Vicar of Mayfield in 1361 and following years was John Wickliffe, who has too often been confused with his great contemporary and namesake, the reformer. And the village claims as a son Thomas May (1595-1650), playwright, translator of Lucan's "Pharsalia," secretary to Parliament and friend of Ben Jonson.
In the Sussex Archæological Collections is printed the journal of Walter Gale, schoolmaster at Mayfield in the latter half of the eighteenth century, from which a few extracts may be given:
"1750. I found the greatest part of the school in a flow, by reason of the snow and rain coming through the leads. The following extempore verse I set for a copy:—
Abandon every evil thought
For they to judgment will be brought.
In passing the Star I met with Mr. Eastwood; we went in and spent 2d. apiece.
"I went to Mr. Sawyer's.... One of his daughters said that she expected a change in the weather as she had last night dreamt of a deceased person." The editor remarks that this superstition still lingers (or did fifty years ago) in the Weald of Sussex. Walter Gale adds:—"I told them in discourse that on Thursday last the town clock was heard to strike 3 in the afternoon twice, once before the chimes went, and a 2nd time pretty nearly a 1/4 of an hour after.... The strikes at the 2nd striking seemed to sound very dull and mournfully; this, together with the crickets coming to the house at Laughton just at our coming away, I look upon to be sure presages of my sister's death."
A year later:—"My mother, to my great unhappiness, died