History Of Brighton And Environs - Online Book

From The Earliest Known Period To The Present Time.

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men and landsmen, touching the application of a quarter share from boats, and in consequence of a memorial to the Lords of the Council, from the former, res­pecting the same, a commission was sent here in 1580 to settle every difference, assess the town rates, and arrange the public concerns of the parish. The number of landsmen who at that time paid parochial rates and taxes as 102; the number of fishermen amounted to 400. The decision of the Commissioners, viz., the Earl of Arundel, Lord Buckhurst (Lord of the Manor), Sir Thomas Shirley (of Preston), and Henry Shelley, Esq., gave satisfaction till 1618, when a fresh arrangement was entered into. The orders and regulations of these two commissions were directed to be " written in two several books of parchment," one of which was to be delivered to the Earl of Arundel and Lord Buckhurst, the other was to " be kepte in a cheaste locked with three locks in some con­venient place in Brighthelmston." Provision was also made for the safe custody of the key of the chest, and for the annual reading of the regulations by the Vicar of the Parish,—" openlye in the presence of all the fishermen and others of the parishioners, contributories, in some con­venient time and place." The " Book of all the 'Auncient Customs' is dated the 23rd of July, in the 32d year of Queen Elizabeth, 1580, and is kept in the office of the Vestry Clerk;" and in the same book will be found the following, based on the application of the fishermen to the Lords of the Council, for redress, as they imagined they were paying (through the means of the quarter share payable by every boat returning from any voyage) a larger proportion than the landsmen. It states as follows :—" The auncient custom for payment and employing the quarter share: Item—the master of every boat at Brighthelmston, at St. Stephen's Day next, after his return from any fishing voyage, wheresoever or whotnsoever it was begun, had or continued, hath used to divide
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