Tuesday, November 5, 2019

The Royal Escape from Brighton by Rosemary Morris

For more information about Rosemary's books please click on the cover above.

The Royal Escape from Brighton

The town in which my next Classical Regency Romance, Saturday’s Child is set

Today, visitors flock to Brighton to visit George IV’s Royal Pavilion, to shop in The Lanes as well as enjoying everything else the vibrant seaside town has to offer. Less well known are the events which took place there during the English Civil War when family loyalties either to the Crown or Commonwealth split them apart.

Bodiam Castle was damaged by Commonwealth soldiers who also destroyed Arundel Castle. Without any prominent Royalists in the area it seems most landlubbers, fishermen and their families favoured the Commonwealth. Nevertheless, some landowners and well-to-do traders supported Charles II.

After Commonwealth troops defeated the royalist army at the Battle of Worcester on the third of September 1651, except for Lord Wilmot, Charles II dismissed his followers. The distinctive two yards tall, dark complexioned king was hunted but always managed to escape. Once he hid high up in an oak tree while soldiers search for him beneath it. Elsewhere the king was sometimes recognised but not betrayed. If he had been caught, he would have become a pawn or, maybe, like his father Charles I, have been beheaded.

On the thirteenth of October the king set out for Brighthelmstone, Brighton’s previous name, where Wilmot had been in contact with Colonel Gunter, the king’s loyal supporter. On the fourteenth his majesty was accommodated in the George Inn, and Gunter paid a merchant sixty pieces of silver to transport two illegal duellists, aka the king and Wilmot, across the English Channel to France. However, when Tattersall, the captain of the brig, met the king he recognised him but remained silent until they were alone, when he knelt and kissed the royal hand.

On the brink of departure from Shoreham, the king spent the night at Bramber a small village. There, after six weeks during which he hid in priest’s holes, slept on pallets on the floor and endured danger and discomfort, he almost encountered Commonwealth soldiers.

I can only imagine Charles II’s profound relief when he reached Shoreham harbour in time to board the brig and at 4 a.m. on the fifteenth of October and departed. Almost ten years later he returned to England where he succeeded to the throne.

Classical Historical Fiction by Rosemary Morris

Early 18th Century novels: Tangled Love, Far Beyond Rubies, The Captain and The Countess

Regency Novels False Pretences.

Heroines Born on Different Days of the Week Books One to Six, Sunday’s Child, Monday’s Child, Tuesday’s Child, Wednesday’s Child, Thursday’s Child and Friday’s Child.

(The novels in the series are not dependent on each other, although events in previous novels are referred to and characters reappear.)

Mediaeval Novel Yvonne Lady of Cassio. The Lovages of Cassio Book One




  1. Interesting bits about Brighton and quite different form later times

  2. Ah, the good old days. I didn't know most of that, Rosemary, except the hiding in a tree part. Certainly different to how the royalty live these days.

  3. Fascinating. I love historical research. You always learn some savory tidbit to use in a book.


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