Lewes History Group: Bulletin 4, (6 November 2010)

1. Talk on Monday 8 November: Colin Brent
2. Death of a Stage-Coachman
3. British School Accident
4. Dinosaur Doctor

1. Meeting on Monday 8 November

Our next meeting will be at 7.30 p.m. on Monday 8 November at the King’s Church building, Brooks Road. Colin Brent, doyen of living Lewes historians and author of several books about the town, will be speaking on the topic ‘Gems of Lewes Architecture & Design, 900-1900’. As usual, all welcome.

2. Death of a Stage-Coachman

From the Sussex Express published on Saturday 27 May 1871. ‘The stage-coach has long since disappeared from the road between Lewes and Brighton, and now perhaps the very last of the drivers has gone to his long home. James Button, who will be remembered by old travellers as one of the smartest whips on the road, died at Lewes union [workhouse] a few days since.’

3. British School Accident

School Hill, Lewes

The Infirmary stood at the bottom of School Hill

From the same 1871 edition of the Sussex Express. ‘A lad named Albert Goldsmith met with an accident at the British School on Wednesday morning last. He was playing “leap-frog” with other scholars in the yard and fell, breaking the large bone of one of his legs. The schoolmaster, Mr James Richmond, at once sent for a cab, and the lad was quickly conveyed to the Infirmary, where the bone was set by J. Macrae, Esq, under whose care he is progressing favourably. Almost every week instances are given of the great value of the Infirmary to the town. The medical gentlemen resident in Lewes kindly give their services gratuitously, each taking charge of the institution in turn, for a month. The infirmary certainly deserves the support of the benevolent.’

4. Dinosaur Doctor

Edmund Critchley, who regularly attends our meetings and is himself a doctor, has recently published ‘Dinosaur Doctor, The Life and Work of Gideon Mantell’. Gideon Mantell (1790-1852) is best known for his discovery of the Iguanodon and his work as a geologist and paleontologist, but he was also a prominent local doctor, practicing from his High Street house below the Castle. He was the son of a town cordwainer, or shoemaker. He later moved from Lewes to Brighton and on to London. Edmund’s book is published by Amberley Publishing at £18.99, and is available in local bookshops, such as that at Barbican House.

John Kay

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