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Posts Tagged ‘military deception’

Captain Sydenham deceives Royalists at Poole

In Dorset on September 26 at 12:18 pm

26 Sep 1643 (Tue) || Pool in Dorset-shire … this weeke hath beene guilty of a most exemplary piece of treachery: the manner briefly thus, (attested under the hand of one who is so noble that he is not capable of a lie.) One Francis Syddenham who is a Captaine in that Rebellious Garrison, sent severall Letters to the Earle of Crafford, offering to deliver up the Towne to the Earle for His Majesties use, making frequent promises and imprecations in his letters, of the loyalty of his intentions, and accordingly kept precise correspondence for time, place, and all other particuars as farre it pleased the Earle to treat with him. A day therefore being appointed for the delivery up of the Town, the captaine sent his kinsman to conduct the Kings Forces the surest and best way to the Towne gates, but assoone as they came thither the perfidious Syddenham (having before hand prepared all the Rebells like a compleat Traitor) let fly at the Kings forces both with Cannon and Muskets, whereby they killed 10 common Souldiers and tooke 4 prisoners, but durst not sally out upon His Majesties Forces who after they had stayed a space before the Towne, retreated safe to their quarters, leaving perfidious Syddenham to his perjury  and treason, to receive a just recompence with his fellow Rebels, when he shall be lesse trusted, and more exemplarily rewarded.   || John Berkenhead/Peter Heylyn – Mercurius Aulicus (R)


Royalists hinder Earl of Essex near Gloucester

In Gloucestershire on September 7 at 11:19 pm

7 Sep 1643 (Thu) || Concerning the Westerne parts, especially the City of Glocester, our Scout findes the wayes so impassable, by reason of the scattered Troopes of the enemy, scattered not by any defeat, given by my Lord Generall, but to prevent supplies, and hinder his Excellencies sending to the Parliament, and City of London, an ample report or relation of that famous siege, and late reliefe of Glocester: For as his Excellencie had a quicke and a brave recrute from the City, so doubtlesse he will leave no meanes unattempted to let them understand of his good successe: And though his packets are stopt, there are Clothiers come, eminent for their honesty, that tells us that they were in Glocester, since the reliefe of it, and that they set their feet upon the Cannons with which Colonell Massey pelted the Kings men when they undermined the City: And relate also, a story of some Cowes that were put out to intice some of the enemies Horse to fall on, but the Governour laid in ambush some Musquetiers, who surprized them all the short, if we may beleeve them, is, that Glocester is relieved, and my Lord Generall unmolested, onely upon his Guard, most commonly, his lot is happily fallen in the pastures of the most desperate Malignants of those parts, who are fat, and have not hitherto been molested by either part.  || John Dillingham – The Parliament Scout (P)

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)

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

The King summons Gloucester

In Gloucestershire on August 11 at 1:58 pm

11 Aug 1643 (Fri) || At Coventry they pull downe many houses of the Suburbs, and tell the people that the Kings Army is marching towards them with twenty pieces of Ordnance, and they had some reason, for this day we received an expresse that his Majesty yesterday sate downe before Gloucester, and sent in a most Gracious Summons to the City, in these very words, Out of our tender Compassion to Our City of Glocester, and that it may not receive Prejudice by Our Army, which We cannot prevent, if We be compelled to assault it, We are personally come before it to require the same, and are graciously pleased to let all the Inhabitants of, and all other Persons within that City, as well Souldiers as others, know, That if they shall immediately submit themselves, and deliver this our City to Us, we are contented freely and absolutely to pardon every one of them without exception; And doe assure them in the word of a King, that they nor any of them should receive the least Dammage or Prejudice by our Army in their Persons, or Estates; But that we will appoint such a Governour, and a moderate Garrison to reside there, as should be both for the ease and security of that City and that whole County. But if they shall neglect this Profer of Grace and Favour, and compell Us by the Power of Our Army to reduce that place (which by the helpe of God We doubt not We shall be easily and shortly able to do) they must thank themselves for all the Calamities and Miseries must befall them. To this Message we expect a cleere and positive Answere within two houres after the publishing hereof. And by these presents doe give leave to any Persons safely to repaire to, and returned from Us, whom that City shall desire to imploy unto Us in that businesse. And doe require all the Officers and Souldiers of Our Army, quietly to suffer them to passe accordingly. But this Rebellious City answered, that they would obey His Majesties commands as they were signified by the two Houses of Parliament. And now let the world judge if His Majestie could have sent a more Gracious Message to His most Loyall Subjects, and whether these desperate Rebels deserve any mercy, who after so many offers do still refuse a pardon. But since their returning this Rebellious answer, they have set their owne Suburbs on fire, which surely is not to keepe the City either for the King or Parliament. Yet His Majesties Forces quenched the fire, and in spight of the Rebells, entred the Suburbs where they still are, and have already raised Mounts, and digged trenches so neare the City wall, that I dare promise you (God willing) a very speedy account of the siege of Gloucester. || John Berkenhead/Peter Heylyn – Mercurius Aulicus (R)

It is informed out of Glocestershire, that on Sunday last, the Cavaliers began to besiege the City of Glocester, with an Army of six thousand men, but the inhabitants thereof are so well provided with men, food, Armes, & Ammunition, if God please, they can hold out this three moneths, if they may be relieved before that time be expired, and they have rased their Suburbs, taken downe Sir Robert Cookes house halfe a mile from it, and plained all the Country about it, the better to keep off their enemies approach.  || William Ingler – Certaine Informations (P)

For Gloucester, it was summoned, but refused to surrender; then his Majesty sent word to the Governour Colonell Massy he should expect to Quarter, nor the Towne any preservation, for he would burne it to the ground if they would not immediately yeild: The Governour answered that so long as his Majesty came without consent of the great Counsell of the Kingdom the Parliament, and came attended with Papists and Irish Rebells, he would burne the Towne to the ground before such Papists, Irish Rebells, and other Delinquents about his Majestie should have it, and for Quarter he desired it not, nor to live longer then to see such men to rule this Kingdome, whereupon the King commanded a fierce assault to be made, but the enemy was beaten off with great losse: That night the Governour let a Souldier or two escape out of the Towne, out of pretence of Friendship to the Cavaliers, and informe them of the weakest place in the Towne, which concurred with former Information[;] the Governour causing divers pieces of Ordnance to be brought thither planting them with most advantage, [laid] an Ambuscado, and reserve behinde with more men, declared the Towne their own, the Souldiers entered the breach, but such a slaughter of the enemy was made by the Ordnance and Ambuscado, that few escaped, leaving many hundreds dead in the Place, which [so] enraged the Cavaliers that they caused his Majesty to send for most of his Forces from Oxford to make a second assault, God send them the like successe as the first had. It would be [a] great pitty this gallant gentleman should be lost for want of timely supply, who if he had been Governour of Bristoll had saved it, and by consequence the West; yet there cannot be a further expectation of him then during his men, victuals, and Ammunition doth last, ultra posse, non est esse.¹ || Richard Collings – The Kingdome’s Weekly Intelligencer (P)

¹ ‘What is beyond possibility, cannot exist’

Royalists regain Portland by deceit

In Dorset on August 9 at 8:37 pm

9 Aug 1643 (Wed) || It was advertised his day that the Castle and Isle of Portland (whereof Sr Edw. Sydenham Knight Marshal was & is Governor) were reduced againe under his Majesties command, which had beene taken by the Rebells about March last. The manner how it was regained is reported this. A Gentleman well known unto the Rebells which had the guard of the Castle, and used to be much there for his owne safety and preservation in these dangerous times, came to the noble Earle of Carnarvon, and gave him very good assurance that if he would trust him with 60 of his men he would forthwith make him Master of the Isle and Castle: the Earle considering that the Castle and Isle were richly worth the adventuring of 60 muskes, having taken so many armes at Dorchester, condescended he should have them: which being obtained the Gentleman furnished them with Parliament colours, and making towards the Castle with so confused a speed as if he fled from an Enemy, called upon the guards and told them he had brought some Parliament forces to make good the place; but that they were pursued so closely by the Earle of Carnarvon; that if they had not speedy entrance they should all be lost. This was no sooner heard by the credulous Rebels, but all the hast was made that could be to set open the Ports: at which His Majesties Soldiers entred, and seizing on the guards, who looked not for such unwelcome visitants, made themselves masters of it without further trouble. A place of very great importance, as having the command of the haven and Towne of Weymouth, against which it lieth, and as the case then stood, of most infinite wealth, all the rich houshold stuffe and Treasure which had beene taken by the Rebells out of Wardour Castle with a great deale more of goods plate and money, being stored up there.  || 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)

Cheshire Parliamentarians fall for enemy trick

In Cheshire on June 29 at 2:41 pm

29 Jun 1643 (Thu) || Out of Cheshire they write, that some of Sir William Breretons Horse, received a late foyle at Hamnere in that County, by a subtile wile; for one from the Lord Capell (though unknowne to be from him) brought an advertisement to Sir William, that there were many good armes and much good booty at Sir Thomas Hamners house in that Towne, whereupon he sent a partee of his Horse thither to seize upon it, and to bring it to Namptwich, where they arriving, were set upon by an Ambuscado of Welch and Irish Rebells; who tooke and slew about 20 of Sir Williams horse, the rest of them scaping away safe, but before they departed, they paid their enemies in their own coin, for they killed many of them, amongst which two Irish Rebells Commanders lost their lives for their cruelty to the English, in not giving quarter to those that craved it of them, so mercilesse are they, and also intend to be to all Protestants, if they should get the dominion, which God in his tender mercy to us, graciously avert and inhibite.  || William Ingler – Certaine Informations (P)

Northampton garrison falls for Royalist trick

In Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire on May 10 at 3:15 pm

11 May 1643 (Thu) || From Northampton they write, that a Gentleman came lately to their town with a Letter (which since hath proved forged) from the Parliaments Lord Generall, to require them to arme some horse and foot, and to send them to Banbury, where some of his forces should meet them, to drive the Cavaliers from thence; whereunto they simply giving credit, presently sent out thither 500. horse and foot, whither being come, they were presently surrounded with multitudes of horse from the towne, and miserably both cheated and defeated, insomuch that forty of them lost their lives, being slaine by the Cavaliers sixty of them were taken prisoners, and they lost also eighty Armes, one Drake and a  Carriage of Ammunition and other provision, which happened unto them by their incautelous¹ credulity, yet their enemies lost some of their men also, so that they have gotten no great bargaine by their treacherous stratagem.² || William Ingler – Certaine Informations (P)

¹ incautious
² Mercurius Civicus also reports this incident (issue 1, 4-11 May 1643), although Mercurius Aulicus (20 May, twentieth week pp.263-264) denies the Parliamentarian troops were there due to a counterfeit letter, alleging they went to the town in the hope of it being betrayed.

Captain Bushell’s deceit against Sir John Hotham

In Yorkshire on April 25 at 2:37 pm

25 Apr 1643 (Tue) || A Ship Master is lately come from Kingston upon Hull in Yorkeshire, who Informeth, that after Sir Hugh Cholmely had regained Scarborough Castle, Capt. Brown Bushell went to Hull with his wife, where being questioned by Sir John Hotham for yeilding up the Castle so sodainely, cleered himselfe by deepe Oathes and Protestations, which gave Sir John Hothan satisfaction or that time, but now to compleate his Treachery to the full, he desired Sir John Hotham to send onely a Trumpet with him to Scarborough, and assured him he would regaine it, but withall he desired, that some men and armes might be sent thither by sea; Sir John Hotham confiding much in him, and no way suspecting his Treachery, armed presently his owne two Catches and a Pinke, and put into them some of his best men that were in the Hercules, a great ship commanded by Captaine Moier, which lieth in the River of Humber to guard the Towne of Hull by water, whereupon Bushell departed from thence accompanied only with the Trumpet to Scarborough, where was received as a Guest, and thither also came the Catches and Pincke, but because the sea was ebbing, and there was a barre at the mouth of the Harbour, the Catches onely got over into the Harbour, the Pincke lying out and expecting the next tide. The Catches being come in, and laid fast aground that they could not stirre nor helpe themselves, were presently seized on, whereof notice was immediately given to the Pinck, by one that ran downe to the sea side, wishing them not to come in for feare of surprizing, but to returne to Hull againe, which they presently did, this feat being acted, the treacherous Bushell returned alone to Hull, telling Sir John Hotham that he had taken the Castle, and desired that he might have a Troope of Horse, the better to secure it and the Towne, in the Interim; while the Troope was raising, the Pincke returned to Hull, and related the whole Treachery to Sir John Hotham, who presently apprehended Bushell, and in a Councell of Warre condemned him to be shot to death, but the execution of the sentence is respited, because Bushells wife hath promised restitution of the Catches, with the men and armes. || William Ingler – Certaine Informations (P)