A Village in Sussex: The History of Kingston-Near-Lewes by Charles Cooper

By Charles Cooper

During this fantastically crafted background, Charles Cooper explores the advance of the industry city Kingston-near-Lewes, from the time of the Norman conquest to the top of the 19th century, reading how its medieval earlier formed the borders and bounds of its current.

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Extra resources for A Village in Sussex: The History of Kingston-Near-Lewes

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A whole group of them took the names of their Elizabethan or pre-Elizabethan Tudor owners. Howell’s lands for example, consisted of a virgate, and are mentioned several times in eighteenth-century documents – in Thomas 26 Rogers’s will, for instance. They can be traced back to Robert Howell in 1567, and it is most probable that a Howell held them earlier too in 1524–25. Moreover, at the time that the Howell family held these lands they were called 27 ‘Adam’s lands’, which traces them back to an earlier unspecified time.

Although this might apply mainly to the Cistercian houses of England, it was also extended to other orders – and it is clear that the privilege of tithe exemption had been granted to the Cluniac order at the priory of Lewes, at least as far as their lands at Swanborough were concerned. These tithe exemptions (which were of considerable commercial value) were jealously guarded by the orders while they held sway. Afterwards, at the dissolution of monastic lands, their new lay owners inherited them and, no doubt, they were a particularly desirable aspect of the erstwhile church lands.

Did the village, as a community, have a bigger say in agricultural decisions than it might have done had there been but one manor court? Unfortunately, there is no evidence for this. One can only speculate, remembering, however, that the multiplicity of manors in Kingston – given the particular form the manorial holdings took – need not have led to conflicts of interest between lords about basic agricultural decisions. Certainly not all the manors had direct interests in the ordering of the agricultural year in the village.

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