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The quarrel between the Earl of Manchester and Oliver Cromwell: an episode of the English Civil War online

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when we have peace ?

The first winter after some buisness was done in Huntingdon-
shire, and the enemie had taken Crowland and fortified it; he then
commanded me to Wisbidge, and there to maintaine guard upon
the Crowlanders, which I did with mine owne troope onely, and
att the springe took that towne in ; yett that servisse, and all other
done by me and others, must goe in his name or ells alls was not
well. Collonel Cromwell, perceiving what might be done in the lie
by a smalle party, at my coming to him at Cambridge he told me
he would make the He of Ely the strongest place in the world, and
that he would out with all the wreches and ungodly men, and he
would place in it godly and precious peopell, and he would make it
a place for God to dwell in. 1 speaken to him to helpe me to some
of moneys that I had layd out of my purse longe before and some
moneys to pay my souldiers ; he tolld me I might sett a tax upon
the inhabitene of the He to pay myselfe, which I denyed, and
thought it was not fitt for me to rayse moneys to pay myselfe.

About the seige of Linn Coll. Cromwell made Major Ireton
deputy-governour of the He of Ely, who did report well of him,
but he noe sonner came amounge us ther but he begins to levy
great sums of money, some by ordinance of Parliament, some other
wayes, pretending he would fortifie the He, and it is reported to me
and others by the treasurer that he in aleuen mounths did receive
at the least £15,000; yett at this day the lie is in noe posture then
it was in at the time when he came into it, onely it is become a
meere Amsterdam, for in the chefest churches on the Sabbath day
the souldiers have gonn up into the pulpitts both in the forenoone
and the afternone and preached to the whole parish, and our
ministers have satt in ther seatt in the church, and durst not
attempt to preach, it being a common thinge to preach in private



houses night and clay, they having gott whole famalyes as Indepen-
dents into that lie from London and other places under ther com-
mand, lykwise haveing mayd poore men of that He captaines onely
as I conceive because they proffess themselves Independents, and
such as have filld dung carts both before they were captaines and
sine; they frequently rebaptise the peopell of that He, and thos
captaines have power to commit to prison, and by a letter from
Coll. Cromwell to the Committee, the coppy whereof I have, he
doth command that Committey that they should not release any
prisoner committed by his offecers, soe that the hole He is soe awde
that they dare not seeke for ther libertyes.

I see at Ely upon the fial of letters to that Committee a letter
from Collonell Cromwell to them that they should pay to his wife
£5 per weeke towardes her extraordinaryes, which hath benn duly
payd her a great while ; I am sure there is noe ordinance of Parlia-
ment for that.

Major Ireton is still makeing a show of raysin of fortifications,
but it is verely beleived it is but a pretenc to gett moneys ; cove-
tuo[sness] doth best agree with a coward.

About a yeere sine they ware very forward to drain that He, and
I had some speeche with Collonell Cromwell here at London, I well
knowing what ther aime was. The Coll. tolld me that he would
draine it by the laboure of the souldiers, and Sir Cornelius Virmuden
should doe it, and by draning he would fortifie it and make it
invincible, and make a 100,000 Is. a yeare of thos grounds. I then
asked the Collonell how the gentlemen that ware the undertakers
should be satisfied for ther moneys layd out ; he tolld me they did it
for their owne ends and lett them loose ther moneys, and this
should be for a publique good to settle godly men in. About that
time Collonell Cromwell and Major Ireton ware seutours to the
Committey at Cambridge for 3 score peices of ordinances for to
strengthen that He, and other vast demands they mayd to that
Committe, as the Committe will satisfie you.

At our first being at Stamfourd after Crouland was taken ther


was newes brought to Colonell Cromwell that ther was some lords
of the King's side slaine, and he replyed that God fought against
them, for God would have noe lording over his peopell, and he
verily beleved that God would sweep away that lord in power out
of this nation.

I did heare Collonell Cromwell about a yeare senc say to a
gentleman as we ware going to the Earle of Manchester's quarters
in St. Jones, a that if he had but Marsland and Holland joyned to the
He of Ely he would make it the strongest thinge in the world, for
ther he had three of the finest ports of the world, and that he could
keepe them against all the strengh that could be mayd against them.

About some 4 dayes after there came two of Collonell Cromwell's
troopers and an other man to them to my house in London and
showed me a petition with a great many of hands and markes to it,
and desired my hand to it, and I red the petition, and it was to
the Parliament for libertye of consciencs ; I was troubled at it and
tolld them I would have my hand cut of before I would sett my
hand to it, and tolld them if any nation in the world ware in the
ready way to Heaven it was the Scotts. They tolld me they thought
I had been a godly man, but now they perceive what I was and
went away ; ever after Coll. Cromwell did sleight me.

At the springe, I being at Camebridge, we haveing ther intelli-
genc that Prince Rupert was comming to rayse our seige at Newark,
I walkin over the market hill there with Collonell Cromwell, I speak
to him thus : Sir, if you would march up to Newarke with but
1,500 of your horse you would spoyle Prince Kupert's market. He
sayd againe ther is Sir John Meldrum and the rest would take the
towne for all the Prince ; I sayd to him againe it ware as cheape for
our horse to march as to ly still in the stables ; wherupon he was
angry and bid me holld my tounge, I spoke I knew not what; yett
he had then gallant horse, and I have heard him say that he had
more horse in his troope that was at Edg hill then the Earle of Essex
had in his whole armie.

■ Sic.


When Collonell Cromwell this last summer quartered neare
Ferrebrige, I was with him there, and I spake to him to quitt me
from the armie; he gave me very good words, but delayed me till
I came neare Yorke ; but there Leuetenant-Collonell Whirly a
tooke me by the hand and told me that if I would not be soe
violent but resolve to agree with them he knew his Lieutenant-
Generall would make me Collonell of ther regiment.

Shortly after I went to Wetherby to Collonell Cromwell to des-
path me, wher upon he told me if I had ben ruled by Major Ireton
in the He then that all would have gon swetlye on, and the
busn[ess] of the He had ben in a good forwardness, but yett if I
would march with him, and be but conformable to pretious godly
men, I should se that I should have better preferment then I did
immagin; but I did desire to be gon and have my despatch; wher
upon he writt to the Earle of Manchester to lett me have 3 mounths
pay, my troop recruted with horse and armes, soe many as I marched
withall from London, and to have the publique faith for the rest
of my moneys and arreares. When we ware last at Huntington
ther was the first report that the Earle of Essex was routed, and
that he had totally lost his artillery and fought, a wherupon the
Independents many of them ther did as it ware to show themselves
soejoyfull b as though it had been a victory new gained to them-
selves. Ther is many a gentleman I believe had as sad a hart as my
selfe that day will beare me wittnes of there rejoycing, the yett I doe
beleive that if the state should protest against that sect, and they
should have noe command, the best part of them would be noe
Independents, for ther is many of them of ther opinion of ther pre-
ferment; but for the absolute Independent he is cruell without
mercy, covetuoss without measure; he will have the spirrit though
it be a false oune lying; is ther best guard, by which he defends

* Whalley.
b ? foot.— G.C.

c This amusing observation probably has much truth in it. The feeling between
Presbyterians and Independents was, at this time, very bitter.— G.C.


himselfe and offends others, by takeing away the esteme of a man.
Then his will is a law to doe what he will with him. This I can say
by experience, the Lord of heaven deliver every honest man out of
ther handes.

[Endorsed] delivered by Co.


An accompt of the effect and substance of my
narrative made to this House for soe much thereof as
concernd the Earle of Manchester.

Being commanded by the House to give an accompt concerning
the many opportunityes lost and advantages given to the enemy
since the late conjunction of our armyes ( a which seemed to be by
some miscarriage or neglect in the conduct of the armyes), and
especially of our not prosecuteing the victory at Newbery in time
to prevent the King's rallying, of our suffering him (after he had
recollected and gott to an heade againe) to relieve Dennington
Castle and fetch off his ordnance (with all hee had left there b ) in
the face of our armyes, and to goe off without fighting; of our
quiting of Newberry afterwards, and withdrawing the siege from
Basing. I did in my narrative of the story freely declare that I
thought the Earle of Manchester was most in fault for most of those
miscarriages and the ill consequences of them. And because I had
a greate deale of reason to think that his Lordshipp's miscarriage in
these particulars was neither through accidents (which could not

a The marks of this parenthesis inserted by another hand.

b All the King's haggage waggons were left at Donnington Castle ; also his
papers (which his enemies would gladly have seized to turn to good account, as
they did afterwards at Naseby). There was, besides, some treasure. — G.C.

Cromwell's narrative. 79

be helped) nor through his improvidence only, but through his
backwardness to all action, and had some reason to conceive that
that backwardnes was not (meerely) from dulnes or indisposednes
to engagement, 11 but (withall) from some principle of b unwillingnes
in his Lordshipp to have this warre prosecuted unto a full victory,
and a designe or c desire to have it ended by accommodacion (and
that) on some such termes to which it might be disadvantageous to
bring the King too lowe. To the ende therefore that (if it were
soe) the state might not be further deceived in their expectations
from theyr d Army, I did (in the faithfull discharge of my duty to
the Parliament and kingdome) freely discover those my appre-
hensions, and what grounds I had for them, and, to that purpose,

1. I did not onely in the accompt of the particulars in question
(since the conjunction of the armyes), but alsoe in many precedent 6
carriages upon former opportunityes since our coming, from Yorke
(whereof I had been a wittnesse), declare his Lordshippes continued
backwardnes to all action, his aversenes to engagement or what
tendes thereto, his neglecting of opportunityes and declineing to
take or pursue advantages upon the enemy, and this (in many par-
ticulars) contrary to advise given him, contrary to commaunds
received, and when there had been noe impediment or other im-
ployment for his army.

2. I did likewise declare how his Lordship had (both in words
and actions) expressed much contempt and scorne of commaunds
from the Parliament/ or the Committee of both kingdomes, which
have required his advanceing westwards, and his desires and
endeavour to have his army drawn back into his association to lye

a Originally written " fighting," but altered by another hand into " engagement."
b A word struck out here— perhaps " great."
c " a " has been struck out here.
d Altered from " the."
c Altered from, perhaps, " pretenced."

f This and many other similar passages look like an attempt to excite a prejudice
against the accused.

80 cromwell's narrative.

idle there, while the businesse of the kingdome hath needed it, and
the aforesaid comraaunds required it to be employed elsewhere.

3. I did also declare in diverse circumstances of the said omissions
and miscarriages what shuffleing pretences and evasions his Lordship
had used, sometimes to delay and put off (till 'twas too late), some-
times to deny and avoyde things propounded to him, tending to
action or engagement, when thadvantage and security of the same
hath been clearely urged upon him, in which he had seemed
studiously to decline the gayneing of such advantages upon the
enemy, and sometimes to designe the draweing off the army off
from the advantages it hath had, into a posture of lesse advantage.

4. I did alsoe declare some such speaches and expressions offred
by his Lordship concurrent with the said series of his actions and
carryages, whereby hee hath declared his dislike to the present
warre, or the prosecution thereof, and his unwillingnesse to have it
prosecuted unto a victory or ended by the sword, and desire to make
up the same with some such a peace as himself best fancyed.

[Marginal Of * nese heades the particulers of the first and third which I

notes in either toucht upon or related more at large in my narrative are

another hand.] . x

bnelely these:

The neglect of That at our coming from Yorke (which was about the middle of

Newark! UP ° f ^ u ^ ^ ast ) *" s Lordship having many advantages represented to him,

and time enough to have taken or blockt up Newarke before he was

comaunded into the south, and having then noe other employment

or impediment to hinder his army from th'attempt thereof, did lye,

first, with his whole army, eight or ten dayes about Doncaster, and

afterwards with the greatest part of it about Lincolne for a month

or more, without attempting anything either to reduce Newark or

secure the country against it.

Tickhill That lyeing at Doncaster, and Tickhill Castle being hard by, and

Welbeck House with Sheffield and Bolsover Castle not farre off,

he was very unwilling to the summoning of Tickhill Castle, and

expressed much anger and threates against him that (being sent to

quarter in the towne) did summon it, though upon the bare summons

cromwell's narrative. 81

it was surrendered. And whereas, while he laye thereabouts, he
might in that time have taken in those other garrisons alsoe, soe as to
have had his army intire to march with him in good time against
Newarke, hee would not be perswaded to send any party against
any of them till he marcht from Doncaster, and then sending a
party against Sheffeild, and afterwards (with much difficulty)
givemg way for the same party in their returne to attempt Bolsover
and Wingfield Mannor, hee made that serve for an excuse for that
greater part of his army which went with him into Lincolneshyre to Newarke,
lye idle there, till the returne of the other, without attempting of S™^*"*
any tiling against Newarke, Belvoyr, a Wereton, or Shelford. neglected^

That in his way to Lincolne hee was very backward and hardly
perswaded to march near VVelbeck, to induce the surrender of that

That at Lincolne his Lordship being much prest by some of his
officers to certaine proposicions for the takeing or blocking-up of

Newarke, although the forces he had there with him all the
while were sufficient for the service propounded, yet his Lordship
first put off the consideration thereof till the returne of that party
from Sheffield, pretending that then hee would advise upon it,

_ But, when that party was returned, he further deferred the con-
sideration of it, till, at last (through importunity), a councell being
cald, his Lordship, labouring with various objections to avoyd the
service, made the time left by those delayes a mayne argument
against it. And when (notwithstanding all) the counsell did con-
clude, and his Lordship thereupon seemed to agree to drawe downe Newarke still
to quarter about Newarke, and doe what we would while we had ne ^ lected -
time, yet his Lordship after this put it off againe with other pre-
tences, and at last did nothing at all.

That dureing the suspence of those propositions his Lordship,
haveing letters from the Comittee soone after his coming to Lincolne' Letters to the
to marche into Cheshire, was very angry and much displeased EarI *° send

i some horse to

" Originally written " Bolsover."




thereat, sent up reasons against it, pretending a necessity of doeing
something against Newarke to secure those partes before he would
march soe farre thence, and in the answer thereto, being left to
follow the service of those partes with his army, and required only
to send some horse into Cheshire, hee was utterly against that alsoe,
and (notwithstanding many letters out of Cheshire pressing him
thereto, and signifying the great need and danger of those partes)
yet he would not, nor everoffred to send any till after that resolution
taken against Newarke as before, and then, though by later lettres
thence he was advertised that their danger was past, and their need
lesse then before, yet he pretended that he must needes send horse
thither, and thereupon broke of the resolution against Newarke (that
being soe putt off there went none).

That he caused his army (while it lay about Lincolne) to quarter
upon our friendes in the more secured partes of the country,
leaveing the other partes free for a the enemy to range on, rather
then he would allow a sufficient part thereof to drawe downe
towardes Newarke to quarter upon the enemy and to straiten and
keep them in.

That though his Lordship while he thus lay idle about Lincolne

(to avoyde the consideracons against Newarke) did sometimes

Neglecting of pretend he would attempt the lesser garrisones about it (Belvoyre,

Belvoyr, Wereton and Shelfori), and was much desired thereto in case he

ShelS. aDd would not meddle against Newarke, yet haveing put off the one, he

did nothing against the other, not soe much as to secure the country

against any of them.

That by the said neglects thereof, while he had time, hee was
occasioned for secureing of the country (when he was cald south-
ward) to leave much the more force behinde out of his feild army,
besides the force of the country, which otherwise by themselves b
might have served to secure it, and the country soe cleared (as it
might have been in that time) might have rayesed and maintayned

« " from " originally written. b " by themselves " is an insertion.



Cromwell's narrative. 83

a great accession of force a to our feild armyes; at which (with much

more of the advantages of that service and disadvantage by the

neglect) was timely and often foretold and urged to his Lordship

by his officers while he lay idle as before, but his Lordship, from

the time he came from Yorke (which was about July the fifteenth) P eE A irl ,
v J ' from Yuri,

till his coming from Lincolne (which was about September the about July tl

third), did not vouchsafe to call his Councell of Warre to advise on ^omLmcoln

any action or employment for his army, saveing that one Councell towards the

before mentioned upon the propositions against Newarke, when, i Je r S 3 rt i. ep

indeed, the best opportunity and advantages for that service were

lost by the former delayes.

That though when (before any reall dinger in the South
appeared) these things were propounded for the cleareing and
secureing of his Association, and that expressly to them his army
might be the more free to leave those partes for the southerne
service (if there should be need), his Lordshipp then (to avoyde
these services) would sometimes pretend the keeping of his army
free and ready to advance into the west if he should be required,
yett when he sawe a reall danger and need of him in the West, being
cald up and commaunded thitherwardes, hee was then much dis-
pleased thereat, and averse thereunto, pretending that he must Unwillingness
provide for the security of his Association, that that was his proper J^JJjJjg
business, and accordingly his Lo p hath shewed himselfe both
extreame backward to be drawne from his Association towards the
West, and (being with much reluctance drawne but a little that way)
he was averse to all good service thereaboutes, and desireing and
endeavoring to be drawn back to his Assotiation agayne, as may
appeare by what followes.

The first letters for his advance from Lincolne comeing about 13th Septem-
the end of August, hee made it September 13th ere his army got comes^ StJ
to St. Alban's, lyeing by the way about Peterborrough and Alban's.
Huntingdon fower nights or more, though he was in that time

" " of force " is an insertion.

desired bv Sir
W. W. letters.


quickened by fresh letters and desired to hasten by his chiefe

officers, whom he threatned to hang a for such advice.

stay atsf S At St ' Albanes ne caused tne army to lye still 8 or 9 dayes,

Alban's 8 or 9 and then marching slowly to Redding he stayd there till about

October 16th, and then advanced not westwards directly b to Sir

William Waller, but southwards to Basingstoke, notwithstanding a

desire from this House, an Ordinance of both Houses, and many

letters from the Committee of both Kingdomes, all requireing his

The Earl speedy advance westward to Sir William Waller, and Sir William

Snglvhen Waller ' s earnest desires in frequent letters to that purpose ; there

commanded to being this while nothing justly to hinder but that his army must

wards, and" nave advanced directly to Sir William Waller, and the Lord

Generall's and the City foot might soe have marched securely after

them to have had the conjunction about Salisbury.

This might have been securely done, the Earle of Manchester's
foot with his owne and Sir William Waller's draggoones, being then
above 6,000 nd (without the Lord Generall's and the Citty regimentes),
and the Kinges not soe many, and their horse with the Lord
Generall's much superior to the King's. And, if his Lordship had
advanced thither c accordingly, the King would not (in probability)
have passed Salisbury river, or the plaines, for this winter; and soe
itthe'EarlLd the seiges of Dennington, Basing, and Banbury Castles had been
*■ secured and those places ours ere now, and the King by this time
not had a foot on this side Salisbury, except Oxford, Winchester
Castle, d and Wallingford, and those distressed by our quarters.

That by neglect hereof Sir William Waller being forced to give
back to Andover and from thence to his Lordship, and the King
coming on, his Lordship being then at Basingstoke, the City regi-
ments then with him and the Lord-Generall's within seaven miles,
The Earl's and the King not come much nearer than Andover, his Lordship

resolution to

i K .?f *?„5 )d ! a " 1 " ? Cromwe11 himself. See deposition before the Committee.— G.C.

directly " inserted afterwards. c « thither " subsequently inserted.

Winchester Castle " subsequently inserted.


if the
ward .

Imt diswaded.

cromwell's narrative. 85

drew out his army in all haste to retreate to Odiam (leaving Basing
and the beseigers exposed to the enemy) a had not Sir William
Waller and Sir Arthur Haslerig, coming in the nicke, diswaded
him from the dishonour of it.

That after this conjunction, wee being at Basing, neare 11,000
foote and about 8,000 horse and dragoones, and the King (with not
above 10,000 d horse and foote) marching by Kingscleare to New-
berry, on Tuesday, October the 21th, it being agreed (as we
thought) to march towards him or to interpose betwixt him and
Redding about Aldermaston Heath, and our horse marching before
to the Heath, our foot struck down to Swallowfield, and thence
next day to Redding, as if we had declined to fight ; and thus
makeing fower days' march from Basingstoke to Newberry (which rp he s ] ownes

might have been little more than one th'other way), wee gave the of tne marcn
. 'to Newberry

King opportunity to have got cleare to Oxford (if hee would) a nd incon- '

without fighting, and stayinge there he had thereby b time to fortify T +? ie ?- ces t

himselfe against our approaches to Newberry, and by our coming

that way wee gave him th'advantage of Dennington river interposed

betwixt him and us, the passes whereof he soe comanded by the

Castle and Dolman's house as put us to the hazard of divideing and

the difficulty of marching about by Boxford to come upon him by

Speene, which tooke two dayes more, whereas by a direct march

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Online LibraryDavid MassonThe quarrel between the Earl of Manchester and Oliver Cromwell: an episode of the English Civil War → online text (page 15 of 17)