A TRVE RELATION Of the Proceedings of His EXCELLENCE The Earle of ESSEX, With His Army, since His departure from these parts, in pursuite of the CAVALIERS.

With the taking of Redding by Colonell Hampden, and Colonell Hurry with their Regiments.

With the departure of the Kings Forces by Worcester towards SHREWSBVRY.

By H. G.

LONDON, Printed for Iohn Matthewes.

HIs Excellence the Earle of Essex by order from the High Court of Parliament about the middle of the last weeke advancing forward in pursuite of the Cavaliers, first to Windsor, and thence to Marlow and Henly upon Thames; from whence Colo­nell Hurrey was sent with the Forces maintained by the City of London, to try if it were possible to get beyond Reading to stay the Cavaliers in their passage thence to Oxford. Upon notice of which intention and ad­vertisement of the Earle of Essex his Excellence procee­dings, the Cavaliers quickly abandoned Reading, retyring in all haste toward Oxford, about which the main body of their army lay billited, leaving neverthelesse in the Towne of Rea­ding for the security of it to their part, a considerable Garri­son; some conjecture 1500 men, under the command of Colonell Kirke and others; His Excellence in the interim having certaine notice of the passages of the Cavaliers, im­ployed Colonel Hampden, and the aforesaid Colonel Hurry in their pursuite, who cut off divers of their straglers, and some of their Rere, giving them very frequent and fierce Alarums▪ his Excellence remaining still about Marlow and Kingston upon Thames, intending to send some other Forces into Sus­sex, where Master Ford the High Sheriffe with the assistance of the Earle of Thanet, has raised two thousand men, draw­ing them towards the good Towne of Lewes, which has still stood faithfull to the Parliament. The aforesaid Colonels Hampden and Hurry, with the trained Bands of Buckingham­shire and the Londoners Forces, having left the pursuite of the army, retir'd to Reading, intending if it were possible, to [Page 4] reduce that Towne to the obedience of the Parliament by treaty, if not, to accomplish it by force: and so being drawne together in one Body, they sate downe not far from the Towne, sending with a Trumpet a Gentleman of quality to demand the said Towne of the Garrison, promising to dis­misse all such as were not noted Malignants, and proscribed by the Parliament, in safety. The Governour Colonell Kirke and his associates in great contempt and derision answered, that they knew not by what or whose authority they came to demand that Towne of them, which was His Majesties, and by His Majesty to them delivered to be kept for His use, which they were resolv'd to doe against all the world, and so dismiss'd the Trumpet and Gentleman, with many opprobri­ous and uncivill speeches against the Parliament and the pre­sent Forces, bidding them tell those that sent them they would pay their Round-heads if they came within their rea­ches, and so instantly ordered themselves for their de­fence, forcing the honest Townes-men who had rather have had their roome then their companies, to put on harnesse and assist them in manning their workes, which they had before made with as much skill and strength as their Engi­neers could possibly direct. Colonell Hampden and Colo­nell Hurry resolute, not to depart without carrying the towne, begun to make their approaches and so planted their Cannon that they shot into the towne with ease, which yet they were loth to doe, lest they should injure the honest in­habitants. The Cavaleers within answered ours with their Ordnance; but our trenches were so advantagiously scitua­ted, that they did us but little harme, our men in the meane while playing over into their Workes with their Muskets, made them finde it very hot service▪ Yet their Comman­ders, especially Colonell Kirke, animating on his own men, and enforcing the townsmen in a manner unto the service, they slew some few of our men; which rather encouraged then disheartned the rest: at last, after some attempts, as fal­lies out of their works upon ours, in which they were with very considerable losse repulsed, the darknesse of the night [Page 5] parted the medley. Colonell Hampden and his valiant asso­ciate Colonell Hurry setting carefull Watches in their Workes, determined as soone as it was light to resalute the Gentlemen with a fresh charge; who (like Cavaleers) spent most part of the night in carowsing, and swearing death and a thousand confusions to our forces; and a little before day departed well laden with Wine from their Works to their Lodgings, leaving but a very slender Guard in their Works, and those most of them Townsmen. Our men in the mor­ning admiring the solitude and silence that was in their Works, informed Colonell Hampden of it; who gave imme­diate order, that some Companies of his best and most reso­lute Souldiers should try if they could force their Works by onslaught. And so faire and softly without least noise or tu­mult foure hundred able men attempted the assault, passing their ditches without discovery, they got upon their Ram­pire, and so fell pell-mell into the Work: The townsmen that were in guard threw downe their armes, and willingly yeelded themselves to their Friends; the Cavaleers that were in that Work retired to the next▪ whither our men pur­sued them with much resolution; but there the encounter was different, the Souldiers in that strength being not so ea­sily driven from their stations, put back our Souldiers, slaugh­tering good store of them in the ditches▪ so that undoubtedly they had been put to the retreat▪ had not Colonell Hampden advanced more men to their succours; who getting up to their companions, and with fresh men supplying the places of those that were fallen, they brought the businesse into pretty equall termes, when all the Cavaleers about this time awaked from their drunken humour with the noise and dan­ger, came rushing in like a violent flood to the rescue of their companions, with their Commander Colonell Kirke: But neither their number, nor desperatenesse amated the courage of noble Colonell Hampden, and his resolute Buc­kinghamshire Militia, who charged and discharged upon them with such fury and nimblenesse, that the Cavaleers be­gan to drop on all sides. Yet knowing it was in vaine to [Page 6] quaile at such a push, being reduced as it were to the l [...]st precipice, bestird themselves very valiantly, beating downe our men at push of pike into the graffe, and with their Mus­kets and hand-Granadoes, doing some small execution up­on our men, which was requited with treble the dammage we received; Colonell Kirkes Lievtenant being slaine, and other Cavaleers of note and quality, yet could not that tough Souldier Colonell Kirke be driven either to feare or flight, when Colonell Hurry, who was gotten by this side to the o­ther side or quarter of their sconce, with great fury, but grea­ter discretion, assailed them there, omitting nothing that might tend to the destruction of those desperate Malignants, who still made good their Worke for the space of foure whole houres by Redding clocke, till there was at least foure hundred of them de [...]d in the place, as if they had intended to make a new bulwark of their bodies, to defend that place dead, which they could not keepe living: Our men having advanced their Ensignes on the top of the Work▪ Colonell Kirke giving place to necessity▪ withdrew by a fally port on that side where our men could not come, with the rest of his Cavaleers, into the Town, and there getting to their horses, (nay some of them leaving thē behind for haste, fled on foot) the Colonell and his Horse-men made haste away from our men, who did not pursue them, contenting themselves, and thanking God for that victory and the recovery of that good towne; yet all the Cavaliers escaped not, some of them be­ing sorely, some slightly wounded were made prisoners: as also divers others that were not nimble enough to accom­pany their fellowes in their flight, their number in all two hundred and fifty: there fell in both the workes at least five hundred souldiers; there were taken eight good peeces of Canon all the Cavaliers bag and baggage, with some money, which they had unjustly gotten by plunder and rapine in those and other countries. The townsmen of Reading for joy of their deliverance from their unwelcome guests, whom they entertain'd more for feare then affection, making bone­fires, and ringing their bells at our arrivall into their towne. [Page 7] Colonell Kirke is certainly fled towards the King to Oxford▪ who on the knowledge of this disaster to Reading, or rather happinesse, and his certainty of his Excellence the Earle of Essex approches thither, intends as it is more then probable, to remove with speed from Oxford towards Worcester▪ and so to Shrewesbury, as is imagin'd, because a great part of the maine body of his army is sent before towards those parts, where his Majesty intends to spend the rest of this Winter, there to unite himselfe with Iames Earle of Darby, with his Cheshire and Lancashire forces; and William Earle of New­castle with his Northerne Regiments: as also to receive, if they be not prevented, supply of ammunition and money, which he daily expects, as the late intercepted Letter made mention from Denma [...]ke, France, and other places, where, by the instigation and indeavours of his crafty malignant agents he hath hopes to be furnish'd with such provisions.

His excellence the Earle of Essex is yet at Henley upon Thames, expecting convenient opportunity of marching af­ter his Majesty, when hee shall remove towards the afore­mention'd places: and this day wee had intelligence from our forces which were sent into Sussex to relieve that Coun­ty from the malignants, of their successe. The Sheriffe Ford marching along the countrey, enforcing all the well­affected honest people in his way, from Chichester to Lewis, to side with him against the Parliament▪ threatning them to fire their houses, and cut their throats, if they did not yeeld to his unjust commands, him and his Regiment, with the Earle of Thanets companies, our forces pursu'd, finding every where as they march'd lamentable expressions of their inhumane cruelties. At last, upon Hawoods Heath, some seven miles from Lewis, and two miles from Cuckefield in Sussex, they overtooke Sheriffe Ford with his malignants, and valiantly resolv'd to give him battel; our forces falling on him and his malignants very hotly, both armies being with­out Ordnance, the fight was perform'd with their musquets at first, and after some volleys, our horse broke into their [Page 8] Van, and our foot-men just at that instant charging couragi­ously into their quarters, they began a little to give ground, but being more in number then wee, it was impossible on the sudden to put them into rout, though they were much discompos'd with that furious assault; neverthelesse, Sheriffe Ford, with the Earle of Thanets Horse, made good the field for at least an houre, though there fell in that place at least two hundred of their foot. In fine, the reserve of our forces comming in to the assistance of our body, they were at ap­parent rout; the poore countrey people that were inforc'd by the Sheriffe to that service, flinging away their armes, and running as fast as their legs would carry them to Hurst, Dichiling, and the neighbouring Villages: Master Ford, with the Earl of Thanets horse, flying with all speed up to the not far distant downes, and so to Wissum to the Earles House, whence they are returned towards Chichester. Our forces marching on towards Lewis to secure that good and loyall towne from the future attemps of malignants.


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