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Archive for January, 2013|Monthly archive page

Earl of Newcastle’s forces allegedly defeated at Leeds & Doncaster

In Yorkshire on January 31 at 10:18 pm

31 January 1642/3 || Letters out of the North tell of wonders that the great body under the great Earl of New Castle is shaken, yea in pieces; for they write that at Leeds where a great part of it lay under the command of Sir William Savill, [it] was set upon by some of the powers of the Lo. Fairfax, and utterly defeated; 17. Colours were raken, 2. peeces of Ordnance, 500 prisoners, almost 2000. Armes, but 17. killed: Sir Will. Savill was forst over the river of Ayre to save his life, but for his no better performing the trust reposed was committed, and some say the last yeers Sheriffe is condemned to be shot to death: some of my Lord Fairfax forces were advancing against Doncaster, to whom they of Lincolnshire added 200. horse, which being joyned and upon their march, they in Doncaster perceiving by their espials, left the Town and a peece of Ordnance and fled ere ever the enemy came to them. New Castle himself with the remainder of his forces is retreated to York, and some think farther. If this prove true, and we wisely prosecute our victory (not as in the West) we may happily see an end of that great Bugbear. || Humphrey Blunden – Speciall Passages (P)

Hopton reportedly victorious in Cornwall

In Cornwall on January 31 at 8:31 pm

31 January 1642/3 || It was reported in the Hall and Court of Requests, that there was a generall Thankesgiving throughout all Oxford, and particularly in the private Chappell of Christ-Church before the King in the morning, and more private againe in the Presence-chamber at night, or Evening-prayer, before His Majesty, for the victory of Sir Ralph Hopton in Devonshire, nigh Plimouth, upon Colonel Ruthen and the Earle of Stamford, obtained about ten dayes since and how it was specified in their Thanksgiving, a very glorious overthrow, to the number of eight or nine hundred; yet certaine information is come to the House, that the Parliament lost but thirty men, horses killed but eight, and eighty taken prisoners, and that the rest were Crowes (but it may be more like Jack-Dawes). || John Tompson – The Daily Intelligencer

It is said that Sir Ralph Hopton hath retaken Salt Ash, and summoned Plimouth in which are most of the forces the Parliament hath in those parts. || Humphrey Blunden – Speciall Passages (P)

Parliament sends messenger to the King

In Oxford on January 31 at 6:40 pm

31 January 1642/3 (Tue) || Sir Peter Killegrew is gone unto the King, to know whether it will please His Majesty, to grant a safe-conduct unto the two Earles, viz. Pembroke and Salisbury, who are to repaire unto His Majesty with new Propositions as soon as the said Sir Peter shall returned with his Majesties pleasure, which is daily expected. || John Tompson – The Daily Intelligencer

The same day … came to towne Sir Peter Killigrew, sent from the two Houses of Parliament, to demand a safe conduct from His Majestie for certain of the Lords and Commons appointed by the said two Houses to attend His Majestie about the Propositions (as it is conceived) which they have beene so long preparing for Accommodation. || John Berkenhead/Peter Heylyn – Mercurius Aulicus (R)

Parliament’s Colonel Venn sends offer to Oxford

In Oxford on January 30 at 6:35 pm

30 January 1642/3 || [On Saturday] there came a Drum to Court about the exchange of Prisoners, sent from no worse a man then the great Captaine Ven, who having a command in the Castle of Windsor, conceives he may capitulate on equall termes with the Lord of the Castle. So soone hath he forgotten that he was lately called a base rascally broken Citizen, by the Earle of Peterborough; and the course usage which he had of late from the Earle of Essex.¹ || John Berkenhead/Peter Heylyn – Mercurius Aulicus (R)

¹ A few days later Richard Collings reports that the drummer was sent by Royalist prisoners fed up with not being exchanged.

Discontent over Essex’s false-start against Reading

In Berkshire on January 30 at 3:17 pm

30 January 1642/3 (Mon) || There is much muttering concerning the designe upon Reading, those that know the parts about it say the Parliament forces might have gone over at many other places, though the Constable failed in his bridge; this is certain, the Souldiers that were bent for action vex and speak broad: but why may it not be of God as a blessing, for some are of opinion that its not so good to attempt upon a town well fortified under a brave Commander in the Winter. || Humphrey Blunden – Speciall Passages (P)

Reports from the Earl of Newcastle’s forces in the north

In North East, Yorkshire on January 29 at 11:55 pm

Sunday 29 January 1642/3 || Out of Yorkeshire it is signified, that the Earle of Newcastle hath imprisoned the Lord Savill, and Sir Thomas Gower, who was high Sheriffe of that County the last yeare (and as some say the Earle of Newport also) because they declare, that though they ever intended to maintaine the Kings Prerogative, yet they would not be a meanes to introduce Popery, which they saw the Earle aymed at; but the Earle giveth out (as it is reported) that hee hath restrained them, because they had a designe to apprehend the Queene as soone as she was come into England, and so bring her to the Parliament.¹

It is also informed from thence, that Captaine Fenwick, son unto Sir John Fenwicke, in Northumberland, who had the command of divers Troopes of horse in the Earle of Newcastles Army, bore this Motto in his Corners, For the King and Protestant Religion, Which latter words the Papists not enduring, would have effaced, whereat the Captaine taking distaste, hath deserted the Earle, and carried all his horse along with him to the Lord Fairfaxe. And also that Sir Hugh Cholmley, a Member of the House of Commons, is gotten between Yorke and Durham with his forces, and that they have given a great defeat to some of the Earle of Newcastles Army in that part of the County.

||  Out of Nottinghamshire it is informed, that the Earle of Newcastle tooke great distaste at the Earle of Newport, because he would not conforme himselfe to Popery (which the Earle of Newcastle with might and maine endeavours to set up, for he hath caused Masse to be frequently said at Yorke, and in all quarters) and thereupon he fought to lay hold of him, and commit him, but the Earle of Newport perceiving his intentions, hath deserted him, and is escaped safe to Nottingham. || William Ingler – Certaine Informations (P)

¹ This was originally reported by the Royalist newsbook Mercurius Aulicus on 17 January.

Mariners present petition to Parliament

In London on January 29 at 11:44 pm

Sunday 29 January 1642/3 || This day about a dozen or sixteene Seamen came to the Parliament with a petition to the house of Commons for peace, aleadging that their trade by reason of the present distractions was much decayed, &c. Which Petition was signed with many hands, but there were other sufficient Seamen, which presented themselves likewise at the House at the same time, which certified, that many of the persons whose hands were put to the Petition, disclaim the same; and afterwards the other Petitioners did put their hands thereunto: Whereupon, those that came to present the Petition, were desired to repair home again, for the House was not wanting in endeavouring to effect their desires, and had agreed upon Propositions for that purpose. || Samuel Pecke – A Perfect Diurnall (P)

The Malevolents in about this City, are alwayes plotting some designe, to reduce it from the present Peace it enjoyeth, into combustion and distruction, and to that end, have incited the Marriners, Seamen, Shipwrights, and others about Stepney to frame a Petition to the Parliament for Peace, onely in generall termes, requesting also the maintenance of the Protestant Religion, Lawes of the Land, liberty of the Subject, and the just Priviledges of Parliament, according to the construction that the Cavaliers give them in their Declarations; and having finished it, they poasted up Tickets for all of that profession to meete yesterday in the Pallace yard at Westminster to present it to the Parliament, but at the time appointed very few or none appeared there, who being demanded by some Masters of Ships what they did there, answered, they knew not for what they came thither, and that they were onely invited by Tickets to appeare there; whereupon seeing no more of their Company to second them, they departed; and so this plot of the Malignants, by Gods good Providence was frustrated, as also by the care and vigilancie of such as desire to conserve the quiet and tranquilitie of the Commonwealth. || William Ingler – Certaine Informations (P)

Covert letter carriers captured in London

In London on January 28 at 7:30 pm

28 January 1642/3 || This day there was a Coster staid at Hide-Park corner, by the Court of Guard, with a Cloak bag full of Writings and Letters, which he pretended to concern Law-sutes, and were to be made use of at Oxford; and being brought back by a Guard to the Parliament to be further examined, when he came to Charing-crosse, he set spurres to his horse and would have made an escape, but having a guard of two horsemen and four footmen to attend him, they soon stopt his passage, and brought him to the house, and was taken into custody till his examination.

|| There was also a Boy of about fourteen or fifteen years of age, which comming out of the County of Lincoln with private Letters, and escaped through all the watches untill he came to a place called Kingsland, about two miles from London, where was stayed at the Court of Guard, by John Feast Corporall under Sergeant Major Shepheard, and being searched, there was a packet of Letters found about him, which were sowed within the linings of his doublet, upon the top of his shoulder, and being brought to the House and examined, he confessed that was directed to carry the said Letters to one Webs house at the signe of the Drum in St. Giles in the fields (being a rank Papist) where there lay a Taylor that is likewise a Papist, unto whom he was to deliver the said Letters, who was to deliver them to the persons unto which they were intended, the outmost Letter being without any superscription, whereupon the said Letters were referred to the close Committee for the defence of the Kingdome, to be perused, and to certifie the House concerning the same; and it was ordered that the party unto whom they should have been delivered, should be sent for to the House, and the Boy was committed to safe custody till further examination. || Samuel Pecke – A Perfect Diurnall (P)

There was lately apprehended the wife of one Ball  an Irish Papist which hererofore joyned with the [Irish] Rebels, but hath been some in England, and imployed as an agent to the Cavaliers, he being as is reported in the Countrey and his wife stayed here and used to convey Letters and other things to her husband from the Papists about London, and being found out, she was committed to safe custody till further examination of the businesse. || Certain Speciall and Remarkable Passages (P)

Royalist forces converge on Northampton

In Northamptonshire on January 28 at 3:47 pm

28 January 1642/3 (Sat) || They write from Northamptonshire, that the Kings forces are advanced as farre as Brackley, and as farre as Owney [Olney], and that the Papists thereabouts have made their houses readie to entertain them this three weeks, and are ready to accommodate them with all necessaries, which might have been prevented by the sequestration of their persons and estates, but no more of that.

|| From Ketring in Northamptonshire we understand that there is in the Town and the parts about such a Malignant partie, that they hire men to murther men as they go along the streets, and in particular a servant of the late deceased worthy Gent. Mr. Sawyer.¹ 

|| “From Northamptonshire, 28. of Jan.” – Sir, we are here in a sad condition, all we have is upon the matter at the mercy of our enemie, somewhat we have carried and driven to Northampton, which place we hope is well provied with provisions, skilfull Canoniers, Commanders, and Souldiers. I hear not of any advance of a power to relieve us, I pray God it be thought of: I understand you lay out the strength to keep alive the Army about Windsor, which I must not blame but commend, onely let me advise you, (and if you have any power with those that sit at the Helme in those affairs) that you will advise them to contract those expences into as little a compasse as may be, and that you will likewise bethink yourselves of a flying Army of 3. or 4000. horse under wise, active and faithfull Commanders, these will upon all occasions disturbe the enemy, which way soever he advances fall upon him in his quarters, and drive him to his places of strength, and there put him upon all straits and extremities in a short time: and Sir, for our County let London know it concerns them as much to keep us a passage open to them, as to keep their River of Thames open; for as that affords bread, firing,² and merchandise: so ours and the parts beyond, as Lecester, &c. affords the maine provisions of flesh. When the enemy drew neer Northampton, they in the Town would have gone out against the enemy (for they were nothing so many as was talked) but the Commanders thought it not the best way: we are of opinion that the enemy will return to Oxford or thereabouts. || Humphrey Blunden – Speciall Passages (P)

It is informed that many of the Kings Forces are marched towards Northampton, and are about Stony Stratford and Fenny Stratford, in the further part of Buckinghamshire, whereupon it is thought they intend to make an attempt against Northampton, but that towne hath a strong Garrison therein and about tenne peeces of ordinance, being also well fortified, so that they will be able to make resistance against the Enemy, and it is thought that the Lord Grey with his forces will returne back againe out of Leicestershire to aid Northampton in case the enemy should make any attempt against them. || Samuel Pecke – A Perfect Diurnall (P)

¹ Shot and wounded during a riot at Wellingborough; see report from 30 December.
² Probably meaning fuel for fires: London was heavily reliant on Newcastle coal.

Earl of Essex begins attempt on Reading

In Berkshire, ECW editor's comment on January 27 at 8:15 pm

27 January 1642/3 || By letters from Okinghame [Wokingham] in Berkshire it is informed, that the Parliaments forces which were quartered there and at other towns adjacent are drawne into a Body, and advanced towards Reading intending to assault the Enemy there, so that within few dayes we may expect further concerning the same.

|| Information was given, that the Earle of Essex his forces which were at Windsor, Maiden-head, and thereabouts, were advanced to joyn with those forces which came from Okingham, and that they had made a bridge over the River not farre from Reading, and intended to plant Ordnance against the Town. || Samuel Pecke – A Perfect Diurnall (P)

For the designe on Redding, the Parliaments Forces advanced neer to the Town, but two other Regiments that should have come unto them, could not pass the River by reason of the shortnesse of the Bridge, so the rest retreated without making any attempt on the Towne. || Richard Collings – The Kingdomes Weekly Intelligencer (P)

|| The last week, the Lord Generall sent some of his forces from Henley, and other places, to fall upon the Towne of Redding, which had prepared a Bridge to lay over the River of Thames, to transport themselves and their Ordnance over it, but when they came to the River, and assayed to lay it over, the Bridge proved too short, and thereupon all the forces were constrained to retreate back againe with it, to have it lengthened, insomuch that their designe and enterprise for that time was intermitted, yet the Cavaliers at Redding discharged some of their great Ordnance against them, but with more hurt to their owne party, then to their opponents, for one of their Canoneers had his Arme struck off with a piece that broke at the firing thereof, and not one of the other side was so much as touched with any of their great Shot. || William Ingler – Certaine Informations (P)

[Yesterday] we had early in the morning a designe upon Reading, an assault was to be given in five places at once, and 10000. men were to performe it: It had been long in debate and contriving; when execution should have been some Bridges were too short, and some were wanting, the opportunitie lost, and the enemie fully understood in the designe, and so made able to prevent it. There are 3. of my Lord Generals life-guard put into the castle upon suspition of discovering the designe,¹ I do not say that 300. might have been as well committed as 3. but this may be said, that there is held as great a correspondencie, or at least as great an amity between some Officers of both sides as is in our Army among our selves: The King of Sweaden never communicated his designes, that were to be carried with secrecie, to above one man, and so if it was discovered it must be by himself or that man. We had also a design upon Brill, but the old Souldiers would not consent, the Town had 1000. men in it, under the command of Sir Gilbert Gerat [Gerard] of Yorkshire. || Humphrey Blunden – Speciall Passages (P)

There hath bin a false clamour about the Town that the Parliaments forces received a great defeat by making a bridge over the River near unto Redding, with an intent to make an assault upon that town, and that many of the Parliaments forces were slaine, which report was altogether false and raised (in all likelinesse by a dis-affected party) for considering the season they thought it not safe to make an assault upon the Towne whereby the enemy should have a great advantage against them, and so for the present they thought good rather to keep the enemy in awe then to hazard a busines of that consequence. || Certain Speciall and Remarkable Passages (P)

News came this day, that the Earle of Essex had drawne downe his Forces towards Reading, and carried with him sixteene peeces of Ordnance; and that being come as neare as Cawsham [Caversham], he caused two of his Peeces to be discharged, which hell short twelve score of the towne: that thereupon Sir Arth. Aston Governour of the Towne, had caused two Peeces of Ordinance to be discharged against him, which fell into the middle of his Army, and thereby put his Souldiers into such a fright, that by no meanes they would endure so hot a service; whereupon the Earle went back to Cawsham Lodge, (an house belonging to the Lord Craven) where he yet continueth. The reason of these severall undertakings both upon a day, is conjectured diversly: some thinking that it was project to cause Prince Rupert to be called againe to Oxford; and others, that it was to make the better way for the Propositions, which were reported to be comming. But the more likely reason is, and so tis certified by Letters of advise from London,  [is] that they are growne so low in their reputation, their debts so great, their measure so exhausted, and the raising of the twentieth part so full of difficultie, that except something be one shortly to advance their credit, and setle the wavering affections of their party, there is small hopes of raising money, and consequently lesse to maintaine their Armes: therefore that somewhat must be undertaken that is of consequence and importance to uphold the side; which if it prosperously succeeds, it is conceived they will proceed effectually in levying the twentieth part of all mens estates, not onely in the Citie of London, but in all other parts of the Kingdome after that example, and that there was no doubt but they would prevaile in it; if not by the reputation of their fortune, [then] by the power and terror of their Armes. || John Berkenhead/Peter Heylyn – Mercurius Aulicus (R)

¹ Which “castle”, is unclear, as Reading’s motte and bailey had been ruined for centuries. Possibly Lord Craven’s large manor house in nearby Caversham, where Heyleyn says Essex was based; or Sir John Blagrave’s moated manor at nearby Southcote; or it is possible that the offenders had been sent back to Windsor.