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woods of Leigh, and the stately rocks bounding the winding Avon, was broken by the distant sounds of war. No lovers wandered through those quiet glades; no children sported beneath St. Vincent's giant rocks; no honest burghers with their dames and daughters quitted the crowded city to breathe a purer air on Durdham Down; no pale, industrious artisan sought to recruit his health and strength by strolling through the sheltered lanes beyond the outworks : -the beautiful environs of Bristol were deserted by all those whose wont it had been to make them the scene of their recreations; but their absence was supplied by strangers, and those strangers foes.
The prudent burghers kept within the city gates, because beyond the outer walls were armed men, both horse and foot, advancing from different points, and increasing in numbers every
moment. The Cornish army under the command of the Marquess of Hertford, Prince Maurice, and Sir Ralph Hopton, elated by the recent victory at Roundway Down,* marched gaily on from Bath, investing the city on the Somersetshire side; whilst the troops from Oxford, led by Prince Rupert and Viscount Grandison, hemmed it in on that towards Gloucester. A few straggling parties had appeared the day before ; but it was not till the night of the 23rd and the following morning that the mass of the enemy advanced to lay siege to Bristol, at that time considered the second city in the kingdom, ranking next to the metropolis in wealth and importance, even rated above it in the demands for ship money; and yet, notwithstanding this acknowledged superiority, now besieged for the first time, though the war between Charles and his parliament had unhappily been raging for many months. Within the walls all was bustle and preparation for the defence; those even who in their hearts desired success to the besiegers, not deeming it prudent to speak those wishes plainly out; while those who, from their opinion of the governor (Colonel Nathaniel Fiennes), feared that success which others wished, maintained a silence as judicious, aware that a city is half surrendered when such a possibility is admitted by the multitude. As terms of capitulation are not always scrupulously maintained, and friends, in a general plunder, do sometimes suffer as much as foes, those who take not being scrupulous as to how or from whom they take, the wealthy merchants and prudent citizens, as they counted their riches and looked at their families, whatever their politics, could not but feel some little anxiety ; though, in most cases, the Royalists, particularly those who had aided or wished well to Yeomans and Boucher* in their attempts to deliver up the city to the King's troops, rejoiced at the coming of the Cavaliers; whilst the Roundheads, especially those who had helped to defeat the plot, felt a corresponding dread of their presence, and a sudden and wonderfully strong conviction of the instability of wealth and the uncertainty of life. The projects of the enterprising were suspended; the common occupations of every-day life less regularly pursued ; no ships were loaded or unloaded, the usually noisy quay was nearly silent and deserted, the bustle and activity of commerce being for the time at rest; the soldiers walked with a prouder step, as if conscious of greater importance, and even the shrill fife and the hollow drum sounded clearer and louder, as though to bid all mark whose valour was to be their guard. The merchants and traders no longer conversed on the value of exports and imports ; tales of scandal were forgotten instead of being repeated; those who were employed in the defence assumed a martial air, brushing by, and giving short quick answers to those who were unemployed; whilst others, who were allowed no voice in the councils of the governor, no hand in the execution of his will, walked alone with a less. lofty air; or, falling into groups, discussed the latest report, and criticised the plans of Fiennes, round
* Sir William Waller was totally defeated by Wilmot at Roundway Down, near Devises, July 13th,
and retreated with the remnant of his forces to Bristol, which he quitted before the siege.
* Robert Yeomans and George Boucher, merchants of Bristol, having gained over four officers and several soldiers and citizens to the number of two thousand, after secret conferences at Oxford between the King and their agents, engaged to seize Froom Gate and Newgate, and admit the Royalists under Prince Rupert, who approached the city March 7th, 1643. The plot having been discovered, (Prynne says by one Dobbins to Clement Walker,) the conspirators were seized just before the opening of the gates, and Yeomans and Boucher, after suffering many hardships, were tried, and hanged in Wine-street, opposite to the Nag's Head tavern, the fifth house from the corner, and nearly opposite the abode of the former. Yeomans was buried at Christchurch, Boucher at St. Werburgh's. William Yeomans and Edward Dacres, two more of the conspirators, though likewise condemned, were pardoned or ransomed. Boucher's house was in Christmas-street, near the Froom Gate. The King's troops retreated the next day with the loss of two men, killed by shots from the walls. When Rupert's trumpeter went to ask for their bodies, Lord Cleveland bade him request J. H. (one of the Parliamentarian captains) to send him a pound of tobacco ; bụt the trumpeter not being able to find him, Colonel Fiennes and 'Colonel Popham sent his lordship a pound each. For a fuller account, see Seyer's Memoirs of Bristol.