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.