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Posts Tagged ‘militia’

Shropshire news

In Shropshire on June 12 at 9:43 pm

12 Jun 1643 (Mon) || Shropshire affordeth us this week divers remarkable Occurrences worthy of information; as, first, That Sir William Brereton having now fully reduced the whole county of Chester (the City of Chester onely excepted) to the devotion and obedience of the King and Parliament, and forseeing that evill disaffected neighbours, if they should grow strong and powerfull, might by their incursions imbroile it againe, and disquiet the Peace thereof: wherefore to prevent their subtill Designes, and treacherous Plots; He issued out of Cheshire with his Army, and as hath been related in the last weeks Informations, surprised Whitchurch in the County of Salop, where, besides Armes, Ordnance, and three hundred Welch prisoners, he got five hundred pounds in money, which the Lord Capell had extorted in that County, and laid up in that Town to defray his charges. From thence he marched to two other Towns, called Prees and Wrem [Wem]; the first whereof, lieth about seven miles from Whitchurch, and the last about nine miles, where he hath seized upon the Armes, Horses, Plate and Moneys of Master Edward Kinnaston, and other Malevolents, not medling with any of their other Cattell, Corne, Goods or Houshold-stuffe, but onely taking such things as might inable them to endamage the present peace of Cheshire, and of the adjacent Counties. Secondly, That the lord Capell in much discontent, and perplexity, is departed with his few Forces from Shrewsbury to Oswestre, neare the borders of Denbighshire, because the Trained-Bands in Shrewsbury will no longer obey him in performing their Watches, or other military services, so long as the Papists (who are above the number of six or seven hundred) remain in that Towne, misdoubting that they will joyne with the Popish Irish Rebels, that are lately come into Chester and Northwales to subdue and ruine this Kingdome, whom they resolve with all their forces and power to resist.

Thirdly, That the inhabitants of the County of Salop are much imbittered against the Lord Capell, for his excessive and unreasonable Taxes and Impositions upon them, desiring that he might be recalled from his present government agmongst them, hoping thereby to be eased of those insupportable pressures, wherewith (to the ruine of their estates) they have been surcharged, ever since the Cavaliers and their Army first entered their County, which is now almost twelve moneths since, whereby they now both see and feele the errours of their admittance, and may, if they please, facily and speedily free themselves from their unnecessary charges, by driving them from thence, and submitting to the obedience of the King and Parliament, under whose mandates and protection they shall finde safety, ease and relaxation.

Fourthly, that the Lord Newport, Baron of Arkall, hath deserted the Lord Capell, withdrawne his assistance and compliance from him, and is retired to one of his houses in Northwales, disgusting the imperious commands of him that hath no reall terrene engagements amongst them, but is a meere stranger in those parts. || William Ingler – Certaine Informations (P)

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Ipswich raises its militia; apprehends Royalists

In Suffolk on March 16 at 6:09 pm

16 Mar 1642/3 (Thu) || From Ipswich in the County of Suffolke it is Informed, that to preserve the peace and quiet of that Towne, and to prevent all confusions and combustions amongst themselves, the Major and Magistrates there raised the trayned band and such Volunteeres as they could best confide in, and apprehended all the Malevolents amongst them, both in and about the Towne, amongst which they have now in safe custody 4. new Justices of the peace, who are extreamely disaffected to the Parliament, and in the search of their houses, they found Muskets and fowling peeces ready Charged, so intent are these kinde of people to do mischiefe, that they had the meanes to effect it in a readinesse. || William Ingler – Certaine Informations (P)

Letters from Ireland, Exeter, Plymouth & Norfolk; intercepts from Reading

In Berkshire, Devon, Ireland, Norfolk on December 11 at 10:46 pm

11 Dec 1642 (Sun) || The Lord Generall sent some Letters to the Houses, which were interrupted by a Scout betweene Oxford and Redding, one of them was a Letter from Secretary Nicholas to the Cavalliers in Redding, wherein he writes, that hee hath sent them three hundred pound and will send them more suddainly, That sir Ralph Hopton hath taken Plymouth, and the Earle of Newcastle beaten Captaine Hotham into Hull, that sir Ralph Hopton is fortifying againe at Sherburne Castle, and that the Lord Digby hath taken Marlborough.

Also there was another Letter of Prince Ruperts to Redding, intimating that they shall suddainly receive some more aide from him, and that the Earle of Essex he is enformed intends not to stirre this Winter, &c. The Scout that tooke these Letters, the Commons ordered should have forty pound given him as a reward for that he came by them with much difficultie and danger of his life.

Letters came to the Commons from Ireland, setting forth their lamentable and distressed condition, for want of some reliefe and supplyes from England, which they conceived would not have beene so much neglected by the Parliament but that the great distractions of this Kingdome hath diverted it, whereupon they drew up a Petition and sent it to his Majestie, laying open their distressed condition, and to beseech his Majestie to endeavour the setling of the distraction here that so some speedy supplyes may be sent unto them, and that in the meane time his Majesty would afford them some reliefe.

There came Letters to the Commons from Exeter in Devonshire by one Captaine Plunkett, desiring the Commons with much earnestnesse that they would take order for the sending of some speedy reliefe unto them, for that their dangers were very great, Sir Ralph Hopton being comming against them with about 5000 men, and the High Sheriffe of their County¹ using all meanes to assist him, and hath set on foote againe the Commission of Array which draweth many to that party, So that they are no wayes able to defend themselves against so great a force without some supplyes from the Parliament. It was also informed that Sir Ralph Hopton hath made some attempts against Plymouth but they as yet defend themselves and keepe him out, that upon his first comeing hither the Soldiers within the Towne would have marched out and given him battle, and a Councell of Warr was called to consider of it, but the Captains and Officers proved very bad and declined the businesse which hath been very prejudiciall unto them. The Commons upon consideration of this businesse referred the said letters to a speciall Committee to consider of a speedy course for the sending of reliefe into Devonshire.

The Commons received letters from Norfolk informing them of the great distractions that are in that County by reason of the Malignants amongst them who doe oppose the ordinance of Parliament and those that endeavour the settling of the Militia, and stand up with much bouldnesse for the commision of Array, the cheife Actors in such businesse are Sir John Spilman, Sir Duell,² Captaine Crane, Master Hamon,³ and one Story who by order of the Commons are all of them to be sent for as delinquents, and the Trained Bands of the County are to be raised to apprehend them. || Samuel Pecke – A Perfect Diurnall of the Passages in Parliament

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¹ Edmund Fortescue
² Clearly part of the name is omitted; whether first or last is unclear.
³ Probably Hamon Claxton, clerk, of Norfolk: sent for as a delinquent on Oct 24, and on Nov 11 imprisoned in London for “disaffecting People in the County of Norfolk, to the Service of the Parliament.” (Source: Commons Journal).

The military situation in Sussex

In Military News, Sussex on December 8 at 3:07 am

8 Dec 1642 || Bellona begins now to act her part of Warre upon the Sussex Stage; there are very great preparations in Lewes to advance for and regaine the City of Chichester, surprized for the Cavalliers by a treacherous plot of the new Sheriffe,³ Papists and malignant faction of the three Westerne Rapes in that County:¹ they threatned presently upon their good successe to plunder the Towne of Lewes if they resisted the execution of their Commission of Array; but the trained bands getting in suddenly to relieve it, made them to desist; yet they came so neere as to get possession of Bramber-bridge (the onely passage betweene the Eastern and the Western Rapes) which they guarded for ten dayes, but now have deserted it, and cry Peccavi,² and have since wrot Letters to excuse the Passages and to desire an Accomodation, which came from the Earle of Tenet; but this was since they heard of Mr. Stapleyes and Mr. Morleys Commission granted for the raising of Forces to expell them. Sir Michael Levesey and Mr. Temple are come into Lewes with a brave Troop of 200. lusty men out of Kent, and Mr. Morley is arrived there with his Troopes of above 200. more, with brave Commanders from London, whereof some are Scottish men. Their neighbour Papists have been searched and all their idolatrous Reliques broken downe and brought in Triumph into that Towne; so that you might have beene sprinkled there with Holy-water for nothing: and this Weeke they were to march towards Chichester.

It is further informed out of that County that Mr. Stapeley is somewhat ill in body, and thereupon hath sent his Commission to Mr. Morley, and given up to him his Command, whereby the worke is much hindred, and things out of order; that the Sheriffe is much affraid and if matters were composed amongst them, he might soone [be] driven out, or taken; that Sir Michael Levesey and Mr. Morley are very couragious, and so are all their Souldiers, and that they would faine be doing, but cannot, because they want ample directions from the Parliament. || Samuel Pecke – A Perfect Diurnall of the Passages in Parliament

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¹ A rape was an administrative district: Sussex was formerly divided into six of these.
² Peccavi is Latin for “I have sinned”.
³ Sir Edward Ford

Former Royalist High Sheriff turns in his papers

In Essex on December 5 at 3:15 pm

5 Dec 1642 (Mon) || Sir Benjamin Ayliffe the new made high Sheriffe of Essex, according to the order of Parliament, hath brought in, and resigned his Commission for the place which he received from his Majesty, and a Letter of Indempnity for executing of the office according to his Majesties Command, but since the Parliament have declared his said Commission to be illegall, he is resolved to obey their command in forbearing to execute that place, rather then trust to his Majesties letter of indempnity which is illegal and cannot protect  him from the justice of Parliament. And the Parliament have agreed upon an Order, that such of the new made Sheriffes, as refuse to resigne up their Commissions according to the order of Parliament, shall be apprehended by the Deputy Lieutenants for the Militia, with the assistance of the Trained Bands, and they and their Commissions to bee sent as delinquents to the Parliament. || A Continuation of Certain Speciall and Remarkable Passages

Lewes prepares to fend off Royalist threat; 1000 Royalists in Chichester

In Sussex on November 26 at 11:47 pm

26 Nov 1642 || The Inhabitants of Lewis in Sussex are endeavouring to defend their Town, many Volunteers are come to them, and more intend to aid them. The Trained bands also of that County purpose to assist them, if they had any aide from the Parliament, they were able to recover Chichester and drive the new Shiriffe out of the County, or else apprehend him. The country is willing to joyn with other auxiliary forces, but they want a head to lead them, wherefore they desire either Mr. [Anthony] Stapely¹ or Mr [Herbert] Morley² speedily to come to them: [Ambrose] Trayton that was Captain of that Town is so affrighted with  the Kings Proclamation, that he hath basely deserted them, though heretofore hee made great shewes to the contrary.³

Foord the new Sheriffe hath gotten a 1000 men into Chichester, and it is said that the King hath sent him a 100 Dragooners, the Earle of Tenet [Thanet] aideth the Sheriffe, and intendeth to goe to his house in Lewis with all the strength he can raise, the good Ministers are all fled out of the West part of that County, because they were most cruelly misused, they would have Pistolled a good Minister there, but the Pistoll would not fire, whereupon he leaping over a ditch escaped. If the City of Chichester were reduced, there would be no shelter in that County for the Malignants. || Stephen Bowtell – England’s Memorable Accidents

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¹ Stapley was a Parliamentarian colonel, and Chichester’s military governor.
² Morley was MP for Lewes.
³ On Nov 18 the Commons Journal notes that the house was “Resolved, upon the Question, That Captain Ambrose Trayton shall have Power to call in Two hundred Men, or more, if Occasion shall be, into the Town of Lewis, Volunteers or others; and to command the same, for the Defence of the said Town.” Presumably Trayton redeemed himself with the Parliament, however, as in September 1643 he was added to Sussex’s Committee of Sequestrations (which dealt with forfeited Royalist property).

Earl of Derby & local militia skirmish in Warwickshire

In Lancashire, Shropshire, Warwickshire on November 23 at 5:06 pm

23 Nov 1642 (Wed) || There hath been of late a great battell fought in Warwickshire betweene some of the Parliaments Forces and the Trained Bands of that and Adjacent Counties, and the Earle of Darby, who is said (according to a Commission from His Majesty) to be bringing up his Forces to unite them to the body of the Kings Army. The Army of the Earle of Derby exceeded in number, but the Parliaments Forces transcended in resolution, and after a long and doubtfull battell neer to Brumicham [Birmingham], the Parliaments Forces by vertue and by policy, did put the Earle of Derby and his Forces to a shamefull flight, drove him back to Shrewsbury, being ashamed to shew his face at Latham, or any of his Mannours in Lancashire. || A Continuation of Certain Speciall and Remarkable Passages

Militia helps Blackburn eject Royalist soldiers

In Lancashire, Military News on October 29 at 1:24 pm

29 Oct 1642 – Anonymous report from Blackburn, Lancashire, concerning a Royalist attempt to billet soldiers under “free quarter” || Wee being no wayes able to resist the malignant party, not having Armes nor a considerable place to make opposition, were glad, nay, (as I might terme it, forced) to receive two knights of the Commission of Array with 200. of their souldiers at least, it was very faire quarter promised us, with paiment of what should be any wayes expended or called for by their souldiers, but when they were billeted, they dealt with us at their owne courtesie, and I beleeve had not that night through a long march, 3000. of the Militia side come to disappoint them, we had like Job all gone naked out of the world, but their charge in the night, so scared the Arraymen, that they did almost be—- themselves, sixteene being slaine of them, and through night foure of the others, but they beate them and secured us, yet not one nor the other, but God was the gift. || Humphrey Blunden – Speciall Passages and Certain Informations

Peers speak to the City of London; Earl of Westmorland in custody

In London on October 27 at 9:15 pm

27 Oct 1642 – late update || The Earle of Pembrooke Earle of Holland Lord Say and Seale Lord Wharton and Master Strode according to an Order of Parliament met the City of London, at a Common Councell at Guild hall this night to acquaint with the passages of the late fight & some other matters, whose severall speeches are here afterwards fully related. The Earle of Westmerland being taken by the Trained bands of Northampton was this night brought to London with other delinquents and committed prisoner to the Tower. || A Collection of Speciall Passages and Certaine Informations

Parliament swears to “subdue, kill and slay” its enemies

In London on October 27 at 2:25 am

27 Oct 1642 (Thu – early) || There was a Declaration of both Houses of Parliament published to this effect, whereas divers Rebells Traytors and other ill affected people in pursuit of a wicked designe to alter Religion and subvert the lawes, are marching against the Parliament and Citie of London to distroy the Citie and have plundered spoiled and distroyed divers of his Majesties good subjects in their passage, to the great danger of the Parliament, Citie, and whole Kingdome; for the prevention whereof, both Houses have Ordered that the Committie for Militia of the Citie into London be summonsed to take a speedy course to put the Citty into a posture of defence, and to fortifie all passages within liberties as without & to raise the Trained Bands & other forces of the Citty both Horse and foote, and to lead and conduct the said forces as well without the liberties as within, and to give battell and fight with all that shall approach with any force against them, or raise any insurrection within the same, and them to invade resist represse, subdue, kill and slay, and by all other meanes to destroy; And to do all things else needfull for the preservation of the Parliament and Citty either by land or water, observing such further directions as they shall receive from the Parliament the Committee for the safety of the Kingdom, or the Earle of Warwick their Lord Generall; And for so doing they shall be protected and defended by the authority of Parliament. || A Collection of Speciall Passages and Certaine Informations