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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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f. 80.Yesterday the House resumed the consideration of the arreares of the excise, and afterwards voted that none of theire proceedings should bee hereafter published in the weekely print. That whole day was spent by the army in prayer and preaching at the Lord Fleetwood’s howse, and carryed on by Mr. Griffeth, Mr. Peters, and other ministers. This day the House agreed with the declaration for a day of fasting, and sent it upp to the other House by Mr. Grove for theire concurrence; theire Lordshipps sent answer that the Howse would speedily consider thereof, and send answer by messingers of theire owne. This afternoone a generall Councell of the army met at Wallingford House, and agreed to declare against Charles Stewart and his interest, and for the Protectors and the Parliaments to protect all such as have beene ingaged in his1 death, and so admonish the army to amity and unity, and to a strict walking before the Lord. It is observed that when Mr. Grove was called in all the other Howse was bare to him and the 50 that accompanied him, and soe met them at theire Barr againe upon theire Lordshipps delivering theire answer.
f. 81b.Yesterday the Howse ordered Mr. Bampfeild [to be called to the chair], theire Speaker, Mr. Chalenor Chute, being lately departed. This day was spent in a paper for grevances from the Quakers directed to theire Speaker, who they desired would reade it to the Howse. They begin thus (friends); after it was read two of them were called in, and the Speaker tould them that the Howse did expect that they should returne to theire severall howses, and live peaceably, and with submission to the lawes of the nation. The Lord Fleetwood, according to the order of the last Generall Councell, is (with the advice of such officers as hee thinks fit) drawing upp the last heade agreed uppon against the next meeting the 20th instant. The other Howse is yet debateing theire answer to the declaration for the fast, and the manner of sending the same to the Commons. The Lord Kensington dyed yesterday of the small pox; the Earle of Bedford is almost recovered thereof. The newse of the peace betweene France and Spaine is by letters this post confirmed.
One of the Quakers was Cornett Billing.2
f. 86b.Yesterday the House was resolved in a grand committee for considering upon the speedy payment of some moneyes to the army, which debate was adjourned till to morrow morneing. This day hath been spent upon considering how the Militia may be best secured, which by the sence of the House appeares to mee will be declared to consist in his Highnesse and both Houses of Parliament, but the debate is not come to a question as yet. Yesterday the other House met in the afternoone, and did debate concerning their approbation of the votes concerning the officers and their generall councell, but their answer is not yet returned, for they have declared they will send it by messengers of their owne. I heare his Highnesse had some alarme yesternight, whereupon he tooke horse, and did visit the guards, but (blessed be God) there was no occasion of feers.1 At his Highnesse’ returne (as I am informed) hee did call for Collonel Hacker, and confer’d upon him the honour of Knighthood. I hope this businesse shall resolve in peace notwithstanding of some jealousies at present, and the rather because the peace betwixt France and Spaine is still reported here as concluded.
April 22, 1659.—
f. 85b.Munday last about 2 of the clock the officers according to his Highnesse’ command attended him att Whitehall, where hee made knowne his pleasure that from henceforth the meeting of the officers in a Generall Councell should be dissolved (the Parliament haveing their desires under consideracion), and then commanded them to repaire with all convenient speed to their respective commands in the 3 nations.3 The Parliament that day lock’t themselves close up, not allowing a Member to come out till 4 of clock, and ordered that there shall be no Generall Councell of officers of the army, without the leave, direction, and authority, of his Highnesse and both Houses of Parliament, and that no person shall have or continue any command or trust in any of the armyes or navyes of the 3 nations, who shall not subscribe, that he shall not disturbe or interrupt the free meetinges in Parliament of any Member of either House of Parliament, or their freedomes in their debates and councells. And that the concurrence of the other House be desired to these votes. It was referred to a committee to consider how his Highnesse, the Parliament, and the 3 nations, may be secured against the Cavaleers party. Another committee was appointed to prepare a bill for indempnifyeing of all persons that have served the Commonwealth. The other [House] spent much time in debate of the 2 first votes that were yesterday sent up to them concerning the officers and their generall Councell, but came to no result therein. It was Thursday referred to a committee to consider how the moneyes oweing to this Commonwealth may be brought [in], and also how money may be speedily raised for the army and navy, which was yesterday considered of by a grand committee of Parliament. Many officers met yesterday at Wallingford House, according to former adjournement of the Generall Councell, but sate not, because the Lord Fleetwood was goeing to the other House. The Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen yesterday came downe with a petition to his Highnesse, wherein they declared that they will stand by him as their Chiefe Magistrate and the two Houses of Parliament with the utmost of their lives and fortunes, for which his Highnesse returned them thankes. The officers of the city trained bands presented to his Highnesse the representation in approbation of the late petition of the army. That night the Lord Fleetwood and the Lord Disbrow attended his Highnesse till 11 at night, and then declared their full satisfaction in what his Highnesse had then said to answer the desires of and to live and dye with the armies of the 3 nations, which hath since prevailed with the rest of the officers to acquiesce. Orders being last night given for the outguards to be very diligent, a troupe quartered at Islington at night appeared in armes, at which an alarme was taken by all our guards, which occasioned some preparations extraordinary at Whitehall and other guards. This day was spent by the Commons in debateing his Highnesse to be Generall; to morrow it may probably come to a result.
April 23, 1659.—
f. 87.Thursday night all the regiments heere both horse and foote were in armes. That of the late Lord Pride march’t into Whitehall without opposition. His Highnesse gave orders to Colonel Hacker’s and other regiments to march to Whitehall for the preservation of his person, but having before received other orders from the Lord Fleetwood, they with all the rest obeyed his Excellencie’s rather then those from his Highnesse. All this was done without seizing any man’s person, shedding a droppe of bloud, or making the least confusion in the citty and suburbes. Yesterday his Highnesse signed a commission to dissolve both Houses. The other House sent the Black Rodde three times to the Commons to meete them for that purpose, butt because itt was nott brought by a Member of their owne, they refused to admitt therof by the messenger,1 against whome they lock’t their doors, who theruppon by order of the other House brake his black rodde att the doore of the House of Commons in testimonie of their dissolucion, which the Judges say is good in law, though the Commons have adjourned themselves till Munday morning. The Councill of officers mett this day debating what governement shall bee setled, whether by the Petition and Advice, the Longe Parliament to bee recalled, or a new governement constituted.
April 23, 1659.—
f. 87b.Thursday night the horse and foote in and about London were commanded into S. James’s Feilds and other partes about Whitehall and Westminster, and when the Parliament mett on Friday morning they looked uppon itt as a force uppon them, and soe adjourned till Munday, butt this day his Highnesse dissolved the Parliament by proclamation. Tis rumoured in the towne that the French and Spaniard have made a peace, butt others say that the Spaniards have putt a slurre upon the French, and keepe the Infanta of Spaine to marry the Emperour, soe that’s itt’s conceived itt will exasperate the French very much.
[1 ]The late King’s.
[2 ]See Fox’s Journal, pp. 272, 277. This Cornet Edward Billing had been a soldier under Monck in Scotland, and was one of the founders of the Colony of New Jersey.
[1 ]Cf. Guizot, Richard Cromwell, i. 364.
[2 ]Probably William Rosse, one of the Scottish Members.
[3 ]See an account of this interview in a letter of Anthony Morgan’s to Henry Cromwell. Ludlow’s Memoirs, ii. 68, ed. 1894, and Guizot, Richard Cromwell, 364.
[1 ]MS. ‘Master.’