Beauport Park

Beauport Park is a house near Hastings, East Sussex, England. It is located at the western end of the ridge of hills sheltering Hastings from the north and east. In 1862 the Rector of Hollington Church found a huge slag heap on the site, evidence of the third largest iron works in the whole Roman empire. In 1967 Gerald Brodribb, using divining rods, Dr Henry Cleere, an expert on ancient iron-working, began work that uncovered an impressively preserved bath house, saved during the development of the golf course, it was excavated in the early 1970s. Although it was scheduled as an Ancient Monument, at present it has no public access. Excavations in 1980 around the bath-house produced post-holes which seem to form part of a pre-Roman roundhouse; the first mention of Beauport Park is when General Sir James Murray is shown on local records as paying rates on some woodland. He built the house between 1763 and 1766, subsequently adding to the estate until it comprised about 5,000 acres. Murray, who had served in Canada, named the estate after Beauport in Canada.

It was Murray who started the tradition of planting unusual trees on the estate. Following Murray's death in 1794, Beauport Park was purchased by James Bland Burgess who served as Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs to William Pitt. An obelisk which stands opposite the front of the hotel is in memory of James Burgess' second son, Ensign Wentworth Noel Burgess, killed in 1812 in the Peninsular War, aged 18, whilst leading an assault on the citadel of Burgos in Northern Spain. In 1821, James and his eldest son Charles changed their name to Lamb in honour of John Lamb, a benefactor of theirs. An Ionic temple was built on the estate together with two life-size memorials. By 1860, the estate was owned by Sir Charles Lamb's son, who leased the house to Thomas Brassey, a leading railway engineer of his day. After Thomas Brassey died in 1870 the lease was inherited by his son who became Lord Brassey. In 1923 a fire broke out and despite efforts by firemen from Battle and Hastings taking water from nearby ponds, the fire spread and the entire building was gutted.

The house was rebuilt in 1926. Little is known about the house during the period that follows its reconstruction in 1926 up until the World War II but at the beginning of the war an underground citadel, consisting of tunnels and chambers, was built by the Canadians and was intended as a hiding place for a secret resistance army which would have fought behind the German lines following the expected invasion of Britain. After the war, the house became a hotel. In 1983 the hotel was bought by Ken Melsom, David Robinson and Helena Melsom and in 2005 Duncan Bannatyne opened a health club on the estate: Bannatyne went on to buy the hotel as well in 2007; the Beauport Park Archaeological Trust was formed in 1996. In 1999 it was the subject of a Time Team dig. In 2007 the baths, set in five acres, were put on the market at £300,000 by Colin Henshaw of "Wild England"; as of 2013 it is a Scheduled Monument at Risk and its condition was described by English Heritage as "Extensive significant problems" with "Deterioration - in need of management".

The estate now comprises the hotel, the health club, a riding school, a caravan park, a 186-acre golf course and 164 acres of surrounding woodland

Wilson Shannon

Wilson Shannon was a Democratic politician from Ohio and Kansas. He served as the 14th and 16th Governor of Ohio, was the first governor of Ohio born in the state. Shannon was the second governor of the Kansas Territory. Shannon was born in Belmont County in the Northwest Territory, the son of an Irish immigrant, George Shannon, who fought in the Revolutionary War. Wilson Shannon's elder brother, Thomas Shannon, served a partial term in the United States House of Representatives from 1826–1827, his oldest brother, George Shannon, was the youngest member of the Clark Expedition. After attending Ohio University, Franklin College and Transylvania University, Shannon was admitted to the bar and began practicing law in 1830, he was prosecuting attorney for Belmont County from 1833 to 1835. Shannon ran for the U. S. House of Representatives in 1832, losing by only 37 votes. Shannon served as a prosecutor in Belmont County before winning election to the governorship in 1838, he lost a re-election bid to the Whig candidate, Thomas Corwin, in 1840, but defeated Corwin for a second term two years later.

Shannon resigned on April 15, 1844, to take up an appointment from President John Tyler as Minister to Mexico. Shannon spent a year in the post before being recalled. Shannon went to California in the 1849 gold rush but returned and won election to the House of Representatives in 1852, he served a single term before taking up an appointment from President Franklin Pierce as Governor of the Kansas Territory in 1855. Shannon was commissioned by President Pierce on August 10, 1855, he took the oath of office on September 7, 1855, served until June 24, 1856, having been sworn into office a second time on June 13, 1856. He served from July 7 through August 18, 1856, when he was removed from office by the President. Shannon was known for his Southern sympathies, so much so that he was described by a contemporary as "an extreme Southern man in politics, of the border ruffian type." Shannon used federal troops to bring peace to areas of the territory where violence was commonplace. However, the problems of government administration he experienced while Minister to Mexico plagued him in Kansas, he stumbled into one political crisis after another.

In May 1856, a large proslavery force entered Lawrence and destroyed many buildings and printing presses in what became known as the "Sacking of Lawrence." Shannon failed to intervene to protect their property. In retaliation, John Brown and a small group of followers moved along Pottawatomie Creek, 40 miles south of Lawrence, killing five proslavery settlers; the "Pottawatomie massacre", as it came to be known, brought more violence into the territory. Shannon lost complete control of the territory and left for St. Louis on June 23, 1856, leaving Daniel Woodson as acting governor. While at Lecompton, Shannon offered President Pierce his resignation on August 18, 1856, but Pierce had determined to fire him. In his resignation he wrote that he had received unofficial information of my removal from office, finding myself here without the moral power which my official station confers, being destitute of any adequate military force to preserve the peace of the country, I feel it due to myself, as well as to the government, to notify you that I am unwilling to perform the duties of government of this territory any longer.

You will therefore consider my official connection at an end. Shannon returned east, he met John Geary, the next territorial governor, on September 7 at Glasgow, though their meeting was brief. Despite his troubled term as territorial governor of Kansas, Shannon served the longest continuous term of any Kansas territorial governor, more than nine-and-one-half months of an eleven-month term. Shannon returned to Kansas soon after leaving office, he set up a law practice in Lecompton, a practice in Lawrence and Topeka. To visitors he stated: "Govern Kansas in 1855 and'56! You might as well attempt to govern the devil in hell." Shannon died in Lawrence on August 30, 1877, is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery in Lawrence. Shannon, the first county seat of Anderson County, was named for Shannon; the town ceased to exist in 1860. Shannon Political Family Gladstone, T. H; the Englishman in Kansas, 1857. Nichols, Alice. Bleeding Kansas, 1954. Socolofsky, Homer E. Kansas Governors, 1990. ISBN 0-7006-0421-9 Wilson Shannon at Find a Grave "Shannon, Wilson".

Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography. 1900. United States Congress. "Wilson Shannon". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress; the National cyclopaedia of American biography: being the history... 8. New York: James T White and Company. 1900. Pp. 340–341