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Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 17  1878  page 44

EXTRACTS from the account of FATHER BLOUT'S escape from Scotney Castle, in The Troubles of our Catholic Forefathers, by JOHN MORRIS, Priest of the Society of Jesus. 1872.

   In the year 1598, or in that next before it, Mr. Darell's house in Sussex (Scotney Castle) was twice searched. Father Blount at each time being in the house; the first time by two Justices of the Peace with a Pursuivant, and such as they brought with them to watch and beset the house; who, at their first coming, sent Mr. Darell to London, prisoner, his wife to one of the Justices' houses, and most of the servants to the county gaol; suffering one maid to stay with the little children, and the searchers having the house.
   During the space of a week Father Blount was in a secret place under the stair, having one man with him with very small provision; and when it seemed they could subsist no longer, Father Blount sent out his man who offered himself to the searchers, feigning that he came out of another hole which he shewed them, and was carried away for a priest, and the other escaped.
   About one year after, one Henberry, a fallen Catholic, formerly a servant at Scotney, plotted to betray the house, and Sir George Rivers and two other Justices of the Peace, with Pursuivants and their retinue, beset the house in the dead of the night, about Christmas, and seized a maid-servant the next morning before day, going out on some special business. They commanded her to carry them to her master's chamber, and to light them a candle, but she discreetly told them she would not light a candle, framing some excuse, and instead she stood at the bottom of the stairs calling aloud, "Mistress, here is Sir George Rivers and two Justices (naming them) come to speak with you. "Whereupon they knew that the house was both beset and taken, so that with all convenient speed they gave him notice, who incontinently, with his man Bray, with all possible speed they could, made haste to the place of refuge; and Father Blount, who had been awakened by the noise, putting on nothing but his breeches, got with his man into the secret place, digged in a thick stone wall, carrying with him some church stuff and books, some of which things were afterwards a hindrance to his saving himself by swimming.
   The gentleman of the house [Mr. Darell] was carried to London and committed close prisoner to Newgate. Being possessed of the house, they go searching generally over all the house, but most punctually. They performed that task in the night twice, with candles, having for that purpose both bricklayers and carpenters always at hand.
   At that time Mrs. Darell was shut up in one room over the gate with her children, and the searchers had possession and liberty of the whole house for the space of ten days; Father Blount and the man having no other sustenance but a little bottle of wine and a little loaf of bread, and no other clothes but their breeches and a priest's cassock. During this time they searched and found nothing.
   About the end of this time Mrs. Darell found means to go sometimes out of her chamber, and at the last got to the door of the place, where finding the end of a girdle used at mass to be shut out, hanging on the outside of the door of the hiding place (strange Providence !) she cut it off, but yet not so close but that some remained which she thought might betray them, whereupon she called to them within, " Pull in the string," which presently they did. Those, that it seems, watched her, came presently to her, and asked her to whom she spake, and of what string. She answered that the door by which she meant to pass being shut, she heard somebody in the next room and called to them to open the door, which was done by pulling the string of the latch. This answer not satisfying them, they fell to search about the place, which was a little court with stone buildings about it, beating with a beetle upon the stones, and many times upon the door of the place, which was a stone in show not differing from the rest; but one, a bricklayer, marked the stones exactly, and fastening his eyes on a broad stone, perceived it not placed as the others, according to the mason's art and rules, and presently says, "This stone was never put in when this wall was

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