chapter  15
11 Pages

The Marcher Association and the Clubmen

From the opening of the war Royalist commanders had, as illustrated, repeatedly complained of the indifference and hostility of local populations. In the late summer of 1644 these complaints took on a new urgency. One reason for this development lay in the pressure upon local resources produced by the troops which accompanied or followed Rupert from the North. The Prince scattered these to quarters in Wales and the Marches, while he gathered new recruits at Chester and Bristol. The inhabitants of the areas assigned for their support, who had been reluctant enough to sustain local garrisons, were openly hostile to these strangers. Gibson’s foot regiment, sent to Conway in August, was shut out by the citizens. It quartered at Caernarvon instead, in an atmosphere of open animosity, until after a month it was recalled to Chester.1* Some horse and foot under a John Van Bynissy were sent into eastern Shropshire. The horse were allotted quarters near Wenlock, where the countrymen refused to feed them, while the foot were sent to Bridgnorth, only to suffer the fate of Gibson’s for, despite the orders of the governor, Kirke, the townsmen closed the gates to them.2