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Linchmere

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LINCHMERE (or Lynchmere) is a parish, 5 miles north-west from Midhurst, in the Western division of the county, Midhurst union, county court district and rural deanery, Easebourne hundred; and Chichester rape, diocese and archdeaconry. The church (name unknown) is a neat structure of the fourteenth century, in the Early English style: it was thoroughly restored in 1856, and stained glass windows added: it consists of chancel, nave, and side aisle. The register commences in 1560. The living is a perpetual curacy, value £60 per annum, in the gift of, and held by, the Rev. William Henry Parson, M.A., of Magdalen Hall, Oxford. Here is a Parochial school, privately supported, for boys and girls. Linchmere, though not mentioned in "Domesday Survey," was held at a very early period by William De Percy, Esq., of the house of Arundel: it subsequently formed part of the estates of the Fitzallans: it then passed to Sir William Fitzwilliam, and is now merged in the Cowdry estates, the Earl of Egmont being lord of the manor. In the reign of Henry III. there stood in this parish the priory of Shulbrede, founded by Sir Ralph de Ardene, for canons of the St. Augustine order: at the Dissolution the site was granted to Sir William Fitzwilliam: some remains of this priory still exist: the chapel is destroyed, but on the walls of that which is supposed to have been the prior's room there are the remains of some curious fresco paintings; one is thus described by an ancient writer: "This painting, which is intended to represent the nativity of the Saviour, introduces certain animals, the noises peculiar to each being suited with certain words in Latin, which are supposed to bear testimony to that event; as thus, a cook stands in the act of crowing, and out of his mouth issue the words 'Christus natus est' (Christ is born); a duck, inquiring, cackles, 'quando, quando' (when, when); a raven answers, 'in hac nocte' (in this night); a cow, as inquisitive as the duck, bellows, 'ubi, ubl' (where, where); and a lamb bleats, 'Bethlehem.'" The principal landowners are the Earl of Egmont, the Rev. W. H. Parson, Mr. Hasler Hollest, and Mrs. Harriott. The population in 1861 was 283; area 2,101 acres [Kelly's Post Office Directory of Essex, Herts, Middlesex, Kent, Surrey and Sussex, 1867.]

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