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indignity, desired of his excellency, that he might have leave to charge them, but with one hundred horse. His excellency applauding his courage did easily condescend unto it.
He received the first impression of the enemy without stirring from the place whereon he stood, and not firing on the enemy, until they came breast unto breast, he made such a havock amongst them, that many of them were observed to fall to the ground together, and the rest began to fly. Encouraged with this success, he charged the second division, and that with so much fury, that they began to fly in great confusion, not able to endure the shock and tempest of the charge.
After this he charged the third division, and having his men well armed, their pistols being all before discharged, they did now fall in pellmell upon them with their swords, and did soon force them, by an ignominous speed, to fly to the main body of their army for their protection. The King himself was then in person in the field,and was a sad beholder of this slaughter, and disorder of his men.
For this brave service his excellency rewarded this victorious Major, who was a gentleman of Scotland, with many thanks, and appellations of honour, and with a gallant horse, esteemed to be worth one hundred pounds.
His excellency having a long time waited for the supplies of ammunition, money, and men, and finding that none arrived, he much wondered at the cause; and the rather, because that he was so straitened, by the iniquity of the place wherein he was encamped, that his horse had no room for forage, and he found the army of his enemy did daily increase in number, and in power; wherefore a council of war being called, it was concluded, that three thousand of our horse, under the command of the resolute Sir William Belfore, should break through the main body of the enemy, which was accordingly performed; and that with such a tempest, that they did bear down many of the enemy before them, and snatched from them several colours, which they brought with them safe to Plymouth, as the testimony of their valour: his excellency disposed of himself to sea,attended with the Lord Roberts. He tookshipping at Foy, and the seas danced to receive him whom our land was not worthy of. He landed first at Plymouth, and not long after he put to sea again, and safely arrived at Southampton.
In the mean time, the most resolute Major-General Skippon, improving his necessity into a virtue, did gallantly encourage his soldiers, who were all resolved to live and die, like soldiers, with him; and, the forces of the enemy advancing towards them, they were received with such undaunted courage, that the enemy were forced, for their own safety, not only to give them quarter, but to condescend to very honourable articles on our parts, but those articles were violated, and that almost in the face of the King.
I have been often informed, that Major-General Skippon, being dispoiled of his scarlet coat, his case of pistols, and rapier, did ride up unto the King, and, very roundly, told him of the violation of the articles by hissoldiers, as at all times in general, so at this present in particular. The King, not well remembering him, did ask him who he was; he replied, that his name was Skippon. The King demanded who were VOL. VI. C
those soldiers who had thus injured him; he shewed them to his Majesty, for, as yet, they continued within the reach of his eye; they were about nine in number.
Immediately, the Marshal was called, and those soldiers were apprehended; seven of the nine were condemned to the tree, and suffered according to their sentence.
I do believe, therefore, that his Majesty was not accessary to this perfidious rudeness of his soldiers, which though, peradventure, it had a connivance and a toleration from others, it received a punishment from him. But the protesting Cornish, who, before the advance of his majesty's army, had so freely devoted themselves to the obedience of the Parliament, and the commands of his Excellency, did shew the deepest dissimulation, and expressed the greatest inhumanity that could be put in execution ;> for they stripped our soldiers stark naked from head to foot, and left them nothing to comfort themselves in this distress, but the fellowship and the number of the distressed.
In this condition of innocence and injury, they came unto Southampton; but the indignity thereof in lively characters was written in their breasts, and will shortly be revenged by their hands. And, indeed, not long after they did meet them again at Newbury, and forgetting almost the military order to actuate their revenge, they did fall upon them like so many lions, and, having made a great slaughter of them, they did redeem their clothes, with the destruction of their adversaries, who, having nothing to cover them but their own blood, they did remain, the next day, a woeful spectacle to the conquerors.
His Excellency was not then present, but, remembering his virtue, they fought by his example; he was about that time at Southampton, sick in body and in mind.
There is no man who by honourable dangers did ever adventure more for wounds than he, and yet in all the wars he managed he never received any hurt, but what he did take inwardly, which, by a magnanimous and gallant patience, he admirably always both concealed and cured.
The wisdom of the parliament thought it now expedient to call home those commanders in chief, who conducted their armies in the field, that, after the great service performed for the state, the kingdom might now enjoy as much benefit by the strength of their counsels, as it received safety by their arms; and, indeed, who can give better instructions for the field, than those who have been the leaders of our armies in it?
His Excellency, with as much chearfulness. was ready to lay down his arms, as with resolution he did take them up; and, joining with the parliament, as well in person and presence, as in affection, he did much advance and facilitate the victories to come.
And now, about the latter end of March, there was a conference between both houses of parliament, concerning the new model for the settling of the army, the former commanders being called to sit in the houses of parliament. It was before ordered, that Sir Thomas Fairfax should be commander in chief of twenty-one thousand horse and foot, to be selected for this service, and that Major-General Skippon, now governor of Bristol, should be major-general of the whole army. At this conference there was a perfect concurrence of the House of Lords with the House of Commons, concerning the ratification of the list of Sir Thomas Fairfax's officers, in which was made no alteration at all. And this was, indeed, so acceptable to the House of Commons, that, upon report thereof unto the house, they appointed a committee to prepare a messenger to the Lords, to congratulate their happy concurrence, and to assure them of the real affection, and endeavours of the House of Commons, to support their lordships in their honours and their privileges. And now, an ordinance was drawn up for raising of money to maintain this army; which army was shortly after compleated, and with admirable success did take the field under the command of the renowned Sir Thomas Fairfax, the particulars whereof shall be the happy labour of some other pen, and not of this, which precisely only must depend upon the relations of the actions and saving counsels of his Excellency the Earl of Essex.
Long did he thus continue a mighty agent for the health of this land, until it pleased God to strike him with a violent, a sudden, and a fatal sickness; and now, being confined to his bed, he had no more to do with his hands, but to lift them up to heaven, and his tongue was the orator to render their devotion the more acceptable. It was the force of his body that overcame his foes by arms, but it was the humility of his soul that overcame the Almighty by his prayers, which "being a conquest for the body not to attain unto, the exalted soul hath now presented the laurels which the body had won for the cause of the Almighty. And these being laid down at the feet of God, they will be reserved in a temple not built with hands, until both soul and body shall be united, and, in the perfection of joy, shall triumph through all eternity.
The same love, which did follow him alive, did continue to his death; many of the nobility being always round about his bed, and attending him with their grief, whom they could not relieve with their greatness. My lord of Holland had his hand so locked in his, when the coldness and sloth of death had begun to make heavy both his understanding and his limbs, that he used some strength to get it from him, as if by this, at his departure, he would leave some earnest behind him, that he would carry with him the love of his friends'into a better world.
And thus, having made peace with heaven, and peace with earth,he departed this life on the fourteenth of September, leaving, in all nations, to a world of those that honoured him the grief of his loss, the lustre of his transcendent virtues, and the attractive example of them, which, whosoever shall inherit, shall become the wonder and delight of this age, the lively model andportraict of himself, and the immortal heir of his fame and glory.
MOST LEARNED AND ELOQUENT SPEECH,
Spoken or delivered in the
By the most learned lawyer, Miles Corbet, Esq. recorder of G-reat Yarmouth, and burgess of the same, on the thirty-first of July, l647, taken in short-hand by Nocky and Tom Dunn, hisclerks, and revised by John Taylor.
This was a fictitious speech, published in the year 167.9. intended to expose the bombast of the rebellious speakers, as well as the real misfortunes, which the nation laboured under by the usurpation, in those times of anarchy and rebellion.
1KNOW not how to speak, I know no man weaker than myself, who do acknowledge, I am as unfitting to speak in this honourable assembly, as Phormio was to prattle an oration of war's discipline to the great soldier Hannibal, in the presence of King Antiochus; yet, out of the debility of my knowledge, the inability of my learning, the imbecility of my judgment, the nobility of this conscript senate, the mutability of their censures, the instability of opinions, the probability of offending, the volubility of scandal, and the impotency of my utteranee, I have, (maugre all these perillous impediments) adventured to unbosom and disburthen my mind before these unmatchable patriots.
Mr. Speaker, I am not ignorant that you are appointed in this parliament, to be the ear of this kingdom, and mouth of the commons; and! desire that your hearing may not take any offence against my words; nor your tongue to retort me a reproof, instead of an applause.
Mr. Speaker, in my introduction to grammar, vulgarly call the Accidence, I found eight parts of speech, which is now an introduction to me to divide my speech into eight parts; that is to say:
I. What we have done for religion.
II. What we have done for the church.
III. What for the King.
IV. What for the laws.
V. What for the kingdom.
VI. What for the subjects.
VII. What for reformation. VIII. What for ourselves.
Of all these in order, as my infirm loquacity can demonstrate.
Mr. Speaker, I do not herein declare eitheror neither the opinions of thishonourable assembly, or any fancy of my own, but I will make plain unto you, how the malignants esteem of us, and into what odium we are fallen amongst foreign nations.
First, for religion: They say we have thrust out one religion, and taken in two; that we have thrown down protestantism, and erected anabaptism and brownism; that by our doctrines we do abuse the famous memory of Queen Elisabeth, King James, and consequently King Charles; that in their religion they were papistically minded (which their lives and acts have and do manifest the contrary) and they say, it is no less than odious, and high treason, to traduce either of those deceased or surviving princes, with such false and scandalous aspersions.
Mr. Speaker, I would not be mistaken; I say not my own words, but I say what the malignants say of my Lord Say and ofus. They say, that the protestant religion was wont to be, and ought, an inward robe or vestment, for the souls and consciences of all true believers; and that the bishops, ancient fathers, and all orthodox divines, had a cave to keep her neat, clean, and handsome, in as spotless integrity as a militant church in this imperfect age could keep it. But they say, that we have made religion an outward garment, or a cloke, which none do wear amongst us, but sectaries, fools, knaves, and rebels. They say, this cloke being, with often turning, worn as threadbare as the publick faith, full of wrinkles, spots, and stains, neither brushed sponged, nor made clean, with as many patches in it, as in a beggar's coat, kept bycoblers weavers, ostlers, tinkers,and tub-preachers; so that all order, and decent comeliness is trust out of the church; all laudable ornaments trod down and banished, under the false and scandalous terms of popery; and, in the place thereof, most nasty, filthy, and loathsome beastliness,our doctrines being vented in long tedious sermons, to move and stir up the people to rebellion, and traiterous contributions, to exhort them to murder, rapine, robbery, and disloyalty, and all manner of mischief that may be, to the confusion of their souls and bodies.
All these damnable villainies, our adversaries say, are the accursed fruits which our new moulded linsey-wolsey religion hath produced; for they say, our doctrine is neither derived from the old, or new testament; that all the fathers, protestant doctors, and martyrs, never heard of any such; that Christ and his apostles never knew it; and, for the book of common prayer, they say in verse:
Ten-thousand, such as we, can ne'er devise, A book so good as that which we despise;The common-prayer they mean: if we should sit Ten-thousand years, with all our brains and wit, We should prove coxcombs all; and, in the end, . . •
Leave it as 'tis, too good for. ui to mend.