Directory section details

Directory: 1791 Universal British Directory.

Pages: 60 - 63.

Name: East Grinstead.

Show the index for the entries in this section of the directory

East Grinstead

Is a borough by prescription, of great antiquity, consisting of a bailiff and about thirty-five burgage-holders, who elect two members of parliament. The bailiff is the returning officer, and is chosen by the burgage-holders, at the annual court of the lord of the borough, who is the duke of Dorset; the present bailiff is Mr. John Collins. The member for the borough are, Nathaniel Dance, and William Nisbett, Esqrs. The right of voting formerly was allowed to be, by a resolution in the house of commons, in the inhabitants as well as burgage holders; but, by a subsequent one, it is confined to the latter description of persons only. The burgage-holds here are in number thirty-six; twenty nine of which are the property of the duke of Dorset; and the remaining seven belong to persons residing in the place. This minority is so inconsiderable, that no opposition can be made to the duke’s interest. If indeed the last resolution of the house of commons were recinded, and the right of election left where it was, previous to that determination, an attempt to shake off the aristocratic yoke might then be as successful as it would be commendable; but it would be, in the present state of things, both ridiculous and impolitic to attempt it. The first return of this borough is anno : Edward II.

East Grinstead is a market-town, pleasantly situated on a hill, near the borders of Surrey, thirty miles from London, commanding a beautiful prospect all around. The parish is one of the largest in the county; it had a large handsome church, the spire of which was destroyed by lightening in the year 1685: a very beautiful lofty tower was then built, but, owing to the badness of the materials and the manner of building it, on November 12, 1785, having stood only one hundred years, it fell on the body of the church, and damaged it in such a manner that the whole was obliged to be taken down, and another is now re-building, which, when completed, will be one of the most elegant and beautiful churches in the county.

The Lent assizes for Sussex are always held here; the county goal is at Horsham (about eighteen miles distant), from whence prisoners are brought for trial.

Here is a weekly corn market on Thursdays, and three annual fairs, namely, April 21, July 13, and December 11; the first and last of which are as large fairs for all kinds of calle, &c. as any in the county. There are also two fairs at Forest Row, in this parish, about three miles from the town, viz. June 25, and November 8; the latter is a large one for cattle, pedlar’s ware, &c. &c.

At the east end of the town is a large handsome stone building, erected in the form of a square, called Sackville College, founded by James Sackville, earl of Dorset, in the reign of James I. about the year 1616: he endowed it with 330l. a-year. Here 24 aged persons of both sexes are accommodated each with a comfortable room, and an allowance of 8l. per annum to each person. This college is governed by a warden and two gentleman-assistants (Edward Bodle Esq. and John Collins, Gent.); the present warden in Mr. George Knight. The duck of Dorset has a suite of rooms in the college, but, as they are seldom occupied by his grace, the judges of the circuit are accommodated with them, during the assizes. There is in this college a very neat chapel for the use of the pensioners, where the warden reads prayers every morning, and which has been used for divine service since the fall of the parish church.

Here is a charity school for twelve boys, founded by Robert and Edward Payne, Esqrs, in the year 1708, and endowed with a farm called Surries, now let at 24l. per annum, but improvable. Thomas Palmer, who is also post master, is master of this school.

The town is a great thoroughfare, being the direct post-road from London to East Bourn, Lewes, and Brighthelmstone.

The two principal inns are, the Dorset Arms, kept by William Barwick, and the Crown, by William Payn.

This is a post-town, the letters are received at the post office from London every morning early (Monday excepted), and are ready for delivery at eight o’clock. The London mail is dispatched from hence every evening, except Saturday. The office is open for the reception of letter till nine o’clock in the evening in summer, and eight in the winter. A bye-post goes from this town to Cuckfield, Lindfield, West Hoathly, Horsted Keynes, Ardingly, and Crawley, every Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday, mornings early, and returns with letters the same days. Also another bye-post to Forest Row, Hartfield, and Withyham, every Tuesday morning. The postage of a single letter to this town from London is four pence. A mail coach conveyed the mail through this town to Lewes and Brighton in the summer of 1791, which is now discontinued.

There are several common-carriers pass through this town to and from London; the principal of whom are Jarratt and Kenward, who put up at the Catherine Wheel inn, in the Borough, from whence they set out every Tuesday and Saturday about noon; the former arrives here Wednesday evenings, and the latter Monday mornings. Carriage of heavy goods, 1s 6d. per cwt.

This town (as before observed) is thirty miles from London, and its distance from the adjacent towns and villages is as follows: from Godstone ten, Croydon twenty, Lingfield four, Edenbridge seven, Westerham twelve, Cowden four, Hartfield eight, Withyham ten, Tunbridge Wells fifteen, Maresfield eleven, Uckfield thirteen, Lewes twenty-one, Brighton twenty-nine, West Hoathly four, Horsted Keynes six, Lindfield ten, Cuckfield fifteen, Crawley ten, and from Horsham eighteen miles distant.

The following are the principal inhabitants:.

Gentry, &c.

Gibbs Cranford Esq. M.P.

Mrs - Cranston.

Edward Cranston Esq.

Mr Nicholas Firminger.

John Trayton Fuller Esq., Worthy active magistrate(!) of Kidbrook.

Mrs - Gatland.

Mrs - Hamlin.

Mr Benjamin Huggett.

Mr Evan Jones.

Mr George Knight.

Mrs - Lewes.

William Lobb Esq.

Isaac Lowdell Esq.

Mr Robert Morphett.

Mr William Payne.

Mrs - Snelling.

John Sperling Esq.

Mr Joseph Tubb.

Mr Thomas Walter.

Mr Walter West.


Rev. Stileman Bostock, Vicar.

Rev. William Mckenstry, Clergyman.

Rev. Thomas Walker, Clergyman.


Charles Carman, Apothecary.

Thomas Fulcher, Surgeon and man-midwife.

John Roberts, Surgeon.


George Bankin, Attorney.

John Collins, Attorney.

Thomas Wakeham, Attorney.

Traders, &c.

Thomas Adams, Farmer.

Steph. Akehurst, Victualler of 3 Crowns.

Richard Allcock, Butcher.

William Allwork, Cooper.

John Austen, Carpenter.

Richard Austen, Grazier and butcher.

Robert Awcock, Husbandman.

Mrs - Ayshford, Milliner, &c.

Robert Ayshford, Excise-officer.

John Baily, Farmer.

Miss - Baldock, Ladies boarding-school.

Thomas Ballad, Farmer.

Edward Bannister, Farmer.

Wm. Barwick, Innkeeper of Dorset Arms.

John Batchelor, Victualler of Witch Cross.

Benjamin Beard, Hatter.

Thomas Best, Farmer.

James Betchley, Farmer.

Henry Bish, Victualler of Ship.

Thomas Blackstone, Farmer.

James Bond, Farmer.

John H Boorman, Grocer, draper, &c.

John Bowrah, Farmer.

Moses Bowrah, Farmer.

Thomas Bridgeland, Butcher.

Michael Bromley, Farmer.

Thomas Bromley, Farmer.

Cuss Brooker, Farmer.

William Brooker, Farmer.

John Brown, Farmer.

John Budgen, Farmer.

John Burfield, Farmer.

Thomas Burr, Blacksmith.

Henrietta Camfield, Mantua-maker.

John Chantler, Miller.

Thomas Chapman, Farmer.

Henry Chatfield, Farmer.

William Comber, Farmer.

John Cox, Husbandman.

Joseph Davey, Gardener.

Thomas Denton, Husbandman.

Thomas Dodsell, Clocksmith.

Thomas Doubel, Currier.

Wm. Dumsday, Staymaker and taylor.

William Durrant, Miller.

Richard Edwards, Salesman.

Richard Edwards, Farmer.

G Ellis, Poulterers and higler.

W Ellis, Poulterers and higler.

James Evemy, Sackmaker.

Mrs - Everest, Widow.

Richard Evershed, Tallow-chandler.

John Fairhall, Farmer.

Robert Field, Bricklayer.

Edw. Finch, Blacksmith & farrier.

Nicholas Firminger, Sawyer.

Thomas Foster, Farmer.

Thomas Foster Jun., Farmer.

Thomas Fowle, Silversmith and watchmaker.

William Fry, Farmer.

Thomas Fuller, Wheelwright.

William Gardner, Sadler and harness-maker.

William Garland, Baker.

John Gasson, Miller.

William Gilbert, Farmer.

John Goldsmith, Patten-wood-maker and town-crier.

Gideon Goodjar, Taylor & habit-maker.

Stephen Gourd, Farmer.

William Green, Farmer.

Elizabeth Hall.

Russell Hall.

William Harman, Common-brewer and victualler of Green Dragon.

George Hart, Farmer.

John Haycock, Supervisor of excise.

Eliz. Hayward, Sadler and collar-maker.

Thomas Hazelgrove, Taylor.

Robert Head.

William Head, Parish-clerk and innkeeper of Swan.

Robert Heath, Farmer.

Edward Heaver, Miller.

John Hider, Farmer.

William Hills, Farmer.

John Hoadly.

Martin Hoath, Victualler of Rose.

Martin Hoath, Farmer.

Robert Holden.

Mrs - Holman, Widow, farmer.

Mrs - Holman, Schoolmistress.

Joseph Holmes, Hawker and pedlar.

Richard Holmes, Cordwainer.

Abraham Hounsome, Farmer.

John Huggett.

Mrs - Humphrey, Widow, farmer.

John Humphrey, Farmer.

John Isard, Fellmonger.

William Isard, Glover, fellmonger, and wool-dealer.

Mrs - Isted, Widow, farmer.

Henry Isted, Farmer.

James Isted, Farmer.

Edward Jenner, Cooper.

John Jenner, Glazier and painter.

Richard Jenner, Miller.

Edward Jordan, Carpenter and ironmonger.

Henry Jordan Sen., Carpenter.

Henry Jordan Jun., Carpenter and ironmonger.

John Jordan, Carpenter.

John Kember, Farmer.

Edward Kilner, Farmer.

Jonas Knight, Blacksmith & farrier.

Edward Lambert, Hair-dresser.

Thomas Lampton, Farmer.

George Langridge, Farmer.

John Langridge, Farmer.

William Langridge, Victualler of Swan.

James Lucas, Farmer.

John Lucas, Farmer.

William Lucas, Farmer.

James Lynn, Bricklayer and stone-mason.

John Lynn, Bricklayer and stone-mason.

Benjamin Martin, Farmer.

Elizabeth Martin, Shopkeeper.

George Martin, Blacksmith.

Richard Martin, Farmer.

Thomas Martin, Farmer.

William Martin, Farmer.

Francis Meades, Baker.

Christopher Middleton, Cabinet-maker.

Richard Mitchell, Husbandman.

Thomas Moon, Cordwainer.

Mrs - Morphew, Weaver and flax-dresser, widow.

Robert Morphew, Schoolmaster.

George Nichols, Farmer.

Sarah Nichols, Farmer.

John Page, Farmer.

Thomas Palmer, Bookseller, stationer, printer, post-master, master of the free-school, and agent to the phoenix fire office.

John Parker, Basket-maker.

John Payne, Cordwainer & sexton.

John Payne, Cordwainer.

Robert Payne, Cordwainer.

William Payne, Cordwainer.

William Payne, Inn and excise-office keeper of Crown.

Thomas Pinion, Husbandman.

William Pobjee, Currier and leather-cutter.

Thomas Prevet, Farmer.

Thomas Pritchett, Cordwainer.

J Ready, Butcher and salesman.

S Ready, Butcher and salesman.

John Reaves, Victualler.

Susannah Reeves, Fruiterer.

John Rice.

Francis Riddle, Farmer.

James Sanders, Farmer.

James Sanderson, Surveyor and builder.

Elizabeth Sawyer, Glazier, plumber, and painter.

George Sawyer, Grocer, mercer, &c.

William Searles, Taylor and salesman.

Isaac Shepperd, Taylor.

John Simmons, Wheeler.

Thomas Simmons, Bricklayer.

Thomas Simmons, Gardener.

Michael Sisslet, Farmer.

C Smith, Builder and auctioneer.

Elizabeth Smith, Schoolmistress.

John Smith, Farmer.

Samuel Smith, Farmer.

T Smith, Builder and auctioneer.

William Smith, Carpenter.

Samuel Stephens, Brazier & tinman.

Mrs - Stone, Widow, farmer.

Mar. Stone, Mantua-maker and milliner.

William Streeter, Farmer.

John Sturt, Farmer.

Richard Sturt, Farmer.

Samuel Sutton, Sheriff's-officer.

Stephen Swaysland, School-master.

Joseph Taylor, Weaver and flatman.

Isaac Terry, Farmer.

Joseph Terry, Timber-merchant.

Richard Thomas, Victualler of George.

Robert Tooth, Hatmaker.

William Tooth, Hatmaker.

William Trice, Turner.

Edward Turley, Farmer.

John Turley, Farmer.

Robert Turley, Maltster and victualler of Bull.

James Turner, Farmer.

John Turner, Victualler of Chequers.

Rob. Turner, Grocer, draper, &c.

Thomas Urage, Millwright.

William Walder, Blacksmith.

John Wallis, Stone-mason.

Martin Walls, Farmer.

John Weaire, Farmer.

Henry Weller, Peruke-maker and hair-dresser.

Samuel Weller, Farmer.

James Wells, Wheeler.

Thomas West, Farmer.

Sarah White, Farmer.

Edward Wickenden, Husbandman.

Abraham Wickersham, Farmer.

John Wickersham, Ironmonger.

Thomas Wood, Glover.

James Woodman, Farmer.

Other People Mentioned

Rev. Dr. - Bethune of Rowfant.

Edward Bodle Esq., Gentleman assistant at sackville college.

Robert Bostock Esq. of Apsly's Town.

Rob Burrows Esq. of Harborough Castle.

William Clifford Esq. of Hoathly Hill.

John Collins, Bailiff.

John Collins Gent., Gentleman assistant at sackville college.

Edward Cranston Esq. of East Court.

Gibbs Crauford Esq., Justice of the peace, m.p. for queenborough, clerk of the ordnance of Saint Hill.

Nathaniel Dance Esq., M.p.

Duke of - Dorset of Stoneland.

James Evelyn Esq. of Felbridge.

Captain - Farquarson of Wilderwich.

- Jarratt, Carrier.

- Kenward, Carrier.

Mr. George Knight, Warden of sackville college.

William Lobb Esq. of Frame Post.

John Manship Esq. of Gravetye.

Fasham Nairn Esq. of Barnet's Place.

William Nisbett Esq.

Thomas Orde Esq. of Forrest House.

Thomas Palmer, Master of charity school & post-master.

Edward Payne Esq., Founder of charity school.

Robert Payne Esq., Founder of charity school.

Admiral - Peyton of Wakehurst Place.

John Sperling Esq. of Hammerwood Lodge.

Rev. Johnson Towers of The Grange.

Mrs - Whatley of Holty.

Richard Wyatt Esq., Late high-sheriff of sussex of Freeman's.

Thomas Wyatt Esq. of Kenes Grove.

The following are the seats of the nobility and gentry in the vicinity of East Grinstead, viz. Stoneland, the seat of his grace the duke of Dorset, eight miles distant. – Saint Hill, the beautiful new-built mansion of Gibbs Crauford, Esq. justice of the Peace, member of parliament for Queenborough, and clerk of the ordnance, two miles distant. – Kidbrook, a seat of the earl of Abergavenny, but now the residence of John Trayton Fuller, Esq. a worthy active magistrate, three miles distant. – East Court, the seat of Edward Cranston, Esq. – Felbridge, the seat of James Evelyn Esq. two miles. – Wilderwick, the seat of captain Farquarson, two miles. – Rowfant, the seat of the Rev. Dr. Bethune, five miles. – The Grange, the seat of the Rev. Johnson Towers, four miles. Holty, the seat of Mrs Whatley, four miles. - Forest House, the seat of Thomas Orde, Esq. five miles. – Gravetye, the seat of John Manship, Esq. three miles. – Hoathly Hill, the seat of William Clifford, Esq. four miles. Apsly’s Town, the seat of Robert Bostock, Esq. three miles. – Harborough Castle, the seat of Robert Burrows, Esq. five miles. – Barnet’s Place, the seat of Fasham Nairn, Esq. four miles. – Hammerwood Lodge, the seat of John Sperling, Esq. threee miles. – Wakehurst Place, the seat of Admiral Peyton, six miles. – Frame Post, the residence of William Lobb, Esq. – Kenes Grove, the seat of Thomas Wyatt, Esq. six miles. – Freeman’s, the seat of Richard Wyatt, Esq. late high-sheriff of Sussex, seven miles distant.

Transcription details

The text for this section was transcribed by: Mark Collins.

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