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  THE STORY OF SHOREHAII           SHIPS FOR THE WARS  
                         
and another constable of the ship." She was to be ready by the Feast of St. Peter ad Vincula and to set out then. at the latest; in the King's service and at his charges, to Scotland, to be at Skyburnease (Shoeburyness) on the morrow of the Feast of the Assumption of St. Mary. The letter in which these commands to, the men of Shoreham are set forth continues : " The King proposes to set out shortly for Scotland to repress the rebellion of Robert le Brus and his accomplices, and needs a great fleet. He has, caused 20 marks to be delivered to his clerk, the bearer hereof, for the wages of the men from the day when they leave the port (Shoreham) until they arrive at the port of Skyburnease,, and will cause them to be satisfied for their wages while in his service." The town was again asked to provide another ship in 1310 and two more in 1311, "at the King's charges."     In the year 1314, the town was ordered to send another ship to take part in the War with Scotland, and it is probable that. the latter vessel was the " Alysetta," of Shoreham, whose master, John Drake, after Carrickfergus was taken, was paid the sum of £7 2s. 6d. for the wages of one constable and thirty-four men. The " Sainte Marie," of Shoreham, was employed in the transport of corn for the use of the royal army in Scotland.
             
              To anticipate a few years.   It maybe mentioned that, in 1327, we have the record of a considerable number of horse-shoes and nails exported from Shoreham to Newcastle for the use of the army. At that period the iron-working industry was in full swing in the forests of Sussex, and the following amounts were paid to the Sheriff : £4 3s. 4d. for 1,000 horse-shoes ; 3s. for the carriage of same from Roughey, near Horsham (where they were made), to Shoreham ; 4s. 8d. for the purchase of 14 barrels. to put these horse-shoes, 3,000 others, and 80,000 nails in ; 4d. for wooden hoops for the barrels; 2d. for iron nails to strengthen the bottoms of the barrels ; 7d. for the wages of a workman, cleaning and hooping the barrels ; 14d. for the porterage of them to the ship ; 100 shillings for the freight from Shoreham to Newcastle-on-Tyne ; and 10 shillings for the wages of a clerk to take care of them on board ship.
When William Vyvian and Bertrand Champeneys, in 1312, made a voyage in their ship " la Margarete," of Shoreham, to Berenger, near St. Matthew, and landed there " to attend to their affairs,"' they were assaulted by William le Gras, the steward of Arthur, Duke of Brittany, " and other malefactors." The Shoreham merchants and crew of the ship were taken prisoners, and meanwhile, their captors broke open the vessel's chests and coffers: and stole goods and money to the value of £20.   The steward kept the merchants and mariners in prison, until they had paid'. a fine of £50 and even then " refused to restore them their ships and goods."   Edward II., requesting the Duke to make restitution and amends for all that these men had suffered, "so that they should not come to him with renewed complaints," makes use of the covert threat " lest it should behove him to provide them with another remedy."  
             
  In 1324, William Vyvian, probably the same individual who held the office of deputy for the King's chief butler in the port of Shoreham, was required to select mariners in Shoreham, Brighton, Hove, Aldrington, Rottingdean, East Kingston, West Kingston, and Worthing for the equipment of Shoreham shipsprobably two-which had been ordered to be at Plymouth by the Feast of Holy Trinity. In 1326, two ships of Shoreham were at Portsmouth on the King's service and their crews were " to have aid of their expenses " from those who remained at home. This was a levy upon the inhabitants to provide 6d. a day for each master and 3d. a day for each mariner ; in favour of Robert Loudeneys, master of the ship called " La Messager " and 22 mariners ;   and Ralph Graunger, master of the ship called " La Jonette " and 24 mariners.
Between the merchants and mariners of France and England,, piracy seems to have been very much a matter of " tit for tat.'" The men of Brittany concerned in the above case were not much worse than the men and masters of some twenty-five ships: concerned in an attack on the " St. Marie " of Winchelsea, in 1317. This vessel laden at Rochelle by certain merchants of that city with 93 tuns of wine valued at 930 marks was intended for Calais. Contrary winds probably drove her far out of her course. We learn that as she was coasting along the shores of England she was attacked near the port of Shorehain by the fleet of pirate ships.   The pirates " drove the merchants' men out of her, took the ship and the wines and disposed of them at their pleasure."  
             
  In 1328, all masters and owners of ships of 40 tons and upwards were required to bring them back to port and arm them, as a great many ships were assembled on the coast of Normandy " to aggrieve and rob merchants."
    War with Scotland again broke out in 1332, and the continual
                         
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Copyright © Martin Snow 2002 All rights reserved
Revised 27 February 2002