Glimpses Of Our Ancestors In Sussex - online book

With Sketches Of Sussex Characters, Remarkable Incidents &c

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190               Glimpses of Our Ancestors.
residences of these so-called conspirators, and whilst none of them was above the rank of gentleman, several are entitled yeomen, and one was a smith, of Fletching. With the exception of two, who are." late of London," and two others late of places in Kent, all are set down as being lately of places in Sussex, several of Hurstmonceux, and, doubtless, in the service of Lord Dacre; one (Thos. Duffield), of Framfield, and another (John Shelley, a well-known Sussex name), of Patcham. The meeting on the 20th of April broke up, we may presume, without any definite result. It led, at all events, to no immediate action; for ten days afterwards, on the 30th April, the same parties met again at the same house, and on this occasion the meeting was followed up by decisive acts. The conspirators, or, as we should call them in the present day, poachers, divided themselves into two bands; one led by Lord Dacre, and the other by Henry Fitzherbert (of Ringmer, Sussex), and so entered the Park of Sir Nicholas Pelham, at Hellingly, on two sides, with intent, doubtless, to drive the deer, as Earl Percy did at Chevy Chase in " the brave days of old." The only difference between the Percy and the Dacre driving was, that the deer in the latter case were those of a neighbour, and that it was not in the border line of Chevy Chase, but in an enclosed Sussex Park that they lay; and, above all, that these were the days of the Eighth Harry, who kept a strict hand over his Barons, and, if they over-stept the limits of the law, made very little difficulty of cutting off their heads !
It would seem that Sir Nicholas Pelham, like his prototype, Earl Douglas, had been warned of young Lord Dacre's design. At all events, his keepers were on the look-out for intruders, and at a spot called " Pykehay," in the parish of Hellingly, the party headed by Lord Dacre had the misfortune to come upon three of these men, named John Busbrydgge, James Busbrydgge, and Richard Somener. What words passed between them (and, doubtless, there were some, for a quarrel is said to have ensued) is not stated, but it is declared in the
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