Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Part 06 - A March North. The next instalment of the Civil War Campaign Diary

For your enjoyment the next instalment is published. This will probably be my last blog of this year.
This entry is leading nicely to a table top battle involving Septimus and Sir Royston.
I would like to thank you for reading this blog and wish you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

A March North.

The Meeting room in The White Hart Inn, Hull.

22nd March 1642. 11:30pm.

Sir John Hotham, the governor of Hull invited his guests to take their seats. 'We have just received some very good information that a convoy of plate and other valuable items, will be travelling from Twiston Hall to York on the morning of the 25th! Sir John looked around the room to see the surprised looks on their faces. 'Mr Pelham has kindly brought this information to my immediate attention.'

Peregrine Pelham, the MP for Hull, smiled and nodded, his network of spies and informants was already keeping him informed of everything that was worth knowing about the royalists in York and the surrounding areas.

'How reliable is this information,' asked Captain John Hotham, the son of the governor and commander of a regiment of horse.

'My dear captain, I can assure you this information comes from a very reliable source, one who is well placed to continue to feed me with good intelligence.' Pelham answered in a smug tone. He had deliberately said me and not us.

Colonel Septimus Gryndell, Colonel of the Hull Trained Band, the fourth person in the room spoke for the first time. 'I know the area well, I grew up in a village close by. I could take my regiment and be in a position to intercept the convoy, if so ordered Sir.' He looked directly at Sir John.

The governor nodded and unrolled a map on the table before them. 'You will need more than just your regiment Septimus, the informant also told us that as well as Sir Royston's newly formed regiment of foot, an escort of horse will also be protecting the convoy. I propose my son accompanies you with his regiment of horse.'

Captain Hotham's eyes lit up with the prospect of action, It would be an honour to serve under you sir! He said, smiling at Septimus.

'You will make excellent company, captain and I will not turn down your marvellous troopers, my men are drilled and trained well enough, time to see how they put that into use in a battle.'

Sir John looked down at the map, 'Can you get into a position to intercept in the time available?'

'Aye, that I can sir,' he leaned over the map, 'We leave the town at first light in the morning.' His finger ran along the road to Beverley. 'A column of troops leaving Hull and marching to Beverley will not cause too much of a stir, any spies will believe we are just reinforcing the town. The men can be fed on the Westwood and then we march along the York Road, but then leave it here.' His finger pointing to a spot two miles North of Beverley, 'We swing North of Market Weighton and make camp for the night. It is a quiet area well away from the York Road. The following morning, we continue our North-Easterly march, on quiet cart tracks and rejoin the York Road, just here!' His finger tapping on a spot just South of Pocklington. 'There is a small road, known locally as The Balk, it runs down from Pocklington to the York Road, there is a wood there large enough to hide six regiments let alone two. We camp there the night, next morning the convoy comes to us!

'Excellent plan Septimus,' said Sir John. 'Are you certain he will use the York Road?

'Aye sir, with wagons or carts it is the easiest and quickest way to York from...' his finger pointed to Twiston Hall close to the village of Thorpefield, and ran it north along the road to its junction with the York Road, turned North-East and along until it passed the wood they would have spent the night. 'We will ambush them, they will of course have scouts out ahead and we must remain in cover so as not to alert them, Captain Hotham's horse can be on The Balk, well out of sight, he won't want his horses stuck in a wood with a battle ahead.' He looked up at a smiling Captain Hotham.

'Then gentlemen, it is settled. Septimus and John will leave in the morning, it appears we have much to organise before that happens, so we better make a start.'

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