Front Page Titles (by Subject) Lieut.-General Fleetwood to General Monck - The Clarke Papers. Selections from the Papers of William Clarke, vol. 4
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Lieut.-General Fleetwood to General Monck - Sir William Clarke, The Clarke Papers. Selections from the Papers of William Clarke, vol. 4 
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., 1901). 4 vols.
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Lieut.-General Fleetwood to General Monck
lii. f. 2b.I have sent this bearer, Collonell Talbott, unto you,1 knowing him to bee a hearty lover of your Lordship as well as a freind to myselfe, and by him I shall deale plainely and freely with you, to lett you know how much I am surprised at yours, which by your messenger I received from you. I much wounder you should put your selfe in a posture of opposition to your old freinds upon a bare report, for I am sure you have not received a right state of the case; I shall therefore give you an accompt how affaires have been amongst us. I must lett you knowe, there was noe resolucion to give disturbance to the Parliament sitting upon the Wednesday morning, untill that night that after the Howse was upp, Sir Arthur Hassilrige, Collonell Morley, and Collonell Walton had ordered two regiments of foote and one of horse, in whom they thought they could most confide, to bee drawen together into Westminster Hall, who were put into a posture of opposition unto the rest of their fellow officers and soldiers; such a sudden resolucion and management thereof put the rest of the officers of the Army into a sudden revolucion, that to prevent blood and the devision of this Army it was judged necessary for the forces to draw together, in order to the preserveing of the peace and disappointment of designes to give disturbance, which accordingly was done. The Councill, haveing a full accompt of this action, thought fit to command those Gentlemen to retire, as alsoe those forces which they had gott together, who had dispersed most of them, although that order had not come, haveing received satisfaccion in their being led into a snare. I shall not take uppon mee at present to give an accompt what led to this action, being intended by a Declaration to bee published, which I hope will give all peaceable-minded people satisfaction; and let not mistaken earnestnes ingage you in a designe of blood, which I am confident the Lord will beare a [testimony] against you in, if you undertake it. Yow are pleased to direct a Declaration to the Churches, of whome I doe not think there are two in England will owne your Lordshippe in what you are about to doe; noe, the sober godly Presbeterian and other good people in the Nation who were not ingaged in Charles Stewart’s designe will abhorr the action. My Lord, I love and honour you but give mee leave to say, noe man of sober principles throughout this Nation will otherwise interpret this action of yours then a way to bring Charles Stewart amongst us againe, though I hope not intended by you. If it bee thought adviseable to [recall] this Parliament againe, I am sure you take a course direct against it by divideing the army, which certainly noe man can suppose a readier way then that to begin a civill warr in these Nations, and give them an advantage to rise, who you cannot but know hanker [?] for all such occasions. And shall the army in Scotland give the advantage to that partie by their putting themselves into a posture of opposicion to their brethren of the Army of England?
Certainly [neither] your Lordshipp nor any good man whatsoever spreading this case before the Lord can satisfie themselves thus to ingage. If there bee such an earnest desire of the Parliament’s returne, shurely you should have laboured to satisfie yourselfe in the grounds of their disturbance, and, like brethren, have sent some of your owne number to have reasoned the case with us; but to conclude us as guilty, and threaten us with blood, is a strange way of proceeding amongst freinds. Wee have committed our cause, I hope, to the Lord, and, if wee bee in a wrong, I trust hee will convince us; but at present let mee tell yow that I think there hath not beene more unanimity and satisfaction throughout the Nations in any one action that hath falne out in severall yeares past then in what is done. As to what yow say concerneing our repentance for our late apostacyes, I shall onely say this, that I hope there was and is a due sence thereof; but certainly in our calling this Parliament together it was well knowne what were the arguments that did invite and incurrage [us] thereunto. Nay assurances [were] given of those [in] whome there was a confidence of their influence in that Howse, that what wee had proposed should bee effected, which how little thereof hath beene done I need not say. Although I know it is not fitting for any to impose uppon a Parliament, yet give mee leave to say that this Parliament soe long laid aside, and haveing soe many severall Parliaments by the choyce of the people acted since, by which, as hath been acknowledged by them who were the cheife in owneing this Howse, that by that consent of the people’s choyce the authority of this Parliament did cease; yet such was the honour wee did beare to the rememberance of this Parliament that wee were willing to improve any part thereof to give a setlement to these poore Nations, and to have the reputacion of it themselves. And in the confidence of that perswasion that what you as well as wee had proposed should bee granted, they were invited to sitt againe; and instead thereof what hath been done, but to undo whatsoever hath been done for these six yeares last past? And though wee are farr from the thoughts of returneing to that forme of Government of a single person, yet there were many things then transacted, as well relateing to the good of this cause as [to] persons, properties, [etc.] which now is at a loose. I am one amongst others who desire to retaine a due rememberance of those great things which this Parliament hath don, and therefore shall forbeare to speake any thing which may too much reflect upon them. If your Lordshipp bee unsatisfied with what wee have done, send any of your number in whome you may most confide in, and I doubt not but wee shall give or receive satisfaction—nay, I have that value for you that if you please I can freely meete you as farr as Yorke, in order to give you satisfaction. Wee shall (I hope) bee led into any thing which may bee for the peace and setlement of these poore Nations, but through the Lord’s gratious presence and assistance wee shall not bee forced unto anything; and therefore as yow tender the peace of these poore Nations, the good of this cause wee have beene soe long contending for, and the prevention of a further effusion of blood, let mee begg you to refuse and decline every thing which may cause further destractions and devisions amongst us. As to what yow mention of your authority in constituteing officers and removeing, as being one of the seaven Commissioners, I am sure there is nothing in that Act will countenance you in any of these actions, for noe one can by vertue of that Act doe anything, the Quorum being three, but besides the powers therein are wholly subbordinate to the Councill of State, which satt this day, and would noe doubt of it have discountenanced this way of proceeding had they been advertised of it in theire sitting. And for you to judge our designe to bee to sett up arbitrary power, I shall make the same earnest request unto you that yow are pleased to doe to mee, that yow would not bee deluded by the specious pretences of any ambitious or Malitious persons whatsover, and if blood bee shed I feare yow will not quit your selves of being guilty thereof. Wee have noe base, unworthy, selfish designes, but the desires of our hearts are that these Nations may bee setled in a free Commonwealth, to the greatest security of the interest of this people; when wee declyne that yow will have wherewith to justifie yow in such a case. My Lord, I have noe designe uppon yow, but the tendernesse of love I have to yow and other friends with yow makes mee thus large, and that, if the Lord please, wee may not by our divisions give a ruine to these poore Nations. The Lord direct you to doe that which shall bee right in his sight is all from
Your very humble servant,
25th October 1659.
[1 ]This letter was written by Fleetwood in reply to Monck’s letter of October 20. According to Phillips, however, writing as usual on the authority of Clarges, Monck’s letter did not arrive till the evening of October 28. Yet this answer is plainly dated October 25, and Monck, in his reply to it on November 3, mentions the date of Fleetwood’s letter. On this point, therefore, Phillips is apparently wrong.