This day my brother having affixed to go to Brighthelmstone [now the famous Brighton, whose reputation as a bathing-place dates from Dr Richard Russell’s Oeconomia (1755)] in order to bathe in the sea, I dissuaded him from doing it, thinking he would get into bad company and get in liquor, but upon these conditions: that I would accompany him to some other part of the seacoast. So accordingly about 8 o’clock he and I set out from Hoathly on foot for Seaford where we arrived about 11:30.
My brother and I went down to the sea; he bathed and came back and dined at the Tree at Seaford on veal steaks (not deserving the name of cutlets), for which dinner we paid 9d apiece; though I think it as badly dressed as ever I saw a dinner, and nothing set at table but salt. After dinner Samuel Winter came and sat with us about an hour. We stayed at Seaford until 3:45, staying near an hour for some company, but finding them not disposed to come away, we came without them and came home exactly at 6:45; so we were exactly 3 hours a-coming home.
Seaford is a small town with many good buildings in and near it, but it does not stand compact, for the houses are very much separated. It lies about ½ mile from the sea. Upon the cliff near the sea is built a sort of fort, but no guns in it, nor in reality is it of any service, because it lies so much higher than the sea that I think they could not point the guns to do any great execution. And the walls, being built of flint, are so very thin that if a cannon of any large weight were fired against it, I think the flints must of consequence destroy all the men in the fort. Between the town and fort there are 18-pounders laid, which, I think, if rightly ordered, might be of signal service in war-time to protect their fishery from the insults of privateers. My wife and maid dined on the remains of yesterday’s dinner. Spent 22d.