The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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264                   THE SUSSEX COAST
houses, just below Bishopstone, and formed what is now called the Old Harbour, which was in use till the Newhaven was made as a safer exit."
Seaford was a corporate member of the Cinque Ports dependent on Hastings, and the farthest point westward to which the jurisdiction of the federation extended. Of the days of its mercan­tile prosperity there is an interesting relic in the shape of a well-built thirteenth-century crypt for storing goods behind a house in Church Street; it is vaulted in two bays, and from a couple of foliage bosses unmoulded ribs extend and die into the walls; the entrance has a stair in the thickness of the wall and lancet door­ways ; there are traces of a wider opening for merchandise. In 1544 the town received royal incorporation, and its burgesses (not barons as in the Cinque Ports themselves) were permitted to use a seal with a three-masted ship.
The town records are of considerable interest, and have been largely published in the S.A.C. In the 25th year of Elizabeth John Comber got into trouble "for markyng of thre duckes of Edward Warwickes and two ducks of Symon Brighte with his own marke, and cutting owt of their markes." Two years later, the jury present that the cucking stole, pillory, and butts (for archery) are in decay. In the 44th year of Elizabeth the vicar was fined for not mending the highway called Le Crouch, which he had actually cultivated on his own account. On Christmas Eve, 1652, accounts were settled up " from the beginning of ye world," while after the Restoration, in 1663, thirteen people were had up for not having been at church for a month.
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