Page:Notes on the churches in the counties of Kent, Sussex, and Surrey.djvu/353

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291
NOTES TO SUSSEX.

residence of Anne of Cleves, at some period after her divorce from K. Henry VIII. The entrance porch, bearing the date of 1599, appears to militate against that fact, but does not really do so, that portion seeming to be an addition to the original mansion.

The following letter, preserved in the Cotton Library of the British Museum, was written to Tho. Lord Cromwell by the person, whom he sent down for the purpose of demolishing the priory. It has long ago been published, but is subjoined here (copied from Horsfield's Lewes, I, 243) to show the determined manner, in which, as noticed above, the destruction of the buildings was conducted; though this letter relates only to the priory church.

"My Lord,—I humblie commend me to your lordshypp. The last I wrote to your lordship was the 20th day of this present monthe by the hands of Mr. Williamson, by which I advertise your lordshypp of the length and greatness of this church and sale, we had begun to pull the whole downe to the ground, and what manner and fashion they used in pulling it downe. I tolde your lordshypp of a vault on the right side of the high altar, that was borne with foure pillars, having about it five chapels, which be compassed in with walls 70 stepys of lengthe, that is, feet 210. All this is downe Thursday and Friday last. Now we ar a pluckinge downe an higher vaulte, borne up by four thick and gross pillars, 14 feet from side to side, about in circumference 45 feet. This shall downe for our second work. As it goeth forward, I will advertise your lordshypp from time to time, that your lordshypp may know with how many men we have done this. We brought from London seventeen persons, three carpenters, two smiths, two plummers, and one that keepeth the furnace. Every one of these attendeth to his own office: ten of them heweth the walls, about the which are the three carpenters. These made props to underset where the others cut away; the others brake and cut the walls. These men are exercised much better than other men we find in the countrie. Wherefore we must both have more men and other things also that we have need of. All the which I shall within these two or three days shewe your lordshypp by mouth. A Tuesday they began to cast the lead, and it shall be done with such diligence and saveing as may be; so that our trust is that your lordshypp shall be much satisfied with what we doe.