This page contains affiliate links. As Amazon Associates we earn from qualifying purchases.
Writer:
Language:
Forms:
Published:
  • 1720
Collection:
Buy it on Amazon Listen via Audible FREE Audible 30 days

doing on the whole stage of the war. For being under no command, but at liberty to rove about, I could come to no Swedish garrison or party, but, sending my name to the commanding officer, I could have the word sent me; and if I came into the army, I was often treated as I was now at this famous battle of Noerdlingen.

But I cannot but say, that I always looked upon this particular respect to be the effect of more than ordinary regard the great king of Sweden always showed me, rather than any merit of my own; and the veneration they all had for his memory, made them continue to show me all the marks of a suitable esteem.

But to return to the council of war, the great and, indeed, the only question before us was, Shall we give battle to the Imperialists, or not? Gustavus Horn was against it, and gave, as I thought, the most invincible arguments against a battle that reason could imagine.

First, they were weaker than the enemy by above 5000 men.

Secondly, the Cardinal-Infant of Spain, who was in the Imperial army with 8000 men, was but there _en passant_, being going from Italy to Flanders, to take upon him the government of the Low Countries; and if he saw no prospect of immediate action, would be gone in a few days.

Thirdly, they had two reinforcements, one of 5000 men, under the command of Colonel Cratz, and one of 7000 men, under the Rhinegrave, who were just at hand–the last within three days’ march of them: and,

Lastly, they had already saved their honour; in that they had put 600 foot into the town of Noerdlingen, in the face of the enemy’s army, and consequently the town might hold out some days the longer.

Fate, rather than reason, certainly blinded the rest of the generals against such arguments as these. Duke Bernhard and almost all the generals were for fighting, alleging the affront it would be to the Swedish reputation to see their friends in the town lost before their faces.

Gustavus Horn stood stiff to his cautious advice, and was against it, and I thought the Baron D’Offkirk treated him a little indecently; for, being very warm in the matter, he told them, that if Gustavus Adolphus had been governed by such cowardly counsel, he had never been conqueror of half Germany in two years. “No,” replied old General Horn, very smartly, “but he had been now alive to have testified for me, that I was never taken by him for a coward: and yet,” says he, “the king was never for a victory with a hazard, when he could have it without.”

I was asked my opinion, which I would have declined, being in no commission; but they pressed me to speak. I told them I was for staying at least till the Rhinegrave came up, who, at least, might, if expresses were sent to hasten him, be up with us in twenty-four hours. But Offkirk could not hold his passion, and had not he been overruled he would have almost quarrelled with Marshal Horn. Upon which the old general, not to foment him, with a great deal of mildness stood up, and spoke thus–

“Come, Offkirk,” says he, “I’ll submit my opinion to you, and the majority of our fellow-soldiers. We will fight, but, upon my word, we shall have our hands full.”

The resolution thus taken, they attacked the Imperial army. I must confess the counsels of this day seemed as confused as the resolutions of the night.

Duke Bernhard was to lead the van of the left wing, and to post himself upon a hill which was on the enemy’s right without their entrenchments, so that, having secured that post, they might level their cannon upon the foot, who stood behind the lines, and relieved the town at pleasure. He marched accordingly by break of day, and falling with great fury upon eight regiments of foot, which were posted at the foot of the hill, he presently routed them, and made himself master of the post. Flushed with this success, he never regards his own concerted measures of stopping there and possessing what he had got, but pushes on and falls in with the main body of the enemy’s army.

While this was doing, Gustavus Horn attacks another post on the hill, where the Spaniards had posted and lodged themselves behind some works they had cast up on the side of the hill. Here they defended themselves with extreme obstinacy for five hours, and at last obliged the Swedes to give it over with loss. This extraordinary gallantry of the Spaniards was the saving of the Imperial army; for Duke Bernhard having all this while resisted the frequent charges of the Imperialists, and borne the weight of two-thirds of their army, was not able to stand any longer, but sending one messenger on the neck of another to Gustavus Horn for more foot, he, finding he could not carry his point, had given it over, and was in full march to second the duke. But now it was too late, for the King of Hungary seeing the duke’s men, as it were, wavering, and having notice of Horn’s wheeling about to second him, falls in with all his force upon his flank, and with his Hungarian hussars, made such a furious charge, that the Swedes could stand no longer.

The rout of the left wing was so much the more unhappy, as it happened just upon Gustavus Horn’s coming up; for, being pushed on with the enemies at their heels, they were driven upon their own friends, who, having no ground to open and give them way, were trodden down by their own runaway brethren. This brought all into the utmost confusion. The Imperialists cried “Victoria!” and fell into the middle of the infantry with a terrible slaughter.

I have always observed, ’tis fatal to upbraid an old experienced officer with want of courage. If Gustavus Horn had not been whetted with the reproaches of the Baron D’Offkirk, and some of the other general officers, I believe it had saved the lives of a thousand men; for when all was thus lost, several officers advised him to make a retreat with such regiments as he had yet unbroken; but nothing could persuade him to stir a foot. But turning his flank into a front, he saluted the enemy, as they passed by him in pursuit of the rest, with such terrible volleys of small shot, as cost them the lives of abundance of their men.

The Imperialists, eager in the pursuit, left him unbroken, till the Spanish brigade came up and charged him. These he bravely repulsed with a great slaughter, and after them a body of dragoons; till being laid at on every side, and most of his men killed, the brave old general, with all the rest who were left, were made prisoners.

The Swedes had a terrible loss here, for almost all their infantry were killed or taken prisoners. Gustavus Horn refused quarter several times; and still those that attacked him were cut down by his men, who fought like furies, and by the example of their general, behaved themselves like lions. But at last, these poor remains of a body of the bravest men in the world were forced to submit. I have heard him say, he had much rather have died than been taken, but that he yielded in compassion to so many brave men as were about him; for none of them would take quarter till he gave his consent.

I had the worst share in this battle that ever I had in any action of my life; and that was to be posted among as brave a body of horse as any in Germany, and yet not be able to succour our own men; but our foot were cut in pieces (as it were) before our faces, and the situation of the ground was such as we could not fall in. All that we were able to do, was to carry off about 2000 of the foot, who, running away in the rout of the left wing, rallied among our squadrons, and got away with us. Thus we stood till we saw all was lost, and then made the best retreat we could to save ourselves, several regiments having never charged, nor fired a shot; for the foot had so embarrassed themselves among the lines and works of the enemy, and in the vineyards and mountains, that the horse were rendered absolutely unserviceable.

The Rhinegrave had made such expedition to join us, that he reached within three miles of the place of action that night, and he was a great safeguard for us in rallying our dispersed men, who else had fallen into the enemy’s hands, and in checking the pursuit of the enemy.

And indeed, had but any considerable body of the foot made an orderly retreat, it had been very probable they had given the enemy a brush that would have turned the scale of victory; for our horse being whole, and in a manner untouched, the enemy found such a check in the pursuit, that 1600 of their forwardest men following too eagerly, fell in with the Rhinegrave’s advanced troops the next day, and were cut in pieces without mercy.

This gave us some satisfaction for the loss, but it was but small compared to the ruin of that day. We lost near 8000 men upon the spot, and above 3000 prisoners, all our cannon and baggage, and 120 colours. I thought I never made so indifferent a figure in my life, and so we thought all; to come away, lose our infantry, our general, and our honour, and never fight for it. Duke Bernhard was utterly disconsolate for old Gustavus Horn, for he concluded him killed; he tore the hair from his head like a madman, and telling the Rhinegrave the story of the council of war, would reproach himself with not taking his advice, often repeating it in his passion. “Tis I,” said he, “have been the death of the bravest general in Germany;” would call himself fool and boy, and such names, for not listening to the reasons of an old experienced soldier. But when he heard he was alive in the enemy’s hands he was the easier, and applied himself to the recruiting his troops, and the like business of the war; and it was not long before he paid the Imperialists with interest.

I returned to Frankfort-au-Main after this action, which happened the 17th of August 1634; but the progress of the Imperialists was so great that there was no staying at Frankfort. The chancellor Oxenstiern removed to Magdeburg, Duke Bernhard and the Landgrave marched into Alsatia, and the Imperialists carried all before them for all the rest of the campaign. They took Philipsburg by surprise; they took Augsburg by famine, Spire and Treves by sieges, taking the Elector prisoner. But this success did one piece of service to the Swedes, that it brought the French into the war on their side, for the Elector of Treves was their confederate. The French gave the conduct of the war to Duke Bernhard. This, though the Duke of Saxony fell off, and fought against them, turned the scale so much in their favour, that they recovered their losses, and proved a terror to all Germany. The farther accounts of the war I refer to the histories of those times, which I have since read with a great deal of delight.

I confess when I saw the progress of the Imperial army, after the battle of Noerdlingen, and the Duke of Saxony turning his arms against them, I thought their affairs declining; and, giving them over for lost, I left Frankfort, and came down the Rhine to Cologne, and from thence into Holland.

I came to the Hague the 8th of March 1635, having spent three years and a half in Germany, and the greatest part of it in the Swedish army.

I spent some time in Holland viewing the wonderful power of art, which I observed in the fortifications of their towns, where the very bastions stand on bottomless morasses, and yet are as firm as any in the world. There I had the opportunity of seeing the Dutch army, and their famous general, Prince Maurice. ‘Tis true, the men behaved themselves well enough in action, when they were put to it, but the prince’s way of beating his enemies without fighting, was so unlike the gallantry of my royal instructor, that it had no manner of relish with me. Our way in Germany was always to seek out the enemy and fight him; and, give the Imperialists their due, they were seldom hard to be found, but were as free of their flesh as we were. Whereas Prince Maurice would lie in a camp till he starved half his men, if by lying there he could but starve two-thirds of his enemies; so that indeed the war in Holland had more of fatigues and hardships in it, and ours had more of fighting and blows. Hasty marches, long and unwholesome encampments, winter parties, counter-marching, dodging and entrenching, were the exercises of his men, and oftentimes killed him more men with hunger, cold and diseases, than he could do with fighting. Not that it required less courage, but rather more, for a soldier had at any time rather die in the field _a la coup de mousquet_, than be starved with hunger, or frozen to death in the trenches.

Nor do I think I lessen the reputation of that great general; for ’tis most certain he ruined the Spaniard more by spinning the war thus out in length, than he could possibly have done by a swift conquest. For had he, Gustavus-like, with a torrent of victory dislodged the Spaniard of all the twelve provinces in five years, whereas he was forty years a-beating them out of seven, he had left them rich and strong at home, and able to keep them in constant apprehensions of a return of his power. Whereas, by the long continuance of the war, he so broke the very heart of the Spanish monarchy, so absolutely and irrecoverably impoverished them, that they have ever since languished of the disease, till they are fallen from the most powerful, to be the most despicable nation in the world.

The prodigious charge the King of Spain was at in losing the seven provinces, broke the very spirit of the nation; and that so much, that all the wealth of their Peruvian mountains have not been able to retrieve it; King Philip having often declared that war, besides his Armada for invading England, had cost him 370,000,000 of ducats, and 4,000,000 of the best soldiers in Europe; whereof, by an unreasonable Spanish obstinacy, above 60,000 lost their lives before Ostend, a town not worth a sixth part either of the blood or money it cost in a siege of three years; and which at last he had never taken, but that Prince Maurice thought it not worth the charge of defending it any longer.

However, I say, their way of fighting in Holland did not relish with me at all. The prince lay a long time before a little fort called Schenkenschanz, which the Spaniard took by surprise, and I thought he might have taken it much sooner. Perhaps it might be my mistake, but I fancied my hero, the King of Sweden, would have carried it sword in hand, in half the time.

However it was, I did not like it; so in the latter end of the year I came to the Hague, and took shipping for England, where I arrived, to the great satisfaction of my father and all my friends.

My father was then in London, and carried me to kiss the king’s hand. His Majesty was pleased to receive me very well, and to say a great many very obliging things to my father upon my account.

I spent my time very retired from court, for I was almost wholly in the country; and it being so much different from my genius, which hankered after a warmer sport than hunting among our Welsh mountains, I could not but be peeping in all the foreign accounts from Germany, to see who and who was together. There I could never hear of a battle, and the Germans being beaten, but I began to wish myself there. But when an account came of the progress of John Baner, the Swedish general in Saxony, and of the constant victories he had there over the Saxons, I could no longer contain myself, but told my father this life was very disagreeable to me; that I lost my time here, and might to much more advantage go into Germany, where I was sure I might make my fortune upon my own terms; that, as young as I was, I might have been a general officer by this time, if I had not laid down my commission; that General Baner, or the Marshal Horn, had either of them so much respect for me, that I was sure I might have anything of them; and that if he pleased to give me leave, I would go for Germany again. My father was very unwilling to let me go, but seeing me uneasy, told me that, if I was resolved, he would oblige me to stay no longer in England than the next spring, and I should have his consent.

The winter following began to look very unpleasant upon us in England, and my father used often to sigh at it; and would tell me sometimes he was afraid we should have no need to send Englishmen to fight in Germany.

The cloud that seemed to threaten most was from Scotland. My father, who had made himself master of the arguments on both sides, used to be often saying he feared there was some about the king who exasperated him too much against the Scots, and drove things too high. For my part, I confess I did not much trouble my head with the cause; but all my fear was they would not fall out, and we should have no fighting. I have often reflected since, that I ought to have known better, that had seen how the most flourishing provinces of Germany were reduced to the most miserable condition that ever any country in the world was, by the ravagings of soldiers, and the calamities of war.

How much soever I was to blame, yet so it was, I had a secret joy at the news of the king’s raising an army, and nothing could have withheld me from appearing in it; but my eagerness was anticipated by an express the king sent to my father, to know if his son was in England; and my father having ordered me to carry the answer myself, I waited upon his Majesty with the messenger. The king received me with his usual kindness, and asked me if I was willing to serve him against the Scots?

I answered, I was ready to serve him against any that his Majesty thought fit to account his enemies, and should count it an honour to receive his commands. Hereupon his Majesty offered me a commission. I told him, I supposed there would not be much time for raising of men; that if his Majesty pleased I would be at the rendezvous with as many gentlemen as I could get together, to serve his Majesty as volunteers.

The truth is, I found all the regiments of horse the king designed to raise were but two as regiments; the rest of the horse were such as the nobility raised in their several countries, and commanded them themselves; and, as I had commanded a regiment of horse abroad, it looked a little odd to serve with a single troop at home; and the king took the thing presently. “Indeed ’twill be a volunteer war,” said the king, “for the Northern gentry have sent me an account of above 4000 horse they have already.” I bowed, and told his Majesty I was glad to hear his subjects were forward to serve him. So taking his Majesty’s orders to be at York by the end of March, I returned to my father.

My father was very glad I had not taken a commission, for I know not from what kind of emulation between the western and northern gentry. The gentlemen of our side were not very forward in the service; their loyalty to the king in the succeeding times made it appear it was not for any disaffection to his Majesty’s interest or person, or to the cause; but this, however, made it difficult for me when I came home to get any gentlemen of quality to serve with me, so that I presented myself to his Majesty only as a volunteer, with eight gentlemen and about thirty-six countrymen well mounted and armed.

And as it proved, these were enough, for this expedition ended in an accommodation with the Scots; and they not advancing so much as to their own borders, we never came to any action. But the armies lay in the counties of Northumberland and Durham, ate up the country, and spent the king a vast sum of money; and so this war ended, a pacification was made, and both sides returned.

The truth is, I never saw such a despicable appearance of men in arms to begin a war in my life; whether it was that I had seen so many braver armies abroad that prejudiced me against them, or that it really was so; for to me they seemed little better than a rabble met together to devour, rather than fight for their king and country. There was indeed a great appearance of gentlemen, and those of extraordinary quality; but their garb, their equipages, and their mien, did not look like war; their troops were filled with footmen and servants, and wretchedly armed, God wot. I believe I might say, without vanity, one regiment of Finland horse would have made sport at beating them all. There were such crowds of parsons (for this was a Church war in particular) that the camp and court was full of them; and the king was so eternally besieged with clergymen of one sort or another, that it gave offence to the chief of the nobility.

As was the appearance, so was the service. The army marched to the borders, and the headquarter was at Berwick-upon-Tweed; but the Scots never appeared, no, not so much as their scouts; whereupon the king called a council of war, and there it was resolved to send the Earl of Holland with a party of horse into Scotland, to learn some news of the enemy. And truly the first news he brought us was, that finding their army encamped about Coldingham, fifteen miles from Berwick, as soon as he appeared, the Scots drew out a party to charge him, upon which most of his men halted–I don’t say run away, but ’twas next door to it–for they could not be persuaded to fire their pistols, and wheel of like soldiers, but retreated in such a disorderly and shameful manner, that had the enemy but had either the courage or conduct to have followed them, it must have certainly ended in the ruin of the whole party.

[Footnote 1: Upon the breach of the match between the King of England and the Infanta of Spain; and particularly upon the old quarrel of the King of Bohemia and the Palatinate.]

THE SECOND PART

I confess, when I went into arms at the beginning of this war, I never troubled myself to examine sides: I was glad to hear the drums beat for soldiers, as if I had been a mere Swiss, that had not cared which side went up or down, so I had my pay. I went as eagerly and blindly about my business, as the meanest wretch that ‘listed in the army; nor had I the least compassionate thought for the miseries of my native country, till after the fight at Edgehill. I had known as much, and perhaps more than most in the army, what it was to have an enemy ranging in the bowels of a kingdom; I had seen the most flourishing provinces of Germany reduced to perfect deserts, and the voracious Crabats, with inhuman barbarity, quenching the fires of the plundered villages with the blood of the inhabitants. Whether this had hardened me against the natural tenderness which I afterwards found return upon me, or not, I cannot tell; but I reflected upon myself afterwards with a great deal of trouble, for the unconcernedness of my temper at the approaching ruin of my native country.

I was in the first army at York, as I have already noted, and, I must confess, had the least diversion there that ever I found in an army in my life. For when I was in Germany with the King of Sweden, we used to see the king with the general officers every morning on horseback viewing his men, his artillery, his horses, and always something going forward. Here we saw nothing but courtiers and clergymen, bishops and parsons, as busy as if the direction of the war had been in them. The king was seldom seen among us, and never without some of them always about him.

Those few of us that had seen the wars, and would have made a short end of this for him, began to be very uneasy; and particularly a certain nobleman took the freedom to tell the king that the clergy would certainly ruin the expedition. The case was this: he would have had the king have immediately marched into Scotland, and put the matter to the trial of a battle; and he urged it every day. And the king finding his reasons very good, would often be of his opinion; but next morning he would be of another mind.

This gentleman was a man of conduct enough, and of unquestioned courage, and afterwards lost his life for the king. He saw we had an army of young stout fellows numerous enough; and though they had not yet seen much service, he was for bringing them to action, that the Scots might not have time to strengthen themselves, nor they have time by idleness and sotting, the bane of soldiers, to make themselves unfit for anything.

I was one morning in company with this gentleman; and as he was a warm man, and eager in his discourse, “A pox of these priests,” says he, “’tis for them the king has raised this army, and put his friends to a vast charge; and now we are come, they won’t let us fight.”

But I was afterwards convinced the clergy saw further into the matter than we did. They saw the Scots had a better army than we had–bold and ready, commanded by brave officers–and they foresaw that if we fought we should be beaten, and if beaten, they were undone. And ’twas very true, we had all been ruined if we had engaged.

It is true when we came to the pacification which followed, I confess I was of the same mind the gentleman had been of; for we had better have fought and been beaten than have made so dishonourable a treaty without striking a stroke. This pacification seems to me to have laid the scheme of all the blood and confusion which followed in the Civil War. For whatever the king and his friends might pretend to do by talking big, the Scots saw he was to be bullied into anything, and that when it came to the push the courtiers never cared to bring it to blows.

I have little or nothing to say as to action in this mock expedition. The king was persuaded at last to march to Berwick; and, as I have said already, a party of horse went out to learn news of the Scots, and as soon as they saw them, ran away from them bravely.

This made the Scots so insolent that, whereas before they lay encamped behind a river, and never showed themselves, in a sort of modest deference to their king, which was the pretence of not being aggressors or invaders, only arming in their own defence, now, having been invaded by the English troops entering Scotland, they had what they wanted. And to show it was not fear that retained them before, but policy, now they came up in parties to our very gates, braving and facing us every day.

I had, with more curiosity than discretion, put myself as a volunteer at the head of one of our parties of horse, under my Lord Holland, when they went out to discover the enemy; they went, they said, to see what the Scots were a-doing.

We had not marched far, but our scouts brought word they had discovered some horse, but could not come up to them, because a river parted them. At the heels of these came another party of our men upon the spur to us, and said the enemy was behind, which might be true for aught we knew; but it was so far behind that nobody could see them, and yet the country was plain and open for above a mile before us. Hereupon we made a halt, and, indeed, I was afraid it would have been an odd sort of a halt, for our men began to look one upon another, as they do in like cases, when they are going to break; and when the scouts came galloping in the men were in such disorder, that had but one man broke away, I am satisfied they had all run for it.

I found my Lord Holland did not perceive it; but after the first surprise was a little over I told my lord what I had observed, and that unless some course was immediately taken they would all run at the first sight of the enemy. I found he was much concerned at it, and began to consult what course to take to prevent it. I confess ’tis a hard question how to make men stand and face an enemy, when fear has possessed their minds with an inclination to run away. But I’ll give that honour to the memory of that noble gentleman, who, though his experience in matters of war was small, having never been in much service, yet his courage made amends for it; for I daresay he would not have turned his horse from an army of enemies, nor have saved his life at the price of running away for it.

My lord soon saw, as well as I, the fright the men were in, after I had given him a hint of it; and to encourage them, rode through their ranks and spoke cheerfully to them, and used what arguments he thought proper to settle their minds. I remembered a saying which I heard old Marshal Gustavus Horn speak in Germany, “If you find your men falter, or in doubt, never suffer them to halt, but keep them advancing; for while they are going forward, it keeps up their courage.”

As soon as I could get opportunity to speak to him, I gave him this as my opinion. “That’s very well,” says my lord, “but I am studying,” says he, “to post them so as that they can’t run if they would; and if they stand but once to face the enemy, I don’t fear them afterwards.”

While we were discoursing thus, word was brought that several parties of the enemies were seen on the farther side of the river, upon which my lord gave the word to march; and as we were marching on, my lord calls out a lieutenant who had been an old soldier, with only five troopers whom he had most confidence in, and having given him his lesson, he sends him away. In a quarter of an hour one of the five troopers comes back galloping and hallooing, and tells us his lieutenant had, with his small party, beaten a party of twenty of the enemy’s horse over the river, and had secured the pass, and desired my lord would march up to him immediately.

Tis a strange thing that men’s spirits should be subjected to such sudden changes, and capable of so much alteration from shadows of things. They were for running before they saw the enemy, now they are in haste to be led on, and but that in raw men we are obliged to bear with anything, the disorder in both was intolerable.

The story was a premeditated sham, and not a word of truth in it, invented to raise their spirits, and cheat them out of their cowardly phlegmatic apprehensions, and my lord had his end in it; for they were all on fire to fall on. And I am persuaded, had they been led immediately into a battle begun to their hands, they would have laid about them like furies; for there is nothing like victory to flush a young soldier. Thus, while the humour was high, and the fermentation lasted, away we marched, and, passing one of their great commons, which they call moors, we came to the river, as he called it, where our lieutenant was posted with his four men; ’twas a little brook fordable with ease, and, leaving a guard at the pass, we advanced to the top of a small ascent, from whence we had a fair view of the Scots army, as they lay behind another river larger than the former.

Our men were posted well enough, behind a small enclosure, with a narrow lane in their front. And my lord had caused his dragoons to be placed in the front to line the hedges; and in this posture he stood viewing the enemy at a distance. The Scots, who had some intelligence of our coming, drew out three small parties, and sent them by different ways to observe our number; and, forming a fourth party, which I guessed to be about 600 horse, advanced to the top of the plain, and drew up to face us, but never offered to attack us.

One of the small parties, making about 100 men, one third foot, passes upon our flank in view, but out of reach; and, as they marched, shouted at us, which our men, better pleased with that work than with fighting, readily enough answered, and would fain have fired at them for the pleasure of making a noise, for they were too far off to hit them.

I observed that these parties had always some foot with them; and yet if the horse galloped, or pushed on ever so forward, the foot were as forward as they, which was an extraordinary advantage.

Gustavus Adolphus, that king of soldiers, was the first that I have ever observed found the advantage of mixing small bodies of musketeers among his horse; and, had he had such nimble strong fellows as these, he would have prized them above all the rest of his men. These were those they call Highlanders. They would run on foot with their arms and all their accoutrements, and keep very good order too, and yet keep pace with the horse, let them go at what rate they would. When I saw the foot thus interlined among the horse, together with the way of ordering their flying parties, it presently occurred to my mind that here was some of our old Scots come home out of Germany that had the ordering of matters, and if so, I knew we were not a match for them.

Thus we stood facing the enemy till our scouts brought us word the whole Scots army was in motion, and in full march to attack us; and, though it was not true, and the fear of our men doubled every object, yet ’twas thought convenient to make our retreat. The whole matter was that the scouts having informed them what they could of our strength, the 600 were ordered to march towards us, and three regiments of foot were drawn out to support the horse.

I know not whether they would have ventured to attack us, at least before their foot had come up; but whether they would have put it to the hazard or no, we were resolved not to hazard the trial, so we drew down to the pass. And, as retreating looks something like running away, especially when an enemy is at hand, our men had much ado to make their retreat pass for a march, and not a flight; and, by their often looking behind them, anybody might know what they would have done if they had been pressed.

I confess, I was heartily ashamed when the Scots, coming up to the place where we had been posted, stood and shouted at us. I would have persuaded my lord to have charged them, and he would have done it with all his heart, but he saw it was not practicable; so we stood at gaze with them above two hours, by which time their foot were come up to them, and yet they did not offer to attack us. I never was so ashamed of myself in my life; we were all dispirited. The Scots gentlemen would come out single, within shot of our post, which in a time of war is always accounted a challenge to any single gentleman, to come out and exchange a pistol with them, and nobody would stir; at last our old lieutenant rides out to meet a Scotchman that came pickeering on his quarter. This lieutenant was a brave and a strong fellow, had been a soldier in the Low Countries; and though he was not of any quality, only a mere soldier, had his preferment for his conduct. He gallops bravely up to his adversary, and exchanging their pistols, the lieutenant’s horse happened to be killed. The Scotchman very generously dismounts, and engages him with his sword, and fairly masters him, and carries him away prisoner; and I think this horse was all the blood was shed in that war.

The lieutenant’s name thus conquered was English, and as he was a very stout old soldier, the disgrace of it broke his heart. The Scotchman, indeed, used him very generously; for he treated him in the camp very courteously, gave him another horse, and set him at liberty, gratis. But the man laid it so to heart, that he never would appear in the army, but went home to his own country and died.

I had enough of party-making, and was quite sick with indignation at the cowardice of the men; and my lord was in as great a fret as I, but there was no remedy. We durst not go about to retreat, for we should have been in such confusion that the enemy must have discovered it; so my lord resolved to keep the post, if possible, and send to the king for some foot. Then were our men ready to fight with one another who should be the messenger; and at last when a lieutenant with twenty dragoons was despatched, he told us afterwards he found himself an hundred strong before he was gotten a mile from the place.

In short, as soon as ever the day declined, and the dusk of the evening began to shelter the designs of the men, they dropped away from us one by one; and at last in such numbers, that if we had stayed till the morning, we had not had fifty men left; out of 1200 horse and dragoons.

When I saw how it was, consulting with some of the officers, we all went to my Lord Holland, and pressed him to retreat, before the enemy should discern the flight of our men; so he drew us off, and we came to the camp the next morning, in the shamefullest condition that ever poor men could do. And this was the end of the worst expedition ever I made in my life.

To fight and be beaten is a casualty common to a soldier, and I have since had enough of it; but to run away at the sight of an enemy, and neither strike or be stricken, this is the very shame of the profession, and no man that has done it ought to show his face again in the field, unless disadvantages of place or number make it tolerable, neither of which was our case.

My Lord Holland made another march a few days after, in hopes to retrieve this miscarriage; but I had enough of it, so I kept in my quarters. And though his men did not desert him as before, yet upon the appearance of the enemy they did not think fit to fight, and came off with but little more honour than they did before.

There was no need to go out to seek the enemy after this, for they came, as I have noted, and pitched in sight of us, and their parties came up every day to the very out-works of Berwick, but nobody cared to meddle with them. And in this posture things stood when the pacification was agreed on by both parties, which, like a short truce, only gave both sides breath to prepare for a new war more ridiculously managed than the former. When the treaty was so near a conclusion as that conversation was admitted on both sides, I went over to the Scotch camp to satisfy my curiosity, as many of our English officers did also.

I confess the soldiers made a very uncouth figure, especially the Highlanders. The oddness and barbarity of their garb and arms seemed to have something in it remarkable.

They were generally tall swinging fellows; their swords were extravagantly, and, I think, insignificantly broad, and they carried great wooden targets, large enough to cover the upper part of their bodies. Their dress was as antique as the rest; a cap on their heads, called by them a bonnet, long hanging sleeves behind, and their doublet, breeches, and stockings of a stuff they called plaid, striped across red and yellow, with short cloaks of the same. These fellows looked, when drawn out, like a regiment of merry-andrews, ready for Bartholomew Fair. They are in companies all of a name, and therefore call one another only by their Christian names, as Jemmy, Jocky, that is, John, and Sawny, that is, Alexander, and the like. And they scorn to be commanded but by one of their own clan or family. They are all gentlemen, and proud enough to be kings. The meanest fellow among them is as tenacious of his honour as the best nobleman in the country, and they will fight and cut one another’s throats for every trifling affront.

But to their own clans or lairds, they are the willingest and most obedient fellows in nature. Give them their due, were their skill in exercises and discipline proportioned to their courage, they would make the bravest soldiers in the world. They are large bodies, and prodigiously strong; and two qualities they have above other nations, viz., hardy to endure hunger, cold, and hardships, and wonderfully swift of foot. The latter is such an advantage in the field that I know none like it; for if they conquer, no enemy can escape them, and if they run, even the horse can hardly overtake them. These were some of them, who, as I observed before, went out in parties with their horse.

There were three or four thousand of these in the Scots army, armed only with swords and targets; and in their belts some of them had a pistol, but no muskets at that time among them.

But there were also a great many regiments of disciplined men, who, by their carrying their arms, looked as if they understood their business, and by their faces, that they durst see an enemy.

I had not been half-an-hour in their camp after the ceremony of giving our names, and passing their out-guards and main-guard was over, but I was saluted by several of my acquaintance; and in particular, by one who led the Scotch volunteers at the taking the castle of Oppenheim, of which I have given an account. They used me with all the respect they thought due to me, on account of old affairs, gave me the word, and a sergeant waited upon me whenever I pleased to go abroad.

I continued twelve or fourteen days among them, till the pacification was concluded; and they were ordered to march home. They spoke very respectfully of the king, but I found were exasperated to the last degree at Archbishop Laud and the English bishops, for endeavouring to impose the Common Prayer Book upon them; and they always talked with the utmost contempt of our soldiers and army. I always waived the discourse about the clergy, and the occasion of the war, but I could not but be too sensible what they said of our men was true; and by this I perceived they had an universal intelligence from among us, both of what we were doing, and what sort of people we were that were doing it; and they were mighty desirous of coming to blows with us. I had an invitation from their general, but I declined it, lest I should give offence. I found they accepted the pacification as a thing not likely to hold, or that they did not design should hold; and that they were resolved to keep their forces on foot, notwithstanding the agreement. Their whole army was full of brave officers, men of as much experience and conduct as any in the world; and all men who know anything of the war, know good officers presently make a good army.

Things being thus huddled up, the English came back to York, where the army separated, and the Scots went home to increase theirs; for I easily foresaw that peace was the farthest thing from their thoughts.

The next year the flame broke out again. The king draws his forces down into the north, as before, and expresses were sent to all the gentlemen that had commands to be at the place by the 15th of July. As I had accepted of no command in the army, so I had no inclination at all to go, for I foresaw there would be nothing but disgrace attend it. My father, observing such an alteration in my usual forwardness, asked me one day what was the matter, that I who used to be so forward to go into the army, and so eager to run abroad to fight, now showed no inclination to appear when the service of the king and country called me to it? I told him I had as much zeal as ever for the king’s service, and for the country too: but he knew a soldier could not abide to be beaten; and being from thence a little more inquisitive, I told him the observations I had made in the Scots army, and the people I had conversed with there. “And, sir,” says I, “assure yourself, if the king offers to fight them, he will be beaten; and I don’t love to engage when my judgment tells me beforehand I shall be worsted.” And as I had foreseen, it came to pass; for the Scots resolving to proceed, never stood upon the ceremony of aggression, as before, but on the 20th of August they entered England with their army.

However, as my father desired, I went to the king’s army, which was then at York, but not gotten all together. The king himself was at London, but upon this news takes post for the army, and advancing a part of his forces, he posted the Lord Conway and Sir Jacob Astley, with a brigade of foot and some horse, at Newburn, upon the river Tyne, to keep the Scots from passing that river.

The Scots could have passed the Tyne without fighting; but to let us see that they were able to force their passage, they fall upon his body of men and notwithstanding all the advantages of the place, they beat them from the post, took their baggage and two pieces of cannon, with some prisoners. Sir Jacob Astley made what resistance he could, but the Scots charged with so much fury, and being also overpowered, he was soon put into confusion. Immediately the Scots made themselves masters of Newcastle, and the next day of Durham, and laid those two counties under intolerable contributions.

Now was the king absolutely ruined; for among his own people the discontents before were so plain, that had the clergy had any forecast, they would never have embroiled him with the Scots, till he had fully brought matters to an understanding at home. But the case was thus: the king, by the good husbandry of Bishop Juxon, his treasurer, had a million of ready money in his treasury, and upon that account, having no need of a Parliament, had not called one in twelve years; and perhaps had never called another, if he had not by this unhappy circumstance been reduced to a necessity of it; for now this ready money was spent in two foolish expeditions, and his army appeared in a condition not fit to engage the Scots. The detachment under Sir Jacob Astley, which were of the flower of his men, had been routed at Newburn, and the enemy had possession of two entire counties.

All men blamed Laud for prompting the king to provoke the Scots, a headstrong nation, and zealous for their own way of worship; and Laud himself found too late the consequences of it, both to the whole cause and to himself; for the Scots, whose native temper is not easily to forgive an injury, pursued him by their party in England, and never gave it over till they laid his head on the block.

The ruined country now clamoured in his Majesty’s ears with daily petitions, and the gentry of other neighbouring counties cry out for peace and Parliament. The king, embarrassed with these difficulties, and quite empty of money, calls a great council of the nobility at York, and demands their advice, which any one could have told him before would be to call a Parliament.

I cannot, without regret, look back upon the misfortune of the king, who, as he was one of the best princes in his personal conduct that ever reigned in England, had yet some of the greatest unhappinesses in his conduct as a king, that ever prince had, and the whole course of his life demonstrated it.

1. An impolitic honesty. His enemies called it obstinacy; but as I was perfectly acquainted with his temper, I cannot but think it was his judgment, when he thought he was in the right, to adhere to it as a duty though against his interest.

2. Too much compliance when he was complying. No man but himself would have denied what at some times he denied, and have granted what at other times he granted; and this uncertainty of counsel proceeded from two things.

1. The heat of the clergy, to whom he was exceedingly devoted, and for whom, indeed, he ruined himself.

2. The wisdom of his nobility.

Thus when the counsel of his priests prevailed, all was fire and fury; the Scots were rebels, and must be subdued, and the Parliament’s demands were to be rejected as exorbitant. But whenever the king’s judgment was led by the grave and steady advice of his nobility and counsellors, he was always inclined by them to temperate his measures between the two extremes. And had he gone on in such a temper, he had never met with the misfortunes which afterward attended him, or had so many thousands of his friends lost their lives and fortunes in his service.

I am sure we that knew what it was to fight for him, and that loved him better than any of the clergy could pretend to, have had many a consultation how to bring over our master from so espousing their interest, as to ruin himself for it; but ’twas in vain.

I took this interval when I sat still and only looked on, to make these remarks, because I remember the best friends the king had were at this time of that opinion, that ’twas an unaccountable piece of indiscretion, to commence a quarrel with the Scots, a poor and obstinate people, for a ceremony and book of Church discipline, at a time when the king stood but upon indifferent terms with his people at home.

The consequence was, it put arms into the hands of his subjects to rebel against him; it embroiled him with his Parliament in England, to whom he was fain to stoop in a fatal and unusual manner to get money, all his own being spent, and so to buy off the Scots whom he could not beat off.

I cannot but give one instance of the unaccountable politics of his ministers. If they overruled this unhappy king to it, with design to exhaust and impoverish him, they were the worst of traitors; if not, the grossest of fools. They prompted the king to equip a fleet against the Scots, and to put on board it 5000 land men. Had this been all, the design had been good, that while the king had faced the army upon the borders, these 5000, landing in the Firth of Edinburgh, might have put that whole nation into disorder. But in order to this, they advised the king to lay out his money in fitting out the biggest ships he had, and the “Royal Sovereign,” the biggest ship the world had ever seen, which cost him no less than L100,000, was now built, and fitted out for this voyage.

This was the most incongruous and ridiculous advice that could be given, and made us all believe we were betrayed, though we knew not by whom.

To fit out ships of 100 guns to invade Scotland, which had not one man-of-war in the world, nor any open confederacy with any prince or state that had any fleet, ’twas a most ridiculous thing. An hundred sail of Newcastle colliers, to carry the men with their stores and provisions, and ten frigates of 40 guns each, had been as good a fleet as reason and the nature of the thing could have made tolerable.

Thus things were carried on, till the king, beggared by the mismanagement of his counsels, and beaten by the Scots, was driven to the necessity of calling a Parliament in England.

It is not my design to enter into the feuds and brangles of this Parliament. I have noted, by observations of their mistakes, who brought the king to this happy necessity of calling them.

His Majesty had tried Parliaments upon several occasions before, but never found himself so much embroiled with them but he could send them home, and there was an end of it; but as he could not avoid calling these, so they took care to put him out of a condition to dismiss them.

The Scots army was now quartered upon the English. The counties, the gentry, and the assembly of lords at York, petitioned for a Parliament.

The Scots presented their demands to the king, in which it was observed that matters were concerted between them and a party in England; and I confess when I saw that, I began to think the king in an ill case; for as the Scots pretended grievances, we thought, the king redressing those grievances, they could ask no more; and therefore all men advised the king to grant their full demands. And whereas the king had not money to supply the Scots in their march home, I know there were several meetings of gentlemen with a design to advance considerable sums of money to the king to set him free, and in order to reinstate his Majesty, as before. Not that we ever advised the king to rule without a Parliament, but we were very desirous of putting him out of the necessity of calling them, at least just then.

But the eighth article of the Scots’ demands expressly required, that an English Parliament might be called to remove all obstructions of commerce, and to settle peace, religion, and liberty; and in another article they tell the king, the 24th of September being the time his Majesty appointed for the meeting of the peers, will make it too long ere the Parliament meet. And in another, that a Parliament was the only way of settling peace, and bring them to his Majesty’s obedience.

When we saw this in the army, ’twas time to look about. Everybody perceived that the Scots army would call an English Parliament; and whatever aversion the king had to it, we all saw he would be obliged to comply with it; and now they all began to see their error, who advised the king to this Scotch war.

While these things were transacting, the assembly of the peers meet at York, and by their advice a treaty was begun with the Scots. I had the honour to be sent with the first message which was in writing.

I brought it, attended by a trumpet and a guard of 500 horse, to the Scots quarters. I was stopped at Darlington, and my errand being known, General Leslie sent a Scots major and fifty horses to receive me, but would let neither my trumpet or guard set foot within their quarters. In this manner I was conducted to audience in the chapter-house at Durham, where a committee of Scots lords who attended the army received me very courteously, and gave me their answer in writing also.

‘Twas in this answer that they showed, at least to me, their design of embroiling the king with his English subjects; they discoursed very freely with me, and did not order me to withdraw when they debated their private opinions. They drew up several answers but did not like them; at last they gave me one which I did not receive, I thought it was too insolent to be borne with. As near as I can remember it was thus: The commissioners of Scotland attending the service in the army, do refuse any treaty in the city of York.

One of the commissioners who treated me with more distinction than the rest, and discoursed freely with me, gave me an opportunity to speak more freely of this than I expected.

I told them if they would return to his Majesty an answer fit for me to carry, or if they would say they would not treat at all, I would deliver such a message. But I entreated them to consider the answer was to their sovereign, and to whom they made a great profession of duty and respect, and at least they ought to give their reasons why they declined a treaty at York, and to name some other place, or humbly to desire his Majesty to name some other place; but to send word they would not treat at York, I could deliver no such message, for when put into English it would signify they would not treat at all.

I used a great many reasons and arguments with them on this head, and at last with some difficulty obtained of them to give the reason, which was the Earl of Strafford’s having the chief command at York, whom they declared their mortal enemy, he having declared them rebels in Ireland.

With this answer I returned. I could make no observations in the short time I was with them, for as I stayed but one night, so I was guarded as a close prisoner all the while. I saw several of their officers whom I knew, but they durst not speak to me, and if they would have ventured, my guard would not have permitted them.

In this manner I was conducted out of their quarters to my own party again, and having delivered my message to the king and told his Majesty the circumstances, I saw the king receive the account of the haughty behaviour of the Scots with some regret; however, it was his Majesty’s time now to bear, and therefore the Scots were complied with, and the treaty appointed at Ripon; where, after much debate, several preliminary articles were agreed on, as a cessation of arms, quarters, and bounds to the armies, subsistence to the Scots army, and the residue of the demands was referred to a treaty at London, &c.

We were all amazed at the treaty, and I cannot but remember we used to wish much rather we had been suffered to fight; for though we had been worsted at first, the power and strength of the king’s interest, which was not yet tried, must, in fine, have been too strong for the Scots, whereas now we saw the king was for complying with anything, and all his friends would be ruined.

I confess I had nothing to fear, and so was not much concerned, but our predictions soon came to pass, for no sooner was this Parliament called but abundance of those who had embroiled their king with his people of both kingdoms, like the disciples when their Master was betrayed to the Jews, forsook him and fled; and now Parliament tyranny began to succeed Church tyranny, and we soldiers were glad to see it at first. The bishops trembled, the judges went to gaol, the officers of the customs were laid hold on; and the Parliament began to lay their fingers on the great ones, particularly Archbishop Laud and the Earl of Strafford. We had no great concern for the first, but the last was a man of so much conduct and gallantry, and so beloved by the soldiers and principal gentry of England, that everybody was touched with his misfortune.

The Parliament now grew mad in their turn, and as the prosperity of any party is the time to show their discretion, the Parliament showed they knew as little where to stop as other people. The king was not in a condition to deny anything, and nothing could be demanded but they pushed it. They attainted the Earl of Strafford, and thereby made the king cut off his right hand to save his left, and yet not save it neither. They obtained another bill to empower them to sit during their own pleasure, and after them, triennial Parliaments to meet, whether the king call them or no; and granting this completed his Majesty’s ruin.

Had the House only regulated the abuses of the court, punished evil counsellors, and restored Parliaments to their original and just powers, all had been well, and the king, though he had been more than mortified, had yet reaped the benefit of future peace; for now the Scots were sent home, after having eaten up two countries, and received a prodigious sum of money to boot. And the king, though too late, goes in person to Edinburgh, and grants them all they could desire, and more than they asked; but in England, the desires of ours were unbounded, and drove at all extremes.

They drew out the bishops from sitting in the House, made a protestation equivalent to the Scotch Covenant, and this done, print their remonstrance. This so provoked the king, that he resolves upon seizing some of the members, and in an ill hour enters the House in person to take them. Thus one imprudent thing on one hand produced another of the other hand, till the king was obliged to leave them to themselves, for fear of being mobbed into something or other unworthy of himself.

These proceedings began to alarm the gentry and nobility of England; for, however willing we were to have evil counsellors removed, and the government return to a settled and legal course, according to the happy constitution of this nation, and might have been forward enough to have owned the king had been misled, and imposed upon to do things which he had rather had not been done, yet it did not follow, that all the powers and prerogatives of the crown should devolve upon the Parliament, and the king in a manner be deposed, or else sacrificed to the fury of the rabble.

The heats of the House running them thus to all extremes, and at last to take from the king the power of the militia, which indeed was all that was left to make him anything of a king, put the king upon opposing force with force; and thus the flame of civil war began.

However backward I was in engaging in the second year’s expedition against the Scots, I was as forward now, for I waited on the king at York, where a gallant company of gentlemen as ever were seen in England, engaged themselves to enter into his service; and here some of us formed ourselves into troops for the guard of his person.

The king having been waited upon by the gentry of Yorkshire, and having told them his resolution of erecting his royal standard, and received from them hearty assurances of support, dismisses them, and marches to Hull, where lay the train of artillery, and all the arms and ammunition belonging to the northern army which had been disbanded. But here the Parliament had been beforehand with his Majesty, so that when he came to Hull, he found the gates shut, and Sir John Hotham, the governor, upon the walls, though with a great deal of seeming humility and protestations of loyalty to his person, yet with a positive denial to admit any of the king’s attendants into the town. If his Majesty pleased to enter the town in person with any reasonable number of his household, he would submit, but would not be prevailed on to receive the king as he would be received, with his forces, though those forces were then but very few.

The king was exceedingly provoked at this repulse, and indeed it was a great surprise to us all, for certainly never prince began a war against the whole strength of his kingdom under the circumstances that he was in. He had not a garrison, or a company of soldiers in his pay, not a stand of arms, or a barrel of powder, a musket, cannon or mortar, not a ship of all the fleet, or money in his treasury to procure them; whereas the Parliament had all his navy, and ordnance, stores, magazines, arms, ammunition, and revenue in their keeping. And this I take to be another defect of the king’s counsel, and a sad instance of the distraction of his affairs, that when he saw how all things were going to wreck, as it was impossible but he should see it, and ’tis plain he did see it, that he should not long enough before it came to extremities secure the navy, magazines, and stores of war, in the hands of his trusty servants, that would have been sure to have preserved them for his use, at a time when he wanted them.

It cannot be supposed but the gentry of England, who generally preserved their loyalty for their royal master, and at last heartily showed it, were exceedingly discouraged at first when they saw the Parliament had all the means of making war in their own hands, and the king was naked and destitute either of arms or ammunition, or money to procure them. Not but that the king, by extraordinary application, recovered the disorder the want of these things had thrown him into, and supplied himself with all things needful.

But my observation was this, had his Majesty had the magazines, navy, and forts in his own hand, the gentry, who wanted but the prospect of something to encourage them, had come in at first, and the Parliament, being unprovided, would have been presently reduced to reason. But this was it that balked the gentry of Yorkshire, who went home again, giving the king good promises, but never appeared for him, till by raising a good army in Shropshire and Wales, he marched towards London, and they saw there was a prospect of their being supported.

In this condition the king erected his standard at Nottingham, 22nd August 1642, and I confess, I had very melancholy apprehensions of the king’s affairs, for the appearance to the royal standard was but small. The affront the king had met with at Hull, had balked and dispirited the northern gentry, and the king’s affairs looked with a very dismal aspect. We had expresses from London of the prodigious success of the Parliament levies, how their men came in faster than they could entertain them, and that arms were delivered out to whole companies listed together, and the like. And all this while the king had not got together a thousand foot, and had no arms for them neither. When the king saw this, he immediately despatches five several messengers, whereof one went to the Marquis of Worcester into Wales; one went to the queen, then at Windsor; one to the Duke of Newcastle, then Marquis of Newcastle, into the north; one into Scotland; and one into France, where the queen soon after arrived to raise money, and buy arms, and to get what assistance she could among her own friends. Nor was her Majesty idle, for she sent over several ships laden with arms and ammunition, with a fine train of artillery, and a great many very good officers; and though one of the first fell into the hands of the Parliament, with three hundred barrels of powder and some arms, and one hundred and fifty gentlemen, yet most of the gentlemen found means, one way or other, to get to us, and most of the ships the queen freighted arrived; and at last her Majesty came herself, and brought an extraordinary supply both of men, money, arms, &c., with which she joined the king’s forces under the Earl of Newcastle in the north.

Finding his Majesty thus bestirring himself to muster his friends together, I asked him if he thought it might not be for his Majesty’s service to let me go among my friends, and his loyal subjects about Shrewsbury? “Yes,” says the king, smiling, “I intend you shall, and I design to go with you myself.” I did not understand what the king meant then, and did not think it good manners to inquire, but the next day I found all things disposed for a march, and the king on horseback by eight of the clock; when calling me to him, he told me I should go before, and let my father and all my friends know he would be at Shrewsbury the Saturday following. I left my equipages, and taking post with only one servant, was at my father’s the next morning by break of day. My father was not surprised at the news of the king’s coming at all, for, it seems, he, together with the royal gentry of those parts, had sent particularly to give the king an invitation to move that way, which I was not made privy to, with an account what encouragement they had there in the endeavours made for his interest. In short, the whole country was entirely for the king, and such was the universal joy the people showed when the news of his Majesty’s coming down was positively known, that all manner of business was laid aside, and the whole body of the people seemed to be resolved upon the war.

As this gave a new face to the king’s affairs, so I must own it filled me with joy; for I was astonished before, when I considered what the king and his friends were like to be exposed to. The news of the proceedings of the Parliament, and their powerful preparations, were now no more terrible; the king came at the time appointed, and having lain at my father’s house one night, entered Shrewsbury in the morning. The acclamations of the people, the concourse of the nobility and gentry about his person, and the crowds which now came every day into the standard, were incredible.

The loyalty of the English gentry was not only worth notice, but the power of the gentry is extraordinary visible in this matter. The king, in about six weeks’ time, which was the most of his stay at Shrewsbury, was supplied with money, arms, ammunition, and a train of artillery, and listed a body of an army upwards of 20,000 men.

His Majesty seeing the general alacrity of his people, immediately issued out commissions, and formed regiments of horse and foot; and having some experienced officers about him, together with about sixteen who came from France, with a ship loaded with arms and some field-pieces which came very seasonably into the Severn, the men were exercised, regularly disciplined, and quartered, and now we began to look like soldiers. My father had raised a regiment of horse at his own charge, and completed them, and the king gave out arms to them from the supplies which I mentioned came from abroad. Another party of horse, all brave stout fellows, and well mounted, came in from Lancashire, and the Earl of Derby at the head of them. The Welshmen came in by droves; and so great was the concourse of people, that the king began to think of marching, and gave the command, as well as the trust of regulating the army, to the brave Earl of Lindsey, as general of the foot. The Parliament general being the Earl of Essex, two braver men, or two better officers, were not in the kingdom; they had both been old soldiers, and had served together as volunteers in the Low Country wars, under Prince Maurice. They had been comrades and companions abroad, and now came to face one another as enemies in the field.

Such was the expedition used by the king and his friends, in the levies of this first army, that notwithstanding the wonderful expedition the Parliament made, the king was in the field before them; and now the gentry in other parts of the nation bestirred themselves, and seized upon, and garrisoned several considerable places, for the king. In the north, the Earl of Newcastle not only garrisoned the most considerable places, but even the general possession of the north was for the king, excepting Hull, and some few places, which the old Lord Fairfax had taken up for the Parliament. On the other hand, entire Cornwall and most of the western counties were the king’s. The Parliament had their chief interest in the south and eastern part of England, as Kent, Surrey, and, Sussex, Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridge, Bedford, Huntingdon, Hertford, Buckinghamshire, and the other midland counties. These were called, or some of them at least, the associated counties, and felt little of the war, other than the charges; but the main support of the Parliament was the city of London.

The king made the seat of his court at Oxford, which he caused to be regularly fortified. The Lord Say had been here, and had possession of the city for the enemy, and was debating about fortifying it, but came to no resolution, which was a very great over-sight in them; the situation of the place, and the importance of it, on many accounts, to the city of London, considered; and they would have retrieved this error afterwards, but then ’twas too late; for the king made it the headquarter, and received great supplies and assistance from the wealth of the colleges, and the plenty of the neighbouring country. Abingdon, Wallingford, Basing, and Reading, were all garrisoned and fortified as outworks to defend this as the centre. And thus all England became the theatre of blood, and war was spread into every corner of the country, though as yet there was no stroke struck. I had no command in this army. My father led his own regiment, and, old as he was, would not leave his royal master, and my elder brother stayed at home to support the family. As for me, I rode a volunteer in the royal troop of guards, which may very well deserve the title of a royal troop, for it was composed of young gentlemen, sons of the nobility, and some of the prime gentry of the nation, and I think not a person of so mean a birth or fortune as myself. We reckoned in this troop two and thirty lords, or who came afterwards to be such, and eight and thirty of younger sons of the nobility, five French noblemen, and all the rest gentlemen of very good families and estates.

And that I may give the due to their personal valour, many of this troop lived afterwards to have regiments and troops under their command in the service of the king, many of them lost their lives for him, and most of them their estates. Nor did they behave unworthy of themselves in their first showing their faces to the enemy, as shall be mentioned in its place.

While the king remained at Shrewsbury, his loyal friends bestirred themselves in several parts of the kingdom. Goring had secured Portsmouth, but being young in matters of war, and not in time relieved, though the Marquis of Hertford was marching to relieve him, yet he was obliged to quit the place, and shipped himself for Holland, from whence he returned with relief for the king, and afterwards did very good service upon all occasions, and so effectually cleared himself of the scandal the hasty surrender of Portsmouth had brought upon his courage.

The chief power of the king’s forces lay in three places, in Cornwall, in Yorkshire, and at Shrewsbury. In Cornwall, Sir Ralph Hopton, afterwards Lord Hopton, Sir Bevil Grenvile, and Sir Nicholas Slanning secured all the country, and afterwards spread themselves over Devonshire and Somersetshire, took Exeter from the Parliament, fortified Bridgewater and Barnstaple, and beat Sir William Waller at the battle of Roundway Down, as I shall touch at more particularly when I come to recite the part of my own travels that way.

In the north, The Marquis of Newcastle secured all the country, garrisoned York, Scarborough, Carlisle, Newcastle, Pomfret, Leeds, and all the considerable places, and took the field with a very good army, though afterwards he proved more unsuccessful than the rest, having the whole power of a kingdom at his back, the Scots coming in with an army to the assistance of the Parliament, which, indeed, was the general turn of the scale of the war; for had it not been for this Scots army, the king had most certainly reduced the Parliament, at least to good terms of peace, in two years’ time.

The king was the third article. His force at Shrewsbury I have noted already. The alacrity of the gentry filled him with hopes, and all his army with vigour, and the 8th of October 1642, his Majesty gave orders to march. The Earl of Essex had spent above a month after his leaving London (for he went thence the 9th of September) in modelling and drawing together his forces; his rendezvous was at St Albans, from whence he marched to Northampton, Coventry, and Warwick, and leaving garrisons in them, he comes on to Worcester. Being thus advanced, he possesses Oxford, as I noted before, Banbury, Bristol, Gloucester, and Worcester, out of all which places, except Gloucester, we drove him back to London in a very little while.

Sir John Byron had raised a very good party of 500 horse, most gentlemen, for the king, and had possessed Oxford; but on the approach of the Lord Say quitted it, being now but an open town, and retreated to Worcester, from whence, on the approach of Essex’s army, he retreated to the king. And now all things grew ripe for action, both parties having secured their posts, and settled their schemes of the war, taken their posts and places as their measures and opportunities directed. The field was next in their eye, and the soldiers began to inquire when they should fight, for as yet there had been little or no blood drawn; and ’twas not long before they had enough of it; for, I believe, I may challenge all the historians in Europe to tell me of any war in the world where, in the space of four years, there were so many pitched battles, sieges, fights, and skirmishes, as in this war. We never encamped or entrenched, never fortified the avenues to our posts, or lay fenced with rivers and defiles; here was no leaguers in the field, as at the story of Nuremberg, neither had our soldiers any tents, or what they call heavy baggage. ‘Twas the general maxim of this war, “Where is the enemy? let us go and fight them,” or, on the other hand, if the enemy was coming, “What was to be done?” “Why, what should be done? Draw out into the fields and fight them.” I cannot say ’twas the prudence of the parties, and had the king fought less he had gained more. And I shall remark several times when the eagerness of fighting was the worst counsel, and proved our loss. This benefit, however, happened in general to the country, that it made a quick, though a bloody, end of the war, which otherwise had lasted till it might have ruined the whole nation.

On the 10th of October the king’s army was in full march, his Majesty, generalissimo, the Earl of Lindsey, general of the foot, Prince Rupert, general of the horse; and the first action in the field was by Prince Rupert and Sir John Byron. Sir John had brought his body of 500 horse, as I noted already, from Oxford to Worcester; the Lord Say, with a strong party, being in the neighbourhood of Oxford, and expected in the town, Colonel Sandys, a hot man, and who had more courage than judgment, advances with about 1500 horse and dragoons, with design to beat Sir John Byron out of Worcester, and take post there for the Parliament.

The king had notice that the Earl of Essex designed for Worcester, and Prince Rupert was ordered to advance with a body of horse and dragoons to face the enemy, and bring off Sir John Byron. This his Majesty did to amuse the Earl of Essex, that he might expect him that way; whereas the king’s design was to get between the Earl of Essex’s army and the city of London; and his Majesty’s end was doubly answered, for he not only drew Essex on to Worcester, where he spent more time than he needed, but he beat the party into the bargain.

I went volunteer in this party, and rode in my father’s regiment; for though we really expected not to see the enemy, yet I was tired with lying still. We came to Worcester just as notice was brought to Sir John Byron, that a party of the enemy was on their march for Worcester, upon which the prince immediately consulting what was to be done, resolves to march the next morning and fight them.

The enemy, who lay at Pershore, about eight miles from Worcester, and, as I believe, had no notice of our march, came on very confidently in the morning, and found us fairly drawn up to receive them. I must confess this was the bluntest, downright way of making war that ever was seen. The enemy, who, in all the little knowledge I had of war, ought to have discovered our numbers, and guessed by our posture what our design was, might easily have informed themselves that we intended to attack them, and so might have secured the advantage of a bridge in their front; but without any regard to these methods of policy, they came on at all hazards. Upon this notice, my father proposed to the prince to halt for them, and suffer ourselves to be attacked, since we found them willing to give us the advantage. The prince approved of the advice, so we halted within view of a bridge, leaving space enough on our front for about half the number of their forces to pass and draw up; and at the bridge was posted about fifty dragoons, with orders to retire as soon as the enemy advanced, as if they had been afraid. On the right of the road was a ditch, and a very high bank behind, where we had placed 300 dragoons, with orders to lie flat on their faces till the enemy had passed the bridge, and to let fly among them as soon as our trumpets sounded a charge. Nobody but Colonel Sandys would have been caught in such a snare, for he might easily have seen that when he was over the bridge there was not room enough for him to fight in. But the Lord of hosts was so much in their mouths, for that was the word for that day, that they took little heed how to conduct the host of the Lord to their own advantage.

As we expected, they appeared, beat our dragoons from the bridge, and passed it. We stood firm in one line with a reserve, and expected a charge, but Colonel Sandys, showing a great deal more judgment than we thought he was master of, extends himself to the left, finding the ground too strait, and began to form his men with a great deal of readiness and skill, for by this time he saw our number was greater than he expected. The prince perceiving it, and foreseeing that the stratagem of the dragoons would be frustrated by this, immediately charges with the horse, and the dragoons at the same time standing upon their feet, poured in their shot upon those that were passing the bridge. This surprise put them into such disorder, that we had but little work with them. For though Colonel Sandys with the troops next him sustained the shock very well, and behaved themselves gallantly enough, yet the confusion beginning in their rear, those that had not yet passed the bridge were kept back by the fire of the dragoons, and the rest were easily cut in pieces. Colonel Sandys was mortally wounded and taken prisoner, and the crowd was so great to get back, that many pushed into the water, and were rather smothered than drowned. Some of them who never came into the fight, were so frighted, that they never looked behind them till they came to Pershore, and, as we were afterwards informed, the lifeguards of the general who had quartered in the town, left it in disorder enough, expecting us at the heels of their men.

If our business had been to keep the Parliament army from coming to Worcester, we had a very good opportunity to have secured the bridge at Pershore; but our design lay another way, as I have said, and the king was for drawing Essex on to the Severn, in hopes to get behind him, which fell out accordingly.

Essex, spurred by this affront in the infancy of their affairs, advances the next day, and came to Pershore time enough to be at the funeral of some of his men; and from thence he advances to Worcester.

We marched back to Worcester extremely pleased with the good success of our first attack, and our men were so flushed with this little victory that it put vigour into the whole army. The enemy lost about 3000 men, and we carried away near 150 prisoners, with 500 horses, some standards and arms, and among the prisoners their colonel; but he died a little after of his wounds.

Upon the approach of the enemy, Worcester was quitted, and the forces marched back to join the king’s army, which lay then at Bridgnorth, Ludlow, and thereabout. As the king expected, it fell out; Essex found so much work at Worcester to settle Parliament quarters, and secure Bristol, Gloucester, and Hereford, that it gave the king a full day’s march of him. So the king, having the start of him, moves towards London; and Essex, nettled to be both beaten in fight and outdone in conduct, decamps, and follows the king.

The Parliament, and the Londoners too, were in a strange consternation at this mistake of their general; and had the king, whose great misfortune was always to follow precipitant advices,–had the king, I say, pushed on his first design, which he had formed with very good reason, and for which he had been dodging with Essex eight or ten days, viz., of marching directly to London, where he had a very great interest, and where his friends were not yet oppressed and impoverished, as they were afterwards, he had turned the scale of his affairs. And every man expected it; for the members began to shift for themselves, expresses were sent on the heels of one another to the Earl of Essex to hasten after the king, and, if possible, to bring him to a battle. Some of these letters fell into our hands, and we might easily discover that the Parliament were in the last confusion at the thoughts of our coming to London. Besides this, the city was in a worse fright than the House, and the great moving men began to go out of town. In short, they expected us, and we expected to come, but Providence for our ruin had otherwise determined it.

Essex, upon news of the king’s march, and upon receipt of the Parliament’s letters, makes long marches after us, and on the 23rd of October reaches the village of Kineton, in Warwickshire. The king was almost as far as Banbury, and there calls a council of war. Some of the old officers that foresaw the advantage the king had, the concern the city was in, and the vast addition, both to the reputation of his forces and the increase of his interest, it would be if the king could gain that point, urged the king to march on to London. Prince Rupert and the fresh colonels pressed for fighting, told the king it dispirited their men to march with the enemy at their heels; that the Parliament army was inferior to him by 6000 men, and fatigued with hasty marching; that as their orders were to fight, he had nothing to do but to post himself to advantage, and receive them to their destruction; that the action near Worcester had let them know how easy it was to deal with a rash enemy; and that ’twas a dishonour for him, whose forces were so much superior, to be pursued by his subjects in rebellion. These and the like arguments prevailed with the king to alter his wiser measures and resolve to fight. Nor was this all; when a resolution of fighting was taken, that part of the advice which they who were for fighting gave, as a reason for their opinion, was forgot, and instead of halting and posting ourselves to advantage till the enemy came up, we were ordered to march back and meet them.

Nay, so eager was the prince for fighting, that when, from the top of Edgehill, the enemy’s army was descried in the bottom between them and the village of Kineton, and that the enemy had bid us defiance, by discharging three cannons, we accepted the challenge, and answering with two shots from our army, we must needs forsake the advantages of the hills, which they must have mounted under the command of our cannon, and march down to them into the plain. I confess, I thought here was a great deal more gallantry than discretion; for it was plainly taking an advantage out of our own hands, and putting it into the hands of the enemy. An enemy that must fight, may always be fought with to advantage. My old hero, the glorious Gustavus Adolphus, was as forward to fight as any man of true valour mixed with any policy need to be, or ought to be; but he used to say, “An enemy reduced to a necessity of fighting is half beaten.”

Tis true, we were all but young in the war; the soldiers hot and forward, and eagerly desired to come to hands with the enemy. But I take the more notice of it here, because the king in this acted against his own measures; for it was the king himself had laid the design of getting the start of Essex, and marching to London. His friends had invited him thither, and expected him, and suffered deeply for the omission; and yet he gave way to these hasty counsels, and suffered his judgment to be overruled by majority of voices; an error, I say, the King of Sweden was never guilty of. For if all the officers at a council of war were of a different opinion, yet unless their reasons mastered his judgment, their votes never altered his measures. But this was the error of our good, but unfortunate master, three times in this war, and particularly in two of the greatest battles of the time, viz., this of Edgehill, and that of Naseby.

The resolution for fighting being published in the army, gave an universal joy to the soldiers, who expressed an extraordinary ardour for fighting. I remember my father talking with me about it, asked me what I thought of the approaching battle. I told him I thought the king had done very well; for at that time I did not consult the extent of the design, and had a mighty mind, like other rash people, to see it brought to a day, which made me answer my father as I did. “But,” said I, “sir, I doubt there will be but indifferent doings on both sides, between two armies both made up of fresh men, that have never seen any service.” My father minded little what I spoke of that; but when I seemed pleased that the king had resolved to fight, he looked angrily at me, and told me he was sorry I could see no farther into things. “I tell you,” says he hastily, “if the king should kill and take prisoners this whole army, general and all, the Parliament will have the victory; for we have lost more by slipping this opportunity of getting into London, than we shall ever get by ten battles.” I saw enough of this afterwards to convince me of the weight of what my father said, and so did the king too; but it was then too late. Advantages slipped in war are never recovered.

We were now in a full march to fight the Earl of Essex. It was on Sunday morning the 24th of October 1642, fair weather overhead, but the ground very heavy and dirty. As soon as we came to the top of Edgehill, we discovered their whole army. They were not drawn up, having had two miles to march that morning, but they were very busy forming their lines, and posting the regiments as they came up. Some of their horse were exceedingly fatigued, having marched forty-eight hours together; and had they been suffered to follow us three or four days’ march farther, several of their regiments of horse would have been quite ruined, and their foot would have been rendered unserviceable for the present. But we had no patience.

As soon as our whole army was come to the top of the hill, we were drawn up in order of battle. The king’s army made a very fine appearance; and indeed they were a body of gallant men as ever appeared in the field, and as well furnished at all points; the horse exceedingly well accoutred, being most of them gentlemen and volunteers, some whole regiments serving without pay; their horses very good and fit for service as could be desired. The whole army were not above 18,000 men, and the enemy not 1000 over or under, though we had been told they were not above 12,000; but they had been reinforced with 4000 men from Northampton. The king was with the general, the Earl of Lindsey, in the main battle; Prince Rupert commanded the right wing, and the Marquis of Hertford, the Lord Willoughby, and several other very good officers the left.

The signal of battle being given with two cannon shots, we marched in order of battalia down the hill, being drawn up in two lines with bodies of reserve; the enemy advanced to meet us much in the same form, with this difference only, that they had placed their cannon on their right, and the king had placed ours in the centre, before, or rather between two great brigades of foot. Their cannon began with us first, and did some mischief among the dragoons of our left wing; but our officers, perceiving the shot took the men and missed the horses, ordered all to alight, and every man leading his horse, to advance in the same order; and this saved our men, for most of the enemy’s shot flew over their heads. Our cannon made a terrible execution upon their foot for a quarter of an hour, and put them into great confusion, till the general obliged them to halt, and changed the posture of his front, marching round a small rising ground by which he avoided the fury of our artillery.

By this time the wings were engaged, the king having given the signal of battle, and ordered the right wing to fall on. Prince Rupert, who, as is said, commanded that wing, fell on with such fury, and pushed the left wing of the Parliament army so effectually, that in a moment he filled all with terror and confusion. Commissary-General Ramsey, a Scotsman, a Low Country Soldier, and an experienced officer, commanded their left wing, and though he did all that an expert soldier, and a brave commander could do, yet ’twas to no purpose; his lines were immediately broken, and all overwhelmed in a trice. Two regiments of foot, whether as part of the left wing, or on the left of the main body, I know not, were disordered by their own horse, and rather trampled to death by the horses, than beaten by our men; but they were so entirely broken and disordered, that I do not remember that ever they made one volley upon our men; for their own horse running away, and falling foul on these foot, were so vigorously followed by our men, that the foot never had a moment to rally or look behind them. The point of the left wing of horse were not so soon broken as the rest, and three regiments of them stood firm for some time. The dexterous officers of the other regiments taking the opportunity, rallied a great many of their scattered men behind them, and pieced in some troops with those regiments; but after two or three charges, which a brigade of our second line, following the prince, made upon them, they also were broken with the rest.

I remember that at the great battle of Leipsic, the right wing of the Imperialists having fallen in upon the Saxons with like fury to this, bore down all before them, and beat the Saxons quite out of the field; upon which the soldiers cried, “Victoria, let us follow.” “No, no,” said the old General Tilly, “let them go, but let us beat the Swedes too, and then all’s our own.” Had Prince Rupert taken this method, and instead of following the fugitives, who were dispersed so effectually that two regiments would have secured them from rallying–I say, had he fallen in upon the foot, or wheeled to the left, and fallen in upon the rear of the enemy’s right wing of horse, or returned to the assistance of the left wing of our horse, we had gained the most absolute and complete victory that could be; nor had 1000 men of the enemy’s army got off. But this prince, who was full of fire, and pleased to see the rout of an enemy, pursued them quite to the town of Kineton, where indeed he killed abundance of their men, and some time also was lost in plundering the baggage.

But in the meantime, the glory and advantage of the day was lost to the king, for the right wing of the Parliament horse could not be so broken. Sir William Balfour made a desperate charge upon the point of the king’s left, and had it not been for two regiments of dragoons who were planted in the reserve, had routed the whole wing, for he broke through the first line, and staggered the second, who advanced to their assistance, but was so warmly received by those dragoons, who came seasonably in, and gave their first fire on horseback, that his fury was checked, and having lost a great many men, was forced to wheel about to his own men; and had the king had but three regiments of horse at hand to have charged him, he had been routed. The rest of this wing kept their ground, and received the first fury of the enemy with great firmness; after which, advancing in their turn, they were at once masters of the Earl of Essex’s cannon. And here we lost another advantage; for if any foot had been at hand to support these horse, they had carried off the cannon, or turned it upon the main battle of the enemy’s foot, but the foot were otherwise engaged. The horse on this side fought with great obstinacy and variety of success a great while. Sir Philip Stapleton, who commanded the guards of the Earl of Essex, being engaged with a party of our Shrewsbury cavaliers, as we called them, was once in a fair way to have been cut off by a brigade of our foot, who, being advanced to fall on upon the Parliament’s main body, flanked Sir Philip’s horse in their way, and facing to the left, so furiously charged him with their pikes, that he was obliged to retire in great disorder, and with the loss of a great many men and horses.

All this while the foot on both sides were desperately engaged, and coming close up to the teeth of one another with the clubbed musket and push of pike, fought with great resolution, and a terrible slaughter on both sides, giving no quarter for a great while; and they continued to do thus, till, as if they were tired, and out of wind, either party seemed willing enough to leave off, and take breath. Those which suffered most were that brigade which had charged Sir William Stapleton’s horse, who being bravely engaged in the front with the enemy’s foot, were, on the sudden, charged again in front and flank by Sir William Balfour’s horse and disordered, after a very desperate defence. Here the king’s standard was taken, the standard-bearer, Sir Edward Verney, being killed; but it was rescued again by Captain Smith, and brought to the king the same night, for which the king knighted the captain.

This brigade of foot had fought all the day, and had not been broken at last, if any horse had been at hand to support them. The field began to be now clear; both armies stood, as it were, gazing at one another, only the king, having rallied his foot, seemed inclined to renew the charge, and began to cannonade them, which they could not return, most of their cannon being nailed while they were in our possession, and all the cannoniers killed or fled; and our gunners did execution upon Sir William Balfour’s troops for a good while.

My father’s regiment being in the right with the prince, I saw little of the fight but the rout of the enemy’s left, and we had as full a victory there as we could desire, but spent too much time in it. We killed about 2000 men in that part of the action, and having totally dispersed them, and plundered their baggage, began to think of our fellows when ’twas too late to help them. We returned, however, victorious to the king, just as the battle was over. The king asked the prince what news? He told him he could give his Majesty a good account of the enemy’s horse. “Ay, by G–d,” says a gentleman that stood by me, “and of their carts too.” That word was spoken with such a sense of the misfortune, and made such an impression on the whole army, that it occasioned some ill blood afterwards among us; and but that the king took up the business, it had been of ill consequence, for some person who had heard the gentleman speak it, informed the prince who it was, and the prince resenting it, spoke something about it in the hearing of the party when the king was present. The gentleman, not at all surprised, told his Highness openly he had said the words; and though he owned he had no disrespect for his Highness, yet he could not but say, if it had not been so, the enemy’s army had been better beaten. The prince replied something very disobliging; upon which the gentleman came up to the king, and kneeling, humbly besought his Majesty to accept of his commission, and to give him leave to tell the prince, that whenever his Highness pleased, he was ready to give him satisfaction. The prince was exceedingly provoked, and as he was very passionate, began to talk very oddly, and without all government of himself. The gentleman, as bold as he, but much calmer preserved his temper, but maintained his quarrel; and the king was so concerned, that he was very much out of humour with the prince about it. However, his Majesty, upon consideration, soon ended the dispute, by laying his commands on them both to speak no more of it for that day; and refusing the commission from the colonel, for he was no less, sent for them both next morning in private, and made them friends again.

But to return to our story. We came back to the king timely enough to put the Earl of Essex’s men out of all humour of renewing the fight, and as I observed before, both parties stood gazing at one another, and our cannon playing upon them obliged Sir William Balfour’s horse to wheel off in some disorder, but they returned us none again, which, as we afterwards understood, was, as I said before, for want of both powder and gunners, for the cannoniers and firemen were killed, or had quitted their train in the fight, when our horse had possession of their artillery; and as they had spiked up some of the cannon, so they had carried away fifteen carriages of powder.

Night coming on, ended all discourse of more fighting, and the king drew off and marched towards the hills. I know no other token of victory which the enemy had than their lying in the field of battle all night, which they did for no other reason than that, having lost their baggage and provisions, they had nowhere to go, and which we did not, because we had good quarters at hand.

The number of prisoners and of the slain were not very unequal; the enemy lost more men, we most of quality. Six thousand men on both sides were killed on the spot, whereof, when our rolls were examined, we missed 2500. We lost our brave general the old Earl of Lindsey, who was wounded and taken prisoner, and died of his wounds; Sir Edward Stradling, Colonel Lundsford, prisoners; and Sir Edward Verney and a great many gentlemen of quality slain. On the other hand, we carried off Colonel Essex, Colonel Ramsey, and the Lord St John, who also died of his wounds; we took five ammunition waggons full of powder, and brought off about 500 horse in the defeat of the left wing, with eighteen standards and colours, and lost seventeen.

The slaughter of the left wing was so great, and the flight so effectual, that several of the officers rid clear away, coasting round, and got to London, where they reported that the Parliament army was entirely defeated–all lost, killed, or taken, as if none but them were left alive to carry the news. This filled them with consternation for a while, but when other messengers followed, all was restored to quiet again, and the Parliament cried up their victory and sufficiently mocked God and their general with their public thanks for it. Truly, as the fight was a deliverance to them, they were in the right to give thanks for it; but as to its being a victory, neither side had much to boast of, and they less a great deal than we had.

I got no hurt in this fight, and indeed we of the right wing had but little fighting; I think I had discharged my pistols but once, and my carabine twice, for we had more fatigue than fight; the enemy fled, and we had little to do but to follow and kill those we could overtake. I spoiled a good horse, and got a better from the enemy in his room, and came home weary enough. My father lost his horse, and in the fall was bruised in his thigh by another horse treading on him, which disabled him for some time, and at his request, by his Majesty’s consent, I commanded the regiment in his absence.

The enemy received a recruit of 4000 men the next morning; if they had not, I believe they had gone back towards Worcester; but, encouraged by that reinforcement, they called a council of war, and had a long debate whether they could attack us again; but notwithstanding their great victory, they durst not attempt it, though this addition of strength made them superior to us by 3000 men.

The king indeed expected, that when these troops joined them they would advance, and we were preparing to receive them at a village called Aynho, where the headquarters continued three or four days; and had they really esteemed the first day’s work a victory, as they called it, they would have done it, but they thought not good to venture, but march away to Warwick, and from thence to Coventry. The king, to urge them to venture upon him, and come to a second battle, sits down before Banbury, and takes both town and castle; and two entire regiments of foot, and one troop of horse, quit the Parliament service, and take up their arms for the king. This was done almost before their faces, which was a better proof of a victory on our side, than any they could pretend to. From Banbury we marched to Oxford; and now all men saw the Parliament had made a great mistake, for they were not always in the right any more than we, to leave Oxford without a garrison. The king caused new regular works to be drawn round it, and seven royal bastions with ravelins and out-works, a double ditch, counterscarp, and covered way; all which, added to the advantage of its situation, made it a formidable place, and from this time it became our place of arms, and the centre of affairs on the king’s side.

If the Parliament had the honour of the field, the king reaped the fruits of the victory; for all this part of the country submitted to him. Essex’s army made the best of their way to London, and were but in an ill condition when they came there, especially their horse.

The Parliament, sensible of this, and receiving daily accounts of the progress we made, began to cool a little in their temper, abated of their first rage, and voted an address for peace; and sent to the king to let him know they were desirous to prevent the effusion of more blood, and to bring things to an accommodation, or, as they called it, a right understanding.

I was now, by the king’s particular favour, summoned to the councils of war, my father continuing absent and ill; and now I began to think of the real grounds, and which was more, of the fatal issue of this war. I say, I now began it; for I cannot say that I ever rightly stated matters in my own mind before, though I had been enough used to blood, and to see the destruction of people, sacking of towns, and plundering the country; yet ’twas in Germany, and among strangers; but I found a strange, secret and unaccountable sadness upon my spirits, to see this acting in my own native country. It grieved me to the heart, even in the rout of our enemies, to see the slaughter of them; and even in the fight, to hear a man cry for quarter in English, moved me to a compassion which I had never been used to; nay, sometimes it looked to me as if some of my own men had been beaten; and when I heard a soldier cry, “O God, I am shot,” I looked behind me to see which of my own troop was fallen. Here I saw myself at the cutting of the throats of my friends; and indeed some of my near relations. My old comrades and fellow-soldiers in Germany were some with us, some against us, as their opinions happened to differ in religion. For my part, I confess I had not much religion in me, at that time; but I thought religion rightly practised on both sides would have made us all better friends; and therefore sometimes I began to think, that both the bishops of our side, and the preachers on theirs, made religion rather the pretence than the cause of the war. And from those thoughts I vigorously argued it at the council of war against marching to Brentford, while the address for a treaty of peace from the Parliament was in hand: for I was for taking the Parliament by the handle which they had given us, and entering into a negotiation, with the advantage of its being at their own request.

I thought the king had now in his hands an opportunity to make an honourable peace; for this battle of Edgehill, as much as they boasted of the victory to hearten up their friends, had sorely weakened their army, and discouraged their party too, which in effect was worse as to their army. The horse were particularly in an ill case, and the foot greatly diminished, and the remainder very sickly; but besides this, the Parliament were greatly alarmed at the progress we made afterward; and still fearing the king’s surprising them, had sent for the Earl of Essex to London, to defend them; by which the country was, as it were, defeated and abandoned, and left to be plundered; our parties overrun all places at pleasure. All this while I considered, that whatever the soldiers of fortune meant by the war, our desires were to suppress the exorbitant power of a party, to establish our king in his just and legal rights; but not with a design to destroy the constitution of government, and the being of Parliament. And therefore I thought now was the time for peace, and there were a great many worthy gentlemen in the army of my mind; and, had our master had ears to hear us, the war might have had an end here.

This address for peace was received by the king at Maidenhead, whither this army was now advanced, and his Majesty returned answer by Sir Peter Killegrew, that he desired nothing more, and would not be wanting on his part. Upon this the Parliament name commissioners, and his Majesty excepting against Sir John Evelyn, they left him out, and sent others; and desired the king to appoint his residence near London, where the commissioners might wait upon him. Accordingly the king appointed Windsor for the place of treaty, and desired the treaty might be hastened. And thus all things looked with a favourable aspect, when one unlucky action knocked it all on the head, and filled both parties with more implacable animosities than they had before, and all hopes of peace vanished.

During this progress of the king’s armies, we were always abroad with the horse ravaging the country, and plundering the Roundheads. Prince Rupert, a most active vigilant party man, and I must own, fitter for such than for a general, was never lying still, and I seldom stayed behind; for our regiment being very well mounted, he would always send for us, if he had any extraordinary design in hand.

One time in particular he had a design upon Aylesbury, the capital of Buckinghamshire; indeed our view at first was rather to beat the enemy out of town and demolish their works, and perhaps raise some contributions on the rich country round it, than to garrison the place, and keep it; for we wanted no more garrisons, being masters of the field.

The prince had 2500 horse with him in this expedition, but no foot; the town had some foot raised in the country by Mr Hampden, and two regiments of country militia, whom we made light of, but we found they stood to their tackle better than well enough. We came very early to the town, and thought they had no notice of us; but some false brother had given them the alarm, and we found them all in arms, the hedges without the town lined with musketeers, on that side in particular where they expected us, and two regiments of foot drawn up in view to support them, with some horse in the rear of all.

The prince, willing, however, to do something, caused some of his horse to alight, and serve as dragoons; and having broken a way into the enclosures, the horse beat the foot from behind the hedges, while the rest who were alighted charged them in the lane which leads to the town. Here they had cast up some works, and fired from their lines very regularly, considering them as militia only, the governor encouraging them by his example; so that finding without some foot there would be no good to be done, we gave it over, and drew off; and so Aylesbury escaped a scouring for that time.

I cannot deny but these flying parties of horse committed great spoil among the country people; and sometimes the prince gave a liberty to some cruelties which were not at all for the king’s interest; because it being still upon our own country, and the king’s own subjects, whom in all his declarations he protested to be careful of, it seemed to contradict all those protestations and declarations, and served to aggravate and exasperate the common people; and the king’s enemies made all the advantages of it that was possible, by crying out of twice as many extravagancies as were committed.

Tis true, the king, who naturally abhorred such things, could not restrain his men, no, nor his generals, so absolutely as he would have done. The war, on his side, was very much _a la_ volunteer; many gentlemen served him at their own charge, and some paid whole regiments themselves: sometimes also the king’s affairs were straiter than ordinary, and his men were not very well paid, and this obliged him to wink at their excursions upon the country, though he did not approve of them. And yet I must own, that in those parts of England where the war was hottest, there never was seen that ruin and depopulation, murders, and barbarities, which I have seen even among Protestant armies abroad, in Germany and other foreign parts of the world. And if the Parliament people had seen those things abroad, as I had, they would not have complained.

The most I have seen was plundering the towns for provisions, drinking up their beer, and turning our horses into their fields, or stacks of corn; and sometimes the soldiers would be a little rude with the wenches; but alas! what was this to Count Tilly’s ravages in Saxony? Or what was our taking of Leicester by storm, where they cried out of our barbarities, to the sacking of New Brandenburg, or the taking of Magdeburg? In Leicester, of 7000 or 8000 people in the town, 300 were killed; in Magdeburg, of 25,000 scarce 2700 were left, and the whole town burnt to ashes. I myself have seen seventeen or eighteen villages on fire in a day, and the people driven away from their dwellings, like herds of cattle. I do not instance these greater barbarities to justify lesser actions, which are nevertheless irregular; but I do say, that circumstances considered, this war was managed with as much humanity on both sides as could be expected, especially also considering the animosity of parties.

But to return to the prince: he had not always the same success in these enterprises, for sometimes we came short home. And I cannot omit one pleasant adventure which happened to a party of ours, in one of these excursions into Buckinghamshire. The major of our regiment was soundly beaten by a party, which, as I may say, was led by a woman; and, if I had not rescued him, I know not but he had been taken prisoner by a woman. It seems our men had besieged some fortified house about Oxfordshire, towards Thame, and the house being defended by the lady in her husband’s absence, she had yielded the house upon a capitulation; one of the articles of which was, to march out with all her servants, soldiers, and goods, and to be conveyed to Thame. Whether she thought to have gone no farther, or that she reckoned herself safe there, I know not; but my major, with two troops of horse, meets with this lady and her party, about five miles from Thame, as we were coming back from our defeated attack of Aylesbury. We reckoned ourselves in an enemy’s country, and had lived a little at large, or at discretion, as ’tis called abroad; and these two troops, with the major, were returning to our detachment from a little village, where, at the farmer’s house, they had met with some liquor, and truly some of his men were so drunk they could but just sit upon their horses. The major himself was not much better, and the whole body were but in a sorry condition to fight. Upon the road they meet this party; the lady having no design of fighting, and being, as she thought, under the protection of the articles, sounds a parley, and desired to speak with the officer. The major, as drunk as he was, could tell her, that by the articles she was to be assured no farther than Thame, and being now five miles beyond it, she was a fair enemy, and therefore demanded to render themselves prisoners. The lady seemed surprised, but being sensible she was in the wrong, offered to compound for her goods, and would have given him L300, and I think seven or eight horses. The major would certainly have taken it, if he had not been drunk; but he refused it, and gave threatening words to her, blustering in language which he thought proper to fright a woman, viz., that he would cut them all to pieces, and give no quarter, and the like.

The lady, who had been more used to the smell of powder than he imagined, called some of her servants to her, and, consulting with them what to do, they all unanimously encouraged her to let them fight; told her it was plain that the commander was drunk, and all that were with him were rather worse than he, and hardly able to sit their horses; and that therefore one bold charge would put them all into confusion. In a word, she consented, and, as she was a woman, they desired her to secure herself among the waggons; but she refused, and told them bravely she would take her fate with them. In short, she boldly bade my major defiance, and that he might do his worst, since she had offered him fair, and he had refused it; her mind was altered now, and she would give him nothing, and bade his officer that parleyed longer with her be gone; so the parley ended. After this she gave him fair leave to go back to his men; but before he could tell his tale to them she was at his heels with all her men, and gave him such a home charge as put his men into disorder, and, being too drunk to rally, they were knocked down before they knew what to do with themselves, and in a few minutes more they took to a plain flight. But what was still worse, the men, being some of them very drunk, when they came to run for their lives fell over one another, and tumbled over their horses, and made such work that a troop of women might have beaten them all. In this pickle, with the enemy at his heels, I came in with him, hearing the noise. When I appeared the pursuers retreated, and, seeing what a condition my people were in, and not knowing the strength of the enemy, I contented myself with bringing them off without pursuing the other; nor could I ever hear positively who this female captain was. We lost seventeen or eighteen of our men, and about thirty horses; but when the particulars of the story was told us, our major was so laughed at by the whole army, and laughed at everywhere, that he was ashamed to show himself for a week or a fortnight after.

But to return to the king: his Majesty, as I observed, was at Maidenhead addressed by the Parliament for peace, and Windsor being appointed for the place of treaty, the van of his army lay at Colebrook. In the meantime, whether it were true or only a pretence, but it was reported the Parliament general had sent a body of his troops, with a train of artillery, to Hammersmith, in order to fall upon some part of our army, or to take some advanced post, which was to the prejudice of our men; whereupon the king ordered the army to march, and, by the favour of a thick mist, came within half a mile of Brentford before he was discovered. There were two regiments of foot, and about 600 horse into the town, of the enemy’s best troops; these taking the alarm, posted themselves on the bridge at the west end of the town. The king attacked them with a select detachment of his best infantry, and they defended themselves with incredible obstinacy. I must own I never saw raw men, for they could not have been in arms above four months, act like them in my life. In short, there was no forcing these men, for, though two whole brigades of our foot, backed by our horse, made five several attacks upon them they could not break them, and we lost a great many brave men in that action. At last, seeing the obstinacy of these men, a party of horse was ordered to go round from Osterley; and, entering the town on the north side, where, though the horse made some resistance, it was not considerable, the town was presently taken. I led my regiment through an enclosure, and came into the town nearer to the bridge than the rest, by which means I got first into the town; but I had this loss by my expedition, that the foot charged me before the body was come up, and poured in their shot very furiously. My men were but in an ill case, and would not have stood much longer, if the rest of the horse coming up the lane had not found them other employment. When the horse were thus entered, they immediately dispersed the enemy’s horse, who fled away towards London, and falling in sword in hand upon the rear of the foot, who were engaged at the bridge, they were all cut in pieces, except about 200, who, scorning to ask quarter, desperately threw themselves into the river of Thames, where they were most of them drowned.

The Parliament and their party made a great outcry at this attempt–that it was base and treacherous while in a treaty of peace; and that the king, having amused them with hearkening to a treaty, designed to have seized upon their train of artillery first, and, after that, to have surprised both the city of London and the Parliament. And I have observed since, that our historians note this action as contrary to the laws of honour and treaties, though as there was no cessation of arms agreed on, nothing is more contrary to the