Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 6, 1643. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.
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DIE Sabbati, videlicet, 27 die Maii.
Votes of the H. C. concerning the Great Seal.
Committee to prepare Heads for a Conference about them.
L. Viscount Conway.
Report of the Conference concerning Letters from Lord Fairfax, of the Procedings in the North.
Votes of the H. C. concerning them.
Public Thanksgiving for the Success of Lord Fairfax's Army;
"1. That a Public Thanksgiving shall be given, in all the Churches and Chapels of London, Westm. and Suburbs, for the great and good Success it hath pleased God to give the Forces under the Command of the Lord Fairfaix, at the Taking (fn. 1) of Wakefeild; and that both Houses do send to the City the Letters, the better to quicken them therein."
Lord General to send Succours to him;
and for Justice on General Goring.
Message to the H. C. about these Matters.
To let them know, that their Lordships do agree to send the Copy of the Letters to the Lord Mayor of and for a Thanksgiving to be To-morrow; and do agree to send to the Lord General, to send Forces to the Lord Fairefaix.
Lord Lovelace, Leave to be absent.
Hardwick and Overman.
Lady Stapleton, a Pass.
Inventory of the Earl of Lindsey's Goods to be taken quietly.
The House being informed, "That some Officers are now taking an Inventory of the Earl of Lyndsey's Goods:" It is Ordered, That the Gentleman Usher attending this House shall go to the said Persons, to require them to inventory the Goods in a fair Way, without any Violence.
Message from the H. C. for a Conference on some Letters from Lord Fairfax;
about the Great Seal;
and for Concurrence in Two Orders.
Lord Fairfax's Letter, that he has taken Wakefield, and about other Proceedings of the Forces in the North.
"Upon the 6th of this Month, I writ to you by a special Messenger, which I hope is come to your Hands: Presently after the Dispatch of that Letter, the News was brought me that the Earl of Newcastle had possessed himself both of Rotheram and Sheffeild; the Forces in Rotheram held out Two Days Siege, and yielded up the Town upon Treaty, wherein it was agreed that the Town should not be plundered, and that all the Gentlemen, Commanders, and Soldiers (Six only excepted, that were specially named), leaving their Arms, should have free Liberty to go whither they pleased; but, when the Enemy entered, contrary to their Articles, they have not only plundered the Town, but have also made all the Commanders and Soldiers Prisoners, and do endeavour to constrain them to take up Arms on their Party. The Commanders at Sheffeild, hearing of the Loss of Rotheram, and seeing some of the Enemies Forces advanced in View of the Town, they all presently deserted the Place, as not tenable with so few against so potent an Army, and fled away with their Arms, some to Chesterfeild, and some to Manchester. The Loss of these Two Places hath much elated the Enemy, and cast down the Spirits of the People in these Parts, who daily see the Enemy increase in Power, and to gain Ground, and no Succours come to them from any Part. The Earl of Newcastle's Army do now reign over all the South-west Part of this Country, pillaging and cruelly using the wellaffected Party; and the last Week there is a Garrison of Horse and Foot laid at Knaresbrough, where they begin to fortify the Town, and pillage and utterly ruin all the Religious People in those Parts, and round about them. On Friday Sevennight last, Three Troops and some other Forces, of which many were French, came from that Garrison, and pillaged Otley, and there barbarously used some honest Women of that Town; and in their Retreat to Knaresbrough, upon the open Forest, they took a Man and a Woman; the Man they wounded, and beat cruelly, and before his Face ravished the Woman. These Particulars I repeat, that you may the more clearly discern the Miseries which this County groans under; and here, about Leeds, Bradford, and Hallifax, being a mountainous, barren Country, the People now begin to be sensible of Want, their last Year's Provisions being spent, and the Enemies Garrisons stopping all Provisions both of Corn and Flesh, and other Necessaries, that were wont to come from the more fruitful Countries to them; their Trade utterly taken away, their Poor grow innumerable, and great Scarcity of Means to relieve them; and this Army, which now lies amongst them to defend them from the Enemy, cannot defend them from Want, which causeth much Murmur and Lamentation amongst the People; and for the Army itself, it is so far in Arrear, and no Way appearing how they shall either be supplied with Money nor Succours, as they grow very mutinous; yet, upon Saturday last in the Night, I caused to be drawn out of the Garrisons, in Leeds, Bradford, Hallifax, and Howley, some Horse, Foot, and Dragooners, in all about Fifteen Hundred Men, and sent them against Wakefeild, commanded by my Son, and assisted by Major General Gifford, Sir Henry Fowles, and Sir William Fairefax, with divers other Commanders: They appeared before Wakefeild about Four a Clock on Sunday in the Morning, where they found the Enemies (who had Intelligence of their Design) ready to receive them. There was in the Town, General Goreing, Serjeant Major General Mackworth, the Lord Goreing, with many other principal Commanders and eminent Persons, with about Seven Troops of Horse, and Six Regiments containing Three Thousand Foot, the Town well fortified with Works, and Four Pieces of Ordnance; yet our Men, both Commanders and common Soldiers, went on with undaunted Courages, and, notwithstanding the thick Vollies of small and great Shot from the Enemy, charged up to their Works, which they entered, seized upon their Ordnance, and turned them upon themselves, and pursued the Enemies so close, as they beat quite out of the Town the most Part of the Horse, and a great Number of the Foot, and made all the rest Prisoners, and with them took Four Pieces of Ordnance, and all the Ammunition then in the Town, and a great Number of Arms; and, amongst the Prisoners, General Goreing himself, with divers other Commanders, and other common Soldiers, in all about Fifteen Hundred Men, and Twenty-seven Colours of Foot, Three Cornets of Horse, of which I send a more particular List inclosed. The more exact and particular Relation of this Service, as it is testified to me under the Hands of the principal Commanders employed in that Design, I send you inclosed, for your better Information. And truly, for my Part, I do rather account it a Miracle than a Victory, and the Glory and Praise to be ascribed to God that wrought it; in which I hope I derogate nothing from the Merits of the Commanders and Soldiers, who, every Man in his Place and Duty, shewed as much Courage and Resolution as could be expected from Men. When the Town was thus taken, they found their Number and Strength too weak to keep it, and their Prisoners; and so they left the Place, and marched away with their Booty. In taking the Town, we lost no Man of Note, and not above Seven Men in all, of which One was the Clerk of the Store, and an Ensign of Foot, and One a Quarter-master of Horse, the rest common Soldiers; but many of our Men were shot and wounded. This Overthrow hath much enraged the Enemies, who threaten a present Revenge, and are drawing all their Forces this Way to effect it. I perceive there are Succours sent to Lincolneshire and other adjacent Countries, which, if they were here, might be employed to as much Advantage for the Public Safety as in any Place. I desire our Condition may be seriously thought on by the House, and the Aids often promised may presently march away to us; and that Colonel Cromwell, with his Horse and Foot, may also be ordered to march to me; that, being joined together, I may be able to draw this Army into the Field, and gain fresh Quarter for the Soldiers, and furnish ourselves with Powder, Arms, and Ammunition, which is now grown very scarce, and cannot be supplied until the Passage to Hull be forced open, which now is possessed by the Enemy. If such Succours come not timely to us, we cannot long subsist, but must be forced to accept of dishonourable Conditions; which, besides the Loss and Ruin of this Country, will be a great Disadvantage to the general Safety, and withal some Course must be thought on, to furnish some large Proportion of Money, to defray the Soldiers Arrears; which, I beseech you, endeavour for them, and me that am
"I send you inclosed a Letter from the Lord Goreing, to his Son General Goreing, found in his Chamber at Wakefeild, which will let the House see the Enemies great Desire to have this Army ruined, that they ought with their whole Force march Southwards."
Prisoners taken by Lord Fairfax, at Wakefield.
Narrative of the Action at Wakefield.
"Saturday Night, the 20th of May, the Lord General gave Order for a Party of One Thousand Foot, Three Companies of Dragooners, and Eight Troops of Horse, to march from the Garrisons of Leeds, Bradford, Hallifax, and Howley; Sir Thomas Fairefax commanded in Chief. The Foot were commanded by Serjeant Major General Gifford and Sir William Fairefax; the Horse were divided into Two Bodies, Four Troops commanded by Sir Thomas Fairefax, and the other Four Troops by Sir Henry Fowlis: Howley was the Rendezvous, where they all met on Saturday last, about Twelve a Clock at Night. About Two next Morning, they marched away, and, coming to Stanley, where Two of the Enemies Troops lay with some Dragooners, that Quarter was beaten up, and about Twenty-one Prisoners taken. About Four of the Clock in the Morning, we came before Wakefeild, where, after some of their Horse were beaten into the Town, the Foot with unspeakable Courage beat the Enemies from the Hedges, which they had lined with Musketeers, into the Town, and assaulted it in Two Places, Wrengate and Norgate; and, after an Hour and a Half Fight, we recovered One of their Pieces, and turned it upon them, and entered the Town at both Places at one and the same Time; When the Barricadoes were opened, Sir Thomas Fairefax with the Horse fell into the Town, and cleared the Streets, where Colonel Goreing was taken by Lieutenant Alrud, Brother to Captain Alrude, a Member of the House; yet in the Market-place there stood Three Troops of Horse, and Colonel Lampton's Regiment, to whom Major General Gifford sent a Trumpet, with Offer of Quarter if they would lay down their Arms. They answered, "They scorned the Motion." Then he fired a Piece of their own Ordnance upon them, and the Horse fell in upon them, beat them out of the Town, and took all those Officers expressed in this inclosed List, Twenty-seven Colours of Foot, Three Cornets of Horse, and about Fifteen Hundred common Soldiers. The Enemy had in the Town Three Thousand Foot, and Seven Troops of Horse, besides Colonel Lampton's Regiment, which came into the Town after we had entered the Town. The Enemy left behind them Four Pieces of Ordnance, with Ammunition, which we brought away.
Mr. Stockdale's Letter from Leeds, desiring a Reinforcement of Horse.
"After this Letter was concluded, our Men took Wakefeild, of which I send a particular Relation inclosed, and List of the Prisoners and other Booty taken. If we had now any Force of Horse to join with us, we should in all Probability utterly rent the Enemies in this Country, or shut them in Holes; which if it do not speedily come, we shall be in Danger to perish, if the Enemy draw his whole Force upon us. I had forgotten, in the Letter to the Speaker, to mention the new Commissions granted by the King, wherein His Majesty, according to the known Laws of the Land (as all Things are said to be done), gives Liberty to the Parties to whom the Commissions are directed, to plunder and take Mens Estates, so as they account for the Moiety of the Profit to His Majesty. This is confessed by the Captains now Prisoners here.
Lord Goring's Letter to his Son the General.
"I saw what you wrote to H. Germyn, and find that the Business will be put on that Way; but I am of Opinion that your General will never consent to (fn. 2) the latter Way of dividing his Force, unless it be in the Country, where he will abide his self. This will be tried To-morrow at his Return hither, where the Queen expects him. In the Interim, if it were possible to give the Enemy any such Knock, or considerable Disturbance to the Country round about them, which hath not felt the Misery of their Neighbours, I could not doubt but the Treaty might be resumed again; by which Means, and by no other, your Army may be set at Liberty to change your Stations, (fn. 3) and do somewhat that may be of some Consequence indeed. I pray you think seriously hereof, and once in your Life follow the Advice of your best Friend, and dearly loving Father,
Lord Goreing's Second Letter to his Son.
"After I had sealed my Letter, I was advised to advertise you, that the Lord Fairefax never believed you would look into the Parts where now you are, but intended to draw back to the Place from whence ye came, which made him so lofty in his Condition; wherefore, if you can (as my Authors propose) (fn. 4) get between Bradford and Leeds, you will so annoy, divert, and separate them in all their Designs, as you may be sure to carry Hallifax and Bradford on that Hand, or Leeds on the other. Take this to Heart; and let General King, with my humble Service, know this much, not as new to him and the rest of you, but as that which all the wisest and most knowing Men in the Country advise and hope. This will so scare them, and satisfy this Country, and will give you such other Advantages, as will render (fn. 3) it happy and glorious to you; whereas, on the contrary, all will fall flat, both in Power and Reputation, past Expression; and Her Majesty, either unprovided of such a Convoy from thence as is fit for Her, and the King's present Occasions, or else leave this Country naked to the Tyranny of the merciless Enemy, contrary to Contract and all due Justice. This is the Opinion of others, far better able to advise than he that so heartily prays for you, and is yours,
Yorke, the 17th of (fn. 4) May, 1643.