Sir Robert Cooke to the Speaker, 2 June 1643
Gloucester, 2nd June, 1643.
The success of Sir William Waller's late design upon Worcester was not so prosperous as to hasten an account, especially the opportunity of sending it being wanting, yet not so ill as perhaps report they render it. Sir William, finding a necessity of drawing his forces from this part, was desirous to leave in as good condition as he might this country, afflicted on the one side with the Worcester garrison, and the rather because it was impossible for him to march away with a convenient strength unless he withdrew the garrison from Tewkesbury, consisting, with officers, near 1000 horse and foot. In this regard he held it both necessary for the country, and of great consequence to the main to attempt the taking in of Worcester, that as the works being slighted it might not remain a strength for the Parliament's enemies and give assurance to their chief body of retreat upon occasion of disaster. Upon Monday morning he presented his force before it all that day, assaulted it, and especially at two gates, Sidbury and St. John's [sic. q. Martin's], The cannon played on both sides all day, the defence was obstinate, yet within less than four hours we had beaten the enemy out of all their outworks, and had gained the suburbs, and had lodged our musketeers at the very ports, and were in so fair a way in so short a time of gaining the town as could be. But Sir William Brereton's force not coming in according as was expected, and Sir William Waller being called away by no less than five packets that evening out of the west exclaiming that all would be lost there if he did not immediately advance that was, it was held necessary to rise to attend that service as of greater importance. What their loss was we cannot certify, but we are credibly informed. a sergeant major and a cannoneer besides others were slain. We lost the day before Captain Lane, killed by scouts; that day Captain Ball, an ensign, and in and about 16. Sir William Waller's trumpeter, after he had delivered his summons, was unsoldierly shot in the thigh by one Sterm. at the animation of the Governor, Colonel Beaumont. On Tuesday morning Sir William Waller drew from thence to Tewkesbury, and so to Gloucester, leaving orders with me to throw down as much of the works as the convenience of my time would afford, which I believe is so done that they are made unuseful, though not fully slighted, and to withdraw the force from Tewkesbury to Gloucester, from whence he had sooner departed had not the impossibility of either marching without money, or getting it without the employment of his troops to collect it, a little hindered his speed. The country is much troubled at his departure, and unless my Lord General's motions shall direct the other force they fear the worst.