From The Cornwall Register: containing collections relative to the past and present state of the 209 parishes, forming the county, archdeaconry, parliamentary division, and poor law union of Cornwall; to which is added a brief view of the adjoining towns and parishes in Devon from Hartland to Plymouth. By John Wallis, A.M., F.S.S., Vicar of Bodmin and Official of the Archdeaconry of Cornwall. Bodmin, Liddell & Son, 1847.
Excerpt of pages 384 to 389. The NY Public Library's copy is in such fragile condition that photocopying is permitted of few pages.
... The civil war lasted nearly nine years, having commenced with the battle of Edgehill, in Warwickshire, Sunday, the 23d October, 1642, and ended with the battle of Worcester, the 3d September, 165 I. It will be very necessary to remember that the principal events in Cornwall happened in the following order: ---
1642, Sep. Sir Ralph Hopton and Sir John Berkley came into Cornwall, and were accompanied by Sir Bevill Grenville to Truro. At the Michaelmas Sessions an order was made for calling out the posse comitatus, by which 3,000 foot were raised for the king's service. Lord Mohun declared for the king. The whole county soon in possession of the royalists.
1642-3, Jan. General Ruthven, Governor of Plymouth, entered Cornwall by Tavistock Newbridge, with the parliamentary army; and on Thursday, the 19th, the royalists having advanced from Bodmin, the battle on Braddock down was fought, as described in Sir Beville Grenville's letter, p. 379. All Cornwall again remained in possession of the king's party.
1643, May. The parliamentary army again entered Cornwall, under the Earl of Stamford, and on Tuesday, the 16th May, was attacked near Stratton, and completely routed, by Sir Ralph Hopton and Sir Beville Grenville, who with 3,000 men defeated 6,000 ? among whom was Waller the poet. This was esteemed one of the most brilliant victories in the whole course of the civil war. See p. 234.
On hearing the news of this signal defeat, Sir George Chudleigh, who, with upwards of 1,000 horse from Stratton, had surprised the Sheriff and others at Bodmin, made a hasty retreat to Exeter. Cornwall having been thus, for the third time, secured for the king, the Corrash army marched into Somersetshire.
July 5. Sir Beville Grenville slain at the battle of Lansdowne, near Bath.
Sep. 10. The king's letter of thanks to the inhabitants of Cornwall, printed in p. 389, is dated on this day from Sudeley Castle, in [blank]. Copies still remain, painted on board, in many of our churches. There was one in Bodmin church.
1644, July. Queen Henrietta embarked from Pendennis Castle, for France.
20th. The Earl of Essex, with the parliamentary army, again entered Cornwall by Tavistock Newbridge, or Horsebridge, and advanced to Bodmin. Stow taken by storm. Sir Richard Grenville, the king's general, retreated to Truro, having suffered some loss at Lostwithiel.
Thursday, August 1. The king himself entered Cornwall, by Polston Bridge, in pursuit of Essex's army.
Friday, August 2. The king is joined by Prince Maurice, on Carraton Down: the same day Essex moved from Bodmin to Lostwithiel, and took possession of Fowey.
Sunday, 4th. Lord Mohun's house, at Boconnoc, then occupied by the parliamentary officers, was surprised by a party of the king's horse, from Liskeard.
Thursday, 8th. The king reached Boconnoc, -- was diverted to Glynn, -- and, affrighted thence by the militia, lay all night in his coach, on Boconnoc Down. His army encamped on the spot where Ruthven was defeated, the 19th January, 1642-3. See p. 380.
Saturday, August 10. Near Druids' Hill, above Lostwithiel, 100 troopers from each side fought, being challenged by Col. Straughan, in the presence of both armies: the royalists were vanquished, and half their number killed. See D. Gilbert's Cornwall, vol. 4, p. 186.
Sunday, 11th. Sir Richard Grenville, having advanced again from Truro, took possession of Lord Robartes's seat at Lanhydrock, and Resprin Bridge; and on Tuesday, the 13th, secured the pass at St. Veep, the ford below it, Hall house, and Pernon fort near it, which gave him the command of Fowey harbour: and on Wednesday, the 21st, Restormel Castle. On
Sunday, the 26th, St. Austell, St. Blazey, and Par, where the enemy's provisions were landed, were taken possession of for the king, by General Goring. The king's line now extended from Par to Grampound and St. Enoder, and by Bodmin, Restormel, Boconnoc, and St. Veep, to Hall, thus hemming in Essex's army on the narrow neck of land extending on the right bank of the river from Lostwithiel to Fowey. Essex now sought means of escape. Sir William Balfour, owing to the negligence of General Goring, at three o'clock of the dark morning of Saturday, the 31st August, made his way through the king's quarters around Boconnoc, with the whole of the parliamentary horse, amounting to 2,500, and got safe out of the county, by Saltash. Essex, on the same day, quitted Lostwithiel, with his army, for Fowey, and occupied in his retreat Castle-dore, a running fight being kept up between the two armies. The king lay that night in the field, with his army, near the enemy.
Sunday, September 1. Essex, having proposed a parley, took ship at Fowey, with Lord Robartes and others, and escaped to Plymouth: his general Skippen, left in command, immediately capitulated with 6,000 men.
Monday, September 2. The king returned to Boconnoc. The captive army were granted a safe convoy into Dorsetshire; but in passing the king's forces, on Braddock Down and elsewhere, many were sadly ill-treated by his soldiers, contrary to his wishes, and notwithstanding the spirited remonstrance of General Skippen, on the spot, to the king himself.
Wednesday, 4th. The king quitted Boconnoc, and left the county, by Tavistock, having fully accomplished the purpose of his expedition, by placing Cornwall, for a while, in a state of perfect security. His last words to Sir Francis Basset were: "Mr. Sheriff, I leave the county entirely at peace in your hands." Thus Cornwall was; for the fourth time, in the sole possession of the royalists.
From the hedge not far beyond the four-mile stone, from Bodmin to Fowey, where a narrow road leads down, on the left, to Lostwithiel, the whole line of operations at this time may be traced, extending principally over the twelve parishes of Bodmin, Lanhydrock, Boconnoc, Broadoak, St. Winnow, Lostwithiel, Lanlivery, Tywardreath, St. Sampsons, St. Veep, Lanteglos, and Fowey. Bodmin, Lostwithiel, and Polruan may be seen from this spot. The whole scene of this distressing warfare between at least 20,000 fellow countrymen, may also be viewed from the cross on Druids' Hill. See p. 136.
1645. Prince Charles, the war being removed into the eastern counties, spent a great part of the autumn and winter in Cornwall, principally at Launceston and Truro. Sir Richard Grenville was committed by the Prince to Launceston prison, for refusing to obey Lord Hopton: he had before quarrelled with General Goring.
1645-6. February. Lord Hopton, beaten at Torrington, retired, with 3,000 horse, to Stratton, followed by Sir Thomas Fairfax, who entered Cornwall by Tamerton bridge.
March 2. Prince Charles embarked at Pendennis Castle, for Scilly.
March [blank]. Lord Hopton retired to Bodmin, and is driven westward by Fairfax, who secured Lostwithiel, and the passes around Bodmin; and also Wadebridge, by Cromwell. Lord Mohun and others came and submitted.
March 9. Fairfax marched from Bodmin to Tregony. Lord Hopton joined the Prince, in Scilly: his 3,000 horse disbanded by a treaty made at Tresillian bridge.
April 16. Prince Charles sailed for Guernsey, from Scilly, which soon afterwards surrendered.
Thursday, April 23. St. Michael's Mount surrendered: Duke of Hamilton then a prisoner there.
Sunday, August 16. Pendennis, having been defended to the last by its brave old governor, John Arundell, of Trerice, surrendered on the most favourable terms.
1648. May. Sir Hardress Waller defeated some forces in Cornwall, raised in behalf of the fallen king.
1649. August. Sir John Berkeley and Colonel Shingsley, having been sent into Cornwall to encourage their friends to rise in arms for Charles II, were taken at Colonel Trevanion's house, and sent prisoners to Truro.
1650. The Scilly Isles were again held against the parliament. Mr. Godolphin appears to have commanded under Sir John Grenville.
1651. June. The Scilly Isles were surrendered to the parliament, after a long siege. The garrison of 800 soldiers, with commissioned officers enough, as Whitelocke observes, to head an army, including Sir John Grenville, afterwards Earl of Bath, were made prisoners.
It is not easy to reconcile the various accounts, given by different writers, of the events of the civil war. We still require a succinct and accurate memorial of the transactions throughout Cornwall during these wretched times; with regard, more especially, to dates, localities, persons, and the number of men engaged on each side.
End of excerpt.
Further: notes on the Civil War in Maclean's History of Bodmin excerpted on this site.