Highways and Byways in Sussex - online book

An illustrated appreciation, of the most interesting districts in Sussex.

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that I may not [go] out nor no victuals get me, but with much hard. Wherefore, my dear, if it like you by the advice of your wise counsel for to set remedy of the salvation of your Castle and withstand the malice of the Shires aforesaid. And also that ye be fully informed of the great malice-workers in these shires which have so despitefully wrought to you, and to your Castle, to your men and to your tenants; for this country have they wasted for a great while.
"Farewell, my dear Lord! the Holy Trinity keep you from your enemies, and soon send me good tidings of you. Written at Pevensey, in the Castle, on St. Jacob's day last past.
" By your own poor
"J. Pelham."
" To my true Lord.
In the town of Pevensey once lived Andrew Borde (who entered this world at Cuckfield): a thorn in the side of muni­cipal dignity. The Dogberryish dictum " I am still but a man, although Mayor of Pevensey," remains a local joke, and tradi­tion has kept alive the prowess of the Pevensey jury which brought a verdict of manslaughter against one who was charged with stealing breeches; both jokes of Andrew's. Borde's house, whither, it is said, Edward VI. once came on a visit to the jester, still stands. The oak room in which Andrew welcomed the youthful king is shown at a cost of threepence per head, and you may buy pictorial postcards and German wooden toys in the wit's front parlour.
Before leaving Pevensey I must say a word of Westham, the village which adjoins it. Westham and Pevensey are practically one, the castle intervening. Westham has a vicar whose interest in his office might well be imitated by some of the other vicars of the county. His noble church, one of the finest in Sussex, with a tower of superb strength and dignity, is kept open, and just within is a table on which are. a number of copies of a little penny history of Westham which he has prepared, and for the payment of which he is so eccentric as to trust to the stranger's honesty.
The tower, which the vicar tells us is six hundred years old, he asks us to admire for its " utter carelessness and scorn of
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