Charles described this last leg of his journey through England, from Brighton to Shoreham, to Samuel Pepys in 1683. “About 4 a Clock in the morning, my selfe and the Company before named went toward Shoram, takeing the Maister of the Shipp with us on horseback, behinde one of our Company, and came to the Vessells side, which was not above 60 Tunn.”
|Map of Charles's route|
from Allan Fea's 1897 The Flight of the King
“Soe I tooke my leave, craving his Majesties pardon if anything had happened through error, not want of will or loyaltie. How willingly I would have waited further but for my family (being many), which would want mee; and I hope his Majestie would not, not doubting but in a very little tyme hee should bee where he would.”
|"A proclamation for the Discovery and |
Apprehension of Charles Stuart, and other
Traytors his Adherents and Abettors"
“My only request to his Majestie,” Gounter recalled, “was that he would conceale his instruments, wherein their preservation was soe much concerned. His Majestie promist noebody should knowe.”
Charles was no doubt ready to drop with exhaustion and stress, and probably wanted desperately to be aboard in case anything else should go wrong. “It being low Water, and the Vessell lying dry, I and my Lord Willmott got up with a ladder into her and went and lay downe in the little Cabbin, til the tide came to fetch us off.
|Shoreham by J.M.W. Turner|
Colonel Gounter stood watching from the shore. “At 8 of the clock I saw them on sayle, and it was the afternoon before they were out of sight. The wind (O providence!) held very good till next morning to ten of the clock.”
Charles didn’t know it yet, but his friend and faithful ally the Earl of Derby, who had accompanied him on his desperate flight from Worcester to Whiteladies on the night after the battle, was executed for treason on the same day the king was finally making his way toward France.
|A miniature of Charles by Samuel Cooper|
from The Flight of the King