wherewith to relieve himself or to satisfy his creditors; that William Harman, late one of the almsmen of the College, lived in great misery for a long time for want of his pay, ran into debt, sold his bed and lay upon straw, and, though he had two gatherings made for him in East Grinstead Church, at last starved for want of sustenance; another almsman lived in great misery for a long time, went about the country begging and finally died for want of sustenance; whilst other almsmen have been forced to run into debt and are very likely to starve if speedy relief be not given them.
On the establishment of the Commonwealth, action
was again commenced and between the years 1645 and
1656 Edward Lucas, the receiver, managed to get in a
good sum of money, but still leaving arrears of £2,389.
On January 23rd, 1663, the Earl of Thanet was sent to
prison for ignoring an order to pay up some of these
arrears, and the money was then forthcoming. This
nobleman was one of the chief of those who defended this
lengthy and disastrous law-suit. His defence was fully
set forth in his answer to a petition presented to the
House of Lords on August llth, 1648, by the inmates
of the College. He contended that:—
The persons calling themselves the poor of Sackville College were not placed there by the heirs of Robert Earl of Dorset, and ought not therefore to have any benefit from the gift of the founder; the Earl of Thanet acknowledges that in right of his wife he holds lands late the property of Richard Earl of Dorset, but he conceives that they are not liable in law to the charge nor to the decree in Chancery to which he and his wife were no parties, but that the rent - charge should issue solely out of the Manors of Buckhurst, Munckloe, Hendall and Fisearedge, which he trusts to prove by review in Chancery; not only are the petitioners not placed in the College according to the will of the founder, but they are not qualified for an hospital, few of them being resident in the College, some of them tradesmen abroad, and many of debauched and most of idle lives.
Slowly the suit dragged itself on and did not finally end until 1700, the ultimate result being that £113. 7s. 3d. of the annual College income was extinguished and the revenue permanently reduced to about £217.
This is derived from property scattered all over the south of England. A few of the rent charges have been redeemed during latter years by the payment of a capital sum and its investment in 2£ per cent, annuities to yield an equivalent income. On January 24th, 1899, Mr. William Davey, of Brighton, paid £46. 13s. 4d. to redeem