Historical Collections of Private Passages of State: Volume 6, 1645-47. Originally published by D Browne, London, 1722.
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Chap IV. His Majesty's Marches after the Battel of Naseby, the proceedings of the Scots Army in England, and other Military Transactions to the end of the year. 1645.
His Majesty after the fatal Battel at Naseby, June 14th, Retreated towards Hereford, and so to Ragland, and other parts in Wales to Recruit his Army; from whence about the beginning of August he advanced with about 3000 Horse by the way of Ludlow, and so to Litchfield. Aug. the 8th, the Scots (who by this time were set down before Hereford, as shall be related in convenient place) sending out a strong Party of Horse under Lieutenant General David Lesley, to attend his Motions. On Wednesday, Aug 13th, his Majesty Quartered about Titbury and Ashburn, where Sir John Gell Skirmisht with his Rear, but was beat of, and some of his Men taken Prisoners. On the 15th the King came to Welbeck-House, and there was Reinforced with Horse and Dragoons from Newark. It was believed that his Majesty then designed for the North, to Joyn with Montross, who about that time was Master of the Field in Scotland. To prevent which Major General Poyntz was Posted with above 2000 Horse about Doncaster and Rotheram, with whom Col. Rossiter, and the Staffordshire and Derbyshire Horse were hastening to joyn; so that his Majesty finding his Passage that way Intercepted (the Pass at Ferrybriggs being secured, and Lesley ready to joyn with the Enemy) turn'd back Southwards, and from Newark fell into the Associated Counties, and having lain one Night at Belvoir-Castle, made his next Head-Quarters Stamford in Lincolnshire, and march'd with such speed that on Sunday the Van of his Army (which consisted only of Horse and Dragoons) came to Huntington, where at the Bridge Capt. Bennet with his Foot-Company opposed them, until he himself, his Lieutenant, and many, of his Men being slain, they forc'd their Entrance, and became Masters of that Town, where the King Quartered on Monday th 25th of August, and gave Cambridge several Alarms, and faced it with a Party of Horse, but then drew oft, and on Tuesday lay at Wooburn, but his Troops spread themselves in several Parties through Bedfordshire, and part of Hartfordshire, some of them coming as far as Margret-Street, not above five miles beyond St. Albans, and on Wednesday his Majesty was in Person at Dunstable, but most of his Forces Quarter'd about Bissiter, and on the 28th of August repaired to Oxford, where the Day before the Lord Keeper Littleton departed this Life. In this sudden and unexpected March, his Majesty's Horse got great Booty out of those Countries adhering to the Parliament through which they pass'd, especially at Huntington.
His Majesty taking with him what Forces might be spared, on the 31st of August march'd from Oxford to Cambden, and the Two Houses fearing that his Design was either to raise the Siege of Hereford or Bristol (whereof the former was at that time Invested by General Leven and the Scots, the latter by Fairfax) gave immediate Orders that Major General Poynts and Col. Rossiter should draw what Forces they could together, and attend the Kings Motions, holding Correspondence with Leven or Fairfax, according as they found either of them in danger of being Attacked. But the Scots upon the King's approach (and for the reasons herein after mentioned) raised their Siege before Hereford of their own accord, and began to march homewards; and soon after his Majesty recieved the unexpected News of the loss of Bristol, being Surrendred by Prince Rupert on the Eleventh of September to Sir Thomas Fairfax.
The King after the Retreat of the Scots visited Hereford, and continued there and at Worcester and Ludlow, till about the 20th of that Month, Poyntz with considerable Forces lying between him and Oxford. Sometime before this the Parliaments Forces Besieging Beeston-Castle, not far from West-chester, on a sudden Col. Jones who Commanded the Horse, with Adjutant General Louthian, who Commanded the Foot, drew off thence a Party of 1300 Horse and Foot about Eight a Clock in the Evening, and advancing all Night with a Still-march, came the next Morning about Four a Clock before Chester on the East Gate side, and divided their Forces into four Squadrons to Storm the Works in so many several places, and got upon the Works in some places before the Guards discovered them, and so with little loss made themselves Masters of the Forest-Street, with the Bar, St John's Church, Barker's Lane, &c. with the Mayor's House, Sword and Mace, and thereby much assrightned and straitned the City; before which they continued, expecting daily Sir William Brereton with more Forces to joyn with them; wherefore to prevent if possible the loss of so important a place (and so convenient for the Landing of the Forces from Ireland, who every minute were expected) his Majesty with about 5000 Horse and Foot drain'd out of several Garrisons, advanced that way, and Major General Poyntz follows with all expedition after him; and on Routon Heath within some two miles of Chester, began to Engage with his Majesty's Forces,, who Charged with such Resolution that they routed the Major, and were in pursuit of him, when at the same; Instant Col. Jones and Adjutant Louthian having drawn out 500 Horse, and 300 Foot from their Leaguer before Chester, came up to his Assistance, Charging the King's Troops on the other side, which gave Poyntz's Men an Opportunity to Rally, and then there began a most furious fresh Encounter, wherein at last the King's Forces having to deal with Poyntz in the Front, and Jones in the Rear, were discomfited, five or six hundred of them slain upon the place, among whom was the Lord Berty Stuart Earl of Litchfield; many Officers and Persons of Quality, and above 1000 Common Soldiers taken, his Majesty himself not without Difficulty retiring with the Remainder into Wales; where having staid some Days about Denbighshire to refresh and recruit his Forces, being attended with the Lord Loughborough, General Garard, Sir Marmaduke Langdale, and other Great Commanders, and an Army of about 3000 Fighting Men, came on the Second of October to Litchfield, the next day to Melburn, and on the 4th to Newark, where he continued till about the beginning of November; his Horse being Quarter'd at Belvoir, Worton, Welbeck, and Sleford. But Poyntz and great Numbers of the Parliaments Forces drawing round that way, and having on Monday, Novemb. 3. taken by Storm Shelford Manor (the Earl of Chesterfield's House) where the Garrison consisting of about 200, were most of them put to the Sword, and the Governour, Son to the Earl of Chesterfield dangerously Wounded. His Majesty apprehending to be Besieged in Newmark, took the Opportunity whilst the Parliamentarians were Engaged before that House, to march away in the Night with a Party of Horse to Daintry, where the Earl of Northampton met him with a greater Body, and conducted him to Banbury, and so to Oxford, where he arrived Novemb. the 6th, and continued there and thereabouts all the rest of this Year, sending divers Messages to the Two Houses about a Treaty for Peace: All which together with their Answers you will find in the subsequent Chapter of Civil Tranfactions.
After the Surrender of Newcastle to the Scottish Army in Octob. 1644 (whereof we have before given an Account) part of their Forces laid Siege to Carlisle, which was resolutely defended by the Governour Sir Tho. Glemham; but being reduced to the utmost Extremity, and without any prospect of Relief, he Surrendred it to them June the 28th upon Honourable Conditions, viz. to march out with Horse and Arms, Colours Flying, Drums Beating, and a Convoy, to Skipton or Newark; to which latter he march'd with about eighty Horse, and 500 Foot.
And four days after Scarborough-Castle (that held out a long Siege under Sir Hugh Cholmley, and before which Sir John Meldrum upon a Salley in May had been Wounded, whereof he afterwards died) did also Surrender to Sir Mat. Bointon upon Articles, which were much grumbled at by some of the Parliaments Party as too favourable, being as follows.
Articles agreed and concluded upon the Twenty second Day of July 1645, betwixt the Honourable Sir Matthew Boynton, Knight and Baronet, one of the Military Committee for the Northern Association: Col. Francis Lassels, Col. Simon Needham, Commanders in chief of the Forces for the King and Parliament in Scarborough: And the Honourable Sir Hugh Cholmley, Knight and Baronet, Governour of the Castle there; concerning the Rendition thereof to the Persons before named.
I. That the Castle be Surrendred upon Friday next, beng the Twenty fifth Day of this Instant July 1645, by Twelve of the Clock at Noon: That all the Arms, Ordnance, Ammunition, Provision and Goods of what sort soever, now in, and about the Castle: (except what is hereafter excepted) shall be delivered to the Commanders in Chief in Scarborough, or to whom they shall appoint, to the Use of the King and Parliament.
III. That the Governour Sir Hugh Cholmley, and those Officers, and Gentlemen Soldiers, if he desire it, shall have a safe Convoy from hence into Holland, or be safely conveyed to Newark, whether they shall chuse and if any after their coming to Newark shall then resolve to go into Holland, giving notice thereof within six Days to the Committee for Military Affairs at York, they shall have Passes from thence, to take Shipping at Hull, Scarborough, and Birdlington-Key, and be there Accommodated paying small Rates, so that they take the first Opportunity or Wind and Shipping, And such other who desire them, shall have Passes from the said Committee to go to the King's Army, or any of his Garrisons, as they please; they travelling not above Twenty in a Company, where the Governour or Colonel shall be in Person, otherwise not above Ten in a Company; the time to be permitted in their several Passes, as the distance of the Places they go to shall require; none of them passing through any Garrison for the King and Parliament, if there be any other way.
IV. That no Person whatsoever going from this Castle, be Plundered, Arrested, or staid upon any ground or pretence whatsoever, and in such Case upon complaint made to the aforesaid Committee at York, to be speedily redressed.
V. That the Lady Cholmley shall have liberty to live at her own House in Whitby, and enjoy such Part of her Estate, as is allowed by Ordinance of Parliament: That she may have two Men-servants, and two Horses to carry herself, and such necessary things as shall be granted her.
VI. That all inferior Officers, Common Soldiers, and others, who have desire to live at Home, shall have Passes granted them for that End, and shall not be forced to take up Arms against their Minds: That the Sick and Wounded shall be provided for until their Recovery, and then have Passes to travel to what Place they please, having sufficient time allowed for their Journey, and two Persons permitted to take care of them.
VII. That the Governour march on his own Horse, with Sword, Pistols, and Defensive Arms; and all Field-Officers upon their own Horses with their Swords and Pistols, all Captains whatsoever, Lieutenants, Cornets of Horse in like manner, three Servants of the Governour, and one for every Field-officer as aforesaid, and all other Officers and Soldiers whatsoever on Foot, without any other Arms than their Swords, and not to be compelled to march above ten Miles a Day.
VIII. That all Officers and Soldiers may carry upon their Persons what is really their own; that nothing be carried in Cloth-bags or Snap-sacks, but their own wearing Apparel, Writings, Evidences and Bills.
IX. That every Officer, Gentleman and Clergy-man, may have liberty to buy, or lawfully procure a travelling Horse for himself and his Servant, and that all Sick and Lame-men may enjoy the same Priviledge.
X. That all Gentlemen of Quality and Clergy-men have liberty to march, Gentlemen with their Swords; that none of them carry obove the value of 5 l. in Money or Plate about their Persons, and nothing in their Cloth-bags, but as is expressed in the Eighth Article.
XI. That there be no fraud or deceit whatsoever used, in spoiling or imbezilling any thing before mentioned, or comprized in these Articles; and if any of them shall be violated, the Party offending shall be delivered to the Commander in chief where the Fact shall be done, to give Satisfaction for his Offence, and his particular Act shall not be understood as a breach of these Articles, nor be prejudicial to any other.
Whilst these things were Transacting, part of the Scot's Forces were Ordered into Lancashire, to assist Sir William Brereton, but the Gross of their Army hover'd to and fro, sometimes advancing Southward, and sometimes Retreating, as being 'tis likely apprehensive of the King's breaking Northwards to join with Montross, (who about this time was very victorious in Scotland) till some time after the Battle at Naseby; and then towards the latter end of June they advanced to Nottingham, whence on the second of July they came to Melton Mowbray, the next Day to Tamworth, and on the fifth to Bromingham, and so in Parties to several Places of Worcestershire, and Herefordshire, obstructing the King from making New Levies in those Parts; and the House of Commons appointed Commissioners to Reside in that Army for the better Satisfaction of their Proceedings.
The first Attempt of the Scots was upon Canon-Froom, a Garrison of the King's about the Mid-way between Worcester and Hereford, where Col. Barnold was Governour, to whom the Earl of Calendar sent a Summons, and the Governour returned the following Answer.
You demand this House for the King and Parliament, my Commission is by the King alone, and if I may see a Command under his Majesty's Hand, I shall with all willingness obey it, until then I cannot give that Account as is expected from me; nor will I resign it upon any other Conditions, so long as I shall have Life, only rest
Hereupon the Scots resolv'd to Storm the Place, and met with a brave Defence; the Garrison holding out till seventy of them were kill'd, the Governour mortally Wounded, and then the Scots became Masters of it; taking two Captains, and not above thirty other Prisoners. And soon after Col. Harlow (Son to Sir Robert Harlow, a Member of the House of Commons) was appointed to be Governour thereof, and to Garrison it with the Foot he had raised in Gloucestershire.
Being very desirous to speak with my Uncle the Earl of Calendar about some private Business of my own; and conceiving also that I may be able to say somewhat to your Lordship worth your Consideration, in relation to the Publick Good; I shall esteem myself obliged, if your Lordship please to favour me with a safe Conduct to wait upon you, Resting, my Lord,
Having the Honour of so near Relation to your Lordship, and being persuaded that over and above, some private Business of my own, I can impart somewhat to your Lordship, which, if timously considered, might very much conduce jointly to the Good of my Country, the King's Service, and the Honour of our Nation, I have obtained permission to come over and speak to your Lordship, if you shall be pleased to procure me a safe Conduct, wherein you shall much oblige, my Lord,
I Receiv'd your Letter, wherein you desire a safe Conduct to speak with the Earl of Calendar about some private Business of your own, and with myself about the Publick; whereto I return this Answer, That upon good Considerations I cannot yield to your desires; nor do I think it sitting that you or any of your Party should repair to this Army to speak with myself or any else here, about the Business of the Publick, wherein if you have any thing to say of worthy Consideration, you may Follow the strait and publick way, applying yourself to the Parliament, or Committees of both Kingdoms, and not make your Address to me, who am not to speak or hear any thing of Publick Concernment, but what shall be Recommended to me by them. I shall add nothing, but remain
I Receiv'd yours, and shall be ever willing to witness my Interest to you, wherein I can be steadable in your own particular and private Business: But for these Matters of Publick Concernment which you would communicate to me, tho' your Affection and Judgment in these Affairs, hath not hitherto been such as I would have desired, yet if now God hath given you better Thoughts towards the Good of his Cause, and the Peace of these Kingdoms, and that you do really apply yourself that way, I wish your Discretion had carried you to have made your Address to those to whom Matters of that kind do belong, namely to the Parliaments of both Kingdoms, or their Committees, who will be very willing to hear of you what may tend to the Glory of God, Honour of the King, and Peace of the Kingdom: All which I am confident are the Desires of all Honest Men, and of none more than of
And now the Question was, Whether the Scots should set down before Worcester or Hereford At the first they would more easily and better be provided of all Necessaries, both for the Siege, and Entertainment of the Soldiers; the King had not another Pass upon the Severn, and it brought much Trade to London: But on the other side, Hereford was nearer the King's Quarters, where they could more hinder his Recruits, and break his Forces, and thereby Worcester too would in a manner be Block'd up, the Parliaments Troops having three sides of it already; therefore it was concluded they should attempt the latter, and accordingly drew before it July the 30th, and next Day sent in this Summons.
Our appearance before you in this Posture is for no other End, but for the settling of Truth with Peace in England, without the least desire to shed the Blood of any Subject in it: Our by-past Actions may be a sufficient Evidence thereof. This is to Summon and require you to deliver up the City unto me, to be kept for the use of his Majesty and the Parliament of England, whereunto if you shall be so wise and happy as to condescend, you may have Conditions Honourable and Safe; but if otherwise worse Counsel shall so far prevail with you, as to contemn this Offer, I am persuaded all the World, and you also will acquit us of the manifold Inconveniences which will undoubtedly ensue upon your Refusal. Consider sadly of your own Condition, and of those now under your Charge, whose Blood will be laid upon your Account, and return Answer unto me within three Hours after the Receipt hereof. Given at the Leaguer before Hereford this last Day of July about Ten of the Clock in the Forenoon.
We the Commissioners appointed by the Parliament of England, to reside in the Scotish Army, foreseeing the great Miseries and Calamities that are like to ensue in this City of Hereford, in case the Summons sent by his Excellency General Leven shall be refused by the Governour, have thought good to give you timely advice to put to your utmost Endeavours that a positive and satisfactory Answer may be returned thereunto, left that by a wilful delay or refusal you bring utter ruin and destruction not only upon yourselves, but all that are with you, which will not lie in the power of any to prevent. From the Leaguer before Hereford, July 31. 1645.
I Am not to give up the King's Garrisons upon any Summons or Letter, neither shall it be in the power of the Mayor, or other, to condescend to any such Proposition made unto them: I was set in here by the King's Command, and shall not quit it but by Special Order from his Majesty or the Prince: And with this Resolution I shall persist. In Hereford this last of July 1645.
A Declaration of his Excellency the Earl of Leven.
Lest the misrepresentation of our Affairs at a distance, and the misconstructions of such as want Affection, might possibly beget a misunderstanding of the reality and sincerity of our Intentions and Desires, to be useful to this Kingdom, and to improve every Opportunity and advantage for advancing the Publick Service; I have thought it necessary to declare and make known the Grounds and Reasons of the rising of this Army from the Siege of Hereford, which are as follow.
At our first undertaking of this Service we had large Promises, for furnishing and providing our Army with Victuals, and with all Materials necessary for a Siege; in both which we have been exceedingly disappointed. Concerning the first, the Honourable Houses of Parliament did appoint 200 l. per diem to be Assessed upon Herefordshire, and the adjacent Counties, to be paid to the Infantry of the Army, whereof they never received a farthing, but for the most part have been left to their own shift, and constrained to eat Fruit and the Corns that were growing upon the ground, and now for these fix or seven Months past, have received but one Months Pay, which was advanced by the City of London.
As the Army hath been much discouraged for want of necessary Provisions for their maintenance, so the Service hath been exceedingly retarded by the want of Battering Pieces and Ball, for we had only from Gloucester three Guns of Eighteen Pound Ball, and to each of them fifty Ball, so that we were forced to send to the Iron Mills to cause more Ball to be cast, which spent a great deal of time; we entertained fifty Miners, and when the Mines were brought to perfection, they were drowned by reason of eight days continual Rain, the Town being low in Situation: Notwithstanding all which discouragements, after consultation with the General Officers, Orders were issued upon Monday the first of this Instant, to the several Regiments, to make ready for a Storm against the next Morning; but within a few Hours after these Orders were issued, there came a Messenger from Evesham with intelligence that the King's Horse, being about 3000, had a Rendezvous on Broadway and Cambden-Hill, and were marching to Worcester: This Intelligence was immediately confirmed by Letters from the Committee of Evesham, and from Gloucester, to the Commissioners of Parliament, and from Col. Freeman, and Col. Devereux, (who sent a Copy of a Letter which he had from one of his Servants;)some of those Informations say the Enemy was 7000, and others say 6000, and at least 3000. All this could, not have made us alter our former Resolutions, but at the same time we received a Letter from Lieutenant General David Lesley, shewing that he was gone to Scotland with the whole Party of Horse and Dragoons under his Command. In this conjuncture we were not a little perplexed how to carry ourselves, for when we thought upon all the pains and hazards we had undergone, and the fair probability of our speedy compassing the end we proposed therein, we were very desirous to have continued in our Resolutions, and the next day to have adventured a Storm; but the Enemies Forces consisting in Horse and Dragoons, and we having no considerable strength of Horse to interpose betwixt us and their Quarters, which were so near, that they might easily have assaulted us before our Breaches could be made, and so have interrupted us in the midst of the Action; it was generally conceived a very dangerous Attempt, for if the Enemies Forces should fall upon us before we could enter the Town, it was the apparent Ruin and Destruction of the Army: And albeit we had been assured to carry the Place before the King's Forces could have come this length, (which by our Intelligence we find was not possible for us to do) yet having no considerable strength of Horse to Oppose the Enemy, all the Ways and Passages had been close shut up by their Cavalry, all accommodation of Draughts and Provisions of Victuals had been totally cut off, besides many more Inconveniences, from which we knew no Way how to be relieved. For preventing of all which, and the preservation of this Army, for the Publick Good of both Kingdoms, (which is the measure of our Desires, and the End of all our Actions) after a full Debate and serious Deliberation, it was resolv'd by the Committee of both Kingdoms, risiding with this Army, that the Siege should be raised, and thereupon Orders were given for drawing off the whole Body of the Army to the open Fields, which was accordingly performed next Morning, without any Loss upon our Side, and the Enemy several Times sallying forth, both with Horse and Boat, were beaten back with the Loss of divers, both Officers and Soldiers. These Grounds and Reasons impartially Weighed, will Evidence a conjuncture of Necessities laid upon us for preferring the safety of the Army to the uncertain Event of a Dangerous Assault, in the now Posture of Affairs, when a Cruel Enemy is Master of the Fields in Scotland, and for these three Weeks past, hath robbed, plundered and spoiled the Substance of that Kingdom at his Pleasure, destroying the Lands and Houses of the well-affected by Fire, and Imprisoning their Persons, for all which he pretended no other Quarrel, bur the Assistance given by us to this Kingdom; which as it was performed with much readiness and cheerfulness, and no less Expence in the hardest Season of the Year, and when this Kingdom was in its lowest Condition; so we are confident to meet with the like kindness and cheerful Affection in the Day of our Calamity, when the Lord is pleased to hide his Countenance from us for our Sins and Provocations against him.
Knowing the great Importance that the Knowledge of the Motion of the King's Army may be unto you, in Discharge of our Duty; these are to signifie unto you that yesterday the King's Army kept their Rendezvous near Marton in Marsh, where the King was in Person: (since we hear he is gone to Oxford.) This Morning his Army Rendezvoused upon Broad-way-Hills, and are marching over Bidford-Bridge, and thence to Worcester, as Prisoners taken by us inform us. Their Commanders in Chief, are General Gerrard, and Sir Marmaduke Langdale; their Number about 3000 Horse, scarce any Dragoons. Their Horse are much spent with their long Marches: How far this may concern Hereford, referred to your Judicious Consideration, by
We have Intelligence but now, from the Committee of Worcester, which we were by them desired to Communicate to you, that upon Saturday last the King's Army kept their Rendezvous near Marton in Marsh, (where the King was in Person) that yesterday Morning the King kept his Rendezvous upon Broad-Way-Hills, and did march over Bidford-Bridge, and thence to Worcester, they were about 3000 Horse, few Dragoons, or none, their Horse much spent, Commanded by Langdale, and Gerrard: The King himself is gone to Oxford. The which having acquainted you with, we rest assured, that you will presently Acquaint the General, with
May it please your Excellency,
No sooner had I addressed myself to the Obedience of your Commands in settling Part of our Brigade in a ready Posture to serve your Excellency, but I receiv'd this Intelligence: That the Enemy fell upon Capt. Bernard, and Capt. Ennes Quarters at Cambden, and took all their Men but two, which brought me the News thereof: they tell me that they march 6000 strong in Horse, but neither Train of Artillery, nor Infantry attending them. The smallest Number I hear of is 3000, very able Horses newly recruited out of the Associated Counties, and joining with Oxenford, Wallingford, Woodstock, Radford, Farington, and Banbury Horse. I am uniting all the Foot possibly I may, and have drawn all my Horse to pursue the Rear, and if their Army come towards your Excellency, I will leave that pursuit, and draw all the Force I can to serve you. In the mean Time I shall beg your Excellency to esteem me
These are to certifie you that his Majesty came yester-night into Worcester; they say he hath 7000 Soldiers; the Speech is amongst the Soldiers, they are this Day to go to Cannon-Froom; if you please to send by this Messenger where I shall meet some other Man to Morrow Morning, you shall have further Intelligence, and in the interim I will use the best Means I can to further the Business.
May it please you Excellency,
I Did acquaint you formerly with my Resolution to go to Scotland with four Regiments of Horse, and a Regiment of Dragoons, and leave the rest under the Command of General Major Middleton; but I am since forced to alter that Resolution, for the sad News of the last Defeat of our Army near Kilsith, and of the Enemies being Master of the Field at Home being noised abroad amongst the common Soldiers, they all openly professed that none of them would stay, but all go for relief of their Native Country. Upon which consideration, and the confidence that Col, General poyntz professed to me, that with his own and the rest of the Country Forces, he was strong enough to oppose the king. I have marched with the whole Party for Scotland, expecting your further Orders, which shall be carefully obeyed by
The Scots marched away to Gloucester, and so towards Warwick Northwards; Lieut. Gen. David Lesley being with a strong Party of Horse and Dragoons gone some time before into Scotland, of whose Encounter with the Marquess of Montross We shall have occasion to speak in the particular Chapter of the Affairs of that Kingdom.
On the 23d of Septemb. the Commons Ordered that the Scotish Army in England should be desired to sit down before Newark, and that they should lay no Assessments or Contributions on Any County in this Kingdom, but that the Eastern Association should pay 1400l. per Week to the said Scot's Army for their maintenance. And on the 6th of Octob. added, That at their sitting down before that Garrison they should have 30000 Pounds paid them, with provision of Match, Powder, Bullet and other Necessaries; which on the 13th they qualified thus, That the Scots should have the said 30000l. paid them if they should fit down before Newark by the first of November next, or else not. And also on the Report that one Mr. Case was to be tryed by a Council of War of the Scotish Army, Voted, That the Scotish Army in this Kingdom have no power to Try any English Man by Martial Law, and that the said Mr. Case ought to have satisfaction therein.
2. That the Receding of the Scotish Army into those Parts of Yorkshire where they now are, is not so, useful to this Kingdom, as if they came and sat down before Newerk, neither ought they to lay Taxes on the Country where they come, without making satisfaction.
Also Commissioners were sent down to Treat with the Scots Commissioners, touching the Scots rendition of all the Forts, Castles and Places Garrison'd by them in England, and upon their return, the reasons alledg'd to the contrary were held insufficient and a Letter Ordered to be sent to the Parliament of Scotland about it.
At last the Scots did according to the Two Houses Directions come back to Newark, and Joyned. with the Forces Besieging that Town, where they continued till the beginning of May following, at which time his Majesty thought fit to come privately to their Army, and intrust his Royal Person with them, as shall be related in its proper Place.
As for the rest of the. Military Occurrences of this Year 1645, considerable, and not comprehended under any of the Heads before mentioned, take them in the Series of time when they were Transacted, as follows.
On the first of Angust Major General Langhorn of the Parliaments side, drawing out some Forces out of the Garrisons of Pembroke and Tinby, Engaged Major General Stradling, and Major General Egerton, with about 1000 Foot, and 400 Horse, and four Field-pieces on Colby-Moor, three Miles from Haverford West; a sharp Encounter there was, both sides fighting briskly for above an Hour, but in Conclusion the Royal Horse gave Ground and deserted their Foot, so that besides 150 kill'd on the Place, and in the Pursuit, there were near 600 taken Prisoners, amongst whom some Men of Note, as Lieutenant Col. Price, Major Brande, Major Guddinge, Seven Captains, Four Guns, Five Barrels of Powder, &c. and pursued them to Haverford Town, which that Night they deserted, and next Day Langhorn entred it, and on the 5th Stormed and took the Castle, and therein Col. Manley the Governour, 120 Arms, &c.
About the same time Col. Morgan Governour of Gloucester, with 300 Horse, and 400 Foot, assisted by the Monmouthshire-Men, came before the Town of Chepstow, and With little difficulty gained possession of it, and then sent the following Summons to the Governour of the Castle, Col. Fitzmorris an Irish Man.
I am commanded by his Excellency Sir Thomas Fairfax to demand this Castle for the use of King and Parliament, which I require of you, and to lay down your Arms, and accept of reasonable Propositions, which will be granted both to you and your Soldiers if you observe this Summons. And further you are to consider of what Nation and Religion you are; if you refuse this Summons you exclude yourself from Mercy, and are to expect for yourself and Soldiers no better than Stinchcombe (fn. 1) Quarter; I expect your sudden Answer, and according thereunto shall rest
I have the same Reason to keep this Castle for my Master the King, as you to demand it for General Fairfax, and until my Reason be convinc'd, and my Provision decreas'd, I shall, (notwithstanding my Religion and Menaces of Extirpation) continue in my Resolution, and in my Fidelity and Loyalty to my King. As for Stinchcombe Quarter I know not what you mean by it, nor do depend upon your Intelligence for Relief, which in any Indigence I assure me of. and in that Assurance I rest
But four Days after he Surrendred upon Articles, wherein fair Quarter was granted for him and all his Soldiers as to their Lives, but to deliver up the Castle, and all Arms, Ammunition, and other things therein, and to remain Prisoners of War.
Whilst these Accidents happen'd in Wales, greater Disasters befell His Majesty's Interests in the North, the Lord Digby and Sir Marmaduke Langdale with a brave Party about 1500 Horse, advancing towards Scotland to Joyn with Montross, having surprized and taken Prisoners near 1000 of Poyntz's Foot at Sherburn in Torkshire, were suddenly Defeated, and all those Prisoners rescued, and afterwards Digby utterly Routed at Carlisle-Sands, the Circumstances whereof were thus:
Whilst the King was at Newark, on Sunday, Octob. the 12th, he marched out from thence to Welbeck, where he drew out 1200 Horse, giving the Chief Command to the Lord Digby, whom Sir Marmaduke Langdale was to accompany, with Orders to march to Scotland and joyn Montross, who complained much for want of Cavalry, and out of respect to the Lord Digby in this his new Military Imploy, above 300 Gentlemen offered themselves voluntarily to attend him. But the nature of this Expedition, and the true Grounds of Digby's Undertaking, will better appear by the following Letter of his Lordship, wrote some time after out of Ireland, and Intercepted (amongst other Papers) at padstow in Cornwall.
To Sir Edward Hide Chancellor of the Exchequer.
My Dear Chancellor,
I Seize with much Joy this Occasion that flatters me with the Hopes of conveying safe unto you, and by you unto the rest of my Friends there, an Account of my Adventures; since you heard from me, these inclosed Papers will give you a very particular Relation of all Matters of Fact; I make no Question but my Unsuccessfulness in that Employment, will give Occasion to my Enemies to Accuse me of a great Disservice to the King, in having been the Loss of so many of his Horse, not in the Conduct of them (for I apprehend not Malice itself in that Point) but in putting them upon so desperate a Design. This Point I desire you to clear by letting all, with whom you shall find the Objection, know, That although I was of Opinion, that the King himself ought to have ventured, when he was at Welbeck the Passage into Scotland, in case there had been a Certainty of my Lord of Montross's being on this side Forth, yet when that was once diverted, upon both my Intelligence and Advice, I had afterwards the least Share of any Man in the Council, of adventuring any Part of the King's Horse upon so hopeless a Design, as that of Scotland was, while we were doubtful of my Lord of Montross's Condition; but the Northern Horse being disgusted with Gerrard, refusing absolutely to march back Southward to Welbeck, and so rather than they should Disband, it was thought fit to try whether they would be engaged to adventure to Montross, who, in all his Letters had seemed much to resent the neglect of him, in not sending him a Supply of Horse, assuring, That with the help but of 1000, he could carry through his Work: The Proposition being made to Sir Marmaduke Langdale, he at first point-blank refused it, as an Undertaking which had by Gerrard and all the rest been declared Desperate, even with all the King's Horse; but upon second Thoughts, he and all the Northern Gentlemen came to the King and told him, That if he would lay his Commands upon me to take the Charge and to go along with them, they would adventure it, otherwise not: Whereupon, I having declared my Obedience to whatsoever the King would impose upon me, His Majesty comanded me positively to that Charge, using besides his Pleasure, this Argument to me, That if I succeeded in it, I should reap much Honour; if not, I could incur no Prejudice by sailing, in that which was at first given for desperate; and so at half an Hour's warning having (I protest to God) not dream'd of the Matter before I march'd off from the Rendezvous, with an Addition only to the Northern Horse, of such as would voluntarily chuse to go with me, which proved to be a matter of three Hundred, with which I made that Progress, which you will find related in the inclosed Papers. But here I am sure you will wonder, how, I holding that Place I did near the King, and having the Honour of so great a Part in his Trust, especially at a Time when he had scarce either Councellor or Pen-man about him, should be put upon so extravagant and desperate an Employment: To this I must let you know, and such only as you shall think sit, That though I had no Thought of the present Action, yet the King and I had long before, (that is ever since his Affairs were made so desperate by the Loss of Bristol) concluded it most for his Service, that I should absent my-self from him for some time, in case I could find a fair and Honourable Pretence for it: I believe the Accidents since befallen at New rk with Prince Rupert and Gerrard, will have given you a Light of some Reasons of my Remove. The Truth, [Here follows many Lines of Characters]
Over and above these urging Reasons, as to the Time upon the Main of the King's Condition and mine, and sound the King likely to suffer much |by my stay near him, the weariness of the War being so Universal, and the [Despair of my Approvement in his Condition being so great in all about him, I sound it almost every Man's Opinion. [Here come in more Lines of Characters.]
I thought it then high time to watch an Opportunity of seeing his Majesty from an Attendant so pernicious to his Honour and Interest; and this my dearest Friend, is as much as, I think, necessary to say to you upon this Subject, hoping that by your dextrous Conveyance of it to his Highness the Prince of Wales, it will have the same Impression with him which I cannot doubt of with you.
Since my coming out of England I staid a Month for a Wind at the Isle of Man, which Time I cannot think mis-spent, having there received great Civilities from my Lord of Derby, and had the means of a particular Acquaintance with his Noble Lady, whom I think one of the wisest and generousest Persons that I have known of her Sex. From thence I and my Company were very securely conveyed hither in a light Frigate of his Lordship's, where I found all Things in a great forwardness, the Conclusion of which was expected within few Days, and great Forces (as was pretended) already in a readiness for England, under the Command of the Earl of Glamorgan the Confederates Great General and Favourite: But his Lordship being sent for by my Lord Lieutenant and myself, to confer about the ways of disposing those Aids most to the Advantage of his Majesty's Service, the Businesses contained in the inclosed Papers brake forth in such manner as you will find these set down, and obliged me to that Part of the King's Vindication, which was thought could not so properly be performed by any as myself, you will find the whole Business so fully stated in the Transactions themselves which I send you, and in my Letter to my Brother Secretary, that I shall need to say no more upon the Subject, only let me ask you, whether according to the Rules of Policy, I have not carried my Body Swimmingly, who being before so irreconcilably hated by the Puritan Party, have thus seasonably made myself as odious with the Papists. Well, my comfort is, that the very few honest Men that are in the World will love me the better, and whilst I do the Part of a Man of Integrity and Honour, I am willing to trust God with the rest. I must not conclude without telling you, that if I had been brought hither by far greater Misfortunes, I could not have repined at any thing that had given me the Happiness of so particular a Knowledge of, and Friendship with the Marquess of Ormond, who (if I can judge at all of Men) is not only the wisest young Man, but the most steady, generous, and virtuous Person that I have ever known. I conjure you, as you love Virtue, and as you love me, who have so little a Share of it, build carefully by the diligent Application upon those Grounds which I have laid for a Friendship between you; for indeed I love him so much as I cannot be at rest till we make up the Triangle equal on all sides to that Perfection wherewith I am
But to return to my Lord Digby's March: From Welbeck he speedily advanced to Doncaster, took the Centry and the Parliament Soldiers that were there fled, without making any Resistance, whose Quarters at Cusworth, and several other Towns they beat up, and so proceeded to Sherburn, where they routed Col. Wren's Regiment of Horse, and took almost a Thousand Foot Prisoners. And laid their Arms on an Heap in Sherburn-Street, till they could get Carriages to send them away; But before they could provide them, Col. Copley with a Party of about thirteen hundred came up to them, upon whose approach the Lord Digby and Sir Marmaduke drew out to meet them, and both sides Charged with extraordinary Gallantry, but after a sharp and doubtful Contest, Copley's Men had the Advantage, and put the others to the Rout, recovering not only all their own Foot and Arms, but also taking about 300 Prisoners, and many of them Persons of Note, together with the Lord Digby's, Coach, and therein several Letters and Papers, which were afterwards Printed by Order of the Two Houses, and to recite them here would too much swell this Volume.
The Principal Contents were, 1. Several Letters from Goff, (an Agent employ'd in Holland) to the Lord Jermin at Paris; and the Lord Digby, touching a Negotiation then on Foot, and wherein he was imploy'd for a Match between his Highness the Prince of Wales and the Prince of Orange's Daughter, thereby to Engage the States of Holland to Espouse the King's Interests. 2. Other Letters from the Lord Jermin at Paris to the Lord Digby touching a Treaty for bringing over the Duke of Lorrain with an Army to the King's Assistance. As also concerning Aids from the King of Denmark, and the Prince of Curland. And in one of them Dated June the 9th 1645, 'tis mention'd that Sir Kenelm Digby was arrived at Rome, had Audience of the Pope, who had given him the best Reception that the first Visit was capable of, that is, the fairest Promises in general that can be wish'd; if he may be relyed on, there are good Hopes of Money there, &c 3ly, Letters concerning Ireland, and a Treaty of Fitz-Williams Williams an Irish Man with the Queen, who propounded to bring over from thence Ten Thousand Men, &c.
This is the Substance of most of those Letters, but there being one which gives great Light to the State of the King's Affairs at that Juncture, I shall, for the Reader's Satisfaction, recite the same at large, as follows.
My Dear Lord,
It is a great Comfort to us to hear by this Express, that Her Majesty preserves Her Health notwithstanding that Trouble of Mind which our Misfortunes must needs have given Her; and that instead of dispairing, Her Majesty and you do rather improve your Diligence to procure us Aids; God send that your Hopes may succeed. For my part, I think there is more Probability in that of Denmark for Men, now the Peace is concluded with the Swedes, and for Money from Rome, than any other Way. The Business of Ireland hath hung long in Suspence, altho' the King hath long since given the Lord of Ormond Power to conclude Peace there, upon the very utmost Concession that can possibly be yielded unto, without causing a Revolt, not only of all his Party here, but also such an one of his Army, and all his Protestant Subjects there, as would make it impossible for the Irish to afford us any Aids, they would have so much to do within themselves against those that would not submit to Peace upon such Terms. The Truth of it is, the Irish have proceeded hitherto, as if they had no good Intention, having not been contented with the Offers of more than their Agents did profess to expect, and have insisted upon those Demands, the granting of which they could not but see, would be absolutely destructive to His Majesty, that is, the granting unto them the Protestant Churches in such Parishes where the Number of the Catholicks was greater, that is in effect all through Ireland. And whereas you write that perhaps my Lord of Ormond is not the fit Person to conclude that Business, but that the Management of it should be remitted to the Queen, I am much afraid that the Expectation of that in the Irish hath much retarded the hoped for Issue of the Treaty, but (God be thanked) we receiv'd Men: Now the certain News is that the Peace there is concluded, and that an Express from my Lord of Ormond is upon his way from Chester with all the Particulars. The utmost extent of my Lord of Ormond's Power to grant, was the Suspension of Pointing's Act as to the passing of such Bills as should be first agreed on; the Repeal of the Penal Laws, and the allowing the Papists some Chappels in private Places for the Exercise of their Religion; but you may not take notice that he had so large a Power, for happily he may have obtained a Peace upon a better Bargain, Thus much for that Business.
His Majesty approves very well of the Course proposed by you for such Aids as may be obtained from Denmark; but above all things let the Matter of Money be labour'd in, for without some competent Stock of that against the next Spring, it will be impossible for us ever to have a Resourse again. My former Letters will have acquainted you with our progress, since our Retreat from Wales, and the Reasons, and I make no doubt but you will be satisfied, that the King's Business hath been as well Conducted in that Retreat from Wales, as the desperateness of our Condition could admit of. And that in fine, we are likely to have gain'd the only thing we could hope for, which was to preserve His Majesty's Person safe, till the Season of the Year should secure him in any of his Principal Garrisons from the danger of a Siege. 'Tis true, I could have wisht that the Rebels had given us some leisure, either in the North, or at Huntington, (where we have done them some Mischief, and gained some Reputation) and not obliged us to go to Oxford, yet this Fortnight, but pressing us as they have done, and do, it is not to be avoided; but I hope it is not possible, that they can any ways endanger Oxford before the Winter relieve it.
You write to me to tell you freely our Condition without flattering you or myself; you will find in my Letter of late, especially by Porter, that I have not been Guilty of that Fault, nor shall I now: But the freedom which I shall at this time use in stating to you the greatest Mystery of our Misfortunes, I desire may be receiv'd by you as the Breathings out of my Soul unto my Dearest Friend by way of Prediction. It is most true, that as desperate as our Condition seems, I have no Apprehension, but that having got thus far in the Year, we shall be safe till the next, from any further great Mischiefs, and that probably by Helps from Denmark and Ireland, and Moneys from you, our Quarters being well-manag'd for the Preservation and Recruit of our remaining Forces, we may possibly have a fresh and hopeful Resource the next Spring. These Hopes I am confident the Condition of our Business itself will bear, would the Humours of our own Party bear the Patience; But alas, my Lord! we must not expect it, there is such an universal Weariness of the War, despair of a Possibility for the King to recover, and so much of private Interests grown from these upon every Body, that I protest to God, I do not know four Persons living, besides myself and you, that have not already given clear Demonstrations, that they will purchase their own, and (as they flatter themselves) the Kingdoms quiet at any Price to the King, to the Church, to the faithfullest of his Party. And to deal freely with you, I do not think it will be in the King's Power to hinder himself from being forced to accept such Conditions as the Rebels will give him; and that the next News you will hear, after we have been one Month at Oxford, will be, that I and those few others who may be thought by our Counsels to fortify the King's Infirmness to his Principles, shall be forced or torn from him, and you will find the prime Instruments to impose the Necessity upon the King, of submitting to what they and most of the King's Party at Oxford shall think fit. Truly, I have great Confidence in the King's Virtue and Steadiness, and I am much improved in it by this enclosed Letter which he wrote in his great Distress in Wales, upon Occasion of declaring unto him, there was nothing left for him to do but to seek Conditions. I protest to God I knew nothing either of the Letter or the Occasion, till a good while after it was sent; but having then gain ed a fight of it, I got leave to communicate a Copy of it only to the Queen, and to yourself. My Dear Lord, I shall add no more at this time, but only to conjure you, first, to believe, if I have any Truth or Honour in me, I have not the least unfriendly Thought in the World to-wards any mentioned or pointed at in this Letter, more than purely in relation to the King's Service. And in the next Place, that tho' I stand single against all the World, I shall not vary a Tittle from those Foundations of Justice and Right to the Honour and Interest of my Gracious Master and Mistress which I have profess'd myself built upon, and that I will in spight of the World carry to my Grave the Honour of a Servant intirely faithful and unbias'd, and of being worthy that happy Relation to you of
Nephew, This is occasion'd by a Letter of yours which the Duke of Richmond flew'd me yesterday: And first, I assure you, I have been (and ever will be) very careful to Advertise you of my Resolutions so soon as they were undertaken; and if I injoined Silence to that which was no Secret, it was not my Fault, for I thought it one, and I am sure it ought to have been so. Now as for your Opinion of my Business, and your Counsel thereupon, if I had any other Quarrel but the Defence of my Religion, Crown and Friends, you had full Reason for your Advice; for I confess that speaking as a meer Soldier, or Statesman, I must say, there is no probability but of my Ruin; yet as a Christian I must tell you, that God will not suffer Rebels and Traytors to prosper, nor this Cause to be overthrown. And whatever Personal Punishment it shall please him to inflict upon me, must not make me repine, much less give over this Quarrel; and there is as little Question that a Composition with them at this time, is nothing else but a Submission, which by the Grace of God I am resolved against whatever it cost me; For I know my Obligation to be both in Conscience and Honour, neither to abandon God's Cause, injure my Successors, nor forsake my Friends. Indeed I cannot flatter myself with Expectation of good Success more than this, to end my Days with Honour and a good Conscience, which obligeth me to continue my Endeavours, in not despairing that God may yet in due time avenge his own Cause. Tho' I must aver to all my Friends that he that will stay with me at this Time, must expect and resolve either to die for a good Cause, or (which is worse) to live as miserable in maintaining it as the Violence of insulting Rebels can make him.
Having thus truly and impartially stated my Case unto you, and plainly told you my Resolutions, which by the Grace of God I will not alter, they being neither lightly nor suddenly Grounded; I earnestly desire you not in any wise to hearken now after Treaties, assuring you that as low as I am, I will do no more than was offered in my Name at Uxbridge. Confessing that it were as great a Miracle that they should agree to so much Reason, as that I should be within a Month in the same Condition that I was immediately before the Battel at Naseby. Therefore for God's sake let us not flatter ourselves with these Conceits. And, believe me, the very Imagination that you are desirous of a Treaty will but lose me so much the sooner; wherefore as you love me, whatsoever you have already done, apply your Discourse hereafter to my Resolution and Judgment. As for the Irish, I assure you, they shall not Cheat me, but it is possible they may Cozen themselves; for be assured what I have refused to the English, I will not grant to the Irish Rebels, never trusting to that kind of People (of what Nation soever) more than I see by their Actions. And I am sending to Ormond such a Dispatch as I am sure will please you and all honest Men, a Copy whereof, by the next Opportunity, you shall have, Lastly, Be confident I would not have put you nor myself to the trouble of this long Letter, had I not a great Estimation of you, and a full Confidence of your Friendship too.
But this Defeat at Sherburn was not the worst of my L. Digby's Misfortunes, for hastening thence towards Skipton, he and Sir Maduke Langdale sent to those of the King's Party in Lancashire and Cumberland, to come and joyn with them, and endeavour'd to have pass'd by Kirby-Lunsdale, but Col. Briggs secured that Pass against them, and made them turn by the Way of the Sands about Part-mach to get into Cumberland; Lieut. Gen. Lesley was before between them and Montrss, and sent out a Brigade of about 1200 Horse under Maj. Gen. Vandruske to meet them, who made good several Passes, but my Lord and his Troops having Sir William Huddleston for their chief Guide, got over the Fords at low-Water, and so escaped. Also the Lord Balmerinoth with Forces out of the Frontiers of Scotland prepared to oppose them, but being skilful in the Ways they wheeled about and avoided him too. At last Sir John Brown a Scotch Governour of Carlisle with a Party met with them about Carlisle-Sands, and tho' inferior in Number, Charged them so furiously that he broke through their Body and routed them, kill'd divers; took my Lord's Standard, and Sir Marmaduke's, a Quarter-Master-General, One Colonel, Two Lieutenant Colonels, and several other Prisoners, and about 200 Horses and Arms: On the other side Sir John Brown was shot through his Side, Captain Lesley also Wounded, and about fifty Slain and Wounded. After this Grand Defeat, endeavouring to get to Dumfreeze, and so at last to Joyn Montross, and finding their Passage intercepted before, and all Hopes of Retreat barr'd behind, my Lord Digby and Sir Marmaduke, the Lord Carnworth, Sir William Huddleston, and about thirty Horse got the Opportunity of some Vessels on the Coasts, and Transported themselves into the Isle of Man; and from thence the Lord Digby conveyed himself into Ireland. The rest of their Forces dispersed several ways, and many of them as they straggled homewards were taken up by Vandruske, and the Northumberland Forces that stood for the Parliament. As also by Col. Briggs, with the Lancashire Troops and others.
The next ill News that arrived to his Majesty was out of the West; the City of Hereford that had withstood the Scots Army was now unexpectedly taken by a small Party: The manner thus, Col. Morgan (who upon Massey's being call'd to Command in the West, succeeded him in the Government of Gloucester) and Col. Birch who was Governour of Bath, (having Intelligence that the Garrison of Hereford, since the Remove of the Scots, lived very Secure, and Negligent, and wanting not some Correspondence in the City) drew together their Forces, amounting in all to about 2000 Horse and Foot, (viz. of Gloucester Forces 1050, and from Bath 950) resolved to attempt the Surprize of the said City of Hereford, whereunto they were encouraged by the convenient Situation of Ailston's Hill which faced the Draw-Bridge, where an Army might lie in Ambush undiscovered by the Centinels, especially since the Guards there were so secure, as to neglect sending out of Scouts, or securing Lug-Bridge, and then the Walls of the Priory within Carbineshot of the Gate, being then standing, gave an Advantage there to Lodge a Forlorn Party of Firelocks: But the main Point was they contriv'd to send an Officer, pretending himself a Constable with six Men with Mattocks and Shovels as Labourers brought by him out of his Parish upon the Summons of the Governour (which were then usually sent out to the Neighbouring Parts) to help to work in the Fortifications of the Garrison, and those coming up to the Gate just after the Draw-Bridge was let down in the Morning, were to take the Opportunity to kill the Guard, and give the Forlorn an Opportunity to enter. The Plot being thus laid, the aforesaid conjoyn'd Forces on Tuesday the 16th of Decemb. drew towards Hereford, but by reason of the deepness of the Snow, the Foot were not able to come up time enough, so that to avoid all Suspicion, they then retreated to Ledbury within about nine Miles of Gloucester, and there having refresh'd and rested themselves all Wednesday, towards Night they again began their March to Cannon-Froom, whence Captain Aldern with two Troops of Horse secured the three Bridges, viz. Lug-Bridge, Lugwarden-Bridge, and Wordifords-Bridge, by means whereof there could no Alarm or Notice pass unto the Garrison. Between Three and Four a Clock on Thursday Morning the Body of Horse and Foot Rendezvous'd together behind Ailston's Hill; then there were 150 Firelocks Commanded out under Capt. Howorth and one of Col Birch's Captains to the Priory; Lieut. Barrow who was to Act the Constable with his six Men, accoutred as Country-Labourers, got ready, and about Eight of the Clock the Draw-Bridge being let fall, brought them up thither, and produced the pretended Return of a Warrant from the Governour, specifying the Names of the Persons sent to Work, who were present with their Spades and Pickaxes, which whilst he that commanded the Guard was viewing, they kill'd him and two others, and held the rest in Play until the Firelocks rush'd up to them, and possessed the Gate, and so let in the whole Body; the Foot being led by Birch, the Horse by Morgan, who scouring the Streets prevented the Garrison from drawing into a Body, tho' they made all the Resistance they were able, under such a Surprize, so that with little Loss they became Masters of the City, which the Soldiers Plunder'd, tho' the Commanders endeavour'd to prevent it. Here were taken Prisoners the Lord Brudenell, Sir Tho. Lunsford, Sir Walter Blunt Sir Henry Spiller, Sir Henry Bedington, Sir Marmaduke Lloyd, and many other Knights, Commanders and Gentlemen, Eleven Pieces of Cannon, much Arms, Ammunition, &c.
The Two Houses appointed a Thanksgiving for this Success, and Ordered that Lieut. Barrow should have 100 l. paid him at present, and 50 l. per Annum to him and his Heirs for ever out of the Estate of Sir Henry Lingen, an Eminent Royallist in those Parts.
The next grand Loss was that of West-Chester, a Place strong in itself, as having high and broad Walls, with many Towers and Bulwarks flanking the same, and since these Wars Fortified by more than ordinary Mud-walls securing the Suburbs, and to compleat the whole, the River Dee (in some measure Navigable.) secures it on the West and South, which swells so broad and high in the Tide that no Forces by Land can restrain Relief by Sea, but besides its Strength, its Situation renders it very Advantageous, being as it were the Key of Ireland, and a Tye to unite North-Wales to Lancashire by a small Neck of Land in Cheshire five Miles over, the Rivers on both sides Fordable. This important City ever since the beginning of these Troubles, secured by the Commissioners of Array, had been kept for the King; and having so great an Ascendant on those Parts of the Kingdom, the Parliament had used great Endeavours to gain it, much Time and Treasure having been spent by Sir William Brereton for reducing thereof; and of Beeston Cattle, a Neighbouring Garrison first fortified by the Parliament, but upon the Arrival of the Forces out of Ireland with other Forces under the Command of Sir John Byron, lost by one Capt. Steel the Governour (as 'twas said) by Neglect or Cowardice, for which he was sentenc'd to Death by a Council of War and Executed; and thence forwards it remained in possession of the King's Forces till a while before the taking of Chester, and then as a Prodromus of its Neighbouring Cities fate was yielded to the Parliament.
We have before in their proper Places Occasionly mention'd several Actions relating to the Siege of Chester, needless here to be repeated, as how it was relieved, and the Forces before it forced to rise, upon the approach of Prince Rupert, how afterwards Col. Jones surprized the Out-works of the City, and the King endeavouring to relieve it, was repell'd at Routon-Moor; after which time the Besiegers both there and at Beeston Castle plied their Business more earnestly than ever, about the beginning of October 1645. sent for great Guns to Stafford and Shrewsbury, wherewith especially on the Welsh side they did great Execution, and continued Battering, and several times Storming very furiously, but without Success.
On Saturday, Octob. 25. Sir William Brereton (who had been call'd away to London) came down again, being appointed by the Parliament to Command in Chief, and having notice that Sir william Vaughan was gathering of Forces about Denbigh to raise the Siege, sent Col. Jones with 1400 Horse and Dragoons, and Adjutant Louthian with 1000 Foot to dissipate them, whom they found not to be above 2000 strong at most, yet they sought bravely; but at last Jones and Louthian put them to flight, kill'd (as was computed) one hundred, and took two or three hundred Prisoners, and several hundred Horses.
The 14th of November, Beeston-Castle after Eighteen Weeks continual Siege, being reduced to such want of Provisions that they eat Cats, &c. the Governour Col. Ballard, in compassion to his Soldiers, consented to beat a Parley, whereupon a Treaty followed, and having obtained very Honourable Conditions (even beyond Expectation in such Extremity, Viz. To march out, the Governour and Officers with their Horses and Arms, and their own proper Goods (which loaded two Wains) the common Soldiers with their Arms, Colours flying, Drums beating, Matches alight, and a Proportion of Powder and Ball, and a Convoy to Guard them to Flint-Castle. He did on Sunday the 16th of Novemb. surrender the Castle. The Garrison being reduced to not above sixty Men, who marched away according to the Conditions.
The Siege of Chester continued still with the utmost Efforts of Courage and Skill both on the Defendants part, and Assailants; for the Lord Byron buoy'd up with continual Hopes and Intelligence of Relief from Ireland, resolved, if possible, to preserve the Town; and when he perceived those Expectations fail, and began to hearken to a Treaty, insisted on very high Conditions, as appears by this Letter of Sir William Brereton's to him.
I Cannot now send you such Propositions as have been formerly rejected, every Day producing loss of Blood, and expence of Treasure; neither will I trouble myself with answering the Particulars of your unparallell'd Demands; to which if I should suit mine, I could require no less than yourself and all the Officers and Commanders to be my Prisoners, and the rest to submit to Mercy. Yet to Witness my Desires of the preservation of the City, I have upon serious Consideration and Debate, thought fit to tender these enclosed Conditions; for the perfecting whereof, I am content Commissioners meet concerning them, and such further Particulars as may be conceived conducible to the Welfare of the City and Counties adjacent, and have given Commission to these Gentlemen to receive your Answer in Writing to these Propositions of mine herewith sent, touching which I shall not be so scrupulous as to demand their Return, not valuing to what View they may be exposed, therefore they are to be left with you if you please, and remain
To this my Lord that Day return'd, that he could not at present give an Answer in regard of the several Conditions of Men therein concerned, who must be consulted; but the next Day sent his Answer thus:
These Demands of mine which you term unparallel'd, have been heretofore granted (by far greater Commanders than yourself, no Disparagement to you) to Places in far worse Condition than (God be thanked) this is yet; Witness the Basse, Breda, Maestricht, and as many other Towns as have been Beleaguer'd either by the Spaniard or the Hollander, or to come Home, York and Carlisle, and nearest of all Beeston-Castle. And therefore you must excuse me if upon the Authority of somany Examples, I have not only propounded, but think fit to insist upon them as the Sense of all manner of People in the City. As for your Conceit in the demanding of myself, and the rest of the Commanders and Officers to be your Prisoners, I would have you know, that we esteem our Honours so far above our Lives, that no Extremity whatsoever can put so mean Thoughts into the meanest of us all. And that to submit to your Mercy, is by us reckon'd amongst those things that we intend never to make use of. I am nevertheless still content that the Commissioners whose Names I formerly tender'd unto you, meet with such as you shall appoint in any indifferent Place to Treat upon Honourable Conditions, and desire you to assure yourself that no other will be assented unto you by
I Cannot believe that you conceive the War betwixt the Hollander and Spaniard is to be made a President for us: Neither can I believe that such Conditions as you demanded were granted to the Basse, Breda, or Maestricht; sure I am none such were given to York, Carlisle, or Beeston, tho' some of them were maintained by as great Commanders as yourself, and no Disparagement to you, I shall therefore offer to your Consideration on the Examples of Liverpool, Basing and Latham, who by their Refusal of Honourable Terms when they were propounded, were not long after subjected to Captivity and the Sword; you may therefore do right to all those many Innocents under your Command, to tender their Safety and the Preservation of the City; For which End I have sent you fair and Honourable Conditions, such as are the sense of all the Officers and Soldiers with me, which being rejected ycu may expect worse from
1. That the Lord Byron, and all Noblemen, Commanders, Officers, Gentlemen and Soldiers, and all other Persons whatsoever, now residing in the City of chester, and the Castle and Fort thereof, shall have Liberty to march out of the said City, Castle and Fort, with all their Apparel whatsoever, and no other or more Goods, Horses or Arms, than are hereafter mentioned, viz. The Lord Byron with his Horse and Arms, and ten Men with their Horses and Arms to attend him: Also his Lady and Servants, two Coaches and four Horses in either of them, for the accommodating of them, and such other Ladies and Gentlewomen as the said Lord Byron shall think meet, with eighty of the said Lord's Books, and all his Deeds and Evidences, Manuscripts and Writings in his Possession; The said Lord, his Lady, nor any their Attendants, carrying amongst them all above Forty Pounds in Mony, and Twenty Pounds in Plate: The rest of the Noblemen with their Ladies and Servants, to march with their Horses, each of the said Lords attended with four Men, their Horses and Arms; every such Nobleman carrying with him not above Thirty Pounds in Money: Every Knight and Colonel to march with two Men, their Horses and Arms; no such Knight or Colonel to carry with him above ten Pounds in Money: Every Lieutenant Colonel, Major and Captain of Horse, with one Man, their Horses and Arms; no such Lieutenant Colonel, Major and Captain, carrying with him above five Pounds in Money: Every Captain of Poor, Esquire, Graduate, Preaching Minister, Gentleman of Quality, the Advocate and Secretary to the Army, every of them with his own Horse and Sword (the Ministers without Swords) none of them carrying with him above fifty Shillings, and the Ministers to have all their own Manuscripts, Notes, and Evidences: Lieutenants, Cornets, Ensigns, and other Inferior Officers in Commission, on Foot with every Man his Sword, and not above Twenty Shillings in Money: All Troopers, Foot-Soldiers, Gun-powder Makers, Canoniers, and all other not before mentioned, to march without Horse, or Arms. And that none of the said Persons before mentioned, shall in their March, after they are out of the City and Liberties thereof, be Plundered, searched or molested.
2. That all Women of what degree soever, that please to march out of the City, shall have all their Apparel with them; and such Officers Wives, whose Husbands are Prisoners or absent, may carry such Sums of Money with them, as are allowed by these Articles to Commanders Officers, and Gentlemen of their Husbands qualities, and no more.
3. That none of the Commanders, Officers or Soldiers, or any other at or before their marching out of the City, Castle or Fort, do injure or Plunder the Person or Goods of any, nor carry any thing away out of the said City, Castle or Fort, but what is their own, and hereby allowed.
4. That all Citizens and others now residing within the City, shall be saved and secured in their Persons, and their Goods and Estates within the City and Liberties thereof, preserved and kept from the Plunder and Violence of the Soldiers, and have the like freedom of Trade, as other Cities and Towns under the Parliaments Protection have, and such Immunities as they of right ought to have. And that every such Merchant, and Tradesman of Chester, as shall desire to go into North-Wales, to look after his Goods, as shall have a Pass to go thither, and return back again; he first giving Security, that (during his Absence) he will do no Act to the Prejudice of the Parliament: And that no such Person shall at any Time without License carry more Moneys with him, than sufficient to defray the Charges of his Journey. And that all Citizens and other Inhabitants, who shall now or hereafter desire to March forth of the City of Chester, and not to Act any thing against the Parliament, his, or their Wives, or Families, to have the Benefit and Priviledge of Inhabitants.
5. That such Officers and Soldiers as shall be left Sick, or Wounded within the City of Chester, or the Castle, or Forts thereof, shall have Liberty to stay until their Recovery, and then have Passes to Conway, or any of the King's Garrisons not Blocked up: In the mean Time so be provided for.
6. That the said Lord Byron, Noblemen, Commanders, Gentlemen, Officers and Soldiers, and all others that shall March out of the Town, shall have Liberty to March to Conway, and five Days are allowed them to march thither with a Convoy of two hundred Horse; the Welsh Officers and Soldiers to have Liberty to go to their own homes, all of them to have free Quarter in their March, and twelve Carriages (if they shall have occasion to use so many)which Carriages are to be returned on the sixth Day, and that Passes be given them for their safe return to Chester, and that they be secured until they return thither.
8. That all such Persons, Citizens, or others, who have Families in Chester, and are now in Places remote thence, shall have the like Benefit of these Articles, as those who are now resident in the City.
9. That the Friends of the Earls of Derby and Litchfield, or of any of those whose dead Bodies are not yet Interred in Chester, shall have two Months time to fetch them thence, whither they please; provided, that none of them come attended with above twenty Horses.
12. That all those Horses and Arms belonging to those that March out, and not by these Articles allowed to be taken and carried out of the City (except such Horses as are the proper Goods of the Citizens and Inhabitants that shall remain in the City) before the Delivery of the same be brought, the Horses into the Castle-Court, and the Arms into the ShireHall, where Officers shall be appointed to receive them.
13. That in Consideration hereof the said City and Castle without any slighting or defacing thereof, with all the Ordinance, Arms, Ammunition, and all other Furniture and Provisions of War therein whatsoever, except what is allowed to be carried away, and all the Records in the Castle, without Diminution, Imbezelling or Defacing, be delivered to the said Sir William Brereton, or such as he shall appoint for the use of King and Parliament, upon Tuesday next, being the Third of this Instant February 1645, by ten of the Clock in the Forenoon.
14. That the Fort with all the Ordinance, Arms, Ammunition and Provision therein, of what sort soever, not formally granted or allowed of, upon the signing of these Articles be delivered to Sir William Brereton, or such as he shall appoint.
15. That upon Signing of these Articles, all Prisoners in the City, Castle, and Fort, that have been in Arms for the Parliament, or imprisoned for adhering thereunto, shall immediately be set at Liberty.
The Affairs of the City being settled, Col. Jones was there left Governour for the Parliament, and the Neighbouring Garrisons of Holt, Hawarden and Ruthen-Castle, were all straitly begirt, and not able to hold out long after.
But as this Year had generally been very fatal to his Majesty's Interests, so it concluded with such a Sparring-Blow as destroy'd almost all Hopes of Resource; and this was the Defeat of the Lord Astley, who had the only standing Force abroad for the King, and with them, amounting in all to about the Number of 3000, (the greater Part Horse) was advancing from Worcester towards Oxford to Joyn with his Majesty, and by that Conjunction would have furnish'd his Majesty with such a competent Force that he might have been able to have taken the Field this Spring, and by speedy Marches, and declining Engagements with the Enemy, might have augmented his Number with fresh Recruits, or at least gained Time till the promised Supplies of Men from Ireland, and Money and Men from other Parts should arrive, to put his Affairs in a better Posture; so that on these Troops with my Lord Astley as the last Stake, they at Oxford built all their Hopes, and therefore the better to falicitate his Advance drew out from thence a Party of 1500 to meet him; but all Intelligence and the Passages were so intercepted by the Enemy, that these latter never could hear a word of my Lord's Motions till they receiv'd the sad Tidings how he was utterly Defeated, by Col. Morgan, Sir William Brereton, Col. Birch, &c. near Stow in Glocestershire; of which Col. Morgan who Commanded there in Chief for the Parliament, by Permission of Sir W. Brereton gave this following Account.
Having received a Command from the Honourable Committee of both Kingdoms to take the Charge of a Brigade of Horse and Foot drawn out of the Garrisons of Gloucester, Hereford, and Evishalm, to prevent the Lord Astley's Conjunction with the King's Forces at Oxford, and to effect that Design, I drew forth and Rendezvoused seasonably near Evishalm and Warwick, notwithstanding the Lord Astley endeavoured by all means to get by me, which much foiled my Brigade to prevent, in marching from Place to Place, to secure the Place upon the River Avon. Yet after some Considerations, I perceived that he was unwilling to pass over so long as I lay near the River. Resolved upon Thursday last to Quarter and Camp in the most convenient Place (wheresoever he made his Passage) to fall upon him, and that Night had Intelligence of his March from Droit with near 100 Horse towards Bedford, three Miles from Evishalm, whereof I presently advertized Col. Whaley and Col. Fleetwood, and sent Post to Sir William Brereton for the Assistance of his Horse, which was accordingly granted. But upon Friday the Lord Astley still continuing his March, and Sir W. Brereton not come up, was forced to hold him in Action for the space of four Hours, Skirmishing with by Parties, and keeping my Body drawn up in a most advantagions Place for Pursuit, in Case he should pass by me before Sir Will. Brereton Came up, which about Nine a Clock that Night he did, whereupon I resolved to pursue, thinking it more Advantagious to fall upon his Rear, than at that Time to draw out to meet him in the Field, and in my Pursuit Sir W. Brereton came up with 800 Horse, (of whom I desired to receive Orders,) but he referred the whole Command of the Field unto me, then being Equal in Number to the Lord Astley's Forces, consisting of 3000. I commanded 400 Horse, and 200 Firelocks to Charge his Rear-guard, to put him to a stand before he should pass through Stow upon the Woold, and as my Intelligence informed me, the King was to have joyned with him within seven Miles of that Place, where he made choice of his Ground, and had the wind with him, yet Trusting in God, I drew up and Charged him, whom half and Hour before Day on Saturday Morning I put to a Total Rout, killed many Gentlemen and Officers of Quality, took Prisoners the Lord Astley and all his Foot-Officers, whose Names are in the inclosed List, besides 1600 Common Soldiers, whereof many being Wounded, I gave Liberty to go to their own Homes, taking the Oath of the Fifth of April, the rest I have sent to Gloucester. There are also taken 2000 Arms, and all their Ammunition. Sir W. Brereton desired that the Lord Astley should be his Prisoner, which I willingly condescended unto, not doubting but he will give a good Account of him to the Parliament. This good Success (the Glory thereof I Desire may be given unto God) will prevent the King from Drawing an Army into the Field which he expected: I am now Marched towards Worcester, where I shall observe such Orders as I shall receive from the Parliament and the Committee of both Kingdoms.
There were taken Prisoners the Lord Astley, Col. Corbet, Col. Gerard, Col. Mouldsworth, Lieut. Col. Broughton, Major Billingsley, Major Harnedge, Major Saltonstone, and many other Officers. Those that Escaped made towards Farrington and Oxford, of whom some were taken in the way by Col. Fleetwood. The Lord Astley was so sensible of the Consequences of this Defeat, that after he was taken Prisoner, he said to some of Brereton's Officers, You have now done your Work, and may go to play, unless you will fall out amongst yourselves. This Action happen'd on the 22d. of March, and therefore therewith we must conclude the Military Part of this Year 1645.