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owing to the provocative manner in which Thomas Carlyle wrote:

To our Irish friends we ought to say that this garrison of Drogheda consisted in good part of Englishmen. Perfectly certain this ; and, therefore, let the bloody hoof of the Saxon,' etc., forbear to continue itself in that matter. Idle blustering and untruth of every kind lead to the like terrible results in these days as they did in those.

Cromwell's army, nevertheless, may safely be left to speak for itself, in letters sent from Dublin at the time. Sir Arthur Aston, the Governor of Drogheda, was an Englishman, but he was also

Catholic. Some of the officers too, no doubt, like Sir Edmond Verney, were Protestants, but apart from these we have little satisfactory evidence that any of the garrison were Protestants.

A letter from Dublin, printed in The Moderate on the 11th of September, says : ‘Sir Arthur Aston is governor of Drogheda. He hath two thousand with him in it; most of them are Irish'; and, on the 4th of October, the same writer again remarked that the garrison were ‘Most Irish and select.' Again, a letter from Dublin in The Moderate Intelligencer, on the 13th of September, states : 'In this town are two thousand Irish foot and two hundred horse. ... Sir Arthur Aston chose rather to have Irish than English for his garrison.' Such a garrison inevitably brought in its train a large number of camp-followers and refugees, Irish and Catholic, with the result that, as a letter from Milford Haven, printed in Perfect Occurrences on the 14th of September, remarked, they turned out thence all the Protestants which were in the towne.'

This last statement, no doubt, was an exaggeration, but since both parish churches were restored to Catholic worship it is 'perfectly certain' that at the time of the siege both inhabitants and garrison were overwhelmingly Irish and Catholic. Puritan hatred of Popery must have been fanned to a high pitch by all that was reported of what was taking place in Drogheda.

The whole condition of the Irish Royalists in Drogheda was admirably summed up in a letter from Dublin in the Kingdomes Faithfull and Impartiall Scout, on the 14th of September, as follows:

If all the towns be as well provided as Tredagh they have done very notably; for in this town are two thousand resolved foot, three hundred stout horse, the Governor, politike Sir Arthur Ashton, who was formerly governor both of Reading and Oxford for his late Majestie. He is an old soldier, an excellent politician, and one that is famous for making good towns, and once did one against the King of Sweden, for the Emperor of Germany, to the world's admiration. Never was town better fortified in Europe than this, the chief head pieces of the most rarest engineers having had a hand

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in the contriving of the forts and sconces and drawing out the line. The lord lieutenant [Cromwell] cannot lay siege to it, unless with his whole army on both sides of the water; the sudden and easie carrying of this place will facilitate the whole work, but if this prove difficult the rest is like to come off as hard. The Governor chose rather to have Irish than English for his Garrison.



The legend that the garrison consisted of Englishmen, therefore, must share the fate of Carlyle's pamphlet by the 'pious Harvey' (i.e. Henry Walker) ? and the idiotic Squire Papers.

On Friday, the 31st of August, Cromwell's army marched out of Dublin and 'rendezvoused' outside the walls. The next day it marched three miles and pitched camp in a field belonging to Lord Barnwell. On Sunday, the

On Sunday, the 2nd of September, it marched 'to a place called Bellygarth adjoining to a river called Nanney Water.' On the 3rd the army came 'within musket shot of the town of Tredagh' (Drogheda). Skirmishing took place the day after this and the batteries were begun. On the 5th the guns began to arrive from ships with the ammunition. On the 6th Cromwell issued a proclamation against plundering, and sentenced three men to death for doing so and for 'straggling from their colours.' On the 7th a ' mortar piece' was placed in the batteries, and 'two of the men were hanged for plundering the country.' On Sunday, the 9th of September, all the 'guns and mortar pieces were drawn up to the batteries to make breaches and to shoot down a steeple' (St. Mary's), 'which was much annoyance to us by their men firing out of it with long fowling pieces--there was a thousand of their putting into the towne to them.'

On Monday, the 10th of September, “Our guns began to batter at their steeple and works and made great breaches in both. In the afternoon our mortar piece threw a granado into the churchyard and likewise into other places of the town.' It is surprising to find that explosive shells were used thus early. These must have rendered Aston's horse useless. Cromwell then sent Sir Arthur Aston, the Governor of Drogheda, a summons to surrender. The letter is in existence, and is dated the 10th of September.

From this point it is no longer possible to harmonise the accounts. I think it will be best, therefore, to place my readers

• See a series of articles by the present writer, entitled 'Cromwelliana,' in Notes and Queries for 1911. In dedicating his egregious Sweetmeats to Cromwell, in 1663, Henry Walker, quoting St. Peter Chrysologus, remarked 'Legendo et Medicando metimus. I do not think that this was a mistake, but that the printer's 'corrector of the press,' mindful of Walker's numerous literary piracies and forgeries, simply traded on Walker's ignorance of Latin. In 1648, when he was lecturing on Hebrew, Walker quoted, as Dr. Waideson's word of commendation,' Quod tu sinistre legis nos dextre accipimus.'

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in the position of a Londoner of those times, receiving his information from the several pamphlets in the order in which they were published, and to detail the manner in which the news arrived in London.

On the 28th of September 1649 Captain Samuel Porter arrived in London. He was Cromwell's messenger, sent to announce the fall of Drogheda. Porter carried a sealed packet containing two despatches from Cromwell, the covering despatch addressed to Bradshaw as President of the Council of State,' dated the 16th of September, and an enclosure, dated the 17th of September, addressed to Lenthall as Speaker of the House of Commons. Porter also was the bearer of a short private letter, dated the 15th of September, from Hugh Peters, then colonel of a foot regiment, addressed to Henry Walker, the ironmonger, then preacher at Somerset House and, as 'Luke Harruney,' writer of the newsbook entitled Perfect Occurrences.

It is clear that not one of these documents was dated for the day they left Dublin. Porter probably did not start until the 24th of September and, in any case, must have travelled post haste, as he was awarded 1001. by Parliament on the 11th of October.

The news contained in these three documents had been anxiously awaited. Only uncertain reports of what took place more than a fortnight back had come through. For instance, The Perfect Summary stated, on the 1st of October, under the date of the 27th of September, 'There are no letters come yet from the Lord Lieutenant, but several letters are come from ships that have been at Dublin and sailed by, that Tredab is taken, and that the ships are stayed until a further work be done in order to reducing other forces, the particulars whereof are not thought fit to be published.' In other words, all letters were held up at Dublin until Cromwell sent his communications to Bradshaw and Lenthall.

The Council of State' was not sitting on Friday, the 28th of September, so that the packet addressed to Bradshaw as President remained unopened, as it was not a private letter. Peters's letter to Walker thus was the only one read in the House of Commons (and printed) on that day. Thus the House then adjourned, until Tuesday, the 2nd of October, in ignorance

• There is a German witness to this. Christoph Arnold wrote from London in 1651 as follows : 'Dux Independentium, Hugo Petrus, aliiq. homines (ceu quidem videntur) sacri, centuriones et primipili fiunt et antesignani qui ordines Londini et alibi ducunt. Hugo iste cohortem in Hibernia habet, cujus fortitudinem ipse imperator Cromwellus in tantum praedicat ut vel solum hunc concionatorem militibus centum potiorem ducat. Hunc enim semper in aggere occupando primum reliqui e vestigio insequuntur ita ut jam aliquot in Hibernia urbes hac alacritate ceperit. (Georg Richter, Epistolae Selectiores, Nuremberg, 1662.)

of the enclosure awaiting them in the packet addressed to Bradshaw. So that the short despatch to Bradshaw was read on Saturday, the 29th of September, when the Council sat again, and the lengthy despatch to Lenthall (which, of course, he did not dare open until the House assembled) was not read in the House of Commons until Tuesday, the 2nd of October. Thus also it happened that a second and shorter despatch from Cromwell to Lenthall, dated the 27th of September, enclosing a letter from Colonel Venables to himself, dated ‘Nury’[sic] ‘ 22 Sept.,' arrived in the meantime and was read with the first despatch to Lenthall, dated the 17th. Therefore, if the second despatch was no more than five days in coming to London, the infinitely more important despatches, which arrived on the 28th the earliest, were certainly not eleven days at least in transit, as their dates would seem to imply; and Cromwell's despatch dated the 17th of September probably did not leave Dublin until the 24th.

So Peters's letter was the first to be read and published. It runs :

Sir. The truth is, Tredagh is taken. Three thousand five hundred fifty and two of the enemy slain and sixty-four of ours. Colonel Castles and Captain Simmons of note. Aston the governor killed, none spared, etc.

We are brought face to face with the whole controversy about Cromwell's deeds at Drogheda by the last two words. They were understood at the time to mean that from Aston this Governor downwards Cromwell spared neither man, woman, nor child in the town. There was no question of the garrison alone. The Kingdomes Weekly Intelligencer on the 2nd of October remarked (under date the 28th of September) :

The businesse of this Pen being, as I have always said, to declare unto you the actions in the field, I have for the most part waived the Parliament news and shall so continue until I am better satisfied with what safety, in relation to their counsels, this pen may walk upon this paper (which, I conceive, was never more uncertain than at this present). And, truly, for my own part, if I had their whole journals lying before me I should forbear to give you account thereof. I shall also forbeare to give you in this place the letter of Master Peters concerning the taking of Tredagh, in regard he saith that, at the storming of the town there were none spared. I shall give you, therefore, in the room thereof the letter from the Lord Governor (Cromwell) himself.

The writer then set out in full Cromwell's despatch to Bradshaw, dated the 16th, in which Cromwell says: 'I believe we put to the sword the whole number of the defendants and I do not think 30 of the whole number, escaped with their lives.' 'None spared' therefore referred to townsfolk rather than to the garrison. VOL. LXXII–No. 427

2 1

On Saturday, the 29th of September, the Council of State sat again, read Cromwell's despatch to Bradshaw dated the 16th, and made it public. For very obvious reasons they also decided to suppress the whole licensed press. On the 21st of September they had authorised Frost, their Secretary and Bookkeeper, 'to publish weekly intelligence every Thursday' (in order to publish foreign news-always published on Thursdays and then of most importance to them), but Walter Frost now hurried his periodical and, instead of publishing the first number on Thursday, the 4th of October, issued it instead on Tuesday, the 2nd, of course having it printed on the 1st of October. Thus Frost had not seen and did not know the contents of Cromwell's despatch to Lenthall. But Frost, as Secretary to the Council of State, would know of the contents of any private letters sent to his friends in the Council by Cromwell, and must have seen and talked with Captain Porter; and thus bis account of the fall of Drogheda is important. He states :

The newes we long expected is come at last from Ireland. What we formerly heard is, for the general, confirmed by letters, whereof take the substance. That the towne of Drogheda having been summoned and refusing to yield, it was after battery, stormed upon Wednesday the twelfth instant.5 There was in it a very strong garrison, for the enemy, not daring to abide our forces in the field, had put into that towne (whereof Sir Arthur Ashton was Governor) the chiefest of all their men, being above three thousand Horse

• This appears from an unfinished entry in their order book on that day : •The lord president Sir Wm. Masham, Col. Jones, Mr. Scott and Mr. Robinson to be a committee to consider- and from a memorandum of proceedings to be taken against Walker's printers, entered on the fly-leaf of another book. See Calendar of 1650, p. 16. (Mrs. Green's date does not exist.) The following comment appeared in Mercurius Elencticus, No. 25, for the 15th-22nd of October 1649 : 'No Perfect Durnall, no Moderate, no Weekly Intelligencer, no Weekly Account, no Moderate Intelligencer, no Occurrences, no Faith full Scout, no Modest Narrative! All wafted away by the breath of Jack Bradshaw, and only A Brief Relation of Some Affaires and Transactions, Civill and Military, Forraign and Domestique tolerated. And that licensed by Long Gualter, Secretary to the Councell of Coxcombs, according to the direction of the regicides, that so the people may be abused for the future Cum privilegio, suitable to the mind of Bradshaw and Scot, who sway all . . . So that the licensed forgeries are quite vanished, and it remains only to hold the hands of Elencticus, to effect which Master Bradshaw hath been very earnest, with some I could name, by all means to find out that seditious violent and implacable knave, as he was pleased to style me, offering a hundred pieces and payment thereof, to anyone that would undertake the finding of me, upon my first appearance at the Council of State.' See also the Man-in-the-Moon for the 17th-24th of October 1649.

* In a letter from Dublin dated the 12th of September, printed in Perfect Occurrences for the 21st-28th of September 1649, the following occurs : 'On 11th came Mr. Peters with the last part of the forces from Milford to Dublin. And we heard that the Army was resolved to storm Drogheda on the next day, being Sept. 12th. On Sept. 12th, being this day, news is come hither that their guns have been heard to play hard, and it is said we have entered Tredah, we are hourly expecting the particulars.' This letter was not sent by the ordinary post viâ Milford, and reached London by way of Liverpool. It is lengthy, and accurate in all other respects.


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