Notes and Recollections of Alterations and Changes
in Hartfield since my Childhood
Born at the Church Gate Cottage
June 23rd 1817
At the time of my Birth the Reverend Samuel Slade D.D. was the Rector in my Grandfather's (the then Parish Clerk's) Memorandum of Baptisms and Burials. His Name first appears in the Headings of 1813 before his Presentation to the Living at Hartfield he was Tutor to the Young Duke of Dorset (Killed in Ireland by a Fall from his Horse while Hunting). He was always thought much of by the Duchess of Dorset as she presented Him with Two Cows and a Grey Mare (as a Saddle Horse) which He often told me was Foal'd in Knole Park. He was also Presented with a Gold Watch with a Gold Chain, Seal and Key with S.S. engraved on the back of the Watch and on the Seal with which he used to Stamp his Letters. He told me several Times it was Purchas'd in Ireland at a cost of 60 Guineas but whether by the Duke or his mother the Duchess I forget if He ever told me. The Watch after his Death was presented to the De.la.warr Family.
I have also seen a piece of Furniture in Buckhurst House which used to stand in the Study at the Rectory it was a sort of Desk. It contained three Drawers the centre one being a Secret one which open'd with a Spring from the Right Hand Drawer until I spoilt it by playing with it when a Child.
He took so much Interest in me that He would let me do almost anything. I used always Dine with Him and His Sister Miss Grace every Sunday Evening. After Dinner He used to hide a Shilling and Cackle like a Hen when she gets off her Nest which was a Signal for me to Hunt for it. When I got away from it He would almost cease when I got nearer to it He would increase the Cackle untill I found it; once or twice I took off his low Shoes and found it there. He used frequently to bring me little Jolly Tarts after I was in Bed, and sit and talk to me particularly a Night or Two before his leaving for His Chichester Half Year.
If there happened to be a peep or any other kind of Show stopping in the Village for one Evening on their way from one Fair to another He would come and find me and give me a Shilling to take as many of my playmates to see it as the Shilling would admit.