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not a familiar) told him was a coming, to be principal person among them, and howsoever, to make up his decays on his fortunes, by the kind-hearted supplies and loans of the brotherhood, who were very proud of such a proselyte.
In a short time after, he had learned to pray, and attained a very ready faculty therein, which he made no nicety to manifest upon all occasions, both in their publick and private meetings; so that he was looked upon by those of his godly party, as their chiefest ornament, and by the rest of the world, as a strange wonder. This artificial devotion did not only then advantage him, but served him thereafter through the whole course of his life, and was the main ingredient of all his policies and successes. A friar was an ass to him for saying of prayers, he was able to give him two for one with his beads and by rote, and out-strip him extempore.
How Oliver, being noted for his pretended Sanctity, was chosen a Burgess of Cambridge for the Long-Parliament; and, thc I War breaking out, was made a Captain of Horse.
By this sanctimonious Wizor, and manifested zeal for reformation, which was then in every man's mouth, he was looked upon as the fittest instrument to promote it in the parliament, which the king had called in 1640, to redress the grievances of the state and church, and to supply his necessities; and, therefore, the puritan faction, and his relations by marriage, as Mr. Goodwin, and also Hambden of Buckingham, laboured, in election of burgesses for the town of Cambridge, to have him chosen. The town was generally infected with the same disease, and therefore it was no hard matter to effect it. Sitting in parliament, as a member, he quickly, saw which way the stream went, and therefore resolved to run one of the first with it; and therefore helped out the noise and cry for privilege, proving a great stickler against the prerogative, and, to that end, endeavouring to widen the breach; and made way, by male-pertness of tumults, against the king's person and court; insomuch that he became conspicuous and noted for his aversion to the government. The flame of those inward burnings now breaking out, and because of his influence in his country, and his bold, confident spirit, he was courted with a commission (which he accepted) under the Earl of Essex, the parliament’s general, and was made a captain of a troop of horse.
CIIAP. VI. Of the Exploits Cromwell did, in the beginning of the War.
HAving raised his troop, he marched not presently with the gross and main body of the army, but was ordered to continue about his own country, that so his own enterprises might be the better observed, and he taken notice of ; so that he was a rising. ‘man from the very first beginning of our civil confusions. The first service that he appeared in, was the seizure of Sir Henry Comisby, the sheriff of Hertfordshire, when, in a gallant contempt of the parliament, he was proclaiming the commission of array at St. Alban's, and sending him, and other gentlemen, his assistance, to London; which sudden and meritorious exploit of his was well resented, and highly commended by the parliament. His next piece of diligence was the like seizure of Sir John Pettus, and forty gentlemen more, of the county of Suffolk, who were forming a party for the king, and securing them; by which means, he broke the neck of any future design in that, or the next county of Norfolk, for the royal interest; so that he had brought all the eastern part of England to the parliament's subjection, by a bloodless and easy conquest. But his other victories, which were principally ascribed to him, though they were joined with him, were very sanguineous, and fatally cruel. As his last home employment, he was ordered to purge and to inspect the University, wherein he proceeded with so much rigour against that place of his own nurture, &c. it was conceived he would at last as mercilesly use his mother, then bleeding England. Which work being over, and unhappily effected, Cromwell was the only man; his prudence, fortune, and valour every where applauded and extolled, and he reputed for one of the most eminent and able commanders in the parliament’s army. It was time, therefore, now to shew him abroad, having armcd, disciplined, and paid his men so carefully, that there was no doubt of their prevailing upon any equal enemy, and under the conduct of so vigilant and wary a leader, whose only aim it was to keep up his reputation to greater undertakings. Therefore, in order to a conjunction and assistance of the Scots, who were entered England, he was made lieutenant-general to the Earl of Manchester, who had raised his army out of the associated counties, as Cambridge, Huntingdon, Bedford, Suffolk, &c. Those armies being joined, and mastering the field (the Marquis of Newcastle, who opposed them, retreating into York) they resolved to besiege that city: To the relief whereof, Prince Rupert came, and forcing them to draw off from their league, he gave them battle on Marston-Moor, July 2, 1644. In the beginning of the fight, Prince Iłupert had utterly discomfited the right wing of the army, where Sir Thomas Fairfax and the Scots horse stood, and disordered the main body of the foot, so that the day was given for lost, the Scots running and throwing down their arms; when Cromwell, with his Curassiers, and the rest of my Lord Manchester's horse, who were placed in the right wing, sell with such force and fury upon the Lord Goring's brigades on the right, that they presently broke them in pieces, and following their success, before the prince returned, obtained a compleat victory, killing no less than fivethousand men, gaining their camp, bag and baggage; and, as the price of all, the city of York. Hence he acquired that terrible name of Ironsides, his troops being reported unvulnerable and unconquerable. By this defeat, he lifted up himself to those great titles and places he went through afterwards.
A Continuance of his Successes against his Sovereign and his
The next field we find him in, was that of the second Newberry, October 27, 1644, where, with the same felicy and valour, he had the better, on that part of the field, where he fought, and contributed mainly to that piece of a victory the parliament forces had there; when, to cloud and damp this rising martialist, he was articled against by his superior officers, for some miscarriages and practices in the army, to the hinderance of the service, which was indeed his ambitious insinuation into the affection of the soldiery; but this was never prosecuted, his friends, the grandees of the Independent party, interposing and justifying him, for a godly, cxpert, and valiant commander. This Independent faction was now grown too crafty, and had supplanted their brother of Presbytery, by new modelling the army, turning out most of Essex's officers, and dismissing all members of parliament from their several commands therein ; among which number, Cromwell should have been included, but his partisans wrought so, that he was continued for forty days, and, those expired, longer, and longer, even till the war ended. By this said model Sir Thomas Fairfax was made Lord General, and Cromwell, after some time, Lieutenant General, being the only man looked upon able to carry on the Independent interest. The first action he engaged in, in this quality, was his routing of the queen's regiment and some other troops (come from Worcester to fetch the king from Oxford, then designed to be besieged in the beginning of the year 1645) at Islip Bridge; then his immediate summoning and taking Blechindon House, April 24, where after, as he was designing a stratagem upon Faringdon House, he was set upon by as vigilant a commander as himself, the Lord Goring, and received a smart brush, and the only one throughout the war; which now hastening to an end, at the fatal Naseby, he was called from out of the Isle of Ely (whither he had been lately sent to secure it, it being thought the king would have turned his now successful arms thitherward) to assist the general, who, by his letters to the parliament, had desired it. That unfortunate day the 14th of June, 1646, owes its dismalness to the fortune of this rebel, whose troops alone could glory in that atchievment; for the left wing of that army, where I reton, his son-in-law, commanded, was absolutely routed, and the main body sorely distressed; so that Cromwell alone assured that victory. So ended the first war, with the praises and triumphs of this man of war, adored and worshiped by his party, who stuck not to blaspheme God and his Scriptures, attributing all those Ho
sanna's, and psalms, and songs of deliverance and victory to this their champion, in effect, making a meer idol of him; which phanatick religious veneration he missed not to improve, though, for the present, he covered his ambition with modesty and humility, ascribing all things, in a canting way of expression, to the goodmess and omnipotence of God, which he frequently and impiously abused, intituling it to all his wicked and villainous designs and actions. The war thus ended, and the king having escaped their swords, and so the main rub yet lay in the way to his projected sovereignty; he resolved by treachery to ruin him. To this purpose, that he might render the king indisposed to the terms and propositions of the parliament, which were hard and unreasonable enough besides, he pretended to the king, that the army should take his part, and declare for him ; as on the other side (in the parliament house, and privately in the army, telling them that the king's design of peace and agreement was only to get them disbanded, and then hang them for their rebellion) he exasperated them against the king, adding that God had hardened his heart against any composure, and had rejected him; and when all this would not do, but that the people every day more and more were undeceived, and he conceived a fear, they might rescue the king from Hampton-court, and bring him to London, which the king and all good men desired; he contrived another wicked device to the king’s final overthrow, by scaring him with the adjutators' (such were two selected, out of each company and troop) conspiracy to assassinate him, and so making him fly to the Isle of Wight, a distant and sure prison, from whence he never came but to his death. The king a while before was not ignorant of these treacherous arts of Cromwell, seeing nothing performed, as to substance, of whatever he promised, and, therefore, did roundly tax him with his faithlesness; who, at the upshot, told the king, that he did misconstrue his words, or else he remembered no such matter; and that, if it were so, yet it were no time to perform them, till the discipline of the army was recovered, and those adjutators in a capacity to be questioned, who were now most outrageously and uncontroulably violent against his person and government, with many more such slams and delays, and traiterous fallacies. The king being in prison at Caresbroke Castle in the said isle, by the juggling of Cromwell with Hammond the governor (brother to one of the king's most affected chaplains) an ungrateful fellow, who owed himself to the king's bounty, several fresh attempts were made for his restitution; that, which particularly concerned this Oliver, was the Welch insurrection at Pembroke, which town, in July, after a brave defence, was surrendered to him; and the Scots invasion under Duke IIamilton, whose army, to which were joined some three thousand English under Sir Marmaduke Langdale, he totally defeated at Preston in Lancashire, on the 17th of August (and not long after the General Fairfax took in Colchester, which had stood out three months in expectation of relief from this army, upon the same account) and pursued his victory as far as Scotland, marching to Edinburgh, and there making sure of a party, dealing with bribes. and other forceable persuasions, and making them disarm themselves to give him no disturbance or interruption, in the accomplishing his most execrable regicide, for which he was now ready, the expected advantages and opportunities being now in his hand.
Cromwell turns out the Parliament, murders the King, and sets up a Commonwealth, who, invading Scotland and Ireland, make him their General.
Cromwell posting to London, he and his son Ireton put the council of officers, to demand justice upon the king, as the capital offender, and author of all the troubles and bloodshed; which he so eagerly prosecuted, that though the parliament had nearly concluded with the king in the Isle of Wight, after a full treaty, he by Col. Pride, one that would venture upon any thing he was commanded by him, scCludes twice the major part of the members, and then packs up a juncto of army blades, of some fifty, who constitute a high court of justice, by which the martyr king was traiterously and barbarously condemned and beheaded, January 30. By the same juncto and rump of a parliament, the kingship and government by a single person was voted useless and dangerous, to which Cromwell freely assented, as purposing to time his ambition, now the great obstacle was removed. But, though the king and his interest were defunct in England, yet they were not in Ireland or Scotland; whereupon, Cromwell is made general for the Irish expedition, and though he was the only dissuader of the soldiery from that service, during the quarrel betwixt the Independents and the Presbyterians, and while he had accomplished his mischievous ends upon the king; yet now he is severely bunt to transport such as the lot should appoint: Which the levelling party, the adjutators, whelps of his own litter, refusing and mutinying, them likewise under pretence of a treaty, and giving and receiving satisfaction (their usual expressions; he betrays and surprises at Burford (not daring to venture a fight with them, for fear of a total defection of his own party) and had the ring-leaders shot to death. Ilaving surmounted this difficulty, he wasts his army over into Ireland, and presently storms Tredagh, and understanding it was the flower of the king's army, set there to give him a repulse, having twice been beaten off, he led his men himself the third time, and entered, and put all to the sword (having amused the defendants who maintained the breach, but, having then lost their colonel, were in some confusion, through offer of quarter, and by that device got admittance) with a like baseness, teachery, and cruelty. After that, followed the rendition o smos of that kingdom, the