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Further Description of the Battle of Wigan Lane

Further Description of the Battle of Wigan Lane

CONTINUING from the Monument raised to the Royalist General, Sir Thomas Tyldesley, we reproduce below part of two rare letters, from the Commonwealth Colonel (Robert Lilburn) to the Speaker of the Parliament and to the Lord General of the forces. The rarity of these Civil War tracts is sufficient excuse for reprinting them hereon, the illustrations showing the old fashioned type. The letters were written in Wigan on the evening after the battle, sent to London by courier, and printed in London on the fifth day after the battle.

BEING excerpts from "Two letters from Colonel Robert Lilburn one to the Honourable William Lenthall, Esq., Speaker of the Parliament. The other to His Excellency, The Lord General, containing the particulars of the total rout and overthrow of the Earl of Derby and the forces under his command in Lancashire, on the 25th August, 1651. By the Parliamentary Forces under the said Colonel Robert Lilburne. Printed in London the 30th August, 1651."

"THE Royalists shewed a great deal of courage by a mighty shout they gave behind the town in sight of us in the way towards Manchester which we, observing, together with the advantage they had over us in these grounds and hearing their number of foot so much increased, and the danger your regiment was in, put us upon new thoughts when they were at one end of the town and we at the other, and resolved rather to decline engaging with them here than hazard the loss of your regiment, and put ourselves upon an engagement upon too much disadvantage, they exceeding us much in foot, and we having no grounds to fight out horse upon, we were drawing off thinking to have marched in the flank of them towards Manchester to have gained a conjunction, with our friends there, but they seeing it,, presently drew through the town to fall upon us which we observing and thinking us near to them, resolved to trust God with the issue and He was graciously pleased to give us a comfortable success to the praise of His great name and a total rout of our enemies, who were increased to about 1,400 or 1,500 and I had only my own regiment and those three companies of Foot and the 50 horse and dragoons. The dispute lasted almost an hour and very difficult ot us, they overlaying us with foot (having not ground for our horses but the lane to fight in) the same place where my regiment beat up Hambleton's rear, but at last God gave us the day and I desire that He alone may have the praise for that great salvation He showed to us, a Company of poor creatures. As for the particulars I cannot yet give a very exact account to your Excellency, but only that Lord Derby is sore hurt but escaped through narrowly. Lord Widderington and Colonel Sir William Throgmorton dying and Tyldesley and Boynton slain, and several other considerable persons of great quality, and about sixty soldiers and we have taken most of their colours and about 400 prisoners."

                                                         Wigan, 25th August 1651 late in the evening.


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