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 Meath Home
Meath Home - a haven for those who suffer from epilepsy, has just undergone a refurbishment with a new ward to be opened by Rolf Harris.
Looking between the trees, you can see that the Meath home is still a gracious house set in pleasant grounds, and may wonder about the days when it was a private estate. The place has indeed a fascinating Story some of which will certainly never be known, for the stones themselves are unable to testify as to the accuracy of the anecdotes which have been retailed down the years.
Setting speculation on one Sides there is much of interest? particularly in connection with the family of Oglethorpe. In 1656 a train of events was started culminating in the creation of the present building. The manor of Westbroke had been in existence for many years and had had a somewhat chequered history. It was owned at the time by a certain Thomas Hull and he had come under the suspicions of the authorities for it is recorded in 1655 and 1656 that Thomas Hull of Westbrooke and John Monger of Godalming, Gentlemen, being suspected of Royalist tendencies by Cromwell's Major Generals were required to give an account of their movements whenever they traveled abroad, to London and, in factor anywhere away from their local environment.
High Street, Godalming, with decorations celerbrating the opening of the Meath Home, by her Royal Highness the Duchess of Albany, 4th August, 1892.
In 1656, the said Thomas Hull Esq., of Godalming, conveyed "in consideration of the sum of 3653. 1 .4d., the Manors of Westbrooke and Binscomb, with their rights, etc., and the capital messuage in the Parish of Godalming, called Westbrooke, occupied by the said Thomas Hull, and all houses, etc., to the said messuage belonging also the pewes, seats, Isle and Chancell, in the Parish Church of Godalming, to the said messuage belonging", and a wealth of other property and detail - "to John Platt, of West Horsley, Clerk". (Woods MSS. Vol.6.)

This John Platt was formerly Rector of West Horsley, but like Nicholas Andrewes, Vicar of Godalming, he had been ejected from his living It appears that Platt succeeded Bishop Howel in the living on Howells ejectment in 1643 (this was the same time as Andrewes), but was himself ejected in 1662 for nonconformity following the passing of the Act of Uniformity; it was then that he retired to his property at Westbrooke. In 1669 Platt is reported as a nonconformist ministers the head of a weekly conventicle held every Sunday in the time of Divine Service at his house, attended by 700 to 800 persons.

For the complete story of Westbrook and the Oglethorpes, follow this link.
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