66. THE PRIORY OF WITHYHAM
Robert, count of Mortain, some time before
1086, gave to the priory of Mortain, a cell of
Marmoutier, eight burgages in Pevensey worth
5s. 6d., and probably also the manor of Withyham and the hamlet of Blackham in that parish. (fn. 1)
These two estates were temporarily usurped by
Walter de Richardeville, but were restored to the
monks about 1095, (fn. 2) and further confirmed to
them by Robert's son William, as count, about
1100. (fn. 3) A single monk appears to have been
put in charge of their Sussex estates and dignified
with the title of prior of Withyham at least as
early as 1249. (fn. 4)
In 1325 the monks of Mortain, by their
proctor the prior of Withyham, had property in
the parish worth £26 15s., (fn. 5) and in 1370 are returned as holding the manor and advowson of
Withyham, the manor being farmed at £20. (fn. 6)
Rather earlier than this a return of alien religious
mentions that the prior of Withyham was an
Englishman and had no fellow monk. (fn. 7) The
grant made by Edward III in 1372 to John of
Gaunt of those possessions in Sussex which afterwards became part of the Duchy of Lancaster
included the advowson of this alien cell, (fn. 8) which
only existed for another forty years, being suppressed with the other alien houses in 1413, and
given first to the New Priory of Hastings, (fn. 9) and
afterwards to King's College, Cambridge. (fn. 10)
||See V.C.H. Suss. i, 376.
Cal. Doc. France, 434.
||Assize R. 909, m. 4 d.
||Add. MSS. 6164, fol. 340.
||Ibid. fol. 415.
||Chan. Misc. bdle. 18, file 1, No. 6.
Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxi, 37.
||Pat. 14 Hen. IV, m. 19.
||Pat. 1 Edw. IV, pt. iii, m. 23.