Sir Edward Dalyngrigge
Sir Edward Dalyngrigge belonged to a family from Sussex. The small village of Dalling Ridge, near East Grinstead, where they made their home, could be from where the family took their name.
Sir Edward became embroiled in the war when he decided to follow Sir Robert Knollys as a soldier in his 'Free Company' and fought alongside him and others after crossing the Channel in 1367. It was the during the few years that followed that Sir Edward fought the French and was able to return to England with a fortune that would enable him to build Bodiam Castle.
Near the Church, in the Parish of Bodiam, was a moated manor house; through marriage it came into the possession of Sir Edward. This house is believed to have been a medieval timber-framed hall that would have been inhabited during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. It fell into disuse at about the time the castle was built.
Sir Edward Dalyngrigge was a wealthy and influential man, being made Knight of the Shire of Sussex between 1379 and 1388. In 1380 he was appointed to Winchelsea in order to see its fortification against the French and later became a member of the commission to fortify the nearby port of Rye.
In 1383, Sir Edward was given Royal permission to hold a weekly market at Bodiam Manor. It was around this time that there became a deal of social unrest in the South of England. The Duke of Lancaster, another powerful landowner in Sussex, was resented by both the Gentry and the Peasants. Sir Edward decided to make his (and others') feeling known to the Duke, resulting in a Lawsuite being taken against him. It is recorded that Sir Edward behaved in a violent way in court, giving us some indication as to what his personality was like.
The Peasants also made their feelings known, they marched to London, destroying many manor houses on the way. They cut off the head of the Archbishop Sudbury and in the same year Lewes castle was stormed and pillaged.
It is little surprise, then, that in 1385 Sir Edward Dalyngrigge received the following Royal Licence to:
Strengthen with a wall of stone and lime, and crenellate and, construct and make into a Castle his manor house Bodyham, near the sea, in the county of Sussex, for defence of the adjacent country, and, resistance to our enemies.
The threat of war with France had passed by 1390 and Sir Edward was appointed to conclude a truce with the King of France, later he was to survey several French castles. In 1392 he became Keeper of the Tower of London as well as Govenor of the City, by which time Bodiam Castle was probably completed.
Sir Edward dalyngrigge died in 1395 and his son inherited the magestic castle of Bodiam.