62 THE SUSSEX COAST
were trying to get away, but St. Nicholas would not allow the Christian bell to be carried off by their pagan hands, and it sank in Bosham Creek. When the peal of six bells (oldest 1572) is rung to-day, the old tenor chimes in from the depths of Bell Hole. The origin at any rate of the last part of the legend is a striking echo over the water from the West Itchenor woods.
The ancient parish chest, dating from the early thirteenth century, contains a secret recess in which was found a silver coin of Edward I., minted at Waterford, now preserved in the church. In the Parish Register a tramp is in 1581 described as "a goer aboute," in 1623 as "a wanderer," and in 1786 as " a traveller."
During the Commonwealth is the following detailed entry, " A.D. 1652, Henry Grigg, senr., my singular good friend, who was the eie, tongue and very soul of Bossenham, was buiried May ye * 10th, to whom Almighty God, infinitely rich in mercy, bestowed in ye guifts of ye world, good measure, in ye guifts of Nature pressed down, in ye guifts of grace shaken together, in ye guifts of glory now running over. Who as hee walked hand in hand with ye richer sort, soe heart in heart with ye poorer, to whose precious memory these lines as a marble monument are dedicated by Daniel Harcourt, then Mnr. of this congregation."
In the margin, however, some profane person has addedó
"Though Harcourt heere above doe flatter,
The world have found theares noe such matter, A fayre outside old Grigg did carie,
Which was the practice of old Harie!"
* The "y " here is simply a survival of an old Runic letter pronounced "th."