Historical Collections of Private Passages of State: Volume 5, 1642-45. Originally published by D Browne, London, 1721.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
June, 1644. The Earl of Essex his March into the West.
We now proceed to mention the Earl of Essex his Marches, and the Affairs of the West.
Essex near Salisbury.
On Monday, June the 10th, the Earl of Essex quartered at the Marquiss of Hertford's House at Tottenham, in the way to Salisbury; but he left that Town on the Left-hand, and only sent Sir William Balfore thither, with two Regiments of Horse, to attack three hundred of the King's Cavalry, that had for some time lain there; but were dislodg'd and gone about an Hour before Balfore came up, who pursued them some Miles, but could not overtake them.
The Siege of Lyme by Prince Maurice.
A principal part of the General's Design in the West, and particularly given him in Command from the Parliament and Committee of both Kingdoms, by their Directions of the 30th of May, was to relieve Lyme-Regis, a Port-Town in Dorsetshire, which had long been besieged by Prince Maurice, the Lord Pawlet, and other Persons of Quality, with a considerable Army of Horse and Foot. The Town had in it a Garison of about a thousand, who made a brave, or indeed wonderful Defence, considering the Meanness of their Works, the ill Situation of the Town, commanded by several Hills that lie about it, and especially in regard of the Gallantry and Resolution of the Besiegers, who exposed the Lives of their Men, in hopes to be Masters of it. This Siege therefore being so remarkable, I conceive it may not be unwelcome to the Reader, to present him with a Journal of each Day's Action, which though it be ex parte, and drawn up only by them of the Town, yet even therein the Courage and Industry of the Assailants is apparent, as well as of the Defendants.
A JOURNAL of all the Passages of the Siege of Lyme, collected by the Governour and Captains of the Town, and sent by them to the Earl of Warwick, Lord-Admiral.
The 20th of April.
A Journal of the Siege of Lyme, which began April 20, 1644.
The Enemy besieged us, took Hay and Calway-House, raised a Battery within Musquet-shot of our Town.
The 21st. The Enemy approached within Pistol-shot of our Town, and played the great and small Shot very hotly, though with little Damage Also this Day a great part of the Forces at Stadcom were commanded off, and way laid by the Enemy, but forced their Passage without the Loss of any, but some wounded. In the Night they raised another Battery West, commanded by the first, from whence came many great Shot, both of Demicannon and whole Culverin, which did much annoy us, beat down Captain Marsh's Fort, and he himself was slain: This Evening we sent to Pool, to acquaint them with our sad Condition.
22d, Stadcombe-House was taken by the Enemy.
23d, We fallied out with sixty Men, and seized upon their Guns, took the Prince's Colours, killed to the Number of an hundred, amongst whom was Captain Billet; took thirty, whereof one a Lieutenant, another an Ensign, but the Evening came on so fast, that we were forc'd to retreat, and left their Guns: Captain Road, the Captain of our Forlorn-Hope, was shot in the Head, but is upon Recovery. This Night another Battery was raised in Colway-Meadow.
24th, This day the Enemy played very hot with their Ordnance, but did little hurt; two Dunkirk Men of War lay before us.
25th, This day our Ship was betrayed, wherein we lost Prisoners of some worth, to the Number of fourteen: very little Powder was by this time left in our Town.
26th, Some Supply by Shipping.
27th, From the first Fort they shot in Granadoes and Fire-Arrows into the Town: This Night they raised another Work at the East-side of the Town, beat down Captain Nevil's Fort, and did some hurt to the Town.
28th, In the Morning the Enemy offered to Storm, but their Soldiers were backward to it; nevertheless they bestowed Powder and Shot so freely upon us, that their Firing seemed a Continual Blaze, which was discovered by Captain Seamaster and Captain Jones, then off Portland-point, who made all possible speed to our relief: the sight of these two Ships did discourage the Enemy, and put Life into our Soldiers; they supplied us with some Powder and Bullet, and other things which we wanted: This day the Enemies Ordnance played hot upon us.
29th, These Ships landed a hundred Men to assist us, the Enemy seemed not to be daunted with it, but fired very hot upon them, and made their Approaches nearer our Line; they shot in some Fire-Arrows, which did no hurt, nor affrighted our Men.
The 30th, This day with the bold Sea-Men and others we sallied out, and laid hold once more of their great Guns, cloy'd some of them, lost Major Harrington, unhappily kill'd by one of our own Men; but so many of the Enemy were slain, that the Water that serv'd the Town was colour'd with Blood.
May the 1st.
They gave us a thundring Alarm in the Morning, and began to make their Fort-Royal against Captain Davis's Fort; the next day, the 3d, 4th, and 5th days, the Enemy lay very quiet, the Weather being so tempestuous that we doubted of the safety of our Shipping.
On the 6th, the Enemy according to their former Custom pelted somewhat hotly, and in the Evening stormed us very gallantly, to the loss of at least a hundred or more; they lost Colonel Blewet, and as far as we can hear Colonel Strangeways his Brother; Captain Mollineux, and Captain William Pawlet of Melpash, were taken Prisoners; Pawlet is since dead, the Enemy being all the rest of the Night silent.
On the 7th, the Enemy sent to demand the Body of Colonel Blewet, and desired Liberty to bury their dead; which was accordingly granted, and took up all that day, scarce a Stroke passed, and the Night proved as silent.
8th, They drew their Army into two Bodies, which kept us in perpetual Alarms all the Afternoon, and the Night; this Night also came in Captain Cox, with his Shipping, which yielded us some Relief both of Men and Provisions: Captain Pawlet died this Night of his Wound he received in Storming.
9th, This day proved as silent as the Weather quiet, only in the Afternoon the Ordnance thundred on both sides, and in the Night Vollies of small Shot rattled bravely.
10th, This day the Enemy raised a Breast-Work on the West end of the Town, playing with small Shot, and sometimes great.
11th, This day Captain Jordan and Captain Man, with his Squadron arrived safely, who brought with them to our Assistance Major Catsforch, and three Companies more, sent by Sir William Waller from Portsmouth; the Enemy played upon them as they were landing, but did them no hurt. This Evening the Enemy shot a great Shot into Captain Davis's Fort, which killed our principal Gunner and two more.
12th, This day they shot in divers Balls of Wild-Fire, but did no hurt, only fell into a House. Captain Jones dispatched from Portsmouth with Letters to Sir William Waller and others, from the Committee. This day the Enemy began two strong Batteries, very near our Line on the West, and two more were raised against them, which did somewhat trouble them.
13th, This day we played on their Batteries with our Ordnance very hot, did some mischief; small Shot rattled on both sides with little Loss on our part.
14th, This day the Enemy was very silent; in the Afternoon we sent out a Party for discovery, which rouzed them: We found their Quarters strongly mann'd, and about Midnight another Party was sent upon a contrary Quarter, which did some Execution, and retreated without loss.
15th, This day we received a Culverin from Captain Seamaster, which we placed in one of our New Batteries.
16th, The Enemy endeavoured to make up their Breaches made in their Batteries by our Ordnance; but could not, being continually battered.
17th, This day the Ordnance, which we thought had been drawn off, began to speak, after three days silence. This Night they made a Line in opposition to ours Northward; these two days they played their Ordnance very thick upon the Cobb.
18th, This day we sallied out and entred their Fort-Royal, split their Guns, took twenty Prisoners, beat them home to their grand Quarter, and returned with little Loss: In the Evening they played hot again in the Cobb, and continued making up of their Trenches.
19. This day there was a Cessation of Arms for the space of an Hour, for the fetching off three which were lost in the Sally; our Ordnance slew many at their grand Quarter: this Night proved very silent.
20th, This Morning the Enemy came by Lieutenant-Colonel Blake's Quarters, and approached near the Cobb, insomuch that they took off a Ship's Colours from her Stern, and afterwards fetcht two Horses close to a Party that was sent out to rescue them.
21st. This day the Enemy intrenched themselves at the West end of the Town, near the Sea-side, shot many Shot into the Cobb. This Night a Half-Moon Breast Work was raised against Captain Gaitch's Fort, and approached near that Part of the Line.
22d. This day a Party of the Enemies Foot faced the Cobb, and after some few shorts entred it, but were beaten out quite by a Party of ours; another Party at the same time issuing forth, entred one of their Works, but could not keep it by reason of the Evening approaching, and retreated with small Loss, only Capt. Pyne was dangerously wounded. This Evening proved very silent, by reason of their fetching out such Things as were in the Ships, which they that Evening had burnt.
23d. This day the Earl of Warwick arrived here, which was a great Encouragement to our Soldiers: In the Evening the Governour and Lieutenant-Colonel Blake were sent aboard to consult with his Lordship.
A further Account of this Town appears by the Earl of Warwick's Letter to the Lords, as followeth.
To the Right Honourable my very good Lord, the Speaker of the House of Peers, these present.
The Earl of Warwick's Letter, touching his Relieving Lyme-Regis, 30 May, 1644.
Coming before Lyme-Regis this day seven-night in the Morning, I found the Town under a very streight and close Seige; the Proceedings of the Enemy, and of the Town's Defence till my coming, will be offered to your Lordship's Knowledge by the inclosed, being a Copy of Colonel Were's Journal to that time. At my Arrival in the Bay, I found the Town in very great want of Victuals and Ammunition; though for their necessary Subsistence, Captain Somersted, Captain of the Mary Rose, (whom I had formerly sent hither for their Encouragement, together with Captain Jordan, Captain of the Expedition, Captain Cock, Captain of the Mary Flower, and Captain Jones Captain of the Ann and Joyce,) had stared them out of his Ships Stores thirty five Barrels of Powder, and a good quantity of Bisket and other Provisions, besides some Victuals delivered them out of Captain Jordan and Captain Jones. At my first coming, I sent them on shore thirty eight Barrels of Powder, and some proportion of Match, directed to them from the Committee for the West: I also contracted with a Sandwich-Man for near four hundred Pounds worth of Corn, Malt, Butter, Cheese, &c. they not having left in the Town two days Bread. The Night before my coming the Enemy had burnt near twenty Barks belonging to the Town, and some that were left they burnt the Night following; the same Night Captain Pine was wounded, and is since dead. On Saturday I received a Letter from Captain Ceely the Governor, importing the Necessities of the Town, and praying a Supply out of the Ships stores, without which they could not longer maintain the Seige: I was fully informed of the Gallantry of the Defendants, the Garison consisting of about eleven hundred Men, who though they wanted Shoes, Stockings, Clothes and Pay, and had been kept on the Line from the beginning of the Siege without Relief, yet were every of them resolved to hold to the utmost Point of Time, and when all failed, to make way through the Enemy with the Sword: Their Condition and Courage had such Operation on the Seamen of my Ship, that they did unanimously consent to give them one fourth Part of their next four Months Bread, and to bate it proportionably out of every Day's allowance, yet with hopes that the State would make it good again; they did also out of their own little Abilities spare them divers Pairs of Boots, Shoes, Stockings, Clothes, and some Victuals, saved out of their former Allowance.
On Monday last I called a Council of War aboard, and upon Consultation with one of the Commanders sent from the Council of War in time, we resolved to spare them out of the Ships, twenty thousand weight of Bread, besides the Seamens seven thousand, a Hogshed of Beef, a Hogshed of Pork, some Shot, whereof Part was sent on shore that day. The same day I received a Letter from the Commanders in Lyme, desiring that some of the Seamen might be sent to guard their Line, while others of their Garison sallied upon the Enemy, and our Council of War resolved to spare them three hundred Men; but instead of giving a Salley, the Town received a Storming that day from the Enemy, at which time there were about sixty of the Enemy, and but eight of the Town slain, and a few wounded, amongst whom Colonel Were was shot in the Belly, (but not mortally) and Lieutenant-Colonel Blake had a slight hurt in his Foot: Three Captains were appointed to lead the Forlorn-Hope, of which Captain Southern (who had on the Lord Pawlet's own Armour) was slain on the Place, Captain Aston was taken Prisoner, and brought aboard the James on Tuesday Morning, and the third Captain escaped; the dead that then fell were left upon the Place, the Enemy declaring that they would bury them, and take in the Town together. By this Aston I received notice that the Besiegers were about two thousand five hundred Horse and Foot, that Prince Maurice, the Lord Paulet, and Sir John Barclay were in the Leaguer.
The Garison having by this Success received Encouragement, they resolved to prosecute their former Intention of Sallying on the Enemy, they being much tired out with continual Duty, and the Provisions spared out of the Ships being not sufficient for many days Supply, the Soldiers spending about twelve hundred weight of Bread a day, and there being about four thousand Souls in the Town. In pursuance therefore of the former Resolution, I sent the three hundred Men on shore with safety on Tuesday Night, half of them being sent before-hand in some small Vessels that lay near the Town. The same Tuesday I resolved before the me determined for Sallying (which was to be communicated to us by a Sign from Captain Davis's Fort) to send all our Ship-Boats (filled with Men) as also the Expedition and the Warwick-Frigat to ply to and again on the East shore (there being several Valleys at Charmouth, Bridport, and other Places within five or six Miles of Lyme, that gave an Opportunity of Landing) hoping that by giving an Alarm there, I might draw off from about the Town the Enemies Horse, (which the Towns-Men most feared) and happily some of their Foot, whereby the besieged might gain the more advantage. Yesterday I accordingly sent out the Ships and Boats, and by an Alarm given, obtained that which was in our design, four or five Troops of Horse, and some hundreds of Foot, giving a continual attendance upon the motion of our Boats: the Enemy it seems was upon Observation of our Boats mistaken in our Purposes, conceiving that our Boats had drawn off some of the Garison, intending to land them on the Eas. Shore, for the getting of Provision into the Town, or for falling upon their Rear, hereby supposing the Town to be weakened, they resolved upon another storming, which began yesterday about four of the Clock, near to the time agreed on for Sallying: they made three Assaults, and did twice make an orderly Retreat; the third time they came on with as much Bravery and Resolution as could be in Soldiers, which was as gallantly received by the Towns-Men: The Fight was continued with extreme violence from about six of the Clock at Night for two Hours, there being a continued Volley of great shot and small shot. The Issue was, there fell of the Enemy (by computation of some that came this Day aboard) four hundred, and of the Garison there was slain and hurt six or seven Men; the last night and this morning there is in the Town a more than ordinary silence. Thus have I represented to your Lordship the State of this Town, hoping that some speedy Course will be taken for their Relief; their Fidelity and Courage God hath much honoured, and it is pity delaying of Supply should hazard the least blunting of their Resolution: There be Men of very considerable Reputation in the Town, who will be able (if freed from this Siege) to serve the State, by raising a good Body of Men in these Parts. If Lyme be lost, it will have a very ill Influence, the Inclination of these Parts depending on the Success of that Town, which the Enem values not so much for itself, as for the Men that are in it, who if at liberty will quickly get a Strength together, which the Country will be well disposed to close withal. It will be an Act very worthy the Houses of Parliament to hasten towards them some Forces by Land, and some Victuals and Ammunition by Sea; that such precious and distressed Spirits may not become a prey to Famine or to a cruel Enemy. So desiring your Lordship to communicate this to the House of Lords, together with a Tender of my Humble Service, I commend your Lordship and all your Counsels to the Blessing of Heaven, resting
Your Lordship's Humble Servant,
From on board his Majesty's Ship the James, at an Anchor before Lyme-Regis, 30 May, 1644.
Thanks to the Admiral.; And 1000 l. per. Ann. to the Town of Lyme.
Upon the Receipt of this Letter, it was voted by both Houses. that the Earl of Warwick had herein done an Acceptable Service, and that a Letter of Thanks be sent to his Lordship. And also ordered, That 1000l. per Ann. out of the Lord Pawlet's Estate, should be conferr'd upon the Town of Lyme, for their good Service; and that plenary satisfaction should be given unto the Inhabitants for their Losses sustained by this Siege.
Prince Maurice raises his Siege from before Lyme, June the 15th.
But though the Town by this Succour was much assisted and encouraged to hold out, Prince Maurice still continued his Seige, and made many gallant Attempts to storm it, which were no less bravely repuls'd; the very Women disdaining dangers, assisted the Soldiers in their Works, filling their Bandileers with Powder, and bringing Necessaries to encourage them; and one of that Sex was reported, in one time of Storming, to have discharged sixteen Musquets on the Assailants. Thus it continued till the 13th or 14th of June, at which time Prince Maurice being advertis'd that Essex was advancing as near as Dorchester, thought fit to raise his Siege; and so about Two a Clock in the Morning drew off his great Guns (all but one, which could not conveniently be carried away, and so was afterwards seized by the Besieged) and his Army divided, Part going towards Bristol; but the Prince himself quarter'd on the 17th at Hunnington, and the 18th arrived at Exeter. The Townsmen of Lyme related, that in all this long and desperate Siege they lost not above six-score Men, and that one way or other, the Besiegers lost near two thousand, whereof several Commanders and Persons of Note. On Sunday the 23d of June publick Thanks were given in the Churches of London for this Deliverance of Lyme.
Thanksgiving for raising the Siege.; Weymouth taken for the Parliament.
In the mean time Essex on the 15th took possession of Dorchester, and not knowing what had passed at Lyme, dispatch'd away a Party thither, under the Conduct of Sir William Balford; who finding the Siege there raised, march'd on to Weymouth, and summon'd that Town for the King and Parliament, which Colonel Ashburnham the Governor refused: but finding himself unable to defend it, withdrew himself into the Isle of Portland, and the Garison at last surrendered on these Conditions, viz. That the Town, with all the Arms, Ammunition, Ordnance and Ships, be delivered up; the Commanders and Officers to march away to Exeter on Horseback with Swords and Pistols, and the common Soldiers only with Staves in their Hands. Here were said to be taken near a hundred Pieces of Ordnance, great and small, two thousand Musquets, one thousand Swords, one hundred and fifty Case of Pistols, two hundred Barrels of Powder, and about sixty Sail of Ships of all sorts in the Harbour. On the 19th of June the Lord General came to Weymouth, and the Earl of Warwick came ashore, and had consultation together.
Essex has some Discontents, and the Occasion.
About this time s me Jealousies and Misapprehensions were like to happen between the two Houses and Essex. His Excellency press'd for Money for his Army, and it was suggested as if more Care were taken for Supplying of Waller than him: On the other side some of the Members seem'd to disapprove of his Conduct in Marching into the West, alledging Lyme might as well have been relieved by a Party of Horse, without carrying the whole Army so far that way, &c. To which Essex answer'd pretty warmly, and concluded one of his Letters thus—Your innocent though suspected Servant: whereupon a Committee was appointed to draw up a Letter to him, which was as follows.
A LETTER to the Earl of Essex.
A Letter from the Parliament somewhat harsh to Essex, June 19. 1644.
We are commanded by the two Houses of Parliament to acquaint your Lordship, that the Committee of both Kingdoms have reported to them the Designs of carrying on the War, with the Letters sent to your Lordship in prosecution of those Designs, and the several Answers; and that they are of Opinion, if the Resolutions of the Houses, and the Directions of the Committee of both Kingdoms had been followed, the Publick Affairs had been in a better Condition than now they are; especially in these Parts. And we are also to let your Lordship know, that in your Letters to the Committee of both Kingdoms, of the 14th, 16th and 17th of this instant June, and that other to the Houses, there are many Expressions might well have been forborn, and do not question but you do now wish they had not been written. But to make the best use of their Affairs as they now stand, they find themselves necessitated to use New Counsels, and would have your Lordship to take all Advantages on the Enemy, and use your best Endeavours for reducing the West. And although they find themselves much discompos'd by your Lordship's going into the West, in respect of the Pay of the Army, yet the Houses are in present Consideration thereof, and will endeavour to settle it to the satisfaction of both Armies; and to expect that such Directions as your Lordship shall from time to time receive from them, or the Committee of both Kingdoms, be for the future observed: And this being all we are commanded to signify unto your Lordship, we remain,
Your Lordship's Humble Servants.
June 9th, 1644.
June 21st, the Earl of Essex sent a Summons to Wareham, a Town about four Miles from Pool, which about the middle of April had been taken from the Parliament by Colonel O-Beyen, (my Lord Inchiquin's Brother) through the Default (as was said) of the Captain Morton, at that time Captain of the Watch. But the Summons meeting with a Denial, the Earl thought not fit to spend time Captain of the Watch. But the Summons meeting with a Denial, the Earl thought not fit to spent time on a Siege, but on the 26th advanced to Guard, within two and twenty Miles of Exeter, where the Queen as yet had her Residence, having on Sunday the 16th been happily delivered of a Daughter, (the Princess Henrietta.)
The Princess Henrietta born June 16. 1644.; The Queen's Message to Essex.; His Answer.
Whilst Essex quartered at Chard, her Majesty sent a Message, a desiring a safe Conduct to Bath for the recovery of her Health; and afterwards by another Messenger, for a safe Conduct to Bristol: to which he return'd an Answer to this effect, That if her Majesty pleased, he would not only give her safe Conduct, but wait upon her himself to London, where she might have the best Advice and Means for Restoring her Health; but as for either of the other Places, he could not obey her Majesty's Desires, without Directions from the Parliament.
Her Majesty leaves England, July the 14th.; Lands at Brest.
Whereupon her Majesty not judging her Person safe at Exeter, as soon as she was in any Condition to travel, removed from thence, and on Sunday July the 14th, took Shipping at Falmouth, Warwick had ordered several Ships to attend at Fortay to intercept and hinder the Passage; yet her Majesty with a Flemish Man of War, and ten other Ships, adventured out, and by the Advantage of the Wind avoided any Annoyance from the Parliament Fleet, who yet pursued with all the Sail they could make, and one Frigat came up and discharg'd several shots at them; but her Majesty's Ships coming out fresh tallow'd and train'd for so important a Service, had the advantage of them in sailing: And to prevent the worst, there was provided a Galley with sixteen Oars, which might have carried off her Majesty if they could have come up; but without needing to make use thereof, her Majesty landed safely at Brest in France, and resided in that her Native Kingdom from henceforth till after the Restoration of the Royal Family.
Essex marches to Tiverton, July the 5th.
From Chard, Essex march'd to Tiverton, July 5th; and whilst he lay there, Prince Maurice sending a Party to barnstaple, the Townsmen having notice of their coming, shut the Gates against them, and flew several of them, and immediately sent a Messenger to Essex, who dispatch'd the Lord Roberts with a strong Party thither, to secure and settle the Town, which they did accordingly.
Capt. Howard hang'd by the Parliament's Party.; Capt. Turpin hang'd by the King's.
Here was taken one Captain Howard, who being formerly Lieutenant to Captain Pym, ran away with nineteen Horse to the King's Party, for which being now by Essex call'd before a Council of War, he was condemned and executed; in revenge of whose Death, Sir John Berkley, Governour of Exeter, having in Custody one Captain Turpin, (a Sea-Captain that attempted to relieve that City when the Earl of Stamford was besieged in it, and for the same being indicted for Levying Arms against the King, was by Judges, Heath, Forster, Banks, and Serjeant Glanvil, condemned, but hitherto reprieved) the Governour now, by the Command of Prince Maurice, caused him to be hang'd. The Parliament took this Man's death very ill, alledging that his Case was quite different from Howard's, the latter being a Run-away, the former a fair Prisoner of War; and therefore having Serjeant Glanvil in their Custody, (being lately voluntarily come in from Oxford) they ordered the said Judges on the 22d of July to be impeached of High-Treason; and this business and the Hanging of fourteen of the Parliament's Party, said to be Clothiers, soon after at Woodhouse in Wiltshire, gave occasion for preparing and hastening the Ordinance for Erecting a Court-Martial, (whereof in its proper Place.)
Taunton taken by the Parliament's Party.
About this time Sir Robert Pye and Colonel Blake, a stout Commander belonging to the Garison of Lyme, took Taunton-Dean, and in the Castle there one Demi-Culverin, and ten other small Pieces, two Tun of Match, eight Barrels of Powder, and Store of Provisions.
The taking of this Place happen'd soon after the Battle of Marston-Moor; and the Parliament's Convoy that went with the Soldiers of this Garison to conduct them to Bridgewater, had the following Letter written by Serjeant Francis to his Father, sent to them, to upbraid them with the Victory which it was supposed the King's Army had obtained in the North.
Serjeant Francis his LETTER to his Father.
A Letter falsely representing the Success at Marstonmoor.
These are to signify unto you the certain Occurrences here; Prince Rupert hath utterly defeated the bonny Scots and Rebels that besieged York, taken General Lesley and that Arch-Rebel Sir Thomas Fairfax, Prisoners, slain the Earl of Manchester, and taken forty eight Pieces of Ordnance, and ten thousand Arms, and not left them so much as a blue Bonnet: Time will not give me leave to send you the Particulars, but it is certified by an Express, and under his Highness Prince Rupert's own hand, and therefore you may credit it, and make it known.
Your Obedient Son,
Bristol, July the 9th, 1644.
This being made known to the Lord General Essex, who knew the contrary, having received a Copy of the Letter under the Hands of the three Generals, of the Defeat Prince Rueprt had received, he sent a Copy of the Letter of the three Generals by a Trumpeter, to Sir John Berkley the Governor of Exeter, with this Message, That if the Relation proved true that Sir John had received of the Prince's Victory over the English and Scotish Forces, he would be content, and engage his Honour on it, to deliver up the Towns of Weymouth and Melcomb-Regis to him, provided the said Sir John would engage to surrender Exeter, if this Relation now sent him of the Prince's Defeat proved true: To which Sir John return'd this modest Answer.
A LETTER to the Earl of Essex.
Sir John Berkley's Letter to Essex.
In the Posture we are, it is very possible I may be deceived in our Intelligence, and considering the Practice of some, not impossible but your Lordship may be: I am confident your Lordship hath no intention to abuse the People; I am most sure I have not. It must be acknowledged your News is very unpleasant to Men of my Affection, and will not prove very prosperous to those of your Lordship's, if I am not mistaken in them, or my Arguments of them. I still incline to believe our own, but not to that degree of difference as there is between Exeter and Weymouth; however I shall receive the Assurance of either with the most equal Mind, and in the worst Event shall never want the satisfaction of having discharged my Duty to my Country, with a Heart as untouch'd of private Ends and Respects as any Man's living; and as much
Your loving Humble Servant,
Skirmish at Dorchester, July 11th.; Seven Irish-Men hang'd.
On the 11th of July Colonel O-Brian sent out a Party of two hundred and forty Horse and Foot from Wareham to Dorchester, who faced the Town several Hours, but the Inhabitants stood upon their Guard, and sent to the Parliament's Garisons at Adderbury and Weymouth for Relief: whereupon Colonel Sydenham, Major Sydenham, and other Forces, hastned thither, put them to flight, and pursued them almost to Wareham, flew twelve and took sixty Horses, and one hundred and sixty Prisoners; whereof eight being natural Irish, seven of them were immediately hang'd, and the other spared for doing Execution on his Fellows. It was said to be in revenge of these that the fourteen Persons before mentioned were hang'd at Wood-House.
The King's Marches towards the West after the Fight at Cropedy-Bridge.
Whilst Essex was thus advancing in the West, his Majesty was not wanting to his own Affairs: 'Twas thought when he gave Waller that Brush at Cropedy-Bridge, June the 29th, that his Majesty designed to have marched Northwards, and to have join'd with Prince Rupert; but soon after hearing of his Highness's Disaster at Marston-Moor (which happen'd but three days after the Action at Cropedy-Bridge) he thought fit to take other Measures, and rather march into the West, and accordingly advanced to the Borders of Worcestershire: Nor did Waller follow him, but march'd away to Buckingham, and the City Brigade that was with him returned home, and the rest of his Forces lay quartered at Buckingham, Abingdon, and other Places. His Majesty five days after the Business at Cropedy-Bridge, and two after that at Marston-Moor, was at Evesham, from whence the Marquiss of Hertford sent a Copy of the following Message to the Earl of Essex, who communicated the said Copy to the Parliament, and it was intimated that the French Agent had the Original to deliver.
Walter's Forces lie still at Abingdon.
To the Lords and Commons of Parliament Assembled at Westminster.
The King's Message for Peace from Evesham, July 4th, 1644.
We being deeply sensible of the Miseries and Calamities his of our Kingdom, and of the grievous Sufferings of our poor Subjects, do most earnestly desire that some Expedient may be found out, which by the Blessing of Goa may prevent the further effusion of Blood, and restore the Nation to Peace: From the earnest and constant endeavouring of which, as no discouragement given us on the contrary Part shall make us cease, so no success on ours shall ever divert us. For the effecting whereof, we are most ready and willing to condescend to all that shall be for the good of us and our People, whether by way of Confirmation of what we have already granted, or of such further Concession as shall be requisite to the givimg a full Assurance of the Performance of all our most real Professions concerning the maintenance of the true Reformed Religion established in this Kingodm, with due regard to the Ease of tender Consciences, the just Privileges of Parliament, and the Liberty and Property of the Subject, according to the Laws of the Land; as also the granting of a General Pardon without or with Exceptions, as shall be thought fit. In order to which blessed Peace, we do desire and propound to the Lords and Commons of Parliament, assembled at Westminster, that they appoint such and so many Persons as they shall think fit, sufficiently authorized by them, to attend us at our Army, upon safe Conduct to come and return, (which we do hereby grant) and conclude with us how the Premises, and all other Things in question between us and them, may be fully settled; whereby all unhappy mistaking betwixt us and our People being removed, there may be a present Cessation of Arms, and as soon as may be a total disbanding of all our Armies, the Subject have his Due, and we be restored to all our Rights. Wherein if this our Offer shall be accepted, there shall be nothing wanting on our Part which may make our People secure and happy.
Given at our Court at Evesham, the Fourth Day of July, 1644.
Why the two Housews return no Answer.
The two Houses not conceiving themselves to be owned by the Direction of this Message as the Two Houses of Parliament, and for that it was but a Copy, return'd no Answer thereunto; but then and for a long time before had under their Consideration the framing of certain Propositions for Peace, wherein the Kingdom of Scotland was also to join with them.
His Majesty goes to Bath.
The King fell down with his main Body, and quartered for a while about Breedon, three Miles from Tewxbury, and being inform'd of the Weakness of that Place, drew near with an Intention to storm it, and advanced his Ordnance within a Mile thereof; but Massey, Governor of Glocester, upon the first Intelligence clap'd into the Town two hundred Musqueteers for an additional strength, and to encourage those within, himself in the mean while with one hundred Musqueteers in Cosawne waited to encounter with a Party of the King's Worcester Forces, whom he staved off with the loss of five or six Men near Uston-Bridge, and passed over Seven to Tewx-bury; upon Notice whereof, his Majesty drew off his Forces, and made shew as if he would pass over the River into Herefordshire and Wales, giving Command that all the Bridges should be made up: But his Design lay Westward, and therefore on a sudden made up the Hills, marched in the View of Shudely-Castle over the Downs to Cubberly, seven Miles from Glocester, and by Beverstone-Castle to Sudbury, and so over the Hill Country to Bath; Massey sending out three Troops of Horse to attend their Rear, who drove in Stragglers, and took between fifty and sixty Prisoners. His Majesty having summon'd in the Inhabitants in Somersetshire to appear at a Place called Kings-moor, July 23d, made the following Speech.
The KING's Speech.
The King's Speech to the Inhabitants of Somersetshire, at Kings-moor, 23 July, 1644.
"I Have often desired before these Troubles, to visit these Western Parts, that I might with Joy have been an Eye-Witness of the Blessings of Peace which you then enjoyed, and have been welcomed with the hearty and unanimous Affections of my good People here: But malicious Designs of the Authors of this most unnatural War have made those my Intentions impossible; yet my coming to you in this Posture may sufficiently express what Value I set upon these Associated Counties. I am now come to relieve you from the Violence of a Rebellious Army sent hither by those who have plunged this whole Kingdom into these desperate Distractions. They have got footing in your Country, and under the false pretences they carry with them, (wherewith they have abused too many of my People) are ready to devour you, and bring destruction to your Religion, Property and Liberty: These I am come to defend, and shall refuse no danger that may conduce to your Deliverance from this Slavery attempted on you by these Men.
"All I ask of you, is, that you will not be wanting to yourselves, but will heartily join with me in this good Work, by contributing your chearful Assistance to my Army, and by performing your Duty in bearing Arms with me in this good Cause, wherein whoever shall fall, carrieth this Comfort with him, that he falleth in Defence of the true Protestant Religion, his King, his Country, and the Law of the Land: And he that dare not venture his Life for these, I had rather have his room than his Company. Upon these Grounds I shall lead you on: Follow me with Courage, and the God of Power give us his Blessing. I shall further remember you of this, that if by your Assistance it shall please God to reduce this Army now in the Bowels of your Country, you will not only thereby free these Associated Counties from those Miseries which threaten you; but it may please God in mercy so to look upon this poor Kingdom, that the Fruits of this Victory may be a means to restore Peace to us all, that blessed Peace which I have so often and so importunately sought for from them at Westminster, and which they have so scornfully rejected, as if the Blood of their Fellow-Subjects were their delight: God turn their Hearts! Neither shall I despair of it, if the success of that Army, the chiefest strength on which they rely, shall fail their Expectation; for then it may have such an influence upon them, that I hope they may be prevailed with to give you leave to be happy again, and (which I have so often desired) to have all that is in question between them and me determined in a full and free Convention of Parliament: Then I shall not fear but the united Power of this Kingdom will easily free us from the Northern Invasion, which making use of our Divisions, threateneth no less than the Conquest of this whole Nation. This I assure you, that no success shall make me less zealously seek for Peace, well knowing whose Blood is to be spilt in this unhappy Quarrel; but rather I shall more servently encrease my desires, by how much I may have better grounded Hopes to attain what I so earnestly desire.
"When I mention Peace, I would be understood to intend that Peace which is built upon such Foundations as are most likely to render it firm and stable, wherein God's true Religion may be best secured from the danger of Popery, Sectaries and Innovations; the Crown may possess those just Prerogatives which may enable me to protect and govern my People according to Law; and the Subjects be confirm'd in those Rights which they have derived from their Forefathers, and which I have granted to them in Parliament; to which I shall always be ready to add such New Graces as I shall find most to conduce to their Happiness: This is the Peace which I labour for, wherein I may justly expect your best assistance with your Hearts, and Hands, and Purses.
"Neither shall I be more burdensome to you with my Army than of necessity I must for its support, (so far I must desire your help, being violently robb'd of all my Revenues.) I have and shall use all possible means to suppress the Disorders of the Soldiers. The best way to do it, is by taking order that they be not provok'd with want of necessary Provisions; that being done by you, Mr. Sheriff and the Commissioners of this County, which I most earnestly commend to your Care, you shall find me very strict in such Discipline as may secure you.
"This Night I hope to have joined to me other considerable Forces, which are upon their march towards me; and to-morrow morning we shall humbly ask God's Blessing on us, and begin the Work.
'Pointing othe Prince, who was by.
"This Care I shall further take for you, that as soon as possibly I can, other Men to be levied by the Impress shall supply the Place of such of you as I shall then give liberty to return to your Harvest. I shall conclude with this Promise to you, that I shall look upon your Chearfulness in this Service as the greatest expression of your Loyalty and Affections that you can make, or I receive, which I shall requite if it be in my power; if I live not to do it, I hope this young Man *, my Son, your Fellow-Soldier in this Expedition, will, to whom I shall particularly give it in charge."
The King having join'd the Lord Hopton's Forces, advanced to Ilchester and Evil in Somersetshire, and with them and what strength came in from the Country, had formed a very considerable Army.
Essex goes from Tiverton, July the 18th.; Skirmish at Cherrington.
The Earl of Essex on the 18th of July march'd with his whole Army from Tiverton, and pretended to countermarch to the East to meet the King; which Prince Maurice having intelligence of, at the same time march'd with his Army, consisting of four thousand Horse and Foot, or upwards, from Oakingham East towards Exon, and that Night a Party of the Lord Pawlet's Regiment of Horse took up Quarters at a Village call'd Cherrington, imagining Essex had been gone East; but a Party of his Horse fell in upon them in the Night, kill'd one Captain and some common Troopers, took sixty of their Horses, several Arms, and all their Baggage.
A Debate whether Essex should march into Cornwall.
Upon Notice of the King's approach further Westwards, and having joined my Lord Hopton, Essex called a Council of War, wherein it was debated: 1. Whether he should make back to meet his Majesty's Forces. 2. Whether he should sit down before Exeter. Or, 3. Whether he should march on to relieve Plimouth, and so march into Cornwall. Which last was concluded upon, for such Reasons as these: 1. Because if those Forces under Greenvile were routed, his Majesty could not be able to make any Recruits in those Parts. 2. Because it was suggested, that upon his March into Cornwall great Numbers of that County would come in to his Assitance; which was rendred probable, in that it was my Lord Robert's Country, who was Field-Marshal to Essex in this Expedition. 3. Because it was expected that Waller or some other of the Parliament's Forces would speedily march into the West at the Rear of the King, and so cut off all Supplies of Men or Provision from going to his Army.
Essex goes to Plimouth.
Accordingly Essex advanced to Plimouth, and Sir R. Greenvile not only drew off his Forces from thence, but quitted his small Garisons of Mount-Stamford, Plympton and Salt-Ash; and on the 23d of June, Essex sent a Party to attack the said Sir Richard's House, called Greenvile-House, at Tavestock, then made a Garison, where at their approach those within hung out a White Flag, and desired a Parley, but the Soldiers eager for Pillage went on, and storm'd it; and getting over the Wall enter'd the House, whereupon the Defendants cry'd for Quarter, which was granted to all but Irish Rebels. Here were taken two Pieces of Cannon, one hundred and fifty Prisoners, a great quantity of Musquets and Pistols, and in Money, Plate, &c. to the Value of three thousand Pounds.
Essex enters Cornwall, June 26, and the Dispute at Newbridge.
June the 26th, Essex entered into Cornwall; Sir Richard Greenvile at Newbridge, the Passage into that County, maintaining an hot Dispute for some time: but at last the Parliament's Forces, with the loss of about forty or fifty Men, gain'd the Pass, and so pass'd on to Lanceston the Shire-Town, where they took divers Barrels of Powder.
The King follows him.; Essex writes to the Parliament for Forces to fall in the King's Rear.; Middleton marches Westward, but too late.
The same day his Majesty came to Exeter, and Prince Maurice being join'd, had a general Muster of his Forces, and so advanced after Essex into Cornwall. On the 29th, Essex being at Bodmin, sent out a Party of my Lord Roberts's Brigade, who had a Skirmish with Sir Richard Greenvile's Army at Horsebridge near Lestithiel, and took some Prisoners; likewise the Haven at Foy, and several Ships therein were taken by Essex, who dispatch'd away Letters to the two Houses, signifying that the King was come into Cornwall, and drove away all Cattle, so that he believed the design was to streighten him for Provisions, and therefore earnestly press'd that Forces might be dispatch'd into the West, to lie upon the King's Rear: but it seems Waller's Army was not in a Condition to march, for he was at London, solliciting Recruits and Supplies; yet he did dispatch Lieutenant-General Middleton that way with about two thousand five hundred Horse and Dragoons, who advanced as far as Somersetshire, and interrupted some Carriages passing towards the King's, but came too late to effect any thing for the Relief of Essex's Army.
The King quartering at Liskard, and General Essex at Lestithiel, on Aug. 6. his Majesty sent the following Letter, written with his own Hand to him, by the Lord Beauchamp, Son to the Marquiss of Hertford.
His Majesty's LETTER to the Earl of Essex.
The King's Letter to Essex, Aug. the 6th.
I have been very willing to believe that whenever there should be such a Conjuncture as to put it in your power to effect that happy Settlement of this miserable Kingdom, which all good Men desire, you would lay hold of it: That Seas n is now before you, you have it at this time in your power to redeem your Country and the Crown, and to oblige your King in the highest degree (an Action certainly of the greatest Piety, Prudence and Honour) such an opportunity as perhaps no Subject before you hath ever had, or after you shall have; to which there is no more required but that you join with me heartily and really in the settling of those things which we have both professed constantly to be our only Aims: Let us do this, and if any shall be so foolishly unnatural as to oppose their King's, their Country's, and their own Good, we will make them happy (by God's Blessing) even against their Wills. The only Impediment can be want of mutual Confidence; I promise it you on my part, as I have endeavoured by my Letter to Hertford from Evesholm: I hope this will perfect it, when (as here I do) I shall have engaged unto you the Word of a King, that you joining with me in that blessed Work, I shall give both to you and your Army such eminent Marks of my Confidence and Value, as shall not leave room for the least distrust amongst you, either in relation to the Publick or your self, unto whom I shall then be
Your Faithful Friend,
Liskard, Aug.. 6. 1644.
If you like of this, hearken to this Beaver, whom I have fully instructed in Particulars; but this will aimt of no delay.
To this Letter the Earl of Essex returned no present Answer. On the 8th of August Prince Maurice and the Earl of Brainford (General of his Majesty's Forces) sent a Letter to him, advising him to take his Majesty's Letter into Consideration, and that if he would treat, they would meet him, and there should be a safe Conduct on both sides, and that he should be as safe as in his own Camp: And the day following another Letter was sent him, subscribed by the Lord Hepton, and the Commanders of his Majesty's Army, in the Words following.
A LETTER from the Commanders of his Majesty's Army to the Earl of Essex.
Letters from the Commanders of his Majesty's Armies to Essex, Aug. the 9th.
We having obtain'd his Majesty's Leave to send this to you, shall not repeat how the many gracious Messages, Endeavours and Declarations which his Majesty hath made, have been so solemnly protested in the Presence of God and Men, that we wonder how the most scrupulous can make any doubt of the real peerformance of them: But we must before this approaching occasion, tell your Lordship, that we bear Arms for this End only, to defend his Majesty's known Rights, the Protestant Religion and Laws of this Kingdom; and this being the professed Cause of your Lordship's bearing Arms, we are confident that concurring in the same Opinions and Pretences, we shall not by any unnatural War weaken the main Strength of this Kingdom, and advance the Designs of our common Enemies, who long since have devoured us in their hopes.
The Exigency of the time will not suffer us to make any labou'd Declarations of our Intentions, but only this, that on the Faith of Subjects, the Honour and Reputation of Gentlemen and Soldiers, we will with our Lives maintain that which his Majesty shall publickly promise in order to a Bloodless Peace: Nor shall it be in the power of any private Person to divert this Resolution of ours; and the same we expect from you. And now we must take leave to protest, that if this our Offer be neglected (which we make neither in fear of your Power, nor distrust of our own, but only touched with the approaching Miseries of our Nation) that what Calamities soever shall oppress Posterity, will lie heavy on the Souls and Consciences of those that shall decline this Overture, which we cannot hope so seasonably to make again, if this Conjuncture be let go. And therefore it is desired, That your Lordship, and six other Persons, may meet our General to-morrow, (at such an indifferent Place as you shall think fit) attended with as many, that may consider of all means possible to reconcile these unhappy Differences and Misunderstandings that have so long afflicted the Kingdom. And for your Lordship, and those that shall come with, or be employed by your Lordship, we do engage our Faith and Honour, and do expect the same from your Lordship, desiring withall your very speedy Answer, which must be a Guide to our Proceedings; concluding, that if this shall be refused, we shall hold ourselves justified before God and Men, whatsoever shall be the Success.
Upon the receipt of this Letter, Essex returned an Answer to the Earl of Brainford, to this effect—"That whereas he had received a Letter from his Majesty, another from his Lordship, and a third from some other Commanders; by all which a Treaty was desired: he thinks fit to acquaint his Lordship, that it was not in his Commission to be concern'd in any such Treaty, nor could he be tray the Trust reposed in him by the Parliament.
Thanks from the two Houses to their General, Aug. the 14th.
The General send up these Letters to the Parliament, and they were read at a Conference in the Painted-Chamber, August the 14th; and it was ordered, That the Thanks of both Houses be returned him for his Fidelity in this Affair.
The King imprisons the Lord Wilmot.
About this time the Lord Wilmot, the King's Lieutenant-General of Horse, fell into his Majesty's Displeasure, and was sent Prisoner to Exeter; whereupon his Lordship, being well beloved in the Army, there was the following Petition presented to the King concerning him.
To the King's most Excellent Majesty,
The Humble PETITION of your Majesty's old Officers of Horse;
The Commanders petition on his behalf, Aug. 18.
"That whereas they have had the Honour to serve your Majesty, under the Command of the Lord Wilmot, of whose just and loyal Intentions they conceive they have had some Demonstrations; but now, to their great Amazement, and almost Distraction, find him fallen into your Majesty's Displeasure and Suspicion: And although they intend not to arrogate unto themselves a liberty of searching into your Majesty's Designs, nor disputing your Commands; yet they most humbly beg pardon, if they believe it a Right they owe themselves and your Majesty's Service, to request they may receive some present light of this Business from your Majesty, that they may not have reason to suspect themselves Partakers of his Crimes, having been, by your Majesty's Order, Executors of his Commands. And we hope for such a Satisfaction from your Majesty's Justice in this Particular, as may encourage your Petitioners to go on with the same Zeal to your Service as they have hitherto expressed, in the hazard of their Lives and Fortunes, and in their Prayers for your Prosperity; which shall ever be continued by
Most Humble Subjects and Servants.
His Majesty's ANSWER to the said PETITION Presented August the 18th, 1644.
The King's Answer.
"WE have considered of your Petition, and receive it as a thing well becoming you, to express unto us a Sense of the Misfortune of a Person who had so long commanded you, as the Lord Wilmot hath done, in so eminent a Charge as that of Lieutenant-General of Horse; since we assure you, the occasion we had to set so great a Mark of our Displeasure upon one so highly trusted and favoured by us, in an affection to our self not inferior to the greatest which his best Friends can conceive by the effect of it: And we shall expect that you will be kind to us, in your Belief either of our Justice or Prudent Care at least of our own Interests, as to be confident of that at this Season, when the Chearfulness and Unanimity in our Service, wherewith all of you have hitherto so eminently obliged your King, is so much more necessary than it hath been at any time. We should not have done an Act that might hazard the discontenting many, had we not been forced unto it, by the assurance that it was absolutely necessary to the Preservation of us all. And though in such Cases wherein a Crown lies at the stake, upon the Decision of Battel, a small suspicion is ground enough for a Prince to remove any Person, but doubted, from such a Trust, whereby he had Power so easy to destroy all; yet so desirous are we to give full Satisfaction unto you, whose Merit of us has been such, that we must ever profess no King did ever owe more to Gentlemen and Officers, that we thought fit here unto to annex a Declaration of the Causes of the Lord Wilmot's removal from that Trust; being only sorry for this, that we (urged by your desires) publish more perhaps than ever we intended, of the unfaithfulness and ingratitude of a Person whom we had not only trusted so long and so far, but also so highly, and so many several ways obliged, that it was a great improvement of Grief and Trouble to us, that when it shall please God by your means to restore us to our Rights, we can scarce ever hope for Power to do proportionably to the rest of you.
Given at our Court at Buconock, August the Two and Twentieth, 1644.
The Lord Wilmot's CHARGE.
The Charge against the Lord Wilmot.
"That the Lord Viscount Wilmot hath endeavoured, principally these three Months last past, to possess the Officers of his Majesty's Army with Disvalue and Contempt of his Majesty's Person, and with Prejudice against the Sincerity of his Intentions for the Good of his People, and endeavoured (as far as in him lay) to draw Men to revolt from all their Allegiance; and particularly hath used Discourses and Persuasions to this effect, unto Persons of Charge, Power and Credit, in the Army: That the King, he saw, would put all the Power into his Nephew's hands; that rather than suffer it, they should (for his Part he would) make him submit to his Parliament. And to others, to this effect: That the King was afraid of Peace; that he was not a Man ever to go through this business; that there was no way but one, which was to set up the Prince, who had no share in the Cause of these Troubles, and that he would declare against those about his Father, wherein all honest Men would stick unto him, and put an end to all. That the said Lord Viscount Wilmot hath without his Majesty's knowledge sent secret Messengers of dangerous Nature unto the Earl of Essex; particularly it being resolv'd by his Majesty, that a private Message should be sent unto the Earl of Essex from a Person of Honour, to whom the said Earl profess'd great Respect, inviting him to send two Persons of most Trust with him, to meet and confer with the said Persons of Honour, and another of whom the said Earl was believed to have a good Opinion; and the Instructions unto the Messengers (who had free access unto the Earl of Essex) being punctually drawn by a private Council, at the which the Lord Wilmot was present, with precise Directions, that the Messengers should know no more of the business, or deliver any things concerning the Publick, but what was set down by unanimous Consent at the Council, and attested by the Secretaries of State: the Lord Wilmot notwithstanding desired the said Messengers to commend him kindly to the Earl of Essex, and tell him from him, he had many good Friends in the Army; that he should lay hold of this opportunity, and that then they would shew themselves, and that the Court should not have power to hinder it, or carry it as they have done, or words to this effect. By which secret Message from him, being Lieutenant-General of his Majesty's Horse unto the General of the Rebels Army, he did not only forfeit his Duty and Allegiance, but hath hereby given the Earl of Essex such Assurances, though most false, of a Party in his Majesty's Army, and of such Division between that and the Court, as have been probably the Cause of that insolent Return, which the said Earl hath made unto his Majesty's most gracious Letter which he vouchsafed to write him with his own hand, to invite him to Peace; and so frustrated the great hope which his Majesty had raised to himself by such a Letter, of saving the further Effusion of Blood, and procuring the happiest Accommodation; whereof had there been the least hope left, his Majesty has declared that he would have connived at these, yea, if posible, at greater Crimes."
An ANSWER to a Declaration and Charge against the Lord Wilmot.
The Lord Wilmot's Answer touching this Charge.
"I Doubt not but my Actions, and the Loss of what I had in his Majesty's Service, might satisfy the World of my Integrity and Respect to his Majesty's Person and Dignity, if I should only insist upon that; but since my Accusers intend to prove the contrary, by the Averment of Persons of Charge, Power, and Credit in the Army, I am confident it is a Right I owe my own Innocency and Civility to Men of their Quality, wholly and absolutely to refer myself to the Justice and Integrity of their Testimonies, without endeavouring to assure the World from myself of my own Innocency: Though, I doubt, whensoever it shall please the King to call me to my publick Tryal, which I am promised will be speedily, I shall be able to make that Appearance with much Clearness to the whole World, as I now find in the private Satisfaction of my own Conscience But since some Persons have thought fit to interest themselves in my Justification, I conceive myself obliged to satisfy their Desires in this general Account, for the present. I must, in the first place, rejoice with them, that the Malice itself of my Accusers can suggest nothing of Practice to me; the height of my pretended Offences, were they confessed by me, or proved by them, reach no further than Words, tho of such a Nature, as are as disagreeable to my Loyalty and Duty, as they were always distant either from my Intentions or Expressions. Till my Adversaries find out a way to make good as well as barely to accuse, I must require from the Justice of all Persons, since my Actions have in all Points fully contradicted these pretended Accusations, a Suspension of Judgment; and desire they would not put the forged Suggestions of my Enemies in equal Ballance to the Endeavours of my whole Life, which, after hazard of it (if his Majesty had thought fit) he might have found would be still continued, in as full and faithful a Degree in his Majesty's Service as ever. The Truth is, my Affection hath always inclined to Peace; but I take God to witness, such a one as might have agreed with the Honour of the King, and the Happiness of the Country: and though my Intentions are not to recriminate, yet in order to my Justification and Acquitment, I must take leave to say, I do more than fear it agrees not with the Interest and Inclinations of some Persons so fully as I could wish, which I take to be the principal Cause of my present Condition; but I have only undertaken to clear myself. May each Man's particular Faults light on his own Head; whosoever shall abstract the Substance from the Copiousness and subtle Aggravations of Language, I am confident will find whatever Dress they may be able to put upon the Groundwork of their Accusations, to be barely nothing but a too violent expressing my Inclinations to Peace: whether I have ever sought it, further than my Allegiance and Duty to his Majesty allowed of, or my Obligation to my Country might exact from me, I must reserve to my publick Answer; in the mean time I desire, and doubt not, but that all good Men will be satisfied with this Profession and Protestation, That I never had a private Treaty, nor did ever speak any thing to the prejudice of the Publick Cause; yet if there could be a means found out to reconcile the just Interest of the King and Kingdom, such as becomes an honest and well-affected Man to appear in, I am sure I should be very forward to engage all my Assistance, and shall think it an Action may very well be justified to God, my King, and all honest Men; in which Resolution I intend to live and die.
A Day of Prayer for Essex's Army kept at London, Aug. the 13th.
At London by Order of the two Houses, Tuesday August the 13th was kept as a Day of Humiliation and Prayer, to crave a Blessing from Heaven on the Kingdom, and particularly for the Success of the Army under their Lord General Essex in Cornwall.
Wareham surrendered to the Parliament, August 10.
Colonel Sydenham and Sir Anthony Ashly-Cooper, and others, Commanders of the Parliament's Forces, having drawn out about twelve hundred Horse and Foot out of the Garisons of Lyme, Pool and Weymouth, came before the Town of Wareham, and began to storm the Outworks; whereupon a Parley was desired, and the Town agreed to be surrendered on the Conditions following.
That the Officers and Soldiers shall march away with their Colours flying, Drums beating, and Bullet in Mouth, and freely enjoy their Arms, Horses, Bag and Baggage.
That immediately after the Surrender of the Town, the said Officers and Soldiers shall be maintained at the Charge of the King and Parliament: And that there shall be a timely Provision made for conveying them over into Ireland, and that they receive one Month's Pay.
That the Inhabitants of the Town, and such as have repaired thither, shall be at liberty to enjoy and dispose of their Estates according to the Law of the Land, paying Contributions proportionable to their Estates, as other places do that are under the Obedience of the Parliament.
That there be no Plundering: That all the Inhabitants who desire to depart, shall have Liberty so to do, and time to carry away their Goods; and all Prisoners on either side to be released.
And that such of the Garison as were not willing to go with the Governor into Ireland to fight against the Rebels, shall have a safe Conduct to Bristol, or any part of the King's Army, without Arms.
The Occasion of this so easy a Surrender, was, for that Lieutenant-Colonel O-Brian the Governor, understood that his Brother my Lord Inchequin, dissatisfied at the Cessation with the Irish Rebels, had declared against it, and sided with the Parliament; and therefore the said Lieutenant-Colonel was the more ready to give up the Town, and go back with his Forces into Ireland, to the assistance of his Brother.
Skirmish between Middleton and Sir Francis Doddington.
Lieutenant-General Middleton was now got about Bridgwater in Somersetshire, and Sir Francis Doddington and Sir William Courtney of General Goring's Brigade being convoying certain Carriages towards his Majesty's Army, he endeavoured to intercept them; but they having notice of his Design, sent a good Number of Musqueteers before, to line certain Hedges, where they knew Middleton was to pass, and afterwards sent two Carriages slenderly guarded, which he seized on: but in his Retreat falling into their Ambuscade, and they at the same time attacking him with all the rest of their Forces, a smart Encounter ensued, and several were kill'd and taken Prisoners on either side; but the King's Party recovered their Carriages, and made good their Passage towards the King, and took Major Carr Prisoner, but on their side Serjeant-Major Killigrew, a gallant young Gentleman, was slain.
Some days after the said Major-General Middleton encounter'd with a Party of the King's Forces at Farrington in the same County, and took some Officers, a hundred Horse, and three Barrels of Powder.
The Earl of Essex sent a Letter to the Parliament, acquainting them with a Plot lately discovered, to blow up his Magazine; for which purpose, into two Waggons filled with Barrels of Powder there were two Engines privately convey'd, and put amongst the Barrels, and were so near doing Execution, that the lighted Match that was fastened to the end of one of the Engines was burnt within an Inch of the Wild-fire, when it was discovered, and the other Match was burnt to the very Neck of the Engine where it was to give fire; but it happen'd not to take, and so the Coal was gone out of itself: one of which Engines he sent up, (and it was shewed in the House of Commons.) He also inform'd them that several Skirmishes had lately pass'd, wherein generally his Forces had the better; but earnestly press'd for Provisions and some fresh Forces to advance to him, concluding his Letter with these words—"If Succour come not speedily, we shall be put to great Extremity: If we were in a Country where we could force the Enemy to fight, it would be some Comfort; but this Country consists so much upon Passes, that he who can subsist longest must have the better of it, which is a great grief to me who have the Command of so many gallant Men. My Lords, I am sorry I have no discourse more pleasing, resting
Your Faithful Servant,
Essex forced to quit his Army, and go by Sea in a small Boat to Plymouth, Sept. I.
But the News that succeeded was much less pleasing to them, for five days after, viz. September the Ist, he was necessitated to quit his Army, and shift for himself in a small Vessel to Plymouth, and his Horse having forc'd their Passage through the King's Quarters, his Foot were forced to submit to Articles whereby they surrendred all their Train of Artillery, Ammunition and Baggage, together with their Arms,&c.
Touching which great Success on his Majesty's side, and strange Disaster to the Parliament's, and the Occasions thereof, I shall for the Reader's impartial satisfaction, first give the Relation thereof as it was printed at Oxford in the Mercurius Aulicus, of September 7. 1644. and then add an Account given of this Affair under the Earl of Essex's own Hand, with some other Authentick Papers relating thereunto.
An Account of the Defeating of Essex's Army in Cornwall, as it was published by the Royalists.
Mercurius Aulicus his Account of Essex's Defeat in Cornwall.
As soon as his Majesty's Army drew from Liskard, he faced the Rebels in their Quarters at Lestithiel, who had strongly fastned their Foot-Quarter on the one side of the Town, and placed most or their Horse and some Foot, on the Hills beyond: The Town is situate in a Valley, and the Tide flows up from Foy to the Bridge, so as it is not fordable but at one Pass between that and the Sea. Upon sight of the Rebels his Majesty's Army was full of Courage, and desired to be engaged, but that was not thought fit to be done, and the way of distressing the Rebels for want of Provisions, was resolved on as the most secure; and so we drew into Quarters, the King to Boconnock (the Lord Mohun's House) his Army between him and a Heath that parted his Majesty's Quarters and the Rebels at Lestithiel, the distance between both being not above a mile. As soon as his Majesty had fastened his (which was quickly done, every Enclosure here being Cannoniprof) most of the Chief Officers of both Armies subscribed a Letter to Essex by his Majesty's Consent, notwithstanding his Majesty's Gracious Letter to him immediately before, was not vouchsafed an Answer.
To the Letter sent by the Commanders he return'd a Negative (as better appears by the Letters and Relation already in print) yet his denial wrought no great Effects on his Majesty's Army; for in this posture, between the Expectation of Sir Richard Greenvile's Assistance, who was coming on from the West, the Starving of the Rebels, and many Debates but no positive Results, his Majesty spent above eight days, putting little in execution, but drew out often on the Heath, and had some light Skirmishes with the Horse-Guards, and so drew into Quarters again. At last Sir Richard Greenvile came with his Force, then the Army began more seriously in the prosecution of the Design, Sir Richard Greenvile fastening his Quarters at Lanhethorock, (the Lord Roberts's House) beyond the River, three Miles West of his Majesty, and possessed Leprin-Briage on the same River, a Mile above Lestithiel; and his Majesty on the other side placed Guards on all the Passes on the River, leading from his Quarters and Lestithiel to Foy, and possessing a House of the Lord Mohun's, over against the Town, and a Fort that commands the very mouth of that Haven, (being there but half Musquet-shot over.) This was the first Work which conduced to his Majesty's Advantage (which proved fatal to their Army) they being thereby deprived of an Harbour to bring them in Provisions or Supplies which they had plentifully before; and now they had only a small Creek at Mimibilley and Saint Blase's Bay, but neither of those safe for Ships, yet they still possessed a large space of ground Westward, which made his Majesty after few days expectation conclude, that he could not starve them in so short a time as was imagined, and therefore about fourteen days since he drew nearer to their Quarters, and fastened his Army within Enclosures, on the Wings of theirs, within Musquet-shot each of other, between which lies part of the Heath, there not half a Mile over. At the sarthest extent of the King's Quarters on that Heath, his Majesty built a Fort, that by Cannon very much annoy'd theirs (though they returned daily twenty great shot for one of his Majesty's:) The same day Sir Richard Greenvile on the other side of the River drew nearer to Lestithiel, took Lesterman-Castle, a strong Fort, and a Pass underneath it little more than half a Mile from the Town, and hereby his Majesty better'd the Communication of his Forces. When his Majesty had secured these, and his Quarters, he lay still again, expecting the Event; but the ill Weather coming on, he resolved on a New Design, which was to attempt on some of their Quarters by Surprize; and thereupon Prince Maurice's Army was ordered to have fallen on two days successively on the next Quarters to them: but the first day it was thought neither easy to get, nor advantageous being got; and the next, by delay and the Rebels discovery of the Design, nothing was effected, to the trouble and dislike of many, who thought the same more easy than perhaps it was. Yet that failing, necessity forbad any longer idleness, and so again about eight days since his Majesty refused the former Design of Starving them; to which purpose General Goring with most of the Horse, and Sir Thomas Basset with fifteen hundred Foot of Prince Maurice his Army, were sent West, to stop all Provisions coming in at St. Blase, and to reduce the Rebels to Streights by keeping their Horse and Foot close together. This wrought the expected effect, for on Friday Night came Intelligence that they were drawing their Cannon and Baggage towards Foy; whereupon his Majesty made ready, not knowing what they had done with their Horse, who the next morning in great fear marched between his Majesty's two Quarters, being about two thousand five hundred Horse, commanded by Balfore: but his Majesty's Horse followed the Rebels, though they made so great haste that they were timely at Saltash, near which Sir Edward Walgrave's Brigade lay, and was almost surprized; but the gallant old Man got his Men together, flanked them, slew a hundred, took Major Abercromy and many Prisoners. Being well bruised here, they laboured to transport themselves over the River for Plymouth, their Horses being very weak and tired; but in the Afternoon that day General Goring and most of the Horse had order to pursue them, and timely Notice was given to all Forces in the Southern Parts to meet them in the Front, so that'tis believed you will shortly hear of their Destruction. Their Foot-Army drew out likewise on Saturday, and by eight in the morning marched towards Foy; his Majesty presently followed, and having got the Bridge and Town of Lestithiel, advanced to the Hill, where he found two rare Pieces of Cannon, and about a mile farther three or four more, with Powder and Ammunition, which in their haste they left behind them. Thus marching after them, his Majesty fell in their Rear two miles from Lestithiel, and from Hedge to Hedge, enforced them to a hasty Retreat; at length (having got some advantage of an Enclosure) they made a stand, and with their remaining Horse regain'd some Fields where they were forced before: whereupon the King sent presently Captain Bret with the Queen's Troop, who in the King's View forced the Rebels to retire, regained the ground lost, got more, and returned gallantly and in good Order, with the loss only of four Men, and himself shot in the Arm: for this good Service his Majesty presently Knighted him, and he well deserved it. His Majesty only wanted Horse to have utterly destroyed them, (for they were now unable to have utterly destroyed them, (for they were now unable to help themselves) in this Condition his Majesty pursued them all day, geting still ground; in the Evening one whole Regiment of their Foot (being Colonel Weyre's) staggered, ran from Field to Field with their Cannon and Colours, only at the appearance of eight of his Majesty's Horse, and had not Night come on, all their Army had been undoubtedly destroyed. The Gentlemen of his Majesty's own Troop did most gallantly in that Service, being twice bravely led on by the Noble and Valiant Lord Bernard Stuart, to the great Terror of the Rebels. This no question caused their General Essex early the next day to quit his glorious Command, and in a small Boat to shift away by Water for Plymouth; the Lord Roberts, Merrick, and others are got in with him: Thereupon yesterday his own Lieutenant-Colonel Butler (who was formerly taken Prisoner at the Lord Mohun's House, and now exchanged for Sir John Digby) came to desire a Parley, which was accepted, and Hostages interchangeably delivered; the Treaty followed in the Evening in the King's Quarters. The Treaters for his Majesty, Prince Maurice, the Lord-General, and the Lord Digby: Theirs, Colonel Berkley (a Scot) Colonel Which-cote (a zealous City-Colonel) and Colonel Butler. After high Demands, the Conclusion brought forth the Articles (herein after recited) according to which Articles his Majesty possessed himself of all the Rebels Train of Artillery, viz. Forty-nine Pieces of fair Brass Ordnance (taken then and the day before) among which was the great Basilisco of Dover, two hundred Barrels of Gun-powder, Match, Ball, &c. proportionable; above seven hundred Carriages, and betwixt eight and nine hundred Arms for Horse and Foot—Thus Aulicus.
A RELATION of the Defeat given to the Parliament's Forces in Cornwall, written with the Earl of Essex's own Hand to Sir Philip Stapleton.
The Earl of Essex's Letter to Sir Philip Stapleton, touching the Defeat in Cornwall; dated Sept. the 3d.
HOW our poor Army hath been neglected and over-press'd by so great Powers, is well known to you, and shall be to the World; for never so many gallant and faithful Men were so long exposed without Succour: The Blood that I fear by this time is shed, will cry loud one day. But now to begin our sad Story: Hearing of the King's Approach, we quitted Bodmin, and went to that fatal place Lestithiel, which was the securest place we had then; presently the King drew all his Forces upon us, but for most part of the time the Fight was altogether Horse, in which we beat them every day, though three for one, and the Enemy durst never appear but with Musqueteers, and yet ours would beat them: But upon Wednesday was seven-night, the 21st of August, the King approached near us, his head Quarters being Boconock, my Lord Mohun's House, and there made a Fort upon the Beacon-Hill, and his Army laid in Closes hard besides him; and within Musquet-shot I placed Lieutenant-Colonel Ingolsby, with four hundred Musqueteers, and fronted with my Regiment, and Colonel Tirril's Regiment, the Orange Regiment for a second, the Lord Roberts's and Colonel Barkley's on a Hill on the left hand on the same Line, and upon them Prince Maurice lay with his Army, the Major-General's Regiment between mine and them; in the Town, Colonel Ware's Men, the River run under the Town, and he was to guard a Passage at a Gentleman's House, not two Musquet-shot from the Regiment, and an old Castle lay over it, which they quitted at the first appearing of the Enemy. On a Hill on the other side of the Town, towards Bodnam, lay Major-General Hethcock's Regiment, and Lieutenant-Colonel Forterm's; a-mile beyond them, upon a Pass to Foy, lay Aldrey and David's Regiments, and out of the Regiments most of our Musqueteers upon the Passes, which Ware's Men lost, and our Forlorn Hopes took most of our Musqueteers: Against the Regiments on Bodmin's side lay Greenhill's Army at the Lord Roberts's House. From the 21st until Friday sevennight after, most of the Foot on Bartlet's side, and the [..] next Bodmin, was in continual fight: I had but sixty Musqueteers with my Colours, and never able to relieve them all that time; some three days before we rose, the Enemy sent most of their Horse and four Regiments of Foot besides Dragoons to St. Blase, to spoil us of our Horse Quarters, and out between us and Foy; so that I was forced to send Colonel Beere with my Regiment, his and the Plymouth Regiment, with five hundred Musqueteers to defend the Passage. If in all this time but five hundred Musqueteers had been sent us, we should have ventured to have beat up one of their Quarters; but if we had lost a hundred Men as we were, we must have quitted one of our Posts, and then we had been ruined; so that our Horse being no longer able to subsist, and our Foot tired out with continual Duty, we were forced to send all the Horse away, but the Plymouth Regiment: the Horse made a brave retreat to Saltash, and so hither; but now how to come off is the difficulty. The Foot were to march to secure Foy, Mellebille and Polkerres, but when we came to draw off, the ways were so extreme foul with excessive Rain, and the Harness for the Draught Horses so rotten, as that in the marching off we lost three Demiculverins and a Brass Piece, and yet the Major-General fought in the rear all day, he being loth to lose those Pieces; thirty Horses were put to each of them, but could not move them; the Night was so foul, and the Soldiers so tired, that they were hardly to be kept to their Colours. But at the last when the four Regiments came to a place to make a stand, namely mine, Lord Roberts's, Major-General's, and Bartlet's, I took two Troops out of the Plymouth Horse that were on St. Blase's side, and Colonel Butler took a hundred Musqueteers, and Captain Floyd all of my Regiment, and with the two Troops fell upon three or four of the Enemies Regiments and their Horse, beat them back two or three Closes; Butler (that was released but the day before,) fell into the midst of them, and took a red Colours; the Plymouth Horse with Reynolds in the head of them, charged bravely, twenty of the King's Horse-Men quitted their Horses, and run through the Closes. Captain Reynolds is a gallant young Man, and was shot through a narrow-brim'd Hat with a musquet-bullet; and one of the Troopers took another Foot-Colours, which put us in some Comfort: but coming to the ground-fighting all the way, the ground could not be chosen to the best advantage, and the poor Soldiers instead of being eased of their Duty, were in such a place as that the Enemy might bring every Man of ours to fight; and they far surpassing us in Number, it might easily be judged how they could hold out with continual Duty. The Train was placed upon a Hill in the midst; on the right side of the River that comes from Foy was my Regiment; Ware's Men (or rather Sheep) and Bartlet's and the Lord Roberts's, the Enemy pressed hard upon them; Colonel Butler (that was released but the day before) came and told me, that Roberts's and Bartlet's Men had quitted their Posts, and gone two Fields back; Ware's Men flung down their Arms and run away; my Regiment seeing themselves left, do what Butler could, marched up to the Train: If I had lain at my Quarters appointed, I had been taken. Now was the side of the Train (on Gallant-side) left to the Enemy to fall in with Horse and Foot, and so of necessity Foy cut off from us, and the two Posts of Mellebille and Polkerres, from whence we should have all our Store of Viciuals and Ammunition. An hour before day came Falstaff and Phips of the Train, from the Major-General, to know what Course was to be taken, especially to secure the Train: I advised them to bring the Train to Mellebille, and the Army, and then to secure the two former Posts; and if that could not be done, then to draw up the Army round about the Train, and make the best Conditions, or else to threaten to blow up the Train. Two hours after day Mr. Dean came (who is an honest, judicious and stout Man) and told me that if they should offer to move any of the Army from their Posts, they would never stand; and that he thought they should be all surrounded before Noon, which was evident to all. Upon these Considerations I thought it fit to look to myself, it being a greater Terror to me to be a Slave to their Contempts, than a thousand Deaths; I took a Ship and came to Plymouth: that Night the Major-General called a Council of War, and beat a Parley; the Articles I send up by Colonel Pindar, which are better Conditions than I could have imagined, the Men being saved: The poor Souldiers, for all that they could not subsist, were mad to part with their Arms, and the Officers had much to do to keep them from breaking them. It is the greatest Blow that ever befell our Party: I desire nothing more than to come to the Tryal: Such Losses as these must not be smothered up. I shall take the best care for the present for the Security of this Town; I intend to lend them Money, and if the Parliament will provide Arms for their Relief, and Ships to transport them to Portsmouth, and for a thousand Men to be ready against our Men come thither, (for till then they can do no Hostile Act) I intend to stay at Portsmouth until I know the Parliament's Pleasure, whether I shall presently come up to give an Account, or tarry there till the Foot come up: This is a Business shall not sleep, if it be in the power of
Your humble faithful Servant,
Plymouth the 3d of September, 1644.
A LETTER from the Earl of Essex to Major-General Skippon.
A Letter from the E. of Essex, the next day after he left the Army, to Major General Skippon, Sept. the 2d.
I had sent to you before this, but that the Wind blew so stiff, no Boat can put to Sea; but I write this, that upon the first opportunity it may come to your Hands. Sir, Be assured no worldly thing should have made me quit so gallant Men, but the impossibility of subsisting, after I heard that those Regiments I put most trust in, namely my own, the Lord Roberts's, and Colonel Bartlet's, had quitted their Posts on Gallant- side, and so that way was open for the Enemy to cut off all Provisions from you, that should come from Mellebille-Bay and Polkerres: And that you were unable according to my desire to draw up thither, for fear your Men should quit their Colours if moved. Sir, If you live I shall take as great Care of you as of my Father if alive; if God otherwise dispose of you, as long as I have a drop of Blood, I shall strive to revenge yours on the Causers of it. The Horse are come safe: Nothing but fear of Slavery and to be triumph'd on, should have made us have gone.
SIR, I am yours till Death,
Plymouth, 2 Sept. 1644.
Upon Notice from you that you subsist, and how long you can, no hazard shall be let slip.
After the Lord-General was thus withdrawn, and with him the Lord Roberts Field-Marshal, and Sir John Merrick; Major-General Skippon, the Chief Commander that was left, called the Field-Officers to a Council of War, and spake to them to the effect following.
Major-General Skippon's SPEECH to the Field-Officers at a Council of War.
Skippon's Opinion at a Council of War, Sept. the 1st.
You see our General and some Chief Officers have thought fit to leave us, and our Horse are got away; we are left alone upon our defence: That which I propound to you, is this, That we having the same Courage as our Horse had, and the same God to assist us, may make the same Tryal of our Fortunes, and endeavour to make our way through our Enemies, as they have done, and account it better to die with Honour and Faithfulness, than to live dishonourable."
But few of the Council of War concurr'd with him in this Resolution, alledging that the Horse had many Advantages to break through, which the Foot had not, who now were also dismay'd by the going away of their General; and several other Reasons they urged, and advised by all means to a Treaty, which they had received intimations from the King's Army his Majesty was willing to accept.
And accordingly a Treaty was propounded, and the following Articles agreed upon.
ARTICLES of Agreement made the First of Septemb. 1644. between his Highness Prince Maurice and his Excellency the Earl of Brainford and Forth, Generals of his Majesty's Armies, on the one Part: And Philip Skippon, Serjeant-Major-General of the Army, and Christopher Whichcote, Serjeant-Major-General of the London Brigade, and the rest of the Officers of the Army, under the Command of the Earl of Essex, now quartered on the West side of the River of Foy, on the other part.
Articles made with the Parliament's Foot in Cornwall, Sept. the Ist.
It is agreed that all the Officers and Soldiers, as well of Horse as Foot, under the Command of the Earl of Essex, being at the time of the Conclusion of this Treaty on the West side of the River Foy, shall to-morrow, being the second of September, by eleven of the Clock in the Morning, deliver up near the old Castle in their own Quarters, all their Cannons and Train of Artillery, with all Carriages, Necessaries and Materials thereunto belonging; and likewise all the Arms offensive and defensive, both of Horse and Foot, and all Powder, Bullet, Match, and Ammunition whatsoever, unto such Officers as the General of his Majesty's Artillery shall appoint to receive the same: Except only the Swords and Pistols of all Officers above the degree of Corporals, who are by this Agreement to wear and carry the same away.
Secondly, It is agreed that immediately after the Delivery up of the said Artillery, Arms and Ammunition, &c. that all Officers and Soldiers, both of Horse and Foot, of the said Army, shall march out of their Quarters to Lestithiel, with their Colours both of Horse and Foot, Trumpets and Drums; and that all Officers of Foot above the degree of Serjeants, shall take with them such Horses and Servants as properly belong unto themselves, as also all reform'd Officers, their Horses and Arms, (not exceeding the Number of Fifty) and likewise to take with them all the Bag and Baggage and Waggons, with their Teams of Horses properly belonging to the said Officers.
Thirdly, It is agreed that they shall have a safe Convoy of one hundred Horse from their Quarters to Lestithiel, and thence in their march the nearest convenient way to Pool and Wareham: Provided that they secure the said Convoy's return to Bridgwater, or his Majesty's Army, and that in their march they touch not at any Garison.
Fourthly, It is agreed that in case they shall march from Pool to any other Place by Land, that neither they nor any of them shall bear Arms (more than is allowed in the Agreement) nor do any Hostile Act until they come to Southampton or Portsmouth.
Fifthly, It is agreed that all the sick and wounded Officers and Soldiers of that Army, who are not able to march, shall be left at Foy, and there secured from any Violence to their Persons or Goods, and Care taken of them, until such time as they can be conveniently transported to Plymouth.
Sixthly, It is agreed that all the Officers and Soldiers of that Army, for the better conveniency of their march, shall be permitted to receive all such Monies, Provisions of Victuals, and other Accommodations, as they shall be able to procure from Plymouth; to which end they shall have a Pass granted for any Persons, not exceeding the number of twelve, whom they shall send for the same.
Seventhly, It is agree that there be no inviting of any Soldiers, but that such as will voluntarily come to his Majesty's Service, shall not be hindered.
Lastly, The Subscribers on both sides do agreee and engage their Faith and Honour, that all the above-written Articles shall be kept inviolate.
Which Articles were afterwards approved by the Earl of Essex in these words under his Hand.
The Earl of Essex's Approbation.
I Do hereby approve of those Articles made and agreed upon betwixt the Officers of my Army, with the City-Brigade, of the one part, and Prince Maurice and the Earl of Forth on the King's Party, near Foy in Cornwall; as being done with much Honour and Judgment, and as being of much advantage unto my Army, and a great Service to the Kingdom.
Some of the King's Soldiers contrary to Articles stripp'd and pillaged the Parliament Soldiers, who complained to Major-General Skippon, and he personally address'd himself to his Majesty on their behalf; and his Majesty being troubled for his Soldiers rudeness, promised the Articles should be better observed.
Lieutenant-Colonel Adrian Scroop's Testimony of the Parliament Soldiers Behaviour in their March (under his Convoy) out of Cornwall.
L. C. Scroop's Testimony of the Parliament Soldiers Behaviour.
His Majesty having employed me in the Conduct of the Earl of Essex's Army, from the Borders of Cornwall to Wareham and Pool, I do hereby signify to all the World, that in the whole March the Gentlemen and Officers of that Army have expressed a Care becoming such Persons, and behaved themselves as Persons of Gallantry and Consideration. And for the Common Soldiers, they have not any way oppressed or injured the Countries, but demeaned themselves with extraordinary Civility, which in right to them cannot but be attested by me,
Beare, Sept. 12. 1644.
Major-General Skippon's Testimony of Lieutenant-Colonel Scroop.
M. G. Skippon's Testimony of L. C. Scroop.
Whereas by order from General Goring, according to his Majesty's Pleasure, this worthy Gentleman, Lieutenant-Colonel Adrian Scroop hath been appointed to convoy this part of his Excellency's the Earl of Essex's Army, for the present under my Command; which the said Lieutenant-Colonel Scroop hath done with exceeding Care, Pains, Nobleness, and Faithfulness, having demeaned himself also constantly with all Discretion, Sobriety, Civility, and Courtesy towards us. And whereas I am obliged according to an express Article in the Treaty, in Faith and Honour to secure his return to Bridgwater, or his Majesty's Army; these are in the most earnest manner that can possibly be expressed, to request and require (without Offence to any) that all Officers and Soldiers of Horse and Foot, in the Parliament's Service, as they tender my Faith and Honour, (which is herein so deeply engaged) and as they will approve themselves Men and Soldiers of Honour and Honesty, to suffer the said Lieutenant-Colonel Scroop, with every Officer and Soldier of the said Convoy, to return without any the least Prejudice and Hindrance, to Bridgwater, or the King's Army, according to the said Article: he the said Lieutenant-Colonel Scroop, having for himself and Convoy faithfully promised to offer no Injury, or do any hostile Act to any of the Parliament's Forces, until he, with his Convoy, shall be safely arrived at Bridgwater, or the King's Army, as is before mentioned; he having also promised to secure back to one of our next Garisons, all such Officers, Trumpeters, or others of the Parliament's Armies which he shall desire, whose Names are mentioned in a Pass from me, and are by me appointed to go with him for the better Security of his Convoy's Passage.
Given under my Hand, and subscribed by the rest of the chief Officers now present in this Army.
After this Treaty in Cornwall, the two Houses of Parliament wrote to the Earl of Essex this Letter; he having given an Account of the Misfortune of their Army, and offered to come up to justify himself, if they required it.
A LETTER to the Earl of Essex.
The Parliament's Letter to Essex, Sept. the 7th.
The Committee of both Kingdoms having acquainted the Houses of Parliament with your Loraship's Letters from Plymouth, they have commanded us to let you know, that as they apprehend the Misfortune of that Accident, and submit to God's Pleasure therein, so their good Affections to your Lordship, and their Opinion of your Fidelity and Merit in the Publick Service, is not at all lessened. And they are resolved not to be wanting in their best Endeavours for repairing of this Loss, and drawing together such a Strength under their Command, as may, with the Blessing of God, restore our Affairs to a better Condition than they are now in: To which purpose they have written to the Earl of Manchester to march with all possible speed towards Dorchester in Dorsetshire, with all the Forces he can of Horse and Foot; Sir William Waller is likewise ordered to march speedily unto Dorchester, with all his Horse and Foot. The Houses have appointed six thousand Foot Arms, and five hundred Pair of Pistols, and six thousand Suits of Cloths, Shirts, &c. to meet your Lordship at Portsmouth for the Arming and Encouragement of your Forces: And they are confident your Lordship's Presence in those Parts, for bringing the Forces together into a Body, and disposing of them, will very much conduce to the Publick Advantage.
Your Lordship's most Affectionate Friends,
Grey of Werk,
Speaker of the House of Peers, pro tempore.
William Lenthall, Speaker of the Commons House in Parliament.
Westminster, Septemb. 7. 1644.
An Attestation of the Officers of the Army concerning their Disaster in Cornwall.
An Attestation concerning the Disaster in Cornwall.
Forasmuch as all Actions, especially those which are disastrous, are subject to Misinterpretation and various Censure, we whose Names are here subscribed, Officers in the Army, and City Brigade, under the Command of his Excellency the Earl of Essex, do publish to those who are desirous to be truly informed, this Breviary of the Condition of the Army, as it stood at the time of the Capitulation. After that his Excellency, with his Army, had for a Month together withstood the Fury of three Armies of the Enemy, his Soldiers being tired out with perpetual Duty, and continual Fight, in daily Expectation of Relief; but none coming, it was at last resolved that the Horse should make their way thro the Enemy (which by God's Mercy they did perform very resolutely, and with good Success) and that the Foot should contract themselves into a narrower Compass, near to Foy, which was put in Execution upon Friday night, and performed on Saturday the last of August, with such Difficulty, by reason of the Steepness of the Hills, and Deepness of the Ways, that Five of our Cannon were lodged, which retarded our March till the three Armies surrounded us, and caused a continual Fight for three Miles together upon our Retreat; wherein our Soldiers behaved themselves so resolutely, that we did often beat the Enemy back to their Body, and took three of their Foot-Colours, and five-and-twenty Horse, and about threescore Prisoners: So that, if we had had any fresh Men to have spared from our Posts, (where in the whole Army was upon continual Duty) we should in all probability have had a great Advantage upon the Enemy. But however at length (by God's Providence) we came to the Place appointed by his Excellency, leaving a Part of the Army to fight with the Enemy, until the rest had taken their Ground, which we happily performed before Night, supposing ourselves then in Condition further to resist the Enemy, notwithstanding the extreme Weariness of our Soldiers: but by reason that two Regiments of the Army quitted their Post, and thereby gave the Enemy free Passage betwixt us and Foy, we being then block'd up upon a bare Hill, from all Succours both of Provisions and Ammunition, not having Provisions of Bread or Match for above one Day's Expence; of all which his Excellency being informed, about ten of the Clock at night, did desire, that if it were possible, the Army might be drawn to Mellebilly-Bay, for the better securing of the Army, and gaining Provisions by Sea, which was impossible to be performed, the Enemy being so near upon our Skirts: whereof, when his Excellency was truly informed by some of our Chief Commanders, and that it appear'd that the Army could not be saved but by a Treaty, and therein his Excellency's personal Presence would have been in human Judgment, of more Disadvantage than Benefit he going by Sea to Plymouth, with the Lord Roberts, and Sir John Merrick in his Company; We unanimously consented to enter into a Treaty with the Enemy, and agree to those Articles, which being already exposed to publick View, we refer you thereunto; these Articles being since approved by his Excellency, as being of great Advantage to the Army, and of great Service unto the Kingdom.
- Ph. Skippon.
- Christo. Whichcote.
- Henry Barclay,
- Tho. Gower.
- Tho. Tyrrel.
- Jo. Botteler.
- Will. Hunter.
- Jo. Francis.
- Rich. Dean.
- Rich. Fortescue.
- Jo. Weare.
- Ro. Martin.
- Ro. Moor.
- Rich. Ingoldsby.
- Geo. Mackenzie.
- Walter Floyd.
- Will. Webb.
- Tho. Pride.
- Tho. Evershet.
- Tho. Bulstrode.
- Matth. Draper.
- Archibald Trahan.
Essex goes to Plymouth.
The Lord General went by Sea from Plymouth to Portsmouth, there to expect his Recruits; and the Lord Roberts continued in Plymouth, being by an Order of the 11th of September made Governour of that Garison.
September the 12th was appointed by the Two House to be solemnly kept as a Day of Humiliation in and about the Cities of London and Wesiminster, for their late Loss in the West.
There were some Jealousies that this Defeat in Cornwall was partly occasioned by the Treachery of some Commanders in the Army, or their holding Correspondence with the King's Forces; and in particular Colonel Weare, and Colonel Butler were suspected, the latter having just before been a Prisoner in the King's Army, and released by exchange; and was said, after his Return, to have spread in the Army certain Instructions or Arguments which were prepared to have been made use of to Essex, if he would have entered into any Treaty upon his Majesty's Letter: As that the King was assured of a Party in both Houses at Westminster; That the Scots, if not prevented, had a Design to conquer this Kingdom, &c.
And as for Colonel Weare, his Regiment was the first that quitted their Post, the day before the Capitulation, and lost their Cannon, which was alledged to be a main Cause of the Army's being reduced to that sudden Extremity. And tho the Colonel pretended to be taken Prisoner, 'twas suggested that he suffer'd himself so to be, and went willingly to the King's Forces.
Whereupon there was an Enquiry ordered to be made into that Matter; and Major-General Skippon being examined, deposed as followeth.
The Examination of Major-General Skippon.
Major Skippon Examination, 23 Sept. 1644.
Major-General Skippon being examined, saith, That Colonel Tyrrel, sometime whilst the Army was in Cornwall, acquainted him that Colonel Butler had brought some Propositions from the King's Army; whereupon the Examinate told Colonel Tyrrel, that at that time he had no leisure to see them: That about two days after we were upon our March, Colonel Tyrrel read them to the Examinate, whereupon he told Colonel Tyrrel that they were not fit to be concealed; Colonel Tyrrel reply'd, that he understood as much, and that he had sent, or would send a Copy of them to Sir Philip Stapleton: That at the time of the last Fight upon Saturday was three weeks, being come to the Place where we intended to settle the Army, the Examinate commanded Colonel Butler to a Post with his Regiment, and commanded Colonel Weare to the next Post unto him, with six Pieces of Ordnance, whereof four were belonging to Butler's Regiment, and two to Weare's. Butler seemed very unwilling to draw his Men to the Place assigned, which occasioned the Examinate to tell him, that he wondred to see him so unwilling, and again commanded him to the said Place. That afterwards Colonel Weare came to the Examinate, and told him, he could not maintain his Post; the Examinate sent him back, and bid him maintain it as long as he could: and afterwards it being dark, Colonel Butler came in like manner, and told him he could not maintain his Post, because he could not keep above two hundred Men together, and that therefore he had drawn off the Regiment. The Examinate did not know then, nor since, that any Man was slain there at that Place, and saith that none of the King's Party did press upon that Post to possess it, but the same was free the next Morning; and the Examinate was told that there was not above fifty of the Enemy that had pressed at that time upon that Post. When Colonel Butler, had told the Examinate that he had drawn off his Regiment, the Examinate told him it was impossible, for then an open way was left for the Enemy to come between us and Foy; that the withdrawing from this Post was one of those things which necessitated them to enter into so sudden a Treaty. This his Excellency sent word to the Examinate, to know if he could draw the Foot and Train into a narrower Compass; the Examinate sent him word that it was impossible, the Enemy lying so near upon their Skirts: and afterwards the Examinate received no order from his Excellency, concerning the Entry into a Treaty with the Enemy, nor otherwise concerning the Army. Colonel Butler told the Examinate, that my Lord General, and my Lord Field-Marshal, were gone to Sea; and then telling the Examinate that his Excellency used Expressions to this purpose, He had rather fall into the hands of God than Man; for if the Enemy should take him, they would use him reproachfully. And being further assured hereof, the Examinate called the Officers together, to advise what was to be done, who unanimously advised the Entry into a Treaty with the King, or his General, because they wanted Provision and Ammunition, and in respect the Soldiers were wearied out with continual Duty, and of the Absence of my Lord General. And the Examinate believeth that his Excellency's Absence was no Disadvantage to the Treaty, and intends to lay no blame upon my Lord General's Regiment, but leaves Colonel Butler to answer for himself."
Colonel Butler, offering to be try'd for this Matter, came up to London upon his Parole, being sent by the Earl of Essex, who declared that he had always esteem'd him as a stout Man, but would freely leave him to Justice, and so he was committed to the Tower. And some time after, Colonel Weare (having got his Liberty) came up also to the Parliament, and stood upon his Justification, who was likewise secured.
Soon after this Success in Cornwall, his Majesty returning from thence with his Forces, sent the following Message, Directed
To the Lords and Commons of Parliament Assembled at Westminster.
The King's Message from Tavestock, Sept. the 8th, 1644.
It having pleased God, in so eminent a manner, lately to bless our Armies in these Parts with Success, We do not so much joy in that Blessing for any other Consideration, as for the Hopes we have, that it may be a means to make other lay to heart, as We do, the Miseries brought and continued upon our Kingdom by this unnatural War; and that it may open your Ears, and dispose your Minds to embrace those Offers of Peace and Reconciliation, which have been so often, and so earnestly made unto you by Us; and from the constant and servent Endeavours of which, We are resolved never to depart. In pursuance whereof, We do upon this Occasion conjure you to take into your Consideration our (too long neglected) Message of the 4th of July, from Evesham, which we again renew unto you; and that you will speedily send Us such an Answer thereunto, as may shew unto Our poor Subjects some Light of a Deliverance from their present Calamities, by a happy Accommodation: Toward which, we do here engage the Word of a King, to make good all those things which We have herein promised, and really to endeavour a happy Conclusion of this Treaty. And so God direct you in the ways of Peace.
Given at our Court at Tavestock, the Eighth Day of September, 1644.
By His Majesty's Command,
The Parliament vote against the Direction of this Message.
With this Message was sent a Duplicate of the former from Evesham; and the Two Houses having taken the same into Consideration, voted, That the Directions of the said Messages, and the Matter therein contained, did not sufficiently acknowledge them to be the Two Houses of Parliament of England, and therefore declined the returning any Answer thereunto, but ordered to proceed with all Expedition in preparing and adjusting the Propositions for Peace, which they had for some time been framing.
On the 10th of September his Majesty came in Person before Plymouth, and sent a Summons to that Town to this effect:
The King's Summons to Plymouth, Sept. the 10th.
That God having given him a great Victory, yet as his Desire ever was to reduce his People by Acts of Grace and Clemency, so he is desirous to put a special Mark of Favour on his Town of Plymouth, and doth therefore require them to surrender up the Town; assuring them on the Word of a King, that they shall enjoy all their wonted Privileges, and have no other Garrison put upon them than what they had in the most peaceable times, viz. in the Fort and in the Island; promising Pardon to all Towns men and Soldiers for what was post, and to entertain such as shall be willing into his Service, and requiring their speedy Answer.
Likewise a Letter was written to the Lord Robets, the Governor, from the Lord Digby, inviting his Lordship to comply with his Majesty, and surrender the Town, making large Offers and Promises of Preferment.
The King's Forces march off from before Plymouth.
But these Overtures being refused, several fierce Assaults were given to the Town, without effect; so that after some time spent there, his Majesty's Forces quitted the Siege. And not long after, one Mr. Greenvile had a Design to betray that Town, offering Colonel Serle (a Commander in the Garison) three thousand Pound for that purpose; who discovering it, Greenvile was condemned at a Council of War, and executed Septemb. 24th.
Mr. Greenvils executed for a Design against Plymouth.; Barnstaple taken by the King, Sept. 17
But General Goring advancing against Barnstaple, after a short Siege, brought it to surrender upon Conditions, for the Garison to march away with a Convoy to Portsmouth, with Drums beating, Colours flying, and their Arms; and that the Town should not be plundered, nor the Inhabitants molested. Here his Majesty gained above Fifty Pieces of Ordnance; and at Ilfar Combe, taken a few days before, near Twenty.
The Prince Elector comes to the Parliament.; The Parliament's Message to the Prince Elector, Sept. 2.
About this time, his Electoral Highness the Prince Palatine, Elder Brother to Prince Rupert and Prince Maurice, unexpectedly came into England, landing at Gravesend, Thursday 29th of August: Which the Parliament having notice of, in respect of his Quality, sent a Committee to compliment him, and ordered an Apartment in Whiteball to be prepared for him; and on the Monday following, sent a Committee with a Message to this effect; "That the Parliament knew "not of his Highness's Arrival until Thursday last at Noon; and therefore were much surprized, by not being informed thereof before. hand; and conceived that his Residence at this time, in foreign Parts, might be of greater Advantage to the Publick: for the Parliament have always been very tender of the Affairs of his Highness, and will continue the same Regards, and are ready to express it in their Actions, and faithful Advice.
The Prince's Answer.
To which his Highness returned Answer to this purpose; "That he held himself much obliged to the Parliament for their former Favors; and that his coming, was to express that in Person, which he had often done by Letters, of his sincere Affections unto them: and to take off such Jealousies as either the Actions of some of his Relations, or the ill Offices of his Enemies, might by his Absence cast upon him; That his Wishes were constant for a good Success to that great Work they had undertaken, for a Thorough Reformation; and that his Desires were, to be ruled and advised by their grave Counsels: and being ready to serve them, will with Chearfulness embrace their Advice.
His Majesty being advised of this Prince's being at Westminster, sent the following Letter to him from Tavestock, (which is the reason I mention'd him in this place.)
His Majesty's LETTER to the Prince Elector.
His Majesty's Letter to the Prince Elector, from Tavestock, Sept. 17.
It being a natural Curiosity in me, to know the reason of your Action I had never so much Reason as now to desire it. As I wondred at, so as yet I never knew the reason of your Journey from York to Holland. But your coming at this time into the Kingdom, is in all respects much more strange unto me; yet'tis Possible the latter may interpret the former, And believe me, the Consideration of your Mother's Son, is the chief, I may say, the only Cause of my Curiosity: For as to my Assairs, you being here in the way you are, is not of that Importance as to make me curious to enquire upon your Actions; but the great Assection I bare my Sister, being a sufficient Reason for me to desire that all who appertain to her, should give a fair Account of their Actions, makes me now ask you, First, Upon what Invitation you are come? Then, the Design of your coming? Wishing by your Answer I may have the same Cause and Comfort I have heretofore had, to be,
Your Loving Unkle, and Faithful Friend,
Tavestock, Sept. 27. 1644.
What Answer the Prince returned to his Majesty, I find not; but he stay'd for some time at Whiteball, and requested the Parliament that he might be permitted to hear the Debates in the Assembly of Divines; which by an Order of both House, Octab. the 24th, they conceded, and he was often present (as an Auditor) in that Assembly.
The King's Proclamation, Sept. 21. to prorogue the Assembly of the Lords and Commons at Oxford.
The King advanced with his Army from Tavestock to Exeter, where he set forth a Proclamation, dated from thence, September 21st; where his Majesty declared his Pleasure, That the Assembly of the Lords and Commons of Parliament, at Oxford, should be prorogued from the 8th of October, (the time which they had, at their Recess, appointed for their Meeting again) unto the 9th Day of November, by which time his Majesty intended to be at Oxford in Person.
And being come further Eastward, to Chard, his Majesty caused another Proclamation to be published, as followeth:
By the KING,
A PROCLAMATION, declaring his Majesty's Resolution for settling a speedy Peace by a good Accommodation; and an Invitation to all his Loyal Subjects to join together for his Assistance therein.
His Majesty's Proclamation from Chard, Sept. 30. That all the Countries should rise and come to his Assistance, being marching for Landon, to procure a Peace.
Among the many Troubles wherewith (for more than two Tears last past.) we have been involv'd, nothing bath more afflicted us, than the real Sense of our Subjects Sufferings, occasion'd by this unnatural War; and the chief of our Care bath been (and, by God's Assistance, shall still be) to settle them in a happy Peace, with that Freedom of enjoying the Exercise of their Religion, Rights, and Liberties, according to the Laws of this Kingdom, as they, or any of their Ancestors, enjoyed the same in the best of Times of the late Queen Elizabeth, or our Royal Father. And as we have always profess'd in the Sincerity of our Heart, that no Success shall ever make us averse unto Peace; so we have always, when God bath blessed us with any eninent Victory, sollicited the Members of both Houses of Parliament remaining at Westminster, by frequent Messages, for a Treaty conducing thereunto: And in particular, upon our late Victory over the Earl of Essex's Army in Cornwall, (which we wholly attribute to the immediate Hand of Goa) we presently dispatch'd a Message to them, to desire a Treaty for Peace and Accommodation; of which, as likewise for that former Message for Peace, which we sent them from Evesholm the 4th of July last, we have yet received no Answer: and therefore have resolved with our Army to draw presently towards London, and our Southern and Eastern Counties, not looking upon these Parts as Enemies to us, and so to suffer by the Approach of our Army, or the Disorders thereof, which we will use all possible Means to prevent; but as our poor Subjects oppressed by Power, (of which we rest assured the greater Part remain Loyal to us) and so deserving our Protection. And we hope, that at a nearer Distance of Place, there may be begot so right an Understanding between us and our People, that at length we may obtain a Treaty for Peace, and a full, free, and peaceable Convention in Parliament, and therein make an end of these unhappy Differences by a good Accommodation: In which we hereby assure all our People, upon our Royal Word, and the Faith of a Christian, (which is the greatest Security we can give them) that we will insist only upon the Settling and Continuance of the True Reformed Protestant Religion, our own undoubted known Rights, the Privileges of Parliament, and our Subjects Liberty and Property, according to the Laws of the Land; and to have all these settled in a full and free Parliament, where by the Armies on both Sides may be presently disbanded, this Kingdom may be secur'd from the Danger of a Conquest by foreign Forces, all Strangers now in Arms may return to their own Countries, and our poor Subjects be freed of those grievous Burthens, which, by reason of the late Distractions, have (much against our Will) too much pressed them.
And to the end our Subjects may be no longer misled by false Pretences, we do desire all of them, as well in our own Quarters, as where the Rebels have usurped a Power, to take into serious Consideration the Duty and Loyalty which, by the Law of God, and their Oath of Allegiance, they owe unto us; and more particularly that Part thereof, which concerns the Defence of our Person, and Assistance of us against Rebels, and such as rise in Arms against us; which they may find plainly set down in the Statute of the Eleventh Year of King Henry the Seventh, Cap.1. And we do herely require our Subjects within our own Quarters, through or near which we shall pass, by that Duty they owe to us and their Country, that they forthwith prepare themselves with the lest Arms they can get, to be ready to join, and go along with us in this present Expedition, (we resolving to take especial care to place them under the Command of Gentlemen of Quality of their own Countries, to their good Content and Satisfaction.) And we likewise require and authorize all our good Subjects, as well the Trained Bands, as others of our City of London, and our Southern and Eastern Counties, to chuse their own Commanders and Leaders among those Gentlemen and Citizens that are of approved Loyalty to us, and Lovers of the Peace of their Countrey; and upon our Approach towards those Parts, to put themselves into Arms, and march n warlike Manner to assist us in this good Work, and free themselves from the Tyranny of their Fellow-Subjects, under which they groan: Commanding and Authorizing them to seize such Places of Strength in those Southern and Eastern Counties, as the Relels have possessed themselves of, to oppose with Force of Arms such Persons, as shall relist them in obeying these our Commands; and to apprehend and secure the Persons of all such, as shall endeavour to continue this Rebelhion, and to binder the settling of the Peace of this Kingdom in a full and free Convention of Parliament, (the only visible Means left, by the Blessing of God, to redeem this Nation from utter Ruin:) Wherein we will afford our utmost Protection and Safety unto all our Subjects, that shall give Obedience to these our Commands, And as we doubt not, but that all our good Subjects will come cheerfully to our Assistance for so good an End, (beyond which we do not require it;) so we trust, that God, who bath hitherto wonderfully preserved us, will crown this Action with happy Success, for his Glory, and the Welfare of this poor Nation.
Given at our Court at Chard, the 30th Day of September, 1644.
GOD SAVE THE KING.
Plymouth Men take Salt-Ash, Octob. 4.
Part of the King's Army was lest under Sir Richard Greenvile in Cornwall, and near Plymouth, to prevent the Excursions of that Garrison; who yet on the 4th of October, sent forth a commanded Party, who enter'd Cornwall, assaulted the Town of Salt-Ash, wherein was a Garrison for the King, and after short Encounter made themselves Masters of it. And next Day, more Forces in Boats were sent out from Plymouth, and landed at Milbrook, and took that Town also, and the Fort between it and Salt-Ash. But Sir Richard Greenvile having notice of it, marched thither, and not only drove them out of Milbrook, killing about Forty, and taking Thirty-three Prisoners; but also took Salt-Ash by Storm, and after great Slaughter, carry'd off between Two and Three Hundred Prisoners.
His Majesty being at Sturmister in Somersetshire, on the 9th of October, divers Gentlemen, and others of that County, waited upon him with the following Address.
To the KING'S Most Excellent Majesty;
The Humble PETITION of the Gentry, Free-holders, and others your Majesty's Loyal and Protestant Subjects of your County of Somerset.
Most Humbly Sheweth,
The Somersetshire Address to the King, Octob. 9.
"That among the many Miseries that the present War hath brought upon them, it hath been a great Comfort to them to see your Majesty's pious Inclinations to and continued Endeavours for settling Peace again; and they had hoped your Majesty's gracious Message to that purpose, would have produced that desired Effect: But not finding that Success answerable to their Expectations, and your Majesty being now upon a March nearer towards London, they humbly beseech your Majesty, that they may have liberty to wait in Person upon your Majesty; and at a nearer distance of Place, become Petitioners to the Lords and Commons of Parliament assembled at Westminster, to embrace your Majesty's most gracious Offers of Peace, and put an end to the Calamities of this distracted and almost ruined Nation; with due care to the Preservation of the True Reformed Protestant Religion, your Majesty's Rights and Honour, the Privileges of Parliament, and your Subjects Liberties and Properties, according to the Laws of this your Kingdom. And in case they may not obtain so just a Request, they shall hold their Lives best spent in assisting your Majesty to compass that by the Sword, which by other fair and just Ways could not be effected. To which end, they desire liberty to put themselves into Arms; and as they have always lived, shall rejoice to die your Majesty's most Loyal and Faithful Subjects."
His Majesty personally declared his full Approbation of these Petitioners Desire and Resolution for Peace; and soon after, by the Duke of Richmond and Lenox, gave them this Answer:
The ANSWER to the foregoing PETITIONERS.
Sturmister, Octob. 9th, 1644.
Answer bythe King's Order.
"I Am commanded by his Majesty to signify to the Petitioners, That he well approves their hearty and loyal Affections, and is graciously pleased to accept the free Offer of their Service to him, with Thanks; and gives them free liberty to meet and put themselves in Arms, according to their desire, and to wait upon him: and doth freely give them leave to become Petitioners of the Lords and Commons of Parliament, assembled at Westminster, for composing the unhappy Differences of this poor Kingdom in a peaceable way; and shall be glad to have the Petitioners, and all other his Loyal and Well-affected Subjects present with him, and be Witnesses who is in the fault, if they be not presently restored to a happy Peace again; he hereby assuring them that he will only insist upon the Preservation of the true Reformed Protestant Religion, his own known Rights, the Privileges of Parliament, and his Subjects Liberties and Properties, according to the Laws of the Kingdom; and shall endeavour to have all these settled in a full and free Convention of Parliament. And because he would not have the good Intentions of the Petitioners frustrated, he wisheth them to take care to make such Provisions as may be necessary for their Journey, and they shall not fail of his best Assistance likewise therein. And his Majesty doth command the Sheriff of the said County, to summon the Posse thereof, or any other Persons, Inhabitants of the same, at such Times, and to such Places, as the Commissioners shall think fit, for the Advancement of this Business.
Richmond and Lenox.
There was also a Petition prepared by them, to be presented to the Two Houses at Westminster, which ran in these Words:
To the Lords and Commons of Parliament, assembled at Westminster.
The humble Petition of the Gentry, Clergy, Free-holders, and other his Majesty's Protestant Subjects, of the County of Somerset.
The Somersetshire Petition to the Parliament.
Though we have been very much discouraged from making any Addresses to you of this Nature, by reason that those many made by his Majesty have been hitherto ineffectual; yet being moved, not only by his constant and unwearied Example, but by that most gracious Expression of his sense of our Miseries in this Particular, that he descends to suffer us to make an humble Overture of that, for which, in all Equity, be ought to have been petitioned by you; and believing that you, who have an equal share in the Sufferings, cannot but have an equal sense of the Calamities of the Kingdom; we humbly offer to your Consideration, That we who prosess the same Protestant Religion, and have an equal Interest in the Liberties and Properties of the Subject with you, cannot le so false to ourselves, as either to give up that to Popery, or these to an Arbitrary Government. that as we now come to hazard our Lives with his Majesty upon a well-grounded Belief of his Promises, so we will be no less ready to engage them in being Sureties for his real Performance; and therefore desire you to lay by the too tender sense of those imaginary Evils, which you only fear, and to join hands with us in an happy Treaty, for the removal of those real Evils which we so sensibly suffer: and that, as we have always met in the same Professions, so we may at last meet in the real Performances of what we have so long profess'd, The Maintenance of the Protestant Religion, the Safety of his Majesty's Person and undoubted Rights, the Liberty and Property of the Subject, and the Just Privileges of Parliament.
The Siege of Banbury Castle raised by the Earl of Northampton, Octob. 25
The King advanced out of Somersetshire into Wiltshire, and came to Salisbury, Octob. 15th. Waller, who was join'd with Lieutenant General Middleton, and the Lord General's Horse, retreating, that the General's Foot, (who being now recruited and arm'd, were ready to take the Field) and the Earl of Manchester's Army (Which was on its march) might come up to them. His Majesty stay'd at Salisbury three Nights, and on Friday, Octob. 18th, advanced towards Andover, where a Skirmish happened, some of his Majesty's Forces falling upon Waller's Rear, and on both sides about twenty Men were slain. The next day his Majesty march'd to Whitchurch, and sent out the Earl of Northampton with his Brigade of Horse, to raise the Siege of Banbury Castle, (which ever since the 19th of July had been beleaguer'd by Colonel John Fiennes.) Accordingly, on the 25th of October, my Lord having join'd some Horse and Foot from Oxford, under the Command of Colonel Gage, came up to Banbury, and raised the Siege, doing considerable Execution, took one Piece of Ordance, and three Waggons loaded with Arms and Ammunition; and Colonel Fiennes, overpowered with Numbers, though he made a good Defence, had much ado to make good his Retreat to Warwick. But by this Service his Majesty was deprived of the Assistance of this Brigade of Horse at the Battle of Newbery, which happen'd two days after; for the Parliament had been diligent to recruit Essex's Army, and therefore sent down by Sea, Six thousand Arms for his Foot that came out of Cornwall, and also new cloath'd them; and likewise furnished him with a new Train of Artillery, which was sent by water as far as Reading, and thence to be convey'd by Manchester's Army to meet him. So that on Thursday Octob. the 17th, he took the Field, and advanced from Portsmouth to Peterfield, the next night quartered at Alsford; and on Monday the 21st his Forces, and Waller's, and the Earl of Manchestr's, who upon this occasion were commanded to march out of the associated Counties, did all join together near Basing: The Body of the King's Army quartering then at Whitchurch, and part of his Horse within five Miles of them. Also the City Brigade, commanded by Sir James Harrington, (consisting of the Red and Blue Regiments of Trained-Bands of Westminster, the Yellow Regiment of Trained-Bands of Southwark, and the Yellow Regiment of Auxiliaries of the Hamlets of the Tower) making in all Five thousand Men, or upwards, were upon their March; for whose Maintenance, by an Ordinance of the 12th of Octob. there was raised Twenty-two thousand Pounds.
Touching this Conjunction of their Forces, to prevent Feuds and Animosities between the Commanders, Letters were sent to the principal Officers, to persuade them to Unity. They were much of the same Tenour. That which came to Major-General Skippon, was in these Words:
A LETTER from the Committee of State, to the Principal Commanders.
A Letter from the Committee of State, to their principal Commanders, to prevent Feuds and Disputes between them, Sept. 10
,Upon Serious Consideration of the Disputes and Differences that do usually grow upon the Conjunctures of Armies, Brigades, and Parties, that are under several Commands, about the Right and Privilege of Command in Chief; and how inconsistent with the Safety of our Affairs at this time such Disputes are like to be; we have thought fit to recommend the same unto your most serious Consideration, as we have also done to the rest of those that have the Command of those Armies and Brigades which are to join, for preventing the King's March eastward; and earnestly to desire, that upon the Contemplation of the Common Interest, every Man will lay aside all Particulars, and unanimously and heartily join in all Counsels and Endeavours for the Publick Service, wherein we desire to propose, as an Example, that fair and amicable Agreement that was between the three Generals at York, wherein all that time that they were together, there never grew any Disputes or Differences about Command: And we hope there will be such Care taken by your Wisdoms, and by Consent the Commands so ordered now in this Conjuncture, as the Service may not be retarded, Yourselves weakened, and the Enemy encouraged by your Divisions; but by a firm Union, and common Tendency, the publick Work may be carried on with such Advantage, as, by the Blessing of God upon it, may have the wished Success of an happy Issue, and speedy End of all these Troubles.
Signed in the Name, and by the Warrant of the Committee of both Kingdoms, by,
Your very Loving Friend,
William Say and Seal, London.
Darby-house, Sept. 10. 1644.
The 22d of October was ordered by the Parliament to be kept solemnly, as a Day of Prayer and Humiliation for a Blessing on their Arms; and because they daily expected an Engagement, several Chirurgeons were sent down to the Army: and also the Committee of both Kingdoms dispatch'd two of their Members, the Lord Wareston and Mr.Crew, to reside with the Armies, and consult with the General.
On the said 22d day there was great Expectation of a Battle, and some small Skirmishes; but his Majesty facing the Parliamentarians with a Party of House, drew off his Infantry from King's-Cleer, and marched with his Army to Newbery, and the Parliament's Armies to Reading, and thereabouts. On the Wednesday the Parliament's Forces quartered in Aldermarston-Park, and on Friday came to rendevouz on Buckleberry-Heath, about five Miles from Newbery, to which they directly march'd
Why Essex was notwith the Armies.
But General Essex being (as it was reported) under some Indisposition of Body, was absent from the Army; touching which, Mr.Whitlock gives this Accout.
Whitlock's Memorials, Fol. 103.
The Houses being informed that the Lord-General was not well, and stay'd behind the Army, sent a Committee of Lords and Commons to visit him, and to express the Affections of both Houses to him. This was not (as was given out) a piece of Courtship, but, I think, real; and there was cause enough it should be so, the General having s highly deserved of them: Yet there were some who had Designs against him, and were desirous to remove him from his Command, because they were jealous that he was too much inclined to Peace, and favouring of the King and his Party. I think I knew as much of his Mind as others did, and always observed him to wish for Peace, yet not upon any dishonourable or unjust Terms. He was a Lover of Monarchy and Nobility, which he suspected some designed to destroy; together with Gentry, Ministry, and Magistracy; which Humour began then to boil up, but be resolved to suppress them, and wanted not Advice to that end: But the Jealousies upon him (who was a most faithful and gallant Man and Servant to the Publick) gave him great trouble in his Thoughts; and they did work so high with his Enemies, that some gave out he was, by private Intimation, to forbear engaging in this Service (at Newberry) and for certain he was not in it.
Of the second Battel at Newberry, Oct. 27.
The Parliament's Forces were considerably superior to the King's in number, and therefore it was thought that his Majesty was willing to decline fighting with them, till Prince Rupert should come up with three thousand Horse and Dragoons; or at least till the Earl of Northhampton (who had with him one thousand Horse, or upwards, besides Foot from Oxford) should return from relieving Banbury-Casile; and therefore his Majesty had cast up Works about Newberry, fortify'd the Avenues, lined the Hedges, and kept within the Town, guarded with his Artillery; but, upon the approach of the Parliament's Army, caus'd his Horse and Foot to draw out into Speen-Field the mid-way between Newberry-Town and Denington-Castle, as well to make his Army seem more numerous, as to embattel them to Advantage. But little pass'd that Day, for there was a River between them, only the Cannon play'd, tho' with no great Execution, and some skirmishes and Picqueering happen'd between the Horsemen; so the greater Part of the Parliament's Forces retreated to Chevely, and quartered there that Night in the Field. Here it was resolved at a Council of War, to divide their Forces; viz. That all the General's Horse and Foot, Part of Manchester's Horse, and most of the Forces under the Command of Waller, with the City-Brigade, should march to Speen-Hill; and the Earl of Manchester's Foot and Part of his Horse to continue in the Field near Shaw, a small Village, where the House of one Mr.Dolman was fortify'd by his Majesty's Forces: and it was agreed, that so soon as the latter should, by the discharging of the Cannon, understand that those at Speen were engaged, Manchester should fall on to gain the Passage at Shaw, and give a Diversion to that Part of the Army design'd for Speen. The Horse were commanded by Sir William Waller and Sir William Balfour; the Foot by Serjeant-Major-General Skippon, who by Break of Day on Sunday the 27th of October, were on their March; and in four Hours time, having setch'd a Circle to avoid the Shot of Denington-Castle, (who yet made a Sally on their Rear, and took some Prisoners) and, by the way, having intercepted some Carts loaden with Provisions for his Majesty, made their approach towards the West Side of Newberry: In which March they receiv'd the News, that Newcastle was taken by Storm, and the Irish Rebels in Ulster defeated, which they took to be matter of great Encouragement, and a kind of Omen of Victory. It was near Three a-Clock in the Afternoon e'er they could get themselves into Battalia; then the Forlorn-Hopes of Horse began the Fight, seconded by the Foot; so that (to use the Words of the Committee attending the Army, in their Letter giving an Account of this Fight) for three Hours the Fight was maintain'd with as much Resolution, Bravery, and Desperateness on both Sides, as had been since the Commencement of the War: but in conclusion the Parliament's Forces beat the King's from their Works at Speen, and out of that Villege, and took nine Pieces of Cannon, among which, six were those they lost in Cornwall; which the Foot that were there disarm'd ventured desperately to regain; and when they had got them, embraced them for Joy, saying, they would give them a Cornish Hug; but the Night coming on, prevented farther Action.
On the other Side Newberry, Manchester the same Sunday Morning commanded a Party of about four hundred Musqueteers to go over the little River Kennet, on the left-hand of Shaw, thereby to divert the King's Strength from attending Speen-Hill; who advanc'd accordingly, and beat the King's Forces out of two of their Works, and took some Prisoners, but were at last beat back with considerable Loss. Towards Three or Four a clock, hearing the Cannon play from Speen-Hill, Manchester drew forth two Drakes to play on Mr.Dolman's House, and commanded out a Party of five hundred Musqueteers, as a Forlorn-Hope, to attack the said House, and beat those that sallied out from thence in to their Works; and the reason why they did no more, was said to be, because Night came on.
In the Night the King marched out of Newberry-Town, and carrying up and securing his Cannon, Carriages, and Baggage, in Dennington-Castle, march'd away to Wallingford, and so to Oxford; where, on the 1st of November, in the Presence-Chamber at Christ-Church, he was pleas'd to confer the Honour of Knighthood on Colonel Gage, for his having relieved Bazing-House.
Major-General Skippon's LETTER to the Committee of both Kingdoms.
A Letter from Major-General Skippon, to the Committee of both Kingdoms, touching the second Battel at Newberry.
Right Honourable Lords, and Worthy Gentlemen,
I Humbly crave Pardon, that Time, taken wholly up by my pressing Employments, could not suffer me e'er now to give you an Account of our Proceedings, which I hope you have not wanted from better Hands; I shall now endeavour to do it truly, and as briefly as I can. Thus it was: On Friday at Night last, my Lord-General, my Lord of Manchester, and Sir William Waller's Forces being united, quartered about Thacham, where we had some light Skirmishes with the Enemies Guards on this side Shaw. The next Morning, our holding Resolution was, That all the Horse and Dragoons (except about Oue Thousand Six Hundred, or One Thousand Eight Hundred, out of all our Armies, and Two Hundred Dragoons) with all my Lord-General's Foot, and the four City-Regiments, should march about to Speen-Village; and that at one and the same Time, as near as we could, my Lord of Manchester's Forces should shall upon the Enemy, to gain the Passage at Shaw, and our Forces that march'd about to do the like at Speen: which was accordingly put in execution on the Lord's-Day last, in the Afternoon. Concerning what was done at Shaw, I presume my Lord of Manchester hath given you a full Relation before now. On our Side, the Foot was order'd to make the Attempt after this Manner; for I leave the Ordering and Performance of the Horse, to their own worthy Commanders Relation. The Forlorn-Hope, consisting of about Eight Hundred Musqueteers, was led by Colonel Alrige's Lieutenant-Colonel Lloyd, a worthy Man, who was shot in the Arm, and my Lord Roberts's Major Hurry; and lodged themselves (fighting) close to the Enemies Forlorn Hope: His Excellency's Regiment fell upon the right-hand of them with great Boldness; Colonel Aldrig, with his Brigade, consisting of his own, Colonel Davis's, Colonel Fortescue's; and Colonel Ingolsby's Regiments, fell on directly on their main Work with undaunted Resolution. His Excellency's Regiment coming upon the Right-hand of them, they both fell pell-mell into the same Work. The two Red and the Yellow Regiments of the Citizens held the Enemy play on the Right-hand; Colonel Barclay, with his Brigade alone, wherein was his own, my Lord Robert's, and my Regiment, most resolutely repulsed three violent Charges of the Enemies Horse in the plain Field, and after that did farther good Service: The Blue City Regiment were the Reserve. The Sum is, (after a very sharp Fight for the Time) the Enemy were quite driven out of all their Works and the Village of Speen; and, had not Night prevented, probably we had, by Goa's Blessing, and with the help of our own Horse, utterly defeated their whole Army, which nevertheless in the Night left the Field in exceeding hasle and confusion. The King, Prince Charles, and Prince Maurice, with about Seven or Eight Hundred Horse, got Westward, (as we are credibly informed) the rest of his Forces, leaving the Train in Dennington-Castle, went towards Oxford, all much shattered. General Ruthen's Lady was taken seven or eight Miles hence this Day, himself (wounded as we hear) narrowly escaping, through our own Parties unadvisedly founding of a Trumpet, when they were near the Place where he was reposing himself. We had about fifty Soldiers slain, and, as far as I yet hear, no Officer of Note, but Captain Gauler, of my Lord General's Regiment, a most forward sbout Man, who was slain within the Enemies chief Work, and about an Hundred hurt. Truly, I believe never did Men perform so dangerous a Service, nor come through so difficult a Work, with more undismayed Spirits, than the poor Handful of my Lord-General's Old Foot, both Officers and Soldiers, in the Mouth of Cannon and Musquet-shot. How many the Enemy lost, I cannot affirm, but I believe a far greater Number than we: We took nine good Brass Pieces, six of them being Sakers, which we left behind us in Cornwall; about four hundred Prisoners, who of Note, more than my Lord Cleaveland, I have not yet heard.
Newberry, Octob. 30. 1644.
Your most Humble and Faithful Servant,
I shall here subjoin the Account of this Battel, as it was Printed in the News-Book at Oxford, entitled Mercurius Aulicus, [the 44th Week, ending November 2. 1644.] where, after he has recounted what Ocuurrences he thought fit, on Sunday, October the 27th, he proceeds to relate this Action in these Words following.
An Account of the Battel at Newberry, by Mercurius Aulicus.
Monday, Octob. 28.
The Account given by Aulicus of this second Battel of Newberry.
But the chief Business of Sunday was not certify'd till this Morning; we mean the Fight at Newberry between his Majesty's Army and the Rebels, which they at Westminister presumed so much upon, being as confident as the Wickedness of their Cause would give them leave: For tho' his Majesty in his March out of the West, sent Part of his Army upon several Services, yet still he chased the Rebels before him, who hasted towards London, and were as far as Bafing, near which Place all their Strength (which the Earl of Essex, the Earl of Manchester, Sir William Waller, and the rest could make up) were gathered into one Body, and marched to a general Rendevouz, on Wednesday last, October 23. (a Day they have had Reason to remember any time these two Years.) They durst not adventure the bruising of their Army upon Basing Garison, but left it on Tuesday last, after their Out-guards (within half a Mile of Basing) had been beaten up by Captain Markham, with a Party of Hourse of the Queen's Regiment, his Majesty's Army being then at Kingsclear. The Rebels lay in Aldermarston Park all that Day and Thursday: On Thursday Night they came privately over the Water at a Ford near Padworth, and next Morning drew to Bucklebury, within five Miles of Newberry, where his Majesty then was: On Backlebury-Heath the Rebels made their Rendevonz, having refreshed their Army with what Reading could afford, most of them having three Days Provision prepared in their Snap-sacks, as themselves confess. From Bucklebury they sent out several Parties to have fallen into his Majesty's Horse-Quarter, but were well repulsed by Lieutenant-General Bovel, Lieutenant-Colonel to Sir Francis Doddington. About Twelve a clock on Friday they drew down their whole Army between Thatcham and Shaw; whence, by divers strong Parties, they attempted to have forced the Horse-Quarters at Shaw, but were met by Part of Prince Maurice's Regiment of Horse, which skirmished with them, killed some of them, and then drew back to a Field before Shaw, leaving some Foot and Dragoons to dispute the Hill, which (according to order) was done till Midnight. On Saturday Morning the Rebels drew their Cannon, with four great Bodies of Foot, and some Horse, to that Hill; there they stood in Battalia, and shot with their great Ordance all the Afternoon, but effected nothing: While their Cannon play'd from this Hill, they drew the rest of their Army through Winterborn towards Boxford, to have girt in his Majesty, which was all they did that Night; but early yesterday Morning, before it was light, above Eleven Hundred of those Rebels on the Hill before Shaw, (which was the Earl of Manchester's Army, and London Trained-Bands) came down the Hill, to pass over, that Part of the River Kennet which runs betwixt the Hill and Newberry; these Rebels passed the River Eastward, and therefore undiscerned of some of his Majesty's Foot, who kept a Pass at a Mile Westward of the Place where these Rebels passed over (it being then not full break of Day) the Rebels got over, and then advanced with much Confidence upon those few Foot at the Pass, who being on a sudden over-pressed with Multitudes, gave the Rebels way, till that gallant Gentleman Sir Bernard Asteley (Son to the Lord Asteley) came up with four hundred Musqueteers; and he fell on with such Judgement and Courage, that he totally routed all those eleven hundred Rebels. While Sir Bernard was upon the execution of these Rebels, two other Bodies hasted over the River to second the first; but the brave Knight so followed his Blow, that he made the first Rebels rout their Seconds; who all ran through the River in such Distraction and Confusion, that abundance of them were drowned, besides those slain, (whereof their Commander in Chief was one) very many taken Prisoners, two hundred Arms gathered up, with great Store of good Pillage, Trained-Band Buff, (for many of these were Londoners) so that when the Rebels reckon how many were killed in this Fight at Newberry, they say nothing of such as were drowned; which is no fair Account for the Citizens of London, who ought to have it according to their Weelky Bills of Mortality; which would tell how many Londoners were shot to Death—Drowned—Bruised—Starved—as well within the Quarters as without; and this the poor London Widows might fairly expect. The rest of these Rebels who escaped over the Bridge, fled in great disorder up the Hill to their main Body (the Earl of Manchester's Army) under Protection of their Cannon.
While this Action was at the Mill, the rest of the Rebels Army (consisting of the Earl of Essex's Remnant, the whole Forces of Sir William Waller, with part of the Earl of Manchester's Horse) pursued their Design in surrounding his Majesty towards Spine; and about three of the clock in the afternoon, four thousand of the Rebels Horse and Dragoons, with five hundred Pikes and some Cannon, appear'd upon the West-side of Newberry, where the Cornish Foot and the Duke of Tork's Regiment (commanded by Sir William St. Leger) were settled with five small Field-Pieces, and a Brigade of Prince Maurice's Cournish. Horse. The Cornish Horse charged very gallantly, and got ground, till exceedingly overpressed by Multitudes, they were driven back; which some affirm to be the reason why the Foot retreated to the East-side of Spine, which Place they made good, till the Rebels left the Field: But those Guards were spread so thin there, and so many thousands of the Rebels pressing on their Advantage, they there gained the five small Passes from which they hastily drew off. The Rebels main Body of Horse advanced with a Body of five hundred Horse (whereof the Earl of Essex's Life-Guard were part) and a sufficient Strength of Musqueteers betwixt Newberry and Spine, where the King's Life-Guards and Sir Humphrey Bennet's Brigade were drawn up: Major Legg was sent with a Party of Horse towards these Rebels; who finding himself overpowered, made a handsome and orderly Retreat: whereupon the Rebels advanced with Musqueteers on their Right-Hand towards the River, there being three small Inclosures betwixt Colonel Bennet and the Rebels, which caused him to wheel off, for the better Advantage to charge them; and this in the Rebels printed Relation is called routing Colonel Bennet's Regiment, but upon most piteous slender Reason: for though when the Colonel wheeled off, the Rebels came on, yet having attained the Ground he aimed at, the his own Regiment drawn up, he roundly charged the Rebels, (the rest of his Brigade being not then ready) and was so bravely seconded by the most Valiant the Lord Bernard Stuart, (Brother to the Duke of Richmond and Lenox) who sell upon their Flank, that those Rebels both Horse and Foot were totally routed, the Execution followed above half a mile, which made the Rebels drop plentifully, among whom one was he that commanded the Earl of Essex his Life-guard, (supposed to be Mr. Charles Doyley) whom Sir Himphery Bennet shot dead in the place; divers others of their Officers were slain, and their Musqueteers which advanced with their Horse, were almost all to a Man cut off, though on his Majesty's part besides Captain Catlyn of Sir Edward Walgrave's Regiment, and two or three Common Troopers, not a Man sell: Captain Walgrave (Sir Edwara's Son) received several Wounds, but not any dangerous. The Rebels after this advanced to that ground again.
Thus the Rebels were repulsed on the West-side of Spine, but those other on the East side were more consident of Success; who having settled three Bodies of Foot in certain Inclosures and Ditches, advanced over a Ditch, with a good Body of Horse, hoping thereby to break in through his Majesty's Guards: but this was as soon discerned and prevented by General Goring, who instantly drew up the Earl of Cleavelana's Brigade, put himself in the Head of it, together with the valiant Earl himself, and the other Colonels of his Brigade, Colonel Thornhill, Colonel Hamilton, Colonel Culpeper, and Colonel Stuart. The General told them they must now charge home, and therupon suddenly advanced up to the gap, where about sourscore of the Rebels were already come over, the rest hastning after. These he soon sell upon, and forced them back again in much Confusion: As soon as he had got part of the Brigade over the Ditch, he hasted to order them as fast as they came over; but the eager Rebels would not grant him so much leisure, and therefore a new Body came to second the former, whom the General received with those Horse he had already over the Ditch, and then charged so home, that he made them quickly scatter and shift for themselves, many whereof were killed in the place, others so wounded as not able to sly, among whom was Major Urrey, Colonel Urrey's Nephew, who was mortally hurt in the Head by Captain Ellises, of Colonel Cornhill's Regiment, whose Prisoner Urrey was, though he died within an Hour after he was taken. In this Charge the most Valiant Earl of Cleaveland engaged his Person among the thickest of the Rebels, where his Horse was shot under him, which gave the Rebles opportunity to take him Prisoner; and this you may read at large in all their Pamphlets: but 'twere handsome they would forbear Triumphs, when they kill or take Noble-Men, till some of theirs come within Cannon-shot; for since the Lord Brooks was found peeping out at a Casement, we confess we have not met with one Right Honourable Rebel (and we heard their prime Chirurgeon say, that the best Men he ever had in Cure were Mr.John Hampden and a Lieutenant-Colonel; for as they have few Lords to lose, so those they have know the Guilt of their Cause, and never engage their Lives in it) except the Honourable Mr,Nathamiel and Mr.John Fiennes. Nay, this we can say further, that since the beginning of this Rebellion, no English Lord or Gentleman ever deserted his Majesty that had fought for him; for though some that went off were active to raise Regiments for his Majesty, and do other good Services, yet not any of them, except one only, ever struck blow for him with their own Hands. The General of his Majesty's Horse did so exceedingly gallantly in this Charge, that the Rebels in their Letter from Newberry to Mr. William Lenthall, printed since by special Order in their House, say, they wonder how General Goring escaped; but then they add, that his Brother, Mr. Charles Goring, paid his Account, being shot dead as he charged: which though 'tis attested under the Hands of Martin Pindar, Thomas Herbert, John Peckman, and Stephen White, who writ the Letter, is a Truth fit to be voted; for General Goring's Brother is ready for another Charge, when the Rebels next appear. This Charge was the more gallant, because this Brigade of Horse not only went over the Ditch to meet the Rebels, but passed by three Bodies of the Rebels Foot, who were placed in the Ditches and Inclosures; two of which Bodies shot at his Majesty's Horse, both as they pursued the Rebels, and as they came back.
In the mean time the Earl of Manchester's Army plyed their Work upon the North-East of Newberry, near Shaw; about four of the clock they came down the Hill before Shaw, advancing towards those Guards which the Lord Astely disposed under the Command of Colonel George Lisle; the Colonel appointed Lieutenant Colonel Richard Page to keep Mr. Doleman's House and Garden, and Sir Thomas Hooper with his Dragoons and other Foot, to keep the Hedges and Lane; Colonel Thelwall with his own Regiment, and others of the Reading Brigade being for a Reserve. The Rebels, to the Number of twelve hundred Horse and three thousand Foot, of the Earl of Manchester's and London Trained-Bands, came singing Psalms down the Hill, and advanced hastily upon Colonel Liply's Guards: At first they fell on a Hedge where forty Musqueteers were placed, these Musqueteers were easily over-powered by the Rebels, who upon quitting their Hedge gave a great shout; but then that valiant Gentleman Sir John Brown advanced with Prince Charles's Regment of Horse, charged their Foot, and did very good Execution, and after received a Charge of a thousand Horse, whereupon he retreated by Order to those Foot in the Garden, who flanked that Field, and kill'd many of the Rebels; this forced the Rebels Horse to face about, which Sir John Brown no sooner observed, but he advanced again, and cut off very many of their Rear of Horse, and bravely kept the ground all day. At the same time when Sir John Brown charged with Horse, the Reserve of Foot came on, which was three hundred of Colonel Lisle's Tertia, commanded by that experienc'd Soldier Colonel Thelwall, whereunto were joined those Musqueteers in the Lane, and those other forty which were driven from the Hedge; and this Body of Foot came up so courageously, and gave such excellent Fire, that the Rebels had small Comfort in their new-gotten Hedge: shot flew extreme thick on both sides, but these gallant Musqueteers were resolved to win all, or die in the Place, and therefore after they had sufficiently galled the Rebels with several brave Volleys, they fell on with the But-ends of their Musquets, and beat the Rebels not only back from the Hedge, but quite out of that Field; then his Majesty's Forces gave a good loud shout, the Rebels running off in great Confusion, leaving both their Colours and Cannon behind them, which were not so hastily hurried away, as those Drakes the Rebels took at Spine. In the mean while another great Body of the Rebels Foot fell upon those in Mr. Doleman's House and Garden; upon their approach, a notable fine Officer of the Rebels came daringly up, and commanded those in the House and Garden not to shoot; Lieutenant-Colonel Page bid his Men give Fire upon him, who instantly shot this fine Rebel in the Belly, so as he never gave more Orders; which done, they poured out shot so fast upon the Rebels whole Body, that they began to run: his majesty's Forces pursued with exceeding great Execution, which was the greater, because the Rebels Race was up the Hill. Then his Majesty's Soldiers shouted again; for the Rebels never gave shout but once, and were now so far from it, that they left here five hundred of their Brethren dead within a small Compass of Ground; where his Majesty's Soldiers had much and good Pillage, divers Prisoners, and some Colours; and then they drew off those two Pieces of Cannon, which they took from the Rebels.
About half an Hour after, a Body of the Rebels Horse came down to have fetch'd off their Cannon, but the Musqueteers gave fire into their Body, and made them return without their Errand, to their other Cannon upon the Hill, for these were past recovery. In this last Charge, Lieutenant-Colonel Page, one of as much Modesty and Courage as any Man alive, was shot through both his Thighs, besides a shot through his Arm; of all which we hear he is like to recover, this being not the first time he received three Wounds in one day: Indeed none could do more gallantly than he did in that Place which Colonel Lisle put under his Command. As for the Colonel himself, we profess it troubles us we want Language to express his Carriage; for he did all things with so much Judgment, Chearfulness, and present Dispatch, as had special Influence on every common Soldier, taking particular Care of all except himself. The truth is, he gave the Rebels three most gallant Charges: In the first his Field-word was, For the Crown; and then he beat them back, and knocked them down both with Bullet and Musquet-shot: in the second his Word was, For Prince Charles; and then he cut them off as they came on, and hewed them down sufficiently as they ran away: in the third it was, For the Duke of York; and then he slash'd them so home, that they troubled him no more; for had they come again, he resolved to have gone over all the King's Children, till he had not left one Rebel to fight against the Crown or the Royal Progeny. In which Service the Colonel had no Armour on, besides Courage and a good Cause, and a good Holland-shirt; for as he seldom wears defensive Arms, so now he put off his Buff-doublet, perhaps to animate his Men, that the meanest Soldier might see himself better armed than his Colonel, or because it was dark, they might better discern him from whom they were to receive both Direction and Courage: However, it gave occasion to a Londoner this Week in print to say, The Irish Papists in the King's Army at Newberry had divers Witches among them, which many of Colonel Cromwell's Soldiers did plainly perceive to fly swiftly from one side of the King's Army to another: which hath thus much truth in it, that this Spirit-Ghost, (call it what they please) frighted all these guilty Rebels quite out of the Field, and made them run for Protection to their Cannon and main Body, which got away to the Hill, where they Quartered, above a Mile from the Place of Fight, leaving the whole Pillage of the Field to his Majesty's Soldiers, without shooting one Musquet to disturb them. The Pillage was very much and very good, considerning who are commomnly the Rebels Commanders; but Arms both offensive and defensive, in great abundance: the exact Number of the Slain is not certainly known, for very many of the Rebels dy'd that Night and the next Morning after the Battel was ended. Of his Majesty's Army there fell Sir Anthony Leager, Lieutenant-Colonel Leak, Colonel Topping, who all fought as became valiant loyal Gentlemen; besides these, we hear of none of Note, and few, not above sixty of Common Soldiers. Some eminent Persons were wounded, especially those two gallant Knights, Sir John Greenvile, (Sir Bevil's Son, and Sir Richard's Nephew) and Sir John Campfield, who so bravely commanded the Queen's Regiment, Major Alford, a courageous good Commander, was shot in the Thigh; but (above all) the most Noble Valiant Lord General, the Earl of Brainford, reveiv'd a hurt on his Head, but nothing at all dangerous: and we hear their General (the Earl of Essex) is now in the Chirurgeon's hands; but we beseech you expect not we should give you an Account what Men of Eminency fell on their Side, though such as they were (whether Officers, or but Common Soldiers, we cannot well affirm) lay in Heaps upon the Earth, above a dozen Rebels for one loyal Subject: The Fight lasted from Four a clock in the Afternoon till Eight at Night; and in regard very many of his Majesty's Horse were absent (Mr.Lentball's Letter confesseth Four Thousand) his Majesty's Army marched to Wallingford through the Rebels Army, they not so much as giving an Alarum on the Rear. Sir Humphrey Bennet's Brigade of Horse was left to bring up the Rear of the Army, which stay'd upon the Place till Midnight, saw all clear before them, and for more Security left an hundred Horse, to discover the Rebels Intention; and that Party came not from the Field till Break of Day on Monday Morning, and then follow'd the Army, which marched to Wallingford in good Order over the Plains, the well-beaten Rebels not daring any farther. Thus Aulicus.
The Parliament's Armies Marches after this second Newberry Fight.
The Parliament's Forces after the Battel sent several Summons to Dennington-Castle, but Sir John Boys, the Governor, rejected them with Scorn. They continued at Newberry till Saturday, November 2. and then march'd towards Oxford (where his Majesty was recruiting his Army) and that Night the Head-Quarter was at Compton. On Sunday the 3d, they march'd towards Blewberry, and the Head Quarter was at Harwell: But then a Council of War being held, it was thought impossible to march with their Carriages beyond Abbington, because the Ways were deep and unpassable: And so on Tuesday, Novemb. 5. all the Horse being rendevouz'd on Chilton-Plain, Orders were given to march back the next Day to Newberry, which was done accordingly, November the 6th, and the same Night some of the King's Forces advanc'd from Wallingford into the same Quarters, whence they were remov'd. On Thursday they at Newberry receiv'd Advice from their Scouts, that the King's whole Army, with the Accession of Prince Rupert, the Earl of Northampton's Brigade, and what Forces could be spared out of several Garisons, was come over the River with a Purpose to relieve Dennington-Castle, and fetch away his Ordnance and Carriages, which he had wherein secured after the late Battel, which Advice it seems they did not believe; but on Friday, Novemb. the 8th, they had unquestionable Intelligence, that they were within five or six Miles, whereupon Orders were given by the Parliament's Commanders, for all their Horse to rendevouz early next Morning; and some of the Commanders in chief went out and view'd the Ground, where it might be most convenient to oppose his Majesty's Passage: But the next Morning, before their Troops were got together, his Majesty had not only relieved the Castle, and taken out his Train, but placed his whole Army in Battalia, in the Field betwixt Dennington-Castle and Newlerry; and a Party of his Horse fell on a Party of the Enemies, and routed them, and pursued them to their Foot: but being there fiercely charged, were forced to retire back to their Main Body; after which, and some other Skirmishes, his Majesty drew out of the Field to the other Sid of the Castle. Next Morning the Parliament's Forces were all drawn up, Horse and Foot, and a Battel was expected; but when their Commanders had view'd the Strength and Posture of his Majesty's Army, they, at a Council of War, judg'd it unsafe to engage: And so the King marched leisurely away towards Walingford. All this while the Earl of Essex was not present with the Army, but Skippon gave him the following Account of this Action.
Major-General Skippn's LETTER to the Earl of Essex.
A Letter from Major General Skippen to Essex, touching the relieving of Dennington-Castle, Nov. the 10th.
May it please your Excellency,
What through our too late Intelligence, and other intervening Accidents, the King's Army yesterday relieved Dennington-Castle, and drew out his Carriages thence, e'er our Forces could be gotten together to the Place viewed by some of us the Day before, as fittest to interpose between the Castle and their coming. In the Afternoon he drew don his Horse, Foot, and Cannon, upon us, who conceived it most convenient to stand upon our own Defence, with all our Foot and Cannon, within those sorry Works which we had cast up the same Day; the rather, because our Horse held their Rendevouz upon Newberry-Wash, on the other side of the Town, and being to march through the Town before they could come on that side where our Foot were engaged. The Enemy, after they had placed two great and two small Pieces of Cannon, charged as with great Resolution, both with Horse and Foot, and were most boldly resisted and repulsed; so that but once and at one Place they came on, where and when being soundly pelted, especially by the Musqueteers of your Excellency's Regiment, they soon recoiled, and being set farther off by a Forlorn Hope of Musqueteers, commanded by Captain Horsey, drew off their Cannon, and betook themselves to an orderly Retreat, which could not be interrupted, as was wished, because e'er Night came, the Horse were hardly enough come over to us: All the Foot stood their Ground very orderly and resolvedly, expecting the Enemies charging them on all Sides, as they threatned by their drawing up. This Day the King's Army marched leisurely and Soldier-like from the farther Sides of the Castle, whither they retreated last Night Wantage-way; 'tis said, to have drawn us out of our Strengths, and that he might rather thereby have had Advantage (we being necessitated to march somewhat about to come at him, because of the Castle) to have got into Newberry behind us, and so to have had the freer Way to Basing, or to have forced us, to fight with him upon great Disadvantage, he having the Liberty to chuse his own Ground. Whereupon it was resolved we should march back to Newberry, where all our Foot-Forces lie miserably pesiered; and truly (my most Noble Lord) if there be not some speedy Course taken for settling them in some fresh Quarters, where they may be encouraged, recollected and recruited, I very much fear that all the Armies will be very much weakened and prejudiced, especially that under your Excellency's Command: for Sir William Balfour says, all your Excellency's Horse are not above eight hundred, and Colonel Barclay (who calculated their Numbers in the Field this day) said, that the Foot (I mean your Excellency's) were not above twelve hundred; and this I humbly presume in Duty to acquaint your Excellency with, that if it might stand with the Publick Service, your Excellency would please (who I know is most sensible of our Condition) to use the best means your Excellency shall think most meet, that we might seasonably have a good Winter-Quarter at Reading, (if it might be) being the most likely place to get them together in. I humbly beg pardon for my great bolaness, and beseech the Lord to watch over your Excellency for good. I ever remain
Your Excellency's most Humble and Faithful Servant,
P H. SKIPPON.
Newberry, Nov. 10. Eleven at Night.
The Earl in answer to this Letter having expressed some Resentments touching the Miscarriage of this Affair, Skippon two days after wrote him the Letter following.
Another LETTER from Major-General Skippon to the Earl of Essex.
May it please your Excellency,
YOUR Excellency's Letter to Sir William Balfour and my self, came to our hands this day: my humble Answer thereunto is this, That what I presumed to write to your Excellency on Sunday Night last, was in part a Declaration of our Proceedings against the Enemy the day before, as also Expressions of somewhat concerning the Enemies relieving Dennington-Castle, which I shall not need to mention again; to which I presume to add this only, that I believe there hath been a great misinformation concerning the Enemies Number, as also their Horse driving up their Foot. And for the Armies not drawing out to meet them, the certain Intelligence of the Eneies Army being on this side Wallingford, came to us so late the Night before they relieved the Castle, which was the next day in the morning, that it was impossible (our Horse lying so far quartered up and down from us) to prepossess the foreviewed Ground for interposing between the Enemy and the Castle, without too manifest hazard of those that had been first upon the place without the other, if time would have suffered any part to have gotten thither before the Enemies whole Body was there. That dishonourable Opinions and Censures fall upon us for this, they must be endured though undeserved by us; and yet I hope they will be somewhat taken off by the Account that Sir Arthur Haslerig (who comes to that ena) will give thereof. Might I in modesty say it, and be believed, (without the least thought of disparaging any other) that I have not failed through God's assistance in the discharge of my Duty, I dare appeal to all: And this I trust will satisfy your Excellency for that. For the rest of the business, I most humbly refer your Excellency to my last Letter, and my self to your Excellency's Favour, which I so highly esteem. I remain
Your Excellency's most Humble and Faithful Servant,
P H. SKIPPON.
Newberry, Nov. 12. 1644.
Eleven at Night.
The Siege of Basing-House raised, and both Armies go to their Winter-Quarters.
Soon after this, the King resolved to relieve Basing; and to oppose him therein, the Parliament's Forces drew from Newberry that way: but those before Basing-House raised the Siege of their own accord, and nothing of moment happen'd between the two Armies, but both retreated to their Winter-Quarters, the King's to Oxford, Marlbrough, Basing, Odiam, Newberry, Blewberry, &c. the Parliament's to Reading, Henley, Abingdon, Farnham, &c.
The Parliament were much dissatisfied at this Business of Denning-tou-Castle, and ordered the whole Management thereof to be enquited into; and particularly Lieutenant-General Cronwell exhibited a Charge against the Earl of Manchester, to this effect:
The Substance of a Charge exhibited by Cronwell against the E. of Manchester.
"That the said Earl hath always been indisposed and backward to Engagements, and against ending of the War by the Sword, and for such a Peace to which a Victory would be a disadvantage; and hath declared this by Principles express to that purpose, and a continued Series of Carriage and Actions answerable. And since the taking of Turk, (as if the Parliament had now Advantage full enough) he hath declined whatever tended to further Advantage upon the Enemy, neglected and studiously shifted off opportunities to that purpose, (as if he thought the King too low, and the Parliament too high) especially at Dennington-Castle. That he hath drawn the Army unto, and detained them in such a Posture, as to give the Enemy fresh Advantages; and this before his Conjunctions with the other Armies, by his own absolute Will, against or without his Council of War, against macontempt and vilifying those Commands. And since the Conjunction, sometimes against the Councils of War, and sometimes persuading and deluding the Council to neglect one Opportunity with pretence of another, and that again of a third, and at last by persuading that it was not fit to fight at all."
On the other side, the Earl for his own Vindication gave in the following Paper to the House of Peers.
The Earl of Manchester's NARRATIVE.
The Earl of Manchester's Narrative to the House of Peers.
The Trusts with which the Parliament of England have honoured me, are of so great Concernment of the Publick, as I should be failing in the highest measure to your Lordships and my self as a Servant employed by you, if I should not be sensible of those Aspersions which Common Fame brings to my Ears, so as to endeavour to clear my self from that ignominious Brand of Unfaithfulness towards the Parliament, who have thought me worthy of their Favour and their Trust: Therefore I look upon this Command of your Lordships to give you an Account of my late Actions, not only as an addition to your former Favours, but as an advantage equivalent to my Life, for which I humbly offer your Lordships my acknowledgments as your Servant.
"I shall not plead my Abilities to serve you, I shall only justify my Integrity in your Service; which if any shall contradict, if they be such as have either known me, or seen my Actions, when they shall question with their own Hearts, I doubt not but they will there find such results as will give them occasion to ask me Pardon for the Injury they have done me.
"That which I hear gives the greatest dissatisfaction to the World in my particular, is the King's relieving Dennington-Castle, and the Armies not engaging with him to this I shall make a Profession in general, that from the time I came to join with my Lord General's Army, I never did any thing without joint Consent of those that were the best experienced and chiefest Commanders in all the Armies; and herein I shall appeal to those who were sent down from the Committee of both Kingdoms, whether upon all Debates my Expressions were not these, I cannot pretend to have any Experience in this way, therefore what you shall resolve, I shall observe; and I am confident that both they and all the Commanders of the Army will justify my Practice made good my Professions.
"At our first drawing up of our Armies towards Newberry, when the King lay there secured in his Quarters, it was resolved, that our Armies should be divided, that my Lord General's Foot and the City Brigade, with the most of all the Horse, should march to the West-side of Newberry, and that the Foot under my Command with some Horse, should remain on the East-side, and that as soon as I should by some Warning-pieces see that they were engaged, that then I should make my Engagement for a Diversion: This Command was obeyed by me, and it pleased God through the Valour of my Lord General's Foot and some Horse, we had a very happy success of that Service; but where those Horses were that Lieutenant-General Cromwell commanded, I have as yet had no certain Account. After this (to omit our marching from Newberry towards Abingdon, and returns thither again, all which was by the Advice and Consent of the Council of War) the King having gathered all his Forces together, draws them down towards Wallingford, and our constant Intelligence gave us, that he intended the Relief of Dennington-Castle; wherefore upon the Thursday my Intelligence being confirmed, I sent unto Major-General Skippon, to consult what was fittest to be done: We both resolved, that in regard all our Horse were quartered so far from us, it was necessary to call them to a Rendevouz the next day, that so they might be nearer to us, and readier for any present Service: Hereupon, Major-General Skippon and my self writ to Sir William Balfour, that he would please to command my Lord General's Horse to a Rendevouz the next day, which he accordingly did. I sent likewise unto Lieutenant-General Cromwell to give the like Orders to my Horse, but he came unto me, and in a discontented manner expressed himself, asking me whether I intended to flea my Horse, for if I called them to a Rendevouz, I might have their Skins, but no Service from them: I told him my Opinion was, that it was absolutely necessary, for if it were not done, I doubted if we should have them present when we had most use of them; yet he persisting in his dislike of it, I told him he might do as he pleased. Upon the Friday in the Evening we had certain Notice by a Lieutenant that came from the Enemy, that the King's whole Army was within five or six Miles: Hereupon we presently sent to command all the Horse to be at Rendevouz upon Newberry-wash by six of the Clock in the morning, intending to draw out to fight with the King; in order to which, the ground was viewed by the Chief Field-Officers: but on Saturday-morning the King had gained his Passage to Dennington-Castle before any great Body of our Horse came up, so as it was resolved by all the Officers in chief, that it was fittest for us to stand upon our Defence, and to keep the Town of Newberry. About two of the clock in the Afternoon the King charged us with Horse and Foot near to the Works which we had made, but received a very happy repulse by our Foot. As yet there were only some of my Lord General's Horse, and some of Sir William Waller's came on that side the River that the Enemy was. Lieutenant-General Cromwell had not brought over any Horse, notwithstanding I had desired him that all of them might be drawn over on that side the River, where the present Service was: After some few hours that the Enemy had stood facing us, and that the Evening drew nigh, the Enemy through the Favour of the duskishness of the Evening made his Retreat, and about this time my Horse were coming into the Field, whereupon we all agreed that all the Horse should keep the Field, that Night, and the Foot to make good their Posts as they had maintained them the day before, intending to draw out the next morning to attempt something upon the Enemy. In the Night we heard that the Enemy was marched away, wherupon Order was given by a general Consent, that the Horse should follow him by break of day; but in the morning certain Intelligence was brought us, that the Enemies whole Army was in a Body with in three miles of us, whereupon divers of us went to see whether it were true. And after we had rode about a mile to the top of a Hill, we saw the Enemies whole Army marching in an orderly Retreat. This gave Occasion to us all to consider what was fittest to be done, and most of the Commanders in the Army were called together, and there by a general Consent it was agreed that it was not safe to engage against the King at that present. Many Arguments were given; Sir Arthur Haslerigg used some Expressions to this effect, that we run a greater hazard than the King did, for if we beat him, his Army would not be ruin'd, but he being King still, and retreating to his Garisons, he would recruit his Army, it being now the Winter-season; but if he had the better of us, our whole Forces would be ruined, and the Kingdom in extream hazard, having no considerable reserve on this side New-Castle, so that the Enemy might without any opposition march up to the very Walls of London. And after some others had delivered their Opinions against Fighting, this Opinion of Sir Arthur Haslerigg's was seconded by me, and there was not one present that delivered his Opinion for Fighting with the King at that time, and I conceive it was as far from our Intentions (as it was impertinent for the present purpose) to urge any of these Arguments as to the final result of the War; in the active and speedy Prosecution whereof, as I have often, so I shall still be willing upon all Occasions to hazard not only my self, but all that is dear unto me: but it was urged as not expedient to fight at that time, considering our present Posture, and by a general Consent it was thought fit to march back to Newberry. When we had been some days at Newberry, we heard that the King intended to send a strong Party to relieve Basing, therefore the Council of War resolved, that the best way to prevent any such Design, was to order all the Horse of the Armies to keep guards there by turns; and though when the third Night came, that my Horse were to keep the guard, Lieutenant-General Cromwell expressed an unwillingness to have any Horse to go to the Guards, yet I commanded that there should be no delay in it, and accordingly it was done. As for the several Motions of the Armies, and the drawing into those Quarters, where they now are, it was ordered by the general Vote of the Council of War, not one dissenting: And I think I may with Confidence affirm, that there was such an Unanimity amongst us, as none acted any thing which was of Publick Concernment, apart from the rest. As to that which may relate to me, I am fully persuaded that the Commanders in Chief will give me this Testimony, that I never concluded any thing without their Advice: And I must acknowledge that Lieutenant-General Cromwell was Sensible of a Contradiction in this particular, as when there was but an Information of such a Report cast out at London, that I had acted without the Advice of the Council of War, he professed that he was a Villain and a Lyar that should affirm any such thing. That which I did without Consulting with the Commanders of the other Armies, was only such things as had a special respect to my own Forces, to keep them from mutinous Actions, that they might be ready to commit, in regard of their great Necessities and Sufferings, and of several intimations which were given them that I was the only Cause of keeping them there, and that Lieutenant-General Cromwell was willing and desirous to have them return to their Association: in this I confess I acted by my own Power, to cause them to give Obedience to that which I had received Orders for from the Committee of both Kingdoms, though I shall ever shew as much readiness to serve for the security of the Association, that have honoured me with their Favour, as any other shall do.
I hear further of a dissatisfaction which is of an older date, ever since my being at Lincoln, that when I received Command from the Committee of both Kingdoms to march into the West, my backwardness was such, as I gave sharp Reproofs to those that mentioned it unto me: I cannot but wonder at such a Calumny, Lieutenant-General Cromwell can witness for me, that as soon as I received the Letters from the Committee, I consulted with him, and gave him Orders that twenty Troops of Horse should be got ready, and that he should go with them before me, and I would follow with the rest of the Horse and all the Foot with what possible speed I could. It is true that Lieutenant-General Cromwell made some difficulties in regard of the Necessities that his Regiment of Horse were in, which I told him, I would endeavour to supply at Huntington, and that I would send to London to make Provision of Boots and of other things which he wanted, and send them to meet him at Reading; and I made good my Promise, as many can bear me Witness. Certainly not only my Relation to my Lord-General, to whom I owe both Honour and Service, but the Publick Interest, might justly challenge from me a ready Obedience to this Service.
Some Discontents which then brake forth in my Army, was the Cause of retarding that Service. What those Discontents were, and the Grounds of them, I dare not so far digress without your Command, as to offer them unto your Lordships.
"I shall only now ask your Lordships Pardon for the Trouble I have given you, and shall beseech your Lordships to look upon me as one, who though I cannot serve you with Abilities equal to others, yet in my Faithfullness to the Cause, in my Endeavours for the Happiness of the Parliament and Kingdom, and in my Care of your Lordships Honours, shall give place to none."
These Heats beget a new Model of the Army.
These Miscarriages in the Armies, and Contests between the Commanders, gave Occasion for that New Model of the Parliament's Forces, whereby not only Manchester, but Waller and Essex also were laid aside; of which we shall speak in its proper place.
SECT. IV. Smaller Matters relating to Military Actions, Anno 1644.
Of the Fight near Montgomery-Castle.
Sir W. Fairfax slain.
Of the taking of Liverpool by the Parliament.
Several Exploits by Massey and the Earl of Denbigh.
The Author descends to some smaller and particular Achievements of War, Anno 1644.
But Besides these great Master-Wheels of Military Action in the North and West, whose Motions we have daily traced, there were several other Warlike Occurrences in divers Parts, performed by smaller Parties, which fall not within either of those Circles, but like Eccentrick Courses of the Planets, must be described in Epicycles of their own; amongst which, the Exploits between Colonel Massey Governour of Gloucester, and several of the King's Troops, are not to be omitted.
A brief Account of the Exploits wherein Col. Massey was concern'd.; Westbury taken, May 7.
About the 1st of April 1644. Colonel Purefoy with his Regiment of Horse was by the Committee of both Kingdoms ordered to march to Gloscester, with whom Massey being joined, they made an Incursion into Herefordshire, took up Quarters at Ledbury, forced that Country, and faced Hereford. Of all which Prince Rupert being advertis'd, his Highness advanced to Evesham with a considerable Strength of Horse and Dragoons, intending to fall over Evesham-Bridge, and get between Massey and Gloucester, whilst Colonel Myn and Sir John Winter held him in play in those Parts, and so between them cut him off. But Massey had Intelligence of the Prince's Advance, drew back with speedy Marches, and got safe into Gloucester: But four days after, Viz. May the 7th, he march'd forth with Nine Hundred Musqueteers, and a hundred Pikes, (of the Lord Stamford's Colonel Devereux's, and his own Regiment) with Colonel Puresoy's and some of his own Horse, towards the Forest-side, and fell upon Westbury, a Garison of Sir John Winter's, who held the Church and another strong House adjoining. Massey observing a place not slanked, drew up that way a Forlorn Hope, and flinging in Garnadoes, fired them out of the Church, and then soon beat them out of their Works, and took the House, and Captain Bret, and about sixty others Prisoners. In the mean time, understanding this Garison had a Guard at Little Dean, he had commanded a Party of Horse to give them an Alarm, whilst he attack'd Westbury: These Horse found the Guard there straggling in the Town, and upon their approach shuffling towards the House where they kept Garison; which the Troopers observing, alighted, and ran together with them into the House, where they took about twenty Men. Near to this Guard, Lieutenant-Colonel Congrove, Governour of Newhbam, and one Captain Wigmore, with a few private Soldiers, were surrounded in some Houses by the residue of this party of Horse, and had accepted Quarter ready to render themselves, when one of their Company from the House fired and killed a Trooper, which so enraged the rest, that they broke in, and put them all to the Sword.
And Newnham, May 8.
Next day Massey marched to Newnham, where another Party of Sir John Winter's kept Garison in the Church, and the Fort adjoining of considerable strength, but at that instant much daunted and distracted by the loss of the said Congrove their Governour; so that after a short resistance they were overcome, and pursued into the Church, where they cry'd for Quarter: but at that instant a Barrel of Gunpowder was blown up in the Church, supposed to be done by one Tipper a Papist, Servant to Sir John Winter, who despaired of his Life, because being formerly a Prisoner, he had broke his Parole. This Powder-Blast did not blow down the Church, but many of the Soldiers out of it, and forely singed a great number, but killed none. Massey's Soldiers herewith enraged, slew near twenty, and amongst others the said Tipper; all the rest had Quarter for their Lives, (save one Captain Butter, said to be an Irish Rebel, who was knock'd o'th' head by a common Soldier.) Here were taken Captain Henry Malory, Captain Michael Morgan, and Captain Hetford Blany, three Lieutenants, four Ensigns, four double Barrels of Powder, sixty Skains of Match, and four Pieces of Ordnance: And in this Service Massey lost not one Man.
Massey glad to retreat to Gloucester.
From thence he marched to Lidney House, and summon'd it, but durst not engage it; the rather for that he understood Colonel Myn, assisted by the Lord Herbert's Forces, and Sir John Winter, was come as far as Coford: wherefore he was forced to retreat with expedition to Gloucester, in his way firing and destroying Sir John Winter's Iron Mills and Furnaces.
Beverston-Castle, in Wiltshire taken by Massey, May 22.
Soon after Captain Oglethorp, Governour of Beverston-Castle, was surprized by some Gloucester-Scouts, in a private House, courting his Mistress; whereupon Massey forthwith drew his Forces before that Castle, and sent in a Summons: upon which the Lieutenant that then commanded there, submitted, on condition that both Officers and Soldiers should leave all their Arms, Ammunition, and Baggage, only four Officers had the privilege to take each his Horse. The Lieutenant was pleased to enquire of Massey's Soldiers, whither they intended the next March? expressing his doubts of Malmesbury, (whither they were to be convoy'd) and fear of being taken the second time: and indeed his Apprehensions proved Prophetick.
Massey takes the Town of Malmesbury, May, 24.; An Example of a Panick Fear.; Massey's Reason against Plunder.
For the next day Massey faced Malmeslury, and summon'd it for the King and Parliament; but Colonel Henry Howard, the Governour, returned Answer, That he kept it for the King and Parliament assembled at Oxford, and without their Command would never part with it: and for further Answer fired upon them gallantly. Massey's Foot got into the Suburbs, and broke their way through the Houses, till they came almost up to the Works, and the only place of entrance into the Town, which is built upon the level of a Rock: Massey caused a Blind to be made cross the street, to bring up the Ordnance within Carbine-shot; but in the heat of business, the Fancy of an Alarm seized upon his Men, that those in the Town were sallying out upon them; which was nothing so: and yet so prevalent was this Panick Fear, that those very Men who at other times would brave it in the face of an Enemy, venture on Breaches, and almost to the mouths of discharging Cannons, now were smitten with such Distraction and Fear, that they all fled when none pursued them, and lest their Ordnance deserted in the open street. The Garison, by reason of the Blind, perceived not this Advantage, which otherwise had proved fatal to the Assailants. Massey had much ado to rally his amazed Soldiers, but at last they recovered both their Courage and their Ground. Yet by this means the pretended Assault was put off till next Morning; when at Break of Day, a Forlorn Hope, seconded with a good Reserve, advanced to the only Passage that had no Drawbridge, but only a Turnpike: to which they came up, and flung in their Granadoes. Those within made many a shot at random, but by the disadvantage of a rainy Night, their Musquets lying wet on the Works, were little serviceable; so that Massey's Men thronged in, and got possession of the Town. Colonel Howard was taken at the Works, making as brave a Resistance as was possible, having received three several Shots in his Clothes, yet all missed his Body. Upon the first entrance, Massey gave strict Orders that the Town should be preserved from Plunder; nor would he at any time suffer his Soldiers to ransack any Place they took by Storm, giving this Reason, That he could not judge any part of England to be an Enemy's Country, nor an English Town capable of Devastation by English Soldiers. Colonel Devereux was lest Governour of this Town, and his Regiment quartered there.
The taking of Tewxbury by Massey, June 5.; Major Myn taken.
On the 5th of June, Massey drew out an hundred and twenty Horse, thirty Dragoons, and three hundred Foot, intending to fall upon the Town of Tewxbury: The Horse and Dragoons, commanded by Major Hammond, marched some few hours before the Foot and Artillery, and were to alarm the Town till the Foot came up. These Horse, about a mile from the Town, made a Halt, and drew out a Forlorn Hope, imagining they might possibly surprize the Place, if they had not as yet took the Alarm: and first, three Men were sent before to espy if the Draw-bridge was down, and six more behind went undiscovered; next unto these marched the Forlorn Hope, and the Main-Body in the Rear. In this posture they advanced up to the Town; where they found the Bridge down, the Guards slender, and the Garison without Intelligence: on went the first Party, killed the Sentinels, which were only a Pikeman, and a Musqueteer without Match. Thus the Bridge was gain'd; the Forlorn Hope rushed in, and after them the whole Body of Horse and Dragoons, and came up to the main Guard before the Alarm was taken; overturned their Ordnance, and charged through the Streets as far as the Bridge, Worcester way; where they took Major Myn, the Governour of the Town, whose Soldiers flung down their Arms; many escaped by slight, and divers taken Prisoners. Colonel Godfrey was slain the first Charge; as also Colonel Vavasour, Quarter-Master-General, and a Lieutenant, all three Papists; besides a Serjeant, with about six common Soldiers. And now supposing themselves wholly Victorious, Massey's Officers and Soldiers, some dismounted and went into the Houses, others dispersed themselves; all neglected both the making good the Bridge they entred at, and disarming the main Guard: for though they charged by them, and routed them, yet they were now rallied again; and observing the Enemy not seconded with Foot, and in confusion, they charged upon them, and heat them out of the Town, and took several of them Prisoners: But they had before secured the Governour, by sending him over Severn with a small Party as soon as he was taken.
By this time Colonel Massey was come up with his Foot; but the Bridge towards Gloncester was then drawn up, and the Work mann'd on that side; therefore he placed his Dragoons there, to hold them in play, whilst he drew his Men round the Town, it being now dark night. But before he could reach the further end, where he entred about midnight, those of the Town having lost their Governour and several Officers, despairing to maintain it, were fled away towards Worcester, but left behind them eighteen Earrels of Powder, one hundred and twenty Skains of Match, two hundred new Pikes, thirty four large Hand-Granadoes, store of Musquet-shot, and two Brass Drakes. The taking of this Place was of great consequence, being a strong Frontier Town securing that side of the County of Glouceser, and commanding a good part of Warwickshire: and hereby his Majesty's Measures were broken, who had it in his thoughts for his own Pass, and by it to put a stop to Walter's Army, which then followed; and in order thereunto, his Majesty was advanced within a day's march of it before he heard of its being lost, and then was forced to turn aside to Evesham, &c. as you have heard before in the Relation of his Majesty's Marches: Where you had also the taking of Sudely-Castle, which presently after follow'd, wherein Massey assisted; and the keeping thereof was left by Sir William Waller to the Gloucester Forces.
Major Gray killed by Major Hammond at Gloucester, in a private Quarrel.; Maj. General Myn defeated, and he slain by Massey's Forces, July 27.
The taking and keeping these Places had so drain'd away Massey's Men, that he was not able to take the Field again, till recruited by the arrival of Colonel Stephens with three Troops of Horse, and two Troops of Colonel Harley's Regiment; at which time he received Intelligence, that the King's Forces of Herefordshire and Worcestershire were to join about Cosselawn, and so march up to the Gates at Gloucester to waste the Country, and (as was given out) burn up all the Corn on the ground (it being then near Harvest) that so they in Gloucester might not be able to procure Subsistance. To prevent this Conjuction, Massey resolves to march out with the five Troops before mentioned, and some Horse of his own, two hundred and twenty Musqueteers from Gloucester, and one hundred that were to meet him on the way from Tewxbury. But just as they were ready to march, an Accident happen'd, that had like not only to have spoiled that design, but ruined the whole Garison of Gloucester: for there having that morning at the Council of War happen'd some words between Major Gray and Major Hammond, the former began now to question the latter for his hasty Language, and require Satisfaction; and his Challenge being either refused or slighted, struck him over the Face with his Fist: whereupon both drew, and after a little clashing, Gray (who began the Quarrel) received his Death's Wound by a Thrust in the Neck, and expired in the place; whose Soldiers being then in Arms, not only refused to march, but threatned to be reveng'd for the Death of their Major on Hammond and his Men, and the whole City and Garison seem'd to be in an uproar. The Governour was forced to use his best Art to appease them, and after an hour's Persuasion and Intreaty, they were somewhat qualified, and content to march, but by this means it was late in the Afternoon before they advanc'd. Major-General Myn, with about an hundred and sixty Horse, and eight hundred Foot, quarter'd that Night at Red Marley, with whom early next morning Massey engaged, and had a sharp Encounter, wherein Major-General Myn was slain upon the place, with about a hundred and seventy of his Men, Major Buller, seven Captains, four Lieutenants, five Ensigns, and near three hundred common Soldiers taken prisoners; but in the pursuit of them they met with the Worcester Forces, consisting of a hundred and fifty House, and five hundred Foot, who coming to join with Myn that day, the aforenamed Lieutenant-Colonel Passie, who commanded them, rid away before, not suspecting any Enemy, and just at the beginning of the Fight was coming up to Myn's Brigade, to bring News of their Arrival, but there intercepted by some of Massey's Scouts, was wounded and left for dead, whereby each Party was left ignorant of the other's Condition: but during the time of the Action the Worcester-Men were advanced near, whilst Massey's Men were scattered in the pursuit of those they had routed. The first Discovery of these new Forces was made by Colonel Broughton and Captain Backhouse, upon whom a blunt Trooper charged up from the Head of the main Body in the Entrance of a cross Lane. Him they surprized in the Name of Friends, drew him aside, and inform'd themselves of the Strength at hand; and then making a sudden Outcry, as if they had a great Body to fall on ready for a Charge, caused the Worcestershire-men, suspecting some Ambuscade, to stop and retreat, and so got opportunity for Massey to get his scattered Soldiers into order; who not thinking fit to adventure on a fresh Dispute, was content to retire with the Success he had already gain'd. The Body of Col. Myn was brought to Gloucester, and there honourably buried: He was a Gentleman that had served in Ireland, and after the Cessation came over with his Regiment to assist the King in England.
Massey obstructs the Works at Beachly.
Prince Rupert some time after the Defeat at Marston-moor had some of his scattered Troops got towards Wales, and quartered about Hereford, whom towards the latter end of the Summer he had a mind to draw into the West: But apprehending left Massey might intercept them, to facilitate their Passage over the Severn at Aust, his Highness sent a commanded Party of five hundred Horse and Foot, who began to fortify Beachly for a lasting Guard; being a Place of difficult approach, being a Gut of Land running out between Severn and Wye, but a commodious Passage from Wales to Bristol and the Western Parts. Four days after they had began their Fortification, and drawn the Trench half-way from the Bank of one River to the other, the rest being well guarded with a high Quickset Hedge (which they lined with Musqueteers) and a Ditch within, with a fair Meadow beyond, wherein they had made a Reintrenchment; Massey with about six hundred Horse and Foot advanced thither, and lighting on a Party of Horse from Chepstow, skirmish'd and made them retreat, then faced the new Works that Evening and next Morning, waiting an opportunity for an Assault; for at high Water the Place was inaccessible, by reason of the Ships which guarded each River with Ordnance, lying level with the Banks, and clearing the face of the Approach from Wye to Severn: wherefore taking the advantage of low Water, he drew forth a Party for the Onset, out of the Forlorn-Hope he selected ten Musqueteers to creep along the Hedges, and thence fall on These gave the first Alarm, and caused those in the Works to spend their first Shot in vain; which being done, before they could recharge, on went the Forlorn Hope, and the Reserve following, they ran up the unfinish'd Works, and got possession of them, killing several and taking many Prisoners; but some recover'd Boats and got away, others were drown'd.
Monmouth taken by Massey Sept. 26.
His next Work was the taking of Monmouth, which indeed was betray'd unto him by Lieutenant-Colonel Kyrle, one that revolted from the Parliament's Party upon the Loss of Bristol, and now had a mind to tack about again, and purchase his Peace with them at the Price of this Town; in order to which, Massey quartering his Horse and Foot near thereunto, on the Forest-side, after this Action at Beachly, Kyrle propounded this method (which was followed) to accomplish the Business; viz. That Massey should pretend a sudden Return to Gloucester with his Forces, and Kyrle would come out as to fall upon his Rear, and carrying them back with him, let them into Monmonth. Accordingly Massey gave out Necessity of a Retreat, and having marched back three miles, lodged his Forces in a Thicket of the Forest, and sent his Scouts abroad to prevent discovery: The Intelligence soon reaches Monmouth, and Lieutenant Kyrle draws out, whom Massey surprizes at High-meadow-House about Midnight, with his Troop of about thirty Horse, and with as little Noise as might be, advanced thence to Monmouth. Yet the Alarm was given, for Kyrle's Cornet escaped the Surprize, and was got thither, so that the Town stood upon their guard, expecting an Enemy; yet Kyrle arriving at the Town's-end with a hundred selected Horse, confidently came up to the Draw-bridge, pretended a Return with many Prisoners taken, persuaded the Guards, and prevailed with Colonel Holthy the Governour, by the means of the Officers of the Guard, to let down the Draw-bridge, which was done, but with much jealousy, and a strong Guard, and a strong Guard, and the Bridge presently drawn up again, insomuch that this first Party were like to be held Prisoners, and began to suspect that Kyrle, instead of betraying the Town, had betray'd them; however, they declare themselves, fall on, overpower the Guard, and make good the Bridge, some of them keeping a strict eye on Kyrle's Deportment, who sought as heartily as any of them, and so let in the main Body, and soon master'd the Town: but by the favour of the Night, dark and rainy, the Governour and most of the Garison made their Escape over the dry Grass.
Sir William Blaxton repuls'd,; Massey's Policy to get the Welshmens Good-will.
This Surprize of Monmouth, the Key of South-Wales, and only safe Intercourse for the King's Army between the West, Wales, and the Northern Parts, alarm'd all the King's Party thereabouts, especially the Marquiss of Worcester at Ragland Castle, who raised the Country, and called in some of Prince Rupert's Horse to their assistance; who with Sir William Blaxton's Brigade, making as was reported five hundred Horse, and above a thousand Foot, marched thither, and beat up some of Massey's Out-Quarters; but after a brisk Skirmish were repulsed, a Major of Horse and tow Captains slain, and Sir William Blaxton wounded, and divers Prisoners taken, of whom such as were Welsh, Massey used very kindly, and soon after sent them to their respective Homes, every one with a little Note or Letter directed to his Master, or to the Parish where he lived, to signify to them, That the Intention of the Parliament and of Massey in coming thither was not to destroy or enslave their Persons, or take away their Goods or Livelihoods, but to preserve their Lives and Fortunes, to open the Course of Justice, and free them of their heavy Burdens under the Forces of Rupert a German. By which Artifice and free Discharge of the Prisoners, the Welsh People began to entertain better thoughts of the Parliament's Party than formerly.
Massey a second time destroys the Works at Beachly.
To regain Monmouth for the King, the whole Power of South Wales, under the Command of Colonel Gerrard, advanced to Abergavenny, Uske and Regland; and Sir John Winter, assisted with four hundred Men from Brijiol, one hundred of his own, and what Aid Prince Rupert could spare, once more undertakes to fortify the before described Pass at Beachly, which would cut off all Intercourse between Gloucester and Monmouth, and render that Garison useless. Hereupon on the 13th of October, about midnight, marched from Monmouth one hundred Musqueteers and eight Troops of Horse unto Clurewall, expecting there to meet the Newnbam Foot drawn off for this Design. Towards the next Evening they approached Beachly, kept the King's Forces there in Alarms all Night, whom they found well prepared, the Works carried on with dexterity and diligence, and much Art and Cost bestow'd on Pallifadoes and Breastworks; the most defective Places from Wye to Severn desended with a tall Quick-set Hedge, and a Ditch within as aforesaid, Pinnaces riding in each River with Ordnance, the Line strongly guarded with Hammer-Guns and Murtherers placed on the Flanks at either end, so that it seem'd impossible to storm it by day, without great Loss: But it fell out that Low-Water happen'd about Break of Day, at which time Massey with a small Party, in a silent March, came close to the Works, forced two or three Pallisadoes, so that some of the Foot and the Forlorn-Hope of Horse broke in, but finding themselves at a stand between the Pallisadoes and the Quick-set Hedge lined with Musqueteers, began to face about, when there was no looking back nor passing forwards by reason of the continual Shot. In this Party was Massey himself engaged, now become Leader of the Forlorn-Hope, and with no little difficulty forced his own Horse over the Hedge, and with no little difficulty forced his won Horse over the Hedge, fell in amongst them, was recharged furiously, his Head-piece knock'd off with the Butt-end of a Musquet, yet he held out till some of his Foot and Horse got over after him to his rescue, who were soon followed by a full Body of Horse and Foot, who by main force bore down all before them, flew thirty, and took Prisoners a Lieutenant-Colonel, a Major, two Captains, and above two hundred common Soldiers; Sir John Winter himself was forced down the Clist to the River, where a Boat lay ready, that convey'd him to the Ships that were riding within Musquet-shot of the Shore.
Though this Place were of such importance to the King, yet Massey found it would not be useful for him, unless the Parliament had had Ships there to be Masters of the Sea, because at every Flood the Ships on the severn lay level with the highest Ground; therefore't was resolved at a Council of War, that the Works should be slighted, and all Trees and Hedges cut down.
Monmouth retaken for the King, Nov. 19.; The Committee-men taken.; Pembridge-Castle taken for the King.
At Monmouth Colonel Broughton's Captain-Lieutenant, in Massey's absence, und ertook to garison a House near Godridge-Castle; but within few days the House was fired about his Ears, and he and all his Company carried Prisoners to Hereford. But this was but the Omen of a greater Loss to Massey; for he being by an Express November the 10th, ordered by the Committee of both Kingdoms, to march witle all the strength he could make, into the Borders of Oxfordshire, to prevent the Welsh Forces under the Conduct of Colonel Gerrard, from joining with the rest of his Majesty's Army, or that he should join with the Parliament's Forces as occasion should offer, called off his own Regiment of Horse from about Monmouth, and marched to Evesham; but Gerrard was arrived there before, nor could he retard his March, being too weak to encounter him. In his absence he committed the Charge of the Town to Major Throgmorton, Serjeant-Major to Colonel Harley; who that he might have the Honour of doing somewhat, marched out with three hundred commanded Men to Chepstow, on Sunday, Novemb. 17. intending to attack that Castle: but some Royalists in Monmouth, Tenants to the Lord Herbert, sent his Lordship notice to Ragland-Castle, how weak they had left the Town, and that it would not be difficult to regain it; who presently sent to Colonel Progers, Governour of Abergavenny, and to Sir Trevor Williams, who kept a Garison at his own House at Langiby, to send what Forces could be spared, and his Lordship himself sent one hundred and fifty Horse and Foot from Ragland, commanded by his Brother the Lord Charles Somerset, and all met at an appointed Rendevouz near Monmouth on Tuesday the 19th, by five a-clock in the morning, and instantly made their approach to the higher side of the Town that looketh toward Hereford, having only a sloping Bank cast up, with a dry Graft of no depth. Lieutenant-Colonel Somerset (a Kinsman of his Lordship's) got over, with a Party of about forty, without any opposition, and came to Dixton's Gate, where they found but six Men, who fled at their approach; whereupon one took an Iron-Bar, wherewith he broke the Chain, forced open the Gate, and so let in their whole Body of Horse, who rid up the Town in a full Career, seized upon the main Guard, and surprized the rest of the Garison for the most part in their Beds. Amongst the Prisoners they took, were the Commit tee of South-wales, consisting of Colonel Broughton, Colonel Stephens, Mr.Catching of Trelleck, and Mr.Jones of Uske, together with four Captains, about one hundred and fifty common Soldiers, fourteen Pieces of Ordnance, fifteen Barrels of Gunpowder, with Bullet and Match proportionable, and store of good Arms. Massey receiving advice hereof at Burford, hasted back to the Relief of the Party gone against Chepstow; but they hearing of the Loss, without effecting any thing against Chepstow-Castle, got over at Tyntern Ferry to this side Wye, and were met by Massey in the Forest, who marched to Ross, designing to have gone over to the Relief of Pembridge-Castle, (an Out-guard to Monmouth) but found the Bridge broken down; so those in that Castle were forced to surrender upon Quarter, and most of them took up Arms for the King, having formerly been of his side, and taken Prisoners.
Oswelstree taken by the Earl of Denbigh, June 23. 1644.
The Earl of Denbigh, about the middle of June, having order to advance into Shropshire, to intercept a Quantity of Ammunition going to Prince Rupert, failed in his design, for the same was carried another way; whereupon he, with the Advice and Assistance of Colonel Mitton Governour of Wem, marched to Draiton, where leaving a good Reserve, he advanced to Oswelstree, and with a Forlorn Hope, consisting of two hundred Foot and two Troops of Horse, faced the Town on the 23d of June, at Two of the clock in the Afternoon; and within an hour after play'd so fiercely on the Town with small and great Shot, that a Breach was made in the Wall, and with the loss of one or two Men, and three wounded, entred the Town: whereupon those within fled to the Church, and thence to the Castle, where being shut up, and the Pioneers set to work, and order given for firing the Gates with Pitch, they came to a Parley, and surrender'd it upon Quarter. There were taken Prisoners Lieutenant-Col. Birdwell Deputy-Governour (for Sir Abraham Shipman the Governour was then at shrewsbury) four Captains, about three hundred common Soldiers, two hundred Musquets, a hundred Pikes, and some Powder. The Town, to prevent Plundering, agreed to raise 500l. for the Soldiers. The Earl left Col. Mitton Governour there, and hasten'd into Lancashire.
Besieged by Col. Marrow, June 29.; Relieved by Sir Tho. Middleton, July 2.
But in few days after, to regain this Town, about fifteen hundred Horse, and about three thousand Foot, of the King's Forces, (drawn out of divers Garisons) under Command of Col. Marrow, appeared before it, June 29. On the first notice of whose approach, Mitton dispatch'd away an Express to Sir Tho. Middleton for Relief; who on Sunday, June 30. with such Forces of Horse and Foot as he had with him, and the Assistance of three Cheshire Regiments, Viz. Col. George Booth's, led on by himself, Col. Manwaring's and Col. Croxon's, advanced from Knotsford, (where before they were preparing to march to Manchester, and so to the North, according to an Order of the Committee of both Kingdoms) that Night to Spurslow-Heath, and Buntury in Cheshire, being about fourteen miles; on the Monday to Fens-Hall in Flintshire, eleven miles; and on Tuesday July the second, about two a-clock in the Afternoon came within sight of Oswelstree, which the Besiegers by Battering and Storming had attacked most furiously, and had got possession of the Church; but the rest of the Town and the Castle holding out, upon notice of Middleton's Advance, they drew off, and prepared to receive him, about three miles distance from the Town, and lined the Hedges with Musqueteers. Col. Marrow with his Horse charged most fiercely upon Middleton, and the Dispute for some time was doubtful, each side being three times forced to retreat, and as often advanc'd to another Charge. But at last Middleton's Foot coming up to the Relief of his Horse, they put Col. Marrow's Party to an absolute slight, and pursued them some miles towards Shrewsbury. There were taken the Lord Newport's eldest Son, a Captain of Horse, and one Captain Swyneston, two hundred common Soldiers, most of them Welsh. Middleton lost Capt. Williams, and a Captain-Lieutenant, with several of his Horses, and some Troopers, and many wounded.
The Lord Ogleby taken by the Parliament, Aug. 15.
The Lord Ogleby (a Scotch Lord) and Lieutenant-Colonel Huddleston, marching towards Latham-House, August the 15th, with about four hundred Horse, fell upon a Party of the Parliament's under Colonel Doddington at Ribble-Bridge near Preston in Lancashire, and had utterly routed them, had not Colonel Shuttleworth (who quartered near) come to their assistance; who then charged the Lord Ogleby so desperately with their united Strength, that his Troops were broken, his Lordship, Lieutenant-Colonel Huddleston, and several others taken Prisoners: But of Doddington's Men, twelve only carried away Prisoners, and several slain.
Col. Marrow flain near Chester, Aug. 18.
On the 18th of August, Colonel Marrow Governour of Chester fell upon a Party of Brereton's Forces near Crowton-house, where they kept a Garison, and took fourteen of them Prisoners: but paid dear for it, himself there receiving a Shot, whereof soon after he died at Chester.
Skirmish at Tarvine, Aug. 21.
August the 21st, Brereton sending out a Party from Norwich, they advanced to Tarvine, within four miles of Chester, and skirmished with a Party of the King's Forces: But the Alarm being given to Chester, they sallied out of that Garison, and the Parliamentarians were forced to retreat in haste, yet carry'd Captain Gilson and some others Prisoners.
Skirmish at Malpesh, where Sir Will. Brereton's Forces had the better, Aug. 26.
About this time one that had been a Trumpeter to Prince Rupert, on some Discontent revolted to the Parliament, offering his Service to Sir William Brereton at Nantwich; whom also he informed, That a Party of the Westmoreland Forces, with Colonel Baines, Colonel Coniers, Sir Marmaduke Langdale, and others, in all consisting of about a thousand Men, were marched towards Chester by Malpess, to join with Prince Rupert's Forces there: which Intelligence, by Scouts sent out, they found to be true; whereupon on Sunday, August 25. he drew out eight Troops of Horse, and seven Foot-Companies, and the latter were mounted with the former, each Trooper carrying a Footman behind him; and on Monday morning by Break of Day were got within two miles of Malpess, where the Foot alighted, and the Horse drew into a Body, and marched before the Foot. By this time the King's Forces had Intelligence of their March, and sent out a Forlorn Hope: But Brereton's Horse not coming on that way they expected, wheeling about, got between the Town and them, and killed or took Prisoners the most of them; and then faced the Town: Whereupon the King's Forces marched out towards them in good Order, and gave them two or three gallant Charges, which the other resolutely sustained; and after a brisk Encounter, Brereton's Men forced the King's Forces to retreat in disorder, and took Prisoners, one Serjeant, Major Cromwell, Major Maxey, Major Crathorn, some other inferior Officers, and about twenty common Soldiers.
Middeleton takes thirtysix Barrels of Powder, &c. in Montgomeryshire, Sept. 4.
The Fight at the relieving of Montgomery-Castle, Sept. 18. where the King's Forces were worsted by Meldrum, Brereton and Middleton.; Sir William Fairfax flain.
Sir Thomas Middleton having received Orders from the Committee of both Kingdoms to march into Montgomeryshire, set forwards from Oswelstree upon the third of September; and marching all night, got by morning to New-Town in Montgomeryshire, where a Party of the King's Forces were quartered, whom he surprized, and took Sir Thomas Gardiner (Son of the late Recorder of London) who was Captain of a Troop of Horse, with his Cornet and about forty Troopers, Prisoners: He also took four Waggons loaden with Ammunition, containing thirty-six Barrels of Powder, and twelve of Brimstone, good quantities of Match, &c. which were intended for the Supply of Leverpool, Chester, and other Garisons of the King's, which were in great want thereof, and could not for any Money be elsewhere supplyed. From thence, on the fourth, he advanced to the Town of Montgomery, where the Castle, a Place of great Strength, was kept by the Lord Herbert of Cherbury, but in a kind of Neutrality hitherto, not declaring either for King or Parliament: But now at Middleton's Entrance into the Town, upon a Treaty, he admitted his Forces into the Castle, but continued in it himself, and there was laid up the before-mentioned Powder and Ammunition. To regain which, the King's Forces in those Parts suddenly drew together, (about two thousand of Prince Rupert's Horse having some time before broke through Lancashire, and scattered themselves in that and the adjacent Counties of North-Wales) who being reinforced with Foot out of several Garisons, making in all near four thousand Men, under the Conduct of the Lord Byron, advanced towards Montgomery; which obliged Middleton (leaving all his Foot with my Lord Herbert and Colonel Price in the Castle) to hasten away with his Horse to Oswelstree; but not with such speed, but my Lord Byron's Troops cut off some of them in the Rear, and laid a close and fierce Siege to Montgomery-Castle; to relieve which, Middleton sent for Succours both into Cheshire and Hampshire: whereupon Sir John Meldrum, and Sir William Brereton, and Sir William Fairfax, all joined with him, making a Body of three thousand, and upwards; with whom, on the 17th of September, they came up to Montgomery, and lay that Night at a small distance in the Field. Upon their Approach the Lord Byron drew off from the Castle, and placed himself on a Mountain above it; Meldrum, who commanded the Parliament's Forces there in chief, resolv'd not to go to them, but to endeavour to revictual the Castle, and for that purpose sent out Parties to bring in Provisions; which the Lord Byron perceiving, marched down in a Body with his Horse and Foot in excellent Order, and came up to the Ground where Meldrum and his Party were drawn up, and gave them Battel, endeavouring to break through them, to regain a Bridge they had possessed themselves of the Night before, whereby they would have cut off all Passage for their Retreat; and in the first Charges the King's Troops had much the better, forcing Meldram's Horse to retreat several times, but still they rallied: It came to Push of Pike, and therein my Lord Byron had also the Advantage, having more Pikes than the Enemy. Sir William Fairfax charged most valiantly, and engaged himself so far, that, being fore wounded, he was taken Prisoner, yet rescued by some of his own Men, and carried off, but died the next day of his Wounds. After about an hour's close Fight, the Parliament's Party began to prevail, and then, in short time, put the Lord Byron's Forces to flight, and pursued them some Miles, doing great Execution, and taking Prisoners, Col. Broughton, Col. Sir Tho Tilsley, Lieut. Col. Bladwell, Major Williams, 9 Captains, 17 Lieutenants, 3 Cornets, 22 Ensigns, and above 1000 Prisoners, and 1500 Arms. The Parliament's Party much lamented the Death of Sir William Fairfax, as also of Major Fitz-Simons, who was likewise slain here; but, besides those, would not acknowledge above 60, or thereabouts, on their side killed, and near 100 wounded: but gave out, that they killed at least 400 of the Lord Byron's Men, besides those taken Prisoners.
The taking of Liverpool by Meldrum, Novemb. 1.
Sir John Meldrum having for some time laid siege to Liverpool in Lancashire, and reduced the Garison therein to great Starits, and yet the Officers refusing to surrender it, about fifty of the English Soldiers made their Escape out of the Town, and drove along with them what Cattel they could, and came in to Meldrum; which those that remained in the Town perceiving, and being most of them Irish, and fearing they should be exempt from Quarter, therefore to make their Commanders, and delivered them Prisoners to Meldrum, who thereupon got possession of the Town; where were taken two Colonels, two Lieutenant-Colonels, three Majors, fourteen Captains, great Store of Ordnance, Arms, and Ammunition. The Royalists, to avoid Plunder, had shipped most of their best Goods and Treasure, intending to convey the same to Beaumaris, but those of the other Party gave notice thereof; so that Meldrum's Soldiers manned out Long-Boats, and took and made Booty thereof.