Glimpses Of Our Ancestors In Sussex - online book

With Sketches Of Sussex Characters, Remarkable Incidents &c

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186               Glimpses of Our Ancestors.
stables, which have been converted into a farmhouse. It seems to have been the fashion of the officers of the Puritan army to perform the marriage ceremony, for in the Framfield Register there is an entry to the same effect as those in the Lindfield Register, to which the name of Capt. Stapley is appended. Doubtless, however, in each of these cases, the military performer of the contract was a Justice of the Peace.
Samuel Gott, who sat for Winchelsea in the Long Parlia­ment; for Rye in the Parliament summoned by Cromwell, in 1656 ; and for Hastings in the " Rump" Parliament of 1658, was a staunch upholder of the Republic, but he did not sit on the High Court of Justice, and we are ignorant how he closed his career. Perhaps, like many of the men who took an active part in the Protectorate, he was happy to seek safety in obscurity.
It will be remarked that, though several of the Sussex Regicides, like James Temple and John Downes, were tried and condemned to death, none of them was actually executed. James Temple and John Downes died in prison ; William Cawley and William Goffe in exile; Anthony Stapley, Gregory Norton, and Peregrine Pelham died before the Restoration. Of those who sat upon the Court, but did not sign the death-warrant, Sir John Fagg was forgiven and came to honours and dignity under the Stewarts; and Colonel Morley died in peace at Glynde.
It is impossible to go through the records of families engaged in the conflict of King and Parliament, and follow all their vicissitudes, without being struck by the contrast of those troubled days with the present age, when "Harry follows Harry" in such peaceful succession, and the most exciting events of country life, in the way of war or peace, are a law­suit or an alliance—a review or a ball! How easy, then, is it for us now-a-days to scatter praise and blame on the actors in the great events of the 17th century!—how impossible to realise the sacrifices made by the men who fought in those days for what they held to be the right and truthful cause!
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