House of Austin Friars: Rye

Pages 96-97

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

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The only settlement of this order of friars in Sussex was at Rye, and of its origin nothing is known except that the friars were firmly established here by the middle of the fourteenth century. In 1368 the prior and convent of the Friars Eremites of St. Augustine in Rye granted that one of their brethren, being a priest, should celebrate daily at the altar of St. Nicholas in the parish church for the welfare of William Taylour of Rye and Agnes his wife, in return for certain benefactions. (fn. 1) Ten years later, the mayor and commonalty of Rye granted the friars a place called 'le Haltone,' near the town ditch, reserving right of access to the town wall for repairs and other purposes. (fn. 2) From this time the friars occur frequently in Sussex wills as recipients of bequests, usually of small value, but with the exception of a statement in 1524 that in that year the roof of the buildings (tegumentum fabricae) of the friars was erected at the expense of William Marshe, husbandman, (fn. 3) their history is a blank.

The seals of the community of the office of prior attached to the deed of 1368 are 'vesicashaped, each representing St. Augustin in the act of benediction.'

A different seal is appended to the deed of 1378, and shows 'St. Augustin holding a crozier, with an upright anchor before him, and people standing below.' (fn. 4)


  • 1. Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. v, 497.
  • 2. Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. v, 497.
  • 3. Suss. Arch. Coll. xvii, 128.
  • 4. Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. v, 497.