History Of Brighton And Environs - Online Book

From The Earliest Known Period To The Present Time.

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In King Henry VII.'s reign it was in possession of Maurice Lord Berkely, but after him no mention is to be found of it. By the statute of Winchester, 18th Edward I., this town had a constable appointed for itself exclusively, shewing its importance at that period.
Brighton in former times, suffered considerably from its greatest enemy the sea, although its greatest friend in modern days, confirmed by the fact that from the year 1260 to 1340 upwards of 40 acres of land were submerged, the sea making frequent inroads on the lower town which existed under the Cliff. Between that period and 1665, 22 copyhold tenements belonging to the Manor of BrighthelmstoneŚLewes alone,Śwere washed away, amongst them 12 shops with 4 stake places attached to them for fishing purposes, and 3 cottages and 3 parcels of land adjoining. There still remained under the Cliff 113 tenements with capstans and stake places, which were destroyed by the memorable storms of 1703 and 1705. The one of 1703 began about midnight on the 27th of November, and continued with unabated fury for 8 hours. Many houses were demolished, others unroofed, the church leads were torn off, and two mills belonging to the town thrown down and much injured, the town presenting the appearance of a place severely bombarded by an enemy. The storm of 1705 commenced at one o'clock in the morning, attained its greatest fury at three, and raged until eight. It completed the destruction of all the buildings of the lower town which had escaped the fury of former inundations. Every habitation under the Cliff was utterly demolished, and its very site concealed from the owners' knowledge beneath a mound of beach. The roof of the Parish Church again suffered much, the leads of the same being completely stripped away. A
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