Front Page Titles (by Subject) Heads of Proceedings in Walden church. Sunday, 16 may, 1647. b (The Votes of Parliament read.) - The Clarke Papers. Selections from the Papers of William Clarke, vol. 1
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Heads of Proceedings in Walden church. Sunday, 16 may, 1647. b (The Votes of Parliament 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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Heads of Proceedings in Walden church. Sunday, 16 may, 1647.b
Major General Skippon.
. . . . . In those votes of the Army, and what sincere industrious and faithfull endeavours you have used to make them sencible thereof, and what distempers you finde in your severall Regiments, Troopes or Companies, that wee might knowe how you have in these particulars discharged your duties as conscientious Christians in the sight of God, and as men faithfull and obedient to the Parliament of England. I am further to desire you, upon a motion made againe and againe at two former meetings, by my selfe in relation to the service of Ireland, that you will give us an accompt how you find your severall regiments disposed to that service. The justnesse, the honourablenesse, and the necessitie of which service cannot be unknowne to you. I desire to knowe and am persuaded it is the mind of these other Gentlemen that are sent downe, not under the name of Commissioners, but as Parliament men and Members of this Army to our severall charges in the Army, that you would in these particulars give us such satisfaction as I hope you can or shall make appeare to us, to the Parliament, and to all that shall have the heareing of our proceedings, that you have faithfully discharged your duty, as wee have desired, and shall endeavour to doe to the Parliament and for the service of the whole Kingdome. I pray that there may be an orderly proceeding amongst you in what you have to doe or say, if any man desire to speake lett him be heard without interruption. Lett all things be done discreetly, fairely, and orderly. I hope in the end of all wee shall finde that there is nothing aimed at on all hands, but that which tends to the reall service of the Parliament and publique good.
Lievtenant Generall Cromwell.
The officers according to your commands have repaired to their severall regiments, and have served you with all faithfulnesse.
They have left [blank] but their actions sufficiently declares that to you, that they have done the Parliament reall and good service. They have conveen’d heere at the head quarters according to your command, mett together and declared their greivances in writing, which greivances either are the greivances of all or the greatest part of the Army.
Major General Skippon.
Of the great and faithfull services of this Army there cannot but be an ingenuous acknowledgment from our enemies.
Upon the endeavours of this Army—soe great successes to the great benefitt of the whole Kingdome—lett not any words I speake be misunderstood—That which I especially propounded, which you heare the rest of these worthy Gentlemen were pleased to approve as their sence, was that you would please as well to give us an accompt of your proceedings with your severall regiments in relation to make them sencible of the care of the Parliament for their indempnitie, for part of their arreares at present, and to have their accompts audited . . . . . and what distempers . . . . .
And truly Sir, except you please to give us that accompt, wee in that particular cannot but be unsatisfied, nor cannot tell what to say in it untill you expresse your selves concerning it; and therefore I pray that wee may receive such an accompt from you. In that wee doe . . . . .
May it please your Honours I desire one word at the meeting. Before this all our names in our severall regiments were ready, if you please [to ask] the officers to give an accompt thereof. I have in writing under my owne and my Major’s [hands] to testifie what returne it made to us, I believe according to trust, and I hope that will answeare your expectations; forI doe not really [merely?] speake to the matter of distemper that is supposed to be amongst us, but I likewise answeare to the Irish bussinesse.
Major General Skippon.
If you have any thing to offer . . . . .
Sir, As in relation to what concernes the Regiment . . . . .
Commissary General Ireton.
Major, doe you deliver that?
I doe deliver that as the sence of the Regiment, which was delivered to mee in the feild in writeing.
Com. Gen. Ireton.
That which was delivered I thinke I have seene, and it was not done . . . .
Maj. Gen. Skippon.
Gentlemen, I doe desire it againe and againe, and I thinke it is all our desires, that you will heare one another with sobrietie.
Please your Honours to heare this concerning the Generall’s Regiment of Foote: first, he speakes of carrying in the report as under his hand, for my[self] I doe not understand itt . . . to him and soe to our selves, if it had been soe then our meeting had been in vaine . . . .
Therefore to that end wee did conveene together, some of us agreeing with the rest of the officers, . . . . . which Colonell Whalley hath delivered in, soe to that wee sett our hands, and it is the minde of the officers if not private souldiers.
Please you to lett us knowe, whether it is your desire that wee should give you a particular accompt of the overtures in the Regiments?
If you extend to every particular, it may bee there may be something of weakenesse or ignorance.
I thinke Colonell Whalley hath already presented itt to you [the sense] if not [of all of] a great part of the Army.
Here the Officers generally cried All, All.
Maj. Gen. Skippon.
Gentlemen, if it please you, these acclamations might be forborne; for wee are desireous to heare every one speake, and according to our trust to deale impartially. Butt still, if it seeme good to you to lett us knowe whatt course you have taken in the particulars that I mentioned to you—your papers of those things which you call greivances—wee desire to knowe the distempers that you could observe to be in your severall regiments, or under your severall commands. Wee did also desire that you would (as I doubt not but you have done) contribute your utmost endeavours for the qualifying them. These papers we shall read, God willing; but, in order to our proceedings, I shall desire that you will give some such satisfaction that wee may knowe how to consider of things amongst our selves as befitts our imployments [that] wee may know what to say concerning them. You have communicated those votes to your severall regiments, you have endeavoured to lett them see the care of the Parliament for them in these particular votes. You have endeavoured to enquire out the distempers, you have putt to your helping hands what you could to pay [allay?] them. This will be a very proper way: I thinke with submission, I shall desire these Gentlemen to lett you know their sences.
I thinke wee shall all use our endeavours to the peaceable continuance of the Army for those things that I have mentioned before. I say there is something of weakenesse of which wee must desire the best construction of your selfe and the commissioners—if you decline that name—and the rest of the Members of the House. Wee dare clearely and fully satisfie you in the whole progresse, but I desire itt may not be soe publique as now it is.
If it please your Honours I shall make a relation of what I did, which is according to the acting of most officers heere.
According to your commands I repaired to the Regiment upon Monday last. I went from one division to another. I told them what you were pleased to represent unto us, and that was an apprehension of some . . . . . To that end I was commanded now to come to them to represent the Parliament’s votes to them, which I read to each division, first to one, and then the other.
They told mee there was noe unquiettnesse amongst them . . . . . But withall told mee that there were diverse things which lay upon them as Greivances . . . . . which were their Greivances, I should represent them to you, and I must returne an accompt of what accompt I had from them; upon which they did . . . . . which for my part I did disallowe of, I told them soe to their faces . . . . . Allowe of the things I argued the case . . . . . and in the conclusion . . . . . prejudiciall and evill, and at last they did come to present mee with their Greivances. I did then beleive, and doe still, that they are very sober things, and therefore it is not only that which I have presented and which is said to be the sence of the Army, but itt is that which lies both upon souldiers and officers that wee have now represented to you . . . . . not mutinously intended and what is fitt to be answered and satisfied; and soe farre as I understand of the condition of the army, and those officers that I have spoke withall, they desire to be answered in some particular things, and those particular things are there represented to you.
I found my Regiment very quiett, only some Greivances and troubles were talkt of.
As Major Disbrough hath done for the Generall’s Regiment soe I have the like accompt to give of mine. I find that both my officers and souldiers are not transported or carryed away by passion. Reason sways them; and truly reason is so prevalent with them, in these humble desires that they make in the way of greivances to Parliament, as I am confident they will deny themselves in every thing, if there may be as reasonable a reason given why they may not goe on.
Your Honour was pleased to communicate to us for to propound to our souldiers the bussinesse of Ireland, and to read unto them these votes, according as you were pleased now to expresse them. Wee have done it with faithfulnesse. We returned to our regiments. For my part I can give to your Honour this accompt: I read to them the votes [to] lett them knowe what care the Parliament had taken for them, their intention for indempnity and [for] a considerable summe for their arreares. I lett them knowe that your Honour was to goe for Ireland and to accept of that imployment. Truly I found them in noe distemper, but very quiett; only I find that there was some greivances lay upon them, something did trouble them. I mov’d about the Irish affaire; they seem’d to be utterly unwilling for to stirre in that untill such time as they had some satisfaction.
Seing you expect an accompt from every regiment in particular I am able to give it for the Generall’s Regiment of foote; I drew them upp on . . . . . last in two bodies, and for the returne of itt, itt is in those papers. This method they tooke: they desired some time to present their greivances unto us and by us unto your Honours; and being drawne into particular companies wee went from company to company. They had taken their resolutions. Wee demaunded of them if wee should rest confident that what those of every company should bring should be the sence of every particular company. They were brought to us at a rendezvous of the officers of every regiment, and upon our view there is our consent with itt. Wee made knowne unto them the grounds why they should goe, and of your present company and command over them, to try if that would drawe them. I am sorry wee can make noe other report, wee received nothing but a negative voice.
Lievtenant Collonel Read.b
According to your command I repaired to the Regiment and according to what Major Cowell hath declared . . . . . every particular company gathered together [brought] in the sence of itt.
Concerning Collonell Fleetwood’s I can give your Honour some accompt of that. According to your Honour’s command I drew Collonell Fleetwood’s Regiment to a Randezvous, and I read the votes which your Honour sent to be communicated to every troope . . . . . only this, they did say they had something to deliver to mee, which they gave mee, and the greivances wee did returne in yesterday, your Honour received them.
Truly this I can say noe more, I found noe distemper nor any shaddowe of distemper amongst them.
An’t please your your Honours, I gave in the paper of the particular greivances to my Lievtennant Collonell, wherein they gave in their desires; my Lievtennant Collonell left out some and sett downe others.
Lievtennant Collonel Jackson.
An’t please your Honours, I thinke Captaine White doth forgett himselfe; I was willing to present their greivances; I did desire to knowe their greivances; I should be willing to receive them, or otherwise to heare them.
I shall speake only to the manner of proceeding; my Lievtennant Collonell hath soe endeavoured to obstruct that hee sent for mee, and questioned mee as high as my life, and committed mee to the Marshall, and afterwards brought mee to a heareing before the Major Generall; I pressed him either to enlarge mee or else to committ me, upon which the Major Generall did release mee; and soe lying under that same calumny I did seeke to vindicate my selfe from any man’s person, to desire that the Major Generall would vouchsafe to be President of a Councill of Warre that the difference betweene my Lievtennant Collonell and I may be determined.
For the differences that are amongst them in relation to the buissenesse that you are now about, since they have severally spoken, it were necessary to take into consideration in regard of the difference of itt, and appoint them to attend you for itt.
I have only a word in relation to that Regiment. I was present in the field when the difference hapned, and did see what Captaine White did, and the truth is my sence is the same . . . . . willinge to concurre together in that way; but when Captain White did declare his greivances they were not accepted of, neither did hee approve of those greivances, but did offer it to joyne with the rest.
I shall speake something in referrence to that which Commissary Ireton pleased to order betweene officer and officer; I only perceive there is some differences in your accompt; your Lievtennant Collonell gives one, and you another, and for that the Major Generallc will take care of these privately without interruption.
Captain Audley, If it shall please my Lievtennant Colonell to present the greivances which his owne company hath there will be compleatly 8 companies, and he may take memorandumd then of this.
May it please your Honour,
I have caused those votes and propositions that were sent to be read at the head of every troope in the regiment. Those Parliament propositions being read I received from the severall troopes a paper, wherein they have exprest their severall Greivances they have sent hither. I have according to the consent of all the officers delivered them to Colonell Whalley, and the rest of the men who are to present it to your Honour.
According to your commands I sent out, but they could not soe soone come to them as to others, they being soe farre distant. I read the orders which the Parliament were pleased to give for the arreares, and for the auditing of accompts, and for indempnitie, and after that I desired they would make knowne their greivances, that I might present them to your Honours; and upon this they chose 4 out of each troope to drawe upp their greivances, which wee have presented unto the gentlemen there, and are now putt with the rest. As for the bussinesse of Ireland, they desired their just desires might bee answered, before they resolved of that, and that the greivances which they had might be represented to them.
Lievtennant Collonel Smith.b
May it please your Honours,
In obedience to your commands I repaired unto Sir Hardresse Waller’s Regiment, and randezvouz’d them as on Monday, and I read at the head of the regiment those votes which I received from your Honour. For distempers, I find not much, but some amongst them, and that was that there were some officers that had engaged for Ireland, and had declared that those that were not willing to goe now freely for Ireland should be forc’d to comply; which they find to be a great greivance and trouble, and they declared as the sence of the House to that purpose; other greivances I find none. There was indeed some difference amongst some officers falling to some words, that had not I been present, might have been very inconvenient, and made very great mutinie in the regiment. Many greivances they did declare to mee which they had, which greivances they told mee they would draw upp, and they were delivered in with the substance of what is presented to your Honours.
You were against the going for Ireland, that was the cause.
There was noe words of admonition, but that you your selfe did read the votes, more then these you would drawe upp the greivances, and drew upp an officer of each company to signe them for you. The Major comes after, and then cryes, ‘Stand for your liberties and priviledges now and ever.’
An’t please your Honour I am the man.
The word that was said was this; a corporall in Sir Hardresse Waller’s regiment, a private souldier, comeing to knowe my advice, I said, ‘I hope the souldiers may have their libertie.’ The Lievtennant Colonell, heareing I did desire to knowe, lett him declare to the Lievtennant Colonell, whereupon th . . . . . in a mutinous manner struck mee for defending my owne innocency. This is that which I say to that which Captaine Thomas seemes to demaund.
An’t please your Honour my Lievtennant Collonell drewe the regiment to a randezvous. Captaine Thomas said as that wee were seditious, and that some had poysoned our souldiers, that wee were enemies to the peace of the Kingdome, which the souldiers desire to be vindicated in; and that though we were not willing to goe for Ireland, yett [wee should be forced to comply]. He used those words against us, which wee conceive tends much to the dishonour of the Army.
If you please to hint to them that they may take the examination of what miscarriages have been.
Lievtennant Collonel Jackson.
May it please your Honours, I have one motion to make. If you please to give mee leave you shall have the bussinesse truly laid before you, which, as I suppose, itt is not yett.
For that paper which my Lievtennant Colonell speakes of that hee produced and hee desired us to signe, wee refused and drew upp one, which was signed in the same manner as it is exprest, with those hands of 7 companies of the regiment.
For that bussinesse that was even now spoken of, it does reflect not only on those officers, but upon the whole Army. Itt is of such an high nature that I thinke fitt hee may be secured in the meane time.
I doe not thinke but that any man hath a libertie to speake; ’tis true there are more officers of the one side then of the other.
Major General Skippon.
Freinds, I thinke itt is our desires that love and peace should be maintain’d amongst us, whether wee bee of the one way or other. I am sure it is our duty towards God in conscience, and towards one another as Christians; and truly I must needs ingeniously say, I am very sorrey to observe that there should be such a disagreement betweene you; the thing itselfe I hope cannot justly produce any such thing; and therefore it must be my advice to you that you would leave personall things, and apply your selfe to those things that wee are mett about; not but that there may be a convenient time and course taken to order these things.
That shall be my advice to you; and truly, as I said before, God knowes it is a very great pressure to my spiritt to heare and observe such clashings and jarrings amongst you; I am sure there can noe good come out of it, it is very likely noe good can come out of it.
And therefore I shall desire that you will leave these particular disagreements till another time.
An’t please your Honours, itt was thought as a great burthen upon many heere present, those words which were spoken, yet wee did resolve nota to speake of itt, because wee would not trouble your Honours, though they are words not to speake of.
According to your Honours commands I did declare to my Major that was here, and one Captaine Mercer that is with mee in Shropshire,b the votes that came downe with your Honour. By reason of the distance of place, which is 6 score miles where five troopes quarter, hee could not possibly returne the answere by this time; but 5 troopes that are quartered about Holdenby they were brought in yesterday by the Major.
I could not be soe particular for my own part.
I knowe not who they were sent to; I heard they were sent. They were never communicated to the regiment, but soe farre as I perceive the condition is not any way distemperous but very quiett. Heere is my owne; I have delivered the sence of itt to the officers.
For Colonell Okey’s regiment, if the votes be not communicated it is fitt some course should be taken for itt.
Major General Skippon.
Truly that is very well remembred of Commissary Ireton heere, I knowe not whether you tooke notice of itt.
Hitherto I knowe you have not had time to speake with your regiment about it more particularly, and to prevent distempers, but the businesse is of such concernment as wee cannot tell how to avoid itt, but pray that you will take especiall notice of itt; for I had it from a very good hand, that the House of Commons have passed an Act of Indempnity large and full, [two] moneths arreares to those that goe for Ireland; soe that you shall doe well to make all the advantages that you can to give satisfaction unto your severall officers and souldiers, and to discharge your duty in all faithfull obedience to the Parliament, and not to question the justice and honour of the Parliament in further proceeding to give you satisfaction I hope.
May it please your Hononrs, I doe conceive and doe partly knowe that these votes have not been communicated to Collonell Graves’ regiment, and therefore I doe not see how any just accompt had been given in the bussinesse; and if your Honours would please to direct what way wee may take to deliver in our accompt before the day appointed . . . . .
Sir, I had the [votes] delivered to mee. I did carry them first to my Collonell, and by his command went to the regiment; but the regiment was not called to a randezvous by his command, but they are according to your approbation; likewise it being made an objection before wee went away whether that course might be taken, itt was communicated to severall troopes. To Captaine Flemming’s troopes the votes were not sent. I am sure they were communicated to all but Captaine Flemming’sb troope, and Captaine Barton’s Quarter Master received them.
I never received them.
The Troope never heard of them.
I can assure you the troopes were not called together; that was left to the discretion of the officers.
They were in the same posture they ever have been, to those troopes they were communicated according to their sence.
It was only the sence of the officers.
Major General Skippon.
I shall speake only to this present bussinesse of Colonell Graves’ Regiment. I thinke by what hath been said that the votes have been communicated to fower of the six troopes, and not to the rest.
But sure, Captaine Holcraft, I did desire you yesterday that some might goe to the other two troopes.
Sir, According to your command I communicated the votes to the troopes; if you please to peruse the papers, and then I am confident you will finde that to be the sence of that regiment to be delivered in fully.
Those that are brought in wee shall read.
That was all that I have to say because the Regiment was not called together.
You may remember that the coppie of the votes to the Regiment were delivered to Captaine Holcraft; Captaine Holcraft and three more officers have made a returne, and I doe not remember what they did make . . . . . if it had not been done through want of time or otherwise . . . . . But, Sir, now I perceive by what Captaine Holcraft sayes that it was communicated to the troopes, all but Captain Flemming’s, I desire that Captaine Holcraft may declare possitively, cleerely, and expressly: whether hee knows that they were all drawne together.
I knowe that my Collonell’s Troope was drawne together, and that upon my conscience and honour I have given that which was their sence.
For my Major’s Troope I understand that their troope was called together; for Captaine Flemming’s Troope, his Lievtennant was in towne, and hee did not tell mee that his Troope was not called together till hee had signed what was delivered in there, for at my Major’s desire wee were to drawe upp the sence of the Regiment; for my Lord Caulfeild’s Troope it was drawne upp and the greivances given in according to the sence you have there; for Captaine Barton’s Troope itt was drawne upp with the rest.
I can affirme this not to be true, for all the Regiment was not call’d together, of severall troopes there were not halfe his troopes gathered together.
For the bussinesse of my Regiment you have had severall hints; the truth of itt is I was not there my selfe, and itt was for noe other end but because I was not well, and I had a particular dispensation from the Generall to be absent. My Major and all the Captaines of my Regiment are here in towne; they have both particularly by themselves, the Major joyntly from the whole Regiment, given mee a little accompt of those things of which you desired an accompt; and truly as to those votes that you laid your commands upon them to read to the Regiment in referrence to Arreares and Indempnitie, I find that of this Ordinance of Indempnitie they give us some hopes that wee shall be indempnified fully.
Truly as to arreares, that same considerable proportion which the votes does mention they tell mee that they doe not very well understand, unlesse it be that six weekes pay which the House of Commons have voted at their disbanding; and they would be very glad if the House would soe favour them as once againe to take that into consideration. In refferrence to distempers I am sorrey to see my Major and some of my officers differ in their accompt. My Major did indeede give me an accompt under his owne hand and the hand of some of my Captaines, as that which was the sence of the whole regiment, and that which hee hath signed; and truly I doe finde in that, as I have in that from another regiment, some things not fitt, and impertinent and extravagant, and that was the reason and the only reason that that course which you see was taken, that wee extract out of all that was brought in that that wee thought might be most pertinent upon this occasion, and to leave out those things that were impertinent or otherwise. But lastly, as to that which you speake in referrence to the Ireish service; truly I am verry sorrey to see soe little accompt given generally. For the particular accompt of my regiment, for I speake [to] noe more; wee who are horsemen are not very willing to crosse the seas, but wee must also desire that wee might further be made happie in haveing such a Commander as we could approve. Wee are told of an officer of the Cavaleeres that should beare immediate command over us; as to that person to serve under him either in or out of the Kingdome I knowe nothing that I can speake or thinke to detract from him; hee is a person of honour, butt hee is a stranger to mee and to my regiment, and as on the one side wee should be very glad to have one with us that wee have had experience of, soe on the other side itt is their oppinion to be wedded to noe man to goe under his command out of the Kingdome, before they receive some satisfaction in some competent measure.
May it please your Honour to be acquainted with the temper of your Regiment, and to see in what condition wee are; itt is not only the desire of the Regiment to knowe their commands, but in matter of Greivances which now lie upon them [they desire they] may accordingly have redresse from those in power, and remedies applied according to the diseases; and then wee desire that the justice of our proceedings may noe longer be censured, and condemned, butt judgesa in the proper spheare of them, that soe wee may bee noe longer misapprehended, which I represent to your Honour and to this honorable company.
I perceive this is an honest souldier of the regiment who has been a witnesse of all things that have passed; from this bussinesse in hand that doe respect the souldiers as well as the officers, if I have falne short in any thing, if you please to permit him to give mee some private notice.
I cannot say that I knowe every particular, but it is the general desire of the Regiment that they may be represented before you.
I have done faithfully my endeavour for your satisfaction.
Sir. there is one thing that an officer in Collonel Hammond’s Regiment said just now: that they were ready to accept of the termes with a great deale of chearefullnesse, that I did tell them that you did engage into Ireland, and Major Generall Skippon to command them, and I am sure itt is as great a comfort as any they have.
To what that Gentleman said, I find my Officers and Souldiers very willing; and though they doe confide in you, yet unlesse they have satisfaction as to indempnity and arreares, I must needes say — when wee are satisfied in them as wee are in the point of conduct under the Major Generall, provided that the conduct be soe settled upon the conditions before mentioned — to engage themselves and the army that is to serve with them upon that service. Truly, Sir, if they may be soe satisfied upon those termes, that they will then chearefully, faithfully and honestly, not out of any ends of their owne, but out of a cleere and candid sence, freely and chearefully venture their lives for the service of the Kingdome as they have hitherto done; and this I speake to you not from my selfe alone, but from very many that have desired mee to speake.
I shall desire your favour in this: I beleive Collonel Hammond hath made a mistake, I am confident my men would as willingly have their owne officers, and I am confident that they desire nothing more then to serve the Parliament in what the Parliament shall command them in; and, for the ends, if Collonel Hammond does meane mee, I thinke I have as little cause otherwise as any other.
I did not intend itt of Collonell Sheffeild or any other in [relation to] that service, I only speake in relation to the Act of Indempnity which I am not ashamed to owne. But there is some exceptions for Captaines to be Lievtennant Collonells, Lievtennants to be made Captaines and Sarjeants to be made Lievtennants and Ensignes; this they have done in my Regiment.
May it please your Honour, not haveing heard any thing fully spoken as to my Colonell’s Regiment, though superiour officers are heere, I hope I shall not be mistaken in that which I am now to speake.
And that is to tender the accompt of what I have proceeded in my troope in Collonell Sheffeild’s regiment. I had my troope at a randezvouz by themselves, thinking it the best way whereby I might impart and encourage them to the satisfaction desired of the Parliament, which I did in as faithfull a manner as I thought I was called unto. I advised them not to doe any thing too rashly but consider of itt. In conclusion they did tell mee, that if such and such things, which they did apprehend was very just and necessary as to their good and satisfaction, and according to the engagements of the Parliament, should be made [good] unto them, they should shewe the same affection.
And as to the bussinesse of Ireland they did include itt in these expressions. And as to the regiment, the Colonell and Major, the Captaines and my selfe was present when the letter was read and the votes of both Houses read unto them. I heard noe questions at all made, but that which they said their answeare was, this, jointly, one and all, that they could not be satisfied till they had an answeare to their petition.
And as to that of Ireland, I did not heare it moved in publique by any Officer at the Randezvouz. And as for the full of the Souldiers meaning and answeares to the votes, they have appointed severall of the regiment to bring upp their resolucions; they did not seeme to vent any distempers, for I saw not any thing done but that that did become them as souldiers, but these men are come upp and have signed these greivances which are signed. The whole Regiment signed them, they choose two out of a troope to bring them; and to speake seriously many of them did not knowe what they did, for many of them cryed out ‘Indempnity,’ ‘Indempnity,’ and afterwards ask’t mee what it was.
May it please your Honours.
I hope I have rendred a faithfull accompt of what is commanded to mee, that is to give satisfaction to those votes, and what Greivances did remaine upon their spiritts.
Truly I beleive that Captaine Rainborrowe’s accompt doth not make mine otherwise.
This relation that Captaine Rainborrowe makes of Colonell Sheffeild’s regiment upon my knowledge is true. Colonell Sheffeild and the Majora were there; they drew upp the severall troopes; they did read it particularly to every troope, and after they had done soe they signed them in the respective troopes, and there is brought upp by those souldiers [the desires of] at least 500 souldiers.
And if any other accompt be given the Regiment doth not owne it.
I wish that Gentleman would keepe to his duty, for I thinke I shall bee able to prove that hee hath nott. I humbly desire that when any officer doth doe anything that may make a breach in the performance of that duty, hee may be call’d to accompt for it.
Collonell Sheffield, what I doe [promise] I shall performe.
Wee desire that wee may not be misunderstood; there are many officers of the army that doe desire the good of our Souldiers as of our selves, and therefore wee desire that those papers that I delivered in may be heard read publiquely, that it may be knowne what wee have desired in the behalfe of our Souldiers.
Sir I shall offer this to you; in what hath been delivered, you have a summary extract of what was the troubles of our souldiers. Though wee are not ambitious of what wee have done, or our way of proceeding more then all the world, yet if any of themselves knowe their owne greivances to be soe plausible, and to carrie with them such a face of justice and equitie to any that shall heare itt, it will not be only a satisfaction but a courtesie [to hear them].
I did not speake any thing in reflection, but to satisfie you that, for very honest reasons, wee doe not judge it necessary to joyne in those things that other Regiments doe.
I have given you an accompt of that of Colonell Graves’ Regiment, to give satisfaction to those that desire itt.
Major Gen. Skippon.
Major Scroope, I suppose the case with that is much the same in every regiment, and that wee did [in one] that wee will doe through every regiment.
May it please your Honours I am here with a member of Colonell Lilburne’s Regiment; my Collonell is commanded to waite upon the Houses at London, hee cannot be heere.a
His Major was here and received your Honour’s command; hee was here on Fryday to give what accompt hee had then ready, but since hee is gone away to London hee hath left noe order to any to doe itt, but I thinke none can give soe just an accompt as my selfe; if your Honour please to take it from mee I shall as faithfully make the returne. NA Upon Wednesday last the Regiment was drawne to a Randezvouz to muster, and according to your Honour’s command had the votes of Parliament communicated to them. The Collonell’s orderly . . . . and soe consequently the rest; but for those that saw nothing nor heard nothing of those votes communicated to the Souldiers, it being as they alleadge done privately . . . . . I knowe what was said in itt by the souldiers to whome I heard them read, and particularly two companies; they were inserted amongst those which are presented to your Honours.
Major General Skippon..
Are there any officers of the Regiments that have not yett spoken that have anything to speake?
Lievtennant Collonel Grimes.a
I said this, There was noe dissenting; you were pleased to say there was dissenting in the army, I knowe that the mindes of the officers are knowne to the Collonells.
Major General Skippon.
Wee speake of distempers.
Commissary General Ireton.
The question that is expected to be answered is an accompt of the desires of the regiments.
According to my Colonell’s command I went to the Regiment, and when they came to the Randezvouz, hee drew them together, and then I told them there were severall Votes which the Commissioners of Parliament delivered to be read to them; as for distempers there are none. I madeb this answeare, first for the Act of Indempnitie, they should be very well content when they had itt; they thought a considerable summe was noe more then what was due to them. They said they were willing to any peace, they desired they might be presented to you which I have presented to the Colonell. And as for Ireland, [they gave] that answeare that Collonell Rich made and some others, they did desire some satisfaction for what was herein, satisfaction for what was done there.
Lievtennant Colonel Jackson.
I desire to speake but one word, and then I shall have done in an instant.
Least there should be any hard thoughts of the officers of the Generall’s Regiment, wee have dined together these two dayes; yesterday I shew[ed] to Captaine White the resolution of the souldiers for Ireland, and Captaine White himselfe, and Captaine Leigh also, who dined with us . . . . . that hee did all, that that was true which he had written, and much more which he desired to be spared, and that concerning the Irish bussinesse.
Gentlemen, our owne hearts and consciences tell us that upon this last bussinesse that the Commissioners have imployed us about in goeing to our severall regiments, wee have performed itt to the great and good service of the Parliament; yet wee may be out of doubt that there will be various representations, nay I may say misrepresentations, offered to the House of Commons of our acting and doings; itt is as good as already promised us. I shall therefore move you, whether it were not good for us all in a joint and sollicitous desire to request one or more of the Commissioners here to goe to London in our behalfes, to answeare what shall falsely be laid to our charge, and to give the Parliament a true sence of our doings heere.
Lievtenant Colonel Grime.
You will please to satisfie the Commissioners that there is not soe much dissenting as they speake of, for 7 or 8 men doe not make a dissent in the army.
I thinke there shall not neede to be any such thing.
Every man is left to his owne freedome to subscribe that which hee does agree to. I suppose in the whole greivances there is delivered different things, but wee may assent to that which is wholly and perfect ours and noe more.
This I say further. If you doe approve of what I have now tendered to you, that it is your desire to have one or more of these gentlemen that are members of the House to goe upp, that you will [let] them heare.
Heere the officers generally cried out. Two.
Perhapps there may be an information given to the House, for they cannot goe yett.
I most humbly offer this also, to take this along with you, concerning the Commissioners of Parliament of their going to London to serve you there and the kingdome, that it should be with submission to their judgment and reason it should be very well, but otherwise I doe not knowe whether it be soe well or noe, itt is our desire.
I shall desire that Collonell Whalley and the rest may goe.
Gentlemen, by the command of the Major Generall I will offer a word or two to you. I shall not not need to reminde you what the occasion of this meeting was, and what the bussinesse wee are sent down about: you see by what has past that it was for us to learne what temper the Army was in, and truly to that end were the votes of the Parliament communicated by us to you, that you should communicate them to the Army that soe we might have an accompt from you. That accompt is received, but it being in writing and consisting of many particulars, wee doe not yett knowe what the contents of those papers are. But this I am to lett you knowe: that wee shall deale very faithfullya through the grace of God with those that have imployed us hither, and with you also. The further consideration of these bussinesses will be a worke of time. The Major Generall and the rest of the Gentlemen thinke it not fitt to necessitate your stay here from your severall charges; but because there may be many particulars that may require further consideration in these papers that are heere represented, itt is desired that you would stay heere a field officer at the least of every regiment, and two Captaines. For the rest it is desired of you, that you would repaire to your severall charges, and that when you are there you would renew your care and dilligence in pressing [on] the severall souldiers under your commands, the effect of those votes that you have already read. That likewise you would acquaint them as particularly with those two things that the Major Generall did impart to you, which hee had in a letter from the Speaker of the House of Peers, to witt the addition of a fortnight’s pay, a fortnight to those that are to goe for Ireland, and a fortnight to those that doe not goe, and likewise there is an act of Indempnitie very full already past the House of Commons. Truly, Gentlemen, it will be very fitt for you to have a very great care in the making the best use and improvement that you can both of the Votes and of this that hath been last told you, and of the interest which all of you or any of you may have in your severall respective regiments, namely, to worke in them a good opinion of that authority that is over both us and them. If that authoritie falls to nothing, nothing can followe but confusion. You have hitherto fought to maintaine that duty, and truly as you have vouchsafed your hands in defending that, soe [vouchsafe] now to express your industry and interest to preserve it, and therefore I have nothing more to say to you. I shall desire that you will be pleased to lay this to heart that I have said.
Wee shall desire that though there are dissenters in few regiments yet appeare, that the like is in all regiments.a I presume most of us doe abhorre to engage against authority, and wee doe as equally abhorre the hindring the service of Ireland. You will find that the matter conteyned in any of the answeares is the sence of most of them.
Itt was told you that the Major Generall’s result was, that there should stay here a feild officer of every regiment; but because there have been diverse officers that have seemed to presse some differences, the Major Generall offerrs it to your consideration, that it any other besides those shall stay from the regiments have occasion to attend, they may have liberty.
May it please your Honours, I thinke there cannot be an exacter accompt given from some regiments, there being none given from Colonell Okey’s Regiment, they having not had the votes.
I shall offer only one thing to your Honours, the greivances have been presented [but] it hath not been as yett put to them whether it be with their consent, or for that purpose. Some may suggest that it is some private actings of some few of us, and therefore I desire that the question may be putt whether they doe consent or not.
I shall humbly offer one word to you more in reference to what Major Disbrowe gave an hint, and that is truly a thing that hath a little troubled mee, to see a dislike testified to some of us, as wee have thought have tended to serve the Kingdome, the Parliament, and the Army, and to contract the bussinesse that you are hereabout into as narrowe a compasse as the thing it selfe will beare, as such an unpleasing thing as the representation of greivances will admitt. I could heartily wish that as the unanimity of this Army Officers and Souldiers is very well knowne, [during the war] which God be thanked is not now in the Kingdome [it] might be soe exprest at our conclusion, and wee desisting from further engagement in another Kingdome [be united] as it hath been formerly. I hope though there may have been some extravagancies spoken by some Officers or Souldiers of the Army, that it shall not be represented to you, that those extravagancies are the acts of the whole Army; itt is fully acknowledged by all of us that there [are] weaknesses and imperfections in the best, but I professe it seriously that wee have, as wee shall answeare it to God and man, done our best endeavours to preserve our regiments from those things that the Parliament are pleased to call distempers amongst us, and to doe our utmost endeavours I say as may become us in our places, as may conduce to the further prosecution of the Parliament’s affaires either in Ireland or England. I meane in England iff wee should goe on in our bussinesses, as wee have done, united in a body. If any shall say, because wee talke of arreares before wee disband wee doe not intend to disband before wee have them, I speake that for my owne part, I speake the sence of my owne, that it is not any immodest, irrationall thing that wee drive at: only that the Parliament will please to reassume into their consideration that thing of arreares, before they are pleased to send us home or elsewhere.
In that particular I thinke there are not any officers here butt will agree to make an application to the House in that humble and submissive way as Colonell Rich hath proposed, to be reassumed into their consideration; I speake in the behalfe of diverse who are free to itt.
Lievtenant Colonel Jackson.
Itt is my desire.
But there are some particular exceptions of which wee doe not soe well approve, and some things wherein they are not at all concern’d; and therefore, upon those and other considerations, they desire to take that course apart; and as that cannot reflect upon any proceedings in the Army, soe they are very well satisfied in their consciences, that there is none can desire the peace of the Army more than they doe.
Major Disbrowes motion, as I understand, was to desire that you would knowe whether they did not desire Colonell Whaley and some other Gentlemen to accompany the Commissioners with their report to the House, that it may not be thought thatt it was of Colonell Whalley’s particular act, or any others joyn’d with him, and [lest] that itt should be look’d upon to be their actings, and not the desire of the rest.
Major General Skippon.
For my part I thinke it was the desire of other Officers, though only Collonell Whalley mov’d itt.
Major General Skippon.
Let us understand things soberly, rationally, and freindly one from another. I say, I thinke there was none of us, though I beleive wee did not knowe of itt, nor it was not by order from us, yet I doe verely beleive that wee could not imagine that Colonell Whalley whome wee thinke to be a wise man and an honester man then to doe a thing of his owne head . . . . .
But that you should make this the unanimous concurrence of the Army whereas there are divers officers that doe say otherwise . . . . .
The thing is soe cleere as you cannot chuse but take notice of itt; but in regard they doe heare of some that does almost threaten to send up such informations to the world as I may say are not true, therefore their humble request is, that two of the Members of the House of Parliament, you being all members, that you would be pleased to take the paines to goe up to London, that soe you may be able in their behalfe to represent their desires to the Parliament; and likewise to give the Parliament a cleare and true sence of what is their actings and doings here.
I humbly couceive that Collonel Whalley [is] speaking this as from himselfe, but if there be such a thing you all must knowe itt.
Sir, I did soe, yet I am sure it is most of their mindes. Does your conscience accuse you?
Major General Skippon.
I pray either speake with moderation or else be silent.
The thing is thus, that letter which was sent out was communicated to the severall Regiments, and that answere was sent from ours; if you desire mee to justifie itt I am willing, and acknowledge what they did, and whatsoever hath been done, hath been done to the end in the relation come upp.
I conceive that by what is said that some officers doe take offence as taking more upon them then was fitt for them to doe. [I therefore conceive it fit] That before this meeting doe breake uppe that some officers be appointed to present the sence of the whole. I speake only to drawe that bussinesse to a conclusion soe you may be noe longer deteyned.
Sir I shall make a short motion to you. That you will appoint us to make a more full discovery, and [to take the names of] those that doe assent to the appointing of us.
The Major Generall hath already an accompt who wee are that doe dissent.
I hope you will rightly understand us in that point of division. That word dividing was spoken.
Major General Skippon.
Gentlemen, I shall cover all in as good language as I can, and in as good earnist as I can, and in all faithfulnesse that I can. Put an end to this discourse. I thinke the papers that you have given in by the hand of Colonell Whalley will evidently mannifest who they are that dissent.
I thinke the papers on the other side will cleare itt; and therefore I beseech you in all earnestnesse that you doe nothing but what may tend to unitie, love and peace. And soe good night.
[b ]See on this meeting the letter of the Commissioners. Cary, i., 214.Rushworth, vi., 485, 487. Another version of this speech of Skippon’s is printed by Rushworth, and dated 15 May.
[a ]These two officers seem to be Lieutenant Colonel Jackson and Major Gooday of Fairfax’s regiment, two of those who had engaged toserve in Ireland.
[a ]Francis White of Fairfax’s foot regiment, on whom see Rushworth, viii., 943, and his own pamphlet, viz. The Copies of Several Letters presented to the Lord General Fairfax and Lieut-General Cromwell, by Francis White, 1649.
[a ]John Disbrowe (or Desborough), Major of Fairfax’s regiment of horse.
[a ]Colonel Robert Hammond.
[a ]William Cowell of Colonel Harley’s regiment, died a colonel in 1648. See Carlyle’s Cromwell, letter lxix.
[b ]Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas Reade of Colonel Herbert’s regiment. Rushworth, vi., 466, 471.
[c ]Major Thomas Harrison, the regicide.
[a ]William Leigh of Fairfax’s regiment of foot.
[b ]Lewis Audley of the same regiment. See on Audley, Burton’s Diary, iii., 15, 37-45, 86.
[c ]Major of Ireton’s regiment of horse.
[d ]MS. Mdum.
[a ]Robert Huntington, Major of Cromwell’s regiment of horse. On 8 April, 1647, the House of Commons voted that he should command Cromwell’s regiment. Commons’ Journals, v., 137.
[b ]The Lieutenant-General of this regiment was Edward Salmon. Rushworth, vi., 466.
[a ]Captain Daniel Thomas of Sir H. Waller’s regiment.
[b ]Major Thomas Smith.
[a ]Azariah Husbands, of Rich’s regiment. “Hee,” refers to Capt. Thomas.
[a ]MS. “did not resolve.”
[b ]Major Nicholas Moore and Captain Charles Mercer of Okey’s regiment of dragoons.
[a ]Adrian Scroope, the regicide, Major of the regiment of horse of Colonel Richard Grevis, or Graves, which was at this time guarding the King at Holmby. Scroope afterwards succeeded to the command of that regiment.
[a ]Charles Holcroft of the same regiment, one of those officers who had signed the engagement of March 22, promising to serve in Ireland.
[b ]Captain Fleming, of Graves’s regiment, was adjutant-general of horse in the New Model, colonel in 1648, and killed in the war in Wales. Phillips, Civil War in Wales, i., 401.
[a ]Captain — Barton.
[b ]Colonel Nathaniel Rich; his major was John Alford.
[a ]Richard Fincher.
[a ]Colonel Robert Lilburne; his major was William Master.
[a ]Mark Grime, of the regiment late Monntague’s, now Lambert’s.
[a ]Edmund Chillenden, an account of whom may be found in the Dictionary of National Biography.
[a ]A note, evidently written in 1662, when these reports were transcribed, says: “Looke that Rogue’s words was fidele, Ambo nebulones.”
[a ]Colonel Whalley? We shall desire you to say that though there are dissenters in a few regiments yet it appears that the like sense is in all regiments.
[a ]Colonel Butler?
[a ]George Joyce, cornet to Faurfax’s life-guard.