Front Page Titles (by Subject) An Officer in Flanders to General Monck 2 - The Clarke Papers. Selections from the Papers of William Clarke, vol. 3
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An Officer in Flanders to General Monck 2 - 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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An Officer in Flanders to General Monck2
May 26, 1657.—
f. 73.I cannott give your Lordshippe soe exact an account of affaires heere as I could wish, all thinges in generall being in an handsome equipage, our army consists of 6000 foote, officers included, and have been very civilly treated by order from the King and Cardinall. Wee have our ammunicion bread with five souses per diem for each soldier, and are come thus farre into the country, haveing lodged in the strongest townes in France, as Montrule, Rue &c. The Boores quitt their houses, and fly to the woods with their fusees, killing and robbing all they meet with whether English or French, they are above 5000 between Montruse and Abbiville; wee have lost 3 or 4 men, and severall stripped; our men (blessed be God) are hitherto healthfull, and likely through God’s assistance to doe our country service. It’s reported the French are above 30,000, yet the Spanyard have raysed from before Cambre which they intended to besiege. Water is so scarce here that wee marched Saturday last above 10 miles without one drop. The Cardinall presents us with both wine and beere at each town wee come to. Our landing in Bolonia has been very usefull, in regard wee have kept the country and town of Bologne (where the first 3000 of us quartered) very steddy, being in a wavering condition before, and ready to revolt. Our Ambassador has been with us, and tells us he hath an assurance wee shall bee constantly paid according to the underwritten establishment; the sergeants and corporalls (he hopes) will have an augmentacion. Wee find a great want of cheese, which I hope will bee supplyed, brown bread and water being strange to our soldiers. The Thesaurers niggle with us allready, and stop 2 souses for each pistoll they pay us, and will not cleare any moneths with us, but supply us on accompt that in the end they may cheat us as they please, but I hope our Generall and Embassadour will prevent it. The King and Cardinall are gone to Peroon to advise with the Marshalls Turein and La Ferte which way to steere, their designe on Cambre beinge broke; our stay will bee hereabouts till they resolve.
Marshall 2 livres. Captain 5 livres. Lieutenant 2 livres and 10 souses. Ensigne 1 livre and 15 souses. The Farrier 16 souse. Each Sergeant 10 souse. Each Corporall 7 souse. Each soldier 5 souse, besides their ammunition bread.
London, 26 May, 1657.—
f. 74.Yesterday his Highnesse att a conference with the Parliament in the Painted Chamber declared his assent to the Petition and Advice after this manner. The Speaker lett his Highnesse know that the Parliament by him againe presented those papers relateing to the government, with the alteration of that paragraph concerning the tytle, together with their resolves circumstantiateing the same, wherein the Parliament humbly expected and desired his Highnes’ consent; and the same being read his Highnes expressed himselfe in this manner, ‘I consent, I consent’; which the Clerk of Parliament writt upon the bill in these words, ‘the Protector consenteth,’ and read it. And after a little pause his Highnes made a short speech, shewing that he came not thither in tryumphe when he considered how great and insupportable weight he set his shoulder to in this worke, and such as he must inevitably sinck under, if the Lord should not by an extraordinary power support him. Hee also implored their helpe (who represented the people) further to advise and consult upon such thinges as might tend to consummate and firmely establish that great worke, not doubting of the same, with many emphatically expressions. Your Lordship will have the speech at large from one who would have lent it mee to transcribe, but that it was presently forth of his hands.1 This day the House ordered to assume the consideration of the explanatory bill to morrow, vizt. that which conteines severall resolves as to the addition of 600000li per annum to the revenue for 3 yeares and other particulars, which being done they will be both published shortly.
. . . Being informed that the trepanners and gamesters about the Towne had drawne in 400 of the young nobillity and gentry of this nation into statutes, bonds, judgements etc. to the value of 500,000li, by advice of Councell I drew up a bill for punishing such as live at high rates and have noe visible estates, and for making voyd all securityes given for monyes lost at play since the yeare 1647, which the House read this day with much satisfaction. . . .
July 4, 1657.—
f. 92b.Wednesday the Lord Maior and Aldermen met in greate state his Highnes’ Councell at Temple Bar, attended by the lifeguard, his Highnes’ gentlemen, all the heraulds, and very many trumpetts; over against Chancery Layne and in Fleetestreet they read the Peticion and Advice (inclosed), and proclamed his Highnes with greate solemnity; the like in Cheapeside and over against the Exchange in Cornhill. Yesterday there happened a very sad accident in Catterins neere the Tower by firing 150 barrells of gunn powder, which blew up 15 houses, kild 2 children in an Abcdarian scoole house, and 8 other persons; it happen’d thus, one Cox, the master of the powder howse in Dewell filds, being in drinke, and requiring his servant to break up a granado hee refused, whereupon hee tooke up a hammer, and was resolved to doe it himselfe, at which the servant runn away, and before he could gitt fifty yards from the powder house his Master with the house was blowne up. It hath prejudiced above 100 houses more, by breaking their windows, and blowing of their tyles and ruffecast. Major Generall Harrison, Collonell Rich, and Vice-Admirall Lawson are by his Highnes’ order lett att liberty. The time of his Highnes’ going to vizite Portsmouth and Dover with other parts is not yet knowne. Wee have a fleete of 60 sayle going to rendevouz in the Downes, greate store of pickaxes and shovells are sent to them.
f. 99.This day sennight his Highnesse had much private conference with the Ld Lambert, and Thursday last Mr ateJessop, one of the clerkes of the Councell, was sent to the Lord Lambert’s house at Wimbledon for his Lordshipp’s Commission, which was delivered to him, and afterwards to his Highness1 . . .
July 25, 1657.—
f. 101b.The excise and customes of goods imported into England (exepting ale and beare) are farmd at 800000li per annum by Alderman Dethwicke, Alderman Fredricke, Alderman Tems,2 Mr. Martin Noell, Mr. Ford, Mr. Banks, and others. Thursday last the councell sat; Collonel Sidenham and Majour Generall Skippon tooke there oath, and were admitted into the Councell. Sir Gilbert Pickering, Sir Charles Owsely,3 and Collonel Jones, are not come out of the country. The Councell past severall orders for the pay of the army, and for making provisions ready for the fleete which lye yet in the Downes. The Lord Cleappole his father was created Barronet, and afterwards received the honnour of knigh[t]ood. The Lord Lambert’s regiment of foote is given to the Lord Fleetwood, who is said to bee Lieutenant Generall of the army, and Generall Disborrough, Generall of the horse. The Councell referr’d it to a Comittee of officers to consider of a reducement of the pay of the army, who have thereupon ordered that the place of Scoute Master Generall, Quarter Master Generall, and one of the Adjutant Generalls, bee heerafter reduced, and likewise the traine, and 100 out of every regiment of foote, whereby the sume of 100000li per annum is retrencht; they have in this report desired that his Highnes would bee pleased to take care of those officers whose pay is reduced, they having faithfully served the publique. Yesterday Collonell Sexby (disguised in a very poore habit, and with an overgrowne beard) was taken one shipp board going out of the nacion, and after a short examinacion by his Highnes was sent prisoner to the Tower.
August 11, 1657.—
f. 105.. . . Since the publishing the act for gameing for money (which hath rooted all the ranting crew out of the city) many desperate robberies are committed frequently neare it. Generall Blague being safely returned for England with some of the fowlest vessells in the fleet, in a very weake condition in body, haveing for 12 moneths last past been onely nourished with broaths, jellyes, and cordialls, ended his most honourable life the 7th instant, within a legue of his landing at Plymouth; his corps are comeing up to London in order to an interment answearable to his never to be forgotten merits. Major Generall Skippon is this weeke to be marryed to one Barronet Phillips his widdow, a person of much piety and goodnesse. The excise for all England is lett save for 3 countyes. It amounts already to neare 1200,000li per annum, besides Ireland and Scotland. The farmers advance some a ninth, others a 10th part, besides good secureity and a moneths pay beforehand. There is to bee of the other House 12 of the old nobility of England, 6 to serve for Ireland, and 6 for Scotland. His Highnes’ Councell here are to bee created Barons. A waterman’s wife of Westminster was yesterday delivered of 4 lusty children, who are all liveing, but she is dead. His Highnes came not this day from Hampton Court, so that the Councell sate not.
f. 107.. . . . Two gentlemen of Shropshire, younger sons of ancient popish families, having bin taken by Major Waring High-sheriff there tampering to list horse, their commissions of fresh date (vizt. of the 31th of March) were alsoe taken with them, and upon examination they confesse they were with Charles Stuart in Aprill last, and had assurance that after the end of this campaine the Spanish party would furnish him with a considerable force to land in England, with which they should bee ready to joyne. They were sent to the Tower, and others in Yorkeshire and elsewhere are looked after.
[2 ]The original is unsigned, but the author was probably either Major-General Morgan or Lieut.-Col. Hughes. See pp. 116, 124.
[1 ]The version of this speech given in the Clarke Papers agrees with that in the Commons’ Journals, vii. 539, not with that in Thurloe, vi. 309. There are, however, the following trifling differences between the Clarke MS. and the speech printed in the Journals. The Clarke MS. reads:
[1 ]See 3rd Report Hist. MSS. Comm. p. 247, for Cromwell’s letter demanding Lambert’s Commission.
[2 ]Nathaniel Temse.