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The Romney Marsh origin of being ‘scot free’….

Romney Marsh
from Daily Telegraph, photo Clara Molden

The following paragraph is extracted from the Rye Museum :-

“….The river (which we know as the Rother) made its way south east from Appledore across the marsh to an outfall into the sea at New Romney; by the 12th century this marsh river was converted into a canal 6 miles (9.7 km) long to Old Romney. The 13th century was remarkable for a series of storms accompanied possibly by a rise in sea level. The first was in 1236 followed in 1250 when the town and port of Old Winchelsea were overwhelmed; there was a temporary recovery until it finally succumbed in the storm of 1287 by which time the new town of Winchelsea on the hill of Iham was being colonised….”

And so Dymchurch Wall was built. Romney Marsh is generally below sea level, and has long been protected from inundation by the old wall, but today I learned that this ancient embankment was responsible for the expression ‘scot free’, which is so very widespread today.

Here is the explanation, which is from the Romney Marsh :-

“….During the 13th century storms, battered Dymchurch and the maintenance of the wall became the responsibility of The Corporation of Romney Marsh. In the 15th century, a “Scot* Tax” was levied on every landowner on Romney Marsh for continuing repair of the wall. If your property was above the sea level you got off “Scot Free”….”

*According to Merriam-Webster a scot is ‘an amount of money assessed or paid’.

We learn something new every day!

The oldest house in England, once lived in by the Conqueror’s brother. . .?

The Great Hall, Luddesdown Court

Well, it was lived in by Odo, that’s for sure, but “The assertion that a particular house is the oldest in the country is as impossible to prove as it is to refute, but Luddesdown Court probably has as good a claim as any – and it’s now on the market. “

“The sales details for historic, Grade I-listed Luddesdown Court, near Cobham, Kent – currently on the market with Knight Frank at a guide price of £3.5 million – suggest that the former manor house, which was held by William the Conqueror’s half-brother, Odo, until his disgrace in 1082, may be ‘the oldest continually occupied house in the country’.

It’s a snip at only £3.5 million, or thereabouts. It’s certainly a beautiful place, and I’d like to live there, but the price tag is beyond me. But please go to the catalogue to read more and see some of the delights.

PS: I don’t think Odo had a dip in the swimming pool…unless he comes back on the sly.

Another house for sale

Have you ever wanted to own a property associated with the Gosnold familyimage (1)?

Well, here is your chance. Otley Hall, the childhood home of Bartholomew Gosnold, is now for sale and will hopefully be open more frequently. It was also featured here.

An excellent article about Richard, but some weird ideas amid the comments….

Richard-III-Bosworth

Here is another fine article by Matthew Lewis, concerning whether or not Richard III was a villain, or a good king. Matt is, as always, excellent to read, and puts forward the strong case that Richard was good. Well, we all know this to be so, but some of the comments following the article are a little inaccurate, to say the least.

For instance, concerning Elizabeth Woodville: “Elizabeth Woodville may have been sent to a convent some 15 months after she was reinstated as Queen Dowager, but she was granted several grants of land and rights and her titles. She was very wealthy when she died and was not mistreated in any way.”

I think not! She was bundled off to Bermondsey Abbey (a male monastery), and her lands and so on were handed over to her daughter, by then Henry VII’s queen. Henry did not treat Elizabeth Woodville kindly, and she lived on a mere allowance. She was far from wealthy when she died, as she stated in her will. Henry Tudor was not a loving son-in-law, but a spiteful one. Richard had great cause to dislike Elizabeth Woodville, but nevertheless treated her well.

http://www.royalcentral.co.uk/blogs/history/the-real-white-queen-a-defence-of-king-richard-iii-13421

 

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