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verging on Chichester. The main body came by way
of Havant, losing many by desertion on the road, pay
being much in arrear and discontent rife. It appears that
their march was not unopposed. There are vague accounts
of a fight "with a great party of the King's army in a
great field for seven hours very courageously." l This was
probably little more than a skirmish of advance guards.
At length Sergeant-Major Skippon came up with eleven
troops of horse and the Cavaliers fled, many of them being
captured and some 200 slain. The victorious army is said
to have lost about forty.

Waller himself, with Colonel Browne, his second in
command, proceeded towards Chichester, but before arriving
there he sent a small detachment of a hundred men to
capture Arundel Castle. Its owner, Thomas, Earl of
Arundel, had retired to the Continent in the previous year;
but his son and heir, Lord Mowbray, had from the first
attached himself to the King's cause, and he continued to
fight in the royal army for three years. He then retired to
the Continent, but having succeeded in 1646 at his father's
death to his title and estates, he returned to England, and
was allowed at his own request to compound for 6,ooo. 2
It appears rather strange that so important a post as

1 Godwin, Civil War in Hampshire, ch. viii.
* S. A. C., v, 41.



Arundel, which, if well garrisoned and provisioned, could
have been made almost impregnable, should have been left
so ill-guarded. If Sir Edward Ford and his friends had
concentrated their energies upon it, instead of vainly
endeavouring to hold the city of Chichester with its dis-
affected population, they might have offered a much more
serious resistance to Sir William Waller. Probably the
absence of the Earl made any such arrangement difficult
or impossible. At any rate, it was now in charge of a
garrison of about a hundred men, who were not expecting
the arrival of any hostile force. 1

Waller's gallant attacking party rode into the town, and
while the remainder held the Royalist townsfolk in check,
thirty-six daring spirits assaulted the castle. They blew in
the gate with a petard, 2 and, dashing in, surprised and
secured the garrison. Among the prisoners were Sir
Richard Lechford and his son "a great Papist" and
one Captain Goulding, who was employed in raising men
and arms in Sussex for the Royalists in Chichester. The
prisoners were sent to London. The victors, who had
taken this important stronghold without the loss of a man,
were rewarded by the capture of 100 horses, together with
arms and stores.

1 Vicar's Jehoveh-Jirah, God in the Mount; or England's Parlia-
mentarie Chronicle, 1644, p. 231.

2 A favourite method of attacking fortified houses or castles unpro-
vided with outworks, was to apply a petard to the gate and blow it in.
The most lucid explanation of the process is given by Sir Henry Lee,
in the thirty-third chapter of Woodstock, to his house-maid Phoebe,
while Cromwell is attaching one to the front door of the manor house.
" ' What can they be doing now, sir?' said Phoebe, hearing a noise as
it were of a carpenter turning screw nails, mixed with a low buzz of
men talking. ' They are fixing a petard,' said the knight with great
composure. ' I have noted thee for a clever wench, Phoebe, and I will
explain it to thee : 'Tis a metal pot, shaped very much like one of the
roguish knaves own sugar-loaf hats, supposing it had a narrower brim
it is charged with some few pounds of fine gunpowder'" (see Firth,
Cromwell's Army, p. 166).


The fate of Chichester was now to be decided. Waller
arrived before the town on 2ist December 1642, his force
amounting to about 6,000 men. He had been joined the
evening before by three troops of horse and two companies
of " Dragooneers " under Colonel Morley and Sir Michael
Levesey. 1 The Trained Bands of Sussex, who had been dis-
armed a month earlier by Sir Edward Ford, the High
Sheriff, expressed their resolve " to regain and fetch their
arms from Chichester or else to lose their lives in the
attempt thereof." And they were as good as their word.

When Waller appeared before Chichester, the garrison
made a sortie, but were repulsed with the loss of one killed
and one taken prisoner. Waller suffered no loss, and
secured his position " upon a Downe called the Broils, the
only commanding ground about the town " ; and under fire
from the guns of the town the rest of the day was spent in
constructing siege batteries. With the approval of Sir
Arthur Haselrig and the rest of his officers, Waller next
summoned the city to surrender. A parley followed, the
besiegers being represented by Major Horatio Carey and
Captain Catre, for whom Colonel Lindsay and Lieutenant-
Colonel Potter were sent as hostages. Waller's demands
were as follows: An absolute surrender of the city, with
the giving up of Sir Edward Ford, of all Papists, and of
all persons considered by the Parliament as delinquents ;
the soldiers to depart without arms; the officers to retain
their swords and horses under a pledge never again to take
up arms against the Parliament.

After a long debate these terms were declined, but the
garrison offered to give up any Roman Catholics within the
walls. "Whereupon," says Waller, "the next day our battery
played, but our cannoneers overshot the towne extremely."
A report reached the city that Prince Rupert was ap-

1 This account of the siege is taken from Waller's own account as
given in a letter to the Earl of Essex, preserved by Vicars, Jehoveh-
Jirah, pp. 234-240.


preaching, which encouraged the garrison, but also prob-
ably hastened the operations of the besiegers. On the
following day Waller brought his guns nearer to the town.
The suburbs of the west gate were occupied after a fierce
struggle, but the burning with wild-fire of certain houses
by the garrison obliged the besiegers to retreat. The east
gate was also cleared by the burning of houses near to it.
Waller then brought his ordnance to the almshouses
within half a musket-shot of the north gate, and played
through the gate into the market-place. Colonel Roberts,
with fresh troops from Arundel, established his position at
the south gate; and on the east side of the town the
besieged on the walls were galled by a firing kept up from
the church of St. Pancras outside. It was now the sixth day
of the siege, and Waller was preparing to make a simul-
taneous attack upon the east and west, and also " to petard
a back gate that issued out of the Deanery through the
town wall into the fields, and was walled up by a single
brick thick." But at ten o'clock at night a trumpet was
sent out of the city with a request for a parley at nine
o'clock the next morning, which was granted.

At the time appointed Sir William Balnidine and
Captain Wolfe were sent from the garrison to treat for a
surrender. Waller now declined to grant any more favour-
able terms than " Quarter and with it honourable usage."
This was refused " not without hot indignation," and the
besieged prepared to sell their lives dearly, and Waller " to
proceed roundly and speedily with them." But at the last
moment before the assault, a message was sent out from
the city asking for a respite until seven the next morning?
when a surrender on Waller's terms was agreed upon.
Some of Lord Crawford's Scotch troopers within the city
opposed the surrender, but it was carried out in the

During the eight days of the siege no rain had fallen,
which greatly assisted the operations of the besiegers, but


the surrender of the city was immediately followed by
"continual incessant showers." The Puritan chroniclers
saw in this " the good hand of Providence," and also noted
with exultation that the surrender took place at the very
moment of the monthly fast. Parliament had passed an
Ordinance on 22nd August for a solemn fast to be kept on
the last Wednesday of every month, the observance of
which served as a ready test of political leanings ; and a
pretty severe test it was, for Clarendon tells us that it
was " observed for eight or ten hours together in the
churches." l

Waller's first care was " to release and fully set at
libertie all the honest men of the towne whom they had
imprisoned, who being thus enlarged, we employed in
places of trust in the city." The great body of the towns-
folk was probably throughout on the Parliamentary side,
and unwilling to take part in the defence of the city.
Clarendon attributes the surrender to this cause, and to the
disaffection of " the common people of the county, out of
which soldiers were to rise ; . . . their number of common
men was so small that the constant duty was performed
by the officers and gentlemen of quality, who were abso-
lutely tired out." And in order to suppress active opposi-
tion within the city, Sir Edward Ford had doubtless found
it necessary to keep the leading Puritans under lock
and key.

"In the evening," says Waller, " I discovered a train laid
of some barrels of gun-powder not farre from my lodging,
whereupon search being diligently made, I apprehended
the gunner that was suspected, but he would confess
nothing, and all the gentlemen being questioned about it,
utterly disclaimed it." The next business was to deal with
the prisoners. Of these there were "fifty or three-score
gentlemen of quality and officers of name," comprising

1 S. A. C., v, 32.


seventeen captains, thirteen lieutenants, and eight ensigns, 1
who were for the most part Scotsmen " with all their
brave horses, which were dainty ones indeed." 2 About
400 " excellent dragoneers " and three or four hundred
infantry laid down their arms. By order of Parliament the
prisoners were sent to London, the humbler captives being
despatched by sea.

Many of the leading Royalist gentry of Sussex fell into
Waller's hands. Chief among them were Sir Edward Ford,
the High Sheriff, with his father, Sir William Ford, of Up
Park. Ford was a man of some ability, as his subsequent
career evidenced; but he seems to have excelled neither
in strategy nor in tactics, and much of the disaster which
now overtook his friends and associates was due to his
ill-advised initiative. Ford was immediately sent up to
London, but was soon released through the influence of his
wife, Sarah, who was a sister of the Parliamentary General
Ireton; and before a year had passed he was again in arms
for the King.

Most of the gentry and some of the Cathedral clergy were
dealt with in the following year by the Commissioners
appointed to sequestrate Royalist estates, but some were
fined comparatively small sums by Waller immediately.
The gentry included Sir William Morley of Halnaker, and
his nephew, Sir John Morley, of Brooms in the manor .of
Chilgrove, West Dean. Sir John Morley seems to have
found some means to ingratiate himself with Sir William
Waller, perhaps the payment of a fine of .300. He had
a protection order, signed by Waller, on nth January
1642-3, specifying that his house in South Street, Chi-
chester, had been searched for arms, etc., and enjoining
" that no person do presume to enter therein, for search,
etc., or plunder the plate, goods or effects " of Sir John,
Dame Katherine, his mother, Dame Mary, his wife, his

1 Clarendon, vi, 236. 2 Vicars, loc, cit.


children or servants, he " having largely contributed to the
service of the King and parliament, and standing well
affected to them both." l

Others were Sir Thomas Bowyer of Leythorn in North
Mundham, created a Baronet in 1634; Thomas May of
Rawmere in Mid Lavant ; Christopher Lewknor, the recorder
and member for Chichester, recently expelled, a member
of the well-known Lewknor family of West Dean; John
Covert of Slaugham ; Thomas and George Counter, cousins,
of Racton, who subsequently took a leading part in assist-
ing Charles II on his journey to Brighthelmstone after the
battle of Worcester; Thomas Counter was now fined

The Cathedral clergy suffered severely. They were not
only deprived of the emoluments of their offices, but in
many cases were fined as well. Chief among them was the
Bishop, Dr. Henry King, " a proud Prelate, as all the rest
are, and a most pragmaticall malignant against the Parlia-
ment, as all his cater-capt companions are." 2 He was al-
lowed to retire to the residence of his brother-in-law, Sir
Richard Hobart, in Buckinghamshire, where he remained
in seclusion until the Restoration. He then resumed his
see and the rich benefice of Petworth. 3 It is rather curious
that according to Wood * " he was puritanically affected, and
therefore to please the puritans he was promoted to the
See of Chichester." But doubtless in the prevailing rage
against bishops no distinction of High and Low Church
was drawn. The bishop's palace, with the manor of the
Broyll and its demesnes, was sold to Colonel John Downes
for the sum of 1,309 6s. s

1 Royalist Composition Papers, vol. A, 103, p. 113. S. A. C., xix,

2 Vicars, Jehoveh-Jirah, loc. cit.

3 Lower's Worthies of Sussex, p. 117.

4 Athenae Oxonienses, iii, 841.

5 Dallaway, Chichester, p. 32, on the authority of MSS. Lambeth,
No. 951, entitled Lambeth Papers, No. u.


The Dean, Dr. Bruno Reeves, was fined 120, and many
of the Canons suffered severely. One John Gregory, the
Prebendary of Bracklesham, a great Oriental scholar, and
a friend of Selden's, was so reduced as to die in obscure
poverty at an alehouse in I646. 1

It is sad to relate that irreparable damage was done to
the Cathedral by the victorious soldiery, whom Waller was
either powerless or unwilling to restrain. His officer, Sir
Arthur Haselrig, took part in, and even appears to have
instigated these disgraceful proceedings, of which a full
account has come down to us from the pen of Dr. Reeves,
the Dean. This account, which is instinct with a mordant
humour, is as follows: 2

" The rebels under the conduct of Sir William Waller,
entering the City of Chichester on Innocents Day 1642, the
next day their first business was to plunder the Cathedral
Church. The Marshal therefore and some others, having
entered the Church, went into the Vestry; there they seize
up the vestments and ornaments of the church, together
with the consecrated plate serving for the altar and ad-
ministration of the Lord's Supper ; they left not so much as
a cushion for the pulpit, nor a chalice for the Blessed Sacra-
ment. The Commanders having in person executed the
covetous part of sacrilege, they leave the destructive and
spoiling part to be finished by the common soldiers : [who]
brake down the organs, and dashing the pipes with their
pole-axes, scoffingly said ' Hark how the organs go.' They
brake the rail about the Communion Table, which was done
with that fury, that the Table itself escaped not their mad-
ness, but tasted of the same fate with the rail, and was
broken in pieces by them. At the east end of the Choir
did hang a very fair Table, wherein were written the Ten
Commandments, with the pictures of Moses and Aaron on

1 S. A. C., v, 52.

2 Mercurius Rusticus, or the Countrie's Complaint, Oxford, 1646,
p. 223.


each side of the Table. Possessed with a zeal, but not like
that of Moses, they pull down the Table, and break it into
small shivers. 'Twas no wonder that they should break the
Commandments in their representation, that had before
broken them all over in their substance and sanction. They
force open all the locks, either of doors or desks wherein
the singing-men laid their Common-Prayer-books, their
singing books, their gown and surplices; they rent the
books in pieces, and scatter the torn leaves all over the
Church, even to the covering of the pavement ; but against
the gowns and surplices their anger was not so hot ; these
were not amongst the anathemata, but might be reserved
to secular uses.

" In the south cross-aisle, on the one side, the history of
the Church's foundation was very artificially portrayed with
the pictures of the Kings of England; on the other side
over against them, are the pictures of the Bishops, as well
of Selsey as of Chichester, begun by Robert Sherborn, the
thirty-seventh Bishop of that see, and the series brought
down to his own time at his own charges ; who as he made that
of the Psalmist, Dilexi decorem domus tut domine ' Lord I
have loved the beauty of thy house' his impress and
motto, so he made it his work and endeavour. These
monuments they deface and mangle with their hands and
swords, as high as they could reach ; and to show their love
and zeal to the Protestant religion, established in the
Church of England, one of those miscreants picked out the
eyes of King Edward the Sixth's picture, saying ' That all
this mischief came from him when he established the Book
of Common-prayer.'

" On the Tuesday following they had a solemn thanks-
giving for their success in gaining that city. Men of cauter-
ized consciences, and given up to a reprobate sense, thus
not only to take the name of God in vain, but damnably to
blaspheme it, as if He were the patron of rapine, blood and
sacrilege. After the sermon was ended, as men not inspired


by the holy spirit, of which they so much boast, but pos-
sessed and transported by a Bacchanalian fury, they ran up
and down the church with their swords drawn defacing the
monuments of the dead, hacking and hewing the seats and
stalls, scratching and scraping the painted walls; Sir Wil-
liam Waller and the rest of the commanders standing by
as spectators and approvers of these barbarous impieties ;
yet for fear lest in this schismatical frenzy the sword in mad
men's hands might mistake, Sir William Waller, a wary
man as he is, and well known not to be too apt to expose
himself to danger, stood all the while with his sword drawn,
and being asked by one of his troopers what he meant to
stand in that posture, he answered that it was to secure
himself. You know 'tis written ' The wicked are afraid
where no fear is,' for though the people made him an idol
in London, yet being no popish, but a puritanical idol (for
they have their idols and their idolatry, as much as the
Church of Rome) there was no danger to his person, to be

mistaken for an object of their Reformation at Chichester

" Having therefore made what spoil they could in the
Cathedral, they rush out thence and break open a parish
church, standing on the north side of the cathedral, called
the sub-deanery; there they did teare the Common-prayer-
books; and because many things in the Holy Bible made
strongly against them, and did contradict and condemn
their impious practices, they marked it in divers places
with a black coal. Here they stole the minister's surplice
and hood, and all the linen serving for the communion ; and
finding no more plate but the challice, they steal that too,
which they brake in pieces, to make a just and equal
divident amongst themselves; for an engineer of theirs,
Robert Prince, a Frenchman, with a wooden leg, afterwards
showed the foot thereof broken off; and when complaint
was made of these barbarous outrages, Captain Keely re-
plied, that he knew not whether all this were not done by
order or no.


" About five or six days after, Sir Arthur Haselrig
demanded the keys of the Chapter-house; being entered
the place and having intelligence by a treacherous officer
of the Church, where the remainder of the church-plate was,
he commanded his servants to break down the wainscot
round about the room, which was quickly done, they hav-
ing brought crows of iron for that purpose along with them.
While they were knocking down the wainscot, Sir Arthur's
tongue was not enough to express his joy; it was operative
at his heeles, for dancing and skipping, (pray mark what
music that is to which it is lawful for a Puritan to dance)
he cried out ' There, boys : there, boys ; heark, heark, it
rattles, it rattles'; and being much importuned by some
members of that church to leave the church but a cup for
administration of the Blessed Sacrament, answer was re-
turned by a Scotchman standing by that they should take
a wooden dish. And now tell me which was farthest from
a Christian, either this impure Scot, or that blasphemous
atheist, who seeing the massy plate and rich ornaments
wherewith the Christian altars were adorned in the primit-
ive church, in indignation and scorn belched out En quam
preciosis vasis filius Mariae ministratur ' Behold with what
costly vessels the Son of Mary is served.' What further
spoil and indignity they have since done to that house of
God, and 'the habitation where His honour dwelt' is yet

Such is the indignant Dean's account of these indecent
outrages, and with every allowance for partisan exaggera-
tion, there is no reason to believe that it is not substantially

Sir Arthur Haselrig was certainly the scourge of the city.
It is said that he again visited it in 1647, on the invitation
of Mr. William Cawley, to finish the work of destruction
which it was alleged had been left incomplete, and that
finish it he did. 1

1 S. A. C., v, 44. I can find no authority for this story, which has


The paucity of ancient records possessed by the Cathe-
dral of Chichester is generally attributed to the destruction
of the muniments of the see by Waller's soldiery. But
there is some evidence that they had been lost before, per-
haps during the negligent rule of Dean William Thorne,
the Orientalist. Among the questions asked at the Bishop's
visitation of 1616 is the following: "What is become of the
Copes, Monuments and Vestments of your church? By
whose default principally are your evidences wanting and
lost?" 1

Apart from wilful damage, no due care was taken of the
Cathedral library. Years afterwards, in 1651, the County
Committee for Sussex wrote to the Committee for Com-
pounding: "There are in the Deanery House in Chichester
a considerable number of books, long since sequestered by
the former committee from the late bishop, dean, and
chapter, and other delinquents, which belonged to the
Cathedral. If you approve, a waggon should be hired to
bring them up to London, so as to have them appraised and
sold for the use of the state, as they have received much
damage, and will do still more by lying where they are."
The reply was that the books were to remain at the dean-
ery to be inventoried and appraised there, and the certifi-
cate sent up.*

Damage to the Cathedral was not the only loss sustained
by Chichester from the siege. The industry of needle-
making had long been established there, and the town is
stated to have monopolized the trade of England in needles
during the early part of the seventeenth century. 3 The
manufacture was carried on chiefly in the parish of St. Pan-
eras, without the east gate, and at the time of the siege

apparently been copied by later writers Dallaway, Blaauw, and
Godwin from Hay's History of Chichester, p. 344.

1 Hist. MSS. Com., Various Collections, 1901, pp. 188, 201.

2 Cal. Com. for Compounding, p. 470.

3 Hay, History of Chichester, p. 366.


almost every house in the parish was occupied by a needle-
maker. From the registers it appears that an almost com-
plete demolition of houses took place; l the entries relating
to a numerous population are followed by a hiatus, and
thereafter the re-erection of houses seems to have proceeded
slowly. The industry received a blow from which it never
recovered. The production of cheaper, if inferior, needles
in the manufacturing towns of the north no doubt completed
its destruction.

This industry was perhaps one of those brought from the
Continent by immigrants and refugees, with whom the
coast towns abounded. Many of these were regarded as
undesirable aliens, not only because from their poverty they
were liable to become a burden to the parish "to the
great cry and grief of the inhabitants of Rye and other
places about the same " but because of their competition
with established traders. But in spite of all restrictions
numerous Frenchmen and Flemings became domiciled in
the Sussex ports, as the names of their descendants bear
witness. And as has happened throughout our history,
these strangers brought with them a knowledge of trades
and handicrafts in which the English were not previously
proficient. Among foreigners resident at Rye in the reign

Online LibraryCharles Thomas-StanfordSussex in the great Civil War and the interregnum, 1642-1660 → online text (page 6 of 30)