DOWN THE YEARS

JANUARY 1795

NOBLESSE OBLIGE

On Monday the 19th the Rt. Hon. Lord le Despencer relieved 400 poor persons in the vicinity of his residence at Mereworth Castle by a charitable donation of two oxen with flour and fuel for each and on Friday last his charity was extended to the poor of Tudeley, Capel and places adjacent whom were proportioned out one bullock with equal quantity of flour and fuel.

The act of benevolence will be continued weekly at the above places as long as the severity of the conditions may continue and we learn that the gentlemen and farmers in those parishes much to their credit have entered into a subscription for their further relief in aid of which his lordship has subscribed liberally.

Equally moved by the same human adversity, the farmers in the neighbourhood have lent out their waggons to convey the fuel given by his lordship to the door of each poor person.

With great pleasure we also find a spirit of emulation prevails among all ranks in this uncommonly harsh season to relieve the suffering of their unfortunate and distressed fellow creatures.

JUNE 1871

TEENAGER JAILED

15-year-old Mary Ann Godden was declared guilty of stealing at the shop in Five Oak Green of Mary Ann Playfoot who found her till short by four florins and a shilling (nine shillings altogether, around £40 today).

Mary Ann told the local policeman she had gone in to settle a bill and the money in her purse was the change but the bench, while describing it as a sad case, found her guilty and jailed her for 14 days.

JULY 1874

UNFIT FOR PUBLIC WORSHIP

Tudeley Parish Church is in a very dilapidated condition and the internal arrangements render it wholly unfit for the due celebration of the public worship of God.

It has been resolved therefore that efforts shall be made by voluntary contributions for its immediate restoration. It is estimated that to carry out the work in a satisfactory manner at least £600 (about £30,000 today) will be required.

The parish being almost entirely agricultural, it is hoped that the desire to promote the glory of God may animate many not particularly connected with Tudeley to subscribe to good work.

NOVEMBER 1877

A SANITARY TALE

The Rural Sanitary Authority of the Tonbridge Union was concerned about the conditions at Five Oak Green which were described as "wretched" and had caused several cases of "low fever." The cause was the foul water supply in the village.

The Rev. Mr.W.E. Hayman pointed out that the source of the water supply was pure but as it neared the village five cottages poured the whole of their drainage into it and further, in the summer young Five Oak Greeners delighted to perform their ablutions.