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  • Writer's pictureHaydn Wheeler

St Mary's Church being used as a gaol in Shroton after The Battle of Hambledon Hill

Among the 300-400 Clubmen held over night in St Mary's Church being used as a gaol in Shroton after The Battle of Hambledon Hill (August 4th 1645) was the Reverend Thomas Bravell, the man who threatened to pistol whip any who didn't hold their ground. A long grave was dug south of St Mary's Church tower and 12-60 in number, (records vary) who were killed were buried there. After being lectured from the pew by Oliver Cromwell and described in his account of "as Vile Ministers and Poor Silly Creature creatures" the majority were let go. Rev Thomas Bravell was among those as were another 16 taken to Sherborne and imprisoned. Fairfax was to see fit who was to be taken to London. Rev Thomas Bravell was sequestered then reinstated as Rector of Compton Abbas until his death in 1655. Among the number also being released were no fewer than four vicars and curates.

Cromwell with the prisoners gathered in St Mary's Church the day after the battle, spoke from the pulpit, with warning on the consequences of opposing the New Model Army.

The Clubmen were to have the liberty to defend themselves against plundering, but were to refrain in the future from stopping any soldier going about their business, and meetings such as had the day before would not be countenanced. Any man who was on the list just made deserved to be hanged if he should be taken again opposing parliament.

Reverend Robert Frampton

An interesting account of The Battle of Hambledon Hill with regards to Robert Frampton is of note. Who with his four brothers fought against Cromwell's Dragoons on Hambledon Hill. Ref,

The Life of Robert Frampton Bishop of Gloucester.

Frampton and his four brothers had been in the engagement. His brothers all wounded, one so bad and bleeding much, he had to crawl to the church St Mary's now being used as a gaol on his hands and knees. Frampton's sister went into the night upon Hambledon Hill for two hours with a lantern after her father had been told of her brothers death in the battle. The search for her brothers among the dead proved to be a false.

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