Page:Highways and Byways in Sussex.djvu/35
THE HOUSE OF MONTAGU
The third Viscount Montagu was not remarkable, but his account books are quaint reading. From July, 1657, to July, 1658, his steward spent £1,945 10s. solely in little personal matters for his master. Among the disbursements were, on September 11th, fourteen pence "for washing Will Stapler"; on November 22nd, 1s. 4d. to the Lewes carrier "for bringing a box of puddings for my mistress and my master"; on January 17th, £4 to "Mr. Fiske the dancing-master for teaching my master to dance, being two months"; and on April 21st, seven shillings "for a Tooth for my Lord."
The fifth Viscount was a man of violent temper. On reaching Mass one day and finding it half done, he drew his pistol and shot the chaplain. The outcry all over the country was loud and vengeful, and my lord lay concealed for fifteen years in a hiding-hole contrived in the masonry of Cowdray for the shelter of persecuted priests. The peer emerged only at night, when he roamed the close walks, repentant and sad. Lady Montagu would then steal out to him, dressing all in white to such good purpose that the desired rumours of a ghost soon flew about the neighbourhood.The curse of Cowdray, which, if genuinely pronounced, has certainly been wonderfully fulfilled, dates from the gift of Battle Abbey by Henry VIII. to Sir Anthony Browne, the father of Queen Elizabeth's host and friend. Sir Anthony