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where was a strong Castle very well manned and provided for by the Enemy: and, close under it, a very fair House belonging to the same worthy person,—a Monastery of Franciscan Friars, the considerablest in all Ireland: they ran away the night before we came. We summoned the Castle ; and they refused to yield at the first; but upon better consideration, they were willing to deliver the place to us; which accordingly they did ; leaving their great guns, arms, ammunition and provisions behind them.
Upon Monday, the First of October, we came before Wexford. Into which the Enemy had put a Garrison, consisting of part of' their Army; this Town having, until then, been so confident of their own strength as that they would not, at any time, suffer a Garrison to be imposed upon them. The Commander that brought in those forces was Colonel David Synott; who took upon him the command of the place. To whom I sent a Snmmons; between whom and me there passed answers and replies :
“ For the Lord General Cromwell.
“SIR, -I received your Letter of Summons for the delivery of this Town into your hands. Which standeth not with my honor to do of myself; neither will I take it upon me, without the advice of the rest of the Officers, and Mayor of this Corporation; this Town being of so great consequence to all Ireland. Whom I will call together, and confer with ; and return my resolution to you, to-morrow by twelve of the clock.
In the meantime, if you be so pleased, I am content to forbear all acts of hostility, so you permit no approach to be made. Expecting your answer in that particular, I remain,—my Lord,—your Lordship’s servant,
“ D. SYNOTT."
“ To the Commander-in-chief of the Town of Wexford. “SIR.-I am contented to expect your resolution by twelve of the clock to-morrow morning. Because our tents are not so good a covering as your houses, and for other reasons, I cannot agree to a cessation. I rest,—your servant,
“ OLIVER CROMWELL."
Whilst these papers were passing between us, I sent the LieutenantGeneral* with a party of dragoons, horse and foot, to endeavor to reduce
their Fort, which lay at the mouth of their harbor, about ten miles distant from us. To which he sent a troop of dragoons; but the Enemy quitted their Fort, leaving behind them about seven great guns; betook themselves, by the help of their boat, to a Frigate of twelve guns lying in the harbor, within cannon-shot of the Fort. The dragoons possessed the Fort: and some seamen belonging to your Fleet coming happily in at the same time, they bent their guns at the Frigate, and she immediately yielded to mercy,—both herself, the soldiers that had been in the Fort, and the seamen that manned her. And whilst our men were in her, the Town, not knowing what had happened, sent another vessel to her; which our men also took.
The Governor of the Town having obtained from me a safe-conduct for the four persons mentioned in one of the papers, to come and treat with me about the surrender of the Town, I expected they should have
But instead thereof, the Earl of Castlehaven brought to their relief, on the north side of the river,* about five hundred foot. Which occasioned their refusal to send out any to treat ; and caused me to revoke my safe-conduct, not thinking it fit to leave it for them to make use of it when they pleased. Our cannon being landed,t and we having removed all our quarters to the south-east end of the Town, next the Castle, which stands without the Walls,'—it was generally agreed that we should bend the whole strength of our artillery upon the Castle ; being persuaded that if we got the Castle, the Town would easily follow.
Upon Thursday, the 11th instant (our batteries being finished the night before), we began to play betimes in the morning; and having spent near a hundred shot, the Governor's stomach came down; and he sent to me to give leave for four persons, intrusted by him, to come unto me, and offer terms of surrender. Which I condescending to, two FieldOfficers with an Alderman of the Town, and the Captain of the Castle, brought out the Propositions enclosed,—which for their abominableness, manifesting also the impudency of the men, I thought fit to present to your view. Together with my Answer ;f-which indeed had no effect. For whilst I was preparing of it; studying to preserve the Town from plunder, that it might be of the more use to you and your Army,—the Captain, who was one of the Commissioners, being fairly treated, yielded up the Castle to us. Upon the top of which our men no sooner appeared, but the Enemy quitted the Walls of the Town; which our men perceiving, ran violently upon the Town with their ladders, and stormed it. And when they were come into the market-place, the Enemy making a stiff resistance, our forces brake them; and then put all to the
Carte, ii., 92.
† 6th October (ib.).
† Now lost
sword that came in their way. Two boatfuls of the Enemy attempting to escape, being overprest with numbers, sank; whereby were drowned near three hundred of them. I believe, in all, there was lost of the Enemy not many less than Two thousand ; and I believe not Twenty of your's from first to last of the Siege. And indeed it hath, not without cause, been deeply set upon our hearts, That, we intending better to this place than so great a ruin, hoping the Town might be of more use to you and your Army, yet God would not have it so; but, by an unexpected providence, in His righteous justice, brought a just judgment upon them; causing them to become a prey to the soldier who in their piracies had made preys of so many families, and now with their bloods to answer the cruelties which they had exercised upon the lives of divers poor Protestants ! Two ‘instances' of which I have been lately acquainted with. About seven or eight score poor Protestants were by them put into an old vessel; which being, as some say, bulged by them, the vessel sunk, and they were all presently drowned in the Harbor. The other á instance' was thus : They put divers poor Protestants into a Chapel (which, since, they have used for a Mass-House, and in which one or more of their priests were now killed), where they were famished to death.
The soldiers got a very good booty in this place; and had not they* had opportunity to carry their goods over the River, whilst we besieged it, it would have been much more :-) could have wished for their own good, and the good of the Garrison, they had been more moderate.t Some things which were not easily portable, we hope we shall make use of to your behoof. There are great quantities of iron, hides, tallow, salt, pipe, and barrel-staves; which are under commissioners' hands, to be secured. We believe there are near a hundred cannon in the Fort, and elsewhere in and about the Town. Here is likewise some very good shipping : here are three vessels, one of them of thirty-four guns, which a week's time would fit to sea; there is another of about twenty guns, very near ready likewise. And one other Frigate of twenty guns, upon the stocks; made for sailing; which is built up to the uppermost deck: for her handsomeness' sake, I have appointed the workmen to finish her, here being materials to do it, if you or the Council of State shall ap
The Frigate, also, taken beside the Fort, is a most excellent vessel for sailing. Besides divers other ships and vessels in the Harbor.
This Town is now so in your power, that of the former inhabitants
* The Townsfolk.
† Not forced us to storm them.
I believe scarce one in twenty can challenge any property in their houses. Most of them are run away, and many of them killed in this service. And it were to be wished, that an honest people would come and plant here ;-where are very good houses, and other accommodations fitted to their hands, which may by your favor be made of encouragement to them. As also a seat of good trade, both inward and outward :—and of marvellois great advantage in the point of the herring and other fishing. The Town is pleasantly seated and strong, having a rampart of earth within the wall, near fifteen feet thick.
Thus it hath pleased God to give into your hands this other mercy. For which, as for all, we pray God may have all the glory. Indeed your instruments are poor and weak, and can do nothing but through believing,—and that is the gift of God also. I humbly take leave, and rest, Your most humble Servant,
'P. S.' A day or two before our Battery was planted, Ormond, the Earl of Castlehaven, the Lord of Ardes and Clanneboyes were on the other side of the Water, with about 1,800 horse 'and' 1,500 foot; and offered to put in four or five hundred foot more into the Town; which the Town refusing, he marched away in all haste. I sent the Lieu. tenant-General after him, with about 1,400 horse; but the Enemy made from him.*
Young Charles II., who has got to the Isle of Jersey, decidedly inclining towards Ireland as yet, will probably be staggered by these occurrences, when the news of them reaches him. Not good quarters Ireland at present! The Scots have proclaimed him King ; but clogged it with such conditions about the Cove. nant, about Malignants, and what not, as nothing but the throat of an ostrich could swallow. The poor young King is much at a loss;t-must go somewhither, and if possible take some Mrs. Barlow with him! Laird Winram, Senator of the College of Justice, is off to deal with him ;† to see if he cannot help him down with the Covenant: the Laird's best ally, I think, will be Oliver in Ireland. At Edinburgh these are the news from that quarter:
* Newspapers (in Cromwelliana, pp. 65–7). | Carte's Ormond Papers, i., 316, &c. $11 October, 1649, Balfour's Historical Works (Edinb., 1825), iii., 432.
• In October and November this year there ran and were spread frequent rumors that Lieutenant-General Oliver Cromwell was routed in Ireland, yea killed; and again that he bore all down before him like ane impetuous torrent: how that he had taken Tradaffe and Washeford,' Tredah and Wexford; and there, nei. ther sparing sex nor age, had exercised all the cruelties of a merciless inhuman and bloody butcher, even brutishly against Nature. On these rumors Will Douglass,' no great shakes at metre, did write these lines :
“ Cromwell is dead, and risen ; and dead again,
And risen the third time after he was slain :
UNDER date 5th November, 1649, we read in the old Newspapers :
Our affairs have made this progress : Wexford being settled under the command of Colonel Cooke, our Army stayed not long there: but hasted further unto Ross. Which is a walled Town, situated upon the river Barrow, a very pleasant and commodious river, bearing vessels of a very considerable burden. Upon Wednesday, the 17th of this instant October, we sat down before Ross; and
my Lord Lieutenant, the same day, sent in this following Summons:
For the Commander-in-chief in Ross: These.
17th October, 1649. SIR,
Since my coming into Ireland, I have this witness for myself, That I have endeavored to avoid effusion of blood; having been before no place, to which such terms have not been first sent as might have turned to the good and preservation of those to whom they were of
* Balfour's Historical Works (Edinb., 1825), iii., p. 433.