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July 21LONDON. Printed in the Year, 1648.

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AN Jmpartial Narration of the Manage­ment of the late Kentiſh Petition.

ALthough the late Kentiſh Petition failed in its main aim and intent which was Peace, yet be­cauſe it procured ſtrange conſequences in re­ference to the whole Kingdome, and there hath been raiſed many and ſeveral reports of the Management of that affaire in the carry­ing on of their juſt Petition (which way of Addreſſe is undoubtedly the Birthright of the Subjects of Eng­land, and once loſt, muſt be ſucceeded with ſlavery and Tyranny, both hateful to the Engliſh nation;) I ſhall faithfully and impar­tially relate the beginning, progreſſe, and concluſion of that af­faire as far as I know, or from credible perſons could learn the particulars thereof.

Firſt, that it was the intent of the Countrey to carry up that Petition without Armes, or the leaſt war-like appearance, is No­toriouſly known to all that know any thing in that buſineſſe, and the peaceable entrance of the Petitioners into that action: But that which cauſed them to appear in that war-like poſture, was the Printed Declaration with moſt of the Deputy-Lieutenants hands to them commanded to be read in Churches throughout the whole County, calling the petitions Seditious Papers, which tended to the raiſing ſeditions and tumults within the ſaid Coun­ty,2 and the indeavouring the promoting thereof Seditious practi­ſes; the leaſt of which was moſt contrary to their thoughts, who aym'd at nothing more then to preſerve their and the whole Kingdoms Birth-right, in preſenting their juſt deſires in a moſt peaceable and uſual manner; had not the afore-ſaid Declarations with other ſcattered expreſſions by ſome in Authority, of hang­ing ſome in every pariſh that durſt adventure to go up with the Petition; And the raiſiing of ſeveral Troops of Horſe (which upon good grounds was conceived) to make good thoſe decla­rations and expreſſions (not again to be exampled by any Com­mittee in the Kingdome) cauſed the extreamly and juſtly agrie­ved and incenſed Petitioners to take up Armes for their own de­fence and preſervation of themſelves from the ſad and bloudy example of their next neighbours the Surrey-men; ſo freſhly bleeding in their memories: Thus far for their taking up Arms; Next for the progreſſe of the Petitioners in purſuance of their Petition; They met together upon Boxley-Heath on Tuſeday May the thirtieth, intending the ſame day for Black-Heath, and ten Gentlemen with ten Yeomen to have gone from thence with the Petition to the Parliament, in the behalf of all the reſt: But an Order comming from both Houſes at that inſtant to them, that the Houſes would receive none of their Petition, but had referred it and them to the Lord Generall Fairfax, who was at that very inſtant (ſtrange and unexpected to them) drawn up at Black-Heath in a War-like poſture with about four thouſand Horſe and Foot with other forces on their March for his recruit; It was thought fit to apply themſelves to the General for his me­diation to the Houſes that their Petition might be received; which he refuſed to do, and chuſing the contrary to purſue them as Rebels: And the Kentiſh Forces not being compleat in their Field-Officers and others, and ſome other accomodations neceſ­ſary, which in ſo ſhort time could not be put into ſo fitting an equipage as was required for an Army, forced preſently to fight, concluded forthwith to retreat their unmembred body within the River of Med-way; which accordingly they did, for its more ſafe modelizing, and their ſtanding on their juſt defence: But the General finding them in green Councel, and knowing his own advantage in timely purſuing them, before they were regu­lated,3 neglects no time but follows them to Maidſtone, Alsford, Traſum, and Farley-bridge, the chief paſſes of thoſe parts; which being kept by too ſmall Parties, for the encountring with the Generals old Soldiers: On Thurſday night following, he fell to ſtorming of Maidſtone, which was ſo wel maintain'd by part of a Regiment of Trained-bands (who made it good) that diverſe times they repulſed the Enemy out of the Town to their great loſſe; and diſputed it with them at leaſt ſix hours, exſpecting re­lief from General Goring, who had newly received that Title from the Gentlemen then at Rocheſter, where the main body of the Kentiſh Army then lay; but General Goring either conceiving it too late, or having ſome other deſigne which was conceived of more moment (I know not) marching the next day the other way to Black-Heath, and from thence croſſing the water into Eſſex, and ſending no relief to thoſe poor men, (which by their enemies own confeſſion did ſo gallantly conſidering their num­ber and condition) they were forced at laſt, being over-powr'd with Horſe and Foot all at one time, to ſubmit themſelves priſo­ners, and ſurrender the Town to the mercy of the Enemy; which in all likelihood had been made good and defended from all the power and ſtrength of the Adverſe party, had but one fourth part of the body then at Rocheſter marched to their relief: And after all this diaſter, had but the whole body advanced down to the Town, they had in all probability recovered it, redeemed their Priſoners, and made good that place againſt any viſible power of the enemies; by reaſon of which advancing of their new General the contrary way, the Kentiſh Gentry and Soldiers were ſo diſcontented that they might not March to the reſcue of their friends, (and not knowing the Generals deſigne for ſuch actions of his) as that diverſe of them on a ſuddain diſperſed eve­ry way to ſhift for themſelves, crying out they were betrayed; ſo that the General carryed not over into Eſſex above fifteen hun­dred of all their forces; the reſt ſcattered, except twelve hundred Horſe and Foot, who retreated to Canterbury to make good that place, the three Caſtles of Sandown, Deal, and Weymor; and the Town of Sandwich, but for want of men, Ammunition; and Proviſion to make good all, leaving the three Caſtles well man'd and provided, Sandwich beſides the wanting of Fortfications4 and proviſions, being very averſe to a concurrence with the County, in reſpect of a great part of the Town within, by reaſon of the faction of the people, which was much increaſed by the ſetting up of an impoſtor and counterfeit Prince; ſo that many families muſt of neceſſity have been expulſed the Town, or ſe­cured; and would have required longer time, and the greateſt part of the Forces then in Armes, before it could be made teneable; and Canterbury being then the ſeat of the whole Acti­on, which muſt have been left with all the Countrey thereabout by this enterprize to the mercy and ſpoil of the Enemy) they were forced to make one body of all their numbers within Canterbury, there reſolving to try their fortunes; to which place the Generall made with all his ſtrength he had in that County, which was about four thouſand Horſe and Foot viz. Colonell Ri­ches, and Colonell Hewſons Regiments of Horſe and Foot ſent to relieve Dover-Caſtle, and after that, he had Command to make good the Eaſt ſide of the Town; and then Comiſſary Ireton's Regi­ment of Horſe, and ſome other broken Regiments of Horſe, with Colonell Baxſters Regiment of Foot, and part of other bro­ken Regiments of Foot, (which in all made up the aforeſaid numbers of the General's Forces) beſide ſome Additionall Forces the Deputy-Lieutenants of the County had by this time got to­gether and were in their daily increaſe; all which were deſigned for the reducing of Canterbury, and were within two hours March of the ſame on the Weſt ſide: And therefore to ſpeak a little in Vindication of thoſe Gentlemen who there Acted, be­cauſe I have heard ſeverall & ſome falſe reports of their procee­dings; as that they ſurrendred the Town to fifteen hundred, when three thouſand were in it; which is very falſe; for their Enemies numbers it is moſt certain, themſelves confeſſing it; into their numbers muſt be reckoned women and children to make up the ſum of three thouſand, for they had not above thirteen hundred fighting men when the Enemy came nigh, and they continually leſſening by the running away of the Soldiers; and many that ſtayed, began to grow diſcontented for want of pay, and the Town neither teneable nor provided with victuals; for laſt Chriſtmas-Gamboll had burnt up their gates, and made diverſe breaches in their wals which were not yet re-edyfyed; and no5 hopes of relief from their Generall my Lord of Norwich, (who was at that inſtant in Eſſex, and neceſſitated to provide for him­ſelf) nor from any others that might timely do it. It is true in­deed, fifteen hundred only of the Enemies Forces entred the Town, the moſt of the Forces after the Articles agreed on, being Commanded ſeverall waies, the greateſt part into Eſſex, the reſt to Sandwich, and to make good their ſiege againſt Weymor-Ca­ſtle: So that all theſe things truly conſidered, that the Petition being onely for peace, and the raiſing of Armes only for their juſt defence in the delivering thereof; and no thoughts then of a ſet­led or continued war, till all the Forces Raiſed by the Kentiſh Gentlemen were thus ſcattered and diſperſed, which was then certainly too late to think upon, in that their Enemies Forces were then ſo neer them, all relief ſo far from them, the Town, by reaſon of its former defects ſo untenable, and by reaſon of its compaſſe requiring ſo many to guard it, and their own Forces ſo unproportionably few to defend it, their money and proviſion ſpent, ſo that upon neceſſity they muſt maintain the Soldiers upon plundring the proviſion of the Town; which, was too ſo ſcant, as was not able to maintain ſo many perſons but a very little while, and the Countrey not ready to bring in any more; the rich booty in it beſide, which would have been an incourage­ment to their Soldiary, a diſcouragement to the other, eſpecially the Town Forces; whoſe whole eſtates were moſt in danger: So that theſe things thus certainly ſtanding, in my opinion you will find that thoſe Gentlemen who there acted, did as much as poſ­ſibly in them lay for their Countreyes and their own defence as long as there was any hope of life in that action, and ſtayed it out to the laſt when others deſerted it, and perhaps hereby in a Condition rather to take then to make, Articles: To which (though much prejudiciall to themſelves and their own bene­fit) yet out of the deep ſence and feeling of that Rapine and ſpoile which would inevitably have fallen upon Rich and poor without exception by the Army, they were now willing to a­gree that they might (though 'twere through their own loſſe) preſerve the Town.

The Yeomanry, and poor Labourers from further plundring6 which muſt of neceſſity have enſued, and yet the iſſue and con­cluſion of their beſt advantages in that Condition they were in within a very ſhort time in all humane probability muſt have proved ſucceſleſſe and fruitleſſe. And this I am aſſured, by the ſtrict enquiry I have made into that affair is the whole truth of it, ſo as I much wonder to hear ſuch Calumny raiſed by ſtrangers, and eſpecially by ſome of their own members, tending to the diſ­paragement of thoſe Gentlemen, and diſ-uniting the Gentry of the County in affection not to be cemented again, in all likely­hood for any Future action of the like nature.

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About this transcription

TextAn impartiall narration of the management of the late Kentish petition.
Extent Approx. 13 KB of XML-encoded text transcribed from 6 1-bit group-IV TIFF page images.
SeriesEarly English books online.
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(EEBO-TCP ; phase 2, no. A87342)

Transcribed from: (Early English Books Online ; image set 162000)

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Bibliographic informationAn impartiall narration of the management of the late Kentish petition. [2], 6 p. [s.n.],London :Printed in the year, 1648.. (Annotation on Thomason copy: "July 21".) (Reproduction of the original in the British Library.)
  • Great Britain -- History -- Civil War, 1642-1649 -- Early works to 1800.

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  • DLPS A87342
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