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1908: Twynihoe William Erle, Cuckfield stalwart

Mill Hall, Whiteman's Green

It is with feelings of deep regret that we have to record the death of Mr Twynihoe William Erle, who for many years lived at Mill Hall, Cuckfield. The sad event occurred on Thursday, at Bramshott Grange, Liphook, Hampshire.

Mr Erle, who was 80 years of age, was the only son of the late Right Hon. Peter Erle, QC., and only nephew of the late Chief Justice Sir William Erle, P.C. The deceased gentleman was educated at Winchester and Trinity College, Cambridge. He was known in his day as a strong oar and a good athlete. Having been called to the Bar, Mr Erle became an Associate of the Court of Common Pleas, which was presided over by his uncle. Sir William Erle.

Mr Erle was a recognised authority on jury law, and his book in connection therewith had a wide circulation. He eventually was appointed a Master of the Supreme Court, and held the position for many years. Mr Erle was a member of the Committee of Advice for the International Inventions’ Exhibition, 1885. He became acquainted with Cuckfield through his mother, who was a daughter of the late Rev. Joseph Francis Fearon, Vicar of Cuckfield.

When a young man Mr Erle acquired Mill Hall, and it was a great delight to him to leave the noise and bustle of London for Cuckfield. He effected several improvements to the residence, and, possessing antiquarian tastes, added a museum. He was ever ready to aid financially any good cause in the old coaching town, with which he was associated for fully half-a-century. He enriched the Parish Church by placing in it three stained glass windows to the memory of his sister Jane.

He also maintained for some years a reading room at Whiteman's Green, and encouraged many a young man to persevere in his studies, to enable him the better to enter the battle of life. He farther deserves credit for placing the Cuckkfield Horticultural Society upon its feet when its finances were low, and he also permitted the annual show to be held in his grounds. His bent figure, with hands clasped behind bis back, will be recalled by many old residents, and he always had a cheery word for everybody. He was a brilliant conversationalist, and many an interesting story he could tell of the eminent men of his day.

He published several brochures and circulated them privately amongst his friends, who found them delightful reading, for Mr Erle had the literary and humorous faculty well developed. When the Queen’s Hall and Library were erected Mr Erle subscribed liberally to the Building Fund. He left Cuckfield about fourteen years ago, on coming into his uncle’s Sir William Brie’s) property at Liphook. He had been in failing health for some little time, and the end came quite peacefully. A widow, one son and three daughters areleft to mourn their loss.

The Funeral took place yesterday (Monday) afternoon at Cuckfield, the body being conveyed by road from Liphook. The chief mourner was Mr Christopher Erle (son). Others at the Church, where the service was conducted by the Rev. Canon Cooper (Vicar) were Major Clifford, Mr Crichton, Mr F Fearon, Mr John Fearon, Major Bogle, Lieut. Colonel Fox, Mr RA Bevan JP, Mr R Worsley, Mr Ernest Payne, Mrs Malthas, Miss Maberly, Mrs. Wells, Mr ELH Pownall JP, Mr R Harris, Mr Anacombe, Mr S Caffyn, Mr Togwell, Mr and Mrs Scutt, Mr Stenning, Mr Chambers, Mr Gauntlett, Mr Kimberly, Mr Beeching, etc.

The service was choral, the Choir being in attendance, with Mr Attewell at the organ. The hymns sang were 'Abide with me' and 'Brief Life is here oar portion'. Floral tokens were sent by Miss B Erle, Adam and Ethel Collyers, Sybil, Lilian, Captain Sergison, Mr and Mrs Lee, Mrs Simpson, Mrs James Whyte and Mrs Chatterton Orpen, and the Servants and Employees at Bramshott Grange. Some of the tokens had no names attached. The blinds of several places of business were drawn until after the funeral.

Mid Sussex Times, 29 December 1908 Newspaper.

Contributed by Malcolm Davison.

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