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Invasion of the Scots—Battle of Marston moor— Battle of Cropredy-bridge—Essex's forces disarmed—Second battle of Newbury—Rise and character of the Independents—Self-denying ordinance —Fairfax, Cromwel—Treaty of Uxbridge—Execution of Laud.
THE king had hitherto, during the course of c H A p. the war, obtained many advantages over the parliament, and had raised himself from that low Im*. condition into which he had at first fallen, to be nearly upon an equal footing with his adversaries. Yorkshire, and all the northern counties, were reduced by the marquis of Newcastle; and, excepting Hull, the parliament was master of no garrison in these quarters. In the west, Plymouth alone, having been in vain besieged by prince Maurice, resisted the king's authority: And had it not been for the disappointment in the enterprise Vol. Vii. B . of
Chap, of Gloucester, theroyal garrisons had reached, withv^^^ out interruption, from one end of the kingdom to 1644. the other; and had occupied a greater extent of ground than those of the parliament. Many of the royalists flattered themselves, that the same vigorous spirit, which had elevated them to the present height of power, would still favour their progress, and obtain them a final victory over their enemies: But those who judged more soundly, observed, that besides the accession of the whole Scottish nation to the side of the parliament, the very principle on which the royal successes had been founded was every day acquired, more and more, by the opposite party. The king's troops, full of gentry and nobility, had exercised a valour superior to their enemies, and had hitherto been successful in almost every rencounter: But, in proportion as the whole nation became warlike, by the continuance of civil discords, this advantage was more equally shared; and superior numbers, it was expected, must at length obtain the victory. The king's troops also, ill paid, and destitute of every necessary, could not possibly be retained in equal discipline with the parliamentary forces, to whom all supplies were furnished from unexhausted stores and treasures." The severity of manners, so much affected by these zealous religionists, assisted their military institutions; and the rigid inflexibility of character by which the austere reformers of church and state were distinguished, enabled the parliamentary chiefs to restrain their soldiers within stricter rules and more exact order. And while the king's officers indulged themselves even in greater licences than those to which, during times of peace, they had been accustomed, they were apt, both to neglect their military duty, and to set a pernicious example of disorder to the soldiers under their command.
"Rushworth, vol. vi. p. 560.