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Lewes, What's in a name?

Clients always ask me how to pronounce Lewes. Then they ask me where the name came from. I had a few minutes at the office today, so I went to the Lewes Historical Society site to see what I could learn. Here's the "rest of the story" -

Pronounced Loo-iss (not Lose), Lewes, Delaware, the county seat of Sussex County, Delaware until 1791, was named for Lewes, Sussex, England. Previously known as Swanendael (Valley of the Swans) and Hoerekill or Hoerenkill (Harlot's Creek) under the Dutch and briefly as Whorekill and Deale under the English. Contrary to popular belief, the town was never known as Hoornkill, a "Victorianization" of Whorekill/Hoerenkill. In 1680, the magistrates of the town requested of Governor Edmond Andros to consider "summe other name for the Whoorekill." Lewes received its present name by William Penn, proprietor of Pennsylvania, sometime immediately after his acquisition of the land from the Duke of York in 1682. According to research, records do not exist to explain why the name Lewes was chosen, although it is believed that members of Penn's family were from the prominent town in the southeast of England of that name. Read More

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