Front Page Titles (by Subject) 27.: Summary of the Debates on the Agreement, in the Council of Officers, 16th December-6th January; and of the Examination of Elizabeth Poole on 29th December and 5th January. a - Puritanism and Liberty, being the Army Debates (1647-9) from the Clarke Manuscripts with Supplementary Documents
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27.: Summary of the Debates on the Agreement, in the Council of Officers, 16th December-6th January; and of the Examination of Elizabeth Poole on 29th December and 5th January. a - 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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Summary of the Debates on the Agreement, in the Council of Officers, 16th December-6th January; and of the Examination of Elizabeth Poole on 29th December and 5th January.a
December 16: Agreement VII 2 (p. 362). Question: ‘Whether we shall present in this Agreement any reserve from the power of the Representative in point of impressing men for the war?’ (Resolved in affirmative.) Question: ‘Whether there shall be a reserve from the Representative to impress for foreign service?’ (Resolved in affirmative; Hewson and Scoutmaster Roe dissenting.) Clause phrased as in Agreement presented to Parliament (VIII 2: p. 362, n. 29), but without the words: ‘and may take order for the employing and conducting of them for those ends.’1
December 18: Agreement VII 3-6 (pp. 362-3). Third2 Reserve was passed as in Agreement presented to Parliament (VIII 3: p. 362, n. 30). Fourth Reserve was ‘laid aside.’ Fifth was ‘suspended as not proper to the place.’ Question: ‘Whether the Sixth Reserve (p. 363) shall be waived or not?’ (Resolved in negative, 18 : 16.)3
December 21: Agreement VII; VII 1. ‘An expedient upon the First Reserve, concerning Religion, brought in and debated.’1Question: ‘Whether the particulars now debated shall be referred or no?’ (Resolved in negative.) ‘All but officers to go forth.’ Question: ‘Whether the word moral shall be in the paper now read or no?’ (Resolved in negative, 27: 17.)2 Phrased practically as in Agreement presented to Parliament, VIII (p. 361, n. 25), but lacks emphatic phrase, ‘but not concerning things spiritual and evangelical,’ and the six particulars reserved in ‘things natural and civil.’ Question: ‘Whether under this general article of the power of your Representatives now agreed on, there shall be any reserve subjoined concerning religion?’ (Resolved in negative, 37 : 12; it is later transferred to separate article, IX.)
December 26: Agreement VII 6 (p. 363): ‘The Sixth Reserve . . . read and debated. Afterwards read thus (as an expedient): That the said Representatives may not exercise the power of immediate judgment in particular questions of right and wrong between one person and another. Nor may they give immediate judgment upon any man’s person or estate for any offence which does not extend immediately to the hurt or damage of the public. Nor for any such offence may they proceed to the taking away of life or limb, unless before the fact done it were so provided against by express law then in force. Nor may they inflict or award other punishment for such an offence not so provided against beforehand, save where it is clearly against the general law of human society and where the vindication or securing of the public interest does require such justice.’ First Question: ‘Whether the Sixth Reserve shall pass as it now stands or no?’ (Unanimously resolved in negative.) Last part of VII 6 read (p. 363): ‘That the Representative may not give judgment upon any man’s person or estate where no law hath been before provided, save only in calling to account and punishing public officers failing in their trust.’ Second Question: ‘Whether this clause now read shall be put to the question as part of the reserve or no?’ (Resolved in affirmative, 22 : 15.) Third Question: ‘Whether this clause now read shall pass as of the reserve as it is?’ (Resolved in affirmative, 25 : 13.)
December 29: Agreement VII 5, 7, 8; VIII, IX, VII 5 (pp. 362-3). The Seventh Reserve read and passed unanimously (becoming VII). The Eighth Reserve read and passed unanimously (becoming VIII 6, and later receiving as an addition the provision for entering dissents, p. 363, n. 36). The Eighth Article read and altered practically to the form in Agreement as presented to Parliament, VI. The Ninth Article read and altered practically to the form in VIII 3. The Tenth Article read and altered to the form in first part of X (p. 363, nn. 42-3). The Fifth Reserve (formerly waived) read. Question: ‘Whether this shall pass as a reserve or no?’ (Resolved in the negative.) The [preamble?] of the Agreement read. Committee of ten officers named, including Ireton, Harrison, Rich, and Waller, ‘to consider of a form of conclusion and subscription to this Agreement as to the officers of the Army.’
In strange contrast with these debates on the constitution are two fully recorded examinations of Elizabeth Poole, on 29th December and 5th January. These are also reported in: A Vision wherein is Manifested the Disease and Cure of the Kingdom, being the sum of what was delivered to the General Council of the Army, Decemb. 29, 1648. Together with a true copy of what was delivered in writing (the fifth of the present January) to the said General Council, of divine pleasure concerning the King, in reference to his being brought to trial, what they are therein to do and what not, both concerning his office and person. By E. Poole, herein a servant to the Most High God.
The vision1 was of a ‘woman . . . full of imperfection, crooked, weak, sickly, imperfect,’ and a man, ‘a member of the Army,’ devoted to ‘his country, to its liberty and freedom, which he should gladly be a sacrifice for.’ The man (the Army) was to effect the recovery of the woman (the kingdom): ‘ . . . he should, before the Lord, act diligently and faithfully to employ all means which I should by the gift of God [in me] direct for her cure.’ All depended on ‘that Spirit of Eternal Power which had called me to believe and him to act; neither was he to be slack in action, nor I to be staggered in believing.’ God had manifested his presence with the Army, and they must ‘go forward and stand up for the liberty of the people as it was their liberty and God had opened the way to them.’ But they must deny themselves; for ‘ . . . perfectly dying in the will of the Lord, you may find your resurrection in him.’2Rich highly approved this doctrine: ‘I cannot but give you that impression that is upon my spirit in conjunction with that testimony which God hath manifested here by an unexpected providence. * * * The truth is: . . . [there are] many things in which we are to take a liberty, and use the liberty in reference to the men of the world that we have to deal withal; but that principle which is to carry us, as in consideration of ourselves, before God and the world, [is] after that liberty which the world doth not understand. It is true, we may use these arguments to satisfy such as understand no more but such [things] as the world gives testimony of; but if we have not another manner of testimony, [of] such things that God hath by his providence given us satisfaction of, I believe, as she says, the conclusion of it will be but fleshly after having begun in the spirit. I think every man is to search his own heart, and to see what is within, and not [to look for deliverance] from himself or from men from outward means, but from that kingdom which, when it comes, will have no end.’ Mrs. Poole declared: ‘It is true, that the Lord hath a controversy with the great and mighty of the earth, with the captains and rulers. He will contend for his own name amongst them.’ Harrison was eager to know what prescription she had by the gift of God, to offer for the Army’s cure of the kingdom: ‘Whether anything was given to you more particularly to express than before?’ She replied: ‘No, sir. For it was presented to me as the Church; . . . by the gift and faith of the Church you shall be guided, which spirit is in you, which shall direct you.’ Ireton could ‘see nothing in her but those [things] that are the fruits of the Spirit of God . . . because it comes with such a spirit that does . . . hold forth humility and self-denial. . . .’
On January 5, Elizabeth Poole said: ‘I have heard [that] some of you [are busied] upon that which is called the Agreement of the People. ’Tis very evident to me that the kingly power is fallen into your hands and you are entrusted with it that you might be as the head to the body. Now . . . if you shall take that up as an Agreement of the People . . . , it seems to me . . . that you shall give power out of your hands, whereas God hath entrusted it with you and will require it of you, how it is improved. * * * Betray not you your trust.’ She then delivered a paper against the King’s execution. Ireton asked: ‘What would you hold forth to us as the demonstration . . . that this that you have delivered to us to be read is from God, from him given in to you, and from you to be delivered to us?’ She replied that the paper would ‘bear witness for itself,’ and added: ‘ . . . Kings are set in [their places] for government, though I do not speak this to favour the tyranny or bloodthirstiness of any. For I do look upon the [Norman] Conquest to be of divine pleasure [whereby kings came to reign],1 though . . . God is not the supporter of tyranny or injustice; those are things [that] he desires may be kept under.’ Rich asked: ‘. . . whether that which is the will of God is not [always] concordant with natural reason; . . . whether it be the will of God that anything in point of government should be inconsistent with the most essential being for which it was ordained? Now, if . . . any outward thing, and [any] state and power and trust [may be forfeited if it is abused, I would know] if it be not the will or the mind of God that if any man, empowered or entrusted for the public good, for the government’s sake, should be tyrannous to the governed (for the well-being of which he was set in the chair)—then whether for the highest breach of [that] trust there cannot be such an outward forfeiture of life . . . as [there is] of the trust itself?’ Lt.-Col. Kelsey pointed out that ‘God doth not send a messenger but that there may be an impression upon their hearts [that are] to receive it.’ Such a communication as Mrs. Poole’s ‘either . . . must be from God . . . or else there must be something of argument and reason to demonstrate it to us. Now there is nothing of reason in it. And if it be from God the Council would be glad to hear what outgoings there are in that particular.’ The meeting evidently disapproved of Mrs. Poole’s declaration against the punishment of Charles by death, and was sceptical of its divine origin.
January 6: ‘Debate concerning the setting a period to this Parliament by the last of April’ (Agreement I, p. 356). Ireton argues that the dissolution of the present Parliament by the Agreement ‘will be a greater security in case the Army should be forced to remove, when the ill-affected party may [otherwise] come in again. It will give much satisfaction to the people in regard of their expressing their desires [for the Army] not to set up themselves, but [rather] their resolves for a future Representative.’ Cromwell thinks that ‘it will be more honourable and convenient for them to put a period to themselves.’ Ireton replies: ‘If the Parliament should vote a day for their dissolution without the Agreement, all the endeavours [imaginable] will be used for Parliaments to come in [in] the old way. But if men find there is no avoidance of this Parliament but by this Agreement, there is nothing so much likely to keep men’s hands off from opposing the Agreement. * * * The people may [be taught to] think [that] if they oppose this Agreement they oppose the ending of this Parliament.’ Cromwell asks: ‘Then you are afraid they will do [that]?’ Ireton answers: ‘If the generality of [the] people could see the end of this Parliament [in any other way, they] would be for opposing anything of this kind—or would wait for the expiring of that [time], to look for a succession of new Parliaments in the old way and [the] old form of a King [and Parliament] again. Nothing [could be] of more [real] advantage to this Parliament than to end it by the Agreement with safety [to its members and] without prejudice to future Parliaments.’ It was possibly at this debate1 that Cowling opposed the effort to return to a constitutional mode of government, and especially an Agreement which surrendered the Army’s power: ‘I have heard mention, since I came, of two men, Joseph and Moses. The one was a greater provider for the well-being of the people, and the other did as much in delivering the people when they were not well [used]. I desire that, as Moses, you will not be so full of punctilios as to look upon the old constitution. . . . [The Jews observed the customs of Egypt] and the best they brought forth was a [golden] calf. Now this I should offer to you: Take heed how you stick unto that constitution without [leaving] which you are not able to form a way by which every man may enjoy his own.’
 Added to the Committee on the First Reserve (in religion): Dr. Pagett, Dr. Cox, Dr. Goddard, Major Carter, Capt. Hodden.
 Numbering of reserves is according to the Agreement, Article VII, as printed in Lilburne’s Foundations of Freedom (above, pp. 361-3).
 Added to Committee on Religion: Col. Hewson, Major Barton, Col. Okey. ‘Memorandum: at the meeting to-morrow, to consider of some moderate men to meet in London at Colonel Tichborne’s.’ (Reference is perhaps to moderate Presbyterians to be taken into the discussion.) On 19th December, Major Coleman, Capt. Spencer, Mr. Cooly, added to Committee.
 Firth quotes from Perfect Diurnal, 22nd December: ‘The General Council of the Army have had many large debates this week upon that reserve in the Representative in matters of religion; some Presbyterian ministers have been discoursed withal, and at last an expedient is agreed upon, which will give satisfaction. Much debate also upon the power of the Representative in civils, as how they might proceed to punish, not being directed by a known law.’
 In view of what follows, the question appears to be whether there should be granted to the Representative ‘the highest and final judgment concerning all natural, civil, and moral things.’ The connection with religion is in the contention that it falls within the scope of the moral law. The addition is opposed by that principle which later adds the specific phrase reserving ‘things spiritual and evangelical.’
 I have tried to restore the correct order of the argument by reference to the pamphlet.
 This quotation is from the pamphlet.
 This phrase is from the pamphlet.
 The speech is reported under 5th January, where it appears to have no place.
[467. (a)] Clarke MSS., vol. 67; and Clarke Papers, ed. Firth, 2. 133-70.