Houses of Knights Templar: Preceptory of Saddlescombe

Page 92

A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1973.

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About the year 1228 Geoffrey de Say granted the manor of Saddlescombe, some four miles north-west of Brighton, to the Templars with the assent of William de Warenne, earl of Surrey, who added a grant of 40s. rent from Lewes. At the same time, or shortly afterwards, Simon le Counte gave them the churches of Southwick and Woodmancote and certain tithes. Alan Trenchmere gave land in Shoreham, where the Templars erected a chapel which subsequently came into the hands of the Carmelite Friars of that town, and Theobald de Englescheville granted the manor of Compton in Berwick, in return for which they had to provide a chaplain to celebrate for the souls of the donor, King Henry III, and Queen Eleanor.

Upon the seizure of the property of the order in 1308, the lands at Saddlescombe were returned as worth £20, and the goods there, almost entirely farming utensils, at £75 10s.; the Compton lands being put at £8 15s. and the goods at £57 14s. Although the lands belonging to this preceptory were bestowed upon the Hospitallers, the earl of Surrey managed to retain them for the use of himself and his heirs until 1397.

A remarkable document entered amongst the Saddlescombe deeds and therefore possibly relating to this preceptory, is a letter from a certain Archbishop Azo requesting the master of the Temple in England to receive Joan, the aged wife of Sir Richard Chaldese, who had taken the oath of chastity and wished to submit herself to the rule of the Temple.