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Extracts from 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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Extracts from Newsletters
f. 162.Itt will nott seeme strange if I tell you, that this last weeke wee have every day bin fill’d with newes out of England,2 As that the Lord Lambert was in the head of 4 regiments of horse; That my Lord Fairfax had secured the Isle of Man for himselfe; That his Highness that now is was poysoned, and that the Lord Henry and yourselfe stood upon your tearmes. And this I thinke newse enough for one weeke, though I thinke if possible this next weeke will not be much behinde it; but notwithstanding all these vaine stories, it is easy to perceive that their is an astonishment at hart in such as did expect greate changes upon his Highness’ death to finde such an unaminity and cheerfulness in the declareing his Highness that now is, and indifferent by standers doe looke upon the enimies of England as now much farther from their ends then ever. . . .
September 18, 1658.—
f. 163.. . . A generall meeting of all the officers heere was yesterday in the afternoone held att Whitehall, and an addresse unto his Highnesse being prepared the Lord Fleetwood acquainted them with the intent of their meeting, namely to consider of the addresse, which being read unto them they all unanimously consented and signed the same, and this day betweene 11 and 12 presented itt to his Highnesse, desiring that hee will bee pleased to owne and persist in that cause wherin the Lord hath bin pleased soe manifestly to prosper his late Father against the malice of all publique and private enemies, that turbulent spiritts may bee discountenanc’t, and places of trust conferr’d onely on the faithfull Members of the Commonwealth, and the governement to bee setled in one single person and Houses of Parliament, wherunto with much candor, and undoubted reall affection to the governement of the Commonwealth and safety of the people, hee was pleased to give his gracious approbation. . . . The Lord Mountague hath a regiment of horse given him, and tis said the Lord Fleetwood will suddainely bee appointed Generallissimo of all the forces.
Oct. 2, 1658.—
f. 173.Thursday last Judge Windham and Judge Nicholas (Judges of the last Westerne circuite), were questioned before the Councell, for seditiously declaringe in some of there charges that unlesse ministers would administer the Sacrament the people were not bound to pay them tythes, which words tend to the subversion of one of the heads of the late Addresse to his Highnesse, whereupon they are both put out of commission.
October 9, 1658.—
f. 175.Some discontented Members of the army prepared a petition (but subscribed by none) to present to his Highness, praying that the Lord Fleetwood may be appointed Genrall of all the forces of the 3 nations, and give comissions to all but feild officers, and that none may be admitted or casheired the army but by a Court Martiall. Yesterday about 300 officers mett theirupon at Jameses. The Lord Fleetwood told them he had imparted the petition to his Highness, whose answer was he would not part with the power of the militia out of his owne hands, or the privilidge of granting comisions, yet would willingly advise with him in any matter of concernment to the army, and to the rest he assented. After which the Lords Fleetwood, Desbrough, Whaley, and Goffer, told them the dangerous consequence of such petitions in this juncture of tyme, and advised them to unity of spirit in carrying on the good old Cause, wherin his Highness resolved to live and dye with them. Major Generall Berry then opened the good intention of the petition, so the meeting broke up, and they all parted very well satisfied.
. . . The commission for a Commander in Chiefe is fayrly engrost with a blanck left for the name. The petitioners for the Lord Fleetwood to be Generall of the forces of England and Scotland have apointed another meetinge Friday next at Jameses. . . .
October 19, 1658.—
f. 180.Yesterday morninge his Highness sent for the generall officers of the Army, and had much conference with them, and they parted with kindnes,1 soe that I hope all suspitions of disquiet in the army are laid aside. My Lord Fleetwood by advice of his Highnes Councell is made Leiut-Generall of the armys in England and Scotland. I think his commission is as it formerly was and no otherwise, and the interposition of the Counsell’s advice is according to the eighth article of the Petition and advice.
Westminster, October 23, 1658.—
f. 181.The Lord Lieutenant of Ireland’s commission is sealed and sent over to him by his Secretary Doctor Petty. The office of marking of all white wollen clothes sent out of the nation, worth 1500li per annum, conferr’d uppon the Lord Lambert, and the seale of the office uppon the Lord Falconbridge, both which lately belong’d to the late Duke of Lenox. On Tuesday last the Lord Fleetwood att a meeting of the officers about London att Wallingford House advised them to unity, and to take speciall care to prevent disorders amongst their souldiers. Friday the officers mett att S. James’s to seeke God for a blessing uppon the affaires of the nation, and a very eminent spiritt of prayer appeared in the officers. 25000li order’d for the forces about London, and the guards about London to bee doubled. The losses of the English in the East Indies communicated to the Dutch Ambassadour. The Councill have had much debate about the Swed’s businesse, butt are come to noe result. The siege att Copenhagen still continued. The Duke of Buckingham hath 14 dayes longer time to stay at Yorke House. Judge Margetts presented a petition to the Councill that there might bee distinct Advocates for England and Scotland.
Westminster, October 26, 1658.—
f. 182.Yesterday his Highnesse and Councill satt againe in private debate touching the Swedish affaires relating to the interest of this nation, the results of which debate (though att present suspended from a publique knowledge by reason of the treaty with the Dutch Ambassadour) will suddenly appeare by the motion of Sir George Ayscue. The King of Sweden was lately forced to draw off from Copenhagen by reason of the great fall of raine, butt uppon the abatement of the waters the siege was drawne closer then before, though with much hardshippe, the souldours being forced in many places to stand uppe to the knees in water; and by a merchant arrived heere last night from Holland ’tis said that the Dutch fleete rideth in the Sound ready to engage the Swedes, and that Copenhagen is surrendred.1 Saterday last the Lord Pride dyed, whose death is heere much deplored.
November 6, 1658.—
f. 185.Munday last his Highnesse had debate with certaine feild officers about raysing monies by the Newbuildings &c. to pay parte of the souldiers’ arreares, and 6 sergeants are appointed to waite uppon and assist the Receivour of the monies. The same day the High Court of Justice mett, but suspended their sitting till further empowered by new Commission. Captain Hart is appointed by advice of the Councell to be Major to the Lord Montague’s regiment. The Councell have ordered a draught for an Establishment for Dunkirke to be prepared. The D[uke] of Bucks (being sicke) to have 20 dayes longer liberty to stay at Yorke House. The funerall of his late Highnesse (intended to have been solemnized upon Tuesday next) is put of till further order.2
. . . . . . .
f. 185b.The officers met againe yesterday at James’s, and about 3 howres prayed and expounded severall places of Scripture, and appointed to meet Friday next againe for the same purpose.3 The Dutch Ambassadour is not yet gone, nor going, though Sir George Ascue tooke yesterday shipping for Denmarke.
November 13, 1658.—
f. 187.The corpes of his late Highness were on Wednesday last removed from Somerset House, and passing through James’s Park were carryed to Westminster, and there interred in the vault in Henry 7 Chappell. The due preparacions being now neer finished a day will suddenly be appointed for celebrating the funerall, the whole charge whereof will amount to above 28000li. Many of the Malignant party being flockt to town the forces are appointed on that day to be dispearsed upon severall guards in and about London, for the safety therof; all the foot soldiers are to be accoutred in new redd coates trim’d with black which is given them by his Highness, which makes them not a litle joyfull in his favour, and though the Captains and other inferriour officers have no mourning given them, yet his Highness hath promised that which shall be of equall vallue thereunto. . . .
Yesterday the officers mett againe at James’, spent 3 houres praying, expounding, and speaking. It was moved in regard the language flew high, and tended as some said to division, that the meeting might be dissolved, yet otherwise ordered. . . .
[2 ]Undated, but apparently written about September 17 from the Hague, whither Downing had just been sent as agent.
[1 ]Cf. Thurloe, vii. 447, 452, and Guizot, Richard Cromwell, i. 246.
[1 ]Public Intelligencer, November 8-15, 1658. ‘A relation of the Sea-fight between the Swedes and Dutch, as it was sent from Helsingor, 29th of October’ (English Style). The Swedes are said to have lost two ships, the Dutch nine. Another account is given in Mercurius Politicus,December 9-16.
[2 ]A newsletter dated September 25 says: ‘The Councell sat most in consultation about due preparations for the Enterment of his late Highness, the glorious solemnity whereof will bee much after the manner of the late King Jameses.’
[3 ]Guizot, Richard Cromwell, i. 248, 251.