Phelipps was bringing the king’s horse from where it had been hidden at a neighbor’s house, but according to his account, he “came to the place at the time appointed, but had the misfortune to have the King’s horse, at the entring of the meadowe gate, to breake his bridle and run upp the river – which, after some short time, with noe small trouble, he recovered and brought back. And having in some tolerable manner amended what had bin broken, the King and the Collonel sett forward to Brighthempson.”
As the king later told Samuel Pepys, he and Phelipps were to meet Gounter and Wilmot “some 14 or 15 Myles off on my way towards Shoram, and were to lodge that night at a place called Hammelton, 7 Myles from Portsmouth, because it was too long a Journey to goe in one day to Shoram.”
The plan was that Charles would spend the night at the home of Mr. Hyde or possibly with Gounter’s sister, but Wilmot and the Gounters needed a plausible reason to be seen riding around while they waited for Phelipps and the king. So, as Gounter recalled, “the Lord Willmot, Colonel Gounter and Captaine Thomas Gounter, being alltogether att dinner, agreed to ride upon the Downes. The Colonel, for a blinde, went to Hambledon, hard by, to give his sister a visit, and there borrowed a brace of grey-hounds,” telling her “that his Cozin Gounter and other gentlemen were upon the Downes and had a mind to have a course att a haire. And ‘twas possible, if they did not beate to farre and should stay out late, they might all come and bee merry with her that night… ‘If you doe, you shall be heartily welcome,’ was her answer.
|Hunting fallow deer with greyhounds|
|Drinking and smoking in a 17th century inn|
|Pension granted to Robert Swan, Lord |
Wilmot's man, after the Restoration
The party arrived at the home of Gounter’s sister at “about candlelighting.” She brought them “wine, ale, and biskets … with a very cheerefull countenance, as though the Kings presence had had some secret influence upon her [and she] suspected nothing lesse then that a king was present.
“In an hower’s space wee went to supper, being all sett promiscuously att a round table: and having halfe-supt, in comes the Colonel’s sister’s husband, Mr. Thomas Symones, whoe, as it plainly appeared, had been in company that day. ‘This is brave,’ said he, ‘a man can noe sooner be out of the way, but his house must be taken up with I know not whome.’”
Symonds welcomed his brother-in-law Gounter, but “peeping in the King’s face, said of him, ‘Heer’s a Round-head’; and addressing his speech to the Colonel, said, ‘I never knew you keepe Round-heads’ company before.’ To which the Colonel replyed, ‘’Tis noe matter; he is my friend and, I will assure you, no dangerous man.” Att which words, he clapt himself downe in a chaire next the King, and tooke him by the hand, shaking him, and saying ‘Brother Roundhead, for his sake thou art wellcome.’ …
|Roundheads, with their cropped hair on the right, |
Royalist Cavaliers, with their long hair, on the left
|A punch bowl that Charles presented to the|
Symonds family after his Restoration