Glimpses Of Our Ancestors In Sussex - online book

With Sketches Of Sussex Characters, Remarkable Incidents &c

Home | Order | Support | About | Contact | Search

Share page  

Previous Contents Next

Sussex Tragedies and Romances.
USSEX is not distinguished, like Yorkshire, as the scene of a tragedy;* but, like most other parts of the world, it has had its share of the tragic acts of men, and one of the earliest, if not the earliest of these on record, is the trial and execution for murder of Lord Dacre, of Hurstmonceux Castle. The title still survives in a Sussex family—the Brands—a member of which is the "first Commoner of England"—in other words, Speaker of the House of Commons, and the picturesque ruins of Hurst­monceux Castle still form a feature of the eastern part of Sussex.
The trial and execution of Lord Dacre for murder is one of the strangest stories of the Tudor times, and stands out as prominently in English jurisprudence as does the execution of Earl Ferrers, the head of the Shirleys, another Sussex family, at a later era, and for a similar crime.
The family name of the unfortunate nobleman was Fynes or Fiennes—an ancient Norman family who had acquired Hurstmonceux in Sussex by marriage with the equally ancient family of Monceux; but the title by which he is known in the history of crime was derived from the famous Lords Dacre, of Gillesland, the heiress of which family was married in 1440 by Sir Roger Fynes, and brought by him to the fine Castle he had built at Hurstmonceux, in Sussex. In right of
* "The Yorkshire Tragedy," a play of the 16th century, sometimes assigned, but incorrectly, to Shakspeare.
Previous Contents Next