Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Battle of Naseby

'Long and steadily did Sir Henry gaze on the letter, so that it might almost seem as if he were getting it by heart. He then placed it carefully in his pocket-book, and asked Alice the account of her adventures of the preceding night. They were briefly told. Their midnight walk through the Chase had been speedily and safely accomplished. Nor had the King once made the slightest relapse into the naughty Louis Kerneguy. When she had seen Charles and his attendant set off, she had taken some repose in the cottage where they parted. With the morning came news that Woodstock was occupied by soldiers, so that return thither might have led to danger, suspicion, and inquiry. Alice therefore did not attempt it, but went to a house in the neighbourhood, inhabited by a lady of established loyalty, whose husband had been major of Sir Henry Lee's regiment, and had fallen at the battle of Naseby. Mrs. Aylmer was a sensible woman, and indeed the necessities of the singular times had sharpened every one's faculties for stratagem and intrigue. She sent a faithful servant to scout about the mansion at Woodstock, who no sooner saw the prisoners dismissed and in safety, mid ascertained the Knight's destination for the evening, than he carried the news to his mistress, and by her orders attended Alice on horseback to join her father.'

The text above is from Walter Scott's "Woodstock".   The Battle of Naseby strongly impacted the outcome of the First English Civil War.  Charles I's forces, led by Prince Rupert of the Rhine were overcome by Parliamentarians, under Thomas Fairfax and Oliver Cromwell.  The Battle of Naseby took place on June 14, 1645.

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