Front Page Titles (by Subject) The heads of a Report to be made to the honourable House of Commons by Lievtennant Generall Cromwell and Collonell Fleetwood in the name of themselves and the best of the Officers in the Army and Members of that House lately sent downe to the Army whose n - The Clarke Papers. Selections from the Papers of William Clarke, vol. 1
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
The heads of a Report to be made to the honourable House of Commons by Lievtennant Generall Cromwell and Collonell Fleetwood in the name of themselves and the best of the Officers in the Army and Members of that House lately sent downe to the Army whose n - 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.
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
The heads of a Report to be made to the honourable House of Commons by Lievtennant Generall Cromwell and Collonell Fleetwood in the name of themselves and the best of the Officers in the Army and Members of that House lately sent downe to the Army whose names are subscribed.
Agreed upon and sign’d by them all at Walden May 20th, 1647.
1. That according to the appointment (whereof wee have formerly given accompt) the Officers mett here againe on Satturday last to returne an accompt of their proceedings and successes in communicating the Votes and improving the same together with their utmost interest and power for the satisfaction of the Souldiers and quieting of all distempers, as also to give a full accompt of the tempers of the Army in relation to the late discontent appearing therein.
2. That on Sunday Evening wee received a summarie accompt in writing agreed upon and signed by about 24 of the Officers, and presented to us by some of the cheife in the name and presence of the rest of the Subscribers which wee have now sent upp.a
3. That at the same time from the 8 Regiments of Horse and 8 of Foot now lying within the association the severall Cheife Officers present for the respective Regiments gave us accompt by word of mouth all of them to this effect. That they had communicated the Votes and done their endeavours according to order and doe find their Souldiers very quiet and in noe visible distemper at present, but having divers greivances sticking upon them, which (they said) were contained in the respective papers then given in by them, and all of them did also expressly declare, That the effect and substance of those their Greivances was contain’d in the said Summary then given in, except only those Officers whose distinct returnes for their severall charges given to us in writing are these following, which wee have likewise sent upp,b vizt.
To that from the Generall’s Regiment there was exception made by three Captaines and some other Officers of that Regiment, as also by 7 Souldiers chosen and intrusted by their fellowes of 7 Companies, who declar’d their greivances to be as in the Summarie and have given in a Paper to that purpose which wee have also sent upp.
To that from Collonell Sheffeild there was exception made by Captaine Rainborrow, and Captaine Evelyn’s Lievtennant for their respective Troopes, and by private Soldiers for other Troopes of that Regiment chosen and intrusted by their fellowes, who brought the hands of all the Souldiers of the Regiment to attest their greivances, which because contain’d for substance within the Summarie wee doe not trouble the House withall. Colonell Sheffeild repli’d, That hee knew of noe such thing while hee stai’d with that Regiment, but the other averr’d it was publiquely agreed on upon the Randezvous after hee was gone.
That wee received also in writing other distinct accompts from some other Officers of Horse and Dragoones lying out of the Association, vizt.
One from two Lievtennants, two Cornetts and a Quarter Master of Collonell Graves’s Regiment.
One from the Major and two Captaines of Dragoones of the three Troopes lying about Holdenby.
One from two other Captaines of Dragoones for their two Troopes lying in Shroppshire.
But wee find that these accompts were made by the respective officers without the imediate privitie of all their Soldiers or the other officers and Troopes of the same Regiments, and that they had not since the former meeting here had time to draw out their Troopes from the rest of those Regiments to acquaint them fully with the votes, or gaine a certain accompt of them, the great distance of all from those of their Quarters not admitting itt to be soe done within that time, and therefore wee have given order that the Votes, together with what is since added of the arreares, be effectually communicated to them all, and a certaine accompt to be returned from each as soone as may be.
5. That from Sir Robert Pies Regiment of Horse (we suppose for the same reason) we have had noe returne from any officer yet appearing, nor doe we yet heare whether they have received the Votes. The copie whereof for them was (in defect of any officer of that Regiment at the first meeting) delivered to an officer of Collonell Graves’s Troope for both those Regiments.
6. Wee have also received some other Papers which at present wee thought not necessary to trouble the House withall.
7. That on Monday another Paper was delivered to us by Lievtennant Collonell Jackson, subscribed by himselfe and other officers that dissented from the rest to cleere themselves from mistake or misapprehensions in their said dissenting, which wee have likewise sent.
8. That since the said Generall meeting the Officers (who by consent of the rest had subscribed it) drew up and perfected the Summary, have shew’d us, and we have read over.
By all which wee find,
1. That those officers had good ground for what they did in the Summary, the said particular returnes of greivances being full to the heads of the Summary and many of them exceeding.
2. That whereas many of them for matter or expressions were brought confused and full of tautologies, impertinencies, or weaknesses answerable to Soldiers dialect, they drew the matter of them into some forme more fitt for view or judgment.
3. That whereas many of them for matter or expressions were such as might have given greater offence, they did, by their perswasions with the inferiour Officers and Souldiers that came with them (intrusted for the rest), bring them to lay aside many more offencive things, and to be satisfied in the heads of the Summarie, and therein endeavoured to bring them as low and to as much moderation as they could.
4. That their end and reason for going in that method and undertakeing the Summarie seems (most probably) to be to gaine the precedent effects, and to avoid further offence to the Parliament, soe as the Armies tendernesse towards the authorities and priviledges of the Parliament, and the Parliament’s favourable construction and consideration of the Army might seeme to remove all discontents and prevent any more inconveniencie.
5. That the Officers thus joyning with the Souldiers againe in a regular way to make knowne and give vent to their greivances hath contributed much to allay precedent distempers, to bring off the Souldiers much from their late wayes of correspondencie and actings amongst themselves, and reduce them againe towards a right order and regard to their Officers in what they doe.
6. That the said severall Returnes doe generally expresse a pationate sense of the scandall concerning the petition to the King, protesting against the thing and the appearance of it amongst them in a great detestation thereof and importunitie for their clearing therein.
9. That though (in the charge to the Officers at their first meeting) wee exprest not, nor did intend to expect to have any such Returnes of Greivances, but only an accompt of what effect the Votes with the Officers endeavours had for quieting of distempers, and to knowe what distempers had been or should remaine, to the end wee might the better understand how to apply our selves to pay them, and give the better accompt to the House, yet now upon the whole matter wee humbly conceive, that the way it hath falne into, the course taken by the said Officers and admitted by us (being all upon a kind of necessitie as providence hath cast it for preventing of worse) hath hitherto proved for the best, and may (through the goodnesse of God with the wisedome of the Parliament) be turn’d to a good issue.
10. Lastly. That what hath been publiquely said or done by us in the transacting or prosecution of this great affaire hath been with the advice and unanimous consent or with the allowance and approbation of us all.
All which wee humbly submitt to the Parliament’s better Judgment and the good pleasure of God.
May 20, 1647.
[a ]See Army Declarations, p. 17.
[b ]These returns are amongst the Clarke Papers, Worcester MSS. vol. xli.
[a ]This report was presented to the House of Commons by Cromwell on May 21. Commons’ Journals, v. 181; Fairfax Correspondence, iii. 348. It forms a sequel to the letters printed in Cary’s Memorials of the Civil War, i. 205, 207, 214; and in Carlyle’s Cromwell, Appendix, 10. The originals of those letters are amongst the Tanner MSS. in the Bodleian Library, but the MS. of this report is not amongst them. There are, however, amongst the Clarke MSS., copies of several letters which are in Tanner’s collection, and the two frequently supplement each other. A news-letter amongst the Clarendon Papers, No. 2,520, says, “Lieutenant-General Cromwell on Friday last made his report from the army, that it will without doubt disband, but they will not by any means hear of going for Ireland. The greatest difficulty, he said, would be to satisfy the demands of some (whom he had persuaded as much as he could possibly) but a great part of the army remitt themselves entirely to be ordered by the Parliament.” Compare Hollis, Memoirs, § 87, Walker, History of Independency, ed. 1661, pt. i. p. 31.