The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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394                    THE SUSSEX COAST
government) ... I am commanded to persist in case you desist not." In 1654 the Grand Inquest of Rye under Puritan influence had presented three boys merely for sliding on the Sabbath.
The old Grammar School has a fine seventeenth-century facade of thin brick with pilasters and cornice, recently preserved from demolition by a public-spirited local syndicate. The Town Hall, rebuilt about 1742, is a good example of the work of that period, the lower part open on arches with a panelled court-room above, an open square turret of wood surmounting the roof. Here are preserved the magnificent maces be­longing to the port, the old pillory, gibbet, and fire-engine (p. 231), and the original engagement of Rye to support the Commonwealth, with many other objects and documents connected with the history of the town. Unlike the rest of Sussex, Rye maintains the Kentish custom of gavelkind— that is, all the brothers share the paternal acres if their father dies without making a will.
One of the Roxburghe Ballads gives us a delightful episode in the history of the town. It is entitled, " The True Mayde of the South; or a rare example of a Mayde dwelling at Rie, in Sussex, who, for the love of a young man of Lestershire, went beyond sea in the habit of a page, and after, to their hearts' content, were both marryed at Magrum, in Germany, and now dwelling at Rie aforesaid.
V Within the haven toune of Rye, That stands in Sussex faire, There dwelt a maide, whose constancie Transcendeth all compare.
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