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23 March 1643–4). Shortly afterwards he was appointed to succeed the Earl of Carbery in the general command in South Wales, then strongly held by the parliament, and by 19 May 1644 had succeeded in collecting a force of two thousand five hundred horse and foot with which to begin operations. He marched by Chepstow to Cardiff, which surrendered to him, and took Kidwelly. By 12 June he had already penetrated into Carmarthenshire, and before the 18th he was in possession of Carmarthen. He rapidly reduced Cardigan, Newcastle Emlyn, Laugharne, and Roch Castles, and seems to have experienced no check until he was already threatening Pembroke about the middle of July, when the garrison of that place by a sortie routed a portion of his force and obtained supplies. On 22 Aug. he took Haverfordwest, and before the end of the month had invested Pembroke and was threatening Tenby. His forces are said to have been largely composed of Irish levies, of whose barbarous atrocities loud complaint is made in the ‘Kingdom's Intelligencer,’ 15–23 Oct. 1644. In September he received orders to join Rupert at Bristol, and in October he began his retreat, marching by Usk and Abergavenny, and thus evading General Massey he reached Bristol towards the end of the month. November he spent in Oxford or the neighbourhood, whence in December he transferred his headquarters to Worcester, where he remained until 11 March 1644–5. Hence he marched to Cheshire to co-operate with Rupert, Maurice, and Langdale against General Brereton. Their united forces succeeded in relieving Beeston Castle on 17 March (Mercur. Aulic. 19 May and 31 Aug. 1644; Perfect Occurr. 21 July 1644; Diary or Exact Journal, 7 Nov. 1644; Manchester's Quarrel with Cromwell, Camd. Soc. p. 17; Weekly Account, 31 Oct. and 3 Dec. 1644; Addit. MS. 18981, f. 326; Warburton, Memoirs of Prince Rupert, i. 500; Ormerod, Cheshire, ed. Helsby, ii. 275). Gerard was then ordered back to South Wales, where the parliamentary general, Laugharne, had gained some successes. He marched through Wales from Chester in a south-westerly direction, carrying all before him and ravaging the country as he went. After a brush with Sir John Price at Llanidloes, he fell in with Laugharne before Newcastle Emlyn on 16 May, and completely defeated him. Haverfordwest and Cardigan Castle, which had been recovered by the roundheads, were evacuated on his approach. Picton Castle offered a stout resistance, but was carried by assault. Carew Castle also fell into his hands. Pembroke and Tenby, closely invested, alone held out. The ascendency of the royalists being thus re-established in South Wales, Gerard received orders to move eastward again, and was marching on Hereford at the head of five thousand horse and foot when the battle of Naseby was fought (14 June 1645). After the battle the king and Rupert, with the fragments of their army, fell back upon Hereford in the hope of effecting a junction with Gerard, who, however, seems to have been unexpectedly delayed; and Rupert, pushing on to Bristol, sent orders that part of Gerard's forces should join him there, while the king required a portion of the cavalry to attend his person. From Hereford Charles retreated to Abergavenny and thence to Cardiff, with the hope of raising a fresh army in Wales, but found the Welsh much disaffected, owing (according to Clarendon) to the irritation engendered by the extraordinary rigour with which Gerard had treated them; so that when news came that Hereford had been invested by the Scottish army and must fall unless relieved within a month, Charles could only induce the Welsh to move by superseding Gerard, promising at the same time to make him a baron. Gerard chose the title of Baron Brandon, for no better reason, says Clarendon, than ‘that there was once an eminent person called Charles Brandon who was afterwards made a duke’ (Warburton, Memoirs of Prince Rupert, iii. 120; Clarendon, Rebellion, v. 186, 221–2, 227–9; see art. Brandon, Charles, Duke of Suffolk, d. 1545). Two dates have been assigned to the patent creating him Baron Gerard of Brandon, viz. 8 Oct. and 28 Nov. 1645 (Dugdale, Baronage, ii. 41; Nicolas, Historic Peerage, ed. Courthope; Doyle gives 8 Nov.)

Gerard had become lieutenant-general of all the king's horse, and assumed the command of his body-guard. On the night of 4 Aug. 1645 he escorted Charles from Cardiff to Brecknock, and thence to Ludlow, and throughout his progress to Oxford (28 Aug.). Thence they returned to Hereford (4 Sept.), the Scots raising the siege on their approach. At Hereford on 14 Sept. Charles heard of the fall of Bristol, and determined if possible to join Montrose in the north. Escorted by Gerard he made for Chester, and succeeded in entering the city, having first detached Gerard to the assistance of Sir Marmaduke Langdale, who was endeavouring to muster the royalists in force outside the city, with the view of raising the siege. After much apparently purposeless marching and counter-marching the royalists risked an engagement with the besiegers on Rowton Heath (23 Sept. 1645), but were totally defeated by General Pointz. Gerard was carried off