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the enemy from three miles short of Harborough to nine beyond, even to the sight of Leicester, whither the King fled.
• Sir, this is none other but the hand of God ; and to Him alone belongs the glory, wherein none are to share with Him. The General served you with all laithfulness and honor: and the best commendation I can give him is, That I daresay he attributes all to God, and would rather perish than assume to himself. Which is an honest and a thriving way :—and yet as much for bravery may be given to him, in this actiom 9 s to a man. Honest men served you faithfully in this action. Sir, they are trusty: I beseech you, in the name of God, not to discourage them. I wish this action may beget thankfulness and humility in all that are concerned in it. He that ventures his life for the liberty of his country, I wish he trust God for the liberty of his conscience, and you for the liberty he fights for. In this he rests, who is
Your most humble servant,
-*-John Bunyan, I believe, is this night in Leicester,—not yet writing his Pilgrim's Progress on paper, but acting it on the face of the Earth, with a brown matchlock on his shoulder. Or rather, without the matchlock, just at present; Leicester and he having been taken the other day. 'Harborough Church' is getting 'filled with prisoners' while Oliver writes,—and an immense contemporaneous tumult everywhere going on! "TThe 'honest men who served you faithfully on this occasion' are the considerable portion of the Army who have not yet succeeded in bringing themselves to take the Covenant. Whom the Presbyterian Party, rigorous for their own formula, call 'Schismatics,' 'Sectaries,' 'Anabaptists,' and other hard names; whom Cromwell, here and elsewhere, earnestly pleads for. To Cromwell, perhaps as much as to another, order was lovely, and disorder hateful; but he discerned better than some others what order and disorder really were. The forest-trees are not in ' order' because they are all clipt into he same shape of Dutch dragons, and forced to die or grow in that way; but because in each of them there is the same genuine unity of life, from the inmost pith to the utmost leaf, and they do grow according to that!— Cromwell naturally became the head of this Schismatic Party,
• Harl Mss., no. 7502, art. 5, p. 7; Rushworth, vi., 45. VOL. I. 9
intent to grow not as Dutch dragons, but as real trees; a Party which naturally increased with the increasing earnestness of events and of men.—
The King stayed but a few hours in Leicester; he had taken Leicester, some days before, and it was retaken from him some days after:—he stayed but a few hours here; rode on, that same night, to Ashby de la Zouch, which he reached 'at daybreak,'— poor wearied King!—then again swiftly Westward, to Wales, to Ragland Castle, to this place and that; in the hope of raising some force, and coming to fight again; which however he could never do.* Some ten months more of roaming, and he, 'disguised as a groom,' will be riding with Parson Hudson towards the Scots at Newcastle.
The New-Model Army marched into the Southwest; very soon 'relieved Colonel Robert Blake' (Admiral Blake), and many others ;—marched to ever new exploits and victories, which excite the pious admiration of Joshua Sprigge; and very soon swept all its enemies from the field, and brought this War to a close.f
The following Letters exhibit part of Cromwell's share in that business, and may be read with little commentary.
* Iter Carolinum; being a succinct Relation of the necessitated Marches, Retreats and Sufferings of his Majesty Charles the First, from 10 January, 1641, till the time of his Death, 1648: Collected by a daily Attendant upon his Sacred Majesty during all the said time. London, 1660.—It is reprinted in Somers Tracts (v., 263), but, as usual there, without any editing except a nominal one, though it somewhat needed more.
t A Journal of every day's March of the Army under his Excellency Sit Thomas Fairfax (in Sprigge, p. 331).
The victorious Army, driving all before it in the Southwest, where alone the King had still any considerable fighting force, found itself opposed by a very unexpected enemy, famed in the old Pamphlets by the name of Clubmen. The design was at bottom Royalist; but the country people in those regions had been worked upon by the Royalist Gentry and Clergy, on the somewhat plausible ground of taking up arms to defend themselves against the plunder and harassment of both Armies. The great mass of them were Neutrals; there even appeared by and by various transient bodies of ' Clubmen' on the Parliament side, whom Fairfax entertained occasionally to assist him in pioneering and other such services. They were called Clubmen, not, as M. Villemain supposes,* because they united in Clubs, but because they were armed with rough country weapons, mere bludgeons if no other could be had. Sufficient understanding of them may be gained from the following letter of Cromwell, prefaced by some Excerpts.
From Rushworth: 'Thursday, July 3d, Fairfax marched from Blandford to Dorchester, 12 miles; a very hot day. Where Colonel Sidenham, Governor of Weymouth, gave him information of the condition of those parts; and of the great danger from the Club-risers;' a set of men 'who would not suffer either contribution or victuals to be carried to the Parliament's garrisons. And the same night Mr. Hollis of Dorsetshire, the chief leader of the Clubmen, with some others of their principal men, came to Fairfax: and Mr. Hollis owned himself to be one of their
* Our French friends ought to be informed that M. Villemain's Book on Cromwell is, unluckily, a rather ignorant and shallow one.—Of M. Guizot, on the other hand, we are to say that his Two Volumes, so far as they go, are the fruit of real ability and solid studies applied to those Transactions
Leaders; affirming that it was fit the people should show their grievances and their strength. Fairfax treated them civilly, and promised they should have an answer the next morning. For they were so strong at that time, that it was held a point of prudence to be fair in demeanor towards them for a while; for if he should engage with General Goring, and be put to the worst, these Clubmen would knock them on the head as they should fly for safety.—That which they desired from him was a safe-conduct for certain persons to go to the King and Parliament with petitions ;'* which Fairfax in a very mild but resolute manner refused.
From Sprigge,-)- copied also into Rushworth with some inaccuracies: 'On Monday, August 4th, Lieutenant-General Cromwell having intelligence of some of their places of rendezvous for their several divisions, went forth' from Sherborne ' with a party of Horse to meet these Clubmen; being well satisfied of the danger of their design. As he was marching towards Shaftesbury with the party, they discovered some colors upon the top of a high Hill, full of wood and almost inaccessible. A Lieutenant with a small party was sent to them to know their meaning, and to acquaint them that the Lieutenant-General of the Army was there; whereupon Mr. Newman, one of their leaders, thought fit to come down, and told us, The intent was desire to know why the gen tlemen were taken at Shaftesbury on Saturday? The Lieutenant-General returned him this answer: That he held himself not bound to give him or them an account; what was done was by authority; and they that did it were not responsible to them that had none: but not to leave them wholly unsatisfied, he tcld him, Those persons so met had been the occasion and stirrers of many tumultuous and unlawful meetings; for which they were to be tried by law; which trial ought not by them to be questioned or interrupted. Mr. Newman desired to go up to return the answer; the Lieutenant-General with a small party went with him; and had some conference with the people; to this purpose: That whereas they pretended to meet there to save their goods, they took a very ill course for that: to leave their
houses was the way to lose their goods; and it was offered thorn, That justice should be done upon any who offered them violence; and as for the gentlemen taken at Shaftesbury, it was only to answer some things they were accused of, which they had done contrary to law and the peace of the Kingdom.—Herewith they seeming to be well satisfied, promised to return to their houses j and accordingly did so.
'These being thus quietly sent home, the Lieutenant-General advanced further, to a meeting of a great number, of about 4,000, who betook themselves to Hambledon Hill, near Shrawton. At the bottom of the Hill ours met a man with a musket, and asked, Whither he was going? he said, To the Club Army; ours asked, What he meant to do? he asked, What they had to do with that? Being required to lay down his arms, he said he would first lose his life; but was not so good as his word, for though he cocked, and presented his musket, he was prevented, disarmed, and wounded, but not'—Here however is Cromwell's own narrative:
To (he Right Honorable Sir Thomas Fairfax, Commander in Chief of the Parliament's Forces,' at Sherborne: These.'
• Shaftesbury,' 4th August, 1645.
I marched this morning towards Shaftesbury. In my way I found a party of Clubmen gathered together, about two miles on this side of the Town, towards you; and one Mr. Newman in the head of them,—who was one of those that did attend you at Dorchester, with Mr. Hollis. I sent to them to know the cause of their meeting: Mr. Newman came to me; and told me, That the Clubmen in Dorset and Wilts, to the number of ten thousand, were to meet about their men who were taken away at Shaftesbury, and that their intendment was to secure themselves from plundering; To the first I told them, That although no account was due to them, yet I knew the men were taken by your authority, to be tried judicially for raising a Third Party in the Kingdom ; and if they should be found guilty, they must suffer according to the nature of their offence; if innocent, I assured them you would acquit them. Upon this they said, If they have deserved punishment, they would not have anything to do with them ; and so were quieted as to that point. For the other ' point,' I assured them, That it was your great care, not to suffer them in the least to be plundered, and that they should