The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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224                   THE SUSSEX COAST
who moved from the old seat of the family at Laughton, and it still belongs to his representative, the Earl of Chichester. A court enclosed on one side only by an Ionic colonnade, Corinthian pilas­ters, cornices, panelling, ceilings with flowers moulded in plaster, and some good pictures give all the charm, which is by no means small, that the early Georgian style can produce. In the early seventeenth century there grew up together at Stanmer Rectory two brothers who, trained in strict Puritan ideals, were to play widely different parts. Stephen Goffe, chaplain to Charles I., was one of his most trusted agents, who vainly en­deavoured to negotiate marriages that might bring foreign bayonets to England; he afterwards joined the Oratorians of France. William Gofife joined the Roundheads and supported them heart and soul, being one of those who condemned Charles I. to death; on the Restoration he fled to New England, whither the arm of the Stuarts hardly reached, and he lies at rest in Hadley, Massa­chusetts, a beautiful village which, according to tradition, he defended from an Indian raid.
The lower gates of Stanmer Park are on the Brighton and Lewes Road, only just beyond the farthest suburbs of the former town. A little nearer Lewes is Falmer, with a pond on which Brightonians skate and an ugly modern church. John Norden tells us that as late as 1617 there were "three bondmen of bloude belonginge unto this manor, never known to be anie way mannu-missed" and bearing too the illustrious name of Goring.
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