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Association from hostile forces, he made his way into Lincolnshire, and called on the neighbouring military commanders of his own party to join him in an attack on the Royalist garrison at Newark, from which parties issued forth to overawe and despoil the Parliamentarians of the neighbourhood. Those upon whom he called—Sir John Gell at Nottingham, the Lincolnshire gentry, and Stamford’s son, Lord Grey of Groby, in Leicestershire, were in command of local forces, and placed the interests of their own localities above the common good. Stamford's mansion at Broadgates, hard by Leicester, was exposed to attack from the Royalist garrison at Ashby de la Zouch, and consequently Lord Grey hung back from joining in an enterprise which would leave Leicester at the mercy of the enemy, and his example was followed in other quarters. “Believe it,” wrote Cromwell wrathfully, “it were better in my poor opinion, Leicester were not, than that there should not be found an immediate taking of the field by our forces to accomplish the common ends.” To subordinate local interests to the “common ends” was as much the condition of Cromwell’s success as the discipline under which he had brought the fiery troops under his command.
The result of that discipline was soon to appear. On May I3 he fell in near Grantham with a cavalry force from Newark far outnumbering his own. Taking a lesson from Rupert, who had taught him at Edgehill that the horse, and not the pistol, was the true weapon of the mounted horseman, he dashed upon the enemy, who weakly halted to receive the charge, and was thoroughly beaten in consequence. Cromwell, as usual, piously attributed his success to the Divine intervention. “With this handful,” he wrote “it pleased God to cast the scale.”
The success of Cromwell’s horse was all the more reason why financial support should be accorded to its commander. Voluntary contributions were still the backbone of the resources of Parliament, though a system of forced payments was being gradually established. “Lay not,” wrote Cromwell to the Mayor of Colchester, “too much on the back of a poor gentleman who desires, without much noise, to lay down his life and
bleed the last drop to serve the cause and God. I ask not money for myself; I desire to deny myself, but others will not be satisfied."
Cromwell once more called on the local commanders to gather their forces, not for an attack on Newark, but for a march into Yorkshire, to the relief of the Fairfaxes. Early in June some 6,000 men were gathered at Nottingham. Once more the effort came to nothing. The commanders excused themselves from moving, on the plea that the Fairfaxes did not need their help. One of their number, the younger Hotham, was detected in an intrigue with the enemy. Mainly by Cromwell’s energy he was seized, and ultimately, together with his father, was sent to London, where they were both executed as traitors. In Yorkshire the tide was running against the Fairfaxes. On June 30 they were defeated at Adwalton Moor. The whole of the West Riding was lost, and the commanders forced to take refuge in Hull. Newcastle, with his victorious army, would soon be heard of in Lincolnshire, where Lord \Villoughby of Parham, had lately seized Gainsborough for Parliament. Amongst the troops ordered to maintain this advanced position was Cromwell’s regiment, and on July 28 that regiment defeated a strong body of Royalist horse near Gainsborough. Later in the day news was brought that a force of the enemy was approaching from the North. Cromwell, supported by a body of foot, went out to meet it, only to find himself face to face with Ne-wcastIe’s whole army. Though the infantry took flight at once, Cromwell’s horse retired by sections, showing a bold front, and regained the town with the loss of only two men. This cavalry, which combined the dash of Grantham with the discipline of Gainsborough, spelt victory for the Parliamentary side.
Yet, at the moment, the prospect was gloomy enough. On July 30 Gainsborough surrendered, and unless Cromwell’s forces could be augmented, there was little to intervene between Newcastle’s army and London. “lt’s no longer disputing,” wrote Cromwell to the Committee at Cambridge, “but out instantly all you can. Almost all our foot have quilted Stamford, there is nothing to interrupt an enemy but our horse
that is considerable. You must act lively. Do it without distraction
Neglect no means.”
Sooner or later Cromwell would have to face other questions than those of military efficiency. \Vhen Pym and his supporters drew up the Grand Rcmonstrance, they did not contemplate the introduction of any principle of religious liberty. The Church was to be exclusively Puritan, on some plan to be settled by Parliament upon the advice of an Assembly of Divines. That Assembly met on July I, I643, and if it had been left to itself, would probably have recommended the adoption of some non-episcopalian system of Church-government; whilst Parliament, faithful to the traditions of English governments, would have taken care that the clergy should be placed under some form of lay government emanating from Parliament itself. In the summer of -I643, it was impossible to separate questions of ecclesiastical organisation from those arising out of the political necessities of the hour. It was known that Charles was angling for the support of Ireland and Scotland, and if Parliament was not to be ovei-borne, it was necessary to meet him on
ARCHIBALD, FIRST MARQUIS OF ARGYLE. From the Painting in the collection of the I\_Iarquis of Lothiau, at Newbattle Abbey, Dalkeith