Front Page Titles (by Subject) The Paper called the Agreement read. - The Clarke Papers. Selections from the Papers of William Clarke, vol. 1
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The Paper called the Agreement read. - 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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The Paper called the Agreement read.
Afterwards the first Article read by itt self.a
The exception that lies in itt is this. Itt is said: “The people of England” etc. . . . . they are to bee distributed “according to the number of the inhabitants;” and this doth make mee thinke that the meaning is, that every man that is an inhabitant is to bee equally consider’d, and to have an equall voice in the election of the representors, those persons that are for the Generall Representative; and if that bee the meaning then I have somethinge to say against itt. But if itt bee onely that those people, that by the Civill Constitution of this kingedome, which is originall and fundamentall, and beyond which I am sure noe memory of record does goe—(Nott before the Conquest).a Butt before the Conquest itt was soe. Iff itt bee intended, that those that by that Constitution that was before the Conquest, that hath bin beyond memory, such persons that have bin before [by] that Constitution [the electors], should be [still] the electors, I have noe more to say against itt.
Moved, That others might have given their hands to itt.
Denied, That those that were sett of their Regiment that they were their hands.
Whether those men whose hands are to itt, or those that brought itt, doe know soe much of the matter, as [to know whether] they meane that all that had a former right of election [are to be electors], or [whether] those that had noe right before are to come in?
In the time before the Conquest, and since the Conquest, the greatest parte of the Kingedome was in vassalage.
Wee judge that all inhabitants that have nott lost their birthright should have an equall voice in Elections.
I desir’d that those that had engaged in itt [should speak] for really I thinke that the poorest hee that is in England hath a life to live as the greatest hee; and therfore truly, Sir, I thinke itt’s cleare, that every man that is to live under a Governement ought first by his owne consent to putt himself under that Governement; and I doe thinke that the poorest man in England is nott att all bound in a stricte sence to that Governement that hee hath not had a voice to putt himself under; and I am confident that when I have heard the reasons against itt, somethinge will bee said to answer those reasons, insoemuch that I should doubt whether hea was an Englishman or noe that should doubt of these thinges.
That’s [the meaning of] this [“according to the number of the inhabitants.”]
Give mee leave to tell you, that if you make this the rule I thinke you must flie for refuge to an absolute naturall Right, and you must deny all Civill Right; and I am sure itt will come to that in the consequence. This I perceive is prest as that which is soe essentiall and due,—the right of the people of this Kingedome, and as they are the people of this Kingedome, distinct and devided from other people,—as that wee must for this right lay aside all other considerations; this is soe just, this is soe due, this is soe right to them. And that those that they doe thus chuse must have such a power of binding all, and loosing all, according to those limitations; this is prest, as soe due, and soe just as [it] is argued, that itt is an Engagement paramount [to] all others: and you must for itt lay aside all others; if you have engaged any others you must breake itt. [We must] soe looke uppon these as thus held out to us; soe itt was held out by the Gentleman that brought itt yesterday. For my parte I thinke itt is noe right att all. I thinke that noe person hath a right to an interest or share in the disposing or determining of the affaires of the Kingdome, and in chusing those that shall determine what lawes wee shall bee rul’d by heere, noe person hath a right to this, that hath nott a permanent fixed interest in this Kingedome; and those persons together are properly the Represented of this Kingedome, and consequentlie are to make uppe the Representors of this Kingedome, who taken together doe comprehend whatsoever is of reall or permanent interest in the Kingedome. And I am sure I cannott tell what otherwise any man can say why a forraigner coming in amongst us—or as many as will coming in amongst us, or by force or otherwise setling themselves heere, or att least by our permission having a being heere—why they should nott as well lay claime to itt as any other. Wee talke of birthright. Truly [by] birthright there is thus much claime. Men may justly have by birthright, by their very being borne in England, that wee should nott seclude them out of England, that wee should nott refuse to give them aire, and place, and ground, and the freedome of the high wayes and other thinges, to live amongst us; nott [to] any man that is borne heere, though by his birth there come nothing att all to him that is parte of the permanent interest of this Kingedome. That I thinke is due to a man by birth. Butt that by a man’s being borne heere hee shall have a share in that power that shall dispose of the lands heere, and of all thinges heere, I doe nott thinke itt a sufficient ground. I am sure if wee looke uppon that which is the utmost within man’s view of what was originally the constitution of this Kingedome, [if wee] looke uppon that which is most radicall and fundamentall, and which if you take away there is noe man hath any land, any goods, [or] any civill interest, that is this: that those that chuse the Representors for the making of Lawes by which this State and Kingedome are to bee govern’d, are the persons who taken together doe comprehend the locall interest of this Kingedome; that is, the persons in whome all land lies, and those in Corporations in whome all trading lies. This is the most fundamentall Constitution of this Kingedome, which if you doe nott allow you allow none att all. This Constitution hath limitted and determined itt that onely those shall have voices in Elections. Itt is true as was said by a Gentlemana neere mee, the meanest man in England ought to have [a voice in the election of the government he lives under]. . . . I say this, that those that have the the meanest locall interest, that man that hath butt fourty shillinges a yeare, hee hath as great voice in the Election of a Knight for the shire as hee that hath ten thousand a yeare or more, if hee had never soe much; and therfore there is that regard had to itt. Butt this still the Constitution of this Government hath had an eye to — and what other Governement hath nott an eye to this? Itt doth nott relate to the interest of the Kingedome, if itt doe nott lay the foundation of the power that’s given to the Representors in those who have a permanent and a locall interest in the Kingedome, and who taken altogether doe comprehend the whole [interest of this kingdom]. If wee shall goe to take away this fundamentall parte of the civill constitution wee shall plainly goe to take away all property and interest that any man hath, either in land by inheritance, or in estate by possession, or any thinge else. There is all the reason and justice that can bee if I will come to live in a Kingedome being a forraigner to itt, or live in a Kingedome having noe permanent interest in itt—if I will desire as a stranger, or claime as one freeborne heere, the ayre, the free passage of highwayes, the protection of lawes and all such things, if I will either desire them, or claime them, I (if I have noe permanent interest in that Kingdome), must submitt to those lawes and those rules which those shall choose who taken together doe comprehend the whole interest of the Kingedome.b
Truly, Sir, I am of the same opinion I was; and am resolved to keepe itt till I know reason why I should nott. I confesse my memory is bad, and therfore I am faine to make use of my penne. I remember that in a former speecha this Gentleman brought before this, hee was saying, that in some cases hee should nott value whether [there were] a Kinge or noe Kinge, whether Lords or noe Lords, whether a property or noe property. For my parte I differ in that. I doe very much care whether [there be] a Kinge or noe Kinge, Lords or noe Lords, property or noe property; and I thinke iff wee doe nott all take care wee shall all have none of these very shortly. Butt as to this present businesse. I doe heare nothing att all that can convince mee, why any man that is borne in England ought nott to have his voice in Election of Burgesses. Itt is said, that if a man have nott a permanent interest, hee can have noe claime, and wee must bee noe freer then the lawes will lett us to bee, and that there is noe Chronicle will lett us bee freer then that wee enjoy. Something was said to this yesterday. I doe thinke that the maine cause why Almighty God gave men reason, itt was, that they should make use of that reason, and that they should improve itt for that end and purpose that God gave itt them.b And truly, I thinke that halfe a loafe is better then none if a man bee an hungry, yett I thinke there is nothing that God hath given a man that any else can take from him. Therfore I say, that either itt must bee the law of God or the law of man that must prohibite the meanest man in the Kingdome to have this benefittc as well as the greatest. I doe nott finde any thinge in the law of God, that a Lord shall chuse 20 Burgesses, and a Gentleman butt two, or a poore man shall chuse none. I finde noe such thinge in the law of nature, nor in the law of nations. Butt I doe finde, that all Englishmen must bee subject to English lawes, and I doe verily beleive, that there is noe man butt will say, that the foundation of all law lies in the people, and if [it lie] in the people, I am to seeke for this exemption. And truly I have thought somethinge [else], in what a miserable distressed condition would many a man that hath fought for the Parliament in this quarrell bee? I will bee bound to say, that many a man whose zeale and affection to God and this Kingedome hath carried him forth in this cause hath soe spent his estate that in the way the State, the Army are going hee shall nott hold uppe his head; and when his estate is lost, and nott worth 40s. a yeare, a man shall nott have any interest;a and there are many other wayes by which estates men have doe fall to decay, if that bee the rule which God in his providence does use. A man when hee hath an estate hath an interest in making lawes, when hee hath none, hee hath noe power in itt. Soe that a man cannott loose that which hee hath for the maintenance of his family, butt hee must loose that which God and nature hath given him. Therfore I doe [think] and am still of the same opinion; that every man born in England cannot, ought nott, neither by the law of God nor the law of nature, to bee exempted from the choice of those who are to make lawes, for him to live under, and for him, for ought I know, to loose his life under. Therfore I thinke there can bee noe great sticke in this.
Truly I thinke that there is nott this day raigning in England a greater fruite or effect of Tyranny then this very thinge would produce. Truly I know nothing free butt onely the Knight of the shire, nor doe I know any thinge in a Parliamentary way that is cleare from the heighth and fulnesse of Tyranny, but onlie [that]. As for this of Corporations itt is as contrary to freedome as may bee. For, Sir, what is itt? The Kinge hee grants a patent under the Broad-seale of England to such a Corporation to send Burgesses, hee grants to [such] a Citty to send Burgesses.b When a poore, base, Corporation from the Kinge[’s grant] shall send two Burgesses, when 500 men of estate shall nott send one, when those that are to make their lawes are called by the Kinge, or cannott act [but] by such a call, truly I thinke that the people of England have little freedome.
Commissary Gen. Ireton.
I thinke there was nothing that I said to give you occasion to thinke that I did contend for this, that such a Corporation [as that] should have the electing of a man to the Parliament. I think I agreed to this matter, that all should bee equallie distributed. Butt the question is, whether itt should bee distributed to all persons, or whether the same persons that are the electors [now] should bee the Electors still, and itt [be] equallie distributed amongst them.a I doe nott see any body else that makes this objection; and if noe body else bee sensible of itt I shall soone have done. Onely I shall a little crave your leave to represent the consequences of itt, and cleare my self from one thinge that was misrepresented by the Gentleman that satt next mee. I thinke if the Gentleman remember himself hee cannott butt remember, that what I said was to this effect:b that if I saw the hand of God leading soe farre as to destroy Kinge, and destroy Lords, and destroy property, and [leave] noe such thinge att all amongst us, I should acquiese in itt; and soe I did nott care, if noe Kinge, noe Lords, or noe property, in comparison of the tender care that I have of the honour of God, and of the people of God, whose [good] name is soe much concern’d in this Army. This I did deliver [so] and nott absolutely.
All the maine thinge that I speake for is because I would have an eye to propertie. I hope wee doe nott come to contend for victorie, butt lett every man consider with himself that hee doe nott goe that way to take away all propertie. For heere is the case of the most fundamentall parte of the Constitution of the Kingdome, which if you take away, you take away all by that. Heere are men of this and this qualitie are determined to bee the Electors of men to the Parliament, and they are all those who have any permanent interest in the Kingedome, and who taken together doe comprehend the whole interest of the Kingedome. I meane by permanent, locall, that is nott any where else. As for instance; hee that hath a freehold, and that freehold cannott bee removed out of the Kingedome; and soe there’s a [freeman of a] Corporation, a place which hath the priviledge of a markett and trading, which if you should allow to all places equallie, I doe nott see how you could preserve any peace in the Kingedome, and that is the reason why in the Constitution wee have but some few markett townes. Now those people [that have freeholds] and those that are the freemen of Corporations, were look’t upon by the former Constitution to comprehend the permanent interest of the Kingdom. For [firstly] hee that hath his livelihood by his trade, and by his freedome of trading in such a Corporation which hee cannott exercise in another, hee is tied to that place, his livelihood depends uppon itt. And secondly, that man hath an interest, hath a permanent interest there, uppon which hee may live, and live a freeman without dependance. These Constitutions this Kingedome hath look’t att. Now I wish wee may all consider of what right you will challenge, that all the people should have right to Elections. Is itt by the right of nature? If you will hold forth that as your ground, then I thinke you must deny all property too, and this is my reason. For thus: by that same right of nature, whatever itt bee that you pretend, by which you can say, “one mana hath an equall right with another to the chusing of him that shall governe him”—by the same right of nature, hee hath an equalb right in any goods hee sees: meate, drinke, cloathes, to take and use them for his sustenance. Hee hath a freedome to the land, [to take] the ground, to exercise itt, till itt; he hath the [same] freedome to any thinge that any one doth account himself to have any propriety in. Why now I say then, if you, against this most fundamentall parte of [the] civill Constitution (which I have now declar’d), will pleade the law of nature, that a man should, paramount [to] this, and contrary to this, have a power of chusing those men that shall determine what shall bee law in this state, though he himself have noe permanent interest in the State, [but] whatever interest hee hath hee may carry about with him. If this be allowed, [because by the right of nature], wee are free, wee are equall, one man must have as much voice as another, then shew mee what steppe or difference [there is], why by the same right of necessity to sustaine nature [I may not claim property as well]? Itt is for my better being [I may say], and possibly nott for itt neither, possibly I may nott have soe reall a regard to the peace of the Kingedom as that man who hath a permanent interest in itt. Hee that is heere to day and gone to morrow, I doe nott see that hee hath such a permanent interest. Since you cannott plead to itt by any thinge butt the law of nature, [for any thing] but for the end of better being, and [since] that better being is nott certaine, and [what is] more, destructive to another, if uppon these grounds you doe paramount [to] all Constitutions hold uppe this law of nature, I would faine have any man shew mee their bounds, where you will end, and [why you should not] take away all propertie?
I shall now bee a little more free and open with you then I was before. I wish wee were all true hearted, and that wee did all carry our selves with integritie. If I did mistrust you I would use such asseverations. I thinke itt doth goe on mistrust, and thinges are thought to be matters of reflection that were never intended. For my parte, as I thinke, you forgott somethinge that was in my speech, and you doe nott only your selves beleive that [we]a are inclining to anarchy, butt you would make all men beleive that. And Sir, to say because a man pleades, that every man hath a voice [by the right of nature], that therefore itt destroyes [by] the same [argument all property]—that there’s a propertie the law of God sayes itt; else why [hath] God made that law, “Thou shalt nott steale?” If I have noe interest in the Kingedome I must suffer by all their lawes bee they right or wronge. I am a poore man, therfore I must bee prest. Nay thus; a Gentleman lives in a country and hath three or fower Lordshippes as some men have—God knowes how they gott them—and when a Parliament is call’d hee must bee a Parliament man; and itt may bee hee sees some poore men, they live neere this man, hee can crush them—I have knowne an evasion to make sure hee hath turned the poore man out of doores; and I would faine know whether the potencie of men doe nott this, and soe keepe them under the greatest tyranny that was thought off in the world. Therefore I thinke that to that itt is fully answered. God hath sett downe that thinge as to propriety with this law of his, “Thou shalt not steale.” For my parte I am against any such thought, and as for yourselves I wish you would nott make the world beleive that wee are for anarchy.
I know nothing butt this, that they that are the most yeilding have the greatest wisedome; butt really, Sir, this is nott right as itt should bee. Noe man sayes that you have a minde to anarchy, butt the consequence of this rule tends to anarchy, must end in anarchy; for where is there any bound or limitt sett if you take away this [limit], that men that have noe interest butt the interest of breathing [shall have no voices in elections]? Therfore I am confident on’t wee should nott bee soe hott one with another.
I know that some particular men wee debate with [believe we] are for anarchy.
I professe I must cleare my selfe as to that point.
I would nott desire, I cannott allow myself, to lay the least scandall uppon any body; and truly, for that Gentleman that did take soe much offence, I doe nott knowe why hee should take itt soe. Wee speake to the paper, and to that matter of the paper, nott to persons; and I hope that noe man is soe much engaged to the matter of the paper, I hope our persons, and our hearts, and judgements are not [so] pinn’d to papers, butt that wee are ready to heare what good or ill consequence will flow from itt.
I have, with as much plainesse and clearnesse of reason as I could, shew’d you how I did conceive the doing of this takes away that which is the most originall, the most fundamentall civil Constitution of this Kingedome, and which above all is that Constitution by which I have any propertie. If you will take away that, and sett uppe as a thing paramount whatever a man may claime by the law of nature—though itt bee nott a thinge of necessitie to him for the sustenance of nature—if you doe make this your rule, I desire clearlie to understand where then remaines propertie?
Now then, as I say, I would misrepresent nothing; the answer which had any thing of matter in itt, the great and maine answer upon which that which hath bin said against this rests, that seem’d to be:a that itt will nott make the breach of propertie: that there is a law, “Thou shalt nott steale.” The same law sayes, “Honour thy Father and Mother”; and that law doth likewise extend to all that are our governours in that place where wee are in. Soe that, by that there is a forbidding of breaking a Civill Law when wee may live quietly under itt, and a Divine Law. Againe itt is said indeed before, that there is noe Law, noe Divine Law, that tells us, that such a Corporation must have the Election of Burgesses, or such a shire, or the like; and soe on the other side if a man were to demonstrate his [right to] propertie by Divine Law, itt would bee very remote. Our property as well as our right of sending Burgesses descends from other thinges. That Divine Law doth nott determine particulars butt generalls, in relation to man and man, and to propertie, and all thinges else; and wee should bee as farre to seeke if wee should goe to prove a property in [a thinge by] Divine Law as to prove that I have an interest in chusing Burgesses of the Parliament by Divine Law. Truly under favour I referre itt to all whether there bee anythinge of solution to that objection that I made, if itt bee understood,—I submitt itt to any man’s judgement.
To the thinge itt self propertie. I would faine know how itta comes to bee the propertie [of some men, and not of others]. As for estates, and those kinde of thinges, and other thinges that belonge to men, itt will bee granted that they areb propertie; butt I deny that that is a propertie, to a Lord, to a Gentleman, to any man more then another in the Kingdome of England. Iff itt bee a propertie, itt is a propertie by a law; neither doe I thinke, that there is very little propertie in this thinge by the law of the land, because I thinke that the law of the land in that thinge is the most tyrannicall law under heaven, and I would faine know what wee have fought for, and this is the old law of England and that which inslaves the people of England that they should bee bound by lawes in which they have noe voice att all.c [So with respect to the law which says ‘Honour thy father and thy mother.’] The great dispute is who is a right Father and a right Mother. I am bound to know who is my Father and Mother, and I take it in the same sence you doe, I would have a distinction, a character wherby God commands mee to honour [them], and for my parte I looke uppon the people of England soe, that wherin they have nott voices in the chusing of their Fathers and Mothers, they are nott bound to that commandement.
I desire to adde one worde, concerning the worde Propertie.
Itt is for somethinge that anarchy is soe much talk’t of. For my owne parte I cannott beleive in the least that itt can bee clearlie derived from that paper. Tis true, that somewhat may bee derived in the paper against the power of the Kinge, and somewhat against the power of the Lords; and the truth is when I shall see God going about to throw downe Kinge and Lords and propertie then I shall bee contented. Butt I hope that they may live to see the power of the Kinge and the Lords throwne downe, that yett may live to see propertie preserved. And for this of changing the Representative of the Nation, of changing those that chuse the Representive, making of them more full, taking more into the number then formerly, I had verily thought wee had all agreed that more should have chosen, and that all had desir’d a more equall Representation then wee now have. For now those onely chuse who have 40s. freehold. A man may have a lease for 1001 a yeare, a man may have a lease for three lives [but he has no voice]. Butt [as] for this [argument] that itt destroyes all right [to property] that every Englishman that is an inhabitant of England should chuse and have a choice in the Representatives, I suppose itt is [on the contrary] the onely meanes to preserve all propertie. For I judge every man is naturally free; and I judge the reason why mena when they were in soe great numbers [chose representatives was] that every man could nott give his voice; and therefore men agreed to come into some forme of Governement that they who were chosen might preserve propertie. I would faine know, if we were to begin a Governement, [whether you would say] ‘you have nott 40s. a yeare, therfore you shall not have a voice.’ Wheras before there was a Governement every man had such a choice, and afterwards for this very cause they did chuse Representatives, and putt themselves into formes of Governement that they may preserve propertie, and therfore itt is nott to destroy itt [to give every man a choice].
I thinke wee shall nott bee soe apt to come to a right understanding in this businesse, if one man, and another man, and another man doe speake their severall thoughts and conceptions to the same purpose, as if wee doe consider where the objection lies, and what the answer is which is made to itt; and therfore I desire wee may doe soe. To that which this Gentleman spake last. The maine thinge that hee seem’d to answer was this: that hee would make itt appeare, that the going about to establish this Government,a [or] such a Governement, is nott a destruction of propertie, nor does nott tend to the destruction of propertie, because the people’s falling into a Governement is for the preservation of propertie. What weight there [is in it] lies in this: since there is a falling into a Governement, and Governement is to preserve property, therfore this cannott bee against property. The objection does nott lie in that, the making of ittb more equall, butt [in] the introducing of men into an equality of interest in this Governement who have noe property in this Kingedome, or who have noe locall permanent interest in itt. For if I had said, that I would nott wish that wee should have any inlargement att all of the bounds of those that are to bee the Electors, then you might have excepted against itt. Butt [what I said was] that I would nott goe to inlarge itt beyond all bounds: that uppon the same ground you may admitt of soe many men from forraigne States as would outvote you. The objection lies still in this. I doe nott meane that I would have itt restrained to that proportion [it is now], butt to restraine itt still to men who have a locall, a permanent interest in the Kingedome, who have such an interest that they may live uppon itt as freemen, and who have such an interest as is fix’t uppon a place, and is nott the same every where equally. If a man bee an inhabitant uppon a wrack rent for a yeare, for two yeares, or 20 yeares—you cannott thinke that man hath any fix’t or permanent interest—that man if hee pay the rent that his land is worth, and hath noe advantage butt what hee hath by his land, that man is as good a man, may have as much interest, in another Kingedome as heere. I doe nott speake of nota inlarging this att all, butt of keeping this to the most fundamentall Constitution in this Kingedome, that is, that noe person that hath nott a locall and permanent interest in the Kingedome should have an equall dependance in Elections [with those that have]. Butt if you goe beyond this law, if you admitt any man that hath a breath and being, I did shew you how this will destroy propertie. Itt may come to destroy propertie thus: you may have such men chosen or att least the major parte of them [as have no local and permanent interest.] Why may nott those men vote against all propertie? You may admitt strangers by this rule, if you admitt them once to inhabite, and those that have interest in the land may bee voted out of their land. Itt may destroy propertie that way.b Butt heere is the rule that you goe by; for that by which you inferre this to bee the right of the people, of every inhabitant, that because manc hath such a right in nature, though itt bee nott of necessity for the preserving of his being, therfore you are to overthrow the most fundamentall Constitution for this, by the same rule shew mee why you will nott, by the same right of nature, make use of any thinge that any man hath necessary for the sustenance of men.d Shew mee what you will stoppe att, wherin you will fence any man in a property by this rule.
I desire to know how this comes to bee a propertie in some men, and nott in others.
I confesse [there is weight in] that objection that the Commissary Generall last insisted uppon; for you have five to one in this Kingedome that have noe permanent interest. Some men [have] ten, some twenty servants, some more, some lesse. If the Master and servant shall bee equall Electors, then clearlie those that have noe interest in the Kingedome will make itt their interest to chuse those that have noe interest. Itt may happen, that the majority may by law, nott in a confusion, destroy propertie; there may bee a law enacted, that there shall bee an equality of goods and estate. I thinke that either of the extreames may be urg’d to inconveniencie. That is, men that have noe interest as to Estate should have no interest as to Election. Butt there may bee a more equall division and distribution then that hee that hath nothing should have an equall voice; and certainly there may bee some other way thought of that there may bee a Representative of the poore as well as the rich, and nott to exclude all. I remember there were as wee have heard many workinges and revolutions in the Roman Senate; and there was never a confusion that did appeare, and that indeed was come to, till the State came to know this kinde of distribution of Election. That the peoples voices were bought and sold, and that by the poore, and thence itt came that hee that was the richest man, and [a man] of some considerable power amonge the souldiers, and one they resolued on, made himself a perpetuall dictator. And if wee straine too farre to avoide monarchy in Kinges [let us take heed] that wee doe nott call for Emperours to deliver us from more then one Tyrant.
I should nott have spoken againe. I thinke itt is a fine guilded pill, butt there is much danger and itt may seeme to some, that there is some kinde of remedy, I thinke that wee are better as wee are. That the poore shall chuse many, still the people are in the same case, are over voted still. And therfore truly, Sir, I should desire to goe close to the businesse; and the thinge that I am unsatisfied in is how itt comes about that there is such a propriety in some freeborne Englishmen, and nott [in] others.
Whether the younger sonne have nott as much right to the Inheritance as the eldest?
Com̃. Gen. Ireton.
Will you decide itt by the light of nature?
Why Election was only 40s a yeare,a which was more then 40ɫ;. a yeare now, the reason was [this], that the Commons of England were overpowr’d by the Lords, who had abundance of vassalls, butt that they might still make their lawes good against incroaching prerogatives, therefore they did exclude all slaves. Now the case is nott soe; all slaves have bought their freedomes. They are more free that in the common wealth are more beneficiall. There are men in the country . . . . there is a tanner in Stanes worth 3000ɫ;, and another in Reading worth 3 horseskins.
Com̃. Gen. Ireton.
In the beginning of your speech you seeme to acknowledge [that] by law, by civill Constitution, the propriety of having voices in Election was fixt in certaine persons. Soe then your exception of your argument does nott prove that by civill constitution they have noe such propriety, butt your argument does acknowledge [that] by civil [constitution they have such] propriety. You argue against this law, that this law is nott good.
Unlesse I bee very much mistaken wee are very much deviated from the first Question. Instead of following the first proposition to inquire what is just, I conceive wee looke to prophesies, and looke to what may bee the event, and judge of the justnesse of a thinge by the consequence. I desire wee may recall [ourselves to the question] whether itt bee right or noe. I conceive all that hath bin said against itt will bee reduc’t to this and another reason; that itt is against a fundamentall law, [and] that every person ought to have a permanent interest, because itt is nott fitt that those should chuse Parliaments that have noe lands to bee disposed of by Parliament.
Com̃. Gen. Ireton.
If you will take itt by the way, itt is not fitta that the Representees should chuse the Representors, or the persons who shall make the law in the Kingedome, who have nott a permanent fix’t interest in the Kingedome.
Sir I doe soe take itt; and I conceive that that is brought in for the same reason, that forraigners might come to have a voice in our Elections as well as the native Inhabitants.
That is uppon supposition that theseb should bee all Inhabitants.
I shall begin with the last first. The case is different from the native Inhabitant and forraigner. If a forraigner shall bee admitted to bee an Inhabitant in the Nation, soe hee will submitt to that forme of Governement as the natives doe, hee hath the same right as the natives, butt in this particular. Our case is to bee consider’d thus, that wee have bin under slavery. That’s acknowledged by all. Our very lawes were made by our Conquerours; and wheras itt’s spoken much of Chronicles. I conceive there is noe creditt to bee given to any of them; and the reason is because those that were our Lords, and made us their vassalls, would suffer nothing else to bee chronicled. Wee are now engaged for our freedome; that’s the end of Parliaments, nott to constitute what is already according to the just rules of Government.a Every person in England hath as cleere a right to Elect his Representative as the greatest person in England. I conceive that’s the undeniable maxime of Governement: that all governement is in the free consent of the people. If [so], then uppon that account, there is noe person that is under a just Governement, or hath justly his owne, unlesse hee by his owne free consent bee putt under that Governement. This hee cannott bee unlesse hee bee consenting to itt, and therfore according to this maxime there is never a person in England [but ought to have a voice in elections]; if as that Gentlemanb sayes bee true, there are noe lawes that in this strictnesse and rigour of justice [any man is bound to] that are nott made by those who hee doth consent to. And therfore I should humbly move, that if the Question bee stated—which would soonest bringe thinges to an issue—itt might rather bee this: whether any person can justly bee bound by law, who doth nott give his consent that such persons shall make lawes for him?
Com̃. Gen: Ireton.
Lett the Question bee soe; whether a man can can bee bound to any law that hee doth nott consent to? And I shall tell you, that hee may and ought to bee [bound to a law] that hee doth nott give a consent to, nor doth nott chuse any [to consent to], and I will make itt cleare. If a forraigner come within this Kingedome, if that stranger will have libertie [to dwell here] who hath noe local interest heere—hee is a man itt’s true, hath aire that by naturea wee must nott expell our Coasts, give him noe being amongst us, nor kill him because hee comes uppon our land, comes uppe our streame, arrives att our shoare. Itt is a peece of hospitality, of humanity, to receive that man amongst us. Butt if that man bee received to a being amongst us I thinke that man may very well bee content to submitt himself to the law of the land: that is, the law that is made by those people that have a property, a fixt property, in the land. I thinke if any man will receive protection from this people, this man ought to bee subject to those lawes, and to bee bound by those lawes soe longe as hee continues amongst them, though [neither] hee nor his ancestors, nott any betwixt him and Adam, did ever give concurrence to this Constitution. That is my opinion. A man ought to bee subject to a law that did nott give his consent, butt with this reservation, that if this man doe thinke himself unsatisfied to bee subject to this law hee may goe into another Kingedome. And soe the same reason doth extend in my understanding to that man that hath noe permanent interest in the Kingedome. If hee hath mony, his monie is as good in another place as heere; hee hath nothing that doth locally fixe him to this Kingedome. If this man will live in this Kingedome or trade amongst us, that man ought to subject himself to the law made by the people who have the interest of this Kingedome in us; and yett I doe acknowledge that which you take to bee soe generall a maxime, that in every Kingedome, within every land, the originall of power, of making lawes, of determining what shall bee law in the land, does lie in the people that are possess’t of the permanent interest in the land. Butt whoever is extraneous to this, that is, as good a man in another land, that man ought to give such a respect to the property of men that live in the land. They doe nott determine [that I shall live in this land], why should I have any interest of determining of what shall bee the law of this land?a
I thinke if itt can bee made to appeare, that itt is a just and reasonable thinge, and that is for the preservation of all the freeborne men, itt ought to bee made good unto them. The reason is, that the chief end of this Governement is to preserve persons as well as estates, and if any law shall take hold of my person itt is more deare than my estate.
I doe very well remember that the Gentleman in the windowb [said], that if itt were soe there were noe propriety to bee had, because a fifth parte of the poor people [that] are now excluded and would then come in. Soe one on the other side said, that if otherwise then rich men shall bee chosen [there would be no propriety]. Then I say the one parte shall make hewers of wood and drawers of water of the other five, and soe the greatest parte of the Nation bee enslav’d. Truly I thinke wee are still where wee were; and I doe not heare any argument given butt only that itt is the present law of the Kingedome. I say still, what shall become of those many [men] that have laid out themselves for the Parliament of England in this present warre, that have ruined themselves by fighting, by hazarding all they had? They are Englishmen. They have now nothing to say for themselves.
I should bee very sorry to speake anythinge heere that should give offence, or that may occasion personall reflections that wee spoke against just now. I did nott urge any thinge soe farre as was represented, and I did nott att all urge that there should bee a consideration [had of rich men only], and that [a] man that is [poor] shall bee without consideration, or that hee deserves to bee made poore and nott to live att all. All that I urged was this, that I thinke itt worthy consideration, whether they should have an equality in their interest. Butt however I thinke wee have bin a great while uppon this point, and if wee bee as longe upon all the rest, itt were well if there were noe greater difference then this.
I thinke that this may bee easily agreed on, that is there may bee a way thought of. I thinke you should doe well to sett uppe all night, butt I would faine know whether that will answer the worke of your Meeting.a You will be forc’t to putt characters uppon Electors or Elected, therfore I doe suppose that if there bee any heere that can make uppe a Representative to your minde, the thinge is gain’d. I think three or four might be thought of in this companie.a But the question is, whether you can state any one question for the present danger of the Kingedome, if any one question or noe will dispatch the worke.
Sir, I desire that some question may bee stated to finish the present worke to cement us wherin lies the distance, and if the thoughts of the Commonwealth, the people’s freedome, I thinke that’s soone cured. I desire that all manner of plainesse may bee used that wee may nott goe on with the lapwinge, and carry one another off the nest. There is somethinge else in that must cement us where the awkwardnesse of our spiritts lies.
For my parte I thinke wee cannott engage one way or other in the Army if wee doe nott thinke of the people’s liberties. If wee can agree where the liberty and freedome of the people lies, that will doe all.
Com̃. Gen. Ireton.
I cannott consent soe farre. As I said before: when I see the hand of God destroying Kinge, and Lords, and Commons too, [or] any foundation of humane Constitution, when I see God hath done itt, I shall I hope comfortably acquiesce in itt. Butt first, I cannott give my consent to itt because itt is nott good. And secondly, as I desire that this Army should have regard to Engagements wherever they are lawfull, soe I would have them have regard to this as well, that they should nott bringe that scandall uppon the name of God, that those that call themselves by that name, those whome God hath own’d and appear’d with—that wee should nott represent ourselves to the world as men soe farre from being of that peaceable spiritt which is suitable to the Gospell, as wee would have bought peace of the world uppon such termes, wee would nott have peace in the world butt uppon such termes, as should destroy all propertie. If the principle uppon which you move this alteration, or the ground uppon which you presse that wee should make this alteration, doe destroy all kinde of property or whatsoever a man hath by humane Constitution [I cannot consent to it]. The law of God doth nott give mee propertie, nor the law of nature, butt propertie is of humane Constitution. I have a propertie and this I shall enjoy. Constitution founds propertie. If either the thinge itt selfe that you presse or the consequence [of] that you presse [do destroy property], though I shall acquiesce in having noe propertie, yett I cannott give my heart or hand to itt; because itt is a thinge evill in ittself and scandalous to the world, and I desire this Army may bee free from both.
I see that though itta were our end, there is a degeneration from itt. Wee have engaged in this Kingdome and ventur’d our lives, and itt was all for this: to recover our birthrights and priviledges as Englishmen, and by the arguments urged there is none. There are many thousands of us souldiers that have ventur’d our lives; wee have had little propriety in the Kingedome as to our estates, yett wee have had a birthright. Butt itt seemes now except a man hath a fix’t estate in this Kingedome, hee hath noe right in this Kingedome. I wonder wee were see much deceived. If wee had nott a right to the Kingedome, wee were meere mercinarie souldiers. There are many in my condition, that have as good a condition [as I have], itt may bee little estate they have att present, and yett they have as much a [birth] right as those twoa who are their law givers, as any in this place. I shall tell you in a worde my resolution. I am resolved to give my birthright to none.b Whatsoever may come in the way, and [whatsoever may] bee thought, I will give itt to none. If this thinge that with soe much pressing after—There was one thinge spoken to this effect—that if the poore and those in lowe condition. . . .c I thinke this was butt a distrust of providence. I doe thinke the poore and meaner of this Kingedome (I speake as in that relation in which wee are) have bin the meanes of the preservation of this Kingedome. I say in their stations, and really I thinke to their utmost possibility; and their lives have nott bin deare for purchasing the good of the Kingdome. Those that act to this end are as free from anarchy or confusion as those that oppose itt, and they have the law of God and the law of their conscience [with them]. Butt truly I shall only summe uppe in this, I desire that wee may nott spend soe much time uppon these thinges. Wee must bee plaine. When men come to understand these thinges they will nott loose that which they have contended for. That which I shall beseech you is to come to a determination of this question.
Com̃. Gen. Ireton.
I am very sorry wee are come to this point, that from reasoning one to another wee should come to expresse our resolutions. I professe for my parte, what I see is good for the Kingdome, and becoming a Christian to contend for, I hope through God I shall have strength and resolution to doe my parte towards itt. And yett I will professe direct contrary in some kinde to what that Gentleman said.a For my parte, rather then I will make a disturbance to a good Constitution of a Kingedome wherin I may live in godlinesse, and honesty, and peace and quietnesse, I will parte with a great deale of my birthright. I will parte with my owne property rather then I will bee the man that shall make a disturbance in the Kingedome for my property; and therfore if all the people in this Kingedome, or [the] Representative[s] of them all together, should meete and should give away my propertie I would submitt to itt, I would give it away. Butt that Gentleman, and I thinke every Christian ought to beare that spiritt in him, that hee will nott make a publique disturbance uppon a private prejudiceb
Now lett us consider where our difference lies. Wee all agree that you should have a Representative to governe, [and] this Representative to bee as equall as you can. Butt the question is, whether this distribution can bee made to all persons equallie, or whether equallie amongst those that have the interest of England in them. That which I have declar’d [is] my opinion [still]. I thinke wee ought to keepe to that [constitution which we have now], both because itt is a civill Constitution, itt is the most fundamentall Constitution that wee have, and [because] there is soe much justice, and reason, and prudence [in it], as I dare confidently undertake to demonstrate, that there are many more evills that will follow in case you doe alter, then there can in the standing of itt. Butt I say butt this in the generall, that I doe wish that they that talke of birthrights—wee any of us when wee talke of birthrights—would consider what really our birthright is.
If a man meana by birthright, whatsoever hee can challenge by the law of nature, suppose there were noe Constitution att all, supposing noe Civill law and Civill Constitution—that that I am to contend for against Constitution, you leave noe property, nor noe foundation for any man to enjoy any thinge. Butt if you call that your birthrights which is the most fundamentall parte of your Constitution, then lett him perish that goes about to hinder you or any man of the least parte of your birthright, or will doe itt. Butt if you will lay aside the most fundamentall Constitution, which is as good for ought you can discerne as anythinge you can propose—att least itt is a Constitution, and I will give you consequence for consequence of good uppon Constitution as you for your birthrightb —and if you meerlie uppon pretence of a birthright, of the right of nature, which is onely true as for your better being; if you will uppon that ground pretend, that this Constitution, the most fundamentall Constitution, the thinge that hath reason and equity in itt shall nott stand in your way, [it] is the same principle to mee say I, [as if] but for your better satisfaction you shall take hold of any thinge that a man calls his owne,
Sir I see, that itt is impossible to have liberty butt all propertie must be taken away. If itt be laid downe for a rule, and if you will say itt, itt must bee soe. Butt I would faine know what the souldier hathc fought for all this while? Hee hath fought to inslave himself, to give power to men of riches, men of estates, to make him a perpetuall slave. Wee doe finde in all presses that goe forth none must bee pres’t that are freehold men. When these Gentlemen fall out amonge themselves they shall presse the poore shrubsa to come and kill them.
Com̃. Gen. Ireton.
I confesse I see soe much right in the businesse that I am nott easily satisfied with flourishes. If you will lay the stresse of the businesse [not] uppon the consideration of reason, or right relating to humane constitution, or anything of that nature, butt will putt itt uppon consequences, I see enough to say, that to my apprehensions I can shew you greater ill consequences to follow uppon that alteration which you would have by extending [voices] to all that have a being in this Kingedome then by this a great deale. That is a particular ill consequence. This is a generall ill consequence, and that is as great as this or any else; though I thinke you will see that the validity of that argument must beb that for one ill lies uppon that which now is, I can shew you a thousand uppon this. Give mee leave [to say] butt this one worde. I tell you what the souldier of the Kingedome hath fought for. First, the danger that wee stood in was, that one man’s will must bee a law. The people of the Kingedome must have this right att least, that they should nott bee concluded [but] by the Representative of those that had the interest of the Kingedome. Somec men fought in this, because they were imediately concern’d and engag’d in itt. Other men who had noe other interest in the Kingedome butt this, that they should have the benefitt of those lawes made by the Representative, yett [fought] that they should have the benefitt of this Representative. They thought itt was better to bee concluded by the common consent of those that were fix’t men and setled men that had the interest of this Kingedome [in them], and from that way [said they] I shall know a law and have a certainty. Every man that was borne in itt that hath a freedome is a denizon, hee was capable of trading to gett money and to gett estates by, and therfore this man I thinke had a great deale of reason to build uppe such a foundation of interest to himself: that is, that the will of one man should nott bee a law, butt that the law of this Kingedome should bee by a choice of persons to represent, and that choice to bee made by the generality of the Kingedome. Heere was a right that induced men to fight, and those men that had this interest, though this bee nott the utmost interest that other men have, yett they had some interest. Now why wee should goe to pleade whatsoever wee can challenge by the right of nature against whatsoever any man can challenge by Constitution?a I doe nott see where that man will stoppe as to point of property that hee shall nott use that right hee hath by the law of nature against that Constitution. I desire any man to shew mee where there is a difference. I have bin answer’d “now wee see libertie cannott stand without [destroying] propertie.” Libertie may bee had and property nott bee destroyed. First, the libertie of all those that have the permanent interest in the Kingedome, that is provided for; and in a generall sence libertie cannott bee provided for if property bee preserved; for if propertie bee preserved—that I am nott to meddle with such a man’s estate, his meate, his drinke, his apparell, or other goods—then the right of nature destroys libertie. By the right of nature I am to have sustenance rather then perish, yett property destroyes it for a man to have by the rightb of nature, suppose there bee noe humane Constitution.
I will minde you of one thinge. That uppon the will of one man abusing us, and soe forth.—Soe that I professe to you for my parte. I hope itt is nott denied by any man, that any wise discreete man that hath preserved England or the Governement of itt—I doe say still under favour there is a way to cure all this debate—I thinke they will desire noe more libertie—If there were time to dispute itt—I thinke hee would bee satisfied, and all will bee satisfied and if the safetie of the Army bee in danger—For my parte I am cleare the point of Election should bee amended.a
I confesse I was most dissatisfied with that I heard Mr. Sexby speake of any man heere, because itt did savour soe much of will. Butt I desire that all of us may decline that, and if wee meete heere really to agree to that which was for the safetie of the Kingdome, lett us nott spend soe much time in such debates as these are, but lett us apply ourselves to such thinges as are conclusive, and that shall bee this: Everybodie heere would bee willing, that the Representative might bee mended, that is, itt might bee better then itt is. Perhaps itt may bee offer’d in that paper too lamely. If the thinge bee insisted uppon too limitted, why perhaps there are a very considerable parte of copyholders by inheritance that ought to have a voice, and there may bee somewhat too reflects uppon the generality of the people.b If wee thinke to bringe itt to an issue this way I know our debates are endlesse; and I thinke if you doe [desire to] bringe this to a result itt were well if wee may butt resolve uppon a Committee.c I say itt againe, if I cannott bee satisfied to goe soe farre as these Gentlemen that bringe this paper, I professe I shall freely and willinglie withdrawe myself, and I hope to doe itt in such a manner that the Army shall see that I shall by my withdrawing satisfy the interest of the Army, the publique interest of the Kingedome, and those ends these men aime att.
If these men must bee advanced and other men sett under foote, I am nott satisfied if their rules must bee observed, and other men that are in aucthority doe nott know how this can stand together.a I wonder how that should bee thought wilfulnesse in one man that is reason in another; for I confesse I have nott heard any thinge that doth satisfie mee, and though I have nott soe much wisedome or notions in my head, I have soe many that I could tell an hundred to the ruine of the people. I am nott at all against a Committee’s meeting; and as you say, for my parte I shall bee ready, if I see the way that I am going and the thinge that I could insist on will destroy the Kingdome, I shall withdraw it as soon as any, and I thinke every Christian ought to do the same;b and therfore till I see that I shall use all the meanes, and I thinke itt is noe fault in any man [to refuse] to sell that which is his birthright.
I desire to speake a few words. I am sorry that my zeale to what I apprehend is good should bee soe ill resented. I am nott sorry to see that which I apprehend is truth, butt I am sorry the Lord hath darkened some soe much as nott to see itt, and that is in short [this]. Doe you [not] thinke itt were a sad and miserable condition that wee have fought all this time for nothing? All heere both great and small doe thinke that wee fought for something. I confesse many of us fought for those ends which wee since saw was nott that which caused us to goe through difficulties and straightes to venture all in the shippe with you. Itt had bin good in you to have advertis’d us of itt, and I beleive you would have fewer under your command to have commanded. Butt if this bee the businesse, that an estate doth make men capable to chuse those that shall represent them—itt is noe matter which way they gett it, they are capable—I thinke there are many that have nott estates that in honesty have as much right in the freedome [of] their choicea as any that have great estates. Truly, Sir,b [as for] your putting off this question and coming to some other; I dare say, and I dare appeale to all of them, that they cannott settle uppon any other untill this bee done. Itt was the ground that wee tooke uppe armes, and itt is the ground which wee shall maintaine. Concerning my making rents and divisions in this way—as a particular, if I were butt soe, I could lie downe and be troden there. [But] truly I am sent by a Regiment. If I should nott speake, guilt shall lie uppon mee, and I thinke I were a Covenant breaker. I doe nott know how wee have [been] answer’d in our Arguments, and I conceive wee shall nott accomplish themc to the Kingedome when wee deny them to our selves. I shall bee loath to make a rent and division, butt, for my owne parte, unlesse I see this putt to a question, I despaire of an issue.
The first thing that I shall desire was, and is, this; that there might bee a temperature and moderation of spiritt within us; that wee should speak with moderation, nott with such reflection as was boulted one from another; butt soe speake and soe heare as that which may bee the droppinges of love from one another to another’s hearts. Another word I have to say is, the grand question of all is, whether or noe itt bee the property of every individuall person in the Kingdome to have a vote in election[s]; and the ground [on which it is claimed] is the law of nature, which for my parte I thinke to bee that law which is the ground of all Constitutions. Yett really properties are the foundation of Constitutions, for if soe bee there were noe property, that the law of nature does give a principall [for every man] to have a property of what hee has or may have which is nott another man’s propertie. This is the ground of meum and tuum. Now there may bee inconveniencies on both hands butt nott soe great freedome. The greater freedome as I conceive that all may have whatsoever. And if itt come to passe that there bee a difference, and that the one doth oppose the other, then nothing can decide itt butt the sword which is the wrath of God.
I see you have a longe dispute, that you doe intend to dispute heere till the 10th of March. I see both att a stand, and if wee dispute heere both are lost. Youa have brought us into a faire passe, and the Kingdome into a faire passe, for if your reasons are nott satisfied, and wee doe nott fetch all our waters from your wells you threaten to withdraw your selves. I could wish according to our severall protestations wee might sett downe quietly, and there throw downe our selves where wee see reason. I could wish wee might all rise, and goe to our duties, and see our worke in hand.
Really for my owne parte I must needes say whilest wee say wee would nott make reflections wee doe make reflections; and if I had nott come hither with a free heart to doe that that I was perswaded in my conscience is my duty I should a thousand times rather have kept myself away. For I doe thinke I had brought uppon myself the greatest sin that I was [ever] guilty of, if I should have come to have stood before God in that former duty, and if [I should not persevere in] that my saying which I did say [to you before], and shall persevere to say, that I cannott against my conscience doe anythinge. They that have stood soe much for libertie of conscience, if they will nott grant that libertie to every man, butt say itt is a deserting I know nott what—if that bee denied mee I thinke there is nott that equality that [is] profest to bee amongst us.a I said this, and I say noe more that make your businesses as well as you can, wee might bringe thinges to an understanding, itt was to bee brought to a faire composure, and when you have said, if you should putt this paper to the question without any qualifications I doubt whether itt would passe soe freely, if wee would have noe difference wee ought to putt itt, and lett me speake clearlie and freelie, I have heard other Gentlemen doe the like, I have nott heard the Commissary Generall answer’d, nott in a parte to my knowledge, nott in a tittle, if therefore when I see there is an extreamity of difference betweene you, to the end itt may bee brought neerer to a generall satisfaction,a and if this bee thought a deserting of that interest, if there can bee anythinge more sharpely said, I will nott give itt an ill worde. Though wee should bee satisfied in our consciences in what wee doe, wee are told wee purpose to leave the Armie, or to leave our commands as if wee tooke uppon us to doe itt in matter of will. I did heare some Gentlemen speake more of will then anythinge that was spoken this way, for more was spoken by way of will then of satisfaction, and if there bee nott a more equality in our mindes I can butt greive for itt, I must doe noe more.
Com̃. Gen. Ireton,
I should nott speake, butt reflections, as if wee who have led men into Engagements and services had divided from them because wee did nott concurre with them, doe necessitate, doe call uppon us to vindicate ourselves. I will aske that Gentlemana that spoke, whome I love in my heart, whether when they drew out to serve the Parliament in the beginning, when they engag’d with the Army att New Markett,b whether then they thought of any more interest or right in the Kingdome then this? Whether they did thinke, that they should have as great interest in Parliament men as freeholders had? Or whether from the beginning wee did nott engage for the liberty of Parliaments,c and that wee should bee concluded by the lawes that such did make. Unlesse somebody did make you beleive before now that you should have an equall interest in the Kingedome, unlesse somebody doe make that to bee beleived, there is noe reason to blame men for leading [you] soe farre as they have done; and if any man was farre enough from such an apprehension that man hath nott bin deceiv’d. And truly, I shall say butt this worde more for my self in this businesse, because the whole objection seemes to bee prest to mee, and maintain’d by mee. I will not arrogate that I was the first man that putt the Army uppon the thought either of successive Parliaments or more equall Parliaments; yett there are some heere that know who they were putt us uppon that foundation of libertie of putting a period to this Parliament, that wee might have successive Parliaments, and that there might bee a more equall distribution of Elections. There are many heere a that know who were the first movers of that businesse in the Army. I shall nott arrogate that, butt I can argue this with a cleare conscience: that noe man hath prosecuted that with more earnestnesse, and will stand to that interest more than I doe, of having Parliaments successive and nott perpetuall, and the distributions of itt [more equal]. Butt notwithstanding my opinion stands good, that itt ought to bee a distribution amongst the fix’t and setled people of this Nation. Itt’s more prudent and safe, and more uppon this ground of right for itt: itt is the fundamentall Constitution of this Kingedome now, and that which you take away for matter of wilfulnesse. Notwithstanding [as for] this universall conclusion, that all inhabitants [shall have voices], as it stands [in the Agreement], I must declare that though I cannott yett bee satisfied, yett for my parte I shall acquiesce. I will nott make a distraction in this Army. Though I have a property in being, one of those that should bee an Elector, though I have an interest in the birthright, yet I will rather loose that birthright, and that interest then I will make itt my businesse [to oppose], if I see butt the generality of those whome I have reason to thinke honest men, and conscientious men, and godly men to carry them another way. I will nott oppose though I bee nott satisfied to joyne with them. And I desire [to say this], I am agreed with you if you insist uppon a more equall distribution of Elections; I will agree with you, nott onely to dispute for itt, butt to fight for itt and contend for itt. Thus farre I shall agree with you. On the other hand those who differ their termes, I will not agree with you except you goe farther. Thus farre I can goe with you, I will goe with you as farre as I can. If you will appoint a committee to consider of some of that, soe as you preserve the equitable part of that, who are like to be freemen, and men not given uppe to the wills of others, keeping to the latitude which is the equity of Constitution, I will goe with you as farre as I can. I will sit downe, I will not make any disturbance amongst you.a
If I do speak my soul and conscience I doe thinke that there is not an objection made butt that itt hath bin answer’d, butt the speeches are soe longe. I am sorry for some passion and some reflections, and I could wish where itt is most taken the cause had nott bin given. Itt is a fundamentall Constitution of the Kingedome there—I would faine know whether the choise of Burgesses in Corporations should nott bee alter’d. The end wherfore I speake is onely this, youb thinke wee shall bee worse then wee are, if wee come to a conclusion by a vote. If itt bee putt to the question wee shall all know one another’s minde. If itt bee determined and the resolutions knowne, wee shall take such a course as to putt itt in execution. This Gentlemanc sayes if hee cannott goe hee will sitt still. Hee thinkes hee hath a full libertie, wee thinke wee have nott. There is a great deale of difference betweene us two. If a man hath all hee doth desire, [he may wish to sit still]; butt [if] I thinke I have nothing att all of what I fought for, I doe nott thinke the argument holds that I must desist as well as hee.
The rich would very unwillinglie bee concluded by the poore; and there is as much reason, and indeed noe reason that the rich should conclude the poore as the poore the rich. There should bee an equall share in both. I understood your Engagement was, that you would use all your indeavours for the liberties of the people, that they should bee secur’d. If there is a Constitution that the people are not free that should bee annull’d. Butt this Constitution doth nott make people free, that Constitution which is now sette uppe is a Constitution of 40s. a yeare.
Heere’s the mistake, [the whole question is] whether that’s the better Constitution in that paper,a or that which is. Butt if you will goe uppon such a ground as that although a better Constitution was offer’d for the removing of the worse, yett some Gentlemen are resolved to stick to the worse, there might bee a great deale of prejudice uppon such an apprehension. I thinke you are by this time satisfied, that itt is a cleare mistake; for itt is a disputeb whether or noe this bee better; nay, whether itt bee nott destructive to the Kingedome.
c I desire to speake one worde to this businesse, because I doe nott know whether my occasions will suffer mee to attend itt any longer. The great reason that I have heard is [that this is] the Constitution of the Kingdome, the utmost Constitution of itt; and if wee destroy this Constitution there is noe propertie. I suppose that itt were very dangerous if Constitutions should tie uppe all men in this nature.
First the thinge itt self were dangerous if itt were settled to destroy propertie. Butt I say the principle that leads to this is destructive to propertie; for by the same reason that you will alter this Constitution meerly that there’s a greater Constitution by nature—by the same reason, by the law of nature, there is a greater liberty to the use of other men’s goods which that property barres you of; and I would faine have any man shew mee why I should destroy that libertie, which the freeholders and Burgers in Corporations have in chusing Burgesses—that which [if] you take away you leave noe Constitution—and this because there is a greater freedome due to mee by the law of nature—more then that I should take another man’s goods because the law of nature does allow me.
I would grant somethinge that the Commissary Generall sayes. But whether this bee a just propriety, the propriety sayes that 40s. a yeare inables a man to electa —If itt were stated to that, nothing would conduce soe much whether some men doe agree or noe.
I conceive that as wee are mett heere, there are one or two thinges mainly to be prosecuted by us; that is especially unitie, [the] preservation of unity in the Army; and soe likewise to putt ourselves into a capacity therby to doe good to the Kingedome. Therfore I shall desire, that there may bee a tender consideration had of that which is soe much urged, in that of an equall as well as of a free Representative. I shall desire that [there may bee] some thoughts of a medium or a composure, in relation to servants or to forraigners, or such others as shall bee agreed uppon. I say then I conceive, excepting those, there may bee a very equitable sence resented to us from that offer in our owne Declarations wherin wee doe offer the common good of all, unlesse they have made any shippewrack or losse of itt.b
In the beginning of this discourse there were overtures made of imminent danger. This way wee have taken this afternoone is nott the way to prevent itt. I should humbly move that wee should putt a speedy end to this businesse, and that not onely to this maine question of the paper, butt alsoe that, according to the Lieutenant Generall’s motion, a Committee may be chosen seriously to consider the thinges in that paper, and compare them with divers thinges in our Declarations and Engagements; that soe as wee have all profest to lay downe ourselves before God—If wee take this course of debating uppon one question a whole afternoone, if the danger bee soe neere as itt is supposed itt were the ready way to bringe us into itt. [I desire] that thinges may bee putt into a speedy dispatch.
I presume that the great stick heere is this: that if every one shall have his propriety itt does bereave the Kingedome of itts principall, fundamentall Constitution that itt hath. I presume that all people and all nations whatsoever have a liberty and power to alter and change their Constitutions, if they finde them to bee weake and infirme. Now if the people of England shall finde this weaknesse in their Constitution they may change itt if they please. Another thinge is this. If the lighta of nature bee onely [followed] in this, itt may destroy the propriety which every man can call his owne. The reason is this, because this principall and light of naturea doth give all men their owne. As for example the clothes uppon my back because they are nott another man’s. If every man hath this propriety of Election to chuse those whom [they think fit], you feare [it] may begett inconveniences. I doe nott conceive that any thinge may bee soe nicely and preciselie done, butt that itt may admitt of inconveniencie. If itt bee in that wherin itt is now there may those inconveniencies rise from them. For my part I know nothing butt the want of love in itt, and the sword must decide itt. I shall desire before the question bee stated itt may bee moderated as for forraigners.a
Sir Hardresse Waller.
This was that I was saying, I confesse I have nott spoken yett, and having heard so many speake I was willing to bee silent that I might learne too. Itt is nott easy for us to say when this dispute will have an end; butt I thinke itt is easie to say when the Kingedome will have an end. If wee doe nott breath out ourselves wee shall bee kick’t and spurn’d of all the world. I would faine know how farre the question will decide itt, for certainly wee must nott expect while wee have tabernacles heere to bee all of one minde. If it bee to bee decided by a question, and all parties are satisfied in that, I thinke the sooner you hasten to itt the better. If otherwise we shall needlessely discover our dividing opinion, which as longe as itt may bee avoided I desire itt may. Therfore I desire to have a period [put to this debate].
I chanc’t to speake a worde or two. Truly there was more offence taken att itt. For my parte I spoke against every man living,—nott onely against your selfb and the Commissary, butt [against] every man that would dispute till wee have our throates cutt—and therfore I desire I may not lie in any prejudice before your persons. I professe, if soe bee there were none butt you and the Commissary Generall alone to maintain that argument, I would die in any place in England, in asserting that itt is the right of every free borne man to elect, according to the rule, Quod omnibus spectat, ab omnibus tractari debet, that which concernes all ought to bee debated by all. Hee knew noe reason why that law should oblige when hee himself had noe finger in appointing the lawgiver.
You have mett heere this day to see if God would shew you any way wherin you might joynctlie preserve the Kingedome from itts destruction, which you all apprehend to bee att the doore. God is please’d nott to come in to you. There is a Gentleman, Mr. Saltmarsh,a did desire what hee has wrote may bee read to the Generall Councill. If God doe manifest any thinge by him I thinke itt ought to bee heard.
That you will alter that Constitution in my apprehension, from a better to a worse, from a just to a thinge that is lesse juste, and I will nott repeate the reasons of that butt referre to what I have declar’d before. To mee, if there were nothing butt this, that there is a Constitution, and that Constitution which is the very last Constitution, which if you take away you leave nothing of Constitution, and consequently nothing of right or propertie, [it would be enough]. I would nott goe to alter that, though a man could propound that which in some respects might bee better, unlesse itt could bee demonstrated to mee that this were unlawfull, or that this were destructive. Truly therfore I say for my parte, to goe on a suddaine to make such a limitation as that [to inhabitants] in generall—if you doe extend the latitude [of it so far] that any man shall have a voice in Election who has nott that interest in this Kingedome that is permanent and fix’d, who hath nott that interest uppon which hee may have hisa freedome in this Kingedome without dependance, you will putt itt into the hands of men to chuse, [instead] of men to preserve their libertie, [men] who will give itt away.
I am confident our discontent and dissatisfaction, if ever they doe well, they doe in this. If there bee any thinge att all that is a foundation of libertie itt is this, that those who shall chuse the law makers shall bee men freed from dependance uppon others. I have a thinge putt into my heart which I cannott butt speake. I professe I am afraid, that if wee, from such apprehensions as these are of an imaginable right of nature opposite to Constitution—if wee will uppon this businesse of that enlargement contend and hazard the breaking of peace, I am afraid wee shall finde the hand of God will follow itt. I thinke if wee from imagination and conceits will goe about to hazard the peace of the Kingdome, to alter the Constitution in such a point, wee shall see that that libertie which wee soe much talke of and [have so much] contended for shall bee nothing att all by this our contending for itt, by putting itt into the hands of those men that will give itt away when they have itt.b
If wee should goe about to alter these thinges. I doe nott thinke that wee are bound to fight for every particular proposition. Servants while servants are nott included. Then you agree that hee that receives almes is to bee excluded.
Lieut. Col. Reade.
I suppose itt’s concluded by all, that the chusing of Representatives is a priviledge; now I see noe reason why anyc man that is a native ought to bee excluded that priviledge, unless from voluntarie servitude.
I conceive the reason why wee would exclude apprentices, or servants, or those that take almes, is because they depend uppon the will of other men and should bee afraid to displease [them]. For servants and apprentices, they are included in their masters, and soe for those that receive almes from doore to doore; butt if there bee any generall way taken for those that are nott [so] bound [to the will of other men] itt would doe well.
I being sent from the Agents of the five regiments with an answer unto a writing, the Committee was very desirous to inquire into the depth of our intentions. Those things that they had there manifested in the paper I did declare, and what I did understand as a particular person. It was the Lieutenant General’s desire for an understanding with us, presuming those things I did declare did tend to unity; “and if soe [said he] you will lett it appeare by coming unto us.”b Wee have gone thus farre, wee have had two or three meetinges to declare and hold forth whatt itt is wee stand uppon. [Wee stand upon] the principles of unity and freedome. Wee have declar’d in what wee conceive these principles doe lie. I shall nott name them all because they are knowne unto you. Now in the progresse of these disputes and debates wee finde that the time spends, and noe question butt our adversaries are harder att worke then wee are. I heard (butt I had noe such testimonie as I could take hold of) that there are meetinges daily and contrivances against us. Now for our parts I hope you will nott say all is yours, butt wee have nakedlie and freelie unbosom’d ourselves unto you. Though those thinges have startled many att the first view, yett wee finde there is good hopes. Wee have fix’t our resolutions, and wee are determin’d, and wee want nothing butt that only God will direct us to what is just and right. Butt I understand, that [in] all these debates if wee shall agree uppon any one thinge, [to say] “this is our freedome,” “this is our libertie,” “this liberty and freedome wee are debarr’d of and wee are bereav’d of all those comforts,” [that even] in case wee should finde out half a hundred of these, yett the maine businesse is how wee should finde them, and how wee should come by them. Is there any liberties that wee finde ourselves deprived of—if wee have greivances lett us see who are the hinderances, and when wee have pitched uppon that way—I conceive—I speake humbly in this, one thinge that I conceive myself as a particular person—that these delayes, these disputes will prove little incouragement. Itt was told mee by [one of] these Gentlemen that hee had great jealousies that wee would nott come to the triall of our spiritts, and that perhaps there might happen [to be] another designe in hand. I said to his Honour againe, if they would nott come to the light I would judge they had the workes of darkenesse in hand. Now as they told mee againe on the other hand, when itt was questioned by Col. Hewson, on the other hand they told mee that these Gentlemen, nott naming any particular persons, they will hold you in hand, and keepe you in debate and dispute till you and wee [shall] all come to ruine. Now I stood as a moderator betweene these thinges. When I heard the Lieutennant Generall speake I was mervailously taken uppe with the plainesse of the carriage. I said, “I will bringe them to you,” “you shall see if there hearts bee soe; for my parte I see nothing butt plainesse and uprightnesse of heart made manifest unto you.” I will nott judge nor draw any longe discourses uppon our disputes this day. Wee may differ in one thinge, that you conceive this debating and disputations will doe the worke, [we conceive] wee must putt ourselves into the former priviledges which wee want.
Sir Hardresse Waller.
I thinke this Gentleman hath dealt very ingenuously and plainly with us, I pray God wee may doe soe too, and I for one will doe itt. I thinke our disputings will not doe the thinge. I thinke if we doe make itt our resolution that wee doe hold itt forth to all powers, Parliament or Kinge, or whoever they are, to lett them know that these are our rights, and if wee have them nott, wee must get them the best way wee can.
I thinke you say very well, and my freind att my back,a hee tells mee that [there] are great feares abroad, and they talke of some thinges such as are nott onely specious to take a great many people with, butt reall, and substantiall, and such as are comprehensive of that that hath the good of the Kingedome in it. Truly if there bee never soe much desire of carrying on these thinges [together], never soe much desire of conjunction, yett if there bee not libertie of speech to come to a right understanding of thinges, I thinke itt shall bee all one as if there were noe desire att all to meete. I may say itt with truth that I verily beleive there is as much reallity and heartinesse amongst us [as amongst you] to come to a right understanding, and to accord with that that hath the settlement of the Kingdome in itt. Though when itt comes to particulars wee may differ in the way, yett I know nothing butt that every honest man will goe as farre as his conscience will lett him, and hee that will goe farther I thinke hee will fall back. And I thinke when that principle is written in the hearts of us, and when there is nott hypocrisie in our dealinges, wee must all of us resolve uppon this, that ’tis God that perswades the heart; if there be a doubt of sincerity, itt’s the Devill that created that effect; and ’tis God that gives uprightnesse, and I hope with such an heart that wee have all met withall; if wee have not, God finde him out that came without itt; for my parte I doe itt.
When you have done this according to the number of inhabitants, doe you not thinke itt is very variable, for the number will change every day? I would have us fall to somethinge that is practicable with as little paines and dissatisfaction as may bee. I remember, that in the proposalls that went out in the name of the Army itt is propounded as a rule to bee distributed according to the rates that the Counties beare in the [burdens of the] Kingedome; and remember then you have a rule, and though this be not a rule of exactnesse, yett there was something of equality in itt, and itt was a certaine rule where all are agreed, and therefore wee should come to some settling. Now I doe nott understand wherin the advantage does lie from a suddaine danger, uppon a thinge that will continue soe long, and will continue soe uncertaine as this is.a
Sir Hardresse Waller.
’Tis thought there’s imminent danger; I hope to God we shall bee soe ready to agree for the future that wee shall all agree for the present to rise as one man if the danger bee such, for itt is an impossibility to have a remedy in this. The paper sayes, that this Parliament is to continue a yeare, butt will the great burthen of the people be ever satisfied with papers [whilst] you eate and feede uppon them? I shall be glad, that [if] there bee nott any present danger, you will thinke of some way to ease the burthen that wee may take a course [to do it]; and when wee have satisfied the people that wee doe really intend the good of the Kingdome [they will believe us]—Otherwise if the four Evangelists were heere and lay free quarter uppon them, they will not believe you.
That the Army might bee called to a Randezvous, and thinges setled.
Wee are called back to Engagements. I thinke the Engagements wee have made and published, and all the Engagements of all sorts, have bin better kept by those that did nott soe much cry out for itt then by those that doe; and if you will [have itt] in plaine termes, better kept then by those that have brought this paper. Give mee leave to tell you that in one point, in the Engagement of the Army not to devide, I am sure that hee that understands the Engagement of the Army nott to devide or disband, [as meaning] that wee are nott to devide for quarters for the ease of the country, or the satisfaction of service—hee that does understand itt in that sence, I am nott capable of his understanding.a There was another sence in itt, and that is, that wee should nott suffer ourselves to bee torne into pieces—such a dividing as [that] is really a disbanding, and for my parte I doe nott know what disbanding is if nott that deviding. [I say that] the subscribers of this paper, the authours of that Booke that is called, ‘The Case of the Armie,’ I say that they have gone the way of disbanding. Disbanding of an Army is nott parting in a place, for if that bee soe, did not wee att that night disband to severall quarters? Did wee nott then send severall Regiments—Col. Scroope’s Regiment into the Westa —wee know where itt was first—Col. Horton’s Regiment into Wales for preventing of insurrection there—Col. Lambert’s [and] Col. Lilburne’s Regiment[s] then sent downe for strengthning such a place as Yorke. And yett the authours of that paper, and the subscribers of them—for I cannott thinke the authours and subscribers all one—we all know, and they may know, that there’s noe parte of the Army is dispersed to quarters further then that. Wherupon that outcrie is [made]. They goe to scandalise [us as breakers of the Engagement not to disband or divide].b Butt hee that will goe to understand this to bee a dividing that wee engaged against, hee lookes att the name, and nott att the thinge. That deviding which is a disbanding [is] that deviding which makes noe Army, and that dissolving of that order and government which is as essentiall to an Army as life is to a man—which if it be taken away I thinke that such a companie are noe more an armie than a rotten carcass is a man—and [it is] those [who have done this] that have gone to devide the Armie. And what else is there in this paper [but] that we have acted soe vigorously for [already? We proposed that this Parliament should end within a year at most]; they doe not propose that this Parliament should end till the beginning of September. When all comes uppon the matter itt is but a criticall difference, and the very substance of that we have declared before. For my part I professe it seriously that we shall find in the issue that the principall of that division, of [that] disbanding is noe more then this, whether such or such [men] shall have the managing of the businesse. I say plainly the way [they have taken] hath bin the way of disunion and division, and [the dissolution] of that order and Government by which wee shall bee enabled to act, and that by the deviding from that generall Councill, wherein wee have all engaged we should bee concluded, and the endeavouring to draw the soldiers to run this way; and I shall appeale to all men whether there can bee any breach of the Army higher then that breach wee have now spoken of. [As for] that word “deviding the Army,” let it bee judged whether [when we said] wee will nott divide [but] with such [and such] satisfaction, whether that deviding were nott more truly and properlie this deviding in every man’s heart wherin wee doe goe apart one from another, and consequently [whether] those that have gone this way have nott broke the Engagement; [and] whether that [other dividing] were a deviding, [or] a keeping of the Engagement: and those that doe judge the one I doe nott thinke that wee have bin fairely dealt with.a
I doe nott make any great wonder that this Gentleman hath sence above all men in the world, butt for these thinges hee is the man that hath undertaken them all. I say this Gentleman hath the advantage of us, hee hath drawne uppe the most parte of them; and why may hee nott keepe a sence that wee doe nott know of? If this Gentleman had declar’d to us att first that this was the sence of the Armie in deviding, and itt was meant that men should nott devide in opinions—To mee that is a mistery. Itt is a huge reflection, a taxing of persons, and because I will avoide further reflections, I shall say noe more.
Wheras you say the Agents did itt, [it was] the souldiers did putt the Agents uppon these meetinges. Itt was the dissatisfactions that were in the Army which provoak’t, which occasion’d those Meetinges, which you suppose tends soe much to deviding; and the reasons of such dissatisfactions are because those whome they had to trust to act for them were nott true to them.
If this bee all the effect of your meetinges to agree uppon this paper, there is butt one thinge in this that hath nott bin insisted uppon and propounded by the Army heertofore all alonge.a Heereb itt is putt according to the number of inhabitants; there according to the taxes. Thisb sayes a period att such a day, the last of September, the other sayes a period within a yeare att most. The Agreement says that these have the power of making law, and determining what is law without the consent of another.a ’Tis true the “Proposalls” said nott that, and for my parte, if any man will putt that to the question whether wee shall concurre with itt I am in the same minde,b if you putt itt in any other hands then those that are freemen; butt if you shall putt the question, and with that limitation that hath bin all alonge acknowledged by the Parliament, till wee can acquitt ourselves justly from any Engagement old or new that wee stand in to preserve the person of the Kinge, the persons of Lords, and their rights soe farre as they are consistent with the common right,c till that bee done I thinke there is reason that exception should continue which hath bin all alonge, that is, where the safetie of the Kingdome is concern’d, this they seeme to hold out. But where I see thinges would nott doe reall mischief I would hold to positive constitution. I would neither bee thought to bee a wronge doer or disturber; soe longe as I can with safetie continue a constitution I will doe itt.d And therfore where I finde that the safetie of the Kingedome is nott concern’d, I would nott for every trifling [cause] make that this shall bee a law, though neither the Lords who have a claime to itt nor the Kinge who hath a claime to itt will consent. Butt where this is concern’de —Uppon the whole matter lett men butt consider those that have thus gone away to devide from the Army. Admitt that this Agreement of the people bee the advantage, itt may bee wee shall agree to that without any limittation. I doe agree, that the Kinge is bound by his oath att his coronation to agree to the law that the Commons shall chuse without Lords or any body else. If I can agree any further that if the Kinge doe nott confirme with his aucthority the lawes that the people shall chuse, wee know what will follow.a
I had the happinesse sometimes to bee att the debate of the Proposalls, and my opinion was then as itt is now, against the Kinges vote and the Lords. Butt nott soe as I doe desire,b since itt hath pleased God to raise a companie of men that doe stand uppe for the power of the House of Commons, which is the Representative of the people, and deny the negative voice of King and Lords. For my parte I was much unknowne to any of them, butt only as I heard their principles, and hearing their principles I cannott butt joyne with them in my judgement, for I thinke itt is reasonable. That all lawes are made by their consent,c wheras you seeme to make the Kinge and Lords soe light a thinge as that itt may bee to the destruction of the Kingedome to throwe them out, and without prejudice [to keep them in]. For my parte I cannott butt thinke that both the power of Kinge and Lords was ever a branch of Tyranny, and if ever a people shall free themselves from Tyranny, cartainly itt is after 7 yeares warre and fighting for their libertie. For my parte, [I think that] if the Constitution of this Kingdome shall bee established as formerly, itt might rivett Tyranny into this Kingedome more strongly then before. For when the people shall heare that for 7 yeares together the people were plundered, and [that] after they had overcome the Kinge, and kept the Kinge under restraint, att last the Kinge comes in, then itt will rivett the Kinges interest; and soe when any men shall indeavour to free themselves from Tyranny wee may doe them mischief and noe good. I thinke itt’s most just and equall, since a number of men have declar’d against itt, they should bee encouraged in itt, and nott discouraged; and I finde by the Councill that their thoughts are the same against the Kinge and Lords, and if soe bee that a power may bee raised to doe that itt would doe well.
Truly, Sir, I being desired by the Agents yesterday to appeare att Councill or Committees either, att that time, I suppose I may bee bold to make knowne what I know of their sence, and a little to vindicate them in their way of proceeding, and to shew the necessity of this way of proceeding that they have entred uppon. Truly, Sir, as to breaking of Engagements: the Agents doe declare their principle, that whensoever any Engagement cannott bee kept justly they must breake that Engagement. Now though itt’s urg’d they ought to condescend to what the Generall Councill doe [resolve], I conceive itt’s true [only] soe longe as itt is for their safetie. I conceive [itt’s] just and righteous for them to stand uppe for some more speedy vigorous actinges. I conceive itt’s noe more then what the Army did when the Parliament did nott only delay deliverance butt oppos’d itt; and I conceive this way of their appearing hath nott appear’d to bee in the least way anythinge tending to devision, since they proceede to cleare the rights of the people; and soe longe as they proceede uppon those righteous principles [for which we first engaged],a itt cannott bee laid to their charge that they are deviders. And though itt bee declared [that they ought to stand only as soldiers and not as Englishmen], that the malice of the enemies would have bereaved you of your liberties as Englishmen; therefore as Englishmen they are deeply concerned to regard the due observation of their rights, [and have the same right to declare their apprehensions] as I, or any Commoner, have right to propound to the Kingedome my conceptions what is fitt for the good of the Kingedome. Wheras itt is objected, how will itt appear that their proceedings shall tend for the good of the Kingedome? The matter is different. Wheras itt was said before itt was propounded, there must bee an ende to the Parliament, an equality as to Elections—I finde itt to bee their minds—When they came there, they found many aversions from matters that they ought to stand to as souldiers, and nott as Englishmen, and therfore I find it. Concerning the matter of the thinge, I conceive it to bee a very vast difference in the whole matter of proposalls. The foundation of slavery was rivetted more strongly then before. As where the militia is instated in the Kinge and Lords,b and nott in the Commons, there is a foundation of a future quarrell constantlie laid. However the maine thing was that they found by the proposalls propounded the right of the Militia was acknowledged to bee in the Kinge, before any redresse of any one of the people’s greivances or any one of their burthens; and [the King was] soe to bee brought in as with a negative voice, wherby the people and Army that have fought against him when hee had propounded such thingesa —And finding [this] they perceived they were as they thought in a sad case, for they thought, hee coming in thus with a negative, the Parliament are butt as soe many cyphers, soe many round Os; for if the Kinge would nott doe itt hee might chuse, “Sic volo, sic jubeo,” &c., and soe the corrupt party of the Kingedome must bee soe setled in the Kinge. The godly people are turn’d over and trampled uppon already in the most places of the Kingedome. I speake butt the words of the agents, and I finde this to bee their thoughts. Butt wheras itt is said, “how will this paper provide for anythinge for that purpose?” I say, that this paper doth lay downe the foundations of freedome for all manner of people. Itt doth lay the foundations of souldiers [freedom], wheras they found a great uncertainty in the proposalls: that they should goe to the Kinge for an act of indempnity, and thus the Kinge might command his Judges to hange them uppe for what they did in the warres; because the present Constitution being left as itt was, nothing was law butt what the Kinge sign’d, and nott any ordnance of Parliament. And considering this, they thought itt should bee by an Agreement with the people, wherby a rule betweene the Parliament and the people might bee sett, that soe they might bee destroyed neither by the Kinge’s Prerogative, nor Parliament’s priviledges. Theya are nott bound to bee subject to the lawes as other men, [that is] why men cannott recover their estates. They thought there must bee a necessity of a rule betweene the Parliament and the people, soe that the Parliament should know what they were intrusted to, and what they were nott; and that there might bee noe doubt of the Parliament’s power to lay foundations for future quarrells.b The Parliament shall nott meddle with a souldier after indempnity. Itt is agreed amongst the people, wheras betweene a Parliament and Kinge—if the Kinge were nott under restraint—should make an Act of Indempnity—wheras another Parliament cannott alter this—That these foundations might bee established. That there might bee noe dispute betweene Lords and Commons, butt these thinges being setled, there should bee noe more disputes, butt that the Parliament should redresse the peoples grievances, wheras now all are troubled with Kinge’s interests almost. And besides if this were setled, the Parliament should be free from those temptations—which for my owne parte I doe suppose to bee a truth, that this very Parliament, by the Kinge’s voice in this very Parliament may destroy—wheras now they shall bee free from temptations and the Kinge cannott have an influence uppon them as hee hath.a
Com̃. Gen. Ireton.
Gentlemen, I thinke there is noe man is able to give a better account of the sence of the Agents; hee hath spoke soe much as they have in their Booke and soe readily and therefore I see hee is very well able to give their sence. I wish their sences had nott bin prejudiciall to other men’s sences; butt I feare as itt will prove really prejudiciall to the Kingedome, how plausible soever it seemes to bee carried. That paper of the Case of the Armie doth soe abuse the Generall and Generall Councill of the Armie, that such and such thinges have bin done that made them doe thus and thus. First as to the materiall points of the paper. As to the businesse of the Lords you know the way wee were then in admitted noe other.b This Gentleman that speakes heere, and the other gentleman that spake before, when wee were att Reading framing the proposalls did nott thinke of this way. I am sure they did not thinke of this way; and according to the best judgments of those that were intrusted by the Generall Councill to drawe uppe the prosposalls, itt was carried by a question clearlie, that wee should nott. In these proposalls our businesse was to sett forth particulars; wee had sett forth generall Declarations, which did come to as much in effect in thisa The thinge then proposed was, that wee should nott take away the power of the Lords in this Kingedome, and itt was concluded that in the proposalls. Butt as to the Kinge wee were clear. There is nott one thinge in the proposalls, nor in what wee declar’d, that doth give the Kinge any negative voice; and therfore that’s parte of the scandall amongst others. Wee doe not give the Kinge any negative, wee doe butt take the Kinge as a man with whome wee have bin att a difference, wee propound termes of peace. Wee doe nott demand that hee shall have noe Negative, butt wee doe nott say that hee shall have any. There’s another thinge that wee have, as they say, gone from our Engagements in our Declarations in. [They say] that in the proposalls we goe to establish the Kinge’s Rights before [taking away] the peoples Greivances.a In our Generall Declarations wee first desire a purging of this Parliament, a period [to be set for] this Parliament, and provision for the certainty of future Parliaments; and if the Kinge shall agree in these thinges and what [things] else the Parliament shall propound that are necessary for the safetie of the Kingedome, then wee desire his Rights may bee consider’d soe farre as may consist with the Rights of the people. Wee did soe [speak] in the Declarations, and you shall see what wee did in the proposalls.a In the proposalls, [we put first] thinges that are essentiall to peace, and itt distinguishes those from the things that conduce to our better being, and thinges that lay foundations of an hopefull Constitution in the future. When those are past, then they say, ‘that these thinges having the Kinge’s concurrence wee desire that his Right may bee consider’d.’ There were many other greivances and particular matters which wee did nott thinke soe necessary that they should precede the setling of a peace, which is the greatest greivance of the Kingdome. Our way was to take away that [first]. Then itt says there, [after] propounding what thinges wee thought in our judgements are to bee essentiall and necessary to peace, ‘yet wee desire that the Parliament would loose noe time from the consideration of them.’b These Gentlemen would say now wee have gone from our Declarations, that wee propose the setling of the Kinge [first, because] itt stands before those Greivances. Wee say those Greivances are nott soe necessary, as that the remedying of them should bee before the setling of the peace of the Kingedome. What wee thought in our consciences to bee essentiall to the peace of the Kingedome wee did putt preceding to the consideration of the Kinge’s personall Right; and the concurrence of [the King to] those is a condition without which wee cannott have any Right att all, and without [which] there can bee noe peace, and [we] have named [it] before the consideration of the Kinge’s Rights in the setling of a peace, as a thinge necessary to the constitution of a peace. That therfore [to say] wee should preferre the Kinge’s Rights before a generall good, was as unworthy and as unchristian an injury as ever was done [by any] to men that were in society with them, and meerly equivocation. Butt itt was told you, that the Generall Councill hath seemed to doe soe and soe, to putt the souldiers out of the way. Itt is suggested, that the Engagement is broken by our deviding to quarters; and whether that bee broken or nott in other thinges, itt is said, that the Generall Councill hath broken the Engagement in this; that wheras before wee were nott a mercinarie Army, now wee are. Lett any man butt speake what hath given the occasion of that. Itt hath bin pres’t by some men that wee should [not] have subjected [our propositions] to the Parliament, and wee would stand to the propositions whatever they were; butt the sence of the Generall Councill was this, that, as they had sent their propositions to the Parliament, they would see what the Parliament would doe before they would conclude what themselves would doe; and that there was respect [to be had] to that which wee have hitherto accounted the fundamentall Councill of the Kingedome.a If all the people to a man had subscribed to this [Agreement]b then there would bee some security to itt, because noe man would oppose; butt otherwise our concurrence amongst ourselves is noe more then our saying our selves wee will bee indemnified. Our Indemnity must bee to somethinge that att least wee will uppehold, and wee see wee cannott hold to bee a conclusive authority of the Kingedome. For that [charge] of going to the Kinge for Indemnity, wee propose an Act of oblivion onely for the Kinges partie; wee propose for ourselves an Act of Indemnity and Justification. Is this the asking of a pardon? Lett us resort to the first petition of the Army wherin wee all were engag’d once, which wee made the basis of all our proceedinges. In that wee say, that [wee wish] an ordinance might bee past to which the Royall Assent might bee desired; butt wee have [since] declar’d, that if the Royall Assent could nott be had, wee should account the aucthority of the Parliament valid without itt.a Wee have desired in the Generall Councill, that for security for arreares wee might have the Royall Assent; and lett mee tell you though I shall bee content to loose my arreares to see the Kingedome have itts libertie—and if any man can doe itt unlesse itt bee by putting our libertie into the hands of those that will give itt away when they have done. Butt I say that I doe thinke that true in this, whoever talk’t either of the indeavours of the souldiers, or of any other Indempnity by the sworde in their hands, is [for] the perpetuating of combustions, soe that worde cannott take place, and does nott suppose the setling of a peace, and by that aucthority which hath bin here by the legislative power of the Kingedome; and hee that expects to have the arreares of the souldiers soe, I thinke hee does butt deceive himself.b For my owne parte I would give uppe my arreares, and for my parte loose my arreares, if wee have nott settlement; noe arreares or want of Indempnity, nor any thinge in the world shall satisfie mee to have a peace uppon any termes, wherin that which is really the Right of this Nation is nott as farre provided for as can bee provided for by men. I could tell you many other particulars wherin there are divers grosse injuries done to the Generall and Generall Councill, and such a wronge as is nott fitt to bee done amonge Christians, and soe wronge, and soe false that I cannott thinke that they have gone soe farre in itt.
I doe nott know what reason you have to suppose I should bee soe well acquainted with the Case of the Armie, and the thinges proposed [in it]. I conceive them to bee very good and just. Butt for that which I give as their sence, which you are pleased to say are scandalls cast uppon the Army, that you propounded to bringe in the Kinge with his negative voice. The legislative power had bin acknowledged [hitherto] to bee in the Kinge with Lords and Commons, whereas you do now say the legislative power to be partly in him. Then considering that, I doe humbly propound to your consideration, [that] when you restraine the Kinges Negative in one particular, which is in restrayning unequall distributions, and say directly in these very words [the King] “shall bee restored to his personall Rights,” you doe now say the Legislative power to bee now partly in him. And therfore I conceive if I have any reason the Kinge is proposed to bee brought in with his Negative voice.a And wheras you say itt is a scandall for [us to say that you propose] the Kinge to come in with his personall Rights [before the grievances of the people are redressed, it is said in the proposals] that the Kinge consenting to those thinges the Kinge [is] to bee restored to all his personall Rights.
There’s his Restoration. Nott a bare consideration what his Rights are before the peoples Greivances [are considered], butt a Restoration to his personall Rights these thinges being done. Is nott the Parliament to loose their Rights? And for that of [asking the King’s consent to an Act of] Indempnity, I doe nott say itt was an asking of the Kinge pardon; itt is rendring us uppe, [because the King is under constraint], and therfore itt is null in Law.
Saturday, 30 October, 1647.
Att the Committee of Oficers att the Quartermaster Generalls.
To consider of the papers of the Armie, and the paper of the People’s Agreement, and to collect and prepare somewhat to bee insisted uppon and adheer’d unto for setling the Kingedome, and to cleare our proceedinges hitherto.
Putney, October 30, 1647.
Att the Committee of Officers appointed to consider of the Agreement, and compare itt with Declarations.
1. That there bee a period sett to this Parliament to end and bee dissolved on the first day of September next ensuing att the furthest.
2. That secure provision may bee made for the succession, constitution, and clearing the power of Parliaments in future, as followeth:
1. For the certainty of their succession, that Parliaments shall biennially meete on the first Thursday in Aprill every second yeare from and after the ending of this Parliament, with such provision for the certainty therof as shall bee found needfull before the ending of this Parliament. The place of Meeting for each succeeding Parliament to bee where the Parliament last preceding shall appoint, unlesse the Councill of State heerafter mencioned, during the intervall shall finde emergent cause to alter the place, and in such case the Meeting for the next Parliament to bee where the Councill shall appoint, provided, that notice bee given therof to all the severall Divisions of the Kingedome for which Members are to bee chosen att least 30 dayes before the time of Meeting.
2. For the certainty of their sitting,
That each Bienniall Parliament shall certainly continue to sitt untill the last day of September next ensuing after the meeting therof, unlesse adjourn’d or dissolv’d sooner by their owne consent, butt uppon the said last day of September to dissolve of course.
3. That this Parliament and each succeeding Parliament, att or before Adjournement or Dissolution therof, shall or may appoint a Committee or Councell of State, and such other Committees to continue during the intervall with such powers as they shall finde needfull for such ends and purposes as are in these articles referr’d and left unto them.
4. That in the intervalls betwixt Bienniall Parliaments the Kinge, without the advice and consent of the Councill of State may nott call a Parliament extraordinary; butt uppon the advice of the Councill of State, and uppon their warrant for that purpose a Parliament extraordinary shall be called, provided, that itt meete above 70 dayes before the next Bienniall day, and shall dissolve of course att least 40 dayes before the same, soe as the course of Bienniall Elections may never bee interrupted. Other circumstances about the manner and way of calling such Parliaments extraordinary are to bee sett downe by this Parliament before the ende thereof.
5. For the Constitution of future Parliaments.
1. That the Election of Members for the House of Commons in succeeding Parliaments shall bee distributed to all Counties, or other partes or Devisions of the Kingdome, according to some rule of equality of proportion, soe as to render the House of Commons as neere as may bee an equall Representative of the whole body of the people that are to Elect; and in order therunto, that all obstructions to the freedome and equalitie of their choice, either by petitions or charters or other prerogative grants, bee removed, and the circumstances of number, place, and manner for more equall distributions bee sett downe by the Commons in this present parliament before the end therof; and what they shall order therin, as alsoe what they or the Commons in succeeding Parliaments shall from time to time further order or sett downe, for reducing the said Elections to more and more perfection of equality in distribution therof, freedome in the Election, order and regularity in the proceeding therof, and certainty in the returnes, shall bee lawes in full force to those purposes.a
2. That the qualifications of the people that shall have voices in the Elections, as alsoe of those that shall bee capable of being Elected, bee determined by the Commons in this present Parliament before the end therof, soe as to give as much inlargement to Common freedome as may bee, with a due regard had to the equalitya and end of the present Constitution in that point; wherin wee desire itt may bee provided, that all freeborne Englishmen, or persons made free denizons of England, who have served the Parliament in the late warre for the liberties of the Kingdome, and were in the service before the 14th of June 1645, or have voluntarily assisted the Parliament in the said warre with mony, plate, horse, or Armes lent uppon the Parliament’s propositions for that purpose, brought in theruppon before thebNA day of NA 1642, shall uppon such certificates therof as by the Commons in this present Parment shall bee determined sufficient, or uppon other sufficient evidence of the said service or assistance, bee admitted to have voices in the said elections for the respective Counties or Divisions wherin they shall inhabite, although they should nott in other respects bee within the qualifications to bee sett downe as aforesaid; as alsoe that itt bee provided, that noe person who for delinquencie in the late warre or otherwise hath forfeited or shall forfeite his said freedome, and is or shall bee soe adjudged by the Commons in Parliament, either by particular judgement or otherwise, or according to generall rules or law for that purpose, whiles hee standeth or shall stand soe adjudged and nott restor’d, shall bee admitted to have any voice in the said Elections or bee capable of being elected. And for that purpose, that itt bee provided either by law or judgement in this present Parliament, that noe person whatsoever who hath bin in hostility against the Parliament in the late warre shall bee capable of having a voice or being elected in the said Elections or to vote or sitt as a Member or Assistant in either House of Parliament untill the 2d Bienniall Parliament bee past.
3. That noe Peers made since the 21st day of May, 1642, or heerafter to bee made, shall bee admitted or capable to sitt or vote in Parliament without consent of both Houses.
6. For clearing of the power of Parliament in future and the interest of the people therin.a
Putney, 1 November, 1647.b
Att the Generall Councill of the Army.
The Lieutennant Generall first moved, that every one might speake their experiences as the issue of what God had given in answer to their prayers.
Made a speech, expressing what experiences hee had received from himself, and from divers other godly people: that the worke that was before them was to take away the Negative voice of the Kinge and Lords.
A report from Col. Lambert’s Regiment that two Horsemen, Agitators, came and perswaded them to send new Agitators, for that the Officers had broken their Engagements.
Exprest his experiences; that hee found nott any inclination in his heart as formerly to pray for the kinge, that God would make him yett a Blessing to the kingdome.
Made a speech expressing, that the sworde was the onelie thinge that had from time to time recover’d our Rightes, and which hee ever read in the Worde of God had recover’d the Rights of the people: that our ancestors had still recover’d their liberties from the Danes and Normans by the sworde, when they were under such a slaverie that an Englishman was as hatefull then as an Irishman is now, and what an honour those that were noblemen thought itt to marry their daughters to, or to marry the daughters of any cookes or bakers of the Normans.
Lieut. Col. Lilburne.b
That hee never observed that the recovery of our liberties which wee had before the Normans was the occasion of our taking uppe armes, or the maine quarrell; and that the Norman Lawes are nott slaverie introduced uppon us, but an augmentation of our slaverie before. Therefore I doubt for those reasons I have given you what was by some offer’d was not of God.
To that which hath bin moved concerning the Negative vote, or thinges which have bin deliver’d in papers, and otherwise may present a reall pleasing. I doe nott say that they have all pleas’d, for I thinke that the Kinge is Kinge by contract, and I shall say, as Christ said, “Lett him that is without sin cast the first stone;” and minde that worde of bearing one with another, itt was taught us to day. If wee had carried itt on in the Parliament and by our power without any thinges laid on [us of] that kinde, soe that wee could say that wee were without transgression, I should then say itt were just to cutt off transgressors; butt considering that wee are in our owne actions failing in many particulars, I thinke there is much necessity of pardoning of transgressors.
For the actions that are to bee done, and those that must doe them. I thinke itt is their proper place to conforme to the Parliament that first gave them their being; and I thinke itt is considerablea whether they doe contrive to suppresse the power by that power or noe. If they doe continue to suppresse them how they can take the determination of commanding men, conducting men, quartering men, keeping guards, without an aucthority otherwise then from themselves, I am ignorant of. And therfore I thinke there is much [need] in the Army to conforme to those thinges that are within their spheare. For those thinges that have bin done in the Army, as this of the Case of the Army truly Stated. There is much in itt usefull, and to bee condescended to; butt I am nott satisfied how farre wee shall presse [it]. Either they are a Parliament or noe Parliament. If they bee noe Parliament they are nothing, and wee are nothing likewise. If they bee a Parliament wee are to offer itt to itt. If I could see a visible presence of the people, either by subscriptions, or number [I should be satisfied with it]; for in the Governement of Nations that which is to bee look’t after is the affections of the people, and that I finde which satisfies my conscience in the present thinge.
[Consider the case of the Jews]. They were first [divided into] families where they lived, and had heads of families [to govern them], and they were [next] under judges, and [then] they were under Kinges. When they came to desire a Kinge they had a Kinge, first Elective, and secondly by succession. In all these kindes of Governement they were happy and contented. If you make the best of itt, if you should change the Governement to the best of itt, itt is butt a morall thinge. Itt is butt as Paul sayes “Drosse and dunge in comparison of Christ;”a and why wee shall soe farre contest for temporall thinges, that if wee cannott haveb this freedome wee will venture life and livelihood for itt. When every man shall come to this condition I thinke the State will come to desolation. Therfore the considering of what is fitt for the Kingedome does belonge to the Parliament—well composed in their creation and election—how farre I shall leave itt to the Parliament to offer itt. There may bee care—That the elections or formes of Parliament are very illegall, as I could name butt one for a Corporation to chuse two. I shall desire, that there may bee a forme for the electing of Purliaments. And another thinge as the perpetuity of the Parliamentc that there is noe assurance to the people, butt that itt is perpetuall, which does [not] satisfie the Kingedome; and for other thinges that are to the Kinge’s Negative vote as may cast you off wholly, itt hath bin the resolution of the Parliament and of the Army—If there bee a possibility of the Parliament’s offering those thinges unto the Kinge that may secure us I thinke there is much may bee said for the[ir] doing of itt.
As for the present condition of the Army I shall speake somethinge of itt. For the conduct of the Army I perceive there are severall Declarations from the Army and dissobligations to the Generalls orders by calling Randezvous and otherwise. I must confesse I have a Commission from the Generall and I understand that I am to doe by itt. I shall conforme to him according to the rules and discipline of warre, and according to those rules I ought to bee conformable; and therfore I conceive itt is nott in the power of any particular men or any particular man in the Army to call a Randezvouz of a troope, or Regiment, or [in the] leasta to disoblige the Armie from those commands of the Generall. This way is destructive to the Armie and to every particular man in the Armie. I have bin inform’d by some of the Kinge’s partie, that if they give us rope enough we will hange ourselves. [We shall hang ourselves], if wee doe not conforme to the rules of warre, and therfore I shall move what wee shall center uppon. If itt have butt the face of aucthority, if itt bee butt an hare swimming over the Thames, hee will take hold of itt rather then lett itt goe.b
That God hitherto hath bin pleased to shew us many mercies. The relation of God’s providence in bringing us from our march to London.
On Friday was a day for to seeke God for direction in this worke, and uppon Saturday many were giving in their thoughts concerning what God had given in to them to speake, as to a cure for a dying Kingdome. Truly amongst the rest my thoughts were att worke. Providentially, my thoughts were cast uppon one thinge which I had often seene before, yett if prosecuted may bee the meanes of an happy union amongst us. That which I hinte att, and which I spoke to was, the Case of the Armie Stated. I doe perceive, that there is either a reall or an apprehensive—or rather a missapprehensive dissunion amongst us; and truly in my heart there was somethinge providentially laid for a uniting, and that in that passage that those Agentes—att that very time of dissenting from us and when they were ripping uppe our faults to open view—came in the issue to lay us down [as] a rule, and that was [a thing] which before had bin laid downe as a rule, and we and they were to act according to itt; butt being laid downe by them againe I thinke itt is a twofold corde that cannott easily bee broken. They doe referre us to our three Declarations, that of 14 June, 21 of June, 18 of August; and their desires are, that those might bee look’t uppon, and adheered unto; and if they bee our desires and their desires that wee should walke uppe to them, I thinke this will putt the businesse to a very faire issue. I did looke over for my parte all thinges [contained] in those three Declarations, and therfore I humbly desire that whatsoever there is in those Declarations we should persist in, wee may intend and pursue, as tending to that end wee all aime att, namelie the Kingdomes good.a
Lieut. Col. Jubbes.b
Truly I doe nott know how to distinguish whether the spiritt of God lives in mee, or noe, butt by mercy, love, and peace; and on the contrary whether the spirit of Antichrist lives in mee, butt by envy, malice, and warre. I am altogether against a warre if there may bee a composure [so] that the Englishman may have his priviledges; I have a commission ready to deliver uppe whensoever I shall bee call’d.
Queries wherein Lieut. Col. Jubbes desireth satisfaction for the preventing of the effusion of bloud.
1. Whether or noe the Parliament may yett be purged of all such Members as assented to the late insurreccions and treason of the City, and still continue a House?
2. If itt may bee purged and an House still remayning, whether the major parte of the remainder bee such persons as are desirous of giving satisfaction to our or the Kingdome’s just desires?
3. If the 2d bee assented unto, that they are such persons, whether then they may nott satisfie our just desires, and declare the Kinge guilty of all the bloudshed, vast expence of treasure, and ruine that hath bin occasioned by all the warres both of England and Ireland, and then for that hee is the Kinge of Scotland, and alsoe of Ireland as well as England, that therfore to receive him as Kinge againe for avoiding further warres?
4. Whether if the Parliament may adjourne and dissolve when in their discretions they shall finde cause or nott before—as att this present, even by law, God hath order’d itt—they may nott then reject the Kinge’s Act of Oblivion, and take unto themselves that godly resolution to doe that justice unto the Kingdome which now they dare nott doe?
Mov’d that the papers of the Committee might bee read.
Lieut. Col. Goffe.
I thinke that motion which was made by the Lieutennant Generall should nott die, butt that itt should have some issue. I thinke itt is a vaine thinge to seeke God if wee doe nott hearken after his answer, and somethinge that was spoken by the Lieutennant Generall moves mee to speake att this time, and that was uppon this ground. Itt was concluded by the Lieutennant Generall uppon what was spoken by one heere, that that was nott the minde of God that was spoken by him. I could wish wee might bee warie of such expressions. “There was a lying spiritt in the mouth of Ahab’s Prophetts. Hee speakes falselie to us in the name of the Lord.”a I doe not speake this, that this was the minde of the Lord in any thinge; yett wee may nott breake abruptly of that what one spoke was the minde of the Lord, yett wee must consider whether somethinge was nott spoken by others which may bee the minde of the Lord. Truly I am very tender in this thinge; if wee shall waite for God, and if God shall speake to us [and we not hearken], wee shall bringe much evill uppon ourselves. God hath spoken in severall ages in sundry wayes. Then they sent to a Prophett, and hee comes and tells them uppon his bare worde, and hee tells them that hee received such a message from the Lord. Butt God hath [now] putt us uppon such a course which I cannott butt reverence, and God does nott now speake by one particular man, butt in every one of our hearts; and certainly if itt were a dangerous thinge to refuse a message that came from one man to many, itt is a more dangerous thinge to refuse what comes from God, being spoke by many to us. I shall adde this, that itt seemes to mee evident and cleare, that this hath bin a voice from heaven to us, that wee have sinn’d against the Lord in tampering with his enemies; and itt hath soe wrought with mee that [though] I cannott run præcipitately to worke, yett I dare nott open my mouth for the benefitt or uppeholding that power. I thinke that hath bin the voice of God, and whatsoever was contradicted was our præcipitate running on, our taking hold of an opportunity before itt was given;a and therfore I desire wee may nott præcipitately run on, butt waite uppon God, and that in the issue wee mayb see [if] God hath [not] spoken to us; and if the Lord hath spoken to us I pray God keepe us from that sin that wee doe nott hearken to the voice of the Lord.
I shall nott be unwilling to heare God speaking in any; butt I thinke that God may [as well] bee heard speaking in that which is to bee readc as otherwise.
Butt I shall speake a worde in that which Lieut. Col. Goffe said because itt seemes to come as a reproof to mee, and I shall bee willing to receive a reproof when itt shall bee in love, and shall bee [so] given. That which hee speakes was, that at such a Meeting as this wee should waite uppon God, and [hearken to] the voice of God speaking in any of us. I confesse itt is an high duty, butt when any thinge is spoken [as from God] I thinke the rule is, Lett the rest judge!d Itt is left to mee to judge for my owne satisfaction, and the satisfaction of others, whether itt bee of the Lord or nott, and I doe noe more. I doe nott judge conclusively, negatively, that itt was nott of the Lord, butt I doe desire to submitt itt to all your judgements whether itt was of the Lord or noe? I did offer some reasons which did satisfie mee, I know nott whether I did others. If in those thinges wee doe speake, and pretend to speake from God, there bee mistakes of fact—if there bee a mistake in the thinge, in the reason of the thinge—truly I thinke itt is free for mee to shew both the one, and the other if I can. Nay, I thinke itt is my duty to doe itt: for noe man receives any thinge in the name of the Lord further then [to] the light of his conscience appeares. I can say in the next place—and I can say itt heartily and freely as to the matter he speakes—I must confesse I have noe prejudice, nott the least thought of prejudice, uppon that ground—I speake itt truly as before the Lord—butt this I thinke; that itt is noe evill advertisement to wish us in our speeches of righteousnesse and justice to referre us to any engagements that are upon us, and [it is] that which I have learn’ta in all [our] debates. I have still desir’d wee should consider, where wee are, and what engagements are uppon us, and how wee ought to goe off as becomes Christians. This is all that I aim’d att and I doe aime att. I must confesse I had a mervailous reverence and awe uppon my spiritt when we came to speake. [We said], lett us speake one to another what God hath spoken to us; and as I said before I cannott say that I have recived any thinge that I can speake as in the name of the Lord—nott that I can say that any body did speake that which was untrue in the name of the Lord—butt uppon this ground, that when wee say wee speake in the name of the Lord itt is of an high nature.
Lieutenant Col. Goffe made an apologie for what hee had said before.
My desire is to see thinges putt to an issue. Men have bin declaring their thoughts, and truly I would crave libertie to declare mine. The difference betweene us I thinke is in the interest of Kinge and Lords, some declaring against the name and title of Kinge and Lords. For my parte [I think] clearly, according to what wee have engag’d wee stand bound; and I thinke wee should bee look’t uppon as persons nott fitt to bee called Christians, if wee doe nott worke up to them. As first, concerning the Kinge. You say you will sett uppe the Kinge as farre as may bee consistent with, and nott prejudiciall to the liberties of the Kingedome; and really I am of that minde [too]. If the setting uppe of him bee nott consistent with them, and prejudiciall to them, then downe with him; butt if hee may bee soe sett uppe—which I thinke hee may—[then set him up], and itt is not our judgement onely, butt [that] of those that sett forth the Case of the Army.
Tooke occasion to take notice as if what Mr. Allen spoke did reflect upon himself or some other there, as if they were against the name of Kinge and Lords.
Truly I must bee bold to offer this one worde unto you. Truly heere was somewhat spoke of the workinges and actinges of God within them, I shall speake a worde of that. The Lord hath putt you into a state, or att least [suffered you] to run you[rselves] into such a one, that you know nott where you are. You are in a wildernesse condition. Some actinges amonge us singly and joyntlie that are the cause of itt. Truly I would intreate you to weigh that. Wee finde in the worde of God “I would heale Babylon, butt shee would nott bee healed.”a I thinke that wee have gone about to heale Babylon when shee would nott. Wee have gone about to wash a Blackamore, to wash him white, which hee will nott. I think wee are going about to sette uppe the power which God will destroy. Wee are going about to sett uppe the power of Kinges, some parte of itt, which God will destroy; and which will bee butt as a burthensome stone that whosoever shall fall uppon itt, itt will destroy him.b I shall propose this to your Honours, to weigh the grounds, whether they bee right, and then you shall bee led in pleasant pathes by still waters, and shall nott bee offended. I thinke this is the reason of the straights that are in hand.
I thinke wee should nott lett goe that motion which Lieut. Col. Goffe made, and soe I cannott butt renew that caution that wee should take heede what wee speake in the name of the Lord. As for what that Gentleman spoke last (butt it was with too much confidence) I cannott conceive that hee altogether meant itt. I would wee should all take heede of mentioning our owne thoughts and conceptions with that which is of God. What this Gentleman told us [was] that which [he conceived] was our great fault. Hee alludes to such a place of Scripture. “Wee would have heal’d Babylon, butt shee would nott.” The Gentleman applied itt to us, as that we had bin men that would have heal’d Babylon, and God would nott have had her heal’d. Truly though that bee nott the intent of that Scripture, yett I thinke itt is true, that whosoever would have gone about to heale Babylon when God had determined [to destroy her] hee does fight against God, because God will nott have her heal’d. Indeed when wee are convinc’t that itt is Babylon wee are going about to heale, I thinke itt’s fitt wee should then give over our healing; and yett certainly in generall itt is nott evill to desire an healing. Butt since I heare noe man offering nothing to speake to us as a particular dictate from God, I shall desire to speake a word or two.a I should desire to draw to some conclusion of that expectation of ours. Truly, as Lieut. Col. Goffe said, God hath in severall ages used severall dispensations, and yett some dispensations more eminently in one age then another. I am one of those whose heart God hath drawne out to waite for some extraordinary dispensations, according to those promises that hee hath held forth of thinges to bee accomplished in the later time, and I cannott butt thinke that God is beginning of them. Yett certainly [we do well to take heed], uppon the same ground that wee finde in the Epistle of Peter, where hee speakes of the Scriptures, as “a more sure word of Prophecy” then their testimonies was, to which, says hee, you doe well to take heede, as a light shining in a dark place.a If, when wee want particular and extraordinary impressions, wee shall either altogether sitt still because wee have them nott, and nott follow that light that wee have; or shall goe against, or short of that light that wee have, uppon the imaginary apprehension of such divine impressions and divine discoveries in particular thinges—which are nott soe divine as to carry their evidence with them to the conviction of those that have the spiritt of God within them—I thinke wee shall bee justly under a condemnation. Truly wee have heard many speaking to us; and I cannott butt thinke that in many of those thinges God hath spoke to us. I cannott butt thinke that in most that have spoke there hath bin some thinge of God made forth to us; and yett there hath bin severall contradictions in what hath bin spoken. Butt certainly God is nott the Authour of contradictions. The contradictions are nott soe much in the end as in the way. I cannott see butt that wee all speake to the same end, and the mistakes are onely in the way. The end is to deliver this Nation from oppression and slavery, to accomplish that worke that God hath carried us on in, to establish our hopes of an end of justice and righteousnesse in itt. Wee agree thus farre. I thinke wee may goe thus farre farther, that wee all apprehend danger from the person of the Kinge, and from the Lords. All that have spoke have agreed in this too; though the Gentleman in the windoweb when hee spoke [of] sett[ing] uppe, if hee should declare itt, did nott meane all that that worde might importe. I thinke that seemes to bee generall amonge us all, that if itt were free before us whether wee should sett uppe one or other, there is nott any intention of any in the Army, of any of us, to sett uppe the one [or the other]. I doe to my best observation finde an unanimity amongst us all, that wee would sett uppe neither.a Thus farre I finde us to bee agreed, and thus farre as wee sre agreed I thinke itt is of God. Butt there are circumstances in which wee differ as in relation to this. I must further tell you, that as wee doe nott make itt our businesse or intention to sett uppe the one or the other, soe neither is itt [our intention] to preserve the one or the other, with a visible danger and destruction to the people and the publique interest. Soe that that parte of difference that seemes to bee among us is whether there can bee a preservation [of them with safety to the kingdom]. First of all, on the one parte, there is this apprehension: that wee cannott with justice and righteousnesse att the present destroy, or goe about to destroy, or take away, or [altogether] lay aside both, or all the interest they have in the publique affaires of the Kingdome; and those that doe soe apprehend would straine somethinge in point of security, would rather leave some hazard—or att least, if they see that they may consist without any considerable hazard to the interest of the Kingdome, doe soe farre [wish] to preserve them. On the other hand, those who differ from this, I doe take itt in the most candid apprehension that they seeme to runb thus: that there is nott any safetie or security to the libertie of the Kingedome, and to [the] publique interest, if you doe retaine these at all; and therfore they thinke this is a consideration to them paramount [to] the consideration of particular obligations of justice, or matter of right or due towards Kinge or Lords. Truly I thinke itt hath pleased God to lead mee to a true and clear stating our agreement, and our difference; and if this bee soe wee are the better prepared to goe [on]. If this bee nott soe, I shall desire that any one that hath heard mee [will] declare [it], if hee doe thinke that the thinge is mistated as to our agreement or difference; and I shall goe on, onely in a worde or two to conclude that wee have bin about. As to the dispensations of God itt was more particular in the time of the law [of Moses than in the time of the law] written in our hearts, that worde within us, the minde of Christ;a and truly when wee have noe other more particular impression of the power of God going forth with itt I thinke that this law and this [word] speaking [within us]—which truly is in every man who hath the spiritt of God—wee are to have a regard to; and this to mee seemes to bee very cleare what wee are to judge of the apprehensions of men to particular cases, whether itt bee of God or noe. When itt doth nott carry itts evidence of the power of God with itt to convince us clearlie, our best way is to judge the conformity or disformity of [it with] the law written within us, which is the law of the spiritt of God, the minde of God, the minde of Christ. As was well said by Lieut. Col. Jubbs, for my parte I doe nott know any outward evidence of what proceedes from the spiritt of God more cleare then this, the appearance of meeknesse, and gentlenesse, and mercy, and patience, and forbearance, and love, and a desire to doe good to all, and to destroy none that can bee sav’d;b and as he said of the spiritt of malice, and envy, and thinges of that nature, I cannot but take that to bee contrary to this law. For my parte I say where I doe see this, where I doe see men speaking according to that law, which I am sure is the law of the spiritt of life—And I thinke there is this radically in that heart where there is such a law as leads us against all opposition. On the other hand, I thinke that hee that would decline the doing of justice—where there is noe place for mercy—and the exercise of the wayes of force—for the saftie of the Kingedome where there is noe other way to save itt—and would decline these out of the apprehensions of danger and difficulties in itt, hee that leads that way on the other hand doth truly lead us from that which is the law of the spiritt of Life, the law written in our hearts. And truly having thus declared what wee may apprehend of all that hath bin said, I shall wish that wee may goe on to our businesse; and I shall onely adde severall cautions on the one hand, and the other.
I could wish that none of those whose apprehensions run on the other hand, that there can bee noe safetie in a consistencie with the person of the Kinge or the Lords, or their having the least interest in the publique affaires of the Kingedome, I doe wish them that they will take heede of that which some men are apt to bee carried away by, [that is] apprehensions that God will destroy these persons or that power; for that they may mistake in. And though [I] my selfe doe concurre with them, and perhaps concurre with them uppon some ground that God will doe soe, yett lett us, [not] make those thinges to bee our rule which wee cannott soe clearlie know to bee the minde of God. I meane in particular thinges lett us nott make those our rules, “that this is to bee done, [this] is the minde of God, wee muste worke to itt.”a Att least [let] those to whome this is nott made cleare, though they doe thinke itt probable that God will destroy them, yett lett them make this rule to themselves, though God have a purpose to destroy them, and though I should finde a desire to destroy them—though a Christian spiritt can hardly finde itt for itt self—yett God can doe itt without necessitating us to doe a thinge which is scandalous, or sinne, or which would bringe a dishonour to his name; and therfore let those that are of that minde waite uppon God for such a way when the thinge may bee done without sin, and without scandall too. Surely what God would have us doe hee does nott desire wee should steppe out of the way for itt. This is the caution, on the one hand that wee doe noe wronge to one or other, and that wee abstaine from all appearance of wronge, and for that purpose avoide the bringing of a scandall to the name of God, and to his people uppon whome his name is call’d. On the other hand, I have butt this to say: that those who doe apprehend obligations lying uppon them—either by a generall duty or particularly in relation to the thinges that wee have declar’d, a duty of justice, or a duty in regard of that Engagement—that they would clearlie come to this resolution, that if they found in their judgements and consciences that those Engagements lead to anythinge which really cannott consist with the libertie and safetie and publique interest of this Nation, they would account the Generall [duty] paramount [to] the other, soe farre as nott to oppose any other that would doe better for the Nation then they will doe. If wee doe act according to that minde and that spiritt, and that law which I have before spoken of, and in these particular cases doa take these two cautions, God will lead us to what shall bee his way, as many of us as hee shall incline their mindes to, and the rest in their way in a due time.
I shall desire to speake one word and that breiflie. What’s the reason that wee are distracted in Councill, and that wee cannott as formerly preserve the Kingedome from that dying condition in which itt is? After many inquiries in my spirit I finde this answer, and the answer which is to many Christians besides amongst us. I say [it is] a compliance to preserve that Man of Bloud, and those principles of tyranny which God from Heaven by his many successes hath manifestly declar’d against, and which I am confident may bee our destruction [if they be preserved]. I say nott [this] in respect of any particular persons. I onely speake this [as] what is uppon my spiritt, because I see you are uppon inquiry what God hath given in to any one which may tend to the preservation of the Kingedome.b
I observe that the worke hath bin to inquire what hath bin the minde of God, and every one speakes what is given in to his spiritt. I desire as much as is possible to reverence whatsoever hath the spiritt or image of God uppon itt. Whatever another man hath received from the spiritt, that man cannott demonstrate to mee butt by some other way then meerlie relating to mee that which hee conceives to bee the minde of God. Itt is beyond the power of the reason of all the men on earth to demonstrate the Scriptures to bee the Scriptures written by the spiritt of God; butt itt must bee the spiritt of faith that must make him believe whatsoever may bee spoken in spirituall matters; yett in civill matters wee cannott finde anythinge in the worde of God what is fitt to bee done in civill matters. I conceive that onely is of God that does appeare to bee like unto God, justice and mercy, to bee meeke and peaceable. I should desire therfore that wee might proceede onelie in that way. If itt please this honourable Councill to consider what is justice and what is mercy, and what is good, and I cannott butt conclude that that is of God. Otherwise I cannott thinke that any one doth speake from God when hee sayes what hee speakes is of God.
Butt to the matter in hand, I am clearly of opinion with that Gentleman that spake last save one, that itt is nott of God [to decline the doing of justice] where there is noe way left of mercy; and I could much concurre that itt is very questionable whether there bee a way left for mercy uppon that person that wee now insist uppon. Whether itt is demonstrable by reason or justice [that it is right] to punish with death those that according to his command doe make warre, or those that doe butt hold compliance with them, and then [to say] that there is a way left for mercy for him who was the great actor of this, and who was the great contriver of all? Butt I confesse because itt is in civill matters I would much decline that, and rather looke to what is safetie, what the minde doth dictate from safetie, what is the safetie I know itt cannott bee the minde of God to goe contrary to; butt for what particulars that Gentleman speakes of the differences betweene us, I thinke they are soe many as nott easily to bee reckoned uppe. That which hee instanc’t was that some did desire to preserve the person of the Kinge and person of the Lords, soe farre as itt was [consistent] with the safetie or the good of the Kingedome, and other persons doe conceive, that the preservation of the Kinge or Lords was inconsistent with the people’s safetie, and that law to bee paramount all.
Sir, I did not speake of the destroying of the Kinge and Lords—I have nott heard any man charge all the Lords soe as to deserve a punishment—but [of] a reserving to them any interest att all in the publique affaires of the Kingdome.
Then Sir, as I conceive, you were saying the difference was this: that some persons were of opinion that the preservation of the power of Kinge and Lords was paramount to all considerations, and might keepe them from any giving them what was due and right.
I said, that some men did apprehend, that there might be an interest given to them with safetie to the Kingdome, others doe thinke, that noe parte of their interest could bee given without destruction to the Kingedome.
For the matter of stating the thinge in difference, I thinke that the person of Kinge and Lords are nott soe joyn’d together by any; for as your self said, none have any exception against the persons of the Lords or name of Lords. The difference is whether wee should alter the old foundations of our Governement soe as to give to Kinge and Lords that which they could never claime before. Whereas itt’s said, that those that dissenta looke after alteration of Governement, I doe rather thinke that those that doe dissent doe indeavour to alter the foundation of our Governement, and that I shall demonstrate thus. According to the Kinges oath hee is to grant such lawes as the people shall chuse, and therefore I conceive they are called lawes before they come to him. They are called lawes that hee must confirme, and soe they are lawes before they come to him.b To give the Kinge a legislative power is contrary to his owne oath att his Coronation, and itt is the like to give a power to the Kinge by his negative voice to deny all lawes. And for the Lords, seeing the foundation of all justice is the election of the people, itt is unjust they should have that power.
Therfore I conceive the difference only is this, whether this power should bee given to the King and Lords or noe?
For the later parte of that noble Gentleman’s wordes this may bee said to them, whether this consideration to give themc what is their due right may [not] bee paramount to all engagements?
The Question is nott whether this should bee given to Kinge and Lords, or noe, but the Question is, whether that interest that they have in this, (if they have any) whether itt should bee now positively insisted uppon to bee clearly taken away.
Sir, I suppose that the interest they have if they have any—if (for that supposition is very well put in)—for (as I said before) I conceive that neither Kinge, nor Lords according to the foundation of Governement ever had a right.
I spake itt to you, and those that are of your minde, if you were satisfied nott to have an exception.a
Then I say the whole tenour of the propositions or proposalls must bee alter’d, if any thinge bee in them [allowing the King a negative voice]. I conceive that not to expresse it because it hath bin usurp’t is to confirme his usurpation of itt.b For many yeares this hath bin usurp’t. Now, if after God hath given us the victory over them wee shall nott declare against them, wee give noe security for the peoples libertie.
You speake parte to the point of justice and parte to the point of safetie. To the point of justice you seeme to speake this; that by the fundamentall constitutions of this Kingedome, neither Kinge nor Lords have rightfully a negative voice; and therefore to take itt away or to cleare itt that they have none is butt justice. I thinke that is itt, that [by] the fundamentall constitution, neither of them [have a negative voice].
You seeme to argue onely from the Kinges oath, and then you conclude, if as appeares by that they had itt nott before, though wee all bee satisfied wee would say nothing to give them itt, yett if wee doe nott expreslie take itt away, nay if wee doe send itt to any of them—wee doe leave to them a power to assent or dissent, and give them that which wee had before. Soe you well remember that that which you argue of the Kinge’s Oath, and I know for my owne parte noe other [evidence] then an old Statute or two cited in the Declarationa wherin the Commons declare—
I remember I spoke itt, and I speake itt againe, and that that is the intent I doe verily beleive: that the originall sence and intention of the Oath of the Kinge’s which is published in that Declaration of the Commons was, and is, and ought to bee, that the Kinge ought to confirme those lawes that the Commons chuse. Now whether this Kinge bee soe bound by his Oath, as that hee breakes his Oath if hee doe not confirme every law that they seeke, I conceive that depends uppon what hee did verily at his coronation make his Oath; butt I thinke that in the sence and intention of the people of the Kingedome their intention was that hee should confirme all the lawes that they should chuse. Butt you must take notice, that the Oath doth take them [as] lawes before hee should make them; itt calls them lawes, the lawes in Election, Quas vulgus elegerit. The Kinge promises that hee will by his aucthority confirme those lawes that the people shall chuse, soe that this showes clearly what use in the constitution of the Kingedome they made of the Kinge in the Commonwealth. The Commons are to chuse the lawes and the Kinge to confirme, they had this trust to the Kinge would confirme what they should chuse, and hee confirming them they were firme lawes. I doe really believe, that this was the Agreement that the people of England made with their Kinges; that is, they would have him give his consent to what lawes they should chuse and soe to have that implicite use. Butt this is most apparent, both by the Oath ittself, and by all the practice since—the sending of lawes to the Kinge—by all that itt is apparent, that they had some relation to the Kinge and to his consent in the making of a law.b This I am sure, if itt were never soe cleare in the Constitution that they were good lawes without itt, yett this is cleare—if that were true in the originall Constitution of this Kingedome this is cleare—that they have [been] sent still to him to bee confirm’d; as the word was to bee confirm’d or corroborated, Leges quas vulgus elegerit corroborandas.
I thinke if wee doe [take into] account all the sending of lawes heeretofore to bee corroborated by him, and if his denying of some of them—nott absolutely denying butt advising—if these have nott at all prejudic’t [the right of] the people against his Negative voice, soe the sending of propositions now for his assent cannott prejudice the right of the people more then all their sending [laws to him] before. If wee should putt itt to the Kinge as his act—The Parliament have declar’d itt and asserted itt, that itt is their right that the Kinge ought nott to deny any [laws they offer to him]; itt is his Oath. They have gone thus much farther, that if hee did not confirme them they were lawes without him. Uppon this there hath bin a warre made. They have gone to make all lawes and ordinances that were needfull for the management of the affaires of the Kingedome without the Kinge. Itt is now come to a period. Soe that De facto itt is thus, they have made lawes, and held them forth to the Kingedome [as laws]. Now if the Kinge by his act doe confirme what the Parliament have done, and condemne all that have bin against the Parliament, whether hee doe nott acknowledge to all posteritie, that in case of safety, when the Parliament doth adjudge the safetie of the Kingedome to bee concern’d they are to make a law without him? For my parte I thinke there can bee nothing more cleare then this is. For my owne particular I doe apprehend that there is that generall right [in the Parliament] that the lawes [it shall pass] ought to bee confirm’d [by the King]; ita is my thoughts, that without anythinge of the Kinge’s Declaration to that purpose, in point of safetie where they cannott dispense with the suspending of the Kinge, they are a law without him. This the Parliament hath declar’d, and this is asserted in all the Declarations that have bin sent out, and [this is] the ground that I have proceeded [on] in those proposalls of the Armie. That “in a case of safetie” was provided for in those matters that I have spoke of. I account them materially and essentially provided for in those;a and if I had nott, for my parte I should never have rested or bin satisfied in that point, and in other points there might have bin a dispensation with a suspending. Notwithstanding the liberty of the Kingedome hath bin provided for in this, that there should nott bee any thinge done or lawes made without the consent of the people.b
I thinke if soe bee that this business of the Negative voice bee all the dispute, wee shall all agree in itt; for itt appear’d by what you spake the other night that hee ought to have his Negative voice taken away.
The Scotts have made provision, that hee should have noe Negative voice among them, and why should nott wee make the same provision with them?
Those thinges that the Committee did prepare and they proceeded in last night will almost end us this dispute. Wheras itt was desired that we should take into consideration the severall Heads to bee insisted uppon as fundamentall lawes that wee must stand [to] for the establishing of the Kingdome—They are still [things held to be necessary] in relation to the security of the Kingdome.
The Proposall read.a
That some thinges in the Agreement were granted there.
To Debate whether or noe when the Commons Representative doe declare a law itt ought nott to passe without the Kinge’s consent.b
Truly this is all; whether honour, title, estate, liberty, or life, [if] the Commons have a minde to take itt away by a law [they can do so]; soe that to say you are contented to leave them all, this [negative] being taken away, is as much as to say you are to allow them nothing. Consider how much of this dispute is saved, [by] this that is read to you. It gives the negative voice to the people, noe lawes can bee made without their consent. And secondly itt takes away the negative voice of the Lords and of the Kinge too, as to what concernes the people; for itt says that the Commons of England shall bee bound by what judgements and alsoe [by] what orders, ordinances, or lawes shall bee made for that purpose by them; and all that followes for the King or Lords is this, that the Lords or King are nott bound by that law they passe for their owne persons or estates as the Commons are, unlesse they consent to itt. Therfore what is there wanting for the good or safety of the Commons of England?c
That if the Negative voice bee taken away, then if the Kinge or Lords were taking courses destructive how should they bee prevented?
Itt is further provided if they will meddle in any other offices, as Officers of Justice or Ministers of State in this Kingdome, then they likewise are soe farre subject to the Judgement of the House of Commons. If they onely stand as single men, their personall interest and the like [is secured], and the right of being only judged by their peeres, anda their individuall persons [are not bound] by any law that they doe nott consent to.
If the Lords should joyne together by their interest in the Kingedome, and should act against the Commons, then the Commons had noe way to helpe themselves.
Iff itt come to a breach of the peace itt will come to breake some law. That a Lord is subject to the common law. The Lords heertoforeb [as] to the breaches of peace have bin subject to the common law; only for the matter of fact, whether guilty or nott guilty of the breach of such a law, they must bee tryed by their Peeres. Wee have stood very much for ourselves that wee should bee judged by our Peeres, and by our fellow Commoners; I would faine know this, how wee can take away that right of Peeres to bee tryed by their Peeres when that itt is a point of right for the Commons to bee tryed by their Peeres.c
That the lawes that binde the Commons are exclusive to the Lords.
I would faine know this whether the High Sheriff in every County of the Kingedome [may not apprehend a Lord who breake the peace], and I am sure the law hath provided for the keeping of the peace. I know that there is noe law butt the chief justice of the Kinge’s Bench, nay the Sheriff of a County, nay the Constable of any towne may seize uppon him.
If a Petty Constable or Sheriff shall apprehend a Peere of the Kingedome, whether hee can answer itt?
That if a Lord shall bee accused, and by a Jury found guilty, hee will expect to bee tryed by his Peeres.
I would proceede to the thinges in hand. Though I protest I would nott widen a difference, yett I conceive the difference is as wide as ever; for in what’s there provided the interest of the Kinge and Lords is given away which the Lord by a Judgement from heaven hath laid aside.a I conceive [that in] this [article] concerning the succession of Parliaments [it] is proposed positively that itt shall bee as Trienniall Parliaments were.b
You did in your way propose a certainty or nott; if you did nott propose itt how farre—That which you propose is, the people shall meete; you neither say where nor when. Wee say [with such provision] for the certainty of itt [as in the late Act made for Trienniall Parliaments]. That Act tells you particularly; butt because you must make a new provision for itt, since you must make a New Division and distribution of the Kingedome and a New Circuite, therfore itt sayes, “with such further provision as shall bee made for reducement [of it] to a certainty.”a
That hee does take exception att [the provision] that noe man should bee chosen that hath nott 20li a yeare.
If Mr. Wildman thinke fitt to [let me] goe on without taking an advantage to every particular as itt is read, [he may shew afterwards] what they are that doe render these propositions soe destructive, and give the King and Lords such an interest as they never had before, if hee will take them uppon his memory, and by the way. I hope Mr. Wildman will nott offer such an assertion butt hee hath arguments to make itt good.
I onely affirme that itt doth establish the Kinge’s and Lords’ interest surer than before.
Wee doe agree that all the Commons of England are bound, [by whatever laws the House of Commons shall pass;] butt the Kinge and Lords as to their persons are nott bound; butt if any of them bee an officer or Minister of State then hee is to bee subject [to the judgment of the House of Commons].
How does itt reach the Kinge and nott a Lord?
Every Lord is nott a Minister of Justice, butt if there bee any other difference they are tryed by their Peeres.
Itt is offer’d to make them capable of being chosen.
Every Baron by the other exception may bee chosen.
Is itt nott soe in Scotland?
In Scotland every Lord hath his place as Burgesse.a
Why should nott the Lords have the same priviledge?b
I should thinke that [w]as the directest interest to the Kingedome in the world, for that for soe many persons to bee the permanent interest in the House, every two yeares—
I was speaking to this of the Negative. I doe remember on Saturday last wee were att this pitch, and there I did leave itt; itt did concurre with my sence, and that was this: that all the power of making lawes should bee in those that the people should chuse, the Kinge and Lords should serve onely to this end, that lawes should bee presented to them, that if they would doe the Commons that right as to confirme those lawes they should doe itt; butt if they should nott thinke fitt to signe them, itt should begett a review of that by the House of Commons; and if after a review the House of Commons did declare that was for the safetie of the people, though neither Kinge nor Lords did subscribe, yett itt was a standing and binding law; and therfore wee shall nott neede to feare to take a shadow when they can doe us little hurt. This was what I did then suppose agreed uppon.
’Tis true, Saturday night wee were thinking of that, butt wee had an eye to that of safetie, that is provided for by the Commons. Noe mony can bee raised, noe warre raised, butt by those that the Commons shall chuse. Butt that which was questioned in the name the safety and securing of safety that thought itt fitt that they should have a liberty to preserve one another, and soe wee thought to putt itt to consideration. That the Commons should make soe much use of the Lords in all affaires, they might occasion a review, butt if the Commons should uppon that review thinke itt fitt, itt should bee look’t uppon as a law; but instead of that the Committee voted last night—That whether the Commons of England should bee bound by all the lawes past in the House of Commons, or whether itt should bee valid in the case of safetie, that which you speake of will follow. If there doe butt continue such a thinge as Lords, and they doe nott sitt joynctlie with the House of Commons, then the Lords will agree, or otherwise the Commons will doe itt presently themselves.a
If they bee injur’d they have nott a remedy.
That’s all that can bee said. The Question is whether there bee soe much neede of giving them a power to preserve themselves against the injuries of the Commons. They are nott capable of Judgement as to their persons unlesse itt bee as they are Officers of State. Onely the truth of itt is, there is this seemes to bee taken away [by taking away their judicial power]. If a man doe come and violently fall uppon them in the Court, or doe any such thinge, they have noe power to preserve themselves, and all their way will bee to complaine to the House of Commons.a
I conceive that whilest wee thus run into such particulars there is very little probability of coming to satisfaction. The case as there itt is stated in the Agreement is generall; and itt will never satisfie the godly people in the Kingedome unlesse that all Governement bee in the Commons, and freely. Truly I conceive that according to what is there propounded the power of the House of Commons is much lessen’d—from what itt is of right, nott [from] what itt is now by usurpation of Kinge and Lords. Wheras itt’s said, that noe law shall bee made without the consent of the Commons, itt doth suppose some other law makers besides the Representative of the Commons. Wheras itt is said, that the Lords in some cases should sitt as an House of Parliament to consent to lawes, doth give them that power which they never had before the Warres; for as your self said of the Kinge’s Oath, itt sayes, that the King shall consent to such lawes as the people shall chuse, butt the Lords have noe power. If there bee a liberty to the Kinge to give them a title of honour they ought to bee under all lawes, and soe they ought to concerne them as well as all others; which I conceive is diminished in those particulars. Besides the generall current of the whole offer runs that nothing shall bee declar’d against that usurpation in the Kinge formerly, nor in the Lords formerly, and soe itt remaines perpetually dubious. They shall say, though itt does nott concerne mee in my private yett itt does in my politique; and noe law can bee made butt itt must bee sent to the Kinge and Lords, and that must occasion a review; and soe they must have recourse to the unrighteous for righteousnesse, and soe longe as itt is nott clearly declar’d that hee hath noe power to deny itt, and that they neede nott addresse themselves to him, the Kingedome cannott bee in safetie, butt his owne partie may gett uppe, and doe what hee will.a
This businesse is much heightned. That I doe nott know by all that hath bin said that the Kinge or Lords are more fastened then before. Wee heere talke of lawes by ancient Constitution, and by usurpation, and yett I doe nott finde that the gentleman that speakes of them doth shew [any evidence] what was the ancient Constitution, nor of [that] usurpation, butt onely [the evidence] of the Kinge’s Oath; and that is drawne as taking itt for granted that by ancient Constitution there were lawes without the Kinge’s consent. For that [question of the oath] I did before cleare [it] sufficiently by comparing that with other evidence; for if wee could look uppon that as an evidence paramount to all, that needed nott bee soe much insisted uppon. If this Gentleman can finde noe law in being in this Kingedome which hath nott Lords to itt, and Kinge to itt, expreslie, and, “Bee itt ordain’d by the Kinge, Lords, and Commons”—if itt alwayes have gone soe, and noe interruption and noe memory of any kinde of proceeding to the contrarie, but that all lawes past by the Commons have bin sent to the Lords for their concurrence—The Lords have [made amendments and] sent downe [to the Commons] for their concurrence, they have had conferences, and when they could nott agree, the Commons have lett itt rest and nott insisted uppon itt. Wee must look uppon these together with that testimonie of the Kinge’s Oath as evidences of what is Constitution. But, wheras those other thinges that are numerous and cleare evidences doth in expresse termes relate to the Lords, when I doe consider the consequences of that Oath, I doe conclude either that the word ‘vulgus’ is concludeda to comprehend all Lords and Commons; or else itt is thus, that the two great powers of this Kingedome are divided betwixt the Lords and Commons; and itt is most probable to mee that itt was soe. That the judiciall power was in the Lords principally, and the House of Commons yett to have their concurrences, the Legislative power principally in the Commons, and the Lords’ concurrences in practice to bee desired. Itt is a cleare and knowne thinge, that by the Constitution of the Kingedome, the House of Commons cannot makeb an Oath, butt if they will have an Oath given they must resort to the Lords. Besides all the Judges of Common Law in the Kingedome sitt as assistants to the Lords. Uppon this the practice hath bin that in any private cause wherin unjust sentence hath bin past in another court a Writt of Errour may bee judg’d there.c Itt is beyond all record or memory. Soe that these two powers of the Legislative power and the judiciall have bin exercised betweene both Lords and Commons, and none of them to exercise the one or the other without mutuall consent. I desire this Gentleman, or any other that argues uppon the other parte [to] that wee are uppon—unlesse they will produce some kinde of evidence of history uppon record by law—that they will forbeare arguments of that nature, calling such thinges usurpations from Constitution or from right, and insist uppon thinges of common safetie as supposing noe constitution att all.a
Contrary to Resolution I must now speake, whether itt bee from the Lord, or noe I know nott. What foundation had the Commons of England to sitting (being 200 yeares in sitting), for in Kinge Henry the third’s time when Magna Charta was finished (which by computation was 200 yeares) and this was granted to the Lords Spirituall [and] Temporall, and Edward the sonne was called to bee a witnesse, but when the Lords saw that they were nott stronge enough to sitt in that magnificence the Commons were drawne in, and that in that law the Kinges Oath should come in. Now had itt nott bin a fundamentall law the Commons should nott have bin drawne uppe, butt that they did drive uppe is cleare, and what will become of us if wee drive uppe to noe other purpose butt to support a Norman prerogative? The Lord knoweth, nott I.
I thought this Gentleman had had some answer to this matter of History. As to the Norman Conquest, if subjection to a kinge bee a tyranny, [we had a King before the Norman Conquest]; the Question was betweene him and the Conquerour who had the right of the Crowne, soe as wee should nott seeme to derive all our tyranny from the Norman Conquest.b I cannott butt wonder att the strange inferences that are made. Hee tells us, that there is noe memory of the Commons having any interest in the Legislative power till Edward the First’s time; and then [that] the Lords Spirituall and Temporall they found themselves not strong enough in King Henry the Third’s time, and therfore they brought them in; and yett would certainly have us to beleive, that the Commons had all the right before [the Conquest].
In Alfred’s time, the Commons had all the power, and the Kinge hang’d 43 in one yeare.a
That the Commissary Generall is willing to lay that of Constitution aside, and that of Custome aside, and to consider the equality and reasonableness of the thinge, and nott to stand uppon Constitution, which wee have broken againe and againe. I doe nott finde in all the reading that I have done, I doe nott know that ever the Commons made warre with the Kinge, the Barons did.
That besides the Oath hee found, that one of the maine Articles against Richard the Second [was], that hee did nott concurre with and agree uppon those wholesome lawes were offer’d him by the Commons for the safety of the people.b If that were soe great a right as did depose him, itt is in the Kingdome [still], and therfore lett us goe to the justice of the thinge. That justice and reason doth nott give to the major parte . . . .
You would have us lay aside arguments of Constitution, and yett you have brought the strongest that may bee. I have seene the Articles of Richard the Second, and itt is strange that the Parliament should nott insist uppon that.
That is nott the thinge that I would consider of.
I suppose noe man will make a Question, that that may bee justice and equity uppon noe Constitution, which is nott justice and equitie uppon a Constitution. As for instance in the matter of a common &c.
I wish butt this, that wee may have a regard to safetie—safetie to our persons, safetie to our estates, safetie to our libertie. Lett’s have that as the law paramount, and then lett us regard positive constitution as farre as itt can stand with safetie to these. Now therfore, thus for my parte I confesse itt, if I should have ever given a consent in my heart to propound any thinge that did nott consist with this, with regard to any Constitution whatsoever—butt for my parte I cannott see that any thinge butt safetie is provided for. Wheras Mr. Wildman sayes, that many godly men would nott bee satisfied with this that wee have read—which amounts to this: that the Commons have power to make lawes for all the Commons of England, that onely the person of the Kinge and persons of the Lords with their estates as persons are freed from them—I doe nott see theya are satisfied with anythinge without having a power over other men’s liberties.
Wheras you are pleased to say I produced noe other evidence, Col. Rainborow brought another, because you did confesse the Lords had noe other power in making lawes.
I never confest itt in my life, [otherwise] then [by] the recitation of that Oath “which the people shall chuse.”
I could wish wee should have recourse to principles and maximes of just Governement [instead of arguments of safety] which are as loose as can bee.b
The Governement of Kinges or of Lords is as just as any in the world, is the justest Governement in the world. “Volenti non fit injuria.” Men cannott wronge themselves willinglie, and if they will agree to make a Kinge, and his heires, there’s noe injustice. They may either make itt hereditary or elective. They may give him an absolute power or a limited power. Heere hath bin Agreements of the people that have agreed with this. There hath bin such an Agreement when the people have fought for their libertie, and have established the Kinge againe.
’Twas their superstition to have such an opinion of a Great Man.a
Any man that makes a bargaine, and does finde afterwards ’tis for the worse, yett is bound to stand to itt.
They were couzen’d as wee are like to bee.
I would nott have you talke of principles of juste Governement when you hold that all Governements that are sett uppe by consent are just. [Argue instead that] such or such a way that can consist with the libertie of the people. Then wee shall goe to cleare reason. That’s one maxime, that all Governement must bee for the safetie of the people.
Lett us keepe to that businesse of safetie. ’Tis uppon the matter solelie in the people. [By] what hath bin propos’d in that I give Kinge and Lords [opportunity] to doe mee a curtesie if they will—a
Itt is onely an opportunity—and shew themselves as willing as the Commons. Lett us nott fight with shadowes.
Wee doe nott know what opportunity God will give us.b If God will destroy Kinge or Lords hee can doe itt without cur or your wronge doing. If you take away all power from them, which this clearlie does, butt [do nott] take away all kinde of destruction of them from other men, then you doe them wronge too. Their having a [security from] destruction from other men cannott doe us wronge. That you can doe to the utmost for the[ir] safetie is this, that a Lord or Kinge may preserve his owne person or estate free from the Commons. Now whether this can bee destructive to the Commons that soe few men should bee distinct from a law made by the Commons, especially when wee have lawes made as to the preserving of the peace of the Kingdome and preserving every man in his right? The King and Lords are suable, impleadable in any Court. The Kinge may bee sued and tryed by a Jury, and a Lord may bee sued and tryed per Pares onely, a Knight by Esquires. What needes more where there are such lawes already that the Kinge and Lords are soe bound?
I conceive that the difference does not lie heere, butt whether the Kinge shall soe come in, that the Parliament must make their addresses themselves unto him for [the confirmation of] every thinge they passe. Whether itt bee a shadow or noe, I thinke itt is a substance when nothing shall bee made but by addresse to the Kinge. This will bee very shamefull in future Chronicles, that after soe much bloud there should bee noe better an issue for the Commons.
Doe you thinke wee have nott lawes good enough for the securing of [the] rights [of the Commons?]
I thinke [that] according to the letter of the law, if the King will [he may] kill mee by law. Aske any lawiers of itt; by the letter of the present law hee may kill mee, and 40 more, and noe law call him to account for itt.a
I thinke noe man will thinke itt, that when the Kinge stands thus bound with soe many Lawsb about him, and all the Commons of England bound to obey what law [the House of Commons] doe make, lett any man guesse whether the Kinge, as hee is a single person, will hazard himself to kill this, or that, or any other man.
Itt will bee thought boldnesse in mee [not] to agree. If God will open your hearts to provide soe that the Kinge may nott doe mee injury I shall bee glad of itt. If nott, I am butt a single man, I shall venture myself and [my] share in the common bottome.
Resolved, That the Councill bee adjourned till to-morrow and soe from day to day till the proposalls bee all debated, and the same Committee to meete againe.
November 2, 1647
Att the Meeting of the Committee.
1. That the power of this and all succeeding Representatives of the Commons in Parliament doth extend on the behalf and as to the whole interest of all the Commons of England to the enacting,Nemine contradicente. altering, and repealing of lawes, to the conclusive exposition and Declaration of law, and to finalla judgement without further appeale, and generally to all thinges concerning the Commonwealth whatsoever is nott by the represented reserved to themselves as is heerafter expressed.
2. That noe law shall bee repealed, nor any new law or ordinance made to bind the Commons of England,Agreed. nor any Parliamentary Judgement, triall, order, or other proceeding valid against any Commoner,Major Corbett;b noe. without the particular concurrence and consent of the House of Commons, except in case of actuall violence or affront done by a Commoner to the House of Peeres as a Court; and in that case noe further proceeding to bee valid, butt by the House of Commons, saving to the securing or imprisoning of the offender’s person till hee can bee tryed.
3. That noe Commoner of England shall be exempt from butt shall bee subject to and concluded by the power and judgement of the House of Commons without further appeale,Agreed. as alsoe to and by all such orders, ordinances, and lawes, or expositions and Declarations of law,Nemine contradicente. as shall bee made, past, and insisted on by that House, except in such fundamentall thinges as are by the people electing generally reserved to themselves, as is heerafter expressed.
4. That noe person whatsoever being an officer of Justice or Minister of State shall bee exempt from,Agreed. butt shall bee accountable and subject to the same power and judgement of the House of Commons for any mal-administration of his place to the hurt or damage of the Commonwealth;Nemine contradicente. butt the persons of peeres, otherwise then in such capacity as aforesaid, shall bee tryed and judged onely by their Peeres.
Agreed.5. That noe person whatsoever soe adjudged by Parliament as before shall bee capable of protection or pardon from the Kinge, or to have their fines remitted, without the advice or consent of Parliament,Nemine contradicente. nor such fines to bee disposed of otherwise then by the same judgement, advice, or consent shall bee directed.
Agreed.6. That in all Elections of Representatives for the people these thinges following are by the people electing reserved to themselves, and soe generally to bee understood, to witt:Nemine contradicente.
1. Matters of Religion and the wayes of God’s worshippe, as to any positive compulsion there, are nott intrusted to any humane power.
2. That the matter of impresting or constrayning any free commoner of England to serve in the warres, any further or otherwise then for the imediate defence of this Kingdome and keeping the peace within itt, is likewise reserved.
3. That noe Commoner bee henceforth questioned for any thinge said or done in reference to or prosecution of the late warre or publique contests within this Kingdome, otherwise then by the judgement or with the concurrence of the present House of Commons, or in execution or prosecution of such judgement.
4. That the matter and effect of the preceding Articles, To witt, First, Concerning the certaine succession of Bienniall Parliaments.a Then the 2d Concerning the certainty of their sitting. Likewise the matter of the 6th, and the particulars under itt concerning the clearing of the power of Parliaments in future as to the interest of the people therin, and soe much of the intent of the 5th as concernes the equall distributing of future Representatives, are reserved by the people represented as their fundamentall rights nott to bee given away or abrogated by their Representatives.
Added to the Committee.
Lt. Col. Salmon.
That the said Committee shall prepare such other particulars to bee presented to the Parliament as they shall finde necessary in relation to our former Declarations, and likewise to prepare a Declaration to bee sent with them to the Parliament and Kingedome, to bee tendred to this generall Councill for their consideration att the next Meeting.
And if there appeare any likelihood, that the Parliaments propositions for peace may bee sent to the Kinge before the said Declaration and particulars can bee sent from the Army to the Parliament, then the said Committee are to move the Generall that the Parliament in the name of this Councill may bee desired to suspend the sending of their propositions to the King untill some thinges that wee have to offer shall bee tendred to them, which wee hold essentiall to the liberty and peace of this Kingedome.
Putney, 3o Novemb. 1647.
[a ]The first article is, “That the people of England, being at this day very unequally distributed by Counties, Cities, and Burroughs, for the election of their Deputies in Parliament ought to be more indifferently proportioned, according to the number of the Inhabitants; the circumstances whereof, for number, place, and manner, are to be set down before the end of this present Parliament.”
[a ]I take these words to be the remark of some interruptor, probably Cowling.
[a ]MS. “I.”
[b ]i. e., “the laws and rule of those;” or possibly “the laws and rule which those shall choose who taken together,” etc.
[a ]p. 296.
[b ]A vote, the right of exercising his reason by electing a representative.
[c ]Rainborow’s argument seems to be, “God gave man reason that he might use it, and though the poorest man may have no property yet he has his reason and he was meant to use it. It may be a small right but it is something, and you are not justified in taking from him any right God has given him.” See the same argument stated by the agitators. Case of the Army stated, p. 21.
[a ]Any fixed interest to entitle him to a vote.
[b ]The position of the last two sentences has been altered.
[a ]See p. 299; and also the note.
[b ]See p. 296.
[a ]MS. “a man.”
[b ]MS. “the same.”
[a ]MS. “men.”
[a ]The order of the first few sentences of this speech has been changed.
[a ]i. e. “The franchise,” see pp. 315, 316.
[b ]MS. “itt is.”
[c ]This part of Rainborow’s speech is too fragmentary to follow his arguments, but his two speeches on pp. 315, 316, supplement it.
[a ]MS. “the man when they are.”
[a ]The constitution proposed in the “Agreement of the People.”
[b ]i. e. “The franchise.”
[a ]MS. “an.”
[b ]The passage may be thus paraphrased: “But here is the great objection to the rule that you go by. By that rule by which you infer this to be the right of the people, of every inhabitant, you infer also that because every man hath such a right in nature—though it be not of necessity for the preserving of his life—that therefore you are to overthrow the most fundamental constitution of the kingdom for it. Now show me why, by the same rule, by the same right of nature, you will not claim the use of anything any man hath that is necessary for the sustenance of men.”
[c ]MS. “this man.”
[d ]MS. “mee.”
[a ]i. e. “Limited to possessors of freeholds worth 40s. a year. Cowling is giving his theory of the object of the statute of Henry VI. limiting the franchise to persons having free land or tenement to the value of 40s. by the year.”
[a ]The word “fitt” should perhaps be “fixt.” “It is now fixed that the electors must not choose men to make laws who have no permanent interest in the kingdom.”
[b ]These, i. e. “these foreigners.”
[a ]Should be, “to constitute, i. e. to legislate, according to the just ends of government, not simply to maintain what is already established.”
[b ]“That gentleman,” i e. Rainborow, see p. 304.
[a ]Probably should be “hath a right by nature that.” But see p. 303.
[a ]The meaning apparently is, “Why should I have any interest in determining what the law of a land shall be, if I am not obliged to live under it.”
[b ]Colonel Rich, p. 315.
[a ]The position of these two clauses has been changed, but the latter part of the speech seems hopelessly confused.
[a ]“Itt,” possibly means “the liberty of the people,” referring to Rainborow’s speech.
[a ]“Those two,” i. e. Cromwell and Ireton.
[b ]If this Agreement be not accepted I will still not give up my birthright.
[c ]Probably refers to the speech of Colonel Rich, that poor voters would sell their votes, or otherwise destroy the kingdom.
[a ]i. e. Sexby.
[b ]MS., “every christian spirit ought to bear that, to carry that.”
[a ]MS. “men.”
[b ]Clause transposed from two lines above.
[c ]MS. “all the souldiers have.”
[a ]Possibly a reference to the parable of Jotham, Judges, ix. Or perhaps one should read “scrub.”
[b ]MS. “lie.”
[c ]MS. “soe.”
[a ]May be paraphrased, “Now let any man shew me why, if we should go to plead, &c., we should stop there?”
[b ]MS. “light.”
[a ]Only the first words of some sentences out of the speech of Hugh Peters are here given. He suggests apparently an arrangement such as the one finally accepted, by which men who had assisted the Parliament should be given votes. Cromwell takes up the suggestion of a compromise, and develops it rather further, proposing the extension of the franchise to copyholders by inheritance.
[b ]Perhaps in that paper (i. e. in the “Heads of the Proposals,” i., § 5) the amendment of the representative may be offered too lamely, and there may be some reflection upon the generality of the people, if the franchise be insisted upon to be limited to the present voters. “Why perhaps there are a considerable number of copyholders by inheritance that ought to have votes,” etc. “This paper” referred to on p. 329 is the “Agreement.”
[c ]Clause transferred from the last lines of the speech.
[a ]Rainborow directly attacks Cromwell and Ireton. His words seem to mean: “If their rules must be observed, if these men must be advanced and other men that are in authority set under foot, I am not satisfied, and I do not see how this council can hold together.”
[b ]Clause transferred from two lines above.
[a ]MS. “in the freedome their choice as free.”
[b ]To Cromwell.
[c ]i. e. our promises, our engagements.
[d ]Compare Clarke’s speech on p. 339, which appears to be merely a second version of this.
[a ]“You” refers to “both,” i. e. Cromwell and Ireton on the one hand, and Sexby and Wildman on the other, vide pp. 329, 330, 335.
[a ]Compare with these remarks about freedom of conscience a similar passage in Cromwell’s third speech in Carlyle’s Cromwell. The remainder of this speech is simply a chaos of detached phrases from different sentences. The argument seems to be, “If you claim liberty to follow your consciences, but will not grant me liberty to follow mine, there is no equality between us. Though we conscientiously believe that under certain circumstances we ought to resign our commands, you taunt us as if we were following our wills instead of our consciences, and accuse us of deserting the cause. Can anything be more harshly said?” In answer to Sexby’s demand for an immediate vote (pp. 324, 330) Cromwell again proposes (as on p. 328) that the question should be referred to a committee to try to make a fair compromise.
[b ]June 5, 1647.
[c ]See the Army’s Declaration of June 14, 1647.
[a ]See the Army Declaration of June 14, and the “Heads of the Proposals of the Army,” § 1.
[a ]The last ten lines of Ireton’s speech are too confused for amendment. They may perhaps be paraphrased thus: “If you will appoint a committee to consider of some more equal distribution of that—so as you preserve the equitable part of that—keeping the franchise to men who are likely to be independent and not given up to the wills of others—thus far I shall agree with you. On the other hand, to those who say ‘I will not go with you except you go further,’ I answer, ‘I will go with you as far as I can, and when I can go no further I will sit down; I will not make any disturbance among you.’ ”
[b ]i.e. Cromwell.
[c ]i.e. Ireton.
[a ]“This,” i. e. the constitution in that paper, in the “Agreement of the People.”
[b ]i. e. “it is disputable.”
[c ]i. e. “The constitution proposed by the ‘Agreement,’ if it were actually established.”
[a ]i. e. “Whether this be a just constitution which says that 40s a year property enables a man to elect? If the question were stated so, etc.”
[b ]See the Engagement of June 5, 1647, which concludes: “We shall study to promote such an establishment of common and equal right and freedom to the whole, as all might equally partake of, but those that do, by denying the same to others, or otherwise, render themselves incapable thereof.”
[a ]I should suggest here “right of nature,” and “principle of the right of nature.”
[a ]I take this speech of Clarke’s to be merely a second version of the speech on p. 330, not a new speech. It will be observed that Waller does not answer Clarke but Chillenden.
[b ]To Cromwell, who was presiding in the absence of Fairfax.
[a ]Rushworth, vii., 913, 944.
[a ]MS. “leave this.”
[b ]Compare the reasons against the “Bill for a new Representative,” given in Cromwell’s first speech in Carlyle’s Cromwell. In this paragraph the position of several clauses has been altered.
[c ]MS. “every.”
[a ]Vide pp. 226, 233, 258, 276, 285, 288.
[b ]The clauses making up these three sentences have been transposed. Lines 15-30 on p. 343, “It was told mee . . . manifest unto you,” seem properly to belong to this portion of the speech.
[a ]On the rule referred to, see “Heads of the Proposals of the Army,” i. § 5.
[a ]The Army in their Engagement of June 5 declared that they would not disband till they had such satisfaction for their grievances and desires as soldiers and such security for their rights as private men as should appear sufficient to the General Council of the Army then established. “Without such satisfaction and security we shall not willingly disband, nor divide, nor suffer ourselves to be disbanded or divided” (Rushworth, vi., 512). On this subject the following observations are made in the Case of the Army stated, p. 2.
[a ]Scroope’s Regiment had been at Holdenby, where a part of it was employed in guarding the King.
[b ]MS. “they goe to scandalise an engagement or to devide.”
[a ]Throughout this speech of Ireton’s the sentences in the MS. are so broken and confused that much re-arrangement was necessary to make the sense intelligible. Compare the “Remonstance of his Excellency, Sir Thomas Fairfax, and the Council of War, concerning the late discontent and distraction in the Army” (November 14, 1647). It was evidently based on this speech and was probably drawn up by Ireton.
[a ]Ireton compares “the Heads of the Proposals of the Army,” published Aug. 1, 1647, with “the Agreement of the People,” first as to the basis to be taken in the equalisation of the constituencies, secondly as to the date to be fixed for the dissolution of Parliament, thirdly as to the question of the powers of the House of Commons.
[b ]i. e. the Agreement.
[a ]Clause 4 of the Agreement: “That the powers of this and all future representatives of this Nation, is inferior only to those who chuse them, without the consent or concurrence of any other person or persons” (i. e. King or Lords).
[b ]May be paraphrased: “If any man will put it to the question whether we shall concur with that, I am willing to concur with it, provided you put the question with that limitation that hath bin all along acknowledged by the Parliament, that is where the safetie of the kingdom is concerned. Till we can acquit ourselves justly from any engagement, new or old, that we stand in to preserve the persons and rights of the King and Lords so far as they are consistent with the common right—till that be done I think there is reason that exception should continue.” The rest is too chaotic.
[c ]In the Declaration of June 14 the words used are, “so far as may consist with the right and freedom of the subject and the security of the same for the future.”
[d ]The position of this clause has been altered.
[e ]“I do agree,” etc., as on p. 351.
[a ]The controversy between the King and Parliament as to the meaning of the King’s Coronation Oath had been very bitter in 1642. It then turned chiefly on the interpretation of the word “elegerit.”
[b ]i. e. “I did not then desire it so much as I do now.”
[c ]i. e. The consent of the King and the Lords is now necessary to the making of all laws.
[a ]The three passages given in brackets are supplied from the Case of the Army, p. 20.
[b ]Compare Wildman’s Putney Projects, p. 40: “Although the Lords are the very offspring of the King’s corrupt will; and were never so honoured by the people, as to have a trust committed to them to represent any county; yet those Proposals invest them with the highest authority only because of the King’s Pattent. (1.) The Proposals allow them a power over the Militia, coordinate, and coequal, to the representative of all the nation, the Commons in Parliament; thus in the first and second property of the Second Proposal, the power of the Militia, etc. for ten years, to be disposed of by the Lords and Commons.”
[a ]The Case of the Army, p. 6, observes:—
[a ]This refers to Parliamentary privilege, which is aimed at in the fourth clause in the Agreement: “That in all lawes made or to be made every person may be bound alike, and that no tenure, estate, charter, degree, birth, or place, doe conferre any exemption from the ordinary course of legal proceedings whereunto others are subjected.” This is explained to mean, “That whereas now severall persons are by an usurped power exalted above the law and protected from due process at law, viz, Lords as Peers, although legally indebted, may not be touched with an arrest, nor be made subject to the censure of the law; whereby they have made little conscience when they have got men’s estates in their hands, to return the same, but have stood upon their prerogative and thereby been protected, to the utter ruin and undoing of many of the free people of England.” The Grand Designe, 1647, by John Harris.
[b ]See the Letter of the Agitators, “For the noble and highly honoured, the Free born people of England,” appended to the “Agreement of the People.”
[a ]Wildman’s argument is given in the Case of the Army, p. 12.
[b ]From 1645 onwards the legislative and judicial powers of the House of Lords had been subject to constant attacks. Edwards, in the third part of his Gangraena, 1646, pp. 148, 196—200, collects a number of the utterances of the Levellers and Sectaries against the House of Lords. “The speeches and writings of the Sectaries against the House of Peers within this last six months or thereabouts are fearful and strange, tending apparently to the total overthrow of the House of Peers and of having any Lords in this kingdom, denying them all legislative and judicial power, and giving it all to the House of Commons, or rather to that beast with many heads, the common people.” The leaders of this attack were John Lilburne and Richard Overton. See An Alarum to the House of Lords, 1646, and Overton’s An Arrow against all Tyrants and Tyranny shot from the prison of Newgate into the Prerogative Bowels of the Arbitrary House of Lords. On three separate occasions the privileges of the House of Lords seem to have been guaranteed: in 1645, on the passing of the self-denying ordinance (Rushworth, vi., 14); and in the summer of 1647 (Vindication of Sir William Waller, pp. 192-6); in January, 1648, after the passing of the vote of no further addresses to the King (Rushworth, vii, 967).
[a ]The text may be paraphrased thus:
[a ]In the Declaration of June 14, it is said: “These things we desire may be provided for by Bill or Ordinance of Parliament to which the royall assent may be desired. When his Majesty in these things, and what else shall be proposed by the Parliament, necessary for securing the Rights and Liberties of the people, and for settling the Militia and peace of the Kingdom shall have given his concurrence to put them past dispute, we shall then desire that the Rights of his Majestie and his Posterity may be considered of, and setled in all things, so farre as may consist with the Right and Freedome of the Subject and with the security of the same for the future.”
[b ]After Clause xvi., the Proposals continue: “Next to the proposalls aforesaid for the present settling of a peace, wee shall desire that no time may be lost by the Parliament for despatch of other things tending to the welfare, ease and just satisfaction of the Kingdom.” A number of grievances are then specially enumerated In the Declaration of Aug. 2, special attention is called to this distinction. “To these proposalls which we here first tender as necessary to a peace . . . we cannot but add the further expression of our desires in some other particulars, which, though not so essential to peace, as necessarily to precede the settling of it, yet being matters of very public, and (most of them) of general grievance to the kingdom: we shall desire, that (the Parliament being set free) no time may be lost for a speedy consideration of them, so as the former things for the present settling of peace be not delayed thereby.”
[a ]The charges referred to are shown by the following passages from the Case of the Army. “The whole intent of the Engagement and the equitable sense of it hath been perverted openly by affirming and by sinister means making seeming determinations in the Council that the Army was not to insist upon or demand any security for their own or other the freeborn people’s freedoms or rights, though they might propound anything to the Parliament’s consideration; and according to that high breach of their engagement their actions have been regulated, and nothing that was declared formerly to be insisted upon hath been resolvedly adhered to, or claimed as the Armie’s or the people’s due.”(p. 3.)
[b ]Heads of the Proposals Articles, vi., xvi.
[a ]Ireton refers first to the petition of the Army drawn up in March, 1647; secondly, to the desires of the Army in relation to themselves as soldiers, September 21, 1647. (Book of Army Declarations, p. 160.)
[b ]This passage may be thus paraphrased: “I think it is true in this, that whoever talks of the soldiers endeavouring to sccure themselves by the swords in their hands, or any other indemnity to be obtained by force, is for the perpetuating of combustions. Talk of that kind is inconsistent with a settlement, and does not suppose a settlement by the authority that has been hitherto acknowledged by us, by the legislative authority of the kingdom. Anyone who expects to get the arrears of the soldiers paid except through Parliament and through such a general settlement deceives himself. For my part, if I am to choose between the payment of my arrears, and the general settlement of the kingdom I would rather lose my arrears.”
[a ]“Let the seventh particular in the first proposal be compared with the fourteenth proposall. In the seventh particular it is proposed ‘that the orders and rules set down by the Commons in Parliament, for the freedom of election of Members and the right constitution of their own house, be as laws,’ thus restraining the King’s negative voice only in that one particular. And in the fourteenth proposal it is expressly desired, ‘that there might be no further limitation to the exercise of the regall power, than according to the foregoing particular’ ” (Putney Projects, p. 32). Wildman also complains that “When the proposalls were first composed there was a small restriction of the King’s negative voice; it was agreed to be proposed that whatever bill should be propounded by two immediate succeeding parliaments should stand in full force and effect as any other law, though the King should refuse to consent” (p. 14). He states that Ireton and Cromwell to please the King expunged this restriction. The position of two clauses in Wildman’s speech has been altered.
[a ]This stipulation occurs also in the “Heads of the Proposals,” (i. § 7), but is not so clearly stated.
[a ]Perhaps this word should be “equity,” see p. 334.
[b ]Probably before 29th November, 1642, when an ordinance was passed for assessing those who had not voluntarily contributed. The third clause of the Agreement of the People (Jan. 1649) suggests May, 1643.
[a ]The substance of the remaining articles is given later, pp. 407, 408.
[b ]Monday, November 1. See Rushworth, iv., part 2, p. 859.
[c ]Francis Allen of Ingoldsby’s regiment; Major Allen of Berkshire, Thurloe, iv., 285.
[a ]John Carter of Hewson’s regiment.
[b ]Henry Lilburne, Lieutenant-Colonel of the regiment of his brother, Robert Lilburne, turned Royalist in 1648, and was killed at the re-capture of Tynemouth Castle, August 11, 1648.
[a ]Considerable, i. e. “to be considered of.” The sense seems to be: “I think they ought to consider whether they intend to suppress the royalists(?) by the power of the Parliament.”
[a ]Philippians iii., 8.
[b ]MS. “yett if wee cannot have.”
[c ]Cromwell’s argument may be thus summed up: “Leave the settlement of government to Parliament, but provide that Parliament be rightly constituted. There may be care taken that future Parliaments be well composed as to their creation and election. Elections to Parliament are sometimes illegal, as for instance for corporations to choose two. I shall desire that there may be a form for the electing of Parliament. Another thing to be provided against is the perpetuity of the same Parliament, there is no security at present that it shall not be perpetual.” The policy advocated is that set forth in the Army Declaration of June 14. Compare Cromwell’s remarks on pp. 328, 336.
[a ]MS. “att least.”
[b ]Cromwell’s general meaning is plain enough, though the illustration he uses is difficult to understand. The Army, he argues, must have some civil authority to support it, therefore it ought to own the authority of the Parliament. He would lay hold of any commission from Parliament, any simulacrum of authority, anything that came from Westminster, from the other side of the Thames. Possibly the illustration was suggested by the story of the multitude of rats swimming over the Tweed, which is told in a news-letter of September, 1647. (Clarendon, State Papers, II., Appendix, xxxix.)
[a ]“We propound: that whatsoever was proposed to be insisted on, either in the Declaration of June the 14, or the Remonstrance of June 23, and in the Remonstrance from Kingston, August 18, be adhered to resolvedly, so as not to recede from these desires, untill they be thoroughly and effectually answered.” Case of the Army, p. 14. On Allen, see Appendix B.
[b ]John Jubbes, Lieutenant-Colonel of Hewson’s regiment, see p. 21. He drew up in the next year, an “Agreement of the People” of his own, entitled “Proposals for Peace and Freedom;” and was probably the author of a second pamphlet called “A Plea for Moderation in the Transactions of the Army, or weighty Observations upon the late Proposalls for Peace presented by the City of London to Comm. Gen. Ireton. By Veritie Victor, gent., 1648.
[a ]I. Kings, xxii. 22; Jeremiah, xliii. 2.
[a ]Cf. p. 284.
[b ]MS. “that in the issue wee may not see that God hath spoken to us.”
[c ]The papers of the committee, which Rainborow had just moved to have read.
[d ]I. Corinthians, xiv. 29.
[a ]“learnt,” i. e. taught.
[a ]Jeremiah, li., 9; xiij., 23.
[b ]Zechariah, xii., 3. Matthew, xxi., 44.
[a ]Several words transposed.
[a ]The Second Epistle of Peter, i. 19.
[a ]i. e. “neither King nor Lords.”
[b ]i. e. “argue.”
[a ]Hebrews, viii., 10; I. Corinthians, ii., 16. So Cromwell elsewhere observes of certain things that they are “written in better books than those of paper; written, I am persuaded, in the heart of every good man.” Carlyle’s Cromwell, Speech II.
[b ]Compare Speech I. in Carlyle’s Cromwell.
[a ]Cf. Cromwell’s speech on p. 185.
[a ]MS. “to.”
[b ]The position of several clauses has been altered.
[a ]Wildman spoke in answer to the gentleman “who spoke last save one,” referring obviously to the long speech here attributed to Cromwell. The difficulty is that Ireton hereupon answers Wildman as if he were the speaker referred to. On the other hand the MS. distinctly attributes the speech to Cromwell, and in many points it is distinctly Cromwellian in style and ideas. Possibly the two brief speeches on this page should be attributed to Cromwell instead of Ireton.
[a ]Apparently means those who subscribe the “Agreement of the People” as opposed to the officers who dissent from it. For the first “dissent,” “assent” should probably be substituted.
[b ]The position of this clause has been changed.
[c ]“Them” i. e. “the people.”
[a ]Ireton says he made the exception to satisfy Wildman and his friends, not because he had any doubts of the fact himself.
[b ]As the power has been usurped, not expressly to take it away is to confirm it.
[a ]Remonstrance of May 26, 1642, and the King’s answer: see Clarendon, Rebellion, v. 224-229, 292-305. See pp. 351, 399. The first part of this sentence seems to be really an interpolation of Wildman’s: “Sir, you very well remember that which you argued of the King’s oath,” referring to Ireton’s speech on p. 351.
[b ]Several words omitted.
[a ]MS. “that.”
[a ]Ireton seems to refer to the first thirteen articles of the “Heads of the Proposals,” which contained the things “necessary for settling and securing the rights, liberties, peace and safety of the kingdom,” the granting of which was to precede the King’s restoration to his personal rights. This plan of taking away the King’s veto with respect to certain specified subjects seems to have been substituted by Ireton for the scheme of giving him a merely suspensive veto which was suggested in the first draft of the “Proposals.” See “Putney Projects,” p. 15.
[b ]See p. 407, resolution 2.
[a ]See p. 407.
[b ]See articles 1 and 2, p. 407.
[c ]See article 4, p. 407.
[a ]MS. “onely.”
[b ]MS. “heertofore have bin subject to the breaches of the peace, have bin subject to the common law.”
[c ]Position of several clauses altered.
[a ]The position of several words has been altered.
[b ]For Wildman’s criticisms see Putney Projects, p. 26; and the “Heads of Proposals” I. 1.
[a ]Ireton again refers to the “Agreement of the People,” Clause 3, and compares it with the first two clauses of the “Proposals of the Army.”
[a ]Unfortunately the article concerning the qualifications of persons to be elected Members of Parliament is not given, but it seems from this debate and from p. 394 that a member was to possess a property qualification of £20 a year, and that a peer might sit in the Lower House if elected, as indeed subsequently took place under the Commonwealth.
[b ]Rainborow asks why the Lords and Commons should not sit together, in one House; and Ireton replies that it would be dangerous to admit so large a permanent element. See p. 397. The position of this question and answer has been changed. In the MS. they follow Ireton’s answer about the trial of Lords by their Peers.
[a ]Robert Titchburne had been appointed by Fairfax, Lieutenant of the Tower, in place of Colonel Francis West (Rushworth, vii. 761). A contemporary thus speaks of Titchburne: “I will not call him Colonel, his commission being illegal, and he fitter for a warm bed then to command a regiment or citadel; one that not above a month before he was chosen Lieutenant of the Tower held an opinion that it was not lawful for men to fight or kill men, [not] thinking that fighting would be in fashion again. And indeed when he was first made Lieutenant-Colonel of the Auxiliaries in London, if he durst have marched down only for a guard of three or four pieces of battery to Basinghouse before it was fortified, he had saved many a thousand men’s lives; but he loved then nothing tending to fighting, and therefore he discouraged his soldiers and took a journey himself under a colour to Brainford, and then came home in triumph that he might pray that the walls of Basinghouse might fall down like the walls of Jericho. . . . . But Colonel West is faithful, honest and valiant, and one that stood as well to his, regiment as he hath done since to his principles: witness Gloucester expedition, where if the Newbery ground could speak, it would say his body was turned into a rock in the face of his enemy.” (The Honest Citizen or Faithful Counsellor to the City of London, p. 7). Titchburne was one of the Sheriffs in 1650, and Lord Mayor in 1656. Noble gives an account of Titchburne in his “Lives of the Regicides,” ii. 272. See also Heath’s Chronicle, ed. 1663, p. 309.
[a ]The absence of the text of the article discussed, and the defects of the report make it difficult to decide the exact question at issue, but it seems to be this. On Saturday, October 30, the Committee bad agreed to give the Lords a suspensive veto. Then, apparently at Ireton’s instigation, they decided that the Lords should possess no veto of any kind with respect to laws where the Commons declared the safety of the kingdom to be concerned. Instead of that they should possess, in case of laws affecting their persons and estates merely, a power of exempting themselves from the operation of such laws, and so securing their personal rights, by refusing their consent. Thus, instead of a general suspensive veto they would get a simple power of nullifying certain particular laws so far as they affected themselves. Ireton’s speech is very confused, but may be thus paraphrased and re-arranged: “ ’Tis true on Saturday night we thought of that, viz., that the Commons should make so much use of the Lords in all affairs that their refusal to pass a law should occasion a review, but that if the Commons should after that review think fit to persist, it should be looked upon as a law without the consent of the Lords: but that resolution was questioned in the name of safety. Instead of that the Committee voted last night, that the Lords should have a liberty to preserve one another, and we thought fit to submit a provision for that to your consideration. We had an eye also to that point of the safety of the kingdom. It is provided for in the clauses respecting the rights of the Commons, etc.”
[a ]See, 407, resolution 2.
[a ]For Wildman’s general views on the rights of the Lords as affected by the “Heads of the Proposals” see Putney Projects. He now criticises article 2 on p. 407.
[a ]MS. “included.”
[b ]MS. “take.”
[c ]MS. “heere.” The position of several phrases in this sentence has been altered.
[a ]Order of words in this sentence changed.
[b ]Order of clauses in this sentence changed.
[a ]Cowling probably refers to the story of King Alfred, “who caused 44 Justices in one year to be hanged as murderers for their false judgments.” Andrew Horne’s Mirrour of Justice, translated by W. H., 1646, p. 239.
[b ]Rainborow appears to be wrong; see Stubbs, Constitutional History, vol. ii. § 269. and Old Parliamentary History, ii., pp. 12-29.
[a ]“They,” i. e. Mr. Wildman’s godly men.
[b ]Ireton’s previous speech supplies the words given in brackets, and his speech on p. 404 shows that Wildman proceeded to argue that the first maxim of just government was that all governments rested on the consent of the people; but the people never set up King or Lords, therefore the government of King and Lords was unjust.
[a ]The order of these two interpolations of Wildman’s has been changed.
[a ]Titchborne argues thus: The right of making laws is expressly stated to be solely in the House of Commons. The formality of sending them to the King and Lords for their consent means nothing. Their consent is not necessary.
[b ]I take this first sentence to be really another interpolation of Wildman’s, and the rest of the speech Ireton’s reply to it.
[a ]Compare Putney Projects, pp. 19, 34.
[b ]MS. “Lords.”
[a ]MS. “small.”
[a ]The propositions referred to are summarised by Rushworth, vii., 861.
[b ]Major John Cobbett of Skippon’s regiment, probably opposed the vote on the grounds stated by Wildman on p. 398. A pamphlet quotes “the saying of Ireton to honest Major Cobbett of Snowhill, who, for joyning with the agents of the Army, asked him if he were not deluded in his understanding, in joyning with the giddy-headed souldiers, and advised him not to run against the interest of himselfe and the officers” (The Hunting of the Foxes, etc., Somers Tracts, ed. Scott vi., 52). Cobbett seems to have been concerned in the mutiny at Ware; was tried by court martial at Windsor in January, 1648, and sentenced to be cashiered (Rushworth, vii., 937, 940). Like others then sentenced he was forgiven and sent back to his regiment, then at Newcastle, and distinguished himself by his gallantry at the re-capture of Tynemouth Castle, August 11, 1648 (Rushworth, vii., 1226; The Second Part of England’s New Chains Discovered, 1649, pp. 7, 11). He was made Adjutant-General of the Foot to the Army which invaded Scotland in July, 1650 (Cromwelliana, p. 84). After the battle of Worcester he was selected to bear Cromwell’s despatch to the Parliament, with the commendation “that the person who is the bearer hereof was equal in the performance of his duty to most that served you that day” (Carlyle’s Cromwell, Letter clxxxiii). Cobbett made a relation, and produced “a collar of SS., which was the King of Scots’, and his garter, which the said Major Cobbett took in his quarters at Worcester.” He was voted a gratuity of £100, and an annuity of £100 from forfeited lands in Scotland (Commons’ Journals, vii., 13, 191). He seems to have died a Lieutenant-Colonel in 1656 (Cal. State Papers, Dom., 1656-7, pp. 249, 301). He should be distinguished from Major Robert Cobbett, another leveller, who ended by becoming a contractor for army-clothing (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1657-8, p. 118; Lilburne’s Legal Fundamental Liberties, 1649, p. 40), and from the better known Colonel Ralph Cobbett.