« ZurückWeiter »
they become not good. I shall take the humble boldness to represent this Engagement of David's, in the Hundred-and-nineteenth Psalm, verse Hundred-andthirty-fourth, Deliver me from the oppression of man, so will I keep Thy precepts. I take leave, and rest, Sir, your most humble servant,
P.S. The carriage of the Major-General, as in all other things so in this, is worthy of your taking notice of; as also the Colonels Okey, Overton, Daniel, West, Lydcot, Syler, and the rest of the Officers.*
of int of the Scotch boats, now st
Matters now speedily take another turn. At the Castle of Dundas we are still on the South side of the Frith ; in front of the Scotch lines, though distant: but Inchgarvie, often tried with gunboats, now surrenders ; Burntisland, by force of gunboats and dispiritment, surrenders : the Lord General himself goes across into Fife. The following Letters speak for themselves.
Council of State : These.'
Dundas, 24th July, 1651. It hath pleased God to put your affairs here in some hopeful way, since the last Defeat given to the Enemy.
* Newspapers (in Parl. Hist. xix, 494 ; and Cromwelliana, p. 105).
I marched with the Army very near to Stirling, hoping thereby to get the Pass; and went myself with General Dean, and some others, up to Bannockburn; hearing that the Enemy were marched on the other side towards our forces in Fife. Indeed they went four or five miles on towards them; but hearing of my advance, in all haste they retreated back, and possessed the Park, and their other works. Which we viewed ; and finding them not advisable to attempt, resolved to march to Queensferry, and there to ship over so much of the Army as might hopefully be master of the field in Fife. Which accordingly we have almost perfected; and have left, on this side, somewhat better than four regiments of horse, and as many of foot.
I hear now the Enemy's great expectation is to supply themselves in the West with recruits of men, and what victual they can get: for they may expect none out of the North, when once our Army shall interpose between them and St. Johnston. To prevent their prevalency in the West, and making incursions into the Borders of England, * * *1
Of this Letter Sir Harry Vane and the Council of State judge it improper to publish anything in the Newspapers, except a
1 Sir Harry Vane, who reads the Letter in Parliament, judges it prudent to stop here (Commons Journals, vi. 614).
* Newspapers (in Cromwelliana, p. 107).
rough abstract, in words of their own, of the first two paragraphs and the concluding one. In which state it presents itself in the Old Pamphlets. The Letter copied in full lies among the Tanner Manuscripts ;-gives us a glimpse into the private wants, and old furnitures, of the Cromwell Army. *Pots' are cavalry helmets ; 'backs-and-breasts' are still seen on cuirassier regiments ; 'snaphances' (German schnapphahn, snapcock) are a new wonderful invention, giving fire by flintand-steel ;-promising, were they not so terribly expensive, to supersede the old slow matchlock in field-service! But, I believe, they wind up like a watch before the trigger acts;2 and come very high !
To the Right Honourable the Lord President of the
Council of State : These.
Linlithgow, 26th July, 1651.
I am able to give you no more account than what you have by my last; only we have now in Fife about Thirteen or Fourteen thousand horse and foot. The Enemy is at his old lock, and lieth in and near Stirling; where we cannot come to fight him, except he please, or we go upon too-too manifest hazards : he having very strongly laid himself, and having a very great advantage there. Whither we hear he hath lately gotten great provisions of meal, and reinforcement of his strength out of the North under Marquis Huntly. It is our business still to wait upon God, to shew us our way how to deal with this subtle Enemy; which I hope He will.
1 In Parliamentary History, xix. 498. 2 Grose's Military Antiquities.
Our forces on this side the Riverl are not very many: wherefore I have sent for Colonel Rich's; and shall appoint them, with the forces under Colonel Saunders, to embody close upon the Borders, -and to be in readiness to join with those left on this side the Frith, or to be for the security of England, as occasion shall offer; there being little use of them where they lie, as we know.
Your Soldiers begin to fall sick, through the wet weather which has lately been. It is desired, therefore, that the recruits of foot determined 'on,' may rather come sooner in time than usually; and may be sure to be full in numbers, according to your appointment, whereof great failing has lately been. For the way of raising them, it is wholly submitted to your pleasure ; and we hearing you rather choose to send us Volunteers than Pressed-men, shall be very glad you go that way.
Our Spades are spent to a very small number: we desire, therefore, that of the Five-thousand tools we lately sent for, at the least Three-thousand of them may be spades, - they wearing most away in our works, and being most useful. Our Horse-arms, especially our pots, are come to a very small number: it is desired we may have a Thousand backs-and-breasts, and Fifteen-hundred pots. We have left us in store but Four-hundred pair of pistols; Two-hundred saddles ; Six-hundred pikes ; Two-thousand and thirty muskets, whereof thirty snaphances. These are our present stores: and not knowing
1 Means “Frith’always.
what you have sent us by this Fleet that is coming, we desire we may be considered therein.–Our cheese and butter is our lowest store of Victual.
We were necessitated to pay the Soldiery moneys now at their going over into Fife ; whereby the Treasury is much exhausted, although we desire to husband it what we can. This being the principal time of action, we desire your Lordship to take a principal care that money may be supplied us with all possible speed, and these other things herewith mentioned; your affairs so necessarily requiring the same.
The Castle of Inchgarvie, which lieth in the River, almost in the midway between the North and South Ferry, commonly called Queen's Ferry,- was delivered to us on Thursday last. They marched away with their swords and baggage only ; leaving us sixteen cannon, and all their other arms and ammunition. I remain,
LETTER CLXXVIII. 'To my very loving Brother, Richard Mayor, Esquire,
at Hursley: These. DEAR BROTHER,
Burntisland,' 28th July, 1651.
I was glad to receive a Letter from you ; for indeed anything that comes from you is
* Tanner mss., in Cary, ii. 288-90.