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The Times (London).
19 August 1936

MEMORIES OF OLD BLACKHEATH
TO THE EDITOR OF THE TIMES

Sir,

My parents went to live at 2, Eliot Place, Blackheath, in 1868, and I remember the joy with which I first saw the view from the top floor where I slept, extending in almost unbroken woodland from the Crystal Palace in the south west to Knockholt Beeches in the south east. Nearer in King John's Palace at Eltham was visible - not the English, but the French king of that name, who I believe was the prisoner of the Black Prince. Of course there were houses, but they were concealed by the trees.

My father had lived in the same house 60 years before, and had gone as a boarder to Mr. Poticary's school at 3 Eliot Place, where Benjamin Disraeli was educated a little later. Though not a contemporary of Disraeli at the school, my father used to hear about him from the boys. One incident I remember was that when twitted with eating pork, Disraeli replied, "Pork, pork! there's no devil in pork!" which seems to imply that he knew of Shylock's remark in The Merchant of Venice.

In these early days the Heath was covered with gorse, but I think the three cornered piece in front of Eliot Place was cleared and used for cricket. To the west of this piece, in my time, was a fence enclosing Lord Dartmouth's house and grounds, and I have heard my father say that on one occasion when the then Lord Dartmouth was entertaining Royalty, my paternal relative caught sight of Queen Charlotte (wife of George III) and she was taking snuff.

Your obedient servant,
John C. Fox.
Goring on Thames.