Previous Toc Next

    THE STORY OF SHOREHAM         THE ROYAL FUGITIVE  
                         
Worcester on September 3rd.His exciting adventures have often been recorded as well in the pages of romance as in those of sober history. We may mention the fact that, about twentyfive years ago, Henry Hamilton and Augustus Harris produced   With two faithful friends to bear him company the King had ridden through Sussex by way of the Downs. He crossed the Adur at Bramber, where he narrowly escaped recognition by a troop of Roundhead soldiers. He again ascended the Downs by way of Beeding Borstal, his intention being to make for Brighton, where he was to remain until Captain Tattersall's brig, which had been engaged to take him to the Continent, should be ready to sail.
               
  Picture    
      There is a tradition that the King tarried for awhile in a cottage on the west side of the Green at Southwick, while the final arrangements were being made, and thence went on to Brighton. A former tenant of " King Charles' Cottage " once informed the writer that there is, or was, a secret place where the King is said to have been concealed during his visit. Other accounts state that the King rode direct to Brighton, and, at any rate, he spent some hours at the George Inn, in \fiddle Street of that town, where he partook of supper, and was recognised by the landlord, who was a loyalist.
      To quote from the King's own account of the conclusion of his six weeks of wandering. He tells us that :
      "About 4 o'clock in the morning, myself and the company before named (those who were aiding his escape and had been present with him at supper) went towards Shoreham, taking the master of the ship with us on horseback behind one of our company, and came to the vessel's side. It being low tide I and my Lord Wilmot got up with a ladder into her and went and lay down in the little cabin till the tide came to fetch us off. But I was no sooner got into the ship and laid down upon the bed but the master (Tattersall) came in to me, fell down upon his knees and kist my hands, telling me that he knew me very well and would venture life and all that he had in the world to set me down safe in France. So about 7 o'clock in the morning, it being high tide, we went out of the port."
      Charles had assumed the role of a bankrupt merchant, flying from the bailiffs, but, with the events which had so recently transpired fresh in the minds of the crew, it is small wonder that some of them seem to have made a very shrewd guess as to the identity of the " merchant." -Moreover, the brig had been chartered for Poole and not for France, whither she was now sailing so merrily. The King is said to have made himself remarkably agreeable with the crew. One of the latter was observed
               
at Drury Lane Theatre "The Royal Oak, a historical and romantic drama of 1651." This play, as its title implies, was founded on the adventures of the King after his defeat at Worcester, and the scenes in Act IV. were laid at (1) the George Inn, Brighthelmstone, and (2) the Beach, Shoreham.  
                         
      132             133    

Previous Toc Next

Copyright © Martin Snow 2002 All rights reserved
Revised 27 February 2002