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Astley, Sir Jacob

Astley, Sir Jacob (1579–1652). A professional soldier who fought for the king all through the Civil War and was given a barony in 1644. He was present at the beginning and end of the conflict. At Edgehill on 23 October 1642 he led his troops into battle with a soldier's prayer: ‘O Lord, thou knowest how busy I must be this day. If I forget thee, do not thou forget me.’ At the end, in the market-place of Stow-on-the-Wold, on 21 March 1646, he surrendered the king's last sizeable force. Sitting on a drum, he told his captors, ‘you may now go to play, boys, unless you fall out among yourselves.’

J. A. Cannon

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