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Archive for the ‘Devon’ Category

Naval activity at Exmouth

In Devon on July 1 at 12:12 pm

1 Jul 1643 (Sat) || By an expresse from Exeter it is certified that the Citizens have made divers salies out upon the King’s Forces, but have beene repulsed with much losse; they have brought severall Ships to Exe Mouth, and (as it is reported) laden with men and Ammunition but whether with either or both is not yet certaine; this we are sure of, that 2 or 3 of the lighter vessels ran in over the Bay, where the Kings Forces make bold to keep them, who are like to pay deare for their returne: the other two ships lie out in the Ocean, and are so waited on by His Majesties forces, that if they offer to land in long boats they are like to fare as well as the other former. || John Berkenhead/Peter Heylyn – Mercurius Aulicus (R)

From the Sea the Newes is, that Captaine Moulton, who commandeth one of the Earle of Warwicks ships called the Swift-sure, sent three small Ships into Exmouth, which seized upon two Ships in that Harbour, the one of them being ready fitted by the Cavaliers for a man of War, the other was of small consequence, and that he hath taken another Ship at Tingmouth. but there was nothing of any value in her, and that all the Maritime Townes in Devon are in Rebellion against the King and Parliament, excepting Plymouth, Dartmouth and Excester. || William Ingler – Certaine Informations (P)

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Devon residents raise troops to relieve Exeter

In Devon on June 30 at 6:52 pm

30 Jun 1643 (Fri) || Out of Devonshire it is informed, that the inhabitants of Barnstable, Boddyford [Bideford] and Torrington, are raising of any Army in the North parts of that County to relieve the City of Excester, which is now besieged at foure miles distance by the Lord Mohun, Sir Nicholas Slanning, Sir Peter Courtney, Crew the high Sheriffe, and one Ackland, who having gotten the scum of the Counties of Cornwall and Devon, have blocked up all the Roads and wayes thereto, and have seized upon Apsom [Topsham], which lieth upon the River of Ex, towards the sea; who, though they are not able to win that City by assault, yet may starve them for want of Horse to open their passages: which Army may (by Gods blessing) bring them some succour, untill the Earle of Warwick can land his men at Tro-bay [Torbay], to drive those lewd persons from thence, who gape and thirst, not onely for the Wealth and Riches of that City, but also for the bloud of all the well-affected People in it.  || William Ingler – Certaine Informations (P)

Sir Ralph Hopton approaches Exeter

In Devon on June 1 at 9:56 pm

1 Jun 1644 (Thu) || This day letters came from the West, advertising that Sir Ralph Hopton making the best use of his late great victory¹ had brought his conquering Army close unto Exeter, which was conceived was neither able nor disposed to hold out against him; (if so be he thought it his best course to spend time in besieging it) the country comming in so fast unto him that his strength was very much increased; besides the great advantage he had of so many Cannon, which he tooke from them in that fight. There was a speech also that  the Towne was delivered up, but not so well confirmed and seconded, as to be reported for a certaine. But if the old observation be of any credit, that rats and mice doe commonly forsake a ruinous and decaying house; that City is not like to continue long in the Rebels hands: the Earle of Stamford being gone thence already with his followers, and others packing after with all the speed they can.   || John Berkenhead/Peter Heylyn – Mercurius Aulicus (R)

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¹ i.e. the battle of Stratton

News from Exeter and Plymouth

In Devon on May 15 at 6:52 pm

15 May 1643 (Mon) || From Excester and Plymouth in Devonshire they write, that the Earle of Stamford is marched out of their County into Cornwall, with 8. or 9000 foote and 1500. horse, and that he intendeth to divide his army into two bodies, whereof the one part is to besiege the Towne of Launceston in Cornwall, which the Cavaliers had fortified for their shelter, and with the other part to pursue Sir Ralph Hopton and his Cavaliers, either totally to suppresse and apprehend them, or else to drive them out of Cornwall, if they can tell whither to fly to escape his hands.

And from Plymouth more particularly they write, that a ship of theirs hath taken a Dunkerke Frigot, which was going to Ireland, and is laden with Armes, Carbines, Pistols, Gunpowder, Wines, Crucifixes, and such like trash, and some Ordnance, whereof one peece was 400. weight, which Frigot the seizer hath brought safe into Plimouth. || William Ingler – Certaine Informations (P)

Status of West Country peace treaty uncertain

In Cornwall, Devon on March 21 at 3:12 pm

21 Mar 1642/3 (Tue) || The Letters out of Devonshire this Weeke yeeld no certaine Informations of the Affaires there, for some of them affirme, that the Cessation of Armes betweene Cornwall and Devon is prolonged for ten dayes more; others of them assert, that the Citizens of Exeter refused to permit the Gentry of the two Counties to treat there, and that they have protested against the Treaty, because they deeme it not to be bona fide, but of dangerous consequence to the safety of their County, and that their forces, by this delay, have lost a faire opportunity of suppressing their enemies, who by this intermission have ample meanes to Recreute their weakned Troopes, and furnish themselves with such hostile provisions as they wante, and also to fortifie the Frontier Cornish Townes, to their future disadvantage, and prolonging of the intestine combustions amongst them. || William Ingler – Certaine Informations (P)

From the West it is certified that the Treaty with Sir Ralph Hopton goes on, that they are to meete neere Plimouth, that ten dayes Cessation more is agreed on; but if the Treaty between the King and the Parliament go not on (for as yet it is not known whether the King will accept of the Cessation as it is limitted) there is no expectation that that Treaty will proceed, but in reference to the grand Treaty; the president would be dangerous to proceed in, or conclude a Treaty without the approbation of Parliament. The Devonshire men, now that they see Sir Ralph Hopton prepares and fortifies all this while, are not backward in doing the like. || Richard Collings – The Kingdome’s Weekly Intelligencer (P)

Royalists allegedly take advantageof Devonshire peace treaty

In Devon on March 12 at 3:20 pm

Sunday 12 March 1642/3 || The West hath produced the worst newes this week: An indiscreet Treaty, to the ruine and destruction of the Devonshire men, if not prevented: for while the Hoptonians held them in treaty, they having sent before to Saint Malloes in France for Armes and Ammunition) received a Ship loaden with the same, and prepared all the forces they could, while the Devonians disbanded; and yet to colour their designs the more, tooke the Sacrament to be cordiall in the Treaty: Sir Nich: Slany [Slanning], Master Corridon, and others are the Trators for the Cornish men. The place of treaty is at Exeter, but it is hoped, some that are gone downe will prevent their treaty there. Never was the wise men of Devonshire so overseene in the pursuite of a victory from Modbury to Tavestocke, as they were by being stopt in the mouth with the pretence of a treaty, till the defeated partie had got Armes and men. The example at Bristoll showes, that neither God, Religion, or humanity if the rectitude of their actions, especially if one consider, that of 600. lately released at Oxford of the Gloucestershire men, not 40. have hope of life, so low and weake are they brought by that cruell villanous fellow Smith the Provost-Marshall, by connivence of the superior Officers. || Richard Collings – Kingdome’s Weekly Intelligencer

Reports of second skirmish at Modbury in Devon

In Devon on February 24 at 10:48 pm

24 February 1642/3 (Fri) || Letter from Plimouth, 24. Febr. – Our forces long expected came to Maudbury, where they met the Cornish Cavaliers, being 1500 some say more; they had strongly there fortified themselves, besides those that Sir Ralph Hopton had here at Stoke, and Sir Bevill Preenfeild [Grenvile] at Plympton, which environed us. But it pleased God after a long and violent skirmish, to give our forces the victory.¹ The time of fight continued from 12. at noon on Tuesday last, untill an houre before the next day, at which time the cavaliers fled discomforted, Sir Nic. Slauning [Slanning] basely before forsaking them, and came to Plympton in such feare, as when he came ther all his parts fell ashevering, and he went thence to Stoke to Sir Ralph Hopton, who went from his Leaguer at Stoke also so dismayed as he and all his fled, leaving the victuals (which were neer ready drest) behind them; their Souldiers at Plymton went thence, and would yeeld no obedience to their Commanders, so far as to stand and go in a body together thence. Our forces pursued them not as they could have done us, but such terror were they and the rest possessed with, that they left great store of Arms behind them, both at Maudbury, and on their way farre more then were lost at Liscard. And now our forces some being come hither, I mean those that went home from Maudbury, went out this afternoon and met on this side Saltash passages with some of the Cavaliers, and brought them in being 7. of them, amongst whom was Nevel Blight, one of the carriers of the Cornish Petition formerly sent to his Majestie, one of the causers (as is known) of these Westerne divisions.

Another. Plimouth 24. Febr. – Our forces fell on the Hoptonians at Maudbury on Tuesday last, from whence they fled next, day about 3. of the clock in the morning privately, leaving in the Town onely about 100. Dragoons to keep firing on our men whilest the rest ran away by the light, Some that were in the battell report that they tooke 500. arms, and 4. peeces of Ordnance; besides almost 1000. Arms more which they left behind them in the flight, that were taken up by the countrey people. The Cornish are so tyred with the tyrannous taxations of that Sir sheep-stealer, Sir Ralph Hopton, that tis thought they will never be gathered into a body again. On Munday nexy, our forces which are now at Plymton (consisting of about 100. horse and foot) will advance towards Cornwell. The Lord of Stamford is 1000 strong, as appeared at his Muster after the defeat near Maudbury. || Humphrey Blunden – Speciall Passages (P)

The Devonshire Clubmen, to the number of about nine thousand came towards Plymouth to joyne with the Parliaments forces against the Hoptonians, and by the way on Tuesday last fell upon Modbury, where the enemies most considerable forces lay strongly intrenched to the number of fifteene hundred or sixteene hundred commanded by Sir Nicholas Slany [Slanning] in cheife, with whom they incountered about 3 a Clock in the afternoone and continued in Hot fight all the next morning, in which time the Cornish Cavaliers lost a 100. men, and had twice as many wounded, and then forsook their works, leaving behind them five peeces of Ordnance and about 1100 muskets, they tooke about 70. foot, and 40. horse the same day. In the afternoone the Earle of Stamford fell upon the Lord Hoptons quarters before Plimouth, and forced him to forsake them, who drawing his forces into a body in open field next morning with intention to give battell had newes brought him of the great defeate given to Sir Nicholas Slany and the residue of the forces at Modbury, by Sir Nicholas himself, who very valiantly, or rather basely left his forces and took flight whereupon he altered his resolution from a battle to a retreate, and that in such hast, that he left one of his greatest pieces of Ordnance that he had in his army behind him. The Lord Stamford marched the next day to Modbury, joyned his forces with the rest of the Devonshire men there, and are now upon pursuit of the Cavaliers into Cornewall. || Samuel Pecke – A Perfect Diurnall (P)

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¹ The skirmish had occurred three days previously, on 21 February.

Parliament receives contradictory letters from Plymouth

In Devon on February 23 at 10:00 am

23 February 1642/3 (Thu) || It was certified by Letters brought this day from London, that upon Thursday last in the House of Commons, Master Pym produced a Letter sent to him from Plimmouth, informing him with what undaunted resolution they did intend to stand to the Earle of Stamford in the service of the King and Parliament; and that all manner of provisions were so plentifull, that they were able to hold out for a yeare longer. This Letter Master Pym moved to have printed, and as the House was about to order it should be so, another of the Members desired that a Letter sent to him of the same date also might be first read: in which was signified, that Sir Ralph Hopton had lately taken a ship at Falmouth barre for Plymmouth, in which was one thousand pounds worth of Wheate and other Corne, and that they were so streightly besieged by the Kings Forces, that they could have no reliefe by land; besides the great want they were in for money. Upon the reading of which Letter, the printing of that, sent to Master Pym, was staid for that time. || John Berkenhead/Peter Heylyn – Mercurius Aulicus (R)

Speculation over Hopton’s activities in the West

In Devon on February 22 at 11:15 pm

22 February 1642/3 (Wed) || Out of Devonshire there is but little certaine intelligence, especially from about Plymouth, because the Lord Hoptons forces do interrupt the passage, but thus much is received for truth that the Countrey are come in very strongly to the number of 12 or 13. thousand against the Lord Hopton, That there hath been some skirmishing lately between the Hoptonians and the Devonists, but no certainly what losse was on either side: I have seen a letter very lately which [came] from Excester, confirming the relation concerning the plot which was layd with the Canoneer to betray the towne of Plymouth, but because it is already in effect printed, I shal forbear to make any more mention thereof. || A Continuation of Certain Speciall and Remarkable Passages (P)

From the West, Intelligence is small, in regard Sir Ralph Hoptons Forces are between this and Plimouth, so that Letters cannot come safe by Land, they therefore send by Sea, which causeth late Intelligence: Sir Ralph Hopton, who (for ought I can heare is sound of both Armes) before his attempt to take in one of the outworkes neere unto Plimouth, went to prayers, with others of his Commanders, that they might have a good successe: and on their knees in Glasses of Sack, used such expressions as are not fit to be mentioned, as some present at the time have exactly informed to persons of credit in those parts, who have certified the same hither. || Richard Collings – The Kingdomes Weekly Intelligencer (P)

There is great talke that Sir Ralph Hopton hath in an Encounter slaine divers Devonshire-men, but of that there is no certainty. The siege of Plimouth continues, they are within the Towne neere three thousand fighting men, unanimous provided for a good time. Severall other Letters from the West mention that Sir Ralph Hopton and Sir Bevill Grinfield declared, that before such a day they would be with the Mayor of Plimouth at dinner; a Minister being with them, said, they should doe well to say, if it please God, and to pray that it might be so, pray (said they) yes, that they shall see, and thereupon dranke to the destruction of the Parliament, all Round-heads, and Pyms God. || Humphrey Blunden – Speciall Passages (P)

Royalist army movements in the west

In Devon on February 8 at 9:00 pm

8 February 1642/3 || There came good newes from Sir Ralph Hopton, Sir Nicholas Slayning, Sir John Berkeley, Colonell Ashburnham, and the rest of those noble Gentlemen in the West; it being certified from thence by the way of London, that they have gotten Plimpton and besieged Plimmoth; that the Earle of Stamfords Souldiers doe not onely refuse to fight, but flye from him daily, which puts the Towne to a necessity of yeelding, if it  be not yeelded before this time. As also, that Sr Bevil Greenvill with his Forces went towards his own house at Bidford in Devonshire, and hath got possession of the same; by means whereof, if is conceived that he will quickly master Barnstable, being already master of the Haven there, and consequently the mouth of Severn. || John Berkenhead/Peter Heylyn – Mercurius Aulicus (R)

From the West, It is said Sir Ralph Hopton, now also Baron of Glassenbury, still hangs as a cloud over Plimmoth, but it dispells every day, by reason both Exeter and other parts of Devon, send to the assistance of that Towne; It was reported that Captain Chudley was taken prisoner by the Hoptonians, which was a misreport, but it is most certain that Mr. Godolphin a Commander in the Army of the Cavaliers is slain.¹ || Richard Collings – The Kingdomes Weekly Intelligencer (P)

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¹ The poet Sidney Godolphin, who was killed at Chagford on 8  Feb.