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Rye, town (1991 pop. 4,127), East Sussex, SE England, on the Rother River. It is a tourist resort and small port with boatbuilding and netmaking industries. Rye was one of the "ancient towns" added to the Cinque Ports. It had a thriving trade in the 17th cent. but decayed after the recession of the sea early in the 19th cent. There are remains of an ancient friary, a large Norman and Early English church, the 12th-century Ypres Tower, and the Thomas Peacocke school (1636). The dramatist John Fletcher was born in Rye.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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