History Of Brighton And Environs - Online Book

From The Earliest Known Period To The Present Time.

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Lewes is a borough by prescription, and has, since the 23rd of Edward L, sent two members to Parliament ; but by the operation of the Reform Act of 1808 was deprived of a seat. The last representatives were the Hon. Henry Brand and LordPelham : the former resigned his pretensions in favour of His Lordship, who now remains the sitting member. There are two Constables for the Borough; these are chosen at the annual Court Leet, and act as Returning Officers. Lewes has, at present, seven parish churches—formerly it had twelve,—including those attached to the suburbs of Southover and the Cliff, although the number has been reduced to the following, viz. :• -St. Michaels', St. John's-sub-Castro, St. John's (Southover), South Mailing, St. Mary's, Westover (com­monly called St. Ann's), St. Thomas-in-the-Cliffe, and All Saints.
Upon what is called Spittal Hill, about a mile west of the town, Lewes has a capital Race Course. A com­modious Stand was built by subscription in 1772,—and recently another, upon a more extensive scale, has been erected. Races take place here on the two days following those of Brighton,—under the able superintendence of J. F. Verrall, Esq., the much esteemed Clerk of the Course and Manager,—and excellent sport is afforded.
This Spittal Hill was the scene of the memorable battle of Lewes, fought on the 12th of May, 1204, between the forces of Henry III. and the army of the Barons, the latter headed by Simon de Montfort (Earl of Leicester). Henry was worsted in the fight, and, together with the King of the Romans,—who fought on his side, —and several nobles, taken captive, and incarcerated in the Priory. The royal army, on the morning of the battle, was divided into three bodies,—that on the right under the command of Prince Edward ; the King of the Romans commanded the left wing ; and Henry in person the main body. The Baron's army was divided into four
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