BYGONE SUSSEX - online book

Essays, Sketches and Illustrations of bygone Sussex

Home | Order | Support | About | Contact | Search

Share page  

Previous Contents Next

IN DENIS DUVAL'S COUNTRY.                 41
wooden doors and a portcullis. From the gateway extended a wall twenty-eight feet high and five feet thick, with a deep fosse. About 1448, the wall built by Richard I. on the eastern cliff was ruined by the undermining operations of the sea. The defences of Rye did not suffice to keep away the French, who made several incursions. Early in the thirteenth century it was captured by the Dauphin of France, and again in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries it was sacked more than once. The town became a place of refuge for the Huguenots after the massacre of St. Bartholomew. Fishing and smuggling were both Rye industries. The borough has never lost a measure of quiet prosperity however far it may have been left behind by younger and more energetic rivals.
These "Two Ancient Towns," as they are styled in the charters which include them in the Cinque Ports, are the scenes of " Denis Duval." The first intention of Thackeray had been to give his hero the name of Blaise. This was afterwards changed to Denis, and by the adoption of this designation he linked the hero with a real and notable personage of the time. Peter Denis was the son of a French Protestant
Previous Contents Next