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NEWES FROM SOVTHAMPTON, OR The copie of a letter to Captain Thomas Harriſon in London from Mr. Peter Murford, Serjeant Major to Colonell Norton, DISCOVERING A late Plot of the Cavaleering Hoptonians againſt the ſaid towne of Southampton: But by the mercy of God (and the fidelity of the ſaid Major) prevented.

Alſo herein is related the diſtreſſed condition of that County as it now ſtands.

Publiſhed according to Order.

LONDON, Printed for Henry Overton in Popes-head Alley. 1644.


The Diſcovery of a new plot againſt the Town of Southampton by the CAVALIERS.


YOur Letter is come to my hands, which I take kindly from you: I ſhould deſire to exchange lines oftner with you; I thank you for your newes. I had Let­ters this day from my Lord Ad­mirall for the Maria Pinace to ride before this Town. We are yet in ſafety (bleſſed be God) but daily braved by the enemy, yet hitherto they have not dared to faſten up­on this Town: And I have obſerved, that they have never come before this place, or neere it, but we have ſtill worſted them, wee have alwayes taken priſoners, Horſes, Armes, wounded or ſlain ſome of them. On Thurſday laſt we took ſix men and horſe, whereof one was a Cornet. On Saturday we took two men, Horſes and Armes, ſhot a Captain, who lies languiſhing at Ramſey, and wounded three men more. The Lord be ſtill our defence and refuge, and give us thankfull hearts for his preſervation over us. This poor County2 of Hampſhire having had its ſhare of blood and miſery in this ſad tragedie of our Nation, that there is hardly left any thing for man or beaſt therein.

I perceive you have received knowledge of a trea­cherous practize for the delivery of this Town, but leaſt you ſhould be miſ-informed therein, I will give you a briefe account thereof. Some few daies before Chriſtide laſt, the Lord Hopton marched with his Ar­my from Wincheſter, towards Southampton, with a pur­poſe to face it, (as wee were informed,) but he came not within two Miles thereof, to out face it, but mar­ched to Redbridge, (the way into the new forreſt) breake it down to hinder us of proviſion from thence after ſo horible an Act, he faced about and marched to his old quarters againe, without attempting any fur­ther atchievement.

The next day here arived a letter from one Mr. Iaſ­per Cornelius ſom times an Aturney of this Towne, but run away before my coming hither for Malignan­cy) directed to Mr R. Maſon, a merchant of this town, intimating that this Cornelius was the day before with the Lord Hopton before this Town, and was the means of divertinthe Lord Hoptons intent of attempting this place, andells Mr. Maſon hee had made choyce of him to deliver an incloſed letter to me with all ſe­creſie, which I received (yet the ſaid Cornelius was an unknown man to me,) by his Letter he inſinuates that then was a fit time for mee to doe his Majeſty good ſervice, and that I was not the man I was formerly, meaning (as I conceived) that the government of this Towne was impoſed upon my honoured friend Co­lo ell Norton (which I long ſued to be eaſed thereof) and by it he thought I was a diſcontented perſon, and3 ſo fit to be wrought upon; but he was deceived, I be­ing never better pleaſed then to bee eaſed of ſo great a burthen, which I had born long enough, (though it pleaſed his Excellencie to requite my ſer­vice with a more ſutable command to my diſpoſiti­on, made me Serjeant Major to Colonell Norton, which pleaſes me farre better) after the receit of this letter, I inſtantly acquainted my Colonell and Maſter Major therewith, we all agreed I ſhould ſhew a ſeem­ing complying the better to bottome their deſigne, and to find out what malignant party they had made in this town. I forthwith gave him a copie of a cha­racter to explain his minde more fully. To which he replied, That by the command of his ſuperiours, hee did in the name of his Majeſty and his countrey, and two Lords (which hee named) offer mee a thouſand pounds in money, a preſent imployment of more va­lue and honour then at preſent I had, his Majeſties pardon under the great Seal, and his favour, if I would be a means to reduce the town of Hampton to his Ma­jeſty; I returned a ſeeming complying anſwer, and de­manded the 1000 l. in hand, or the moity thereof, and aſſurance given me for the reſidue, the imployment named, and the pardon ſent me; this performed, hee ſhould ſoon ſee what I would ſay to it. In the interim my Colonell acquainted my L. Generall and Sir Will. Waller, with the offer made by Cornelius; wherein I continued the treaty to gain time, until Sir W. Waller had finiſhed his buſineſſe at Arundel, and drawn his Army this way, and then to have drawne the enemy hither in hope of gaining this place, whilſt Sir William might have falen behind them in this place of advan­tage, and ſo to have deceived ſuch treacherous corrup­ters.

4I continued the Treaty untill I had his Majeſties Signe Manuall for a pardon ſent me, and afterwards the pardon it ſelfe; but I could get no money, but ſtrong engagements of honour to performe with mee when the work deſired was effected. I whiled out a moneths time with them to the exchange of eight let­ters, Mr. Robert Maſon being ſtill the man they im­ployed to bring their and receive my letters, whom they had bound to ſecreſie by an oath, before I knew thereof, who brought me the copie thereof, hoping to have gained me to the like, ſaying he had no engage­ment all this time on me, neither by proteſtation nor promiſe, to perform with them; and which I ſtill de­layed (which put the projectors to a jealouſie that I was not reall to them) yet to draw them ſtill on, I framed ſome offers, in the nature of Articles, for my ſelfe and this Towne (to which the Lord Hopton ſub­ſcribed, that upon his honour hee would performe them:) but I ſtill preſſed for the money, but could not obtain it, they fearing I would Craford them as Poole did; yet Mr. Maſon offered me to become bound for it, which I accepted of: but before hee would per­form, on Friday laſt was ſennight he earneſtly preſſed me to declare my reality in the deſigne. I ſaw the man in a diſtracted extaſie, by his over zealouſneſſe and raſhneſſe for them, having no aſſurance of mee, my bowels pittied him, his wife and many children, told him plainly I never intended to be a villaine and traytor, to betray a truſt committed to mee, and the lives and goods of ſo many innocent people to bee made a prey to cruelty, and told him I have revealed it from the beginning to my Colonell.

5Then he begged I would conceale his name; I tould him I could not, but in campaſſion of his condition gave him leave to goe to his houſe (being but three houſes from mine,) in which time I went forthwith to acquaint my Colonell with what had happened be­tween Mr. Maſon and my ſelfe, wee concluded in­ſtantly to ſieze his perſon, and cauſcd all the gates to be ſecured; but yet he eſcaped from us and could not be found, although wee ſearched carefully for him, ſince wee heer he is at Wincheſter, and ſhall be prefer­red, and imployed in matter of truſt. In all the time of our treatie, I could not diſcover that he had any con­federates of any Townſmen with him, but had under­taken it, to carry it alone. But I was greived that I was conceived by the adverſe part, to be a fit Inſtru­ment for them. But now they have tryed me, I am confident, they will neuer doe the like, but to revenge themſelves on me: But I will to all the world declare and maintaine my faithfullneſſe to my Country and cauſe I have undertaken, and clear my unfained repu­tation.

Thus much I thought good to ſay unto you, that you may give a ſatiſfactory teſtimony of that deſigne in my behalfe, if you heer it falſly reported. And I ſhall be readie to requite you in vindicating of truth, and acknowledge my ſelfe.

Your reall friend, Pet. Murford.

About this transcription

TextNevves from Southampton, or The copie of a letter to Captain Thomas Harrison in London from Mr. Peter Murford, Serjeant Major to Colonell Norton, discovering a late plot of the cavaleering hoptonians against the said towne of Southampton: but by the mercy of God (and the fidelity of the said major) prevented. Also herein is related the distressed condition of that county as it now stands. Published according to order.
AuthorMurford, Peter..
Extent Approx. 9 KB of XML-encoded text transcribed from 4 1-bit group-IV TIFF page images.
SeriesEarly English books online.
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(EEBO-TCP ; phase 2, no. A89418)

Transcribed from: (Early English Books Online ; image set 112919)

Images scanned from microfilm: (Thomason Tracts ; 6:E33[1])

About the source text

Bibliographic informationNevves from Southampton, or The copie of a letter to Captain Thomas Harrison in London from Mr. Peter Murford, Serjeant Major to Colonell Norton, discovering a late plot of the cavaleering hoptonians against the said towne of Southampton: but by the mercy of God (and the fidelity of the said major) prevented. Also herein is related the distressed condition of that county as it now stands. Published according to order. Murford, Peter.. [2], 5, [1] p. Printed for Henry Overton in Popes-head Alley,London :1644.. (Annotation on Thomason copy: the 4 in imprint date is crossed out and altered to 1643; "feb: 13th".) (Reproduction of the original in the British Library.)
  • Harrison, Thomas, 1606-1660.
  • Southampton (England) -- History -- Early works to 1800.

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ImprintAnn Arbor, MI ; Oxford (UK) : 2011-12 (EEBO-TCP Phase 2).
  • DLPS A89418
  • STC Wing M3101
  • STC Thomason E33_1
  • STC ESTC R1997
  • EEBO-CITATION 99860794
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  • VID 112919

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