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A connection with India comes in the shape of the 18th-century Lushington monument, also at St Mary's, which commemorates a survivor of the Black Hole of Calcutta atrocity which led to the British conquest of Bengal.

Eastbourne remained an area of small rural settlements until the 19th century.

Though Eastbourne is a relatively new town, there is evidence of human occupation in the area from the Stone Age.

The town grew as a fashionable tourist resort largely thanks to prominent landowner, William Cavendish, later to become the Duke of Devonshire.

In 1752, a dissertation by Doctor Richard Russell extolled the medicinal benefits of the seaside.

His views were of considerable benefit to the south coast and, in due course, Eastbourne became known as "the Empress of Watering Places".

With the arrival of the railway, the town's growth accelerated.Eastbourne's earliest claim as a seaside resort came about following a summer holiday visit by four of King George III's children in 1780 (Princes Edward and Octavius and Princesses Elizabeth and Sophia).In 1793, following a survey of coastal defences in the southeast, approval was given for the positioning of infantry and artillery to defend the bay between Beachy Head and Hastings from attack by the French.Fourteen Martello Towers were constructed along the western shore of Pevensey Bay, continuing as far as Tower 73, the Wish Tower at Eastbourne.Several of these towers survive: the Wish Tower is an important feature of the town's seafront and was the subject of a painting by James Sant RA, and part of Tower 68 forms the basement of a house on St. Between 18, the construction took place of a fortress known as the Eastbourne Redoubt, which was built as a barracks and storage depot, and armed with 10 cannons.

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