Another Bloudy Fight at Colchester

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Introductory notes

The anonymous Another bloudy fight at Colchester… (1648) is a Royalist account of the disastrous siege of Colchester (3 June-27 August, 1648), an event which had decisive consequences for the Second Civil War. The city was besieged by Parliamentary troops for 77 days before capitulating. Food supplies were cut off and the city was faced with starvation. The victories at Colchester and Preston (19 August, 1648) sealed the defeat of the Royalist cause and three of the main leaders of the King's forces were executed.

[Handwritten note: “34.”]

Another bloudy
Colchester, on Tuesday night last, between his Majesties forces commanded by Gen. Lucas, and Col. Lunsford, and the Parliaments forces; shewing the manner of their sallying out of the town, and falling upon their Guards, with the number killed and taken, and a dangerous shot against the Lord Gen. Fairfax. Also, the resolution of Gen. Lucas and his Forces rather to die like the Sons of Mars valiantly, than to yeeld the town dishonorably, and their proceedings thereupon. With two other bloudy Fights, and divers Colonels taken prisoners. Likewise, the L. Byrons proceedings in Wales, and his Declaration for the King.

[Woodcut: A Royalist carrying a lance/bayonet is riding on an elegant horse covered in ornamental ribbons and harness. The Royalist wears an ornate patterned coat and a black hat with a large feather on it, and his boots have spokes in the back of them.]
Printed in the Yeer, 1648.
[Handwritten note: “Aug [illegible] 24th”]
[Page 1]


[Ornamental design featuring two dogs, snails, foliage and a winged figure.]

1.1. NEW
The Colchesterian Shavers, to the Lord Gen. Fairfax, upon the arrivall of the sad intelligence of the routing the Scots Army in the North; and their further resolution touching the town.


DIvers of the Colchesterians have deserted their Lording Masters, and tendred their service to the Lord General, but his Excellency would not accept thereof: this Evening we sent them in their sad tydings of the defeating of the Scottish army, who upon receipt thereof, immediatly dispatched a Trumpeter to the Lord General, with propositions for the surrendr{i}ng of the Garrison, together with all their arms and ammunition, except musquet and sword, three Bandaleers of powder, and a competent p[r]oportion [Page 2] of match and bullet, which if condescended unto, Hostages should be sent forth, and articles agreed upon for the surrender, but his Excellency rejected this message, being resolved to stand it out, and to have most of them submit to mercy.

Whereupon the Trumpeter returned, and delivered his Excellences answer to the Earl of Norwich, and Gen. Lucas, who upon reading thereof, began to grow into a great agony, vowing revenge, and resolved rather to die like Sonnes of Mars in the field, then to submit basely to the mercy of an enemy, and to surrender the town upon dishonorable conditions: Therefore, to inlarge the Soldiers liberty, Generall Lucas, and Col. Lunsford takes upon them to be their Redeemers, and sallies forth with a considerable party of Horse and Foot upon six of our Guards, about ten of the clock this Evening, thinking to surprize them all unawares, but by our Eagle-ey'd centinels they were discovered, and allarm'd the Guards, who soon were in a readinesse to receive the Shavers, manning their Workes, and securing their Line, and upon the neer approach of Gen. Lucas, we gave them a volley, and fired six piece of Ordnance against them, being charged with key-shot, which did great execution: they answered us again, and began to advance towards our Turn pike, but finding the opposition too great, wheeled about, a party of our horse and foot pursued them to the very sally-ports, killed nine, and brought away seven prisoners, besides their great losse upon the very first Onset, supposing them to a[?]mount to the number of 25. occasioned by the execution of the small shot.

In this action we lost about eleven men, 7 slain, and foure wounded.

[Page 3]

The Inhabitants are in great distresse, and so are most of the souldiers, yet they remain both obstinate and insolent, and say, unlesse th[?]ey may have good conditions, they are resolved to sacrifice their lives to the last man, and to maintain their Works, and dispute the town to the last drop of bloud, but we doubt not, but famine will soon force them to the worst of conditions, rather then to hazard our Army by storm.

We have all things in readinesse for a storm, our Mines are quite finished, and our trenches so neer the walls, that we annoy each other with stones, the enemy hath countermined us neer the East gate, and tooke one of our Mines, and five of the Pioneers: our Batteries are also quite finished, and the great Guns planted and have made severall Breaches in the walls, but they have made them up again with wool-packs.

Col. Rainsborough hath made many a gallant shot against their great Mount neer St. Maries Church, dismounted three piece of Canon, killed two Gunners, and a Metrose.

His Excellency being advertized that the Mounts were all finished, and the Ordnance planted, resolved to take a view of them which accordingly he did, divers Colonels and other Officers accompanying him to the said Fortification, and upon his Excellencies going into one of the Forts neer East Gate, the enemy discharged a Drake with Case shot, which scattered Dirt upon him and his attendants, hurt an Officer in the face by the reb[o]unding of a stone, but did none of the rest any harm.

[Page 4]

The Earle of Norwich, Lord Capel. Sir Charles Lucas, and the rest of the Officers in the Towne, sent a letter to the Lord Fairfax wherein they desire 20 dayes leave to addresse themselves to the Prince, and if things goe not suitable to their desires, then etc. This Letter was received by the Generall, and answer was returned by a Trumpetter, though not according to the expectation of the besieged. Hunger bites those in the towne, and their desires not being granted, if the old proverbe be true, that hunger breaks stone walls, some are of opinion, that men of that desparate condition will endeavour to break the line once againe, before they submit, but more danger is in attempting a quick line (to hold out the proverb) then a dead wall; for the Generall hath fitted al things for a storm if occasion be, and is every minute so well provided to receive the Enemy if they sally forth that if the distres[s]ed cōdition of the besieged should put them upon any desperate design is more probable they will be accessary to hasten their utter destruction then that {that} any of them should deliver themselves by an escape.

1.2. A great Victory in Hereford-shire.

Letters out of Hereford-shire, say, that there was a late fight between a party of horse for the Parliament commanded by Maj. Harley and a party for the King commanded by Sir Henry Linging, in which its said Sir Henry Linging had the better at the first but Maj. Harley having a reserve charged with great gallantry, rescued some prisoners, tooke many other of the adverse party, and divers Officers; amongst whom it is [Page 5] said Sir Henry Lingen himself is one, and ten Lieutenant colonels, Majors, and Captains.

By Letters from Stafford it is advertized, that Col. Stepkins formerly a Commander in the Kings Army, had a design to have surprized the said Town and Castle for the King, the place of Randezvouz was two miles distant from the town, where a great number of Royalists were gathered in a head together, in the night time, and intended to have put their design i[n] execution the next morning; but by the revolting of two Gentlemen, who discovered the same to Capt. Stone in the nick of time, the plot was discovered, and the Governour, with a party of horse and foot, about two in the morning, marched to the said place of Randezvouz, fel upon them in their quarters, killed Colonel Stepkins and seven more, wounded many, and took divers prisoners of quality, with the losse of two men.

Other letters from Northampton shire say, that the Royalists in those parts have been a long time complotting and associating themselves together, and have had severall randezvouzes neer Stanford, and upon Friday last declared for the King, but having intelligence of the great Overthrow in the North, soone changed their resolutions, and dispersed themselves into severall parts of the County, so that all things now are in a peaceable condition.

[Page 6]

1.3. The further proceedings of the Lord Byron in Wales, and his Declaration to the Welsh-men to rise for the King.


THe Lord Byron is very active in these parts for the raising of Forces for the King, he hath set forth a Declaration to the Country, declaring the grounds and reasons of his engagement, and his desires to free the subject from oppression, and to reinvest his Royall Majesty in his just rights and priviledges, to maintaine monarchicall government, and to establish Religion, and the fundamentall lawes of the kingdome, etc. and therefore desires their assistance, for to engage with him therein. But as yet few makes their appearance, and his numbers are but small.


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Source text

Title: Another Bloudy Fight at Colchester

Author: Anon

Publication date: 1648

Place of publication: London

Provenance/location: This text was transcribed from images available at Early English Books Online: Bibliographic name / number: Wing (2nd ed., 1994) / A3252 Bibliographic name / number: Thomason / E.460[34] Physical description: [2], 6 p. Copy from: British Library Reel position: Thomason / 73:E.460[34]

Digital edition

Original author(s): Anon

Language: English

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Texts transcribed by: Muhammad Irshad Alam, Bonisha Bhattacharya, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Muhammad Ehteshamuddin, Kahkashan Khalil, Sarbajit Mitra

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Genre: Britain > chronicle histories

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