Front Page Titles (by Subject) Major-General Morgan to General Monck - The Clarke Papers. Selections from the Papers of William Clarke, vol. 3
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Major-General Morgan to General Monck - Sir William Clarke, The Clarke Papers. Selections from the Papers of William Clarke, vol. 3 
The Clarke Papers. Selections from the Papers of William Clarke, Secretary to the Council of the Army, 1647-1649, and to General Monck and the Commanders of the Army in Scotland, 1651-1660, ed. C.H. Firth (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1899). 4 vols.
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Major-General Morgan to General Monck
f. 108b.Since our coming into France wee have had many hard marches, and being run in arreare of pay for 6 weeks together, our men being forced to subsist onely with their amunicion bread, water, and frewte, it hath brought them into a greate weakenes, and much discoraged them, in soe much that they make all the shiffts they can to gitt into England, notwithstanding wee take all the care possible; but just now I have received assurance there will come a month’s pay to us to morrow, which I hope will much incorage them, and hinder their combinacion for running away. The French army together with the English forces have had the upper hand of the Spaniard every where in France and Flanders this yeare, and though both armies have oftentimes bin very neere together, yet the enemy never durst stand to an engagement. Upon the 17th instant (stilo novo) wee beleaguered a towne called St. Venant upon the edge of Flanders, and the Spanish army together with the Prince of Condee, camp’t within a mile of us fower dayes together, but never durst atempt to releeve the towne; onely our horse had continuall skermiges with them out of the lyne, and then they drew of, and marcht to a garrison of the King of France’s called Ardres, within 4 leagues of Boloingne, which they beleaguered, but in the meane time wee were not idle at our sidge before St. Venant, hastening that wee might goe to the releife of Ardres. Soe that on the 26th following, Providence ordered me to march into the trenches with 600 men, and to carrie one the point of the trench to the barricado which entered upon the point of the conterscarf. And having lodged 801 men to worke into the ground there, wee had a hott dispute with the enemy, the English corage with the rest of the 600 men to see us ingaged mouved them to leape out of the trenches, and to come up to us where wee were all upon plaine ground, but our men shouting, firing, and criing ‘fall on,’ made mee indeavour to gitt over the enimies barricadoe and turnepike, which was soone broake open with the barrell of a muskett, and soe wee entred within their counterscarff, and fell upon an halfe moone which was moted, and made the enemy quitt it and enter the towne, soe that wee wrought our selves into a security, and our losse was 10 men killed, and not 20 wounded. Myselfe received a slight shott in the arme, which blessed bee God is since recovered together with most of our wounded men. Marshall Turinn with most of the nobillitie in the army have had a high respect for us ever since. But indeed for the common and ordinary sort they are soe blasphemous and vile both in words and actions, that it would make any that feare God unwilling to reside (?) among them. If I had wings, and God would permit mee to fly for an hower or two to Dalkeith, I should acquaint your Lordship with many passages which I must omit at this time. As soone as St. Venant was yelded wee drew of, and marcht night and day towards the releife of Ardres, but the ennemy hearing wee were within halfe a dayes march of them, notwithstanding they had finished 3 mines and were redy to lodge the powder in them, yet they were danted, and durst not stay our coming, but marcht of, and left many of their men to the mercie of the garrison, and marcht downe by Gravelin and Dunkerke into Flanders, soe that wee are like to have noe farther action this yeare, save only to lye upon the borders of Flanders till the beginyng of October to waite what the ennemy will doe at the latter end of the yeare.
[1 ]Fifty men according to Morgan’s narrative and the abridgment of his letter in Mercurius Politicus.
[1 ]The signature should be T. not J. Mo. The letter is evidently by Major-General Thomas Morgan, and it exactly confirms the account of the siege of St. Venant given by him in his narrative. See ‘A true and just Relation of Major-General Sir Thomas Morgan’s Progress in France and Flanders,’ Harleian Miscellany, ed. Park, iii. 342. On the siege of St. Venant, see also Thurloe, vi. 480, 487, and Bourelly, Deux Compagnes de Turenne, 1886, p. 27, and Mercurius Politicus, September 3, 1657, pp. 1590, 1597.