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of Steyning, Sussex, England

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Steyning, a borough, market town, and parish, in the hundred of Steyning, rape of Bramber, county of Sussex, 24 miles northeast of Chichester, and 49-1/2 southwest of London, .87 miles northwest of Bramber, 1.38 miles northwest of Upper Beeding, and 2.24 miles northwest of Coombes. "...The name is supposed to be derived from the Steyne-street, an ancient road which passed through this part of the county from Arundel to Dorking. Camden considers it to have been mentioned in Alfred's will by the name of Steyningham. It appears in the Saxon age to have been a place of considerable note; a church, or monastery, having been here built, wherein St. Cadman was buried; and in the Catalogue of Religious Houses, ascribed to Gervase of Canterbury, in the time of Richard I., mention is made of a Dean and Secular canons. It is more certain that King Edward the Confessor gave lands to the monastery of Feschamp in Normandy, which included this place; these being taken away by Earl Godwin, and restored by William the Conqueror, some Benedictine monks were sent from that house, who erected an Alien priory here, which was given to the monastery of Sion by Edward IV., and continued part of its possessions till the dissolution. Speed says, the conventual church was dedicated to St. Mary Magdalene, and contained the sacred relics of St. Cuthman (Cadman), and Ethelwulph, father of Alfred the Great: here anciently was also a parochial church of St. Cuthman. Camden speaks of its market as well frequented in his time: the town afterwards became reduced, and is, in the Magna Britannia, a century later, mentioned as "a mean, contemptible place, with hardly a building fit to put a horse in," being said then to have contained not more than one hundred and fifty families; but since that period it has been considerably enlarged. It stands at the foot of a lofty hill near the river Adur, over which is a bridge, and consists of four streets, crossing each other. It is supplied with water by a celebrated spring, issuing from a mountain half a mile distant, its stream turning two mills belonging to the town. Great improvement in the buildings and general appearance of the town has been lately made, through the liberality of the Duke of Norfolk... Steyning is a borough by prescription, under the authority of a constable, appointed at the court leet of the lord of the manor. It sends two members to parliament: the right of election, which has been frequently contested, is in the inhabitant householders paying scot and lot, about eighty in number: the constable is the returning officer. The members were formerly elected in conjunction with Bramber, but at present each town is entitled to return two representative, although one part of Bramber is in the centre of Steyning..." (Lewis)

ca 1139 Hugo and Norman de COMBIS witnessed deeds for the de BRAOSE and de HARCOURT Families, including in reference to William de BRAOSE, Lord of the rape of Bramber, who came from Normandy with William the Conqueror, and originally held the Feschamp lands (See also Early Combes &c. of England)

-- Feb 1641 Steyning, Sussex, England. Married: William COOMES and Mary LONG (Source: Vital Records Index, British Isles, FHL Number 1068527, Dates: 1565-1925)

Note: All records from this source may not have been extracted yet, nor has the film been read as yet.
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