Tyger's Head Books

Royalist victory at Roundway Down

In Wiltshire on July 15 at 9:42 pm

15 Jul 1643 (Sat) || This was a day of joy, & most happy tidings, from the beginning to the end. Newes came betimes to Towne by Sir Robert Welch who was sent on purpose with that errand, that the Troopes of horse, which His Majesties had designed for the Westerne service, being come on Thursday about foure in the aftenoone, within three miles of the Devises, were met with by the Rebels forces, who lay betwixt them and the Towne, on Roundway-Downe (for so the place is usually called) to hinder them from joyning with the rest of the Army. The fight was first begun betwixt some Regiments of horse on eachside, and carried for a time on both sides with equall successe, But at last the Rebels horse beginning to retreate to the rest of their strength, which lay not farre off on an hill, Waller drew out his Foot, and commanded them to give the on-set; which whilest they repaired to do, the beaten Horse most valiantly fled the field and left the Foot (as usually they doe) unto slaughter, all of which (very few excepted) were either killed or taken Prisoners. Waller himselfe perceiving for the world went with him, followed his fugitive Horse, with as much diligence and speed as could be; and (as ’tis said) got a most terrible fall in his hasty flight, which endangered his life; leaving His Majesties Forces absolute Masters of the field.

And we may clearely say this was a most absolute victory, for His Majesties souldiers totally routed the Rebels Army, slew full 600 of them in the place, tooke above 900 prisoners, tooke All their cannon, being 7 faire brasse peeces, All their ammunition, which was a very great quantity, All their waggons and Baggage, among which one Cart loaden with Manacles (for the Liberty of the Subject) with all the Victuall which that seditious Country had abundantly brought in, Tooke also all their Armes, but what the fugitive Troopers had in their hands also, 28 Colours of foot, 9 Cornets of horse, and left not one Rebell but what was either killed, taken prisoner, or narrowly saved his life by his heels. Waller had formerly at severall times surprized 113 of the Kings souldiers, which 113 were now all releived, together with such other goods and plunder as he heretofore had gained at Malmsbury and Hereford, But that which made the Victory most sweet, was that few of His Majesties souldiers were slaine in this service, and not any of note but that worthy and valiant Gentleman Master Dudly Smith, who made the Rebells pay deare for his life before they had it. What eminent service was done by particular men, I shall not mention, the chiefe Commanders, and such as in this expedition (we are sure) deserved best, being unwilling to be named, as sensible that God Alnighty’s extraordinary mercy wrought this blessing for His Majesty; for this confluence of Rebellious Forces were almost treble to those His Majesty now sent, the Rebels having five Regiments of foot consisting of about 2500, six Regiments of horse containing full 2000, besides 500 dragooners, with 8 peeces of brasse ordnance; the forces sent by His Majestie being but 1500 horse only, with 2 small peeces of Cannon.  || John Berkenhead/Peter Heylyn – Mercurius Aulicus (R)

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