Tyger's Head Books

Posts Tagged ‘women’s actions’

More details behind women’s petition riot emerge

In London on August 14 at 2:36 pm

14 Aug 1643 (Mon) || On Saterday last there was one Mistris Jorden a Citizen brought a Petition o the House of Commons, desireing leave to go into Holland, for that she went in great Jeopardy of her life here amongst her own Neighbours, in that she refused to joyn with them in their tumultuous rising against the Parliament on the Wednesday before, and being examined before the whole house, touching that tumult she declared at the Commons Barr, that she heard one Master Knowles in Chancery lane affirme, that many of the Women had been with a great Earle in this Kingdome, (whom that night or the next morning with some others in companie made escape from the Parliament and (as tis thought) gone to Oxford) who encouraged them in that tumultuous manner to come downe to the Parliament under pretence for peace, and told them that all the Lords but the Lord Say were for the Propositions for peace, and so also all of the House of Commons except foure or five, and that if they came downe in that manner but 3. or 4. dayes together these propositions for peace would passe the Houses and they would then have peace, but a very strange peace it would have beene certainely, when after the profuse expence of so much blood as hath beene spent in this warre, wee shall be left in a worse condition then we were at first, and surrender up all to the bare will and pleasure of his Majesty, or rather of his seducing Counsellors without any provision made for the securing of our Religion, Lawes, or Liberties otherwise then in such manner as His Majesty shall approve of, or give consent[;] which information of Mistris Jordans the Commons referred to a Committee throughly to examine the whole businesse, which Committee had appointed to sit on monday following about it, but on Monday the first thing we heard on, was that the said great Earle concerned in that businesse was escaped from the Parliament as aforesaid.

And since that wee understand from Windsor, that the Earle of Holland, Earle of Bedford, Lord Lovelace and Lord Conway are all gone to His Majesty; that some of the Souldiers at Windsor persued them to Marlow, where they found the Earle of Holland at his Daughter the Lady Pagetts House, but had so stronge a guard upon the House, they could doe no good with so small a force, and retreated backe to Windsor for more ayde, in the meane time the Earle went for Oxford, but Colonell Ven hath mett with some of Trunkes that were going after him, wherein doubtlesse there is some good booty.  || A continuation Of certain Speciall and Remarkable passages (P)

Women’s petition presentation dissolves into riot

In London on August 10 at 8:40 pm

10 Aug 1643 (Thu) || In regard that various reports do goe abroad, concerning the womens coming to Westminster to the Parliament House, on Wednesday last, to Petition for Peace, and that they were some wounded and some slaine (onely Petitioning for Peace, as the Malignants report and give out, and disperse their letters into all parts to that purpose, to incence the people against the Parliament) I shall relate the whole matter as neere as I can (which is like to be the last intelligence will be given, in regard we shall by the next weeke be drawne into the field to attend Martiall affairs.)¹ On Munday the Lord Major, Aldermen and Common Councell came with a Petition to the Parliament, shewing their great feares, that if the Propositions sent downe from the Lords (wherein no one Clause was to bring to Justice any one Papist or Delinquent, that have stirred the King up to this unnaturall Warre against the Parliament) should be yeilded unto, it would be destructive to our Religion, Lawes and Liberties … This Petition was likewise accompanied (contrary to the desire of the Lord Maior, Aldermen, and Common Councell, the Representative body of the City) with at least a thousand of the meaner sort of Citizens, who came in a civill manner, without any weapons, and departed assoone as the Parliament declared a dislike of their coming; […] The Malignants upon this consulted what to doe, to worke their ends, by possessing the people, the Parliament was against Peace […] to operate with them, to act violence, upon The Notion, the Parliament is against Peace, to bring their ends to passe: They that Munday night (though the Plot was laid before in Tompkins designe)² put on those women that were Ring-leaders of the crew, to get such women in and about the City of London and Suburbs, as were desirous of Peace (as they pretended) to come to the Parliament house to cry for Peace, which was to the women (nay to all Christians ought to be) a pleasing thing, and thereupon some out of an earnest desire for Peace, others out of the designe, came on Tuesday to Westminster, with white silke Ribbands in their hats, and cryed for Peace, Committed no great disorder, but when their saw their own time, went home againe:

The next day they came againe, neither the Parliament, nor City giving any order to the Trained bands to hinder them, least it should be reported they would hinder any for coming to Petition for Peace; and some in name of the rest came & delivered their Petition, entituled, the humble Petition of Many Civilly-disposed Women, (though their actions were quite contrary) which Petition the House of Commons received and read the same (there being little exception to be taken unto it) and sent them out Sir John Hepsley, and four or five more, to returne them an answer, satisfactory enough, if they had beene reasonable Creatures; but they were so farre from being satisfied with it, that Sir John Hepsley and the rest received such course usage from them, that they desired no more of such imployment: By twelve a clocke these women increased to the number of five or six thousand at least, besides the men Malignants that were amongst them, who clapt them on their backes and bid them not to be afraid, but to go on (notwithstanding their Petition) to the House of Commons doore, and cry for Peace: And accordingly they came againe to the doore of the House at the upper staires head, and assoone as they were past a part of the Trained Band that usually stood Centinell there, they thrust them downe by the head and shoulders, and would suffer none to come in or out of the Parliament house for two hours together, the trayned Band advised them to come downe, and pulled them, for this they cared not, crying nothing but powder, and having Brickbats in the yards, threw them very fast at the trained Bands, and disarmed some of them, which some beggarly fellows whom the Malignants had caused to come to assist the women, seeing their courage, threw stones also at the trained souldiers, whereupon they were forced to shoot bullets in their owne defence, and killed a Ballad-singer with one arme, for you must know (except some few women) these women were for the most part, Whores, Bawdes, Oyster-women, Kitchen-stuffe women, Beggar women, and the very scum of the Suburbs, besides abundance of Irish women: There was likewise a poore man slaine who came accidentally; notwithstanding this example, these women were not any whit scared or ashamed of their incivilities, but cryed out so much the more, even at the doore of the house of Commons, Give us these Traytors that are against peace, that we may teare them in pieces, Give us Pym in the first place[;] they were perswaded to forbeare to use such language of the Parliament and to depart, but they cryed out so much the more; all this while the Parliament was in a manner Prisoners, the guard could not in two houres make way to the House, to bring them downe, being loath to offer violence to women, at last ten Troopers (some of them Cornets) came to passe by the women, who had their Colours in their hats, which the women seeing, made 2 of them take their Ribbands out of their hats[;] not contented with that, they offered to do the like to the rest, & laid violent hands upon them, whereupon, they drew their Swords, and laid on some of them with their Swords flat-wayes for a good space, which they regarded not, but enclosed them, upon this they then cut them on the face and hands, and one woman lost her nose, whom they say is since dead[;] as soon as the rest of the women saw blood once drawne, they ran away from the Parliament House, and dispersed themselves in smaller numbers, into the Church-yards, Pallace, and other places; and about an houre after the House was up, a Troope of horse came, and cudgelled such as staid, with their Kanes, and dispersed them, and unhappily a maid servant, that had nothing to do with the Tumult, but passing through the Church-yard (which may be a warning to people to keep out of unlawfull Assemblies) was shot; the Malignants say, it was done by a Trooper that rid up to her, and shot her purposely, others say it went off by mischance, which way soever it was done, it was unfortunate, but the man was immediatly sent to prison to the Gatehouse, and is to be tryed for the fact;

Divers people going amongst the women, asked them who put them on to this businesse, they said they were at such a Lords House, and he bid them go to the house of Commons, for they were against Peace[;] others said, they had those to countenance them, in this businesse, that would not desert them; being asked where they got so many hundred yards of silke Ribbin to wear in their hats, some said at the Lady Brunckhards house in Westminster, others that [it] came from the otherside of the water, had some at a Ladies house in Southwarke, and so others at other Ladies houses in other parts of the Suburbs: The parties that appeared openly to countenance them: were Sergeant Francis, who is sent to the Lord Generall to be tried by a Counsell of War, another was one Master Pulford whom the Parliament hath likewise committed, upon Information of his countenancing these women, at the house of Commons doore: this is the true Relation of the whole businesse in effect, which no Malignant can deny; and let the world judge if there were any possibility (all faire meanes taking no effect) to appease these Tumults without mischiefe. || Richard Collings – The Kingdome’s Weekly Intelligencer (P)

¹ Collings was a soldier; the Intelligencer was silent for three months, reappearing in November.
² Nathaniel Tomkins, a ring-leader in “Waller’s Plot”, a plan to deliver the City of London to the King; the plot was discovered in May, and Tomkins executed in July.

Sir William Waller faces Worcester

In Worcestershire on June 3 at 4:13 pm

3 Jun 1643 (Sat) || It had been signified betimes on Munday morning, that Sir William Waller was upon his march towards Worcester the day before; and that he did intend to besiege that City; and so accordingly he did: on which advertisement His Majestie gave present order for three Regiments of horse and dragoons to be sent speedily away to releive the same. But before these succours were advanced, Waller perceiving that it was not like to prove such an easie businesse, as that of Hereford had beene, was fallen back againe: it being certified this day, that giving an Assault upon the Towne and being valiantly repulsed with the losse of 140 of his men, he had left the enterprize, and was retreating backe againe to his hold at Glocester.

Before Waller came to besiege Worcester, he sent Tickets signed with his owne hand (dated May 29.) which by some private brethren were scattered about the streetes in the night, on purpose to raise a facitous party amongst them, the Copy I have here set downe, viz.

 To all Gentlemen, and other Inhabitants of the City of Worcester.

As many of you as are sensible of the danger of your Religion, your persons, and goods, and the priviledges of your Corporation, are desired to declare your selves sensible of them at this opportunity. It being my errand (by the helpe of God) to rescue them from the oppressions of your present Governours. And I promise that all such as shall appeare willin to welcome my Endeavour shall not onely be received to free quarter but protected to the utmost of my power.

May 29. 1643. William Waller.

But all these tricks would not draw the honest and loyall Inhabitants of Worcester from their Allegiance, for they continued very resolute, resolving to die before they would betray their Wives, Children, and themselves to the Rebels. Sir William sent a Trumpeter to summon in the Towne, but Colonell Sands told him that he was not now at Hereford, and bad him be gone; the fellow said he would carry a more mannerly answer to Sir William the Colonell told him hee should have no other, and bad him againe be gone, and so turned away to looke after other businesse; the fellow would not stirre till the Guard sent to the Colonell to know what they should doe; upon which he and Sir John Beaumont came backe, and asked him why he gate him not away with his answer, he replyed as before, but farre more uncivilly; at which Sir John bade shoot at him, and Captaine gave fire towards him, and then he presently went away; but some say he was hurt, and died of that hurt, if he did he might thanke himselfe, who stood impudently there after his answer was given him three severall times. The Souldiers and Townesmen are of that brave courage that if Waller come back againe with above twice his number, he cannot fright them. but above all, the honest brave behaviour of the good women of the Towne is worthy observation, who did not onely encourage their husbands to stand it out bravely, telling them they would die with them in this just cause, but did also themselves run out of the Town (as soone as Waller was gone) and with their owne hands sleighted the worke that had sheltered his Musketeirs, and the day after very orderly levelled all the ditches in and about the Towne; which (if any thing) will make them so famous, that no honest maid of that Corporation shall hereafter want a good husband.  || John Berkenhead/Peter Heylyn – Mercurius Aulicus (R)

Out or Worcestershire they write, that about the later end of the last week, Sir William Waller came before the City of Worcester, with his Army and great Ordnance, and for a while battered it on the East side and after a daies siege he raysed his Army, and marched away, whereupon the Governour of the City sent immediatly tidings of great joy to Oxford, that he had beaten Sir William Waller from thence; but Sir William did this but in policy, to shew his Enemie a Strategem of warre, for he departed not quite away, but as they write, he wheeled about to Powick on the west side thereof, at St Johns, and giving there a fierce assault, where they least expected it, he entred the Suburbs and tooke them. || William Ingler – Certaine Informations (P)

More details emerge of Lord Herbert’s defeat

In Gloucestershire on March 31 at 3:30 pm

31 Mar 1643 (Fri) || This day, further Informations came out of Gloucestershire, concerning the defeat given to the Lord Herberts Welsh Army that besieged the City of Gloucester, as namely, that Sir William Waller tooke about 1300. of them prisoners, slew neere 600. of them, and that he tooke 5. peeces of Ordnance, 6. Troopes of brave horse, whereof one Troope consisted of as goodly horses as England could afford, and that he tooke also about 1500, Armes, the most of their Muskets being neere upon a foot longer, then all ordinary Muskets are, that amongst the Welsh were found many women, which had knives half a yard long, to effect some notable Massacres with them, and that Sir William waller put all his prisoners into one of the Churches in Gloucester, amongst whom there were many men of good note and quality, all which prisoners he intended to feed only with bread and water, and to afford them no better usage then the Parliaments party have received at Oxford, since their imprisonments in that place. || William Ingler – Certaine Informations (P)

Prisoners and wounded arrive at Oxford from Cirencester

In Gloucestershire, Oxford on February 12 at 7:00 pm

Sunday 12 Feb 1642/3 || By letters from Oxford this day was more fully related the passages of the bringing of the Cicester prisoners to Oxford. That upon the first report of their comming, there was at least 4000. of the Inhabitants that went out to see them, divers of the Court, and his Majesty a little way, the poore prisoners were tyed to one another with cords and match, though most of them were men of good worth and quality, and two of them Ministers, trashing through the myre and dirt, and when they came before his Majesty (too sad a spectacle for a Prince to looke upon) they were commanded in the open fields to fall downe upon their knees in all the myre and dirt to beg his Majesties grace and favour, which they were easily entreated to, the poor men upon the first sight of his Majesty, being not a little confident that the bowells of Princely mercy would be extended towards them, but they received no other answer but this. That they had brought misery upon themselves, and were presently carried into the Towne and imprisoned in two seveall Churches and kept there all night, not allowed either fireing, bread, or water, but a poore woman was passing by, and hearing their lamentable crye for water, water, undertooke to fetch them some, which one the Cavalliers perceiving gave her the Bastinado for it, but she being sensible of their misery, said she would fetch them water though she were hang’d for it; five or sixe of them with their miserable usage, and the wounds they received at Cicester dyed that night, and another distracted with his sufferings to expiate his present misery, cut his owne throat.

The next day they had the Oath tendred unto them that is before recited, and such of them as tooke the same, are set to worke at the out workes before Oxford and allowed some better meanes then the other, but not discharged: the rest are kept prisoners with bread and water.

There was also a whole Cart loade of wounded men of the Kings side brought to Oxford from Cicester. || Samuel Pecke – A Perfect Diurnall (P)

From Oxford it is informed, that the Cirencester men which were taken prisoners and brought thither, have submitted themselves to the King, and listed themselves for his souldiers, whereupon they are released out of restraint, have their Armes restored unto then, and march out daily to be excercised and trained; only fifty of them stand out and refuse to comply, and thereupon are inforced to work in the Trenches that are raising about that City. || William Ingler – Certaine Informations