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( The 4 Officers advised together. ) - 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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(The 4 Officers advised together.)
Give mee leave to speake something to what hath been already offerr’d.
According to the directions which with the rest of the Commissioners were pleased to give the Officers of the Army att the last convention of them here, there hath been in several Regiments a perfect performance of what you then commanded; in the first place a faithfull publishing and makeing knowne those votes of the Parliament.
To the 2d part, which was to make a further search into the supposed distempers of the Army, they have made a dilligent inquiry thereinto, and have brought a returne thereof from the severall Regiments. They have likewise proceeded further into it, and have desired severall Gentlemen of this army, that they would be pleased to receive them, and come and collect out of them what are common, universall, generall to the whole Army, and as speedily as could be drawe them upp and represent them to yourselves. These were desired by the officers of the army and not sought by themselves; and I thinke there is not a Regiment here that hath not made this their suite, and that whatsoever might relate to any one particular Regiment might be left out, and the generall greivances of the whole army represented. And this truly, as yet there hath not been time and opportunity to doe it, and it is their desire that you will be pleased to lett them have time till Monday morning for the perfecting of it.
Whereas Colonell Lambert saith, that every Regiment hath made a returne of their proceedings, for my part I knowe nothing of it; and I conceive I, beinge Colonell of a Regiment, may knowe of it, as well as a trooper or an inferiour officer.
Wee were to take an accompt from our Regiment, and wee were to returne the answeare to you, as wee conceive, and not to any other.
This way that is propounded and hath been taken is by the unanimous consent of all, both officers and souldiers, and if you take any other way then this wee cannot helpe your differring from it.
There is nothing desired but that these thingsb might bee represented to the Feild Marshall and the rest of the commissioners here; if you will doe otherwise you may take your course. It was agreed by those that were present of the officers.
Wee did suppose that the meeting of those Gentlemen to whome wee did deliver upp the greivances had been by order of the Commissioners.
The command was generall to give a retorne, and not only to a particular.
I was at the Regiment when the Randezvouz was, and I was acquainted as well as the Colonell, though the Colonell be pleased to give the sence of the Regiment. They did give me their sence in writing, that there may bee noe mistake att all in the tender of their just greivances.
I doe not deny that; if you have delivered it, with all my heart, lett them make the best use of it they can: I only speake it as my sence.
I thinke it will be found when all is done that wee have not neglected our duties, but that wee have used all our interests to pacifie what was not faire in the army. When wee have done and presented what are the common grievances of the army to you, I make noe question but you will finde what wee say doth not proceede singly from us, but from the body of the army, and will appeare themselves what they are to yourselves and the world.
Major Generall Skippon.
In answeare to what Colonell Sheffeild hath said I shall now only say thus much; if Colonell Sheffeild or any other officer can give in the state of their Regiment, and an accompt of their endeavours according to what hath been before desired, wee shall now presently receive it; if any other particular officer hath any thinge, upon just ground and in sober manner, to make knowne concerning that Regiment, wee shall be willing to receive it.
I thinke it not amisse to lett you knowe how precious time is with us, how much an accompt is expected from us; and therefore, though wee are loath to deny soe reasonable a request of giveing further time, a great part of you it seemes not being soe fully prepared to give us in an accompt of those things that wee have exprest, to morrowe by 5 of the clock in the afternoone, if God will, wee shall meet you here againe; because wee would willingly dispose and order our businesse soe as wee might loose as little time as wee could. And I thinke in relation to those things that wee are sent especially hither about to communicate to you the votes of the House of Commons and the sense of the Parliament, in that as it appeares since, and I shall tell you by and by, the resolution of the Parliament, soe farre as yet it appeares to us, and that you might fully knowe what wee can tell you to give you all the satisfaction that may be, I have received a letter even now which is from a very good hand, the Earle of Manchester that sitts in the chaire of the Comittee at Derby House, who is also Speaker of the House of Peeres, which doth assure mee that the Act of Indempnity is past large and full.a
[b ]John Lambert, succeeded in 1646 to the command of the regiment in the New Model which was originally Colonel Edward Mountague’s.
[a ]Richard Fincher, before referred to, p. 1, was Major of Sheffield’s regiment.
[b ]These particular petitions of the separate regiments may be found amongst the Clarke MSS., vol. xli., ff. 105-127.
[a ]William Rainborowe, of Colonel Sheffield’s regiment, not the more celebrated Colonel Thomas Rainborowe. See Lords’ Journals, ix., 195.
[a ]On the question whether this ordinance was sufficient to secure the army from danger see the opinion drawn up by Judge Jenkins, May 24, 1647, and published as a pamphlet, entitled The Armies Indemnity. He decides that it was not sufficient.