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As a farther testimony of the royal favour, Lord Byron was made Field-Marshal-General of all his Majesty's Forces in Worcestershire, Shropshire, Cheshire, and North Wales; and when his uncle, Sir Nicholas, was made prisoner by the rebels at the battle of Edge Hill he was appointed to the government of the city of Chester in his room. la this capacity he rendered great service to the Royal cause, particularly by defeating Sir Thomas Fairfax, and relieving Montgomery Castle, for which the Parliament passed a vote, excepting him from pardon, and sequestrating his estates. His success was not, however, always proportioned to his valour or his loyalty; for, being intrusted with the command of the Irish forces, he was induced to make a winter campaign, relying on the hardihood of his troops, who, as Lord Clarendon says, “being used to little eise in Ireland, the season of the year made little impression on them : and his enterprise, thougla prosperous enough at the beginning, was afterwards wholly defeated. Home gives the following account of it:
• The forces brought from Ireland were landed at Mostyne, in North Wales; and, being put under the command of Lord Byron, they besieged and took the castles Hawarden, Beeston, Acton, and Deddington-house. No place in Cheshire, or the neighborhood, now adhered to the Parliament, except Nantwich; and to this town Byron laid siege during the depth of winter. Sir Thomas Fairfax, alarmed at so considerable a progress of the Royalists, assembled an army of four thousand inen in Yorkshire, and, having joined Sir William Brereton, was approaching to the camp of the enemy. Byron and his soldiers, elated with the successes obtained in Ireland, had entertained the most profound contenipt for the Parliamentary forces ; a disposition which, if confined to the army, may be regarded as a good presage of victory; but, if it extend to the General, is the most probable forerunner of a defeat.—(25th Jarr.) Fairfax suddenly attacked the camp of the Royalists. The swelling of the river by a thaw divided one part of the army from the other. That part exposed to Fairfax, being beaten from their post, retired into the church of Acton, and were all taken prisoners: the other retreated with precipitation. And thus was diszipated, or rendered useless, the body of forces which had been drawn from Ireland; and the Parliamentary party revived in those north-west counties of England.'
Ou the other hand, the King reposed the most entire confidence in this loyal subject, and appointed him Governor to the Duke of York, With whom he escaped to Holland, when the unfortunate monarch bocame a prisoner in the Isle of Wight. Lord Byron afterwards accompanied his royal pupil in Flanders, under the immortal Turenne. He died at Paris, in 1652, enjoying the reputation of having served his sovereign with unshaken fidelity and activity through the most disastrous times. Though married twice, he left no issue, and was succeeded in the title and estates by his second brother, Sir Richard Byron, who was knighted by Charles I. for his conduct at the battle of Edge Hill. He was also appointed Governor, first of Appleby Castle, in Westmorland, and next of Newark, which place he defended with great honour. This second Lord Byron died in 1679, and was succeeded by his eldest son William, who married Elizabeth, the daughler of John Viscount Chaworth, of the kingdom of Ireland ; by whom he had five sons, all of whom died young, except William, the fourth lord, born in 1669. He became Gentleman of the Bed. chamber to Prince George of Denmark, with whom he was a great favorite. His first wife, Mary, daughter of John Earl of Bridgewater, died of the small-pox eleven weeks after her nuptials. By his second wise, the daughter of William Bentiuck, Earl of Portland, he had three sons, who all died before their father. His third wife, Frances, daughter of William Lord Berkeley, of Siraiton, brought him five sons and a daughter.
The following Elegy by Lord Byron is peculiarly interesting, as well for the idea which it conveys of the feelings excited, at a very early period of his life, in the mind of the noble poet, on a retrospect of the glories of his ancestors, as because it seems to contain the promise of that high excellence which was afterwards so gloriously fulfilled.
ELEGY ON NEWSTEAD ABBEY,
Religion's shrine ! repentant Henry's* pride!
Whose pensive shades around thy ruins glide ;-
Than modern mansions in their pillared state;
Scowling defiance on the blasts of fate.
• Henry II. founded Newstead, soon after the murder of Thomas à Pocket.
No mail-clad serfs, obedient to their lord,
In grim array the crimson crosst demand ;
Their chief's retainers, an immortal band.
Retrace their progress through the lapse of time.
A votive pilgrim in Judea's clime.
His feudal realm in other regions lay ;
Retiring from the garish blaze of day.
The monk abjured a world he ne'er could view;
Or Innocence from stern Oppression flew.
Where Sherwood's outlaws once were wont to prowl;
Sought shelter in the priest's protecting cowl.
The humid pall of life-extinguished clay,
Nor raised their pious voices but to pray.
Soon as the Gloaming spreads her waning shade,
Or matin orisons to Marys paid.
Abbots to abbots in a line succeed :
Till Royal sacrilege their doom decreed. • This word is used by Walter Scott, in his poem • The Wild Huntsman,' sy. nonymous with vassal.
* The red cross was the badge of the Crusaders.
• As. Gloaming,' the Scotish word for Twilight, is far more poetical, and has Leen recommended by many eminent literary men, particularly by Dr. Moore, in his Letters to Burns, I have ventured to use it on account of its harmony.
The priory was dedicated to the Virgin.
One holy Henry reared the Gothic walls,
And bade the pious inmates rest in peace;
And bids Devotion's hallowed echoes cease.
He drives them, exiles, from their blessed abode,
No friend, no home, no refuge, but their God.
Shakes with the martial music's novel din !
High-crested banners, wave thy walls withio.
The mirth of feasts, the claug of burnished arins,
Unite in concert with increased alarms,
Encircled by insulting rebel powers;
And dart destruction in sulphureous showers.
Though oft repulsed by guile, o'ercomes the brave;
Rebellion's reeking standards o'er him wave.
The blood of traitors smears the purple plain;
And days of glory yet for bim remain.
Self-gathered laurels on a self-sought grave;
The monarch's friend, the monarch's liope, to save.
At the dissolution of the monasteries Henry VIII. bestowed Newstead Abbey op Sir Jolin Byron.
+ Newstead sustained a considerable siege in the war between Charles I. and his Parliament.
Trembling, she snatched him* from the unequal strife,
In other fields the torrent to repel ;
To lead the band where god-like Falklandt fell.
While dying groans their painful requiem sound,
Such victims wallow on the gory ground.
Noisome and ghast, defiles thy sacred sod;
Corruption's heap, the savage spoilers trod.
Ransacked, resign, perforce, their mortal mould;
Raked from repose in search of buried gold.
The minstrel's palsied hand reclines in death;
Or sings the glories of the martial wreath.
Retire; the clamour of the fight is o'er :
And sable Horror guards the massy door.
What satellites declare her dismal reign !
To fit their vigils in the holy fane.
The clouds of anarchy from Britain's skies:
And Nature triumphs as the tyrant dies.
• Lord Byron, and his brother, Sir William, held high commands in the Royal army: the former was General in Chief in Ireland, Lieutenant of the Tower, and Governor to James Duke of York, afterwards the unhappy James II. ; the latter bad a principal share in many actions. Vide Clarendon, Hume, &c.
Lucius Cary, Lord Viscount Falkland, the most accomplished man of his age, was killed at the battle of Newberry, charging in tbe ranks of Lord Byron regiment of cavalry.