The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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WORTHING                            135
body was taken to Chichester, and his tomb in the cathedral (p. 35) became the chief Sussex shrine, attracting pilgrims from afar. Their behaviour at times left something to be desired, and they were apt to use their long, painted rods for purposes to which, however suitable, they had never been designed. Their difficulty was to settle questions of precedence, matters that should have been far from their minds at such a time, even if for the moment the rules so carefully laid down in St. Matthew xxiii. 6-12 had slipped their memories. St. Richard made a profound impression on Sussex, though only one mediaeval church—at Heathfield—and that by no means for certain, was dedicated to him. The village fair is held in April, and may have been originally on St. Richard's Day; an old woman is fabled to attend and to let out from her basket the first Sussex cuckoo (see Miss Arnold-Forster's Studies in Church Dedications). Besides being honoured in Sussex Richard was held in the highest esteem in his own birthplace, Droitwich, where, as Holinshed not very reverently records, " Some saie (or rather fable) that this salt spring did faile in the time of Richard de la Wich bishop of Chichester, and that afterwards by his intercession it was restored to the profit of the old course (such is the supersti­tion of the people) in remembrance whereof or peraduenture for the zeale which the Wich men and salters did beare vnto Richard de la Wich their countriman, they vsed of late times on his daie (which commeth once in the yeare) to hang this salt spring or well about with tapistrie, and to haue sundrie games, drinkings, and foolish reuels at it." Still farther afield the fame of St. Richard was to travel, and perhaps his strangest
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