"built," which said, he sounds it with his hammer, and
perceiving it hollow, says, "Here is the place,"
whereupon all shouted, and after many great blows, the hinges of
the door began to yield, at which they within set their backs to
the door to support it against the blows what they could, but it
was so much moved as that they saw the candle light of the
searchers, and could hear all they said.
It grew late in the evening, and it rained extremely
fast, and the gutters poured down upon the searchers; and one of
the company, Mr. Collins of Lamberhurst, a great enemy to that
house, swore a great oath that they would have the priest
to-morrow; whereupon they left the place, and not so much as left
a guard to guard it, which is to be wondered at; and making a good
fire in the hall, they sat there drying themselves and drinking.
And soon after the Justices went to bed, and most of the rest sat
by the fire, drinking, and for joy drunk deep.
When the coast was clear thereabouts, Mr. Blount told
his man that they must now change their resolutions, that is, they
must now venture to escape; if it be possible, "for if we
stay here till to-morrow, we shall infallibly be taken, and then
the gentleman will be undone. "Father Blount (who without
this act of God's Providence, which seemed accidental, by all
likelihood had died in the place, as resolving so rather than to
put himself into the hands of the searchers which had overthrown
the house), taking the opportunity of the stormy and dark night,
first sent out his man and soon followed himself.
Coming to the court they perceived two men walking
and talking, and taking opportunity when they turned, passed along
by the house side, and so to the moat wall, where Bray stooped and
told his master to tread upon his back, that so he might reach the
top of the wall, which done, he helped his man also up. Barefoot
they got over two walls about ten feet high, and so to a broken
tower about sixteen feet above the water of the moat which was
there about eighty feet broad, and so deep as could not be waded.
From thence the Father leaped into moat, by his courage outleaping
certain piles which stood near the tower, and were covered with
water and not known to him. He intended that his man should have
leaped down after him, and so he would have carried him over, but
finding himself weak, he swam over, and being on the other side
said to his man on the tower [Father Blount told a friend
afterwards that the moat was covered with a thin ice*], "I am
so weak as if I should come back to fetch you, we should both be
His man's escape, they say, was after this manner.
He, not having the art of swimming, durst not venture by water,
but boldly came into the hall, where he found a great company
lying asleep, and loudly cries, "Thieves, thieves in the
stable! Drunken rogues, do you lie here and suffer my master Sir
George Rivers' horses to be stolen?" At which they roused up,
all of them crying, "Thieves, thieves in the stable,"
and running and crying, the two men in the court opened the gate
and let them out, and Bray with them. They ran to the stable and
he to the window. When they found no alterations about the stable,
they asked one another what was he that called them up, and where
he was, One answered he saw one man in a strange habit go to such
a place, and heard him plunge into the moat, after which answer
they all concluded it was the priest, and undoubtedly he was
drowned in the moat. Whereupon they began to drag the moat to find
the drowned priest, and so long they continued in this conceit,
that Bray had time to rejoin the Father who had lost his way, and
was come back to the house, and they together went to a certain
house where a Catholic servant of Mr. Darell did dwell, about half
a mile from the house, and there they got some of the husbandman's
clothes, and each of them a pair of his hard shoes, the Father's
feet being full of thorns in getting over many thorny hedges, and
wounded with getting over the walls.
Thus they went fourteen miles that night in dirty
ways, sometimes up to
* This was apparently inserted by
Father John Darell, Rector of St. Omers, in 1757, the narrative
being written by William Darell, grandson of Thomas Darell, who
was the owner of Scotney in 1598.