Pronounced sink as in kitchen sink and not the French cinque, which of course means five. The historic confederation of the original five ports was set up by royal charter in the 12th century. The five ports were Hastings, Romney, Hythe, Dover and Sandwich but were joined shortly afterwards by Rye and Winchelsea, making seven ports in all, but they were, illogically, still referred to as the Cinque Ports. These ports supplied ships and men for the monarch’s use and in return were granted certain privileges and tax exemptions. With the establishment of a permanent navy during the 16th century, the need for the ports to supply ships and men fell away. Today, the duties and privileges of the ports are mainly ceremonial.