Cinque Ports town of Rye

As early as 1155 there has been a connection between Hastings, Rye and 3 other port towns along the coast of Sussex and Kent. The Cinque Ports confederation was originally established for trade and military purposes. In return for the obligations to serve the king, the towns were given certain privileges… which facilitated the multitude of smuggling activities that went on along this part of the coast. Looking at the coastline and estuaries, it is easy to see how difficult it would have been to police this area.

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