Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 33.djvu/94
been defeated as completely as Montrose was at Philiphaugh. In any case, he was anticipated by Cromwell, who at the break of day of 3 Sept. gave the order to advance before the Scots under Leslie were drawn up in line. Thus, though the more disciplined troops made at first a desperate resistance, the case of the Scots was from the beginning hopeless, and, to use the words of Cromwell, they soon ‘became as stubble’ to his horsemen. No fewer than three thousand were slain almost where they stood, and over ten thousand taken prisoners. Leslie escaped and reached Edinburgh by nine o'clock; but no attempt was made to hold it, and the committee of estates ordered a rendezvous of the army under his command to be held at Stirling. From Stirling Leslie marched to Perth, and thence by Dundee to Aberdeen, in order to make final arrangements with the northern loyalists, who had taken independent action on behalf of the king. On 24 Oct. a letter was sent him by Middleton, the general of the loyalists, desiring a union against the common foe (Balfour, iv. 131–132), and on the 26th a band was subscribed by Huntly, Atholl, and other lords, acknowledging the league and covenant (ib. pp. 129–130). On the 29th an act of indemnity was therefore proclaimed at Perth, and on 4 Nov. the loyalists laid down their arms and accepted the act by a treaty with Leslie at Strathbogie (ib. p. 160). This was followed by the coronation of the king at Scone on 1 Jan. Leslie had already, on 23 Dec., been exonerated ‘of all imputation anent the miscarriage at Dunbar’ (ib. p. 214), and on his return from the north he took up a position at Torwood, between Stirling and Falkirk, to prevent the passage of Cromwell northward. It was so well chosen, and so well defended by entrenchments, that when Cromwell, whose operations had been delayed by illness, arrived before it in June, he regarded an attack on it as hopeless. He, however, succeeded in forcing a passage into Fife, and on 2 Aug. occupied Perth, thus threatening both to cut off Leslie's supplies and to take him in the rear. The country to the south of Leslie had necessarily, however, been left open, and the Scots therefore resolved to pass into England and march on London. The manœuvre might have been successful had the royalists in England shown more alacrity in utilising their opportunity, or had Cromwell shown less promptitude in dealing with the crisis. The endeavour to introduce Charles to the English as a covenanted king was, moreover, in itself a hopeless error. It caused dissension even among his Scottish supporters, and it scared away the English royalists from his banner. That in such circumstances Cromwell would triumph was a foregone conclusion, and Leslie seems to have foreseen that defeat was inevitable. Clarendon states that Leslie told the king that he was ‘melancholy indeed, for he well knew that the army, how well soever it looked, would not fight’ (iii. 540). Clarendon attributes the detention of the Scots army at Worcester to the fatigue caused by the long march, but probably it rather indicated the presence of doubt and despair in the counsels of the leaders. Insufficient energy was shown in strengthening its defences against Cromwell's arrival. ‘There was,’ says Clarendon, ‘no good understanding between the officers of the army. David Leslie appeared dispirited and confounded, gave and revoked his orders, and sometimes contradicted them. He did not love Middleton, and was very jealous that all the officers loved him so well.’ He also affirms that only on ‘that part where Middleton was’ was resistance made (iii. 550); but this may have been mere royalist prejudice and calumny, for Cromwell himself describes the battle as ‘as stiff a contest for four or five hours as ever I have seen.’ It would appear that when all was practically lost the king desired to make a charge with the horse, and then probably it was that David Leslie was seen riding ‘up and down as one amazed or seeking to fly’ (Cal. State Papers, Dom. Ser. 1651, p. 437). Leslie does not seem to have shown greater alacrity in flight than Middleton. They made their escape together with a considerable body of horse, the number, according to Clarendon, reaching four thousand (Hist. p. 551). They appear to have lost considerable numbers from panic on their journey, but, had it not been for dissensions and recriminations, might have reached Scotland in safety. In Yorkshire, however, Leslie and Middleton separated themselves, either accidentally or designedly, from their discontented followers, and were taken prisoners at Chester on 17 Sept. On 24 Oct. Leslie was committed to the Tower (Cal. State Papers, Dom. Ser. 1651–2, p. 273). By Cromwell's Act of Grace he was fined 11,000l., subsequently reduced to one-third of that sum. Latterly he obtained some relaxation of his imprisonment, but he was not granted his liberty till 1660.
After the Restoration Leslie was, 3 Aug. 1661, in recognition of his services to the royal cause, created Lord Newark by patent to him and heirs male of his body. A pension of 500l. a year was also bestowed on him. On 10 June 1667 the king sent him a letter assuring him of his continued confi-