Blaker Family of Sussex - Reminiscences


Old Rectors.

THE Rev. A. W. Schomberg was Rector when my father first resided at Edburton. He died not long after, but I recollect that he used to put his surplice on in the Rectory, which was close by, and that, as we were leaving the Church, I used to run up the communion steps and take his hand, and go with him to the Rectory to see his bullfinch and eat cakes. The Rev. J. C. F. Tufnell succeeded him:

"A man he was to all the country dear."

In a very short time he had gained the con-fidence of everyone, and every local matter was referred to him. One of his first acts was to procure the extension of the penny post to the parish. I perfectly recollect the first time a postman appeared in the parish, in the shape of a pale youth, dressed in a white smock frock, who came from Beeding (a stranger on those roads was so rare as to attract attention in those days). Previous to this, letters for anyone in the parish were left at a neigh-bouring turnpike gate, and were forwarded by any chance conveyance or pedestrian who would take charge of them, sometimes arriving a week or more after date, and letters from the parish were sent in the same uncertain manner. Even after the postman's daily visit was instituted, all letters had to be ready for him to take back, so that no answer could be sent to a letter on the same day it was received. Postage stamps had not been invented, so that a penny had to be ready for the postman for each letter. The National School was started about this time and, being new, excited a good deal of suspicion and prejudice.

Mr. Tufnell soon got rid of all prejudice against this school by a little judicious management. Among other small treats for the children, he was very fond of getting a Dutch cheese and as many children as he could muster, and walking to the top of the hill opposite the school, rolling the cheese down and sending the children scrambling after it.

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