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Lieut: General Cromwel's LETTER TO The Honorable William Lenthal Eſq Speaker of the Honorable Houſe of Commons, Of the ſeveral great VICTORIES Obtained againſt the SCOTS and Sir Marmaduke Langdales Forces in the North:

Where were ſlain of the Scots Party above Two thouſand, above Nine thouſand taken Priſoners, Four or Five thouſand Arms taken, the whole Infantry Ruined, Duke Hamilton fled into Wales, and Langdale Northward, Major General Vandrusk, Colonel Hurry, and Colo­nel Ennis taken Priſoners, who formerly ſerved the Parliament.

ORdered by the Commons aſſembled in Parliament, That this Letter be forthwith printed and publiſhed.

H: Elſynge, Cler. Parl. D. Com.

London, Printed for Edward Huſband, Printer to the Honorable Houſe of Commons, Auguſt 23. 1648.


To the Honorable, William Lenthal Eſq Speaker of the Honorable Houſe of COMMONS.


I Have ſent up this Gentleman to give you an account of the great and good hand of God towards you in the late Victory obtained againſt the Enemy in theſe parts.

After the conjunction of that party which I brought with me out of Wales with the Northern Forces about Knaresborough and Weatherby, hearing that the Enemy was ad­vanced with their Army into Lancaſhire, we marched the next day, being the 13 of this in­ſtant Auguſt, to Oatley (having caſt off our Train, and ſent it to Knaresborough, becauſe of the difficulty of the marching therewith through Craven; and to th'end we might with more expedition attend the Enemies motion) and from thence the 14 to Skipton, the 15 to Gysborn, the 16 to Hodder-bridge over Ribble, where we had a Councel of4 War, at which we had in conſideration, Whe­ther we ſhould march to Whalley that night, and ſo on to interpoſe between the Enemy and his further progreſs into Lancaſhire, and ſo Southward, which we had ſome advertiſe­ment the Enemy intended, and ſince confirm­ed, That they reſolved for London it ſelf; or whether to march immediately over the ſaid Bridge, there being no other betwixt that and Preſton, and ingage the Enemy there, who we did believe would ſtand his ground, be­cauſe we had information, That the Iriſh for­ces under Monro lately come out of Ireland, which conſiſted of Twelve hundred Horſe and Fifteen hundred Foot, were on their march tovvards Lancaſhire to joyn vvith them; It was thought that to ingage the Ene­my to fight was our buſineſs, and the reaſon aforeſaid giving us hopes, That our march­ing on the North-ſide of Ribble would effect it; It was reſolved we ſhould march over the Bridge, which accordingly we did, and that night quartered the whole Army in the field by Stonihurſt-hall, being Mr. Sherburns houſe, a place nine miles diſtant from Preſton, very early the next morning we marched towards5 Preſton, having intelligence, That the Enemy was drawing together thereabouts from all his out-Quarters, we drew out a Forlorn of about Two hundred Horſe and Four hun­dred Foot, the Horſe commanded by Major Smithſon, the Foot by Major Pounel; our For­lorn of Horſe marched within a mile where the Enemy was drawn up in the incloſed grounds by Preſton, on that ſide next us; and there upon a Moor about half a mile diſtant from the Enemies Army, met vvith their Scouts and Out-guard, and did behave them­ſelves with that valour and courage, as made their Guards (which conſiſted both of Horſe and Foot) to quit their ground, and took di­vers priſoners, holding this diſpute with them until our Forlorn of Foot came up for their juſtification, and by thoſe we had opportunity to bring up our whole Army: So ſoon as our Foot and Horſe were come up, we reſolved that night to ingage them if we could; and therefore advancing with our Forlorn, and putting the reſt of the Army in­to as good a poſture as the ground would bear (which was totally inconvenient for our Horſe, being all incloſure and miery ground)6 we preſſed upon them; The Regiments of Foot were ordered as followeth; There being a lane very deep and ill up to the Enemies Ar­my, and leading to the Town, we command­ed two Regiments of Horſe, the firſt whereof was Col: Harriſons, and next was my own, to charge up that Lane, and on either ſide of them advanced the Battel, which were Lieut: Col: Reads, Col: Deans and Col: Prides on the right, Col: Brights and my Lord Generals on the left, and Col: Aſhton with the Lancaſhire Regiments in reſerve; we ordered Col: Thorn­haugh and Col: Twiſletons Regiments of Horſe on the right, and one Regiment in reſerve for the lane and the remaining Horſe on the left, ſo that at laſt we came to a Hedge Diſpute, the greateſt of the impreſsion from the Ene­my being upon our left Wing, and upon the Battel on both ſides the lane, and upon our Horſe in the lane; in all which places the Enemy was forced from their ground after four hours Diſpute, until we came to the Town, into which four Troops of my Re­giment firſt entred, and being well ſeconded by Col: Harriſons Regiment, charged the Ene­my in the Town, and cleared the ſtreets;7 there came no hands of your Foot to fight that day, but did it with incredible Valour and Reſolution, amongſt which Col: Brights, my Lords Generals, Leiut: Col: Reads and Col: Aſhtons had the greateſt work, they often coming to puſh of Pike, and to cloſe firing, and always making the Enemy to recoyl; and indeed I muſt needs ſay, God was as much ſeen in the Valor of the Officers and Soldiers of theſe before mentioned, as in any Action that hath been performed: The Ene­my making (though he was ſtill worſted) ve­ry ſtiff and ſturdy reſiſtance, Col: Deans and Col: Prides outwinging the Enemy, could not come to ſo much ſhare of the Action; the Enemy ſhaging down towards the Bridge, and keeping almoſt all in reſerve, that ſo he might bring freſh hands often to fight, which we not knowing, but leaſt we ſhould be outwinged, placed thoſe two Regiments to inlarge our Right Wing, which was the cauſe they had not at that time ſo great a ſhare in that Action; at the laſt the Enemy was put into diſorder, many men ſlain, ma­ny priſoners taken; the Duke with moſt of8 the Scots. Horſe and Foot retreated over the Bridge, where after a very hot Diſpute be­twixt the Lancaſhire Regiments, part of my Lord Generals and them being at puſh of Pike, they were beaten from the Bridge, and our Horſe and Foot following them, killed many, and took divers priſoners, and we poſſeſſed the Bridge over Darwent and a few Houſes there, the Enemy being driven up within Muſquet ſhot of us where we lay that night, we not being able to attempt further upon the Enemy, the night preventing us; in this poſture did the Enemy and we lie the moſt part of that night; upon entring the Town, many of the Enemies Horſe fled towards Lancaſter, in the chaſe of whom went divers of our Horſe, who purſued them near ten miles, and had execution of them, and took about five hundred Horſe, and ma­ny Priſoners; We poſſeſſed in this Fight very much of the Enemies Ammunition, I believe they loſt four or five thouſand Arms, the number of the ſlain we judge to be about a thouſand, the priſoners we took were about four thouſand.

9In the night the Duke was drawing off his Ar­my towards Wiggon, wee were ſo wearied with the diſpute that we did not ſo well attend the e­nemies going off as might have beene, by meanes whereof the enemy was gotten at leaſt 3. miles with his reare before ours got to them, I ordered Collonel Thornhaugh to Command two or three Regiments of horſe to follow the enemy if it were poſſible, to make him ſtand till wee could bring up the Army: The enemy marched away ſeven or eight thouſand foote, and about foure thouſand horſe, wee followed him, with about three thouſand Foote, and two thouſand five hundred horſe and Dragoones, and in this proſecution that worthy Gentleman Collo­nel Thornhaugh preſſing too boldly was ſlaine, be­ing ran into the body, and thigh, and head, by the enemies Launcers, and give me leave to ſay, he was a man as faithfull and gallant in your ſer­vice as any, and one who often heretofore loſt bloud in your quarrell, and now his laſt, he hath left ſome behind him to inherit a Fathers ho­nour, and a ſad Widdow, both now the intereſt of the Commonwealth; our horſe ſtill proſecuted the enemy, killing and taking divers all the way, at laſt the enemy drew up within three miles of Wiggon, and by that time our Army was come up they drew off againe and recovered Wiggon before we could attempt any thing upon them, we lay that night in the field cloſe by the enemy, being very dirty and weary, and having marched twelve miles of ſuch ground as I never rod in all my life,10 the day being very wet we had ſome skirmiſhing that night with the enemy neer the town, where we tooke Major Generall Van Druske and a Col­lonel, and killed ſome principall Officers, and tooke about a hundred priſoners, where alſo I re­ceived a Letter from Duke Hamilton for civill u­ſage towards his Kinſman; Collonel Hamilton whom he left wounded there. We tooke alſo Collonel Hurrey and Lievetenant Collonel En­nis ſometimes in your ſervice. The next mor­ning the enemy marched towards Warrington, and we at the heeles of them, the town of Wig­gon a great and poore towne and very Malignant were plundered almoſt to their skins by them, we could not ingage the enemy untill we came with­in three miles of Warrington, and there the ene­my made a ſtand at a paſſe neere Winwicke, wee held them in ſome diſpute till our Army came up, they maintaining the paſſe with great reſolu­tion for many houres, ours and theirs comming to puſh of pike, & very cloſe charges, & forced us to give ground, but our men by the bleſſing of God quickly recovered it, and charging very home up­on them beat them from their ſtanding, where we killed about a thouſand of them, and tooke (as we believe) about two thouſand priſoners, and proſe­cuted them home to Warrington towne, where they poſſeſſed the bridge, which had a ſtrong barracado and a worke upon it formerly made ve­ry defenſive; aſſoone as we came thither, I recei­ved a Meſſage from Lievetenant Generall Baily deſiring ſome capitulation, to which I yeilded11 conſidering the ſtrength of the paſſe, and that I could not goe over the river within ten miles of Warrington with the Army, I gave him theſe termes, that he ſhould ſurrender himſelfe, and all his Officers and Souldiers priſoners of War, with all his Armes and Ammunition and horſes to me, I giving quarter for life and promiſing civill u­ſage, which accordingly is done, and the Com­miſſioners deputed by me have received and are receiving all the Armes and Ammunition which will be as they tell me about foure thouſand com­pleat Armes, and as many priſoners, and thus you have their Infantry totally ruined, what Col­lonels or Officers are with Lievetenant Generall Bailey, I have not yet received the liſt, The Duke is marched with his remaining horſe, which are about 3000 towards Namptwich, where the Gent­lemen of the Country have taken about 500. of them, of which they ſent me word this day, the Countrey will ſcarſe ſuffer any of my men to paſſe, except they have my hand, telling them they are Scots, they bring in and kill divers as they light upon them, moſt of the Nobility of Scotland are with the Duke, if I had a thouſand horſe that could but trot thirty miles, I ſhould not doubt but to give a very good account of them, but truly we are ſo harraſed & hagled out in this buſinſſe, that wee are not able to doe more then walke an eaſy pace after them, I have ſent Poſt to my Lord Grey, to Sir Henry Cholmeley and Sir Edward Roads, to gather altogether with ſpeed for their proſecution as likewiſe to ac­quaint12 the Governour of Stafford therewith;

I heare Munroe is about Cumberland with the horſe that ran away, and his Iriſh horſe and foot, which are a conſiderable body; I have left Col­lonel Aſhtons three Regiments of foot, with ſeven troops of Horſe, ſix of Lancaſhire, and one of Cumberland at Preſton, and ordered Collonell Scroop with five troops of Horſe, and two troopes of Dragoones, with two Regiments of foot, viz. Collonel Laſſals, and Collonel Waſtats to embo­dy with them, by which I hope they will be able to make a reſiſtance till we can come up to them, and have ordered them to put their priſoners to the ſword if the Scots ſhall preſume to advance upon them, becauſe they cannot bring them off with ſecurity.

Thus you have a Narrative of the particulars of the ſucceſſe which God hath given you, which I could hardly at this time have done, conſidering the multiplicity of buſineſſe, but truly when I was once ingaged in it; I could hardly tell how to ſay leſſe, there being ſo much of God, and I was not willing to ſay more, leſt there ſhould ſeeme to be any of man, only give mee leave to adde one word, ſhewing the diſparity of the For­ces on both ſides, that ſo you may ſee, and all the world acknowledge the great hand of God in this buſineſſe, the Scots Army could not be leſſe then 12000. effective foot wel arm'd, and five thouſand horſe, Langdale not leſſe then two thouſand five hundred foot, and fifteene hundred horſe, in all twenty one thouſand; And truly very few of13 their foot, but were as well armed, if not better then yours, and at divers diſputes did fight two or three hours before they would quit their ground. Yours were about two thouſand five hundred Horſe and Dragoones of your old Army, about foure thouſand Foot of your old Army, alſo a­bout one thouſand ſix hundred Lancaſhire foot, and about five hundred Lancaſhire horſe, in all a­bout eight thouſand ſix hundred. You ſee by Computation about two thouſand of the Enemy ſlain, betwixt eight and nine thouſand Priſoners, beſides what are lurking in hedges and private places, which the Country daily bring in or de­ſtroy; Where Langdale and his broken Forces are, I know not, but they are exceedingly ſhatte­red; Surely ſir this is nothing but the hand of God, praiſe only belongs to him, and where ever any thing in this world is exalted, or exalts its ſelfe, God will pull it downe, for this is the day wherein he alone will be exalted. It is not fit for me to give adviſe, nor to ſay a word what uſe ſhould be made of this, more then to pray you and all that acknowledge God, that they would only exalt him, and not hate his people who are as the apple of his eye, And for whom even Kings ſhall be reproved, and that you would take courage to doe the worke of the Lord, in fulfilling the end of your Magiſtracy, in ſeeking the peace and wel­fare of the people of this Land, that all that will live quietly and peaceably, may have counte­nance from you, and they that are implacable,14 and will not leave troubling the Land, may ſpee­dily be deſtroyed out of the Land, and if you take courage in this, God will bleſſe you, and good men will ſtand by you, and God will have glory, and the Land will have happineſſe by you in de­ſpight of all your enemies, which ſhall bee the prayer of your moſt

20th Auguſt 1648.
humble and faithfull ſervant O Cromwell.


WEe have not in all this loſt a conſiderable Officer but Collonel Thornhaugh, and not many ſouldiers, conſidering the ſervice, but many are wounded, and our Horſe much wearied. I humbly crave that ſome courſe bee taken to diſ­poſe of the Priſoners, the trou­ble and extream charge of the Country where they lie, is more then the danger of their eſcape, I think they would not go home if they might with­out a Convoy, they are ſo fear­ful of the country from whom they have deſerved ſo ill; Ten men will keepe a thouſand from running away.


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TextLieut: General Cromwel's letter to the honorable William Lenthal Esq; speaker of the honorable House of Commons, of the several great victories obtained against the Scots and Sir Marmaduke Langdales forces in the North: where were slain of the Scots party above two thousand, above nine thousand taken prisoners, four or five thousand arms taken, the whole infantry ruined, Duke Hamilton fled into Wales, and Langdale northward, Major General Vandrusk, Colonel Hurry, and Colonel Ennis taken prisoners, who formerly served the Parliament. Ordered by the Commons assembled in Parliament, that this letter be forthwith printed and published. H: Elsynge, Cler. Parl. D. Com.
AuthorCromwell, Oliver, 1599-1658..
Extent Approx. 17 KB of XML-encoded text transcribed from 8 1-bit group-IV TIFF page images.
SeriesEarly English books online.
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Bibliographic informationLieut: General Cromwel's letter to the honorable William Lenthal Esq; speaker of the honorable House of Commons, of the several great victories obtained against the Scots and Sir Marmaduke Langdales forces in the North: where were slain of the Scots party above two thousand, above nine thousand taken prisoners, four or five thousand arms taken, the whole infantry ruined, Duke Hamilton fled into Wales, and Langdale northward, Major General Vandrusk, Colonel Hurry, and Colonel Ennis taken prisoners, who formerly served the Parliament. Ordered by the Commons assembled in Parliament, that this letter be forthwith printed and published. H: Elsynge, Cler. Parl. D. Com. Cromwell, Oliver, 1599-1658., England and Wales. Parliament. House of Commons. aut. 14, [2] p. Printed for Edward Husband, printer to the Honorable House of Commons,London :August 23. 1648.. (Dated and signed on p.14: 20th August 1648. O Cromwell.) (Reproduction of the original in the British Library.)
  • Scotland. -- Army. -- History -- Early works to 1800.
  • Great Britain -- History -- Civil War, 1642-1649 -- Early works to 1800.

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