Sir Edward Malet 1837 – 1908

Diplomat and Owner of Wrestwood Estate. Born on 10 October 1837, Sir Edward was a direct descendant of a close companion of William the Conqueror. It was therefore a noteworthy coincidence that he chose to domicile himself in Bexhill later in life. He married Lady Ermyntrude Sackville Russell, daughter of the 9th Duke of Bedford. Educated at Eton, he entered the diplomatic service and distinguished himself in four continents. His career culminated in the key post of British Ambassador in Germany. He was regularly summoned the the Palace by Queen Victoria. Ill health forced Sir Edward to retire in 1895 and although he already had a residence near Monaco and a house in London, the couple chose Bexhill as their country retirement home.

The Malet’s mansion, Wrestwood, was created in 1896-97. The elegance of the interior was matched by the elaborately designed grounds. Sir Edward died on 29 June 1908. His widow erected the Malet Memorial Institute on the edge of Bexhill Down, latterly known as the Church of the Good Shepherd, Belle Hill, as a ‘place of recreation and religious instruction for the working men of the district….an alternative to the public houses’. Lady Malet died in 1927 and Wrestwood became a girl’s boarding school in 1928. After the Second World War it was acquired by St Mary’s Wrestwood Educational Trust.

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