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History of Brighton



Anthony Seldon identified five phases of development in pre-20th century Brighton. Until 1730, it was a fishing and agricultural settlement. It was founded by Saxons and mentioned in the Domesday Book under the name Bristelmestune; a rent of 4,000 herring was established. Its importance grew from the Norman era onwards, and by the 14th century there was a parish church, a market and rudimentary law enforcement (the first town constable was elected in 1285). Sacked and burnt by French invaders in the early 16th century—the earliest depiction of Brighton, a painting of c. 1520, shows Admiral
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