By 1708 other parishes in Sussex were charged rates to alleviate poverty in Brighton, and Daniel Defoe wrote that the expected £8,000 cost of providing sea defences was "more than the whole town was worth".
The population declined to 2,000 in the early 18th century.
The town's importance grew in the Middle Ages as the Old Town developed, but it languished in the early modern period, affected by foreign attacks, storms, a suffering economy and a declining population.
Brighton began to attract more visitors following improved road transport to London and becoming a boarding point for boats travelling to France.
Although more than 40 variations have been documented, Brighthelmstone (or Brighthelmston) was the standard rendering between the 14th and 18th centuries.
Brighton was originally an informal shortened form, first seen in 1660; it gradually supplanted the longer name, and was in general use from the late 18th century.
New housing estates were established in the acquired areas, including Moulsecoomb, Bevendean, Coldean and Whitehawk.
The major expansion of 1928 also incorporated the villages of Patcham, Ovingdean and Rottingdean, and much council housing was built in parts of Woodingdean after the Second World War.
Writing in 1950, historian Antony Dale noted that unnamed antiquaries had suggested an Old English word "brist" or "briz", meaning "divided", could have contributed the first part of the historic name Brighthelmstone.They were attracted by the easy access for boats, sheltered areas of raised land for building, and better conditions compared to the damp, cold and misty Weald to the north.Having lost the Battle of Worcester, King Charles II, after hiding for 42 days in various places, fled on the evening of 15 October 1651 in the "Surprise" from Brighthelmstone to his exile in Fécamp, France.Growth of the town was further encouraged by the patronage of the Prince Regent (later King George IV) after his first visit in 1783.Many of the major attractions were built during the Victorian era, such as the Grand Hotel (1864), the West Pier (1866), and the Palace Pier (1899).