Beachy Head

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Beachy Head, high chalk cliffs (575 ft/175 m), on the south coast of East Sussex, S England. The battle of Beachy Head, in the War of the Grand Alliance, was fought (1690) between an Anglo-Dutch fleet under the earl of Torrington and the French fleet under the comte de Tourville. Although the French won, they failed to exploit their victory over the damaged opponent to deal a decisive blow to Anglo-Dutch seapower. Torrington, meanwhile, was court-martialed for retreating but, arguing that his action prevented an invasion, was acquitted.

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Beachy Head name of a chalk headland on the Sussex coast, noted for the number of suicides which have taken place by jumping over the cliff there. It is also, in Chesterton's poem ‘The Rolling English Road’ (1914), one of the points of the type of a rambling journey (‘the night we went to Birmingham by way of Beachy Head’).