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I have received, and so have the officers with me, many honors and civilities, from the Committee of Estates, the City of Edinburgh, and Ministers; with a noble entertainment;-which we may not own as done to us, but as 'done to' your servants. I am now marching towards Carlisle ; and I shall give you such further accounts of your affairs as there shall be occasion. I am, Sir,
Your humble servant,
Cromwell, at Carlisle on the 14th, has received delivery of the Castle there, for which good news let the Messenger have 1007.† Leaving all in tolerable order in those regions, the LieutenantGeneral hastens into Yorkshire to Pontefract or Pomfret Castle; a strong place which had been surprised in the beginning of the year, and is stubbornly defended; surrender being a very serious matter now; the War itself being contrary to Law and Treaty, and as good as Treason, think some.
*King's Pamphlets, small 4to., no. 392, § 19; see Commons Journals, vi., 54.
† Commons Journals, 20 October, 1648.
THE Governor of Pontefract Castle is one Morris, once the Earl of Strafford's servant; a desperate man: this is the LieutenantGeneral's summons to him.
For the Governor of Pontefract Castle.
'Pontefract,' 9th November, 1648.
Being come hither for the reduction of this place I thought fit to summon you to deliver your garrison to me, for the use of the Parliament. Those gentlemen and soldiers with you may have better terms than if you should hold it to extremity. I expect your answer this day, and rest,
Governor Morris stiffly refuses; holds out yet a good while,— and at last loses his head at York assizes by the business.t Royalism is getting desperate; has taken to highway robbery; is assassinating, and extensively attempting to assassinate. Two weeks ago, Sunday, 29th October, a Party sallied from this very Castle of Pontefract; rode into Doncaster in disguise, and there, about five in the afternoon, getting into Colonel Rainsborough's lodging, stabbed him dead:-murder, or a very questionable kind of homicide!
Meanwhile, the Royal Treaty in Newport comes to no good issue, and the Forty Days are now done; the Parliament by small and smaller instalments prolongs it, still hoping beyond hope for a good issue. The Army, sternly watchful of it from St. Albans,
Newspapers (Cromwelliana, p. 48); Rushworth, vii., 1325.
is presenting a Remonstrance, That a good issue lies not in it; that a good issue must be sought elsewhere than in it. By bringing Delinquents to justice; and the CHIEF DELINQUENT, who has again involved this Nation in blood! To which doctrine, various petitioning Counties and Parties, and a definite minority in Parliament and England generally, testify their stern adherence, at all risks and hazards whatsoever.
JENNER, Member for Cricklade, and Ashe, Member for Westbury; these too, sitting I think in the Delinquents' Committee at Goldsmiths' Hall,-seem inclined for a milder course. Wherein the Lieutenant-General does by no means agree with the said Jenner and Ashe; having had a somewhat closer experience of the matter than they!
'Colonel Owen' seems to be a Welsh Delinquent; I suppose, the 'Sir John Owen' of whom there arises life-and-death question by and by. The Governor of Nottingham' is Colonel Hutchinson, whom we know. Sir Marmaduke Langdale we also know,— and 'presume you have heard what is become of him?' Sir Marmaduke, it was rigorously voted on the 6th of this month, is one of the Seven that shall be excepted from pardon;' whom the King himself, if he bargain with us, shall never forgive.* He escaped afterwards from Nottingham Castle, by industry of his own.
To the Honorable my honored Friends Robert Jenner and John Ashe, Esquires, at London :' These.
Knottingley, near Pontefract, 20th November, 1648.
I received an Order from the Governor of Nottingham, directed to him from you, to bring up Colonel Owen, or take bail for his coming up to make his composition, he having made an humble Petition to the Parliament for the same.
*Commons Journals, vi., 70.
If I be not mistaken, the House of Commons did vote all those 'persons' Traitors that did adhere to, or bring in, the Scots in their late Invading of this Kingdom under Duke Hamilton. And not without very clear justice; this being a more prodigious Treason than any that had been perfected before; because the former quarrel was that Englishmen might rule over one another; this to vassalise us to a foreign Nation. And their fault who have appeared in this Suminer's business is certainly double to theirs who were in the first, because it is the repetition of the same offence against all the witnesses that God has borne,* by making and abetting a Second war.
And if this be their justice, and upon so good grounds, I wonder how it comes to pass that so eminent actors should so easily be received to compound. You will pardon me if I tell you how contrary this is to some of your judgments at the rendition of Oxford: though we had the Town in consideration,‡ and ‘our' blood saved to boot; yet Two Years perhaps was thought too little to expiate their offence. But now, when you have such men in your hands, and it will cost you nothing to do justice; now after all this trouble and the hazard of a Second War,-for a little more money all offences shall be pardoned!
This Gentleman was taken with Sir Marmaduke Langdale, in their flight together:-I presume you have heard what is become of him. Let me remember you that out of the 'same' Garrison was fetched not long since (I believe while we were in heat of action) Colonel Humphrey Mathews, than whom this Cause we have fought for has not had a more dangerous enemy ;—and he not guilty only of being an enemy, out he apostatised from your Cause and Quarrel; having been a Colonel, if not more, under you, and 'then' the desperatest promoter of the Welsh
* From Naseby downwards, God, in the battle-whirlwind, seemed to speak and witness very audibly.
† House of Commons's.
Town as some recompense.
Sentence unintelligible to the careless reader, so hasty is it, and overcrowded with meaning in the original. Give me leave to tell you that, if it were contrary to some of your judgments, that at the rendition of Oxford, though we had the Town in consideration, and blood saved to boot; yet Two Years perhaps,' &c.-Oxford was surrendered 20-24 June, 1646; the Malignants found there were to have a composition, not exceeding Two Years revenue for estates of inheritance (Rushworth, vi., 280, 5),—which the victorious Presbyterian Party, belike Jenner and Ashe among the rest, had exclaimed against as too lenient a procedure. Very different now when the new Malignants, though a doubly criminal set, are bone of their own bone!
§ Goldsmiths' Hall has a true feeling for Money; a dimmer one for Justice, it seems
Rebellion amongst them all! And how near you were brought to ruin thereby, all men that know anything can tell ;* and this man was taken away by composition, by what order I know not.
Gentlemen, though my sense does appear more severe than perhaps you would have it, yet give me leave to tell you I find a sense among the Officers concerning such things as the treatment of' those men to amazement ;—which truly is, not so much to see their blood made so cheap, as to see such manifest witnessings of God, so terrible and so just, no more reverenced.
I have directed the Governor to acquaint the Lord-General herewith; and rest,
Your most obedient servant,
Here is a sour morsel for Jenner and Ashe; different from what they were expecting! It is to be hoped they will digest this piece of admonition, and come forth on the morrow two sadder and two wiser men. For Colonel Owen, at all events, there is clearly no outlook, at present, but sitting reflective in the strongroom of Nottingham Castle, whither his bad Genius has led him. Who Colonel Owen was, what he had specially done, or what became of him afterwards, except that he escaped beheading on this occasion, is not known to me. His name indicates a Welsh habitat; he was taken with Sir Marmaduke in their flight together:' probably one of the Presbyterian Welshmen discomfited in June and July last, who had fled to join Hamilton, and be worse discomfited a second time. The House some days ago had voted that Sir John Owen,' our 'Colonel Owen' I conclude, should get off with banishment;' likewise that Lord Capel, the Earl of Holland, and other capital Delinquents should be banished ;' and even that James Earl of Cambridge (James Duke of Hamilton) should be 'fined 100,000l.' Such votes are not unlikely to produce a sense amongst the Officers,' who had to grapple with these men, as with devouring dragons lately, life to life. Such votes-will need to be rescinded.‡ Such, and some others! For
* Witness Chepstow, St. Fagan's, Pembroke :-' this man' is Mathews. † Sloane Mss., 1519, fol. 94
Passed, 10 November, 1648 (Commons Journals, vi., 3); repealed, 13 December (with a Declaration; Somers Tracts, v., 167).