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had a hard pull of it, for they were charged by Rupert's brave men, both in front and flank. They stood at the sword's point pretty while, hacking one another; but at last he brake throug them, scattering them before him like a little dust.' Rupert, wh according to a Royalist officer, had not been with his regiment whe the battle began, strove in vain to stem the tide. Upon the aları he was set upon the earth at meat a pretty distance from hi troops. . . . The Prince mounted to horse, and galloping up t the right wing, met his own regiment turning their backs to the enemy, which was a thing strange and unusual. "'S wounds, said he, "do you run? Follow me." So they facing about, he lec them to a charge, but fruitlessly, the enemy having before broken the force of that wing.' There was a momentary check, but a charge from the second line under Leslie completed the rout. Early in the mêlée Cromwell was wounded by a pistol shot. Though the wound was not dangerous, 'being but a rake in the neck, yet the pistol being discharged so near, the powder burnt his face and troubled his eyes.' For a few minutes he must have been incapacitated from personal leadership, and probably David Leslie, as second in command, took direction of the whole force during that period. Cromwell never left the field, and was soon at the head of his horsemen again, but this gave rise to the report circulated amongst the Scots that at the beginning of the fight Cromwell got a little wound on the craige, which made him retire, so that he was not so much as present at the service, but his troopers were led on by David Leslie.'
Little time was spent in the pursuit of the Royalist right. As at Naseby, Cromwell kept his men well in hand, taking special care to see it observed that the regiments of horse, when they had broken a regiment of the enemy's, should not divide, and in pursuit of the enemy break their order, but keep themselves still together in bodies to charge the other regiments of the enemy which stood firm.' Whilst Cromwell's heavy cavalry turned to charge either the foot of the Royalist centre (or, more probably, the cavalry of the reserve under Widdrington and Blakiston, which Rupert had posted in the rear of the Royalist infantry), Leslie's lighter horse completed the rout. The three Scottish regiments were mounted on 'little light Scottish nags,' and had been stationed in the rear of Cromwell's division, because they were thought unfit to cope with Rupert's better-horsed squadrons so long as their ranks were unbroken, 'If the Scots light, but
weak, nags had undertaken that work, they had never been able to stand a charge or endure the shock of the enemy's horse, both horse and men being very good and fighting desperately enough.' Now, as soon as a regiment of the enemy was broken, Leslie and his Scots fell in and followed the chase, doing execution upon them, and preventing them from rallying and getting into bodies.' Meanwhile nearer the centre of the Parliamentary line, and on the right hand of Manchester's horse, Manchester's foot was attacking with equal success. It numbered some 5,500 well-drilled and disciplined men, who stood as a wall of brass, and let fly small shot like hail,' and was led by Major-General Laurence Crawford. As the ground between Manchester's division and the enemy was more level than in other parts of the line, Crawford had more room to manœuvre, and 'having overwinged the enemy, set upon their flank, and did good execution.' This flank movement became more pronounced as the advance continued, the foot thus cooperating with the similar movement of Manchester's cavalry. Watson describes them as charging by our side, and dispersing the enemy's foot as fast as they charged, still going by our side cutting them down; so that we carried the whole field before us, thinking the victory ours, and nothing to be done but to kill and take prisoners.'
On the right wing, however, a disaster had overtaken the Parliamentarians, and the Scots in the centre held their ground with great difficulty. The cavalry of the right was commanded by Sir Thomas Fairfax, and consisted of about eighty troops of horse, including three regiments of Scottish cavalry. But many of the horse were newly raised levies from Lancashire, and the ground in their front was unfavourable to attack. 'The whins and ditches we were to pass over before we could get to the enemy,' says Fairfax, 'put us into great disorder.' Lord Eglinton, who commanded one of the Scottish regiments, explains that there was no passage but at a narrow lane, where they could not march but three or four abreast. Upon one side of the lane was a ditch, and on the other a hedge, both whereof were lined with musketeers. Fairfax himself and Colonel Lambert succeeded in getting their regiments through the lane, and, forming on the open ground beyond it, charged the horse opposed to them with success, and eventually joined the victorious left wing. But the rest of his cavalry were routed, and their rout was fatal to the infantry of the right wing also. Being hotly pursued by the enemy, they came
back upon the Lord Fairfax's foot, and the reserve of the Scottis foot broke them wholly, and trod the most part of them unde foot.' Of the three Scottish regiments, however, Eglinton' though suffering severely, remained unbroken, and Balgony lancers made their way to the left wing.
The Scottish infantry who formed the Parliamentary centr had crossed the ditch, and aided by the simultaneous advance o Crawford's and Fairfax's foot, captured some of the Royalist guns Now, whilst they were hotly engaged with the Royalist infantry in their front, Lucas and the bulk of Goring's cavalry assailed them in the flank. Lindsay's and Maitland's regiments stood their ground subbornly; a third of each Scottish regiment consisted of pikemen, and by their pikes two charges were beaten off. A third charge had almost put them in some disorder,' but a timely reinforcement enabled them to hold their own, and Lucas was not only repulsed but taken prisoner. Other regiments behaved badly. I,' wrote the lieutenant-colonel of one of them to the nobleman who was its titular commander, ' was at the head of your lordship's regiment and Buccleuch's, but they carried themselves not so as I could have wished, neither could I prevail with them; for those that fled never came to a charge with the enemy, but were so possessed with a panic fear that they ran for an example to others.' Half the Scottish foot, or even a larger proportion, broke and fled, and the road to Tadcaster was covered with a mob of flying horse and foot. Yet there was little bloodshed, for Goring's cavaliers stayed to plunder the baggage train of the Parliamentary army, and gave up the chase. The Earl of Leven had made every effort to stay the flight of his men, but when he failed the little old crooked soldier' regarded the day as lost, and never drew bridle till he reached Leeds. Lord Fairfax was carried off the field by the fugitives, but returned later, and Manchester succeeded in rallying 500 men and bringing them back to the battle.
By this time, however, the victorious left wing had begun to make its advance felt. Wheeling across the moor, and still co-operating with Crawford and Manchester's foot, Cromwell and Leslie came to the relief of the remnants of the Scottish centre. Goring's cavalry streamed back from plundering the baggage and charging the Scottish pikes to face this new foe, and met Cromwell's horsemen at the same place of disadvantage' where Fairfax had been routed.
Watson describes the decisive charge as one who took part in it. Here came the business of the day (nay almost of the kingdom) to be disputed; for the enemy seeing us to come in such a gallant posture to charge them, left all thoughts of pursuit, and began to think that they must fight again for that victory which they thought had been already got, they marching down the hill upon us from our carriages, so that they fought upon the same ground, and with the same front that our right wing had before stood to receive their charge, and we stood upon the same ground and with the same front which they had when they began the charge. Our three brigades of foot of the Earl of Manchester's being on our right hand, on we went with great resolution, charging them so home, one while their horse, and then again their foot, and our foot and horse seconding each other with such valour, made them fly before us, so that it was hard to say which did the better, our horse or foot. MajorGeneral Leslie, seeing us thus pluck a victory out of the enemy's hands, professed Europe had no better soldiers.' Goring's horse, disordered already by their previous success and their conflict with the Scottish infantry, were completely scattered and lost all semblance of organisation. Sir Philip Monckton describes the futility of his efforts to rally them: 'I saw,' he says, 'a body of some 2,000 horse that were broken, which as I endeavoured to rally, I saw Sir John Hussey, major-general to the Prince, come galloping through the glen. I rid to him, and told him that there were none in that great body but they knew either himself or me, and that if he would help me to put them in order we might regain the field. He told me "Broken horse would not fight," and galloped from me towards York.' In the end Monckton and Sir Marmaduke Langdale got together a body of horse, and according to his account kept. the field till midnight, when they were ordered to follow the rest to York.
More destructive to the vanquished was the rout of the Royalist infantry. Some of Rupert's veteran regiments from Ireland seem to have effected their retreat to York, but of Newcastle's foot very few escaped. His whitecoats who contrived to get into a small parcel of ground ditched in, and not easy of access to horse, refused to lay down their arms. At push of pike and with volleys of musketry they maintained their position till Leslie brought up Frizell's dragoons to beat them from their fences, and made a
way for the horse to enter. Then still fighting with the courage of despair they were cut down in hundreds.
The next day the Parliamentarians counted up the spoils. Sixteen guns, nearly 130 barrels of powder, over 100 colours, and 6,000 muskets were collected from the field. Newcastle's coach, full of compromising correspondence, Rupert's sumpter horse, and the body of his favourite poodle were among the trophies. The prisoners, who numbered 1,500, included two major-generals, Porter, and Tillier, and one lieutenant-general, Sir Charles Lucas. According to the victors the Royalists lost 3,000 men. The countrymen employed to bury the dead computed that they buried 4,150 corpses. By reason of the very white and smooth skins' of the dead it was believed that many of the slain were gentlemen and persons of quality. Lucas was taken to view the dead, in order that the men of rank might be carried away for more honourable burial. He selected some, but refused to give their names. 'One gentleman, that had a bracelet of hair about his wrist he said he knew, and desired the bracelet might be taken off, saying that an honourable lady should give thanks for it.'
On the Parliamentary side the loss was much smaller. Three days after the battle, Leven and his colleagues compiled a joint despatch, in which they summed up the history of the battle with judicious vagueness. They described it as 'a very hot encounter for the space of three hours, whereof by the great blessing and good providence of God the issue was the total routing of the enemy's army. . . . Our loss,' they added, 'is not very great, being only one lieutenant-colonel, a few captains, and 200 or 300 common soldiers.' These figures are certainly too low, but the Parliamentarians lost surprisingly few officers. Sir Thomas Fairfax was wounded, and both his brother, Charles Fairfax, and his cousin, Major William Fairfax, died of their wounds. Two Scottish colonels also were mortally wounded, and Algernon Sidney, who commanded Manchester's regiment of horse, was incapacitated from service for the next year or two. Amongst the killed was Captain Walton, one of Cromwell's officers, the son of Colonel Valentine Walton and Margaret Cromwell. It fell to Cromwell to break the news to his brother-in-law. 'Sir,' he wrote, after a few lines on the victory, 'God hath taken away your eldest son by a cannon shot. It brake his leg. We were necessitated to have it cut off, whereof he died.'