Historical Collections of Private Passages of State: Volume 5, 1642-45. Originally published by D Browne, London, 1721.
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A Speech spoken at the Council Table at Oxford, by the Right Honourable John Earl of Bristol, in favour of the Continuation of the War, Febr. 1642/3.
I Know you do expect I should deliver my Opinion in the present Affair, which, how much more Weighty it is, so much more timorous am I to discover mine Opinion in it, left some should imagine my Vote to arrogate to it self a definitive Power, and look to pass without any Contradiction. But I disclaim all such haughty Intentions, and shall plainly, and according to my Conscience, give in my true Verdict of the Affair in agitation, namely, Whether it were better for the Honour and Safety of his Majesty, and the Good of his Kingdoms, to continue the present War, or to acquire and endeavour a sudden Peace betwixt his Majesty and his Court of Parliament.
We are, my Lords, the Physicians that ought to discourse of the Diseases of the Commonwealth, and by the gentlest and wholsomest Remedies our Art can invent, labour her sudden Cure: But yet, we ought to take heed that the Cure be not worse than the Disease; that while we strive to compose the Differences which are but contingent to us, we pull not upon our selves and our Families certain, and not to be avoided, Ruines. Charity begins at home, says the Proverb; and in Wisdom we are ingaged to provide, that by the Purchase of the publick Peace, we do not entail upon our Posterities the Cruellest of all Wars; the Wars which our Children and their Defendants must have with Want and Penury, the greatest and most depressing Enemy that can manage Arms Against noble and generous Minds; and to that Exigent must we betray Them for the Future, and our Selves for the Present, if we yield to, or determine of a Peace. The Parliament have declared divers of the Greatest and most Eminentest in Nobility among us, Delinquents, in the highest Nature, to the Commonwealth; have proscribed our Persons, and adjudged our Estates no longer ours, but forfeited to the Commonwealth, and so have taken Order for the Receiving and Securring our Revenues into such Hands as shall dispose them according to their Intentions; and without this Condition be ratified, it is most probably imagined, they will hardly be drawn to an Accommodation for Peace. In what State them will our Fortunes stand? In what deplorable Condition shall we leave our Children? Heirs only to their Parents Loyalties; not to their Lands.
We shall justly verify that Sentence, Escaping a Quicksand, we shall fall upon a Rock that will split us; Out of one Evil into a Worse; that Condition of Peace being incompatible with our Existences. But grant that this Article were removed out of the Propositions, as the Case stands, my Lords, I cannot (tho' I love Peace, and pray for it with all my Heart) see which Way his Majesty can condescend to it with his Honour. It is fit for a King to beg Peace of his Subjects? For the regal Authority, the immediate Figure of Heaven, and the Deity on Earth, to descend from its supream Height, and, as it were, to derive its Power from a subordinate Power derived from its Bounty? That were to invert and vitiate the Course of Nature, to inforce the Cause to give place to its Effect; the Sun to acknowledge his all-quickning Heat and Light, emergent from the terrestrial Fires, created (as it were) and issuing from his Influence. In Spain (where, the long Time I resided there as Ambassador, afforded me Priviledge to be well acquainted with the State of that Kingdom) in no Age or Record can scarcely be found Mention of Intestine or Civil Wars, till these very Years, wherein all the World labours with Diffention: The Reason is, Because they are truly Subjects, and their Sovereign truly a Sovreign. And since the State here will neither be so to the King, nor suffer the King to be so to them; my Reason tells me, they should be compel'd to it. It is no Dishonour for Subjects to condescend to any Propositions to their King; but it is an excessive Declension and Diminution to his Majesty's Royalty, to submit himself to his Subjects: Fuisse fœlicem mserrimum est. My Opinion therefore is, (with all Humility to his Majesty) That He neither propound to the Parliament, or receive from them any Conditions for Peace, but such as shall absolutely comply with the Regal Dignity and Prerogative, (which God and Succession hath allowed him) and such as may be no way prejudicial to us or our Estates, his Majesty's most faithful Servants and Counsellors. We have an Army on foot, a braver the Sun never shone on: An Army, that, by Force, can compel That which fair Words cannot effect; and since Emori per virtutem præstat, quam per dedecus vivere, let us resolve, always submitting to his Majesty's Judgment, to go on cheerfully in these Wars, which, tho' they be rough and churlish Parents, will, at the Last, bring forth that mild and gentle Off-spring, Peace, and we shall enjoy that with Honour and Safety, which otherwise with Disgrace and Detriment we shall be inforced to abandon.
The Earl of Dorset's Speech for a speedy Accommodation with the Parliament.
The Earl of Bristol has delivered his Opinion, and I shall with the like Integrity, give your Lordships an Account of my Intentions in this great and important Business; I shall not as young Students do in the Schools, argumentandi gratia, repugn my Lord of Bristol's Tenets; but because my Conscience tells me they are not Orthodox, nor consonant to the Disposition of the Commonwealth, which, languishing with a tedious Sickness must be recovered by gentle and easy Medicines, in consideration of its Weakness, rather then by violent Vomits, or any other corroding or compelling Physick. Not that I will absolutely labour to refute my Lord's Opinions, but justly deliver my Own, which being contrary to His, may appear an express Contradiction of it, which indeed it is not: Peace, and that a sudden One, being so necessary betwixt his Majesty and his Parliament, as Light is requisite for the Production of the Day, or Heat to cherish from above all inferior Bodies: This Division betwixt his Majesty and his Parliament, being (as if by Miracle) the Sun should be separated from his proper Essence. I would not, my Lords, be ready to embrace a Peace that should be more disadvantageous to us then the present War, which as the Earl of Bristol says, should destroy our Estates and Families: The Parliament only declares that against Delinquents, such as they conjecture have miscounselled his Majesty, and be the Authors of these Tumults in the Commonwealth; but this Declaration of theirs, except such Crimes can be proved against them, is of no Validity; the Parliament will do nothing unjustly, nor condemn the Innocent; and certainly, innocent Men need not fear to appear before any Judges whatsoever. And he who shall, for any Cause, prefer his private Good before the publick Utility, is but an ill Son of the Commonwealth. For my Particular, in these Wars I have suffered as much as any; my Houses have been search, my Arms taken thence, and my Son and Heir committed to Prison; yet I shall wave these Discourtesies, because I know there was a Necessity they should be so; and as the darling Business of the Kingdom, the Honour and Prosperity of the King, study to reconcile all these Differences between his Majesty and his Parliament; and so to reconcile them, that they shall not way prejudice his Royal Prerogative, of which, I believe the Parliament being a loyal Defender (knowing the Subjects Property dependent on it; for where Sovereigns cannot enjoy their Rights their Subjects cannot) will never endeavour to be an Infringer; so that if Doubts and Jealousies were taken away by a fair Treaty between his Majesty and the Parliament, no doubt a Means might be devised to rectify Differences. The Honour of the King, the Estates of us his Followers and Counsellors, the Priviledges of Parliament, and Property of the Subject, being inviolably preserved in Safety: and neither the King stoop in This to his Subjects, nor the Subjects be deprived of their just Liberty by the King. And whereas my Lord of Bristol affirms, That in Spain very few Civil Dissentions arise, because the Subjects are truly Subjects, and their Sovereign truly a Sovereign; that is, as I understand it, the Subjects are scarcely removed a Degree from Slaves, nor the Sovereign from a Tyrant: Here in England, the Subjects have, by a long and received Liberty granted to their Ancestors from our Kings, made their Freedom result into a second Nature; and neither is it safe for our Kings to strive to introduce the Spanish Government to be inforced upon them; which I am certain his Majesty's Goodness never intended. And whereas my Lord of Bristol intimates the Strength and Bravery of our Army, as an Inducement to the Continuation of these Wars, which he promises himself will produce a fair and happy Peace; in this I am utterly repugnant to his Opinion: For grant that we have an Army of gallant and able Men, which indeed cannot be denied, yet have we infinite Disadvantages on our Side, the Parliament having double our Number, and surely (though our Enemies) Persons of as much Bravery, nay, and sure to be daily supplied when any of their Number fails, a Benefits which we cannot boast, they having the most popular Part of the Kingdom at their Devotion; all, or most of the Cities, considerable Towns and Ports, together with the mainest Pillar of the Kingdoms Safety, the Sea, at their command, and the Navy; and which is most material of all, an unexhausted Indies of Money to pay their Soldiers, out of the liberal Contributions of Coin and Plate sent by People of all Conditions, who account the Parliaments Cause their Cause, and so think themselves engaged to part with the uttermost Penny of their Estates in their Defence, whom they esteem the Patriots of their Liberty. These Strengths of theirs, and our Defects considered, I conclude it necessary, for all our Safeties, and the Good of the afflicted Commonwealth, humbly to beseech his Majesty to take some present Order for a Treaty of Peace betwixt himself and his high Court of Parliament, who, I believe, are so loyal and obedient to his Sacred Majesty, as they will propound nothing that shall be prejudicial to his royal Prerogative, or repugnant to their Fidelity or Duty.
About August 1642, the Lord Shandois having accepted from the Parliament the Charge of being Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire, declining the Same, went about to put in execution his Majesty's Commission of Array, summoning the Gentry to meet his Lordship to that purpose at Cicester, but the Towns-men and Country rose upon him, and he hardly escaped being taken Prisoner by them, his Coach which he left behind him being hewed in Pieces: This did much exasperate the Royal Party against this town, and therefore to secure it, the Deputy Lieutenants appointed a Garrison there.
In the Beginning of January the Lord Marquess of Hartford, with his Welch Regiments, came up from Worcester to Stow, and from thence to Burford, where, finding his Quarters scanty, he repaired to the King at Oxford, advising his Majesty, That unless he might have Contribution and Quarters for his Army in Gloucestershire and Wiltshire, they could not long subsist, and that this could not be till Cicester was reduced; and therefore offered, if he might be assisted with some Horse and Dragoons, to take it. Whereupon Prince Rupert with two Regiments of Horse, and one of Dragoons, and Prince Maurice with all his Horse and Dragoons, were sent to aid him.
On Saturday, Jan. 7. their whole Army being about 6000 Horse and Foot, faced the Town, and summoned it to be delivered, with Promise of his Majesty's free Pardon for all past Offences, and Assurance of Safety for their Persons and Estates; which, if refused, no Mercy might be expected; adding, That they came to vindicate and maintain the King's Rights and Prerogative. To which the Town returned this Answer;
We do heartily acknowledge and profess our selves to be his Majesty's loyal and faithful Subjects, and shall be ever as ready with our Lives and Fortunes to maintain his just rights and Prerogatives, as your selves, or the Best of his Majesty's Subjects; and as we are so, we ought likewise to enjoy his Majesty's Peace, and the just Rights and Liberties of the Subjects of England, according to the Laws of the Land; in defence whereof, and the true Protestant Religion only, we sand to our Arms, and are resolved (with God's Assistance) to defend them with our Estates and Lives.
This Answer being returned, the Marquess staid before the Town till it was dark, and then retreated that Night to quarter in the neighbouring Villages. Next Day they shew'd themselves again, but departed without making any Attempt, only threatned quickly to return again with greater Force.
In their absence the Garrison was encreased, the Town better fortified, 4 great Iron Pieces sent them from Bristol, besides 2 Brass Ones they had before from Gloucester: On Jan. 26, a Party march'd out of the Town to besiege Sudley-Castle, 14 Miles from Cicester, which they took. And whilst they were thus there, on Jan. 30, Prince Rupert Having fetch'd a Compass through Northamptonshire and Warwickshire, appeared before the said Sudley-Castle, and the next day marched towards Cicester, and being reinforced with some Troops from Oxford, and two whole Culverins, besides four small Brass Field-pieces, and two Mortar-pieces, presented themselves before the Town on Thursday Feb. 2, and then divided themselves, his Highness Prince Rupert, and the greatest Part of the Army, drawing near the Town on the West and south Part, and the Earl of Carnarvan and his Troops, and some other Forces, on the East and North Side. About Twelve a-Clock two Regiments of Foot began an Assault on the Barton, a great Farm, which lay not far from the Town Westward, where they were valiantly received by about 100 Musqueteers that lay under the Garden-wall; and between them there continued a brisk Dispute for about two House, but at last the Assailants being gotten quite under the Wall, and having fired some Barns and Ricks of Corn and Hay that lay behind these 100 Musquetiers, so that if they did not presently retreat, they would have no Way to escape, forced them out of that Work, who retiring to the second Work, which was hard by, and being so hotly pursued by the Royalists, as well as by the Fire and Smoke which the Wind drove directly upon them, they, and the Guards of that Fort, without making any Resistance, fled disorderly into the Town, furiously pursued by Prince Rupert's Soldiers; yet those of the Town from the Market-place and Windows held them in Play near an Hour.
In the mean Time the Earl of Carnarvan seeing the Barton sired, and the Works on that Side entred, endeavoured to force his Entrance on the North, but was couragiously opposed by the Townsmen with little Loss, they not yielding till those that came in on the other Side were on their Backs. Thus, about Four a Clock the Town was wholly won, and shooting on each Side ceased. Then they took Prisoners, and all that Night, and the two Days following, imployed themselves in plundering the Place. The Prisoners taken and carried to Oxford, were between 11 and 1200, in an unusual Manner in warlike Actions, being pinion'd two and two together by the Arms, amoung whom were two Ministers, divers Commanders and others of good Account. There were on the Town Side between 20 and 30 kill'd, 5 Pieces of Cannon lost, near 1200 Musquets and other Arms, 14 Colours, and some Ammunition, but not much, for most of it was spent in the Defence.
Whereas Henry Earl of Cumberland, and William Earl of Newcastle, have not only traitorously raised War against the Parliament, but likewise the said Earl of Newcastle, out of a wicked Design to suppress the Protestant Religion, and to advance the Popish Idolatry and Superstition, hat raised and armed a great Number of Papists, and having brought them together in the Body of an Army, the said Earl of Newcastle is become their Head and Captain-General; and further in pursuance of that wicked Design, and for the Terrifying and Destroying of those, who, out of conscience and Duty to God and the Kingdom, should oppose them in the Execution thereof, they have by several Proclamations, that is to say, by one bearing Date the First of December last, under the Name of the said Earl of Cumberland; and another dated the 17th of Janury last, under the Name of the said Earl of Newcastle; falsely, maliciously, and traitorously published Ferdinando Lord Fairfax, Sir Thomas Fairfax, Kt. Sir Edward Loftus, Kt. Sir Matthew Boynton, Kt. And Bart. Sir Henry Fowlis, and Sir Thomas Malleverer, Baronets, Sir Richard Darley, Sir Christopher wray, Sir Henry Anderson, Sir John Savile, Sir Edward Rodes, Sir Hugh Cholmley, Sir Thomas Remington, Sir Thomas Nortlisse, Knights, John Hotham, Thomas Hatcher, William Lister, John Legard of Malon, John Dodsworth, John Wastell, Esquires, William White, John Robinson, Arthur Beckwich, Thomas Robinson, and Thomas Stackdell, Gentlemen, and Divers others, and all their Adherents to be Traitors, the Lords and Commons now assembled in Parliament, do hereby declare, That the said Ferdinando Lord Fairfax is by them, or by Authority derived from them, appointed Captain General of the Forces raised, and to be raised for the Defence of Religion, the Liberty of the Kingdom, and of the Parliament; and whatsoever he or any of the Persons afore-named, or any under him or them, have done by virtue of that Authority, they have done lawfully, and according to that Duty which all good Subjects owe to God, the King, and their Country; and that they shall not their so doing, be maintained by the Power and Authority of Parliament: And they do further authorize and require the said Ferdinando Lord Fairfax, the said Persons afore-named, and all others, to continue and proceed in this so necessary and acceptable a Service, and that all Means may be used for the Suppressing that Army of Papists and Persons Popishly affected, now under the Command of the said Earl of Newcastle, which evidently threatens Ruin and Desolation to our Religion, Laws, and Liberties, and will (if not prevented) make us undergo those Cruelties, Rapines, spoilings, and Murtherings, that our Brethren in Ireland, have suffered by the popish Rebels there, which we must also expect from these, if they be not timely and powerfully resisted: The said Lords and Commons do further declare the said Henry Earl of Cumberland, and William Earl of Newcastle, and all that shall assist them, or either of them, in their Persons, or with Arms, Money, Provision, or otherwise howsoever, to be guilty of High Treason, for raising Arms against the Parliament and Kingdom. And that the said Earl of Newcastle, having made himself Head of a popish Party now in Arms, hath thereby, after a more horrid and detestable Manner, manifested himself to be a Traitor, and an Enemy to all true Religion and Goodness; And therefore the said Lords and Commons do further require and command all Persons of what Estate, Degree, or Quality whatsoever they be, as they tender the Good and Prosperity of the true Protestant Religion by Law established, and Preservation of themselves, their Laws and Liberties, and as they will answer it before Almighty God that they do forthwith wholly and absolutely withdraw themselves from giving any Aid or Assistance to the said Early of Newcastle, or any of the Forces raised by him, or under his Command, and that they fail not to give all ready and cheerful Obedience and Assistance to the Command and Authority of the said Lord Fairfax, so much conducing to the Preservation of Religion, and to the Peace of the County of York, and Weal of the Whole Kingdom, whereunto the Lords and Commons are confident that all Persons which are, or desire to be accounted true Protestants, and rightly affected to God's true Religion, the Peace of the Kingdom, and the Liberty of the Subject, will (to their utmost Endeavours) willingly and resolutely submit, conform, and apply themselves.
A Declaration of his Excellency the Earl of Newcastle,
It is no new Think (tho' it was never so frequent as now) for Incendiaries to accuse Innocents as Disturbers of the publick Tranquillity of the Country. So ugly is the Face of Rebellion when it comes unmasked, without some Cloak or Vizard over it, that even seditious Persons cannot fancy it themselves. The Charge which the Lord Fairfax gives against me in his Declaration, is like that of a Roman against his Fellow Citizen, That he did not receive his whole Weapon into his Body: He was angry that his Neighbour should defend himself; and my Lord, that I should protect his Majesty's good Subjects from his Violence. And tho' a general Accusation might justly be slighted as a Slander, to which by the Laws of this Land, no Man is bound to answer, (since it is not invested with the due Circumstances of Time and Place and Persons) neither is the Lord Fairfax able to bring one particular Instance to make good his general Calumniations; yet, since it proceeds from a Person of his Eminency, I have thought fit, as well for the Vindication of mine own Honour, as for the Confirmation of the Minds of his Majesty's well-affected Subjects in their Loyalty, to repel his Slanders in the Press, as I doubt not, by God's Assistance, to do his Forces in the Field. Yet give me leave to wonder who they are that have such an Influence upon his Lordship's Understanding, as to draw him, in six Lines, to publish to the World, six groundless Aspersions against a Person that hath not deserved ill of him, without the least Provocation.
The First is, That, contrary to the Laws of the Land, I have raised a great Army. I might answer, That the Laws are indeed an excellent Standard and Measure of Justice, so long as they are common to all Parties: But when they become like Spiders Webs, to entangle some, and let through others; when some Men must observe Law, and others will be free from all Law, it is the greatest Partiality, and the falsest Measure in the World. And as our Saviour said to the Pharisees, If I by Beelzebub Cast out Devils, by whom do your Children cast them out? They shall be your Judges: So say I; If I be a Delinquent against the Laws for raising defensive Arms by virtue of his Majesty's Commission, (with whom alone the Power of the Militia is entrusted by God and Man) what is the Lord Fairfax and his Partners for raising offensive rebellious Arms against their Fellow-Subjects, without, nay, against his Majesty's Authority? But he hath appealed to the laws; to the Laws let him go: Let him shew but any one Particle of the known Law, Statute or Common, which I have violated, and I shall lay down my Arms as cheerfully as I took them up. But if this be impossible (as without doubt it is) then cease at length to tell us of Laws in the Clouds, or of Laws written in the Sybils Books, which no Man every read or heard of but your selves. All true English Men will disdain to exchange heir Inheritance, the ancient Laws of this Land, (under which they and their Progenitors have already enjoyed such happy and halcyon Days, and hope still for better from his Majesty's greater Experience and late Acts of Grace) either for a Company of far-fetch'd, dear-bought Principles, drawn without Art or Judgment, by factious and unskillful Persons, out of the Law of Nature or of Nations, as a Lesbian Rule to serve their ambitious Ends; or for arbitrary Government, which knows no Bounds or Limits, but the Will of head-strong discontented Persons. With what Face can these Men name the Laws of the Land? When one of them hath lately told the World in Print, That they are but the Inventions of Men; year, moral Precepts, fitter for Heathens than Christians. In a Word, I raise Arms by the Law, and for the Law, to protect the Laws and Religion established; you, to subvert them both: I raise Arms under his Majesty, for his Majesty; you without him, against him, by virtue of your own Warrants. If it be not so, shew us but one Text, one Statute, nay, but one poor Case or Precedent for your justification. And that you may see I am in earnest, I desire God to vouchsafe his Blessing and Assistance to that Party which stands truly and cordially for the Defence of the known Laws of this Realm, and to deny it to all others.
The second Charge is, That my Army consists of Papists and other Malignants. That I have in my Army some of the Romish Communion, I do not deny; yet, but an handful, in comparison of the whole Body of it; I believe not above One of Fifty; and I wish their Consciences as well satisfied as my own, of the Trust of our Profession: These I admitted for their Loyalty and Abilities, not for their Religion, as was most lawful for me to do; a Course warranted by the Examples both of God and Man, and chalked out to me by themselves; yea, it was a Not higher in them, in a war pretended against Papists, to make use of Papists in Places of great Trust and Command: Nay, do they not still admit all Sorts of Sectaries, Brownists, Anabaptists, Familists, &c. I have demonstrated the Equity of this Course to the World, which they know not how to answer; the Fidelity of the One shall rise up in Judgment against the Rebellion of the Other, and condemn it: Certainly in this particular Service they shew themselves better Friends to the Protestant Religion than the Others. But they are not satisfied to rob me of them, unless they may sweep away all the Rest, under the stale and empty Name of Malignants: I do not much blame them, their intended Work would be more easily atchieved. But let us inquire who, in their Dialect, are these Malignants: are they, who do not willingly part with their Religion, Laws, Liberties, Livelyhoods left them by their Fathers, upon arbitrary Votes? So a Thief may term a true Man a Malignants, because he doth refuse to deliver his Purse upon demand: So the Wolves in their Treaty of Accommodation with the Sheep, desired the Dogs to be delivered up to them as Malignants. Those have hitherto been esteemed malignants Humours in the Body Natural, which being stubborn, rebellious, venomous, are, with difficulty, reduced to their right Temper, either by Strength of Nature, or Skill in Physick; not those which are not easily infected, or distemper'd. This is new Learning, and requires a new Dictionary to warrant it. Before they conclude them malignant, they would do well to prove them to be peccant against any authentick Rule: The Apostle faith, Where there is no Law, there is no Transgression; To accuse boldly, is not sufficient to convince. If a common Adversary did not keep them in a Kind of Herodian Unity for a Time, your Brownists would soon condemn your ordinary Disciplinarians for Malignants, and your Anabaptists again your Brownists, &c.
Thirdly, you charge me to have invaded this County of York. An insolent and presumptuous Challenge. Can the King's Forces be said to make an Invasion in his own Dominions? The second Blow may be said to make the Fray, but it is the First that makes the Invasion. Say, in good earnest, did not your Forces first make Inrodes into the Bishoprick of Durham, under my Charge? Where they had no Pretence of Employment. Did they not rob and plunder sundry of his Majesty's Liege People at Darnton, in such cruel Manner, that the prime Officer of the Town died of Grief within 3 or 4 days? Did they not give an Assault upon Piers-bridge to their Loss? And when I came to chastise these Intruders, Can it be called an Invasion? Neither did I then set Foot into this County, but upon the earnest Solicitation and Intreaty of the prime Nobility and Gentry of Yorkshire, to secure them from your Violence and Oppression. If Protection be Invasion, then this is Invasion. I could nourish little Hopes that these restless Spirits, who could not be bounded within their own Calling, would be contained within the Limits of a County: Or that they would spare me any longer, then until they had fully subdued their Neighbours and Fellow-subjects at home. Neither could I have been ever able to have given an Account to his Sacred Majesty for such an unpardonable Omission, is being armed by his Goodness with sufficient Power to repress such tumultuous Disorders, I should see before mine Eyes his loving and loyal Subjects trampled upon by his and their Enemies, in his Cause, and for his Sake; and whilst they seek to me for Succour, I should be wanting in my Duty to my dread Sove-reign, and my necessary Assistance to them. All this while the Lincolnshire Forces are quite forgotten, they were Brethren, no Invaders.
The fourth Charge ariseth yet higher, For killing and destroying some Numbers of the Religious protestant Subjects. Where did ever my Forces kill one Man who did not take up Arms against us, or was not ready to have kill'd us first if he could? The Weight of guiltless Blood is more heavy than a Mountain; the Stain thereof not to be washed out with all the Water in the Ocean, but only by the Tears of Repentance, and the Blood of Christ. This Weight and Guilt of Blood shall lie heavy upon the Heads of those Men, and of their Seed after them, who have been the Authors and Fomenters of these horrid Distractions, when Peace shall be upon the Head of our Sovereign and his Seed, and his throne for ever. They that take the Sword (without lawful Calling) shall perish by the Sword. And he that sheddeth Man's Blood (without a Commission from the King of Heaven, who only hath original Power over the lives of his Creatures, and no Multitude of Men in the World, collective or representative, whatsoever) by Man shall his Blood be shed. The supreme Magistrate is God's Vicegerent, and beareth not the Sword in vain. But those who presume to use the Sword, and can derive no Power from him, it were meet for them to make their Accounts betimes with God, left they die in the Estate of Murtherers both of themselves and others, both of Soul and Body. It is an easie Thing for an Orator to cast a Mist before the Eyes of vulgar People, and make them a plausible Discourse of the Cause of God, the true Religion, of suppressing Superstition and Idolatry, and setting up the right Worship of the Lord. They had hard Hearts, if they could not afford themselves a good Word. But admitting, not granting, all this to be true (which his most false) Will this Plea yet serve before the Judge of Heaven and Earth? Nothing less. These very Men, and their Predecessors, have taught the contrary, have protested the contrary, have printed the contrary, Ante mot a certamina, before these unhappy Differences began, whilst Men's Eyes were not fascinated with Faction and Prejudice: Then themselves condemned this very Doctrine which now they practice, as Antichristian and Anabaptistical; and their present Practice, which they now defend, as seditious and sinful: this would be truly laid to Heart. And withal, that if the Lord Fairfax and his Friends had been Men of their Words, or performed that Agreement to which Honour and Justice did oblige them, all the Blood which hath been spilled, or shall be shed hereafter in this Cause had been saved; and upon their Score it will be cast in the End, both by God and Man. It would be known who they are, whom emphatically (if not exclusively) he calls Protestants: are they the Successors in Doctrine of those first Reformers in Germany, whom from a Protestation made, they named Protestants? No: What these old Protestants allowed and practiced as lawful and necessary, these new Protestants condemn as superstitious and antichristian. This is beyond the Power of Omnipotency, to make both Parts of a Contradiction to be true; Protestants, whilst they continue the Same, to be no Protestants; and no Protestants to be Protestants. If they do cordially lave the Thing, as they do hug the Name, Why do we not all shake Hands, and become Friends?
And so from murthering their Bodies, he proceeds to starving their Souls; that is, by banishing and imprisoning the zealous Ministers: This is my fifth Charge. I envy no Man's Zeal, but wish them Discretion proportionable to their Devotion. To satisfy their Charge home; First, de Jure, what may be done. It hath even been accounted lawful to bind a phrenetick Man's Hands: Shall it be lawful for these feditious Orators to bring railing Accusations from the Pulpits daily against the Lord's anointed; such as Michael the Arch-angel durst not bring against the Devil, and yet be free from Question? May they prostitute the Ordinance of God to the rebellious Designs of ambitious Men, yet be free from Question? Could these Ambassadors of Peace keep themselves to that Theme, which was bequeath'd to them by the Prince of Peace, they might long enjoy their Benefices and Liberties; yea, with some Connivance to a truly tender Conscience. But when a Man may frequent their Sermons a whole Year, and hear nothing but incentives to War, shedding the Blood of the Ungodly, and joining with others to make a great Sacrifice to the Lord, may not a Man justly say to them, as Queen Elizabeth sometimes to an Ambassador, Hei mihi! vocem Pacis expectavi, cur Belli clamorem audio? Are not these the Men, who, upon the same Grounds, have silenced or imprisoned, or, to use their own Phrase, banished from their Churches so many of our reverend, learned, and worthy Divines throughout the whole Kingdom, to sub-introduce heterodox and contentious Persons in their Rooms? And may no Man say to their Minion, not worthy to fit at the Feet of the other, Domine cur it a facis? Sir, Why do you so? Or shall we once again bring in an Exemption of Church-men privately at the Back-door, which we have publickly thrust out at the Fore-door? Thus you see it might be done, even upon your own Grounds, in Point of Right.
Now for the Matter of Fact, it is as much mistaken as the Right; I have recollected by self, I have inquired of my Secretary, yet can I not find one Minister by me either banished or imprisoned. If any Minister, either before my coming or since, being apprehensive of his own Demerits, or out of a guilty Conscience, without other Compulsion, did forsake his Church, and leave it as the Ostridge doth her Eggs in the Sand, without Care or Provision, you cannot call this Banishment. Or if any of your Ministers have assumed a Plurality of Prosessions, and added the Sword to the Word, if my Officers should meet with him in such a Garb, might they not inquire an hac tunica Filii tui sit, and take him in his second Capacity. Or lastly, if the Justices of this County, who live upon the Place, and do best know seditious Persons, and the just Fears and Dangers of the County, have thought fit to restrain any Man from doing hurt, was I bound to give a Protection or a Supersedeas? When you instance in particular Persons you shall receive particular Satisfaction.
And so from the Body and Soul he descends to the Estate, the last Step of his Accusation, in these Words, And hath besides done infinite Spoil and Waste upon the good Subjects, plundering and taking away their Goods and Cattel, insomuch as in many Places, there are neither Men nor Cattel left to till the Ground. Lord! How these Men are touched to the Quick, when any Man but themselves dare offer to plunder, as if they desired not only the free Trade, but even the Monopoly of plundering to themselves. I know no such Places in this Country as he mentions; if there be any such, without doubt they must needs know the Desolation which themselves have made. But do they think with such Clamours and Outcries to deaf the Ears of Men, and drown the Ejulations of poor People, whom they have harrowed. They have spared no Age, neither the venerable old Man, nor the innocent Child; nor Orders of Men, the long Robe as well as the Short hath felt their Fury. No Sex, not Women, no not Women in Child-bed, whom common Humanity should protect: No Condition, neither Fathers nor Friends. They have spared no Places, the Churches of Christians, which the Heathens durst not violate, are by them prophaned. Their Ornaments have been made either the Supply of them, Necessities, or the Subject of their Scurrilities; their Chalices or Communion Cups (let them call them what they will, so they would hold their Fingers from them) have become the Objects of their Sacriledge; the Badges and Monuments of ancient Gentry in Windows, and Pedigrees have been by them defaced; old Evidence, the Records of private Families, the Pledges of Possessions, the Boundaries of Mens Properties have been by them burned, torn in Pieces, and the Seals trampled under their Feet. Ceilings and Wainscot have been broken in Pieces, Walls demolished, (a Thing which a brave Roman Spirit would scorn to tyrannize over, Walls and Houses.) And all this by a Company of Men crept now at last out of the Bottom of Pandora's Box. The poor Indians found out by Experience, that Gold was the Spaniards God; and the Country finds to their Loss what is the Reformation which these Men seek. At this very Time I am informed they are executing the illegal Order for the Twentieth Part of every Man's Estate in Craven; This would be a sufficient Answer for them, but not a sufficient Plea for me.
Therefore in the second Place, I add, that my Case is clear different from theirs; There may be Treason against the King, there can be none against them. There may be Forfeitures of Estates to the King, none to them. The King may raise Arms and levy a just War; whatsoever they do in that Kind is void by the Law of Nations; whatsoever they shall acquire in such a Course, is not by Right, but a meet Nullity. No Tract of Time can wear away the Unlawfulness of the first Acquisition, but after an Hundred Years Possession, they are still Malœ fidei possessores, possess it with a bad Conscience, and are bound to make Restitution.
Lastly, for Matter of Fact, when I came first into this County, I made publick Declaration against Plundering, (in Print) which I have since endeavoured to observe. Yet that some Men of their Party have suffered in their Estates I do readily grant, that is, either such as have absented themselves, or have refused to pay those Proportions of Money which were imposed upon them by the County. But whatsoever hat been done in that Kind hath been done by the Gentry or the Committees by them named, with as much Moderation as the present Exigence of Affairs would permit, wherein I have rather acted the Part of their Minister, to execute what they resolved, then looked upon that great Trust which his Majesty hath imposed upon me. So I have done with Charge.
The Lord Fairfax requires all Parties to appear, and I command them all upon their Allegiance to stay at Home. They may perhaps come thither without Danger, but the Difficulty will be to get safe back again, sed revocare gradum, hic Labor hoc Opus est, and afterwards to avoid certain Punishment for these tumultuous and rebellious Meetings. It were a more conscionable and discreet Part of them, to repair all as one unanimous Body to their Soveraign's Standard, and drive out these Incendiaries from among them, who have been the true Authors of all the pressing Grievances and Miseries of this County.
Withal, his Lordship talks of driving me and mine Army out of the County; he knows this cannot be done without a Meeting. If it be not a Flourish, but a true Spark of undissembling Gallantry, he may do well to express himself more particularly for Time and Place: This is more conformable to the Examples of our Heroick Ancestors, who used not to spend their Time in scratching one another out of Holes, but in pitched Fields determined their Doubts; this would quickly set a Period to the Sufferings of the People, unless he desire rather to prolong those miserable Distractions, which were begun with Breach of Promise. It were Pity if his Desires lead him this Way, but he should be satisfied: And let the God of Battels determine the Right of our English Laws and Liberties.
Ferdinando Lord Fairfax, General of all the Northern Forces raised, and to be raised for the King and Parliament; To all and singular the Majors, Bailiffs, Aldermen, and other Magistrates, and to the Minister of the Churches within West-Riding in the County of York, and to every of them.
Forasmuch as the Earl of New-castle, contrary to the Lows of the Land, hath raised a great Army of Papists and other Malignants, and with them Invaded this County of York, killing and destroying some Numbers of religious Protestant Subjects, banishing and imprisoning the zealous Ministers, and hath besides done infinite Spoil and Waste upon the good Subjects, plundering and taking away their Goods and Cattel, insomuch as in many Places there are neither Men nor Cattel to till the Ground. These are therefore to desire and command you respectively to cause to be published and proclaimed in all the Churches and Markets of this County, That all Men of able Bodies and well-affected to the Protestant Religion, are required with the best Weapons and Furniture for the War that they have, to assemble, come in, and assist me and the Army under my Command, in expelling and driving away out of this County the said Army of Papists, and common Enemies of the Peace, each Man bringing with him necessary Victual for four Days; only the said Forces thus to be raised to draw down to the several Places of Rendezvous hereafter named, that is, The West-Riding Men to Sherbourn and Abberford; The North Riford-bridge, all of them to be there on Monday night next, and so to march forward as they shall be ordered by Command that shall met them at the Places aforesaid. And for so doing, this shall be your Warrant.
There is come to my Hands a Printed Paper, Entituled, A Declaration of the Earl of Newcastle, wherein he assumes an Intention to answer and vindicate himself from the fix Aspersions pretended to be cast on him in my Warrant, dated Feb. 2. 1642. I must confess there wants no flourish of Art nor Language in the Declaration to deceive an inconsiderate Multitude, though to any judicious Reader, it will rather show that the Earl of Newcastle is galled and angry with the Warrant, then able to clear himself of those just Charges laid upon him in it; so that I might well spare the Pains of replying to it, if I had not a Desire to undeceive the misguided Opinions of that Multitude of which a great Part do either lead or follow his Lordship in the destructive Counsels that have endangered the Ruin of the Religion and flourishing State of this Kingdom: And therefore tho' I want a Press to divulge my Conceptions, yet I shall make use of my Pen to satisfie all impartial Judgments that every Point in the Ground of that Warrant is most evidently true; wherein I shall observe his Lordship's Order, and begin with the Defence of the first and second Charges. That his Lordship hath, contrary to the Laws of the Land, raised a great Army of Papists and other Malignants, I hope no Man is, or ought to be ignorant, that by a special Statute declarative of the Law, it is Enacted, That the free Subjects of England shall not be press'd to serve in the Wars without their own Consent in Parliament: and by Judgment lately passed in Parliament, and executed, it is deem'd to be High-Treason to levy War, or to counsel the King to levy War within this Kingdom, in such manner as the Early of Newcastle hath done: and by sundry other Statutes it is provided, That Recusants shall neither bear Arms, nor be suffered to have them in their Houses, as inconsistent with the Safety and Peace of the Kingdom, and of the Religion therein established; and yet nevertheless the Earl of Newcastle hath, contrary to the known Law of the Land, pressed and constrained the Subjects to serve in this War, and many Extremities have been by his Order up upon those that refused: and he hath raised and armed the Recusants, and with their Forces levied a War in the Land. And all this pretended to be done under Pretence (if any Man hath Faith enough to believe it) for Defence of the Protestant Religion, and the Laws of England.
For the third Charge, That with this Army unlawfully raised, he hath invaded this County, it is too true, and so plain, as his Lordship seeks Colours and Arguments, rather to justifie then to deny it; and therefore I shall not need to say much to justifie the Truth of the Charges, only I shall desire the Reader to observe this, that where his Lordship faith, the King's Forces cannot make Invasion in his own Dominion; it may be justly suspected that the King's Name and Authority in this Particular, are misguided and misapplied, seeing his Majesty hath often and solemnly promised, not to make this County the Seat of a War, and therefore withdrew his own Forces from thence; and this Suspicion receives more Strength by the Earl of Newcastle's frequent Confessions, That he undertook this Invasion upon the earnest Intreaty of some of the Nobility and Gentry of this County.
For the fourth Charge, The Earl of Newcastle doth not deny it, but he indeavours to extenuate the Fact by Allegation, that he hath killed nor destroyed none of the religious Protestant Subjects, but such as take up Arms against him and his Assistants, which are already confess'd by him to be partly Papists, and all now proved to be unlawfully raised and employed, and whosoever will consider the Attempts of that Army at Tadcaster and Bradford, and their Oppressions at Leeds, York, and other Places of the County, where they have practiced all manner of Tyranny upon Mens Persons, and carved what they need or please out of other Mens Estates without Payment, will easily conclude that it is both more Christian like, and more lawful and becoming a loyal English-man, to die in his own Defence, then to suffer both Body and Soul to be inslaved by the Violence and Practice of such Enemies. In this fourth Article, the Earl of Newcastle takes liberty of extravagant Expressions to infuse into the Vulgar Two of his Opinions; First, That I, and those with me, take up Arms without lawful Warrant from the King: Secondly, That if I had performed that Agreement, which he alledgeth! Was bound unto in Honour and Justice all the Blood Spilt in this Cause had been saved. Both the Charges, as most part of the Declaration, seem by the cited Authority, to have more in them of the Jesuit then of the States-man or Lawyer; for the Earl of Newcastle cannot be ignorant, that I and those assisting me, act nothing which is not warranted, and directed by the King's greatest and most infallible Councel, the Parliament, by whose Advice the King either is, or ought to be ruled, and by whose powerful and prudent Counsels and Assistance, this Monarchy hath been supported for many hundreds of Years, and my Prayers are that it may so subsist to the Worlds end. And for the Second, it is now unknown to all Men curious to know the Truth, that tho' the Agreement which the Earl of New-castle seems to point at, was not concluded according to the Instructions given by me, yet for a voiding of Blood I observed it in all Points, until the adverse Party had infringed it in Four several material Branches, (which by divers Letters I represented to them) tho' I never could obtain Reparation, and until my own House grew unsafe for me, the adverse Party sending me menacing Letters, and demanding Restitution of Prisoners, as if no Agreement at all had been made: So that I cannot conceive how it should be thought that I broke the Agreement, unless my Lord of New castle would have me tied to perform all Covenants, and allow the adverse Party a Popish Dispensation, giving them liberty to violate all, and be tied to no Bonds nor Agreements.
And in this Place I may properly take Opportunity to tell the Reader, that four or five Days before the making of that Agreement, Sir John Savile coming to meet me at Leeds, to view and order the Train'd Bands according to the Ordinance of Parliament, and bringing some few of his Tenants and Neighbours with him to shew their Arms, they were laid in wait for, and set upon by the Troops commanded by Sir Thomas Glemham and Sir John Goodrick, and other Forces, who slew three of the Company, and made Sir John Savile and all the rest Prisoners: And this was the first guiltless Blood shed in this County since the King left these Parts, and at whose Hands it will be required the World may judge.
For the fifth Charge excepted against by the Earl of New-castle, the Goals at York and Pomfret can witness with me, that I have not wrong'd his Lordship; for in them he hath imprisoned the Ministers of Knaresborough, Newton, Beningborough, Edlington, and sundry other Places; and he hath banished from their Cures Mr. Carter the Minister of Ayworth, Mr. Tod of the New Church of Leeds, Mr. Nolson of Holebeck, Mr. Hawkesworth of Hunslet, Mr. Headcoat of Ardsley, and the Ministers of sundry other Places, being all of them Men of blameless Doctrine and Conversation, and allowed by God and Man to hold their Cures; and then what Authority the Earl or Newcastle hath to imprison or drive them from it, is to me unknown.
The sixth Charge, touching Plunders done by his Men, he doth not deny, but takes no notice of the Particulars, which indeed are infinite: but he spends much labour to asperse me with the same Crime, of which I am confident the Country will acquit me, who know full well how I detest such Tyranny, and how careful I have been to suppress the Insolence of the Soldiers that way, and to cause Reparation where I found any such Acts have been done by the Forces really under my command; and I wish the Earl of New-Castle would do the like, that so all Mens Purses that are filled by such unjust Gains, might be left as empty as when they began to practice those detestable Courses.
And therefore without following the Rules of Amadis de Gaule, or the Knight of the Sun, which the Language of the Declaration seems to affect in appointing pitch'd Battels, I should most willingly design both Time and Place to decide the Controversy in a fair Field, if the Sufferings of the County could be determined in one Day, or if the Adversaries could be constrained to observe my Appointments. But both these being either impossible or improbable, all I can say in answer of the Conclusion is, that wheresoever I find an Opportunity to offer Battel to his Lordship, I shall take it for a great Honour that I may do him that Service; and I hope all Men that have observed the Resolution of my Army at Tadcaster and Leeds, will easily believe me.
An ordinance of the Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament, exhorting all his Majesty's good Subjects in the Kingdom of England and Dominion of Wales, to the duty of Repentance, as the only Remedy for their present Calamities, Feb. 15. 1642/3.
That flourishing Kingdom have been ruin'd by impenitent going on in a Course of Sinning, the sacred Story doth plainly tell us; and how neer to such a Ruin our sinful Nation now is, the present lamentable Face of it doth too apparently shew. And though we should feel the heavy Stroaks of God, yet seven times more, it is our Duty to accept the Punishment of our Iniquity, and to say, Righteous art thou, O Lord, and just are thy Judgments.
Yet because the Lord who is just, is also merciful, and in his infinite Mercy hath left the excellent and successful Remedy of Repentance to Nations brought near to the Gates of Destruction and Despair, O let not England be negligent in the Application of it. Humble Addresses of a penitent People to a merciful God have prevailed with him. They prevailed for Nineveh when the Sentence seemed to be gone out against her, and may also prevail for England.
It is therefore thought most necessary by the Lords and Commons in Parliament, That all his Majesty's Subjects in this kingdom of England, be excited and stirred up speedily to lay hold upon this only and unfailing Remedy of Repentance; freely acknowledging, and heartily bewailing, even with deepest Humiliation, godly Sorrow, and Detestation, secretly and in Families, but especially publickly in Congregations, both their own personal Sins, and chiefly those Sins that are and have been the Sins of this Nation: A Confession of National Sins being most agreeable to the National Judgments under which the Land groans, and most likely to be effectual for the removing of them.
Neither ought this Confession to be slight or light when there is so heavy a Weight of Sins, infinite in Number, and heinous in Nature, and heinous in Nature, that lies upon this Nation. Such are the high Contempt of God's holy Ordinances, and of Holiness it self: Gross and affected Ignorance under the glorious Light of the Gospel clearly shining among us; Unfruitfulness under the precious Means of Grace; Ingratitude for Mercies, Incorrigibleness under Judgments, Multitudes of Oaths and Blasphemies; wicked Prophanations of the Lord's Day, by Sports and Gamings, formerly encouraged even by Authority; All sort of Uncleanness; Luxury and Excess in Eating and Drinking; Vanity, Pride, and Prodigality in Apparel; Envy, Contention, and unnatural Division; Oppression, Fraud, and Violence. From divers of which Sins, and many other, not one Person throughout the whole Nation can say that he is wholly free; but all must confess that they have contributed toward the great Stock of National Sins, and so have increased the Treasure of Wrath against the Days of Wrath; and therefore since, according to the Language of the Holy Ghost, we are a sinful Nation, a People laden with Iniquity, and that from the Sole of the Foot to the Head, there is no Soundness in us, we may justly expect the Desolations that are denounced against so great and general a Corruption.
And as it is our Duty to humble ourselves, and to give Glory to God, the Searcher of all Hearts, by confessing all Sins: So ought we to be affected and humbl'd with deepest sense of Sorrow, for those mostcrying Sins which now we find, by too sad Experience, to have a more immediate Influence upon the Destruction of a Kingdom; some of which are Idolarry and Bloodshed.
That of Idolatry, as it was the Sin of our Ancestors, so it is the spreading Sin of these Latter Times, while by a general Connivance, and almost Poleration, it hath been several Ways fomented and encouraged: The grievous Effects whereof this Kingdom of England now begins to feel, from Multitudes of armed Papists and their Abettors; and the Kingdom of Ireland far more heavily hath felt, being brought almost to utter Ruin, by the intestine Wars of Romish Idolaters.
And for the other crying and cruel Sin of Bloodshed, that calls aloud for Vengeance (besides many Murders not expiated, and the blood-guilty pardon'd) did it not go hand in hand with that a bominable Idol of the Mass in the Days of Queen Mary, and some of her Predecessors, when many hundreds of the dear Martyrs and Sainst of God lost their precious Lives in Flames and Prisons? And tho' several Acts by which that innocent Blood was shed, have been repealed by Parliament, yet to this very Day was never ordained such a solemn publick and national Acknowledgment of this Sin, as might appease the Wrath of that jealous God, against whom, and against whose People, with so high a Hand it was committed.
Now that all the Sin and Misery of this polluted and afflicted Nation may be bitterly sorrow'd for, with such Grief of Heart, and Preparedness for a thorough Reformation, as God may be pleased graciously to accept; it is requir'd and ordain'd by the Lords and Commons in Parliament, That every Minister and Preacher of God's Word in the Kingdom of England and Dominion of Wales, in their several Auditories and Congregations, especially upon the Fast-days, shall most earnestly perswade and inculcate the constant Practice of this public Acknowledgment and deep Humiliation for these, and all our National and crying Sins; and likewise the Necessity of a Personal and National Reformation, and shall publish this Ordinance concerning the same; that so at length we may obtain a firm and happy Peace, both with God and Man, that Glory may dwell in our Land, and the Prosperity of the Gospel, with all the Priviledges accompany it, may crown this Nation unto all succeeding Ages.
Ordered by the Lords and Commons in Parliament assembled, That this Ordinance be forthwith printed and published, and read in all parish churches and Chappels throughout the Kingdom of England and Dominion of Wales, by the Parsons, Vicars, and Curates of the same.
His Majesty's Proclamation, forbidding all his loving Subjects of the Counties of Kent, Surry, Sussex, and Hampshire, to raise any Forces without his Majesty's Consent,
Whereas we have been informed of certain Propositions agreed upon by some seditious Persons of our several Counties of Kent, Surry, Sussex, and Hampshire, for an Association betwixt the said Counties, to raise an Army of 3000 Foot and 300 Horse, and great Sums of Money for the Maintenance thereof; and an Invitation to our good Subjects of those Counties; to enter into a Protestation to assist them in this odious and unnatural Rebellion: We do hereby declare for the Satisfaction of all our loving Subjects of those Counties, and that they may not be seduced from their Obedience by the Cunning and Subtilty of those Men, That the Entry into such an Association and Protestation, and raising of Men or contributing Money upon the same, is an Act of High-Treason, and an Endeavour to take away our Life from us; And we do therefore straitly charge and command all our loving Subjects whatsoever, upon their Allegiance, not to enter into any such Association or Protestation, and such, as by Colour of such Authority have assembled together, that they immediately disband and repair to their Houses. And we do once more renew our Offer of a free and gracious Pardon to all our Subjects of our said Four several Counties, excepting those whom we before expected in our several Proclamations concerning those our Counties, against all which we shall proceed according to the Rules of the Law, as against Persons guilty of High-Treason, and whom we do hereby require all our Officers and Ministers of Justice, and all our loving Subjects whatsoever, to apprehend and cause to be kept in safe Custody. And our express Pleasure is, and we do hereby will and command all the several Tenants of the Persons excepted in our Proclamation for those four Counties of Kent, Surry, Sussex, and Hampshire, and all other Persons who are any ways indebted unto them, and all the Tenants to any other Person of any the said Counties, who is now in actual and open Rebellion against us, or who after the Publishing of this our Proclamation, shall contribute to the Maintenance of the Armies now in Rebellion against us, under the Conduct of Robert Earl of Essex, or of any other Person or Persons, or that shall join in any such traitorous Association or Protestation, That they forbear to pay any Rents or Debts due to the said several Persons, but detain the same in their Hands towards the Maintenance of the Peace of the Counties, and the Reparation of such Men who have suffered by the Violence of the others. And if any Soldier or Soldiers now under Command against us in either of our said four Counties, shall within six Days after the publishing of this Proclamation, apprehend and bring before us, or any Officers of our Army, or any other our Minister of Justice, so that the Person apprehended be kept in safe Custody, the Bodies of any of the Persons so excepted by us, or of any of the Commanders or Officers now in Rebellion against us in any of the said four Counties, such Soldier or Soldiers, besides their Pardons, shall receive such liberal Rewards by Pensions, or otherwise, as their several Services in respect of the Qualities of the Persons of apprehended shall deserve. And if any Commander or Officer (except the Persons so excepted) now in Rebellion against us, in any of the said four Counties shall within Five Days after this our Proclamation published, being convinced in his Conscience of his damnable Offence against God and us, in assisting convinced in his Conscience of his damnable Offence against God and us, in assisting this odious Rebellion, return to his Allegiance and repair to our Army, and commit to hostile Act in the mean time against us, we shall not only pardon him, but so far imply him as his Quality and Demeanour shall deserve. And we do hereby require all our loving Subjects, of what Degree or Quality soever, within our said four several Counties, upon their Allegiance, and as they tender the Cause of God, the Protestant Religion being invaded and threatned to be rooted up by the Anabaptists, Brownists, and Atheists, of us, and our Posterity (our Life being sought after by this Rebellion) and of themselves (the Law and Liberty of the Subject being in apparent hazard to be subjected to any arbitrary laws Power, of a few schismatical, factious and ambitious Persons) to assist us in Person, or with the Loan of Money, Plate and Horses in this our great Necessity. And having said thus much out of our tender Regard of our Subjects of those our Counties, if they shall henceforward be guilty of the Premisses, and shall either by Loan or Contribution assist the said Army of Rebels, assemble or muster themselves in Arms without Authority derived from us under our Hand, or shall enter into any Oath of Association for Opposing us and our Army, and so compel us to send Part of our Forces thither to reduce them to their Obedience, they must answer the Miseries that must follow, to God and their Country. And our Pleasure is, that this our Proclamation be read in all the Parish Churches and Chappels in the said four several Counties.
The Desire and Advice of the Lords and Commons in Parliament to his Majesty,
The Lords and Commons in parliament humbly shew, That your Majesty's Justices, and other Liege People, who are or shall be summoned, or have other Cause to attend at the next Assizes and General Goal-Delivery appointed to be shortly kept in the several Counties of England and Wales, cannot resort thither without great Peril of their Lives and Damage to their Estates, by reason of the present miserable Distraction, and being of Armed Forces in all parts of your Realm. In regard whereof, the Lords and Commons do humbly advise and desire your Majesty to command, That the said Assizes and General Goal Delivery be not holden, as it is appointed, but that the same may be deferred until it shall please God to restore Peace unto your People.
His Majesty hath weighed the Advice and Desire of the Lords and Commons, sent in a Letter to the Lord of Falkland, from the Earl of Manchester, concerning the putting off the General Assizes and Goal-Delivery, throughout the Kingdom: To which his Majesty returns this Answer; That the present bloody Distractions of the Kingdom (which his Majesty hath used all possible means to prevent, and will still, to remove) doth assist his Majesty under no consideration more than of the great Interruption and Stop it makes in the Course and Proceedings of Justice, and the Exception of the Laws, whereby his good Subjects are robbed of the Peace and Security they were born to; and therefore, as much
A Proclamation for the speedy Payment of all such Sums of Money as are due to his Majesty for Customs, or other Duties upon Merchandizes, into his Majesty's Receipt at his City of Oxford.
Whereas great Sums of Money are due to us, as well in our ancient Right, as by several Acts made this Parliament, for Customs, Duties, and Impositions upon Merchandize, which either have not been paid to our Farmers, Officers, or Collectors, or remain still in their Hands, whereby we have not in this our great Necessity the Benefit of our own Revenue: We do hereby Will and Command all our Officers, Farmers, and Collectors, in all and every of our Ports of this Kingdom, who have received any Duties, Customs, or Impositions upon Merchandize due to us, either by any Act of Parliament, or in our ancient Right, since the Beginning of this Parliament, That they forthwith pay all such Sums of Money as remain in their Hands upon any such Receipts, into the Receipt of our Exchequer at our City of Oxford, and at, or into no other Place. And we likewise Will and Command all such Persons who have entered into Bonds, or other Obligations, to any Ministers, Officers, or Collectors of the said Customs, for the Payment of such Duties, That they pay the Same into our said Receipt at our City of Oxford, and at, or into no other Place. And we do hereby promise to save and keep harmless all such Persons from any Penalty or Damage by reason of such Bonds. And we do expect a strict Obedience to these our Commands from all Persons whom it may concern, as they tender our Service, and will answer the contrary at their Peril.
The humble Advice, Petition, and Reasons of the Lands and Commons now assembled in Parliament, to his Majesty, why Part of the Term ought not to be removed to Oxford.
The Lords and Commons having taken into their serious Considerations a Proclamation, dated at Oxon the 27th of December last, for the Adjourning of the Court of Chancery, the Court of Warks and Liveries, the Dutch, of Lancaster, the Court of Requests, the Receipt of his Majesty's Exchequer, and of the First-Fruits and Tenths, from the City of Westminister unto the city of Oxon; and for the Adjourning the Courts of King's Bench, Common Pleas, and Exchequer, unto the Return Crast. Purifications, found it to ten much to the Prejudice of the Commonwealth to remove the said Courts and Receipts to Oxon, where the Body of an Army raised against the Parliament and the Authority thereof now resides; and therefore, in Performance of their Duty and Trust reposed in them by the Kingdom, who they represent, did exhibit their humble Advice and Petition to his Majesty, with the Reasons inducing them thereunto, to revoke the said Proclamation, and with all Humility desire that the said Courts and Receipts might be kept at their several usual Places and Times, and not at Oxon: But his Majesty giving still more Credit to the Suggestions of those wicked and malignant Persons that yet encompass him, then to his highest and most faithful Council, returned his negative Answer, and expressly denied to repeal his Proclamation: Now the Lords and Commons clearly discovering the great Inconveniencies and Mischiefs that necessarily must happen to his Majesty's most faithful and best affected Subjects, in case those Courts and Receipts be removed to Oxon, where such of them as have occasion to attend, cannot with any Safety to their Persons or Estates repair, his Majesty having, in effect, declared all Persons that have contributed any Thing in Aid or Defence of the Parliament and the Priviledge thereof, to be guilty of High Treason; and in pursuance thereof, by the Force and Power of the Army there remaining, having seized upon many of their Persons, where they are detained Prisoners, and some proceeded against as Traitors, having nothing laid to their Charge, but their assisting the Parliament, and opposing that Army raised to destroy it and the Kingdom; and finding that divers, both Judges and others, whose attendance upon the said Courts and Receipts will be necessary, consist of Persons that are Members and Assistants to both Houses of Parliament, whose Presence at this Time cannot be spared; and that if the Records necessary to be used in the said Courts should be removed from the usual Places towards Oxon, in a Time when two Armies are residing near thereabouts, it would endanger the Miscarriage of them, which might ruine many of his Majesty's Subjects, whose Estates depend thereupon, and that so long a Distance between the said Courts of Law and Equity, which have necessary Dependance one upon another, would prove exceeding prejudicial to many; Thought it their Duty, in discharge of the Trust reposed in them by the Commonwealth, as much as in them lieth, to prevent the said Inconveniencies, and therefore do hereby declare and order, That no Judge Minister, or other Person belonging to any of the said Courts or Receipts, shall repair to the said City of Oxon, or do, or execute any Thing belonging to the said Offices and Imployments, but in Places usual for the Doing and Executing thereof; and, That no Member of, or Assistant to any of the two Houses of Parliament, that have any Place, Office, or Employment, about any of the said Courts or Receipts shall presume to depart from their attendance upon the Parliament, without the special Leave of that House whereof they are Members or Assistants, and that no Person shall remove, or cause to be removed, any Records or Writings of any the said Courts or Receipts, to or towards the City of Oxon. And the Lords and Commons do declare, That if any Person shall disobey this Order, they will proceed against them as wilful Contemners of the Authority of Parliament, and Disturbers of the Peace of the Kingdom. And it is further declared and ordered by the said Lords and Commons, That no Judgment, Decree, Order, and Proceedings, whosoever, that shall be given, made, or had, by, or in any of the said Courts or Receipts, out of the usual Places where the said Courts and Receipts have been accustomed to be held and kept, shall bind any Person that shall or may be concerned therein, with his own voluntary Consent: And, That the said Lords and Commons will, by the Authority of both Houses of Parliament, protect and keep indemnified all Judges, Officers, and other Persons from any Damage or Inconvenience, that may or can happen to them for yielding Obedience to this Ordinance.
The Lord Brook having cler'd Warwickshire from any Opposition, resolved to advance to Staffordshire, the other County in his Commission; but understanding that the Lord Chesterfield, with about 300 Men under his Command was at Litchfield, intended first to dislodge them. So he took a Troop of Reformado's, and 400 Foot which he had from London, to whom he added 100 out of Warwick Castle, and 200 out of Coventry, and about 300 of the most forward of the Country that came and offered themselves, a Troop of Horse sent him by Sir John Gell, and 100 Dragoons, in all about 1200 strong; with these, and one Demi-culverin, and some small Drakes, he advanced and came before the Town of Litchfield on Wednesday, March the 1st, and after some hot, but short Service, obliged my Lord Chesterfield to leave the Town, who with his Forces retired to the Close (or Yard belonging to the Minister) a Place, which, by the Strength of Walls and otherwise, was much more defensible; whilst his Soldiers were assaulting this Place, and particularly Chad's Church thereto adjoyning, the Lord Brook being withdrawn into an House to give Directions, as he was looking out of the Window for the purpose, a Masquet-bullet stroke him near the Left-Eye, of which he immediately died; whose Death much enraged his Soldiers; and Sir John Gell supplying his Place, proceeded with all imaginable Vigour in their Attacks upon the Close, and having thrown over many Granado's, and being ready to blow up the Wall, they within demanded Quarter, which was assented to, and the Place yielded, with Store of Arms, Money, &c. and my Lord Chesterfield and his Son, and some other Gentlemen of Condition made Prisoners.
But the Parliaments Forces enjoy'd it not long, for Prince Rupert on the 3d of April having taken Brunningham, (after the Taking of which there was a short Encounter between some of the Horse that went out of the Town, and those of the King's Party, in which the Earl of Denbigh was mortally wounded, and soon after died) the said Prince joining with the late Earl of Northampton's Forces, Col. Hastings, &c. advanced to Litchfield, and, after some Resistance, entred the Town April the 8th, but the Close held out till the 21st of April, and then his Highness having, by a Mine, blown up art of the Wall, they submitted upon Terms, and were allow'd to march out with Bag and Baggage under a Convoy to Coventry.