Glimpses Of Our Ancestors In Sussex - online book

With Sketches Of Sussex Characters, Remarkable Incidents &c

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The Sussex Regicides, &c.                169
Cawley's influence in Chichester was paramount, and it was exerted steadily, first for the Parliament and then for the Protector. Once, indeed, in 1647, he had occasion to ask for military assistance, and Sir Arthur Haselrig, who had taken part in the siege and capture of the city in 1642, was sent down to him. But, on the whole, Sussex was staunch for the Commonwealth, and gave little trouble to the Protector. William Cawley was much trusted by the latter. He was appointed one of the Council of State in 1650-1; he acquiesced in the assumption by Cromwell of the Sovereign power, and the Protector made him one of his Commissioners for the county of Sussex. His name also appears with those of Sir T. Pelham, Anthony Stapley, Colonel Morley, John Downes, James Temple, &c, as one of the Sequestrators for Sussex. The Chichester brewer was, without doubt, all-powerful in that city during the Protectorate, and such was the estimation in which Cawley was held in his native city that he was one of the few Regicides able to obtain a seat in the Convention Parliament called to smoothe the return of the Stuarts. But the tide was now running strongly towards Monarchy, and against the recent upholders of a Republic. Cawley had to conceal himself; and being absolutely excepted, with the other Regicides, from pardon both as to life and estate, he fled—first to France, and thence to Geneva and Lausanne, where, under the protection of the Lords of Berne, he passed the remainder of his days—in, as Noble observes, " the constant fear of detection, the loss of all society with those he loved, and with a scanty income." " He and some others implicated with him," continues the historian of the Regicides, "lived as if they wished to be forgotten even whilst on earth, and were spectators, as it were, of being cut off from the land of the living. A more melancholy situation cannot be conceived by the mind of man."
Bad enough, no doubt; but, most certainly, there are many infinitely worse situations. For these men did not hold them­selves to be criminals, but rather martyrs for what they looked
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