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aside, to consider how they might make their retreat to Valencia.
The retreat being at last resolved on, and a multiplicity of generals rendering our bad circumstances much worse, the Earl of Peterborow met with a fortunate reprieve, by solicitations from the
queen, and desires tantamount to orders, that he would go with the troops left in Catalonia, to the relief of the Duke of Savoy. It is hardly to be doubted that that General was glad to withdraw from those scenes of confusion, which were but too visible to eyes even less discerning than his. However, he forbore to prepare himself to put her majesty's desires in execution, as they were not peremptory, till it had been resolved by the unanimous consent of a council of war, where the king, all the generals, and ministers, were present, that it was expedient for the service that the Earl of Peterborow, during the winter season, should comply with her majesty's desires, and go for Italy; since he might return before the
opening of the campaign, if it should be necessary. And return indeed he did, before the campaign opened, and brought along with him one hundred thousand pounds from Genoa, to the great comfort and support of our troops, which had neither money nor credit. But, on his return, that noble Earl found the Lord Galway had been near as successful against him, as he had been unsuccessful against the enemy. Thence was the Earl of Peterborow recalled to make room for an unfortunate general, who, the next year, suffered himself to be decoyed into that fatal battle of Almanza.
The Earl of Peterborow, on his leaving Valencia, had ordered his baggage to follow him to the camp at Guadalaxara; and it arrived in our little camp, so far safe in its way to the greater at Guadalaxara. I think it consisted of seven loaded waggons; and General Windham gave orders for a small guard to escort it; under which they proceeded on their journey: But, about
all the way,
eight leagues from Cuenca, at a pretty town called Huette, a party from the Duke of Berwick's army, with boughs in their hats, the better to appear what they were not, (for the bough in the hat is the badge of the English, as white paper is the badge of the French,) came into the town, crying
66 Viva Carlos Tercero Vioa !” With these acclamations in their mouths, they advanced up to the very waggons ; when attacking the guards who had too much deluded themselves with
appearances, they routed them, and immediately plundered the
of all that was valuable, and then marched off.
The noise of this soon reached the ears of the Earl of Peterborow at Guadalaxara. When, leaving my Lord Galway's camp, pursuant to the resolutions of the council of war, with a party only of fourscore of Killegrew's dragoons, he met General Windham's little army within a league of Huette, the place where his baggage had been plundered. The Earl had strong motives of
suspicion, that the inhabitants had given intelligence to the enemy; and, as is very natural, giving way to the first dictates of resentment, he resolved to have laid the town in ashes ; But when he came near it, the clergy and magistrates, upon their knees, disavowing the charge, and asserting their innocence, prevailed on the good nature of that generous Earl, without any great difficulty, to spare the town, at least not to burn it.
We marched, however, into the town, and that night took up our quarters there; and the magistrates, under the dread of our avenging ourselves, on their part took care that we were well supplied. But, when they were made sensible of the value of the loss, which the Earl had sustained ; and that on a moderate computation it amounted to at least eight thousand pistoles ; they voluntarily presented themselves next morning, and, of their own accord, offered to make his lordship full satisfaction, and, that, in their own phrase, de contado, in
ready money. The Earl was not displeased at their offer; but generously made answer, That he was just come from my Lord Galway's camp at Chincon, where he found they were in a likelihood of wanting bread ; and, as he imagined it might be east)r to them to raise the value in corn,
in ready money; if they would send to wat value in corn to the Lord Galway's camp, he would be satisfied. This they with joy embraced, and immediately complied with.
I am apt to think the last century, (and I very much fear the current will be as deficient,) can hardly produce a parallel instance of generosity, and true public spiritedness : And the world will be of my opinion, when I have corroborated this with another passage some years after. The commissioners for stating the debts due to the army, meeting daily for that
purpose, at their house in Darby Court in Channel Row, I there mentioned to Mr Read, gentleman to his lordship, this very just and