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ing forward in the prosecution of their main design, the relief of Taunton, advanced through Shaftesbury and Gillingham, formed a junction with Colonel Holborn near Taunton, drove Lord Goring from the walls, and threw into the beleaguered town the long required succours. Having accomplished this feat, they again retired eastward; this time in two bodies; Cromwell took the route through Dorsetshire; while Waller passed near Bath to Marshfield and thence to South Wilts, a march not unattended with adventure.
He was now traversing the district rendered memorable two years before by his pursuit of Sir Ralph Hopton into Devizes, and it seems a natural supposition that he was beating about to devise some mode of retrieving the credit lost by the disastrous issue of that campaign; for on approaching Bristol, though he can hardly be said to have menaced the garrison, he certainly held correspondence with some of the Parliament's friends in the city, who found it convenient immediately after to decamp. This failing, he amused the garrison of Bath by sticking a few petards in their city-gates and leaving them to explode; after which he bent his steps, as above mentioned, to Marshfield, which must have led him over the fatal field of Landsdowne.
Before quitting Marshfield Sir William sent forward a party of horse on some expedition to the neighbourhood of Devizes, who falling foul of a troop of the Devizes horse led by Captain Jones (mentioned at page 208] were worsted in the encounter, and compelled to retire to Calne, leaving in Jones's hands a few prisoners, of whom more hereafter. Waller speedily rejoined this advanced company at Calne, and waited in that town till the arrival of 200 musketeers with some field pieces which were appointed to meet him from Malmesbury. Our antiquarian friend Aubrey, whose reminiscences so often illustrate the military movements which occurred during his youth, furnishes an incident having reference to the march of this day between Marshfield and Chippenham. In his description of the mound called Hubba's Lowe and an ancient thorn-tree which stood near it, he observes “I do remember a great thorn in Yatton field near Bristow-way, against which Sir William Waller's men made a great fire and killed it. I think the stump remains, and was a mark for travellers. It was called Three miles bush,' and stood as one goes from Yatton to Biddestone on the right towards Giddy-Hall.” Aubrey's MSS. · Waller's army when he left Calne now numbering 5000 men, (independently of Cromwell's contingent,) it was proposed that the next action should be the reduction of Colonel Boville's garrison at Lacock Abbey; but intelligence reaching him at this moment that Goring's cavalry had again taken heart and were pursuing Cromwell in Dorsetshire, he deemed it necessary to re-unite with that General without further delay, and accordingly traced a southerly course through Rowde, Potterne, and Lavington.
As he passed near Devizes, apparently near the foot of Cane-hill' Jones's troopers, elated by their recent success, had the temerity notwithstanding the smallness of their numbers, to issue out of the town and skirmish with his horse. The result was what might reasonably have been expected. After an action of very brief duration, Jones and his men were chased up into Devizes, the Parliament's horse entering pell-mell with their adversaries, and dashing through the market-place with a view to secure the castle gates. Those of Jones's men who were fortunate enough to secure themselves behind the works, lost the majority of their horses and arms, while others were pursued and shot down in the streets. The bold Captain himself lost his life by the hand of one of the prisoners whom he had recently taken as above mentioned, near Calne; the manner of which tragical event
? Before the formation of the Kennet and Avon Canal the road from Rowde to Potterne was a straight line.
being at large set forth by Master John Vickars in the Second part of his Looking Glass for Malignants' may as well be presented in its original garb.
“ Captain Jones a Welshman who had a command in Devizes in Wiltshire, and led out the forces which Sir William Waller there lately took and routed: on the night before he went out to encounter Sir William's brigade, drank divers healths of strong waters and wine at an inn in the Devizes to the confusion of the Parliament, Sir William, and the Roundheads, on his bare knees, and did beat three or four in his company who did refuse to pledge them. The next morning some of Sir William Waller's men who were taken prisoners by this Captain Jones his men, were sent to the same inn and lodging, where Jones drank those healths. But soon after, Sir William's forces routing Jones, took 200 of his horse and pursued Jones into the Devizes, who flying on horseback towards the same inn, one of Sir William's soldiers there imprisoned, just as he came before the inn-door, seeing him flying, and the Parliament's forces pursuing, having his pistol charged, shot him in the head. Whereupon he fell down from his horse at the same door where he drank those healths more to his own than Sir William's confusion. There he lying dead in the street, the innkeeper informed Sir William what healths he had there drunk overnight before, and what a just judgment was now befallen him in that very place. With which, Sir William and divers gentlemen with him were much affected. This is attested by one Captain Brummidge a gentleman of quality, an ear and eye-witness to all these premises, who was present with Sir William in the Devizes, when this judgment befell this health-quaffing cavalier.”
This spirited affair appears to have been conducted solely by the cavalry on either side. As Waller's foot therefore could not reach the town before the entrances to the castle were again secured, and as he was unprovided with battering cannon, he contented himself with the reputation he had already won; and continuing his march southward, arrived the next day at Downton, whence he wrote as follows to the Parliament: To William Lenthall Esq. Speaker of the House of Commons.
“Downton, 26 of March 1645. “SIR. In regard of my Lord Goring's labouring to impede my march, I went to Lavington, and thence upon the advance of a long march over the Plains, I came safe . . . hither. On my way between Calne and Lavington, I passed by the Devizes, where . ... the enemy's horse sallying out, we charged them and beat them into the town, falling pell