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ship for Dissenters; a Charity School, for the education of 20 boys and 20 girls; a National School; Alms-houses, founded by the Duchess of Somerset, for 20 widows, each of whom receives £20 yearly; Thompson's Hospital, for 12 poor men and women, with £10 a-year to each; and other charities. In the centre of the town is the Market-house, adorned with a bust of William III; above this is an apartment, in which the Quarter Sessions are held, and which is called the Town Hall; this building was erected about 1790 by the Earl of Egremont, and is neat and convenient. Near the town, in a healthy situation, is a House of Correction, on Howard's plan, where the tread-mill has been recently introduced.
Immediately adjoining to the Churchyard is Petworth House, the magnificent seat of the Earl of Egremont, which was erected early in the last century by the Duke of Somerset, and has a noble front of freestone, adorned with a line of statues on the top, and having 21 windows in each story. The interior is decorated in the most elegant manner, and contains a very large collection of paintings, antique statues and busts. The park wall encloses an area 12 miles in circumference, and from many parts extensive and beautiful prospects present themselves, In front of the house is a fine sheet of water, formed at a vast expense, which, beside its ornamental appearance, supplies, by machinery, every part of the building, and also the whole of the town, with excellent water. A part of the park is devoted to agricultural purposes, his Lordship being one of the greatest breeders and improvers of cattle and sheep in the county.
PEVENSEY, about three miles from East Bourne, although now a small village, with only 875 inhabitants, was formerly of sufficient consequence to give its name to the Rape in which it is situated. It was a sea-port of considerable importance, and here William, Duke of Normandy, landed with that army which shortly afterwards achieved the fatal victory of Hastings*. The sea has now so far receded that
* As he leaped on shore, William stumbled and fell, but with great pre. sence of mind removed the unfavourable impression which this accident * might have produced on his followers, by exclaiming aloud, that he had
small boats can only approach the town by means of a rivulet. The sole relic of its ancient consequence is the ruined castle, the external walls of which are almost entire, and enclose an area of seven acres. taken possession of the country; and one of his soldiers, pulling some of the thatch from a neighbouring cottage, presented it to him in token of seizin. He marched to the neighbourhood of Hastings, where he fixed his camp; and hither the English forces also advanced, and on the morning of the 14th of October, 1066, the two armies met; that of the invaders contained about 60,000 men, and was particularly strong in cavalry, which was commanded by William himself. Of the English army the number is not known; it was probably more numerous than that of the Normans, but far inferior in discipline. The King placed himself at the head of the infantry, while the Kentish men occupied the van, and the Londoners guarded the standard. The Normans advanced to the attack, singing the war-song of Roland, but were received with so much valour and firmness by the English, that, after a desperate conflict, they were obliged to retreat, and would most probably have been totally defeated, had not William, at this critical period, hastened to their support with a select body of troops, which he had kept in reserve, and which changed the fortune of the day. Still the English, animated by the example of their prince, maintained their ground, and the victory was yet doubtful, when William ordered his soldiers to feign a retreat; and having thus drawn their opponents from an advantageous position which they occupied, the Normans suddenly turned upon them, and drove them with great slaughter back to the hill, from whence they were again drawn by a similar stratagem; thus weakened by repeated attacks, and exceedingly galled by the Norman cross-bow men, their defeat was completed by the death of the gallant King Harold, who was slain by an arrow, as were also bis two brothers, Gurth and Leofwin. The fall of those heroic princes spread consternation among their followers, who now gave way, on all sides, and were pursued with great slaughter by the barbarous victors, until the darkness of night put an end to the carnage. With their monarch and his brothers perished the principal Eng. lish nobility, and a great number of meaner rank; and the loss of the Normans is estimated at 15,000 men. The body of Harold was found among the slain, and generonsly sent by William to his mother, by whom it was interred in Waltham Abbey Church, under a stone bearing only this inscription, “ HAROLD INFELIX!”
It has been generally supposed that by this victory the Conqueror im. mediately acquired undisputed possession of the whole country, and our Saxon ancestors have been reproached with a tame submission to a foreign yoke. In Sir James Mackintosh's History of England, lately published, we are happy to find this matter more correctly stated; it is there shown that their subjugation was not completed until after an arduous struggle of seven years; and in the following eloquent passage that justice is awarded which had previously been denied to their heroic efforts:
“The territory won at the battle of Hastings was not a fourth part of the kingdom. It was bounded on the north and west by a line which we cannot confidently fill up, but which extended from Dorset to the bay which enters between Norfolk and Lincoln. The successive contests in which the Conqueror was engaged ought not to be regarded as on liis part measures to quell the rebellion: they were a series of wars levied by a foreign prince against unconquered and unbending portions of the Saxon people. Their resistance was not a flame casually lighted up by the oppression of rulers; it was the defensive warfare of a nation who took up arms to preserve, not to recover, their independence. There are few examples of a people who have suffered more for national dignity and legitimate freedom. The Britons are, perhaps, too far from us to admit our fellow-feeling with them. When we stretch out our hands towards their heroes, we scarcely embrace VOL. I.
From the great number of Roman bricks employed in its construction, it is supposed either to have been erected by those conquerors, or to have been reared from the materials of some edifice built by them.
Near the eastern entrance of the Castle stands the Church, also of great antiquity; it has a square tower and a spire, and in the interior are several ancient monuments. A National School is established at Pevensey, for children of both sexes; and here is a small Gaol for criminals.
At Pevensey, early in the sixteenth century, was born Andrew Borde, a celebrated physician, who after receiving his education at Winchester and Oxford, visited every country in Europe, and several parts of Africa. On his return to England he received the degree of M. D. and “was esteemed,” says Wood,
a noted poet, a witty and ingenious person, and an excellent physician;" his practice, however, would be deemed rather irregular in the present day, as he is said to have frequented fairs and markets, baranguing the people in a jocose style, and performing his cures in public, in the mode since practised by those itinerant venders of nostrums called quacks, and the members of that respectable fraternity are said to have derived from him the appellation of Merry Andrews. His jocularity appears to have been assumed, as in private he practised the most rigid austerities; he lived in celibacy, drank nothing but water three days in the week, constantly wore a hair shirt, and suspended his shroud' every night at the foot of his bed. He died in the Fleet Prison, in 1549; the cause of his confinement is unknown; but, as he left considerable property, it is not probable that he was a prisoner for debt.
ROBERTSBRIDGE, a pleasant village on the high road from London to Hastings, from the latter of which it is distant 13 miles, and from the former 51, is situated on the little river Rother, which is here divided into three branches, over each of which is a more than a shadow. But let is not distort history by throwing the unmerited reproach of want of national spirit on the Anglo-Saxons, and thus placing an impassable barrier between our sympathy and the founders of our laws and liberties, whose language we speak, in whose homes we dwell, and in whose establishments and institutions we justly glory.” Hist. of England, vol. i. p. 109.
Bridge. Here are still some small remains of a Priory of Cistercian monks, founded in 1176, and now converted into a farm-house.
ROTTINGDEAN, a charming little village, four miles from Brighton, has of late years attracted so many visitors as a watering-place, that it is in danger of losing its principal recommendation—the quiet and rural simplicity which forms so striking a contrast to the bustle of the more fashionable resorts on this coast. It has a neat Church; is sheltered by a range of hills, and the fine beach is peculiarly favourable for bathing, for which purpose Machines are kept; several respectable Lodging-houses have also een established. The population was, in 1821, about 800 persons.
RYE. This ancient town and Cinque Port stands on an eminence at the mouth of the Rother, 63 miles from London. By some writers it is said to have been known to the Romans under the name of Ripa, while others derive its name from the British word Rhy, a ford, or bay. History, however, does not confirm these conjectures, the first mention we find of this place being in 893, when the Danes landed here, and committed great ravages. In the twelfth century it was fortified by William de Ipres, Earl of Kent, in 1287 a dreadful tempest, which overwhelmed Win, chelsea, altered the course of the Rother, and opened for it a passage close to Rye. Its destruction by the French we have already related; and this and other causes had reduced it to a state of great decay, when, in the sixteenth century, its harbour was cleared and restored by two violent tempests; but becoming choked up with sand, about thirty years ago, a new one was formed by cutting a large canal, in a more direct line to the sea, and it is now capable of afford. ing shelter to vessels of 200 tons burden, 14 mile from its mouth. The corporation of Rye consists of a Mayor, Jurats, and a number of Freemen, by whom the Mayor is annually elected in September. This town is one of the most ancient of the Cinque Ports, and has sent two Barons to Parliament ever since the reign of Edward I.
Rye was once strongly fortified, and part of the Walls still remain, as do some of the Gates. One of these, called
is a handsome Gothic arch, guarded on each side by a round tower. Ipres Castle, erected in the twelfth century by the nobleman whose name it bears, was also a part of the fortifications, and is a strong square pile, with a round tower at each angle. In the fourteenth century it became the property of the Corporation, and was used as a Court House, but on the erection of a new Town Hall, it was converted into a prison, for which purpose it continues to be employed. Near this Castle is a modern Battery of '18 guns.
The Church, dedicated to St. Mary, is built of stone, in the form of a cross, and is considered one of the largest parish churches in the kingdom. Its exterior is plain, and its interior does not present anything worthy of notice. It is supposed to have been erected shortly after the burning of the town by the French in 1377, when the former Church, which stood near Ipres Castle, in a spot still called the Old Churchyard, was destroyed. In this town were formerly several religious foundations, of which the only vestige left is the chapel of a monastery of Augustine Friars, now used as a store house, but still distinguished by the appellation of the Friary.