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Newsletters - Sir William Clarke, The Clarke Papers. Selections from the Papers of William Clarke, vol. 3 
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 (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1899). 4 vols.
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September 9, 1656.—
f. 70.His Highness and Councell have been pleased to order that a further marke of favour be conferred upon the Lord Chauncelour of Ireland by augmentinge his Lordshipp’s salary to £2000 per annum. Another earnest thereof they have alsoe bestowed upon many well deservinge officers and soldiers, most of his Highness regiment at Jameses, by ordering their arreares to be stated and put in bonds by the trustees at Worcester House, whereby they may be capable of purchaseinge any of the Forest lands which are now surveyinge. And because Charles Stuart’s partie are yet hatchinge new designes against the present government, they have ordered that all delinquents shall departe the late lines of Communication within 7 dayes after proclamation, which shall be forthwith issued. And that 9 regiments of foot shall be forthwith recruited to 1200 in each regiment.
Westminster, September 18, 1656.—
f. 72b.Yesterday about ten in the forenoone, his Highnesse being attended with his Councell, the Commissioners of the Greate Seale &c. heard a sermon in Westminster Abbey preached by Dr. Owen, and afterwards went into the Painted Chamber, where hee made his speech.3 The effect of it was to acquaint the Parliament that they were at peace with all other nacions but Spaine; that hee was morally an enimy from the seed of the serpent that was in him against the seed of Christ in his people in these and other nacions; that hee had espoused the interest of Charles Steward, and given him promise of assistance of men for invading of England, and Don John of Austria had donne the like; that the papists and cavaleeres in England were engaged in assisting this designe, besides some by a Jesuiticall spirritt and disposition workeing upon the discontented spirritts, endeavoured to make the Government and the Protector lowe, crying out for justice, righteousness &c. in the meane while shaking hands with the papists and cavaleers interest, and much engaged therein; that if upon the grounds he demonstrated the warre with Spaine should be joyned in by them with his Highnesse it should be donne vigorously; that there might be union in all transactions relateing to our affaires at home as well as abroad, and a tenderness that those either of Presbyterian, Independant, or Annabaptist forme, might not tread upon the heeles or prejudice one another, as allsoe that there might bee a continuance of the provision of tythes for the ministers till there were another way of maintenance. There was likewise a full account given of the reason why the Major Generalls were appointed, and the good they had donne, concluding with an exhortacion that all the lawes and other thinges which might admitt of reformacion might bee in their thoughts, that by the preservacion of the Ministry for the worshipp of God, and Magistracy for the keepeing of people in good manners, the blessing of God might be upon the nacions, desireing them to goe into the House and choose theire Speaker; which accordingly they did, and elected Sir Thomas Widdrington. Severall persons returned have not ticketts to goe into the House, for that they were elected by the cavalleere party, and other reasons. This day the House appointed 4 Committees vizt. for religion, priviledges, trade, and greevances. This day a bill for takeing away the interest of Charles Steward in these nacions was read the first time. There were 120 members or more nott permitted to sitt, of which Mr. Scott, Sir Arthur Heslerigg, Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper (lately one of the Councill) Mr. Weaver, Mr. Maynard, and Mr. Chute were the most considerable. Mr. Lenthall had like to have bin refused if hee had nott had a good freind to assist him. The manner is, that when any indentures are return’d to the clerke of the crowne hee transmitts them to the Councill, and if they doe nott approve of the persons they are nott to have a tickett, and none that want ticketts will bee suffer’d to goe into the House. Colonel Mylls, Colonel Biscoe, and Lieutenant Colonel Lagoe were appointed to peruse the ticketts.
September 22, 1656.—
f. 75.Ever since wee mett wee have done nothing but debate about our excluded members, but this day they past a vote, that they should bee referr’d to the Councill for their approbation, and the House should proceede uppon the weighty affaires of the Nation; this was carryed by 96 votes, and is look’t uppon as the deciding question; some thinke many will therfore goe from the House, others thinke nott: those that stay will goe on with the worke, and I hope doe good thinges. Most of the leading men which were for the admission of the excluded Members were accidentally or designedly absent. Swin1 was nott att the vote butt went out a little before.
Westminster, Sept. 23, 1656.—
f. 75b.As to the proceedinges of Parliament they are as followeth: every day since the House satt untill yesterday most of the time was spent about the Members nott approved of by his Highnesse his Councell. It was strongely urged that it was a breach of previllidge of Parliament that any should bee kept out of the House, and that none (sitting the Parliament) could be computent [sic] judges of any chosen by the people to bee members but onely the Parliament; but yesterday it was clearly carried and resolved that the persons chosen to be Members of Parliament were referred to the Councell to bee approved of. Truly my Lord, wee have great cause to blesse the Lord this bussinesse is over, for it was very doubtfull whilst it was debated what would bee the result of the House, and had all that had bin chosen bin admitted of,2 I leave it to your Lordship to consider obstructions wee might have mett with in owning the Government and doeing good for the nations in this present juncture of times, when all ouer enemies are plotting against ouer peace and present goverment, and to bring in Charles Stuart. . .
London, September 30, 1656.—
f. 79.Yesterday complaint was made in the House of the great disorder in tappehouses, inns &c. and of Justices of the Peace in licensing persons nott fitt to keepe such houses, especially Justices that are Commissioners of Excise, brewers, and maltsters, which is committed. Drunkennes and swearing is also committed; weights and measures are also committed. Upon a motion against blackpatches used by women on their faces all undecency in apparrell1 was also moved again, both which are committed. This day some prisoners for treason were pardoned, the particulars whereof will att large be in print. But our great busines was concerning the necessity of the warre with Spain. It was moved by one of his Highnes Councell, and afterwards spoke unto by others, and truly Sir, in my weake judgement I thinke so much reason was shewen to have a warre with that old enemy, both to our nation and religion that I thinke his Highnes hath done good service therein, if the Parliament will back him with moneyes. To me it is sufficient that the warre is against the Spanyard, because I am satisfyed he watcheth for nothing lesse than an opportunity to tread us to dirt, and say he doth God good service therein, as did the Irish. The Lord graunt wee may not bee too wise in saveinge our purses, and afterwards it be sayd it is too late; but truly hitherto the House seemed to owne the warre, and I hope wil furnish his Highnes to carry it on.
Oct. 11, 1656.—
f. 88.Wednesday was a day of thanksgiving without any ceremony of ringing of bells making of bondfires or fireing of great gunnes. Many of the members dyned at Whitehall where the day occasioned great entertainment. . . .
Fryday a bill read for the better distribution of the revenues of Hospitalls. The Act for County Registers was read a second time; it reseaved a very large debate because of the opposition it reseaved from the long robe. . . .
October 11, 1656.—
f. 89.A bill being presented for the registering all incumbrances upon reall estates has taken up the House these two dayes, and is apointed upon Wensday: the House was this day in a grand Committee to debate it, and soe are to bee on Wedensday next. Truly it is a more weighty busines than I could have immagined, but I beleeve it will bee prest soe farre as shall be practicable. . . . All that I can discover concerning Donnatives is that the state will give 10 yeares purchase to those that are willing to part with them, but not compell any. This in the generall: The whole House are unanimous in carrying on the best things for the good of the nations, both spirituall and temporall, soe as truely I feare not through mercy but that God will owne us.
Westminster, October 18, 1656.—
f. 93.The House yesterday resolved into a Grand Committee, and had a debate about the businesse of carrying on the warre with Spaine, which in such cases is usuall for this end, that any Member may have liberty to speake to the businesse soe often as hee pleaseth, which is nott admitted in Parliament. The publick debts were made knowne, which for the sea forces, the land forces, and the charges of the Government amounted to 856,000l. odde moneyes, besides an old debt charged upon the Excise about 260000. This you may please to consider wilbee all due within one moneth or two. Nothing was more in debate then how to pay this 856000l., and it was propounded that for arreares of Excise from generall merchants of London there would bee yet one hundred thousand pounds; from intercourse merchants, which I understood merchant strangers in London, thirtie thousand pounds; from the City of London for arreares of taxes about ten thousand pounds. Then that enquiry should be made what moneyes were in any treasury for the late Kings, Queens, or Princes lands, or what moneys were resting in the hands of any purchaser, and the like for Bishops, Deanes and Chapters’ lands; all these particulars are referred to a Committee.
Other treasurers and officers intrusted with receipts of money was propounded, which will be considered of upon Tuesday next, which (as I remember) is the day appointed for further debate, and it is my opinion that when these things are setled wee shall then consider how moneys shall constantly be raysed to carry on the warre according to what shall be thought needfull; for my judgement is, let my owne proportion be what it will, wee must not sterve our good cause, wee have at sea in all places 120 sayle of shippes and 17000 men. I forgott a Committee is to consider of what lands are unsold at Drury house &c. and to enquire into the cause and obstructions why they are unsold.
Westminster, October 28.—
f. 97b.There was started in the House this day a question concerning the eleccion of successive Protectors as itt was now setled in the Instrument, some debates were concerning itt as to the safety of itt, butt there was noe conclusion made, butt they adjourned without putting any question whether any further debate should bee of itt or noe.
[3 ]Carlyle’s Cromwell, Speech v. See also Vaughan, Protectorate of Cromwell, ii. 41.
[1 ]Swinton, i.e. John Swinton of Swinton, one of the members for Scotland.
[2 ]According to the Newsletter of September 20 the number originally excluded was ‘near 120.’ In that of September 25 it is added that the excluded members were about 100. ‘Some of them are gone into the country discontented and will not apply themselves to the Counsell, and some are guilty and dare not.’ For their protest see Whitelocke Memorials, ed. 1853, iv. 274.
[1 ]I.e. a bill against.