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through, and got the gate of the Old House, whereupon they summoned a parley, which our men would not hear.
In the mean time Colonel Montague's and Sir Hardress Waller's regiments assaulted the strongest work, where the Enemy kept his Court of Guard ;—which, with great resolution, they recovered; beating the Enemy from a whole culverin, and from that work : which having done, they drew their ladders after them, and got over another work, and the house-wall, before they could enter. In this Sir Hardress Waller performed his duty with honor and diligence ; was shot on the arm, but not dangerously.
We have had little loss : many of the enemies our men put to the sword, and some officers of quality ; most of the rest we have prisoners, amongst whom the Marquis of Winchester himself' and Sir Robert Peak, with divers other officers, whom I have ordered to be sent up to you. We have taken about ten pieces of ordnance, with much ammunition, and our soldiers a good encouragement.
I humbly offer to you, to have this place utterly slighted, for these following reasons : It will ask about eight hundred men to manage it ; it is no frontier; the country is poor about it; the place exceedingly ruined by our batteries and mortar pieces, and by a fire which fell upon the place since our taking it. If you please to take the garrison at Farnham, some out of Chichester, and a good part of the foot which were here under Dalbier, and to make a strong quarter at Newbury with three or four troops of horse,—I dare be confident it would not only be a curb to Dennington, but a security and a frontier to all these parts ; inasmuch as Newbury lies upon the River, and will prevent any incursion from Dennington, Wallingford, or Farringdon into these parts; and by lying there, will make the trade most secure between Bristol and London for all carriages. And I believe the gentlemen of Sussex.and Hampshire will with more cheerfulness contribute to maintain a garrison on the frontier, than in their bowels, which will have less safety in it.
Sir, I hope not to delay, but to march towards the West tomorrow : and to be as diligent as I may in my expedition thither. I must speak my judgment to you, That if you intend to have your work carried on, recruits of Foot must be had, and a course taken to pay your army; else, believe me, Sir, it may not be able to answer the work you have for it to do.
I entrusted Colonel Hammond to wait upon you, who was taken by a mistake whilst we lay before this Garrison, whom God safely delivered to us, to our great joy; but to his loss of almost all he had, which the Enemy took from him. The Lord grant that these mercies may be acknowledged with all thankfulness; God exceedingly abounds in His goodness to us, and will not be weary until righteousness and peace meet; and until He hath brought forth a glorious work for the happiness of this poor Kingdom. Wherein desires to serve God and you, with a faithful hand,
Your most humble servant,
Colonel Hammond, whom we shall by and by see again, brought this good news to London, and had his reward ;t Mr. Peters also, being requested to make a relation to the House of Commons, spake as follows. The reader will like to hear Mr. Peters for once, a man concerning whom he has heard so many falsehoods, and to see an old grim scene through his eyes.
Mr. Peters related : “That he came into Basing House some time after the storm," on Tuesday, 14th of October, 1645 ;—" and took a view first of the works; which were many, the circumvallation being above a mile in compass. The Old House had stood (as it is reported) two or three hundred years, a nest of Idolatry ; the New House surpassing that, in beauty and stateliness; and either of them fit to make an Emperor's court.
“ The rooms before the storm (it seems), in both Houses, were all completely furnished ; provisions for some years rather than months ; 400 quarters of wheat; bacon divers rooms-full, containing hundreds of flitches; cheese proportionable ; with oatmeal, beef, pork ; beer divers cellars-full, and that very good,” -Mr. Peters having taken a draught of the same.
“A bed in one room, furnished, which cost 1,3001. Popish books many, with copes, and such utensils. In truth, the House stood in its full pride ; and the Enemy was persuaded that it would be the last piece of ground that would be taken by the Parliament, because they had so often foiled our forces which had formerly appeared before it. In the several rooms and about the House, there were slain 74, and only one woman, the daughter of Dr. Griffith, who by her railing," poor lady, “ provoked our soldiers (then in heat) into a further passion. There lay dead upon the
* Sprigge, p. 139; and the Newspapers (in Cromwelliana, p. 27). | Commons Journals, iv., 309.
ground, Major Cuffle ;-a man of great account amongst them, and a notorious Papist ; slain by the hands of Major Harrison, that godly and gallant gentleman,”—all men know him; "and Robinson the Player, who a little before the storm was known to be mocking and scorning the Parliament, and our Army. Eight or nine gentlewomen of rank, running forth together, were entertained by the common soldiers somewhat coarsely ; yet not uncivilly, considering the action in hand.
“The plunder of the soldiers continued till Tuesday night: one soldier had 120 Pieces in gold for his share ; others plate, others jewels ;-among the rest, one got three bags of silver, which (he being not able to keep his own counsel) grew to be common pillage amongst the rest, and the fellow had but one halfcrown left for himself at last. The soldiers sold the wheat to country people ; which they held up at good rates a while ; but afterwards the market fell, and there were some abatements for haste. After that, they sold the household stuff; whereof there was good store, and the country loaded away many carts; and they continued a great while, fetching out all manner of household stuff, till they had fetched out all the stools, chairs, and other lumber, all which they sold to the country people by piecemeal.
“In all these great buildings, there was not one iron bar left in all the windows (save only what were on fire), before night. And the last work of all was the lead ; and by Wednesday morning, they had hardly left one gutter about the House. And what the soldiers left, the fire took hold on; which made more than ordinary haste ; leaving nothing but bare walls and chimneys in less than twenty hours ;-being occasioned by the neglect of the Enemy in quenching a fire-ball of ours at first.”—What a scene !
“We know not how to give a just account of the number of persons that were within. For we have not quite three hundred prisoners; and it may be, have found an hundred slain,—whose bodies, some being covered with rubbish, came not at once to our view. Only, riding to the House on Tuesday night, we heard divers crying in vaults for quarters; but our men could neither come to them, nor they to us. Amongst those that we saw slain, one of their Officers lying on the ground, seeming so exceeding tall, was measured ; and from his great toe to his crown was nine feet in length" (sic).
“ The Marquis being pressed, by Mr. Peters arguing with him," urging him to yield before it came to storm,“ broke out and said, “That if the King had no more ground in England but Basing House, he would adventure as he did, and so maintain it to the uttermost;'-meaning with these Papists; comforting himself in his disasters, That Basing House was called Loyalty. But he was soon silenced in the question concerning the King and Parliament; and could only hope • That the King might have a day again.'—And thus the Lord was pleased in a few hours to show us what mortal seed all earthly glory grows upon; and how just and righteous the ways of God are, who takes sinners in their own snares, and lifteth up the hands of his despised people.
“ This is now the Twentieth garrison that hath been taken in this Summer by this Army :-and, I believe most of them the answers of the prayers, and trophies of the faith, of some of God's servants. The Commander of this Brigade,” Lieutenant-General Cromwell, “ had spent much time with God in prayer the night before the storm ; and seldom fights without some Text of Scripture to support him. This time he rested upon that blessed word of God, written in the Hundred-and-fifteenth Psalm, eighth verse, They that make them are like unto them ; so is every one that trusteth in them. Which, with some verses going before, was now accomplished."**
Mr. Peters presented the Marquis's own Colors, which he brought from Basing; the Motto of which was, Donec pax redeat
* Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy Name, give glory; for thy mercy and for thy truth's sake. Wherefore should the Heathen say, Where is now their God ? Our God is in the Heavens : he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased !—Their Idols are silver and gold; the work of men's hands. They have mouths, but they speak not; eyes have they, but they see not: they have ears, but they hear not; noses have they, but they smell not; they have hands, but they handle not; feet have they, but they walk not; neither speak they through their throat! They that make them are like unto them ; so is every one that trusteth in them.'These words, awful as the words of very God, were in Oliver Cromwell's heart that night.
terris ; the very same as King Charles gave upon his Coronationmoney, when he came to the Crown.'*_So Mr. Peters; and then withdrew,-getting by and by 2001. a-year settled on him.t
This Letter was read in all Pulpits next Sunday, with thanks rendered to Heaven, by order of Parliament. Basing House is to be carted away ; whoever will come for brick or stone shall freely have the same for his pains.'I
Among the names of the Prisoners taken here one reads that of Inigo Jones,-Unfortunate old Inigo. Vertue, on what evidence I know not, asserts farther that Wenceslaus Hollar, with his graving-tools, and unrivalled graving-talent, was taken here. The Marquis of Winchester had been addicted to the Arts,—to the Upholsteries perhaps still more. A magnificent kind of man; whose · best bed, now laid bare to general inspection, excited the wonder of the world.
Fairfax with the Army is in Devonshire; the following Letter will find him at Tiverton ; Cromwell marching that way, having now ended Basing.
It is ordered in the Commons House that Cromwell be thanked ; moreover that he now attack Dennington Castle, of which we heard already at Newbury. These Messages overtake him on the road. This fraction of old Museum Manuscripts is now legible : To the Right Honorable Sir Thomas Fairfax, General of the Parlia
ment's Army : Haste :T These.
Wallop, 14 [error for 16th] October, 1645.
In to-day's march I came to Wallop, twenty miles from Basing, towards you. That night I received this enclosed from the House of Commons; which I thought fit to send you; and to which I returned an answer, a copy whereof I have also sent enclosed to you.
* Sprigge, pp. 139–41. | Whitlocke. I Commons Jour., iv., 309. § Life of Hollar.
|| Commons Journals, 15 October, 1645. T Marching from Collumpton to Tiverton, while Cromwell writes (Sprigge, p. 334).