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the House of Commons was informed by a
meml)cr, whose zeal and affection to them was
as much valued as any man's. • tliat all Lis
correspondence in the county was with the most
malignant persons (i.e.. Royalists), tliat of those
many freciuently resorted to. and continued
witli liim in the garrison ; that he Avas fortify-
ing and raising of batteries towards the land;
iind that in his discour.se, especially in
the seasons of his good fellowshi]>, he
used to utter threats against the I'ai'Iia-
ment and sharp ccnsui'cs of their proceed-
ings, and upon such information (the author
whereof was well known to them, and of great
reputation, and lived so near Portsmouth that
he could not be mistaken, in the matter of
fact). (Was this informant Colonel Norton, or
one of his family from Soutliwick Park ?) the
House sent for him, most thinking he would
refuse to come. Colonel (Joring came upon the
summons, witli tliat undamitediiess. that all
clouds of distru.st immediattly vanished, inso-
much as no man presumed to whisper tlie least
jealousy of him ; wliicli lie observing, came to
tlie House of Commons, of which he was a
member, and having sate a day or two patiently,
13 B if he expected some charge, in the cud ho



stood up. with a countenance full of modesty
and yet not without a mi.xture of anger (as he
could help him.self with all the insinuations
of doubt or fear, or shame, or simplicity in his
face that might gain belief, to a greater degree
than I ever saw any man ; and could .seem the
most confounded when he was best prepared,
and the mo.st out of countenance when he was
best resolved, and to want words, and the habit
of speaking, when they flowed from no man
with greater power), and told them that he
had been sent for by them, upon some informa-
tion given against him, and that, though he
believed, the charge being so ridiculous, they
might have received, by their own particular
inquiry, satisfaction, yet the discourse that had
been used, and his being sent for in that manner,
had begot some prejudice to him in his reputa-
tion ; which if he could not preserve, he should
be the less able to do them service ; and there-
fore desired, that he might have leave (though
very unskilful, and unfit to speak, in so wise
and judicious an assembly) to present to them
the state and condition of that place under his
command. And then he doubted not. but to
give them full satisfaction in those particulars,
which, possibly, had made some impression in
them to his disadvantage. That he was far from
taking it ill from those who had given any in-
formation against him ; for wiiat he had done,
and must do. might give some umbrage to well
affected persons, who knew not the grounds and
reasons that induced him so to do ; but that
if any such persons would at any time
resort to him, l.e would clearly inform
them of whatever motives he had ; and would
lie glad f>f their advice and assistance for the
better doing thereof. Then he took notice of
every particular that had been publickly said
against him, or |nivalely whispered, and gave
sucli plausible answers to the whole, interming-
ling sharp taunts and scorns to what had been
.said ol" him. with pretty ajiplication of himself
and flattery to the men that spake it. Conclud-
ing ' That they well knew in what esteem ho
stood with others ; so that if. by his ill carriage,
he .should forfeit the good opinion of that
House, upon which he only tlepended. and to
who.se service he entirely devoted himself, he
were madder than his friends took him to be,
and must be as un]>itied in any misery that
could befal him as his enemies would be glad
to sec him.' With which, as innocently and
unaffectedly uttered, as can be imagined, ho got



16



The Civil Wae Begins.



Ro general an applause from the ■whole House
that, not witliout some apoloj,'y for troubling
him, they desired him again to repair to his
government, and to iinisli those -works which
■were necessary for the safety of the place, and
gratified him with consenting to all the pro-
positions he made in behalf of his garrison, and
paid him a good sum of money for their
arrears ; with which, and being privately as-
sured (which was indeed resolved on) that he
should be Lieutenant-Cieneral of their Horse
in their new army, wlien it should be formed,
he departed again to Portsmouth ; in the mean
time assuring His Majesty, by those who were
trusted between them, ' That he would be
speedily in a posture to make any such declara-
tion for his service as he should be required ;'
which he was forced to do sooner than he was
provided for it, though not sooner than he had
reason to expect."

" When the levies for the Parliament Army
were in good forwardness, and that Lord had
received his commission for Lieutenant-General
of the Horse, he wrote the Lord Kimbolton, who
was his most bosome friend, and a man very
powerful, desiring ' That he might not be called
to give his attendance upon the army till he was
ready to march ; because there were so many
things to be done and perfected for the safety of
that important place, that he was desirous to be
present himself at the work as long as was pos-
sible. In the meantime he had given directions
to his agent in London to prepare all things for
his equipage ; so that he would be ready to
appear at any rendezvous, upon a day's warning.'
Though the Earl of Essex did much desire his
company and assistance in the Council of War,
and preparing the articles, and forming the dis-
cipline for the Army, he having been more lately
versed in the order and rule of marches and the
provisions necessary or convenient thereunto
than any man then in their service, and of greater
command than any man but the General ; yet
the Lord Kimbolton prevailed that he might not
be sent for till things were riper for action.
And when that Lord did afterwards write to him
' That it was time he should come away, he sent
such new and reasonable excuses, tliat they were
not unsjitisfied with his delay ; till he had mul-
tiplied those excuses so long that they began to
suspect, and they no sooner inclined to suspicion
but they met with abundant arguments to cherish
it. His behaviour and course of life was very
notorious to all the neighbours, nor was he at all
reserved in hl-s mirth and publick discourses to



conceal his opinion of the Parliament, and their
proceedings, so that at last the Lord Kimbolton
Avrit plainly to him ' That he could no longer
excuse his absence from the Army, where he was
much wanted ; and that if he did not come to
London by such a short day as he named, he
found his integrity would be doubted, and that
many things were laid to his charge, of which he
doubted not his innocence, and therefore con-
jured him immediately to be at Westminster, it
being no longer deferred or put ofp.' He writ
a jolly letter to that Lord ' That the truth was,
his Council advised him that the Parliament did
many things which were illegal, and that he
might incur much danger by obeying all their
orders, that he had received the command of that
garrison from the King, and that he durst not be
absent from it without his leave :' and concluded
with some good counsel to the Lord.''

" This declaration of the Governor of a place,
which had the reputation of being the only
place of strength in England, and situated upon
the sea. put them into many apprehensions ;
and they lost no time in endeavouring to reduce
it ; but upon the first understanding his resolu-
tion, Sir WUliam Waller was sent with a good
part of the army, so to block it up that neither
men nor provisions might be able to get in, and
some ships were sent from the Fleet, to prevent
any relief by sea. And these advertisements
came to the King as soon as he returned to
York."

Previous to the arrival of Sir William Wal-
ler, the troops of the Parliament were under
the command of Sir John Merrick, who was
at the time Serjeant Major-General of their
army. He was afterwards superseded by
General Philip Skippon. receiving the appoint-
ment of General of the Ordnance. Let us hear
Clarendon once more. •' It gave no .small
reputation to His Majesty's affairs, when there
was so great a damp upon the spirits of men,
from the misadventures at Beverly, that so
notable a place as Portsmouth had declared
for him in the very beginning of the war;
and that so good an officer as Goring was
returned to his duty, and in the possession of
the town. And the King, who was not sur-
prised with the matter, knowing well the reso-
lution of the colonel, made no doubt but that
he was very well supplied with all things,
as he might well have been, to have given the
rebels work, for three or four months, at the
least."



Siege Of Poetsmouth in tub Yeak 16 i2.



17



This and other considerations induced the
King to issue a proclamation calling on his
loyal subjects to rally round his standard at
Nottingham,and to send the IMarquis of Hertford ,
with Lord Seymour, his brother, Lord Pawlet,
Hopton, Stawel, Coventry, Berkeley, Wind-
ham, and some other gentlemen " of the prime
quality and interest in the AVestcrn parts,"
into those districts to raise regiments for his ser-
vice. But no sooner had the standard been dis-
played at Nottingham, on August 25, 1(342, than
" His Majesty received intelligence that Ports-
mouth was so streightly besieged Ijy sea and
land that it would be reduced in very few days,
except it were relieved. For the truth is. Colonel
Goring, though he had sufficient warning, and
sufficient supplies of money to put that place
into a posture, had relied too much upon
probable and casual assistance, and neglected to
do that himself which a vigilant officer would
have done ; and albeit his chief dependence was
both for money and provisions from the Islf^ of
Wight, yet he was careless to secure those small
castles and blockhouses that guarded the passage;
which revolting to the Parliament as soon as he
declared for the King, cut off those dependences ;
so that he had neither men enough to do ordi-
nary duty nor provisions enough for those few
for any consideral>le time. And at the same
time with this news of Portsmouth, arrived
certain advertisements, that the ^Marquis of
Hertford and all his forces in the West, from
whom only the King hoped that Portsmouth
should be relieved, was driven out of Somerset-
shire, where his power and interest was believed
unquestionable, into Dorsetshire ; and there
besieged in Sherborne Castle."

Siege of Poutsmoltii in the Yeau lG-42.

I have been favoured with the following ex-
tract from an exceedingly rare work, entitled
" Jehoveh-Jireh, God in the Mount ; or Eng-
land's Parliamentarie Chronicle," in the pos-
session of Mr. C. E. Smithcrs, of Queen-street,
Portsca : —

" And much about this time came certain in-
telligence to the Parliament of the present
estate, then of Portsnumtli, how Colonell
Goreing, the then Governonr tliereof (and tliat
by the assent and good liking of tlie Parlia-
ment ; Yet), had now deserted them ; and de-
clared himselfc solely for the King against tlio
Parliament, and that ho liad strongly fortified
himselfe both within and without against any



forces that should come to oppose or supplant
him ; And that tlie Countrey much fearing he
would now be but a bad neighbour, or unruly
inmate to them, had already laid a strong siege
about the Towne, but immediately desired the
Parliament's assistance therein, which was ac-
cordingly performed, and the Parliament's forces
built a strong Fort on the Bridge-foot before
Portsmouth, and planted ordnance thereon, and
forthwith the Parliament sent to desire the Earl
of Warwick to place a Guard of Ships by sea,
to prevent all passages and supplies to Ports-
mouth that way, wliich accordingly the s;xid most
Noble Earle faithfully performed, whereby the
CoUonell was now so hem'd in on all sides that
it was not likely he could long keep house there
in the Castle, the Townesmen also much dis-
rellishing his doings therein. But because this
was a piece of much concernment for the good
of the whole kingdom, I shall here now take
occasionfor the Reader's more delight and fuller
satisfaction, to give a particular narration of
the siege and taking of this Town and Castle,
wherein will be divers delightfull pass;iges very
obvious to the Reader's observation. Colonell
Goreing, having about the beginning of August,
1G42, declared himselfe openly (as was fore-
mentioned) to be for the King alone, and not
for the King and Parliament, and having there-
fore resolved to keep it (as was pretended) for
His Majesties coming thither, used all the care
he could to fortifie himselfe therein, raised
therefore in the first place a Mount at Port-
bridge, three miles from the Town, and th'j
onley passage into the Island of Portsey, but
upon the first comming of the Parliaments
forces, which was about the tenth of August,
he took away the Ordnance which he had planted
in the said Mount, being foure pieces, and
brought them back again into the Town, and
kept the said Bridge onley with 10 or 12 Troopers
with PistoUs and Carbines.

Now the Parliaments forces first showed
themselves against Goreing about Pochdown in
London way, halfe a mile from the Bridge.
Hereupon the Colonells Troopes within tlio
Town issued out in tlie night, and lirought in
'< all tlie sheepe and eattell tliat were in Portsey
1 Island, ami spoiled and pillaged the Inhal)itans
tliereof, and of all their goods and substance,
and of all their victualLs leaving them not so
much bread as to live on for one day.

About the 12th of August our Parliament
Troopers came in the night and beat the Gove-



18



StEOE OF f'ORTSMOCTH IN THE YeAE 1642.



nours Troopers from tlio Bridge and tlic whole
Island, tooko a Trooper prisoner, and anotlicr
horse, the Rider hardly escaping, having kapt
from his horse, and ran away over hedge and
ditch. August the I'Mh, the iiord Wentwoith,
with ahout 00 Troopers, all they could make,
issued out of the Towne half a mile into Poit-
sey Island, to fetch in a piece of Onlnance,
left behind them at tirst, and without ixsistanee
recovered it into the Towne."

Lord "Wentworth was the ^Iajor-(iciKral of
Goring's forces. The Cavalry under his charge
received a severe check at Ashburton.in Devon-
shire, and on January lijth, 1(34(), he received
the command of all the horse in the remnant of
the King's Army in the "West. He was con-
stantly associated with Colonel Goring.

'• But shortly after, our Troopers approached
neere to a mill, fast by the Town Mount,
whereon t'.icir Ordnance was planted, intending
to fire the mill, to hinderthcir grinding of corne.
which attempt on the mill, together with the
Colonells Troopers endeavours to bring in the
CattcU thereabout, caused many a hot skirmish,
well performed on both sides, but little hurt
done. Another time the Colonells Troopers s il-
lied out of the Towne. and were chased by the
Parliaments Troopers, and forced to retreat as
fast as their horses could carry them, and at this
there was a Scottishman. a brave soldier. ft)l-
lowed the chase to the very Towne. within the
gate, and being within the Gate, six of the ene-
mies set on him altogether, and he most valiantly
defending himselfe and fought most bravely,
at last they gave him three gashes in his head,
yet for all this he was retreating and had escap't
them all. had not one vei-y suddenly shut the
gate upon liim, and so he was taken prisoner,
but they seeing him such a brave soldier, tooke
care of him, and procured tlie best Chyrurgions
they could to cure him, and suffered him to want
nothing convenient for him, and for his valour
the Colonell gave him three pieces at his depar-
ture, he ])eing immediately exchanged for
another prisoner which they tooke of the
Colonells, at the Bridge as aforesaid.

Another time the Colonell himselfe and the
Lord Wontworth Mith him sallyed out in the
night, with alltlieir Troopers in two Companies.
to the Parliaments Workes. by the conduction of
one Winter, one of the Aldermen of the Towne,
■who undertooke to guide them, and so brought
them to the very Court of Guard, thinking
thereby to doe them much mischiefe, but there



they found opposition enough, and upon cora-
I)ating came olT with the Iohh of three men,
whereof one named Glover, tne Colonells
own man, was slain, and the aforesaid
Winter, their Guide, was taken prisoner, one of
the ',\ was one Mr. Weston his man, broth' r to
t :e Earl of Portland ; they also lost a ho:sj of
the Lord Wentworth's. which Winter rout- on,
worth i)0/. The Colonell also tooke si.x
prisoners of our men, wereof five were mus-
(jueteers, such as had been Scntinells. the other
was a Trooper, a stout fellow, who was al.so
hurt by a thrust in tiie arme ; the five musque-
teers the Colonell gained to be labourers to
carry baskets of earth at his workes. but the
other stood it out stoutly and scorned to comply.
AVinter was kept prisoner in the Court of
Guard, and his own son. a lad. was pennitted to
come out of the Towne. and to passe to and
fro to bring his father cleane linen, and other
necessaries ; who once brought word from his
father to the Governour. that the King was very
neere the Towne. comming to their aid, which
indeed was blazed abroad to be so in the Towne.
of purpose to perswade the Garison souldiers
that the King would now certainly and suddenly
be with them, and liberally reward all their
paines ami good .service. And t'was but need
thus to take paines to perswade them, for the
greatest part of the Garison-Souldiers Mere gone
away from the Towne by night, sometimes four,
sometimes six at a time : sometimes more and
sometimes less, for a gre^it many nights together,
and the most of his best Gunners were gone
from him to the Parliament side, and such as
were left of the (rarison. were even heartless
and did but little, and that on compulsion : the
expectation of the Kings comming h id so
trycd and duldthem, that they were even hope-
lesse thereof.

Xow about August the 18th. the Governour
plainely discerned from Gosport (a little
Village, halfe a mile over the water from the
Towne) tliat the Parliament Fortes were fram-
ing some workes to make a Ft^-t. whjreit the
Governour was much troubled, and presently
shot at them from all his workes, that lay
that way-ward, letting fiy that night at
least GO bullets, but hurt but one man there-
with and that by his owne folly, for he stood
on his workes with a candle and lanthorn in
his hand, whereby they had a right aime and
so shot him ; but for all this ours desisted not.
but went on day and night till they h=id



SrEOE or P0RT8MOUTH IN THK Ykar lfii2.



19



perfected two plat farmes, the one behind a
Barne for ten pieces of Ordnance, the otlier be-
hind a pile of Faggots for two pieces. thonL,di
the Governor shot incessantly 14 dayes and 14
nights to have beaten them off, but could not.
Shortly after this a parley was sounded but with-
out any good successe. .so then they fell to it
ag.ain, the Governour letting fiie his Ordnance
apace, day and night, but not with any lossc to
us (blessed be the Lord for it), no not of a man
or horse. All tliis time there being but two
pieces of Ordnance planted on the small woiko
of Gosport. behind the Faggots, which played
not at all on the Towno, though they could have
done it, but some short time after, they sliot
thence and killed one of the Garison-Souldiers on
their Mount, and cut off a Frencli man's leg,near
unto him above the knee, to the endangering of
his life. The Governour liimselfe, and the Lord
Wentworth in their own ))eisons (and all could
be spared from other duties) wrought all one
night to make a Trench on the top of the ]\Ionnt
that at the sight of the firing of our Ordnance,
they might 1 ap down into it and save themselves
from the like shot from Gosport.

On the Saturday f ollowing,ours played soundly
from Gosport with our Ordnance and shot
through the Tower of the Church and brake one
of the Bells, and shot again against the same
Tower, and that rebounded and fell into the
Church, and .shot down another top of a liouse
that was near the Clmrch, and tlie same Satur-
day morning tlicy shot at the "Water-mill, the
Miller whereof commended it (by experience)
for a good thing to ri.se early in the morning,
for (as he said) if he had not risen caily that
morning, he had been kill'd in his bed, for a
Ijullet tooke away a sheete and part of his bed.
The reason why they sliot so much at llie Churcli-
tower, was, for that at the top tliercof was their
Watch-tower, whereby they esjiied all approaches
by sea and by land, and the tolling of a
bell gave notice both what ships came by .sea, and
wliat number of horse came by land. That
Saturday niglit ours sliot but five liullots from
Gosport, but every one of thcni did execution. It
was well ol)servod, that in a small time, as ours
shot from (rosport; l)eginning at four of the
clock on Friday afternt)on, and ending at ioui
on the Sabbath day in tlie morning, we did
more execution with our two pieces of Ordnance
than the GoveriU)Ur liad witli the Towne
Ordnance in 14, or IG daies, and so many nights,
in which they shot, at least, 300 bullets, and



kill'd lint one man in all that lime's, a nmst re-
markalde providence of the Lord, wo having but
two pieces of Ordnance at Gosport, whereas the
Ordnance planted against Gosport, from their
foure workes, could not bo less than thirty pieces
of Ordnance ; on Saturday, September the third,
in the night, the Parliament forces took Sou.soy
Castle, winch lies a mile from the Towne upon
the sea, and the way thither is on tlie sea-sands.
The Captain of the Castle his name was
Challmer, who on Saturday had been at Poi-ts-
mouth. and in the evening went home to the
(.'astle. and his Souldiers took horse-loads of
Provision, Bisket, !Meal, and other neces.saries
with them. Tliey re])orted that he had more
drinke in his head than was befitting such u
time and service, and tlie Town.^-men gave out
tliat he liad been luiljed with money to yield up
tlie Castle, but 'twas false, though the first may
be true, yet was not that neither any further-
ance to the taking of it, for. thus it was : there
were about 80 musqueteeis and others that came
that night to the "Walls of the Castle, and under
tlieir Ordnance, and had Ijeen with tliem a very
good Engineer, and 3;') scaling ladders, and the
whole company in the Castle were but 12,
Officers or Commanders, who all were not able
to deal with ours in such a disadvantage.
AVherefore ours having suddenly and silently
scaled the Walls, called unto them, advised
them Avliat to doe, shewing the advan-
tage we had over them, and therefore their
danger if they resisted, who seeing the same
immediately yielded the Castle to us ! wlieie-
ui)0!i the triumph at our taking it was plainly
heard, about two of the clock in the morning,
into tlie Towne, and so soon as they weie
masters of the Castle, they discharged two
pieces of the Castle Ordnance against tlie Towne.
Now heren]ion the (Jovernour perceiving that the
Castle (which was the defence of the Towne
both by sea and land) was lost and gone, and
pelting already of the TowU'' with tlie Oidnauco
thereof, and liaving seen through a prospective
glasse, so good and faire a Plat-forme for ten
jiieces of Ordnance at Gosport, in th t very
morning, before break of d.ay, he called a
Cf)uncell of Wane to consult about tlieir
l)ie.S(iit condition, who soon agreed upon the
sending out of a Drum to sound a Parley, which
was done l)etinies. in .so much that the Parley
was l.)egun aljout ten of the clock the same d.ay,
their hostages on each side being appointed.
Out of the Towne, the Lord Wentworth, Mr.



Siege of Portsmouth in the Year 1042.



Lowkncr, and Mr. Wofiton, the Eail of Port-
land's l)rotlior. From tlio Parliament side, Sir
William Waller, Sir AVilliam Lewis, and Sir
Thomas Larvacc." Of Sir William Waller wo
shall hear more. He and Sir William Lewis
arc thus described by Clarendon: — " Sir William
Waller, Lewis, and other eminent persons, who
had a trust and confidence in each other, and who
were looked upon as the Heads and Governours
of the moderate Presbyterian party, who most
of them would have been contented, their own
security being provided for. that the King should
be restored to his full rights, and the Church to
its possessions." "Lewis had been very
popular and notorious from the beginning."

"The Parley w.is ended about five of the
clock in the afternoon, but Articles of agree-



Online LibraryGeorge Nelson GodwinThe civil war in Hampshire (1642-45) and the story of Basing House .. → online text (page 3 of 48)