Tyger's Head Books

The first Battle of Newbury: Royalist account (Mercurius Aulicus)

In Berkshire on September 20 at 2:35 am

20 Sep 1643 (Wed) || And this day by 7 of the clock in the morning, His Majesty saw the Rebels seated in the most advantagious place imaginable, their Foot, Horse, & Cabbob so planted for their own preservation, and annoyance to His Majesty, upon a Hill among Hedges, that they were confident the Kings Army would destroy it selfe by assaulting them upon so many desperate disadvantages. For they had perceived His Majesty to pursue them so eagerly (having stollen from Him before) that they beleeved the Kings Forces would wave no difficulty or odds to gaine a blow at them, He being very suspicious lest they should steale away againe; and therefore His Majesty was forced first to fight for a place to fight on, the Rebels having chosen all before, which He did, and in despight of all the Rebels planted cannons, Foot and Horse, beat them from their ground and gain’d the Hill, they in the interim lying among Bushes and behind Hedges, (their old chosen security) out of which they stood pelting the rest of the day, and wither they fled so fast that  they left one of their best peeces of Brasse Ordnance on the Hill for His Majesties service.

This Hill (neare Newbury) and Enborne Heath, were the two places where most of this Battaile was fought, upon as great disadvantages (if anything may be said to have odds over a good cause and valiant men) as are almost a shame for bragging Rebels to accept of. Upon the Heath the Rebels Horse were soone routed by His Majesties with good execution, which would have beene more had they stayed longer; the chiefe Commanders of Horse for His Majesty (besides Prince Rupert and the Lord Wilmot Lieutenant Generall, whose presence and personall valour was no small encouragement to the rest) were the three most Noble and valiant Lords, the Earle of Carnarvon, the Earle of Northampton, and the Lord Chandoys, Sir Charles Lucas, Colonell Charles Gerard, and Lieutenant Colonell [Daniel] Oneale, who all did [fight] now as their Custome is, that is, as bravely as any men alive, and so indeed did all the rest of the Gallant Gentlemen. In this fight was slaine the most valiant and matchlesse Earle of Carnarvon, one whose blood and memory is so pretious to his Majesties Army, that as well the conspirators as the Armed Rebels shall hereafter feele they have murthered the Earle of Carnarvon, and so he that killed him did in another world within a minute afterwards. Besides this incomparable Earle there were killed the Noble Earle of Sunderland, Colonell Morgan, Lieutenant Colonell Fielding, and some Gentlemen Voluntiers, as Master Stroud as others, whose names will live to posterity, and cause a more lasting infamy on this odious Rebellion. There were hurt in this fight of the prime Officers, the Lord Andover, Sir Charles Lucas, Colonell Charles Gerard, Colonell Ivers, and some lower Officers, and of the Voluntiers, the two Noble Earles of Carlisle and Peterborough, Master John Russell, Master Edward Sackville, Master Henry Howard, Master George Porter, Master Progers, and some other worthy Gentlemen who upon this sudden are not made knowne to me, thought not any I can heare of whose wounds are dangerous.

Thus on the Heath by the Horse onely, and on the Hill the Horse and Foot did as bravely, the Foot commanded by Sir Nicholas Byron, the Horse by Sir John Byron, who forced the seated Rebels from their chosen Hill (though it was somewhat long disputed) and kept it from them. The chiefe Officers that were hurt were Colonell Darcy, Lieutenant Colonell George Lisle, who bravely led up the forlorne hope, and Lieutenant Colonell Edward Villiers: that noble and learned Lord, the L. Viscount Falkland being most unfortunately slaine there, with some other worthy Gentlemen who were also hurt, whereof you may have a more particular accompt hereafter. For the number slaine, upon a more serious enquiry we cannot finde 200 slaine of his Majesties Forces, though, without partiality we may speake it, the Rebels lost above three for one.

Now if you will shew me what Lords and Gentlemen were in the Rebels Army, I shall tel you how many of them are slain, for indeed the world knowes this rebellious war aymes at the ruine of all Nobles and Gentry, as well as of the King, the Rebels Forces, for the most part, consisting of such cattell as were never thought fit to dye by the Sword: and yet their prisoners say, if any of thatlying faction may be credited, that Manwaring of London, Co. Greaves, Captain S. Barb, yong Meldrom, and young Belfour are slain, and a great many more of their prime leaders whose names we shall hereafter learn more perfectly. Much of the slaughter fell upon the London trained bands, and their auxiliaries, many of whose Buffe coats our Souldiers now have, for indeed the Londoners were put upon the worst and hardest service. || John Berkenhead/Peter Heylyn – Mercurius Aulicus (R)