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Line (and ' here' Captain Ireton * with a forlorn of Colonel Rich's regiment interposing with his Horse between the Enemy's Horse and Colonel Hammond, received a shot with two pistol-bullets, which broke his arm),—by means of this entrance of Colonel Hammond they did storm the Fort on that part which was inward;' and so' Colonel Rainsborough's and Colonel Hammond's men entered the Fort, and immediately put almost all the men in it to the sword.
And as this was the place of most difficulty, so ' it was' of most lose to us on that side,—and of very great honor to the undertaker. The Horse 'too' did second them with great resolution: both these Colonels do acknowledge that their interposition between the enemy's Horse and their Foot, was a great means of obtaining of this strong Fort. Without which all the rest of the line to Froom River would have done us little good; and indeed neither Horse nor Foot could have stood in all that way, in any manner of security, had not the Fort been taken.— Major Bethel's were the first Horse that entered the Line; who did behave himself gallantly; and was shot in the thigh, had one or two shot more, and had his horse shot under him. Colonel Birch with his men, and the Major-General's regiment, enlered with very good resolution where their post was; possessing the enemy's guns, and turning them upon them.
By this, all the line from Pryor's Hill Fort to Avon (which was a full mile), with all the forts, ordnance and bulwarks, were possessed by us; —save one, wherein were about Two hundred and twenty men of the Enemy; which the General summoned, and all the men submitted.
The success on Colonel Welden's side did not answer with this. And although the Colonels, and other the officers and soldiers both Horse and Foot, testified as much resolution as could be expected,— Colonel Welden, Colonel Ingoldsby, Colonel Herbert, and the rest ot the Colonels and officers, both of Horse and Foot, doing what could be well looked for from men of honor,—yet what by reason of the height of the works, which proved higher than report made them, and the shortness of the ladders, they were repulsed with the loss of about One hundred men. Colonel Fortescue's Lieutenant-Colonel was killed, and Major Cromwellf dangerously shot; and two of Colonel Ingoldsby's brothers hurt; with some officers.
Being possessed of thus much as hath been related, the Town was fired in three places by the Enemy; which we could not put out.
* This is not the famous Ireton; this is his Brother. 'Commissary. General Ireton,' as we have seen, is also here; he is not wedded yet t A cousin.
Which begat great trouble in the General, and us all; fearing to see so famous a City burnt to ashes before our faces. Whilst we were viewing so sad a spectacle, and consulting which way to make further advantage of our success, the Prince sent a trumpet to the General to desire a treaty for the surrender of the Town. To which the General n ^reed; and deputed Colonel Montague, Colonel Rainsborough, and Colonel Pickering for that service; authorizing them with instructions :o treat and conclude the Articles,—which 'accordingly' are these enclosed. For performance whereof hostages were mutually given.
On Thursday about two of the clock in the afternoon, the Prince marched out; having a convoy of two regiments of Horse from us; and making election of Oxford for the place he would go to, which he had liberty to do by his Articles.
The cannon which we have taken are about One hundred and forty mounted; about One hundred barrels of powder already come to our hands, with a good quantity of shot, ammunition, and arms. We have found already between Two and Three thousand muskets. The Royal Fort had victual in it for One hundred and fifty men, for Three hundred and twenty days; the Castle victualled for nearly half so long. The Prince had in foot of the Garrison, as the Mayor of the City informed ine, Two thousand five hundred, and about One thousand Horse, besides, the Trained Bands of the Town, and Auxiliaries One thousand, some say One thousand five hundred.—I hear but of one man that hath died of the plague in all our Army, although we have quartered amongst and in the midst of infected persons and places. We had not killed of ours in the Storm, nor in all this Siege, Two hundred men.
Thus I have given you a true, but not a full account of this great business; wherein he that runs may read, That all this is none other than the work of God. He must be a very Atheist that doth not acknowledge it
It may be thought that some praises are due to those gallant men, of whose valor so much mention is made:—their humble suit to you and all that have an interest in this blessing, is, That in the remembrance of God's praises they be forgotten. It's their joy that they are instruments of God's glory, and their country's good. It's their honor that God vouchsafes to use them. Sir, they that have been employed in this service know, that faith and prayer obtained this City for you: I do not say ours only, but of the people of God with you and all England over, who have wrestled with God for a blessing in this very thing. Our desires are that God may be glorified by the same spirit of faitb by which we ask all our sufficiency, and have received it. Tt is meet
He have all the praise. Presbyterians, Independents, all have here the same spirit of faith and prayer; the same presence and answer; they agree here, have no names of difference: pity it is it should be otherwise anywhere! All that believe, have the real unity, which is most glorious; because inward, and spiritual, in the Body, and to the Head.* For oeing united in forms, commonly called Uniformity, every Christian will for peace-sake study and do, as far as conscience will permit. And for brethren, in things of the mind we look for no compulsion, but that of light and reason. In other things, God hath put the sword in the Parliament's hands,—for the terror of evil-doers and the praise of them, that do well. If any plead exemption from that,—he knows not the Gospel: if any would wring that out of your hands, or steal it from yon under what pretence soever, I hope they shall do it without effect. That God may maintain it in your hands, and direct you in the use thereof, is the prayer of
Your humble servant,
These last paragrapns are, as the old Newspapers say, 'very remarkable.' If modern readers suppose them to be 'cant,' it will turn out an entire mistake. I advise all modern readers not only to believe that Cromwell here means what he says; but even to try how they, each for himself in a new dialect, could mean the like or something better !—
Prince Rupert rode out of Bristol amid seas of angry human faces glooming unutterable things upon him; growling audibly, in spite of his escort, "Why not hang him!" For indeed the poor Prince had been necessitated to much plunder; commanding 'the elixir of the Blackguardism of the three Kingdoms,' with very insufficient funds for most part!—He begged a thousand muskets from Fairfax on this occasion, to assist his escort in protecting him -across the country to Oxford; promising on hit honor to return them after that service. Fairfax lent the muskets; the Prince did honorably return them, what he had of them,—honorably apologising that so many had 'deserted' on the road, of whom neither man nor musket were recoverable at present.
* 'Head' means Christ; 'Body True Church of Christ.
From Bristol the Army turned Southward again, to deal with the yet remaining force of Royalism in that quarter. Sir Ralph Hopton, with Goring and others under him, made stubborn resistance; but were constantly worsted, at Langport, at Torring. ton, wheresoever they rallied and made a new attempt. The Parliament Army went steadily and rapidly on; storming Bridgewater, storming all manner of Towns and Castles; clearing the ground before them: till Sir Ralph was driven into Cornwall; and, without resource or escape, saw himself obliged next spring* to surrender, and go beyond seas. A brave and honorable man; respected on both sides; and of all the King's Generals the most deserving respect. He lived in retirement abroad; taking no part in Charles Second's businesses; and died in honorable poverty before the Restoration.
The following Three Letters are what remain to us concerning Cromwell's share in that course of victories. He was present in various general or partial Fights from Langport to Bovey Tracey; became especially renowned by his Sieges, and took many Strong Places besides those mentioned here.
'To the Honorable William Lenlhall, Speaker of the Commons House of Parliament: These.'
'Winchester, 6th October, 1645.'
I came to Winchester on the Lord's day, the 28th of September; with Colonel Pickering,—commanding his own, Colonel Montague's, and Sir Hardress Waller's regiments. After some dispute with the Governor, we entered the Town. I summoned the Castle; was
* Truro, 14th March, 1646 (Rushwortl vi„ 110).
denied; whereupon we fell to prepare batteries,—which we could not perfect (some of our guns being out of order) until Friday following. Our battery was six guns ; which being finished,—after firing one round, I sent in a second summons for a treaty; which they refused. Whereupon we went on with our work, and made a breach in the wall near the Black Tower; which, after about 200 shot, we thought stormable; and purposed on Monday morning to attempt it. On Sunday night, about ten of the clock, the Governor beat a parley, desiring to treat. I agreed unto it; and sent Colonel Hammond and Major Harrison in to him, who agreed upon these enclosed Articles.
Sir, this is the addition of another mercy. You see God is not weary in doing you good: I confess, Sir, His favor to you is as visible, when He comes by His power upon the hearts of your enemies, making them quit places of strength to you, as when He gives courage to your soldiers to attempt hard things. His goodness in this is much to be acknowledged: for the Castle was well manned with 680 horse and foot, there being near 200 gentlemen, officers, and their servants; well victualled with 15,000 weight of cheese; very great store of wheat and rbeer; near twenty barrels of powder, seven pieces of cannon; the works were exceeding good and strong. It's very likely it would have cost much blood to have gained it by storm. We have not lost twelve men: this is repeated to you, that God may have all the praise, for it's all His due.
Sir, I rest,
Your most humble servant,
'Lieutenant-General Cromwell's Secretary,' who brings this Letter, gets 507. for his good news.f By Sprigge's account,:): he appears to have been ' Mr. Hugh Peters,' this 'Secretary.' Peters there makes a verbal Narrative of the affair, to Mr. Speaker and the Commons, which, were not room so scanty, we should be glad to insert.
It was at this surrender of Winchester that certain of the captive enemies having complained of being plundered contrary to Articles, Cromwell had the accused parties, six of his own soldiers, tried: being all found guilty, one of them by lot was hanged, and the other five were marched off to Oxford, to be there disposed of as the Governor saw fit. The Oxford Governor
* Sprigge, p. 128, and Newspapers (in Cromwelliana, p. 25). t Commons Journals, 7th October, 1645. t P. 129