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Posts Tagged ‘Parliamentarian letters’

King’s Lynn fears plunder & stands for the King

In Norfolk, Suffolk on August 29 at 11:39 pm

29 Aug 1643 (Tue) || This day by Letters from London we were certified, that the Earle of Pembrookes goods, which were shipped for the Isle of Wight, were seized by the vertuous Lord Major Isaac Pennington (the new and most faithful Lieutenant of the Tower) but whether they be as yet restored to the Earle we are not informed. And in the same Letter it was signified, that the Earle of Manchester (that famous good man) doth rob all Country people in Suffolke of their Cart-horses, so as they cannot possibly get in their harvest, which is one of those new blessings he intends to bestow upon their Associate-Counties: which the Inhabitants of the Towne of Lin perceiving, like honest Subjects and true Englishmen, they kept his Lordship out of their Towne, telling him flatly, They kept the Towne for His Majesty, and by the helpe of God would so keepe it against whomsoever; which they are able to doe, it being so strongly fortified, that Kimbolton may as soone raise his good father from the dead, as force his enterance into Lin. || John Berkenhead/Peter Heylyn – Mercurius Aulicus (R)

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Gloucester citizen begs London to send relief

In Gloucestershire on August 20 at 12:15 am

Sunday 20 Aug 1643 || Our Scout, by reason the enemy is possest of the West, is forced to passe in by-wayes; he brings no other news from Exeter, but that it remains blockt up, and hath only relieved it selfe two or three times, and fetched in some cattell, beating up now one, and then another quarter of the enemy: Who pities not Exeter? Most constant, most faithfull, yet farthest from helpe, and neerest to misery: as he passed along, he understood of some ships taken in the Irish seas; and so went as neere Glocester as he could, but was not so neere, as to be able to tell, as some undertake, how many men the enemy hath lost, and who, and of what quality; nor is he able to say that any attempt had beene to storme the Towne the fourteenth past, or that the enemy then was come so neere as musquet shot: it is true, he heard the great Cannon play fiercelie for many dayes, but thinkes that the enemy will not be so prodigall of his men as he was before Bristoll: as he was comming from Glocester a back-way, he met with a woman, who had beene in Gloucester, she intreated him to bring a Letter to a friend in London, which he did, the Contents whereof was to this effect, and written by one of quality that is dangerously wounded.

Noble Sir,
There can be nothing more sad to a valiant and faithfull heart then neglect, what would more provoke, then to see men and water enough, yet none take a bucket to quench a fire? They say in other Countreys the English are the worst at this of all Nations, we in the poore City of Gloecester are like to finde it true in the quenching that fire which so violently burns us: The enemy batters us continually with their great Cannon, making breach after breach, (for thank the losse of Bristoll, they have powder enough) but God giving courage, we have hitherto made them up as fast as they beat them downe; But who relieves us? Nay, who comes and tells us we shall have reliefe? We can challenge it, for it was promised, and that largely; out of that confidence we have slighted all overtures: What is become of the Parliament Where is my Lord Generall? What do the City of London? Where is Sir William Waller? Must we perish? We are sensible of the miseries at Bristoll; and are not our friends so, if we have any? Sure there is no enemy that the City, or my Lord Generall need fear, unless those that are here; What people would fight for them that will not send them reliefe when they have wherewith? Can it be that in such a Cause as we have, one party should draw one way, and another the other? The God of heaven look upon us: If the West be not regarded; once as able and ready to serve the Parliament as any part of England, yet let our poore wives and children be subject to the beastly lust of the enemy: out estates all to be lost, and many other estates brought hither; our City threatened to be turned into ashes, and we put all to the sword; work a little compassion, beget some reliefe: The City of London we know are willing to part with their money, and want of reliefe sticks not with them, there are souldiers enough, hearts enough: we think that men should lay aside self-respects, and whatever for the common good, we have done so; we are yet able to hold out fourteen dayes, our souldiers and inhabitants are couragious, and shall Glocester be lost? The enemy knowes where our defect lies, and as it puts courage into them, so let it adde wings to our reliefe: Sir, send us reliefe, or send us some body to tell us we can have none, that we may shift for our selves, we are sure some are the cause reliefe comes not, knew we them, we would name them, were they never so great: and desire that those that can deliver us from misery, and will not, may have miseries as great, as can be here inflicted; or if any Counsell be against us, that it may be infatuated: The City of London were used to have power with the Parliament, with the Lord Generall: Will they now not use their interest? They may be the next, who shall pity them? Is this the reward to those that take up armes for Religion and Liberties? Will not honour protect the Cause, not nothing fire those Cannons, edge those swords, charge those muskets that must raise our enemies? Shall relief come as to Cirencester, set out after the Town is taken? But if it must be so, we must perish: Sir, these are the last breathings of your dying servant. || John Dillingham – The Parliament Scout (P)

Aulicus alleges Parliament threatens the King’s person

In London on July 16 at 9:46 pm

Sunday 16 Jul 1643 || You heard last weeke of a Letter written to the remaining party in the House of Commons, from the Earle of Essex … And it was after certified, that on a following debate about those Letters on the morrow after, another clause was cavilled at with a greater vehemency. For whereas it was added (as in the Letters now in Print doth it full appeare) that if the King refused the Treaty, [Essex suggested] He should be moved to absent himself out of the fight for the preservation of His Person; Master Martyn (out of his wonted care of His Majesties safety) was offended at it: saying, that if the King would not withdraw, but put his finger to be cut, they could not help it; what was that to them? which (I must tell ye) passed the House without the least check or censure. And it seemes they would faine have His Majestie once more within the reach of their Cannon, in hope to take a better aime at him then they did before: and them impute it to himselfe for fighting to save his life and the Crowne, against the enemies of both. || John Berkenhead/Peter Heylyn – Mercurius Aulicus (R)

Situation update from Hull

In Yorkshire on July 14 at 9:38 pm

14 Jul 1643 (Fri) || By Letters this day from the Lord Fairfax to the House of Commons, it was certified, That his Lordship¹ is in a very good condition at Hull, with about 1500 men; That only stayes there to recrewt his Forces, and intends very suddenly to advance again into the Field against the Popish Army, who of late do much tyrannize, by charging the Countrey with illegall Taxes and Compositions for Plundering; That Leeds and Bradford are for the present in the hands of the Popish Army, but he doubts not very suddenly to give accompt of some considerable service for the relief of the County against them. || A Perfect Diurnall of Some Passages in Parliament (P)

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¹ i.e. Ferdinando, Lord Fairfax

Aulicus claims Londoners want to replace Essex with Waller

In London on July 13 at 9:35 pm

13 Jul 1643 (Thu) || It was advertised this day from London, that on the reading of the Letters from the Earle of Essex, in the Lower House (whereof you heard before on Wednesday) the Zelots there grew into very great distempers, though others very much commended and approved the Counsaile. Insomuch that Master Vassall (one of the Burgesses for London) moved exceeding earnestly, that their Generall should be pressed to speake more plainely: and that if after the expence of two millions of treasure, without any effect, he had a minde to lay downe his Armes, he should let them know it; and that there wanted not as good Souldiers as he which would take them up. Which motion, though it tooke not in the House for the present, yet generally (all about the Citie) they have designed Waller for the place, whose Conquests are their daily discourse: but you may heare them change their tone ere the weeke be out. So implacable are they against all inclinations to peace, as that this Letter of their owne Generall (who best knowes his and their strength) should thus inflame them, but whether it give them cause thus to sleight him, the Letter it selfe will shew; which within few houres you shall see in print. || John Berkenhead/Peter Heylyn – Mercurius Aulicus (R)

Earl of Essex urges Parliament to seek peace with the King

In London on July 12 at 9:32 pm

12 Jul 1643 (Wed) || It was advertised this day, that Letters had beene sent by the Earle of Essex to the remaining party in both Houses to let them understand the weake condition of their Forces under his command, & the great losse their Forces had susteined in other places; and to advise them, whilest they had yet some strength remaining, to addresse an humble Petition to His Majestie for the obtaining of a safe and convenient peace. Which Letters being favourably entertained amongst many of the Lords, found not so kind an acceptation amongst some in the Lower House: who as they had beene alwayes enemies to the peace of the Kingdome, so were they more averse now from it then they had beene formerly, in regard they had received credible information (if they did not make the same themselves) that His Majesties Forces in the West had been worsted by Sir William Waller: yet to avoid the odium which might fall upon them, had they wilfully declined the businesse, they thought it best to make a reference thereof to their friends (or rather Masters) the Citizens, whom they knew how to worke to their owne conclusions: and did accordingly so contrive the matter, that Isaack [Penington] and his faction did so abhominate and detest the meere name of peace, that rather then such a motion should be hearkned to, they would engage themselves to raise present money to maintaine the warre, and raise such Forces in the Citie as should sufficiently serve to pursue the project of bringing the whole Kingdome to confusion. Which being signified to their good Subjects in the Lower House, there was no further speech of desiring peace, though very little hopes to uphold the warre. || John Berkenhead/Peter Heylyn – Mercurius Aulicus (R)

Parliament receives contradictory letters from Plymouth

In Devon on February 23 at 10:00 am

23 February 1642/3 (Thu) || It was certified by Letters brought this day from London, that upon Thursday last in the House of Commons, Master Pym produced a Letter sent to him from Plimmouth, informing him with what undaunted resolution they did intend to stand to the Earle of Stamford in the service of the King and Parliament; and that all manner of provisions were so plentifull, that they were able to hold out for a yeare longer. This Letter Master Pym moved to have printed, and as the House was about to order it should be so, another of the Members desired that a Letter sent to him of the same date also might be first read: in which was signified, that Sir Ralph Hopton had lately taken a ship at Falmouth barre for Plymmouth, in which was one thousand pounds worth of Wheate and other Corne, and that they were so streightly besieged by the Kings Forces, that they could have no reliefe by land; besides the great want they were in for money. Upon the reading of which Letter, the printing of that, sent to Master Pym, was staid for that time. || John Berkenhead/Peter Heylyn – Mercurius Aulicus (R)

Aulicus denies Parliamentarian reports

In Uncategorized on January 8 at 11:26 pm

Sunday 8 Jan 1642/3 || By Letters brought from London of the third of January, the newes of Sir Ralph Hoptons successe at Topsham, wherewith wee ended the last weekes discourse was fully ratified: in which ’twas signified with all, how contrary to the truth thereof, it was reported in the City of London, That young Captaine Chudleigh¹ marching out of Exeter with 100. horse, and 200. Dragoneers had fallen upon Sir Ralphs forces at Topsham, killed a great many of his men, and beat the rest out of that Quarter; which was so credibly reported that it was Ordered by the House of Commons, that thankes should be given to Chudleigh for it: And the same day there was no small rejoycing for a great victory which the Parliament forces had obtained against the Earle of Derby in Lancashire, in which were taken 160. prisoners, as it was reported. But this upon examination was found to have but little more truth in it, then Sir Ralph Hoptons being beat from Topsham; or Sir John Byrons being driven out of Burford by the forces of Cyrencester, which was reported also with no lesse confidence then the other two. || John Berkenhead/Peter Heylyn – Mercurius Aulicus (R)

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¹ James Chudleigh, son of Sir George, Exeter’s military governor.

More Letters from Devon

In Devon on January 8 at 11:06 pm

Sunday 8 Jan 1642/3 || [A Letter from Exeter January 7.] Yours received, as I hope you had mine by the Carrier, which acquainted you with the removall of the theevish Cornish Army (for they doe but plunder, not fight) towards Crediton, which poore Towne is now miserably pillaged by the beggarly Cavaliers. From thence they went to Ockington [Oakhampton], some twentie miles from Exeter (within three miles of my house, which the Rogues have plundered, cut in peeces my very Bedsteds, carried away what was moveable, and were like to have killed a young Minister, which they tooke to be my selfe.) Our Army consisting of 2400. horse and foote, follows them, and we heare of two of their Carriages taken by or men, and about a 100. of theirs killed. The Countie of Cornwall hath sent to us for an Association, to withstand this Army of Rogues, for they are very unwilling to re-admit them againe: we heare that Sir Ralph Hopton, which some few others, have left the body of their Army, and shifted themselves away. The Rogues boast abroad that they killed Captaine Gould (whom I saw in good health this morning) and that the Citie of Exeter gave them 30000.li to be gone, which is as false a lye as the father of lies can invent. We hope within these foure dayes we shall heare of good execution done upon them. The Lieutenant Generall Colonell Ruthen, follows them close. This weeke we had many great Delinquents apprehended, one Master Peters, a Justice of Peace, and a great Array man, who wrote a Letter to Sir Ralph Hopton (the Copy whereof I have sent you). Also Doctor Hutchison, Doctor Wilson, Canon Hellian, Master Pettern, Master Hayten, Newman the Post-Master, Isaac the Towne-Clerke, Master [Richard] Culme the last yeares High Sheriffe, and Justice Ashford, with many more, some whereof have againe ransomed themselves by 100.li 200.li 500.li and 800.li fine to the Parliament. Wee have Forces, Dragoones, Foote, and Great Horse come from Sommerset and Dorchester. The Earle of Stamford, our Lord Generall came in last thursday, and lodgeth at Master Mariors, Master Guyhes preached yesterday before him at Master Peters; The Cathedrall men looke like Ghosts, now their mouths are stopt that they can sing no longer. There was this weeke 400.li found in that Church, which Canon Hellian confessed, and more they hope to finde.

[A Letter to Sir Ralph Hopton.] Honoured Sir, I am informed that those that went out last night out of Exon, with those at Chudleigh, past this morning towards the North, leaving the ordinarie way to Exon much on the right hand, probably either to fall on Moulton, or to intercept you; the report goes that there are two thousand of them, I pray God to preserve you; we here over all the Countrey give our selves utterly lost: Topsham we heare hath alreadie suffered: If you give Crediton to the Souldiers, it will much hearten them, they have long complained for want of employment, and of the restraint laid upon them that way. We are full of distraction.
From my house in the afternoon.
Your servant, J. Peter.

|| Humphrey Blunden – Speciall Passages and Certain Informations (P)

Letters from Devon: skirmishing at Tavistock and Torrington

In Devon on January 8 at 10:50 pm

Sunday 8 Jan 1642/3 || [A Letter from Tavestock January 6.] I cannot relate what God hath done for us since my last Letter unto you, the time is so short and the mercies wee have received so many; the enemy hath in great feare and haste raysed their siege from Exon and are fled into Cornwall, and now at Lauston [Launceston]; wee were gathering within two or three miles of them, they being at Ockehampton [Oakhampton], and upon our approach so nere, in the night they fled without beate of Drummes, or sound of Trumpet, and went to Lauston. This morning wee followed them to their Quarters at Ockehampton,and have left our foote there, and came to this Towne with our Horse and Dragoones; they were as they gave out foure times the number of our Horses, and 15. or 16. Pieces of Ordnance, and we none, but God hath made them flie with feare, and leave ten of their Peeces behinde them, which we tooke, some being hid in the ground, and others in their Quarters.

|| [Barnstaple the 6. of Januarie. 1642.] Dear friend, Blessed be God, I can now write you something that we of this Countie of Devon have done to regain our credit which our Trained bands lost at Sherborn, and likewise in permitting Sir Ralph Hopton to passe this Countie without any interruption; and first for our Town, we sent out of this place on Friday last 3. foot Companies under the command of Sergeant Major Benson, Captain Luttrel, and Captain Curvy, all Volunteers, except Captain Luttrels Companie who were of the Trained band of the Countrey, and they left W.N. Captain of the Trained band to guard our Town, that Friday night the 3. Companies marched to Biddeford, and on Saterday morning Biddeford, Appledore, and Northum joyned about 200. Seamen, and that Saterday morning we sent about 80. horse to joyn with them, who by the help of the owners who pulled down the hedges and gates, and about 2. a clock came before the Town of Torrington, about a mile distant, the Cavaliers lay abroad in the hedges, and played upon our men, but they cleared the hedges in a short space, and drove them neerer home upon a Common; where there was about 500. in a bodie, and some fourescore or a 100. horse, our men being on a hill over against them had 3. little brasse guns drawne among the Infantrie, which the Enemie did not discover, and at an advantage opened files and gave fire to the Guns, which made some with scarlet cloaks on horseback to kisse the ground, upon which salute both horse and foot quitted the Commons, and got into the suburbs and gardens: our men with 2 companies one on each side cleared each side; the main bodie marched through the street which was a quarter of a mile long, took one brestwork, and came home upon another, before they knew was any there, where our men received more hurt then in all the conflict, and the base townsmen thinks some invited us to her relief, yet never acquainted them of it, but it was in the dark about 8. a clock, where they kept shooting till 12. or one a clock at night, and that while the Cavaliers ran away, and left the townsmen to make good the works, and charged them not to let them know they were gone in an houre or two, which they carefully kept; and it will be proved the townsmen shoot often on them after the Cavaliers were gone, it is true as you said they are base cowards, for the Major and chief of the Town say that the Cavaliers gentlemen and trained souldiers were 13. or 14. hundred at least, besides the base townsmen. We were not above 500. foot and 80. horse, and 3. brasse peeces, but our men fought valiantly, and the chief of the Cavaliers said they were devils and women, for they went on still and got ground, though the other side had never so much advantage; we had never a man slain, but some 12 or 14 hurt, and are all living, and we hope will all recover it, and the Cavaliers lost 8. or 9. in the Town, and divers died upon the way, and many trained men that we hear of are hurt: our men pillaged 3. or 4. Malignants that invited the Cavaliers to Torrington, our men returned on Tuesday last every man, onely some are hurt, Gods name be glorified. Amen. Our men took 2. Ensignes, 3. Drums, and divers prisoners. Pardon haste. Sir Ralph Hopton on Saterday last about 12 or one a clock when the Moone rose, he raised his siege from Exeter, which was the same instant our men took Torrington, and he is marching towards Cornwall again as we hear, and robs and pillages all the Country as he goes, we doubted they would have come for Torrington again, as they gave out, but Collonel [William] Ruthen follows them,¹ and so are gone as we hear within 15. mile of Lanceston. He hath left most of his ordnance behind him, so that I hope we shall be a little quieter. || Humphrey Blunden – Speciall Passages and Certain Informations (P)

|| There is certaine intelligence come, that upon the approach of the Earle of Stampford neere to Exeter, Sir Ralph Hopton betooke himselfe to a more than ordinary retreate backe to Cornewall, leaving some ammunition behind him to make more expedition, and the Earle of Stampford with the assistance of the Devonshire forces, are in pursuit of him into Cornewall. || Richard Collings – The Kingdomes Weekly Intelligencer (P)

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¹ Not to be confused with the Royalist Patrick Ruthven, Earl of Forth, who was prominent on the King’s side.