King Charles II
The Monarch's Way

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"New" The Monarch's Way Relay part 13

King Charles II

"New" The Monarch's Way Relay part 14

New Trevor's Boot Relay "Shoreham"


Did you know this about King Charles II?


Charles II avoids capture close to Arundel with links to Section 60 - West Dean to Houghton and Section 61 – Houghton to Findon written by John Morrison

 

The Monarch’s Way crosses the river Arun in Arundel itself.  Charles II actually crossed the river at Houghton, a little to the north.  The route chosen by Trevor is more scenic and much safer than trying to include a Houghton Bridge crossing. In the introduction to Section 60, Trevor carefully points out the danger of the section of road leading from the George and Dragon pub to Houghton Bridge.  It is not good for walking and the bridge is better viewed from the railway car park (also the entrance to the Amberley Chalk Pits Museum).

 

My source for these notes is a book – Arundel Borough and Castle - written by Dr G. W. Eustace (priest, historian and resident of Arundel between1895-1925) who is commemorated by a Blue Plaque in Maltravers Street, Arundel.  Eustace quotes from the diary of Colonel Gounter written prior to the restoration.  The remnants of the woodland (Rewell Wood) referred to currently lies within a triangle bounded by the A27 (Fontwell to Arundel), A29 (Fontwell to Bury Hill) and A284 (Bury Hill to Arundel).  At the time of Charles II it covered many more acres and had been a dedicated hunting ground from the time of the Normans.

In October 1651, Charles II escaping after the Battle of Worcester was fortunate not to be captured close to Arundel by the local troops.  Having failed to access a ship either in Bristol or on the Dorset coast, he was advised by Dr. Henhman, afterwards Bishop of Salisbury, to make use of one of the Sussex ports.  Colonel Gounter of Racton undertook to have a boat in waiting at Brighthelmstone and to guide the King along the Sussex part of the escape route. The king spent the night of October 13 at Hambleton at the house of Gounter's sister, Mrs. Symons.

 

On the following morning, accompanied by Lord Wilmot, his servant and Colonel Gounter, he pushed over the Downs, passing a little to the north of Halnaker and Slindon Park.  Gounter’s account of the escape states that as the travellers approached Arundel they met the governor of the Castle, Colonel Morley, going out to hunt. In order to avoid him they dismounted, and so escaped notice. Charles being told who it was, replied merrily: 'I did not much like his starched mouchates.' This incident caused the travellers to change their route and instead of crossing the Arun at Arundel, they rode northwards, and crossed at Houghton Bridge (having supposedly taken refreshment at the George and Dragon).

 

Soon after the escape of Charles II, but in no way linked to the event, the garrison at Arundel was removed.  To prevent the castle ever being used as a stronghold it was blown up and remained a ruin until improvements began in 1720.            

 

John Morrison Minder section 61.



Did you know this about King Charles II?

CUPP OF TEE (a China drink) by Jean Tennant

 

In May 1660 Charles II had been restored to the throne after the Commonwealth administration set up by Oliver Cromwell collapsed in 1649. But Charles inherited many debts from that government and soon ran up new ones of his own and was desperately short of cash. One solution was to marry a wealthy foreign princess and to demand with her a great deal of money or goods as a dowry.  It was agreed that Charles would marry Catherine of Braganza and that her father King John IV of Portugal would provide several ships of luxury goods. These goods included a chest of tea, the favourite drink of the Portuguese court. Although adopting English fashions, Catherine continued to prefer the cuisine of her native Portugal and soon her taste for tea caused a fad at the royal court.  While it is not true to say that the queen-consort actually introduced tea to Britain, she certainly had much to do with it becoming a fashionable and widely drunk beverage. 
















Updated 5th March 2015