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

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mentary party. He was appointed vicar of Acrise in 1642,

1 See p. 192. 2 See Godwin, Civil War in Hampshire, ch. xxvi.


and subsequently vicar of Deal. In 1648 he published his
great book, The English- American his Travail by Sea and
Land. But he seems to have tired of the quiet life of an
English vicar, for when Admiral Sir William Penn was
appointed, in 1654, General and Commander-in-Chief to act
against the Spanish West Indies, in conjunction with General
Robert Venables, Gage joined the expedition as Venables'
chaplain. After a repulse at San Domingo, Jamaica was
captured. Gage died in that island in 1656. Venables re-
turned to England to find himself in disgrace, the import-
ance and wealth of Jamaica being imperfectly known:
" Under Cromwell," says Captain Mahan, " the conquest of
Jamaica began that extension of England's empire by
force of arms which has gone on ever since." 1 He was
lodged in the Tower and cashiered. Perhaps he was
meant by nature for quieter times; he is chiefly remem-
bered as the author of a treatise on the gentle art of
angling, published in 1662, nine years after Izaak

In a former chapter mention has been made of the early
life of Sir Thomas Lunsford, and of the storm occa-
sioned by his appointment to the Lieutenancy of the Tower. 2
Some further particulars of this extraordinary character
may be noted here. Of him and his twin brother, Herbert,
a contemporary wrote that they were " both the biggest
men, though twins, you could likely see to, whereof Sir
Thomas was feigned by the Brethren, a devourer of
children." 3 The popular belief that he was a cannibal, and
the use of his name as a bugbear, are alluded to by Butler
in Hudibras, speaking of preachers, who

Make children with their tones to run fort
As bad as Bloody-bones or Lunsford.

1 Influence of Sea Power on History, p. 60.

2 Ante, p. 19.

3 D. Lloyd's Loyalists, p. 581 ; S. A. C., v, 81.

Ovpostrs of tnc Prelacy.

tttventer therefore life to redrcsf

JWjicking.iteaKtuj.wby cuttitw th routes.

dltntugh my jrrachce crosst tfafiMdcmsvotts.



At the battle of Edgehill he was falsely reported killed, and
a popular ballad of the day reported

The Post that came from Banbury
Riding in his blue rocket,
He swore he saw when Lunsford fell
A child's arm in his pocket.

Sir Thomas was not killed at Edgehill, but made prisoner.
He was exchanged in 1644, joined the King at Oxford, and
distinguished himself at Bristol and at Monmouth. He
seems to have retired to Virginia in 1649, and to have died
there a few years later. 1 His twin brother, Herbert, rose to
the command of a regiment, and was knighted in July

To relate fully the history of the Gorings of Danny,
father and son, would almost be to tell again the history of
the Civil War. It may be briefly sketched here.

George Goring of Ovingdean, a son of Sir William
Goring of Burton, knight, married Anne, daughter of
Henry Denny, Esq., of Waltham in Essex, and sister of
Edward Denny, Earl of Norwich. He acquired the manor
of Hurstpierpoint, and built the noble mansion of Danny.
His son George, born about 1583, is said to have begun his
life at Court as one of the gentlemen pensioners of Queen
Elizabeth. He certainly became one of the most favoured
courtiers of James and Charles. In 1628 he was raised to
the peerage as Baron Goring. Offices were heaped upon
him; and he was concerned in some of the King's most un-
wise and oppressive schemes for raising money. He was
chief among the persons to whom, in 1636, the tobacco
monopoly was granted; and his income in 1641-2 was
estimated at ^26,800 a year. 2 The Long Parliament put an
end to his prosperity, and his fortune was expended in the
King's service during the war.

His eldest son George, by his wife Mary, second daughter

1 D. N. B. 2 Cal. S. P. Dom., Chas. II, Ixvii, 19.


of Edward Nevill, sixth Lord Abergavenny, was born in
1608. His surrender of Portsmouth, of which he was in
command at the outbreak of war, has already been re-
corded. Goring went to Holland, and having recruited
there a number of officers and veteran soldiers for the
King's service, landed at Newcastle three months later, in
December 1642. The Earl of Newcastle made him master
of his horse. In the following May he was taken prisoner
by Fairfax at the storming of Wakefield, and imprisoned in
the Tower until April 1644, when he was exchanged for
the Earl of Lowthian. Meantime his father had been sent
to France as ambassador to negotiate for a French alliance,
and had received from Mazarin promises of arms and
money. He had also pawned the Queen's jewels for large
sums, and B with the proceeds was sending a considerable
store of arms to England. 1 A letter of his to the Queen fell
into the hands of the Parliament, and he was promptly im-
peached for high treason. The King rewarded his zeal by
creating him Earl of Norwich on 28th November 1644;
the earldom having become extinct by the recent death of
his uncle, Edward Denny.

George Goring the younger, now by courtesy Lord Gor-
ing, had been appointed in the previous August Lieutenant-
General of the horse in the King's main army, in place
of Wilmot, with whom he had been at enmity since his re-
velation of the "army plot" to the Parliament in 1641.
Clarendon, who hates both, seizes the opportunity to make
a masterly characterization by way of contrast. " Goring,
who was now general of the horse, was no more gracious to
Prince Rupert than Wilmot had been; and had all the
other's faults, and wanted his regularity and preserving his
respect with his offices. Wilmot loved debauchery, but
shut it out from his business; and never neglected that,
and rarely miscarried in it. Goring had much a better
understanding and a sharper wit (except in the very exer-

1 Gardiner, Civil War, ch. xiii.


cise of debauchery, and then the other was inspired), a
much keener courage, and presentness of mind in danger :
Wilmot discerned it farther off, and because he could not
behave himself so well in it, commonly prevented or warily
declined it, and never drank when he was within distance
of an enemy: Goring was not able to resist the temptation
when he was in the middle of them, nor would decline it to
obtain a victory, and in one of those fits he suffered the
horse to escape out of Cornwall ; and the most signal mis-
fortunes of his life in war had their rise from that uncon-
trolable license. Neither of them valued their promises,
professions or friendships, according to any rules of honour
or integrity ; but Wilmot violated them the less willingly,
and never but for some great benefit or convenience to him-
self: Goring without scruple, out of humour, or for wit
sake, and loved no man so well but that he would cozen
him, and then expose him to the public mirth for having
been cozened ; and therefore he had always fewer friends
than the other, but more company, for no man had a wit
that pleased the company better. The ambitions of both
were unlimited, and so equally incapable of being con-
tented; and both unrestrained by any respect to good-
nature or justice from pursuing the satisfaction thereof: yet
Wilmot had more scruples from religion to startle him, and
would not have attained his end by any gross or foul act of
wickedness: Goring could have passed through these
pleasantly, and would without hesitation have broken any
trust, or done any act of treachery, to have satisfied an or-
dinary passion or appetite; and, in truth, wanted nothing
but industry (for he had wit and courage and understand-
ing and ambition, uncontrolled by any fear of God or man)
to have been as any man in the age he lived in or before.
And of all his qualifications dissimulation was his master-
piece ; in which he so much excelled, that men were not
ordinarily ashamed, or out of countenance, with being de-
ceived but twice by him."


In December 1644 Goring was appointed Lieutenant-
General of Hampshire, Sussex, Surrey, and Kent; and
during the following year commanded the Royal army in
the west. It is unnecessary to follow the course of his pro-
ceedings, an almost unbroken record of defeat, lost oppor-
tunities, and debauchery. When the King's army finally sur-
rendered to Fairfax in March 1646, Goring was in France. 1

The Earl of Norwich played an important part in the
second Civil War of 1648. He had come to England at
the end of 1647 with a pass from Parliament, under pre-
tence of making his composition. He was appointed to
the command of the King's forces in Kent. " He found,"
says Clarendon, " the assembly at Maidstone very numer-
ous; he found them likewise very disorderly and without
government, nor easy to be reduced under any command.
. . . The earl was a man fitter to have drawn such a body
together by his frolic and pleasant humour, which recon-
ciled people of all constitutions wonderfully to him, than to
form and conduct them towards any enterprise. He had al-
ways lived in the Court, in such a station of business as raised
him very few enemies ; and his pleasant and jovial nature,
which was everywhere acceptable, made him many friends,
at least made many delighted in his company." 2 Foiled in
his attempt to cause a rising in London, he crossed into
Essex and occupied Colchester, where he was besieged by
Fairfax. After a siege of over two months he was com-
pelled by starvation to surrender on 27th August.

It was during the siege of Colchester that Sir William
Campion of Combwell, ancestor of the Campions of Danny,
was killed in a sortie, as has already been mentioned.
Lord Norwich thus announced his death to his widow:

Colchester, June 26th 1648.


"To offer you set comfort upon soe inexpressible
a losse, would be noe less indiscretion in me, than im-

1 See ante, p. 183. 2 Clarendon, xi, 55.


portunity to you. I shall therefore only begg this on
favour from you, for his sake that your ladyship loved
most; and I next, that if you can any waye finde wherein
I may sacrifice ought to his memory, to the hazard of all I
am or ever may be, your ladyship shall then see, by the
passion wherewith I shall undertake it, how really I was
his, and how sincerely, madam, I am, madam, your lady-
ship's all bound and faithful servant,


" I most humbly pray your ladyship to let my wife
know, I never was better in health and heart in all my
life, and that I wrote to her twice very lately." 1

Norwich was tried before a high court specially con-
stituted, and condemned to death. He was respited by the
House of Commons the casting vote of the Speaker,
Lenthall, turning the scale and set at liberty. He lived
to see the Restoration, and died in January 1663, aged
about eighty. His eldest son had died in Madrid six years
before, in a very destitute condition. He appears to have
taken service in the Spanish army, and was certainly
present at the Siege of Barcelona in 1652. Two letters
written by him in May of that year, " from the army
before Barcelona," to his father and his brother, Colonel
Charles Goring, describe his necessities and infirmities,
and are of considerable local interest from their references
to the estates of Danny and Hurstpierpoint. 2 It appears
that they were managed by two trustees, Tom Hippesley
and Timothy Butts, who managed to keep them out of the
hands of the sequestrators, but paid none of the proceeds
to the Gorings. Perhaps these were inconsiderable, as the
properties had been mortgaged for large sums to meet

1 Danny MSS.

2 Cal. Com. for Compounding, vol. i, p. 597. They are also printed
in S. A. C., xix, 98-100.


the extravagant expenses of George Goring, and his father's
contributions to the King's chest.

The second son, Charles Goring, succeeded his father
as Earl of Norwich, but on his death, without issue, the
title became extinct.



ON ist January 1651, the younger Charles was crowned
King at Scone with such splendour as the trouble of
the times admitted. On his arrival at Speymouth in the
previous June he had been compelled to swear to the
Covenants, and he repeated the oath at his coronation.
His position was far from pleasant or secure, and soon
became untenable. An English army was in possession of
Edinburgh and all the south of Scotland ; and in August
Cromwell, having crossed the Firth of Forth with his main
body of troops, marched on Perth, which surrendered on
2nd August. As a last desperate stroke Charles resolved
to throw himself upon England, and trust to the chance
of a general rising. Breaking up his camp at Stirling, he
marched rapidly southwards with an army of 20,000 men.
He met with little opposition, but with small success in
the raising of recruits. He had hoped to raise Lancashire,
but Lancashire was indifferent. He reached Worcester on
the 22nd August. His weary and dispirited army could go
no further, and he decided to remain there and to fortify
the city.

This invasion does not seem to have caused any great
fear of Royalist risings in the south of England, such as
had occurred in 1648, when Hamilton led a Scottish army
into Lancashire. But some precautionary measures were
taken. On 28th August the House ordered that the Sussex
militia regiment was immediately to be made up to a



strength of one thousand men, and to march forthwith to
Oxford; Major Young to have a commission as Major.
It is significant of the calm which reigned in the county
that two troops of one hundred each, under Captain Stapley l
and Captain Broughton, 2 were considered sufficient for the
protection of East and West Sussex respectively. 3

Meantime Cromwell was following " the Scots King "
rapidly, and reached Warwick only two days after Charles
entered Worcester. On 3rd September he attacked with
an army of 30,000 men, probably twice the strength of the
Royal forces. It was a desperate fight, " as stiff a contest,
for four or five hours, as ever I have seen," wrote Cromwell
to Lenthall. The Scots made a fierce resistance, and were
finally overwhelmed in Worcester streets. " His Sacred
Majesty escaped, by royal oaks and other miraculous
appliances well known to mankind: but fourteen-thousand
other men, sacred too after a sort though not majesties,
did not escape." 4

The story of Charles's subsequent adventures has often
been told. It is indeed no wonder that so brave a tale of
hairbreadth escapes and unswerving loyalties should have
caught the popular taste. The most romantic episode in
the romantic story of the House of Stuart, it has been
embroidered by the fancy of novelists, and many a village
claims a share in it for its manor-house or inn, for which
history gives no foundation.

Ostensibly no pains were spared by the Parliament to
effect his capture. A proclamation issued on loth Sept-
ember declared him a malicious and dangerous traitor to
the peace of the Commonwealth, and offered a reward of
one thousand pounds for his apprehension. Yet he dis-
appeared so completely that, until news of his arrival in

1 John Stapley, eldest son of Colonel Anthony Stapley.

2 M.P. for Lewes in Richard Cromwell's Parliament, 1659.

3 Council of State Proceedings, 27th and 28th August 1651.
* Carlyle, Cromwell, iii, 155.


France reached London, it was commonly believed that
in the flight from Worcester he had been killed by peasants
ignorant of his rank. Perhaps the Parliament was not sorry
to be quit of him. A repetition of his father's trial and
execution would have been troublesome and damaging,
and it would have resulted merely in setting his brother
James in Charles's place. " Why should they kill Charles
to make James King ? " as Charles himself said at a later

The Stuarts seem to have had a special talent for wander-
ing in disguise. Charles I rode out of Oxford and through
several English counties disguised as John Ashburnham's
servant; Charles II made so good a Will Jackson, that an
inn-keeper who had delivered himself rather freely on the
subject of Oliver Cromwell, mistrusted him as a Roundhead
knave; and in the following century the young Pretender
worthily carried on the family tradition. It is only neces-
sary here to deal with that portion of Charles's journey in
which Sussex is concerned. The following account is based
on the narrative of Colonel Counter of Racton, which was
written before the Restoration, and is probably more
trustworthy than the histories compiled later, some of
which bear traces of a desire to enhance the deserts of
certain of the actors. The original manuscript is in the
British Museum, having been discovered in a secret drawer
in an old bureau, when the ancient seat of the Counters at
Racton was dismantled about 1830. It has been several
times printed. It is entitled " The last Act in the Miraculous
Storie of His M ties Escape, being a true and perfect relation
of his Conveyance, through many dangers to a safe harbour
out of the reach of his tyranicall enemies. By Colonel
Counter, of Rackton, in Sussex, who had the happiness to
be instrumental in the business (as it was taken from his
mouth by a person of worth, a little before his death)." 1

1 Colonel Counter's name does not appear in the Dictionary of
National Biography, where it would certainly seem to deserve a place.


Colonel George Counter, and his cousin Thomas, had
served the King in the Civil War, and had been taken
prisoners at the fall of Chichester. 1 In September 1651,
the Colonel was summoned to appear before the Com-
missioners sitting at Haberdashers' Hall, London, and to
pay a fine of 200, or in default to suffer sequestration of
his estate. He went accordingly and got off .100 of the
fine; 2 but his credit being much shaken he could not
borrow the remaining 100 in all London, and was obliged
to repair with all speed to the country, and to obtain the
money from " his usurer," to whom his whole estate was
mortgaged. Having settled this business he returned home
on the night of /th October. His lady met him at the
door, and told him that a Devonshire gentleman was
waiting to see him, whom, on entering, he recognized as
Lord Wilmot. Wilmot was only slightly disguised, but
sufficiently to prevent Thomas Counter from knowing him,
although he had seen service under his command. Colonel
Counter having requested his wife and his cousin to retire,
Wilmot broke his business to him. He related how Charles,
after the fight at Worcester, had fled northwards into
Shropshire, and thence to Bristol in the hope of finding a
ship to take him to the Continent. Having failed in this
attempt, and also at the Dorsetshire ports, he was now
lying at Heale House, near Amesbury. Dr. Henchman 3
had recommended that one of the Sussex ports should be
tried, and that the assistance of Colonel Counter, of whose
fidelity he was very confident, should be obtained for this
purpose. " Can you help us to a boat? " said Wilmot. The
Colonel replied that for all he lived so near the sea, there
was no man living so little acquainted with sea-faring

1 See p. 56.

2 Colonel Counter's narrative is here confirmed by the official
records. The actual amount he was ordered to pay was ^127. Cal.
Com. for Advance of Money, 2Qth August 1651.

3 Afterwards Bishop of Salisbury, 1660-3, an d f London, 1663-75.


men, but that he would do his utmost to acquit himself of
his duty. With this answer Wilmot was abundantly satisfied,
and they parted for the night.

On reaching his chamber Gounter found that his wife
had stayed up for him, and was very insistent to know who
the stranger was, and what his business. He replied that
it was nothing concerning her ; but she declared that she
knew there was enough in it to ruin him and all his family,
and burst into a " great passion of weeping." He therefore
went to Lord Wilmot, who desired him to inform her of the
matter. Returning to his chamber he wiped the tears from
his lady's eyes and unfolded the business; whereupon she
smiled and said : " Go on and prosper, but I fear you will
hardly do it."

Next day an attempt was made to find a boat at Ems-
worth and at other places on the coast, but with no success.
Captain Thomas Gounter had been taken into his cousin's
confidence, and he also tried to obtain a boat, but in vain.
Then the Colonel bethought him of a merchant in Chi-
chester, one Mr. Francis Mansel, that traded with France,
whom he knew by sight. Him he called upon and asked
him if he could freight a bark, " for," he said, " I have two
special friends of mine who have been engaged in a duel>
and there is mischief done, and I am obliged to get them
off if I can."

Mr. Mansel was confident that he could do so at Bright-
helmstone, and the Colonel promised him fifty pounds for
his pains if he could effect the business, and pressed him
to ride thither with him immediately. But it being Stowe
fair day, and his partner absent, Mr. Mansel could not go
until the next day, which was agreed upon. Meantime Lord
Wilmot had returned to Mr. Laurence Hyde's house at
Hinton Daubeny, and Colonel Gounter, according to
promise, repaired thither to tell him all that was done, of
which his lordship greatly approved. He rode home in the
night, and next morning started from Chichester with


Mr. Mansel for Brighthelmstone. They arrived there about
two o'clock to find that the shipmaster they expected to
meet had left, but providentially he had touched at Shore-
ham, where they found him. He was a native of Bright-
helmstone, by name Nicholas Tettersall. To him Mansel
told the same story as Wilmot had told him, and next day
they came to an agreement that Tettersall was to carry the
passengers over to the French coast, and to be paid sixty
pounds before he took them on board. He was to be in
readiness to sail at an hour's warning, and the merchant
was to remain on the spot, under pretence of freighting the
bark, in order to see everything ready against the return of
the Colonel with his two friends.

Colonel Counter then rode back with all speed to
Mr. Hyde's, where he found Captain Robert Phelips of
Montacute, in Somerset, a devoted adherent of the royal
cause, who, on hearing his story, exclaimed : " Thou shalt
be a saint in my almanack for ever." Lord Wilmot being
also informed how things stood, they consulted who should
go to the King; and it was decided that Colonel Phelips
should go, as Colonel Counter was greatly in need of rest.

On Monday, I3th October, Wilmot and the two Counters
went out on the downs with a brace of greyhounds as if to
have a course at a hare, and presently met Colonel Phelips
conducting the King. It was decided to lodge that night
at the house of Counter's sister, the wife of Thomas Symons,
in the village of Hambledon, who received the party cor-
dially, and set wine, ale, and biscuits before them. Pre-
sently her husband came home, " a loyal hearty gentleman,
but too great a lover of the bottle." And it plainly appeared
that he had " been in company." He was inclined to be
annoyed at finding so many visitors in his house. " This is
brave," he said ; " a man can no sooner be out of the way
than his house must be taken up with I know not whom."
But seeing his brother-in-law he made them all welcome.
Then noticing the close-cropped head and plain attire of



Charles, who passed under the name of Will Jackson, he
said: "Here is a Roundhead; I never knew you to keep
Roundheads' company before." But the Colonel, answering
for him as his friend, he took him by the shoulder and
drank a glass of strong ale with him, and called him
" brother Roundhead," a character which Charles kept up
by gravely reproving him for a profane oath.

Next morning Charles bade farewell to Colonel Phelips
and to Thomas Counter, with thanks for their fidelity and
service, and continued his journey to Brighthelmstone with
Lord Wilmot and his servant and Colonel Counter. The
first part of his ride through Sussex, and the aspect of the
country at the time, is admirably described by Harrison
Ainsworth in Ovingdean Grange.

" After quitting the forest and skirting Stanstead Park,
the Royal party pursued their way through a lovely and
well-wooded district, until they came to the foot of an

Online LibraryCharles Thomas-StanfordSussex in the great Civil War and the interregnum, 1642-1660 → online text (page 21 of 30)