Glimpses Of Our Ancestors In Sussex - online book

With Sketches Of Sussex Characters, Remarkable Incidents &c

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The Sussex Regicides, &c.                165
Public opinion is still divided as to the justice or iniquity, the wisdom or folly, of the act by which Charles was brought to the block. But few, we take it, will now join in the hue and cry raised against his judges after the Restoration, or approve of the ruthlessness with which they were hunted down and handed over—some to the executioner, some to the assassin's knife, and some to perpetual banishment from their native country. As the acts and motives of men are weighed in the impartial balance of history, and the consequences of those acts stand out distinctly in relief, very different judgments are pronounced upon them at different periods. Without any desire, therefore, to include the Sussex Regicides among the worthies of their county, they may, at least, in the present day, claim to figure among its remarkable men and to have that veil drawn aside beneath which it has been the fashion to conceal them.*
The Regicides did not belong to the scum of the land. In social position the majority of them were of the landed gentry class. Indeed, as we read the Sussex records of the struggle between King and Parliament, we are surprised to find how large a section of the upper classes took part with the latter, and how many of them even adhered to the fortunes of Cromwell and the Commonwealth. Among those Sussex Members of the Long Parliament who took the Covenant— one of the most decisive acts of resistance to the King—or were in the military or civil service of the Parliament—were a Pelham, a Shelley, a Stapley, a Temple, a Morley, a Parker, an Onslow, a Goodwin, a Selden, a Gratwick, a Middleton, a Courthope, a Fagg, a Gerrard, an Apsley, a Hay, a Baker, a Marlott, a Springett, an Eversfield, a Trevor, a Boord, and a Challoner. These, with others of the same rank, were a fair representation of the gentry and richer burgesses of the county. On the other side were the Gorings, the Lewkners, the Alfords, the Lunsfords, the Coverts, the Bisshopps, the
• Not one of the Regicides finds a place in Lower's " Worthies of Sussex," although Jack Cade stands among them !
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