Front Page Titles (by Subject) Speech of the Protector, Richard Cromwell, November 19, 1658 - The Clarke Papers. Selections from the Papers of William Clarke, vol. 3
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Speech of the Protector, Richard Cromwell, November 19, 1658 - 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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Speech of the Protector, Richard Cromwell, November 19, 1658
Friday November 19, 1658, his Highnesse appointed all the officers of the army about the towne to attend him at Whitehall, to whom he made a speech to this purpose.1
f. 190b.‘That hee desired a meeting with them to uphold the good correspondency that ought to bee betwixt him and the army, besides that hee was glad to see their faces, and now that hee had shewed them the way thither, he hoped they would more frequently make it their place of meeting, and all the roomes hee had, even to his bed-chamber, should be open to them (probably meaning thereby that there had been private meetings in other places, as indeed there had been, which was not so pleasing and acceptable unto him). Hee further told them, that by the providence of God the governement of these nations was cast upon him, both as to the civill and military power, and that hee had accordingly been proclaimed and owned by the officers of the army, and since taken an oath to governe according to the Petition and Advice, which hee was resolved to pursue, and as they had consented in the proclayming of him Protector, so hoped they would assist him in the governement, for hee stood in much need of their advice, being young and not fitted for so great a worke, and had a disadvantage, that hee succeeded one who was so extraordinarily able to undergoe so great a burthen, which would sinke him, if hee had not the advice and alsoe the prayers of good men. Hee alsoe told them that it would be very necessary all jealousies and misconstructions were layd aside, and that every one would bend their mindes to love and charity, and to beleive that hee would be as carefull to protect the godly of the nation, as others who apprehend a safe protection for them might be better elsewhere, and that it was a great discouragement unto him when some from whom he expected better things should have those jealousies of him, as to that and other particulars hee hoped hee did not deserve it, and did wish that they would be eyewitnesses of his actions.’
The occasion wherefore (as I apprehend) the Lord Protector made this speech to the officers, was because that this day they were to meet at St. James’, as they had done for severall Frydaies before, where they had severall conferences upon places of Scripture, but medled not with the affaires civill or military till this day sennight that they began to breake out, and to hint at some alteracions made in the army, as if good men were put out, and worse put in; which speech Major Generall Goffe did oppose, and laboured to convince them of their errour, and the meeting this day at Whitehall prevented that meeting. The officers seemed to be much affected with what my Lord said, except some few of the inferiour sort who muttered a little after they were gone, but they were persons inconsiderable, so that in all probability thinges will tend to unity in the army, and then my Lord Protector will have incouragement to protect lawes, liberty, property, magistrates and ministers, order and governement, which hee is resolved to doe against all arbitrary wayes that shall be proposed to the contrary.1
[1 ]See Thurloe, vii. 447, 452, for an earlier speech of Richard’s to the officers on October 18, and for a different version of this one see Mercurius Politicus, November 18-25; cf. Guizot, Richard Cromwell, l. 264.
[1 ]A newsletter from G. M., November 20, gives another and briefer account of the speech, adding that the officers ‘seemed not a little satisfied at their departure.’ They were to meet again the following Friday, and a letter of November 27 says: ‘Yesterday the officers were again at James’s to pray as formerly.’ In a postscript it adds: ‘A petition was carryed on by the troopers for the addition of 3d per diem to their pay, but it is supprest, and the promoters under examinacion.’ A letter of December 18 says: ‘Wednesday last two troopers of the Lord Fleetwood’s regiment were cashered by a Court Martiall for endeavoringe to promote a petition for arreares and increase of pay.’