Glimpses Of Our Ancestors In Sussex - online book

With Sketches Of Sussex Characters, Remarkable Incidents &c

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182               Glimpses of Our Ancestors.
We have named the Springets as one of our extinct Sussex families. Their seat was Broyle Place, Ringmer, near Lewes, and here we have an instance, amongst many others, of the extent to which the rigid opinions of the Puritans had penetrated the ranks of the English gentry as well as of the bourgeois and yeoman class in the earlier part of the 17th century. One of the brothers of Sir Thomas Springet in the first Charles's day was a lawyer, but very strict in religion, and dying early of consumption, his widow (a sister of Sir E. Partridge, of Kent) brought up his son in the father's principles, sending him to Cambridge to " a Puritan College called St. Katherine's Hall, for he declined Bishops and Common Prayer very early." At home he was not less carefully looked after, his mother having a "Minister" to preach thrice a week to her friends and spending half her fortune in daily compounding and dispensing medicines to the poor. All these particulars we learn from the lady whom young William Springet married at the early age of 20, in Kent f without a ring," as she tell us, " and many of their formal dark words left out." She was a daughter of Sir John Proude, Knight; and she is worthy to take her place by the side of Lucy Hutchinson and with the daughter of Whalley and wife of Goffe for the devoted affection she showed to her husband and for her constancy to the principles in which it is evident she, like her husband, had been brought up in one of those " God-fearing households" then so common in England. On a son being born to them, her husband, she tells us, carried the child five miles off in order to avoid baptism in a Church, and to obtain it from the chosen hands of Master Wilson, of Otham, one of the Orthodox Divines of Kent.
On the breaking-out of hostilities between King and Parliament, the young Sussex Puritan was not long in choosing sides. He took the Covenant and received a commission to raise a regiment of horse. He must have done his work promptly, for he was soon at the head of 800 horse and was employed with it in suppressing a Royalist rising in the vale
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