The loyall sacrifice
The Loyall Sacrifice:
In the Lives and Deaths of
those two Eminent-Heroick
For Valour, Discipline, and
Fidelity; The generally belo-
ved and bemoaned,
Sir CHARLS LUCAS,
Sir GEORGE LISLE,
Being both shot to death at
Colchester, Five houres after
Noscere hoc primùm decet
Quid facere victor debet, quid
Printed in the Year, 1648.
Noscere hoc primùm decet
Quid facere victor debet, quid
Thus have you briesly heard the many advantages of a powerfull Enemy: with the disadvantage of the Royall Party; from whence you may easily collect, and with a compassionate candor, probably conclude: that no issue can be expected, by the Besieged, but a fatall Catastrophe, after so many brave endeavours, Sallies and assaies, gallantly performed: and to their succeeding honour memorably recorded. And so the sequell was: for having eaten all the Horses, Dogs, Cats, and whatsoever (though most reluctant to nature) could afford them nourishment, yea, were it never so loathsome nor distastfull; This unfortunate Town [Page 17] of COLCHESTER was surrendred after the continuance of three Moneths Siege compleatly ended; with these strict conditions: The Superior Officers to Mercy, and the Souldiery upon Quarter for life. But how this expresse of MERCY was writ, like Draco's Laws, in Letters of blood, shall be shewne you afterwards.
Now should it be demanded, what reason could there be for the Besieged to hold out so long; and by their continued resistance, to bring both themselves with the rest of the Inhabitants into such misery and fearfull distresse: especially, seeing there appeared no hope at all of raising that lasting Siege; nor of the Generals remove till he had finished his designe; Besides their pertinacy and aversion from such reasonable conditions as in the beginning were proposed to them, could but highly incense the Generall, and bring them (as afterwards [Page 18] it did) to extreamer termes, upon intelligence of their necessitous condition, that they might either be inforc'd to perish through famine, or necessarily surrender the Towne?
To this I answer, that there were two main reasons that induced them to stand upon their own defence, to the defiance of the Enemy.
First was, that not only the County, wherein they were beleagred, but other Counties too, had ingag'd themselves upon their fidelity, (a strong gage of assurance amongst good men) that they would really joyne in assistance with them, and stand in defence of their just Liberties; re-estating of their Soveraigne in His regall Throne; and disbanding of all onerous and unnecessary Forces, pretensively levied in this Kingdome, with a resolute purpose of labouring to suppresse all Sects, Schismes, or [Page 19] Divisions, that might any way darken the Light of the Church, or disturb the peace and tranquillity of the State. But this strong ingagement procured an easie dispensation. For these faithfull Assistants proved their mortall Assaylants. So as none were more ready to lend an helping hand to the Enemy, after some braving menaces delivered by the Army. So, as we may conclude here: all those firme hopes which these Noble Gentlemen reposed in these diffiding Counties, were quickly thawed, and resolved to nothing. This it is for persons of Quality, to ground their reliance on the Aegyptian Reedes; which will sooner pierce the hand of the undertaker, then support him.
But this disease, in all these late distempers and distractions, (as never State was farther out of her wits) has been so Epidemicall, as it may admit the better excuse: for [Page 20] I have scarcely knowne any County that has not grievously laboured of this infirmity. The Motion and Action of Armies, got them allyance, and fresh assistance what way soever they Marched: yea, and caused most Counties to renounce their first Principles by no other Argument then the brandish of a Sword.
Another reason to induce and till them on to the continuance of this Siege, was their daily expectance of relief, not only from these neighbouring Counties, (whose joynt promise had strongly ingaged them to their assistance) but from the North: neither were their hopes built on weak grounds; For a person of quality; and an experienc'd, Vigilant & Valiant Commander; though some late overtures have rendred him unfortunate, confidently assured them of a speedy & expedite relief: as appeared by his Letter directed to Sir CHARLES [Page 21] LUCAS, to this effect: being truly transcribed after the Originall Copie.
YOur Gallantry in Resolution & Action during that fierce & furious Siege of COLCHESTER, hath already confirm'd in us, that noble opinion which we ever retain'd of you in all your undertakings, both for Spirit and Knowledge. Valour acquites it self best in extreames: Of this, your loyall prowesse hath given an ample testimony. We here, who truly love and honour you, and who, with some of our best and choycest Forces, hope in a very short time to Relieve you; could not retaine lesse then a deep resentment of the diversion of those noble-disposed Royalists, who ingaged their Persons (as their intendments visibly appeared) for your Succour: with the premature fall of that active spark of true Native Honour, the Lord FRANCIS [Page 22] VILLIERS: upon whose surprized and disarmed Body, report informes us, that such inhumanity, by a Mechannick hand was committed; as Barbarisme it self would conceive Horror to be an Actor in a Subject of such Cruelty. But what shall either you, or we collect from these tragick overtures, but the implacable hate and heat of an odious perfidious Foe, flaming fro~ a furious desire of imbruing his treacherous hands in the blood of all such as professe themselves faithfull Servants in defence of their Princes honour, safety of their Country, her just and auncient Liberties! For which we Fight: and for preservation of which we shall ever hold it a devotionall Loyalty to ingage our persons, fortunes, whatsoever is most dear unto us. The Cruelty they shew to ours, might prescribe us a Rule what to doe, when it shall please God that we be (which we hope ere long to be) Masters of the Field. But revenge in actions of cruelty, shall ever [Page 23] be as far estranged from our thoughts, as theirs, since first these Civill unnaturall Wars were broached, have been fro~ harbouring Loyalty or compassion. Mean time, these mens designes, who push at nothing lower then Crownes, (yet should you unlock the Cabinets of their hearts, make Crownes their Objects) may afford both you, and us, who stand in defence of a just Cause, and no private Interest, (as God is our witnesse) this usefull Lesson, Rather to sacrifice our Lives to a noble and memorable Fate; then to submit to an imperious mercilesse Foe.
Hold out, brave Sir; continue your resolution; pursue your Sallies; let not their numerous Recruites amate you, (give me leave for the true zeal I bear to our Cause, and love to your Person, to enforce this needlesse advice:) you need little doubt, but if SKIPPONS power of inlisting men be abridg'd, as we hear it is: that these Recruites, or fresh Supplies can continue long. Sedition, have it never so specious pretences, nor powerfull favourites; it will at one time or other be unmask'd, and shew its own deformity; which shewn. those who followed her, and foolishly fawned on her, will become much asham'd, that their misguided judgments should be ever taken with so deceiving a beauty.
Now to enliven the hopes of all that brave and honourable Cavalry there with you; Think every Evening, [Page 25] how we are one dayes March nearer you then we were in th' Morning: and that our heartiest wishes goe along with you; as we are confident within few dayes, with our hands to assist you. And to confirme the apparancy of these hopes, you may be pleased herewith to receive an Abstract of our proceedings, together with the Order we observe, and successe we receive in our March towards you; which you may with assurance communicate to my Lord GORING, E. of NORWICH, Lord CAPEL, Lord LOUGHBOROW; to whom I besech you present my affectionatest service, with all others of concern.
After this he descends to a relation of the manner and successe of their March, which for brevity sake as partly inconsisting with our present discourse, I purposely omit: and fall upon the conclusion of this Letter.
hold out but a little, a [Page 26] very little space; your friends will visit you, and bring you off with honour; and with joynt imbraces congratulate you, for making Loyalty your Object of vallour.
Now, upon a due and serious recollection of these, can any one judge that their hopes were grounded upon a shallow foundation? No; it is not to be doubted but that their speedy Relief was both intended and pursued, and had been to purpose effected, if the Season of the year had afforded a conveniency for the conduct of their Amunition and Artillery: which if it had been expedited, as the time of the year though not the Season was for it, might have easily prevented CROMWELS encounter: and brought on their Army with more honour. For at that time, this Victorious Lieutenant, now highly swolne with his late Scottish-rent, had employments enough elsewhere: so as of necessity either [Page 27] the Generall might have been inforc'd to raise his Siege, which his spirit could hardly have brooked, and so ingage them: or have suffer'd them to appear, in a full Body before COLCHESTER, which would have infinitely scar'd him.
Neither am I ignorant how some, and those of approved experience and insight in the deporment of these affaires; will not stick to impute the ground of this deficiency, to the remisse March and retard of the Scots, whose desire was (for the refuse and rascalry of them I may safely speake) rather to continue their debate with their Presbyterian Clergy, touching the conveniency, and inconveniency of this War, and so by protracting their March, to save their skin; then to expose theselves to the adventure of so hazardous attempt; by receiving a bullet for an uncertaine booty. It was never yet knowne, that the blew Bonnet [Page 28] would enter lists upon the gilded promises of a Publique faith, or the Huxters cold hopes of bestbetrust. And when all this is done; be confident, their hands will be more ready to receive it, then their hearts to earne it. It has been ever observ'd of the Pesantry of that Nation, that they could feed better then fight. Plundering was their onely Masterpiece: which they could finger with such dexterity, as if they had been nurs'd and bred up in that Trade from their infancy.
Neither could the discipline of their Generall promise any great successe, he may professe himselfe a Souldier: but instance that place or exploit where he came ever off with honour. Sundry Gentlemen of eminent quality have been inveigled by large promises to ingage their Persons and Fortunes for his German Service: but as his arrivall purchas'd him little above contempt: so his distressed [Page 29] followers, (so many as were left unattach'd by famine or murren at Castrene) return'd back with tatter'd habits and heavy hearts, having unfortunately wasted the remainder of their Fortunes in that uselesse & thanklesse service. BUT set us looke homeward &reflect upon our owne State! From what Agent may we more truely derive the Source of our present miseries; whereon all Countries may with a compassionate horror fixe their eyes, as on some prodigious spectacle of State, which no preceeding Age could ever parallel? From whence I say more probably sprung the Origen of our woes, our calamitous distractions, then from this Cloud-walking Polititian; who ever made his owne intersts the Object of his actions: yet fell short of what he intended, because the integrity of the Man was generally inspected? How many fruitlesse Messages returned he in his agency [Page 30] betwixt the Scots and us? How willingly did he spin out time, and pretend obstructive wayes which never yet came to discovery? Meane time, he omitted no opportunity that might advance his owne ends: but such perspective and preventing eyes were ever looking over him: as his lime-twiggs would not hold, which afflicted his ayrie spirit not a little. Now summe up these together; and what expectance could we have either of setling State or Church Government by so timing & popular a Generall? Did this great Duke, thinke you, compassionate our distractions?
O no! His onely fishing was in troubled waters; where his hooke could not be discovered, nor his dangerous dark plots diselosed. Pray you, resolve me; was ever Army so numerous and seemingly formidable so soon defeated? or so many Officers and Commanders, who bare the countenances of men, so [Page 31] easily Captived? If this be the issue of a Canopy-Generall; whose very port and magnificence in his March promised wonders; nay the reduce of a distemper'd and mad-condi tioned State in a moment: what account is there to be made of such vading runnagade vanity, that presents majesty in an imbrodred habit with a feverish heart? But beleeve it, I cannot chuse but remember, what his next Commander under him, spake to an intimate friend of his upon some expresses of joy which he perceived his friend to be taken with, upon his nomination to be Lieutenant Generall. Deare friend, said he, if you really professe love to me, moderate your joy; for it may fall out that these my Commands may redound to my prejudice. For who knows, whether my Generall and I, in this High Service, have not different ends? for the one of us may direct the levell of our aimes at a King, the other at a Crowne.
Implying [Page 32] preservation of Soveraignty in the one: Innovation in the other. This struck home; and would have gone to th' quick if the attention of such an ambitious Spirit had given least ear to so tart and spitefull a whisper. But I cannot compare this unbounded flame of ambition, (retaine it never so much heat) more properly then to our Chamber-Lawyer; who performes his practise within doors: But though he contrive at home, his councell receives life and spirit abroad. Gyges ring would be an usefull Signet for such a mans thumbe: whose desire clozeth in this, to see all mens actions; and not to be seen by any.
An excellent vaile for an Ambitious Statist. Yet you shall generally observe, how these Persons who have the extensivest aimes; for most part lose the Game either by shooting too far over, or too far short of their Marke. Too far over by surprizing themselves with their too [Page 33] much cunning: Or too far short by the prevention of others, before they attaine their end. Many of these two, faile by confiding too much in their owne abilities: or relying on those who fall off in the pursuite of their designes. This our Scotch Generall had lately sufficient proofe of: when he stored his hopes in the valour of his Blew-caps and their bordering Allies; all of like Size with them for prowesse; as that ancient Bard truely sung:
The Scots chus'd such Allies without delay,
Who knew as well as they to run away.
These were not the men that could performe the worke; High designes require powerfull meanes. For these be such Bats, as combat best by night. And indeed, [Page 34] since their first Invasion of our unhappy Kingdome, they have been ever more serviceable to our Saints (whose obsequious Creatures they sometimes were:) in their number then prowesse. O unfortunate Kingdome, when a servile irregular people must be invited to bring us to Reformation!
But these heartlesse white-liver'd Boobies, repent themselves (poor starv'd Snakes) that ever they undertooke this last adventure: for they have lost more by HAMILTON then ever they got by LISLEY. A pittifull Catastrophe, trust me. But what remedy? Pillage and rapine can hardly hold out to a posterity. Thus has their zeale consum'd them; their cowardize confounded them; their Generall disserted them; and himselfe of those hopes that invited him to conduct them hither. Yet in this hard condition, they confess as a Curtsie of England, that they fare as well here in Prison, as they [Page 35] did in Scotland, where they had freedome. But our Counties will be shortly weary of such Guests. Neither can they doe them a greater displeasure then in sending them to the place from whence they came: and so by their famish'd entertainment, to the place of Execution.
But, what trow you, will this Grand Captive Generall doe, who yielded up himselfe so tamely to his pretended Enemy? I shall tell you: He holds his personall Security (the fabrick of treachery) so precious an Object, that if he come not off faire, he intends to make some fall off foul. He has a large List of all such as were Inviters of his Dukeships egregious prowesse, with his Fugitives hither: and these he meanes to discover.
Now, will not this discovery be an unexemplary action of Honour: when he, who profest himselfe prime Champion for His Majesty, [Page 36] shall accuse His well-wishers, and impeach them for an Office of Loyalty? Yet hold up your heads, ye that are guilty of the Bill; such course is taken as will crush this Designe in the shell. A Committee of their owne Leven is to be sent down privately, to take this Great Runnegado's examination; but nothing must be found of validity: They are foolish Judges that will betray themselves: Onely some wellcramm'd Royalists (who be none of their Ayry) must be squeaz'd for example sake. And for himself, whose Lodging is hung with Tapistry, a proper furniture for a Prisoner, with a Bed valued at a thousand pound; being held more sutable for his unmilitary Corpse then any Field-bed: He may have his liberty when he pleaseth, if he have it not already; For there is an Ordinance a foot, which speakes much in favour of the Scots. By the sinnewy strength of which Ordinance, [Page 37] if these Scots at any time invaded this Kingdome, they were to be holden only for Disturbers of the Peace: Whereas, if any of our English joyned with them in that active invasion, they were to be proceeded against as Traytors.
So the Duke is secure enough, which is all He desires upon Earth but a Crowne: But if he fight no better then he did of late, He deserves to have his Crown shaven, and (as the ancient custome of those Eliots was to their Slaves) be disgracefully kick'd for a Coward. Yet I must needs confesse, he shew'd himselfe more thankfull in appearing lesse Valiant. For by whose meanes obtain'd he his liberty, when he remain'd Prisoner for his treacherous Designes at PENDENNIS CASTLE? Was it not, I pray you, by the special grace of our Saintly Senate? Had our Prince any hand in his inlargement? Was it not then a gratefull part in him, [Page 38] (though it were to the betraying of his Trust, and dishonour of his Country) to gratifie CROMWEL with all his Horse and Armes; and so requite their care by satisfying their desires, who were procurers of his Liberty?
But what else could be expected by CALIDON, being by Chronologists rendred to be the Embleame of Disloyalty; a Stranger to Equity; an Harbour for Injury; The Magazen of Iniquity; The Counterfeit of Amity?
Truth is, had Lauderdaile, the Dukes sollicitous Agent, prevailed in his message for bringing our Prince from the Downes (under a plausive pretence) to be absolute Generall of the Scottish Forces, it [Page 39] might have produc'd such effects as might have afflicted the Duke with the unexpected successe of his Army. But a Princes rising hopes to fall upon such an hazard was neither safe nor probably secure, where men account no otherwise of Allegeance, then of a politick pretence to obtaine their owne ends: and from an easie dispensation with protests and vows (as if they were onely ceremonious garbs of the time) can appear personally most, where they are really least; it is dangerous I say, for the hopes of a Diadem to be there lodged.
Honest and integrious breasts were ever held the Princes choicest Guardians. His Alliance or whatsoever else he might privately intend, could not so well secure him there by Land, as his Princely Commands may here by Sea.
But to our purpose: Though I might seeme to have insisted long upon this Subject (or what you [Page 40] please to call him, for I should wish that his thoughts may ever acknowledge really that stile:) yet I conceive this to be no digression; seeing it holds such propriety and pertinency to the principall discourse we have in hand. For I am confidently perswaded, had this Great man shewne that promptnesse of will, and expeditenesse in his March, whereto he was so much importuned by our English Generall for our Northern Expedition; they had neither (as I touched before) aspers'd such a blemish of cowardize upon his Honour: nor expos'd poor distressed COLCHESTER to the Mercy of a mercilesse Foe. Their reliefe could not have been so long a wanting: if his zeale and allacrity to so gallant a service had not been retarding.
But leaving these to their Country, a place equally poor and sutable to their ingenerous quality: I am to proceed in my discovery and [Page 41] discourse of Their actions, who were Antipodes, at least Antithetes to these Straglers slavish conditions.
WE may not without high ingratitude, silence the Actions of these absolute Gentlemen in the whole course and pursuit of their gallant Service.
In this survey, we are in the first place (to omit ingagements of lesse consequence) to mount up the hill, near NEWBURY and ENBORNE Heath, the two places where the most of that memorable Battaile was fought; Where Sir CHARLES LUCAS with sundry other worthy Commanders, bore themselves as bravely as any men alive. In which Fight Sir CHARLES with other prime Officers was grievously wounded. Here were his Characters of honour in a Crimson die, deepely stamped.
Here Lieutenant Collonel Sir GEORGE LISLE bravely [Page 42] led up the Forelorne-hope, with such resolution, as his Vallour had such influence on his Souldiers, as the remissest spirit under his Command, in imitation of so gallant a Leader, became infinitely active in the pursuit of their service.
We are to present to you likewise (for such Annals admit no period) Sir CHARLES LUCAS his Valiant courage, upon the Rebels assault of CAWOOD Castle; where with skill and Valour he forc'd his way through the Rebels Quarters to such places as he thought convenient; and that with such confidence and magnanimity, as his very name became a terrour to the Enemy.
His Gallantry at MARSTON Moore; where it is thought (though I be better opinion'd of his EXCELLENCE) that he gave our great Generall such a blow, as in revenge cost him his life.
His valiant mannage at NEWARKE; where he expressed himselfe a gallant Souldier both in his discipline and personall action.
His brave & successefull attempt, in his March from BERKLEY Castle with part of his Regiment betwixt SLYMBRIDGE and BEVERSTON Castle upon Collonel MASSEYS Garrisons.
His incomparable gallantry, in the pursuit of his Assayes at TEDBURY.
FOR Sir GEORGE LISLE, looke upon his brave deportment, in his ingage at BRAMDEANE Heath, where he was so generally approved, and admired, both for his direction and resolution in actions of Valour, as it redounded to his lasting honour.
Shall we returne his expresse and gallant demeanure in that memorable service betwixt NEWBURY and SPINE? we will render it, as we have from [Page 44] a sincere penne received it.
As for Collonel LISLE himself, we profess it troubles us; We want language to express his carriage: for he did all things with as much judgement, cheerfulness and present dispatch (admirable observances in one of his years) as had speciall influence on every Common Souldier; taking particular care of all except himself. The truth is, he gave the Rebels three most gallant Charges; In the first, his Field-Word was FOR THE CROWNE, and then (to second his Impreze with his Zeale) he beat them back, and knocked them downe both with Bullet and Musket-stock; In the second, his Word FOR PRINCE CHARLES, and then he cut them off as they came on; and hewed them down sufficiently as they runnt away; In the third, 'twas FOR THE DUKE OF YORK; and then he slash'd them so home, that they troubled him no more: for had [Page 45] they come againe, he resolved (a resolution suitable to so brave and undaunted a Spirit) to have gone over all the Kings Children, till he had not left one Rebell to fight against the Crown, or the Royall Progeny. In which service the Colonell had no Armour on, besides Courage and a good Cause, and an Holland Shirt; for as he seldome wore defensive Armes, so he now put off his very Buff-doublet, to animate his men, as may be presumed, that the commonest Souldier might see himself better Arm'd then his Colonell; or because 'twas darke, they might better discerne him from whom they were to receive both Direction and Courage.
However, it gave occasion to a Londoner that week in Print to say; The Irish Papists in the Kings Army at NEWBURY, had diverse Witches (as no Hagge more fearfull then valour to a Coward) among them; which many [Page 46] of CROMWELLS Souldiers did plainly perceive to flie swiftly from one side of the Kings Army to another.
Which hath thus much truth in it, that this Spirit or Ghost (call it what they please) frighted all those guilty Rebels out of the Field, and made them runne for protection, to their Canon and maine Body, which got near to the Hill where they quartered, above a mile from the place of Fight; leaving the whole pillage of the Field to His Majesties Souldiers without shooting one Musquet to disturbe them.
And to manifest the care he took for his owne in the close of the Conquest: The very next day after the last NEWBURY Fight, when His Majesties Army was drawne off, that Shy Earle of MANCHESTER went into Mr. DOLEMANS house in SHAW (near NEWBURY) [Page 47] where he found some wounded Souldiers; Collonel LISLE (who so gallantly commanded those Guards the day before) left a note in the house (observe his noble care) wherein he certified, that certaine hurt men! (some whereof were His Majesties Souldiers, the rest were Prisoners, whom the Collonel took in the last Fight) which could not at the present be removed from that place, without hazard of the poor mens lives. Therefore he desired all Gentlemen, Officers and Souldiers whom it might concerne, to afford them protection and assistance as he had done, for as much as the poor men were unable to helpe themselves.
A pious compassion in a Souldier, and such as deserves ever to be recorded and related to his honour.
Though such was the cruelty of an implacable Enemy, as in revenge of their late defeat, this civill request was quickly sleighted.
Were it not now a great pitty, that These who have acted their parts with such generall applause on the Theatre of honour; should be cut off by an imperious censure: and be there doom'd to death, where their actions merited so much fame? yet must they undergoe this Fate. One of them within the sight of his owne Family: The other before Those, who had amply tasted of his bounty and clemency.
BuT now imagine (which cannot be conceited without a passionate teare) the furious Enemy entring this forlorn Town; wherein if compassion could receive impression in the bosome of a Foe; They might in every place take a view of wofull objects; in every street Spectacles of famine; wherein the patience & resolution of the besieged, could not be sufficiently admired in shewing such constancy, amidst the heavy extreames of such a long-continued [Page 49] Siege. Death was writ in many of their countenances, yet did many of these Loyallyaffected Spirits smile at their sufferings; as if the goodnesse of their CAUSE had fortifide them against all miseries. But amongst others who were eminent sufferers, be it your honour principally to cast your eyes upon a paire of gallant Soules, which we here discourse of: with the circumstance of the Message of death brought unto them; and by whom: with their brave and unexemplary deportment, at and before the time of their suffering.