Tyger's Head Books

Posts Tagged ‘false death reports’

Colonel Massey deceives Royalist cavalry at siege of Gloucester

In Gloucestershire on August 25 at 1:11 am

25 Aug 1643 (Fri) || For better confirmation of the businesse at Glocester Sir William Waller on Thurseday last received letters from Colonell Massy the Governour dated on Munday, informing the true State of things there, but more chiefely of the defeate given to the Kings forces on Sunday to this effect, That the Governour after some skirmishing on Satterday, perceiving that the enemy began to be more eager in their assaults against the Towne on Sunday, issued out with a party of Horse, and fell upon a wing of the enemies Horse, and after a slight skirmish with small losse on either side, the Governours forces being much so few in number for the other, and the better to effect his intended Strategem made a disorderly retreate into the Towne, were pursued by the enemy, the Governours men (as hee had before taught them there lesson) crying out we are all lost, the Townes lost, &c. which made the Cavaliers with such eagernes follow the pursuit, that about eight Troopes of them on a sudden hurried into the Towne, but when the Governour perceived there were an amy entred the Towne as he could well deale withall, he caused the Gates to be shut, and Percullisse let downe, discharged some peeces of Cannon that he had placed in Ambuscado charged with Musquett bullets, and so well seconded them with his Musquetteeres, that he made a bloody execution amongst thm, and killed and tooke eight prisoners the whole eight Troopes not one escaped, there were divers persons of quality (it is said) amongst them slaine whereof one is said to be the Lord Grandison¹ & I heare divers others of note named, but I shall forbeare to recite them least they live againe as others whom formerly were supposed to be killed. || Samuel Pecke, A Continuation of Certain Speciall and Remarkable Passages (P)

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¹ An error: Grandison had already received a mortal wound at the storming of Bristol, and died at the end of September.

Aulicus repudiates numerous London news reports

In ECW editor's comment on April 8 at 3:13 pm

8 Apr 1643 (Sat) || In the London Diurnall for the last week, ending on Munday April 3. It is given out, that in the Earle of Northamptons pockets were found three Crucifixes, one Agnus Dei, and a protection from the Pope: a very fine impudent slander, and of no more truth then that Sir William Waller hath taken Cyrencester, which is reported confidently in one of their Newes-bookes, and that the Earle of Essex came on Sunday seaven-night with all his forces unto the very walls of Oxford, and stroke up an Alarme in our very eares, and that nobody durst come out, or shew themselves before his Excellencie: all which are as true as that Prince Rupert was buried at Oxford; or that Sir Thomas Lunsford feedeth upon children. They have likewise printed a Sermon pretended to be Preached before His Majesty at Oxford by Doctor H.K. which is an errant forgery, the supposed author having not beene at Oxford since His Majesties last comming thither, having beene detained by the Rebels forces. Neither is it usuall with His Majesty to cause those Sermons to be printed here, which are preached before His Majesty, it being a late custome of the House of Commons to Order their Sermons to be printed, whereof some Worthy Members have beene both auditours and composers, not onely giving them their Texts, but most of their Sermons, as we are able to prove. Also in their Diurnall they Printed that one Ed. Colter Esq (one of His Majesties Justices of Peace for Norfolke) was slaine by some of their Souldiers as he was comming last weeke out from Norfolke, the Gentleman desires them to correct that passage, for he saies himselfe, he is doing very well, and being now listed in the Kings Troop, intends to stay with His Majesty till he may returne in peace to his own Country. And the reason (no question) why they printed him dead was, that they might be his Executours, and gather his rents for him, according to the ordinance of the two Houses. || John Berkenhead/Peter Heylyn – Mercurius Aulicus (R)

Further allegations of Royalist highway robbery

In Leicestershire on April 8 at 12:47 pm

8 Apr 1643 (Sat) || Whereas it hath been lately reported, that Master Henry Hastings, the Earle of Huntingtons second sonne, was dead of the wounds which he received in the late battell, against Sir John Gell, and Sir William Brereton, in Staffordshire, it seames now to be a misreport, for it is now ascertayned, that some of his Troopers, which lie at Ashby de la Zouch in Leicestershire, are fallen to their old Trade of robbing and stealing, for want of better warlike imployments, for they have also robbed the Carrier of Leeds in Yorkeshire, of 22. Packs of Cloth, and of 24. horses, and they have also robbed the Carrier of Kendall in Westmerland, of 9. Packs of Cloth, and of his 9. horses that carried them, about Mount-Sorrell, and Loughborough in Leicestershire, and these enormities they ordinarily commit, notwithstanding the Kings Proclamation to the contrary, so little respect and obedience they give to his commands, for whom, (as they make the world beleeve) they now so eagerly fight and contend. || William Ingler – Certaine Informations (P)

Battle at Hopton Heath, Staffordshire

In Staffordshire on March 19 at 6:11 pm

Sunday 19 Mar 1642/3 || Newes came of a great battell fought, neere the towne of Stafford, betwixt His Majesties Forces under the conduct of the Earle of Northampton and Colonell Hastings on the one side, and the Rebels of those parts conducted by Sir John Gell, and Sir Willim Brereton on the other,¹ The summe of the report is, that the Commanders of the Kings Forces, being at Lichfield, where they besieged those who had tooke the Close, received intelligence that Gell and Brereton with a body of 3000 men were comming to the reliefe of the besieged, that upon this intelligence they drew out 800 Horse and 300 dragoons (leaving the residue of their Army to make good the seige) and came upon them unexpected: that the Rebels horse not able to endure the charge, having held out about a quarter of an houre, were put to flight, and the Foote left unto themselves, who seeing themselves deserted, forsooke the feild, leaving the victory entire to the Kings Forces: that there were killed about an hundred, and as many taken, the rest being scattered and dispersed into severall corners; and that besides the Ammunition and the baggage all which came unto the hands of the Victor, they had taken also eight piece of Ordinance, whereof foure were drakes, the other being of a greater size; but for the other seven great peeces, (for they brought 15 into the feild,) they had not yet found what became of them, though they were very well assured that the Rebels did not carry them along with them. And it is said that Gell was also killed, or deadly wounded and not like to live; A very great and signall victory, but full dearely bought. For though His Majesty lost but 20 men or thereabouts, he had it at no lesse a price, then the Earle of Northamptons life: who charging in the head of his Troope was ingaged so farre in the heat of the battell, that his horse being shot and falling under him, he was unfortunately slaine, before his friends and followers could come in to helpe him.² So that we may affirme of that noble Lord, that though he lost his life, yet he wonne the day; that victory was so constant a Retainer to him, as to attend him to his grave; and that he died a Martyr and a Conqueror both, and vanquished those by whom he suffered.  || John Berkenhead/Peter Heylyn – Mercurius Aulicus (R)

By two severall Letters out of Staffordshire, the one from Sir William Brereton to his Lady here, the other from Serjeant Major Lee, to his wife here at Criplegate; It is informed that Sir John Gell with his Army of about 1500. Horse and Foote, marched from Liechfield, towards a Stafford Towne, and met with the Earle of Northampton and his forces, consisting of about 1200. Horse, upon Sunday last, at a place called Cranock green, where the two Armies encountred one another, but the Earle being stronger in Horse, forced Sir John Gels Horse to retreate and disorder, and tooke some of them, with a Case of Drakes; but Sir John foote being no way discouraged therewith, stood to it valiantly, and repulsed the Earles Horse, slew the said Earle, and also killed about 150. of his souldiers, with the losse only of eleven of their own men, and by the comming in of Sir William Breerton, obtained the Victory, and drove their Enemies out of the field, and amongst the rest, Mr. Henry Hastings was rescued, though taken, but so sore wounded, that he could not sit upon his Horse. After the Battle the Earles men sent for his body, but they were answered, that upon delivery of their Case of Drakes, and forty Dragooneers which were taken, it should be yeelded up to them: but whether they have since taken Stafford Towne, is not yet related. || William Ingler – Certaine Informations (P)

There hath been a more certain information given of the Battell neer Stafford, then was certified the last day, which is to this effect. That Sir John Gel advancing towards that town with his Forces from Lichfield, the Earle of Northampton with his Forces fell upon their Arreare, within foure Myles of Stafford, and after some combate betwixt the Parliaments Forces and them, there was about a thousand more of the Kings Forces came in to their assistance, which caused a very hot Skirmish, for some time, after which Sir William Brewerton came in, with 1500. Horse, by which meanes the Kings Forces were put to the worst, the Earl of Northampton slain, and one of his Sonnes wounded and taken prisoner, with many others, of good quality, after which they were forced to retreat into the towne of Stafford for safety, but it is further informed that before the comming of the Cheshire Forces, the Kings Forces tooke foure Drakes, and about forty prisoners from the Parliaments Forces, and it is said Mr. Hastings is mortally wounded, and that the Cavaliers have desired the Earl of Northamptons body to bury it, but answer was returned that if they would restore the 4. Drakes and the 40. prisoners they have taken, they should have him. || Samuel Pecke – A Perfect Diurnall (P)

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¹ The battle was at Hopton Heath.
² Gell was not, in fact, killed; Northampton was.

Sir Arthur Aston reported escaped from a Parliamentarian trap, but killed by divine intervention

In Berkshire on February 9 at 12:15 pm

9 February 1642/3 (Thu)|| This day be Letters sent from Reading there came advertisement that Sir Arth. Aston had escaped a personal surprisall which he was very likely to have fallen into. One Master Englefield, a Gentlemen and friend of his had the weeke before bespoke his company at dinner to be on the Tuesday following (being the Tuesday now last past) whereof some private Roundhead in Reading taking notice had sent intelligence thereof unto the Forces of the Rebels, lying not far off. But Sir Arth. Aston understanding that the entertainment was intended at a Country house of the said Gentleman not far from Reading, sent word he would gladly beare him company within the Towne, but that he held it very unfit to goe forth a feasting, the enemy being then so neere him. This alteration of the place and purpose not being made known unto the Rebels, they came on Tuesday (according to the first intelligence) to the said Gentlemans house, to the number of 600. foot and 200. horse, hoping to have surprized him and all his company, as he sate at dinner, but finding how unexpectedly they were disappointed they returned to wiser then they came, without any hurt done unto the house that we heare of yet. || Peter Heyleyn – Mercurius Aulicus (R)

It is reported, that when the Lord Generall forces were last neere Redding, that Sir Arthur Aston the Governour of that Towne, seeing his Cannons doe no execution upon them, would needes charge one of them, and that he swore he would send some of the Roundheads to the Devill, but the Peece being hot within, having beene divers times fired before, blew off, and he standing neere the mouth of it, had his armes broken off, and his eyes blowne out, of which within two dayes after he miserably died, he was a great Souldier, and as great a Papist, whether therefore he be gone into Purgatory, or Hell, let the Papists and Protestants judge as they please.¹ || William Ingler – Certaine Informations (P)

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¹ The report was mere Parliamentarian wishful thinking, although Aston was injured a couple of months later during the siege of the town proper, and had to concede his governorship to a deputy.

Sir John Byron wrongly reported dead

In Oxford on January 22 at 11:47 pm

22 January 1642/3 || It is reported, that Sir John Byron, lately Lieutenant of the Tower of London, is dead of his wounds which he received from the Gloucestershire men, when they beate up his Quarters at Burford in Oxfordshire,¹ and that in the beginning of this week, hee was solemnly interred at Oxford, so that the Brackly men in Northamptonshire, shall not need to feare his revenge, for driving him from thence last Summer. || William Ingler – Certaine Informations (P)

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¹ See report on January 8. The report of his death was wishful thinking: Byron’s wound was not fatal.