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                THE CARMELITE PRIORY  
  THE STORY OF SHOREHAM                
                       
            Mouraunt and Richard Serle, whose names are to be found as those of men who represented Shoreham in Parliament in 1326 and 1360.
crossing and continuing south of the High Street, possibly was the highway to their property.  
Another Religious House was founded at Shoreham in 1316 by Sir John de Mowbray on land apparently quite near to the " Temple " and certainly south of the High Street. This was the Carmelite Priory of the Blessed Virgin Mary. A year or two later the visitor and chapter of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem in England was requested to grant to the order of St. Mary of Mount Carmel " the chapel and plot of land that the Templars formerly had in Shoreham." The Carmelites required the property so that they might " construct a house and oratory for them to dwell in there " and agreed to render the brethren of the Hospital as much yearly as was rendered therefore to the Templars.              
  Meanwhile, in 1330, John Kingswoode of Findon gave the Friars a tenement in the town of New Shoreham, which he held under the Temple. This tenement was described as having the house of Simon Crabwych on the south side of it and that of Robert Herryngs, together with other houses the property of John le Blaker, John de la Knauc, John le Ferur and Simon Trenchmere on the west, and the marsh of the Templars, called " le Templestead," to the north and east. Among the witnesses to this deed was a John de Bokyngham. Kingswoode also gave them at Christmas in the same year, by the hands of their Prior, Nicholas de Bedinges, six marks sterling of good and lawful money, in addition to twelve marks due to him on the purchase of the house alluded to.
             
The result of this request was a grant by Thomas Larchier, Prior of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem, to the Prior and Carmelites of New Shoreham of " a messuage called the Temple with a chapel therein, to him and his Priory for ever." The grant was dated " in the celebration of the Chapter of St John of Clerkenwell, by London, 4th Ides of February, 1325."              
  In 1336 Margaret Covert, of Sullington, willed to the Friars 1 qr. of wheat, 2 qrs. of barley and 15s. for six trentals for the souls of her late husband, Sir John Covert, herself and others.
  In 1348 the Prior and Brothers of the Order of the Virgin of Mount Carmel of Shoreham petitioned King Edward III. to allow Sir John de Mowbray, son of the founder, to assign to them a vacant piece of land containing one acre and a half which Sir John held of the King in chief as of his Barony of Bramber. The piece in question adjoined the dwelling-house of the Carmelites and extended to the High Street on the north.   It was required for the purpose of enlarging the said dwelling-house "which," said the petitioners, " is on the coast of the sea-port, at the extreme end of the town of Shoreham., and is subject to devastation and destruction towards the east by the ebb and flow of the tides, and the same is likely to become a ruin unless a remedy is very quickly applied."
About the same time the Carmelites acquired from William de Braose, father-in-law of the founder, land adjoining their house, formerly built upon but then vacant. De Braose held this land of the King in chief as a burgage of the town. It was later the subject of an Inquisition held at Shoreham by the King's Escheator for Sussex. Certain men of the town said on oath that it would be to the prejudice of the King to allow the Carmelites to retain the property in question. It had been acquired after the publication of the Statute in Mortmain and without first obtaining permission of the King.   However, in spite of this, we find that the Carmelites were pardoned for acquiring in mortmain this property and entering therein without licence. Moreover they received licence to retain the same.  
  An Inquisition into this matter was taken before the King's Escheator at Shoreham on Saturday, after the Feast of St. Gregory the Pope, in the presence of William atte Helde, bailiff of the town, and twelve of the inhabitants, who stated on oath "that it is not to the damage or prejudice of the King or others if the King grants the petition of the Prior and monks."
Although Thomas Larchier and the brothers of St. John had granted to the Carmelites the Templar property and renounced all claim to it in their favour, the lease of the " house and chapel " called the Temple seems to have been held by the Lotes until 1336. In that year, on the death of her husband, Matilda Lote, described in the deed of gift, as " of the Temple," gave the house and chapel to God and the Blessed Mary and the Carmelite Friars of Shoreham.   Two of the witnesses to this deed were Thomas  
  Thus it is apparent that the encroaching sea was already considerably damaging the property of the Carmelites and causing them no little anxiety as to its preservation.
    Again, in 1363, the King was petitioned to allow John atte
                       
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Copyright © Martin Snow 2002 All rights reserved
Revised 27 February 2002