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been skilful enough to accomplish their purpose ; it being
their general opinion that to burn the house would be the
most effectual means of subduing and driving out the gar-
rison. But finding their endeavours met with no prosperous
return, they bethought them to cast a show of religion
over these attempts at robbery and rapine, issuing out
commands to all men well affected towards their success,
to co-operate with them for the overthrow of the " Baby-
lonish harlot," by which term some worthy disciples of the
visible church scrupled not to call the Lady of Lathom. *

The following proclamation was sent forth from their
head-quarters at Ormskirk : —

'< To all ministers and parsons in Lancashire, well-
wishers to our successe against Lathom House, these : —

" Forasmuch as more than ordinary obstrucc'ons have
from the beginning of this p'sent service agt Lathom
House interposed our proceedings, and yet still remaine,
which cannot otherwise be removed, nor our successe
furthered, but onely by devine assistance : it is, therefore,

* One of these sons of violence, Bradshaw of Brazen-nose, took
occasion, before his patrons at Wigan, to profane the 1 4th verse of the
15th chapter of Jeremiah, from thence proving that Lady Derby was
the scarlet whore and the whore of Babylon, whose walls he made as
flat and thin a-s his own discourse.


our desires to the ministers and other well-affected per-
sons of this county of Lancaster, in publike manner, as
they shall please, to com'end our case to God, that as wee
are appoynted to the s'' employment, soe much tending to
the settleing of our p'sent peace in theise parts, soe the
Almighty would crowne our weake endeavours with
speedy success in the said designe.

(Signed) " Ralph Ashton,

" John Moore.

" Ormskirk, 5 Ap. 1644."

The four following days were, on their part, consumed
in these unholy exercises ; but the garrison, tired with in-
action, resolved to awaken them, and turn their thoughts
into a more profitable channel.

On Wednesday, the 10th of April, says the MS. journal,
" about eleven o'clock, Capt" Farmer and Capt^ Mullineux
RattclifFe, Lieu' Penckett, Lieu' Woorrale, w''* 140 soul-
diers, sallyed out at a postern gate, beate the enemy
from all theire worke and batteries, w'^'' were now cast up
round the house, nailed all theire canon, killed about 50
men, took 60 amies, one coUours, and three drumes, in
which acc'on, Capt" Rattcliffe deserves this remembrance,
that w'** 3 souldiers, the rest of his squadron being
scattered w'^" execuc'on of the enemy, he cleared two
sconces, and slew 7 men w'^ his owne hand, Lieu'
Woorrall, ingageing himself in another worke among 50
of the enemy, bare the fury of all, till Capt" Farmer re-
lieved him, who, to the wonder of us all, came off without
any dangerous wound.* — The sally-port was that day

Plus aniini est inf'erenti quam pcriculum propulsanti. — Cccs. Com.
O 4'


warded by Capto Chisnall, who with fresh men stood
ready for succour of ours, had they been putt to the
extremity; but they bravely marched round the works,
and came in att the great gates, where Capt" Ogle w"' a
p'ty of musketeers kept open the passage. Capt" Raw-
storne hadd the charge of the musketeers upon the walls,
which hee plac'd to the best advantage to vex the enemy
in their flight. Captn Foxe, by a collours from the Eagle
Tower, gave signall when to march and when to retreate,
according to the motions of the enemy, which hee ob-
served at a distance. — In all this service wee had but one
man mortally wounded, and wee tooke onely one prisoner,
an officer, for intelligence. In former sallyes some pri-
soners were taken, and by exchange releast, Colonel
Ashton and Rigby promising to sett at liberty as many of
the king's freinds, then prisoners in Lancaster, Manchester,
Preston, and other places proposed by her ladishipp.
But most unworthily they broke condic'ons, it suiting
well with their religion, neither to observe faith with
God nor men ; and this occasioned a greater slaughter
than either her laPP. or the captaynes desired, because
wee were in no condic'on to keepe prisoners, and knew
the co'manders wold never release em but upon base or
dishonorable terms."

Though their cannon had been injured in the spiking,
yet were they not rendered useless ; for the same night
they " played a sacre twice," it is said, " to tell us they
had cannon that wold speke, tho' our men had endea-
voured to Steele up all their lippes."

On the 15th, a grenado fell short of the house, in a walk
near the chapel tower : some pieces of the shell, two
inches thick, flew over the wall, and were gathered up by


the attendants. It was a mighty achievement to fire this
unwieldy engine, requiring great labour and exertion to fill
up its mouth when once it had vomited forth its malice.
The day after, they loaded it with stones : to their great
joy, Morgan and his bombardiers beheld one of them strike
within the body of the house, it being always a matter of
some uncertainty where the ball might spend itself. In-
deed, it was said, in derision it might be, that sometimes
their guns occasioned more damage to the besiegers than
to the besieged.

Morgan now set to work, keeping, as accurately as he
might, the head of the blatant beast to the same level, and
loading it with a grenado. When the gunner had finished
his task, and lighted the fusee, Morgan rubbed his hands
for joy. Retiring sharply, off went the missile, with an
explosion that shook the whole fabric. When the smoke
was gone, they perceived some trifling damage in an old
court, where the bomb, striking about half a yard into the
earth, burst as it rose, much abated of its violence ; yet it
shook down some slight buildings near, but without hurt-
ing any one, save two women who had their hands
scorched as a memorial of their presence at the siege
of Lathom.

This mortar-piece was like some mighty dragon of old,
causing great terror in the minds of the soldiers, who
knew not how to escape, but were in continual fear
and watchfulness, dreading the assaults of this terrible
monster. To allay their apprehensions, and to show their
own indifference, the captains lodged in the uppermost
rooms, behind clay walls, when not upon duty; and many
other devices were resorted to for the purpose of en-
couraging their troops. One circumstance, however,


seemed to renew their courage : a gunner opposite, as he
was mounting the rampart to see the success of his shot,
was slain by a marksman from one of the towers. The
next clay one of their cannoneers was slain through the
porthole by a skilful hand, which made the enemy more
cautious than formerly. Yet did they not slacken their
endeavours, but fired almost incessantly. On the Satur-
day afternoon, they played their mortar-piece five times;
and in the night twice with stones, and once with a
grenado, which, by the turning of the gunner, fell short of
the house.

On Easter Monday and Tuesday, Colonel Rigby must
needs gratify the country people with some pastime. He
had already spent upwards of two thousand pounds, and
his great pretensions were hitherto unfulfilled. Accord-
ingly, he ordered his batteries to be directed against the
Eagle Tower, which, as we have before seen, stood near the
centre of the buildings, and was the place where Lady
Derby and the children usually lodged.

" We will strike off a horn of the beast, or level one of
her hills," said Rigby, as he strode forth early on that
morning to the enterprise.

" Which seven towers be the seven hills of Rome, or
spiritual Antichrist," said Jackson, his chaplain, who kept
near his master, or rather kept his master between himself
and the Babel that roused his indignation. Morgan was
just preparing his engines, when Rigby approached, cau-
tiously worming his way along the trenches, for the marks-
men were become unmercifully expert by reason of con-
tinued practice.

The match was lighted, — when bounce went the shot,
a four-and-twenty pounder, against the Eagle Tower.


" We will beat the old lady from her perch ; — I find
she hath taken to high-roosting of late," said Morgan, as
he watched the despatch and destination of his mes-

The ball had entered into her ladyship's chamber,
where she and the children were at breakfast. With as
little emotion as Charles the Twelfth on a like occasion,
she merely remarked, that since they were likely to have
disagreeable intruders, she must e'en seek a new lodging.

" But,'' said she, rising with great dignity, " I will keep
my house, while a building is left above my head."

This mischievous exploit, though an occasion, at the
time, of great triumph and exultation to the besiegers,
was the main cause of their subsequent expulsion and

We now purpose to follow out their operations with
more minuteness, tracing the consequences of this action
to its final result.

That same night, some of the garrison, having permis-
sion from their commanders, annoyed their enemies with
strange and noisome alarms, during which they con-
trived to steal some powder, and other necessaries of
which they were much in want.

Colonels Egerton and Rigby were in close counsel be-
fore their tent, when they beheld a terrible appearance
moving towards them, — looking, in the dark, like the
leaders of some mighty army, waving their torches to
light them to the assault. This frightful apparition was a
poor forlorn horse, studded with lights fastened to cords,
that shook and flickered about in so fearful a manner.
In this plight he had been turned out of the gates, the
garrison looking on with frightful shouts and yells.


The sentinels ran from their posts, crying out that the
king's army was coming. In an instant all was uproar
and confusion, the trenches were cleared, and happy was
he that came foremost in the rout.

Rigby clasped on his sword-belt, which he had doffed
for the night. Springing on his horse he met some of the
runaways, whom he forced back, hoping, by their means,
to stem the main torrent. But, lo ! in the very height
of the panic, appeared another and more direful intruder

— an avenue of fire seemed to extend from the walls to
their own trench. It appeared as though the enemy had,
by some unaccountable means, formed in a double line
from the fortress, illuminated rank and file, as if by magic,

— flinging their torches, by one simultaneous and well-
concerted movement, into the air, with great order and

Had a legion from the puissant army of Beelzebub been
approaching, their terror could not have been greater.
Yet fear kept many from escaping, while they knew not
which way to run for safety. Rigby, in the nick of time,
galloped up to this awful and hostile appearance, crying
out to his troops, that he would soon demolish the bug-
bear. This saying encouraged some of the rimaways,
who followed him to the combat. Approaching within a
sword's length, for he was not deficient either in hardi-
hood or valour, he made a furious stroke, right in the face
of this flaming apparition, when down it fell, revealing its
own harmlessness and their cowardice.

Taking advantage of the panic which followed the
lighted horse, a few of the garrison had thrown a cord,
covered with matches and other combustibles, round a
tree, close to the enemy's camp ; one end was fastened


near the walls, and the other was quickly carried back
after being passed round the tree. The whole, on being
lighted, was swung to and fro, producing the terrific ap-
pearance we have described.

Rigby was greatly mortified at this exploit ; it seemed
as though they were become the jest and laughing-stock
of the garrison.

Morgan, at this moment, galloped up in great dudgeon.
The enemy had found him a similar employment, he
having twice bravely discharged his cannon, loaded with
cartridge and chain-shot, against two lighted matches
thrust into balls of clay that were thrown at him from the

The leaders, provoked beyond measure, speedily as-
sembled in council. Egerton, who had the most influ-
ence, from the beginning had urged milder measures,
thinking to starve the enem.y into submission : — but
Morgan, Rigby, and some others, were now red-hot for
mischief, smarting from their late ridiculous disaster.

" And what have we gotten by delay?" said Rigby.
" We have wearied our soldiers, wasted our powder, and
emptied our purses ; and this proud dame still beats and
baffles us, — casting her gibes in our very teeth, which we
deserve to lose for our pains."

" Take thine own course then," said Egerton mildly.
" We are brethren, serving one cause only ; the which,
being best served, is best won."

" Then be to-morrow ours," said Morgan, with his usual
heat and impatience. " We will burn them up like a heap
of dry faggots. The house, though well fenced against
our shot, hath yet much inward building of wood, and
you shall see a pretty bonfire kindled by my bomb-shells,


— a roaring blaze that shall ride on the welkin between
here and Beeston Castle ! "

" Whilst thou art plying thy vocation we will scale the
walls, and the sword shall slay what the fire hath failed to
devour," said Rigby.

" Fire and sword ! " cried Egerton. " Ye are apt at a
simile ; but, methinks, these be your own similitudes."

" They give their prisoners no quarter," said Morgan ;
" and why should we sheathe the sword when a weapon is
at our own throat ? "

" Why doubtless they have more mouths to feed than
they can conveniently supply," said the more pacific per-
sonage. " Living men, to keep them so, even though
prisoners, require feeding."

" Our vengeance is sure, though tardy," said Rigby,
rising in great choler. " The blood of these martyrs
crieth from the ground. Tomorrow ! " and he breathed
a bloody vow, — looking fiercely up to heaven in the dar-
ing and impious attitude of revenge.

" We had best give her ladyship another summons ;
which, if she refuse, her blood be upon her own head ! "
Saying this, Egerton abruptly left the council.

On the next morning, which was cold and drizzly, a
"pragmatical" drummer went out from the nearer trench,
beating his drum for a parley, lest his person should be
dismissed without ceremony to the hungry kites.

Early had he been summoned to Rigby's lodging,
where Ashton and Morgan were contriving a furious
epistle to the contumacious defenders of their lives and
substance. A summons, couched in no very measured
terms, was drawn up, to the purport, that the fortress
should be surrendered, and all persons, goods, arms, and


munitions therein, to the mercy of parHament ; and by the
next day, before two o'clock, her ladyship to return her
answer, otherwise at her peril. Their valour grew hotter
with the reading of this cruel message, which they secretly
hoped and suspected she would refuse. The drum-major
was called in, one Gideon Greatbatch by name, — a long,
straight-haired,sallow-facedpersonage, of some note among
the brethren for zeal and impiety. By this we mean that
awful and profane use of Scripture phraseology with
which many of these gifted preachers affected to interlard
their every-day discourse, attaching a ludicrous solemnity
to matters the most trivial and unimportant.

In delineating this species of charactei", unfortunately
not extinct in our own days, we do not hold it up to
ridicule, but to reprehension. Irreverence and profanity,
under whatever pretext, are without excuse, even beneath
the mask of holy zeal and ardent devotion.

The man stalked in with little ceremony and less man-
ners. He stood stiff and erect, the image of pride engen-
dered by ignorance.

" 'Tis our last," said Rigby, folding up the message;
" and if our arms are blessed, as we have hoped, and, it
may be, unworthily deserved, ere the going down of
to-morrow's sun, yon strong tower, wherein she trusteth,
shall be as smoke ; for the hope of the wicked shall

" Yea, their idols shall fall down, — yea, their walls
shall be as Jericho," said the drum-major, with a sing-song

whine, to sanctify his blasphemous allusions " and shall

utterly fall at the sound of "

" Thy two drumsticks, mayhap," returned Morgan
sharply ; for this latter personage, though his presence


became needful in the camp, by reason of his reputed
skill and bravery, was a great scandal to the real and con-
scientious professors — of whom not a few had joined the
ranks of the besiegers — as well as the hypocritical and
designing ; some of whom did not hesitate to liken him to
Achan and the accursed thing, by reason of which they
were discomfited before their enemies.

" Thine ungodly speeches. Master Morgan, I would
humbly trust, may not be as the fuel, that when the fire
cometh, shall consume the camp, even the righteous with
the wicked," said Gideon, as if shrinking from the contact
of so unholy a personage.

Morgan replied not to this deprecation, save by swear-
ing — covertly, though it might be — at the impudence
and insubordination of these inferior agents, whose disor-
derly conduct it was necessary to connive at, while they
were looked upon as saints and prophets — men from
whose presence was impiously expected the blessing and
protection of heaven.

A loud screaming was heard, and Rigby, darting a fu-
rious look through the door -way, ordered it to be closed.

" Another porker ! " said he. " I verily think she hath
provision behind the walls that would last out our siege till
doomsday. There is treachery somewhere. Have we
not heard, morning by morning, the self-same cry ? "

" A whole herd of swine have been martyred in the
cause," said Morgan, sneeringly.

" Every day they have slain a pig," said the leader of
the drums. " Two score and eight," reckoning upon his
fingers. " Verily a drove from the legion."

They knew not that this unfortunate swine, the only
one in the garrison, was made to perform so uncomfort-


able a duty every morning, to mislead the besiegers, and
impress them with the idea of a plentiful supply within the

" Even the rabble about the garrison throw shives of
bread into our trenches," said Morgan; " and once or
twice I have thought their muskets were loaden with
peas instead of pellets."

" Then is our assault the more urgent," replied Rigby :
" Delay doth but increase her strength. Prince Rupert,
too, some fair morning, may jump between us and head-

" I have as many grenadoes," said Morgan, '• as will
save his highness the trouble. Were he here, I would
make him dance the Flemish coranto"

" The Amalekites shall ye utterly destroy," said Gideon,
with a sudden indi-awing of the breath, as though he were
suffering the pangs and throes of possession. " Neither
shall ye spare the women and the little ones, nor the
stuff ; no, not even a kid for a burnt-offering. Your eye
shall not spare as Saul spared Agag, whom Samuel
hewed in pieces."

" Keep thy counsel to light thine own courage. — Yon
fiery-tempered woman will not be over nice in her respect
to thy vocation. — Peradventure she may dangle thy car-
cass over the walls in defiance of our summons." Morgan
would have rebuked him farther, had not Rigby hastily
put the message into his hands, and bade him good speed.

With inward but audible murmurs at this unholy con-
nection, for Morgan valued not their prayers a rush,
Gideon strode forth, his eyes twinkling grievously as the
drizzhng rime came on his face. His long ungainly figure
surmounted by a high peaked hat was seen cautiously

VOL. II. p


stealing through the trenches. Near to the embrasure by
Morgan's mortar-piece he made a sudden halt. After
preparing his drum, he first beat the roll to crave at-
tention. He then stepped upon tlie redoubt, drumming
the usual signal for a parley. It was soon answered from
the walls, and Gideon with much ceremony and im-
portance arrived, with his musical appendage, before the
gate. The requisite formalities being gone through, the
draw-bridge was lowered, and this parliamentary repre-
sentative was speedily admitted through a little wicket
into the Babylon which he abhorred. His very feet
seemed in danger of defilement. He looked as if breathing
the very atmosphere of pollution ; but when ordered to
kneel down that he might be blindfolded, his spirit rose
indignantly at the command.

" Ye be contemners and despisers of our holy he-
ritage. — I have not bowed the knee to Baal, nor will I
worship the beast or they that have his name on their
foreheads. — Do with me as ye list. — Ye would cover
mine eyes that your iniquities may be hidden ; — but ye
shall suddenly be destroyed, and none shall deliver."

A loud laugh was the answer to this denunciation ; for
truly it were a marvellous thing to hear an ignorant
arrogant drummer misapply and profane the words of
Holy Writ, wresting the Scriptures to their destruction, if
not his own.

In the outer court, soldiers were playing at span-
counter with silver monies, which Gideon obsei'ving, again
lifted up the voice of warning and rebuke.

" But destruction cometh upon them, even as upon a
woman in "

" Peace, thou spirit of a drum-stick !" cried one of them,


and, as though he were playing at chuck-farthing, he
threw a tester between his teeth ; for the soldiers had
about fifty pounds amongst them in silver coin, but it was
of no use except as so many counters, which they lent one
another by handful? without telling. Sometimes one
soldier had won the whole, then another ; but if they had
been heaps of the rarest jewels, they had been of less
worth than pebble-stones.

Gideon's speech was marred in the delivery : thinking
he had been hit with a stone, he sputtered out the of-
fending morsel ; but, seeing the coin with the king's image
and superscription, he gathered it up again.

" This shall be to me for a prey, even a spoil, as Moses
spoiled the Egyptians." Saying this, Gideon thrust the
king's money into his pocket, and consented to be blind-
folded, as was customary, in order that he should not act
the spy in his progress. He heard many gates unbarred,
many sentries challenged, and the pass-words demanded.
Indeed, the order and discipline throughout was of an
excellent and well- contrived regularity.

" Make way for the drum ! " ran along the avenues, as
though he were passing through a numerous array of
guards and soldiery. At length, he was safely deposited
in a spacious hall used as a guard-room ; where his con-
ductors delivered him to captain Ogle, the officer in waiting
that morning upon her ladyship. Being informed she was
at prayers, for, as we are told, " her first care was the ser-
vice of God, which in sermons and solemn prayers she
daily saw performed," Gideon lifted up his hands and
sajd, —

" Their new moons and their fasts are an abomination."
He then desired to be conducted near the fire, for the
i> 2


double purpose of drying his threadbare red coat, and
relieving his extreme length by a change of position.

He had not waited long ere the signal was given for an
audience. Still blindfolded, he was led by a circuitous
route into a little wainscotted chamber lighted a by single
bay-window. Here the bandage was taken from his
eyes, and when the dimness had a little subsided, he
beheld that heroic lady for the first time, whom he had
often compared, in no very moderate terms, to Jezebel,
and many other names equally appropriate. A very dif-
ferent person she appeared from what his heated and
morbid fancy had suggested. Indeed, if she had been
the personification of all evil, with a demon's foot and a
fiend's visage, he had been less surprised than to find her
with the outward form and attributes of humanity.

She was sitting, with the children, before a narrow
table covered with papers. She wore a black habit, with
a white kerchief on her head, and a long Flanders veil
of rich open work. This she threw back, and Gideon
beheld a countenance not at all either commanding or
heroic, but one to which smiles and good nature would
have been most congenial, though a shade of anxiety was
now thrown over the natural expression of her features.
Her eye seemed to have forgotten its bland and be-
nevolent aspect, and was fixed sharply upon him. For a
moment his spiritual pride was daunted, and that natural

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