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Putney, 1st November 1647 At the General Council of the Army - Arthur Sutherland Pigott Woodhouse, Puritanism and Liberty, being the Army Debates (1647-9) from the Clarke Manuscripts with Supplementary Documents 
Puritanism and Liberty, being the Army Debates (1647-9) from the Clarke Manuscripts with Supplementary Documents, selected and edited with an Introduction A.S.P. Woodhouse, foreword by A.D. Lindsay (University of Chicago Press, 1951).
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Putney, 1st November 1647
The Lieutenant-General first moved, that every one might speak their experiences as the issue of what God had given in, in answer to their prayers.
Captain [Francis] Allen made a speech, expressing what experiences he had received from himself and from divers other godly people: that the work that was before them was to take away the negative voice of the King and Lords.
Captain [John] Carter expressed his experiences: that he found not any inclination in his heart (as formerly) to pray for the King, that God would make him yet a blessing to the kingdom.
Cowling made a speech expressing that the sword was the only thing that had from time to time recovered our right[s], and which he ever read in the word of God had recovered the rights of the people; that our ancestors had still recovered from the Danes and Normans their liberties, by the sword, when they were under such a slavery that an Englishman was as hateful then as an Irishman is now, and what an honour those that were noblemen thought it to marry their daughters to, or to marry the daughters of, any cooks or bakers of the Normans.
Lieutenant-Colonel [Henry] Lilburne [said]:
That he never observed that the recovery of our liberties which we had before the Normans was the occasion of our taking up arms, or the main quarrel; and that the Norman laws werea not slavery introduced upon us, but an augmentation of our slavery before. Therefore what was by some offered, I doubt, for those reasons I have given you, was not of God.1
A report from Colonel Lambert’s regiment that two horsemen, Agitators, came and persuaded them to send new Agitators, for that the officers had broken their engagements.2
[As] to that which hath been [heretofore] moved concerning the negative vote, or things which have been delivered [on that matter], in papers and otherwise, [some] may [indeed] present a real pleasing [of the King; but] I do not say that they have all pleased; for I think [it hath been made clear] that the King is king by contract; and I shall say, as Christ said, ‘Let him that is without sin cast the first stone,’ and mind [you of] that word of bearing one with another—it was taught us to-day. If we had carried it on in the Parliament, and by our power, without any thingsb laid on [us of] that kind, so that we could say that we were without transgression, I should then say it were just to cut off transgressors; but considering that we are in our own actions failing in many particulars, I think there is much necessity of pardoning of transgressors.
For the actions that are [now] to be done, and those that must do them, I think it is their proper place to conform to the Parliament, that first gave them their being; and I think it is considerable whether they do contrive to suppress the power [of the King and his party] by that power or no, if they do continue [their endeavour] to suppress them. And [indeed] how they can take the determination of commanding men, conducting men, quartering men, keeping guards, without an authority otherwise than from themselves, I am ignorant.a And therefore I think there is much [need] in the Army to conform to those things that are within their sphere. For those things that have been done in the Army, as this of [issuing] The Case of the Army Truly Stated, there is much in it useful, and to be condescended to; but I am not satisfied how far we shall [do well to] press [it]. Either they are a Parliament or no Parliament. If they be no Parliament they are nothing, and we are nothing likewise. If they be a Parliament, we are [not to proceed without them in our plan for settlement, but] to offer it to them.b If I could see a visible presence of the people, either by subscriptions or number, [I should be satisfied with it]; for in the government of nations that which is to be looked after is the affections of the people. And that, [if] I find [it],c would satisfyd my conscience in the present thing.
[Consider the case of the Jews.] They were first [divided into] families where they lived, and had heads of families [to govern them], and they were nexte under judges, and [then] they were under kings. When they came to desire a king they had a king, first elective, and secondly by succession. In all these kinds of government they were happyf and contented.g If you make the best of it, if you should change the government to the best of it, it is but a moral thing. It is but, as Paul says, ‘dross and dung in comparison of Christ’;1 and [I ask] why we shall so far contest for temporal things, thath if we cannot have this freedom [peacefully] we will venture life and livelihood for it. When every man shall come to this condition [of mind], I think the state will come to desolation.i
Therefore the considering of what is fit for the kingdom does belong to the Parliament, [provided they be] well composed in their creation and election. How far I shall [think we ought to] leave it to the [present] Parliament to offer it, [will depend on their willingness to do so]. There may be care [had to secure a proper representation]. That the elections, or forms of [choosing the] Parliament, are very unequala [is evident], as I could name but one for a corporation to choose two. I shall desire that there may be a [common] form for the electing of Parliaments. And another thing [is]b the perpetuity of the Parliament;c that there is no assurance to the people but that it is [to be] perpetual, which does [not] satisfy the kingdom.d And for other things that are [subject] to the King’s negative vote [so] as [he thereby] may cast you off wholly, it hath been the resolution of the Parliament and of the Army [to safeguard these things]. If there be a possibility [then] of the Parliament’s offering those things unto the King, that may secure us, I think there is much may be said for the[ir] doing of it.
As for the present condition of the Army, I shall speak something of it. For the conduct of the Army, I perceive there are several declarations from the Armye calling rendezvous and otherwisef [containing] disobligations to the General’s orders. I must confess I have a commission from the General, and I understand that I am to do by it. I shall conform to him according to the rules and discipline of war, and according to those rules I ought to be conformable [to no orders but his]. And therefore I conceive it is not in the power of any particular men to call a rendezvous of a troop or regiment, or in [the] least to disoblige the Army from those commands of the General; which must be destructive to us in general or [to] everyg particular man in the Army.h This way is destructive to the Army, [I say], and to every particular man in the Army. I have been informed by some of the King’s party, that if they give us rope enough we will hang ourselves. [We shall hang ourselves] if we do not conform to the rules of war. And therefore I shall move [that] what we shall centre upon [must be the rules of war and our authority from the Parliament. We must not let go of that] if it have but the face of authority. [We are like a drowning man]: if it be but an hare swimming over the Thames, he will take hold of it rather than let it go.
That God hitherto hath been pleased to show us many mercies, [and proceeded to] the relation of God’s providence in bringing us from our march to London.
On Friday was a day for to seek God for direction in this work, and upon Saturday many were giving in their thoughts concerning what God had given in to them to speak, as to a cure for a dying kingdom. Truly amongst the rest my thoughts were at work. Providentially, my thoughts were cast upon one thing which I had often seen before, [which] yet, if prosecuted, may be the means of an happy union amongst us. That which I hint at, and which Ia would speak to, isbThe Case of the Army Stated. I do perceive that there is either a real or an apprehensive disunion amongst us, or rather a misapprehensive; and truly in my heart there was something providentially laid for a uniting, and that in that passage that those Agents—at that very time of dissenting from us, and when they were ripping up our faults to open view—in the issue came to lay us down [as] a rule, and that was [a thing] which before had been laid down as a rule, and we and they were to act according to it; but being laid down by them again, I think it is a twofold cord that cannot easily be broken. They do refer us to our three declarations,d of [the] fourteenth [of] June,1 [the] twenty-first of June, [the] eighteenth of August; and their desires are that those might be looked upon, and adhered unto; and if they be our desires, and theirs with them, and [if it be] their desiree that we should walk up to them, I think this will put the business to a very fair issue. I did look over for my part all [the] things [contained] in those three declarations. There, [I find], is [set forth] whatsoever we should persist in. And therefore I humbly desire that whatsoever [there] is in those declarations we may intend and pursue, as tending to that end we all aim at, namely the kingdom’s good.
Lieutenant-Colonel [John] Jubbes:
Truly I do not know how to distinguish whether the Spirit of God lives in me or no, but by mercy, love, and peace; and on the contrary whether the spirit of Antichrist lives in me, but by envy, malice, and war. I am altogether against a war if there may be a composure [possible, so] that the Englishman may have his privileges. I have a commission ready to deliver up whensoever I shall be called.
Queries wherein Lieutenant-Colonel Jubbes desireth satisfaction for the preventing of the effusion of blood:
1. Whether or no the Parliament may yet be purged of all such members as assented to the late insurrections and treason of the City, and still continue a House?
2. If it may be purged, and an House still remaining,f whether the major part of the remainder be such persons as are desirous of giving satisfaction to our, or the kingdom’s, just desires?
3. If the second be assented unto, that they are such persons, whether then they may not satisfy our just desires, and declare the King guilty of all the bloodshed, vast expense of treasure, and ruin that hath been occasioned by all the wars both of England and Ireland, and then, for that he is the King of Scotland, and also of Ireland, as well as England, [whether they should not agree, after] that, therefore to receive him as King again for avoiding further wars?
4. Whether, if the Parliament may adjourn and dissolve when in their discretions they shall find cause (or not before), as at this present, even by law, God hath ordered it, they may not then reject the King’s Act of Oblivion, and take unto themselves that godly resolution to do that justice unto the kingdom which now they dare not do?
Rainborough moved that the papers of the committee might be read.
I think that motion which was made by the Lieutenant-General should not die, but that it should have some issue. I think it is a vain thing to seek God if we do not hearken after his answer, and something that was spoken by the Lieutenant-General moves me to speak at this time, anda upon this ground. Upon what was spoken by one here, it was concluded by the Lieutenant-General that that was not the mind of God that was spoken by him. I could wish we might be wary of such expressions. ‘There was a lying spirit in the mouth of Ahab’s prophets. He speaks falsely to us in the name of the Lord.’1 I do not speak this, that this [particular] was the mind of the Lord in anything; yet we may not break abruptly off,b [concluding] that what one spoke was [not] the mind of the Lord:c we must consider whether something was not spoken by others which may be the mind of the Lord. Truly I am very tender in this thing: if we shall wait for God, and if God shall speak to us [and we not hearken], we shall bring much evil upon ourselves. God hath spoken in several ages in sundry ways. [Of old] whend they sent to a prophet and he comes and tells them upon his bare word,e he tells them that he received such a message from the Lord. But God hath put us upon such a course which I cannot but reverence, and God does not now speak by one particular man, but in every one of our hearts; and certainly if it were a dangerous thing to refuse a message that came from one man to many,f it is a more dangerous thing to refuse what comes from God, being spoke by many to us. I shall add this: that it seems to me evident and clear that this hath been a voice from heaven to us, that we have sinned against the Lord in tampering with his enemies. And it hath so wrought with me that [though] I cannot run precipitately to work, yet I dare not open my mouth for the benefit or upholding [of] that [kingly] power.a I think that hath been the voice of God, and whatsoever was contradicted [by events] was [only] our precipitate running on, our taking hold of an opportunity before it was given. And therefore I desire we may not precipitately run on, but wait upon God, that in the issue we may not see that God hath [not] spoken to us; and if the Lord hath spoken to us I pray God keep us from that sin that we do not hearken to the voice of the Lord.
I shall not be unwilling to hear God speaking in any [man]; but I think that God may [as well] be heard speaking in that which is to be read, as otherwise.
But I shall speak a word in that which Lieutenant-Colonel Goffe said, because it seems to come as a reproof to me, and I shall be willing to receive a reproof when it shall be in love, and shall be [so] given, but [not otherwise]. That which he speaks was, that at such a meeting as this we should wait upon God, and [hearken to] the voice of God speaking in any of us. I confess it is an high duty, but when anything is spoken [as from God] I think the rule1 is, Let the rest judge!b It is left to me to judge for my own satisfaction, and the satisfaction of others, whether it be of the Lord or not, and I do no more. I do not judge conclusively, negatively, that it was not of the Lord, but I do desire to submit it to all your judgments, whether it was of the Lord or no. I did offer some reasons which did satisfy me—I know not whether theyc did others.d If in those things we do speak, and pretend to speak from God, there be mistakes of fact, if there be a mistake in the thing [or] in the reason of the thing, truly I think it is free for me to show both the one and the other, if I can. Nay, I think it is my duty to do it; for no man receives anything in the name of the Lord further than [to] the light of his conscience appears. I can say in the next place—and I can say it heartily and freely: as to the matter [of which] he speaks I must confess I have no prejudice, not the least thought of prejudice, upon that ground—I speak it truly as before the Lord. But this I think: that it is no evil advertisement, to wish us in our speeches of righteousness and justice to refer us to any engagements that are upon us, and [it is] that which I have learned1 in all [our] debates. I have still desired we shoulda consider where we are, and what engagements are upon us, and how we ought to go off as becomes Christians.b This is all that I aimed at and I do aim at. And I must confess I had a marvellous reverence and awe upon my spirit when we came to speak. [We said], let us speak one to another what God hath spoken to us; and, as I said before, I cannot say that I have received anything that I can speak as in the name of the Lord—not that I can say that anybody did speak that which was untrue in the name of the Lord, but upon this ground, that when we say we speak in the name of the Lord it is of an high nature.
Lieutenant-Colonel Goffe made an apology for what he had said before.
My desire is to see things put to an issue. Men have been declaring their thoughts, and truly I would crave liberty to declare mine. The difference between us, I think, is in the interest of King and Lords, some declaring against the name and title of King and Lords, [others preferring to retain them]. For my part [I think], clearly, according to what we have engaged we stand bound; and I think we should be looked upon as persons not fit to be called Christians, if we do not work up to them. As first, concerning the King. You say you will set up the King as far as may be consistent with, and not prejudicial to, the liberties of the kingdom; and really I am of that mind [too]. If the setting up of him be not consistent with them, and prejudicial to them, then down with him; but if he may be so set up—which I think he may—[then set him up], and it is not our judgment only, but of [all save] those that set forth The Case of the Army.
Rainborough took occasion to take notice as if what Mr. Allen spoke did reflect upon himself or some other there, as if [it were asserted that] they were against the name of King and Lords.
Truly I must be bold to offer this one word unto you.c Here was somewhat spoke of the workings and actings of God within us;d I shall speak a word of that. The Lord hath put you into a state, or at least [suffered you] to run you[rselves] into such a one, that you know not where you are. You are in a wilderness condition. Some actings among us singly and jointlye are the cause of it. Truly I would entreat you to weigh that.a We find in the word of God, ‘I would heal Babylon, but she would not be healed.’1 I think that we have gone about to heal Babylon when she would not. We have gone about to wash a blackamoor, to wash him white, which he will not. We are going about to set up that power which God will destroy: I think we are going about to set up the power of kings, some part of it, which God will destroy; and which will be but as a burdensome stone2 that whosoever shall fall upon it, it will destroy him.c I think this is the reason of the straits that are in hand.d I shall propose this to your Honours, to weigh the grounds, whether they be right, and then you shall be led in pleasant paths by still waters, and shall not be offended.f
I think we should not let go that motion which Lieutenant-Colonel Goffe made, and so I cannot but renew that caution that we should take heed what we speak in the name of the Lord.e As for what that gentleman spoke last, but [that] it was with too much confidence, I cannot conceive that he altogether meant it. I would we should all take heed of mentioning our own thoughts and conceptions with that which is of God. What this gentleman told us [was] that which [he conceived] was our great fault. He alludes to such a place of scripture: ‘We would have healed Babylon, but she would not.’ The gentleman applied it to us, as that weg had been men thath would have healed Babylon, and God would not have had her healed. Truly, though that be not the intent of that scripture, yet I think it is true that whosoever would have gone about to heal Babylon when God hath determined [to destroy her], he does fight against God, because God will not have her healed. And yet certainly in general to desire an healing, it is not evil, [though] indeed when we are convinced that it is Babylon we are going about to heal I think it’s fit we should then give over our healing.
But I shall desire to speak a word or two since I hear no man offering anythingi as a particular dictate from God [that he would] speak to us, [and] I should desire to draw to some conclusion of that expectation of ours. Truly, as Lieutenant-Colonel Goffe said, God hath in several ages used several dispensations, and yet some dispensations more eminently in one age than another. I am one of those whose heart God hath drawn out to wait for some extraordinaryj dispensations, according to those promises that he hath held forth of things to be accomplished in the later times, and I cannot but think that God is beginning of them.a Yet certainly [we do well to take heed], upon the same ground that we find in the Epistle of Peter, where he speaks of the scriptures, to which, says he, you do well to take heed [as] ‘a more sure word of prophecy’ than their testimonies were,b as a light shining in a dark place.1 If, when we want particular and extraordinary impressions, we shall either altogether sit still because we have them not, and not follow that light that we have, or shall go against, or short of, that light that we have, upon the imaginary apprehension of such divine impressions and divine discoveries in particular things—which are not so divine as to carry their evidence with them to the conviction of those that have the Spirit of God within them—I think we shall be justly under a condemnation. Truly we have heard many speaking to us; and I cannot but think that in many of those things God hath spoke to us. I cannot but think that in most that have spoke there hath been something of God laidc forth to us; and yet there haved been several contradictions in what hath been spoken. But certainly God is not the author of contradictions. The contradictions are not so much in the end as in the way. I cannot see but that we all speak to the same end, and the mistakes are only in the way. The end is to deliver this nation from oppression and slavery, to accomplish that work that God hath carried us on in, to establish our hopes of an end of justice and righteousness in it. We agree thus far. Further too: that we all apprehend danger from the person of the King and from the Lords—I think we may go thus far farther, that all that have spoke have agreed in this too, though the gentleman in the window2 [seemed to deny it] when he spoke [of] sett[ing] up, [but he], if he woulde declare it, did not mean all that that word might import. I think that seems to be general among us all, [that] there is not any intention of any in the Army, of any of us, to set up the one [or the other].f If it were free before us whether we should set up one or [the] other, I do to my best observation find an unanimity amongst us all, that we would set up neither. Thus far I find us to be agreed; and thus far as we are agreed. I think it is of God. But there are circumstances in which we differ as in relation to this. Then I must further tell you that as we do not make it our business or intention to set up the one or the other, so neither is it [our intention] to preserve the one or the other, with a visible danger and destruction to the people and the public interest. So that that part of difference that seems to be among us is whether there can be a preservation [of them with safety to the kingdom]. First of all, on the one part, there is this apprehension: that we cannot with justice and righteousness at the present destroy, or go about to destroy, or take away, or [altogether] lay aside, both, or all the interest they have in the public affairs of the kingdom; and those that do so apprehend would strain something in point of security, would rather leave some hazard—or at least, if they see that they may consist without any considerable hazard to the interest of the kingdom,a do so far [wish] to preserve them. On the other hand, those who differ from this, I do take it (in the most candid apprehension) that they seem to run thus: that there is not any safety or security to the liberty of the kingdom, and to [the] public interest, if you do retain these at all; and therefore they think this is a consideration to them paramount [to] the consideration of particular obligations of justice, or matter of right or due towards King or Lords. Truly I think it hath pleased God to lead me to a true and clear stating [of] our agreement and our difference. And if this be so, we are the better prepared to go [on]. If this be not so, I shall desire that any one that hath heard me [will] declare [it], if he do think that the thing is misstated as to our agreement or difference.b
I shall go on, only in a word or two, to conclude that we have been about. As to the dispensations of God, it was more particular in the time of the Law [of Moses than in the time of the law] written in our hearts, that word within us, the mind of Christ;1 and truly when we have no other more particular impression of the power of God going forth with us,c I think that this law and this [word] speaking [within us], which truly is in every man who hath the Spirit of God, we are to have a regard to. And this to me seems to be very clear, howd we are to judge of the apprehensione of men [as] to particular cases, whether it be of God or no. When it doth not carry its evidence with it, of the power of God to convince us clearly, our best way is to judge the conformity or disformity of [it with] the law written within us, which is the law of the Spirit of God, the mind of God, the mind of Christ. And as was well said by Lieutenant-Colonel Jubbes, for my part I do not know any outward evidence of what proceeds from the Spirit of God more clear than this, the appearance of meekness and gentleness and mercy and patience and forbearance and love, and a desire to do good to all, and to destroy none that can be saved. And for my part I say, where I do see this, where I do see men speaking according to this law which I am sure is the law of the Spirit of Life [I am satisfied. But] I cannot but take that to be contrary to this law, [which is], as he said, of the spirit of malice and envy, and things of that nature. And I think there is this radically in that heart where there is such a law as leads us against all opposition. On the other hand, I think that he that would decline the doing of justice where there is no place for mercy, and the exercise of the ways of force, for the safety of the kingdom, where there is no other way to save it, and would decline these out of the apprehensions of danger and difficulties in it, he that leads that way, on the other hand, doth [also] truly lead us from that which is the law of the Spirit of Life, the law written in our hearts. And truly having thus declared what we may apprehend of all that hath been said, I shall wish that we may go on to our business; and I shall only add several cautions on the one hand, and the other.a
I could wish that none of those whose apprehensions run on the other hand, that there can be no safety in a consistency with the person of the King or the Lords, or [in] their having the least interest in the public affairs of the kingdom—I do wishb that they will take heed of that which some men are apt to be carried away by, [namely] apprehensions that God will destroy these persons or that power; for that they may mistake in. And though [I] myself do concur with them,1 and perhaps concur with them upon some ground that God will do so, yet let us [not] make those things to be our rule which we cannot so clearly know to be the mind of God. I mean in particular things let us not make those our rules: that ‘this [is] to be done; [this] is the mind of God;c we must work to it.’ But at least [let] those to whom this is not made clear, though they dod think it probable that God will destroy them, yet let them make this [a] rule to themselves: ‘Though God have a purpose to destroy them, and though I should find a desire to destroy them—though a Christian spirit can hardly find it for itself—yet God can do it without necessitating us to do a thing which is scandalous, or sin, or which would bring a dishonour to his name.’ And therefore those that are of that mind, let them wait upon God for such a way when the thing may be done without sin, ande without scandal too. Surely what God would have us do, he does not desire we should step out of the way for it. This is the caution, on the one hand, that we do no wrong to one or other, and that we abstain from all appearance of wrong, and for that purpose avoid the bringing of a scandal to the name of God, and to his people upon whom his name is bestowed.a On the other hand, I have but this to say: that those who do apprehend obligations lying upon them—either by a general duty or particularly in relation to the things that we have declared, a duty of justice, or a duty in regard of thebEngagement—that they would clearly come to this resolution, that if they found in their judgments and consciences that those engagements led to anything which really cannot consist with the liberty and safety and public interest of this nation,c they would account the general [duty] paramount [to] the other, so far as not to oppose any other that would do better for the nation than they will do.h If we do act according to that mind and that spirit and that law which I have before spoken of, and in these particular cases dod take these two cautions, God will lead us to what shall be his way, and [first] as many of us ase shall incline their minds to [him], and the rest in their way in a due time.
I shall desire to speak one word, and that briefly.f After many inquiries in my spirit what’s the reason that we are distracted in counsel, and that we cannot, as formerly, preserve the kingdom from that dying condition in which it is, I find this answer, the answer which is [vouchsafed] to many Christians besides, amongst us. I say [it] not in respect of any particular persons, [but] I say [that the reason is] a compliance to preserve that man of blood, and those principles of tyranny, which God from heaven by his many successes [given] hath manifestly declared against, and which, I am confident, may [yet] be our destruction [if they be preserved]. I only speak this [as] what is upon my spirit, because I see you are upon inquiry what God hath given in to any one, which may tend to the preservation of the kingdom.
I observe that the work hath been to inquire what hath been the mind of God, and every one speaks what is given in to his spirit. I desire as much as is possible to reverence whatsoever hath the Spirit or Image of God upon it. Whatever another man hath received from the Spirit, that man cannot demonstrate [it] to me but by some other way than merely relating to me that which he conceives to be the mind of God. [In spiritual matters he must show its conformity with scripture, though indeed] it is beyond the power of the reason of all the men on earth to demonstrate the scriptures to be the scriptures written by the Spirit of God, anda it must be the spirit of faith [in a man himself] that must [finally] make him believe whatsoever may be spoken in spiritual matters. [The case is] yet [more difficult] in civil matters; [for] we cannot find anything in the word of God [of] what is fit to be done in civil matters. But I conceive that only is of God that does appear to be like unto God—[to practise] justice and mercy, to be meek and peaceable. I should desire therefore that we might proceed only in that way, if it please this honourable Council, to consider what is justice and what is mercy, and what is good, and I cannot but conclude that that is of God. Otherwise I cannot think that any one doth speak from God when he says what he speaks is of God.
But to the matter in hand. I am clearly of opinion with that gentleman that spake last save one, that it is not of God [to decline the doing of justice] where there is no way left of mercy; and I could much concur that it is very questionable whether there be a way left for mercy upon that person that we now insist upon. [I would know]b whether it is demonstrable by reason or justice,c [that it is right] to punish with death those that according to his command do make war, or those that do but hold compliance with them, and then [to say] that there is a way left for mercy for him who was the great actor of this, and who was the great contriver of all? But I confess because it is in civil matters I would much decline that, and rather look to what is safety, what the mind doth dictate from safety. What is [for] the safety [of the people], I know it cannot be the mind of God to go contrary to [that]. But for what particulars that gentleman speaks, of the difference[s] between us, I think they are so many as not easily to be reckoned up.d That which he instanced was that some did desire to preserve the person of the King and person[s] of the Lords, so far as it was [consistent] with [the] safety or the good of the kingdom, and other persons do conceive that the preservation of the King or Lords wase inconsistent with the people’s safety, and that law to be paramount [to] all [considerations].
Sir, I [think he] did not speak of the destroying of the King and Lords—I have not heard any man charge all the Lords so as to deserve a punishment—but [of] a reserving to them any interest at all in the public affairs of the kingdom.
Wildman [addressing Cromwell]:
Then, sir, as I conceive, you were saying the difference was this: that some persons were of opinion that [they stood engaged to] the preservation of the power of King and Lords, [while others held that the safety of the people] was paramount to all considerations, and might keep them from any giving them what was [their] due and right.
I [think it was] said that [while] some men did apprehend that there might be an interest given to them with safety to the kingdom, others do think that no part of their interest could be given without destruction to the kingdom.
Wildman [addressing Ireton]:
For the matter of stating the thing in difference, I think that the person of King and Lords are not so joined together by any; for as yourself said, none have any exception against the persons of the Lords or name of Lords. But the difference is whether we should alter the old foundations of our government so as to give to King and Lords that which they could never claim before. Whereas it’s said that those that dissent1 look after alteration of government, I do rather think that those that do assenta do endeavour to alter the foundations of our government, and that I shall demonstrate thus. According to the King’s oath he is to grant such laws as the people shall choose,b and therefore I conceive they are called laws before they come to him. They are called laws that he must confirm, and so they are laws before they come to him.c To give the King a legislative power is contrary to his own oath at his coronation, and it is the like to give a power to the King by his negative voice to deny all laws.d And for the Lords, seeing the foundation of all justice is the election of the people, it is unjust that they should have that power. And therefore I conceive the difference only is this: whether this power should be given to the King and Lords or no.
The question is not, whether this should be given to King and Lords, or no; but the question is: whether that interest that they have in this (if they have any), whether it should be now positively insisted upon to be clearly taken away.
Sir, I suppose that the interest they have, if they have any—if (for that supposition is very well put in)—for (as I said before) I conceive that neither King nor Lords according to the foundation of government ever had a right—
I spake it to you, and those that are of your mind, if you were [not] satisfied not to have an exception.
Then, I say, the whole tenor of the propositions or proposals must be altered, if anything be in them [allowing the King a negative voice]. I conceive, thus not to express it, because it hath been usurped, is to confirm his usurpation of it. For many years this hath been usurped. Now, if after God hath given us the victory over them we shall not declare against them, we give no security for the people’s liberty.
You speak part to the point of justice and part to the point of safety. To the point of justice you seem to speak this: that by the fundamental constitutions of this kingdom, neither King nor Lords have rightfully a negative voice; and therefore to take it away, or to clear it that they have none, is but justice. I think that is it: that [by] the fundamental constitutiona [neither of them can claim a voice, and so it should be given to] neither of them.b
You seem to argue only from the King’s oath. And then you conclude: if, as it appears by that, they had it not before, though we all be satisfied [that] we would say nothing to give them it, yet if we do not expressly take it away—nay, if we do sendc a proposald to any of them [to know their opinion]—we do leave to them a power to assent or dissent, and give them that which we had before—
And I know for my own part no other [evidence] than an old statute or two cited in the declaration wherein the Commons declare, [with reference to the coronation oath, the form of the King’s withholding of assent, and the custom of Parliament, the extent of their own, and the limits of his, legislative power].1
I remember I spoke it, and I speak it again, andg that thish is the intent, I do verily believe: that the original sense and intention of the oath of the King’s which is published in that declaration of the Commons was, and is, and ought to be, that the King ought to confirm those laws that the Commons choose. Now whether this King be so bound by his oath as that he breaks his oath if he do not confirm every law that they seek, I conceive that depends upon what he did verily at his coronation make his oath; but I think that in the sense and intention of the people of the kingdom,a their intention was that he should confirm all the laws that they should choose. But you must take notice that the oath doth take them [as] laws before he should make them: it calls them laws, the laws in election, quas vulgus elegerit. The King promises that he will by his authority confirm those laws that the people shall choose, so that this shows clearly what use, in the constitution of the kingdom, they made of the King in the commonwealth. The Commons are to choose the laws and the King to confirm. They had this [to] trust to: the King would confirm what they should choose, and, he confirming them, they were firm laws. I do really believe that this was the agreement that the people of England made with their Kings; that is, they would have him give his consent to what laws they should choose, and so to have that implicit use [of him]. But this is most apparent, both by the oath itself, and by all the practice sinceb —the sending of laws to the Kingc —that they had someg relation to the King and to his consentd in the making of a law.e This I am sure: if it were never so clear in the constitution that they were good laws without it, yet this is clear—if that were true in the original constitution of this kingdom this is clear—that they have [been] sent still to him to be confirmed; as the word was to be confirmed or corroborated, Leges [quas vulgus elegerit] cor[roborandas].f
And I think: if we do [take into] account all the sending of laws heretofore to be corroborated by him, and if his denying of some of them—not absolutely denying but advising—if these have not at all prejudiced [the right of] the people against his negative voice, so the sending of propositions now for his assent cannot prejudice the right of the people more than all their sending [laws to him] before. If we should put it to the King as his act, [yet] the Parliament have declared it and asserted it, that it is their right that the King ought not to deny any [laws they offer to him]; it is his oath. They have gone thus much farther, that if he did not confirm them they were laws without him. Upon this there hath been a war made. They have gone [so far as] to make all laws and ordinances that were needful for the management of the affairs of the kingdom, without the King. It is now come to a period. So that de facto it is thus they have made laws, and held them forth to the kingdom [as laws]. Now if the King by his act do confirm what the Parliament have done, and condemn all that hatha been [done] against the Parliament, [I ask] whether he do not acknowledge to all posterity, that in case of safety, when the Parliament doth adjudge the safety of the kingdom to be concerned, they are to makeb a law without him. For my part I think there can be nothing more clear than this is. For my own particular, I do apprehend that there is that general right [in the Parliament], that the laws [it shall pass] ought to be confirmed [by the King]; and that is my thought,c that without anything of the King’s declaration to that purpose,d [and] thoughe they cannot dispense with the suspending [power] of the King,f they are,g in point of safety,h a law without him. This the Parliament hath declared, and this is asserted in all the declarations that have been sent out, and [this is] the ground that I have proceeded [on] in those Proposals of the Army. Thati ‘in a case of safety’ was provided for, in those matters that I have spoke of. I account them materially and essentially provided for in those; and if I had not, for my part I should never have rested or been satisfied in that point, and in other points [where] there might have been a dispensingj with a suspending [power], notwithstanding [that] the liberty of the kingdom hath been provided for in this, that there should not be anything done, or laws made, without the consent of the people.
I think if so be that this business of the negative voice be all the dispute, we shall all agree in it; fork it appeared by what you spake the other night, that he ought to have his negative voice taken away.
The Scots have made provision that he should have no negative voice among them, and why should not we make the same provision with them?
Those things that the committee did propose, and [that] they proceeded in last night,1 will almost end us this dispute.l Whereas it was desired that we should take into considerationm the several heads to be insisted upon as fundamental laws that we must stand [to] for the establishing of the kingdom, [we were also to consider the previous declarations of the Army, how far] they are still [binding, and adequate] in relation to the security of the kingdom.
I conceive [that in] this concerning the succession of Parliaments [it] is proposed positively that it shall be as triennial Parliaments were.
[Tell me whether] you did in your way propose a certainty or not. If you did not propose it, the Act for Triennial Parliaments [which in its general purport] says the same [thing, supplies the defect. Observe] how far that which you propose is [from certainty]: the people shall meet, [but] you neither say where nor when. We say, [with such provision] for the certainty of it [as] in [the late Act made for Triennial Parliaments]; that Act tells you particularly. But because you must make a new provision for it, since you must make a new division and distribution of the kingdom and a new circuit,a therefore it says, ‘with such further provision as shall be made for reducement [of it] to a certainty.’
That he does take exception at [the proposal] that no man should be chosen [as a representative] that hath not twenty pounds a year.
[Wildman, interrupting the proposals regarding the negative voice]:b
Though I protest I would not widen a difference, yet I conceive the difference is as wide as ever. In what’s there provided for,c [the interest of the people] is laid aside, [and] the interest of the King and Lords, which the Lord by a judgment from heaven hath given away, [is restored].d
If Mr. Wildman think fit to [let me] go on without taking an advantage [to object] to every particular as it is read, [he may show afterwards] what [things] they are that do render these propositions so destructive and [that] give the King and Lords such an interest as they never had before—if he will take them upon his memory and [not] by the way.
I only affirm that it doth establish the King’s and Lords’ interest surer than before.
I hope Mr. Wildman will not offer such an assertion but he hath arguments to make it good.f
I would proceed to the things in hand.h
Rainborough [observed, the reading concluded]:
That some things in the Agreement were granted there. [He moved]: To debate whether or no, when the Commons’ Representative do declare a law, it ought not to pass without the King’s [or the Lords’] consent.
Truly this is all [that question amounts to]: whether, honour, title, estate, liberty, or life, [if] the Commons have a mind to take it away by a law, [they may do so]; so that to say you are contented to leavei King and Lordsj all, this [negative] being taken away, is as much as to say you are to allow them nothing. Consider how much of this dispute is saved [by] this that is read to you. It gives the negative voice to the people, that no laws can be made without their consent. And secondly, it takes away the negative voice of the Lords and of the King too, as to what concerns the people; for it says that the Commons of England shall be bound by what judgments and also [by] what orders, ordinances, or laws, shall be made for that purpose by theira [representatives]; and all that follows for the King or Lords is this, that the Lords or King are not bound by that law they pass, unless they consent to it for their own persons or estates, as the Commons are. Therefore what [more] is there wanting for the good or safety of the Commons of England?
If the negative voice be taken away [on these terms], then if the King or Lords were taking courses destructive, how should they be prevented?
It is further provided, if they will meddle in any other offices, asi officers of justice or ministers of state in this kingdom, then they likewise are so far subject to the judgment of the House of Commons. If they only stand as single men, their personal interest and the like [is secured], and the right of being only judged by their peers, andc their individual persons [are not bound] by any law that they do not consent to.
If the Lords should join together by their interest in the kingdom, and should act against the Commons, then the Commons had no way to help themselves.
If it comes to a breach of the peace it will come to break some law. The Lords heretofore,d [as] to the breaches of peace, have been subject to the common law; only [as] to the matter of fact, whether guilty or not guilty, they must be tried by their peers. We have stood very much for ourselves, that we should be judged by our peers,e by our fellow Commoners; I would fain know this: [since] that a Lord is subject to the common law, how we can take away that right of peers tof be for the matter of fact, whether guilty or not guilty of the breach of such a law,g tried by their peers, when that it is a point of right for the Commons to be tried by their peers.
[It seems then] that the laws that bind the Commons are exclusive ofh the Lords.
I would fain know this: whether the high sheriff in every county of the kingdom [may not apprehend a Lord who shall break the peace]. And I am sure the law hath [thereby] provided for the keeping of the peace. I know that there is no law but [that] the chief justice of the King’s Bench, nay the sheriff of a county, nay the constable of any town, may seize upon him.
If a petty constable or sheriff shall apprehend a peer of the kingdom, [I would know] whether he can answer it?
If a Lord shall be accused, and by a jury found guilty, he will expect to be tried by his peers.b
We do agree that all the Commons of England are bound [by whatever laws the House of Commons shall pass], but the King and Lords as to their persons are not bound; but if any of them be an officer or minister of state [—and the King is—] then he is to be subject [to the judgment of the House of Commons].
How does it reach the King, and not a Lord?
Every Lord is not a minister of justice [to be accountable to the Commons for his official acts], but if there be any other difference they are tried by their peers.
It is offered to make them capable of being chosen.
Every Baron, [not disqualified] by the other exception[s], may be chosen.1
Is it not so in Scotland?
In Scotland every Lord hath his place as burgess.
[I ask], why the Lords should not have the same privilege [to sit as a body with the Commons].
I should think [of] that as the directest [way to make their] interest [dangerous] to the kingdom, in the world; for that, for so many persons to be a permanent interest in the House, every two yearsd —
Colonel [Robert] Tichborne:
I was speaking to this of the negative, I do remember, on Saturday last. We were [then] at this pitch and there I did leave it, [for] it did concur with my sense—and that was this. That all the power of making laws should be in those that the people should choose; only the King and Lords should serve to this end, that laws should be presented to them, that if they would do the Commons that right as to confirm those laws, they should do it; but if they should not think fit to sign them, it should beget a review of that by the House of Commons; and if after a review the House of Commons did declare that was for the safety of the people, though neither King nor Lords did subscribe, yet it was a standing and binding law;a and therefore we shall not need to fear [and] to take [off] a shadow when they can do us [so] little hurt.b This was what I did then suppose agreed upon.
’Tis true, Saturday night we were thinking of that, but we had an eye to that of safety, that is provided for by the Commons. No money can be raised, no war raised, but by those that the Commons shall choose. And so we thought to put it to consideration, that the Commons should make so much use of the Lords in all affairs [that] they might occasion a review, but if the Commons should upon that review think it fit, it should be looked upon as a law. But instead of that the committee voted last night that (whether the Commons of England should be bound by all the laws passed in the House of Commons, or whether it should be valid, in the case of safety, [that] that which you speak of shouldc follow) if there do but continue such a thing as Lords, and they do not sit jointly with the House of Commons, then the Lords shall agree [to the laws that the Commons propose] or otherwise the Commons shall do it presently themselves.d But that which [was then proposed] was questioned in the name [of] the safety [of the Lords themselves], and [the] securing of [their] safety, [by those] that thought it fit that they should have a liberty to preserve one another.e
[Otherwise] if they be injured they have not a remedy.
That’s all that can be said. The question is, whether there be so much need of giving them a power to preserve themselves against the injuries of the Commons. They are not capable of judgment as to their persons unless it be as they are officers of state. Only the truth of it is, there is this seems to be taken away [by taking away their judicial power]: if a man do come and violently fall upon them in the court, or do any such thing, they have no power to preserve themselves, and all their way will be to complain to the House of Commons.
I conceive that whilst we thus run into such particulars there is very little probability of coming to satisfaction. The case, as there it is stated in the Agreement, is general; and it will never satisfy the godly people in the kingdom unless that all government be in the Commons, and freely. Truly, I conceive that according to what is there propounded the power of the House of Commons is much lessened—from what it is of right, not [from] what it is now by usurpation of King and Lords. Whereas it’s said that no law shall be made without the consent of the Commons, it doth suppose some other law-makers besides the Representative of the Commons. Whereas it is said that the Lords in some cases should sit as an House of Parliament to consent to laws, [this] doth give them that power which they never had before the wars; for as yourself said of the King’s oath, it says that the King shall consent to such laws as the people shall choose, but the Lords have no power.a If there be a liberty to the King to give them a title of honour, they ought to be under all laws, and so they ought to concern them as well as all others; which I conceive is diminished in those particulars. Besides, the general current of the whole offer runs that nothing shall be declared against that usurpation in the King formerly, nor in the Lords formerly, and so it remains perpetually dubious. They shall say, ‘Though it does not concern me in my private [capacity], yet it does in my politic’; and no law can be made but it must be sent to the King and Lords, and that must occasion a review; and so they must have recourse [to the King for their laws], to the unrighteous for righteousness, and so long as it is not clearly declared that he hath no power to deny it, and that they need not address themselves to him,b the kingdom cannot be in safety, but his own party may get up and do what he will.
This business is much heightened. Yetc I do not know, by all that hath been said, that the King or Lords are more fastened [on us] than before. We hear talk of laws by ancient constitution, and by usurpation, and yet I do not find that the gentleman that speaks of them doth show [any evidence] what was the ancient constitution, nor of [that] usurpation, but only [the evidence] of the King’s oath; and [from] that is drawn, as taking it for granted, that by ancient constitution there were laws without the King’s consent. For that [question of the oath], I did before clear [it] sufficiently by comparing that with other evidence; for if we could look upon that as an evidence paramount to all [other], that needed not [to] be so much insisted upon. But if this gentleman can find no law in being in this kingdom, which hath not Lords to it, and King to it, and expressly,a ‘Be it ordained by the King, Lords, and Commons’—if it always have gone so, and no interruption and no memory of any kind of proceeding to the contrary, but that all laws passed by the Commons have been sent to the Lords for their concurrence—[if] the Lords have [made amendments and] sent down [to the Commons] for their concurrence, they have had conferences, and [when they] could not agree, the Commons have let it rest and not insisted upon it: we must look upon these as evidences of what is constitution, together with that testimony of the King’s oath. [But] whereas those other things that are numerous and clear evidences doe in express terms relate to the Lords,j when I do consider the consequences of that oath, I do conclude either that the word vulgus is concludedb to comprehend all Lords and Commons; or else it is thus, that the two great powers of this kingdom are divided betwixt the Lords and Commons, and it is most probable to me that it was so: that the judicial power was in the Lords principally, and the House of Commons yet to have their concurrences, the legislative power principally in the Commons, and the Lords’ concurrences in practice to be desired. It is a clear and known thing that the House of Commonsc cannot gived an oath, by the constitution of the kingdom, but they must resort to the Lords if they will have an oath given. And then, besides, all the judges of [the] Common Law in the kingdom sit as assistants to the Lords. Upon this the practice hath been in any private cause wherein unjust sentence hath been given—it is beyond all record or memory—that [by] a writ of error that [which] hath been passed in another court may be judged here. So that these two powers, of the legislative power and the judicial, have been exercised between both Lords and Commons, and neitherf of them to exercise the one or the other without mutual consent.g I desire this gentleman, or any other that argues upon the other part [than] that we are upon—unless they will produce some kind of evidence of history upon record by law—that they will forbear arguments of that nature,h calling such things usurpationsi from constitution or from right, and [rather] insist upon things of common safety as supposing no constitution at all.
Contrary to resolution I must now speak—whether it be from the Lord or no, I know not. What foundation had the Commons of England to sitting (beinga four hundredb years in sitting)? For in King Henry the Third’s time, when Magna Charta was finished (which by computation was four hundredc years [ago]),d this was granted to the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Edward, the son, was called to be a witness. But when the Lords saw that they were not strong enough to sit in that magnificence, the Commons were drawn in, and [it was contrived] that in that law [of] the King’s oath [they] should [also] come in. Now had it not been a fundamental law [before the Conquest] the Commons should not have been drawn up, but that they did drive up [now to support the Lords] is clear. And what will become of us if we drive up to no other purpose but to support a Norman prerogative? The Lord knoweth, not I.
I thought this gentleman had had some answer to this matter of history as to the Norman Conquest before, so as we should not seem to derive all our tyranny from the Norman Conquest. If subjection to a King be a tyranny, [we had a King before the Norman Conquest]; the question was between him and the Conqueror who had the right toe the crown. But I cannot but wonder at the strange inferences that are made. He tells us that there is no memory of the Commons’ having any interest in the legislative power till Edward the First’s time, and then [that] the Lords Spiritual and Temporalf found themselves not strong enough in King Henry the Third’s time, and therefore they brought them in, and yet [he] would certainly have us to believe that the Commons had all the right before [the Conquest].
In Alfred’s time, the Commons had all the power, and the King, before the Conquest, hanged forty-three [of the Lords Justices] in one year.1
[I observe] that the Commissary-General is willing to lay that of constitution aside, and that of custom aside, and [I think it well for us] to consider the equality and reasonableness of the thing, and not to stand upon [a] constitution which we have broken again and again. I do not find in all the reading that I have done—I do not know that ever the Commons made war with the King [till now, though] the Barons did. Yet,a besides the oath he found, [I would add] that one of the main articles against Richard the Second [was] that he did not concur with, and agree upon, those wholesome laws [which] were offered him by the Commons for the safety of the people. If that were so great a right as did depose him, it is in the kingdom [still], and therefore let us go to the justice of the thing. That justice and reason doth not give to the major part—
You would have us lay aside arguments of constitution, and yet you have brought the strongest that may be. I have seen the Articles of Richard the Second, and it is strange that the Parliament should not insist upon that.
That is not the thing that I would consider of.
I suppose no man will make a question that that may be justice and equity upon no constitution, which is not justice and equity upon a constitution. As for instance in the matter of a common, &c.
I wish but this, that we may have a regard to safety—safety to our persons, safety to our estates, safety to our liberty. Let’s have that as the law paramount, and then let us regard [the] positive constitution as far as it can stand with safety to these. Now therefore—thus for my part I confess it—if I should have ever given a consent in my heart to propound anything that did not consist with this, with regard to any constitution whatsoever, [I revoke it]; but for my part I cannot see that anything but safety is provided for.b Mr. Wildman says that many godly men would not be satisfied with this that we have read, which amounts to this: that the Commons have power to make laws for all the Commons of England, [and] that only the person of the King and [the] persons of the Lordsc as persons,d with their estates, are freed from them. [If this be so], I do not see [that] they are satisfied with anything without having a power over other men’s liberties.
Whereas you are pleased to say I produced no other evidence, Colonel Rainborough brought another. Because you did confess the Lords had no other power in making laws—
I never confessed it in my life, [otherwise] than [by] the recitation of that oath: ‘which the people shall choose.’
I could wish we should have recourse to principles and maxims of just government, [instead of arguments of safety] which are as loose as can be. [By these principles, government by King and Lords is seen to be unjust.]
The government of Kings,a or of Lords,b is as just as any in the world, is the justest government in the world. Volenti non fit injuria. Men cannot wrong themselves willingly, and if they will agree to make a King, and his heirs, [their ruler], there’s no injustice. They may either make it hereditary or elective. They may give him an absolute power or a limited power. Here hath been agreements of the people that have agreed with this. There hath been such an agreement when the people have fought for their liberty, and have established the King again.
’Twas their superstition, to have such an opinion of a great man.d
Any man that makes a bargain, and does find afterwards ’tis for the worse, yet is bound to stand to it.
They were cozened, as we are like to be.f
I would not have you talk of principles of just government when you hold that all governments that are set up by consent are just. [Argue instead that] such or such a way, that can consist with the liberty of the people. Then we shall go to clear reason. That’s one maxim, that all government must be for the safety of the people.
Let us keep to that business of safety. ’Tis upon the matter [of safety that the real power of making laws is vested] solely in the people [by] what hath been proposed. In that I give King and Lords [no more than an opportunity] to do me a courtesy if they will—
It is only an opportunity—and [to] show themselves as willing as the Commons. Let us not fight with shadows.
We do not know what opportunity God will give us.b
If God will destroy King or Lords he can do it without our or your wrong-doing. If you [not only] take away all power from them, which this clearly does, but [do also] take away all kind of distinction of them from other men, then you do them wrong.c Their having [such] a distinction from other men cannot do us wrong. That you can do to the utmost for the[ir] safety is this: that a Lord or King may preserve his own person or estate free from the Commons. Now [I would know] whether this can be destructive to the Commons, that so few men should be distinct from a law made by the Commons, especially when we have laws made as to the preserving of the peace of the kingdom and preserving every man in his right. The King and Lords are suable, impleadable, in any court. The King may be sued, and tried by a jury, and a Lord may be sued, and tried per pares only, [as] a knight by esquires. What needs more, where there are such laws already that the King and Lords are so bound?
I conceive that the difference does not lie here, but whether the King shall so come in that the Parliament must make their addresses themselves unto him for [the confirmation of] everything they pass. Whether it be a shadow or no, I think it is a substance when nothing shall be made but by address to the King. This will be very shameful in future chronicles, that after so much blood there should be no better an issue for the Commons.
Do you think we have not laws good enough for the securing of [the] rights [of the Commons]?
I think [that] according to the letter of the law, if the King will, [he may] kill me by law.d Ask any lawyers of it: by the letter of the present law he may kill me, and forty more, and no law call him to account for it.
I think no man will think it.e When the King stands thus bound with so many lawsf about him, and all the Commons of England bound to obey what law they [by their representatives] do make, let any man guess whether the King, as he is a single person, will hazard himself to kill this, or that, or any other man.
It will be thought boldness in me [not] to agree. If God will open your hearts to provide so that the King may not do me injury, I shall be glad of it. If not, I am but a single man, I shall venture myself and [my] share in the common bottom.1
THE WHITEHALL DEBATESa
 Possibly this sentence is a detached fragment (or an echo) of an unreported speech of Cromwell’s; see Goffe, p. 100.
 This detached note is transposed from after Captain Allen’s speech, above. The debate then, apparently, turned to engagements, the legitimacy of the Army’s interference, and the treatment of the King.
 Philippians 3. 8.
 See Appendix, pp. 403-9.
 1 Kings 22. 22; Jer. 43. 2.
 1 Cor. 14. 29.
 i.e. taught (Firth).
 Jer. 51. 9; 13. 23.
 Zech. 12. 3; Matt. 21. 44.
 2 Pet. 1. 19.
 Reference is to Allen (p. 102), or to someone whose speech is unrecorded.
 Heb. 8. 10; 1 Cor. 2. 16.
 I have not ventured to alter the text in a point so crucial. But the statement does not entirely harmonize with the tenor of Cromwell’s utterances in the Debates, and I suspect that what he said was: ‘And though [I] myself do concur with them, perhaps, upon some ground [of hope] that God will do so.’ The repetition of such a phrase as ‘concur with them’ is very common in the MS.
 Wildman has been criticizing a speech ascribed by MS. to Cromwell. Ireton evidently intervenes to explain Cromwell’s meaning. Wildman in reply addresses Cromwell, but Ireton, perhaps at a sign from Cromwell, continues to answer for him. This is the only assumption that does not make some change in the ascription of speeches necessary.
 i.e. to giving King and Lords a negative voice.
 Presumably Ireton refers to Parliament’s Third Remonstrance, 26th May 1642 (Husband’s Exact Collection of All Remonstrances, London, 1643, pp. 266 ff.). The words added pretend to be no more than a plausible completion of the sentence.
 There are no records of the meeting of the committee on Sunday, 31st October. Apparently it was concerned with completing the proposals now about to be read. See p. 113, note 1.
 Unfortunately these proposals are not copied into the report. Their nature may be fairly accurately deduced: (1) from what is said in the debate; (2) from the resolutions adopted by the committee on 2nd November, which presumably embody these proposals as modified by the debate and perhaps by subsequent discussion in the committee (see pp. 450-2). The question is complicated, however, by the fact that some of the ground covered in the resolutions reached by the committee on 30th October (see pp. 449-50) again comes up for debate here on lines different from those of the resolutions. It seems possible that the resolutions should all be recorded as of 2nd November, and that the earlier meetings were given over wholly to preparing the proposals here debated, some of which were dropped from the final resolutions owing to the opposition which they aroused. The proposals appear to have differed from the resolutions in the following points: (1) in more specifically exempting the Lords from the operation of laws to which they had not consented; (2) in the tentative proposal to make them eligible for election to the House of Commons (unless this was ‘offered’ not in the proposals, but in an unrecorded speech in the debate); (3) in adopting from the Heads of the Proposals, I. 1 (p. 422), a partial acceptance of the provisions of the Triennial Act (no word of this in Resolution 2 of 30th October, p. 449); (4) in suggesting a property qualification of £20 per annum for members of the House of Commons (absent from Resolution 5, of 30th October, pp. 449-50).
 The speeches, which obviously constitute a selection from the objections and replies made during the reading of the proposals, have somehow got themselves embedded in a later part of the report. The clue to their correct position is given by Ireton’s request to be allowed to proceed with the reading without interruption. For details regarding my transpositions, see ‘Notes on Text.’
 Lacking the proposals, one can only surmise the provision referred to. Possibly the ‘other exceptions’ are those listed as disqualifying persons to be electors or elected, in the committee’s fifth resolution (p. 450).
 Alfred’s hanging of forty-four justices (which has nothing to do with the Commons’ power) is cited (from Andrew Horne’s Mirror of Justice), in connection with the subject’s liberties, in Vox Plebis (1646).
 Report concludes: ‘Resolved, that the Council be adjourned till to-morrow, and so from day to day till the Proposals be all debated, and the same committee to meet again.’ The remaining debates are not reported in detail. The fragmentary reports are reprinted in the Appendix, where they are supplemented by the account given in A Letter from Several Agitators to their Regiments (11th November); see pp. 452-5.
[97. (a)] + of;
[(f-g)]and in all these Governemts. they were happy & Contented with itt, and;
[(i)] + and.
[(b-c)] tr which does satisfie the Kingdome [as];
[(d)] + as, followed by the transposed phrase b-c;
[(e)] + by;
[(h)] + that;
[99. (a-b)]spoke to was;
[(d)] + that;
[(f)] + or.
[100. (a)] + that was;
[(c)] + yett;
[(e)] + and;
[(f)] + Certainly.
[101. (a)] + and;
[(b)] + butt when any thinge is spoken;
[(d)] + butt.
[102. (a)] + still;
[(b)] + and;
[(c)] + truly;
[(e)] + that.
[103. (a)] + Truly;
[(c)] + and;
[(c-d)] tr shall nott bee offended [and];
[(e)] + butt;
[(f)] + and + transposed phrase [c-d];
[(h)] tr had bin;
[(j)] + ordinary.
[104. (a)] + and;
[(b)]was + to which you do well to take heede;
[(f)] + that.
[105. (a)] + that they;
[(b)] + and;
[106. (a)] + and that is this (I);
[(b)] + them;
[(c)] + butt;
[(d)] + nott;
[(c)] + that;
[(e)] + hee;
[(f)] + I finde that;
[(h)] + and.
[(b)] + Itt is demonstrable;
[(b-c)] tr that doe butt hold Compliance with them;
[(d)] + butt;
[(e)] + soe.
[(b-c)] tr from after c-d in its original position [see below];
[(c-d)] tr itt is unjust they should have that power, and there immediately followed by b-c;
[110. (a)] + blank (one line);
[(b)] + is itt;
[(e-f)] I adopt Firth’s suggestion that this is an interruption by Wildman, and correct his reading;
[(g-h)]that is that.
[111. (a)] + I thinke;
[(b)] + that;
[(c)] + by all that itt is apparent;
[(d)] + some Relation;
[(e)] + butt;
[(f)] There are spaces for completion of Latin phrase;
[(b)] + itt;
[(d)] + that;
[(f)] + and;
[(g-h)] tr any thinge of the Kinge’s Declaration to that purpose [that];
[(i)] + blank;
[(k)] + soe;
[(l-m)] tr for the Establishment of the Kingdome.
[113. (a-114 h)] tr [see p. 113, n. 2], with some alteration of order [see below], from after Ireton: [That] if a Lord shall bee accused & by a Jury found guilty hee will Expect to bee tryed by his Peeres [p. 116];
[(b)] First part of Wildman’s speech has been transposed from this position [b] to 114 g-h and 114 b-d, because it deals with a later proposal.
[114. (a)] + and;
[(b-d)] tr [see above, 113 b];
[(c-d)]the interest of the Kinge & Lords is laid aside wch. the Lord by a Judgemt. from heaven hath given away;
[(e-f)] tr will take them uppon his Memory, and by the way;
[(g-h)] tr [see above, 113 b];
[(b)] + that;
[(d)] + have bin subject;
[(e)] + and;
[(g)] + to bee;
[(i)] + any.
[116. (a)] + that;
[(b)] Here occur the transposed speeches 113 a-114 h; + Com. Ireton before next paragraph;
[(c-d)] tr any other difference they are tryed by their peeres.
[117. (a-b)] tr I did then suppose agreed uppon;
[(d-e)] tr those that the Commons shall chuse.
[118. (a)] + butt;
[(b)] + and;
[119. (a)] tr Kinge to itt;
[(c)] + they;
[(g)] + and;
[(h-i)] tr from Constitution or from Right [p. 120];
[(j)] + butt.
[120. (a-b)]200 (It is certainly possible that the mistake, which is repeated, is Cowling’s, but more probable that it is the reporter’s or the transcriber’s);
[(d)] + and;
[(f)] + they.
[121. (a)]That (+ blank);
[(b)] + wheras;
[(c-d)] tr with their estates.
[122. (a-b)] tr as just as any in the world;
[(c-d)] tr yett is bound to stand to itt;
[(e-f)] tr have Established the Kinge againe.
[123. (a-b)] MS. gives to Ireton as first sentence of his speech. Firth suggests (but does not adopt his own suggestion) that it is another interruption by Wildman, to which Ireton’s speech is a reply;
[(c)] + to;
[(d)] + and;
[(e)] + that;
[125. (a)] For source of text, and principles adopted in editing the Whitehall Debates, see p. 479.