An Old Sussex Family

The Bottings were originally a family of Saxons who settled between the rivers Adur and Ouse in Sussex about the 15 Th century. They appear to have come from Baden and Württemberg The name is derived from Bott (an envoy) and ing; the descendants of an envoy or messenger. "The Hundred of Buttinghill " When the county of Sussex was divided into hundreds by King Alfred, that part in the vicinity of Bolney, Burgess Hill, Cuckfield, Hurstpierpoint, Slaugham, etc, was called Bottingelle- so it is called in Doomsday " Elle " is the Saxon for hill. In the return of the hundreds made in the time of Henry III and Edward II it became Bottinghill. In modern times it has become Buttinghill. There was a Saxon village about near where Stonepound now stands called Botlyne, which was doubtless another form of the name. (Sussex Archaeological Collection II)

Early Mention of the name
We find the Bottings mentioned in records and registers of the various Towns and Villages in Sussex as early as the following; Sedgewick 1450, Cowfold 1473, Horsham 1558, Itchingfield 1614, West Grinstead 1629, Beeding 1620, tarring 1652, Ardingly 1624, Ditchling 1566, Lewes 1630, Ringmer 1587,Fletching 1617, East Grinstead 1558, Hartfield 1552, Cowden 1633, Warbleton 1600, Arlington 1634, Alfriston 1634, Sullington 1619, Wilkington 1625,Fulkington 1619, Hailsham 1705, Penshurst 1614, Winchelsea 1613, etc.

The Bottings as Bodyguard of the sheriff
Mr.W.T.Ellis the well known Antiquarian, in writing on another so that all the Javelin men of a modern Sheriff were Bottings. The costumes worn by the javelin men on state occasions seem to have been gorgeous to an extreme. In Edward VI's procession through Midhurst, the Bottings appear to have been attired in scarlet cloth with gilt javelins, halberds, girdles and cases and bows and sheaves of arrows in order to preserve the safety of the King and the sheriff.

Botting Javelins Botting Javelins

Again, at the celebration of the Prince Regent's birthday in 1789 at Brighton (or Brighthelmstone) the sheriff was supported by his 12 javelin men, who wore superfine blue coats, buff waistcoats, and buckskin breeches. Their swords were sustained by blue belts over the shoulder and crested plates-their horses had blue en buff girths and breastplates, and headdresses of the horse were to match. The above Javelin poles (12) with the names of each Botting that carried them are still to be seen at Okehurst farm, near Billingshurst, also the shield and mace

Two Bottings participate in Jack Cade's Insurrection, A.D.1450. Among the names of the Sussex men who participated in Jack Grade's insurrection and who received the Kings pardon, are John Botting and Stephen Botting of Nuthurst. (S.A.C.XVIII) ......writes;' At Nuthurst near Horsham we find two Bottings and that name is chiefly associated with agriculture in Middle Sussex. Many of its owners being, according to modern etiquette, called Yeomen '(S.A.C. XVIII).

A certain John Botting pays to be exempted from Knighthood in the reign of Charles I. In the reign of Charles I certain gentlemen were compelled to take up knighthood or to compound for exemption. We find one John Botting of East Grinstead refused this distinction and at the government inquiry, held 1629-1630, absented himself, when he ought to have appeared to give his reason for not accepting the knighthood.

According to an ancient Account book of Cowden 1646, a bright specimen of this illustrious race named E. Botting appeared at the Assizes for robbing the poor ( S.A.C.XX). The same book informs us that a certain Margaret Botting came to a very low ebb as the Authorities had to buy her a spinning wheel with which she might earn her living and then at her death to buy a shirt (or shift) to bury her in.

A certain James Botting is hangman at Horsham.
We discover blemish in this race in James Botting who seems to have possessed more nerve than feeling, he having been appointed the common hangman at Horsham at the end of the 18 th century. An interesting anecdote is told of him in (Bishop Brighton in the olden times) in which certain ruffians, standing near the old White Lion of Brighthelmstone, taunted James Botting unmercifully as he was passing by, about a certain man he had recently hanged. Botting replied that he never quarrelled with his costumers. One of his assailants, strange to relate, was afterwards hanged by him at Horsham on April 12 1817 and another was transported for life.

In the British Museum Library, there are certain (Eligia Stanzas) Mr. Jas Botting ex Jack Ketching of Horsham (6493 B.B. (22)

A certain Thomas Botting was churchwarden at Cowfold 1473-1474. At Lindfield there is the following epitaph on one Elizabeth Botting's gravestone; "Oh, do not weep or grieve for me You know I must be gone, I came upon a visit here, And now I must be gone."

One Stephen Botting was High Constable of Lewes 1655
In a calendar of early Sussex marriages in the Archdeaconry of Lewes, the following was found; in 1626 John Reviell of Wilmington marries Bethankful Botting of Fulkington.

On the side of the tomb of Bishop Spratford at Chichester 1337-62 there is an effigy of Ralph de Botting or Bottyng.

By the will of Jas.Pellett of Nuthurst, one James Botting was bequeathed a lamb (S.A.C.XIX).In recent times we find that Edward Botting of Poynings was killed in the New Zealand war and his tablet is in Poynings church Trough the instrumentality of Charles Botting a magnificent hoard of Saxon coins was sent to the British Museum in 1866, which had been found on his farm at Chancton.

In a Parliamentary Survey of Sussex, 1649-1653, there is a detailed account of John Botting, farmer at Sedgewick.

In Edward I reign the archers of Sussex were so celebrated for their skill with the long bow, that the King personally ordered one hundred to be selected from this county and sent into North Wales to preserve order there. A colony of Bottings is still to be found in North Wales, and may originally have formed a portion of these warriors.

The sheriff of the county had to select them and strengthen the assertion.


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