WORTHING AND NEIGHBOURHOOD.
We now give a brief description of Worthing,—called in Domesday Book " Wordinges." It is a very pleasant town and watering-place, about eleven miles distance to the west of Brighton. In the reign of Edward III. this place must have been of some importance, it being on record that at that time Sir Thomas Hoo, Knight,—whose seat was at Hoo, in Bedfordshire,—was Lord of the Manor, and obtained a grant for a market to be held every Tuesday, and an annual fair to be held on the 20th, 21st, and 22nd July, the latter the eve, day, and morrow of St. Magdalene. From these circumstances we presume Worthing to have been, in the past, an important town,— otherwise a market and an annual fair of three days would not have been deemed necessary. We cannot discover when these Institutions were abolished,—but it must have been many years since.
Sir William Hoo,—a descendant of the before-named Knight, deserved so well of King Henry VI.,—by his suppression of a rebellion in Normandy and for his services in the wars with France, that that King, in reward, advanced him to the dignity of a Baron of this realm, by the title of Lord Hoo and Hastings in this county, the title to descend to heirs male of his body lawfully begotten. The year following his succession to the title he was summoned to Parliament to take his seat among the Barons, and continued in the enjoyment of his honors and title until the 31st of Henry VI., when his death is supposed to have taken place. On his decease he left to the Abbot and Convent of Battle, in this county, 30 marks per annum, a proviso in the gift being that two monks should, at the altar of St. Benigni, perpetually sing for the saving of his soul and those of his ancestors.