Ashington: Local government

Page 70

A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 6 Part 2, Bramber Rape (North-Western Part) Including Horsham. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1986.

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There are court rolls of Ashington manor for part of the periods 1526-30 and 1559-1604, and for the period 1618-1906. (fn. 1) Twenty-eight courts were held during the 18th century, frequency increasing after 1770; in the 19th century 16 were held, the last in 1887. Some business was treated out of court after 1754. In the later 18th and earlier 19th centuries the court was held at a house on Ashington common, (fn. 2) and in 1867 at the Swan inn. (fn. 3) Business concerning encroachment and the building of cottages on the common wastes was frequent in the 17th and 18th centuries; in 1618 and 1657 unringed hogs found on Ashington common incurred fines of 4d. for each default. A bailiff was recorded in 1593 and 1672, a beadle in 1721, and a reeve in 1743 and later.

No reference to courts of either West Wolves or Buncton manor has been found.

Churchwardens were recorded from 1548. Usually there were two, but for long periods in the 18th and 19th centuries only one. (fn. 4) There was a chapelwarden at Buncton in 1636. (fn. 5) A single overseer was mentioned in 1642, (fn. 6) and a parish constable is said to have been elected in 1877 and earlier. (fn. 7) In 1789 Ashington became part of Thakeham united parishes (later union). (fn. 8) Twenty-seven poor were being relieved in 1831, 18 of them through parish work. (fn. 9) From Thakeham rural district the parish was transferred in 1933 to Chanctonbury rural district. (fn. 10) In 1974 it was included in Horsham district.


  • 1. Arundel Cast. MSS. HC 292; M 53, on which rest of para. mainly based.
  • 2. Horsham Mus. MS. 243.
  • 3. Arundel Cast. MS. HC 83.
  • 4. W.S.R.O., Ep. I/86/20, f. 22; B.L. Add. MS. 39362, ff. 1-6.
  • 5. W.S.R.O., Ep. I/26/2, f. 33.
  • 6. S.R.S. v. 23.
  • 7. Story of Ashington, 11.
  • 8. Suss. Poor Law Rec. 36, 49.
  • 9. Rep. H.L. Cttee. on Poor Laws, H.C. 227, p. 154 (1831), viii.
  • 10. Census, 1931 (pt. ii).