Source: Preface to The Clarke Papers. Selections from the Papers of William Clarke, Secretary to the Council of the Army, 1647-1649, and to General Monck and the Commanders of the Army in Scotland, 1651-1660, ed. C.H. Firth (Camden Society, 1901). Vol. 4.
The papers printed in this volume are a selection from five volumes of the Clarke MSS. in the library of Worcester College. Of those five volumes, two consist principally of newsletters, with a few other letters and documents interspersed amongst them (vols. xxxi., xxxii., 4to); two others consist chiefly of letters exchanged between General Monck and the civil government or commanders of the army in England (vols. li., lii., folio); while the fifth volume drawn upon is the Order-book of General Monck during 1659-60 (vol. xlix., folio).
A limited number of papers have been added from other sources. As has been pointed out in previous prefaces (ii.) the great collection of papers got together by William Clarke was broken up after his death, and while the most important part of it is in Worcester College Library, some parts are now in other hands, and a portion of it has perished altogether. A considerable number of Clarke’s papers are now in the possession of Mr. F. W. Leyborne-Popham, of Littlecote, Wilts, and a few of these were printed by his permission in the second volume of this series of Clarke Papers (ii. 211, 224-239). Since that time Mr. Leyborne-Popham’s papers have been admirably calendared by Mrs. S. C. Lomas for the Historical Manuscripts Commission, and her Report was published in 1899. It was, therefore, unnecessary to print any of those papers in this volume, but it is necessary to point out that the documents calendared in that Report supplement those printed here, and that they are especially valuable for the history of the early part of the year 1660, at which date the Worcester College documents suddenly become very scanty. The numerous references given in the footnotes will suffice to draw attention to the relation which exists between these two parts of the original collection. A certain number of documents, which formerly made part of the Littlecote collection, were purchased in 1884 for the British Museum, and now form volumes 2618-2621 of the Egerton MSS. One letter drawn from this source is printed on p. 268, and a letter from Richard Cromwell to General Monck, dated April 18, 1660, would have been added had it not been previously printed in the ‘English Historical Review,’ 1887, p. 150.
Another portion of William Clarke’s papers unexpectedly came to light in 1898 at the sale of some of the MSS. of Sir Thomas Phillips (Phillips MS. No. 1013). It is now in the Advocates’ Library in Edinburgh, and twenty-one documents extracted from it, relating to events occurring in Scotland during November and December 1659, are printed in the present volume.
In the Appendix to this volume a few letters are added from the Tanner, Carte, and Rawlinson MSS. in the Bodleian Library, which illustrate the events recorded in the documents printed in the body of the volume. It was thought that they would be more useful to students if printed here side by side with other papers relating to the same time than if they were relegated to some future Camden Miscellany.
The period covered by the papers contained in this volume is about a year, extending from the fall of Richard Cromwell to the restoration of Charles II. The fall of Richard practically dates from the dissolution of Parliament forced upon him by the leaders of the Army on April 22, 1659; but for three weeks after that event there was a kind of interregnum, during which the future government of the country was undetermined. During this interregnum power was in the hands of the General Council of Officers, whose vindication of their conduct in enforcing the late dissolution is printed on p. 4. Some of the resolutions of the General Council are printed on p. 1, but no record exists of their debates on the burning question whether England should be a Protectorate or a Republic. The ‘grandees’ of the Army, we are told by an anonymous writer who was in the secrets of their councils, wished to maintain a Protector, limiting his powers ‘in the nature of a Duke of Venice;’ but the inferior officers, who ‘kept their council apart at St. James’s’ and were backed by the Independent churches in general, opposed the design of the officers and demanded the restoration of a republic. As in 1653, there was talk of ‘the setting up of a government in nature of an oligarchy of seventy wise good men’ (p. 21); but the popular voice was against such an experiment. ‘The government,’ says a newsletter dated May 3, ‘seems now to be naturally falling into a Commonwealth and free state, and the generall cry of the people is for the Longe Parliament to take possession againe, and this appeares to be the sence of the officers of the army now continuing, and all others out of the army that have bin of the Longe Parliament partie’ (p. 3).
Accordingly, about May 2, conferences began between representatives of the officers and representatives of the Long Parliament, ending on May 7 with the restoration of that assembly to its old authority (pp. 3, 6, 8). About fifty members met on the day of their return to Westminster, and it was calculated that about eighty more were qualified to take their places again in the House. Summonses were issued to all absent members, bidding them to attend, and it is calculated by Professor Masson that about 120 in all put in an appearance, though the highest number present at a sitting was never more than 76. Specimens of the answers returned to the Speaker’s letter of summons are given in the Appendix (pp. 277-279).
The new Government was accepted without opposition. Richard Cromwell signed a formal submission, which was presented to Parliament on May 25. He asked only for the discharge of the debts contracted by himself and his father in the public service, which amounted to about 30,000l., and then payment was promised but never performed. Nearly a year later, on April 18, 1660, he wrote to Monck, complaining that he had for some time been necessitated ‘to retire into hiding-places to avoid arrests for debts contracted upon the public account,’ and asked the General in vain to appeal to Parliament on his behalf (‘English Historical Review,’ 1887, p. 152). Few regretted the fall of the House of Cromwell, but amongst those few was Edward Montagu, the future Earl of Sandwich. At the time he was absent in command of the fleet which had been despatched to the Sound to mediate between the Kings of Denmark and Sweden. The sudden return of the fleet in September 1659 caused some suspicion amongst the Republicans, and the letters exchanged between the Admiral and the late Protector show Montagu’s personal fidelity to the fallen ruler (pp. 29, 50, 296).
Henry Cromwell acquiesced in the setting aside of his brother, though he made some attempt to negotiate with the leaders of the Republicans, and though it was feared he would attempt armed resistance. Monck’s nephew, Cornet Henry Monck, who held some post in Ireland, is said to have been despatched to Scotland by the Lord-Lieutenant in order to sound the general on the disposition of the troops in that country. All that these papers contain, however, is two brief letters from the Cornet informing Monck of Henry Cromwell’s despatch of agents to England and of his subsequent resignation of his office (pp. 11, 23). There is equally little evidence that Monck thought of resisting the action of the English army, though the design of doing so is attributed to him by several contemporary authors (Baker’s ‘Chronicle,’ ed. Phillips, 1670, p. 662; cf. Gumble, ‘Life of Monck,’ p. 97). It is probable that if Richard had declined to dissolve Parliament at the demand of Fleetwood and his associates, and had called upon Monck to support the civil power against the violence of the army in England, Monck would have supported him, or at least would have attempted to do so. But no such appeal was made, and all that is clear is that Monck maintained a waiting attitude during this interregnum, and did not publicly declare his acceptance of the revolution till he was officially informed of the restoration of the Long Parliament. His answers to the earlier communications of the Council of Officers are not extant, but by an address dated May 12 he and the army under his command assured Fleetwood of their co-operation in supporting the new Government, and it was accompanied by a similar declaration directed to the Speaker. In a private letter from Monck to the Committee of Safety he congratulated himself that the security of the three nations was committed ‘to persons of so eminent worth and integrity,’ adding, ‘Blessed be God, the army heere is very unanimous, and in as good a temper as I have knowne them’ (p. 10).
In the same letter Monck mentioned that ‘some emissaries of Charles Stuart’s’ had ‘arrived in Scotland,’ and ere long it was generally known that a new Royalist insurrection was about to take place (p. 15). Monck prepared to meet it in Scotland by imposing upon a certain number of noblemen and gentlemen, who had ‘given bond for their peaceable living,’ the additional obligation of signing an engagement ‘not to act or contrive anything for or in the behalf of Charles Stuart,’ or to the disturbance of the peace of the Commonwealth. Those who refused this engagement—amongst whom were Lieutenant-General David Leslie, the Earl of Loudoun, Lord Lorne, and many other officers and noblemen—were imprisoned till the danger was past (pp. 25, 41, 56). Thanks to these precautions, no rising took place in Scotland, but in England there were, about the end of July and the first few days of August, many local movements, of which one developed into a serious insurrection. In Kent, Surrey, and Hertfordshire the preliminary gatherings of the Royalists were promptly dispersed and many arrests were made (pp. 29, 31, 286, 290).
In Gloucestershire, where Major-General Massey was designed to head the movement, the vigilance of the local authorities frustrated a plot for the capture of Gloucester; and Massey was arrested, though he succeeded in escaping from his captors (pp. 33-37, 285).
In Cheshire and Lancashire, where the Presbyterian ministers preached zealously against the Government, Sir George Booth got together several thousand men, and published a vague declaration designed to unite all parties. But the Royalist section of his supporters insisted on proclaiming Charles II., and many who sympathised with the attempt to overthrow the rump of the Long Parliament drew back and refused to take up arms for the King. Booth himself was said to have declared that this proclamation would be their ruin (pp. 32, 33, 38, 40, 287, 289).
Little risings took place in Leicestershire, Derbyshire, and Nottinghamshire, but were suppressed as soon as they came to a head (pp. 44, 45.)
In some places, as at Plymouth, the local authorities showed great reluctance to publish the proclamation issued by Parliament against Booth and his adherents (p. 290). Nevertheless the general movement hung fire, and the numbers of Booth’s forces did not increase as fast as had at first seemed probable. According to the estimate of his opponents, he had not more than 2,000 under his command when he was defeated by Major-General Lambert at Northwich on August 19, 1659. Chester surrendered immediately after the battle, and Chirk Castle, the only other place garrisoned by the Royalists, on August 24 (pp. 46, 293, 294).
Sir George Booth himself, disguised as a woman, was taken in an inn at Newport Pagnell. A newsletter gives an amusing description of the manner in which the suspicions of the innkeeper were aroused by ‘Mrs. Dorothy’ and her companions (p. 47).
Very little light is thrown by these papers on the legislative proceedings of the restored Parliament. Many Bills were introduced, but their progress was slow, because much of the time of the House was occupied with purely political and administrative business, and because of the delay caused by the insurrection. One important measure taken in hand was the re-enactment of the union with Scotland, for it was held that the incorporating union effected by the Protector’s ordinances and by the Instrument of Government was invalid. A Bill for the purpose was introduced on July 27, read a second time on July 30, and considered for many sittings in committee of the whole House. Its progress was delayed by a dispute about the question whether the Independent congregations, recently established in Scotland, and other dissenters from the Established Church of that country, were to be guaranteed toleration in the proposed Act of Union or not. The proviso suggested for the purpose met with bitter opposition (pp. 24, 37, 43, 49, 50).
Another matter which consumed a large part of the time of the House was the remodelling of the army. Parliament was determined to keep the control of the military forces of the nation in its hands; and though Fleetwood was confirmed in the post of commander-in-chief, he was deprived of the power of appointing his officers, which Fairfax and Cromwell had enjoyed. The appointment of officers was entrusted to a committee of seven, of whom Fleetwood was one, and their nominations required the approval of Parliament. Moreover, each commission was signed by the Speaker instead of the commander-in-chief, and, when possible, solemnly delivered to the officer named, by the Speaker in the presence of the House. A number of officers had been deprived of their commissions in May 1659, in consequence of the support they had given to the Protector Richard and their disobedience to the orders of Fleetwood (pp. 1, 2). Lord Fauconberg’s regiment of horse was given to Lambert, Richard Cromwell’s to Colonel Saunders, that of Ingoldsby to Colonel Rich, and that of Bridge to Colonel Okey. Several other officers suspected of too much attachment to the House of Cromwell were also dismissed and replaced by staunch Republicans. Later still, that is, during the months of June, July, August, and September, the seven commissioners went through the army list and purged it completely of all officers whose political principles or characters seemed to render them unfit to serve the new power. New commissions were issued to those officers who were retained in the service and to those who were substituted for the officers expelled. The newsletters written from London to the headquarters of the army in Scotland give a full account of this process, with lists of the appointments made in the various regiments considered by the commissioners.
As the papers relating to the subject in the ‘Calendar of Domestic State Papers’ and the ‘Journals of the House of Commons’ contain a tolerably complete account of this revision, and supply lists of the officers commissioned, most of the newsletters dealing with the question are omitted here. There are, however, incidental notices of the changes made in several of the letters printed (pp. 16, 19, 25, 29, 33, 39). As the officers removed were ‘put out of their commands without hearing, without charge, and without trial,’ great discontent was the result (pp. 21, 62). Monck petitioned that no changes might be made in the regiments of the army in Scotland, and if that were refused he begged that at least his own two regiments and that of Colonel Talbot might be left as they were. The House took the request extremely ill, and sent him a very rude answer, while the Commissioners proceeded to put out two captains and four other officers in his regiment of horse, and to make similar changes in the other regiments in Scotland (pp. 16, 18, 39). Monck answered the Parliament very calmly. ‘Obedience,’ he wrote, ‘is my greate principle, and I have alwaise, and ever shall, reverence the Parliament’s resolutions in civill things as infallible and sacred.’ At the same time he defended his conduct in making these requests. ‘Knowing you proceed by information, I tooke myself concerned to represent what was most for your service, as being best acquainted with men’s courage and affections’ (p. 22).
Privately Monck was so much annoyed and troubled by the displacement of his officers, and by the refusal of the House to listen to his petition, that he seriously thought of resigning. According to Phillips he wrote a letter of resignation, dated September 3, which was actually delivered to the Speaker; but Clarges, the General’s brother-in-law, prevented it from being read in the House, and finally succeeded in persuading him to withdraw it (Baker’s ‘Chronicle,’ ed. 1670, p. 676). This story is to some extent confirmed by Monck’s own letters, in one of which he speaks of himself as importuning both the deceased Protector and the Parliament to permit him to retire (pp. 90, 152).
Meanwhile discontent was rapidly increasing in the army. A number of officers representing the various regiments which had served under Lambert in the suppression of Sir George Booth’s rising met together at Derby, and drew up a petition to Parliament, setting forth their grievances and their demands. They sent a copy of this petition to Monck, asking him to join in it, but he refused to do so, and prohibited his officers from subscribing it. ‘It hath been alwaies against my way,’ said he, ‘to sign any petitions at all, either to the Parliament or General, from the forces here, and I am still of the same judgment’ (p. 59). Parliament sent him at once a hearty letter of thanks, and his action emboldened it in its resistance to the army in England (October 7). The House had ordered the Derby petition to be suppressed (September 23), but a new petition, somewhat similar in character, was presented to it from the army upon October 5. While this was under consideration it learnt that, in spite of prohibitions, the council of officers in London was sending circular letters to the rest of the army in the three nations, soliciting their co-operation and their signatures. On this, the House deprived Lambert and eight other officers implicated of their commissions, and voted that they should henceforth be incapable of any military employment. At the same time it cancelled Fleetwood’s commission as commander-in-chief, and vested the command of the army in seven commissioners, viz. Fleetwood, Monck, Ludlow, Overton, Sir Arthur Hesilrige, Colonel Morley, and Colonel Walton (p. 60).
One of Monck’s correspondents asserts that the real cause of this breach was not so much the petition and the proceedings upon it as the previous conduct of the Parliament towards the army, especially ‘the grand dissatisfaction that was taken by displaceing of officers without heareing of them or laying anything to theire charge’ (p. 62). In a letter from Fleetwood to Monck, written on October 25, Fleetwood set forth what he termed ‘a right state of the case’ (pp. 63, 71), and about October 15 an official letter, signed by Fleetwood and seven other officers of the English army, had been sent to Monck (p. 69, note).
The news of the revolution of October 13 reached Monck, according to Phillips in his continuation of Baker’s ‘Chronicle,’ on October 17 (p. 685). The evidence of this continuation is of great value, because it is based on the papers and the recollections of Thomas Clarges, Monck’s brother-in-law. A contemporary letter, however, states that the first notice was received by the General on Tuesday, October 18, and this date is probably correct (Mackinnon, ‘Coldstream Guards,’ i. 73). For the letters and commissions extracted from Monck’s Order-Book and printed on pp. 64-66, and dated October 19, are the first references to the event contained in that collection. Monck’s resolution to support the Parliament against the army was announced by the military measures taken on October 19, and by three letters addressed to Fleetwood, Lambert, and the Speaker, dated October 20. These were accompanied by two public declarations issued in the name of the officers under his command (p. 67, note).
No one who had carefully observed Monck’s earlier career could have doubted that his sympathies would be with the civil power rather than with an attempt to establish military rule. His early life had been spent in the service of the Dutch republic. He speaks of himself as having had his education ‘in a commonwealth where soldiers received and observed commands, but gave none’ (p. 22). From 1647 to 1649, when the political agitation in the army was at its highest, he had been employed in Ireland, and the example of his comrades in England exerted very little influence over him. With the exception of his brief command at sea and a few months spent in nursing his broken health, he had been continuously employed, at first in the conquest of Scotland, and afterwards in its government. No man amongst the higher officers of the army had seen so much active service or enjoyed so little leisure for politics. From the first moment, therefore, he condemned the act of violence committed by Lambert and Fleetwood, and urged the restoration of the Parliament.
The dangers of military rule, to the army itself as well as to the nation, were always present to his mind. ‘It is much upon my spiritt,’ he wrote to Lambert, ‘that this poore Commonwealth can never bee happy if the army make itselfe at divided interest from the nation, which must bring us into such a slavery as will not bee long indured’ (p. 87). ‘What can be the issue of this contempt of authority,’ he wrote to a minister, ‘but an arbitrary government by the sword, to enslave the contiences, lawes, and estates of the people of these nations to the lust of a few ambitious persons?’ (p. 90). ‘I am ingaged in conscience and honnour,’ he declared to Dr. Owen, ‘to see my country freed (as much as in mee lies) from that intollerable slavery of a sword government, and I know England cannot, nay, will not, indure it; and if this army heere had concurred with them in England, wee had all bin exposed to the fury of the three nations, which they would some time or other have executed’ (p. 153).
This reasoned hostility to military rule was the fundamental principle on which Monck’s policy was based, and he was faithful to it throughout. On the question of the nature of the civil authority to which the obedience of the army must be given, his views gradually altered. At first he demanded simply the restoration of the Rump Parliament sitting from May to October 1659. After he entered England he gradually came to the belief that it was necessary to readmit the members expelled by Pride’s Purge, and to restore the Long Parliament as it was in 1648. Finally he adopted the conclusion that it was necessary to call a new Parliament. But this process of development appears to have been due to the pressure of English public opinion, and not the result of any design formed when he first decided to declare against Lambert and Fleetwood.
Monck’s correspondence during the period from October 1659 to January 1660 forms the most important portion of this volume. A certain number of his letters were published at the time in pamphlet form, and these have therefore been omitted here, but references to the collections in which they are to be found are given in the foot-notes. A small collection of these letters was published in 1660 by a republican whose object was to show Monck’s treachery by putting on record his protestations of fidelity to the republic (Sept. 29, 1660). In 1714 this was reprinted with additions by John Toland, under the title of ‘A Collection of Letters written by his Excellency General George Monk, afterwards Duke of Albemarle, relating to the Restoration of the Royal Family. With an introduction, proving by incontestable evidence that Monk had projected that Restoration in Scotland; against the cavils of those who would rob him of the merit of this action.’ London, 1714, 8vo.1
Most of these letters and some others are reprinted also in the Parliamentary or Constitutional history of England, in twenty-four volumes published in instalments between 1751 and 1761. This is referred to in the notes as the ‘Old Parliamentary History’ (cf. vol. xxii. p. 4). Another pamphlet collection of letters, declarations of the army, and similar documents, which has been of great use, is ‘A True Narrative of the Proceedings in Parliament, Council of State, General Council of the Army and Committee of Safety, from the 22nd of September until this present time,’ London 1659, 4to, published by John Redmayne.
The correspondence of Monck printed here gives a full account of the attempted treaty between Monck and the English officers. It is evident that Monck was justified in the complaint that his commissioners went beyond their instructions in the agreement which they concluded on November 15, 1659 (pp. 97, 109, 116, 119, 126, 133, 144). Many other attempts, official and unofficial, were made to heal the breach between the two sections of the army. Monck and his officers published, about the end of October, a ‘Declaration to the Churches of Christ in the Three Nations,’ which gave the ministers of the most important Independent congregations in London an opportunity for trying the effect of their intercession. They sent a special mission to Scotland for the purpose, consisting of two ministers and two laymen (pp. 67, 82). Several letters were exchanged between Monck and ‘the Ministers of the Congregated Churches’ (pp. 81, 89, 184, 212). More interesting, however, are the two which passed between Monck and Dr. John Owen. Owen was vehemently opposed to the reinstatement of the Rump. ‘I am satisfied with these two things: first, that without their restauration a free state or commonwealth may be setled, the common enemy defeated, the ministry preserved, reformation carryed on, and all the ends of our ingagements satisfied, if your Lordshipp and those with you concurre in the worke; and secondly, that their reinvestiture cannott be effected without the blood of them whose ruine I am perswaded you seeke not, . . . as also the enslaveing of these nations forever to the will of the major part of that small number’ (p. 123). ‘I cannot act against my conscience and commission,’ answered Monck, ‘neither can I see any legall foundation for a free state unles this Parliament sitts downe againe, or some other legally called’ (p. 153). The Council of Officers at London proposed to call a new Parliament in the place of that expelled by Lambert, but Monck could not regard this expedient as satisfactory (pp. 212, 213). ‘They have no power to summon one,’ said he, ‘or if they had, it cannot bee expected the members thereof should be permitted either to assemble or sit in freedome’ (p. 236).
As the views of the two parties to the quarrel were so diametrically opposed, Owen’s mediation or any other attempt at reconciliation was bound to be fruitless. Each, moreover, distrusted the other. A week after Monck’s commissioners had concluded the treaty of November 15, a letter was delivered to the Lord Mayor of London from Monck, urging the city to support him with all its strength in the work of restoring the Parliament, which Fleetwood and the officers regarded as a breach of the truce, or as a sign that the treaty was not seriously intended (pp. 134, 140, 151).1 Monck answered that the letter was not inconsistent with the attempt to come to an agreement, and that Lambert and the army were enlisting men and reorganising the militia during the negotiations (pp. 141, 142, 174). As soon as it had been agreed to resume the negotiations and to hold a second treaty at Newcastle, a sudden change in the position of affairs in England caused them to be again interrupted. At the beginning of December Portsmouth garrison declared for the Parliament, and three of the seven Commissioners in whom Parliament had vested the control of the army before Lambert expelled it, placed themselves at the head of the movement (pp. 165, 166, 169, 186, 210, 216). On receiving this news Monck and his officers declared that they could not conclude a treaty without the concurrence of these Commissioners, and as Lambert refused to allow Monck’s messenger to the Commissioners to pass, negotiations were again broken off (pp. 183, 193, 208, 209, 214, 218, 234).
To add to the difficulties of Fleetwood and his party, a serious riot took place in London between the apprentices and the soldiers, and the feeling of the city, always hostile to the army, grew more and more embittered every day. A rising in London seemed imminent. ‘Many officers,’ said a newsletter, ‘when they goe into the Citty dare not weare their swords for feare of affronts. . . . The generallity of the Citty expects daily to bee in eares with the souldjery’ (pp. 166, 168, 169, 187). On December 13 Admiral Lawson and the fleet in the Downs declared for the restoration of the Parliament (pp. 211, 217, 274). Almost simultaneously came the defection of the Irish army, which had at first declined to support Monck’s action and taken the side of their comrades in England (p. 95). On December 13 a party of officers seized Dublin Castle and made prisoners the three Commissioners for the Government of Ireland, to whom the responsibility of this antiparliamentary policy was attributed. Within the fortnight following this surprise the whole of Ireland was secured for the service of the Parliament, with the exception of Duncannon Fort (p. 203, note; cf. Ludlow’s ‘Memoirs,’ ii. 193-201, ed. 1894). Sir Charles Coote, Lord Broghill, and Sir Hardress Waller, the leaders of this movement, entered into communication with Monck, and promised him support in his intended march into England (pp. 202, 225, 241). These repeated blows obliged the leaders of the English army to give way, and on December 24 the troops in London submitted to the inevitable, and declared their submission to the Parliament (pp. 219, 220). Two days later the House began to sit again at Westminster (pp. 222, 232, 237). Meanwhile Monck was preparing everything for a march into England. He had established his headquarters at Coldstream on December 8 (pp. 179, 274). He had completed the reorganisation of his army, and had thoroughly purged it of all disaffected officers. Attempts to stir up opposition amongst his soldiers on the part of their old comrades serving under Lambert had not been wanting, but they generally remained ineffective (pp. 96, 105, 108, 154, 161, 174, 179). The rigid censorship which Monck exercised over the post and the press enabled him to detect any schemes to propagate sedition in the ranks of his army and to nip them in the bud (pp. 111, 229, 231). At the same time he had entered into communication with the friends of the Parliament in Northumberland and the Border counties, and secured from them some small addition to his forces and some promises of support (pp. 79, 83, 119, 189, 221).
The question which weighed most upon his mind was how to provide for the tranquillity of Scotland during his absence in England. It was necessary to trust the Scots to a certain extent, but impossible to trust them far. Monck began by writing to the different shires and burghs in Scotland, asking them to send representatives to meet him at Edinburgh on November 15, ‘because his lordshippe hath speciall occasion to speake with them about some affaires that concerne the countries at that time.’ This summons was sent out on October 27 (pp. 78, 113). They met at the appointed date, the representatives of the shires under the presidency of the Earl of Glencairn, those of the burghs under Sir James Stuart. Monck informed them that he had ‘a call from God and his people’ to march into England, and requested them in his absence to maintain the peace of their districts and suppress all tumults. In return he promised to obtain an abatement of their taxes from the Parliament. They replied by expressing their willingness to keep the peace, but professed themselves incapable of suppressing tumults. They therefore asked him ‘to propose such expedients as his Lordshipp shall think most fitt to enable them for that end,’ and wound up by requesting him to appoint guards in the shires towards the Highlands and Borders, in order to prevent robbery (pp. 113-116, 143).
Monck thanked them, and asked them to meet him again on December 12. ‘I shall then thincke,’ said he, ‘of the best way to enable yow to secure the peace of the country.’ At the same time he promised to give commissions to persons recommended by them to command guards for the security of the Borders and Highlands (p. 121). The meeting took place at Berwick on December 13, and an agreement was arrived at by which certain shires were permitted to raise guards and a certain number of noblemen and gentlemen were authorised to wear arms and to be attended by a limited number of armed servants. Monck demanded, however, that the noblemen and gentlemen granted this privilege, and those whom he authorised to put in force his orders for securing the peace of their respective shires, should subscribe an engagement ‘to act nothing to the prejudice of the Commonwealth of England, or in favour of Charles Stuart’s interests’ (p. 191, cf. p. 143). The imposition of this engagement is carefully suppressed in the version of the agreement printed by Phillips in his continuation of Baker’s ‘Chronicle’ (p. 696), no doubt because it militates against the theory that Monck designed from the first to restore the King. Gumble in his Life of Monck also suppresses the fact (p. 124).
The Scots asked to be authorised to place themselves in a posture of defence if the treaty with Lambert failed, and proposed that Monck should furnish them with arms. He refused to grant these requests, answering evasively that he would furnish them with fit means for their defence whenever he apprehended their peace and safety to be in danger (pp. 190, 191). He also wrote to the governor of Stirling (and probably to other governors of garrisons), desiring him to assist the gentlemen of the district in maintaining the peace of the country, but on no account to furnish them with arms (p. 194). The proposal to permit the Scots to arm had been discussed in his council, but almost unanimously rejected as too dangerous (p. 276; cf. Baker, ‘Chronicle,’ p. 696).
Monck attempted to persuade the Scots to provide him with horses for the baggage of his army (p. 79) and for mounting some of his newly raised cavalry, but apparently without much success (Baker, pp. 696, 697). As he was in great want of money to pay his forces, he called on the shires and burghs to pay in the arrears of their assessments (p. 115). But the story that the representatives of the shires and burghs raised a special assessment for him is a misrepresentation (Baker, p. 689). Monck also obtained some recruits, whose numbers were much swollen by rumour (p. 162). He could not enlist many, for fear of disaffecting his own soldiers, but he filled up the vacancies in his ranks caused by desertion (p. 276; cf. Baker, pp. 696, 697; Price, ed. Maseres, p. 740). It was reported in England that he had put Dumbarton and other important castles into the hands of the Scots; but the truth was that he merely drew out the troops stationed in some of the smaller posts, taking security from the gentlemen to whom the houses belonged for their restoration when they should be demanded (pp. 140, 143). Leith, Ayr, and the other Cromwellian fortresses were sedulously guarded and provisioned for any emergency (pp. 160, 201).
Thanks to these measures, and to the goodwill rather than the active assistance of the Scots, Monck was able to pursue his design without interruption. There were occasional reports of suspicious meetings amongst the Scottish royalists (pp. 200, 206), and there was also some discontent expressed by supporters of the English Government at the confidence Monck was reposing, or seemed to be reposing, in ‘malignants’ (pp. 205, 223).1 But no disturbance took place.
The force under Monck’s command in October 1659 consisted of ten regiments of foot, three of horse, and four companies of dragoons. Of these he took with him into England six regiments of foot and all the horse, having converted his four companies of dragoons into a fourth regiment of horse under Major-General Morgan (p. 238). After entering England he sent Morgan, with his own regiment of horse and a regiment of foot, back to Scotland, and he left another regiment of foot to garrison York (p. 248). When he reached London he brought with him three regiments of horse and four of foot (p. 247). The van of Monck’s army entered England on January 1, and he followed with the rest of the army on January 2 (p. 238).1
There was no opposition to Monck’s advance. The forces under Lambert broke up (pp. 237, 239). The brigade of the Irish army which was under Lambert’s command declared for the Parliament (pp. 228, 251), and helped Lord Fairfax to secure York (pp. 239, 251). The conduct of Overton, the Governor of Hull, caused some anxiety, but he speedily declared his adhesion to the Parliament and his willingness to co-operate with Monck (pp. 243-247). On his march Monck continued the work of reorganising the army, dismissing officers who had been unfaithful to the Parliament, and replacing them by men he could trust (pp. 248, 252-255, 258). This he did by virtue of a commission as Commander-in-Chief which had been sent him by the late Council of State, dated November 24, 1659, and approved by Parliament on January 26 (pp. 137, 256). On his way to London Monck received numerous addresses from the gentlemen of the counties through which he passed, and his answer to the Devonshire declaration attracted considerable attention, because of its uncompromising opposition to the restoration of monarchy. It was accompanied, however, by two private letters, which, while demanding from the promoters of the declaration ‘acquiescence in this Parliament’s proceedings,’ held out hopes of a satisfactory settlement, and might be construed more favourably. In words, however, they promised nothing but a Conservative republic (pp. 258, 260).
On Monck’s proceedings after his arrival in London these papers throw very little light. Two letters written to the Council of State, after that body had sent him to disarm the city, give his reasons for refusing to return to Whitehall at their summons (pp. 261, 263). Another elucidates his negotiations for the readmission of the secluded members (p. 264). Several relate to his endeavours to suppress seditious movements amongst the soldiers (pp. 265-268). But for the months which elapsed between Monck’s arrival in London and the return of Charles II. the portion of Clarke’s papers in the possession of Mr. Leyborne-Popham is more valuable than that in Worcester College Library.
A few miscellaneous papers of biographical interest deserve special notice. The hostility with which Johnston of Warriston was pursued after the Restoration is in part explained by the active share he took in supporting the cause of the army against the Parliament (pp. 80, 100), while the escape of Sir Arthur Hesilrige was due to the assistance he gave Monck in 1659 and 1660, and to an express promise that his life and estates should be safe (pp. 260, 264, 268, 302). Monck’s certificate on behalf of Speaker Lenthall is also of interest (p. 272). A paper presented to the King after his restoration throws some light on the manner in which the treachery of Sir Richard Willis was discovered, and on the services of Sir Samuel Moreland to the royal cause (p. 304).
In conclusion, it must be pointed out that most of the papers printed in this, as in the previous volumes of the series, are printed from draughts or copies, and that these copies contain many errors both of omission and commission. Mere slips on the part of the original transcriber have been corrected, and words left out have been inserted between brackets, but in some cases the text was too corrupt for correction. This is especially the case in the lists of proper names, which contain frequent errors due to the transcriber’s misreading of the original signatures (pp. 82, 84, 146, 178). In some few instances, where the error was obvious and the right reading certain, these errors were corrected. In most instances, however, it was impossible to do so. I desire to thank Miss D. K. Broster for her assistance in compiling the index to volumes iii. and iv.
C. H. FIRTH.
October 23, 1901.
[1 ]Letter xxix. in Toland’s pamphlet is an obvious forgery. It was originally printed in 1660 as ‘A Letter from General Monck to King Charles, son of the late King Charles of England; together with King Charles’s answer thereunto.’ It is reprinted in the Somers Tracts, vi. 557, ed. Scott.
[1 ]Monck seems to have sent similar letters to other parts of England, urging in still more explicit terms a rising in arms. ‘We have apprehended a person that had two letters from General Monck sewed in his doublet; they were directed to nobody, but the messenger said he was to carry them to —, where directions were to meet him to whom they should be delivered. The substance of them was to invite them to an insurrection in the West, and to seize upon Exeter as a place to make head in; and tells them that when the greatest part of the army was drawn to oppose him, then London would rise and destroy the rest; so that you may see, here is the second part of Sir George Booth. The letter was written by William Clark, and signed by Monck’s own hand: I saw it.’ Letter from Colonel John Pearson, dated ‘Northallerton, November 1,’ quoted in Mackinnon’s History of the Coldstream Guards, i. 77.
[1 ]Sir Andrew Bruce’s letters (pp. 205, 223) are specially noticeable. Monck had recommended him to the Protector on November 23, 1654, to be appointed a judge in lieu of Sir James Hope. ‘Hee is,’ said Monck, ‘a gentleman fit for that imployment and one as really affected to the interest of your Highnesse in this nation as any Scotchmen I know.’ Scotland and the Protectorate, p. 214.
[1 ]The following table of Monck’s marches is compiled from notes in vol. xlix. of the Clarke MSS. The headquarters were at Wooller on Jan. 2nd; Whittingham, Jan. 3; Morpeth, Jan. 4; Newcastle, Jan. 5; Durham, Jan. 6; Darlington, Jan. 7; Northallerton, Jan. 9; Topcliffe, Jan. 10; York, Jan. 11; Ferrybridge, Jan. 15; Langold, Jan. 17; Mansfield, Jan. 18; Nottingham, Jan. 19; Leicester, Jan. 23: Harborough, Jan. 24; Northampton, Jan. 25; Stony Stratford, Jan. 26; Dunstable, Jan. 27; St. Albans, Jan. 28. Monck remained several days at St. Albans, moving to Barnet on Feb. 2, and entering London on Friday, Feb. 3 (Price, ed. Maseres, p. 757; cf. Baker, p. 704).
Last modified April 13, 2016