|Crowborough and District Historical Society||
|Preacher Pratt by Malcolm Payne published 1996||Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 |
It was around this time he felt moved to write an account of his life, and his views on religion. His little book was "Wilderness Journey", and it reveals his struggles to make a living for himself and his family. Also, as he sees it, his struggle to please his Lord. It was a privately paid for publication; hymnal publisher, and writer of sacred pieces, J.Gadsby is named as publisher but he edited only. The printer is one Robert Banks, whose printshop seems to have been at 'Welshwood Cottage', Walshes Road. Gadsby also distributed the main of the print run of 1,000 through chapel outlets. Cost price to Gadsby was 1/6d. (seven & a half pence). The price to purchasers was 3/6d. (seventeen & a half pence), two shillings being a good profit. The date on the book is 1874, the printing being finished by December 29 1875, as the accounts show.
From 1873 these accounts reveal gradual payments to Richard from his sons Samuel and Richard; although on paper it is the eldest, Samuel who took over the mill in 1877 In Mchaelmas of that year Richard senior moved to Ringmer, taking over Mount Farm.
The account book gives a good idea of how the farm was purchased. "... Apraissment of Mount Farm (Oct.1877) Ringmer. R.Pratt for part £281.7.0. for Bill of Work - £19.8.7. Received from Mr. Sprott £194.0.0. Balance of Appraisment (survey) on Mount Farm, Ringmer £67.185. . . ". From this it would appear the full payment for the farm was £562.14.0. Richard then became deacon and pastor of Rehoboth Chapel, Ringmer.
The mill in Crowborough carried on working with brothers Samuel and Richard jnr. in partnership. By this time the mill was a well-known tourist attraction and landmark. Pictures of it appeared on postcards, viewed from all aspects, and it graced the cover of all local guide books until at least 1945, showing it with full-four sweeps, although these had actually gone c.1920.