Highways and Byways in Sussex - online book

An illustrated appreciation, of the most interesting districts in Sussex.

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on the altar, hoping that the magnificence of the gift might close Heaven's eyes towards sins of his own. In 1212, he was at Battle Abbey again, and for the last time in 1213, seeking, maybe, to find in these silent cloisters some forget-fulness of the mutterings of hate and scorn that everywhere followed him.
Just before the Battle of Lewes, Henry III. galloped up, attended by a body-guard of overbearing horsemen, and levied large sums of money to assist him in the struggle. After the battle he returned, a weary refugee, but still rapacious.
These visits were not welcome. It was different when Edward II. slept there on the night of August 28th, 1324. Alan de Ketbury, the Abbot, was bent on showing loyalty at all cost, while the neighbouring lords and squires were hardly less eager. The Abbot's contribution to the kitchen included twenty score and four loaves of bread, two swans, two rabbits, three fessantes, and a dozen capons ; William de Echingham sent three peacocks, twelve bream, six muttons, and other delicacies ; and Robert Acheland four rabbits, six swans, and three herons.
In 1331, Abbot Hamo and his monks kept at bay a body of French marauders, who had landed at Rye, until the country gentlemen could assemble and repulse them utterly,
Then followed two peaceful centuries; but afterwards came disaster, for, in 1558, Thomas Cromwell sent down two com­missioners to examine into the state of the Abbey and report thereon to the zealous Defender of the Faith. The Com­missioners found nineteen books in the library, and rumours of monkish debauchery without the walls. " So beggary a house," wrote one of the officers, " I never see." Battle Abbey was therefore suppressed and presented to Sir Anthony Browne, upon whom, as we saw in the first chapter, the :' Curse of Cowdray" was pronounced by the last departing monk.
To catalogue the present features of Battle Abbey is to
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