Sandwich Ship Money being collected in the Guildhall Courtroom (July each year)
Town Hall Fordwich
The Domesday Book records the obligation of the Cinque Ports to supply ships and men to the King once a year.
This ship service continued for over three hundred years until larger ships were needed by the Navy.
There were other towns associated with the Cinque Ports who helped supply the ports with ships and crews, these were known as "Limbs". There used to be about 30 Limbs in Kent and one, Brightlingsea, in Essex, each limb was associated with a Head Port and came under its jurisdiction.
Each Year a ceremony is held for receiving the allegiance of the three places still remaining as the Sandwich Limbs, Brightlingsea, Fordwich and Sarre.
The elected Mayor Deputies also receive their chain of office.
As a token of their allegiance, each Mayor Deputy pays "Ship Money" to the Mayor of Sandwich.
The Mayor Deputy of Brightlingsea pays 10 shillings (50p), the Mayor Deputy of Fordwich pays 3 shillings and 4 pence (17p) and the Mayor Deputy of Sarre always pleads poverty because they are only a very small village.
Today, of course these are just token payments, but the ceremony is always very well attended and entertaining.
See the 'Ancient Traditions' page for more traditions still going on today in Sandwich.
Mayor Deputy of Sarre always pleads poverty
Flag of the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports.
Note that this image shows the particular flag of Admiral Lord Boyce - the badge in the flag's hoist changes with the appointment of a new Lord Warden.
Admiral Lord Boyce was preceded in post by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, who used the same flag but with her Royal Cypher as the badge in the hoist.
(Image & text from Wiki Media)
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