Front Page Titles (by Subject) [ Secretary Thurloe to General Monk. ] - The Clarke Papers. Selections from the Papers of William Clarke, vol. 2
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[ Secretary Thurloe to General Monk. ] - 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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[Secretary Thurloe to General Monk.]
I suppose you will heare from other hands of the imprisonment of Major-General Harrison, Mr. John Carew, Mr. Courtney, and Colonel Rich. I will trouble you with the particular reasons and grounds therof, and that truly not knowing how they may be represented by others. About 10 dayes since they with some others came to his Highnesse, (after that Mr. Rogers with very many of his people had been with him concerneing the imprisonment of himselfe and Mr. Feake), and demanded of him that the prisoners of the Lord might be set at liberty. Whereunto his Highnesse answeared them, that if they were the prisoners of the Lord they should soone be set at liberty, but that hee was sure there was noe body in England in prison for the Lord or the gospell sake. And these two persons were soe far from being in bonds uppon any such account, that they were in prison as evill doers, as for railing, reviling, telling untruthes, stirring up the people to armes, &c., which he said he had already made appeere to Mr. Rogers himselfe, and could alsoe satisfie them when there was time for it; and to that end he told them, hee should desire to speake with them at some more convenient time (it being then too late), when he should deale very plainly with them, and would be content to be soe dealt with by them, and to heare what they had to say against the way that he was now in. And soe they went away. About two daies after his Highnesse sent to them that he would speake with them the next day at 9 of the clocke. Harrison and Courtney promised to come, but after it seemes they repented, for they came not. My Lord thinking there might be some mistake in the message, sent a second time, haveing appointed some Christians to be present, who might heare the discourse. But Major-General Harrison then said, that if he had been required to come he should have been more free, but was not free to come uppon a desire; the rest had all notice but all refused to come. Then his Highnes summoned them by a warrant in writeing, required them to appeare before him or the Councell uppon a certaine day to answer such things as shalbee objected against them concerning the peace of the Nation. When they were served with the warrant Harrison said hee would come, but did not, nor any of the reste. Upon this contempt, and because of the certaine information that my Lord had of theire endeavour to stir upp the people against the Government, and to seduce some persons from theire trust (and that of the greatest moment) which they held under the State, hee sent for them in safe custody, and they were brought hether upon Friday in the afternoone. And because things might bee carryed on in a Christian manner his Highnesse had present, when they were called in before him and the Councell severall sober Christians and Ministers, as Mr. Carryll, Mr. Brooks, Mr. Cradock, Mr. Recorder, and others, some whereof were the Irish officers, and at the desire of Major Generall Harrison and the others, there were alsoe called in Mr. Sympson, Mr. Bankes, Mr. Pendarvis &c. That which was first asked them was, why they had in contempt of authoritie refused to come uppon the summons which had bin sent; whereunto, after they had desired to know whether there was any thing against them but theire contempt, they plainely answered, that they could not come, because in that act they should acknowledg the Governement, which they could not doe, it being a Governement set up against the will of God, and in oposition to the Kingdome of Christe, and was antechristian and Babilonish, and they did expect that God would power out his wrath uppon it, and those that did adheere to it, and they did not come, least some of the dropps of wrath should fall uppon them, and therein they obeyed the Scripture, which calls to the daughter of Syon to come out of Babylon. Mr. Carew added that My Lord Protector, when the little Parliament was dissolved, tooke the Crowne off from the heade of Christ, and put it upon his owne. It would be too large to tell all particulars; some of the principalls they layd downe are these. That the present authority is not any authority, nor to bee obeyed, and consequently armes may bee taken upp againste it. That the Magistrate which is carnall hath no right, nor can have; and the greate objection which they made againste this Government was because it had a Parliament in it, whereby power is derived from the people, whereas all power belongs to Christ. And it beeing demaunded of them, whether they would engage to live peaceably and not disturbe the peace of the Nation, the[y] refused to doe it; and it being pressed uppon them to doe it, because of the protection they had, they denyed they received any protection from the present Governement, and that they owed theire protection onely to God, and they should expect the same quiet protection from God if the whole army were disbanded to morrow. This was the sume of what they saide, and indeed it seemed strange to all that heard them. Mr. Cradock professed hee would not for any thing he had bin absent, saying hee could not have beleved that theire principles were such as they did discover, and soe said every body else. After the company was with drawne the Councill did offer to them, that if they would retire into theire owne Counties, and promise not to come forth without leave, it would bee all that would bee expected, vizt. Major-Generall Harrison into Stafford-shire, John Carew and Courtney into Cornewell, and Rich into Kent; but they utterly refused it. And thereupon they are ordered to stand comitted, which I assure yow is done of pitty to them, and some other people who are led by them, as well as for the sake of the Nation, that they may not putt things into blood and confusion, and bee made use of by the Caveliere and vile leavelling party to destroy and utterly roote out all that are good and godly in the land. Before they were committed, his Highnes tould them that they were not onely comitted for the contempt, but because they had acted against the Governement and the peace of the Nation, and particularly tould every one of them what hee had against them: Major-General Harrison, that hee had not onely countenanced those who declaymed publicquely against the Governement, but had perswaded some of the lawfullnesse of takeing up armes against it; John Carew, that he had not onely done what Major-General Harison had, but endeavoured to seduce some greate officers from theire trust; that Colonel Rich endevoured to hinder the raiscing of the tax, and Courtney had bin in Norfolk and there perswaded the Churches to take armes, and in the West hee declaired his opposicion, and saide that at London hee should finde both hands and hearts enow to overthrow this Government. To this they made noe answer at all. Thus you have had a very long account of this businesse, which I was willing to doe to prevent misinterpretacions. And it is certaine theire party will endeavour to doe it, as they do heare, and labour to perswade that all Christians are concerned in this imprisonment, when the contrary is true to one of the saints of this nation, [who] doe disowne them, and their courses, and take these things to bee the effect of wrath and envy, and judg them to bee under a greate temptacion.
Many, very many of the Churches of Christ, as well those under baptisme as others in Scotland and England, have acknowledged the Governement in writeing under theire hands since the disolution of the Parliament. I know it is a trouble to my Lord Protectour to have any one who is a sainte in truith to bee greeved or unsatisfied with him; but he is comforted that what hee doth in these cases, hee doth it for God’s and the Saints’ sake, and opposes therein that spirritt which is of the world, which God in his Providence all all along hath borne witnesse against, vizt. that spiritt which would impose upon the consciences of others, and breake all in peeces who will not beara downe to theire apprehencions. The Presbyteriansb speakes as well of the Kingdome of Christe as these men, and many of them as holy, and I am sure much more knowing even in spirituall things.
[a ]MS. “beere.”
[b ]MS. “Presbyterrars.”
[c ]Two fragmentary letters from Thurloe’s collection of MSS. in the Bodleian, printed at the end of the Preface, further elucidate the opposition of the Fifth-Monarchy men to the Protectorate.