Ward, John (fl.1642-1643) (DNB00)

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WARD, JOHN (fl. 1642–1643), poet, was a native of Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire. He was a man of strong puritan feeling, and on the outbreak of the civil war served as a trooper under the Earl of Bedford [see Russell, William, first Duke of Bedford]. On 13 Dec. 1642 he took part, under Sir William Waller [q. v.], in the action in which Lord Grandison was captured in Winchester. Ward celebrated the event in a poem entitled ‘The taking of Winchester by the Parliament's Forces. As also the surrendring up of the Castle. By I. W., an eye-witness’ (London, 1642, 4to), in which he gives a most detailed account of the whole skirmish, and laments over Grandison's subsequent escape from captivity. In the same year Ward also published another longer poem, entitled ‘An Encouragement to Warre, or Bellum Parliamentale; shewing the Unlawfulnesse of the late Bellum Episcopale’ (London, 4to), which bore on the title-page an elaborate engraving representing the prelates being borne away ‘as stuble before the wind.’ The poem consists of a long list of the moral and theological shortcomings of the cavaliers. The poem was reissued in 1643, with a fresh title-page, under the title ‘The Christian's Incouragement earnestly to contend

    For Christ, His gospell, and for all
    Our Christian liberties in thrall,
    Which who refuseth let him bee
    For aye accursed.’

To this issue was added ‘The Humble Petition of the Protestant Inhabitants’ of part of Ireland, of which, however, Ward was not the author.

[Ward's Works; Corser's Collectanea (Chetham Soc.), v. 338–42.]

E. I. C.