The hundred of Swanborough

Page 51

A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 7, the Rape of Lewes. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1940.

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containing the parishes of Iford; Kingston near Lewes

AT the time of the Domesday Survey, the Hundred of Swanborough comprised the vills of Iford, Ashcombe, and Winterbourne; Ditchling was also assigned to this hundred, but probably in error. (fn. 1) By 1296 Ditchling was definitely in Streat Hundred, and Swanborough then comprised Iford, Kingston, and Westout. (fn. 2) This arrangement continued in the 14th century, (fn. 3) but by 1624 the hundred was divided as at present, into Iford and Kingston, St. Mary Westout being then included in the borough of Lewes. (fn. 4)

The hundred was granted to William de Warenne after the Conquest, and descended with the Rape. Originally the constable was chosen by turn out of each borough, but by the 17th century there was none left in Westout sufficient for the task, and so the election fell between the other two boroughs. (fn. 5) The office was abolished in 1860. (fn. 6) The hundred alderman, at least in modern times, held his office for several years together. The hundred leet court formerly met twice yearly at Kingston, (fn. 7) but this had ceased to be the custom in the 19th century. The court, which was then held once every year, on Easter Monday, (fn. 8) met, in 1834, at the Lamb Inn, Iford, and, in 1860, in which year it was abolished, at the Running Horse Inn, in St. Anne's, Lewes. (fn. 9)


  • 1. V.C.H. Suss. i, 435, 438, 443. Ashcombe House and Winterbourne are now in the parish of St. Anne Without, Lewes.
  • 2. Suss. Subsidies (Suss. Rec. Soc. x), 48.
  • 3. Ibid. 168–9, 282–3.
  • 4. Horsfield, Suss., i, 104: cf Bk. of J. Rowe (Suss. Rec. Soc. xxxiv), 138–41; Suss. Arch. Coll. ix, 75–6.
  • 5. For the organization and customs of the hundred see Bk. of J. Rowe, loc. cit.; Suss. Arch. Coll. xxix, 124; Parl. Surv. Suss. no. 7, m. 12; Abergavenny Coll. 56 (at Lewes).
  • 6. Suss. Arch. Coll. xxix, 124.
  • 7. Parl. Surv. Suss. no. 7, m. 12.
  • 8. Suss. Arch. Coll. xxix, 124.
  • 9. Abergavenny Coll. 56 (at Lewes).