Front Page Titles (by Subject) 10.: Account of the Debate, in a Newsletter from Reading, b 17 th July. - Puritanism and Liberty, being the Army Debates (1647-9) from the Clarke Manuscripts with Supplementary Documents
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10.: Account of the Debate, in a Newsletter from Reading, b 17 th July. - 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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Account of the Debate, in a Newsletter from Reading,b 17th July.
Yesterday there was a great council of war called; it held till twelve o’clock at night, consistingc of above one hundred officers, besides Agitators, who now in prudence we admit to debate. And it is not lessd than necessary they should be [admitted], considering the influence they have upon the soldiers. . . . And I assure you, it is the singularest part of wisdom in the General and the officers so to carry themselves, considering the present temper of the Army, so as to be unanimous in councils, including the new persons into their number. It keeps a good accord, and obtains ready obedience, for to this hour never any troop or company yet mutinied. . . . It is the hand of God that doth it, I hope, for a good end. It is not proper to relate particular debates yesterday; yet accept of a word in general, and think it not strange, if it should be advised to march nearer to London, as an expedient to obtain satisfaction in those particulars which have been long desired by the Army of the Parliament, as in particular declaring against foreign forces’ coming in, the putting Reformadoes out of the line, and suspending the eleven Members, but more especially to desire the Parliament to put the militia of the City of London into the same hands it was before, without which we cannot hold ourselves secure in proceeding to treat. . . . Though this was much pressed with reasons and earnestness by the Agitators, yet the General and the officers after many hours’ debate so satisfied them with arguments and reasons to the contrary, that they submitted it to the General and officers, no man gainsaying it; and so it is resolved to send to the Parliament to desire these particulars, especially the militia, and receive a positive answer within four days.
11. Of the Debate of 17th July, on the not-yet-completed Heads of the Proposals, the account, in Clarke MSS., vol. 67, is fragmentary, breaking off suddenly. Two speeches on the value of General Discussion, and of Reference to a Committee, alone are significant:
Ireton: For . . . the passing those particulars here read without a further weighing or consideration, it might be inconvenient; and therefore I shall desire that, though there be no man that finds anything of exception against any part of the thing that is read,a yet that it may be referred to a less number that may weigh or consider all things.b [These particulars are offered] not for a present conclusion, but consideration; for I cannot say the things have been so considered as to satisfy myself in them.
Allen: I shall only offer one word. I think that the things in hand he names are things of great weight, having relation to the settling of a kingdom, which is a great work; truly, the work we all expect to have a share in, and desire that others may also. I suppose it is not unknown to you that we are most of us but young statesmen, and not well able to judge how strongc such things which we hear now read to us may be to the ends for which they are presented; and for us out of judgment to give our assents to it must take up some time that we may deliberate upon it. And therefore I shall desire that we may not only name them [i.e. a committee] now, but spend some time [in debate], when we hear things unsatisfactory to the ends for which they are proposed.
12. This is followed in Clarke MSS. by an order of Fairfax, dated 18th July, naming twelve officers, including Ireton, Lambert, Harrison, Rainborough, Rich, Sir Hardress Waller, a committee ‘to meet, consult and proceed with the twelve Agitators, according to the appointment made at the General Council of War yesterday, for the perfecting of the Proposals then read, in order to the settling of the liberties and peace of the kingdom . . . ; and Lieutenant-General Cromwell to be present with the said council when he can.’
DOCUMENTS RELATING TO THE PUTNEY DEBATES
[(b)]Clarke Papers ed. Firth, 1. 215-16;
[421. (a-b)] transposed;