Charles Thomas-Stanford.

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

. (page 13 of 30)
Online LibraryCharles Thomas-StanfordSussex in the great Civil War and the interregnum, 1642-1660 → online text (page 13 of 30)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


ham, from the payment thereof. 1

On the other hand Mrs. Ballow, wife of the ejected vicar

1 S. A. C., xxx, 1 20.



140 SUSSEX IN THE GREAT CIVIL WAR

of Seaford-cum-Sutton, after much difficulty and expense
obtained an order from the Committee in London requii-
ing Mr. Saxby, to whom the living was sequestered, to pay
the fifth part to her, and requesting the County Committee
to set out and apportion the same, which the latter accord-
ingly did, and allotted Mrs. Ballow 8 a year. 1

In spite of this provision the families of the ejected
clergy must frequently have endured great suffering. The
quiver was too often full. It was fortunate for Mr. John
Boulte, who was inducted to the vicarage of Eastbourne in
1648, that he was on the winning side, for he was "blessed
with 29 children by two wives." 2 Mr. Halsey, Rector of
East Dean, was turned out of his living " on a pretence of
insufficiency," and his family of nine children were only
saved from starvation by the fact that he possessed some
small property in London ; notwithstanding which, a
daughter of his complained to a gentleman that she was
glad to feed on half an egg. " The poor man came with
tears in his eyes and fell on his knees to Cheynell (that
monstrous composition and villain) and desired the favour
of him to let him teach an English school at a penny a
week for each child for the support of his family ; but was
by the monster denied so reasonable a request." 3

Cheynell was the b$te noire of the Royalist clergy, and
post-Restoration references to him must be accepted with
caution. That he left no stone unturned to secure the most
important vicarages for his own adherents is no doubt true,
but for the charges of dishonesty and conspiracy brought
against him there is probably no foundation. Hoadley, a
great Whig bishop of the eighteenth century, said of him :
" He was exactly orthodox, and as pious, honest, and charit-
able as his bigotry would permit." 4

1 S. A. C., xxx, 132.

2 Ibid., xxix, 206. See also iv, 267.

3 Walker's MSS., Bodleian Library.

4 Neal, History of the Puritans, iv, 395.



THE SUFFERINGS OF THE CLERGY 141

Thus the account of the ejection of Mr. Apsley, Rector
of Pulborough, contained in a letter of Mr. Newcomb, a
later Rector, 1 seems somewhat exaggerated. It is stated
that Dr. Cheynell, " sole judge in all matters ecclesiastical,"
sent for and commanded him to give an account of his
election to himself and " four more elders " ; Mr. Apsley,
knowing their design, framed such an answer that they had
nothing to object against him, and so for a time dismissed
him. But his living being worth 4.00 a year, Cheynell was
resolved to turn him out on some pretext or other. Having
received information that Mr. Apsley had been seen in a
public ale-house at Stopham bridge, they summoned him a
second time on the accusation of being a common drinker
and a scandalous liver, and without being permitted to
make any answer, he was thrown out of his living to the
almost utter ruin of his family. This story, written some
sixty years after the event, does not carry the weight of
contemporary evidence.

We do not often hear of personal violence to the clergy,
but Mr. Oliver Whitby, who acted as curate to the Bishop
of Chichester at Petworth, is an exception. According to
Walker, 2 " being a loyalist he was often in danger of his life
by the fanatics, one of whom shot at him with a pistol
while he was preaching in Petworth pulpit, but missed him ;
upon which to avoid further danger he escaped to a poor
house nigh Petworth, and lived there six months privately.
But being discovered by the rebels, he was forced to take
his lodging in a hollow tree, which the old woman had
shewed him, and there fed by her a long time on pretence
of her going to gather wood. He lived in great want until
the Restoration, and was then preferred in Chichester
Church."

There can be little doubt that some of the dispossessed
clergy richly deserved their fate. In his Century of

1 Walker's MSS., iii, 875-6.

2 Sufferings of the Clergy, App., p. 424.



142 SUSSEX IN THE GREAT CIVIL WAR

Malignant Priests, 1 Colonel John White included the in-
cumbents of Horsted Parva, Dallington, Ardingley, Arun-
del, Cliffe, Storrington, East Grinstead, and Arlington.
Allowing for the exaggeration of partisan animus, there
was probably a serious case against each of them, and the
evidence is at any rate contemporary. " The benefice of
John Peckham, rector of the Parish Church of Horsted
Parva in the County of Sussex, who giveth out that he is
the King's Chaplain, is sequestered, for that he hath been
very negligent in his cure, absenting himself from his par-
ishioners, sometimes a whole month together, without
leaving any to officiate for him, and hath refused to admin-
ister the Lord's Supper to those of his Parish that would
not come up to the rails, and is a common drunkard, and
notorious adulterer and unclean person . . ., and hath ex-
pressed great malignity against the Parliament and pro-
ceedings thereof, and hath affirmed publickly that a man
might live in murder, adultery and other gross sins from
day to day, and yet be a true penitent person." At Ard-
ingley Richard Taunton's benefice was sequestered " for
that he is a common drunkard and ale-house haunter, and

1 "The first Century of Scandalous Malignant Priests made and
admitted into benefices by the Prelates in whose hands the ordination
of ministers and the government of the Church hath been ; or a narra-
tion of the causes for which the Parliament hath ordered the seques-
tration of the benefices of several ministers complained of before them,
for vitiousness of life, errors in doctrines contrary to the articles of
our religion, and for practising and pressing superstitious innovations
against the law, and for malignancy against the Parliament. Ordered
to be printed by the Committee of the House of Commons, Nov.
1643." Colonel John White, known as "Century White" was Chair-
man of the Committee to inquire into the immoralities of the Clergy.
An inscription on his tombstone in the Temple states :

" Here lies a John, a burning shining light,
Whose name life actions all alike were white."

He was the grandfather of Susannah, mother of John and Charles
Wesley.



THE SUFFERINGS OF THE CLERGY 143

in his sermons hath wished, that every knee might rot that
would not bow at the name of Jesus." l At East Grinstead
the benefice of Richard Goffe was sequestered " for that he
is a common haunter of taverns and alehouses, a common
swearer of bloody oaths, and singer of bawdy songs and
often drunk, and keepeth company with papists and scan-
dalous persons, and hath confessed that he chiefly studied
popish authors, highly commended Queen Mary's time, and
disparaged Queen Elizabeth's, as an enemy to learning,
and hoped to see the time again that there should be no
Bible in men's houses. And hath openly preached that such
as go to other parish churches than their own are in the
state of damnation, and that after the bread and wine of
the sacrament is consecrated it is no more bread and wine
but the body and blood of Christ. And in a funeral sermon
at the burial of a woman said that she being regenerated
in baptism did live and die without sin ; and hath expressed
great malignity against the Parliament, saying that he
hoped to see it confounded, and that he cared not a fig for
the Parliament." 2 It may be, as suggested by Walker, 3
that the last remark was his chief offence.

The sequestrating committee was on less sure ground
when it came to consider accusations of " inadequacy." Mr.
John Nutt's living of Bexhill was sequestrated for that he
lived " wholly non-resident to the church and in his ab-
sence substituted to officiate for him scandalous and un-
worthy curates." 4 Sometimes the charge recoiled on those
who brought it. The aged Dr. Aquila Cruso, having lost
his Prebendary stall in Chichester Cathedral, " by the in-
iquitie of those times in the common ship-wreck of the
Church," was visited in his rectory of Sutton, near Pet-
worth, by three " noted triers " to examine his sufficiency
They begged him to give an account of his faith in writing,

1 Century of Malignant Priests, 43.

2 Ibid., 88. 3 Sufferings of the Clergy, ii, 257.
4 S. A. C., xxx, 1 17.



144 SUSSEX IN THE GREAT CIVIL WAR

whereupon he wrote it in Greek and Hebrew, which none
of them could understand. " It was thought they suffered
him to continue in his living, because he was then about
seventy years of age, and could not live much longer.
Neither could they with any colour of truth fix a charge of
insufficiency upon him, whose faith soared in a sphere
above their capacity." l Dr. Cruso disappointed his enemies
by living until November 1660.

The most important case in this connection is that of
Mr. John Large, Rector of Rotherfield. The benefice was
worth 300 a year, 2 and it was a joke of the time that Mr.
Large was ejected not on account of his bad life, but for
his good living. It was alleged afterwards that the proceed-
ings against him were the result of a conspiracy between
Dr. Cheynell and one Vintner, who were overheard to say
that as they could not sequester Mr. Large for immorality
they would do so for insufficiency. Mr. Vintner seems to
have emulated the rapid conversion of the Vicar of Bray.
In 1651 he was inducted to the living of Cowfold, 3 the
patron being the " Hon. Col. Jn. Downes Esq." * At the
Restoration he is reported to have preached as follows : " It
is said the Common Prayer must be read again in our
churches, but I do assure you that if there was a gallows
erected in that place, and the Common Prayer book laid in
this desk, I would choose to be trussed up on that gallows
before ever I would read the Common Prayer." But he
thought better of it, and conformed. In 1673 he obtained
the " fat benefice " of Rotherfield, " where in his old age in
King James II's reign he was preparing for another turn,
even to Rome itself, if times had held, and previous to it

1 Walker's MSS.

2 "As late as 1675 tne rector of Rotherfield kept a woodward or
keeper for the 366 acres of wood pertaining to the rectorial manor "
(Viet. Hist. Sussex, ii, 324).

3 S. A. C., xxxi, 194.

4 " Recruiter," M.P. for Arundel, a regicide.



THE SUFFERINGS OF THE CLERGY 145

began to give out he never knew before that the papists
had such good reasons for their religion." l

Mr. Large himself alleged in his defence that the articles
of accusation were presented against him " not so much
through his demerits as through a secret plot and combina-
tion of John Russell, Edward Russell and John Calle, who
having a minister to their kinsman wanting a living (brother
unto two of them and nephew to the third) have used his
help and assistance in drawing up these articles against
him." In his long and interesting defence 2 he replies
seriatim to the charges brought against him. This valuable
document, which affords a remarkable picture of the re-
ligious life of the time, may be summarized as follows:

(1) He was presented to the living by a citizen of
London, to whom the advowson had been lawfully passed
long previously by Lord Abergavenny; he denied any
intimate correspondence with Papists, whose errors he was
known to hate, and to refute in his sermons as occasion
offered; the like also concerning scandalous ministers,
whose company he neither enjoyed nor desired.

(2) He had constantly had two sermons preached by
himself or his curate every Lord's day, except between
November and February. In the summer his accusers had
seldom or never attended in the afternoon to hear the
sermon. In the shortest days of winter he had usually
preached but once a day; not (as his accusers would sug-
gest) to spare his own pains, but for the convenience of his
parishioners, many of whom dwelt three or four miles or
more from the church, and in those very short days were
unable to come thither again in the afternoon. At those
times therefore he had been in the habit of joining both his
sermons for the day together, and seldom or never preached
for less than two hours, so that those who dwelt far off
might have the benefit of the whole day's exercise as well

1 S. A. C., xxxi, 185. 2 Printed in S. A. C., xxxi, 173-7.

L



146 SUSSEX IN THE GREAT CIVIL WAR

as the others. Yet notwithstanding this " double taste " in
the morning, whenever he had seen any considerable num-
ber at church in the afternoon, he had not omitted to
preach then also. And in his sermons he had delivered
nothing but sound and orthodox doctrine, and that also in
a manner suited to the capacities of the people, who all
(except his accusers) generally professed to have derived
no small comfort and edification thereby.

(3) The monthly fasts had ever been solemnly observed
by him ; but he had usually delivered all his meditations
for the day together, and so preached longer in the fore-
noons, the reason being that in the morning he found him-
self more fresh and able to perform a double exercise, than
to reserve part till the afternoon, when through fasting all
day he had frequently found himself faint and feeble.

(4) He had kept all days appointed by Order of Parlia-
ment, except one thanksgiving of which he never knew or
heard till the day was past.

(5) No warrant or other matter sent by the Parliament
and directed to be read by the minister had ever been left
unpublished. He had ever been forward, both by his ready
contribution to all taxes and by his careful furnishing of
those arms wherewith he was charged, to do his best en-
deavour for the safety of the county and the kingdom ; and
he had advised others to do the same.

(6) The unjust aspersion that he was a neuter or a
" close enemy " to the State was only the uncharitable
judgement of his accusers. He had produced a certificate
and testimonial signed by over two hundred of the chief
inhabitants, there being but few more householders in the
parish. He had striven to live peaceably with all men, and
had endeavoured often to gain the friendship of his
accusers,

(7) In addition to the solemn taking and giving of the
Covenant, as attested in the above-mentioned testimonial,
he had publicly read the Covenant and the Exhortation



THE SUFFERINGS OF THE CLERGY 147

and obtained the signatures of the whole parish there-
unto.

(8) In his most secret desires he had ever been a hearty
well wisher to Reformation, but had been fearful of him-
self to innovate or alter anything established; any orders
from the Parliament or others in authority he would be one
of the first and forwardest to observe.

(9) He had permitted Mr. Goffe of East Grinstead to
preach in his parish. Mr. Goffe was not at that time se-
questered, and he did not know him to be obnoxious or
offensive to any one.

(10) He had not himself appointed his Curate, and until
this accusation he had no complaint concerning him.

Mr. Large's defence seems to have availed him nothing.
He was further accused of "being a profane Sabbath-
breaker in collecting tithes on the Lord's day, and of
being superstitiously inclined for breaking a cake over a
bride's head," and was sequestrated. 1

The Puritans were engaged in the endeavour to con-
struct a new heaven and a new earth. In such a revolution,
as in actual warfare, injustice may be done, and hardship
is inevitably caused to innocent individuals. But it is im-
possible to-day to form a satisfying judgement on such a
case as that of Mr. Large. The very fervour with which
post-Restoration parsons wrote 2 of the excellence of his
character, the base intrigues of his accusers, and the mer-
cenary motives of his judges, has a suspicious ring. It sug-
gests that perhaps Mr. Large was not so very earnest a
friend of the Parliament he professed to serve, and that
Cheynell may have been perfectly honest in his efforts to
get rid of a secret enemy. If Cheynell's methods were
devious (there is no real evidence that they were), that
would be nothing new in the history of religious bigotry.

We have drifted so far from the ideal of the English

1 Walker, Sufferings, ii, 279.

2 Walker's MSS. ; S. A. C., xxxi, 178-185.



148 SUSSEX IN THE GREAT CIVIL WAR

Puritans " a practical world based on Belief in God, such
as many centuries had seen before, but as never any cen-
tury since has been privileged to see " l we comprehend so
little of their ways of thought, that the inclination of man-
kind to distrust and dislike what it does not understand
asserts itself continually. We have been trained in a repug-
nance towards the habitual expression of the facts of the
world in the terms of religion, and this repugnance tends
to warp our historical judgement of those who used no other
language. We may do well to bear in mind Carlyle's ad-
vice, " by no means to credit the wide-spread report that
these seventeenth-century Puritans were superstitious crack-
brained persons ; given up to enthusiasm, the most part of
them ; the minor ruling part being cunning men, who knew
how to assume the dialect of the others, and thereby, as
skilful Macchiavels, to dupe them. This is a wide-spread
report; but an untrue one."

It was not only at the hands of the Committee of Plun-
dered Ministers that the clergy of Royalist and Episcopalian
sympathies suffered. As in the counties which stood to the
King, and in the University of Oxford, the Puritan clergy
were driven from their livings and employments, which
was, as we have seen, the prime occasion of the Committee's
appointment; so in Puritan Sussex an unsympathetic
soldiery was disposed to make short work of " malignant "
ministers. A Royalist account of certain proceedings at
Hastings of this nature has come down to us, and there is
no reason to suppose that its statements are, in the main,
otherwise than true. It is related 2 that on the morning of
Sunday, 9th July 1643, in time of divine service, Colonel
Morley, described by the narrator as " the crooked rebel of
Sussex," proceeded towards Hastings. Mr. Hinson, the
curate of All Saints', was informed of his coming, and
being aware that one end of the Colonel's Sabbath-day's

1 Carlyle, Cromwell, Intro., v.
- Mercurius Rusticus, p. 141.



THE SUFFERINGS OF THE CLERGY 149

journey was to apprehend him, broke off divine service in
the midst, and fled into a neighbouring wood to hide him-
self. The Colonel occupied the town with his body of
horse, secured the gates, and summoned the mayor and
jurats. He demanded that all arms in the town should be
given up to him, and having procured a waggon from one
of the jurats, Fray by name, sent them away to Battle.
That night some of the soldiers lay in Mr. Hinson's church,
and one Wicker, a common soldier, got up into the pulpit
and preached to his fellows. To show the fruits of his
doctrine, either the preacher or one of his auditors stole
the surplice. The parish clerk complained of this theft to
their Captain, Richard Cockeram of Rye, but all the
answer he got was : " Do not you think he loves a smock
as well as you?"

Colonel Morley now levied a money contribution from
the townsmen, Mr. Car, the parson of St. Clement's, and
Mr. Hinson being particularly specified. Mr. Car was not
at home, having fled at the news of Morley's approach, but
hearing of his departure for Battle, and thinking the storm
to be now blown over, he returned, and narrowly escaped
arrest by Morley's agents. Mr. Hinson was less fortunate.
Returning on Tuesday, he was arrested and confined in
the Town Hall, where his friends did not dare to visit him
for fear of being imprisoned themselves. A maid-servant*
who was accused of having carried letters from him, denied
having done so; whereupon she was told by one Barlow,
" a factious schismatic, who because heretofore his neigh-
bours of Hastings refused to concur with him in petitioning
against Episcopacy, joined and subscribed with those of
Rye," that she deserved to be put into the Ducking-house,
a prison for women, for denying it. Next day Mr. Hinson
was removed to the common gaol, and locked up in a most
loathsome place, where there was but one short bench, and
no company but a tinker. The tinker was " none of the
jovialest," but a stubborn, sullen fellow, who, pleading



150 SUSSEX IN THE GREAT CIVIL WAR

seniority in the place, took possession of the bench, and
" most unsociably kept it all night." After three weeks'
imprisonment, on the intercession of Master Besanno, a
Counsellor-at-Law, Mr. Hinson was sent up to London
under a strong guard, whence he escaped to Oxford, and
put himself under the King's protection.




SIR WILLIAM WALLER.



CHAPTER X

THE CLUBMEN

TO return to Arundel. On the very day that Waller
took possession of the castle, a large Spanish vessel,
the St. James of Dunkirk, was stranded at Heene, " near
Arundel." Heene is now a western suburb of Worthing,
and is distant from Arundel about ten miles. It appeared
that she had been chased by some Dutch men-of-war, and,
to avoid capture, had tried to make either for the river
Arun or the port of Shoreham. One account says that she
actually entered the Arun, and took the ground within half
a mile of Arundel Castle ; l another that she lay " at a
place called Shoarum"; 2 but these statements were prob-
ably due to the imagination of journalists in London, who
did not know where Heene was. Waller promptly took
possession of the ship, and went on board himself. He
reported the matter in a letter to the House, written at
Broadwater, close to Heene, on 8th January, and asked for
directions. 3 The Sf. James mounted 24 brass guns, and
contained 100 barrels of powder, and 2,000 arms, supposed
to be for the use of " the English-Irish that make havoc in
Cheshire," together with a great quantity of linen cloth.
Several Cavalier officers and persons of quality were on

' Mercurius Civicus, nth January 1644. This error is copied by
Mr. Godwin, Civil War in Hampshire, and by Mr. Hillier, The Sieges
of Arundel Castle; even by Mr. Blaauw, S. A. C., v.

1 The True Informer, I3th January 1644.

3 House of Commons Journals, loth January 1644.



152 SUSSEX IN THE GREAT CIVIL WAR

board. The value of the ship and cargo was estimated
to be 50,000 at least. 1 In reply to Waller's letter, the
House ordered him to secure the ship ; that the goods in
her should be safely stored in Arundel Castle, and none of
them embezzled or disposed of until it be known whether
she were prize; that the soldiers be assured that if she
proved prize they should receive a reward out of her; that
inventories of her lading should be made and sent up to
the Court of Admiralty and to the House.

This reply was no doubt a disappointment to Waller,
who then wrote to the House setting forth the condition of
his army and his prisoners, and requesting that the pro-
ceeds of the goods in the Dunkirk ship should be applied
to pay the arrears due to his soldiers. But the House
ordered that the goods should be re- shipped, and the vessel
brought round to London ; and that the Committee of the
Navy, and the judge of the Court of Admiralty do take care
for the speedy dispatch of the business. A letter was sent to
Waller thanking him for his care in the matter. 2

But there was no more " speedy dispatch " than is usual
in such cases. A month later Messrs. Maurice Thompson
and Co. laid an arrest on the ship " for reparation to be
made to them for damages sustained by the Dunkirkers." s
In August the House considered the matter, and also a
representation from the Spanish Ambassador on the sub-
ject, and it was referred to the Committee of the Navy to
decide what allowance should be made to Sir William
Waller's soldiers for salvage and conservation of the ship
and goods. 4 The result was that a sum of 4,000 was
awarded to Sir William Waller and his forces, and the ship
and her cargo were handed over to the Spanish Ambassador. 3
Waller's own share of the salvage was 700, and " a little

1 The Kingdom's Weekly Intelligencer, i6th February 1644.

- House of Commons Journals, i$th January 1644.
3 Ibid., loth February 1644.

* Ibid., 22nd August 1644. 5 Ibid., 4th October 1644.



THE CLUBMEN 153

painted cabinet and some toys, worth 12 or 14." were
presented to his wife by some of the merchants owning the
cargo, as a token of their thankfulness for the care he had
taken to preserve their goods. 1 It was no doubt only the
presence of Waller's army which had saved the vessel from
plunder. Not many years before, similar wrecks had
occurred, as related in letters of Sir W. Covert.

November 1629. " From Slaugham. A Dunkirk ship



Online LibraryCharles Thomas-StanfordSussex in the great Civil War and the interregnum, 1642-1660 → online text (page 13 of 30)