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Easebourne, Sussex

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EASEBOURNE is a pleasantly situated village and parish adjoining Midhurst, giving name to the hundred, in the Western division of the county, Midhurst union, county court district and deanery, Chichester rape, diocese and archdeaconry. The manor was given with the rest of the rape to Earl Montgomery after the Conquest. In the reign of Richard I. De Bohun held it as parcel of the lordship of Midhurst: it is now the property of the Earl of Egmont. The church of St. Margaret is an ancient building, with spire, tower with 4 bells, nave, north and south aisles, chancel, and organ; also a curious monument in alabaster to Sir David Owen. The register commences in l538. The living is a perpetual curacy, annual value 106, in the gift of the Right Hon. the Earl of Egmont, and held by the Rev. Edward Tufnell, M.A., of Trinity Hall, Cambridge. A small religious house formerly stood here, having been founded in the reign of Henry III. by the Baron of Midhurst, for a prioress and six nuns of the order of St. Benedict: at the Dissolution the site was granted by Henry VIII. to the Montague family. There are some very interesting remains of this priory preserved by Mr. Brown, whose residence, bearing the name, forms part of the original structure. The Midhurst Union House is in this parish. The Right Hon. Earl of Egmont is lord of the manor, and has a handsome seat here, called Cowdray Lodge, surrounded by a spacious park, having an avenue of chesnut trees about a mile in length: according to ancient documents this parish was formerly called Essebourne. The population in 1861 was 859, and the area is 4,043 acres. Parish Clerk, George Road.
SOUTH AMBERSHAM adjoining Easebourne, is a small hamlet, originally part of the parish of Steep, in Hampshire, but since the passing of the Act of Parliament for settling the boundaries of counties (7 and 8 Vict., cap. 61), the small slip of land running down from Hampshire into Sussex was severed from the former and added to the latter, and consequently Ambersham became part of Sussex. For purposes ecclesiastical (having no church) it was divided into two divisions, north and south; the former was given to Farnhurst, and the latter to Easebourne. The Earl of Egmont is lord of the manor and owner of the land. In 1861 there was a population of 143, and the acreage is returned at 1,506.

[Kelly's Post Office Directory of Essex, Herts, Middlesex, Kent, Surrey and Sussex, 1867.]

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