Bartholomew at war

I was much taken by his majestie’s small stature but great dignity that when ye split finally came betwixt King and Parliament in sixteen hundred and forty two and Parliamentary troops came to our towne to build artillery platforms out on ye point from wch to bombard ye castle at Southsea across ye water I left my father’s service and crossed over to Portsmouth to joyn ye castle’s garrison. Wee were commanded by my Lord George Goring a most dissolute and dishonest man who had obtained monies from both his Majestie and Parliament for ye strengthening of ye castle and garrison. If my Lord had spent as much time in his duties as he did in drinking and whoring ye siege might have come to a better conclusion. When wee were forced to surrender to ye forces of Sir William Waller I continued my soldiering serving as a pikeman under ye King’s general Sir Ralph Hopton. It was while I was campaigning in ye southwest yt I met and married Abigail Millard ye daughter of a Wiltshire tavern keeper.

Bartholomew’s letter to Abigail.

My soldiering days ended in ye March of sixteen hundred and forty four with my Lord Hopton’s disastrous defeat at Cheriton neere Winchester. I had been sorely wounded in my right arme and was captured by Parliament when my fellows fled ye field leaving mee to lye among ye dead and injured. When I had recovered from my wounds I was offered a choice of joining Parliament’s armie – wch some of my fellow prisoners did, being mightily impressed by ye offer of regular pay – or promising never to bear armes against Parliament again. By now I had become tired with sleeping under hedges and living on short rations with always ye promise of better things to come, so I signed my parole and returned home to Abigail.

Text of Bartholomew’s letter.


Bartholomew in London