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[ A letter from the head-quarters of the Army. ] - Sir William Clarke, The Clarke Papers. Selections from the Papers of William Clarke, vol. 2 
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, 1894). 4 vols.
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[A letter from the head-quarters of the Army.]
Munday, December the 12, 1648.
By the last post I acquainted yow in what temper the House of Commons were to comp[ly] with the King, by being ridgedly and passionately bent by voting the King concessions to be a ground of a settlement, which was as much as to say it was satisfactory what he had offered. All good men did soe admire at the weakenes, or rather at the madnes of the Parliament in such a vote, which at Midsommer could not have bin expected; but as it happened about 100 members of the Howse opposed it, who gave incouragement to the Army to thinke of some way to purge the Howse, since they were soe violently bent to a rotten and unworthy peace; to dissolve the Parliament would have bin counted a rash act; to purge it by a force would be thought a bold and unwarrantable attempt; to let both these passe, and to doe nothing, was to continue the same division that was in the Howse, and by consequence the division of the Kingdome, and in conclusion the distruction of it. Upon these considerations, finding the disease being desperate, there could nothing thought upon but a desperate cure; and thereupon the Army resolved there being noe other way upon the earth left (to my iudgement) to save the Kingdome, but to seaze upon certaine members of the House, who had from time to time obstructed the proceedings in the Howse, and all good motions tending to the welfare of the Kingdome out of faction —a by respect. Hereupon Mr. Prynn, the firebrand of England, Maior Generall Massey, Mr. Gewen, Sir John Clotworthy, and in all about 40 members were seazed upon by the Army going to the Howse; and others desired to forbeare to come thither who were men who were of the same stampe of the same faction. Upon Thursday the Howse sate, and though it was an undoubted breach of theire priviledge to have the Members thus seazed, yet the Members had soe abused the priviledge by the[ir] perpeteutie there, taking advantage thereby, not onely to wronge the subiect, but to vent malice and passion in particular without controwle, as it was frequent with these time serving members; whereuppon the Howse resolved to proceed with the busines of the Armyes Remonstrance and the [settlement of] Kingdome, and to let there members alone till another opportunitie. On Friday the Howse kept a fast, and adiourned till Tuesday; the army being passive all this while, charging the suburbs with provisions, and lying upon bare boords in White Hall, St. Jameses &c., hoping the Citty would not faile to send moneyes for the payeing of the army (considering the Citty was 100,000li. in arreares) and bedds, that soe the souldiers might be accomodated as not to be necessitated to come into London;b which the army to avoyde by all meanes possible had patience from Saturday to Friday last, and the Citty of London in all that time not being able (or rather not willing) to advance one 10 dayes pay out of all theire arreares, necessitating the army to resolve to march into the Citty, and there to quarter; which accordingly they did on Friday last, in Paul’s, Blacke Fryers, and in parts there abouts. When the Citty see the army was in good earnest, and that theire owne folly, by not advancing that which they owed unto the army had wrought this upon them, then they beganne to vote to raise 10,000li., and to provide bedding for the souldiers, hoping the army would retire out of the Citty; but the army being hitherto deceived with their delitarynes, understood where 27,000li. was in bank at Weavors Hall, went and seazed upon the same,a that the Citty might see, that though they could not raise 10,000li. 10 dayes pay for the army, yet the army could tell how to finde a months pay ready in cash. This terrified the malignant merchants and goldsmiths, fearing theire estates should be seazed upon, though there was noe reall cause to suspect them, saide in soe humble a manner that they all professed themselves to be servants to the army. Hereupon the Generall sent some Colonells unto the Citty to assure them never a gold-smith should loose the value of a thimble, or merchant 2d. in his goods, who did not obstinately refuse to pay the just arreares that were behinde from the Citty to the army; and further assured that the 27,000li. that was thus seazed upon should be repaide out of the very arreares that is yet due, out of the Citty arreares to the army, and out of the first moneyes that did come in; and the army having bin there ever since, hath committed noe spoyle more then trouble of quarter, because the Citty are sloe in bringing in of theire debts. Thus you have the true account of this weekes passage. The Lord direct both the Parliament and the army out of these distressed proceedings to bring good unto the Kingdome; and my opinion is this, that you will finde these [members] now sitting in Parliament to goe on more unanimously and more vigorously in the setlement of the peace of the Kingdome, in giving eare unto the subiect, and doeing more capable thinges unto the common wealth in 3 months, then hath bin done by the Parliament for three yeares past.
[a ]A word erased.
[b ]Cf. Rushworth, vii., 1349, 1350, 1353.
[a ]See Fairfax’s letters to the City. Rushworth, vii., 1356, 1358.