« AnteriorContinuar »
scribes two other occasions of Sir William Bruerton's victorious encounters with Lord Capell's forces when advancing against him in Shropshire - the one, of his " surprising a town called Drayton, in which Sir “ Vincent Corbet, a commander of the King's side, “ was quartered, where he entered with small opposition, “ took two complete troops of horse and six companies “ of dragoons, whilst Sir Vincent Corbet saved himself “ only by flight;" and the other when he took “Whit“church upon the edge of Shropshire, with great store “ of arms and ammunition, and many prisoners of the “ Lord Capell's forces."
Lord Capell's forces were strengthened, by order of the King, with such troops as could be spared from and about Dublin, and whom he commanded should be shipped for Chester that he might be able to resist the growing power of Sir William Bruerton : 3 but Sir William was also reinforced by an addition of troops from London. Lord Clarendon states that with the assistance of Sir Thomas Middleton and Sir John Gill he was grown very strong, and was backed by Lancashire, which was “wholly reduced to the obedience “ of the Parliament;"! and May describes Sir William Bruerton as “the chief instrument of delivering “ Cheshire out of the hands of the Earl of Derby, “ and preserving it for the Parliament, though the “ greater part of the gentry adhered to the King."
It was not only in the field that the leaders on either side were now often made to feel the terrible scourge
· May's . Hist. of the Parl.' p. 208.
of civil war, it was not enough to abide by the decision of arms to which each party had resorted, but the Parliament on one hand, and the King on the other, pursued a course of regal and legislative action, as though the power of the Sovereign and the validity of the acts of Parliament were in no way impaired by their separate action and hostile position. A double interference with the rights of property and liberty of person was thus carried on. Property was sequestered and transferred by Act of Parliament or by royal gift, without any conquest of the land ; and men were made prisoners of war who were neither captured in battle nor found bearing arms in the field. On the 10th of April, 1643, seven days after Lord Capell’s proclamation was issued at Shrewsbury, a message to the Lords from the House of Commons (brought by Mr. William Stroude) is entered in the Journals as follows :'_“An ordinance
"Lords' Journals, anno 1643, vol. v, p. 705. The following letter, written seven months before, shows that Lord Capell had then begun to feel the necessity of changing his usual mode of receiving his rents :
“ Theophilus Hide and Tho. Lad.
" I would have you deliver all such sums of monies as you receive " of my manors in the west for rents and fines, and usually you bring to " Wrington, and thence to Haddam, unto such persons as the Marquis • Hertford shall send unto you for it, with an acknowledgment under the “ Marquis Hertford's hand for the receipt of it; which receipt, together " with the showing me this letter, shall be a sufficient discharge to you for “it. I would not have you fail to do it. “ Derby, this 13th of Sept., 1642.”
“ ARTHUR CAPELL.
“ I have sent another letter to you, which is word for word with this, “ because you may perceive I am careful that it may be done. Either of " these letters will be sufficient if they come to your hands. I think it “ brought up for the Lord Generall to rake and seize “ the estate of the Lord Capell, because the King bath " seized the estate of the Lord Generall, as appears by “ warrant under the sheriff's hand.”
The following day (April 11th) a message was sent by the Commons to desire their Lordships would expedite the ordinance for the Lieutenant-General taking possession of the Lord Capell's estate. On the day after (the 12th), and also on the 14th, the message was repeated, and on the 27th the Lords promised the House of Commons that a Committee should be appointed to consider the ordinance for assessing the twentieth part of malignants'estates, and that for sequestrating Lord Capell's to the use of the Earl of Essex. On the 13th of May the Lords were again urged by a message from the Commons to expedite the order for sequestrating Lord Capell's estate to the use of the Lord-General, and for that and other matters specified “that they will please to sit awhile.” The Lords promised again “ to take the ordinance and other " matters into immediate consideration, and to sit “ awhile as is desired.”
On the 18th of May the Lords resolved on a conference with the House of Commons, to let them know that, though desirous to join in any fitting way to express
“ were fit one of you go along with the money when it is delivered to the
“ Thomas Lad, at Wrington, in Somer-
Journals of the Lords, p. 367. "Lords' Journals, 1643, vol. vi. p. 20. lbid., p. 48.
their respects to the Lord-General, they do differ in the way, and conceive it will be better to have a proportion answerable to the value intended him out of the Lord Capell's estate allowed him out of the sequestration in general, than to appoint it out of any particular estate, which may draw envy upon him ; and that they do think it fit that the King's warrant for seizing the rents of the Lord-General be recalled by order of both Houses. The Commons agreed to this resolution, and resolved that the sum of 10,000l. should be yearly paid to the Lord-General towards the reparation for losses he had received by the King's forces; and on the 26th of May the order for that payment was passed in the House of Lords.
There is no mention to be found of the exact time that Lord Capell remained with his forces in those counties to which he had been appointed LieutenantGeneral, but it would seem that he was recalled from Shrewsbury by the King, and that Lord Clarendon disapproved of his recall, which he regarded as “unfortunate to the King's own affairs.” The recall was accompanied with a warrant for an earldom, but, says Lord Clarendon, “though Lord Capell received it “ with that duty that became him, he resolved never to “ make use of it till the times proved good and honest, " and then to lay it at his Majesty's feet to cancel “ or execute it." Lord Capell was not destined, how
Com. Journ., anno 1643, p. 89. 2 These facts are mentioned by Lord Clarendon, in answer to a letter from Sir Edward Nicholas, dated Feb. 22, in which he says, “I hope, since " the King is still giving warrants for honours, that he will by Sir
ever, to see the “good and honest times " which he then ventured to anticipate.
“ Edward Hyde be put in mind that the gallant and matchless Lord “ Capell was, by our last master, promised to be made Earl of Essex.” Lord Clarendon says, in reply, he never heard of that particular promise, and “ that he is sure the warrant sent to Lord Capell had a blank for the “ title.” Whether Charles II. afterwards obtained proof of this promise to Lord Capell or not, he seems to have acted on the belief that it had been made, and on the 20th of April, 1661, Arthur, second Lord Capell, received an advance in the peerage by the title of Earl of Essex.-Clarendon's State Papers, vol. iii. p. 51.