• Code 11740

CLIFF, Sussex, Mary Akehurst

Æ halfpenny, 1667. Diameter 19mm.  MARY· AKEHVRST· IN· THE· around; HER HALF PENY in centre R. * CLEFT· NEARE· LVEIST around, MA above 1667 in centre.  BW 73; Norweb 5213. Some pitting, otherwise fair, or slightly better.   Scarce.

Cliffe Hill is a hilltop parish that is part of the town of Lewes in East Sussex. Today, its summit is covered in a golf course.
Also on the hill is an obelisk known as Martyrs' Memorial that commemorates the death of 17 Protestant martyrs known as the Sussex Martyrs in 1555–1557. The obelisk is close to where a bonfire was located in 1606 on the first anniversary of the discovery of the Gunpowder Plot.
A Lewes guide of 1832, published by Baxter records: 'On 20th June 1556, Thomas Wood a protestant Minister and Thomas Mills of Hellingly were burned together at the same spot’.
On the morning of 22nd June 1557 outside the Star Inn, Lewes preparations were made for an auto-da-fé. In the vaults of the Star Inn, now the Town Hall of Lewes were ten prisoners, six men and four women. They were Richard Woodman and George Stevens of Warbleton, William Maynard and Thomasina Wood of Mayfield. Alexander Hosmer and Ann Ashdon of Rotherfield. Margery Morris and her son James Morris of Heathfield, Denis Burges of Buxted and Grove’s wife, possibly of Lewes.  Of these ten only Woodman and Hosmer were brought to trial. The others had been apprehended within the two or three days prior to their martyrdoms. Without any authority or writ of condemnation from the proper authorities, they were hurried to Lewes and together suffered in one fire.
Probably it was hoped that such a terrible spectacle would have the effect of crushing the spread of the Reformed Faith. However, as always, efforts to burn out the Truth of God only burnt it deeper in the hearts and affections of those who had experienced its power.”

In 1841 the population of the parish of St Thomas in the Cliff was 1,545.


Sussex - Cliffe near Lewes -  British Tokens - 17th Century token halfpenny

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