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thought might have escaped my recollection. On parting he asked me if I knew the curious inscription on an old tomb-stone some paces westward from the Lych-gate'. See! I copied it.

“ Here lieth the Bodie of John Parson : the only Sonne of William Parson of Salvington : who was buried the fowerth Day of March, 1633.

“ Youthe was his age :

Virginitie his state:
Learning his love:
Consumption his fate.”


It is the only inscription in the churchyard " quaintly devised," and in a few years more it will be illegible. Nothing is now known of the individual, and although Parsons is a very common name in these parts, Parson is unknown. So little avails the stone.

“Laudis titulique cupido
Hæsuri saxis cinerum custodibus ; ad quæ
Discutienda valent sterilis mala robora ficus,

Quandoquidem data sunt ipsis quoque fata sepulcris." It is as Sir T. Browne remarks in that beautiful treatise, his Hydriotaphia, or Urn Burial, 66 Grave stones tell truth scarce forty years. Generations pass while some trees stand, and old families last not three oaks. To be read by bare inscriptions like many in Gruter, to hope for eternity by enigmatical epithets or first letters of our names, to be studied by antiquaries, who we were, and have new names given us like many of the mummies, are cold consolations unto the students of perpetuity, even by everlasting languages


I fancy I know most that appertains to the history of the Church and Parish of West Tarring, but I should be glad you would read to me what is contained in that little book of yours, in which is noted down all the Ecclesiology of the district.

2 This is the old name for the gate through which the corpse enters the churchyard. Lich is the Anglo-Saxon word for corpse. Hence Lichfield, Lichwake, &c. &c. In the Churchwarden's Accounts for 1572 is the following entry : The lach of the Church lytyne gate vjd.” Drayton mentions the “Shrieking litch owl.See Nares' Gloss. cap. v. Litch-owl. 3 Juv. Sat. x. 143.

Works, vol. iii. p. 491.

4 See c. v.


It is little enough, and for the most part extracted from Cartwright's “ History of the Rape of Bramber,” a hastily got up Book, and in need of much correction.


It will interest me none the less. Read on, do.


Tarring, Terring, or Torring,--for so it is severally written, -has the affix of West, to distinguish it from Tarring Neville, which is in the Eastern Division of the County, two miles and a half north of Newhaven, Rape of Pevensey. Whence the name is derived is not known, but the termination“ ing" is common enough, and is simply the Anglo-Saxon “ Ing,” signifying a pasture or meadow. So in the immediate neighbourhood we have Goring, Ferring, Lancing, and elsewhere Reading, Godalming, &c. It is much the same as “ ung” in German, when applied to places, though the Teutonic retains likewise the term “ ingen," as in Thuringen, &c.

Anciently West Tarring was a place of some note in these parts, and letters were directed to different villages, “near Tarring.” At the time referred to Steyning and Arundel would be the nearest towns. Shoreham was in itself inconsiderable, and but the port to the former; and as for Brighthelmstone, or Brighton, it was but “a small fisher town 5," as Clarendon calls it, when he tells us that Colonel Gunter had provided a little bark there for the escape of Charles II., “ where he went early on board, and by God's blessing arrived safely in Normandy.”

The Manor of Tarring was given by King Athelstan to the Church of Christ in Dorobernia, or Canterbury, between the years A.D. 941 and A.D. 944. In “Domesday" it is reckoned among the possessions of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and is stated to have always belonged to the monastery. At that time it had also two Churches. Of the second there is no traditionary record even, and it is not improbable that one of the chapelries


5 See b. xiii. vol. vi. p. 541. Ed. 1826. Dorobernia, below, is Canterbury, not as is the old Latin Grammar “ Dover.” “ Audito regem Doroberniam profiscisci.”


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was counted in. If not, we have only to consider the destruction of churches at that time, and to count this into the number. That old clause in the Litany was no fictitious one, but inserted in faith and fear : E potestate Northmannorum, libera nos, Domine. The conquering Normans recked little of sacred places. His appetite and digestion were much like the Dragon of Wantley's,

“ For houses and churches were to him geese and turkies." If report be square with the Conqueror, he destroyed no less than six and thirty parish churches, in the New Forest. The truth of this has been questioned, but the extent of that splendid chase leaves little room for doubt. Churches, we know, had greatly increased, as Stillingfleet observes on these words in the laws of Edward the Confessor: “ That there were then three or four churches, where there had been but one before o.

Though belonging to the See of Canterbury, the great Norman Baron had a stake in the parish of Tarring, as in the other parishes round about. 66 William de Braose” (“ Domesday,” as quoted by Mr. Cartwright,)“holds four hides of this manor, and has three in demesne, one plough and four villains, with five cottagers, having one plough and a half.” His possessions in these parts must have been enormous, as on the Saxons being spoiled, fortyone manors in Sussex fell to his lot, besides others in Hampshire and Dorsetshire. His South-Saxon residence was Brambercastle, of which the ruin still remains; his Norman, Braose, or Brieuse-castle, ten leagues from Caen, and two from Falaise ?.

Very little is known of Tarring in earlier days, at least very little has been brought to light as to its history, which seems to have been considered as one with that of the possessions of Canterbury. The following notice is quoted by Mr. Cartwright, from the “ Rolls of the Hundreds,” (supposed to be made in the year 1274,) and would seem to corroborate what is here stated. “The Jurors say that the tenants of the Archbishop, in his manor of Tarring and Salvington, were accustomed to perform suits to the hundred of Bretford, in the time of Stephen, then Archbishop, but after his time they were withdrawn, and are now attached to the hundred of Lokesfield, by what authority they know not, to

• Of the Rights and Duties of the Parochial Clergy, p. 129, vol. i. Ed. 1698. ? See Pedigree in Cartwright, p. 174, with the History of Bramber.

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the annual loss to the king of 2s.” It is observable that although Tarring was formerly a place of considerable repute, it had nevertheless no market. The charter for holding one is dated April 26, Henry VI., and Saturday is the day appointed. The reason for requiring one is curious, namely, that whilst the good people

atte the next market” of Broadwater, " they that were abyding and beleyving in the said towne (i.e. of Tarring) stille in the mene while by the said enemys,(i.e. the Kynges enemys of Ffrance, Breteyne, Spayne, and other partys,)had dyvers times ben taken prisoners and byn slayn as well the men as the women, childer, maidenes, wives, and doters therin beying and beleyving." Broadwater is not so much as a mile distant, so that the alarm might soon have spread ! Probably the market then, like the fair there now, might have had its convivial charms, and under such circumstances husbands might not have been in a condition to defend their families ! No South-Saxon born is ever in a hurry to leave either Sussex pudding, or Sussex ale!

“ Nos numerus sumus, et fruges consumere nati

Sponsi Penelopæ, nebulones, Alcinoique

In cute curandâ plus æquo operata juventus!" Old Latimer, one might think, derived the story following from the South Downs: “A good fellow on a time bad another of his friends to a breakfast and said, • If you will come, you shall be welcome; but I tell you aforehand, you shall have but slender fare, one dish, and that is all.' - What is that?' said he. “A pudding, and nothing else.' “Marry,' said he, you cannot please me better; of all ineats, that is for mine own tooth; you may draw me round about the town with a pudding

The present title of the Benefice is, “ Patching cum Terring." Patching was annexed in 1767 to the Vicarage, but it appears that it was a chapel belonging to the church of Tarring, as early as 1238. The Rectory is a sinecure in the gift of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Vicarage is also a Peculiar of Lainbeth, which, however, would appear to have been once in the gift of the Rector. But I may pass over the page, as what is contained

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8 Hor. i. Epist. ii. 27. 9 Third Sermon before King Edward VI., p. 45. Ed. 4to. 1575. Black Letter.


in it was more or less made mention of when we were speaking of the Old Rectory House, or, as it is more commonly called, Thomas à Becket's Palace.

There was formerly a Chantry here, dedicated to the Virgin. The only remnant of its existence is to be found in a barn and a field, the one called the Chantry-barn, the other the Chantry-field. The earliest notice of it which had come to Mr. Cartwright's knowledge, “is in the Register of Archbishop Peckham, who issued a precept to his Chaplain, John de Slyndon, dated in May, 1282, to inquire into the state of the Chantry, then vacant, what was its endowment, and to whom the presentation belonged. The return to this precept is not given. But it appears by a final concord in 1313, that William atte Field, and Agnes his wife, granted to Walter de Peckham, nephew to the Archbishop, and then Rector of Tarring, the presentation to this Chantry.” The last notice of it is in a return in the augmentation office, 36 Hen. VIII. It is there stated that there had been no incumbent for forty years. At present neither Rector nor Vicar have any glebe lands, (that on which the old rectory barns stood is not worthy the name,) and it would be curious to know whether or not they are under any obligation to the Walter de Peckham just mentioned, who is stated, when parson of Tarring, to have sold in 1328 to “ John de Montgomery, and Rosa his wife, one messuage, one mill, forty-two acres of arable, two acres of meadow, and 58. rent in Tarring.” Probably, however, this chantry followed the fate of others. Two reasons were assigned in the Preamble to the Act of 1547, Edw. VI. One was, “ for the dissolving of

, superstition which chantries were found to be great occasions of;" the other, “ for the founding of schools of learning, and providing for the But it fared with this parish as with countless others,-no school was founded, neither were the poor enriched. Strype gives some extracts from a sermon of Thomas Lever's on this subject, sometime Fellow, afterwards Master of St. John's College, Cambridge. “These," he said, “ were all sold, taken,

” and made away. The King bore the slander, the poor felt the lack. But who had the profit of such things, he could not tell. But he knew well, and all the world saw, that the Act made by the King's Majesty and his Lords and Commons of his Parlia

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