The Rapes of Sussex

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Mark Henderson
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The Rapes of Sussex

Postby Mark Henderson » 14 Sep 2020, 17:47

From a recent post: "Sussex has a set of unique internal territorial divisions named “Rapes”. The origin of the Rapes is unknown however it is strongly believed that four of them predate the Norman Conquest and are possibly Saxon in origin, with the Rape of Bramber being founded by 1086, and the Rape of Chichester being founded by 1275."

More here https://britishcountyflags.com/2020/09/14/_the-rapes-of-sussex/
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Mark Anthony Henderson
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Chris Green
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Re: The Rapes of Sussex

Postby Chris Green » 14 Sep 2020, 19:49

The Sussex Rapes were the approximate equivalent of Yorkshire's Ridings. However unlike the Ridings they were North-South segments of the county. As a boy, living in Brighton (in the Rape of Lewes) I was taught that the unusual arrangement was to facilitate the in-depth defence of the county. Each Rape consisted of a coastal area, a castle or castles, river or rivers and a hinterland leading back towards London. Those charged with the defence of each Rape, (sometimes the lords whose castles were within the Rape, sometimes Sheriffs - Sussex during the 12th century had one for each Rape rather than one for the county) thus had responsibility for dealing with incursions by sea by French raiders, an all too common occurrence, and had responsibility for the manpower from inland that might be called upon.
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Chris Green
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Re: The Rapes of Sussex

Postby Chris Green » 14 Sep 2020, 19:54

The flags detailed in the original link are merely money-spinning modernities.
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Jeremy Fox
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Re: The Rapes of Sussex

Postby Jeremy Fox » 14 Sep 2020, 21:47

A footnote in Dallaway's "West Sussex" 1815, - "Gough, in his edition of Camden, observes, " that the word Rape" originated with the Saxons, and is adopted by the Normans in Domesday (Rapum), yet that no etymon occurred to him from which it might be fairly deduced, v. 1. p. 192. Somner derives the word from Rap, a rope, because it is a narrow district. Junius traces it to " Repp, or Ripp," an islandic noun, which, according to Varelius, signifies a tract or division of land."

Iain Boyd
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Re: The Rapes of Sussex

Postby Iain Boyd » 14 Sep 2020, 22:41

The flags detailed in the original link are merely money-spinning modernities.


That may well be true.

However, they are well designed and deserve to be taken up officially.


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