A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 5 Part 1, Arundel Rape: South-Western Part, Including Arundel. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1997.
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The rapes of Arundel and Chichester were originally one, called in the late 11th century either Arundel rape or, more often, the rape of earl Roger (de Montgomery). (fn. 1) The division into two was made in the mid 13th century: at the eyre of 1248 the hundreds of the two rapes were not separately listed, but by 1262 those of Chichester rape were listed under the heading 'bailiwick of Chichester'; the name rape of Chichester occurs in 1275. (fn. 2) The honor of Arundel, however, continued undivided, no honor of Chichester being known. (fn. 3) An honor of Petworth was mentioned as subordinate from 1181 (fn. 4) and an honor of Halnaker from c. 1205; at the latter date the honor of Petworth supplied 22½ of the 84½ fees at which the honor of Arundel was assessed and the honor of Halnaker 12. (fn. 5) Fees in Hampshire and Warwickshire were also held of the honor. (fn. 6) The descent that follows is of the rape rather than of the honor which included it.
The rape of Arundel was granted to Roger de Montgomery c. 1067; (fn. 7) he may be considered the first earl of Arundel. At his death in 1094 he was succeeded by his son Hugh, who at his death without issue in 1098 was followed by his elder brother Robert of Bellême, earl of Shrewsbury. For his part in the rebellion of 1101-2 against Henry I Robert forfeited the rape to the Crown. (fn. 8) At the king's death in 1135 it passed as dower to his widow Adelize. (fn. 9) She afterwards married William d'Aubigny, who then or later became earl of Arundel; in 1139 they were living at Arundel castle. Though a partisan of King Stephen (d. 1154), (fn. 10) William was confirmed in the rape by Henry II c. 1155. (fn. 11)
At his death in 1176 William's heir was his son William, also earl of Arundel, but the rape was retained by the Crown (fn. 12) until in 1190 it was returned to him by Richard I. (fn. 13) Between 1179 and 1187 or later Walter de Coutances, bishop of Lincoln and afterwards archbishop of Rouen, had the keeping. (fn. 14) William was succeeded in 1193 by his son William (d. 1221), a favourite of King John. (fn. 15) The younger William seems not to have had the rape since, though he apparently paid to receive it in 1195, (fn. 16) it was being accounted for between 1194 and 1202 by William of St. Mary Church, (fn. 17) and in 1209 was part of the dower of Queen Berengaria (d. after 1230), widow of Richard I, though then withheld by King John. (fn. 18) In 1216 the earl of Arundel joined the future Louis VIII of France during the latter's invasion of England, but after John's death he submitted to Henry III, who ordered his forfeited possessions to be restored. (fn. 19)
William's son, another William, died without issue in 1224; during the minority of his brother and heir Hugh (fn. 20) the rape was in the keeping of Hubert de Burgh in 1227 (fn. 21) and apparently of Peter de Rivaux in 1232-3. (fn. 22) In 1234 Hugh received the rape while still a minor, (fn. 23) and at his death without issue in 1243 it passed to his nephew John FitzAlan, (fn. 24) then in the king's wardship, Geoffrey of Langley and Henry le Breton being granted the keeping. (fn. 25) John was in opposition to the king in the 1250s, but was reconciled in 1261 and fought on the royalist side at the battle of Lewes in 1264. (fn. 26) At his death in 1267 his heir was his son John (d. 1272); during the minority of the younger John's son Richard (fn. 27) successive keepers of the rape were Robert Aguillon between 1272 and 1274, (fn. 28) William of Hever in 1274, (fn. 29) Henry of Newbury in 1278, (fn. 30) Emery de Chanceus c. 1279, (fn. 31) John's widow Isabel in 1280, (fn. 32) and her kinsman Edmund Mortimer in 1282. (fn. 33)
Richard FitzAlan had seisin of his lands in 1287, and was apparently created earl of Arundel in 1289; at his death in 1302 he was succeeded by his son Edmund, (fn. 34) the custody of the rape being granted during minority to Amadeus, count of Savoy. (fn. 35) Edmund later fought first against, then for, Edward II, until after his capture by the party of Queen Isabel he was executed and attainted in 1326. (fn. 36) The rape was granted in the same year (fn. 37) to Edmund of Woodstock, earl of Kent, the king's brother, (fn. 38) and confirmed to him in 1327 by Edward III. (fn. 39) After his execution and attainder in 1330 (fn. 40) it was restored in the following year to Richard FitzAlan, earl of Arundel. (fn. 41) Richard, a soldier, sailor, and diplomat, (fn. 42) invested much of his considerable wealth in Sussex property, especially in Arundel rape. By 1373, three years before his death, he had made over his Sussex estates to his son Richard, (fn. 43) the greatest landowner in the county in his time, (fn. 44) who was executed and attainted in 1397 for treason committed in 1386. (fn. 45)
The rape was granted later in 1397, at first during pleasure and afterwards in tail male, to John Holand, earl of Huntingdon and subsequently duke of Exeter; in 1399, however, after Holand's disgrace, (fn. 46) the lands formerly of Richard FitzAlan, earl of Arundel, were restored, with his title, to his son Thomas. (fn. 47) Thomas died without issue in 1415, and the rape passed under a settlement of 1347-8 to his cousin John d'Arundel, earl of Arundel (d. 1421), (fn. 48) Thomas's widow Beatrice retaining dower until her death in 1439. (fn. 49)
John's son and heir, another John d'Arundel, known as 'the English Achilles', died in 1435 in France of wounds received in battle; (fn. 50) in 1433 he had proved in Parliament, against the counter-claim of his cousin John Mowbray, duke of Norfolk, that the title of earl of Arundel should descend with Arundel castle. (fn. 51) John's son Humphrey died in 1438 while a minor; his uncle and heir William FitzAlan, earl of Arundel, (fn. 52) survived various changes of allegiance during the political upheavals of the mid 15th century (fn. 53) and died in 1487. William's son Thomas (d. 1524) was succeeded in the direct line by William (d. 1544) and Henry (d. 1580); (fn. 54) the latter, a partisan first of Mary I and then of Elizabeth I, was later imprisoned for complicity in the duke of Norfolk's plan to marry Mary, Queen of Scots. (fn. 55)
In 1570 the reversion of Henry's Sussex lands was settled on his daughter Jane and her husband John Lumley, Lord Lumley. Jane died without issue in 1576. (fn. 56) Lumley had been dealing with property in Arundel rape in the 1560s (fn. 57) and continued to do so in the 1570s, (fn. 58) but in 1580 conveyed his interest in the rape to Philip Howard, earl of Arundel, Henry's grandson by his younger daughter Mary. (fn. 59) Philip was imprisoned in the Tower as a Roman Catholic in 1585 and attainted for high treason in 1589. At his death in 1595 he was succeeded by his son Thomas, who was restored to his honours and estates in 1604 and created earl of Norfolk in 1644. The greatest English art connoisseur of his day, he lived the last part of his life abroad, dying in Padua in 1646. (fn. 60) Meanwhile, an Act of 1627 had annexed certain estates, later known as the parliamentary estates, to descend with the title of earl of Arundel. (fn. 61)
Thomas's son and heir Henry Frederick, a zealous Royalist, was fined £6,000 by Parliament in 1648, but allowed to compound for his estates; Thomas's widow Alathea (d. 1654), (fn. 62) however, had Arundel castle and rents belonging to it, apparently as dower, in 1651. (fn. 63) At Henry Frederick's death in 1652 the rape passed to his son Thomas, a lunatic from 1653, who was restored to the dukedom of Norfolk in 1660, dying, also in Padua, in 1677. (fn. 64) Thereafter the rape passed successively, with the dukedom, to Thomas's brother Henry (d. 1684), Henry's son Henry (d. 1701), and the younger Henry's nephew Thomas (d. 1732), who was succeeded by his brother Edward (d. 1777), a former Jacobite. Edward's cousin and heir Charles Howard (d. 1786) left as heir his son, another Charles; (fn. 65) he began the expansion of the Sussex estates of the family, (fn. 66) greatly reduced since the Middle Ages, but which by 1873 comprised nearly 20,000 a. (fn. 67) and in 1975 c. 16,000 a. (fn. 68)
At his death in 1815 the rape passed to his cousin Bernard Edward Howard (d. 1842), who was succeeded in the direct line by Henry Charles (d. 1856), Henry Granville (d. 1860), who had changed his surname in 1842 to Fitzalan-Howard, Henry (d. 1917), (fn. 69) and Bernard Marmaduke (d. 1975), from whom the dukedom passed to a cousin, (fn. 70) Miles Francis Fitzalan-Howard. The entail of the 1627 Act was broken by an Act of 1957, (fn. 71) which enabled the Fitzalan-Howard estates in Sussex to be divided between the new duke's family and that of his predecessor. In 1988 the 'Arundel estate', settled on the duke's eldest son Lord Arundel, included Park farm, Arundel park, and land in Burpham and North and South Stoke, while the 'Norfolk estate' of Duke Bernard's widow and daughters comprised land in Angmering and further east. (fn. 72)
The Norman sheriff presumably held a court. (fn. 73) An honor court was apparently mentioned in 1225; (fn. 74) in 1272 and later it was held every three weeks. (fn. 75) Richard FitzAlan, earl of Arundel (d. 1376), under colour of a grant made in 1337 of the right to hold the sheriff's tourn, (fn. 76) was said in 1376 to have set up a new three-weekly court called a shire court at Arundel, which dealt with business formerly transacted at the shire court in Chichester. (fn. 77) In the mid 15th century Richard's descendants held 'the court of the liberty of Arundel called Shirecourt', presumably the same. (fn. 78) There are court records for the honor court for the years 1473-6, 1499-1574, 1749-76, and 1795-6. (fn. 79)
The court dealt with a case concerning land in Poling in 1225 (fn. 80) and with the sale of a felon's goods in 1275. (fn. 81) Pleas of assault, affray, debt, trespass, and detinue were heard between the mid 15th century and the 16th, when the honor court had become fused with the Arundel borough court; most cases in the mid 16th century seem to have related to Arundel town. (fn. 82)
The lord's loss of control over the honor court to the borough corporation was lamented by a ducal servant in the early 18th century. (fn. 83) By the later 18th century, however, the court was again being held every three weeks, and in 1776 it had jurisdiction over debts under £2. (fn. 84) It was still held in 1796. (fn. 85)
A sheriff's tourn called Nomansland was mentioned between the early 13th century and the 18th; (fn. 86) it served the whole honor c. 1209 (fn. 87) and later, (fn. 88) but in the 18th century leet jurisdiction was claimed over most of the county. (fn. 89) In 1361 the court was held at a site in Rotherbridge hundred, (fn. 90) presumably the place called Nomansland gate on the South Downs near the boundary between Arundel and Chichester rapes. (fn. 91) Later there was apparently a court house on the downs near Madehurst, at the spot where the court was held under a tree in the 18th century. (fn. 92) The right to hold the tourn belonged to the earls of Arundel from 1337, (fn. 93) and in the later 16th century to Lord Abergavenny and others. (fn. 94) A post-mortem inquisition was apparently held at it in 1331. (fn. 95) There are rolls of the tourn for the years 1542, 1562, 1564-7, 1587, 1592, and 1594. (fn. 96) In the later 16th century and in the 18th (fn. 97) it was held twice a year. Business at the earlier date included the oversight of rights of way, and of the repair of pounds, ditches, bridges, and fences; two cases of assault on headboroughs in the execution of their duty were heard in the 1560s.
A forest court called the court of wood pleas or woodplayt, which had previously been held yearly, was held every three weeks in 1275, when inhabitants of Avisford hundred complained of its injustice. (fn. 98) In 1301, because of poor administration, the income was only 10s. a year. (fn. 99) An alternative name in 1435 was woodcourt. (fn. 100)
Robert FitzTetbald (d. 1087), a prominent under-tenant of earl Roger, was sheriff of the rape in 1086. (fn. 101) A bailiff of the honor, evidently also of the rape, was mentioned from 1225, (fn. 102) and plural bailiffs occasionally from 1351 or earlier. (fn. 103) Holders of the office in the later 16th century included John Apsley (fn. 104) and Thomas Lewknor. (fn. 105) In the mid 17th century a deputy bailiff, (fn. 106) and in 1701 two under-bailiffs, (fn. 107) were recorded. The last known bailiff was appointed in 1816. (fn. 108) Stewards of the rape were mentioned at various dates between the 13th century and the early 18th. (fn. 109) A beadle was recorded in 1275 (fn. 110) and a receiver between the 14th century and the 16th. (fn. 111) A chief forester was mentioned between 1275 and the mid 15th century; (fn. 112) in 1435 his jurisdiction covered all the earl of Arundel's forests, woods, and parks in Sussex and Surrey. (fn. 113) Leather searchers and sealers were appointed by 1563 to serve both for the rape and for Arundel borough. (fn. 114)
A water bailiff appointed in the 15th century had jurisdiction over the Arun from Arundel bridge to Stopham bridge; (fn. 115) William Barttelot of Stopham held the office in 1576-7, (fn. 116) and Henry Howard-Molyneux-Howard, a relation of the duke of Norfolk, in 1792. (fn. 117) The rights and duties of the office were codified c. 1637. (fn. 118) In 1792 the water bailiff additionally collected harbour dues at Littlehampton. (fn. 119)
Right to wreck along most of the coastline of the rape belonged to the lord c. 1209 and later. (fn. 122) In 1275 the Crown as lord had the assize of bread and of ale in each hundred, together with gallows. The rape steward was then attempting to assert his own authority against that of the sheriff: he insisted that 'private' business could not be treated at the tourn in his absence, and also imprisoned felons and accepted fines for their release, on one occasion intercepting a robbery suspect being taken to the gaol at Guildford. (fn. 123)
In 1337 the king granted to Richard FitzAlan, earl of Arundel (d. 1376), and his heirs return of all writs and of summonses of the exchequer in Arundel rape. (fn. 124) At the confirmation of the grant in 1554 further franchises were added in the hundreds of Avisford, West Easwrith, and Poling only: the estreats and precepts of the eyre justices for pleas of the Crown, common pleas and pleas of the forest, and those of other justices, and attachments of pleas of the Crown and of others; the goods of convicted felons, heretics, and traitors, waifs and strays, deodands, treasure trove, and free warren and free chase. (fn. 125) In 1570 those franchises were claimed in all five hundreds of the rape. (fn. 126) Goods belonging to murderers and suicides were taken between the 1550s and 70s and deodands in the 1570s. (fn. 127) The right to appoint a coroner was also enjoyed by 1567. (fn. 128)
Fines from the court of king's bench and post fines under the green wax were still received in the later 17th century and early 18th. At the latter period the dukes of Norfolk still claimed, in addition to the franchises granted or confirmed in 1554, the right to appoint a clerk of the market and all fines and forfeitures at the sessions and assizes; through failure to attend the latter, however, the income had been usurped by the officers of the Crown. The income under the green wax was then c. £15 a year, but was said once to have been over £100. (fn. 129) The collection of most of the monies was farmed in 1700 and later. (fn. 130) Deodands were still taken in the 1780s, (fn. 131) and post fines under the green wax and fines from the court of common pleas and from the sessions were still received in the early 19th century. (fn. 132) As late as the 1930s the duke of Norfolk claimed the foreshore and right to wreck within Arundel rape. (fn. 133)
From the mid 13th century the rape consisted of five hundreds or half-hundreds: Avisford, Bury, West Easwrith, Poling and Rotherbridge. (fn. 134) In 1086 Avisford was called Binsted and Poling Risberge. (fn. 135) West Easwrith was the section of Easwrith hundred in Arundel rape, the rest being in Bramber rape; it was called a half-hundred in 1296, but thereafter a hundred. (fn. 136) Bury hundred was called a halfhundred in 1296 and 1302 (fn. 137) but not apparently after that. The fact that Arundel and Chichester rapes had only 12 hundreds between them, while each of the other rapes had more than ten, presumably reflects their having once been a single rape. (fn. 138)