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382 FAIRFAX back Fairfax Gets BACK INTO BRADFORD. [Lord Fairfa
of the 29th June 1643]; and if he had any occasion to make use of that place, for they were sensible of the danger he was in, he should be very readily and gladly received [there]. Which news was joyfully received, and acknowledged as a great mercy of GOD to us: yet was it not made use of till a further necessity compelled it.
So my father, having ordered me to stay here [at Bradford] with 800 Foot and 60 Horse: he intruded [retired] that night [of 30th June 1643] for Leeds, to secure it.
NOW NEWCASTLE, having spent three or four days in laying his Quarters about the town; they brought down their cannon: but needed to raise no batteries, for the hills, within half [a] musket shot, commanded all the town; which [cannon], now being planted in two places, shot furiously upon us. [They] making also Approaches; which made us spend very much [ammunition].
Our little store was not above five and twenty, or thirty, barrels of powder at the beginning of the siege: yet, notwithstanding, the Earl of NEWCASTLE sent a Trumpet[er] to offer us Conditions; which I accepted so they were honourable for us to take, and safe for the inhabitants.
Upon which, two Captains were sent to treat with him, and a Cessation [was agreed upon] during the time; but he continued working still, contrary to [the] agreement: whereupon I sent for the Commissioners again, suspecting a design of attempting something against us; but he returned them not till eleven a clock at night [of 1st July 1643], and then with a slight answer.
Whilst they were delivering it to us, we heard great shooting of cannon and muskets. All ran presently to the Works, which the Enemy was storming. Here, for three-quarters of an hour, was very hot service: but, at length they retreated.
They made a second attempt: but were also beaten off. After this, we had not above one barrel of powder left; and no Match. So I called the Officers together: where it was advised and resolved [evidently about 1 a.m. on the 2nd July 1643] to draw off presently, before it was day; and by forcing a way, which we must do (they having surrounded the town), [in order] to retreat to Leeds
Lord Fairfax] THE CUTTING OUT FROM BRADFORD. 383
Orders were despatched, and speedily put in execution. The Foot, commanded by Colonel ROGERS, was sent out, through some narrow lanes; who were to beat up the Dragoons' Quarters [Encampment]; and so to go on to Leeds.
[I] myself, with some other Officers, went with the Horse, which were not above 50, in an opener way.
Here I must not forget to mention my Wife, who ran great hazards with us in this retreat as any others; and with as little expression of fear: not from any zeal or delight, I must needs say, in the War; but through a willing and patient suffering of this undesirable condition.
But now I sent two or three Horsemen to discover what they could of the Enemy: which presently returned, and told us, There was a Guard of Horse close by us.
Before I had gone forty paces, the day beginning to break, I saw them on the hill above us; being about 300 Horse.
I, with some 12 more, charged them. Sir HENRY FOULIS, Major General GIFFORD, and myself, with three more [i.e., 6 out of 13] brake through. Captain MUDD was slain: and the rest of our Horse, being close by, the Enemy fell upon them, taking most of them prisoners; amongst whom my Wife was, the Officer behind whom she was [on horseback] being taken.
I saw this disaster; but could give no relief. For after I was got through, I was in the Enemy's Rear alone; for those that had charged also through, went on to Leeds; thinking I had done so too.
But being unwilling to leave my company: I stayed till I saw there was no more in my power to do; but to be made a prisoner with them. Then I retired to Leeds.
The like disorder fell amongst the Foot that went the other way, by a mistake. For after they had marched a little way, the Van fell into the Dragoons' Quarters [Encampment], clearing the way. But through a cowardly fear of him that commanded those men who were in the Rear; [he] made them face about, and march again into the town [of Bradford]: where, the next day [2nd July 1643], they were all taken prisoners.
Only 80, or thereabouts, of the Front, which got through, came to Leeds; all mounted on horses which they had taken from the Enemy: where I found them when I came thither;
384 THE LONG RETREAT ON HULL.
Lord Fairfax. 91665
which was some joy to them, all concluding I was either slain or taken prisoner.
I found all in great distraction here [i.e., at Leeds].
The Council of War was newly risen, where it was resolved to quit the town, and make our retreat to Hull; which was 60 miles off, and many garrisons of the Enemy on the way. Which, in two hours time was done: for we could expect no less than that the Enemy should presently send Horse to prevent it. For they had 50, or 60, Troops within three miles.
But we got well to Selby; where there was a ferry: and, hard by, a garrison at Cawood.
My father, being a mile before, with a few men getting over the ferry; word came to us that he was in danger to be taken. I hastened to him with about 40 Horse: the rest [of the Horse] coming on after in some disorder. He was newly got into the boat.
The Enemy, with 3 Cornets of Horse, entering the town; I was drawn up in the Market Place, just before the street they came down. When they were almost half come into the Market Place, they turned on the right hand.
With part of my Troop, I charged them in the Flanks; [and] so divided them. We had the chase of them down the long street that goes to Brayton.
It happened, at the same time, [that] those men [which] I left behind, were coming up that street: [but] being in disorder, and under [the] discouragements of the misfortunes of many days before, [they] turned about, and gave way; not knowing that we were pursuing them in the rear. [That is, there were tearing along the Brayton road; (1) FAIRFAX'S disordered Cavalry; then (2) the Royalist Cavalry; followed by (3) FAIRFAX with a part of his Troop.]
At the end of this street, was a narrow lane which led to Cawood. The Enemy strove to pass away there; but [it] being strait [narrow], caused a sudden stop: where we were mingled one among another.
Here I received a shot in the wrist of my arm, which made the bridle fall out of my hand: which [wound], being
FAIRFAX WOUNDED AT SELBY.
among the nerves and veins, suddenly let out such a quantity of blood as that I was ready to fall from my horse. So taking the reins in the other hand, wherein I had my sword; the Enemy minding nothing so much as how to get away: I drew myself out of the crowd, and came to our men that turned about; which were standing hard by. Seeing me ready to fall from my horse, they laid me on the ground: and [I] now, [being] almost senseless. My Chirurgeon came seasonably, and bound up the wound, [and] so stopped the bleeding.
After a quarter of an hour's rest there, I got on horseback again.
The other part of our Horse also beat the Enemy to Cawood back again, that way they first came to us.
So, through the goodness of GOD, our passage here was made clear. Some went over the ferry, after my father.
Myself, with others, went through the Levels [of the Fen Country, in North Lincolnshire; and south of the Humber] to Hull. But it proved a very troublesome and dangerous passage: having oft interruptions from the Enemy; sometimes in our front, sometimes in our rear.
And now I had been at least twenty hours on horseback, after I was shot [at Selby], without any rest or refreshment: and as many hours before. [40 hours from I a.m. on the night of 2nd July 1643, when FAIRFAX decided to cut his way out of Bradford, would make it about 5 p.m. of the 3rd July 1643.]
And, as a further addition to my affliction, my daughter [MARY, who afterwards married GEORGE VILLIERS, Second Duke of BUCKINGHAM, see p. 399], not above five years old, being carried before her maid, endured all this retreat on horseback: but, Nature not [being] able to hold out any longer, [she] fell into frequent swoonings; and [was], in appearance, ready to expire her last [breath]. And having now passed the Trent [and therefore come into North Lincolnshire], and seeing a house not far off, I sent her, with her maid only, thither with little hopes of seeing her any more alive; but intending, the next day, to send a ship from Hull for her.
So I went on to Barton [upon Humber: nearly opposite
386 COURTESY of the Earl of NEWCASTLE. [Lord Fairfts.
Hull; having sent before to have a ship ready against my coming thither.
Here I lay down a little to rest; if it were possible to find any in a body so full of pain; and [in] a mind so full of anxiety and trouble. Though I must acknowledge it, as the infinite goodness of GOD, methought my spirits were nothing at all discouraged from doing still that which I thought to be my work and duty.
But I had not laid [down] a quarter of an hour before the Enemy came close to the town [of Barton]. I had now not above 100 Horse with me. We went to the ship; where, under the covert of her ordnance, we got all our men and horses aboard.
So passing [the] Humber, we arrived at Hull; our men faint and tired: [and I] myself having lost all, even to my shirt; for my clothes were made unfit to wear, with rents and the blood which was upon them. Considering which, in all humility and reverence, I may say, I was in JOB's condition when he said, "Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither. The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away. Blessed be the Name of the Lord." [Job i. 21.]
But GOD, who is a GOD of Mercy and Consolation, doth not always leave us in distress.
I having sent a ship, presently after I came into the town, for my daughter: she was brought, the next day [4th July 1643], to Hull; pretty well recovered of her long and tedious journey.
And, not many days after, the Earl of NEWCASTLE sent my Wife back again, in his coach, with some Horse to guard her: which generosity gained more than any reputation he could have gotten in detaining a Lady prisoner upon such
And many of our men, which were dispersed in this long retreat, came hither again to us.
Our first business now, was to raise new forces: which, in a short time, were about 1,500 Foot and 700 Horse.