Page:VCH Surrey 1.djvu/485

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.

POLITICAL HISTORY falconets, instead, which he undertook to convey safely by byroads. They were refused however, and he was told that the fortress must be evacuated. He then rode down on a good horse alone, avoiding the Royalist parties, to his own house. There he impressed some carts and horses, and took them through the park to the castle, and managed to bring away safely most of his stores and men. The Royalists shortly took possession, and another poet, Sir John Denham, a Surrey man living at Egham, was made governor. He was pricked as sheriff of Surrey by the king for 1643. The county was now on the verge of the field of serious war. The king's army was just north of the Thames and Rupert's cavalry were south of it. He had tried to take Windsor Castle by a coup de main, but found it impracticable and drew off. On November 9 his headquarters were at Oatlands. Kingston was now held for the Parlia- ment by Sir James Ramsay, a Scotch soldier of fortune from the German wars, with 3,000 men. Sir Richard Onslow and the Surrey trainbands had been withdrawn, from a view of the importance of the place, its Royalist feeling, and the chance of certainly either infection or friction between Surrey men of opposite politics. Strangers were more safe. On November 10 Rupert had withdrawn his headquarters to Egham. He crossed the Thames at Staines on the night of the i ith, and in the early morning of the 1 2th fell upon the advanced guard of the Earl of Essex's army left too far advanced in Brentford. 1 Though reinforced, the garrison of Brentford were overpowered and badly beaten. On November 1 3 the king's army was face to face with Essex at Turnham Green. But there was no battle. The king had the smaller force, and not enough powder as was afterwards known. 2 Essex was strongly posted for defence, and Ramsay's force at Kingston on the king's flank and rear if he were beaten made it impossible for him to venture much. Ramsay indeed was intended at first to attack the king while Essex manoeuvred round his left flank, but the idea was abandoned, and Ramsay was brought round by a circuitous march over London Bridge to Turn- ham Green, where he would have been too late for a battle if one had been fought on the i3th. He arrived late in the evening. The king fell back without fighting, but Essex did not follow. His force con- sisted largely of trainbands from London, who were not to be quite trusted for movements under fire in the face of an active cavalry. He fell back close to the fortified lines which had been begun round London. A bridge of boats was thrown across the Thames at Putney, to enable him to march if necessary to stop the king from going east through Surrey, and the ends of the bridge were fortified with tetes du font. The remains of that on the Surrey side are said to have been traceable early in the nineteenth century. 3 There had been a skirmish in Surrey, which 1 For Rupert's movements see ' Journal of Prince Rupert's Marches ' in English Hist, Review, October, 1898, and Clarendon, Whitelocke and Rushworth. The king's infantry advanced from Colnbrook to Brentford, but Rupert had been south of the Thames and came across to join in the attack.

  • Whitelocke's Memorials. s Faulkner, Hist. ofFulbam, says that it was visible in 1812.

I 409 DD2