooding, its appearance (in part) will be much improved by trees given by the late Sir Henry White-Smith, C.B.E., Court Lodge, Hooe.

Salt-Pans

Domesday Book states that there were four salt-pans in Hooe. Two of them were given to the monks of Battle Abbey in 1166 by Reginald de Ashburnham, together with "all the land he had in Hooe, called Chelliland, and the land he had called Denne."

It is surmised that a lagoon once covered the low-lying land between Herstmonceux and Hooe - land which is now below high water mark. The salt pans have disappeared through inundations by the sea.

Physical Features

The physical features - rounded verdant hills with marsh and streams between - are a natural record of the long past when the South Downs were built beneath the ocean, when stupendous upheavals brought them high above the ocean level and of the ages when mighty glaciers slid slowly seawards from the Wealden Heights.

Origin of the name "Hooe"

The parish owes its name to Saxons who raided the coast in the fifth century and took possession of it as a commanding site above the marsh, the sluice land and the streams, which flowed from the Andred Forest then existing for about a hundred miles between Kent and Hampshire.

The Saxons came under their leader Ella and his sons. They landed first near Shoreham in the year 477. In 491 they attacked Pevensey and massacred all the native Britons they found there, afterwards settling in the district around.

The geographical position of Hooe was surely advantageous to both Romans and Britons. We may presume that when the Saxons came they found a British village with a church from which they acquired the muniment chest now in Hooe Church; also, that they slew every inhabitant.

Among the "gates" by which the invaders entered the country were the havens of Pevensey and Hooe, which were only about three miles distant from each other. Ascending the streams which flowed into Hooe Haven, and which bounded two sides of a triangular piece of land elevated to about a hundred feet above sea-level, they discovered the commanding site was suitable for a settlement, and named it "Huh" because of its situation, being high land somewhat like an island.

Among the newcomers were churls (freemen) and serfs (slaves) under the rule of Ella, who had proclaimed himself King of the South Saxons (that is, Sussex). To become a thane (or "Lord") a churl held not less than 500 acres of land and possessed a kitchen, a hall, a chapel and a bell (with a bell-house). Ella's son Cissa succeeded him as king and made his capital at Chichester (that is, Cissa Ceaster) early in the sixth century.

With Ella, or Cissa, as his king from whom he received a charter, a churl became the thane, or lord of the manor, of Hooe and had his residence at "The Grove," which traditionally was the Saxon manor house. Hooe Church is possibly on the site of his chapel and New Lodge Cottages on that of his bellhouse. Surrounding their homes, his churls had their arable land ("bokland," or land held by a grant, charter, or book) on which they and their serfs toiled.

Though freemen, the churls were not independent of their thane, but had to remain with him and work for him. Outside the cultivated area was the "folc-land," or "common", which any of them could use for grazing purposes.

From their village the inhabitants could look out over the marsh and scan the havens and the beach tracks (some of the beginnings of modern roads) to guard their homes from possible invasion. There is an earthwork called "Castle Croft" near the north boundary of the village.

That the Saxons enjoyed peace for any length of time is very doubtful, for the Danes and Northmen also coveted our beautiful country and fought hard for it, with considerable success.

Pevensey and Hooe havens are well marked in Saxton's map of 1579 and Speed's map of 1610.

The Spelling of the Name

In Domesday Book (completed in July 1086) the spelling of the name of the village is Hou, on Saxton's map (1579) it is Howe, on Speed's map (1610), Hoo, as also the parish Poor Books until 1703. On the "cover" of the Communion plate of 1640 it is Hoe (as in Plymouth Hoe).

The Saxon Manor

From Hole's Cross (Hall's Cross) to Mount Pleasant, and Pevensey Road to Church Lane, is a stretch of land the Saxons probably found well suited for cultivation. With "The Grove" in the middle, their "common" land lay northeast of it.

Beyond their common, in later times, there were settlers who were named "outdwellers." Among them were residents at Holmes's, Chaineys, Longdown and Dunks. The mill, the brickyard, and the tannery, were in their district. Further, where a clearing had been made in the forest, a "field" was formed - the start of a "ham", or village. "Nemesfield" (now Ninfield) was built, possibly by a Neame's family who felled trees for the purpose. The thane held "folc-motes" for the settling of disputes, the making of decisions affecting the general welfare, and the trial and punishment of offenders.

Changes

The Saxon settlers were heathen who worshipped natural objects and phenomena, as the sun, moon, thunder and lightning.

Wilfred of York was shipwrecked on the Sussex coast near Selsey in 680. Shortly afterwards he began to preach to the inhabitants with much success, and became the first bishop of Selsey.

With the coming of Christianity, there came the building of a chapel and the engaging of a chaplain by the thane to minister to the spiritual needs of the community.

Royal Owners

The manor of Hooe became the private possession of Harold II, who was killed in the Battle of Senlac (Hastings) in 1066. It passed to his son, Earl Godwin. At that time it was valued at £25 but after the Conquest at £14.

William, Duke of Normandy, who became William I of England, met his queen, Matilda, at Eu, a seaport of Normandy about twelve miles east of Dieppe. At Eu, too, he forced Harold solemnly to promise him the throne of England. "Eu" was the Norman-French equivalent of "Hooe". Possibly William was aware of this and did not forget it when he landed his troops on the Sussex shore to oust his rival, who, in spite of his oath, had become the crowned king of the country.

Map of Eu Small Pen Sketch of EU

One can imagine that when the Norman soldiery were laying waste to the churches they met with in their marches, they did not overlook Hooe Church, one of the seven small churches in the county mentioned in Domesday Book. When the reredos was fixed in the chancel in 1898 it was revealed that the substructure was Saxon.

William I shared the English estates among his followers and they became lords of the manors. That does not necessarily imply that the Saxon thanes had to quit their residences, for his policy was to allow the Saxons full enjoyment of their laws, customs and possessions, under him as their rightful king.

Norman barons, with their retainers, settled down on manors thus given them, and received rent from those who occupied the land. They held their courts to administer justice, to receive rents and transact business. Theirs were the Court Lodges. In course of time Normans and Saxons mixed and formed, with others, our nation.

Under Norman rule the whole land was regarded as the king's and the "folc-land" became "terra regis", or crown land, which he could give to anyone, as he pleased.

The manor of Hooe was given by William with fifty-one others to Robert, Earl of Eu. From him it passed to his son, Henry; but he, offending his king, William II, had his eyes destroyed and forfeited his property. From William II, the manor passed to Henry I. Henry I gave it to the Benedictine abbot and monks of Bec, in Normandy. Between 1120 and 1139 they founded in the Parish a priory which they named the Priory of St. Martin (or St. Martin's-in-the-Wood). According to Lewis's Topographical Dictionary, the foundations of the Priory were extant in 1849. In course of time the "cell" was placed in charge of the Monastery at Okeburne, in Wiltshire, the principal cell in Bec Abbey in England, and was afterwards accounted as belonging to it. In the fifteenth century it was owned by John, Duke of Bedford, and later by Sir Thomas Hoo, to whom it was presented by Henry VI as a reward for faithful service as a soldier and a statesman, especially for the suppression of a rebellion at Caux, in Normandy.

From Lord Hoo it passed to Eton College (founded in 1441), afterwards to Ashford College. It has been held by the Sackville and Fuller families.

Here we may note that Hoo Hundred, formed by the Saxons, possibly consisted of a hundred families grouped for "local government" purposes. Whether it was named from Hoo in Kent or Sussex is not known.

Probably the present Court Lodge, built in 1637, is the site of the Norman manor house in which royal and other lords may have lived.

Parish books bear evidence that the occupier of The Grove was for centuries,down to the late Mr. J. E. Brand, the most influential of the inhabitants. Until there was a vicar, it was he whose name was first on assessment lists, it was he who signed first the parish documents. The next to sign after him was the occupier of Court Lodge.

It appears that George Eldred, of The Grove, in 1668 built the vicarage (on his own ground) and was evidently the patron of the benefice.

The village has sprung up away from the church - perhaps on account of some special industry in the neighbourhood, such as brickmaking or leathertanning. Brickyard farm retains vestiges of the industry. Tanyard House, formerly "The Stannards," behind which there used to be a tannery, is on the eastern boundary.

Curiosities of C17 handwriting

Old Parish Books

In addition to the books consulted in 1898 there are parish books in the custody of the Hooe Parish Council. These include "Poor Books" with five assessments for the Poor Rate, and the payments made by the Overseers of the Poor from 1663 to 1741; one of assessments only, from 1806 to 1835; one of payments only, from 1748-1769; another of payments only, 1825-1835, and another such 1836-1847; a Church-wardens' Book of assessments for the Church Rate and expenditure, 1698 to 1784; a Surveyors' Book of assessments for the Highway Rate, 1793 to 1842; a small paper covered note book of work on groynes, 1741, 1742; a Vestry Book, 1813-1823 and another, 1825-1891.

We owe the preservation of these records to the faithful guardianship of the late Mr. R. W. Hayward, of Quiddleswell Mount, Hooe, who was the responsible "Parish Officer" of the village for forty-five years. He held the offices of church-warden, assistant overseer of the Poor, assessor of taxes, rating officer, clerk to the Vestry, and clerk to the Parish Council (from 1895 to 1924).

The handwriting in the old books is not easy to read because there are obsolete letter-forms, archaic words, and irregular spelling of the words (largely phonetic according to the writers' pronunciation.)

The Parish Rates

The parishioners, at Parish Meetings, approved rates for the relief of the poor, for the upkeep of the church, and for the maintenance of the roads.

These Rates were levied according to the "full rents" of the estates. Assessments were made out in "books" showing the rental value of each property in pounds and shillings, and the rate payable in pounds, shillings and pence. Thus there were five columns of figures side by side.

All rates had to be sanctioned by magistrates at Battle, and returns of payments had to be submitted to them, by the appropriate parish officers, for their approval.

Although two magistrates usually signed the schedules, one was a quorum and on a few occasions only one signed. There were times when three, and even four, signed. In 1762 a rate was allowed, twice in the same month by two pairs of them.

When "allowed," a schedule was so marked and signed by one or more magistrates, usually two. Their signatures are interesting as specimens of the handwriting of educated gentlemen of their day.

Signatures & Marks Signatures of Magistrates Signatures (Marks)Magistrates Signatures (17th Century)

Magistrates who signed in the 17th century were: -

Den: AshburnhamSamuel Gott
Peter Gott Edward Polhill
Thomas SackwithWalter Evernden
Thomas FrewenNathanael Pelham
John BusbridgeJohn Apsley
Edward Dyne

18th Century: -

John FoxJohn Grove
Edward SelwynWill Bishop
W. AshburnhamThomas Pelham
Richard HayHenry May
John FullerGeorge Courthope
John NicollJames Markwick
M. FaggeS. Boys
Thomas P. LambCharles Lamb
T. Davis LambRoger Fuller
Stephen FullerThomas Owen
E. FrewenRobert Randall
Roger SmithEdward Jeremiah Curteis
E. Milward, JunrThomas Read Kemp
John MynnWastel Brisco
Wastel Brisco, JunrMusgrave Brisco
Richard StilemanGodfrey Webster
W. MicklethwaitRichard Davenport
F. B. BedingfeldJ. B. Mickelthwait
Frederick NorthHerbert B. Curteis
W. Lucas ShadwellG. H. M. Wagner

18th and 19th Centuries: -

William MarkwickHenry Jackson
Godfrey Vassall WebsterFrancis Hare Naylor
Francis NewberyW. Camar
Howard E. NewtonL. T. Flood
Charles H. FrewenJoseph Jeffries
Howard ElphinstoneL. C. Sharpe
A. Curteis Pamfret

Some Signatures

There were times when a Parish Officer (Overseer or Surveyor) was required to "verify on oath" or to "swear to" the documents before they were "allowed."

There is only one case on record of a magisterial objection. This we give:

A Magistrate's Finding April 20th, 1732 "It appearing to me that there was due unto Thomas Taylor the sum of Two Pounds in money paid to Doctor Young, John Gouge, the last overseer paid the said Thomas Taylor the sum of eighteen shillings, so there doth remain due unto the said Thomas Taylor the sum of One Pound Two Shillings, witness my hand Richard May from the parish of Hoo."

(N.B. There is no entry of this sum (&[pund;1 2s.) having been paid.)

Estates and Ratepayers

Estates have been more than 80 in number, and as few as 53 (in 1810, 30 less than in 1665); on average, 69.

Ratepayers have numbered 64, and 39; and have averaged 52.

The following table may be of interest: -

A Comparative Table of Estates and Ratepayers

YearEstatesRatepayers
16658364
16707145
16737760
16858255
16907856
16957760
17506246
17556444
17606644
17657653
17707854
18006954
18105339
18156352
18206350
18256144
18306245
18356352
18406552

In 1806 the three largest landowners were:-

John Fuller, with land valued at£588
Earl of Ashburnham with land valued at£231 Benjamin Blackman with land valued at£224

Some estates are given without any rental or rateable value being stated. Ratepayers' names were first given in alphabetical order in 1799.

Rates were paid by all occupiers until 1862, when owners were required to pay their tenants' rates where the rents were under £6 a year. In 1869 rents up to £8 were added.

There is evidence that cottages rented by the overseers for housing people were not rated. The "Poor House" (or "Workhouse") was not rated.

Most properties retain the surnames of ratepayers who at one time held them; Gilbert's Farm is named after John Gilbert; Lord's House, after Mr. Lord; Olive's Farm, after Mr. Olive; Denby Farm, after Mr. Denby, and so others. Halls Cross is (probably) Hole's Cross - after Mr. Hole who held what is now "Oldbury"; Crowhurst Lane, after Mr. Crowhurst. Some properties are given as "Ye" (or The) as, "The Holmes's" "The Tuftons," "The Kitchenhams," "The Cheynes" ("Chaineys"), "The Nutbrowns." "The" At broad Street Green described Green Farm. "The Parsonage" was obviously the residence of the parson before there was a Vicarage.

"The Church House" known afterwards as "The Parish House" was evidently the Priory. "The Bell House" was where a look-out was kept, having a bell of some kind for sounding an alarm and calling people together.

What is now "The Grove" was "Elfred's," afterwards "Stapley's."

Among the "lands" was "Barnhom Pond", "land lying near the Bushy Wall," "Land lying near to two waters", "part of Ingrams," "part of Northeye," "part of Constables", "belonging to Moor Hall," "Priest's Marsh," "Hoo Fields," "St. Martin's Marsh," "Sluice Land," "Lady Lands," "Lunsford Land," "Beck Marsh," "Does Marsh," and "Sheathers Marsh".

George Elfred held at one time The Grove, Burgroves and Lord Ashburnham's lands:

John Gilbert had Court Lodge, 'Ye' at Broad Street Green (Green Farm), Glides and James's lands;

John Blackman has his farm Wallers, Thrills, The Lodge, Hoo Fields and Elises;

John Ticehurst had his own, Chapman's and Musby's, Two Waters, Mrs, Lunsford's, Ladylands and Jack Adams; Walter Paris had the Parsonage, Tufton's, Kitchenham's and Martin's lands.

John Colman was rated "for his mill," and his successors "for Colman's mill".

Lords Farm is given also as "Lords House and craft," and another property as "house, craft and peeters." It is impossible to state definitely what was referred to as "peeters." Probably it was a place for storing goods collected as "Peter's Pence," or tithe.

Jacob Boyce's rent was 3d. a week. It appears his parents forfeited their freehold when they emigrated, so he had to pay rent to the parish.

In addition to the Parish Rates there were County, Gaol and Police Rates.

The County Rate in 1832 was £28 17s; in 1833, £38 9s 4d; in 1834, £45 13s 7d.

In 1838 the Gaol Rate was £7 4s 3d. The Police Rate in 1841 was £9 12s 4d; in 1842, £12 0s 5d. "Gaol Money" at 15s a year had been paid by the churchwardens in the seventeenth century. It is to be noted that the Rates generally increased with time.

The Poor Rate: Its Application

The Poor Rate was an outcome of wise laws to support the needy. Particularly in Queen Elizabeth's reign was the condition of paupers considered, so as to maintain the unemployable, to find work for the workless, and to deter those unwilling to work from being highwaymen and murderers.

Measures of repression of former reigns, included capital punishment, had proved useless. In 1572 houses of correction were established for the punishment and amendment of "vagabonds".

In 1597 power to assess and levy a Poor Rate on a parish was given to the churchwardens and overseers. The first part of the "Old Workhouse", now styled "Elizabethan Cottages", was probably built early in the seventeenth century, additions being made to it subsequently. In 1822 a new "head" was built on at a cost of £300.

Besides the "Old Workhouse", or "Poor House", the churchwardens and overseers had six other tenements (making eleven) at one time; also until March 1817, they rented cottages for housing the poor.

A return made in 1834 gives us some startling figures about the poor. At that date the number of paupers of all classes in Hooe was not less than 69. The expenditure on their relief was £702 8s 6d out of a rate collected of £1,117 7s 4½d. The assessment on land was £1,894 5s and on houses, £49 – total £1,943 5s.

Having spent £3,000 on the poor in three years and being burdened with a Poor Rate of 11s 6d (1833), we can understand why the Vestry resolved to emigrate them to America. £400 was borrowed for the purpose. How it was spent is not fully recorded for only £108 can be accounted for. The following is a list given of emigrants in 1865 and of grants to them:

William Sands and family£22
James Collins£20
Samuel Markwick£16
William Winter£16
Charles Stace£14
Richard Sargent£8
William Collins£2
Thomas Boyce£2
Jessie Beaney£2
James Stace£2
James Elphick£2
Jessie Crouch£2

Paupers who remained had to pay rent for their tenements. Those occupying the three front ones paid is 6d per week, those the four back ones is 3d; four others were let at 1s per week.

Later all the cottages were let to one person, who sublet them. In 1851 Robert Pilbeam paid £9 6s 9d for one year. With Thomas Morris as surety, in the following year, James Carey and Amos Chapman rented them for £10 14s 6d. In i861 they were let to W. Pettett for £11 and six tenants' names are recorded (W. Burt and another Burt, Cheal, Elphick, Harris and Russell). The sub-tenants' rents amounted to £35 a year. Three paupers were ordered to provide quarters for themselves.

The yearly rents paid varied much - evidently according to the offers received. It is not possible to calculate what income was derivable from the under-letting, because it is not stated who met the cost of any repairs done and whether rates were paid. One year the rent was £20, for eleven years it varied from £7 to £11 and fell to £5 lOs. Then the cottages were again let singly to individuals whose rents were collected weekly, as now.

The amount of the rate for 1835 is not stated, although a resolution made at a Vestry meeting to levy one was signed by seven people!

In July 1834, "B. Blackman, W. Rich and R. Henbry undertook to look over the parish land and make arrangements to lay down as much of the said land for to keep cows on as might be deemed advisable for the largest families in the parish". Obviously this was intended to relieve the rate.

Various "economies" resulted in lowering the rate to is in the £.

Boarding out

Pauper children were occasionally boarded out. In 1814, the vestry agreed that Mr. Cooper should have William Collins, son of Richard Collins, and have 3s per week with him, and to work and mend for him. The following year the payment was settled to be 2s 6d per week "wet and dry", the Parish to give three guineas, wash and mend, and clothe.

Mrs, Wrenn, in 1816, took Elizabeth Hutchinson, promising to give her 20s for one year, and if a good girl to give her some old clothes (!)

Edward Dugin was engaged to work at 4s a week, but he was to be boarded in the Workhouse and "if he got a service, to be given up".

The cause of so much poverty, which led to burdensome rates and to emigration, is recorded in history thus, "The triumph of the nation over France in 1815 was succeeded by a reaction of internal distress and discontent. A multitude of persons were thrown out of employment and their numbers were swelled by soldiers and sailors discharged at the end of the war".

Originally the Poor Rate was not more than 4d in the £. In 1685 a penny rate yielded about £2 10s; in 1700, £1 18s; in 1725, £2; in 1750, £2 3s; and in 1808, £7.

Thus following any distress in the country caused by an epidemic (as the Great Plague), or by war, we find diminished rateable value of land and increased Poor Rate.

Financial Years

A year was reckoned from Easter to Easter, so the number of weeks in different years varied. Payments to a pauper as poor relief in one year at is a week amounted to £2 9s; in another year to £2 15s.

In 1698 two rates were made - in May and October, which produced £50 5s.

From the accounts for 1699 several sums amounting to £4 10s 9d were omitted. These omissions were set out in a memorandum dated 23rd May, 1700, which was signed by the Minister and two inhabitants. In 1758 one rate was 10s and yielded £265.

Afterwards there were levies of Poor Rate in March and September. In 1806 and subsequent years we find three levies at irregular periods, thus (In June), "First rate after Easter"; (in November), "Second rate after Easter"; (in February) "Third rate after Easter" - the rate for the whole year amounting to 8s. Being a pauper was no disqualification for a position as a Parish Officer.

Allowances and Grants

Allowances to the poor were generally 1s per week to a woman and 1s 6d to a man. In addition, the parish paid rents, taxes, board, lodging and other expenses. Occasionally we read that, "upon complaint", a person's allowance was increased. We are not informed who the complainant was.

The following list shows us how the rate helped the poor in past centuries: -

The Poor Rate met the cost of -

Nursing, medical attention (by a neighbour, a mountebank or a doctor), weaving linsey-wolsey, spinning wool, knitting stockings, making and repairing clothes - frocks, changes, shifts, bodices, skirts, night-waistcoats, breeches, aprons, caps, coats, under-coats, gowns, petticoats, mantuas, neckcloths, handkerchiefs, dimity, brown-cloth, holland, canvas, tape, buttons, thread, shoes and pattens, butter, cheese, lard, milk, sugar, loaves, apples, currants, beef, mutton, lamb, bacon, herrings, beer, wine, brandy, wheat, barley, oats, oatmeal, malt, timber, faggots, hop poles, bedsteads and appurtenances, sheets and pillows, mats, well-ropes, barrels, porridge pots, pigs, food for fattening hogs, conveyance in carts or on horseback, removals of furniture, house building and repairing, bricks, lime, sand, ironwork, glazing, straw, rods, spars, nails and labour for thatching, warrants, summonses, certificates, affidavits, breviates, gaol-money, indentures, "laying-forth" the dead, shrouds, wool, coffins, knells, grave-digging, carrying to church, burial fees, candles and other "commodities" bought at the shop.

From birth to burial the Poor Rate met any expense of the poor of the Parish - and more; for, in addition, payments were made for the building and repair of bridges; the "vicarage" had a brick oven "new-built" and repairs paid for, and orphan children were boarded out, apprenticed and clothed.

Prefaces to Assessment Lists and Returns of Payments

Assessment lists for the Poor Rate were prefaced thus:-

"An assessment made this . . . . day of. . . . by. . . . and . . . . . . churchwardens of the Parish of Hooe, and. . . . and. . . . overseers of the said Parish, for the relief of the poor, on all lands, at full rents, at a rate of . . . . in the £".

Returns of Payments began like this:

"A true and perfect (or, just) account of . . . . and . . . . churchwardens, and . . . . and . . . . overseers of the poor of the said Parish aforesaid, of all and singular of what they have disbursed for and towards the relief of the poor of the said Parish during their year, begining at Easter . . . . , had and taken by the inhabitants of the said Parish this . . . . day of . . . ".

Paupers of 1663, 1664

The first to receive Parish Relief in 1663 was John Stavly. He received 3s fortnightly throughout two years, and his weekly rent, 5s, was paid in 1664.

The Gowin Boys

John and William Gowin were cared for by the Parish. John was apprenticed to Henry Sheather, who received £6 with him; and William to Jeremy Hart who had £7. Indentures in duplicate were paid for by the Parish. Widow Toorle received payment for "cloth and other necessaries for outside garments" for them, also "binding thread and buttons"; for the making of "four pairs of changes and two pairs of shoes". Hats cost 4s 4d and stockings 3s.

Henry Sheather, one master, was a landowner, Jeremy Hart, the other, occupied "Hunts".

A further sum of 1s was paid Goodman Sheather for clothes for John; 5s was paid Goodman Hart for clothes for William.

Here are particulars of some other paupers:-

George Dowst

In 1664 there was some trouble with George Dowst.

"At the Sessions" (Battle) concerning him there was spent 2s 6d. "For his being at Samuel Maynard's and for carrying of his household stuff away", 4s.

It seems he had to leave the Parish for a time. On account of his wife's sickness, in 1671 the Parish paid 6s.

John Fowler

John Fowler's wife died. When she was buried the Parish granted him 6s and 5 ells (an ell = 1 1/4 yds.) of lerkerham costing 5s. For "finding" of his two children (William and Elizabeth) in his own house for three weeks he received 9s 3d. Boarding them elsewhere 8s 4d. Mending their clothes cost is. Things bought from Richard Wooddall for him came to 12s 5d. For making clothes for him Robert Young was paid 3s. A pair of shoes from Edmund Bodle, and wool and "footleing" of 2 pairs of hose 2s 4d. Goody Weeks for wool and for "footleing" 2 pairs received 7d. Edmund Bodle boarded him for 16s 6d.

Edward Badcock made him two "changes" for 4d.

For making two shirts for William Fowler and keeping him he had 4s.

A warrant to carry Elizabeth Fowler to her master cost 1s 6d and other expense incurred, another 6d.

Goody Cheeseman

(Evidently a widow with a son James). Goody cheeseman had four allowances of 2s 6d each in 1663 and 1664.

Faggots for her (1664) cost 1s 6d
"Tendance" (James) 2s 8d
Rent (1671) £1 6s 0d
Indentures for her son James (1671) 2s 6d
William Boorne received with him £7 0s 0d
Clothes for him and making £1 11s 0d
Clothes, shirts, hats, stockings, shoes, buttons and making £2 8s 9d

James Cheeseman was ill and died in 1673 (after only two years' apprenticeship). All expenses were paid by the Parish.

Other Expenses, 1663, 1664

A book "for to write down the accounts" 3s 4d
The "writing of the poor book" 2s 6d
Paid Mr. Fairway for Goodman Westburn's Rent £1 9s 0d
Paid Elizabeth Harman's Rent 10s 0d
Paid when they went to hire the little house of Cooper £7 2s 0d
Warrant for new overseers 1s 0d
To four travellers that had a pass 4d

Other Human Stories

Widow Thornton

Received 5s and 6s per month (1664).

13 Weeks board for her at 20d a week (1671) £1 5s 0d
30 Weeks board with Richard Bowsden (1671) £2 15s 4d
21 weeks board for her son at 20d p.w. (1673) £1 15s 0d
Apprenticing him, wollen clothes, hat, shirts, stockings £2 8s 0d

Widow Cordell

House rent and attendance when sick 8s 0d
50 weeks pay at 1s £2 10s 0d
100 faggots 8s 0d

Widow Toorle

Had 4s per month for more than a year (1664)
55 weeks in 1673 £2 15s 0d
(Note it may be inferred from this that from Easter Day 1672 to that of 1673 there were 55 weeks.)
House Rent 10s 0d
100 faggots 8s 0d
"Upon complaint" 6s 0d
During the year 1678 2 9s 6d

The man who was not wanted

Richard Blackman (1684) "who was twice turned away by his cruel master who ought to pay the Parish their money again," was lodged with Goodman Thomas Mills at a cost of 13s and afterwards with Goodman William White for a month for 12s. Clothing for him cost the Parish 8s. The poor refugee had a bad leg which Goody Crowhurst dressed and endeavoured to cure; Goody Demock also tried. These goodies received £1. 5s for their services.

His master did not want him, Hooe Parish did not want him either, and spent money on removing him. William White and Sam Ticehurst went to Battle about him. "A warrant to carry him to his master at Westfield" cost 6d; two orders for his removal were 4s; and other expenses 12s. "Richard Blackman, the unwanted", cost the parish a sum equal to a rate of lp in the £.

Goody Wootton (1687)

Goody Wootton (1687) - "Paid for hire of a horse to carry her before the justices at Battle," 5s; "Paid the proctor for charges at the court," £2 2s; "Paid Midwife Goodwife Smith for her," 5s; warrant to carry her to Battle (1693)", 5s 2d; "carrying her to Peasmarsh and expenses there (1693)," £3 6s 2d went on another "undesirable".

Of no use to the Parish

On July 31st, 1814 it was agreed "that William Clapson will never be of any use to the Parish, and that means shall be used to get rid of him".

What means were used we are not told, or whether they were effective.

We read he was occupying (what is now) Spring Cottage when it was sold on August 16th, 1838.

We are given an inventory of his household goods and records of the placing out of his four daughters. Harriett Clapson was boarded with John Willsher, the Parish allowing 2s 6d per week and clothing her; Clarlotte Clapson was taken by Thos. Darby, the Parish paying is 3d per week, Fanny Clapson went to Sedlescombe, and the Parish paid 6d per week; Ellen Clapson went to Hastings, the Parish paying is 3d weekly.

Stephen Doust and Family

In 1678 Stephen Doust was a churchwarden. In 1679 he appeared among the "principal inhabitants" who signed the assessment list for the poor rate - signing by making "his mark". He signed other such lists in after years (1686, 1695) and the overseers' return of payments, in 1687.

For a time he occupied Denby Farm with John Hunt.

In 1697 he was paid £1 rent for housing Goodman Austen.

At another time he was living in the Church House at the expense of the Parish.

Entries in 1713 show he was given sums amounting to £1, received a "tovet" of wheat and had his "poor tax" of 2s paid. In the following year he was given a peck of wheat, 4 ells of cloth for his daughter and he was removed at a cost of 5s. The Parish paid for him his rent of £1 16s to Robert Cain, 19s for two loads of wood, 17s for his daughter (which included the cost of a petticoat). Then we find funeral costs were paid - 9s for a coffin, 2s 6d for "laying forth" and an affidavit and another 2s 6d for the grave and knell.

His widow received between 1716 and 1721, wheat which cost £1 9s, twenty-four bushels of oats, thirteen bushels and one "tovet" of peas and a "tovet" of tares which cost £4 8s, two stone of beef, (1s 8d) one hundred stakes, one cord of wood and faggots costing £3 11s 9d; stock cards, hand cards, a pair of wool cards and oil, costing 9s 6d and a spinning wheel, 4s 6d.

For "hog fattening" the Parish paid £1 6s, paid the weaver 8d, John Apps, the glover, for making breeches for her 7s, Richard Sharp for thatching her house, 4s 6d; James Punnet for work at her house, is lid; John Porter for a coat and waistcoat for her son Stephen 4s and others for her son Isaac, also 4s; for her son stopping the doctor (1720), 6d; for clothes for her boy, £1; shoes for her girl, 2s 6d; carriage of bushes, 2s 6d; and for removing her, 6s.

We are not informed where Widow Doust went with her three children, but we learn the Parish "received from Widow Doust the money that was in (or, on) her house, £11". (1723).

It appears the parish expended about £20 on the Dousts.

Some Paupers' Rents Paid

Goodman Westburn's Rent (1664) £1 9s 0d
House rent for the poor for the whole year (1671) £2 10s 0d
Elizabeth Harman's Rent 10s 0d
Paid Goodman Badcock, for Austin's Rent for the year 1693 by consent of the Parish 15s 0d
Also £1 10s 0d
1694 Widow Ditch's Rent £1 10s 0d
John Stapley's Rent 5s 0d
Cramp's Rent and 300 faggots £3 16s 0d
Goodman Badcock was promised by the Parish on Austin's account 10s 0d
1725* Richard Miller's Rent £2 10s 0d
* Richard Miller was assessed at £1
John Porters Rent £2 0s 0d
Richard Elphick's Rent £1 5s 0d
Widow Ditch's Rent £1 0s 0d
Widow Deadman's Rent 10s 0d
1729 Widow Woodman's Rent £3 0s 0d

Bridge-Building and Repairing

Home Bridge
The entries cover 67 years (1688 to 1755)
New building (1688) £2 8s 6d
Goodman Friend, for mending (1694) 18s 0d
Carrying timber to (1701) 6s 0d
Paid Lullam and Bine for scawel work 8s 0d
Roger Harrison for work and material £4 0s 0d
Carrying planks to 2s 0d
Paid Richard Brook for new planking (1723) £2 2s 6d
Note: "New planking" cost almost as much as the "new building 35 years before".
James Russell for mending (1730) 6s 0d
John Clark, for work about it, for drawing poles and planks together 3s 6d

Exsett Bridge
For Exsett Bridge (1724) £2 15s 0d

Sewers Bridge
Repairing (1709) 5s 0d
Repairing (1713) £1 5s 6d
Richard Brooks for mending (1724) 13s 4d
Paid towards repair (1724) 2s 6d
John Catt's bill for repairs £3 1s 4d
For mending 2s 0d
Paid Mr. Brattle for Sewers Bridge and the stocks £8 12s 3d
Paid James Russell for a new footbridge and mending Sewers Bridge, (1736) £1 3s 3d

James Russell was paid 10s a year for several years to keep it in repair. In 1750 he was paid 16s 6d and in 1751, 11s 3d. In 1760 the parish paid half the cost of building it, £7 10s.

Waterlot Bridge
Planks to mend (1699) 13s 4d

Stone Bridge
New Built (1688) £2 8s 6d

Horse Bridge
Paid R. Brook for mending £2 14s 4d
Paid R. Brook for mending (1707) £2 2s 6d
For mending (1708) £2 0s 0d
Paid Peter Martin for raising the end of (1717) 1s 6d
Repairing (1750) 8s 6d

Other Bridges
Paid Roger Harrison for Timber and for sawing and carpenter's work, for laying three bridges which belong to the Parish (1699) £9 6s 11d
For mending a bridge a-going to Wartling (1720) 1s 8d
Paid R. Brook for repairing Boreham footbridge 2s 0d
"One quarter of the 'wean bridge a-going to Wartling cross the Sewer" (1751) £2 6s 1 ½d

Sundry Payments
Paid for a warrant to remove a poor woman which came from London (1685) 6d
For curing a poor lame man (1686) 6d
To John Ticehurst for the use of the Constables of Ninfield Hundred (1699) 14s 10d
1 load of hop-poles 8s 0d
d1 load of straw 8s 0d
To rebuilding Horsham Gaol (1720) £4 18s 0d
Repairing Lewes House of Correction (1720) £1 7s 4d
Fetching beach for the highways (1723) £8 2s 6d
To Mr. Martin for drawing the Breviate in order to trial at Lewes about Deborah Powel (1671) 5s 0d
Paid Mr. Willard, the attorney, for advice, pleading, drawing the certificate for the removal of Duke if there be occasion and expense, or otherwise (1693) 18s 0d

Inventories of Paupers Goods

Thomas Gibson's Goods (1816)
July 17th 1816, Gibson "delivered up" to the Parish Officers, "on account of £3 13s 2d advanced for rent", the following :- 1 Dresser, 4 Chairs, 1 Feather Bed, 1 Warming Pan, 1 Bolster, 2 Boxes, 1 Bed Rug, 1 Chest, 1 Beadstead, 1 Bureau, 1 Nested Case of Shelves, 1 Table.

It appears his arrears of rent amounted to £6 11s 3d. The goods were received into the workhouse. What happened to Thos. Gibson we are not told. Possibly he became a "passenger" - homeless, workless, living on alms as he tramped from place to place.

William Clapson's Goods
This list is interesting as giving an idea of the furniture of the pauper who was declared "would never be of any use to the Parish".

1 Feather Bed, 2 prs. Tongs, 1 Chaff Bed, 1 Frying Pan, 2 Bolsters, 3 Candlesticks, 2 prs. Sheets, 1 qt. and pt. Pot, 3 Old Blankets, 1 tin Flour Dredge, 1 Coverlid, 1 small Saucepan, 1 Beadstead and Hangings, 2 Block Irons, 1 Cart Seat, 1 pr. Pothooks, 1 Stool, 1 Water Pail, 1 Chest, 1 Deal Box, 1 Warming Pan, 1 Clothes Horse, 1 Beer Can, 6 Brown Pans, 1 Dutch Oven, 1 Jar, 4 White Plates, 1 Milk Pot, 1 Tea Pot, 3 Table Spoons, 7 Cups and Saucers, 5 Blue Plates, 2 Large Blue Dishes, 1 pr. Bellows, 1 Pint Pot, 1 Cupboard, 1 Half-pint Pot, 1 Table, 1 Cradle, 1 Band Box, 3 Glass Bottles, 3 Large Chairs, 2 Children's Chairs, 1 Pornge Pot, 2 Wash Tubs, 1 Looking Glass, 1 Tea Kettle, 3 Baking Tins, 4 Baskets, 1 Baking Pan, 1 Gridiron, 2 Chamber Mugs.

Other Goods mentioned in inventories:
1 Fire Pan, 2 Prongs, 1 Garden Rake, 1 Hay Rake, 2 Hoes, 1 Flail, 1 Arm Chair, 1 Sieve, 1 Teapot, Salt Box, 1 Tinder Box, 1 Mattress, 1 Funnel, 1 Pork Tub, 2 Maps, 4 Stone Bottles, 2 Flower Pots, 1 Reaping Hook, 1 Flour Tub, 2 Knives and Forks, 1 Saucepan, 2 Block Irons, 1 Oak Chest, 1 Holder, 1 pr. Pothooks, 3 Half Anchor Keelers, 1 Feather Pillow, 1 Iron Hoop, 1 Chopping Block, 1 Slice and Peel, 1 Coal Grate, 1 Folder Table, Window Shutters, Brand Irons, 1 Boiler, 1 Step Ladder, 1 Clothes Horse, 1 Child's Chair, 1 Bed Quilt, 1 Corner Cupboard, 1 Knife Box, 1 Fender, Powdery Tub, Some Fire Irons, Steelyards, 1 Water Pot, 1 Safe, 1 Tea Caddy, 1 Clock, 1 Slate, 1 Stand, Toaster, 1 Wash Block, 1 Cheese, 2 Crocks.

A Sale of Goods, 1705
For "crying a sale" 2d
Taking an account of the goods 1s 0d
Spent at the sale (for beer) 1s 0d
Proceeds of the Sale: - 2s 2d
Stephen Doust
6s 5d
Gillard
14s 6d
A. Barrel
3s 0d
£1 3s 11d

Sales, etc.
1702 Austins goods fetched 10s 0d
1705 Wm. Selves' goods fetched £5 12s 1d
1708 Wdw. Hills' goods fetched 15s 8d
1729 9th March, sold William Creas' clothes £2 17s 0d
N.B. "Charges of William Creas" also conveyance from battle and a Dr. Young's bill £2 2s 7d
1737 Goody Deadman's household goods £12 3s 0d
1738 Money and goods of the Widow Grayling 5s 4 ½d

A Doctor's Duties

There was a Dr. Boniface whose duty it was to attend all the paupers "within and without the Parish of Hooe within five miles of the church", including "all cases of midwifery, with broken bones or other accident that may happen", for the sum of £20 per annum. His district included Pevensey, Wartling, Westham, Boreham, Ninfield, Catsfield, Sidley, Bexhill, Little Common, Cooden and Normans Bay. Whether the parishes "without the Parish of Hooe within five miles of the church" were consulted or not, we are not informed.

Some Medical and Nursing Expenses
1701 "Helping Goody Birch in her lameness" 8s 0d
1703 "Dr. Thorpe - medicine and visits" £2 10s 0d
1704 "For purging pilis" 6d
1713 "Robert Long, for bleeding Richard Elphick" 6d
1713 "Goody Crowhurst for curing the girls' heads" 5s 0d
1720 "Doctoring and bleeding" 1s 0d
1754 "Paid for Bleeding" 1s 0d
1754 "Paid for Nursing" 2s 0d
1754 "Saffron" 6d
1754 "½ pt. Wine" 6d

Some Miscellaneous Entries
1671 "A maid for watching at night" 4d
1688 "Charges of two sessions" £2 10s 10d
1693 "For an order to remove Duke" 2s 0d
1694 "Warrant for Surveyor's Office" 3s 0d
1694 "½ bus. malt" 1s 4d
1694 "Paid Goodman Coleman for weaving Linsey Wolsey" 10s 10d
1701 "Making 2 new shirts" 8d
1701 "2 lbs. wool and ½ lb. flax to make children's hose" 1s 5 ½d
1702 "Making - 4 shirts, 2 neckclothes, 3 aprons, 4 caps, 2 handkerchiefs" 2s 2d
1702 "Two pairs of shoes" 4s 0d
1702 "Two poor people in distress" 2s 0d
1702 "Fetching them in his cart to his barn" 1s 0d
1702 "Two loaves" 1s 0d
1703 "Linsey Wolsey" 2s 2d a yd.
1703 "Linsey Wolsey" 1s 4d a yd.
Grey "Linsey Wolsey" 2s 0d a yd.
"Patterns and other things" 1s 8d
1704 "Four ells of change cloth" 4s 0d
1704 "Footting a pair of stockings and making a coat" 1s 6d
1704 "For weaving a coat" 1s 6d
1707 "A pair of bodys" (bodices) 2s 0d
1712 "A gratuity" 5s 0d
1713 "A shift" 3s 0d
1713 "4 pots of beer when they carried her to church" 1s 0d
1713 "Paid for going to Boreham" 6d
1714 "Carrying Petet to Ninfield" 2s 0d
1714 "An order for Peter" 3s 0d
1714 "A feather pillow, a mat, a cord and setting up" 7s 0d
1715 "A petticoat" 17s 0d
1746 "5 papers for the cattle and for the Fast" 5s 0d
1746 "Woodman's case at Lewes" £1 0s 0d
1746 "Removal expenses" £4 13s 0d
1754 "1 Glass Window" 5d
1754 "Laying forth a child and wool" 2s 6d
1754 "Paid for burying 3 children" 5s 0d
1754 "Paid Bray for coffins" 9s 0d
1758 "Haying" (a day) 1s 6d
1758 "A Spinning Wheel" 6s 6d
1758 "For keeping and schooling Huniset" £5 1s 0d
1758 "For going to the doctor" 3s 0d
1814 "Allowance for clothes" £2 0s 0d
1814 "Advanced to Hannah Roach 13 weeks pay at 3s p.w. to bear her expenses to Germany" £1 19s 0d
1814 "A pair of irons for Sarah Deadman" 1s 4d
1814 "Fetching T. Vine from Bexhill in a cart" 3s 0d
1814 "Goodman Collins for making a bay in the haven" 6s 0d
1814 "A barrel" 3s 0d
1814 "Mending a bed" 1s 0d
1814 "A well rope" 1s 0d
1814 "Carrying of Goodman Rood to London and back again" £1 17s 10d
1814 "For Rood's board, etc." £1 17s 10d
1814 "A fat hog" 6s 6d
1814 "Towards paying for a hog" 5s 0d
1814 "Goody Ditch's hog" 16s 0d
1814 "10 lbs tile locks" 10d
1814 "For horse rent" 10s 0d
1814 "Fetching half a 100 faggots from Crowhurst" 1s 6d
1755 "John Easton to have 1s per week for keeping Sarah Parker and for her to have a pair of boots for the year"
1685 "Warrant to remove a poor woman who came from London" 6d
1685 "Longford for meat for Richard Elphick 6s 0d
and goods" £1 1s 0d
1685 "For a blanket for Richard Elphick, and carrying him to church" 11s 0d
1755 "For Thos. Russell and Richard Elphick, laying them both forth" 5s 0d
1755 "Coffins for two" £1 0s 0d
1755 "Burying them both" 5s 0d

Money Lending, (1814)

Eleven inhabitants signed as sureties for an advance of £100 to Henry Burt. Five years later (1819) we find the Resolution, "That the money hired of Mrs. Will Gill for the use of Henry Burt be paid off by the Parish, principal £75 and interest".

1836 "Bringing home a woman from St. Leonards £1 8s 0d
1836 Sending her to Hellingly 2s 0d
1836 Expenses attending magistrate 2s 6d
1836 Attendance at Lewes" 15s 0d
1837 "Received from Peter Carey rent for houses" £0 0s 0d
1837 The Poor Rate collected amounted to £979 5s 7¾d
1873 "Clothes for a child going with its mother to America (an urgent necessity)" £1 0s 0d

Meat Prices
1697 "2 lbs of Frying" 9d
1703 "Leg of Mutton" 8d
1703 "10 stone of bacon at 22d pr. stone" 18s 4d
1703 "1 stone beef" 1s 4d
1706 "1 lb Lamb" 1s 3d
1706 "½ nail of Beef" 10d
1706 "A root of bullock's tongue" 7d
1754 "l5st. 2lbs Pork" £1 15s 0d
1754 "4 lbs Pork" 1s 8d
1754 "1 lb Mutton" 3d
1754 "1 lb Beef" 3d
1754 "1 pr. Giblets" 2d
1814 "Workhouse Beef, per stone" 6s 0d
1703 Bacon was 2 ½d a lb
1703 Beef = 2d a lb; in 1814, 9p

Corn Prices
1694 "1 bus. barley" 3s 0d
1694 "1 bus, wheat" 7s 6d
1698 "6 bus. oats" 9s 0d
1698 "2 bus, peas" 7s 0d
1719 "1 bus oats" 2s 0d
1701 "Tovet of wheat" 2s 0d
1701 "Tovet of oats" 8d
1701 "1 peck of wheat" 1s 0d
(Note from the above we learn 1 Tovet = 2 pecks)
1754 "½ bus. Wheat 2s 6d
In September the price was 2s 3d
In July the price was 2s 9d
Paupers were allowed 1frac12; bus. each fortnight.
Oats in 1698 were 1s 6d a bus.
Oats in 1700 were 1s 10d a bus.
Oats in 1701 were 2s 8d a bus.
Wheat in 1701 was 8s 0d a bus.
Wheat in 1754 was 5s 0d a bus.
Malt in 1698 was 2s 8d a bus.

Food Prices
1697 "100 Herrings" 1s 0d
1702 "2 loaves" 1s 0d
1706 "1 lb sugar" 4d
1706 "A crock of butter weighing 11 lbs." 4s 1½d
1706 "1 gallon of apples" 2d
1706 "1 nail of cheese" 9d
1706 "½ lb. Butter" 2½d
1706 "½ lb. Lard" 1½d
1717 "9 lbs Cheese" 1s 8d
1732 "1 bot. Wine" 2s 0d
1732 "1 bot. Brandy" 7s 6d
1754 "4 lbs. Cheese" 9d
1754 "2 lb. Butter" 10d
1754 "A peck of salt" 1s 2d

Bedsteads and Bedding
1704 "A bed and bedstead appurtenances" 18s 6d
1704 "A pair of sheets" 8s 0d
1714 "A bed" 10s 0d

Firewood
1694 1 Cord Wood 16s 0d
1700 1 Cord Wood 10s 0d
1754 1 Cord Wood £1 1s 9d
1691 150 "billet" faggots 13s 6d
1714 200 "billet" faggots £1 0s 0d
1716 200 "billet" faggots £1 1s 0d
1792 125 "heath" faggots 4s 6d
1694 100 "house" faggots 4s 0d
1694 50 "bat" faggots 4s 0d
1694 25 "spray" faggots 2s 0d
1698 400 "spray" faggots £1 5s 0d

Coal from Bexhill

The Parish agreed with W. Beeching of Bexhill to supply coals "at 26s per chaldron to be paid in one month after taken from the vessel, if not, 2s per chaldron more".

In 1827 Stephen Barrow, Coal Merchant, Bexhill, notified Mr. Abel, Poor House, Ninfield, (by printed circular) that he had received "a Cargo of Best Eden Main Coal" which he was selling "at 40s per chaldron cash". The notice was printed by Henry Bayley, Book-binder, Hastings.

Taxes

Taxes mentioned include:

Window Tax (1752) 3s 0d
King's Tax £1 17s 6d
Burial Tax 4s 0d
Church Tax (1723) 6s 6d
County Tax (1760) £8 16s 0d
Land Tax

In 1878 the Land Tax levied was 3d per acre on marsh land, and 4d per acre on upland and plantations.

Travelling and Transport

Travelling in olden days was on foot, on horse-back or by horse-and-cart; transport by cart or wagon.

For fetching bricks and tiles from Ninfield (1778), 3s 3d.

Note: There was a bnckyard at Marlpits where there are now "Brickyard Cottages".

An item runs "Carrying timber to Home Bridge, 5s". and "Men to drink, 1s". (The "drink" was beer).

1838 - Horse and cart to carry a woman to the Union House, 5s.

Principal Estates, 1663-1665

According to their "Full rents", that is, their Rental (or Rateable) Value as "lands". The word "lands" must be taken to include residences and other buildings, that is, estates.

John Fuller's, "Court Lodge" £66
Nicholas Maynard's "Green Farm" £54
George Elfred's "The Grove" £44
Thomas Young's "Holmes" £36
Thomas Bunce's (School Farm) £20
William Boorne's "Parsonage" £16
William Boorne's "Lunsford's" £16
Samuel Maynard (The Mount) £12
Jeremy Hart's (Oldbury) £11
Richard Fairway's (Gent) £10
Richard Edward's £10
Richard Edward's "Tufton's" £8
Richard Edward's "Kitchenhain's" £8

Copy of a return made in 1834

Acres in the Parish:

Arable, 870 acres
Pastoral, 1020 acres
Shaws and Hedges, 120 acres
Roads - 8 miles
Assessment on Land £1,894 5s 0d
Assessment on Houses £49 0s 0d
Total £1,943 £1,943 5s 0d

Expenditure for the Relief of the Poor in: -

1832 £740 5s 10d
1833 £696 3s 3d
1834 £702 8s 6d
Total £2,138 17s 7d

Amount of Poor Rate collected in: -

1832 £874 4s 9d
1833 £971 12s 6d
1834 £1,117 7s 4½d
Total £2,963 1s 7½d

Number of Paupers of All Classes in the Parish, 69.

The Returns gives a total of 2010 acres - 462 less than the present acreage. Is the difference owing to marsh land?

The Difference between the Receipts for the poor and the Payments to them shows £824 4s 0d unaccounted for.

Some Spelling

Accompts (accounts); afferdavis (affidavit); All holley (All hallows); Bate! (Battle); beir (bier); biear, boock, booke; berrying (burying); bonett (bonnet); carriing, cloathes, cote (coat); cittation, sitation; deask (desk); deu (due); fether; fowell (fuel); funirall; gayl (gaol), goal, jail; hoal (hole); Hursmonceux; halfe; hukes (hooks); kiping (keeping); marriing; nell (knell); nessessary; ots (oats); oyle (oil); pade, payde, paide; paire (pair); parrish, penshone; piler (pillow); Pemsey (Pevensey); peneworth, penard (pennyworth); pesingers (passengers); releife; riting, whriting; riggister, rigestar, regester, Rey (Rye); roeps (ropes); sighning; surtivicats; tryal, toatal; taler (tallow); trutt (trout); wickes (weeks); widdo (widow).

Hooe Common: The Parish Farm,

The Parish Farm of to-day is a part only of that of a century ago. The land was formerly the "Common", or "Parish Land", on which paupers worked under Parish Officers as Managers. In 1822 the Common (or part of it) was enclosed and a barn was built, at a cost of £600.

After so many of the poor had been emigrated to America, the farm was let, in 1839, to a William Pilbeam. Since then until 1937, it was occupied by successive generations of Pilbeams.

With the farm until 1893, were let also (as part of it) Clapson's Piece and Boyce's Piece. The rent was about £2 per annum per acre.

Following the Allotment Act of 1887, parts of the farm were let as allotment gardens and others as small holdings.

The Vestry (in 1893 or 1895) let Clapson's Piece (with an area of 22 sq. poles) to Albert Moore at 10s per annum. In 1895 their successors, the Parish Council, gave all the tenants notice to quit that they might rent the land under agreements with them. Then Clapson's Piece was let to Frank Pilbeam at 10s per annum and Boyce's Piece (with an area of 16 sq. poles) to Arthur Carden at 17s 6d per annum.

Originally (according to the Tithe Commissioners' Award and the rents paid) the area of the Farm was 21¼acres. Now it is little more than 7 acres, most of it boggy, growing furze and bracken.

In agreements with their tenants, the Vestry reserved to the Parish Officers the right to dig gravel and to draw water (from the pond) as they required. Tenants were supplied with rough timber, bricks, tiles and all other materials needed for repairs.

Employment and Pay for the Poor (1828-1835)

Items of employment given to poor people by the overseers a century ago, and pay for it, are interesting to-day; for at that period the Poor Rate was very high and there was much unemployment and suffering resulting from war.

"Trussing 190 trusses of straw" - 7s 7d;";
"Rat-catching at the Common" - 3s a day";
"Haying on the Parish Land" - 10d to 2s a day";
"Cutting 2½ acres of Beans" - 8s an acre";
"Cutting 5¼ acres of Stub" - 2s 6d an acre";
"18 wks. washing (clothes) for J. Stonestreet at 6d pr. washday - 9s";
"Mowing 3 acres of Seeds at 3s";
Mowing 4½ acres of Oats at 2s 3d";
Mowing 1½ acres of Barley at 3s";
"Digging 61 rods at 1½d";
"Thrashing 9 qtr. Oats at 1s 4d";
"Digging at 1d per rod";
"Thrashing 10 qrs. Beans at 2s pr. qr.";
"Thrashing Wheat at 4s per qr.";
"Trussing Straw at 1s 6d per load";
"15 children picking up rubbish at 2d per day";
"Sowing Oats at the Common";
"Stacking Hay - 2s per day";
"Turning Peas in Parish field - 1s";
"To ride the Mow, 6d per day"
"Trunking 41 rods at 8d";
"Cleaning Church 2s per qtr.";
"Dame Vidler, cleaning church, whitening, 4s";
"Breaking Boulderes at is per ton";
"Haying in Parish Field";
"Turning a Maxin" (A "maxin" is a heap of manure);
"Oat carrying on the Common";
1828 "Mrs Boyce, Reaping 2½ acres of Wheat, £1 7s 6d";
"J. Stubberfield, Reaping 4½ acres of Wheat, £pound;2 9s 6d";
"Thrashing 6 bus. Wheat, 2s 7½d";
"Work at the haven";
"It at Hastings, 6s"; "Cleaning in Parish Barn, 1 day at is 6d";
"Bonding Oats";
"Granted for Coal, 2s";

Payments for "Laying forth" (preparing the dead for burial) varied from 2s 6d to 5s.

"£1 for his wife to go back to France," was granted to R. Jeale. Later he was allowed "48 wks. to pay at 5s p.w. to go to France from October 22nd 1831 to September 22nd 1832". He died in France, September 15th 1832.

James H.'s wife was burnt (1832) and he was granted "3 mos. off" (September 8th to December 8th); but his name disappears.

A man and a woman taken ill at Mr. Blackman's were removed to Bunce Barn. They were given 6s 6d for that week, and 2s 6d for Saturday and 6d for Sunday; "5s granted for flannel".

Other poor relief before 1834

Pair of shoes given his girl at service, 6s. Granted to look after his wife, 6s. 1s granted for one ill.

Other Entries

The following were entered under "Remarks" in the Overseers' Register as notes of the paupers' circumstances, or of the Overseers' directions to the paupers.

"To go and get work",
"Pay took off and put in the house",
"Husband in prison",
"Turned out of his house",
"To go and get a place at sea",
"No work",
"Husband serving in militia",
"To go and see M------- about America",
"Ill and family ill",
"Works in the Marsh (Jacob Boyce, July 19th 1828)",
"Works at the sea",
"Nothing to eat, is granted (1828)".

This appears to have been to the mother of Mr. Butchers, who died at Halls Cross in a cottage that adjoined Church Farm House, on the Pevensey Road.

Overseers' books record the giving of Flour to the poor weekly, also the varying cost of the flour per gallon. (is id to is 7d July 1828 to May 1835).

Occupation of Villagers, 1600-1800

Brickmaking, tiling, milling, tanning, shoemaking, weaving, tailoring and smithing were important village occupations in bygone days. Shoemakers were obviously such, and not simply shoe-repairers; for there were no boot and shoe factories then. Among shoemakers were Goodman Barton and Goodman Wait (1702),John Cane (1703), and Edmund Bodle (1667).

John Colman was a weaver.

John Porter appears to have been a Jack-of-all-trades, for he was the sexton and a surveyor, also a tailor and a dressmaker.

Goodman Sawyer, a butcher. (1814).

Goody Weeks, a hose repairer, and Robert Young, a clothier (1667).

The smith's iron probably came from the Ashburnham foundry, where iron was smelted from local ore by charcoal made in the locality. The Fullers, who held the manor for generations, were ironmasters, and the railings that used to surround their burial-place in the churchyard were from their foundry. These railings were removed in 1936 to Heathfield by the desire of Mr. Hugh Langdale (a relative of the Fullers), who proposed to re-erect them on his property, House Estate.

Fines for Cattle-Straying

In 1817 straying cattle were impounded by the Way-wardens. The fines levied were:
On a horse 2s; donkey 1s; cow, 2s; hog 1s.

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