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    THE STORY OF SHOREHAM       LOCAL GOVERNMENT  
                       
William." The next heirs of William de Braose were stated to be Alina de Mowbray and John de Bohun, son and heir of Joan, who was the wife of James de Bohun.   Barony of Bramber descended to his son, John, Duke of Norfolk, who, dying (1461) left a son, John, created Earl of Warenne and Surrey in his father's lifetime. He died (1476) without issue surviving and the Honour of Bramber devolved on the Howards, Dukes of Norfolk, with whom Bramber descended as Arundel, the present Duke of Norfolk being Lord of the Manor of New Shoreham.
After the death of Edward II. and the execution of the Despensers, King Edward III., in the first year of his reign, sensible of the services rendered to the Crown by the Mowbray family, restored them to favour.  
John de Mowbray, son of the Sir John who had been executed in the previous reign, held the Castle and Manor of Bramber and the town of Shoreham of the King in chief by Barony. He attended the King in two expeditions to France and when the French threatened to invade the coast of Sussex he was directed to remain in his Castle at Bramber, which was to serve as a stronghold from whence he and his men at arms might sally forth and annoy the enemy.   He espoused a daughter of Henry, Earl of Lancaster, and died of pestilence at York, 1362.   In the first year of Henry VII. the 'Manor of Shoreham was granted to Thomas West, Lord de la Warr and the borough and town of Shoreham granted in fee farm to Sir Thomas Seymour in 1st Edward VI.
  The Manor is co-extensive with the parish but extends seaward from the Harbour Mouth to Old Shoreharn Bridge, being bounded on the south and west by the river bank. It formerly comprised the rights of fishery, anchorage, boomage (a tax on every ship, possibly at so much per mast), and meterage (the right to license meters and taking a fee for the licence) for which officers were appointed, but in 1760, when the Board of Harbour Commissioners was appointed and authorised to levy tolls, the rights of anchorage and boomage ceased.
The Mowbray family continued to hold the Castle and Barony of Bramber for several generations, passing from the above-named John to his son John, who was slain at Constantinople in 1369, then to the latter's son, John de Mowbray, Earl of Nottingham (died 1383, aged 19), to his brother, Thomas Mowbray, who was created Duke of Norfolk and died at Venice, 1399, to his son, Thomas Mowbray, Earl Marshal and of Nottingham (beheaded at York) and to his brother John, who was 14 years of age at the time of his succession and to whom the Dukedom was restored.  
  There prevails in this Manor the custom of " borough English," by which land held by copyhold descends to the youngest son, daughter, or collateral heir, as the case may be. A peculiar rule of descent, the real origin of which is lost. The copyholds are somewhat numerous and are held at small fines certain and there are also some freeholds held of the 'Manor by quit-rents and heriots.
           
After the death of Thomas, Duke of Norfolk (1399), his widow married Sir Robert Gonshill, and at the death of the latter (1403) it was stated that " he held the Borough of Shoreham." His widow, Elizabeth, died July, 1425, and it was then stated that she " held in dower the day she died the manors of Fyndon, Knappe, Grenestede and the Borough of Shorham, which, after her death, reverted to John, Duke of Norfolk, son and heir of the late Duke and Elizabeth." In the Borough of New Shoreham certain rents of assize are mentioned and a sea-port held of the King in chief by Knight's service.            
  The local government was formerly in the hands of two High Constables (an office dating from the reign of Edward I.), who, together with a headboro', two ale-corners, two leathersearchers and sealers, coal-meters and a pound-keeper and towncrier, were annually appointed at the Court Leet. More recently the only officials appointed were one High Constable and the Town-crier. Major T. B. Gates was the last High Constable of New Shoreham.   James Chapman was the last Crier officially appointed. But an unofficial crier and his bell still lingers and his " take notice " is heard from time to time as he makes known to the public any forthcoming event of local interest.
           
Sir John Arundel, who died in 1422, held the Manor of Shoreham with appurtenances of the Earl Marshal, and when Thomas, Earl of Arundel, died in 1427, he held the Manor of Shoreham -of John, Duke of Norfolk, his nephew, by what service is unknown."            
  The " Local Government Act, 1858," was adopted by the town 6th December, 1865, when a Local Government Board was formed, but under the Act of 1894 the town is now governed by an Urban
  John de Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, died in 1432 and the  
                       
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Copyright © Martin Snow 2002 All rights reserved
Revised 27 February 2002