" THE MARLIPINS," NEW SHOREHAM.
BY ARTHUR B. PACKHAM.
1. THE BUILDING.
THE ancient structure which bears the above singular name has been the
subject of many conjectures as to its original purpose. Before proceeding to
consider these, however, it will be best to describe the building in detail, as
this course may tend, of itself, to throw light on the degree of probability
attaching to some of the theories which have been put forward from time to time,
and may, in doing so, reduce the number of those which are admissible.
First, then, as to situation. The Marlipins stands on the west side and at the
south end of Middle Street, occupying the corner at the junction of that
thorough-fare with High Street.
It is a simple parallelogram, of which the longer walls lie in the direction of
Middle Street-that is to say north and south-while the shorter ones run east and
west. From north to south it measures 48 ft., and from east to west 23 ft. 6
ins., these being outside dimensions. The walls are 2 ft. 5 ins. in
thickness-and are, in this respect, the same as those of the Norman portions of
the ruined chapel of Balsdean (near Rottingdean) and the Norman portion of the
small ancient detached building at Old Erringham, which is probably also a
chapel. (Doubtless, other Norman buildings also, have walls no thicker, but
plans of these two are before me as I write, and being local examples, suggest
themselves for comparison.)
At the north end is a comparatively modern erection which now goes with the
Marlipins. The ground on which it stands, originally formed a part of the
ad-joining property on the west side. The plan (Fig. 1) omits this erection, and
shows the ancient part of the structure only.
The Marlipins consists of two storeys, the floor of the lower
one being about 2 feet below the level of the street. The roof runs out to a
gable at the High Street front, but the north end is hipped in, and has a small
gablet only, at the ridge. On the east side, the roof is covered with Horsham
stone. On the west and north sides the covering consists of modern tiles. The
walls are built of flint rubble, partly in regular courses, with a certain
proportion of hard chalk, and the older door and window dressings, and the
angle-quoins, are, for the most part, of Caen stone, though other kinds are also
used, some having been introduced in modern times by way of repairs.
The High Street front (of which more anon) is mainly arranged in a chequer of
squares, alternately of Caen stone and flint, but this treatment ceases at the
bottom of the gable. The latter is set back a few inches. from the line of the
chequer-work, and is plastered.
Leaving the consideration of this south front for the moment, let us examine the
other walls. Commencing inside. with the ground storey (which now has a pavement
of rough concrete) there are, against the west wall, some modern brick piers,
supporting bearers which help to carry the ends of the floor-joists over-head.
In the north half of the same wall is one window with splayed jambs, but these
are of brickwork. Further north still is what was, apparently, a doorway, which
is now built up. Its main formation is not very early work, being of brickwork.
The bricks, however, are of some age, and of the small and thin kind, unlike
those in use to-day; they may be Tudor. Built into the jambs, however, are some
stones with Norman tool-marks.
The north wall of the ground storey has been so altered as to retain but little
of the original work above a line a foot or two from the floor.
The north part of the east wall too has been much cut about, altered, and
added to. It has some remains of a fireplace (quite of modern times) and signs
of what was, I think, another window with splayed brick jambs. This has been
built up with stones which, again, seem to have Norman tool-marks. Some wooden
posts against the wall perform functions similar to those of the brick piers
against the west wall opposite.
A little north of the centre of the East Street wall are the mutilated remains
of the oldest definite architectural feature of the structure-namely, a Norman
window. A doorway has been hacked through it, but there can, I think, be little
doubt as to its real character. It is quite unlike the other windows, which are
all obviously later. The inside arch is semi-circular, and it contracts both in
width and height as it nears the street side of the wall. The side splays of the
sup-porting jambs have been spoilt by the cutting through, to form the doorway;
but they would, as originally formed, doubtless have continued, till, with the
arch, they culminated in a characteristic narrow Norman loop-hole kind of light,
from 6 to 9 inches wide only, on the outer face of the wall (the inside width of
the splay is 2 ft. 9 ins.). The semi-circular external window-head was probably
cut in. a single stone. The whole would have been almost identical in size and
shape, with the two little Norman windows of the detached building at Old
Erringham already referred to.
Fig. 2 shows this window. What seem to be Norman tool-marks can be detected on
one or two of the stones, but in general, the limewash of ages has confused such
indications of date.
Thinking that the importance of this feature rendered it undesirable to rely
merely upon my own conclusions, a copy of the photograph here reproduced on a
smaller scale was sent to Mr. Philip M. Johnston, with some descriptive
particulars, and a request for his opinion. This he most kindly and promptly
gave, as follows
"I have looked very carefully at the interesting and clear photograph
of an ancient mutilated window in the building called the Marlipins, at New
Shoreham, and I think there can be no doubt whatever that it dates from the
12th century. My reasons for so thinking are:
1. The circular head.
2. Axe tooling on left jamb.
3. Concentric splay--only found in round-headed Norman windows, and the
earliest pointed lancets, as at Rustington.
The window, as you say, resembles Old Erringham windows.
" I congratulate you on a discovery of great local interest."
In a further communication Mr. Johnston says, "I feel quite certain it
is a mutilated 12th century example, about coeval with the earlier period of
Norman work in St. Mary 'de Haura,' c. 1120."
The value of this opinion will be appreciated by all members of the Society.
Nearer to the south end of the building on the same side is what remains of a
later window-possibly in its original form more like the window in the south
front. The inside splay is however, a foot wider. Here again, the outer
stonework has been replaced by a. modern sash, and the inside splays are
mutilated, but the segment-shaped rere-arch remains.
Before leaving this side of the building we may note that there
are three windows in it, lighting the upper floor. One immediately above the
last mentioned, is apparently, partly ancient and of same date (probably 14th
century), but is still more mutilated. It has a timber lintel (immediately under
the wall-plates of roof) instead of a rere-arch. The two other windows, towards
the north end, are modern. The curious old print from the British Museum (Fig.
3) indicates a small square only, at that part; and both this square and the
opening just described appear to be built up.
The west wall seems to have had two windows to light the upper floor level,
there being slight remains of stone jambs.
As already mentioned, the north wall of the building has been
very much cut about and remodelled in modern times, so far as the ground floor
portion of it is concerned. On the upper floor, however, it still retains some
features of interest. The first consists of some indications of a stone jamb
(apparently of another window) near the door which has been made through into
the modern loft behind. The other feature is a very curious piece of walling
between this doorway and the east wall. It is shown in Figure 4. The upper wall
is composed of complete courses of chalk blocks, between which are other courses
made up of alternate blocks of chalk and squares of flintwork. The general
appearance is not unlike that of the inside of a mediaeval dovecote, with the
openings for the birds filled in with flints. Without stressing the point in any
way, it may be suggested that an early manorial dovecote on a part of this site
may not be entirely improbable. But it must be admitted that where, in one or
two squares, the flints are absent between the chalk blocks, the latter do not
seem now to be of the L-shape which they would have been if intended for birds.
They may have become damaged when the apertures were filled in, of course. On
the other hand, the wall suggests that "pigeon-holes" of, perhaps,
another kind, were required here, and that the spaces between the isolated
blocks of chalk were not originally filled up, because, towards the lower part
of the wall, where whole courses of flints take the place of the complete chalk
courses, some horizontal joints in the wall are filled by very thin slabs of
stone, which seem to be mainly inserted where they would have acted as bridges
between the spaced chalk blocks just below. This suggests that the intervals
between the said chalk blocks were not originally filled up with flints as they
now are, and needed the thin slabs over them to sup-port the weight of the
flints on the line above.
We now come to the front wall of the building (Fig. 5). It is
this with which the general public is most familiar, its chess-board pattern
being a feature
calculated to arrest attention. On the ground floor level there are two
doorways, one at each corner. Standing outside, that to the right gives access
down three steps, to the lower apartment, while the other leads to the stairs by
which the upper floor is reached. These stairs are quite cut off from the lower
room or cellar, and quite probably in this respect represent the original
arrangement. The door at the foot opens outwards there being no room for its
whole width to do so inwards. Both doorways have two-centred arches. The right
hand one has a plain splay outside. The stair entrance has externally a square
rebate for the door to lie in when closed. Both doorways have relieving arches
over their stone door-cases. Between the two doorways is a window opening (Fig.
6) 18 inches in width, splaying to 3 ft. 4 ins., wide on the inner side of the
wall. It has a segment-shaped, rere-arch. The outer stone window-case has a
plain chamfer like that of the east door, and retains the holes for the iron
grating which originally filled it. (In the drawing I have restored this grating
and the stone sill.) There is an inside rebate which may have had a shutter. The
outer arch is two-centred. The inside sill is stepped.
There is one window in the upstairs front. The British Museum view shows this
as a small ledged door with a round (or elliptic) arch over it under a pointed
one. The present appearance suggests rather that originally there may have been
two lights with pointed arches under one pointed relieving arch. The latter
remains, but has, now, a very "bodged" look--suggesting that when the
mullion between the two lights was taken out, or fell out, the masonry above
also partly fell, and was only roughly replaced. The inside of the window splays
out to 5 feet in width, and has a single segment rere-arch.
Mr. Thackeray Turner, who examined the building on behalf of the Society for the
Protection of Ancient Buildings, expressed the opinion that its date was early
14th century. Apparently, however, the original building was a 12th century
structure, but the front dates, with practically all the old windows which have
stone dressings and show any definite architectural features (except the Norman
one), from the 14th century, to which period also I would assign the main floor
supports and the older parts of the roof framing. There is, I think, definite
evidence of a re-building of the front wall, in a feature noticeable on the
inside of the east wall, close to the street front doorway. I allude to some
stones which seem to have formed the inside angle-quoin of a former front return
wall. Apparently there was, in the original front wall, no doorway close to this
corner as now-it was further west.
I have found, in more than one quarter, a reluctance to accept as reliable for
the front of the building, a date so early as the 14th century, and a
disposition to believe that the work is at least something like 200 years later.
I can see no very convincing reasons for this. The right hand doorway and the
small window, have every appearance of being genuine mediaeval work-of 14th
century date, if not even earlier still. The Caen stone, too, is an argument
against a later date, its use being uncommon after about 1325. There is, of
course, a possibility of the material having come from some other building, but
the date is not necessarily much (or any) later on that account. In this
connection the parish church has usually been mentioned, but if any erection
other than the original Norman one, provided the materials for the rebuilt
front, it is more likely to have been the Carmelite Priory-not very far off,
and, at the period in question, already disappearing rapidly beneath the waves
of the Channel. But indeed, the whole theory of materials from another building
is, I think, merely a legacy from the earlier archaeologists. They did not
understand that a domestic building in the middle ages had practically the same
architectural details as an ecclesiastical one. Here was an un-explained
building with "church" doors and windows --and here was a parish
church partly in ruins. What more natural than to connect the two things? Hence
the legend that the Marlipins was merely a building of no particular antiquity,
erected with materials from the ruined nave of the parish church-a case of
putting two and two together, and finding that it made exactly twenty-two.
Some of the unwillingness which I have encountered, to accept an early date for
the main doors and windows, arises apparently from a recognition of the fact
that to do so almost inevitably carries with it the obligation to believe that
the chequer work is equally early. Now there is a very prevalent idea that
ornamental arrangements in stone and flint are not found before the 15th
century. Then, too, the best-known of other local examples-viz. Steyning church
tower---is admittedly late, and includes features which show this to be the
case. There is, I consider, no doubt that the chequer here is part of the
14th century work. It stands in advance of the gable, certainly, but is flush
with the stone door and window cases below-besides which, the thickness of the
main front wall is no greater than that of the side walls. The wall of the gable
is thinner. To have added the chequer in this way to a wall where it did
not originally exist, would have involved "flaying off " the whole
face of the work to a depth of about 5 inches from the original face as a
preliminary. I find it quite impossible to believe that it would have been worth
anybody's while to attempt to carry out so awkward and difficult an operation.
We know definitely that from the middle of the 14th century onwards the building
served purely utilitarian purposes, and there can have been no likelihood of a
call for special architectural effect at the cost of so much trouble; for it
should be noted that the flints are, here, an integral part of the walling, and
not merely a thin veneer, which latter is, I believe, the case with most of the
elaborate flint and stone work of the churches in the eastern counties.
Let us examine the chequer. It consists of squares of Caen stone (some squares
being made up of two stones) alternating with "snapped" or
"knapped" flintwork in regular courses-a fairly general average being
about nine to a square. The squares are from 6 to 9 inches high, and about 9
inches wide. In connection with a possible re-use of the stone, it may be noted
that three moulded stones can be found-two of them being apparently edge-roll
mouldings. These are used vertically and look like 13th century work. The third
is of more vague shape, and the moulding lies horizontally. All three may be
re-used material from an older front wall. (There may have been alterations
between the 12th century work and that built in the 14th.) The lower part of the
front conveys no suggestion of anything but homogeneous work of one period. But
all the upper part has caught the weather, and the joints having become
partially washed out, the shadows thrown into them result in an emphasis of
outline, giving a curious impression that the chequer is simply piled up dry,
and without cement to hold it together. (This may have contributed, however
unreasonably, to the notion that it is an added feature.)
Now, as already remarked, the Caen stone suggests an early date, and the
accompanying use of snapped flintwork in regular courses, in no way conflicts
with the theory of a 14th century origin. The walls of Alfriston church (c. 13601)
provide a beautiful example of snapped and squared flints in courses; while all
along, close above the plinth, and at other parts, these alternate at regular
intervals with blocks of stone. There is snapped flintwork resembling that of
the Marlipins, in the Edwardian Barbican of Lewes castle, and at the bases of
its side drum towers there is even an approach to the stone and flint chequer.
The Early English portions of West Tarring church have snapped flintwork. The
bonding-in of such work with stone angle-quoins would almost inevitably suggest,
at an early period, other combinations.
While investigating this matter I chanced to read that the 13th century outer
walls of Burnham Abbey, Bucks., were composed of a chequer of flint and chalk
blocks.2 I visited that building, and by the courtesy of the Mother
Superior, was allowed to make an inspection. The chequer there is, in the main,
smaller and rougher than at our building, a large number of the squares, both of
chalk and snapped flints, measuring only about 6 inches each way. Some parts,
however, are of larger pattern, and much more like that at Shoreham-while the
whole is, quite obviously, mainly of 13th century date, evidenced by the
numerous windows and doors of that period occurring in it. From the Abbey I went
on to the village of Burnham. All this part of the county has been dealt with in
a Government publication,3 which gives photographs, plans, and
archaeological descriptions of the historic
buildings. The whole of the west end of Burnham church is in a chequer of flint
and stone, resembling that at the Marlipins, and in the publication referred to
its date is given as mid-14th century. The church was rather thoroughly restored
in the 19th century, and with it the chequer-work; but the portion illustrated
in Fig. 7 gives an almost untouched section, including (on the left) the jamb of
a 14th century window, believed to be slightly earlier than the chequer and
re-used here. In the same neighbourhood is Stoke Poges church. The tower of this
(c. 1230) is of snapped flintwork in courses, and the south wall of the south
aisle (also c. 1230) is of chequer-work like that at the Marlipins, as are,
also, other parts of the church. Fig. 7 gives a part of the south aisle wall
It may be asked why these examples from a distance should be
brought forward as evidence of date for the Marlipins chequer. The answer is,
first, that, on the evidence of the door and window openings (forming,
apparently, all part of the same work) the date of the Marlipins chequer must be
early. The nearest Sussex examples of similar chequer-work are, unfortunately,
either definitely late, as at Steyning, or doubtful (as at Upper Beeding church,
where the south wall of the chancel is partly in chequer). Next, the examples
from Buckinghamshire closely resemble that at the Marlipins. Making allowance
for the work of different photographers, I think the reader who examines Fig. 7
will admit that there is but little difference between the samples. Those from
Buckinghamshire have the advantage of being definitely dated, in a publication
which must be presumed to speak with some authority, and probably has behind it
the considered verdict of local archaeologists. And in the publication referred
to, the dates given are either earlier than or about contemporary with, the
probable date of the more obviously ancient window and door of the Marlipins
To sum up the whole question of date as to this part of the building,
however-while believing it to be of the 14th century, one may admit that there
is some room for hesitation as to the exact part of that century in which one
would suppose it to have been rebuilt. If the Caen stone was obtained from the
original front, or, as above suggested, from the Carmelite Priory, the work may
be of any time between 1325 and 1375. The older roof-trusses (see later) are,
perhaps, more likely to belong to the second half of the century, and it seems
reasonable to assume that a general re-construction of the building took place
at one time.
Having now examined the walls, let us turn to the timber work.
The flooring between the two storeys of the Marlipins is carried on substantial
oak joists crossing from east to west, and additionally supported in the centre
by a timber in one length from north to south--more than 40 feet long even now,
when it has been shortened at the north end. Wooden posts with curved brackets
springing from them supported this long timber (see Fig. 8)--one at each end,
and one in the middle. The latter (Fig. 9) and the south end one, remain.
Intervening posts have been added at a later date, and a fresh one substituted
for the original one under the north end. The posts have, apparently sunk at
this latter end, and the central beam is, in consequence, very much out of
level. It also has a decided curve in its length. To correct these
irregularities, the joists above it have been considerably wedged up, but even
now the flooring is anything but level. There is a step in it, making its
northern part-for about a quarter of the total length north to south -higher
than the rest. Apparently a slight step existed in the floor even as originally
formed, for the big beam below has in it a step of about 3 inches high at the
same place. If so, the north end of the floor formed a kind of dais, similar to
The roof is an interesting one. (Figs. 8, 10 and 11.) It was
originally of a very usual mediaeval type, and the. remaining parts of this
probably date, like the front of the building, from the 14th century. It is
divided into four bays of about 10 feet 6 inches each, average. One of the
original principals remains, intact, close to the inside of the front gable
wall, and the three others, in all probability, resembled it, except the most
northerly one, which had a difference noted further on. The form is as follows:
---Tie-beam. King-post supported by curved side-braces from the tie-beam. Curved
brackets in turn from the King-post, running in the longitudinal direction of
the roof to support a central collar-purlin above which latter the King-post did
not extend. Struts raking upwards and outwards from the tie-beam to support main
purling. There were no principal rafters, their absence being, perhaps, an
indication of early date. The rafters are, as usual in these old roofs, placed
the flat way, and there is of, course, no ridge-piece, each pair of rafters
being simply halved, and pegged together at the apex. There are two wall-plates,
one on the outside, and one on the inside of the thick walls, and there are
connecting timbers from one to the other at intervals. The usual vertical ashler
pieces rise from the inner plate to sup-port the rafters. There is a collar to
each pair of rafters above, and resting upon, the collar-purlin. The last
King-post north evidently never had the curved side-braces to support it from
the tie-beam, as the mortices for them are absent; though this tie-beam, like
the extreme south one, is original. These two are the only tie-beams remaining
intact, of the original roof-formation. The north king-post is also original and
intact. From each of the two intervening roof-trusses the centre part of each
original tie-beam, and part of the King-post, is missing. Missing too, are the
brackets which gave additional support to the collar-purlin from these
King-posts. At some time---probably I think, in the 17th century-a storage floor
was introduced into the roof. To get a clear space through, for this, it was
necessary to sweep away the centre timbers, and to alter the roof-framing. Fresh
tie-beams, about 2 feet lower than the original ones were therefore put across
the building, under the old ones, (thus sacrificing some of the height above the
main floor). The central portions of the original tie-beams, with about
two-thirds of the original King-posts, were then cut away from the two centre
roof-trusses, and queen-posts were introduced, carried by the new tie-beams and
supporting cross-ties which in turn carried the main purlins in place of the
original side struts. The new queen-posts received into their outer sides the
remaining portions of the original tie-beams (Fig. 11).
In passing, I am inclined to think that the new formation was not so strong
as the original one. A floor was put in, its joists spanning from one new
tie-beam to another, in the two north bays. The new tie-beams, Queen-posts and
collars were chamfered. There is an additional tie-beam like the others, under
the original truss also inside of the south gable wall, and it looks as though
the storage floor was originally intended to fill the two remaining bays and
thus to reach the front wall. This intention was apparently abandoned, as,
though there are mortices for the floor-joists on the south side of the later
tie-beam of the central truss, there are none to correspond on the later ties of
the two south principals.
As already noted, there is a gablet at the north end of the ridge, below which
the roof is hipped in.
2. SOME THEORIES.
The following are notes of various theories which have been suggested from
time to time with regard to the origin and purpose of the building we are
- A building erected of materials obtained from the ruined nave of the
Parish Church. Considering the long documentary history of the structure,
the materials must have been available at an early date. This can scarcely
be the case, as there is evidence that the nave of the church was intact
down to a date considerably more recent than the Reforma-tion. (Other points
in this theory have been already dealt with).
- A Chantry. There is no indication of the building having served any
ecclesiastical purpose. It is not at all like a Chantry chapel. A "Chantry"
does not necessarily imply a separate or special building.
It was an institution rather than a place. In the Chantry returns temp. Edw.
VI., the reference to that at New Shoreham is:-"The Chauntrey there
scituat in the parish. church of New Shoreham."4 When held
in a parish church, it is probable that even a separate altar is not
necessarily to be presumed. Finally there is no evidence that any of the
Chantry lands included the site of this building.
- One of the two Hospitals known to have existed in Shoreham in mediaeval
times-St. Katherine,5 or St. James. If these were Infirmary
Hospitals, the first syllable of the name "Mal" might be presumed
to have some bearing on the matter, but the small amount of information as
to both these institutions, overlaps, as regards date, the documents
referring to the Marlipins, which had, it is quite certain, no connection
whatever, with them.
- All that remains of the Carmelite Priory. The old view from the British
Museum is described as a view of this building. The drawing by Nibbs is also
so described. The Priory, however, is definitely known to have been situated
south of the High Street, and the grant of- an acre and a half of land,
given to it by Sir John de Mowbray in 1348, "extended to the High
Street on the north."6 This particular grant was to enable
the Priory to move further from the sea, which had begun seriously to
threaten its existence.
- A kind of Meeting-house for the Knight Templars. This theory was first put
forward in a paper read to the Hampstead Antiquarian and Historical Society
in July, 1919, by Mr. Burton Green, who may. be described as one of the
veterans of the Sussex Archaeological Society, having contributed to its
Collections the important article on Shoreham, which appeared in Vol. 27.
The suggestion is, that the name " Malduppinne " found in the 14th
century document quoted further on, is derived from Mal Dubbians-the meeting
place of the Knights (Dubbians) and that the building was "La
Temple" or some other part of the Templars' property referred to in
numerous ancient documents. Against this theory, there is the grave
objection that the documents referred to seem to make it evident that all
the Templars' property was south of the High Street and close to that of the
Carmelites, by whom it was eventually absorbed. First, however, it had been
granted (on the suppression of the Knight Templars in 1308) to the Knights
Hospitallers of St. John. If the "Temple" or any of the
possessions in question, had any connection at all with the Marlipins, it is
almost inconceivable that no reference to the fact should have been found in
at least the first of the Ancient Deeds given further on. This deed bears a
date less than 40 years after the suppression of the Templars. The tenacity
with which associations cling to property is evidenced in the case of our
building, by the length of the period after the Reformation during which
references to the Prior of Lewes figure in the deeds. There seems a failure
to really connect any of the "Temple" deeds with the Marlipins
- A store for wool and hides, or for wines. Mr. Cheal, in "The Story of
Shoreham," makes this suggestion, and also says " The words `
Malduppinne' and `Malappynnys' present a problem which is not easy of
solution. It is possible that the terminations `ppinne' and `ppynnys' (pin
and pins) suggest a connection with `pin,' which is a barrel of brandy or
wine containing ten gallons. In such a con-nection the word would possibly
mean `place (or house) of the pins' (i.e. of wine or brandy)." I may
add to this, that " pin" is still used for a small (42 gall.) cask
It is probable that we are here much nearer to the truth than in the case of
theories 1 to 5. In the matter of the wine, one may indulge a passing
speculation as to the possibility of the "Mal" having any
reference to the storage here, more particularly, of that "corrupt
wine" which, we are told, was (unkindly enough) generally sent to
Ireland .7 Ducange8 gives a word which has a
sufficient re-semblance to some of the spellings of "Marlipins" to
suggest that, taken in conjunction with other circumstances, it provides a
solution of the problem of the original uses of the building. The word in
question is "Malpenning "-and its meaning may be translated
thus:-"The payment of a penny by a certain custom for having any
faculty or privilege." (From the Saxon Male, tribute, tax; and Peny, a
penny). Probably the "penny" would cover mone-tary payments
generally. A Charter of the year 1264, in Maximilian Henricus, in the
Apology for the Archbishop of Cologne, part 2, page 62, says:-
" Yet so that pence for ale, and pence which are called Malpenning be
not received from ecclesiastical and religious persons."9
It will be noted that, in the above, "pence for ale" and
"pence which are called Malpenning" are referred to as though they
were not .altogether dissimilar things. Now at Shoreham, in the 13th
century, we are told that the brewers, whose trade was particularly active,
paid "2½ marks yearly to escape the vexations of the manorial
court."10 This may be described, surely, as "pence for
ale" and also as a customary payment" for having a faculty or
privilege." In the 12th and 13th centuries, of course, the town was an
appanage of the De Braose family. It was complained of the 13th century
representative of this race, that he took from each ship conveying wine
"one cask from before the mast and one cask from behind." If he
stored them in the Marlipins, it may still be that the word "pin"
is partly responsible for the name (supposing a Saxon derivation for the
first syllable, and a French one for the second) making it "the tribute
from casks"-their contents, that is to say. But as De Braose claimed
"toll and other customs belonging to the port from time immemorial, and
took toll also at the bi-weekly markets, and the annual fair, and claimed
tolls not only from wine but from bags of wool and lasts of hides," it
seems likely that this building was his general toll or custom house, and
that here were received the shipping customs of the port, the tolls of the
market, and, in fact, all the various contributions which he seems to have
been an adept in exacting from all and sundry. As regards market and fair
tolls, rentals for stalls, etc., the situation of the building in the centre
of what was undoubtedly the mediaeval market-place, is exactly what might be
Our late member, Dr. Grayling, visited the Marlipins very shortly before his
death, and subsequently wrote a letter about it to Mr. E. F. Salmon. By the
kindness of the latter, I am able to give some extracts which from such a
source will, I feel, be welcome. Dr. Grayling Wrote:
"It is exactly a replica of another building of the same date that
formerly existed at Milton Swale in Kent-and for the same purpose, viz. a
custom house at the head of a waterway. We may at once dismiss that
Marlipins contains any materials from the nave of the church-as has been
supposed. The building seems to be late 14th century in most part. . . .
The most interesting feature (under this head-windows) is the window close
to the street---it is a `business' window . . . from which a person
outside could transact any business without entering. . . :"
"We do not always remember how much `business' is still done at
windows--railways, large shops, etc., workshops. Up till lately every village
post office had a window independent of the shop-which opened on
the street for sale of stamps and enquiries. And through an upper opening
often the letter bags were thrown in."
The remarks about the " business " window are interesting. This one
is somewhat high above the inside floor for the purpose--just on 4 feet to the
main sill and another 8 inches higher still to the outer sill. The grid too did
not allow much space for passing things through though it would have served for
money, and been as effective as a bank cashier's grid. The street level is
probably about 9 inches higher than in the middle ages--about the height of the
top step at the south-east doorway, perhaps. This makes the window sill a fairly
convenient seat-height from the pavement, and it may be remarked that the
principal "business" of the window at present, seems to be to provide
a resting-place for one of Shoreham's "leisured" in-habitants, who
may, all too often, be seen ensconced there, obstructing the sun from this
decidedly "ancient light."
In the year 1330, a commission of oyer and terminer was issued, to enquire into
a complaint made by a certain Richard de Peshale, Knight.11 There is
a fair amount of information concerning this individual, much of it very
interesting, but to go fully into it would lead us too far afield. Suffice it to
say that he was connected with the De Mowbrays, having married Alina, the
daughter and heiress of William de Braose, widow of John de Mowbray and mother
of another John de Mowbray. Peshale himself had a daughter by this lady. In
spite of sundry debts and difficulties, he seems to have been held in esteem by
the King and his own social equals. Amongst those of inferior station he
incurred opprobrium and dislike. Apparently he sometimes took on the role of
debt-collector, and it is probable that this did not add to his popularity.
There were sundry commissions to enquire into alleged oppressions of the tenants
of his Welsh manors. In Bedfordshire attacks on his property and servants took
place, and in Shoreham similar proceedings were attended by "a certain
liveliness" (perhaps appropriate to a naval town), which resulted in the
Knight himself being wounded and many of his servants placed hors de combat.
Incidentally, it is a little curious to note that the Welsh tenants, whom one
would have expected to have shown the greater turbulence, seem to have limited
themselves to constitutional complaints to the proper quarter--whereas the
reputedly stolid and patient inhabitants of Sussex, took the matter into their
own hands to some purpose. Possibly the sea-faring element at Shoreham (an
element never con-spicuously law-abiding during the middle ages) was responsible
for the difference. A large number of people, nearly 40 of whom are named, were
charged with being concerned in the trouble at Shoreham 12
Some appear to have been tradesmen of the town. Several of the names have
interest in connection with the Marlipins, no fewer than five figuring in the
first of the ancient deeds quoted below-viz. Stephen Must, Reginald le Cartere
(through his widow and son), Robert le Puffere, John Bernard, and John Swele.
Stephen Must seems to have held the Marlipins during the early years of the 14th
century, and had conveyed it to John le Pottere. Must was one of those found
guilty of participating in the attack on Peshale, and had to find part of the
sum of £500 awarded as com-pensation to the Knight. This may have had
some-thing to do with his leaving the Marlipins. Even so, it would appear
probable that it did not deter him from being again concerned in an attack on
the servants and goods of the same Knight about a year afterwards 13
The list of persons then named includes a Stephen Bust, who may quite probably
have been the same person. The alteration in the first letter may be due to the
original document being partly illegible. To modern ears it gives, considering
all the circumstances, an odd, and slightly humorous sound, to a name which even
in its original form was a little peculiar.
The Reginald le Cartere whose wife Julian obtained the Marlipins from John le
Pottere, had been acquitted on the charge of participation in the riot. The
other three names (among those fined in company with Must apparently) all figure
as witnesses to the first deed given below.
A curious feature of the large number of attacks made on Peshale's property in
various counties, is the occurrence of the name of a John de Mowbray in more
than one case among the delinquents. Notwith-standing this, a document exists14
in which John de Mowbray expresses his indebtedness to Peshale for his
"grateful service" to himself and his mother Alina.
It would be interesting to know whether John le Pottere actually carried on the
manufacture of pots or vessels of any kind (earthenware, metal, or wood) at the
The "tenement of John Prede on the west and north" evidently occupied
the ground now covered by the inn called (after the ancient building) "The-Marlipins,"
and also that occupied by the compara-tively modern sheds on the north of, and
now belong-ing to, the Marlipins proper. The inn was formerly called " The
Ship," and its outbuildings formerly included these north sheds, which show
curious evidence of having been cut off from the rest at some time, without any
of the usual proper "making good."
The third and subsequent deeds describe the building practically as it is now-a
cellar with a loft over-and it is evident that it was much the same even at the
date of the first of these deeds. In this third one the " Otmarcat "
and " Cornmarket " of the earlier documents give place to Procession
Street-while the street on the east for the first time gets a name-"Moderlovestrete."
Both names suggest an origin connected with the church.
For the rest, the deeds may be left to speak for themselves
ANCIENT DEEDS. A. 4092. P.R.O.
I, John le Pottere of New Shorham, have given to Julian, who was the wife of
Reginald le Cartere, of New Shorham, a stone corner tenement which is called
Malduppinne which I had formerly by the gift of Stephen Must, situated in the
vill of New Shorham in the market place called Otmarcat, between the tenement
of John Prede on the west and north and the King's streets on east and south,
to hold . . . for the whole of her life of the chief lord of that fee . . .
and after the decease of the said Julian, the aforesaid tenement with all its
appurtenances to remain to Richard, son of Julian, . . . and his heirs and
assigns. . . . In testimony whereof to this present charter I have apposed my
seal at New Shorham the first day of August 20 Edward III., and in the 7th
year of his reign over France.
These witnesses: John Hemeri, then bailiff of the said town, John Swele,
Robert Puffere, John Bernard, William Lamb, Thomas Robyn, Richard Seman,
Robert Barbur, Thomas Chaunce, Walter Fraunke, Robert Larie, John de Beauchamp
clerk and others.
ANCIENT DEEDS. A. 4145. P.R.O.
We, John Stempe, John Martyn and John Sharpe have given ... to Thomas atte
Vanne of Southamton a stone corner tenement which is called Malduppynne which
same tenement, we late had by the gift and feoffment of Robert Colman, late of
New Shorham now deceased, and is situated in the vill of New Shorham aforesaid
in the market place called Cornmarket, between a certain barn called Prede
formerly John Merlot's on the west and north and the King's streets on the
east and south, to hold . . . of the chief lord of the fee. . . . In testimony
whereof to this our present charter we have apposed our seals.
These witnesses: John Cookson, then bailiff, John Lewger, George Legat,
William Okynden, William Byshop, William atte Stone, William Bakere and many
Given at New Shorham aforesaid, the last day of the month of August, 18 Edward
(No seals extant.)
ANCIENT DEEDS. A. 4087. P.R.O.
I, John Sharpe, senior, of New Shorham, co. Sussex, have remitted to Thomas
Dymmocke, of the vill of Suthampton, Merchant, and his heirs all my right, . .
. in a certain cellar and in a chamber or loft above the cellar built,
situated in New Shorham, in co. Sussex, called Malapynnys, between a certain
street there commonly called Moderlovestrete on the east and a certain garden
of the lord of that vill of New Shorham on the west and north and another
street there called Processionstrete on the south, to hold . . . of the
capital lords of that fee. . . .
In testimony whereof to the present I have affixed my seal. Witnesses: John
Cokson, Robert a gate, Ralph a gate of New Shorham aforesaid and many others.
Given at Shorham aforesaid the 8th day of the month of September, 4 Henry VII.
ANCIENT DEEDS. A. 4147. P.R.O.
I, John Sharpe, senior, of New Shorham in county Sussex, husbandman, have
given to Thomas Dymmocke, of the 'will of Suthampton, merchant, a certain
cellar with a certain chamber or loft above it situated in New Shorham
aforesaid called Malap-pynnys, between a certain road there commonly called
Moderlove-strete on the east and a certain garden of the lord of the said will
of New Shorham on the west and north and another street commonly called
Processionstrete, . . . . to hold of the chief lords of those fees
. . . In testimony whereof to these presents I have apposed my seal.
These witnesses: John Cokson, Robert A gate, Ralph A gate and many others.
Given at Shorham. aforesaid the eighth day of the month of September, 4 Henry
(Fragment of seal.)
ANCIENT DEEDS. A. 4086. P.R.O.
I, Thomas Dymmocke, of the town of Southampton, merchant, give, grant and by
this my present charter confirm to Richard Benyamyn of Lewes, a certain cellar
with a certain chamber or loft thereabove built, situated in New Shorham, in
county Sussex, called Malappynnys between a certain street there commonly
called Moderlovestrete on the east and a certain garden of the lord of the
said vill of New Shorham aforesaid on the west and north and another street
there commonly called Processionstrete, with its appurtenances on the south,
which said cellar and chamber or loft aforesaid, I, the aforesaid Thomas late
had by the gift or grant of John Sharpe, senior, of New Shorham aforesaid as
by the charter thereof to me made fully appears to have and to hold the said
cellar and chamber or loft aforesaid, with the appurtenances to the said
Richard, his heirs and assigns for ever of the chief lords of that fee... Know
ye further that I, the aforesaid Thomas constitute as my attorney and put in
my place my beloved in Christ John Hunt as my true and lawful attorney to
enter in my place and name into the said cellar and chamber or loft, with the
appurtenances and to deliver full and peaceful seisin thereof to the aforesaid
Richard, his heirs and assigns for ever according to the form and effect of
this my present charter. In testimony whereof to this my present charter I
have affixed my seal.
Witnesses: John Cokeson, Robert Furber, Richard Snape, John Frye, and many
Given at Shorham aforesaid the 14th day of March, 11 Henry VII. by me Th.
Seal, 3 roses on stalk.
ANCIENT DEEDS. A. 4149. P.R.O.
We, Thomas Adam, clerk and Thomas Theccher, gentleman, have given to . . . .
Henry Coby, Richard Rolle, Thomas Filde, Thomas Trower, John Cheverell and
John Delve, junior, a certain cellar with a certain chamber or loft built
above it situated in New Shorham in co. Sussex called Malappynnys, between a
certain street commonly called Moderlovestret on the north (sic) and another
street there commonly called Processionstret on the south with its
appurtenances, which same cellar and chamber or loft aforesaid, we . . . late
had by the grant or gift of the last will of Richard Bengemyn now deceased as
by the said will fully appears To have and to hold
the aforesaid cellar and chamber or loft to the aforesaid Henry, Richard,
Thomas, Thomas, John and John Delve, junior, their heirs and assigns of the
chief lords of that fee by the services thereof due and of right accustomed
for ever by these presents. And further know ye that we the aforesaid Thomas
Adam, clerk, and Thomas Theccher constitute as our attorney and put in our
place our beloved in Christ, Thomas Garston, our true and lawful attorney to
enter and deliver full and peaceful seisin thereof in our place and name in
the aforesaid cellar and chamber or loft with all the appurtenances to the
aforesaid Henry Coby, Richard, Thomas, Thomas, John and John Delve junior,
their heirs and assigns according to the form and effect of our present
In witness whereof to this our present charter we have opposed our seals.
Given the first day of the month of October, 15, Henry VII. (No witnesses.)
(Fragment of seal.)
The next document which -has interest in connection with our subject is Roll
452 of Ministers' Accounts, Edward VI.:
"Office of Collector of foreign rents in Shoreham. Received 6s. 8d., for
farm of a tenement called The Prior of Lewes Celer in Shorham in the tenure of
Thomas Graveshend demised to him by Indenture, as it is said."
There are identical entries in Rolls 453, 454, 455, and 456; 457 is similar
except for the spelling, which is "pryor of Lewes Seller in Shorham."
So far, there is nothing to identify these entries with the Marlipins, but the
necessary connection is established a little later on. It is evident that Lewes
Priory had long had interests in Shoreham. There was an early grant of lands to
it by a De Braose. The men of the Priory had privileges in connection with the
ferry which crossed from New Shoreham to Lancing; and in 1457 the Prior with
others answered for the profits of 60 acres of land "in the port of
Hulkesmouth alias Shorham."15
The Editor has very kindly sent me the following from an isolated Court Roll of
1572, among the Shoreham records at Norfolk House:-
"John Gravesende who held of the lord freely a cellar called le
Malapyns by a rent of 14d. yearly; and a parcel of land lying in New Shoreham
between the cellar late of the prior of Lewes and the highway on the south
and a messuage and garden late of Thomas Shilter on the north, by a yearly rent
of 12d., has died seised thereof since the last Court. John Gravesende his son
and heir is of full age and gives to the lord for relief 2s. 2d., and does
Mr. Salzman makes the following comment on the above:-
" From the wording one would imagine that the Malapyns cellar and the
Prior's cellar were not the same, but taken in conjunction with your other
evidence, I think we must conclude that they were alternative names; probably
the description of the `parcel of land' was taken from the original grant in
which the bounds were given in that form. The cellar must obviously have come
into the hands of Lewes after 15 Hen. VII; it is unlucky that the grant is not
with the other ` Ancient Deeds' among the Lewes charters;-possibly it was a
Adopting the suggestion that the " cellar called le Malapyns" and
"the cellar late of the prior of Lewes" are one and the same, the last
six words of the latter being merely for additional identification-the
"parcel. of land" may be that portion of the former "garden on
the west and north" of the Marlipins, lying west of the latter, and
which eventually became the site of the "Ship" inn. If this is the
correct interpretation, this part has its north, south, and east boundaries
defined in the extract, but not its west one, viz.-north, a garden-south, the
street-east, the Marlipins.
For some time after this there is no very definite information. A deed of 31
Elizabeth16 is too vague and general for positive identification with
the site of the building. With the 17th century, however, we get on to somewhat
firmer ground. In 1664, John Cheal of Shermanbury, conveys to Henry Dallen-der
of New Shoreham, the inn called the "Ship," together with a barn,
stable, and garden thereto belonging commonly called the Pryor of Lewes his
seller situate in New Shoreham. There is reason to think that the
"Ship" and the Marlipins were held together (practically continuously)
from this time onwards, and that the latter may be understood to be included
even in the case of one or two documents which do not specifically mention it.
At the time of the 1664 conveyance, the "Ship" inn seems to have been
in the occupation of Richard Forty and Silvester Symes. This is interesting in
connection with the theory that the earliest use of the Marlipins was as a
custom-house-for Forty seems to have been an officer of Customs. In 1673 Adrian
Poullen, master of the good ship " St. John," of Dieppe, complained
that having taken refuge at Shoreham to escape Dutch privateers which had chased
him while voyaging to St. Malos, he had been boarded in the English port by
"R. Forty." The latter came on board the ship as an officer and with
others, although the master's papers were in order, "seized the goods
therein for the King of England's use and his own, and by his order the broad
arrow was set upon 3 packets in the ship." An enquiry was held at the
" Lyon" at Steyning, when it was stated that Forty had detained the
goods till the previous night, when he had returned them, under an order from
the Exchequer.17 (Possibly they had been stored in the Marlipins. )
Henry Dallender, of the 1664 deed, died without issue, and was succeeded by
Nicholas Dallender. The property then passed by marriage to the Padwicks
(between 1677 and 1692) Thomas, a citizen and draper, of London, and Ann his
wife, the latter being sister and heir to Nicholas Dallender. The Padwicks
mortgaged the property (for 1000 years) to John Bernard. It is interesting to
note the recurrence here of the identical name of one of the delinquents in the
14th century riot, and witness of a deed shortly afterwards.
From the Padwicks the property seems to have passed in 1696 (first by a year's
lease and subsequently in the usual way) to Elizabeth Eaton of Horsham. This
lady would appear to have married a certain John Innott, for in the time of
Queen Anne (1703) John Innott, Brewer, of New Shoreham, eldest son and heir of
"John Innott and his wife Elizabeth" conveyed the
"Ship" (without specific mention of the Marlipins) to Henry Stone,
shipwright. From other documents we find that the Marlipins was also held by
Henry Stone as well as the " Ship," and after his death and that of
his wife (about 1710) their son William was in possession for about 40 years.
Trouble arose from William Stone trying to sell the property instead of letting
it pass, as it should have done, to his four sisters. In these documents, after
mention of the "Ship" Inn, the description goes on:-" With one
barn and garden and one pile or parcel of building on the east side adjoining
called the Malthouse or Sceller heretofore belonging to the Prior of
Evidently the sisters made good their claim, for in 1751 they conveyed the
"Ship" and the Marlipins "formerly called a malthouse or scoller
and belonging to the Prior of Lewes" to William Foster. The latter, in a
will proved in 1776, bequeathed "a messuage (apparently the
"Ship") now m the occupation of John Dean, Victualler, together with
the upper and lower Marlipins adjoining to the same messuage, the upper in his
own possession, the lower in the occupation of John Innott, Brewer (possibly a
son of the John Innott who sold to Henry Stone in 1703) to his nephew William
Foster, shipwright (after his own wife should have died).
The two daughters of William married mariners and conveyed the property
subsequently to John Foster, who was already in occupation with a certain
Richard Puddick, and was Comptroller of His Majesty's Customs-at both Brighton
and Shoreham apparently. This was in 1806, and here we return again to the
supposed earliest associations of the building. It was now referred to as
"a warehouse or storehouse, called or usually known by the name of the
At this time Moderlovestrete on the east, had become Patching's Lane. The deed
quotes, in addition to giving the more modern description just referred to,
the way in which the property had been described in ancient deeds, including the
"Scoller" belonging to the Prior of Lewes.
I am unable to give exact details of the history of the building in more modern
times. For a long time previous to the last sale it had been a builder's shop,
being owned by Messrs. Gates. I understand that it was at one time an
engineering. works, and was then rather roughly used. During the great war it
served a national purpose, the ground storey being fitted up as a rifle range
for the troops.
With regard to the street on the east, it seems at first sight a singularly
clear corruption from "Moder-love" to "Middle" Street.
One naturally supposes an intervening -Muddle "-softened to
"Middle" subsequently-or perhaps a progression from "Moderlove"
to "Muddy Lane"-with the necessity for its frequent
"patching" as the origin for the " Patching's Lane" of 1806;
but un-fortunately for this hypothesis, Patching is known to have been the name
of a local weaver. Other persons names have also been given to the
thoroughfare--e.g. Norton. Nor does it help the required sequence of corruption
to know that it was once "Post Office Lane." The suggestion that this
had any connection with the required "missing word" seems not only to
be needlessly sardonic, but involves crediting the people of Shoreham with an
exceptional capacity for obliquity of reference. There was possibly a Post
Office once at the bottom of the street.
The probability is that the quaint mediaeval names of Moderlove and Procession
Street were discontinued no great while after the Reformation.
The writer feels that these notes should not conclude without an expression
(on behalf of all archaeologists) of gratitude to the present owner of the
building, for his timely and public-spirited action in acquiring it, with the
object of preservation. This temporary measure
was taken to allow time for funds to be raised by public subscription. Had Mr.
Burstow not adopted this course, there can be little doubt that one more relic
of the past would have been swept away, or so altered as to have its interest
There should be added a word of appreciation of the spirit in which the matter
was met by the late owner, Mr. R. A. Gates, who arranged special terms on
under-standing that the purchase would be solely in the interests of
NOTE.-The photos illustrating this article, where not otherwise described,
are by Pannell, Hove.
1 S.A.C., Vol. 42, p. 157.
2 Burnham Abbey Bucks. (Harold Brakspear). Arch. Journal Vol. LX.
3 Buckinghamshire (South), published by H.M. Stationery Office.
4 S.A.C., Vol. XVI., p. 235.
5 The Court Rolls of Shoreham show that in 1656, Richard Poole held " St.
Katherines peice, on which a stone windmill now stands, in Old Shoreham."
This suggests that the site of St. Katherine's Hospital was probably in Old
6 Pat. R., 22 Edw. III., pt. ii., m. 14.
7 Mediceval Byways (L. F. Salzman), p. 163.
8 Ducange, Glossarium, etc., Vol. IV., p. 375.9 Ducange. Another word in the
Glossarium is " Mailla " signifying a special coinage apparently other
than that of the ordinary mints.
10 English. Industries of the Middle Ages (L. F. Salzman), p. 287.
11 Cal. Pat. Rolls, Edw. 111., 1327-1330.
12 Cal. Pat. R., Edw. 111., 1327-1330.
13 Cal. Pat. R., 1330-34.
14 Cal. Close R., 1327-30.
15 The Story of Shoreham, H. Cheal, p. 19.
16 This deed contains the surname of the late owner of the building, viz. Gates.
17 S.A.C., Vol. XXXVIII., p. 147.
Sussex Archaeological Collections LXV,
by courtesy of the Sussex Archaeological Society (SAS).
SAS grants this licence for the stated purpose in respect of such rights as SAS
may have over the articles,
but those rights may not include the author's copyright in the words and/or