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( The Letter read. ) - 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 Letter read.)
I have thought fitt to give you this accompt: that this day the House of Commons have passed an Act for Indempnitie large and full. They have like wise granted a fortnight’s pay to those that shall be disbanded, and a fortnight’s advance more to those that goe for Ireland.”
This is from the Speaker of the House of Peeres pro tempore, the Earle of Manchester.a
And truly, Gentlemen, though I did not in that particular advise with those gentlemen about it, yet I did by their advice and consent make knowne somethinge concerning Ireland the last day, of which I heare nothing since; I hope it will be soe considered of as a service not to be forgotten, not to be neglected, not to be hindred; and that I shall referre, as I did all the rest, to your impartiall, judicious, and faithfull consideration.
If it please your Honours, I am to certifie to your Honours concerning the condition of the Life guard.
Major Generall Skippon.
I pray you lett us see our buissnesse, and see it before us, and then wee shall doe as honest men, and I hope you will behave your selves soe too, and I can expect noe other from you.
There’s a returne from our Regiment, I humbly desire it may be read.
This is a meeting for officers, and if the troopers could come themselves, it had been needlesse for us to goe downe, and bring returnes of the sence of the Regiment.
It is more seasonable for us to receive all together, for I hope it is all our mindes not to hinder but further the bussinesse all wee can.
Wee have call’d them together, and find them not in any distemper, and for indempnitie and arreares they returne thankes to the Parliament, and that they will lay downe their armes at the Parliaments command; soe much is presented for satisfaction.
There is a paper to satisfie more fully under Captaine Hall’s hand.a
In answeare to those two for indempnity and arreares, there is the reply of my Colonell’s Regiment.
I heard my name mentioned for the Regiment; those papers which these gentlemen have delivered in are only for those troopers which are engaged for Ireland, and itt is not the accompt of the whole Regiment.
Itt is the sence of those troopes that have engaged for Ireland.
If it please you, Sir, I shall offer thus much to you.
Major General Skippon.
Captain Farmer, everything shall be taken into consideration as farre as wee are able, and does concerne us to doe, in answeare to the trust reposed in us, when as wee see our bussinesse before us.
If it please you to heare a word or two concerning the bussinesse before you. It may be Colonel Sheffeild and some of those worthy gentlemen that are with him are unsatisfied with our proceedings, thinking wee only have carried on this bussinesse, and not acquainted them with what was done. I shall therefore desire to offer the reason of our soe doing.
One speciall reason was, because himselfe and many of them have already engaged for Ireland, and being soe they are not like to have those influences fall upon them as those in England; and in regard it did not soe especially concerne them, wee thought them not soe proper to them to be acquainted with itt.
Another was, because wee found the greatest grievance of the army is the rejecting the late petition and representation that was intended to be presented to the Parliament by the mediation of the Generall. That him selfe and many of the rest of the worthy gentlemen did declare as noe grievance at all, and soe did refuse to joyne in it; and therefore wee could not represent that as a grievance which they did never assent unto.
This I speake to take off hard thoughts concerning us; and whereas you were pleased to desire a particular accompt to be drawne out of those returnes that are brought in by way of returne from the severall Regiments, wee must needs say wee knowe of severall papers that are brought in by way of returne from the severall Regiments; yet notwithstanding there was this caution with it, that if any one particular Regiment did represent anything particularly, which they presented as their owne desire, and not as the desire of the whole army, it was desired that they might not be received, because it does not come as the desire of the whole army; and therefore, if wee should give them in, wee should be a little unfaithfull to that trust which was imposed in us, for wee must present some single things as the sence of the army; and therefore wee desire that you will give us as large a time as you can for the examining and compareing of the severall returnes together; and then wee shall represent them to you altogether, as the generall and universall greivance of the army, from as many as have made application to us; which wee thinke is the whole army, or very neere itt.
I would very gladly knowe by what authority they have done this.
If you desire to knowe by what authoritie wee have done this, if it shall be demaunded authoritatively I doubt not but there will be given a satisfactory answeare; and truly, Sir, all that I offer’d was to noe other end but to take off those reflections which you may lay upon us, when singly wee have done nothing but that which concernes the bussinesse in hand.
Major General Skippon.
To that end you have given in particular papers.
Many regiments of the Army in bringing in their grievances have desired some gentlemen here that they will collect them into one perticular summe, and present them to you; the desire of those that are sent over was to avoid confusion; in regard they could not be represented by many without inconveniencies, it was thought fitt to appoint some gentlemen as a committee to put things into a forme for us, and it was done by the generall consent of the officers of the severall regiments.
Major General Skippon.
I doe not know at present, Gentlemen, what wee can say unto you more, but to desire and perswade you to deale as effectually as you can to make manifest yourselves Christian and faithfull men, to proceede soe as there may be noe just exception taken at the manner of your proceeding as well as of the matter. To morrowe at 5 of the clock in the afternoone, if God will, wee shall be here againe, and receive those things in relation to the particulars that wee have diverse times prest you about, and shall receive any papers from any other that they shall thinke fitt to deliver in to us, and I thinke that may give satisfaction to all. If this be your sence, pray you speake.
The other three officers and Members of Parliament declared their assent.
[a ]Rushworth, vi., 485, 489. Commons’ Journals, v., 174, 181; Lords’ Journals, ix., 192, 201. Manchester’s letter must have been dated May 14.
[b ]Andrew Goodhand of the Lifeguard.
[a ]Captain Henry Hall succeeded Charles Doyley as Captain of the Lifeguard. Sprigge, ed. 1854, p. 332; Rushworth, vi., 551.
[b ]John Farmer, captain in the regiment of dragoons commanded by Colonel John Okey.
[a ]John Hewson had succeeded to the command of Colonel Pickering’s regiment of foot on the latter’s death in December, 1645. Sprigge, pp. 167, 329.