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with an evil eye at court, from which, in a great measure, he withdrew; and living in an independent manner, he addicted himself entirely to literary occupations and amusements. In proportion as the king declined in popularity, Hertford's character flourished with the people ; and when this parliament assembled, no nobleman possessed more general favour and authority. By his sagacity, be soon perceived, that the commons, not content with correcting the abuses of government, were carried, by the natural current of power and popularity, into the opposite extreme, and were committing violations, no less dangerous than the former, upon the English constitution. Immediately he devoted himself to the support of the king's falling authority, and was prevailed with to be governor to the young prince, and reside at court, to which, in the eyes of all men, he gave, by his presence, a new lustre and authority. So high was his character for mildness and humanity, that he still preserved, by means of these popular virtues, the public favour; and every one was sensible of the true motive of his change. Notwithstanding his habits of ease and study, he now exerted himself in raising an army for the king; and being named general of the western counties, where his interest chiefly lay, he began to assemble forces in Somersetshire. By the assistance of lord Seymour, lord Paulet, John Digby, son of the earl of Bristol, sir Francis Hawley, and others, he had drawn together some appearance of an army; when the parliament, apprehensive of the danger, sent the earl of Bedford with a considerable force against him. On his approach, Hertford was obliged to retire into Sherborne castle; and, finding that place untenable, he himself passed over into Wales, leaving sir Ralph Hopton, sir John Berkeley, Digby, and other officers, with their horse, con- . sisting of about a hundred and twenty, to march into Cornwal, in hopes of finding that county better prepared for their reception.is
All the dispersed bodies of the parliamentary army were now ordered to march to Northampton; and the earl of Essex, who had joined them, found the whole amount to
fifteen thousand men.14 The king, though his camp bad been gradually reinforced from all quarters, was sensible that he had no army which could cope with so formidable a force; and he thought it prudent, by slow marches, to retire to Derby, thence to Shrewsbury, in order to countenance the levies wbich his friends were making in those parts. At Wellington, a day's march from Shrewsbury, he made a rendezvous of all his forces, and caused his military orders to be read at the head of every regiment.
That he might bind himself by reciprocal ties, he solemnly made the following declaration before his whole army:
“ I do promise, in the presence of Almighty God, and as I hope for his blessing and protection, that I will, to the utmost of my power, defend and maintain the true reformed protestant religion, established in the church of England, and, by the grace of God, in the same will live and die.
“I desire that the laws may ever be the measure of. my government, and that the liberty and property of the subject may be preserved by them with the same care as my own just rights. And if it please God, by his blessing on this army, raised for my necessary defence, tu preserve me from the present rebellion, I do solemnly and faithfully promise, in the sight of God, to maintain the just privileges and freedom of parliament, and to govern, to the utmost of my power, by the known statutes and customs of the kingilom, and particularly to observe inviolably the laws to which I have given my consent this parliament. Meanwhile, if this emergence, and the great necessity to which I am driven, beget any violation of law, I hope it shall be imputed by God and man to the authors of this war; not to me, who have so earnestly laboured to preserve the peace of the kingdom.
“When I willingly fail in these particulars, I shall expect no aid or relief from man, nor any protection from above: but in this resolution I hope for the cheerful assistance of all good men, and am confident of the blessing of heaven." 15
Though the concurrence of the church undoubtedly
increased the king's adherents, it may safely be affirmed, that the high monarchical doctrines, so much inculcated by the clergy, had never done him any real service. The bulk of that generous train of nobility and gentry who now attended the king in his distresses, breathed the spirit of liberty, as well as of loyalty: and in the hopes alone of his submitting to a legal and limited government, were they willing, in his defence, to sacrifice their lives and fortunes.
While the king's army lay at Shrewsbury, and he was employing himself in collecting money, which he received, though in no great quantities, by voluntary contributions, and by the plate of the universities, which was sent him, the news arrived of an action, the first which had bappened in these wars, and where he was successful.
On the appearance of commotions in England, the princes Rupert and Maurice, sons of the unfortunate palatine, had offered their service to the king; and the former, at that time, commanded a body of horse, which had been sent to Worcester, in order to watch the motions of Essex, who was marching towards that city. No sooner had the prince arrived, than he saw some cavalry of the enemy approaching the gates. Without delay, be briskly attacked them, as they were defiling from a lane, and forming themselves. Colonel Sandys, who led them, and who fought with valour, being mortally wounded, fell from his horse. The whole party was routed, and was pursued above a mile. The prince, hearing of Essex's approach, returned to the main body.16 This rencounter, though in itself of small importance, mightily raised the reputation of the royalists, and acquired to prince Rupert the character of promptitude and courage; qualities which he eminently displayed during the whole course of the war.
The king, on mustering his army, found it amount to ten thousand men. The earl of Lindesey, who in his youth had sought experience of military service in the Low Countries," was general : prince Rupert commanded the horse : sir Jacob Astley, the foot : sir Arthur Aston, the dragoons: sir John Heydon, the artillery. Lord Bernard Stuart was
at the head of a troop of guards. The estates and revenue of this single troop, according to lord Clarendon's computation, were at least equal to those of all the members, who, at the commencement of war, voted in both houses. Their servants, under the command of sir William Killigrew, made another troop, and always marched with their masters.18
With this army the king left Shrewsbury (12th Oct.), resolving to give battle as soon as possible to the army of the parliament, which, he heard, was continually augmenting by supplies from London. In order to bring on an action, he directed his march towards the capital, which, he knew, the enemy would not abandon to him. Essex had now received his instructions. The import of them was, to present a most humble petition to the king, and to rescue him and the royal family from those desperate malignants, who had seized their persons. 19 Two days after the departure of the royalists from Shrewsbury, he left Worcester. Though it be commonly easy in civil wars to get intelligence, the armies were within six miles of each other, ere either of the generals was acquainted with the approach of his enemy. Shrewsbury and Worcester, the places from which they set out, are not above twenty miles distant; yet had the two armies marched ten days in this mutual ignorance. So much had military skill, during a long peace, decayed in England.20
BATTLE OF EDGE-HILL. Oct. 23.
The royal army lay near Banbury: that of the parliament at Keinton, in the county of Warwic. Prince Rupert sent intelligence of the enemy's approach. Though the day was far advanced, the king resolved upon the attack: Essex drew up his men to receive him. Sir Faithful Fortescue, who had levied a troup for the Irish wars, had been obliged to serve in the parliamentary army, and was now posted on the left wing, commanded by Ramsay, a Scotchman. No sooner did the king's army approach, than Fortescue, ordering his troop to discharge their pistols in the ground, put himself under the command of prince Rupert. Partly from this incident, partly from the furious shock made upon them by the prince; that whole wing of cavalry immediately fled, and were pursued for two miles. The right wing of the parlia. ment's army had no better success. Chased from their ground by Wilmot and sir Arthur Aston, they also took to flight. The king's body of reserve, commanded by sir John Biron, judging, like raw soldiers, that all was over, and impatient to have some share in the action, heedlessly followed the chase, which their left wing had precipitately led them. Sir William Balfour, who commanded Essex's reserve, perceived the advantage : he wheeled about upon the king's infantry, now quite unfurnished of horse; and he made great havoc among them. Lindesey, the general, was mortally wounded, and taken prisoner. His son, endeavouring his rescue, fell likewise into the enemy's hands. Sir Edmund Verney, who carried the king's standard, was killed, and the standard taken; but it was afterwards recovered. In this situation, prince Rupert, on his return, found affairs. Every thing bore the appearance of a defeat instead of a victory, with which he had hastily flattered himself. Some advised the king to leave the field: but that prince rejected such pusillanimous counsel. The two armies faced each other for some time, and neither of them retained courage sufficient for a new attack. All night they lay under arms; and next morning found themselves in sight of each other... General, as well as soldier, on both sides, seemed averse to renew the battle. Essex first drew off, and retired to Warwic. The king returned to his former quarters. Five thousand men are said to have been found dead on the field of battle; and the loss of the two armies, as far as we can judge by the opposite accounts, was nearly equal. Such was the event of this first battle, fought at Keinton, or Edgebill.21