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Chap- forces which had been drawn from Ireland; and vj^^l^ the parliamentary party revived in those north-west 1644. counties of England.
The invasion from Scotland was attended with
Und S°0t consequences of much greater importance. The Scots, having summoned in vain the town of Newcastle, which was fortified by the vigilance of sir
9MFet». Thomas Glenham, passed the Tyne; and faced the marquis of Newcastle, who lay at Durham with an army of 14,000 men." After some military operations, in which that nobleman reduced the enemy to difficulties for forage and provisions, he received intelligence of a great disaster which had befallen his forces in Yorkshire. Colonel Bellasis, whom he had left with a considerable body of troops, was
nth April- totally routed at Selby by sir Thomas Fairfax, who had returned from Cheshire with his victorious forces." Afraid of being inclosed between two armies, Newcastle retreated; and Leven having joined lord Fairfax, they sat down before York, to which the army of the Royalists had retired. But as the parliamentary and Scottish forces were not numerous enough to invest so large a town, divided by a river, they contented themselves with incommoding it by a loose blockade; and affairs remained, for some time, in suspense between these opposite armies.p
During this winter and spring, other parts of the kingdom had also been infested with war. Hopton, having assembled an army of 14,000 men, endeavoured to break into Sussex, Kent, and the southern association, which seemed well disposed to receive him. Waller fell upon him at Cherington, and gave him a defeat,q of considerable importance. In another quarter, siege being laid
to Newark, by the parliamentary forces, prince Chap. Rupert prepared himself for relieving a town of such consequence, which alone preserved the com- 16-w. munication open between the king's southern and northern quarters.1 With a small force, but that animated by his active courage, he broke through the enemy, relieved the town, and totally dissipated that army of the parliament."
But though fortune seemed to have divided her favours between the parties, the king found himself, in the main, a considerable loser by this wintercampaign; and he prognosticated a still worse event from the ensuing summer. The preparations of the parliament were great, and much exceeded the slender resources of which he was possessed. In the eastern association, they levied fourteen thousand men, under the earl of Manchester, seconded by Cromwel.' An army of ten thousand men, under Essex, another of nearly the same force under Waller, were assembled in the neighbourhood of London. The former was destined to oppose the king: The latter was appointed to march into the west, where prince Maurice, with a small army which went continually to decay, was spending his time in vain before Lyme, an inconsiderable town upon the sea-coast. The utmost efforts of the king could not raise above ten thousand men at Oxford; and on their sword chiefly, during the campaign, were these to depend for subsistence.
The queen, terrified with the dangers which every way environed her, and afraid of being enclosed in Oxford, in the middle of the kingdom, fled to Exeter, where she hoped to be delivered unmolested of the child with which she was now pregnant, and whence she had the means of an easy escape into France, if pressed by the forces of the enemy. She knew the implacable hatred
'Rush. vol. vi. p, 306. '2lst of March,
'Rush. vol. vi. p. 621. .
CHAP. which the parliament, on account of her religion vl»^!l»»/ an^ ner credit with the Icing, had all along borne is;t. her. Last summer the commons had sent up to the peers an impeachment of high treason against her; because, in his utmost distresses, she had assisted her husband with arms and ammunition, which she had bought in Holland." And had she fallen into their hands, neither her sex, she knew, nor high station, could protect her against insults at least, if not danger, from those haughty republicans, who so little affected to conduct themselves by the maxims of gallantry and politeness.
From the beginning of these dissensions, the parliament, it is remarkable, had, in all things, assumed an extreme ascendant over their sovereign, and had displayed a violence, and arrogated an authority, which, on his side, would not have been compatible either with his temper or his situation. While he spoke perpetually of pardoning all rebels; they talked of nothing but the punishment of delinquents and malignants: While he offered a toleration and indulgence to tender consciences; they threatened the utter extirpation of prelacy: To his professions of lenity, they opposed declarations of rigour: And the more the ancient tenor of the laws inculcated a respectful subordination to the crown, the more careful were they, by their lofty pretensions, to cover that defect under which they laboured.
Their great advantages in the north seemed to second their ambition, and finally to promise them success in their unwarrantable enterprises. Manchester, having taken Lincoln, had united his army to that of Leven and Fairfax; and York was now closely besieged by their combined forces. That town, though vigorously defended by Newcastle, was reduced to extremity; and the parliamentary
■ Rush. vol. vi. p. 321.
generals, after enduring great losses and fatigues, CHAP. flattered themselves that all their labours would at last be crowned by this important conquest. On a 164*. sudden, they were alarmed by the approach of prince Rupert. This gallant commander, having vigorously exerted himself in Lancashire and Cheshire, had collected a considerable army; and joining sir Charles Lucas, who commanded Newcastle's horse, hastened to the relief of York, with an army of 20,000 men. The Scottish and parliamentary generals raised the siege, and, drawing up on Maiston-moor, purposed to give battle to the royalists. Prince Rupert approached the town by another quarter, and, interposing the river Ouse between him and the enemy, safely joined his forces to those of Newcastle. The marquis endeavoured to persuade him, that, having so successfully effected his purpose, he ought to be content with the present advantages, and leave the enemy, now much diminished by their losses, and discouraged by their ill success, to dissolve by those mutual dissensions which had begun to take place among them." The prince, whose martial disposition was not sufficiently tempered with prudence, nor softened by complaisance, pretending positive orders from the king, without deigning to consult with Newcastle, whose merits and services deserved better treatment, immediately issued orders for battle, and led out the army to Marston-moor.x Battle of This action was obstinately disputed between the most numerous armies that were engaged during the course of these wars; nor were the forces on each side much different in number. Fifty thousand British troops were led to mutual slaughter; and the victory seemed long undecided between them. Prince Rupert, who commanded the right wing of the royalists, was opposed to Cromwel/
w Life of the Duke of Newcastle, p. 40.
x Clarendon, vol. v. p. 506. » Rush. part iii. vol. it. p. 6*33.
c H A P. who conducted the choice troops of the parliament, v^^, inured to danger under that determined leader, ani1644. mated by zeal, and confirmed by the most rigid discipline. After a short combat, the cavalry of the royalists gave way; and such of the infantry as stood next them were likewise borne down, and put to flight. Newcastle's regiment alone, resolute to conquer or to perish, obstinately kept their ground, and maintained, by their dead bodies, the same order in which they had at first been ranged. In the other wing, sir Thomas Fairfax and colonel Lambert, with some troops, broke through the royalists; and, transported by the ardour of pursuit, soon reached their victorious friends, engaged also in pursuit of the enemy. But after that tempest was past, Lucas, who commanded the royalists in this wing, restoring order to his broken forces, made a furious attack on the parliamentary cavalry, threw them into disorder, pushed them upon their own infantry, and put that whole wing to rout. When ready to seize on their carriages and baggage, he perceived Cromwel, who was now returned from pursuit of the other wing. Both sides were not a little surprised to find that they must again renew the combat for that victory which each of them thought they had already obtained. The front of the battle was now exactly counterchanged; and each army occupied the ground which had been possessed by the enemy at the beginning of the day. This second battle was equally furious and desperate with the first: But after the utmost efforts of courage by both parties, victory wholly turned to the side of the parliament. The prince's train of artillery was taken; and his whole army pushed off the field of battle.1
This event was in itself a mighty blow to the king; but proved more fatal in its consequences.
« Rush. vol. vi. p. 632. Whitlocke, p. 89.