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Sir William Clarke, The Clarke Papers. Selections from the Papers of William Clarke, vol. 1 [1901]

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Sir William Clarke, 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). 4 vols.

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Vol. 1 of the Clarke Papers which chronicle the debates which took place in the Army during the English Civil War over the relationship between Parliament and the Army.

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Edition: current; Page: [iv]
Secretary to the Council of the Army, 1647-1649, and to General Monck and the Commanders of the Army in Scotland, 1651-1660.
Edition: current; Page: [v]

FOR THE YEAR 1890-91.



JAMES J. CARTWRIGHT, ESQ., M.A., F.S.A., Treasurer















Edition: current; Page: [vi]

The Council of the Camden Society desire it to be understood that they are not answerable for any opinions or observations that may appear in the Society’s publications; the Editors of the several Works being alone responsible for the same.

Edition: current; Page: [vii]


The collection from which the papers printed in this volume are selected was bequeathed to Worcester College, Oxford, in 1736. Their donor, Dr. George Clarke, a great benefactor of that college and of the University, was Judge Advocate-General from 1684 to 1705, and Secretary at War from 1692 to 1704. His father, Sir William Clarke, was the original owner of these papers. Lives of both father and son are given in the Dictionary of National Biography (vol. x. pp. 424, 448). An account of the papers themselves is contained in Mr. Coxe’s Catalogue of Manuscripts in the possession of Oxford Halls and Colleges, 1852, vol. ii. It is strange that no historian has hitherto thought fit to make use of them. My own attention was first called to the collection by the librarian of Worcester College, H. A. Pottinger, Esq., to whom and to the authorities of the college the thanks of the Camden Society are due for their kindness in facilitating the use of these papers, and the permission to publish them. Since the papers were inspected by Mr. Coxe, Mr. Pottinger has discovered some additional volumes, including the most valuable of all, that containing the debates of the Council of the Army in 1647.

William Clarke, who was probably born about 1623, was admitted a student of the Inner Temple in 1645. When the New Model was organised, John Rushworth was appointed Secretary to the General and Council of War, with William Clarke and another assistant as subordinates. Clarke acted as secretary to the commissioners who negotiated the surrender of Oxford in June, 1646, and to those who Edition: current; Page: [viii] tried to arrange terms between the Parliament and the Army in July, 1647 (Sprigge, Anglia Rediviva, ed. 1854, p. 258; Rushworth, vi. 606). He seems to have taken part in the invasion of Scotland in July, 1650,a and from the autumn of 1651 to the Restoration was Secretary to the Army of Occupation in Scotland. From 1654 that army was under the command of Monck, and Clarke laid the foundation of his subsequent fortunes by gaining the confidence of his commander. Edward Phillips, in the narrative of the Restoration which he added to Baker’s Chronicle, describes the attempts of Monck’s opponents to win over Clarke.

“He also writ to Mr. Clarke, the General’s Secretary, who was an active useful Instrument in his affairs, to seduce him from his Service; the truth is, the greatest part of Clarke’s Estate was in England, and he was a man of so civil and ingenuous a Conversation that he might have been the better excused in a Neutrality to both Parties, and his Interest did direct him to it. But he was resolved to hazard all his Fortunes in the General’s Bottom, and would not by threats or cunning, which were both used by Lilburn to him, be prevailed with to quit his Party. For which his fidelity and constancy, at this time, he was ever after so much esteemed by the General, that he trusted him with his most secret transactions.”

—Ed. 1670, p. 688.

Not long after the Restoration Clarke was knighted and, on 28th January, 1661, appointed Secretary at War (Cal. State Papers, Dom., 1660-1. p. 490). Sir William Coventry described him to Pepys as one of the “sorry instruments” by whom Monck was lucky enough to effect great things (Pepys’ Diary, 12th July, 1666). Clarke accompanied Monck to sea in 1666, and was mortally wounded in the battle with the Dutch off Harwich, 2nd June, 1666. He was buried in the chancel of Harwich Church, where an elaborate tablet to his memory was erected by his widow. Monck, in commending her and his child to the favour of the King, wrote Edition: current; Page: [ix] of Clarke that in him he had lost “a faithful and indefatigable servant,” and that he could not express “too much kindness to his memory” (Cal. State Papers, Dom., 1665-6, p. 471). Clarke had married Dorothy, daughter and coheiress of Thomas Hyliard, of Hampshire, and Elizabeth Kimpton.a A letter from Sir Thomas Clarges to her on her husband’s death is preserved in the British Museum.b


“I am so afflicted for the losse of my deare friend Sir William Clerk that I have more need to receive consolation from others then to give it. But I cannot omitt writeing to your Ladyship to desire and beseech you since this fatall stroke cannot be recalled that your Ladyship will have so much respect to that sweete pledge of both your loves, as for his sake to moderate your grief, that your health be not impaired by it.”

The widow took the advice, married again in the same year, and lived till 1695. Her second husband, Samuel Barrow, who had been chief physician to the Army in Scotland, became at the Restoration physician in ordinary to the King, and Advocate-General of the Army.

The special value of the Clarke Papers consists in the light which they throw upon the history of the Army during the period when its political importance was greatest. By their assistance we can follow more closely the history of the quarrel between the Parliament and the Army, and appreciate with more exactness than before the causes of the revolutions of 1647 and 1648. The newsletters reveal the state of feeling in London and in the Army as the Edition: current; Page: [x] quarrel progressed. The correspondence of the Agitators shows how the revolt in the Army began and by what means it was carried out. The debates of the Council of the Army illustrate in the most striking manner the political views of the soldiers, the dissensions which arose amongst them, and the character of the Army leaders. They elucidate more than one dark passage in Cromwell’s political career, and justify the high estimation of Ireton’s ability expressed by his contemporaries.

In February and March, 1647, Parliament passed a series of votes for the disbanding of the Army. They also determined that a body of 3,000 horse, 1,200 dragoons, and 8,400 foot, to be drawn from the army of Sir Thomas Fairfax, should be employed for the reconquest of Ireland. An army consisting of 5,400 horse and 1,000 dragoons, together with about 10,000 foot for garrison service, was to be maintained in England. The terms on which the disbanding was to take place were calculated to rouse legitimate discontent. The soldiers were to receive a very small portion of the pay due to them, and they were offered very insufficient securities for their large arrears of pay. They were promised an Act of Indemnity for acts done in pursuance of the orders of their commanders during the war, but that Act when passed was regarded by them as insufficient for their protection. Finally, it was evident that the disbanding would be followed by severe measures for the enforcement of Presbyterian orthodoxy and the punishment of sectaries. As the policy of Holles and the Presbyterian leaders developed itself, protests against it multiplied both from the Army itself and from the Independents outside the Army. But all petitions against that policy were suppressed, and the petitioners sometimes punished (pp. 2, 26, 92).

About March 21, 1647, a petition was circulated amongst the officers setting forth their objections to the proposed scheme for disbanding.

1. “First, whereas the necessity and exigence of the War, hath put us upon many actions, which the Law would not warrant, nor we have acted in a time of setled Edition: current; Page: [xi] peace; we humbly desire, that before our disbanding, a full and sufficient provision may be made by Ordinance of Parliament (to which the Royall assent may be desired) for our indempnity and security in all such cases.

2. “That Auditors or Commissioners may be speedily appointed and authorised to repaire to the headquarters of this Army, to audite and state our accompts, as well for all former services as for our services in this Army; and that before the disbanding of the Army, satisfaction may be given to the Petitioners for their arreares, that so the charge, trouble, and loss of time, which we must otherwise necessarily undergoe in attendance for the obtaining of them may be prevented. . . .

3. “That those who have voluntarily served the Parliament in the late Warrs may not hereafter be compelled by press or otherwise to serve as souldiers out of this Kingdome. Nor those who have served as horsemen may be compelled by press to serve on Foot, in any future case.

4. “That such in this Army as have lost their limbs, and the wives and children of such as have been slain in the service, and such officers or souldiers as have sustained losses, or have been prejudiced in their estates, by adhering to the Parliament; or in their persons by sickness or imprisonment under the Enemy, may have such allowances and satisfaction, as may be agreeable to Justice and equity.

5. “That till the Army be disbanded as aforesaid, some course may be taken for the supply thereof with moneys, whereby we may be enabled to discharge our quarters, that so we may not for necessary food be beholden to the Parliament’s Enemies, burthensome to their friends, or oppressive to the Country, whose preservation we have always endeavoured, and in whose happiness we should still rejoice.”

Moderate though these demands were, Fairfax was directed at once to put a stop to any further proceeding in that petition, and to send up Lieutenant-General Hammond, Colonel Robert Hammond, Colonel Lilburn, Colonel Pride, and Lieutenant-Colonel Grime, who were concerned in promoting it, to answer for their conduct at the bar of the House of Commons (pp. 1-4, Book of Army Declarations, 1647, pp. 1-5). On March 30, the House of Commons passed a declaration, condemning the petition as tending to put the Army into a distemper and mutiny, and declaring that those who continued to promote it should be proceeded against as enemies to the State and disturbers of the public peace.

On April 15, six parliamentary commissioners were sent to Saffron Walden to confer with Fairfax and his officers on the Edition: current; Page: [xii] engagement of the body of soldiers destined for the service of Ireland. A full narrative of their proceedings is given on pp. 5-15. The result of their mission showed a general unwillingness in both officers and soldiers to engage upon the terms offered. The officers in general maintained a somewhat neutral attitude, declining emphatically to engage themselves, but promising to promote and not to hinder the engagement of their soldiers (p. 7). A few of the higher officers undertook to go in person, but in more than one regiment soldiers refused to follow the example of their commanders, and mutinied when they were drawn out to march (pp. 12-15).

Left to themselves by the indecision of their officers, the soldiers began to act without them. In a paper entitled An apology of all the private soldiers in Sir Thomas Fairfax his army to their commission officers, they stated their grievances and called on their officers to stand by them for the redress of these wrongs.

“The Lord put a spirit of courage into your hearts that you may stand fast in your integrity that you have manifested to us your soldiers; and we do declare to you that if any of you shall not, he shall be marked with a brand of infamy for ever, as a traytor to his country and an enemy to this Armie. . . . We have been quiet and peaceable in obeying all orders and commands, yet now we have just cause to tell you, if we be not relieved in these our grievances, wee shall be forced to that, which we pray God to divert, and keep your and our hearts upright.”a

A somewhat similar letter was at the same time addressed to Fairfax, Cromwell, and Skippon, which Skippon, on April 30, delivered to the House of Commons (Rushworth, vi 474). It was signed by the representatives of eight regiments of horse and presented by three troopers. At the command of the House the three troopers were called in and examined; their answers are printed in Appendix B on pp. 430, 431. The letter itself is printed, from the copy addressed to Skippon, in Cary’s Memorials Edition: current; Page: [xiii] of the Civil War, i. 201, and in the Lords Journals, ix. 164; other versions, with slight verbal variations, are to be found in Prynne’s The Hypocrites Unmasking, 1647, and in the Book of Army Declarations, p. 9.

The immediate result of this letter was an order sending Skippon, Cromwell, Ireton, and Fleetwood to Saffron Walden to acquaint the soldiers with the votes of the House respecting their pay and indemnity, and to examine into the origin of the letter from the eight regiments (see pp. 20, 21, 33). A narrative of the proceedings of the commissioners is printed on pp. 27-31, and reports of the debates which took place between them and the officers on May 15, 16, follow on pp. 33-44, 45-78. These reports were probably taken down by William Clarke at the time in shorthand, though apparently his notes were not transcribed at length till 1662 (p. 31). It is obvious that the author was not at the time a very skilful note-taker. There are frequent blanks in the report and it is often very confused. It is also probable that the person who finally transcribed the notes added to the confusion by mistaking the order of some of the pages. Nevertheless, with all its errors, the report gives an extremely valuable and interesting picture of a curious scene. The meetings in the church at Saffron Walden on May 15, 16, were attended by about 200 officers and a certain number of private soldiers, probably representatives sent by different regiments. Skippon presided, and one after another the chief officers gave an account of the temper of their respective regiments and their reception of the votes of Parliament. Each regiment made a return of its grievances, and (by consent of the great majority of the officers) Lambert and others were appointed to collect from these regimental returns a summary of the common grievances of the whole army, to be presented to the commissioners and transmitted to Parliament (pp. 36, 42, 97). Over these returns a number of disputes took place. More than once varying returns were presented by different officers for the same regiment. Lieutenant-Colonel Jackson and Captain White quarrelled violently over the Edition: current; Page: [xiv] account presented from Fairfax’s own foot regiment (pp. 53, 57). There were disputes also as to the regiments of Colonel Graves and Sir Hardress Waller (pp. 56, 59-62). Colonel Sheffield, as the spokesman of the minority willing to accept the terms offered by Parliament, objected to the presence of private soldiers, and fell foul of Colonel Hammond and Colonel Whalley (pp. 40, 65, 77, 85). Skippon had the greatest difficulty in maintaining order. More than once he urged the officers “to hear one another with sobriety,” to “forbear acclamations,” to “speak with moderaration or else be silent.” “God knows it is a very great pressure to my spirit to hear and observe such clashings and jarrings amongst you, I am sure there can no good come of it” (pp. 48, 49, 58, 77).

It was finally proposed that two of the commissioners should go up to London to represent the desires of the Army to Parliament, and remove any misrepresentations which might be made of the action of the officers (p. 76). In accordance with this desire, and in obedience to a similar order from Parliament, Cromwell and Fleetwood were sent up to London with an elaborate report signed by all four commissioners (pp. 94-99). Cromwell presented this report to the House of Commons on May 21, expressing his belief that the soldiers would disband when ordered, but would certainly not engage to go to Ireland (p. 99). The House replied by some minor concessions to the demands of the soldiers, but made no further addition to the eight weeks’ pay before promised. On May 25 a series of votes were passed fixing the dates and places at which the different regiments were to be disbanded. Cromwell and Fleetwood remained in London for the rest of the month. Fairfax, whose stay in London had caused injurious comment, was ordered down to the Army (pp. 11, 85, 93, 101). He arrived at Saffron Walden on May 20, and removed his head-quarters to Bury on May 25. Immediately on his arrival he issued a letter to the commanders of the several regiments, informing them that they were to give notice to their soldiers, that the grievances of the Army Edition: current; Page: [xv] had been presented to the House of Commons, and were taken into consideration by them. “I do therefore require the souldiers to forbear any further actings by them selves without their officers in any irregular ways, and all officers are strictly to see to it in their several charges, that there be no more such meetings or consultations of souldiers at Bury or elsewhere” (Rushworth, vi. 495). It was too late, however, for such an order to produce obedience. Already the soldiers had formed an organised council of representatives and agreed on their plan of action.

In their report the four commissioners had stated that in their opinion “the officers thus joyning with the soldiers againe in a regular way to make knowne and give vent to their greivances, hath contributed much to allay precedent distempers, to bring off the souldiers from their late wayes of correspondencie and actings among themselves, and to reduce them again to a right order and regard to their officers in what they do” (p. 99). This view was too sanguine. Concerted action amongst the soldiers seems to have begun towards the end of April, 1647, when representatives of eight regiments of horse drew up the letter to Fairfax, Cromwell, and Skippon. In their examination the three troopers said that the letter “was drawn up first at a rendezvous of several of those regiments, and afterwards they had several meetings about it by agents from each regiment in several places” (Rushworth, vi. 474, cf. pp. 21, 33). One consequence of the mission of the four officers to Saffron Walden in May was the introduction of a similar organisation amongst the foot regiments. One or two soldiers were chosen from each troop or company to draw up and present their statements of grievances (pp. 66, 96). “The committee of troopers met at St. Edmundsbury, and the foot, who chose two out of every company, sent them to confer with the troopers, and every foot soldier gave fourpence a piece towards defraying of the charges of that meeting” (Rushworth, vi. 485). Throughout the Agitators of the horse regiments continued to take the lead, sending letters to other regiments, and writing to the Army of the northern association to persuade it to stand Edition: current; Page: [xvi] by the new model (pp. 88, 89). The Agitators were in constant communication with London and received news of all the votes of Parliament directly they were passed. A remarkable paper entitled Advertisements for the managing of the Councells of the Army (p. 22), possibly from the pen of Sexby, sketches out the line of conduct which they adopted. The news of the votes of May 18 for the disbanding of the Army precipitated open mutiny. “Believe it, my deare fellowes, wee must now be very active to send to all our several regiments of Horse and Foote and let them knowe that nothing but destruction is threatened. Loving friends, be active, for all lies at stake” (pp. 85, 86). In reply to this exhortation from one of their correspondents in London the Agitators at Bury issued a circular letter urging their regiments to resist disbanding. “Resolve neither to take monie nor march one from another, but lett all your actions be joyn’d. And if any orders should come to your particular regiments to march from the rest of the Army, march not while you have consulted with the rest of the Army” (p. 87). The General was to be petitioned in the name of the soldiers “to have him, in honour, justice, and honestie, to stand by you.” Skippon “and all other officers that are not right” were to be told to leave the Army (p. 100). A printing press was to be got into the Army in order to set forth the wrongs of the soldiers and to disabuse the people of their prejudices against them (pp. 22, 86). The counties were to be stirred up to petition for their rights, and to appeal to the Army to assert them (p. 101). The magazine and artillery train at Oxford, which the Parliament intended to remove to London, were to be seized by a party of 1,000 horse (pp. 105, 114). When the commissioners of the Parliament came to pay off the General’s regiment of foot, which was to be the first disbanded, they and the £7,000 they brought with them were to be seized on the way (pp. 106, 107).

The question whether this plan of action was inspired by the officers, or to what extent the officers were cognisant of it, is of some interest. The three troopers who brought the letter of the eight Edition: current; Page: [xvii] regiments of horse, “being demanded whether any of their officers were engaged in it . . . answered that they thought very few of them knew or took notice of it” (Rushworth, vi., 474). A number of officers were active in framing petitions to Parliament against the proposed terms of disbandment, and some sought to procure the support of the soldiers to these petitions (pp. 2, 25, 45). Now and then one would exhort his soldiers to “stand for their liberties” and refuse to engage for Ireland, but most of them, whilst refusing to engage themselves, made no attempt to prevent their men from enlisting (pp. 7, 56). With the exception of two or three subalterns (such as, perhaps, Lieutenant Chillenden,a and certainly Cornet Joyce) none of the officers seem to have been implicated in the bolder schemes for active resistance to disbanding set on foot by Sexby and the Agitators. Sexby was perfectly able to conceive such a scheme unaided, and there were many other men of ability amongst the Agitators. Colonel Wogan attributes great importance to the action of Captain John Reynolds, but confuses the events of May with those of June, and draws liberally on his imagination to supply the defects of his memory (pp. 421-429).

The question of the part played by Cromwell and Ireton with respect to this movement in the Army is of more importance. The theory of Cromwell’s opponents is that he first, by his false protestations that the Army should disband whensoever they should be commanded, induced the Parliament to pass the disbanding votes, and then, by means of the Agitators, induced the Army to refuse to disband. This is the theory set forth by Colonel Wogan (pp. 425-427). It is also the theory of Clement Walker, who says, speaking of the disbanding ordinance—

“To the passing of this Ordinance, Cromwell’s protestations in the House with his hand upon his breast, ‘In the presence of almighty God, before whom he stood, that he knew the Army would disband and lay down their arms at their doore, whensoever they should command them,’ conduced much: this was maliciously done of Cromwell to set the Army at a greater distance with the Presbyterian party and to bring Edition: current; Page: [xviii] them and the Independent party nearer together. . . . And at the same time when he made these protests in the House he had his Agitators (Spirits of his own and his son Ireton’s conjuring up in the Army though since conjured down by them without requital) to animate them against the major part of the House . . . to ingage them against disbanding and going for Ireland . . . and to insist upon many other high demands, some private as souldiers, some publique as statesmen.”

(History of Independency, ed. 1648, pt. i. p. 31.)

A similar theory is embodied in Butler’s well-known verses—

  • “So Cromwell, with deep oaths and vows,
  • Swore all the Commons out o’ th’ house,
  • Vowed that the redcoats would disband
  • Ay marry would they, at their command;
  • And trolled them on, and swore and swore
  • Till th’ Army turned them out of door.”a

The first votes for disbanding were passed on February 18, 19, 23, 25, 26, and during the first week of March, 1647 (Commons Journals). A news letter of February 18, 1647, observes, “Cromwell is dangerously ill with an imposthume in his head, whereby his party is now the weaker in the House,” so that he was probably not in the House when the original decision to disband was taken (Clarendon MS., 2,439). His dissatisfaction with the policy of the Presbyterians was notorious, and he openly showed that he would have no hand in forwarding it. “Young Vane and Cromwell,” says a news letter, “often forbear coming to the House,” and Holles complains that Cromwell and his friends purposely absented themselves from the Committee of both Kingdoms (Clarendon MS., 2,504; Holles Memoirs, § 79). He even thought of leaving England and taking service in Germany under the Elector Palatine (Gardener, Great Civil War, iii. 36). Twice indeed, once apparently in March, and again on May 21, he did profess his belief that the Army would disband when Parliament ordered them; but to suppose that this was done merely to encourage the policy of which he was the declared opponent requires clear and conclusive evidence. (Lilburn, Jonah’s Cry, p. 4; Clarendon MS., 2,520). All the evidence points another way.

Edition: current; Page: [xix]

These papers show the real origin of the movement which resulted in the election of the Agitators, and explain what Cromwell’s attitude really was. He sympathised with the grievances of the soldiers, but urged them to accept the terms offered rather than cause a new war. He pressed the officers “to have a very great care to make the best use” they could of the votes of Parliament, and to employ their own influence with their men “to worke in them a good opinion of that authority that is over both us and them.” He bade them remember that, “if that authority falls to nothing, nothing can follow but confusion” (p. 72). Ireton seems to have been equally desirous to mediate between the Army and the Parliament (p. 102). On this point the evidence afforded by these papers is confirmed by the testimony of their supposed accomplices, the Levellers and the Agitators.

“O Cromwell” wrote Lilburn on March 25, 1647, “I am informed this day by an officer out of the Army and by another knowing man yesterday, that came a purpose to me out of the Army, that you and your agents are like to dash in pieces the hopes of our outward preservation, their petition to the House, and will not suffer them to petition till they have laid down their arms, because, forsooth, you have engaged to the House they shall lay down their armes whenever they shall command them.”

(Jonah’s Cry out of the Whale’s Belly, 1647, p. 4).

In the autumn of 1647, when the Agitators fell out with Cromwell and Ireton, their backwardness at the commencement of the breach was made an argument against them.

“We hope it will be no discouragement unto you,” wrote the Agitators to the soldiers, “though your Officers, yea, the greatest Officers, should apostatise from you; Its well known that the great Officers which now oppose, did as much oppose secretly when wee refused to disband according to the Parliament’s Order; and at last they confessed the Providence of God was the more wonderfull, because those resolutions to stand for Fredom and justice began among the Souldiers only.”

(“A copy of a Letter sent by the Agents of Several Regiments,” 1647.)

Still more definite are the statements of John Wildman in the pamphlet against Cromwell and Ireton which he entitles Putney Projects.

“I shall not prejudge the singleness of Cromwell’s or Ireton’s hearts as to public good, in their first associating with the Army at Newmarket, but it’s worth the Edition: current; Page: [xx] knowing that they both in private opposed those gallant endeavours of the Army for their country’s freedom. Yea, their arguments against them were only prophesies of sad events; confusion and ruin, said they, will be the portion of the actors in that design, they will never be able to accomplish their desires against such potent enemies. They were as clearly convinced, as if it had been written with a beam of the Sun, that an apostate party in Parliament (viz. Hollis his faction) did subject our laws and liberties to their inordinate wills and lusts, and exercised such tyranny, injustice, arbitrariness, and oppression, as the worst of arbitrary courts could never parallel. But to oppose a party of tyrants so powerful; hic labor hoc opus est, there was a lion and a bear in the way. And lest mere suspicion of their compliance with the Army in any attempt to affront those insulting tyrants should be turned to their prejudice, they were willing, at least by their creatures, to suppress the soldiers first most innocent and modest petition C. Rich sent several orders to some of his officers to prevent subscription of that petition. And the constant importunity and solicitation of many friends could not prevail with Cromwell to appear, until the danger of imprisonment forced him to fly to the Army (the day after their first rendezvous) for shelter. And then both he and Ireton joining with the Army, and assuming offices to themselves (acting without commissions and being outed by the self-denying Ordinance of Parliament, and the General having no power to make general officers) they were engaged in respect to their own safety to crush and overturn Hollis his domineering, tyrannical faction. And to that end their invasion of the people’s freedom, their injustice and oppression, was painted in the most lively colours to the people’s eyes, and petitions to the General against those obstructors of justice in parliament, drawn by Cromwell himself, were sent to some counties to subscribe, and then the most mellifluous enamouring promises were passed to petitioners of clearing and securing their rights and liberties, then the General engaged himself to them that what he wanted in expression of his devotion to their service should be supplied in action: and hereby their names were ingraven in the peoples hearts for gallant patriots, and the most noble heroes of our age.”

But though the officers might at first hold back the time came when they were forced to decide. When they undertook to collect, to summarise, and to represent to Parliament the grievances of the soldiers, they practically made their cause their own. Parliament strove to separate the privates from their officers, but in vain (pp. 84, 87). The Agitators summoned the soldiers to stick by their officers as their officers had stuck by them. “Stand with your officers, and one with another you need not fear. If you divide you destroy all” (p. 87).

When the Council of War met at St. Edmundsbury on May 29, Edition: current; Page: [xxi] the Agitators of ten regiments of horse and six regiments of foot presented a petition to the General, begging him “to appoint a rendezvous speedily for the Army, and also to use your utmost endeavour it be not disbanded before our sad and pressing grievances be heard and fully redressed” (Book of Army Declarations, p. 16). By 84 votes to 7, the Council resolved that a general rendezvous should take place, and by 82 to 4 passed the remonstrance against disbanding which a small committee had drawn up (pp. 108-111). See The Opinion and Humble Advise of the Councell of Warre convened at Bury St. Edmunds, 29 May, 1647. In relation to the Votes of Parliament communicated to us by your Excellency, and the desires of our advice thereon. (Book of Army Declarations, p. 12.)

“The officers,” writes an observer, “now owne the Souldiers and all that’s done, and doe beginne to bestirre themselves. . . . Itt is incredible the Unitie of Officers and Souldiers” (p. 113).

The friends of Sir Thomas Fairfax urged him to leave the Army in case it decided to oppose the Parliament’s commands (pp. 104, 122). He chose to adhere to the votes of the Council of War, and wrote to the Committee at Derby House to announce that he could not undertake to draw out the regiments under his command to be disbanded at the time appointed (p. 116). At the same time he sent the Parliament the resolutions of the Council of War, and entreated them that there might be “ways of love and composure thought upon.” “I shall do my endeavours,” he added, “though I am forced to yield something out of order, to keep the Army from disorder or worse inconveniences” (May 30; Book of Army Declarations, p. 12; Rushworth, vi. 497-499).

Whatever Fairfax might desire, the Army was fast passing beyond control. His own regiment of foot, which was to have been disbanded on June 1, was, as the Agitators had designed, the first to break out into open revolt (pp. 100, 106, 113).

The commissioners came to Chelmsford on the evening of Monday, May 31, escorted by three troops of horse to guard the money. When they arrived they found that about two hours before they Edition: current; Page: [xxii] came the regiment had marched away towards Raine, on the way to the general rendezvous at Newmarket. Major Gooday, one of those officers of the regiment who remained faithful to the Parliament, had met his company on the march, and “demanding of them by what order they removed their quarters, they answered the horse caused them to remove; further expressing that they received orders from the Agitators” (Cary, Memorials of the Civil War, i. 220). Lieutenant-Colonel Jackson and Major Gooday reported that they had used their utmost endeavours to dispose the soldiers for the service of Ireland, and complained that some of their officers had refused to read the votes and declarations of Parliament to their companies (Tanner MSS., lviii. p. 127). Next day Jackson and Gooday were sent after their men to endeavour to induce them to return.

The commissioners give the following account of the result:

“This day we sent Lievtenant-Colonel Jackson, Major Goodday, and Captain Heifeild to Raine, where we were informed that the souldiers of the Generall’s foote Regiment had appointed a Rendezvous. There mett about a thousand. At the approach of the officers we sent thither, the souldyers cryed out, There comes our Enimies. When they were acquainted with the votes, declaracions, and ordiuances of Parlement, they asked the officers, what doe you bringing your two-penny pamphletts to us? And afterwards they seized upon the wagons with what ammunicion was in them and the chirurgeons chests, and have carryed them away towards Halstead and Heueningham, where they quarter this night. To morrow they are to be at Sudberry and Lavenham; which is the quarter that is appointed them, by Gravenor, the quarter master Generall. By the way some of the souldiers have comitted very great outrages. At Braintry they broke open a man’s house, and tooke away fiftie pounds. Upon complaint to the Lievtenant, they were apprehended, but those into whose custodie they were put gave them their libertie againe. Some part of the money was restored, but they conveyd away at least foure and twentie pounds. There is one Captain White who is the most active man in this buisines, and issues out orders as if he were the Lievtenant Colonel. There went away with this Pegiment, as we are enformed, two Captains, and a Captain Lievtenant. Many of the souldyers haveing beene dealt withall, profess that money is the onely thing that they insist upon. And that 4 moneths pay would have given satisfaccion; but for the present, are carryed away togeather, as in a torrent. Some officers of thes Regiments, as we feare, have fully recruited their companyes, under pretence, for the service of Ireland, but being listed, doe indispose them all they can Edition: current; Page: [xxiii] as by experience is evident. We now conceive our being here is altogeather unprofitable in order to the service we are comaunded downe upon. And therefore offer it to your Lordships, &c. consideracion, whether it may not be convenient to require our returns.a

Of the objects of the Agitators three had now been gained. Fairfax and the officers had cast in their lot with the soldiers, a general rendezvous of the Army had been ordered to take place on June 5, and the disbanding of Fairfax’s regiment had been prevented. It remained to secure the artillery train which had been left at Oxford on the surrender of that place in 1646. On May 31 the Derby House Committee had ordered the removal of the train and the magazine from Oxford to London (pp. 114, 117). Oxford was garrisoned by Colonel Richard Ingoldsby’s regiment, which, though not represented amongst the Agitators who had signed the petition of May 29, was politically one of the most radical in the Army. The regiment was to have been disbanded at Woodstock on June 14, and money was sent down to pay them off. When too late the money was ordered back, but the soldiers mutinied and stopped the wagons which carried it. They were encouraged by the near neighbourhood of Colonel Rainborow’s regiment, which, though ordered into Hampshire, and designed for the reduction of Jersey, had left its quarters, expelled its officers, and turned back to assist in the seizure of the magazine. Rainborow found his regiment on May 30 quartered about Abingdon, having thrown off any semblance of obedience.

“When I came,” he writes, “I found most of my officers come up to the general quarters of the regiment, who all the time till then had not dared so much as to appear amongst them; but they had not been long in their quarters, ere the Majorserjeant was almost killed by his own soldiers; and his ensign, if he had not exceedingly well defended himself against another company, he had been cut all to pieces; but in defending himself he hath wounded divers of them, two whereof, I am confident, cannot possibly scape with life.”

(Cary, Memorials of the Civil War, i. 221.)
Edition: current; Page: [xxiv]

To assist in the seizure of the magazine a body of 500 or possibly 1,000 troopers from different cavalry regiments, under the command of Cornet Joyce of Fairfax’s regiment of horse, had been collected by the Agitators and despatched to Oxford (p. 106). After making all safe at Oxford, Joyce with some 500 men started north to Holdenby, in Northamptonshire, where the King was in keeping. The King’s guards consisted of portions of the regiments of Colonel Graves and Sir Robert Pye, and a few dragoons, all under the command of Colonel Graves. Whilst their commanders supported the Parliament, the soldiers themselves were completely in sympathy with the rest of the Army (pp. 44, 59-62, 113). The Parliamentary leaders were well aware of the disaffection of the King’s guard, and there had been rumours a month earlier that some of the foot regiments would “go for Holdenby” and fetch the King. Of the importance of retaining the custody of the King Holles and his friends were well aware, but they seem to have been anxious to come to an agreement with Charles first, and whilst they deliberated and negotiated the soldiers acted. They were discussing the removal of the King, and negotiating for the ard of a Scotch army, when the news came that Joyce, on the morning of June 3, had seized Holdenby and secured the King.

A despatch from Bellièvre to Mazarin, 3/13 June, 1647, gives the following account of the situation:

“Suyvant l’ancien usage d’Angleterie depuis dix jouis nous deliberons sans rien conclure, cherchans les moyens d’empescher que le Roy de la Grande Bretagne tombe entre les mains de l’armée, puisqu’il n’a point d’asseurance qu’ elle veuille faire aucune chose à son advantage. D’une douzaine de propositions dont la moins bonne eust mieux valu que de ne rien faire il n’a pas esté possible de obliger ceux du Parlement qui estoient dans ce dessein à en executer aucune, et cependant nous apprenons par un homme qui vient d’arriver de la part des Commissionaires qui sont a Humby, à la verité sans avoir de leurs lettres, que la maison est investie par un party destaché de l’armée qui demande le dit Roy, et quoyque celui qui le garde tesmoigne ne le vouloir pas remettre entre leurs mains, sans en avoir l’ordre du Parlement, il est à croire qu’il l’aura rendu, s’il est vrai qu’il soit pressé, n’estant pas en estat de resister aux forces qui environnent cette maison qui n’a pas ny fossez ny murailles qui la ferment.”

Edition: current; Page: [xxv]

On the plans of the Presbyterian leaders, Dr. Denton, a London physician, often very well informed on political movements, writes thus to Sir Ralph Verney, June 14, 1647:

“I have gathered many scraps and looked as far into the clouds as I can, and the result I make to myself is this (but I have only several collections for my grounds and those not very authentic) that the Scots and a Presbyterian party there of some members, not without the counsel of the Queen or some French party, had a design of carrying the King into Scotland, and to set him in the head of an army there, and to bring him up to London, and so to quell the Independent party; but, if I rightly guess, a false Presbyterian father betrayed them to his Independent son; and so the army to prevent them seized the King. Dunfermline is gone into France, sent it is thought to get the Prince into Scotland, and so to play the game the better by that means.”a

In the fourth article of the charge of the Army against the Eleven Members it was asserted that Holles and others had invited the Scots to march into England, and had sent to the Queen in France, “advising her speedily to send the Prince into Scotland to march into this kingdom at the head of an Army.”

The knowledge of these designs, and the desire to prevent their execution, decided Cromwell to cast in his lot with the Army. The possibility of the introduction of a foreign force to maintain the Presbyterian leaders in power, and restore the King to his throne without adequate security for religious or political liberties, demanded immediate action. Abandoning his vain attempt at mediation, he joined Fairfax and the Army in their opposition to the Parliament.

A letter written by a soldier in London, June 1, says:

“The greatest and newest newes is, our general hath declared his resolution to owne the Armie in this their just action, and hath sent for Lieut.-Gen. Cromwell downe to him. I heare he is going out of towne this day. The certainty of this I cannot averre but ’tis not very unlikely. I think before I can take another opportunity Edition: current; Page: [xxvi] I shall have matter of great moment to write to you. The Lord smile upon the Saints, and that will prove sufficient to astonish their enemies. The King’s person is secured by or armie or by some for it; this is not altogether unprobable tho’ I doe a little question whether it be yet done. Very great are the expectations of this daye’s business.”a

Cromwell seems to have left London on June 3, and to have joined Fairfax at Kenford, near Bury, on Friday, June 4, or more probably, on Saturday, June 5. On the 4th, Fairfax had received news of the seizure of the King by Joyce, and on Saturday morning he was informed that the King had been carried from Holdenby and was on his way to Newmarket.

The question to what extent Cromwell was responsible for the seizure of the King has been often discussed. John Harris, in a tract published in December, 1647, entitled The Grand Designe, definitely asserts that he was directly responsible:

“It was by some persons at L.-Gen. Crumwel’s, he himself being present, upon Monday at night before Whitsunday 1647 [May 31] resolved, that for as much as it was probable that the said Hollis and his party had a determination privately to remove the King to some place of strength or else to set him in the head of another army; that therefore Cornet George Joyce should with as much speed and secrecy as might be repair to Oxford, to give instructions for the securing the garrison, magazine and trains therein, from the said party then endeavouring to get the same, and then forthwith to gather such a party of Horse as he could conveniently get to his assistance, and either secure the person of the King from being removed by any other, or, if occasion were, to remove him to some place of better security, for the prevention of the designe of the aforesaid pretended traiterous party: which was accordingly done, both with the knowledge and approbation of L.-G. Crumwell, although he afterward (like a subtle Fox) would not be pleased to take notice of it.”

Lilburn, in his Impeachment of High Treason against Cromwell and Ireton, 1649, adds these additional details, that the order was delivered to Joyce “in Cromwell’s own garden in Drury Lane, Edition: current; Page: [xxvii] Col. Charles Fleetwood being by.” This he practically asserts on the authority of Joyce himself.

Major Huntington, in his Reasons for laying down his commission, says:

“Advice was given by Lieut.-Gen. Cromwell and Commissary General Ireton to remove the King’s person from Holdenby, or to secure him there by other guards than those appointed by the Commissioners of Parliament: which design was thought most fit to be carried on by the private soldiery of the Army, and promoted by the agitators of each regiment; whose first business was to secure the garrison at Oxford, with the guns and ammunition there; and from thence to march to Holdenby in prosecution of the former advice; which was accordingly acted by Cornet Joyce.”

Huntington also says that Joyce, “being told that the General was displeased with him for bringing the King from Holdenby, answered, that Lieutenant-General Cromwell had given him orders at London, to do what he had done, both there and at Oxford.”

In a tract written in 1659, Joyce describes a quarrel between himself and Cromwell in 1648, in the course of which Cromwell

“called him a rascal many times, and with great threats said that he would make him write a vindication of him against a book entitled, The Grand Design Discovered. Wherein were many things declared concerning Cromwell’s carriage towards Joyce, before he went to Holmby for the King; which afterwards he called God to witness he knew nothing of.” (A Narrative of the Causes of the late Lord General Cromwell’s Anger against Lieut-Col. George Joyce.)

Joyce’s narrative is full of wild inaccuracies, but it is evident that Cromwell did not admit the truth of the definite statement published by Harris. How much did he admit? On this point Huntington’s statement is definite and probably correct. He states that when Fairfax demanded who gave orders for the removal of the King, Ireton replied

“that he gave orders only for securing the King there, and not for taking him away from thence. Lieutenant-General Cromwell, coming then from London, said, That if this had not been done, the King would have been fetched away by order of Edition: current; Page: [xxviii] Parliament; or else Colonel Graves, by the advice of the Commissioners, would have carried him to London, throwing themselves upon the favour of the Parliament for that service.”

Since Cromwell approved Joyce’s preventing the removal of the King from Holdenby, his objection must have been to the second part of the story published by Harris.

Harris asserted that Cromwell gave orders not merely “to secure the person of the King there from being removed by any other,” but also, “if occasion were, to remove him to some place of better security.”

Cromwell constantly denied that he had sanctioned the removal of the King from Holdenby.

The account of the interview of the officers with the King on June 7 (p. 125) states plainly that all the officers, amongst whom were Cromwell and Ireton, told the King that he had been removed from Holdenby “without their privity, knowledge, or consent” (cf. Memoirs of Sir P. Warwick, p. 299).

Fairfax writes in the same strain to Lenthall on June 7: “I can clearly profess (as in the presence of God) for myself, and dare be confident of the same for all the officers about me, and the body of the Army, that the remove of his Majesty from Holdenby was without any design, knowledge, or privity thereof on our part” (Old Parliamentary History, xv. 410). As Fairfax had two days before heard the statements of Cromwell and Ireton which Huntington reports, it is clear that he drew a sharp distinction between the King’s removal from Holdenby and what the commissioners term “the changing of the King’s guards.” Ireton’s answer defines Cromwell’s position. Cromwell, like Ireton, had authorised “securing the King there, not taking him thence.” If that be so, Joyce was not telling the truth when he said that Cromwell authorised both the seizure and the removal of the King, and Harris was misinformed when he repeated Joyce’s statement. The earlier statements of Joyce are of considerable importance. The narrative printed by Rushworth, and attributed by Masson Edition: current; Page: [xxix] on good internal evidence to Joyce himself, affords conclusive proof that the removal of the King from Holdenby was an afterthought, and not part of Joyce’s original plan. Joyce states that he seized Holdenby early on the morning of Thursday, June 3, occupied the house, set his guards, and dismissed the troopers to their quarters.

“All this being done it grew towards noon . . . . All was quiet in the said present security of his Majesty till tidings came that Graves was gone quite away . . . . None could tell what was become of him, and some of his damning blades did say and swear they would fetch a party, which party could not be from the Army, but must be from some other place. And therefore to prevent disturbance and blood and for the peace sake of the Kingdom, all declared unanimously, that they thought it most convenient to secure the King in another place from such persons as could cunningly or desperately take him away contrary to order.”

(Rushworth, vi. 514.)

About ten o’clock the same night the soldiers sent Cornet Joyce to the King, and Joyce saw the King in bed and announced his intended removal to him. Early next morning, Friday the fourth of June, they set out for Newmarket.a

Two other pieces of evidence confirm the view that the removal of the King was not at first intended. The Declaration delivered by Joyce to the commissioners in charge of the King speaks only of preventing a design to take away the King. Moreover Joyce was uncertain whither to take the King, and suggested first Oxford, then Cambridge. Newmarket was proposed by the King himself. If the removal of the King had been pre-determined his destination would also have been pre-arranged (Old Parliamentary History, xv. 394; Rushworth, vi. 516). So the story originally told by Joyce is both consistent and probable. If it be true that the removal of the King was not part of Joyce’s original design, is it Edition: current; Page: [xxx] probable that it was part of his original instructions? Joyce’s later statement that he removed the King from Holdenby in pursuance of instructions received from Cromwell is inconsistent with his earlier statement that the removal was forced upon him by the demands of his soldiers.

As soon as Joyce had seized Holdenby and secured the King he wrote a letter announcing his success. Holles gives the following account of it in his Memoirs:

“Joyce, after seizing and carrying away the King, immediately sends up a letter to certify what he had done, with directions that it should be delivered to Cromwell, and, if he is absent, to Sir Arthur Haslerig or to Colonel Fleetwood; which letter was given to Colonel Fleetwood, as one Lieutenant Markham informed the House, saying that the messenger that brought it told him so; nor did Sir Arthur Haslerig make a clear answer, when he was asked concerning it in the House: Colonel Fleetwood being at that time gone to the Army so that he could not be examined.”

(Memoirs, § 96.)

The story as told by Holles was written several months later, and the note entered by Lawrence Whitacre in his diary on June 8 is probably more accurate.

“The House was informed by Mr. Holles of a letter was come to his hands written from Holmby by Cornet Joyce with directions that it should be delivered to Lieut.-Gen. Cromwell, or in his absence to Sir Arthur Haslerig or Col. Fleetwood; whereby Mr. Holles would have inferred that those three gentlemen held correspondence with that Cornet, and so had intelligence of that party’s carrying away the King and the Commissioners from Holmby; but Sir Arthur Haslerig denied any knowledge he had thereof, and the names of none of those gentlemen did appear upon the superscription of that letter, so that there was no further proceeding upon it at that time.”

The letter printed on p. 118 is probably the letter thus referred to by Holles and Whitacre. There is no superscription, but it was evidently written to some superior officer who was largely responsible for what Joyce had done. He practically says, ‘I have carried out your instructions, send me fresh instructions at once.’ Its contents substantially correspond to the orders which Edition: current; Page: [xxxi] may be supposed to have been given by Cromwell to Joyce. ‘I have secured the King. I have not arrested Colonel Graves because he has escaped. I shall attend to the directions of the parliamentary commissioners within certain limits, but on other points obey no orders but those of the General.’ Nothing is said of the removal of the King from Holdenby to Newmarket, or to any other place. If the conclusion that the letter was addressed to Cromwell be accepted, it confirms the view of his relations to Joyce which has been stated in the last few pages.

Fairfax, in his Short Memorials, states that he “called for a Council of War to proceed against Joyce, but the officers, whether for fear of the distempered soldiers, or rather (as I suspected) a secret allowance of what was done, made all my endeavours in this ineffectual” (Maseres, Select Tracts, i. 448). Some inquiry there probably was into the conduct of Joyce, and it is probable that it was in connection with that inquiry that Clarke obtained copies of the two letters from Joyce here printed (pp. 118-120). The officers in general certainly held that Joyce had done good service to the Army, and he was not only pardoned but promised promotion.

On September 4, 1647, the “Committee of General Officers” passed a resolution “that Commissary-Generall Ireton and Colonel Rainborow bee desired to move the Generall that Cornett Joyce may have the troope of Captain Layton, latelie deceased, in Colonel Fleetwood’s regiment, the Generall having engaged to give him the first that falls.” (Clarke MSS., vol. lxvi.)

On the treatment of the King whilst he was in the custody of the Army there are several papers in this volume. After Whalley had delivered him from the hands of Joyce he refused to go back to Holdenby, and insisted on continuing his journey to Newmarket (pp. 122, 123). A news letter from the latter place describes his first interview with Fairfax and the officers (p. 124). Fairfax ordered special precautions to be taken by Whalley for the security of the King’s person, fearing a rising in Norfolk (p. 130). The King requested Fairfax to allow the Duke of Richmond and two Edition: current; Page: [xxxii] favourite chaplains to attend him; but Fairfax was unwilling directly to sanction their admission, as it was contrary to the orders of Parliament (p. 137). He was also afraid of some “intention to surprise the King to London,” and warned Whalley to be on his guard against it (p. 139). “Be careful of the King’s secureing,” wrote Cromwell and Hewson to Colonel Whalley; but at the same time they urged him to be “exact only in faithfulness to his trust,” and in other things to consult the King’s wishes as far as possible (p. 140). Hoping for a speedy accommodation with the Royalist party, they freely allowed the Royalists to come to see the King. “When the Army was in their greatest glory, and the enemy under their foot, yet we were ever humane and Christian to them, and now, being so near a reconciliation, we should not shew any aversion or indisposition” (p. 216).

The mutiny in the New Model, crowned by Joyce’s seizure of the King, was followed by similar acts of insubordination amongst the military forces in the rest of the kingdom.

Skippon’s regiment at Newcastle sympathised with the regiments stationed in the south (p. 125). The Army of the Northern Association, a separate organisation under the command of General Poyntz, resolved, in spite of the efforts of its commander, to associate itself with the demands of Fairfax’s forces. In May the Agitators of the eight regiments of horse had sent a declaration to the Northern Army, explaining the cause of their proceedings, and had also despatched three of their number to arrange joint action (pp. 90, 92, 121).a Vainly Poyntz issued orders prohibiting meetings amongst the soldiers, and requiring the arrest of these incendiaries (p. 142). On July 8 he was arrested in his own quarters, and carried prisoner to Pontefract (p. 163). The three Agitators wrote Edition: current; Page: [xxxiii] to Fairfax giving an account of what they had done, and forwarding a series of charges against Poyntz, signed by representatives of every regiment in the Northern Army (pp. 163-170).

One result of the division in the Army was naturally a change in the officers of many regiments. Fairfax was on July 19 appointed commander-in-chief of all the land forces in the pay of the Parliament (Lords’ Journals, vii. 339); but even before that date he had commenced appointing new officers in the regiments immediately under his control to take the place of those who had seceded. Barkstead became colonel of Fortescue’s regiment, Pride of Harley’s, Overton of Herbert’s, Harrison of Sheffield’s, Horton of Butler’s, Thomlinson of Pye’s; Scroope succeeded Greaves, and Twisleton, Rossiter. Many officers of lower rank either left the Army, or were even in some cases expelled by their soldiers (see pp. 139, 428).a

To restore or to maintain any semblance of order amongst soldiers who had thus shaken off the bonds of discipline was a task of very great difficulty. Equally difficult was the task of uniting these Edition: current; Page: [xxxiv] armed politicians for common political action. In the rendezvous at Newmarket on June 4 and 5, a common statement of the grievances of the Army was agreed to and subscribed by the officers and soldiers. On the second of these dates “a Solemn Engagement of the Army” was read, assented to, and subscribed, which forms a sort of military version of the “Solemn League and Covenant.” It began by a recital of the causes which led them first to elect Agitators to represent their grievances, and now to refuse to disband. It concluded by an assertion of their willingness to disband when their just demands were satisfied; and a refusal to disband, divide, or suffer themselves to be disbanded or divided, until their demands were satisfied and security given against future wrongs. What satisfaction and security should be regarded as sufficient was to be decided by a council,

“to consist of those general officers of the Army (who have concurred with the Army in the premises) with two commission officers, and two souldiers to be chosen for each Regiment, who have concurred and shall concur with us in the premises, and in this agreement; and by the major part of such of them, who shall meet in Council for that purpose, when they shall be thereunto called by the General.a

(Rushworth, vi. 505-512.)

The idea of reinforcing the slackened bond of discipline by this Act of Association for common political ends may have occurred to many: its actual form was pretty certainly due to Ireton. To Ireton also was due the Declaration of the Army of June 14, in which they went beyond the statement of their grievances as soldiers, and proceeded to propound their desires “for the settling and securing of our own and the kingdom’s common Right, Freedom, Peace, and Safety.” (Rushworth, vi. 564-570.)

That Declaration contains in it the demands afterwards embodied in the “Heads of the Proposals of the Army,” which are developed in the latter into a number of definite articles offered for the consideration of Parliament and people.

Edition: current; Page: [xxxv]

Here, as in the letter of the officers from Royston, the soldiers demand a voice in the settlement of the kingdom on the ground

“that we are not a meer mercenary Army hired to serve any Arbitrary power of a State, but called forth and conjured by the severall Declarations of Parliament to the defence of our owne and the people’s just Rights and Liberties; and so we took up Armes in judgement and conscience to those ends, and have so continued in them, and are resolved according to your first just desires in your Declarations, and such principles as we have received from your frequent informations, and our own common sense concerning those our fundamental rights and liberties, to assert and vindicate the just power and rights of this Kingdome in Parliament for those common ends premised against all arbitrary power, violence, and oppression, and against all particular parties or interests whatsoever.”

It contains also a memorable vindication of the right of the Army to resist the authority of Parliament in defence of their just rights and liberties, which is frequently appealed to in the debates of the following October (pp. 260, 268).

Ireton bases the right of resistance on the “Law of Nature and of Nations,” citing the example of the Scots, the Dutch, and the Portuguese.

“Such also,” he continues, “were the proceedings of our ancestors of famous memory to the purchasing of such Rights and Liberties, as they have enjoyed through the price of their bloud, and we (both by that and the later bloud of our deare friends and fellow soldiers) with the hazard of our own, do now lay claim unto.”

Whilst thus asserting the theoretical right of the Army to resist under certain conditions the authority of Parliament, Ireton is careful at the same time to fix a limit to the practical exercise of this right.

The first aim of the Army is declared to be to have Parliaments “rightly constituted, that is, freely, equally, and successively chosen.” Parliament is to be purged of delinquents, corruptions, and members unduly elected. The duration of this and of future Parliaments is to be legally fixed; new Parliaments are to be summoned at definite intervals, and to continue sitting for a Edition: current; Page: [xxxvi] definite time. When these reforms are effected, the Army will willingly submit to the authority of Parliament.

“Thus a firm foundation being laid in the authority and constitution of Parliaments for the hopes, at least, of common and equall right and freedom to ourselves and to all the freeborn people of this land; we shall for our parts freely and cheerfully commit our stock or share of interest in this kingdome into this common bottome of Parliaments, and though it may (for our particulars) go ill with us in one Voyage, yet we shall thus hope (if right be with us) to fare better in another.”a

Just as the Army promises to submit to the authority of Parliament, provided certain reforms in its constitution are granted, so it also professes that it seeks neither “to overthrow Presbytery or hinder the settlement thereof,” provided that some toleration for “tender consciences” be guaranteed. They demand

“that such who, upon conscientious grounds, may differ from the established formes may not for that be debarred from the common Rights, Liberties, or Benefits belonging equally to all as men and members of the Commonwealth, while they live soberly, honestly, and inoffensively towards others, and peacefully and truthfully towards the State.”

This promise to accept the establishment of Presbyterianism, if freedom of conscience were provided for, is more than once repeated. It is stated with equal clearness in the letter of Fairfax and his officers to the City of London (June 10), which Carlyle on good grounds supposes to have been written by Cromwell.

Again on September 9, in a discussion in the Council of War at Putney, Cromwell

“expressed himself to this effect. That whereas it hath been suggested to this Kingdom that hee hath a desire to cast down the Foundation of Presbytery, and to Edition: current; Page: [xxxvii] advance and set up Independency, hee declares, that hee desires nothing more then to see this poore tottered nation established in Truth and Peace, and this languishing Commonwealth restored to their just rights and liberties”

(Two Declarations from his Excellency Sir Thomas Fairfax, etc., 1647.)

There was, however, one point in which the Army would be satisfied with nothing short of complete surrender. They demanded that “those persons who in the late unjust and high proceedings against the Army appeared to have the will, the confidence, credit and power, to abuse the Parliament and Army and endanger the Kingdome,” should “not continue in the same power,” but “be made incapable thereof for the future.” This was emphasised by the impeachment of Holles and ten other Presbyterian leaders. Permanent exclusion from political power was a thing to which Holles and his friends would not submit without a struggle. They would have appealed to arms as soon as the news came that the Army had refused to disband, if only the City had been ready to back them (p. 117). A news letter amongst Clarendon’s papers, says:

“on the 3rd [of June] the Mayor of London called a Common Council to consider of the present affaires of the Citty, wherein it was resolved by one unanimous consent that they would have noe more war. Concerning how the Parliament took this I have noe more, but that at the first there were some that were pleased to show their mettle in very high expressions, but at last without taking any resolution they rose in very great distraction, being now informed of the resolution of the City whereon they built their chiefest hope.”

(Clarendon MS., 2527.)

Incitements to the citizens to fight were not wanting, but produced no effect.

Another news letter, of June 7, adds: “Yesterday Col. Massey as he passed through the streets in his coach, exhorting the cittizens to defend themselves against the madd men in the Army, who if they should prevaile would demand the heads of the best citizens, Edition: current; Page: [xxxviii] and of the chief men of the Parliament as well as his head” (ibid. 2528).

On the news that the Army was marching on London, and was come as far as St. Albans, a more warlike spirit prevailed, and the trained bands were called out (June 11-12); but the next day a conciliatory answer was sent to the letter of the officers of the Army, and the idea of resistance abandoned (pp. 132-135). More than once there were riots caused by the disbanded soldiers and officers of the old armies of Essex and Waller, who clamoured for their pay at the doors of the House of Commons, and threatened the lives of unpopular members (pp. 136, 141). The Presbyterian clergy openly denounced Fairfax and his soldiers in their sermons (p. 150). Whilst the commissioners of the Army and the commissioners of the Parliament were negotiating, news that soldiers were being enlisted in London reached head-quarters (p. 152).

In May, 1647, an ordinance appointing a new committee for the control of the London militia had been passed, by which a number of aldermen and officers belonging to the Independent party, who had done good service during the war, were put out of the committee and their places filled up by Presbyterians (Rushworth, vi. 472, 478). The Presbyterian commissioners now proceeded to purge the London trained bands by expelling officers who were accused of being Independents or suspected of supporting the Army, and the officers thus expelled applied to the Army for redress (pp. 152-156).

On July 16 the Agitators laid before the General Council of the Army (or “the General Council of War” as it is here termed) a paper in which they demanded an immediate march on London, in order to obtain the restoration of the militia to the hands of the old commissioners, the release of all prisoners illegally committed, a declaration against the entrance of any foreign forces into England, and the placing of all military forces in the country under the command of Fairfax (pp. 170-175). A great debate Edition: current; Page: [xxxix] took place in the Council of the Army on the question of marching up to London. Over 100 officers and Agitators were present, and the discussion lasted till twelve at night (p. 214). Cromwell and Ireton vehemently opposed a march on London, and succeeded in persuading the Council to be content to send a summary of their demands to Parliament, and require an answer within four days. Cromwell was especially anxious to arrive at a settlement of the differences between the Army and Parliament by means of the treaty which was still being negotiated.

“It will be for our honour and honesty to do what we can to accomplish this work by way of a treaty. . . . . Whatsoever we get by a treaty will be firm and durable, it will be conveyed over to posterity. We shall avoid the great objection that lies against us that we have got things of the Parliament by force, and we know what it is to have that stain lie upon us”

(p. 185).

At the same time he held that certain preliminary demands necessary for the present security of the Army during the treaty, and certain grievances whose redress admitted of no delay, might be properly obtained by an ultimatum requiring an answer within a certain specified time (p. 191). Force was not to be used except in the last resort, “except we cannot get what is for the good of the kingdom without force” (p. 202). At the same time he urged that the friends of the Army in the House of Commons were steadily gaining ground; that any appeal to force would alienate the middle party in the House who were neither Presbyterian nor Independent, and stop the mouths of their friends; he reminded his hearers of their old hopes of obtaining their ends through Parliament, and begged them not to abandon those hopes.

“It hath been in most of our thoughts that this Parliament might be a reformed and purged Parliament, that we might see there men looking at public and common interests only. . . . . . This is the principle we did march upon when we were at Uxbridge and when we were at St. Alban’s, and surely the thing was wise and honourable and just. . . . . . If we wish to see a purged Parliament let me persuade every man that he would be a little apt to hope the best”

(p. 192).

Ireton opposed the march on London for reasons very similar to Edition: current; Page: [xl] those put forward by Cromwell. He expected less from the treaty, deemed the question of the London militia of less importance, and urged that there was no sufficient ground for the proposed movement (pp. 194-199). Above all, however, he was anxious that before any new quarrel with the Parliament took place the Army should vindicate the integrity of its intentions by declaring publicly to the kingdom what its political objects were, and how it meant to secure the liberties of the people (p. 179). He had been charged by the General and the rest of the commissioners of the Army appointed to treat with Parliament to draw up a series of proposals for the settlement of the kingdom. With a single assistant, apparently Lambert, he had sketched out the first draft of the document afterwards known as the “Heads of the Proposals of the Army.” In it he hoped “to set down something that may be a rule to lay a foundation for the common rights and liberties of the people and for an established peace in the nation” (cf. pp. 343-349).

The scheme thus drawn up was to be tendered to the parliamentary commissioners, and to be transmitted by them to Parliament as the basis of a settlement. It would serve also as a manifesto from the Army to the nation, and for that reason Ireton was eager to get it adopted and published before a new breach took place between the Parliament and the Army. On July 17, the day after the debate on the question of marching to London, the draft of the proposals was submitted to the Council. Unfortunately Clarke’s report of the discussion ends abruptly, but a few references to the debates are to be found in his reports of the October meetings of Council (pp. 181, 189, 197, 211). The result was that the draft propositions were referred to a committee of twelve officers and twelve Agitators (p. 216).

Parliament yielded to the peremptory demands of the Army, and passed an ordinance replacing the London militia in the hands of the old commissioners (Rushworth, vi. 626, 629, 632-5). At once counter-petitions were set on foot in the City; tumults began, and on July 26 the two Houses were forced by mob-violence to Edition: current; Page: [xli] recall their votes. The riots of July 26, the flight of Lenthall to the Army, and the entry of the Army into London are the subject of letters printed on pp. 217-223. Before the Army entered London the “Propositions” had been finally revised, and they were published on August 2 with a declaration to the Parliament and the nation. In the fortnight which had elapsed since the draft was laid before the Council the propositions had undergone some modification in the hope that they would obtain the King’s concurrence. Sir John Berkeley describes Ireton as permitting him to examine the draft of the proposals and to make certain alterations in them. “He permitted me to alter two of the articles and that in most material points; and I would have done a third, which was the excluding seven persons from pardon and the not admitting of our party to sit in the next parliament” (Memoirs of Sir J. Berkeley, Maseres, p. 363).

When the proposals were privately submitted to the King he objected to the two points mentioned by Berkeley, and still more to the fact that though there was nothing against the Church government established, yet there was nothing done to assert it. The latter reason had great weight with the King in his final rejection of the Army terms (ibid., pp. 367, 368). Major Huntington confirms the account of the private submission of the “Proposals” to the King, which probably took place about July 21 (Reasons for laying down his Commission, Maseres, p. 401). He states that Ireton, Rainborow, Hammond, and Rich “attended the King at Woburn, for three hours together, debating the whole business with the King upon the Proposals; upon which debate many of the most material things which the King disliked were afterwards struck out, and many other things were much abated by promises.” The precise nature of these changes is thus stated by Wildman in his Putney Projects,” 1647, p. 14.

“When the Proposalls were first composed, there was a small restriction of the King’s negative voice: it was agreed to be proposed, that whatsoever bill should be Edition: current; Page: [xlii] propounded by two immediate succeeding Parliaments, should stand in full force and effect as any other law, though the King should refuse to consent. . . . . This was expunged.”

(2.) “In that rough draft it was proposed, that all who have been in hostility against the Parliament, be incapable of bearing office of power, or publique trust for ten years, without consent of Parliament. But in further favour of the King’s interest, these ten years of excluding delinquents from power or trust, were changed to five years.”

(3.) “It was further added, after this intercourse with the King, that the Councell of State should have power to admit such Delinquents to any office of power or trust before those five yeares were expired . . . .”

(4.) “In the composure of the proposalls it was desired that an Act for the extirpation of Bishops might be passed by the King. . . . . This Proposall was so moderated that the office and function of Bishops might be continued; and it is now only proposed that the coercive power and jurisdiction of Bishops extending to any Civill penalties upon any be abolished.”

(5.) “After this Treaty with the King, the proposall for passing an Act to confirm the sale of Bishops lands was wholly obliterated; and though the Army afterward desired the Parliament to proceed in the sale and alienation of those Lands, yet that was none of their proposalls in order to a peace with the King, but according to their proposalls for a setled peace, the King was first to be established in his throne with his usurped power of a negative voyce to all lawes or determinations of Parliament, and then they knew that the King might be at his choyce, whether he would permit an alienation of these lands.”

One of this committee of four who discussed the “Propositions” with the King, viz. Colonel Rainborow, gave John Lilburn “a full account of that business,” and of Ireton’s “base juggling and underhand dealings” (Lilburn’s Impeachment of High Treason against Oliver Cromwell and Henry Ireton, 1649, p. 55). It was doubtless Lilburn who supplied Wildman with the information he embodies in his tract.

A detailed criticism of these Heads of Proposals is given by Mr. Gardiner in the preface to his Constitutional Documents of the Puritan Revolution (pp. xlviii.-l.). “It contained,” he concludes, “too much that was new, too much in advance of the general intelligence of the times to obtain that popular support without which the best constitutions are but castles in the air; and even if this could have been got over, there was the fatal objection that it Edition: current; Page: [xliii] proceeded from an army.” Even after the occupation of London had taken place, Parliament, instead of taking up the Heads of the Proposals as the basis of a settlement of the kingdom, “sent to the King a revised edition of the propositions of Newcastle, differing mainly in this, that it proposed a limited toleration for dissentient Puritans, whilst forbidding all use of the book of Common Prayer.” In his reply to their propositions, the King, on September 14, expressed a preference for the Proposals of the Army, as more conducive “to the satisfaction of all interests and a fitter foundation for a lasting peace (Rushworth vii. 810). Major Huntington’s letter (p. 225) shows that the King expected the leaders of the Army to stand by him in procuring an offer of better terms from the parliament. The question of a new treaty was discussed in the House of Commons on September 22 and 23, 1647. Marten and his party were eager for the passing of a vote to make no further addresses to the King. Cromwell and Ireton on the other hand opposed Marten’s motion, and the House finally resolved on September 23 that they would once again make application to the King.

This decision led to much discontent amongst the Levelling party in the Army as also outside of it, and “the credit and reputation” of both Cromwell and Ireton was much blasted thereby (p. 228). They were accused of falsely representing it to be the desire and sense of the Army that this new application should be made to the King. The charge is thus stated by Wildman in his Putney Projects (p. 43):

“When the answer of the King’s was voted by the Parliament to be a denial of the Propositions, a question was stated whether any more addresses should be made to the King, and the determination was very dubious: but then a Cabinet Councell of the Grandees was called, Sir John Eveling, Mr. William Perpoint, and Mr. Fines, Sir Henry Vane, and Cromwell, and Ireton, own paucis aliis: and O how was the quintessence of their braines extracted, in plausible arguments for a new addresse to the King! how were the imaginary mischiefs, and dangerous consequences of a refusall presented in most lively emblems! and I conclude from the event, that in such a Cabinet Councell the question was first concluded in the affirmative, and then Edition: current; Page: [xliv] the debate of the question was managed in the House with much seeming solemnity; but when the potency of reason, and justice, against any further addresses, began to tryumph over their feminine reasons, a Member (no question one of the same confederacy) produced a reason like Goliah’s sword, with this inscription, there’s none like this, its (saith he) the sense of the Army that a further addresse be made to the King: this led every reason captive, and so the debate ended. . . . . . Com. Gen. Ireton without a proxie sometime averred as much in effect in the House, ‘You must (saith he) looke for opposition, whenever you shall cease your addresses to the King, and then your case would be sad, if you should have no strength adhere unto you, and if you now cease, I cannot promise you the Armies assistance.’ ”

When this charge was made against Cromwell by Sexby in the debate in the Council of the Army on October 28, he replied that what he had spoken in Parliament he had spoken as his own sense, and not in the name of the Army.a Ireton’s answer was, that he did believe it to be the sense of the Army that a second address should be made to the King (pp. 228-232).

Whilst the public utterances of Ireton and Cromwell were thus misinterpreted by the Levellers, their private conferences with the King and their apparent intimacy with his agents Berkeley and Ashburnham gave rise to still greater suspicions. After the King came to Hampton Court,

“Mr. Ashburnham had daily some message or another from the King, to Cromwell and Ireton, who had enough to do both in the Parliament and Council of the Army, the one abounding with Presbyterians, the other with Levellers, and both really jealous that Cromwell and Ireton had made a private compact and bargain with the King; Lilburn printing books weekly to that effect, and Sir Lewis Dives afterwards acknowledged to me, that being his fellow prisoner he had daily endeavoured to possess him with that opinion; of which, although he were not persuaded himself, yet he judged it for the King’s service to divide Cromwell and the Army. On the other hand the Presbyterians were no less confident of their surmises, and amongst them, Cromwell told me that my Lady Carlisle affirmed, that I had said to her Ladyship, that he was to be Earl of Essex and Captain of the King’s guards. . . . . . These and the like discourses made great impression on the Army; to which Mr. Ashburnham’s secret and long conferences contributed not a Edition: current; Page: [xlv] little; insomuch that the Adjutators, who were wont to complain that Cromwell went too slow towards the King, began now to suspect that he had gone too fast and left them behind him.”

(Memoirs of Sir John Berkeley, Maseres’ Select Tracts, i. 368-372).

A pamphlet complains that the officers make an “idoll of the King.”

“Why are they so familiar with Ashburnhame and others, his chief agents? Why permit they so many of his deceitful clergy to continue about him? Why doe themselves kneele, and kisse, and fawne upon him? Why have they received favours from him, and sent their wives or daughters to visit him, or to kiss his hand, or to be kissed of him? Oh shame of men! Oh sin against God! What, to doe thus to a man of blood, over head and eares in the blood of your dearest friends and fellow commoners?”

(A Call to all the Souldiers of the Army by the Free People of England, 1647, p. 5.)

Another charge was that the engagement of June 5, referring the political government of the Army to the elected General Council of the Army, had not been kept, and that its authority had been gradually superseded by the Council of War, and by other committees of officers.

Lilburn wrote to Cromwell on July 1:

“You have robbed, by your unjust subtlety and shifting tricks, the honest and gallant Agitators of all their power and authority, and solely placed it in a thing called a counsell of war, or rather a Cabinet junto of seven or eight proud self-ended fellows, that so you may without control make up your own ends.”

(Jonah’s Cry, p. 9).

Sir John Berkeley observes:

“Out of my discourses and inquiries, I collected these observations: First, that the Army was governed partly by a Council of War, and partly by a Council of the Army, or Agitators, wherein the General had but a single voice; that Fairfax, the General, had little power in either; that Cromwell, and his son Ireton, with their Friends and Partisans, governed the Council of War absolutely, but not that of the Army, which was the most powerful, though they had a strong party there also; but the major part of the Adjutators carried it. Amongst these Adjutators there were many ill-wishers of Cromwell, looking on him as one who would always make his advantages out of the Army.”

(Memoirs of Sir John Berkley, Maseres’ Tracts, i. 364.)
Edition: current; Page: [xlvi]

Later the complaint of the Levellers became:

“that the General Councils (which according to their engagements ought to have consisted only of two select commission officers, and two private souldiers, chosen by every regiment, with such generall officers as assented to the engagement, and no other) were nevertheless overgrown with Collonels, Lieut.-Collonels, Majors and others not chosen, and many of them dissenters from the said engagement.”

(England’s New Chains Discovered, pt. 2, p. 3, 1649. See also The Hunting of the Fexes from Newmarket and Triploe Heath to Whitehall, Somers’ Tracts, vi. 45.)

The blame of these concessions to the King and the burden of the other charges was laid upon Ireton and Cromwell both, but most on Ireton. Wildman appeals to “my once much honoured Cromwell,” as if hoping that his pen “could possibly awaken Cromwell’s conscience from the dead” (Putney Projects, p. 37). Sometimes it is suggested that Ireton was the tempter.

“Before it be too late deal plainly with Ireton, by whose cowardly or ambitious policy Cromwell is betrayed into these mischievous practices . . . . And if Cromwell instantly repent not, and alter his course, let him know also, that ye loved and honoured just, honest, sincere and valiant Cromwell, that loved his country, and the liberties of the people above his life, yea, and hated the King as a man of blood, but that Cromwell ceasing to be such, he ceaseth to be the object of your love.”

Sometimes it was suggested that they were accomplices, and that their occasional differences were but the clearer proof of their secret alliance.

“One of the surest tokens of confederates in evill, is not only when one of his fellowes is vehement, fiery or hot in any of their pursuits, to be patient, cold or moderate to pacify his partner, and like deceitfull Lawyers before their clients to quallify matters; but sometimes seeme to discord or fall out and quarrell in Councels, reasonings and debates; and yet nevertheless in the end to agree in evill; which they doe purposely, to hold upright men in a charitable (though doubtfull) opinion, that if such and such a man be not godly and upright they know not whom in the world to trust.”

(A Call to all the Souldiers of the Armie by the Free People of England, etc., 1647, pp. 4, 6.)

The dissatisfaction and suspicion roused by all these different causes found expression in renewed disturbance in the Army and amongst Edition: current; Page: [xlvii] the Levelling party in general. Meetings took place amongst the soldiers, and several regiments elected new representatives under the pretext that the officers had broken their engagements (pp. 349, 367). A declaration published in November, 1647, by Colonel Whalley’s troop, attacks the Agitators elected in June, saying:

“That upon several informations that those formerly employed by us did more consult their own advancement than the public settlement, we were induced, about the 19th of October last, to make choice of two new Agitators for a regiment.”

The authority given these new Agitators

“was only to act according to our first engaged principles with the consent and advice of the General, the Council of War, and the Agitators first elected, to clear those things that seemed dubious to us, to prevent misinformations,” etc.

(Reprinted by Maseres, Select Tracts, i. lxv.)

These new representatives usually styled themselves “Agents,” but are often described as “Agitators,” both by themselves and others (pp. 259, 264, 279). It is convenient to use the term “Agents” in order to distinguish the new Agitators from the old. Five regiments of horse took the lead in this movement, those of Cromwell, Ireton, Fleetwood, Whalley, and Rich; and their representatives signed the “Case of the Army,” which is dated October 9, 1647. By the beginning of November four other regiments of horse and seven of foot had also elected Agents, and associated themselves with the demands of the original five (Rushworth, vii. 859).

A certain number of persons, claiming to represent the Levellers of London and other districts, made common cause with the protesting soldiers (pp. 235, 251; cf. Rushworth, vii. 876-8). The most prominent of these was John Wildman, a follower of Lilburn’s, who was adopted by the Agents as their mouthpiece, and was probably the author of the “Case of the Army,” and some other tracts published in their name (pp. 269, 352, 356).

The new Agents commenced operations by the presentation of a Edition: current; Page: [xlviii] manifesto, entitled “The Case of the Army stated,” which was presented to the General on October 18. It is well summarised by Godwin, History of the Commonwealth, ii. 445; and was accompanied by a letter which is printed in extenso by Rushworth (vii. 485; see also these debates, pp. 227, 229, 241, 293, 304, 346, 354, 356, 360, 373). The General Council of the Army, at its meeting on October 22, appointed a committee to sit the next day for the consideration of the papers thus presented. On the 28th the Agents presented a further paper, clearing themselves from the charge of seeking to divide the Army. The summary of their political demands, entitled “The Agreement of the People,” though not published till a few days later, seems to have been presented at the same time (p. 236; Rushworth, vii. 849, 850, 859; Godwin, ii 449).

The debates to which the presentation of these papers gave rise extended from October 28 to November 11 (pp. 226-418). The reports now printed were probably taken down in shorthand by William Clarke himself.

At the General Council which met at Putney on October 28 the presenters of the “Case of the Army” were represented by two soldiers and two outsiders, and also by three of the original Agitators (p. 226). One of the latter, Sexby, opened the proceedings by a statement of the causes of the present discontents in the Army. Their leaders, he complained, had laboured too much to satisfy the King and to support the Parliament, instead of simply seeking to carry out the engagements of the Army and taking a direct course to settle the kingdom. He concluded by a personal attack upon Cromwell and Ireton for advocating a further application to the King in the parliamentary debates of September 22 and 23 (pp. 227-232).

The discussion then turned on the “Agreement of the People,” and Cromwell, after some remarks on the importance of the constitutional changes demanded in it, replied, “Before we take this paper into consideration, it is fit for us to consider how far we are obliged, and how far we are free.” The engagements of the Army Edition: current; Page: [xlix] as set forth in their public declarations must first be considered. When that was done they would know how far they were free to adopt the proposals of the Agents (pp. 236-240).

Ireton took the same line, whilst Wildman and Colonel Rainborow argued that the consideration of the justice of the demands now put forward should precede the consideration of earlier engagements (240-247). Cromwell proposed the appointment of a committee to consider the engagements in question, and Colonel Goffe suggested a prayer meeting (pp. 250-255). Both these propositions were finally accepted, but not till a long and excited discussion had taken place between Ireton and Wildman on the nature of obligations in general, and the question when they were binding and when they might be broken (pp. 257-279).

On the morning of October 29 the prayer meeting took place at the Quartermaster-General’s quarters at Mr. Chamberlain’s house (pp. 257, 259, 280-285). It was followed by a fresh discussion in the Council on the question of the engagements of the Army, in the course of which both Cromwell and Ireton emphatically disavowed any private and personal engagements whatever (pp. 293, 294). In an eloquent speech the latter declared that he desired the consideration of engagements not so much for the sake of the engagements themselves as for the sake of the reputation and good name of the Army.

“I would not have this Army . . . . to incur the scandal of neglecting engagements, and laying aside all consideration of engagements, and juggling, and deceiving, and deluding the world, making them believe things in times of extremity which they never meant”

(p. 297).

The “Agreement of the People” was next read, and a general debate took place over the first article, which claimed manhood suffrage (p. 299). On this point the discussion was long and passionate (pp. 299-345). Ireton, while professing his willingness to support a reasonable extension of the franchise, opposed manhood suffrage as dangerous in itself, and still more dangerous from the Edition: current; Page: [l] principles upon which it was claimed (pp. 322, 333, 340). Cromwell and Colonel Rich supported Ireton (pp. 309, 315, 332). The former again proposed the appointment of a committee to agree upon a reasonable compromise (p. 328). The proposal was backed by Lieutenant Chillenden, Captain Rolfe, and others, and was finally accepted (pp. 337, 338). A fresh debate then arose on the question of the statements made in the “Case of the Army,” and Ireton passionately vindicated the officers from the charge of dividing the Army, and retorted the charge on the new Agents (pp. 346-348). He went on to compare the “Heads of the Proposals of the Army” with the “Agreement,” in order to show that the main demands of the latter were substantially contained in the “Proposals” (p. 349). Wildman in answer criticised the “Proposals” in detail, in order to show that by the authority they reserved to the King and the House of Lords “the foundation of slavery was rivetted more strongly than before” (p. 353). Ireton defended the proposals, and charged Wildman with being the author of the “Case of the Army” (pp. 356-361).

On October 30 the Committee of Officers and Agitators appointed to prepare “somewhat to be insisted upon and adhered unto for settling the kingdom,” held a meeting, and agreed to a number of articles relative to the constitution of future Parliaments (pp. 363-367). With the exception of the article on the suffrage, these propositions were substantially the same as those contained in the “Heads of the Proposals.”

The result of the deliberations of the Committee was a clause desiring the extension of the franchise “to all freeborn Englishmen or persons made free denizens of England, who have served the Parliament in the late war for the liberties of the kingdom . . . . or voluntarily assisted the Parliament in the said war with money, arms, etc.” (p. 367). Though this guaranteed the rights of the soldiers, it did not go as far as the Agitators desired, and they seem finally to have obtained a vote in favour of manhood suffrage of the General Council.

Edition: current; Page: [li]

In a letter from the Agents to the regiments which they represented, dated November 11, they say that the first article of the agreement having been long debated “it was concluded by vote in the Affirmative; viz. that all souldiers and others, if they be not servants or beggars, ought to have voices in electing those that shall represent them in Parliament, although they have not fortie shillings a year by freehold land. And there were but three voyces against this your native freedome.” Cromwell and Ireton continued to oppose this further extension, the former saying that it “did tend very much to anarchy” (p. 411; cf. p. 309).

In the later constitutions and the suggested constitutions of the period the question of the suffrage was variously treated. The “Agreement of the People,” presented to Parliament January 15, 1649, embodies the view finally adopted by the governing party in the Army. It proposed:

“That the electors in every division shall be natives or denizens of England, not persons receiving alms, but such as are assessed ordinarily towards the relief of the poor: not servants to and receiving wages from any particular person. And in all elections except for the Universities they shall be men of 21 years of age or upwards, and housekeepers dwelling within the division for which the election is.”

The restrictions are those suggested in these debates of October, 1647 (pp. 313, 335, 341, 342).

Ireton, who in the “Heads of the Proposals of the Army” had first suggested the redistribution of seats according to the rates borne by the respective counties in the burdens of the kingdom, was probably also the author of this proposal for basing the franchise on the payment of rates for the relief of the poor. It does not appear in the scheme of the Levellers or in the Instrument of Government. The views of the former are contained in the “Agreement of the Free People of England,” put forth by Lilburn and his friends, May 1, 1649. It gives the franchise “according to natural right” to “all men of the age of 21 years and upwards not being servants or receiving alms.” The Instrument of Government, on the other hand, reproducing the scheme which the Long Parliament was Edition: current; Page: [lii] engaged in passing when Cromwell expelled it, restricted the franchise in the counties to persons possessing real or personal estate to the value of £200, and left the right of voting in the boroughs unaltered.

The debates of the Council on November 1 turned mainly on the subject of the King and the House of Lords. Wildman argued that by the fundamental constitution of the kingdom neither King nor Lords had any right to a negative voice in legislation, and that they ought to be expressly deprived of the right which they had usurped (pp. 367, 385-387). Ireton had no great difficulty in refuting the proof of these statements which Wildman attempted to derive from the coronation oath (pp. 386, 387, 399), but his own opinion and the general sense of the Army were both strongly in favour of limiting the power of the Lords. The Committee appointed by the Council of Officers had originally decided that the Lords should possess a suspensive veto only (p. 396). For this a more elaborate scheme suggested by Ireton was finally substituted, stipulating that laws passed by the House of Commons should be binding for the people even without the consent of the Lords (pp. 394, 397, 407). But the Lords would not be so bound “for their own persons and estates as the Commons are” unless they expressly consented to it (pp. 391, 394, 397, 405). Lords who happened to be officers of state were to be liable to the judgment of the Commons; those who were not were to be tried and judged only by their peers (p. 409). The suggestion that Lords and Commons should sit together as one House appears to have been considered and rejected (p. 395). The Act of March 19, 1649, which abolished the Upper House as useless and dangerous, declared that such Lords, as had “demeaned themselves with honour, courage, and fidelity to the Commonwealth,” should be capable of sitting in Parliament, “if they shall be therunto elected.” Ireton seems to have proposed a similar provision at this time, but the precise text of his proposal is missing (p. 395).

The articles brought forward by the Committee treated the King’s negative voice in the same fashion as the legislative power of the Edition: current; Page: [liii] Lords. The first draft of the “Heads of the Proposals” had given the King a suspensive veto. In their final form, however, nothing at all was said about the King’s negative voice; it was simply passed over in silence (cf. p. 357). In place of that, the Army demanded the King’s assent to certain stipulated concessions which were held essential to the peace and safety of the kingdom, and proposed that when these things were provided for he should be restored to his throne without diminution to his personal rights, and without further limitation to the exercise of his regal power (Art. xiv., cf. pp. 358-9) Wildman and his party insisted that this involved the restoration of the King with an unlimited negative voice, and that he could not safely be allowed any share whatever in legislation (pp. 362, 385). In reply Ireton pointed out that matters essential to safety were already provided for; that the King by confirming the ordinances made by Parliament would practically admit the right of the Parliament to make laws without his consent where the safety of the nation was concerned; and that the article proposed by the committee gave the House of Commons power to enact laws binding on all commoners.

“Itt takes away the negative voice of the Lords and of the Kinge too, as to what concernes the people; for itt says that the Commons of England shall bee bound by what judgement and above what orders, ordinances, or lawes shall bee made for that purpose by them; and all that followes for the Kinge or Lords is this, that the Lords or Kinge are not bound by that law they pass for their own persons or estates as the Commoners are, unlesse they consent to it”

(pp. 389-391, 407).

The debates of November 3 are very briefly reported, and the reports of those which took place on the four following days are missing altogether. An attempt is made to supply some account of them in Appendix E. On November 5 the extreme party succeeded in obtaining a vote for a general rendezvous of the Army, and procured from the Council a letter to Parliament intimating that the Army was opposed to any further applications to the King. On November 8, however, Cromwell, who had long been sensible of the dangers of division and anarchy caused by these Edition: current; Page: [liv] disputes in the Council, carried a vote recommending the General to order the representative Officers and Agitators to return to their regiments until the intended rendezvous had taken place (p. 412). On the following day the Council was adjourned for a fortnight; but before it separated a declaration was drawn up, explaining that the letter of November 5 was not intended to mean that the Council opposed Parliament’s sending any further propositions to the King, “our intentions being only to assert the freedom of Parliament” (p. 416). It was also decided that instead of the one general rendezvous of the Army, which had been previously settled, there should be three separate reviews, to take place at different places on successive days.

The first rendezvous took place on November 15 near Ware. The Levellers attempted to convert it into the general rendezvous which they so much desired. The regiments of Harrison and Robert Lilburn broke loose from the control of their officers, and came to the field of the review intending to make it an armed demonstration in favour of the “Agreement of the People.” Cromwell’s action was again decisive, and the incipient mutiny was quelled by the execution of a single mutineer.a A remonstrance drawn up in the name of the General was read at the head of every regiment. Like the engagement of June 5, which it supplements and completes, it was evidently the composition of Ireton (v. p. 348). Fairfax declares that he and the other commanders have done their best to carry out the ends of the Newmarket engagement, and complains of the discontents and divisions which the Agents have caused in the Army. He announces that without redress of these abuses and disorders he will not continue in command, but professes his willingness “to adhere to, and to Edition: current; Page: [lv] conduct, and live and die with the Army in the lawful prosecution” of certain specified aims. Those aims are the obtaining of six demands which concern the Army as soldiers, and the attainment of the following political objects for the kingdom at large.

“A period to be set for this present Parliament, to end so soon as may be with safety; and provision thereunto to be made for future Parliaments, for the certainty of their meeting, sitting, and ending, and for the freedom and equality of elections thereto; to render the House of Commons, as near as may be, an equal representative of the people that are to elect. And, according to the Representation of the Army of June 14, to leave other things to, and acquiesce in, the determinations of the Parliament; but to remind the Parliament of, and mediate with them for, redress of the common grievances of the people, and all other things that the Army have declared their desire for.”

He concluded by exacting from the officers and soldiers of every regiment the subscription of a definite promise to be bound by the decision of the General Council of the Army as to the prosecution of the objects thus enumerated. On the other hand, “for the matter of ordering conduct and government of the Army,” they were to be “observant and subject to the General, the Council of War, and their officers.” (Old Parliamentary History, xvi. 340-345.)

By this new compact between Fairfax and his soldiers the political aims of the Army were clearly defined and its action was restricted to certain definite objects. The acceptance of the engagement was followed by the restoration of good relations between officers and men and by the revival of discipline. Some few of the discontented party continued to plot mutiny, but they were either reduced to submission or promptly expelled from the Army. A few weeks later the “General Council of the Army” itself ceased to exist, and the system of representation, established by the engagement of June 4, was never revived. A constitutional experiment so remarkable is worth tracing to its close.

The vote of November 8 had simply dismissed the Agitators and the representative officers to their several regiments, “there to reside until the said rendezvous be over, and until his Excellency Edition: current; Page: [lvi] shall see fit to call them together again according to the Engagement” (p. 412). The Council met again, on November 25, in the town hall at Windsor, and continued to meet throughout December and during the first week of January, 1648. There is little doubt that the Agitators continued to take part in its debates, privates as well as officers. Parliamentary Commissioners came to Windsor to arrange with the Council of the Army the question of pay and the disbanding of supernumeraries. A letter from Windsor, dated December 31, says:

“The Parliament’s Commissioners have been at the headquarters with us now this three days, and had divers meetings with our councils, and joined with us in prayer, and other things tending to the good of the kingdom and the army, and have had full satisfaction in all things upon the votes of the Houses, to their hearts desire and content. And the officers came to them and assured them the spirit of the army was, that since God hath put an opportunity into their hands of purpose to settle the kingdom, if God should honour the army to be further helping to them, the army would live and die with them and for them willingly. Whereby they were much joyed, and received their expressions with abundance of thanks. . . . . The Agreement was sweet and comfortable, the whole matter of the kingdom being left with the Parliament.”

(Rushworth, vii. 928, 935, 951.)

The most important subject treated with the Parliamentary Commissioners was the reorganisation of the Army and the disbanding and payment of those soldiers who were not to be included in the new establishment. With the concurrence of Fairfax and the Council, this was effected by a series of Parliamentary resolutions, in accordance with which a standing army of about 23,000 men was to be kept up (Rushworth, vii. 935, 992, 995). Supernumeraries, soldiers enlisted since the Newmarket engagement, and superfluous local levies were disbanded in large numbers (ibid., 921, 929, 946, 953, 997, 1007, 1011, 1042). A number of rules were established for the billeting and quartering of the soldiers to be still maintained (ibid., 956). Above all, a considerable reduction in the pay of the Army was agreed upon, though it was stipulated by the soldiers that the said reduction should hold good for time of peace merely, and that in case of a new war their pay and allowances should be again Edition: current; Page: [lvii] increased (ibid., pp. 995, 996; see also an imperfect letter of Fairfax’s amongst Clarke’s MSS.,) One of the last acts of the Council was to vote an addition to the number of Army chaplains.

“The Councell of the Army having information of the willingnesse and readinesse of divers Godlye men of the ministrye to bestowe theyr paynes to preach the ghospell of Christ in the Armye, it was resolved by the Counsell that some of them whose hearts God should most incline to that worke, should be desired to come to the Army for that purpose and be assured from the Counsell of all encouragement thereto and good acceptance of theyr paynes therein.”

(Clarke MS. Jan. 9, 1647.)

In pursuance of this vote John Canne became chaplain of Robert Lilburn’s regiment, and a number of other divines became attached to the Army.

Whilst the headquarters were at Windsor the Council of War frequently met to condemn persons implicated in the recent disturbances. Captain-Lieutenant Bray, Major Cobbet, and several privates were tried and condemned, but the proceedings closed with a general reconciliation and remission of punishments (Rushworth vii., 922, 937, 940, 942, 943). The meeting of December 21 is thus described in a letter which Rushworth reprints from the Perfect Diurnal.

“The General Council of the Army met in the Castle at Windsor; the greatest part of that day was spent in several declarations made by divers officers concerning the present juncture of affairs; many exhortations to unity and affinity, and motions made for passing by offences that had, through weakness, come from brethren.

“Major White laid hold of this opportunity, made an acknowledgement that he had spoken some words rashly at Putney, for which he was censured by that Council; desired that he might be looked upon as one that desired the good of the Army; and, that being restored into favour he should readily submit to the discipline of the Army. This was unanimously approved of, and the major accordingly readmitted into the General Council.

“Wednesday, December 22, was, according to appointment, kept as a solemn fast by the general and officers; the duties of the day were performed by divers of the officers, amongst whom there was a sweet harmony: the Lieutenant-General, Commissary General Ireton, Col. Tichburne, Col. Hewson, Mr. Peters, and other Edition: current; Page: [lviii] officers prayed very fervently and pathetically; this continued from nine in the morning till seven at night. In the evening a motion was made that whereas Col. Rainsborough had acted some things which gave offence, that in regard of his present acknowledgment, his former service might not be forgotten; but that the Council would move the General to write to the House, that he might be made Vice-admiral; which was assented to by all, and a letter written to Mr. Speaker accordingly.

“Thursday, December 23, the General Council of the Army again met. . . . . This day also the Council of War sat about the trial of Captain-Lieuentant Bray, Mr. Crosman, Mr. Allen, and others; but upon their acknowledgment of their rash and irregular proceedings, and promise to submit to the discipline of the Army for the time to come, they were dismissed and sent to their several regiments.”a

The last meeting of the Council took place on January 8, 1648. “This Saturday the General Council of the Army met at the Castle at Windsor, where the appearance was great, and they were very unanimous in debate.” Without a single opposing voice they agreed upon the Declaration presented to Parliament on January 11, announcing their satisfaction with the recent vote for no further addresses to the King, and promising to support the Parliament in settling the kingdom without him (Rushworth, vii. 959, 961).

“To-morrow,” continues the letter, “all the council that met this day are to dine with the General in Windsor Castle, to congratulate the unity of the Army and to take their leaves each of other before they be dispersed into the several garrisons and great towns, which the Army will punctually perform against the 15th of January.”

Edition: current; Page: [lix]

So ended the assembly instituted in pursuance of the Engagement of June 5—the most thoroughly representative of all the different councils which successively spoke in the name of the Army. Subsequent councils contained no representatives of the common soldiers. The assembly which met at St Albans on November 7, 1648, though often spoken of as the General Council of the Army, was in reality composed solely of officers, and styled itself “the General Council of Officers of the Army” (Rushworth, vii. 1320, 1330, 1366. Old Parliamentary History, xviii. 160, 266, 458, 516).

In May, 1649, Colonel Scroope’s regiment and portions of several others mutinied, demanding the re-establishment of the General Council of the Army according to the Engagement of June 5, 1647, which they accused their officers of having broken. The rising was suppressed by Cromwell at Burford, and one of the leaders, Cornet Henry Denne, published a pamphlet entitled the “Levellers Designe Discovered,” in which he explained the aims of the mutineers, and retracted the opinions which he had held in common with them. On the question of the General Council and the reasons which led to its dissolution he speaks as follows:

“I shall declare what satisfaction I have received that so I may give the same satisfaction unto others. . . . . Such a councell indeed the ingagement required. And such a councell was constituted in the Army, acting, and transacting of matters pertaining to the discipline of the Army. And so long was this councell continued, untill the inconvenience thereof was so far manifest; that most of the Regiments of horse and foot did petition his Excellency to send back the severall agitators to their respective regiments untill he should be pleased to resummon them; professing a willingnesse in themselves to submit unto his Excellency with his Councell of War, according to the pristine discipline of the Army. His Excellency having received these petitions did not immediately send back the Agitators (as requested). But having first summoned a councell, and communicated the petitions unto them; it was by them concluded that according to the petitions of the severall regiments the Councell of Agitators should be dissolved, untill his Excellency should see cause to resummon them. Now this being so: his Excellency cannot be charged with violation of that ingagement, neither doth there remain any obligation on his Edition: current; Page: [lx] Excellency to have continued or revived any such councell.”

(The Levellers Designe Discovered, p. 4, 1649.)

Unfortunately the debates of the Council during the final meetings at Windsor are not recorded by Clarke, or at least have not survived. In some of these gatherings business of great importance was treated, but most of them seem to have been devoted to military rather than political affairs. The peculiar value of the reports of the debates on the Agreement of the people lies in the fact that in them the fundamental principles of politics were discussed. In the course of the argument the political theories of the two parties in the army, and the characters of their leaders, are clearly defined and exhibited. Both these points deserve and require a more detailed consideration.

The views of the extreme party amongst the sectaries are set forth in the pamphlets of Lilburn, Overton, and others, and are well summarised by Thomas Edwards in his Gangraena. In the third part of that work, published in 1646, he enumerates the erroneous opinions held by the “sectaries” in political as well as in religious matters. He complains that just as they neglected authority in religion so they rejected it in politics.

“As they do in matters of religion and conscience fly from the scriptures, and from supernaturall truths revealed there, that a man may not be questioned for going against them, but only for errors against the light of nature and right reason; so they do also in civill government and things of this world, they go from the lawes and constitutions of kingdoms, and will be governed by rules according to nature and right reason; and though the lawes and customes of a kingdome be never so plain and cleer against their wayes, yet they will not submit, but cry out for naturall rights derived from Adam and right reason”

(Gangraena, pt. iii. p. 20).

Accordingly in these debates we hear much of the laws of nature and of natural rights. It was held that every man born in England, every “free born Englishman,” possessed certain rights which were termed his “birthright.” The phrase “birthright” was not altogether new in English political discussions, but had usually been employed Edition: current; Page: [lxi] in a more limited signification. “Subjects,” said Sir Robert Berkeley during Hampden’s trial, “have a birthright in the laws of this kingdom.” The word is used in a similar fashion in the Act of Settlement. Ireton employs it with the same meaning in one of his speeches.

“If you call that your birthright, which is the most fundamental part of your constitution, then let him perish that goes about to hinder you of the least part of your birthright”

(p. 325).

The Levellers sometimes used the term to denote certain inherited constitutional rights. They believed that the English commons had possessed these rights under the Saxons, and were unjustly deprived of them by the Norman Conquest (cf. pp. 318, 368). “To purchase our inheritances that have been lost,” “to recover our birthrights and privileges as Englishmen,” were alleged by them to be the cause for which they had taken up arms (pp. 235, 322).

The negative voice of the King, and the power of the House of Lords, they asserted to be a part of the bondage imposed on England by the Norman Conquest (pp. 401, 402). According to some of their pamphleteers the law and the constitution alike were part of the Norman yoke.

“The greatest mischief of all and the oppressing bondage of England ever since the Norman yoke,” says Lilburn, “is a law called the common law. The laws of this nation,” he adds, “are unworthy a free people, and deserve from first to last to be considered, and seriously debated, and reduced to an agreement with common equity and right reason, which ought to be the form and life of every government. Magna Charta itself being but a beggarly thing, containing many marks of intolerable bondage, and the laws that have been made since by Parliaments have in very many particulars made our government much more oppressive and intolerable”

(Lilburn, Just Man’s Justification, pp. 11-15; Edwards, Gangraena, iii. 194).

Park, in his edition of the Harleian Miscellany, reprints three pamphlets by John Hare, setting forth this theory of the consequences of the Norman Conquest, viz. (1.) St. Edward’s Ghost, or Anti-Normanism; being a patheticall Complaint and Motion, in the behalf of our English Nation against her grand yet neglected Edition: current; Page: [lxii] Grievance, Normanism, 1647 (vol. viii. p. 94); (2). Plain English to our wilful bearers with Normanism, 1647 (vol. ix. p. 90); (3). England’s proper and only Way to an Establishment in Honour, Freedom, Peace, and Happiness; or the Norman Yoke once more uncased; and the Necessity, Justice, and present Seasonableness of breaking it in pieces demonstrated, 1648 (vol. vi. p. 36).

The theory which the Levellers thus put forward found eager acceptance in the Army. In attempting to find an historical basis for the rights which they claimed the soldiers were but following the example of the lawyers. When they represented the liberties they demanded as an inheritance from the past, fictitious though the pedigree might be, they adopted the conventional method of English political controversy. But in fact they rested their claims far more on abstract justice and pure reason, and demanded their rights, not merely as the lawful inheritance of Englishmen, but as the natural rights of all men. Their argument is well summed up by Edwards.

“That, seeing all men are by nature the Sons of Adam, and from him have legitimately derived a naturall propriety, right, and freedom, Therefore England and all other Nations, and all particular persons in every Nation, notwithstanding the difference of Lawes and Governments, rancks and degrees, ought to be alike free and estated in their naturall Liberties, and to enjoy the just Rights and Prerogative of mankind, whereunto they are Heirs apparent; and thus the Commoners by right are equall with the Lords. For by naturall birth all men are equally and alike born to like propriety, liberty, and freedom; and as we are delivered of God by the hand of nature into this world, every one with a naturall innate freedom, and propriety, even so are we to live, every one equally and alike to enjoy his birthright and priviledge.”

(Gangraena, pt. iii., p. 16.)

First and most important of these rights was the right to a voice in the election of Members of Parliament. The only legitimate foundation of a government was the consent of the governed.

“I thinke its cleare,” says Rainborow, “that every man that is to live under a governement ought first by his own consent to putt himself under that governement; and I doe thinke that the poorest man in England is not at all bound in a strict Edition: current; Page: [lxiii] sense to that government that he hath not had a voice to putt himself under”

(p. 301).

“Every man born in England cannot, ought nott; neither by the law of God nor the law of nature, to bee exempted from the choice of those who are to make lawes, for him to live under, and for him, for ought I know to die under”

(p. 305).

Wildman lays down the same principle.

“That’s the undeniable maxim of government; that all governement is in the free consent of the govern’d. If so then upon that account there is noe person that is under a just governement or hath justly his own unlesse hee by his owne free consent be putt under that governement”

(p. 318).

We judge that all inhabitants that have not lost their birthright should have an equal voice in elections”

(p. 300).

As Ireton points out, the argument for universal suffrage was based on an absolute natural right, paramount to existing laws or constitution (pp. 301, 307, 325, 327). The law of nature was invoked against the law of the land.

These natural rights were held to be inherent, indefeasible rights, which no positive law or constitution could take away. As the crown lawyers had asserted that some powers were so inseparable from the King’s person, that Acts of Parliament to deprive him of them were void, so now the spokesmen of the soldiers denied that any law or custom could deprive the people of their rights. Edwards thus states their contention:

“That whatever the Fundamentall Constitutions of Kingdomes and Commonwealths have been by forefathers, whatever agreements, compacts have been of subjection and obedience of such a people for themselves and posterities to one, as under kingly government, or to more, yet the men of the present age, following many hundred years after, ought to be absolutely free from what their forefathers yeelded unto, and freed from all kinds of exorbitancies, molestations, without exception or limitation, either in respect of persons, officers, degrees, or things, and estated in their naturall and just Liberties agreeable to right reason.”

(Gangraena, pt. iii.)

Throughout the debates these principles are assumed by the supporters of the Agreement. “If there is a constitution that the people are not free, that should be annulled,” says Mr. Pettus (p. 336). If the engagements of the Army had given away anything Edition: current; Page: [lxiv] that was the people’s right, they were unjust and therefore void (p. 251). If a thing were just and the people’s due, no engagement to the contrary was binding (pp. 261, 301). In accordance with these principles the spokesmen of the soldiers demanded the abolition of the law which restricted the franchise to forty-shilling freeholders. “I think,” said Rainborow, “that the law of the land in that thing is the most tyrannical law under heaven” (p. 311). They demanded on the same grounds the abolition of the power of the King and the House of Lords, and especially the taking away of their share in legislation.

“To give the Kinge a legislative power,” argued Wildman, “is contrary to his own oath at his coronation, and itt is the like to give a power to the Kinge by his negative voice to deny all lawes. And for the Lords, seeing the foundation of all justice is the election of the people it is unjust they should have that power”

(p. 386).

“Both the power of the Kinge and Lords,” argued another, “was ever a branch of tyranny, and if ever a people shall free themselves from tyranny certainly itt is after seven yeares’ warre and fighting for their liberty”

(p. 352).

“Itt will never satisfie the godly people in the Kingedome unlesse that all government be in the Commons and that freely”

(p. 398).

Already on May 20, 1647, a petition had been addressed to the House of Commons as “the supreme authority of this nation,” and had been ordered by them to be burnt as a high breach of privilege.

To what extent the articles drawn up by the committee of the General Council limited the powers of the King and Lords, and how far the demand for universal suffrage was successful has already been shown (pp. l.-liii.). There were, however, other rights which were to be secured by a different process.

In the articles drawn up by the Committee of the Council of the Army the represented announce that they reserve to themselves certain fundamental rights which their representatives are not empowered to abrogate or give away (pp. 407, 409). No man is to be impressed; no man compelled to any form of religion; no man disquieted for acts done during the war. The idea of inserting these reservations and the substance of the reservations Edition: current; Page: [lxv] themselves are both taken from the first Agreement of the People, presented to the Council of the Army in Oct. 1647. The four reserves contained in that document ran thus:

“1. That matters of Religion, and the wayes of God’s Worship, are not at all intrusted by us to any humane power, because therein we cannot remit or exceed a tittle of what our consciences dictate to be the mind of God, without wilfull sin: nevertheless the publike way of instructing the nation (so it be not compulsive) is referred to their discretion.

“2. That the matter of impresting and constraining any of us to serve in the wars is against our freedome; and therefore we do not allow it in our Representatives; the rather because, money (the sinews of war) being alwayes at their disposall, they can never want numbers of men apt enough to engage in any just cause.

“3. That after the dissolution of the present Parliament no person be at any time questioned for anything said or done, in reference to the late publike differences, otherwise then in execution of the judgements of the present Representatives or House of Commons.

“4. That in all Lawes made or to be made, every person may be bound alike, and that no Tenure, Estate, Charter, Degree, Birth, or Place, do confer any exemption from the ordinary course of legall proceedings whereunto others are subjected.”

These reservations were practically a “Declaration of the Rights of Man” expressed by means of negatives and restrictions. Similar reservations, six in number, besides an elaborate article concerning the limits of religious freedom, are embodied in the second Agreement of the People, presented to Parliament from the Army in January 1649 (Gardiner, Constitutional Documents, p. 279).

In the desire to limit the powers of the government, and guarantee the rights of the individual, the Levellers went still further, and the third Agreement of the People, published by Lilburn and his friends in May, 1649, contains no less than eighteen provisions restricting the power of future Parliaments. To limit the power of Parliament was in fact the chief aim of these and similar stipulations.

The events of the spring of 1647 had sowed in the minds of the soldiers a deeply-rooted distrust of parliamentary assemblies, and a well grounded objection to their omnipotence. The exercise Edition: current; Page: [lxvi] of an unlimited or arbitrary power by such as have been trusted with supreme and subordinate authority, and the prevalence of corrupt interests powerfully inclining most men once entrusted with authority to pervert the same for their own domination, are the chief reasons given for Lilburn’s Agreement and for the reservations contained in it. Though these reservations disappear in the Instrument of Government, the imposition of a written constitution, the provisions it contains for the securing of religious liberty, the clause nullifying bills contrary to the tenor of the “Instrument,” the absence of any provision for its amendment, and the opposition to all proposals for its alteration, are manifestations of the same feeling. Cromwell never more truly represented the views of the Army than when he forbade his first Parliament to alter the Instrument, and the distinction which he drew between fundamentals which must be accepted, and circumstantials which might be altered, is but an echo of the tenth article of the Agreement of January, 1649.

In any discussion of the political principles set forth in these debates one other point requires special notice. Speakers on both sides refer to society and government as resting on a contract. “The King,” says Cromwell, “is King by contract;” referring no doubt to the fundamental contract between King and people which James II. was voted to have broken (p. 366).

“We are under a contract,” says Ireton, and he proceeds to argue that on this contract or covenant between man and man private property both in land and goods is founded (p. 263).

Mr. Pettus goes further and states the origin and purpose of the contract.

“Every man is naturally free . . . . when men were in so great numbers that every man could not give his voice . . . . men agreed to come unto some form of governement that they who were chosen might preserve propertie”

(p. 312).

As these debates explain the political views of the soldiers, so they elucidate the character and position of their leaders. Fairfax Edition: current; Page: [lxvii] himself was absent from the most important debates on account of illness (p. 226). When he was present he contented himself with presiding in silence, and left Ireton and Cromwell to expound his views. “He was of few words in discourse or council,” observes Whitelock, and according to Sprigge he suffered at times from an impediment in his speech (Anglia Rediviva, ed. 1854, p. 325).

Ireton is a statesman to whose influence and ability historians have hardly done justice. To his military talents, he added great business capacity and indefatigable industry. Ludlow attributes his death to his “immoderate labours,” and another of his associates in Ireland describes him as “seldom thinking it time to eat till he had done the work of the day at nine or ten at night, and then will sit up as long as any man hath business with him” (Cooke, Monarchy no creature of God’s making, 1652). Bred a lawyer, he possessed a larger stock of political and constitutional knowledge than his fellow officers. Clarendon terms him “a scholar conversant in the law, and in all that learning which had expressed the greatest animosity and malice against regal government” (Rebellion, xiii., 175). He had also what Whitelock styles “a working and laborious brain and fancy” (Memorials, ii., 163). He was fertile in formulas, ingenious in devising constitutional expedients, and skilled in putting the political ideas of himself or others into legal shape. As no one amongst the superior officers possessed these varied qualifications to the same extent he naturally became the penman of the Army. Imperfect though the records of these debates are, they show that Ireton was also an excellent and sometimes an eloquent speaker. Above all he was a ready debater, expressing himself clearly and forcibly, swift to seize an argumentative advantage, to press home the the consequences of a principle, or to point out the importance of a precedent. Confident, however, of the soundness of his own logic, he did not always fairly appreciate the strong points of an opponent’s case. His defect was that he was too positive and dogmatic, and sometimes his brother officers lost their tempers and declined to be dictated to. Less sympathetic Edition: current; Page: [lxviii] than Cromwell, he roused more opposition, and was eager to convince when Cromwell was anxious only to unite. Over Cromwell Ireton exercised great influence — the influence which a man of definite views exercises over a friend whose mind is not yet made up about everything.

Ireton’s own political position has been much misunderstood. Clarendon represents him as “so radically averse from monarchy and so fixed to a republican government, that if he had lived he would either by his counsel and credit have prevented” Cromwell’s assumption of the protectorate, or “publicly opposed and declared against it” (Rebellion, xiii., 175). “Ireton,” says Burnet, “had the principles and the temper of a Cassius in him. He stuck at nothing that might have turned England to a commonwealth” (Own Time, 1833, ed. i., 85).

As a matter of fact, so long as monarchy could be maintained, Ireton sought to maintain it. Throughout 1647 and 1648, he was the leader and spokesman of the moderate party in the Council of the Army. The constitution was always in his mouth; he was anxious to change as little of it as necessary and to preserve as much of it as possible. His declarations on this point are clear and frequent.

“I doe not seeke, nor would not seeke, nor will joyne with them that doe seeke the destruction of Parliament or Kinge. Neither will I consent with those, or concurre with them who will not attempt all the wayes that are possible to preserve both, and to make good use, and the best use that can be of both for the kingedome (p. 233). Where I see thinges would not do reall mischief I would hold to positive constitution. . . . . soe long as I can with safetie continue a constitution I will doe it (p. 350). Rather then I will make a disturbance to a good constitution of a kingedome wherein I may live in godlinesse, and peace, and quietnesse, I will parte with a great deale of my birthright”

(p. 324).

Hence the vigour with which he opposed manhood suffrage.

“To me, if there were nothing but this, that there is a constitution, and that constitution which if you take away you leave nothing of constitution, and consequently nothing of right or property [it would be enough] I would not goe to alter Edition: current; Page: [lxix] that, though a man could propound that which might in some respects bee better, unlesse it could be demonstrated to me that this were unlawful or that this were destructive”

(p. 340).

Manhood suffrage, he maintained, would destroy property. Men might be elected who had no stake in the country, and they might vote down all property (pp. 303, 314). It would endanger liberty itself.

“If there be anything at all that is a foundation of liberty itt is this, that those who shall chuse the lawmakers shall be men freed from dependance upon others. . . . I think if wee from imagination and conceits will go about to hazard the peace of the kingdom to alter the constitution in such a point, wee shall see that libertie that we soe much talke of and contend for shall bee nothing by this our contending for it, by putting it into the hands of those that will give it away when they have itt”

(p. 341).

Ireton’s objections to the principles on which the demand was based were still stronger than his objection to the demand itself. He denied altogether that any man had by birthright any claim to a voice in the government of his country. He denied with equal bluntness the theory that no man was bound to obedience to any government, unless he had by his own free consent put himself under that government (pp. 302, 319). Arguments about abstract justice he abhorred and dreaded:

“When I do hear men speake of laying aside all engagements to [consider only] that wild or vast notion of what in every man’s conception is just or unjust, I am afraid and do tremble att the boundlesse and endlesse consequences of itt”

(p. 264).

Equally keen was his perception of the danger of appeals to natural rights and the law of nature.

“I wish wee may all consider of what right you challenge that all the people should have right to Elections. Is itt by the right of nature? If you will hold forth that as your ground, then I thinke you must deny all property too. . . . . By that same right of nature, whatever it bee that you pretend, by which you can say one man hath an equall right with another to the chusing of him that shall governe him, by the same right of nature hee hath an equall right in any goods he sees, Edition: current; Page: [lxx] meate, drinke, clothes, to take and use them for his sustenance. . . . . If upon these grounds you doe paramount to all constitutions hold uppe this law of nature, I would faine have any man shew me where you will end”

(p. 307; cf. pp. 303, 310, 314, 336).

In the heat of his opposition to these theories of abstract right which he heard put forward, Ireton denied all political rights to persons not freeholders possessing a permanent interest in the country (pp. 302, 307, 314). He answered the Levellers of 1647 very much as Lord Braxfield answered the Reformers of 1794.

“ ‘A government in every country,’ said Braxfield, ‘should be just like a corporation, and in this country it is made up of the landed interest, which alone has a right to be represented. As for the rabble, who have nothing but personal property, what hold has the nation of them? They may pack up their property on their backs and leave the country in the twinkling of an eye, but landed property cannot be removed.’ ”

(State Trials, xxiii. 231.)

In practice, however, Ireton was not prepared to push his opposition to the extremes to which his logic might have carried him. Throughout he announced his willingness to support a reasonable extension of the franchise, providing it was limited “to the fix’t and settled people of this nation,” to “men who are like to be freemen and not given up to the wills of others” (pp. 313, 344). At the same time no one was more eager for parliamentary reform of other kinds:

“I will not arrogate that I was the first man that putt the Army upon the thought either of successive Parliaments or more equall Parliaments; yet there are some heere that know who they were putt us upon that foundation of libertie of putting a period to this Parliament, that wee might have successive Parliaments, and that there might bee a more equall distribution of elections”

(p. 333).

According to Wildman and Sexby the soldiers had engaged for their own freedom and for the recovery of their lost liberties (pp. 318, 322). They demanded securities for their personal rights, and a voice in the making of the laws they had to live under (pp. 318, 354). Securities for the rights of parliaments would not satisfy Edition: current; Page: [lxxi] them, for they feared the parliament’s privileges as much as the King’s prerogative.

In Ireton’s view the war had been originally undertaken “for the liberty of Parliaments,” that the law of the Kingdom might be determined by its representatives in Parliament, and “that the will of one man should not be a law” (pp. 327, 333). Circumstances had led him to demand now not only securities for the liberty of parliament, but guarantees as to its composition. “The rectification of the supreme authority of the Kingdom,” “the reduction of the supreme authority to that constitution which is due to the people of this Kingdom,” he declared to be the necessary condition of the Army’s submission to parliament, and a condition which it was justified in using force to obtain (pp. 267, 268). Further than this Ireton was not prepared to go. The devices by which he sought to reconcile the real sovereignty of the House of Commons with the concession of a nominal share in legislation to the House of Lords, and a strictly limited veto to the Crown, are significant illustrations of his statesmanship. He thought to effect a political revolution by a change in the machinery of the constitution without any alteration in its outward form, and without a corresponding change in the spirit of the nation.

Equally conservative in temper, Cromwell set less value on constitutional forms and had less faith in political machinery. He was not, as he expresses it, “wedded and glued to forms of government” (p. 277). His criticisms of the “Agreement of the People” deal not so much with the justice or even the expediency of the particular things proposed as with the general danger of change:

“This paper doth contain in it very great alterations of the very government of this kingdom, alterations from that government it hath been under, I believe I may almost say since it was a nation, and what the consequences of such an alteration as this would be, if there were nothing else to be considered but the very weight and nature of the things contained in this paper, wise men and godly men ought to consider”

(p. 237).

Other parties might be formed and put forth other schemes for Edition: current; Page: [lxxii] new constitutions equally plausible and seek to impose them on the country:

“And if so what do you think the consequence of that would be? Would it not be confusion? Would it not be utter confusion? Would it not make England like Switzerland, one county against another as one canton of the Swiss is against another? And if so what would that produce but an absolute desolation—an absolute desolation to the nation”

(p. 237).

He proceeds to lay down the principle that, in proposing a change of such importance, the first thing to consider is “whether, according to reason and judgement, the spirits and temper of the people of this nation are prepared to receive and to go along with it” (p. 237). “In the government of nations that which is to be looked after is the affections of the people, and that I find which satisfies my conscience in the present thing” (p. 369). Compared with the question of its acceptance by the people, the question of the particular form of the government was unimportant. This he illustrates by the case of the Jews, governed successively by patriarchs, judges and kings. Under all these governments they were happy and contented. Moreover, there were other things more important than the form of the government. Even if you change the government to the best possible form of government “it is but a moral thing.” “It is but as Paul says, ‘dross and dung’ in comparison of Christ.” Why should they contest so much for merely temporal things? If every man in the kingdom were so bent on realising his ideal of government that he was willing to fight to establish it, the state would come to desolation (p. 370). His conclusion was that the question what government were fittest for the kingdom should be left to Parliament to determine. The Army should content itself with insisting that parliaments should be fairly elected, regularly summoned, and dissolved at regular intervals (ibid). Though willing to use force against the Parliament when he regarded it as necessary, he was anxious to limit the use of force to cases in which its employment was absolutely indispensable. “I do not know that force is to be used except we Edition: current; Page: [lxxiii] cannot get what is for the good of the kingdom without force” (p. 202, cf. p. 185). The good of the people he declares to be the principle by which his actions are guided.

“That’s in all our hearts to profess above anything that’s worldly the public good of the people, and if that be in our hearts truly and nakedly I am confident it is a principle that will stand” (p. 259). “If that be not the supreme aim of us under God our principles fall”

(p. 277).

This does not mean that the wishes of the people are to be implicitly followed. “That’s the question, what’s for their good, not what pleases them” (p. 209). In these words there is already a foreshadowing of the Protectorate.

Many other illustrations of Cromwell’s character are to be found in these speeches. The good sense with which he checks the exaggerated religious enthusiasm of some of his friends is specially notable. Accused of want of faith when he mentions the difficulties in the way of establishing the new constitution proposed by the Agitators, he replies:

“I know a man may answer all difficulties with faith, and faith will answer all difficulties really where it is, but we are very apt all of us to call that faith which perhaps may be but carnal imagination”

(p. 238).

His dignified vindication of himself from the charge of being affrighted by difficulties is admirable (pp. 247, 289). Equally good is his criticism of the claims of those who assert themselves to have received special revelations or “particular dictates from God” (pp. 375, 379).

Other characteristic passages are his description of his own eager and sanguine temperament (p. 191), and his blunt answer to the charge of seeking his own ends (p. 179).

The speeches of Goffe and Rainborow are valuable to all who care to understand the temper of the Puritan soldier. Goffe was one of the mystical enthusiasts whom every revolution produces As he was an Englishman of the 17th century his enthusiasm took Edition: current; Page: [lxxiv] a religious rather than a political turn. He rejoiced to belong to that “company of saints” who were “chosen, and called, and faithful,” whose desire was to “follow Christ wheresoever he goes” (p. 283). Cromwell in difficulties generally moved for a Committee; Goffe invariably proposed a prayer-meeting. Always “seeking the Lord,” he fancied that he heard the voice of God answering his prayers, inspiring his resolves, and dictating his actions (pp. 253, 283, 374). In the revolutions which he witnessed he saw God “throwing down the glory of all flesh,” the kingdom of Antichrist falling, the “latter days” beginning, and the personal reign of Christ at hand (p. 282). Three-quarters a Fifth Monarchy man, he differed from most of that sect in one very important particular. They were eager to realise their visions by force and at once, and believed that the day of their triumph had come. Their feeling is well expressed in the hymn of one of their preachers:

  • “The Lord begins to honour us,
  • The Saints are marching on;
  • The sword is sharp, the arrows swift,
  • To destroy Babylon.”

Goffe on the other hand possessed a certain patience; a willingness, as he said, to wait upon the Lord till his own season. “It may be there is a better opportunity that the Lord will give us” (p. 284).

Rainborow was much more like a modern radical. His enthusiasm was more secular and more national. He, too, talks of “God’s people,” but it is merely as an occasional synonym for “the honest men of England” (pp. 246, 273). He had fought for no vision of a heavenly kingdom, but for his own freedom and “for the liberties of the people of England” (pp. 272, 273). By the people of England he meant neither an oligarchy of country gentlemen, nor a limited number of freeholders, but “every man born in England,” “the poor man,” “the meanest man in the kingdom” (pp. 304, 305, 309). If rich men alone were to have votes,

Edition: current; Page: [lxxv]

“One part would make hewers of wood and drawers of water of the other five, and so the greatest part of the nation be enslaved” (p. 320). If there were to be no extension of the franchise “what shall become of those many men that have laid themselves out for the Parliament of England in this present war, that have ruined themselves by fighting, by hazarding all they had? They are Englishmen. They have now nothing to say for themselves”

(p. 320).

Political difficulties might beset the attempt of the Army to secure the liberties of the nation, but they must be faced and vanquished as at Marston or Naseby.

“Let difficulties be round about you, have you death before you, the sea on each side of you and behind you, are you convinced the thing is just, I think you are bound in conscience to carry it on; and I think at the last day it can never be answered to God that you did not do it. For I think it is a poor service to God and the Kingdom to take their pay and to decline their work”

(p. 246).

How long Cromwell and Ireton would be able to hold back men like Goffe and Rainborow, and how far they would be able to control them, depended mainly on the turn which events took. More than once during those debates, voices had been heard demanding the punishment of the King. “Is it just or reasonable,” asked Wildman, “to punish with death those that according to his command do make war . . . and then to say that there is a way left for mercy for him . . . who was the great contriver of all” (p. 384). At present, however, only one of the higher officers seems to have backed this demand. On November 11, Colonel Harrison “made a narration concerning some thinges that lay upon his spirit,” denounced the King as a man of blood, and demanded his prosecution. Cromwell and Ireton answered him, the one putting several cases in which murder was not to be punished, the other urging that the Army ought not to take unlawful ways even to bring a delinquent to justice. Cromwell and Fairfax added that the question of the King’s future treatment ought to be left to the determination of Parliament (pp. 417, 418). But whether in the end the Army would be content to leave the question to parliament did not depend entirely upon the wishes of its leaders.

Edition: current; Page: [lxxvi]

It remains to add a few words on the editing of the papers printed in this volume. William Clarke appears to have taken copies of letters received at the head quarters of the Army, and to have kept draughts or copies of most of those sent out. These were transcribed into books at a later period. In the case of those now printed, this transcription took place in 1662. In some instances these original copies and draughts have survived, but they were generally destroyed when the second copy was made. In the same way the rough notes of the debates taken in shorthand in 1647 were not written out till 1662. The result of this system is seen in the large number of clerical errors which the letters contain. Where both copies have survived a comparison of the text of the two sometimes supplied a correction. At other times, in order to complete the sense, it was necessary to supply the words which are printed between square brackets. Some verbal slips were also corrected, and the punctuation frequently amended.

In the debates, errors of all kinds were still more frequent, though fortunately the most important speeches are also the best reported. In some cases the meaning of the speakers was obscured by inversions in the order of words, clauses, and even sentences. Sentences were often mixed together, and the tail of one sometimes inserted in the middle of the next. Where possible these mistakes of the reporter, or the transcriber of his notes, have been corrected, and the alterations made pointed out in the foot notes. Other obscure passages have been elucidated by supplying words between square brackets, or suggesting paraphrases below. The text has been also amended by omitting useless repetitions, and inserting stops. A certain amount of emendation of this kind was absolutely necessary in order to make the debates intelligible, but as few changes as possible have been made.

The Index will be contained in the second volume.

Edition: current; Page: [1]


[Letters from a correspondent in London to a friend in the Army.]

28th March, 1647

I pray tell the Comptroller,a that it is the opinion of freinds heere that the Generall doe send to the severall Regiments the order of the House of Commonsb to hinder the promoting of the Petition, and also the Copie of the Petition, but in noe kind to expresse any thing in that order which may anger the Souldiers,c and only to desire the officers to observe the order of the House of Commons and to be carefull in the same.

It is likewise the opinion of freinds heere that all our freinds doe not say any thing to hinder the Souldiers to goe with the 17 undertakers, for they doe but watch to gett advantage of any in our Army that shall give out speaches to hinder the Souldiers for going. But yet they doe all thinke this, that it may be told them, that most of those 17 undertakers doe not meane to goe to Ireland but only to drawe their men upp to the sea side and never Edition: current; Page: [2] meane to goe, as Colonell Fortescue, Colonell Harvey, Colonell Sheffeild, Sir Robert Pye, Lievtennant Colonell Jackson.

All our freinds heere doe thinke these 17 undertakers will prove very knaves in their designes and therefore that wee doe lett them goe on quiettly. Thursday is the day to name the Generall that shall goe for Ireland. Bee carefull to whome you speake, for Finchera is there but for a Spie.

30 March, 1647

I have write to the Generall, that the Lords have voted to send for him to the Parliamentb (I thinke the Lords are all madd). Lett every man fitt himselfe with patience, for hee shall have a tryall to the purpose. Tell Mr. Saltmarshc now is the tyme of tryall; since these warrs began there was never such a tryall of Men.

30 March, 1647

Yesterday the House satt very late in the night about the Army. They have voted all those that had any hand in the Petition to be proceeded against as Enemies to the State, and have sent for Commissary Generall Ireton, Colonell Hammond, Lieutennant Collonell Hammond, Collonell Lilborne, and Lieutennant Colonel Pride to appeare before the House.d They have likewise sent for Major Generall Skippon privately to come with all speed to the Edition: current; Page: [3] Army.a They have likewise ordered that those foote that are to bee transported shall have one moneths pay of their Arreares and a fortnights advance when they are on shippboard, and the Horse to have a moneths pay when they are over, and this to be performed, but when, they must not question.b There is likewise orders to be given imediately for the seperatting of the Forces intended for Ireland from those that are intended to be disbanded some miles distance, for feare those that intend not for that service should pollute the other, and all this bussinesse ariseth from an information that one of the Army gave to Colonell Harley which the House will not divulge.

30 March, 1647

Much adoe there was on Satturday last at the House about your Army. The Cittizens grumble vilely and will be satisfied with nothing but that you be presently disbanded, and they say nor will they trust you to goe for Ireland with your own Commanders unlesse first the Army be purg’d of Sectaries as they call them. A great stirr is made about the Petitionc (term’d Independant) to which hands were getting in London, and some were committed about it, but Major d is againe discharged upon Baile, nor will the Petition I understand be thus stifled; but (tis said) the Petitioners or a great company of them will attend the House dayly to have their Petition restored, and that they may be allowed the libertie as others to make knowne their grievances, or Edition: current; Page: [4] otherwise they will appeale to the Kingdome in Generall. The Petition of your Army is likewise much talked of, some for it, and others against it. Some have been suspended in London for preaching being not ordained, yet they preach notwithstanding, as Mr. Knowles,a &c. One thing more much talked of in London, both new and strange newes, Mr. William Sedgwick, brother to Obediah, is lately come to London from the Isle of Ely, and prophesies that the World will be at an end within foureteene dayes, Christ then comeing to Judgment, and that Christ appeared to him in his studdy the last weeke at Ely and told him soe much. Severall Ministers went to discourse with him the Last Lords day but he refused to enter into argumentation with any of them further then this, that it was reveal’d unto him the World would be at an end within few dayes: thus much is talked of in London generally, but withall they say hee is distempered in minde, and say others, for soe much as he discourses he talkes very sencibly.

Since the writing of the former I understand that the Commons satt all the day yesterday and untill tenn at night in further debate of your Army; and it was strongly aimed at, to say noe further, to have the whole Army presently disbanded, and upon the result of it was voted that your Army both the Horse and foot should be disbanded, excepting only three Regiments of Horse,b vizt. Collonell-Gen. Pointz, Collonell Bethells, and Collonell Copley’s. You may see by this how the tyde turnes, and how soone all the soe lately much admired services of your Army are forgotten. Nay the Cittizens or many of them have raised a new aspersion against you, that you are all at this present in armes and stands upon your guard at the Head Quarters at Walden, and this is the great talke at this present and soe confidently reported. I did not my selfe Edition: current; Page: [5] knowe what to thinke of it, as conceiving in truth you had just cause soe to doe; but I went to the Secretarya and hee assured mee the contrary, and I have not been backward to tell some of the chiefe Ringleaders their errors in reporting it.

A Narrative of the Proceedings at Saffron-Walden since the Commissioners of Parliament came thither concerning the sending of Part of this Army into Ireland.

Fryday the 9th of Aprill 1647. The Committee at Derby house wrote unto the Generall, that the Houses had designed part of the Army for Ireland and that they had referr’d it to a Committee, to conferre with his Excellencie and the Officers how they might be sent over, and to drawe out such as shall ingage for Ireland from the rest of the Army into a body, desireing the Generall to give them the best assistance hee can for the effectuall transaction of that service. This Letter came to the Generall’s hands Aprill 13.

And the same day came another Letter to the Generall’s hands from the Committee at Derby house dated Aprill 12th, expresseing that they had appointed a Committee to come to conferre with the Generall and Officers to drawe out such of his Forces as were willing to engage in the service of Ireland according to the Votes of both Houses, desireing him to have his Officers ready at the head Quarters at that time that the buissinesse may be effected with speed.

The same day the Generall yssued forth his Orders to the severall Regiments in the Army, that all the feild Officers in every Regiment and the Captaines and Lieutennants of every Troope of Horse Edition: current; Page: [6] and Company of Foote should be in person at the head Quarters that were imployed about in relation to the service of Ireland.

Thursday Aprill 15th. The Commissionersa came downe to the Generall’s Quarters, and after they had dined with him spake with him in private and in his chamber communicated unto him the Votes of both Houses and their Instructions, and withall declared that they were informed there was some speaches cast abroad in the Army to disaffect the People from the service of Ireland to the much retarding of that businesse, which they thought fitt to acquaint the Generall withall to the end it might be prevented. And for the better prevention thereof offered to the Generall the draught of a Declaration which they brought with them ready written to be published in the Army.b The Generall told them that if soe bee they could make it appeare there were any such in this Army that did goe about to hinder others that were willing to goe in this service he desired they might be made knowne, and hee would proceed against them and see them punnished; and for publishing a Declaration to his Army, as if in his opinion they were guiltie of giveing such obstructions, hee thought it might not be convenient unlesse hee had proofe of it, however he would when all the Officers did attend the Commissioners declare his intention in furtherance of that service, and give them it in charge to promote it though they should not be disposed to goe themselves; and besides there were expressions in the said Declaration to this purpose, that some persons did endeavour a retardment of that service by secrett objections and discouragements, and doth thereby require the Officers and Souldiers of the Army to discover such person as shall offend in the premises that he may be imprizoned and further punnished &c. For the Generall soe farr forth to adiudge his Army guilty before any proofe made that there were any that Edition: current; Page: [7] did retard the service hee thought was very hard to have it put upon them, especially considering he offered the Commissioners soe freely to punnish any of the Army they could informe against.

Whilst the Generall and Commissioners were thus conferring together, the Officers were adviseing among themselves in the Church by way of preparation what to answere to the Commissioners at the meeting, and accordingly chose a certaine number of Officers to speake for all the rest, who afterwards coming downe to the Generall’s Quarters (being nere 200 Officers) by command from him at the Commissioners desire, the Commissioners came downe to them and acquainted them with the Votes of both Houses and the substance of what they had in Commission to say in pursuance thereof.a Whereupon the Officers desired to knowe what satisfaction they could give to these particulars following which formerly were propounded at their first meeting vizt.

1. To represent their desires to knowe what was done in refferrence to the last Propositions sent unto the Parliament by way of Quærie.

2. To represent, that all those who in their owne person did not ingage for Ireland would be ready to promote the service.

3. That if the same conduct they have had, under which God hath soe exceedingly blest this Army and Kingdome, might be continued also as to the service of Ireland, it would conduce much to their encouragment and personall engagement.

It is to be observed that as these Officers were speaking for the rest propounding to receive satisfaction in the conduct &c. it being said by some of the Commissioners they spake only their owne sence, the Officers cryed out, All, All,—Declareing thereby their unanimity in those desires. Neverthelesse by the mouthes of those that were intrusted by the Officers to speake in their names, they freely offered their service in promoting that service severall times though they did not engage themselves in their persons. Whereupon the Commissioners declareing that it was not needfull for any Edition: current; Page: [8] that did not intend the service in their owne persons to attend any longer, most of the Officers departed to their severall charges, and the Towne (before very full) was of a suddaine emptied.

It may not be omitted to observe what the Generall said at that meeting in the presence of the Commissioners and all the Officers, both at the first meeting and afterwards, Expressing how necessary the worke was, and that who ever did not intend it in their owne persons should lay their hands to it, and use many other arguments to incourage that worke. And it is also observed what Representation was made thereof from the Commissioners here to the committee at Derby House, as by the Letter from the committee at Derby House of the 17th of Aprill appeares: vizt. That the Generall did publish amongst the Officers his oppinion of the honour and importance of that service and also of his dislike of any practice that might disrepute the same, and did also command that however any of their owne Resolutions might stand disposed, they should neverthelesse not prejudice but rather promote in referrence to others; which care of the Generall to remove all impedements in a worke wherein this Kingdome is soe neerely concerned the Committee were very sencible of, and did returne him thanks, and further desire him to proceed to declare the same as hee shall see occasion (which indeed hee did to every Officer that came to him afterwards that was not present at that meeting). And further the Letter saith, If you please to publish the same, it may be the better knowne to the Officers and Souldiers, and wee conceive it may the better produce the effect intended in it.

Upon this intimation from the Committee at Derby House, of publishing something in writeing, though they left him at libertie whether he would publish any thing or not, the Generall was pleased to drawe a letter to be written to the Colonell or Cheife Officers resideing with each Regiment in the Army, to publish to their Officers and Souldiers how much his desire was to promote that service, and that if they were not disposed themselves yett they should make the votes knowne, and his desires for the incouragement Edition: current; Page: [9] of itt, and imediatelie issued out to Sir Hardresse Waller’s and other Regiments copies of that Letter, and the Votes of both Houses inclosed, to bee published by reading the same att the Head of every Regiment as by the Letter heerafter mencioned appeareth.a And withall, after such time as some copies were delivered out, sent a copy of the letter to the Commissioners that they might bee pleased to take notice of itt, and to give itt to such officers as had subscribed to goe for Ireland to make use of for the furtherance of that service if they thought fitt.

The next morning after these Letters were issued out Mr. Jessop, Secretary to the Earle of Warrwick and the Commissioners, wrote a Letter to Mr. Rushworth letting him knowe that he had it in command from the Earle of Warwick and the rest of the Commissioners, to desire him to move his Excellencie to forbeare issuing forth any more of these Letters to the Collonells whereof the copie was delivered last night, untill they had represented to his Excellencie their sence thereupon, as by the Letter appeares. Hereupon the Generall was made acquainted therewith, and a stopp made of yssuing out any more of those Letters, till towards evening there came a Letter from the Commissioners here present letting the Generall knowe that they were not satisfied with the coppie of that Letter he had sent them; they conceiv’d that an intimation from them, that such discouragments were scattered in the Army, was a sufficient ground for his Excellencie to take notice that there were obstructions of that nature, and to incert the same in his Letter to the Regiments, and to expresse a strict and peremptory injunction, they conceiving the word desire [not] to be sufficiently vigorous to effect their desires thereupon to his Officers &c., as by the Letter of the 19th of Aprill appeares; and in pursuance of this advice and intimation they sent a draught of a letter to the Generall, in such expressions as they thought it was fitt for the Generall to publish, wherein they would have the Generall to declare unto the Army, Edition: current; Page: [10] that hee was informed of some discouraging arguments had been cast among the Souldiers, which if really soe hee cannot but interpret it a fruit of disaffection to the welfare of this Kingdome and Ireland. At this passage the Generall was not satisfied,a haveing not received any information of Weight in the least kinde of any persons in the Army discouraging the service, or any thing that would beare that construction. Whereupon Mr. Jessop, who came with the Letter, told the Generall hee had in command to acquaint him for his satisfaction, that Captaine Audley had said in the presence of the Generall, that those that were now soe forward for the service of Ireland were not worthy to come neere to his horse tayle.

Upon this Letter the Generall did contrive an answeare in writing to this purpose,a that hee was ready to comply with them in what may conduce to the furthering of the service of Ireland and effect their desires, and that though the word ‘require’ was not expressed in it, it being his constant course to use the word ‘desire’ to his Officers, hee doubted not but it would find a ready obedience; and acquainted them further, that he had sent for Captaine Audley, whome they had informed against for speaking words in his presence to the prejudice of the Ireish service, to give their Lordshipps satisfaction in what hee said; and withall desired their Lordshipps to informe him of any person in the Army that did any thing to the obstruction of the Ireish service, and hee would proceed against him and see him punnished. To this answere of the Generall’s there was never any reply made, but (as wee are informed) a post sent to the Committee at Derby House.

Lords Day: Aprill 18th. There came 16 private souldiers of Collonell Lilburne’s Regiment, (all of his own company), and acquainted the Generall that their Lieutennant Colonellb had commanded them to march the next morning earely towards Cheshire, that the speach was they were to goe for Ireland, and that their Edition: current; Page: [11] Colonell’s Captaine Lieutennanta told his Company that they should not have any pay till they had advanc’d their Quarters further from the Army, never acquainting them they were to goe for Ireland. Whereupon the Generall went to the Commissioners, and acquainted them with the occasion of the coming of the Souldiers, and that he desired there might be all faire dealing used by such Officers as did intend for the service of Ireland, which they desired to further; and he did conceive it would much contribute to the furtherance of that worke, that the Officers did drawe their Regiments to a Randezvouz and declare publiquely to the Souldiers the votes of both Houses for their encouragment to goe; and that such as would goe might be drawne a part, and according to the order given by the Commissioners immediatly to march to those Quarters they had appointed them. Whereupon the Commissioners said that they thought the course was very faire, and that just as his Excellencie came in they had given that order, but the Souldiers came to complaine an houre before, declareing their ignorance of any such intention, which indeed occasioned that Order.

Munday: Aprill 19th, the Generall received a letter (early in the morning) from the Committee at Darby House to stay his jorney to London,b whether hee had purposed that day to have gone to fall into a course of phisick for the recovery of his health, being brought very lowe by neglecting it; in which Letter the Committee doe expresse that the bussinesse of sending forces for Ireland did goe on very vigerously, and that it hath been very much promoted by the Generall’s care and countenance, and doubted not but in a very few dayes to compleat the number designed, especially if the Generall continue there.

Upon this, the rather (though the Generall before it came had determined not to goe because hee did conceive the Commissioners here would take it as an obstruction to the service) but because it is mentioned in this Letter with such confidence that the worke Edition: current; Page: [12] goes on prosperously, that the number designed will be compleated in few dayes. It is conceived the occasion of their mistake might arise by the subscription of the Life Guard and most of the Officers of Colonell Lilburne’s Regiment.

That those Officers in whom they did first of all relie for the great encouragement in this service doe now withdrawe themselves from their former personall engagement in it, as namely; Colonell Harley, Colonell Fortescue, Colonell Butler, Lieutennant Colonell Jackson, Major Fincher, Major Alford, Major Duckett, Major Gooday, Captaine Robotham,a and divers others who subscribed to that paper delivered to the House of Commons, for which thankes was returned unto them, and upon confidence of these men’s engagements and interests in the Army the House might reasonably conceive the number designed might have been procured.

It is to be observed That of all the Horse Officers in the Army from Captaines upwards not above six Captaines, Majors or Colonells have subscribed to goe in person: vizt. Colonell Sheffeild, the Lord Calfeild, Captaine Howard, (and Sir Robert Pye if hee yet goe) and two others, and not one Captaine in all Colonell Butler’s Regiment nor in Colonell Sheffeild’s doe ingage in person, of both which Regiments, by reason of their Colonell’s engagement, the House had the greatest confidence; and besides Captaine Pennyfather and Captaine Burgis of Colonell Butler’s Regiment had their names sett in the paper without their privity, which was presented to the House.b

For the Foote Officers that have subscribed the Commissioners knowe their names best because they have the list, but as wee are informed Colonell Herbert and Lieutennant Colonell Kempson are the two only Field Officers; the rest are Captaines and they Edition: current; Page: [13] but a few, and some inferiour Officers under them. For Colonell Herbert, before hee went to the Commissioners, hee declareda to Mr. Rushworth and others, that it was in vain for him to goe and delude the Commissioners by telling them his Regiment would goe, when he knewe their full purpose was against it, except one Officer that had some few men, that would goe with him; and besides hee declared, that upon the first intention to send that Regiment into Ireland, the Officers and Souldiers did unanimously declare they would not stirr unlesse they had their full arrears; which was true, for he wrote soe in a letter unto the Generall under his owne hand ready to be produc’d. But after his coming to the Commissioners they engaged him, and presently gave him an order to march away with his Regiment towards Chester. Only Captaine Shorteb who had formerly a longing desire after Ireland, subscribed to goe with him and a Lieutennant or two, and accordingly the Generall gave the said Colonell an Order to Randezvouz his Regiment upon Fryday the 23rd of Aprill at Hitching in Hertfordshire, where he hath power to draw away what men he could gett; Hee tooke his leive of the Generall and said hee must now serve his Lords and Masters.

For Lieutennant Colonell Kempson, hee and the rest of the Officers of Colonell Lilburne’s Regimentc most greivously abused the Commissioners by telling them that hee had the consent of the whole Regiment to goe intire, which as conceived was a maine ground that the Commissioners did write to Derby House that the worke went on soe prosperously. For when some of his Officers came to drawe forth five of the Companies of Ireland, they were very much incenst against their Officers, holding jointly together not to goe, teareing the staffe and collours from Captaine Peckham,d who, as was supposed, had the greatest influence of any Officer in the Regiment, who hath been to make his complaint to the Commissioners Edition: current; Page: [14] and would insinuate as if the Colonell (who is most innocent) had occasioned itt.

It is likewise remarkable the carriage of this Lieutennant Collonella who Aprill the 20th when the Regiment was drawne to a Randezvous to see who would goe for Ireland, and whoe not; hee, whilst Colonell Lilburne was reading the Generall’s Letter and Parliament votes to five companies, carried away fower companies with their collours without ever acquainting them with the Votes of the Parliament; and his misdemeanour was the greater in that he kept the Souldiers pay and would not give them a penny, and therefore the Souldiers seeing their Officers goe, the colours and the money goe, though they had noe minde to goe themselves, yet followed. But it hath produced this effect that April 21st Captaine Weldon’sb company (one of the fower) is returned back to the Regiment and say all the rest will followe; soe this man’s carriage brings a disrepute upon their proceedings this way and by consequence a great disservice to the Parliament, and deserves blame. For those five companies where Colonell Lilburne was, after the Votes were read all those that would goe for Ireland were drawne out, who were in number threescore and one more. For Captaine Peckham’s company they mutinnied, beat their Captaine, and would not come to the Randezvouz.

And whilst they were at the Randezvouz Lieutennant Generall Masseyc came and told them for their incouragment, that Colonel Herbertd was already marching with his Regiment towards Cheshire, Captaine Orpin,e who was sent as one to beare witnesse of Colonell Lilburne’s carriage, being of Colonell Herbert’s Regiment, had much a doe to forbeare to tell the Lieutennant Generall hee was mistaken, and Mr. Woolsey who came with him upon that occasion knewe the contrary.

Edition: current; Page: [15]

The Officers of Colonell Fleetwood’s Regiment are returned and bring this accompt, that the Regiment was drawne to a Randezvouz, Captaine Howard made knowne his desires, but the conditions was mightily slighted; though as to his owne person the Regiment was civil, hee could not gett, with all the interest he had in his owne troopes nor in the Regiment, more than a Quarter Master and five men: which soe much troubled him as he is gone to London in discontent, and speakes hardly of the Commissioners for putting him upon such a fruitlesse businesse.a

24 Aprill, 1647

[News-letter from London.]

Yesterday was a great day in the House. Severall particulars were in debate, butt amongst the rest Mr. Hollis brought in an Apology which was pretended to bee from the Souldiers in the Army to their Commission Officers, the same that was brought to Colonel Whalley’s Regiment; which though itt is soe weake and impertinent that few or none of the Army (especially if they have one dram of sence or reason) will owne, yett hee indeavoured to make itt the sense of the whole Army, and soe lanch’t forth into high expressions against itt.b Some tooke him uppe nimbly and handsomely. Tuesday is assigned for the great day for the disbanding of the Army, when, how, and on what consideracion, nothing being done yesterday about itt, though some thinke six weekes pay enough, as much as Massies men had, and say, They deserv’d as much as this Army.c The Spiritts of the Godly heere Edition: current; Page: [16] are very much carried out in expectation and hopes of great thinges from the Army, and are farre from our too cold and remisse posture. I feare wee shall sadden their hearts by being too fearfull of Man.

[News-letters from Saffron-Walden.]

25 Apr. 1647

Captain Rolphe with some others of Colonel Hamond’s Regiment came this morning to Colonel Lambert and the rest of them which are appointed by the Generall for the affaires of the Army, with this account: that Captain Stratton hath drawne of their Regiment 36 men, Captain Ohara most of his Company, and another Lieutenant half his Captaine’s Company; by this way of dealing with all their Souldiers, making of them drunke, and then gett them to sett their hands, which when they have done, they make them believe they have power to force them.a Which way cannott bee good, as I conceive, for when they come to understand that itt is left to their owne pleasure, and can noe way bee forced by the Officers, they will fall away from their Officers as Colonel Lilburne’s doe, there being almost two of those Companies which were marched away so strangelie from the Randezvouze by the Officers returned, and may fall from them every day. All Colonel Fortescue’s 6 Companies march away compleate and Adjutant Gray Colonell over them. None of Colonel Hewson’s can be perswaded to goe for the service uppon those termes tendred. Horse they can gett none as I heare, the Parliament must thinke of some better termes for this Army, if they intend any should goe for that service. I suppose you have an account of Captain Dormer’sb expressions to his Souldiers att the Generall’s Quarters, how that the intention of Edition: current; Page: [17] their drawing out was nott to promote the Irish service butt to goe against an independant Armie that was gathering together in the Kingedome, and many other wicked expressions, telling his Souldiers that hee would only desire them to tarry with him untill they saw what the Independents did, and then hee would give them passes to goe home, promising them their Arreares.a

26 Apr. 1647

On Thursday last Colonel Howard drew forth Colonel Fleetwood’s Regiment and propounded the service of Ireland to them, butt nott one man offered himself. Colonel Fleetwood’s owne Troope made a short Narration of what they intended, which was they were sorry they could nott give that answer the Colonell expected as to engage for Ireland, which they could nott till they were secured for acts done heere as Souldiers, their arreares satisfied, and to know their Cheif Conductor, and what way they should subsist there. Colonel Sheffeild’s Regiment was drawne forth on Friday, and they gave the like answer; one of their answers is inclosed.

Wee, the Souldiers in Captain Evelyn’sb Troope, desire,


Before any man of us list our names for Ireland, wee desire satisfaccion for our arreares heere in England according to the Parliament’s manifold Declarations and Remonstrances.

Wee desire a satisfactory answer to our Officers Request given in to their Commissioners when they first came downe to treate with the Army about going for Ireland; and before such time as these are answered, wee shall desire, neither to list, nor provide ourselves for that service. Though wee are perswaded that that Kingdome stands in neede of helpe, yett wee conceive that wee are nott soe to helpe them as wholly to deprive our selves of our just rights and liberties, and of receiving satisfaccion for former services.c

Edition: current; Page: [18]

[List of the Strength of the Army in Officers and Men.]

Generalls Regiment 70 519
Lt. Generall’s 66 514
Comary Genɫɫ 68 496
Fleetwood’s 70 584
Whalley’s 65 517
Riche’s 68 590
Pye’s 65 529
Sheffeild’s 64 504
Grave’s 70 560
Butler’s 64 467
Life Guard 11 100
681 5380
Dragoones 115 0803
Generall’s Regt 126 1220
Major Generall’s 125 1284
Hamond’s 126 894
Rainsborough’s 124 1181
Pickering’s 125 1073
Ingoldsbye’s 126 945
Lambert’s 126 1089
Welden’s 124 1060
Harley’s 125 1064
Waller 126 1074
Herbert 124 1177
Fortescue’s (estimated) 125 0750
1502 12811
Edition: current; Page: [19]
a The regiments in Yorkshire and the North are not included, as this list refers merely to the New Model Army under the command of Fairfax.
Horse 0681 5380
Foote 1502 12811
Dragooners 115 00803
Two Comp5 firelockes and train 22 166
2320 191160

The proceedings of the Army under the command of his Excellencie Sir Thomas Fairfax, commencing May 1st, 1647.

May 3, 1647

[A circular Letter to the Commanders of the different Regiments.]

Major Saunders,b

The Generall was pleased during his absence, or untill the Major Generallc came, to give Colonell Hammond, Colonell Rich, Major Watson,d and us whose names are hereunder written, or any three of us, full power and authority to give orders upon all usuall occasions to the Army, as also for the calling of the severall Regiments of Edition: current; Page: [20] Horse and Foote to a Randezvouz, to the end that such Officers and Souldiers as intend for the service of Ireland may be drawne out of the severall Regiments and Companies; and for their better encouragment according to our Instructions wee have here sent you inclosed the Generall’s Lettera and Votes of both Houses, desireing that you will cause them to be read to the Officers and Souldiers in your Regiment at their Randezvouz; and if any of your Companies shall march intire for that service wee thinke fitt to certifie you, that it is the Generall’s pleasure and order that they march with their Collours; but if only some few shall dispose themselves for the service, then that the Colours remaine still with the Company. If you please to encourage all who incline thereto, wee shall certifie your good service therein to the Generall who will very well resent it, and wee shall rest

Your etc.
Phillipp Skippon
Skippon, Phillipp
Oliver Cromwell
Cromwell, Oliver
Hen. Ireton
Ireton, Hen.
May 3d, 1647

Letter sent to the Collonells or cheife officers of the respective Regiments.


Wee desire you upon receipt hereof forthwith to repaire hither your selfe, with some Commission Officer of every Troope in your Regiment, to give unto us the best accompt you can concerning the present temper and disposition of the Regiment, in relation to some late discontents reported to have been amongst the Souldiers; and to receive from us an accompt of such things as wee are appointed by the honourable House of Commons to impart to the Army, concerning the care of that House for their Indempnity and Arrears; you are with the said Officers to be here with as much Edition: current; Page: [21] speed as possibly you may, but at farthest faile not to be here on Thursday next.a

We remaine
Your assured freinds
P. Skippon.
Oliver Cromwell.
H. Ireton.
3 May, 1647

[News-letter from Saffron Walden.]

Yesterday the Major Generall, Lieutennant Generall, and Commissary Generall came to Walden, and about halfe an houre after the afternoone sermon was ended there came Lievtennant Colonell Tubbsc to my Quarters, and informed mee that there was Intelligence given to him that morning that there was private orders sent by Collonell Middleton, Collonell of the Auxillaries to the severall Edition: current; Page: [22] Captaines that commanded under his command for the being in a posture ready to rise against the Army, which he was informed should be that night; whereupon he raised his Regiment for their better securitie, and drew them to a Randezvouz; but after hee had spoke with the Major Generall, Lievtennant Generall, and Commissary Generall and informed them of the bussinesse, they came together to the Major Generall’s Quarters, and satt very late about it. In the meane time Captaine Reynoldsa came in and informed them that the horse kept guards, feareing they should be surpriz’d; the Souldiers in the Towne were much nettled at the news of Collonell Hewson’s Regiment,b and every man provided powder and bullett and kept guards with their swords drawne at the street corners, and durst not be knowne what was the reason they stood there; the other promised not to goe to bed that night, but this day all is very still and quiett. The examination of the Souldiers concerning this buissnesse was taken this day by Mr. Margetts,c who I knowe hath given you a full accompt. Orders are sent out for the Officers to meete here at Walden on Thursday next.

May 4 1647

Advertisements for the managing of the Councells of the Army.d

1. Appoint a Councell for the ordering the undertakings of the Army.

2. Keepe a partie of able penn men at Oxford and the Army, Edition: current; Page: [23] where their presses be imployed to satisfie and undeceive the people.

3. Hold correspondence with the Soldiers and well affected freinds in the severall Counties of the Kingdome, for prevention of uproars, interposition of parties, for disarming the disaffected, and secureing the persons of projecting partes, namely Presbiterians.

4. Doe all things upon publique grounds for the good of the People, and with expedition to avoid devisions and for the prevention of Blood-shed.

5. Bee vigilent to keepe yourselves from supplanting, secrett, open, or undermining Enemies, especially prevent the removall or surprizall of the King’s person.

6. Present the generall Officers with the heads of your demaunds in writing, and subscribed, and soe agreed to by your appointed trustees in behalfe of yourselves and other Souldiers.

7. Desire redresse of all arbitrary and exorbitant proceedings throughout the Kingdome, and, according to the Covenant, call for publique justice and due punnishment to be inflicted upon all offenders whomesoever.

8. Crave [give?] some reasons for desireing Reformation in civill justice, and query how the pretended and respective ends of our taking up Armes hath been performed or comported with, according to the mutuall provocations and Declarations of Parliament put forth to engage us in bloud, and for ought wee yett find to entangle us in stronger chains, and to clapp upon our necks heavier yoakes or servitude.

9. Permitt not the Army to be long delayed, or tampered with too much, least Resolution languish and courage grow cold.

10. Persuade the Generall Officers not to depart from the Army untill these stormes be overblowne, the Subiects libertie confirmed, the Kingdome settled, delinquents detected and punished, the Souldiers and Sufferers satisfied and rewarded; in all which respects their conduct was never of more consequence, nor their interest in Edition: current; Page: [24] the Army more usefull, the present Imployment being most important, tending to the consummation of all our cares, and the good concluding by the Establishment (in peace and truth) of the worke of the whole Warre.

11. That according to the premisses wee may bee speedily and respectively performed with, after which the Army may be reduced and [to?] such a number of Horsemen as is not inconsistant with the Kingdomes safety; the rest, being justly dealt with in point of due and deserved pay, with honourable rewards for their severall services, may be disbanded, after an Act of Indempnity be made, and satisfaction be given as aforesaid not only to this Army, but to all the well-affected souldiers and subjects throughout this Kingdome.

May 5th, 1647

Letter froma

I pray you tell Lievtenant Generall Cromwell that all our freinds doe hope the Army will be well united by this meeting (Horse and Foote), and for this time lett them demaund nothing but what is relating to them as Souldiers. It is much wondred that my Lord Pembrockb should soe rayle against the Army at a Common Councell the other day that 4,000 Cavaleers were in it (it is noe time to disband us) the King and all his party did wholly rely upon the Army; and spoke to the Citty as if it had been true the Army had sent to the Kingc Be carefull to whome you speake, but doe what you can to unite the Officers to the Army in demaunding things just and honourable relateing to them as Souldiers; if wee fall [on too] softly I perceive wee shall loose by it.

Edition: current; Page: [25]

Upon debate yesterday of the Citty Militia,a the Lord Mayor and Aldermen Addams had like to have been seized of; hee had better never been named hee came of with such disgrace.

Relation from Walden.

Your desire in yours (which I communicated to Mr. Sparrow and other freinds) was granted before you came. I never found the Officers more unanimous. I was this afternoone with Captaine Goffe, Captain Grigson, Mr. Butler, Lieutenant Lloyd,b and other officers, and their resolutions at present are to drawe upp something in writing to expresse the Reasons why they cannot engage for Ireland; as, that they will see things settled here in relation to their priviledges and liberties before they engage abroad; that they will rather suffer with the godly party heere than goe away and leave them to the mercy of their Adversaries, &c. Collonell Sheffeild’s Regiment continue their Red Collours, and say they are England’s Collours, and that they will not goe for Ireland. Some of the Foote about Cambridgshire give out that they will goe for Holdenby and fetch the king, which gives much offence and scandall. The inclosed was printed at Cambridge, and sent to the High Constable’s to gett subscribed and then presented.c

May 6th, 1647

Letter from London.

Heere is little of moment since your departure worth the noteing, Edition: current; Page: [26] but the continued clamours of the Citty against the Army, and which are now more high and generall then ever, occasioned by a latea speach of the Earle of Pembrock’s at the Common Councill in London Monday last, telling the Cittizens that did they knowe soe much as hee, coming from the Fountaine’s head of the Army, they would not scruple the lending of the 200,000ɫ;i., to be ridd of the Army and to have them disbanded, for that all the hopes (hee told them) of the King and malignant party depended upon that Army, and that more he said they had sent to the King, delivered him a Petition and had received an answeare of it, and that all this put together hee conceived it were high time they were disbanded. This and more was spoken and which hath raised such a clamour in the Citty will not easily be taken off. This businesse truly I conceive concernes the Army in a high manner to consider of, both for vindication and reparation. The honest Petition of the well-affected Cittizens was on Tuesday last turned out of the House of Commons, with this answeare, that they approved not of the Petition nor manner of the representation.b Noe grievances are to be represented to the House, you may perceive, though in a way of Petition, but what they shall approve off. Alasse! poor England! when will be a remedy for thy malladies? or when will thy Egiptian Bondage end? Our good God sett us free in Jesus Christ, and make us denisons not of an earthly but of a heavenly habbition, for there is noe peace to be expected amongst the sonnes of men. The House of Commons on Wednesday called for the Ordinance for conferring the 2,000ɫ;i. per annum on Lievtenant Generall Cromwell, which was read and committed; they likewise ordered the ordinance for the Generall’s 5,000ɫ;i. to be read on Tuesday next.c

Edition: current; Page: [27]

[A Letter from London.]


The rumour of the Armies holding intelligence with the King spreads a pace in the Kingdome, nay as farr as France, as lettres Thursday testifie, and it gives some cause to suspect that report was first framed there. It’s talked of in the Citty further, [that] now your Army beginne to keepe strict guards and fortifie the head Quarters, nay say some further Major Generall Skippon will be deteyned untill the Army be satisfied in their demaunds; theis are London stories, and another I would be satisfied in, that a part of your Army should have been surprized by the Trayned Bands of Essex.


On Thursday Sir John Sidley of Kent was three times called to the Barre in the House of Commons about Colonell Kenrick’s Indictment mentioned in the Occurrances, for taking away of Horses &c. And upon full debate, though Mr. Hollis and Sir William Waller pleaded hard on his behalfe, hee was voted to be put out of Commission of Justice of Peace, out of the Militia, and made uncapable of bearing office in State and Comonwealth.a

[Narrative of the Proceedings of Skippon and the Commissioners at Saffron Walden, May 6, 7, 1647b].

Yesterdayc many of the Officers of the Army came to this Towne, but by reason that few of the officers of Horse came, the meeting Edition: current; Page: [28] was deferr’d till this day. The examination was yesterday taken of Lievtennant Wheeler a Lievtennant in Colonell Hammond’s Regiment, to this effect: that being the other day at Royston the Postmaster there shewed him the Coppy of a Paper which was given him the day before by one Mr. Seely, who tooke post for the North there and gave himselfe out to be the Duke of Buckingham’s Chaplaine; the paper was the same verbatim with that which goes abroad concerning the Army and his Majestie, which (it seemes) the Earle of Pembrooke declared to be true. The Postmaster further said that the Chaplaine told him that hee needed not to feare the truth of it, for that Sir William Armin had a Copie of it at Huntington, and yesterday Sir William sent a Copie of it to the Lievtennant Generall. The Officers, being acquainted with this designe and the Earle of Pembrook’s relation are very sencible of the dishonour of the Army therein, and will desire repairation, as will appeare by the inclosed, which yesterday was resolved upon to have been offered to the Major Generall and the rest; but by reason it was apprehended the Officers could not give their sence without the Souldiers, it was not mentioned at all, therefore I was charged not to communicate it to any, and soe I have sent it in short hand for your owne use.

This day the Officers mett in the Church, not above 30 Officers of Horse and about 150 of Foote. The Feild Marshall Generall first made a Narration of the occasion of their comming downe to quiet the distempers of the army, that they should make it appeare that they were faithfull hearted for the publique good, that it would be conscience, justice, reason, and faithfullnesse in them that were Commanders to contribute their utmost endeavours for the alleying of all distempers. After the ending of this Speach the votes of the House were read, and Copies of them given to the severall Officers of each Regiment there present to be communicated to their Regiments. Upon this, the Commissioners (for soe I may call them) withdrawing, the Major Generall returned and expressed Edition: current; Page: [29] himselfe concerninge the service of Ireland, how just and necessary the worke was, and how that service was altogether unthought of or unsought for by him; I shall at present give you what he said in this particular at large, and leave the full accompt of the rest till the next: his words were,

7 May, 1647

I shall now desire you to heare mee a few words in relation to the bussinesse of Ireland; I believe it is not unknowne or unapprehended by your selves how just, and honourable, how necessary that worke is. Altogether unthought of, unsought for, it hath pleased God to call mee to be imployed there if he please, a service truly that my exceeding unfittnesse for made mee exceeding unwilling to (to speake in relation to myselfe, for concerning the service you have heard what I have exprest). If I should have been excused, as I did most humbly and earnestly desire (I speake still in relation to my selfe), I would rather have been content to have laid downe all my other Imployments at the Parliament’s foote, by their command, then to have undertaken this, for which I am soe unfitt. It is not a title, or preferment, or any selfe advantage that moves mee in this at all, but singly this, which I desire you to lay to heart, that it should not be said such a man was the delayer, was the obstructour, or the prejudicer of such a service singly. This consideration made mee in conscience to God to undertake that worke, with this expression, though it shall please God I perish in the undertaking of it, God’s will be done. It was said on all hands, as I have many times heard, that if I would engage, a considerable parte of the Army, Officers, and Souldiers would engage; if I did not engage they would not engage. Truly, as farr as still relates to myself, I have a great deale of reason to looke upon this as a testimony of love and respect from the Army. Now since that obstruction is taken away be pleased to take notice of it, and if my engagement may be any furtherance to the bussinesse I pray lett it appeare; and accordingly you may please to make knowne Edition: current; Page: [30] to your severall Regiments that, for those reasons I have partly mentioned, I was exceedingly desireious to decline it, upon that single consideration I was moved to entertaine it, that if my going may be any furtherance (God in mercy goe with us), I should improve it to the furtherance of that service. I thought good to communicate [this] to you; though it was not in our commission, yet it was not without advice and consent of those Gentlemen.

To this Colonell Hammond replied,a that at the meeting of the late Commissioners at Walden there was something offered by him in relation to himselfe and many officers of the Army, that they had that knowledge of the Major Generall’s great honour, gallantry, and honestie, that they should as freely goe with him as any, except the Generall and Lieutennant Generall; not that his going would be an occasion of drawing the Army; and that if the Commissisoners or others had given him information otherwise, they have not done that which is right.

To this the Major Generall thus exprest himselfe: You will be pleased iudiciously, Christianly, seasonably, cordially, dilligently, and faithfully to take into consideration all those things I have propounded to you, and againe I beseech you, as men of integritie and honesty, improve your utmost interest for the service of the Parliament and of Ireland. Then Colonell Butlerb desired to be satisfied concerning the considerable part of Arreares, whether the Parliament would doe any thing more then they had already voted vizt. 6 weekes pay, in regard the Souldiers would be desireous to knowe of them. The Commissioners replyed that they could not assure any further satisfaction, and that it did not lye in their powers to interperett the votes of the Parliament. Then some Officers desired to knowe the meaning of the House concerning distempers. To this the Commissioners answeared, that the cheife occasion of their coming downe was upon the letter of the 8 Regiments of Edition: current; Page: [31] Horse; yet the House had been informed of some other proceedings which they conceiv’d illegal and out of discontents, and they were to receive the distempers of the severall Regiments, and for such as could give an accompt that their Regiments were free from distempers, they doubted not but it would be acceptable to the Parliament and to them. After this there was some debate whether the Officers then present should deliver in any thing of what they apprehended was occassions of discontents, and resolved that till they had consulted with their Souldiers it would be but halfe worke, and therefore nothing of their greivances should be then offered; hereupon the Officers were appointed to their severall charges to take the accompts, and to meete the Commissioners at Walden to-morrow sennight; and in the meane time, if they should be provided to give a full accompt the Commissioners declared that they should stay here, unlesse they had a command to the contrary, and receive the same from such as should be prepared before that time. The Officers are generally very unanimous, and I believe what will be proposed will be much according to the sence of the inclosed.

At the meeting Captaine Clarke of Sir Hardresse Wallers Regiment presented the inclosed Petition to Major Generall Skippon, desireing it might be publicly read, for the satisfaction of the Officers present and cleareinge of himselfe and the rest; but in regard it concerned themselves only it was not thought fitt to be communicated.

[For the whole proceedings at this meeting, it is in shorthand, in the bundle upon Mr. Wragges Lettre, May 6th 1647.]a

Edition: current; Page: [32]

[Petition enclosed in the preceding Narrative].

To the right honourable Major Generall Skippon, Lieutenant Generall Cromwell with the rest of the honourable Commissioners of Parliament at Saffron Walden.

Wee whose names are subscribed, being Officers in Colonell Sir Hardresse Waller’s Regiment,

Humbly present,

That whereas wee with diverse other Officers are exprest in print and otherwise as ingagers of the present service of Ireland upon the termes lately proposed, contrary to our intentions and resolutions, wee having formerly declared that wee were not neither as yet are resolved for that service upon those propositions, wee cannot but with griefe and sadnesse of heart sencibly apprehend it to be a strange designe of some who through false reports have endeavoured to vaile the eyes of those in publique authority to the grosse abuse of Parliament and Kingdome, who by false informers are much deceived and the releife of Ireland obstructed and retarded through such apparant delusions; which likewise may possibly render us unfaithfull and dishonourable, if it shall be conceived wee have engaged and yet declyne the present imployment, which indeed was not by us undertaken.

All which wee humbly pray may be considered.

John Clarke, Capt.
Ralph Wilson, Lt.
John Trailkins, Lt. (Filkins?)
Nath Chase, Lt.
Edward Allen, Ens.a
Phillipp Skippon
Skippon, Phillipp
Oliver Cromwell
Cromwell, Oliver
May 9

Copie of the Letter from the Officers to the 8 Regiments.


When wee were in London there were three Letters delivered Edition: current; Page: [33] (the one to the Generall, the other two to us, all of the same effect) in the name of the 8 Regiments of Horse, whereof yours is one; which importing matter of dangerous consequence were imparted to the House of Commons, wee desire you to use your best endeavours to enquire where they had their rise, and to bring with you when you come on Satturday nexta the best accompt thereof you can, and soe wee rest

Your very assured friends
Phillipp Skippon.
Oliver Cromwell.

The 8 Regiments are

The Generall’s Regiment of Horse. Colonell Okey’s.
Lieutennant Generall’s. Colonell Butler’s.
Commissary Generall’s. Colonell Sheffeild’s.
Colonell Fleetwood’s. Colonell Rich’s.

At the Convention of Officers at the church in Saffron Walden Satturday May 15: 1647.

Severall Speeches of Major Generall Skippon and other Officers at the 2d meeting in Walden.

Major Generall Skippon.

Gentlemen, Fellow Soldiers, and Christian Friends.

Wee are heere according to appointment at our last meeting in Edition: current; Page: [34] this place, to receive from you an accompt how you have improved your vtmost endeavours with your severall Regiments and Companies, to make them sencible of the care of the Parliament for them expressed in those votes that you have received from our hands concerning indempnity, arreares, and auditing of your accompts; and also to receive an accompt from you how you finde the temper of your severall Regiments, and this is the bussinesse for which wee are mett together at this time; and wee hope [you] have soe Christian like, soe judiciously, soe impartially, soe faithfully discharged your duties, as wee shall receive a very good accompt from you in relation to these things.

Lievtenant Generall Cromwell.

Then said, that what the Major Generall exprest was the sence of them all.

Colonel Whalley.a


I thinke it is the souldiers desire and request that you would give them three or fower howres respite to consider together, that soe they may present you with the whole bussinesse, because they are not prepared to give you a satisfactory answere.


They are not all the greivances of the Souldiers; they desire soe much time before they returne that they may answere other greivances.

Edition: current; Page: [35]

Heere upon the 4 Officers advised together, and then the Major Generall spake as followes.

Major Generall Skippon.

In answere to that which Colonell Whalley desired in the name of the rest of the Officers or you heere present, if you be not at this present prepared to give us such an accompt as has been exprest in that I said before, you may have some howres respite; and let it be done with as much convenient speede as may bee, that wee may the sooner knowe it, and the sooner in discharge of our duties doe that that becomes us to doe. If the souldiers have anything to present, lett them doe it by their Officers, and wee shall take what is presented unto us into consideration, and in all faithfull heartednesse I hope towards God and man discharge our duties. One thing of my selfe; I shall be bould to desire, and to advise, and to admonish, as I have done formerly, that you will soe represent and soe adjutate thinges as may become your Christian profession, and as may become sober minded men, as may become servants to the publick.

Major Alford.a


In obedience to those commands that wee had from you concerning that which you were pleased to give us in command in relation to the severall regiments, I thinke most of the officers have made a returne of what they have from the Regiments in writinge; as in particular to those two things you were pleased to speake of concerning indempnity and arreares, I have brought from my Colonell’s Regiment an accompt in writeing. There are some other greivances also which lye upon the Regiment, which I have delivered to my Colonell and others I mett last night for that purpose.

Edition: current; Page: [36]
Colonel Sheffeild,a

That hee did not knowe by what authoritie the Officers mett. In obedience to your command, I have brought in the returne from my Regiment which I find to bee their greivance which with others I I may bring in.

Lieutenant Colonell Jacksona

My condition is the same.

(The 4 Officers advised together.)

Collonell Lambert.b

Give mee leave to speake something to what hath been already offerr’d.


According to the directions which with the rest of the Commissioners were pleased to give the Officers of the Army att the last convention of them here, there hath been in several Regiments a perfect performance of what you then commanded; in the first place a faithfull publishing and makeing knowne those votes of the Parliament.

To the 2d part, which was to make a further search into the supposed distempers of the Army, they have made a dilligent inquiry thereinto, and have brought a returne thereof from the severall Regiments. They have likewise proceeded further into it, and have desired severall Gentlemen of this army, that they would be pleased to receive them, and come and collect out of them what are common, universall, generall to the whole Army, and as speedily as could be drawe them upp and represent them to yourselves. These were desired by the officers of the army and not sought by themselves; and I Edition: current; Page: [37] thinke there is not a Regiment here that hath not made this their suite, and that whatsoever might relate to any one particular Regiment might be left out, and the generall greivances of the whole army represented. And this truly, as yet there hath not been time and opportunity to doe it, and it is their desire that you will be pleased to lett them have time till Monday morning for the perfecting of it.

Collonell Sheffeild.

Whereas Colonell Lambert saith, that every Regiment hath made a returne of their proceedings, for my part I knowe nothing of it; and I conceive I, beinge Colonell of a Regiment, may knowe of it, as well as a trooper or an inferiour officer.

Major Fincher.a

Wee were to take an accompt from our Regiment, and wee were to returne the answeare to you, as wee conceive, and not to any other.

Collonell Lambert.

This way that is propounded and hath been taken is by the unanimous consent of all, both officers and souldiers, and if you take any other way then this wee cannot helpe your differring from it.


There is nothing desired but that these thingsb might bee represented to the Feild Marshall and the rest of the commissioners here; if you will doe otherwise you may take your course. It was agreed by those that were present of the officers.

Edition: current; Page: [38]

Wee did suppose that the meeting of those Gentlemen to whome wee did deliver upp the greivances had been by order of the Commissioners.

Captain Rainborrowe.a

The command was generall to give a retorne, and not only to a particular.

I was at the Regiment when the Randezvouz was, and I was acquainted as well as the Colonell, though the Colonell be pleased to give the sence of the Regiment. They did give me their sence in writing, that there may bee noe mistake att all in the tender of their just greivances.

Colonell Sheffeild.

I doe not deny that; if you have delivered it, with all my heart, lett them make the best use of it they can: I only speake it as my sence.

Collonell Lambert.

I thinke it will be found when all is done that wee have not neglected our duties, but that wee have used all our interests to pacifie what was not faire in the army. When wee have done and presented what are the common grievances of the army to you, I make noe question but you will finde what wee say doth not proceede singly from us, but from the body of the army, and will appeare themselves what they are to yourselves and the world.

Major Generall Skippon.


In answeare to what Colonell Sheffeild hath said I shall now only say thus much; if Colonell Sheffeild or any other officer can give Edition: current; Page: [39] in the state of their Regiment, and an accompt of their endeavours according to what hath been before desired, wee shall now presently receive it; if any other particular officer hath any thinge, upon just ground and in sober manner, to make knowne concerning that Regiment, wee shall be willing to receive it.

I thinke it not amisse to lett you knowe how precious time is with us, how much an accompt is expected from us; and therefore, though wee are loath to deny soe reasonable a request of giveing further time, a great part of you it seemes not being soe fully prepared to give us in an accompt of those things that wee have exprest, to morrowe by 5 of the clock in the afternoone, if God will, wee shall meet you here againe; because wee would willingly dispose and order our businesse soe as wee might loose as little time as wee could. And I thinke in relation to those things that wee are sent especially hither about to communicate to you the votes of the House of Commons and the sense of the Parliament, in that as it appeares since, and I shall tell you by and by, the resolution of the Parliament, soe farre as yet it appeares to us, and that you might fully knowe what wee can tell you to give you all the satisfaction that may be, I have received a letter even now which is from a very good hand, the Earle of Manchester that sitts in the chaire of the Comittee at Derby House, who is also Speaker of the House of Peeres, which doth assure mee that the Act of Indempnity is past large and full.a

May 14
E. Manchester
Manchester, E.

(The Letter read.)


I have thought fitt to give you this accompt: that this day the House of Commons have passed an Act for Indempnitie large and full. They have like wise granted a fortnight’s pay to those that Edition: current; Page: [40] shall be disbanded, and a fortnight’s advance more to those that goe for Ireland.”

This is from the Speaker of the House of Peeres pro tempore, the Earle of Manchester.a

And truly, Gentlemen, though I did not in that particular advise with those gentlemen about it, yet I did by their advice and consent make knowne somethinge concerning Ireland the last day, of which I heare nothing since; I hope it will be soe considered of as a service not to be forgotten, not to be neglected, not to be hindred; and that I shall referre, as I did all the rest, to your impartiall, judicious, and faithfull consideration.

Lievtenant Goodhand.b

If it please your Honours, I am to certifie to your Honours concerning the condition of the Life guard.

Major Generall Skippon.

I pray you lett us see our buissnesse, and see it before us, and then wee shall doe as honest men, and I hope you will behave your selves soe too, and I can expect noe other from you.


There’s a returne from our Regiment, I humbly desire it may be read.

Collonell Sheffeild,

This is a meeting for officers, and if the troopers could come themselves, it had been needlesse for us to goe downe, and bring returnes of the sence of the Regiment.

Edition: current; Page: [41]
Major-General Skippon,

It is more seasonable for us to receive all together, for I hope it is all our mindes not to hinder but further the bussinesse all wee can.

Lievtenant Goodhand.

Wee have call’d them together, and find them not in any distemper, and for indempnitie and arreares they returne thankes to the Parliament, and that they will lay downe their armes at the Parliaments command; soe much is presented for satisfaction.

There is a paper to satisfie more fully under Captaine Hall’s hand.a

Captain Farmer.b

In answeare to those two for indempnity and arreares, there is the reply of my Colonell’s Regiment.

Collonell Okey.

I heard my name mentioned for the Regiment; those papers which these gentlemen have delivered in are only for those troopers which are engaged for Ireland, and itt is not the accompt of the whole Regiment.

Captain Farmer.

Itt is the sence of those troopes that have engaged for Ireland.

Colonel Lambert.

If it please you, Sir, I shall offer thus much to you.

Edition: current; Page: [42]
Major General Skippon.

Captain Farmer, everything shall be taken into consideration as farre as wee are able, and does concerne us to doe, in answeare to the trust reposed in us, when as wee see our bussinesse before us.

Collonell Lambert.

If it please you to heare a word or two concerning the bussinesse before you. It may be Colonel Sheffeild and some of those worthy gentlemen that are with him are unsatisfied with our proceedings, thinking wee only have carried on this bussinesse, and not acquainted them with what was done. I shall therefore desire to offer the reason of our soe doing.

One speciall reason was, because himselfe and many of them have already engaged for Ireland, and being soe they are not like to have those influences fall upon them as those in England; and in regard it did not soe especially concerne them, wee thought them not soe proper to them to be acquainted with itt.

Another was, because wee found the greatest grievance of the army is the rejecting the late petition and representation that was intended to be presented to the Parliament by the mediation of the Generall. That him selfe and many of the rest of the worthy gentlemen did declare as noe grievance at all, and soe did refuse to joyne in it; and therefore wee could not represent that as a grievance which they did never assent unto.

This I speake to take off hard thoughts concerning us; and whereas you were pleased to desire a particular accompt to be drawne out of those returnes that are brought in by way of returne from the severall Regiments, wee must needs say wee knowe of severall papers that are brought in by way of returne from the severall Regiments; yet notwithstanding there was this caution with it, that if any one particular Regiment did represent anything particularly, which they presented as their owne desire, and not as the desire of the whole army, it was desired that they might Edition: current; Page: [43] not be received, because it does not come as the desire of the whole army; and therefore, if wee should give them in, wee should be a little unfaithfull to that trust which was imposed in us, for wee must present some single things as the sence of the army; and therefore wee desire that you will give us as large a time as you can for the examining and compareing of the severall returnes together; and then wee shall represent them to you altogether, as the generall and universall greivance of the army, from as many as have made application to us; which wee thinke is the whole army, or very neere itt.

Colonell Sheffield.

I would very gladly knowe by what authority they have done this.

Colonel Lambert.


If you desire to knowe by what authoritie wee have done this, if it shall be demaunded authoritatively I doubt not but there will be given a satisfactory answeare; and truly, Sir, all that I offer’d was to noe other end but to take off those reflections which you may lay upon us, when singly wee have done nothing but that which concernes the bussinesse in hand.

Major General Skippon.

To that end you have given in particular papers.

Colonel Hewson.a

Many regiments of the Army in bringing in their grievances have desired some gentlemen here that they will collect them into one perticular summe, and present them to you; the desire of those that are sent over was to avoid confusion; in regard they could not Edition: current; Page: [44] be represented by many without inconveniencies, it was thought fitt to appoint some gentlemen as a committee to put things into a forme for us, and it was done by the generall consent of the officers of the severall regiments.

Major General Skippon.

I doe not know at present, Gentlemen, what wee can say unto you more, but to desire and perswade you to deale as effectually as you can to make manifest yourselves Christian and faithfull men, to proceede soe as there may be noe just exception taken at the manner of your proceeding as well as of the matter. To morrowe at 5 of the clock in the afternoone, if God will, wee shall be here againe, and receive those things in relation to the particulars that wee have diverse times prest you about, and shall receive any papers from any other that they shall thinke fitt to deliver in to us, and I thinke that may give satisfaction to all. If this be your sence, pray you speake.

The other three officers and Members of Parliament declared their assent.

T. I. O. B.
T. I. O. B.

Lettre from the Troopers in Sir Robert Pies Regiment.

Gentlemen and Fellow Souldiers,

Wee cannot but ecchoe the rebounds of our constant desires to the first petition, and by reason of the declaration against that, the resolution of all the souldiers in our regiment is to joyne in the letter to his Excellencie, as freely in their subscriptions (and every other way) as they at first did to the petition. It is our unhappinesse that wee are soe farre distant in quarters from the 8 regiments (our troopes being also apart from the other), by reason whereof timely notice cannot be given us to aggitate according to our reall intentions, which are to adde our selves to them intirely as one man, Colonel Graves regiment (excepting some officers) being of the same resolution, and much discontented they had not true information Edition: current; Page: [45] of the candor of that first petition. The subscriptions of our regiment (both to the first petition and last letter to the Generall) are in readynesse to be delivered according to directions, though their’s cannot be expected in respect of their officers obstructions. Thus, blessing God for exciting such instruments as you, wee waite all opportunities for the provocation of justice and judgment, that they may runn downe like a mighty current, which is the earnest desire of all.

Your assured faithfull friends and servants
T. I. O. B. &c.
May 13th 1647

The bearer hereof wee have intrusted for what you shall thinke fittinge herein, hee is to stay at the head quarters.

Address. For our honoured friends Captain Gladman, Captain Berry, Captain Lawrence, Mr. R. or any of them at the head quarters, thesea

Heads of Proceedings in Walden church. Sunday, 16 may, 1647.b
(The Votes of Parliament read.)

Major General Skippon.

. . . . . In those votes of the Army, and what sincere industrious and faithfull endeavours you have used to make them sencible thereof, and what distempers you finde in your severall Regiments, Troopes or Companies, that wee might knowe how you have in these particulars discharged your duties as conscientious Christians in the sight of God, and as men faithfull and obedient to the Parliament Edition: current; Page: [46] of England. I am further to desire you, upon a motion made againe and againe at two former meetings, by my selfe in relation to the service of Ireland, that you will give us an accompt how you find your severall regiments disposed to that service. The justnesse, the honourablenesse, and the necessitie of which service cannot be unknowne to you. I desire to knowe and am persuaded it is the mind of these other Gentlemen that are sent downe, not under the name of Commissioners, but as Parliament men and Members of this Army to our severall charges in the Army, that you would in these particulars give us such satisfaction as I hope you can or shall make appeare to us, to the Parliament, and to all that shall have the heareing of our proceedings, that you have faithfully discharged your duty, as wee have desired, and shall endeavour to doe to the Parliament and for the service of the whole Kingdome. I pray that there may be an orderly proceeding amongst you in what you have to doe or say, if any man desire to speake lett him be heard without interruption. Lett all things be done discreetly, fairely, and orderly. I hope in the end of all wee shall finde that there is nothing aimed at on all hands, but that which tends to the reall service of the Parliament and publique good.

Lievtenant Generall Cromwell.

Although [blank]

Collonel Whalley.

The officers according to your commands have repaired to their severall regiments, and have served you with all faithfulnesse.

They have left [blank] but their actions sufficiently declares that to you, that they have done the Parliament reall and good service. They have conveen’d heere at the head quarters according to your command, mett together and declared their greivances in writing, which greivances either are the greivances of all or the greatest part of the Army.

Edition: current; Page: [47]
Major General Skippon.

Of the great and faithfull services of this Army there cannot but be an ingenuous acknowledgment from our enemies.

Upon the endeavours of this Army—soe great successes to the great benefitt of the whole Kingdome—lett not any words I speake be misunderstood—That which I especially propounded, which you heare the rest of these worthy Gentlemen were pleased to approve as their sence, was that you would please as well to give us an accompt of your proceedings with your severall regiments in relation to make them sencible of the care of the Parliament for their indempnitie, for part of their arreares at present, and to have their accompts audited . . . . . and what distempers . . . . .

And truly Sir, except you please to give us that accompt, wee in that particular cannot but be unsatisfied, nor cannot tell what to say in it untill you expresse your selves concerning it; and therefore I pray that wee may receive such an accompt from you. In that wee doe . . . . .


May it please your Honours I desire one word at the meeting. Before this all our names in our severall regiments were ready, if you please [to ask] the officers to give an accompt thereof. I have in writing under my owne and my Major’s [hands] to testifie what returne it made to us, I believe according to trust, and I hope that will answeare your expectations; forI doe not really [merely?] speake to the matter of distemper that is supposed to be amongst us, but I likewise answeare to the Irish bussinesse.

Major General Skippon.

If you have any thing to offer . . . . .


Sir, As in relation to what concernes the Regiment . . . . .

Edition: current; Page: [48]
Commissary General Ireton.

Major, doe you deliver that?


I doe deliver that as the sence of the Regiment, which was delivered to mee in the feild in writeing.

Com. Gen. Ireton.

That which was delivered I thinke I have seene, and it was not done . . . .

Maj. Gen. Skippon.

Gentlemen, I doe desire it againe and againe, and I thinke it is all our desires, that you will heare one another with sobrietie.

Captain White.a

Please your Honours to heare this concerning the Generall’s Regiment of Foote: first, he speakes of carrying in the report as under his hand, for my[self] I doe not understand itt . . . to him and soe to our selves, if it had been soe then our meeting had been in vaine . . . .

Therefore to that end wee did conveene together, some of us agreeing with the rest of the officers, . . . . . which Colonell Whalley hath delivered in, soe to that wee sett our hands, and it is the minde of the officers if not private souldiers.

Colonel Lambert.

Please you to lett us knowe, whether it is your desire that wee should give you a particular accompt of the overtures in the Regiments?

Edition: current; Page: [49]

If you extend to every particular, it may bee there may be something of weakenesse or ignorance.

I thinke Colonell Whalley hath already presented itt to you [the sense] if not [of all of] a great part of the Army.

Here the Officers generally cried All, All.

Maj. Gen. Skippon.

Gentlemen, if it please you, these acclamations might be forborne; for wee are desireous to heare every one speake, and according to our trust to deale impartially. Butt still, if it seeme good to you to lett us knowe whatt course you have taken in the particulars that I mentioned to you—your papers of those things which you call greivances—wee desire to knowe the distempers that you could observe to be in your severall regiments, or under your severall commands. Wee did also desire that you would (as I doubt not but you have done) contribute your utmost endeavours for the qualifying them. These papers we shall read, God willing; but, in order to our proceedings, I shall desire that you will give some such satisfaction that wee may knowe how to consider of things amongst our selves as befitts our imployments [that] wee may know what to say concerning them. You have communicated those votes to your severall regiments, you have endeavoured to lett them see the care of the Parliament for them in these particular votes. You have endeavoured to enquire out the distempers, you have putt to your helping hands what you could to pay [allay?] them. This will be a very proper way: I thinke with submission, I shall desire these Gentlemen to lett you know their sences.

Colonel Lambert.

I thinke wee shall all use our endeavours to the peaceable continuance of the Army for those things that I have mentioned before. I say there is something of weakenesse of which wee must desire Edition: current; Page: [50] the best construction of your selfe and the commissioners—if you decline that name—and the rest of the Members of the House. Wee dare clearely and fully satisfie you in the whole progresse, but I desire itt may not be soe publique as now it is.

Major Disbrow.a

If it please your Honours I shall make a relation of what I did, which is according to the acting of most officers heere.

According to your commands I repaired to the Regiment upon Monday last. I went from one division to another. I told them what you were pleased to represent unto us, and that was an apprehension of some . . . . . To that end I was commanded now to come to them to represent the Parliament’s votes to them, which I read to each division, first to one, and then the other.

They told mee there was noe unquiettnesse amongst them . . . . . But withall told mee that there were diverse things which lay upon them as Greivances . . . . . which were their Greivances, I should represent them to you, and I must returne an accompt of what accompt I had from them; upon which they did . . . . . which for my part I did disallowe of, I told them soe to their faces . . . . . Allowe of the things I argued the case . . . . . and in the conclusion . . . . . prejudiciall and evill, and at last they did come to present mee with their Greivances. I did then beleive, and doe still, that they are very sober things, and therefore it is not only that which I have presented and which is said to be the sence of the Army, but itt is that which lies both upon souldiers and officers that wee have now represented to you . . . . . not mutinously intended and what is fitt to be answered and satisfied; and soe farre as I understand of the condition of the army, and those officers that I have spoke withall, they desire to be answered in some Edition: current; Page: [51] particular things, and those particular things are there represented to you.

Collonel Hammond.a

I found my Regiment very quiett, only some Greivances and troubles were talkt of.

Collonel Whalley.

As Major Disbrough hath done for the Generall’s Regiment soe I have the like accompt to give of mine. I find that both my officers and souldiers are not transported or carryed away by passion. Reason sways them; and truly reason is so prevalent with them, in these humble desires that they make in the way of greivances to Parliament, as I am confident they will deny themselves in every thing, if there may be as reasonable a reason given why they may not goe on.

Colonel Hewson.

Your Honour was pleased to communicate to us for to propound to our souldiers the bussinesse of Ireland, and to read unto them these votes, according as you were pleased now to expresse them. Wee have done it with faithfulnesse. We returned to our regiments. For my part I can give to your Honour this accompt: I read to them the votes [to] lett them knowe what care the Parliament had taken for them, their intention for indempnity and [for] a considerable summe for their arreares. I lett them knowe that your Honour was to goe for Ireland and to accept of that imployment. Truly I found them in noe distemper, but very quiett; only I find that there was some greivances lay upon them, something did trouble them. I mov’d about the Irish affaire; they seem’d to be utterly unwilling for to stirre in that untill such time as they had some satisfaction.

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Major Cowell,a

Seing you expect an accompt from every regiment in particular I am able to give it for the Generall’s Regiment of foote; I drew them upp on . . . . . last in two bodies, and for the returne of itt, itt is in those papers. This method they tooke: they desired some time to present their greivances unto us and by us unto your Honours; and being drawne into particular companies wee went from company to company. They had taken their resolutions. Wee demaunded of them if wee should rest confident that what those of every company should bring should be the sence of every particular company. They were brought to us at a rendezvous of the officers of every regiment, and upon our view there is our consent with itt. Wee made knowne unto them the grounds why they should goe, and of your present company and command over them, to try if that would drawe them. I am sorry wee can make noe other report, wee received nothing but a negative voice.

Lievtenant Collonel Read.b

According to your command I repaired to the Regiment and according to what Major Cowell hath declared . . . . . every particular company gathered together [brought] in the sence of itt.


Concerning Collonell Fleetwood’s I can give your Honour some accompt of that. According to your Honour’s command I drew Collonell Fleetwood’s Regiment to a Randezvous, and I read the votes which your Honour sent to be communicated to every troope . . . . . only this, they did say they had something to Edition: current; Page: [53] deliver to mee, which they gave mee, and the greivances wee did returne in yesterday, your Honour received them.

Major Cowell.

Truly this I can say noe more, I found noe distemper nor any shaddowe of distemper amongst them.

Captain White.

An’t please your your Honours, I gave in the paper of the particular greivances to my Lievtennant Collonell, wherein they gave in their desires; my Lievtennant Collonell left out some and sett downe others.

Lievtennant Collonel Jackson.

An’t please your Honours, I thinke Captaine White doth forgett himselfe; I was willing to present their greivances; I did desire to knowe their greivances; I should be willing to receive them, or otherwise to heare them.

Captain White.

I shall speake only to the manner of proceeding; my Lievtennant Collonell hath soe endeavoured to obstruct that hee sent for mee, and questioned mee as high as my life, and committed mee to the Marshall, and afterwards brought mee to a heareing before the Major Generall; I pressed him either to enlarge mee or else to committ me, upon which the Major Generall did release mee; and soe lying under that same calumny I did seeke to vindicate my selfe from any man’s person, to desire that the Major Generall would vouchsafe to be President of a Councill of Warre that the difference betweene my Lievtennant Collonell and I may be determined.

Commissary Ireton.

For the differences that are amongst them in relation to the Edition: current; Page: [54] buissenesse that you are now about, since they have severally spoken, it were necessary to take into consideration in regard of the difference of itt, and appoint them to attend you for itt.

Captain Leigh.a

I have only a word in relation to that Regiment. I was present in the field when the difference hapned, and did see what Captaine White did, and the truth is my sence is the same . . . . . willinge to concurre together in that way; but when Captain White did declare his greivances they were not accepted of, neither did hee approve of those greivances, but did offer it to joyne with the rest.

Captain Audley.b

I shall speake something in referrence to that which Commissary Ireton pleased to order betweene officer and officer; I only perceive there is some differences in your accompt; your Lievtennant Collonell gives one, and you another, and for that the Major Generallc will take care of these privately without interruption.

Captain White.

Captain Audley, If it shall please my Lievtennant Colonell to present the greivances which his owne company hath there will be compleatly 8 companies, and he may take memorandumd then of this.

Major Sedascue.

May it please your Honour,

I have caused those votes and propositions that were sent to be read at the head of every troope in the regiment. Those Edition: current; Page: [55] Parliament propositions being read I received from the severall troopes a paper, wherein they have exprest their severall Greivances they have sent hither. I have according to the consent of all the officers delivered them to Colonell Whalley, and the rest of the men who are to present it to your Honour.

Major Huntington.a

According to your commands I sent out, but they could not soe soone come to them as to others, they being soe farre distant. I read the orders which the Parliament were pleased to give for the arreares, and for the auditing of accompts, and for indempnitie, and after that I desired they would make knowne their greivances, that I might present them to your Honours; and upon this they chose 4 out of each troope to drawe upp their greivances, which wee have presented unto the gentlemen there, and are now putt with the rest. As for the bussinesse of Ireland, they desired their just desires might bee answered, before they resolved of that, and that the greivances which they had might be represented to them.

Lievtennant Collonel Smith.b

May it please your Honours,

In obedience to your commands I repaired unto Sir Hardresse Waller’s Regiment, and randezvouz’d them as on Monday, and I read at the head of the regiment those votes which I received from your Honour. For distempers, I find not much, but some amongst them, and that was that there were some officers that had engaged for Ireland, and had declared that those that were not willing to goe now freely for Ireland should be forc’d to comply; which they find to be a great greivance and trouble, and they declared as the sence of the House to that purpose; other greivances I find none. Edition: current; Page: [56] There was indeed some difference amongst some officers falling to some words, that had not I been present, might have been very inconvenient, and made very great mutinie in the regiment. Many greivances they did declare to mee which they had, which greivances they told mee they would draw upp, and they were delivered in with the substance of what is presented to your Honours.

Captaine Thomas.a

You were against the going for Ireland, that was the cause.

There was noe words of admonition, but that you your selfe did read the votes, more then these you would drawe upp the greivances, and drew upp an officer of each company to signe them for you. The Major comes after, and then cryes, ‘Stand for your liberties and priviledges now and ever.’


An’t please your Honour I am the man.

The word that was said was this; a corporall in Sir Hardresse Waller’s regiment, a private souldier, comeing to knowe my advice, I said, ‘I hope the souldiers may have their libertie.’ The Lievtennant Colonell, heareing I did desire to knowe, lett him declare to the Lievtennant Colonell, whereupon th . . . . . in a mutinous manner struck mee for defending my owne innocency. This is that which I say to that which Captaine Thomas seemes to demaund.


An’t please your Honour my Lievtennant Collonell drewe the regiment to a randezvous. Captaine Thomas said as that wee were seditious, and that some had poysoned our souldiers, that wee were enemies to the peace of the Kingdome, which the souldiers desire to be vindicated in; and that though we were not willing to goe for Ireland, yett [wee should be forced to comply]. He used those words against us, which wee conceive tends much to the dishonour of the Army.

Edition: current; Page: [57]
Commissary Ireton.

If you please to hint to them that they may take the examination of what miscarriages have been.

Lievtennant Collonel Jackson.

May it please your Honours, I have one motion to make. If you please to give mee leave you shall have the bussinesse truly laid before you, which, as I suppose, itt is not yett.

Captain White.

For that paper which my Lievtennant Colonell speakes of that hee produced and hee desired us to signe, wee refused and drew upp one, which was signed in the same manner as it is exprest, with those hands of 7 companies of the regiment.

Captain Husbands.a

For that bussinesse that was even now spoken of, it does reflect not only on those officers, but upon the whole Army. Itt is of such an high nature that I thinke fitt hee may be secured in the meane time.

Collonel Sheffeild.

I doe not thinke but that any man hath a libertie to speake; ’tis true there are more officers of the one side then of the other.

Major General Skippon.

Freinds, I thinke itt is our desires that love and peace should be maintain’d amongst us, whether wee bee of the one way or other. I am sure it is our duty towards God in conscience, and towards one another as Christians; and truly I must needs ingeniously say, I am very sorrey to observe that there should be such a disagreement betweene you; the thing itselfe I hope cannot justly produce any Edition: current; Page: [58] such thing; and therefore it must be my advice to you that you would leave personall things, and apply your selfe to those things that wee are mett about; not but that there may be a convenient time and course taken to order these things.

That shall be my advice to you; and truly, as I said before, God knowes it is a very great pressure to my spiritt to heare and observe such clashings and jarrings amongst you; I am sure there can noe good come out of it, it is very likely noe good can come out of it.

And therefore I shall desire that you will leave these particular disagreements till another time.

Collonel Whalley.

An’t please your Honours, itt was thought as a great burthen upon many heere present, those words which were spoken, yet wee did resolve nota to speake of itt, because wee would not trouble your Honours, though they are words not to speake of.

Collonel Okey.

According to your Honours commands I did declare to my Major that was here, and one Captaine Mercer that is with mee in Shropshire,b the votes that came downe with your Honour. By reason of the distance of place, which is 6 score miles where five troopes quarter, hee could not possibly returne the answere by this time; but 5 troopes that are quartered about Holdenby they were brought in yesterday by the Major.


I could not be soe particular for my own part.

I knowe not who they were sent to; I heard they were sent. Edition: current; Page: [59] They were never communicated to the regiment, but soe farre as I perceive the condition is not any way distemperous but very quiett. Heere is my owne; I have delivered the sence of itt to the officers.

Commissary Ireton.

For Colonell Okey’s regiment, if the votes be not communicated it is fitt some course should be taken for itt.

Major General Skippon.

Truly that is very well remembred of Commissary Ireton heere, I knowe not whether you tooke notice of itt.

Hitherto I knowe you have not had time to speake with your regiment about it more particularly, and to prevent distempers, but the businesse is of such concernment as wee cannot tell how to avoid itt, but pray that you will take especiall notice of itt; for I had it from a very good hand, that the House of Commons have passed an Act of Indempnity large and full, [two] moneths arreares to those that goe for Ireland; soe that you shall doe well to make all the advantages that you can to give satisfaction unto your severall officers and souldiers, and to discharge your duty in all faithfull obedience to the Parliament, and not to question the justice and honour of the Parliament in further proceeding to give you satisfaction I hope.

Major Scroope.a

May it please your Hononrs, I doe conceive and doe partly knowe that these votes have not been communicated to Collonell Graves’ regiment, and therefore I doe not see how any just accompt had been given in the bussinesse; and if your Honours would please to Edition: current; Page: [60] direct what way wee may take to deliver in our accompt before the day appointed . . . . .

Captain Holcraft.a

Sir, I had the [votes] delivered to mee. I did carry them first to my Collonell, and by his command went to the regiment; but the regiment was not called to a randezvous by his command, but they are according to your approbation; likewise it being made an objection before wee went away whether that course might be taken, itt was communicated to severall troopes. To Captaine Flemming’s troopes the votes were not sent. I am sure they were communicated to all but Captaine Flemming’sb troope, and Captaine Barton’s Quarter Master received them.

Quarter Master.

I never received them.


The Troope never heard of them.

I can assure you the troopes were not called together; that was left to the discretion of the officers.

[Captain Holcraft?]

They were in the same posture they ever have been, to those troopes they were communicated according to their sence.

Quarter Master.

It was only the sence of the officers.

Major General Skippon.

I shall speake only to this present bussinesse of Colonell Graves’ Edition: current; Page: [61] Regiment. I thinke by what hath been said that the votes have been communicated to fower of the six troopes, and not to the rest.

But sure, Captaine Holcraft, I did desire you yesterday that some might goe to the other two troopes.

Captain Holcraft.

Sir, According to your command I communicated the votes to the troopes; if you please to peruse the papers, and then I am confident you will finde that to be the sence of that regiment to be delivered in fully.

Major-General Skippon.

Those that are brought in wee shall read.

Major Scroope.

That was all that I have to say because the Regiment was not called together.

Commissary Ireton.

You may remember that the coppie of the votes to the Regiment were delivered to Captaine Holcraft; Captaine Holcraft and three more officers have made a returne, and I doe not remember what they did make . . . . . if it had not been done through want of time or otherwise . . . . . But, Sir, now I perceive by what Captaine Holcraft sayes that it was communicated to the troopes, all but Captain Flemming’s, I desire that Captaine Holcraft may declare possitively, cleerely, and expressly: whether hee knows that they were all drawne together.

Captain Holcraft.

I knowe that my Collonell’s Troope was drawne together, and that upon my conscience and honour I have given that which was their sence.

Edition: current; Page: [62]

For my Major’s Troope I understand that their troope was called together; for Captaine Flemming’s Troope, his Lievtennant was in towne, and hee did not tell mee that his Troope was not called together till hee had signed what was delivered in there, for at my Major’s desire wee were to drawe upp the sence of the Regiment; for my Lord Caulfeild’s Troope it was drawne upp and the greivances given in according to the sence you have there; for Captaine Barton’s Troope itt was drawne upp with the rest.

Captain Barton.a

I can affirme this not to be true, for all the Regiment was not call’d together, of severall troopes there were not halfe his troopes gathered together.

Collonel Rich.b

For the bussinesse of my Regiment you have had severall hints; the truth of itt is I was not there my selfe, and itt was for noe other end but because I was not well, and I had a particular dispensation from the Generall to be absent. My Major and all the Captaines of my Regiment are here in towne; they have both particularly by themselves, the Major joyntly from the whole Regiment, given mee a little accompt of those things of which you desired an accompt; and truly as to those votes that you laid your commands upon them to read to the Regiment in referrence to Arreares and Indempnitie, I find that of this Ordinance of Indempnitie they give us some hopes that wee shall be indempnified fully.

Truly as to arreares, that same considerable proportion which the votes does mention they tell mee that they doe not very well understand, unlesse it be that six weekes pay which the House of Commons have voted at their disbanding; and they would be very glad if the House would soe favour them as once againe to Edition: current; Page: [63] take that into consideration. In refferrence to distempers I am sorrey to see my Major and some of my officers differ in their accompt. My Major did indeede give me an accompt under his owne hand and the hand of some of my Captaines, as that which was the sence of the whole regiment, and that which hee hath signed; and truly I doe finde in that, as I have in that from another regiment, some things not fitt, and impertinent and extravagant, and that was the reason and the only reason that that course which you see was taken, that wee extract out of all that was brought in that that wee thought might be most pertinent upon this occasion, and to leave out those things that were impertinent or otherwise. But lastly, as to that which you speake in referrence to the Ireish service; truly I am verry sorrey to see soe little accompt given generally. For the particular accompt of my regiment, for I speake [to] noe more; wee who are horsemen are not very willing to crosse the seas, but wee must also desire that wee might further be made happie in haveing such a Commander as we could approve. Wee are told of an officer of the Cavaleeres that should beare immediate command over us; as to that person to serve under him either in or out of the Kingdome I knowe nothing that I can speake or thinke to detract from him; hee is a person of honour, butt hee is a stranger to mee and to my regiment, and as on the one side wee should be very glad to have one with us that wee have had experience of, soe on the other side itt is their oppinion to be wedded to noe man to goe under his command out of the Kingdome, before they receive some satisfaction in some competent measure.


May it please your Honour to be acquainted with the temper of your Regiment, and to see in what condition wee are; itt is not only the desire of the Regiment to knowe their commands, but in matter of Greivances which now lie upon them [they desire they] may accordingly have redresse from those in power, and remedies Edition: current; Page: [64] applied according to the diseases; and then wee desire that the justice of our proceedings may noe longer be censured, and condemned, butt judgesa in the proper spheare of them, that soe wee may bee noe longer misapprehended, which I represent to your Honour and to this honorable company.

Collonel Rich.

I perceive this is an honest souldier of the regiment who has been a witnesse of all things that have passed; from this bussinesse in hand that doe respect the souldiers as well as the officers, if I have falne short in any thing, if you please to permit him to give mee some private notice.


I cannot say that I knowe every particular, but it is the general desire of the Regiment that they may be represented before you.

Collonel Rich.

I have done faithfully my endeavour for your satisfaction.

Collonel Sheffeild.

Sir. there is one thing that an officer in Collonel Hammond’s Regiment said just now: that they were ready to accept of the termes with a great deale of chearefullnesse, that I did tell them that you did engage into Ireland, and Major Generall Skippon to command them, and I am sure itt is as great a comfort as any they have.

Collonel Hamond.

To what that Gentleman said, I find my Officers and Souldiers very willing; and though they doe confide in you, yet unlesse they have satisfaction as to indempnity and arreares, I must needes Edition: current; Page: [65] say — when wee are satisfied in them as wee are in the point of conduct under the Major Generall, provided that the conduct be soe settled upon the conditions before mentioned — to engage themselves and the army that is to serve with them upon that service. Truly, Sir, if they may be soe satisfied upon those termes, that they will then chearefully, faithfully and honestly, not out of any ends of their owne, but out of a cleere and candid sence, freely and chearefully venture their lives for the service of the Kingdome as they have hitherto done; and this I speake to you not from my selfe alone, but from very many that have desired mee to speake.

Collonel Sheffeild.

I shall desire your favour in this: I beleive Collonel Hammond hath made a mistake, I am confident my men would as willingly have their owne officers, and I am confident that they desire nothing more then to serve the Parliament in what the Parliament shall command them in; and, for the ends, if Collonel Hammond does meane mee, I thinke I have as little cause otherwise as any other.

Collonel Hammond.

I did not intend itt of Collonell Sheffeild or any other in [relation to] that service, I only speake in relation to the Act of Indempnity which I am not ashamed to owne. But there is some exceptions for Captaines to be Lievtennant Collonells, Lievtennants to be made Captaines and Sarjeants to be made Lievtennants and Ensignes; this they have done in my Regiment.

Captain Rainborowe.

May it please your Honour, not haveing heard any thing fully spoken as to my Colonell’s Regiment, though superiour officers are heere, I hope I shall not be mistaken in that which I am now to speake.

And that is to tender the accompt of what I have proceeded in Edition: current; Page: [66] my troope in Collonell Sheffeild’s regiment. I had my troope at a randezvouz by themselves, thinking it the best way whereby I might impart and encourage them to the satisfaction desired of the Parliament, which I did in as faithfull a manner as I thought I was called unto. I advised them not to doe any thing too rashly but consider of itt. In conclusion they did tell mee, that if such and such things, which they did apprehend was very just and necessary as to their good and satisfaction, and according to the engagements of the Parliament, should be made [good] unto them, they should shewe the same affection.

And as to the bussinesse of Ireland they did include itt in these expressions. And as to the regiment, the Colonell and Major, the Captaines and my selfe was present when the letter was read and the votes of both Houses read unto them. I heard noe questions at all made, but that which they said their answeare was, this, jointly, one and all, that they could not be satisfied till they had an answeare to their petition.

And as to that of Ireland, I did not heare it moved in publique by any Officer at the Randezvouz. And as for the full of the Souldiers meaning and answeares to the votes, they have appointed severall of the regiment to bring upp their resolucions; they did not seeme to vent any distempers, for I saw not any thing done but that that did become them as souldiers, but these men are come upp and have signed these greivances which are signed. The whole Regiment signed them, they choose two out of a troope to bring them; and to speake seriously many of them did not knowe what they did, for many of them cryed out ‘Indempnity,’ ‘Indempnity,’ and afterwards ask’t mee what it was.


May it please your Honours.

I hope I have rendred a faithfull accompt of what is commanded to mee, that is to give satisfaction to those votes, and what Greivances did remaine upon their spiritts.

Edition: current; Page: [67]
Collonel Sheffeild.

Truly I beleive that Captaine Rainborrowe’s accompt doth not make mine otherwise.


This relation that Captaine Rainborrowe makes of Colonell Sheffeild’s regiment upon my knowledge is true. Colonell Sheffeild and the Majora were there; they drew upp the severall troopes; they did read it particularly to every troope, and after they had done soe they signed them in the respective troopes, and there is brought upp by those souldiers [the desires of] at least 500 souldiers.

And if any other accompt be given the Regiment doth not owne it.

Collonel Sheffeild.

I wish that Gentleman would keepe to his duty, for I thinke I shall bee able to prove that hee hath nott. I humbly desire that when any officer doth doe anything that may make a breach in the performance of that duty, hee may be call’d to accompt for it.


Collonell Sheffield, what I doe [promise] I shall performe.

Wee desire that wee may not be misunderstood; there are many officers of the army that doe desire the good of our Souldiers as of our selves, and therefore wee desire that those papers that I delivered in may be heard read publiquely, that it may be knowne what wee have desired in the behalfe of our Souldiers.

Colonel Rich.

Sir I shall offer this to you; in what hath been delivered, you have a summary extract of what was the troubles of our souldiers. Though wee are not ambitious of what wee have done, or our way Edition: current; Page: [68] of proceeding more then all the world, yet if any of themselves knowe their owne greivances to be soe plausible, and to carrie with them such a face of justice and equitie to any that shall heare itt, it will not be only a satisfaction but a courtesie [to hear them].

Captain Holcraft.

I did not speake any thing in reflection, but to satisfie you that, for very honest reasons, wee doe not judge it necessary to joyne in those things that other Regiments doe.

Major Scroope.

I have given you an accompt of that of Colonell Graves’ Regiment, to give satisfaction to those that desire itt.

Major Gen. Skippon.

Major Scroope, I suppose the case with that is much the same in every regiment, and that wee did [in one] that wee will doe through every regiment.


May it please your Honours I am here with a member of Colonell Lilburne’s Regiment; my Collonell is commanded to waite upon the Houses at London, hee cannot be heere.a

His Major was here and received your Honour’s command; hee was here on Fryday to give what accompt hee had then ready, but since hee is gone away to London hee hath left noe order to any to doe itt, but I thinke none can give soe just an accompt as my selfe; if your Honour please to take it from mee I shall as faithfully make the returne. Upon Wednesday last the Regiment was drawne to a Randezvouz to muster, and according to your Honour’s command had the votes of Parliament communicated to them. The Collonell’s orderly . . . . and soe consequently Edition: current; Page: [69] the rest; but for those that saw nothing nor heard nothing of those votes communicated to the Souldiers, it being as they alleadge done privately . . . . . I knowe what was said in itt by the souldiers to whome I heard them read, and particularly two companies; they were inserted amongst those which are presented to your Honours.

Major General Skippon..

Are there any officers of the Regiments that have not yett spoken that have anything to speake?

Lievtennant Collonel Grimes.a

I said this, There was noe dissenting; you were pleased to say there was dissenting in the army, I knowe that the mindes of the officers are knowne to the Collonells.

Major General Skippon.

Wee speake of distempers.

Commissary General Ireton.

The question that is expected to be answered is an accompt of the desires of the regiments.


According to my Colonell’s command I went to the Regiment, and when they came to the Randezvouz, hee drew them together, and then I told them there were severall Votes which the Commissioners of Parliament delivered to be read to them; as for distempers there are none. I madeb this answeare, first for the Act of Indempnitie, they should be very well content when they had itt; they thought a considerable summe was noe more then what was due to them. They said they were willing to any peace, they desired they might be presented to you which I have presented to the Edition: current; Page: [70] Colonell. And as for Ireland, [they gave] that answeare that Collonell Rich made and some others, they did desire some satisfaction for what was herein, satisfaction for what was done there.

Lievtennant Colonel Jackson.

I desire to speake but one word, and then I shall have done in an instant.

Least there should be any hard thoughts of the officers of the Generall’s Regiment, wee have dined together these two dayes; yesterday I shew[ed] to Captaine White the resolution of the souldiers for Ireland, and Captaine White himselfe, and Captaine Leigh also, who dined with us . . . . . that hee did all, that that was true which he had written, and much more which he desired to be spared, and that concerning the Irish bussinesse.

Collonel Whalley.

Gentlemen, our owne hearts and consciences tell us that upon this last bussinesse that the Commissioners have imployed us about in goeing to our severall regiments, wee have performed itt to the great and good service of the Parliament; yet wee may be out of doubt that there will be various representations, nay I may say misrepresentations, offered to the House of Commons of our acting and doings; itt is as good as already promised us. I shall therefore move you, whether it were not good for us all in a joint and sollicitous desire to request one or more of the Commissioners here to goe to London in our behalfes, to answeare what shall falsely be laid to our charge, and to give the Parliament a true sence of our doings heere.

Lievtenant Colonel Grime.

You will please to satisfie the Commissioners that there is not soe much dissenting as they speake of, for 7 or 8 men doe not make a dissent in the army.

Edition: current; Page: [71]
Collonel Whalley.

I thinke there shall not neede to be any such thing.


Every man is left to his owne freedome to subscribe that which hee does agree to. I suppose in the whole greivances there is delivered different things, but wee may assent to that which is wholly and perfect ours and noe more.

Collonel Whalley.

This I say further. If you doe approve of what I have now tendered to you, that it is your desire to have one or more of these gentlemen that are members of the House to goe upp, that you will [let] them heare.

Heere the officers generally cried out. Two.

Major Scroope.

Perhapps there may be an information given to the House, for they cannot goe yett.

Collonel Rich.

I most humbly offer this also, to take this along with you, concerning the Commissioners of Parliament of their going to London to serve you there and the kingdome, that it should be with submission to their judgment and reason it should be very well, but otherwise I doe not knowe whether it be soe well or noe, itt is our desire.

Lievtenant Chillenden.a

I shall desire that Collonell Whalley and the rest may goe.

Edition: current; Page: [72]
Lievtenant Generall.

Gentlemen, by the command of the Major Generall I will offer a word or two to you. I shall not not need to reminde you what the occasion of this meeting was, and what the bussinesse wee are sent down about: you see by what has past that it was for us to learne what temper the Army was in, and truly to that end were the votes of the Parliament communicated by us to you, that you should communicate them to the Army that soe we might have an accompt from you. That accompt is received, but it being in writing and consisting of many particulars, wee doe not yett knowe what the contents of those papers are. But this I am to lett you knowe: that wee shall deale very faithfullya through the grace of God with those that have imployed us hither, and with you also. The further consideration of these bussinesses will be a worke of time. The Major Generall and the rest of the Gentlemen thinke it not fitt to necessitate your stay here from your severall charges; but because there may be many particulars that may require further consideration in these papers that are heere represented, itt is desired that you would stay heere a field officer at the least of every regiment, and two Captaines. For the rest it is desired of you, that you would repaire to your severall charges, and that when you are there you would renew your care and dilligence in pressing [on] the severall souldiers under your commands, the effect of those votes that you have already read. That likewise you would acquaint them as particularly with those two things that the Major Generall did impart to you, which hee had in a letter from the Speaker of the House of Peers, to witt the addition of a fortnight’s pay, a fortnight to those that are to goe for Ireland, and a fortnight to those that doe not goe, and likewise there is an act of Indempnitie very full already past the House of Commons. Truly, Gentlemen, it will be very fitt for you to have a very great care in the making the best use and improvement that you can both of the Votes and Edition: current; Page: [73] of this that hath been last told you, and of the interest which all of you or any of you may have in your severall respective regiments, namely, to worke in them a good opinion of that authority that is over both us and them. If that authoritie falls to nothing, nothing can followe but confusion. You have hitherto fought to maintaine that duty, and truly as you have vouchsafed your hands in defending that, soe [vouchsafe] now to express your industry and interest to preserve it, and therefore I have nothing more to say to you. I shall desire that you will be pleased to lay this to heart that I have said.


Wee shall desire that though there are dissenters in few regiments yet appeare, that the like is in all regiments.a I presume most of us doe abhorre to engage against authority, and wee doe as equally abhorre the hindring the service of Ireland. You will find that the matter conteyned in any of the answeares is the sence of most of them.

Commissary Ireton.

Itt was told you that the Major Generall’s result was, that there should stay here a feild officer of every regiment; but because there have been diverse officers that have seemed to presse some differences, the Major Generall offerrs it to your consideration, that it any other besides those shall stay from the regiments have occasion to attend, they may have liberty.


May it please your Honours, I thinke there cannot be an exacter accompt given from some regiments, there being none given from Colonell Okey’s Regiment, they having not had the votes.

Edition: current; Page: [74]
Major Disborow.

I shall offer only one thing to your Honours, the greivances have been presented [but] it hath not been as yett put to them whether it be with their consent, or for that purpose. Some may suggest that it is some private actings of some few of us, and therefore I desire that the question may be putt whether they doe consent or not.

Colonel Rich.

I shall humbly offer one word to you more in reference to what Major Disbrowe gave an hint, and that is truly a thing that hath a little troubled mee, to see a dislike testified to some of us, as wee have thought have tended to serve the Kingdome, the Parliament, and the Army, and to contract the bussinesse that you are hereabout into as narrowe a compasse as the thing it selfe will beare, as such an unpleasing thing as the representation of greivances will admitt. I could heartily wish that as the unanimity of this Army Officers and Souldiers is very well knowne, [during the war] which God be thanked is not now in the Kingdome [it] might be soe exprest at our conclusion, and wee desisting from further engagement in another Kingdome [be united] as it hath been formerly. I hope though there may have been some extravagancies spoken by some Officers or Souldiers of the Army, that it shall not be represented to you, that those extravagancies are the acts of the whole Army; itt is fully acknowledged by all of us that there [are] weaknesses and imperfections in the best, but I professe it seriously that wee have, as wee shall answeare it to God and man, done our best endeavours to preserve our regiments from those things that the Parliament are pleased to call distempers amongst us, and to doe our utmost endeavours I say as may become us in our places, as may conduce to the further prosecution of the Parliament’s affaires either in Ireland or England. I meane in England iff wee should goe on in our bussinesses, as wee have done, united in a body. If any shall say, because wee talke of arreares before wee Edition: current; Page: [75] disband wee doe not intend to disband before wee have them, I speake that for my owne part, I speake the sence of my owne, that it is not any immodest, irrationall thing that wee drive at: only that the Parliament will please to reassume into their consideration that thing of arreares, before they are pleased to send us home or elsewhere.

Major Butler.a

In that particular I thinke there are not any officers here butt will agree to make an application to the House in that humble and submissive way as Colonell Rich hath proposed, to be reassumed into their consideration; I speake in the behalfe of diverse who are free to itt.

Lievtenant Colonel Jackson.

Itt is my desire.

Captain Holcraft.

But there are some particular exceptions of which wee doe not soe well approve, and some things wherein they are not at all concern’d; and therefore, upon those and other considerations, they desire to take that course apart; and as that cannot reflect upon any proceedings in the Army, soe they are very well satisfied in their consciences, that there is none can desire the peace of the Army more than they doe.

Colonel Hewson.

Major Disbrowes motion, as I understand, was to desire that you would knowe whether they did not desire Colonell Whaley and some other Gentlemen to accompany the Commissioners with their report to the House, that it may not be thought thatt it was of Colonell Whalley’s particular act, or any others joyn’d with him, Edition: current; Page: [76] and [lest] that itt should be look’d upon to be their actings, and not the desire of the rest.

Major General Skippon.

For my part I thinke it was the desire of other Officers, though only Collonell Whalley mov’d itt.


Noe. Noe.

Major General Skippon.

Let us understand things soberly, rationally, and freindly one from another. I say, I thinke there was none of us, though I beleive wee did not knowe of itt, nor it was not by order from us, yet I doe verely beleive that wee could not imagine that Colonell Whalley whome wee thinke to be a wise man and an honester man then to doe a thing of his owne head . . . . .

But that you should make this the unanimous concurrence of the Army whereas there are divers officers that doe say otherwise . . . . .

Colonell Whalley.

The thing is soe cleere as you cannot chuse but take notice of itt; but in regard they doe heare of some that does almost threaten to send up such informations to the world as I may say are not true, therefore their humble request is, that two of the Members of the House of Parliament, you being all members, that you would be pleased to take the paines to goe up to London, that soe you may be able in their behalfe to represent their desires to the Parliament; and likewise to give the Parliament a cleare and true sence of what is their actings and doings here.

Collonel Sheffeild.

I humbly couceive that Collonel Whalley [is] speaking this as from himselfe, but if there be such a thing you all must knowe itt.

Edition: current; Page: [77]
C[olonel] W[halley.]

Sir, I did soe, yet I am sure it is most of their mindes. Does your conscience accuse you?

Major General Skippon.

I pray either speake with moderation or else be silent.

Cornett Joyce.a

The thing is thus, that letter which was sent out was communicated to the severall Regiments, and that answere was sent from ours; if you desire mee to justifie itt I am willing, and acknowledge what they did, and whatsoever hath been done, hath been done to the end in the relation come upp.

Commissary Ireton.

I conceive that by what is said that some officers doe take offence as taking more upon them then was fitt for them to doe. [I therefore conceive it fit] That before this meeting doe breake uppe that some officers be appointed to present the sence of the whole. I speake only to drawe that bussinesse to a conclusion soe you may be noe longer deteyned.

Colonel Hammond.

Sir I shall make a short motion to you. That you will appoint us to make a more full discovery, and [to take the names of] those that doe assent to the appointing of us.

Captain Holcraft.

The Major Generall hath already an accompt who wee are that doe dissent.

Colonel Hammond.

I hope you will rightly understand us in that point of division. That word dividing was spoken.

Edition: current; Page: [78]
Major General Skippon.

Gentlemen, I shall cover all in as good language as I can, and in as good earnist as I can, and in all faithfulnesse that I can. Put an end to this discourse. I thinke the papers that you have given in by the hand of Colonell Whalley will evidently mannifest who they are that dissent.

I thinke the papers on the other side will cleare itt; and therefore I beseech you in all earnestnesse that you doe nothing but what may tend to unitie, love and peace. And soe good night.

[A Declaration from the Agitation of eight regiments of Horse.]

Whereas some few Officers of this Army (dissenting from the Army) have not only declared their owne dissent, but pretended also to declare the dissent of a parte of the Souldiers under their command, and thereby have done as much as in them lieth to render the Army in a divided condition. Wee, whome our severall Regiments of Horse have made choice of to act in their behalfes, doe in their names attest to your Honours from our owne certaine knowledge, that whatever dissent there may be by any particular Officers, that there is not any the least appearance of any difference or dissent among the Souldiers from the greivances presented by our Officers to your Honours; and this wee will undertake to make more fully appeare, when wee shall be called to an accompt by your Honours, or any other having authoritie to doe it, and in the meane time protest against that action of those dissenting Officers.

a Should be probably Sam. Whiting.
a Should be Thomas Shepherd, I believe.
Of the sixteen names appended to this, nine, or if the corrections suggested be accepted, eleven are also attached to the letter of April 28.
The subsequent history of some of the men signing this document is of interest.
John Brayman (or Breman) became a lieutenant in Colonel Rich’s regiment and was cashiered in February 1655, on the charge of complicity in the plot for raising a rebellion amongst the army in Scotland, in which Major-General Overton was implicated (Mercurius Politicus, pp. 5052, 5165). In June 1659, he was restored to his place in the army with the rank of Captain, became major of Rich’s regiment, and was arrested on April 13, 1660, for endeavouring to raise his soldiers in support Lambert’s intended insurrection (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1658-9, p. 289; ibid. 1660, pp. 202, 573). He was again arrested in May, 1662, and confined in the Tower and in Windsor Castle (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1661-2, pp. 376, 456). He was imprisoned in 1682 on account of suspected complicity in the Rye House plot (Luttrell’s Diary, i., 269, 286, 556.
William Prior’s career was less distinguished. He was, however, arrested in January, 1655, for taking part in the plots of the levelling party against the Protector (Mercurius Politicus, p. 5050; Thurloe, iii., 35).
Edward Sexby } of the Generall’s Regiment.
Wm. Taylor }
Wm. Allen } of the Lievtenant Generall’s Regiment.
Sam. Whitea }
Thomas Sheffeilda } of Commissary Generall Ireton’s.
Anthony Nickson }
William Prior } of Colonel Fleetwood’s Regiment.
John Caseby }
Thomas Kendall } of Collonel Whalley’s Regiment.
Wm. Young }
Tobias Box } of Colonel Butler’s Regiment.
John Willoughby }
John Brayman } of Colonel Riche’s Regiment.
Nicholas Lockyer }
Henry Gethings } of Colonel Sheffeild’s Regiment.
Thomas Diggell }
Edition: current; Page: [80]
John Lambert
Lambert, John
16 May, 1647
Sir Thomas Fairfax
Fairfax, Sir Thomas

To General Fairfax.

May it please your Excellency,

I thought it my duty to give you an Accompt of what hath happned in the transaction of this waighty bussinesse committed unto the care of Major Generall Skippon &c. what has been done by them, and what by the Army, in order, and obedience to the Commands. Upon Fryday last many Officers, and almost from every Troope or Company one, conven’d at Walden, and brought them from every Regiment severall Particulars of those Greivances which the Souldiers were most sencible of; and there by generall consent and desire of those Officers Collonell Hammond, Rich, Whalley, Okey, Major Disbrowe, Cowell and myselfe,a would extract out of the severall Papers sent from the Regiments those greivances which were most common to all, most probable to occasion the late distempers in the Army, and most seasonable to be presented to the Parliament, and compose out of them a forme and draughtb in the name and behalfe of the whole Army; which although it was both troublesome and we might bring thereby an inconveniencie upon our selves, wee undertooke, as a thing which we might possibly doe the Parliament and Army reall service in; Edition: current; Page: [81] and accordingly went about it, but could not possibly perfect it in time against the appointed houre of tenn of the clock the next day, and therefore were forced to desire a longer time of the Commissioners, which was granted untill five a clock the next day in the afternoone. Against which time wee being prepared, deliver’d in by the hand of Collonell Whalley the summe of what we had composed; wherein we used as much moderation as possibly wee could with satisfaction to the Souldiers, who, though they remaine very high in their demaunds and expressions,a yet I am confident I have declined much which was in their hearts to have strongly insisted upon. A copie of which according to its last extraction, together with the Interduction and Conclusion, I could not in this short time procure to send unto your Excellencie, but doubte not but Mr. Rushworth’s manb will send them in shorthand to the Secretary who may make them knowne unto you. After that wee had delivered this with the sence of the Army the Commissioners desired a more particular Accompt of what pass’d at the Randezvouz’s of every Regiment; which was accordingly done by the Collonell’s Majors, or cheife Officer of every Regiment, and most of them was to this effect: That they for the present found their respective Regiments in very quiet condition, neverthelesse were sensible of some present and other approaching greivances, the Summe of which was delivered in to Collonell Hammond, Whalley, Rich, &c. and were very much the same which were delivered at that present to the Commissioners. There was return’d from your owne Regiment of Foot, two severall differring Accompts; one from the Lieutennant Collonell, the other from Captaine White and some other common Souldiers, whom the Regiment hath appointed to agitate in the behalfe of the whole Regiment. And likewise from Collonell Sheffeild’s some differrences of the like nature, and also a somewhat lame and imperfect accompt from Collonell Graves’ Regiment; but all the rest were intire and very Edition: current; Page: [82] full. Next to this [the] Major Generall desired an Accompt of what had been done in order to his designe of motioning the releife of Ireland; to which an answeare was given as from most of the Army, that they could find nothing of willingnesse or affection to that service, untill they had received some satisfaction in their greivances. And indeed, if the Parliament thinke to have helpe out of this Army for Ireland, they must goe another way then what they are in for the present. Collonell Sheffeild, Collonell Butler, Quarter Master Generall Fincher, and some few others, who indeed were not acquainted with our private debates by reason they have subscribed for Ireland, and therefore are not liable to most of these greivances, and by reason they had delivered in a Petition, the substance whereof was the great cause of trouble upon us, and were unsatisfied in what wee did, and have expressed their dislike in a Paper delivered to the Commissioners, the contents whereof for the present I knowe not.a Betwixt them, and [us] is something past of heat and animositie, especially betwixt Cols. Sheffeild and Whalley, but I hope will goe noe further.

Mr. Edward Sexby
Sexby, Mr. Edward
17 May, 1647

Lettre from Sexbyc to the Agitators.


If these be not *5 a presse gott into the Army wee shall be att a Edition: current; Page: [83] losse. There wants nothing but money, therefore tell the Officers they must disburse the money.

The King will it is verily thought come and joyne with them, and that makes them soe high, therefore minde that by all meanes hasten the greivances away. There is a Committee to goe to Rainborrowes Regiment, *5 will goe if you send him instructions, which doe by to morrowe night, and send two more to London to convey Newes. The generall will be with you on Thursday, Soe I rest

Your freind,


Edition: current; Page: [84]
Mr. Edward Sexby
Sexby, Mr. Edward
May 18th, 1647

A letter to the Agitators.


I kindly salute you, I have noe newes but this, That the House did order those that brought Ensign Nicholls prisenour 10h. a peece for their good service.a Thus you may see their proceedings. And lett mee tell you, this is in hand to divide us; they intend to pay the private Souldiers all their Arreares and to abuse the Officers, and soe to divide the Souldiers from their Officers. This is the way they intend to doe as their last designe; and therefore Gent.[lemen] you must use your dilligence to the severall Regiments, Troopes, and Companies to sett them right in this bussinesse, and to try them whether they will stick to their Officers, though they should be paid their Arreares and have securietie by an Ordinance to see whether they will have Justice done to. Their Officers have stuck to them, and it is expected in Honour and Justice they will stand to us. Therefore use your dilligence. I neede not say more to you. I have sent to you some of the Edition: current; Page: [85] Cittizen’s Petitions, and they doe much rejoyce in our unanimity. Therefore knowe I am

Your assured freind,


May 18

Letter to the Agitators.b

These are to tell you that this day the Armie is to be disbanded by vote of the Commons House, and referred to the Committee of Derby House for manner, time, and place; and soe farr as I conceive, itt is upon good information, that they intend to disband the Foote first, and then the Horse, and that by Regiments, and they to be 40 miles asunder. Beleive itt my deare fellowes, wee must now be very active to send to all our severall Regiments of Horse and Foote and [let them] knowe that nothing but destruction is threatned. I pray you observe these severall directions and send to the severall regiments, to principle them by all meanes presently, and Sir . . . . . in the Commons House abuised the Generall as basely, they said “there was never Generall did like him, hee is now in Towne and courts Ladies, and itt is a shame for him that he should be now in Towne and his Armie in a distemper,”c and Mr. Hollis hath promised to deliver the Cittee’s Petition though hee Edition: current; Page: [86] himselfe is nominated to have justice done on him;a what this will effect I knowe not but you shall heare by the first. I would you would tell that the Printer is taken and undone, and if it be not thought on to have a Presse in the Army wee are undone. Heere is one perfect and workmen:b Lett him therefore see what will be done amongst the Officers concerning itt, and, Sirs, you must be sure to send to the Foote, and tell them this, and be sure they doe not turne. Loving freinds, be active, for all lies at the stake. This is the stratagem that was spoken on the other night. I would intreat you to bestirr your selves, for the good of all the kingdome and their preservation is in your hands. In the name of God improve itt for the kingdomes happinesse.c

Edition: current; Page: [87]
Edward Saxby
Saxby, Edward
William Allen
Allen, William
Thomas Shephard
Shephard, Thomas
Thomas Kendall
Kendall, Thomas
Thomas Jones
Jones, Thomas
Tobias Box
Box, Tobias
John Newson
Newson, John
Ant. Grayes
Grayes, Ant.
Nich. Lockier
Lockier, Nich.
John Newson
Newson, John
Robert Prichard
Prichard, Robert
Robert Mason
Mason, Robert
Thomas Diggells
Diggells, Thomas
William Laundy
Laundy, William
May 19, 1647

Letter from the Agitators to the severall Regiments.

Gentlemen and Fellow Souldiers, wee greet you well.

These are to let you knowe, that wee have received Letters from London this day certifying, that still the dividing and soe the destroying designes are in hand. Before you were the Marke shott at without your Officers, and they loath to see you in such a condition designed to ruine they appeare now to speake and act for you; but noe sooner came they to speake on your behalfes, but they become the Marke instead of you. This is now the thing in hand to divide betweene you and them, and that is either propounding or giving you your arreares, and soe [to] take you from your Officers, thereby to destroy them, and then to worke about their designes with you also, which will make your money be but little useful to you. As soone as you have it and you disbanded you may be prest away for Ireland, or hang’d in England, for prosecuting the Petition, or refusing to goe for Ireland; which wee question not but many of us shall be found guiltie of, some already saying if you be but disbanded, if you will not goe they will drawe you along like doggs. Fellow Souldiers, the summe of all this is, if you doe but stand, and not accept of any thing nor doe any thing without the concent of the whole Army, you will doe good to your selves, your Officers, and the whole kingdome. Stand with your Officers, and one with another you need not feare. If you divide you destroy all. Therefore once more, Fellow Souldiers, as you tender your owne wellfares and the welfares of us all, acquaint one another with these things, and resolve neither to take monie, nor march from one another, but lett all your actions be joyn’d. And if any orders should come to your particular Regiments to march from the rest of the Army, march not while you have consulted with the rest of the Army. Be sure you take heed how you obey any such orders, untill you have acquainted and consulted with the rest of the Army. Be active and unanimous, the whole Army will assist you, Edition: current; Page: [88] if you doe but acquaint them with it. Doe nothing for your owne securitie, but what may secure your reall and faithfull Officers as well as your selves. Be assured they are yours, while you are theirs.

Yours and the Kingdomes faithfull servants,
choen to advise and consult in your behalfes.
a Agitators were first elected by the eight regiments of horse whose representatives signed the letter of April 28; see p. 33, and Appendix B. In May, in consequence of the mission of the four officers to enquire into the grievances of the army, the foot regiments also chose agitators (Rushworth, vi., 485). Each company is said to have elected two, out of whom two were selected to represent the regiment. A comparison of the names appended to the different declarations of the agitators shows that in this letter one man signs for each regiment. The signatures to this letter represented the eight regiments of horse above mentioned; Diggell belonged to Sheffield’s regiment of horse, Mason to Sir Hardress Waller’s foot regiment, Newson to Fairfax’s regiment of foot, and the three others probably to regiments of foot then near Saffron Walden. The double mention of Newson is probably an error of the transcribers. The address of the agitators to Fairfax on May 29 (Book of Army Declarations, p. 16) is signed by the representatives of ten horse regiments (the two additional regiments being those of Pye and Graves), and by representatives of six foot regiments (those of Lambert, Harley, Lilburne and Hewson with the two before-mentioned).
Herbert’s regiment is probably spoken of as lately Colonel Herbert’s, because he had accepted the command of a new regiment to be raised for the Irish service, out of the volunteers for that object from the different regiments of the new model. His old regiment was given in June or July to Colonel Robert Overton.

For our assured freinds and fellowe Souldiers that are of the Regiment that was lately Collonel Herbert’s.

Edition: current; Page: [89]
Richard Kingdom
Kingdom, Richard
Thomas Diggel
Diggel, Thomas
John Caseby
Caseby, John

[Letter from the Agitators of Horse to the Horse in the North.]

Honoured Gentlemen and Fellowe Souldiers wee greete you well.

Wee in this Army whereof you are a part haveing for these few weekes last past had it made our portion to be brought on the publique stage of the Kingdome as acting in the things which wee could wish had been more private, but necessitie hath noe law, fellow Souldiers, wee knowe, that these actions of ours have through the false suggestions of some been liable to misconstructions and misinterpretations which we well knew must be our portion before we began to act, but our comfort is, Wisedome is justified of her children, and we hope wee shall not be condemned by you; and to the end you may have right apprehensions of our candid intentions and actions wee present you with these following lynes, wherein we shall breifly give you the ground of the way and the end of our Proceedings. For the Ground it was this, Wee in this Army lying under many sore and pressing greivances, and being apprehensive of many more we were ere long like to be involv’d into if not prevented; for the prevention of which wee had an humble Petition with Representations annexed framed to be presented to the Generall and by him to the House, we conceiving this to be our undoubted right and priviledge whether considered as Souldiers or Subjects if wee have a right to any thing; but while this was only in intention, such was the haniousnesse of itt apprehended to be, according as it was represented by a Letter from an unknowne Officer of the Army who was not sparing in the Letter in the laying many odious aspersions both on itt and us, and suddenly after the receiving of this letter (unexpectedly and to our amazement) comes forth the Declaration against our Petition, declaring us enemies to the State and persisting and laying many heavy charges upon us as you may see in itt at large (to which wee Edition: current; Page: [90] referre you); this coming out from our professed Enemies, it sadned our spiritts that wee should be declared Enemies for going on in that way which they themselves had directed us to in case of Greivances, and the thoughts of this putt us upon drawing a vindication of our late Petition which wee beleive you have seene. The next thing was to thinke of framing of a Lettera to the Generall and Major Generall and Lieutenant Generall. Our end in that was thus, wee did not knowe but the Parliament might be pleased to heare them speake for us though they would not receive our Petition from us, but were pleased to condemne it to die before it was brought out to live. This Letter being presented to the persons to whome directed, it was conceived by Major Generall Skippon to have many things of great importance and dangerous consequence; soe it was presented to the House, and the messengers called in and examined and much debate about it, and the results were the dismissing of the messengers at present to attend them on the next summons, and this Letter according as wee conceive was the occasion of the Commissioners coming downe to take a view of the distempers reported in the Armie, which accordingly they did, and having conveen’d the Officers gave them order to repaire to their severall charges to receive the greivances of those under their commands, which was done accordingly and the greivances brought in to the Commissioners to be by them presented to the House, and wee have herewith sent you a coppie of them as they are in the abstract, though they would have been longer, but the severall Regiments being streightened in time they could not bring them in soe large as otherwise they would, which wee desire you to read and impartially to judge of our sad condition wee are in, and what just cause we have to doe what wee have done, and withall what little ground there is for all these loud clamours against us as is sounded abroad daily. Wee desire the just God and all just men to judge whether wee have deserved such hard measure from them Edition: current; Page: [91] that wee [who] have not thought any thing too deare to part with for their sake, who have manifested our selves not to be enemies but reall freinds and soe knowne to be in the dayes of their adversitie, and did little thinke that this should have been our portion to be declared Enemies in the dayes of their prosperitie, but our God his will is done, and our worke is with him and our reward is before him. As to our ends [it] is to selfe preservation, which all creatures does, and Man, the cheife of creatures, cannot but doe, that soe when God hath made us instrumentall in saving a kingdome we might [not] be accessorie to our owne destruction, as we should be if wee should suffer our selves to be deprived of our just freedomes, which are ours in a double sence, first, as by the lawes of this Nation it hath been conferred upon us; and 2dly, as by many of our dearest blouds it hath been purchased by us, and whatsoever the false suggestions of men are to the contrarie, yet our ends, soe farre as wee knowe our own hearts, are noe other but in that we might live and enjoy that which the knowne lawes of this Nation allowe us to enjoy, and the Parliament in many of their Declarations have oftentimes assured us wee should have; and wee shall never desire any to adheere to us any further or longer then wee are acting to this end. Thus you have our whole bussinesse before you. Read and consider, and God direct you. Thinke wee are prosecuting just things in a just way, and if from such thoughts of us you have a desire to joyne with us, these Gentlemen which are the bearers hereof will direct you in the way of doing itt, and our hearts will aboundantly reioyce in it, and wee shall not be wanting in the use of all lawfull wayes and meanes to assist you to the utmost of our power in the attainement of this our desired end; and wee question not but the just Lord who loves Justice will assist us all while Justice doth runne as a mighty streame amongst us. In the meane time wee hope to stand right in your apprehensions soe long as you shall discerne the the clearenesse of our intentions. Soe we leave you to God who wee hope will never leave you but will be to you a God of direction, and Edition: current; Page: [92] to you and us a God of Protection in all our warrantable undertakeings.

Yours and the Kingdomes humble Servants Adjutating for the severall Regiments whose names are hereto subscribed.a

20th May 1647

Letter to the Agitators.b


The great bussinesse of the House yesterday was a long debate upon the honest partic of the Citties Petition,c and likewise upon the great Petition that is gone out into the Kingdome, and in conclusion order’d them both to be burnt by the Hangman at the Exchange and Pallace Yard—a new way to answer Petitions and doubtlesse (might some have their wills) the Petitioners too should be burnt in Smithfeild. They committed one of the Citty Petitioners to Newgate, for telling a Parliament Instrument “if wee cannot be allowed to Petition wee must take some other course.”c The expression indeed was too high but he knew him Edition: current; Page: [93] not to be a Member, yet it was not soe high as both parties was that day in the House, for one of the parties said That they [that] had delivered and sent the letter to the Generall, Major Generall, and Lieutenant Generall were a companie of rascalls; and another said, That hee shall very willingly die with his sword in his hand though there be an Army of 30,000, in the Feild. Massie is sent downe to Gloucester (they say), from thence to secure Monmouth for feare of some insurrection in those parts. Sir Robert Pye is gone to his Regiment. The designe of the King’s letter to settle Presbitry for three yeares, and the Militia for tenn, may be easily gues’t at:a His Majestie hath a mind to please the Citty, and they him; they forgett that they are little lesse then 80 thousand pound arreare to this Army. His excellencie came hither this Evening. The Major Generall and some other Officers came to vissitt him (though they went not forth to meet him). Major Gooday saluted him with a pittiful complaint in a Letter from Lieutennant Collonell Jackson. That his Regiment would have meetings, and some of them come to the Head Quarters without orders, notwithstanding they had acquainted his Souldiers, with a desire which the Major Generall, Lieutennant Generall, &c. made Thursday before the Lieutennant Generall went to London, That the Officers would use their endeavours to prevent any meetings of the Souldiers. The Major Generall sett it home with Arguments of the inconveniences that might come by it, Mutinies, disorders, &c. It was moved that the Generall would send some command in writing, that the Major Generall and the rest had forborne it before, expecting his Excellencie’s coming downe. There is noe order as yet given; if you have not that libertie Edition: current; Page: [94] (carrying things discreetly and moderately) I knowe not what can be done to purpose. Our Enemies may worke and destroy us before wee are aware.


Phillipp Skippon
Skippon, Phillipp
Oliver Cromwell
Cromwell, Oliver
Hen. Ireton
Ireton, Hen.
Charles Fleetwood
Fleetwood, Charles
May 20th, 1647
Mr. Speaker
Mr. Speaker

Letter from the 4 Officers to Mr. Speaker.


Upon the order you sent us of the 18th instant wee have herewith sent upp two of our selves (Lievtennant General Cromwell and Collonell Fleetwood) to give an accompt to the House of the bussinesse wee are imploy’d in here according to certaine heads by a Report here agreed upon for that purpose by us all who are

Your most humble servants,
Phil: Skippon.
Ol: Cromwell.
Hen: Ireton.
Charles Fleetwood.

The heads of a Report to be made to the honourable House of Commons by Lievtennant Generall Cromwell and Collonell Fleetwood in the name of themselves and the best of the Officers in the Army and Members of that House lately sent downe to the Army whose names are subscribed.

Agreed upon and sign’d by them all at Walden May 20th, 1647.

1. That according to the appointment (whereof wee have formerly Edition: current; Page: [95] given accompt) the Officers mett here againe on Satturday last to returne an accompt of their proceedings and successes in communicating the Votes and improving the same together with their utmost interest and power for the satisfaction of the Souldiers and quieting of all distempers, as also to give a full accompt of the tempers of the Army in relation to the late discontent appearing therein.

2. That on Sunday Evening wee received a summarie accompt in writing agreed upon and signed by about 24 of the Officers, and presented to us by some of the cheife in the name and presence of the rest of the Subscribers which wee have now sent upp.a

3. That at the same time from the 8 Regiments of Horse and 8 of Foot now lying within the association the severall Cheife Officers present for the respective Regiments gave us accompt by word of mouth all of them to this effect. That they had communicated the Votes and done their endeavours according to order and doe find their Souldiers very quiet and in noe visible distemper at present, but having divers greivances sticking upon them, which (they said) were contained in the respective papers then given in by them, and all of them did also expressly declare, That the effect and substance of those their Greivances was contain’d in the said Summary then given in, except only those Officers whose distinct returnes for their severall charges given to us in writing are these following, which wee have likewise sent upp,b vizt.

  • 1. One from three Officers of Collonell Lilburne’s Regiment for the remaining soldiers of there three Companies only.
  • 2. One from the Feild Officers and 5 Captaines of the Generall’s Regiment of Foote.
  • 3. One from Captaine Hall for the Life Guard.
  • 4. One from Collonell Sheffeild, his Major and 2 Captaines.
Edition: current; Page: [96]

To that from the Generall’s Regiment there was exception made by three Captaines and some other Officers of that Regiment, as also by 7 Souldiers chosen and intrusted by their fellowes of 7 Companies, who declar’d their greivances to be as in the Summarie and have given in a Paper to that purpose which wee have also sent upp.

To that from Collonell Sheffeild there was exception made by Captaine Rainborrow, and Captaine Evelyn’s Lievtennant for their respective Troopes, and by private Soldiers for other Troopes of that Regiment chosen and intrusted by their fellowes, who brought the hands of all the Souldiers of the Regiment to attest their greivances, which because contain’d for substance within the Summarie wee doe not trouble the House withall. Colonell Sheffeild repli’d, That hee knew of noe such thing while hee stai’d with that Regiment, but the other averr’d it was publiquely agreed on upon the Randezvous after hee was gone.

That wee received also in writing other distinct accompts from some other Officers of Horse and Dragoones lying out of the Association, vizt.

One from two Lievtennants, two Cornetts and a Quarter Master of Collonell Graves’s Regiment.

One from the Major and two Captaines of Dragoones of the three Troopes lying about Holdenby.

One from two other Captaines of Dragoones for their two Troopes lying in Shroppshire.

But wee find that these accompts were made by the respective officers without the imediate privitie of all their Soldiers or the other officers and Troopes of the same Regiments, and that they had not since the former meeting here had time to draw out their Troopes from the rest of those Regiments to acquaint them fully with the votes, or gaine a certain accompt of them, the great distance of all from those of their Quarters not admitting itt to be soe done within that time, and therefore wee have given order that the Votes, together with what is since added of the arreares, be Edition: current; Page: [97] effectually communicated to them all, and a certaine accompt to be returned from each as soone as may be.

5. That from Sir Robert Pies Regiment of Horse (we suppose for the same reason) we have had noe returne from any officer yet appearing, nor doe we yet heare whether they have received the Votes. The copie whereof for them was (in defect of any officer of that Regiment at the first meeting) delivered to an officer of Collonell Graves’s Troope for both those Regiments.

6. Wee have also received some other Papers which at present wee thought not necessary to trouble the House withall.

7. That on Monday another Paper was delivered to us by Lievtennant Collonell Jackson, subscribed by himselfe and other officers that dissented from the rest to cleere themselves from mistake or misapprehensions in their said dissenting, which wee have likewise sent.

8. That since the said Generall meeting the Officers (who by consent of the rest had subscribed it) drew up and perfected the Summary, have shew’d us, and we have read over.

  • 1. The particular returnes in writing from the 8 Regiments of Horse, and 8 of Foot lying in the association out of which the Summarie was extracted.
  • 2. A Request of them in writing sign’d by the officers that brought in the same unto them, desireing that they would take the paines to frame and perfect the said Summary.

By all which wee find,

1. That those officers had good ground for what they did in the Summary, the said particular returnes of greivances being full to the heads of the Summary and many of them exceeding.

2. That whereas many of them for matter or expressions were brought confused and full of tautologies, impertinencies, or weaknesses answerable to Soldiers dialect, they drew the matter of them into some forme more fitt for view or judgment.

Edition: current; Page: [98]

3. That whereas many of them for matter or expressions were such as might have given greater offence, they did, by their perswasions with the inferiour Officers and Souldiers that came with them (intrusted for the rest), bring them to lay aside many more offencive things, and to be satisfied in the heads of the Summarie, and therein endeavoured to bring them as low and to as much moderation as they could.

4. That their end and reason for going in that method and undertakeing the Summarie seems (most probably) to be to gaine the precedent effects, and to avoid further offence to the Parliament, soe as the Armies tendernesse towards the authorities and priviledges of the Parliament, and the Parliament’s favourable construction and consideration of the Army might seeme to remove all discontents and prevent any more inconveniencie.

5. That the Officers thus joyning with the Souldiers againe in a regular way to make knowne and give vent to their greivances hath contributed much to allay precedent distempers, to bring off the Souldiers much from their late wayes of correspondencie and actings amongst themselves, and reduce them againe towards a right order and regard to their Officers in what they doe.

6. That the said severall Returnes doe generally expresse a pationate sense of the scandall concerning the petition to the King, protesting against the thing and the appearance of it amongst them in a great detestation thereof and importunitie for their clearing therein.

  • 1. The same particular returnes themselves the said Officers that shew’d them to us desir’d they might keep, both for their owne justification in what they had done, and especially because the Officers and Souldiers that brought them being all satisfied in the Summary.
    • 1. It was their owne request the particular papers might not be produced in publique to discover the weaknesses or rashnesse of those that sent them, which they are very sensible of. Edition: current; Page: [99]
    • 2. The Officers therefore conceiv’d it might be better (if the Parliament pleas’d) to take noe notice of them.

9. That though (in the charge to the Officers at their first meeting) wee exprest not, nor did intend to expect to have any such Returnes of Greivances, but only an accompt of what effect the Votes with the Officers endeavours had for quieting of distempers, and to knowe what distempers had been or should remaine, to the end wee might the better understand how to apply our selves to pay them, and give the better accompt to the House, yet now upon the whole matter wee humbly conceive, that the way it hath falne into, the course taken by the said Officers and admitted by us (being all upon a kind of necessitie as providence hath cast it for preventing of worse) hath hitherto proved for the best, and may (through the goodnesse of God with the wisedome of the Parliament) be turn’d to a good issue.

10. Lastly. That what hath been publiquely said or done by us in the transacting or prosecution of this great affaire hath been with the advice and unanimous consent or with the allowance and approbation of us all.

All which wee humbly submitt to the Parliament’s better Judgment and the good pleasure of God.

Phillip Skippon.
Oliver Cromwell.
H. Ireton.
Charles Fleetwood.a
Edition: current; Page: [100]
May 25

[Letter to the Agitators.]a


My best respects. I rid hard and came to London by 4 this afternoone. The House hath ordered and voted the Army to be disbanded, Regiment by Regiment. The General’s Regiment of Foote on Tuesday next to lay downe their Armes in Chelmsford Church, and they doe intend to send you down once more Commissioners to doe it of Lords and Commons; they will not pay more then two months pay, and after we be disbanded to state our Accompts and to be paid by the Excise in course. This is their good Vote, and their good vissible securitie. Pray, Gentlemen, ride night and day; wee will act here night and day for you. You must by all meanes frame a Petition in the name of all the Souldiers, to be presented to the Generall by you the Agitators, to have him in honour, justice, and honestie, to stand by you, and to tell Skippon to depart the Army and all other Officers that are not right. Bee sure now be active, and send some 30 or 40 Horse to fetch away Jackson, Gooday, and all that are naught, and be sure to possesse his Souldiers, hee will sell them and abuse them; for soe hee hath done, hee engaged to sell them for 8 weeks pay. Gent. I have it from (59) and (89) that you must doe this, and that you shall expell [them] out of the Army; and if you doe disappoint them in the disbanding of this Regiment namely (68) Edition: current; Page: [101] you will breake the neck of all their designes. This is the Judgment of (59) and (89), therefore Gent. followe it close. The (52) are about (42) which Coppies I send you, and let mee tell you (41) and (52) in (54) are all very gallant; I pray God keep us soe too. Now, my Ladds, if wee worke like men wee shall doe well, and that in the hands of (52); and lett all the (44) be very instant that the (55) may be called to a (43) and that with speed; delay it not, by all meanes and be sure to stirre upp the Counties to Petition, and for their rights to make their appeale to (55) to assist them. You shall heare all I can by the next. Soe till then I rest.

Yours till death,


From 51, 11o at night.

25, May, 1647
Lieutenant-General Cromwell
Cromwell, Lieutenant-General

As soone as the Generall came to Walden hee sent to the severall Regiments to acquaint them, that on Friday last the House had taken their greivances under consideration, and requir’d them to desist from their meeting; and because hee would be neere the Horse Quarters to prevent inconveniences he removed to St. Edmonds Bury in Suffolke, on Tuesday last. All Fryday hee was very ill, hee left his course of phissick too soone, but your commands were above phisick. This day the Regiments understand of the proceedings on Tuesday last, that as to vindication &c. nothing is to be done till after disbanding, and that only 8 weeks is ordered them at disbanding. Truly Sir, I am loath to expresse what their sense is of this. Tis in vaine to say any thing on their behalfe; I only dread the consequences, and desire that on all sides there may be more moderation and temper. I doubt the disobleiging of soe faithfull an Army will be repented of; provocation and exasperation makes men thinke of that they never intended. They are posses’t, as farr as I can discerne with this opinion, That if they be thus Edition: current; Page: [102] scornfully dealt withall for their faithfull services whilst the Sword is in their hands, what shall their usage be when they are dissolved? I assure you that passionate and violent councell which is given thus to provoke the Army will in time be apprehended to be destructive, or my observation failes mee. It shall be my endeavour to keepe things as right as I can; but how long I shall be able I knowe not. Unlesse you proceede upon better Principles, and more moderate termes then what I observed when I was in London in the bitternesse of spirit in some Parliament men, Cittizens, and Clergie, and by what I perceive in the Resolution of the Souldiers to defend themselves in just things as they pretend—and truly many honest consciencious men much disobleiged by the Declaration—I cannot but imagine a storme. The Lord fitt all those that belong to him to hearea things with patience, and lett the Parliament see it is possible they may erre as well as the Army or any other State.b

Edition: current; Page: [103]
William White
White, William
May 28, 1647

Letter from Collonell White to the Generalla

May it please your Excellencie,

I am bold to send you such votes as the House hath passed in order to the disbanding of your Army, which being now resolv’d uppon I shall pray to God that it may be done peaceably, upon which I looke as that which carries in it the good and safetie of this Kingdome present and future. I knowe that some are of opinion that the Army being disbanded libertie is endangered, which I confesse—but withall doe clearely discerne, that if the Army shall continue it selfe against the authoritie of Parliament (for soe wee must conclude that which is passed by majoritie of Votes however contrarie to particular opinions) that there must inevitably follow the ruine and desolation of the Commonwealth, for this must needs occure to every eye (which looks forwards) to be the consequence: the Parliament being disobeyed and the Kingdome burthened with an Army voted unnecessary and to be disbanded, a force must be raised to compell obedience, and rather then faile the Scotts speedily call’d in, the issue of which (whosoever prevailes) must be the ruine of the Kingdome, and a sure stepp to the King and those that designe his ends either to bring him in (upon his owne termes) as the aire of these distempers, or to have opportunitie to raise a force such a one as may subdue and destroy both the other. On the contrarie, if it please God to dispose the Army to a quiet disbanding I am confident to say the Royall Designers have plotted in vaine, and their Councells how craftie soever are frustrated, for I am sure that if ever the King’s interest appeare bare fact, without the masque of publique ease and zeale against hereticks, it will not have many to countenance it, few inclining to a confidence that the King is to be trusted with power Edition: current; Page: [104] over their lives or estates. Your Excellencie I confesse hath a most difficult game to play, your relations to Parliament and Army considered especially if there shall be opposition to the Parliament’s command’s (which God prevent) and if such be the sequell (which if reports be true wants not its simptoms), I beseech you pardon my boldnesse that I presume to offer you my humble advice. God hath made your Excellencie his great Instrument of good unto this Kingdome in subduing the Enemies thereof. The Parliament honours and esteemes your Person and services most highly—I say the Parliament, I dare not affirme it of every individuall person, vertue is alwaies the object of envy, and honour hath ever its emulations—as God hath made you successefull in their warrs to their advantage and your owne honour soe I may confidently say that your endeavours for quiet disbanding at there commands will add to their esteeme and love of you; for I doe assure your Excellencie, though some differ about the time and manner of disbanding, yet there are not many whose opinions are to continue more forces then the number of Horse and Dragoones voted to be under your Excellencie’s command. If any disturbance (upon occasion of Disbanding) shall happen in the Army (which your Excellencie cannot speedily remeady) I beseech you foresee it in time, and write to the Parliament to give you leave so come upp to London to preserve them with your advice for the quieting thereof. I cannot see that your stay in the Army in any unquiet distemper (upon this occasion) can be for your safetie, nay I am sure it must be to your apparent danger. I leave your Excellencie to imagine the reasons, I know they are obvious to you. Pardon, I beseech you, this boldnesse and presumption, which is noe other then the reall effect of Duty to you and my Country, and of honour and faithfullnesse to your Excellencie, to whome I shall ever render my selfe upon all occasions.

Your Excellencies most faithfull and most humble servant
[William White.]
Edition: current; Page: [105]
Lieutenant Chillenden
Chillenden, Lieutenant
May 28,
Cornet Joyce
Joyce, Cornet

Lettre froma to the Agitators.

Send this to 92.b

Send to mee and you shall have powder enough and that in your owne Quarters, 500 Barrells, and it shall not cost a penny, and on Tuesdayc I will informe you how and where.


There is 7,000li comming downe to Chelmsford, on Monday night it will be there. The Earle of Warwick, the Lord Dewan,d of the Commons, Mr. Annesley, Sir Gilbert Gerrard, Sir John Potts, Mr. Grimstone, all these are to come as Commissioners for to disband us, therefore Gent. you knowe what to doe. Collonell Rainborrowe is to goe to his Regiment, and it is by Oxford; and Edition: current; Page: [106] a Guard of Dragoones comes with the money and the Commissioners, but how many I knowe not. All the honest partie doe much rejoyce here at your courage, and the other partie doe much threaten and speake bigge; therefore I pray be carefull to have horse to apprehend and seize on the money and Commissioners before they come at the Foote; and if you can bannish Jackson and the rest out of that Regiment you will doe the worke, and be sure you doe what you can. Doe not let Jackson be there to goe to London, nor none of them of that Regiment, and you will doe well enough. Lett two horsemen goe presently to Collonell Rainborow to Oxford, and be very carefull you be not overwitted. Now breake the neck of this designe, and you will doe well, and you must now doe to make a Bolt or a shott, and not to dally, but a good partie of Horse of a 1,000, and to have spies with them before to bring you intelligence, and to quarter your Horse overnight, and to march in the night.

Soe God blesse.

I rest,


Sir Thomas Fairfax
Fairfax, Sir Thomas
28th May, 1647
Field Marshal Skippon
Skippon, Field Marshal

[Sir Thomas Fairfax to Field Marshal Skippona.]


I understand this day there are Votes concerning the disbanding of the Army to beginne with my owne Regiment on Tuesday next; most of the Officers are here already, but in a bussinesse of soe great concernment, I desire your Advice and company this Satturday Edition: current; Page: [107] morning if it be possible. I am sorrey the time is soe short but necessitie hath occasioned this suddaine desire of

Your very affectionate freind,
Tho. Fairfax.
To the Honorable
Feild Marshall Skippon.
Thomas Willoughby
Willoughby, Thomas
E. Manchester
Manchester, E.
Philip Stapylton
Stapylton, Philip
Denzill Hollis
Hollis, Denzill
Gilbert Gerrard
Gerrard, Gilbert
William Lewis
Lewis, William
William Jephson
Jephson, William
John Clotworthy
Clotworthy, John
John Temple
Temple, John
Derby House

Lettre from Derby House to the Generall.

There is 7,000l appointed to be sent to Chelmesford towards the Disbanding of your Army, which is to be there on Monday night next; wee desire you to take care that the said monies may be there in safety, and therefore to give Order to your Life Guard, or such other or more forces as you thinke fitt to be at Chelmesford by Munday at noone, and that they goe forth to meet the money upon the way from London to Chelmsford,

Soe we rest,

Your very affectionate freinds and Servants,


Wee send you also herewith inclosed a copie of the Votes of the Houses whereby you may see their results concerning the time and manner of Disbanding your Army.

Edition: current; Page: [108]
John Mills
Mills, John
Satturday, May 29th, 1647

His Excellencie this day communicated to his Councill of Warr the Vote of the House of Commons of the 25th of May,a and also a Petition lately presented to himselfe in the name of the Souldiers of 8 Regiments of Horse and five of Foote,b and left the same to their consideration, desireing their advice thereupon for the preventing of any inconvenience that might arise.

The said Votes and Petition were read and thereupon these severall Questions being debated, were propos’d to every officer, and resolv’d as followeth.

1st Question.

Whether upon the Reports come to the Army concerning the Votes of the House of Comons on Fryday sennight last and the Resolutions on Tuesday last you find such satisfaction in the Army in relation to the late greivances as that there be noe danger of any disturbances and inconveniences in the proceedings upon these Resolutions.

Resolved Negatively.

Vizt. Negatively 86 votes, affirmitively by 3: and 4 Votes were suspended upon their owne desires.c

2d Question.

Whether upon the satisfaction and danger implied in the last vote you thinke it needfull for preventing of inconveniencies, that Edition: current; Page: [109] the Quarters of the Army not fixed upon duty be imediatly contracted.

Resolved Affirmitively.

Vizt. 82 Votes Affirmitively. 5 voted Negatively, and 6 were absent at this vote.

Ordered By this Councill, That Commissary General Ireton, Collonell Whalley, Collonell Rich; Collonell Lilburne, Collonell Okey, Collonell Hewson, Lt. Collonell Jackson, Major Desbrow, or any 5 of them, shall drawe up a Representation of the effect of the precedent votes to the Generall, with the grounds and intention thereof according to the Debates past, and also of their humble desires to the Parliament for suspending the present proceeding upon their Resolutions on Tuesday last and the resumeing the consideration thereof, and this to be presented to the Councill of Warre at the next meeting for their approbation.

The Councill adjourned till 6 a clock afternoone.

The Councill accordingly mett at 6 a clock and there were present this afternoone which were not present in the morning

Col. Sir Hardresse Waller. Capt. Leigh.
Major Rogers. Ensigne Perth.
Major Saunders. Ens: Nicholls
Capt. Rainborrow.

And upon Debate this Question was first putt.

3d Question.

Whether upon the dissatisfaction and danger implyed in the first vote at the meeting this morning you thinke it necessarie for preventing of inconveniencies That the Quarters of the Army being contracted as in the 2d vote there be a generall Randezvouz of that part of the Army whose Quarters shall be soe contracted.

Edition: current; Page: [110]

Resolved Affirmatively.

Vizt. 84 voted for the Affirmative, 7 voted for the Negative, and 9 were absent.

After the passing this last vote the Officers appointed in the morning according to the last and precedent votes in the morning deliver’d in a Paper and upon reading and debating thereof into parts this Question was put, vizt.

4th Question.

Whether this paper drawne upp and brought in by the Officers appointed thereunto by this Councill, and now read and debated in parts, shall passe with the Amendments now made as the opinion and advice of the Councill of Warre to be presented to the Generall.a

Resolved Affirmatively.

Vizt. Voted Affirmatively by 82: Negatively by 4. 13 were absent, and one was suspended, Vizt. Sir Hardresse Waller’s Vote upon his own desire, in regard of his long absence from the Army and Kingdome.

Here a Letter from the Earle of Manchester, Speaker of the House of Peeres, to his Excellencie together with the former Votes of Parliament, passed both Houses and signed by the Clerke of the Parliament,b were read, after which the Question was moved by the President to this effect, vizt. Whereas by the Votes of Parliament now read severall Regiments of Foote are appointed to be disbanded at severall times and places, That upon the drawing out of those Regiments for the contracting of Quarters the said Votes may Edition: current; Page: [111] be communicated to them by their respective Officers at the head of every Regiment, to the end that if any of them appeare satisfied soe as to stay to be disbanded without disturbance or inconvenience those that shall be soe satisfied may continue at their present Quarters untill they shall be drawne out to be disbanded; and after some debate thereof this Question was put, vizt.

5th Question.

Whether the stating and determining of the Question last moved since the precedent Vote shall be laid aside for the present or noe?

Resolved Affirmatively. Nemine contradicente.

Jo. Mills, Advocate.
29 May

Letter of Intelligence,a

The Generall is at St. Edmunsbury. About 200 Officers have mett this day at a full debate. Upon reading the Votes of Parliament on Friday was sennight and Tuesday last, it was resolved by all except Lieutennant Collonell Jackson, Major Gooday, and two Officers more of the Generall’s regiment, that they were all unsatisfied with those Votes; and that it would be as unsatisfactory to the Army to heare there were dayes of Randezvous appointed to disband, and yet their greivances to be unredressed. I assure you, Sir, the more they stirre to disunite us, the more wee are cemented. God shews their actions to be but foolish in what they attempt against us, for what ever they propose for their Ends does our’s while we are at a stand. A Committee is appointed (Lords and Commons) to come down on Tuesday next to disband the Generall’s Regiment; they may as well send them among soe many Beares to take away their whelps. I wish your good Lord Edition: current; Page: [112] R—a be not one, hee will hardly returne with content. The Officers now owne the Souldiers and all that’s done and doe beginne to bestirre themselves. I beleive before they depart this day they will agree to move the Generall for a Randezvouz, and if hee scruple itt, itt will be done however. All the honest People in the Citty and Country send to us to stand to them or they are undone; you will shortly heare of severall Counties Petitioning the Parliament that the Army may not be disbanded till things are settled, and that they may have their dearely earned wages, and not [be] scornefully cast off with 8 weekes pay as both Houses have now voted to be paid.b The House of Commons pass’d all Tuesday Votes unanimously (our freinds withdrawing). The Lords were divided 12 against us, 11 protested for us against every vote. Wharton was absent or else all had been equall. I hope in the Lord, if wee baffle these Maligoe [maligne?] Grandees in this their maine designe to divide us by disbanding Regiment after Regiment they will be put to new Councells, and court us to accept of Arrears (which they can easily pay us had they but will) if wee will demand noe further and accept of the Irish Service. The Citty Petitioned for 20,000 for to be imployed about the Lyne of the Communication in order to make warre against us as we apprehend. Our drawing unto a Randezvouz upon it will undoubtedly put them into a military posture and great distractions. Oxford, where our Magazine is, wee have well secured. I wish things at Holdenby were as secure. Itt is incredible the Unitie of Officers and Souldiers except some few Officers who have put themselves in print in opposition to the Army, and now the Souldiers are Petitioning to cast them out or else they will doe it themselves. Sheffeild’s Regiment hath begunne it already, dismounted their dissenting Officers, and seized their Horses and Armes.

Edition: current; Page: [113]

Saith Lieutennant Collonell Jackson to mee will the Foot do soe, I told him they would, for eight of his Companies had subscribed to stand with the Army and were resolved to cashier their Officers: the poore man sighed at it, but Mr. Edwards his Parishoner and Ghostly Father soe awes him hee dares not comply with the Army. Major Generall Skippon is quite lost in the Army by endeavouring to please both sides: hee will not gett any men with him, and I much feare if hee stay hee will be at a nonplus. Pye’s Regiment and Graves’ are all engaged with the Army. Sir Robert Pye drew his sword and another Captaine; the Souldiers hem’d them round, made them putt up and give present satisfaction, dismounted the Captaine, and beat him out of their Quarters. Graves look’d on and said never a word. All the Dragoones at Holdenby are come in upon Engagement to the Army; soe now they are all of a peice. I pray God the Souldiers gett not too much head; the officers must instantly close with them, or else there will be disorder.

Denzill Hollis
Hollis, Denzill
T. Lincolne
Lincolne, T.
Philip Stapylton
Stapylton, Philip
Ww. Lewis
Lewis, Ww.
William Jephson
Jephson, William
William Waller
Waller, William
31 May, 1647
Derby House
Sir Thomas Fairfax
Fairfax, Sir Thomas

[Letter from the Committee at Derby House to Sir T. Fairfax.]


Wee received yours of the 30th of Maya from Bury. The Commissioners are already on their way to Chelmesford, and being instructed for that service, we desire you to be with them at the place appointed; and whereas your letter seemes to imply that there are soe many Greivances to be further presented to the House from the Souldiers, the Houses have satt severall dayes upon that bussinesse, and have granted whatever they thought fitt for them to grant, or for the Army to desire, and wee are confident the Houses will expect a punctuall obediance in their disbanding according to their orders, And we desire you that if your Life Guard be not Edition: current; Page: [114] yet come to Chelmesford. That you will order it to attend you there as soone as possible may be in this service. Soe we rest.

Your affectionate freinds and servants,

For the Right Honorable, Sir Thomas Fairfax.

Gualter Frost
Frost, Gualter
31 May, 1647
Derby House
Sir Thomas Fairfax
Fairfax, Sir Thomas

At the Comittee for the affaires of Ireland at Derby House.


That such of the Traine of Artillery and the Provisions thereunto belonging (apperteyning to the Army) as were either at Oxforda or Wallingford shall be brought up to London and put into the stores in the Tower, And that all the Ordnance and Ammunition that belong to the Garrison of Oxford be also brought up and put into the Tower.

That the said Traine and Provisions be brought from Oxford to Edition: current; Page: [115] Abbington by land, and from thence by water, together with that at Wallingford, to London.

That the Horses belonging to the Traine be brought by land to London and such other things as may best come by land as the Comptroller shall thinke fitt.

That the Officers and others belonging to the traine doe come to London to disband, and that they shall receive their two months pay as the rest of the Army receives upon their delivery of the Traine into the Tower.

That the Firelocks belonging to the Traine doe Guard the same to London.

That these Votes concerning the Traine be sent to Sir Thomas Fairfax, and a letter written to him to desire him to give order for the putting them in execution.

Gualter Frost.
William Waller
Waller, William
T. Lincolne
Lincolne, T.
William Jephson
Jephson, William
Denzill Hollis
Hollis, Denzill
William Lewis
Lewis, William
Philip Stapylton
Stapylton, Philip
31 May, 1647
Derby House
Sir Thomas Fairfax
Fairfax, Sir Thomas

[To Sir Thomas Fairfax from the Committee at Derby House.]


The House of Commons hath referred to this Committee to disband the Traine, and to bring the provisions belonging to it into the Tower, in prosecution of which wee have made the Votes which we send you inclosed, and desire you to give your Orders for the bringing the said Traine to the Tower according to those Votes. Soe wee rest,

Your very affectionate freinds and Servants
Edition: current; Page: [116]
Sir Thomas Fairfax
Fairfax, Sir Thomas
May 31, 1647
Derby House

[Sir Thomas Fairfax to the Committee at Derby House.]

My Lords and Gentlemen

Having formerly written unto your Lordshipps concerning the former Letter about the disbanding of severall Regiments of Foote, and since that time having presented unto both Houses the result of the Councill of Warre concerning that bussinesse, I humbly desire I may not be thought to neglect your orders (considering the temper of the Army and my desires to prevent greater inconveniencies) if the Regiments be not drawne out at the time appointed; hoping speedily to receive the further pleasure of the Parliament herein, which I hope will tend to the prevention of further distraction, I remaine,

T. F.

[News-letter from London.a]


I suppose from many you will understand how much the great Enemies of the Army lost ground yesterday, notwithstanding their motion of locking upp doores, and having an oath ready in case you [they?] should gett a decree for warr. The Lords being sent unto to sitt, and all out of a confidence to carry it by the end of the day; but when it came to the pull soe much sadnes, feare, and deadnesse was over their partie that they were ready to sinke with thoughts of it. I never saw mens lookes soe changed. Sir, in short, it was put off to this morning, when it’s deem’d they will Edition: current; Page: [117] find as little life to a new warr as yesterday. The great Citty of London having been privately felt, have noe minde to doe any thing further then redeeme publique faith and gett Brokeridg money; its believed the combustion [conclusion?] will be this, the going of the supernumerary to Ireland under their owne Officers, and there wee shall be put to it, the Lords having concurr’d to the Ordinance for those to be continued here according to the desire of the Comons as I am told.

3 June, 1647

[News-letter from London.]

All the talke in London is of your Army, some speake ill of you and many well; for believe it you have a very considerable party in the Citty, they like well your proceedings and will stick by you. The Petitioners, who had a while agoe their Petition burnt, presented another Petition to the House of Commons on Wednesday last; itt was delivered in by Sir William Waller and read, but noe answeare given to it, and was carryed by some few votes to be laid aside; but the House that day insisted on one maine point desired in that Petition (but did it not in Relation to the Petition) about undue Elections, and voted out two of their Members for Wales, and were about nominating a Committee to receive Information about Members unduly Elected.a It is noe newes to tell you how the House was startled the day before when they understood from the Generall the Army would not disband, and how it was moved to send for the Generall, and to raise 10,000 men to assist or compell a disbanding; but all that was laid aside, only the money sent for back againe, and the fortnight’s pay to Colonel Rainsborrough’s men, but the monies wee have news just Edition: current; Page: [118] now is stop’d by the Souldiers at Woodstock. Itt had been well if that at Chelmesford had been the like.a I hope the Magazine at Oxford will be carefully looked unto. The Militia of London goe on bravely (as some suppose),b and have voted all the Godly party out of the Commission of the trayned Bands; butt this is not well rellished by many, and few of the Souldiers (’tis conceived) will be subject to the new Officers they intend to put over them; the new modell for the Guards is likewise disbanded, only 360 under new Officers to keepe the Guards.

George Joyce
Joyce, George
4th of June

[A Letter from Cornet Joyce.c]


Wee have secured the King. Graves is runne away, hee gott out about one a’clock in the morning and soe went his way. Itt is suspected hee is gone to London; you may imagine what hee will doe there. You must hasten an answere to us, and lett us knowe what wee shall doe. Wee are resolved to obey noe orders but the Edition: current; Page: [119] Generall’s; wee shall followe the Commissioners directions while wee are heere, if iust in our Eyes. I humbly entreat you to consider what is done and act accordingly with all the hast you can; wee shall not rest night nor day till wee heare from you.

Yours and the Kingdomes
faithfull Servant till death,
George Joyce.
George Joyce
Joyce, George
4th of June 1647

[A Letter from Cornet Joyce.a]

There hath been a partie of Horse, about 500, at Holdenby, who Edition: current; Page: [120] have secured and taken his Majestie into their Custodie, and the King who doth desire to speake with Sir Thomas Fairfax. — The King is now at Huntington Towne, and will be at New Markett to morrow. Persuade all the friends you can to come and meet him, and endeavour to doe for the best. Certainly God hath appeared in a mighty manner, and therefore I shall wholly rely on you for what I desire, which is a partie to doe that which may be justifiable before God and Man. Hast, Hast, think on mee.

I rest,
George Joyce, Cortt.

aRead this inclosed, seale it upp, and deliver itt what ever you doe, that soe wee may not perish for want of your assistance. Lett the Agitators know once more wee have done nothing in our owne name, but what wee have done hath been in the name of the whole Army, and wee should not have dared to have done what wee have, if wee had not been sure that you and my best old friend had consented hereunto, and knew that I speak nothing but truth.b

Edition: current; Page: [121]
J. B.
B., J.
June 4th 1647

[A Letter from York.]


Wee heare you have trustees engaging Souldiers heere, and not without successe, Collonel Pointza beginnes to be much troubled, and writes to the Parliament this weeke of Colonell Boynton’sb turning a Presbiterian out of Scarborow Castle. Hee hath desired of the Major and Aldermen that he may have an addition of men for the Tower; they answered they have a Company of Cittizens which shall be ready for the publique service but will admitt noe strangers, according to your Order given them, which is to keepe the disposall of this place as much in their owne power as they can and out of the hands of one who will, it may be, be too forward to engage. Then I wish you Justice and us peace, for if wee beginne againe the second woe will be worse then the first. I wish your Army a repairation in point of honour, but, were there not w[e]ightier causes, that will be look’d upon as unequall Edition: current; Page: [122] to the hazard of new trouble, and they slack (?) doe well to dispence with it as much as they cann — this very advice that the Generall be not engaged against the Parliament, and that it be not expected from him by the Army. For, in case an agreement come after a little busling, his joyning with them will robb the Kingdome of that employment of his from which wee expect much benefitt. And I hope the Army will be content that he carry faire to the Parliament.

J. B.
Edward Whalley
Whalley, Edward
[Sunday] June 6th 1647
Sir Thomas Fairfax
Fairfax, Sir Thomas

[Colonel Whalley to Sir Thomas Fairfax.]a


His Majestie about 5 of the clock this afternoone was pleased to be a little merry and laughingly told mee hee now perceived your Excellencie would not force him back to Holdenby, which I perceived hee tooke very well. I told him hee might rest confident you was very tender of his honnour, and would secure him in what you might, what your resolutions were, I knew not; hee desired to give order to his servants to prepare to goe to New Markett to morrow. I desired his Majestie to forbeare till I had acquainted you with his desires, and had orders from your Excellencie to that purpose. His Majestie longs to be there, and this night expects to heare from you, and to be answered in his desires. Edition: current; Page: [123] I doubt not but your Excellencie will take into serious consideration a bussinesse of soe high a nature; the Lord direct you, which is the prayer of

Your Excellencies most faithfull
Edw. Whalley.
Edward Whalley
Whalley, Edward
June 7, 1647
Sir Thomas Fairfax
Fairfax, Sir Thomas

[Letter from Collonell Whalley to Sir Thomas Fairfax.a]


I have acquainted his Majestie with your orders; hee seemes to be very well pleased. I told him from your Excellencie that your coach should be ready to waite upon him; hee thanks you and desires it may be sent hither to goe by him, in case it should raine hee may make use of itt. His Majestie intended to be upon his march presently after dinner, I suppose it will be betwixt one and two of the clock. I shall not faile further to advertise you, soe soone as hee shall be ready to mount I shall send presently to your Excellencie. His Majestie is resolued to goe through Cambridge, though last night he seem’d to be otherwise minded. I suppose having condescended soe much to him in a great bussinesse you will [not] crosse him in this; I shall take it for your pleasure if I receive not contrary commands from you. I cease not to be, Sir,

Your most faithfull and humble servant,
Edward Whalley.
Edition: current; Page: [124]
June 7th 1647

[News-Letter from Newmarket.a]

This day the Generall, Lieutennant Generall, Commissary Generall Ireton, and Lt. Generall Hammond and divers Officers of the Army went to the [Lady] Cutts house where his Majesty was, according to his Majesties desire the day before. When they came there, they were according to the usuall manner received by the King with civilitie; after some generall discourse of things, the King went into the garden, and the Generall, his Officers, and the Commissioners went together and conferred upon the whole carriage of the businesse. The Commissioners seem’d to be much unsatisfied, whereupon the King coming up againe, the Generall and the Commissioners came to him and Cornett Joyce, who was the man that managed the bussinesse in secureing the King, was call’d before them all. The King charg’d him with saying hee had the Commission of the whole Army for what hee did, and by consequence had the Generall’s, hee being the principall part of the Army. The Cornett replyed, and did avow hee told his Majestie hee had not the Generall’s Commission when the King did particularly demaund it of him, and that [when] the King asked him by what Commission hee did come to secure him hee answered the King, if hee pleased to looke about hee might see by what authoritie, meaning the Troopers that were ready mounted. Whereupon the King publiquely said to the whole Company, that it was true indeed hee did say soe, and it was likewise true all the Gentlemen that were mounted on horseback did cry out giveing their approbation to what hee said, but saith the King I was notwithstanding perswaded that hee could not venture to attempt such a thing as to bring mee away but that hee had the councell of greater persons. Then Mr. Crewe, Sir John Cook extreamly prest against Cornett Joyce, that hee deserved to loose his head for what hee had done, that hee had injured the Parliament, the Generall, the Army, and the Commissioners intrusted with the King, and had brought them away without their Edition: current; Page: [125] consent; whereupon Cornett Joyce replyed, That the King gave his consent to come, and that the Commissioners gave their consent to come, and told them hee would not bring them without their consent. I, sayth the King and the Commissioners, you told us wee should goe, and then it was in vaine for us not to consent, but sayth the King, now I am come, I had the promise of these Gentlemen to be conveyed to New Markett; I take them to be men of their words, and were I meere stranger mett upon the high way and stopt from going on, none in civilitie but would provide conveniencies for mee, here I have none, and therefore I doe expect to morrow to goe for New Markett, and desire Sir Thomas Farfax and his Officers [to] conferre together about it, for the Commissioners say they have noe power at all further to dispose of mee, for their power ended at Holdenby, and was limitted to that place, though the Commissioners be the same; whereupon the Generall and Officers withdrew and conferr’d together and afterwards returned to his Majestie, and told him, as they did at the beginning, hee was removed from Holdenby without their privitie, knowledge, or consent, yet notwithstanding since hee is unwilling to goe back, if the Commissioners present with them will condescend, the Generall would not be against his going to New Markett. Sayth the King, This is a perfect denyall.

John Cosens
Cosens, John
7 June, 1647
Alderman Adams
Adams, Alderman

[John Cosens to Alderman Adams.]

I am assured, That the present feare of a sudden change is better knowne to you, and more deeply considered by you, then my selfe, by how much neerer you are related to the publique trust of the Kingdome; but this storme threatening us (and you in us) to fall heere, both as suddenly and as heavily as upon any other place whatsoever, I could not forbeare to give you my present sence of our condition in this place. This Regimenta is betweene twelve Edition: current; Page: [126] hundred and foureteene hundred strong, the Commander whereof (which makes all our danger) absent, there being not one Officer of the whole Regiment of considerable command that I knowe of which standeth well affected to the Parliament and Government but one Captaine and Lieutennant; some of the rest of the Captaines have been lately at London, and this weeke unexpected came suddenly and hastily home, and as it is reported did not at all see their Commander in cheife the Feild Marshall, and since they came they spare not to speake their intentions of feighting freely. How they speake of the Citty you may guesse by their language in their Declaration, and how they talke of the Parliament many wonders to heare; to morrow they muster the Regiment, and a flying report goes that they will turne all the Scotts out of the Towne. On Satturday morning soe soone as the post came, and that the Major had returned his letters for the Deputy Governour, who then by reason of his sicknesse would not goe, but without question they doe now joyne Councells, and will when time serves joyne forces together also; as yet they come not to doe any thing vissible, but certainly as soone as they receive the word they will secure this Towne and the Castle of Tinmouth in a moment: for my part I looke for it every day. And I pray God there may be soe much time left as may admitt of a recovery and timely helpe; the only way will bee in my apprehension that the Feild Marshall doe post hither with all speed, soe may hee both save this Towne and his Regiment; another way I knowe not, only I seriously recommend it unto you and those in whose hands helpe lyeth, that that you would please to make it knowne unto them. Whether [were?] this Regiment out of the Towne and a Commission sent to any person here of trust together with a proportion of Armes, there were noe doubt but all would be well and the Towne kept safe by our owne inhabitants, for the body of the Commons of this Towne are right, and soe I thinke are the Common Souldiers of the Garrison, only the Commanders of both are to be doubted, and what may be the issue God only knowes; for my owne particular if they become Edition: current; Page: [127] Masters, I expect noe more favour from them, nor lesse crueltie then from our last Enemies. But now, good Sir, for this Townes sake, for the Citties sake and for the Kingdomes sake, lay this to heart, and improve your power to rescue this soe desireable a Morsell from the mouth of the Adversary, and more I shall not say, the consequence thereof in relation to your Citty and the Kingdome being enough knowne unto you.a

To Alderman Adams, London.
June 10th, 1647
Field Marshal Skippon
Skippon, Field Marshal

[Letter to Skippon from some one in the Army.]

May it please your Honour,

Before the Parliament Commissioners came into the Army on the Heath there were read these ensuing Articles at the head of the severall Regiments, vizt.

1. That dureing the time of the Commissioners being at the Randezvous and the time of their speeches the Soldiers to be very silent and civill towards the said Commissioners.

2. That all Cinque Ports be presently seized on and secured, least the treasury should be conveyed out of the Kingdome.

3. That all Committeemen, Excisemen be presently seized on and secured untill they and every of them doe give upp their accompts from the begginning of this Warre.

4. That a Way be forthwith consulted for the speedy prevention of the Scotch Invasion to disturbe the Kingdome.

These or to the same effect with many more were read and applauded, but command was given that none should move any of these to any of your Members. Pardon I humbly beseech your Edition: current; Page: [128] Honour my presumption for this my troubleing of your Honour, it beeing out of a reall intention to the Kingdome’s good from

Your humblest and most faithfull Servant.

Some Committees being at the Randezvouz and heareing it are gone aside for it I assure your Honour.

To the Honorable Field Marshall Generall Skippon at the Rose in Cambridge, These with my duty and humble service presented.
Philip Twistleton
Twistleton, Philip
11th June, 1647

[Letter from Major Twistleton to his Excellencie.]

May it please your Excellencie,

By order from Major Generall Skippona (at Newcastle) I drewe out of my Colonell’s Regiment 150 Horse under the command of Captaine Anthony Markham, who were appointed to attend his Majestie to Holdenby as a guard, and to receive further Orders from Collonell Graves; where they accordingly continued untill Friday the 4th of this instant, when his Majestie was removed from thence by a partie of Horse under the command of Cornett Joyce, with whome parte of those of our Regiment are gone, the Officers and about 70 Souldiers are returned to the Regiment, [not] perceiving the Cornett nor any other to have any order from your Excellencie or other Superiour Officer to command them further. I thought it noe lesse then my duty herewith to acquaint your Edition: current; Page: [129] Excellencie, and humbly to crave your order whether to returne those to their former trust, or remaund the other from the Army to the Regiment. What in this or otherwise your Excellencie shall please to command shall be carefully and punctually obeyed by him who is

Your honour’s most humble and faithfull servant,
Phil. Twisleton.
Sir Thomas Fairfax
Fairfax, Sir Thomas
Philip Twistleton
Twistleton, Philip

[General Fairfax to Major Twistleton.]


I received your letter desiring my orders for the further disposall of that party which formerly was appointed out of your Regiment to attend upon the king to Holdenby; and in regard I perceive the occasion of the party soe dividing itselfe proceeded from the affection of some of your Souldiers who have seene and been fully possest of the reall and honest desires of the Army in order to the peace and libertie both of the Kingdome and themselves, have uninvited resolved to engage and stay with the Army in the lawfull prosecutions of the generall good, and therefore not doubting but all good men who understand us will joyne with us therein, I thought fitt to desire you to march upp with your Regiment to the Army, with all convenient speed; and least you or any else may be unsatisfied either in our proceedings, intentions, or present condition I have sent unto you Lieutennant Lloyda of Collonell Fleetwood’s Regiment, who is a faithfull man and one well knowne unto you, to give you a full Accompt of all our whole bussinesse.

[T. Fairfax.]
Edition: current; Page: [130]
Sir Thomas Fairfax
Fairfax, Sir Thomas
June 11th 1647
Edward Whalley
Whalley, Edward

[Letter from Sir Thomas Fairfax to Collonell Whalley.]


Having given orders for removing the head quarters to St. Alban’s,a and the rest of the Army thereabouts, I send this to you to give you notice of it that you may order your bussinesse accordingly, not knowing whether the removing the Army that distance from you may not produce some inconveniency in refference to the safety of the king’s person. I shall therefore committ it to you to take an especiall care of that your charge in useing all meanes tending to the securitie of his Majesty’s person, not only in keeping strict guards, but also in sending out scouts into the Countries about you, especially into Norfolke, where I understand there hath been lately some kinde of disturbance as if they intended to rise. In case there shall appeare any such reall danger I desire you to secure his Majestie by bringing him towards the Army, and to send me timely notice thereof. Not doubting of your care herein, I remaine

[Thomas Fairfax.]
June 13, 1647
St. Alban’s

[Letter intend[ed] to severall Counties concerning the Armies Engagements.]

Honoured Gentlemen and our Christian freinds,

Wee suppose you have received some information from our Edition: current; Page: [131] printed papers concerning our late proceedings with the Parliament in relation to our affaires as Souldjers, we meane the bussinesse of Ireland, of our Arrears, the Declaration against us as Enemies after soe many experiences in bloud of our fidelitie to the Kingdome, and all these managed and carried on by a prevailing party who have abused and misledd the Parliament against their faithfull freinds and the Kingdomes interest in many particulars. As to these things wee have named we desire to referre you to our printed papers, and the declarations wee are setting forth; but the trueth is, whilst these things were in agitation, that greate designe of the prevayling partie against the Parliament and this kingdomes interest does discover it selfe in their transactions with us. We are unavoidably involved as subjects both respectively to our selves and the publique to keepe our swords in our hands. Wee hope within three or fowre dayes to publish a Declaration which wee are confident will give satisfaction to all honest and reasonable men of our proceedings. In the meane time wee thought fitt to give you this breife accompt, that we are come neere London without the least intent of giving occasion of a new warr, but hope fully to prevent it; wee seeke not our selves but the accomplishing those ends and obteyning those things which the Parliament held forth as arguments to invite us to undertake this warre, vizt., the recovery of the rights and liberties of the subject, the opposeing tyranny and oppression, the obteyning a firme and well grounded peace, and those other things which the Parliament held forth in their severall Declarations, without which wee had not engaged ourselves; and now having through the good hand of God brought the warr to an end, wee would be loath the Kingdome should loose soe blessed a fruite and harvest of our labour, as we perceive some bad men are designing to defeate it of. Wee meddle not with matters of Religion or Church Government, leaving those to the Parliament. Wee desire as much as any to mainteyne the authority of Parliament, and the foundamentall government of the Kingdome. We seeke justice against those that have wronged us and the Kingdome. Edition: current; Page: [132] To which wee desire the concurrence of you and all good men and rest

Your very affectionate Freinds.a
13 June, 1647

[News-letter from London.]

Our cheife news here is of your Army, and I can assure you wee have twenty stories in a day and scarce ever a true one; but your coming neere London I promise you put the Parliament and Citty into a shrewd fright. The Parliament satt hard at it Fryday and Satturday,b and soe did the Militia and Comon Councill; it was much urged to raise forces against you, nay and they would have done it if they could have found any way how. Many Officers Fryday and Satturday listed themselves at the Comittee at Derby House, and the Militia were consulting how to put the Citty into a posture, and to arme all, and have also listed some, but they find soe much difficulty in the manner they have laid all aside againe, and now intend to come to you with good words and are sending an answere to your letter by foure Aldermen and 8 Councill men. The Parliament have sent Sir Thomas Widdrington and Collonell White with additionall instructions. On Satturday morning things wrought after another manner, for upon the report of your being neere, all the Trayned Bands of London were commanded to rise on paine of death, and all the shopps to be shutt upp; and if this had taken, more pretty feates had been acted, the suspected party in London been secured, and they would have mett your Army (after you had been declared enemies) and done strange things; but this designe comes to nothing, for the trayned Bands would Edition: current; Page: [133] not budge, not 10 men of some companies appeared, and many companies none at all but the Officers; nay the very boyes in the streets jeered the drumms as they went about with their charge upon paine of death. The Westminster Regiment made a great appearance, and the Lord Mayora was in person very active to compell the shopp keepers to shutt upp shopp, by which means most about the Exchange and Cornhill were shutt, but few in other places; and those that did shutt upp were of the right stamp, and these many of them, understanding upon what slight ground that command was and being laughed at by others, opened their shopps againe in the afternoone, when also the Trayned Bands were discharged, but stronger Guards kept then formerly.b

Oliver Cromwell
Cromwell, Oliver

[News-letter from London.c]


The game is hard that is plai’d but hee that hath ordered hitherto will still noe doubt for the best.

Edition: current; Page: [134]

I perceive the purging the House is inclined unto here, for the Army to stand upon, and a Councell faithfully to transact martiall affaires (and the truth is there is noe safety without now, for that you have falce Elections, Members not capeable, such as have been corrupt and all to pay their debts will goe farre); and indeed this must be, and if possible the Lords and Commons sitt together, at least be declared joinctly the Supreame Judicature; and before theis severall particulars can be gone through, what time will be spent; if that a party to Ireland could goe, and the rest see the other done it were excellent. I like well your last results at Councell of Warr on pursuing the designes of disbanding. The truth is the Army may be now instrumentall of the greatest good that ever this Kingdome or any other tasted on, and it’s cleere delivered from apparent ruine, which by these wretched instruments would have been brought upon it. Feare but the Citties, for to feare them is to conquer them, and feare hath done that; and now what say you to what I have ever told you, that the Citties being feared by the Parliament who had such an Army argued they were men of as much cowerdize as any in the world. O. Cromwell spake as gallantly and as home as if he had been charging his enemies in the feild.

O. C.
C., O.
June 14 1647
Sir Thomas Fairfax
Fairfax, Sir Thomas

[News-letter from London June 14.]

The House was this day informed, That about a thousand reduced Officers intended to addresse themselves to the Houses for their Arrears. It was thereupon ordered to send to the Militia for a stronger guard, which was speedily sent downe by a message to the House of Commons, and a Committee was appointed to goe to some of the cheife of the Petitioners and acquaint them with the ill sence the House had of this their publique meeting in the feild and to require them to disperse forthwith, and when all their Accompts were audited (which would be on Thursday next) the House would take speedy course for the payment of them. A Committee was then appointed to drawe a Declaration, That noe Edition: current; Page: [135] persons should upon paine of death gather themselves in a tumultuous way, and likewise what they have done in satisfaction of the Soldiers, and what they intend. A message came from the Lords; That their Lordshipps had appointed a Committee to drawe a Declaration to satisfie the Kingdome what the Houses had done, and what they would doe for the future, for the ease of the subjects, for the payment of the Souldiers, and for settleing the peace of the Kingdome.a The Commons named a Committee to joyne with the Lords for the drawing upp this Declaration. Another message came from the Lords desiring it might be referr’d to the same Committee that is appointed to drawe up the Declaration last mentioned to consider what place is fitt and convenient to have the person of the King brought unto, that soe hee may have the joynt applycation [of both kingdoms] for the settleing a safe and well grounded peace. Sir Phillippb opened the bussinesse upon this message, pressing much for his Majestie to come on the Southside of this River, Mr. Sollicitour answered him, Mr. Hollis replied, Mr. Nathaniell Fienness answered, Sir William Lewis replied to him in a long and pithie speech; at last comes Sir Arthur Hazlerigg and spoiles all the play with a plaine and downeright answer. Soe that the House ordered to send their Lordshipps an answere by messengers of their owne. The further debate of this bussinesse concerning the King to morrow. Letters of intelligence from France was sent for from Derby House, which being read were laid aside. Here is great talke of a designe to bring the Scotts in againe, and that Lauderdaile is gone with a letter from his Majestie for the Prince, who is to come in the head of that Army.

I am,
Your Excellencies most humble servant,
O. C.c
Edition: current; Page: [136]
June 14th 1647

[News-letter from London.]


Heere hath been this day the greatest tumults and insolencies raised upon the House of Commons that ever any yet heard of, some of their members (and by name Sir Henry Vane Junr) threatned to be cutt in pieces, many others of them insufferably abused, and the whole House threatened, and I may truly say at this houre close block’t up by common Souldiers clamouring for their pay, and vowing to lett noe member passe out till they be satisfied. Itt first begane in the Court of Requests, to whome Mr. Hollis, Sir Phillip Stapleton and others were sent to appease, with promiss of 10,000l more to be added to what was formerly given them; upon which promise those seemed to be quiett, but this latter and more dangerous one still continues and whether they be of the number of those who first rais’d itt, or some other discontented persons who now second it, the tumult and throng in the Hall is soe great that it cannot be knowne. I looke upon this as a very sad omen, fearing least under this colour the Parliament would be forced to drawe downe ths Citty Guards for their owne securitie, and by this the Army not only have some cause of jealousie ministred to them when they shall see the whole Citty in a posture of defence, which hath been soe often urged to be done and except under this colour would hardly be obteyned, but also those spiritts who soe much thirst after a second warre exceedingly encouraged and heightened, looking upon this as a handsome foundation to raise another Army upon.

Edition: current; Page: [137]
14th June 1647

[Letter from the Earle of Warwick to the Generall].


Your professions are soe large and soe cleere to the good and service of the publique as I cannot receive those feares that many take by your approach to this place, that the sword the publique hath trusted in your hand shall have any use but for the defence and advantage of the State and Parliament that you have soe faithfully and fortunately served. I am glad to find your expressions doe agree with my opinnion of your justice, goodnesse, and honour, which as it hath occasioned a great affection and desire in mee alwayes to serve your Excellencie, soe shall it continue me in a reall disposition to serve you as

Your Excellencies most faithfull and
humble servant
Sir Thomas Fairfax
Fairfax, Sir Thomas

[The King to Sir T. Fairfax].

Charles R.

The professions which you made to us at Childersley makes us hope, That albeit ye disavowed Cornett Joyce in bringing us forth from Holdenby yet you will not deny us those civilities which he (according to his power) did promise us; wherefore we desire, That the Duke of Richmond, Sir William Fleetwood, Doctor Shelden, and Doctor Hammond may be permitted to waite upon us to serve us in their severall places.a This being that which is soe necessary for our service, and not dissonant to your owne Edition: current; Page: [138] grounds, we cannot doubt but to have a satisfactory answere to these our letters. Att Newmarkett the 17th June 1647.

To Sir Thomas Fairfax, Generall.

Sir Thomas Fairfax
Fairfax, Sir Thomas
19th June, 1647
St. Albans

Letter to the Gentlemen of severall Shires.


You will understand by the bearer hereof the late proceedings with the present intentions and resolutions of my selfe and this Army in order to the good and peace of the Kingdome. The papers that have been published from the Armie will (I hope) satisfie you concerning our grounds and the occasions that have led us to what we doe. I desire that for preserving the peace of the Kingdome, (until things may through the goodnesse of God come to a settlement) you would unanimously endeavour to putt your selves and the Country into such a posture as to prevent or suppresse any insurrections that may disturbe the peace of the country or the Kingdome, and that herein (without relation to different parties or interests) you would apply your self to such courses as may conduce to a generall composure, soe farr as may consist with the common right and liberties of the subject which we have hitherto fought for; and in prosecution heerof I shall acknowledge myselfe

Your very assured friend to serve you,
Tho. Fairfax.
Sir Thomas Fairfax
Fairfax, Sir Thomas
June 21, 1647
Edward Whalley
Whalley, Edward

Letter to Collonell Whalley [from Sir Thomas Fairfax.a]


I have received yours, and cannot but be very sencible of the great burthen which the confidence I have of your care and fidelitie Edition: current; Page: [139] brought upon you, wherein I must needs say you have not now fayled my expectation, but have discharged your trust to the satisfaction of all and Honour to your selfe. I understand by Collonells Hammond and Lambert and also by your Letter, that the King, according to the Parliament’s last letter, intended to beginne his journey towards Richmond upon Thursday next, and that he intends to ly the first night at Royston, according to which his resolutions I desire you to attend upon his Majestie thither, and with all possible care to pursue your former dilligence for the safetie of his person, and by a messenger to give all speedy intimation when you see hee is resolv’d his jorney, and second it by another when he takes Horse and I shall take care that further orders shall meete you in good time at Royston. I heare of some jealousies of an intention to surprise the King to London, and though I need not be solicitous for your care, yet I thought it good to lett you knowe that I have received a caution thereof from other hands as well as your selfe. I shall say noe more, but, expecting as timely notice as you can, I rest,

[T. Fairfax.]
Jno. Biddles
Biddles, Jno.
Jo. Dober
Dober, Jo.
Jon. Bradshaw
Bradshaw, Jon.
Rich. Williams
Williams, Rich.
Oliver Harris
Harris, Oliver
Tho. Buttery
Buttery, Tho.
Roger Sturgis
Sturgis, Roger
William Rooke
Rooke, William
Joseph Foster
Foster, Joseph
Tobias Hill
Hill, Tobias
Thomas Cooke
Cooke, Thomas
Ri. Loxton
Loxton, Ri.
Tuesday the 22th of June, 1647
Sir Thomas Fairfax
Fairfax, Sir Thomas
To his Excellencie Sir Thomas Fairfax &c.

The humble Petition of the Adjutators of Collonell Rich his Regiment.

Humbly Sheweth,

That whereas it hath been this day debated by us the Adjutators of the severall troopes of Collonell Rich his Regiment and Officers of the respective troopes, in which wee are all satisfied and have joyntly concurr’d that Lievtennant Hooker, Lievtennant of that troope which was Captaine Nevill’s, is noe freind but an enemy to the present iust proceedings of the Army: Wee therefore humbly Petition your Excellencie that hee may be suspended and discharged Edition: current; Page: [140] of that charge as Lievtennant of a Troope of Horse.a And your Petitioners shall as in duty bound ever pray &c.

JNO. BIDDLES } Collonell’s Troope
Oliver Cromwell
Cromwell, Oliver
John Hewson
Hewson, John
June 25th, 1647
Edward Whalley
Whalley, Edward

Letter to Collonell Whalley from Barkhamsted.


Having received yesterday’s voteb from the House, which putts the Commissioners into the same capacitie that they were at Holdenby, we hold you free of all further charge, save to looke to your Guards that his Majestie make noe escape, and therein you must be carefull and more now than ever.

Dr. Hammond and the other of his Majestie’s Chaplaines (soe much desired) went through this Towne this morning coming towards you; perhapps the Commissioners will put you upon it to keepe them from the King, seec you are exact only in faithfullnesse to your trust, and that dureing that only, for now you can be as civill as some others that pretend to be more. Lett such distrustfull Edition: current; Page: [141] carriages be provided for by those Gent[lemen], who perhapps will incurre some difficulty in the way wherein you have been faulted. We commend our selves kindly unto you and rest

Your Affectionate freinds and Servants,
Oliver Cromwell.
John Hewson.

Prethee be very carefull of the Kings secureing; and although you have had some opportunity of putting all upon others that’s unacceptable, yet be never a whitt more remisse in your dilligence.

26 Junii, 1647
Sir Thomas Fairfax
Fairfax, Sir Thomas

[News-letter from London to Sir T. Fairfax.]

May it please your Excellencie,

The House of Commons this day made the inclosed order, to which the Lords have not yet assented; the House hath not yet received the motion made yesterday by 10 of the 11 Members,a the Recorder Glynn being not willing to joyne with the rest in that motion, but hopes for the protection of the Cittie. The neglect of this bussinesse makes delay which caused jealousies of some designes. The reduced Officers went to receive 10,000h at Christ’s Church, which being denied to some of them because their Accompts were not audited, a tumult beganne which occasioned the Lord Mayor and Sheriffes to endeavour to raise the trained Bands, who fearing it was for some designe in opposition to the Army refused to stirre, though the Command was upon paine of death; the Cittizens shutt upp their Shopps, the Souldiers threatening to pull downe their Houses, whereupon said an eminent Cittizen, “how shall wee be able to oppose an Army when we cannot suppresse a small number of Officers.” This last night the trayned Bands of Westminster about one of the clocke was Edition: current; Page: [142] called out upon paine of death, but not one in 20 appeared. The Houses adiourned this day from 12 of the clock to 4 at which time they ordered to debate the Ordinance for putting the reduced Officers out of the Lines. I humbly thank your honour for your last and former favours to

Your Excellencie’s humble servant.
Sednham Poynts
Poynts, Sednham
28th June 1647

[Letter from General Poyntz to his Officers].

Gentlemen and fellow Souldiers,

I make noe question but you are sencible of the great distractions is like to befall these northerne parts who have already soe much suffered by these unfortunate warrs, and if not prevented are like to suffer much more, and that through the occasion of some discontented persons who seekes to sett the Army and Country in a great mutiny and uproare, and to draw them to dissobedience of the Parliament, my selfe, and all their Comanders, the issue whereof can produce nothing but ruine to these northerne parts. Now to give you the more satisfaction I thought fitt to write this lettre to you all that you might truly understand how things are carried on by such incendaries and disaffected persons who came into my quarters to intangle and draw my Souldiers from their obedience to the Parliament to whome you have alwaies been soe faithfull and done soe good service from the beginning of those unhappy troubles, and them which the Parliament looke more upon now then ordinarie for our civill comportment both to the Country and our Superiours, all which I make no doubt when time shall serve but wee shall reape both the benefitt and honour to perpetuall posteritie. Now I being informed that Major Lilburne with one or two more of such incendaries as hee is have had meetings within the West [riding] and with one Hodgson formerly a Mountebank’s man and now a Chyrurgeon under the command of Edition: current; Page: [143] Colonell Copley, who observing these parts to continue still in their obedience to the Parliament endeavoured to putt this Army into confusion and distraction, pretending they were sent with authoritie from Sir Thomas Fairfax, which I will assure you is false, for they neither doe nor can produce any such order from him. I know him to be soe much a Gentleman of Honour and a Souldier that if hee desired assistance of forces hee would have desired it of mee and not have imployed such mountebanks and illaffected persons. I am credibly informed by my owne Quarter Master who was with Commissary Ireton and Collonell Whalley within thes foure or five dayes, that some of them framed a letter as if it came from the Souldiers of these parts, that they would march to him if hee pleased; but hee utterly denyed their motion, and forbad them not to stirre. Now according to the rule and discipline of warre, that if any comes into anothers Quarters to inveagle or perswade Souldiers from their superiours hee is to be punnished with death; but I being unwilling to use my authoritie untill I first informe the Parliament of England therewith, and for answeare thereunto you may perceive by these inclosed Ordeynancesa which I send you, which is soe much as I am confident will satisfie all honest and faithfull Souldiers. And truly, Gentlemen, you may all be assured that the Parliament does value you much, as may appeare by these inclosed Ordeynances; therefore I make noe question but you will continue in your wonted obedience to the Parliament, to mee, and your superiour officers as you have hitherto done, and if there be any of your fellow Souldiers that have unadvisedly engaged themselves with any such discontented persons, being misinformed, lett him returne to his Quarters and observe the commands of his commanders and all what hee hath Edition: current; Page: [144] done in this bussinesse shall be freely forgiven him and noe more thought upon. But in case these will not prevaile with such persons I will use my authoritie given mee by both Houses of Parliament. And these are to require you if any such incendaries or ill affected persons come into your quarters that then you apprehend them and bring them to mee with all speed. Having noe more at present, I rest,

Your loveing freind and faithfull
Commander in cheife
Sednham Poynts.

To all Captaines, Lts, Cortts, Ensignes, and all other inferiour Officeres and Souldiers under my Comand.

Sednham Poynts
Poynts, Sednham
29th June, 1647
Colonel Lionel Copley
Copley, Colonel Lionel

[General Poyntz to Col. Lionel Copley.]

Honoured Sir,

I received yours of the 27th instant, and doe understand that those who pretend to be agitatours for the rest of some perticular Regiments doe continue in their obstinacy yet, and doe justifie their meetings without order from their Officers, and that they intend to make their just greivances knowne to his Excellencie. I would faine knowe why they should make their greivances knowne to Sir Thomas more now then they have done formerly. And why to Sir Thomas? they all knowing these forces are a distinct Army and not under the command of Sir Thomas, and that his Excellencie does utterly renounce their actions, as my Quarter Mastera informes mee which came from the Army but some fower or five dayes since, and Commissary Generall Ireton and Collonell Whalley told Edition: current; Page: [145] him soe. As for their desireing to have a generall Randezvous to know result, all or in part, I thinke it not fitt, neither are my Officers or Souldiers to appoint any Randezvous without an expresse order from mee. A joynt Randezvous as they call it will be a great disturbance and oppression to the Country; neither can I conceive what they can have to demaund, consult, or act, being the Parliament have ordered them all their arreares and an additionall Act of Indemnitie, in summe all what Sir Thomas his Army has, as you may perceive by these inclosed Prints; but I and any man may plainely see what these disturbances ayme at. If any of these men have any greivances to make knowne that they have not full satisfaction of in these ordinances let them repaire to mee, who am their Commander in cheife, and alwaies have given redresse to all that ever complained to mee as yet; but [if] that they doe not come speedily in to mee, or forbeare to send out any more of their unlawfull orders, to appoint Randezvous or have any such unlawfull meetings which they pretend to be just, they shall see I will disturbe their next, for I believe by that time this Letter is come to your hands I thinke my orders are devulged throughout the Army. I have sent severall goods[?] into the Northerne Country to the same effect. I desire you will lett this Letter be sent to those fellowes which undertake to act for the rest. Sir, haveing noe more at present, I rest

Your servant,
Sednham Poynts.a
Edition: current; Page: [146]
Sir Thomas Fairfax
Fairfax, Sir Thomas

[Fairfax to the Agitators of the Regiments of the Northern Association.a]


I have received your letters, and doe perceive by them together with the Coppy of your intended Petition, Representation, and Declaration, how sencible you are both of your owne and our condition as Souldiers in referrence to our late greivances exprest in our severall papers and declarations, as also [of] the condition of the Kingdome now calling and pressing for a speedy settlement of their just rights and liberties with the peace thereof; as also your approbation [of the] proceedings of the Army in pursuance of our iust desires, soe that I cannot but well accept and approve of this your vnanimous and mutuall concurrence with this Army for the obteyning of their soe just and necessary concernments both to our selves and the Kingdome. And I doe give you this assureance that I looke upon you as the same with the Army more imediatly under my command, and shall in all things equally provide for you as God shall enable mee to provide for them, which I am the more engaged to doe because I cannot forgett the former labours and hardshipps which you under my command have soe willingly Edition: current; Page: [147] undergone for the good and preservation of this Kingdome, and that upon as small and inconsiderable satisfaction as any forces in this Kingdome. I perceive by your inclosed papers that you intend some speedy addresse to the Parliament by way of Declaration to them, and therein to expresse your approbation of the Armies just requests both concerning themselves as soldiers and subjects of this Kingdome, and your resolution to associate with them in pursuance thereof, upon which intimation I though[t] fitt to lett you knowe that I shall be willing to all your desires [to] represent your just and modest desires in as effectuall a way as I have done for my owne Army; and for your desire of being exempted from any obedience to any other command which might occasion obstruction in the promoting of your iust desires, I shall assure you, though I cannot for the present answere your expectation, I shall not doubt but upon the returne of your representation &c. to be presented to the Parliament, to take such course and provide soe for you as shall both be for your owne satisfaction and of all those who singly desire the pease and quiet of the Kingdome.

[T. Fairfax.]
Edition: current; Page: [148]

Passages the first day of the Treaty.

July 2nd, 1647

At a Treaty at Wickham then begunne at the Katherine Wheele,


Commissioners of Parliament. Officers of the Army.a
a The Commission of Fairfax appointing these and other officers to negotiate is printed in the Lords’ Journals, ix., 312.
The Earle of Nottingham. Commissary General Ireton.
The Lord Wharton. Sir Hardress Waller.
Sir Thomas Widdrington. Colonel Rich.
Major Gen. Skippon. Colonel Lambert.
Colonel White. Major Desbrowe.
Sir Henry Vane.
Thomas Povey, Esq.
Thomas Scawen, Esq.

The Instructions of the Commisssioners and severall votes of the House concerning the army read.

It was moved by the Commissioners of the Parliament That Mr. Marshall and Mr. Nye might be present at the Debate.

A long debate about that and whether the Agitators should be admitted to sitt there or noe.

Inclinable to neither for diverse reasons.

Inclinable only if they desired to be at any particular debate.

Reasons against admitting them.

A dissatisfaction and discontent to the Agitators.

For admitting them.

Query. That it should be proposed that our Commissioners should have two in liew of them.

Edition: current; Page: [149]

A Paper read by Mr. Scawen with these Desires:

I. That the meeting shall from time to time, but at such places and at such times as shall be mutually agreed on by both parties.

Moved for the conveniencie of a meeting place at the head Quarters.

Desired the Quarter Master Generall may take notice of itt.

1. That the meeting of the Commissioners shall be from time to time, by the mutuall agreement of the Commissioners or upon the desires of either party respectively, at such place within the Head Quarters. . . . .

Colonel Lambert.

Query whither or noe they can debate upon what the Army shall now desire or according to what they have desired.

Sir Thomas Widdrington.

Iff wee propound some things at one meeting and then have others come at the next it will be a worke of labour.a

At the Treaty (2nd meeting) in the afternoone.

First Paper delivered by our Commissioners (after the alteration made to the exception to the 2d offer).

Wee desire to treate first upon the first head in the representation of the Army concerning the purging of the Houses, in order to which wee propose:

1. That a speedy and effectuall course may be taken for the purging of the Houses of all such members as, for any delinquency Edition: current; Page: [150] in relation to the late Warre since his Majestie’s setting upp his standard at Nottingham, ought not by Ordinance or Declaration of Parliament to sitt there, by laying some considerable penaltie upon any that being soe guilty shall continue to sitt there.

July 3d, 1647

[News-letter from London.]


Your removing further from London makes the cittizens smile; yet your freinds knowe not what to thinke on’t, and some doubts there be that you are held in play with faire words only, till they be fitt to court you with other language. Wee know not what meanes the eager listing of Horse and auxilaries in London, under pretence to keepe the lyne, the Preists railing against you in their Pulpitts to purpose, and Mr. Ward Fast day before the House of Commons worse then Edwards his Gangrena.a “If the wheeles turnes thus,” sayes Ward, “I knowe not whether Jesus Christ or Sir Thomas Fairfax bee the better driver;” gallant doctrine! The House gave him noe thankes for his sermon, nor (which hee better deserved) any cheque that I heare of. Fryday the generall expectation is that you gave in a particular charge against the members. If you strike not that home you will loose much of your creditt, or hardly at all be credited for the future. Sir John Maynard sweares you are all rebelles and traytors, and Mr. Recorder they say will plead with the innocentest and bring his accusers to shame. Collonell Massie’s former gallantry will acquitt him before all the world, and Hollis and Sir Philipp Stapleton are men beyond your reach to deale withall: these and more are the comon discourses in London. I pray mind well the 9 heads to the King printed,b Edition: current; Page: [151] something must speedily be done in vindication or you will suffer much.

July 5, 1647

Ordered by his Excellencye and the Councill of Warre that

Lieut. Generall Cromwell. Capt. Carter.
Col. Lambert. Col. Pride.
Col. Okey. Col. Scroope.
Col. Hewson. Lieut. Col. Bowen.
Col. Barkstead. Lieut. Col. Goffe.
Col. Thomlinson. Adjutant Gen. Deane.
Major Bethel. Major Rainborow.
Capt. Berry. Capt. Rolfe.
Capt. Clarke.

with Mr. John Rushworth secretary, and 4 Souldyers Agitators, doe repaire to Colebrooke to meet the Lawyers about the charge and that they or any seaven or more of them (whereof 5 to be Captaines or of superiour quallitie), to agree upon the charge, and to appoint the persons, manner and time for the presenting of it to the House in behalfe of his Excellency and the whole Army.a

b This second list gives the names of the persons selected to present the charge which took place on July 16, Commons’ Journals, v., 236.
Edition: current; Page: [152]

Information given by Sir Francis Pile a member of the House to Lieutennant Colonel Bowen.

1. That there are 16000 listed for Souldiers in and about the Citty: 2000 of them being listed by a Lieutennant who was this afternoone inquired after and sent for to the House.

2. That the debate this afternoone was about sending out the Reformadoes into Kent, where it is thought the Scotts doe intend to land, and in case they doe not the Apprentices doe purpose to present a Petition in a tumultuous way to inforce them to it. And further they give out that they will have the King to London whether the Army will or noe, and also [prevent] the expulsion of the Members from the House.

That there are persons of quallitie sent into the country for the raising of forces.

Certaine Informations and particular proofes of the late abuses committed by the present Militia of London.a

That about the beginning of May last Lieutennant Colonel Petit of Snow Hill being sumoned before the Comittee for the militia of the Citty of London, at which time Mr. Alderman Gibbs had the chayre, who declared unto him that the Committee had conferred the office of a Lieutennant Collonell upon him, and further told him that hee was to take notice hee must fight against all mallignants, sects and sectaries and all Godly persons that shall come to oppose the Citty; to which the Lieutennant Collonell replyed, Gentlemen, I thought you had all of you professed Godlynesse, for my part I doe, and therefore shall not engage against any godly man. Whereupon Mr. Alderman Gibbs or some Edition: current; Page: [153] other of the Militia then answered, that their meaning was, that if any out of pretence of Godlynesse should come to oppose them that hee should fight against such, or words to this effect.

Affirmed by Lieutennant

Collonell Pettitt.

About the 21th of June last Lieutennant Colonell Shambrooke was put out of his command by the Militia of the Citty of London upon these grounds that hee differ’d in judgment from them and that hee was of a particular Congregation; this Sir John Wolleston and Collonell West did affirme was the ground.

William Shambroke.a

About the time aforesaid Lieutennant Curtis of Walbrooke Ward was put out of his command for being an Independent, the Militia sayd they would have none of that judgment in comand.

Affirmed by Captn. Cox.

Mr. Parr.

Mr. Rosier.

In the month of June last, Alderman Adams having the chayre, divers Comanders of the Citty were summoned before the Militia, amongst whome was Major Abell, to whome it was propounded whether or noe they would all stand as one man for the safety of the Parliament and the Citty against all tumults and such as should come against them in a hostile manner, the said Major Abell affirming hee knewe of noe Army that would oppose the Parliament or Citty, notwithstanding hee could engage his life for the safetie of the Citty or the just priviledges of Parliament; this being said hee was dismist his Comand, noe cause being showne except for his difference in judgment.

Affirmed by Edward Abell.

Edition: current; Page: [154]

That the Comittee of the Militia for the Citty of London have put forth of the subcomittee for the Militia of Southwark divers persons of approved fidelitie and trust, only for difference in judgment, and have placed in their roomes such as were and still are looked upon as Malignants.

Witnessed by Thomas Cooper and

Mr. Highland.

That the aforesaid Committee did put out of Commission Captaine Thompson, a man of knowne fidelitie adventureing his life at the releife of Gloucester, and have put in his roome one Edward Walles, who being Lieutennant to the said Captaine Thompson laid downe his Commission refusing to goe forth to the releife of Gloucester, and since neither at home or abroad hath done anything for the service of the kingdome. And that the said Walles now being Captaine hath to his Lieutennant one Henry Hardcastle, who said hee would prove that Sir Thomas Fairfax was a Rogue, a Raschall, and base fellowe.

Will Jolly.

Henry Robinson.

Witnes Doctor Trigge.

Pennitent Piggott.

Nathaniell Ible.

Gidion Rogers.

Jo: Levett.

That Captaine Wane, one who lately deserted this Army, being now put into Commission by the Militia in the Regiment of the blew Auxilleries to be a Captaine, did say there would not be soe much ware in their shopps if the Army came to London, and said to Will Pepiatt, Ensigne, that if hee would not fight against the Army hee should be noe officer of his; for, hee said, hee knew more of the Army then any there present.

Witnes Robert Burgis, Lieut.

Jo: Fardin.

Edition: current; Page: [155]

That the Comittee of the Militia did put out Colonell George Langham, a man of approved fidelitie in times of greatest difficulty, and put in his place Colonel Thomas Clarke, one that sayd that if the Army should come neere London, if other men were of his mind they should march through their blouds.

Witnes Samuell Blaiklocks. and E. P.

That by the aforesaid Committee one Captaine Maizy was put forth of his command for stopping and breaking open the Scotch Letters in May last, though the thing was approved and hee acquitted by the House of Commons; yet Alderman Bonch said it was a Jesuetticall plott to kepe him in.

Francis Mazy.

That Captaine Wilkes, one whose fidelitie was approved, hee having twice adventured his life in the feild, but because hee was an Independant, Aldermann Bunch sayd itt was a Jesuetticall plott to keepe him in, therefore hee was voted out of his place by the Committee.

Tymothy Wilkes.a

That upon Fryday the 2d of July there was order given forth by the Militia for the listing of all Prentices and others which were not of the trayned Bands, if fitt to beare armes.

John Braine, Constable.

The names of those Members of the Committee of the Tower Hamletts that were putt out by the Comittee of the Militia of the Citty of London, which men were ever approved to be honest, Edition: current; Page: [156] active men for the Parliament and faithfull to the state and Kingdome.

Captaine Tailor of Wappinge.
Mr. Townesend } of White Chappell.
Mr. Loton }
Capt. Gale.
Mr. Clarke.
Mr. Orbell.
Capt. White.
Mr. Tiler.
Mr. Fasson.
Mr. Saires.
Capt. King.
Mr. Waterton.
Mr. Hemings.
Capt. Hackwell.

In their places there are put in

Mr. Mempris of Mile End.
Mr. Silles of East Smithfield.
Mr. Crowder } of Shoreditch.
Mr. Noble }

all of them disaffected men that never lent penny unto the publique but what they were forced unto.

Witnessed by Justice Hubborn.
Coll. Willouby.
Mr. Waterton.
Leonard Watson
Watson, Leonard
Thursday [July 8]

[News-letter from London.]a

The Members came into the House this day, which some expected. The charge not touched upon, because our freinds expected Edition: current; Page: [157] that some of the members should begin to them. This afternoon the papers sent up from the Army prevented their debate upon the charge, and the House thus farr proceeded, and they have fully declared, that for the Reformadoes, or such as pretend to be such, that they shall be gone out of Town by the 15th of this instant upon penalty of loosing their Arrears, and 3 months imprisonment.

For Members of the House it’s so prepared, that it’s likely to pass to morrow morning the first business, with a sound penalty.

For the discharging the Soldiers assigned for Ireland, it’s referred to Derby House to dispatch it, and those of that Committee withdraw this afternoon on purpose.

The charge to be taken into debate to morrow morning.

The Lords sent down a Letter to the Commons for their concurrence for removing the Chaplains, and to certify the reasons of the obstructions. This is sent to the Commissioners attending the King. Wee do believe that it’s a design to sett us altogether by the ears, which honest men, out of passion are too apt to swallow; and your Letter to that business of the Chaplains &c. being not come to our hand, our freinds (tho’ prepared by us according to the directions in Collonell Fleetwood’s letter) did not think good to speak against it; some freinds that are temperate and most considerable do allow of the thing, but to be done without your Letter to the House.a

Wee can not but think that such is the influence of some persons in the Lords and Commons House, as they will never cease till they have brought you to declare, and so to break you upon one rock or another. Tis a good resolution must carry you through this and other difficultys, and in this our own principles give us a full encouragement.

We received your particulars this day and have consulted with Edition: current; Page: [158] your best freinds; if the Commons upon the full debate fall not upon suspition[?] the officers will move it in the name of the Army to morrow

You must be more speedy in your business, and all men say, that if your dispatch be noe better you will run into infinite hazards.

Your trusty and good freind Lilburne is printing his [letter] against Rich and the Abbott and me, and saith in so many words (to Captaine White of the Tower) that he had rather cutt Sir Harry Vane’s throate than Hollis’s. It was in some bodys power to have quench’d this fire (we speak not as to our own particulars) while it was a spark, which perhaps in time may grow too great to be quenched.

12 July, 1647

[Letter from the Agitators into Wales.]

Honoured and Noble Friends and fellow Soldiers,

It being a time of contest for the just libertys of this Kingdom and Dominion annexed, with those unjust persons by whom they have been endeavoured to be subverted, wee, conceiving you lying under many of the same pressures as we doe, and so have just cause Edition: current; Page: [159] of complaint, and if so as little hopes of being heard as we have had, whose just petitions have been obstructed and we declared against as enemys to the State, and our fellow subjects have had theirs burnt; all which shews how they and we have been slighted in our most humble addresses, which to us seems to be the highest infringment of our undoubted priviledges that ever was by any acted professing to maintain them; and when our most clear and fundamentall priviledges shall be deneyed us, what may wee or can we expect? And whether all our lesser rights may not and be not at the present, by the arbitrary acting of these men totally cutt off, we leave you to judge. Especially considering the time when this was done; even immediately after the dear redemption of those precious priviledges out of the hand of our former enemys, with the expence of so much blood and treasure; and that in this very juncture of time, when we were expecting to see and reap the fruit of all our weary travails, they by this should in effect tell us, and the Kingdom with us, we should never reap any of them, but that we who had fought to sett our Selves and a Kingdom free should now in the issue be more compleatly slaves than ever, not having so much liberty as to petition in case of greivances. And thus are we dealt with, and while an Army having power in our hands, and they occasion to make further use of us; therefore you need not wonder tho’ you hear of such actings amongst us which at first view may seem strange, yet assure your selves that we are but acted by the very same principall we were at the first, by which we then endeavoured to keep our selves and the kingdom from being ruined by the exorbitant actings of prerogative Power, and shall still oppose the like power in any acting to the like ends; and this is all we aim at and are acting towards at this day, that the unjust oppressions lying upon the subjects of this Kingdom and other parts adjoyning might be removed, and that the just rights of all estates and persons therein might be restored, settled, and maintained, and this we desire and endeavour for every individuall person thereof. Which as soon as we have attained, according to the ends Edition: current; Page: [160] for which we were at first raised, we shall with all readiness and willingness lay down arms, or make use of them elsewhere, as the Parliament shall think fitt; but not till then can we in order to our own and the Kingdom’s safety. And thus have we thought fitt to communicate our condition to you (dear Friends) that so you might rightly inform your selves and others to the end you might still, (as formerly to your honour you have had) a share in pleading and maintaining of the just freedom of the nation at such a time when they were so much in question; and (truly) then to come in to assert and defend them, when others were endeavouring to suppress them. It is that which will sett a badge of honour upon such a people to posterity, that you should have your part in redeeming the kingdom of England and Dominion of Wales from oppression and slavery, and your children yet unborn shall bless God for you; which if not, consider what a blott of infamy will lye on you and us to after ages, if we shall sitt still in such a time as this, when it shall be said by them lying under oppression, ‘Our predecessors had a prize in their hands, and an opportunity offered to have freed us from it and have made us happy, but woe to us, through their neglects they have lett it slip, and left us in misery.’

Friends, our earnest desire is that you would seriously weigh and consider things in the ballance of Judgement according to truth, and to that end take heed of all false representations of our persons or actions by the suggestions of any given in to you, and judge not according to appearance, but judge righteous judgement, and then doubt not but you shall have the assistance of a righteous God, who hath promised to do more for you than all the unrighteous men in the world are able to do against you, and also the concurrent assistance of all just and rational men; and we trust the appearances of God will be such upon us as we shall see those characters of himself engraven upon us, and amongst us, even judgement, truth, and righteousness; and the contrary to these (in his own time) removed, which both by you and us we hope Edition: current; Page: [161] shall be jointly endeavoured. In the doing of which the Lord direct us, in whom we bid you heartily farewell.

Yours to use, acting in behalf of the Army
for the good of the Kingdom.

To our Honoured Freinds our fellow Soldiers, and others of the well affected in North Wales. These.a

Edition: current; Page: [162]
Sir Thomas Fairfax
Fairfax, Sir Thomas
July 16, 1647
William Lenthall
Lenthall, William

[Sir Thomas Fairfax to the Speaker of the House of Commons.]


I am informed from Bristoll, that Colonel Doyley being lately come thither, and having required the command of the Castle and Port there, hath thereby occasion’d some disturbance in that Citty, and distraction amongst the Soldiers, who have manifested their dislike of him, but have expressed their good affection to Colonel Rolph (who was left Deputy Governour of that garison by Major General Skippona) with expectation of his return unto them impowered with that command; which also the Citty (from their experience of his faithfullness, worth, and sufficiency) do very much desire, as by their petition prepared to the Honse of Commons to that purpose may appear. I thought it necessary to acquaint you herewith for the present appeasing those distractions, and the settling that garison, and that you would please to take some speedy course for the supply of the Soldiers with moneys who are (as I am informed) 30 weeks in arrear. I remain

Your most humble servant,
Tho: Fairfax.

To the Honorable Wm. Lenthall Esq. Speaker of the Honorable House of Commons.

Edition: current; Page: [163]
July 8, 1647

[News-letter from York.]

Thursday morninga our General was taken out of his quarters by a small party, and carryed to Pontefract, where he is now, [and] hath all accomodations, tho’ at his going out of town to Pontefract he had a wett doublett not a wett coat; this business hath putt for the present things to stand things at adventure. The Committee sat this afternoon, and have agreed to write to the General to move for a Commander in chief for their forces. I understand that General Poynts is to be sent to the Generall and it had been base to send him without his tackling, which came so late to my knowledge that these few lines against him, which I sent there inclosed, were prepared. Your Agitators have putt forth a vindication concerning the takeing of them, which I sent therewith. You may be confident this Army is fixed to your[s] great dispute now about the Tower at York, whether Lt. Col. Fairfax or my Lord Mayor commands there; both have sent to the General about it. Accidentally I mett with this enclosed from Lyonell Coply. You may perceive how good a freind he is. I see an order from Darby House to a Colonel dated the 7th July instant wherein the Colonel is required to draw his Regiment with those that were remaining in Cumberland and Westmoreland together, and ship them for Ireland. Be assured they will be in parte . . . under that pretence against you; all the officers came post from London last night, they are all creatures of the accused, especially to Massy. Your remonstrances still are called for, and many were required to the Army there but . . . . . . . I can gett nothing done for the Generall yet by reason of this business; it is fitting to be ashured there are many enemys against the Army. Sir, It is very much desired that the town of York be putt into some command; it is Edition: current; Page: [164] under a dispute between Lt. Col. Fairfax and the Major. It were well to be speedily resolved on.a

Sir Thomas Fairfax
Fairfax, Sir Thomas

[Letter from the Agitators in Yorkshire to Fairfax.]

May it please your Excellencie,

Whereas we have had sufficient experience, and the Kingdom’s welfare at this day both do certifye, next under God, Your Excellency’s care for the preservation and satisfaction both of soldiers and subjects, which every one will acknowledge who hath not shown himself an enemy to the wellbeing of the Nation—yet there remain some obstinate spirits, unwilling to be partakers of the common good, and to this end are not wanting in their endeavours to deprive others of the freedom of the Nation, because their own irregular judgments censure the same as a homage, and as we conceive it is because their wills are not made so predominant—as to acquaint your Excellency that something to this purpose hath been lately acted in the garrison of Clifford’s Tower at York, the whole condition of the same standing thus: Whereas your Excellency was pleased to appoint Lieutenant Colonel Fairfax as Governor of the aforesaid garrison, a man of known integrity, he upon some just occasions being absent from the same, in the mean time Colonel General Poynts dispossessed his officers and soldiers of the garrison, and introduced such officers and soldiers as he thought fitt to accomplish his own designs; and the said Lt. Col. Fairfax being now returned to his former command, We humbly desire your Excellency that you would be pleased to issue forth the orders to those officers and soldiers, that were since introduced, that they quitt the garrison, and such officers and soldiers may be entrusted with the same as were formerly belonging to the garrison, Edition: current; Page: [165] under the command of Lt. Col. Fairfax. This wee humbly tender to your Excellency as especiall means for the prevention of the future dangers, and without which we humbly conceive the garrison can not be safe. In the mean time we recommend our selves to your Excellencie’s favour, and shall ever remain

Your Excellency’s and the Kingdom’s Servants as acting in the behalf of several Regiments.a
Richard Kingdom
Kingdom, Richard
Thomas Diggell
Diggell, Thomas
John Caseby
Caseby, John
Sir Thomas Fairfax
Fairfax, Sir Thomas

[Letter from the Agitators in the Northern Army to Fairfax.]

May it please Your Excellency,

Whereas we whose names are under subscribed were sent down to inform these forces of the proceedings of your Excellency and the Army more immediately under your command, We humbly tender unto your Excellencies consideration the relation of such things as have lately intervened to us. Your Excellency being pleased to appoint Lt. Col. Fairfax to come into these parts, and according to his commission to take charge of Clifford’s Tower in York, Colonel General Poynts resigned over the command of the Tower to the Lord Mayor, which he accordingly took charge of altho without commission. Now the condition standing so that Colonell Generall Points had been induced to this garrison, the citty only upon a vote which passed the Honorable House that he should be Governor of Clifford’s Tower after this . . . . . . . and that he might the better effect what he desired (while Lt. Col. Fairfax was absent) drew forth those officers and soldiers out of the Tower which did belong to Lt. Col. Fairfax, and entrusted such of his own officers and soldiers with the Tower as might comply with him, but at last Col. General Poynts having layd down his commission desired the Lord Mayor to take charge of the Tower, altho Lieut. Col. Fairfax was there, and had commission Edition: current; Page: [166] for the government of it; but since Colonel Poynts’s departure from York the Lord Mayor hath done as much as in him lies to recover the Government of the Tower into his hands, and to this end hath written to Sir William Allison and Alderman Hoyle, burgesses of the Citty of York, who accordingly [press], as we are credibly informed, the Lord Mayor might be Governor of it, and in the mean time he endeavours to disswade the soldiers from adhering to Lt. Col. Fairfax, giving them money and promising them more to cleave to him; he hath also presumed to countermand Lieut. Col. Fairfax, and the officers here are very reverse unto your Excellencies proceedings, but it is humbly conceived that the reason is because they are and have been so much Sir Phillip Stapleton’s. The soldiers have lately petitioned the Committee for some subsidies, but are deney’d and in great distress for want of pay. We humbly request your Excellency that both they and the garrison may have a place in your Excellencie’s care. Colonel Overton desired to recommend his service to your Excellencie’s command humbly requesting some [speedy] course for the payment of his garrison, and that a Captain and 2 Lieutenants may be accommodated with commands correspondent either in that army or amongst these forces, and he will wait on your Excellency very shortly. We at present request, and crave leave to remain

Your Excellencies humble Subservients
Richard Kingdom { Lt. Generall’s Regiment.
Thomas Diggell—Colonel Harrison’s Regiment.
John Caseby—Colonel Fleetwood’s Regiment.
Sir Thomas Fairfax
Fairfax, Sir Thomas
Thomas Dickenson
Dickenson, Thomas

[Letter from Fairfax to the Lord Mayor and Aldermen of York.]

My Lords and Gentlemen,

I take this your acquainting me with the business of Clifford’s Tower as your care to the Citty and the publick, and from the Edition: current; Page: [167] experience I have of your good affections to the Kingdom I shall very willingly meet your desires in letting the command of that place rest in your hands, knowing how faithfully you have expressed your selves in things of publick concernment; and I shall remain assured in confidence of those publick dispositions in you, that you will not suffer that place to be an occasion or encouragement to the begetting of new troubles; and therefore I desire, that you my Lord Mayor will take into your care the secureing of that place, for the peace of this City, and those parts of the Kingdom, till there be a further settlement of affairs. I am glad that I have this occasion from your selves to write to you. I hope you are no strangers to our papers and proceedings with the Parliament, and how the same necessitys that engaged us all at first hath continued us in pursuit of such things as concern the good and peace of this Kingdom, and that we are the same we ever were to the interest of the Parliament and Kingdom; and I question not but such hath been the transactions of things that you are not to be satisfy’d now in the justice of our proceedings. We shall desire the concurrence of our selves and the Kingdom no farther than we continue faithfull to the peace and safety of this Kingdom; and whatsoever is done by us by and relating to the King, who is now amongst us, is but in order to the first engagements, and to the peaceable settling of that publick affair.

To the Lord Mayora and Aldermen of York.

John Hobgson
Hobgson, John
William Begyts
Begyts, William
John Drake
Drake, John
John Mark
Mark, John
John Pennington
Pennington, John
Robert Morris
Morris, Robert
Thomas Arthur
Arthur, Thomas
Thomas Whalerton
Whalerton, Thomas
Robert Sharby
Sharby, Robert
Thomas Mallett
Mallett, Thomas

[Articles against General Poyntz.]

The charge against Generall Poynts in reference to what he hath acted against his Excellency Sir Thomas Fairfax, and his Army in the South, and against the Northerne Association now under his Excellencie’s command.

1st. That Colonell Generall Poynts did very much endeavour to Edition: current; Page: [168] render his Excellency’s person and authority contemptible and insufficient for the managing of those affairs which the Honorable Houses have intrusted him withall. Witness the letter written June 27th to Colonel Copley, wherein he repeats his Excellency’s name double in a very scornful way, and deneys that the soldiers of those parts are under the command of his Excellency.

2ly. He labours to render the Army more mediated under your Excellency’s command, under the notions of mutineers and necessary arrears, and rebellious Army,a as it appears by his letters written from York to Colonel Copley June 6th. Another letter written to his officers to be read in the head of each troop, in which he terms some that were sent from the South, with some of our agents, Incendiaries, and that they endeavoured to withdraw these forces from their obedience to the Parliament with other scandalous reproaches to be read in the head of each troop, in reproach and disdain of that Army.

3ly. That he endeavoured to reimbroyle this Kingdom in a 2d warr, and to this end laboured to exasperate the spirits of the soldiers in the [north] against that Army as evidently appears; for upon his journey last from London to York, he reported he was come post to draw up his army, to quell the rebellious Army of Sir Thomas Fairfax; and did also endeavour to accomplish his sinister ends to gett into his power places of strength; and caused the Tower of York to be putt in a condition of present resistance meerly against the Army; to this end also he gave special order for the drawing his forces together, putting them in a posture for action against the Southern Army, having no order from the Parliament, as particularly at Selby, Tadcaster, Cawood, and Ferry Bridge, keeping guard for the apprehending of any that should come as he pretended to distemper the Northern Army.

4ly. He threatned the Agitators from the Army with ours, to hang them if he could meet with them.

5ly. He endeavoured to justify the 11 accused Members and Edition: current; Page: [169] kept correspondency with them, received divers letters from them, and wrote to them, acting what he did from their principles, and by their advice; for he can not deney, but that Sir Philip Stapylton desired him to keep his army in a posture ready for action till they should have occasion for them, which he did accordingly.

6ly. His arbitary committing some officers for speaking in the behalf of the Army, and hanging one soldier without a councill of warr.

7ly. His arming of a reduced company under Captain Peppar, who refused any engagement save against the Army.

8ly. That he used all means possible to make both the Army and their Officers odious, as appears by his printed papers, which was not only to be read at the head of every troop, but likewise by his order putt upon many posts in marketts, rendring us and the Army unparalleld men, in taking the King by force, and likewise falsely reporting therein, that his Majesty was so farr from complyance with the Army, that he struck both his Excellency, Cromwell, and Whaly. This he printed at York purposely to divide us, and to make us odious to the whole Kingdom.

9ly. That he threatened to disturb our nests, if we did continue to associate our selves with his Excellencie’s Army, and that he would use the Parliaments power in the apprehending of us.

a Poyntz was brought under a guard to Fairfax’s headquarters at Reading, and was immediately released by the General. The Agitators presented a charge against him which is evidently that here printed. Cary, i., 306, 308; Fairfax Correspondence, iii., 370. Compare the papers from the Northern Army, printed by Rushworth, vi., 620-625.
JOHN HOBGSON } Colonel Copley’s Regiment.
JOHN DRAKE } Colonel Bright’s Regiment.
JOHN PENNINGTON } Colonel Overton’s Regiment.
THO: ARTHUR } Colonel Ponsonby’s Regiment.
ROBERT SHARBY } Colonel Collingworth’s Regiment.a
Edition: current; Page: [170]

Representation of the Agitators presented at the Generall Councill of Warr July 16, 1647.

To his Excellency Sir Thomas Fairfax Knight Captain General of all the Forces raised and to be raised for the defence of the Kingdom, and to his Councill of Warr assembled at Cambridge July 16, 1647.

The humble petition and representation of the Agitators of Your Excellencies Army,

Humbly Sheweth

That your petitioners out of their deep sence of the sad and heavy pressures, great distractions, continual fears, and eminent dangers, under which this poor and bleeding Kingdom groans, expecting to be delivered and eased, whose peace, safety, and freedom from oppression, violence, and tyranny we tenderly and earnestly desire even above our own lives, are enforced to present these our humble requests in the name of the whole Army as their sence and desire, unto Your Excellency and this Honourable Councill, to be considered of, (if need be) corrected, and forthwith exhibited to the Parliament; And that for the reasons annexed to these ensueing desires, the Army may be immediately march’d to or near London, thereby to enable and assist the Parliament acting for the Kingdom’s ease and preservation, and to oppose all those that shall act the contrary.

For the accomplishment whereof we are fully resolved (by the assistance of God and his strength with Your Excellency and Your Councill of Warr’s concurrence) to putt a speedy period to these present distractions.

1st. That by Order of the House the 11 Members by his Excellency and his Army impeached, and charged of high misdemeanors Edition: current; Page: [171] be forthwith sequestred, and disenabled from sitting in the House.

2ly. That the Militia of the Citty of London be immediately returned into the hands of those in whom it lately was, who did approve themselves faithfull to the Kingdom and Citty in times of greatest dangers, an answer whereof we expect within two days.

3ly. That there be an effectual Declaration forthwith published to the whole Kingdom, against the inviteing or coming in of forreign, or raising of intestine forces under any pretence whatsoever, except such as shall be by the Parliaments appointments, receive their commissions are and be at the disposall and command of his Excellency Sir Thomas Fairfax,a upon pain of being proceeded against as enemies and traitors to the State, disturbers of the publick peace, and invaders of this Kingdom.

4ly. That all Prisoners who have been illegally committed in any part of the Kingdom of England or Dominion of Wales, may be forthwith sett at liberty, and reparation given them for their false imprisonment, as namely:—Lieutenant Collonel John Lilburn, Mr. Musgrave, Mr. Overton’s wife and brother, Mr. Larner, his two Lieutenants, Mr. Tew, Mr. Prest, and all others which have been in like manner wrongfully imprisoned; and for a more speedy effecting thereof there may be a Declaration published to the whole Kingdom and Dominion of Wales thereby commanding all Judges of Assizes, of Oyer and Terminer, Justices of Coram, and of the Peace, Mayors, Sheriffs, Bayliffs, and all other Officers and Ministers of State whatsoever (upon pain of severest punishment if they shall neglect to putt the same in execution) for the freeing of such as are in prison, and preventing the like for the future, upon the meanest subjects of the Kingdom.b

5ly. That we may be speedily pay’d up equall with the Deserters Edition: current; Page: [172] of the Army, according to the Parliaments former Votes, whereby the Army may not be so burthensome and oppressive to the Country. And for the more speedy performance hereof, [that] the House of Peers would without delay concurr with the desires of the House of Commons for the reviving of the Committee of the Army, so many times urged by them to be done, that so the arrears of the Citty, which as we are credibly informed is 120,000l or more, besides what is in several countys, may be by their authority gathered up; and all this to be done within 4 days for these reasons following vizt:—

  • 1st. Because nothing hath been done in reference to what we have proposed and they promised, but two or three votes; which if the latitude thereof be fully understood and their little endeavours weighed for the fullfilling of them hitherto, may give us just grounds to believe that we by them are little regarded, nor these never to be performed.
  • 2ly. Because all those are countenanced, and some of them intrusted with places of preferment who have deserted the Army, and also summs of money to them pay’d; notwithstanding their votes to pay us up equall with those that deserted that we are left unpay’d, and thereby become burthensom to those whose burthens we desire earnestly to remove.
  • 3ly. Because that those that were by the Army impeach’d and charged, (both which impeachment and charge was by the House so accepted) yet are they still countenanced, and large summs of money since then for some of them not only by the House voted, but also fully pay’d; whereby they are fully enabled to manage their designs, and do the Kingdom greater disservice.
  • 4ly. Because that we by protracting of time impoverish the Country, which may alienate their affection from us, being the design of the obstructors of justice, thereby to destroy us and secure themselves.
  • 5ly. Because by delays we give them advantage to improve all Edition: current; Page: [173] their interest in raising of forces, to the disturbance and involving the poor Kingdom in a new and more bloody warr.
  • 6ly. Because this is the only expedient to know assuredly whether they will do what they have pretended and also promised, or otherwise all men may see and judge what they have intended and do endeavour.
  • 7ly. Because we see justice more perverted now than ever, and violent illegall proceedings of corrupt magistrates, against the most cordiall and well affected people in the Kingdom, who are wrongfully imprisoned, fined, &c., and as yet left remedyless.

These recited grounds and reasons with the additionals annexed being seriously considered, we can not but earnestly and submissively desire Your Excellency and this Honourable Councill so to dispose of the Army as may conduce to the accomplishment of those our humble requests, which we conceive will greatly advantage the Army and Kingdom.

Daniel Abbot (Major).
John Clarke, Capt.
Edmd. Rolf, Capt.a

Additional Reasons more fully explaining our desires for a speedy march towards London.

1st. The Armys removal to this distance from London hath given liberty and opportunity to an adverse party in that City to scandalize our persons and actions by pamphletts and otherwise, whereby they prejudice the spirits of many against us, they being depriv’d of opportunitys to understand personally from our selves both our actions and intentions by reason of our distance from them.

Edition: current; Page: [174]

2ly. Our adversarys by our removal farr from them have taken advantage to induce many thousands to list themselves (under such new Commanders as the new committee for the Militia hath judged fitt to prosecute their ends), under pretence of being auxiliary forces to the Trained Bands; And tho pretences may be specious, yet, considering that the principles of the actors have a natural tendency to oppose the Army, and that those whose principles did not concurr with theirs were displaced in order to these proceedings, who can imagine that any reason of such preparations, when no visible power appears against them, unless their thoughts and intentions be to oppose this Army? And indeed some lately have boasted that they have many thousands ready to fight with this Army, if they were commanded.

3ly. Upon the Army’s drawing back from the Citty, the Parliament’s proceedings for the good of the people and Army hath been slack’d. Whilst the Army was drawing near, the Excise was lessened and eased, the injuries done to the Army considered, some moneys provided for them; but since its drawing back no moneys have been allowed them to pay their Quarters for the peoples ease and the Army’s content, there hath been no care to prevent the scandalizing of us, no discountenance of those that by pamphletts asperse as with mutinying, treason, and rebellion. And whether these neglects of us may not proceed from their confidence in those pretended auxiliaries, we leave to your wisdom to judge.

4ly. The Votes of Parliament whereupon we drew back appear to have been intended to delude us, as:

  • 1. Tho’ they declared that none should desert the Army from that time being they owned the Army, yet their first declaration that invited to desert the Army and promised their Arrears to those that should desert, it is not recalled; and tho’ the last seems to cross the first yet there is no penalty in their last vote putt upon those that shall desert us, and a promise is made in the first to those that shall desert it, and which of these discover the affections and intentions of the Parliament we must leave to their wisdom to determine.Edition: current; Page: [175]
  • 2. Nothing hath been done to shew the mistake and error of those that did desert us, or to dissipate or discountenance them, tho’ it hath been much pressed since those votes.
  • 3. They voted that the Army should be payd equally to those that deserted it, yet it was only when money could be raised conveniently; whereas they could find present moneys to pay them, on purpose to preferr them to us, and to abett and encourage them.
  • 4. The Vote by this means is but a snare, seing they shall intimate to the Kingdom, that they are necessitated to tax them farther for our satisfaction.
  • 5. They have since payd the Arrears of one of the impeach’d Members by 2000ɫ; at once, altho’ the House was inform’d that he was in debt to the State 15000ɫ;.
  • The removal of the Army to this distance necessitates such delays, as give further opportunity to the adverse party to make overtures of plausible advantage to the King’s party, and also to insinuate that our principles are against civil government; and certainly these endeavours may be well presumed by the overtures made to the Queen and Prince, and by the Parliament’s not declaring against all invitations of forreign force, after intelligence given of this design.
  • 6. The removal of the Army to such a distance from London hath much dissatisfyed the well affected Commons throughout the Kingdom, especially because nothing was insisted upon for the present ease of the oppressed Commons, as expedient to be done before their drawing back, which considered together with the present delays and the thoughts of the delatory Treaty, hath abated their expectations in some measure of that precious freedom that they hoped should be the issue of the Army’s endeavours. And we cannot but observe that no country hath made their addresses to the Generall since their drawing back.a
Edition: current; Page: [176]

Att a Generall Councell of Warre held att Reading. July 16, 1647.


His Excellency Sir Thomas Fairfax.

Lt. Gen. Cromwell. Adj. Gen. Tulidah.
Co. Gen. Ireton. Major Waade.
Lt. Gen. Hamond. Qr. Master Gen. Grosvenor.
Col. Whalley. Major White
Col. Rainborow. Capt. Blackwell.
Col. Lambert. Capt. Pretty.
Col. Sir Hardresse Waller. Capt. Kirkby.
Col. Okey. Capt. Lloyde.
Col. Scroope. Capt. Merriman,
Col. Tomlinson. Capt. Neale.
Col. Fleetwood. Capt. Rolf.
Col. Harrison. Capt. Orpin.
Col. Pride. Capt. Clarke.
Col. Barkestead. Capt. A. Younge.
Col. Horton. Capt. Wolfe.
Col. Rich. Capt. Deane.
Adjutant Generall Deane. Capt. Miller.
Lt. Col. Bowen. Capt. Laighton.
Lt. Col. Cowell. Capt. Hodden.
Lt. Col. Goffe. Capt. Audley.
Major Disbrow. Capt. Lagoe.
Major Huntington. Capt. Rawlinson.
Major Gregson. Capt. Watson.
Major Rainborow.
Major Abbott. Lt. Chillenden,
Adj. Gen. Evelyn. Capt. Scotton.
Edition: current; Page: [177]
Lieut. Generall.

Moved for a Committee, many thinges then nott being fitt for debate, and the Councill of Warre to bee adjourn’dd till the afternoone.

Lt. Chillenden.

Answered and gives the consideration which moved them to every proposall or desire.

Commissary Ireton.

Objects, that itt’s desired this paper should be sent to London.

Answer. This paper first consider’d, and when consider’d noe body found that the paper should goe uppe to London, that thinges may bee had.

Col. Harrison.

That itt bee resolved whether to have a present debate or noe.

Comiss. Ireton.

That the end of the meeting was nott to have a paper brought in and read, when most of those that heare itt are the presenters.

I would wee were once cleare to consider in what condition wee stand as to that point.

I am, as all are, ready for the consideration of that, soe farre as my owne opinion serves, and soe every man heere may bee.

Delays, as they are hurtfull in bussinesse and soe most prejudiciall to those that are most hasty, so delusive, and I would nott have any such tendencie towards a Delusion as a delay;a therfore I desire wee may consider whether the Army should march to London in order to those thinges.

Edition: current; Page: [178]
Major Tulida.

That all center in one thinge, that all the proposalls [will] bee of noe effect without a march to London.


If any man bee satisfied in what hath bin [proposed] others heere are nott.

Lieut. Gen.

Marching uppe to London is a single proposall, yett itt does not droppe from Jupiter, as that itt should bee presently received and debated without considering our Reasons. For I hope this [temper] will ever bee in the Agitators, I would bee very sorry to flatter them, I hope they will bee willing that nothing should bee done butt with the best Reason, and with the best and most unanimous concurrence. Though wee have this desire back’t with such reasons, certainly itt was nott intended [to say] wee had noe reason to weigh those Reasons; for I thinke wee shall bee left to weigh these Reasons. All this paper is fill’d with Reasons: the dissatisfaction in particulars; the dissadvantages of removall from London; the advantages of marching towards London. You are ripe for a Conclusion, and gett a Conclusion; but lett this bee offer’d to the Generall and Councill of Warre.

Col. Rainborow.

That what hath bin spoken to the votes if other Gentlemen are not satisfied, itt is growne very hard if one will nott beleive another, and [will] adde much delay to our businesse, and therfore I am nott uppon intending of the Debate till 5 or 6 a clock upon that ground too.a That other ground in a bussinesse of such weight as this is, that if there can bee more reasons given, action will bee soe much the better accepted. Therfore I doe humbly move that Edition: current; Page: [179] since itt is a businesse of that consequence, privately and for our owne satisfaction, wee may have some little time to satisfie our judgements in itt, and to come prepar’d to give other Reasons in itt.

Com: Gen:

Wee act as if wee did [would?] gett the power into our owne hands.

To give the Kingdome satisfaction in the thinges that wee desire, itt is not the getting power into one man’s hands more then another, butt it is the setling and securing their liberties in order to a peace; though, as that Gentleman said, That noe body should withstand. There are some thinges prepared for that purpose if any know any particulars to bee added.

Before we doe bring ourselves into scandall and dishonour by putting it upon new Puntillios and quarrelling more, one is what itt is that wee intend to doe with that power when we have it.a

Lieut. Gen.

I desire we may withdraw and consider. Discourses of this nature will I see putt power into the hands of any that cannot tell. how to use it, of those that are like to use it ill.b I wish itt with all my heart in better hands, and I shall be glad to contribute to gett itt into better hands. If any man or companie of men will Edition: current; Page: [180] say that wee doe seeke ourselves in doing this, much good may it doe him with his thoughts. Itt shall nott putt mee out of my way.

The meeting att 6 a clock. Itt is nott to putt an end to this businesse of meeting, but I must consult with myself before I consent to such a thinge,a butt really to doe such a thinge [I must consult] before I doe itt. And wheras the Commissary does offer that these thinges were desired before satisfaction bee given to the publique settlement,b there may bee a conveniencie of bringing in that to the Councill of Warre next sitting, if itt bee ready, and thought fitt to be brought in. If these other things bee in preparation wee may bringe them in, that wee may nott bee to seeke for a Councill of Warre if wee had our businesse ready.

Capt. Clarke.

I humbly conceive that the sence of these Gentlemen present is noe other then what is for the good of the Kingdome, and that none of us have an intention to begin a new Warre. The [causes of] Warres in parties are noe other then the misplacing of the power of the Kingdome, and wee have as much reason as them, if itt bee misplaced, to misplace itt.c

Mr. Allen.

I wish that while wee have bin propounding of that which does tend to preservation, and the avoiding the Destruction that wee are confident is intended to the Kingdome and Army, that while wee are acting unto that end wee should take power out of men’s hands, and doe what wee may that wee may nott soe longe stand. Instead of getting a power to quarrell wee may nott doe any thinge that Edition: current; Page: [181] is our duty to doe. Itt is the desire of those that have the power, or the greatest parte of itt, in their hands to carry on thinges that they may have power.a Whether this bee a picking a quarrell I shall leave itt to your consideration.

Mr. Lockyer.

Itt is the great dissatisfaction of all the well-affected in the Kingdome [to see power in the hands of men] who have indeavoured to their utmost against us.

Com: Ireton.

Itt was partly intimated by the Gentleman that sitts neere your Excellency, and uppon that occasion itt is further apprehended by a Gentleman that sitts on that side, as if there were an expression to that purpose, that this was doneb with an intent to pick a Quarrell. I hope itt is nott, butt I neither know other men’s intents neither will I sweare for them. I must tell you againe, that I doe verily believe that all in this Companie heere have heard of some designes of the Enemy, to sett men a worke amongst themselves, some to worke one way and some another.c If there bee any such men thrust in amongst them, or any that are soe wrought uppon, which is a possibility, itt may bee suggested from them by precipitancie, nott uppon such a thinge.d I am farr from beleiving that itt is in the hearts or Edition: current; Page: [182] intentions of the generality, or for ought that I know, of any of these Gentlemen, to picke a Quarrell. My meaning is, itt carries the appearance of picking a Quarrell; and I thinke itt is a Rule of concernement to this Army, that, as we are just in our intentions, and doe nott intend knavery, soe wee should nott act like knaves, or any appearance of that nature.

[We should give the kingdom first] some reall tast of that which wee intend for the satisfaccion of the Kingdome, and what wee would doe with that power if we had itt in our hands [after] the putting of itt out of soe many hands. I have mov’d itt, and soe must again. Butt whether itt should bee putt out of these men’s hands [or not], itt should bee putt into those hands uppon whome in the matter they intend . . . . . .

Cornett Joyce.

The Commissary Generall speakes of things which hee gives as lawes to the Kingdome. Itt is too hard for us to give out lawes before the Kingdome is in a possibility of being setled, and itt is a great disadvantage for us to prescribe lawes when wee know not whether ever [we shall be able] to accomplish [a settlement].

Col. Harrison.

Names severall Committees to propose what thinges may bee answer’d, and what nott; and the rest of the thinges offer’d to bee consider’d by that time, to give some reasonable answer to that that is proposed to you.

Col. Rainborow.

That thinges might be manag’d as to your wisedomes shall bee thought fitt. For my parte I shall bee weary of the Meeting.

Edition: current; Page: [183]
Committee appointed to looke over Engagements.
Lt. Generall. Col. Scrope. Mr. Sexby.
Co. Generall. Col. Thomlinson. Mr. Allen.
Col. Rainborow. Col. Overton. Mr. Lockyer.
Sir Hardresse Waller. Col. Okey. Mr. Clarke.
Col. Rich. Col. Titchborne. Mr. Stenson.
Adj. Gen. Deane. Lieut. Gen. Hamond. Mr. Underwood.


Lieut. Gen.

If you remember there are in your paper 5 particulars that you insist uppon. Two of them are thinges new, that is to say, thinges that yett have nott bin at all offer’d to the Parliament or their Commissioners, that is the 2d and the 4th.a The 2d, which concernes the Militia of the Citty, and the 4th, which concernes the Release of those prisoners that you have named in your paper, and those that are imprisoned in the severall parts of the Kingdome, of whome likewise you desire a consideration might bee had now the Judges are riding their circuites.

To the first [we give you] this Account: That upon your former paper delivered,b and uppon the weight and necessity of the thinge, there has bin a very serious care taken by the Generall, hee having, as I told you to day, referr’d the preparing of somewhat for the Parliament concerning that to Col. Lambert and myself; and an account of that has bin given to the Generall att our meeting in the inner Roome; and, if itt please you, that which has bin in preparation may be read together with the Reasons of itt.

Edition: current; Page: [184]

That paper that now itt is desired may bee read to you is parte of itt an answer to a former paper that was sent to the Commissioners concerning the excluding of the Reformadoes out of the lines of communication, and the purging of the House of Commons, and the discharging or sending away into Ireland the men that had deserted the Army. The Generall did order a paper to that purpose to bee sent to the Commissioners; and that paper, that now is to bee read to you of a reply to the Commissioners; and there is an addition of this businesse concerning the Militia with the Reasons to inforce the desire of itt

The papers read.a

Lieut. Gen.

Care taken of all them only two, which are concerning the suspending of the 11 Members and the discharging of prisoners.

I am commanded by the Generall to lett you know in what state affaires stand betweene us and the Parliament, and into what way all thinges are putt. ’Tis very true, that you urge in your papers concerning that effect that an advancing towards London may have, and of some supposed inconveniences that our drawing back thus farre may bringe uppon us; butt I shall speake to that presently. Our businesses they are putt into this way, and the state of our businesse is this: Wee are now indeavouring as the maine of our worke to make a preparation of somewhat that may tend to a generall settlement of the peace of the Kingdome and of the rights of the subject that Justice and Righteousnesse may peaceably flow out uppon us. That’s the maine of our businesse. These things are butt preparatory thinges to that that is the maine; and you remember very well that this, that is the maine worke of all, Edition: current; Page: [185] was brought to some ripenesse. The way that our businesse is in is this: for the redressing of all these thinges, itt [is] a Treaty, a Treaty with Commissioners sent from the Parliament downe hither to the end that an happy issue may be putt to all these matters that soe much concerne the good of the Kingdome, and therein our good is soe that they must bee finished in the way of a Treatie. The truth of itt is, you are all very reasonably sensible, that if those things were nott removed that wee thinke may loose us the fruite of a Treaty, and the fruite of all our labours, itt’s in vaine to goe on with a Treaty, and its dangerous to bee deluded by a Treaty. And therefore I am confident of itt, that lest this inconveniencie should come to us, lest there should come a second warre, lest wee should bee deluded by a longe Treatie, your zeal hath bin stirr’d uppe to expresse in your paper that there is a necessity of a speedy marching towards London to accomplish all these thinges. Truly I thinke that possibly that may bee that that wee shall bee necessiated to doe [in the end]. Possibly itt may bee soe; but yett I thinke itt will be for our honour and our honesty to doe what wee can to accomplish this worke in the way of a Treaty; and if I were able to give you all those Reasons that lie in the case, I thinke itt would satisfie any rationall man heere. For certainly that is the most desirable way, and the other a way of necessity, and nott to bee done butt in [a] way of necessity. And truly, instead of all reasons lett this [one] serve: that whatsoever wee gett by a Treaty, whatsoever comes to bee setled uppon us in that way, itt will be firme and durable, itt will bee conveyed over to posterity, as that that will bee the greatest honour to us that ever poore creatures had that wee may obtaine such thinges as these are which wee are now about. And itt will have this in itt too, that whatsoever is granted in that way itt will have firmenesse in itt. Wee shall avoide that great objection that will lie against us, that wee have gott thinges of the Parliament by force; and wee knowe what itt is to have that staine lie uppon us. Thinges, though never soe good, obtain’d in that way, itt will exceedingly weaken the thinges, both Edition: current; Page: [186] to our selves and to all posteritie; and therefore I say, uppon that consideration, I wish wee may bee well advis’d what to doe. I speake nott this that I should perswade you to goe about to cozen one another, itt was not in the Generall’s, nor any of our hearts.

For the other two thinges that they yett take noe care of, that’s the members impeached [and the prisoners], these are two additionall which will bee likewise taken care of to be considered, and answered nott with words and votes, but with content and action. In effect there hath bin consideration had of the matters in your papers, for there needs no more of our representing of them than these papers that have bin read. I believe that wee that are Commissioners should bee very positive and peremptory to have these thinges imediately granted, within the compass of time which your papers mention, within so many days. And if these be not granted in a convenient time, and answer given by the way proposed, you are yett putt in such a way in taking such a course of doing things as you have proposed sooner then that wee could nott have putt ourselves into a posture of doing.a

I hope in God that if wee obtaine these thinges in this way wee propose to you, and [in] this convenient time, that wee shall thinke our selves very happy that wee have nott gone any other way for the obtayning them. That which wee seeke [is] to avoide the having of a 2d warre and the defeating of those [things] that are soe deare to us, whose interest ought to bee above our lives to us. If wee finde any thinge tending that way to delay us or disappoint us of those honest thinges wee are to insist uppon, I hope itt cannott nor shall nott bee doubted that the Generall nor any of us will bee backward for the accomplishment of those thinges wee have proposed. It remaines that you have some short account as the time will beare of that that has bin soe longe in preparation, which is that that tends to the Generall Settlement; and the Generall hath Edition: current; Page: [187] commanded the Commissary to lett you have a breif state of that.

Capt. Clarke.

I only offer this to your Excellency, whether the presenting of those thinges by way of Treaty will nott bee more dilatorie, and wanting of that virtue and vigour, than when itt comes from the hands of the Army more imediatelie, which though itt bee [from the Army] by way of Treatie [is] yett nott soe imediatlie [from it]?

And further, whether those propositionsa in order to the rights and liberties of the subject may nott prove in some measure obstructive to our present proceedinges, when they shall propose such thinges as the Kingdome shall nott bee satisfied in, or [not] soe necessary as these particulars which are very necessary in order to itt? For my owne parte I conceive thus much, that wee have very good and wholesome lawes already, if wee had butt good and wholsome Executors of them; and that’s the thinge wee insist uppon, to remove such persons that are most corrupt out of power and trust, and that such persons as are of knowne integritie may bee plac’t in their roomes. And wheras the Lieutennant Generall was pleased to move, that itt was the best way to compose the differences betweene the Parliament and Army by way of Treaty, I presume to say in the name of these Gentlemen, they likewise wish itt might bee soe. Butt truly, Sir, wee have great feares and jealousies that these Treaties, managed by a power soe adverse [?] to us, will prove rather destructive and delusive to us then any wayes certaine for our security and [for] the settlement of the Kingdom. If your Excellency please wee are very desirous that the paper presented to you might bee represented [to Parliament] as imediately from us and from this honourable Councill, and by the Agitators, which wee conceive will putt vigour and strength Edition: current; Page: [188] to the businesse, and wee hope effect that which [is] soe earnestly desired.

Lieut. Gen.

I may very easily mistake that which the other Officer offer’d to your Excellency. Two particulars which might receive retardement or obstruction by carrying them on in a way of Treatie, I mentioned indeed, particulars which were that of the 11 Members and that of the prisoners, and meant that thosea should goe as the sence of the whole Army. Hee conceives itt will adde vigour and strength to the desire and make our desires more easily granted [to] present not only those but all the rest [as the sense of the whole Army.]

If it bee soe all the rest will bee obstructed if they goe by way of Treatie. There may bee perhaps some mistake or forgetfulnesse in that which I offer’d to you. I thinke truly there is no objection lies in that which is said. For, soe farre as I know and discerne of these thinges and the way of management of them, if wee convey [this paper] to the Commissioners and by them to the Parliament as the sence of the whole [Army] represented by the Agitators to the Generall and assented to by the Councill of Warre, and [it] soe becomes the sence, nott only of the Armie that is the offended parte butt alsoe [of] the commanding parte of itt; and [if] wee represent itt to them with that positivenesse that hath bin spoken of, to be sent up to London, to which we desire an answer, and expect an answer within some few days, that is to say, within so short a time as they can have itt consulted, wee may call this a Treaty, butt I thinke itt signifies nothing else butt what that Gentleman speakes of.b Therefore for my parte I think theyc differ in nothing but in words, and not in substance.

Edition: current; Page: [189]

I suppose there are resolutions nott to enter uppon a further Treaty till wee have an answer to these thinges, and if you have patience to heare that which is offer’d you to bee acquainted with from the Commissary Generall, I suppose that businesse may bee soe disposed of.a Therefore I shall desire that if itt please the Generall, that you mayb have an account of that other businesse by the Commissary Generall.

Mr. Allen.

May itt please your Excellency, I desire to offer one word. The Lieut. Generall hath bin pleased to give us an account that your Excellency together with your Councill have travel’d hard in the transacting and managing of thinges in order to the weale both of the Kingdome and Army, in which I hope wee are satisfied as concerning your care and fidelity therein. Butt truly wee cannott bee soe fully satisfied in the apprehension of your care in the managing and transacting of thinges for us, butt wee are as much sadded that thosec with whome you are transacting and endeavouring to manage these great affaires for us are taking soe little care of us while you in transacting are soe carefull of them, soe little care either to save your expence [of labour] or ours. Truly [as to] that which the Lieutennant Generall hath spoken, to conclude thinges in the way of Treatie, you conceive itt would bee singularly honourable to conclude them soe if possible. Itt hath bin our thoughts soe too, and therefore [we] have waited longe that wee might if possible have thinges ended in such a way; butt truly wee have waited soe longe as our patience is expended. The Lieutennant Generall hath exprest, that if things bee not ended in such a way then there is a ground to goe on in some other way. Edition: current; Page: [190] How farre that way hath falne short, and how farre that hasa presented us with a cleere ground to proceede in further, I shall leave itt to this honourable Councill to judge. And truly itt is that which is in most of our thoughts, that those who have bin treating with us are nott intended to conclude thinges in such a way. That when wee see God soe carried forth, or soe suffering mens spiritts to bee acted, that they shall refuse those peaceable thinges desir’d, that is the great thing observed by us.b And whether or noe proved once [God] hath nott pointed out some other way to us?c I thinke itt is most of our thoughts that hee has. And whether or noe nott such a way as this, namely, the proposall of these desires, those new ones, and those former that hath bin presented to them, [but] nott by them yet answered?d That which hath encouraged them rather nott to grant them hath bin our distance from them which our advancing towards them [will remove]. Itt is our thoughts that the proposall of these to them, and our speedy advance towards them, would be a preparation to attaine a speedy and a most effectuall answer to those thinges which wee desire, [in] which (if nott such a course taken) wee doe extreamely question that wee shall have nothing done. That now wee see delayes prove soe dangerous that they are almost every day expected to run into confusion, which [it] is the desire of you and of us to prevent, and wee have named those thinges that they may bee offer’d to the House, and that wee may march in order to a speedy procuring of an answer to them.

Lieut. Gen.

If that that I say of the Treaty bee applyed to one thinge which Edition: current; Page: [191] I meane of another, then there may haplya bee a very great misunderstanding of mee; butt that which I speake of Treaty, that relates to those thinges that are prepared for a generall Settlement of the Kingdome, bee applyed to the obtayning of these thinges which are to precede a Treaty, is that that I have said to you hath bin mistaken throughout, and instead of giving mee satisfaction of that point which stickes on so with every one of danger and delay butt that which I say of Treatie in answer to that is offer’d in your paper that wee should obtaine these by positive demand within a circumscribed time and going of the Commissioners. Yett using the name will nott offend if wee doe nott the thinges, that is [if] wee doe nott treate of those thinges.b

Give mee leave to offer one thinge to your consideration which I see you make to bee your ground of marching towards London; because itt came in my minde, I am sorry I did itt, butt this came in my minde, and I would nott offer itt to you butt because I really know itt is a truth. Wee are, as our friends are elsewhere, very swift in our affections and desires; and truly I am very often judged for one that goes too fast that way, and itt is the property of men that are as I am to bee full of apprehensions that dangers are nott soe reall as imaginary, to bee alwayes making hast, and more some times perhaps then good speede; wee Edition: current; Page: [192] are apt to misapprehensions that wee shall bee deluded through delay, and that there are noe good intentions in the parliament towards us, and that wee gather from the manifold bearing [?] of those words that wee have represented to them. Give mee leave to say this to you, for my owne parte perhaps I have as few extravagant thoughts, overweaning [thoughts] of obtaining great thinges from the Parliament as any man; yett itt hath bin in most of our thoughtes that this Parliament might bee a reformed and purged Parliament, that wee might see [there] men looking att publique and common interests only. This was the great principall wee had gone uppon, and certainly this is the principle wee did march uppon when wee were att Uxbridge, and when wee were att St. Alban’s, and surely the thing was wise, and honourable, and just, and wee see that providence hath led us into that way. Itt’s thought that the Parliament does nott mend—what’s the meaning of that? That is to say, that company of men that sitts there does nott meane well to us. There is a partie there that have bin faithfull from the sitting of the Parliament to this very day; and wee know their interests, and they have ventured their lives through soe many hazards, they came nott to the House butt under the apprehension of having their throats cutt every day. If wee well consider what difficulties they have past that wee may not run into that extreme of thinking too hardly of the Parliament. If wee shall consider that their businesse of holding their heads above water is the common worke, and every other day [’s work] and to day that which wee desire is that which they have strugled for as for life, and sometimes they have bin able to carry itt, others nott, and yett daily they gett ground.

Iff wee [wish to] see a purged Parliament, I pray lett mee perswade every man that hee would be a little apt to hope the best; and I speake this to you as out of a cleare conscience before the Lord, I doe thinke, that [that part of] the Parliament is uppon the gaining hand, and that this worke that wee are now uppon Edition: current; Page: [193] tends to make them gaine more; and I would wish that wee might remember this alwayes, that [what] wee and they gaine in a free way, itt is better then twice so much in a forc’t, and will bee more truly our’s and our posterities; and therefore I desire nott to perswade any man to bee of my minde, butt I wish that every man would seriously weigh these thinges.

Mr. Allen.

May itt please your Excellency and this honourable Councill, I suppose your Honour hath att this time spoke those good hopes and thoughts that you have of the Parliament; and truly they are the same thoughts and hopes that wee have longe had, and are loath to lay downe or to deviate from, did not too visible testimonie take us off, or wee would willingly see, and itt would bee the rejoicing of our spiritts to see, as possibly might be,a a Parliament soe reformed as might back this present power, and that power and aucthority might goe hand in hand to carry on that great worke in order to the Kingdomes welfare; which could they doe, I thinke itt would much facilitate your carrying of itt on. Your Honour is pleased to tell us (I suppose speaking your hopes therin) that the Parliament or the prevailing parte of itt is a gaining parte, and like to gaine more. Truly I could wish wee could say soe too; butt soe farre as wee are able to judge of ourselves wee must speake our feares. That wee conceive theyb are a loosing partie, and loosers rather then gainers. I think very few of us [believe] that they are at the present gainers, or like to be gainers. Whether our marching towards London may nott conduce to such an end, namely to the quelling of the spiritts of those who are acting as much as in them lies to make them and us and the kingdome be loosers? That they are loosers, and truly, if such a course bee nott taken to suppress those persons, that I fear itt will Edition: current; Page: [194] bee past our recovery to make them gainers, if wee lett them go on.a

Com̃. Generall.

I suppose this debate depends uppon these two thinges; First, whether those desires read bee likely soe effectually to bee sent uppe to London in the way as they are, or in the other deliver’d in to day; and the other [thing] is, whether itt bee nott fitt, whether you send [them] the one [way]b or the other, to resolve uppon a marching of the Army towards London. I conceivec the effect of what was said to your Excellency last was, to my understanding, butt meerly an answer of one reason that seem’d to have bin urg’d against the marching of the Army towards London.

And first I cannott butt take notice of what was said uppon that point, soe as to give the Gentleman that hath spoke and the rest some satisfaction too, or att least to shew how little reason they have to bee unsatisfied. Itt is suppos’d that those who appeare, who wee account to bee friends of the Commonalty, as to the Kingdome, and of Justice and righteousnesse, which do professe as wee tod seeke after itt, itt is suppos’d they are rather of the loosing then of the gaining hand; and I expected to have had some reasons why wee should thinke soe; butt the maine [reason given] was, that they didd nott soe fully nor soe wholly comply with this Army in all the thinges that they desire [as we think they ought to do].

I cannott blame [them] nor cannott see [how] any man [can] that walkes by that rule of doing to another as hee would bee done to, which is the only rule of justice. I doe nott understand how wee can thinke that of necessity they must satisfie us in all these thinges wee desire, and those [things] tending still to putt power Edition: current; Page: [195] into our hands, and to put all power too out of any other hands; I cannott expect itt reasonably from men. For what reason have I to expect that other men should trust mee more then I should trust to them? or that I should give them better testimonie of my fidelitie to them then they of their’s to mee, and especially of the fidelity and clearnesse of my intentions? Truly I thinke wee have some intimationsa that they are rather of the gaining hand, though I shall offer some [more]. You cannot but see they have prevail’d. We heare [that] there are daily uppon those votes many that doe discover themselves, and others that are discovered by others, that doe leave the House; and unlesse wee should thinke that those men of injustice and pusillanimityb may bee better friends to us then those that stay behinde, I cannott see how wee should thinke otherwise but they must needs bee by that of the gayning hand—I meane those that are friends to our interest, for the going against which, or betraying of which these men are cast out—and therefore I thinke that parte that was used of their being of the gaining hand, together with the consideration of the difficultie by which they doe carry these thinges daily—and att present they are strugling and striving with a partie that would carry all thinges with the worst to the Kingdome—I thinke [that consideration] ought to bee of [such] weight with us that wee should have some love towards them, as wee would expect that others should have the like towards us, if wee were in the like case.

I shall proceede to speake concerning the marching of the Army towards London for the inforcing of these desires, and concerning the way of sending uppe these desires of the Army. I cannott butt deliver my opinion, that itt would bee more effectuall if itt doe come as a paper agreed uppon by your Excellency, by your Councell of Warre, and by all the Agitators. [It] cannott butt bee more effectuall, then iff itt came in by the Edition: current; Page: [196] Commissioners that are appointed to treate, and soe I hope itt will bee satisfactory to them; and truly when wee have any thinge to say to the Parliament, and [it is] nott deliver’d [directly] to them, I thinke itt is a great incivility. Sir, I shall speake but a word or two concerning those apprehensions that I perceive there are of after troubles. For my owne parte I expect noe great matter, nor [do I desire] to putt much uppon the way of the Treaty; I should rather desire to shorten the worke, and if men doe understand your Excellency they may know that that which only hath occasioned the hope of any thinge in the Treatie is that wee would nott goe soe much in the way of Treatie, but the rather thinke of another way to drawe out all thinges out of our own proposalls;a and soe to make a short worke of itt without any longe proposall by way of debate. And whereas itt hath bin said, by any way of Treatie at all, there is little hopes expected, [but] if any [thing] discouragement,b because itt hath continued soe longe, and soe little done, I must deale freely and cleerly in that particular, that there is noe cause that I can apprehend for the starting of itt. Wee have noe reason to blame the Commissioners of Parliament, because they have still called uppon us to goe on in that Treatie, and they have sat still and bin content because wee have putt little into their hands.c And I must desire all these Gentlemen to consider that [in] the concluding of this by way of Treatie in order to the Settlement of the Kingdome, if there bee any delay, the fault of itt, if there bee any fault, itt lies wholly amongst our selves whatever itt bee; and I thinke much fault hath bin in none, [but there hath bin] a Edition: current; Page: [197] choice rather to present all thinges for the settlement of the Kingdom [together]. The other [reason] was because itt was nott [thought] soe fitt to proceede in itt till some other thinges for present securitie were satisfied, soe that there is noe reason indeed that those that have bin imployed in the Treatie should bee blam’d for itt as att this time; and I cannot butt adde one word more, that those Gentlemen that seeme to bee unsatisfied have little reason to blame any att all.

This preparation of an entire proposall of particulars they have bin desir’d, and I shall appeale to as many as have spoken to mee if I have nott made itt knowne that wee were uppon this worke of drawing all thinges for a proposall to the setling of the Kingdome.a Therfore [it was desired that] any man that had leasure and freedome and a minde to further the worke would thinke of any particulars to give in to my self and another that was sequestred or sett apart for that worke; and truly Sir, I thinke if noe man else hath prepared any other particulars, I thinke those that have prepared some particulars [deserve thanks]. Wee propose thus. Wee doe thinke that the settlement of peace is by having a settlement of itt in our hands; if ever itt doe come to settle, itt must bee by setting downe some thinge that may bee a rule to lay a foundation for the common rights and liberties of the people, and for an established peace in the Nation. I know nott [that] any of those Gentlemen that seeme to bee sensible of delayes, that any of them have tendred any thinge to the Commissioners that have satt, or have proposedb any termes wherein the settlement is.

I shall say no more to these, but [speak] to one [thing only] as to drawe the Army towards London. Truly Sir I should bee Edition: current; Page: [198] against it altogether, unlesse wee had proposed those thinges for setling the peace of the Kingdome, and doe finde a profest preparation against you. Butt I am the more against you because those thinges are not proposed, and nott the more because att present you propose such a thinge which may justly receive a deniall, I meane to those whom you do nott give such a full satisfaction in. I do not knowe that there is a thinge agreed upon to bee propos’d, I mean the proposall of the Militia in those hands.a I am concluded by the Councell soe farre as nott to speake any thinge att all against itt, only soe farre as nott to that wee should nott faile for that as to march uppe to London,b and I wish when wee doe itt wee should have a more reasonable thinge then for that. And, Sir, I shall say noe more to itt, but adde some inforcement, and that is, the consequence of seeking to gaine such thinges as these are by force. Truly I know nothing that can make any man to scruple the weight of that, except itt bee that hee thinkes there hath bin force offer’d already, and [that] therefore wee shall thinke of nothing heerafter butt force, and nott make account of any thinge that can bee obtain’d any other way. If a man hath nott that apprehension this argument must bee a very weighty one.c I should butt desire to minde that which is visible and apparent in the papers, which was the only appearance of any kinde of threatning. Edition: current; Page: [199] And I say yett, my ground thena was that this Army stood as it were proscrib’d; you stood butt as outlawes, all that were amongst you were invited to come away from you, and you were putt out of protection, and noe body owning of you as their Army. That was one Reason. Another Reason [was that those] who were the profest, open, knowne Enemies of the Army, who had (according to those thinges wee have impeached them for) indeavoured to engage in a Warre, they had place in Parliament, and such place and power in all Committees of Parliament as did give them a cleere advantage openly and aboveboard to carry on thinges for a Warre, and we saw very visible effects of that. Truly from that time [we have] seene an alteration as to that, and that is first of all that they are withdrawne from the House, and they are nott suffer’d to appeare that I can heere upon action as members of the House. There is nothing wanting butt a positive order for the sequestring of them the House, and that I thinke there is a greate deale of Justice to demand, and to demand with a further inforcement.

I speake all to this purpose, that wee had uppon our former march to London better grounds, and now wee have nott any left us. Wee were in all probability butt as ruin’d men, under noe acknowledgement nor own’d by noe body, by noe aucthoritie in the Kingdome. In that the case is very clearly alter’d, and for my owne parte I doe nott understand how we can have the same ground to goe agen now; but I apply all to this conclusion, that before wee had such a cleare ground for our going uppe that all might conclude that wee had reason to doe that, or else to have wholly laid downe our armes, and deserted the cause and interest wee have taken, for wee could nott continue in armes till that were done.

Mr. Allen.

The Commissary Generall’s discourse hath bin large, and truly Edition: current; Page: [200] my memory and the time is something short. I shall nott speake butt only to one particular, and that the last, because itt is most fresh in my memory, and perhaps some heere have had thoughts of the former. Concerning our marching uppe to London, I take itt itt is waiv’d uppon this ground, that wee have nott now that reason as formerly wee had when wee did before march uppe towards itt; and the reason that then wee had was this, wee lay as a disown’d Army and wee had a House unpurg’d. Truly to that I shall only breiflie reply, that I doe confesse wee are own’d in name, butt I doubt nott in nature, to bee the Parliaments Army. And truly I will only hinte att some thinges in order to that, that give mee some grounds soe to suspect that we are nott own’d as their Army. Meerly the reason is, if wee were they would never suffer us to bee traduc’t, revil’d, and rail’d uppon both in pulpitts and presses continually as wee are, butt itt would bee a little laid to heart by a Parliament owning us as their Army, and itt would reflect uppon their honour as well as ours. I conceive that they ought to doe some thinge in vindication both of our owne and their Honour in that particular; butt seing them silent and all this while wee should lie under itt, and I feare this is only that that they would putt upon us that wee are in name the Parliament’s Army. Butt I will say noe more to that. As to the purging of the House [it is said that] there have been great thinges done. The Membersa they are att present debarr’d of sitting there, and there wants butt an ordinance or something to that purpose—which is almost all—to the sequestring of them wholly. I feare yett they are in a capacitie of doing too much, and till they shall more fully declare themselves as to that, I question if wee looke nott uppon thinges in a multiplying glasse. And truly as those were the reasons uppon which the weight of our marching laid, as that our intentions might bee made knowne to the Kingdome that soe wee might have Edition: current; Page: [201] a cleare and undoubted way to gett swords out of mens hands that will cutt our throates with them. To mee itt seemes strange that this should bee a sufficient ground. I wish that while wee are laying to our selves a full ground, by a full foundation for a large structure, some body does nott interpose betweene us. If when we have presented ourselves and mindes to the view of the Kingdome as intending to satisfaction to satisfie, whether or noe this is nott that which wee expected and wee know what they doe intend, wee’ll seeke to helpe our selves in another, and soe the other and the other way, and truly if you have noe power in your hands, why truly of what a consequence such a thinge may bee I leave itt to you to judge.a

Lieut. Gen.

This I wish in the generall, that wee may all of us soe demeasne our selves in this businesse that wee speake those thinges that tend to the uniting of us, and that wee doe none of us exercise our parts to straine thinges, and to lett in thinges to a longe dispute, or to unnecessary contradictions, or to the stirring uppe of any such seede of dissatisfaction in one anothers mindes as may in the least render us unsatisfied one in another. I doe nott speake this that any body does doe itt, butt I say this ought to become both you and mee, that wee soe speake and act as that the end may bee union and a right understanding one with another.

Edition: current; Page: [202]

Truly, if I thought that which was last spoken by Mr. Allen had bin satisfactory to that end for which hee spake itt, I should nott have said any thinge to you. Butt for that [answer] which hee made to the Commissary [General’s argument] of the Parliament’s owning of us, and what a thinge that was to us, and how much tending to the settlement of the peace of the Kingdome, to say or to thinke ‘itt is butt a titular thinge that, and butt in name only that they doe owne [us,]’ I thinke is a very great mistake. For really itt did att that time lay the best foundation could bee expected for the preventing an absolute confusion in this Kingdome; and I thinke if wee had nott bin satisfied in that, wee should nott have bin satisfied in any thinge. And [it is a very great mistake] to thinke that this is any weighty argument, ‘itt is butt titular, because they suffer scandalous bookes flock uppe and downe,’—I would nott looke they should love us better then they love themselves, and how many scandalous bookes goe out of them. Wee have given them and the Parliament more to doe then attend [to] scandalous bookes. I hope that will not weigh with any man; and I desire wee may putt this debate to a conclusion, or else lett us answer those thinges that are really and weightily objected, as truly that was [not]. They have given us as reall a testimonie that they cannott give more. They cannott disowne us without the loosing of all rationall and honest people in the Kingdome; and therfore lett us take itt as a very great and high owning of us; lett nott us disown that owning. If any man would by that which was objected wee would have peace, a perfect settlement of all wee seek and we would march to London to say wee fore’t them.a—Really, Really, Have what you will have, that you have by force I looke uppon itt as nothing. I doe nott knowe that force is to bee used, except wee cannott gett what is for the good of the Kingdome without force. All the arguments must tend to this, that itt is necessary to use force, to Edition: current; Page: [203] march uppe with the Army, and nott to tarry 4 dayes. [Was not the argument thus]a wee shall bee baffled, denied, and shall never march uppe, butt still bee patient and suffer, even to have the ruine of the Kingdome as hath bin imagin’d [if we do not march within four days]. Expect a speedy answer which hath bin offer’d, and to make that criticall to us whether they owne us or intend to perfect the settlement as wee expect. The Kingdome would bee sav’d [even] if wee doe not march within 4 dayes, if wee had these thinges granted to us. If these thinges bee granted to us wee may march to Yorke. I wish wee may respite our determination till that 4 or 5 dayes bee over, till wee see how thinges will bee, except you will urge reasons to show itt to bee of absolute necessity to all those ends to determine just now that wee will march uppe to London to morrow or next day. I am sorry that wee bee nott satisfied with that which hath bin propos’d as to this very thinge, and [hope] thatb having had assurance these thinges were putt into such a way as hath bin offer’d to you that you will rest contented with this as att this time, except you will show us some absolute reasons.

Major Tulida.

The Lieutennant Generall hath putt itt to a good issue, for the weight of the businesse lies heere. That those proposalls presented to your Excellency to day, and those thinges wee all doe conclude on to be necessary, but there seems a difference in the way.c I cannot butt adde that there is a great deale of faith in this, that wee doe [all] conclude our owne [way] as the accomplishing of the thinges. Whether you should represent that wee cannott probably obtaine them? And really Sir to my apprehension the Edition: current; Page: [204] representation of a swete and honourable way of Treating is as much wish’t and desir’d by mee as by any. If I shall cast my eye ona what is represented by these Treaties, and by the consequence of them, I should stand att a distance from them. I shall nott putt the fault uppon the Commissioners [of the Parliament] or uppon those that were your Excellencie’s Commissioners, butt in the conclusion wee are noe further then where wee were att Uxbridge; nay, nott soe farre, and the same thinges pressb uppon us. And therfore —, though some have mentioned [as] to the Parliament, that wee should [not] expect from them any thinge that they could nott accomplish, — therefore, Sir, as our advancing to Uxbridge putt them into [such] a way that they had liberty to speake, if our advance to Uxbridge sett them on the legges, nothing will expedite them to putt them into the same [way] of boldly speaking for the Kingdomes interest [like our advance] towards the City.c Wee seeme to bee startled att the expression of forcing thinges—Doe wee force, or doe wee desire by forcing [anything] butt that with [once] forcing there should bee noe more forcing? That by the sword wee may take the sword out of those hands that are enemies to justice, to equity? Itt was by forcing this, and soe wee conceiving the emergent necessity that without an advance to London wee cannott have any other accomplishment to these proposalls I desire that all may bee putt to this issue. As to the thinge propounded by the Lieutennant Generall, I doe nott know that wee can promise our selves soe as that wee can have itt,d when they doe nott owne us to bee their Army; and for the Militia of London there is Edition: current; Page: [205] as great necessity for us to advance to London. Wee cannott have any thinge unlesse by the way of advancing to London.

Lieut. Gen.

Truly the words spoken by Major Tulidah were [spoken] with affection, butt wee are rationall [men]. I would faine know with what reason or colour of reason hee did urge any reason but only with affirmation of earnest words. For that Declaration of the Parliament, the Parliament hath own’d us, and taken off that that any man can loyally or rationally charge us with. If uppon his apprehensions or any man’s else, wee shall quarrel with every dogge in the streete that barkes att us, and suffer the Kingdome to bee lost with such a fantasticall thinge? I desire that nothing of heate or earnestnesse may carry us heere, nor nothing of affirmation, nor nothing of that kinde may lead us, butt that which is truly reason, and that which hath life and argument in itt.

To that which was alledged that by our marchinga to Uxbridge wee open’d those honest mens mouthes to speake for us. This is nott to be answer’d with reason, butt this is matter of fact, and better knowne to some of us then itt is to Major Tulida or any of you. ’Tis true there was [a] feare and an awe uppon the Parliament by our marching to Uxbridge, there was some thinge of that, for those 11 Members were afraid to bee in the House. If you will beleive that which is nott a fancie, they have voted very essentiall thinges to their owne purging, and I believe this, iff we will believe that which is the truth in fact,b uppon that very one vote that Edition: current; Page: [206] was pas’t,—concerning the putting a fine or penalty [on those] that knew themselves to bee guilty, and that if they did nott goe out should accuse themselves to bee liable to sequestrationa—I believe there will goe 20 or 30 men out of the House of Commons. And if this bee [not] an effect and demonstration of the happy progresse, [they have made] and that by use of that libertie that they have had by our [not] drawing neere, I appeale to any man? And if they shall, as I said before, disowne us, and wee give them noe cause to doe itt, butt pressing only just, and honourable, and honest thinges from them, judge you what can the world thinke of them and of us? Butt [what can the world think if] wee shall doe that, whilest wee are uppon the gayning hand, that shall really stoppe their mouthes, to open their mouthes in a title for us. That whilest they are, as fast as they can, gayning the thinges wee desire, if wee shall bee soe impatient that whilest they are strugling for life that they are unable to helpe us and gain’d more within these 3 dayes then in 10 dayes for aught I know wee may by advancing stoppe their mouthes.b They will nott have wherwithall to answer that middle partie in the House who is answer’d with this reason, “you see the Army is contented to goe backward, you see the Army is willing, to make faire representationsc of that they have from us.” I professe, I speake itt in my conscience, that if wee should move untill wee had made these proposalls to them, and see what answer they will give them, wee shall Edition: current; Page: [207] nott only disable them butt divide among our selves; and I as much feare that as any thinge; and if wee should speake to your satisfactions you must speake to our satisfactions though there bee great feares of others I shall very much question the integritie of any man, I would nott have itt spoken.a

Cornett Joyce.

What I shall speake is nott against that which is prepared and are to be presented to the House, butt I should thus offer [this] unto the Lieutennant Generall and likewise to the Commissary Generall; whether or noe when the Parliament did vote or declare us to bee their Army [they] did owne our act in fighting of the Kinge? Againe, if in case they have left out that, and doe nott owne that, there may bee some thing that may cause a . . . . . . . to neglect this Army.

Mr. Sexby.

To mee this seemes very cleare, and I cannott see yet any satisfaction to itt. I conceive that what the Parliament has done in reference to their declaring us their Army was uppon this ground, that they did [it] rather out of feare then love. My reasons are these: first, because to this day those that deserted us are [better] look’t uppon, countenanc’t, and abundantly better paid then wee. 2ndly. Because us yett they looke uppon us as Enemies for this reason, that they send to treate with us; for truly Parliaments or Armies never treate with friends butt Enemies, and truly wee cannott butt looke uppon our selves soe.

Major Disbrow.

Soe farre as I understand, a great deale of this last is farre from the businesse in hand. Most men cry out for expedition, and this Edition: current; Page: [208] is nott the way to itt. One [point] that the Commissary Generall answer’d them fully in [was] the manner of presenting this paper. Another was a speedy marching, . . . . . . . and to itt many have rather offer’d their owne fancies then any expedient. Some for a speedy marching and others to march within 4 dayes. I humbly offer this, that if there were reason to resolve now to march to London, [whether] preparations would nott last soe longe [as four days]? I conceive this, that the chief ground of difference [is] of marching to London or nott marching to London; and itt is prest uppon this consideration, because there is noe expectation of [obtaining] what is propounded without the Army goes to backe itt. I only offer this to all reasonable men, whether itt bee nott an unreasonable way? Itt hath bin often agen and agen moved that there may bee an answer [obtained] by Munday night or Tuesday morning; and truly you could nott sett forward a march before; and therefore I offer itt to your Excellency that wee might nott take pleasure in speaking our own [fancies] butt to minde the businesse in hand, if any man hath any thinge to speake.

Lieut. Scotton.

One of the great ones was,a since wee see that your Excellency and the Councill of Warre hath bin pleas’d to take itt into consideration as to proceede to a Treaty, and truly I hope that reason that I have heard observ’d. Wee are soe farre satisfied to bring our desires about and waive the marching to London. I have one word [to say] that it does lie uppon our spiritts that there may bee a reall and effectuall course taken that [Lt.-Col. Lilburne] is freed.

Cornett Spencer.

I am now come from the Citty. There is this day many Officers of the Militia to take the names of every Apprentice and to cause Edition: current; Page: [209] them to bee ready uppon an houres warning. That yesterday uppon the Kinges coming to Maidenhead.a That you and all of your Army I thinke wee may as well goe alonge with them as with our Army, as the Scotts did, and were justified, and therefore if wee bee right —

Lieut. Gen.

Truly Sir I thinke neither of these 2 thinges that Gentleman spoke last are any great newes. For the one of them, the listing of Apprentices, I doubt they have listed them twice over; I am sure wee have heard [it] more then twice over. For the other [that our friends in London] would rejoice to see us come uppe, what if wee [be] better able to consult what is for their good then themselves? Itt is the generall good of them and all the people in the Kingdome [we ought to consult]. That’s the question, what’s for their good, nott what pleases them. I doe nott know that all these considerations are arguments to have satisfaction in these things that wee have in proposition. If you bee in the right, and I in the wronge, if we wee bee divided I doubt wee shall all bee in the wronge. . . . Whether of them will doe our worke, lett them speake without declaring.b Lett us nott thinke that this is a greater argument that they love those that deserted, that they have paid them and nott us, which was Mr. Sexbye’s argument, which if itt had weight in itt I should have submitted to itt. The Question is singly this: whether or noe wee shall nott in a positive way desire the answer to these thinges before wee march towards London, when perhaps wee may have the same thinges in the time that wee can march. Heere is the strictnesse of the Question.

Edition: current; Page: [210]
Major Tulida.

That if any thinge bee spoken, to say itt is out of zeale, that wee should abound in our sence — I humbly desire there may bee libertie to speake, and that a providence may carry thinges, and nott that way.

Col. Rich.

There has bin a longe debate. There are only two thinges in Question: whether the paper and 5 particulars should goe as they are, or that this paper should bee first insisted uppon? and then whether this paper should bee presented to the Commissioners [of the Parliament] heere as from the Councill [of the Army] or from the Commissioners [of the Army]? Itt is well that itt should goe as from this Councill. The second is for the march to London. As for our marching to London the Lieut. Generall putts itt uppon this issue; whether wee shall march now or stay 4 dayes? To decide itt with a Question whether wee shall march to London, or noe.

Lieut. Chillenden.

That that proposall which my Lieutenant Generall propos’d to your Excellency concerning the proposall of this, for my parte to mee itt gives great satisfaction in my spiritt for to see itt, and I hope there will bee the like uppon my parte. And alsoe for the other concerning the prisoners, itt lies soe weighty uppon my spiritt, and truly I hope your Excellency and this Councill of Warre are those [that will insist upon it] . . . . . [But] that att this juncture of time the Judges are going the Circuites I should nott trouble your Excellency and this Councill of Warre concerning itt. That that paper may goe concluding all thinges in itt.

Commissary Gen.

That hee would have the 5 particulars in itt goe, butt nott the Edition: current; Page: [211] paper [itself], for [in] that itt is propos’d the Army should march towards or to London. If wee have friends in the Parliament or Citty that wish well to the Army or Kingdome, I could nott butt expect to loose them by itt, if they should butt see such a spiritt in this Army that they putt [force uppon] them . . . . . uppon such thinges [to] which some of them were never oppos’d.

Another expression, ‘that they should nott only bee sequestred butt disabled.’ I confesse I doe nott understand the justice of that ground, and I pray God this Army may avoide itt.a

Att a Generall Councill of Warre att Reading. July 17, 1647.

Commissary Ireton.

That those papersb doe nott concerne the Army in particular butt the whole Kingdome in generall.

Lieut. Gen.

That all prejudices might bee removed.

Com̃. Ireton.

There could bee butt 2 wayes: either by Treatie, or else to have such an intire proposall of particulars prepared, as might neede the lesse delay in way of Treatie. The Commissioners are those that your Excellency was pleased to appoint. Itt was offer’d to us by the Commissioners of the Parliament parte, whether wee would draw out particulars, or [make] an intire proposall of all together? Though there was noe publique proposall [ready], yett wee did satisfie our selves how longe and teadious itt would have Edition: current; Page: [212] bin to draw out particulars by way of debate by the Commissioners there; and therefore truly I was, with the consent of your Excellency and the rest of the Commissioners, sequestred from that imployment of the Treatie to make some preparation of particulars fitt to tender to your Excellency and the Army as were declared in itt.a That if any body could thinke of any other particulars that concern’d the Kingdome every man was as free to doe as my selfe or any other, and would have bin as well accepted; and for my owne parte I should have bin glad that any other would have sett himselfe on worke as I did.

One thinge, the Parliament have sent propositions to the Kinge; wee have nott had any from them.

The propositions read.b

Lieut. Gen.

Butt you would nott have a Parliament dissolved without the consent of the Houses in 120 dayes?

Col. Lambert.

[They may sit] longer then that, that except the Councill of State, and the Kinge shall thinke fitt; if you involve themselves in itt if they may sitt without the consent of both Housses.

Lieut. Gen.

They may bee adjourn’d if the King and Councill of State thinke fitt; itt may bee as convenient to have a Parliament continued as to [have it] out itself whether it will or noe.

Edition: current; Page: [213]

If itt does nott conclude itt publique, as that itt bee heare read or noe. If there bee any thinge afterwards that shall bee desired to bee offer’d for any addition the Councill of Warre will meete, and the Agitators [may] send soe many as they shall select to gett any alteration; butt itt would nott bee read heere butt that itt bee passed by with silence.

Com̃. Ireton.

For either the passing those particulars heere read or such a particular as you last offer’d without a further weighing or consideration itt might bee inconvenient; and therefore I shall desire, that though there is noe man that findes anythinge of exception against any parte of the thinge that is read, yett that it may be referred to a less number that may weigh or consider all things.a

[These particulars are offered] nott for a present conclusion butt consideration; for I cannott say the thinges have bin soe consider’d as to satisfie my self in them.

Mr. Allen.

I shall only offer one worde. I thinke that the thinges in hand hee names are things of great weight, having relation to the setling of a Kingdome, which is a great worke; truly the worke wee all expect to have a share in, and desire that others may alsoe. I suppose itt is nott unknowne to you that wee are most of us butt young Statesmen, and nott well able to judge how longe such thinges which wee heare now read to us may bee to the ends for which they are presented; and for us out of judgment to give our assents to itt must take uppe some time that wee may deliberate uppon itt; and therfore I shall desire that wee may nott only name them [i.e. a committee] now, butt spend some time [in debate], when wee heare thinges unsatisfactory to the ends for which they are proposed.

Edition: current; Page: [214]
Com̃. Ireton.

If that debate or consideration that is intended or desired [be that] that is most requir’d in such a Councill as this, I thinke itt cannott bee with soe much conveniencie butt when all men have heard [them] read, and had time to weigh them in their thoughts. I think that when we are never so well satisfied in the matter, such a select number are requisite for the perfecting of them in order and forme, soe as they may bee tendred for the service of the Kingdome.

Itt is proposed heere in order to a Councill of State, that there should bee a Councill of State to have the cheif command, both to have the command of the standing forces and of the Militia by sea or the Navy. Butt this Councill of State which commands them all to have noe dependancy of any of them by way of appointing officers. For the standing Militia of the Kingdome the [county] Committee[s are] to have power to name officers over them. Likewise for the Navy. The Councill of State [is to] have power to command the Navy, butt there are particular Commissioners to bee appointed for the ordering and regulating of itt, and appointing officers for the severall parts of the Navy.a

[News-letter from head-quarters.]

Yesterday there was a great Councill of Warre call’d, it held till 12 a clock at night, consisted of above 100 Officers, besides Agitators, who now in prudence we admitt to debate; and it is not more than necessary they should be, considering the influence they have upon the souldiers, and the officer we hope hath such interest in Edition: current; Page: [215] them, as if any of more fierce disposition amongst them moderate not their reason, the officers can command it; 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 Councills, 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 mutiny’d, and if a man consider the alterations of officers that are now admitted, and interests of officers that are gone, it is the greatest wonder, that there is that unanimity still. 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 forreign forces coming in, the putting reformado’s out of the line, and suspending the 11 Members, but more especially to desire the Parliament to putt the Militia of the Citty of London into the same hands it was before, without which we can not hold our selves secure in proceeding to treat, but that those persons being still in power who granted commissions to Dalbeere and such kind of soldiers of fortune may upon any encouragement from the designing parte be apt to doe the like again. Tho’ this was much prest with reasons and earnestness by the Agitators, yet the Generall and the Officers after many hours debate so satisfyed them with arguments and reasons to the contrary, that they submitted it to the Generall 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 4 days. These thinges being granted, the Treaty, all things being prepared to be debated on, will proceed; but till the Parliament be thoroughly purged, which is in a way, and the city Militia altered as aforesaid, we expect nothing but delays upon results of the Treaty, when ever they send them. And be assured you will find by those propositions that Edition: current; Page: [216] came from the Army, they take care for the Parliament and the interest of their party in a sufficient manner, and yet in order to the speedy settlement of the Peace of the Kingdome, make it their humble desires for some way of mediation for the King and his party, but so as not to prejudice the subjects liberty. Monarchy may be so settled, but not to be hurtfull as formerly. The King’s party do flock from London hither, not to be entertained in the Army, for I assure you there is not a man of that party suffered to be listed, but they come to see the King, and that civility is connived at, but that party not comply’d with. When the Army was in their greatest glory, and the enemy under their foot, yet we were ever humane and Christian to them, and now being so near a reconciliation, we should not shew any aversion or indisposition. Besides it does begett more confidence in the King than before that we are those that mean to make good our selves, and I hope he is so assured of it as he will not much stop at what shall be propounded for the peace of the Kingdom. It is now our resolution to follow the bussiness day and night, till there be a speedy end putt to this great affair of finishing a peace so much expected by the Kingdom; and indeed it must not be delay’d, for else the odium will lye as much upon the army as it hath of late upon others. Quartering is burthesome to the country and the more where the soldiers are uncivill and rude, which in so great an army doth sometimes happen, especially where we have but one months pay in 18 weeks, and how we shall do to order things well without money will go hard with us, the 200,000ɫ; being all expended, no man knows how.

[Order appointing certain Officers to perfect the proposals of the Army.]

I do appoint Commissary Generall Ireton, Collonel Fleetwood, Collonel Rich, Collonel Harrison, Collonel Horton, and Major Disborow of the Horse Officers, and Collonel Rainborow, Collonel Edition: current; Page: [217] Hammond, Sir Hardress Waller, Collonel Lambert, Lieutenant Collonel Cowell, and Adjutant General Deane of the Foot Officers to meet, consult, and proceed with the 12 Agitators according to the appointment made at the General Councill of Warr yesterday, for the perfecting of the proposals then read, in order to the settling of the Liberties and Peace of the Kingdom; and to adjourn from time to time, and place to place, till the same be perfected, and Lieutenant Generall Cromwell to be present with the said Councill when he can. Given under my hand and seal at Reading the 18th day of July, 1647.

T. Fairfax.

[Order for appointing a Committee of Officers.]

I do appoint Lieutenant Generall Hammond, Collonel Thomlinson, Collonel Scroop, Collonel Pride, Lieutenant Collonel Goffe, and Lieutenant Collonel Read to attend dayly at my Quarters to advise upon all emergencys of the affairs of the Army. Given under my hand and seal at Reading the 18th of July 1647.

T. Fairfax.
Gilbert Mabbott
Mabbott, Gilbert
July 26

[Letter from London, July, 26.]


Since the writeing of my former Letter, attending neere Westminstere and some scouts abroad, wee are informed the Comon Councill (all pure Malignants) are gone back from Westminster without any answere, leaving the managment of their bussinesse to the Apprentice Petitioners, and they have soe well followed it that the House of Peeres past a votea to recall the Declaration against them and to crosse it out of the Journall Booke; and that the more Creditt might be given to it, caused one of their Clerkes to read the order of their house publiquely in the Painted Chamber, the Clerke Edition: current; Page: [218] standing upon the Table whilst he read it. Upon this they left the Lords house and fell more close then before to the Commons house, the Lords in the meane time quietly riseing 5 at night. The Comons still are close prisoners, and a private message being sent to the Collonell Campfeilda to assist the Guard at the Commons House, that the Members might have libertie to goe out, his Lieutennant in the Collonell’s absence keeping the Guard at the Pallace, returned a slight answere, that the carriage of the Apprentices was more warrantable then the House’s. I cannott forgett to tell you that just now Scout Master Generall Watsonb was seized on by the Apprentices and some Reformadoes, and is in the charge of Captaine White and his Company; ’tis said the cause of his Committment was for that upon discourse he told some of the Petitioners, that if they held this course they would bring upon them the Plundering of the Citty. There is a pretty storie of one of them who said he had been one of your Army, and in that time hee was much against the Common Prayer Booke, and he had with his owne hands torne some of them, but that if it were to doe againe hee would rather have his hand cutt off. This was soe well taken that they prevailed with him to make this Recantation aloud in the head of the Hall at the King’s bench, which he did accordingly standing aloft. As I am writeing theis Lynes downe comes the Shereiffes of London on Horseback to Westminster and many Halberteers with them to allay the tumult.c

William Lenthall
Lenthall, William
July 29
Sir Thomas Fairfax
Fairfax, Sir Thomas

[Speaker Lenthall to Sir Thomas Fairfax.]

May it please your Excellence

Sir Arthur Haslerigg can informe you of my condition. I found the many inconveniencies I was like to have falne into, not in Edition: current; Page: [219] respect of my selfe, but in regard of the Kingdome’s Co . . of your Army. I am assured it will be strange to your Excellencie to heare of my being at Windsor where I intend to stay untill I find the Parliament in a better condition, if in case it be my fortune to sitt any more. I pray God blesse your Excellencie and all the rest there, that you may be, under God, the Saviour of the Parliament and people’s libertie, which I wish may be perfected by your selfe, which hath always been soe wished by

Your Excellencies humble servant
Wm. Lenthall.
Edition: current; Page: [220]
5 August, 1647

[News-letter from the Army]

After a longe threatned storme to engage us in a new and bloody warre by Reformadoes and Cittizens,a God hath soe blest our indeavours in the preventing soe wicked a designe as to bringe the wicked designers and contrivers uppon their knees, and the great ones are fled. The Citty this day delivers uppe to us the forts which were to be possesst by our armes. The forts in Southwarke were yesterday deliver’d uppe to Col. Rainborow. The Army marches in to guard the Earle of Manchester and Mr. Lenthall, Speakers of both Houses, and the Earle of Northumberland and some 14 Lords more of the House of Peeres, and all those of the House of Commons who were enforc’t to flie by reason of the tumults, and to guard them uppe to the Parliament to see their Speakers sett in the chaire and the Parliament sett free; which was the acclamation of all the souldiers, horse and foote, uppon Tuesday att the Randezvous on Hounsloe Heath,b when the Generall, Lords, and Commons rode through the army, being a mile and a half in length putt in Battalia, every man cried out, “Lords and Commons and a free Parliament,” expressing their willingnesse and Resolution to lay downe their lives butt to sett the Parliament free. Wee have demanded of the Citty the delivery uppe of the 11 members, whose Edition: current; Page: [221] actions have now made good the charge against them of indeavouring to raise a new warre, butt wee heare they are all fled. Wee have sent to all the ports in Kent and Sussex to seize uppon them, if they come that way. There is Major Generall Poyntz,a Col. Wiltshire, and divers other Reformadoes and others are likewise demanded; Poyntz gott away yesterday. Such is the suddaine turne of affaires in the Citty that they who before threatned nothing butt ruine to the army and to the Kingdome, by putting the sworde into bloudy minded mens hands and ungodly wretches, doe now begin to repent, nay are ashamed to show their heads, or to owne the least action, and have recalled their Declaration in the Common Counsell against the Army. Happy is that Commander that laid downe his commission butt two dayes since, hoping itt will save his stake, as Col. Campfeild and others. When the Parliament sitts this day, I suppose you will heare what great ones in the Citty they will demande, beginning with my Lord Mayor, Alderman Bunce &c., butt that’s more proper for the Parliament who received the affront of the Citty to take cognizance of then for the Army, otherwise itt had nott bin omitted in the demands yesterday. In breif wee may have what wee will desire, soe hath God humbled them and brought them downe, and be assured the crushing of this horrid designe in the egge will have [no] little influence uppon any parte of the Kingdome where itt was intended to have had a correspondence. The first worke will bee now to bringe to justice offenders, and to settle the Militia of the Citty in such hands as our friends may for the future remaine secure, and then the army may back and apply ourselves for the relief of Ireland. Our Declarations and proposalls now in print will satisfie you more particularly of our proceedinges. I hope when Charles D’oyley and those which are dissaffected to the army, heare how their freinds in London are fled, they will nott bee very apt to stirre in the Country; and if [you light upon] any of the impeached Edition: current; Page: [222] Members or Reformadoes that you can learne have had an hand in the tumults against the Parliament or the killing the Cittizens att Guildhall, that you [will] make stay of them. Our freinds in London all yesterday went about to gett the well-affected apprentices together to seize uppon as many of the most active Reformadoes as they could light uppon; an example of these and some Cittizens must bee made in time. Wee shall speedily soe disperse our horse into the Westerne parts as that there will bee noe neede for the well affected in the Country any longer to continue together.

August 29 1647
Sir Thomas Fairfax
Fairfax, Sir Thomas

[The Earl of Warwick to Sir T. Fairfax.]

I received your Excellencie’s letter, dated the 2d of this instant, this day, wherein you expresse the great sence you have of the indignity offer’d to the Parliament on Monday sennight last, which must needs oblige us the members of that body for your great care of the safety and honour of the houses; and lett these assure you for my particuler I shall ever bee ready to contribute all assistance I may to the vindication of their privileges and honour of the House. The metinge [of] Liftenants held not by reason of a miscaridge of my letter sent to somon them, which I did by the Clerke of the peace of the County, and he being from home my letter came not to his hand till the same daye; so as very few mett, and those I beleve have given your Excellencie an account of their metting. I myselfe, being on my journey towards you, was stayed on the way towards London by some of my Deputy Liftenants that duell in the Citty, who informed mee of some malignants and souldiers that were come downe into our Contrey and they feared might breed some disturbance in their parts neare Loundon, and desired my presence in the Country for a few dayes, that, if need had bin, I might have bin in some posture to have resisted those that would have disturbed the peace of this County. Sir, I doubt not but as this County hath allwaies been most Edition: current; Page: [223] forward to serve the Parliament in their best assistances, so they will be most ready to vindicate their honor whensoever their is occasion; and for my selfe I shalbe ever ready to pay that due respect to your merritt which you deserve by being instrumentall under God to protect the Parlement, and for your favoures to me I shall remaine

Your Excellencies humble servant,

Commission for the Generall’s Committee of Officers.

To Lieutenant Generall Cromwell, Lieut. Generall Hamond, Commissary Generall Ireton, Colonell Rainborow, Colonell Fleetwood, Colonell Hamond, Colonell Sir Hardresse Waller, Colonell Rich, Commissary Generall Stane, Scout Master Generall Watson, Quartermaster Generall Ireton, and Adjutant Generall Deane.

I doe heerby appoint you or any three or more of you; whereof Lieutenant Generall Cromwell, Lieut. Generall Hammond, Commissary Edition: current; Page: [224] Generall Ireton, or Colonell Rainborow to bee one, to bee a Generall Committee to receive and take into consideration all Businesses which shall by mee bee referred or shall otherwise bee tendred unto you, that are of publique and common concernement to the Army or Kingedome, or any considerable partie therin, or to any Garrisons or Fortes of this Kingedome, or to the affaires of Ireland.

And of all such Businesses soe receiv’d to consider whether they bee fitt for my cognizance or to bee intermedled in by my self and the Army or noe; and (if they be), then to consider of, and propose to mee, what you conceive may bee fitt to bee done uppon the same; and what you have nott time soe to consider of your selves, you are to transmitt to some such particular Committee as is heerafter mentioned to bee by them considered of. And for that purpose you the said Generall Committee or any three or more of you (whereof Lieut. Generall Cromwell, Lieut. Generall Hamond, Commissary Generall Ireton, or Colonell Rainborow to bee one), are heerby enabled out of the Officers or Agitators that doe or shall attend the Head Quarter to appoint such particular and severall Committees for severall businesses, as there shall bee occasion; every such Committee to consist of three persons or more as the matter shall deserve, (whereof one to bee named of the Quorum), and to have power to consider of such Businesses as shall by you bee transmitted to them as before, and to resolve what they conceive may bee fitt to bee done thereuppon, an Account whereof they are from time to time to returne to you the said Generall Committee, to bee tendred and proposed unto mee with your approbacion, if you shall approve of the same.

And you are to appoint a Clarke to keepe Account of the respective businesse, soe receiv’d, or to bee receiv’d, and of the Resolutions or proposalls thereuppon. Given under my hand and seale att Putney the 30th day of August, 1647.

Thomas Fairfax.
Edition: current; Page: [225]

I doe appoynt Colonell Fleetwood, Sir Hardresse Waller and Colonell Rich to be of the Quorum in pursuance of the afforesaid Comission, this 3d September, 1647.

Thomas Fairfax.a
Robert Huntington
Huntington, Robert
Sept. 9, 47
Hampton Court
Sir Thomas Fairfax
Fairfax, Sir Thomas

[Major Huntington to Sir T. Fairfax.]

May itt please your Excellency,

Uppon the deliverie of his Majesty’s answerb to the propossisions of both kingdoms sent by Commissioners on Tewsday last, this afternoone, his Majestie layd his commands on mee to speed away this inclosed to yourselfe (which is the same delivered to the Commissioners in answer to the propossicions brought by them), with these words, that hee was engaged to bee soe civell to the Generall as to send his answere to the propossicions to him at the same tyme hee delivered them to the others, sayeing that in them he had put a great trust upon the army, not doubteing but that the Generall would stand by him in procureing a personall treaty with his two houses. This is all which is to be offered to the knowledg of your Excellencie by the meanest of

Your Excellencies servants
Robt: Huntington.
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Att the Generall Councill of Officers att Putney. 28 October, 1647.

The Officers being mett, first said,

Lieutennant General Cromwell.a

That the Meeting was for publique businesses. Those that had anythinge to say concerning the publique businesse might have libertie to speake.

Mr. Edward Sexby.

Mr. Allen, Mr. Lockyer, and my self are three.

They have sent two Souldiers, one of your owne Regiment and one of Col. Whalley’s, with two other Gentlemen, Mr. Wildman and Mr. Petty.

Commissary General Ireton.

That hee had nott the paper of what was done uppon all of them.

Itt was referr’d to the Committee, that they should consider of the paper that was printed, “The Case of the Army Stated,” and to examine the particulars in itt, and to represent and offer somethinge to this Councill about itt.b They were likewise appointed Edition: current; Page: [227] to send for those persons concern’d in the paper. The Committee mett according to appointment that night. Itt was only then Resolv’d on, That there should bee some sent in a freindlie way (nott by command, or summons) to invite some of those Gentlemen to come in with us, I thinke.

Mr. Sexby.

I was desired by the Lieutennant Generall to [let him] know the bottome of their desires. They gave us this answer, that they would willinglie draw them uppe, and represent them unto you. They are come att this time to tender them to your considerations with their resolutions to maintaine them.

Wee have bin by providence putt upon strange thinges, such as the ancientist heere doth scarce remember. The Army acting to these ends, providence hath bin with us, and yett wee have found little [fruit] of our indeavours; and really I thinke all heere both great and small (both Officers and Souldiers), wee may say wee have lean’d on, and gone to Egypt for helpe. The Kingdomes cause requires expedition, and truly our miseries with [those of] our fellow souldiers’ cry out for present helpe. I thinke, att this time, this is your businesse, and I thinke itt is in all your hearts to releive the one and satisfie the other. You resolv’d if any thinge [reasonable] should bee propounded to you, you would joyne and goe alonge with us.

The cause of our misery [is] uppon two thinges. We sought to satisfie all men, and itt was well; butt in going [about] to doe itt wee have dissatisfied all men. Wee have labour’d to please a Kinge, and I thinke, except wee goe about to cutt all our throates, Edition: current; Page: [228] wee shall nott please him; and wee have gone to support an house which will prove rotten studds,a I meane the Parliament which consists of a Company of rotten Members.

And therfore wee beseech you that you will take these thinges into your consideration.

I shall speake to the Lieut. Generall and Commissary Generall concerning one thinge. Your creditts and reputation hath bin much blasted uppon these two considerations. The one is for seeking to settle this Kingdome in such a way wherein wee thought to have satisfied all men, and wee have dissatisfied them—I meane in relation to the Kinge—The other is in referrence to a Parliamentarie aucthoritie (which most heere would loose their lives for), to seeb those powers to which wee will subject our selves loyally called. These two things are as I thinke conscientiously the cause of all those blemishes that have bin cast uppon either the one or the other. You are convinc’t God will have you to act on, butt [ask] onelie to consider how you shall act, and [take] those [ways] that will secure you and the whole Kingdome. I desire you will consider those thinges that shall bee offer’d to you; and, if you see any thinge of reason, you will joyne with us that the Kingdome may bee eas’d, and our fellow souldiers may bee quieted in spiritt. These thinges I have represented as my thoughts. I desire your pardon.

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Lieut. Generall.

I thinke itt is good for us to proceede to our businesse in some order, and that will bee if wee consider some things that are latelie past. There hath bin a booke printed, called, “The Case of the Armie Stated,” and that hath bin taken into consideration, and there hath bin somewhat drawne uppe by way of exception to thinges contayn’d in that booke; and I suppose there was an Answer brought to that which was taken by way of exception, and yesterday the Gentleman that brought the Answer hee was dealt honestly and plainly withall, and hee was told, that there were new designes a driving, and nothing would bee a clearer discovery of the sincerity of [their] intentions, as their willingnesse that were active to bringe what they had to say to bee judg’d of by the Generall Officers, and by this Generall Councill, that wee might discerne what the intentions were. Now itt seemes there bee divers that are come hither to manifest those intentions according to what was offer’d yesterday, and truly I thinke, that the best way of our proceeding will bee to receive what they have to offer. Onely this, Mr. Sexby, you were speaking to us two. [I do not know why you named us two,] except you thinke that wee have done somewhat or acted somewhat different from the sence and resolution of the Generall Councill. Truly, that that you speake to, was the thinges that related to the Kinge and thinges that related to the Parliament; and if there bee a fault I may say itt, and I dare say, itt hath bin the fault of the Generall Councill, and that which you doe speake both in relation to the one and the other, you speake to the Generall Councill I hope, though you nam’d us two, Therfore truly I thinke itt sufficient for us to say, and ’tis that wee say—I can speake for my selfe, lett others speake for them selves—I dare maintaine itt, and I dare avowe I have acted nothing butt what I have done with the publique consent, and approbation and allowance of the Generall Councill. That I dare say for my self, both in relation to the one, and to the other. What I have acted in Parliament in the name of the Councill or of the Army I have Edition: current; Page: [230] had my warrant for from hence. What I have spoken in another capacitie, as a Member of the House, that was free for mee to doe; and I am confident, that I have nott used the name of the Army, or interest of the Army to anythinge butt what I have had allowance from the Generall Councill for, and [what they] thought itt fitt to move the House in. I doe the rather give you this account, because I heare there are some slanderous reports going uppe and downe uppon somewhat that hath bin offer’d to the House of Commons [by me], as being the sence and opinion of this Armie, and in the name of this Army, which, I dare bee confident to speake itt, hath bin as false and slanderous a report as could bee raised of a man. And that was this; That I should say to the Parliament and deliver itt as the desire of this Armie, and the sence of this Armie, that there should bee a second addresse to the Kinge by way of propositions. I dare bee confident to speake itt, what I deliver’d there I deliver’d as my owne sence, and what I deliver’d as my owne sence I am nott ashamed of. What I deliver’d as your sence, I never deliver’d butt what I had as your sence.a

Edition: current; Page: [231]
Col. Rainborow.

For this the Lieutennant Generall was pleas’d to speake of last, Edition: current; Page: [232] itt was moved, that day the propositions were brought in. That itt was carried for making a second addresse to the Kinge, itt was when both the Lieutennant Generall and my selfe were last heere, and where wee broke off heere, and when wee came uppon the Bill itt was told us, That the House had carried itt for a second addresse; and therfore the Lieutenant Generall must needes bee cleare of itt. Butt itt was urged in the House that itt was the sence of the Army that itt should bee soe.

Com̃. Gen. Ireton.

I desire nott to speake of these thinges, butt onely to putt thinges into an orderly way, which would lead to what the occasion is that hath brought these Gentlemen hither that are now call’d in; yett I cannott butt speake a worde to that that was last touch’t uppon.

If I had told any man soe (which I know I did nott) if I did, I did tell him what I thought; and if I thought otherwise of the Army, I protest I should have bin ashamed of the Armie and detested itt; that is, if I had thought the Army had bin of that minde, they would lett those propositions sent from both Kingdomes bee the thinges which should bee [final] whether peace or noe, without any farther offers; and when I doe finde itt, I shall bee asham’d on’t, and detest any dayes condescention with itt. And yett for that which Mr. Sexby tells us hath bin one of the great businesses [cast] uppon the Lieutennant Generall and my self, I doe detest and defie the thought of that thinge, of any indeavour, or designe, or purpose, or desire to sett uppe the Kinge; and I thinke I have demonstrated, and I hope I shall doe still, [that] itt is the interest of the Kingdome that I have suffer’d for. As for the Parliament too, I thinke those that know the beginninges of these principles, that wee [set forth] in our Declarations of late for clearing and vindicating the Liberties of the people, even in relation to Parliament will have reason [to acquit me]. And whoever doe know how wee were led to the declaring of that point Edition: current; Page: [233] as wee have, as [a fundamental] one, will bee able to acquitt mee that I have bin farre from a designe of setting uppe the persons of these men, or of any men whatsoever to bee our Law Makers. Soe likewise for the Kinge; though I am cleare, as from the other, from setting uppe the person of one or other, yett I shall declare itt againe; I doe nott seeke, or would nott seeke, nor will joyne with them that doe seeke the destruction either of Parliament or Kinge. Neither will I consent with those or concurre with them who will nott attempt all the wayes that are possible to preserve both, and to make good use, and the best use that can bee of both for the Kingedome; and I did nott heare any thinge from that Gentleman (Mr. Sexby) that could induce or incline mee to that resolution. To that point I stand cleare as I have exprest. Butt I shall nott speake any more concerning myself.

The Committeea mett att my lodginges assoone as they parted from hence; and the first thinge they resolved on hearing there was a meeting of the Agitators [was, that] though itt was thought fitt by the Generall Councill heere they should bee sent for to the Regiment[s], yett itt was thought fitt to lett them know what the Generall Councill had done, and to goe on in a way that might tend to unitie; and [this] being resolved on wee were desired by one of those Gentlemen that were desired to goe, that least they should mistake the matter they went about, itt might bee drawne in writing, and this is itt:

That the Generall Councill, etc. [blank].

This is the substance of what was deliver’d. Mr. Allen, Mr. Lockyer, and Mr. Sexby were sent with itt, and I thinke itt is fitt that the Councill should bee acquainted with the Answer.

Mr. Allen.

As to the Answer itt was short (truly I shall give itt as shorte). Edition: current; Page: [234] Wee gave them the paper, and read itt amongst them, and to my best remembrance they then told us, that they were nott all come together whome itt did concerne, and soe were nott in a capacitie att the present to returne us an Answer; butt that they would take itt into consideration, and would send itt as speedily as might bee. I thinke itt was neare their Sence.

The Answer of the Agitators read.a

Com̃. Generall.

Wheras itt was appointed by the Councill and wee of the Committee did accordingly desire, that these Gentlemen, being Members of the Army and engaged with the Army, might have come to communicate with the Generall Councill of the Army and those that were appointed by them for a mutuall satisfaction: by this paper they seeme to bee of a fix’t resolution, setting themselves to bee a divided partie or distinct Councill from the Generall Councill of the Army, and [seem to say] that there was nothing to bee done as single persons to declare their dissatisfaction, or the grounds for informing themselves better or us better, butt that they as all the rest should concurre soe as to hold together as a form’d and setled partie distinct and divided from others; and withall seem’d to sett downe these resolutions to [as things] which they expect the compliance of any others, rather then their compliance with others to give satisfaction. Butt itt seemes uppon some thinge that the Lieutennant Generall and some others of that Committee did thinke fitt [to offer] the Gentlemen that brought that paper have bin since induced to descend a little from the heighth, and to send some of them to come as agents particularlie, or Messengers from that Meeting or from that Councill, to heare what wee have to say to there, or to offer somethinge to us relating to the matters in that paper. I beleive there are Gentlemenb sent with them that though Edition: current; Page: [235] perhaps the persons of them that are Members of the Army may nott give the passages in itt they may bee better able to observe them; and therefore if you please that they may proceede.


May itt please your Honour, to give you satisfaccion in that there was such a willingnesse that wee might have a conference, whereuppon I did engage that interest that was in mee that I would procure some to come hither both of the souldiers and of others for assistance; and in order thereunto heere are two souldiers sent from the Agents, and two of our freinds alsoe, and to present this to your considerations, and desirea your advice. [We believe that] according to myb expectations and your engagement you are resolved every one to purchase our inheritances which have bin lost, and free this Nation from the tyranny that lies uppon us. I question nott butt that itt is all your desires: and for that purpose wee desire to doe nothing butt what wee present to your consideration, and if you conceive itt that itt must bee for us to bee instruments, that wee might shelter our selves like wise men before the Storme comes. Wee desire that all carping uppon words might bee laid aside, and [that you may] fall directly uppon the matter presented to you.

Wee have heere met on purposec according to my Engagement that whatsoever may bee thought to bee necessary for our satisfaction, for the right understanding one of another [may be done] that wee might goe on together. For, though our ends and aimes bee the same, if one thinkes this way, another another way—butt that way which is the best for the subject [is] that they [both] may bee hearkned unto.

Edition: current; Page: [236]

The Answer of the Agitators, the 2d time read.a


I thinke itt will bee strange that wee that are souldiers cannott have them [for] our selves, if nott for the whole Kingedome; and therfore wee beseech you consider of itt.

Lieut. Generall.

These thinges that you have now offered they are new to us; they are thinges that wee have nott att all (att least in this method and thus circumstantially) had any opportunity to consider of them, because they came to us butt thus as you see; this is the first time wee had a view of them.

Truly this paper does containe in itt very great alterations of the very Governement of the Kingedome, alterations from that Governement that itt hath bin under, I beleive I may almost say since itt was a Nation, I say I thinke I may almost say soe, and Edition: current; Page: [237] what the consequences of such an alteration as this would bee, if there were nothing else to be consider’d, wise men and godly men ought to consider. I say if there were nothing else [to be considered] butt the very weight and nature of the thinges contayn’d in this paper. Therfore, although the pretensions in itt, and the expressions in itt are very plausible, and if wee could leape out of one condition into another, that had soe specious thinges in itt as this hath, I suppose there would nott bee much dispute, though perhaps some of these thinges may bee very well disputed—How doe wee know if whilest wee are disputing these thinges another companie of men shall gather together, and they shall putt out a paper as plausible perhaps as this? I doe nott know why itt might nott bee done by that time you have agreed uppon this, or gott hands to itt, if that bee the way. And not onely another, and another, butt many of this kinde. And if soe, what doe you thinke the consequence of that would bee? Would itt nott bee confusion? Would itt nott bee utter confusion? Would itt nott make England like the Switzerland Country, one Canton of the Switz against another, and one County against another? I aske you whether itt bee nott fitt for every honest man seriouslie to lay that uppon his heart? And if soe, what would that produce butt an absolute desolation—an absolute desolation to the Nation—and wee in the meane time tell the Nation, “It is for your Libertie, ’Tis for your priviledge,” “ ’Tis for your good.” Pray God itt prove soe whatsoever course wee run. Butt truly, I thinke wee are nott onely to consider what the consequences are (if there were nothing else butt this paper), butt wee are to consider the probability of the wayes and meanes to accomplish: that is to say [to consider] whether,a according to reason and judgement, the spiritts and temper of the people of this Nation are prepared to receive and to goe on alonge with itt, and [whether] those great difficulties [that] lie in our way [are] in a likelihood to bee either overcome or removed. Truly, to anythinge that’s good, there’s noe doubt on Edition: current; Page: [238] itt, objections may bee made and fram’d; butt lett every honest man consider, whether or noe there bee nott very reall objections [to this] in point of difficulty. I know a man may answer all difficulties with faith, and faith will answer all difficulties really where itt is, buta wee are very apt all of us to call that faith, that perhaps may bee butt carnall imagination, and carnall reasonings. Give mee leave to say this, There will bee very great mountaines in the way of this, if this were the thinge in present consideration; and therfore wee ought to consider the consequences, and God hath given us our reason that wee may doe this. Itt is nott enough to propose thinges that are good in the end, butt suppose this modell were an excellent modell, and fitt for England, and the Kingedome to receive, itt is our duty as Christians and men to consider consequences, and to consider the way.b

Butt really I shall speake to nothing butt that that, as before the Lord, I am perswaded in my heart tends to uniting of us in one to that that God will manifest to us to bee the thinge that hee would have us prosecute; and hee that meetes nott heere with that heart, and dares nott say hee will stand to that, I thinke hee is a deceivour. I say itt to you againe, and I professe unto you, I shall offer nothing to you butt that I thinke in my heart and conscience tends to the uniting of us, and to the begetting a right understanding amonge us, and therefore this is that I would insist uppon, and have itt clear’d amonge us.

Itt is nott enough for us to insist uppon good thinges; that every one would doe—there is nott 40 of us butt wee could prescribe many thinges exceeding plausible, and hardly anythinge worse then our present condition, take itt with all the troubles that are uppon us. Itt is nott enough for us to propose good thinges, butt itt behoves honest men and Christians that really will approve themselves soe before God and men, to see whether or noe they bee in a condition, [to attempt] whether, taking all thinges into consideration, they may honestly indeavour and attempt that that is fairly Edition: current; Page: [239] and plausibly proposed. For my owne parte I know nothing that wee are to consider first butt that, before wee would come to debate the evill or good of this [paper], or to adde to itt or substract from itt;a which I am confident, if your hearts bee upright as ours are—and God will bee judge betweene you and us—if wee should come to any thinge, you doe nott bringe this paper with peremptorinesse of minde, butt to receive amendements to have any thinge taken from itt that may bee made apparent by cleare reason to bee inconvenient or unhonest. This ought to bee our consideration and yours, saving [that] in this you have the advantage of us—you that are the souldiers you have nott—butt you that are nott [soldiers] you reckon your selves att a loose and att a liberty, as men that have noe obligation uppon you. Perhaps wee conceive wee have; and therfore this is that I may say—both to those that come with you, and to my fellow officers and all others that heare mee—that it concernes us as wee would approve our selves [as honest men] before God, and before men that are able to judge of us, if wee doe nott make good engagements, if wee doe nott make good that that the world expects wee should make good. I doe nott speake to determine what that is, butt if I bee nott much mistaken wee have in the time of our danger issued out Declarations; wee have bin requir’d by the Parliament, because our Declarations were generall, to declare particularly what wee meant; and having done that how farre that obliges or nott obliges [us] that is by us to bee consider’d, if wee meane honestly and sincerely and to approve our selves to God as honest men. And therfore having heard this paper read, this remaines to us; that wee againe review what wee have engaged in, and what wee have that lies uppon us. Hee that departs from that that is a reall engagement and a reall tye uppon him, I thinke hee transgresses without faith, for faith will beare uppe men in Edition: current; Page: [240] every honest obligation, and God does expect from men the performance of every honest obligation. Therefore I have noe more to say butt this; wee having received your paper shall amongst our selves consider what to doe; and before wee take this into consideration, itt is fitt for us to consider how farre wee are obliged, and how farre wee are free; and I hope wee shall prove our selves honest men where wee are free to tender any thinge to the good of the publique. And this is that I thought good to offer to you uppon this paper.

Mr. Wildman.

Being yesterday att a Meeting where divers Country-Gentlemen, and souldiers and others were, and amongst the rest the Agents of the five Regiments, and having weigh’d their papers, I must freely confesse I did declare my agreement with them. Uppon that they were pleas’d to declare their sence in most particulars of their proceedinges to mee, and desir’d mee that I would bee their mouth, and in their names to represent their sence unto you; and uppon that ground I shall speake something in answer to that which your Honour last spake.

I shall nott reply any thinge att present till itt come to bee further debated, either concerning the consequences of what is propounded, or [the contents] of this paper; butt I conceive the cheif weight of your Honour’s speech lay in this, that you were first to consider what obligations lay uppon you, and how farre you were engaged, before you could consider what was just in this paper now propounded; adding, that God would protect men in keeping honest promises. To that I must only offer this, that according to the best knowledge [I have] of their apprehensions, they doe apprehend that what ever obligation is past must bee consider’d afterwards, when itt is urged whether itt were honest or just or noe; and if [the obligationa] were nott just itt doth nott oblige the persons, if itt bee an oath itt self. Butt if, while there Edition: current; Page: [241] is nott soe cleare a light, any person passes an Engagement, itt is judged by them, (and I soe judge itt), to bee an act of honesty for that man to recede from his former judgement, and to abhorre itt. And therfore I conceive the first thinge is to consider the honesty of what is offer’d, otherwise itt cannott bee consider’d of any obligation that doth prepossesse. By the consideration of the justice of what is offer’d that obligation shall appeare whether itt was just or noe. If itt were nott just, I cannott butt bee confident of the searinges of your consciences. I conceive this to bee their sence; and uppon this account, uppon a more serious review of all Declarations past, they see noe obligations which are just that they contradict by proceeding in this way.

Commissary Gen. Ireton.

Sure this Gentleman hath nott bin acquainted with our Engagements, for hee that will cry out of breach of Engagement in slight and triviall thinges, and thinges necessitated to, that is soe tender of an Engagement as to frame or concurre with this Bookea in their insisting uppon every punctilio of Engagement, I can hardly thinke that manb can bee of that principle that noe Engagement is binding further then that hee thinkes itt just or noe. For itt hintes that, if hee that makes an Engagement (bee itt what itt will bee) have further light that this engagement was nott good or honest, then hee is free from itt. Truly if the sence were putt thus, that a man that findes hee hath entred into an engagement and thinkes that itt was nott a just Engagement, I confesse some thinge might bee said that [such] a man might declare himself for his parte to suffer some penalty uppon their persons, or uppon their partie. Edition: current; Page: [242] The question is, whether itt bee an Engagement to another partie. Now if a man venture into an Engagement from him [self] to another, and finda that Engagement [not] just and honest, hee must apply himself to the other partie, and say “I cannott actively performe itt, I will make you amends as neere as I can.” Uppon the same ground men are nott obliged to [be obedient to] any aucthoritie that is sett uppe, though itt were this aucthority that is proposed heere, I am nott engaged to bee soe actively to that aucthority. Yett if I have engag’d that they shall binde mee by Law, though afterwards, I finde that they doe require mee to a thinge that is nott just or honest, I am bound soe farre to my Engagement that I must submitt and suffer, though I cannott act and doe that which their Lawes doe impose upon mee. If that caution were putt in where a performance of an Engagement might bee expected from another, and hee could nott doe itt because hee thought itt was nott honest to bee performed; if such a thinge were putt into the case, itt is possible there might bee some reason for itt. Butt to take itt as itt is deliver’d in generall, whatever Engagement wee have entred into, though itt bee a promise of somethinge to another partie, wherin that other partie is concerned, wherin hee hath a benefitt, if wee make itt good, wherin hee hath a prejudice if wee make itt nott good [that we are free to break it if it be not just]: this is a principle that will take away all Commonwealth[s], and will take away the fruite of this Engagement if itt were entred into; and men of this principle would thinke themselves as little as may bee [obliged by any law] if in their apprehensions itt bee nott a good Law. I thinke they would thinke themselves as little obliged to thinke of standing to that aucthority [that is proposed in this paper].

Truly Sir I have little to say att the present to that matter of the paper that is tendred to us. I confesse there are plausible thinges in itt, and there are thinges really good in itt, and there are those thinges that I doe with my heart desire, and there are Edition: current; Page: [243] those thinges for the most parte of itt [that] I shall bee soe free as to say, if these Gentlemen, and other Gentlemen that will joyne with them can obtaine, I would nott oppose, I should rejoice to see obtayn’d. There are those thinges in itt, divers [of them]; and, if wee were as hath bin urged now, free; if wee were first free from consideration of all the dangers and miseries that wee may bringe uppon this people, [the danger] that when wee goe to cry out for the libertie of itt wee may nott leave a being [in it], free from all [those] Engagements that doe lie uppon us, and that were honest when they were entred into, I should concurre with this paper further then as the case doth stand I can. Butt truly I doe account wee are under Engagements; and I suppose that whatsoever this Gentleman that spoke last doth seeme to deliver to us, holding himself absolved from all Engagements, if hee thinkes itt, yett those men that came with him (that are in the case of the Armie,)a hold themselves more obliged; and therfore that they will nott perswade us to lay aside all our former Engagements and Declarations, if there bee any thinge in them, and to concurre in this, if there bee any thinge in itt that is contrary to those Engagements which they call uppon us to confirme. Therfore I doe wish that wee may have a consideration of our former Engagements, of thinges which are the Engagements of the Army generallie. Those wee are to take notice of, and sure wee are nott to recede from them till wee are convinct of them that they are unjust. And when wee are convinc’t of them that they are unjust, truly yett I must nott fully concurre with that Gentleman’s principle, that presently wee are, as hee sayes, absolv’d from them, that wee are nott bound to them, or wee are nott bound to make them good. Yett I should thinke att least, if the breach of that Engagement bee to the prejudice of another whome wee have perswaded to beleive by our Declaring such thinges [so] that wee made them and led them to a confidence of itt, to a dependance uppon itt, to Edition: current; Page: [244] a disadvantage to themselves or the loosing of advantages to them, though wee were convinc’t they were unjust, and satisfied in this Gentleman’s principle, and free, and disengag’d from them, yett wee who made that engagement should nott make itt our act to breake itt. Though wee were convinc’t that wee are nott bound to performe itt, yett wee should nott make itt our act to breake [it]. And soe uppon the whole matter I speake this to inforce. As uppon the particulars of this Agreement; whether they have that goodnesse that they hold forth in shew? or whether are nott some defects in them which are nott seene? that if wee should rest in this Agreement without somethinge more [whether] they would nott deceive us? and whether there bee nott some considerations that would tend to union? And withall [I wish] that wee who are the Armie and are engag’d with publique Declarations may consider how farre those publique Declarations, which wee then thought to bee just, doe oblige, that wee may either resolve to make them good if wee can in honest wayes, or att least nott make itt our worke to breake them. And for this purpose I wish—unlesse the Councill please to meete from time to time, from day to day and to consider itt themselves—to goe over our papers and declarations and take the heads of them, I wish there may bee some specially appointed for itt; and I shall bee very glad if itt may bee soe that I my self may bee none of them.

Col. Rainborow.

I shall crave your pardon if I may speake something freelie, and I thinke itt will bee the last time I shall speake heere, and from such a way that I never look’t for. The consideration that I had in this Army and amongst honest men—nott that itt is an addition of honour and profitt to mee butt rather a detriment in both—is the reason that I speake somethinge by way of apologie. I saw this paper first by chance and had noe resolution to have bin att this Councill nor any other since I tooke this imployment uppon Edition: current; Page: [245] mee, butt to doe my duty.a I mett with a Letter (which truly was soe strange to mee that I have bin a little troubled, and truly I have soe many sparkes of honour and honesty in mee) to lett mee know that my Regiment should bee imediately disposed from mee. I hope that none in the Army will say butt that I have perform’d my duty, and that with some successe, as well as others. I am loath to leave the Army with whome I will live and die, insomuch that rather then I will loose this Regiment of mine the Parliament shall exclude mee the House, [or] imprison mee; for truly while I am [employed] abroad I will nott bee undone att home. This was itt that call’d mee hither, and nott any thinge of this paper. Butt now I shall speake somethinge of itt.

I shall speake my minde; that whoever hee bee that hath done this hee hath done it with much respect to the Good of his Country. Itt is said there are many plausible thinges in itt. Truly, many thinges have engaged mee, which, if I had nott knowne they should have bin nothing butt Good, I would nott have engag’d in. Itt hath bin said, that if a man bee Engag’d hee must performe his Engagements. I am wholly confident that every honest man is bound in duty to God and his Conscience, lett him bee engag’d in what hee will, to decline itt when hee is engag’d and clearly convinc’t to discharge his duty to God as ever hee was for itt; Edition: current; Page: [246] and that I shall make good out of the Scripture, and cleare itt by that if that bee any thinge. There are two objections are made against itt.

The one is Division. Truly I thinke wee are utterly undone if wee devide, butt I hope that honest things have carried us on thus longe, and will keepe us together, and I hope that wee shall nott devide. Another thinge is Difficulties. Oh unhappy men are wee that ever began this warre; if ever wee [had] look’t uppon difficulties I doe nott know that ever wee should have look’t an enemy in the face. Truly I thinke the Parliament were very indiscreete to contest with the Kinge if they did nott consider first that they should goe through difficulties; and I thinke there was noe man that entred into this warre that did nott engage [to go through difficulties]. And I shall humbly offer unto you—itt may bee the last time I shall offer—itt may bee soe, butt I shall discharge my conscience in itt—itt is this; that truly I thinke that lett the difficulties bee round about you, have you death before you, the sea on each side of you and behinde you, are you convinc’t that the thinge is just I thinke you are bound in conscience to carry itt on; and I thinke att the last day itt can never bee answer’d to God that you did nott doe itt. For I thinke itt is a poore service to God and the Kingedome to take their pay and to decline their worke. I heare itt said, “Itt’s a huge alteration, itt’s a bringing in of New Lawes,” and that this Kingedome hath bin under this Governement ever since itt was a Kingdome. If writinges bee true there hath bin many scufflinges betweene the honest men of England and those that have tyranniz’d over them; and iff itt bee [true what I have] read, there is none of those just and equitable lawes that the people of England are borne to butt that they are intrenchment altogether.a Butt if they were those which the people have bin alwayes under, if the people finde that they are [not] suitable to freemen as they are, I know noe reason Edition: current; Page: [247] should deterre mee, either in what I must answer before God or the world, from indeavouring by all meanes to gaine any thinge that might bee of more advantage to them then the Government under which they live. I doe nott presse that you should goe on with this thinge, for I thinke that every man that would speake to itt will bee lesse able till hee hath some time to consider itt. I doe make itt my Motion, that two or three dayes time may bee sett for every man to consider, and all that is to bee consider’d is the justnesse of the thinge—and if that bee consider’d then all thinges are—that there may bee nothing to deterre us from itt, butt that wee may doe that which is just to the people.

Lieut. Generall.

Truly I am very glad, that this Gentleman that spoke last is heere, and nott sorry for the occasion that brought him hither; because itt argues wee shall enjoy his company longer then I thought wee should have done.

Col. Rainborow.

If I should nott bee kick’t out.

Lieut. Generall.

And truly then I thinke itt shall nott bee longe enough. Butt truly I doe nott know what the meaning of that expression is, nor what the meaning of any hatefull worde is heere. For wee are all heere with the same integrity to the publique; and perhaps wee have all of us done our parts nott affrighted with difficulties, one as well as another; and I hope have all purposes henceforward, through the Grace of God, nott resolving in our owne strength, to doe soe still. And therefore truly I thinke all the consideration is, That amongst us wee are almost all souldiers; all considerations [of not fearing difficulties] or wordes of that kinde doe wonderfully please us, all words of courage animate us to carry on our businesse, to doe God’s businesse, [and] that which is the will of Edition: current; Page: [248] God. I say itt againe, I doe nott thinke that any man heere wants courage to doe that which becomes an honest man and an Englishman to doe. Butt wee speake as men that desire to have the feare of God before our eyes, and men that may nott resolve to doe that which wee doe in the power of a fleshly strength, butt to lay this as the foundation of all our actions, to doe that which is the will of God. And if any man have a false deceit—on the one hand, deceitfulnesse, that which hee doth nott intend, or a perswasion on the other hand, I thinke hee will nott prosper.

Butt to that which was mov’d by Col. Rainborow, of the objections of difficulty and danger [and] of the consequences, they are nott proposed to any other end, butt [as] thinges fitting consideration, nott forged to deterre from the consideration of the businesse. In the consideration of the thinge that is new to us, and of every thinge that shall bee new that is of such importance as this is, I thinke that hee that wishes the most serious advice to bee taken of such a change as this is,—soe evident and cleare [a change]—who ever offers that there may bee most serious consideration, I thinke hee does nott speake impertinently. And truly itt was offer’d to noe other end then what I speake. I shall say noe more to that.

Butt to the other, concerning Engagements and breaking of them. I doe nott thinke that itt was att all offer’d by any body, that though an Engagement were never soe unrighteous itt ought to bee kept. Noe man offer’d a syllable or tittle [to that purpose]. For certainly itt’s an act of duty to breake an unrighteous Engagement; hee that keepes itt does a double sin, in that hee made an unrighteous Engagement, and [in] that he goes about to keepe itt. Butt this was onely offer’d; and I know nott what can bee more fit, that before wee can consider of this [paper] wee labour to know where wee are, and where wee stand. Perhaps wee are uppon Engagements that wee cannott with honesty breake, Butt lett mee tell you this, that hee that speakes to you of Engagements heere, is as free from Engagements to the Kinge as Edition: current; Page: [249] any man in all the world; and I know thata if itt were otherwise I believe my future actions would provoke some to declare itt. Butt I thanke God I stand uppon the bottome of my owne innocence in this particular; through the Grace of God I feare nott the face of any man, I doe nott. I say wee are to consider what Engagements wee have made, and if our Engagements have bin unrighteous why should wee nott make itt our indeavours to breake them. Yett if unrighteous Engagementsb itt is nott a present breach of them unlesse there bee a consideration of circumstances. Circumstances may bee such as I may nott now breake an unrighteous Engagement, or else I may doe that which I did scandalously, if the thinge bee good.c If that bee true concerning the breaking of an unrighteous Engagement itt is much more verified concerning Engagements disputable whether they bee righteous or unrighteous. If soe, I am sure itt is fitt wee should dispute [them], and if, when wee have disputed them, wee see the goodnesse of God inlightening us to see our liberties, I thinke wee are to doe what wee can to give satisfaction to men. Butt if itt were soe, as wee made an Engagement in judgement and knowledge, soe wee goe off from itt in judgement and knowledge. Butt there may be just Engagements uppon us such as perhaps itt will bee our duty to keepe; and if soe itt is fitt wee should consider, and all that I said [was] that wee should consider our Engagements, and there is nothing else offer’d, and therefore what neede anybody bee angry or offended. Perhaps wee have made such Engagements as may in the matter of them nott binde us, in some circumstances they may. Our Engagements are publique Engagements. They are to the Kingedome, and to every one in the Kingdome that could looke uppon what wee did publiquely declare, could read or heare itt read. They are to the Edition: current; Page: [250] Parliament, and itt is a very fitting thinge that wee doe seriously consider of the thinges. And shortly this is that I shall offer: that because the Kingedome is in the danger itt is in, because the Kingdome is in that condition itt is in, and time may bee ill spent in debates, and itt is necessary for thinges to bee putt to an issue, if ever itt was necessary in the world itt is now, I should desire this may bee done.

That this Generall Councill may bee appointed [to meet] against a very short time, two dayes, Thursday, if you would, against Saturday, or att furthest against Munday: that there might bee a Committee out of this Councill appointed to debate and consider with those two Gentlemen, and with any others that are nott of the Army that they shall bringe, and with the Agitators of those five Regiments: that soe there may bee a liberall and free debate had amongst us, that wee may understand really as before God the bottome of our desires, and that wee may seeke God together, and see if God will give us an uniting spiritt. Give mee leave to tell itt you againe, I am confident there sitts nott a man in this place that cannott soe freely act with you, but if hee sees that God hath shutt uppe his way that hee cannott doe any service hee will bee glad to withdraw himself, and wish you all prosperity in that way as may bee good for the Kingedome.a And if this heart bee in us, as is knowne to God that searches our hearts and tryeth the reines, God will discover whether our hearts bee nott cleare in this businesse. Therefore I shall move that wee may have a Committee amongst our selves [to consider] of the Engagements, and this Committee to dispute thinges with others, and a short day [to be appointed] for the Generall Councill. I doubt nott butt if in sincerity wee are willing to submitt to that light that God shall cast in amonge us God will unite us, and make us of one heart and one minde. Doe the plausiblest thinges you can doe, doe that which hath the most appearance of reason in itt that tends to change, att this conjuncture of time you will finde difficulties. Butt if God satisfie our spiritts this will bee a ground of confidence to every Edition: current; Page: [251] good man, and hee that goes uppon other grounds hee shall fall like a beast. I shall desire this, that you or any other of the Agitators or Gentlemen that can bee heere will bee heere, that wee may have free discourses amongst our selves of thinges, and you will bee able to satisfie each other. And really, rather then I would have this Kingedome breake in pieces before some company of men bee united together to a settlement, I will withdraw my self from the Army tomorrow, and lay downe my Commission; I will perish before I hinder itt.a

Bedfordshire Man.

May itt please your Honour,

I was desired by some of the Agents to accompanie this paper, manifesting my approbation of itt after I had heard itt read severall times, and they desir’d that itt might bee offer’d to this Councill, for the concurrence of the Councill if itt might bee. I finde that the Engagements of the Army are att present the thinges which is insisted to bee consider’d. I confesse my ignorance in those Engagements, butt I apprehend, att least I hope, that those Engagements have given away nothing from the people that is the people’s Right. Itt may bee they have promised the King his Right, or any other persons their Right, butt noe more. If they have promised more then their Right to any person or persons, and have given away any thinge from the people that is their Right, then I conceive they are unjust. And if they are unjust [they should be broken], though I confesse for my owne parte I am very tender of breaking an Engagement when itt concernes a particular person—I thinke that a particular person ought rather to sett downe and loose then to breake an Engagement—butt if any man have given away any thinge from another whose Right itt was to one or more whose Right itt was nott, I conceive these men may [break that engagement]—at least many of them thinke themselves Edition: current; Page: [252] bound nott onely to breake this Engagement, butt to placea to give every one his due. I conceive that for the substance of the paper itt is the peoples due; and for the change of the Governement which is soe dangerous, I apprehend that there may bee many dangers in itt, and truly I apprehend there may bee more dangers without itt. For I conceive if you keepe the Governement as itt is and bringe in the Kinge, there may bee more dangers then in changing the Governement. Butt however, because from those thinges that I heard of the Agents they conceive that this conjuncture of time may almost destroy them, they have taken uppon them a libertie of acting to higher thinges, as they hope, for the freedome of the Nation, then yett this Generall Councill have acted to. And therefore as their sences I must make this motion; that all those that uppon a due consideration of the thinge doe finde itt to bee just and honest, and doe finde that if they have engaged any thinge to the contrary of this itt is unjust and giving away the people’s Rights, I desire that they and all others may have a free libertie of acting to any thinge in this nature, or any other nature, that may bee for the peoples good, by petitioning or otherwise; wherby the fundamentalls for a well-ordered Governement for the people’s Rights may bee established. And I shall desire that those that conceive themselves bound uppe would desist, and satisfie themselves in that, and bee noe hinderances to hinder the people in a more perfect way then hath bin [yet] indeavour’d.

Capt. Awdeley.

I suppose you have nott thought fitt, that there should bee a dispute concerning thinges att this time. I desire that other thinges may bee taken into consideration, delayes and debates. Delayes have undone us, and itt must bee a great expedition that must further us, and therfore I desire that there may bee a Committee appointed.

Edition: current; Page: [253]
Lieut. Col. Goffe.

I shall butt humbly take the boldnesse to put you in minde of one thinge which you moved enow.a The Motion is, that there might bee a seeking of God in the thinges that now lie before us.

I shall humbly desire, that that Motion may nott die. Itt may bee there are or may bee some particular opinions amonge us concerning the use of ordinances and of publique seeking of God. Noe doubt formes have bin rested uppon too much; butt yett since there are soe many of us that have had soe many and soe large experiences of an extraordinarie manifestation of God’s presence, when wee have bin in such extraordinarie wayes mett together, I shall desire that those who are that way [inclined] will take the present opportunity to doe itt. For certainly those thinges that are now presented, as they are, are well accepted by most of us; and though I am nott prepared to say any thinge either consenting or dissenting to the paper, as nott thinking itt wisedome to answer a matter before I have consider’d, yett when I doe consider how much ground there is to conceive there hath bin a withdrawing of the presence of God from us that have mett in this place—I doe nott say a totall withdrawing; I hope God is with us and amongst us. Itt hath bin our trouble night and day that God hath nott bin with us as formerly, as many within us soe without us [have told us], men that were sent from God in an extraordinarie manner to us. I meane [that though] the Ministers may take too much uppon them, yett there have bin those that have preached to us in this place, [in]b severall places, wee know very well that they spake to our hearts and consciences, and told us of our wandringes from God, and told us in the name of the Lord, that God would bee with us noe longer then wee were with him. Wee have in some thinges wandred from God, and as wee have heard Edition: current; Page: [254] this from them in this place, soe have wee had itt very frequently prest uppon our spiritts [elsewhere], prest uppon us in the Citty and the Country. I speake this to this end, that our hearts may bee deeply and throughly affected with this matter. For if God bee departed from us hee is some where else. Iff wee have nott the will of God in these Councills God may bee found amonge some other Councills. Therfore I say, lett us shew the spiritt of Christians, and lett us nott bee ashamed to declare to all the world, that our Councills, and our wisedome, and our wayes they are nott altogether such as the world hath walked in; butt that wee have had a dependancie uppon God, and that our desires are to follow God (though never soe much to our disadvantage in the world) if God may have the glory by itt. And I pray lett us consider this: God does seeme evidently to bee throwing downe the glory of all flesh; the greatest powers in the Kingedome have bin shaken. God hath throwne downe the glory of the Kinge and that partie; hee hath throwne downe a partie in the Citty; I doe nott say, that God will throw us downe—I hope better thinges—butt hee will have the glory; lett us nott stand uppon our glory and reputation in the world. If wee have done some thinges through ignorance, or feare, or unbeleif, in the day of our straights, and could nott give God that glory by beleiving as wee ought to have done, I hope God hath a way for to humble us for that, and to keepe us as instruments in his hand still. There are two wayes that God doth take uppon those that walke obstinately against him; if they bee obstinate and continue obstinate hee breakes them in pieces with a rod of iron; if they bee his people and wander from him hee takes that glory from them, and takes itt to himself. I speake itt I hope from a divine impression. If wee would continue to bee instruments in his hand, lett us seriously sett our selves before the Lord, and seeke to him and waite uppon him for conviction of spiritts. Itt is nott enough for us to say, “if wee have offended wee will leave the world, wee will goe and confesse to the Lord what wee have done amisse, butt wee will doe noe more soe.’ Edition: current; Page: [255] Aaron went uppe to Hur and died, and Moses was favour’d to see the land of Canaan, hee did nott voluntarily lay himself aside. I hope our strayings from God are nott soe great, butt that a conversion and true humiliation may recover us againe; and I desire that wee may bee serious in this, and not despise any other instruments that God will use. God will have his worke done; itt may bee wee thinke wee are the onely instruments that God hath in his hands. I shall onely adde these two thinges. First, that wee bee warie how wee lett forth any thinge against his people, and that which is for the whole Kingedome and Nation. I would move, that wee may nott lett our spiritts act too freely against them till wee have throughly weighed the matter, and considered our own wayes too. The second is to draw us uppe to a serious consideration of the weightiness of the worke that lies before us, and seriously to sett our selves to seeke the Lord; and I wish itt might bee consider’d of a way and manner that itt should be conveniently done, and I thinke to morrow will bee the [best] day.

Lieut Generall.

I know nott what Lieut. Col. Goffe meanes for to morrow for the time of seeking God. I thinke itt will bee requisite that wee doe itt speedily, and doe itt the first thinge, and that wee doe itt as unitedly as wee can, as many of us as well may meete together. For my parte I shall lay aside all businesse for this businesse, either to convince or bee convinc’t as God shall please. I thinke itt would bee good that to morrow morning may bee spent in prayer, and the afternoone might bee the time of our businesse. I doe nott know that these Gentlemen doe assent to itt that to morrow in the afternoone might bee the time.

Lieut. Col. Goffe.

I thinke wee have a great deale of businesse to doe, and wee have bin doing of itt these ten weekes. Itt is an ordinance that Edition: current; Page: [256] God hath blest to this end. I say goe about what you will, for my parte I shall nott thinke any thinge can prosper, unlesse God bee first sought.

If that bee approved of, that to morrow shall bee a time of seeking the Lord, and that the afternoone shall bee the time of businesse, if that doth agree with your opinion and the generall sence, lett that bee first order’d.

Com̃. Gen. Ireton.

That which Lieut. Col. Goffe offer’d hath [made] a very great impression uppon mee; and indeed I must acknowledge to God through him, that, as hee hath severall times spoke in this place, and elsewhere to this purpose, hee hath never spoke butt hee hath touched my heart; and that especially in the point that hee hintes. That one thinge is, that in the time of our straights and difficulties, I thinke wee none of us—I feare wee none of us—I am sure I have nott—walked soe closely with God, and kept soe close with him, [as] to trust wholly uppon him, as nott to bee led too much with considerations of danger and difficulty, and from that consideration to waive some thinges, and perhaps to doe some thinges, that otherwise I should nott have thought fitt to have done. Every one hath a spiritt within him—especially [he] who has that communion indeed with that spirit that is the only searcher of hearts—that can best search out and discover to him the errours of his owne wayes, and of the workinges of his owne heart. And though I thinke that publique actinges, publique departings from God are the fruites of unbeleif and distrust, and nott honouring God by sanctifying him in our wayes; they doe more publiquely engage God to vindicate his honour by a departing from them that doe soe, and if there bee any such thinge in the Army that is to bee look’t uppon with a publique eye in relation to the Army.a I thinke the maine thinge is for every one Edition: current; Page: [257] to waite uppon God, for the errours, deceits, and weaknesses of his owne heart, and I pray God to bee present with us in that. Butt withall I would nott have that seasonable and good Motion that hath come from Lieut. Col. Goffe to bee neglected, of a publique seeking of God, and seeking to God, as for other thinges soe especially for the discovery of any publique deserting of God, or dishonouring of him, or declining from him, that does lie as the fault and blemish uppon the Army. Therfore I wish his Motion may bee pursued, that the thinge may bee done, and for point of time as was moved by him. Onely this to the way; I confesse I thinke the best [way] is this, that itt may bee only taken notice of as a thinge by the agreement of this Councill resolv’d on, that tomorrow in the morning, the forenoone wee doe sett aparte, wee doe give uppe from other businesse, for every man to give himself uppe that way, either in private by himself, though I cannott say not in public. For the publique Meeting att the Church, itt were nott amisse that itt may bee thus taken notice of as a time given from other imployments for that purpose, and every one as God shall incline their hearts, some in one place, and some another, to imploy themselves that way.

Agreed for the Meeting for Prayer to bee att Mr. Chamberlaine’s

Lieut. Gen.

That they should nott meete as two contrary parties, butt as some desirous to satisfie or convince each other.

Mr. Petty.

For my owne parte, I have done as to this businesse what was desired by the Agents that sent mee hither. As for any further Edition: current; Page: [258] Meeting to morrow or any other time I cannott meete uppon the same ground, to meete as for their sence, [but only] to give my owne reason why I doe assent to itt.

Com̃. Ireton.

I should bee sorry, that they should bee soe suddaine to stand uppon themselves.

Mr. Petty.

To procure three, four, or five more or lesse to meete, for my owne parte I am utterly unconcern’d in the businesse.


I have heere att this day answer’d the expectations, which I engaged to your Honours; which was, that if wee would give a Meeting you should take that as a symptome, or a remarkeable testimonie of our fidelitie. I have discharged that trust reposed in mee. I could nott engage for them. I shall goe on still in that method. I shall engage my deepest interest for any reasonable desires to engage them to come to this.

Lieut. Generall.

I hope wee know God better then to make appearances of Religious Meetings as covers for designes for insinuation amongst you. I desire that God that hath given us some sinceritie will owne us according to his owne goodnesse, and that sincerity that hee hath given us. I dare bee confident to speake itt, that [design] that hath bin amongst us hitherto is to seeke the guidances of God, and to recover that presence of God that seemes to withdraw from us; and our end is to accomplish that worke which may bee for the good of the Kingedome. It seems to us in this as much as anything we are not of a minde, and for our parts wee doe nott desire or offer you to bee with us in our seeking of God further then your owne satisfaccions lead you, butt onely [that] against to-morrow in the afternoone (which will bee design’d for the consideration Edition: current; Page: [259] of these businesses with you) you will doe what you may to have soe many as you shall thinke fitt to see what God will direct you to say to us. Perhaps God may unite us and carry us both one way, that whilest wee are going one way, and you another, wee bee nott both destroyed. This requires spiritt. Itt may bee too soone to say, itt is my present apprehension; I had rather wee should devolve our strength to you then that the Kingedome for our division should suffer losse.a For that’s in all our hearts, to professe above any thinge that’s worldlie, the publique good of the people; and if that bee in our hearts truly, and nakedlie, I am confident itt is a principall that will stand. And therefore I doe desire you, that against to morrow in the afternoone, if you judge itt meete, you will come to us to the Quartermaster Generall’s Quarters, and there you will finde us [at prayer], if you will come timely to joyne with us; at your libertie, if afterwards [you wish] to speake with us.b

Mr Wildman.

I desire to returne a little to the businesse in hand that was the occasion of these other motions. I could nott butt take some notice of some thinge that did reflect uppon the Agents of the five Regiments, in which I could nott butt give a little satisfaction to them; and I shall desire to prosecute a motion or two that hath bin already made. I observ’d that itt was said, that these gentlemen doe insist upon Engagements in “The Case of the Army,” and therefore it was said to bee contrary to the principles of the Agents, that an Engagement which was unjust should lawfully bee broken.c I shall onely observe this; that though an unjust Engagement when Edition: current; Page: [260] itt appeares unjust may bee broken, yett when two parties engage [each that] the other partie may have satisfaccion, yett because they are mutually engaged each to other one partie that apprehends they are broken [is justified] to complaine of them; and soe itt may bee their case, with which I confesse I made my concurrence. The other is a principle much spreading and much to my trouble, and that is this: that when persons once bee engaged, though the Engagement appeare to bee unjust, yett the person must sett downe and suffer under itt; and that therefore, in case a Parliament, as a true Parliament, doth anythinge unjustly, if wee bee engaged to submitt to the Lawes that they shall make, if they make an unjust law, though they make an unrighteous law, yett wee must sweare obedience.

I confesse to mee this principle is very dangerous, and I speake itt the rather because I see itt spreading abroad in the Army againe. Wheras itt is contrary to what the Army first declar’d: that they stood uppon such principles of right and freedome, and the lawes of nature and nations, wherby men were to preserve themselves though the persons to whome aucthority belong’d should faile in itt, and urged the example of the Scotts, and [that] the Generall that would destroy the Army they might hold his hands; and therfore if any thinge tends to the destruction of a people, because the thinge is absolutely unjust and tends to their destruction, [they may preserve themselves].a I could nott butt speake a worde to that. The motion that I should make uppon that account is this.

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That wheras there must bee a Meeting I could nott finde [but] that they were desirous to give all satisfaccion, and they desire nothing but the union of the Army. Thus farre itt is their sence. That the necessity of the Kingdome for present actinges is such that two or three dayes may loose the Kingdome. I desire in the sight of God to speake plainly: I meane there may bee an agreement betweene the Kinge [and the Parliament] by propositions, with a power to hinder the making of any lawes that are good, and the tendring of any good [lawes]. And therfore, because none of the people’s greivances are redrest, they doe apprehend that thus a few dayes may bee the losse of the Kingedome. I know it is their sence. That they desire to bee excused that itt might nott bee thought any arrogancie in them, butt they are clearlie satisfied, that the way they proceede in is just, and desire to bee excus’d if they goe on in itt; and yett notwithstanding will give all satisfaccion. And wheras itt is desir’d that Engagements may bee consider’d, I shall desire that onely the justice of the thinge that is proposed may bee consider’d. Whether the chief thinge in the Agreement, the intent of itt, bee nott this, to secure the Rights of the people in their Parliaments, which was declar’d by this Army in the Declaration of the 14th of June to bee absolutely insisted on? I shall make that motion to bee the thinge consider’d: whether the thinge bee just or the people’s due, and then there can bee noe Engagement to binde from itt.

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Com̃. Gen. Ireton.

Truly Sir, by what Lieut. Col. Goffe moved I confesse I was soe taken off from all [other] thoughts in this businesse that I did nott thinke of speaking any thinge more. Butt what this Gentleman hath last said hath renewed the occasion, and indeed if I did thinkea all that hee hath deliver’d bee truth and innocence—nay, if I did nott thinke that it hath venome and poyson in itt—I would nott speake itt.

First, I cannott butt speake somethinge unto the two particulars that hee holds forth as dangerous thinges,—indeed hee hath cleerlie yoak’t them together, when before I was sensible of those principles and how farre they would run together—that is that principle of nott being obliged, by nott regarding what Engagements men have entred into, if in their future apprehensions the thinges they engaged to are unjust; and that principle on the other hand of nott submitting passively for peace sake to that authority wee have engaged to. For hee does hold forth his opinion in those two points to cleare their way; and I must crave leave on my parte to declare [that] my opinion of that Distinction doth lie on the other way. I am farre from holding, that if a man have engag’d himself to a thinge that is nott just—to a thinge that is evill, that is sin if hee doe itt—that that man is still bound to performe what hee hath promised; I am farre from apprehending that. Butt when wee talke of just, itt is nott soe much of what is sinfull before God, which depends uppon many circumstances of indignation to that man and the like, butt itt intends of that which is just according to the foundation of justice betweene man and man. And for my parte I account that the great foundation of justice betweene man and man, and that without which I know nothing of justice betwixt man and man—in particular matters I meane, nothing in particular thinges that can come under humane Engagement one way or other—there is noe other foundation of right I know of, right to one thinge from another man, noe foundation of Edition: current; Page: [263] that justice or that righteousnesse, butt this generall justice, and this generall ground of righteousnesse, that wee should keepe covenant one with another. Covenants freely made, freely entred into, must bee kept one with another. Take away that I doe nott know what ground there is of any thinge you can call any man’s right. I would very faine know what you Gentlemen or any other doe account the right you have to any thinge in England, any thinge of estate, land, or goods that you have, what ground, what right you have to itt? What right hath any man to any thinge if you lay nott that principle, that wee are to keepe covenant? If you will resort onely to the law of Nature, by the law of Nature you have noe more right to this land or any thinge else then I have. I have as much right to take hold of any thinge that is for my sustenance, [to] take hold of any thinge that I have a desire to for my satisfaction as you. Butt heere comes the foundation of all right that I understand to be betwixt men, as to the enjoying of one thinge or nott enjoying of itt; wee are under a contract, wee are under an agreement, and that agreement is what a man has for matter of land that a man hath received by a traduction from his ancestors, which according to the law does fall uppon him to bee his right. [The agreement is] that that hee shall enjoy, hee shall have the property of, the use of, the disposing of, with submission to that generall aucthoritie which is agreed uppon amongst us for the preserving of peace, and for the supporting of this law. This I take to bee [the foundation of all right] for matter of land. For matter of goods, that which does fence mee from that [right] which another man may claime by the law of nature of taking my goods, that which makes itt mine really and civillie is the law. That which makes itt unlawfull originally and radically is onely this: because that man is in covenant with mee to live together in peace one with another, and nott to meddle with that which another is posses’t of, butt that each of us should enjoy, and make use of, and dispose of, that which by the course of law is in his possession, and [another] shall nott by violence take itt away from him. This is Edition: current; Page: [264] the foundation of all the right any man has to any thinge butt to his owne person. This is the generall thinge: that wee must keepe covenant one with another when wee have contracted one with another. And if any difference arise among us itt shall bee thus and thus: that I shall nott goe with violence to prejudice another, butt with submission to this way. And therefore when I heare men speake of laying aside all Engagements to [consider only] that wild or vast notion of what in every man’s conception is just or unjust, I am afraid and doe tremble att the boundlesse and endlesse consequences of itt.a What you apply this paper to. You say, “If these thinges in this paper, in this Engagement bee just, then,” say you, “never talke of any Engagement, for if any thinge in that Engagement bee against this, your Engagement was unlawfull; consider singly this paper, whether itt bee just.” In what sence doe you thinke this is just? There is a great deale of equivocation [as to] what is just and unjust.

Mr. Wildman.

I suppose you take away the substance of the question. Ourb [sense] was, that an unjust Engagement is rather to be broken then kept. The Agents thinke that to delay is to dispose their Enemy into such a capacitie as hee may destroy them. I make a question whether any Engagement can bee to an unjust thinge. [If] a man may promise to doe that which is never soe much unjust, a man may promise to breake all Engagements and duties. Butt [I say] this, wee must lay aside the consideration of Engagements, soe as nott to take in that as one ground of what is just or unjust amongst men in this case. I doe apply this to the case in hand: that itt might bee consider’d whether itt bee unjust to bringe in the Kinge in such a way as hee may bee in a capacity to destroy the people. This paper may bee applyed to itt.

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Com̃. Generall.

You come to itt more particularly then that paper leads. There is a great deale of equivocation in the point of justice, and that I am bound to declare.

Capt. Awdeley.

Mr. Wildman sayes if wee stay butt three dayes before you satisfie one another, and if wee tarry longe the kinge will come and say who will be hang’d first.

Com̃ Gen.

Sir, I was saying this; wee shall much deceive our selves, and bee apt to deceive others if wee doe nott consider that there is two parts of justice. There may bee a thinge just that is negatively [so], itt is nott unjust, nott unlawfull—that which is nott unlawfull, that’s just to mee to doe if I bee free. Againe there is another sence of just when wee account such a thinge to bee a duty,—nott onely a thinge lawfull “wea may doe itt,” but itt’s a duty, “you ought to doe itt,”—and there is a great deale of mistake if you confound these two. If I engage my self to a thinge that was in this sence just, that’s a thinge lawfull for mee to doe supposing mee free, then I account my Engagement stands good to this. On the other hand, if I engage my self against a thinge which was a duty for mee to doe, which I was bound to doe; or if I engag’d myself to a thinge which was nott lawfull for mee to doe, which I was bound nott to doe, in this sence I doe account this [engagement] unjust. If I doe engage my self to what was unlawfull for mee to engage to, I thinke I am nott then to make good activelie this Engagement. Butt though this bee true, yett the generall end and equitie of Engagements I must regard, and that is the preserving right betwixt men, the nott doing of wronge or hurt to men, one to another. And therfore if [by] that which I engage to, though the thinge bee unlawfull for mee to doe, another man bee prejudict in case I Edition: current; Page: [266] did not perform it—though itt bee a thinge which wasa unlawfull for mee to doe, yett [if] I did freelie [engage to do it] and I did [engage] uppon a consideration to mee, and that man did beleive mee, and hee suffer’d a prejudice by beleiving—though I bee nott bound by my Engagement to performe itt,b yett I am [bound] to regard that justice that lies in the matter of Engagement, soe as to repaire that man by some just way as farre as I can; and hee that doth nott hold this, I doubt whether hee hath any principle of justice, or doing right to any att all in him. That is [if] hee that did nott thinke itt lawfull hath made another man beleive itt to his prejudice and hurt, and [made] another man bee prejudic’t and hurt by that, hee that does nott hold that hee is in this case to repaire [it] to that man, and free him from [the prejudice of] itt, I conceive there is noe justice in him. And therfore I wish wee may take notice of this distinction when wee talke of being bound to make good Engagements or nott. This I thinke I can make good in a larger dispute by reason. If the thinges engaged to were lawfull to bee done, or lawfull for mee to engage to, then [I] by my Engagement amc bound to [perform] itt. On the other hand if the thinge were nott lawfull for mee to engage, or [if it were] a duty for mee to have done to the contrary, then I am nott bound positively and actively to performe itt. Nay I am bound nott to performe itt, because itt was unlawfull [and] unjust by another Engagement. Butt when I engage to another man, and hee hath a prejudice by beleiving, I nott performing itt, I am bound to repaire that man as much as may bee, and lett the prejudice fall upon my self and nott uppon any other. This I desire wee may take notice of to avoide falacie on that part. For there is an extremity to say on the one hand, that if a man engage what is nott just hee may act against itt soe as to regard noe relation or prejudice. Edition: current; Page: [267] [There’s an extremity] for a man to say on the other hand, that whatsoever you engage, though itt bee never soe unjust, you are to stand to itt. One worde more to the other parte which Mr. Wildeman doth hold out as a dangerous principle acting amongst us, that wee must bee bound to active obedience to any power acting amongst men.


You repeat not the principle right—“To thinke that wee are bound soe absolutely to personall obedience to any Magistrates or personall aucthoritie that if they worke to our destruction wee may nott oppose them.”


That wee may nott deceive ourselves againe [by arguments] that are fallacious in that kinde I am a little affected to speake in this, because I see that the abuse and misapplicationa of those thinges the Army hath declar’d hath led many men into a great and dangerous errour and destructive to all humane society. Because the Army hath declar’d, in those cases where the foundation of all that right and libertie of the people is, if they have any, that in these cases they will insist uppon that right, and that they will nott suffer that originall and fundamentall right to bee taken away; and because the Army when there hath bin a command of that supreame aucthority the Parliament have nott obeyed itt, butt stood uppon itt to have this fundamentall right setled first, and requir’d a rectification of the supreame aucthority of the Kingedome; for a man therfore to inferre [that] uppon any particular, you may dispute that aucthority by what is commanded what is just or unjust, if in your apprehension nott to obey, and soe farre itt is well, and if itt tend to your losse to oppose itt.b

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Mr. Wildman.

If itt tend to my Destruction that was the worde I spoke.

Com̃. Gen.

Lett us take heede that wee doe nott maintaine [that] this principle leads to destruction. If the case were soe visible as those cases the Army speaks of, of a Generall’s turning the cannon against the Army, the bulke and body of the Army; or [of] a Pylott that sees a rock [and] does by the advantage of the steeringa putt the shippe uppon’t; if you could propose cases as evident as these are, there is noe man butt would agree with you. Butt when men will first putt in those termes of destruction, they will imagine any thinge a destruction, if there could bee any thinge better [for them]; and soe itt is very easy and demonstrable that thinges are soe counted abhorred and destructive, that, att the utmost if a man should make itt out by reason, that manb would bee in a better condition if itt bee nott done, then if itt bee done. And though I cannott butt subscribe to, that in such a visible way I may hold the hands of those that are in aucthority as I may the hands of a mad-man; butt that noe man shall thinke himself [bound] to acquiesce particularly, and to suffer for quietnesse sake rather then to make a disturbance, or to raise a power if hee can to make a disturbance in the State—I doe apprehend and appeale to all men whether there bee nott more follie or destructivenesse in the springe of that principle then there can bee in that other principle of holding passive obedience? Now whatsoever wee have declar’d in the Armie [declarations] itt is noe more butt this. The Parliament hath commanded us [to do] this. Wee have said, noe. First wee have insisted uppon [the] fundamentall rights of the people. Wee have said wee desire [first] to have the constitution of the supreame aucthority of this Kingedome reduced to that constitution which is due to the people of this Kingedome, and reducing the aucthority to this wee will submitt to itt, wee will Edition: current; Page: [269] acquiesce, wee will cast our share into this common bottome; and if itt goe ill with us att one time, itt will goe well att another. The reducing of the supreame aucthority to that constitution, by successe or election as neere as may bee, wee have insisted uppon as an essentiall right of the Kingedome; and noe man can accuse the Armie of disobedience, or holding forth a principle of disobedience uppon any other ground.

Lieut. Generall.

Lett mee speake a worde to this businesse. Wee are now uppon that businesse which wee spake of consulting with God about, and therfore I judge it altogether unreasonablea for us to dispute the meritt of those thinges, unlesse you will make itt the subject of debate before you consider itt among your selves. The businesse of the Engagement[s] lies uppon us. Theyb are free in a double respect; they made none, and if they did, then the way out is now; and [it is a way] which all the members of the Army, except they bee sensible of itt [may take], and, att one jumpe, jumpe out of all [engagements], and itt is a very great jumpe I will assure you. As wee professe wee intend to seeke the Lord in the thinge, the less wee speake in itt [now] the better, and the more wee cast ourselves uppon God the better.

I shall onelie speake two thinges to Mr. Wildman in order to our Meeting. Mee thoughte hee said if there bee delay hee feares this businesse will bee determined, the propositions will bee sent from the Parliament, and the Parliament and Kinge agree, and soe those Gentlemen that were in that minde to goe on in their way will bee cutt off in point of time to their owne dissadvantage. And the other thinge hee said was, that these Gentlemen who have chosen Mr. Wildman, and that other Gentleman,c to bee their Edition: current; Page: [270] mouth att this meeting to deliver their mindes, they are uppon the matter engaged in what they have resolved uppon, and they come as engaged men uppon their owne resolution. If that bee soe, I thinke there neither needes consideration of the former, for you will not bee anticipated. If that bee soe, you [can] worke accordingly. And though you [do] meete us, yett having that resolution you cannott bee prevented in your way by any proposition, or any such thinge; though wee should have come hither, and wee should meete to morrow as a company of men that really would bee guided by God. If any come to us to morrow onely to instruct us and teach us, how farre that will consist with the libertie of a freea [debate] or an end of satisfaction I referre to every sober spiritted man to thinke of and determine.b I thinke itt is such a preengagement that there is noe neede of talke of the thinge. And I see then if that bee soe, things are in such an irrevocable way—I will nott call itt desperate—as there is noe hope of accomodation or union, except wee receive the Councills—I will nott call itt the commands—of them that come to us. I desire that wee may rightly understand this thinge. If this bee soe I doe nott understand what the end of the meeting will bee. If this bee nott soe, weec will [not] draw any man from their Engagements further then the Light of God shall draw them from their Engagements; and I thinke, according to your owne principle, if you bee uppon any Engagement you are liable to bee convinc’t unlesse you bee infallible. If wee may come to an honest and single debate, how wee may all agree in one common way for publique good; if wee [may] meete soe, wee shall meete with a great deale the more comfort, and hopes of a good and happy issue, and understanding of the businesse. Butt if otherwise, I despaire of the Meeting; or att least I would have the Meeting to bee of another notion, a Edition: current; Page: [271] Meeting that did represent the Agitators of five Regiments to give rules to the Councill of Warre. If itt signifie this, for my owne parte I shall bee glad to submitt to itt under this notion. If itt bee a free debate what may bee fitt for us all to doe, with clearnesse and opennesse before the Lord, lett us understand that wee may come and meete soe and in that sincerity.a Otherwise I doe verily believe wee shall meete with prejudice, and we shall meete to prejudice—really to the prejudice of the Kingedome, and of the whole Army—if wee bee thus absolutely resolved uppon our way and engaged before hand. The Kingedome will see itt is such a reall actuall division as admitts of noe reconciliation, and all those that are enemies to us and freinds to our enemies will have the clearer advantage uppon us to putt us into inconveniency. And I desire if there bee any feare of God among us, I desire that wee may declare ourselves freely, that wee doe meete uppon these termes.

Col. Rainborow.

I wish, that the Motion of Lieut. Col Goffe might have taken effect, nott only to the time and place for Meeting [but] as hee desir’d. Butt, Sir, since itt is gone thus farre, and since I heare much of fallacie talk’t of, I feare itt as much on the one side as the other. Itt is made a wonderb of that some Gentlemen without should have principles to breake Engagements, yett [it is made no wonder of] that some Gentlemen within should soe much insist uppon Engagements. I doe nott consider my self as jumping, butt yett I hope when I leape I shall take soe much of God with mee, and soe much of just and right with mee, as I shall jumpe sure. Butt I am more unsatisfied against [another of] those thinges that have bin said, and that is as to another Engagement. For all that hath bin said hath bin [as to engagements] betweene partie and partie, if two men should make an agreement and the like, and there were noe living one amongst another if those Engagements Edition: current; Page: [272] were nott made [good], yett I thinke under favour that some Engagements may bee broke. Noe man that takes a wife butt there is an Engagement, and I thinke that a man ought to keepe itt, yett if another man that had married her before claimes her, hee ought to lett him have her and soe breake the Engagement. Butt whereas it is told us, this engagement is of another nature,a that the partie to whome wee make the Engagement relyed uppon [it], and becomes therby prejudic’t, [and so] wee ought to take itt rather uppon ourselves then to leave itt uppon them,—this may serve in a particular case, if any menb heere will suffer they may; butt if wee will make our selves a third partie, and engage betweene Kinge and Parliament, [it is not a particular case] and I am of that Gentlemans minde that spoke, the Kinges partie would have bin about our eares if wee had nott made some considerations. Heere is the consideration now. As concerning them, doe wee nott engage for the Parliament and for the liberties of the people of England, and doe wee nott engage against itt? Wee have gott the better of them in the feild, butt they shall bee masters of our Houses. Never was Engagements broken more then wee doe. Wee did take uppe Armes with all that tooke parte with the Parliament and wee engag’d with them.c For my parte itt may bee thought that I am against the Kinge; I am against him or any power that would destroy Gods people, and I will never bee destroyed till I cannott helpe my self. Is itt nott an argument, if a Edition: current; Page: [273] pylott run his shipp uppon a rock, or [if] a Generall mount his cannon against his Army, hee is to bee resisted? I thinke that this as cleare the very case as any thinge in the world. For clearly the Kinge and his partie could nott have come in uppon those termes that hee is come[to] in [on], if this very Army did nott engage for him; and I verily thinke that the House had nott made another addresse, if itt had nott bin said that itt was the desire of the Army, and the Army were engaged to itt. Therefore I say I hope men will have charitable opinions of other men. For my parte I thinke I shall never doe any thinge against conscience, and I shall have those hopes of others. That which is deare unto mee is my freedome. Itt is that I would enjoy, and I will enjoy if I can. For my owne parte I hope there is noe such distance betwixt these Gentlemen as is imagin’d, butt they will heare reason that may convince them out of itt. I doe verily beleive they are soe farre from a disunion that they will bee advis’d by this Councill in generall, or by any honest man of this Councill in particular. I have nott the same apprehensions that two or three dayes will undoe us, butt I thinke a very little delay will undoe us; and therefore I should onely desire, (itt may bee because I have spoken some other may answer mee) the lesse wee speake itt may bee the better. And as this Agitator whoma I never saw before, said that hee will use his interest, I hope that God will doe somethinge in that for our next Meeting to morrow, that when wee doe meete wee shall have a very happy union.


That hee could breake Engagements in case they [were] proved unjust and that itt might [so] appeare to his conscience. That whatsoever hopes or obligations I should bee bound unto, if afterwards God should reveale himself, I would breake itt speedily, if itt were an 100 a day; and in that sence wee deliver’d our sence.

Edition: current; Page: [274]
Mr. Wildman.

Provided, that what is done tends to destruction, either self destruction or to [the destruction of] my neighbour especially. Unlawfull Engagements [are] Engagements against duty, and an Engagement to any person to bring him in such a way as hee may bee enabled to engage, itt is that which may tend to destruction.a

Lieut. Generall.

I thinke clearly you were understood to putt itt uppon an issue where there is clearly a case of destruction, publique destruction, and ruine; and I thinke this will bringe itt into consideration whether or noe our Engagements have really in them that that hath publique destruction and ruine necessarily following? or whether or noe wee may nott give way too much to our owne doubts or feares? and the issue will beeb whether itt bee lawfull to breake a covenant uppon our owne doubts and feares? I thinke [best] if wee agree to deferre the debate, to nominate a Committee.

Col. Rainborow.

One worde. I am of another opinion. Nott that the Engagements of the Army are look’t uppon as destructive, butt the nott-performance of the Engagements of the Army is that which is destructive.

Com̃. Ireton.

I thinke Mr. Wildman’s conclusion is, that they are destructive because they are destructive to our neighbours.

Mr. Wildman.

That if an Engagement were such itt does nott binde.

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Com̃. Ireton.

Then if itt were a compliance, or such a Meeting nott for a Law butt for satisfaction, since wheras the only ground which the thinge seemes to mee to bee represented that these Gentlemen thinke that there owne agreement is soe cleare, soe infallibly just and right, that. I doe thinke those Gentlemen have nott soe much ground of confidence to each parte of that agreement as itt lies there, that whatever goes about to take itt from them, or whatever does nott agree to itt, is a thinge unlawfull, butt somethinge may bee seene in that if you come, in the Engagement of itt; and therfore in that relation, and nott your owne principalls that you would admitt of soe much conference as to question itt.a

Mr. Lockyer.

I have gather’d from two men’s mouthes, that destruction is somethinge neere, and the cause of the destruction as they understand is the going of the proposalls to the Kinge. I thinke itt were very necessary that if itt bee true, as is suppos’d, the proposalls may bee brought hither when they doe goe, that wee may see what they are.

Lieut. Generall.

The Question is whether the propositions will save us, or [whether they will] nott destroy us. This discourse concludes nothing.

Edition: current; Page: [276]
Capt. Merriman.

One partie feares, That the Kinge will rise by the proposalls, another that hee will loose.

I thinke that most mens eyes are open to see that they are like to prove a broken reede, and that your charriott wheeles doe move heavily, and that this Engagement which is the ground of most of your discourse.a You both desire a succession of Parliaments. The fundamentall businesse of itt is the desire of most of this Councill, to have this Parliament that itt might nott be perpetuated and I thinke when.

That this Oedipus riddle is un-open’d, and this Gordian knott untied, and the enemies of the same, and the spiritt of God are the same in both, and the principles of both are the same. You have both promised to free the people, which you may doe by taking off tythes and other Antichristian yoakes uppon them, and [to] give contents to the souldiers, and I hope that when you meete together itt will bee for good, and not for evill.


Wheras this Gentleman that wee have requested to come alonge with us hath declar’d some parte of their resolutions with us, and wee are resolved that wee will have the peace of the Kingedome if wee can, and yett notwithstanding if a furtheranceb for the manner of procuring of itt is what God shall direct unto us, I would nott have you judge that wee will deny that Light, till that you know what wee will doe. Noe man can judge soe of any man. A man cannott bee called to bee [of] a peremptory will or self willed, and Edition: current; Page: [277] and come resolved nolens volens [till you know what he will do]. Wee desire that better thoughts may bee of us.

Lieut. Chillenden.

I hope that these Gentlemen of the Five Regiments their ends are good, and hope their hearts doe tend to peace; and I shall move this, that they would willingly come to morrow, and joyne with us in our Councills together, and alsoe I shall humbly move, That after wee have sought God in the businesse, that God will make itt out to us, to see wherin wee have failed, and that their being with us, and our vigorous proceeding in itt, and these Gentlemen of the five Regiments they will manifest this by a sweete compliance in communicating Councils.

Lieut. Generall.

That which this Gentlemana hath moved I like exceeding well; hee hath fully declar’d himself concerning the freedome of their spiritt as to principles. In generall they aime att peace and safetie, and really I am perswaded in my conscience itt is their aime [to act] as may bee most for the good of the people, for really if that bee nott the supreame [aim]b of us under God, (the good of the people) our principles fall. Now if that bee in your spiritts and our spiritts, itt remaines onely that God shew us the way, and lead us [in] the way, which I hope hee will. And give mee leave [to add] that there may bee some prejudices uppon some of your spiritts, and [uppon] such men that doe affect your way, that they may have some jealousies and apprehensions that wee are wedded and glewed to formes of Governement; soe that whatsoever wee may pretend, itt is in vaine for [you] to speake to us, or to hope for any agreement from us to you. And I beleive some such apprehensions as [that we are engaged to] some parte of the Legislative power of the Kingdome, where itt may rest besides in the Commons of the Kingedome. You will finde that wee are Edition: current; Page: [278] farre from being so particularly engaged to anythinge to the prejudice of this—further then the notorious engagements that the world takes notice of—that wee should nott concurre with you that the foundation and supremacy is in the people, radically in them, and to bee sett downe by them in their representations.a And if wee doe soe [concur, we may also concur] for that that does remayne, how wee may run to that end that wee all aime att, and therfore lett us onely name the Committee.

Lieut. Col. Goffe.

You were pleased to say that somethinge which should bee offer’d by these Gentlemenb gave you another occasion of the Meeting, if itt were onely design’d to lie uppon you. I hope that you did nott conceive, that any such ground did lie in my brest. I would speake this worde to the quickening of us to a good hope. I am verily perswaded if God carry us out to meete sincerely, as with free spiritts to open ourselves before the Lord, wee may bee found going on according to his will. I desire such prejudices may bee laid aside.

Mr. Allen.

A Meeting is intended to morrow; butt that wee may fully end, I would humbly offer to you whether these Gentlemen have a power to debate; and if they have nott, that they may have recourse to them that sent them, to see what [powers] they will give [them], that wee may offer our reasons and judgement uppon the thinge, and actc uppon that principle uppon which wee actc If wee unite and agree to itt, itt will putt on other thinges. An agreement formallyd made, wee must bee serious in itt, and to that end that wee Edition: current; Page: [279] may have a full debate in itt. Otherwise itt will bee uselesse and endlesse our meeting.

Lieut. Generall.

That Gentleman sayes hee will doe what hee can to draw all or the most of them hither to bee heard to morrow; and I desire Mr. Wildman, that if they have any freinds that are of a loving spiritt, that would contribute to this businesse of a right understanding [they would come with him]. And I say noe more butt this, I pray God judge betweene you and us when wee doe meete, whether wee come with engaged spiritts to uppehold our owne resolutions and opinions, or whether wee shall lay downe ourselves to bee rul’d [by Him] and that which hee shall communicate.

Col. Rainborow.

Hee did tell you hee would improve his interest, which is as full satisfaction to what Mr. Allen sayes as could bee, if they shall come nott to doe, butt I hope they will come to full power, nott to debate. I thinke there needes noe more.a

Names of the Committee.
Lieut. Generall. Col. Okey.
Co. Generall. Col. Tichborne.
Col. Rainborow. Mr. Sexby.
Sir Hardresse Waller. Mr. Allen.
Col. Rich. Mr. Lockyer.
Adj. Generall Deane. Mr. Clarke.
Col. Scrope. Lt. Generall Hammond.
Col. Thomlinson. Mr. Stenson.
Col. Overton. Mr. Underwood.

To conferre with the Agitators of the five regiments, and such gentlemen as shall come with them about the “Agreement” now brought in, and their own declarations and engagements.

Edition: current; Page: [280]
October 29, 1647

Att the Meeting of the officers for calling uppon God, according to the appointment of the Generall Councill, after some discourses of Commissary Cowling, Major White, and others.

Capt. Clarke.

Wee have bin heere as wee say seekeing of God, though truly hee is nott farre from every one of us; and wee have said in the presence of God, as out of his presence wee cannott goe, that wee have none in heaven in comparison of him, nor none wee have even in earth in comparison of him. I wish our hearts does nott give us the lie, for truly had that bin a truth, I meane a truth in our carriages, wee should nott have bin soe lost this day. Had wee given eare to the inspiring worde of Christ, and had nott given ourselves to the false prophett within us, certainly God would have kindled that light within us, and [we] should have gone [on] and submitted to his will; and should nott have bin troubled or harassed as wee are with troubles and amazements, butt must have gone with God as hee hath allotted to us. What is the reason that wee finde the light and glory of God eclypsed from our eyes this day? Truly wee may finde this silence within us the cause of every evil sought after;a and lett us butt search our owne spiritts with patience, and looke by the lightb of God within us, and wee shall finde that wee have submitted the spiritt of God unto the candle of reason, whereas reason should have bin subservient unto the spiritt of God. Wee are troubled when our owne reasons tell us, that this is the way, and wee are careless to seeke the way, or that true light Christ in us which is the way. Wee are apt to say, all of us, that if wee seeke thatc first, the later first, the firstd will nott bee wanting; butt truly, wee have sought the first last, and therfore the first is wanting, and before this light can take place againe that darkenesse Edition: current; Page: [281] must bee removed. And first within us our lust, that candle of reason,a which doth seduce and intice us to wander from God, must bee eaten out of us by the spiritt of God, and when there is noe place for lust, there is place enough for the spiritt of God. If wee shall with resolutions and humility of spiritt nott say, butt doe, as the children of Israell used to doe many times when they were in distresse—many times they cryed unto the Lord—if wee shall doe as wee professe before God this day, that is, lay downe our reason, lay downe our goods, lay downe all wee have att the feete of God and lett God worke his will in us that wee may bee buried with God in our spiritts; I doubt nott butt the appearances of God will bee more glorious, and I doubt nott butt there will bee that contentednesse in spiritt. Wee should desire noe way, butt waite which way God will lead us. I say, wee should chuse noe way, butt if the spiritt of God lead us, wee should bee ready to submitt to the will of God. And therfore I desire, that, since this is in order to another meeting in the afternoone, wee may lay downe all att the feete of God, nott following our owne reasons, butt submitting unto that light which is lightened in us by his spirit.

After this Capt. Carter prayed.

Adj. Gen. Deane.

Motion for a Meeting att this place, the Quartermaster Generall’s Quarters, to meete Munday, the Councill day, from 8 till 11, to seeke God, &c.

Lieut. Col. Goffe.b

That which I must now desire to expresse to you was partly occasioned by the thoughts that I had the last night, as being indeed kept awake with them a good while; and, hearing somethinge that did concurre with itt from one that spake since wee came together, Edition: current; Page: [282] I feele some weight uppon my spiritt to expresse itt to you. That which was spoken enow [was] concerning the conjunction that is betweene Antichrist, or that mistery of iniquity in the world carried on by men that call themselves [the] church, thata certainly itt is with the conjunction of men in places of power or aucthority in the world, with kinges and great men. And truly my thoughts were much uppon itt this night, and itt appeares to me very clearly from that which God hath sett downe in his worde in the Booke of the Revelations,—which is that worde that wee are bid and commanded to study and to looke into, being the worde which God sent by his Angell to John to declare as thinges shortly to bee done. Now certainly this worke of Antichrist hath bin a worke of great standing, and, as itt was well observ’d, itt hath bin mixt with the church, and men that call themselves the church, the clergie, mixt with men of aucthoritie. Itt is said in the Revelation, that the kinges of the earth should give uppe their power unto the Beast, and the kinges of the earth have given uppe their power to the Pope. Butt some places that have seem’d to deny the Pope’s supremacy, yett they have taken uppon them that which hath bin equivalent to that which the Pope himself holds forth. Truly I could bringe itt to this present Kingedome wherin wee are. ’Tis true the kinges have bin instruments to cast off the Pope’s supremacy, butt wee may see if they have nott putt themselves into the same state.b Wee may see itt in that title which the kinge hath, “Defender of the Faith,” butt more especially in that canonicall prayer which the clergie used, “In all causes, and over all persons as well Ecclesiasticall as Civill [supreme].” Certainly, this is a mistery of iniquity. Now Jesus Christ his worke in the last dayes is to destroy this mistery of iniquity; and because itt is so interwoven and intwisted in the interest of States, certainly in that overthrow of the mistery of iniquity by Jesus Christ, there must bee great alterations of states. Now the worde doth hold out in the Revelation, that in this worke of Jesus Christ hee shall have a Edition: current; Page: [283] companie of Saints to follow him, such as are chosen, and called, and faithfull.a Now itt is a scruple amonge the saints, how farre they should use the sworde, yett God hath made use of them in that worke. Many of them have bin imployed these five or six yeares. Yett whatsoever God shall imploy us in, I could wish this were laid to heart by us, that, as wee would bee called the chosen and faithfull that will follow Christ wheresoever hee goes, lett us tremble att the thought that wee should bee standing in a direct opposition against Jesus Christ in the worke that hee is about. Lett us nott bee twisted amongst such kinde of compartinges where there shall bee a mystery of iniquity sett uppe by outward power, and that wee should bee the instruments of giving any life or strength to that power. And I wish [we may lay this to heart], and I beleive itt may somewhat tend to the worke by the way; because wee are to hold out the will of God for the time to come, and to bee humbled for what wee have done against itt. Lett us inquire whether some of the actions that wee have done of late, some of the thinges that wee have propounded of late, doe nott crosse the worke of God in these particulars; because in our proposing thinges wee doe indeavour to sett uppe that power which God would nott sett uppe againe. Itt hath bin hinted already. I meane in our compliance with that partie which God hath ingaged us to destroy. Wee intended nothing butt civility, butt I wish they were nott in some measure compliances; and if I mistake nott there are ways which God hath laid open to us, wherby wee may lay aside that compliance.

Butt this is nott all that I would speake, because God hath called forth my spiritt to unity. What wee doe according to the will of God will nott tend to division. This I speake concerning compliance may bee thought to reflect uppon some particular persons more then other some, soe on the other hand I desire to speake somethinge that may concerne some persons that may stand, or att least may seeme to stand, in direct opposition to us; and truly I wish wee may bee very wary what wee doe, and lett Edition: current; Page: [284] us take heede of rejecting any of the saints of God before God rejects them. If God bee pleased to shew any of his servants that hee hath made use of as great instruments in his hand as those that God hath blest in them, that God hath blest them, and this hath bin the greatest instrument of the ruine of sin and corruption in this Army. Lett us bee wary and consider what wee have to doe in that kinde; and I spake this the rather because I was sensible of some personall reflections that did nott argue the workinges of God [so much] as the workinges of passions in us. Now the worke of the spiritt is, that wee doe pull downe all workes [not] of the spiritt whatsoever; and therfore I desire that as in the presence of God wee may take heede of all thinges which may tend to dissunion, and that wee may nott despise those who may have some thinges in their hands to contribute for the worke of God. And there is another thinge: if wee have lost the opportunity of appearing against enemies, lett us take heede, when wee bee sensible of God’s displeasure, that wee doe nott run before hee bids us goe a 2d time. There is a place which is very remarkable, Numbers xiv., where the spies were sent to the Land of Canaan; and when they came back the hearts of the people were discouraged. God was displeased att this, and hee discover’d itt in some such way as hee did this day. Uppon a suddaine there was a partie that would goe uppe, and fight against the Amalekites; and att such a time when God would nott have them goe uppe. “Though you did sin against the Lord in nott going att first,” sayes Moses, “yett goe nott now uppe, for the Lord is nott amonge you, that yee bee nott smitten before your enemies.”a Yett they did goe uppe unto the Hill Toppe, and were discomfited. I thinke wee have sinned in that wee did nott shew our courage and faithfulnesse to God. Lett us nott now in a kinde of heate run uppe and say, “wee will goe now;” because itt may bee there is a better opportunity that God will give us. And that wee may a little helpe us by our owne experiences, lett us remember how Edition: current; Page: [285] God hath dealt with this Army in our late proceedinges. There was some heavinesse in our proceedinges before the Citty,a as was thought by some; and itt was said by many, “Goe uppe, Goe uppe quicklie, and doe our worke.” Butt lett us remember that God found a better season for us, then if wee had gone att first. Lett us consider whether this bee the best juncture of time for us to declare, and to throw off some of our freinds, when that they would have itt discover’d whetherb God goes alonge with us. Lett this bee consider’d, that soe wee may bee humbled on the one hand, and breake off all unlawfull compliance with the enemies of God, soe on the other hand wee may stay, and take the company one of another, or rather the presence of God, [alonge with us]. And soe for the worke of the day, I wish there may bee a day of union amongst us; for itt may bee itt is the will of God that wee should waite uppon him therin to see what will bee the issue of a businesse that is now transacted; and if wee can trust God in this strait wee shall see him straight before us, if wee can bee of one minde. I wish this may bee consider’d, and if there be anythinge of God in itt, itt may be received.

Mr. Everard.c

This honourable Councill hath given mee great incouragement. Though I have many impediments in my speach, yett I thanke you that you will heare mee speake. I engaged myself yesterday to bringe the men to have a debatc, and for that purpose I have prosecuted these my promises, and I have bin with them as many as I can finde; butt the most of them are dispersed, soe that I lost that opportunity which I would have enjoyed; butt neverthelesse I hope you will take itt kindlie, that those that were there are Edition: current; Page: [286] come hither, and those two freinds that were with mee yesterday. Our ends are that wee desire yett once more a compliance in those thinges that wee propounded to you, butt if itt shall please God to open our eyes that wee can see itt, wee shall comply with you. For our desires are nothing butt (according to our first Declaration,)a to follow our worke to deliver the Kingedome from that burthen that lies uppon us. For my parte I am butt a poore man, and unacquainted with the affaires of the Kingedome, yett this message God hath sent mee to you, that there is great expectation of suddaine destruction; and I would bee loath to fill uppe that with words. Wee desire your joynct consent to seeke out some speedy way for the releif of the Kingedome.

Lieut. Generall,

I thinke itt would nott bee amisse that those Gentlemen that are come would draw nigher.

I must offer this to your consideration, whether or noe wee, having sett aparte this morning to seeke God, and to gett such a preparednesse of heart and spiritt as might receive that, that God was minded to have imparted to us, and this having taken uppe all our time, all this day, and itt having bin soe late this last night as indeed itt was when wee brake uppe, and wee having appointed a committee to meete together to consider of that paper, and this Committee having had noe time or opportunity that I know of, nott soe much as a meeting, I make some scruple or doubt whether or noe itt is nott better,—[I know] that danger is imagined [near at hand], and indeed I thinke itt is,—butt bee the danger what itt will, our agreement in the businesse is much more [pressing] then the pressing of any danger, soe by that wee doe nott delay too.—That which I have to offer [is], whether or noe wee are [as] fitt to take uppe such a consideracion of these papers now as wee might bee to-morrow. Perhaps if these Gentlemen, which are butt few, and that Committee should meete together, and spend their time Edition: current; Page: [287] together an houre or two the remainder of this afternoone, and all this company might meete about 9 or 10 a clock att furthest, and they [might] understand one another soe well, as wee might bee prepared for the generall meeting to have a more exact and particular consideration of thinges then [we can have] by a generall loose debate of thinges, which our Committee or att least manya of us have [not] had any, or att least nott many thoughts about.

Col. Rainborow,

Sir. I am sorry that the ill disposition of my body caused mee to goe to London last night, and [hindered me] from coming soe soone this morning as to bee with you in the duty you were about. Butt I hope that which hath bin said att this time, which I hope is a truth and sent from God, will soe worke uppon mee that I shall indeavour att least to carry my self soe that I may use all that interest I have to a right and quick understanding betweene us. And truly, Sir, to that present motion that hath bin made I confesse I have nothing against itt, butt onely the danger that lies uppon us; which truly (if wee may have leave to differ one from another) may in a moment overcome [us]. I hope wee shall all take one worde that was spoken to us by Lieut. Col. Goffe, and I thinke that nothing will conduce soe much [to union as] that wee may have noe personall reflections. I thinke itt would have bin well if the Committee had mett, butt since all this company, or the greatest parte of them that have bin heere, have joyn’d in that duty which was on the former parte of the morning, I thinke there is nott much inconveniency that they may spend the other parte of the day with us. [That] if wee were satisfied ourselves uppon debate, and there should bee one partie, or one sort of men that are of a contrary judgement present, or others that should come over to us, itt would heerafter cost some time to know the reasons of their coming over. Therfore I thinke itt an advantage that it should Edition: current; Page: [288] bee as publique, and as many as may bee present att itt. The debating this thus publiquely may bee an advantage unto us, and if wee finde ata after the multitude of people that are heere (that have bin spoken to) if wee finde that inconvenient, I doe nott doubt butt the Committee, when this company breakes uppe, may have two houres time together. Therefore I should desire, that since the Gentlemen and you are mett together to such an end and purpose, that you will follow to that end.

Mr. Everard.

That itt is not [fit] as I conceive to dispute any thing touching particulars, for all as I conceive doe seeke the kingedome’s good. Lett us goe about the work, noe question butt we shall goe together. Butt if wee stand disputing the worke, much business will be. I desire this honourable Councill will pardon mee to make out some speedy way for the easing of us. I beseech you that you will let us now consider uppon that. I believe wee shall jumpe all in one with itt. If wee doe nott fall upon some extraordinary wayes between—Some lawes with us that will prick us to the heart, wee must winke att them, nott that I desire that wee should seeke to ruinate any wholesome lawes, butt such as will nott stand with the wholesome peace of the Kingedome.b

Capt. Awdeley.

I shall desire to second that Gentleman’s motion. That while wee debate wee doe nothing. I am confident that whilest you are doing you will all agree together, for itt is idlenesse that hath begott this rust, and this gangreene amongst us.

Lieut. Generall.

I thinke itt is true. Lett us bee doing, butt lett us bee united Edition: current; Page: [289] in our doing. If there remayne nothing else butt present action,a I thinke wee neede nott bee in Councill heere.a Butt if wee doe nott rightly and clearly understand one another before wee come to act, if wee doe nott lay a foundation of action before wee doe act, I doubt whether wee shall act unanimously or noe. And seriously, as before the Lord, I knew noe such end of our speech the last night, and appointing another Meeting, butt in order to a more perfect understanding of one another, what wee should doe, and that wee might bee agreed uppon some principalls of action. And truly if I remember rightly, uppon the delivery of the paper that was yesterday, this was offer’d, that the thinges [that] are now uppon us are thinges of difficulty, the thinges are therfore thinges that doe deserve consideration, because there might bee great weight in the consequences; and itt was then offer’d, and I hope is still soe in all our hearts, that wee are nott troubled with the consideration of the difficulty, nor with the consideration of any thinge butt this; that if wee doe difficult thinges wee may see that the thinges wee doe have the will of God in them, that they are nott onely plausible and good thinges but seasonable and honest thinges fitt for us to doe. And therfore itt was desir’d that wee might consider, before wee could come to these papers, in what condition wee stood in respect of former Engagements, however some may bee satisfied that there lie none uppon us, or none butt such as itt’s duty to breake, itt’s sin to keepe. Therefore that was yesterday premised [that] there may bee a consideration had of them—and I may speake itt as in the presence of God that I know nothing of any Engagements, butt I would see liberty in any man as I would bee free from bondage to any thinge that should hinder mee from doing my duty—and therfore that was first in consideration. If our obligation bee nothing, or if itt bee weake, I hope itt will receive satisfaction why itt should bee laid aside, that the thinges that wee speake of are nott obliged. And therfore if itt Edition: current; Page: [290] please you I thinke itt will bee good for us to frame our discourse to what wee were, where wee are, what wee are bound to, what wee are free to; and then I make noe question, butt that this may conclude what is betweene these Gentlemen in one afternoone. I doe nott speake this to make obligations more then what they were before; butt as before the Lord. You see what they are,a and when wee looke uppon them wee shall see ifb we have bin in a wronge way, and I hope itt will call uppon us for the more double diligence.

Col. Rainborow.

I shall desire a word or two before that. I did exceedingly mistake myself the last night that uppon what wee say now was determined.c I look’t uppon the Committee as a Committee to looke over this paper, to see whether itt were a paper that did hold forth justice and righteousnesse, whether itt were a paper that honest men could close with. Butt truly I am of opinion that if wee should spend ten dayes time in going over that Booke, and debate what Engagements wee have broke, or whether wee have broke any or noe, or whether we have kept our Engagements, itt would nott come to the businesse, neither would itt prevent that evill that I thinke will overtake us before wee fall into the right way,d unlesse God in abundant manner prevent;—and I could give you reasons for itt which this day I have from very good hands, and which I think is not prudent to declare soe publicly as this is.—Lett us goe the quickest way to worke; and truly, Sir, I have thought that the wounds of the Kingedome, and the difficulties that wee are falne into, and our cure is become soe great that wee would bee willing all of us to heale the sore, and [not] to skin itt over butt leave itt unwholesome and corrupt att the bottome. Edition: current; Page: [291] Therefore for my parte I doe conclude in my spiritt, for my owne parte I [did] say this yesterday uppon another occasion, I will nott say positively that wee are to take the course prescribed in that paper att present, butt if wee doe nott sett uppon the worke—Since in order to that there is a thinge call’d an Agreement which the people have subscribed, and being that is ready to our hands, I desire that you would reade itt and debate itt, whether itt bee a way to deliver us yett or noe; and if itt bee . . . . [that you would accept it], and if nott that you would thinke of some other way.

Lieut. Generall.

I shall butt offer this to you. Truly I hope that wee may speake our hearts freelie heere; and I hope that there is nott such an evill amongst us as that wee could or would exercise our witts, or our cunning to vaile over any doublenesse of heart that may possibly bee in us. I hope, having bin in such a presence as wee have bin this day, wee doe nott admitt of such a thought as this into our hearts. And therfore if the speaking of that wee did speake before, and to which I shall speake againe, with submission to all that heare mee — if the declining to consider this paper may have with any man a workinga uppon his spiritt through any jealousie that itt aimes att delay; truly I can speake itt as before the Lord itt is nott att all in my heart, butt sincerely this is the ground of itt. I know this paper doth contayne many good thinges in itt, butt this is the onely thinge that doth stick with mee, the desiring to know my freedome to this thinge. Though this doth suggest that that may bee the bottome of all our evills—and I will nott say against itt because I doe nott thinke against itt—though this doth suggest the bottome of all our evills, yett for all of us to see our selves free to this [so] as wee may unanimously joyne uppon this, either to agree to this, or to adde more to itt, [or] to alter [it] as wee shall agree, this impediment lies in our Edition: current; Page: [292] way, [even] if every man bee satisfied with itt butt my self. That this is the first thinge that is to bee consider’d, that wee should consider in what condition wee stand to our former obligations, that if wee bee cleare wee may goe off cleare, if nott wee may nott goe on. If I bee nott come off [clear] with what obligations are made, if I bee nott free to act to whatsoever you shall agree uppon, I thinke this is my duty: that I should nott in the least study either to retard your worke or hinder itt, or to act against itt, butt wish you as much successe as if I were free to act with you. I desire wee may view over our obligations and Engagements, that soe wee may bee free [to act together] uppon honest and cleare grounds, if this bee [possible].

My desire — (Col. Rainborow offering to speake.)

Lieut. Gen.

I have butt one worde to prevent you in, and that is for imminent danger. Itt may bee possibly soe [imminent] that [it] may nott admitt of an houres debate, nor nothing of delay. If that bee soe, I thinke that’s above all law and rule to us.

Col. Rainborow.

I would offer one worde, for I thinke this will bringe us to noe issue att all. Both yesterday and to-day, and divers times, wee have had cautions given us to have care of divisions. I doe speake itt to avoide devision; that wee may nott att this time consider the Engagements. If you, or any other Gentlemen, are of opinion that you have nott broke them, and then some others are of opinion that you have broke them, wee may fall into contests which may occasion devision. Butt if you reade this, and finde it not against the Engagement, that will bee the worke. If it be nott against the Engagement, you will finde that in itt which you will finde from your Engagements, and I have somethinge to say to the particulars in itt.

Edition: current; Page: [293]
Com̃: Cowling.

I shall onely offer this, the necessity of expedition if the people shall consider the necessities that they and we are in. Wee live now uppon free-quarter, and wee have that against our wills.a Those that know what belonges to Armies well know, none are to quarter souldiers, butt those that are within soe many miles; and if soe bee too that the owner of the house should refuse to open his doores wee are prevented to pay our quarters by those that might have supplyed us. I have seene this paper, and uppon second reading of itt I sett my hand to itt, that wee may nott lie as drones to devoure their families. I am ready where I am called by my superiours. If nott, the Lord bee mercifull to mee.

Major White.b

I should offer one worde to this Councill: I thinke itt is in all our mindes to deliver the Kingdome; if there bee particular engagements wee must lay them downe to lay downe publique good.

Lieut. Generall.

I desire to know what the Gentleman meanes concerning particular Engagements; if hee meanes those that are in this Booke? If those that are in this booke [they are the engagements of the Army]. Butt if hee meanes Engagements personall from particular persons, lett every man speake for himselfe. I speake for myself, I disavowe all, and I am free to act, free from any such —

Major White.

I conceive that [if] they bee such as are past by the Representativec of the Army, I thinke the Army is bound in conscience to goe on with them.

Edition: current; Page: [294]
Col. Hewson.

All the Engagements that have bin declar’d for have bin by the Representative of the Army, and whether or noe that hath nott bin the cause of this cloude that hanges over our heads. I thinke if wee lay our hands over our hearts wee may nott much mistake itt.

Mr. Pettus.

According to your Honours desires yesterday, I am come in heere to give in my reasons why I doe approve of this paper, this Agreement, [and] to receive reasons why itt should nott bee agreed to. For the particular Engagements of the Army I am ignorant of them, butt, if itt please this Councill to lett this bee read, that either the matter or manner of itt may bee debated; and when any of the matter shall come to touch uppon any Engagement so as to breake any Engagement, that then the Engagement may bee showne; and if that Engagement shall prove just, and this unjust, this must bee rejected, or if this just, and these Engagements unjust [then they must be rejected]. I desire all those that are free from itt in their spiritts may act farther; and those that thinke themselves bound uppe soea to acquiesce in itt, as that they would bee pleased to rest satisfied in the actions of other men that are att libertie to act for the peace and freedome of the Kingedome.

Com̃. Generall.

Truly I would, if I did know of any personall, particular Engagements, if I were personally or particularly engaged myself, which I professe, as in the presence of God, I know nott for myself.b I myself am nott under any Engagement in relation to that businesse that the great Question lies uppon—I neede nott name itt—more then what all men know that have seene and read, and in the Armie Edition: current; Page: [295] consented to, those thinges that were published. Butt if I were under any particular Engagement, itt should nott att all stand in any other man’s way. If I were under [any particular engagement] I say, that I could bee convinc’t of was ill and unlawfull for mee to enter into, my Engagement should nott stand in any other man’s way that would doe any thinge that I could bee convinc’t of to bee better. And till God hath brought us all to that temper of spiritt that wee can bee contented to bee nothing in our reputations, [in our] esteemes, in our power—truly I may goe a little higher and say, till the reputation and honour of the Army and such thinges become nothing to us, nott soe as to [let] the consideration of them, to stand att all in the way to hinder us from what wee see God calling us to, or to prompt us on to what wee have nott a cleare call from him—wee are nott brought to that temper wherin I can expect any renewing of that presence of God that wee have sought. Therfore for my parte I professe first, I desire noe [particular] Engagements [may be considered]. If there were particular Engagements of any particular man whatsoever, as to the leading of the Army one way or other, I desire they may nott bee consider’d; butt lett that man looke to himself for what justice lies uppon him, and what justice will follow him. Neither doe I care for the Engagements of the Army soe much for the Engagementsa sake, butt I looke uppon this Army as having carried with itt hitherto the name of God, and having carried with it hitherto the interest of the people of God, and the interest which is God’s interest, the honour of his name, the good, and freedome, and safetie, and happinesse of his people. And for my parte I thinke that itt is that that is the onely thinge for which God hath appeared with us, and led us, and gone before us, and honoured us, and taken delight to worke by us. I say, that very thinge, that wee have carried the name of God, and I hope nott in shew butt in reallity, professing to act, and to worke, as wee have thought in our judgements and consciences, [with] God to lead us; Edition: current; Page: [296] professing to act to those ends that wee have thought to bee answerable and suitable to the minde of God, soe farre as itt hath bin knowne to us. Wee have professed to indeavour to follow the councells of God, and to have him President in our Councills; and I hope itt hath bin soe in our hearts. That wee have bin ready to follow his guidance; and I know itt hath bin soe in many thinges against our owne reasons, where wee have seene evidently God calling us. That wee have bin carried on with a confidence in him, wee have made him our trust, and wee have held forth his name, and wee have owned his hand towards us. These are the thinges I say which God hath in some degree and measure wrought his people in this Army uppe to, in some degree of sincerity; and this itt is, as I said before, that I account hath bin [the cause] that God hath taken delight in, amongst us, to dwell with us, to bee with us, and to appeare with us, and will manifest his presence to us. And therefore by this meanes, and by that appearance of God amongst us, the name and honour of God, the name and reputation of the people of God, and of that Gospell that they professe, is deeply, and dearly, and nearly concern’d in the good or ill manage of this Army, in their good or ill carriage; and therefore for my parte I professe itt, that’s the onely thinge to mee. [It is] nott to mee soe much as the vainest, or lightest thinge you can imagine, whether there bee a kinge in England, or noe, whether there bee Lords in England or noe. For whatever I finde the worke of God tending to I should desire quietly to submitt to. If God saw itt good to destroy, nott only Kinge and Lords, butt all distinctions of degrees—nay if itt goe further, to destroy all property, that there’s noe such thinge left, that there bee nothing att all of Civill Constitution left in the Kingedome—if I see the hand of God in itt I hope I shall with quietnesse acquiesce, and submitt to itt, and nott resist itt. Butt still I thinke that God certainly will soe leade those that are his, and I hope too hee will soe lead this Army that they may nott incurre sin, or bring scandall uppon the name of God, and the Edition: current; Page: [297] name of the people of God that are both soe neerly concern’d in what this Army does. And therefore itt is my wish, uppon those grounds that I before declar’d which made the consideration of this Army deare and tender to mee,a that wee may take heede, [that] wee consider first Engagements, soe farre as they are Engagements publiquely of the Army. I doe nott speake of particular [engagements] I would nott have them consider’d, if there bee any. And secondly I would have us consider of this: that our wayes and workinges and actinges, and the actings of the Army, soe farre as the Councills of those prevaile in itt who have anythinge of the spiritt of Jesus Christ may appeare suitable to that spiritt. And as I would not have this Army in relation to those great concernements (as I said before) the honour of God, and the honour and good name of his people and of religion, as I would nott have itt to incurre the scandall of neglecting Engagements, and laying aside all consideration of Engagements, and of jugling, and deceiving, and deluding the world, making them beleive thinges in times of extreamity which they never meant, soe I would nott have us to give the world occasion to thinke that wee are the disturbers of the peace of mankinde. I say, I would nott give them just occasion to thinke soe; nay I would have them have just cause to thinke that wee seeke peace with all men, and wee seeke the good of all men, and wee seeke the destruction of none that wee can say; and in generall I would wish and study, and that my hearte is bent to, that the Councills of this Army may appeare acted by that wisedome that is from above, which wee know how itt is charact’d. Itt is first pure, and then peaceable, and then gentle, and easie to bee intreated, and wee finde many characters of the same wisedome, and other fruites of the same spiritt that all still run clearlie that way. Therefore I say, I wish that wee may have noe otherwise a consideration of Engagements or any thinge of that nature. That which makes mee presse itt is cheiflie, that consideracion of the concernement of the honour of Edition: current; Page: [298] God and his people in the Army; and as I prize them soe I pressa that in all things whatsoever, though wee were free and had noe Engagements, we doe act as Christians, as men guided by the spiritt of God, as men having that wisedome [that is] from above, and [is] soe characteriz’d.

To the method of our proceeding. Having exprest what I desire may bee all our cares, I cannott but thinke that this will bee clearest, because I see it is soe much prest and insisted uppon: nott [to go]b to read what our Engagements are, butt [to] read the paper that is presented heere, and consider uppon it, what good, and what matter of justice and righteousnesse there is in itt, and whether there bee anythinge of injustice or unrighteousnesse, either in itt self, or in reference to our Engagements. Soe farre I thinke our Engagements ought to bee taken into consideration: that soe farre as wee are engaged to a thinge that was nott unlawfull to engage to, and I should bee sad to thinke them soe, wee should thinke ourselves bound nott to act contrary to those Engagements. And that wee may consider of the particulars of this paper, first, whether they bee good and just, that is, nott ill, nott unjust; and then further to consider whether they bee soe essentially due and right as that they should bee contended for, for then that is some kinde of checke to lesse Engagements; and for such thinges, if wee finde any, light Engagements [may] bee cast off and nott consider’d.c Butt if wee finde any matter in them that, though itt bee just, though itt bee good, is nott probable to bee soe beneficiall and advantageous, nott to few, butt to many, that withall wee may consider whether itt bee soe much a duty, and wee bee soe much bound to itt by the thinge itt self as that noe Engagement can take us from itt. Andd if wee finde any thinges that, if they bee just or good, [are] yett nott soe obligatorie or of [such] necessity to the Kingedome, [but that] the Kingedome may stand without them, then I thinke itt being [so] nott absolutely lawfull to act for them.

Edition: current; Page: [299]
Major Rainborow.

I desire wee may come to that end wee all strive after. I humbly desire you will fall uppon that which is the Engagement of all, which is the rights and freedomes of the people, and lett us see how farre wee have made sure to them a right and freedome, and if any thinge bee tendred as to that. And when that Engagement is gone through then lett us consider of those that are of greater weight.

The Paper called the Agreement read.

Afterwards the first Article read by itt self.a

Commissary Ireton.

The exception that lies in itt is this. Itt is said: “The people of England” etc. . . . . they are to bee distributed “according to the number of the inhabitants;” and this doth make mee thinke that the meaning is, that every man that is an inhabitant is to bee equally consider’d, and to have an equall voice in the election of Edition: current; Page: [300] the representors, those persons that are for the Generall Representative; and if that bee the meaning then I have somethinge to say against itt. But if itt bee onely that those people, that by the Civill Constitution of this kingedome, which is originall and fundamentall, and beyond which I am sure noe memory of record does goe—(Nott before the Conquest).a Butt before the Conquest itt was soe. Iff itt bee intended, that those that by that Constitution that was before the Conquest, that hath bin beyond memory, such persons that have bin before [by] that Constitution [the electors], should be [still] the electors, I have noe more to say against itt.

Col. Rainborow.

Moved, That others might have given their hands to itt.

Capt. Denne.

Denied, That those that were sett of their Regiment that they were their hands.

Commissary Ireton.

Whether those men whose hands are to itt, or those that brought itt, doe know soe much of the matter, as [to know whether] they meane that all that had a former right of election [are to be electors], or [whether] those that had noe right before are to come in?

Commissary Cowling.

In the time before the Conquest, and since the Conquest, the greatest parte of the Kingedome was in vassalage.

Mr. Pettus.

Wee judge that all inhabitants that have nott lost their birthright should have an equall voice in Elections.

Col. Rainborow.

I desir’d that those that had engaged in itt [should speak] for Edition: current; Page: [301] really I thinke that the poorest hee that is in England hath a life to live as the greatest hee; and therfore truly, Sir, I thinke itt’s cleare, that every man that is to live under a Governement ought first by his owne consent to putt himself under that Governement; and I doe thinke that the poorest man in England is nott att all bound in a stricte sence to that Governement that hee hath not had a voice to putt himself under; and I am confident that when I have heard the reasons against itt, somethinge will bee said to answer those reasons, insoemuch that I should doubt whether hea was an Englishman or noe that should doubt of these thinges.

Commissary Ireton.

That’s [the meaning of] this [“according to the number of the inhabitants.”]

Give mee leave to tell you, that if you make this the rule I thinke you must flie for refuge to an absolute naturall Right, and you must deny all Civill Right; and I am sure itt will come to that in the consequence. This I perceive is prest as that which is soe essentiall and due,—the right of the people of this Kingedome, and as they are the people of this Kingedome, distinct and devided from other people,—as that wee must for this right lay aside all other considerations; this is soe just, this is soe due, this is soe right to them. And that those that they doe thus chuse must have such a power of binding all, and loosing all, according to those limitations; this is prest, as soe due, and soe just as [it] is argued, that itt is an Engagement paramount [to] all others: and you must for itt lay aside all others; if you have engaged any others you must breake itt. [We must] soe looke uppon these as thus held out to us; soe itt was held out by the Gentleman that brought itt yesterday. For my parte I thinke itt is noe right att all. I thinke that noe person hath a right to an interest or share in the disposing or determining of the affaires of the Kingdome, and in chusing those that shall determine what lawes wee shall bee rul’d Edition: current; Page: [302] by heere, noe person hath a right to this, that hath nott a permanent fixed interest in this Kingedome; and those persons together are properly the Represented of this Kingedome, and consequentlie are to make uppe the Representors of this Kingedome, who taken together doe comprehend whatsoever is of reall or permanent interest in the Kingedome. And I am sure I cannott tell what otherwise any man can say why a forraigner coming in amongst us—or as many as will coming in amongst us, or by force or otherwise setling themselves heere, or att least by our permission having a being heere—why they should nott as well lay claime to itt as any other. Wee talke of birthright. Truly [by] birthright there is thus much claime. Men may justly have by birthright, by their very being borne in England, that wee should nott seclude them out of England, that wee should nott refuse to give them aire, and place, and ground, and the freedome of the high wayes and other thinges, to live amongst us; nott [to] any man that is borne heere, though by his birth there come nothing att all to him that is parte of the permanent interest of this Kingedome. That I thinke is due to a man by birth. Butt that by a man’s being borne heere hee shall have a share in that power that shall dispose of the lands heere, and of all thinges heere, I doe nott thinke itt a sufficient ground. I am sure if wee looke uppon that which is the utmost within man’s view of what was originally the constitution of this Kingedome, [if wee] looke uppon that which is most radicall and fundamentall, and which if you take away there is noe man hath any land, any goods, [or] any civill interest, that is this: that those that chuse the Representors for the making of Lawes by which this State and Kingedome are to bee govern’d, are the persons who taken together doe comprehend the locall interest of this Kingedome; that is, the persons in whome all land lies, and those in Corporations in whome all trading lies. This is the most fundamentall Constitution of this Kingedome, which if you doe nott allow you allow none att all. This Constitution hath limitted and determined itt that onely those shall have voices in Edition: current; Page: [303] Elections. Itt is true as was said by a Gentlemana neere mee, the meanest man in England ought to have [a voice in the election of the government he lives under]. . . . I say this, that those that have the the meanest locall interest, that man that hath butt fourty shillinges a yeare, hee hath as great voice in the Election of a Knight for the shire as hee that hath ten thousand a yeare or more, if hee had never soe much; and therfore there is that regard had to itt. Butt this still the Constitution of this Government hath had an eye to — and what other Governement hath nott an eye to this? Itt doth nott relate to the interest of the Kingedome, if itt doe nott lay the foundation of the power that’s given to the Representors in those who have a permanent and a locall interest in the Kingedome, and who taken altogether doe comprehend the whole [interest of this kingdom]. If wee shall goe to take away this fundamentall parte of the civill constitution wee shall plainly goe to take away all property and interest that any man hath, either in land by inheritance, or in estate by possession, or any thinge else. There is all the reason and justice that can bee if I will come to live in a Kingedome being a forraigner to itt, or live in a Kingedome having noe permanent interest in itt—if I will desire as a stranger, or claime as one freeborne heere, the ayre, the free passage of highwayes, the protection of lawes and all such things, if I will either desire them, or claime them, I (if I have noe permanent interest in that Kingdome), must submitt to those lawes and those rules which those shall choose who taken together doe comprehend the whole interest of the Kingedome.b

Col. Rainborow,

Truly, Sir, I am of the same opinion I was; and am resolved to keepe itt till I know reason why I should nott. I confesse my memory is bad, and therfore I am faine to make use of my penne. Edition: current; Page: [304] I remember that in a former speecha this Gentleman brought before this, hee was saying, that in some cases hee should nott value whether [there were] a Kinge or noe Kinge, whether Lords or noe Lords, whether a property or noe property. For my parte I differ in that. I doe very much care whether [there be] a Kinge or noe Kinge, Lords or noe Lords, property or noe property; and I thinke iff wee doe nott all take care wee shall all have none of these very shortly. Butt as to this present businesse. I doe heare nothing att all that can convince mee, why any man that is borne in England ought nott to have his voice in Election of Burgesses. Itt is said, that if a man have nott a permanent interest, hee can have noe claime, and wee must bee noe freer then the lawes will lett us to bee, and that there is noe Chronicle will lett us bee freer then that wee enjoy. Something was said to this yesterday. I doe thinke that the maine cause why Almighty God gave men reason, itt was, that they should make use of that reason, and that they should improve itt for that end and purpose that God gave itt them.b And truly, I thinke that halfe a loafe is better then none if a man bee an hungry, yett I thinke there is nothing that God hath given a man that any else can take from him. Therfore I say, that either itt must bee the law of God or the law of man that must prohibite the meanest man in the Kingdome to have this benefittc as well as the greatest. I doe nott finde any thinge in the law of God, that a Lord shall chuse 20 Burgesses, and a Gentleman butt two, or a poore man shall chuse none. I finde noe such thinge in the law of nature, nor in the law of nations. Butt I doe finde, that all Englishmen must bee subject to English lawes, and I doe verily beleive, that there is noe man butt will say, that the foundation of all law lies in the people, and if [it Edition: current; Page: [305] lie] in the people, I am to seeke for this exemption. And truly I have thought somethinge [else], in what a miserable distressed condition would many a man that hath fought for the Parliament in this quarrell bee? I will bee bound to say, that many a man whose zeale and affection to God and this Kingedome hath carried him forth in this cause hath soe spent his estate that in the way the State, the Army are going hee shall nott hold uppe his head; and when his estate is lost, and nott worth 40s. a yeare, a man shall nott have any interest;a and there are many other wayes by which estates men have doe fall to decay, if that bee the rule which God in his providence does use. A man when hee hath an estate hath an interest in making lawes, when hee hath none, hee hath noe power in itt. Soe that a man cannott loose that which hee hath for the maintenance of his family, butt hee must loose that which God and nature hath given him. Therfore I doe [think] and am still of the same opinion; that every man born in England cannot, ought nott, neither by the law of God nor the law of nature, to bee exempted from the choice of those who are to make lawes, for him to live under, and for him, for ought I know, to loose his life under. Therfore I thinke there can bee noe great sticke in this.

Truly I thinke that there is nott this day raigning in England a greater fruite or effect of Tyranny then this very thinge would produce. Truly I know nothing free butt onely the Knight of the shire, nor doe I know any thinge in a Parliamentary way that is cleare from the heighth and fulnesse of Tyranny, but onlie [that]. As for this of Corporations itt is as contrary to freedome as may bee. For, Sir, what is itt? The Kinge hee grants a patent under the Broad-seale of England to such a Corporation to send Burgesses, hee grants to [such] a Citty to send Burgesses.b When a poore, base, Corporation from the Kinge[’s grant] shall send two Burgesses, when 500 men of estate shall nott send one, when those Edition: current; Page: [306] that are to make their lawes are called by the Kinge, or cannott act [but] by such a call, truly I thinke that the people of England have little freedome.

Commissary Gen. Ireton.

I thinke there was nothing that I said to give you occasion to thinke that I did contend for this, that such a Corporation [as that] should have the electing of a man to the Parliament. I think I agreed to this matter, that all should bee equallie distributed. Butt the question is, whether itt should bee distributed to all persons, or whether the same persons that are the electors [now] should bee the Electors still, and itt [be] equallie distributed amongst them.a I doe nott see any body else that makes this objection; and if noe body else bee sensible of itt I shall soone have done. Onely I shall a little crave your leave to represent the consequences of itt, and cleare my self from one thinge that was misrepresented by the Gentleman that satt next mee. I thinke if the Gentleman remember himself hee cannott butt remember, that what I said was to this effect:b that if I saw the hand of God leading soe farre as to destroy Kinge, and destroy Lords, and destroy property, and [leave] noe such thinge att all amongst us, I should acquiese in itt; and soe I did nott care, if noe Kinge, noe Lords, or noe property, in comparison of the tender care that I have of the honour of God, and of the people of God, whose [good] name is soe much concern’d in this Army. This I did deliver [so] and nott absolutely.

All the maine thinge that I speake for is because I would have an eye to propertie. I hope wee doe nott come to contend for victorie, butt lett every man consider with himself that hee doe nott goe that way to take away all propertie. For heere is the case of the most fundamentall parte of the Constitution of the Kingdome, which if you take away, you take away all by that. Heere are men of this and this qualitie are determined to bee the Edition: current; Page: [307] Electors of men to the Parliament, and they are all those who have any permanent interest in the Kingedome, and who taken together doe comprehend the whole interest of the Kingedome. I meane by permanent, locall, that is nott any where else. As for instance; hee that hath a freehold, and that freehold cannott bee removed out of the Kingedome; and soe there’s a [freeman of a] Corporation, a place which hath the priviledge of a markett and trading, which if you should allow to all places equallie, I doe nott see how you could preserve any peace in the Kingedome, and that is the reason why in the Constitution wee have but some few markett townes. Now those people [that have freeholds] and those that are the freemen of Corporations, were look’t upon by the former Constitution to comprehend the permanent interest of the Kingdom. For [firstly] hee that hath his livelihood by his trade, and by his freedome of trading in such a Corporation which hee cannott exercise in another, hee is tied to that place, his livelihood depends uppon itt. And secondly, that man hath an interest, hath a permanent interest there, uppon which hee may live, and live a freeman without dependance. These Constitutions this Kingedome hath look’t att. Now I wish wee may all consider of what right you will challenge, that all the people should have right to Elections. Is itt by the right of nature? If you will hold forth that as your ground, then I thinke you must deny all property too, and this is my reason. For thus: by that same right of nature, whatever itt bee that you pretend, by which you can say, “one mana hath an equall right with another to the chusing of him that shall governe him”—by the same right of nature, hee hath an equalb right in any goods hee sees: meate, drinke, cloathes, to take and use them for his sustenance. Hee hath a freedome to the land, [to take] the ground, to exercise itt, till itt; he hath the [same] freedome to any thinge that any one doth account himself to have any propriety in. Why now I say then, if you, against Edition: current; Page: [308] this most fundamentall parte of [the] civill Constitution (which I have now declar’d), will pleade the law of nature, that a man should, paramount [to] this, and contrary to this, have a power of chusing those men that shall determine what shall bee law in this state, though he himself have noe permanent interest in the State, [but] whatever interest hee hath hee may carry about with him. If this be allowed, [because by the right of nature], wee are free, wee are equall, one man must have as much voice as another, then shew mee what steppe or difference [there is], why by the same right of necessity to sustaine nature [I may not claim property as well]? Itt is for my better being [I may say], and possibly nott for itt neither, possibly I may nott have soe reall a regard to the peace of the Kingedom as that man who hath a permanent interest in itt. Hee that is heere to day and gone to morrow, I doe nott see that hee hath such a permanent interest. Since you cannott plead to itt by any thinge butt the law of nature, [for any thing] but for the end of better being, and [since] that better being is nott certaine, and [what is] more, destructive to another, if uppon these grounds you doe paramount [to] all Constitutions hold uppe this law of nature, I would faine have any man shew mee their bounds, where you will end, and [why you should not] take away all propertie?

Col. Rainborow.

I shall now bee a little more free and open with you then I was before. I wish wee were all true hearted, and that wee did all carry our selves with integritie. If I did mistrust you I would use such asseverations. I thinke itt doth goe on mistrust, and thinges are thought to be matters of reflection that were never intended. For my parte, as I thinke, you forgott somethinge that was in my speech, and you doe nott only your selves beleive that [we]a are inclining to anarchy, butt you would make all men Edition: current; Page: [309] beleive that. And Sir, to say because a man pleades, that every man hath a voice [by the right of nature], that therefore itt destroyes [by] the same [argument all property]—that there’s a propertie the law of God sayes itt; else why [hath] God made that law, “Thou shalt nott steale?” If I have noe interest in the Kingedome I must suffer by all their lawes bee they right or wronge. I am a poore man, therfore I must bee prest. Nay thus; a Gentleman lives in a country and hath three or fower Lordshippes as some men have—God knowes how they gott them—and when a Parliament is call’d hee must bee a Parliament man; and itt may bee hee sees some poore men, they live neere this man, hee can crush them—I have knowne an evasion to make sure hee hath turned the poore man out of doores; and I would faine know whether the potencie of men doe nott this, and soe keepe them under the greatest tyranny that was thought off in the world. Therefore I thinke that to that itt is fully answered. God hath sett downe that thinge as to propriety with this law of his, “Thou shalt not steale.” For my parte I am against any such thought, and as for yourselves I wish you would nott make the world beleive that wee are for anarchy.

Lieut. Generall.

I know nothing butt this, that they that are the most yeilding have the greatest wisedome; butt really, Sir, this is nott right as itt should bee. Noe man sayes that you have a minde to anarchy, butt the consequence of this rule tends to anarchy, must end in anarchy; for where is there any bound or limitt sett if you take away this [limit], that men that have noe interest butt the interest of breathing [shall have no voices in elections]? Therfore I am confident on’t wee should nott bee soe hott one with another.

Col. Rainborow.

I know that some particular men wee debate with [believe we] are for anarchy.

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Com̃. Ireton.

I professe I must cleare my selfe as to that point.

I would nott desire, I cannott allow myself, to lay the least scandall uppon any body; and truly, for that Gentleman that did take soe much offence, I doe nott knowe why hee should take itt soe. Wee speake to the paper, and to that matter of the paper, nott to persons; and I hope that noe man is soe much engaged to the matter of the paper, I hope our persons, and our hearts, and judgements are not [so] pinn’d to papers, butt that wee are ready to heare what good or ill consequence will flow from itt.

I have, with as much plainesse and clearnesse of reason as I could, shew’d you how I did conceive the doing of this takes away that which is the most originall, the most fundamentall civil Constitution of this Kingedome, and which above all is that Constitution by which I have any propertie. If you will take away that, and sett uppe as a thing paramount whatever a man may claime by the law of nature—though itt bee nott a thinge of necessitie to him for the sustenance of nature—if you doe make this your rule, I desire clearlie to understand where then remaines propertie?

Now then, as I say, I would misrepresent nothing; the answer which had any thing of matter in itt, the great and maine answer upon which that which hath bin said against this rests, that seem’d to be:a that itt will nott make the breach of propertie: that there is a law, “Thou shalt nott steale.” The same law sayes, “Honour thy Father and Mother”; and that law doth likewise extend to all that are our governours in that place where wee are in. Soe that, by that there is a forbidding of breaking a Civill Law when wee may live quietly under itt, and a Divine Law. Againe itt is said indeed before, that there is noe Law, noe Divine Law, that tells us, that such a Corporation must have the Election of Burgesses, or such a shire, or the like; and soe on the other side if a man were to demonstrate his [right to] propertie by Divine Law, itt would bee very remote. Our property as well as our right of sending Burgesses Edition: current; Page: [311] descends from other thinges. That Divine Law doth nott determine particulars butt generalls, in relation to man and man, and to propertie, and all thinges else; and wee should bee as farre to seeke if wee should goe to prove a property in [a thinge by] Divine Law as to prove that I have an interest in chusing Burgesses of the Parliament by Divine Law. Truly under favour I referre itt to all whether there bee anythinge of solution to that objection that I made, if itt bee understood,—I submitt itt to any man’s judgement.

Col. Rainborow.

To the thinge itt self propertie. I would faine know how itta comes to bee the propertie [of some men, and not of others]. As for estates, and those kinde of thinges, and other thinges that belonge to men, itt will bee granted that they areb propertie; butt I deny that that is a propertie, to a Lord, to a Gentleman, to any man more then another in the Kingdome of England. Iff itt bee a propertie, itt is a propertie by a law; neither doe I thinke, that there is very little propertie in this thinge by the law of the land, because I thinke that the law of the land in that thinge is the most tyrannicall law under heaven, and I would faine know what wee have fought for, and this is the old law of England and that which inslaves the people of England that they should bee bound by lawes in which they have noe voice att all.c [So with respect to the law which says ‘Honour thy father and thy mother.’] The great dispute is who is a right Father and a right Mother. I am bound to know who is my Father and Mother, and I take it in the same sence you doe, I would have a distinction, a character wherby God commands mee to honour [them], and for my parte I looke uppon the people of England soe, that wherin they have nott voices in the chusing of their Fathers and Mothers, they are nott bound to that commandement.

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Mr. Pettus.

I desire to adde one worde, concerning the worde Propertie.

Itt is for somethinge that anarchy is soe much talk’t of. For my owne parte I cannott beleive in the least that itt can bee clearlie derived from that paper. Tis true, that somewhat may bee derived in the paper against the power of the Kinge, and somewhat against the power of the Lords; and the truth is when I shall see God going about to throw downe Kinge and Lords and propertie then I shall bee contented. Butt I hope that they may live to see the power of the Kinge and the Lords throwne downe, that yett may live to see propertie preserved. And for this of changing the Representative of the Nation, of changing those that chuse the Representive, making of them more full, taking more into the number then formerly, I had verily thought wee had all agreed that more should have chosen, and that all had desir’d a more equall Representation then wee now have. For now those onely chuse who have 40s. freehold. A man may have a lease for 1001 a yeare, a man may have a lease for three lives [but he has no voice]. Butt [as] for this [argument] that itt destroyes all right [to property] that every Englishman that is an inhabitant of England should chuse and have a choice in the Representatives, I suppose itt is [on the contrary] the onely meanes to preserve all propertie. For I judge every man is naturally free; and I judge the reason why mena when they were in soe great numbers [chose representatives was] that every man could nott give his voice; and therefore men agreed to come into some forme of Governement that they who were chosen might preserve propertie. I would faine know, if we were to begin a Governement, [whether you would say] ‘you have nott 40s. a yeare, therfore you shall not have a voice.’ Wheras before there was a Governement every man had such a choice, and afterwards for this very cause they did chuse Representatives, and putt themselves into formes Edition: current; Page: [313] of Governement that they may preserve propertie, and therfore itt is nott to destroy itt [to give every man a choice].

Com. Generall.

I thinke wee shall nott bee soe apt to come to a right understanding in this businesse, if one man, and another man, and another man doe speake their severall thoughts and conceptions to the same purpose, as if wee doe consider where the objection lies, and what the answer is which is made to itt; and therfore I desire wee may doe soe. To that which this Gentleman spake last. The maine thinge that hee seem’d to answer was this: that hee would make itt appeare, that the going about to establish this Government,a [or] such a Governement, is nott a destruction of propertie, nor does nott tend to the destruction of propertie, because the people’s falling into a Governement is for the preservation of propertie. What weight there [is in it] lies in this: since there is a falling into a Governement, and Governement is to preserve property, therfore this cannott bee against property. The objection does nott lie in that, the making of ittb more equall, butt [in] the introducing of men into an equality of interest in this Governement who have noe property in this Kingedome, or who have noe locall permanent interest in itt. For if I had said, that I would nott wish that wee should have any inlargement att all of the bounds of those that are to bee the Electors, then you might have excepted against itt. Butt [what I said was] that I would nott goe to inlarge itt beyond all bounds: that uppon the same ground you may admitt of soe many men from forraigne States as would outvote you. The objection lies still in this. I doe nott meane that I would have itt restrained to that proportion [it is now], butt to restraine itt still to men who have a locall, a permanent interest in the Kingedome, who have such an interest that they may live uppon itt as freemen, and who have such an interest as is fix’t uppon a place, and is nott the same every where equally. If a man bee an Edition: current; Page: [314] inhabitant uppon a wrack rent for a yeare, for two yeares, or 20 yeares—you cannott thinke that man hath any fix’t or permanent interest—that man if hee pay the rent that his land is worth, and hath noe advantage butt what hee hath by his land, that man is as good a man, may have as much interest, in another Kingedome as heere. I doe nott speake of nota inlarging this att all, butt of keeping this to the most fundamentall Constitution in this Kingedome, that is, that noe person that hath nott a locall and permanent interest in the Kingedome should have an equall dependance in Elections [with those that have]. Butt if you goe beyond this law, if you admitt any man that hath a breath and being, I did shew you how this will destroy propertie. Itt may come to destroy propertie thus: you may have such men chosen or att least the major parte of them [as have no local and permanent interest.] Why may nott those men vote against all propertie? You may admitt strangers by this rule, if you admitt them once to inhabite, and those that have interest in the land may bee voted out of their land. Itt may destroy propertie that way.b Butt heere is the rule that you goe by; for that by which you inferre this to bee the right of the people, of every inhabitant, that because manc hath such a right in nature, though itt bee nott of necessity for the preserving of his being, therfore you are to overthrow the most fundamentall Constitution for this, by the same rule shew mee why you will nott, by the same right of nature, make use of any thinge that any man hath necessary for the sustenance of men.d Shew mee what you will stoppe att, wherin you will fence any man in a property by this rule.

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Col. Rainborow.

I desire to know how this comes to bee a propertie in some men, and nott in others.

Col. Rich.

I confesse [there is weight in] that objection that the Commissary Generall last insisted uppon; for you have five to one in this Kingedome that have noe permanent interest. Some men [have] ten, some twenty servants, some more, some lesse. If the Master and servant shall bee equall Electors, then clearlie those that have noe interest in the Kingedome will make itt their interest to chuse those that have noe interest. Itt may happen, that the majority may by law, nott in a confusion, destroy propertie; there may bee a law enacted, that there shall bee an equality of goods and estate. I thinke that either of the extreames may be urg’d to inconveniencie. That is, men that have noe interest as to Estate should have no interest as to Election. Butt there may bee a more equall division and distribution then that hee that hath nothing should have an equall voice; and certainly there may bee some other way thought of that there may bee a Representative of the poore as well as the rich, and nott to exclude all. I remember there were as wee have heard many workinges and revolutions in the Roman Senate; and there was never a confusion that did appeare, and that indeed was come to, till the State came to know this kinde of distribution of Election. That the peoples voices were bought and sold, and that by the poore, and thence itt came that hee that was the richest man, and [a man] of some considerable power amonge the souldiers, and one they resolued on, made himself a perpetuall dictator. And if wee straine too farre to avoide monarchy in Kinges [let us take heed] that wee doe nott call for Emperours to deliver us from more then one Tyrant.

Col. Rainborow.

I should nott have spoken againe. I thinke itt is a fine guilded Edition: current; Page: [316] pill, butt there is much danger and itt may seeme to some, that there is some kinde of remedy, I thinke that wee are better as wee are. That the poore shall chuse many, still the people are in the same case, are over voted still. And therfore truly, Sir, I should desire to goe close to the businesse; and the thinge that I am unsatisfied in is how itt comes about that there is such a propriety in some freeborne Englishmen, and nott [in] others.

Com̃. Cowling.

Whether the younger sonne have nott as much right to the Inheritance as the eldest?

Com̃. Gen. Ireton.

Will you decide itt by the light of nature?

Com̃. Cowling.

Why Election was only 40s a yeare,a which was more then 40ɫ;. a yeare now, the reason was [this], that the Commons of England were overpowr’d by the Lords, who had abundance of vassalls, butt that they might still make their lawes good against incroaching prerogatives, therefore they did exclude all slaves. Now the case is nott soe; all slaves have bought their freedomes. They are more free that in the common wealth are more beneficiall. There are men in the country . . . . there is a tanner in Stanes worth 3000ɫ;, and another in Reading worth 3 horseskins.

Com̃. Gen. Ireton.

In the beginning of your speech you seeme to acknowledge [that] by law, by civill Constitution, the propriety of having voices in Election was fixt in certaine persons. Soe then your exception of your argument does nott prove that by civill constitution they have noe such propriety, butt your argument does acknowledge [that] by Edition: current; Page: [317] civil [constitution they have such] propriety. You argue against this law, that this law is nott good.

Mr. Wildman.

Unlesse I bee very much mistaken wee are very much deviated from the first Question. Instead of following the first proposition to inquire what is just, I conceive wee looke to prophesies, and looke to what may bee the event, and judge of the justnesse of a thinge by the consequence. I desire wee may recall [ourselves to the question] whether itt bee right or noe. I conceive all that hath bin said against itt will bee reduc’t to this and another reason; that itt is against a fundamentall law, [and] that every person ought to have a permanent interest, because itt is nott fitt that those should chuse Parliaments that have noe lands to bee disposed of by Parliament.

Com̃. Gen. Ireton.

If you will take itt by the way, itt is not fitta that the Representees should chuse the Representors, or the persons who shall make the law in the Kingedome, who have nott a permanent fix’t interest in the Kingedome.

Mr. Wildman.

Sir I doe soe take itt; and I conceive that that is brought in for the same reason, that forraigners might come to have a voice in our Elections as well as the native Inhabitants.

Com̃. Ireton.

That is uppon supposition that theseb should bee all Inhabitants.

Mr. Wildman.

I shall begin with the last first. The case is different from the Edition: current; Page: [318] native Inhabitant and forraigner. If a forraigner shall bee admitted to bee an Inhabitant in the Nation, soe hee will submitt to that forme of Governement as the natives doe, hee hath the same right as the natives, butt in this particular. Our case is to bee consider’d thus, that wee have bin under slavery. That’s acknowledged by all. Our very lawes were made by our Conquerours; and wheras itt’s spoken much of Chronicles. I conceive there is noe creditt to bee given to any of them; and the reason is because those that were our Lords, and made us their vassalls, would suffer nothing else to bee chronicled. Wee are now engaged for our freedome; that’s the end of Parliaments, nott to constitute what is already according to the just rules of Government.a Every person in England hath as cleere a right to Elect his Representative as the greatest person in England. I conceive that’s the undeniable maxime of Governement: that all governement is in the free consent of the people. If [so], then uppon that account, there is noe person that is under a just Governement, or hath justly his owne, unlesse hee by his owne free consent bee putt under that Governement. This hee cannott bee unlesse hee bee consenting to itt, and therfore according to this maxime there is never a person in England [but ought to have a voice in elections]; if as that Gentlemanb sayes bee true, there are noe lawes that in this strictnesse and rigour of justice [any man is bound to] that are nott made by those who hee doth consent to. And therfore I should humbly move, that if the Question bee stated—which would soonest bringe thinges to an issue—itt might rather bee this: whether any person can justly bee bound by law, who doth nott give his consent that such persons shall make lawes for him?

Com̃. Gen: Ireton.

Lett the Question bee soe; whether a man can can bee bound to any law that hee doth nott consent to? And I shall tell you, that hee Edition: current; Page: [319] may and ought to bee [bound to a law] that hee doth nott give a consent to, nor doth nott chuse any [to consent to], and I will make itt cleare. If a forraigner come within this Kingedome, if that stranger will have libertie [to dwell here] who hath noe local interest heere—hee is a man itt’s true, hath aire that by naturea wee must nott expell our Coasts, give him noe being amongst us, nor kill him because hee comes uppon our land, comes uppe our streame, arrives att our shoare. Itt is a peece of hospitality, of humanity, to receive that man amongst us. Butt if that man bee received to a being amongst us I thinke that man may very well bee content to submitt himself to the law of the land: that is, the law that is made by those people that have a property, a fixt property, in the land. I thinke if any man will receive protection from this people, this man ought to bee subject to those lawes, and to bee bound by those lawes soe longe as hee continues amongst them, though [neither] hee nor his ancestors, nott any betwixt him and Adam, did ever give concurrence to this Constitution. That is my opinion. A man ought to bee subject to a law that did nott give his consent, butt with this reservation, that if this man doe thinke himself unsatisfied to bee subject to this law hee may goe into another Kingedome. And soe the same reason doth extend in my understanding to that man that hath noe permanent interest in the Kingedome. If hee hath mony, his monie is as good in another place as heere; hee hath nothing that doth locally fixe him to this Kingedome. If this man will live in this Kingedome or trade amongst us, that man ought to subject himself to the law made by the people who have the interest of this Kingedome in us; and yett I doe acknowledge that which you take to bee soe generall a maxime, that in every Kingedome, within every land, the originall of power, of making lawes, of determining what shall bee law in the land, does lie in the people that are possess’t of the permanent interest in the land. Butt whoever is extraneous to this, that is, as good a man in another land, that man ought to give such a respect to the property of men that live in Edition: current; Page: [320] the land. They doe nott determine [that I shall live in this land], why should I have any interest of determining of what shall bee the law of this land?a

Major Rainborow.

I thinke if itt can bee made to appeare, that itt is a just and reasonable thinge, and that is for the preservation of all the freeborne men, itt ought to bee made good unto them. The reason is, that the chief end of this Governement is to preserve persons as well as estates, and if any law shall take hold of my person itt is more deare than my estate.

Col. Rainborow.

I doe very well remember that the Gentleman in the windowb [said], that if itt were soe there were noe propriety to bee had, because a fifth parte of the poor people [that] are now excluded and would then come in. Soe one on the other side said, that if otherwise then rich men shall bee chosen [there would be no propriety]. Then I say the one parte shall make hewers of wood and drawers of water of the other five, and soe the greatest parte of the Nation bee enslav’d. Truly I thinke wee are still where wee were; and I doe not heare any argument given butt only that itt is the present law of the Kingedome. I say still, what shall become of those many [men] that have laid out themselves for the Parliament of England in this present warre, that have ruined themselves by fighting, by hazarding all they had? They are Englishmen. They have now nothing to say for themselves.

Col. Rich.

I should bee very sorry to speake anythinge heere that should give offence, or that may occasion personall reflections that wee spoke against just now. I did nott urge any thinge soe farre as Edition: current; Page: [321] was represented, and I did nott att all urge that there should bee a consideration [had of rich men only], and that [a] man that is [poor] shall bee without consideration, or that hee deserves to bee made poore and nott to live att all. All that I urged was this, that I thinke itt worthy consideration, whether they should have an equality in their interest. Butt however I thinke wee have bin a great while uppon this point, and if wee bee as longe upon all the rest, itt were well if there were noe greater difference then this.

Mr. Peter.

I thinke that this may bee easily agreed on, that is there may bee a way thought of. I thinke you should doe well to sett uppe all night, butt I would faine know whether that will answer the worke of your Meeting.a You will be forc’t to putt characters uppon Electors or Elected, therfore I doe suppose that if there bee any heere that can make uppe a Representative to your minde, the thinge is gain’d. I think three or four might be thought of in this companie.a But the question is, whether you can state any one question for the present danger of the Kingedome, if any one question or noe will dispatch the worke.

Sir, I desire that some question may bee stated to finish the present worke to cement us wherin lies the distance, and if the thoughts of the Commonwealth, the people’s freedome, I thinke that’s soone cured. I desire that all manner of plainesse may bee used that wee may nott goe on with the lapwinge, and carry one another off the nest. There is somethinge else in that must cement us where the awkwardnesse of our spiritts lies.

Col. Rainborow.

For my parte I thinke wee cannott engage one way or other in the Army if wee doe nott thinke of the people’s liberties. If wee can agree where the liberty and freedome of the people lies, that will doe all.

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Com̃. Gen. Ireton.

I cannott consent soe farre. As I said before: when I see the hand of God destroying Kinge, and Lords, and Commons too, [or] any foundation of humane Constitution, when I see God hath done itt, I shall I hope comfortably acquiesce in itt. Butt first, I cannott give my consent to itt because itt is nott good. And secondly, as I desire that this Army should have regard to Engagements wherever they are lawfull, soe I would have them have regard to this as well, that they should nott bringe that scandall uppon the name of God, that those that call themselves by that name, those whome God hath own’d and appear’d with—that wee should nott represent ourselves to the world as men soe farre from being of that peaceable spiritt which is suitable to the Gospell, as wee would have bought peace of the world uppon such termes, wee would nott have peace in the world butt uppon such termes, as should destroy all propertie. If the principle uppon which you move this alteration, or the ground uppon which you presse that wee should make this alteration, doe destroy all kinde of property or whatsoever a man hath by humane Constitution [I cannot consent to it]. The law of God doth nott give mee propertie, nor the law of nature, butt propertie is of humane Constitution. I have a propertie and this I shall enjoy. Constitution founds propertie. If either the thinge itt selfe that you presse or the consequence [of] that you presse [do destroy property], though I shall acquiesce in having noe propertie, yett I cannott give my heart or hand to itt; because itt is a thinge evill in ittself and scandalous to the world, and I desire this Army may bee free from both.

Mr. Sexby.

I see that though itta were our end, there is a degeneration from itt. Wee have engaged in this Kingdome and ventur’d our lives, and itt was all for this: to recover our birthrights and priviledges Edition: current; Page: [323] as Englishmen, and by the arguments urged there is none. There are many thousands of us souldiers that have ventur’d our lives; wee have had little propriety in the Kingedome as to our estates, yett wee have had a birthright. Butt itt seemes now except a man hath a fix’t estate in this Kingedome, hee hath noe right in this Kingedome. I wonder wee were see much deceived. If wee had nott a right to the Kingedome, wee were meere mercinarie souldiers. There are many in my condition, that have as good a condition [as I have], itt may bee little estate they have att present, and yett they have as much a [birth] right as those twoa who are their law givers, as any in this place. I shall tell you in a worde my resolution. I am resolved to give my birthright to none.b Whatsoever may come in the way, and [whatsoever may] bee thought, I will give itt to none. If this thinge that with soe much pressing after—There was one thinge spoken to this effect—that if the poore and those in lowe condition. . . .c I thinke this was butt a distrust of providence. I doe thinke the poore and meaner of this Kingedome (I speake as in that relation in which wee are) have bin the meanes of the preservation of this Kingedome. I say in their stations, and really I thinke to their utmost possibility; and their lives have nott bin deare for purchasing the good of the Kingdome. Those that act to this end are as free from anarchy or confusion as those that oppose itt, and they have the law of God and the law of their conscience [with them]. Butt truly I shall only summe uppe in this, I desire that wee may nott spend soe much time uppon these thinges. Wee must bee plaine. When men come to understand these thinges they will nott loose that which they have contended for. That which I shall beseech you is to come to a determination of this question.

Edition: current; Page: [324]
Com̃. Gen. Ireton.

I am very sorry wee are come to this point, that from reasoning one to another wee should come to expresse our resolutions. I professe for my parte, what I see is good for the Kingdome, and becoming a Christian to contend for, I hope through God I shall have strength and resolution to doe my parte towards itt. And yett I will professe direct contrary in some kinde to what that Gentleman said.a For my parte, rather then I will make a disturbance to a good Constitution of a Kingedome wherin I may live in godlinesse, and honesty, and peace and quietnesse, I will parte with a great deale of my birthright. I will parte with my owne property rather then I will bee the man that shall make a disturbance in the Kingedome for my property; and therfore if all the people in this Kingedome, or [the] Representative[s] of them all together, should meete and should give away my propertie I would submitt to itt, I would give it away. Butt that Gentleman, and I thinke every Christian ought to beare that spiritt in him, that hee will nott make a publique disturbance uppon a private prejudiceb

Now lett us consider where our difference lies. Wee all agree that you should have a Representative to governe, [and] this Representative to bee as equall as you can. Butt the question is, whether this distribution can bee made to all persons equallie, or whether equallie amongst those that have the interest of England in them. That which I have declar’d [is] my opinion [still]. I thinke wee ought to keepe to that [constitution which we have now], both because itt is a civill Constitution, itt is the most fundamentall Constitution that wee have, and [because] there is soe much justice, and reason, and prudence [in it], as I dare confidently undertake to demonstrate, that there are many more evills that will follow in case you doe alter, then there can in the standing of itt. Butt I say butt this in the generall, that I doe wish Edition: current; Page: [325] that they that talke of birthrights—wee any of us when wee talke of birthrights—would consider what really our birthright is.

If a man meana by birthright, whatsoever hee can challenge by the law of nature, suppose there were noe Constitution att all, supposing noe Civill law and Civill Constitution—that that I am to contend for against Constitution, you leave noe property, nor noe foundation for any man to enjoy any thinge. Butt if you call that your birthrights which is the most fundamentall parte of your Constitution, then lett him perish that goes about to hinder you or any man of the least parte of your birthright, or will doe itt. Butt if you will lay aside the most fundamentall Constitution, which is as good for ought you can discerne as anythinge you can propose—att least itt is a Constitution, and I will give you consequence for consequence of good uppon Constitution as you for your birthrightb—and if you meerlie uppon pretence of a birthright, of the right of nature, which is onely true as for your better being; if you will uppon that ground pretend, that this Constitution, the most fundamentall Constitution, the thinge that hath reason and equity in itt shall nott stand in your way, [it] is the same principle to mee say I, [as if] but for your better satisfaction you shall take hold of any thinge that a man calls his owne,

Col. Rainborow.

Sir I see, that itt is impossible to have liberty butt all propertie must be taken away. If itt be laid downe for a rule, and if you will say itt, itt must bee soe. Butt I would faine know what the souldier hathc fought for all this while? Hee hath fought to inslave himself, to give power to men of riches, men of estates, to make him a perpetuall slave. Wee doe finde in all presses that goe forth none must bee pres’t that are freehold men. When these Edition: current; Page: [326] Gentlemen fall out amonge themselves they shall presse the poore shrubsa to come and kill them.

Com̃. Gen. Ireton.

I confesse I see soe much right in the businesse that I am nott easily satisfied with flourishes. If you will lay the stresse of the businesse [not] uppon the consideration of reason, or right relating to humane constitution, or anything of that nature, butt will putt itt uppon consequences, I see enough to say, that to my apprehensions I can shew you greater ill consequences to follow uppon that alteration which you would have by extending [voices] to all that have a being in this Kingedome then by this a great deale. That is a particular ill consequence. This is a generall ill consequence, and that is as great as this or any else; though I thinke you will see that the validity of that argument must beb that for one ill lies uppon that which now is, I can shew you a thousand uppon this. Give mee leave [to say] butt this one worde. I tell you what the souldier of the Kingedome hath fought for. First, the danger that wee stood in was, that one man’s will must bee a law. The people of the Kingedome must have this right att least, that they should nott bee concluded [but] by the Representative of those that had the interest of the Kingedome. Somec men fought in this, because they were imediately concern’d and engag’d in itt. Other men who had noe other interest in the Kingedome butt this, that they should have the benefitt of those lawes made by the Representative, yett [fought] that they should have the benefitt of this Representative. They thought itt was better to bee concluded by the common consent of those that were fix’t men and setled men that had the interest of this Kingedome [in them], and from that way [said they] I shall know a law and have a certainty. Every man that was borne in itt that hath a Edition: current; Page: [327] freedome is a denizon, hee was capable of trading to gett money and to gett estates by, and therfore this man I thinke had a great deale of reason to build uppe such a foundation of interest to himself: that is, that the will of one man should nott bee a law, butt that the law of this Kingedome should bee by a choice of persons to represent, and that choice to bee made by the generality of the Kingedome. Heere was a right that induced men to fight, and those men that had this interest, though this bee nott the utmost interest that other men have, yett they had some interest. Now why wee should goe to pleade whatsoever wee can challenge by the right of nature against whatsoever any man can challenge by Constitution?a I doe nott see where that man will stoppe as to point of property that hee shall nott use that right hee hath by the law of nature against that Constitution. I desire any man to shew mee where there is a difference. I have bin answer’d “now wee see libertie cannott stand without [destroying] propertie.” Libertie may bee had and property nott bee destroyed. First, the libertie of all those that have the permanent interest in the Kingedome, that is provided for; and in a generall sence libertie cannott bee provided for if property bee preserved; for if propertie bee preserved—that I am nott to meddle with such a man’s estate, his meate, his drinke, his apparell, or other goods—then the right of nature destroys libertie. By the right of nature I am to have sustenance rather then perish, yett property destroyes it for a man to have by the rightb of nature, suppose there bee noe humane Constitution.

Mr. Peter.

I will minde you of one thinge. That uppon the will of one man abusing us, and soe forth.—Soe that I professe to you for my parte. I hope itt is nott denied by any man, that any wise discreete Edition: current; Page: [328] man that hath preserved England or the Governement of itt—I doe say still under favour there is a way to cure all this debate—I thinke they will desire noe more libertie—If there were time to dispute itt—I thinke hee would bee satisfied, and all will bee satisfied and if the safetie of the Army bee in danger—For my parte I am cleare the point of Election should bee amended.a

Lieut. Generall.

I confesse I was most dissatisfied with that I heard Mr. Sexby speake of any man heere, because itt did savour soe much of will. Butt I desire that all of us may decline that, and if wee meete heere really to agree to that which was for the safetie of the Kingdome, lett us nott spend soe much time in such debates as these are, but lett us apply ourselves to such thinges as are conclusive, and that shall bee this: Everybodie heere would bee willing, that the Representative might bee mended, that is, itt might bee better then itt is. Perhaps itt may bee offer’d in that paper too lamely. If the thinge bee insisted uppon too limitted, why perhaps there are a very considerable parte of copyholders by inheritance that ought to have a voice, and there may bee somewhat too reflects uppon the generality of the people.b If wee thinke to bringe itt to an issue this way I know our debates are endlesse; and I thinke if you doe [desire to] bringe this to a result itt were well if wee may butt resolve uppon a Committee.c I say itt againe, Edition: current; Page: [329] if I cannott bee satisfied to goe soe farre as these Gentlemen that bringe this paper, I professe I shall freely and willinglie withdrawe myself, and I hope to doe itt in such a manner that the Army shall see that I shall by my withdrawing satisfy the interest of the Army, the publique interest of the Kingedome, and those ends these men aime att.

Col. Rainborow.

If these men must bee advanced and other men sett under foote, I am nott satisfied if their rules must bee observed, and other men that are in aucthority doe nott know how this can stand together.a I wonder how that should bee thought wilfulnesse in one man that is reason in another; for I confesse I have nott heard any thinge that doth satisfie mee, and though I have nott soe much wisedome or notions in my head, I have soe many that I could tell an hundred to the ruine of the people. I am nott at all against a Committee’s meeting; and as you say, for my parte I shall bee ready, if I see the way that I am going and the thinge that I could insist on will destroy the Kingdome, I shall withdraw it as soon as any, and I thinke every Christian ought to do the same;b and therfore till I see that I shall use all the meanes, and I thinke itt is noe fault in any man [to refuse] to sell that which is his birthright.

Mr. Sexby.

I desire to speake a few words. I am sorry that my zeale to what I apprehend is good should bee soe ill resented. I am nott sorry to see that which I apprehend is truth, butt I am sorry the Lord hath darkened some soe much as nott to see itt, and that is in short [this]. Doe you [not] thinke itt were a sad and miserable condition that wee have fought all this time for nothing? All heere both great and small doe thinke that wee fought for something. I Edition: current; Page: [330] confesse many of us fought for those ends which wee since saw was nott that which caused us to goe through difficulties and straightes to venture all in the shippe with you. Itt had bin good in you to have advertis’d us of itt, and I beleive you would have fewer under your command to have commanded. Butt if this bee the businesse, that an estate doth make men capable to chuse those that shall represent them—itt is noe matter which way they gett it, they are capable—I thinke there are many that have nott estates that in honesty have as much right in the freedome [of] their choicea as any that have great estates. Truly, Sir,b [as for] your putting off this question and coming to some other; I dare say, and I dare appeale to all of them, that they cannott settle uppon any other untill this bee done. Itt was the ground that wee tooke uppe armes, and itt is the ground which wee shall maintaine. Concerning my making rents and divisions in this way—as a particular, if I were butt soe, I could lie downe and be troden there. [But] truly I am sent by a Regiment. If I should nott speake, guilt shall lie uppon mee, and I thinke I were a Covenant breaker. I doe nott know how wee have [been] answer’d in our Arguments, and I conceive wee shall nott accomplish themc to the Kingedome when wee deny them to our selves. I shall bee loath to make a rent and division, butt, for my owne parte, unlesse I see this putt to a question, I despaire of an issue.

Capt. Clarke.d

The first thing that I shall desire was, and is, this; that there might bee a temperature and moderation of spiritt within us; that wee should speak with moderation, nott with such reflection as was boulted one from another; butt soe speake and soe heare as that which may bee the droppinges of love from one another to another’s Edition: current; Page: [331] hearts. Another word I have to say is, the grand question of all is, whether or noe itt bee the property of every individuall person in the Kingdome to have a vote in election[s]; and the ground [on which it is claimed] is the law of nature, which for my parte I thinke to bee that law which is the ground of all Constitutions. Yett really properties are the foundation of Constitutions, for if soe bee there were noe property, that the law of nature does give a principall [for every man] to have a property of what hee has or may have which is nott another man’s propertie. This is the ground of meum and tuum. Now there may bee inconveniencies on both hands butt nott soe great freedome. The greater freedome as I conceive that all may have whatsoever. And if itt come to passe that there bee a difference, and that the one doth oppose the other, then nothing can decide itt butt the sword which is the wrath of God.

Capt. Audeley.

I see you have a longe dispute, that you doe intend to dispute heere till the 10th of March. I see both att a stand, and if wee dispute heere both are lost. Youa have brought us into a faire passe, and the Kingdome into a faire passe, for if your reasons are nott satisfied, and wee doe nott fetch all our waters from your wells you threaten to withdraw your selves. I could wish according to our severall protestations wee might sett downe quietly, and there throw downe our selves where wee see reason. I could wish wee might all rise, and goe to our duties, and see our worke in hand.

Lieut. Generall.

Really for my owne parte I must needes say whilest wee say wee would nott make reflections wee doe make reflections; and if I had nott come hither with a free heart to doe that that I was perswaded in my conscience is my duty I should a thousand Edition: current; Page: [332] times rather have kept myself away. For I doe thinke I had brought uppon myself the greatest sin that I was [ever] guilty of, if I should have come to have stood before God in that former duty, and if [I should not persevere in] that my saying which I did say [to you before], and shall persevere to say, that I cannott against my conscience doe anythinge. They that have stood soe much for libertie of conscience, if they will nott grant that libertie to every man, butt say itt is a deserting I know nott what—if that bee denied mee I thinke there is nott that equality that [is] profest to bee amongst us.a I said this, and I say noe more that make your businesses as well as you can, wee might bringe thinges to an understanding, itt was to bee brought to a faire composure, and when you have said, if you should putt this paper to the question without any qualifications I doubt whether itt would passe soe freely, if wee would have noe difference wee ought to putt itt, and lett me speake clearlie and freelie, I have heard other Gentlemen doe the like, I have nott heard the Commissary Generall answer’d, nott in a parte to my knowledge, nott in a tittle, if therefore when I see there is an extreamity of difference betweene you, to the end itt may bee brought neerer to a generall satisfaction,a and if this bee thought a deserting of that interest, if there can bee anythinge more sharpely said, I will nott give itt an ill worde. Though wee should bee satisfied in our consciences in what wee doe, wee are told wee purpose to leave the Armie, or to leave our commands as if wee tooke uppon us to doe itt in matter of will. I did heare Edition: current; Page: [333] some Gentlemen speake more of will then anythinge that was spoken this way, for more was spoken by way of will then of satisfaction, and if there bee nott a more equality in our mindes I can butt greive for itt, I must doe noe more.

Com̃. Gen. Ireton,

I should nott speake, butt reflections, as if wee who have led men into Engagements and services had divided from them because wee did nott concurre with them, doe necessitate, doe call uppon us to vindicate ourselves. I will aske that Gentlemana that spoke, whome I love in my heart, whether when they drew out to serve the Parliament in the beginning, when they engag’d with the Army att New Markett,b whether then they thought of any more interest or right in the Kingdome then this? Whether they did thinke, that they should have as great interest in Parliament men as freeholders had? Or whether from the beginning wee did nott engage for the liberty of Parliaments,c and that wee should bee concluded by the lawes that such did make. Unlesse somebody did make you beleive before now that you should have an equall interest in the Kingedome, unlesse somebody doe make that to bee beleived, there is noe reason to blame men for leading [you] soe farre as they have done; and if any man was farre enough from such an apprehension that man hath nott bin deceiv’d. And truly, I shall say butt this worde more for my self in this businesse, because the whole objection seemes to bee prest to mee, and maintain’d by mee. I will not arrogate that I was the first man that putt the Army uppon the thought either of successive Parliaments or more equall Parliaments; yett there are some heere that know who they were putt us uppon that foundation of libertie of putting a period to this Parliament, that wee might have successive Parliaments, and that there might bee a more equall distribution of Elections. There are many heere Edition: current; Page: [334] athat know who were the first movers of that businesse in the Army. I shall nott arrogate that, butt I can argue this with a cleare conscience: that noe man hath prosecuted that with more earnestnesse, and will stand to that interest more than I doe, of having Parliaments successive and nott perpetuall, and the distributions of itt [more equal]. Butt notwithstanding my opinion stands good, that itt ought to bee a distribution amongst the fix’t and setled people of this Nation. Itt’s more prudent and safe, and more uppon this ground of right for itt: itt is the fundamentall Constitution of this Kingedome now, and that which you take away for matter of wilfulnesse. Notwithstanding [as for] this universall conclusion, that all inhabitants [shall have voices], as it stands [in the Agreement], I must declare that though I cannott yett bee satisfied, yett for my parte I shall acquiesce. I will nott make a distraction in this Army. Though I have a property in being, one of those that should bee an Elector, though I have an interest in the birthright, yet I will rather loose that birthright, and that interest then I will make itt my businesse [to oppose], if I see butt the generality of those whome I have reason to thinke honest men, and conscientious men, and godly men to carry them another way. I will nott oppose though I bee nott satisfied to joyne with them. And I desire [to say this], I am agreed with you if you insist uppon a more equall distribution of Elections; I will agree with you, nott onely to dispute for itt, butt to fight for itt and contend for itt. Thus farre I shall agree with you. On the other hand those who differ their termes, I will not agree with you except you goe farther. Thus farre I can goe with you, I will goe with you as farre as I can. If you will appoint a committee to consider of some of that, soe as you preserve the equitable part of that, who are like to be freemen, and men not given uppe to the wills of others, keeping to the latitude which is the equity of Constitution, I will goe with you as farre as Edition: current; Page: [335] I can. I will sit downe, I will not make any disturbance amongst you.a

Col. Rainborow.

If I do speak my soul and conscience I doe thinke that there is not an objection made butt that itt hath bin answer’d, butt the speeches are soe longe. I am sorry for some passion and some reflections, and I could wish where itt is most taken the cause had nott bin given. Itt is a fundamentall Constitution of the Kingedome there—I would faine know whether the choise of Burgesses in Corporations should nott bee alter’d. The end wherfore I speake is onely this, youb thinke wee shall bee worse then wee are, if wee come to a conclusion by a vote. If itt bee putt to the question wee shall all know one another’s minde. If itt bee determined and the resolutions knowne, wee shall take such a course as to putt itt in execution. This Gentlemanc sayes if hee cannott goe hee will sitt still. Hee thinkes hee hath a full libertie, wee thinke wee have nott. There is a great deale of difference betweene us two. If a man hath all hee doth desire, [he may wish to sit still]; butt [if] I thinke I have nothing att all of what I fought for, I doe nott thinke the argument holds that I must desist as well as hee.

Mr. Pettus.

The rich would very unwillinglie bee concluded by the poore; and there is as much reason, and indeed noe reason that the rich should conclude the poore as the poore the rich. There should bee an equall share in both. I understood your Engagement was, that Edition: current; Page: [336] you would use all your indeavours for the liberties of the people, that they should bee secur’d. If there is a Constitution that the people are not free that should bee annull’d. Butt this Constitution doth nott make people free, that Constitution which is now sette uppe is a Constitution of 40s. a yeare.

Lieut. Generall.

Heere’s the mistake, [the whole question is] whether that’s the better Constitution in that paper,a or that which is. Butt if you will goe uppon such a ground as that although a better Constitution was offer’d for the removing of the worse, yett some Gentlemen are resolved to stick to the worse, there might bee a great deale of prejudice uppon such an apprehension. I thinke you are by this time satisfied, that itt is a cleare mistake; for itt is a disputeb whether or noe this bee better; nay, whether itt bee nott destructive to the Kingedome.

Mr. Pettus.

cI desire to speake one worde to this businesse, because I doe nott know whether my occasions will suffer mee to attend itt any longer. The great reason that I have heard is [that this is] the Constitution of the Kingdome, the utmost Constitution of itt; and if wee destroy this Constitution there is noe propertie. I suppose that itt were very dangerous if Constitutions should tie uppe all men in this nature.

Com. Ireton.

First the thinge itt self were dangerous if itt were settled to destroy propertie. Butt I say the principle that leads to this is destructive to propertie; for by the same reason that you will alter Edition: current; Page: [337] this Constitution meerly that there’s a greater Constitution by nature—by the same reason, by the law of nature, there is a greater liberty to the use of other men’s goods which that property barres you of; and I would faine have any man shew mee why I should destroy that libertie, which the freeholders and Burgers in Corporations have in chusing Burgesses—that which [if] you take away you leave noe Constitution—and this because there is a greater freedome due to mee by the law of nature—more then that I should take another man’s goods because the law of nature does allow me.

Col. Rainborow.

I would grant somethinge that the Commissary Generall sayes. But whether this bee a just propriety, the propriety sayes that 40s. a yeare inables a man to electa—If itt were stated to that, nothing would conduce soe much whether some men doe agree or noe.

Capt. Rolfe.

I conceive that as wee are mett heere, there are one or two thinges mainly to be prosecuted by us; that is especially unitie, [the] preservation of unity in the Army; and soe likewise to putt ourselves into a capacity therby to doe good to the Kingedome. Therfore I shall desire, that there may bee a tender consideration had of that which is soe much urged, in that of an equall as well as of a free Representative. I shall desire that [there may bee] some thoughts of a medium or a composure, in relation to servants or to forraigners, or such others as shall bee agreed uppon. I say then I conceive, excepting those, there may bee a very equitable sence resented to us from that offer in our owne Declarations wherin wee doe offer the common good of all, unlesse they have made any shippewrack or losse of itt.b

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Lieut. Chillenden.

In the beginning of this discourse there were overtures made of imminent danger. This way wee have taken this afternoone is nott the way to prevent itt. I should humbly move that wee should putt a speedy end to this businesse, and that not onely to this maine question of the paper, butt alsoe that, according to the Lieutenant Generall’s motion, a Committee may be chosen seriously to consider the thinges in that paper, and compare them with divers thinges in our Declarations and Engagements; that soe as wee have all profest to lay downe ourselves before God—If wee take this course of debating uppon one question a whole afternoone, if the danger bee soe neere as itt is supposed itt were the ready way to bringe us into itt. [I desire] that thinges may bee putt into a speedy dispatch.

Capt. Clarke.

I presume that the great stick heere is this: that if every one shall have his propriety itt does bereave the Kingedome of itts principall, fundamentall Constitution that itt hath. I presume that all people and all nations whatsoever have a liberty and power to alter and change their Constitutions, if they finde them to bee weake and infirme. Now if the people of England shall finde this weaknesse in their Constitution they may change itt if they please. Another thinge is this. If the lighta of nature bee onely [followed] in this, itt may destroy the propriety which every man can call his owne. The reason is this, because this principall and light of naturea doth give all men their owne. As for example the clothes uppon my back because they are nott another man’s. If every man hath this propriety of Election to chuse those whom [they think fit], you feare [it] may begett inconveniences. I doe Edition: current; Page: [339] nott conceive that any thinge may bee soe nicely and preciselie done, butt that itt may admitt of inconveniencie. If itt bee in that wherin itt is now there may those inconveniencies rise from them. For my part I know nothing butt the want of love in itt, and the sword must decide itt. I shall desire before the question bee stated itt may bee moderated as for forraigners.a

Sir Hardresse Waller.

This was that I was saying, I confesse I have nott spoken yett, and having heard so many speake I was willing to bee silent that I might learne too. Itt is nott easy for us to say when this dispute will have an end; butt I thinke itt is easie to say when the Kingedome will have an end. If wee doe nott breath out ourselves wee shall bee kick’t and spurn’d of all the world. I would faine know how farre the question will decide itt, for certainly wee must nott expect while wee have tabernacles heere to bee all of one minde. If it bee to bee decided by a question, and all parties are satisfied in that, I thinke the sooner you hasten to itt the better. If otherwise we shall needlessely discover our dividing opinion, which as longe as itt may bee avoided I desire itt may. Therfore I desire to have a period [put to this debate].

Capt. Awdeley.

I chanc’t to speake a worde or two. Truly there was more offence taken att itt. For my parte I spoke against every man living,—nott onely against your selfb and the Commissary, butt [against] every man that would dispute till wee have our throates cutt—and therfore I desire I may not lie in any prejudice before your persons. I professe, if soe bee there were none butt you and the Commissary Generall alone to maintain that argument, I would Edition: current; Page: [340] die in any place in England, in asserting that itt is the right of every free borne man to elect, according to the rule, Quod omnibus spectat, ab omnibus tractari debet, that which concernes all ought to bee debated by all. Hee knew noe reason why that law should oblige when hee himself had noe finger in appointing the lawgiver.

Capt. Byshopp.

You have mett heere this day to see if God would shew you any way wherin you might joynctlie preserve the Kingedome from itts destruction, which you all apprehend to bee att the doore. God is please’d nott to come in to you. There is a Gentleman, Mr. Saltmarsh,a did desire what hee has wrote may bee read to the Generall Councill. If God doe manifest any thinge by him I thinke itt ought to bee heard.

Commissary Generall.

That you will alter that Constitution in my apprehension, from a better to a worse, from a just to a thinge that is lesse juste, and I will nott repeate the reasons of that butt referre to what I have declar’d before. To mee, if there were nothing butt this, that there is a Constitution, and that Constitution which is the very last Constitution, which if you take away you leave nothing of Constitution, and consequently nothing of right or propertie, [it would be enough]. I would nott goe to alter that, though a man could propound that which in some respects might bee better, unlesse itt could bee demonstrated to mee that this were unlawfull, or that this were destructive. Truly therfore I say for my parte, to goe on a suddaine to make such a limitation as that [to inhabitants] in generall—if you doe extend the latitude [of it so far] that any man shall have a voice in Election who has nott that interest in this Kingedome that is permanent and fix’d, who hath nott that interest Edition: current; Page: [341] uppon which hee may have hisa freedome in this Kingedome without dependance, you will putt itt into the hands of men to chuse, [instead] of men to preserve their libertie, [men] who will give itt away.

I am confident our discontent and dissatisfaction, if ever they doe well, they doe in this. If there bee any thinge att all that is a foundation of libertie itt is this, that those who shall chuse the law makers shall bee men freed from dependance uppon others. I have a thinge putt into my heart which I cannott butt speake. I professe I am afraid, that if wee, from such apprehensions as these are of an imaginable right of nature opposite to Constitution—if wee will uppon this businesse of that enlargement contend and hazard the breaking of peace, I am afraid wee shall finde the hand of God will follow itt. I thinke if wee from imagination and conceits will goe about to hazard the peace of the Kingdome, to alter the Constitution in such a point, wee shall see that that libertie which wee soe much talke of and [have so much] contended for shall bee nothing att all by this our contending for itt, by putting itt into the hands of those men that will give itt away when they have itt.b

Lieut. Generall.

If wee should goe about to alter these thinges. I doe nott thinke that wee are bound to fight for every particular proposition. Servants while servants are nott included. Then you agree that hee that receives almes is to bee excluded.

Lieut. Col. Reade.

I suppose itt’s concluded by all, that the chusing of Representatives is a priviledge; now I see noe reason why anyc man that is a Edition: current; Page: [342] native ought to bee excluded that priviledge, unless from voluntarie servitude.

Mr. Pettus.

I conceive the reason why wee would exclude apprentices, or servants, or those that take almes, is because they depend uppon the will of other men and should bee afraid to displease [them]. For servants and apprentices, they are included in their masters, and soe for those that receive almes from doore to doore; butt if there bee any generall way taken for those that are nott [so] bound [to the will of other men] itt would doe well.

Mr. Everard.a

I being sent from the Agents of the five regiments with an answer unto a writing, the Committee was very desirous to inquire into the depth of our intentions. Those things that they had there manifested in the paper I did declare, and what I did understand as a particular person. It was the Lieutenant General’s desire for an understanding with us, presuming those things I did declare did tend to unity; “and if soe [said he] you will lett it appeare by coming unto us.”b Wee have gone thus farre, wee have had two or three meetinges to declare and hold forth whatt itt is wee stand uppon. [Wee stand upon] the principles of unity and freedome. Wee have declar’d in what wee conceive these principles doe lie. I shall nott name them all because they are knowne unto you. Now in the progresse of these disputes and debates wee finde that the time spends, and noe question butt our adversaries are harder att worke then wee are. I heard (butt I had noe such testimonie as I could take hold of) that there are meetinges daily and contrivances against us. Now for our parts I hope you will nott say all is yours, butt wee have nakedlie and freelie unbosom’d Edition: current; Page: [343] ourselves unto you. Though those thinges have startled many att the first view, yett wee finde there is good hopes. Wee have fix’t our resolutions, and wee are determin’d, and wee want nothing butt that only God will direct us to what is just and right. Butt I understand, that [in] all these debates if wee shall agree uppon any one thinge, [to say] “this is our freedome,” “this is our libertie,” “this liberty and freedome wee are debarr’d of and wee are bereav’d of all those comforts,” [that even] in case wee should finde out half a hundred of these, yett the maine businesse is how wee should finde them, and how wee should come by them. Is there any liberties that wee finde ourselves deprived of—if wee have greivances lett us see who are the hinderances, and when wee have pitched uppon that way—I conceive—I speake humbly in this, one thinge that I conceive myself as a particular person—that these delayes, these disputes will prove little incouragement. Itt was told mee by [one of] these Gentlemen that hee had great jealousies that wee would nott come to the triall of our spiritts, and that perhaps there might happen [to be] another designe in hand. I said to his Honour againe, if they would nott come to the light I would judge they had the workes of darkenesse in hand. Now as they told mee againe on the other hand, when itt was questioned by Col. Hewson, on the other hand they told mee that these Gentlemen, nott naming any particular persons, they will hold you in hand, and keepe you in debate and dispute till you and wee [shall] all come to ruine. Now I stood as a moderator betweene these thinges. When I heard the Lieutennant Generall speake I was mervailously taken uppe with the plainesse of the carriage. I said, “I will bringe them to you,” “you shall see if there hearts bee soe; for my parte I see nothing butt plainesse and uprightnesse of heart made manifest unto you.” I will nott judge nor draw any longe discourses uppon our disputes this day. Wee may differ in one thinge, that you conceive this debating and disputations will doe the worke, [we conceive] wee must putt ourselves into the former priviledges which wee want.

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Sir Hardresse Waller.

I thinke this Gentleman hath dealt very ingenuously and plainly with us, I pray God wee may doe soe too, and I for one will doe itt. I thinke our disputings will not doe the thinge. I thinke if we doe make itt our resolution that wee doe hold itt forth to all powers, Parliament or Kinge, or whoever they are, to lett them know that these are our rights, and if wee have them nott, wee must get them the best way wee can.

Lieut. Generall.

I thinke you say very well, and my freind att my back,a hee tells mee that [there] are great feares abroad, and they talke of some thinges such as are nott onely specious to take a great many people with, butt reall, and substantiall, and such as are comprehensive of that that hath the good of the Kingedome in it. Truly if there bee never soe much desire of carrying on these thinges [together], never soe much desire of conjunction, yett if there bee not libertie of speech to come to a right understanding of thinges, I thinke itt shall bee all one as if there were noe desire att all to meete. I may say itt with truth that I verily beleive there is as much reallity and heartinesse amongst us [as amongst you] to come to a right understanding, and to accord with that that hath the settlement of the Kingdome in itt. Though when itt comes to particulars wee may differ in the way, yett I know nothing butt that every honest man will goe as farre as his conscience will lett him, and hee that will goe farther I thinke hee will fall back. And I thinke when that principle is written in the hearts of us, and when there is nott hypocrisie in our dealinges, wee must all of us resolve uppon this, that ’tis God that perswades the heart; if there be a doubt of sincerity, itt’s the Devill that created that effect; and ’tis God that gives uprightnesse, and I hope with such an heart that wee have all met withall; if wee Edition: current; Page: [345] have not, God finde him out that came without itt; for my parte I doe itt.

Com. Generall.

When you have done this according to the number of inhabitants, doe you not thinke itt is very variable, for the number will change every day? I would have us fall to somethinge that is practicable with as little paines and dissatisfaction as may bee. I remember, that in the proposalls that went out in the name of the Army itt is propounded as a rule to bee distributed according to the rates that the Counties beare in the [burdens of the] Kingedome; and remember then you have a rule, and though this be not a rule of exactnesse, yett there was something of equality in itt, and itt was a certaine rule where all are agreed, and therefore wee should come to some settling. Now I doe nott understand wherin the advantage does lie from a suddaine danger, uppon a thinge that will continue soe long, and will continue soe uncertaine as this is.a

Sir Hardresse Waller.

’Tis thought there’s imminent danger; I hope to God we shall bee soe ready to agree for the future that wee shall all agree for the present to rise as one man if the danger bee such, for itt is an impossibility to have a remedy in this. The paper sayes, that this Parliament is to continue a yeare, butt will the great burthen of the people be ever satisfied with papers [whilst] you eate and feede uppon them? I shall be glad, that [if] there bee nott any present danger, you will thinke of some way to ease the burthen that wee may take a course [to do it]; and when wee have satisfied the people that wee doe really intend the good of the Kingdome [they will believe us]—Otherwise if the four Evangelists were heere and lay free quarter uppon them, they will not believe you.

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Col. Rainborow.


That the Army might bee called to a Randezvous, and thinges setled.

Com̃. Ireton.

Wee are called back to Engagements. I thinke the Engagements wee have made and published, and all the Engagements of all sorts, have bin better kept by those that did nott soe much cry out for itt then by those that doe; and if you will [have itt] in plaine termes, better kept then by those that have brought this paper. Give mee leave to tell you that in one point, in the Engagement of the Army not to devide, I am sure that hee that understands the Engagement of the Army nott to devide or disband, [as meaning] that wee are nott to devide for quarters for the ease of the country, or the satisfaction of service—hee that does understand itt in that sence, I am nott capable of his understanding.a Edition: current; Page: [347] There was another sence in itt, and that is, that wee should nott suffer ourselves to bee torne into pieces—such a dividing as [that] is really a disbanding, and for my parte I doe nott know what disbanding is if nott that deviding. [I say that] the subscribers of this paper, the authours of that Booke that is called, ‘The Case of the Armie,’ I say that they have gone the way of disbanding. Disbanding of an Army is nott parting in a place, for if that bee soe, did not wee att that night disband to severall quarters? Did wee nott then send severall Regiments—Col. Scroope’s Regiment into the Westa—wee know where itt was first—Col. Horton’s Regiment into Wales for preventing of insurrection there—Col. Lambert’s [and] Col. Lilburne’s Regiment[s] then sent downe for strengthning such a place as Yorke. And yett the authours of that paper, and the subscribers of them—for I cannott thinke the authours and subscribers all one—we all know, and they may know, that there’s noe parte of the Army is dispersed to quarters further then that. Wherupon that outcrie is [made]. They goe to scandalise [us as breakers of the Engagement not to disband or divide].b Butt hee that will goe to understand this to bee a dividing that wee engaged against, hee lookes att the name, and nott att the thinge. That deviding which is a disbanding [is] that Edition: current; Page: [348] deviding which makes noe Army, and that dissolving of that order and government which is as essentiall to an Army as life is to a man—which if it be taken away I thinke that such a companie are noe more an armie than a rotten carcass is a man—and [it is] those [who have done this] that have gone to devide the Armie. And what else is there in this paper [but] that we have acted soe vigorously for [already? We proposed that this Parliament should end within a year at most]; they doe not propose that this Parliament should end till the beginning of September. When all comes uppon the matter itt is but a criticall difference, and the very substance of that we have declared before. For my part I professe it seriously that we shall find in the issue that the principall of that division, of [that] disbanding is noe more then this, whether such or such [men] shall have the managing of the businesse. I say plainly the way [they have taken] hath bin the way of disunion and division, and [the dissolution] of that order and Government by which wee shall bee enabled to act, and that by the deviding from that generall Councill, wherein wee have all engaged we should bee concluded, and the endeavouring to draw the soldiers to run this way; and I shall appeale to all men whether there can bee any breach of the Army higher then that breach wee have now spoken of. [As for] that word “deviding the Army,” let it bee judged whether [when we said] wee will nott divide [but] with such [and such] satisfaction, whether that deviding were nott more truly and properlie this deviding in every man’s heart wherin wee doe goe apart one from another, and consequently [whether] those that have gone this way have nott broke the Engagement; [and] whether that [other dividing] were a deviding, [or] a keeping of the Engagement: and those that doe judge the one I doe nott thinke that wee have bin fairely dealt with.a

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Col. Rainborow,

I doe nott make any great wonder that this Gentleman hath sence above all men in the world, butt for these thinges hee is the man that hath undertaken them all. I say this Gentleman hath the advantage of us, hee hath drawne uppe the most parte of them; and why may hee nott keepe a sence that wee doe nott know of? If this Gentleman had declar’d to us att first that this was the sence of the Armie in deviding, and itt was meant that men should nott devide in opinions—To mee that is a mistery. Itt is a huge reflection, a taxing of persons, and because I will avoide further reflections, I shall say noe more.


Wheras you say the Agents did itt, [it was] the souldiers did putt the Agents uppon these meetinges. Itt was the dissatisfactions that were in the Army which provoak’t, which occasion’d those Meetinges, which you suppose tends soe much to deviding; and the reasons of such dissatisfactions are because those whome they had to trust to act for them were nott true to them.

Comm. Gen.

If this bee all the effect of your meetinges to agree uppon this paper, there is butt one thinge in this that hath nott bin insisted uppon and propounded by the Army heertofore all alonge.a Heereb itt is putt according to the number of inhabitants; there according to the taxes. Thisb sayes a period att such a day, the last of September, the other sayes a period within a yeare att most. The Agreement says that these have the power of making law, and determining what is law without the consent of Edition: current; Page: [350] another.a ’Tis true the “Proposalls” said nott that, and for my parte, if any man will putt that to the question whether wee shall concurre with itt I am in the same minde,b if you putt itt in any other hands then those that are freemen; butt if you shall putt the question, and with that limitation that hath bin all alonge acknowledged by the Parliament, till wee can acquitt ourselves justly from any Engagement old or new that wee stand in to preserve the person of the Kinge, the persons of Lords, and their rights soe farre as they are consistent with the common right,c till that bee done I thinke there is reason that exception should continue which hath bin all alonge, that is, where the safetie of the Kingdome is concern’d, this they seeme to hold out. But where I see thinges would nott doe reall mischief I would hold to positive constitution. I would neither bee thought to bee a wronge doer or disturber; soe longe as I can with safetie continue a constitution I will doe itt.d And therfore where I finde that the safetie of the Kingedome is nott concern’d, I would nott for every trifling [cause] make that this shall bee a law, though neither the Lords who have a claime to itt nor the Kinge who hath a claime to itt will consent. Butt where this is concern’de—Uppon the whole matter lett men butt consider those that have thus gone away to devide from the Army. Edition: current; Page: [351] Admitt that this Agreement of the people bee the advantage, itt may bee wee shall agree to that without any limittation. I doe agree, that the Kinge is bound by his oath att his coronation to agree to the law that the Commons shall chuse without Lords or any body else. If I can agree any further that if the Kinge doe nott confirme with his aucthority the lawes that the people shall chuse, wee know what will follow.a

Mr. Pettus.

I had the happinesse sometimes to bee att the debate of the Proposalls, and my opinion was then as itt is now, against the Kinges vote and the Lords. Butt nott soe as I doe desire,b since itt hath pleased God to raise a companie of men that doe stand uppe for the power of the House of Commons, which is the Representative of the people, and deny the negative voice of King and Lords. For my parte I was much unknowne to any of them, butt only as I heard their principles, and hearing their principles I cannott butt joyne with them in my judgement, for I thinke itt is reasonable. That all lawes are made by their consent,c wheras you seeme to make the Kinge and Lords soe light a thinge as that itt may bee to the destruction of the Kingedome to throwe them out, and without prejudice [to keep them in]. For my parte I cannott butt thinke that both the power of Kinge and Lords was ever a branch of Edition: current; Page: [352] Tyranny, and if ever a people shall free themselves from Tyranny, cartainly itt is after 7 yeares warre and fighting for their libertie. For my parte, [I think that] if the Constitution of this Kingdome shall bee established as formerly, itt might rivett Tyranny into this Kingedome more strongly then before. For when the people shall heare that for 7 yeares together the people were plundered, and [that] after they had overcome the Kinge, and kept the Kinge under restraint, att last the Kinge comes in, then itt will rivett the Kinges interest; and soe when any men shall indeavour to free themselves from Tyranny wee may doe them mischief and noe good. I thinke itt’s most just and equall, since a number of men have declar’d against itt, they should bee encouraged in itt, and nott discouraged; and I finde by the Councill that their thoughts are the same against the Kinge and Lords, and if soe bee that a power may bee raised to doe that itt would doe well.

Mr. Wildman.

Truly, Sir, I being desired by the Agents yesterday to appeare att Councill or Committees either, att that time, I suppose I may bee bold to make knowne what I know of their sence, and a little to vindicate them in their way of proceeding, and to shew the necessity of this way of proceeding that they have entred uppon. Truly, Sir, as to breaking of Engagements: the Agents doe declare their principle, that whensoever any Engagement cannott bee kept justly they must breake that Engagement. Now though itt’s urg’d they ought to condescend to what the Generall Councill doe [resolve], I conceive itt’s true [only] soe longe as itt is for their safetie. I conceive [itt’s] just and righteous for them to stand uppe for some more speedy vigorous actinges. I conceive itt’s noe more then what the Army did when the Parliament did nott only delay deliverance butt oppos’d itt; and I conceive this way of their appearing hath nott appear’d to bee in the least way anythinge tending to devision, since they proceede to cleare the rights of the people; and soe Edition: current; Page: [353] longe as they proceede uppon those righteous principles [for which we first engaged],a itt cannott bee laid to their charge that they are deviders. And though itt bee declared [that they ought to stand only as soldiers and not as Englishmen], that the malice of the enemies would have bereaved you of your liberties as Englishmen; therefore as Englishmen they are deeply concerned to regard the due observation of their rights, [and have the same right to declare their apprehensions] as I, or any Commoner, have right to propound to the Kingedome my conceptions what is fitt for the good of the Kingedome. Wheras itt is objected, how will itt appear that their proceedings shall tend for the good of the Kingedome? The matter is different. Wheras itt was said before itt was propounded, there must bee an ende to the Parliament, an equality as to Elections—I finde itt to bee their minds—When they came there, they found many aversions from matters that they ought to stand to as souldiers, and nott as Englishmen, and therfore I find it. Concerning the matter of the thinge, I conceive it to bee a very vast difference in the whole matter of proposalls. The foundation of slavery was rivetted more strongly then before. As where the militia is instated in the Kinge and Lords,b and nott in the Commons, there is a foundation of a future quarrell constantlie laid. However the maine thing was that they found by the proposalls propounded the right of the Militia was acknowledged to bee in the Kinge, before any redresse of any one of the people’s greivances or any one of their burthens; and [the King was] soe to bee brought in as Edition: current; Page: [354] with a negative voice, wherby the people and Army that have fought against him when hee had propounded such thingesa—And finding [this] they perceived they were as they thought in a sad case, for they thought, hee coming in thus with a negative, the Parliament are butt as soe many cyphers, soe many round Os; for if the Kinge would nott doe itt hee might chuse, “Sic volo, sic jubeo,” &c., and soe the corrupt party of the Kingedome must bee soe setled in the Kinge. The godly people are turn’d over and trampled uppon already in the most places of the Kingedome. I speake butt the words of the agents, and I finde this to bee their thoughts. Butt wheras itt is said, “how will this paper provide for anythinge for that purpose?” I say, that this paper doth lay downe the foundations of freedome for all manner of people. Itt doth lay the foundations of souldiers [freedom], wheras they found a great uncertainty in the proposalls: that they should goe to the Kinge for an act of indempnity, and thus the Kinge might command his Judges to hange them uppe for what they did in the warres; because the present Constitution being left as itt was, nothing was law butt what the Kinge sign’d, and nott any ordnance of Parliament. And considering this, they thought itt should bee by an Agreement with the people, wherby a rule betweene the Parliament and the people might bee sett, that soe they might bee destroyed neither by the Kinge’s Prerogative, nor Parliament’s priviledges. Edition: current; Page: [355] Theya are nott bound to bee subject to the lawes as other men, [that is] why men cannott recover their estates. They thought there must bee a necessity of a rule betweene the Parliament and the people, soe that the Parliament should know what they were intrusted to, and what they were nott; and that there might bee noe doubt of the Parliament’s power to lay foundations for future quarrells.b The Parliament shall nott meddle with a souldier after indempnity. Itt is agreed amongst the people, wheras betweene a Parliament and Kinge—if the Kinge were nott under restraint—should make an Act of Indempnity—wheras another Parliament cannott alter this—That these foundations might bee established. Edition: current; Page: [356] That there might bee noe dispute betweene Lords and Commons, butt these thinges being setled, there should bee noe more disputes, butt that the Parliament should redresse the peoples grievances, wheras now all are troubled with Kinge’s interests almost. And besides if this were setled, the Parliament should be free from those temptations—which for my owne parte I doe suppose to bee a truth, that this very Parliament, by the Kinge’s voice in this very Parliament may destroy—wheras now they shall bee free from temptations and the Kinge cannott have an influence uppon them as hee hath.a

Com̃. Gen. Ireton.

Gentlemen, I thinke there is noe man is able to give a better account of the sence of the Agents; hee hath spoke soe much as they have in their Booke and soe readily and therefore I see hee is very well able to give their sence. I wish their sences had nott bin prejudiciall to other men’s sences; butt I feare as itt will prove really prejudiciall to the Kingedome, how plausible soever it seemes to bee carried. That paper of the Case of the Armie doth soe abuse the Generall and Generall Councill of the Armie, that such and such thinges have bin done that made them doe thus and thus. First as to the materiall points of the paper. As to the businesse of the Lords you know the way wee were then in admitted noe other.b This Gentleman that speakes heere, and the other gentleman that spake before, when wee were att Reading framing the Edition: current; Page: [357] proposalls did nott thinke of this way. I am sure they did not thinke of this way; and according to the best judgments of those that were intrusted by the Generall Councill to drawe uppe the prosposalls, itt was carried by a question clearlie, that wee should nott. In these proposalls our businesse was to sett forth particulars; wee had sett forth generall Declarations, which did come to as much in effect in thisa The thinge then proposed was, that wee should nott take away the power of the Lords in this Kingedome, and itt was concluded that in the proposalls. Butt as to the Kinge wee were clear. There is nott one thinge in the proposalls, nor in what wee declar’d, that doth give the Kinge any negative voice; and therfore that’s parte of the scandall amongst others. Wee doe not give the Kinge any negative, wee doe butt take the Kinge as a man with whome wee have bin att a difference, wee propound termes of peace. Wee doe nott demand that hee shall have noe Negative, butt wee doe nott say that hee shall have any. There’s another thinge that wee have, as they say, gone from our Engagements in our Declarations in. [They say] that in the proposalls we goe to establish the Edition: current; Page: [358] Kinge’s Rights before [taking away] the peoples Greivances.a In our Generall Declarations wee first desire a purging of this Parliament, a period [to be set for] this Parliament, and provision for the certainty of future Parliaments; and if the Kinge shall agree in these thinges and what [things] else the Parliament shall propound that are necessary for the safetie of the Kingedome, then wee desire his Rights may bee consider’d soe farre as may consist with the Rights of the people. Wee did soe [speak] in the Declarations, and you shall see what wee did in the proposalls.a In the proposalls, [we put first] thinges that are essentiall to peace, and itt distinguishes those from the things that conduce to our better being, and thinges that lay foundations of an hopefull Constitution in the future. When those are past, then they say, ‘that these thinges having the Kinge’s concurrence wee desire that his Right may bee consider’d.’ There were many other greivances and particular matters which wee did nott thinke soe necessary that they should precede the setling of a peace, which is the greatest greivance of the Kingdome. Our way was to take away that [first]. Then itt says there, [after] propounding what thinges wee thought in our judgements are to bee essentiall and necessary to peace, ‘yet wee desire that the Parliament would loose noe time from the consideration of them.’b These Gentlemen Edition: current; Page: [359] would say now wee have gone from our Declarations, that wee propose the setling of the Kinge [first, because] itt stands before those Greivances. Wee say those Greivances are nott soe necessary, as that the remedying of them should bee before the setling of the peace of the Kingedome. What wee thought in our consciences to bee essentiall to the peace of the Kingedome wee did putt preceding to the consideration of the Kinge’s personall Right; and the concurrence of [the King to] those is a condition without which wee cannott have any Right att all, and without [which] there can bee noe peace, and [we] have named [it] before the consideration of the Kinge’s Rights in the setling of a peace, as a thinge necessary to the constitution of a peace. That therfore [to say] wee should preferre the Kinge’s Rights before a generall good, was as unworthy and as unchristian an injury as ever was done [by any] to men that were in society with them, and meerly equivocation. Butt itt was told you, that the Generall Councill hath seemed to doe soe and soe, to putt the souldiers out of the way. Itt is suggested, that the Engagement is broken by our deviding to quarters; and whether that bee broken or nott in other thinges, itt is said, that the Generall Councill hath broken the Engagement in this; that wheras before wee were nott a mercinarie Army, now wee are. Lett any man butt speake what hath given the occasion of that. Itt hath bin pres’t by some men that wee should [not] have subjected [our propositions] to the Parliament, and wee would stand to the propositions Edition: current; Page: [360] whatever they were; butt the sence of the Generall Councill was this, that, as they had sent their propositions to the Parliament, they would see what the Parliament would doe before they would conclude what themselves would doe; and that there was respect [to be had] to that which wee have hitherto accounted the fundamentall Councill of the Kingedome.a If all the people to a man had subscribed to this [Agreement]b then there would bee some security to itt, because noe man would oppose; butt otherwise our concurrence amongst ourselves is noe more then our saying our selves wee will bee indemnified. Our Indemnity must bee to somethinge that att least wee will uppehold, and wee see wee cannott hold to bee a conclusive authority of the Kingedome. For that [charge] of going to the Kinge for Indemnity, wee propose an Act of oblivion onely for the Kinges partie; wee propose for ourselves an Act of Indemnity and Justification. Is this the asking of a pardon? Lett us resort to the first petition of the Army wherin wee all were engag’d once, which wee made the basis of all our proceedinges. In that wee say, that [wee wish] an ordinance might bee past to which the Royall Assent might bee desired; butt wee have [since] declar’d, that if the Royall Assent Edition: current; Page: [361] could nott be had, wee should account the aucthority of the Parliament valid without itt.a Wee have desired in the Generall Councill, that for security for arreares wee might have the Royall Assent; and lett mee tell you though I shall bee content to loose my arreares to see the Kingedome have itts libertie—and if any man can doe itt unlesse itt bee by putting our libertie into the hands of those that will give itt away when they have done. Butt I say that I doe thinke that true in this, whoever talk’t either of the indeavours of the souldiers, or of any other Indempnity by the sworde in their hands, is [for] the perpetuating of combustions, soe that worde cannott take place, and does nott suppose the setling of a peace, and by that aucthority which hath bin here by the legislative power of the Kingedome; and hee that expects to have the arreares of the souldiers soe, I thinke hee does butt deceive himself.b For my owne parte I would give uppe my arreares, and for my parte loose my arreares, if wee have nott settlement; noe arreares or want of Indempnity, nor any thinge in the world shall satisfie mee to have a peace uppon any termes, wherin that which is really the Right of this Nation is nott as farre provided for as can bee provided for by men. I could tell you many other particulars wherin there are divers grosse injuries done to the Generall and Generall Councill, and such a wronge as is nott fitt to bee done amonge Christians, and soe wronge, and soe false that I cannott thinke that they have gone soe farre in itt.

Edition: current; Page: [362]
Mr. Wildman.

I doe nott know what reason you have to suppose I should bee soe well acquainted with the Case of the Armie, and the thinges proposed [in it]. I conceive them to bee very good and just. Butt for that which I give as their sence, which you are pleased to say are scandalls cast uppon the Army, that you propounded to bringe in the Kinge with his negative voice. The legislative power had bin acknowledged [hitherto] to bee in the Kinge with Lords and Commons, whereas you do now say the legislative power to be partly in him. Then considering that, I doe humbly propound to your consideration, [that] when you restraine the Kinges Negative in one particular, which is in restrayning unequall distributions, and say directly in these very words [the King] “shall bee restored to his personall Rights,” you doe now say the Legislative power to bee now partly in him. And therfore I conceive if I have any reason the Kinge is proposed to bee brought in with his Negative voice.a And wheras you say itt is a scandall for [us to say that you propose] the Kinge to come in with his personall Rights [before the grievances of the people are redressed, it is said in the proposals] that the King