from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- A group of seaports of southeast England (originally Hastings, Romney, Hythe, Dover, and Sandwich) that formed a maritime and defensive association in the 11th century. They reached the height of their significance in the Anglo-French conflicts of the 14th century.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- proper n. A series of five historic coastal towns in Kent and Sussex; namely, Hastings, New Romney, Hythe, Dover and Sandwich.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- Five English ports, to which peculiar privileges were anciently accorded; -- viz., Hastings, Romney, Hythe, Dover, and Sandwich; afterwards increased by the addition of Winchelsea, Rye, and some minor places.
From Selsey Bill to Orfordness, taking in all the Cinque Ports and all the port of London, there was not a place that insisted on, and therefore possessed, all its own rights so firmly as this village did.
Under our Saxon ancestors, by whom the Cinque Ports were first chartered, all the havens were open and in good condition, in which state they were found by the Normans, who confirmed to the Ports their ancient privileges.
Among the princes who have executed the high and honourable office of Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, we find the names of the brave and unfortunate
Cinque Ports, and even from Bristol, creeping slowly along the coasts from harbour to harbour.
Castle at the time when Wellington was Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports.
It is reported that Fowey was made a member of the Cinque Ports, that very elastic
Old MORALITY has been made Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, and is trying on his uniform.
He was also a freeman of the Cinque Ports, of which in 1741 "he produced a sufficient testimony" and was therefore excused from jury duty (Brunswick County Court Records, 1737-1741, p. 133).
In 1384 the King granted him for life the constableship of Dover Castle and the wardenship of the Cinque Ports, and three hundred pounds yearly therefor (and for the maintenance of himself, chaplains, etc.) with provision that he exercise the office himself.
When the Cinque Ports of Rye and Winchelsea threatened to oust Fowey from its position as the premier Channel port, the Cornishmen defeated the mariners of Kent in a desperate sea fight, when they quartered the arms of the Cinque Ports on their own scutcheon, and assumed the title of "Fowey Gallaunts".
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