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paying the taxes required from it. 4

On 25th April a letter of similar purport was sent to
Sir Thomas Fairfax. Some troops of Haselrig's were lying

1 Cal. S. P. Dom., Chas. I, dvii, 104. * Ibid., 118.

3 Ibid., 123. 4 Ibid., dvi, 41.



166 SUSSEX IN THE GREAT CIVIL WAR

in Surrey upon free quarter, and exorbitant warrants were
being given out for provisions, Fairfax was requested to
see that no more such warrants were given out; that what
had been taken was paid for, and that the counties from
which his contributions were to come should not have
troops quartered upon them. 1 At a later date we shall find
Sussex suffering from a similar grievance.

The discontent of the non-combatants in the southern
counties was now ripe for an explosion. " The people in
Kent and Sussex," it was said, " are very much given to
dispute with their masters' taxes, and speak high and do
some small matters." 2 Isolated instances of resistance by
peasants to plunder or extortion had previously occurred.
In February 1644 two soldiers were killed by the villagers
of Nuthurst, near Horsham. The culprits were sent to
Arundel to be tried by Court-martial, but Parliament, on
a petition from Horsham, ordered them to be delivered to
the Civil authorities. 3 In 1645 the smouldering fires of dis-
content broke into flame in the form of a rising of the
country people on the plausible grounds of protecting
themselves against the plunder and harassment of both
armies. It seems to have originated in Wilts and Dorset,
with a meeting, on 25th May, of 4,000 farmers and yeo-
men to appoint an organized body of watchmen to seize
plunderers, and to carry them for punishment to the nearest
garrison of the party to which they belonged. 4 But it was
found impossible to get the officers to do justice on their
own men, and on 3Oth June the farmers resolved to inflict
the punishment themselves, and also to afford protection
to deserters from any service into which they had been
pressed unwillingly.

1 Cal. S. P. Dom., Chas. I, dvi, 34.

a Arthur Trevor to the Marquis of Ormond, 8th May, 1645 (Carte's
Collections, p. 85).

3 Carte's Collection, quoted in Hurst's Horsham, p. 19.
' Gardiner, Civil War, ch. xxxii.



THE CLUBMEN 167

This movement of the Clubmen, as they were called
because they were armed with rough and rustic weapons,
rapidly assumed the proportions of an open revolt, directed
in the main against the Parliament ; but in Somerset, which
had suffered from the depredations of the Royalist leader,
Lord Goring, inclined to favour his opponents. The design
was perhaps at bottom Royalist; the country folk, the
great mass of whom were neutrals, being worked upon by
the Royalist gentry and clergy. 1 The rapid extension of
the movement emboldened its leaders, who presumed to
send messages both to King and Parliament, demanding
that peace should forthwith be made, and the armies dis-
missed to their homes. Holies, the leader of the Dorset
Clubmen, told Fairfax that if their terms were not granted
they were strong enough to enforce obedience. Fairfax
would soon be engaged with Goring ; if he got the worst of
the fight, every fugitive would be knocked on the head
without mercy. Fairfax pointed out with admirable temper
that it was impossible to accept their demands. At all
costs he must hold the port-towns to prevent a foreign in-
vasion. The King had already made contracts to bring in
10,000 French and 4,000 Irish. 2

The aspirations and designs of the Clubmen are well
expressed in the manifesto of a " peaceable meeting " of the
knights, gentlemen, freeholders, and others, the inhabitants
of the county of Berks. This declaration- expressed that
the miserable inhabitants of the county, foreseeing famine
and utter desolation for themselves, their wives, and their
children, unanimously joined in petitioning his Majesty
and the two Houses of Parliament for a happy peace and
accommodation of the present differences without further
effusion of Christian blood. In the meantime they de-
clared that they really intended to the utmost hazard of
their lives and liberties to defend and maintain the true

1 Carlyle, Cromwell, Letter XXX. 2 Rushworth, vi, 52.



1 68 SUSSEX IN THE GREAT CIVIL WAR

Reformed Protestant religion ; to join with and assist one
another in the mutual defence of their laws, liberties, and
properties against all plunderers and all other unlawful
violence whatsoever ; they resolved and faithfully promised
each to other that if any person or persons concurring with
them should suffer in his person or estate in execution of
their objects, it should be the suffering of the generality,
and reparation be made to the party suffering, and in case
of loss of life provision should be made for his wife and
children. 1

According to Locke, the movement had been originated
by Anthony Cooper, afterwards first Earl of Shaftesbury,
then a young man of twenty-four. He had abandoned the
King's cause in the previous year, but was perhaps not
very enthusiastic for that of the Parliament. His influence
was very great in Wilts and Dorset. In the latter county
Cromwell himself was set the task of dealing with the
trouble. Having failed to draw them into a discussion of
grievances, he attacked a large body of Clubmen who had
occupied an old Roman or British camp on Hambledon
Hill, near Shaftesbury, and put them all to flight. In his
letter to Fairfax he says : " We have taken about 300 ;
many of which are poor silly creatures, whom if you please
to let me send home, they promise to be very dutiful for
time to come, and ' will be hanged before they come out
again.' " 2 There was abundant evidence " how deeply
Royalist this scheme of Clubmen had been : Commissions
for raising regiments of Clubmen; the design to be ex-
tended over England at large, yea, into the Associated
Counties " 3 such papers were found on the person of Sir
Lewis Dives at the capture of Sherborne Castle. 4

From Wiltshire the revolt soon spread into Hampshire,

1 Portland MSS. (Hist. MSS. Com.), i, 247.

2 Carlyle, Cromwell, Letter XXX.

3 Ibid. ; Sprigge, Anglia Rediviva, p. 81.

4 Ibid., pp. 90-96.



iTHE CLUBMEN 169

and thence into Sussex. On i8th and igth September
Mr. Cawley and the Sussex Committee reported " divers
outrageous proceedings" of 1,000 Clubmen at Rowkeshill,
near Chichester. On the previous day a meeting of 600
Clubmen had been held on Runcton * Down, and a meet-
ing at Bury Hill, near Arundel, on the following Monday
arranged for. Prompt measures were taken. Colonel Nor-
ton Cromwell's friend " idle Dick " was ordered to march
into Sussex, where he was to be reinforced by 1,000 horse
and by the county trained-bands, if their fidelity could be
trusted. 2 The Committee for Hants, Surrey, and Sussex
were directed to consult " how to prevent any inconvenience
that may happen by reason of the Clubmen," and to se-
quester the estates of all recusants. Meantime, before
daybreak on Sunday, 2ist September, Colonel Morley and
Captain Morley, then governor of Arundel, had sent Major
Young to fall 'on the head-quarters of the Clubmen at Wal-
berton, and dispersed them, as related by an eye-witness
in a communication to Mr. Speaker Lenthall. 3 " This third
party, not having the least show or pretence of any au-
thority, and contrary to the chiefest power of this king-
dom, the Parliament called by his Majesty at Westminster,
tumultuously assembled themselves together, not only in
the west, but also through their instigations have caused
many thousands of the ignorant in the adjacent counties
to rise up together with them as far as Hampshire. Divers
of which county, not contented with their own preposterous
courses, have proceeded to inveigle divers people of the
next adjacent county of Sussex to follow their evil courses,
amongst which they have prevailed upon one Aylen, son
to one Mr. Aylen, formerly Captain of a trained-band, also

1 ? Duncton. 2 Cal. S. P. Dom., Chas. I, dx, 128, 139.

3 A true Relation of the Rising of the Club-men in Sussex, as it was
related to William Lenthall, Esq: Speaker to the Honorable House of
Commons, by an eyewitness of the same. Published by Authority.
London : printed for John Field, Sept. 23, 1645. B.M. E 302 (18).



i;o SUSSEX IN THE GREAT CIVIL WAR

one Mr. Peckham, besides some of the Fords, and some
others yeomen of the said county, to join together as ring-
leaders in a confederacy with the vulgar multitude. Who,
being ignorant of manners, much more of such things as
concern their liberty and peace, did accordingly send for
warrants into the several towns and hamlets next adjoining
Hampshire, as also in and about Midhurst, to join with
them in keeping of a general rendezvous upon Runcton
Hill, which is between Midhurst and Chichester in the
said county, which was accordingly done last Wednesday.
Since which time they have further proceeded to call in
the rest of the country betwixt Chichester and Arundel to
join with them in a general rendezvous to be held at Bury
Hill within one mile of Arundel upon Monday the two
and twentieth of this present. Many people of the said
places, especially about Eastergate, and Walberton, and
so down to the sea-side, and upon the western side of the
River of Arundel towards Petworth have joined with them,
and drawing themselves into great numbers upon Saturday
the twentieth of this present, they kept their quarters at
Walberton and divers other places thereabouts. Their
number being greatly increased, and they rendering no
account of their said tumultuous proceedings, the honor-
able Colonel Morley, Captain Morley, Governor of Arundel
Castle, and Major Young, upon consultation thought fit to
fall on them in their quarters at Walberton, as being the
next place to them, and within five miles of Arundel,
hoping thereby to dishearten and disappoint them in con-
tinuing their tumultuous proceedings. And accordingly
upon Sunday morning about three hours before day, Major
Young with about ten horsemen and forty footmen fell
upon them in their quarters at Walberton, killed him who
went to ring the bells as the most dangerous man, by his
doings, to call in the rest of their adherents to their aid,
which by his death was prevented ; whereupon the rest of
them so far lost their courage, that everyone shifted for



THE CLUBMEN 171

themselves, and fled all save two malignant ministers, and
some other stragglers of that place, who were taken pri-
soners, and are committed in safe custody unto Arundel
Castle, where it is believed they shall receive, according to
their demerits, such exemplary punishment as will give
good warning to the rest of their tribe to beware how
they follow them, and proceed in the like preposterous
courses."

On 26th September Colonel Norton reported that he
had put down the Hampshire Clubmen, and added: "I
hope this will be a warning to Sussex; if not we shall be
ready to serve them the like trick." l His troopers " cut
and hackt many of them, took all their chiefs, ringleaders
and about 1,000 arms, which made their neighbours in
Sussex to shrink in their heads, and we hear most of them
are departed to their own homes." *

Sussex, however, continued in a very unsettled state. On
7th October it was reported to Parliament that of the 400
men appointed from the county, only 269 had joined Fair-
fax's army. On I3th October William Cawley wrote to
Robert Scawen 3 complaining that by reason of the Club-
men's insurrection they could raise neither men nor money
for Sir Thomas Fairfax's army nor upon any other ordin-
ance ; they would not suffer the officers to impress, and if
any were impressed they were forcibly rescued, a constable
or tithingman being sometimes sent with the blood running
about his ears. Wherefor of 67 to be impressed in Chichester
rape, there were brought in only 27, whom they were forced
to maintain at a great charge for fourteen days, and then
sent to Lieutenant-General Cromwell at Winchester. The
remaining 40 they would endeavour to raise if the House
would authorize them to apprehend the principal fomentors,
and so punish them that by their example others might
be affrighted from attempting the like. And they were in

1 Hist. MSS. Com., Rep. x (6), 163.

2 Kingdom's Weekly Intelligencer. 3 M.P. for Berwick.



172 SUSSEX IN THE GREAT CIVIL WAR

no better case for money. It was one of the Clubmen's
articles to pay only such taxes as they pleased, the fruits
of which were that of over 4,000 due less than .100 had
been brought in since the first rising. No collector dared
to distrain for fear of having his brains dashed out, the
servants and women rising together to resist armed with
prongs and other weapons, so that of eight months' due
upon Sir Thomas Fairfax's army not two months' was yet
brought in. All this would be easily remedied if the House
authorized the Committee to sequester the ringleaders, fine
the rest, and disarm all ; but until that was done, it was in
vain for them to issue their warrants, their persons being
scorned and threatened and the House's authority abused
and derided. 1

The conferring of the powers requested no doubt ter-
minated the trouble, of which we hear no more.

With the fall of Winchester and of Basing House in
October 1645 the tide of war rolled away from Hampshire
and Sussex. Cromwell, in urging the complete demolition
of Basing, suggested that a strong post should be made of
Newbury, not only as a check on Donnington Castle, which
still held out for the King, but on account of its strategic
importance, and to keep open the road between London
and Bristol. Part of the garrison was to be composed of
men taken from the garrisons of Farnham and Chichester.
" I believe," he wrote to Lenthall, " the gentlemen of Sussex
and Hampshire will with more cheerfulness contribute to
maintain a garrison on the frontier than in their bowels,
which will have less safety in it." 2

Such appears to have been the opinion of Sussex. When
the Scottish Convention undertook in 1643 to send an
army into England to assist the Parliament, on the under-
standing that 30,000 per month should be found for its
support, a loan of 200,000 was ordered to be raised for

1 Portland MSS. (Hist. MSS. Com.), i, 289.

2 Carlyle, Cromwell, Letter XXXII.



THE CLUBMEN 173

the purpose. Towards this loan Sussex was assessed at
^13,500. In the early part of 1645 some correspondence
passed on the subject of this assessment, a portion of
which was still unpaid. 1 In the following January Colonel
Anthony Stapley wrote from Lewes to the Speaker en-
closing a petition from a considerable body of the in-
habitants of the county asking repayment of part of the
money lent by them towards the ^200,000 for the Scottish
loan out of the sequestrations of the county; and urging
that the garrison of Chichester, which was maintained out
of the sequestrations, might be dissolved as useless. 2 This
request was granted, and on 2nd March 1646 an order was
made " that the ordnance at Chichester be brought to
Arundel Castle, that Chichester be disgarrisoned, and the
fortifications made since the troubles demolished."

The garrisons had already been denuded of troops. On
8th November the Committee of both kingdoms had de-
sired the Committee of Sussex to send a troop of horse
and all the foot they could spare for the strengthening of
the garrison at Abingdon, these forces to be entertained at
the State's charge, and their arms, if damaged, to be made
good out of the public stores.

Although, as we have seen, no event of the first import-
ance occurred in Sussex during the year 1645 and the first
half of 1646, there were many indications of the changing
position of affairs. It was a period fraught with momentous
consequences to the country at large, and therefore indi-
rectly to the county. It marked the rise, organization, and
complete success of the New Model Army, the gradual
decay of the King's power, and his crushing defeat at
Naseby, which lost him the Midlands as Marston Moor
had lost him the North, and left the final issue of the
struggle no longer in doubt. For a year more the royal
flag flew over an ever-diminishing number of towns and

1 Cal. S. P. Dom., Chas. I, dvii, 154.

2 Portland MSS. (Hist. MSS. Com.), i, 347.



174 SUSSEX IN THE GREAT CIVIL WAR

fortresses, but with the flight of Charles to the Scots in
May 1646, and the surrender of Oxford a month later, the
First Civil War may be considered finished. The New
Model, the instrument by which this result was achieved,
was destined to be a deadlier foe to Parliamentary inde-
pendence than any sovereign, and to usurp the functions
of government for many a year to come. Its inception was
a phase in the struggle between the two parties into which
Parliament was divided, the Presbyterians and the Inde-
pendents. Taken in conjunction with the Self-denying
Ordinance, requiring all members of either House to resign
their commands, it got rid of the Essexes, the Man-
chesters, and other Presbyterian leaders, and placed the
military power in the hands of new men, chiefly Inde-
pendents, among whom Cromwell was rapidly rising to a
pre-eminent position. This change amounted to a com-
plete revolution in the civil and military executive. The
forces of the Parliament, hitherto composed of separate
bodies of local militia, were consolidated into a regular
army of professional soldiers. As Cromwell himself ex-
plained in many speeches and letters, the New Model was
simply his own troop of East Anglian horse enlarged. And
it was more than an army. It was an organized body of
radical reformers, with very definite objects both in the
spiritual and the civil sphere. "In things spiritual they
were Independent, or earnest for entire liberty of con-
science; in things civil they were already tending to the
Commonwealth, to political and social revolution." l

The scheme of the New Model provided for the estab-
lishment of a force of 21,000 men, with regular pay
dependent on the monthly payment of taxes regularly
imposed, and not on the fluctuating attention of a political
assembly, or the still more doubtful goodwill of County
Committees. These taxes were to be assessed on the

1 Harrison, Cromwell, p. 85.



THE CLUBMEN i;5

counties least exposed to the stress of war, whilst those in
which the conflict was raging might be left to support the
local garrisons and any special force employed for their
defence. 1 We have seen how Sussex fared in this con-
nection.

But though the Self-denying Ordinance eliminated the
Presbyterian peers, who had hitherto commanded the
Parliamentary forces, in the selection of officers for the New
Model Army, the Independents were true to their prin-
ciples, not only in making no inquiry into religious tenets,
but in paying no attention to distinctions of rank un-
accompanied by public service or personal merit " I had
rather," Cromwell had once written, " have a plain russet-
coated Captain that knows what he fights for, and loves
what he knows, than that which you call 'a gentleman,' and
is nothing else. I honour a gentleman that is so indeed." 2
The upper class did not come badly out of the test. Among
the new military leaders were Hewson the cobbler and
Pride the drayman; but the gentry were largely repre-
sented in the list of officers. It has been calculated that
" out of thirty-seven generals and colonels " who took part
in the first great battle, " twenty-one were commoners of
good families, nine were members of noble families, and
only seven were not gentlemen by birth." 3

Of the new army Sir Thomas Fairfax was made Com-
mander-in-Chief ; and he laboured earnestly and with suc-
cess to perfect its organization. " The voice was the voice
of Fairfax ; but the hands were the hands of Oliver." 4

The control of the iron-foundries in Kent and Sussex
was of great importance to the Parliament a fact to which

1 Com. of B. K. Day Book, 6th January 1645. Gardiner, Civil War,
ch. xxv.

2 Carlyle, Cromwell, Letter XVI.

3 Markham, The Great Lord Fairfax, 199; Gardiner, Civil War,
ch. xxviii.

4 Harrison, Cromwell, p. 84.



i;6 SUSSEX IN THE GREAT CIVIL WAR

historians have not always given its due prominence. At
this time it appears that the Parliament was dependent for
its supply of ordnance on Mr. John Browne of Brede, in
Sussex, and Horsemonden in Kent. The furnace at Brede
had formerly belonged to the Sackvilles; it was sold about
1693 by the Brownes to the Westerns of Essex. 1 John
Browne was very busy during the Civil War making guns
and ammunition both for the army and the fleet. In the
naval estimates of iQth March 1645, provision is made for
the following iron ordnance and shot to be supplied by
John Browne for " the next summer's fleet."

16 demi-culverins and 10 sakers . . . ,428 15 o

20 saker drakes and 4 demi-culverin cuts . . 416 o o

10 minion cuts . . ; ". ' . 115 10 o

Round shot for the several species of ordnance 1392 17 2

Bars of iron . ... 29 17 4

Hand grenades for demi-culverins and sakers . 125 o o 2

In June of the same year a letter from Thomas Walsing-
ham, of Kent, to Lord Digby, fell into the hands of the
Parliament. Walsingham strongly urged a Royal advance
into Sussex and Kent; "be assured," he said, "of the
people there, especially Mr. Browne, the King's gun-
founder who makes all the cannon and bullet for the
Parliament's service. My advice is that his Majesty march
thither with 4,000 horse and foot, and ten days before to
send intelligence to Mr. Browne, so that he may come
from London into Kent, where his works are, and against
the King's coming he will provide cannon and bullet, so
that his Majesty need not bring any with him. The rebels
have no guns or bullets but from him, and that from hand
to mouth, there being none in the Tower, which he is
forced to provide, else they would put others into his
works. He hath not provided half so much bullets as was

1 S. A. C., ii, 207.

2 Cal. S. P. Dom., Chas. I, dix. Letters and Papers relating to
the Navy.



THE CLUBMEN 177

required for this expedition. If the King come into these
counties he will deprive the rebels of all the ammunition
and guns wherewith they fight against him. The King's
forces should bring along with them musket moulds and
he will provide lead, and then it cannot be doubted that
the country will rise generally and be glad to express their
true affection to his Majesty. By this means the King will
not only gain this country, but all the works which now
make the ammunition to fight against him, and so deprive
the rebels of all their resources by sea and land to offend
his Majesty any longer." l

The House naturally regarded this as a serious matter,
and ordered the examination of Mr. Browne and his son
before a committee. John Browne, sen., deposed that he
dwelt in Martin's Lane, by the Old Swan, and had recently
come out of Kent. He knew none of the Walsinghams but
Sir Thomas, and did not know whether he had a son. He
denied having received any letters from Mr. Walsingham,
and knew nothing of bringing any of the King's party into
Kent, nor of any direction to be given to him when the
King came. He had received no letters or orders from the
King or from Oxford. 2

John Browne, jun., deposed that he knew none of the
Walsinghams. He lived at Horsemonden, where his father
and he had three furnaces for the casting of culverins, etc.,
and all kinds of round shot. His father by letters every
week gave directions what should be cast. What was sent
up for the market was sent to Richard Pierson, in Philpot
Lane, but if for the Parliament it went through his hands
and was delivered into the Tower. Guns for the market or
merchant were delivered to Mr. Samuel Ferrers at the
Half Moon in Thames Street. 3

A former workman of Browne deposed that in 1643 he
sent to the King four men to cast ordnance; and a servant

1 Cal. S. P. Dom., Chas. I, dvii, 136. 2 Ibid., 134.

3 Ibid., 135.

N



i/8 SUSSEX IN THE GREAT CIVIL WAR

was called to testify that John Browne the elder was with
the King when he went down to the House to arrest the
five members. 1

Mr. Browne, re-examined, asserted that two or three years
before, trade being slack, he had dismissed several of his
servants, and one of them for misappropriating money.
He seems to have cleared himself, for not long after it was
ordered that the Commissioners of the navy do peruse the
proposals made by John Browne, senior, gunfounder, for
the furnishing of ordnance for three frigates intended to be
built, confer with him and report whether in their opinion
the prices he asked or what others should be given for the



Online LibraryCharles Thomas-StanfordSussex in the great Civil War and the interregnum, 1642-1660 → online text (page 15 of 30)