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[ News-letter from head-quarters. ] - 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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[News-letter from head-quarters.]
Reading, 17th July, 1647.b
Yesterday there was a great Councill of Warre call’d, it held till 12 a clock at night, consisted of above 100 Officers, besides Agitators, who now in prudence we admitt to debate; and it is not more than necessary they should be, considering the influence they have upon the souldiers, and the officer we hope hath such interest in them, as if any of more fierce disposition amongst them moderate not their reason, the officers can command it; and I assure you, it is the singularest part of wisdom in the General and the officers so to carry themselves considering the present temper of the Army, so as to be unanimous in Councills, including the new persons into their number. It keeps a good accord, and obtains ready obedience, for to this hour never any troop or company yet mutiny’d, and if a man consider the alterations of officers that are now admitted, and interests of officers that are gone, it is the greatest wonder, that there is that unanimity still. It is the hand of God that doth it, I hope for a good end. It is not proper to relate particular debates yesterday, yet accept of a word in general, and think it not strange, if it should be advised to march nearer to London, as an expedient to obtain satisfaction in those particulars, which have been long desired by the Army of the Parliament, as in particular declaring against forreign forces coming in, the putting reformado’s out of the line, and suspending the 11 Members, but more especially to desire the Parliament to putt the Militia of the Citty of London into the same hands it was before, without which we can not hold our selves secure in proceeding to treat, but that those persons being still in power who granted commissions to Dalbeere and such kind of soldiers of fortune may upon any encouragement from the designing parte be apt to doe the like again. Tho’ this was much prest with reasons and earnestness by the Agitators, yet the Generall and the Officers after many hours debate so satisfyed them with arguments and reasons to the contrary, that they submitted it to the Generall and Officers, no man gainsaying it; and so it is resolved to send to the Parliament to desire these particulars, especially the Militia, and receive a positive answer within 4 days. These thinges being granted, the Treaty, all things being prepared to be debated on, will proceed; but till the Parliament be thoroughly purged, which is in a way, and the city Militia altered as aforesaid, we expect nothing but delays upon results of the Treaty, when ever they send them. And be assured you will find by those propositions that came from the Army, they take care for the Parliament and the interest of their party in a sufficient manner, and yet in order to the speedy settlement of the Peace of the Kingdome, make it their humble desires for some way of mediation for the King and his party, but so as not to prejudice the subjects liberty. Monarchy may be so settled, but not to be hurtfull as formerly. The King’s party do flock from London hither, not to be entertained in the Army, for I assure you there is not a man of that party suffered to be listed, but they come to see the King, and that civility is connived at, but that party not comply’d with. When the Army was in their greatest glory, and the enemy under their foot, yet we were ever humane and Christian to them, and now being so near a reconciliation, we should not shew any aversion or indisposition. Besides it does begett more confidence in the King than before that we are those that mean to make good our selves, and I hope he is so assured of it as he will not much stop at what shall be propounded for the peace of the Kingdom. It is now our resolution to follow the bussiness day and night, till there be a speedy end putt to this great affair of finishing a peace so much expected by the Kingdom; and indeed it must not be delay’d, for else the odium will lye as much upon the army as it hath of late upon others. Quartering is burthesome to the country and the more where the soldiers are uncivill and rude, which in so great an army doth sometimes happen, especially where we have but one months pay in 18 weeks, and how we shall do to order things well without money will go hard with us, the 200,000ɫ; being all expended, no man knows how.
[b ]This letter is probably by John Rushworth. At least it very much resembles those from him to Lord Fairfax, dated July 13 and July 20. Fairfax Correspondence, iii., 367-371.