A True RELATION Of the taking of Sherburne Castle, AND The treachery of the town malignants.

As it came in a Letter written by a Captain who was at the taking of it.

Dated from Sherburne, and received here the 24. of April, 1643.

LONDON, Printed for Samuel Gellibrand. 1643. ⟨Aprill 25th

A true Relation of the taking of Sherbourne Castle.

Noble Sir,

AFter my humble service presented unto you, these are to let you understand that we marched out of Bristoll on the 11. of this present with all our Troop, and with one Company of Dragoo­ners which did consist of about 40▪ men. Col. Popham and his brother also marched along with us, having no Forces with them but their usuall attendance. So then we marched into the lower parts of Somerset-shire, to seize on the rents of the Lo: Capel, and the Lo: Pawlet, and of the Marques of Hartford, and partly our journey was for the speedy expediting of sending away the provision which was raised in that Country to send into Ireland. In the lower part of So­mersetshire we found men to contribute unto it very cheerfully, but that part which is next adjacent to the County of Wilts, hath been very cold in their contri­bution towards the Parliament and Ireland, but now we shall make them contribute unto us.

We also marched to Wells, where we found Colonel Strowd with about an hundred Musquetiers, and there was some falling out betweene Col: Pophams men, and one of Col: Strowds Captains, but it was quickly pacifi­ed, [Page 2] for Col: Strowds men left the towne the next mor­ning.

We did also make search in the Bishops house of Bath and Wells, and there we found one of the Bishops gods, which was the Lady Mary with the Babe in her arms, and she was bound up in a linnen cloth and laid in a coffin, this we found in the Bishops closet, and my father doth intend to send it to the Parliament.

At Wells we received order from Col: Fynes to make all the haste we could towards Sherbourne, for as much as he had received intelligence that the Marques of Hartford & the Lord George Digby were on their march from Oxford to come to Sherbourne to raise Forces in Dorsetshire. So we according to our order left Wels, and marched towards Sherbourne with as much speed as we could to come thither before the Marques, and we marched to Sherbourne that night. We sent a par­ty of horse before us to Sherbourne, in all about 20. Horse and Dragoneers', and gave them order to stay for us at the townes end, and not enter into the towne till we came to them, because we knew it to be a very malignant towne. But they it should seeme forgot our order, and marched into the town, and when they were in they drew themselves up into a Battalia, and made a stand in a broad place in the towne, and then they pre­sently sent for the Constable to provide them and us Quarter. The Constable came presently to them, and told them he would do them the best service he could in providing them quarter; but this Constable return­ed no more again to our men, but in stead of getting quarter for us, sought all the meanes he could to raise the towne against us, so we presently came in to our [Page 3] men, and asked what was the news? they told us there was all peace to us. As we were marching into the towne, we heard a bell ring, and I asked a man what was the reason that the bell did ring? he told mee it was the nine of clock bell. So we marched down to­wards our quarter, for we were come within their chains and their turne pike, then (little dreaming of any op­position that should be made us) we marched downe into the middl [...] of the towne, it being very dark; when we came against the butchers shambles, Master Hugh Popham, Captaine Smith and my selfe were in the Front a li [...]tle before any our men. And then some men cal­led unto us, and bade us stand, and asked us for whom we were? our answer unto them was, we were for the King and Parliament: they told us they were for the King against the Parliament. Then we called for our men to come up unto us, but in the mean time we gave fire upon them, and they likewise gave fire upon us, and then they gave fire out of all the windows upon us, and came running out of every doore with Muskets & great Bils, saying one to another, Kill the Parliament dogs. Some ten of our Dragooners were between our Troop, and Master Hugh Popham, my selfe and Captain Smith. Master Popham and Captain Smith carryed them­selves very valiantly, but those Dragooners of ours had not above three matches lighted amongst them, which forced them to fly back againe upon our Troop, and so made the Troop give back a little way out of the strait place that they were in. So Master Popham, my self and Captain Smith were forced to retreat; Master Hugh Popham being so wounded that he rode not 100. yards from the place before he fell downe dead; Cap. Smith [Page 4] being so much wounded, that it is very doubtfull he will not live; and my selfe was shot through one of my arms, close by the shoulder, and had I had no armes, I had been killed like one of them. But thanks be to God I am as well as ever I was in my life, but was never so dry beaten with bills and pikes as I was then. We drew our selves up into a Body againe vvith all speed, and made our Trumpets sound a charge upon them pre­sently, and so vve marched down again upon them. And then vve dismounted our 40. Dragooners, & they marched dovvn vvith us, and fought very valiantly, so that vve presently beat them from that place of the tovvn, and vvithin one houre vve beat them quite out of the towne, they being in number 300. and vve not above 120. but there was one of our souldiers which was shot out of a window, who being in heat of bloud shot up his pistoll into the thatch of a house (unknown to any Officer there) and the house was presently on a light fire, and it was in the very heart of the town; we had but one man killed in the place which was Master Popham and six or seven wounded, so at last we could not finde one man in the Town, and we rod up and down from one house to another to cause the people come forth to put out the fire, but they being very dif­fident of our mercy would not appeare. So we were forced to leave the town for that night; for if we had stayed no body would have come to put out the fire, So we marched to a Towne called Evell some three miles from Sherborne and there vve quartered all night. The next morning the men of Sherborne beat up their drums for the Cuntrymen to come in to them and stood again upon their guard, and vve sent into the [Page 5] Country for vvhat forces vve could get, and vve have gotten vvithin three dayes 3000. very able men and very vvell armed, and novv are some 500. strong in horse so that novv vve have a brave Army, on the 19. of this present vve marched tovvard sherborne again and vvhen the enemy heard of it they ran quite avvay, So vve have possession of the Tovvne of Sherborne, the Castle and the Earle of Bristolls house, vvhere I beleeve vve shall have great store of vvealth; There vvas a Rogue hired by some of the men of Sherborne to kill one of the Lieutenant Colonels of Somersetshire vvhich man vve have taken, and he hath confessed un­to us vvhom set him a vvork, vve have taken some Colours there, and novv vve have spoiled the party vvhereof they had great hopes there, I pray present my duty to my vncle. I rest,

Your humble servant, L.L.

There vvere about ten men killed that night in Sherborne of the enemies.


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