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would be so far spent, that it was not possible for the foot
to march to Arundel, whereupon they were sent to quarter
at Parham, with whom I was going till stayed by Colonel
Morley. The horse were kept upon the hill to get intelli-
gence of the enemy, and to do service upon their quarters, if
we could find them out.

" Colonel Morley and myself with some others rode out
upon the hills to discover the country and to see what
became of the party sent out. In our absence the horsemen
unbitted their horses, and turned them into a load of hay
which they had taken from the cows. In our return there
was one musket shot off, and some dags 1 that sparkled fire
much like a match lighted with gunpowder. This was a
party of the enemy upon our body, unsuspected by us.
Colonel Morley was told it was not well to lie so openly;
he said he would close them ; one replied that they thought
if he did but speak to them, it was enough. He rode
towards them, and I rode on softly upon the way, till meet-
ing this party of the enemy coming up from our own body,
out of any road, taking it to be a party of our own, for the
mist fell thick that I could not discern my horse length. I
rode to them; they said, 'who are you?' I said, 'a friend';
they said, 'who are you for?' I replied, 'what! do you not
know me?' and gave them the word, ' God with us.' They
asked me again, ' who are you for? ' I returned the word
again angrily, doubting that they might not know the word.
With that, one of them caught hold of my horse, another

1 Pistols.


of my sword, and asked, ' who I was for? ' I said, ' for king
and parliament ' ; and laying my hand upon my sword, they
pulled and brake it. A third came up and caught hold of
my rocket coat, and threw it over my head, when divers
with their drawn swords rode about me, pulling by my coat
that was about my head. I told the properest man that I
could spy (this man I understood to be called Mr. Montague)
that I was his prisoner. He replied that none should wrong
me, but before they would let go my horse, caused me pre-
sently to alight. They took my coat and gloves, and told
me they should search my pockets. I replied they should
not need, for there was money for them, and so gave the
silver that I had in that pocket, some to one, some to
another, wherefore the one would not let the other rifle
me; whereby I had the opportunity to convey away Sir
William Waller's letters, and the Committee's, which I had
then about me, and left a little money for myself.

" Mr. Montague gat upon my horse, and told me that I
should get upon his. This was a poor tired jade. I was
long ere I got up. They held their pistols to me, and said,
1 shoot him, shoot him.' I pulling the saddle on my side,
turned my breast to their pistols, and said, ' Why ! shoot me
then ! for I cannot get up.' Then said one, ' Why do you
not alight and help him up?' With that one alighted and
helped me up. This I did delay, expecting relief. They
asked how strong we were. I told them between 300 and
400. This was true but the rest I concealed, namely, that
our men were unbitted and out of order, and unable to
make any resistance. The fear of their number, the not
knowing their disorder, caused the enemy to haste away
almost in like disorder."

What happened to the writer of this interesting story
does not appear, as his manuscript ends here. Probably he
was taken to Arundel as a prisoner. Meantime the castle
had fallen. On the third day after Lord Hopton's arrival
he sent in a message threatening severe measures in case


he was driven to assault it, and the officer in command,
Captain Capcot, seeing that further resistance was hopeless,
surrendered. 1 Colonel Morley, having found it impossible
to relieve Arundel or to hold Houghton Bridge, fell back
on the Adur. Here Temple successfully defended Bramber
Castle against a Royalist attack. Of this affair the voluble
Puritan divine, Dr. Cheynell, says: "Upon the I2th of
December I visited a brave soldier of my acquaintance,
Captain James Temple, who did that day defend the fort
of Bramber against a bold and daring enemy to the wonder
of all the country ; and I did not marvel at it, for he is a
man that hath his head full of stratagems, his heart full of
piety and valour, and his hand as full of success as it is of
dexterity." *

Another skirmish took place a little later at Bramber
Bridge, as related in the very interesting letters of the Rev.
John Coulton, Chaplain in the Parliamentary Army, to his
" most dear loving and kind friend and brother in Jesus
Christ," Mr. Samuel Jeake of Rye. 3 Mr. Coulton describes
his personal experiences with the force hastily raised for
the defence of East Sussex. " That Saturday I came from

1 Mercurius Civicus, No. 29, December 7 to 14, 1643.

2 Cheynell, Chillingworthi novissima.

3 S. A. C., ix, 51. Samuel Jeake of Rye was at this time only twenty
years of age. The Parish Register of Rye contains the entry: " 1623,
Oct 12, Sammewell, son of Henry Jake." The Jeakes were a family
of Huguenot origin, their name being doubtless derived from Jacques.
At first a notary-public, and afterwards an attorney, he was also a
most laborious student and a prolific writer. His most important work
was " The Charters of the Cinque-Ports, two Ancient Towns (Rye and
Winchelsea), and their Members, translated into English, with anno-
tations historical and critical thereon." An active Puritan, and a
preacher, he suffered persecution for nonconformity in Charles II's
reign, and was excommunicated. He died in 1690. " Upon the whole,"
says Mr. Lower, " Sussex has produced few men more remarkable
than the elder Samuel Jeake. He was a man of capacious intellect, a
sound lawyer and municipal antiquary, and good mathematician and
a student of every branch of human knowledge " (Worthies of Sussex,
p. 125). See S. A. C., xiii, 60.


Rye, I marched to Robert Rolfe's house at Mayfield, where
I quartered all night ; the next day we marched to Port-
slade. On Christmas day we came to Shoreham, and
about eleven o'clock Sergeant Rolfe shot off a carbine and
withal his thumb. I stayed with him all Tuesday and saw
him in good posture, and so I went to my colours." He
found his regiment at Arundel, and with it executed some
scouting operations, and discovered Hopton at Petersfield.
" The return of us was the next day about ten o'clock ;
ourselves and horse had no meat but a piece of bread and
cheese, and our horses, while we ate it, had hay not half an
hour's time; prize your fireside comforts, you know not the
hardships of war; nay, though it be in a flowing county
as is Sussex. . . . The enemy attempted Bramber bridge,
but our brave Carleton and Everden with his dragoons,
and our Colonel's horse welcomed them with drakes and
muskets, sending some eight or nine men to hell (I fear),
and one trooper to Arundel Castle prisoner, and one of
Captain Everden's dragoons to heaven, all this while the
enemy held the castle, and a party seized Wiston house
within a mile of Bramber bridge."

The Captain Carleton here mentioned was a son of Dr.
Carleton, Bishop of Chichester, 1619-1628. He is described
by Cheynell l as " the anti-prelatical son of a learned
prelate, a man of bold presence, and fixed resolution, who
loves his country better than his life." Captain Everden
was, according to the same authority, " a man of slow
speech but sure performance, who deserves that motto of
the old Roman : Non tarn facile loquor, quam quod locutus
sum praesto"

But although a Royalist advance east of the Adur was
prevented, the prospects of the Parliamentary party looked
black. Their only hope lay in the intervention of Waller,
and he was known to be in difficulties. It is not surprising

1 Chillingworthi novissima.


that one at least of the Parliamentary leaders should seem
to have thought it advisable to curry favour with the other
side. In August 1644 articles were formulated against
Thomas Middleton, M.P. for Horsham, and one of the
Committee for Sussex, alleging that in the previous Dec-
ember, when the King's forces invaded Sussex, pretending
himself to be sick, he would not in any way show himself
against the King's forces, but discouraged the countrymen
that took up arms for the Parliament when the King's
forces were within a few miles of Horsham, and that he was
in all probability consenting to the bringing of some of the
King's forces to take Horsham. 1

Middleton, who resided at Hills Place, seems to have
been absolved from this accusation, but he was arrested in
1648 on a charge of being concerned in the rising which
took place at Horsham in that year. A somewhat ridiculous
incident of an earlier date is related, in which he was the
involuntary cause of alarming all London. The report of
a plot was reading in the House of Commons (May 1641)
when some members in the gallery stood up, the better to
hear the report, and Middleton and Mr. Moyle, of Cornwall,
" two persons of good bigness, weighed down a board in the
gallery which gave so great a crack, that some members
thought it was a plot indeed," and an alarm of fire, and of
a malignant conspiracy, spread rapidly over the town, so
that a regiment of trained bands was collected in the City
upon beat of drum, and marched as far as Covent Garden
to meet these imaginary evils. 2

But while West Sussex was falling into Royalist^ hands,
and East Sussex was with difficulty defending its border,
the reports of Royalist successes were affording the stimulus
which was wanted to induce the House to make due pro-
vision for Waller's army. Early in December Waller went
to London " to be feasted and lectured," but he seems to

1 Portland MSS. (Hist. MSS. Com.), i, 183.

2 Rush worth, v, 744 ; S. A. C., v, 87.


have done the lecturing himself, and to some effect.
" Waller's journey to London answered his expectation,
and his presence had an extraordinary operation to procure
anything desired. He reported the Lord Hopton's forces
to be much greater than they were, that his own might be
made proportionable to encounter them; and the quick
progress he had made in Sussex, and his taking Arundel
Castle, made them thought to be greater than he reported
them to be. His so easily possessing himself of a place of
that strength, which they supposed to have been impreg-
nable, and in a county where the King had before no
footing, awakened all their jealousies and apprehensions of
the affections of Kent and all other places, and looked
like a land-flood, that might roll they knew not how far; so
that there needed no importunate solicitation to provide a
remedy against this growing evil." 1

The House requested the City of London to allow " the
longer stay of their forces," which were to have been
withdrawn, and 500 men were sent to Farnham from
the Windsor garrison. Waggons went from London laden
with ammunition, and with leather pieces of ordnance,
lately invented by Colonel Wems, General of Ordnance
and Train. " These leather pieces are of very great use,
and very easy and light of carriage. One horse may draw
a piece, which will carry a bullet of a pound and half
weight and do execution very far." 2

1 Clarendon, viii, 9. 3 True Informer, gth December 1643.



AFTER a successful attack on Alton, 1 in which he
took several hundred prisoners, including numerous
Irish, Waller marched out of Farnham on the afternoon of
Sunday, i/th December, to meet the victorious Royalists
in Sussex. It will be remembered that they were, in
addition to smaller positions, in occupation of the great
houses of Petworth, Cowdray, and Stanstead, and of the
Castle of Arundel. The frost was still holding, and Waller
was able to move with extraordinary rapidity. Occupying
Haslemere on Sunday night, he " wheeled about " towards
Midhurst on Monday morning in hope of surprising the
garrison at Cowdray, consisting, as he says in his des-
patches, of four troops of cavalry and 100 infantry. He
sent two regiments of cavalry to block up the various
roads in the neighbourhood, but the Royalists were " too
nimble" for him, and escaped to Arundel. An officer of
his force wrote a letter, published at the time, 2 which well
describes his subsequent proceedings : " [Cowdray] house
is now possessed by the Parliament forces where we stayed
that night, and furnished the said castle (for indeed it may
well be called so in regard of the strength thereof) with all
necessaries for defence to awe the Papists and malignants,
wherewith the said town is much infested and infected.
Tuesday morning we marched from Midhurst, sending out

1 Cal. S. P. Dom., Chas. I, ccccxcviii, 76.

2 Mercurius Civicus, 2ist December 1643.



a party of horse to Petworth, having thought to surprise
the enemy there, but they fled before our success, Hopton
and the great ones to Winchester and the rest to Arundel
with bag and baggage."

Cowdray seems to have been stripped of its contents,
which were doubtless of great value. In the Journals of
the House of Commons are the following entries:

" ist April 1644. Ordered, that Capt. Higgons do
forthwith send up the plate, treasure, and other goods found
in the Lord Montague's house.

" i8M May 1644. Ordered, that the goods brought up
from Cowdray House in Sussex, by order of this House,
be forthwith stored up in the stores at Camden House.

" 6th June 1 644. Ordered, that the goods that are brought
up, which were seized at the Lord Montague's house in
Sussex, and particularly those goods remaining at " The
Talbot," in Southwark, in Captain Higgons's custody, be
carried into Camden House, and all the said goods be
there sold to the best value." *

But these operations by the way caused little check to
the rapidity of Waller's advance. He appeared before
Arundel on the evening of Tuesday, the I9th, and the army
lay that night " on a heath within a mile of the town." 2

1 "There was a constant stream of traffic in carts laden with goods
seized in the counties and conveyed to the Guildhall in London, where
the sale of these effects took place. These sales made a rare harvest
for the dealers, who bought up valuable heirlooms ' dirt cheap.' The
goods were ' sold by the candle,' and some of the more crafty ones got
near enough the elbow of the auctioneer to control the flame. A large
buyer named Fletcher was accused that he stood ' so near the candle
that it goes out at the casting up of his hand, or the wind of his mouth
at his last bidding, when others would have bidden more.' The refer-
ence is of course to the old fashion of burning a piece of candle and
knocking down to the last bidder before the flame expired " (Kingston's
Hertfordshire during the Great Civil War, p. 154 n.).

2 The account of the siege of Arundel is mainly based on Waller's
own despatches, which were promptly published (Full Relation of Late


After his capture of Arundel Castle on 9th December,
Lord Hopton had left Sir Edward Ford in command,
with more than 200 men and " many good officers, who
desired or were very willing to stay there, as a place very
favourable for the levies of men which they all intended,
and it may be that the more remained there out of the
weariness and fatigue of their late marches, and that they
might spend the rest of the winter with better accommoda-
tion. The Governor was a man of honesty and courage,
but unacquainted with that affair, having no other ex-
perience of war than what he had learned since these
troubles. The officers were many without command ; many
whereof were of natures not easy to be governed, nor like
to conform themselves to such strict rules as the condition
of the place required, or to use that industry as the exi-
gence they were like to be in made necessary." Amongst
them was " Colonel Bamford, an Irishman, though he
called himself Bamfield; who being a man of wit and
parts, applied all his faculties to improve the faction, to
which they were all naturally inclined, with a hope to make
himself governor." 1

Doubtless the garrison was much increased by the
refugees driven in from Cowdray and other positions on
the line of Waller's march.

Hopton had caused various entrenchments to be made
for the defence of the town, which it was Waller's first care
to capture. At dawn on Wednesday, the 2Oth, he surveyed
the enemy's position and speedily found, he says, a place
" to flank their line with our ordnance. We fell upon the
north side of the works " while another detachment made
a simultaneous attack on the south-west side of the town.
After about half an hour's fighting, the outworks, with
some eighty prisoners, were taken. About ten o'clock the

Proceedings of Sir W. Waller, John Field, 8th January 1664), and
have been several times reprinted.
1 Clarendon, B. viii, 8.


Cavalier horse made " a brave sally " but was repulsed.
The storming party " beat them into the Castle, and en-
tered the first gate with them; the second they made good
and barricaded, and there they are welcome." Scouring the
streets, the Parliamentarians captured a captain, a lieu-
tenant, and several other prisoners. Certain townsmen
having taken refuge in the Church of St. Nicholas, pre-
parations were made to smoke them out, whereupon they
surrendered at discretion. Waller was now in possession
of the town of Arundel. The garrison kept up a brisk fire
of musketry from the Castle, but were not able to com-
mand any considerable portion of the town. Only three or
four men are said to have been killed in the attack, but
Lieut-Colonel Ramsay, who was one of the first to enter
the town, " whilst casting his eyes towards the Castle, was
unfortunately slain with a musket ball from thence; he was
interred on the following Saturday, six trumpeters going
before the corpse with a mournful sound, his sergeant-
major, to whom his place fell, following, and then all the
officers of his regiment."

Immediately after the capture of the town Waller had a
narrow escape. " A perfidious rascal for hire, or some
other wicked end, would have killed our noble general ; but
it pleased God that his musket went not off, so that his
wicked design was prevented, and himself deservedly
hanged." l

The Rev. John Coulton, whose letter to Mr. Samuel
Jeake has already been quoted, states that Sir William
"took Arundel town with 140 prisoners to boot, whereof
60 bear arms for the Parliament, the rest are sent to Lon-
don"; and he adds, "our Wiston Cavaliers left the house
and fled for their lives, and in their march at Findon left
3 carts laden with plunder, the which we with a party of
1 2 horse fetched home and refreshed our weary soldiers ;

1 A wicked plot against the person of Sir William Waller, etc.
London, printed for Robert Wood, MDCXLIV, January nth.


these things being by the Lord's hand done, my Colonel
[Morley] advanced to Arundel, leaving at Shoreham Capt.
Temple, at Bramber Capt. Fuller and Capt. Everden. . . .
Tell Widow Dod I eat and drink with both her brothers
William and John, they are very well; only my uncle Pye
wants his feather bed to sleep on."

The readiness of prisoners to take service with their
captors, of which Mr. Coulton gives an instance, is a curious
feature of the Civil War. It suggests that they were com-
batants rather from necessity than conviction, and that the
division of the country into two well-defined parties was
less thorough than we are sometimes tempted to assume. Of
the prisoners taken by Waller at Alton on I2th December,
a number, variously stated as being 300, 500, and 600, ac-
cepted the offer of freedom on condition of taking the
Covenant, and engaging to serve the Parliament. During
the following week they proved the groundlessness of the
doubts which were freely expressed as to their fidelity by
a fierce assault upon their former comrades at Arundel. 1
The day of Cromwell's East Anglian army, invincible from
its combination of perfect military discipline with intense
religious enthusiasm, was yet to come. It was not only on
the Parliamentary side that this pressing of prisoners into
service was practised. In November 1642 the King sur-
prised the Red Trained Bands of the City of London at
Brentford, and threatened to hang the prisoners if they did
not join his army. " A smith was brought to burn them
on the cheeks," whereupon 200 declared for the royal ser-
vice, and " 140 tendered their persons to be stigmatized
rather than yield "; they were, however, released unhurt. 2
Considering that they were mere London apprentices, the
number of those who elected to stand to their colours and
take their punishment was very creditable.

Waller now addressed himself to the siege of Arundel

1 Godwin, Civil War in Hampshire, ch. xvi.

2 S. A. C., v, 64.


Castle, which resisted him for seventeen days. As a token
of defiance the garrison hoisted a red flag, for, says White-
lock, "the Earl of Essex's colours were a deep yellow;
others setting up another colour were held malignants, and
ill-affected to the Parliament's cause. So small a thing is
taken notice of in the jealousies of war." l Waller's force
consisted of not less than 6,000 men, and he was ex-
pecting large reinforcements. He says: "I am very weak
in foot and my horse so hacknied out that they are ready
to lie down under us. I expect Colonel Bayne here this
day and Colonel Morley." The first-named officer was
bringing up a cavalry reinforcement, 600 strong, sent
to Waller by the Earl of Essex. On Thursday, 2ist
December, Colonel Morley arrived with his regiment, in
which were, as we know, the two brothers of the widow
Dod, the Rev. John Coulton, and his uncle Pye. A first
consignment of six waggons of provisions, collected by
well-wishers in the county, to be followed by others, also
arrived. The long frost, which had made easy the marches
both of Hopton and Waller, at length broke, and the be-
siegers were exposed to storms of wind and rain. As far
as possible they were billeted in the town, but the musketry
fire from the garrison continued harassing. In order to
check this Major Bodley, " perceiving divers in the castle
look forth in a balcony," posted himself " in a private place
of advantage," and by a well-directed volley " slew and
wounded divers of the enemy."

In addition two "saker drakes," or light field pieces,
were mounted that night on the tower of Arundel Church,
and next day, together with certain musketeers, they
poured a continuous fire into the upper portion of the
castle. Further reinforcements arrived from Kent, Sir
Michael Livesay with a regiment of horse, and Sir William
Springate with a regiment of infantry. Desertions from

1 Whitelock's Memorials.


the castle began to be very numerous, and continued
throughout the siege, A certain Richard Smith, a deserter
from the army of the Parliament, was arrested by a guard
four miles distant. He had been hired to go to Hopton
for aid, for a sum of " twenty shillings of which he had
twelve pence in hand." When questioned by the captain
of the guard, he said he had lost the letter to Lord Hopton.
Having been proved to be " an arch spy in our army," he
was hanged on the bridge, within sight of the castle. He
had described the state of the garrison; their strength was
" 1,000 foot and 100 horse, but no provender for them.
They had store of oxen, but no beer or wine save water
only, which was in the Castle well; that the common
soldiers with him had that day half a pound of bread
weighed out to them."

Steps were taken to drain off the water of Swanboume
Lake, which supplied the castle wells, and on Saturday
this work was completed. On Sunday further reinforce-
ments arrived from Kent, consisting of two regiments
under Colonels Head and Dixie, which together with
" divers regiments from Sussex" raised Waller's force to a
total of not less than 10,000 men. On Monday a sortie
was attempted from the castle, but driven back. Waller,
sure of his prey, refused to exchange prisoners, or to
promise quarter in case of surrender.

The only hope for the garrison lay in relief by Lord
Hopton. But Hopton was a broken reed. At his head-
quarters at Winchester he was suffering much from dissen-
sions in his heterogeneous army. The " English-Irish "
contingent, which had been brought over to fight on the
royal side, was continually at loggerheads with the Corn-

Online LibraryCharles Thomas-StanfordSussex in the great Civil War and the interregnum, 1642-1660 → online text (page 8 of 30)