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man (that of the plate), Richard Pearce saith—"That Colonel Lunsford when he was Governor of Malmesbury for the King, sent a warrant unto the town of Devizes for the raising of £400 to be brought unto him in short time: upon which the said Mr. Thurman and Mr. Northey, with the consent of the Mayor and his company, were sent to Malmesbury to the said Colonel to endeavour to get off or to mitigate the said fine of £400. And after their return home, not having prevailed in their message, a party of about 200 horse were sent by the said Colonel to the Devizes to enforce the payment. Whereupon the inhabitants of the town endeavoured to raise the money, and having collected great part thereof, sent it to Malmesbury by the said Mr. Thurman and Mr. Northey. After which, a warrant arrived from one Captain Apsley directing Mr. Northey to carry to Malmesbury the plate in his hands which had been collected for the use and service of the Parliament: and about the same time, either another warrant from Colonel Lunsford or some other means were used to enforce payment of the residue of the £400, by which the said inhabitants were moved to collect it, or as much as could be gotten; wherewith Mr. Thurman and Mr. Northey were by a common consent to go a third time to Malmesbury. And this deponent saith that Mr. Northey took this opportunity to carry also the plate to Malmesbury, he having the particular charge and custody thereof: and Mr. Thurman meddled not with the plate, as this deponent knoweth of; and he had moreover his travelling charges for these journeys borne by the town.” [The rest of this evidence refers to an event at which we have not yet arrived.]
Not only is all this fully borne out by the contemporary accounts of expenses sustained by the borough Chamber, but we therein learn the additional fact that a fourth journey to Malmesbury was executed by the same deputies, and that Captain Apsley, in addition to the county plate, induced the terrified burgesses to surrender even their arms. Such at least seems implied in the following entry, “Paid 2s. 8d. for lading the arms and watching them, sent to Colonel A psley." The town and castle of Devizes were now nominally in the King's hands. The militia stationed here by the Parliament had melted away or were serving in Bristol under Colonel Fiennes. The whole of North Wilts was speedily put under contribution by the Royalists, and the newspapers in the King's interest exultingly anticipated that since Devizes was won over, the entire county would soon be cleared out of rebels.
The burdens of an extra nature borne by the town while under the Baynton and Hungerford rule, do not appear, judging by the amounts, to have been at all oppressive. They consisted of, fetching ammunition from Chippenham and Bradford, planting ordnance, chaining and blocking up the townsends on several occasions, together with such minor expenses as sending out scouts and messengers, paying for lecturers, or making an occasional present of sack to Sir Edward Hungerford. They were even light when compared to the repeated demands made in the previous time of peace for subsidies, ship-money, or “coat and conduct money,” and light indeed when contrasted with the still more sweeping extortions made upon their treasury in the name of a Sovereign in arms. First there was the £400 sent to Colonel Lunsford: then followed a visit from Lord Crawfurd and his officers, who carried off £126 6s.: next came the assessment of £50 levied by the local county commissioners who raised moneys in the King's name; and all this within the first year, viz., 1643, independently of losses arising from the
N.B. Throughout the above his- began and ended on the 25th of tory of these events, the dates of March. Fuller, in his biography of contemporary documents have been Archbishop Williams, (who died, as so far violated as to make the year we should now say, in 1650) says, begin (as it has done in England “He died, as I take it, anno 1649: since 1753) on the first of January; sure I am, on the 25th of March, whereas at that period the year both leaving a leading case not yet deci
occupation of the town by Lord Hopton's forces during the siege in July. It is true that for these two last payments, as also for a further sum of £30 paid to Colonel Hambleton, the Burgesses, by a vote passed in 1644, sought to make their Chamberlain Richard Pearce accountable, by declaring him unauthorised in thus acting “against the Parliament;" but that they ever recovered the lost sums, is more than doubtful; especially when it is remembered that Mr. Pearce was further depressed at the conclusion of the war, by enrolment in the fatal list of delinquents who had to compound for their estates. What further gatherings were made from the inhabitants, which do not appear upon the pages of the Chamberlain's books, cannot of course be stated. Mr. Pearce as public treasurer, would, we should suppose, be naturally unwilling to become the channel of more payments than he could avoid ; since, as the event showed, he might, on the turn of the tide, come to be accused of unfaithful dealing; and that too by the very parties perhaps who in the hour of danger had fully guaranteed his so acting. There can be no doubt that Alderman Pearce was an out-and-out Royalist, as his conduct at the siege (to be presently noticed) fully testified; and that he had been principally influential from the first, in securing for his party so favourable a reception in the town.
The assessment on the entire county of Wilts, at this early period of the war, was £725 a week, in the Parliament's behalf: on the other hand, the rate granted by the King's friends in support of his Majesty's arms, was, by a vote in November, fixed at £1200 a week to last for one month: but neither of these statements represents the actual gatherings. Arbitrary fines on enemies and free gifts from friends, con
ded in our law, whether his half It remained an undecided case, years rents due after sunrise should because the parties compounded it go with his goods and chattels unto among themselves. Church History his executor, or fall to his heir." III, 490.
stituted an irregular fund on both sides. Those who were friendly to the Parliament paid what was called their “five and twentieth part” and received a discharge : those in avowed hostility found their entire estates put under temporary sequestration. Rents were gathered in by the strongest hand, whichever happened to be uppermost. But then it is also to be remarked, that this disorder lasted but a very little while, say from the summer of 1642 to that of 1645; and that in some districts it was scarcely felt at all. Wiltshire, from its position in the line of march to the West, experienced rather more than an average share of the tribulation arising from repeated change of masters. The Parliament's committee in Wilts during 1643 comprised fifteen names in the following year they were increased to forty-four) as follows, Sir Edward Hungerford, Sir Edward Baynton, Sir Neville Poole, Sir John Evelyn of West Dean, Edward Baynton, Edward Tooker, Edward Goddard, Thomas Moore, Denzil Hollis, Alex. Thistlethwayte, Jun., Edward Poole, John Ashe, Robert Jenner, William Wheeler, and John White. The Commissioners acting for the King comprised (among others) Edward Ernle of Etchilhampton, Robert Eyre of West Chalfield, William Fisher of Liddington, Richard Goddard of Swindon, Sir Thomas Hall of Bradford, Edward Yerbury and William Wallis of Trowbridge, John Penruddocke of Compton Chamberlain, Charles Seymour of Allington, Anthony Cleeter of Cliffe Pipard, and perhaps Michael Tidcombe of Devizes.
Whatever sums were levied upon the Hundred of Potterne and Cannings, it was usually the practice to impose the fifth part thereof upon the Borough of Devizes. Two extracts from municipal records may suffice to establish this. The first refers to a levy of ship-money and is dated 23 Sep. 12th Car. 1636. “Whereas £7000, the cost of a ship of 700 tons,
* The writer has never seen a list of the King's Committee for Wilts.
had been laid upon the county of Wilts, it was conceived that Devizes could bear £50—which was paid :”—but the Sheriff being informed that Devizes used to pay the fifth part of that raised in the Hundred of Potterne and Cannings, of which it is a liberty, and finding that 50 shillings was still wanting to raise it to that proportion, levied the additional 50 shillings upon the Old Park in the parish of St. John's, being a member of the said borough. The other entry, dated 1640, records the payment of £4 38. 2d. "to one Biggs of Marlborough, being the fifth part of money by him recovered against the Hundred of Potterne and Cannings for a robbery done upon him."
THE BATTLE OF LANSDOWNE. Sir William Waller a knight of Kent next comes upon the scene. He brought with him into Wiltshire the knowledge of arms which he had acquired in foreign service, enhanced by a reputation subsequently won in the Parliament's cause, in the counties of Hants and Sussex. In the month of March 1643 he passed through Salisbury into North Wilts, where, on the 22nd he re-took from Colonel Lunsford the town of Malmesbury; then crossing the Severn at night, captured under the walls of Gloucester the entire army of Lord Herbert. He next surprised and took the two garrisons of Hereford and Tewkesbury; and again turning southward, marched upon Bath in order to encounter Prince Maurice, who, in conjunction with Hopton and Sir Bevill Granville was raising for the King the counties of Cornwall and Devon, By this time he was become so great a warrior in the eyes of the Londoners that they styled him William the Conqueror, and still further testified their affection for him by equipping one of his cavalry regiments in complete armour. This was Sir Arthur Hazlerig's troop of black “lobsters,” and was perhaps the only body of men throughout the war who rode completely armed; that is to say, each man had armour for the