The Weald of Kent, Surrey and Sussex
Michelham Priory    Upper Dicker  Arlington  

Books and other documents
PublishedTitle, author and references
1853Some account of Michelham Priory in Arlington by Rev. George Miles Cooper ⇒ p. 129
1901The History of the Parish of Hailsham, The Abbey of Otham and the Priory of Michelham by L.F. Salzmann ⇒ p. 198
1904Highways and Byways in Sussex by E.V. Lucas ⇒ p. 316

Historical records

1229HistoryMichelham PrioryHistory of Hailsham
Michelham Priory was founded in 1229 by Gilbert de Aquila, third of that name and fourth lord of Pevensey of his family. The site chosen was at a bend of the river Cuckmere in the parish of Arlington, about a half a mile from the boundary of Hailsham parish; the river was with little trouble converted into a broad moat, which provided both protection and fish to the monastry.

16th Jun 1283HistoryMichelham PrioryHistory of Hailsham
On the 16th June, 1283, the Priory received a visit from the Archbishop of Canterbury, who had spent the previous day at Battle, and left next day for Bexhill and Battle, returning on the 18th to Michelham apparently, and leaving again next day for Rochester.

14th Sep 1302HistoryMichelham PrioryHistory of Hailsham
Nearly twenty years later, September 14th, 1302, Michelham was honoured, and probably inconvenienced, by the prescence of royalty, Edward I spending the night at the Priory on his way from Lewes to Battle.

1317HistoryMichelham PrioryHistory of Hailsham
In 1317, "Robert Henry who served the late king is sent to the prior and convent of Michelham to receive his maintenance." This simple and economical method of rewarding their old retainers by billeting them on some monastery was much in favour with the kings of this time.

1398HistoryMichelham PrioryHistory of Hailsham
In 1398 the priory of Michelham having fallen upon evil days, their energetic head, John Leem, made a successful appeal to the new Bishop of Chichester for assistance and obtained his leave to appropriate the churches of Alfriston and Fletching.

1411HistoryMichelham PrioryCooper's Michelham
King Henry IV granted the canons, in 1411, the fullest confirmation ("peramplissima confirmatio") of their manors, lands, and liberties, as recited and sanctioned in the charters of his predecessors.

1538HistoryMichelham PrioryCooper's Michelham
In the twenty-ninth year of Henry VIII (A.D. 1538) that monarch granted Letters Patent to Thomas Lord Cromwell, his most active agent in suppressing the monastries, and then standing high in his favour, enabling him to hold the possessions of this dissolved priory of the king, in chief, by the tenure of military service.
Upon the attainder and execution of that nobleman, after a brief possession of two years, these estates reverting to the crown were again granted, in the way of a compulsory exchange, to William Fitz Alan, Earl of Arundel. By an indenture dated February 4th, 1541, the earl, for divers causes and good considerations, "bargained and sold to the king his manors of Shyllyngle, Hibernhoo, Woollavington, and other property in the west of Sussex; and the king on his part granted to the earl the scite, circuit, and precinct of the late monastery or priory of Michelham" with a portion of the estates lately pertaining to the priory of Lewes.

1554 to 1601HistoryMichelham PrioryCooper's Michelham
Michelham did not long remain long in possession of the Arundel family … the tenements called Sextrie lands in Michelham … were granted to John Fote and by him aliened in 1574 to Ambrose Smyth who ten years afterwards transferred them to John Morley (afterwards Sir John Morley of Halnaker) and his wife Elizabeth. On the 31st October, 1587, an indenture was made between John Morley of Halnaker, Esq., and his wife Elizabeth on the one part, and Herbert Pelham of Hellingly, Esq., on the other … the "scite of Michelham priory (within the mote seven and a half acres thirty-two perches) together with 767 acres of land," and its manor and messuages.
Mr Pelham, it appears, soon fell into pecuniary difficuties … his whole interest in this property was made over by him to Thomas Pelham of Laughton, James Thatcher of Priest-hawes (in Westham) and Thomas Peirse of Hastings; in trust to sell the same. … In fulfillment of this trust, the above parties on the 6th April 1601 sold the property to the Lord Treasurer Buckhurst, Cecilie his wife, and heirs, for the sum of £4700.

1773Long Passage at Michelham PrioryLong Passage at Michelham Priory, ink wash on paper (25.6 x 18.2cm) drawn by Samuel Hieronymus GrimmSamuel Hieronymus Grimm, topographical artist© British Library Board - Shelfmark: Additional MS 5671, Item number: f. 52 (no. 92)

1780The Crypt at Michelham PrioryThe Crypt at Michelham Priory, ink wash on paper© British Library Board - Shelfmark: Ktop XLII, Item number: 54

1784A View of Michelham PrioryA View of Michelham Priory, watercolour (26.8 x 37.1cm) painted by Samuel Hieronymus GrimmSamuel Hieronymus Grimm, topographical artist© British Library Board - Shelfmark: Additional MS 5671, Item number: f. 53 (no. 94)

1784West Side of Michelham PrioryWest Side of Michelham Priory, watercolour (18.7 x 26.7cm) painted by Samuel Hieronymus GrimmSamuel Hieronymus Grimm, topographical artist© British Library Board - Shelfmark: Additional MS 5671, Item number: f. 51 (no. 90)

1784West Front of Michelham Priory GateWest Front of Michelham Priory Gate, watercolour (18.7 x 26.6cm) painted by Samuel Hieronymus GrimmSamuel Hieronymus Grimm, topographical artist© British Library Board - Shelfmark: Additional MS 5671, Item number: f. 50 (no. 88)

1839HistoryMichelham PrioryCooper's Michelham
It [Michelham] has since descended in regular succession by the heirs male until the decease of John Frederick, third Duke of Dorset, and was carried in marriage, in 1839, by his grace's eldest daughter and co-heir, to William Pitt, Earl Amherst.

30th Mar 1851CensusSusannah Child, F, Daughter, single, age 26, born Arlington, Sussex; occupation: farmer's daughterSusannah ChildMichelham1851 Census
Arlington, Sussex
30th Mar 1851CensusElizabeth Child, F, Daughter, single, age 24, born Arlington, Sussex; occupation: farmer's daughterElizabeth Child
30th Mar 1851CensusAnn Holt Child, F, Daughter, single, age 23, born Arlington, Sussex; occupation: farmer's daughterAnn Holt Child
30th Mar 1851CensusThomas Child, M, Son, single, age 21, born Arlington, Sussex; occupation: farmer's sonThomas Child
30th Mar 1851CensusFrancis Child, M, Son, single, age 18, born Arlington, Sussex; occupation: farmer's sonFrancis Child
30th Mar 1851CensusHarriett Child, F, Daughter, single, age 16, born Arlington, Sussex; occupation: farmer's daughterHarriett Child
30th Mar 1851CensusCatherine Child, F, Daughter, single, age 14, born Arlington, Sussex; occupation: scholarCatherine Child
30th Mar 1851CensusCaroline Child, F, Daughter, single, age 8, born Arlington, Sussex; occupation: farmer's daughterCaroline Child
30th Mar 1851CensusMary Ann Dury, F, Niece, single, age 32, born Charlton, Kent; occupation: independentMary Ann Dury
30th Mar 1851CensusWilliam Page, M, Servant, single, age 24, born Hellingly, Sussex; occupation: farm labourerWilliam Page
30th Mar 1851CensusJames Barnes, M, Servant, single, age 23, born Arlington, Sussex; occupation: farm labourerJames Barnes
30th Mar 1851CensusJames Huggett, M, Servant, single, age 21, born Arlington, Sussex; occupation: farm labourerJames Huggett
30th Mar 1851CensusJabez Lambert, M, Servant, single, age 16, born Arlington, Sussex; occupation: farm labourerJabez Lambert
30th Mar 1851CensusRuth Dann, F, Servant, single, age 20, born Hurstmonceux, Sussex; occupation: house servantRuth Dann
30th Mar 1851CensusMargaret Ann Baker, F, Servant, single, age 15, born Michelham, Sussex; occupation: house servantMargaret Ann Baker

30th Mar 1851CensusWilliam Sinnock, M, Head, married, age 50, born Wilmington, Sussex; occupation: miller's grinderWilliam Sinnock, miller's grinderMichelham1851 Census
Arlington, Sussex
30th Mar 1851CensusRuth Sinnock, F, Wife, married, age 45, born NorthamptonshireRuth Sinnock
30th Mar 1851CensusElizabeth Sinnock, F, Daughter, single, age 13, born Arlington, SussexElizabeth Sinnock
30th Mar 1851CensusEmma Sinnock, F, Mother, widowed, age 76, born Willingdon, SussexEmma Sinnock
30th Mar 1851CensusRuth Barnes, F, Visitor, single, age 30, born Arlington, Sussex; occupation: laundressRuth Barnes

30th Mar 1851CensusJohn Lambert, M, Head, married, age 52, born Arlington, Sussex; occupation: farm labourerJohn Lambert, farm labourerMichelham1851 Census
Arlington, Sussex
30th Mar 1851CensusSarah Lambert, F, Wife, married, age 38, born Tarring, SussexSarah Lambert
30th Mar 1851CensusJesse Lambert, M, Son, single, age 12, born Arlington, Sussex; occupation: letter carrierJesse Lambert
30th Mar 1851CensusRuth Lambert, F, Daughter, single, age 10, born Arlington, Sussex; occupation: scholarRuth Lambert
30th Mar 1851CensusEsther Lambert, F, Daughter, single, age 8, born Arlington, Sussex; occupation: scholarEsther Lambert
30th Mar 1851CensusDavid Lambert, M, Son, single, age 5, born Arlington, Sussex; occupation: scholarDavid Lambert
30th Mar 1851CensusRhodah Lambert, F, Daughter, single, age 10M, born Arlington, SussexRhodah Lambert

1853The Gatway, MichelhamThe Gatway, MichelhamCooper's Michelham

1853Gateway entrance, MichelhamGateway entrance, MichelhamCooper's Michelham

1853Michelham PrioryMichelham PrioryCooper's Michelham

1853The Arches, MichelhamThe Arches, MichelhamCooper's Michelham

1853The Vaulted Room, MichelhamThe Vaulted Room, MichelhamCooper's Michelham

1853The Crypt, Michelham PrioryThe Crypt, Michelham PrioryCooper's Michelham

3rd Apr 1881CensusThomas Brown, M, Head, married, age 55, born Dorking, Surrey; occupation: farmer and miller of 400 acres employing 9 men, 2 boys and 2 millersThomas Brown, farmer and millerMichelham Priory House1881 Census
Arlington, Sussex
3rd Apr 1881CensusSarah Brown, F, Wife, married, age 50, born Horne, SurreySarah Brown
3rd Apr 1881CensusAnnie Brown, F, Daughter, single, age 23, born Capel, SurreyAnnie Brown
3rd Apr 1881CensusThomas Brown, M, Son, single, age 21, born Capel, Surrey; occupation: farmer of 140 acres employing 3 men and 1 boyThomas Brown
3rd Apr 1881CensusHarry H. Brown, M, Son, single, age 18, born Arlington, Sussex; occupation: millerHarry H. Brown
3rd Apr 1881CensusEdith A. Brown, F, Daughter, single, age 16, born Arlington, SussexEdith A. Brown
3rd Apr 1881CensusDavid Martin, M, Serv, single, age 54, born Sutton, Surrey; occupation: groom and cowmanDavid Martin
3rd Apr 1881CensusMercy Cottington, F, Serv, single, age 17, born Hellingly, Sussex; occupation: domestic servantMercy Cottington
3rd Apr 1881CensusHester C. Cottington, F, Serv, single, age 15, born Hellingly, Sussex; occupation: domestic servantHester C. Cottington

1901Michelham Priory from the North WestMichelham Priory from the North WestHistory of Hailsham

1901The Vaulted Room, MichelhamThe Vaulted Room, MichelhamHistory of Hailsham

1901The Gateway Tower, MichelhamThe Gateway Tower, MichelhamHistory of Hailsham

1901North Wall of Refectory, MichelhamNorth Wall of Refectory, MichelhamHistory of Hailsham

1901The Vaulted Room, MichelhamThe Vaulted Room, MichelhamHistory of Hailsham

1901The Slype, MichelhamThe Slype, MichelhamHistory of Hailsham

c 1910Michelham PrioryMichelham Priory photographed by Judges Ltd, HastingsPrivate collection

c 1910Michelham PrioryMichelham Priory by Judges Ltd, HastingsPrivate collection

c 1910Michelham PrioryMichelham Priory by Judges Ltd, HastingsPrivate collection

c 1910Michelham PrioryMichelham Priory by Judges Ltd, HastingsPrivate collection

c 1910Michelham PrioryMichelham PrioryPrivate collection

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