3 December 2003
CHARLES I, King of England (1625-1649). Autograph letter signed to Prince Rupert ('Nepheu'), 'Matson 5 Sep: 10: morning ', one page, 8vo (integral leaf removed, traces of guard, contemporary endorsement, tiny holes in folds touching one letter, dust-stained on verso).
Written on the day the Royalists ended the siege of Gloucester. 'The Generall [Falkland] is of opinion that we shall doe littell good upon this Towne, for they begin to counter-myne us, w[hi]ch will make it a worke of tyme', supporting Falkland's opinion that they should engage with Essex as soon as possible 'before he can reach the hedges', and requesting Rupert to work to this end 'that no tyme be lost'.
The Royalist decision to besiege Gloucester was taken at Bristol in August, optimistically expecting little resistance. The Earl of Essex himself led the Parliamentary relief force of 15,000 men, meeting no serious obstacles despite Rupert's attempt to cut him off at Stow, and as he reached Cheltenham the King ordered the abandonment of the siege. Essex entered Gloucester on 8 September.
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