History Of Brighton And Environs - Online Book

From The Earliest Known Period To The Present Time.

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The History of Brighton.
ETYMOLOGY OF THE TOWN.
The town has been severally called Brightemston, Bristelmeston, Brighthamstan, and in Domesday Book it is called Brighthelmstun. The Saxon word tun signifies town or dwelling, and an adjoining village is called Preston or Priestown. The name doubtless was derived from St. Brighthelm, a Saxon Bishop, who gave the name to the town, and who resided here during the Heptarchy, for we find that Ella with his three sons (Cimen, Wiencing, and Cissa) effected their landing at West Wittering, south west of Chichester, a.d. 447, and defeated the Britons, who endeavoured to oppose him, and took possession of all the maritime parts of the county. Ella thus laid the founda≠tion of the kingdom of the South Saxons, from which the county derives its name. Brighthelm accompanied this army. One of his successors resided at Aldrington, and held a considerable portion of land until the year a.d. 693: in this year the Bishop was killed in battle. This is stated by Stillingfleet and other writers, but no mention is made of where the battle was fought.
After the death of Brighthelm the town appears to have belonged to the ancestors of Earl Godwin, who were called Thanes,ónoblemen of considerable possessions in Sussex. The first of whom we have any account was Ulnoth, Lord of the Manor of Brighthelmstun. He
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