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     Archaeologia Cantiana Vol. 73 - 1959 page 236

Emigration to the United States of America (U.S.A.) from Sandhurst, Kent 1826-1828 - Noreen C. Holmes  cont'd

   Apparently by 1826, with other parishes in the district assisting their paupers to go to North America, the Churchwardens and Overseers of Sandhurst had come to the conclusion that in the long run it might save them money to do the same, and in this year and the two following years three groups of people were given their passages and all necessary assistance. By means of parish accounts, extant letters etc., it is possible to trace in fairly considerable detail the arrangements which were made and something about the families who emigrated. A fourth and smaller group also went in 1832 but much less is known about them.
   For the first three years the same procedure was followed. A notice was sent out summoning a Public Vestry" to take into consideration raising a certain sum of money to enable persons that are willing to emigrate to America ". At this Vestry it was arranged that the required money should be borrowed at 5 per cent. interest paid from the Poor Rate, and the principal repaid from the same source at stated intervals. In 1826, £150 was authorized to be borrowed, in fact £175 was raised.; in 1827, £250 was authorized, but only £200 raised; in 1828, £100 was authorized and raised. In 1826, the money was lent by two men—James Collins, miller and farmer, probably the wealthiest man in the village, put up £75, and the other £100 was lent by Thomas Ellis, a reasonably well-to-do landowner, and one of the few people in the locality 

entitled "Gentleman ", and the only one of that class who took any part in the running of the parish. In 1827 James Collins lent a further £50, £50 was lent by another wealthy local farmer Robert Dunk but the remaining £100 was borrowed from the Bankers, Smith, Hilder & Gill of Hastings. In 1828 the lenders were again Thomas Ellis Gentleman £50, James Collins £25, and the last £25 came from another wealthy farmer John Hilder, who was evidently one of the most public-spirited men in the parish and for many years one of the Churchwardens. He it was who in 1826, was charged, with the help of the two Overseers John Humphrey and Aaron Pinyon, to make all the arrangements for the migrants’ journey.
   The first step taken was to seek advice from the Benenden Overseer, as he already had some experience of this exercise. He supplied the name of an agent in London, and suggestions as to what it was necessary for the emigrants to take with them in the way of provisions bedding, cooking utensils, etc. Mr. Hilder wrote at once to the agent at the London Dock and from 19th April to 9th May a constant succession of letters passed between them. As a result of this it was arranged for the party to sail in the "Virginia" leaving London about the 12th May. The fare was £7 per adult and half price for children under fourteen years of age, with no charge for babies "at

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