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State of the respective Armies, fyc—Battle of Naseby.— Capture and Publication of Letters found in the Kings
Cabinet Farther Successes of the Parliamentary
Troops.—Fall of Bristol.—Retreat of the King to Oxford.—Motions of the Scots Actions of Montrose, and
his Defeat at Philliphaugh.—Transactions of Glamorgan.—Intrigues of the King.—Advance of Fairfax to Oxford, and Flight of Charles to the Scottish Army before Newark.— Termination of the War.—Fruitless Negotiation.—The King delivered up by the Scots.
The three parliamentary armies having been, by the ordinance of parliament, ordered to be reduced to one, the soldiers that had been under Essex mutinied, and eight troops, commanded by Colonel Dalbier, kept for some time at such a suspicious distance, that it was expected they would join the king*; but the soldier-like, masterly address of
» Rush. vol. vi. p. 18. If ever any letter was, as Hollis asserts, written by St. John to the committee of Hertfordshire, to fall upon any of the troops, it probably regarded those, which were alone suspected; and it is not easy to say what was to be done under such circumstances: Was it a time to talk of the ordinary process of law, which Hollis argues for, when their conduct evinced a disposition to join the adverse party?
VOL. IV. 15
Skippon, with the high estimation in which he was held by the whole military, soon brought the great body to order, and Dalbier also joined them *. All laxity of discipline was now dismissed, and throughout the whole ranks was kindled an enthusiasm for the cause as it involved both civil and religious rights. Fairfax having been sent down to join them, determined to waste no time in inactivity. Cromwell had come to Windsor, with the avowed purpose of taking leave of the general, on laying down his command, according to the self-denying ordinance, when the dispensation from parliament arrived, with orders to him to march on a particular servicef. The enemies of the new model cried out against it, predicting nothing but ruin from commanders devoid of experience; and Charles himself indulged in unworthy "remarks on the parliament's new British general V
In the west, the king had possession of the greater part of the country. All Cornwall was in his power ; and, in Devonshire, Plymouth was the only town garrisoned by the parliament. In Somerset, Taunton, the only town of that county, and indeed the only walled town in that quarter garrisoned there by the parliament, was closely besieged by Sir Richard 'Grenville, and in great distress; the excellent conduct of Blake having alone preserved it. In Dorset, the parliament still held Pool,
* Rush. vol. vii. p. 16, et seq. t lb. p. 23-4. Whitelocke, p. HI. i Baillie's Let. vol. ii. p. 91. 95. 98. 103, 104. 106. King's Cabinet Opened. Whitelocke, p. 140.
Lime, arid Weymouth; but the king, also, had possession of other places. In Wilts, Hants, Oxford, and Bucks, the places of strength were chiefly in possession of the king. In the midland counties, as Hereford, Worcester, Salop, Stafford, Chester, Leicester, Lincoln, and Nottingham, the majority of the forts were also occupied by him. Warwick and Northampton were chiefly garrisoned by the parliament forces; but the whole of Wales, with the exception of Pembroke town and castle, in South Wales, and Montgomery castle, in North Wales, were in possession of the king. Beyond the Trent, he still held some places; but this country in general was subjected to the parliament *.
At the commencement of the campaign, Fairfax himself proposed to march to the relief of Taunton; but, as the king's army became formidable in the midland counties, the committee of both kingdoms ordered the general to send a detachment only to the relief of that place, and himself besiege Oxford, and watch the royal motions. He therefore dispatched between 4000 and 5000 men to Taunton; and, having deceived the enemy by his countermarches, so that the besiegers imagined his whole force was directed against them, he proceeded back towards Oxford. But Goring, having been sent by the king with 3000 to join with Grenville, Hopeton, and Berkeley, their united forces being about 10,000, to renew the siege of Taunton, cooped up in the town the forces sent by
* Rush. vol. vi. p. 18, et seg.