I married my wife Caroline Dale in Falmer Church on the 31st December 1864. We had our wedding breakfast in Falmer Coach House, and early in the afternoon on a snowy wintry day started from Old Falmer Station for our future home.
Caroline’s father was a miller at Henfield, Jesse Dale. Her mothers name was Caroline Payne ….
Caroline Dale was born at Henfield Sep 25th 1841. Her father died when a young man just starting in life with an excellent prospect. Caroline was eleven years old when she lost a doting and loving parent. He died of brain fever contracted whilst haying. From comfortable circumstances they were plunged into adversity, as her father a miler had only just started in business. My wife was taken from private school and went to the national school where her beautiful long hair was ordered to be cut short! What infamy – and compelled her to wear a bonnet with only one plain ribbon on it. My wife had and has always had a high spirit, sensitive to a remarkable degree and she only a small little girl resented this abominable cruelty. Thank God this old tyranny of the poor is gone. Never let it come again. It died hard. Once a rector at Hellingly asked me in the Sunday School to tell a farmers daughter to take of a smart pink broad ribbon sash.! I refused, telling him I loved to see little girls smartly dressed.
My wife’s mother was left with a small family. When their fathers affairs were cleared up but little remained and in the times of the early fifties they received help from the parish. Many a cold bitter day Caroline has waited outside the relieving officers place of distribution of flour, sick of heart wrecked with cold and subjected to the brutal tyranny of Bumble who delighted to let them receivers of relief know their impertinence.
Her mother probably sinking under the hard struggle of the loss of her husband necessarily married again a widower with another family! Thus the condition of the my wife was rendered still harder. She was sent to service at New Hall. Her master Mr R R Verrall, who regularly afterwards was my school manager, was extremely good to the tall frail delicate girl who had to nurse his first child Ellen.
This farmers house was kept by the wife of a reduced farmer , and she inflicted a hard time for the young house girl, bitter were her experiences of these early days.