Although Thomas Turner served East Hoathly well as a shopkeeper , providing many goods which the parish distributed to the poor, he occasionally behaved in an “unseemly manner” and here is some evidence to support this view!
On Christmas Day 1758 Thomas Turner wrote ‘Oh may we increase in faith and maintain and keep the good intentions we have this day taken up.’ His good intentions did not come up to expectations! As years went on, feasting at East Hoathly increased during the Christmas period. Thomas , the rector, Mr Porter and neighbours took part in behaviour which could only be called debauchery! Apparently, for weeks after Christmas Day, they met at each other’s homes to play ‘brag’, eat and drink to excess, dance and shout and play pranks which included carrying the ladies ‘pick a back’ and dragging each other out of bed, which bordered closely on ‘indecency’. Shame on you Mr. Turner!
Bibliography : Fleet, Charles. Glimpses of Our Ancestors in Sussex ; Charleston, SC: BiblioLife, reprinted 2009.