General Cromwell pursued with horse

These fragments come from an account of the battle of Naseby in 1645; a turning point in the English Civil Wars which effectively thwarted long-term Royalist hopes of victory.

Both Armies were drawne in Battle in a great field neere Knaseby by ten in the morning, each wing of both sides charged [the] other, with that eagernesse, that they had not patience to shoot of one peece of Ordnance. Our Dragoones begun the Battaile Flancking the right wing of the Enemies Horse as they charged our left wing. The Foot charged not each other till they were within twelve paces one of another, and could not charge above twice, but were at push of Pike.  The Enemies Foot gave a little backe, and so did some few of ours, and then the right wing of our Horse (wherein the Generall was in person) charged in the Flancke of the blue regiment of the enemies Foot, who stood to it, till the last man, abundance of them slaine, and all the rest surrounded, wounded, and taken. Being lost, Horse and Foot gave backe, we advanced on after them in order our Horse flancking our Foot, and after one charge more, became Masters of all their Infantry, and tooke about three thousand prisoners. The Enemies Horse ran a pace, but still our Horse, though one would have beaten ten, (such a feare was the Enemy possessed with all) would not pursue in heate but take the Foot to flancke them. The King cryed out, face about once and give one charge and recover the day. Our Men Horse and Foot came on with that courage, that before ever wee gave fire they faced about and ran clear away.

Happy was he that was best mounted, and Liuetenant Generall Cromwell pursued with the Horse after them about twelve or thirteen miles, within two or three miles of Leicester, and having taken eight peeces of Ordnance in the Field, whereof two were Demicannon, one whole Culverine, tooke all the rest of their Ordnance and their Carriages, Bag and Baggage· aboundance of Coaches, and rich Plunder, Carts with Boates and great store of Bisket and Cheese, (a seasonable refreshment for our souldiers that had marched so hard, and the night before had not a bit of Bread to a regiment for their refreshment).  The Foot and the Traine Marched this night to Harborough (foure miles) where our head quarter is. It becomes not me to say any thing of my Generalls, Major Generalls, or Livetenant Generall Cromwells carriage in this battaile, I leave it to all men on the place to relate it, who cannot but admire their valour, and thus hath the Lord gone along with this new moulded Army, so much contemned by many & left as sheepe to the slaughter by others, but from the beginning I was confident, a blessing from heaven did attend this Army, there were in it so many pious men, men of integrity, hating vice, fighting not out of ambitiousnesse or by ends, but ayming at Gods glory and the preservation of Religion, & Liberty, and the destruction of the Enemy which was never in so faire a way as now is, if peoples hearts would yet be moved to redeeme themselves from slavery and all ioyne as one man.

If this advantage be improved (as what a wearied out and tyred Army is able to doe, will be done) with the blessing of God, and an addition of some fresh horse, ours being worne off their legs, the Enemy in all probability will not this Summer get head againe, and I hope in the Lord, never more considerable in the field, some observations I had in the time of Battell in the carriage of things, that one great incouragement to the common Souldier to fall on, was the rich Plunder the enemy had (their purses also being full of Money, the Plunder of poore Leicestershire, God turned to be one meanes of their ruine, and indeed our souldiers got plenty, the Irish women brought on the field (wives of the bloody Rebels in Ireland) our souldiers would grant no quarter too, about 100 slain of them, and most of the rest of the whores that attended that wicked Army are marked in the face or nose, with a slash or cut. I viewed the dead bodies, from the Battell to Harborough, truly I estimate them not to be above 700, together with those slaine in the fields running away, but in pursuit between Harborough and Leicester, and by townes, conceived about 300 more slaine, and an abundance wounded.’

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