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      THE STORY OF SHOREHAM       BELLINGHAM FAMILY  
                               
Thomas Cobye, Hugh Cobye (residuary legatee and executor), Lettys Cobye and another daughter, referred to as " wife of John Harrys," the testator gives " to the reparation of the church of Oulde Schorham 6s. 8d." and " I will that an obit annually shall be kept in the church of Oulde Schorham for my soul and all Christian souls for the space and time of ten years to the annual value of twenty shillings, that is to say, ten priests, 5s. with their breakfast, the overplus in meat and drink and alms to poor people." " Maister Richard Bellingham " was one of the overseers of the will.   daughter of John Shelley of Michelgrove, by whom he had two sons, John and Edward.
  Edward, the younger of these two sons, rose to a position of considerable distinction in the service of his country. He was brought up in the Duke of Norfolk's household and is, no doubt, identical with Edward Bellingham, described as of ErringhamWalstead, who was one of the defenders in a tilting held at Westminster in 1531. He was a soldier of distinction and served in Hungary with Sir Thomas Seymour and with the Earl of Surrey at Boulogne. He became Lieutenant of the Isle of Wight and in 1545 took the chief part in the repulse of the French attack on the Island.   Edward the Sixth made him a member of his Privy Council and appointed him, 12th April, 1548, Lord Deputy of Ireland. He died in the autumn of the following year. We find that Richard and George Shelley and Nicholas Gaynesford demised the Manor of Erringham-Walstead to John Bellingham (above-named), Joan Delve (whom he subsequently married), and others, with remainder to the heirs of Edward, father of John, then to Richard, brother of Edward, then to John of Lymster, son and heir of Ralph, brother of Richard, and then to Joan Shirley, the sister.
            The last-named was a member of the somewhat notable family connected with Erringham for something like one hundred and sixty years, and one branch of which resided in the old Manor House for several generations.  
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      The ancestor of this family was Sir Robert Bellingham (the name is pronounced "Bellinjum"), Baronet, of Burnishead in Westmoreland, living there in the time of Kings Henry the Fifth and Sixth. By his wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Richard Tunstall, Knt., of Thurland Castle, county Lancashire, Sir Robert had issue, three sons-Sir Henry, ancestor of the Burnishead and Levens families ; Richard, ancestor of the Lincolnshire family; and Thomas, who settled at Lymster, near Arundel, and became the ancestor of the Sussex families with whom we are more particularly concerned.  
        John Bellingham, described as of Little Horsted, died in 1541, leaving by his wife, Joan (Delve), who survived him, a son and heir not five years of age at his father's death. John's possessions included Haselholt, in Southwick, and he held the Manor of Erringham-Walstead of the Honour of Bramber. Joan Bellingham, the widow, married James Gage, son of Sir John Gage, Comptroller of the Household to Henry VIII.
             
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    John, left an infant at the death of his father in 1541, was ,described, at an Inquisition taken at Lewes in 1556-7 to prove his age, as " John Bellingham, gentleman, cousin and heir of Sir Edward Bellingham, Knight "(? of Newtimber), and he was then 20 years of age. He married in 1560 and by his wife, Ann, had issue-John, Thomas, Elizabeth, Ann, and Mary.   He died in 1576 and was buried in Bath Abbey, November 11th of that year (see Bath Abbey registers) and his memorial, formerly in the Abbey Church, read thus :-" Here lieth the Bodie of John Bellingham, late of Earingham in the county of Sussex, Esquier." His family arms were engraved on this monument-Argent, three bugle horns sable, stringed pules and garnished or, and. impaling party per bend of six, on a canton, a lion rampant
             
Thomas Bellingham, by his wife, Joan Wiltshire, was the father of three sons-Ralph of Lymster, born about 1470, Edward of Erringham, and Richard of Newtimber and Hangleton-and one daughter, Joan, who became the wife of Ralph Shirley. Thomas Bellingham died and left to his son Ralph the Manor of Yapton, near Arundel, certain property in Petworth, and a moiety of the Manor of Erringham in Old Shoreham.  
    Edward Bellingham, second son of Thomas, married Jane,  
                               
              52           53    

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