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              FORGOTTEN STREET NAMES  
  THE STORY OF SHOREHAM              
                     
            These pageants represented scenes from the Bible.   They were really a series of tableaux and would appear to modern ideas somewhat profane.   Each scene was enacted by a separate group of mechanics and tradesmen, who dressed in costumes suitable to the parts they were to play, and each tableau was usually " set " on a trolley or cart, which took its appointed place in the procession.   The favourite subjects for such displays were the Creation of the World, Paradise, " Helle," Cain and Abel, Noah's Ark, Abraham and Isaac, Moses and Aaron with the Children of Israel, and Pharaoh and "his knights," David and Goliath, the Birth of Christ, the Baptism of Christ, and others. You will doubtless conclude that " Procession Strete " was so named from having been the scene of some such religious drama as the above.
adjoining a street called " Moderlove Strete " and " Procession Strete." A letter of attorney authorises John Hunt to deliver seisin (possession) of the premises, 14th March, 11th Henry VII. (1496).  
Four years after this there was a grant by Thomas Adam, clerk, and Thomas Thaccher, gentleman, to Henry Coby, Richard Rolle, Thomas Filde, Thomas Trower, John Cheverell, and John Delve the younger, of "a cellar with a chamber or loft above it," called " Malappynny s," in New Shoram, " bequeathed to the grantors by Richard Bengemyn, deceased," with letter of attorney authorising Thomas Garston to deliver seisin of the premises lst October, 15th Henry VII. (1500).  
The words " Malduppinne " and " Malappynnys " present a problem which is not easy of solution. It is possible that the terminations " ppinne " and " ppynnys " (pin and pins) suggest a connection with " pin," which is a barrel of brandy or wine containing ten gallons. In such a connection the word would possibly mean "place (or house) of the pins " (i.e., of wine or brandy).  
  Probably here, too, as elsewhere there was the religious ceremonial observance of Rogationtide, when it was customary for the priests and people to perambulate the streets and boundaries of the parish and ask the blessing of God upon the fruit of the field.
Standing in the Market Place for something like six hundred years, this old building must have witnessed many changing scenes as the centuries passed and many quaint ceremonies and customs long since forgotten.            
  " Moderlove Strete " was the present Middle Street, and its ancient name presumably had some connection with the cult of the Virgin Mary. Possibly in those far-off days the rents of the property in this street were devoted to the upkeep of " the chantry at the altar of the Blessed Mary " in New Shoreham Church and for the maintenance of the chantry priest.   The "garden called Prede " may have some reference to Predial tithes (tithes of that which grows from the ground only). The site of this garden appears to have been between the Marlipins and St. John Street.
Ceremonies, both religious and secular, doubtless gave to the High Street its ancient alternative name of " Procession Strete." Whether this street-name was common in other towns during the Middle Ages we do not know. So far the writer has met with no other reference to such a name in England, but-this only in passing-thousands of years ago ancient Babylon had a Procession Street."  
  The building has long served the purpose of a builder's store and carpenter's shop. For a short time after the outbreak of the war, the cellar was adapted to the practice of rifle firing, but has now resumed its former peaceful uses. It is to be regretted that such an interesting relic of the past has never been acquired for the housing of the antiquities of the neighbourhood. For such a purpose it would be well suited and would thus be saved from the destruction which, we fear, will one day overtake it.
           
During the Middle Ages processions played a very important part in the observance of high days and holidays and all towns of any importance had trade gilds. It is clear that such existed in our town during the fourteenth century because the general writ issued for a return respecting gilds, 1st November, 1388, was proclaimed in the Borough of New Shoreham 15th December following.  
There was a strong religious element in the organization of trade gilds at this period, and the custom of all the fraternities going in procession to the church of their town on certain feast days, carrying their banners and symbols, gradually developed during the 15th century until it became a sort of pageantry.   In addition to the documents named above there is also in the Record Office a grant by John atte Corner to Roger atte Corner, his brother, of his corner tenement in New Shoreham, in a street called " Sowterystrete." It is witnessed by Reginald
           
                     
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Copyright © Martin Snow 2002 All rights reserved
Revised 27 February 2002