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from Basing, on the other side of Newberry river, we had had noe

such interposicion betwixt us and Newberry, but the towne open

and c naked to us, and neither the Castle nor the horse to annoy us

(as they did) in our falling on ; and our horse being thus for these d

six dayes, and two before, kept together out of quarter wayteing for

that service (which the other way e might have been dispatcht in

n The words in parenthesis subsequently inserted.

b " thereby " subsequently inserted.

c A deep river, the Kennett, however, flows through the town of Newberry, so that
if some of the King's forces had possessed it the capture of the town would not have
been easy. — G.C.

d " these'' subsequently inserted. p " the other way " subsequently inserted.


two dayes) a were both lessen'd and disabled for the service when

they came to it, and from pursueing the victory when we had it.

That on Saturday, October 26, b when we came up to Redhill

Feild, within shot of Shawe, and found the passes of the river e soe

possest against us, it was agreed that the Lord General's and the

City foote with the greatest parte of the horse should inarch about

by Boxford and attempt to breake in upon the enemy on that side

by Speene, and that his Lordship with his owne foote and about

1,500 horse should stay behind at Shawe side and fall on there at

the same instant that he should perceive the other part to fall on at

The Earl Speene (which was already in his viewe), yet that other part falling

a^ement bo* on u P on Speene side about two o'clock next day, though he had

fall on att notice of our engagement by the first fireing of cannon on both

the other forces partes, and saw the enemy retreateing from hedge to hedge in

were engaged disorder, and was much importuned to fall on by diverse about him
att Speene. . . ...

(and his men likewise all the while within shott of Shawe), yet his

Lordship would not suffer the men to fall on, but commanded the

contrary, till allmost halfe an hour after sunsett, d about which

time we on the other side (haveing gayned most of the hedges

towardes Newberry Feild) did cease and drawe our men together

to avoyd confusion in the darke by that scattred way of fighting ;

The Earl's and his Lordship going on so late, his men presently fell fowle one

men fall fowle upon another, and were put to assault Dolman's e house on that

one on the r . . .. ,

other in the onely side where it was inaccessible (whereas twas open on the

darke ; loose

two peeces.

a " dayes " subsequently inserted.
b " Oct. 26" subsequently inserted.
« The Lamborn.— G.C.

d This differs, as far as I am aware, from the other accounts of the battle whether
Royalist or Parliamentarian, which state that the Earl " fell on not later than 4 p.m."

c Shaw House was protected by a broad rampart faced with stone (which now
exists), a ha-ha, and a paling. The defence under Astley, Lisle, Page, and Thel-
wall, was desperate- The "open side" here spoken of seems to be that next
Newberry, and would have necessitated a circuit of the house and an attack in rear
of it.— G.C.


Cromwell's narrative. 87

other), by which meanes he lost two peiccs of ordnance and many

gallant men ; whereas had he fallen on by daylight and according

to agreement he might, on the open side, have taken that house

with the men and ordnance in it, and, if so, we had betwixt our

two bodyes in probability ruined the enemy, who had then had noe

free passe over that river to gett away, 11 nor ground to stand on

betwixt it and Newberry, nor comaunded by us.

That the enemy flying away in the night, his Lordship's body

lying close by Dolman's house on that side of the river to which

they fled, suffred them to pass over the river and goe by him b without T1 ^ Earl

. m -i i • -r^ i . l i • i suffers those in

prosecution ; yea. suirred those in Dolman s house, which was on Dolman's

the same side of the river soe neare him, to goe cleare away with j^ se to S oe
their owne and his ordnance.

The next morneing, being Munday, October 28th, all the horse
on Speen side marching after the enemy, his Lordship with all the
foot stay'd at Newberry, and the horse coming to Blewberry late
that night, the enemy being got cleare over the river at Walling-
ford many houres before, and we haveing noe passe to follow them
nearer than Abbinton, and our horse being tyred out with eight or
nyne dayes continued hard duty without any quarters (as before), it
was thought fit to let them goe to quarters that night, but some-
thing close together, and upon consultation it was judged both
hazardous and uselesse to pursue further with the horse alone and
intano-le them amongst rivers and woodlands without foote ; where-
upon Sir William Waller, Sir Arthur Hasslerig, and myselfe
(meeting by the way a letter from the Earle of Manchester to desire
our return to Newberry) did goe back thither to get some foot to
enable the horse for further pursuite. There we prest earnestly,
first to have the whole army march speedily into the quarters

a " to gett away " subsequently inserted.

b " him " subsequently inserted.

c But Cromwell himself appears to have been equally to blame. The rest of the
King's army went close past him with their own and captured ordnance, which was
also placed in safety at Donnington Castle.— G.C.

88 Cromwell's narrative.

beyond Oxford (about Wittney, Burford, and Woodstock), where

the enemy began to rally, and that being denyed to have two or

The Earl three thousand foot sent with the horse, but neither would be

send foote to granted, his Lordship expressing extreame unwillingnesse thereto, 3

pursue the making excuses and delayes, speakeing for his returne into his
enemy. .

Association, and much for peace; neither would he be perswaded to

stirre till the Satturday following, November 2, b and then marching

but to Harwell (eleaven miles towards Abbington) in two days

(which at his returne hee dispatcht in one) he stopt there and would

advance noe farther at all, some excuses being found, but especially

unpassablenesse of the wayes to Abbington and beyond (though they

were indeed good enough and proved both before and since to be

passable for the enemy but not for us ; and at this time, ere we

went away, his Lordship allowed them passable to Abbington for the

heavy carriage of his victuals, all which he sent thither) ; and the

Lord Wareston Lord Warreston and Mr. Crewe going from Harwell to London,
and Mr. Crewe. . . .. . . , P ,

possesst with that and other suggestions against advancing further

and for our draweing back, his Lordship engaged himselfe by promise

to them not to stirre thence till he received from them the

directions of both Kingdomes, and made that promise c serve while

hee stayed at Harwell to stop their mouthes that moved for

advancing further.

Advantages of And whereas (as it was timely represented to his Lordship) our

marching timely marching into those quarters about Oxford and soe forward

forward J ° t-

towards Oxon, would have forced the enemy westward, prevented his re-collecting,

e con >a. occasioned his broken forces in frequent and hasty motions to droppe

off d and dissipate still more, had hindred the conjunction with

Rupartes and Garrett's forces, and kept the King from re-enforeeing

his army to appeare any more in the feild for this yeare. By our

neglect thereof the King gathers the head againe with Rupartes and

* " thereto " subsequent!}' inserted.
b " Novemb. 2 " subsequently inserted.
c Originally written "made this seiwe."
u " off " subsequently inserted.

Cromwell's narrative. 89

Garrettes forces and otheres out of garrisones, gettes all to Oxford,
and thence reinforceth his trayne and (the old being left at Denning-
ton) resolves to fetch it thence and releive that place; and in order
thereto ere we came from Harwell he drew thorowe Oxford, had a
rendezvous or two at Bullington Green, yet drewe in againe, not
dareing to come on that way till wee, draweing back to Newberry,
gave him the way cleare by Dorchester and Wallingford, as
followes. a

Wee being thus brought to the defensive part againe, while we lay
[at] Harwell, some of us thought our present posture or some other
thereabouts very good for lying in the Kinges way to fight ere he
got over those plaines, and others propounded to crosse the rivers
to Dorchester, to possess that towne and passe, and to quarter on
this side the rivers, for more secure quarter and nearer interposition
in the Kinges way to Dennington, and to prevent all other hazardes
of his impressions towards London or other partes on this side
Thames. All were against drawing back to Newberry that I know The Earl
or heard save his Lordship onely. The inconveniencyes of that, Stvta^^
and the greate advantages of the other postures, were represented to against advice.
his Lordship. But those that were for any advance beyond
Harwell his Lordship silenced with pretence of his promise not to
remove till the directions came, yet the day before they came he
did on Tuesday, November 5, b appoint a rendezvous for next
morning at Compton, 4 or 5 miles back towards Newberry, without
any counsell that I or those that were for the other postures know
of, but (to stopp our mouthes) he pretended he would have a
councell at the rendezvous before he would resolve whether to
dispose the army from thence, yet his Lordship goeing early to the
rendezvous when we came thither we found the army ordred before
to Newberry, in such haste as (I believe) the vanne was by noone

a "as followes " subsequently inserted.

b " on Tuesday, Nov. 5," subsequently inserted.

c " at the randezvous " subsequently inserted.

90 cromwell's narrative.

at or a neare Newberry, and this before any counsell met; his Lord-
ship (when they were come b together) alleginge for what was
done that he had there received the letteres from the Committee of
both Kingdomes commanding his return to Newberry.

From this rendevous all the victualls (which were come up by
water for the army) were sent by his Lordship to Abbington to
excuse his not going beyond the river nor staying thereabouts
to secure it. And that sending away of our victualls served after-
wards for an occasion to necessitate the army to drawe homewards
the sooner.
The drawing That our drawing back to Newberry was the chiefe or onely cause
beny caused °f our l° sse of the busines of Dennington, giveing the Kinge a cleare
the losse of advantage to releive it, and putting us almost out of possibility to
hinder him for haveing thus left the King the way clear by
Dorchester to c Wallingford, and a large secure quarter in that
corner on the north side of Thames close by his poste at Walling-
ford (beyond which we could not come to disturb or discover him,
and by which he could come to annoy or discover us even to our
quarters, and beate in small guards at pleasure). In that case if we
at Newberry (upon every party appearing to drawe over at
Wallingford and beate in our scowtes) should have drawn our
horse together, the King might lye quiet with his body beyond the
river till wee had been forced to dismisse them back to quarters
weary and faint, and then might he have taken the opportunity to
drawe speedily over, and be at the Castle before we could recall
them, so as there was noe end of our draweing our horse together till
certaine notice that the Kinges mayne a body was drawne over at
Wallingford, and staying for that (since the notice would not come
to us till three hours after or more) hee might, in that time, be

a " by noone at or " inserted in place of " then."

'' " come " inserted.

c " to " instead of " and."

A "mayne " inserted.

Cromwell's narrative. 01

got over the plaines, and consequently (before wee could possibly
after that drawe our horse together or a get our foote out to inter-
pose) he might be at the Castle and have donne his businesse.

And this being foretold and demonstrated before his Lordship
upon the first intelligence of a party drawne out from Wallingford
the day after we came to Newberry (which after drew in againe),
and it being therefore moved to remove thence with our whole
army to some better posture of interposition, his Lordship was
content indeed to have had our horse drawne together if we would
(which the King would soone have made us weary of as before), but
would not hearken to drawe the foote thence till the King should
come on, alledging that he might not quit Newberry; neither
would he as yett b seeme to acknowledge but that (lying still till
the King came on c ) we might well enough prevent the releife
of the Castle.

On the Fryday after, November 8, d the King draweing over in
earnest, about two a clock advanced forward, and about five cer-
tayne e worde was brought us by a fugitive (sooner than we could
otherwise expect). Wee sent orders immediately for our horse to
meet att Redhill feild, but a counsell being called it was then found
infeisible to drawe out time enough to interpose, and concluded
that we must give the Castle for releived, and should only stand
upon our guard till the enemy retreated, but then to fall on. And
upon this the rendevous for the horse was altered to Newberry
washe on the south side of the towne and river, the Castle and the
enemy being on the north side. The next morneing (our horse being
come together before day, and the King, contrary to expectation,
staying all night at Ilsley, six miles short of the Castle) it was then
urged by diverse that we might drawe out, but the debate being

n "or" inserted instead of "and."

b " as yett " a correction of the first writing.

c " there " as first written altered to " till the King came on."

a « Nov. 8 " inserted.

e "certain " inserted.

92 cromwell's narrative.

held long till wee could not doe it time enough to interpose, the
former resolution stood, his Lordship in these debates being most
ready to finde the danger or infeisibility of draweing out to inter-
pose, most earnest against it, and (in that last dispute) to protract

The enemy came on, releived the Castle, drew downe into New-
berry feild, braved us at our workes, and (that while draweing
their ordnance and carriages out of the Castle) in the evening they
retreated up to the Castle and the heath beyond it. Upon intel-
ligence that they continued their retreate in the night it was con-
cluded that our horse should be drawne over into Shawe feild by
three in the morning to pursue the enemy and endeavour to put
them to a stand till our foote could come up, which were to follow
by break of day. By light day we discovered the enemy not gone
but drawne up on AVinterbourne Heath, a and whereas before
(while we thought they would be gone) we seemed forward to fight
and regaine our lost honour, being now prest to hasten out the
foote, there appeared much backwardnesse thereto, espetially in his
Lordship (the foote with much importunity being nott got out b till
about eleven a clock), and the enemy being not yet gone, soe as we
might fight if we would and have the advantage (before pretended
to be lookt for) of a retreating enemy. His Lordship having now
noe further evasion left to shift it off under another name, playnely
declared himself against fighting, and haveing spent much time in
viewing the enemy while they drewe off, and preparatory discourses,
a councell being call'd, hee made it the question whether 'twere
prudent to light. With all earnestnesse and sollicitousnesse he urged
all discouragements against it, opposed all that was said for it, and,
amongst other things, it being urged that if now we let the King

a About two miles from Donningtou Castle in a northerly direction. I have
somewhere read that the King halted here for Divine Service, this being Sunday,
10th November. — G.C.

b " not got out " an alteration.

Cromwell's narrative. 93

goe off with such honour it would give him reputacion both at
home and abroade to drawe assistance to him, especially from
France, where (wee heard) endeavours were to get ayde for him.
But, if wee beate him now, it would loose him every where, and
therefore it concern'd us now to attempt it before such ayde came.
His Lordship replyeing told the councell he would assure them
there was noe such thing, adding (with vehemence) this principle
against fighting : that if we beate the King 99 times he would be
King still, and his posterity, and we subjects still ; but if he beate us
but once we should be hang'd, and our posterity be undonne. Thus
'twas concluded not to fight, the King suffred to march off un-
sought (being within a mile of us), and we retreated into New-

The King (thus encouraged) retires not back towards Oxford,
but goes to Maryborough, hovers there for an opportunity to
releive Basing alsoe. The Earle of Manchester (the while) 3 hangs
homewardes to be gone into his Association his agentes, and savour
(some) to procure command for it, (others) to stirre up the soldieres
mindes to it, for both extremityes are needlessly put upon the
soldieres, and pretended to be greate where they are not ; his
Lordship's treasurer telling the soldiers (when they complayn'd
of their wantes) that they should have neither money nor clothes
till they came into the Assotiation, but then they should have

And whereas (for our coming back to Newberry from Harwell) 1 '
'twas sometimes pretended by his Lordship that Newberry must be
fortifyed for a winter quarter, yet when we came there noe c order
Avas taken for it, and though the importance of that place (espetially
in reference to the seige of Basing) was by the former councell

a " (the while) " inserted.

b " from Harwell " inserted.

c Clarendon says, " that after the failure of the last assault on Donnington Castle
the commanders could not agree about anything-, but remained at Newberry quarrelling
amongst themselves. — G.C.

94 Cromwell's narrative.

judged to be greate, and 'twas readily apprehended by his Lord-
ship as a reason to avoide our marching out to fight the King,
least he should wheele about into Newberry and soe releive Basing,
yet afterwards (the King staying at Marlebrough for an oppor-
tunity to releive Basing) the Earle of Manchester was very forward
to quitt Newberry, and at last, upon intelligence of a greate party
drawne out from Marleborowe to goe to Basing another way, wee
did drawe out from Newberry ; but then it was pretended to the
councell that we should goe to Kingscleare for a more direct inter-
posicion in the King's way to Basing, and that there we might fight
with him upon the downes, if he came that way, and lye ready (if
he should bend towardes Newberry) to repossessc it before him ;
and on those grounds onely and to that end was our remove agreed
to in a full councell. But being thus got out, and upon our way
to Kingscleare, having intelligence that the King was coming on a
by Hungerford towardes Newberry, his Lordship would then
neither go on to Kingscleare nor return into Newberry, but upon
new pretences (without the councell of warre) turn'd his course to
Aldermarston (which was five miles homewards from Newberry,
and seaven miles nearer home then Kingscleare.) And, though
Kingscleare was the knowne direct roade to Basing, yet he pre-
tended to turn to Aldermarston with intent to goe directly to
Basing, and that he would fight the King there which way soever
he should come if he attempted to releive it. This gave some
satisfaction for present, but from Aldermarston his Lordship would
not be got to Basing (makeing excuses) ; b but with much adoe being
got out next day to Mortimer heath, he would not be perswaded to
goe on any further, alledging that many of his soldiers were run to
Redding, and more would goe thither (being got so neare it) ; that
(when he pretended for Basing) draweing the army to Alder-
marston (which was cleare out of the way) he brought the soldiers

on " inserted.

excuses " an alteration ; originally written " promises.

cuomwell's narrative. 95

soe neare Redding- that they would be running thither, and then
made their running thither an occasion to avoyde going to Basing
at all, and at last to drawe all to Redding.*

[Indorsed] Lieutenant-Generall Cromwell's Narrative. b

a The words " and withdrewe the seige from Basing," with which the paper
concluded, have been struck out.

b This narrative may or may not correspond exactly with the charge of Cromwell
in the House. Probably it differs in many particulars. It is quite unlike the usual
style of Cromwell. This document is compiled with great care and skill, and is
remarkable for terseness and perspicuity; and is also notable for the absence of
scriptural language and allusions common to most of Cromwell's speeches and letters.
It may be the work of several hands. Probably Waller and Hasilrigg had something
to do witb it. A question might arise as to whether Vane, who was no doubt very
active in the " Independent Plot," may not have had a chief hand in its compilation.
It is to be regretted that there appears to be no answer on the part of the Earl of
Manchester extant. It does not, however, appear by any means certain that the Earl
of Manchester was ever permitted to see this particular document. It is worthy of
note that no allusion is made to the failure of the attempt to take Donnington
Castle by assault as described by Clarendon.— (Clar. Hist. vol. iv. p. 589, et seq.)




? Rich.

? Walton or


1. That the Earl by his constant backwordnesse to action, and
unwillingness© to ingage with the enimys, hath lost many faire
advantages and opportunityes, and hath neclected the commands of
Parlement and booth Kindomes in matters of importance.

1. Ha. that ther weare propositions made to the Earl when he
came from Yorke to beleauger Newarke, which was a thing very
feasable, but the Earl wold not consent unto it.

2. Ri. that after the Earle came from Yorke he found him
allwayes backward to putt his armye to action.

3. \Va. that when ther wear propositions made to the Earl to putt
his army into action he was very backword, and, bceing advised
to build a fort a[t] Musham Bridge to block upp Newark, he
refused it, and when ther wear propositions sent to march into
Cheshire he refused to goe.

4. Jn. that when the Earl had advantages to blocke up Newarke
he shewed himselfe very backward, and lay still at Pomfrett,
Doncaster, and Lincolne, about 9 weekes. contrarye to the advice of
his counsill of warr.

«s* Then wear ther 16 letters reade from the Committee of
booth Kindomes.

14th and 28th August to Lincoln.

14th October to Reading.

2nd Sept. 9, 11, 26, 28 Sept.

And others to Newberye.

«s* Then wear the orders of the House of Parlement to the Earle


5. Hen. Ha. that the Earle refused to marten from Lincolne to the
west, and sayd that yf any moved he shold goe westward he wold hange
him, and venture himselfe to be casherred rather then he wolde goe.

6. Cr. when he desired the Earl to goe westward he sayd he ? Cromwell
wold hang him or them that shold move it.

dT" Then was an order of the House, made 8th October, read,
requiring his remove from Reding to Shaftesburye, yett he did not
then martch untill the 10th of October, and when he did he went
to Basing Stocke and not westward as he was ordered.

7. Jr. That the Earl went to Basing when he shold have gone
to Salisburye to have mett Sir W illiam Waller.

8. S. W. W. that it was his opinion that my Lord George and ? SirW. Waller,
the Earl might have joyned with him at Shaftsbury, which yf it

had binn doone the enimyc could not have releived Dunnington,
but the seidge wold have continued still.

9. Sir A. He. that ther weare severall letters sent to the Earl to ? Hesilrigg.
goe to Sir \V. W., which not being observed, Sir W. W. was con-
stray ned to retreat, and by that the enimye advanced.

10. Ha: that the Earl retreated to Odium out of the way, and at
that time he had 7,000 foote and 7,000 horse, which was a sufficient
force then to have fought the King's whole army.

The principall backwardness of the Earl appeered at Shawsfeild
or Speein, neere Nuberye, wherby agreement the Earl was to fall on
presently after the warning peece was shott off, but that he did not
doe untill an hour and a halfe after it was shott off.

1. Rawlins: he was present, and did presse the Earl after the

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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 16 of 17)