Front Page Titles (by Subject) [ Lord Fairfax to the Speaker. ] - The Clarke Papers. Selections from the Papers of William Clarke, vol. 2
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
[ Lord Fairfax to the Speaker. ] - 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.
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
[Lord Fairfax to the Speaker.]
Upon credible informacion [that] William Thompson pretendinga himselfe a Captain, and to have authorety from mee and the Councell of the army, hath with a party of men, by that pretended power, committed severall misdemeanours of high nature and dangerous consequence, in breaking open the dores of the dwelling house of one Mr. Littleton att North Okendon in the County of Essex, in the night tyme, fyreing a pistoll, and drawing theire swordes upon the servants and people there, thrust them out of dores, carried them away prisoners, and tooke away some goods; the particulars of all which passages I suppose yow will bee fully acquainted with by Mr. Littleton. For which being apprehended upon examinacion founde to bee noe souldyer, itt was thought fitt not to proceede against him at a Court Marshall, and therefore hee was delivered over to the Civil Magistreate, who as I understand hath bound him with suretyes to answer the same at the next Assizes to be hould[en] for the said County; and hath since his inlargment inveagled divers souldyers of the army who attempted to comitt the like misdemeanours at the same place. My Lord, both I, the Councell, and all others of the army, doe disavow and detest, the giveing of any such authority or power to the said Thompson, or aney other person whomsoever, for acting any thinges of such nature, and theirefore desire that something exemplary may bee done, not onely to deterr others from comitting any thinge of the like nature upon any such pretence, but alsoe for vindicacion of the armye.
[a ]MS. “pretended.”
[b ]The Perfect Diurnal, under March 15, 1649, reporting the proceedings of the Council of the Army which met on that day, says: “Report was made from the Court Marshall by the Judge Advocate concerning the miscarriages of Mr. Thompson in Essex, and of his putting a man out of possession by a company of disguised persons with false haire and beards, that he was turned over to the Civill Magistrate, and Leintenant Colonel Lilburne and one Harris offered to be his bayle.” William Thompson had been originally a corporal in Col. Whalley’s regiment, but was cashiered for his scandalous and disorderly conduct in autumn, 1647, and was for a time imprisoned at Windsor. He then published, possibly with help from John Lilburne, a pamphlet called England’s Freedom Souldiers Rights, or the just declaration, plea, and protestation of William Thompson, a free Commoner of England unjustly imprisoned at Windsor, 14, Dec., 1647. Allowed to go to London on parole he was found stirring up sedition, and was arrested by Cromwell, and sent back. See The Kingdom’s Weekly Post, March 2-9, 164⅞; and also a pamphlet called A Vindication of Lieut.-Gen. Cromwell and Comm. Gen. Ireton against a libel signed by one Tompson, by A. C., dated March 7, 164⅞, E 431-16. Other notices of Thompson are contained in The Discoverer, 4to, 1649, pt. ii., pp. 7, 19; England’s New Chains, 1649, p. 8; The Prisoners Mournful Cry, 1648; and The Justice of the Army vindicated, 1648. Thompson was killed in May, 1649, having headed the rising of the Levellers which was suppressed at Burford. See Whitelocke’s Memorials, iii., 37.