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petty-constables and tythingmen who find themselves unable to serve both King and Parliament at the same time.
In connexion with the above may be cited a circumstance recorded in Collins's Baronetage, relative to George Wastney, third son of Sir Hardolf Wastney of Headon, Nottinghamshire, who, we are told, rendered himself memorable by slaying five persons in Devizes in the behalf of King Charles, in whose service he lost his life. As there are no data whereby to determine accurately the era of this transaction, we may conjecturally connect it with some one of the scrimmages which came off during Lloyd's governorship, to be noticed hereafter.
To the Constables of the Hundred of Potterne and Cannings and to either
of them:- These :--haste. “These are straitly to will and require you upon sight hereof to gather within your Hundred of Potterne and Cannings these several provisions, .... thousand weight of cheese, one .... weight of butter, ten flitches of [bacon?] . . . . quarters of wheat, four quarters of [barley?] or malt, one quarter of gray boiling (pease?]. And you are required to bring all this provision into the castle of the Devizes by Thursday next, the 3rd of April, where the commissary will be ready to receive it and give you a discharge. But where any part of this provision is not to be gotten, you are to gather and receive it in money to the value. Fail not the due execution of this warrant, as you will answer the neglect of his Majesty's service and the good of the garrison. Dated at the Devizes, this 28th day of March 1645.
To the Constables of the Hundred of Potterne and Cannings. [a mutilated paper;—all the first part gone;—the passages in brackets are conjectural].
" ... · unsatisfied. And the said .. . . artificers for the time . . . . to be neglected. These are [therefore in the King's Majesty's name to will and [require you upon] sight hereof, as well to collect and [gather within your said] Hundred the said sum of twenty (pounds weekly the general and usual rate, and the same .. .. you pay it unto Mr. Richard Pierce [and Mr. William Dicke] sen. of the Devizes, on Tuesday [the 15th] day of this instant April, at the dwelling house of the said Mr. William Dicke in the Devizes aforesaid ; as also that you collect and gather within your said Hundred weekly and every week, from the day of the date hereof, the sum of four pounds of like money, for and towards the expenses and wages of the said sentries and artificers; which you are hereby likewise required to pay unto the said Mr. Richard Pierce and Mr. William Dicke, weekly and every week, at the place aforesaid, until you shall receive further order to the contrary. And hereof you may not fail, as you will answer the neglect of his Majesty' service and the good of the garrison, at your peril. Dated at the Devizes this present Friday the 11th day of April, 1645.
A letter from Captain Robert Challoner. "MR. HARIS. I shall desire you to send me your answer by the bearer whether you will send me your returns of the ploughs that have been levied on your side of the Hundred, and also for the five pounds that was levied for the payment of carpenters and sawyers. Yours to serve,
“ROBERT CHALLONER. “Done by the Governor's orders.”
The “Mr. Haris” here addressed is probably John Harvest the unhappy chief-constable of Potterne, whom Governor Lloyd has well nigh driven wild. On receipt of the above missive, he turns the paper over and writes on the back “Woe is me, poor Ba......” a sentence which may be conjecturally completed by the words “ bankrupt constable.” [Captain Challoner's handwriting and orthography are those of an illiterate person].
THE TAKING OF PINHILL HOUSE AND ROWDEN HOUSE. Having now taken a view of Sir Charles' ability in the engineering and commissariat departments, it is time to recur to the military movements in this neighbourhood, consequent on the establishment of the new garrison. It will at once be seen, that as Massey and Devereux commanded at Malmesbury, and Lloyd at Devizes, the intermediate tract of country was · debateable land. The town of Chippenham seems to have been a sort of out-post for Massey's advanced guard; but not satisfied with this, he barricaded at sundry times as occasion required, Pinhill House near Calne the seat of the Blakes, Rowden House near Chippenham belonging to Sir Edward Hungerford, and Lacock Abbey the residence of Lady Olivia
Stapylton. Pinhill House was reduced by the Devizes, Royalists, 28th December, see page 205, and Lord Hopton who was playing the same game as Massey, by dotting the country with garrisons, next cast his eye on Lacock Abbey, to which post he accordingly assigned his own regiment of horse under the command of his Lieutenant-Colonel Jordan Boville. About the middle of February Boville marched from Bath to take possession of his new quarters, but on arriving at the mansion discovered to his dismay that it was already in the possession of a party of musketeers from Chippenham and Malmesbury; whereupon he rode forward to Devizes to concert measures with Sir Charles Lloyd and Sir James Long. Colonc! Tyrwhit with a detachment of the Devizes garrison, and Long at the head of 300 of his troopers, uniting with Boville's men, now constituted a force of 500, and in this strength they lost no time in moving privately towards Chippenham. Having advanced some distance they learnt that the enemy had abandoned Lacock and were now, to the amount of 300, ensconced in Rowden House ; that a small party moreover was stationed in the town of Chippenham. Colonel Webb with a troop of horse was sent into the town, where he succeeded in capturing Captain Ludford the governor of Rowden House; after which the entire body proceeded forward to the mansion itself, which they immediately summoned. The message to surrender receiving no other answer than a volley of musketry, and the besiegers being unprovided with battering cannon, nothing remained for them but to sit down before the place and send off to Lord Hopton for a train of artillery from Bath. The cannon in due course of time was brought up by Sir Francis
1 Pinhill, that is, Pinehill: so of Pinhill married Mary daughter called, says Aubrey, from the grove of Phillip Baynard of Lackham, Co. of Pines which once covered its Wilts, and had a daughter, Joan, summit. In 1656 there were only who (about 1600) married Anthony four or five of the trees remaining. Goddard of Ogbourn St. George and Nat. Hist, of Wilts. Roger Blake Hartham.
Doddington, and a reinforcement of 400 cavalry from Cirencester also moved towards the devoted citadel under the command of Sir Jacob Astley. But the news had travelled equally fast to the Parliamentary stations of Malmesbury and Gloucester; and before the Royalists had become too powerful, Colonel Stephens the Sheriff of Gloucestershire issued out of Beverstone castle, and at the head of 130 of his own horse and a body of foot from Malmesbury, burst through the leaguer and deposited a supply of ammunition and provisions within the works. Having accomplished this feat, his wiser course would have been to fight his way out again, while his assailants were in comparative disorder. But who, at such a moment, could resist the temptation of sharing the friendly cup of welcome ? Stephens and his men alighted and went into the house to refresh themselves; and the besiegers made diligent use of the interval of time thus allowed them, by casting up a breastwork in front of the entrance, and thereby blockading in the horses. The result was that as there was no accommodation for cavalry in the house, the condition of the inmates was worse than it was before; or to use the language of a contemporary chronicler, “the poor besieged were most desperately straitened by this kind of relief." John Corbet's Relation.
As this state of things could not last long, it was determined that the horse should make a desperate effort to charge over the breastwork, aided by a file of forty musketeers who sallied out with them and strove hard to clear a passage. But the attempt, though made in gallant style, proved utterly abortive : seventeen of the musketeers were cut down, and the whole party driven back.
It soon became manifest that further resistance would necessitate surrender at discretion. No less than 3500 men were now encamped around the house ; and although a second relieving party, sent by Massey, actually rode up and fired a few shots on the outposts of the leaguer, yet the very feebleness of the demonstration convinced Stephens and his associates of the necessity of at once accepting quarter for their lives. Rowden House was therefore given up to the Royalists; and as its owner, Sir Edward Hungerford, was no friend to their cause, they at once dismantled it and set it on fire. The principal prisoners were carried to Devizes; and Colonel Boville occupied Lacock Abbey.
Rowden House, as described by Aubrey, was a well-built Gothic fabric, forming a quadrangle and enclosing a square court. It had a fair hall, very well furnished with armour; and the windows of this hall were emblazoned with coats of arms. Escutcheons executed in stone, similiar to those at Farley, also adorned the walls of the court; and the whole was environed by a moat. Farley castle another seat of Sir Edward Hungerford would probably have met with the same treatment from the Royalists hands, but that it was at present held by them as a fortilice, and was eventually saved by the governor revolting from his allegiance and declaring that he held it for the Parliament.
THE CAPTURE OF Sir James LonG's REGIMENT. Hitherto Commanders Lloyd and Long had had it all their own way, throughout a district of which Devizes was the centre; but they were now about to experience a signal reverse. In order to render the affair intelligible it should first be stated, that in the month of March 1645 the Parliament directed Oliver Cromwell to march from London with a strong body of horse, and uniting with Sir William Waller's army in Hampshire, to advance under his command to the relief of Taunton, where the indomitable Robert Blake (afterwards Oliver's sea-Admiral] was holding out against desperate odds beyond the walls and starvation within.
We must therefore imagine the two Parliamentary Generals preparing to traverse South Wilts on their way to Taunton, and leave them between Andover and Salisbury while we