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Archive for the ‘Wiltshire’ Category

Royalists take Malmesbury

In Wiltshire on July 23 at 6:07 pm

Sunday 23 Jul 1643 || It was advertised this day, that certaine of his Majesties forces, being in their march towards Bristol, had taken Malmesbury from the Rebels. The Town had been abandoned by his Majesty, and all the Garrison and Ordnance removed thence by his especiall command, at such time as the Earle of Essex had beleaguered Reading: and not possessed by the Rebels, till that of late it was thought fit by some of their principall leaders to put a Garrison of 80 horse and 400 Foot into it, with some 9. peeces of Cannon, for the better bridling of the Country, and awing of the parts adjoyning, whom they plagued sufficiently. But notice being given to some of his Majesties Commanders quartered thereabouts, where the Guards were weakest, and the Towne most fit for an assault, they fell upon it in the night, (about two nights since) and having forced an easie passage through the carelesse Guards, made themselves masters of the place; as also of the Cannon, Armes, and Ammunition; some of the Souldiers being killed, and the most part taken; the rest providng for themselves by some close conveyances, under the covert of the night. || John Berkenhead/Peter Heylyn – Mercurius Aulicus (R)


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)

Wiltshire Royalists defuse Waller’s recruiting trick

In Wiltshire on July 9 at 8:51 pm

Sunday 9 Jul 1643 || You heard before of the great defeate given by His Majesties Forces to Sir William Waller, upon Lands downe hill; and with what Strategem he stole away with his horse and cannon: as also how His Majesties soldiers being tired with extreame labour in so long and difficult a fight, withdrew themselves the morrow after into their owne quarters. Which being observed by the Rebels, they husbanded the little resting time which His Majesties Commanders tooke to refresh their soldiers, to the best advantage; in drawing togeather their routed and disordered foote, and filling up their broken companies with some new supplies. And to this end Waller sends out his Emissaries to the parts adjoyning, to informe the people that he had given a notable defeat to the Princes Army, and broken the whole body of his Forces; and therefore if they would now cheerefully come in (before those scatteed Forces were againe united) and shew their zeale to Religion, Lawes, and Libertie, by joyning with him in pursuit of so great a victory; they might soone make an end of the Cavaliers and conclude the warre. Which false report being credulously enterteined by some factious spirits, who have had too much inflience of that part of the Countrey, they began to drawe together into a body, and to the number of 3 or 4000 advanced as farre as the Devises; not doubting but great multitudes of abused people would be very speedily added to them. But the Earle of Craford being then at Marleburgh with his troopes of horse, came sooner to the worke then was expected: and being withall exasperated by some vile usage which they shewed his Quarter-Master, hanged up one of the Rebels (who had beene pardoned once before) and committed the High Constables and others who had beene most active, to the Castle-prison, untill His Majesties further pleasure were declared in it; and with good words dismissed the residue in peace to their owne dwellings. The terrour of which seasonable execution together with the discovery of the cheat which was put upon them, stopped the intended rising of the Country people, and frustrated the cunning Rebels of their expectation. || John Berkenhead/Peter Heylyn – Mercurius Aulicus (R)

Sir Edward Hungerford sieges Wardour Castle

In Wiltshire on May 13 at 6:28 pm

13 May 1643 (Sat) || Out of Wiltshire they write, that Sir Edward Hungerford hath beene a long time in Somersetshire, whereby their County hath been left in a naked condition, but that of late he is returned with Colonell Strode to Mere, whither they have brought along with them seven hundred horse and foot, and that there they were joyfully received, and had free Quarter given them, and that during their abode at Mere, their souldiers seized upon Master Arundels cattell, and killed almost all his Goats in Horningsham Common, and they also got into the Parke at Longleat, and killed some of Sir James Thynnes Fallow Deere. After they had layen a little while there, they marched to Warder [Wardour] Castle, which belongeth to Count Arundell, who obtained that title from the Emperour Rodolph the second, for the good service he did him in his warres against the Turke, who since his returned into England, was created a Baron of Warder Castle by King James. This Lord being a great Papist, had gotten men and Ordnance into his Castle, whereby he much terrified and annoyed those parts of Wiltshire. Sir Edward Hungerford, and Colonell Stroade being come neere the Castle, they summoned it, but instead of an Answer, they received great shot from them, whereupon they planted their Ordnance, and for divers dayes played with them against it, and when this Letter was written, they still continued the Siege and fight against it, and have faire and great hopes to carry it. || William Ingler – Certaine Informations (P)

Sir William Waller seizes Malmesbury

In Wiltshire on March 22 at 12:44 pm

22 Mar 1642/3 (Wed) || We heard before how neare Sir William Waller was approached to Malmesbury, and this day heard, that taking the advantages of the Kings forces going towards Aylesbury (whereof you may be sure he had good intelligence) he had fallen upon the towne and wonne it. There were in the towne under Lieutenant Colonel [Herbert] Lunsford 300 of His Majesties souldiers or thereabouts; in Wallers army above 3000. yet Lunsford and his souldiers played their parts so well, that they held out from Tuesday from ten of the clocke before noone, untill Wednesday morning, repulsed the enemy three times, with great losse and slaughter, insomuch that they had quite left the enterprize, and three hundred of their men behind them. But being advertised by a false brother of the towne, they returned againe, and at the last obtained a Parlie: wherein it was agreed, that the besieged should give up the towne, and depart thence with bag and baggage, leaving their horse and Armes behind them. Which being solemnly agreed upon, and Lunsford with his souldiers having left the place, and advanced forwards on their way; Waller sends after them a Troope of horse, seizeth upon their baggage, tooke prisoners Lunsford, and some of the principall Officers, killed such as did resist in their own defence, and left some few whom they held lesse considerable to enjoy their liberty. The like perfidiousnesse we hardly find examples of amongst Christian Nations, and might exceedingly admire to have found it now, but that they did the like at Winchester, and are resolved as it seemes, to be no Changelings. || John Berkenhead/Peter Heylyn – Mercurius Aulicus (R)

Sir William Waller reportedly plunders the West Country

In Wiltshire on March 19 at 3:16 pm

Sunday 19 Mar 1642/3 || This day it was advertised, that S Will. Waller having plundered Dorset-shire, and being by the news of the agreement betweene Cornish forces, & the Devonshire men,¹ diverted in his course that way, marched with his Army towards Wells, and from thence to Bristoll; and that by plundering & disarming all the Country as he passed through it, he had made so good a voyage of it, that he had got neere 30000l for his owne share and the same day towards night, came news, that being advanced almost as farre as Malmesburie, (marching by night, as commonly his custome is) he fell upon a troope of His Majesties horse, billeted in a village, neare the towne, and came so suddenly upon them, that he tooke most of them in their beds, and carried away with him about 60 Prisoners, with their Armes, and horses. A losse that proved but a preamble to a greater mischiefe. || John Berkenhead/Peter Heylyn – Mercurius Aulicus (R)

¹ See report of 11 March.

Sir William Waller’s progress through the West Country

In Dorset, Wiltshire on March 12 at 6:18 pm

Sunday 12 March 1642/3 || This day we had a clearer and more full Relation, then was brought before, of Sir William Wallers progresse thorow Hampshire, who hearing that Prince Rupert was returned to Oxford, reassumed his purpose of going Westward, accompanied with Sir Arthur Haslerigge: his whole force being 500 Foot, a Regiments of Horse, and another of Dragoons; sixe Field-peeces, and foure Cart-loades of Muskets, to furnish the ill-affected of those parts withall. He came to Winchester on Friday, March 3. where, (being an Inhabitants and Free-man of the Citie) he promised that no man should suffer any losse or dammage by him; and he performed it for as much as it concerned himselfe: but when he went away on Saturday, he left behind him Sergeant Major Carie with a Troope of Horse, to levie 600l upon the same: A most unreasonable summe to be imposed upon a Towne so lately and so miserable plundered. But say they what they could in their owne behalfe, no lesse then 500l would be accepted, and that accordingly was raised: viz. 350l out of the Inhabitants of the Citie, and 150l on one Sir Henry Clerke, a neighbouring Gentleman. But that which was of greatest note in all his Progresse, was the most barbarous and inhumane handling of one Master Say, whose father had beene once a Prebendary of the Cathedrall (you may be sure he fared never the better for that) who being betrayed by his neighbours (as they are servilely officious in these kindes of treacherie) and being brought before Sir William Waller, was commanded to send in his Horses; and when he answered, that he knew not where his man had hid them, Sir William Waller gave command unto his Marshall to take him, and force him to confesse. The Marshall having this Commission, first pinnioned the Gentleman, and led him to the George, an Inne in Winchester, where he clapt an halter about his necke, and so examined him upon the point; and as often as the Gentlemen denied the Horses, he hoysed him up upon the Rack in the stable, till he had almost strangled him; then let him downe againe to come unto a further examination: And he continued this inhumanity till al the company, wearied with that horrid spectacle, had left the place; and then with many kickes and blowes (seeing he could get nothing out of him) he dismissed him thence: but in so evill plight, that it is generally believed, the Gentleman will hardly scape it.

From thence they marched to Rumsey [Romsey], (pillaging the Country as they went) where the first work they went about (the Reformation of Religion being a chiefe incentive of the present Warre) was to deface the Church, being a faire and goodly building, and heretofore a Monastery, which scaping in the time of dissolution, was kept from spoil and ruine till these dissolute times. But now these excellent Reformers defaced it utterly, pulled up the Seates, brake downe the Organs, and committed many other outrages, according as they used to doe in other places. Which was no sooner done, but a zealous brother of the Ministry dwelling not farre off, got into the Pulpit, and for the space of two houres in a furious zeale, applauded that religious Act, encouraging them to goe on as they had begun. Thence after this exploit they passed into Wilts, and plundering and spoiling all the Country as they passed along, but most especially of Horses (in which they spared no more their owne, then the Kings good Subjects) till they came to Salisbury: from whence Sir William Waller sent abroad his tickets into the Country, commanding the Inhabitants to bring in their Money, Armes, and Horses, as Hungerford and Baynton had done before. Which done, and that poore Country being drained sufficiently, he fell downe into Dorsetshire, committing the like spoiles and outrages there, as he had done in those other parts which he had passed thorow with his Army. And it is said, that fo the better Reformation of Religion, being the chiefest thing pretended, there are in this small Armie, consisting of no more then 500 Foot, and two Regiments of Horse and Dragoons, (as before was said) no lesse then two Troopes of French and Dutch Papists, under the command of Sergeant Major Carie, and Captaine Carr. || John Berkenhead/Peter Heylyn – Mercurius Aulicus (R)

Sir William Waller having gotten such armes and horse in Wiltshire as he could, is advanced into Dorsetshire to disarme all the Malevolents in that County, whereof there is no small number, at whose appearance there, Sir John Strangwayes, and all his Malignant crew are fled from thence, whereby that County is quite freed from those disturbers of their Peace; and the only rumor of his coming into Somersetshire, hath also freed that County from those that began to raise combustions in it, insomuch that he is much applauded for his wisdome, in clearing all the Counties through which he passeth from such as may prove obnoxious unto him. || William Ingler – Certaine Informations (P)

Royalist troops cause alarum at Trowbridge

In Wiltshire on March 6 at 12:30 pm

6 March 1642/3 (Mon) || A Chaplaine of the Earle of Carnarvons, who now attends him in these warres together with some few of his Lordships horse went forth to visit some of his Majesties good Subjects; and that being come to Trubridge [Trowbridge] a Towne of Wilts, where the Rebels had some Horse quartered, the Chaplaine (a man of ingenuity and courage) went into the Market-place, and cried for the King, for the King, and that Prince Rupert was at hand. Upon the noyse whereof, so strange a feare and and consternation fell upon then, that many of the Troopers fled and some hid themselves: so that the Chaplaine and his companions seized upon 17 of their great horse with their saddles and all other furniture, and brought them to the Court, no opposition or resistance being made against them. || John Berkenhead/Peter Heylyn – Mercurius Aulicus (R)

Parliamentarian forces attack Sudeley Castle; capture Lord Chandos

In Gloucestershire, Wiltshire on February 3 at 11:33 pm

3rd February 1642/3 || The forces that were left in the City of Gloucester by the Earle of Stamford, made an onset on Sudley Castle, where they tooke the Lord Chandos, and slew some of his Souldiers, and have taken above 200. of them, with 40. horse, and three pieces of Ordnance. || William Ingler – Certaine Informations

For the businesse in Gloucestershire, the Parliaments Forces assaulted Shudley Castle, which belongs to the Lord Shandois, who had 300. men in Garrison, and two peeces of Ordnance; but after five houres battery and assaults they tooke the castle, and 300. Prisoners, with a good store of Armes and Ammunition, and brought them to Cicester: It is said the Lord Shandois is taken Prisoner, and carried to the Devizes in Wiltshire; the Malmesbury Souldiers being gone to assist the Cicesterians, who had intelligence Prince Rupert intended once more to make an attempt on that Towne. || Richard Collings – The Kingdomes Weekly Intelligencer (P)

Dispute between Parliamentarian commanders in Gloucestershire

In Wiltshire on January 11 at 4:49 pm

11 Jan 1642/3 (Wed) || News was brought from Wilt-shire, how that a difference falling out betwixt Sir Edward Hungerford and Sir Edward Bainton (both which His Majesty had excepted amongst others, out of His Generall Pardon for that County) the businesse grew unto that heat that Bainton had seised on Hungerfords person, and held him prisoner in the Towne of Malmesbury. But Hungerford escaping by a flight to Cyrencester, he obtained some of the Forces of that place to pursue his quarrel, and came so suddenly to Malmesbury that he surprised Baynton, carried him prisoner unto Cirencester, and still keepes him there: though Baynton, as a pledge of his fidelity unto the two Houses of Parliament, had sent a great part of his goods to the Isle of Wight as a place wholly in their hands. || John Berkenhead/Peter Heylyn – Mercurius Aulicus (R)

|| When Prince Rupert was comming with his Forces against Cirencester, an Alarme was given to Gloucestershire; Sommersetshire, and Wiltshire, according to their mutuall association to defend each other, raised forces to send speedy ayde to Cirencester (Prince Rupert and Marquesse Hertford comming against it with 7000. horse and foote). It so fell out, that Sr Edward Bainton (who hitherto hath been very zealous for the Parliament, and no doubt is so still, but that some passion overcame him) disbanded all his forces at the Devizes and Malmesbury, both which Townes sent to Sir Edw. Hungerford for protection, who immediatly sent them ayde; and that night Lieutenant Eyre, with 140. Dragooneers came to Malmesbury, where Sir Edw. Hungerford was, under pretende of assisting him; and in the night time, this Sir Edward Baintons Lieutenant suddenly, and in an uncivill manner (threatning to kill him if he spake a word of it to his Souldiers) carryed him away prisoner, but notice of this was given to the Forces of Cirencester, who (though Prince Rupert was nigh the Towne) sent 3. Troopes of horse, and rescued Sir Edw. Hungerford, and brought away Sr Edw. Bainton, and Lieutenant Eyre prisoners to Cirencester, and were back time enough to affront Prince Rupert, who with 7000. men came up the Hill, and so went downe againe, and now that Country is peaceably sealed. || Richard Collings – The Kingdomes Weekly Intelligencer (P)