The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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CHICHESTER AND VICINITY            41
central turret. It was built just before 1500 by Bishop Storey (1478-1503), who also founded or refounded the Free School, in giving his reasons for which public-spirited act he makes some most unflattering references to the learning of the clergy of his time.
One of the Roxburghe ballads preserves for us an account of a most uplifting and improving episode in the history of the city, or at least of one of its citizens. It is entitled " A Most Sweet Song of an English Merchant borne at Chichester." He had unfortunately happened to murder a German at Emden, and this got him into trouble:
Bare-headed was hee brought, His hands were bound before, A cambricke ruffe about his necke, As white as milk, hee wore : His stockings were of silke, As fine as fine might be ; Of person and of countenance a proper man was he."
However, on his way to execution a kind-hearted girl begged for his pardon and entirely saved the situation, changing a tragedy into the happiest of festivals.
" With musicke sounding sweet, The formost of the traine, This gallant maiden, like a bride, Did fetch him back againe : Yea, hand in hand they went Unto the church that day, And they were married presently
in sumptuous rich array. A sweet thing is Love, It rules both heart and mind ; There is no comfort in the world to women that are kind."
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