20 APRIL 1867, Page 12

T URNING to the list of Sheriffs of Sussex and Surrey

for- illustrations of the leading families in these counties in the period succeeding the Norman Conquest, we find the following names most frequently occurring, or afterwards most conspicuous. in these counties, the reign mentioned being that in which they first appear. Before the reign of Edward I. the civil union of the counties seems to have been occasional and fitful ; from that reign to Elizabeth's time it was constant. Hai and Fitz-Reuf- fride (temp. Henry II.) ; Marescal and Apletricham (Richard L) ; Fitz-Hubert and De Bader (John) ; De Gatesden, De Savage, De Loches, and Aquillon or Aguillon (both counties) (Henry

De Glamorgan, De Pageham, and Albel (Edward L) ; De Henle and De Mere (Edward IL) ; Dubermon, Vaughan, De Bowsey, De Hoo, and Lewkenor (Edward III.) ; Hurst, Ashburnbam, Weston, Fienes, and Carew (Richard H.) ; Pelham and Sackvile (Henry IV.) ; Wintershul, Uvedale, and Knotesford (Henry V.) ; Finch of Claveringham, and Huey (Henry VI.) ; Grimsford of Crowhurst, Goring, Apsley, and Roos (Edward IV.) ; Morley, Dawtrey, Brown of Breachnorth, Leigh of Stockwell, and Oxenbridge of Breede (Henry VII.) ; West, Bellingham, Moore of Looseley, and Palmer of Angmering (Henry VIII.) Daring the Reformation period and to the close of the Tudor dynasty the Pelhams, Moores, Gorings, Palmers, Coverts, Morleys, Shirleys, Brownes, Parkers, and Culpepers are prominent, and the Eversfields make their appearance on the list. In James I.'s time much the same names occur, with the addition of the Springets of Kingmer. Charles I.'s reign supplies the additional names of Alford, Bowyer, Boord or Borde of Cuckfield, May, Evelyn, Bishop, Ford, and Baker. The above, then, we may look upon as prominent examples of the gentry of this Province in the period between the Conquest and the Commonwealth. Her great noble families in modern times have been the Howards, successors of the Fitz-Alans, the Egremont Wyndhains, representing the old Percies of Petworth ; the Pelhams, Earls of Chichester ; and the Lennoxes of Goodwood, Dukes of Richmond.

At present Sussex is a purely agricultural county, rather behind her neighbours in modern improvements. The Province, moreover, has hop fields and a breed of South-Down sheep, which are now not confined to the boundaries of Sussex. Formerly, however, Sussex was one of the great manufacturing districts of England. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the iron-works of that county were of the highest importance, and their traces still remain among the quiet woodlands. The beds in which the iron is found run in a north-west direction from Hastings, by Ashburnham, Heath- field, Crowborough, Ashdown Forest, Worth, Tilgate Forest, and St. Leonard's Forest, i.e., across the old Anderida Forest. There are traces of the iron having been first worked in the times of the Roman occupation ; but the iron-beds of Sussex are not mentioned in Domesday Book, and they seem to have been little if at all worked by the Saxons. " The earliest record of the works occurs in the murage grant made by Henry HI. to the town of Lewes in 1266. This empowers the inhabitants to raise tolls for the repair of the walls after the battle. Three thousand horseshoes and 29,000 nails are recorded as having been provided by Peter de Walsham, Sheriff of Surrey and Sussex (13th Edward II) for the expedition against Scotland. Some of the banded guns of wrought iron pre- served in the Tower of London, and dating from the reign of Henry VI., are of Sussex' manufacture. A mortar formerly re- maining at Eridge Green, in the parish of Frant, is said by some to have been the first made in England, and it is probable that moat of the pieces employed in our Continental warsof the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries were manufactured in Sussex. These hooped guns were superseded by cannon cast in an entire piece, and bored as at present, and the first of these produced in England were cast at Baited, by Ralf Hoge, or Hogge, in 1543, who was assisted at the commencement of his work by French and Flemish gunsmiths. The iron trade increased rapidly during the sixteenth century, when many Sussex families enriched by it assumed the rank of gentry, and the older gentry, the Ash- burnhams and Pelhams, and the noble Sidneys and Howards, en- gaged in it, to the destruction of ancestral oak and beech." Some of those who thus profited were not ashamed to own the origin of their importance, and the Fullers, by their motto, " Carbone et forcipibus," bear testimony to the former prosperity of Sussex as well as to the source of their own rise. So great was the destruc- tion of woods consequent on this trade that Henry VIII. and Elizabeth made provisions against it. A writer in 1607 asserts that there were in Sussex nearly 140 hammers and furnaces for iron, each of which consumed every twenty-four hours from two to four loads of charcoal. Drayton in his Polyolbion laments bitterly these ravages on the woodlands of Sussex. Thus fell the greater part of the old Forest of Anderida, the woods of the Ashdown dis- trict entirely disappearing. In one respect, however, Sussex has benefited in scenery by this manufacturing period, for many of the finest sheets of water in the county arose from the artificial ponds constructed for the supply of the iron-works. The casting of brass was also extensively carried on, as well as bell-founding ; and steel was manufactured at Warbleton and at Robertsbridge. As late as 1724 " the iron manufacture was still considered the chief interest of the county," but the decline of the trade had already commenced. The vast consumption of wood rendered the pro- duction of iron in this district more expensive than in the dis- tricts where coal mines and iron ore are close together. Hence competition with them became hopeless, though the works con- tinued as late as 1750. Farnhurat, in West Sussex, and Ashburn-

ham, in the eastern division of the county, were the last places at which they were carried on. The Ashburnham furnace was in work in the end of the last century. The balustrades round St. Paul's Cathedral were cast in the parish of Lamberhurst. The furnace here is said to have owed its extinction to the withdrawal of Government contracts consequent on the discovery that cannon surreptitiously cast there were conveyed by smugglers for the use of French privateers during the French war with England. Other furnaces were destroyed during the Civil War of Charles I.'s time. Nature has now reasserted her sway, and the old forest character is again partially re-established.

The history of the Sussex towns presents nearly as curious a series of changes as that presented by the county districts. Chichester, as we have seen, was granted to Earl Roger de Mont- gomery. He, of course, at once established a castle here, adapt- ing, seemingly, " the Roman fortification to the Norman plan by placing a square or circular tower upon an artificial mound of earth, which is now the only remaining vestige." IIe added, as we have seen from Domesday Book, sixty houses to those which the city contained in the time of the Confessor, and " confirmed to the neighbouring manors the privilege of holding tenements, houses, and shops within the walls. These, when not retained by the lord, were let out at annual rents." The removal of the Episcopal See to Chichester in 1075 gave the town a new impetus. The landlords of the town in the succeeding period were the Albini and Fitzalan families (successive Earls of Arundel), the Bishop, the Dean and Chapter, and the Mayor and Corporation. In the sixth year of John, three mints were established hero, the profits of two attaching to the Crown and of the third to the Bishop. Henry III. granted the town in fee-farm to his brother Richard, Earl of Cornwall, and gave him power to levy tolls on the merchandise for the purpose of defraying the expense of repairing the city walls. An impost to a larger extent was laid on the citizens in the 43rd of Edward III. for the same purpose, to continue for ten years. Similar proceedings took place in the reigns of Richard IL and Henry VI., the danger of French inva- sion and occupation of the seaport towns being then imminent. The Norman Castle was destroyed by order of Henry III. The town received its first charter of incorporation from Stephen, and this was confirmed by Henry II., John, and subsequent Sovereigns. James II. gave it the constitution which lasted down to the Municipal Corporations Act. A cathedral, bailt mostly of wood, was founded here iu 1108. The principal part of the present edifice belongs to the thirteenth century. There are no manufactures at Chichester, but one of the largest live-stock fairs in England is held there weekly, and it is a corn depot for Loudon and the West of England. About the begin- ning of the fifteenth century Chichester malt began to be of high repute throughout Sussex and part of Hampshire and Surrey, and though the malting trade is not what it used to be, it has not entirely ceased to be a characteristic of the city. Chichester stands on an arm of the sea, but the sandbanks off the entrance, as well as the distance of the city from the quay, prevent large vessels from reaching it. Rather more than two centuries ago it nearly monopolized the trade of needle-making in England, but that trade never recovered from the destruction of the quarter of the town in which it was carried on at the siege of the city in 1643. This siege is the solitary event of historical interest connected with the town. The Royalist gentry of Sussex occupied it for the King, but were besieged by Sir W. Waller, who succeeded in taking it, the townsmen being nearly all on the side of the Parliament. At their head stood one of the representatives of the city during the latter period of the Long Parliament, William Cawley, a member of a wealthy family in Chichester, and a man of considerable influence and talent, a strenuous Puritan and Commonwealth man, one of the High Court of Justice who condemned Charles I., and one of the signers of his death-warrant. He was also entrusted by the Parliament with the political government of this division of Sussex. After the Restoration he was excepted from the Act of Oblivion, but escaped abroad, first to Flanders and then to Switzer- land, and died at Vevey. Another eminent native of Chichester was the poet William Collins. Chichester has at various times been remarkable for the number of the county gentry who have resided within its boundaries, and this has given a peculiar and distinctive character to the place.

Besides the city of Chichester, Sussex contains one Cinque Port in the strict sense of the term ; two ancient towns added to the Cinque Ports, Rye and Winchelsea ; two members of the Cinque Ports, Pevensey and Seaford ; the Parliamentary boroughs of Arundel, Brighton, Horsham, Lewes, Medhurst, Shoreham (or New Shoreham); and the ancient boroughs of Bramber, East

Grinstead, and Steyning ; the market towns of Battle, Cuckfield, Ilailsham, and Petworth ; and the towns of Bognor, Eastbourne, Mayfield, Newhaven, and Worthing. The Cinque Ports and their associate towns with their Barons are among the most striking of the characteristics of the Southern Coast of England. Hastings, in return for this special privilege, was bound to find and equip three ships, Seaford one, Winchelsea five, Rye four, and Pevensey one.

"Those were grand days for the old Barons," observes a writer in the Quarterly Review. "Forthwith great civic seals were cast ; silk pennons, insignia of their might, fluttered from tower and galley to the breeze. French wines filled their vast subterraneous storehouses. French refugees in times of persecution flocked in safety to their keeps, crowned heads made progress and held revel here, and Winchelsea was ' a little London.' One unenviable distinction, too, they had—a Chancery at their own doors, and a private Chancellor. At the royal right hand was the Barons' seat at every Coronation banquet, to be the bearers of the silken Coronation canopy was their proudest privilege. Another was the right to send Bailiffs yearly to Great Yarmouth, to superintend the annual forty days' herring fair there. This superintendence, as the town increased, was resisted and resented, and great quarrels ensued, and to this day Great Yarmouth pays a yearly tribute of herrings to Windsor Castle (or composition money for it), as a mulct for a brawl in which one of the bailiffs killed one of the port's bailiffs. Then came reverses : storm and tempest first made the breach. Rye harbour was choked up, Hastings harbour was swept away, Win- chelsea was almost swallowed up alive in the thirteenth century, and when it was rebuilt in a safer situation the eapricious sea forsook it. Then French and Spanish spoilers came, and then political and municipal ferments, Treasury intimidation, and cor- rupt elections, and a goodly array of mandamuses and quo-warrantos, and petty freemen racked learned brains in soleinn trials with dis- puters upon freedom." Then came the Reform Act of 1832. "Schedule A extinguished Seaford and Winchelsea, and Rye only found better terms in Schedule B. Now the Queen's Writs run here as elsewhere, and no Chancery is held, and the Court of Shep- way, and the Brotherhood and Guestling Court at Romney are forgotten things ; and although bailiffs and jurats are still living entities, those representatives of England's old marine aristocracy till peasant farms on aguish marshes or wrap grocers' candles. And yet there they stand, those two ' ancient towns,' Rye and Winchelsea, with the ruins of Camber Castle midway between them, all the more interesting in their decay, the one with its quaint gables, deep roofs, and paved highways, unlike any other English town you ever saw ; the other with the ivied walls and venerable gateways, and streets so green with grass that a century ago the herbage was let some years for 41." And yet " it was at Rye and Winchelsea that our fleet came to anchor in 1350, when Edward III. fought in person against the Spaniards." But though foreign commerce and civic greatness have deserted the Sussex ports, the herrings still continue faithful to the coast, and the great herring season in October yields considerable profits to the Sussex fishermen.

LEWES is now chiefly remarkable for the battle which was fought near it on the 14th of May, 1264, between Henry III. and Simon de Montfort and the patriotic Barons, and the treaty signed after the King's defeat and capture, only to be broken immediately afterwards by Prince Edward. The town of Lewes, which has grown up around the Castle and Priory, is one of the most picturesquely situated in England. It " covers the side of a steep hill in the very heart of the South Downs, and at a point where the surrounding heights are unusually striking and elevated." If, as it seems probable, it once stood close to the sea, the beauty of the first settlement must have been much enhanced. As it is, only a muddy river, the Ouse, flows through it. The Lewes Levels, it is believed, were once covered by the sea, then a network of marine estuaries, then a peaty swamp formed by the drift of the woods of the great Anderida Forest, and lastly a cultivated plain. After the Norman Conquest (as we have seen) Lewes was granted to the Earl Warren, and it shared the fortunes of that family till their extinction in the fourteenth century. It was often threatened by the French, but never pillaged by them ; became the scene of numerous Protestant martyrdoms in the reign of Mary, and after the Restoration was a stronghold of the Nonconformists. Though it did not retain the relative im- portance as respects the other Sussex towns which it possessed in the Saxon times, Lewes continued a place of some mark. It has returned two Members to Parliament continuously from the time of Edward I. Graia and malt, sheep and cattle, are now the prin- cipal objects of its traffic. Its present port, Newhaven (eight

miles below), as we have already said, has become a port of Con- tinental transit, and is in some sort a port to Brighton as well as to Lewes, the former place being naturally disabled from being a port itself. The ruins of the Priory and the Castle are the chief antiquarian interest of Lewes, which seems, however, from coins, &c., which have been found, to have been a Roman as well as a Saxon site.

The watering-places of Sussex are now the basis of its present prosperity. It is no longer a " black country," no longer part of a great maritime commercial confederacy, and the earlier greatness of the Count of the Saxon Shore has become very dim indeed, even to antiquarian research. But Brighton, Hastings and its offshoot St. Leonard's, Eastbourne, Worthing, and Littlehampton are important members of the modern sea-side system. Brighton indeed may now be called " London-on-the-Sea." It appears to be growing also into distinctive significance as a poli- tical borough, as one of the strongholds of the " artizan " class, who predominate in the elections. But notwithstanding such symptoms of reviving life, this Province must be pronounced, on the whole, to be a country of the past, and a mausoleum of Old England, rather than an important member of the England of the present day.

Sussex can boast of having produced four Archbishops of Can- terbury—John Peckham, Robert Winchelsey, Thomas Bradwar- dine, Thomas Arundell, and William Juxon, the last the well known attendant of Charles I. on the scaffold, to which the warrant signed by another Sussex man had brought that King. Among other of Sussex's sons of note may be mentioned Thomas Sackville, the poet, diplomatist and High Treasurer ; Chief Baron Sir J. Jeffery ; Sir William Pelham of Laughton, Irish Chief Justice to Elizabeth ; John Selden ; the poets William Collins and Percy Bysshe Shelley ; the three brothers Shirley— Anthony, Robert, and Thomas, adventurers and explorers and diplomatists of the accomplished Raleigh school ; and the numer- ous men of mark among the lords of the soil, the Howards, Sack- vines, Fiennes, Ashburnhams, Percies, Montagues of Cowdray, and Lennoxes. John Ashburnham especially is well known in history as the attendant of Charles I. during his imprisonment, and in connection especially with the flight to the Isle of Wight. And perhaps one of the finest specimens of the English country gentle- man in modern times was to be found in the late Duke of Richmond.