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was driven ashore at Worthing by the States men-of-war,
the crew of 66 were saved, but the country people accord-
ing to their inhuman custom had seized the goods and
spoilt the ship."

February 1630. "From Slaugham to the Lords Lieu-
tenant, the Earls of Arundel and Dorset. Another ship of
Dunkirk has been chased on shore at Brighthelmstone, the
inhabitants have saved the ordnance, and ask to keep
them." *

Fifty years later the Sussex attitude towards wrecks was
satirized by Congreve:

As Sussex men, that dwell upon the shore,
Look out when storms arise and billows roar,
Devoutly praying with uplifted hands,
That some well-laden ship may strike the sands,
To whose rich cargo they may make pretence
And fatten on the spoils of Providence." 3

Great scandal was caused among earnest Puritans by
some of the pictures found in the St. James. A large pic-
ture of the betrothal of St. Ursula, painted for the church
of Sta. Anna at Seville, was considered to have a political
import. On 5th June 1644, Colonel Herbert Morley wrote
from Arundel to the Speaker: " Amongst the goods taken
from the Dunkirk ships we have found certain pictures
which contain most gross idolatry; upon one, the Trinity

1 Waller's Vindication. 2 S. A. C., xlviii, 1 5.

:! Epilogue to The Mourning Bride.


pictured in monstrous shapes like giants; upon another is
painted the Virgin Mary as sitting in heaven with her babe
in her arms, underneath is the Pope, on whose left hand
stands our King perfectly limned and completely armed,
with his cavaliers attending him ; on the Pope's right hand
stands the Queen, accompanied with her ladies; the King
tenders his sceptre to the Queen, she accepts it not, but
directs it to be delivered to the Pope. This picture was
intended to be set up in the chief church of Seville, in
Spain, as appears by the direction on the outside of the
box in which it is enclosed. I look upon this picture as an
hieroglyphic of the causes and intents of our present
troubles, and the opinion of the neighbouring nations con-
cerning them, and if the House please to command the
picture to London, and there permit it to the public view,
I conceive 'twould very much convince the malignants, and
open the eyes of all that are not wilfully blind." l

The picture was sent up to London, as Morley suggested,
and exhibited in the Star Chamber. A rather ridiculous
controversy of pamphleteers arose as to its significance, in
which the Royalist side had distinctly the best. At Oxford,
on 8th July 1644, was published a pamphlet entitled The
Sea-Gull, or the new apparition in the Star-Chamber at
Westminster. Being a true and accurate description of a
large picture, exposed to public view, lively representing
the story of Conanus and Ursula (taken out of the Golden
Legend) most grossely mistaken for His Majesties tendring
the Scepter of his Kingdomes into the hands of the Queene
and Pope. 2 The writer tells at some length the story of
Conanus and Ursula, and urges that the picture was meant
to represent their affiancing. " Thousands," he says, " have
already swallowed this sea-gull . . . the picture itself was
made by one Gerarde de la Valle at Antwerp, as is exprest
in the bottom thereof, and intended to be set up in Saint

1 Portland MSS. (Hist. MSS. Com.), i, 178.

2 B.M., Thomason tracts: pressmark E. 54 (4).


Anne's Church in Seville in Spain, as appears by the super-
scription (upon the wooden case wherein this picture drawn
on cloth was rolled up, when it was taken near Arundel
Haven about Christmas last, in a ship belonging to one
Devoes, a merchant in Flanders). In which church, and
the like hallowed places, no pictures, or images of the living,
but only of departed saints canonized are hanged up. Unto
which Romanists perform an inferior kind of religious

" Spectatum admissi risum teneatis amici ?"

This argument might fitly have been considered un-
answerable; but it provoked a rather feeble rejoinder:
The Sussex picture, or an Answer to the Sea-gull.
London printed by F. N. July 29 1644.* The title is
adorned with a rude cut of the three chief figures of the
picture, which serves to support the Oxford writer's con-
tention. The central figure wears a bishop's mitre, not the
triple Papal crown; the gentleman on his left bears little
resemblance to Charles, and the lady to whom he tenders
a sceptre none whatever to Henrietta Maria. But the
writer is not daunted. " Reader if thou hast viewed that
stately picture which was lately sent up to the Parliament
by Colonel Morley and was taken in a Flemish ship upon
the Sussex shore: Thou hast beheld therein the weaker
sex triumphing over the stronger, and by the help of a
Mitre thou hast seen a sceptre doing homage to the distaff."
It must be owned that for once Oxford defeated London,
and that Colonel Morley's misplaced zeal brought some
ridicule on his party. The nightmare of Popery, the
tendency to attribute all the King's actions to the influence
of the French-born queen, was partly genuine, partly an
affectation for political ends.

Meantime the year 1644 was passing without any event
of great moment occurring in Sussex; but the Parliament's

1 B.M., Thomason tracts: pressmark E. 3 (21).


efforts to raise men and money were unceasing. On
25th January Lawrence Ashburnham, 1 who with Thomas
Middleton, William and Thomas Michelborne, Henry
Shelley, and Herbert Hay, had been appointed by the
Parliament a deputy-lieutenant of Sussex in the previous
month, wrote to the Mayor and jurats of Rye, informing
them, on the authority of Sir Thomas Pelham, Sir Thomas
Parker, and Colonel Morley, representing the Committee at
Lewes, that the army was in great want " by reason that
the provision money is not sent in according to the time
appointed." They were requested with all possible speed
to send the said money with all arrears to Mr. John
Aylwine at Lewes. The corporation endeavoured to
escape this contribution on the ground that they had not
received 200 promised by the Committee for the fortifica-
tion of the town, and drew a moving picture of the dangers
to which their ships and trade, and even the town itself,
were exposed from the King's privateers. 2

The captured castle of Arundel was being used as a
magazine; on 24th February the Committee of both king-
doms ordered 100 barrels of gunpowder to be laid into the
castle for the store and use of Sir William Waller. The
importance of fully securing Chichester against a surprise
was realized, and in April Colonel Stapley, the governor,
was ordered to increase the garrison to 800 men. 3 He was
at the same time urged to hasten the despatch of the
county contingent to Waller. This refers to an ordinance
dated 3ist March 1644* for raising 3,000 foot and 1,200
horse and 500 dragoons to be commanded by Sir William
Waller, Serjeant-Major-General of the associated counties
of Hants, Surrey, Sussex, and Kent. The money con-
tingent for Sussex was ;68o i6.y. In June Colonel Apsley,

1 Cousin of John Ashburnham, the King's Treasurer and attendant;
one of many instances of the political division of families.

2 Rye MSS. (Hist. MSS. Com., xiii, 4), p. 214.

3 Cal. S. P. Dom., Chas. I, di, 65. * Dallaway, i, cxxix.


member for Steyning, was actively endeavouring to raise a
regiment in Sussex, for and by authority of Sir William
Waller, but the gentlemen of the county objected on the
ground that the burden of supporting the officers would
annoy the inhabitants; Waller was therefore desired to
cancel his commission to Apsley, which he did willingly,
" the rather because I would not have anything to do with
the gentlemen of Sussex, from whom I have received
nothing but constant incivilities." l

In September Sir William Waller requested the Com-
mittee of both kingdoms to send speedily to Arundel
Castle a supply of sixty barrels of gunpowder, with match
and ball proportionable. " In this extremity we must raise
all the strength we can, though we think of paying them
afterwards." '' In October " the Committee of Arundel
Castle " wrote to the House of Commons concerning the
compounding with the principal delinquents of Sussex, 3
whose estates had been sequestered, and were being held
by the Sussex Committee : " We gratefully acknowledge
your favour in granting us our sequestered rents, to main-
tain our garrisons; but such are the deadness of the times
and the malignity of the people, that much land lies waste,
and none will use any but at very low rents, so that these
rents do not rise to the value that is supposed. We hear
that some of our chief malcontents are to be admitted to a
fine, and enjoy their estates again ; but we stand more in
need than ever of their revenues ; and if these should be so
lightly discharged, upon the approach of the enemy we
cannot expect to have any ill-affected continued under the
notions of neuters or malignants; it would create great
discontents and disheartenings in the best affected party.
The names of the chief [delinquents] are the Earl of

1 Dallaway, dii, 3, 7. One instance of this " incivility " was doubt-
less the action of Colonel Stapley after the fall of Arundel. See


2 Ibid., diii, i . 3 See ante, ch. viii.


Thanet, Sir Edw. Bishop, Sir Edw. Ford, and Col. Jno.
Apsley." The House referred the letter to the Committee
for Compounding at Goldsmiths' Hall. 1 The local com-
mittees naturally preferred sequestration, under which they
held the estates and received the rents, to a composition,
when the fine would be paid to the central authority, and
used by it elsewhere. Of the fine of 5,000 first imposed
on the Earl of Thanet, 3,000 was lent by the Goldsmiths'
Hall Committee for the payment of Abingdon garrison on
security of 3,000 worth of the King's plate, to be delivered
to the Committee by Sir Henry Mildmay, and to be melted
in three months if the money remain unpaid. 2

During the summer of 1644 Colonel Morley, with "Sixe
Colours 3 of Blew " from Sussex, was occupied at the siege
of Basing, in Hampshire, the magnificent and strongly
fortified house of the Marquis of Winchester. Morley 's
" pikes and muskets " were quartered in the park. With
the other colonels present he received through Mr. Lisle,
M.P. for Winchester, the thanks of the House for his " good
service." Towards the end of June Colonel Norton, who
had been in command of the besieging forces, was with-
drawn, and instructed to place himself at the service of
Major-General Browne, who was to co-operate with Sir
William Waller in the intended siege of Oxford. Morley
was left in command, and brought great energy to the con-
duct of the siege. 4 He mounted culverins weighing nearly
36 cwt. each, which poured 18 Ib. shot into the house. By
the first week of July he had brought the siege works
within pistol shot. Having received reinforcements from
Southampton on nth July, he next day summoned the

1 Cal. Com. for Compounding, 12-13. 2 Ibid., 12.

3 Companies.

* Mercurius Civicus, No. 61, i7-25th July 1644. "The siege of
Basing House is still closely continued by Col. Jones, Col. Morley, and
Col. Onslow, and great probability there is daily of the taking or sur-
render thereof, the house being now very much battered and defaced
in many places."


Marquis to surrender, sending "by a drum this harsh
demand ":


" To avoid the effusion of Christian blood I have
thought fit to send your Lordship this summons to demand
Basing House to be delivered to me for the use of King
and Parliament: if this be refused the ensuing inconveni-
ence will rest upon you. I desire your speedy answer, and
Rest, my Lord, your humble servant


To which Lord Winchester returned an answer marked
" Hast, hast, hast, post hast."

" SIR,

" It is a crooked demand, and shall receive its answer
suitable. I keep this House in the Right of my Soveraigne,
and will do it in despight of your Forces. Your letter I
will preserve in testimony of your Rebellion.


The besieging forces under Morley now numbered some
3,000 horse and foot. Some of the chimneys of the house
had been battered down, and a few small breaches had
been made. 1 On 2Oth July a captain in Morley's regiment
was killed by a shot from the works. About the same time
Colonel Norton returned and resumed command. During
August the garrison suffered severely from small-pox.
The King himself is said to have counselled surrender, but
the stout old lord replied " that under His Majesty's favour,
the place was his, and that he was resolved to keep it as
long as he could." On loth August Colonel Morley, while
inspecting the works in the park, was wounded by a bullet
in the shoulder, " which spoiled his clearkship ever since."

After eighteen weeks' siege Basing House was relieved

1 True Informer, i3th July 1644.


by a force from Oxford under Colonel Gage, with whom
was a body of horse under Sir William Campion, which
drove off the besiegers, and placed a fresh supply of
powder and match in the house, and added 100 musketeers
to the garrison. In Norton's retreat "we took," says Gage,
" a colour or cornet of theirs, which I understand was
Colonel Morley's, the motto of which was Non ab Aequo
sed in Aequo [' Victory is not by Right but in Right '], a
motto not so proper to theirs, as our cause, the equity of
which gave us the victory with the true and genuine
signification of the motto." l

Basing House held out until October 1645, when it was
stormed and sacked by Cromwell. 2

During the latter part of 1644 infantry raised in Sussex
was employed in Dorsetshire, apparently under Sir Anthony
Ashley Cooper, where its services were not greatly appre-
ciated. In some memoranda drawn up by Cooper for
Governor Bingham of Poole, it is stated (i) " That if they
cannot immediately send us a supply of Horse, orders be
forthwith sent for the withdrawal of the Sussex Foot and
the rest to be disposed into their several garrisons; the
keeping them together in a body devours that provision
which should be sent into the garrisons and destroys the
country besides the few Horse we have, not above 100,
are wholly taken up with providing for them"; (2) ". . . we
shall be better able to submit without than with the Sussex
foot." 3

The loyalty of some of the gentry and members of Parlia-
ment, who had hitherto adhered to the Parliamentary side,
was now beginning to be called in question. Thomas

1 Gage's Official Report.

* For a detailed account of the proceedings at Basing see Godwin's
Civil War in Hampshire.

3 The Civil War in Dorset, 1642-1660, by A. R. Bayley, Taunton,
1910 ; a work of great research, the value of which is much diminished
by the absence of an adequate Index.


Middleton had already fallen under suspicion; 1 and on
1 6th October 1644 a petition was delivered at the door of
the House " by divers ministers and well-affected per-
sons of Sussex," complaining of Sir T. Pelham and Sir
T. Parker; and on 2gth October John Ashford was de-
nounced to it " in consequence of the resort and great
meeting of people ill affected to this House." All these
matters were referred to the Committee, and especially to
W. Cawley. 2 There was a proposal at this time to de-
molish " many strong houses " in Sussex, especially Cow-
dray; but it was postponed on the ground that it would
have a very bad effect on the county. When the proposal
was made to the Committee of both kingdoms, strong
objections to it were raised, and the Committee wondered
at the Sussex Committee's intention. 3 But the obstinate
resistance of Basing House doubtless made the Parliament
nervous as to the possibility of similar proceedings else-
where. It was accordingly determined to garrison Cow-
dray, and Mr. Cawley consented to be governor if he were
granted 120 foot and 10 horse, with provision and ammu-
nition necessary; 4 and later, Colonel Morley was instructed
to put more or less men into Cowdray House as occasion
required. 5 The decisive defeat of the Royal army at New-
bury, on 2/th October, relieved the pressure on the
Southern counties, and it was decided that it was unneces-
sary either to demolish or garrison the houses previously
discussed, the Parliament believing that " the situation of
these places may be their own garrison." 6 It was also
ordered that the county forces should not be assembled
till further notice, and that the defence of the county
should be entrusted to Colonel Morley's regiment. Having
been much weakened by reason of its late service at Basing
House, it was to be made up to its strength of 800 men

1 See p. 80. 2 S. A. C., v, 72.

3 Cal. S. P. Dom., Chas. I, diii, 10. 4 Ibid., 13.

5 Ibid., S3- 6 Ibid., 40.



out of the trained bands until recruits could be sent up to
replace them. 1

But the calm was not long-lived. In January 1645 there
was great Royalist activity on the western borders of the
county ; and on the 8th the Committee of both kingdoms
wrote to the Committee of Sussex : " The forces of the
enemy growing strong in the west, if they meet not with a
speedy check are like to endanger the port towns, and so
wholly subject that county as to be able to draw levies and
supplies from thence to infest your borders lying next
them and also lengthen out the war. We have designed a
great party of horse and dragoons immediately to march
thither for their removal, and therefore desire that 500
dragoons' horses may be had out of cos. Kent, Sussex and
Surrey." 2 At the same time it was ordered that 1,000 foot
should march from Reading to oppose the enemy about
Sussex; and that Colonels Stapley and Morley, being
deputy-lieutenants, should call the trained bands into
Arundel and Chichester for the defence of those towns.
These preparations were rendered necessary by the designs
on Sussex of George Goring, recently appointed Royalist
lieutenant-general of Hampshire, Sussex, Surrey, and
Kent. 3 In December 1644 he was sent into Hampshire
" upon a design of his own of making an incursion into Sus-
sex, where he pretended he had correspondence, and that
very many well-affected persons promised to rise and de-
clare for the King, and that Kent would do the same." 4 In
pursuance of this design he advanced as far as Farnham,
attacked Christchurch and was repulsed, and then took up
his winter quarters at Salisbury. He laid the blame of his
failure on the defects of his army and the disobedience of
his officers, and used these pretexts to obtain greater inde-
pendence and larger powers. 5

1 Cal. S. P. Dom., Chas. I, diii, 54. 2 Ibid., dvi, 10.

3 Black, Oxford Docquets, p. 244. 4 Clarendon, Rebellion, ix, 7.

5 D. N. B. ; Warburton's Cavaliers, iii, 46, 52.


Its indecisive character is perhaps the most striking fea-
ture of the war during these first two years. In Sussex,
Chichester had twice been captured, Arundel had thrice
fallen, and still there was constant fear as to a repetition of
such events. Either party was able on occasion to put into
the field a sufficient force to effect much in the absence of
its opponents ; neither could organize an army adequate to
bring a campaign to a triumphant and definite conclusion. 1
" Our victories," said a Parliamentary orator, in December
1644, "the price of blood invaluable, so gallantly gotten,
and, which is more pity, so graciously bestowed, seem to
have been put into a bag with holes ; what we won one
time we lost another. The treasure is exhausted; the
country is wasted. A summer's victory has proved but a
winter's story. The game however shut up in autumn has
to be new played again next spring ; as if the blood that
has been shed were only to manure the ground for a new
crop of contention. Men's hearts have failed them with
the observation of these things." 2 Six months before Sir
William Waller had plainly told Parliament that an army
compounded of local levies would never do their business.
" Till you have an army merely your own," said he, " that
you may command, it is impossible to do anything of im-
portance." 3 The army which Waller had foreshadowed
was brought into being by the genius and perseverance of
Fairfax and Cromwell. The scheme for the New Model
passed the Commons on 2/th January 1645, and the Lords
on 1 5th February. The end was already in sight.

In February and March Parliament was taking steps to
" raise, levy and impress men for the new army of Sir
Thomas Fairfax." Sussex was directed to provide 600
men. 4 Orders sent out at this time enjoined that especial
care be taken in the choice of able, full-grown and well

1 See Firth, Cromwell's Army, p. 30. a Rushworth, vi, 4.

3 Gardiner, Great Civil War, ii, 5.

4 Cal. S. P. Dom., Chas. I, dvi, 72.


clothed men meet for this employment ; that care be taken
in the choice of conductors and assistance afforded them to
keep their men from straggling and pilfering the country as
they go, or from departing from their colours ; and that the
men so impressed be commodiously provided, as had
formerly been the practice, with red coats faced with blue. 1
Sussex was also ordered to provide a money contingent of
j3>9 2 7 1 S S - 6%d- to be paid by monthly instalments. 2

The scare concerning the fortification of Sussex houses
in the Royalist interest was not yet over. In April the
County Committee was warned from London that the
enemy had a design of fortifying Sir Richard Norton's
house at Rotherfield, which if effected would be of very
great inconvenience to those parts; and was desired to
take means to prevent such mischief and to consult with
the gentlemen of Surrey as to what steps were advisable. 3
There was a good deal of unrest in the south-eastern
counties at this time, and a Kentish regiment was in open
mutiny. 4

On loth May Algernon Sidney was appointed Governor
of Chichester, in place of Colonel Stapley ; and a month
later he received instructions to put the town in a thorough
state of defence, to resist an advance of the enemy either
from Oxford or from the west ; and to keep careful guard
that he might not be surprised by any inconsiderable party
which might make an attempt. 5 The famous Algernon
Sidney, son of the second Earl of Leicester, was at this
time only twenty-three years of age, and at the threshold
of the remarkable career which ended on the scaffold after
the discovery of the Rye-House Plot in 1683.

Critical as the position in West Sussex seems to have
been considered, the exigences of the besiegers of Basing
House overruled every other consideration. Colonel Sidney

1 Cal. S. P. Dom., Chas. I, dvi, 72. 2 Dallaway, i, cxxix.

3 Cal. S. P. Dom., Chas. I, dvii, 2. 4 Ibid., 27.

' Ibid.) 120.


was ordered to find 400 men for the siege, 300 from
Chichester and 100 from Arundel; 1 and shortly afterwards
an urgent demand for 100 musketeers was made; the Com-
mittee of Sussex at the same time to find 100 dragoon
horses. 2 These contingents, we learn, were " sent forth with
much cheerfulness." 8

The cheerfulness was perhaps only a Parliamentary
euphemism to encourage the other counties. There is
evidence that after more than two years of indecisive war-
fare the country was getting thoroughly tired of the pro-
ceedings of both factions. The Royalists, especially the
forces under Rupert and Goring, had acquired the worst
reputation for plunderings and high-handed action, but the
presence of either army was a great burden to the in-
habitants. The county of Surrey took the lead in urging
the great grievance it endured from the practice of free
quartering, and used the very practical argument of its in-
ability to quarter an army and to pay taxes at the same
time. On loth February 1645 the Committee wrote to Sir
William Waller that they received a petition, presented by
divers gentlemen and inhabitants of Surrey to the House
of Commons, and recommended from the county in a
special manner, representing the sufferings of that county,
especially the western part, by the long free quartering of
soldiers, both horse and foot, now under his command
amongst them; who, notwithstanding former orders for
their removal before this time, did yet continue there and
commit many insufferable outrages upon men's persons
and estates. They therefore earnestly desired him to com-
mand those forces speedily to remove into other quarters
out of that county, that it might no longer be disabled from

Online LibraryCharles Thomas-StanfordSussex in the great Civil War and the interregnum, 1642-1660 → online text (page 14 of 30)