Glimpses Of Our Ancestors In Sussex - online book

With Sketches Of Sussex Characters, Remarkable Incidents &c

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Sussex Tragedies and Romances.            189
his wife he was summoned to Parliament as Baron Dacre "of the South," in contradistinction to the Lords Dacre "of the North," then still flourishing in Cumberland. He was succeeded, in 1484, by his grandson Thomas, who, though Constable of Calais and distinguished for his services in the field against the Scots, got into trouble, and was imprisoned in the Fleet and fined for " harbouring of suspected felons," and " for remysness and negligence in ponyshement of them." But the delinquencies of this Lord Dacre, whatever they may have been, shrink into insignificance when compared with those of his grandson, another Thomas, Lord Dacre of the South, the hero of our story. This Lord Thomas, like his grandfather, was left an orphan in 1525, at the age of 17, and came into possession of one of the finest estates and Baronies of the kingdom. He married, too, a lady of noble birth, a Neville, daughter of another Sussex nobleman, Lord Abergavenny, and had every advantage which wealth, rank, and connection could give him. But his education had been neglected; his habits were dissolute; his companions were, it is evident, of rank far below his own, and, doubtless, selected by him for the congeniality of their tastes and habits. What these were can be guessed from the deed which involved him and three of them in the terrible fate which overtook them.
It would seem, from the legal documents found in the Record Office in our days, and published by the Deputy-Keeper of the Records, that, on the 20th of April, in the 32nd year of the reign of Henry the 8th, a party of fourteen men, including Lord Dacre himself, met at his mansion at Hurstmonceux, "and did there illegally conspire in what manner they could best hunt in the Park of Nicholas Pelham, Esq., of Laughton, in the county of Sussex, with dogs and nets called buckstalls, and bound themselves by oaths, &c, for such illegal purpose, and also to stand against all the lieges of the King, and to kill any of the King's lieges who might oppose them."
A list is given of the names, occupations, and late
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