Historical Collections of Private Passages of State: Volume 5, 1642-45. Originally published by D Browne, London, 1721.
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A Letter from Patrick Earl of Forth, Lord Etterick, and Lord Lieutenant of all his Majesty's Forces, sent by a Drum, and directed to the Commander in Chief, and the Council of War in the City of Bristol.
I Having been informed that lately, at a Council of War, you have condemned to Death Robert Yeomans, late Sheriff of the City of Bristol, who hath his Majesty's Commission for raising a Regiment for his Service, William Yeomans his Brother, George Boucher, and Edward Dacres, all for expressing their Loyalty to his Majesty, and endeavouring his Service, according to their Allegiance; and that you intend to proceed speedily against divers others in the like Manner; do therefore signify unto you, That I intend speedily to put Mr. Stephens, Mr. George, Capt. Huntly, and others, taken in Rebellion against his Majesty at Cirencester, into the same Condition; and do further advertise you, That if you offer by that unjust Judgment to execute any of them you have so condemned, that those now in Custody here, especially Mr. George, Mr. Stephens, and Capt. Huntly, must expect no Favour or Mercy. Given under my Hand at Oxford this 16th of May 1643.
Having received a Writing from your Lordship, wherein it is declared, That upon Information of our late Proceedings against Robert Yeomans, William Yeomans, and others, you intend speedily to put Mr. George Mr. Stephens, Capt. Huntly, and others, into the same Condition: We are well assured, That neither your Lordship, nor any mortal Man, can put them into the same Condition; for whether they live or die, they will always be accounted true and honest Men; faithful to their King and Country; and such, as in a fair and open Way have always prosecuted that Cause, which, in their Judgment, guided by the Judgment of the highest Court, they held the justest; whereas the Conspirators of this City must, both in Life and Death, carry perpetually with them the Brand of Treachery and Conspiracy. And if Robert Yeomans had made use of his Commission in an open Way, he should be put in no worse Condition than others in the like Kind had been. But the Law of Nature amongst all Men, and the Law of Arms amongst all Soldiers, maketh a Difference between open Enemies, and secret Spies and Conspirators; And if you shall not make the like Distinction, we do signify unto you, That we shall not only proceed to the Execution of the Persons already condemned, but also of divers other the Conspirators, unto whom we had some Thoughts of extending Mercy. And do advertise you, That if by any inhumane and unsoldier-like Sentence you shall proceed to the Execution of the Persons by you named, or any other of our Friends in your Custody, that have been taken in a fair and open Way of War, then Sir Walter Pye, Sir William Crosts, Col. Connesby, and divers others taken in open Rebellion and actual War against the King and Kingdom, whom we have here in Custody, must expect no Favour or Mercy. And by God's Blessing upon our just Cause, we have Pawns enough for our Friends Security, without taking in any that have gotten out of our Reach and Power, although divers of yours, of no mean Quality and Condition, have been freely released by us. Given under our Hands this 18th of May, 1643.
Trusty and well-beloved, we greet you well; Whereas we are informed, That by the Power and Authority of certain Factious and Rebellious Persons of that our City of Bristol, divers of our good Subjects, as namely Robert Yeomans, George Boucher, William Yeomans, Edward Dacres, and others of that our City, are imprison'd for preserving their Duty and Loyalty to us, and for refusing to join in, or assist this horrid and odious Rebellion against us; And that the said wicked and traiterous Persons have presumed to condemn the said innocent Men to die, and upon such their Sentence notoriously against the Laws of God and Man, they intend to Execute and Murther our said Subjects; We have thougtht fit to signify to you the Mayor, Aldermen, Sheriffs, and the Rest of the Body of the Council of that our City, That if you suffer this horrid and execrable Murder to be committed upon the Persons aforesaid, and thereby call down the just Judgment of God, and bring perpetual Infamy upon that our City, we shall look upon it, as the most barbarous and inhumane Act that hath been yet committed against us, and upon You as the most desperate Betrayers of Us, and of the Lives and Liberties of your Fellow-Subjects. And we therefore will and command you, not to suffer any Violence to be done upon the Persons aforesaid, but that if any such be attempted against them, you raise all the Power and Strength of that our City of their Rescue. And to that Purpose we command all our good Subjects of that our City to aid and assist you upon their Allegiance, and as they hope for any Grace and Favour at our Hands; and that you and they kill and play all such who shall attempt or endeavour to take away the Lives of our said Subjects; And for so doing this shall be your Warrant, and here of you may not to fail at your utmost Peril. Given at our Court at Oxford the 26th Day of May, 1643.
But this Letter came too late, or at least could not hinder the Execution; for on Tuesday the 30th of May, Mr. Yeomans and Mr. Boucher were brought from the Castle to the main Court of Guard, and there Suffered.
The Queen's Majesty on the 13th of February (old Style) left the Hague, and went to Scheveling, where the embarqued for England, and after a rough and tempestuous Passage, safely landed at Burlington-Key in the East Riding of Yorkshire; In expectation of whose arrival the Earl of Newcastle had drawn his Army that Way for her Safeguard. She brought over with her a Quantity of Arms and Ammunition. And four of the Parliaments Ships riding at the Mouth of Newcastle-Harbour, having notice of her Arrival, weighed Anchor, and came before Burlington into the Bay; and shot at small Vesels that were landing the Ammunition; some of their Bullets reaching into the Town, and near the House where her Majesty lay for her Repose, after so hazardous and troublesome and Voyage, so that she was forced to remove thence to a more secure Lodging behind an Hill.
Soon after her Majesty's Landing, the Lord Fairfax sent the following Letter by Col. Sir William Fairfax, and released Mr. Progers, one of her Majesty's Servants, sometime before taken Prisoner, and sent him along with Sir William; but her Majesty would not accept his Lordship's Offer.
Your Majesty's safe and happy Arrival doth infinitely rejoice the Hearts of all Men, that with and hope, by your Majesty, to procure a speedy Settling of these great Distractions; and that by the powerful Influence of your Majesty's Presence and Mediation with his Majesty, this Kingdom (that hath tasted nothing but War and Misery since your Departure) shall now be restored to the happy Condition of Peace, which, in human Reason is the only Means to make your Majesty and your Posterity beloved and honoured.
Madam, The Parliament (the Scepter by which all the glorious and happy Princess of this Land have governed, and have thereby made themselves honoured at home, and terrible to their Enemies abroad) hath commanded me to serve the King, and (in him) your Majesty, in securing the Peace of these Northern Parts: My highest Ambition and humblest Suit is, That your Majesty (refusing the Attendance and Service of those, who, by the highest Court have been declared Enemies of the Peace and State) would be pleased to admit me, and the Forces with me, to guard your Majesty, wherein I and this Army shall all of us more willingly sacrifice our Lives, than suffer any Danger to invade the Trust reposed in, Madam,
During her Majesty's Residence in the Netherlands, to two Houses apprehending that the might improve her Interest to furnish the King with Arms and Ammunition, sent over Walter Strickland, Esq; as their Agent, who carried over the following Letter and Declaration in the Month of September 1642.
High and Mighty Lords,
Wee are commanded by the Lords and Commons assembled in the Parliament of England, to signify to your Lordships, that they have chosen and appointed the Bearer hereof Walter Strickland, Esq; to repair to your Lordships, and to present to you in their Names, and in the Name of the whole Kingdom, a Declaration, and some Propositions and Desires, very much importing the Maintenance of the Protestant Religion, which is the surest Foundation of the Safety and Prosperity of this Kingdom and your States, and the ancient Amity between us, to the Advantage of both, desiring your Lordships to give Ear to what shall be delivered or propounded to you by the same Mr. Strickland, and to expedite your Answer thereunto, in such Manner as shall stand with your Wisdoms, and the due Respects of the common Good of this State and of your selves, which is the earnest Desire of
We the Lords and Commons in Parliament assembled, taking into serious consideration the Means of composing the great Distempers and Combustions begun in this Kingdom, which threaten the Dustruction and Ruin of it, and of all other Protestant Princes and States, have thought good to make this Declaration to the High and Mighty Lords, the States of the United Provinces, That we understand by a Letter of the Lord Digby's, a Person fled out of this Kingdom for High Treason, that as he often endeavoured by his wicked and malicious Counsels to make Division between his Majesty and the Parliament, and hath been, in great Part, the Cause of that miserable and unnatural War which is made against us by his Majesty, so he hath laboured by all the Means in the United Provinces to provide Arms, Powder, and Ammunition for the Fomenting of that War, and making it more dangerous to this Kingdom; and for this Purpose did address himself to the Prince of Orange, by whose Countenance and Help (as we are informed by the Lord Digby's own Letters) he hath made provision of great Quantities of Ordnance, Powder, Arms and divers other Sorts of warlike Provision.
And we are further informed by credible Advertisement, that the Prince of Orange, in favour of the Lord Digby, and those other wicked Counsellors and Incendiaries, who are joined together in these mischievous Practices against the Peace of this Kingdom, hath not only licensed, but the better to encourage divers Commanders, experienced Officers and Soldiers to resort into this Kingdom in aid of them against the Parliament, hath promised to reserve their Places for them in their Absence, and doth cause other Provision of the same Kind to be made and prepared to be sent over for their Supply, to the great Hurt of this Kingdom, and the Danger of interrupting the most necessary, profitable, and long continued Amity between the two States.
We further desire to let them know, That we cannot believe that this is done by any Authority or Direction from their Lordships, considering the great Help that they have received from this Kingdom, when heretofore they lay under the heavy Oppression of their Princes, and how conducible the Friendship of this Nation (concurring with the Wisdom, Valour, and Industry of their own People) hath been to the Greatness and Power which they now enjoy.
Or that they will forget that our Troubles and Dangers issue from the same Fountain with their own, and that those who are set a Work to undermine Religion and Liberty in the Kingdom, are the same, which, by open Force, did seek to bereave them of both.
It cannot be unknown to that wise State, that it is the Jesuitical Faction here, that hath corrupted the Counsels of our King, the Consciences of a great Part of our Clergy, which hath plotted so many mischievous Designs to destroy the Parliament, and still endeavoureth to divide Ireland from this Kingdom, by a most wicked and cruel Rebellion there, and to divide the King from his Parliament and People here, and by false Slanders and Imputations of Things never done nor intended by us, hath incesed his Majesty, so as that after many bitter Invectives published against us without any just Cause given, he hath now at last resolved to set up his Royal Standard, and draw his Sword for the Destruction and Ruine of his most faithful and obedient People, whom by the Laws and Constitutions of this Kingdom he is bound to preserve and protect.
The Cases and the Fortunes of both Estates being so involved and united, we cannot expect to be hindered by them in our just Defence, or that they will do any Thing to aggravate the Miseries and Troubles of this Kingdom, in the Peace and Happiness where of they have found much Advantage, and by such unfriendly and unseasonable Supplies of our common Enemies, make a Way to their own as well as our Ruine.
We therefore desire they may betimes look into this Mischief, and having searched it to the Bottom, to stop the farther Progress of it, That they will not suffer more Ordnance, Armour, or any other warlike Provision to be brought over to strengthen those, who, as soon as they shall prevail against the Parliament (according to their Principles and Interests by which they are guided) will use that Strength to the Ruine of those from whom they have had it.
We desire they would not send over any of our Country men to further our Destruction, who were sent to them for their Preservation, that they will not anticipate the Spilling of English Blood in an unnatural civil War, which hath been so cheerfully and plentifully hazarded and spent in that just and honourable War by which they have been so long preserved, and to which the Blood of those Persons, and many other Subjects of this Kingdom is still in a Manner dedicated, but rather that they will cashiere and discard from their Employment those that will presume to come over for that Purpose.
And in satisfying these our reasonable and necessary Desires, they shall thereby not only secure us, but themselves; yea, they shall most of all advantage his Majesty, for whose Service those Things are pretended to be done.
The Question between his Majesty and Parliament is not, Whether he shall enjoy the same Prerogative and Power which hath belonged to our former Kings, his Majesty's Royal Predecessors; but, Whether that Prerogative and Power should be employ'd to our Defence, or to our Ruin.
We expect nothing from him but Security and Protection from those mischievous Designs which have been so often multiplied and renewed against us, tho' hitherto (thro' God's Providence) as often frustrated.
It cannot be denied by those who look indifferently on our Proceedings and Affairs, but that it will be more Honour and Wealth, Safety and Greatness to his Majesty in concurring with his Parliament, then in the Course in which he now is: But so unhappy hath his Majesty and the Kingdom been in those who have the greatest Influence upon his Counsels, that they look more upon the Prevailing of their own Party, then upon any those great Advantages, both to his Crown and Royal Person, which he might obtain by joining with his People. And so cunning are those Factors for Popery, in prosecution of their own Aims, that they can put on a counterseit Visage of Honour, Peace, and Greatness upon those Courses and Counsels which have not Truth and Reality, but of Weakness, Dishonour, and Misery to his Majesty and whole Kingdom.
We have lately expressed our earnest Inclinations to that national Love and Amity with the United Provinces, which is nourished and confirmed by so many civil Respects and mutual Interests, as makes it so natural to us, that we have this Parliament, in our humble Petition to his Majesty, desired we might be joined with that State in a more near and strait League and Union; and we cannot but expect some Returns from them of the like Expressions: And that they will be so far from blowing the Fire which begins to kindle amongst us, that they will rather endeavour to quench it by strengthening and encouraging us, who have no other Design but not to be destroyed, and to preserve our Religion, save our selves and the other Reformed Churches of Christendom from the Massacres and Extirpations with which the Principles of the Popish Religion do threaten us and them, which are begun to be acted in Ireland, and in the Hopes, Endeavours, and Intentions of that Party had long since been executed upon us, if the Mercy, Favour, and Blessing of Almighty God had not super abounded, and prevented the Subtilty and Malignity of cruel, wicked, and blood-thirty Men.
Mr. Strickland going over with this Declaration, desired Audience Sept. 8. but the States being taken upon with an Ambassador at the same Time from the King, delay'd him for some Time, and at last he was heard by deputed Commissioners, and the Declaration received, but laid aside, and unanswered, and Strickland received no Countenance amongst them; only the States of the Province of Holland did arrest some Ships laden with Ammunition, that were intended to be sent for England, and stop'd divers Soldiers which otherwise would have been brought over by one Capt. Lloyd; for which the two Houses, by a Declaration, returned the said States of Holland, Thanks, adding That they hoped they would continue the same Care concerning certain Men of War bought and prepared, (as they are informed) in the Name of his Majesty, to be imployed against this Kingdom. And albeit some Ships are ordained for bringing over the Queen, that they will please to take such Care, that under that Pretence no Soldiers or Ammunition be brought over.
This Declaration was presented Octob. 11, 1642, to the said States of the Province of Holland, who declared, That in their Assembly they had already taken such a Resolution, whereby that same Writing shall be satisfied; and thanked Mr. Strickland for the Service he had thereby done the Parliament. And further, the said Lords of Holland did press the States of the Province of Zealand, and in the Beginning of November prevailed with them to join in a compleat Neutrality with his Majesty of Great Britain and his Parliament; which occasioned the States General at length to take more Notice of the Parliaments first mentioned Declaration, and thereunto returned this Answer.
The States General of the United Netherlands having received and examined the Writing delivered up to their Commissaries at the Conference on the 8th of September last, by Mr. Walter Strickland Messenger from the Parliament of England, do declare, That with unexpressible Sorrow, they do understand the Kingdom of England to be in a Combustion, which the Lords the States do believe to have risen from the Weeds of Dissention sowed amongst the People, by the Arts, Practices, and Devices of the close Enemies of England; yet they entertain Hopes that God will so direct the Hearts of his Majesty, and those of the Parliament especially, as that they will rather meditate upon a perfect Union and mutual Correspondence together, than to resolve to kill and ruine one another by domestick Fewds. For the Mediation of which, the Lords the States will gladly be imployed, as soon as ever they shall be able to perceive their Interposition to be profitable and acceptable, as well to the one Side as to the Other; and that by Way of Recompence for the like Offices which the Kings of England have formerly shewed to this State in Times of their Trouble. And for the Preventing of all Kind of Diffidence of this State from either of the Sides, the Lords the States have judged it to be useful expressly to forbid every Body to transport any Weapons or warlike Ammunition, from these Countries into England, even as they will not permit any Officer or Soldiers (who are under the Pay of this State) to accept of any Service there, left we be found to administer the Means whereby his Majesty and the Parliament might mutually damnify each other; wishing rather to be able to administer something for the reciprocal Union of them, as we have formerly expressed; which when once it shall be effected, or that his Majesty and the Parliament shall be united amongst themselves, then the Lords the States will be glad to hear of a more clear Way for the Reunion of a League and Alliance between Great Britain and this State. Thus it is Enacted in the Assembly of the major Part of the said High Lords the States in the Hague, the First Day of November 1642.
But notwithstanding these general Promises, Strickland still made reiterated Complaints of Men, Arms, and Ammunition that were transported; and the Parliament sent over another Declaration, as follows.
We the Lords and States assembled in the Parliament of England, having received with great Comfort and Satisfaction the Answer of the High and Mighty Lords the States General of the United Provinces upon the Declaration presented to them in our Name by Walter Strickland Esq; finding therein many comfortable Demonstrations of their Affection to the Peace and Welfare of this Kingdom, and a very tender Feeling of our Troubles, and of their Care and Resolution to hinder the Transporting of Forces, Ammunition, or Arms which might feed and encrease the unhappy Divisions and Distractions whereby this Nation is most miserably torn and divided; which we have accepted very thankfully, and with great joy, as a Means of our present Preservation, and an Help to an Establishing of a happy Peace betwixt his Majesty and his most faithful Subjects, and to the Confirmation of a nearer and more advantagious Union between this Kingdom and that State, to the Preservation of the reformed Religion, and Deliverance of many oppressed Princes and States against the common (both their and our) Enemies. But this Hope and this Content is much diminished by our continual finding to the contrary, Forces, Ammunition, and Arms sent over from the same Quarters, which are imployed against us; and through the certain Advertisements of the continual Preparations and Endeavours of some Traitors, which being fled out of this Kingdom, keep now their Residence in the United Provinces, to take care and provide, that a great Quantity of Money, and all other warlike Ammunition and Provisions might be sent over from those Quarters against the Parliament, and the Subjects of this Kingdom. And in particular, That Col. Goring, Capt. Byron, Sir Francis Mackworth, Captain Bret. and Capt. Windham, with some Hundreds of Soldiers, being in Pay of that State, have been already and lately embarked, or lie ready to go from some of their Harbours for Newcastle, to join with the Army of Papists, and other malignant Persons in the North Quarters of this Kingdom against the Parliament, and to the Subversion of the Protestant Religion here, which hatch much encouraged that Party, and hardned his Majesty to adhere yet to those ill Counsellors which have been the Authors of these publick Troules and Miseries of this Kingdom, and to reject our divers humble Requests, That his Majesty would be pleased to return, according to the Laws of the Kingdom, to his Parliament, and that by their Counsel and Advice our Religion and the Laws against wicked Plots and Designs, which have been a long Time on Foot, for the Subversion of both, and still intended, might be secured, which, to bring to pass, we have offered, and are yet still ready, to secure his Majesty's Person, Reputation, or State, as much as can be expected of true Christians and faithful Subjects, which we solemnly profess before Almighty God to be our real Intention, and Long to demonstrate the same in Deed and Effect; and that all that is pretended and published to the contrary, as if we should have intended some Designs, or put in execution the least Thing that might have tended to the Hurt of his Majesty's Person, or Prejudice of his Sovereignty, proceeds form the false and wicked Calumnies of those that are Enemies to the publick Peace. Wherefore we desire that wife and careful State, that they will effectually perform those Promises, and prohibit and hinder the Transporting of Forces, Arms, Moneys, and other warlike Provisions against us; that they will be pleased to receive, with all fit Favour all such Complaints and Informations, which, concerning that Affair, shall be made by Mr. Strickland, and look upon it not only as a Matter of some loving Respect to the Kingdom, but also such a Matter as concerns most highly the Glory of God, the Defence of the Protestant Religion, their own Preservation and Liberty: The which (if we are destroyed) shall not only be deprived of a favourable and profitable Alliance, but also be surrounded with such Enemies, as by the same Rules and Grounds by which they have sought our Ruine and Destruction, will likewise strive by all manner of Means to destroy them also.
This Declaration being dispatch'd by an Express-Pinnace for that purpose, was presented by Mr. Strickland on the 12th of Decemb. to the States, but little Notice was taken of it; whereupon he repeated his Complaints, and particular Notice was taken, That the States had granted to her Majesty such a large and general Passport, as under Colour thereof, never so great Quantities of Arms and Ammunition might be conveyed away, the same running in these Words.
The States General of the United Netherlands, To all Governours, Admirals, Commanders, Colonels, Lieutenants, and Vice-Admirals, Serjeant-Majors, Captains, Officers, and common Soldiers, whether Horse or Foot, by Water or by Land: As also to all Convoy - Masters, Comptroller, Searchers, and to all others being in our Service, and under our Obedience, do send greeting; We do certify, That we have consented and agreed, as by virtue of these Presents we do consent and agree, That her Majesty of Great Britain shall be suffered to pass over Sea, out of these United Provinces into England, with such Ship or Ships as it shall seem most convenient unto her: And that out of and along such Channels of these Countries, either the Texel the Maes, Goree-Gate, or Weiling respectively, even as her Majesty or her Commissioners shall judge fitting, whether whilst her Majesty is on her departure out of these Lands, or afterwards; And this she may do with all her Baggage and Goods of what Kind soever they may be, whether in Whole or in Part, consisting in Sacks, Packs, Chests, Coffers, Cases, or Tuns: With express Charge and Command to the Officers of our Convoys and Licenses, whosoever they may be, and also to all those whom these may any Way concern, That they shall not visit, search, much less open, under what Pretence of Covert soever it may be, any of the said Chests, Coffers, Cases, or Tuns, seeing we have freed and exempted all of them, and that which shall be therein contained, even as we do hereby free and exempt them from all Payment of the Customs of the Country, and further Charges, which upon occasion of the aforesaid Search might be pretended to, or demanded, in so much, that all the said Thins shall pass free without any Impediment, even so as hath been expressed, for this is our earnest Purpose. Thus done in the Hague, on the 22d of January, 1643.
Yet about the Time of her Majesty's Departure (whether by the Importunity of Strickland, or by Means of the States of Holland, that seemed to favour the Parliament, I know not) one of her Ships with Ammunition being stop'd, she seemed very highly to Resent the same, and caused the following Protest to be delivered in to the States.
The Protestation of her Royal Majesty of Great Britain, given in at her Departure from Scheveling, February 15, 1642–3, against the High and Mighty Lords the States General of the United Provinces of the Low Countries.
The Queen of Great Britain (through the Intention that she hath had to preserve the Amity between the King and the Lords States) having omitted to take Notice of many Indignities by which she hath here been provoked, she doth find herself at present so highly offended, that she cannot any longer (with the Honour of the King) abstain from making this complaint, which she doth make to the Lords the States, upon the Order which hath been given to search and arrest a Vessel which she hath freighted and laden with divers Goods belonging to her, for which the Lords States have granted her a Passport: The Queen doth make no Difficulty to avouch the Transporting of Ammunition, as far as it is absolutely necessary for her Safeguard; She hath chosen to furnish herself this Way, rather then by that of asking a License, because of an Order made by the States to hinder the Transporting of Arms and Ammunition for the King, or for the Parliament; which Order the King hath had great Reason to think very partial for the Parliament, parallelling them with him; but the not Observing this Order hath been more offensive to him, especially since the above said Parliament have caused much Ammunition to be transported over, and have bought Vessels, to imploy them against the King. If the Queen hath not demanded a License for the Things that she had need of, it was, not to put the States to so much Trouble, nor to deviate from their Order, nor justly to offend the King, but rather, since all Endeavours of the Queen, and the Precautions to preserve the good Correspondence between the King and the Lords State (which is established by so many Treaties) have produced nothing but a Continuation of Affronts and Prejudice to the King's Service, she is bound to make this Declaration:
Wherefore she doth believe, That the Lords States having better considered on it, will connive for the Departure of her Vessel, with all that it doth carry for her Service, without which the Queen is bound to demonstrate to the Lords States, that this Injustice and Affront, which she shall receive by the Arrest of this Vessel, cannot pass for less then a Violating of the League betwixt the King and the States; the Consequences whereof will be very dangerous: Wherefore she hopes that they will not give such a Cause to the King and Her of such a Displeasure.
The Year 1643 (which was the 19th Year of the Reign of King Charles the First) was a Time of various and important Action: The remarkable Passages I shall, for Method sake, deliver in several Chapters, under these Heads:
- 1. The Treaty at Oxford.
- 2. The Progress of the War afterwards in Battles, Sieges, &c.
- 3. Proclamations, Declarations, Ordinances, and other Civil Occurrences.
- 4. The Coming of the Scots.
- 5. Passages in Ireland to the Time of Cessation.
- 6. And lastly, The Proceedings of the Lords and Commons at Oxford.