Front Page Titles (by Subject) A Narrative of the Proceedings at Saffron-Walden since the Commissioners of Parliament came thither concerning the sending of Part of this Army into Ireland. - The Clarke Papers. Selections from the Papers of William Clarke, vol. 1
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A Narrative of the Proceedings at Saffron-Walden since the Commissioners of Parliament came thither concerning the sending of Part of this Army into Ireland. - Sir William Clarke, The Clarke Papers. Selections from the Papers of William Clarke, vol. 1 
The Clarke Papers. Selections from the Papers of William Clarke, Secretary to the Council of the Army, 1647-1649, and to General Monck and the Commanders of the Army in Scotland, 1651-1660, ed. C.H. Firth (Camden Society, 1901). 4 vols.
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A Narrative of the Proceedings at Saffron-Walden since the Commissioners of Parliament came thither concerning the sending of Part of this Army into Ireland.
Fryday the 9th of Aprill 1647. The Committee at Derby house wrote unto the Generall, that the Houses had designed part of the Army for Ireland and that they had referr’d it to a Committee, to conferre with his Excellencie and the Officers how they might be sent over, and to drawe out such as shall ingage for Ireland from the rest of the Army into a body, desireing the Generall to give them the best assistance hee can for the effectuall transaction of that service. This Letter came to the Generall’s hands Aprill 13.
And the same day came another Letter to the Generall’s hands from the Committee at Derby house dated Aprill 12th, expresseing that they had appointed a Committee to come to conferre with the Generall and Officers to drawe out such of his Forces as were willing to engage in the service of Ireland according to the Votes of both Houses, desireing him to have his Officers ready at the head Quarters at that time that the buissinesse may be effected with speed.
The same day the Generall yssued forth his Orders to the severall Regiments in the Army, that all the feild Officers in every Regiment and the Captaines and Lieutennants of every Troope of Horse and Company of Foote should be in person at the head Quarters that were imployed about in relation to the service of Ireland.
Thursday Aprill 15th. The Commissionersa came downe to the Generall’s Quarters, and after they had dined with him spake with him in private and in his chamber communicated unto him the Votes of both Houses and their Instructions, and withall declared that they were informed there was some speaches cast abroad in the Army to disaffect the People from the service of Ireland to the much retarding of that businesse, which they thought fitt to acquaint the Generall withall to the end it might be prevented. And for the better prevention thereof offered to the Generall the draught of a Declaration which they brought with them ready written to be published in the Army.b The Generall told them that if soe bee they could make it appeare there were any such in this Army that did goe about to hinder others that were willing to goe in this service he desired they might be made knowne, and hee would proceed against them and see them punnished; and for publishing a Declaration to his Army, as if in his opinion they were guiltie of giveing such obstructions, hee thought it might not be convenient unlesse hee had proofe of it, however he would when all the Officers did attend the Commissioners declare his intention in furtherance of that service, and give them it in charge to promote it though they should not be disposed to goe themselves; and besides there were expressions in the said Declaration to this purpose, that some persons did endeavour a retardment of that service by secrett objections and discouragements, and doth thereby require the Officers and Souldiers of the Army to discover such person as shall offend in the premises that he may be imprizoned and further punnished &c. For the Generall soe farr forth to adiudge his Army guilty before any proofe made that there were any that did retard the service hee thought was very hard to have it put upon them, especially considering he offered the Commissioners soe freely to punnish any of the Army they could informe against.
Whilst the Generall and Commissioners were thus conferring together, the Officers were adviseing among themselves in the Church by way of preparation what to answere to the Commissioners at the meeting, and accordingly chose a certaine number of Officers to speake for all the rest, who afterwards coming downe to the Generall’s Quarters (being nere 200 Officers) by command from him at the Commissioners desire, the Commissioners came downe to them and acquainted them with the Votes of both Houses and the substance of what they had in Commission to say in pursuance thereof.a Whereupon the Officers desired to knowe what satisfaction they could give to these particulars following which formerly were propounded at their first meeting vizt.
1. To represent their desires to knowe what was done in refferrence to the last Propositions sent unto the Parliament by way of Quærie.
2. To represent, that all those who in their owne person did not ingage for Ireland would be ready to promote the service.
3. That if the same conduct they have had, under which God hath soe exceedingly blest this Army and Kingdome, might be continued also as to the service of Ireland, it would conduce much to their encouragment and personall engagement.
It is to be observed that as these Officers were speaking for the rest propounding to receive satisfaction in the conduct &c. it being said by some of the Commissioners they spake only their owne sence, the Officers cryed out, All, All,—Declareing thereby their unanimity in those desires. Neverthelesse by the mouthes of those that were intrusted by the Officers to speake in their names, they freely offered their service in promoting that service severall times though they did not engage themselves in their persons. Whereupon the Commissioners declareing that it was not needfull for any that did not intend the service in their owne persons to attend any longer, most of the Officers departed to their severall charges, and the Towne (before very full) was of a suddaine emptied.
It may not be omitted to observe what the Generall said at that meeting in the presence of the Commissioners and all the Officers, both at the first meeting and afterwards, Expressing how necessary the worke was, and that who ever did not intend it in their owne persons should lay their hands to it, and use many other arguments to incourage that worke. And it is also observed what Representation was made thereof from the Commissioners here to the committee at Derby House, as by the Letter from the committee at Derby House of the 17th of Aprill appeares: vizt. That the Generall did publish amongst the Officers his oppinion of the honour and importance of that service and also of his dislike of any practice that might disrepute the same, and did also command that however any of their owne Resolutions might stand disposed, they should neverthelesse not prejudice but rather promote in referrence to others; which care of the Generall to remove all impedements in a worke wherein this Kingdome is soe neerely concerned the Committee were very sencible of, and did returne him thanks, and further desire him to proceed to declare the same as hee shall see occasion (which indeed hee did to every Officer that came to him afterwards that was not present at that meeting). And further the Letter saith, If you please to publish the same, it may be the better knowne to the Officers and Souldiers, and wee conceive it may the better produce the effect intended in it.
Upon this intimation from the Committee at Derby House, of publishing something in writeing, though they left him at libertie whether he would publish any thing or not, the Generall was pleased to drawe a letter to be written to the Colonell or Cheife Officers resideing with each Regiment in the Army, to publish to their Officers and Souldiers how much his desire was to promote that service, and that if they were not disposed themselves yett they should make the votes knowne, and his desires for the incouragement of itt, and imediatelie issued out to Sir Hardresse Waller’s and other Regiments copies of that Letter, and the Votes of both Houses inclosed, to bee published by reading the same att the Head of every Regiment as by the Letter heerafter mencioned appeareth.a And withall, after such time as some copies were delivered out, sent a copy of the letter to the Commissioners that they might bee pleased to take notice of itt, and to give itt to such officers as had subscribed to goe for Ireland to make use of for the furtherance of that service if they thought fitt.
The next morning after these Letters were issued out Mr. Jessop, Secretary to the Earle of Warrwick and the Commissioners, wrote a Letter to Mr. Rushworth letting him knowe that he had it in command from the Earle of Warwick and the rest of the Commissioners, to desire him to move his Excellencie to forbeare issuing forth any more of these Letters to the Collonells whereof the copie was delivered last night, untill they had represented to his Excellencie their sence thereupon, as by the Letter appeares. Hereupon the Generall was made acquainted therewith, and a stopp made of yssuing out any more of those Letters, till towards evening there came a Letter from the Commissioners here present letting the Generall knowe that they were not satisfied with the coppie of that Letter he had sent them; they conceiv’d that an intimation from them, that such discouragments were scattered in the Army, was a sufficient ground for his Excellencie to take notice that there were obstructions of that nature, and to incert the same in his Letter to the Regiments, and to expresse a strict and peremptory injunction, they conceiving the word desire [not] to be sufficiently vigorous to effect their desires thereupon to his Officers &c., as by the Letter of the 19th of Aprill appeares; and in pursuance of this advice and intimation they sent a draught of a letter to the Generall, in such expressions as they thought it was fitt for the Generall to publish, wherein they would have the Generall to declare unto the Army, that hee was informed of some discouraging arguments had been cast among the Souldiers, which if really soe hee cannot but interpret it a fruit of disaffection to the welfare of this Kingdome and Ireland. At this passage the Generall was not satisfied,a haveing not received any information of Weight in the least kinde of any persons in the Army discouraging the service, or any thing that would beare that construction. Whereupon Mr. Jessop, who came with the Letter, told the Generall hee had in command to acquaint him for his satisfaction, that Captaine Audley had said in the presence of the Generall, that those that were now soe forward for the service of Ireland were not worthy to come neere to his horse tayle.
Upon this Letter the Generall did contrive an answeare in writing to this purpose,a that hee was ready to comply with them in what may conduce to the furthering of the service of Ireland and effect their desires, and that though the word ‘require’ was not expressed in it, it being his constant course to use the word ‘desire’ to his Officers, hee doubted not but it would find a ready obedience; and acquainted them further, that he had sent for Captaine Audley, whome they had informed against for speaking words in his presence to the prejudice of the Ireish service, to give their Lordshipps satisfaction in what hee said; and withall desired their Lordshipps to informe him of any person in the Army that did any thing to the obstruction of the Ireish service, and hee would proceed against him and see him punnished. To this answere of the Generall’s there was never any reply made, but (as wee are informed) a post sent to the Committee at Derby House.
Lords Day: Aprill 18th. There came 16 private souldiers of Collonell Lilburne’s Regiment, (all of his own company), and acquainted the Generall that their Lieutennant Colonellb had commanded them to march the next morning earely towards Cheshire, that the speach was they were to goe for Ireland, and that their Colonell’s Captaine Lieutennanta told his Company that they should not have any pay till they had advanc’d their Quarters further from the Army, never acquainting them they were to goe for Ireland. Whereupon the Generall went to the Commissioners, and acquainted them with the occasion of the coming of the Souldiers, and that he desired there might be all faire dealing used by such Officers as did intend for the service of Ireland, which they desired to further; and he did conceive it would much contribute to the furtherance of that worke, that the Officers did drawe their Regiments to a Randezvouz and declare publiquely to the Souldiers the votes of both Houses for their encouragment to goe; and that such as would goe might be drawne a part, and according to the order given by the Commissioners immediatly to march to those Quarters they had appointed them. Whereupon the Commissioners said that they thought the course was very faire, and that just as his Excellencie came in they had given that order, but the Souldiers came to complaine an houre before, declareing their ignorance of any such intention, which indeed occasioned that Order.
Munday: Aprill 19th, the Generall received a letter (early in the morning) from the Committee at Darby House to stay his jorney to London,b whether hee had purposed that day to have gone to fall into a course of phisick for the recovery of his health, being brought very lowe by neglecting it; in which Letter the Committee doe expresse that the bussinesse of sending forces for Ireland did goe on very vigerously, and that it hath been very much promoted by the Generall’s care and countenance, and doubted not but in a very few dayes to compleat the number designed, especially if the Generall continue there.
Upon this, the rather (though the Generall before it came had determined not to goe because hee did conceive the Commissioners here would take it as an obstruction to the service) but because it is mentioned in this Letter with such confidence that the worke goes on prosperously, that the number designed will be compleated in few dayes. It is conceived the occasion of their mistake might arise by the subscription of the Life Guard and most of the Officers of Colonell Lilburne’s Regiment.
That those Officers in whom they did first of all relie for the great encouragement in this service doe now withdrawe themselves from their former personall engagement in it, as namely; Colonell Harley, Colonell Fortescue, Colonell Butler, Lieutennant Colonell Jackson, Major Fincher, Major Alford, Major Duckett, Major Gooday, Captaine Robotham,a and divers others who subscribed to that paper delivered to the House of Commons, for which thankes was returned unto them, and upon confidence of these men’s engagements and interests in the Army the House might reasonably conceive the number designed might have been procured.
It is to be observed That of all the Horse Officers in the Army from Captaines upwards not above six Captaines, Majors or Colonells have subscribed to goe in person: vizt. Colonell Sheffeild, the Lord Calfeild, Captaine Howard, (and Sir Robert Pye if hee yet goe) and two others, and not one Captaine in all Colonell Butler’s Regiment nor in Colonell Sheffeild’s doe ingage in person, of both which Regiments, by reason of their Colonell’s engagement, the House had the greatest confidence; and besides Captaine Pennyfather and Captaine Burgis of Colonell Butler’s Regiment had their names sett in the paper without their privity, which was presented to the House.b
For the Foote Officers that have subscribed the Commissioners knowe their names best because they have the list, but as wee are informed Colonell Herbert and Lieutennant Colonell Kempson are the two only Field Officers; the rest are Captaines and they but a few, and some inferiour Officers under them. For Colonell Herbert, before hee went to the Commissioners, hee declareda to Mr. Rushworth and others, that it was in vain for him to goe and delude the Commissioners by telling them his Regiment would goe, when he knewe their full purpose was against it, except one Officer that had some few men, that would goe with him; and besides hee declared, that upon the first intention to send that Regiment into Ireland, the Officers and Souldiers did unanimously declare they would not stirr unlesse they had their full arrears; which was true, for he wrote soe in a letter unto the Generall under his owne hand ready to be produc’d. But after his coming to the Commissioners they engaged him, and presently gave him an order to march away with his Regiment towards Chester. Only Captaine Shorteb who had formerly a longing desire after Ireland, subscribed to goe with him and a Lieutennant or two, and accordingly the Generall gave the said Colonell an Order to Randezvouz his Regiment upon Fryday the 23rd of Aprill at Hitching in Hertfordshire, where he hath power to draw away what men he could gett; Hee tooke his leive of the Generall and said hee must now serve his Lords and Masters.
For Lieutennant Colonell Kempson, hee and the rest of the Officers of Colonell Lilburne’s Regimentc most greivously abused the Commissioners by telling them that hee had the consent of the whole Regiment to goe intire, which as conceived was a maine ground that the Commissioners did write to Derby House that the worke went on soe prosperously. For when some of his Officers came to drawe forth five of the Companies of Ireland, they were very much incenst against their Officers, holding jointly together not to goe, teareing the staffe and collours from Captaine Peckham,d who, as was supposed, had the greatest influence of any Officer in the Regiment, who hath been to make his complaint to the Commissioners and would insinuate as if the Colonell (who is most innocent) had occasioned itt.
It is likewise remarkable the carriage of this Lieutennant Collonella who Aprill the 20th when the Regiment was drawne to a Randezvous to see who would goe for Ireland, and whoe not; hee, whilst Colonell Lilburne was reading the Generall’s Letter and Parliament votes to five companies, carried away fower companies with their collours without ever acquainting them with the Votes of the Parliament; and his misdemeanour was the greater in that he kept the Souldiers pay and would not give them a penny, and therefore the Souldiers seeing their Officers goe, the colours and the money goe, though they had noe minde to goe themselves, yet followed. But it hath produced this effect that April 21st Captaine Weldon’sb company (one of the fower) is returned back to the Regiment and say all the rest will followe; soe this man’s carriage brings a disrepute upon their proceedings this way and by consequence a great disservice to the Parliament, and deserves blame. For those five companies where Colonell Lilburne was, after the Votes were read all those that would goe for Ireland were drawne out, who were in number threescore and one more. For Captaine Peckham’s company they mutinnied, beat their Captaine, and would not come to the Randezvouz.
And whilst they were at the Randezvouz Lieutennant Generall Masseyc came and told them for their incouragment, that Colonel Herbertd was already marching with his Regiment towards Cheshire, Captaine Orpin,e who was sent as one to beare witnesse of Colonell Lilburne’s carriage, being of Colonell Herbert’s Regiment, had much a doe to forbeare to tell the Lieutennant Generall hee was mistaken, and Mr. Woolsey who came with him upon that occasion knewe the contrary.
The Officers of Colonell Fleetwood’s Regiment are returned and bring this accompt, that the Regiment was drawne to a Randezvouz, Captaine Howard made knowne his desires, but the conditions was mightily slighted; though as to his owne person the Regiment was civil, hee could not gett, with all the interest he had in his owne troopes nor in the Regiment, more than a Quarter Master and five men: which soe much troubled him as he is gone to London in discontent, and speakes hardly of the Commissioners for putting him upon such a fruitlesse businesse.a
[News-letter from London.]
Queenstreete, 24 Aprill, 1647.
Yesterday was a great day in the House. Severall particulars were in debate, butt amongst the rest Mr. Hollis brought in an Apology which was pretended to bee from the Souldiers in the Army to their Commission Officers, the same that was brought to Colonel Whalley’s Regiment; which though itt is soe weake and impertinent that few or none of the Army (especially if they have one dram of sence or reason) will owne, yett hee indeavoured to make itt the sense of the whole Army, and soe lanch’t forth into high expressions against itt.b Some tooke him uppe nimbly and handsomely. Tuesday is assigned for the great day for the disbanding of the Army, when, how, and on what consideracion, nothing being done yesterday about itt, though some thinke six weekes pay enough, as much as Massies men had, and say, They deserv’d as much as this Army.c The Spiritts of the Godly heere are very much carried out in expectation and hopes of great thinges from the Army, and are farre from our too cold and remisse posture. I feare wee shall sadden their hearts by being too fearfull of Man.
[News-letters from Saffron-Walden.]
Walden, 25 Apr. 1647.
Captain Rolphe with some others of Colonel Hamond’s Regiment came this morning to Colonel Lambert and the rest of them which are appointed by the Generall for the affaires of the Army, with this account: that Captain Stratton hath drawne of their Regiment 36 men, Captain Ohara most of his Company, and another Lieutenant half his Captaine’s Company; by this way of dealing with all their Souldiers, making of them drunke, and then gett them to sett their hands, which when they have done, they make them believe they have power to force them.a Which way cannott bee good, as I conceive, for when they come to understand that itt is left to their owne pleasure, and can noe way bee forced by the Officers, they will fall away from their Officers as Colonel Lilburne’s doe, there being almost two of those Companies which were marched away so strangelie from the Randezvouze by the Officers returned, and may fall from them every day. All Colonel Fortescue’s 6 Companies march away compleate and Adjutant Gray Colonell over them. None of Colonel Hewson’s can be perswaded to goe for the service uppon those termes tendred. Horse they can gett none as I heare, the Parliament must thinke of some better termes for this Army, if they intend any should goe for that service. I suppose you have an account of Captain Dormer’sb expressions to his Souldiers att the Generall’s Quarters, how that the intention of their drawing out was nott to promote the Irish service butt to goe against an independant Armie that was gathering together in the Kingedome, and many other wicked expressions, telling his Souldiers that hee would only desire them to tarry with him untill they saw what the Independents did, and then hee would give them passes to goe home, promising them their Arreares.a
Walden, 26 Apr. 1647.
On Thursday last Colonel Howard drew forth Colonel Fleetwood’s Regiment and propounded the service of Ireland to them, butt nott one man offered himself. Colonel Fleetwood’s owne Troope made a short Narration of what they intended, which was they were sorry they could nott give that answer the Colonell expected as to engage for Ireland, which they could nott till they were secured for acts done heere as Souldiers, their arreares satisfied, and to know their Cheif Conductor, and what way they should subsist there. Colonel Sheffeild’s Regiment was drawne forth on Friday, and they gave the like answer; one of their answers is inclosed.
Wee, the Souldiers in Captain Evelyn’sb Troope, desire,
Before any man of us list our names for Ireland, wee desire satisfaccion for our arreares heere in England according to the Parliament’s manifold Declarations and Remonstrances.
Wee desire a satisfactory answer to our Officers Request given in to their Commissioners when they first came downe to treate with the Army about going for Ireland; and before such time as these are answered, wee shall desire, neither to list, nor provide ourselves for that service. Though wee are perswaded that that Kingdome stands in neede of helpe, yett wee conceive that wee are nott soe to helpe them as wholly to deprive our selves of our just rights and liberties, and of receiving satisfaccion for former services.c
[List of the Strength of the Army in Officers and Men.]
[a ]The report of the Commissioners is printed in the Lords’ Journals, ix., 152. Sir William Waller gives a detailed account of their mission in his Vindication, pp. 77-93. See also Rushworth, vi., 457, 460, 463.
[b ]Waller, p. 80.
[a ]Waller, p. 82.
[a ]The letter is printed in Rushworth, vi., 461; for the comments of the Commissioners, see Waller, p. 85.
[a ]Waller, pp. 85, 86.
[b ]Nicholas Kempson.
[a ]Robert Fish. See Lords’ Journals, ix., 154.
[b ]See Waller, pp. 90, 91.
[a ]A list of these officers is given in the Lords’ Journals, ix., 114, viz. Edward Harley, Richard Fortescue, John Butler, Richard Fincher, John Alford, Charles Duckett, Sampson Gooday, Robert Robotham, and others, thirty in all.
[b ]Thomas Pennyfather and Benjamin Burges. Lords’ Journals, ix., 114.
[a ]See Rushworth, vi., 468.
[b ]Nathaniel Shorte.
[c ]Rushworth, vi., 460, 463, 467.
[d ]Christopher Peckham.
[a ]Nicholas Kempson.
[b ]George Weldon.
[c ]On Massey’s unpopularity see Waller, Vindication, p. 84.
[d ]William Herbert.
[e ]Edward Orpin.
[a ]Howard was a captain in Fleetwood’s regiment, who offered to serve in Ireland, and was appointed by Parliament Colonel of a regiment of horse to be raised for that service. Lords’ Journals, ix., 135, 137; Rushworth, vi., 459, 463. A list of officers who volunteered for Ireland, with their respective regiments, is given by Rushworth, vi., 460—464, and in the report of the Commissioners before referred to.
[b ]Commons’ Journals, v. 153-4; for the Apology itself see the Book of Army Declarations, p. 9.
[c ]On the disbanding of Massey’s brigade see Sprigge, Anglia Rediviva, ed. 1854, p. 314, and Hollis, Memoirs, ed. 1699, p. 81.
[a ]On Hammond’s regiment see Rushworth, vi., 466; the officers mentioned were Edmund Rolphe, William Stratton, and Charles O’Hara. On Stratton see also Lords’ Journals, ix., 141.
[b ]On the conduct of Captain (or Major) Francis Dormer see his own letter, Lords’ Journals, ix., 153, where a full account of the disturbances in Colonel Robert Lilburne’s regiment is given.
[a ]James Gray, Adjutant-General of the Foot.
[b ]Captain Arthur Evelyn.
[c ]See Rushworth, vi. 465.