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ful assemblies"; he was to see that all Papists and Royalists
were disarmed; to free highways of robbers; to permit no
" horse-races, cock-fightings, bear-baitings, or any unlawful
assemblies"; to send out of the Commonwealth all idlers
and persons with no visible means of subsistence; to pro-
mote godliness and virtue, and discountenance all profane-
ness and ungodliness; to see that the justices put in force
the laws against drunkenness and blaspheming; to inform
the Council of any justices found remiss or unfit for their

Against the Royalists a new code was to be enforced.
Politicians in all ages have not been slow to grasp the
advantages of at one blow mulcting their enemies and fill-
ing their own exchequer. The principle had been adopted
by the Parliament early in the war. It was now to be
extended. Royalists who had taken part in any plot
against the Protector were to be imprisoned or banished,
their estates being sequestrated for the payment of the
new militia. Those who appeared "by their words or
actions to adhere to the interests of the late King, or of
Charles Stuart his son," were to be imprisoned or sent
beyond the seas, but allowed to retain their estates. The
third, the most important class in Sussex, was composed
of those who, not being active Royalists, had their estates
sequestrated for delinquency, or had in former times fought
against the Parliament; these were to pay a "decimation
tax " of 10 per cent, on their rental from land if it amounted
to 100 a year, or if possessed of little or no real estate, a
tax on their personal property. No Royalist was to keep


in his house any of the ejected clergy as chaplain or tutor;
and no such clergyman was to exercise any priestly func-
tion, or to keep a school, under pain of imprisonment. 1
The remaining instructions dealt chiefly with moral and
social order, especially as regards the regulation of inns
and alehouses. Justices had very wide powers to call in
and suppress licences where an excessive number were in
force, and those considered inconvenient and unnecessary.

Such were the duties which Major-General Goffe under-
took in Sussex: to defend the State, to raise money, to
encourage virtue and to discourage vice, vice being held
to include many pleasures more or less innocent. He
appears to have exercised his powers with much tact and
moderation. But nothing could overcome the unpopularity
of his office. The Royalist opposition was joined not only
by the roysterers and drunkards, but by that innumerable
class of good citizens and good fellows who care for the
enjoyment of life and resent arbitrary interference with it.
The enforcement of religious and orderly habits by a mili-
tary authority greatly strengthened the demand for the re-
establishment of Parliamentary government, and led in the
end to the restoration of the monarchy, under which alone
it seemed possible to secure it.

Goffe's voluminous correspondence 2 with Secretary Thur-
loe throws some light on the condition of Sussex at the
time. The Major-Generals were to be assisted in their
work by a body of Commissioners " for securing the peace
of the country," who were to be named by the Government
in each county, and to be concerned chiefly with the pro-
visions touching the Royalists. One of his first duties was
to prepare a list of suitable men. He arrived at Lewes at
the beginning of November 1655, and wrote to Thurloe on
the 5th: "Mr. John Stapley being in town when I came,

1 S. P. Dom., Interreg., c and ci.

Printed in the Thurloe State Papers. The originals are among
the Rawlinson MSS. in the Bodleian.


called at my lodgings, and in the intercourse we had, he
seems very ready to serve in a public employment. I
have assured some in this town that his brother, Mr.
Anthony Stapley, is put into the Commission of the Peace,
which I doubt not you will make good." 1 Two months
later he added : " Mr. John Stapley was with us at Lewes
and I am persuaded is very cordially resolved to serve the
Protector ; he hath said to some of his friends that he will
venture his life and estate for him." a John and Anthony
Stapley were the sons of Colonel Anthony Stapley of
Patcham, member for the county in the Long Parliament
and of the Council of State, who had recently died. 3 Their
mother being a sister of George Goring, Earl of Norwich,
it is possible that some doubts had been expressed as to
their fidelity to the Protector, which Goffe set himself to

In his letter of 5th November Goffe had also referred to
Colonel Morley. " I intend (if the Lord please) to give
Col. Morley a kind visit this day, his house being within
two or three miles. I hope such a civility whatever he
thinks of my business will do no hurt." Since the expul-
sion of the Long Parliament in 1653 Morley had been
"almost a malcontent." To the nominated or "Bare-
bones " Parliament Sussex had contributed three members,
Anthony Stapley, William Spence,* and Nathaniel Stude-

1 Thurloe, State Papers, iv, 151.

2 Ibid., iv, 394.

3 The year of Anthony Stapley's death has sometimes been incor-
rectly stated. The Court Rolls of the manor of Preston show that it
occurred between i?th April 1655 and 8th April 1656. John Stapley,
his eldest son and heir, paid to the lord, Anthony Shirley, a heriot of
one gelding in respect of certain freehold lands called Weeke Farm
[Wick Farm in Hove].

4 William Spence, barrister-at-law, purchased Mailing House,
Lewes, of Thomas Lucas, in 1656. He died without issue in 1671,
and was succeeded by his brother John, whose son John (by Ruth
Stapley) married Mary, daughter of Sir John Fagge, Bart., of Wiston,
by Mary, sister of Colonel Morley.


ley, all of them members of the advanced party. 1 To the
Parliament of 1654 Morley was elected both for the county
and for Rye; but he seems to have lived quietly at Glynde,
and busied himself with his duties as Justice of the Peace.
These were multifarious, with a tendency to increase. The
Marriage Act of 1653 provided that only marriages solemn-
ized before a Justice of the Peace would be recognized by
the State, the main object being to put an end to defective
registration. Morley was much resorted to for this pur-
pose. The Glynde Parish Register records the marriages
before him of parties from twenty-six different parishes, as
wide apart as Hangleton and Burwash, in the year i655. 2
The Register book of Preston-cum-Hove records similar
marriages before Mr. Anthony Shirley of Preston. 3 Fresh
duties were continually being imposed on the Justices. In
March 1655 Henry Lawrence, Lord President of the Coun-
cil, wrote to the Justices of Sussex: "Lately the Virginia
merchants have complained of their loss owing to the great
quantities of English tobacco; trade, navigation and cus-
toms being impaired, and those plantations impoverished.
You are therefore to execute the Act and not license the
planting of any tobacco in England. But that persons
may not suffer loss for want of reasonable warning you are
to have this resolution published in all places in your
county where you judge convenient, and in such way that
no person can pretend ignorance; and such persons are to
understand that his Highness expects conformity." 4 There
is a characteristic touch in the last sentence.

Morley was also active in keeping watch over the traffic
between the Sussex coast and the Continent. The Council
had sent an order dated 24th March 1655 to Sir Thomas

1 Gardiner, Commonwealth and Protectorate, ch. xxviii.

2 S. A. C., xx, 83.

3 Numerous other examples are to be found in the volumes of
the S. A. C.

4 Cal. S. P. Dom., Interreg., xcv, 71.


Rivers, Bart., J.P. for Sussex, begging that " diligent watches
be kept for taking a strict account of all strangers in your
county and principally near the sea. ... It will suppress
loose persons and cause some of those who come from
abroad to kindle fires here to be apprehended." l Morley
wrote to Thurloe referring to this letter and stated that he
had given orders to an officer of customs, John Mullet, to
search diligently in all vessels for letters and papers, es-
pecially in any vessel which should bring over from France
one Rose of Lewes, who often went between England and
France, and was suspected to be a Papist. He had found
several letters and papers " directed to persons of great
honour and quality" and enclosed them unopened. He
had also examined Robert Anderton, gentleman, who had
gone out of England on 8th March in a bark of Rye, be-
longing to one Keyes, landed at Dieppe and gone straight
to Paris; and having made up accounts with some mer-
chants there had returned from Dieppe in a French shallop
and landed on the Sussex coast on loth April; but he had
discovered nothing compromising. 3

Goffe lost no time in getting to work with his militia
and preparing his list of Commissioners. On yth November
he wrote to Thurloe : " I hope that soon I shall have a
better knowledge of these blades I am to deal with than
yet I have. They do willingly acknowledge themselves (I
mean the militia) as a new quickset hedge, that will for a
while need an old hedge about it, and I hope his highness
will be so good a husband as not to take away the old one,
till the new be grown very substantial. The enclosed paper
contains the names of those I have resolved for the Com-
missioners. I do see the stress of this business must lie
upon the middle sort of men. Colonel Morley saith any-
thing he can assist me in as a justice of the peace he will
do to the utmost " but from what he said Goffe concluded

1 Cal. S. P. Dom., Interreg., xcv, 61.

2 Thurloe, State Papers, iii, 369.


that he would not act as a Commissioner himself, and had
therefore laid aside the thought of putting in his name, as
likewise those of Mr. Hay and Mr. Fagge; "the one hath
not lately acted in anything, and the other hath been for
some time too gracious to disaffected persons, and besides
will not stir a hair's breadth without Col. Morley." The
names of the Commissioners were as follows. They repre-
sent in the main "the middle sort of men"; there are
significantly few representatives of the great county families
which had supported the Parliament in the war:

Colonel Bainbridge, ^

Captain Tho. Jenner, j-Captains of the Militia.
Captain Wm. Freeman,;
Captain Walter Everden, near Hastings.
Mr. Nathaniel Studeley, now of Lewes.
Mr. John Stapley of Patcham.

Mr. Anthony Shirley of Preston l (" who I hear is a very
honest gentleman ").

Mr. Richard Yates of Warnham.

Major Fenwick.

Mr. Richard Knowles of Waltham.

Mr. Thomas Ballard, Mayor of Arundel.

Colonel Richard Boughton of Chichester.

Mr. Arthur Betsworth, near Chichester.

Mr. Richard Manning, Mayor of Chichester.

Mr. John Poling of Midhurst.

Captain Edward Madgwick, near Chichester.

Colonel William Goffe. 2

It did not take Goflfe long to discover that the proceeds

1 The Shirleys of Preston were a younger branch of the Shirleys of
Wiston. Thomas Shirley, the last of the Shirleys of Wiston, was an
adherent of the Royalist cause, and was knighted by Charles I at
Oxford in 1645. The estate had been much encumbered by his father,
and about this time he was compelled to sell it. The purchaser was
Colonel Fagge.

2 Thurloe, State Papers, iv, 161.


of the decimation tax would be quite insufficient to meet
the expenses of the militia. By the end of January he was
expected to find six months' pay for troops levied the
previous June. On 2nd February he wrote to Thurloe:
" the truth is the money raised in this association will not
amount to above three months' pay; for though I am not
prepared to give an exact account, yet I do clearly find
that Sussex will not amount to above .1,500 per annum,
which is but just half as much as will pay the troops." l
As a measure of economy it was decided to reduce the
number of men in each troop from 100 to 80. On I9th
March Goffe reduced the troops in Sussex, paying them
in full for the first half, and was met with a demand for
payment for another three months as well. He was told by
the officer in command that " he could not hire servants at
such a rate, to hire them for a year and put them off at
three quarters' end with half a year's pay." So angry were
the soldiers that they at first refused to touch the money,
crying out that they would have all or none. It was only
on Goffe's representation that the third quarter was not yet
at an end that they quieted down. Goffe owned to Thurloe
that their grumbling was not unreasonable, as many had
spent more than they demanded in furnishing themselves
with horse and arms. 2 To avoid such personal collisions
between the Major-Generals and their militia, the responsi-
bility for the payment of the men was transferred on nth
April to the Army Committee of the Council, which had
previously provided for the pay of the regular forces. 3

His increasing financial difficulties induced the Protector
at last to consent to the summoning of a new Parliament.
The election was held in the summer of 1656. The un-
popularity of the Major-Generals seems to have more than
counterbalanced any pressure they could bring to bear on

1 Thurloe, State Papers, iv, 497. 2 Ibid., iv, 642.

3 Council Order Book, Interreg., i, 77, P- 4i 5 Gardiner's Common-
wealth and Protectorate, ch. xlix.



the electors. Throughout the eastern and southern counties,
which had been the main support of the Parliament in its
struggle with the King, the candidates hostile to the Gov-
ernment that were returned were very numerous. The
Protector's Council met this by the characteristically arbi-
trary method of excluding all to whom it did not give a
certificate of approval. " Without this certificate no one was
allowed to enter the House. Three colonels, backed by a
guard of soldiers, kept the door, and examined the tickets." l
Of nine members returned for the county of Sussex five
were so excluded.

Herbert Morley wrote to Sir John Trevor, member for
Arundel, whose daughter Morley's only son had married,
that he and his brother-in-law, Colonel Fagge, would re-
main peaceably at their own seats, and requested him to
say so much if he found them suspected ; and concluded
his letter by saying that he " could not enlarge at present,
having been crazy this five weeks ; which is now turned to
a terrible fit of the gout, 2 accompanied with a feverish dis-
temper." 3

Justices of the Peace and others in authority were much
vexed at this time by the extravagant and irritating pro-
ceedings of the new sect of Quakers. It is difficult to re-
cognize in the conduct of some of these fanatics any resem-
blance to the dignified and orderly life of their successors,
which secured for them the confidence of their fellow
citizens, and made them pre-eminently the bankers of the
community. It bore some likeness to that of the more law-
less advocates of " Women's Rights " in our own day.

1 Firth, Last Years of the Protectorate, i, 12.

* A broadsheet advertisement of this very year, preserved in the
British Museum, offers a cure for the gout in singularly modern terms :
" A foreigner, Peter Francesse, lately arrived from Persia, undertakes
that the use of his preparation, for outward application only, will cure
gout, sciatica and other diseases in a week." Thomason Tracts, press-
mark 669, f. 20 (41).

3 Noble's Regicides, ii, 89.


Quakers were in the habit of entering churches in time of
divine service, and railing at the ministers " as hirelings,
deceivers and false prophets," or exclaiming to the preacher,
"Come down, thou deceiver, thou hireling, thou dog!" 1
Such brawling, and refusal to pay tithes, brought them
into conflict with the justices, and in Court irritation
against them was increased by their refusal to swear, or to
show respect in such matters as the removal of hats. In
consequence they were frequently treated with great se-
verity and even cruelty. As one of their own writers has
said : " It could not be expected that a testimony levelled
both against the darling Vices of the Laity, and the forced
Maintenance of the Clergy ', should meet with any other than
an unkind reception. The messengers of it were enter-
tained with Scorn and Derision, with Beatings, Buffetings,
Stonings, Pinchings, Kickings, Dirtings, Pumpings, and all
manner of Abuses from the rude and ungovernable Rabble ;
and from the Magistrates, who should have been their De-
fenders, they met with Spoiling of Goods, Stockings, Whip-
pings, Imprisonments, and Banishments, and even Death

The " Blessed Testimony and Joyful Tidings of Salva-
tion " were first preached in Sussex in March 1655 by John
Slee, Thomas Lawson, and Thomas Lawcock, who " de-
clared the truth " in open market at Horsham ; " this was
to the great admiration of some, yet the most part reviled
and some stoned them." They then repaired to the house
of one Bryan Wilkason at Nuthurst, who was the first that
" gave entrance as well to their persons as to their testi-
mony." 3 Meetings were next held at Ifield, at the house of
Richard Bonwick, a weaver, and at Twineham at Hum-
phrey Killingbeck's. At Southover, Thomas Robinson
" declared the truth to the convincement of Ambrose Gallo-

' Reliquiae Baxterianae, 77, 116; Gardiner, Commonwealth and
Protectorate, ch. xxxviii.
1 Joseph Bene, quoted S. A. C., xvi, 66. Ibid., 70.


way l and Elizabeth his wife, and Stephen Eager." George
Fox himself shortly afterwards came to Sussex, to the
house of Bryan Wilkason, where they met Thomas Law-
cock, who " being moved to go into the Steeple-house at
Horsham, was for the same committed to Horsham Gaol
on the 24th day of the 4th Mo: 1655 by Edward Michell
and George Hussy, called Justices, where he remained
about a Quarter of a Year." *

Fox visited I field where a great meeting was held,
" which was the first meeting that was Gathered in this
County to Sitt Downe together in Silence to wait upon the
Lord " ; and subsequently Steyning, Lewes, and Warbleton,
with the result that a large number of converts were

The actual offences for which Quakers were committed
to prison were generally in themselves trivial enough, how-
ever irritating and provocative of disorder. It was natural
that the Government should take a more lenient view of
them than the Justices, charged with the maintenance of
order on the spot. In January 1657 an order was made by
the Council of State for the release of Thomas Patching,
Bryan Wilkason, John Fursby, Ninian Brockett, Nicholas
Rickman and his wife, who had been lying in Horsham
gaol for various periods up to twenty-four weeks, on the
grounds (i) that the evidence did not prove any crime:
(2) that the committals were not in due form : (3) that the
defendants had not been brought to trial in due course of
law : (4) that the whole process was for matter of opinion in
worship. 3 Later in the same year a memorandum was sent
by Henry Lawrence, President of the Council of State, to
the Justices of the Peace in Sussex and other counties. For
the spirit of charity, tolerance, and good sense which it
breathes it is perhaps almost worthy to be placed beside
Trajan's letter to Pliny on the treatment of the Christians.

1 A Lewes trader of good position. 2 S. A. C., xvi, 71.

3 S. P. Dom., Interreg., cliii, 11-16.


" His Highness and the Council have received several ad-
dresses on behalf of Quakers imprisoned for not finding
sureties for good behaviour. Some have lain long in prison,
and are not likely to get out by conformity. Though His
Highness and the Council are far from countenancing their
mistaken principles or practices, especially in disturbing
godly ministers and affronting magistrates, yet as they
mostly proceed rather from a spirit of error than a malicious
opposition to authority, they are to be pitied and dealt
with as persons under a strong delusion, who will rather
suffer and perish than do anything contrary to their
ungrounded and corrupt delusions. Therefore His High-
ness and the Council recommend them to your prudence,
to discharge such as are in prison in your county (though
discountenancing their miscarriages) so that their lives may
be preserved, divers having died in prison. From tender-
ness to them you are, by causing their hats to be pulled off,
to prevent their running into contempt by the not giving
respect to magistrates, as those whose miscarriages arise
from defect of understanding should not be treated too
severely." l

Since the establishment of the Protectorate efforts had
been made to put "the public ministry," as Cromwell
termed the National Church, on a more satisfactory foot-
ing. The Protector had refused to interfere with private
patronage, or to abolish tithes, until some other means of
maintenance for the clergy had been devised. This was
entirely in accordance with his dislike to further change in
such matters than were necessary to secure efficiency. By
an ordinance issued in 1654 he appointed thirty-eight com-
missioners, known as " triers," to try the fitness of persons
presented to livings. Whether they were Presbyterians or
Independents or Baptists was a matter of indifference;
" men who believe in Jesus Christ men who believe the

1 S. P. Dom., Interreg., clvii.


remission of sins through the blood of Christ, and free
justification by the blood of Christ . . . Whoever hath this
faith, let his form be what it will; he walking peaceably,
without prejudice to others under other forms." 1 Another
ordinance provided a body of Commissioners in each
county with powers to eject incompetent or scandalous
ministers and schoolmasters. It is admitted that both triers
and ejectors did their duty honestly and well. 2 Great efforts
were made throughout the period to provide fitting main-
tenance for ministers, whose stipends were often inadequate.
The proceedings of the Committee for Compounding afford
many instances of Royalists who were lay rectors being
compelled to increase the allowance to the officiating min-
ister as part of their scheme of composition. In the case of
Sir Edward Alford of Offington, Sussex, the inhabitants
of Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, represented that although
the profits of the rectory were ;6oo a year, and their town
a great market town, with 2,000 communicants, their min-
ister (who " officiated on lecture days as well as Sundays ")
had only ^40 a year; and petitioned for an increase to
100. It appears that the living was increased to 80 and
afterwards to 90 a year. 3 In the case of John Lewknor of
West Dean, Ellis Smyth petitioned on behalf of the in-
habitants of Chilgrove, West Dean, Binderton, Singleton,
Charlton, East Dean, and Didling. He represented that
there had been but little preaching in those parishes and
villages for sixty years by reason of the smallness of the
vicarages, the tithes belonging to the Dean and Chapter of
Chichester, who had demised them to the predecessors of
John Lewknor for 99 years, of which about 30 years were
to run. The value of the tithes was at least 500 a year,
and the County Committee, seeing the extreme want of a

1 Carlyle, Cromwell, speech vi.

2 See the admission of the Rev. Giles Moore to the rectory of
Horsted Keynes, S. A. C., i, 65.

3 Cal. Com. for Compounding, 1009, 1646-1653.


preacher, had granted for two years past to Mr. Daniel
Curry, a godly and painful preacher of God's word, who was
plundered of all his estate by the enemy, 80 per annum
for his maintenance that he might preach in those parishes
in the most convenient place; but he had returned to the
western part, the place of his former abode. And as the
inhabitants themselves could raise nothing, those villages
having been extremely plundered by the King's forces, and
being utterly destitute of any to preach or teach amongst
them, although they contained about 500 families, the pe-
titioner prayed that out of the estate of John Lewknor a
competent maintenance might be allowed for an able and
competent preacher. 1 From the same estate 70 a year
was ordered to be settled on the church of East Grinstead. 2
John Ashburnham was ordered to pay 20 to Mr. Ro-
botham, minister of Rumboldswyke, 20 to Mr. Wesby oi

Online LibraryCharles Thomas-StanfordSussex in the great Civil War and the interregnum, 1642-1660 → online text (page 24 of 30)