The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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58                    THE SUSSEX COAST
strangers to the name and faith of God. There was among them a certain monk of the Scottish (i.e., Irish) nation whose name was Dicul, who had a very small monastery at the place called Bosanham, encompassed with the sea and woods, and in it five or six brothers, who served our Lord in poverty and humility ; but none of the natives cared either to follow their course of life or hear their preaching." The place was associ­ated with Cnut, and according to one account was the spot where he made his famous but futile request to the sea. His young daughter is buried in the church (south-east corner of the nave), and her remains in a stone coffin were exhumed and subsequently reburied in 1865. Like various other places in the neighbourhood, Bosham belonged to the Archbishops of Canterbury, but to Earl Godwin it was Naboth's Vineyard. John Smyth,* bailiff of the manor, writing in 1635, gives an account of the way the Earl got hold of it based on Walter Map. Godwin " beinge accompanied therefore with a great trayne of gentlemen, hee comes smylinge and jestinge to the Archbishopp of Canterbury whose towne then it was: my Lord, saith hee, give you mee Boseam, alludinge happely to Basium, that is, a busse, or kisse, used in doinge homage. The Archbishopp marveylinge much what hee demanded by that question, answered, I give you Basiam : Then hee, forthwith with that troup of his knights and suldiers fell downe (as hee had before taken order) at his feete and kissing them with many thankes went backe to
* Smyth's History of the Manor of Bosham lies in MS. at the British Museum, and I am indebted for the extract to K. H. Macdermott's Boshani Church: its History and Anti­quities, a useful little handbook.
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