Front Page Titles (by Subject) Letter from Collonell White to the Generall a - The Clarke Papers. Selections from the Papers of William Clarke, vol. 1
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Letter from Collonell White to the Generall a - 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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Letter from Collonell White to the Generalla
May it please your Excellencie,
I am bold to send you such votes as the House hath passed in order to the disbanding of your Army, which being now resolv’d uppon I shall pray to God that it may be done peaceably, upon which I looke as that which carries in it the good and safetie of this Kingdome present and future. I knowe that some are of opinion that the Army being disbanded libertie is endangered, which I confesse—but withall doe clearely discerne, that if the Army shall continue it selfe against the authoritie of Parliament (for soe wee must conclude that which is passed by majoritie of Votes however contrarie to particular opinions) that there must inevitably follow the ruine and desolation of the Commonwealth, for this must needs occure to every eye (which looks forwards) to be the consequence: the Parliament being disobeyed and the Kingdome burthened with an Army voted unnecessary and to be disbanded, a force must be raised to compell obedience, and rather then faile the Scotts speedily call’d in, the issue of which (whosoever prevailes) must be the ruine of the Kingdome, and a sure stepp to the King and those that designe his ends either to bring him in (upon his owne termes) as the aire of these distempers, or to have opportunitie to raise a force such a one as may subdue and destroy both the other. On the contrarie, if it please God to dispose the Army to a quiet disbanding I am confident to say the Royall Designers have plotted in vaine, and their Councells how craftie soever are frustrated, for I am sure that if ever the King’s interest appeare bare fact, without the masque of publique ease and zeale against hereticks, it will not have many to countenance it, few inclining to a confidence that the King is to be trusted with power over their lives or estates. Your Excellencie I confesse hath a most difficult game to play, your relations to Parliament and Army considered especially if there shall be opposition to the Parliament’s command’s (which God prevent) and if such be the sequell (which if reports be true wants not its simptoms), I beseech you pardon my boldnesse that I presume to offer you my humble advice. God hath made your Excellencie his great Instrument of good unto this Kingdome in subduing the Enemies thereof. The Parliament honours and esteemes your Person and services most highly—I say the Parliament, I dare not affirme it of every individuall person, vertue is alwaies the object of envy, and honour hath ever its emulations—as God hath made you successefull in their warrs to their advantage and your owne honour soe I may confidently say that your endeavours for quiet disbanding at there commands will add to their esteeme and love of you; for I doe assure your Excellencie, though some differ about the time and manner of disbanding, yet there are not many whose opinions are to continue more forces then the number of Horse and Dragoones voted to be under your Excellencie’s command. If any disturbance (upon occasion of Disbanding) shall happen in the Army (which your Excellencie cannot speedily remeady) I beseech you foresee it in time, and write to the Parliament to give you leave so come upp to London to preserve them with your advice for the quieting thereof. I cannot see that your stay in the Army in any unquiet distemper (upon this occasion) can be for your safetie, nay I am sure it must be to your apparent danger. I leave your Excellencie to imagine the reasons, I know they are obvious to you. Pardon, I beseech you, this boldnesse and presumption, which is noe other then the reall effect of Duty to you and my Country, and of honour and faithfullnesse to your Excellencie, to whome I shall ever render my selfe upon all occasions.
Your Excellencies most faithfull and most humble servant
London, May 28, 1647.
[a ]Colonel William White, M.P. for Pontefract; see Fairfax Correspondence, iii., 42, 318, 342; Hollis, Memoirs, § 130.