A GREAT VICTORIE OBTAINED Against the Enemy, at the raising of the Siege from before TAUNTON, on Sunday last, May 11.

WITH The manner of the severall Fights; and what was lost on both sides: How the Enemy disper­sed themselves, 20. Colonels, Majors and Captains slain, and 300. common Souldiers in the siege, and many wounded.

Certified by two Letters: the one from Colonell Weldens Quarters, to Sir Thomas Fairfax his Quarters, and the other from Sir Thomas Fairfax his Quarters, to a person of note with the Parliament.

Published according to Order.

With a Letter of thanks to be sent to Sir Thomas Fairfax for his care, and another to Colonell Welden, &c. for their good Service to the Publike.

LONDON, Printed for R. Austin. 1645.

The Copie of a Letter, sent from Petmister, from our quarters there, to Sir Thomas Fairfax his Army, which was then at Whit­church, about 12. miles from Newbery.


BY this inclosed Copie you may understand the happy newes of the reliefe of Taunton, with that part of our Army which Sir Thomas Fairfax sent thither. And we (which were another party of the Army with Sir Thomas Fairfax) are come back to Whitchurch, which is our Head-Quarters. This night wee heare, that Goring is upon his march; some of his Forces are al­ready at Bath, and is himselfe upon his march after with his Ar­my speeding Westward.

Here followeth the collection of the Letters inclosed, which were sent from Petmister to Sir Thomas Fairfax his Quarters, and deli­vered at Whitchurch.

Honourable Sir,

BLessed be name of God, who hath given to us this cause of joy, which may come unexpected to you, and indeed all good people have cause to rejoyce, that we have such happy newes to write to you, which makes me salute you with these joyfull (though rude) lines.

On Thursday the 8.th of this present May, we marched from our quar­ters neer Blanford towards Taunton, but the souldiers being incouraged by our Officers, were so earnest upon their march, (though many of then had scarce shooes with any soales for them to tread upon) for the reliefe of poore Taunton, that they were ready to advance early in the morning, and having some additionall forces to come from the Countrey, so doubled the courage of our men, expressing great joy at the hearing of their com­ing; wee quartered that night between Birdport and Bemister, our strength being then in all about 6000. Horse and Foot, we called a Coun­sell of Warre about ordering our businesse in falling upon the enemy, being resolved if they stayed till we came up, to fight with them, some disputes there was whether Col. Graves commands of the horse, or Col. Welden of foot should have the guide of the businesse, some delivered their opin­ions for the one, some for the other, but laying all self-ends aside, they be­ing resolved that the worke should not be neglected not regarding who had precedency, so it was effected, the next morning early they were again upon their march.

On Friday the 9.th of May, we marched by Pellisden Pen, and Bur [...]oeke, and so on towards Chard, which is about 10. miles from Taunton, where we had an intent to quarter that night, and about 3. or 4. houres before night after that we had passed Ford, and were come over the bridge, and so upon our march, never disovering one Scout of theirs all the way, untill we came neere Winchan in Kingsbury Hundred within 3. miles of Chard, where we received notice that the enemy were still before Taunton, and that the town was much straitened by them, and in great danger to be lost, if we did not speedily relieve them; so we marched on, and quartered at Chard that night, no enemy all this while appearing to us.

On Saturday May the 10:th the enemy faced us with a small party of horse, not above 300. in sight, others between them and Taunton, a­cting what they could to hinder our going on, we drew out upon them, [Page 3]and made them to retreat, but by reason of the Inlands they by constant opposition, did so trouble us that they hoped to out-vapour our intents, but were deceived; we drove them back by severall charges upon them, all the way between Chard and Petmister, which is about 3. miles short of Taunton in the way of Wellington, on our march by parties charging each other, there were six prisoners taken, and one killed of the enemies partie; and foure prisoners taken, and one killed on our partie. The enemy continued facing of us still, and the siege was continued before Taunton, (as wee understood afterwards) but we went still on, following, and driving them back, till w [...] came betweene Trull and Orchard, within a mile of Taunton, and there we shot off a warning-peece, to give them notice in the towne of our being there: but (it seemes they had but little store of powder in the towne, for) there was no answer made to us. but night being come, we could not go any further with­out great danger: and therefore bettook our selves to our quar­ters, setting a strong watch about us; and indeed wee rested but little that night; for all the Army generally thought i [...] long till morning came, that they might be upon their work, all being resolved to force the enemy to rise, or to fight with them. And then making inquiry into the state of the enemy, and what had been done that day, as also inquiring into their strength, and ad­vising how to manage the next dayes businesse. There was de­clared unto us by those that we had taken prisoners, that they were confident that we would not have been so soon with them; but tooke our Army to be their friends, and that ours was Go­rings Army that was come up to strengthen them, they won­dring why wee fought with them; so for that night wee rested in our quarters at Pitmister, Pounsford, and Trull, intending the next morning to fall upon the enemy, who (as wee heard) were about foure or five thousand.

On the next morning (which was the Lords Day, May it.) we drew our selves into a posture to fight with the Enemy; but the enemy had so blocked up the way with trees, timber, and o­ther combustible matter, that we could not passe; so that we were faine to make our way, which we did with what speed could be; and when we came before the towne, the enemy was gone; and therefore in the next place I shall certifie you further certifie you what is declared to me concerning the proceedings of the enemy before the towne, and how they now marched off from thence.

The enemy have made many assaults upon the town, and have been gallantly repulsed: Colonell Blake the Gouernour, and di­vers other Officers, with the souldiers, having (during all the siege) shewed so much gallantry in the defence thereof, that they were resolved to fight it out in the defence of that place, while they had any power left to defend themselves withall.

On Thursday the eight of this present May the enemy had stormed the town with great violence, but were gallantly repul­sed, and divers were hurt and killed on both sides: and although the town was in so great distresse (and the enemy had taken a house from them which commanded one of their Works) and that they were not certaine of speedy reliefe, yet (trusting in God) they were resolved still to stand out, notwithstanding the enemy played hard upon them.

On Friday the enemy very desperately stormed the towne a­gaine, and were againe as valiantly repulsed from the Garrison, to the great losse of the enemy. That which Colonell Blake most wanted in the town (besides horse-meat) was match, where­by they were forced to burne their bed-cords in stead of it. And they began to be straitened of powder; they played upon them all this day, and got so close up to the towne, that they burne 20 houses; but could do no good of it for all that: the towne still held out, and opposed them.

On Saturday the enemy was not so furious, yet made some shot against the towne againe; it is conceived that they stayed in expectation of Gorings coming up to them; and that by their owne Scouts mistaking, they took our Army for Gorings, as it seemes they did when they met them at Chard; and so lay still till Goring came to them.

On the Lords day they did not much trouble the towne, by reason of our mens coming upon them, which found them work enough for that day: and in the night the enemy drew off their Cannon, and raised the siege, taking the opportunitie of the night to fly by; and they divided themselves severall wayes, one part went towards Wellington, in the way to Exeter, and the other towards Bridgewater, marching away very disorderly, we have made some charges upon severall parties in their Reare, and killed and taken some: but by reason of the in-land coun­trey, and most of all for the great need that Taunton stands in of present releefe; as also, for that the Souldiers have marched themselves almost off of their legs, they could not without great prejudice (many wayes) desert the carrying in of releefe speedily into Taunton, to follow the enemy. It is beleeved, that the enemy will be suddenly on our skirts, and should these Forces be drawne away, they would soone lay siege before the towne againe, especially when Goring is come up to them.

There are in Taunton about 200 wounded men, and about 50 (I heare) have been slaine during this siege: Colonell Blake is very well, and there hath not many Officers been lost: what the particulars are of the enemies losses, wee cannot certainly learne for the present; but there is much lamentation on their part, for the losse of divers gallant men, that were of the Kings best Souldiers; they have had many Colonels, Majors, and Captaines, and other Officers of note, at the least 20 slaine: and it is beleeved, that at least two or three hundred men have beene [Page 6]killed of theirs: and they have abundance of wounded men. They have had many notorious Irish Rebels there, but still they having the buriall of their owne dead, wee shall scarce have all the particulars of their losse. But blessed be the Lord, that hath given to us the victorie against those bloudy Papists, and wic-Incendiaries, that care not what mischiefe they do amongst ho­nest godly Protestants.

It is beleeved, if the Army continue in those parts, that there will be a good addition of the Countrey-men, who are very much enraged against the enemy, by reason of their cruell and barbarous carriage towards them.

It is ordered by the House of Commons in Parliament, that a Letter of thanks be sent to Sir Thomas Fairfax for his care, and another to Colonell Welden, Colonell Graves, and the rest of the Officers and Souldiers, for their good service in the re­leeving of Taunton.


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