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The Governor of Pontefract Castle is one Morris, once the Earl of Strafford's servant; a desperate man: this is the LieutenantGeneral's summons to him.
For the Governor of Pontefract Castle.
'Pontefract,' 9th November, 1649.
Being come hither for the reduction of this place I thought fit to summon you to deliver your garrison to me, for the use of the Parliament. Those gentlemen and soldiers with you may have better terms than if you should hold it to extremity. I expect your_ answer this day, and rest,
Governor Morris stiffly refuses; holds out yet a good while,— and at last loses his head at York assizes by the business.f Royalism is getting desperate; has taken to highway robbery; is assassinating, and extensively attempting to assassinate.J Two weeks ago, Sunday, 29th October, a Party sallied from this very Castle of Pontefract; rode into Doncaster in disguise, and there, about five in the afternoon, getting into Colonel Rainsborough's lodging, stabbed him dead :—murder, or a very questionable kind of homicide!
Meanwhile, the Royal Treaty in Newport comes to no good issue, and the Forty Days are now done; the Parliament by small and smaller instalments prolongs it, still hoping beyond hope for a good issue. The Army, sternly watchful of it from St. Albans,
* Newspapers (Cromwelliana, p. 48); Rushworth, vii., 1325.
is presenting a Remonstrance, That a good issue lies not in it; that a good issue must be sought elsewhere than in it. Bybringing Delinquents to justice; and the Chief Delinquent, who has again involved this Nation in blood! To which doctrine, various petitioning Counties and Parties, and a definite minority in Parliament and England generally, testify their stern adherence, at all risks and hazards whatsoever.
Jenner, Member for Cricklade, and Ashe, Member for Westbury; these too, sitting I think in the Delinquents' Committee at Goldsmiths' Hall,—seem inclined for a milder course. Wherein the Lieutenant-General does by no means agree with the said Jenner and Ashe; having had a somewhat closer experience of the matter than they!
'Colonel Owen ' seems to be a Welsh Delinquent; I suppose, the ' Sir John Owen' of whom there arises life-and-death question by and by. 'The Governor of Nottingham' is Colonel Hutchinson, whom we know. Sir Marmaduke Langdale we ajso know,— and 'presume you have heard what is become of him?' Sir Marmaduke, it was rigorously voted on the 6th of this month, is one of the 'Seven that shall be excepted from pardonwhom the King himself, if he bargain with us, shall never forgive.* He escaped afterwards from Nottingham Castle, by industry of his own.
To the Honorable my honored Friends Robert Jenner and John Ashe, Esquires,' at London:'These.
Knottingley, near Pontefract, 20th November, 1648.
I received an Order from the Governor of Nottingham, directed to him from you, to bring up Colonel Owen, or take bail for his coming up to make his composition, he having made an humble Petition to the Parliament for the same.
* Commons Journals, vi., 70.
If I be not mistaken, the House of Commons did vote all those ' persons' Traitors that did adhere to, or bring in, the Scots in their late Invading of this Kingdom under Duke Hamilton. And not without very clear justice ; this being a more prodigious Treason than any that had been perfected before; because the former quarrel was that Englishmen might rule over one another; this to vassalise us to a foreign Nation. And their fault who have appeared in this Summer's business is certainly double to theirs who were in the first, because it is the repetition of the same offence against all the witnesses that God has borne,* by making and abetting a Second war.
And if this be their justice,! and upon so good grounds, I wonder how it comes to pass that so eminent actors should so easily be received to compound. You will pardon me if I tell you how contrary this is to some of your judgments at the rendition of Oxford: though we had the Town in consideration^ and' our' blood saved to boot; yet Two Years perhaps was thought too little to expiate their oflence.J But now, when you have such men in your hands, and it will cost you nothing to do justice ; now after all this trouble and the hazard of a Second War,—for a little more money 5 all offences shall be pardoned!
This Gentleman was taken with Sir Marmaduke Langdale, in their flight together:—I presume you have heard what is become of him. Let me remember you that out of the ' same' Garrison was fetched not long since (I believe while we were in heat of action) Colonel Humphrey Mathews, than whom this Cause we have fought for has not had a more dangerous enemy;—and he not guilty only of being an enemy, out he apostatised from your Cause and Quarrel; having been a Colonel, if not more, under you, and ' then' the desperatest promoter of the Welsh
* From Naseby downwards, God, in the battle-whirlwind, seemed to speak and witness very audibly.
t House of Commons's. t Town as some recompense.
X Sentence unintelligible to the careless reader, so hasty is it, and overcrowded with meaning in the original. 'Give me leave to tell you that, if it were contrary to some of your judgments, that at the rendition of Oxford, though we had the Town in consideration, and blood saved to boot; yet Two Years perhaps,' &c.—Oxford was surrendered 20-24 June, 1646; the Malignants found there were to have a composition, not exceeding Two Years revenue for estates of inheritance (Rushworth, vi. , 280, 5),—which the victorious Presbyterian Party, belike Jenner and Ashe among the rest, had exclaimed against as too lenient a procedure. Very different now when the new Malignants, though a doubly criminal set, are bone of their own bone!
§ Goldsmiths' Hall has a true feeling <br Money; a dimmer one for Jus- • ice, it seems
Rebellion amongst them all! And how near you were brought to rain thereby, all men that know anything can tell ;* and this man was taken away by composition, by what order I know not.
Gentlemen, though my sense does appear more severe than perhaps you would have it, yet give me leave to tell you I find a sense among the Officers concerning such things as ' the treatment of those men to amazement;—which truly is not so much to see their blood made so cheap, as to see such manifest witnessings of God, so terrible and so just, no more reverenced.
I have directed the Governor to acquaint the Lord-General herewith; and rest,
Here is a sour morsel for Jenner and Ashe; different from what they were expecting! It is to be hoped they will digest this piece of admonition, and come forth on the morrow two sadder and two wiser men. For Colonel Owen, at all events, there is clearly no outlook, at present, but sitting reflective in the strong., room of Nottingham Castle, whither his bad Genius has led him. Who Colonel Owen was, what he had specially done, or what became of him afterwards, except that he escaped beheading on this occasion, is not known to me. His name indicates a Welsh habitat; 'he was taken with Sir Marmaduke in their flight together:' probably one of the Presbyterian Welshmen discomfited in June - and July last, who had fled to join Hamilton, and be worse discomfited a second time. The House some days ago had voted that 'Sir John Owen,' our 'Colonel Owen' I conclude, should get off with 'banishment;' likewise that Lord Capel, the Earl of Holland, and other capital Delinquents should be ' banished ;' and even that James Earl of Cambridge (James Duke of Hamilton) should be 'fined 100,0007.' Such votes are not unlikely to produce 'a sense amongst the Officers,' who had to grapple with these men, as with devouring dragons lately, life to life. Such votes—will need to be rescinded.J Such, and some others! For
• Witness Chepstow, St. Fagan's, Pembroke :—'this man' is Mathews, t Sloane Mss., 1519, fol. 94
X Passed, 10 November, 1648 (Commons Journals, vi., 3) ; repealed, 13 December (with a Declaration; Somers Tracts, v., 167).
indeed the Presbyterian Party has rallied in the House during the late high blaze of Royalism; and got a Treaty set on foot as we saw, and even got the Eleven brought back again.—
Jenner and Ashe are old stagers, having entered Parliament at the beginning. They are frequently seen in public business ; assiduous subalterns. Ashe sat afterwards in Oliver's Parliaments.* Of this Ashe I will remember another thing: once, some years ago, when the House was about thanking some Monthly-fast Preacher, Ashe said pertinently, "What is the use of thanking a Preacher who spoke so low that nobody could hear him?"t
Colonel Humphrey Mathews, we are glad to discover,J was one of the persons taken in Pembroke Castle by Oliver himself in July last: brought along with him, on the march towards Preston, and left, as the other Welsh Prisoners were, at Nottingham; —out of which most just durance some pragmatical official, Ashe, Jenner, or another, 'by what order I know not,' has seen good to deliver him; him, 'the desperatest promoter of the Welsh Rebellion amongst them all.' Such is red-tape even in a Heroic Puritanic Age! No wonder 'the Officers have a sense of it,' amounting even 'to amazement.' Our blood that we have shed in the Quarrel, this you shall account as nothing, since you so please; but these 'manifest witnessings of God, so terrible and so just,'—are they not witnessings of God; are they mere sports of chance? Ye wretched infidel red-tape mortals, what will orcan become of you? By and by, if this course hold, it will appear that 'You are no Parliamentthat you are a nameless unbelieving rabble, with the mere title of Parliament, who must go about your business elsewhither, with soldiers' pikes in your rearward!—