Page images

condition we were in at that time. Which I thought fit on purpose to send you, that you might see how great and how seasonable our deliverance and mercy is, by such aggravation.

Having said my thoughts thereupon to the Parliament, I shall only give you the narrative of this exceeding mercy;t believing the Lord will enlarge your heart to a thankful consideration thereupon. The least of this mercy lies not in the advantageous consequences which I hope it may produce; of glory to God and good to His People, in the prosecution of that which remains; unto which this great work hath opened so fair a way.

We have no cause to doubt but, if it shall please the Lord to prosper our endeavours, we may find opportunities both upon Edinburgh and Leith, Stirling-Bridge, and other such places as the Lord shall lead unto. Even far above our thoughts ; as this late and other experiences gives good encouragement.

Wherefore, that we may not be wanting, I desire you, with such forces as you have, Immediately to march to me to Dunbar; leaving behind you such of your new Levies as will prevent lesser incursions :—for surely their rout and ruin is so total that they will not be provided for that is

very considerable. Or rather, which I more incline unto, That you would send Thomlinson with the Forces you have ready, and this with all possible expedition ; and that you will go on with the remainder of the Reserve, —which, upon better thoughts, I do not think can well be done without

you. Sir, let no time nor opportunity be lost. Surely it's probable the Kirk has done their do. I believe their

[ocr errors]

any thing

[ocr errors]

In the next sentence, The least lies not,'


I Means the bare statement. is for The not least lies.

2 • doo' in orig.

King will set up upon his own score now; wherein he will find many friends. Taking opportunity offered, —it's our great advantage, through God. I need say no more to you on this behalf; but rest,

Your humble servant,


My service to your Lady.--I think it will be very fit that you should bake Hard-bread again, considering you increase our numbers. I pray you do so.—Sir, I desire

— you to procure about Three or Four score Masons, and ship them to us with all speed: for we expect that God will suddenly put some places into our hands, which we shall have occasion to fortify.*


To the Lord President of the Council of State : These. MY LORD,

Dunbar, 4th September, 1650.

I have sent the Major-General, with six regiments of horse and one of foot, towards Edinburgh ; purposing (God willing) to follow after, tomorrow, with what convenience I may.

We are put to exceeding trouble, though it be an effect of abundant mercy, with the numerousness of our Prisoners ; having so few hands, so many of our men sick; so little conveniency of disposing of them ;' and not, by attendance thereupon, to omit the seasonableness of the prosecution of this mercy as Providence shall direct. We have been constrained, even out of Christianity, humanity, and the forementioned necessity, to dismiss between four and five thousand Prisoners, almost starved, sick and wounded; the remainder, which are the like, or a greater number, I am fain to send by a convoy of four troops of Colonel Hacker's, to Berwick, and so on to Newcastle, southwards. 1

* Brand's History of Newcastle, ii. 489. In Brand's Book there follow Excerpts from two other Letters to Sir Arthur ; of which, on inquiry, the present Baronet of Nosely Hall unluckily knows nothing farther. The Excerpts, with their dates, shall be given presently.

i The Prisoners :-sentence ungrammatical, but intelligible.

I think fit to acquaint your Lordship with two or three observations. Some of the honestest in the Army amongst the Scots did profess before the fight, That they did not believe their King in his Declaration ;and it's most evident he did sign it with as much reluctancy and so much against his heart as could be: and yet they venture their lives for him upon this account; and publish this · Declaration' to the world, to be believed as the act of a person converted, when in their hearts they know he abhorred the doing of it, and meant it not.

I hear, when the Enemy marched last up to us, the Ministers pressed their Army to interpose between us and


"Here are Brand's Excerpts from the two other Letters to Sir Arthur, spoken of in the former Note: 'Dunbar, 5 Sept. 1650.- - After much • deliberation, we can find no way how to dispose of these Prisoners that will • be consisting with these two ends : to wit, the not losing them and the not starving them, neither of which would we willingly incur,—but by sending them into England.' (Brand, ii. 481). --'Edinburgh, 9 Sept. 1650.

I hope your Northern Guests are come to you by this time. I pray you let humanity be exercised towards them : I am persuaded it will be comely. Let the Officers be kept at Newcastle, some sent to Lynn, some to Chester.' (Ib. p. 480.)

A frightful account of what became of these poor “ Northern Guests' as they proceeded southwards;' how, for sheer hunger, they ate raw-cabbages in the walled garden at Morpeth,' and lay in unspeakable imprisonment in Durham Cathedral, and died as of swift pestilence there: In Sir Arthur Haselrig's Letter to the Council of State (reprinted, from the old Pamphlets, in Parliamentary History, xix. 417).

2 Open Testimony against the sins of his Father, see antea, p. 194.


[ocr errors]

home; the chief Officers desiring rather that we might have way made, though it were by a golden bridge. But the Clergy's counsel prevailed, -to their no great comfort, through the goodness of God.

The Enemy took a gentleman of Major Brown's troop prisoner, that night we came to Haddington ; and he had

l quarter through Lieutenant-General David Lesley's means; who, finding him a man of courage and parts, laboured with him to take up arms.

But the man expressing constancy and resolution to this side, the Lieutenant-General caused him to be mounted, and with two troopers to ride about to view their gallant Army; using that as an argument to persuade him to their side; and, when this was done, dismissed him to us in a bravery. And indeed the day before we fought, they did express so much insolency and contempt of us, to some soldiers they took, as was eyond apprehension. Your Lordship’s most humble servant,


Which high officialities being ended, here are certain glad domestic Letters of the same date.



my beloved Wife, Elizabeth Cromwell, at the Cockpit :



Dunbar, 4th September, 1650.

I have not leisure to write much, But I could chide thee that in many of thy letters thou writest to me, That I should not be unmindful of thee and

* Newspapers (in Cromwelliana, p. 91).

thy little ones. Truly, if I love you not too well, I think I err not on the other hand much. Thou art dearer to me than

any creature; let that suffice.

The Lord hath shewed us an exceeding mercy :—who can tell how great it is! My weak faith hath been upheld. I have been in my inward man marvellously supported ;though I assure thee, I grow an old man, and feel infirmities of age marvellously stealing upon me. corruptions did as fast decrease! Pray on my behalf in the latter respect. The particulars of our late success Harry Vane or Gilbert Pickering will impart to thee. My love to all dear friends. I rest thine,


Would my


For my loving Brother, Richard Mayor, Esquire, at

Hursley: These.



Dunbar, 4th September, 1650.

Having so good an occasion as the imparting so great a mercy as the Lord has vouchsafed us in Scotland, I would not omit the imparting thereof to you, though I be full of business.

Upon Wednesday' we fought the Scottish Armies. They were in number, according to all computation, above

Twenty - thousand; we hardly Eleven - thousand, having great sickness upon our Army. After much appealing to

* Copied from the Original by John Hare, Esq., Rosemont Cottage, Clifton. Collated with the old Copy in British Museum, Cole mss., no. 5834, p. 38. • The Original was purchased at Strawberry-Hill Sale' (Horace Walpole's), ‘ 30th April, 1842, for Twenty-one guineas.'

1 • Wedensd.' in the Original. A curious proof of the haste and confusion Cromwell was in. The Battle was on Tuesday,-yesterday, 3d September, 1650 ; indisputably Tuesday ; and he is now writing on Wednesday !

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »