THE HISTORY OF EAST GRINSTEAD - Online Book

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

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ITS MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT.                     27
there being built by Sir Edward Culpeper in 1590. They were the owners of " divers lands and tenements in East Grinstead," held of the Manor of Walstede "by fealty only."
1552-3, Feb. 18th. Sir Robert Oxenbrege and George Darell.
Sir Robert Oxenbridge, of Brede, was a famous public character and statesman. He sat for the County of Sussex in 1554, 1555 and 1557. In 1539 he was one of the Com­missioners of Musters for the Rape of Hastings, and in 1551 was Sheriff of Sussex. He was Constable of the Tower of London in 1556-7.
The Darell family for a time resided at Scotney, Sussex.
1553, Sept. 25th. Sir Thomas Stradling and John Story, D.C.L.
According to an ancient historian the first named of these Members was the eldest of 12 brothers, "most of them bastards," who had " no living but by extortion and pilling (?pillaging) of the King's subjects." He was born in 1498, his father being Sir Edward Stradling, of St. Donats, Glamorgan. He became Sheriff of Glamorgan and was knighted on February 17th, 1549. He represented first East Grinstead and then Arundel in Parliament. He was a staunch Roman Catholic, but early in 1561 was arrested for having caused four pictures to be made of the likeness of a cross, as it appeared in the grain of a tree blown down in his park at St. Donats. For a long time he was kept prisoner in the Tower, but was finally released on entering into a bond for 1,000 marks to appear when called on. He died in 1571 and was buried in the private chapel attached to St. Donats Church.
The Member returned with him to represent East Grinstead—" The Blessed John Story, Roman Catholic martyr," according to one authority, and " the bloody butcher and traitorous rebel," according to another—had a most remarkable career, which merits more than passing notice. He was a north-countryman, born about 1510, and early became a lay brother of the Grey friars. He was educated at Oxford, took the B.C.L. degree in 1531
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