Shoreham’s Civil War – The Battle of Bramber Bridge

Nelson writes:
We’ve seen this before but probably worth another mention:- During the Civil War Shoreham built a number of ships for Charles I’s Navy so seemed to have Royalist sympathies but in 1643 the Parliamentarians arrived. The Rev. John Coulton recorded “On Christmas day we came to Shoareham and about eleven o’clocke sergeant Rolfe shot off a carbine and withal his thumbe. I stayed with him in some good posture, and soe I went to my colours; and after some time seekeing them , I found them at Arundell…………The enemy attempted Bramber bridge, but our brave Carlton and Evernden with his Dragoones, and our Coll. Horse welcomed them with drakes and muskets, sending some 8 or 9 men to hell”
The Pariamentarian troops must have been stationed at Shoreham as the January 1644 entries in St.Mary’s parish registers record “Captain Dike, Captain Carleton and six soldiers buried.” The registers for Old Shoreham add to this with William Hellard (‘a soldier’) buried in St Nicolas’s churchyard on Jan 21st 1644, and Edmund Bynie (‘a soldier’) on Aug 1st 1644.
Despite his dodgy aim and lost thumb though Sergeant Rolfe seems to have survived.

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