Front Page Titles (by Subject) To his Excellency the Lord Fairfax and the Counsell of Warre the Brotherly Request of those that are called Diggers sheweth - The Clarke Papers. Selections from the Papers of William Clarke, vol. 2
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To his Excellency the Lord Fairfax and the Counsell of Warre the Brotherly Request of those that are called Diggers sheweth - 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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To his Excellency the Lord Fairfax and the Counsell of Warre the Brotherly Request of those that are called Diggers sheweth
That whereas wee have begun to digg upon the Commons for a livelihood, and have declared to your Excellency and the whole world our reasons, which are four. First, from the righteous law of Creation that gives the earth freely to one as well as to another without respect of persons. Secondly, by vertue of yours and our victory over the King, whereby the enslaved people of England have recovered themselves from under the Norman Conquest; though wee doe not as yet enjoy the benefitt of our victories, nor cannott soe long as the use of the Common land is held from the younger bretheren by the Lords of Mannours, that as yet sitte in the Norman chaire, and upholde that tyranny as if the kingly power were in force still; and a third reason that moved us to digg was the perswasion of our hartes that the Parliament and Army would make good their bargaine with us; for you promised that if wee would adventure person and purse to recover England from under that Norman oppression you would make us a free people, and you have obtained the victory by your owne and our assistance, and there is nothing wanting from you to us but makeing good your bargaine to us, for by the law of reason and contract wee have bought our freedom of the Parliament and Army, who have the power of the sword in your hands, by our blood, taxes, and free quarter. And wee are perswaded of your faithfullness to us for two reasons. First, your promises, which as you are Gospell professours wee expect you will make good, and soe give us our freedome, which wee have dearely paid for, and you have received our moneys the fruits of our labours. Secondly, your Covenant to God, unto whome first wee kept fasting dayes, and praied him to help and deliver this oppressed Nation, and then after any victory over our oppressour Charles you apointed daies of thanks-giving unto God. Now in the third place, God expects from you and the Parliament to performe your Covenant in deede and worke as well as in words, and let the oppressed goe free unto whom you promised freedome; and though you have fought for it, yet wee have paid for it, and soe have purchased that same freedome with you, that is that wee may live in the earth without poverty; for (fourthly) wee digg upon the Common to make the earth a common treasury, because our necessity for food and rayment require it.
Now Sirs, divers repulses wee have had from some of the Lords of Mannours and their servants, with whome wee are patient and loveing, not doubting but at last they will grant liberty quietly to live by them; and though your tenderness have moved us to bee requesting your protection against them, yet wee have forborne, and rather waited upon God with patience till hee quell their unruely spirits, and of prosecuting Sauls to make them righteous Pauls; and in regard likewise the souldiers did not molest us, for that you tould us when some of us were before you, that you had given command to your souldiers not to meddle with us, but resolved to leave us to the Gentlemen of the Cuntry and to the law of the Land to deale with us; which wee were satisfied with, and for this halfe year past your souldiers have not meddled with us.
But now Sirs, this last weeke upon the 28th of November, there came a party of souldiers commanded by a cornet, and some of them of your owne Regiment, and by their threatneing words forced 3 labouring men to helpe them to pull downe our 2 houses, and carried away the wood in a cart to a Gentleman’s house who hath bin a Cavaleer all our tyme of warrs, and cast 2 or 3 old people out who lived in those houses to lye in the open feild this cold weather, (an action more becomeing the Turks to deale with Christians then for one Christian to deale with another); but if you inquire into the business you will finde that the Gentlemen that sett the souldyers on are enemyes to you, for some of the cheife had hands in the Kentish riseing against the Parliament, and wee know, and you will finde it true if you trust them so farr, that [they] love you but from the teeth outward.
Therefore our request to you is this, that you would call your souldiers to accompt for attempting to abuse us without your commission, that the Cuntry may know that you had noe hand in such an unrighteous and cruell act. Likewise wee desire that you would continue your former kindnesse and promise to give commission to your souldiers not to meddle with us without your order, and wee shalbee very thankfull to you and remayne
Yours and England true borne sonnes and frends.