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Posts Tagged ‘military action’

The first Battle of Newbury: Parliamentarian account (Mercurius Britanicus; continued)

In Berkshire on September 21 at 2:48 am

21 Sep 1643 (Thu) || The next day after being Thursday his Excellency on the hill (where he stood all night, and which was the Kings ground the morning before, till he lost it) put himselfe in Batalia, expecting the enemy he staid two houres, and gave them a great shot to invite them to fight; but the enemy lay sculking with their horse having the reminder of their forces in Newbery, and durst not fight, whereupon we marched towards Redding (to gaine Quarters to supply our wants of victualls) and when we had marched six or seven miles, the enemies horse having got an advantageous passage, which our horse endeavouring to cleere, charged them, but were forced to make a disorderly retreate, and in a narrow lane neere Sir Humphrey Fosters house part of our foot were disordered neer unto  a rout by our own horse, for reliefe and rescue of whom Colonell Middleton alights from his horse, and drawes out sixty Musketiers which he valiantly led up first to relieve a stout Canoneer of ours who with three men more made good his station, where he had the charge of three Case of Drakes, against all the enemies horse, the Kings horse were beaten off and eighty slaine on the place, with the losse of ten of ours. And that night his Excellencie marched to Redding, and his Majestie to Oxford who a little before (to content and Comfort her Majestie) had engaged himselfe to rout the Earles Army, and that he would be at London before Saturday last, but let them take heed lest we be not at Oxford by Saturday next.

The word which the enemy had, was Queen Mary, the better to signifie, that they fought Queene Maries Cause, viz. the introducing of Popery. His excellencies word was Religion, intimating that his army preferred the true Protestant Religion before King or Queene, or any that labours the destruction of it. Religion overcame Queen Mary, but from Queen Maries Religion, good Lord deliver us; We have now at Redding above five hundred prisoners, part of them taken in the fight, the rest at Cirencester. There were no Ordnance lost on either side, three horse Colours, a Colonell, a Major of horse, and some other Officers taken in the Battaile, likewise brought to Redding, whom Prince Rupert may have for fetching. || Robert White & George Bishop – Mercurius Britanicus (P)

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

In Berkshire on September 21 at 2:40 am

21 Sep 1643 (Thu) || This day was not altogether more free from action, and towards noon (hunger & scarcity of Ammunition pressing them) the Rebels were forced to rise, and were couragiously followed by a great fresh body of our Horse, and such Forces as His Majesties thought fit to send in the Reare of them, under the command of the Lord Wilmott, Lieutenant Generall of the Horse, and the noble Earle of Northampton. These Lords having faced the fugitive Rebels Army late the last night, advertised His Mahesty thereof, desiring part of the Foot to march up to them, which accordingly was ordered, and instantly put in execution: by these the last blow was given to the Rebels (who made all shifts possible to get and steale severall wayes in the night) about three miles from Newbury towards Reading, in which Prince Rupert (who had three horses shot under him) giving them a fierce charge in their Reare, two of their Horse Regiments were routed and chased into their Foot, we doing good execution upon them for a farewel, that so they might carry assured tokens of their own defeat to their friends at London, whither they hasd with as much speed, as feare and a victorious Army pursuing them did enforce.

As a further evident Argument of the Victory His Majesties Army obtained over the Rebels, they were forced to leave behind their heavy Carriages, with many Barrels of Musket and Pistoll Bullets, and very many Chirurgions Chests full of Medicaments. Some of the Cannon they buried is since taken up, and severall heapes of their dead were found cast into Wells, Ponds, and Pits, one Draw-well of 30 fathoms deepe being filled to the top with dead bodies, 8 or 9 whereof some of His Majesties owne Troop tooke the paines to pull up, but left off the rest as not able to endure the noysomenesse of the implyoment; and in sundry places with armes and legges sticking out, besides those above ground whom they had not time to cover: great numbers of their maimed Officers and common men they shamefully left behind, they being so struck with an apprehension of His Majesties pursuing them, that the Earle of Essex was faine to dispatch his Tickets to a Levite of their owne, for the speedy buriall of his Souldiers to save his credit, not daring to stay to see it done himselfe, An originall whereof came to our hands under the Earles owne hand and seale in these words:

These are to will and require, and straightly charge and command you, forthwith upon sight hereof, to bury all the dead bodies lying in and about Enborn and Newbery-wash, as you or any of you will answer the contrary at your utmost perill. Dated 21 of Septemb. 1643.

To. M. Fulke Minister, and the Constables of the Parish of Enborne. Essex.

But His Majesty taking pious care of the one and the other, gave a strict command for the buriall of their dead, and the cure of the wounded by His owne Warrant to the Maior of Newbury, a Copy whereof we have here transcribed.

Our will and Command is that you forthwith send into the Townes and Villages adjacent, and bring hence all the sicke and hurt Souldiers of the Earle of Essex’s Army, and though they be Rebels and deserve the punishment of Traytours, yet out of Our tender compassion upon them as being Our Subjects, Our Will and pleasure is that you carefully provide for their recovery, as well for those of Our owne Army, and then to send them to Oxford. Given, &c.
To the Maior of Newbury and the Officers thereof.

Divers scores of Prisoners of all sorts wee have taken, and the Marquesse of Winchester with his forces at Basing hath also gathered up many straglers, whereof some are Officers. These Prisoners say (and wee find it with the least) that wee have slaine above 1000 of the Rebels and wounded a great multitude, as we find true by those they left in our hands.

The Rebels espying from the Hill where many in the Field stood bare-headed in a part of our Army, made above fortie great shot at the place, doubtlesse for the safetie of the Kings Royall Person, whom by that token they beleeved to be there; doing as much at night as the greatest fire for the like loyall reason: But Almighty God coveted the head of his Anointed.

His Majesties Army is now returning with the spoyles, and this day solemne Thanksgivings have beene publikely performed for the safetie of His Majesties Sacred Person, which He spared not to expose to the danger and incommodities of so long and troublesome a march. But you will have a more perfect and exact Relation of all particulars within a few houres from a farre better hand. || John Berkenhead/Peter Heylyn – Mercurius Aulicus (R)

The first Battle of Newbury: Parliamentarian account (Mercurius Britanicus)

In Berkshire on September 20 at 2:45 am

20 Sep 1643 (Wed) || [The Earl of Essex] marched for Newbery on Tuesday, but when he came within two miles of the Towne, the enemy appeared on the top of the hill, with horse and Artillery, so that night also his Excellency lay in the fields, our army being very hardly put to it for victualls, having no bread, the enemy having swept the Country round about of all victualls, and what wine or bear [beer] they could not make use of themselves, they staved the vessells, letting all run out in wast, purposely that our army might not have any use of it, to the extreame losse of the Countrey: On wednesday by day breake, the enemies foot were come to the hill, and by six a clocke both the enemies horse and foot were put in Batalia, and gave us an over-shot, we called a Councell of Warre, and though our much wearinesse and want of victualls were sufficient motives to have caused us to have declined the battell that day: yet such was the Noble courage of his Excellency, that to try his Souldiers mindes, he went from Regiment to Regiment, and put the question of a battell unto them, telling them the enemy had all the advantages, as the hill, the Towne, the hedges, the lanes and the river, they all cried let us fall on, we will beat them from them all; and in six houres fight our foot with the assistance of our horse gained all, and we planted our Ordnance on the top of the hil, where the Kings Ordnance began first to play upon us, and then we were on equall tearmes with the enemy for ground, but the Kings foot, we beate from hedge to hedge, and so scattered them that hardly a foor Souldier was to be seem except the dead bodies they had left on the ground, having drawne off thirty seven cart loads of their slaine, before we got the hill. The enemy seeing their foot utterly routed, and like to loose their Ordnance, wheeled about with a great body of horse, and about three quarters of a mile below the hill, fell upon the Rear of our Army, where our carriages were, which occasioned us to withdraw a part of our army from off the hill to assist that Brigade that was engaged, who cut off many of the Kings horse, but in the interim the enemy drew off their Ordnance to Newbery, and carried away 30. cart loads of wounded men, the fight continued till eleven at night; our souldiers in all this fight could not get water to drink: his Excellencie, during this battell, behaved himselfe with as noble and valiant resolution, as ever did Generall in any battell, himselfe in person leading up the City-Regiments, and when the enemies horse had broken thorow them, he rallied them together, and led them on againe. The enemy lost the Earles of Carnarvan, and Sunderland, and Lord Faulkland, besides severall Lords were carried away in coaches desperately wounded: The King was so sore put to it (being there in person to behold the destruction of his Subjects with no small content to the Queene) that he was forced to command his principall secretary of State, and such neer attendants on him to help or all was lost: His Excellency with the foot body of his Army, kept the field, he had wun, all night long, and Colonell Middleton with the horse was likewise possest of the Kings field quartering for his horse, and stad there all night also, and the next day Prince Rupert sent a trumpet to beg the body of the Lord Faulkland; and yet I beleeve at Oxford they will be so impudent, as to say they lost not an inch of ground, nor one Lord slaine or hurt, most of their foot that were slaine, they stript as they fell, except some poore beggerly Welch, which lay by douzens and twenties in heaps in ditches and other places, where we stood all night; they lost in number neer six for one; Men of note that were slaine on our side: Colonell Bamfield; Colonell Tucker a City Colonell, and Captaine Ware Captaine of Horse, and Captaine Hurt, and two of foot more. Those of the enemy that were taken prisoners confesse they lost at least 3000. on the place. || Robert White & George Bishop – Mercurius Britanicus (P)

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)

Skirmish at Aldbourne Chase

In Wiltshire on September 19 at 2:27 am

19 Sep 1643 (Tue) || Notice being brought to His Majesty (who was then at Evesham) of the Rebels stealing away the Horse and Foot, had ordered to pursue them will all diligence that could be made, wherein so much expedition and courag was used, that on Septemb. 19. being Monday, His majesties Foot marching towards Wantage, Prince Rupert with the whole Body of Horse advanced on the right hand to finde them out; and about three of the clocke in the afternoone had a view of the Rebels whole Army in a bottome neere Auberne [Aldbourne] in Wiltshire, where he gave them two charges, the first by the commanded party under Colonell Urry, who fell upon the Reere of their Horse, slew divers of them in the place, tooke two Coronets & drave them in great confusion through the Village, where they blew up two overturned Carriages of Ammunition into the body of their Army. After an houres standing in Battalia, in as good a forme as their feare and disorder would permit, they began to march againe; and the Prince to give them a second charge, adding the Queenes Regiment as a reserve to the commanded partee, and his owne Brigade to follow both. At the first approach of ours, the Horse appointed to bring up the Reere ran within their Foot, and brought ours so neere, that it was necessary to decline them by marching on the right hand, where two great Bodies of their Horse came downe a Hill, and in very good order received ours after the discharge of their Carbines and Pistols, with their Swords: but without any other effect on us then a slight wound on the Lord Jermyns arme, and a shot on the Lord Digby’s head peece, and the losse of some three or foure of our men: After a short conflict leaving divers of their Souldiers and Officers dead upon the place they turned about in their wonted confusion and speed, and were so farre pursued by ours, that the Lord Jermyn with part of his Regiment found himselfe so engaged amongst them, that there remained no way of returning to the Prince, but by charging through their Foot, which accordingly was done with so much judgement, courage, and good succese, that passing through three severall Bodies of Foot they threw downe their Armes, and were put to flight, and he with the whole company that was with him excepting onely Lieutenant Constable (who is still missing) and the Marquesse de la Vieuville, who was first taken Prisoner, and afterward inhumanely slain in cold blood, came safely off to the body of our Horse, which were this time (night drawing on) retired to the Hill, from whence they began their charge.  || John Berkenhead/Peter Heylyn – Mercurius Aulicus (R)

When our army came to Awborne-hills, the Kings horse appeared in severall bodies, to the number of foure-hundred, and would faine have charged our army in parts, but with much skirmishing our horse kept them off the foot, slew of the enemy on the place eighty, and wounded neere upon three hundred more, the Marquisse of Viville was taken prisoner, and had quarter given him, but as he was marching away with the Lieutenant that had taken him prisoner, he drew out a pocket Pistoll and shot him, but proved not mortall, hereupon the Lieutenant with his Polax clave his head asunder; and his Excellency commanded his body to be carried to Hungerford, and to be left there, for her Majestie to send for, is she pleased; It was her Majesties Regiment of horse that was so shattered on Awborne hills, and most of her life guard were cut off. It was Monday night late before our army got to Hungerford, where his Excellency staid not an houre, there not being provisions for the tenth part of his army, either for horse or foot; so marched for Newbery on Tuesday… || Robert White & George Bishop – Mercurius Britanicus (P)

The Parliament had an exact relation of the whole passages of the fight … by some Officers of the Army that came from my Lord Generall the last night; by whom it is certified (as you heard before) that after the fight on Monday neer Hungerford, where Marquesse De La vive was slain, his corps [was] brought into Hungerford, and since ransomed by the Kings partie for 500 Pieces. || Samuel Pecke – A Perfect Diurnall (P)

His Majesties Infantery was now at Wantage, from whence the Prince desired they would march directly to Newbury with all possible expedition, the Horse that night refereshing themselves at Lamborne, and the Rebels in the meane time with much amazement wandring to Hungerford, for though it were but foure miles distant, they arrived not till next morning at six of the clock. Notwithstanding this travaile, they conceived such a necessity of haste, that allowing onely some howers halt to the Souldiers, they advanced presently towards Newbury, but by a long and speedy march, His Majesty being come up with the grosse of the Army prevented the Rebels of that accommodation, and having deprehended some of their Quarter-masters, lodged there himselfe. All the Horse and some commanded Muskettiers were then immediately drawne out beyond the water towards the Rebels,¹ their whole Body being within two miles and a halfe at most, so as the parties fell to skirmish one with the other, but without effect, till night did separate them. || John Berkenhead/Peter Heylyn – Mercurius Aulicus (R)

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¹ i.e., the River Kennet

Earl of Essex raids Cirencester

In Gloucestershire on September 18 at 2:21 am

18 Sep 1643 (Mon) || His Majestie had two Regiments of his best horse Quartered at Cicester [Cirencester] on Friday last being the 12. of this instant September, one Regiment under the Command of Sir Nicholas Crispe, the other of Colonell Spencer, but his Excellency being desirous to finde out the enemy, having already marched one hundred miles to fight with him, which still fled; and the Citizens of London being resolved rather then to loose their labour, to march hard to finde out the enemy, and to force him, if they possibly could, to fight with all, or part of them, omitting noe opportunity, though with great paines and travell [travail] marched on Friday last from Tuxesbury to Cicester where his Excellency with a Forlorne hope of the couragious Citizens, and his own Regiment of Foot, beat up the enemies Quarters, entred the Towne, put the nimble Copperas Pattentee to flight, and tooke foure hundred horse, eight Colours, and four hundred prisoners with their Armes, and also a Magazine of victualls of thirty loads which the Kings forces had in store to feed their Army with, and had robbed the Countrey thereof to famish ours: But Colonell le Dispencer, ranne away himself, and left the vicctualls to be disposed of at others pleasure. || Robert White & George Bishop – Mercurius Britanicus (P)

Skirmish near Eccleshall Castle

In Staffordshire on September 8 at 8:05 pm

8 Sep 1643 (Fri) || From Coventry it is informed, that some of their Forces, together with the helpe of some Staffordshire men, had long besieged Eccleshall Castle in the County of Stafford (which belonged to Docter Wright Bishop of Coventry and Lychfield, and where he lately died, during the Siege) and put it to distresse for want of Provisions, which Colonell Hastings hearing of, drew his forces together, and went thither to relieve it, which Sir William Brereton (who was then in Stafford Towne) perceiving drew out his men from thence, set upon Master Hastings forces, slew a hundred of them, and took another hundred of them Prisoners, together with some horses and Armes, and wounded the Colonell so sorely, that he was faine to be carried from thence to Titbury Castle. While this was in action, some of the Lecester forces went to Ashby de la Zouch, which is one of Colonell Hastings Rendevouz, where they took about twenty eight of his men prisoners, and got as many horses, and carried them away to Lecester. And if Derby forces had fallen out upon Titbury Castle, they might have perhaps gotten it, or at the least have hindred the Colonells retreat thither, and so freed themselves from a great deale of annoyance. || William Ingler – Certaine Informations

News from the siege of Gloucester

In Gloucestershire on September 5 at 2:35 pm

5 Sep 1643 (Tue) || The report was this day, that his Excellency the Parliaments Lord Generall, was advanced neere Glocestershire, and that he was on Saturday last at Chipping-norton, so that it is conceived, he might be as farre as Cheltenham, this night, which lieth about seven miles from Glocester.

As for the latest newes from Glocester, the reports (but how certaine we know not) go thus, that the Souldiers of the City, leap over their own workes, and fall upon the Cavaliers in their Trenches, and knocke out their braines with the butt end of their Muskets, That the Welch men brought lately to the Cavaliers, abundance of hay, straw, and other Provisions for them to lie on, which the Garrrison of the City perceiving issued out, beat the Cavaliers from their lodgings, fired the hay and straw, and so have forced them to lie upon the bare and cold ground againe.

And further it is reported, That the souldiers of that City, have torne in pieces a gallery lately made by the Cavaliers, which is in the forme of a close bridge, to passe over any more or Town-ditch, so that now they have no hope to approach the walls again in safety.

And it is also reported, That on Friday last, the Cavaliers made breach with their great Ordnance upon Glocester, and that their Horse (according to their Turkish want) forced on their Foot to assault that breach, but their Foot turned again, and would not fall on, which so enraged the Horse, that they fell upon their Foot, and the Foot returned them blows again, by which means they slew divers of each other. Which reports we commit to future certainty and satisfaction.  || William Ingler – Certaine Informations

Lord Grey’s cavalry skirmish with Henry Hastings at Bagworth

In Leicestershire on August 18 at 12:15 am

18 Aug 1643 (Fri) || From Leicester it is informed, That Manchester Carriers came lately with forty packs from London to that Towne, with whom the Lord Grey of Groby sent out a hundred horse to guard them to Derby, which they having effected, in their returne home, they met with another hundred of their owne Horse, at Copt-Oake, in the Forrest of Leicester, where they joyned together, and went towards Ashby de la Zouch, within about two miles whereof, they met with an hundred of Colonell Hastings Horse and Dragoones, founded them a charge, and advanced to encounter them, but Hastings Horse wheeled about, and made with all speed to Bagworth-Heath whither the Leicester Horse followed them; and after the first charge, Hastings men ran away, the other pursued them eagerly, trasht and cut them sorely, killed six of them, tooke sixty of them prisoners, with their horses, amongst which was a Serjeant Major, a Captaine, and a Lieutenant: Which good piece of Service, hath diminished some of those Rob-Carriers, who, like the Arabians, or Italian Banderroes, lie sculking upon the Leicestershire and Staffordshire Roads, to intercept all travellers and passengers into the North-west parts of the Kingdome. || William Ingler – Certaine Informations (P)

Royalists relieve, then abandon Stafford Castle

In Staffordshire on August 6 at 12:18 pm

Sunday 6 Aug 1643 || From Stafford it is informed, that the last week, many of the Cavaliers came from Dudly Castle, Lychfield-Close, and Titbury Castle, where they have been quartered to the annoyance of Staffordshire, to relieve their fellowes that were besieged in Stafford Castle, against whom came the Parliaments Forces out of the Towne, to hinder their attempt, but they issued out in such disordered and stragling manner, that they were beaten by the Cavaliers, and driven back into the Towne, with the losse of Captain Lieutenant Prideaux, and one other of their Commanders, twelve of thier men being also sore wounded: whereupon the Cavaliers way being cleared, they got to the Castle, and relieved it with Men, Armes, Ammunition, and Provisions, which they had no sooner done, but lifting up their eyes, they saw forces marching towards them, and thereupon they presently cryed out, We are undone, away, away, they all ran out of the castle, and left not one man to defend it, but shifted away as fast as they could, so that upon Sir William, Breretons arrivall there, he found none to oppose him, for all were fled out; and there he found good food, excellent Beere, Armes and Amunition plenty, and such was the Cavaliers hast to be gone, for fear of him, that  they left their Crucifixes, Beades, and many Popish bookes in English behind them.  || William Ingler – Certaine Informations (P)