St Leonards in the newspapers, 1832-33

25 April 1832, Brighton Guardian

The ball at the Assembly Rooms on Tuesday, under the auspices of the Stewards, Captain Jelf Sharp and A. Burton, Esq., was numerously attended.The elegant science of archery, for which the delightful environs of this spot are so well adapted, appears to be the present prevailing amusement amongst our younger fashionables. At the late meeting, some of the fair Toxopholites, inspired doubtless by Cupid, exhibited considerable skill in the use of the bow. One of the miners was unfortunately very seriously wounded last week while blasting a rock. A liberal subscription by the frequenters of Southall’s Royal Library has alleviated his sufferings as far as pecuniary relief can do so, and we are glad to learn that the poor fellow is likely to do well.

3 May 1832, Brighton Gazette


The arrivals at this fashionable watering place have been numerous and flattering in the highest degree since our last communication. The most distinguished of our visitors have been sojourning at Hodgson’s Hotel, which has repeatedly overflowed during the Easter holidays. To name the illustrious guests will shew how great are the obligations, not only of the proprietor of the hotel, but of all interested in the prosperity of this rapidly improving town. The Earl Stanhope, Lord Mahon, the Earl and Countess Gower, Lord Granville Somerset and suite, Lord and Lady Dunally, Admiral and Lady Douglas, Mr Evans, — one of the 355 who sent up the Reform Bill to the Lords, and to whom it will shortly be returned but slightly modified – Dr and Mrs Warburton and family, Mr Irving, — one of the representatives of the people in the British Parliament – Mr W. Walles and family, Mr and Mrs C. Parker, Mr Bridges, Sir Richard Phillips, Mr and Mrs Harley, Mrs Hunter, Mr G.R. Heneage, Mr Martin, etc.

The Conqueror Hotel has also had its share of most respectable guests. Major Fanwick continues to honor that most excellent of cooks, Mollard, by his presence.

Captain Davis and the Lord Advocate of Scotland have been over from the Wells to survey our “Lions,” and the former gentleman has taken that cottage which is most romantically situated, and is known by the title of the Thatched House.

Col. Ferguson and family and a host of gentlemen have enlivened the Harold Hotel. Mr W. Brown and family have taken No. 29, Marina; and Mrs Corbet and daughters, No. 27, Marina.

A most distressing accident occurred here during the last week, occasioned partly by carelessness, and which had nearly proved fatal to a man employed in exploding the rocks required for the sea wall, now building to the West of the Baths. A liberal subscription has commenced, to which Sir John and Lady Lubbock, Mrs Otway Cave, the Author of the Pleasures of Hope, and many of our resident gentry have contributed.

Our new harbour will be delayed, we fear, through the necessity we are under of applying to Parliament for a Royal Act. About 50 shares are already subscribed for; and we are not surprised at this, when we find that responsible persons are ready to contract for the execution of the work for six thousand pounds. The walls will be built with the rocks which have rendered our shores almost unapproachable, and they will form a delightful promenade extending nearly four hundred feet out to sea, in a half circle, leaving an opening of one hundred feet for the entrance of vessels. We are assured the holders of £50 shares will realise 6 per cent, and if the supporters of the plan had proffered 10 per cent they would not have disappointed their friends. The communication it will open with that great country, France, (with which we ever hope to be united) will secure the greatest benefits to both our Town and Hastings, as well as to the County.

The Easter Ball, under the direction of Capt. Sharp and Mr Alfred Burton, was well attended. We are surprised that no aquatic amusements or Easter races can be got up here, as they are at Lewes and other towns in our County.

The houses in the Under Cliff are rapidly finishing. Mr E. Waghorne has removed from the old Town; his house No. 4, on the Marina, which is as elegant and commodious as any in St Leonards, has proved a mine of gold to him, the Misses Hurst having been its occupants now nearly nine months.

20 May 1832, John Bull

We have a strong feeling in favour of the new watering place called St Leonard’s, but we regret to see a low and revolutionary tone adopted in all the puffs which appear from the Inn-keepers and Lodging-house keepers of the place, in the newspapers, which can do it no good, and must do it considerable harm. One of the Princesses of the Blood Royal, honoured it with her presence last year – this cannot happen again if this tone is persisted in. We copy a paragraph from the Brighton Gazette of Thursday, dated from this place… Mr J. STEDMAN and family, from Boulogne, have taken a house for six or twelve months in the Undercliff; Mrs G. TRITTON, Mr ABERNETHY, &c., 4, West Ascent; Mrs SMITH, from Winchmore-hill, has selected 42, Marina, as a temporary residence; Mrs HARTLEY, 39, Marina; Mrs CRINNELLY, 17, Marina; Miss VISE is on a visit to the Miss HURSTS, 41, Marina; Sir FRANCIS STEER has returned to No. 35, Marina; Capt and Mrs DAVIS are at No. 4, East Ascent, till a house he has purchased in the town is furnished.

20 June 1832, Brighton Guardian

On Saturday, at St Leonards, an inquest was held on the body of a man named Smith, who met with an accident on Thursday while digging sand. Part of the bank fell on him and broke his leg and greatly injured his back; he lingered till Friday, when death put an end to his sufferings. Verdict, accidental death [He died on the 15th. This is probably William Smith, who was buried 17 June 1832, Hollington church, aged 30, of St Mary Magdalen parish].

11 July 1832, Brighton Guardian

The Commissioners under the new local Act of Parliament held their first meeting at the Conqueror hotel, on Monday the 2d inst to carry into effect measures for the better watching, paving, and lighting the town. We trust that wine was not as scarce at the banquet which solaced the worthy commissioners after the labours of the sitting, as water appears to be in the neighbourhood, if we judge from the clouds of dust at this moment superseding the necessity of silver sand on our writing paper.

Lady Byron and daughter are making a protracted visit to this favoured spot. Her Ladyship appears much to enjoy her aquatic trips and to have derived no inconsiderable benefit from them.

20 September 1832, Brighton Gazette

ST LEONARD’S. Our town is now so full that the proprietors of houses are almost at a loss to know what to do with a new arrival. What will be done with our numerous guests next week we cannot conjecture, unless the project of fitting up our bathing machines as sleeping rooms should be adopted. Other houses are rapidly furnishing.

We have been charged by some persons, jealous of our increasing fame, with endeavouring to puff off our town; but we had the gratification to hear from (no flatterer’s lip) a constant reader of the Gazette, who has travelled, not only over England, but the Continent of Europe, that his visit to St Leonard’s was the only one where his expectations were not in some way disappointed; here they were surpassed; he found nothing to offend the eye or olfactory nerve.

We are looking forward now with pleasure for the speedy approach of a day, which will be worthy of remembrance through the long course of years this town is destined to remain: — the consecration of the church, which is to take place next month, will be a most gratifying event, not only to the founder of St Leonard’s and architect of the structure, but to all its visitors and inhabitants.

The hours for promenading have been altered, and the band now play from 4 until 6 o’clock every afternoon, alternately, in front of each hotel and villa.

7 November 1832, Brighton Guardian

The residence of Sir Francis Sykes at St Leonard’s, Hastings, has been robbed of plate, jewels and valuables to the amount of nearly 1000l. The work of plunder has been going on for some time, and suspicion has fallen on some of the domestics [The Brighton Guardian, 22 February 1832, reports that “Sir F. and Lady Sykes have re-engaged their house, 35 Marina”. This was Sir Francis William Sykes, 3rd Baronet of Basildon]

22 November 1832, Brighton Gazette

Sir Alexander and Lady Wood having determined to winter with us, have vacated the apartments they occupied at 31, and taken 28, Marina. Mr and Mrs Kipling have arrived and taken 31. Mr and Mrs Ware were received at the St Leonard’s Hotel. Mr and Mrs Stokes, from Tunbridge Wells, at the Conqueror. Lady Selsey has written for apartments to be prepared for her reception at the latter house. Capt. Rennie has removed to 3, West Ascent. Col. Waldegrave is visiting Lady Radstock, at 29, Marina. Mr Paterson, of Blackheath, has arrived at Gloucester Lodge, which he has taken for a six months’ residency. Mr and Mrs Wigan and family, that elegantly furnished house, 32, Marina.

His Royal Highness the Duke of Cumberland did us the honor of a visit on Monday, and expressed his astonishment at finding a town on such a scale of magnificence on this coast. On reaching the Harold Hotel, his Royal Highness alighted from his horse, and inspected the excellent apartments and arrangements made by its landlord, Mr Edlin, for the reception of winter or summer guests, and condescended to wish the house and the town the utmost support deemed desirable. The worthy host is not a little proud that his house should have been the first entered by a Prince of the Blood Royal, and the next brother of our beloved Sovereign.

…Quarry Castle will soon be completed, and if the line of Marina yet unlet could be so arranged as to be covered with detached villas, to be named, as they are on the cliffs at Brighton, after the noblemen who may purchase or inhabit them, — St Leonards would be more like Brighton.

A Joint Stock Company is about to be formed for furnishing the larger houses recently built adjoining the West Villa, if arrangements can be made for their occupation, on liberal terms with the builder [West Villa is 1 and 2 West Ascent].

29 November 1832, Brighton Gazette

Lord and Lady Hartland have honored us by taking 51, Marina, for the winter. Our other noble residents last reported remain.

A considerable improvement is in contemplation at the entrance of our town from Hastings, by curtailing the garden of the Conqueror Hotel, and erection of an Obelisk or Monumental Pillar. A statue of His Most Gracious Majesty, looking towards Hastings and extending the arm of protecting power over our rising and beautiful town, would be desirable for its summit.

25 January 1833, London Gazette

Court for Relief of Insolvent Debtors. Petition to be heard, Lincoln’s Inn, London, 18 February 1833. Henry Griffiths, late of No. 54, Marina St Leonards, near Hastings, Sussex, Hair-Dresser and Perfumer, lately residing at No. 9, Vine-Street, Piccadilly, out of business.

4 April 1833, Brighton Gazette

Encouraged by the arrival of several distinguished families, and by the constant residence of many other most respectable families, the Commissioners for our Improvement are directing an extension of the parade and sea wall 130 yards beyond the new church, making a length of 750 yards.

…Mr Graham will shortly remove into his new house on the Maize Hill. Mr Waters has taken one of those commodious houses forming one of four, built in the style of an English old farm-house, on the Maize Hill – the situation is unrivalled for views of sea and land. Mr Morley and family, from France, have taken one of the villas on the West Cliff. The house on the same hill, lately called the Archer, is transforming into a cottage ornee…

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