The rise and progress of the town and the history of its institutions & people.

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GENERAL DESCRIPTION.                                11
Place, wch Henry Duffield purchased to him and his heirs of King Henry VII., with one tenement and a piece of ground lying west of ye said common and called Ye New House, wch Edw. Duffield now hath and holdeth.
The Duffields were long resident in East Grinstead and one of them named Thomas, a yeoman, was convicted for participating in 1541, at Laughton, with Lord Dacre, in that unfortunate poaching affray which brought this nobleman to the gallows. The mill spoken of was not pulled down until about 1900.
On May 15th, 1626, the Hundred of East Grinstead was ordered to raise money for 10 barrels of powder to be kept in store and also to keep the beacons sufficiently repaired and watched. A year later, on August 11th, the Hundred was called on to find 3s. and two men towards a press of 50 required from the county, no doubt to help in our ill-fated struggles in France and Spain.
The Alderman or High Constable of the Hundred
had annually to appear at a " Sheriffes turne Court"
held upon Berwick Common on the Thursday in Whitsun
week. In a return to Parliament, dated June 1st, 1650,
the duties of the "Aldermen" are thus quaintly set
forth :—
The Aldermen of the sevall hundreds (wch are chosen at ye leetes for evy hundred one) are then to appeare, and to certify how many head horrowes are in each hundred, and to bring 12 men with every alderman according to custome, to make a grand inquest, and the head borrows of evy borrough in the said hundreds are to appeare wth two side men, wth each of them to psent all publique abuses w'hin their said borroughs and hundreds; any of these fayling are severally amerced, viz', the Aldermen xxs each at the least, and their jurates vjs each, the head-borrough each iij* iiijd at ye least, ye side men vjd, and all deodans fellons goods, fugetives and fellows of themselves, &c, psented and amerced, and all publique annanses, all ye fines and amercants at ye said court are levied by ye feodary Bailiffe of ye Dutchy, and ought to be accompted or compounded for by him . . .
A deodand was a personal chattel which had been the immediate occasion of the death of a rational being and for that reason "given to God"—that is, forfeited to the King to be applied to pious uses and distributed in alms by his high almoner. The Crown, however, frequently granted the right to deodands to devolve with certain lands. They were abolished in 1846.
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