Bognor Regis began as a Saxon village. For centuries Bognor remained just a hamlet. The inhabitants made a living from fishing and smuggling. However Bognor was changed forever when a rich London hatter named Richard Hotham stayed in a farmhouse by the sea in 1780’s. In those days people believed that bathing in seawater was a cure for all sorts of illness. Hotham decided to create his own seaside resort at Bognor. Queen Victoria also stayed in Bognor several times in her childhood in the 1820’s and said she had happy memories of the place.