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NORTHIAM is a parish, in the Eastern division of the county, hundred of Staple, rape of Hastings, Rye union and county court district, rural deanery of Dallington, archdeaconry of Lewes, and diocese of Chichester, 7¾ miles north-west from Rye, and 7 east from Robertsbridge. The church of St. Mary is a handsome structure, in the Decorated style, with tower partly Saxon partly Norman: on the north-west side, is the mausoleum of the Frewen family: the exterior is decorated with the escutcheons of different members of the family, carved in stone, and they are also again represented in the stained glass of the window which lights the interior: the last of the family that was deposited there was Anne, wife of the present Thomas Frewen, Esq., who died February 18th, 1844; over the tablet erected to her memory is a handsome bust of her executed by Behnes, the eminent sculptor: the family are of remote antiquity in the county of Worcester, and were transferred into Sussex in the reign of Elizabeth, by John Frewen, who was rector of Northiam for half a century, and died in 1628; he had several sons, the eldest of whom was Bishop Of Lichfield and Coventry, and Archbishop of York, and the youngest, Stephen Frewen, was a wealthy citizen and alderman of London, who purchased Brickwall and other estates in Sussex, and died at a great age in 1679: by intermarriage with the Turner family, of Cold Overton, in Leicestershire, the Frewens ultimately inherited the estates of the Turner family in that county, and for several generations bore their name, which, however, they have since discontinued. The parish register dates from 1558. The living is a rectory, value about £800 per annum, with residence, in the gift of the executors of the late Rev. W. E. Lord, D.D., and held by the Rev. John Octavus Lord. Here is a school, on the National system, for children of both sexes; and a Free school with an endowment, for fifteen free scholars, the master being allowed to receive a limited number of pupils. The Wesleyans have a chapel here. Brickwall House, the family seat of the Frewens, is in this parish. The navigable river Rother bounds the parish on the north, and separates it from the county of Kent. The parish contained a population in 1861 of 1,260; area, 3,486 acres. [Kelly's Post Office Directory of Essex, Herts, Middlesex, Kent, Surrey and Sussex, 1867.]


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