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lest Stamwood should join him, and obtain the honor of tha victory which he looked for with assurance. The royalists in like manner were impatient to bring the affair to a decision before Ruthven's army should receive so considerable a reën. forcement. The battle was fought on. Bradoc Down; and the king's forces, though inferior in number, gave a total defeat to their enemies. Ruthven, with a few broken troops, fled to Saltash; and when that town was taken, he escaped with some difficulty, and almost alone, into Plymouth. Stamford retired, and distributed his forces into Plymouth and Exeter.
Notwithstanding these advantages, the extreme want both of money and ammunition under which the Cornish royalists labored, obliged them to enter into a convention of neutrality with the parliamentary party in Devonshire ; and this neutrality held all the winter season. In the spring, it was broken by the authority of the two houses ; but war recommenced with great appearance of disadvantage to the king's party. Stamford, having assembled a strong body of near seven thousand men, well supplied with money, provisions, and ammunition, advanced. upon the royalists, who were not half his number, and were oppressed by every kind of necessity, Despair, joined to the natural gallantry of these troops, commanded by the prime gentry of the county, made them resolve, by one vigorous effort, to overcome all these disadvantages. Stamford being encamped on the top of a high hill near Stratton, they attacked him in four divisions, at five in the morning, having lain all night under arms. One division was commanded by Lord Mohun and Sir Ralph Hopton, another by Sir Bevil Granville and Sir John Berkeley, a third by Slanning and Trevannion, a fourth by Basset and Godolphin.. In this manner the action began ; the king's forces pressing with vigor those four ways up the hill, and their enemies obstinately defending themselves. The fight continued with doubtful success, till word was brought to the chief officers of the Cornish, that their ammunition was spent to less than four barrels of powder. This defect, which they concealed from the soldiers, they resolved to supply by their valor. They agreed to advance without firing till they should reach the top of the hill, and could be on equal ground with the
The courage of the officers was so well seconded by the soldiers, that the royalists began on all sides to gain ground. Major-General Chidley, who commanded the parliamentary army, (for Stamford kept at a distance,) failed not in his duty
and when he saw his men recoil, he himself advanced with a good stand of pikes, and piercing into the thickest of the enemy, was at last overpowered by numbers, and taken pris
His army, upon this disaster, gave ground apace; insomuch that the four parties of the royalists, growing nearer and nearer as they ascended, at length met together upon the plain at the top; where they embraced with great joy, and signalized their victory with loud shouts and mutual congratulations.*
After this success, the attention both of king and parliament was turned towards the west, as to a very important scene of action. The king sent thither the marquis of. Hertford and Prince Maurice, with a reënforcement of cavalry; who, having joined the Cornish army, soon overran the county of Devon; and advancing into that of Somerset, began to reduce it to obedience. On the other hand, the parliament, having supplied Sir William Waller, in whom they much trusted, with a complete army, despatched him westwards, in order to check the progress
of the royalists. After some skirmishes, the two armies met at Lansdown, near Bath, and fought a pitched battle, with great loss on both sides, but without any decisive event.* The gallant Granville was there killed ; and Hopton, by the blowing up of some powder, was dangerously hurt. The royalists next attempted to march eastwards, and to join their forces to the king's at Oxford: but Waller hung on their rear, and infested their march till they reached the Devizes, Reënforced by additional troops, which flocked to him from all quarters, he so much surpassed the royalists in number, that they durst no longer continue their march, or expose themselves to the hazard of an action. It was resolved that Hertford and Prince Maurice should proceed with the cavalry; and, having procured a reënforcement from the king, should hasten back to the relief of their friends. Waller was so confident of taking this body of infantry, now abandoned by the horse, that he wrote to the parliament that their work was done, and that by the next post he would inform them of the number and quality of the prisoners. But the king, even before Hertford's arrival, hearing of the great difficulties to which his western army was reduced, had prepared a considerable body of cavalry, which he immediately despatched
* Rush. vol. vi. p. 267, 273. Clarendon, vol. ij. p. 269, 279. † Rush. vol. vi. p. 284. Clarendon, vol. üi. p. 282;
to their succor under the command of Lord Wilnot. Waller drew up on Roundway Down, about two miles from the Devizes, and advancing with his cavalry to fight Wilmot, and prevent his conjunction with the Cornish infantry, was received with equal valor by the royalists. After a sharp action, he was totally routed, and fijing with a few horse, escaped to Bristol. Wilmot, seizing the enemy's cannon, and having joined his friends whom he came to relieve, attacked Waller's infantry with redoubled courage, drove them off the field, and routed and dispersed the whole army.
This important victory, following so quick after many other successes, struck great dismay into the parliament, and gave án alarm to their principal army, commanded by Essex. Waller exclaimed loudly against that general, for allowing Wilmot to pass him, and proceed without any interruption to the succor of the distressed infantry at the Devizes. But Essex, finding that his army fell continually to decay after the siege of Reading, was resolved to remain upon the defensive; and the weakness of the king, and his want of all military stores, had also restrained the activity of the royal army. No action had happened in that part of England, except one skirmish, which of itself was of no great consequence, and was rendered memorable by the death alone of the famous Hambden.
Colonel Urrey, a Scotchman, who served in the parlia mentary army, having received some disgust, came to Oxford and offered his services to the king. In order to prove the sincerity of his conversion, he informed Prince Rupert of the loose disposition of the enemy's quarters, and exhorted him to form some attempt upon them. The prince, who was entirely fitted for that kind of service, falling suddenly upon the dispersed bodies of Essex's army, routed two regiments of cavalry and one of infantry, and carried his ravages within two miles of the general's quarters. The alarm being given, every one mounted on horseback, in order to pursue
the prince, to recover the prisoners, and to repair the disgrace which the army had sustained. Among the rest Hạmbden, who had a regiment of infantry that lay at a distance, joined the horse as a volunteer; and overtaking the royalists on Chalgrave field, entered into the thickest of the battle. By the bravery and activity of Rupert, the king's troops were brought off, and
* Rush. vol. vi. p. 285. Clarendon, vol. iii. p. 291.
a great booty, together with two hundred prisoners, was conveyed to Oxford. But what most pleased the royalists was, the expectation that some disaster had happened to Hambden their capital and much dreaded enemy. One of the prisoners taken in the action, said, that he was confident Mr. Hambden was hurt: for he saw him, contrary to his usual custom, ride off the field before the action was finished ; his head hanging down, and his hands leaning upon his horse's neck. Next day the news arrived, that he was shot in the shoulder with a brace of bullets, and the bone broken. Some days after, he died, in exquisite pain, of his wound ; nor could his whole party, had their army met with a total overthrow, have been thrown into greater consternation. The king himself so highly valued him, that, either from generosity or policy, he intended to have sent him his own surgeon to assist at his cure.*
Many were the virtues and talents of this eminent personge; and his valor during the war had shone out with a lustre equal to that of the other accomplishments by which he had ever been distinguished. Affability in conversation; temper, art, and eloquence in debate; penetration and discernment in counsel; industry, vigilance, and enterprise in action; all these prạises are unanimously ascribed to him by historians of the most opposite parties. His virtue, too, and integrity in all the duties of private life, are allowed to have been beyond exception: we must only be cautious, notwithstanding his generous zeal for liberty, not hastily to ascribe to him the praises of a good citizen. Through all the horrors of civil war, he sought the abolition of monarchy, and subversion of the constitution ; an end which, had it been attainable by peaceful measures, ought carefully to have been avoided by every lover of his country. But whether, in the pursuit of this violent enterprise, he was actuated by private ambition or by honest prejudices, derived from the former exorbitant powers of royalty, it belongs not to an historian of this age, scarcely even to an intimate friend, positively to determine.t
Essex, discouraged by this event, dismayed by the total rout of Waller, was further informed, that the queen, who landed at Burlington Bay, had arrived at Oxford, and had brought from the north a reënforcement of three thousand foot and fifteen hundred horse. Dislodging from Thame and
* Warwick's Memoirs, p. 241. Clarendon, vol i. p. 2€ ka
Aylesbury, where he had hitherto lain, he thought proper to retreat nearer to London; and he showed to his friends his broken and disheartened forces, which a few months before he had led into the field in so flourishing a condition. The king, freed from this enemy, sent his army westwald under Prince Rupert; and, by their conjunction with the Cornish troops, a formidable force, for numbers as well as reputation and valor, was composed. That an enterprise correspondent to men's expectations might be undertaken, the prince resolved to lay siege to Bristol, the second town for riches and greatness in the kingdom. Nathaniel Fiennes, son of Lord Say, he himself, as well as his father, a great parliamentary leader, was governor, and commanded a garrison of two thousand five hundred foot, and two regiments, one of horse, another of dragoons. The fortifications not being complete or regular, it was resolved by Prince Rupert to storm the city, and next morning, with little other provisions suitable to such a work besides the courage of the troops, the assault began. The Cornish in three divisions attacked the west side, with a resolution which nothing could control; but though the middle division had already mounted the wall, so great was the disadvantage of the ground, and so brave the defence of the garrison, that in the end the assailants were repulsed with a considerable loss both of officers and soldiers. On the prince's side, the assault was conducted with equal courage, and almost with equal loss, but with better success. One party, led by Lord Grandison, was indeed beaten off, and the commander himself mortally wounded : another, conducted by Colonel Bellasis, met with a like fate : but Washington, with a less party, finding a place in the curtain weaker than the rest, broke in, and quickly made room for the horse to follow. By this irruption, however, nothing but the suburbs was yet gained: the entrance into the town was still more difficult: and by the loss already sustained, as well as by the prospect of further danger, every one was extremely discouraged ; when, to the great joy of the army, the city beat a parley. The garrison was allowed to march out with their arms and baggage, leaving their cannon, ammunition, and colors. For this instance of cowardice, Fiennes was afterwards tried by a court martial, and condemned to lose his head; but the sentence was remitted by the general.*
* Rush. vol. vi. p. 284. Clarendon, vol. iii. p. 293, 294, etc,