Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
[20 December 1642.]
The Lords and Commons now in Parliament assembled, being certainly informed that Papists and other wicked and ill-affected Persons have traiterously combined together, and entered into Association, and have raised, and daily do raise, great Forces both of Horse and Foot, in several Counties of this Kingdom, and have plundered, spoiled and destroyed, Multitudes of His Majesty's good Subjects, and, if not timely prevented, will utterly subvert and destroy the true Protestant Religion (which is their chief Design), the Laws of the Land, the Privileges of Parliament, and the Liberty of the Subject: The Lords and Commons do Declare, That they hold it a Thing most fit and necessary for the present State of this Kingdom, and do accordingly Order. That all Lords Lieutenants, Deputy Lieutenants, Colonels, Captains, and other Officers, and all other well-affected Persons, Inhabitants in the several Counties of Norff. Suff. Essex, Cambridge, and Isle of Ely, Hartford, and the County of the City of Norwich, shall and may associate themselves, and mutually aid, succour, and assist one another, in the mutual Defence and Preservation of themselves, and the Peace of the said Counties, from all Rapines, Plundering, Spoiling of the said Papists and other ill-affected Persons.
And it is further Ordered and Declared, That the said Lords Lieutenants, Deputy Lieutenants, Colonels, Captains, and other Officers, have Power and Authority to raise Forces of Horse and Foot, and to lead them into any place which shall be fitting and convenient, and to give Battle and to fight with all such as are, or shall be, raised to levy War against the Parliament, and all other Forces raised without Authority and Consent of both Houses of Parliament, that make any Insurrection, and plunder and destroy His Majesty's good Subjects; and them to invade, resist, suppress, subdue, and pursue, kill, and slay, and put to Execution of Death, and by all Means to destroy, as Enemies of the Kingdom; and to perform all Things else needful for the Preservation of the Safety and Peace of the said Counties, either by Water or Land, observing, from Time to Time, such other Directions and Commands, as they shall receive from both Houses of Parliament, or from the Earl of Essex Lord General; and that the said Inhabitants of the said several Counties, and every of them, for so doing, shall be saved and kept harmless by Power and Authority of Parliament.
And the said Lords and Commons, taking into their serious Considerations the Necessity of appointing a Commander in Chief over the Officers, which are or shall be raised in the Counties aforesaid, or any of them, for the Service aforesaid, in regard that, by particular Commissions already granted to Persons in the said several Counties, there is not Power given to lead Forces out of their own Counties: It is Ordered, That the Lord General the Earl of Essex shall be desired to grant a Commission to William Lord Gray of Warke, to command in Chief, as Major General of all the Forces to be raised in the said Counties, and to have Power to lead, conduct, and carry the same, to such Places, within the said Counties, as he shall think fit for the Defence of the said Counties; and likewise Power to give the same Orders and Instructions, in his Excellency's Absence, for regulating the Soldiery, which is, or shall be, under his Command, as his said Excellency hath given to his Army; and to use Martial Law, to compel obedience thereunto, as Occasion shall require; and also Power and Authority to make and to appoint Colonels, Captains, and other Officers, for levying, conducting, and leading the said Forces, as he shall think fit.