Historical Collections of Private Passages of State: Volume 5, 1642-45. Originally published by D Browne, London, 1721.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
An Ordinance of the Lords and Commons concerning Stage-Plays
Whereas the distressed Estate of Ireland, steeped in her own Blood, and the distracted Estate of England threatened with a Cloud of Blood by a Civil War, call for all possible Means to appease and avert the Wrath of God appearing in these Judgments: Amongst which, Fasting and Prayer having been often tried to be very effectual, have been lately, and are still enjoyned: And whereas publick Sports do not well agree with publick Calamities, nor publick Stage Plays with the Seasons of Humiliation, this being an Exercise of sad and pious Solemnity, and the other being Spectacles of Pleasure, too commonly expressing lascivious Mirth and Levity: It is therefore thought fit, and Ordained by the Lords and Commons in this Parliament assembled, That While these sad Causes and Set-times of Humiliation do continue, public Stage-Plays shall cease and be forborn. Instead of which, are recommended to the People of this Land, the profitable and seasonable Considerations of Repentance, Reconciliation and Peace with God, which probably may produce outward Peace and Prosperity, and bring again Times of Joy and Gladness to these Nations.
A Declaration of the Lords and Commons in Parliament, in Answer to his Majesty's Message.
Whereas his Majesty in Message received the Fifth of September, requires that the Parliament would Revoke their Declarations against such Persons as have assisted his Majesty in this unnatural War against his Kingdom; It is this Day Ordered and Declared by the Lords and Commons, That the Arms which they have been forced to take up, and shall be forced to take up, for the Preservation of the Parliament, Religion, the Laws and Liberties of the Kingdom, shall not be laid down until his Majesty shall withdraw his Protection from such Persons as have been voted by both Houses to be Delinquents, and shall leave them to the Justice of the Parliament, to be proceeded with according to their Demerits, to the End that both this and succeeding Generations may take warning with what Danger they incur the like heinous Crimes. And also to the End that those great Charges and Damages wherewith all the Commonwealth hath been burthened in the Premisses, since his Majesty's Departure from the Parliament, may be born by the Delinquents, and other malignant and disaffected Persons. And that all his Majesty's good and well-affected Subjects, who by Loan of Moneys, or otherways, at their Charge, have assisted the Commonwealth, or shall in like manner hereafter assist the Commonwealth, in Time of extream Danger, may be repayed all Sums of Money by them lent for those Purposes, and be satisfied their Charges so sustained, out of the Estates of the said Delinquents, and of the malignant and disaffected Party in this Kingdom.
His Majesty's Message in Reply to the Answer and Humble Petition of both Houses of Parliament.
Who have taken most Ways, used most Endeavours, and made most real Expressions to prevent the present Distractions and Dangers, let all the World judge, as well by former Passages, as by our last two Messages, which have been so fruitless, that though we have descended to desire and press it, not so much as a Treaty can be obtained, unless we would denude our self of all Force to defend us from a visible Strength marching against us; and admit those Persons, as Traytors to us, who according to their Duty, their Oaths of Allegiance, and the Law, have appeared in Defence of us their King and Liege Lord, whom we are bound in Conscience and Honour to preserve, though we disclaimed all our Proclamations and Declarations, and the Erecting of our Standard, as against our Parliament; all we have now left in our Power, is to express the deep Sense we have of the publick Misery of this Kingdom, in which is involved that of our distressed Protestants of Ireland, and to apply our selves to our necessary Defence, wherein we wholly rely upon the Providence of God, the Justice of our Cause, and the Affection of our good People. So far we are from putting them out of our Protection. When you shall desire a Treaty of us, we shall piously remember whose Blood is to be spilt in this Quarrel, and cheerfully embrace it. And as no other Reason induced us to leave our City of London, but that with Honour and Safety we could not stay there, nor have we raised any Force, but for the necessary Defence of our Person and the Law, against Levies in opposition to both; so we shall most suddenly and willingly return to the One, and disband the Other as soon as those Causes shall be removed. The God of Heaven direct you, and in Mercy divert those Judgments which hang over this Nation; and so deal with us and our Posterity, as we desire the Preservation and Advancement of the true Protestant Religion, the Law, and the Liberty of the Subject, the just Rights of Parliament, and the Peace of the Kingdom.
The humble Answers of the Lords and Commons in Parliament assembled, to his Majesty's last Message of the 11th of September 1642.
May it please your Majesty,
We the Lords and Commons in Parliament assembled, do present this our humble Answer to your Majesty's Message of the 11th of this instant Month of September. When we consider the Oppressions, Rapines, Firing of Houses, Murthers, even at this Time when your Majesty propounded a Treaty, committed upon your good Subjects, by your Soldiers, in the Presence and by the Authority of their Commanders, being of the Number of those whom you Majesty holds your self bound in Honour and Conscience to protect, as Persons doing their Duties, we cannot think that your Majesty hath done all that in you lies to prevent and remove the present Distractions; nor so long as your Majesty will admit no Peace, without securing the Authors and Instruments of these Mischiefs from the Justice of the Parliament (which yet shall be ever dispensed with all requisite Moderation and Distinction of Offences,) although some of those Persons be such, in whose Preservation your Kingdom cannot be safe, nor the unquestionable Rights and Priviledges of Parliament be maintain'd, without which the Power and Dignity thereof will fall into Contempt: We beseech your Majesty therefore to consider your Expressions, That God shall deal with you and your Posterity, as your Majesty desires the Preservation of the just Rights of Parliament; which being undeniable in the Thing, of such as we have declared to be Delinquents, we shall believe your Majesty, both towards your self and Parliament, will not in this Priviledge we are most sensible of, deny us that which belongs to the meanest Court of Justice in this Kingdom. Neither hath your Majesty Cause to complain that you are denied a Treaty, when we offer all that a Treaty can produce, or your Majesty expect, Security, Honour, Service, Obedience, Support, and all other Effects of humble, loyal, and faithful Subjection, and seek nothing but that our Religion, Liberty, Peace of the Kingdom, Safety of the Parliament, may be secured from the open Violence and cunning Practices of a wicked Party, who have long plotted our Ruin and Destruction. And if there were any Cause of Treaty, we know no competent Persons to Treat betwixt the King and Parliament: And if both Cause and Persons were such as to invite a Treaty, the Season is altogether unfit, whilst your Majesty's Standard is up, your Proclamations and Declarations unrecalled, whereby your Parliament is charged with Treason.
If your Majesty shall persist to make your self a Shield and Defence to those Instruments, and shall continue to reject our faithful and necessary Advice of securing and maintaining Religion and Liberty, with the Peers of the Kingdom and Safety of the Parliament, we doubt not but to indifferent Judgments it will appear, who is most tender of that innocent Blood which is like to be spilt in this Cause; your Majesty, who by such persisting doth endanger your self, and your Kingdoms; or we, who are willing to hazard our selves to preserve both. We humbly beseech your Majesty to consider, how impossible it is that any Protestations, though published in your Majesty's Name, of your Tenderness of the Miseries of your Protestant Subjects in Ireland, or your Resolution to maintain the Protestant Religion and Laws of this Kingdom, can give Satisfaction to reasonable and indifferent Men, when at the same time diverse of the Irish Traitors and Rebels, the known Favourers of them, and Agents for them, are admitted to your Majesty's Presence with Grace and Favour, and some of them employed in your Service; when the Cloaths, Munition, Horse, and other Necessaries bought by your Parliament, and sent for the Supply of the Army against the Rebels there, are violently taken away, some by your Majesty's Command, others by your Ministers, and applied to the Maintenance of an unnatural War against the People here.
All this notwithstanding, as we never gave your Majesty any just Cause for withdrawing your self from your great Council, so it hath ever been, and shall ever be far from us, to give any Impediment to your Return, or to neglect any proper Means of Curing the Distempers of the Kingdom, and Closing the dangerous Breaches betwixt your Majesty and your Parliament, according to the great Trust which lies upon us: And if your Majesty shall now be pleased to come back to your Parliament without your Forces, we shall be ready to secure your Royal Person, Crown and Dignity, with our Lives and Fortunes, your Presence in this great Council being the only Means of any Treaty betwixt your Majesty and them, with Hope of Success.
And in none of our Desires to your Majesty, shall we be swayed by any particular Man's Advantage, but shall give a clear Testimony to your Majesty and the whole World, That in all Things done by us, we faithfully intend the Good of your Majesty, and of your Kingdom, and that we will not be diverted from this End by any private or Self-respects whatsoever.
His Majesty's Declaration to all his loving Subjects, upon Occasion of his late Messages to both Houses of Parliament, and their Refusal to Treat with him for the Peace of the Kingdom.
If it had not evidently appeared to all Men, who have carefully examined and considered our Actions, Messages, and Declarations, how far we are, and have been, from begetting or promoting the present Distractions; and that the Arms we have now taken, are for the necessary Safety and Defence of our Life, being not taken up by us, till our Town and Fort of Hull were kept from us by Force of Arms; our Navy imploy'd against us to keep off all foreign Supply of Arms and Money, when our own here was seized and detained from us, and an Army raised in Pay, and marching against us; yet the late Reception of our Message of the 25th of August, sent by Persons of Honour and Truth, will surely satisfy the World, that we have omitted nothing on our Part, that a gracious and christian Prince would, or can do, to prevent the Effusion of christian Blood; but that the malignant Party, which have with great Subtilty and Industry, begot this Misunderstanding between us and our good Subjects, resolve to satisfy and secure their Malice and Ambition with the Ruin of the Kingdom, and in the Blood of us, and all our good Subjects.
When they had forced us, after the Neglect of our Message, from Beverly, by raising a great Army, and incensing our Subjects against us, to erect our Royal Standard, that our Subjects might be informed of our Danger, and repair to our Succour, though we had no great Reason to believe any Message of our would receive a very good Entertainment, if those Men might prevail, who had brought all these Miseries upon the Kingdom to satisfy their own private Ends; yet observing the miserable Accidents which already besel our good Subjects by the Soldiers under their Command, and well knowing that greater would ensue, if timely Prevention were not applied; and finding that the Malice and Cunning of these Men had infused into our People a Rumour, That we had rejected all Propositions and Offers of Treaty, and desired to engage our Subjects in a Civil War, which our Soul abhors; we prevailed with our self (for a full Expression of our Desire to prevent the Effusion of Blood) to send a gracious Message to both Houses of Parliament on the 25th of August. [Which Message you have before Vol I.] But our Messengers were not suffered to fit in the Houses; and one of them, the Earl of South-hampton (against whom there was not the least Colour of Exception, or so much as a Vote) not suffered to deliver our Message, but compelled to send it by the Gentleman-Usher, and then commanded to depart the Town, before they would prepare any Answer, which they shortly sent us. [Which Answer you have before, Vol. I.]
Which strange Answer might well have discouraged us from any Thought of proceeding further this Way, and informed us sufficiently what Spirit still governed amongst those Few, who continued still in both Houses; otherwise, after so many bitter and invective Messages and Declarations sent to us, and published against us, we should not have been reproached with our Proclamations and Declarations set forth by us, as the Effect of such evil Counsel as was unparallell'd by any former Examples. We believe indeed such Proclamations and Declarations have never been before set forth; but were former Times ever acquainted with such intolerable Provocations? Were there ever before these Twelve-months, Declarations published in the Name of either, or both Houses of Parliament to make their King odious to the People? Have either, or both Houses, ever before assumed or pretended to a Power to raise Arms, or levy War in any Case; or can both Houses together exercise such a Power? Are those Actions, which the Law hath defined literally and expressly to be treasonable, or such Persons to be Traytors, not so, because they are done by Members of either House, or their Appointment? And must not we declare such, who march with Arms and Force to destroy us, to be Traytors, because the Earl of Essex is their General? Those whom we have, or do accuse, we have named, together with their Crimes, notorious by the known Law of the Land, (a Favour not granted to our evil Counsellors) and Appeal to that known Law to judge between us. And now that by this we should have put the whole Kingdom out of our Protection (in whose behalf we do all that we have done) is a corrupt Gloss, upon such a Text as cannot be perverted but by the cunning Practices of such who wish not well to King or People. Yet that no weak Persons might be misled by that Imputation upon us, we sent a Reply to that Answer.
This Message produced an Answer little differing from the former; like Men who had no other Measure of the Justice of their Cause, than their Power to oppress us, forgetting their own Duties, they sharply inform us of ours, [which Answer you had fol. 2.] without any Bitterness or Apprehension of their Neglect of us, and the Publick Peace. To express our deep Sense of the Calamities at Hand, we yet once more (hoping to awake them to a Christian Tenderness towards the whole Kingdom) sent to them another Message, [as you had it in fol. 2.]
But as if all these gracious Messages had been the Effects only of our Weakness, and Instances of our Want of Power to resist that Torrent, they deal at last more plainly with us, and after many sharp, causeless, and unjust Reproaches, they tell us in plain English, That without putting our self absolutely into their Hands, and deserting all our own Force, and the Protection of all those who have faithfully appeared for us, according to their Duty, there would be no Means of a Treaty, altho's an extraordinary Desire of Peace and prevailed with us, to offer to recall our most just Declarations, and to take down our Standard, set up for our necessary Defence, so their unjustifiable Declarations might be likewise recalled. Their Answer you had in fol. 3.
They will not believe we have done all that in us lies to prevent and remove the present Distractions, because of the Oppressions, Rapines, and the like, committed upon our good Subjects by our Soldiers. Let them remember who have compelled us, and against our Souls Desire, forced us to raise those Soldiers; and then if the Oppressions and Rapines were indeed such as are falsely pretended, our poor Subjects, who suffer under them, will look on them, and only on them, as the Authors of all the Miseries they do or can undergo. We confess, with Grief of Heart, some Disorders have, and many more may befal our good People by our Soldiers; but we Appeal to all those Countreys through which we have passed, what Care we have taken to prevent, and what Justice we daily inflict upon such Offenders; neither hath the least Complaint been ever made to us of Violences and Outrages, which we have not, to our outmost Power, repaired and punished, however those false and treasonable Pamphlets are suffered, which accuse us of giving Warrant for plundering of Houses, our Mercy and Lenity is so well known to the contrary, that it is usually made an Excuse by those, who against their Consciences assist this Rebellion against us, that they choose rather to offend us, than provoke those malignant Persons, who without Charity or Compassion destroy all who concur not with them in Faction and Opinion. How far we are from Rapine and Oppression, may appear by our Lenity to the Persons and Estates of those who have not only exercised the Militia (the Seed from whence this Rebellion against us hath grown) but contributed Money and Plate to the Maintenance of that Army which now endeavors to destroy us, as of Nottingham, Leicester, and many other Places through which we have passed, many of whom then were, and now are in that Army. To let pass our passing by Chartly (the House of the Earl of Essex) without other Pressures than as if he were the General of our own Army, and our express Orders to restrain the Liberty our Soldiers would otherwise have used upon that Place and his Estate about it: How contrary the Proceedings are of these great Assertors of the Publick Liberties, appears fully by the sad Instances they every Day give in the Plundering by publick Warrant the Houses of all such whose Duty, Conscience, and Loyalty have engaged them in our Quarrel, which every good Man ought to make his own, by their declaring all Persons to be out of the Protection of the Parliament (and so exposing them to the Fury of their Soldiers) who will not assist this Rebellion against us, their anointed King; by the daily Outrages committed in Yorkshire, when, contrary to the Desire and Agreement of that County, (signed under the Hands of both Parties) they will not suffer the Peace to be kept; but that the Distractions and Confusion may be universal over the whole Kingdom, direct their Governor of Hull to make War upon our good Subjects in that County, and so continue the Robbing and Plundering the Houses of all such who concur not with them in this Rebellion. Lastly, By the barbarous, sacrilegious Inhumanity exercised by their Soldiers in Churches, as in Canterbury, Worcester, Oxford, and other Places, where they committed such unheard-of Outrages, as Jews and Atheists never practised before. God in his good Time will make them Examples of his Vengeance.
We never did, nor ever shall desire to secure the Authors and Instruments of any Mischiess to the Kingdom from the Justice of Parliament, we desire all such Persons may be speedily brought to condign Punishment, by that Rule which is, or ought to be, the Rule of all Punishment, the known Law of the Land. If there have seemed to be any Interruption in Proceedings of this Nature, it must be remembred, how long Persons have been kept under general Accusations, without Trial, though earnestly desired; that the Members who were properly to judge such Accusations, have by Violence been driven thence, or could not with Honour and Safety be present at such Debates; that notorious Delinquents by the known Laws were protected against us from the Justice of the Kingdom; and such called Delinquents, who committed no Offence against any known Law, but were so voted, only for doing their Duties to us; and then there will be no Cause of Complaint found against us.
And for the Priviledges of Parliament, we have said so much, and upon such Reasons, (which have never been answered but by bare positive Assertions) in our several Declarations, that we may well, and do still use the same Expression, That we desire God may so deal with us, and our Posterity, as we desire the Preservation of the just Rights of Parliament, the Violation whereof, in truth, by these desperate Persons, is so clearly known to all Men who understand the Priviledges of Parliament, that their Rage and Malice hath not been greater to our Person and Government, than to the Liberty, Priviledge, and very Being of Parliaments; witness their putting in, putting out, and suspending what Persons they please, as they like or dislike their Opinions; their bringing down the Tumults to assault the Members, and awe the Parliament; their posting and prosecuting such Members of either House, as concurred not with them in their Designs, and so driving them from thence for the Safety of their Lives; their denying us, against the known established Law, and the Constitutions of the Kingdom, to have a Negative Voice, without which no Parliament can consist; their making close Committees, from whence the Members of the Houses are exempted, against the Liberty of Parliament; and lastly, resolving both Houses into a close Committee of seventeen Persons, who undertake and direct all the present Outrages, and the Managery of this Rebellion against us, in the Absence of four Parts of five of both Houses, and without the Privity of those who stay there, which is not only contrary, but destructive to Parliaments themselves. By these gross unheard of Evasions and Breaches of the Priviledges of Parliament (and without them they could not have done the other) they made Way for their Attempts upon the Law, and the Introduction of that unlimited Arbitrary Power which they have since exercised, to the intolerable Damage and Confusion of the whole Kingdom. And we assure our good Subjects, the Vindication of these just Liberties and Priviledges of Parliament, thus violated by these Men, is not less the Argument of our present Quarrel and Undertaking, than our own Honour, Interest, and Safety, those being no way so securely to be preserved, as by preserving Parliaments, and their just Priviledges; neither is there any Protestation, to our Knowledge, published in our Name, of our Tenderness of the Miseries of Ireland, and our Resolution to maintain the Protestant Religion and Laws of this Kingdom, that is not the Protestation of our Soul, and manifested in all our Actions: And we hope that false Scandal, That diverse of the Irish Traytors and Rebels, the known Favourers of them, and Agents for them, are admitted to our Presence with Favour, and imployed in our Service, will gain no Credit with good Men, who remember well the notorious Imputation so confidently and groundlessly heretofore cast on us by Mr. Pym, of which, as there could never be the least Proof, so we could never receive any Satisfaction for that high Injury, which might have been a Warning to them to have published no more such Untruths, if they had not found that Truth and their Ends cannot meet together.
For the Horses taken for our Service, which were provided for the Service of Ireland, 'tis true, we were compelled for the Bringing our own Waggons from Chester for the Carriage of our Munition, to make use of them, being few in Number, and of small Value, after they were certified to be of no Use for the Service for which they were provided. And for the Cloaths, upon Enquiry, we find that some few were taken by our Soldiers (but without any Order from us) going to Coventry, and as was probably believed, for the Relief that Place, then in actual Rebellion against us; but how far we have been, and are from diverting any of those Provisions made for the Relief of that poor Kingdom (the Thought of whose miserable Condition makes our Heart bleed) may appear by our express Command given for the speedy Transportation of Three thousand Suits of Cloaths, which we found provided at Chester, but neglected to be sent, and which no Necessity of our own Army here could prevail with us to seize: And how bold soever the Reproaches of that Kind have been upon us, we are confident Malice it self cannot lay the least probable Imputation upon us, for the Neglect of our Duty towards that Kingdom. What one Thing in our Power have we neglected or omitted, which might contribute to the Assistance or Ease of our poor Protestant Subjects there? We first recommended the Care of that Business to both our Houses of Parliament; we consented to all Propositions made on that Behalf, offered to raise Then thousand Voluntiers, (which if then accepted, had shortned that Work) offered to venture our own Person in the Service: What Interpretation that offer of ours found, is known to all the World. We parted with our Interest in the Land of the Rebels, to encourage such who were willing to adventure in that Business. And when Money was raised by our Consent for that sole Purpose, they have at once seized on a Hundred thousand Pound, particularly appointed by Act of Parliament for the Relief of poor Ireland, (our Army being ready to Perish for want of it) and imployed it to maintain this unnatural Civil War at home. They have levied Men, and entertained Commanders for that Service, and then compelled them to join in this Rebellion, and to march against us. And tho' they have complained of our keeping the Lieutenant of Ireland some Weeks with us, (when in Truth it was a Season of extraordinary Business) after we had in vain for many Months pressed his Dispatch, yet themselves now detain him, when his going is so necessary for the Preservation of that Kingdom. And, no doubt, these men (and these alone) by begetting this miserable Distraction of England, are guilty before God and Man of all the insupportable Calamities that our Kingdom of Ireland endures. Let all the World judge where the Desire of Peace is, and upon whose Account the Blood and Confusion which hath been shed, and must follow, shall be cast; and whether the several Proclamations and Declarations published by us, have not been extorted from us, by such unheard of Insolencies and Injuries, which no former Times ever produced: Neither can any sober Man wonder, when we are publickly reproached, traduced, and reviled to our People, (a Practice never known till this Parliament) that we endeavour by a true Relation and Declaration of our Actions and Intentions, and of their Conspiracies, who have vowed our Destruction, to inform our good Subjects of the Cunning and Malice they are to encounter with. And when a Combination is entered into to destroy us, and to alter the Religion and Law of the Kingdom, and to that Purpose an Army raised and marching against us, that we proclaim the General of that Army, and such who shall assist him in levying a War against us, to be Traytors, and have set up our Royal Standard, and required all our good Subjects to come to our Defence. And yet both in that Proclamation, and in all our Declarations we have never accused our Parliament, but such factious, seditious Members of both Houses, whom we have named, and whom we are ready to prove, according to the Rules of the known Law, to be guilty of High Treason. We well know, and all the Kingdom knows, That of near Five hundred Members, which the House of Commons contains, there remains not now Three hundred; neither hath above such a Number consented almost to any Thing of which we have ever complained; the Rest have either been driven away by Tumults and Threats of the Persons whom we have accused, or out of Conscience have withdrawn themselves from their desperate Consultations. And of above an hundred Peers of the Realm, there are not above Fifteen or Sixteen who concur in these miserable Resolutions, which disturb the publick Peace, many of which being of desperate Fortunes, have no other support, than the Commands now given them to make War upon us; and now these Men must sit upon the Lives and Fortunes of all the Nobility, Gentry and Commons of England; and because we will not put our selves into the Hands, Government and Disposal of them, all our good Subjects are invited and encouraged to rebel against us. Yet we have been, and are still far from accusing all that small Number of both Houses who are yet left together; we believe many of them are misled by the Cunning and Malice, and frighted by the Power of those Men whom we have accused, against every One of whom we have Evidence of Matter of Fact, that the known Law of the Land determines to be High Treason.
And now that all our good Subjects may see how desirous these Men and their Adherents are to prevent the Effusion of Blood, and the lasting Miseries of a Civil War, they will make themselves so considerable, that except we will recall our Proclamations and Declarations, whereby particular Men, named for particular Actions (which the Law hath defined to be Treason) are so accused, and others warned from involving themselves in their Guilt; and except we will take down our Standard, that our good Subjects might not repair to us for our Defence, when so many Armies are raised against us in several Parts of the Kingdom, and ready to destroy us, and such of our good Subjects, who dare continue loyal to us; and except we will return to London, from whence with Violence we have been driven, we must not be treated with, or receive any Answer to so gracious a Message.
It can no longer be doubted by any Man, who hath not willfully forsaken his Understanding, that it is no more a Quarrel undertaken by the Parliament, but contrived and fomented by the Persons we have named, and now continued solely in their Defence, to whose Ambition, Faction, and Malice, the true Reformed Protestant Religion, the just Right, Honour, Safety, and the Life of us and our Posterity, the Law of the Land, which hath so long preserved this Nation happy, the Liberty of the Subject, established by that Law, and the glorious Frame and Constitution of this Kingdom must be sacrificed. But as we have hitherto left no Action unperformed, which in Honour, Justice and Conscience, we were obliged to do, or in christian Policy and Prudence we could conceive might probably prevent these Calamities; so we thank God he hath given us a full Courage and Resolution to run the utmost Hazard of our Life for the Suppression of this horrible Rebellion, in the Which, no Disproportion of Power, Arms, or Money shall discourage us. And we hope that all our good Subjects, besides the common Duty of Allegiance, will be stirred up for their own sakes, for the Preservation of the blessed Protestant Religion, and for the upholding this whole admirable Frame of Government, which being dissolved, all their private and particular Rights and Interests must be immediately confounded, to bring in their utmost Power and Peace, and were not intended to bar you from a necessary Use of Arms in Time of actual War, for your own Safety, or for the Defence of our Person against all Rebels and Enemies, which by your Duty and Allegiance you are bound unto; which is not, nor ever was meant to be discharged, or taken away by any Act. And whereas the Arms which were taken from you, ought by Law to have been kept and preserved to have been made use of by you in such Time of open War, or of such others as you should provide; yet under the specious Pretence of disarming Recusants, and Persons ill-affected, and for the most Part Fomenters and Exciters of these Commotions now raised in this Kingdom: Our Will and Command therefore is, and we charge and require you upon your Allegiance, and as you tender the Safety of our Person, and the Peace and Welfare of our Kingdom, That you with all possible speed provide sufficient Arms for your selves, your Servants, and your Tenants, which we authorize and require you, during the Time of open War raised against us, to keep and use for the Defence of us, and of your selves, and of your Country, against all Forces and Arms raised, or to be raised against us, or against our Consent, or contrary to our Proclamations, by Colour of any Order, or Ordinance, or Authority whatsoever: And we shall (according as we are bound to all our Subjects) use our utmost Powers for the Protection of you and yours, against all Injuries and Violence. And whensoever those Arms which you shall so provide (after it shall please God to put an End to these Dangers and Distractions) shall be taken away from your Custody, by reason of our Laws now in force, we do hereby assure you, we will allow you for the same, so much as you shall have dispended in provision thereof.
A Letter Sent from the Provost Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, to the Right Honourable the Earl of Pembroke and Mountgomery, Chancellor of that University, dated September the 12th, 1642.
May it please your Lordship to know, That this University is now in extream danger of the Suffering all Evils and Calamities that war-like Forces may bring upon it: such Forces we hear for certain are some of them already upon their March, some others in raising, to assault, (and if they may have their Wills, I mean the common Sort of them) to spoil and destroy us. My Lord! You have been solicitous, whom to appoint your Vice-Chancellor over us for this next Year; but if these Forces come forward, and do that Execution upon us, and this Place, that we fear they intend, there will be no Use at all for a Vice-Chancellor: For what will be here for him to do, where there will be no Scholars for him to govern? Or what should Scholars do here, having no Libraries left them to study in, no Schools to dispute, Chappels to serve God, Colledges or Halls to live or lodge in? but have all these ransacked, defaced, demolished, so as Posterity may have to say, See! Here was for a long Time, and till such a Year, an University of great Renown and Eminence, in all manner of Learning and Vertue, but now laid utterly waste and buried in her own Ruins. And then will the Question be, What! Had they then no Lord Chancellor over them? or, Was he unable to protect them, either by his Power, or by his Mediation and Favour in their Behalf? or, Were Men of Place and Governours in the University, so sleepy and stupid, as not to implore his Protection of them? or, Was he fore acquainted with their Danger, and regardless nevertheless of what might besal them? We are all of us very confident, That if your Lordship would vouchsafe to interpose with your Intreaties for us to the honourable Houses of Parliament, for our Safety and Security, all would be well with us. The Delinquents that were one While sent for, are not One of them here at this Time; Sir John Byron, with his Regiment of Troopers (who have been a few Days here without the least Damage or Grievance that I know of to any Man) we shall (I doubt not) soon prevail withal to withdraw from us, if he may with his Safety return back to his Majesty, (who of his own gracious Care of us sent him hither) and if your Lordship shall be secured, that no other Forces shall be here imposed upon us, that will take the Liberty to exercise that barbarous Insolence with which the illiterate, rude, and ruffianly Rabble of the Vulgar threaten us; against such only, our young Men have lately taken in Hand the Arms, we have, (a very few God knows, and in weak Hands enough) to save themselves and us from having our Libraries fired, our Colledges pillaged, and our Throats cut by them, if they should suddenly break in upon us. And this (my Lord!) is all the sinful Intent we have had in permitting them to Train in a voluntary and peaceable Manner so as they have done: Good my Lord, that which I most earnestly beg of your Honour is, out of the Sense and humble Request of the University, vouchsafe to put in Action with all speed, what you in you Wisdom conceive may be most effectual and prevalent with the honourable Houses of Parliament, for the Peace and Security of this Place, and for the Staying of our Students, a great Part of whom, (such stout and hardy Men they are) upon Alarms and Affrights, such as have been hourly here of late, are sled away from us home to their Mothers. The Disciples, when in danger of drowning, clamored our Saviour with, Master, carest thou not that we perish! But I am bold to assume for your Honour, and to assure all of this University under your happy Government, that you will not (so far as your Power is) suffer any one Member of it to perish; no, not to receive any the least Hurt; and that of the tender and vigilant Care you have of us, you will at this Time give us a clear and real Evidence, having this Representation of the Peril we are now in, made unto your Honour by me,
The Answer To The said Letter, dated September the 13th, 1642.
If you had desired my Advice and Assistance in Time, I should willingly have contributed my best Endeavours for your Safety and Protection; but your own unadvised Counsels and Actions have reduced you to the Streights you are now in, and in Discretion you might have foreseen, that the admitting of Cavaliers, and taking up Arms, could not but make the University a notorious Mark of Opposition against the Parliament, and therefore to be opposed by It. If you had contained your selves within the decent modest Bounds of an University, you might justly have challenged me, if I had not performed the Duty of a Chancellor. The best Counsel I can now give you is, That you presently dismiss the Cavaliers, and yield up unto the Parliament such Delinquents as are amongst you, and then the Cause being taken away, the Effect will follow. When you have put your selves into the right Posture of an University, I will be a faithful Servant to you, and as ready to do you all the good Offices I can with the Parliament, as I am now sorry you have brought these Troubles upon your selves. So I rest,
Yorkshire-Hall in Blackwell-Hall is by the Honourable the Lord Mayor of London, and the Court of Aldermen, appointed for the Laying-in of such Cloaths of all Sorts for Men, Women, and Children, with Shoes, Hats, and Linnen, such as may be spared for Cloathing the poor naked Protestants in Ireland.
It is desired, That before the Third of October next, there may be brought into the Place aforesaid, what in that Kind shall be bestowed by well-disposed People, that the same may be ready for Shipping then prepared for Ireland.
A Letter From the Earl of Leicester to the Earl of Northumberland, concerning Ireland.
Tho' I have written thrice to the Commissioners for the Affairs of Ireland, since my coming from London, to give them Account of my Stay at Court; and that I have also written several Letters to some particular Friends, in hope that thereby the Truth might be known, and my self rightly understood: Yet, because those Letters peradventure may have miscarried, and least I should incur the Censure of the Parliament for Negligence or Slackness in that Service to which I have been designed; I will briefly, and as truly as I can, relate to your Lordship how I have behaved my self; and if your Lordship please, you may communicate it to the House of Peers, as in your Judgment and Favour to me you shall think fit; and I hope it will appear, that as I have been very impatient of this Delay, so I have not wanted Diligence in the solicitation of my Dispatch.
When I came to York, I told the King that I was come thither to receive his Majesty's Commandments and Instructions for that Imployment, which he had done me the Honour to confer upon me; and I did humbly beseech him, that I might not be stayed at Court, because the Parliament did desire my speedy repair into Ireland, and that his Service, as I conceived, did require it; at least that some Governour (if I were not thought worthy of it) should be presently sent into that Kingdom.
The King told me that he would think of it; but I must confess I did not find his Majesty so ready to dispatch me, as I hoped and expected. From that Time I did not fail to beseech his Majesty to send me away upon every Opportunity that I had of speaking to him, and I think there passed not a Day that I did not desire the Secretaries of State, and some other Persons about the King, to put his Majesty in mind of me, and to hasten my Dismission. And diverse Times I made it my Petition to the King, that he would dispatch me, or declare his Intention that he would not let me go at all. The King said my Instructions should be drawn, and that be would give Order to Mr. Secretary Nicholas to do it as speedily as he could. In Expectation whereof I stayed about three Weeks, till the King came from York, when his Majesty appointed me to follow him to Nottingham, and there I should have my Expeditions. I obeyed his Majesty, and came after him to this Town, where I have attended ever since, perpetually soliciting to be dispatched, and beseeching his Majesty that I might either go to my Employment, or have his Leave to retire my self, to my own House and private Condition; That if he were unwilling to trust me in an Employment of so great Importance, I did beseech him that I might be no Burthen to his Thoughts, and that he would be so gracious as to let me know his Resolution; for I conceived my self to be under a heavy Censure, both of the Parliament and of the whole Kingdom, whilst possibly they might think it my Fault, that I was so long absent from the Charge which I had undertaken. It is to no Purpose to tell you every Passage; but this I protest to your Lordship, That if it had been to save the Lives of all my Friends, and of my self, I could not have done more to procure my Dispatch; nevertheless, I have not been able to advance it one Step; nor have I seen any Token to make me hope to have it quickly till this Morning, when Mr. Secretary Nicholas gave me a Draught of my Instructions to peruse; and so I hope betwixt this and Monday, I shall have done that Part. And I will do the best I can in procuring some other Thing, without which I known not how I shall be able to do any acceptable Service in that Kingdom. Your Lordship knows I am a Servant, and I could not run away if I would; or at least it had been to little Purpose, tho' I should have adventured to do so undecent and so undutiful an Action; therefore I hope it will be believed that I have not been to blame. Now, with your Lordship's Leave, I shall trouble you with another Particular, wherein perhaps I suffer in the Opinion of them that know not what hath passed, though I be as innocent as a new-born Child; may, 1 have opposed it as much as I had a Power to do.
The King being informed at York by some officious Persons, that there were certain Draught-Horses provided to be sent into Ireland, his Majesty told me, That he must needs have them for his own Use. I did humbly beseech him not to take them away from his own Service in Ireland, for which they were bought, and in which they were to be imployed. And besides what I said my self, I made Means, by others, to save the Horses, so as I heard no more of it till I came hither. But then his Majesty told me again, That he must needs have those Horses, and would have me send for them. I represented to his Majesty the Inconsiderableness of those few Horses, and that the Parliament might take it very ill, in regard that the Horses were bought with their Money for the Service of the poor Kingdom of Ireland; therefore, I did beseech him not to take them; or, howsoever, that he would secure me from being an Instrument in that, which I conceived would much hurt his Affairs; and, that I being trusted by the Parliament, could neither do it my self, nor consent that any other should do That which was a Breach of Trust, and a great Disservice even to his Majesty himself.
Notwithstanding this, the King sent unto me, by Mr. Endimion Porter and Sir George Hay, at several Times to the like Purpose, but I returned the same Answer; adding this also, That I could not do it, and be an honest Man to his Service: Though it be true, That the King said he would restore the Horses, or pay for them. But for all this, it pleased his Majesty to employ one Errington that served me, and gave him a Warrant to fetch the Horses. Errington told me of it; I forbad him, as far as I could, to do it; and told him, That if he did it, he must not look to have any Thing more to do with me for ever: And further, That I made no Doubt but the Parliament would hang him for stealing their Horses. This, and more I said to Errington, in the Presence of James Batterie my Secretary, who will witness it: And conceiving it to be an unjust Thing in it self, displeasing to the Parliament, and hurtful to the King's Service, I protested against it; though Errington said, his Majesty had commanded him, upon his Allegiance, to execute the Warrant: But, indeed, I told him, I did not believe him; nor could think that his Majesty would command a Subject, upon his Allegiance, to take away other Men's Horses. This I thought sufficient; but it seems I was deceived: For Errington, without my Consent or Knowledge, went from Nottingham towards Chester, as I heard afterwards, and I have never seen him since, nor heard from him. What he hath done, I do not know; but I sent to Chester that the Horses should be presently shipt away; and I caused my Secretary to write to Mr. Hawkin, to take care that neither Errington, nor any Body for him, should receive any Money of Mr. Loftus or his Deputy, to provide the Rest of the Horses; for as yet, I think there hath been only Sixteen hundred Pounds issued, to buy Two hundred of the Six hundred Horses allowed by the Parliament; and of that Sixteen hundred Pounds, I will do the best I can to get a good Account, whereof the Parliament, God willing, shall be informed, with my best Care and Diligence. Truly, my Lord, I do the best I can to serve my Country; they that are miser may do more; but of any Thing, contrary to the Duty of an honest Man, the Parliament, upon strict Examination, shall never find me guilty; for the Reputation of Honesty and Fidelity is (and I can say no more) as dear unto me, as your esteeming me,
On the 9th of September 1642, the Earl of Essex, in much State, accompanied by many Members of both Houses of Parliament, did set out of London, and went to his Head-Quarters at St. Albans, and from thence to Northampton, where his Forces met him; and they were together above 15000 Men.
You shall carefully restrain all Impieties, Prophaneness, and Disorders, Violence, Insolence and Plundering in your Soldiers, as well by strict and severe Punishment of such Offences, as by all other Means, which you in your Wisdom shall think fit.
Your Lordship is to march with such Forces as you think fit, towards the Army raised in his Majesty's Name against the Parliament and Kingdom. And you shall use your utmost Endeavours, by Battel or otherwise to rescue his Majesty's Person, and the Persons of the Prince and the Duke of York, out of the Hands of those desperate Persons who are now about them.
You shall take an Opportunity, in some safe and honourable Way, to cause the Petition of both Houses of Parliament, herewith sent unto you, to be presented unto his Majesty: And if his Majesty shall thereupon please to withdraw himself from the Forces now about him, and to resort to the Parliament, you shall cause all those Forces to disband, and shall serve and defend his Majesty with a sufficient Strength in his Return.
You shall publish and declare, That if any, who have been so seduced, by the false Aspersions cast upon the Proceedings of the Parliament, as to assist the King in the Acting those dangerous Councels, shall willingly within ten Days after such Publication in the Army, return to their Duty, not doing any hostile Act within the Time limited, and join themselves with the Parliament, in Defence of Religion, his Majesty's Person, the Liberties and Laws of the Kingdom, and Priviledges of Parliament, with their Persons and Estates, as the Members of both Houses, and the Rest of the Kingdom have done, that the Lord and Commons will be ready upon their Submission to receive such Persons in such Manner, as they shall have Cause to acknowledge, they have been used with Clemency and Favour: Provided that this shall not extend to admit any Man into either House of Parliament, who stands suspended, without giving Satisfaction to the House, whereof he shall be a Member;; and except all Persons who stand impeach'd in Parliament of Treason, as have been eminent Persons and chief Actors in those Treasons: And except the Earl of Bristol, the Earl of Cumberland, the Earl of Newcastle, the Earl Rivers, Secretary Nichols, Mr. Endimion Porter, Mr. Edward Hide, the Duke of Richmond, the Earl of Carnarvan, the Lord Viscount Newark, the Lord Viscount Faulkland, one of the Principal Secretaries of State to his Majesty.
You shall apprehend the Persons of all those who stand impeached in Parliament, or have been declared Traytors by both or either House of Parliament, or otherwise Delinquents; and you shall send them to the Parliament to receive condign Punishment, according to their Offences.
You shall receive the Loans or Contributions of Money, Plate, or Horses, from all his Majesty's loving Subjects, which they shall be willing to make for the Support of the Charge of the Army, and better Discharge of the Service of the Commonwealth; and you shall certify all such Sums of Money, and the Value of such Horses, that the Parties may thereupon have the Benefit of the Public Faith, for Payment to be made unto them, as to others of his Majesty's Subjects, upon the Proportions of Money, Plate, and Horse.
You shall carefully protect all his Majesty's loving Subjects from Rapine and Violence by any of the Cavaliers, or other Soldiers of his Majesty's pretended Army, or by any of the Soldiers of the Army which you command; and you shall cause the Arms and Goods of any Person to be restored to them, from whom they have been unjustly taken.
The said Committee, or any Four of them, whereof the said Earl of Essex to be One, shall have Power to meet together at such Times and Places as they shall think fit, and to consult and advise touching Matters that shall concern the Army, as the said Earl shall think convenient. And from Time to Time shall acquaint both Houses of Parliament with their Resolutions therein, that both Houses may further proceed thereupon, as to them shall be thought convenient for the Publick.
They, or Four of them, whereof the Earl of Essex to be One, shall have Power, and are hereby authorized to advise and use all convenient and reasonable Means they can, to supply the Army with Money and other Necessaries. And for that End and Purpose are hereby authorized, to take the Subscriptions of all Persons that shall give, lend, or advance any Money, Plate, or other Provisions whatsoever necessary for the Army, and shall give a Note unto all such Persons that shall so lend or advance, expressing the Nature and Particular thereof; which Note, subscribed with the Hand of the said Earl of Essex, and any Three of the said Committee, whereof Two to be of the House of Commons, shall be sufficient Warrant for the Party that shall so lend or advance, to receive the same again with Interest after the Rate of 8l. per Cent. out of such Moneys as shall be collected for the Affairs of this Kingdom, and both Houses do engage the Publick Faith for the same.
They, or any Four of them, whereof the Earl of Essex to be One, shall have Power, and are hereby authorized to sit with the said Earl, and to examine all such Persons as shall be sent for, apprehended, and brought before them by Virtue of any Warrant, sent and issued under the Hand of the Lord General, and shall have Power to continue them in safe Custody, send them up to the Parliament, or discharge them, as they shall think fit, and shall most tend to the Publick Good.
The humble Petition of the Lords and Commons in Parliament, to his Sacred Majesty. Sent by Sir Philip Stapleton to his Excellency the Earl of Essex, and by him to be presented to his Majesty.
We your Majesty's loyal Subjects, the Lords and Commons in Parliament, cannot, without great Grief and Tenderness of Compassion, behold the pressing Miseries, the eminent Dangers, and the devouring Calamities which do extreamly threaten, and have partly seized upon both your Kingdoms of England and Ireland, by the Practices of a Party prevailing with your Majesty, who by many wicked Plots and Conspiracies, have attempted the Alteration of the true Religion, and the ancient Government of this Kingdom, and the Introducing of popish Idolatry and Superstition in the Church, and Tyranny and Confusion in the State, and for the Compassing thereof, have long corrupted your Majesty's Councels, abused your Power, and by sudden and untimely dissolving of former Parliaments, have often hindred the Reformation and Prevention of those Mischiefs. And being now disabled to avoid the Endeavours of this Parliament by any such Means, have traiterously attempted to over-awe the same by Force. And in prosecution of their wicked Designs, have excited, encouraged, and fostered an unnatural Rebellion in Ireland, by which, in a most cruel and most outragious Manner, many Thousands of your Majesty's Subjects there have been destroyed; and by false Slanders upon your Parliament, and malicious and unjust Accusations, have endeavoured to begin the like Massacre here. And being, thro' God's Blessing, therein disappointed, have, as the most mischievous and bloody Design of all, drawn your Majesty to make War against your Parliament and good Subjects of this Kingdom, leading, in your Person, an Army against them, as if you intended, by Conquest, to establish an absolute and illimited Power over them, and by your Power, and the Countenance of your Presence, have ransacked, spoiled, and imprisoned and murthered diverse of your People. And, for their better Assistance in their wicked Designs, do seek to bring over the Rebels of Ireland, and other Forces beyond the Seas, to join with them. And we finding our selves utterly deprived of your Majesty's Protection, and the Authors, Counsellors, and Abettors of these Mischiefs in greatest Power and Favour with your Majesty, and defended by you against the Justice of your High Court of Parliament, where by they are grown to that Height and Insolence, as to manifest their Rage and Malice against those of the Nobility, and others, who are any whit inclinable unto Peace, not without great Appearance of Danger to your own Royal Person, if you shall not in all Things concur with their wicked and traiterous Courses; have, for the just and necessary Defence of the protestant Religion, of your Majesty's Person, Crown, and Dignity, of the Law and Liberty of the Kingdom, and the Priviledges and Power of Parliament, taken up Arms, and appointed and authorized Robert Earl of Essex, to be Captain-General of all the Forces by us raised, and to lead and conduct the Same against those Rebels and Traitors, and them to subdue and bring to condign Punishment. And do most humbly beseech your Majesty to withdraw your Royal Presence and Countenance from these wicked Persons; and if they shall stand out in Defence of their rebellious and unlawful Attempts, that your Majesty would leave them to be suppress'd by that Power which we have sent against them; and that your Majesty will not mix your own Dangers with theirs, but in Peace and Safety, without your Forces, forthwith return to your Parliament, and by their faithful Counsel and Advice, compose the present Distempers and Confusions abounding in both your Kingdoms, and provide for the Security and Honour of your Self, and your Royal Posterity, and the prosperous Estate of all your Subjects: Wherein if your Majesty please to yield to our most humble and earnest Desires, we do, in the Presence of Almighty God, profess, that we will receive your Majesty with all Honour, yield all due Obedience and Subjection, and faithfully endeavour to secure your Person and Estate from all Dangers, and, to the uttermost of our Power, to procure and establish to your Self, and to your People, all the Blessings of a glorious and happy Reign.
An Ordinance or Declaration of the Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament, That all the Regiments of Foot and Troops of Horse in London, and all Parts of England, shall within 48 Hours after Publication hereof, march to his Excellence Robert Earl of Essex, to be employed for the Defence of his Majesty and Kingdom, the Priviledges of Parliament, and the Liberty of the Subject.
Whereas divers Regiments of Foot and Troops of Horse, have long since been listed in the Army raised by the Parliament for the Defence of the King and Kingdom, under the Command of Robert Earl of Essex, of which some are not marched away to their Rendezvouz, according to their Duty, and others are not of sitting Numbers for Service, yet all receive Pay, to the great Charge of the Kingdom, and by this their Neglect do great Prejudice to the publick Cause, in which Religion, Laws, and Liberty, are so much concerned. It is therefore Ordained and Declared by the Lords and Commons in Parliament assembled, That such Regiments of Foot as consist of Four hundred Men or more, and Troops of Horse that consist of Forty or more, shall, within Forty eight Hours after Publication hereof, march towards the Place where they shall understand the Lord General to be, except by special Order they be directed to any other Place; and they shall not stay by the Way longer than for their necessary Refreshment: And such Regiments or Troops as shall fail herein, or shall not consist of such Numbers as is before specified; that is to say, a Regiment of Foot of Four hundred, and a Troop of Horse of Forty shall be cashiered, and also liable to such further Punishment, as, upon Examination of the Cause of their failing and neglect, shall be found that they have deserved. And the common Soldiers of such Regiment or Troop so cashiered, shall be disposed of for the Filling and Recruiting of Others.
Yet in regard the Captains of some Regiments, which have not the Number of Four hundred, may have been careful to raise and compleat their own Companies, and that there is no Reason they should suffer for the Defaults of others, either the Colonels or other Captains that have not been so careful, it is thought fit that such Captain of any Regiment now to be cashiered, as shall have his Company compleat, shall be continued together with his Company, and shall march unto the Place where the Lord General shall be, to be disposed of by him in any other Regiment, or otherwise employed, as his Lordship shall think fit.
And it is further declared, That the Regiments of Colonel Essex and Colonel Ballard, shall not be understood to be within this Order, in regard both those Colonels have been, and yet are employed in the Service of the State, and their Absence may be a Cause that their Regiments are not in that Forwardness that otherwise they would have been; but they are hereby enjoined, with all possible speed, to march unto the Army.
The King, after the Erecting of his Standard at Nottingham, marched from thence to Darby, Stafford, and Leicester, and so to Wales, and at Shrewsbury his Army was encreased to a considerable Body; and having great Quantities of Plate brought in to him, he erected a New Mint, and furnished himself with Store of Money. In his Passage through the several Counties, the Gentry and People assembled, and his Majesty made Speeches unto them, as followeth.
His Majesty's Speech and Protestation made in the Head of his Army, between Stafford and Willington, the 19th of September 1642, after the Reading of his Orders of War.
You have heard these Orders read, it is your Part, in your several Places, to observe them exactly: The Time cannot be long before we come to Action, therefore you have the more Reason to be careful. And I must tell you, I shall be very severe in the Punishing of those, of what Condition soever, who transgress these Instructions. I cannot suspect your Courage and Resolution; your Conscience and your Loyalty hath brought you hither to fight for your Religion, your King, and the Laws of the Land. You shall meet with no Enemies but Traytors, most of them Brownists, Anabaptists, and Atheists, Such who desire to destroy both Church and State, and who have already condemned you to Ruin, for being loyal to us. That you may fee what Use I mean to make of your Valour, if it please God to bless it with Success, I have thought fit to publish my Resolution in a Protestation, which when you have heard me make, you will believe you cannot fight in a better Quarrel, in which I promise to live and die with you.
I do Promise in the Presence of Almighty God, and as I hope for his Blessing and Protection, That I will to the Utmost of my Power, defend and maintain The True Reformed Protestant Religion established in the Church of England, and by the Grace of God, in the Same will live and die.
I desire to govern by the known Laws of the Land, and that the Liberty and Property of the Subject may be by them preserved with the same Care as my own just Rights. And if it please God, by a Blessing upon this Army raised for my necessary Defence, to preserve me from this Rebellion; I do solemnly and faithfully Promise, in the Sight of God, to maintain the just Priviledges and Freedom of Parliament, and to govern by the known Laws of the Land to my utmost Power, and particularly to observe inviolably the Laws consented to by me this Parliament.
In the mean While, if this Time of War, and the great Necessity and Straits I am now driven to, beget any Violation of those, I hope it shall be imputed by God and Man to the Authors of this War, and not to me who have so earnestly laboured for the Preservation of the Peace of this Kingdom.
When I willingly fail in these Particulars, I will expect no Aid or Relief from any Man, or Protection from Heaven: But in this Resolution I hope for the cheerful Assistance of all good Men, and am confident of God's Blessing.
His Majesty's Speech To the Inhabitants of Denbigh and Flintshire, made at Wrexham the 27th of September 1642.
I Am willing to take all Occasions to visit all my good Subjects, in which Number I have Cause to reckon you of these two Counties; and having lately had a good Expression of your Loyalty and Affections to me by those Levies, which at your Charge have been sent me from your Part (which Forwardness of yours, I shall always remember to your Advantage) to let you know how I have been dealt with by a Powerful malignant Party in this Kingdom, whose Designs are no less than to destroy my Person and Crown, the Laws of the Land, and the present Government both of Church and State. The Leaders of these Men, by Subtilty and cunning Practices, have so prevailed upon the meaner Sort of People about London, that they have called them up into frequent and dangerous Tumults, and thereby have chased from thence my self, and the greatest Part of the Members of both Houses of Parliament; their Power and secret Plots have had such Influence upon the small remaining Part of both Houses, that under Colour of Orders and Ordinances made without the Royal Assent (a Thing never heard of before this Parliament) I am robbed and spoiled of my Towns, Forts, Castles, and Goods, my Navy forceably taken from me, and imployed against me, all my Revenue is stop'd and seized upon, and at this Time a powerful Army is marching against me. I wish this were all: They have yet further laboured to alienate the Affections of my good People, they have most injuriously vented many false Reproaches against my Person and Government, they have dispersed in Print many notorious false Scandals upon my Actions and Intentions; and in particular, have laboured to cast upon me some Aspersions concerning the horrid, bloody, and impious Rebellion in Ireland. They tell the People that I have recalled two Ships appointed for Guard of these Seas; 'tis true: But they conceal, that at the same Time I sent my Warrants to the Downs, commanding Four as good Ships to attend that Service, instead of those should be recalled; which Warrant, by their Means, could not find Obedience. They forget that they then imployed forty Ships (many of them my own, and all of them set forth at the publick Charge of this and that Kingdom) to rob and pillage me of my Goods, to chase my good Subjects, and maintain my own Town of Hull against me, and that by the Absence of those Ships from the Irish Seas, the Rebels have had Opportunity to bring Store of Arms, Ammunition, and Supplies to their Succours (to which we may justly impute the Calamities, which have overwhelmed my poor Protestant Subjects there.) They cry out upon a few Suits of Cloaths appointed (as they say) for Ireland, which some of my Forces took, but conceal that they were taken as entring into Coventry (then in open Rebellion against me) where I had Reason to believe they would have been disposed of amongst their Soldiers, who then bore Arms against me. They talk of a few Horses which I have made use of for my Carriages (concealing that they were certified to be Useless for Service of Ireland) when they themselves have seized 100,000 Pounds, particularly appointed by an Act of Parliament for the Relief of Ireland where my Army is ready to perish for want of it) and imployed it (together with such Part of the 400,000 Pounds Subsidy, as they have received) to maintain an unnatural Civil War at home. Neither have they used their Fellow-Subjects better than they have done me their King. By their Power, the Law of the Land (your Birth-right) is trampled upon, and instead thereof, they govern my People by Votes and Arbitary Orders. Such as will not submit to their unjust unlimited Power, are imprisoned, plundered, and destroyed. Such as will not pay such Exactions as they require towards this Rebellion, are threatned to be put out of Protection (as they call it) of the Parliament, such as conscientiously remember their Duty and Loyalty to their Sovereign are reviled, persecuted, and declared Traitors, such as do desire to maintain the true Protestant Religion, as it is established by the Laws of the Land, are traduced and called Popish and Superstitious; and on the contrary, such as are known Brownists, Anabaptists, and publick Depravers of the Book of Common Prayer, are countenanced and encouraged. They exact and receive Tonnage and Poundage, and other great Duties upon Merchandizes, not only without Law, but in the Face of an Act of Parliament to the contrary, pass'd this present Parliament, which puts all Men into the Condition of Præmunire, that shall presume so to oppress the People. If you desire to know who are the Contrivers of these wicked Designs, you shall find some of their Names in particular, and their Actions at large in my Declaration of the Twelfth of August (to which I shall refer you): I wish their Craft and Power were not so much, that few of those Copies can come to the View of my good People: since that Time these Men so thirst after the Destruction of this Kingdom, that they have prevailed to make all my Offers of Treaty (which might bring Peace to this Kingdom, and beget a good Understanding between me and my Parliament) fruitless in this Distress into which these Men have brought me, and this Kingdom. My Confiaence is in the Protection of Almight God, and the Affections of my good People: And that you may clearly see what my Resolutions are, I shall cause my voluntary Protestation, lately taken, to be read to you; and I desire that the Sheriffs of these two Counties will dispose Copies of that, and what I now deliver unto you, having no other Way to make it publick, these Men having restrained the Use of my Presses at London, and the Universities.
His Majesty's Speech to the Gentlemen, Freeholders, and other Inhabitants of the Country of Salop at Shrewsbury, the 28th of September 1642.
It is some Benefit to me, from the Insolencies and Misfortunes which have driven me about, that they have brought me to so good a Part of my Kingdom, and to so faithful a Part of my People. I hope neither you nor I shall repent my Coming hither. I will do my Part that you may not, and of you I was confident before I came. The Residence of an Army is not usually pleasant to any Place; and mine may carry more Fear with it, since it may be thought, being robbed and spoiled of all my own, and such Terror used to fright and keep all Men from Supplying me, I must only live upon the Aid and Relief of my People. But be not afraid; I would to God my poor Subjects suffered no more by the Insolence and Violence of that Army raised against me (tho' they have made themselves wanton even with Plenty) than you shall do by mine; and yet I fear I cannot prevent all Disorders. I will do my Best: and this I'll promise you; No Man shall be a Loser by me, if I can help it.
I have sent hither for a Mint; I will melt down all my own Plate, and expose all my Land to Sale or Mortgage, that, if it be possible, I may bring the less Pressure on you. In the mean Time, I have summon'd you hither to invite you to do that for me, and your selves, for the Maintenance of your Religion and the Laws of the Land, by which you enjoy all that you have, which other Men do against us. Do not suffer so good a Cause to be lost, for want of supplying me with That with will be taken from you by those who pursue me with this Violence. And whilst these ill Men sacrifice their Money, Plate, and utmost Industry to destroy the Commonwealth, be you no less liberal to preserve it. Assure your selves, if it please God to bless me with Success, I shall remember the Assistance every particular Man here gives me, to his Advantage. However, it will hereafter (how furiously soever the Minds of Men are now possessed) be Honour and Comfort to you, That, with some Charge and Trouble to your selves, you did your Part to support your King, and preserve the Kingdom.
I desire Mr. Sheriff, and the Rest of the Gentlemen, to distribute themselves, in that Method that they may best receive the Expressions which you shall make of your Affections; the Which I will have particularly represented to me.
But in the mean Time, whilst the King was making this Progress, the Earl of Essex being on his March with his Army towards Worcester, intending that Place for a Head-Quarter, wherein lay Sir John Biron with the King's Forces; Colonel Richard Brown being at Aulchester with his Regiment of Dragoons, and two Troops of Horse, under the Command of Nathaniel and John Fiennes, moved the General, that with the Addition of some more Horse, he might do Service in lying before the other Part of that City, before the Gross of the Army could come up, and both prevent Supplies from going into the Town, and hinder those Forces that were already in it, from getting out: So Colonel Sandys's Regiment of Horse, and three other Troops, were joined with him, who possessed themselves of a Bridge at Powick over the River Team, about a Mile and an Half from Worcester, and drew up his Horse in a Green on the Left-hand of the River, where they stay'd all Night, and most Part of the next Day: But in the mean Time Sir John Biron had sent for Prince Rupert with a good Body of Horse. And on Friday September 22, about Four a Clock, Colonel Sandys being informed that the King's Forces were come out of the City, was eager to fight, but Captain Nathaniel Fiennes and Captain Wingate desired a Party might first be sent out to discover whether any Supplies were come to Sir John Biron, and in what Posture they stood. Whereupon a Party was sent out, but before they returned, Colonel Sandys advanced speedily, and march'd through a narrow Lane, where but Four could go a breast, till they came to the lower Part of a Field, in the upper Part whereof Prince Rupert, Sir Lewis Dives &c. with their Troops, were drawn up in a ready Posture to fight, who, before all the first five Troops of the Parliaments Horse could be drawn up in Order (their other Troops not being come through the narrow Lane) advanced with speed, and both Sides discharged their Carabines and Pistols, and presently fell to Point of Sword, where Colonel Sandys's Cornet was kill'd, and himself mortally wounded, Major Douglas slain, and four Colours of the Parliaments Forces taken, and the Party being over-powered, were put to a disorderly Retreat to Powick-bridge, which Colonel Brown, with a Party of Dragoons, made good till his Forces got over it, and many of Prince Rupert's Men were slain in striving to gain that Pass to pursue them. Sandys and Douglas fought stoutly, but lost their Lives; and of the Parliament's Forces there were slain and taken about Thirty, as was reported the next day at Worcester.
The Prince, by beating of these Forces, had opened a clear Passage for the King's Forces to go from the City of Worcester which, upon the Advance of Essex's whole Army, the next Morning, they thought fit to do, and betook themselves to the King, who was now going into Wales, as aforesaid.
The Bearer hereof will, with all the Circumstances, tell your Majesty our Proceedings at Worcester, I shall only say this, That upon your Majesty's Commands to succour the Town, we went thither with our Forces, and found the Rebels on both Sides of it; no Ammunition, nor any Thing fitting to entertain so great a Force as the Lord of Essex would have brought that Night; but all Things in so great a Disorder, that certainly we had all been lost, had we not by a great Chance met with Ten Troops of their Horse, and Five of their Dragooners, which we did intirely rout, and killed most of their chiefest Officers. The Manner and the Names I leave for the Bearer to tell you. Your Majesty will be pleased to accept this as a Beginning of your Officers and my Duty, and I doubt not, as (certainly) they behaved themselves all bravely and gallantly, that hereafter your Majesty shall find the same Behaviour against a more considerable Number. Of this your Majesty may be very confident; as also of the Endeavours of, Sir,
The Lords and Commons in Parliament do conceive and find it necessary that a Thousand Dragoons, with some Troops of Horse, should be raised speedily, and be set forth for the Suppressing of the malignant Party in Lancashire, and such other Parts as my Lord General shall appoint, for protesting the well-affected People, and preventing of foreign Power from Landing, that it will not only be taken and resented by the House for an acceptable Service in a Time of great Need, if any the well-affected and disposed Persons of the City of London, shall advance the Sum of Sixteen thousand Pounds, for setting forth of such a Power; but do declare, That such Advancers shall have the Publick Faith for the Repayment of such Money so to be advanced, with Interest, after Eight Pounds per Cent. and also shall be taken into consideration by the House, for a Recompense of their so forward and pious an Act, in a Time of so great Necessity and Danger.