Albourne: 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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'Albourne: 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. 129-130. British History Online [accessed 19 April 2024]


There are incomplete court rolls of Albourne manor for the years 1687- 1905; they include the proceedings of eight courts held between 1687 and 1792, but other courts were held at various dates between 1762 and 1816. Business was being done out of court by 1736. (fn. 1)

A headborough or tithingman of Bishopshurst tithing was recorded in the 1370s (fn. 2) and later. (fn. 3) There are court rolls of Bishopshurst manor for the years 1590-1924, (fn. 4) and extracts of court rolls survive for other years from 1401. (fn. 5) In 1535 the court was held twice a year, (fn. 6) but between the late 16th and early 19th centuries courts were held less frequently, up to seven times a decade. Business was being done out of court from the 1680s. The last court was held in 1854. In 1650 (fn. 7) and presumably at other dates the court was held at the manor house. In the late 16th century it dealt with nuisances and strays, and with the repair of roads and ditches, but from the late 17th century land transactions only are recorded. There was a bailiff in 1624 and later; in 1655 the office was said to be customarily filled by the youngest tenant. The bailiff was later also called reeve or beadle. The pound at Albourne Green which survived in the 1870s was evidently that of Bishopshurst manor. (fn. 8)

Two churchwardens, two overseers, and two waywardens are recorded from the 17th century. (fn. 9) A parish constable was mentioned in 1615, (fn. 10) and a clerk, whose wages were ordered to be paid from the poor rate, in 1689. (fn. 11) In the earlier 18th century pauper children were being boarded out for periods of three or seven years. (fn. 12) A former parish workhouse, apparently at Albourne Green, was mentioned in 1851. (fn. 13)

In 1835 the parish joined Cuckfield union, (fn. 14) later Cuckfield rural district. In 1974 it was transferred to Mid Sussex district.


  • 1. Ibid. Wiston MSS. 5161, 5586.
  • 2. S.R.S. xxxi. 123; xlvi, p. 260.
  • 3. W.S.R.O., Ep. VI/12/2, f. 12; Ep. VI/12/6, p. 22; E.S.R.O., QCR/2/1/EW 2-3.
  • 4. E.S.R.O., SAS/E 438; W.S.R.O., S.A.S. MSS. OR 48-9, 51; ibid. Wiston MSS. 5198-9; on which rest of para. mainly based.
  • 5. B.L. Add. Ch. 19148-9, 19151, 19157.
  • 6. S.A.C. xcii. 165.
  • 7. W.S.R.O., Cap. I/30/2, f. 432.
  • 8. O.S. Map 6", Suss. XXXVIII (1879 edn.); cf. above, manors.
  • 9. W.S.R.O., Par. 226/1/1/1, ff. 1-4v., 6v., 32v.-36.
  • 10. Ibid. Ep. II/17/62.
  • 11. Ibid. Par. 226/1/1/1, f. 4.
  • 12. Ibid. ff. 32v., 43v.
  • 13. Ibid. MF 59, f. 390.
  • 14. Suss. Poor Law Rec. 3.