Front Page Titles (by Subject) [ Major Huntington to Sir T. Fairfax. ] - The Clarke Papers. Selections from the Papers of William Clarke, vol. 1
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[ Major Huntington to Sir T. Fairfax. ] - 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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[Major Huntington to Sir T. Fairfax.]
May itt please your Excellency,
Uppon the deliverie of his Majesty’s answerb to the propossisions of both kingdoms sent by Commissioners on Tewsday last, this afternoone, his Majestie layd his commands on mee to speed away this inclosed to yourselfe (which is the same delivered to the Commissioners in answer to the propossicions brought by them), with these words, that hee was engaged to bee soe civell to the Generall as to send his answere to the propossicions to him at the same tyme hee delivered them to the others, sayeing that in them he had put a great trust upon the army, not doubteing but that the Generall would stand by him in procureing a personall treaty with his two houses. This is all which is to be offered to the knowledg of your Excellencie by the meanest of
Your Excellencies servants
Hampton Court, Sept. 9o, ’47.
Att the Generall Councill of Officers att Putney. 28 October, 1647.
The Officers being mett, first said,
Lieutennant General Cromwell.a
That the Meeting was for publique businesses. Those that had anythinge to say concerning the publique businesse might have libertie to speake.
Mr. Edward Sexby.
Mr. Allen, Mr. Lockyer, and my self are three.
They have sent two Souldiers, one of your owne Regiment and one of Col. Whalley’s, with two other Gentlemen, Mr. Wildman and Mr. Petty.
Commissary General Ireton.
That hee had nott the paper of what was done uppon all of them.
Itt was referr’d to the Committee, that they should consider of the paper that was printed, “The Case of the Army Stated,” and to examine the particulars in itt, and to represent and offer somethinge to this Councill about itt.b They were likewise appointed to send for those persons concern’d in the paper. The Committee mett according to appointment that night. Itt was only then Resolv’d on, That there should bee some sent in a freindlie way (nott by command, or summons) to invite some of those Gentlemen to come in with us, I thinke.
I was desired by the Lieutennant Generall to [let him] know the bottome of their desires. They gave us this answer, that they would willinglie draw them uppe, and represent them unto you. They are come att this time to tender them to your considerations with their resolutions to maintaine them.
Wee have bin by providence putt upon strange thinges, such as the ancientist heere doth scarce remember. The Army acting to these ends, providence hath bin with us, and yett wee have found little [fruit] of our indeavours; and really I thinke all heere both great and small (both Officers and Souldiers), wee may say wee have lean’d on, and gone to Egypt for helpe. The Kingdomes cause requires expedition, and truly our miseries with [those of] our fellow souldiers’ cry out for present helpe. I thinke, att this time, this is your businesse, and I thinke itt is in all your hearts to releive the one and satisfie the other. You resolv’d if any thinge [reasonable] should bee propounded to you, you would joyne and goe alonge with us.
The cause of our misery [is] uppon two thinges. We sought to satisfie all men, and itt was well; butt in going [about] to doe itt wee have dissatisfied all men. Wee have labour’d to please a Kinge, and I thinke, except wee goe about to cutt all our throates, wee shall nott please him; and wee have gone to support an house which will prove rotten studds,a I meane the Parliament which consists of a Company of rotten Members.
And therfore wee beseech you that you will take these thinges into your consideration.
I shall speake to the Lieut. Generall and Commissary Generall concerning one thinge. Your creditts and reputation hath bin much blasted uppon these two considerations. The one is for seeking to settle this Kingdome in such a way wherein wee thought to have satisfied all men, and wee have dissatisfied them—I meane in relation to the Kinge—The other is in referrence to a Parliamentarie aucthoritie (which most heere would loose their lives for), to seeb those powers to which wee will subject our selves loyally called. These two things are as I thinke conscientiously the cause of all those blemishes that have bin cast uppon either the one or the other. You are convinc’t God will have you to act on, butt [ask] onelie to consider how you shall act, and [take] those [ways] that will secure you and the whole Kingdome. I desire you will consider those thinges that shall bee offer’d to you; and, if you see any thinge of reason, you will joyne with us that the Kingdome may bee eas’d, and our fellow souldiers may bee quieted in spiritt. These thinges I have represented as my thoughts. I desire your pardon.
I thinke itt is good for us to proceede to our businesse in some order, and that will bee if wee consider some things that are latelie past. There hath bin a booke printed, called, “The Case of the Armie Stated,” and that hath bin taken into consideration, and there hath bin somewhat drawne uppe by way of exception to thinges contayn’d in that booke; and I suppose there was an Answer brought to that which was taken by way of exception, and yesterday the Gentleman that brought the Answer hee was dealt honestly and plainly withall, and hee was told, that there were new designes a driving, and nothing would bee a clearer discovery of the sincerity of [their] intentions, as their willingnesse that were active to bringe what they had to say to bee judg’d of by the Generall Officers, and by this Generall Councill, that wee might discerne what the intentions were. Now itt seemes there bee divers that are come hither to manifest those intentions according to what was offer’d yesterday, and truly I thinke, that the best way of our proceeding will bee to receive what they have to offer. Onely this, Mr. Sexby, you were speaking to us two. [I do not know why you named us two,] except you thinke that wee have done somewhat or acted somewhat different from the sence and resolution of the Generall Councill. Truly, that that you speake to, was the thinges that related to the Kinge and thinges that related to the Parliament; and if there bee a fault I may say itt, and I dare say, itt hath bin the fault of the Generall Councill, and that which you doe speake both in relation to the one and the other, you speake to the Generall Councill I hope, though you nam’d us two, Therfore truly I thinke itt sufficient for us to say, and ’tis that wee say—I can speake for my selfe, lett others speake for them selves—I dare maintaine itt, and I dare avowe I have acted nothing butt what I have done with the publique consent, and approbation and allowance of the Generall Councill. That I dare say for my self, both in relation to the one, and to the other. What I have acted in Parliament in the name of the Councill or of the Army I have had my warrant for from hence. What I have spoken in another capacitie, as a Member of the House, that was free for mee to doe; and I am confident, that I have nott used the name of the Army, or interest of the Army to anythinge butt what I have had allowance from the Generall Councill for, and [what they] thought itt fitt to move the House in. I doe the rather give you this account, because I heare there are some slanderous reports going uppe and downe uppon somewhat that hath bin offer’d to the House of Commons [by me], as being the sence and opinion of this Armie, and in the name of this Army, which, I dare bee confident to speake itt, hath bin as false and slanderous a report as could bee raised of a man. And that was this; That I should say to the Parliament and deliver itt as the desire of this Armie, and the sence of this Armie, that there should bee a second addresse to the Kinge by way of propositions. I dare bee confident to speake itt, what I deliver’d there I deliver’d as my owne sence, and what I deliver’d as my owne sence I am nott ashamed of. What I deliver’d as your sence, I never deliver’d butt what I had as your sence.a
For this the Lieutennant Generall was pleas’d to speake of last, itt was moved, that day the propositions were brought in. That itt was carried for making a second addresse to the Kinge, itt was when both the Lieutennant Generall and my selfe were last heere, and where wee broke off heere, and when wee came uppon the Bill itt was told us, That the House had carried itt for a second addresse; and therfore the Lieutenant Generall must needes bee cleare of itt. Butt itt was urged in the House that itt was the sence of the Army that itt should bee soe.
Com̃. Gen. Ireton.
I desire nott to speake of these thinges, butt onely to putt thinges into an orderly way, which would lead to what the occasion is that hath brought these Gentlemen hither that are now call’d in; yett I cannott butt speake a worde to that that was last touch’t uppon.
If I had told any man soe (which I know I did nott) if I did, I did tell him what I thought; and if I thought otherwise of the Army, I protest I should have bin ashamed of the Armie and detested itt; that is, if I had thought the Army had bin of that minde, they would lett those propositions sent from both Kingdomes bee the thinges which should bee [final] whether peace or noe, without any farther offers; and when I doe finde itt, I shall bee asham’d on’t, and detest any dayes condescention with itt. And yett for that which Mr. Sexby tells us hath bin one of the great businesses [cast] uppon the Lieutennant Generall and my self, I doe detest and defie the thought of that thinge, of any indeavour, or designe, or purpose, or desire to sett uppe the Kinge; and I thinke I have demonstrated, and I hope I shall doe still, [that] itt is the interest of the Kingdome that I have suffer’d for. As for the Parliament too, I thinke those that know the beginninges of these principles, that wee [set forth] in our Declarations of late for clearing and vindicating the Liberties of the people, even in relation to Parliament will have reason [to acquit me]. And whoever doe know how wee were led to the declaring of that point as wee have, as [a fundamental] one, will bee able to acquitt mee that I have bin farre from a designe of setting uppe the persons of these men, or of any men whatsoever to bee our Law Makers. Soe likewise for the Kinge; though I am cleare, as from the other, from setting uppe the person of one or other, yett I shall declare itt againe; I doe nott seeke, or would nott seeke, nor will joyne with them that doe seeke the destruction either of Parliament or Kinge. Neither will I consent with those or concurre with them who will nott attempt all the wayes that are possible to preserve both, and to make good use, and the best use that can bee of both for the Kingedome; and I did nott heare any thinge from that Gentleman (Mr. Sexby) that could induce or incline mee to that resolution. To that point I stand cleare as I have exprest. Butt I shall nott speake any more concerning myself.
The Committeea mett att my lodginges assoone as they parted from hence; and the first thinge they resolved on hearing there was a meeting of the Agitators [was, that] though itt was thought fitt by the Generall Councill heere they should bee sent for to the Regiment[s], yett itt was thought fitt to lett them know what the Generall Councill had done, and to goe on in a way that might tend to unitie; and [this] being resolved on wee were desired by one of those Gentlemen that were desired to goe, that least they should mistake the matter they went about, itt might bee drawne in writing, and this is itt:
That the Generall Councill, etc. [blank].
This is the substance of what was deliver’d. Mr. Allen, Mr. Lockyer, and Mr. Sexby were sent with itt, and I thinke itt is fitt that the Councill should bee acquainted with the Answer.
As to the Answer itt was short (truly I shall give itt as shorte). Wee gave them the paper, and read itt amongst them, and to my best remembrance they then told us, that they were nott all come together whome itt did concerne, and soe were nott in a capacitie att the present to returne us an Answer; butt that they would take itt into consideration, and would send itt as speedily as might bee. I thinke itt was neare their Sence.
[b ]Huntington states in his “Reasons for laying down his Commission,” that the King’s answer to the propositions was shown privately to both Cromwell and Ireton “in a garden-house at Putney, and in some part amended to their own minds.” Berkeley says that Charles “followed the advice of all the leading part of the Independent Party both in the Parliament and the Army, by refusing the articles and desiring a personal treaty;” adding “we gave our friends in the Army a sight of this the day before it was sent, with which they seemed infinitely satisfied.” (Masere’s Tracts, i., 372, 403.)
[a ]Fairfax was not present, “being not well, and at Turnham Green” (Rushworth, viii. 857).
[b ]“The case of the Army truly stated, together with the mischiefes and dangers that are imminent, and some suitable remedies, and humbly proposed by the Agents of five Regiments of Horse, to the respective Regiments and the whole Army.” This paper (filling twenty pages of a quarto pamphlet) is dated Guildford, October 9, 1647, and signed by agents representing the regiments of Cromwell, Ireton, Fleetwood, Rich and Whalley. It is accompanied by a letter from the agent to Fairfax, dated October 15, and was presented to the General on October 18. It is stated on the last page that “Upon the presentation to, and serious perusal thereof by his Excellency, the sum of his answer was to this effect. That he judged their intentions were honest, and desired that everyone of publique spirit would be acting for the publique, and that for his part he had freely ventured his life for common right and freedome, and should freely engage it againe, adding further that he thought it meet it should be presented to the Generall Councell.” See also Rushworth, viii., 845, 849, 850, 857. In the meeting of the General Council of the Army on October 22 the paper was discussed, and a committee appointed to meet the next day, to consider the case of the Army and present their conclusions to the next General Council on October 28. In the meantime the agitators put forth a new paper vindicating themselves from the charge of dividing the Army. (Rushworth, viii., 845, 849, 850, 856, 857; Godwin, Commonwealth, ii. 445-451).
[a ]“Studds,” i.e. the upright in a lath and plaster wall. Halliwell quotes the following passage from Harrison’s England. “Our houses are commonly strong and well timbered, so as in many places there are not above four, six, or nine inches between stud and stud.”
[b ]MS. “bee.”
[a ]This must refer to the debate of September 23, 1647, on which day the House of Commons resolved “that the House will once again make application to the King, for those things which the Houses shall judge necessary for the welfare and safety of the Kingdom.” (Commons’ Journals, v. 314.) Cromwell and Rainborough were both present on September 22, when the question of “the whole matter concerning the King was discussed in a Committee of the whole House, and they told against each other on the proposal to resolve the House into a Committee for that purpose. (Ib. v. 312.) September 23 was a Thursday, on which day the general council of the Army usually met, which explains the absence of Cromwell and Rainborough. Of Cromwell’s speeches in this debate news-letters give the only record. One of September 27 (Clarendon MS. 2602) says “The last week his Majesty’s answers to the propositions being considered of in the House was voted to be a denial, and that the King’s drift therein was to put a difference between the Parliament and the Army, and between the English and Scottish nation; whereupon a sharp debate grew whether the King should be sent unto any more, or whether they should forthwith proceed to the settlement of the kingdom; to the latter most of the orators inclined, and in likelihood would have led the house that way, but that it was opposed by Cromwell and Ireton, who said it was no fit timeto proceed with such vigour, the King having gotten so great a reputation in the Army, and therefore advised them to proceed in a way towards the satisfaction of the kingdom and army; and so they went to review the propositions, having first voted that they should be carried to the King as ordinances, not as propositions. There have been in the prosecution of this business some desperate motions; as, that the King, in regard that many who give him ill counsel and are professed enemies to the Parliament resort unto him, should be restrained; that they should think no more of the King, but proceed as if there were no such thing in the world; for that he is always an impediment to all good resolutions; some calling him Ahab, others Coloquintida. But all those speeches have been stopped by Cromwell and Ireton, whose civilities are visible, but the reality of their intentions not clearly discerned.”
[a ]A brief account of the proceedings of the Committee is given in Rushworth, viii., 849, 850.