Imagens das páginas

sake the parliament, although there is no question but that he had instigations enough from the followers of the court to persuade him to it. Of such a vertueis honour and conscience in the breast of true nobility. The King beginning his gests towards the west, and afterwards wheeling in earnest towards the north, the parliament did send petition on petition to beseech his majesty to return unto the parliament; to which the King did return most plausible answers, there bring no where to be found more art that suborned reason to attend it, or more accurate language. But the parliament finding a great disproportion betwixt the insinuations of his majesty to delude the people, and his actions to strengthen himself, and that his voice was the voice of Jacob, but the hands were the hands of Esau; and understanding withal that his majesty had summoned in the country about York, where there appeared many thousands that promised to adhere unto him, and that he had a resolution to besiege Hull, and force it to his obedience, they were compelled (though with hearts full of sorrow) to have recourse to arms.

Money is the sinew of war, to provide themselves with which, the city were desired to bring in their plate to make it sterling for that service. The publick faith of the kingdom was their security for it; and indeed what better security could any man expect than the faith of the whole kingdom, of which the parliament were the body representative, and (as it were) the feoffees in trust. You would admire what sums of ready money, what rings of gold, what store of massy plate both silver and gilt were brought in a few days to Guildhall. Guildhall did never deserve its name so properly, as at this present. In the mean time, Moorfields and those places, where horses for service were to be listed, were almost thronged with excellent horse; and the youth of London, who devoted themselves to the service of the parliament, and to hazard their lives for the safety of the two kingdoms, did look with emulation on one another who should be the first should back them.

This being provided, in the next place care is taken for the raising of an army, and for a general to conduct them: there was no man could be possibly thought upon more able to undertake so great a charge than the illustrious Earl of Essex, whose name in arms was great, and the love of the people to him didstrive to be great as was that name. At the first appearance in the artillery-garden, where the voluntiers were to be listed, there came in no less than four-thousand of them, in one day, who declared their resolutions to live and die with the Earl of Essex, for the safety and the peace of the kingdom; and every day (for a certain space) did bring in multitudes of such well affected people, who preferred their consciences above their lives, and who would hazard with them their dearest blood for the preservation of the reformed religion, and for the parliament that did reform it.

Not long after, the Earl of Essex, having sent before him his whole equipage of war, who were quartered and exercised in the country, and were now expert in their arms, did pass through the city of London towards them, being accompanied with many lords and gentlemen, as also with many colonels and commanders of the city, and many hundreds of horse-men, and the trained-bands who guarded him through Temple-bar unto Moor-fields; from thence in his coach he passed to High-gate, the people, on each hand, having all the way made a hedge with their owl bodies, and with loud acclamations all crying out, God bless my Lord General, God preserve my Lord General.

His excellency being now in his march to oppose the forces of the King, the high wisdom of the parliament (although they had often moved the King before by diverse petitions) did think it expedient to send one humble petition more unto his majesty, to beseech him to remove himself from those evil counsels and counsellors, who had fomented the horrid rebellion in Ireland, and had endeavoured the like bloody massacre in England, by inciting him to make war with the parliament, who were the best subjects in his kingdom: we will in this place deliver to you the petition of both the houses of parliament, which petition being so full of high concernment and humble addresses, and because it was to be delivered by his excellency the Earl of Essex, we eonceive it very requisite in this place to insert it.


The humble petition of the Lords and Commons, note assembled in Parliament.

WE your majesty's most loyal subjects, the lords and commons in parliament, cannot, without great grief, and tenderness of compassion, behold the pressing miseries, the imminent danger, and the devouring calamities, which do extremely threaten, and have partly seized upon both your kingdoms of England and Ireland, by the practices of a party prevailing with your majesty; who by many wicked plots and conspiracies have attempted the alteration of the true religion, and of the ancient government of this kingdom, by the introducing of Popish superstition and idolatry into the church, and tyranny and confusion in the state, and, for the compassing thereof, have long corrupted your majesty's counsels, abused your power, and, by sudden and untimely dissolving of former parliaments, have often hindered the reformation, and prevention of those mischiefs; who, being now disabled to avoid the endeavours of this parliament by any such means, have traitorously attempted to overawe the same by force, and, in prosecution of their wicked designs, have excited, encouraged, and fostered an unnatural rebellion in Ireland, by which, in a cruel and most outrageous manner, many of your subjects there have been destroyed; and by false slanders upon your parliament, and by malicious and unjust accusations, they have endeavoured to begin the like massacre here. But, bi'ing disappointed therein by the blessing of God, they have (as the most mischievous and bloody design of all) won upon your majesty to make war against your parliament and good subjects of this kingdom ; leading in your own person an army against them, as if you intended by conquest to establish an absolute and an illimited power over them, and, by the power and the countenancing of your presence, have ransacked, spoiled, imprisoned, and murdered diverse of your people: and, for their better assistance in these wicked designs, do seek to bring over the rebels of Ireland, and other forces from beyond the seas to join with them: and we finding ourselves utterly deprived of your majesty's protection, and the authors counselled, and abettors of these mischiefs in greatest power and favour with your majesty, and defended by you against the justice and authonty of your high court of parliament, whereby they are grown to that height and insolence as to manifest their rage and malice, against those of the nobility and others who are any way inclined unto peace, not without great appearance of danger to your own royal person, if you shall not in all things concur with their wicked and traiterous courses • we have for the just and necessary defence of the Protestant religion, of your majesty's person, crown, and dignity, of the laws and liberties of the kmgdom, and the power and privilege of parliament, taken up arms and appointed and authorised Robert Earl of Essex to be captain general of all the forces by us levied, and to lead and to conduct the same against these rebels and traytors, and them to subdue and to bring to condign punishment; and we do most humbly beseech your majesty to withdraw your royal presence and countenance from these wicked persons, and, if they shall stand out in defence of their rebellious and unlawful attempts, that your majesty will leave them to be suppressed by that power, which we have sent against them, and that your majesty will not mix your own dangers with theirs, but in peace and safety (without your forces) forthwith, return to your parliament, and by your faithful counsel and advice compose the present distempers andconfusions abounding in both your kingdoms, and provide for the security and honour of yourself, your royal posterity, and the prosperous estate of all your subjects; wherein, if your majesty please to yield to our most humble and earnest desires, we do, in the presence of Almiohty God profess, that we will receive your majesty with all honour, yield you all due obedience and subjection, and faithfully endeavour to secure your person and estate from all danger; and to the uttermost of our power procure, and establish to yourself, and to your people, all the blessings of a most happy and glorious reign. °

The Earl of Essex having received this petition, he made use of the Earl of Dorset (who was then at Shrewsbury with his majesty) that it might find access unto him. And within a few days after the Earl of Dorset sent a dispatch to the Earl of Essex, signifying that (according to his desire) he had acquainted the King concerning such a petition to be presented, and the King returned this answer, that he would receive any petition that should be presented to him from his parliament, from any that should bring the same; but that he would not receive a petition out of the hands of any traytor.

His excellency, having received this answer, did conceiveit expedient to acquaint the parliament with it. Whereupon, after a serious debate upon the business, it was voted by the house of commons, that his majesty refusing to receive any petition from those whom he accounted traytors, and withal, having proclaimed the Earl of Essex and his adherents, traytors, he had, in that word, comprehended both the houses of parliament, which is not only against the privileges of parliament, but the fundamental laws of the land. It was therefore agreed upon by both houses, that the Earl of Essex should go forward in advancing his forces according to his instructions, with all convenient speed; and to lay by the petition which was to be preferred to his majesty.

Much about this time the King advanced from Shrewsbury, with an army, consisting of six-thousand foot, three-thousand horse, and fifteenhundred dragoons. His design was to march towards London with all his forces; of which the Earl of Essex being advertised, he advanced, with a resolution to encounter with them; and being a grave counsellor, as well as a great commander, he desired the parliament, that the trained-bands, in and about the city of London, might be put in a readiness for their own defence; and that the city might be fortified, and an especial care taken to secure the persons of the chiefest of those malignant citizens, who were suspected to contrive mischief, and were able to perform it. Whereupon the house of parliament did order, that the trained-bands of London, Middlesex, and Surry, should forthwith be put into a readiness, and that the close committee should make a diligent enquiry, after the chief malignants of the city; and warrants were issued forth with power to apprehend them, and to bring them to the parliament.

On the 22d of October, his excellency the Earl of Essex did march to Kinton, with about twelve regiments of foot, and above forty troops of horse; he made haste to meet with the army of the King, and therefore was forced to leave behind him three regiments of foot, and ten troops of horse; for, the country being destitute of provision, it wai thought requisite that they should not follow the main body of the army, in so swift a march. On the next morning intelligence was received, that the King's army was drawing near, with a resolution to encounter with the forces of his excellency. They had got the advantage of Edge-hill, which served them for a place of safe retreat, it being of a high and steep ascent. The Earl of Essex made a stand about half a mile from the hill, and did there draw forth his army into a body, and did set them in battalia: he marshalled the field with great judgment, having but little time to do it; which was no sooner done, but he beheld many regiments of the King's foot come down the hill, and there were a strong body of dragooners with them. The horse also came down in order, and placed themselves at the foot of the hill, on the right hand of our army. It was something long before their cannon and the rear of their foot could be brought down. Our foot were marshalled a good space behind our horse; three regiments of horse were on the right wing of our army, namely, the Lord General's regiment, commanded by Sir Philip Stapleton, who that day did excellent service; Sir William Belfore's regiment, who was lieutenant-general of the horse; and the Lord Feilding's regiment, which stood as a reserve unto them. In our left wing were twenty-four troops of horse, commanded by Sir James Ramsey, commissary-general.

The cannon on each side having discharged their cholerick errands, the enemy's foot advanced against our right wing, and they were gallantly received by Sir William Stapleton's and Sir William Belfore's regiments of horse, which were at that instant seconded by the noble Lprd Roberts's and Sir William Constable's regiments of foot, who charged on the enemy's foot, with so much resolution, that they forced them, in great disorder, to shrowd themselves amongst their pikes. That day, Sir William Belforeshewed excellent demonstrations of his valour, for after this he charged a regiment of the enemy's foot, and broke quite through them, and cut many of them in pieces, and not long after, having received some assistance of foot, he defeated another regiment, and seized upon a part of the enemy's ordnance; but we did afterwards leave them, having none to guard them. The enemy's horse, on the left wing, had the better of ours; for, at the first shock, they routed them, and did beat them back upon our foot, and forced their way clean through Colonel Hollis's regiment; which struck such a terror to some other of our foot regiments, on the left wing, that four regiments, without striking one stroke, did run quite away, their officers being not able to stay them, who therefore came up to the van, in the right wing, and did extraordinary service, amongst which was Colonel Charles Essex, who, performing all the parts of a gallant soldier, was unfortunately shot in the thigh, of which, not long after, he died.

His Excellency perceiving that four regiments of the left wing of his army were fled, and never fought with, it doubled his resolution on the right wing, where, with undaunted valour, he charged the king's regiment: Once he charged with his own troop of horse, and often with his regiment of foot. An admirable man, who, for the safety of the kingdom, and to pluck the king from the hands of those that did mislead him, did this day admirable service. He was always at the head of his army, and, having at last got the advantage of the wind and ground, he charged the King's regiment so home (having the regiment of the Lord Brooks to assist him) that he utterly defeated it; he took the King's standard, and the Earlof Lindsey, General of the King's army: His son was also taken prisoner, and Lieutenant-Colonel Vavasor, who commanded that regiment; Sir Edward Varney, who carried the King's standard, was slain; the Lord Aubigny was also slain; Colonel Munroe, a great Commander on the King's side, was slain. Two regiments of the enemy's foot (the night coming on) retiring themselves towards the hill, found their ordnance without any guard at all, where they made a stand, and discharged many great shot against us. By this time the body of the enemy's horse, which had been pillaging the waggons at Kinton, had the leisure to wheel about, some on one hand of our army, and some on the other, and so at last they united themselves to the body of their foot; Sir Philip Stapleton, who did remarkable service this day, seeing in what disorder they came along, did ride forth with his troop, to charge four or five troopsof theirs; which they perceiving, did put spurs unto their horses, and, with what speed they could, joined themselves with the rest of their broken troops, which had now recovered their foot that did guard their ordnance. Our horse were also gathered to our foot, and thus both armies of horse and foot stood one against another till night. This great victory being obtained, the Earl of Essex marched to Warwick, where he refreshed his army for a few days, where Mr. Marshall speaking of the admirable success of this battle; his excellency replied twice together, That he never saw less of man in any thing than in this- battle, nur ?nor« ufGoi. Vol. v*. »

« AnteriorContinuar »