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[*] Memotrials, p. 150.
bravery. From this time the King's power
body was no fmall prejudice to the King's army. In the mean time Cremuel charged furioufly on the King's left wing, and got the better, forcing them from the body, and profecuting the advantage, quite broke them and their referve. During which, the • main bodies had charged one another with incredible • fierceness, often retreating and rallying, falling in together with the butt-ends of their mufkets, and coming to hand blows with their fwords. Langdale's men having been in fome difcontent before, did not in this fight behave themselves as they used to do in others, as their own party gave it out of them; yet they did ⚫ their parts, and the reft of the King's army both horfe and foot performed their duties with great courage and refolution, both commanders and foldiers. Some of the parliament's horfe having lingred awhile about pillage, and being in fome difadvantage, Skippon perceiving it, brought up his foot featonably to their affiftance, and in this charge (as himself related it to me) was 'fhot in the fide. Cromwell coming in with his victorious right wing, they all charged together upon the King, who, unable to endure any longer, got out of the field towards Leicefter. Prince Rupert, who now too late returned from his improvident eager purfuit, feeing the day loft, accompanied them in their flight, leaving a compleat victory to the parliamentarians.'After more particulars he clofes his account thus: Both the general and lieutenant-general performed their work with admirable refolution, and by their particular examples infufed valour into their followers, fo likewife did the other officers, of whom divers were ⚫ wounded. On the other fide, the King fhewed himfelf this day, a couragious general, keeping clofe with his horfe, and himfelf in perfon rallying them to hot encounters [*].'-Hear now an adverfary to Cremwell. Very early in the morning [June 14, 1645] the scouts brought word that the King was making all' • hafte
very fenfibly decayed, and all things flowed
hafte to the engagement, being falfly informed that Fairfax in fear was retreating to Northampton, whereas he had now difpofed of Naf by field, and awaited him, having Cromwell with Whalley on his right wing, and Ireton on his left, the one oppofed to my Lord Langdale, and the northern horfe, and the other to Prince Rupert, general of the cavalry, the King himfelf being generaliffimo. To come to the event. Prince Rupert totally routed I eton, who being engaged and driven upon the King's rightmoft foot, was there wounded in the thigh with a halbert, and taken prifoner, and the field on that hand cleared; which Fairfax and Comwell obferving, having not yet ftirred from their ground, Fairfax with a fhort fpeech encouraged his troops to the charge; which was feconded by fome devout ejaculations from Cromwell, who clapping fpurs to his horfe, fell in with Langdale's brigade, and quite charged through three bodies and utterly broke them; nor did he ftop till with fine force he had likewife beat that wing from their ground, without poffibility of rallying or recovering it again. In this action a commander of the King's knowing Cromwell, advanced fmartly from the head of his troops to exchange a bullet fingly with him, and was with the like gallantry encountered by him, both fides forbearing to come in, till their piftols being discharged, the cavalier with a flanting back-blow of a broad fword, luckily cut the ribbond that tied his murrion, and with a draw threw it off his head, and now ready to repeat ← his stroke, his patty came in and refcued him, and one of them alighting, threw up his head-piece into his faddle, which Oliver haftily catching, as being affrighted with the chance, clapt it the wrong way on his head, and fo fought with it the rest of the day, which proved moft highly fortunate on his fide (though the King moft magnanimoufly and expertly managed the fight, expofing himfelf to the eminenteft perils of • the
in very profperously on the parliament, who
the field) and raifed himself beyond the arts and reach of envy, or his enemies of the Prefbyterian party, who had fo long been heaving at him, to out him of all military employments, which concluding fo per< tinently and peremptorily for him in this grand event, did charm the hatred, malice and prejudice against him, into fear and dread what this arrogance of his fortune would finally afpire to. This battle wholly overthrew the King, who was never after able to make head against the parliament forces, but piece(a) Flagel-meal loft his armies, caftles and towns (a).' I have related this action as I found it, but muft at the fame time defire my reader to clafs it with the encounters of Quixet and Amadis; for like theirs it owes its exiftence to imagination, and is not to be met with in any writer of credit.
lum, p. 37.
The three following authentic copies of original letters relating to this battle, will be deemed curiofities by moft readers. They will do well to compare them with the narratives of modern commanders. In the year 1754, they were found in a wall nine feet thick, on pulling down a house in palace-yard Westminster, in order to build an office for the clerks of the house of lords. The public is indebted for the communication to an honourable gentleman, of diftinguished rank in the republic of letters *.
LETTER I. Indorfed, To the honourable WILLIAM LENTHALL, Efq; Speaker to the houfe of commons. Hafte.
THIS morning by day brake wee marcht out Guilfburro, after the enemy. After an hours march we difcovered their horfe drawne up at Sybbertoff three miles this fide Harbarrough, an hour after their foot ap
peared. This was about 8 in the morning, by 10 we were difpofed into a battalia on both fides, both fides with mighty fhouts expreft a hearty defire of fighting; having for our parts recommended our caufe to God's protection, and rec. the word, which was God cur ftrength, theirs Queen Mary. Our forlorne hopes begun the pla whiles both fides labour'd for the hill and wynd, which in conclufyon was it were equally divided. Our forlorne hope gave back, and their righ- wing of horse fell upon our left with fuch gallantry, that ours were immediately routed. About 1000 ran along with them, but fuch was the courage and diligence of the right wing backt with the foot, that they not only brat back the enemy from the traine, but fell in with their ffoot, and after 2 hours difpute won all their field peeces, (of which fome are cannon) most of their baggage, mortar peeces, boats, 3000 arms, much powder, match, &c. and nigh 4000 prifoners, their number was about 12000; fome 600 flayne, many commanders of note. Of ours not above 200. Our horse are still in purfuit, and have taken many officers; their ftandard is ours, the Kings waggon and many ladyes. God Almighty give us thankful hearts for this great victory, the moft abfolute as yet obteyned. The General, Leift. Gen. Cromwell, and Major Gen. Skippon (who is fhot in the fide, but not dangerous) did beyond expreffion gallantly; fo did all the other commanders and foldiers. We have loft but 2 Capt. Tho' this come late, be pleased to accept it from.
Your Honors moft humble fervants,
Naezby, wher the fight was this
Capt. Potter is dangerously wounded, but hopes of his recovery, fo is Capt. Cook.
LETTER II. Indorfed, For the honble WILLIAM LENTHALL, Speaker of commons houfe of parliament. Theife.
BEING commanded by you to this fervice, I think
myfelf bound to acquaint you with the good hand of God towards you and us. We marched yesterday after the Kinge who went before us from Daventree to Have browe and quartered about fix miles from him, this day we marched towards him. Hee drew out to meete us, both armies ingaged, we after three howers fight very doubtful, att laft routed his armie, killed and tooke about 5000, very many officers, but of what qualitye wee yet know not, wee tooke alfo about 200 carragall hee had, and all his gunns, being 12 in number, whereof 2 were demie cannon, 2 demie culveringes, and (I think) the reft facers. We purfued enemy from miles fhort of Ha-3 to nine beyond, even to fight of Leice/-- whether the King fled. Sir this is non other but the hand of God, and to him alone belongs the glorie, wherein non are to fhare with him. The general ferved you with all faythfulneffe and honor, and the best commendations I can give him is, that I d fay hee attributes all to God, and woud rath perish then affume to himfelfe, which is an honest and a thrivinge way, and yet as much for bravery may be given to him in this action as to a man. Honeft men ferved you faithfully in this action. Sir they are truftye. I beseech you in the name of God not to difcourage them. I with this action may begett thankfulneffe and humilitye in all that are concerned in it. He that venters his life for the libertie of his countrie, I wish hee truft God for the libertie of his confcience, and you for the libertye he fights for, in this hee refts whoe is
Your most humble fervant,
June 14th, 1645.