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magistracies, and power passing into the hands of inferior people, eager to seize it, capable of exercising it vigorously, but ill-fitted to retain it. He felt that the people would not long consent to such a government, and that the daily increasing anarchy and discord could not end otherwise than in the destruction of the ruling party. He therefore set to work to discover, in this dark chaos, some means of putting an end to it, or at all events, his own quickest and safest road to greatness. house. For this purpose he assembled at his house, frequently, the chief leaders of both parties, in order that he might learn their views, and ascertain what he had to expect or fear from them. Ludlow, Vane, Hutchinson, Sidney, and Haselrigg, openly declared in favour of a republic; the general officers were more reserved. On one occasion the discussion grew warm. Ludlow His and others pressed Cromwell to declare himself, that they behaviour. might know whether he was a friend or foe. Cromwell evaded the point for a while, till, at last, urged more and more, he suddenly rose, and with a forced jest hastily quitted the room, flinging a cushion, as he went out, at Ludlow's head, who sent another after him which made him hasten down stairs faster than he desired. This was not mere idle buffoonery on his part; there was something passing, at that instant, in his own heart which required relief, and such a strange diversion prevented him from betraying himself.*
82. The Royalist Risings. In the meantime, the danger apprehended by the republicans drew nigh, and the number and boldness of the malcontents daily increased. An alarming tumult in the city was quickly followed by disturbances in Norwich, Thetford, Canterbury, Exeter, and other places. In Pembroke, Colonel Poyer, the governor of the castle, raised the royal standard, and being joined by the royalists of the neighbourhood, captured Chepstow and besieged Carnarvon. In Scotland an army of 40,000 men had been levied for the defence of the King and the covenant; and in Ireland also some defections had taken place. When all this news came to London, the Presbyterians again raised their heads; petitions, praying that the army should be disbanded and the King brought back, poured into the two houses from all quarters; and on the 28th of April, parliament voted that the fundamental government of the kingdom by King, Lords, and Commons, should not be changed; that the proposals offered to the King at Hampton Court should be renewed, and that the resolution forbidding any further address to him should be * Guizot's Eng. Rev., 376; Forster's Lives, VI., 161.
repealed. Cromwell had foreseen this, and now prepared to resist it. He went to head quarters, and proposed that the army should immediately expel their adversaries from parliament, and take full possession of power in the name of the well-affected, and of public safety. But Fairfax resisted this bold advice, and Cromwell, unable to endure inaction at such a crisis, left London Cromwell at the head of five regiments, for the purpose of sup- into Wales. pressing the risings in Wales, and of regaining, by war, the ascendancy he felt he was losing. His departure was the signal for Royalist risings on all sides round London. The men of Surrey, Essex, and Kent, formed associations and collected arms; Goring, Earl of Newport, took possession of Sandwich, Dover, and Rochester; the inhabitants of Deal rose, and while The Rainsborough, the admiral, was preparing to attack the Royalists town, the fleet sailed to Helvetsluys, and placed itself London rise. under the command of the Duke of York. Alarm, however, was soon quieted by the success of Fairfax, who defeated the principal body of the insurgents at Maidstone (June 1st); and by the dispersion of another force under Goring, at Blackheath. But the latter soon appeared in Essex, and being joined by Lord Capel with the Hertfordshire Royalists, and Sir Charles Lucas, he proceeded to Colchester (June 12th), intending to overrun Norfolk and Suffolk, raise the Royalists as he went, and then march upon London through Cambridge. But he had scarcely entered the town, when Fairfax came up and closely But are besieged in invested the place. Thus, in a fortnight's campaign, the Colchester. wreck of the insurrection which had surrounded London, was enclosed in a town without the means of defence; in other places the Royalists had met with no better success, while letters were received from Cromwell, promising that Pembroke Castle, the bulwark of the western Royalists, should surrender in a fortnight. In the north, Langdale and Musgrave had surprised and now occupied Berwick and Carlisle, in order to open the way for the Scots, but Lambert valiantly maintained his position against them, and prevented them making any further progress.
One of the earliest results of these disturbances was the return of the Presbyterians to power, and the restoration of the Brief excluded members. A vote was passed in parliament to of the Pres open a new treaty with the King, and commissioners byterians. were sent to Newport for that purpose (September 18th). But the negotiations produced no result; for the Presbyterians insisted upon the King's preliminary assent to three bills, revoking all his proclamations against parliament, establishing Presbyterianism
for three years, and vesting the command of the forces in parliament for ten years; all which the Lords objected to, and Charles refused to entertain.*
83. The Scottish Invasion and the "Rout" of Preston. While these negotiations were still going on, the news arrived that the Scots had entered the kingdom (July 8th), under the Duke of Hamilton, and that Lambert was retreating before them. Report exaggerated their numbers to 30,000 men, though they were not more than half that number; but the duke was closely followed by Munroe, who led 3,000 veterans from the Scottish army in Ireland, and was preceded by Sir Marmaduke Langdale, at the head of 4,000 cavaliers, men of valour, who, having staked their all on the result, would fight desperately. With such an army, a general of talent and enterprise might have replaced the King on his throne. But Hamilton had neither of these qualities, and his preparations had been thwarted by so many obstacles, that his men were ill provided, his regiments were incomplete, and his artillery was out of order Besides all this, the Moderate Pres
Discords in the invading army.
byterians, of whom he was the professed leader, were fiercely opposed by Argyle and the Rigid Covenanters, who would agree to nothing but the King's entire and unconditional establishment of the Presbyterian system. Hamilton's army, again, would have no communication with Langdale and the Cavaliers, because they refused to take the covenant; and the two bodies, therefore, marched separately, and acted always independently of each other.
The news of the invasion, however, none the less agitated all England, because there seemed no means of resisting it; for Fairfax still besieged Colchester, and Cromwell, Pembroke. In parliament, the Commons voted the Scots and their abettors public enemies and traitors (July 14th); the Lords rejected the vote, and resolved that the negotiations with the King should be hastened, on which the Presbyterians in the lower house carried a motion that the three bills should no longer be insisted upon as preliminaries to a treaty. The day before (July 27th), the young Prince of Wales, now at the head of the fleet, had appeared The fears it before Yarmouth, and issued a manifesto. The crisis London. was imminent. The Committee of Safety sent urgent orders to Cromwell to march northward as soon as he was able, and the republican leaders, who had formerly distrusted him, now felt that their safety and their hopes depended upon his genius. They humbled themselves, therefore, before him, and requested
* Lingard, X., 236-237.
him to act with vigour, and rely upon them. Indeed, all depended now upon the issue of the struggle between Hamilton and Cromwell; and the King in Carisbrook Castle, the to depend revolted mariners, the London Presbyterians, and the upon. besieged Royalists in Colchester-all men-waited anxiously to see what these two men would make of it when they met.*
Cromwell had waited for neither orders from the Commons, nor promises from the republicans; he was well informed of the condition and movements of the Scottish army, and a month ago had sent word to Lambert to fall back and avoid the invaders, promising to be with him shortly. And so it happened. Pembroke surrendered three days after the Scots had crossed the border, and in two more Cromwell set out at the head of 6,000 His rapid men, ill shod, ill clad, but proud of their glory, meet the irritated by their perils, full of confidence in their leader, invaders. of contempt for their enemies, eager to fight, and certain of victory. He marched right across the country, through Gloucester, Warwick, Nottingham, and Doncaster, with a rapidity till then without example. In thirteen days his cavalry joined Lambert (July 27th); on the 7th of August, he himself, with the foot, came up at Knaresborough, where the two forces formed "a fine smart army, fit for action," of about 9,000 men. In the meantime the Scots had advanced through Kendal to Hornby, where they halted to consider what route to take, whether through Lancashire, Cheshire, and the western counties, or through Yorkshire, and thence by the straight road to London. Hamilton chose the former route, much against the will of his officers; who objected to fight in Lancashire, where there were so many hedges and ditches to favour Cromwell's "excellent firemen." The line of march was scattered over a space of fifteen or twenty miles; they advanced in utter ignorance of the enemy's movements; the weather was rainy and tempestuous. Suddenly Langdale and the Cavaliers, who were far away to the left, on Preston Moor, about Langridge Chapel, sent word to Hamilton that Cromwell-who had marched from Knaresborough through Otley, Skipton, and Gisburne, had crossed the hills to Clitheroe and Stonyhurst-that he was then at Hodder Bridge, and that everything announced on his part an intention of giving battle. Hamilton had that night (August 16th) reached Preston, with the main body of his foot; part of his horse was ahead of him at Wigan, part in the rear at Kirby Lonsdale. The next Langdale morning, Langdale was attacked, and for four hours he Cavaliers.
* Carlyle's Cromwell, I., 279. + Guizot's Eng. Rev., 389.
maintained a more desperate resistance than Cromwell, by his own admission, had ever before met with. He sent to Hamilton for reinforcements, but none came, and he was obliged to yield.
Action at near War
In the meanwhile, the Scots had been hastening across the Ribble and the Darwen, and the greater portion of their army had already crossed when Cromwell fell upon their rear, under Hamilton, whom he drove out of the town pell mell, crossed the river with them, and at night occupied the bridge over the Darwen. Next morning (August 18th) he renewed the pursuit, and overtaking their rearguard at Wigan, cut it to pieces. There he lay that night, close to the enemy; his men weary and dirty, for the weather was very wet, and the roads were narrow and deep. But the pride of two victories, the hope of a decisive triumph, the very impatience of fatigue, augmented their courage, and they recommenced the pursuit next day (August 19th) with even greater rapidity and determination. Irritated in their turn at being thus pressed upon by an inferior force, and meeting with an advantageous pass, called the Redbank, at Winwick, near Redbank, Warrington, the Scots suddenly turned and faced their rington. pursuers, and a third battle took place, longer and bloodier than the previous two, but with the same result. The English charged with push of pike, very home upon them, and pursued them hotly to Warrington Bridge, where, dismayed and utterly wearied, the foot, under General Baillie, surrendered in a body. Hamilton, at the head of the cavalry, was in advance, near Nantwich, intending to proceed to Wales, to revive the Royalist insurrection there. But everywhere, as he passed, the peasantry rose in arms, and the magistrates summoned him to surrender; and on the 25th, his own cavalry mutinied at Uttoxeter, surrenders where he surrendered to General Lambert, and was sent Uttoxeter. prisoner to Nottingham. The Cavaliers disbanded themselves in Derbyshire; their gallant leader, who travelled in the disguise of a female, was discovered and taken near Nottingham, but he soon afterwards escaped to the capital dressed in a clergyman's cassock, and remained there in safety, being taken for an Irish minister driven from his cure by the Irish Roman Catholics. In these terrible encounters, the Scots and Cavaliers, who numbered 21,000 men, lost 2,000 slain, and 10,000 prisoners; the loss on the Parliamentary side was comparatively trifling.* At the end of a fortnight's campaign, every trace of the Scottish army in England was destroyed, and Cromwell then marched to
* Carlyle's Cromwell, I., 279-299; Guizot's Eng. Rev., 388-391; Lingard, X., 237-239.