Windebank Historic Records

Bletchington House, 1645

General Cromwell's Letter, that he had defeated Part of the King's Forces; and taken a House in Bletchington; commanded by Colonel Windebank.

My Lords and Gentlemen,

According to your Lordships Appointments, I have attended your Service in these Parts, and have not had so fit an Opportunity to give you Account as now. So soon as I received your Commands, I appointed a Rendezvous at Watlington. The Body being come up, I marched to Wheatly Bridge, having sent before to Major General Browne for Intelligence; and it being Market-day at Oxford, from whence I likewise hoped by some of the Market People to gain Notice where the Enemy was. Toward Night, I received certain Notice from Major General Browne, that the Carriages were not stirred; that Prince Maurice was not here; and by Four Oxford Scholars, with their Carriages and Waggons ready, and in another Place Five, all (as conceived) fit for a March, I received Notice also that the Earl of North'ton's Regiment was quartered at Islip. In the Evening I marched that Way, hoping to have surprized them; but, by Mistake, and failing of the Forlorn Hope, they had an Alarum there, and to all their Quarters, and so escaped; by Means whereof, they had Time to draw all together. I kept my Body all Night at Islipp; and in the Morning a Part of the Earl of North'ton's Regiment, the Lord Wilmott's, and the Queen's, came to make an Infall upon me. Sir Thomas Fairefax's Regiment was the First that took the Field; the rest drew out with all possible Speed, and that which is the General's Troop charged a whole Squadron of the Enemy, presently brake it, and our other Troops coming seasonably on, the rest of the Enemy were presently put into a Confusion; so that we had the Chace of them Three or Four Miles, wherein we killed many, and took near Two Hundred Prisoners, and about Four Hundred Horse. Many of them escaped towards Oxford and Woodstocke; divers were drowned; and divers got into a strong House in Bletchington, belonging to Sir Thomas Coggin, wherein Colonel Windebancke kept a Garrison with near Two Hundred, whom I presently summoned; and, after long Treaty, he went out about Twelve at Night, with these Terms here inclosed, leaving us between Two and Three Hundred Muskets, besides Horse Arms, and other Ammunition, and about Threescore and Eleven Horses more. This was the Mercy of God, and nothing more due than a real Acknowledgement; and though we have had greater Mercies, yet none clearer, because, in the first, God brought them to our Hands when we looked not for them, and delivered them out of our Hands when we had laid a reasonable Design which we carefully endeavoured in. It appears in this also, that I did much doubt the storming of the House, it being strong, and well manned, and I having few Dragoons, and this not being my Business; and yet we got it. I hope you will pardon me if I say, God is not enough owned; we look too much to Men and visible Helps, This hath much hindered our Success; but I hope God will direct all to acknowledge Him alone in all.

Bletchington, Apr. 25 1645.

Your most humble Servant,

Oliver Cromwell.

Articles of Agreement, upon the Surrender of Bletchington House, between Lieutenant General Cromwell and Colonel Wyndebanke, April the 24th, 1645.

1 First, it is agreed, that all Officers of Horse of Commission of the Garrison shall march away, with their Horse, Sword, and Pistol.

2 That the Colonel and the Major are to march, with their Horse, Swords, and Pistols; and the Captains of Foot to march, with their Horse and Swords.

3 That all the Soldiers in the Garrison are to march away, leaving their Arms, Colours, and Drums, behind them; and for such Officers of Horse as retreat hither for Safety, they are to march away with their Swords.

4 That Mr. Hutchinson, Mr. Ernly, Mr. Edes, and Mr. Pitts, being Gentlemen that came to visit the Colonel, and not engaged, shall march away, with their Horses, Swords, and Pistols.

5 That all other Arms and Ammunition shall be delivered up immediately to Lieutenant General Cromwell, without embezzling, except as above-mentioned.

6 That a Safe Conduct be granted by the Lieutenant General, for all the above-mentioned, to Oxford.

7 That the Colonel's Wife, his Two Servants, and Chaplain, march away along with the Colonel, with their Horses.

8. That the Lady of the House shall enjoy her Goods as before, without Plunder, and all her Family.



Details from British History Online