Location of Norden Families in England
A particular study of Nordens in East Sussex

In 1714, Robert Norden of Warbleton, Sussex, England was sent to Virginia as a Baptist minister. This survey of Nordens in Sussex is directed at discovering that family. The findings show that Norden is not a variant of Norton, but an ancient name in this area. The earliest records indicate a birth date of 1450. There are 2 maps below showing Norden record locations for England from the IGI and a map of East Sussex showing the Norden family locations marked with a Yellow Dot. These are linked to the specific data for that location along with a family organization by generation for that area. It appears all of the Nordens in East Sussex (if not all of England) are related.

Research Links
The Norden Family of East Sussex

Map of Nordens from the IGI

Map of Norden locations in East Sussex
Sussex Family History Groups
Norden Arms
Puritan names in Warbleton
History of Iron and Steel making in Sussux
English Historical Timeline
Plague Notes
Wills - Norden - Sussex

Fuller Family notes

Norden Families
Nordens of Warbleton,
Waldron, East Hoathly and Heathfield

Nordens of Mayfield, Burwash
Nordens of Cuchfield
Nordens of Hamsey
Nordens of Lewes, Hailsham, Hellingly
Nordens of Buxstead, Ticehurst

Map showing the number of Norden names found in the IGI by shire
Inset showing Norden males appearing before 1600

This study indicates that the Nordens arrived in England at the ports of London, Kent and Sussex in very early times. Given that the Norden Y DNA taken from the decendants of East Sussex is idnetified as I1a m253+ which indicates a linage originating from Eastern Denmark and closely associated with Viking incursions suggests that the Nordens were Normans and came to England with William the Conqueror in 1066.

Noteable is the fact that Nordens did not venture very far West or North of their enty point. This may suggest a seafaring family. Something the Norden crest also suggests.

The Norden population of Cambridge is particularly interesting. The earliest dates are all at Balsham, which is 2 miles SE of Cambridge. I really don't have an explanation of why there are so many Nordens here, but it must have something to do with the University. The earliest Norden is Richard Norden b.1577. After that is apparently his son, Richard b.1599. This is the period when Sidney college was founded to train the priests of the new Anglican Church.

Another interesting Norden hot spot is Devon. However, this may be an entirely different family because many of the names are Nordon. In Northern England Nordin is found, but this is believed to be a different family also.

  Norden Family in East Sussex
Outline of Early History

Several things point to our Norden line as coming to England with William the Conqueror in 1066. We've found two very early entries relating to Norden in the same area where our family is known to have lived at the beginning of the 1500's.

Norden DNA is one of very few that can be associated with viking invaders such as William in 1066. The location of our Norden family in East Sussex is within 30 miles of the original landing site at Hastings and early Nordens here married into the family of Normans who came with William. Significant among these is de Hussey. The Nordens would have been aligned with William de Warrens who was given much of the area of East Sussex by William the Conqueror to administer.

The early family seat of Hamsey is recorded in the Doomseday Book. Hamsey is to a large extent unchanged from the time this census is taken in 1086.

By 1086 the decline from pre-Conquest value in both hides and cash recorded for these substantial manors, (Hamsey and Barcombe) reveals that both, but most significantly Hamsey, had been deprived of outlying landholdings following the Conquest. The survey records the significance of industrial and commercial activity in Barcombe with three and a half mills (the great survey is ever enigmatic! What exactly comprised half a mill is uncertain - what is clear is the overall rental value to the lord) and 18 'hagae' (closes) in the borough of Lewes.

By comparison, Hamsey was predominantly an agricultural community, with grazing, a significant 200 acres of meadow and woodland for 10 pigs. ... assuming that there were in fact two ploughs in Lordship in Hamsey, and that possible scribal error accounts for the anomalous 2 hides actually recorded, the number of ploughs in use there was only one short of the full assessment. The recorded population also suggests some demographic variation within the manors. Hamsey had a marginally larger recorded population of 30 individuals, of whom 16 were villans (higher status tenants not to be confused with the later medieval term villein) and 14 bordars (low status tenants undertaking menial tasks on the manorial demesne). In Barcombe out of a total recorded population of 26 only 2 were bordars.

The first reference for Norden is Symone Norden in the area of Hamsey between 1200 and 1250 AD. At this same time there is a reference in a land transaction for a field called "La Nordone" in the Hamsey area. The Norden family is very early associated with puritan religion. The family is made up of a better social class occupying manors and engaged in farming. However, they associate with and marry into the prominent industrial families of the area.

The earliest records for the area start in the mid 1500's and one of the most significant of these Nordens is Samuel Norden of Hamsey.

Samuel Norden was born about 1546 in the Hamsey area during the reign of Henry VIII. He was the son of Abraham Norden who died there in 1571. Samuel married Anne Hussey, a descendant of the de Hussey family that came with William the Conqueror. From an early time he is associated with the Puritan movement. This was not without danger. In 1557, Queen Mary burned alive 300 people in this area for heresy against the Catholic Church. Six years before the defeat of the Spanish Armada, Samuel is vicar of Hamsey in 1582. In 1583 he is summoned to an inquisition by John Whitgift, the Archbishop of Canterbury under Queen Elizabeth for refusing to subscribe the Book of Common Prayer written by Whitgift himself.

Purtianism as word, first came into use in about 1564. "...had it not been for the Puritans, political liberty would probably have disappeared from the world. If ever there were men who laid down their lives in the cause of all mankind, it was those grim old Ironsides whose watch words were those of the Holy Writ, whose battle cries were hymns of Praise."
Prof John Fiske who has been ranked as one of the two greatest American historians.

"Among the leaders (in Sussex) were Samuel Norden, the most radical minister of his shire in the eighties and Henry Jacob, who went down form London to procure signatures."
The Elizabethan Puritan Movement By Patrick Collinson

At the inquisition Samuel Norden questioned the Church of England's right to confer the Holy Ghost in the ordination of priests. We have is own words from the record.

Norden "How do your lordships understand these words, "Receive the Holy Ghost, for the office of a priest?"

Archbishop "Not imperatively, but optatively and this speech Is much the same as that other I baptize thee &c."

Norden "We cannot give the Holy Ghost."

Norden and the three other defendants successfully defended their points to a resolution and were reinstated in their parishes.

When James was crowned King of England in 1604, the Puritans saw a chance to reform the Church of England. A conference was called at Hampton Court for both sides to debate the issues. Samuel Norden was selected to represent the Puritan ministers. In the end, the Church of England won out and the Puritans were required to conform. As a result, Samuel was deprived of his ministry December 10, 1605. One compromise won between the Church of England and the Puritans was an official English translation of the Bible. The King James Bible was published in 1611. But Samuel was broken and bitter and died February 5, 1608.

Samuel and Anne Norden had six children. Thomas, Samuel, Nathaniel, Joseph, Benjamin and Anne. Of these Thomas and Benjamin located in London. Thomas Norden was one of the founders of "The Merchants of the Leuvant" with a charter given by Queen Elizabeth to conduct business in the area of present day Turkey. Many of these founders were the core of the East India Company.

This Samuel Norden is probably three generations from Robert Norden who was sent by the General Baptist Assembly in London to establish churches in Virginia.


Family combined with Waldron below
  1551 Thomas Norden 27 May 1551 Warbleton, (will)
1603 NORDEN Richard (died) 30 Oct 1603 Warbleton St.Mary burial record
  1604 ELLNOT NORDEN - IGI Marriage: 01 OCT 1604 Warbleton, Sussex, England m. NICKOLAS SAGER
  1605 ROBERT NORDEN - IGI: Christening: 21 APR 1605 Warbleton, Sussex, England father - Robert
1607 NORTEN, Thomas married BARNET, Jonne (widdow) 16th February 1607
1612 NORTEN, Thomas married LONGLY, Priesilla. 6th December 1612
  1615 ROBERT NORDEN - IGI: Marriage: 07 AUG 1615 Warbleton, Sussex, England m. ELIZABETH MORICE widdow
  1616 Robert Norden (died) 8 Oct 1616, Warbleton (will)
  1617 ELIZABETH NORDEN - IGI: Marriage: 28 APR 1617 Warbleton, Sussex, England m. JAMES POOMY
28th April 1617 POOMFREY, James married NORDEN, Elizabeth.
  1690 NORDEN Robert Waldron 22 Jul 1690 house of R Norden registered for worship of Anabaptists Taken from a compilation of the Episcopal and Quarter SessionsRecords by the staff of the East and West Sussex Record Offices of houses which were registerd as places of worship for non conformist denominations
  1712 Amos Norden - date: 15 Feb 1712 of Heathfield, yeoman, and his wife Mary, to James Stace of Heathfield, miller
Messuage, barn and 3a in Warbleton, occupied by Thomas Read (N: road from Rushlake Green to Dallington; S,E,W: land formerly William Roberts, gent) Formerly purchased from William Levett of Seaford, gent W: Richard Goldsmith, John Dimond, Christopher Smith
  1713 AMS3007-3080 Estate of Henry Shelley of Lewes: deeds of property forming the title of The Shelleys, Lewes St Ann, Shelley and Dalbiac families, 1623-1852: The Vine (Sackville-Shelley), 1663; Chantry House (Mascall-Smith-Coby & Snatt-Smith-Waller-Hampshare-Bean-Shelley), 1623-1725 (3011 includes Grovelands in Hailsham and another tenement and dovehouse in Lewes St Ann (Mascall-Stonestreet, 1623); 3019 includes [Bunces Cottage] and 3a in Warbleton, (Walker-Norden-Watkins, 1713), 1623-1725
  1714 Robert Norden Leaves from Warbleton to Isle of Wight,Virginia
  1717 Robert Norden of Warbleton, yeoman, 10 May 1717 to Rebecca Norden of Warbleton, spinster piece of land called Bromefield (10a) in Waldron, occupied by William Stephenson W: Thomas Bennett, William Shadwell
  1717 Rebecca Norden spinster in Warbleton 10 May 1717
  1750 Robert Norden (witness will) 14 May 1750 in Warbleton
  1750 Probate copy of will (P C C) dated 17 May 1749 of Daniel Davis of Rye, gent - ref. PAB/315 - date: 14 May 1750
1 To his son Daniel Davis, his house, two barns, farm and lands in Warbleton and Herstmonceux, £2,300
2 To his daughter Jane now wife of Chiswell Slade of Rye, gent, £500
3 To his second executor William Davis all his hereditaments in Rye and Iden; residue of his personal estate
Witnesses: William Davis, Robert Norden, Henry Dodson
1756 NORDEN Richard 21 Mar 1756 (Challen BT) Warbleton St.Mary burial record
East Hoathly

Nordens of Framfield
Thomas Norden
(b.abt 1527) (died)
13 Apr 1592 Framfield

Thomas Norden
(b. abt 1590) Living in Framfield
2 ----- Anne Norden (b.2 Jan 1620 father- Thomas living at Framfield) (Marriage): 23 NOV 1645 Waldron,
----- -- /
husband John Fuller >father Joseph Fuller

Nordens of Waldron and East Hoathly
William Norden (b.abt1485) (m.abt 1515) of Waldron
Elizabeth Norden (b.abt 1515) (died) 9 Jun 1575 daughter of William Norden of Waldron

----- Alan Norden (b.abt 1503) (died) 30 Jan 1568 Waldron All Saints burial record

----- wife/Margaret Norden (b.abt 1513) (died) 6 Aug 1578 widow Waldron

Thomas Norden
(b.abt 1530) (died) 27 Sep 1595 Waldron

Phillip Norden (b.abt 1557) (died) 21 Dec 1622 Waldron
John Norden (b.abt 1572) (died) 26 Jul 1637 Waldron (Waldron-burial record)

2 ----- Robert Norden (inferred)
----- -- /wife Rebeccah Norden (b.abt 1617) (died) 06 Oct 1682 late wife of Rob: Norden (Waldron-burial record)

3 ----- ----- Robert Norden (b.abt 1657) Marriage: 10 DEC 1687 Waldron (IGI) (will 1707) died 17 Jun 1707 (Waldron-burial record)
----- ----- -- /wife Mary Cooke (b.abt 1662) Marriage: 10 DEC 1687, Waldron (IGI) (marriages sussex)
----- ----- -- /wife unknown Norden (died) 08 Oct 1688 the wife of Robert at the brook (Waldron-burial record)
----- ----- -- /wife Lucy Norden (b.abt ?) (died) 07 May 1695 - wife of Robert Norden (Waldron-burial record)
----- ----- -- /wife Jann Norden (b.abt ?) (died) 25 Nov 1706 ye wife of Robert glover (Waldron-burial record)
4 ----- ----- ----- Robert Norden (died) 29 May 1691 a child - son of Rob:Norden (Waldron-burial record)

3 -----
----- John Norden (b.abt 1656) (will 1707) Marriage: 03 SEP 1686 East Hoathly (IGI), died 15 Sep 1710
----- ----- -- /wife Pricilla Norden ye wife of John of East Hoathly (died) 26 Mar 1708 (Waldron-burial record)
4 ----- ----- ----- John Norden died 16 Mar 1694 son of John (Waldron-burial record)
4 ----- ----- ----- Sarah Norden buried w/John buried 04 Jun 1698 (Waldron-burial record)
4 ----- ----- ----- Unknown Norden (died) 27 May 1678 Heathfield (Waldron-burial record)
4 ----- ----- ----- Rebecca Norden (b.22 Mar 1694) Marriage: 21 FEB 1717 East Hoathly, father-John (IGI)
4 ----- ----- ----- /husband Frances Weller Norden Marriage: 21 FEB 1717 East Hoathly, (IGI)

----- ----- William Norden (b.abt 1658) Marriage: 25 SEP 1686 East Hoathley, England
----- ----- --
/wife Sarah Durrant (marriages sussex)
4 ----- ----- ----- Anna Norden (b.abt 1704) Marriage:18 NOV 1729 Waldron, Sussex,(IGI)
----- ----- ----- -- /husband Thomas Funnel (marriages sussex)

unknown link
3 ----- ----- ----- John Norden (b.abt 1678) Marriage 10 DEC 1703 East Hoathly (IGI)


Thomas Norden (b.abt 1486) (will) 27 May 1551 Warbleton,
Richard Norden (b.abt 1538) (died) 30 Oct 1603 Warbleton
(Warbleton-burial record)
Robert Norden (b.abt 1551) (will) 8 Oct 1616, Warbleton

----- ----- ----- Elinor Nordan (b.abt 1579); (married) 1604 Warbleton, England
----- ----- ----- -- /husband Nickolas Sagar (IGI)
----- ----- ----- Thomas Norten (b.abt 1577) Warbleton married 1607
----- ----- ----- -- /wife Jonne Barnet widow
----- ----- ----- -- /wife Priesilla Longly 1612

----- ----- ----- Robert Norden (b.abt 1585) Married Warbleton (IGI)
----- ----- ----- -- /wife Elizabeth Morice 07 AUG 1615 (IGI)
----- ----- ----- ----- Robert Norden (b.21 Apr 1605) father/ Robert (IGI)
----- ----- ----- Elizabeth Norden - (b.abt 1592) (Married) 28 APR 1617 Warbleton (IGI)
----- ----- ----- -- /husband James Poomey (IGI)

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- Rebeccah Norden spinster living in Warbleton 10 May 1717
----- ----- ----- ----- ----- Richard Norden (b.abt 1690) (died) 21 Mar 1756 (Warbleton-burial record)


xx- ----- ----- ----- ----- Amos Norden (b.abt 1667) 21 May 1702 of Waldron, 1712, 1713 Warburton
----- ----- ----- ----- ----- /wife Mary Walker (daughter of John Walker, of Warbleton, clothworker and Elizabeth Walker

----- ----- ----- ----- Phillip Norden (b.abt 1643)(died) 22 Dec 1708 Heathfield All Saints burial record
----- ----- ----- ----- ----- Samuel Norden
(died) 12 Apr 1722 Mayfield - Heathfield All Saints burial record

NORDEN unknown 16 Apr 1609 widow Waldron
NORDEN unknown died 06 Dec 1678 widow Waldron

----- ----- ----- ----- John Norden )b.abt 1616) (died) 10 Sep 1681 Heathfield
----- ----- ----- ----- Jane Norden (b.abt 1615) (suit) 1650, Walsingham Heathfield

Source marriages sussex

1568 NORDEN Alan (died) 30 Jan 1568 Waldron All Saints burial record
1575 NORDEN Elizabeth (died) 9 Jun 1575 d William Waldron All Saints burial record
1592 NORDEN THOMAS 13 Apr 1592 Framfield St.Thomas burial record
  1595 Thomas Norden (died) 27 Sep 1595 , Waldron All Saints burial record
1578 NORDEN Margaret (died) 6 Aug 1578 widow Waldron All Saints burial record
1609 NORDEN unknown (died) 16 Apr 1609 widow Waldron All Saints burial record
  1620 Anne Norden father Thomas b.2 Jan 1620 father- Thomas living at Framfield East Hoathly Parish records
1622 NORDEN PHILIP (died) 21 Dec 1622 Waldron All Saints burial record
1637 NORDEN JOHN (died) 26 Jul 1637 Waldron All Saints burial record
  1645 ANN NORDEN - IGI : Female Marriage: 24 NOV 1645 Waldron, England (Married John Fuller)
  1650 Jane Norden (suit) 1650, Walsingham Heathfield Robert Tatnall and Elizabeth his wife v Jane Norden, Walsingham Heathfield and Andrew Lambert: money matters. Bill and two answers
  1655 ANN NORDEN 08 May 1655 in Waldron, East Sussex. She died 1657. married JOHN FURMINGER (THOMAS) was born 1605, and died 1675. Ann Burial: 26 Nov 1657, Brede
  1658 Robert Norden - date: 11 Jan 1658 By GEORGE WELLER of Uckfeild, taylor, to RICHARD BRISTED of Waldron, yeoman, - for £167 - of 7 pieces of land &c. called Hillye Croft, Firzye feilds and South Budletts, containing 23 ac., in the occupation of Samuell Virgo in EASTHOADLY, viz., to lands late of George Virgo, N.W. and N.E., to the heirs of Benjamin Pickering, clerk, E., the heirs of John Norris, S. and Sir John Pelham, bart., W
Signature, George Weller, and tag. Witnesses: to deed and livery of seisin, John Sone, Robert Norden
  1673 Robert Norden date: 25 Jan 1673 By JOHN WOOD alias Atwood of Waldron, co. Sussex, gent., to Sir JOHN PELHAM of Laughton, co. Sussex, bart., - in consideration of an intended marriage between the said John Wood alias Atwood and Anne Gildredge, 3rd daughter of Nicholas Gildredge late of Eastborne, esq., decd. and an agreement by the said Anne to settle her share of the manor and lands late the said Nicholas Gildredge's - of the following lands and premises, viz. 2 parcels of land called Berg and Milkhurst containing 60 ac. in Waldron in the occupation of John Smith; a messuage called Braylesham with barns &c. and 30 ac. of land in Waldron in occupation of Robert Gorreing; A messuage called Selwyns with barns &c. in Waldron and 60 ac. called Wellfeild, Pennycroft, Gardiners mead, the Two Acres, Me Mortlake, Boonyfeilds, Cockshots, Pookwell, Hemmings, all in tenure of John Hammond; A messuage in Waldron in the occupation of Robert Norden; which two last mentioned farms are the said John Wood's alias Atwood's in reversion after the death of his mother now the wife of the said John Smith; A messuage in Waldron in which John Smith then lived and 2 barns, stables &c. and 35 ac. called Coppins, the Orchard mead, the Hop Garden, the Church lane feild, the Alishorne field, and Latchelors feild, in the occupation of the said John Smith; 6 ac. in Waldron called Brayes land; 160 ac. of woodland called Selwyn wood, Broadfeild wood, and Latchelors wood
Signature, John Atwood, and tag. Witnesses:- Elizabeth Gildredge, John Tattersall, Hen. Woodgate
  1676 Robert Norden witness 1676 Waldron
- date: 20 Oct 1676 By MARY BEDFORD of Hollingly, widow, late the wife of Thomas Oliffe late of Hellingly, yeoman, to JOHN OLIFFE of Waldron, bricklayer, brother of the said Oliffe, of and in a messuage and 4 pieces of land belonging containing 8 ac. in WALDRON in the occupation of the said John Oliffe. Mark of Mary Bedford and seal
Witnesses:- Thomas Dawe, Robert Norden
1678 NORDEN unknown 06 Dec 1678 widow Waldron All Saints burial record
1678 NORDEN unknown (died) 27 May 1678 w John Heathfield All Saints burial record
1681 NORDEN JOHN (died) 10 Sep 1681 (BT Heathfield All Saints burial record
1682 NORDEN REBECCAH (died) 06 Oct 1682 late wife of Rob: Norden Waldron All Saints burial record
1686 NORDEN ROBERT (died) 03 Jun 1686 old Waldron All Saints burial record
  1686 John Norden - IGI : Male Marriage: 03 SEP 1686 East Hoathly, Sussex, England married
  1686 William Norden - IGI Male Marriage: 25 SEP 1686 Of East Hoathly, , Sussex, England marries Sarah Durrant of same. Surities WN James Viner of same.
  1687 Robert Norden - IGI : Male Marriage: 10 DEC 1687 Of, Waldron, Sussex, England to Mary Cooke St Michael, Lewes surities RN and James Driver, Hoadly Source marriages sussex
1688 NORDEN unknown (died) 08 Oct 1688 the wife of Robert at the brook Waldron All Saintsburial record
  1689 Rebecca Norden - IGI Female Birth: About 1689 Of East Hoathly, , Sussex, England
  1690 NORDEN Robert Waldron 22 Jul 1690 house of R Norden registered for worship of Anabaptists Taken from a compilation of the Episcopal and Quarter SessionsRecords by the staff of the East and West Sussex Record Offices of houses which were registerd as places of worship for non conformist denominations
  1690 John Norden - date: 12 Feb 1690 By William Ticehurst of Heathfield, yeoman, to Roger Johnson of the same place, - for £65 - of the plat of ground whereon formerly stood a cottage and garden and the two pieces of land aforesaid. Signature and Seal
Witnesses:- John Norden, Edw. Hemsley
1691 NORDEN ROB: (died) 29 May 1691 a child - son of Rob:Norden Waldron All Saints burial record
  1691 John Norden - date: 8 Apr 1691 By Samuel Fuller of Staplehurst, Kent, gent., to John Fuller of Waldron, esq., of a messuage or tenement, garden orchard and 7 pieces of land, meadow &c. called Mooles als Mowles containing 22 acres in the occupation of John Norden in Waldron bounding to Waldron Downe, N. and W., to lands of John Attwood, gent., W., to the common wood there called New Pond Coppins, S. and to a lane leading from Rush Crosse to Pound Lane Bridge, S.E. and to other land of the said John Fuller late of Thos. Hyland, E
Signature, Samll. Fuller and covered seal
Witnesses:- Chris. Fuller, John Allen
  1693 Robert Norden Mayfield, 22 Sep 1693
Between JOHN FILTNES of Mayfeild, carpenter, and PARNELL his wife, EDMUND WEST of Isfeild, co. Sussex, yeoman and ELIZABETH his wife, THOMAS SWANE of Burwash, co. Sussex, yeoman, and JOHN WIMBLE of Waldron, founder, to lead the use of a Fine of a messuage and farm and 40 ac. of land called Trindlefeild, Eglons alias Agletts, Arletts and Hidneysotherwise Hidneyes feilds in Mayfeild, latelyn purchased by the said Thomas Swane of the said John Filtnes
Also of a messuage, barn, garden and 10 ac. of land called Cattiscrouch in the occupation of Robert Jeffery in Waldron, lately purchased by the said John Wimble of the said Edmund West
Marks of Parnell Filtnes and Elizabeth West, signatures of all other parties and seals (all seals alike and armorial) Witnesses:- Tho. Hooper, Nichs. Winter, Tho. Moore, Robert Norden, John Hooper, Chas. Tylor
1694 NORDEN JOHN (died) 16 Mar 1694 son of John of East Hothly Waldron All Saints burial record
  1694 Rebecca Norden born 22 Mar 1694 Father- John; mother- Sarah - East Hoathly Parish records
1695 NORDEN LUCY (died) 07 May 1695 Mrs - wife of Robert Waldron All Saints burial record
1698 NORDEN SARAH (died) 04 Jun 1698 w John (BT) Heathfield All Saints burial record
  1702 Amos Norden 21 May 1702 of Waldron,
Robert Adds of Heathfield, pailmaker, Amos Norden of Waldron, husbandman, and his wife Mary (daughter of John Walker, late of Warbleton, clothworker, deceased), Elizabeth Walker (widow of JW), to John Dyke of Frant, esq, and George Courthope of Ticehurst, esq Recites DYK/86, 87, and 89 Witnesses: John Turnner, Gregory Odiarne, T. Shorte
  1702 Amos Norden Covenant to Levy a Fine for £72 - ref. DYK/92 - date: 21 Apr 1702 (a) Robert Adds of Heathfield, pailmaker, and his wife Margaret, Elizabeth Walker of Warbleton, widow, Mary Hooke of Warbleton (widow of John Hooke), Amos Norden of Waldron, husbandman, and his wife Mary, Nathaniel Lulham of Gravesend, Kent butcher, and his wife Elizabeth, Thomas Austen of Burwash, tallow-chandler, and his wife Frances; (b) John Dyke of Frant, esq, Henry Woodgate of Goudhurst, gent, and William Payne of Ticehurst, brickworker; (c) Thomas Short of Wadhurst, gent
1 Tenement on land called Freebench, 4 acres land called Freebench abutting E on highway from Frant Green to Leigh Green, and W and N on lands of Thomas Baker, in Frant
2 Two pieces of arable land called Bells (5 acres) at Greengore in Westham, in occupation of John Stevens, abutting E on highway from Hankham to Langney, S on Greengore Common, W on highway from Hailsham to Bourne, and N on lands called Peacocks
3 Quarter of one acre of meadow in Ticehurst abutting N on highway from Shovergreen to Ticehurst, W on a piece of ground where there is a brick kiln, S on lands of TA, with right of way through a gate called Forestallgate
To the uses of John Dyke in respect of 1; Henry Woodgate in respect of 2; William Payne in respect of 3
Recites DYK/87
Witnesses: John Turnner, Gregory Odiarne, John Walker, Benjamin Austen, Christopher Fullagar, C. Spiller
  1703 JOHN NORDEN - IGI Marriage: 10 DEC 1703 East Hoathly, England (will of brother Robert) married.PRISCILLA TAYLOR
  1703 John Norden (part of a deed) - date: 14 Jul 1703 Several pieces of meadow, pasture and woodland called Mools als Moulscontaining 26 acres, formerly in the occupation of John Norden and then of widow Goodman in Waldron, abutting to Waldron Downe, N. and W., to lands of John Attwood, gent., W., to the common wood there called Newpond Coppice, S., to a lane leading from Rush Crosse to Pond Lane bridge, S.E. and to other lands of John Fuller late of Thos. Hylands, E
1703 NORDEN MARY (died) 03 Oct 1703 Waldron Heathfield All Saints burial record
  1704 Robert Norden Sussex; General release 1704
  1705 Robert Norden of Waldron, glover 23 Jan, 1705; ---- 25 Jan 1673,
1706 NORDEN JANN (died) 25 Nov 1706 ye wife of Robert glover Waldron All Saints burial record
1707 NORDEN ROBERT (died) 17 Jun 1707 Waldron All Saints burial record
  1707 Robert Norden (will of Robert Norden) 6 December 1707 names John Norton brother (East Hoathly);
1708 NORDEN PRISCILLA (died) 26 Mar 1708 ye wife of John of East Hoadly Waldron All Saints burial record
1708 NORDEN PHILIP 22 Dec 1708 Heathfield All Saints burial record
1710 NORDEN JOHN (died) 15 Sep 1710 of East Hoadly Waldron All Saints burial record
  1712 Amos Norden - date: 15 Feb 1712 of Heathfield, yeoman, and his wife Mary, to James Stace of Heathfield, miller
Messuage, barn and 3a in Warbleton, occupied by Thomas Read (N: road from Rushlake Green to Dallington; S,E,W: land formerly William Roberts, gent) Formerly purchased from William Levett of Seaford, gent W: Richard Goldsmith, John Dimond, Christopher Smith
  1713 Amos Norden Heathfield, 1712 (deed) 14 May 1713
Richard Hampshare and wife Martha as in AMS3017, Amos Norden of Heathfield, yeo. and wife Mary (only dau. and heir of John, eldest son and heir of James Walker, both of Warbleton, clothworkers), to Henry Beane as in AMS3017 and John Watkins of Waldron, yeoman
1 Premises as in AMS3017
2 Tenement, garden and 3a [Bunces Cottage] in Warbleton, abutting N. on highway from Rushlake to Dallington, E. S. and W. on lands heretofore of William Robert, gent
To uses as to 1 to Beane, as to 2 to Watkins
Witnesses as in AMS3017 and John Durrant
  1717 Rebecca Norden - IGI Female Marriage: 21 FEB 1717 East Hoathly, England married. Francis Weller
1720 Jane Norton spinster married June 11, 1720 Bernard Heasman of Cuchfield gentleman source
1722 NORDEN SAMUEL 12 Apr 1722 Mayfield Heathfield All Saints burial record
  1729 ANN NORDEN - IGI Marriage: 18 NOV 1729 Waldron, Sussex, England married. THOMAS FUNNEL
1737 NORDEN JOHN (died) 22 Dec 1737 Heathfield All Saints burial record
  1748 John Norden Waldron 15 Apr 1745 former occupant
Lease for a year By John Fuller of Brightling, esq., eldest son and heir of John Fuller late of the same place, esq. decd., and of Elizabeth his wife both decd., to Samuel Calverley of St Saviour's Southwark, gent., of the Manor of Tanners and the messuages lands and premises described in deed of 4 May, 1674 (No. SAS-RF/2/153) And 7 parcels of meadow, pasture and woodland called Mools als Mouls containing 26 acres formerly in the occupation of John Norden and then of Will. Gunner, in Waldron, and the smith's house and shop with land belonging in Waldron
Robert Norden of Waldron, glover - date: 9 Apr 1748 By JOHN DURRANT of Waldron, carpenter, eldest son and executor of the Will of James Durrant late of Waldron, carpenter, to BARTHOMOLEW GORLEY of Herringley (sic), brickmaker, - for £35 - of 20 rods of ground part of a tenement called Harpers, bounding to Waldron Down, W., to a highway from Possingworth to the messuage of Edward Durrant, S., and to lands of Robert Norden and John Grover called Harpers, E. and N.; which said 20 rods were demised, 23 Jan., 1705, by Robert Norden of Waldron, glover and John Grover of Heathfield, mercer, to the said James Durrant for 101 years at a peppercorn rent and upon which ground the said James Durrant afterwards erected a messuage, and by his Will dated 3 June, 1740 devised the same to the said John Durrant And also Mortgage of a barn and 1 ac. of ground adjoining the 20 rods on the N. side. Signature, John Durrant, and seal
Witnesses:- Mary Gosling, John Gosling

Norden Arms

“argent, on a fesse Gules between three sea-horses sable
a cross crosslet fitchy between two trefoils slipped of the first”
– Norden, Kent.

Norden Motto
We are protected by providence

The Beaver in Heraldry
Probably way more than you wanted to know.
In Christian symbolism the Beaver represents chastity and the willingness to sacrifice anything that hinders one's walk with God. This icon is also a symbol of vigilance and self-sacrifice, and was often used in Heraldry as a symbol of protection and dedication. In the representations above, notice that the beaver is entire — indeed, anatomically so (for a beaver).

The beaver is hunted for its testicles, which are valued for making medicine. When the beaver sees that it cannot escape from the hunter, it bites off its testicles and throws them to the hunter, who then stops pursuing the beaver. If another hunter chases the beaver, it shows the hunter that it has already lost its testicles and so is spared. The allegory is that those who want to live a proper life should cut themselves off from sin, so that the devil, seeing nothing he wants, does not pursue.

Aesop's Fables [6th century BCE]

The beaver, a four-footed animal that lives in pools, knows that he is hunted for his testicles, which are used to cure ailments. When pursued, the beaver runs for some distance, but when he sees he cannot escape, he will bite off his own testicles and throw them to the hunter, and thus escape death.
(Aesop: The Complete Fables (London, 1998) Temple 153):

Pliny the Elder [1st century CE]

Beavers in the region of the Black Sea (Pontici) know that they are hunted for the oil produced by their testicles (castoreum), so when they are in danger from hunters they castrate themselves. The beaver has the tail of a fish, and soft fur on its otter-like body. They have a strong bite, cutting down trees as if with steel, and if they bite a man they will not let go until the bones are heard grinding together.
(Natural History, Book 8, 47):

Isidore of Seville [7th century CE]

The beavers (castor) is so named from being castrated. Beavers are hunted for their testicles, which are good for medicine; when a hunter comes near they bite off their testicles to save themselves. Beavers are also called Pontic dogs.
(Etymologies, Book 12, 2:21):

editorial comment - This beaver does not look happy.

Sir Thomas Browne - Of the Bever.
(1646; 6th ed., 1672) Pseudodoxia Epidemica III.iv (pp. 124-127) CHAP IV.

THAT a Bever to escape the Hunter, bites off his testicles or stones, is a Tenet very ancient; and hath had thereby advantage of propagation. For the same we find in the Hieroglyphicks of the Egyptians[,] in the Apologue of Æsop, an Author of great Antiquity, who lived in the beginning of the Persian Monarchy, and in the time of Cyrus: the same is touched by Aristotle in his Ethicks, but seriously delivered by Ælian, Pliny, and Solinus: the same we meet with in Juvenal, who by an handsome and Metrical expression more welcomly engrafts it in our junior Memories:[1]

—— imitatus Castora, qui se
Eunuchum ipse facit, cupiens evadere damno
Testiculorum, adeo medicatum intellegit inguen.

it hath been propagated by Emblems:[2] and some have been so bad Grammarians as to be deceived by the Name, deriving Castor à castrando, whereas the proper Latine word is Fiber,[3] and Castor but borrowed from the Greek, so called quasi ??????, that is, Animal ventricosum, from his swaggy and prominent belly.

Herein therefore to speak compendiously, we first presume to affirm that from strict enquiry, we cannot maintain the evulsion or biting off any parts, and this is declarable from the best and most professed Writers: for though some have made use hereof in a Moral or Tropical way, yet have the professed Discoursers by silence deserted, or by experience rejected this assertion. Thus was it in ancient times discovered, and experimentally refuted by one Sestius a Physitian, as it stands related by Pliny;[4] by Dioscorides, who plainly affirms that this tradition is false; by the discoveries of Modern Authors, who have expressly discoursed hereon, as Aldrovandus, Mathiolus, Gesnerus, Bellonius; by Olaus Magnus, Peter Martyr, and others,[5] who have described the manner of their Venations in America; they generally omitting this way of their escape, and have delivered several other, by which they are daily taken.

The original of this conceit was probably Hieroglyphical, which after became Mythological unto the Greeks, and so set down by Æsop; and by process of tradition, stole into a total verity, which was but partially true, that is in its covert sense and Morality. Now why they placed this invention upon the Bever (beside the Medicable and Merchantable commodity of Castoreum, or parts conceived to be bitten away) might be the sagacity and wisdom of that Animal, which from the works it performs, and especially its Artifice in building, is very strange, and surely not to be matched by any other. Omitted by Plutarch, De solertia Animalium, but might have much advantaged the drift of that Discourse.

If therefore any affirm a wise man should demean himself like the Bever, who to escape with his life, contemneth the loss of his genitals, that is in case of extremity, not strictly to endeavour the preservation of all, but to sit down in the enjoyment of the greater good, though with the detriment and hazard of the lesser: we may hereby apprehend a real and useful Truth. In this latitude of belief, we are content to receive the Fable of Hippomanes, who redeemed his life with the loss of a Golden Ball;[6] and whether true or false, we reject not the Tragœdy of Absyrtus, and the dispersion of his Members by Medea, to perplex the pursuit of her Father.[7] But if any shall positively affirm this act, and cannot believe the Moral, unless he also credit the Fable; he is surely greedy of delusion, and will hardly avoid deception in theories of this Nature. The Error therefore and Alogy[8] in this opinion, is worse then in the last; that is, not to receive Figures for Realities, but to expect a verity in Apologues; and believe, as serious affirmations, confessed and studied Fables.

Again, If this were true, and that the Bever in chase makes some divulsion of parts, as that which we call Castoreum; yet are not the same to be termed Testicles or Stones; for these Cods or Follicles are found in both Sexes, though somewhat more protuberant in the Male. There is hereto no derivation of the seminal parts, nor any passage from hence, unto the Vessels of Ejaculation: some perforations onely in the part it self, through which the humour included doth exudate: as may be observed in such as are fresh, and not much dried with age. And lastly, The Testicles properly so called, are of a lesser magnitude, and seated inwardly upon the loins: and therefore it were not only a fruitless attempt, but impossible act, to Eunuchate or castrate themselves: and might be an hazardous practice of Art, if at all attempted by others.[9]

Now all this is confirmed from the experimental Testimony of five very memorable Authors: Bellonius, Gesnerus, Amatus, Rondeletius, and Mathiolus: who receiving the hint hereof from Rondeletius in the Anatomy of two Bevers, did find all true that had been delivered by him, whose words are these in his learned Book De Piscibus: Fibri in inguinibus geminos tumores habent, utrinque unicum, ovi Anserini magnitudine, inter hos est mentula in maribus, in foeminis pudendum, hi tumores testes non sunt, sed folliculi membrana contecti, in quorum medio singuli sunt meatus è quibus exudat liquor pinguis & cerosus, quem ipse Castor sæpe admoto ore lambit & exugit, postea veluti oleo, corporis partes oblinit; Hos tumores testes non esse hinc maxime colligitur, quod ab illis nulla est ad mentulam via neque ductus quo humor in mentulæ miatum derivetur, & foras emittatur; præterea quod testes intus reperiuntur, eosdem tumores Moscho animali inesse puto, è quibus odoratum illud plus emanat. Then which words there can be no plainer, nor more evidently discovering the impropriety of this appellation. That which is included in the cod or visible bag about the groin, being not the Testicle, or any spermatical part; but rather a collection of some superfluous matter deflowing from the body, especially the parts of nutrition as unto their proper emunctories: and as it doth in Musk and Civet Cats, though in a different and offensive odour; proceeding partly from its food, that being especially Fish; whereof this humour may be a garous excretion and olidous separation.

Most thereof of the Moderns before Rondeletius, and all the Ancients excepting Sestius, have misunderstood this part, conceiving Castoreum the Testicles of the Bever: as Dioscorides, Galen, Ægineta, Ætius, and others have pleased to name it. The Egyptians also failed in the ground of their Hieroglyphick, when they expressed the punishment of Adultery by the Bever depriving himself of his testicles, which was amongst them the penalty of such incontinency. Nor is Ætius perhaps too strictly to be observed, when he prescribeth the stones of the Otter, or River-dog, as succedaneous unto Castoreum. But most inexcusable of all is Pliny; who having before him in one place the experiment of Sestius against it, sets down in another, that the Bevers of Pontus bite off their testicles: and in the same place affirmeth the like of the Hyena.[10] Which was indeed well joined with the Bever, as having also a bag in those parts; if thereby we understand the Hyena odorata, or Civet Cat, as is delivered and graphically described by Castellus.11

Now the ground of this mistake might be the resemblance and situation of these tumours about those parts, wherein we observe the testicles in other animals. Which notwithstanding is no well founded illation, for the testicles are defined by their office, and not determined by place or situation; they having one office in all, but different seats in many. For beside that, no Serpent, or Fishes oviparous, that neither biped nor quadruped oviparous have testicles exteriourly, or prominent in the groin; some also that are viviparous contain these parts within, as beside this Animal, the Elephant and Hedg-hog.

If any therefore shall term these testicles, intending metaphorically, and in no strict acception; his language is tolerable, and offends our ears no more then the Tropical names of Plants: when we read in Herbals, of Dogs, Fox, and Goat-stones.[12] But if he insisteth thereon, and maintaineth a propriety in this language: our discourse hath overthrown his assertion, nor will Logick permit his illation; that is, from things alike, to conclude a thing the same; and from an accidental convenience, that is a similitude in place or figure, to infer a specifical congruity or substantial concurrence in Nature.


* [My or others' notes are in square brackets]; Browne's marginalia is unmarked; {passages or notes from unpublished material by Browne is in curly braces}. Of this chapter, Brayley (in Wilkin) has this to say:

"The arrangement, conduct, and logic, of the entire train of arguments in this chapter, are equally admirable. it displays also, extensive and accurate knowledge of natural history, and comparative anatomy." [Not to mention humor: consider the first sentence.]

"Ross, after himself delivering a tissue of gross errors relating to eunuchs, first repeats that of the beaver, as just refuted by our author; of course quoad true testicles; and then, by a singular inconsistency contends, that Browne checks the ancients for this opinion without cause; and, after admitting the extirpated organs not to be true testicles, that, 'if then, this be an error, it is nominal, not real.' Arcan[a Microcosmi] 117."]

1 [In Satire XII, 34 ff. For Pliny on the question, see viii(109) (in Holland's translation, VIII. chap. 30, page 212); in the Loeb translation: The beavers of the Black Sea region practice self-amputation of the same organ when beset by danger, as they know that they are hunted for the sake of its secretion, the medical name for which is castoreum.and compare xxxii(26). Ælian, Lib. VI. cap. XXIV. Solinus, xiii(2); in Golding's (1587) translation, Chapter XXII. On the "Hierglyphicks", see Horapollo, 119 (II.65). Aesop, Fables, Fiber. ]

2 [See, for instance, Alciat 1531 - 84. For the heraldic beaver, see this note.]

3 [Wren: "Which the Polonians by a more elegant name call bi-fer, quasi animal biferum quod tam in terra quam in mari prædetur: and from (bifer) wee call itt (corruptlye) bever." It is probably needless to say that this etymology, though charming, is far from reality; beaver the same word (through the usual sound changes) as the Latin fiber. Castor is from the Greek ??????, but the origin of that word is unclear. On castor à castrando, Isidore Etymologiae XII.ii.21-22: Castores a castrando dicti sunt. Nam testiucli eorum apti sunt medicaminibus, propter quos cum praesenserint venatorem, ipsi se castrant et morsibus vires suas amputant. De quibus Cicero in Scauriana (2.7): 'Redimunt se ea parte corporis, propter quod maxime expetuntur.' Iuvenalis (12.34):

Qui se
eunuchum ipse facit, cupiens evadere damno

Ipsi sunt et fibri, qui etiam Pontici canes vocantur.]

4 [Pliny, HN xxxii(26), giving further detail.]

5 [Wren adds: "And particularly Baricellus, in his Hortus Genealis, p. 288." Giulio Cesare Baricelli, Hortulus genialis. Cologne:1620.]

6 [Ovid, Metamorphoses X, 560.]

7 [Ovid, Tristia III, IX.]

8 [Wilkin: "Unreasonableness, absurdity; from an old French word, alogie." The Oxford dictionary derives it from medical Latin, alogia, unreasonable, from the Greek.]

9 [Topsell provides this singularly unattractive drawing to demonstate the "cods or follicles" (Topsell calls them "bunches"):

John Guillim, Description of Heraldrie (1610), p. 178 (Sect. III, Chap. 25).

The beaver occurs occasionally in heraldry, usually as a punning (or canting) device, e.g. in the family of "Beveridge". In contemporary "civic heraldry", it is not infrequent, said to represent industry. This was not the general opinion of 17th-century heralds. Guillim places the beaver among "exorbitant animals", and has this further to say of a crest bearing the beaver (keep in mind that the physical description at the end is as much of the heraldic beaver as of the natural):

He beareth Argent, a Bever erected Sable, devouring a Fish proper, Armed Gules. This Coat standeth in a glasse window in an Inne of Chancerie called New-in-Hall without Temple-Barre neere London.

"The Bever is like an Otter [a device borne by the family of Lutterell] and both of them are like slie dissembling companions, who to make their profit, and feed their owne bellies, will closely keepe a good quarter with contrarie sides, in affection to neither, but onely for their owne behoofe: therefore I could wish they had one other property of the bever, which is to geld himselfe, that so he might escape from his pursuers, who hunt him for his testicles, which are much used in Physicke. This Bever hath only his taile fish, and therfore keepes that part most in the water: he hath his hinder legges like a Swanne, and his former like a Dogge, and so swimmeth with the one whiles hee preieth with the other."

Richard Blome, Art of Heraldry (1685), p. 195

Blome's Art of Heraldry, which says it is organized "according to the excellent Method of Guillim's HERALDRY" and is in fact an abridgement of Guillim, removes the specific instance of the shield and the disobliging remarks, including its alleged propensity for self-castration, under "Monstrous Creatures":

1. Argent, a Beaver erected Sable, devouring a Fish, proper. The Beaver hath his Tail only Fish, which he keeps for the most part in the Water, his hinder Leggs are like a Swan, and his foremost like a Dogg; so he swims with the one, whilst he preyeth with the other.

Plague notes
1590 (Rye) 1664 (London)
"At the beginning of the year [1603], there were about 4,000 people in Lancelot Andrew's parish. By December 1603, 2,878 of them had been killed by the disease [plague]."

" Leonard Gale was born in 1620 at Riverhead, near Sevenoaks, where his father pursued the trade of a blacksmith. When the youth had reached his seventeenth year, his father and mother, with five of their sons and daughters, died of the plague, Leonard and his brother being the only members of the family that survived. "

Puritan Naming Warbleton
"Bancroft himself had written about the absurdity of calling your children ?The Lord-is-near, More-trial, Reformation, More-fruit, Dust and many other such-like.? These were not invented. Puritan children at Warbleton in Sussex, the heartland of this practice laboured under the names of Eschew-evil, Lament, No-merit, Sorry-for-sin, Learn-wisdom, Faint-not, Give-thanks, and the most popular, Sin-deny, which was landed on ten children baptized between 1586 and 1596. One family, the children of the curate Thomas Hely, would have been introduced by their proud father as Much-mercy Hely, Increased Hely, Sin-deny Hely, Fear-not Hely and sweet little Constance Hely." source

History of Iron and Steel making in Sussux

Steel was also manufactured at several places in the county, more particularly at Steel-Forge Land, Warbleton, and at Robertsbridge. The steel was said to be of good quality, resembling Swedish--both alike depending for their excellence on the exclusive use of charcoal in smelting the ore,--iron so produced maintaining its superiority over coal-smelted iron to this day.

When cannon came to be employed in war, the nearness of Sussex to London and the Cinque Forts gave it a great advantage over the remoter iron-producing districts in the north and west of England, and for a long time the iron-works of this county enjoyed almost a monopoly of the manufacture. The metal was still too precious to be used for cannon balls, which were hewn of stone from quarries on Maidstone Heath. Iron was only available, and that in limited quantities, for the fabrication of the cannon themselves, and wrought-iron was chiefly used for the purpose. An old mortar which formerly lay on Eridge Green, near Frant, is said to have been the first mortar made in England;*

Archaeologia, vol. x. 472. only the chamber was cast, while the tube consisted of bars strongly hooped together. Although the local distich says that

"Master Huggett and his man John They did cast the first cannon,"

there is every reason to believe that both cannons and mortars were made in Sussex before Huggett's time; the old hooped guns in the Tower being of the date of Henry VI. The first cast-iron cannons of English manufacture were made at Buxtead, in Sussex, in 1543, by Ralph Hogge, master founder, who employed as his principal assistant one Peter Baude, a Frenchman. Gun-founding was a French invention, and Mr. Lower supposes that Hogge brought over Baude from France to teach his workmen the method of casting the guns. About the same time Hogge employed a skilled Flemish gunsmith named Peter Van Collet, who, according to Stowe, "devised or caused to be made certain mortar pieces, being at the mouth from eleven to nine inches wide, for the use whereof the said Peter caused to be made certain hollow shot of cast-iron to be stuffed with fyrework, whereof the bigger sort for the same has screws of iron to receive a match to carry fyre for to break in small pieces the said hollow shot, whereof the smallest piece hitting a man would kill or spoil him." In short, Peter Van Collet here introduced the manufacture of the explosive shell in the form in which it continued to be used down to our own day.

Baude, the Frenchman, afterwards set up business on his own account, making many guns, both of brass and iron, some of which are still preserved in the Tower.*

One of these, 6 1/2 feet long, and of 2 1/2 inches bore, manufactured in 1543, bears the cast inscription of Petrus Baude Gallus operis artifex. Other workmen, learning the trade from him, also began to manufacture on their own account; one of Baude's servants, named John Johnson, and after him his son Thomas, becoming famous for the excellence of their cast-iron guns. The Hogges continued the business for several generations, and became a wealthy county family. Huggett was another cannon maker of repute; and Owen became celebrated for his brass culverins. Mr. Lower mentions, as a curious instance of the tenacity with which families continue to follow a particular vocation, that many persons of the name of Huggett still carry on the trade of blacksmith in East Sussex. But most of the early workmen at the Sussex iron-works, as in other branches of skilled industry in England during the sixteenth century, were foreigners-- Flemish and French--many of whom had taken refuge in this country from the religious persecutions then raging abroad, while others, of special skill, were invited over by the iron manufacturers to instruct their workmen in the art of metal-founding.*

Mr. Lower says," Many foreigners were brought over to carry on the works; which perhaps may account for the number of Frenchmen and Germans whose names appear in our parish registers about the middle of the sixteenth century ."-- Contributions to Literature, 108.

As much wealth was gained by the pursuit of the revived iron manufacture in Sussex, iron-mills rapidly extended over the ore-yielding district. The landed proprietors entered with zeal into this new branch of industry, and when wood ran short, they did not hesitate to sacrifice their ancestral oaks to provide fuel for the furnaces. Mr. Lower says even the most ancient families, such as the Nevilles, Howards, Percys, Stanleys, Montagues, Pelhams, Ashburnhams, Sidneys, Sackvilles, Dacres, and Finches, prosecuted the manufacture with all the apparent ardour of Birmingham and Wolverhampton men in modern times. William Penn, the courtier Quaker, had iron-furnaces at Hawkhurst and other places in Sussex. The ruins of the Ashburnham forge, situated a few miles to the north-east of Battle, still serve to indicate the extent of the manufacture. At the upper part of the valley in which the works were situated, an artificial lake was formed by constructing an embankment across the watercourse descending from the higher ground,* [footnote ... The embankment and sluices of the furnace-pond at the upper part of the valley continue to be maintained, the lake being used by the present Lord Ashburnham as a preserve for fish and water-fowl. and thus a sufficient fall of water was procured for the purpose of blowing the furnaces, the site of which is still marked by surrounding mounds of iron cinders and charcoal waste. Three quarters of a mile lower down the valley stood the forge, also provided with water-power for working the hammer; and some of the old buildings are still standing, among others the boring-house, of small size, now used as an ordinary labourer's cottage, where the guns were bored. The machine was a mere upright drill worked by the water-wheel, which was only eighteen inches across the breast. The property belonged, as it still does, to the Ashburnham family, who are said to have derived great wealth from the manufacture of guns at their works, which were among the last carried on in Sussex. The Ashburnham iron was distinguished for its toughness, and was said to be equal to the best Spanish or Swedish iron.

Many new men also became enriched, and founded county families; the Fuller family frankly avowing their origin in the singular motto of Carbone et forcipibus--literally, by charcoal and tongs.*

Reminding one of the odd motto assumed by Gillespie, the tobacconist of Edinburgh, founder of Gillespie's Hospital, on whose carriage-panels was emblazoned a Scotch mull, with the motto,

"Wha wad ha' thocht it, That noses could ha' bought it!"

It is just possible that the Fullers may have taken their motto from the words employed by Juvenal in describing the father of Demosthenes, who was a blacksmith and a sword-cutler --

"Quem pater ardentis massae fuligine lippus, A carbone et forcipibus gladiosque parante Incude et luteo Vulcano ad rhetora misit."

Men then went into Sussex to push their fortunes at the forges, as they now do in Wales or Staffordshire; and they succeeded then, as they do now, by dint of application, industry, and energy. The Sussex Archaeological Papers for 1860 contain a curious record of such an adventurer, in the history of the founder of the Gale family. Leonard Gale was born in 1620 at Riverhead, near Sevenoaks, where his father pursued the trade of a blacksmith. When the youth had reached his seventeenth year, his father and mother, with five of their sons and daughters, died of the plague, Leonard and his brother being the only members of the family that survived. The patrimony of 200L. left them was soon spent; after which Leonard paid off his servants, and took to work diligently at his father's trade. Saving a little money, he determined to go down into Sussex, where we shortly find him working the St. Leonard's Forge, and afterwards the Tensley Forge near Crawley, and the Cowden Iron-works, which then bore a high reputation. After forty years' labour, he accumulated a good fortune, which he left to his son of the same name, who went on iron-forging, and eventually became a county gentleman, owner of the house and estate of Crabbett near Worth, and Member of Parliament for East Grinstead.

Several of the new families, however, after occupying a high position in the county, again subsided into the labouring class, illustrating the Lancashire proverb of "Twice clogs, once boots," the sons squandering what the father's had gathered, and falling back into the ranks again. Thus the great Fowles family of Riverhall disappeared altogether from Sussex. One of them built the fine mansion of Riverhall, noble even in decay. Another had a grant of free warren from King James over his estates in Wadhurst, Frant, Rotherfield, and Mayfield. Mr. Lower says the fourth in descent from this person kept the turnpike-gate at Wadhurst, and that the last of the family, a day-labourer, emigrated to America in 1839, carrying with him, as the sole relic of his family greatness, the royal grant of free warren given to his ancestor. The Barhams and Mansers were also great iron-men, officiating as high sheriffs of the county at different times, and occupying spacious mansions. One branch of these families terminated, Mr. Lower says, with Nicholas Barham, who died in the workhouse at Wadhurst in 1788; and another continues to be represented by a wheelwright at Wadhurst of the same name.

The iron manufacture of Sussex reached its height towards the close of the reign of Elizabeth, when the trade became so prosperous that, instead of importing iron, England began to export it in considerable quantities, in the shape of iron ordnance. Sir Thomas Leighton and Sir Henry Neville had obtained patents from the queen, which enabled them to send their ordnance abroad, the conseqnence of which was that the Spaniards were found arming their ships and fighting us with guns of our own manufacture. Sir Walter Raleigh, calling attention to the subject in the House of Commons, said, "I am sure heretofore one ship of Her Majesty's was able to beat ten Spaniards, but now, by reason of our own ordnance, we are hardly matcht one to one." Proclamations were issued forbidding the export of iron and brass ordnance, and a bill was brought into Parliament to put a stop to the trade; but, not withstanding these prohibitions, the Sussex guns long continued to be smuggled out of the country in considerable numbers. "It is almost incredible," says Camden, "how many guns are made of the iron in this county. Count Gondomar (the Spanish ambassador) well knew their goodness when he so often begged of King James the boon to export them." Though the king refused his sanction, it appears that Sir Anthony Shirley of Weston, an extensive iron-master, succeeded in forwarding to the King of Spain a hundred pieces of cannon.

So active were the Sussex manufacturers, and so brisk was the trade they carried on, that during the reign of James I. it is supposed one-half of the whole quantity of iron produced in England was made there. Simon Sturtevant, in his 'Treatise of Metallica,' published in 1612, estimates the whole number of iron-mills in England and Wales at 800, of which, he says, "there are foure hundred milnes in Surry, Kent, and Sussex, as the townsmen of Haslemere have testified and numbered unto me. But the townsmen of Haslemere must certainly have been exaggerating, unless they counted smiths' and farriers' shops in the number of iron-mills. About the same time that Sturtevant's treatise was published, there appeared a treatise entitled the 'Surveyor's Dialogue,' by one John Norden, the object of which was to make out a case against the iron-works and their being allowed to burn up the timber of the country for fuel. Yet Norden does not make the number of iron-works much more than a third of Sturtevant's estimate. He says, "I have heard that there are or lately were in Sussex neere 140 hammers and furnaces for iron, and in it and Surrey adjoining three or four glasse-houses." Even the smaller number stated by Norden, however, shows that Sussex was then regarded as the principal seat of the iron-trade. Camden vividly describes the noise and bustle of the manufacture--the working of the heavy hammers, which, "beating upon the iron, fill the neighbourhood round about, day and night, with continual noise." These hammers were for the most part worked by the power of water, carefully stored in the artificial "Hammer-ponds" above described. The hammer-shaft was usually of ash, about 9 feet long, clamped at intervals with iron hoops. It was worked by the revolutions of the water-wheel, furnished with projecting arms or knobs to raise the hammer, which fell as each knob passed, the rapidity of its action of course depending on the velocity with which the water-wheel revolved. The forge-blast was also worked for the most part by water-power. Where the furnaces were small, the blast was produced by leather bellows worked by hand, or by a horse walking in a gin. The foot-blasts of the earlier iron-smelters were so imperfect that but a small proportion of the ore was reduced, so that the iron-makers of later times, more particularly in the Forest of Dean, instead of digging for ironstone, resorted to the beds of ancient scoriae for their principal supply of the mineral.

Notwithstanding the large number of furnaces in blast throughout the county of Sussex at the period we refer to, their produce was comparatively small, and must not be measured by the enormous produce of modern iron-works; for while an iron-furnace of the present day will easily turn out 150 tons of pig per week, the best of the older furnaces did not produce more than from three to four tons. One of the last extensive contracts executed in Sussex was the casting of the iron rails which enclose St. Paul's Cathedral. The contract was thought too large for one iron-master to undertake, and it was consequently distributed amongst several contractors, though the principal part of the work was executed at Lamberhurst, near Tunbridge Wells. But to produce the comparatively small quantity of iron turned out by the old works, the consumption of timber was enormous; for the making of every ton of pig-iron required four loads of timber converted into charcoal fuel, and the making of every ton of bar-iron required three additional loads. Thus, notwithstanding the indispensable need of iron, the extension of the manufacture, by threatening the destruction of the timber of the southern counties, came to be regarded in the light of a national calamity. Up to a certain point, the clearing of the Weald of its dense growth of underwood had been of advantage, by affording better opportunities for the operations of agriculture. But the "voragious iron-mills" were proceeding to swallow up everything that would burn, and the old forest growths were rapidly disappearing. An entire wood was soon exhausted, and long time was needed before it grew again. At Lamberhurst alone, though the produce was only about five tons of iron a-week, the annual consumption of wood was about 200,000 cords! Wood continued to be the only material used for fuel generally--a strong prejudice existing against the use of sea-coal for domestic purposes.*

It was then believed that sea or pit-coal was poisonous when burnt in dwellings, and that it was especially injurious to the human complexion. All sorts of diseases were attributed to its use, and at one time it was even penal to burn it. The Londoners only began to reconcile themselves to the use of coal when the wood within reach of the metropolis had been nearly all burnt up, and no other fuel was to be had. It therefore began to be feared that there would be no available fuel left within practicable reach of the metropolis; and the contingency of having to face the rigorous cold of an English winter without fuel naturally occasioning much alarm, the action of the Government was deemed necessary to remedy the apprehended evil.

To check the destruction of wood near London, an Act was passed in 1581 prohibiting its conversion into fuel for the making of iron within fourteen miles of the Thames, forbidding the erection of new ironworks within twenty-two miles of London, and restricting the number of works in Kent, Surrey, and Sussex, beyond the above limits. Similar enactments were made in future Parliaments with the same object, which had the effect of checking the trade, and several of the Sussex ironmasters were under the necessity of removing their works elsewhere. Some of them migrated to Glamorganshire, in South Wales, because of the abundance of timber as well as ironstone in that quarter, and there set up their forges, more particularly at Aberdare and Merthyr Tydvil. Mr. Llewellin has recently published an interesting account of their proceedings, with descriptions of their works,* [footnote ... Archaeologia Cambrensis, 3rd Series, No. 34, April, 1863. Art. "Sussex Ironmasters in Glamorganshire." remains of which still exist at Llwydcoed, Pontyryns, and other places in the Aberdare valley. Among the Sussex masters who settled in Glamorganshire for the purpose of carrying on the iron manufacture, were Walter Burrell, the friend of John Ray, the naturalist, one of the Morleys of Glynde in Sussex, the Relfes from Mayfield, and the Cheneys from Crawley.

Notwithstanding these migrations of enterprising manufacturers, the iron trade of Sussex continued to exist until the middle of the seventeenth century, when the waste of timber was again urged upon the attention of Parliament, and the penalties for infringing the statutes seem to have been more rigorously enforced. The trade then suffered a more serious check; and during the civil wars, a heavy blow was given to it by the destruction of the works belonging to all royalists, which was accomplished by a division of the army under Sir William Waller. Most of the Welsh ironworks were razed to the ground about the same time, and were not again rebuilt. And after the Restoration, in 1674, all the royal ironworks in the Forest of Dean were demolished, leaving only such to be supplied with ore as were beyond the forest limits; the reason alleged for this measure being lest the iron manufacture should endanger the supply of timber required for shipbuilding and other necessary purposes.

From this time the iron manufacture of Sussex, as of England generally, rapidly declined. In 1740 there were only fifty-nine furnaces in all England, of which ten were in Sussex; and in 1788 there were only two. A few years later, and the Sussex iron furnaces were blown out altogether. Farnhurst, in western, and Ashburnham, in eastern Sussex, witnessed the total extinction of the manufacture. The din of the iron hammer was hushed, the glare of the furnace faded, the last blast of the bellows was blown, and the district returned to its original rural solitude. Some of the furnace-ponds were drained and planted with hops or willows; others formed beautiful lakes in retired pleasure-grounds; while the remainder were used to drive flour-mills, as the streams in North Kent, instead of driving fulling-mills, were employed to work paper-mills. All that now remains of the old iron-works are the extensive beds of cinders from which material is occasionally taken to mend the Sussex roads, and the numerous furnace-ponds, hammer-posts, forges, and cinder places, which mark the seats of the ancient manufacture.

Samuel Norden minister of Hamsey 04 May 1609
Samuel Norden 1616 of Lewes (son of Samuel of Hamsey)
Robert Norden (will of Robert Norden) 6 December 1707

Fuller Family - Mayfield - Iron Between the 1600 and the 1800's the Fuller family from Brightling , ran an iron furnace at Heathfield which produced cannons for the Royal Navy. The Iron Ore was mined locally, and the charcoal used to fire the ore was also produced locally, some from Blackboys (Another local village, named after the colour of the charcoal burners).