History Of Brighton And Environs - Online Book

From The Earliest Known Period To The Present Time.

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"The engraving, which is about 18 inches by 15 ditto, represents the men kneeling on their coffins, the figure signifying Cooke being in the attitude of prayer, with clasped hands and a firm countenance; while Parish, though with his hands clasped denoting his devotion, is dejected in his general position and has downcast looks. Three lines of four men each are at ' present!' the front rank kneeling, while at each side of the men to be executed is a man at ' ready!' The Rev. Mr Dring, who is in his clerical robes, is departing from the scene towards the rising ground to the right, at the foot of which is an infantry regiment at ' attention,' with the 10th Regiment of Light Dragoons at their rear. On the crown of the hill are the civilians, male and female ; in front of whom, to the right, are soldiers formed in a circle, within which, at a triangle, is a man undergoing the punishment of the lash, an officer, evidently the surgeon, superintending the proceedings. Immediately in the rear are the tents of the encampment.
" Thirteen regiments were present at the execution, which for nearly fifty years was pointed out by the form of the coffins, the positions of the men firing, and other incidents of the scene, being cut out in the turf by the shepherd, whose innocent flocks browsed where so tragic an affair occurred. The plough has since obliterated all traces of the tragedy from the spot.
" A singular instance of the effect of nervous excite­ment is connected with the execution. The Rev. Mr Dring, the Chaplain of the regiment, who attended the culprits in their last moments, being a nervous man, and having a great horror of the duty which he had to perform, made a special request that after he had admin­istered to them the last religious consolation, he should have sufficient time to get beyond the sound of the report of the fatal muskets before the order to fire was given. Promise of compliance with his request was made; but
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