The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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LEWES                                241
the so-called Anne of Cleves House, a picturesque building of stone, brick, flint, and oak with a wide-arched stone fireplace inside; the porch is inscribed " I. S. 1599," but some portions may be older. The manor of Southover was in 1541 granted to Anne of Cleves when the whimsical King, tired of her almost at once, discarded the "Flanders mare" and found a fifth wife in one of the Howards.
The old town house of the Gorings, a sixteenth-century building of flint with stone mullioned windows, was for a time the Bull Inn, and in 1687 it became a Presbyterian meeting house, to adapt it for which purpose the whole interior was gutted. During the early years of the nineteenth century T. W. Horsfield, well known for his voluminous History of Sussex, was its minister. It is now Unitarian, and usually known as Westgate Chapel from its position. Adjoining is a much-altered old oak-framed house whose projecting upper storey is sustained by a sort of faun that forms a bracket, where from 1768 to 1774 lived Thomas Paine, author of the Bights of Man, Age of Reason, &c. While at Lewes he carried on the professions of exciseman and tobacconist, and when an agitation that he got up proved a failure he sought a more congenial sphere for his talents in America. A great friend of his at Lewes was Thomas " Clio " Rickman (p. 250), who fully shared his radical views. Both were Quakers by birth, but not otherwise. Just east of All Saints Church stands in its own graveyard a peaceful little Meeting House for Friends which dates from 1784, but it would have made no appeal to them. The information given us by Erasmus as to the low position to which the clerical office had sunk in the early part of the sixteenth century is corroborated by the will of
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