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authority, our free pardon, not excluding from this summons or the pardon held forth, or from trust and employment in our service, as we shall find them cordial and useful therein, any person or persons heretofore or at this time actually employed in opposition to us, whether in the military way, as governors, colonels, captains, common soldiers, or whatsoever else; or in the civil, as sheriffs, undersheriffs, justices of the peace, collectors, high constables, or any other of higher or lower quality; for securing of all whom before mentioned, in their addresses, and performances, besides our army, (more than once successful since our entrance,) which will be between them and the enemy, and the engagement of our own person in their defence, we have directed this city to be forthwith fortified, and shall use such other helps and means as shall occur to us in order to that end; but on the other side, if any person of what degree or quality soever, either through disloyalty, and disaffection, or out of fear of the cruel usurpers and oppressors, accompanied with a presumption upon our mercy and goodness, or lastly, presuming upon former service, shall oppose or neglect us at this time, they shall find, that as we have authority to punish, in this life, liberty and estate, so we want not now the power to do it, and, if overmuch provoked, shall not want the will neither, and in particular unto those who have heretofore done and suffered for their loyalty, we say, it is now in their hands either to double that score, or to strike it off; concluding with this, that although our disposition abound with tenderness to our people, yet we cannot think it such to let them lye under a confest slavery and false peace, when, as we well know, and all the world may see, we have force enough, with the conjunction of those that groan under the present yoke, we will not say to dispute, for that we shall do well enough with those we have brought with us, but clearly without any considerable opposition, to restore together with our self the quiet, the liberty, and the laws of the English nation. Given at our city of Worcester the 23rd of August, 1651, and in the third year of our reign."
On the 26th of August, a grand rendezvous and review took place on the Pitchcroft, the plain of verdant meadows between the city and the river Severn. There appears to have been collected an army of 10,000 Scots and 2000 English, well armed but badly provided with ammunition. On Thursday, the 29th, Cromwell bivouacked within a mile of the city. At a council of war held on that day, Charles had determined that a select party of 1,500 horse and foot should attempt a surprise of the Parliament forces, wearing their shirts over their armour, as a mark of distinction in the deadly and confused warfare of a camp stormed at midnight: the design, however, proved abortive, being previously betrayed to Cromwell by a tailor, who, for his patriotism or treachery, was hanged the day following in the royalist camp.
A general engagement took place outside the city on the 3rd of September, in which, after a sanguinary conflict, the
king's forces were signally defeated. Charles displayed great personal courage, charging at the head of the Highlanders, who, having exhausted their ammunition, fought with the butt ends of their muskets. The whole Scottish army was annihilated, and the few who escaped the field of battle were "put out of the way by the country people; the streets of the city were strewed with the bodies of the dead and dying; and it was with difficulty that Charles escaped from the town. Some fruitless attempts were made to rally the fugitives who accompanied him, and the few military officers of rank who had effected their escape. A royalist writer, in the scripture language of the times, narrates, that Charles, following the steps of king David in similar circumstances, (2 Samuel, 15, 14,) "said to all his servants that were with him at Jerusalem, arise and let us flee, for we shall not else escape from Absalom; make speed to depart, lest he overtake us suddenly, and bring evil upon us, and smite the city with the edge of the sword." "
On the 10th of September, a black-letter proclamation was issued by the Parliament, and dispersed throughout the kingdom, for the apprehension of the king, as follows :
"By the Parliament.
A Proclamation for the discovery and apprehending of Charles Stuart, and other traitors, his adherents and abettors.
"Whereas, Charles Stuart, son of the late tyrant, with divers of the English and Scottish nation, have lately in traitorous and hostile manner, with an army, invaded this nation, which, by the blessing of God upon the forces of this Commonwealth, have been defeated, and many of the chief actors therein slain and taken prisoners; but the said Charles Stuart is escaped: for the speedy apprehension of such a malicious and dangerous traitor to the peace of the Commonwealth, the Parliament doth straightly charge and command all officers, as well civil as military, and all other the good people of this nation, that they make diligent search and inquiry for the said Charles Stuart, and his abettors and adherents in this invasion; and use their best endeavours for the discovery and arresting the bodies of them, and every of them; and, being apprehended, to bring and cause to be brought forthwith and without delay, in safe custody, before the Parliament or council of state, to be proceeded with, and ordered, as justice shall require; and if any person shall knowingly conceal the said Charles Stuart, or any of his abettors or adherents, or shall not reveal the places of their abode or being, if it be in their power so to do, the parliament doth declare that they will hold them as partakers and abettors of their traitorous and wicked practices and designs: and the Parliament doth further publish and declare, that whosoever shall apprehend the person of the said Charles Stuart, and shall bring, or cause him to be brought to the Parliament, or council of state, shall have given and
bestowed on him, or them, as a reward for such service, the sum of one thousand pounds: and all officers, civil and military, are required to be aiding and assisting unto such person and persons therein. Given at Westminster this tenth day of September, one thousand six hundred fifty one.
Order'd by the Parliament, that this Proclamation, be forthwith printed and published.
"HEN. SCOBEL, Cler. Parl. "London, Printed by John Field, Printer to the Parliament of England, 1651."
Of the extraordinary and eventful escape of Charles from the centre of a hostile country, and the indefatigable pursuit of the Republicans, Hume has afforded but a meagre account in three pages, and Clarendon (Rebellion, b. xiii.) says, "it is a great pity that there never was a journal made of that miraculous deliverance, in which there might be seen so many visible impressions of the immediate hand of God." Clarendon has given an interesting history of the royal escape, supposed to have been received from the king himself;* and the manuscript and publications at the head of this review complete the detail of Charles's adventures.
The two tracts entitled Boscobel, which, with all the plates, are among the most scarce and high-priced historical pamphlets of the seventeenth century, were written by Thomas Blount, the author of the Glossographia, the Fragmenta Antiquitatis, or Ancient Tenures of Land, and various other publications. He was a member of the Inner Temple, a Catholic, and an eye-witness of the battle of Worcester, having held a command in the king's army. The narrative is brief and correct, but not a little interlarded with the popular spice of servility, at the period of the Restoration in fashionable use.
A more modern publication appeared in 1766, purporting to be drawn up by Charles himself. It was published as the king's, on the authority of the Pepys' manuscripts, in Magdalen College, Cambridge, among which is one by Pepys, entitled “ account of his Majesty's escape from Worcester, dictated to
The slavish copying of Clarendon is not generally known: in all party narratives, his partiality is duly allowed for. In this account he is greatly indebted to a quarto tract of eight pages, the earliest printed report of the campaign and royal escape, entitled "A true Narrative and Relation of his most sacred Majesty's miraculous escape from Worcester, on the third of September, 1651, till his arrival at Paris. Printed at London, for G. Colborn, 1660." It is reprinted in the Harleian Miscellany.
Mr. Pepys, by the king himself." Independent of this respectable authority, the minute and personal character of the narrative, and its lively and careless style, with the careful collation of it with the other accounts, concur in proving it to be the composition of Charles II. To this narrative Mr. Pepys has subjoined his own remarks, and many corrections and additions subsequently obtained from the king, from Father Huddlestone, and from Colonel Philips. These are inserted in the form of notes, and are respectively distinguished by the initial letters of K. P. H., and Ph.
With these observations on the unquestionable genuineness of the account attributed to the king himself, we will extract, although at considerable length, his own personal narrative of the first few days of his escape.
"After that the battle was so absolutely lost, as to be beyond hope of recovery, I began to think of the best way of saving myself; and the first thought that came into my head was, that, if I could possibly, I would get to London, as soon, if not sooner, than the news of our defeat could get thither: and it being near dark, I talked with some, especially with my Lord Rochester, who was then Wilmot, about their opinions, which would be the best way for me to escape, it being impossible, as I thought, to get back into Scotland. I found them mightily distracted, and their opinions different, of the nossibility of getting to Scotland, but not one agreeing with mine, for going to London, saving my Lord Wilmot; and the truth is, I did not impart my design of going to London to any but my Lord Wilmot. But we had such a number of beaten men with us, of the horse, that I strove, as soon as ever it was dark, to get from them; and though I could not get them to stand by me against the enemy, I could not get rid of them, now I had a mind to it.
"So we, that is, my Lord Duke of Buckingham, Lauderdale, Derby, Wilmot, Tom Blague, Duke Darcey, and several others of my servants, went along northward towards Scotland; and at last we got about sixty that were gentlemen and officers, and slipt away out of the high-road that goes to Lancastershire, and kept on the right-hand, letting all the beaten men go along the great road, and ourselves not knowing very well which way to go, for it was then too late for us to get to London, on horse-back, riding directly for it, nor could we do it, because there was yet many people of quality with us that I could not get rid of.
"So we rode through a town short of Woolverhampton, betwixt that and Worcester, and went thro', there lying a troop of the enemies there that night. We rode very quietly through the town, they having nobody to watch, nor they suspecting us no more than we did them, which I learned afterwards from a country-fellow.
"We went that night about twenty miles, to a place called White Ladys, hard by Tong-Castle, by the advice of Mr. Giffard, where we stopt, and got some little refreshment of bread and cheese, such as we could get, it being just beginning to be day. This White Ladys was a
private house that Mr. Giffard, who was a Staffordshire man, had told me belonged to honest people that lived thereabouts.
"And just as we came thither, there came in a country-fellow, that told us, there were three thousand of our horse just hard by TongCastle, upon the heath, all in disorder, under David Leslie, and some other of the general officers: upon which there were some of the people of quality that were with me, who were very earnest that I should go to him and endeavour to go into Scotland; which I thought was absolutely impossible, knowing very well that the country would all rise upon us, and that men who had deserted me when they were in good order, would never stand to me when they have been beaten.
"This made me take the resolution of putting myself into a disguise, and endeavouring to get a-foot to London, in a country-fellow's habit, with a pair of ordinary gray-cloth breeches, a leathern doublet, and a green jerkin, which I took in the house of White Ladys. I also cut my hair very short, and flung my cloaths into a privy-house, that nobody might see that any body had been stripping themselves. I acquainting none with my resolution of going to London but my Lord Wilmot, they all desiring me not to acquaint them with what I intended to do, because they knew not what they might be forced to confess; on which consideration, they, with one voice, begged of me not to tell them what I intended to do.
"So all the persons of quality and officers who were with me, (except my Lord Wilmot, with whom a place was agreed upon for our meeting at London, if we escaped, and who endeavoured to go on horseback, in regard, as I think, of his being too big to go on foot,) were resolved to go and join with the three thousand disordered horse, thinking to get away with them to Scotland. But, as I did before believe, they were not marched six miles, after they got to them, but they were all routed by a single troop of horse; which shows that my opinion was not wrong in not sticking to men who had run away.
"As soon as I was disguised I took with me a country-fellow, whose name was Richard Penderell, whom Mr. Giffard had undertaken to answer for, to be an honest man. He was a Roman Catholic, and I chose to trust them, because I knew they had hiding holes for priests, that I thought I might make use of in case of need.
"I was no sooner gone (being the next morning after the battle, and then broad day) out of the house with this country-fellow, but, being in a great wood, I set myself at the edge of the wood, near the high-way that was there, the better to see who came after us, and whether they made any search after the run-aways, and I immediately saw a troop of horse coming by, which I conceived to be the same troop that beat our three thousand horse; but it did not look like a troop of the army's, but of the militia, for the fellow before it did not look at all like a soldier.
"In this wood I staid all day, without meat or drink; and by great good fortune it rained all the time, which hindered them, as Ï believe, from coming into the wood to search for men that might be fled thither. And one thing is remarkable enough, that those with whom I have since spoken, of them that joined with the horse upon