The King was taken ashore at a spot called “the Stool,” close to the little village of Oare, to the north-west of Faversham, to which town he was conveyed by coach, attended by a score of Kentish gentlemen on horseback. The royal prisoner was first carried to the “Queen’s Arms Inn,” which still exists under the name of the “Ship Hotel.” From here he was taken to the mayor’s house in Court Street (an old building recently pulled down to make way for a new brewery) and placed under a strict guard, and from the window of his prison the unfortunate King had to listen to the proclamation of the Prince of Orange, read by order of the mayor, who subsequently was rewarded for the zeal he displayed upon the occasion.
The hardships of the last twenty-four hours had told severely upon James. He was sick and feeble and weakened by profuse bleeding of the nose, to which he, like his brother Charles, was subject when unduly excited. Sir Edward Hales, in the meantime, was lodged in the old Court Hall (since partially rebuilt), whence he was removed to Maidstone gaol, and to the Tower.
Bishop Burnet was at Windsor with the Prince of Orange when two gentlemen arrived there from Faversham with the news of the King’s capture. “They told me,” he says, “of the accident at Faversham, and desired to know the Prince’s pleasure upon it. I was affected with this dismal reverse of the fortunes of a great prince, more than I think fit to express. I went immediately to Bentinck and wakened him, and got him to go in to the Prince, and let him know what had happened, that some order might be presently given for the security of the King’s person, and for taking him out of the hands of a rude multitude who said they would obey no orders but such as came from the Prince.”
Upon receiving the news, William at once directed that his father-in-law should have his liberty, and that assistance should be sent down to him immediately; but by this time the story had reached the metropolis, and a hurried meeting of the Council directed the Earl of Feversham to go to the rescue with a company of Life Guards. The faithful Earl of Ailesbury also hastened to the King’s assistance. In five hours he accomplished the journey from London to Faversham. So rapidly had the reports been circulated of supposed ravages of the Irish Papists, that when the Earl reached Rochester, the entire town was in a state of panic, and the alarmed inhabitants were busily engaged in demolishing the bridge to prevent the dreaded incursion.
But to return to James at Faversham. The mariners who had handled him so roughly now took his part—in addition to his property—and insisted upon sleeping in the adjoining room to that in which he was incarcerated, to protect him from further harm. Early on Saturday morning the Earl of Feversham made his appearance; and after some little hesitation on the King’s side, he was at length persuaded to return to London. So he set out on horseback,