Tyger's Head Books

Posts Tagged ‘Siege of Gloucester’

Relief of Gloucester confirmed

In Gloucestershire on September 15 at 11:26 pm

15 Sep 1643 (Fri) || The last weeks Newes of the raising of the raising of the siege and relieving of Glocester, is now confirmed by some that are come from thence, who report, that they saw a great Market kept there on Wednesday and Thursday last, which argueth that there is free ingresse and egresse in that  City. And whereas it hath beene reported, that his Excellencie the Parliaments Lord Generall, hath beene there in person, it is now informed, that he came not within six miles of it, but lay about Cheltenham, and some have said, that the King with his Army was a bout Bradway-hills [Broadway] in the North part of Glocestershire, but a day or two more will give us better certainty of these reports. || William Ingler – Certaine Informations

Report from Gloucester; praise for the town’s self-defence

In Gloucestershire on August 22 at 1:03 am

22 Aug 1643 (Tue) || Our Scouts hath made a second returne from Glocester parts, he reports of severall Fights that hath been between the City and the besiegers Friday and Saturday, and that they not daring to storme the place, attempted to make Gallories, to facilitate their approaches, and to that purpose brought Faggots, but those were burnt, and the besiegers driven both from their Canon and ground, leaving many dead behinde them, some of which Ordnance they have got into the Towne, others lie, that neither part dare attempt the fetching: This not succeeding, there was order given to fetch in green wood, but whether these things be true in the circumstances, we will not be over confident, yet of this we are, that there hath been a Fight those daies before mentioned, and from hence we cannot but conclude, that Glocester hath done bravely, and deserves to be recorded for posterity, whereas some other places had need to have buriall in the grave of oblivion, and shall not the valour of this City of Glocester, edge all the souldiers spirits now in service for the Parliament, and put them upon those, or such like resolutions: What, shall such brave men as are in Glocester be destroyed, be prisoners? Shall these Citizens and Souldiers that have stood out thus bravely, given the enemy so many repulses, slaine so many of their enemies, wasted their Ammunition, not be assisted, relieved? Weele not regard money, nor stand upon this terme, or that, but goe and fall upon the weary enemy, and utterly destroy his power: when Sir William Waller had beene fighting many dayes, they by fresh supplies overcame him: we will now put both together, and goe on, and revenge both at once; so shall we haste an end of these present troubles, then which, nothing can be more acceptable to God and men that stand for true Religion and Liberty. || John Dillingham – The Parliament Scout (P)

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)

News from the siege of Gloucester

In Gloucestershire on August 16 at 2:43 pm

16 Aug 1643 (Wed) || The Cavaliers now strongly besieged Glocester, and some say, that the King lieth within two miles of that City to see the event of the siege. And it is certainely affirmed, that Colonell Massey who is the Governour thereof, together with all the Citizens, have resolved to make good that place against the Cavaliers, or else to loose their lives, because they cannot confide in the Cavaliers Compositions, since they perfidiously violated their Agreement at Bristoll.¹ And that the Cavaliers have twice or thrice assaulted the City, but have beene repelled with the losse of at least a thousand of their men, insomuch that the defendants hope to hold out as long as their Ammunition lasteth, and pitty it is that they should not be relieved before it be totally spent. And it is hoped, that the Lord Generall of the Parliaments Army will send some aide to them, because he Yesterday Mustered his Horse at Kingston upon Thames, and found them to amount to the number of 4000. compleate, whereupon it is thought that his Excellency will spare 2000 of them for so good a worke.  || William Ingler – Certaine Informations (P)

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¹ However, the Parliamentarians had committed similiar breaches of faith: it was widely accepted that the Royalist troops plundered the departing Parliament garrison at Bristol, in contravention of the surrender agreement, because the Parliamentarians had done exactly the same to the departing Royalist garrison at Reading in April.

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)

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¹ ‘What is beyond possibility, cannot exist’