THE TAKING OF TIVERTON, Castle, Towne, Church, and Fort, By Sir Thomas Fairfax.
IT hath pleased God still to blesse our endeavours above expectati∣on, all the glorie be given to God. We have taken in Tiverton, both the Towne, Castle, Church, and Fort, a place of so great strength, that had not Page 2 the Lord done wonderfully for us, wee might rather have admired their strength, than expe∣cted to be Masters of it; the manner wherof, together with other passages since my last, I have here enformed you, since our advance from Chard untill this present. We advanced on Tuesday the 14 of October instant from Chard, and marched to Honniton; and Go∣rings horse (through the carelesnesse of some of our Guards) fell upon our out-quarters, and tooke some fortie Dragoones and Foot, and those horse of Gorings returned presently to their quarters about Exeter; wee quartered that night, and all Wednesday, and Wednesday night about Honniton, and met with some of Gorings straglers and others, we have (divers) come in to us, and on Wednesday the 15. of October instant, we advanced from Hunning∣ton and marched that day to Columbton, where the Lord Miller was quartered with two Regiments of Horse and one of Dragoons, the towne being slightly fortified: but imme∣diately upon our advance, they quitted that place and fled; We had then intelligence, that Page 3 Greenvill was with about two thousand foot that day viz. Wednesday Octob. 15. instant at Bow, and it was supposed that the next day he would be in conjunction with Goring, most part of his Horses then quartered in the villa∣ges on this side of Exeter, about Cliffe, Silver∣ton, Stoake, Rew, Hucksham, and all the Parishes thereabouts; The Foot (which for∣merly did belong to Gerhards Brigade of old) then quartered most of them at Broadcliffe. On Thursday Octob. 16. instant, Major-Generall Massey was ordered to advance to Tiverton, and so to quarted beyond the River with his Brigade, and there was the good effect of that took in the enemies Quarters, and Major Ge∣nerall Massey did soone possesse himselfe of the Town of Tiverton, the Enemie marched away, onely those who were left in the Castle, and the Church, to keep those places. It was then conceived hard for us, nay almost impos∣sible for us to hinder the Enemies Horse from marching Eastward, if he do attempt it with the whole strength, except Lievtenant-Gene∣rall Cromwell (with his whole Brigade) come Page 4 up to us; And that day wee began to extend our quarters towards Broadminch, and so nea∣rer to Exeter.
On Friday the 17. instant, our Generall Sir Thomas Fairfax sate downe before Tiverton-Castle and Church, to take them in, and sum∣moned the enemy to deliver them up, of which being denied, we planted our batteries against them, which went forwards that day and the next.
On Saturday Octob. 18. instant, our batteries were finished by the afternoone, and on this day being the Lords day Octob. 19. instant, the Generall caused severall great pieces to be plan∣ted on the batteries against the Castle verie ear∣ly, so that they were ready to play by breake of day, and all our Cannon began to play about seven a clocke in the morning, against the Castle, and the Enemie from thence an∣swered us with their pieces, but did no exe∣cution upon us.
And after many shot that we had made a∣gainst them, a Cannonier by one shot gallant∣ly performed this businesse, for he broke the Page 5 chaine of the Draw-bridge with a bul∣let, which passeth over to the entrance of the Castle, which falling downe, the chaine being so broken, our Souldiers fell on without any further order from the Generall, they being loth to lose such an opportunitie, and loving rather to fight than to look on when God gives them such occasion, which took good effect, for they soone possessed them∣selves of all; they presently entred the Castle and Church, in which wee had foure men slaine: yet such is the mild and gentle carriage of the Generall, and his desire to spare the effusion of bloud, as much as may be, that notwithstan∣ding they took it by storme, yet he him∣self gave command, that quarter should be given to all those who were alive: wee took in the castle Sir Gilbert TalbotPage 6 who was Governour of the place, 20 o∣ther Officers, 200 Souldiers, four peece of Ordnance, good store of Armes and Ammunition, and abundance of treasure, which was divided amongst the Souldiers. The castle was verie strong, and the works all regular. The Generall intends to march on Munday for the releefe of Plymouth, and wee heare that Lievtenant-Generall Crom∣well did intend to quarter at Dorchester as the last night, and cometh on verie hard marches to joyne with the Gene∣rall. Gorings Horse are marched to∣wards Plymouth.
Tiverton, Octob. 19. 1645. at nine a clock at night.
A List of what was taken at Tiverton.
- Colonell Sir Gilbert Talbot, the Governour.
- Major Sadler, Major to Col. Talbot.
- 20 Officers of note.
- 200 Common Souldiers.
- Foure Peece of Ordnance.
- 500 Armes, with store of Ammunition, Provision, and Treasure.