Tyger's Head Books

Gloucester citizen begs London to send relief

In Gloucestershire on August 20 at 12:15 am

Sunday 20 Aug 1643 || Our Scout, by reason the enemy is possest of the West, is forced to passe in by-wayes; he brings no other news from Exeter, but that it remains blockt up, and hath only relieved it selfe two or three times, and fetched in some cattell, beating up now one, and then another quarter of the enemy: Who pities not Exeter? Most constant, most faithfull, yet farthest from helpe, and neerest to misery: as he passed along, he understood of some ships taken in the Irish seas; and so went as neere Glocester as he could, but was not so neere, as to be able to tell, as some undertake, how many men the enemy hath lost, and who, and of what quality; nor is he able to say that any attempt had beene to storme the Towne the fourteenth past, or that the enemy then was come so neere as musquet shot: it is true, he heard the great Cannon play fiercelie for many dayes, but thinkes that the enemy will not be so prodigall of his men as he was before Bristoll: as he was comming from Glocester a back-way, he met with a woman, who had beene in Gloucester, she intreated him to bring a Letter to a friend in London, which he did, the Contents whereof was to this effect, and written by one of quality that is dangerously wounded.

Noble Sir,
There can be nothing more sad to a valiant and faithfull heart then neglect, what would more provoke, then to see men and water enough, yet none take a bucket to quench a fire? They say in other Countreys the English are the worst at this of all Nations, we in the poore City of Gloecester are like to finde it true in the quenching that fire which so violently burns us: The enemy batters us continually with their great Cannon, making breach after breach, (for thank the losse of Bristoll, they have powder enough) but God giving courage, we have hitherto made them up as fast as they beat them downe; But who relieves us? Nay, who comes and tells us we shall have reliefe? We can challenge it, for it was promised, and that largely; out of that confidence we have slighted all overtures: What is become of the Parliament Where is my Lord Generall? What do the City of London? Where is Sir William Waller? Must we perish? We are sensible of the miseries at Bristoll; and are not our friends so, if we have any? Sure there is no enemy that the City, or my Lord Generall need fear, unless those that are here; What people would fight for them that will not send them reliefe when they have wherewith? Can it be that in such a Cause as we have, one party should draw one way, and another the other? The God of heaven look upon us: If the West be not regarded; once as able and ready to serve the Parliament as any part of England, yet let our poore wives and children be subject to the beastly lust of the enemy: out estates all to be lost, and many other estates brought hither; our City threatened to be turned into ashes, and we put all to the sword; work a little compassion, beget some reliefe: The City of London we know are willing to part with their money, and want of reliefe sticks not with them, there are souldiers enough, hearts enough: we think that men should lay aside self-respects, and whatever for the common good, we have done so; we are yet able to hold out fourteen dayes, our souldiers and inhabitants are couragious, and shall Glocester be lost? The enemy knowes where our defect lies, and as it puts courage into them, so let it adde wings to our reliefe: Sir, send us reliefe, or send us some body to tell us we can have none, that we may shift for our selves, we are sure some are the cause reliefe comes not, knew we them, we would name them, were they never so great: and desire that those that can deliver us from misery, and will not, may have miseries as great, as can be here inflicted; or if any Counsell be against us, that it may be infatuated: The City of London were used to have power with the Parliament, with the Lord Generall: Will they now not use their interest? They may be the next, who shall pity them? Is this the reward to those that take up armes for Religion and Liberties? Will not honour protect the Cause, not nothing fire those Cannons, edge those swords, charge those muskets that must raise our enemies? Shall relief come as to Cirencester, set out after the Town is taken? But if it must be so, we must perish: Sir, these are the last breathings of your dying servant. || John Dillingham – The Parliament Scout (P)

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