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Sussex in the great Civil War and the interregnum, 1642-1660 online

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William Waller commanded in chief against them, to
whose assistance the associated counties were sent for.
Amongst the several regiments thy grandfather's regiment
was invited. He looking upon this engagement as a par-
ticular service to his own county, with great freedom went
to Arundel; there they had a long siege before the town.
After they had taken the town they besieged the castle; it
was a very difficult, hard service, but being taken, thy
grandfather and Colonel Morley had the government and

1 John, Baron Robartes, 1606-85, a colonel in the Parliamentary
army; created in 1679 first Earl of Radnor.


management of the castle committed to their charge. But
few weeks after this the disease of the soldiers that were in
the town and castle, called the calenture [or sun-fever,
frequent at sea l ] seized on him at his quarters, at one
Wade's, near Arundel, whither he sent for me in the depth
of winter frost and snow, from London, to come to him,
which was very difficult for me to compass, being great
with child of thy mother, the waters being out at Newing-
ton and several places, that we were forced to row in the
highways with a boat, and take the things in the coach
with us, and to horses to be led with strings tied to their
bridles, and to swim the coach and horses in the highways ;
which things the coachmen were so sensible of, and the
badness of the ways between London and Arundel at that
time of the year, which made them refuse me almost
throughout the neighbouring streets; only one widow
woman that kept a coach, and had taken a great deal of
our money, and had a very great respect for thy grand-
father, undertook to have her servant go, though he should
hazard his horses. So I gave him a very great price
(twelve pounds) to carry me down, and to return, if not
with him, within a day's stay. It was a very tedious jour-
ney, wherein I was benighted, and overthrown in the dark
into a hedge, which when we came to come out we had
hardly room to get out, for fear of falling down a very
deep precipice that was on the other side, which if we had
fallen on that side we had certainly broken ourselves to
pieces. We had only a guide with us, that was the mess-
enger from thy grandfather, who riding on a white horse
was the only help we had to follow in the way.

" Coming by a garrison late at night, the Colonel whereof
required the guard to stop the coach, and give notice to
him by firing a gun, which he did ; upon which the Colonel

1 During the first cruise of the "ship-money" fleet in 1635 six
hundred men died on board in a month from " stale water and stink-
ing beef."


came immediately down to invite me to stay, and, to en-
courage me, told me that my husband was like to mend,
and that he understood I was near my time, beseeched me
I would not hazard myself. Upon which the coachman
(being sensible of the difficulties he should undergo) would
needs force me to lodge in the garrison, saying his horses
would not hold out, and they would be spoiled ; to which
I replied that I was obliged to pay for all the horses if
they suffered, and that I was resolved not to go out of the
coach unless it broke until I came so near the house that
I could compass it on foot; so finding my resolution he
put on.

" When we came to Arundel we met with a most dismal
sight: the town being depopulated, all the windows broken
with the great guns, and the soldiers making stables of all
the shops and lower rooms: and there being no light in
the town but what came from the light in the stables, we
passed through the town toward his quarters. Within a
quarter of a mile of the house the horses were at a stand,
and we could not understand the reason of it, so we sent
our guide down to the house for a candle and lantern, and
to come to our assistance ; upon which the report came to
my husband, who told them they were mistaken, he knew
I could not come I was so near my time; but they affirm-
ing that it was so, he commanded them to sit him up in his
bed, 'that I may see her,' said he, 'when she comes'; but
the wheel of the coach being pitched in the root of a tree
was some time before I could come. It was about twelve
at night when we arrived, and as soon as I put my foot
into the hall (there being a pair of stairs out of the hall
into his chamber) I heard his voice, ' Why will you lie to
me! if she be come, let me hear her voice;' which struck
me so that I had hardly power to get up stairs; but being
borne up by two, he seeing me, the fever having took his
head, in a manner sprang up, as if he would come out of
his bed, saying, ' Let me embrace thee before I die; I am


going to thy God and my God.' I found most of his
officers attending on him with great care and signification
of sorrow for the condition he was in, they greatly loving
him. The purple spots came out the day before, and now
were struck in, and the fever got into his head, upon which
they caused him to keep his bed, having not been per-
suaded to go to bed no day since his illness till then, which
had been five days. Before his spots came out, they seeing
his dangerous condition (so many Kentish men, both com-
manders and others having died of it in a week's time near
his quarters,) constrained him to keep his chamber, but
such was his activeness of spirit and stoutness of his heart
that he could not yield to this ill that was upon him, but
covenanted with them that he would shoot birds with his
cross-bow out of the windows, which he did till the fever
took his head and the spots went in ; and after that the
fever was so violent, and he so young and strong of body,
and his blood so hot (being but about the age of 23) that
they were forced to sit round the bed to keep him in, but
he spake no evil or raving words at all, but spoke seriously
about his dying to my doctor, which I brought down with
me by his orders."

For two days the devoted wife watched by the sick man,
cooling his parched lips with her own cool lips, often for
hours at a time, regardless of infection and of great pain to
herself in her condition. At length he died, having a
moment before called upon a kinsman of his " Anthony,
come quickly"; who at that very instant came riding
into the yard, being come many miles to see him. 1 " When
he was dead," says the poor lady, " then I could weep."

1 Probably his first cousin, Anthony Springett, third son of Sir
Thomas Springett of Broyle Place, and younger brother of Herbert
Springett, created a Baronet at the Restoration, of whom a tablet in
Ringmer Church states that he " was a true sonne of the Church of
England ; and for his love and loyalty to his King and Country, his
death was lamented by all that knew him."


His body was placed on his own ammunition waggon
and taken to Ringmer, where he was born, and where some
of his ancestors lay. There was no public funeral, as " it
was found that things were not in a condition to admit of
such a charge, which would have been some hundreds."
He died in debt to the extent of two thousand pounds,
having expended large sums, including his wife's portion,
on contributions to the Parliamentary funds, and on fitting
out and provisioning his own troop of volunteers; and he
had but twelve pounds in money in his trunk, and many
large sums to be paid.

His widow pays an eloquent and lengthy tribute to his
religious zeal, and his generous charity ; and adds : " He
was of a most courteous, affable carriage towards all ; most
ingeniously inclined from a very lad, carving and forming
things with his knife for his tools; so industriously active
that he rarely ever was idle, but when he could not be
employed abroad in shooting at a mark with guns, pistols,
cross-bows, or long-bows, managing his horses (which he
brought up and managed himself, teaching them bold-
ness in charging) in such things as were needful for ser-
vice; when he could not be, as I said, thus engaged
abroad, then he would fence within doors, make cross-
bow strings, placing the sight with that accurateness as if
it had been his trade, or casting of bullets of all sorts,
feathering his arrows that were for his carbines, or pull-
ing his watch to pieces ; training up his servants, and him-
self using the postures of war according to books he had
for that purpose. He was also an artist in shooting and
fishing, and making of lines and ordering of baits and
things for that purpose. He was a great lover of coursing,
but he managed his dogs himself; which things I mention
to shew thee his ingenuity, but the vanity of those things
his mind was out of when he was engaged in religion."



WITHIN a month of the outbreak of civil war Par-
liament declared that all charges and damages
which had fallen on the Commonwealth since his Majesty's
departure from the Parliament should be borne by the
delinquents and other malignant and disaffected persons;
" and that all his Majesty's good and well affected subjects
who, by the loan of moneys or otherwise at their charge,
have assisted the Commonwealth or shall in like manner
hereafter assist the Commonwealth in time of extreme
danger, may be repaid all sums of money by them lent for
those purposes, and be satisfied their charges so sustained
out of the estates of the said delinquents, and of the
malignant and disaffected party in this kingdom." 1 This
declaration could only be justified on the grounds that the
Parliament and its supporters were the nation, and the
King's followers a mere handful of rebels and traitors.
If it was unjustifiable it was no less impolitic. The threat
of confiscation converted many a lukewarm Royalist into a
furious partisan. Many who had hoped to avoid all fighting
were now ready to fight to the bitter end.

A month later, on I 5th October 1642, the Lords passed
a further resolution of the Commons. All who refused to
contribute to the charge of the Commonwealth were to be
imprisoned and disarmed. The revenues of bishops, deans,
and chapters, and of all notorious delinquents who had

1 Lords' Journals, v, 341.


taken up arms for the King, were to be sequestered for the
use of the Commonwealth. 1

The sequestrating Committee for the county of Sussex
was at this time constituted as follows: Sir Thomas
Pelham, Bart., Sir Thomas Eversfield, Sir W. Goring,
Anthony Stapley, Herbert Morley, Thomas Whitfield,
John Baker, Herbert Hay, Herbert Springett, Ralph Cooper,
Hall Ravenscroft, Edward Apsley, John Downes, William
Cawley, Edward Higgon, Thomas Chate, George Oglander,
George Simpson, John Burbridge, Thomas Middleton, James
Temple,Thomas Shirley, Henry Shelley,and Herbert Board,
Esquires ; Captain Thomas Collins, Captain Carleton, and
Captain Everden.

One of these, Sir Thomas Eversfield of Den, Horsham,
was shortly to be a victim of this very body; his own
estate was sequestered on 28th September 1643, "for
deserting on July i8th the service of the Commonwealth." 2

In March of the following year an Ordinance declared
that all who had directly or indirectly assisted the King
were to be reckoned as delinquents, and that their property
was to be sequestered by the Committee of the county in
which it was situate; this being subsequently mitigated by
a provision to set aside a fifth of the income of a seques-
tered estate for the benefit of the wife and children of the

During the first part of the war these matters were
managed by a Committee of the House, which exercised
control over the County Committees, and sometimes gave
powers to generals in the field to levy fines for the payment
of their troops. At Chichester, in 1642, we have seen that
Sir John Morley paid Waller ^300. At the fall of Arundel
John Caryll, of Harting, paid Waller .600 by way of
composition for being in the Castle, although not in arms ;
he stated that his father Sir John Caryll's house lying

1 See Gardiner, Civil War, ch. i and ii. 2 S. A. C., v, 54.


midway between Winchester and Arundel, Sir Ralph
Hopton compelled him to accompany him when he marched
into Sussex, and that he was detained at Arundel until its
surrender to Sir William Waller. He hoped that this
payment of 600 would save his estate from sequestration,
but it was sequestered four months after. 1

In January 1644, the Parliament being anxious to attract
deserters from the King at Oxford offered pardon to
Royalists who would submit before a fixed date, and should
pay a sum to be assessed by way of compounding for their
delinquency. In 1645, after the capture of Bristol, when all
England was falling under the authority of the Parliament,
this principle of compounding was made general. A
Royalist who desired to free his estates from sequestration
was to present himself before the Committee for com-
pounding which sat at Goldsmiths' Hall. He was required
to take the Covenant and the negative oath, which bound
him never again to bear arms against the Parliament. He
then had to declare full particulars with regard to the
extent and value of his estate, any evasion or misstatement
rendering him liable to a heavy fine. The matter was
generally referred to the County Committee, especially with
regard to any circumstance of extenuation alleged by
the applicant. A fine was them imposed, varying in
severity according to the position of the delinquent. Mem-
bers of Parliament might be mulcted in half their estates
John Ashburnham was fined 1,270, half the value of his
estate * less distinguished Royalists might escape for one-
sixth. The proceedings were often extremely complicated,
and frequently lasted over several years, numerous peti-
tions from claimants to estates and other persons interested
having to be considered and reported on. A perusal of
many of the cases gives the impression that, on the whole,

1 Cal. Com. for Compounding, 917; see also West Grinstead et les
Caryll, par Max de Trenquale'on, 1893.
Cal. Com. for Compounding, 1863.


the Committee at Goldsmiths' Hall was more lenient than
the County Committees, although in exceptional instances
the latter may have been unduly favourable to their friends.

Of the great nobles, some, such as Thomas Earl of
Arundel, submitted to the spoliation and sale of their
estates rather than acknowledge the authority of the Par-
liament so far as to compound for them, though by so
doing they forfeited the whole, excepting the fifth reserved
to the families of delinquents. 1 But the great majority of
the upper and middle-class Royalists took the course
offered them either to release their property from seques-
tration, or, on their own discovery of their delinquency, to
avoid it. In the latter cases there was a mitigation of the

In Sussex the leading Royalist gentry compounded for
their estates, and particulars of their compositions are to be
found in the proceedings of the Committee. The fines
imposed were often enormous, when we remember that
they must be multiplied about four and half times to bring
them to the values of to-day.

Sir Thomas Bowyer, Bart., of Leighthorne, was one of
the first to avail himself of the Ordinance of the 3Oth
January 1644. On 2/th February he pleaded that he had
come in, not on account of sequestration, nor for the benefit
of the declaration, but from his wish to serve Parliament.
He had not been out of his house for fifteen months, and
never sent horses, arms, or money to the King, except
when the Sheriff of Chichester forced his servants to do
it. No arrangement seems to have been come to at the
time, for Sir Thomas appealed to the Barons of the Ex-
chequer against his sequestration, and the case had not
been decided at his death, in 1650, when he left thirteen
children and debts of 8,000. His son Sir Thomas begged,
and was granted, one-fifth of the sequestered estate. In

1 Cal. Com. for Compounding, v, xii.


May 1652, the Barons of the Exchequer having dismissed
the appeal, leave was given to compound, and the fine was
fixed at one-third of the estate, 2,033 iBs. $d. It may be
noted in this case that William Cawley of Chichester, the
regicide, begged allowance of a rent of 50 on Runcton
Farm, North Mundham, bought in 1637 for 625 from Sir
Thomas Bowyer, Bart, for the lives of the petitioner's three
sons, the premises having been sequestered for Bowyer's
delinquency. 1

Thomas May of Rawmere was also an early applicant
to compound. He took the Covenant at Chichester on
2oth February 1644. He stated that since he was in
Chichester, when it was taken by Sir William Waller, he
had lived at Rawmere, being tenant of his own sequestered
estate; he had never assisted his Majesty with horse, money,
plate, or arms. Fine imposed 900, on 24th February 1646."
Sir John Morley made a petition to compound. He urged
that he had contributed nothing willingly to the King's
forces at Chichester, as was proved by his voluntary pay-
ment of ^"300 to Sir William Waller, from whom he
procured release and protection. The County Committee
reported that he had a commission of array from " the late
King," was with the High Sheriff of Sussex in Chichester,
and was active in abetting the mutiny raised by malignants
in the city, but that he had since taken the Covenant and
was conformable; that he had .1,140 a year, all seques-
tered, and 500 a year fallen to him on the late death
of his mother, but it was in the King's quarters, and he
received nothing. In January 1645 a fine of 500 was
imposed, and the estate released. 3

Richard Williams, late Town Clerk of Chichester, peti-
tioned in March 1644. He was led out of the way by
threats and force, but returned as the prodigal, in repent-
ance and with tears, resolved never thereafter to offend,

1 Cal. Com. for Compounding, 833-4. a Ibid., 834.

3 Ibid., 837-8.


but to sacrifice his life and fortunes in the Parliament's
service. He had a wife and six children, also six orphan
children entrusted to his care. He had no lands. He
begged restoration to such places as he formerly held,
discharge of his sequestration, and restitution of his house
and goods, lately taken for the quarters of Sir William
Waller. The Committee proposed a fine of 40, it appear-
ing that he was forward in executing the Commission of
Array in Chichester; his estate was 33 6s. 8d. a year, of
which 13 135-. 6d. was by his office. 1

The Earl of Thanet, of Tufton, Sussex, represented his
case as one of special hardship, because in December 1643
he paid .2,000 on pain of sequestration. Later he lost
through the wars 6,000 oz. of plate, horses and sheep
worth 2,000, a house which cost 32,000, woods and
timber worth 20,000, beside his parks and deer, which
were destroyed, and his household stuff, taken from his
three houses at Windsor, Heathfield, and London. On
these grounds his fine was first set at 4,000, but a remon-
strance was made that as his real estate was worth 10,000
a year, and as he had not only been in actual war against
the Parliament, but had sent plate and money to the King,
his fine ought to be 20,000. His case came before Par-
liament on i Qth October 1644, and he was fined 9,000
in spite of the County Committee's complaint that the
discharge of the chief malignants was injurious to the Par-
liamentary cause. 2

The Committee was by no means unreasonable with
regard to reducing fines where due cause could be shown.
In the case of Sir Edward Bishop of Parham it was
reported to the House of Commons in August 1644 that
he was taken in arms at Arundel Castle, and was a prisoner
in the Tower; that he had been "very opposite" to the
Parliament from the first; and that his lands were worth

1 Cal. Com. for Compounding, 838. a Ibid., 839-40.


2,500 a year, with a great personal estate. A fine of
12,300 was proposed. The House admitted him to com-
pound at one-third of his estate at least; although the
Committee for compounding requested that he might not
be admitted to compound, being a " great malignant." A
year later, in November 1645, he was brought before the
Committee on a warrant, sent to the Lieutenant of the
Tower, and informed that he was fined 7,500, his estate
being found to be 1,500 a year. He replied that he could
not pay, and begged to have one-third of his estate set out
and sold. During the next few months he continued to
represent that the fine was beyond his ability to pay; that
he was loaded with his father's debts, and was but a tenant
for life, whereas the Committee had supposed him to be
seized of an estate of inheritance. The fine was then
reduced to 4,790. In July 1648 he was ordered to be
committed to custody for neglecting payment of his fine.
He died shortly afterwards, and the composition not having
been completed, the County Commissioners re-sequestered
the estate. After prolonged representations by his family,
the lands being claimed, part by his widow for jointure,
and the rest as entailed or settled on his children, the
estate was finally discharged on their behalf in I654. 1

Henry Bishop of Henfield, third son of Sir Thomas,
begged on 1st October 1646 to compound for delinquency
in bearing arms. In January 1645, being at Bristol, and
resolved to make his peace with the Parliament, he got a
pass to London for the wife of Mr. Netherway, a brewer
with whom he was quartered, to use means thereto. She
did not return within six weeks, so the petitioner took ship
to Virginia, and lived on his plantation there, till he re-
turned with a letter from the Council of that country to the
Speaker. He was discharged by Order of Parliament on
1 3th February 1647 " on tne earnest desire of the Colony

1 Cal. Com. for Compounding, 849-50.


of Virginia, signified in a letter from the Grand Assembly."
There is no mention of a fine. 1

On the occasion of surrender of towns or garrisons on
Articles of War, these Articles commonly stipulated the
rates of composition to be paid by persons surrendering,
which were always below the usual rates. We find many
instances of claims to the benefit of such articles. The usual
rate under Articles of Surrender seems to have been one-
tenth. Robert Anderson, Counsellor at Law, of Chichester,
surrendered on Oxford Articles and was fined at one-tenth,
407 4s. Sd.* On 3Oth April 1646 Colonel George Gounter
of Racton begged to compound on Truro Articles 3 for
delinquency in bearing arms against the Parliament. He
had a wife and many small children and was indebted
2,000. His estate yielded only 130 a year, and his
dwelling-house was much defaced. Sir Thomas Fairfax
pleaded for moderation in dealing with him; in the Treaty
at Truro " Colonel Gounter was a hostage, and his fair de-
meanour deserves all civil respect. I desire you will please
to consider him in a moderate composition, and consider
the seasonable service done in the disbanding of those horse
at that time." Gounter was fined at one-sixth, 870, reduced
on the confirmation of the Truro Articles to 580, and
further reduced subsequently to one-tenth, 520. Gounter
pleaded that he had been obliged to sell great part of his
estate to John Comber of Donnington, Co. Sussex, to
satisfy the principal and interest of a mortgage created
before the war, amounting to 1,625.*

Many other Sussex men surrendered at Truro. John
Taylor of Itchenor was fined at one-sixth, 36, reduced on
Fairfax's representation to 24. Richard Taylor of Earnley
was fined 546, reduced to 364." Richard Booker of
Pulborough was fined at one-sixth, 37 IQJ. He was in arms

1 Cal. Com. for Compounding, 1518. * Ibid., 1493.

3 Hopton had surrendered to Fairfax at Truro on i4th March 1646.

4 Cal. Com. for Compounding, 1237-8. ' Ibid., 1258.


again in 1648, and was fined a further 37 ios., although
he begged discharge as not worth 200. In 1652 he was
sequestered for non-payment. Thomas Craddock of
Chichester compounded on Truro Articles. Sir Thomas
Fairfax recommended him for a moderate composition, he
being " a gentleman that hath fairly demeaned himself in
this business." l He was fined 40.

The County Committee at Chichester seems to have
been occasionally rather officious, and even to have pro-
voked resistance. In January 1647, acting on an order of
the House of Commons for securing delinquents who had
not compounded, it arrested Counter doubtless either

Online LibraryCharles Thomas-StanfordSussex in the great Civil War and the interregnum, 1642-1660 → online text (page 11 of 30)