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Posts Tagged ‘town surrenders’

Barnstaple and Bideford surrender to the King

In Devon on September 10 at 8:13 pm

Sunday 10 Sep 1643 || By a Messenger this day from Devonshire it is certified, That Barnstable and Bedyford, two eminent Towns in those parts, are of late most treacherously betrayed to the Kings Forces under the command of the Lord Digby, through the perfidiousnes of the Maior of Barnstaple, who to secure or regain a small moiety of his estate in danger to be carried away by the Cavaliers, basely and treacherously conspired with the Mayor of Bedyford [Bideford] to betray both Towns; but they have not admitted of any Garrison of the Kings Forces but covenanted to pay contribution to that party: What the issue will be, we shall hear afterwards. || Samuel Pecke – A Perfect Diurnall (P)

We have news by our Scout that Bastable [Barnstaple] is taken, and severall other Townes in the West, as for Bastable, we are assured it was delivered through the cowardice of the Mayor, or Worse, and that which makes the story most sad is, there were in that Towne moe true Blades for Religion and Liberties, then in any Towne in England: and such, as had they had any of valour and understanding in Armes to have governed them, they had been long happy, but misery hath befallen them, and they are become a prey to Spanish Digbie, and now they hang their harps upon the willows, and remember Jerusalem weeping: This Towne is another in-let for the Irish Rebells, who are in all likelihood hasting for England, for we are assured from a good hand, that the Irish, now inured by continuall skirmishings, become three to one better souldiers, have left Ulster and the parts adjacent, and are come to the West and South of England, that they may be the readier to come for England to fight for the Protestant Religion, and to defend the faith: and in what a miserable case will the West be, when it shall swarme with such vermine, and Bastable above all, the place of their landing. || John Dillingham – The Parliament Scout (P)

Prince Maurice takes Exeter

In Devon on September 8 at 8:07 pm

8 Sep 1643 (Fri) || And now Reader, I must give thee a sad relation which (if you either love the King or His enemie) will certainly much affect thee; which (in a word) is that on Monday last Prince Maurice took possession of the City of Exeter for His Majesty. For Biddeford, Appleford, and Barnstaple being all delivered up to the Kings Forces, the rebellious City of Exeter was the chiefe place stood out in the West; Prince Maurice therefore being desirous to make a short worke of the War in those parts gave a very hot assault upon the City upon Sunday last, & did not onely shake the Wals in severall places, but by shooting Granadoes into the Towne, had fired a good part of the Suburbs: the Soudiers and others in the Towne, seeing the greatnesse of their danger, desired a Parley, in which the Prince offered them such conditions as had beene given before to Bristol; which being rejected by the Rebells (who would needes stand it out a little longer upon point of honour) His Majesties Forces pursued the assault so eagerly the next day after, that they made themselves masters of the great Sconce or Bulwark, and turned the Ordnance thereof on the Towne it selfe. Which being perceived by the Rebels, and finding that there was no hope of life and safety, but in the seasonablenesse of their submission, they humbly craved to be admitted unto those conditions which before they rejected, and (above their deservings) did obtaine the same, According to which conditions the Towne and Castle were delivered to the Prince his Highnesse with all the Ordnance, Armes, and Ammunition which was left therein, the city absolutely left to the gracious disposall of His Majesty, the Commanders and Officers of the Rebelss dismissed in safety with their Swords by their sides, and the commons Souldiers with Cudgels in their hands (which with a little Printing will perhaps grow to be Swords next weeke) all they suffered to take away [were] such goods as were properly and truly theirs. And so this proud City which had so long bid defiance to their native and gracious Soveraigne was at last reduced into the power of His Sacred Majesty, and that noble and valiant Gentleman Sir John Berkley who had deserved so much in the whole course of this service was declared Governour thereof. It was observed, that when the Officers and Souldiers issued out of the Towne, the Earle of Stamford was found missing, and no word as yet what became of the man. We say not this, that we thinke he was slaine in defence of that factious City, but that his Conscience did so check him, both for his causelesse taking up of Armes against His Soveraigne and his perverse pursuance of it (which made his Majesty except him in so many of his Proclamations and Declarations) that he durst not trust himselfe unto this agreement, but privately slipt out of the Towne in some poore disguise. And so the noble, valiant, chaste Earl of Stamford, full of vertue and honour, crept out of Exceter after he had begged his life, who not two dayes agoe told the Prince, that not want of courage or sufficient meanes for his subsistence in the Citie, but an earnest desire to come and die in His Majesties favour had made him doe what he did. || John Berkenhead/Peter Heylyn – Mercurius Aulicus (R)

The relieving of Glocester is an action so full of honour, that the losse of Excester (after fifteen weekes siege, being manfully defended that time, by the Earle of Stamford) is not so considerable, as the losse of our reputation, if Glocester had not beene relieved:¹ The Governour, Colonell Massey, had but two barrells of powder left, when my Lord Generall entered Glocester, but now he is furnished with plenty of ammunition and victualls: if the Cavaliers had beene so valiant, as Master Aulicus boasts them to be, they would have adventured the whole body of their Army to have prevented the relieving of that Towne, but the issue is, the King is fled to Worcester, the Lord Generall is marched after him, it is pitty the enemy will not stand by it, and abide the brunt of a Battell, then there were some hopes of an end to be put to these miseries. || Robert White & George Bishop – Mercurius Britanicus (P)

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¹The Earl of Essex had arrived near Gloucester on 5th September, and occupied the city on the 8th.

Alleged Royalist “impositions” on Bristol

In Bristol on August 23 at 12:36 am

23 Aug 1643 (Wed) || As for the City of Bristoll, besides the savage usage of the women and virgins there, [our scout] tells us that there are such impositions laid upon friend and foe, that they cry out, and some have sent to his Majesty to get ease. So that they that were so willing to have the towne surrendred, are like to smart as well as the other party, but that which sets that losse at so high a price, there are Letters come, that say, that the Dutch, had not Bristoll been taken, would have adventured great summes upon the former act, for the recovery of Ireland, but understanding of the losse of the aforesaid place, will doe nothing. || John Dillingham – The Parliament Scout (P)

Ingler corrects Dorchester report

In Dorset, ECW editor's comment on August 19 at 1:33 am

19 Aug 1643 (Sat) || Whereas a temerarious¹ Relation was inserted into the last weekes Informations, about the late yeilding of Dorchester,² because it was desitute of its Souldiers 600. of them being with the Earle of Warwicke, and that Sir Walter Erle should have 1200. more of them against Corfe Castle, and that therefore the Town was forced to yeild because it had not above two or 300. souldiers to defend it, and that Sir Walter Erle should write so to the  Parliament, which Relation being erroneous, and not rightly bottomed, I have thought fit to retract, that the truth may be vindicated, and that no prejudice may reflect upon those whom it may concerne. Wherefore I affirme (having now been rightly informed) that Sir Walter Erle wrote not so to the Parliament as was related, that the Earle of Warwicke had but 200 of their souldiers, whom he sent back againe; that Sir Walter Erle had but about 200. foot besides his own Troope of horse against Corfe Castle, and that when Dorchester was yeilded, there were about six or 700. Souldiers in the Town, who perhaps might have defended it for a time, because there was not so great a number as 5. or 6000. that came against them. This being the truth, the dissonancy between verity & error I hope is cleered, concluding with the Moralist, Humanum est errare, sed beluinum in errore perseverare. || William Ingler – Certaine Informations (P)

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¹ Reckless; rash
² See report on 11 August

Dorchester yields to the Royalists

In Dorset on August 11 at 1:06 am

11 Aug 1643 (Fri) || Since Dorchester was yeilded up to the Cavaliers, the Reports are come that Lyme and Poole are also rendred and have submitted themselves to the Yoks of slavish bondage. And the reason why Dorchester yeilded upon the first summons, was, because it was destitute of the souldiers the inhabitants had raysed for the defence thereof, for the Earle of Warwicke had 600 of them for the Excester expedition: and Sir Walter Earle had 1200 more of them against Corfe Castle, and what could the residue being about 200. doe against 5. or 6000. cavaliers, especially when they could hope for no reliefe nor aide. As for Sir Walter Erle, he was forced to raise his siege from before Corfe Castle and he is since arrived at London, with about 120. horse, which are now quartered at Fulham in the County of Middlesex.¹ || William Ingler – Certaine Informations (P)

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¹ Ingler retracted the details of the report on 19 Aug, admitting they were incorrect.

Nathaniel Fiennes explains his decision to surrender Bristol

In Bristol on August 6 at 7:14 pm

Sunday 6 Aug 1643 || For the losse of Bristoll, the late Governour thereof Colonell Natt: Fynes gives this account to justifie himselfe in the surrendring up thereof, he affirmed that after three dayes assault, and the slaughter of many hundreds of the enemy (amongst whom were Colonell Sir Richard Slanning, Colonell Lunsford the younger, and Colonell Bucke Slaine, the Lord Grandison and John Belassis, desperately wounded) the enemy entred the breach, and wunne the Suburbs, whereupon it was held fit to Parley, and it is true, conditions of Surrender were agreed on, which if they had been performed, was conceived to be more advantagious, then to Retreat from the Town to the Castle, which was victualled but for three moneths for eight hundred men, and there were but fifty barrels of powder in the Castle (the Castle Commands the whole Town at pleasure) & divers of the Gent of Somerset conceived the Surrender on the conditions to be more advantagious, besides no liklyhood of aid from hence in any time, which reasons, with other, induced the surrender, and hardly any of the conditions were performed on the other side. But yet Prince Rupert (as the Governour saith) was very Noble in doing his endeavour to prevent disorder, but could not prevaile with the Common Souldier: yet for all this the Governour is to be tryed by a Councell of War. || Richard Collings – The Kingdome’s Weekly Intelligencer (P)

Royalists reportedly impose heavy taxes on Bristol

In Bristol on August 3 at 11:59 am

3 Aug 1643 (Thu) || Since the Surrendring of Bristoll, it is reported, that the King hath forbidden the Inhabitants thereof to pay any money that they owe to the City of London, but they must pay them yo such as He hath appointed to receive them, and that He will give them discharges for such debts, which, if it be true, how contrary such Commands are to Gods word, any man may discerne that readeth Ezek. 45.9.

And now it is more fully related, that Bristoll hath beene pillaged, and whereas they had compounded to pay 50000. pounds; Prince Rupert hath imposed 150000. pounds upon then, and they are also commanded to maintaine 6000. men in garrison, and to set forth 30. ships presently for the Kings service, whence they may perceive that their cowardly yeilding, hath brought upon themselves, a slavish and arbitrary government, and whereas not long since they refused to lend Sir William Waller 10000. pounds, they are now forced to part with greater summers, but it may be, as seemeth by their easie yeilding, they love the Cavaliers better then them, and desire to be rid of their moneys by force and constraint, and then, Volenti non fit injuria.¹ || William Ingler – Certaine Informations (P)

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¹ “To a willing person, no injury is done”; a principle of law, by which if someone willingly puts themselves in danger, they can’t blame anyone else.

Bristol surrenders to the Royalists

In Bristol on July 27 at 6:22 pm

27 Jul 1643 (Thu) || This day came the newes from Bristol, on which His Majesties Army which lay about it had given a brave and gallant onset the day before, and gained the out-workes, (though with the losse of one of those three brave brothers the Lunsfords, and the wounding of some noble and valiant Gentlemen, as the Lord Grandison, Colonel Bellasis, Sir Nicholas Slayning,¹ and some others, who all carried themselves as bravely as themselves can wish, or we possibly imagine: ) insomuch that the Rebels seeing in what case they were, did earnestly desire a parley; the effect and issue of which was, that the Citie and Castle should be delivered by nine of the clocke this day to His Sacred Majestie, with all the Ordnance, armes, and Ammunition, the Citie to be left to the disposall of His Majestie, the Officers and Commanders to be dismissed in safety with their swords by their sides, the common Souldiers with no other weapons ten sticks or cudgels in their hands: which being condescended and agreed upon, was performed accordingly, His Majesties Forces takng possession at the time appointed: in which was found (as it is confidently reported) about 80 Peece of Ordnance mounted, many hundred Barrels of Powder, 6000 Armes, with other Ammunition answering thereunto. But for the certainty of these particulars, I have it onely by report, and not by Letters.  || John Berkenhead/Peter Heylyn – Mercurius Aulicus (R)

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¹ Grandison died of his wounds in September; Slanning at the scene.

Royalists gain Taunton & Bridgwater

In Somerset on June 10 at 8:22 pm

10 Jun 1643 (Sat) || This  day there also came a punctuall information of the successe which had befallen the Marquesse of Hartford and Sir Ralph Hopton since the conjunction of their forces. There had been a report on Sunday that the Marquesse passing by the Towne of Dorchester, and Sir Ralph Hopton leaving forces to block up Exeter, were to meete that night; and with their joint power take some course for the reduction of Somerset-shire to His Majesties service. And it was certified this day, that with their whole forces, amounting to 9000 men and upwards they drew towards Taunton, a towne of great comand and consequence in those parts of Somerset: and by their coming strooke such a terrour into the inhabitants, that they desired to be admitted to His Majesties favour upon such conditions, as should be agreed upon betwixt them. Whch were in fine to this effect, that the inhabitants should be free from plunder, and imprisonment, that the Towne and Castle should be delivered to His Majestie with all the Ordnance, Armes, and Ammunition, which was found therein, and that the people should afford the Army free quarter and a whole weekes pay. This being condescended and agreed upon, His Majesties forces tooke possession of the Towne and Castle, in which they found 6 peece of Ordnance, 500 Armes, 19 double barrels of powder, a tun of match, with bullet, and other things thereto proportionable. The newes whereof being brought to Bridgewater a towne of great importance also, which hitherto had held on the Rebels side; they sent unto the Marquesse to desire that their submission might be taken on the like conditions: which being yeilded to, they gave up the Towne, and in the same 8 peece of Ordnance, with Ammunition, Armes, and other necessaries proportionable to so many Ordnance. By meanes whereof His Majesty is already master of the most part of that County, there being but few places in it which are able to resist in the lease degree, and the most active and considerable of the Rebels being fled to Bristoll, as their onely Sanctuary in the West. || John Berkenhead/Peter Heylyn – Mercurius Aulicus (R)

Out of the West is is informed, that the Towne of Taunton in Somersetshire had fortified themselves with Outworkes, Ordinance, and a Garrison of 5000. of the trained bands of the County, but that upon the approach of 2000. Hoptonians, the bands ran away, and left the towne to discretion, which hath compounded with them for the delivery of their armes and Ordnance, and a thousand pound ransome. And that Bridgewater, a towne neer thereunto, was also deserted by their Forces, where the enemy had of them their armes, Ordnance, and 500.li in money to save them from pillaging. England, henceforward trust not trayned bands, nor ordinary Troopers, for they have proved cowardly and treacherous.  || William Ingler – Certaine Informations (P)

Parliament’s forces take Warrington

In Cheshire on May 30 at 9:21 am

30 May 1643 (Tue) || From Manchester in Lancashire they write, that Colonell Aston with his Army hath beseiged the Towne of Warrington, lying upon the River Mersey, which severeth the Counties of Chester and Lancaster, and that after a weekes siege he took the great Streete and the Church, with the steeple, which was abandoned by the Enemie, as being not tenable for their purpose; and that the Enemie thee, had so foreclosed the rest of the Streets in that Town, with strong Barricadoes and Pallisadoes, (having had a long time to doe it) that he could not yet force his entrance into them, unlesse he could mount his Ordnance upon the steeple, which commandeth the whole Towne. And they write further from thence, that one of the Parliaments ships under the Earle of Warwickes Command, came into the Harbour at Leverpole, which so affrighted the Earle of Derbyes forces there, that they presently left the Towne, by which meanes the mariners in the ship have with the more facility seized upon it. And they also say that colonell Tillesley, who is the onely man of note now left in that County for the Earle of Derby, is gotten on foote againe with some of his lewd adherents, and that he beginneth anew to imbroile the northerne parts of the County. || William Ingler – Certaine Informations (P)