School days and a tombstone

Pictured, a coach and horses coming up School Hill in later times.
Pictured, a coach and horses coming up School Hill in later times.

A RATHER curious book, first published in 1906, is Sussex In Bygone Days by Nathaniel Blaker.

This is what the author had to say about his early education in Lewes:

“I was sent to Miss Lee’s School, 170 High Street, at Christmas, 1843, and remained there one year. Small children in those days generally slept two to a bed ánd my bedfellow was William, afterwards Sir William Grantham.

“Miss Lee had two brothers, both very clever men and I believe both were connected with the Sussex Express, the chief agricultural paper of East Sussex, and wrote at times very witty articles.

“At about that time there was living in Lewes an old horse dealer named Drowley, very illiterate and eccentric, of whom numerous anecdotes were told.

“This old man once asked Mr Lee to write something pretty to put on his tombstone. Mr Lee wrote:

Here lies the man that lived by lying,

Some people thought ’twould leave him dying,

But to the nation’s great surprise

Even in his grave he lies.

“School life in those days was very different to what it is at the present time, but we were kindly treated and well fed, and I think were far healthier and tougher than children of the present day.”

Pictured, a coach and horses coming up School Hill in later times.