During the first three yf-ars of the war, Morrice often distinguished himself by a resolution and courage, which the greatest dangers appeared rather to increase than subdue. Naturally bold, he was often placed in the post of honour and difficulty, and obtained such renown, as to be noticed and caressed by his superior officers. As a reward for’his services as well as an incitement to his future exertions, he was advanced to the rank of colonel. He did not disappoint the expectations which his past conduct had raised; but when engaged in the most difficult enterprises, he was crowned with success.
Morrice, though respected for his military talents, gave offence to the serious pnrt of the army, by his dissipation^ and licenciousness. He did not, like some others, nut on the mask of seriousness as a cover to the most enormous, crimes, but whatever his vices were, they were notorious. He was the devotee of sensual gratifications, and in his conversation, gay, humorous and pleasing; and in consequence became the associate and friend of those of a similar taste.
On new modelling the army, and the intro-
duction of strict discipline, Morrice was left unemployed. Fairfax and Cromwell would admit none to command, but who either were, or appeared to be, sober and religious men. They however dismissed Morrice with professions of the highest respect, and promised that as soon as a proper occasion occurred, they would again call him forth into active service.
According to Lord Clarendon, Morrice was not displeased at being dismissed from the service of the parliament, as he had already begun to repent of his late rebellious conduct. Being a gentleman possessed of a competent estate in this part of Yorkshire*, he came and resided up
* The editor laments that Ins researches to find out the place where Colonel Morrice resided, and the estates which belonged to him, have been without success. Could this have been ascertained, it might have thrown some light on the following narrative; and by connecting time and place, would have rendered the whole more complete. An historian has frequent reason to regret his want of materials, which are sometimes locked up in the libraries of the great, and to which all access is denied. Castilion Morrice, a son of Col. Morrice, whose daughter Ann married William Sykes, of Stockholm, merchant, is mentioned in the Milnes’ pedigree, Vid. Beetham. This William Sykes was brother ot Richard Sykes, of Leeds and Ledston, whose eldest daughter and coheir married Tho. Wilson, grandfather to the late bishop of Bristol, whose second son, Christopher Wilson, Esq. of Elmsal, in right of that marriage, possesses the very valuable estate of the Park, at Leeds, formerly an appendage to the ancient castle of that name.
The mother of William Sykes, who married Ann, the eldest daughter of Castilion Morrice, as above mentioned, married to her second husband Joseph Poole, Esq. of Sykehouse, in the parish of Fishlake, a Captain in the army of the parliament, and who frequently hazarded his life, in various attempts to scale the walls of our castle during the last siege. He resided some time after the castle was surrendered and
[on it; and resolved to wipe of the stain of rebellion by opposing the cause of the parliament, the first opportunity which presented. That such a
dismantled, in the house now called the Castle Chain House; and various letters directed to him (here, are still in the possession of John Milnes, Esq. Wakefteid. He afterwards went and resided at Chapelthorp, near Wakeficld, and at last retired to that town, wiiere he ended his days. He was buried in the Quakers’ burying ground, where a stone still remains to hi» memory. He died Sep. 16, 1704.
The family of Poole, of Sykehouse and Drax, sprung originally from the Pooles of Spinkhill, in the county of Derby. Baxter informs us, that the ancestor of Matlhew Poole, was one of the first to embrace the reformation; and was in consequence driven away from Spinkhill, by another branch of the family who was as zealous for popery. There is a pedigree of this family in the Herald’s Office, which tiaces the family for nineteen generations. Richard Poole, of Sykehouse, had Issue Francis Poole, Esq. of York, who married the daughter ot Toppin. Alderman of York; and a second
son called William. Francis had issue Matthew Pool, the industrious author of the Synopsis Criticorum. He succeeded Dr. Tuckney at St. Michael’s, London, where he faithfully discharged the duties of a pastor for fourteen years, till lie was silenced by the Bartholomew Acl. He retired to Holland, where he died, greatly lamented by all who knew him; for " he was pleasant in his conversation, true to his friends, strict in his piety, and universal in his charity."
William Poole, the younger son of the above Richard, had issue Capt. Samuel Poole, of Leeds, and Capt. Joseph, of Wakefield. They had commissions in the army of the parliament. Joseph was engaged in the siege of our castle, as above stated. Capt. Samuel had issue, by Silence, daughter of Peter Saxton, vicar of Leeds, David Poole, Josiah and
Obadiah. David Poole married Mary, relict of •
Massey, Esq. by whom he had Josiah Poole, of Liverpool,
merchant. Josiah Poole married and had issue David
Poole, of Youngsbury, Herefordshire, Prime Sergeant at Law. This David married Jane, daughter and heir of John Bird, Esq. of Youngsbury, and had issue Josiah Poole, Esq. of Knottingley, who dying unmarried, at Bath, the estate has descended to his younger brother, David Poole, Esq. of Ackworth,
resolution should be formed at the time of his dismissal, clearly indicates that he sensibly felt the mortification of disappointed hope in the career of ambition; and it is probable that his future conduct was regulated as much by a spirit of revenge as by the impulse of loyalty.
As an officer who had hitherto distinguished himself in the cause of the parliament, he was readily admitted to the confidence of Cotterel, the governor of our castle. A continual intercourse produced on the part of the governor a sincere friendship, and he honoured him with every mark of genuine esteem and regard. Morrice visited the castle when ever he pleased, and sometimes remained there for a week, eating at the same table, and sleeping in the same bed, with the governor. By the sprightliness of his temper, and the vivacity of his wit, he banished the tedium of military duty, and gained such an ascendancy, that the governor parted from him with reluctance, and was impatient for the repetition of his visits.
While Morrice bad the address to secure the friendship, and render himself almost necessary to the comfort, of the governor, he had entered into an agreement with the royalists to surprise the castle. When’these met together in considerable numbers to devise means to effect their purpose, he never appeared among them; and only the three Pauldens seem to have known his intention. To keep clear of all suspicion he associated with some of the most zealous friends of the parliament.
To try the spirit of the country, he went to all the neighbouring towns on market-days and at their fairs, and entered into free conversation with men of every description. The information which he collected, he communicated to the royalists for their direction, and in like manner to the governor to preserve his confidence and favour.
The royalists were accustomed to meet at the house of the Rev. Mr. Beaumont, rector of South Kirkby. At one of their meetings, one of the .Pauldens informed them, " that a gentleman on whom they might rely with the utmost confidence, would surprise the castle whenever they should think the season ripe for it." He therefore advised them to desist from any attempt, and wait till they should receive directions how to proceed, and assured them of final success. He observed, that if time, place, and other circumstances were fixed, and communicated to all engaged so long beforehand, it was probable the design would be detected and finally frustrated. They agreed to enlist men who should be ready to take arms when required ,, and they soon obtained about three hundred toot and fifty horse, who had served under them in the preceeding war.
This is an extract from the book: The history of the ancient borough of Pontefract: containing an interesting … By Benjamin Boothroyd Ryan Roe supplied me with a link to this information. Thanks RyanOlder postNewer post