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              A ROYAL MANOR    
  THE STORY OF SHOREHAM                
                   
        time the King charged Elizabeth to watch and attend on the Prince."  
with appurtenances, of Hugh de Audele and Margaret, his wife, as of the Honour of St. Waleric, by the service of 12d. or a sparrowhawk at Michaelmas. After his death in 1335 it was stated that there was at Old Shoreham " a court built with houses " (a manor house and cottages) and that " there are in the manor 228 acres of arable land worth yearly £8 4s., and five acres of several pasture for sheep."    
  Henry VI., in 1424, " by advice of his council," confirmed this grant. The King was then but an infant of about two years of age. He made his nurse a further grant of £20 a year and confirmed another of £20, which had been made to her by his grandfather, Henry IV.  
  After Elizabeth Ryman's death her husband held the manor, and in September, 1441-probably after his decease there was a grant for life to William Dawtre of the keeping of the King's Manor of Old Shoreham.  
John, son of Richard de Abberbury, " held in dower as of fee the day he died (26th September, 1347) a tenement in Schorharn of the Prince of Wales, and 200 acres of land worth 100s. yearly, and rents of assize of one free tenant 3s. 4d. yearly at Christmas and the Nativity of St. John the Baptist."    
  In the reign of Elizabeth the tenants of the manor inned and recovered some twenty-seven acres known as " Shoreham Marsh," which had formerly been " overflown " by the sea. This area is that portion of the parish stretching northward of Old Shoreham Church and bounded by the old river-bank and the foot of the Downs. Having recovered these acres at their own expense, the inhabitants made division amongst themselves, "apportioning every man according to his hold and in recompense of the charges he had been at in the inning."  
The Manor of Old Shoreham formed part of the dower of Joan, Princess of Wales, widow of the Black Prince and mother of Richard II., but in 1380 this Princess, " in consideration of services rendered to herself and to her daughter, de Courteney," made a grant of all her rents in Old Shoreham to Henry Norton, who enjoyed the income for life.   In 1396 the manor was granted to Adam atte Wode, yeoman of the chamber. It was then of the yearly value of £10.    
             
    A foot-path turning in at the top of Old Shoreham Street and crossing the field opposite Adur Lodge, leads down to the marsh and marks the road by which the tenants of the manor drove their cattle down to pasture. This could have been the only way of access to it in those days as the sea waters then washed the walls of the churchyard. The traces of a dam built about 200 yards north of Old Shoreham Church are to be seen to-day.
In 1397 there was a grant "without rent" to the King's brother, John de Holand, Earl of Huntyngdon, of the reversion expectant upon the death of Walter Dalingrygg of the Manor of Old Shoreham during the minority of the heir of John de Arundel, knt.    
                   
In June, 1400, a commission was appointed to enquire into " certain trespasses, extortions and injuries committed on the tenants of Henry, Prince of Wales, in the towns of Old and New Shoreham." The nature of these grievances has not transpired. Twelve years later this Prince is mentioned as holding the Manor of Old Shoreham, " worth £10 a year."              
    But this reclaiming had been carried out without the consent of the Lady of the Manor-no less a personage than Queen Elizabeth herself, who was not the monarch to submit tamely to any such infringement of her rights of property by the people of Old Shoreham. Her receiver of rents was directed to enquire into the matter of these " concealed " lands and he reported that he "had been to the Manor of Old Shoreham " and that " Shoreham Marsh ought of right to appertain to Her Highness," that it was proved concealed and the tenants being evicted, it was worth to be " letten " at so much the acre.
On the 6th June, in the 9th year of his reign, King Henry V. granted for life to Elizabeth, wife of William Ryman, the Manor of Old Shoreham. This was just after the birth of the Prince who was shortly to become the luckless Henry VI. It appears that this grant was in recognition of the services rendered to the Royal family by Elizabeth Ryman. She had been summoned by King Henry V. " to come to him in his realm of France to do service about the person of the Queen " and " came to the King at Paris and attended the Queen-Katherine, the " Fair Kate " of Shakespeare's play-until the young Prince was born, at which 38    
             
    The marsh affords pasture for cattle to-day, but it is now commonly known as the " saltings."
      Closely associated with the history of Old Shoreham Manor was the ferry and passage over the river, the only means of 39
             

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Copyright © Martin Snow 2002 All rights reserved
Revised 27 February 2002