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In the same month of January, 1644, the Scot- Entrance of
the Scots. tish army, consisting of 17,000 foot and 3000 horse,“ entered England. The roads were excessively deep, and this brave army wanted those improvements in travelling which render a modern campaigh so comparatively easy. The men often marched knee-deep in the snow, and the subsequent thaw rendered their march still more dread. ful. Frequently were they obliged to repose in the fields, while the precautions of the enemy reduced them to great straits for subsistence. Having reached Newcastle, they summoned it to surrender in the name of the committee of both kingdoms; but the spirit of the governor and garrison convinced them that it would only be won with difficulty. Their situation was now critical. The Marquis of Newcastle, strengthened with forces from Durham, and twelve troops of horse from Yorkshire, watched their motions with an army of 14,000; and having shewn a disposition to fight, which the nature of the ground prevented the Scots, who in two skirmishes were successful, from meeting with action, retired upon Durham-house with a view of straitening their quarters, when he carried and drove almost every thing moveable before him. Five vessels had been sent from Scotland with provisions ; but three of them had been wrecked, and the other two, having been
ordaining that no quarter should be given to a body of men that allowed none. The fact is, that the ordinance was invariably acted upon, and that Rupert's denial of quarter occurred some months anterior
driven by stress of weather into Sunderland, fell into the enemy's hands. The army was therefore reduced to such a condition, that it was frequently without the necessaries of life, and never had more than a supply for twenty-four hours at a time. In the neighbourhood of Newcastle, however, they might procure provisions for themselves ; but they wanted forage for the horses : By advancing they secured the latter, but exposed themselves to the want of the former: By sending forward their horse, while they detained the foot, they would have hazarded the ruin of the army; since the marquis could encounter the foot with all his forces, and then return against the latter. It was prudently determined on, therefore, to march for: ward, in the face of all difficulties, into the heart of England, leaving the town of Newcastle in the possession of the enemy. A fresh victory of Sir Thomas Fairfax brought them unexpected relief *.
The parliament conceiving, that while the mar. quis watched the motions of the Scottish army, now was the time to reduce the whole of Yorkshire, sent orders to Lord Fairfax, and his son Sir Thomas, to seize the opportunity. The latter having received the orders, left the prosecution of the seige of Latham-house, in which he was then engaged, to his brother Sir William, Colonel Ashton, Rigby, and others, and hastened to join his father. Colonel Bellasis, who had been deputed by the
* Rush. vol. y. p. 603, et seq.
Marquis of Newcastle to the command in York-
Fairfax joined the Scottish army at Tadcaster Siege of
* Rush. vol. v. p. 618, et seq.
before proceeding farther, we shall give a succint account of his army and its proceedings *.
In the preceding year, Manchester had undertaken to the parliament to raise an army out of the associated counties of Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Hertford, Cambridge, Huntingdon, and Lincoln, with the Isle of Ely, in order to co-operate with the forces under Cromwell. The earl appointed that intrepid and able commander his lieutenantgeneral, and, in a short time, found himself at the head of fourteen thousand men. For the regular support of this new army, after it had performed some gallant feats, the parliament passed an ordi. nance for assessments in the associated counties; and it was soon put into an excellent condition. On the third of May it sat down before Lincoln, and immediately took the lower part of the city. The beseiged retreated to the minster and the castle, on the top of an eminence; and, on the 6th, a fall of rain having retarded operations, Manchester carried these by storm, when the governor and officers, with 700 private foot, and 100 horse, were taken prisoners, besides the arms and eight pieces of ordnance. What enhanced the victory was its being gained with the loss of only eight men. Af: ter this he made a disposition to watch the motions of Sir Charles Lucas, whom the Marquis of New. castle had sent with a large body of horse to forage in the neighbourhood, and then joined the united army at York. But part of the parliamentary army
* Rush. vol. v. p. 620.
had also been sent to Lancashire under Sir John Meldrum, and there had been great loss during the siege *.
Charles regarded York as so important a place, that he conceived the loss of it to be almost equi. valent to the loss of his crown, and he commanded Rupert to march to its relief, and endeavour to beat the rebel army of both kingdoms as the only prospect which the monarch had to spin out time till Rupert himself should come to his assistance t. Rupert had lately performed some great exploits. He had relieved Newark with great loss to the op. posite party; and having then marched into Shropshire, had taken the garrison of Longford, near Newport. He next proceeded to the relief of Latham-house, where the Countess of Derby, during a close seige, had made a noble defence. In his route, however, he carried Stopworth, in Cheshire, on the banks of the Mersey, with the cannon, and ammunition, and some hundred prisoners. The parliamentary party before Latham-house, on the approach of so superior a force, retreated to Bolton; but Rupert having followed them, carried that town also in spite of a gallant defence. The
* Rush. vol. v. p. 621, et seq.
+ See the king's letter to him in the Append. to Evelyn's Mem. p. 86, et seq. This letter is extremely valuable, as it forms a powerful vindication for Rupert, and it is a proof how memoirs are got up; that in those of the house of Somerville, it is said, that Essex's army had been ruined in the south, so that Rupert had no motive for fighting; whereas the ruin of Essex's army occurred on the first of September following. Clarendon pretends that the letter, which he alludes to, could not bear that construction. But I cannot conceive that there is room for doubt on the subject. Vol. iv. p. 505, 506.