Front Page Titles (by Subject) [ A Letter from Cornet Joyce. a ] - The Clarke Papers. Selections from the Papers of William Clarke, vol. 1
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[ A Letter from Cornet Joyce. 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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[A Letter from Cornet Joyce.a ]
There hath been a partie of Horse, about 500, at Holdenby, who have secured and taken his Majestie into their Custodie, and the King who doth desire to speake with Sir Thomas Fairfax. — The King is now at Huntington Towne, and will be at New Markett to morrow. Persuade all the friends you can to come and meet him, and endeavour to doe for the best. Certainly God hath appeared in a mighty manner, and therefore I shall wholly rely on you for what I desire, which is a partie to doe that which may be justifiable before God and Man. Hast, Hast, think on mee.
George Joyce, Cortt.
Huntington att 11 of the clock
a Read this inclosed, seale it upp, and deliver itt what ever you doe, that soe wee may not perish for want of your assistance. Lett the Agitators know once more wee have done nothing in our owne name, but what wee have done hath been in the name of the whole Army, and wee should not have dared to have done what wee have, if wee had not been sure that you and my best old friend had consented hereunto, and knew that I speak nothing but truth.b
[a ]As in the case of Joyce’s first letter, there is no note of any name or address. It is possible however to deduce from the contents of the letter certain conclusions as to the person to whom it was directed. Joyce was now on his way to Newmarket, where the rendezvous of the army was to take place. The letter is evidently written to some person at Newmarket, near it, or on the way to it. He is asked to assist in conveying the King thither, by giving Joyce a party to help him, and by coming with his friends to meet the King. The person to whom the letter is addressed was apparently not in the plot himself. Joyce thinks it necessary to tell him that the King has been taken from Holdenby, that it is at the King’s own desire that he is being conveyed to Fairfax, and he also thinks it necessary to protest the excellence of his own intentions. After telling him what has been done he urges him to make the best of it. These points suggest that Joyce was not writing to an accomplice but rather to a person whom he wanted to become one after the event. A suggestion based on these general conclusions may perhaps be ventured. Joyce purposed to go to Newmaket by way of Cambridge, as the fact that Whalley met him on the way the next day proves (Lords’ Journals, ix. 248). His route from Huntingdon to Cambridge lay through the hundred of Papworth. On May 30, Major Adrian Scroope and that portion of the regiment of Colonel Graves which was not actually assigned to guard the King had been ordered to take up their quarters at once in Papworth hundred. (See Appendix C.) Had Scroope and his soldiers been so disposed they could have seriously hindered Joyce’s journey to Newmarket. I suggest therefore that this letter was addressed to Major Scroope in general reliance on his sympathy and assistance. If so, Joyce in asking for “a partie” employs the word in the technical sense of a detachment of horse, and by “friends” probably means to ask Scroope to bring all the officers he can to meet the King.
[a ]In the copy from which this letter is printed these lines are appended to the preceding letter as if they were a postscript to it. This appendix however is evidently not addressed to the same person as the letter. I take that letter to be itself the enclosure referred to, and this an endorsement appealing to some person to deliver it. The person to whom it was addressed was evidently in constant communication with the agitators. I should suggest that it was directed to some inferior officer, or possibly to some agitator belonging to the regiment of Colonel Graves, that he might deliver it to Scroope.
[b ]There are two copies of this letter. In one, the last line runs, “I know that I speak nothing but truth.” The reading given above is that of the earlier copy.