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  THE STORY OF SHOREHAM              
                     
from it westward of Southwick, passing Holmbush and running through Mossy Bottom (the " Happy Valley " of Shoreham Camp).   Thence it crossed the Downs by New Erringham to Beeding Bostal or Bramber Gorge, as it was then more generally called, and passed through Beeding, over Bramber Bridge, through Steyning, Horsham, Dorking, and Epsom to London, the whole distance being 56 miles.            
                     
              CHAPTER V.  
                     
            OLD SHOREHAM alias " RUSPAR '-BUCKINGHAM FAMILY IN EARLY DEEDS-BLAKER, MONK, and BRIDGER FAMILIES-BUCKINGHAM HOUSE.
                     
During the palmy days of the Southdown Foxhounds one of the most popular meets of that popular pack was at New Erringham, at that time the residence of Mr. Thomas Pearson, who then farmed the land. As many as from four to five hundred equestrians of both sexes would frequently assemble on these occasions.   There is another manor, known as "Old Shoreham alias Ruspar," but its early history is somewhat obscured by the mists of antiquity. It became separated from the chief manor before the middle of the 14th century and as been held successively by the families of Fitzalan, Cobham, Bowyer, Boorde, Gage,Blaker, Monk, Elliston, Elliott, and Bridger, following much the same line of descent as the Manor of Buckingham, with which it has apparently been closely associated from early times.   Its limits extend beyond the boundaries of the parish, and it is a curious fact that the General Post Office in Ship Street, Brighton, is actually in the manor of Old Shoreham-Ruspar.
           
Many years ago small race meetings were sometimes held on the adjacent Downs. Much of the action of George Moore's racing novel, " Esther Waters," takes place in the immediate neighbourhood.   Many of the scenes are laid in the town of Shoreham, and Buckingham House is easily recognised under the thin disguise of " Woodville."  
  It seems to have derived its alias from the Priory of Ruspar near Horsham. In 1326 Isabel, Prioress of " Roughsparre," and William Bernard and William de la Stocke of Old Shoreham, were the defendants against William de Borughersh and Isabel, his wife, who had made a false claim to 2 1/2 acres (doubtless part of the manor lands) in Old Shoreham.
The training of racehorses was much in evidence at New Erringham just before the outbreak of the war, the farm having been let for that purpose.  
           
            Thomas de Bokyngham died in 1395, an outlaw, and his lands and tenements, " by reason of his outlawry taken into the hands of the king," included a messuage in New Shoreham which he held of Lord de Poynings, two shops in the same town held of the Prior of Sele, and eight acres in Old Shoreham "held of the Prioress of Ruspar."
            The family above mentioned derived their name from the Manor of Buckingham, and we find frequent reference to them in early deeds relating to Shoreham and the neighbourhood. John de Buckyngham, seneschal to John, Lord de Braose, was one of the witnesses in 1220 to a deed relating to Sele Priory ; Richard de Buckyngham is mentioned in an Assize Roll of 1271 ; a Richard de Buckyngham was M.P. for New Shoreham in 1300-1 ; and a Thomas de Bokyngham represented the town in 1357-8 and 1362. In 1397 Robert de Bokyngham is mentioned as son and next heir of Thomas, who had been outlawed.   A Thomas Bokyngham held the estate in 1403.
                     
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Copyright © Martin Snow 2002 All rights reserved
Revised 27 February 2002