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vided they meddle not with, or take away, any the Arms there. And all Officers and Soldiers are to take notice that the same is permitted.
Given under my hand, at Dunbar, 4th September, 1650.
To be proclaimed by beat of drum.*
For the Honourable William Lenthall, Esquire, Speaker of the Parliament of England: These.
Dunbar, 4th September, 1650.
I hope it's not ill taken, that I make no more frequent addresses to the Parliament. Things that are in trouble, in point of provision for your Army, and of ordinary direction, I have, as I could, often presented to the Council of State, together with such occurrences as have happened;-who, I am sure, as they have not been wanting in their extraordinary care and provision for us, so neither in what they judge fit and necessary to represent the same to you. And this I thought to be a sufficient discharge of my duty on that behalf.
It hath now pleased God to bestow a mercy upon you, worthy of your knowledge, and of the utmost praise and thanks of all that fear and love His name; yea the mercy is far above all praise. Which that you may the better perceive, I shall take the boldness to tender unto you some
Old Newspaper, Several Proceedings in Parliament, no. 50 (5-12 Sept. 1650) in Burney Newspapers (British Museum), vol. xxxiv.
circumstances accompanying this great business, which will manifest the greatness and seasonableness of this mercy.
We having tried what we could to engage the Enemy, three or four miles West of Edinburgh; that proving ineffectual, and our victual failing, we marched towards
The Enemy did not
our ships for a recruit of our want. at all trouble us in our rear; but marched the direct way towards Edinburgh, and partly in the night and morning slips-through his whole Army; and quarters himself in a posture easy to interpose between us and our victual. But the Lord made him to lose the opportunity. And the morning proving exceeding wet and dark, we recovered, by that time it was light, a ground where they could not hinder us from our victual: which was an high act of the Lord's Providence to us. We being come into the said ground, the Enemy marched into the ground we were last upon; having no mind either to strive to interpose between us and our victuals, or to fight; being indeed. upon this aim of reducing us to a' lock,-hoping that the sickness of your Army would render their work more easy by the gaining of time. Whereupon we marched to Musselburgh, to victual, and to ship away our sick men; where we sent aboard near five-hundred sick and wounded soldiers.
And upon serious consideration, finding our weakness so to increase, and the Enemy lying upon his advantage,at a general council it was thought fit to march to Dunbar, and there to fortify the Town. Which (we thought), if anything, would provoke them to engage. As also, That the having of a Garrison there would furnish us with accommodation for our sick men, 'and' would be a good Magazine,-which we exceedingly wanted; being put to depend upon the uncertainty of weather for landing provisions, which many times cannot be done though the
being of the whole Army lay upon it, all the coasts from Berwick to Leith having not one good harbour. As also, To lie more conveniently to receive our recruits of horse and foot from Berwick.
Having these considerations,-upon Saturday the 30th1 of August we marched from Musselburgh to Haddington. Where, by that time we had got the van-brigade of our horse, and our foot and train, into their quarters, the Enemy had marched with that exceeding expedition that they fell upon the rear-forlorn of our horse, and put it in some disorder; and indeed had like to have engaged our rear-brigade of horse with their whole Army,—had not the Lord by His Providence put a cloud over the Moon, thereby giving us opportunity to draw off those horse to the rest of our Army. Which accordingly was done without any loss, save of three or four of our aforementioned forlorn; wherein the Enemy, as we believe, received more loss.
The Army being put into a reasonable secure posture, -towards midnight the Enemy attempted our quarters, on the west end of Haddington: but through the goodness of God we repulsed them. The next morning we drew into an open field, on the south side of Haddington; we not judging it safe for us to draw to the Enemy upon his own ground, he being prepossessed thereof;-but rather drew back, to give him way to come to us, if he had so thought fit. And having waited about the space of four or five hours, to see if he would come to us; and not finding any inclination in the Enemy so to do,-we resolved to go, according to our first intendment, to Dunbar.
By that time we had marched three or four miles, we saw some bodies of the Enemy's horse draw out of their
1sic: but Saturday is 31st.
quarters; and by that time our carriages were gotten near Dunbar, their whole Army was upon their march after us. And indeed, our drawing back in this manner, with the addition of three new regiments added to them, did much heighten their confidence, if not presumption and arrogancy.-The Enemy, that night, we perceived, gathered towards the Hills; labouring to make a perfect interposition between us and Berwick. And having in this posture a great advantage,—through his better knowledge of the country, he effected it: by sending a considerable party to the strait Pass at Copperspath; where ten men to hinder are better than forty to make their way. And truly this was an exigent to us, wherewith the Enemy reproached us;-'as' with that condition the Parliament's Army was in when it made its hard conditions with the King in Cornwall.2 By some reports that have come to us, they had disposed of us, and of their business, in sufficient revenge and wrath towards our persons; and had swallowed up the poor Interest of England; believing that their Army and their King would have marched to London without any interruption; -it being told us (we know not how truly) by a prisoner we took the night before the fight, That their King was very suddenly to come amongst them, with those English they allowed to be about him. But in what they were thus lifted up, the Lord was above them.
The Enemy lying in the posture before mentioned, having those advantages; we lay very near him, being
'A disgraceful summons of caption to us: exigent' is a law-writ issued against a fugitive,—such as we knew long since, in our young days, about Lincoln's Inn !
2 Essex's Army seven years ago, in Autumn 1644, when the King had impounded it among the Hills there (see antea, vol. i. p. 215).
sensible of our disadvantages; having some weakness of flesh, but yet consolation and support from the Lord himself to our poor weak faith, wherein I believe not a few amongst us stand: That because of their numbers, because of their advantages, because of their confidence, because of our weakness, because of our strait, we were in the Mount, and in the Mount the Lord would be seen; and that He would find out a way of deliverance and salvation for us:-and indeed we had our consolations and our hopes.
Upon Monday evening,-the Enemy's whole numbers were very great; about Six-thousand horse, as we heard, and Sixteen-thousand foot at least; ours drawn down, as to sound men, to about Seven-thousand five-hundred foot, and Three-thousand five-hundred horse, upon Monday evening,' the Enemy drew down to the right wing about two-thirds of their left wing of horse. To the right wing; shogging also their foot and train much to the right; causing their right wing of horse to edge down towards the sea. We could not well imagine but that the Enemy intended to attempt upon us, or to place themselves in a more exact condition of interposition. The MajorGeneral and myself coming to the Earl Roxburgh's House, and observing this posture, I told him I thought it did give us an opportunity and advantage to attempt upon the Enemy. To which he immediately replied, That, he had thought to have said the same thing to me. So that it pleased the Lord to set this apprehension upon both of our hearts, at the same instant. We called for Colonel Monk, and shewed him the thing: and coming to our quarters at night, and demonstrating our apprehensions to some of the Colonels, they also cheerfully concurred.
We resolved therefore to put our business into this