It was on this occasion that he earned the nickname of "Ironsides," applied to him now by Prince Rupert, and afterwards to his soldiers, "from the impenetrable strength of his troops which could by no means be broken or divided."
Cromwell furnished 6000 men with a fleet to join in the attack upon Spain in Flanders, and obtained as reward Mardyke and Dunkirk, the former being captured and handed over on the 3rd of October 1657, and the latter after the battle of the Dunes on the 4th of June 1658, when Cromwell's Ironsides were once more pitted against English royalists fighting for the Spaniards.
Baldwin, the founder of the famous Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philadelphia, built his first engine, Old Ironsides, for the Philadelphia, Germantown & Morristown railroad; first tried in November 1832, it was modelled on Stephenson's Planet, and had a single pair of driving wheels at the firebox end and a pair of carrying wheels under the smoke-box.
Prince Napoleon Lucien Charles Murat, the second son of Joachim Murat, also lived here for many years; and the estate known as "Ironsides" was long the home of Rear-Admiral Charles Stewart.
He regretted that he had not previously accepted an offer of Cromwell to become chaplain to the Ironsides, being confident in his power of persuasion under the most difficult circumstances.
This plan, however, came to nothing; projected risings in England were betrayed, and by the capture of Dunkirk in June 1658, after the battle of the Dunes, by the French and Cromwell's Ironsides, the Spanish cause in Flanders was ruined.