Nuthurst: Local government

A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 6 Part 3, Bramber Rape (North-Eastern Part) Including Crawley New Town. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1987.

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'Nuthurst: Local government', in A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 6 Part 3, Bramber Rape (North-Eastern Part) Including Crawley New Town, (London, 1987) pp. 106. British History Online [accessed 24 April 2024]


Sedgewick manor's jurisdiction was apparently always exercised with that of Chesworth in Horsham, and no separate courts are recorded. A headborough of Sedgewick tithing was mentioned in 1598 (fn. 1) and 1788. (fn. 2) Rickfield in the north lay within the jurisdiction of St. Leonard's Forest in the early 16th century. (fn. 3) Much of the rest of the parish lay within that of Shortsfield manor, the court of which in 1635 ordered the parishioners to repair Golding's bridge north of Mannings Heath. (fn. 4)

The parish clerk received wages in 1636, (fn. 5) and in 1724 had a house at the parish's expense. (fn. 6) Two churchwardens were recorded for most years from 1558, (fn. 7) two overseers in 1642 and 1676, (fn. 8) and two surveyors of highways in 1677 and generally in the 19th century. (fn. 9) In 1715 and 1736 there were four overseers, two for the northern half of the parish and two for the southern. (fn. 10) Methods of poor relief employed in the late 17th and early 18th centuries were the payment of weekly doles and of rent, boarding out, apprenticing, the provision of food, fuel, clothes, and medical care, and the organization of parish work in weaving and spinning. (fn. 11) In 1680 one poor parishioner received straw for thatching his house. (fn. 12) In 1745, however, the poor were apparently being farmed by the month, (fn. 13) and a workhouse was mentioned in 1803. (fn. 14) About 1830 it was estimated that nearly half the labourers of the parish were unemployed, unless given work by the parish on the roads or in the stone quarries. By adopting the labour rate in 1833 the parish simultaneously abolished parish work and considerably reduced the poor rates. (fn. 15)

Little Broadwater remained under the jurisdiction of Broadwater parish in the 19th century; the Broadwater parish officers paid for road repairs in Broadwater Lane in 1831, and six years later were invited to beat part of the Horsham parish bounds. (fn. 16)

Nuthurst joined Horsham union in 1835, Little Broadwater being added in 1878, (fn. 17) and in 1974 was transferred from Horsham rural district to Horsham district.


  • 1. Arundel Cast. MS. M 280, rot. 4.
  • 2. Horsham Mus. MS. 243.
  • 3. Arundel Cast. MS. M 815.
  • 4. B.L. Add. MS. 5686, f. 84.
  • 5. W.S.R.O., Ep. I/22/1 (1636).
  • 6. Ibid. Ep. I/26/3, p. 15.
  • 7. S.R.S. xliii. 259; B.L. Add. MS. 39362, ff. 78-83.
  • 8. S.R.S. v. 130; W.S.R.O., Par. 143/30/1, f. 27.
  • 9. W.S.R.O., Par. 143/30/1, ff. 28v., 81-82v.
  • 10. Ibid. ff. 74v., 108.
  • 11. Ibid. ff. 26-8, 47-9, 96v., 97v., 115.
  • 12. Ibid. f. 33v.
  • 13. Ibid. f. 124.
  • 14. Poor Law Abstract, 1804, 516-17.
  • 15. V.C.H. Suss. ii. 208; Rep. Com. Poor Laws, pp. 177-8, H.C. 44 (1834), xxxviii.
  • 16. Worthing Ref. Libr., docs. relating to Little Broadwater; H. Smail, Coaching Times and After (Worthing, 1948), 23.
  • 17. Suss. Poor Law Rec. 39.