Front Page Titles (by Subject) APPENDIX B.: The examination of the three troopers who delivered the letter of the soldiers to Major General Skippon, April 30, 1647. - The Clarke Papers. Selections from the Papers of William Clarke, vol. 1
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APPENDIX B.: The examination of the three troopers who delivered the letter of the soldiers to Major General Skippon, April 30, 1647. - 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 examination of the three troopers who delivered the letter of the soldiers to Major General Skippon, April 30, 1647.
[Tanner MSS. Bodleian Library, vol. lviii., f. 84.]
The Gentlemen that delivered the letter were call’d in, vizt.
They brought and delivered a letter to Major Generall Skippon, the like to the Lieutenant Generall, and the like to His Excellencie.
By what authoritie
The joynt and unanimous consent of the Eight Regiments of Horse, they having attested it by two of every Regiment. They mett at severall places.
They had noe Rendevous but what wee had by our Officers.
Brought by our Officers [sic] each Regiment to a Rendezvous.
The Proposicions for the service of Ireland read.
They did know the contents of the letter else they would not have subscribed it. It was read in each Regiment and each Troope and subscribed. The originall is with the Regiments. This but a faire copie. There was an originall with each Troupe.
That the Sergeant doe keepe these persons asunder upon their Examinacions and after they are examined.
How long hee had been in the Armie, a twelve moneth. Bore noe Office. Warwickshire man, served in Lieutenant Generall Cromwell’s Troupe. Hee heard it read and subscribed it. Severall t[imes?] read, cannot recollect the names of those persons that read it.
Demanded his opinion touching a Clause in the letter concerninge some that had tasted of soveraigne ie and had degenerated into Tyrants.
As it was the joynt Act of the Eight Regiments to contrive it, they will joyntly answer it.
That hee shall give in his answer with the rest as it was the joynt act of the rest with him.
Hee did not saye, that it was read in any of the Regiments or Troupes when they were brought to a Rendezvous, but that it was read in many places which hee cannot recollect.
Mr. Allen againe.
Neere a twelve moneth since hee came to this Army.
In the Lord General Essex’s Army served under Collonel Holles in his Regiment till hee was a prisoner at Brentford and served afterwards in Gen. Major Skippon’s Regiment.
A prisoner in the Kinges Armie seaven dayes, condemned among seaventene others to bee hanged, by judgment of a Councell of Warre, then every tenth man drawen out to bee hanged, at last an oath putt to them and dismissed. Wounded at first Newberry fight. Tooke the oath at Oatlands.
After hee had taken the Oath hee listed himselfe in Major Generall Skippon’s Regiment, served under Captain Beton.
A felt maker by trade in Southw. Wounded againe at Henly, where hee received five shillings of Major Generall Skippon.
Suffolk man, trouper in the Generall’s owne troupe, serv’d fower yeares, before hee serv’d the Generall hee serv’d the Lieutenant Generall in that troupe which is now the Generall’s.
Ask’t what hee mean[t] thaire?
Being the generall act of all hee can give noe answer being but one particular man.
Mr. Tho. Shepherd. Shropshire.
Served first under the Earl of Essex in the Earl of Bedford’s Troupe of Cuirasseers.
Taken prisoner at Oxington coming from the relief of Gloucester. Prisoner 5 weekes, tooke noe oath, not exchanged, made his escape. Hee did heare it read, did subscribe it. Cannot remember whether hee read itt himselfe, about a weeke since hee heard it first read. Where? One of the Eight Regiments.
At what place. Hee does not remember. Demanded clause.
If it pleased this Honourable House to putt the Queries in writing the Eight Regiments whereof I am a Member whose joynt act it was will give an answer to them.
30 April, 1647.
[The question whether William Allen, the agitator, mentioned here was the William Allen who subsequently became Adjutant-General of the Horse in the Irish Army is a question of some interest. Ludlow, describing the presentation of the letter by the three troopers, affirms that Allen “was afterwards known by the addition of Adjutant-general” (ed. 1751, p. 73). Carlyle asserts that this is a blunder of Ludlow’s. (1.) On the other hand this question of identity is a point on which Ludlow was likely to be right. He knew Allen personally, and they served together in Ireland (Memoirs, p. 145). Allen belonged to the political party which regarded Ludlow as their leader, and is described as specially commending him (Thurloe, iii. 140, 143). (2.) Allen, the agitator, states that he had served in the Parliamentary army since 1642. Allen, the adjutant-general, writing in 1655 talks of his thirteen years faithful service (Thurloe, iii., 140). (3.) Adjutant-General Allen in his tract published in 1659 (entitled, “A faithful Memorial of that remarkable meeting of many officers of the Army in England at Windsor Castle in the year 1648,” Somers Tracts, vi., 499), speaks as if he had been present at the army councils in 1647, and directly affirms his presence at those in the spring of 1648. At the meetings described in this volume there seem to have been only two Allens present, viz. Captain Allen and Mr. Allen. Captain Allen was Francis Allen of Ingoldsby’s regiment, Mr. Allen, William Allen, the trooper of Cromwell’s own regiment. I believe the agitators were present at the meetings at Windsor in the spring of 1648, and if so William Allen was pretty certainly there. It may be objected that a man who was an ordinary trooper in 1647, would hardly have become adjutant-general in 1651. But the office of adjutant-general did not imply high regimental rank, and when Allen was first mentioned as adjutant-general of horse he was merely a captain. In 1647 and 1648 several privates, who had been agitators, obtained commissions, including Allen’s companion Sexby. Allen’s rise was not as rapid as that of Sexby, who was a lieutenant-colonel in 1651, but there is no improbability in the supposition that the former obtained a commission in 1648.
Of Adjutant-General Allen’s later career more can be stated with certainty. He is spoken of as “Captain Allen, adjutant general of the Horse” in Ireland in September, 1651, and was later one of the commissioners for the settlement of Ulster (Mercurius Politicus, p. 2523). He disapproved of Cromwell’s assumption of the Protectorate, but wrote of the Protector himself: “As to the person in chief place, I confess I love and honour him, for the honour God hath put upon him, and I trust will yet continue, I mean that of uprightheartedness to the Lord, though this last change with his atendencyes hath more stumbled me than ever any did” (Thurloe, ii., 214, 215). Allen was arrested in Devonshire in January, 1655, for “multiplying dissatisfaction in the minds of men to the present government” (Carlyle’s Cromwell, Letter cxcvii.). Thurloe’s papers contain an interesting account of the charges against Allen, and a letter from Allen to the Protector vindicating himself. “I can say truly,” he wrote, “if I have erred it hath been, I fear, in esteeming too highly of you.” He denied any intention of acting against the Protector: “I durst not lift a hand against you nor join with or advise the doing of it” (Thurloe, iii., 141). Allen was allowed to return to his post in Ireland, where he gave Henry Cromwell some trouble, and at length, in November, 1647, resigned his commission (Thurloe, iv., 328, 433; v. 670). In 1659 the Rump nominated him to be colonel of a regiment of horse in Ireland. In addition to the “Faithful Memorial” published in 1659 he printed “A word to the Army touching their sin and duty, 1660.” On April 13, 1660, Allen was arrested “for endeavouring to debauch some of the soldiers from their duty” (Cal. State Papers, Dom., 1657-1660, p. 573). On June 19, 1661, he was ordered to be released from the Gatehouse on giving security for £1,000 that he would leave the kingdom within fifteen days (Cal. State Papers, Dom., 1661-1662, p. 12). I can find no later mention of him.]