Historical Collections of Private Passages of State: Volume 6, 1645-47. Originally published by D Browne, London, 1722.
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Chap. II. Actions between his Majesty's Forces and the Parliament's New Modell'd Army from the Beginning of the Year 1645, until after the Battle at Naseby, June 14th.
The first Action of the New Model.
The first Action enter'd upon by any of the Forces of this New-modell'd Army was on the 24th of April at Islip-Bridge in Oxfordshire; the Occasion and Manner thus.
Prince Rupert falls upon Massey at Lidbury; Cromwell routs a Brigade of the King's Horse at Islip-Bridge April 24.
Whilst the Parliament's Army lay Quarter'd about Windsor, waiting for their Train of Artillery, and fitting themselves to take the Field, Prince Rupert with a considerable Force reputed 6000 Horse and Foot, lay about Worcester, and the Frontiers of Wales, and sometimes made Incursions into the Neighbouring Parts, and seemed to endeavour Northward; to attend whose Motions, or fall upon their Rear if there were Opportunity, Col. Massey advanced from his Government at Glocester with 400 Horse and 500 Foot to Lidbury; which Prince Rupert having notice of, resolved if he could to surprize and cut him off, and therefore marching all Night on Monday April 21 st, came early on the 22d in the Morning within half a falls upon Mile of Lidbury, before any Discovery was made to Massey, who Massey at Lidibury instantly caused his Horse to Mount, and drew up the Foot as well as he could; the Prince and the Lord Loughborough Charged into the Town several ways with great Fury, and Massey fearing to be hemm'd in, ordered his Foot to march away through the Enclosures with all the Speed they could, and he himself with the Field Officers and some Horse entertain'd the Prince, and secured the Retreat as well as he could for three or four Miles, yet at one place some of the Prince's Horse forced their way and fell into the Rear of Massey's Foot, and took near 200 Prisoners in the whole Action, amongst whom were two Captains, and Serjeant Major Bacchus, who died soon after of his wounds: On the other side the Prince lost some Commanders, and many common Soldiers, and was disappointed of his main End, which was utterly to have ruined Massey, and therefore not thinking it fit to advance Northward, retired back between Worcester and Hereford, and vigorously endeavour'd to supply his Army with large Recruits out of those Parts. But his Majesty in Person, with most of the Train, and a considerable Party of Foot being then in Oxford, a Convoy of Horse reputed about 2000, was ordered from Worcester and those Parts to fetch them off from Oxford, that being joyned they might take the Field together. Upon Advertisement whereof the Committee of both Kingdoms at Westminster (from whom the Parliament's Army was generally to receive its Orders) wrote to their General Sir Tho. Fairfax, immediately to dispatch some Horse beyond Oxford, to lie on the further side thereof towards Worcester to intercept that Convoy, and hinder the King and his Train from passing out to meet them; and the Charge of this Service they in their Letter particularly recommended to Lieutenant General Cromwell, who was come but the Night before from Salisbury or those Parts to Windsor, to take his Leave of the General, as seeming now to be as good as discharged of all Military Imployment by the New Ordinance, which was to take Effect within few Days; but receiving these Commands, and a Party of Horse and Dragoons being by the General ordered to March under his Command into Oxfordshire, near Islip-Bridge, he met with a Brigade of the King's Horse, consisting of the Queen's, the Earl of Northampton, the Lord Wilmot's, and Col. Palmer's Regiments, who Engaged him, but in conclusion the Royalists were worsted, and in the Pursuit many slain, and about 200 taken Prisoners, whereof several were Officers; also her Majesty's Standard, being a Crown in the midst, incircled with divers Flower-de-luces wrought in Gold, with a Golden Cross on the Top, was here taken. Some of these scatter'd Troops making their way to Sir Tho. Coggins's House at Blechington, where Colonel windebank (Secretary Windebank's Son) kept a Garrison for the King with about 200 Horse and Foot therein; Cromwell came up and faced that House with Horse and Dragoons, and Summoned the Governour with a sharp Message, (Cromwell's Troops crying out for the Foot to advance and fall on, as if there had been a Body of Foot in readiness, whereas in truth there was none) and an Answer being required to be instantly given, or else the utmost Severity to be expected, the Governour being surprized, and having no Intelligence of, or else doubting Relief from Oxford in time, submitted to a Parley, and consented to Surrender the House upon the following Articles.
Articles of Agreement upon the Surrender of Blechington-House between Lieutenant General Cromwell and Colonel Windebank, April 24. Anno 1645.
Articles for Surrender of Blechington-House, April 24.
- 1. It is agreed that all Commission-Officers of Horse of the Garrison, shall march away with their Horse, Swords and Pistols.
- 2. That the Colonel of the Garrison and the Major march away with their Horse, Sword and Pistols, and the Captains of the Foot with Horse and Swords only.
- 3. That all Soldiers in the Garrison march away, leaving their Arms, Colours and Drums behind them; and for such Officers of Horse as retreated thither for Safety, to march away with their Swords.
- 4. That Mr. Hutchinson, Mr. Ernly, Mr. Eddes and Mr. Pitts, being Gentlemen that came to visit the Governour, and not Engaged, shall march away with their Horses, Swords and Pistols.
- 5. That all the other Arms and Ammunition shall be delivered up immediately to Lieutenant General Cromwell without Imbezilling, except as above mention'd.
- 6. That safe Conduct be granted by the Lieutenant General for all above-mention'd to Oxford.
- 7. That the Colonel's Wife, her two Servants and Chaplain, with their Horses, march along with the Colonel.
- 8. That the Lady of the House shall enjoy her Goods without Plunder, and all her Family.
There were taken in this House between two and three hundred Musquets, seventy Horses, and some other Arms and Ammunition, which Cromwell sent away to Alisbury, and not having Foot with him to Garrison the House quitted it.
Windebank Governour of Blechington-House shot to death.
But his Majesty highly resented the Surrender of this Garrison so near Oxford in this Manner, and Col. Windebank was for the same called before a Council of War, and Condemned, and tho' by the Interest of his Father and Friends great Applications were made for saving his Life, he was shot to death, and his Brother a Lieutenant Colonel laid down his Commission.
Another Skirmish near witney; Cromwell beats up Quarters at Brampton-Bush.
Cromwell marching from Blechington towards Witney, having notice April 26. of a Party of the King's Horse that had a few Hours before crossed his way, sent Col. John Fiennes after them, who overtook them, and after a brisk Skirmish took from them above one hundred Horses, some Colours, and about forty Prisoners, and the next Day understanding that a Party of about 350 Foot, were marching under Command of Col. Sir William Vaughan, (a Member of the House of Commons) towards Radcot-Bridge, Cromwell with a silent March, beat up their Quarters at Brampton-Bush, and took the said Sir William the Commander in Chief, and Lieutenant Colonel Littleton, Serjeant Major Lee, five Captains, a Doctor of Divinity that was Sir William Vaughan's Chaplain, and about two hundred common Soldiers Prisoners, whom he sent with a Convoy to Abirgton.
By this time the Parliament's General Sir Thomas Fairfax was got ready to march with his Army. And on Monday, April 28. the Commons pass'd this Order:
Order for prayers for Fairfax's Army, April 28.
It is this day Ordered by the Commons Assembled in Parliament, That the Ministers be desired at the next day of Publick Humiliation, [Which was the next day] to Recommend the Army under Sir Thomas Fairfax his Command to the Protection of the Almighty, and earnestly to seek to Him for a Blessing upon their Endeavours, and for his Merciful Assistance to them, they being now upon their March. And that this Order be sent to the Lord-Mayor of the City of London, with desire to him to take care for the speedy publishing thereof in all Churches and Chappels in the City of London, and within the Lines of Communication.
Fairfax to relieve Taunton.
But before this Army set forth, it was debated in the two Houses, whither they should first bend their March? Some were for Beleaguering Oxford as being the King's Head-Quarter, a Midland Garrison of great Importance in the Heart of the Kingdom, and wherein was at present the King's Train of Artillery. But others represented an Expedition into the West was more advantageous or necessary, especially because there the Parliament's Garrison of Taunton which had long been besieged by Sir Richard Greenvile, and others, with considerable Forces, and had stoutly defended themselves, and was the only Inland Garrison which the Parliament had in all the West of England, was now reduced to great Extremity, and without speedy Relief must inevitably be lost: And this latter Advice prevailed, the rather for that Col. Popham's House a near Garrison at Wellington was lately taken, about fifty put to the Sword, and 150 made Prisoners. And an Order pass'd April28. for their marching thither accordingly.
And that the Army might be compleated, a Proclamation was made April 29. by Beat of Drum, and Sound of Trumpet, throughout London, according to an Order of this Tenour.
Proclamation for all Soldiers to repair to their Colours.
It is this Day Ordered by the Commons Assembled in Parliament, That upon publick Notice given by Beat of Drum, and Sound of Trumpet, all Officers and Soldiers whatsoever under the Command of Sir Tho. Fairfax, all Excuses laid aside, and notwithstanding any Leave or Pretences whatsoever, do repair to their Colours by Wednesday the 30th Instant at Noon at the furthest, upon pain of Casheering for the Officers, and the common Soldiers death without Mercy. And that the Committee for the Militia of London, and Lines of Communication, and the Committees, and Deputy-Lieutenants of the Counties of Middlesex, Hartford, Essex, Kent and Surry, do take care for the publishing of this Order by Beat of Drum, and Sound of Trumpet.
He thence marched over the River to Farrington, hoping to have reduced that Place where a Garrison was kept for the King by Lieut. Col. Burges, (as Deputy-Governour under Col. Owen) but wanting Foot for that Service, sent to Maj. Gen. Brown at Abington, who dispatch'd thither about five or six hundred, whilst in the mean time Cromwell sent in this Summons.
Summons to Farrington.
I Summon you to deliver into my Hands the House wherein you are, and your Ammunition, with all things else there, together with your Persons to be disposed of as the Parliament shall appoint: Which if you refuse to do, you are to expect the utmost Extremity of War, I rest
April 29th, 1645.
To the Governour of the Garrison in Farrington.
To which Answer was return'd,
That the King had intrusted them to keep that Garrison, and without special Order from his Majesty Himself, they would not deliver it.
Cromwell then drew unto the Town of Farrington, and sent this second Summons.
I Understand by forty or fifty poor Men whom you forced into your House, that you have many there whom you cannot Arm, and who are not serviceable to you: If these Men should perish by your means it were great Inhumanity surely. Honour and Honesty requires this, that tho' you be prodigal of your own Lives, yet not to be so of theirs. If God give you into my Hands, I will not spare a Man of you, if you put me to a Storm.
But the Deputy-Governour return'd this resolute Answer:
We heave forced none into our Garrison: We would have you know you are not now at Blechington. The guiltless Blood that shall be spilt God will require at your Hands that have caused this Unnatural War. We fear not your Storming, nor will have any more Parlies.
About Three of the Clock next Morning (the Abington Foot being come up) Cromwell (with them and his Dragoons) began to assault but were repuls'd with the loss of fourteen Men kill'd, and Capt. Canon (who rear'd the first Scaling-Ladder and ascended himself) taken Prisoner, with an Ensign, and eight common Soldiers, and divers Wounded.
Fairfax begins his March, April; Skirmish between the L. Goring and Cromwell at Radcot-Bridge, May the 3d.
On Wednesday the 30th of April, Eairfax's Army marched from Windsor (hitherto his Head-Quarters) to Reading, (twelve Miles;) from thence on May-day to Theale, (four Miles;) and on May the second to Newbury, (eleven Miles;) whither Cromwell went to wait upon the General. And that Night some Parties of Horse being sent out towards Hungerford and Marlborough, whereabouts General Goring was with a great Body of Horse and Dragoons coming out of the West, they took one Lieut. Col. Hacket, and some other Prisoners. By whose Examinations and other Intelligence, they discovered that General Goring had a design that Night or next Morning early to beat up Cromwell's Quarters, whose Troops continued still near Farringdon; whereupon Cromwell immediately hasten'd back to his Charge, and had betimes put his Men into a Posture to receive them; yet not so soon but that General Goring with a speedy March came upon the West of Farringdon, and recovered Radcot-Bridge. Cromwell sent a Party of Horse over the River to observe their Motions, whom the Earl of Brainford's Regiment, (under the Command of Lieut. Col. Scroop) fell upon, and repulsed them, but they being then reinforced with greater Numbers from Cromwell, forced Scroop to retire, as also a small Party of the Prince of Wales's Regiment beat back by Major Bethel. To whose Relief the Lord Goring brought part of his Regiment, and of Col. Richard Nevil's (commanded at that time by his Lieut. Col. Standish, Sir Bernard Gascoign, Capt. Medcalf, and other Officers (by whom the Parliamentarian Party was forced to Retreat, and Major Bethel (venturing too far (as was said) in the dark) taken Prisoner, with two Colours of Horse, and some common Soldiers; the Lord Wentworth in the Interim stopping the Pass, and hindering Cromwell's sending over any more Forces, who yet (besides those before mentioned taken Prisoners) acknowledged not their loss to be above four or five kill'd: However General Goring kept his Advantage of the River, and Quarter'd his Horse as far back as Lachlade, whilst Cromwell making a Passage over New-Bridge, and having gain'd the same, General Goring either declining an Engagement, or rather desirous to prevent the Raising of the Siege at Taunton, (whither Fairfax was then advancing) marched back with all speed after that Army into the West.
From Newbery Fairfax marched May the fourth to Andover, (twelve Miles;) thence on the fifth to Salisbury (fifteen Miles;) But in the mean time had this Order sent him from the Committee of both Kindoms.
Order to Fairfax to stop his March, May the 4th.
We send you here enclosed, an Extract of the Intelligence we have of the Prince's Advance towards Oxford, and desire you to Halt to Morrow about Andover with your Horse and Foot, till you receive further Advertisement from us, which shall be very speedily.
Signed in the Name and by the Warrant of the Committee of both Kingdoms.
Your very Loving Friends and Servants,
E. Manchester, Loudoun.
May 4. 1645.
The Intelligence herein mentioned to be enclosed was this Letter from the Committee at Coventry.
Intelligence from the Committee at Coventry.
May it please your Honours,
We have this Morning received Intelligence, That the two Princes Rupert and Maurice this last Night came with all their Forces to Evesholm, and are directly on their March towards Oxford, and that they continue their March making no stay. This we thought our Duty to signify to you, Remaining
Coventry, May 2d, 5645.
Your Honours most Humble Servants,
A Party ordered to Relieve Taunton.
But Fairfax, (intent upon Relieving Taunton) was march'd May the 5th to Salisbury (fifteen Miles;) thence on the 6th to Sixepenny Hauley in Dorsetshire (ten Miles;) and so on the 7th to Blanford (seven Miles.) In the mean time the Houses being more assured of the Advance of Prince Rupert towards Oxford, on the 6th of May pass'd an Ordinance, That Sir Tho. Fairfax should forthwith send only a Party of about 3000 Foot, and 1500 Horse and Dragoons to Taunton; and he and the rest of his Army march back to joyn Cromwell and Brown, and attend the King's Motions with their united Force.
Col. Welden Commands the Brigade for Taunton.
This Order Fairfax received at Beauford, and readily obey'd; and on May the 8th Commanded out a Brigade for the Relief of Taunton, consisting of four Regiments of Foot, viz. Col. Welden's Col. Fortescue's, Col. Floyd's, and Col. Ingoldesby's, under the Conduct of Col. Welden, as being Eldest Colonel, unto whom six Companies of Foot, belonging to the Garrison of Chicbester, joyned themselves about Dorchester, and afterwards as many Colours from Lime; in all between four and 5000 Foot, with a Body of 1800, or 2000 Horse, viz. Col. Graves's Regiment, Col. Cook's, Col. Popham's, Col. Fitz-James's, and the Plimouth Regiment.
Taunton Relieved May the 12th.
These marched directly on to Taunton, near which they arrived May the 11th, upon whose Approach the King's Forces before the Town raised their Siege, so that on Monday Morning May the 12th, Col. Welden with the Officers without any Opposition enter'd into it, (where they found a sad Spectacle of a flourishing Town almost ruined by Fire, and the Extremities of War, and the People nigh famished for want of Food,) and having spent some time with Col. Blake the Governour, they gave Order for the whole Brigade to Retreat back and take up their Quarters at Chard.
The House of Commons upon receipt of the News of Taunton's being Relieved, Ordered a Publick Thanksgiving for the same: And a Letter was sent to the Town of Taunton, and the Governour, and Soldiers therein, to give them the hearty Thanks of the Parliament, for this Extraordinary Gallant Service, in maintaining the Town so long: And likewise an Order was made for bestowing of 2000l. upon the Soldiers of that Garrison, for their Courage in this Service; as also 500l. to be given to Col. Blake the Governour.
That which much facilitated the raising this Siege was, that the King's Party had no other Information, but that Fairfax's whole Army was advancing thither, altho' indeed it was but a Part whereas if they had understood it to be only a Brigade, they had, in their Opinion a Strength sufficient to have fought them, and also made good the Siege; and for this Misintelligence there was same Colour, for Fairfax with his whole Army did advance out of Blanford to Wichampton, as if he had altogether design'd for Taunton, but then suddenly parting with that commanded Brigade, wheeled about Eastward (marching through Inclosures, and avoiding the Champion-way, in regard he was not well furnish'd with Cavalry if he should meet with Goring's Horse, who were now upon their Retreat from Oxford towards the West) and coming to Ringwood, May the 9th; thence on the 11th to Rumsey (fourteen Miles;) on the 12th to Alresford (fourteen Miles more;) on the 13th to Whitechurch (ten Miles;) on the 14th reached Newbury, and there rested his Army three Days.
The King takes the Field, May the 7th.
During these Traverses of the Parliament's Forces Westward, and back again, the King on the 7th of May with his Army left Oxford, and took the Field, His Majesty with Prince Rupert and between seven and 8000 Horse and Foot marching towards Warwickshire, and designing for the Relief of Chester, which had long been besieged by Sir William Brereton; but General Goring with about 3000 Horse and Dragoons was dispatch'd into the West, that he, together with the rest of the King's Forces in those Parts, might strengthen that Party of Fairfax's Army which were gone to the Relief of Taunton, which they effected accordingly, for that whole Brigade was shortly after coop'd up and besieged in the said Town of Taunton, which so lately they had relieved from a former Siege.
The K. takes Hawksly House; Sir William Vaughan routs a Party of the Parliament's Horse. Siege of Chester raised; The King's marches back.
His Majesty on the 15th of May came to Hemley, two Miles be- yond Sturbridge in Worcestershire, and there and at Droitwich rested three or four Days, whilst Prince Rupert took in Hawkesly House (a small Garrison of the Parliament's, about seven or eight Miles,) which being surrendered was burnt. From Hemley his Majesty advanced to Wolverhampton, and from thence May the 17th to Newport in Shropshire; where by the way Sir William Vaughan Governour of Shrawarden Castle, (two Miles from Shrewsbury) coming towards Bridgenorth to meet his Majesty, fell upon some Shrewsbury Horse at Wenlock, and worsted them. From Newport his Majesty marched to Draiton (on the Borders of Cheshire) and by that time the Army came within twenty Miles of Chester, the Lord Byron with some Troops of Horse came from that City, and assured his Majesty of the raising of that Siege, and that Sir William Brereton was retreated into Lancashire: Whereupon his Majesty diverted his Course through Staffordshire, and quartere'd May the 26th at Tutbury, and to Asbby-de-la-zouch in Leicestershire on the 27th, and the 28th to Loughborough ten Miles thence, where having rested that Night, on the 29th of May his Majesty came before Leicester, which he took by Storm, as herein after is mentioned.
The State of the Parliaments Affairs and Councils at that time.
For the Reader's better understanding the Military Transactions of this Juncture he must note, that upon Fairfax's being recall'd, and return with the greater Part of his Army out of the West, the Houses considered whether he should be Imploy'd to sit down before Oxford, or follow the king, who seemed to bend Northwards: And the former was resolved upon; for which these Reasons were urged.
1. That the Parliament had already in the North a great Army under their Pay, of 21000 Scots, Horse and Foot.
2. That there were considerable Forces of theirs in Cheshire and Lancashire, under Sir William Brereton, which held Chester straitly Besieged.
3. That in Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, and Lincolnshire, there were also very considerable Forces, which might joyn with the Scotish Army if there were need, and were commanded so to do in case the King advanced Northwards. Besides a part of 2500 Horse and Dragoons under Col. Vermuden, part of Fairfax's Army appointed to joyn with the Scotish Army, because they seemed only to want a due Proportion of Horse to Engage with the King's Army, and upon the Allotment of them to that Service, the Commissioners of Scotland, wrote to their General the Earl of Leven to advance; and the Committee of both Kingdoms ordered Col. Vermuden with his before-mention'd Party to march into Derbyshire, which accordingly he did, and came to the Rendezvous at the time appointed. This Provision was held sufficient, and more than enough, not only to secure and cover the Sieges of Chester, Ponifract, and Scarborough, (which were all then Besieged by the Parliament), in case the King should move Northwards, but also to fight the Royal Army with Advantage, if need so required. But on the other side, if his Majesty should tend Southward or West-ward, Fairfax lying before Oxford, would be in the most convenient Post to Engage his Army, or obstruct his Designs. But all this Fair Scheme of promising Advantage, was interrupted, and took no Effect, for the Scot's Army designed to attend the King's Motions, did not advance according to Expectation and Order; whether it were for want of Money, for which they complain'd, and much importun'd the Two Houses, or whether they were somewhat discontented, for that several Officers of their Nation were left out of Service upon this New Model, so it was, that instead of marching Southward, they returned back into Westmorland. Whereupon Sir William Brereton upon the Approach of the King's Army, seeing no Army ready at hand, nor hopes of any to Ballance it, Raised the Siege of Westchester, and so His Majesty seeing the Work done to his hand, marched back to Leicester and took it, there being no Army to check or controul him. Cromwell and Brown, who attended his Motions as far as Warwick, being recall'd to assist Fairfax at the Siege, or rather Blockade of Oxford.
The cause of Fairfax's coming and sitting down there, will partly appear by the following Letters and Orders sent to him from the Committee of both Kingdoms.
Letter from the Committee of both Kingdoms to Fairfax, May the 10th.
We have received your Letter of the Ninth Instant, and thereby take notice of your marching back, according to our Order: Since those Letters of ours, we have notice that the King is marched to Worcester, and Lieut. Gen. Cromwell to the North of Oxford, attending his Motions. Goring with his Forces are gone back toward Bristol, he was about Lachelade on Thursday Morning, of which we desire you to give notice to the Party that is gone into the West; and also that you cause the Regiments of Col. Cook, and Col. Popbam to march with all expedition to Col. Weldon ; as also Plimouth Regiment of Col. Boscowen, and Col. Fitz-James.
Signed in the Name and by the Warrant of the Committee of both Kingdoms, By
Your very affectionate Friends,
W. Say and Seal.
Another May the 12th.
We have received your Letter of the Tenth Instant, and thereby Intimation of your being at Rumsey, and your stay there for the next Day: And in Respect of Goring's Return to the West, and the Danger we apprehend the Party gone into the West, may be in hereby: We desire you to stay where these Letters shall find you, if there shall be no Inconvenience therein appear to you being upon the Place, until we shall send further Orders, which shall be with all Speed.
Signed in the Name and by the Warrant of the Committee of both Kingdoms, By
Your Affectionate Friends and Servants,
W. Say and Seal.
Another May the 14th.
Understanding by your Letter of the Twelfth of this Month, that your Forces are come so far this way, and have been put to hard Marches for many Days: We desire you to refresh your Army for two or three Days, where this Letter shall find you, or in some commodious Place thereabouts: Unless you have certain Intelligence that Taunton, or the Party sent thither be in Distress.
Signed in the Name and by the Warrant of the Committee of both Kingdoms, By
Your very Affectionate Friends and Servants,
W. Say and Seal.
Derby-House, 14th of May, 1645.
Another May the 15th.
We have received the welcome News of the Relief of Taunton by the Forces sent from your Army, whereby those poor People, designed to Slaughter by their cruel Enemies, are delivered: We bless God for giving such Success to so weak a Party: And that the Work was done without Loss. And we return Thanks to you for the great Service you have done herein, and your speedy Marches, and careful Dispatch of that Party you sent, which came so seasonably to the Relief of that Place: And we hope this happy beginning hath made such Alteration in the Affairs of the West, as if it be followed with Effect (of which we doubt not) will hinder the raising of the great Forces they promised themselves there, will incourage and preserve the People that do adhere to the Parliament, and lay a good Foundation to the Reducement of the whole West: To which we doubt not but they will now contribute their own bell Assistance, being delivered of the Bridle that kept them in awe: And having had a sad Experience of the Cruelties of the Enemies, and taught thereby more clearly to know their own, and the Publick Interest, and to pursue and serve it.
Signed in the Name and by the Warrant of the Committee of both Kingdoms, By
Your Affectionate Friends and Servants,
W. Say and Seal.
Derby-House, 15th of May, 1645.
Another the same Day.
We have appointed a Party of Two thousand Horse, and five hundred Dragoons to march to the North, for the Assistance of the Scotish Army, to be made up of the Regiments of Col. Sidney, Col. Vermuden, Sir Robert Pye, and Col. Fiennes; and in case they shall not make up 2000, then to fill that Number up with such of the Troops now under the Command of Major Sadasky as are fullest: That these and 500 Dragoons all under the Command of Col. Vermuden shall march towards the Scotish Army, in case the King's Army shall march Northward. The rest of the Forces that are left with Lieut. Gen. Cromwell are appointed to march back towards Blechington to put a Garrison into that House, and dispose the Forces in the best way that may be for the streightening of Oxford, which we have design'd to be Blocked up forthwith, in order to a Siege, with those Forces that are at present with you, and with Lieut Gen. Cromwell, and with all the Recruits that are to come up, and such other Forces both of the Garrisons and other Counties as we shall send thither for that Purpose.
We have designed this as the main, Abington to be preserved; with the rest of its Forces not already elsewhere appointed, unless there shall any special Exigency require them to be otherwise imployed: We desire you therefore so to dispose of your March as may be of most Advantage to the Design of Blocking up and Besieging or Oxford. We desire you to consider what is necessary for such a Work, and to advise us thereof.
Signed in the Name and by the Warrant of the Committee of both Kingdoms, By
Your Affectionate Friends and Humble Servants,
W. Say and Seal.
Derby-House, 15th of May, 1645.
May the 16th, Certain Instructions, Rules and Directions to be observed and put in Execution by Col. Martin Pindar, Harcourt, Leighton, Tho. Herbert, and Capt. John Potter, Esquires, Commissioners of Parliament, appointed to reside in the Army, were read in the House of Peers, and after some Debate their Lordships concurred with the House of Commons therein, the said Instructions being to this Effect:
Rules to be observed by the Commissioners residing in the Army.
1. That for the Prevention of False Musters, they are to see that the Advocate of the Army administer an Oath to such Persons attending upon Musters, as shall be presented unto him for the discovery of false Musters, or accusing any Person that shall violate the Articles of War in case of Plunder, or otherwise.
2. For the Ease of the Country, the said Commissioners are to endeavour that no Officer or Soldier be Quarter'd in any Place but by the Quarter-master, first shewing his Commission, if it be required, and by what Authority he takes up such Quarters; and giving a Ticket of the Names of every Person which he shall quarter, expressing of what Regiment, Troop, or Company the same Person so Quarter'd is; and the Number of Horses there Quarter'd, and at whose House; together with the Day of the Month, and to subscribe his Name thereunto: Saving where by reason of the great Numbers of them cannot be incerted, and then their Numbers to be expressed in place of their Names.
3. That no Quarter or Provisions for Man or Horse in any Quarters be taken without Payment of ready Money; but in case of Necessity for want of Pay; which the Parliament will use all means possible to prevent. And in case any Quarter or Provision shall be taken without payment, the Captain or Quarter-Master shall by writing under their or one of their hands, certifie what Provisions have been so had, within what time, by whom, and of what Regiment, Troop and Company, from whom and the value thereof; Provided, that where the Army shall be upon their March, not staying above twenty-four Hours in a place, the Rates shall be Four-pence a Night sor Hey, Three-pence a Night for Grass, Four-pence a Peck for Oats, Six-pence a Peck for Pease and Beans, and Seven-pence a Peck for Barly and Malt, (which Provision of Barly and Malt is not to be taken but where no other Grain for Horse-meat is to be had,) Eight-pence a day is to be paid for the Diet of every Trooper or Horse-man, Seven-pence a day for every Dragooner, and Six pence a day for every Foot-Soldier, Pioneer, Waggoner, or Carter, that shall not be Officers by Commission, or of the Life-Guard Troop. Provided also, that no Inhabitant whatsoever shall be compelled to furnish any Provision but what he hath in his House of his own: And that no Officer or Soldier shall compell him to do otherwise, upon pain of Cashiering, or such other punishment as the Commander in Chief shall think fit.
A Letter to Fairfax about laying Siege to Oxford, May 17.
We wrote unto you the Fifteenth Instant, giving you notice of our Intention for the present Blocking up and future Siege of Oxford, by the enclosed Copy of the Order of both Houses; you see it is now their Resolution, who have written to the Committees about it; we therefore desire you forthwith to send such of your Horse as you can spare, leaving sufficient to bring up your Foot, to prevent the carrying of any Provisions in that Town; we have written also to that purpose to Lieut. General Cromwell and Major General Brown. We desire this may be speedily done, and withal to send us word what Provisions you thing necessary for that Siege, that there may be a speedy Provision thereof. In regard this design is now publick, we desire you to make all speed to send in some Horse to hinder the carrying in of Provision to Oxford, and the Burning and Spoiling of the Country.
Signed in the Name and by the Warrant of the Committee of both Kingdoms, By
Your affectionate Friends and Servants,
W. Say and Seal.
Derby-House, 17th of May, 1645.
Die Sabbatis 17. May 1545.
The Houses Order the Siege of Oxford.
It was Voted, declared, and agreed, That the Lords and Commons do approve of the design for the speedy reducement of Oxford.
Ordered by the Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament, That the City at a Common Council be made acquainted with this design, by some Members of both Houses on Tuesday next at Three of the Clock in the Afternoon, and the Reasons of this design urged, and their concurrent Assistance desired.
Fairfax approaches Oxford, May 22.
Accordingly Fairfax on the 17th of May advanced from Newbury to Blewbury (ten miles;) and there lay two Nights; on the 19th to Newnam in Oxfordshire (nine miles;) the next day two miles further to Garsington, and on the 22d to Marston and Began to Beleaguer Oxford. Capt. Gardiner with a Party of Horse and Foot Charg'd a Party of Fairfaxe's Horse, Commanded by Adjut. Gen. Fleming, but was repulsed, and near two hundred of his Foot taken Prisoners. Fairfax caused a Breast-work to be raised on the East-side of Charwell, and a Bridge over the River near Marston: Cromwell and Brown being come up, and having taken up their Quarters on that side, between whom and Fairfax's Forces there was by this Bridge a Communication, and the City strictly Beleaguer'd on all sides. And Fairfax having called a Council of War to debate what Requisites would be wanting for carrying on a close Siege, what Provision they concluded to be necessary, they gave notice to the Parliament to be sent them down, but the same arrived not till the day before he received Orders to Rise from thence, so that little or no Action happen'd in all the fifteen days he lay before it. For Fairfax (as he acquainted the Close Committee) not conceiving himself secure, not sufficient for such an Undertaking, whilst the King was in the Field without any Army of the Parliament's to attend his Motions, declined so much as to Summon the Town, that so, if there were occasion he might draw off with the less Dishonour.
May 23. The king's Garrison at Godstow near Wolvercot had Order to desert it, and the Houses there were by the Owners ordered to be set on fire; but by the coming in of some of Fairfax's Troops, the same were preserv'd, and the Governour in his Retreat towards Oxford taken Prisoner. May 24. Fairfax viewed Bostol-House, and sent a Party to Besiege it, where Adjutant General Flemming, being engaged in a single Encounter, shot his Enemy, but also received a shot himself in the Belly, which was thought mortal, but he afterwards recovered. May 26. Sir Thomas put over four Regiments, and thirteen Carriages at the New Bridge over Charwell; His Head-Quarter was at Marston, Cromwell's at Whiteham and Brown's at Wolvercot.
On the 28th of May the Committee of both Kingdoms sent the following Letter to their General.
A Letter to Fairfax, May 28th.
Upon the 25th of this Instant, the Kings Army returned to Tutbury, and upon Monday the 26th was about Ashby intending in probability for the Association; upon which Intelligence, we have again written to L. Gen. Cromwell to repair speedily to the Isle of Ely, and to to take with him four Troops of Horse, and we desire you to give Order accordingly. We have also written to the Committee of Cambridge to look to the security of their Garrisons, and to send their Forces to Rendezvous as L. Gen. Cromwell shall appoint. We have written to Col. Vermuden (unless the King march Northward ) to come back towards the Association with all diligence, and to joyn with such other Forces, as we have appointed, for the defence thereof, and to obey such further directions as he shall receive from this Committee, or from you. We have also written to Col. Massie to come to Burford, with what Force he can, having regard to the security of his Garrisons, and those Parts, and holding Intelligence with you to joyn as there shall be occasion. We desire you without interrupting your Proceedings for the present about Oxford to have your Forces in such posture as they may be ready to march for opposing the Enemy, and the security of the Association, if there shall be need.
Signed in the Name, and by the Warrant of the Committee of both Kingdoms, by
Your very Affectionate Friends and Servants,
Derby-House, May the 28th, 1645.
The King takes Leicester by Storm, May the 30th.
His Majesty marching back, as you have heard, thro' Staffordshire, came up to Leicester May 29. His Highness Prince Rupert be times in the Morning facing the Town with Horse, view'd it every way, and suddenly girt it round: In the Afternoon his Majesty's whole Army came up and sat down before it, and his Highness sent in a Summons, requiring them to deliver up the Town for his Majesty, who was there in Person: To which towards Evening they returned a Denial, and Superscribed thus, To the Commander in Chief of the King's Army. Orders having been given to raise a Battery before the New-Work, the same by Eleven a Clock next day was finish'd, and Six great Pieces of Ordnance planted thereon, and played fiercely all that Afternoon, making a Breach by Seven a Clock in the New-Work Wall so wide, that Ten Men might enter a-breast. About Ten a Clock his Highness commanded his Soldiers to draw near the Works, and upon the Signal given (which was to be the Firing of those Six Pieces of Cannon all at once) to fall on. They storm'd the Town in five several Places at once, but the fiercest Assault and most desperate Service was at the before-mentioned Breach in the New-Work Wall, where they came to Push of Pike, and Col. St. George of the King's side, in a Gallantry came up almost to the mouth of a Canon, and was by it shot to pieces, and Col. George Lisle who led on the Assailants there, was twice forced back, and he himself knock'd down into the Ditch, yet they went on the third time, and then forced their Entrance at that Breach, tho' the Town at other Places was as good as lost before; for the first that entred were Sir Bernard Asteley; and at another Place Sir Henry Bard who scaled the Works only with three Ladders; then his Highness Prince Rupert's Regiment got in, and the Ports were flung open, and the Horse let in, and the Town master'd, tho' those within it made a very stout Defence, of whom there was in all about one hundred kill'd, and near as many acknowledged by the King's Party to be slain on their side. Whereas the Writers on the Parliament's Party, make the Loss of the Royalists to be much greater, and that there were buried of them in Leicester 709 as had been computed by the Burials there. 'Tis certain his Majesty's Army here got abundance of excellent Plunder and Pillage; for besides the Goods and Wares of the Townsmen, those that adhered to the Parliament round about in the Country, had sent in thither their best Moveables as to a Place of Security. They also took there about 1500 Prisoners, Fourteen Pieces of Ordnance, 500 Horse in Service, with as many more good Horses brought in thither as made them up 1000, 140 Barrels of Powder, with Bullet and Match proportionable. And in Money, Plate, and other rich Commodities, to the value of many thousands of Pounds. The next day being Sunday, the King commanded solemn Thanks to be given to God for his success in taking that Town, and stay'd there to refresh his Army two or three days.
Fairfax takes Gaunt House, June 1.
This Loss of Leicester startled the Two Houses, and the rather because at the same time by a conjunction of the Forces of Col. Goring, Sir Ralph Hopton, and Sir Richard Greenvile, their Brigade under Welden in the West, was besieged in Taunton; and therefore they now began to think more earnestly of Raising their Army from Oxford, to prevent if they could his Majesty from marching into the Associated Counties. But in the mean time Cromwell with but four Troops of Horse, being gone into the Isle of Ely, and Brown sent up to London to give advice how matters stood at Oxford, and receive Orders what was next to be done. Fairfax May the 31st sent Col. Rainsborough with a party of Foot and some Horse to besiege Gaunt House who summon'd it, and next Day June the 1st had it surrender'd, and a Garrison placed therein for the Parliament.
A Sally out of Oxford, and near too of Fairfax's Men taken July 2.
On Monday July the 2d, The Governour of Oxford about one of the Clock in the Morning marching himself with near 1000 Horse and Foot towards Hedington-Hill (a mile from Oxford) where there was a Guard kept by the Besiegers; and sending Col. Walter, Sir Thomas Gardiner, and Cap. Grace towards Bullington-Green, to fetch a compass and fall in upon them behind; the whole Guard at that place was surprized, some kill'd, and fourscore and twelve carried away Prisoners into Oxford, whereof one was Capt. Gibbons; but the next day they were released in Exchange for as many of those who had been taken in the Skirmish between Adjutant General Flemming and Capt. Gardiner before-mention'd.
Fairfax marches away from before Oxford June the 5th.
July the 4th, Fairfax receiv'd positive Orders to march from Oxford, to defend the Association; who forthwith ordered the Forces on the other side of the River to march to Islip, and pull'd down the New-built Bridge, and the next day June the 5th, the Army march'd to Marsh-Gibeon, ten miles, and in his march turned out of his way to see the Siege before Borstal-House, where Major General Skippon had lain for some time; and sent the following Summons.
To Sir William Campian Governour of Borstal.
Summons to Borstal House.
I Send you this Summons before I proceed to further Extremities, to deliver up to me the House of Borstal you now hold, with all the Ordnance, Arms and Ammunition therein, for the use and service of the Kingdom, which if you shall agree unto, you may expect Civilities and fair Respects, otherwise you may draw upon your self those Inconveniences which I desire may be prevented. I expect your Answer by this Trumpet within one hour. I rest,
To which was return'd this Answer:
You have sent unto me a Summons to surrender this House, for the Service of the Kingdom; I thought that Bait had been longe'er this very stale, (considering the King's often Declarations and Protestations to the contrary) now sufficient only to cozen Women and poor ignorant People: For your Civilities as far as they are consonant to my Honour I embrace; in this place I absolutely apprehend them destructive not only to my Honour, but also to my Conscience: I am therefore ready to undergo all Inconveniences rather than to submit to any, much less to those so dishonourable and unworthy Propositions: This is the Resolution of,
Sir, your Servant,
The Siege of Borstal-House quitted.
That Night Skippon caused the House to be stormed, but the Moat being much deeper than they expected, the Assailants were beat off with Loss, and so the next day raised that Siege also, and march'd after the Army, whose Head-Quarter was that Night at Great Brickhill, where a Fire happen'd in the General's Quarters, and a Man, a Boy, and three or four Horses burnt.
The King marched from Leicester towards Daventry, with intention as was supposed to relieve Oxford, but finding that done to his hand, on the 6th of June Part of his Army faced Northampton.
In the mean time the Associated Counties, and the Parliament's Garrisons therein, were under great apprehensions of dangers; and Letters were posted from all Parts to General Fairfax to hasten him to their Assistance, some of which I shall insert from the Originals now in my Custody.
A letter from Lieut. Gen. Cromwell, June 4. 1645.
I Most humbly beseech you to pardon my long Silence: I am conscious of the fault, considering the great Obligations lying upon me. But since my coming into these Parts I have been busied to secure that Part of the Isle of Ely, where I conceived most danger to be. Truly, I found it in a very ill Posture, and is it yet but weak without Works, Ammunition or Men, considerable, and of Money least; and then I hope you will easily conceive of the defence; and God has preserv'd us all this while to a Miracle. The Party under Vermuyden waits the King's Army, and is about Deeping, has a command to joyn with Sir John Gell if he commands him, so the Nottingham Horse I shall be bold to present you with Intelligence as it comes to me: We heard you were marching towards us, which was matter of rejoycing to us. I am bold to present this as my humble suit, That you would be pleased to make Captain Rawlins this Bearer, a Captain of Horse; he has been so before, was nominated to the Model, is a most honest Man: Col. Sidney leaving his Regiment, if it please you to bestow his Troop on him, I am confident he will serve you faithfully; so by God's Assistance, will
Your most Humble Servant,
June 4. 1645.
The Committee at Northampton's Letter.
This Afternoon Sir Robert Pye is come hither from Leicester upon his Parole, and assures us, that the King and his whole Army is marched out of Leicester this day this way: We hear Vermuyden is at Market Deeping on the Edge of this County about Stamford We thought good to give you notice of it, Remaining
Your Humble Servants,
Edward Farmer, Vicec. Com.
Rowland St. John.
Northampt. June the 4th, 1647.
We have at this Instant receiv'd certain Intelligence that the King's Army is advanced this way, and a great Party both of Horse and Foot come as far as Harborough, which is within twelve Miles of us; their design is thought to be for this Place; we doubt not but you will take us into your thoughts for a speedy Relief, and in the mean time we shall provide for them to the best of our strength. We Remain
Your Humble Servants.
Edward Farmer, Vicec. Com.
Rowland St. John, &c.
Northampt. June 4th 1645. past 10. at Night.
From Sir Sam. Luke, Governour of —
The Enemy lying this Night at Harborough, and all Intelligence being they intend for this Town; how ill we are provided you cannot but know; our Horse and Men being commanded away, and we not Six hundred Foot left in the Town, I desire you as you tender either your own or our Good, to haste hither what Men you can, for we had need of Two thousand Men to Man these Works, they are so large, and at this time so Indefensible. This is all at present can be assured you from
Yours to serve you,
June 5th, 1645. 5 a Clock in the Morning.
This Messenger will assure you that his Majesty is at Harborough, and his March is intended either for Northampton, or this Place, as the Report goeth: Therefore I beseech you let the Foot belonging to this Garrison be sent home with all speed, and if you can spare us any more, they will be most acceptable, for we shall want above a Thousand Men to Man our Works in any reasonable manner. We want all Provisions, and if we escape a Storm, we cannot hold out long, therefore desire you to consider him who is
Yours in all Serviceable Respects Commandable
This 5th of June, 1645. 4 a Clock in the Morning.
I beseech you, Sir, let the General be acquainted with our Condition.
From the Cambridge-Committee.
Although our danger was great in our Conceit, upon the first apprehension of the taking of Leicester, yet we were somewhat quieted in the Intelligence that you were Ordered to Advance between us and the Enemy as a Guard for the Association; but being informed that upon Wednesday you were in your former Quarters, and that the Enemy was in his way between Harborough and Northampton with his Carriages, we could not so far desert our own safety as not to sollicite earnestly your Honour's speed and care for our safety, on whom your Army much resteth for its Being and Subsistance, and we upon the safety of it. We had formerly sent to the Counties to raise their Horse and Dragoons to their Borders as nigh Cambridge as may be, and have now sent to quicken them. We present our selves
- W. Spring.
- H. Mildmay.
- Francis Russell.
- Nath. Bacon.
- Tho. Ducket.
- Jo. Bonner.
- Abra. Burrell.
- Ri. Harlakenden.
- Ti. Middleton.
- John Brewster.
- Hum. Wallcots.
- John willesby.
- William Bronlow.
- Tho. Martyn.
- William Heveningham.
- Maurice Barrowe.
- John Gurdon.
- Isaac Puller.
- Robert Vintner.
- Robert Crane.
Cambridge, 6th Junii, 10 in the Forenoon.
May it p'ease your Excellency,
Last Night upon Intelligence of the King's March towards Nrothampton I came to Oundle, and am now marching to meet your Excellency, who I hear is about Brackley. The Lord send us a speedy Conjunction, a good Engagement with blessed Success. Which is the earnest Prayer; of
Your Excellency's most Obedient Faithful Servant,
June the 6th. Seven in the Morning.
Affairs standing in this posture, Fairfax on the 7th of June marched from Brickhill to Sherrinton a Mile-East of Newport-pagnell, that Vermuyden with that considerable Body of Horse formerly detached to joyn the Scots, but upon their Retreat to Westmorland, now marching back as you have heard, might more conveniently joyn him, and especially to be on that side the River the better to serve the Association. There they rested the next day, being Sunday, but sent out several Parties of Horse, who brought in Prisoners some Stragglers of Sir Marmaduke Langdale's Brigade, by whom they gain'd Intelligence that his Majesty's Army continued still about Daventry.
Cromwell sent for.
Whereupon Fairfax call'd a Council of War, by whom (amongst other things) it Was resolved, that a Letter should be sent to the Parliament to desire them for a time to dispense with Cromwell's Absence from the House, and that he might Command their Horse, an Engagement being like to happen very speedily, wherein. his Service might be of great use; which Letter was sent by Col. Hammond, and Orders given by Votes of the House to Cromwell forthwith to march to the Army accordingly, in Order to which Fairfax wrote to him the following Letter:
Fairfax's Letter to Cromwell, June 11th.
YOU will find by the Inclosed Vote of the House of Commons a liberty given me to appoint you Lieut. Gen. of the Horse of this Army, during such time as that House shall be pleased to dispense with your attendance, you cannot expect but that I make use of so good an advantage as I apprehend this to be to the publick good. And therefore I desire you to make speedy repair to this Army, and give order that the Troops of Horse you had from hence, and what other Horse or Dragoons can be spared from the attendance of your Foot in their coming up, march hither with convenient speed; and as for any other Forces you have there, I shall not need to desire you to dispose of them as you shall find most for the publick advantage; which we here apprehend to be that they march toward us by the way of Bedford. We are now Quarter'd at Wotton two miles from Northampton, the Enemy still at Daventry. Your Intelligence is that they intend to move on Friday, but which way we cannot yet tell. They are as we hear more Horse than Foot, and make their Horse their Confidence, Ours shall be in God., I pray make all possible haste toward
Your Affectionate Friend to Serve you,
The same day Col Vermuyden, a Valiant Man, being return'd with his Party of Horse, desired General Fairfax that he might Surrender his Commission, having (as he alledged) special occasions requiring his Presence beyond the Seas; which was yielded unto, and accordingly he received his Discharge.
Major Gen. Skippon was desired to draw the Form of a Battel, and the Army was divided into several Brigades of Horse and Foot, in order to their being better disposed for an Engagement. And Fairfax dispatch'd Couriers to Sir John Gell, Col. Rosciter, and the Governours of Coventry, Warwick, Northampton and Nottingham, to give them notice of the probability of a sudden Engagement, and to hasten them to come up with what Strength they could make to Reinforce his Army.
On Wednesday, June the 11th, Fairfax marched from Stonystratford to Wotton within three Miles of Northampton, his Ma jesty continuing about Daventry, and Quartering his Troops and Carriages upon Burrough-Hill (having anciently been a place of Fortification) and 'twas imagined he had made choice thereof as advantagions to Fight upon, in case the Enemy durst advance to him: But indeed his Majesty only waited there for the return of a Party of Twelve hundred Horse, which he had sent as a Convoy with Provisions gathered up in Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, & c. the better to secure that City against a Siege in case it should be attempted, whilst he marched for the Relief of Pontfract and Scarborough, to which he had a great Inclination, especially because the same appeared more feasible, since the Removal of the Scotish Army.
From Wotton, Fairfax sent the following Letter that Night:
Fairfax's Letter to the Committee of both Kingdoms, June 11th.
My Lords and Gentlemen,
The Army is this day marched from Stonystratford to Wotton; two miles from Northampton, and about nine from Daventry, where the Enemy yet remains. The ill Weather hath been some disadvantage to us, but I hope a fair day may recover what a foul day loses. It is intended that the Army move something nearer the Enemy to Morrow, by which it's like we may discover their Resolution. If they appear forward to engage, I shall take the best advice I can upon the place, but as yet I see no great reason to decline. But if the Enemy retreat Westward, or stand upon their advantage till further Supplies, which I hear they expect from the West to come to them, I offer it to your Lordships, whether it be not fit that this Army receive what addition conveniently they may. And seeing we lye at as good an advantage, for marching Northward as the Enemy, being nearer to Newark their only Pass I think fit to propound that the Horse of Lincolnshire, Darby and Nottingham be drawn this way with all convenient speed, for if the King go toward the West, or the Western House come to him, we shall be much inferior in Horse, being already over-numbred. I have already sent to those Horse, but thought fit not only to give your Lordships notice, but desire your assistance in the accomplishing of this motion which appears but reasonable to
Your Lordships Humble Servant,
Wotton at 10 at Night, June 11th, 1645.
June the 12th, Fairfax marched to Gilsborough, four miles West of Northampton, and within five miles of Burrough-Hill, where his Majesty's Army still continued; to whom a Commanded Party of Horse gave an Alarm, and by some Prisoners taken, understood that his Majesty was diverting himself with Hunting, the Soldiers in no good Order, and many of their Horses at Grass, having no thoughts of the so near Advance of the Parliamentarians; yet the Alarm was so quickly taken through all their Quarters, that Fairfax's Foot being somewhat behind, and Night approaching, he did not then think fit to venture any further Attempt : But being rather apprehensive they might visit his Quarters, mounted about Twelve that Night, and rode about the Horse and Foot-Guards till Four in the Morning, where an odd Adventure happen'd : Having his Thoughts otherwise busied, he himself forgot the Word, and was stopt at the first Guard ; whereupon declaring who he was, and requiring the Soldier that stood Centinel to give it him, the Fellow refused, saying, He was to demand the Word from all that pass'd him, but to give it to none ; and if he advanced without it, would shoot him. And so made the General stay in the Wet till he sent for the Captain of the Guard to receive his Commission to give the Word ; and in the end the Soldier was rewarded for his Duty and Carefulness.
The Convoy of Horse sent by the King to Oxford being that Night return'd, and this unexpected March of the Enemy up so close to them, being in a manner a Surprize, his Majesty thought fit to Decamp from Burrough-Hill, designing on the before-mentioned towards Pontfract, either judging Fairfax's Army would not follow them, or if they did, that he might fight them with more Advantage after they had drawn them further Northwards. Accordingly early in the Morning his Majesty's Army dispatch'd their Carriages towards Harborough, fired their Huts, and bent their March thitherwards.
Fairfax holds a Council of War.
About Six a Clock the same Morning Fairfax called a Council of War, and in the midst of their Debates came in Lieut. General Cromwell out of the Association with Six hundred Horse and Dragoons, and presently Orders were given for Drums to Beat, Trumpets to Sound to Horse, and all their Army to draw to a Rendezvous; from whence a Party of Horse were sent towards Daventry, under the Command of Major Harrison to bring further Intelligence; and another strong Party under the Command of Col. Ireton to fall upon the Flank of the King's Army, if he sound Opportunity, whilst Fairfax with the Main Body marched to Flank them in the way to Harborough, and came that Night to Gilling; at which time the Van of his Majesty's Army was at Harborough, the Rear within two Miles of Naseby, where Ireton fell into their Quarters and took several Prisoners, giving an Alarm to the whole Army. Upon which his Majesty (not having notice thereof till Eleven at Night) left his own Quarters at that unseasonable Time, and called a Council of War at Harborough, where Prince Rupert Quartered; To whom the Question was put, what was best to be done, feeing the Enemy was so near, and (as 'twas plain) intended to Engage them ? It was considered, That should they march on to Leicester, if the Rear were Engaged, the whole Army might be put in Hazard, and therefore there was no Safety in marching with the Van, unless they could bring the Rear clear off, which they foresaw would be very difficult to do: And therefore it was resolv'd to put it to a Battel, taking themselves to be more strong in Horse, than Fairfax; to be much better furnish'd with old Experienced Commanders, and having no Reason not to rely upon their Infantry; for indeed they were generally valiant stout Men. And further they resolved, since Fairfax had been so forward in pressing upon them, they would not remain in that Place where they were, expecting him, but forthwith advance to find him out and offer him an Engagement.
The Battel at Naseby, June the 14th.
General Fairfax on Saturday, June the 14th, by Three a Clock in the Morning marched from Gilling towards Naseby with design to follow close upon the King's Rear, and if he could, to retard their March with his Horse, till his Foot could come up to him, in case they should march on to Leicester, (he being told that had in the Night drawn some of their Carriages through Harborough that way.) By Five a Clock Fairfax brought his Army to a Rendezvous near Naseby, and soon after several Bodies of his Majesty's Horse shew'd themselves on the Top of the Hill on that side Harborough, whereby Fairfax and his Officers plainly perceived that they were putting themselves into Order to Engage him. And so both Armies began to draw up in Battalia.
Of the King's Army, Prince Rupert and Prince Maurice Commanded the Right Wing, Sir Marmaduke Langdale the Left, and his Majesty himself in Person the Main-Body: The Earl of Lindsey and Sir Jacob (sometimes before Created Lord Ashley) the Right-hand Reserve, and the Lord Bard and Sir George L' Isle the Left Reserve.
The Right Wing of the Parliament's Army consisting of Six Rements of Horse, was led by Lieutenant General Cromwell, General Fairfax and Major General Skippon undertook the Charge of the Main Body. The Left Wing composed of five Regiments of Horse, and a Division of Two hundred Horse of the Association, and a Party of Dragoons to secure their Left Flank, was committed at Cromwell's Request to the Management of Col. Ireton, who was for that Purpose made Commissary-General of Horse: And the Reserves were brought up by Rainsborough, Hammond and Pride. The Place where they fought was a large. Fallow Field about a Mile broad on the North-west-side of Naseby, which Space of Ground was wholly taken up. The Two Armies were pretty equal as to Numbers, there not being Five hundred difference on either side.
The Field-word for the King was, Queen Mary: For the Parliament, God our Strength.
The Exact Form of the Battel is represented in the following Figure: That of the King's Army being drawn up soon after by the Lord Ashley, who in an Engagement near Stow in the Wold was taken Prisoner; and whose Papers of Naseby Battel under his own hand I have by me, and that of the Parliament's Army given in, approved by several of the Commanders in Chief therein Concerned.
The King's Army in the Form here described marched up in good Order, a swift March, with abundance of Alacrity, Gallantry and Resolution. Fairfax's Army was on the Brow of a small Hill, having placed a Forlorn Hope of Three hundred Musqueteers about Carbin-shot lower, who after they began to be hard pressed upon, Retreated, according to the Orders before given them, to the Main Battalia. Prince Rupert with his Majesty's Right Wing first began the Charge on that side against Ireton, and Cronwell with the Parliament's Right Wing at the same Instant fell upon Langdale; and tho' several Actions in divers Parts of the Battel happen'd at the same Moment, yet they cannot be related otherwise than successively, and therefore for Method I shall speak first of the Success of the King's Right Wing against the Parliament's Left: 2dly, Of the Actions between the two Main-Bodies: 3d, Of the Success of Fairfax's Right Wing against the King's Left, which will bring us, 4thly, to the Catastrophe or Upshot of the whole Action, wherein the Parliamentarians gain'd an intire Victory.
First then, the Prince furiously Charging, as you have heard, was handsomely received by Ireton, who yet after some smart Action, was disorder'd, and himself in Charging a Brigade of the King's Foot, which he saw on his Right hand, pressing fore upon some of his Party, having his Horse shot under him, was run through the Thigh with a Pike, and into the Face with an Halbert, and taken Prisoner, until afterwards upon the Turn of the Battel he found an opportunity to gain his Liberty. This Wing and their Reserves being broke, and generally over-born (which they imputed to the Disadvantages they sustained by certain Pits of Water, and Pieces of Ditches which they expected not,) his Highness Prince Rupert pursued the Advantage, and Chaced them almost to Naseby Town. And in his Return Summoned the Train, offering them Quarter; but they being well defended with Firelocks, and a Rear-Guard, refused to submit, and kept him off so long, till perceiving the Fortune of the rest of the King's Army not to be equal to his, he quitted them, to succour, if he could, his Friends, but came too late, as appear'd by the Sequel.
Between the two Main-Bodies very fierce and doubtful was the Encounter; but the Success there at first seemed to incline to his Majesty's Forces; for except Fairfax's own Regiment of Foot, almost all the rest of his Front-divisions gave Ground, and went off in Disorder, falling behind the Reserves: But the Colonels and Officers after they found all their Endeavours to keep their Men firm, were (for a while) fruitless, did themselves with their Colours and some Soldiers, fall into the Reserves, who advancing, repell'd the King's Forces, and at last put them to a disorderly Retreat. But Major General Skippon was very dangerously Wounded by a shot in the Side, whereupon General Fairfax desired him to go off the Field, but the Old Man answered, He would not stir so long as a Man would stand; and accordingly staid till the Battel was ended.
In the mean time Cromwell with his Right Wing had Charged Sir Marmaduke Langdale with great success; for tho' he met with a Gallant Resistance, insomuch that they fired at a close Charge, and came to the Sword's Point, and put several of his Divisions into disorder, yet in fine he broke them, and forced them to fly beyond all their Foot, near a Quarter of a Mile beyond the Place where the Battel was fought. Which having accomplished, his next Business was with part of his Troops to keep the King's Horse from coming to the Rescue of their Foot; against whom by this time Fairfax with his Main-Body had prevailed, and disorder'd them all, except one Tertia, who stood like a Rock, and tho' twice desperately Charged, would not move an Inch; whereupon Fairfax commanded (the Captain of his Life-Guard) to Charge them once more in the Front, and he himself with his own Regiment, and a Commanded Party would at the same Instant fall upon them in the Rear, and so they might meet together in the middle; which was done accordingly, and that last Body of the King's Foot put into confusion and broken.
Upon the Routing of this last Body, the King had nothing intire in the Field, but his Horse, with whom was his Majesty himself, and had Rallied and put them into as good order as the time would permit; the Prince too being now returned from his fatal Success, and joyned with him: But all his Majesty's Train of Artillery was already lost, and his Foot broken, and Fairfax's Army busied in taking of Prisoners, except some Bodies of Horse which faced the King to prevent him from advancing to the Succour of his Infantry.
However, His Majesty having got his Cavalry into convenient Order, Fairfax did not think fit to Charge them with his Horse only, till the Foot were come up; and therefore the Officers having Rallied his Foot that were disorder'd in the first Charges, and got them into a Body, they were coming up upon a fast March to fall in between the Horse who were drawn up again in two Wings, with a sufficient Space left between them for the Foot, so that here was formed a second good Battalia of Horse, Foot and Artillery at the latter end of the day; from which the King's Horse without any Ordinance or Assistance of Foot were to expect a second Charge; the Dragoons having already began to Fire; whereupon, not willing to venture another shock upon such great Disadvantages, his Majesty with Courage and Magnanimity endeavoured all that was possible to encourage them, Crying out, One Charge more, and we recover the Day; Yet he could not prevail, but they Retreated in disorder, both Fronts and Reserves; and Fairfax's Horse pursued them unto within two Miles of Leicester, being fourteen Miles of Leicester, and took many Prisoners.
Touching the Number slain in this Battel I have not been able to gain any certain Account: There were taken Prisoners near 5000, viz. Six Colonels, Eight Lieut. Colonels, Eighteen Majors, Seventy Captains, Eighty Lieutenants, Eighty Ensigns, and about Two hundred inferior Officers, besides many of his Majesty's HousholdServants, and above 4000 private Soldiers.
There were also taken all the King's Train of Artillery that was in the Field, viz. Twelve Brass Pieces of Ordinance (whereof two were Demi-Cannon,) Two Mortar pieces, about 8000 Arms, Forty Barrels of Power, all the Bag and Baggage, and very rich Pillage, which the Soldiers had possess'd themselves of at the taking of Leicester, above one hundred Colours, the King's Sumpter, several Coaches, and his Majesty's Cabinet of Papers and Letters, &c.
The King this day excellently disclosed the Part of a General both for Conduct and Courage; so likewise the Earl of Lindsey, Lord Ashley, Col. Russel and others that were Wounded, acquitted themselves with great Gallantry. Of Colonels, Knights, and Officers of Note, there were slain of his Majesty's Side about twenty. And of private Soldiers, the Number of 600 or thereabout, as was commonly computed, but much greater, and indeed irreparable was his Majesty's Loss of so many brave Foot taken Prisoners.
The King retires towards Wales.
His Majesty in Person with Part of the Horse retreated into Leicester, but not judging it safe there to continue, parted thence the same Evening to Ashby-de-la-zouch, where he Refreshed himself for some Hours. and thence pass'd on to Litchfield, and so towards Wales.
Another Part being the Northern Horse, under Sir Marm. Langdale got to Newark, and both Parties happily miss'd Sir John Gell, who with 2000 Horse according to Orders formerly sent him, were the same day on their march from Nottingham towards Leicester, intending to have joyn'd the Parliament's Army before the Engagement.
Fairfax the same Night of the Battel marched five Miles, viz. to Harborough, and made that his Head-Quarter; and most of the Prisoners taken in the Fight were that Night kept in Harborough Church; and the rest, especially such as were Wounded, sent to Northampton.
But the next day the General ordered Col. John Fiennes and his Regiment to march up to London with the Prisoners and Colours taken in this Fight.
Fairfax's Letter to the Commons of the Battel at Naseby, June 15th.
Besides the General Account I have already given by one of my Servants, whom I sent up to London yesterday, I thought sit to send this Bearer, Mr. Boles, who may more particularly inform you, concerning the abundant Goodness of God to this Army and the whole Kingdom in the late Victory obtained at Naseby-Field, the whole Body of their Foot taken and slain; such a List of the Prisoners as could be made up in this short time, I have sent: The Horse all quitted the Field, and were pursued within three Miles of Leicester: Their Ammunition, Ordinance and Carriages all taken, amongst which there were two Demi Cannons, a whole Culverin, and a Mortar-piece, besides lesser Pieces. We intend to move to Leicester, as soon as we have taken order with our Prisoners and Wounded Men: All that I desire, is, That the Honour of this great, never to be forgotten Mercy, may be given to God in an Extraordinary Day of Thanksgiving. And that it may be Improved to the good of his Church and this Kingdom; which shall be faithfully endeavoured by,
Your most Humble Servant,
Harborough, June the 15th, 1645.
Major Gen. Skippon was shot through his Side, but notwithstanding continued in the Field with great Resolution. And when I desired him to go off the Field, he answered, He would not go off as long as a Man would stand; still doing his Office as a Valiant and Wise Commander. Also Col. Butler, and Col. Ircton upon their first Charge were both dangerously Wounded, behaving themselves very Gallantly. If I could enter into Particulars much might be spoken of the Resolution and Courage of many Commanders both Horse and Foot in this day's Service. Some Irish are amongst the Prisoners, as I am informed; I have not time to make inquiry into it; I desire they may be proceeded against above according to Ordinance of Parliament.
Cromwell's Letter touching the same.
Being Commanded by you to this Service, I think my self bound to, acquaint you with the good hand of God towards you and us: We marched yesterday after the King, who went before us from Daventry to Haverbrow, and Quarter'd about six miles from him. This Day we marched towards him. He drew out to meet us, both Armies Engaged. We after three Hours Fight very doubtful, at last Routed his Army, kill'd and cook about 5000. very many Officers, but of what Quality, we yet know not. We took also about 200 Carriages, all he had, and all his Guns, being twelve in number, whereof two were Demi-Cannon, two Demi Culverins, and I think the rest Sacres; we pursued the Enemy from three miles short of Harborough to nine beyond, even to the Sight of Leicester, whither the King fled.
Sir, This is none other but the Hand of God, and to him alone belongs the Glory, wherein none are to share with him. The General served you with all Faithfulness and Honour; and the best Commendations I can give him, is, That I dare say he attributes all to God, and would rather perish than assume to himself; which is an honest and thriving way; and yet as much for Bravery may be given to him in this Action, as to a Man: Honest Men served you faithfully in this Action. Sir, they are trusty; I beseech you in the Name of God not to discourage them I with this Action may beget Thankfulness and Humility in all that are concerned in it. He that ventures his Life for the Liberty of his Country, I with he trust God for the Liberty of his Conscience, and you for the Liberty he fights for: In this he rests, who is,
Your most Humble Servant,
June 14th, 1645. Haverbrow.
The Committee residing with the Army, their Letter to the Speaker, June 14th.
This Morning by Day-break we marched out of Guilsborow after the Enemy; after an Hour's March we discovered their Horse drawn up at sybbertoft, three Miles on this side Harborough; an Hour after their Foot appeared. This was about Eight in the Morning; by Ten we were disposed into a Battalia on both Sides: Both Sides with mighty Shouts express'd a hearty desire of Fighting, having for our parts Recommended our Cause to God's Protection, and receiv'd The Word, which was, God our Strength: Theirs, Queen Mary. Our Forlorn Hopes began to play, whilst both Sides labour'd for the Hill and Wind, which in conclusion was as it were equally divided. Our Forlorn-Hope gave back, and their Right Wing of Horse sell upon our Left with such Gallantry, that ours were immediately Routed, above 1000 ran along with them: But such was the Courage and Diligence of the Right Wing back'd with the Foot, that they not only beat back the Enemy from their Train, but fell in with their Foot, and after two Hours Dispute won all the Field-Pieces, (whereof some are Cannon) most of their Baggage, Mortar-Pieces, Boats, 9000 Arms, much Powder and Match, &c. And nigh 4000 Prisoners. Their Number was about 12000. Some 600 Slain, many Commanders of Note. Of ours not above a hundred. Our Horse are still in pursuit, and have taken many of theirs. The Standard is ours, the King's Waggons and many Ladies. God Almighty give us Thankful Hearts for this Great Victory, the most absolute as yet obtained. The General, Lieut. Gen. Cromwell, and Maj. Gen. Skippon, (who is shot in the Side, but not dangerous) did beyond Expression Gallantly, so did all our other Commanders and Soldiers. We have lost but two Captains. Tho' this come late, be pleased to accept it from
Your Honours most Humble Servants,
Naseby, where the Fight was this Saturday, 14th June, 1645.
Prisoners of War taken at Naseby-Field, June the 14th, 1645. in Northamptonshire.
- Officers of the Life-Guard of Horse
- Capt. Mason, Reformado
- Officers of the Duke of York's Regiment of Foot.
- Prince Rupert's Regiment of Foot.
- Lieut. Fisher.
- Officers in Prince Maurice's Life Guard.
- Capt. Gerret.
- Capt. Tempest.
- Lieut. Backster.
- Quarter-Master Simson
- Officers of the Lord Ashley's Regiment of Foot.
- Corporal of the Field-Regiment.
- Officers of Sir Bernard Ashley's Regiment of Foot.
- Capt. Hoare.
- Capt. Fisher.
- Officers of Col. Regols Regiment.
- Capt. Dyet.
- Capt. Glasier.
- Officers of Sir John Paul's Regiment of Foot.
- Capt. Mason.
- Officers of Col. Gerrard's Regiment of Foot.
- Major Bishop.
- Capt. Booth.
- Ensign Bland.
- Ensign Perrine.
- Officers of Col. Page's Regiment of Foot.
- Col. Page.
- Lieut. Col. Lawson.
- Major Sir Will. Bridges, Knight.
- Officers of Col. Lile's Regiment of Foot.
- Lieut. Col. Littleton.
- Major Fowler.
- Lieut. Carter.
- Ensign Turpin.
- Ensign Littleton.
- Officers of Col. St. George's Regiment of Foot.
- Major Whitmore.
- Faire Brothe.
- Col. Vaughan's Officers of Horse.
- Lieut. Col. Slaughter.
- Capt. Hosiers.
- Lieut. Armstrong.
- Cornet Edmonds.
- Quarter-Mast. Nursse.
- Lieut. Billingsley, Reformado
- Col. Broughton's Regiment of Foot.
- Capt. Hill.
- Capt. Pauldon.
- Col. Tiller's Officers of Foot.
- Capt. Church.
- Capt. Dikes.
- Lieut. Busbirdge.
- Loftus, Senior.
- Loftus, Junior.
- Sir Fulke Hunke his Officers of Foot.
- Lieut. Rewes.
- Lieut. Perryn.
- Ensign Smith.
- Officers of Col. Lucas's Regiment of Foot.
- Capt. Lieut. Parker.
- Lieut. Johnson.
- Lieut. Cole.
The Names of his Majesty's Houshold-Servants now in the Marshal's Custody.
- Mr. Howen Page of his Majesty's Bed-Chamber.
- Mr. Abbot their Chamber-keeper.
- One Sumpter Man.
- Four Foot-men of his Majesty's.
- One Foot-men of Prince Maurice's.
- Robert Markham Yeoman of his Majesty's Chandry.
- William Waston, Porter at Gate.
- Roger Gellybrand of his Majesty's Confectionary.
- One Groom of the Chamber.
- And one Chamber-keeper belonging to the Duke of Lenox.
- Nicholas Johnston belonging to his Majesty's Groom Porter.
- Walter Whise belonging to his Majesty.
- James Spanier Victualler.
- Francis Rossell.
- Col Bunkley of Horse.
- Lieut. Col. Godfry.
- Major More.
- Captain King.
- Lieutenant Griffin.
- Lieutenant Nightingall.
- Ensign Musgrave.
- Lieutenant Tench.
- Thomas Mangainere of the Prince's Troop.
- Richard Addrings, Prince's Troop.
- John Piffinch.
- Joseph Bromehall.
- Sir William Vahan.
- Morgan Evans, the Queen's Regiment.
There were many taken last Night late near Leicester, and sent to Rockingham-Castle; most of the Duke of York's Life-Guard, and then the Colours of that Regiment were taken: Sir John Norwich took Colonel Nevil Prisoner.
Die Luna, 16 Junii, 1645.
It is this Day Ordered by the Lords and Commons in Parliament Assembled, That Thursday next shall be set a part for a Day of Publick Thanksgiving to Almighty God in all the Churches and Chappels within the Cities of London and Westminster, and Lines of Communication, for the Great and Glorious Victory obtained by the Parliament's Army, under the Command of Sir Thomus Fairfax against the Forces of the King. And that Mr. Marshall and Mr. Vines be desired to Preach at Christ-Church before the Parliament. And that the L. Mayor, Aldermen and Common Council do meet the Parliament there. And it is further Ordered, That Friday being the 27th of this Instant June be likewise set apart for a Publick Day of Thanksgiving for this Victory in all the Churches and Chappels in the several Counties of the Kingdom under the Power of the Parliament.
Jo. Brown Cler. Parliament.
General Fairfax endeavouring to improve this Victory, gave Orders for the Army, Horse, Foot and Train, to march forwards the very next day, being Sunday June 15th, and made to Glyn four miles short of Leicester, the Head-Quarter; the Horse marching within a Mile of Leicester that Night, and kept Guards, which so alarm'd the Nobles and Gentry that had sled thither for security, that they departed thence in much haste, leaving the Lord Hastings to defend that Place.
Fairfax marches to Leicester, and Summons the Governour; Leicester Surrenders.
This day he also received a full Intelligence of the State of Affairs in the West, by means of the contrivement of the Scout-master General, the manner thus: A Spy of his formerly employed by him to Secretary Nicholas in Oxford, was the day that the Army rose from before that City, sent to him again (yet as coming of his own accord) to give him Intelligence, that the Army would that Morning march away, it being conceived that either the Secretary would send him (or he mighty find some opportunity) to go into the West, where General Goring then lay with his Army about Taunton, and bring the Intelligence desired; accordingly it fell out: Into the West he was sent, first to Bath, where the Prince of Wales then was, to whom he brought the first News of the Parliament's Army rising from before Oxford, from thence to General Goring about Taunton, who received him and the News very gladly, and looking upon him as a sit Instrument to be employed to the King, then about Leicester, and as they supposed, intending Northward; dealt with him, (as about business of great concernment) to carry a Packet of Letters to his Majesty: The Fellow with some seeming difficulty suffered himself to be perswaded, received the Packet, but brought them to Fairfax fairly sealed up. Fairfax seemed unwilling to open the King's Letters. But Cromwell and Ireton prevailed to open them, wherein was signified that in three Weeks time (nine days whereof were then expired) General Goring was confident to master the Forces at Taunton, and by consequence to settle the West of England, in an absolute posture for his Majesty's Service, and march up with a considerable Army to his Assistance; advising the King by all means in the mean, time to stand upon the defensive, and not engage till his Forces were joyned with his Majesty's. Had these Letters been delivered to the King (as they might have been but for this Defeatment) in all probability his Majesty had declined fighting for the present, and staid for those Additional: But as the want of this Intelligence was so fatal to his Majesty, so the notice thereof quicken'd Fairfax to make speed to Relieve Taunton; yet he being so near Leicester, and that Town in all probability easie to be regain'd, (considering the fear that they within were possessed withal by the loss of the day at Naseby,) besides the want of Men thereby (in all likehood) to make good their Works, he resolved first to assay that; and accordingly Monday, June the 16th about Noon brought his whole Army before the Town; and sent a Summons to the Lord Hastings to Surrender the Garrison, with all the Ordinance, Arms and Ammunition therein, who returned a resolute Negative Answer, as if he meant to defend it to the last Man; whereupon a Council of War being called, it was resolved to Storm the Place. Warrants were sent to the Hundreds to bring in Ladders, Carts, Hay, Straw, and other things requisite for that purpose. In pursuance Whereof great store of Ladders were brought in on Tuesday, June the 17th, and a Battery was raised, upon which two Demi-Cannons and a whole Culverine taken at Naseby were planted, which played upon the Fortification called the Newark, being the very same Guns which the King not many days before had used against the same Place: The Lord Hastings perceiving his condition was like to be desperate, sent a Trumpeter with a Letter to the General, desiring a Parley concerning the Surrender of the Town, which was accepted of; Commissioners appointed to Treat, and Hostages on both Sides given; and the Treaty begun that Evening, and held Debate till Twelve a Clock that Night, then concluded upon these Articles.
Articles of the Surrender of Leicester.
- 1. That the Lord Loughborough should have Quarter granted him, and have Protection for his Person to be safely conveyed to the Garrison of Ashby-de-la-zouch.
- 2. That all Field-Officers, Colonels, Lieutenant Colonels, Serjeants Majors, and Captains, and Lieutenants of Horse (but not of Foot) shall march away with their own particular single Horse and Arms, with Protection for their own Persons.
- 3. That all the rest of the Officers shall be conveyed safely to the Garrison of Lichfield with Staves only, and no other Weapon in their hands.
- 4. That all common Soldiers have Quarter only for their Lives and be conveyed to Lichfield, without any other Weapons, save only Staves in their hands.
- 5. That before Ten of the Clock, the said Morning June the 18th, the Governour of the Town, and the Lord Loughborough and all the rest of the Officers and Soldiers march out of the Garrison according to the Agreement aforesaid.
- 6. That Sir Thomas Fairfax be permitted to enter in at Ten of the Clock the said Wednesday Morning aforesaid, with his Forces, and take Possession of the Garrison.
- 7. That all the Pieces of Cannon, Great and Small, now in the Garrison of Leicester, be left to Sir Thomas Fairfax.
- 8. That all the Arms and Ammunition now in Leicester be left to Sir Thomas Fairfax, save only what is agreed to for the Officers of Horse aforesaid.
- 9. That all the Provisions, Colours, Bag and Baggage be also left to sir Thomas Fairfax.
- 10. That all the Horse (save only those excepted for the Officers aforesaid) that are in the Garrison of Leicester, be delivered up to Sir Thomas Fairfax for the Service of the Parliament.
- 11. That all the Officers and Soldiers have Quarter for their Lives.
- 12. That all the Prisoners of War that are in Leicester at the same time be released and set free to serve the Parliament.
Lord Loughborough marches out of Leicester.
The Guards and Centinels in the Gate-house Prison in the Newark hearing of the Conclusion of the Articles, about Four a Clock on Wednesday Morning went away from their Duty, and left their Arms behind them, and the Prison-door open, whereupon the Prisoners went out, and finding the Garrison a Plundering they fell a Plundering too. About seven a Clock all the Guards were drawn off, the Soldiers on the Line threw down their Arms, quit their Posts, and the Gates were opened, which gave Invitation to divers of Fairfax's stragling Soldiers to get into the Town at the Ports and over the Works; Complaint hereof being made to Fairfax by some from the Lord Loughborough, of the Violation of the Articles by his Soldiers: He sent to the Lord Loughborough to keep all his Men upon their Guards, and if any offered violently to enter the Town before the time, to fire upon them, and immediately issued out a Proclamation, commanding the punctual Observance of the Articles by his own Soldiers under pain of death. But the Lord Loughborough instead thereof mounted on Horse-back in the Morning with divers Gentlemen (Officers and others) and left the Town some hours before the time appointed for his marching forth; so that when Fairfax's Commissioners, came at the time appointed to see the Articles perform'd, they found his Lordship gone, and the Town in confusion, but the Soldiers were Commanded off, and things soon put into some convenient Order, and then about Eleven a Clock the Army enter'd the Town, where they found divers Commanders of Note, viz. Serj. Maj. Gen. Eyres, Col. Lister Lieut. Col. Mouldsworth, Lieut. Col. Pemberton, Major Naylor, Major Trollop, and divers Persons of Quality, all Wounded in the late Battel.
Here were taken in the Town Fourteen Pieces of Ordnance, Thirty Colours, about 2000 Arms, fifty Barrels of Powder, and other Ammunition in good proportion.
The next day being June the 18th, Money being come down from London, the Army was Muster'd.
Fairfax deliberates of Relieving of Taunton
Leicester being thus regain'd on the 18th of June, Frirfax was in some doubt whether he would march after the King, whom he had Intelligence was raising new Forces on the Borders of Wales, or advance to Releive that part of his Army, which was now Besieged in and about Taunton, and which by the late gain'd Intelligence, were not in a condition long to support themselves; nor was Massey who was sent that way able to succour them, being not above 3000 strong, so that General Goring was in a condition both to keep off him and continue the Siege. And if Taunton, and consequently that Party should be lost, he easily foresaw of what consequence it would be to the Parliament's Interest, when his Majesty's Forces should possess the whole West (except the Garrisons of Lime, Pool, and Weymouth) intirely to themselves, and therefore his March thither seem'd absolutely requisite: But being unwilling to determine himself in so weighty a case, sent to the Parliament for their Directions. And in the mean time on the 20th of June drew out of Leicester to Lutterworth, and the next day to Lillington in Warwickshire, so to Warwick on the 22d, and to Clifford in Glocestershire, thence to Campden, thence to Northledge (fourteen miles,) and on the 26th came to Lechlale, where his Forlorn surprized some of the King's Soldiers belonging to Radcot Garrison, shot Lieut. Col. Nott, and took four Prisoners.
In their March to Wanborough, Friday June the 27th, they took in Highworth Garrison, being a Church Fortified by a Line and Bulwarks, and therein Major Hen the Governour, and about seventy Prisoners; and because it stood conveniently in a Line for Malmesbury, appointed the Governour of that Town to continue an Out-Garrison there, for inlarging his Quarters.
From Wanborough the Army marched to Burchalk in Wiltshire, by three Stages; and by the way on the Sunday (June 29.) while they rested at Marlborough, sent out some Spies to Taunton, to give them notice of the Army's Advance for their relief. Thence after a Rendezvous at Sionehenge, they marched in Battalia upon Salisbury-plain, and so came on Wednesday, July 2. to Blandford, and in their march took Mr. Penruddock, and one Fussell, two Captains of the Club-men (as they were called) being a great Number of the Inhabitans of several Parts of Wiltshire, and some Counties adjacent, who gathered themselves together, alledging they did but stand on their own Defence, to prevent Plundering; and that they would in that Posture remain Neuters until the King and his Parliament should agree; but in truth most of the Leading Men amongst them favour'd the King's Party; (and had they had opportunity, would no doubt openly have shewed themselves for his Majesty's Service.) These two Gentlemen being Examined, and promising not to appear any more in that business, where discharged
In this day's March was a Soldier executed, being by the Country apprehended and accused, for plundering of a Gentleman passing on the way near Marlborough.
Thursday July 3. Fairfax marched from Blandford to Dorchester 12. miles, a very hot Day, where Col. Sidenham Governour of Weymouth gave him information of the condition of those Parts, and of the great danger of the Club-risers; who would not suffer either Contribution or Victuals to be carried to the Parliament's Garrisons. And the same Night Mr. Hollis of Dorsetshire the Chief Leader of the Club-men, with some others of their principal Men came to Fairfax, and Mr. Hollis own'd himself to be one of their Leaders, affirming that it was fit the People should shew their Grievances and their Strength. Fairfax treated them civilly, and promised they should have an Answer the next Morning; for they were so strong at that time, that it was held a point of Prudence to be fair in demeanor towards them for a while; for if he should Engage with General Goring, and be put to the worst, these Club-men would knock them on the heads as they should fly for safety.
That which they desired from him was a safe Conduct for certain Persons to go to the King and Parliament with Petitions: Those assigned to the King were Dr. Henry Goche of Trinity-College in Cambridge, and Mr. Thom. Bromwell Divines, John St. Loe, Peter Hoskins, Esquires, Mr. Thom. Young an Attorney, and Mr. Rob. Paulet, Gentleman. To the Parliament Mr. Melchizedeck Waltham, Mr. Richard Hook, two Divines, Thom. Trenchard, Robert Calliford, Esquires, George Hawleys, Richards and Newmen, Gentlemen.
The Club-men desire their Petitions to be sent to the Parliament.
Mr. Hollis tendered to the General the Petitions, so to be conveyed; as also certain Articles of their Association: The Articles were,
That the Associates provide Arms, set Watches, be quiet with them that are so, lay hold on disorderly Soldiers, bring them to the next Garrisons, not to deny Quarters and Contributions to their Ability: Till their Petitions be delivered, net to favour either Party, nor to protect any not Associated.
The Heads of the Petitions were:
To desire a renewed Treaty, with a Cessation, as also that the Garrisons of Dorset and Wiltshire be put into their Hands, till the King and Parliament agree about their disposal. That they be free from all Charge, but the Maintenance of those Garrisons. That all Laws not repealed, be in force, and executed by the ordinary Officers. That all Men who desire it, may lay down Arms. That others that have absented themselves from their Dwellings may have free liberty to return and live at home.
After Speech had with them, and some Consultation what to do in the Business, he returned his Answer in Writing as followeth.
Fairfax's Answer to the Club-men.
Although the Papers brought to me, being not Subscribed, cannot challenge my Answer, yet to clear my self from any averseness to the satisfaction of the Country, who are pretended to be interested in these Petitions, I return this.
That my Affections and the Affections of this Army are as much inclined to Peace, as any Men's whatsoever; and we undertake the War for no other end, but the Establishing of a firm and happy Peace, by opposing the Enemies thereof; and that I shall be ready, so far as concerns me, to further all lawful and fit means to procure it: But having seen the Petitions, upon which a Let-pass is desired, I must profess my self not so well satisfied with some things contained in them, as to concur to their delivering by any act of mine: In particular, in that a Cessation is desired, whilst by Letters written by the King and Queen, taken at the late Battel of Naseby, it evidently appears that Contracts are already made for the bringing in 10000 French and 6000 Irish. It is further desired, that the Garrisons in these Parts, whereof three are Sea-ports, should be delivered up to the Petitioners; which to grant, were for the Parliament to acquit part of the Trust reposed in them by the Kingdom; and considering these Foreign Preparations, to run very great hazard to those Ports themselves, and to the whole Kingdom. Thirdly, it is propound ed that liberty be given to all Soldiers to disband, and to return to their home, if they desire it; which may with equal Justice be desired by all Parts of the Kingdom, and so the Parliament made unable to manage the War, before Peace be settled.
These Considerations, with some other yet to be debated, will not allow me to grant the desire of the Letter: But as for that part of the Petition which declares the Grievances of the Country by Plunder and Violence, committed either by Garrisons or Armies: I do hereby promise and undertake for the Garrisons and Armies under the Command of the Parliament, that whatsoever Disorders are committed by them, upon complaint, making known the Offences and Persons, Justice shall be done, and satisfaction given: As also I shall endeavour that the Parliament's Garrisons may be regulated according to any reasonable Agreement with the Country; and without doubt the Parliament will cause them to be slighted, so soon as the condition of those Parts, and the publick good shall permit; and that the Army under my Command shall be ordered as may be most for the good and advantage of these Counties, and of the whole Kingdom; of which some reasonable Testimony is already given, in their quiet and orderly Passage from these and other Counties, without many of those Complaints which usually follow Armies.
I further desire that in the publishing this my Answer to your Request, all assembling the People to publick Rendezvous may be forborn, and that Copies hereof may be dispersed to the several Parishes, that the Country may be acquainted therewith.
The Army marched that day from Dorchester to Beawminster, the Train and most of the Foot Quartered on the Top of an Hill, some few in Beawminster Town, the greatest part of which had lately been burnt down when Prince Maurice was there.
In the mean time General Goring, advertis'd of Fairfax's March, had raised his Army from before Taunton, and was marched towards Langport.
Thus was Taunton the second time Relieved, (being greatly distressed both for Ammunition and Victuals.) In which last Siege the Parliament's Party lost Col. Lloyd, and Col. Richbell, and several other Officers: But on the King's Side were also lost divers Persons of Quality, amongst whom Sir John Digby, Brother to Sir Kenelm Digby, receiv'd a mortal Wound, of which soon after he died.
Fairfax at Crookhorn
The 5th and 6th of July, Fairfax kept his Head-Quarters at Crookorn, and General Goring with his Forces kept the Pass at Load-Bridge with a strong Guard, and also pulled down Pederton Bridge, and made Breast-works, on the other side: But upon the Approach of a Party under Col. Fleetwood, quitted the lattet, Pass; whereupon Fairfax ordered that Bridge to be made up again, and planted a considerable Guard there.
General Goring continued at Long-Sutton, keeping a Guard at Load-Bridge, and making good the Garrison at Ilchester and Langport the two Passes upon the River, and had broken down the Bridge higher up the River towards the Town of Evil. Fairfax on Monday the 7th of July by Six of the Clock in the Morning drew his Foot to a Rendezvous in a Field about a Mile from Crookhorn in the way to Pederton, and with a Commanded Party went to view the Pass at Load-Bridge: General Goring seeing their Horse appear in great Numbers, drew up his Foot, and ordered some Regiments to march from Load-Bridge along the River-side to Ilchester, fearing they might storm that place; and the Horse diverted themselves in Skirmishes upon the Meadows near the River by Parties all that day. In the Field Fairfax called a Council of War to consider what was to be done; for Goring keeping beyond the River, and having the Garrisons of Ilchester, Langport, Burrough and Bridge water, there was no coming on that side; and to attempt a passage where an Enemy stood in good Order, ready to receive them, and it being also a Morass, seemed desperate. And on the Right-hand the Bridge at Evil being broke down, and a Guard upon it, and on all the Bridges on that side, there seemed no convenient passage nearer than the Head of the River about Sherborn, which would prove a tedious and difficult March.
In fine, they resolved to march the greatest part of the Army to Evil, and there to force their way, leaving in the mean time a convenient Force of Horse and Foot over-against Ilchester and Load- Bridge, to Engage Goring's Troops if they should advance on that side: In pursuance of this Resolution Fairfax marched to Evil, and made that the Head-Quarter for that, Night Goring's Horse Retreating to Ilchester, and soon after General Goring drew his Army towards Langport, and quitted Load-Bridge and Ilchester, leaving the Works undemolished, only setting Fire to the Bridewell which they had Fortified, but the Inhabitants soon quench'd, and saved the same.
Upon notice hereof Fairfax declining the Pass at Evil, marched back towards Ilchester on the same side of the River, and Quartered there that Night, and General Goring having detached part of his Army, which 'twas thought might be designed to surprize Taunton, hoping to find them now in security; wherefore Maj. Gen. Massey with his Brigade of Horse, and some Dragoons were dispatch'd after them to attend their motion; and on Wednesday, July the 9th, Fairfax's Army being at Long-Sutton, he had advice that Massey was near an Engagement, and therefore forthwith Ordered Col. Montague to march with 2000 Musquetiers to his Assistance, it being an Inclosed Country, where Foot would be most serviceable. But before they came up, Massey had worsted that Party, and taken Nine Colours, and between two and three hundred Horse: In which Action Col. Cook was shot through both Cheeks.
The Fight at Langport, July 10th.
All this while General Goring standing on his Advantages, as being Master of the Passes on the River, had declined a Fight, being inferior in strength, and waiting to be Recruited with some Forces he expected to Joyn him, but finding they came not, thought fit now to draw off to Bridgewater, and sent away most of his Cannon and Carriages thitherwards, but the better to secure his Retreat by keeping the Pass; sent over Musquetiers to Line the Hedges, and brought down two Cannons, and his Horse and Foot to Guard the Pass, and drew up in a posture to receive the Enemy if they should press on: But Fairfax drew down his Ordnance to such Places of advantage that they did great Execution on Goring's Army, who stood in good Order on the Hill, about Musquet-shot from the Pass, and forced them to draw off their Ordnance, and their Horse to remove their Ground. And then the Parliament's Foot thunder'd down the Hill, and Charged resolutely from Hedge to Hedge till they had gain'd the Pass: Upon which Goring's Horse drew down towards them, and a Forlorn of about 120 Horse was Ordered by Fairfax to advance over the Pass up the Hill, Commanded by Major Bethel, who tho' the Lane were very narrow, forced his way, and beat back two Bodies of Horse, being of General Goring's own Brigade, and brake them at Swords Point; but then they Charged him with fresh Troops, and beat him back. At which time Major Desborough with his Reserve came up to his Relief, and Bethel facing about and Joyning with him, they gave such an effectual Charge as put Goring's Men to a Retreat, and then the Musquetiers coming up with the Horse, some of Goring's Foot began to fly before ever they were Engaged, which put all the rest into confusion, so that Fairfax's Horse had the Chase of them almost to Bridgewater, for they quitted Langport, and fired it, hoping thereby to stop the pursuit; but Fairfax's Men not regarding that, made their Passage after them between the Flaming-Houses, and the Passes being narrow in many Places, it was very difficult to escape them, so that they took about 1400 Prisoners, and 1200 Horses, many of their Riders deserting them, and getting away over the Meadows and Enclosures. There was thought to be in all about 300 of the King's Party slain. Of the Prisoners of Note taken, were Col. Slingsby General of the Ordnance, and Col. Henningham, and Lieut. Col Preston, Four Captains of Horse, Eleven Lieutenants, Twenty Cornets of Horse, and above Thirty Colours of Horse and Foot; as also the Two Pieces of Cannon before mentioned, and a great Number of Arms. On the Parliament's side were lost Two Reformado Captains, Col. Butler's Capt. Lieut. and above fifty others, and Col. Cook, and Major Bethel, and about Sixteen of his Troop Wounded.
The Storming of Bridge water.
After this Battel the Parliament's Army marched the same day five miles to Middlesay in the way to Bridgewater; and next day the whole Army, Horse and Foot with the Train, were drawn up in Weston-More, otherwise called Pensy-Pound, two miles from Bridgewater. The Country-men thereabouts rose in great Numbers, and with their Colours, Clubs, and Arms, appeared upon Knol- Hill; which being made known to the General, he with the Lieutenant General and other Officers, marched up to them, who seemingly received him with Joy, and in token thereof gave a Volley of Shot; whence, after some conference with them, and their Leader, who made a Neutral Speech, the General returned, and the Army that Night went to Quarter, the Head-Quarter that Night being appointed at Chedsay, within two miles of Bridgewater.
Friday, July the 11th, Col. Welder's Brigade was commanded on the North-side of the Town of Bridgewater, towards Devonshire, and the rest of the Army on this side towards Chedsay; the Guards being set, Fairfax and Cromwell went to view the Town, which they found to be very strong, standing in a Valley, yet glorying in the Equality of its Level with the Ground about it, there being not a clod that could afford any advantage against that Place. The Fortifications regular and strong, the Ditch about it deep, and about thirty foot wide, which for a great part about the Town, was every Tide filled up to the brim with water, the compass of Ground within the Line and Works not great, very well Manned, having in it about. 1800 Soldiers to defend it: Within the Town was a Castle of indifferent strength, there was planted on the several Batteries about forty Piece of Ordnance; well stored with Ammunition and Victuals, being a Magazine for his Majesty's smaller Garrisons thereabouts.
Saturday and Sunday, July 12th and 13th they continu'd at Chedsay; and Col Okey having (from that day the Battle was at Langport) Besieged Burrough Garrison with his Dragoons, had the same Surrender'd unto him upon Quarter, wherein were a hundred and forty Prisoners, the Officers being promised fair usage.
Deliberations about the manner of taking the Town of Bridgewater.
Monday, July the 14th, a Council of War was called, Great Debate whether to storm the Town, or not, some Inclination to it, but no positive Resolution; notwithstanding Preparations were made, but upon further consideration were for that time drawn back their Quarters, and more time being taken, there were eight Long-Bridges, betwixt thirty and forty Foot length, devised to be made by Lieut. Gen. Hammond the Lieut. Gen. of the Ordnance, which were approved of by the Commanders and Officers, and of very great use to the Soldiers in the Storm.
Tuesday, July the 15th, the General went to Glastenbury, and returned that Night to the Head-Quarter.
Wednesday, July the 16th, a Council of War was again called, and several Propositions were made for the Freeing of the Army and Reduction of the Town. To rise with their whole Army, and leave the Town unattempted, was conceived to be very prejudicial to their future Progress; to sit down before it (being a place of that strength, if not sure to carry it) leaving the King at liberty to rally his Forces, seemed very hazardous.
The Blocking of it up by Forts on both sides With a part of the Army was propounded; but the difficulty of laying the Bridge over the River through the violence of the Current, (which yet would be necessary for the maintaining a Communication between the Quarters on both sides) hindered the design.
It was also propounded to attempt it by Approaches; but it was considered, that if they should go that way, it would prove very tedious; and if during their stay about it any great glut of Rain should have fallen, it would lay them wet in their Trenches, and disable them from effecting the Business.
Agreed upon to storm it.
At last, a Resolution to storm it was agreed upon, though it carried the greatest danger with it. For which purpose Lots were drawn for every one to take their Posts, some to storm, some to be Reserves, others to alarm, but the time of falling on was not determined till Friday, July the 19th, that it should be on the Monday Morning following, towards dawning of the day. The Brigade appointed on that side towards Devon was commanded by Major General Massey, only to alarm on that side, being the Regiments of Col. Welden, Col. Ingoldesby, Col. Fortescue, Col. Herbert, Col. Birch, and Maj. Gen. Massey's own Regiment: The Regiments designed on this side to storm were the Generals, Col. Pickering's, Col. Montague's, Sir HardressWaller's, the Regiment commanded by Lieut. Col. Pride, Col. Rainsborough and Col. Hammond's. The General rode round about the Town this day, to see if all things were in Readiness for the Storm, that both sides might fall on together.
On the Lord's-day, July the 20th, after both Sermons, the Drums beat, the Army was drawn out into the Field; and as soon as it grew dark, the Soldiers drew every one to their several Posts allotted them to storm; the Sign when the Storm was to begin, was, the shooting off three Pieces of Ordnance on this side, which the Forces on the other side were to take notice of, and to fall on the same Instant. Accordingly on Monday, July the 22d, about Two of the Clock in the Morning, the Storm began on this side of the Town, (the Forces on the other side only giving an Alarm which kept the Garrison upon the Line; ) the Forlorn-hope was led on by Lieut. Col. Hewscn, and seconded by the General's Regiment, commanded by Lieut. Col. Jackson; and the Major General's commanded by Lieut. Col. Ashfield. The Bridges prepared to pass over the Moat were quickly brought to the Ditch, and thrown in, on which the Soldiers with little loss got over the deep Ditch, and mounted the Works, (notwithstanding the great number of small shot that showr'd about them) beat them from their Ordnance, turn'd them upon the Town, and let down their Draw-Bridge, which made many of their Foot cry Quarter; Captain Rainolds, who commanded the Forlorn-hope of Horse, immediately enter'd, and scoured the Streets of that part of the Town so gained, called Eastover, to the Draw-Bride over the main Ditch, leading to the second Town; whereupon the rest of the Officers and Solders that were in a Body, and yet annoyed the Assailants in that part of the Town which they had won, threw down their Arms, and had Quarter given them; (there were about six hundred taken Prisoners, Officers and Soldiers.) But the King's Party in the second Town instantly made Barricadoes at the Gate upon the Bridge, and drew up the Bridge that divided one part of the Town from the other. Fairfax's Forces had not been two Hours in the first Town, but they were pelted with Granadoes and Slugs of hot Iron, which Fired it on both sides, which by the next Morning burnt that part of the Town, (of goodly Buildings) down to the Ground, except three or four Houses, yet Major Cowell stood all that while in the midst of the Street, which was both sides on fire, keeping Guards to prevent a Sally. Capt. Sampson in that remarkable Action received a shot.
The General hoping that the Storm might have wrought upon the Soldiers, and the Fire upon the Townsmen, so far that they would have hearkened to Treaty, renewed his Summons, which the Governor stoutly refused; whereupon Tuesday, July the 22d, it was resolved to Alarm the Town by Forces on this side, and to storm it on the other side, at Two of the Clock the next Morning; for which purpose the General was there in Person to see it done, though it was held fit on After Considerations, only to Alarm on both sides, which much amazed the Garrison, and kept them waking all that Night. Also about Two of the Clock in the Afternoon, the General sent to the Governor a Trumpet with a Message to this purpose: That his denial of fair Terms had wrought in him no other thoughts, but of compassion towards those that were innocent, who otherwise might suffer; wherefore he signified that all Women and Children that would accept of this liberty, should come forth of the Town by Four of the Clock in the Afternoon: Whereupon the Governor Windham's Lady said to the Messenger, Tell thy General, (laying her hand upon her Breasts, which the said gave Prince Charles Suck) we will hold it out to the last. But the next day the Governor's Lady and divers others, were of another opinion, and came out when the Cannon play'd fiercely into the Town, and Granadoes were shot, and Slugs of hot Iron in abundance, whereby several Houses in that Town were fired, and the Wind being high increased the Flame, the Townsmen within were in great distraction, every Man imployed how to save his House and Goods, the Garrison was in great amazement, so that the Governor thought fit to send forth Mr. Tho. Elliot to know the General's Terms, who refused to admit of any Treaty at all: However, they offered these Particulars.
First, That the Governor with all the Officers and Gentlemen that were in the Town, with their Servants, Horses, Swords, Pistols and Cloak-Bags, might march with a safe Conduct to Exeter.
Secondly, That all the Soldiers might likewise march to Exeter, leaving their Arms.
Thirdly, That all Clergy-men in the Town, and Townsmen might have liberty to march with them, or abide at home.
Whereunto the General returned these:
- 1. To all, their Lives.
- 2. To the Inhabitants, their Liberty and Freedom from Plunder.
- 3. Neither Officers nor Soldiers to be Plundered of the Clothes they had upon them.
- 4. The Gentlemen to be disposed of as the Parliament should appoint, and in the mean time to have Civil Usage.
Six Hostages to be sent, and an Answer in a Quarter of an Hour.
The Governour returned Answer, That he found those Propositions so ill resented, both by the Gentlemen and Soldiers, that he could not accept of them.
Fairfax thereupon gave Order to the Soldiers to stand upon their Guards, and go to their Duties. Mr. Elliot desired nothing might be done till he returned, leaving Sir John Heal as Caution, which was agreed to: And he presently returned with an Answer of accepting the last Articles; only added for himself, that he might have liberty to carry the News to the King upon his Parole.
Thereupon the Hostages were sent, viz. from the Town Sir John Heal, Sir Hugh Windham, Mr. Waldron, Mr. Warr, Mr. Siddingham, Mr. Speak, and others sent by Fairfax into the Town to them.
They were to deliver the Town, and yield themselves Prisoners the next Morning by Eight of the Clock; and all that Night they employ'd themselves to quench the Fire in the Town. The Loss of Men in the Storm were not many; Mr. Martin, an Officer in the Train, had his Leg shot, and afterwards cut off, whereof he died.
Wednesday, July 23. The Town was surrendered, about 1000 Officers and Soldiers, besides Gentlemen and Clergy, marched out as Prisoners. There were taken in the Town about forty four Barrels of Powder, 1500 Arms, forty-four Pieces of Ordnance, 400 weight of Match, Goods of great value, that had been carried for security into that place, and were seised by the Commissioners of the Parliament and sold; and three Shillings a Man raised upon the Sale, to be bestowed as a Reward upon the common Soldiers for their Service in storming of the Place.
The taking this Town was of considerable Advantage to the Parliament, for by it a Line of Garrisons was drawn over that Isthmus of Ground between the South Sea and Severn, by Bridgewater, Taunton, Lime, and Langport, it being from Bridgewater to Lime little above twenty miles, by which the Counties of Deven and Cornwall, then wholly at the King's Devotion, except Plymouth, were in a manner block'd up from all intercourse with the Eastern Parts: And likewise this being taken, their Army was at liberty for further Exploits.
Friday, July 25. A Council of War was called, to advise, whether to march up West to General Goring, or to stay in the Eastern Parts to curb the Club-men; and in favour of this latter, it was considered, that the Army wanted Ammunition to march far West, to undertake any considerable Action; and there being also several Garrisons of the King's, by which the Club-men were encouraged to shew themselves. It was therefore inclined unto by some, that the Army should first make it their business to reduce the Club-men, and to that end, to attempt the taking, or at least the blockading of that Garrison, which most countenanced them, viz. Sherborn Calste, where Sir Lewis Dives an active and resolute Soldier was Commander in Chief; but the determination of the Council of War was, notwithstanding to advance rather more West, to prosecute this last Success at Langport and Bridgewater, and hinder Goring from rallying his Forces, or raising any considerable Body, leaving some Force to attend Prince Rupert's motion about Bristol, and to disturb the Club-men if they frequented meetings as formerly. A March being thus resolv'd on, it was accordingly undertaken on the Morrow, whence the Army marched to Martock, ten miles, where resting the Lord's-day, there was a Thanksgiving for the Success in the taking of Bridgewater. The General, tho' he accounted it his greatest safety, to act according to the advice of his Council of War, yet was at this time much troubled in his own thoughts concerning his March further West, before Bath and Sherborn, and the Club-men were reduc'd, reckoning it also a Service of Importance to take in Bath, in order to the straitening of Bristol, and hindering Prince Rupert from raising any, considerable Force in those Parts.
Whereupon his Excellency took a Resolution to march back, and accordingly came to Wells that Night, with part of the Army and Train, being fourteen miles, and sent a Brigade of Horse and Foot unto Sherborn, under the Command of Colonel Pickering, to face that Garrison, and if there were hopes to reduce it, to sit down before it, in order to a Siege. The Horse-quarters this Night were nearer unto Bath, and more Forces were sent to get between Bath and Bristol; having Intelligence that their Distractions were such in Bath, the Townsmen not willing to bear Arms, nor yet to receive Soldiers from Bristol, which was then infected, and the Soldiers too few to keep it, so that the Governour Sir Tho. Bridges had quitted it, had not Prince Rupert sent about 100 Men to him with positive Orders to stay; that they would easily be driven to quit it: And in the mean time the General stay'd at Wells.
Tuesday the 29th Col. Rich faced Bath with Horse and Dragoons, summoned the Town, but the Governour refused to Surrender. Towards Evening some Dragoons commanded by Col. Okey, were drawn near the Bridge, and crept on their Bellies over it to the Gate, seised on the small end of the Guards Musquets, which they put through the Loop-holes of the Gate, taking hold of the Barrels of the Musquets, and cried to them within to take Quarter; whereupon they ran to their Work which flankered the Bridge, and left their Musquets behind them. The Assailants on this Advantage instantly fired the Gate, and became Masters of the Bridge, upon which the Deputy-Governour sent for a Parley, and the Town was yielded upon Articles, making the common Soldiers, who were about 140, Prisoners, and having Conditions for the Officers to march away to what Garrison they pleased. There were found in the Town fix Pieces of Ordnance, four hundred Arms, twelve Barrels of Powder; the Works, besides the Wall of the City, strong and tenable. Prince Rupert was advanced with a Party of fifteen hundred Horse and Foot from Bristol, within four miles to relieve it, but coming too late retreated.
The motions of Fairfax's Army in the West.
Wednesday, July the 30th, the Army was drawn up to Mendeep Hills, with intention to march to Bath, but upon Intelligence the Horse and Dragoons alone had taken the Town, Fairfax sent back the Army to Wells, marching only with two Regiments of Foot to Bath (which he intended to leave there for the security of that place, and parts thereabouts.) The General Quartered there that Night, and settled things for the safety of that Place, and in the Afternoon following returned to Wells, leaving two Regiments at Bath.
Friday, August the 1st, the Army marched from Wells to QueenCamel, where the Head-Quarter was that Night, but the General himself went with a few Horse to Sherborn, viewing the Works and Castle, and Quartered there that Night. And on Saturday, August the 2d, the General and Lieut. Gen. rode again to the Lodge, and upon a second view and observation, conceiving the Place reducible, Guards were appointed nearer, and Orders given for a close Siege.
That Day Intelligence came that the Club-men of three Counties, viz. Dorset, Wilts, and Somerset, were to meet at Shaftsbury, and might be surprized. Whereupon Col. Fleetwood was commanded forth with a good Party of Horse, who accordingly encompassed them in the Town with about 1000 Horse, and took about fifty, whereof Mr. Hollis, Carey, young, Cradock, and Dr. Goche were the Chief, who being brought Prisoners by a Guard of Horse, were after the Reducement of Sherborn, sent to London with other Prisoners.
On the Lord's-day, Aug. 3. News came that all the Country of Wilts and Dorset, and part of Somerset were up in Arms, and would have a Rendezvous of 10000 Men at least, to fetch off their Leaders; but privately Fairfax understood it was to interrupt his Siege, and to hinder Provisions from coming to the Leaguer; giving out withal, that General Goring with his Army was coming out of the West to relieve Sherborn.
Cromwell's Interview with the Western Menin Arms, and satisfies them.
On Monday, Aug. 4. L. Gen. Cromwell having Intelligence of some of their Places of Rendezvous, for their several Divisions, went forth with a Party of Horse to meet with them, and towards Shaftsbury discovered some Colours upon the top of an high Hill, full of Wood and almost inaccessible; a Lieutenant with a small Party was sent to them to know their meaning, and to acquaint them that the Lieut. Gen. of the Army was there. Whereupon one Mr. Newman one of their Leaders thought fit to come down, and told Cromwell their Intent was to know why the Gentlemen were taken at Shaftsbury on Saturday? The Lieut. Gen. return'd this Answer, That he held himself not bound to give him or them an account: What was done was by Authority, and they that did it were not responsible to them that had none: But not to leave them wholly unsatisfied, he told him that those Persons so met, had been the Occasions and Stirrers of many Tumultuous and Unlawful Meetings, for which they were to be try'd by Law; which Tryal by them ought not to be questioned, or interrupted. Mr. Newman desired to go up to return the Answer. Cromwell with a small Party went with him, and had some Conference with the People to this purpose: That whereas they pretended to meet there to save their Goods, they took a very ill Course for that, since to leave their Houses was the way to lose their Goods; and it was offered them, that Justice should be done upon any who offered them violence: And as for the Gentlemen taken at Shaftsbury, Cromwell told them it was only to answer some things they were accused of, which they had done contrary to Law, and the Peace of the Kingdom. Herewith they seeming to be well satisfied, promised to return to their Houses, and accordingly did so.
Cromwell meetsanother body of 4000 Clubmen nean Shrawton.
These being thus quietly sent home, Cromwell advanced further to a meeting of a greater Number, viz. about 4000, who betook themselves to Hambleton Hill, near Shrawton; which had been an Old Roman Work, deeply Trenched: The Lieut. Gen. sent thither a Lieutenant with a Party of Horse, to require an account of their meeting? He was answered with half a dozen of Shot, and could get no other answer; thereupon one Mr. Lee, who upon Cromwell's approach came from them, was sent in, requiring them to submit to the Power and Protection of the Parliament, and to lay down their Arms; they refused to leave their Arms, and gave some more shots. Cromwell sent Mr. Lee again, to tell them, that if they would not lay down their Arms, he would fall upon them.
And attacks them, and disperses them.
But they still refusing, Order was given to the General's Troop to fall on, who did so, and received a Repulse, some kill'd, eight or nine wounded, and six or seven Horses slain; for the Club-men shot briskly from the Bank of the old Work, and kept the narrow Passage with Musquets, and other Weapons: But then Major Desboroagh with the General's Regiment, went round about a Ledge of the Hill, and made a hard shift to climb up and enter on their Rear; which they no sooner discerned, but after a short dispute they ran, and the Passage formerly assaulted was opened, and all the Club-men dispersed, and disarmed, some slain, many wounded, the rest slid and tumbled down that steep Hill, with great hazard; there were brought away about 400 of them to Shrawton, of which near 200 were wounded in this Skirmish; Capt. Paltison was sore hurt, of which afterward he died, and about twelve more. There were taken about twelve Colours, the Motto of one of them was thus: If you offer to Plunder our Cattle, be assured we will bid you Battel.
The greater part of these Prisoners after Examination touching their chief Instigators, Designs and Correspondencies, were, upon their Parole never to intermeddle any more in that kind, dismissed and sent home.
Cromwell returns to the Siege of Sherborn.
And so Cromwell return'd to the Leaguer before Sherborn, Aug. 5. on which Day a commanded Party crept under the shelter of the Stone-wall, close by the Castle, and gained the Hay-Stack, within a Stone's-cast of their Works.
Wednesday, Aug. 6. The Besieged making a new Work to plant Ordnance to beat them from that Hay-Stack, were themselves beat off, and their Cannon dismounted. But Fairfax had in that Service four Captains wounded, and one slain. And now all things were in a preparation to Storm; the Soldiers had every one his Faggot; another Summons was sent unto the Castle to surrender, but a denial was returned; whereupon a Council of War was called, and it was resolved, That since a whole Cannon was upon the way from Portsmouth, and that from Mendeep Hills might be had excellent Miners, therefore they would proceed in Approaches and Batteries, being well inform'd that the Ground whereon the Castle stood was Mineable.
This Day towards Evening, Capt. Horsey, another of Col. Rainsborough's Officers, was shot dead in the Place with a Birding-Piece, from one of the Towers, who with Capt. Lieut. Flemming of Col. Rainsborough's Regiment (who was shot before) were the next day buried after a martial Manner in the Church at Sherborn, being the Place where Capt. Horsey's Ancestors were Intombed.
Very freely did the Soldiers work in the Mines and Galleries, and making of Batteries, every Man rewarded Twelve-pence apiece for the Day, and as much for the Night, for the Service was hot and hazardous.
By Monday, Aug. 11. The whole Cannon, and Money for the Army long expected, came to the Head-Quarter. And Fairfax had Intelligence, that Maj. Gen. Massey's Horse, who were Quartered near Taunton to interrupt General Goring's Forces in case they advanced this way, had fallen on some at his Horse and taken several Prisoners.
Tuesday, August the 12th, The Mendeep Miners came and were set to work; the Garrison threw fiery Faggots over those Parts of the Wall where the Miners were, and where a Bridge likewise was making (over a little Rivulet) which Bridge was in part burnt thereby, but the Soldiers quenched it, and a Message was sent to Sir Lewis Dives, That if he pleas'd to send out his Lady, or any other Women, he might: Sir Lewis acknowledged the Favour, seemed to incline to accept of it, but gave no positive answer, expressing withal his Resolution (Soldier-like) to hold out to the last.
Wednesday, August the 13th, The Cannon and Demi-cannon were planted on the New Battery, where another Chief Gunner of Fairfax's was slain, besides one Jenkins, another Gunner, was shot from the Tower. The Miners wrought within two yards of the Wall, where the Rock appearing, 'twas thought it would have given more interruption than it did, but it proving but a soft Stone, was easily wrought through.
Thursday, August the 14th, The Great Guns began to play about Eleven of the Clock, and before Six had made a Breach in the Wall, that ten a breast might enter, and had beaten down one of the Towers, which much disheartned those within. On this occasion the great adventurousness of many of the Soldiers comes fitly to be remembred, who, (whilst their Cannon play'd hard upon the Castle and wanted shot) fetcht off the Bullets (that had been shot) from under the very Walls, and had Six-pence apiece for every Bullet they so brought off. After the Breach so made, Fairfax sent a third Summons to surrender the Castle, or to expect Extremity: Which Message being stoutly delivered by the Drummer, he said, He deserved to be hanged. And sent an Answer to this purpose: That the Language was so far differing from what he had formerly received, that he could not believe that it came from the same hand, but said, that he would not lose his Honour to save his Life: And if the last happen'd, he should think it well bestow'd in his Majesty's Service.
But by this time the Approaches were so near, that they within could have no use of their Musquets, only threw down Stones: And this day the Besiegers Soldiers upon the Guard, (Commanded then by Col. Ingoldesby) gained the Tower in the corner of the Castle, out of which their Musqueteers play'd into the Castle; and so near did they venture to the Walls from the Gallery, that they pulled the Wool out of the Wool-Sacks that lay on the Works, which caused that strong Guards were set by the Garrison, and in the Night great Fires were made in the Castle to discover the Enemies Approaches and Mines.
Friday, August the 15th, At Two in the Morning the Governour sent out a Drummer with a Message, that he was willing to surrender upon Honourable Terms. Answer was returned, no Terms but Quarter, seeing he had slipt and slighted the opportunity; and he was not to expect that, except he render'd speedily. Immediately the General went in Person to the Works, and viewed the Castle within over the Wall, and gave Orders for all things to be prepared for a Storm, every Soldier to cut his fresh Faggot, whereby in two Hours they had above 6000 Faggots, with which they were to fill the Trenches, and to throw Stones and Rubbish upon them. Whilst this was in doing, the Soldiers that had before gained one Tower, recovered also another; and out of the same Towers did great Execution; (Sir Lewis Dives his Secretary being slain by a shot from thence ) and soon after inforc'd them from their Guns within, which they had planted to oppose the Entrance at the Breach. The Miners had by this time wrought quite through the Foundation of the Wall, and the Foot play'd so hard from the Breach, that Sir Lewis Dives's Men were forced to quit the great Court within the Castle; which much dishearten'd them, especially seeing Fairfax's Soldiers coming forward with Faggots on their Backs to fall on, some of them before their time appointed leaping over the Works, all which concurring, they within hung out a White Flag, had no Power to make Opposition, sent a Drum for to crave Quarter, but before he could get out, and return, a great part of Fairfax's Foot were enter'd, they within had thrown down their Arms, and cryed for Quarter, which was given, but stript they were very severely, all except Sir Lewis Dives and his Lady, and some few more, and so Fairfax became Master of the Castle, and all within it. The Soldiers finding Plunder of great Value, the taking of which in a disorderly manner could not then be prevented. There was taken about four hundred Prisoners in the Castle, besides Sir Lewis Dives the Governour, Col. Giles Strangeways, formerly a Member of Parliament, Sir John Walcot, Col. Thornhill, and others of Quality; Eighteen Pieces of Ordnance, and a Mortar-Piece.
The Soldiers Spoil lasted all that day, and most part of the Night; and on Saturday, August the i6th, being Market-day, with the Booty they had got, kept a great Market to the Country, who bought the Goods of them. And all this Day and the next was spent in ordering the Disposal of Prisoners, and in considering what to do with the Garrison, which not above two or three days after was ordered to be slighted.
The General views Nunney-Castle, and is Surrendered.
Sherborn being thus fallen into the Parliament's Power, their Army on the Reasons mentioned in Cromwell's Letter herein after recited, resolv'd next to Invest Bristol, where Prince Rupert then was with a considerable Garrison. Accordingly Orders were given, and Fairfax's Army on August the 18th marched to Castle-Carey: Only a Party was detached forth under Col. Rainsborough, consisting of his own and Col. Hammond's Regiment, and two Pieces of Ordnance to sit down before Nunney-Castle, whither the next day Fairfax went himself to view it, and fond it to be a very strong place. The Head-Quarter was that Night at Shipton-Mallet, but five miles from Carew, far surrendered, enough for the Train, which was four miles behind from the Quarters the Night before. But to expedite what might be this Design against Bristol, 2000 Horse and Dragoons were sent under the Command of Commissary General Ireton, to block it up. The next Day the Army marched to Chue nine miles; Messengers were sent to the Vice-Admiral, Captain Moulton, riding about Milford-haven, to send Ships into king's-Road, to Block up Bristol by Sea. In the mean time, Prince Rupert did not imagin their Forces so near, or that they had any design upon Bristol. And by a Trumpeter that came with a Message from thence, they seemed to be so far from a belief thereof that he said he did not expect to find them on that side Sherborn; and when he met their Horse, he took them to be the King's. That Night there was a strong Party of Horse, and one Regiment of Foot dispos'd at Hannam, within three miles of Bristol, on Gloucestershire side, by whom the Prince was Alarmed.
Fairfax advances towards Bedminster.
Thursday, August 21. In the Morning, Fairfax receiv'd Intelligence of the Surrender of Nunney-Castle to Col. Rainsborough, upon Condition to have liberty to go to their own Houses. By reason of the Train coming in so late, the Army rested that Day at Chue, save that another Party of Horse and Foot advanced towards Bedminster, upon Intelligence that the Prince intended to break through with his Horse, and joyn with General Goring, with which Party the General and Lieutenant General went and viewed the Town, and appointed Guards and Quarters on the West-side of the River, and Quartered himself at Kenisome that Night, where divers Lords sent for Passes to come out of the City and go beyond Sea, but were deny'd. It being a received Opinion, That Persons of Quality and great Estate, in a besieged Town, rather incline to a timely yielding, than hazardous defending thereof, when no Relief is at hand.
Fairfax marches towards Bristol, and orders matter for the Besieging of it.
Friday 22. There was a General Rendezvous of Horse, and all that Day was spent in setting of Guards on Somersetshire side, where the Country-men maintained a Passage at Clyston, the Head-Quarter being remov'd that Night to Hannam.
Saturday 23. The General and Lieutenant-General employed the whole Day in the setling of Quarters and Guards on the other side of Bristol. This Day the City-Cannon play'd from the great Fort, and Pryors-Fort, but hurt none but one Dragoon, who had his Thigh shot off. Also a Sally was made with a Party of Horse, who were beaten in again, and Sir Richard Crane, that led them, mortally wounded, and presently after died.
On the Lord's-day, August 24. The Besieged about Noon sallied out again at the Sally-Port near Pryor-Hill Fort, in a full Career, and were upon the Enemies Dragooners on the sudden; yet by coming on of Horse, were beaten back again, as also their Foot were by the Foot of Col. Rainsborough's Brigade, made to Retreat in disorder.
Monday, August 25. Warrants were Issued out by Fairfax to Sir John Horner High Sheriff of the County of Somerset, to raise the Power of the County, which was much promoted by the Interest and Endeavours of Mr. Ash and Mr. Moor, two Members of the House of Commons. This Day the Parliament's Army had Intelligence, that General Goring, then about Collumpton in Devon, did seem to draw to a Rendezvous, as if he intended a March to interrupt the Siege, but Major General Massey's Brigade of Horse were Quarter'd not far from Taunton, in such an advantagions Posture, that they could not move, but he might Flank them, and interrupt their Motion, whilst Fairfax's Horse might draw off to meet them, in case they should attempt the forementioned Design.
Sallies from the Town.
Tuesday, August 26. Four a Clock in the Morning, a third Sally was made on Somerset side on a Post of Col. Welden's Brigade at Bedminster, and through the negligence of the Officer that had then the Command there, they took ten, and kill'd as many. But the same day, Capt. Molleneux, (Capt. Lieutenant to Col. Butler) and with him another stout Soldier, perceiving three Gallant Cavaliers under their Works (whom afterward they found to be Sir Bernard Astley, Col. Daniel, and a third Man) rode up to them, ask'd them, Who they were for? who answering, For the King: And discharging upon them, the others reply'd with their Pistols; and after some Bickering took Sir Bernard Astley, who died within few days of his Wounds; but Col. Daniel, tho' dangerously wounded escaped.
Wednesday, August 27. The Garrison drew out the fourth time, about the close of the Evening, with intention to fall on the Guards; but finding their Design discovered, drew back to their Works.
The Siege of Bristol continues.
Thursday, August 28. Prince Rupert sent out those Foot which were taken prisoners on Somerset-side, being in Number ten, with a Trumpet, propounding also an Exchange for Sir Bernard Astley, but the Exchange was not hearken'd to. This Day Fairfax had Intelligence of the King's Party having Plunder'd Huntington, his Majesty having happily escaped the Scotch and Northern Horse, out of Nottinghamshire. Mean while the Foot at Portshead Point that had been four Days besieged by Lieut. Col. Kempson, of Col. Welden's Regiment, with a Party of Foot, was with six Pieces of Ordnance surrender'd, whereby the Passage into King's-Road with Ships was made open.
Friday, August 29. A Fast was kept through the Army, which the Garrison endeavoured to interrupt by a Sally about Noontime, upon their Quarters near Lawford's-Gate, where they took some Prisoners. And now it was propounded whether to Storm Bristol or not? The Debate was long, Opinions various; however, it was agreed that all things should be prepared in Order to a Storm, and afterwards to take into further Consideration, whether to Storm or to Entrench the Leaguer. In the midst of these thoughts and resolutions, Tidings were brought the Army of the Defeat given by Montross to the Scots, and that he was marched to Edenborough in pursuit thereof; and that the King was now advanced to Bedford unfollowed, and was expected speedily to raise the Siege at Bristol; and towards Evening the Intelligence was confirmed by Letters from the Committee of both Kingdoms, of the King's speedy March towards Oxford, and probably to these Parts. At the same time Fairfax had Advice that General Goring in the West advanced his Quarters nearer Chard, and as it was verily thought, intended a Conjunction with the King.
On the Lord's-day, August 31. Capt. Moulton, Admiral for the Irish Coasts (who was now come into Severn) came from Aboard the Ship to General Fairfax, expressed much readiness to assist in Storming of the City (if it were so determined) with his Seamen. A Debate was then had concerning that Affair, and what might be done by Water with the assistance of the Seamen. General Goring's Letters from Exeter to Secretary Nichols, bearing Date August 25. were this day intercepted; wherein he signified, that in three Weeks time he would be ready to Interrupt Fairfax in his Siege.
The Besieged Sally the sixth time and are repulsed.
Monday, Sept. 1. the Weather wet and misty, about Twelve at Noon Prince Rupert with 1000 Horse and 600 Foot Sallied out the sixth time in a full Career, and came upon Fairfax's Horse-Guards with much Fierceness and Gallantry; but the Horse instantly came up, and with the Assistance of the Foot of Col. Rainsborough's Brigade forced them to a Retreat: On the Parliament's side was lost in that Skirmish Capt Guilliams, a Captain of Horse; Col. Okey a Colonel of Dragoons (it being in the Mist) was taken Prisoner. At that time further Advertisements confirm'd the King's advance from Oxford towards Bristol. Whereupon Orders were given for all the Colonels to view the Line and Works, and for the Soldiers to make Faggots, and all fitting Preparations for a Storm.
By a Council it was resolved to Storm Bristol
Tuesday, Sept. 2. A Council of War being called, and all the Colonels present; after a long Debate, Whether to Storm or no? it was put to the Question, and resolved in the Affirmative; and for the manner of the Storm, it was referred to a Committee of the Colonels of the Army, to present in Writing to the General the next Morning to be Debated at a General Council of War: Accordingly Wednesday, Sept. 3. the manner of the Storm was presented in Writing to the General, which was proposed thus: Colonel Welden with his Brigade, consisting of the four Regiments that were at Taunton, (viz. his own, Col. Ingolsby's, Col. Fortescue's and Col. Herbert's Regiments, whose Posts were to make good Somersetshire-side) to Storm in three Places, viz. 200 Men in the middle, 200 on each side, as Forlorn-hopes; twenty Ladders to each Place, two Men to carry each Ladder, and to have Five Shillings apiece; two Serjeants that attended the Service of the Ladder, to have twenty Shillings a Man: each Musquetier that followed the Ladder, to carry a Faggot, a Serjeant to Command them, and to have the same Reward: Twelve Files of Men with Fire-Arms and Pikes to follow the Ladders to each Place where the Storm was to be; those to be Commanded each by a Captain, and a Lieutenant: The Lieutenant to go before with five Files, the Captain to second him with the other seven Files; the 200 Men that were appointed to second the Storm, to he furnish'd each Party of them with twenty Pioneers, who were to march in their Reer; the 200 Men, each to be Commanded by a Field-Officer, and the Pioneers each by a Serjeant: (Those Pioneers were to throw down the Line, and make way for the Horse:) the Party that was to make good the Line, to possess the Guns, and turn them: A Gentleman of the Ordnance, Gunners, and Matrosses, to enter with the Parties: The Draw-Bridge to be let down; two Regiments and a half to Storm in after the Foot, if way were made. Much after this manner were the General's Brigade, under Col. Montague's Command, consisting of the General's Col. Montague's, Col. Pickering, and Sir Hardress Waller's Regiments, to Storm on both sides of Lawford's Gate, both to the River Avon, and to the lesser River From: The Bridge over From to be made good against Horse with Pikes, or to break it down. Col Rainsborough's Brigade, consisting of his own, Major Gen. Skipson's, Col. Hammond's, Col, Birch's, and Lieutenant Col. Pride's Regiments, to Storm on this side the River From, beginning on the Right-hand of the Sally-Port up to Pryor's-Hill Fort, and to Storm the Fort it self, as the main business; 200 of this Brigade to go up in Boats with the Seamen to Storm Waterfort (if it were to be attempted) one Regiment of Horse, and a Regiment of Foot, to be moving up and down in the Closes before the Royal Fort, and to ply hard upon it, to alarm it, with a Field-Officer to Command them. The Regiment of Dragoons, with two Regiments of Horse, to carry Ladders with them, and to attempt the Line and Works by Clypton and Washington's Breach.
The manner of Storming resolved on.
The manner of the Storm being thus agreed on, the Soldiers were drawn out to try their Inclinations; and the General to make good his Promise to reward them for the Service of Bridge-water, ordered them immediately to receive Six Shillings a Man, which by the Commissioners of Parliament was forthwith paid unto them, and which put a great Obligation upon the Soldiers.
At this Council of War it was also agreed, that a Letter should be written, and subscribed by the General, and all the Officers, to General Leven, to express how sensible they were of the Losses their Forces had received in Scotland by Montross; (the Particulars of which shall be given in the particular Chapter of the Affairs of that Kingdom) and their willingness to serve them, if need were, for the setling of their Nation in Peace, so soon as the condition of this Kingdom could spare them. The Copy of which Letter followeth in these words:
A Letter from Fairfax's Army to the Scot's Army.
May it please your Excellency and the rest Honoured Friends, and Beloved Brethren,
We have, not without much grief, received the sad report of your Affairs in Scotland; how far God, for his best and secret Ends, hath been pleased to suffer the Enemy to prevail there: And are (we speak unfeignedly) not less sensible of your evils, than you have been and are of ours, nor than we are of our own. And the greater cause we have of Sympathy with you, the more do our Bowels earn towards you, because whatever you now suffer your selves in your own Kingdom, are chiefly occasioned by your assisting us in ours, against the Power that was risen up against the Lord himself, and his Anointed ones. Wherefore we cannot forget your Labour of Love, but thought good at this season even amongst our many occasions, to let you know, that when the Affairs of this Kingdom will possibly dispence with us, the Parliament allowing, and you accepting of our Assistance, we shall be most willing, if need so require to help and serve you faithfully in your own Kingdom, and to engage our selves to suppress the Enemy there, and to establish you again in Peace. In the mean time we shall endeavour to help you by our Prayers, and to wrestle with God, for one Blessing of God upon both Nations; between whom, besides many other strong Relations and Engagements we hope the Unity of Spirit shall be the surest bond of Peace. And this whatever Suggestions or Jealousies may have been to the contrary, we desire you would believe, as you shall ever really find to proceed from integrity of heart, a sense of your Sufferings, and a full purpose to answer any Call of God to your assistance: As become,
Your Christian Friends and Servants in the Lord,
Thomas Fairfax, Oliver Cromwell, Thomas Hammond, Henry Ireton, Edward Mountague, Richard Fortescue, Richard Irgolsby, John Pickering, Hardress Waller, William Herbert, Robert' Hammond, James Gray, Thomas Pride, Robert Pye, Thomas Rainsborough, Thomas Sheffield, Charles Fleetwood, Ralph Welden, John Raymond, Leon. Watson, Arthur Evelin, Richard Dean, Thomas Jackson, John Desborough, Christopher Bethel.
The Report concerning the Storm being made unto the Council of War, and fully agreed unto, the Cannon-Baskets were Ordered to be filled, Seamen and Boats sent for.
Thursday, Sept. 4. the Weather that had been so extream wet before, that many Soldiers died thereby(and with extream hard duty)began to alter. The Assailants play'd their Great Guns from off the New Battery against Pryors-Fort. Summons was also prepared to be sent to P. Rupert; and being agreed unto, were sent in accordingly: But the same and most other Remarkable Passages of this Siege, being at large express'd in Prince Rupert's Narrative thereof, together with an Apologetical Declaration he soon after the Surrender of the City (apprehending himself scandaliz'd by some of the King's Party concerning that Affair) caused to be publish'd, I conceive it will be more to the Satisfaction of Posterity to deliver it in the words of that Valiant Prince, faithfully Reprinted, as followeth.
A Declaration of His Highness Prince Rupert.
Not that His Highness thinks to justifie himself to those, who by that must condemn themselves: Nor that he believes any thing he had done needs a Declaration, does he publish this to the World: But he thought it might not be unnecessary to the Service of his Majesty (in order to which all his Actions have been directed) to let the World see that he hath faithfully served Him, and that his Enemies had no other reason for his accusation, than that they found it necessary for their defence. His Highness is not ignorant how great a difficulty he hath undertaken in satisfying the People, who are as severe in the Actions of others as they are partial in their own, and who censure all by success; which Judgment, how unjust it is, the meanest understanding, even those brought against him, must confess. Yet with these disadvantages must he now appear, and he is confident that through them all he shall let the misinformed Kingdom see that his Honour is as much above the Malice of his Enemies as their Competition. His Highness will not go back to the beginning of these times, nor particularly mention his Actions in this War, altho' he believes he may without vanity say, that neither Integrity nor Industry hath been wanting in any of them: nor that there hath scarce been any Service where he hath not appeared in his Person and his Care; which how successful it hath been in several occasions the Kingdom will be his witness, and where the Event hath been contrary, His Majesty and the Armies will acquit him of his part in it. And he esteems it his happiness to have served the King in difficult times, where he hath appeared with him in good and ill Fortune, assisted by the Gallantry of those Gentlemen who neither in danger nor disfavour have forsaken him, of whose affections he shall ever make a just and proportioned acknowledgment. But since (as it is the fate of those in the condition of his Highness) he hath had his actions imperfectly, if not maliciously related, examined at a distance, and accordingly censur'd: Since he is become the Subject of every ones Passion, how unjust soever, and of every opinion, altho' never so weak; His Highness thought it was a right he owed the King's Service and himself (whom he will ever consider last) to publish in the following Narrative, the integrity and reasons of his-Proceedings, that it might appear, that as his Highness hath faithfully served the King, he hath not served him unadvisedly, but like a Soldier, as well as a Man of Honour. And all the World, even his Enemies shall see, that his Actions (to say no more) have been as far from injuring his Majesty's cause, as theirs from defending it.
A Narrative of the State and Condition of the City and Garrison of Bristol, when his Highness Prince Rupert came thither; of the Actions there during the Siege, of the Treaties and Rendition thereof.
His Majesty, after the Battel of Naseby, Retreating towards Hereford, intending to recruit his Army by new Levies in those Parts; His Highness, Prince Rupert cross'd the Severn-Sea to visit his Highness the Prince of Wales; and by his Personal Presence, to inform himself more fully of the condition of his Majesty's Forces in the Western Parts. In his return, he passed through the Lord Goring his Army, thereby to settle and order things so there, as might most advantage his Majesty's future Service; and immediately after, his Highness intended to provide for a Train of Artillery, and other Necessaries for his Majesty's Army, repaired to Bristol, where the then present Constitution of the Garrison had by the Establishment Contribution setled for 3600 Men, for that and the subordinate Garrisons, as Nunney, Portsend Point, &c. But at his coming thither, the Presidiary Soldiers (which went by reputation, for 800, or 900 Men, and for some reasons unknown to his Highness, it was not thought fit or convenient by them who took upon them the power to have them called to a Muster) were really in the Judgment, of honest and Judicious Persons, whose safeties were concerned in it, betwixt 500, or 600 effective. The Auxiliary and Trained Bands, by interruption of Trade and Commerce, by the Pestilence then raging there, by their Poverty and Pressures laid upon them, were reduced to 800; and the Mariners, for want of imployment, betook themselves to other Parts, or to the Enemy.
The Commissioners intrusted for the Contribution and Support of the Garrison, upon the Enemies approach, abandoned the Town, and many considerable Persons had liberty given them, and quitted the Town, which much weaken'd and dishearten'd the rest.
For the securing of that place, his Highness drew in so many, that made the Garrison 2300 Men upon sight: But after the Enemy approach'd, his Highness could never draw upon the Line above 1500, and it was impossible for his Highness to keep them from getting over the Works, and many of those were new Levied Welsh, and unexperienced Men.
The Line which was to be defended, was above four miles in compass, the Breast-work low and thin, the Graff very narrow, and of no depth; and by the opinion of all the Colonels (whose Judgments and Votes were required upon all important occasions) not tenable upon a brisk or vigorous Assault.
The great Fort, which had the reputation of strength, lay open to Brandon-Hill Fort, which being taken, would from its height with the Cannon, command the whole Plain within it, and that wanting Water was not to be kept many days. For the like consideration of danger to the Line from another part, his Highness built a Redoubt without, which on that side prevented the Enemy from erecting a Battery, as likewise three other during the Siege, and drew a Line of 500 Foot.
After the misfortune which happened to the Lord Goring his Army, the loss of Bridgewater and Sherborn, and upon his Majesty's sudden Recess out of Wales, his Highness not having received any Command or Intimation to follow him, he thought it might be more conducible to his Majesty's Affairs for him to remain there; and conceiving that the Enemies design after their former Successes, might be for Bristol, gave express Orders, for all Inhabitants to Victual themselves for six Months: and upon a strict Survey, there were 2500 Families then remaining in the City whereof 1500, through indigence and want, could not provide for themselves. To supply this defect, his Highness caused 2000 Bushels of Corn to be imported out of Wales. For further Supply, his Highness, upon the certain approach of the Enemies whole Army, Commanded out Parties to drive in all the Cattel thereabouts; of which there were an indifferent number.
The Ammunition was scant (considering that in the Forts, Castle, Line and Streets, there being above one hundred Cannon mounted) the quantity of Powder exceeding not 130 Barrels: And at his Highness's first coming thither, there was not in the Publick Magazine Musket-balls for three Hours-fight, wherefore he caused immediately great Quantities of Lead to be cast into Bullet; and the Manufacture of Match was quite down, and set up by his Highness during the Siege.
His Highness having made all possible Preparations, consulted with all us, the Colonels of Post, for our opinion concerning the tenableness of the Line: Our Judgment general was, that notwithstanding the Works and Line were very defective, the Circuit large, our Numbers few; yet if we could repel one general Storm, the Enemy would be discouraged from attempting the second time, and the Season of the Year might advantage us, and incommode them.
Upon this uncertainty his Highness made offer, that for his own Person he would attempt to break through with his Horse, with such Officers as could be spared, leaving such as were requisite for the Fort and Castle.
This by all us the Colonels of Posts and Officers, was thought neither safe nor honourable. In the second Place, he offered to put himself upon the Defence of the Castle and Fort; all the Officers were clear of opinion against this, in regard of the Nobility and Gentry, and such of the Town as had appeared well affected, and the Horse and Foot which the Fort and Castle could not receive, had thereby been left to the Sword of the Enemy, and in regard the Fort and Castle in our opinions were not tenable against their Army.
In the third Place, seeing that neither of the former ways could be taken, we were all resolved to fall upon the best general Defence that could be made of the whole, wherein we might all share alike. These were the Resolutions of all we Colonels and Officers of the Posts, Castle and Fort, his Highness leaving the free Debate unto us, himself not being by, upon our own desires.
These were the Results at a Council of War, only I do not well remember that the weakness of the Castle and Fort was at that instant, while I was present, taken into Consideration.
F. Hawley, John Russel, Somerset Fox, Will. Murry, Henry Osburn, Henry Tillier, Mat. Appleyard.
The State and Condition of the Line of Fortifications about the City of Bristol, as likewise of the great Fort (as appears by the Subscriptions of the Engineers, who had taken an exact Survey of them) were as follows.
The Line generally was three Foot thick.
The heighth of it five Foot where it was highest.
The Graff commonly fix Foot broad, and where it was widest but seven.
The depth in most Parts four Foot, and five where deepest.
Between Pryor-Hill Fort, Stoke's Croft-Gate, and beyond the little River towards Lafford's-Gate, in which Places the Enemy enter'd, not five Foot high.
The Graff five Foot broad, and all that Part of the Line much decayed.
The Ditch of the great Fort on the Right-hand of the Gate before the Face of the Bulwark, was not four Foot deep, and eighteen Foot broad, so that Horses did go up and down into it.
The highest Work of the Fort was not twelve Foot high, and the Curtains but ten.
Within one hundred Foot of the Fort, there was a deep hollow way, where the Enemy might lodge what Numbers he pleased, and might be in the Graff the first Night, and in that Part the Fort was Minable.
Brandon-Hill Fort, was about twelve Foot above the level of the great Fort, and that being not able to make any long Resistance, the Enemy gaining it, would command the other.
The Hedges and Ditches without the Line were neither cut nor levelled, so that they lodged their Men securely near our Works, at their first Approach
We do here under our Hands attest the Particulars above written to be true.
B. De Gomme, Engineer-General.
John Mansfield, Engineer.
The Resolution being then taken for a general Defence, his Highness disposed all the Colonels to their several Posts and Forts upon the Line. His Highness being thus sollicitous for the securing of the Place, the Enemy upon the 22d of August appeared before the Town, upon Pine-Hill to the South-side. To encounter them his Highness sent a Party of Horse Commanded by Sir Richard Crane (who in that Action received his Death's Wound) a little before that Bedminster was fired, upon Intelligence the Enemy intended that Night to Quarter 2000 Men in it, and notwithstanding the Fire, the Enemy drew thither, and ply'd their Small-shot all Night.
August 23. His Highness caused a Traverse or Blind of Earth to be made within the Draw-Bridge without Temple-Gate, and the same day a Battery was raised in the Marsh for securing the River, and scouring the Fields beyond it. The Enemy began some Breast-Works, and a Battery on the Hill without Temple-Gate, with a Traverse cross the way to hinder our Sallies.
In this time the Enemy omitted no opportunity to sollicite the Minds of the Inhabitants, Trained-Bands, and Auxiliaries, and to that purpose sent secretly in these Lines following, Signed and Sealed by Sir Thomas Fairfax, and Oliver Cromwell, as likewise further Instructions the Citizens of Bristol, for the Delivery of Bristol to the Parliament.
We do hereby promise and engage our selves; that all such Citizens of Bristol, now Inhabiting within the said City, which shall from henceforth forbear to resist the Army under our Command, in the attempting to enter the said City, and the Lines of Defence, and Forts made about it, and shall appear to do their best endeavour for the delivering in of the same into our Hands, for the use of the Parliament, shall (in case the said City be delivered into our Hands) be secured and protected by the Authority of the Parliament, in the Enjoyment of their Lives, Liberties and Estates, as freely as in former times, and as any other Persons under the Obedience of the Parliament, notwithstanding any past Acts of Hostility, or any other thing by them done in the former delivering up of the said City to the Enemy, or maintaining of it against the Parliament, or otherwise in assistance of the Enemy. For assurance, and in testimony whereof We have hereunto set our Hands and Seals, this 25th of August, 1645.
Subscribed and Sealed by
Further Instructions to the Citizens of Bristol that shall endeavour the delivering up of the City to the Parliament's Forces.
- 1. That if any doubtful Expressions or Defects be conceived to be in the Notes sent in under our Hands, the said Citizens shall have any other Draught to the same Purpose, Signed and Sealed by us in as full and ample Terms, as themselves shall devise and send forth to us.
- 2. That what Liberty, Freedom or Immunity the said Citizens shall find needful to promise to any common Soldiers, or Officers of the Enemy within the Garrison (not exceeding the Degree of Colonels) for the more sure and speedy delivering up of the said City unto us, shall be fully made good by us.
- 3. That they fall to some speedy Resolution, and attempt for the Purposes aforesaid, because else we shall fall to some Attempt by our own Forces, and (if thereby through God's Blessing it be taken) we shall hardly be able to with-hold the Soldiers from doing that Violence and Damage to the City, which we earnestly desire and study to prevent.
- 4. For the particular way of their Attempt we must expect Advertisement from them, and cannot particularly direct them, but in general we offer that it may be either by seizing the Prince, or possessing or delivering up some Fort or Work which we may enter, or setting open some Port, or by a general Rising to assault and oppose the Prince's Forces, or otherwise as they shall find any speedy Opportunity, and upon the perceiving of any such Rising, or Attempt of theirs within, we shall apply our Forces accordingly to enter for their Assistance, and if by any such means of theirs we enter, we shall undertake to secure the City from loss or violence by our Soldiers.
- 5. If they think themselves by their own Force able to master the Enemy, or by any Design to make themselves Masters of the Commanding Forts without our Assistance, we shall not bring our Army into the City, unless they desire it.
Upon the Interception of which Papers his Highness caused several suspected and active Person to be restrained, which prevented the Design, and withal by his Personal Presence secured the Great Fort from Surprisal.
In the mean time his Highness to interrupt the Enemy's working made several Sallies, all which succeeded according to Design.
Aug. 26. Soon after a Storm being expected by the Enemies drawing great Bodies of Horse and Foot, his Highness double Manned the Line, but nothing followed.
Aug. 28. Five Parliament Ships enter'd King's-Road, and forc'd Capt. Boone, who commanded the Tenth Whelp, to run up the Severn for Security.
Aug. 29. The Enemy was making a Bridge over Avon to conjoyn their Quarters.
Sept. 3. His Highness began a Work, or cutting off within the Line by Lafford's-Gate.
Sir Thomas Fairfax his Summons.
Fairfax's first Summons to Bristol.
Sir, For the Service of the Parliament, I have brought this Army, before the City of Bristol, and do Summon you in their Names to render it, with all the Forts belonging to the same into my Hands to their Use. Having used this plain Language, as the Business requires, I wish it may be as effectual with you, as it is satisfactory to my self, that I do a little expostulate with you about the Surrender of the same, which I confess is a way not common, and which I should not have used, but in respect to such a Person, and to such a Place. I take into Consideration Your Royal Birth, and Relation to the Crown of England, Your Honour, Courage, and the Virtue of your Person, and the Strength of that Place, which you may think Your Self bound, and able to maintain.
SIR, The Crown of England is and will be where it ought to be, we sight to maintain it there, but the King, misled by Evil Counsellors, or through a seduced Heart, hath left His Parliament and His People, (under God the best Assurance of his Crown and Family;) the Maintenance of this Schism is the Ground of this unhappy War on your Part, and what sad Effects it hath produced in the three Kingdoms, is visible to all Men. To maintain the Rights of the Crown of England jointly (a principal Part whereof is, That the King in Supreme Acts concerning the whole State is not to be advised by Men, of whom the Law takes no Notice, but by His Parliament the Great Council of the Kingdom; in whom, (as much as Man is capable of) he hears all his People as it were at once advising Him, and in which Multitude of Counsellers lies His Safety, and His People's Interest; and to set him right in this, has been the constant and faithful Endeavour of the Parliament, and to bring those wicked Instruments to Justice (that have misled Him) is a principal Ground of our Fighting.
SIR, If God makes this clear to you as he has to us, I doubt not but he will give you a Heart to deliver this Place, notwithstanding all the other Considerations of Honour, Courage, Fidelity, &c. Because their Consistency and Use in the present Business depends upon the Right and Wrongfulness of this that has been said: And if upon such Conviction you should surrender it, and save the Loss of Blood, or Hazard of spoiling such a City, it would be an Occasion glorious in it self, and joyful to us for the restoring of you to the indear'd Affection of the Parliament, and People of England, the truest Friends to your Family it hath in the World.
But if this be hid from your Eyes, and that through your Wilfulness, this so Great, so Famous, and Ancient a City, and so full of People be (by your putting us to force the same) exposed to Ruin, and the Extremity of War (which yet we shall in that case as much as possible endeavour to prevent,) then I appeal to the Righteous God to be Judge between you and us, and to require the Wrong.
And let all England judge whether the burning of its Towns, ruining its Cities, and destroying its People, be a good Requital from a Person of your Family, which hath had the Prayers, Tears, Purses, and Blood of its Parliament and People, and (if you look on either as now divided) which hath ever had that same Party both in Parliaments, and amongst the People most zealous for their Assistance, and Restitution, which you now oppose, and seek to destroy, and whose constant Grief hath been, that their Desires to serve your Family have been ever hinder'd or made fruitless by that same Party about his Majesty, whose Counsels you act, and whose Interest you pursue in this unnatural War.
I expect your speedy Answer to the Summons with the Return of the Bearer this Evening, and remain,
Your Highness's Humble Servant,
Sept. 4. 1645
His Highness's Reply was only to know whether he would give Leave for a Messenger to go to his Majesty to know his Pleasure, which occasioned Sir Thomas Fairfax to return this Answer.
The Overture of sending to the King to know his Pleasure I cannot give way to, because of delay, I confess your Answer doth intimate your intention not to Surrender without His Majesty's Consent; yet (because it is but implicit) I shall send again to know a more positive Answer from your self, which I desire may be such, as may render me capable to approve my self,
Your Highness's Humble Servant,
Sept. 5. 1645.
Whereupon his Highness sent him these following Propositions; for during a Treaty we might strengthen our Works within, hear from the King, and had he assented unto our Demands, we should have required a Confirmation of them by the Parliament, which Protraction of Time would have been, our Advantage.
At the Council of War, Present,
Pince Rupert, Lord Hawley, Lord Lumley, Col. John Russell, Sir Matthew Appleyard, Col. Tillier, Col. Fox, Col. Robert Slingsby, Col. Walter Slingsby, Col. Murrey, Lieut. Col. Osborn.
Whereas I received your Letter for the Delivery of the City, Forts, and Castle of Bristol, and being willing to joyn with you for the sparing of Blood, and preserving of His Majesty's Subjects, I have upon those Grounds and none other, sent you these following Propositions.
- 1. That my self, all Noblemen, Commanders, Officers, Gentlemen, and Soldiers of Horse and Foot, that have served either his Majesty or Parliament in England, or elsewhere, as likewise all Persons whatsoever, Men or Women, now Resident here in this City of Bristol, Castle and Forts thereof, shall have free Liberty to march away out of the said City, Castle and Forts, with their Arms, Flying Colours, Drums Beating, Trumpets Sounding, Pistols Cock'd, Swords drawn, Matches lighted on both Ends, Bullets in their Mouths, and as much Powder as they can carry about them, with all their Bag and Baggage, Horses, Arms and other Furniture, Ten Pieces of Cannon, Fifty Barrels of Powder, and Match and Bullet proportionable.
- 2. That neither my own Person, nor the Person of any Nobleman, Commander, Officer, Gentleman or Soldier, or any other of mine or their Retinues, be searched, molested or troubled, upon what Pretence soever, but left to their Liberties, to depart or stay as it shall be moil convenient for them.
- 3. That none of your Army whatsoever shall entice or perswade any Officer or Soldier of mine from their Regiments or Colours, with any Promise of Preferment or Rewards.
- 4. That all such Officers and Soldiers that are hurt and sick, and cannot now march out of this City, Castle and Forts, shall have Liberty to stay until they be recovered, and then have safe Conduct to go where soever they please, either to any of His Majesty's Armies or Garrisons, or their own Houses, where they may live quiet, in the interim they being sick and hurt, may be protected by you, and have civil Usage.
- 5. That all Prisoners taken on both Sides since the beginning of this Siege be forthwith set at Liberty.
- 6. That my self, and those above-mentioned be not required to march further in a Day, than what conveniently we may, and that a Day or two of rest may be allowed upon our march if we shall find it requisite; and that we be accommodated with free Quarters during our March, and a sufficient Convoy to any of the King's Armies or Garrisons which I shall name, to secure us our Quarter, and upon our March, from Injuries and Incivilities that shall any way be offered unto us; and likewise that there be One hundred and fifty Carriage-Horses, and forty Wains with sufficient Teams provided for Carriages of all Sorts.
- 7. That no Person here in these Articles mentioned shall be in their March, Rendezvous, or Quarters Stop'd, Searched or Plundered, upon any Pretence whatsoever. That two Officers be appointed by you, the one for Accommodation of free Quarters for Officers, Soldiers and others, and the other for providing of Horses and Carriages for our Baggage and Train.
- 8. That all Noblemen, Gentlemen, Clergymen, Citizens, Residents, and any other Person within the City, Suburbs, or Liberties of the City of Bristol, shall at any time when they please have free Liberty to remove themselves, their Goods and Families, and to dispose thereof at their Pleasures, according to the known and enacted Laws of the Land, either to live at their own Houses, or elsewhere, and to enjoy their Houses, Lands, Goods and Estates, without any Molestation, and to have Protections for that purpose; and this Article to extend to all whose Estates are Sequester'd, or not Sequester'd, and that they may rest quietly at their Abodes, and travel freely, and safely upon their Occasions, and for their better Removal they may have Letters of safe Conduct with Horses and Carriages at reasonable Rates upon demand.
- 9. That all Persons above-mentioned may have Liberty to go beyond the Seas at any time within three Months, as their Occasions shall require.
- 10. That the Lines, Forts, Castle, and all other Fortifications about or in the City, be forthwith slighted, and the City stated in the same Condition it was before the beginning of this unnatural War, and that the Parliament, during this War, place no Garrison in it.
- 11. That no Churches be defaced, that the several Members of the Foundation of this Cathedral shall quietly enjoy their Houses, and Revenues belonging to their Places, and that the Ministers likewise of this City may enjoy their Benefices without any Trouble.
- 12. That no Oaths be imposed upon any Person now in this City, Suburbs and Liberties, other than such as are required by the ancient and enacted Laws of this Land.
- 13. That the Mayor, Sheriffs, Aldermen and Citizens, within this Corporation of the City of Bristol, shall be free in their Persons and Estates, and enjoy all their Privileges, Liberties and Immunities, in as full and ample manner as formerly at any time they did before the beginning of this War; And that they have Freedom of Trade both by Land and Sea, paying such Customs and Duties as formerly they have done to his Majesty, and that no Mulct nor Fine be imposed upon any Person mentioned in this Article, or questioned for any Act or thing done before the Day of our marching forth, upon any Pretence whatsoever, and that no free Quarters be put upon them without their own Consents.
- 14. That all other Persons whose Dwellings are in this City, and now absent, may have the full Benefit of these Articles as if they were present.
- 15. That all Noblemen, Gentlemen and others, who have Goods in this City, and now present or absent, may have Liberty at any time within three Months to dispose of their Goods as they please.
- 16. That there be no Plundering, or taking away of any Man's Person, or any Part of his Estate under what Pretence soever, and that Justice, according to the known and enacted Laws of the Land, be administer'd to all Persons within this City, by the Civil Magistrates.
- 17. And for the Performance of all these Articles, I expect such Hostages to be given as I shall accept of, and hereunto I desire your speedy Answer.
By this you may evidently perceive my Inclination to Peace, and you may be assured that I shall desire nothing but what shall be with relation to his Majesty's Honour, and the Safety of the Kingdom, and what may become,
SIR, Your Servant,
Sept. 7. 1645.
Upon Perusual of which Sir Tho. Fairfax returns this Answer.
I Have perused your Propositions, wherein some things are doubtfully expressed, other things inconsistent to the Duty I owe to them I serve, notwithstanding to the end I may give Assurance, that I earnestly desire to save Effusion of Blood, and the Ruin of a City and People, that may be so serviceable to the Crown and Kingdom : If your Highness please, that Commissioners may Treat between us concerning the accommodating of Things, I hope to make it evident to the World, that what shall respect the Honour of a Soldier, due Civilities to all Men, the good and welfare of the People of that City, both in passing by what is past, and restoring them to the Privilege of all other Subjects, and to the Immunities of their City, will readily be condescended unto by Me, as becomes a Gentleman and a Christian. And to the end no time may be lost, I have here inclosed sent you the Names of Three Commissioners, who upon the Return of Hostages of equal Condition unto me, shall attend your Highness sufficiently instructed to conclude on my Part: Provided the said Treaty be ended by Nine of the Clock this Night, and to this I desire your Answer within the Space of an Hour, and remain.
Your Highness's Humble Servant,
Sept. 7. 1645.
The Names of Commissioners, for whom, if a Treaty be admitted, I desire a safe Convoy by this Bearer.
Colonel Ireton, Commissary-General of Horse.
His Highness reply'd in these Words.
I Thought I had sufficiently explained my self in my Propositions, and that there was nothing doubtful, or could be inconsistent with the Duty you owe to them you serve, but since it seems otherwise to you, I desire you would set down your Doubts and Exceptions in Writing, to which you shall have a speedy Answer from
Sept. 7. 1645.
Which occasioned this following Letter, and Propositions from Sir Thomas Fairfax.
I Perceive by your last, that you decline any Treaty by Commissioners, and for me to send you in Writing my Doubts and Exceptions to your Propositions, and expect your Answers, were a way like to give occasion to many new Messages and Delays, to avoid which, and to bring these Overtures to a speedy Resolution, I have here sent you what I am willing to grant, beyond which I may not go, and what I demand, from which, by God's Blessing, I shall not recede: I have observed the Order of your own Propositions, and upon every one have granted what is Honourable for your Highness, or the Safety and Welfare of the City to have, and fit for me in Honour and Faithfulness to them I serve, to give, and this I have set down, as near as I could in your own Words, so far as I found them clear, though with some Repetitions of the same Things. By all this I hope I have sufficiently evidenced my Tenderness of Blood, and of this City, and have cleared my self before God and the World, from what Evil shall ensue upon your Refusal; If you accept the Terms, having here sent two Copies Sealed and Signed by me, I shall expect that you return one of them Signed and Sealed by your self, also to be brought back to me this Day by Six of the Clock in the Evening at furthest, otherwise I shall conclude your Refusal, and account my self absolved, save from the desire of being, Sir,
Your Highness's Humble Servant,
Stapleton, Sept. 8. 1645.
Articles of Agreement for the Surrender of the City of Bristol, with the Castle and Forts thereof, between his Highness Prince Rupert, and his Excellency Sir Thomas Fairfax, made Sept. 8. 1645.
1. That His Highness Prince Rupert and all Noblemen, Commanders, Officers, Gentlemen and Soldiers, and all other Persons whatsoever now resident in the City of Bristol, and the Castle and Forts thereof, shall have free Liberty to march away out of the said City, Castle and Forts, with their Arms, Flying Colours, Drums Beating, Trumpets Sounding, Pistols Cock'd, Swords Drawn, Matches Lighted, Bullets in their Mouths; every Foot-Soldier his Bandeliers full of Powder, with Match proportionable; and every Horseman his Flask full of Powder, with all the Bag and Baggage, Horses and Furniture, Four Pieces of Ordnance, Twenty Barrels of Powder, Match and Bullet proportionable.
2. That none of the Persons afore-mentioned, or of their Retinues, shall be searched, molested or troubled upon what Pretence soever.
3. That none of the Parliament Army whatsoever shall entice, or perswade any Officer or Soldier belonging to Prince Rupert, from their Regiments or Colours with any Promise of Preferment or Reward.
4. That all such Officers and Soldiers that are hurt or sick, and cannot now march out of the City, Castle and Forts, shall have Liberty to stay until they be recovered, and then have safe conduct to go wheresover they please, either to any of his Majesty's Armies or Garrisons, or their own Houses, where they may live quiet, and that in the interim they shall be protected by Sir Thomas Fairfax, and have civil Usage.
5. That all Prisoners taken on both Sides since the beginning of this Siege be forthwith set at Liberty.
6. That the Persons above-mention'd, that are to march away, shall have a sufficient Convoy to any of the King's Armies or Garrisons, which the Prince shall name, not exceeding fifty Miles from Bristol to secure them in their March from all Injuries and Incivilities that shall or may be offered to them, for which March they shall have Eight Days allowed from their marching out of Bristol, and Free Quarter by the way during the same Space, and shall have Carriage-Horses, and Wains with Teams provided sufficient for Carriages of all Sorts from Quarter to Quarter, they giving caution forthwith to return the same immediately.
7. That none of the Persons above-mention'd shall be in their said March, Rendezvous or Quarters, Searched or Plundered upon any Pretence whatsoever; and that two Officers shall be appointed by Sir Thomas Fairfax, the one for Accommodation of Quarters for them by the way, the other for providing of Horses and Carriages for the Baggage and Train.
8. That all the Citizens of Bristol, resident within the City, Suburbs, and Liberties thereof, and all Noblemen, Gentlemen, Clergymen, and others resident within the same, that have not otherwise been engaged in Arms, or Hostility against the Parliament then in Defence of the said City, Castle or Forts, shall freely enjoy the Liberty of their Persons, and also of their Houses, Lands, Goods and Estates at their own Disposal, according to the known and enacted Laws of the Land (they continuing from henceforth either in the said City, or elsewhere under the Obedience and Protection of the Parliament,) and this Article to extend to those of them whose Estates are Sequester'd, as well as those that are not Sequester'd, and that they may quietly rest at their Abodes, or travel freely and safely upon their Occasions, and for their Removal of their Goods, shall have such Liberty, as is hereafter provided in the Fifteenth Article.
9. That all or any of the Persons above-mentioned, who shall desire to go beyond the Seas upon their private Occasions, and shall give Assurance from henceforth not to bear Arms, or act any thing against the Parliament, or to the Prejudice of their Affairs, shall have Liberty to pass to any Place beyond the Seas any time within three Months.
10. That no Garrison, save the Citizens themselves, shall without their Consent be put into the City, except in the Castle and Forts, and what Force shall be placed therein, shall be maintained at the Charge of the State.
11. That no Churches be defaced, that the several Members of the Foundation of the Cathedral in Bristol, shall quietly enjoy their Houses belonging to their Places, and for the Revenues of them, as also the Ministers of the City for their Benefices, they shall be in the same State and Condition with other Clergymen of their Quality continuing in the Protection and Obedience of the Parliament.
12. That no Oaths other than such as are required by the Enacted Laws of the Land shall be imposed upon any Person, that now is, and shall continue in the said City, Suburbs and Liberties, either by the General, or any other of his Authority.
13. That the Mayor, Sheriffs, Aldermen, and Citizens within the Corporation of the City of Bristol shall be free in their Persons and Estates, and enjoy all their Privileges, Liberties and Immunities in as full and ample manner as formerly before the beginning of this War, and shall have Freedom of Trade by Land and Sea to all Places, and with all Persons not in Hostility against the Parliament, paying such Duties and Customs to the Officers appointed by the Parliament, as formerly they have done to his Majesty; and that no Mulct or Fine be imposed on any Person mentioned in this Article, nor any of them questioned upon Pretence of any act or thing done or committed before the date hereof, the King's Forces marching forth as aforesaid, and that no free Quarters shall be put upon them without their own Consents.
14. That all other Persons whose Dwellings are in this City, and now absent, shall have the full Benefit of these Articles as if they were present, provided that such of them as are elsewhere in Arms against the Parliament, do come in within one Month after the date hereof.
15. That all Noblemen, Gentlemen, and others who have Goods in the said City, and are now present or absent, shall have Liberty at any time within one Month to dispose of their said Goods as they please, except it be Arms or Ammunition.
16. That there shall be no Plundering admitted under what Pretence soever, nor any taking away of any Man's Person, or any Part of his Estate contrary to these Articles, and that Justice, according to the known Laws of this Land, be administer'd to all Persons within this City by the Civil Magistrates.
17. That in Consideration hereof, the City of Bristol, with the Castle, and all the Forts and Fortifications thereof, without any slighting or defacing thereof, and all the Ordinance, Arms, Ammunition, and other Furniture and Provisions of War therein, without Diminution or Imbezelment (excepting what is allowed to be carried as before) shall be delivered up to Sir Thomas Fairfax on Tuesday Morning next by Nine of the Clock, at which time the Prince with all the Persons mentioned in the first Article that march out, then naming what Army or Garrison of the King's he will march unto.
18. That none of them in their marching out, or before, shall plunder, hurt, or spoil the Town, or any Person in it, nor carry out any thing but what is properly their own (except before excepted)
19. That the Convoy, and two Officers to be sent with the Prince (as before) in the Sixth and Seventh Articles, shall not have any Violence offered or done to them by any of the King's Forces during the said Eight Days allowed for the Prince his March, and Seven Days more for their Return to the Army.
20. That sufficient Hostages shall be delivered immediately upon Signing hereof for Performance of those Articles on both Parts.
Signed and Sealed.
Wherein his Highness finding sundry Omissions of several Clauses, and some Propositions totally left out, returned him this Letter with the Postscript.
Although I conceive my former Propositions so well grounded upon Honour and Justice, as that I cannot well recede from them, yet for preventing of Effusion of Blood, and for the Welfare of this Place with which I am intrusted, I am willing so far to assent unto you as to leave the Castle undemolished; but for the other Forts and Lines, to have them absolutely slighted, and for all the other Articles to stand firm as I proposed them, to which if you will assent, I will then send Commissioners unto you to regulate, and settle all things between us, which will occasion me to rest.
Sept. 8. 1645.
I have returned you your Propositions again, finding many Alterations and Omissions in them, very prejudicial to those whom I am obliged in Honour, and am resolved to protect.
But Sir Thomas Fairfax being constant to his own Propositions gave this Answer.
I Have offered what is fair for your Honour, and the Townsmen's Immunity, and for what I demanded, I can accept no less, except I should grant all for nothing, and though for that Point of the Townsmen's Security, I shall be most willing to supply any thing that might be thought wanting in my Offers, yet to admit a new Consideration upon your Propositions, would tend to, and (I doubt) end in nothing else but further Delay, for by all your Letters, and the whole Carriage in this Business, I find the Advantage of Time wholly, or chiefly intended. As you have thus far had your end therein, I have not lost mine, that is, to make my Proceedings more clear, and innocent before God and the World, and having done this, I can with a clear confidence trust God for a better issue in another way; you have my resolution, which if you accept not, I desire nothing further but the return of my Trumpet by Noon, and that he may not be detained as formerly I remain, Sir,
Your Highness's Humble Servant,
Sept. 9. 1645.
Hereupon his Highness and the Commanders, resolving not to break off nor conclude the Treaty until that they might hear from the King, unless forced thereunto, returned this Answer:
His Highness' s Answer.
How fair your Offers are to my Honour, I hope you will give me the liberty to judge, finding you wanting in your care of the Noblemen, Commanders, and Soldiers that are under my protection, of whom I am bound to have an equal care with my self, and am sorry to find so ill a construction made of my fair proceedings and intentions in this my intercourse of Letters; since you interpret that a delay, which on my part was but a compliance to what you propounded, tending to the prevention of effusion of Blood, and to the good of the Kingdom, to which the slighting of the Castle, Forts and Works, was the most conducible means, since that can only settle this City in the condition of its former Peace, and might have been a leading President to the happiness of the whole Kingdom. Thus you may fee the reality of my Ends, which since you took the liberty to question, give me leave to tell you, that yours have not been such to me as you have profess'd before God and the World, by what I have seen under your Hand and Seal proposed to others, nevertheless I shall never decline to embrace any Overture that tends to the general Peace of this Nation, and in particular of this City, and those under my protection and command, which is the only endeavour and study of, Sir,
Sept. 9. 1645.
Upon the Tenth of September the Enemy Stormed the Line generally, about two in the Morning, and his Highness having received Intelligence a little before of it, all were in a readiness to receive them, they enter'd the Line where the Townsmen and New Welsh were, as at Stokescroft-Gate, where the Officer in chief, who was Mayor of the Town was flain in the place, and at Lafford's-Gate, where many of the Officers and Soldiers were taken and killed; and the same time they Stormed Pryor-Hill Fort, and took it, which was the loss of the whole Line, they being beaten off, in the other parts of the Town; then the day breaking we found them in full possession of the Line and Fort, which caused our Horse and Foot to Retreat to the great Fort, who were presently Commanded into the City to make that good, leaving the other Works sufficiently Manned, as Golson's Fort, Brandon-Hill, and the New Redoubt without the Line. Finding our selves in this condition, and considering the Engagement of those within the City and Castle, and that the Lord Hawley, Sir Matthew Appleyard, and Col. Slingsby with their Men were in danger to be cut off, the Enemy being between us and them, his Highness was moved by the Officers to entertain a Treaty in time, before those were lost; His Highness condescending thereunto, sent a Trumpet to Sir Thomas Fairfax, to know whether he would Treat or not? who accepting it, Commissioners were nominated on our part, Sir William Vavasour, Sir John Mennes, and Col. Henry Tillier; the first thing proposed was a Cessation of Arms, and in the mean time every one to keep his Post. They first proposed his Highness's former Propositions; but our condition being then alter'd, and they sensible of their own success, would not admit them, but would Treat upon New Propositions, which after long Debate were as followeth.
Articles of Agreement between the Commissioners appointed on the behalf of his Highness Prince Rupert, and his Excellency Sir Tho. Fairfax, for the Surrender of the City of Bristol, Sep. 10. 1645
Articles for the Surrender of Bristol.
1. That his Highness Prince Rupert, and all Noblemen, Commanders, Officers, Gentlemen and Soldiers, and all other Persons whatsoever now residing in the City of Bristol, and the Castle and Forts thereof, shall march out of the said City, Castle and Forts thereof, with Colours, Pikes and Drums, Bag and Baggage: The Prince his Highness, all Noblemen, Gentlemen, and Officers in Commission, with their Horses and Arms, and their Servants with their Horses and Swords, and Common Soldiers, with their Swords, the Prince his Life-Guard of Horse, with their Horses and Arms, and 250 Horse besides to be disposed of by the Prince; and his Life-Guard of Fire-locks with their Arms, and each one of them one Pound of Powder, and a proportion of Bullet, and that none of the Persons, who are to march out upon this Article shall be plundered, searched, or molested.
2. That such Officers and Soldiers as shall be sick or wounded in the City, Castle, and Forts, shall have, liberty to stay until their recovery, and then have safe Conduct to go to his Majesty, and in the interim be protected.
3. That the Persons above mentioned who are to march away shall have a sufficient Convoy provided for them, for their security to any such Garrison of the King's, as the Prince shall name, not exceeding fifty Miles from Bristol, and shall have Eight Days allowed for their March thither, and shall have free Quarter by the way, and shall have two Officers appointed to attend them for their Accommodation, and Twenty Waggons for their Baggage if they have occasion to use the same.
4. That all the Citizens of Bristol, and all Noblemen, Gentlemen, Clergymen, and all other Persons residing in the said City and Suburbs of the same, shall be saved from all Plunder and Violence, and be secured in their Persons and Estates, from the Violence of the Soldiers, and shall enjoy those Rights and Liberties which other Subjects enjoy under the protection and obedience of the Parliament.
5. That in consideration hereof, the City of Bristol, with the Castle, and all the Forts and Fortifications thereof, without any slighting and defacing thereof, and all the Ordnance, Arms, Ammunition, and all other Furniture and Provisions of War (excepting what is before allowed; shall be delivered up to Sir Thomas Fairfax on Thursday the Eleventh of this Month, by Three of the Clock in the Afternoon, without any diminution or imbezelment, his Highness Prince Rupert then naming to what Army or Garrison of the King's he will march to.
6. That none of the Persons who are to march out on this Agreement shall plunder, hurt, or spoil the Town, or any Person in it, or carry out any thing but what is properly their own.
7. That upon Signing these Articles, Col. Okey, and all Persons now in Prison in the City of Bristol, the Castle, or Forts of the same, shall immediately be set at liberty.
8. That sufficient Hostages, such as he shall approve, be given to Sir Thomas Fairfax this Night, who are to remain with him until the City be delivered unto him.
9. That neither the Convoy, nor Officers sent with the Prince, shall receive any injury in their going or coming back, and shall have Seven Days allowed for their return.
10. That upon Delivery of the Town sufficient Hostages be given for performance of the Articles on both parts.
Signed by us the Commissioners appointed on the behalf of his Highness Prince Rupert, William Vavasour, John Mennes, Henry Tillier.
Signed by us the Commissioners appointed on the behalf of his Excellency Sir Thomas Fairfax, E. Montague, Tho. Rainsborough, J. Pickering.
But in that particular point of laying down our Fire-Arms, there could be no conclusion made without his Highness's Pleasure first known, who thereupon called all the Commanders to deliver their Opinions therein, and upon full Debate they concluded, as by their Subscriptions appears, that if better Conditions could not be obtained, then to accept of those.
It is our general Opinion that if better Conditions cannot be Granted, We assent to the leaving of the Fire-Arms of the private Soldiers.
Rupert, Horatio Carey, Jo. Steward, Ed. Manwaring, Tho. Leigh, Will. Powell, John Russell, William Munday, Tho. Daniel, Mer. Touchet, B. De Gomme, Ed. Hutchinson, Theo. Kirton, Will. Pretty, Tho. Coningsby, Fra. Radcliffe, H. Ventris, W. Symonds, Rich. Price.
Bristol Surrender'd by Pr. Rupert, Sept. 11. 1645.
And thereupon there was a full Conclusion of the Treaty. The next day upon some Insolencies of the Soldiers, his Highness sent to Sir Thomas Fairfax, that the Articles were violated, and that if there was not a present Redress, he would stand upon his own defence, and rather die than suffer those injuries; and thereupon for his Highness satisfaction we had liberty to march with our Arms unto our Quarters.
For some days before the approach of the Enemy, and during the whole Siege, his Highness received not any Letter from his Majesty, nor from the Prince of Wales, nor from any General, or Minister of State, until his coming to Cyrencester; only the Governour of Hereford signified the Rising of the Scots, and their marching towards Gloucester, and a desire to have some Ammunition from him. Notwithstanding his Highness made several dispatches by all the convenient means he could.
The Well in the great Fort was not half finished, the Water scant, and troubled, and far insufficient for the use of the Numbers that were there.
It may be objected, That notwithstanding the Enemies Power and Force, and their entering the Line, yet the Castle and great Fort might have held out so long that probably Relief might have come, and that therefore there was not any pressing necessity to precipitate the Rendition of those Places.
To which this is replied, That any timely Relief was utterly improbable, considering that during the whole Siege, his Highness ne'er received any Intelligence from his Majesty, nor from the West; and though his Highness well knew in what condition his Majesty's Army was, yet if his Majesty could have drawn together all the power he expected, the Enemy could have Block'd up the Castle, and Fort, and have advanced 12000 Men to have fought a Battel, or else have secured themselves within the Line against all opposition; besides they were so absolutely Masters of all the Passes, and had so Barricado'd up the ways, that a small Force might have hinder'd a great Army. And at that time General Poyntz so closely observed his Majesty's Motions, that Relief was as improbable to be expected as easie to be desired. And his Highness could not promise himself any more likelyhood of Succours from the West, Bridgewater, Sherborn, and other interjacent Garrisons, being already reduced by the Enemy, and Col. Massey lying with a considerable Body of Horse and Foot in places of advantage ready to intercept and stop the Lord Goring. Moreover had there been any probability of Relief in any reasonable time, yet the Line being forc'd, Pryor-Hill Fort an important Place lost, the Officer to whose trust it was committed, deserting it (who never since that time appeared,) the City had thereby been exposed to the spoil and fury of the Enemy, so many Gallant Men who had so long and faithfully served his Majesty, (whose safeties his Highness conceived himself in Honour, obliged to preserve as dearly as his own) had been left to the slaughter and rage of a prevailing Enemy.
Nevertheless, although these Reasons were of that validity, that his Highness could but despair of Relief, yet another important Consideration was in it self singly sufficient to exclude all credence of possibility, which was, that the Scots upon removal from Hereford, march'd to Gloucester, where their whole Body was the 8th of September, an intermediate Place, near which his Majesty must have march'd, and can any rational Man imagine them so stupidly unactive, as to suffer his Majesty to pass so near them without opposition, considering what effective Forces they had, and their Commanders neither ignorant or idle to entertain opportunities for Action.
Whereas Our Right Dear and Intirely Beloved Nephew Prince Rupert, did at a Council of War, held by Us, at Newark the Eighteenth of this Instant October, there being then present Our Right Trusty and Well-beloved Cousin and Councellor Mountague Earl of Linsey, Lord Great Chamberlain of England; Our Right Trusty, and Right Well-beloved Cousin, Richard Earl of Cork; Our Right Trusty and Well-beloved Jacob Lord Astley Field-Marshal General of our Army; John Lord Bellasis, Captain General of our Horse-Guards; and Charles Lord Gerrard, Lieutenant-General of all Our Horse-Forces; Our Trusty and Well-beloved Sir Richard Willis, Knight and Baronet, Governour of Newark, and John Ashburnham Esq; our Treasurer at War, desire to clear himself for the rendering of the City and Garrison of Bristol, with the Castle and Forts thereof, and thereupon produced a Narrative of the matter of fact during the said Siege, with the Articles for the rendering of those Places, which being accordingly read and considered: We were then pleased to say, That we did not believe our said Nephew to be guilty of any the least want of Courage or Fidelity to Us in the doing thereof, but withal We believed that he might have kept the Castle and Fort a longer time. We having absolutely resolved speedily to have drawn together all the Forces we possibly could, and to have hazarded our own Person for his relief: Our Design being so laid as that in probability it would have succeeded, to which Our said Right Dear Nephew answered, that whatever he did therein, was by the advice of the Council of War of that Garrison, and that he could not in his Judgment possibly expect such Relief; besides he alledged that he had not received from Us any intimation thereof, but said, that if he had, he would have maintained those places to the last Man, though the tender regard he had to the preservation of so many Officers and Soldiers, was the chief reason that induced him to Capitulate for the whole, they having so long and faithfully served Us, all which Our said Right Dear Nephew humbly submitted to Our Judgment. Who upon which at a second Hearing before Our Self this 21st day of October, the Lords and others above named being then likewise present, and upon a serious Consideration of the whole matter, We were then pleased to declare that We were fully satisfied that Our said Right Dear Nephew Prince Rupert, is not guilty of any the least want of Courage or Fidelity to Us, or Our Service in that Action, and We then gave leave to the Lords and others above specified, to declare their Opinions in that point. Who upon our leave and a full consideration of the Narrative formerly delivered, did unanimously concur with Us, Declaring likewise that Our said Right Dear Nephew is not guilty of any the least want of Courage or Fidelity to Us or our Service in that Action. Given under Our Sign Manual at Our Court at Newark this 21st of Octob. 1645.
Whereas in this his Highness's Narrative there is mention made of the King's Common Soldiers marching away with their Arms, the same is to be understood thus: After the Articles concluded, some breach of Articles being alledged by his Highness, and also that he was in fear that the Club-men might fall upon his Soldiers unarm'd, and doubted the Convoy would not be able to secure them in their Passage to Oxford, whither he declared it was his intention to march, desired Fairfax to let him have 1000 Arms for his Foot, Engaging on his Honour they should injure no Man therewith, only make use of them (if need were) to secure themselves from the violence of the People, and when they came up to Oxford to return them back again by the Convoy, which was done accordingly.
In this Service before Bristol there were lost on the Parliament's side Major Bethel, and Major Cromwell (who both died soon after of their Wounds); Lieut. Col. purefoy, and Capt. Hill, kill'd upon the place; Major Read, and Capt. Ireton, and several other Officers Wounded.
As to what Ordnance, Arms, Ammunition and Provisions were found in the Forts, City and Castle, the same with other Particulars are mentioned to be as followeth in Cromwell's Letter to the Speaker.
Cromwell's Letter of taking of Bristol, Sept. 14. 1645.
It hath pleased the General to give me in charge to represent unto you a particular account of the taking of Bristol, the which I gladly undertake: After the finishing of that Service at Sherborn it was disputed at a Council of War, Whether we should march into the West, or to Bristol Amongst other Arguments the leaving so considerable an Enemy at our Backs, to march into the heart of the Kingdom, the undoing of the Country about Bristol, which was exceedingly harassed by the Prince his being thereabouts but a Fortnight; the Correspondency he might hold in Wales, the Possibility of uniting the Enemy's Forces where they pleased, and especially the drawing to an head the disaffected Club-men of Somerset, Wilts and Dorset, when once our Backs were towards them.
These Considerations, together with taking so important a Place, so advantageous for the opening of Trade to London, did sway the Balance, and beget that Conclusion. When we came within four Miles of the City, we had a new Debate, Whether we should endeavour to Block it up, or make a Regular Siege? The latter being over-ruled, Col. Welden with his Brigade marched to Pile-Hill, on the South-side of the City, being within Musquet-shot thereof, where in a few days they made a good Quarter, over-looking the City. Upon our advance, the Enemy fired Bedminster, Clifton, and some other Villages lying near to the City, and would have fired more if our unexpected coming had not hinder'd. The General caused some Horse and Dragoons under Commissary General Ireton, to advance over Avon, to keep in the Enemy on the North-side of the Town, until the Foot could come up; and after a day, the General with Col. Montague's, and Col. Rainsborough's Brigade marched over at Kensham to Stapleton, where he Quartered that Night ; the next day, Col. Montague (having his Post assigned) with his Brigade, was to secure all between the Rivers Froom and Avon, he came up to Lawford's Gate within Musquet-shot thereof: Col. Rainsboroughs Post was near to Durdam-down, whereof the Dragooners and three Regiments of Horse made good a Post upon the Down, between him and the River Avon, on his Right-hand, and from Col Rainsborough's Quarters to Froom River, on his left, a Part of Col. Birch, and Major-General Skippons Regiment were to maintain that Post. These Posts thus setled, our Horse were forced to be upon exceeding great Duty, to stand by the Foot, left the Foot being so weak in all their Posts, might receive an affront. And truly herein we were very happy, that we should receive so little loss by Salliers, considering the Paucity of our Men to make good the Posts, and strength of the Enemy within: By Sallies (which were three or four) I know not that we lost thirty Men in all the time of our Siege. Of Officers of Quality, only Col. Okey was taken by mistake, going to the Enemy, thinking they had been Friends, and Capt. Guilliams slain in a Charge. We took Sir Bernard Astley, and killed Sir Richard Crane, (one very confidence with the Prince.) We had a Council of War concerning the Storming of the Town, about eight days before we took it; and in that there appeared great unwillingness to the Work, through the unseasonableness of the Weather, and other apparent difficulties. Some Inducements to bring us thither, was the report of the good affection of the Townsmen to us, but that did not answer expectation. Upon a second consideration, it was over-ruled for a Storm which no sooner concluded, but difficulties were removed, and all things seemed to favour the design , and truly there hath been seldom the like cheerfulness to any work like to this, after it was once resolv'd on. The day and hour of our Storm was appointed to be on Wednesday Morning the Tenth of September about One of the Clock: We chose to act it so early, because we hoped there by to surprize the Enemy. With this Resolution also, to avoid confusion, and falling foul one upon another; that when we had recovered the Line, and Forts upon it, we could not advance further until day. The General's Signal unto a Storm, was, the firing of Straw, and discharging four Pieces of Cannon at Pryors-Hill Fort, The Signal was very well perceived of all, and truly the Men went on with great resolution, and very presently recovered the Line, making way for the Horse to enter. Col. Montague, and Col. Pickering, who Stormed at Lawford's Gate, where was a Double Work, well fill'd with Men and Cannon, presently enter'd, and with great resolution beat the Enemy from their Works, and possessed their Cannon; their Expedition were such, that they forced the Enemy from their advantages, without any considerable loss to themselves: They laid down the Bridges for the Horse to enter, Major Desborough commanding the Horse, who very Gallantly seconded the Foot: Then, our Foot advanced to the City-Walls, where they possessed the Gate against the Castle-Street, where into were put an hundred Men, who made it good. Sir Hardress Waller with his, and the General's Regiment, with no less resolution, enter'd on the other side of Lawford's Gate, towards Avon River, and put themselves into an immediate conjunction with the rest of the Brigade. During this, Col .Rainsborough, and Col. Hammond attempted Pryors-Hill Fort, and the Line downwards towards Froom; and the Major-General's Regiment being to Storm towards Froom River Col. Hammond possessed the Line immediately, and beating the Enemy from it, made way for the Horse to enter. Col. Rainsborough, who had the hardest task of all at Pryors-Hill Fort, attempted it and fought near three hours for it, and indeed there was great despair of carrying the place, it being exceeding high, a Ladder of thirty Rounds scarcely reaching the top thereof; but his resolution was such that notwithstanding the inaccessibleness and difficulty, he would not give over. The Enemy had four Pieces of Cannon upon it, which they plied with round, and Case-shot upon our Men; his Lieut. Col. Bowen, and others, were two Hours at Push of Pike, standing upon the Pallizadoes, but could not enter. Col. Hammond being enter'd the Line, and Capt. Ireton with a Forlorn of Col. Rich his Regiment, interposing with his Horse, between the Enemy's Horse, and Col. Hammond, received a Shot with two Pistol-bullets, which broke his Arm; by which means the entrance of Col. Hammond did Storm the Fort on that part which was inward; by which means Col. Rainsborough, and Gol. Hammond's Men enter'd the Fort, and immediately put almost all the Men in it to the Sword.
And as this was the place of most difficulty, so of most loss to us on that side, and of very great honour to the Undertaker; the Horse did second them with great resolution. Both these Colonels do acknowledge, that their Interposition between the Enemy's Horse, and their Foot, was a great means of obtaining of this strong Fort, without which all the rest of the Line to Froom-River would have done us little good; and indeed neither Horse nor Foot would have stood in all that way in any manner of security had not the Fort been taken.
Major Bethel's were the first Horse that enter'd the Line, who did behave himself Gallantly, and was shot in the Thigh, had one or two shot more, and had his Horse shot under him. Col. Birch with his Men, and the Major General's Regiment, enter'd with very good resolution where their Post was; possessing the Enemy's Guns, and turning them upon them.
By this, all the Line from Pryors-Hill Fort to Avon (which was a full Mile) with all the Forts, Ordnance and Bulwarks, were possessed by us, but one, wherein there were about Two hundred and twenty Men of the Enemy, which the General Summoned, and all the Men submitted.
The Success on Col. Welden's Side did not answer with this; and although the Colonels, and other the Officers and Soldiers, both Horse and Foot, testified as much resolution as could be expected; Col. Welden, Col. Ingolsby, Col Herbert, and the rest of the Colonels and Officers both of Horse and Foot, doing what could be well looked for from Men of Honour; yet what by reason of the heighth of the Works, which proved higher than report made them, and the shortness of of the Ladders, they were repulsed with the loss of about an hundred Men; Col. Fortescue's Lieut. Col. was killed, and Major Cromwell dangerously shot, and two of Col Ingolsby's Brothers hurt, with some Officers.
Being possessed of thus much as hath been related, the Town was fired in three places by the Enemy, which we could not put out; which begat a great trouble in the General, and us all, fearing to see so famous a City burnt to ashes before our faces. Whilst we were viewing so sad a Spectacle, and consulting which way to make further advantage of our Success, the Prince sent a Trumpet to the General, to desire a Treaty for the Surrender of the Town; to which the General agreed, and deputed Col. Montague, Col. Rainsborough, and Col. Pickering for that Service, authorizing them with Instructions to Treat and conclude the Articles, which are these inclosed.
For performance whereof Hostages were mutually given. On Thursday about Two of the Clock in the Afternoon, the Prince marched out, having a Convoy of Two Regiments of Horse from us, and making Election of Oxford for the place he would go to, which he had liberty to do by his Articles.
The Cannon which we have taken are about One hundred and forty mounted, about one hundred Barrels of Powder already come to our hands, with a good quantity of Shot, Ammunition and Arms. We have found already between Two and three thousand Musquets. The Royal Fort had Victuals in it for One hundred and fifty Men, for Three hundred and twenty days; the Castle Victualled for near half so long. The Prince had Foot of the Garrison, as the Major of the City informed me, Two thousand five hundred, and about one thousand Horse, besides the Trained Bands of the Town, and Auxiliares one thousand, some say, one thousand five hundred. I hear but of one Man that hath died of the Plague in all our Army, although we have Quarter'd amongst, and in the midst of infected Persons and Places: We had not kill'd of ours in the Storm, nor all this Siege, Two hundred Men.
Thus I have given you a true, but not a full account of this great Business; wherein he that runs may read, that all this is none other than the Work of God: He must be a very Atheist that doth not acknowledge it.
It may be thought that some Praises are due to these Gallant Men, of whose Valour so much mention is made: Their humble Suit to you, and all that have an Interest in this Blessing, is, that in the remembrance of God's Praises, they may be forgotten. It is their Joy, that they are Instruments of God's Glory, and their Gountry's good: It is their Honour that God vouchsafes to use them. Sir, They that have heen employed in this Service know, that Faith and Prayer obtained this City for you: I do not say ours only, but of the People of God with you, and all England over, who have wrestled with God for a Blessing in this very thing. Our desires are, that God may be Glorified by the same Spirit of Faith by which we ask all our Sufficiency and have received it; it is meet that he have all the Praise. Presbyterians, Independents, all have here the same spirit of Faith and Prayer, the fame Presence and Answer; they agree here, have no names of difference: Pity it is it should be otherwise any where. All that believe, have the real Unity, which is most Glorious, because inward; and Spiritual in the Body, and to the Head. For being united in Forms, commonly called Uniformity, every Christian will, for Peace sake, study, and do as far as Conscience will permit. And for Brethren in things of the Mind, we look for no compulsion, but that of Light and Reason, in other things God hath put the Sword in the Parliament's hands, for the terror of evil doers, and the praise of them that do well. If any plead exemption from it, he knows not the Gospel ; if any would wring it, out of your hands, or steal it from you under what pretence soever, I hope they shall do it without effect; that God will maintain it in your hands, and direct you in the use thereof, is the Prayer of
Your Humble Servant,
Bristol, Sept. 14, 1645.