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  CHAPTER X.    
       
A GATE-WAY TO THE SEA-KING JOHN'S VISITS TO THE TOWNMARITIME TRAFFIC-THIRTEENTH CENTURY "° SIIIP-CARPENTERS "PIRACY-SHIPS FOR THE WARS OF EDWARD III.-A " PILGRIM " SHIP-AN ACTION FOUGHT OFF SHOREHAM-RECOMMENDATIONS FOR 11 DEFENCE "-THE ROYAL FUGITIVE-THE KING AND THE QUAKER.  
       
As a well-frequented highway to and from the Continent for at least three centuries after the Norman Conquest, Shoreham held no secondary place among the ports of Sussex. The extent of its maritime traffic may be gathered from an examination of the Rolls preserved in the Public Record Office. In these are found frequent references to the arrival or departure of notable personages, the demands of the King for ships to serve in war-time, exports and imports, and to frequent cases of piracy.  
Shoreham, indeed, has played no small part in the making of English History, and you may find if you follow our story to the end, that a few side-lights are thrown upon the larger page, perhaps to illumine it with a new interest.  
It is a far cry from Shoreham to Lincoln, and the two places, it would seem, have little in common, yet, curiously enough, during the twelfth century, the old Cathedral City of the Fenlands and the Sussex seaport were linked together in a somewhat interesting and dramatic way.  
At Lincoln lived "Aaron, the Jew." He was the chief financier of his day, and his house, still remaining, is one of two in that ancient city built in Norman times. These are believed to be the earliest private houses of stone still extant in England. Both are still inhabited.  
Aaron's speciality in money-lending seems to have been that of making large advances to monasteries. It was his proud boast that, but for him, even the great Abbey of St. Albans-one of the most important in England-would be a ruin and " St. Alban have no roof to his head."  
Few, indeed, were the great ones of that day--cleric or layman -whose names were not to be found on Aaron's books. Many    

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