Page:VCH Surrey 1.djvu/501

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POLITICAL HISTORY In 1650 and 1651 he obtained two Acts from the Long Parliament for canalizing the river Wey between Guildford and the Thames. The work was begun in 1650 and finished in 1653. There were many disputes about the rights of various owners subsequently, and Sir Richard, who died in 1652, like many inventors reaped no gain for himself and little for his family. But his enterprise no doubt benefited the county and Guildford in particular. As we have seen, the town was probably somewhat decayed owing to the failure of the cloth trade, but the canal- ized Wey made it a centre of agricultural and other produce for the London market. When in Charles the Second's time a quarrel among riparian owners had caused a suspension of traffic for some weeks, it was complained that 500 or 600 quarters of corn and meal, and timber for the king's ships had been stopped. Gunpowder from the Chilworth mills, probably some iron from the Weald, also found its way to London by barge from Guildford. The Commonwealth and Protectorate did not end without further attempts at disturbance in Surrey. The state of affairs after the fall of Richard Cromwell in 1659 encouraged impatient Royalists to plan a rising for August i in that year. Lancashire and Cheshire were the only counties where they really rose in force, but a general insurrection was prepared. Red Hill Common was fixed as a rendezvous for the discontented in Surrey and Kent. On July 30 Whitelocke wrote to Audeley, who had so distinguished himself in 1648, to unite his own troop with other soldiers from Croydon and Epsom at Reigate. On July 3 1 he was specifically warned to look to Red Hill, which he occu- pied. The projected insurrection was nipped in the bud. The soldiers intercepted men coming to Red Hill singly or in small parties, a brother to Penruddock, who had headed the rising of 1655, and Captain Elsmere, late of Colonel Ingoldsby's regiment, among them. 1 Elsmere offered to turn informer.* On August i from thirty to sixty persons appeared in arms in the neighbourhood, but they were immediately overawed by an overwhelming force, and fled to Shelwood, where they dispersed with apparently no fighting. 3 About a dozen prisoners were taken, and one, a deserter, was condemned to death.* When Monk had allowed popular opinion to declare itself for the old constitution of king and Parliament, supporters of different sides in the late troubles assumed a political lead in Surrey as elsewhere. The county members in the Convention Parliament of 1660 were Francis Lord Longford, whose aunt was an Onslow, and Daniel Hervey of Combe. In 1 66 1 Henry Weston of Ockham was sheriff* for Surrey alone 1 Mereurius Politicus, August 3, 1659. Tanner MSS. 51, f. 107. 3 Ibid. 51, f. 107 and St. P. Dam. July 30, 31, August I, 1659. Shelwood is a few miles south-west of Red Hill.

  • Mereurius Politicus, August 3, 1659.

8 Loseley MSS. March, 1660-1, ii. 109. His wife was niece to General Ireton, and he had been employed under the Long Parliament as a commissioner for Surrey in 1645. He was not of the recu- sant family of Sutton. 423