Bourne Archive: FNQ: Civil War           Latest edit 9 Aug 2009.   

Interactive version ©2006 R.J.PENHEY

The Bourne Archive


Fenland Notes and Queries. Edited by Rev. W.D. Sweeting, Rector of Maxey.

Part 40. January  1899.

This quarterly periodical took the form of a forum in which people sent in questions about the history, ecology and so on of the Fens and the region’s environs and others replied with some sort of answer. Some ‘answers’ seem to have been spontaneous, so qualifying as ‘notes’.

Seventeenth Century Civil War

758 – The Parliamentary Chronicle, – From a rare book entitled “Jehovah-Jireh. God on the Mount. Or, Englands Parliamentarie-Chronicle,” I send some extracts relating to the Fenland district. The author is John Vicars, an enthusiastic supporter of the parliament party. The period covered by the chronicle is from 1641 to October 1643.


Cambridge Countie also petitioning the Parliament for furnishment of Armes for the defence of their County against the Malignant Commissioners of Array, the Parliament ordered, that not onely they, but all other Counties over the whole Kingdome should be assisted with such moneyes as had formerly been collected for Horse, Armes, and Ammunition in the last Northern expedition, and had not been disposed of for the defence of those severall Counties, where the money had been so collected.  (P. 98.)

 Lincolnshire made known their readinesse, alacrity and cheerfullnesse to yield obedience in speedie puting the Ordinance for the Militia in execution; the Lord Willoughby of Parrham also further intimating the resolution of that County to defend his Majesties person, and to preserve the priviledges of Parliament, and to oppose all such as endevoured to separate his Majesty from his great Counsell of Parliament.  (Ib.) [ibidem (in the same place, which is page 98)]

 The next extract is a good specimen of the courteous and temperate character of the author’s language.

It pleased the Lord most graciously to give us divers sweet and most memorable returns of our Prayers, as first, that on that very Thursday, [1 Sep, 1642] [M.M.D.’s insertion]. The Earl of Carliel [probably James Hay, 2nd Earl of Carlisle of the Second Creation] and one Master Russell, two great Malignants against the Cause of God, and his Church, who intended to have put the Commission of Array in execution at Cambridg, were both of them there apprehended without any blood shed & brought up to London to the Parl. Also the very same day in the afternoon, (for, the other two came to London in the forenoon) a brave and courageous Troop of London Dragooners brought to the Parl. that most mischievous Viper of our Church and State too, Mathew Wren Bp. of Elie, as also Dr. Martine, Dr. Beal, and Dr. Stern, three very pestilent and bad Birds, of the same Viperous blood, with other Prisoners, brought up to the Parliament, who are all now, lockt up in Cages, most fit for such ravenous Vultures, and unclean Birds of prey; with whom also, those valiant Troopers brought a great Trunke full of marvellous rich Silver and guilt Plate and money, as some reported on credible information, to the value of at least 1000.l. some said 1500.l. together with a great piece of Ordnance and other Ammunition, all this found in the said Wrens house, which was all carried, that very same day, to the Guild-Hall  in London.  (P. 149.)

Much about which time [March, 1643] [M.M.D.’s insertion], upon a hot and true report and intelligence, that the Lord Capell, a great Malignant, with some troops of Horse, intended to shape his course, and to March to Cambridge, with a purpose to have taken it for the use of his Majesty; but noble and active Colonell Cromwell, having happily prevented him, with the associated Counties about Cambridge, especially Essex, sending in most speedily very numerous auxiliarie forces, to oppose the utmost power of the Lord Capell, his wise lordship providently diverted  his purpose, and come not thither, fearing (very justly) too hot entertainment. For, there was, indeed, assembled thither in a very short space, neer about thirty thousand able armed fighting men. But all being well and safe for the present, they were (with very hearty thanks for their faithfull forwardnesse) dismissed and sent home again, save only one thousand to strengthen the Town. But, ere they departed, a list was given in of at least 23000, who at three dayes warning would be ready to march thither again on any just occasion thereunto. Thus we see how our God infuses and inflames zeal into the hearts of his people, to shew themselves ready and cheerful to come forth to help the Lord against the mighty Nimrods and hunting Furies of our times. O who, then, can distrust such a God, such a Cause?  (P. 273.)

[There are chronologies of events nationally and nearer Lincolnshire, which might be useful in providing a context for the above events.]