THE PARISH CHURCH.
Soon after the Priory of St. Pancras was established at Lewes in 1078, Alured, who was " Pincerna," or cup bearer, to Robert, first Count of Mortain, gave the church of East Grinstead and half a hide of land belonging to it at Imberhorne towards the support of this Priory. This is the first mention of such a building in East Grinstead. This grant was confirmed by William Count of Mortain, half-brother to the Conqueror, by a charter circa 1108. In 1352 the living was exchanged by the Prior and Convent of Lewes for the church at Burton, but the living continued in the presentation of the Prior until 1554, when Anne of Cleves appointed a Vicar. She lived for a time at Lewes and had been divorced in 1540, the right of presentation probably being given her at the time of the confiscation of ecclesiastical property in 1545. She died in 1557, and the privilege of presentation has since belonged to various branches of the Sackville family, now represented by Lord Sackville, of Knole.
Appended is a list of Vicars, so far as they can be ascertained:—
Peter, 1241. An entry in the muniments of St. Mary Magdalen College, Oxford, says, " Grinstead Ray Peter Rector."
Robert de Wynton, 1296. This Vicar got into trouble for fishing in a pond at Hymberhorne without permission from the Prior of St. Pancras, Lewes.
William de Astania or Estanaye, 1304. Was also Rector of West Grinstead and Prebend of Lincoln, Wells and St. David's.
Peter, 1327. Deemed to be Vicar, as he headed the list and paid the largest sum of those taxed in the Borough of East Grinstead.
Johannes de Wynton or Wyntonia, 1328. John de Warrenno brought an action against Adam de Wynton, monk, and John, " p'sona ecclie de Estgrenestede." Exchanged the living of Atherton with
Raymond Pellegrini, 1331. Exchanged livings with
Annibaldus (Cardinal), 1331. Bishop of Tusculum and holder of several benefices and high offices. Died at West Grinstead, 1351.
Richard de Bannebury, 1346-7. This rector was summoned by John de Warrenne, Earl of Surrey, for breaking into Worth Park and hunting therein.
Richard do Derby, 1350-1.