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I marched with the Army very near to Stirling, hoping thereby to get the Pass; and went myself with General Dean, and some others, up to Bannockburn; hearing that the Enemy were marched on the other side towards our forces in Fife. Indeed they went four or five miles on towards them; but hearing of my advance, in all haste
l they retreated back, and possessed the Park, and their other works. Which we viewed; and finding them not advisable to attempt, resolved to march to Queensferry, and there to ship over so much of the Army as might hopefully be master of the field in Fife. Which accordingly we have almost perfected; and have left, on this side, somewhat better than four regiments of horse, and as
many of foot.
I hear now the Enemy's great expectation is to supply themselves in the West with recruits of men, and what victual they can get : for they may expect none out of the North, when once our Army shall interpose between them and St. Johnston. To prevent their prevalency in the West, and making incursions into the Borders of England,
Of this Letter Sir Harry Vane and the Council of State judge it improper to publish anything in the Newspapers, except a rough abstract, in words of their own, of the first two paragraphs and the concluding one. In which state it presents itself in the Old Pamphlets.2 The Letter copied in full lies among the Tanner Manuscripts ;--gives us a glimpse into the private wants, and old furni_ tures, of the Cromwell Army. Pots' are cavalry helmets; ‘backsand-breasts' are still seen on cuirassier regiments; 'snaphances' (German schnapphahn, snapcock) are a new wonderful invention, giving fire by flint-and-steel ;-promising, were they not so terribly expensive, to supersede the old slow matchlock in fieldservice! But, I believe, they wind up like a watch before the trigger acts ;' and come very high!
1 Sir Harry Vane, who reads the Letter in Parliament, judges it prudent to stop here (Commons Journals, vi. 614).
* Newspapers (in Cromwelliana, p. 107). 2 In Parliamentary History, xix. 498.
To the Right Honourable the Lord President of the
Council of State : These.
Linlithgow, 26th July, 1651.
I am able to give you no more account than what you have by my last; only we have now in Fife about Thirteen or Fourteen thousand horse and foot. The Enemy is at his old lock, and lieth in and near Stirling ; where we cannot come to fight him, except he please, or we go upon too-too manifest hazards: he having very strongly laid himself, and having a very great advantage there. Whither we hear he hath lately gotten great provisions of meal, and reinforcement of his strength out of the North under Marquis Huntley. It is our business still to wait upon God, to shew us our way how to deal with this subtle Enemy; which I hope He will.
Our forces on this side the River2 are not very many : wherefore I have sent for Colonel Rich's; and shall appoint them, with the forces under Colonel Saunders, to embody close upon the Borders,-and to be in readiness to join with those left on this side the Frith, or to be for the security of England, as occasion shall offer; there being little use of them where they lie, as we know.
Your Soldiers begin to fall sick, through the wet wea
ther which has lately been. It is desired, therefore, that the recruits of foot determined ‘on,' may rather come sooner in time than usually; and may be sure to be full in numbers, according to your appointment, whereof great failing has lately been. For the way of raising them, it is wholly submitted to your pleasure; and we hearing you rather choose to send us Volunteers than Pressed-men, shall be very glad you go that way.
Our Spades are spent to a very small number: we desire, therefore, that of the Five-thousand tools we lately sent for, at the least Three-thousand of them may be spades,--they wearing most away in our works, and being most useful. Our Horse-arms, especially our pots, are come to a very small number: it is desired we may have a Thousand backs-and-breasts, and Fifteen-hundred pots. We have left us in store but Four-hundred pair of pistols; Two-hundred saddles; Six-hundred pikes ; Two-thousand and thirty muskets, whereof thirty snaphances. These are our present stores: and not knowing what you have sent us by this Fleet that is coming, we desire we may be considered therein.-Our cheese and butter is our lowest store of Victual.
We were necessitated to pay the Soldiery moneys now at their going over into Fife; whereby the Treasury is much exhausted, although we desire to husband it what we
This being the principal time of action, we desire your Lordship to take a principal care that money may be supplied us with all possible speed, and these other things herewith mentioned; your affairs só necessarily requiring the same.
The Castle of Inchgarvie, which lieth in the River, almost in the midway between the North and South Ferry, commonly called Queen's Ferry,—was delivered to us on Thursday last. They marched away with their swords and baggage only; leaving us sixteen cannon, and all their other arms and ammunition. I remain,
• To my very loving Brother, Richard Mayor, Esquire, at
DEAR BROTHER, • Burntisland,' 28th July, 1651.
I was glad to receive a Letter from you; for indeed anything that comes from you is very
welcome to me. I believe your expectation of my Son's coming is deferred. I wish he may see a happy delivery of his Wife first,' for whom I frequently pray.
I hear my Son hath exceeded his allowance, and is in debt. Truly I cannot commend him therein; wisdom requiring his living within compass, and calling for it at his hands. And in my judgment, the reputation arising from thence would have been more real honour than what is attained the other way. I believe vain men will speak well of him that does ill.
I desire to be understood that I grudge him not laudable recreations, nor an honourable carriage of himself in them; nor is any matter of charge, like to fall to my share, a stick with me. Truly I can find in my heart to
? • Tanner mss., in Cary, ii. 288-90.
Noble's registers are very defective! These Letters, too, were before the
man's eyes. stop.
allow him not only a sufficiency but more, for his good. But if pleasure and self-satisfaction be made the business of a man's life, and so much cost laid out upon it, so much time spent in it, as rather answers appetite than the will of God, or is comely before His Saints,-I scruple to feed this humour; and God forbid that his being my Son should be his allowance to live rot pleasingly to our Heavenly Father, who hath raised me out of the dust to be what I am!
I desire your faithfulness (he being also your concernment as well as mine) to advise him to approve himself to the Lord in his course of life; and to search His statutes for a rule to conscience, and to seek grace from Christ to enable him to walk therein. This hath life in it, and will come to somewhat: what is a poor creature without this ? This will not abridge of lawful pleasures; but teach such a use of them as will have the peace of a good conscience going along with it. Sir, I write what is in my heart: I
pray you communicate my mind herein to my Son, and be his remembrancer in these things. Truly I love him, he is dear to me; so is his Wife; and for their sakes do I thus write. They shall not want comfort nor encouragement from me, so far as I may afford it. But indeed I cannot think I do well to feed a voluptuous humour in my Son, if he should make pleasures the business of his life,in a time when some precious Saints are bleeding, and breathing out their last, for the safety of the rest. Memorable is the speech of Uriah to David (Second Samuel, xi. 11).
Sir, I beseech you believe I here say not this to save 1.And Uriah said unto David, The Ark, and Israel, and Judah abide • in tents; and my lord Joab, and the servants of my lord, are encamped in • the open fields : shall I then go into mine house, to eat and to drink, and * to lie with my wife ? As thou livest, and as thy soul liveth, I will not do • this thing.'