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                THE STORY OF SHOREHAM  
                       
              it would appear that the castle fires were burning low and the wood-stack in the court-yard diminishing. " Certain poor men taking 30 cart-loads of wood to the market at Shoreham " were waylaid by Nicholas Dytton, constable of Bramber Castle, and other servants of William de Braose, who wounded the men, seized the carts and their contents, and took them to the castle.
  CHAPTER IX.      
             
SCENES IN THE MARKET PLACE-ASSAULT AND ROBBERYMuRDER THE CHuRCH AS A CITY of REFUGE-REVENGE FOR PIRACY.   Further, William de Braose, Nicholas Dytton, William Frewyn, and William Tester came to the house of a certain Richard do Tutting in Shoreham town, and there wounded Nicholas Brench, and against the King's peace "took and spoiled him of one tabard worth 5s., a sword worth 3s., a cap worth 4d., a tripod worth 2s. and a burse containing 5s. 8d." De Braose also took the owner captive and carried him off to Bramber Castle, where he was imprisoned until ordered to be liberated by the King.   It appears, however, that the property of his somewhile captive, was still detained by de Braose ;   and, indeed, a very suitable motto for that baron might have been found in the words " What I take, I hold fast."
             
DURING the period from 1275 to 1289 many complaints were made against William de Braose (mentioned in the previous chapter) as to the manner in which he exercised his feudal powers in Shoreham, often " in contempt of our lord the King."    
At one Assize Court William de Gyselham, who sued for the King, complained against the baron that he took in his town of Shoreham of each ship calling there with wines, "one cask from before the mast and one cask from behind the mast," and made a prise of wax and other merchandise against the will of the merchants and without warrant.    
    With such an example before the men of Shoreham it is small wonder that they, too, were charged with offences against the laws of the Realm. So we find it recorded that Arnold the Draper and Richard de Mansiot sold cloth against the assize ; that John le Franckelin, John de Bedinges, and Gregory Caldwell unjustly took money in tolls. In the seventh year of Edward the First's reign, eleven of the inhabitants sold 260 tuns of wine,
             
De Braose attended to answer these charges and denied them, saying that he did not claim any prise of merchandise in the town, but that of ancient custom he took toll of merchandise coming to the town, that is, for each cask of wine, Id., for each last of hides, 10d. " and other small tolls " as his ancestors were wont to make, but that he took no prisage.    
There were other charges against the baron, to wit, he had forbidden the traders of the town to sell victuals or other necessaries to Robert Aquilon, his heirs or others on his behalf, or to allow them lodging in Shoreham, or even to admit them into its precincts. Robert Aquilon went with his grievance to the King and an order was made that he should be permitted to trade with the men of the town.   In spite of this de Braose still forbade them to have any dealings with him.     " since the last itinerary, against the assize."   Nine years later eighteen of the townsmen sold 220 tuns; and Arnald le Isemonger, William and Robert Chamond sold bread against the assize.
             
    We must now go back some years and relate an incident which occurred in the market-place of New Shoreham on Saturday in Easter week, in the forty-second year of the reign of Henry III.
    The townsmen and others from a distance, engaged in their various callings, were ready to supply the wants of all comers. Among those gathered there " in full market " was Edmund de Adberton (Edburton) "selling his wares." William Baudefar, member of a well-known family in Shoreham at that time, came into the market.   He made his way to Edmund's stall, andthey were somewhat quarrelsome folk, those old-time tradersangry words were soon bandied about from one to the other. During the dispute, Edmund carelessly fingered a hatchet lying
Nicholas Dytton also took of wine and other goods " partly paid and partly unpaid " and retained them against the will of the owners and amerced them many- times against the statute, and "because he was bailiff of William de Braose," his master was directed to bring him before the Assize for judgment.    
Nor was this all.   By his bailiffs, we are told, de Braose took at his pleasure, corn, meat, and fish from the poor, to their great damage and against the King's statutes.   On one occasion    
                       
    102             103    

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