THE FIRST CIVIL WAR, 1642-7.
By Dr G. W. PROTHEUO and Colonel E. M. LLOYD, R.E.
Opening of the Civil War . 302
The two sides. English military system . 303
Soldiers and officers. Magazines .304
Regimental system. Portsmouth and Hull . 305
The Royalists. Expectations of Parliament . 306
The battle of Edgehill . 307
Turnham Green and Bradock Down . 308
Early negotiations . 309
Treaty of Oxford. Parliamentary finance . 310
The Queen's return. Parliamentary Associations . 311
Cromwell's Ironsides. The King at Oxford . 312
Round way Down; Bristol; Adwalton Moor . 313
Gainsborough. Waller's plot. Siege of Gloucester . 314
First battle of Newbury. Alton. Winceby . 315
Parliamentary negotiations with Scotland . 316
The Covenant adopted. The Irish Cessation . 317
Solemn League and Covenant. Death of Pym . 318
The Oxford Parliament. Rise of the Independents . 319
Cromwell and toleration. The Scots enter England . 320
The Fairfaxes in the north. Rupert in Yorkshire . 321
Battle of Marston Moor. Its results . 322
The Queen leaves England. Capitulation of Lostwithiel .323
Second battle of Newbury . 324
The Self-denying Ordinance . 325
The New Model . 326
Execution of Laud. Negotiations with the King- . 327
Treaty of Uxbridge. Charles' hopes of aid . 328
The New Model army . 329
Charles, goes northward. Battle of Naseby . 330
The campaign in the west . 331
Bristol taken. Kilsyth and Philiphaugh . 332
Prince Rupert dismissed. Sieges in west and south . 333
Siege of Newark. Prince of Wales leaves England . 334
Fall of Exeter and Oxford. End of the war . 335
CHAPTER X. THE FIRST CIVIL WAR, 1642-7.
THE raising of the King's standard at Nottingham (August 22,1642) was the formal opening of the Civil War. The measures taken by the two parties respectively to levy forces have already been briefly indicated. Charles had met the Parliamentary Militia Ordinance by issuing Commissions of Array (May 11) ; but the legality of these commissions was disputed, and in Leicestershire, the first county in which they were executed, the men refused to join. On July 4 Parliament appointed a committee of fifteen, including five peers, to see to the safety of the kingdom and its own defence ; it voted that an army of 10,000 men should be raised in London and the neighbourhood, and issued a declaration (July 11) that the King had begun the war. Its numbers were by this time much reduced. More than one-third of the members had withdrawn from the House of Commons, and three-fourths of the Lords were either Royalist or neutral. Of the Peers who remained at Westminster the Earl of Essex was the most considerable. He was appointed to command the Parliamentary army; and Clarendon affirms that no one else could have raised it. Charles proclaimed Essex and his officers traitors ; the Houses replied by denouncing as traitors all who gave assistance to the King.
It may be said broadly that the strength of the Royalist cause lay in the northern and western counties, while south and east sided with Parliament. But this was far from an equal division of the kingdom. The population of England was about five millions ; and of this population the country north of the Trent (which now contains two-fifths) then contained only one-seventh. London had nearly half-a-million inhabitants, one-third of the whole urban population. Next to it came Norwich and Bristol with less than 30,000 ; and no town in the north had half that number. There was a corresponding difference in wealth. Three-fourths of the ship-money assessment in 1636 was laid upon the counties which lie south and east of a line drawn from Bristol to Hull. It is true that the King had many friends in all these counties among the nobility and gentry ; but on the other hand the towns of the north were on the
Parliamentary side. Parliament held the dockyards, and nearly all the ports, and could move troops freely by sea from point to point. The great roads radiating from London also facilitated the movement of troops. The fleet consisted of sixteen ships in the Downs, and two in Irish waters, with twenty-four merchant ships ; and (thanks to ship-money) it was in good condition. The importance of its adhesion to the Parliamentary side can hardly be overrated. Thus assisted, Parliament gained command of the coast, and secured the customs revenues, which at this time exceeded a quarter of a million. The King found it very difficult to obtain help from abroad, or to take or hold places on the coast.
But war demands unity of direction ; and here the Royalist cause should have enjoyed a great advantage. The Parliament at Westminster was a loose aggregate, embracing many shades of opinion, many sorts of character, with no defined head; the King was the unquestioned leader of his party. His shiftiness and instability went far to deprive him of the benefit of this distinction. His followers, moderates and extremists alike, lost faith in him ; and his schemes were brought to failure. " Take a good resolution and pursue it.. .to begin and then to stop is your ruin-experience shows it you," wrote Henrietta Maria from the Hague in May, 1642 ; and at the end of 1644 she wrote from Paris that his reputation as irresolute was the thing of all others that had most injured him there. Her influence with him was great, and was always in favour of vigorous action ; but her prejudices and want of judgment outweighed her spirit and energy.
The King, like the Parliament, had to create an army. In France there was a standing army and money to raise additional troops ; and thus Richelieu had been able, as he boasted, to ruin the Huguenot faction, to humble the pride of the nobles, to reduce all the King's subjects to their duty, and to exalt the King's name to its proper position among foreign nations. With the same resources Straffbrd might have played the same part. But there was no taille in England, and there were no regular troops, except a few small garrisons. When expeditions were to be sent abroad, regiments were specially raised ; and, if volunteers fell short, men were pressed. Home defence was provided for by the militia, which was based on the immemorial obligation of all men to serve, if required, in case of invasion. The obligation had been defined by the Statute of Winchester in 1285, and was enforced by commissions of array. In issuing such a commission in 1573, Elizabeth had directed that out of the total number of each shire a convenient number of men should be selected, " meet to be sorted in bands, and to be trained and exercised in such sort as may reasonably be borne by a common charge of the whole county." Thus they got the name of the " trained bands " ; but the training soon dwindled into a perfunctory inspection once a month. An officer of the Essex horse wrote in 1639 : " We admit into our trained bands, without judgment or discretion, any
In the first Bishops' War the English army had been formed of the trained bands of counties north of the Humber ; and Sir Edmund Verney wrote, "I dare say there was never so raw, so unskilful, and so unwilling an army, brought to fight." In the second war (1640) the counties south of the Humber furnished the men. They were for the most part pressed men, equally raw, and of a lower class. " Coat and conduct money" (an advance by the counties to be repaid by the Crown) was one of the exactions which were being called in question as illegal ; consequently the soldiers were irregularly paid and badly clothed. They committed excesses of all sorts on their march northward, and were described by Sir Jacob Astley as "arch knaves."
In the reign of James I the militia had been relieved of the obligation to equip themselves with arms and armour ; and county magazines had been formed in which their equipment was stored. The trained bands (excepting those from the City of London) played no great part in the civil war. Some refused to muster, others refused to fight, and nearly all refused to move far from home ; so that they could only be used for local and temporary duty. But each side tried to secure the county magazines ; and the arms in them were usually handed over to volunteers. While the King was " borrowing " arms and ammunition from the magazine at Nottingham, Oliver Cromwell, member for Cambridge, seized the Cambridge magazine for the service of Parliament. At the same time he intercepted some of the college plate which was being sent to the King; for the University of Cambridge, like that of Oxford, was Royalist.
Though the recruits of both armies knew nothing of war or of soldiering, there was no lack of officers to instruct them. Large numbers of Englishmen and Scotchmen had served in the Low Countries or in Germany; the Dutch school being the more methodical, the Swedish the more enterprising. Among the English leaders who played a prominent part in the civil war, Essex, Waller, and Skippon on the one side, and Goring, Hopton, and Astley on the other, had foreign experience. Many Scots were employed on this account, such as Crawford, Balfour, King, and Ruthven, though, as Clarendon remarks, " it was no easy thing to value that people at the rate they did set upon themselves." Charles' nephew, Rupert, son of the Elector Palatine, had seen some service as a boy with the Dutch and the Swedes. He came to England with his younger brother, Maurice ; and, though he was only in his twenty-third year, Charles made him general of the horse. " He should have some one to advise him," wrote the Queen, "for, believe me, he is yet very young and self-willed."
Commissions were issued to men of influence authorising them to raise regiments of foot or troops of horse for the service of the King or of Parliament. They were formed in the district where the colonel's property lay, and equipped by their officers, though Parliament allowed " mounting money." The normal strength of foot-regiments was 1200 ; but the Whitecoats, raised by the Earl of Newcastle in Northumberland, were 3000 strong, while others were not as many hundreds. Troops of horse numbered 50 or 60 men, and were formed into regiments of about 500. Regiments of dragoons (or mounted infantry) were also raised on both sides. With the view of encouraging apprentices to enlist, the Houses issued an order that their indentures should not be forfeited, and that the time spent in the ranks should be reckoned as part of their term of apprenticeship.
Both sides laid great stress on the possession of Portsmouth. Its governor, George Goring, the most plausible of self-seekers, elected, after much balancing, to hold it for the King ; but, finding himself shut in both by sea and land, he surrendered it to Sir William Waller (September 7). It was in order to save Portsmouth that Charles set up his standard at Nottingham on August 22, though he was not ready to fight. Ten days before, he had summoned his Protestant subjects north of Trent, or within twenty miles south of it, to meet him there ; but the muster fell short of one thousand. He hoped to draw the Parliamentary forces towards him, and to enable the Marquis of Hertford, whom he had sent into the west, to go to the relief of Goring. But Hertford failed in Somerset, and was forced to take shelter in Sherborne Castle. The Earl of Newcastle, who was entrusted with the four northern counties, was raising troops in Northumberland, and had secured the Tyne as a port for the King; but Lord Strange, who became soon afterwards Earl of Derby, and had promised great things in Lancashire, met with a repulse at Manchester. Charles himself had failed with some loss of life in a second attempt upon Hull (July 15), and in an attempt upon Coventry. He had met with a lukewarm reception in Yorkshire ; and there were many so-called " Gadarenes," who expressed the wish that he would go elsewhere. It seemed likely that, as Pym and Hampden were said to have predicted, he would not be able to raise an army.
"I would not have the King trample on the Parliament, nor the Parliament lessen him so much as to make a way for the people to rule us all.'" So Lord Savile wrote ; and it was the state of mind of many better men. Even in Cornwall, where the partisans of the King exceeded those of the Parliament, Clarendon tells us that " there was a third sort (for a party they cannot be called) greater than either of the other, both in fortune and number," who preferred to be neutral. It is reckoned that the total number of men in arms was never more than about 2 1/2 per cent, of the population, one-tenth of the proportion which the
There were many, however, with whom the sentiment of loyalty was deep-rooted, and who, while disapproving of the King's acts and of his advisers, felt bound to draw their swords for him when it came to war ; just as high-minded Southerners felt bound to go with their State in the American civil war, though they had opposed secession. Others were animated by dislike of Puritanism-for its narrowness (as Falkland), or for its rigour (as Goring)-by contempt for the classes in which the main strength of Puritanism lay, or by provincial jealousy of London dictation. Others, especially the wealthy Roman Catholics, felt that their interests were bound up with those of the King. He hesitated for a time to admit Catholics to his ranks, but they sent him money : the Earl of Worcester furnished ,£120,000. The nobility and gentry who joined him, not only served in person, but paid the men they brought with them. By the middle of September his numbers rose to 10,000. But the sacrifices which his adherents made for him gave rise to embarrassing claims on their part, and weakened his authority; there were jealousies between the leading commanders, and friction between the military and civil members of his Council.
The Parliamentary army which was to oppose the King was assembled near Northampton, and numbered 20,000 men when Essex took command of it, on Sept. 10. It was expected to make short work of the Royalists. There were even hopes that the King's army would dissolve without fighting, and that he might be captured in his quarters. The commission of Essex was " to rescue his Majesty's person, and the persons of the Prince and the Duke of York, out of the hands of those desperate persons who were then about him." To secure his person was the chief thing to be aimed at, just as on his side the main objective was the recovery of his capital. " So long as you are in the world," the Queen wrote to him (August 31), "assuredly England can have no rest nor peace, unless you consent to it ; and assuredly that cannot be unless you are restored to your just prerogatives." It was this conviction, shared by the King and his adversaries, which ultimately cost him his head. But, if the Parliamentarians expected a short war, the aristocratic Royalists regarded their enemies as feeble and unwarlike. Both sides, in short, like true Englishmen, underrated their opponents.
Charles was not strong enough to fight a battle, or to hold his ground at Nottingham. He retreated to Shrewsbury and Chester ; and Byron, who was holding Oxford for him, was obliged to retire on Worcester. He
On October 12 he set out from Shrewsbury to march on London. He was about half-way thither when, learning that Essex was coming up behind him, he turned and gave him battle at Edgehill (October 23). Essex had put garrisons into Worcester and other places, and to hasten his march he had left his guns behind with a guard, so that the two armies were now equal in numbers, about 14,000 each. The Parliamentarians were much better equipped than the Royalists, but the latter had 4000 horse against 3000, and they were drawn from classes more accustomed to riding and to the use of arms. It was cavalry that decided battles in those days ; and in Rupert the Royalists had a leader who had learnt the shock tactics of Gustavus. " He put that spirit into the King's army that all men seemed resolved," says Sir Philip Warwick ; "and, had he been as cautious as he was a forward fighter, and a knowing person in all parts of a soldier, he had most probably been a very fortunate one. He showed a great and exemplary temperance, which fitted him to undergo the fatigues of a war, so as he deserved the character of a soldier."
The Earl of Lindsey had been appointed general of the King's army, but Rupert was not placed under his orders ; and there was a difference between them as to the relative merits of the Dutch and Swedish systems. Charles sided with Rupert; Lindsey resigned his office, and met his death at the head of his regiment. Rupert justified the King's decision by routing the Parliamentary cavalry on both wings, and part of the infantry. But to keep victorious horsemen in hand, and rally them for fresh action, is always difficult ; the character of the Cavaliers and Rupert's own temperament made it impossible. Even the reserve of cavalry, " with spurs and loose reins, followed the chase which their left wing had led them." While the whole of the Royalist horse was pursuing and plundering, two regiments of Parliamentary horse which had been held in reserve helped their foot to get the better of the King's infantry. What would have been a decisive victory if Rupert had handled his cavalry as Enghien handled his the year after at Rocroi, proved a drawn battle, which neither side cared to renew next day. By retiring
Charles at first meant to remain at Oxford for the winter, but Rupert persuaded him to advance on London. His approach alarmed the citizens ; and the Houses were induced to make overtures for peace. To take full advantage of the agitation in London he should have pushed on rapidly and offered favourable terms ; but his advance was so leisurely that Essex, marching from Warwick by St Albans, reached the capital before him. Earthworks had been thrown up, fresh troops raised, and Essex was able to muster 24,000 men at Turnham Green. On November 12 Rupert drove the Parliamentary outposts out of Brentford, and sacked that town ; but here the Royalist successes ended. Essex stood strictly on the defensive; and the King was not strong enough to attack. He marched up the Thames to Kingston, and crossed the river there, as though intending to strike at London from the south. He turned westward, however ; and within a week his army was back at Reading. Leaving a strong garrison there, he returned to Oxford.
Both in the west and in the north the Royalist cause made progress in the latter part of 1642. Hertford had left Sherborne Castle after the surrender of Portsmouth, and had betaken himself to South Wales, where he raised some regiments of foot, with which he joined the King at Oxford. He had sent his horse and dragoons into Cornwall under Sir Ralph Hopton, one of the best and ablest of the Cavaliers ; and, with the help of the trained bands, Hopton drove out the Parliamentarians. The trained bands refused to fight outside their own county ; so Hopton enlisted volunteers, and marched to Exeter. Not meeting with the support he reckoned on in Devon, and being short of supplies, he retired to Cornwall ; but he turned on the Parliamentary forces which followed him, routed them at Bradock Down (January 19, 1643), and took a large number of prisoners. He then prepared to besiege Plymouth.
In Yorkshire the gentry had come to an agreement for local neutrality, and those who wished to fight joined the main armies ; but Parliament set this agreement aside, and appointed Lord Fairfax to command on its behalf. The Yorkshire Cavaliers invited the Earl of Newcastle to come to their assistance. He crossed the Tees with 8000 men (December 1), relieved York, and forced Fairfax to fall back from Tadcaster to Selby. Pushing on to Pontefract, Newcastle interposed between Selby and the towns of the West Riding, which were ardently Parliamentarian. His troops occupied Leeds and Wakefield, but met with a repulse at Bradford ; and the younger Fairfax (Sir Thomas), already conspicuous for zeal and dash, made his way thither, organised the townsmen, and soon recovered Leeds (January 23). Newcastle, however,
The indecisive results of the first campaign, disappointing as they were to both parties, seemed to make it possible to open negotiations for peace with some hope of success. During the autumn Charles had made two attempts to treat-one in August, only three days after he had set up his standard ; the other in September. On the first occasion, Parliament rejected his overtures off-hand ; on the second, when no less a person than Falkland acted as his envoy, the Houses declared their unwillingness to treat unless the King would promise to withdraw his protection from any whom they might declare to be delinquents, and to allow the charges incurred by Parliament since he left London to be defrayed from the estates of such persons. It could never have been expected that the King would accept a proposal of such wholesale confiscation ; and its flagrant injustice brought numerous recruits to his side. That it was disagreeable to many even in Parliament became evident when the imminent danger which threatened during the King's march on London enabled the peace-party, never wholly suppressed during the early years of the war, to lift up its voice. Towards the end of October, a proposal for negotiation was brought forward in the Lords, and accepted by the Commons. Their object was to obtain an armistice, which the King, while things were going well with him, was not disposed to grant. After his rebuff at Turnham Green, he offered to treat; and Parliament, while blaming him for attacking Brentford during the negotiations, took his proposals into consideration (November 21). A long debate ensued, in which the war-party eventually got the upper hand. The proposals sent to the King, who was then at Reading, were practically the same as those made in September, and met with the same fate.
A more serious attempt at settlement was made early in the next year. The pacific party in the Common Council of the City, urged by the Royalist merchants, had succeeded in carrying a petition for peace. This was taken up by the Lords, who prepared certain propositions, which were considered by the Commons just before Christmas. Unfortunately the pacificators had no clear idea of how peace was to be obtained, while the war-party at least knew their own mind. Consequently, though the Commons agreed to negotiate, they resolved to insist on disbandment of both armies as a preliminary condition, and hurriedly passed a Bill for the abolition of Episcopacy, to which they gained the assent of the Lords on January 30, 1643. Such a measure augured ill for the success of the negotiations, which, however, opened at Oxford on February 1. The demands now put forward by Parliament closely resembled those embodied in the Nineteen Propositions of the previous June, with the serious additions that Bishops, Deans and Chapters,
Archdeacons, in short, the whole existing hierarchy, should be abolished ; that Church government should be settled on a basis to be determined by Parliament in consultation with the Assembly of Divines, which was now sitting under authority of a Bill passed by both Houses in the previous October; that the navy as well as the army should be under parliamentary control ; and that delinquents, i.e. the King's supporters, should be left to the tender mercies of Parliament. It is needless to describe the hollow negotiations that followed. Neither party was in earnest ; and it must be allowed that the terms offered by Parliament were such as could have been accepted only by a beaten foe. The parties did not get so far even as to arrange the details of an .armistice ; and the war went on meanwhile. The King eventually demanded (April 8) that his magazines, ships, forts, etc. should be restored to him ; that expelled Members of Parliament should be allowed to return ; and that Parliament should adjourn to some place outside London. These proposals were rejected on April 14 ; and the " Treaty of Oxford " came to an end. No serious efforts for peace were made again during the next two years.
From the outset of the war, financial difficulties pressed heavily on both parties ; but in this respect the advantage was at first with the Royalists. Although the towns and districts controlled by Parliament were far more populous and wealthy than those which adhered to the Crown, the mercantile classes were less willing to contribute to Parliamentary necessities, and were probably less able to find ready money, than the rich nobles and gentry who rallied to the King. The Prince of Orange, though unwilling to send troops, advanced over a million of money. Moreover the ancient feudal attachment of the peasantry to the lords of the soil enabled the latter to raise troops of followers at comparatively slight expense ; and to this personal loyalty the enthusiasm of the townsmen for the Parliamentary cause supplied, at first, a very inadequate counterpart. Parliament, at the outset, relied on voluntary contributions. It was naturally reluctant to impose taxation, not so much because it was unconstitutional as because it was sure to be unpopular. But free gifts and loans soon proved totally inadequate to provide for an army which cost a million a year, while the navy required ,£300,000 besides. The customs-duties were levied by Parliament, but, owing to the falling-off of trade, brought in only £2000 a month. The sequestration of the estates of the Bishops, the cathedral lands, and the property of delinquents, could not fill the gap. Consequently, so early as November, 1642, it was resolved to impose a tax; and an assessment was ordered of all inhabitants of London and Westminster who had not made a voluntary contribution. On December 8 this was extended to the whole country. There was considerable resistance ; and wealthy registers were imprisoned. In February, 1643, the scheme of taxation was developed ; and commissioners were appointed to assess property for
The progress made in the west and north during the winter shaped Charles' plan for the campaign of 1643. He expected by March to have 40,000 men in the field ; and his plan was that he should himself hold Essex in check in the Midlands, while Newcastle and Hopton, pushing south and east respectively, should join hands on the Thames below London, stop the passage of shipping, and starve the City into surrender. The Queen was now at York, having landed at Bridlington a few days before. She had been escorted from Holland by Tromp, and had brought with her a good supply of arms and money. The Commons passed a resolution for her impeachment (May 22), and sent it up to the Lords. There was little hope of other aid from abroad for Charles. The Prince of Orange had done what he could, but Dutch sympathy was mainly with Parliament. As regards France, Charles, without winning the goodwill of the Huguenots, had made an enemy of Richelieu, who (according to Madame de Motteville) " thought it absolutely necessary for the weal of France that that prince should have trouble in his country." The death of Richelieu (December 4, 1642) did not change French policy in this respect. As for Denmark, she was on the point of a war with Sweden, for which she was ill prepared ; and Christian IV could do nothing for his nephew.
Apart from the army of Essex, Parliament had relied on county organisation for defence during the first few months of the war. It was found that larger units were desirable ; and in December ordinances were passed for an Association of the Midland counties-Leicester, Derby, Nottingham, Rutland, Buckingham, Bedford, and Huntingdon ; and another of the Eastern counties-Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridge, and Hertford. The Midland Association soon broke up ; Huntingdon was transferred to the Eastern Association in May, 1643, and Lincoln was added to it in September, so that it finally consisted of seven shires. These shires contained one-fifth of the wealth of the kingdom ; the people were a tough stock, deeply Puritan ; and the Eastern Association became the mainstay of the Parliamentary cause. The committees by which its affairs were managed included a considerable number of men of rank and position.
Among these was Oliver Cromwell. He had commanded a troop in Essex1 regiment of horse, one of the two regiments which helped to break the Royalist foot at Edgehill, though it is doubtful whether he "was himself present at the battle. He had told his cousin Hampden at
Their discipline showed itself also on the battlefield. In Clarendon's words, " though the King's troops prevailed in the charge, and routed those they charged, they never rallied themselves again in order, nor could be brought to make a second charge the same day.. .whereas Cromwell's troops, if they prevailed, or though they were beaten and routed, presently rallied again, and stood in good order till they received new orders." He points out that this was not the case with other Parliamentary horse. While Cromwell followed Rupert's example in always attacking, instead of waiting to be attacked, he relied more on the superiority of his men in hand-to-hand fighting with sword and pistol than on the shock of a charge at speed, and he was satisfied with "a good round trot."
By occupying Oxford as his headquarters, with outlying garrisons, the King had driven a wedge into the heart of the Parliamentary territory ; and during the winter he tried to widen this wedge, and lessen the intervals separating him from Hopton and Newcastle. But he lost more ground than he gained. The Royalists of Cheshire and Lancashire were defeated by Sir William Brereton at Nantwich (January 28) ; Lichfield was taken (March 4) ; and Sir William Waller, by "nimble and successful marches," surprised the troops blockading Gloucester, took Hereford (April 25), and then rejoined Essex.
In the middle of April Essex again took the field at the head of an army of nearly 20,000 men. Hampden and others urged him to " strike at the root" by marching on Oxford; but he thought it necessary first to recover Reading. The garrison of 4000 men were of much more importance than the place, but by the terms of surrender they were allowed to rejoin the King. This practice had much to do with the prolongation of the war. It was June before Essex found himself able to move on to Oxford ; and by that time Charles had received the arms and ammunition brought over by the Queen, of which he was sorely in need. The Queen herself followed a month afterwards, with an escort
Meanwhile things were going well with the Royalists in the west. Hopton had been unable to take Plymouth ; but at Stratton, near Bude (May 16), he had stormed a camp held by 5000 infantry with guns, and had taken 1700 prisoners, his own force being only 2400. Waller, who had won the name of William the Conqueror in Gloucestershire, was sent to hold him in check, but found himself overmatched. Hopton pushed across Devon into Somerset, and was joined at Chard by Hertford and Prince Maurice. The Cornish army, as it was still called, now numbered 6000 men ; it occupied Taunton and marched on Bath. Waller, a most expert " shifter and chooser of ground," baffled the Royalists there, and followed them to Devizes, where he invested Hopton's foot; but Maurice brought some fresh cavalry from Oxford, and Waller's army was destroyed at Roundway Down (July 13). He had been extolled as the coming man by those who were dissatisfied with Essex, and he attributed his disaster to Essex' jealousy. Rupert joined the victors a few days afterwards, and led them to Bristol, which was stormed after three days' siege (July 26). The west was now entirely in the hands of the Royalists, with the exception of a few towns on the coast. But the habit of living on the country, to which their necessities had driven them, persisted when there was no need for it, and made their presence unwelcome even to their sympathisers. Bitter complaints were made to the King of the plundering of Dorset homesteads by Maurice's troopers ; and Maurice himself was blamed by Hertford for showing no consideration except to his men.
In the north, Newcastle had an army of 10,000 men, notwithstanding the detachments he had sent to Oxford. The Fairfaxes maintained themselves in the West Riding for a time, and Sir Thomas stormed Wakefield (May 20), taking 1400 prisoners. But he and his father were overpowered at Adwalton Moor (June 30), and were obliged to take refuge in Hull. This was soon the only place in Yorkshire which remained to the Parliament, for Scarborough Castle had been betrayed by its governor, Sir Hugh Cholmley, in March. Hull itself had been nearly lost by the treachery of Sir John Hotham and his son, but they were arrested in time.
Essex had sent orders that the forces of the Eastern Counties should unite to relieve Lincolnshire, and if possible to lend a hand to the Fairfaxes in Yorkshire. In a skirmish at Grantham (May 13) Cromwell showed the quality of his regiment by routing a force twice as large as
A, plot for a Royalist rising in London was brought to light at the end of May. It was reckoned that one-third of the population of the City was in favour of the King, while in the suburbs the proportion was much larger. The plot originated with Edmund Waller, the poet, but it was matured by Lord Conway, one of the peers who had remained at Westminster to further the King's interests. The Parliamentary leaders were to be seized, as well as the gates and the magazines ; and a force of 3000 men, sent by the King, was to be introduced. A commission of array signed by Charles was held in readiness to legalise the enterprise. The discovery of this plot, together with evidence that the King was negotiating with the Irish rebels, enabled Pym to persuade both Houses to impose a covenant, binding all who took it to support the forces raised in defence of Parliament against those raised by the King, " so long as the Papists now in open war against the Parliament shall by force of arms be protected from the justice thereof." Charles met this step by a proclamation (June 20), declaring the Parliament to be no longer free, and all who abetted it in its usurpation to be liable to the penalties of high treason. In August both sides began to authorise impressment.
The advantage which Parliament enjoyed from command of the sea became most apparent when the fortune of war was most adverse. The time seemed to have come for the three Royalist armies to converge upon London, and carry out the King's plan of campaign. But the Cavaliers of Yorkshire were unwilling to go south while Hull remained a Parliamentary port; the men of Cornwall and Devon insisted on the reduction of Plymouth ; and both places, being open to succour from the sea, were difficult to take. The Welsh, too, were uneasy about Gloucester, the only Parliamentary garrison in the Severn valley. That place, at all events, could be shut in ; and the King was assured that Massey, the governor, could be gained over. He sat down before it on August 10. Parliament made the most of the breathing-time which these sieges afforded. Before the end of the month Essex was on his way to relieve Gloucester with 15,000 men, including some of the City trained bands. A home-counties army was formed for Waller ; and it was resolved that the army of the Eastern Association should be raised to 10,000 foot, and commanded by the Earl of Manchester.
On the approach of Essex the King raised the siege of Gloucester, and chose a position in the Cotswolds to bar the return of the Parliamentary army. Essex outmanœuvred him ; but by dint of hard marching the King reached Newbury first. An obstinate battle was fought there (September 20), in which Falkland threw away the life of which he was weary, and the City trained bands showed the benefit of practising postures in the artillery garden by repulsing Rupert's horse on an open heath. Neither side gained the victory ; but the Royalists had exhausted their ammunition, and retreated to Oxford next day, leaving the road to Reading open for Essex. There his army melted away, and he had to fall back as far as Windsor. He told the citizens of London that they must make peace unless they could discover a fountain of gold, or find volunteers who would serve without pay. Similar complaints came from other quarters, for the obligations incurred towards the Scots drained the resources of Parliament. Cromwell wrote to St John that he had " a lovely company," but no means of support for it except the poor sequestrations of the county of Huntingdon.
In November Waller tried to capture Basing House, a Royalist outpost in Hampshire belonging to the Catholic Marquis of Winchester ; but his troops were mutinous for want of pay ; the London regiments deserted in a body ; and on Hopton's approach he had to fall back on Farnham. Hopton had been laid up by wounds for some months, but had taken the field again in the autumn. After going to the assistance of Lord Ogle, who had surprised Winchester, he relieved Basing House, and gained possession of Arundel (December 9). But his small army was too widely extended; and Waller, falling on part of it at Alton (December 13), took nearly a thousand prisoners, and recovered Arundel.
In the north, Newcastle, after spending six weeks before Hull, found himself obliged to raise the siege (October la), and retired to York. Cromwell had been sent back to Lincolnshire, and had been joined there by Fairfax, whose cavalry, being useless for the defence of Hull, was shipped across the Humber. On October 11 Fairfax and Cromwell routed a strong body of horse and dragoons under the governor of Newark at Winceby, near Horncastle. Lincoln surrendered to Manchester a few days afterwards, and Gainsborough before the end of the year. By occupying Newport Pagnell in October, Rupert threatened the eastern counties and the roads from London to the north ; but Essex succeeded in guarding them, and forced the Royalists back.
The campaign of 1643 had been distinctly favourable to the King ; but his very successes forced his opponents to take a step which eventually turned the scale. Three years earlier, Scotland had intervened with potent effect in English affairs ; and the tacit alliance between the Opposition leaders and the Scots had enabled the former to win their political victories during the first year of the Long Parliament. The
Meanwhile events had occurred in Scotland which increased the readiness of the Scots to welcome proposals for an alliance. In May it had been resolved, on Argyll's initiative, to summon a Convention of Estates north of the Tweed. This body, which was to meet towards the end of June, would supply a national authority with which the English Parliament could deal confidently. During the interval, the Earl of Antrim was taken prisoner in Ulster ; and papers were found on him which disclosed the existence of a plot for a Royalist rising in Scotland, to be headed by Montrose, and supported by a Catholic force from Ireland. This was Stratford's old plan, revived in a new form, and rendered more threatening by what was known or surmised as to the negotiations then proceeding between Charles and his Irish rebels. If these negotiations should succeed, it was clear that the King would receive powerful assistance, which he might employ either in England or Scotland, or in both countries. No wonder that the common danger drew together Protestants north and south of the Tweed, and that Scottish Presbyterians and English Parliamentarians alike became convinced that " there was a fixed resolution in the Popish party utterly to extirpate the true Protestant religion in England, Scotland, and Ireland." It was under the influence of this fear that the elections for the Scottish Convention were held.
A few days after the Convention met (June 22), the news of Montrose's plot was known at Westminster. Lords and Commons at once agreed to send a deputation to Scotland; not, however, to ask for armed assistance, but merely to invite the Convention to give advice, and to send ministers to join the Assembly of Divines which was about to meet at Westminster. Then came the defeat at Roundway Down (July 13) ; and all hesitation disappeared. Within a week it was agreed to send five envoys northward, to ask for the help of an army of 11,000 men. To many at Westminster such a proposal was, doubtless, very distasteful, both on political and on religious grounds ; and the faint-hearted feared lest the King should win the day before the Scottish army could take the field. The peace-party in the Lords won the upper hand, and carried certain propositions for peace, which involved
The raising of the siege of Gloucester (September 5) somewhat relieved the military strain, and gave the Parliamentarians breathing-time for carrying through the negotiations with Scotland. On August 7 the English Commissioners, the chief of whom was the younger Vane, arrived at Leith. The main obstacle to agreement was, on this occasion as on so many others, a religious one. " The English," says the Scottish commissioner, Robert Baillie, " were for a civil league ; we for a religious covenant." The English were the petitioners, and were forced to give way. Alexander Henderson drew up a Covenant similar to that of 1638, and involving, among other provisions, the abolition of Episcopacy and a joint pledge to maintain the reformed Presbyterian Church of Scotland, and to carry out such a reformation of the Church of England as would "bring the Churches in both nations to the nearest conjunction and uniformity in all respects." To such stringent terms the English Commissioners naturally raised objections ; and Vane succeeded in introducing some verbal modifications in the direction of laxity. As amended, the Covenant was adopted by the Scottish Assembly, and ratified by the Estates (August 17). Ten days later it was laid before the Assembly of Divines at Westminster. This body objected to the unrestricted promise to maintain the Church of Scotland ; and the House of Commons agreed with its objection. On the other hand, the establishment of Protestantism in Ireland was added to the objects of the league. The peace-party endeavoured to leave the door open for a modified Episcopacy, but were overruled. Early in September, the Scottish Commissioners arrived ; and, with their consent, the agreement took its final form. It was accepted by the Lords ; and on September 25 it was sworn to by the Assembly of Divines and by 112 members of the House of Commons.
Whatever reluctance there was, was overcome by the news from Ireland. It was the Irish Cessation, according to Baillie, that " most of all Wade the minds of our people embrace that means of safety." In April Charles had directed Ormonde, his lieutenant-general, to treat with the rebels for a cessation of hostilities for one year, and to bring his troops to England as soon as it was agreed upon. The negotiation was completed by the middle of September, seven-eighths of the country
In its final shape, the " Solemn League and Covenant for reformation and defence of Religion, the honour and happiness of the King, and the peace and -safety of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland," pledged its supporters to maintain the reformed Church of Scotland, to reform religion in England and Ireland " according to the Word of God," and to endeavour to bring the Churches in the three kingdoms to uniformity "in religion, confession of faith, and form of Church government." In other words, Presbyterianism was to be established throughout the three kingdoms. The rights and privileges of Parliaments were to be preserved, without any intention to diminish "His Majesty's just power and greatness"; "malignants" to be discovered and punished ; the union of the kingdoms was to be maintained ; and mutual assistance to be rendered for the attainment of these objects. The importance of the document resides in its first clause as to religion, and in the understanding (not expressed, but already arrived at) that the Scots were to send an army to the assistance of the English Parliament- at the expense of ,£30,000 a month, to be paid by the English. It was a fateful agreement in more ways than one. In the first place, it enabled Parliament to win the victory over its enemies; for the aid that the King got from Ireland weighed as nothing in the scale against the Scottish army. But, subsequently, the pledge to enforce Presbyterianism in England threw an insurmountable obstacle in the way of peace, led to the subsequent breach between Parliament and army, and so brought on the second Civil War and the death of the King. No more important step was taken during the whole of the struggle.
It was tke last work of Pym, who, after some months of illness, died on November 8. With his death, and those of Hampden and Falkland, already noticed, three of the noblest figures of a period rich in distinction had disappeared. Of Pym it may be said that he was the first great Parliamentary statesman of modern times, the first who by the combination of experience and intellect, elevation of character, firmness of purpose, practical insight, and oratorical power, gained a complete ascendancy over a popular assembly. From the position of a mere country gentleman he became by these qualities the uncrowned king of half the nation. Eliot was a greater orator, Wentworth more fertile in ideas, Cromwell more subtle in design and more potent in action ;
In the winter which followed his death, the body over which he had presided found a rival, or rather a parody, in the Parliament which the King summoned to meet at Oxford. It consisted of all members who had left Westminster, and it met on January 22, 1644. About one-third of the Commons and the great majority of the Lords were found to be on the King's side ; but many of these were unable to attend. It is not easy to see what was Charles' object in summoning this body. Evidently it was not the Parliament ; and such a body could add little, if anything, to the legality of his actions. Its meeting only showed, what everybody knew already, that Parliament was divided in itself; and it could not help in any negotiations which might be contemplated, for the members at Westminster naturally refused to recognise it as a Parliament at all. It. denounced the invasion of the Scots, and addressed a letter to Essex, whose tendencies were known to be pacific, begging him to help in bringing about a peace. Essex' reply was to send to Oxford a copy of the Covenant, and an offer of pardon from Parliament to all who should accept it. Subsequent overtures from " the Lords and Commons of Parliament at Oxford " having been rejected, the Oxford members declared those at Westminster to be traitors, and authorised the King to levy a forced loan and an excise. As, however, the Oxford assembly began to show some signs of independence, suggesting economies, and begging the King to pay some regard to " tender consciences," it was prorogued (April 16). There was in fact more dissension at Oxford than in London. There was a growing weariness of the war; and those who were most zealous for it were at feud with one another. The Queen was jealous of Rupert's influence. Rupert quarrelled with Digby and other advisers of the King, and with his own subordinates, Wilmot and Goring. Charles, as usual, leaned first to one and then to another.
Meanwhile, at Westminster, the fruits of the new League were making themselves felt. On February 5 Parliament ordered that every Englishman over eighteen years of age should take the Covenant ; and signs of opposition to a new ecclesiastical tyranny at once appeared. The Westminster Assembly had pledged itself to Presbyterianism ; but all its members were not Presbyterians. It contained a small knot of men-Philip Nye, Thomas Goodwyn, and others-who received the name of Independents, as maintaining the right of every congregation to govern itself. Outside the Assembly the sects-Separatists, Antinomians, etc.
We must now return to military matters. The beginning of 1644 found the King master of two-thirds of the country ; but the tide was turning, and time was on the side of the Parliament. Its troops were learning their trade, and were becoming more than a match for the Cavaliers. Its northern ally was about to come into the field. It still held several ports in the west-Poole, Lyme, Plymouth, Pembroke, and Liverpool. An ordinance was passed (February 16) appointing a Committee of Both Kingdoms to manage the war, to consist of seven peers, fourteen members of the House of Commons, and four Scottish Commissioners. It superseded the original Committee of Safety, and was given much larger powers as a responsible executive. Essex, Manchester, Waller, and Cromwell were members of it.
On January 19 the Scottish army crossed the Tweed, under Alexander Leslie, Earl of Leven. It consisted of 18,000 foot and about 3000 horse and dragoons. Newcastle (who had been made a Marquis in October) hurried northward to meet it, leaving Lord Bellasis to hold Yorkshire. He succeeded in throwing himself into the city of Newcastle before the leisurely Scots arrived there ; but he had only 5000 foot and 3000 horse,
The only Royalist stronghold in Lancashire was Lathom House, held by the Countess of Derby. Fairfax summoned it in vain, but did not stay for the siege, which lasted three months and proved in the end ineffectual. Returning to Yorkshire, he joined his father near Selby, which was stormed on April 11, Bellasis being among the prisoners taken. This blow obliged Newcastle to come southward, and shut himself up in York. The armies of Leven and Fairfax encamped before York on April 22, and were joined there on June 2 by Manchester with the troops of the Eastern Association. These troops had been raised to a strength of 14,000 men during the winter. Cromwell, now Lieutenant-General, complained in Parliament of the backwardness of Lord Willoughby, who commanded the Lincolnshire forces ; and they had been placed under Manchester.
During these months Rupert had not been idle. In January he made an unsuccessful attempt on Aylesbury, having been led to believe it would be betrayed to him. In March he went to the relief of Newark, and obliged Meldrum, who was besieging it, to capitulate. " The enemy ...was so confident that he had not a strength to attempt that work, that he was within six miles of them before they believed he thought of them." He swept over Lincolnshire ; but, in spite of Newcastle's appeals, he was then obliged to restore his troops to the garrisons from which he had borrowed them, and return to the Welsh border. In the middle of May he set out from Shrewsbury for Yorkshire, having persuaded the King with difficulty to adopt his plan of campaign, viz. that, while he himself pushed the war in the north, and his brother Maurice in the west, Charles should manœuvre on the defensive round Oxford.
Marching by way of Lancashire, he relieved Lathom House, and stormed Bolton and Liverpool. Goring joined him with forces which brought his numbers up to nearly 15,000 men. The Parliamentarians raised the siege of York on his approach, and encamped near Long Marston to bar his road ; but he worked round by the north, crossed the Ouse, and joined Newcastle. The King had written to him (June 14): " If York be relieved and you beat the rebels' armies of both kingdoms which were before it, then, but otherways not, I may possibly make a shift upon the defensive to spin out time until you come to assist me." Rupert construed this as "a positive and absolute command to fight the enemy"; and, though Newcastle demurred, he drew out his troops
The two armies were nearly equal in cavalry, each having about 7000; but of infantry the Royalists had 11,000, the Parliamentarians 20,000, so that they had a longer line and overlapped the Royalist right. They began the battle by a general advance about 5 p.m. The horse forming their right wing, under Sir Thomas Fairfax, were driven back by Goring, who pursued them to their camp. In the centre, the Yorkshire infantry under Lord Fairfax was also repulsed and broken ; but five or six regiments of Scots, which were to the right of it, stood firm though assailed both by horse and foot. The East-Anglian troops formed the left of the Parliamentary army, with some Scottish horse in reserve. After hard fighting, with some alternations of fortune, Cromwell and David Leslie defeated the Royalist cavalry on that wing ; Rupert was unable to turn the tide, and was himself driven off the field. Sending the Scottish light horsemen in pursuit, Cromwell halted and reformed his regiments ; Crawford brought up the foot, which had got the better of the troops opposed to it ; and the whole, wheeling to the right, attacked the flank of the victorious Royalists. Goring's troopers returning from their pursuit were met and routed by Cromwell. Newcastle's whitecoats made a gallant stand, but were nearly all cut to pieces. The King's army broke up ; and Manchester's scoutmaster says that "Major-General Leslie, seeing us thus pluck a victory out of the enemies' hands, professed Europe had no better soldiers."
Marston Moor was the greatest battle of the war, and also its turning-point. It damaged the prestige of Rupert, and destroyed the hopes that had been built on the northern army. Newcastle, disgusted and despairing, went abroad. If not the paragon he seemed to his wife, his efforts and achievements for the King's cause deserved something better than Clarendon's sarcasms. Rupert made his way back to Lancashire with 6000 horse; and York surrendered a fortnight afterwards. The Parliamentary forces then separated, the Scots marching north to besiege Newcastle, which held out till the middle of October, and Manchester returning to Lincolnshire ; while the Fairfaxes set themselves to recover Pontefract, Scarborough, and other places still held by the Cavaliers in Yorkshire. Before they parted, Leven, Manchester, and Lord Fairfax sent a joint letter to the Committee of Both Kingdoms, recommending the establishment of Presbyterianism, and the making of peace with the King. Vane had sounded the generals in June about the deposition of Charles ; but they would not entertain the thought of it.
The hopes that had been built on the Royalist army of the west broke down even sooner. Half of it, under Maurice, was besieging Lyme, when the other half, under Hopton, was attacked and beaten by Waller
As soon as the emergency was over, Waller's army, largely composed of trained bands, began to melt away. He assured the Committee that "an army compounded of these men will never go through with your service ; and, till you have an army merely your own, that you may command, it is in a manner impossible to do anything of importance." Washington wrote to Congress in 1776 in much the same strain ; and just as Congress was at length persuaded to form a " continental army," to serve till the end of the war, so Parliament passed an ordinance (July 12) raising a new force of 13,000 men for permanent service.
Waller's army was unfit to keep the field, and could only garrison Abingdon and Reading. Freed from all concern about it, Charles decided to follow Essex, who had raised the siege of Lyme, and gone on towards Plymouth. On the King's approach, Essex marched into Cornwall ; but he had only 10,000 men ; the country was against him ; and by the middle of August he found himself shut up in the Fowey peninsula by an army of 16,000. His cavalry broke out and reached Plymouth, and he himself escaped thither by sea ; but his infantry was forced to surrender (September 2). They were released, after laying down their arms, on condition that they should not fight against the King till they had reached Portsmouth or Southampton. The easy terms made the Lostwithiel capitulation far from an equivalent to Marston Moor. In London it was said that "by that miscarriage we are brought a whole summer's travel back " ; but it paved the way for the replacement of Essex by a more vigorous and capable commander.
The rank and moral worth of Essex, and his staunchness to the Parliamentary cause, had given him a hold upon the office of general which nothing short of such a failure could shake.
The King was not in a position to reap substantial advantage from his success. His army was reduced in numbers, and mutinous in temper. Horses, clothes, and money were wanting. Weariness of war made some of his officers turn to that solution which the Parliamentary generals rejected-the deposition of Charles in favour of his son. Wilmot, who was said to have thrown out this suggestion, was arrested ; and the command of the cavalry was given to Goring. Rupert was raising fresh troops in Wales and the Marches, of which he had been made President ; but, mortified by his failure and disgusted with the course of affairs, he had fallen into despondency, and gave himself up to self-indulgence at Bristol. It was near the end of October when he set out to join the King with 5000 men.
By the middle of that month Charles reached Salisbury. His immediate object was to relieve the Royalist outposts, Basing House and Donnington Castle (near Newbury). But he had only 10,000 men, and, when he arrived at Whitchurch, he found an army of nearly twice that strength in front of him. It was made up of the troops of Waller, Essex, and Manchester, and was commanded by a council of war which included two civilians. Essex himself was ill at Reading. Finding himself unable to reach Basing House, the King turned northward to Donnington Castle, the siege of which was raised on his approach. The Parliamentary army followed; and a second battle of Newbury was fought (October 27). The Royalists were in a strong position, in the angle formed by the Lambourne and the Kennet. Waller, accompanied by Cromwell, made a circuit and attacked them from the west, while Manchester made a belated and unsuccessful attack from the north-east. The King's army was beaten, but by the fault of Manchester was able to escape in the night without much loss.
The King reached Oxford on November 1, and was joined there next day by Rupert, who was made general in place of Brentford. The reinforced army then returned to Newbury, where the Parliamentary army still lay. It declined the offer of a fresh battle, and fell back to Reading, allowing the Royalists to raise the siege of Basing House. There was great disappointment in London ; and Cromwell, called upon in Parliament to say what he knew about the causes of the miscarriage, laid the whole blame on Manchester. That " sweet, meek man," as Baillie calls him, had lost all zeal for the war. He argued that it was useless to continue it, for " if we beat the King ninety and nine times, yet he is King still, and so will his posterity be after him ; but if the King beat us once we shall be all hanged, and our posterity made slaves." After Marston Moor Manchester had found excuses for remaining inactive at Lincoln till the beginning of September; and it was tardily
Manchester and his major-general, Crawford, had been on bad terms with Cromwell for some time. Intolerant of Popery and Prelacy, but tolerant of all shades of Puritanism, Cromwell insisted that good soldiers should not be excluded from the ranks " because they square not with you in every opinion concerning matters of religion," and he had signed the Covenant with reluctance. Impatient of the obstructive action of the Lords, he had said that " he hoped to live to see never a nobleman in England." As a Presbyterian and an aristocrat, Manchester had come to dislike and distrust him, and longed for an accommodation with the King. He replied to Cromwell's attack on him by counter-charges. The Lords, now reduced to about a dozen, espoused his cause, and were warmly seconded by the Scottish Commissioners, who denounced Cromwell as an incendiary ; but the Commons stood by their member.
To avert a rupture, Cromwell (December 9) threw out a suggestion which took shape in the Self-denying Ordinance, excluding members of both Houses from offices and commands, military and civil. This was passed by the Commons on December 19 ; but the Lords, regarding it as aimed at themselves and the generals belonging to their order, rejected it (January 13), on the ostensible ground that it was unwise to make the changes involved till the reform of the army, which had been taken in hand some two months before, should be complete. The argument was plausible, but, as a matter of fact, the two measures were closely connected ; and the war-party were resolved that the new army should not be wasted by being placed in the hands of incompetent commanders.
It was chiefly under Cromwell's influence that the question of army reform had been taken up. He felt strongly that it was useless to discuss ecclesiastical changes, or to negotiate with the King, so long as the fortune of war remained in its present balanced condition. If the King were once thoroughly beaten, there would be time enough afterwards to settle everything else. With that wonderful combination of reserve, practical sense, and fervour, which made the strength of his character, he bent all his energies on the one aim-complete victory in the field. In demanding military reform he drew support from the obviously defective and unwieldy character of the existing organisation. Manchester had denied the right of Parliament to dispose of his troops without the consent of the counties which had raised them ; and the counties made formal complaint of this use of their men, and of the heavy burden laid on them for maintenance, which amounted to nearly half-a-million a year. The Commons, already impressed by Waller's warning, referred their petition to the Committee of Both Kingdoms (November 23), and directed it to " consider of a frame or model of the whole militia." The Committee recommended that there should be an army of 22,000 men (viz. 14,400 foot and 7,600 horse and dragoons), apart from local
The New Model Ordinance was now sent up to the Lords (January 28); but, so long as there seemed to be any chance that the negotiations with the King (to be presently related) might issue in peace, they were reluctant to give up their direct influence on the army. There was some wrangling over amendments by the Lords ; but, when it became clear that there was little, if any, hope of peace, and when an ominous mutiny at Leatherhead showed the disorganisation of the army, they accepted the Ordinance (February 15). In its final form, besides settling the numbers and character of the new army, and confirming the appointments already mentioned, it provided that the appointment of officers should be made by the Commander-in-chief, subject to the approval of both Houses ; and that both officers and men should take the Covenant.
Thus half the battle for efficiency was won ; but meanwhile, owing to disorganisation on the Parliamentary side, and incapacity on the other, no progress was made with the war. On February 25, after the rupture of the Uxbridge negotiations, a new Self-denying Ordinance was prepared by the Commons ; and a list of officers, drawn up by Fairfax, was sent up to the Lords. Still striving against the recognition of Independency, they tried to modify the list, but, in view of the military difficulties, gave way, and, a few days later (April 3), accepted the Self-denying Ordinance. As ultimately modified, it ordered that members of either House, holding office or command, should resign their appointments ; but it did not disqualify them for future employment. Designed to satisfy the Lords, this provision turned to the profit of Cromwell, who, on June 10, was reappointed Lieutenant-General. Combining high military command with membership of Parliament and of the Committee of Both Kingdoms, Cromwell henceforward held a unique position. The Ordinance applied to the navy as well as to the army; Warwick resigned with Essex and Manchester; and the command of the fleet was given to Batten. " That violent party which had first cozened the rest into the war, and afterwards obstructed all the approaches towards peace, found now," says Clarendon, " that they had finished as much of their work as the tools which they had wrought with could be applied to, and what remained to be done must be despatched by new
We must now go back to consider the negotiations for peace, which had been carried on simultaneously with these preparations for more energetic war. In November, 1644, when it was hoped that Marston Moor and the Scottish alliance would render the King more amenable, certain propositions were drawn up. They clearly showed the influence of the Scottish Presbyterians, and demanded a "reformation of religion according to the Covenant," reciting the clause in that agreement which pledged Parliament to "endeavour uniformity'" with the Scottish Church. They also included a large proscription of the King's supporters, with total confiscation of their estates; and repeated the old demand that the army, the navy, and the nomination to all posts of importance, should be placed in the hands of Parliament. These propositions were handed to the King on November 23 at Oxford, where the royalist parliament had met again shortly before. That the Independents offered no resistance to these intolerant demands was probably due to their conviction that the King would reject them. Charles, however, did not refuse to negotiate, though, in parting with the Parliamentary envoys, he told them plainly, "There are three things I will not part with-the Church, my crown, and my friends." From these three, indeed, he never parted, except in death.
On the other hand, those who protested so loudly against innovations in religion had become tyrannical innovators ; and they showed the bitterness of their intolerance by taking the life of the old man who, their worst enemy in former days, was now no longer dangerous. The trial of Laud, on a charge of treason, had gone on during the greater part of the year 1644. To prove the charge, even before such a body as the depleted House of Lords, turned out as difficult as in the case of Strafford ; and the same method of solving the problem was ultimately adopted. In November the impeachment was dropped, and an ordinance of attainder brought in. The Lords, engaged in their dispute with the Lower House over the Self-denying Ordinance, resisted for several weeks ; but on January 4 they gave way. Six days later Laud suffered death on the scaffold.
Such an act of vengeance augured ill for the pending negotiations ; nevertheless, they began at Uxbridge on January 29,1645. The Scots had let it be known that, if the King were willing to abandon Episcopacy, in England as well as Scotland, they would support him in other respects. It can hardly be doubted that Cromwell, in allowing and even aiding them to influence the character of the terms, was well aware that their ecclesiastical policy put an insuperable bar in the way of peace. The three propositions brought forward at Uxbridge went even beyond those presented at Oxford in November; for the King was now to take the
Covenant himself, assent to the new Directory of Public Worship (as agreed to by Parliament shortly before) instead of the Prayer-Book, hand over the army and navy, and quash the Cessation in Ireland, allowing the Parliament to suppress the rebellion there as it pleased. After some discussion, the King went so far as to offer to limit episcopal authority, allow alterations in the Prayer-Book, and abolish penalties on deviation in matters of ceremony, for Presbyterians and Independents alike. As to the militia, he was ready to hand it over temporarily to a body named half by Parliament, half by himself ; but after three years the command was to revert to the Crown. These were considerable concessions, but they did not satisfy the Independents, much less the Presbyterian party ; and after a month of futile argument the " Treaty of Uxbridge" came to an end (February 22). A fortnight later the Oxford assembly, which had put unwelcome pressure on the King, in order to induce him to come to terms, was again adjourned ; and the King, in a letter to the Queen, congratulated himself on being rid of his "mongrel Parliament," and the "base and mutinous motions" it had proposed.
The King was the less disposed to make concessions, as he had hopes of help from various quarters. In the highlands, Montrose had beaten the Covenanters at Tippermuir, Aberdeen, and Inverlochy; he wrote (February 3) that he hoped to bring all Scotland to the King's obedience, and to be in England before the summer was over. Lord Herbert, whom Charles created Earl of Glamorgan, had formed plans for bringing over 10,000 Irish soldiers, and for securing aid from the Pope and the Catholic Powers. The Queen, after her arrival in France, had tried to persuade Anne of Austria and Mazarin to assist her husband, and was beginning to meet with some success. It suited Mazarin to prolong the struggle in England, and he wished to deprive Spain of the services of the Duke of Lorraine's troops. He offered to find pay for them, and the Duke was willing to send them, to the number of 10,000. The Dutch, however, refused to transport them.
The hope of succour from France and Ireland made it important for the King to strengthen his hold of the western counties, which furnished good landing-places and formed a good recruiting ground. The Prince of Wales was sent to Bristol in March, with Hyde and other advisers, to encourage the formation of a Western Association, and with the further view that, if the King were taken prisoner, the Prince should be at large. Taunton was the only inland town in this part of the country which was in Parliamentary hands. Essex had left a garrison in it ; and Blake, who had already distinguished himself in the defence of Lyme, was governor. It had been intermittently blockaded since September; and the Royalists now determined to press the siege. Waller and Cromwell were sent to relieve it, but their force was too small. Waller fell back to Salisbury, and was so disgusted with the
The formation of the New Model army, which should have been the winter's work, occupied the whole of April, 1645. The men who had hindered it tried to get it postponed for another year, and foretold disaster. Fairfax was empowered to take what soldiers he pleased from the existing armies ; but they were so weak in infantry that 8500 men had to be raised by impressment. It was easier to obtain recruits for the cavalry than for the infantry, as the former received two shillings, the foot-soldiers only eightpence, a day. Many of the best recruits had served in the Royal armies. Fairfax' list of officers was framed with little regard to social rank or creed ; it was approved by the Commons and, after some demur, by the Lords. Though all officers were required to take the Covenant, Independents were the dominant element. Cromwell's Ironsides served as a type for all the cavalry of the New Model. Of its fourteen troops, two were transferred to other regiments ; and the remaining twelve formed two regiments, known henceforward as Fairfax' and Whalley's. Baxter, who became chaplain of Whalley's, was shocked to find that they " took the King for a tyrant and an enemy, and really intended to master him or ruin him." In Voltaire's phrase, they were inspired by " un acharnement mélancolique et une fureur raisonée"
There were local forces untouched by the reorganisation-under Poyntz in the northern counties, Browne in the midlands, Massey and Brereton in the west; these with smaller bodies and with the Scottish army made up perhaps 50,000 men. Nevertheless, the temporary paralysis of the main army gave the Royalists an opportunity of taking the initiative in the campaign of 1645. Rupert, who was on the Welsh border, wanted the King to join him with the artillery train from Oxford, that they might relieve Chester, Pontefract, and other northern garrisons. But Cromwell made a brilliant cavalry raid round Oxford, routed three regiments of horse at Islip (April 24), captured Blechington House, and cleared the country of draught horses. The King, who had counted on them for his train, found himself unable to move.
At the end of April, when the New Model army was still much below its intended strength, Fairfax received orders to march to the relief of Taunton. The stoutness of Blake's defence, and the efforts of the Royalists, had given the place a factitious value, like that of Mafeking in our own day ; and the strategists of the Committee thought more of the gain or loss of pawns than of planning a checkmate. Fairfax had reached Blandford when he was recalled ; but half his force went on to Taunton, and raised the siege (May 11), when the Royalists were already in the town, and the defenders were without ammunition. The recall of Fairfax
At Market Drayton Charles learnt that the siege of Chester had been raised. Instead of advancing into Lancashire, he turned eastward and marched on Leicester, which was stormed and sacked (May 31). He meant to make his way north through the more open country, rallying his Yorkshire partisans ; but this was on the assumption that Oxford could hold out till his return. Fairfax had been ordered to invest it; and it was already crying out for succour. Much to the discontent of the Yorkshiremen, the Royal army marched south to Daventry, and halted there till Oxford should be revictualled. On the news of the storming of Leicester, Fairfax had been told to abandon the siege of Oxford and see to the security of the eastern counties, which seemed to be threatened. The City petitioned that he should be given a free hand, " without attending commands and directions from remote councils." Consequently he was authorised to act upon his own discretion, subject to the advice of his council of war ; and that advice was to seek out the enemy and fight him. Before the enemy knew of his approach, Fairfax was within eight miles of Daventry (June 12). At the request of Fairfax' council, the House of Commons had, as already mentioned, appointed Cromwell Lieutenant-General ; and he now joined the army with 600 horse.
The King's army numbered about 4000 horse and 3500 foot, while Fairfax had 6000 horse and nearly 8000 foot ; but a large proportion of his men were raw soldiers, and his officers were held in undeserved contempt by the Cavaliers because they had not served abroad. In Cromwell's phraseology, they were " a company of poor, ignorant men." The Royalists at first moved northward, wishing to avoid a battle ; but finding that his rear would be overtaken, Charles turned at Market Harborough and attacked Fairfax in a position north of Naseby on the morning of June 14. Like Wellington at Waterloo, Fairfax had drawn up his troops on a low ridge, which hid his reserves from the enemy's view ; and his dragoons lined a hedge on his left, from which they took the Royalists in flank. Nevertheless, the left wing under Ireton was broken by Rupert, and chased to the outskirts of Naseby. In the centre, the Royalist foot under Astley fired one volley and then, " falling on with sword and butt-end of musket did notable execution," against odds of two to one. But on the right, Cromwell, with seven regiments of cavalry (including his own Ironsides), overpowered the northern horse under Langdale, and then fell upon the flank and rear of the Royalist
The battle cost the King all his infantry and artillery and half his cavalry. His cabinet was captured, with drafts or copies of his letters to the Queen. These were published ; and the country learned that he was prepared to repeal the laws against Catholics, and was trying to bring Irish and foreign troops to England. His cause had now become hopeless, but he was far from recognising it. He turned west, and by the 19th he was able to muster a force of 7000 men at Hereford, while Goring was reckoned to have twice that number. With Irish assistance, Charles hoped to be in " a far better condition before winter than he had been at any time since this rebellion began."
Fairfax and his council decided that it was a more urgent matter to deal with Goring in Somerset than to follow the King into Wales. That task might be left to the Scots. The siege of Carlisle, which had occupied them for many months, was near its end. The town surrendered on June 28 ; and, in spite of English remonstrances, a Scottish garrison was placed in it, as in Newcastle. Leven had begun to move south so soon as it was clear to him that the King was not taking the road to Carlisle, and by June 22 was at Nottingham. Receiving instructions there to attend the King's movements, he marched slowly to the Severn, crossed it above Worcester, and at the end of July invested Hereford.
Fairfax made more despatch. He left Leicester on June 20, and, marching by the uplands, reached Dorchester by July 3. On his approach, Goring raised the siege of Taunton, and posted his troops on the north side of the Parrett and its tributary the Yeo. This enabled him to fall back on Bristol or to join forces with the King. To force the passage of these rivers was "a business of exceeding difficulty, it being also a moorish ground." On his way to Taunton, Fairfax had escaped this necessity by the route which he had chosen; and, approaching them now from the opposite direction, he confined himself to demonstrations of attack on the bridges held by the Royalists while he passed the Yeo higher up, at Yeovil. Goring drew his troops down to Langport, where he was attacked by Fairfax (July 10). He had sent off his train to Bridgewater, and fought only to gain time ; but, though the ground was favourable, his men made no stand against the impetuous onset of six troops of Ironsides. The horse were chased to Bridgewater ; the foot soon surrendered on the moors.
Goring made his way to Barnstaple ; but Fairfax did not follow him, for the lesson of Lostwithiel was not forgotten. He laid siege to Bridgewater, and succeeded in taking it in eleven days. The King, who was at Raglan Castle, trying with indifferent success to raise fresh troops in Wales, had been assured that Bridgewater was impregnable, and was
Parliament had now a chain of posts from Bridgewater to Lyme, to hold in check the counties of Cornwall and Devon ; and this chain was strengthened by the storming of Sherborne Castle (August 15). During the siege of it Fairfax was much hampered by the Dorset club-men, bands which had been formed in the western counties to prevent plundering, and to keep the war out of their neighbourhood. Rupert and Goring had had some trouble with them, for it was the depredations of the Cavaliers which had occasioned their assembly; but now they were instigated by the Royalists to act against the Parliamentarians. They had met Fairfax with threats on his first arrival, and, though he had kept his promise to enforce strict discipline, they became more aggressive in August. At length Cromwell, having tried persuasion in vain, stormed their camp on Hambledon Hill, and succeeded in dispersing them without much bloodshed.
Bath had surrendered on July 30 ; Bristol also must be taken before the army could safely move on into Devonshire. Rupert had 3500 men there ; but they were newly-levied Welsh, and the circuit of the works was about four miles. The officers of the New Model preferred to run risks rather than waste time over sieges, and Fairfax himself " was still for action in field or fortification." Invested on August 23, Bristol was stormed on September 10. Rupert still held the western forts, and to save the city from destruction he was allowed to withdraw to Oxford.
While Fairfax was engaged in Somerset and Dorset, the King made a fruitless raid into the Midlands. Passing round Leven's army, he crossed the Severn at Bridgenorth, and reached Doncaster on August 18 with 2000 horse and a few foot. But Pontefract and Scarborough had fallen ; the Parliamentary forces under Poyntz gathered to meet him ; and David Leslie was coming up behind him with 4000 horse. Turning south, Charles made his way to Huntingdon ; and Leslie did not follow him, for he was needed in Scotland. Montrose had crowned his career of victory at Kilsyth (August 15) ; but within a month Leslie brought it to an end at Philiphaugh. From Huntingdon the King went to Oxford, his troopers plundering Royalists and Roundheads alike, and by the beginning of September he was at Worcester. Leven was still lying before Hereford ; but without cavalry, and without pay or supplies for his men, his position was difficult; he raised the siege, and marched back to Yorkshire.
Charles was again at Raglan, making plans with his sanguine adviser, Digby, for the relief of Bristol, when news came of its fall. Rupert had
The Cavaliers of the west were unable or unwilling to obey the King's summons. Their own homes were threatened, and they were clamorous for peace. Fairfax had followed up the capture of Bristol by taking the castles of Devizes and Berkeley. At the end of September he sent Cromwell to Hampshire to deal with the posts which still threatened the road from London, while he himself marched on into Devon. He took Tiverton Castle (October 19) ; but to besiege Exeter, or to pass it by, was hazardous at that season of the year. The wet weather and the deep Devonshire lanes impeded movement, and his men were tired and sickly ; so he placed them in cantonments to the east of Exeter. Cromwell rejoined him on October 24, having done his work with his usual thoroughness and speed. Winchester Castle had surrendered after two days' battering, and he had moved on to Basing House. The Parliamentarians had spent nearly six months before it in 1644 ; Cromwell took it in six days. There had been a lack of siege-guns in the early part of the war; but the New Model army was provided with a good train. Guns of six-inch and seven-inch calibre, and twelve-inch mortars, were used against Sherborne Castle and Basing House. Shell-fire from mortars, which had come into use only about twenty years before, was especially formidable to castles and fortified houses. It threatened their magazines ; and Devizes surrendered on this account.
The King remained some weeks at Newark, uncertain what course to take. A report that Montrose had beaten Leslie led him to move northward; but it proved unfounded, and he returned. Digby with 1500 horse went on to Scotland, and reached Dumfries after being worsted in a confused fight at Sherburn (October 15). Finding enemies before and behind him, he turned south again ; his men deserted him ; and he took refuge in the Isle of Man. It was perhaps to avoid meeting Rupert that he had left Newark. The Prince arrived there in the middle
The sluggish and ineffectual action of the Scottish army had caused great discontent at Westminster. Parliament complained that Leven had disregarded instructions, had placed Scottish garrisons in English towns, and had levied unauthorised contributions. The Scottish Commissioners retorted that he was bound to take care of his army, and that the money and supplies promised by Parliament had not been, furnished. At the end of November Leven took part in the investment of Newark, which he had been asked to do two months before; but at the beginning of 1646 he had only 7000 men there, of whom less than half were infantry.
The return of the King to Oxford made it necessary for Fairfax to detach some of his best cavalry to watch his movements. Towards the end of the year the Prince of Wales advanced to the relief of Exeter with a force reckoned at 11,000 men. Goring had handed over his command to Lord Wentworth, and had gone to France. On January 9 Cromwell surprised some of Wentworth's horse at Bovey Tracey, and spread such panic that the Royalists fell back on Launceston. After storming Dartmouth, Fairfax returned to the blockade of Exeter, which was now shut in on all sides. Hopton, with his usual self-sacrifice, accepted the command of what Clarendon describes as "a dissolute, undisciplined, wicked, beaten army," and made a fresh attempt to relieve the city. Fairfax went to meet him, drove him out of Torrington (February 16), followed him into Cornwall, and by March 10 had reached Truro. The Royalists refused to fight any longer. The foot were sent to Pendennis Castle, and the horse surrendered. The Prince of Wales had sailed from Falmouth to the Scilly Isles at the beginning of March ; and Hyde employed his enforced leisure there in beginning his History. In April the Prince withdrew to Jersey, and in June to France, by desire of the King and Queen, but much against Hyde's advice. Mazarin, hoping to make use of him, had made large promises.
Fairfax had marched into Cornwall sooner than he would otherwise have done, in consequence of the rumour that troops were coming from France and Ireland ; and this also led to the ready submission of the Cornishmen, who had suffered enough from the exactions and severities
The secret of the success of the New Model army was that it was well paid and well found. This made it possible to maintain strict discipline, and to carry on a continuous campaign of more than fifteen months without marauding or mutiny, and without serious losses from desertion. The Royalists themselves admitted the contrast between their soldiers and those of the Parliament, though they put the best face on it : " In our army we have the sins of men (drinking and wenching), but in yours you have those of devils, spiritual pride and rebellion."