THE HUNDRED OF WHALESBONE
containing the parishes of
West Blatchington; Brighton
There was no hundred of Whalesbone (fn. 1) in 1086. Brighton was then
included in 'Welesmere' Hundred, and West Blatchington nowhere
appeared under that name. (fn. 2) By 1296 the hundred of Whalesbone had
been formed and it was divided for taxation purposes into Patcham
and Withdean, Blatchington and Brighton, Hove, Brighton and Moulsecombe,
'Bokkyng' (fn. 3) For similar purposes in 1327 and 1332 the divisions used were
Patcham and Blatchington, Preston with Hove, Brighton. (fn. 4) By the end of the
16th century the boundaries of the hundred had been considerably reduced and
the only 'boroughs' were Brighton and Patcham. (fn. 5) Brighton then paid in common fine 6s. 8d. every half-year, collected at the rate of 1d. a head a year from
every householder and every bachelor 'being his own man', except 'the Twelve'
of the town who are exempted 'in regard they do seruice otherwise to the kinge'. (fn. 6)
The common fine of Patcham was levied once a year from specified lands in
Patcham and Withdean. (fn. 7) Two headboroughs were chosen annually in the
'town' of Brighton, by election, and one in Patcham 'borough', who 'serueth
by landes'. (fn. 8) The constable of Brighton was always chosen from the Twelve of
the town, two years from the fishermen, and the third year among the landsmen. (fn. 9)
The composition of the hundred was still the same in 1621, (fn. 10) but by 1624
Blatchington had been included. (fn. 11) Subsequently Patcham was removed, to
form the hundred of Dean (q.v.), and from at least 1801 the hundred of Whalesbone has been made up of the two parishes of Brighton and West Blatchington. (fn. 12)
The hundred descended with the rape.
||Walesbon (xiii cent.); Whalesbon, Walsbon (xiv cent.); Whalesbone (xiv-xx cent.). The derivation
identifying the final element in this name as burna [Pl.-N. of Suss. ii. 290] has been corrected in
Pl.-N. Soc. xv, p. xxxix, where it is suggested that 'the site of the Hundred meeting-place was marked by
an arch of the bones of the lower jaw of a whale'.
V.C.H. Suss. i, 437–8.
Subsidies (Suss. Rec. Soc. x), 41–3.
||Ibid. 172–3, 286.
Book of John Rowe (Suss. Rec. Soc. xxxiv), 143–4.
Suss. Arch. Coll. ix, 78.
||Horsfield, Sussex, i, 103.
V.C.H. Suss. ii, 225; cf. Horsfield, Sussex, i, 103.