Historical Collections of Private Passages of State: Volume 5, 1642-45. Originally published by D Browne, London, 1721.
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The King's Speech to the Inhabitants of Oxfordshire at Oxford, November 2. 1642.
Though you see my Army marching from hence, I do not intend to leave you; my Residence shall be so near, that my Power shall have an Influence upon this Place (of which I will besides take a particular Care) for your Preservation: Therefore fear not to express your Affections to me with that Courage which becomes you. I know how and by whom the Country hath been aw'd; but I hope no Man shall have more Power to fright you from your Loyalty, than I have to restore you to it; and I shall guess by the Evidence of this Day at your Natural Dispositions. In assisting me you defend your selves; for, believe it, the Sword which is now drawn against me, will destroy, if I defend you not. I have and will venture my Life for you; 'twill be a Shame for you to venture nothing: Whatsoever you shall be willing freely to contribute, I will take kindly of you; and whatsoever you shall lend me, I will, on the Word of a King, see justly repaid to you.
I appoint the Sheriff to receive such Money or Plate as you, Gentlemen, shall be willing to assist me with, and to return their Names to me. And you of the Clergy shall repair to Mr. Vice-Chancellor, who shall do the like: And I expect that you should advance this Service throughout the Country, and return your Collections suddenly to me by the Hand of the Sheriff. And I assure you, I shall take especial Notice of such who shall be backward at this Time of so visible Necessity.
Resolved, That it be refer'd to the King's Counsel to consider of some fit Way, and to present it to the House, for a Publication to be made of Rewards to be given to such as shall do Service in this Expedition into Ireland; and for a Pardon of such of the Rebels in Ireland as shall come in by a Time limited; and of a Sun of Money to be appointed for a Reward to such as shall bring in the Heads of such Principal Rebels as shall be nominated; and that a Letter be forthwith sent to the Justices in Ireland, to acquaint them how sensible this House is of the Affairs in Ireland, and what Care they have taken concerning the same.
Resolved, That the Committee for the Affairs of Ireland shall desire the Committee of the Lords to move their House, that the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, do, with all convenient Speed, repair to Ireland.
A Declaration of the Lords and Commons Assembled in Parliament, for the Encouragement of all such Apprentices as have, or shall voluntarily List themselves to go into this present Expedition
Whereas in Times of common Danger and Necessity the Interests of Private Persons ought to give Way to Publick, It is Ordained and Declared by the Lords and Commons in Parliament, That such Apprentices as have been, or shall be Listed to serve as Soldiers, for the Defence of the Religion and Liberty of the Kingdom, his Majesty's Royal Person, the Parliament, and the City of London; their Sureties, and such as stand engaged for them, shall be secured against their Masters, their Executors and Administrators, from all Loss and Inconvenience, by Forfeiture of Bonds, Covenants, Infranchisement, or other Ways. And that after this Publick Service ended, the Masters of such Apprentices shall be commanded and required to receive them again into their Service, without imposing upon them any Punishment, Loss, or Prejudice for their Absence in the Defence of the Commonwealth.
And the Lords and Commons do further declare, That if it shall appear that the Masters of such Apprentices have received any considerable Loss by the Absence of their Apprentices, they will take Care that reasonable Satisfaction shall be made unto them out of the Publick Stock of the Kingdom, according to Justice and Indifferency.
Also on this Day a Declaration passed to be sent to the Subjects of Scotland, wherein the two Houses represent the Dangers they area in, and crave their Assistance: Which Declaration, and all other Proceedings and Negotiations with the Scots, till their coming into England with an Army on the 15th of January, 1643/4, see all together afterwards in the Particular Chapter of that Subject.
A Proclamation of his Majesty's Grace, Favour and Pardon to the Inhabitants of his County of Kent.
Whereas we have taken notice, That by the Malice, Industry and Importunity of several ill-affected and seditious Persons in our County of Kent, very many of our weak and seduced Subjects of that our County have not only been drawn to exercise the Militia, under Colour of a pretended Ordinance, without and against our Consent, a Crime of a very high Nature, if we would strictly inquire thereunto; but have made Contributions of Plate, Money and Horses, towards the Maintenance of the Army now in Rebellion against us; we do hereby publish and declare, That we are graciously pleased to Attribute the Crimes and Offences of our said Subjects of that County, to the Power and Faction of their Seducers, who, we believe, by Threats, Menaces and false Informations, compelled and led them into these Actions of Undutifulness and Disloyalty towards us; and we do therfore hereby offer our free and gracious Pardon to all Inhabitants of our said County of Kent, for all Offences concerning the Premisses committed against us before the publishing of this our Proclamation: (Except Sir Michael Lively Baronet, and Thomas Blount Esq;) against whom we shall proceed according to the Rules of the Law, as against Traitors and Stirrers of Sedition against us, and whom we do require all our Officers and Ministers of Justice, and all our loving Subjects whatsoever, to apprehend, and cause to be kept in safe Custody, 'till our Pleasure be further known. Provided that this our Grace shall not extend to any Person, who after the publishing this our Proclamation, shall pesume by Loan or Contribution to a assist the said Army of Rebels to assemble and muster themselves in Arms without Authority derived from us under our Hand, to enter into any Oath of Association for opposing us and our Army, or to succour or entertain any of the Persons excepted in this our Proclamation, or in our Declaration of the 12th of August; but we must and do declare, That whosoever shall henceforward be guilty of the Premisses, or of either of them, shall be esteemed by us as an Enemy to the Publick Peace, a Person disaffected to us, and to the Religion and Law of the Kingdom, and shall accordingly receive condign Punishment, of which we give them timely Notice, that they may proceed accordingly at their Perils.
And we do hereby will and require our High Sheriff, Commissioners of Array, Justices of the Peace, and all other our Officers and loving Subjects, to resist, oppose and apprehend all such Persons as shall presume to make any Levies in that our County, under what Pretence soever, without Authority derived from us under our Hand; and we likewise will and require them, and evcery of them, to be assistant to all such as shall either command the Trainbands of that our County, or make any Levtes in the same by virtue of Commission under our Great Seal or Sign Manual.
The King intending now to make Oxford his Head-Quarters, Prince Rupert took in the Lord Say's House at Broughton, and made Excursions sometimes pretty near London, which occasioned the Houses to order Essex to draw his Forces near the City for their Safeguard: which he did, and was honourably received at Westminster, Novemb. 7. and presented with a Gratuity of 5000l. and the following Declaration.
A Declaration of the Lords and Commons Assembled in Parliament.
The Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament, having upon mature Deliberation and assured Confidence in the Wisdom, Courage and Fidelity of Robert Earl of Essex, chosen and appointed him Captain-General of the Forces raised by Authority of Parliament, for the Defence of the true Protestant Religion, the King, Parliament, and Kingdom, now in great Danger, do find that the said Earlhath managed this Service of so high Importance, with so much Care, Valour and Dexterity, as well by the extreamest Hazard of his Life, in bloody Battel near Keynton in Wanwickshire, as by all the Actions of most excellent and expert Commander in the whole Course of this Imployment, as doth deserve their best Acknowledgment; And do therefore declare and publish, to the lasting Honour of the said Earl, the great and acceptable Service which he hath herein done to the Commonwealth, and shall be willing and ready upon all Occasions, to express the due Sense which they have of his Merit, by assisting and protecting him, and all others imployed under his Command in this Service, with their Lives and Fortunes, to uttermost of their Power. This to remain upon Record in both Houses of Parliament, for a Mark of Honour to Person, Name and Family, and for a Monument of his singular Vertue to Posterity.
To the Right Honourable the Lord Viscount Faulkland,
I Am commanded by the Lords, the Peers and Commons assembled in Parliament, to Address by you their humble Desires to his Majesty, That he would be pleased to grant his Safe-conduct to a Committee of Lords and Commons to pass and re-pass unto his Majesty, that are directed to attend him with and humble Petition from his Parliament. This being all that I have in Commission, I rest,
To the Right Honourable the Lord Grey of Warke, Speaker of the House of Peers pro tempore.
His majesty hath commanded me, in Answer of your Lordship's of the Third present, to signify unto you, That he always hath been, and is still ready to receive the humble Petition of either or both Houses of Parliament: And shall take Order that a Committee of Lords and Commons may pass and re-pass to him with the Petition of both Houses, as is desired, so as the said Committee consist of Persons that have not been by his Majesty either by Name declared Traitors, or otherwise in some of his Declarations or Proclamations excepted against by Name, with his Intention declared to proceed against them as Traitors. And so as the said Committee come not with more than Thirty Persons in Company, and give Notice before-hand of their coming. And for the said Committees better Security, his Majesty upon the Receipt of their Names, will give a Safe-conduct for them under his Hand and Signet. This being all I have in Command to deliver your Lordship, I humbly rest,
For the Right Honourable the Lord Viscount Faulkland,
I Have received a Command from the Lords and Commons in Parliament, to send you the Names of two Lords, that is to say, Algernon Earl of Northumberland, Philip Earl of Pembrook and Montgomery, and of four Members of the House of Commons, Mr. Pierrepoint, the Lord Wenman, Sir John Evelin of Wiltes, and Sir John Hippisley, being the Committees of both Houses appointed to attend his Majesty, with and humble Petition directed from them to his Majesty, desiring your Lordship will be pleased to move his Majesty to send a Safe-conduct to pass and repass, under his Royal Hand and Signet, for the several Persons afore-mentioned. This being all I have in Commission. I Rest,
To the Right Honourable the Lord Grey of Warke, Speaker of the House of Peers pro tempore.
Your Lordship's Letter of the Fifth of November, I shewed his Majesty, who hath expresly commanded me to return your Lordship his Answer in these Words; That his Majesty hath sent, which I have inclosed, a Safe-conduct under his Royal Hand and Signet for the Earl of Northumberland, the Earl of Pembrook and Montgomery, Mr. Pierrepoint, the Lord Wenman, and Sir John Hippisly, but hath not admitted Sir John Evelin of Wilts to attend him, as being included in the Exception made by his Majesty in the Letter sent by Secretary Nicholas to your Lordship of the Fourth, as by the inclosed Proclamation, proclaimed at his Majesty's Court at Oxford, and sent with a Writ sealed into the County of Wilts, will appear. His Majesty hath likewise commanded me to signifie to your Lordhsip, That in Case the House shall think fit to send any other Person in the place of Sir John Evelin, that is not included in the Exception made in Mr. Secretary's Letter beforementioned, his Majesty hath commanded all his Officers, Soldiers, and other Subjects to suffer him as freely to pass and repass, as if his Name had been particularly comprized in this Safe-conduct. This being all that I have in Commission, I rest,
Our Will and Pleasure is, and we do hereby strictly charge and Command all the Officers and Soldiers of our present Army, and all our Ministers and Subjects whatsoever, to suffer our right trusty and right well-beloved Cosins and Counsellors, Algernon Earl of Northumberland, and Philip Earl of Pembrook and Montgomery, and our right trusty and right well-beloved Cousin Thomas Lord Viscount Wenman, and our trusty and well-beloved William Pierrepoint, Esq; and Sir John Hippisley, Kt. (together with their Attendants, not exceeding the Number of Thirty) to pass and repass to and from us, with a Petition from both our Houses of Parliament. This our Safe-conduct under our Royal Hand and Signet, we Charge and Command them, and every of them, punctually to observe and obey, as they will answer the contrary at their uttermost Perils.
The humble Petition of the Lords and Commons now Assembled in Parliament.
We your Majesty's most loyal Subjects, the Lords and Commons in Parliament Assembled, being affected with a deep and piercing Sense of the Miseries of the Kingdom, and of the Danger to your Majesty's Person, as the present Affairs now stand, and much quickned therein with the sad Consideration of the great Effusion of Blood at the late Battel, and of the Loss of so many eminent Persons; And further weighing the Addition of Loss, Misery, and Danger to your Majesty and your Kingdom, which must ensue if both Armies should again join in another Battel, as without God's especial Blessing, and your Majesty's Concurrence with your Houses of Parliament, will not probably be avoided.
We cannot but believe that a suitable Impression of Tenderness and Compassion is wrought in your Majesty's Royal Heart, being your self and Eye-witness of the bloody and harmful Destruction of so many of your subjects; And that your Majesty doth apprehend what Diminution of your own Power and Greatness will follow; and that all your Kingdoms will thereby be so weakned, as to become subject to the Attempts of any ill-affected to this State. In all which Respects we assure our selves that your Majesty will be inclined graciously to accept this our humble Petition, that the Misery and Desolatio of this Kingdom may be speedily removed and prevented; for the effecting whereof, we most humbly beseech your Majesty to appoint some convenient Place, not far from the City of London, where your Majesty will be pleased to reside, untill Committees of both Houses of Parliament may attend your Majesty with some Propositions for the Removal of these bloody Distempers and Distractions, and settling the State of the Kingdom in such a Manner, as may conduce to the Preservation of God's true Religion, your Majesty's Honour, Safety and Prosperity, and to the Peace, Comfort and Security of all your People.
His Majesty's gracious Answer to the said Petition, delivered to the Committee, Nov. 11. 1642.
We take God to witness how deeply we are affected with the Miseries of this Kingdom, which heretofore we have stroven as much as in us lay to prevent; it being sufficiently known to all the World, That as we were not the first that took up Arms, so we have shewed our Readiness of Composing all Things in a fair Way by our several Offers of Treaty, and shall be glad now at length to find any such Inclinations in others; the same Tenderness to avoid the Destruction of our Subjects (whom we know to be our greatest Strength) which would always make our greatest Victories bitter to us, shall make us willingly hearken to such Propositions whereby these bloody Distemper; may be stopped, and the great Distractions of this Kingdom settled, to God's Glory, our Honour, and the Welfare and Flourishing of our People; And to that End shall reside at our Castle at Windsor (if the Forces there shall be removed) till Committees may have Time to attend us with the same, (which, to prevent the Inconveniencies that will intervene, we wish may be hastned) and shall be ready there, or (if that be refused us) at any Place where we shall be, to receive such Propositions as aforesaid from both Houses of Parliament. Do you your Duty, we will not be wanting to ours; God of his Mercy give a Blessing.
Whereas the last Night, being the Eleventh of November, after the Departure of the Committee of both our Houses, with our Gracious Answer to their Petition, we received certain Information (having 'till then heard nothing of it either from the Houses, Committee, or otherwise) that the Lord of Essex had drawn his Forces out of London towards us, which hath necessitated our suddeen Resolution to march with our Forces to Brainford, we have thought fit hereby to signifie to both our Houses of Parliament, That we are no less desirous of the Peace of the Kingdom, than we express'd in our aforesaid Answer, the Propositions for which we shall willingly receive where-ever we are; and desire (if it may be) to receive them at Brainford this Night, or early to Morrow Morning, that all possible Speed may be made in so good a Work, and all Inconveniencies otherwise likely to intervene, may be avoided.
'Twas generally related, That soon after the Committee of Lords and Commons were departed with the said Answer of the Eleventh, the King's Artillery, with divers Troops of Horse, the same Night advanced forwards thro' the Town of Colebrook towards London, and the Body of his Majesty's Army followed; and taking the Advantage of a Mist in a close and still March, they came undiscovered to Brainford, and beat up the Quarters of Col. Hollis's Regiment, that was quartered there; and tho' that Regiment had been much weakned at Edghill, they made a vigorous and obstinate Defence, many of them being killed, and in all probability most of them would have been cut off, if the Lord Brooks and Col. Hampden's Regiment, who were quartered not far off, had not come in to their Relief, and maintained a fierce and bloody Fight till towards Night, wherein many were slain, divers driven into the River and drowned, and many taken Prisoners; and so at last his Majesty's Forces became Masters of the Town, and plundered it.
When the first News of this unexpected Fight was brought to London, where the Noise of their great Guns was easily heard, the Lord General Essex was sitting in the House of Peers, and with what Strength he could, on such a sudden, call together, advanced towards the Rescue of his engaged Regiments, but Night had parted them. The Parliament forthwith sent a Committee to the City to move them to send out their Train-bands to join with Essex for their own Defence, and accordingly all that Saturday Night the City of London poured out Men towards Brainford, who every Hour were marching to Turnham-Green, where the Rendezvous was; and the Lords and Gentlemen that belonged to the Army were there ready on the Sunday Morning, being the Thirteenth of November.
There was at this Time about 3000 Horse and Foot of Essex's Army quarter'd at Kingston and it was advised, That they should march to Hounsloe, and be on that Side of the King's Army, whilst Essex and his Forces, with those of the City, engaged them in this Side, whereby his Majesty's Army would have been encompassed. But Dalbeir and Sir John Meyrick, and others, alledging they knew not certainly what Forces would come out of London, or whether enough to stop his Majesty's Armies March towards the City, had advised that the said Kingston Forces should march all Night round about by London-Bridge, which was follow'd; so that they came late on Sunday, and much tired to Turnham-Green, where the whole Army was drawn up in Battalia, consisting of above 24000 Men, well accounted and in good Plight, so that in all probability they must have worsted the King's Forces: In order whereunto, the General Essex, and the Lords and others with him, upon Consultation together in the Field, thought fit to command a Party of two Regiments of Horse, and four of Foot, to march about from the Green by Action, and get beyond the King's Army, and upon a Sign when they fell upon them on that Side, then Essex to engage them on this; Accordingly Orders were given, and Hampden's Regiment had the Van next to the Horse, and when they had marched about a Mile, Sir John Meyrick, the Major-General, rode after and recalled them, and so they retreated back again to Turnham-Green, where the Armies stood several Hours facing one another. The Parliament-men and Gentlemen that were Officers, were for engaging, but the Soldiers of Fortune were altogether against it. And whilst they were consulting, the King had drawn off his Carriages and Ordnance, and retreated; upon which was another Debate, whether the Parliament Army should pursue them; but this too was opposed by the old Soldiers: And so the King march'd away over Kingston-Bridge to Oatlands, and from thence afterwards to Colebrook, and so to Reading, and at last to Oxford; and the Citizens marched home to London the same Day. The King a few Days after discharged about 150 Prisoners, being private Soldiers taken at Brainford; but two or three Captains taken there, were carried to Oxford.
Though our Reputation be most dear unto us, and especially in those Cases wherein the Truth of our most solemn Professions, and by Consequence of our Christianity is questioned; yet it is no only for the Vindication of that, and to clear our self from such Aspersions, but withal to preserve our Subjects in their just Esteem of and Duty to us, and from being ingaged into Crimes and Dangers by those malicious Reports so spitefully framed, and cunningly spread against us, concerning our late advancing to Brainford, That we have resolved to publish this our following Declaration.
At Colebrook, on Friday the Eleventh of November, we received a Petition from both our Houses of Parliament by the Earl of Northumberland, the Earl of Pembrook and Montgomery, the Lord Wenman, Mr. Pierrepoint, and Sir John Hippesley, and indeed we were well pleased to see it so much liker to a Petition, than the other Papers we had often of late received under that Name, and returned to it the next Day so gracious an Answer, that we assure our selves could not but be very satisfactory to all that were true Lovers of Peace. The Copies of both do here follow.
But the same Night, after the Messengers were gone, certain Information was brought unto us, that the same Day the Earl of Essex had drawn his Forces, with great Store of Ordnance, out of London towards us; upon which a Council of War being present, and we having there considered, upon Debate, our present Condition, That being already almost surrounded by his Forces, some at Windsor, some at Kingston, and some at Action, if we suffered the Remainder to possess Brainford, we should be totally hemmed in, and our Army deprived of all Conveniency of either moving or subsisting; yet how necessary soever it appeared, we could not obtain our own Consent to advance towards Brainford, and either prepossess it, or dispossess them of it, till we had satisfied our self that it was as lawful as necessary, and fully weighed all that not only Reason but Malice it self (which we know to be very watchful upon our Actions) could object against it.
We considered first, that it could not reasonably be estee'd an Aversion from Peace, and an Intention to interrupt the Treaty then in Expectation; since on the other Side we had cause to believe, by the former Rejection of our Offers of Treaty, when we were supposed to be in no Condition of Strength, that if we would not thus preserve our selves from being so encompassed or to come into their Powers, the very possibility of a Treaty would immediately vanish. We considered next, that much less could it be interpreted any Breach of Faith, since Willingness to receive Propositions of Treaty was never held to amount to a Suspension of Arms; since otherwise, we must (because mention of a Treaty had been once made) by the same Logick have been bound not to hinder them to Encompass us on all Parts to Colebrook Towns-end; since no Word to that Purpose (of any Suspension) was in our Answer; nay, since in that (by wishing their Propositions might be hastned to prevent the Inconveniencies which would intervene) we implied, That by this Arms were not suspended: And since their own Votes of proceeding vigorously, not withstanding the Petition, and their own Actions in sending after their Messengers great Store of Forces, with Ordnance so near to us (having before girt us in on all other Parts, and sent Men and Ordnance to Kingstone, after the Safe conduct asked of us) implyed the same.
Being resolved upon these Reasons, That this Advancing was necessary and just, we were not yet satisfied till we had endeavoured the same Day (tho' the Interruption of Shooting stopp'd up the Way till the next) to satisfie our Parliament and People of the same, and that Peace was still our Desire: We to that End firected a Message by John White, Esq; which was so received, that his Danger of being put to Death for bringing it, and the Imprisonment of him and the Trumpeter that went with him in the Gatehouse shewed that the very Law of Nations was by some no more considered, than all other Laws had been before. A Copy of which Message here follows, to shew how little Temptation the Matter of that gave them for such an Use.
Whereas the last Night, being the Eleventh of November, after the Departure of the Committees of both Houses, with our Gracious Answer to their Petition, we received certain Information, having till then heard nothing of it, either from the Houses, Committees, or otherwise, that the Lord of Essex had drawn his Forces out of London towards us; which hath necessitated our sudden Resolution to march with our Forces to Brainford, we have thought fit hereby to signifie to both our Houses of Parliament, That we are no less desirous of the Peace of the Kingdom then we express'd in our said Answer, the Propositions for which we shall willingly receive, wherever we are; and desire, if it may be, to receive them at Brainford this Night, or early to Morrow Morning, that all possible Speed may be made in so good a Work, and all Inconveniencies otherwise likely to intervene, may be avoided.
And to justifie yet further, that our Intention was no other than was here prosess'd, as soon as we were informed that the Earl of Essex's Forces were departed from Kingstone before any Appearance or futher Notice of further Forces from London, our End of not being inclosed being obtained, we gave Orders to quit Brainford, and to march way, and possess that Place.
We cannot but make one Argument more of the Truth of our Profession that this was all our End, and that we had not the least Thought, by so Advancing, to surprize and sack London, which the malignant Party would infuse in that our City, and that is, that probably God Almighty would not have given such a Blessing to our Journey as to have assisted us so both by Land and Water, as with less than a third Part of our Foot, and with the Loss but of Ten Men, to beat Two of their best Regiments out of both Brainfords, for all the great Advantage of their Works in them, to kill him who commanded in Chief, and to kill and drown many others, to take 500 Prisoners, more Arms, 11 Colours, good Store of Ammunition, and 15 Pieces of Ordance, whereof we sunk most that we brought not away; and then unsought at, and unoffered at nearer then by Ordance, to march away notwithstanding the great Disadvantage of our Forces, by the Difficulties so the Passage; if he who is the Searcher of all Hearts, and Truth it self, had not known the Truth of our Professions, and the Innocency of out Heart, and how far we were from deserving those horrid Accusations of Falshood and Treachery cast so point blank upon our own Person, that it would amaze any Man to see them suffered to be printed in our City of London, if any Thing of that Kind could be a Wonder after so many of the same; and how really they desire Accommodation, who upon this have voted they will have none.
These our Reasons for this Action, this our Satisfaction sent for it, and this Blessing of God upon it, will we doubt not, clear us to all indifferent Persons, both of the Jesuitical Consels, and the personal Treachery, to which some have presumed so impudently to impute it: And God so bless our future Actions as we have delivered the Truth of this.
The ANSWER of both Houses of Parliament too his Majesty's Mesage of the 12th of November.
To your Majesty's Message of the Twelfth of this Month of November, we the Lords and Commons in Parliament do make this humble Answer, That this Message was not delivered to us till Monday the Fourteenth; we thought it a strange Introduction to Peace, that your Majesty should send your Army to beat us out of out Quarters at Brainford, and then appoint that Place to receive our Propositions, which yet it plainly appears your Majesty intended not to receive, till you had first tried whether you could break through the Army, raised for the Defence of this Kingdom and Parliament, and take the City, being unprovided and secure, in expectation of a fair Treaty made to secure the City: If herein your Majesty had prevailed, after you had destroyed the Army, and mastered the City, it is easie to imagine what a miserable Peace we should have had, and whether those Courses be suitable to the Expressions your Majesty is pleased to make in your Answer to our Petition, of your Earnestness to avoid any further Effusion of Blood, let God and the World judge. As for our Proceeedings, they have in all Things been answerable to our Professions: We gave Directions to the Earl of Essex to draw the Army under his Command, out of the City and Suburbs, before we sent any Message to your Majesty, so that Part of it was inquartered at Brainford before the Committee returned with your Answer; and immediately upon the Receipt thereof, that very Morning, Order was taken that the Soldiers should exercise no Acts of Hostility against any of your Majesty's People; and we sent a Letter by Sir Peter Killegrew to know your Majesty's Pleasure, whether you intended the like Forbearance of Hostility; but the Fury of your Soldiers thirsting after Blood and Spoil, prevented the Delivery of the Letter; for coming upon Saturday in his Way towards your Majesty as far as Brainford, he found them in fight there, and could pass no further. God who sees our Innocency, and that we have no Aims but at his Glory and the Publick Good, will, we hope, free your Majesty from these destructive Councels of some who labour to maintain their own Power by Blood and Rapine, and bless our Endeavours, who seek nothing but to procure and establish the Honour, Peace and Safety of your Majesty and Kingdoms, upon the sure Foundation of Religion and Justice.
To which Answer of both Houses of Parliament, his Majesty makes this Reply.
That his Message of the Twelfth, tho' not received by them till the Fourteenth, was sent to them first upon the Sunday upon which it was dated, and meeting with Stops by the Way, was again sent upon the Thirteenth, and taken upon that Day at Ten in the Morning by the Earl of Essex, and though not to him directed, was by him opened. So the Slowness of the Delivery is not so strange, as the Stop of the Letter said to be sent by Sir Peter Killigrew, which his Majesty hath not yet received, but concludes from the Matter expressed to have been contained in that Letter (to wit, to know his Pleasure, whether he intended the Forbearance of Hostility) and by the Command of such Forbearance, said to be sent the Lord of Essex's Army that no such Forbearance was already concluded, and consequently neither had his Majesty cause to suppose that he should take any of their Forces unprovided and secure, in an Expectation of a fair Treaty; neither could any hostile Act of his Majesty's Forces have been a Course unsuitable to his Expressions, much less could an Endeavour to prepossess, (for so he hoped he might have done that Place) which might have stopt the further March of these Forces towards him (which, for ought appeared to him, might as well have been intended to Colebrook as to Brainford) and by that further Effusion of Blood, deserve the Stile.
His Majesty further conceives, That the Printing so out of Time such a declaration as their Reply to his Answer to theirs of the 26th of May, but the Day before they voted the Delivery of their Petition, and the March of the Earl of Essex's Forces to Brainford, so near to his Majesty, when the Committee at the same time attended him with a Petition for a Treaty, the Earl of Essex being before possess'd of all the other Avenues to his Army, by his Forces at Windsor, Acton, and Kingstone, was a more strange Introduction to Peace, then for his Majesty not to suffer himself to be coop'd up on all Sides, because a Treaty had been mentioned, which was so really and so much desired by his Majesty, that this Proceeding seems to him purposely by some intended to divert, which it could not do, that his Inclination.
That his Majesty had no Intention to matter the City by so Advancing, besides his Profession, which, how meanly soever they seem to value it, he conceives a sufficient Argument, especially being only opposed by Suspicions and Surmises, may appear by his not Pursuing his Victory at Brainford, but giving Order to his Army to march away to Kingstone as soon as he heard that Place was quitted, before any Notice or further Appearance of Forces from London; nor could he find a better Way to satisfie them before-hand, that he had no such Intention, but that his Desire of Peace, and of Propositions that might conduce to it, still continued, then by that Message of the Twelfth, for which Care of his he was requited by such a Reception of his Message and Messenger, as was contrary at once both to Duty, Civility, and the very Customs and Law of War and Nations; and such as theirs, tho' after this Provocation, have not found from him.
His Majesty wonders that his Soldiers should be charged with Thirsting after Blood, who took above 500 Prisoners in the very Heat of the Fight, his Majesty having since dismissed all the common Soldiers, and entertained such as were willing to serve him, and required only from the rest an Oath not to serve against him. And his Majesty supposes such most apt and likely to maintain their Power by Blood and Rapine, who have only got it by Oppression and Injustice; that his is vested in him by the Law, and by that Only (If the destructive Counsels of others, would not hinder such a Peace, in which that might once again be the Universal Rule, and in which Religion and Justice can only flourish) he desires to maintain it. And if Peace were equally desired by them, as it is by his Majesty, he conceives it would have been proper to have sent him such a Paper, as should have contained just Propositions of Peace, and not an unjust Accusation of his Councels, Proceedings, and Person. And his Majesty intends to march to such a distance from his City of London, as may take away all Pretence of Apprehension from his Army, that might hinder them in all Security from yet preparing them to present to him, and there will be ready either to receive them, or end the Pressures or Miseries which his Subjects, to his great Grief, suffer through this War by a present Battel.
The Declaration of the Lords and Commons now assembled in Parliament for the suppressing of divers Papists, and other Malignant Persons,
in the Counties of York, Northumberland, Westmoreland, Cumberland, Lancashire, Cheshire, the County Palatine of Duresme, and the Town of Newcastle, who have taken the Oath of Association against the King and Parliament.
The Lords and Commons now Assembled in Parliament, being certainly informed that the Papists and other Malignants, and ill-affected Persons in the County of York, Northumberland, Westmoreland, Cumberland, Lancashire, Cheshire, County Palatine of Duresme, and Town and County of Newcastle, have entred into Association, and have caused, and daily do cause, great Forces both of Horse and Foot, to oppose and distress the well-affected Subjects, and to aid and succour the Popish and malignant Party in those Nothern Parts, and in particular those now in the City of York, the said Lords and Commons do declare, That they hold it a Thing most fit, necessary, and healthful for the present State of this Kingdom, and do accordingly order; That all Lords-Lieutenants, Deputy-Lieutenants, Colonels, Captains, and other Officers, and all other well-affected Persons, Inhabitants in the several Countries of York, Lincoln, Nottingham, Derby, Stafford, Cheshire, Lancaster, Northumberland, Cumberland, Westmoreland, County Palatine of Duresme, and Town and County of Newcastle, do and shall associate themselves, and mutually aid, succour, and assist one another by raising Forces of Horse and Foot, and leading them into Places which shall be most convenient and necessary, and by all good Ways and Means whatsoever to suppress and subdue the Popish and Malignant Party in the said several Counties, and every of them for so doing, shall be saved and kept harmless by the Power and Authority of Parliament.
And the said Lords and Commons taking into their serious Consideration, the Necessity of appointing a Commander in Chief over the Officers which are, or shall be raised in the Counties aforesaid, or any of them, for the Service aforesaid, in regard that by the particular Commissions already granted to Persons in the said several Counties, there is not Power given to lead Forces out of their own Counties; It is ordered, That the Lord General the Earl of Essex's Excellency, shall be desired to grant such Commissions to the Lord Fairfax, in his Excellency's Absence from the said Counties, for levying, leading the conducting all such Forces as are, or shall be raised in the said several Counties, for the Service of the King and Parliament, as his said Excellency to himself hath given to his Army, and to use Martial Law to compel to Obedience thereunto, as Occasion shall require; And also Power and Authority to make and appoint Colonels, Captains and other Officers, for levying, conducting and leading the Forces, as he shall think fit.
The humble Petition of both Houses of Parliament, presented to his Majesty on the 24th of November, 1642.
May it please your Majesty,
It is humbly desired by both Houses of Parliament, That your Majesty will be pleased to return to your Parliament with your Royal, not your Martial, Attendance, to the end, that Religion, Laws, and Liberties may be settled, and be secured by their Advice, finding by a late and sad Accident, that your Majesty is inviron'd by some such Counsels, as do rather perswade a desperate Division, then a Joining and a good Agreement with your Parliament and People. And we shall be ready to give your Majesty Assurances of such Security as may be for the Honour and Safety of your Royal Person.
His Majesty's Answer to the aforesaid Petition.
We expect such Propositions from you as might speedily remove and prevent the Misery and Desolation of this Kingdom, and that for the effecting thereof, we now residing at a convenient Place, not far from our City of London, Committees from both our Houses of Parliament should attend us. For by your Message to us at Colebrook those were your Desires, instead whereof, (and thereby let all the World judge of the Design of that Overture) we have only received your humble Petition, That we would be pleased to return to our Parliament with our Royal, not our Martial Attendance. All our good Subjects that remember what we have so often told you and them upon this Subject, and what hath since past, must with Indignation look upon this Message, as intended by the Contrivers thereof for a Scorn to us, and thereby designed by that malignant Party, of whom we have so often complained, whose Safety and Ambition is built upon the Divisions and Ruins of this Kingdom, and who have too great an Influence upon your Actions, for a Wall of Separation betwixt us and our People. We have told you the Reason why we departed from London, how we were chased thence, and by whom. We have often complained that the greatest Part of our Peers, and of the Members of the House of Commons, could not with Safety to their Honours and Persons, continue and vote freely among you, but by Violence and cunning Practices, were debarred of those Priviledges, which their Birth-rights, and the Trust reposed in them by their Country, gave them; the Truth whereof may sufficiently appear by the small Number of those that are with you. We offered you to meet both our Houses in any Place free and convenient for us and them, but we could never receive the least Satisfaction in any of these Particulars; nor for those scandalous and seditious Pamphlets and Sermons which swarm amongst you. That's all one you tell us; It is now for our Honour, and for the Safety of our Royal Person, to return to our Parliament, wherein you formerly denied us a negative Voice; and give us Cause to believe, that by giving your selves that Name, without us, you intend not to acknowledge us to be Part of it. The whole Kingdom knows that an Army was raised under Pretence of Orders of both Houses, an Usurpation never heard of before in any Age; which Army hath pursued us in our Kingdom, gave us Battel at Keynton, and endeavour'd to take away the Life of us and our Children; and yet these Rebels, being newly recruited and possess'd of our City of London, we are courteously invited to return to our Parliament there, that is, to the Power of this Army: doth this signifie any other Thing, then that since the traiterous Endeavour of those desperate Men could not snatch the Crown from our Head, it being defended by the Providence of God, and the Affection and Loyalty of our good Subjects, we should now tamely come up, and give it them, and put our selves, our Life, and the Lives, Liberties, and Fortunes of all our good Subjects, into their merciful Hands. Well, we think not fit to give any other Answer to this Part of your Petition. But as we impute not this Affront to both our Houses of Parliamentt, nor to the major Part of those who are now present there, but to that dangerous Party, we and the whole Kingdom must cry out upon; so we shall, for our good subjects sake, and out of our most tender Sense of their Miseries, and the general Calamities of this Kingdom, which must, if this War continue, speedily overwhelm this whole Nation, take no Advantage of it; but if you shall really pursue what you presented to us at Colebrook, we shall make good all that we then gave you in Answer to it, whereby the Hearts of our distressed Subjects may be raised with the Hopes of Peace, without which Religion, the Laws and Liberties, can no ways be settled and secured. Touching the late and sad Accident you mention, if you thereby intend that of Brainford, we desire you once again to deal ingenuously with the People, and let them free our last Message to you, and our Declaration to them concerning the same, both which we sent to our Press at London, but were taken away from our Messenger, and not suffered to be published; and then we doubt not they will be soon undeceived, and easily find out those Councels which do rather perswade a desperate Division, then a good Agreement betwixt us, our two Houses and People.
About this Time the Earl of New-castle associated the Counties of Northumberland, Cumberland, Westmoreland, the Bishoprick of Durham, and New-castle upon Tyne, for the raising of Forces for his Majesty, and afterwards had other Counties added to the same Association. Where upon the Parliament proceeded also to make particular Associations, under particular Persons; As,
- 1. The Lord Ferdinando Fairfax for the County of York, and all the before mentioned Northern Counties.
- 2. Sir William Brereton for Cheshire and other adjacent Counties.
- 3. Sir William Waller for Hampshire and other Western Counties.
- 4. Lord Gray of Grooby for Leicestershire &c.
- 5. Earl of Manchester for Essex and the Eastern Counties.
- 6. The Earl of Denbigh for Shropshire, &c.
- 7. Major-General Brown for Berkshire, &C. And
- 8. Sir Thomas Middleton for North-Wales.
Whereas the Lords and Commons are informed that the Town of Manchester, and some other Parts within the County Palatine of Lancaster, have for a long time been at excessive Charges for the Defence of such as are well-affected to the Proceedings of the Parliament, from the Injuries, Oppressions, Illegal and Exorbitant Practices of the Commissioners of Array, the Papists, and other malignant Persons within the County, especially now when their Power doth much increase by the general Rising of the Papists there, and therefore have great need of a Supply of Strength, which was long since expected; yet on the contrary, they will be forced to disband their Garrison of Soldiers which they have maintained as long as they are able, and so expose themselves, not only to the Violence of their Enemies, but much dishonour the Cause, and weaken and good Party, unless they have some present Supply of Money; Therefore it is ordered by the Lords and Commons in Parliament, That for such Moneys or Plate as Mr. Tho. Case, or any other Person shall under-write, for the Defence of Lancashire, and the reducing of the malignant Party there, they shall have the Publick Faith, to be repay'd with Satisfaction, after 8l. per Cent. And that Sir John Wollaston, Kt. Alderman Warner, Alderman Towse, and Alderman Andrews take such Subscriptions, and issue the same for the Use of the said County, so as may best conduce for the Service thereof, to give Account thereof to the House of Commons.
A Proclamation for the better Governing his Majesty's Army,
We having taken into our princely and serious Consideration the great Misery and Ruin falling, and like to fall upon our good Subjects (if not timely prevented) by the Plundering, Robbing, and Spoiling of their Houses, and taking from them their Money, Plate, Houshold-Stuff, Cattel, and other Goods, under pretence of their being disaffected to us and our Service; And these unjust and unlawful Actions done by divers Soldiers of our Army, and other sheltring themselves in the same, under that Title; Have, of our tender Commiseration of such their Sufferings, as detesting all such horrid and barbarous Proceedings; and for their future Defence and Preservation, thought fit to publish and declare our Royal Pleasure to be, That from henceforth no Officer, Soldier of Horse or Foot, or Party sent from our Army, presume to search for, or seize upon any Money, Plate, Goods, or Houshold-Stuff, belonging to any our Subjects, of what Condition soever, without our express Warrant for the same, under our Sign Manual, declaring the Cause of such Seizure: And if any, either Officer or Soldier of our Army of Horse or Foot, presume from hencefourth to plunder, spoil, or rob any of our People, or take from them any their Money, Plate, Houshold-Stuff, or any Oxen, Sheep, or other Cattel, or any Victuals, Corn, Hay, or other Commodities or Provisions going to, or from any our Markets or otherwise, being in the Grounds, Houses, or Possession of any our Subjects, without giving full Satisfaction for the same: Upon complaint made thereof, we Will and Command the Officer in Chief of the Quarter within which such Fact shall be committed, to proceed against such Offender or Offenders by the Law Martial, without Favour or Connivance, and cause him or them to be Executed accordingly without Mercy. And if any Officer in Chief of such Quarter, shall either neglect or refuse to do Justice upon any Person whatsoever, offending against any Particular herein mentioned, our Will is, and we do require the Party grieved to repair unto us, wheresoever we shall remain, and appeal to our Justice, which we shall be ever most ready to afford any of our Subjects for Redress of their Suffering, an any the least kind whatsoever. Likewise, for the better Order in our Army, and for the Preservation of the due Government thereof, we do farther strictly charge and command all Officers and Soldiers, both of Horse and Foot of the same, as also all Parties sent out, That they, nor any of them, presume to depart or be absent from their Quarter, without a Pass or Licence under the Hand of the Officer commanding in Chief in such Quarter of our Army, upon Pain of Death; nor that any other, but such our Officer in Chief, presume to give any Pass or other Licence to any Officer or Soldier to be absent, upon Pain of cashiering. And that our Pleasure herein declared may be fully observed, and produce the Effects we intend, for the Good and Security of our Subjects, we do hereby further require all the Officers commanding in Chief, in any of the Quarters of our Army, to cause this our Proclamation to be published and made known to all the Officers and Soldiers under their Command, and to see that severe and due Punishment be inflicted upon such as shall henceforth offend against any the least Particular herein before-mentioned, as they and every of them expect to avoid our high Displeasure for the Neglect thereof.
A Rencounter happened between the Earl of Darby's Troops, and the Country People of Leigh, Loaton-Common and Chow-bent in Lancashire, wherein the Earl's Forces were forced to retreat, and some of them killed and taken Prisoners. And about the same time Sir Gilbert Houghton, who set a Beacon on Fire on the Top of the Tower of his House, was worsted at Hinfield-Moor in the same county, by Mr. Shuttleworth a Parliament-man, and others.
A Letter sent from the Hague in Holland, and directed to Secretary Nicholas,
It is now long since I had the Opportunity of Writing to you, but since my First have not heard any Thing from you at all. The Occasion of out long Stay here, was, first the Expectation of our Irish Ships, next the raising Money, which the Proposition of New-castle drew as fast as it could advance; The Failing of the Ships, had it not been supplied by the Reputation of the King's Success at Land, had given us a dangerous Blow here; but that hath so supported our Credit, that the Prince of Orange hath since played his Part, and advanced all those Sums we were to expect, of which 20000l. is sent towards you, 20000l. to New-castle, and 20000l. at least we bring with us, besides the great Business which we expect this Day a final End of, which will advance 60000l. more, in which we are ascertained of the Prince of Orange his utmost Power: Such nevertheless we apprehend the Importance of the Queen's being in England, that we had gone this last Week, and expected the Coming of that after, had not an unseasonable Compliment from year Side Stopp'd us, till this Express sent to you. The Fleet is now reay, and this Week we certainly go; if those Counsels or Chances that tend to dilatory Resolutions, move not more effectually, then the certain Advantages of our Expedition, and Dispatch from hence, all our Affairs being now done, and nothing more to be expected. That you may know upon what Grounds we go, and what Security we expectt there, and what Advantage you in the South are to derive from it; You must know we have sent over 10000 Foot Arms, beside the Garrison, near 2000 Horse Arms, and 20 Pieces of Cannon; we bring over Waggons, and all Accommodations to march as soon as we arrive; we carry very considerable Officers from hence; and by the Advice we receive from that Side, 8000 Men are on Foot already, 6 Troops of Horse, and the rest will not be long on raising after we come there. General King is designed for Lieutenant-General, hath been with the Queen, and will be suddenly there. From Denmark are likewise sent Arms for 10000 Foot and 1500 Horse, with a Train of Artillery, and every Thing proportionable, to the very Drums and Halbards. Two good Men of War come their Convoy, and in them an Ambassador to his Majesty, a Person of great Quality in Denmark. I hope it will be general Care there to see him nobly treated, for the Entertainment and Neglect of the last was much complained of, and is so much resented by that King, that it had like to have frustrated all our Expectations in that court, had not Cothram very handsomly evaded it; He comes along with the Ambassadour, with whom if you encounter, be will communicate some Propositions of great Importance, which in how much the fewer Hands they are carried, will be so much the better liked by them you are to deal with. If any Imployment in this Affair may fall upon your Servant that writes to you, I know you will not be unmindful of him.
We have great Apprehensions here by something intimated from my Lord of Holland, of a Treaty further entred into then we have Advertisement of, or can well approve. We have confidently believed your approaching London (if you had not made too long Stay upon the Way) would have determined that Matter; and what the Difficulties are now of that, we cannot yet understand; for if Intelligences from thence come as freely to you as to us, the King's Party there are very considerable, and full of that Expectation, and and a Day or two Loss of Time, by the late Example of Hull may be judged of, what contrary Consequences it may produce.
We hear my Lord of Essex approaches London, but believe he will be so waited on by the King's Horse, as not to let him join with their Forces there, being now so lame an Army, without Horse or Cannon, as the Relations you send hither makes him to be. We believe the King's Horse likewise so great a Body, that it will be as troublesome, as unnecessary for them to subsist together, and think so many Troops may be well spared, as may be sent into Kent, to countenance a Party to be set on Foot there, which according to our Inteligence here, would undoubtedly be found very affectionate and considerable; so that by sparing 500 Horse, you might possibly add to your Army 5000 foot to be imployed upon the River on that side the Town.
If the unhappy Interruption had not come of the last Week's Letters, we had undoubtedly been with you on the other Side in Norfolk and Essex, within three Weeks, and in that a Condition having all the Kingdom to befriend us on every Side, it will not be hard to judge, whether should have been better able to subsist, they within the Town, or the King's Army without: Admit my Lord of Essex were gotten in, or that the Town haa' not yielded it self so soon as you had approached, you may yet certainly presume on this, that being once on foot, we shall be able to collect for you all the 400000l. Subsidies, universally throughout the whole Kingdom, which will make the King's Army subsist, and wear out theirs; beside the Money which we bring, what we expect from Denmark and France, are all Encouragements to make us expect no Treaties to be admitted, but upon Terms of great Advantage and Honour to his Majesty. Those you are best able to judge of upon the Place. If the King have Use of them, I am confident you may expect from France (so soon as you set footing in Kent, and shall intimate your Desire of the same) the Three Regiments of his Majesty's own Subjects there imployed, under Col. Hill, Col. Fitz-Williams, and Col. Beling. Your Letters directed to New-castle will direct our Addresses to France, for I hope we shall yet be there before you can return any in Answer to us.
On Saturday Morning the Gentleman that brought this Letter from Holland came up to London in a Gravesend-Boat, intending to land at Brainford, and therefore for the more Expedition shot the Bridge; which being perceived by one of the Pinnaces that lay on this Side for the Guard of the City and Parliament, and being known to be a Gravesend-Boat, which always land on the other Side at Billingsgate, they called to them to know their Business; but they, not regarding their Summons, still posted away; whereupon the Men in the Ship made after them and hal'd them in, examined the Gentleman, and having some suspicion, search'd him, and found this with some other Letters about him; whereupon they presently carried him up to the Parliament, where after Examination his Letters were taken from him, and he committed to safe Custody.
An Order of the Mayor touching the Raising of 30000 l. Nov. 26.
Whereas certain Letters from foreign Parts, and several Places of the Kingdom have been intercepted, and brought unto the Parliament, discovering the desperate Designs and Plots of Papists, and other ill-affected, in collecting great Sums of Money, and providing many thousands of Men and Arms, for the Ruine of our Religion and Kingdom; for the preserving and securing whereof, there is great Necessity of a present and speedy Supply of Money, that the Army may suddenly advance, for preventing of the many Outrages that the Cavaliers daily commit in several Places of this Kingdom at once; And in regard the Burthen hath hitherto lain upon the willing and well-affected Persons, the Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament have passed an Ordinance, That all such Persons as hitherto have not contributed, or not proportionable to their Estates, upon the Propositions of Parliament, for the Safety of the Kingdom, shall be assessed and compelled to contribute and pay according to their Ability: And for as much as Moneys cannot be advanced by virtue of that Ordinance, to supply the urging and pressing Occasions of the Army, It is desired by a Committee of the Lords and Commons, appointed by the Parliament for advancing of Money, that a Sum of 30000 l. might be raised by Tuesday in the Afternoon, and all such as shall lend any Money for the present raising of the same, shall be paid their Moneys so laid out, out of the first Moneys that shall be collected upon the same Ordinance. And for the better advancing of this necessary Service, the Ministers of every Parish are requsted publickly to stir up the Parishoners hereunto. And that the Church-wardens of every Parish cause an Assembly of the Parishioners, to Morrow after Sermon in the Afternoon, that amongst them they raise a proportionable Fund, and that upon Monday next, at Three of the Clock in the Afternoon, the Church-wardens appear at Guild-Hall before the said Committee, to give an Account of what Moneys they have raised.
An Ordinance and Declaration of the Lords and Commons in Parliament, for Assessing Non-Contributors upon the Propositions for Lending Money, for Raising of Horse and Arms.
Whereas the King, seduced by wicked Counsel, hath raised an Army, and leavied War against the Parliament, and great Numbers of Forces are daily raised under the Command of Papists, and other ill affected Persons, by Commissions from his Majesty: And whereas divers Delinquents are protected from publick Justice by his Majesty's Army, and sundry Outrages and Rapines are daily committed by the Soldiers of the said Army, who have no Respect to the Laws of God or the Land, but burn and plunder the Houses, and seize and destroy the Persons of divers his Majesty's good Subjects: And whereas for the Maintenance of the said Army, divers Assessments are made upon several Counties, and his Majesty's Subjects are compelled by the Soldiers to pay the same; which said Army, if it should continue, would soon ruine and waste the whole Kingdom, and overthrow Religion, Law, and Liberty: For Suppressing of which said Army and ill-affected Persons, there is no probable Way, under God, but by the Army raised by Authority of the Parliament; which said Army so raised cannot be maintained without great Sums of Money, yet for raising such Sums, by reason of his Majesty's withdrawing himself from the Advice of the Parliament, there can be no Act of Parliament passed with his Majesty's Assent, albeit there is great Justice that the said Money should be raised; The Lords and Commons in Parliament having taken the same into their serious Considerations, and knowing that the said Army, so raised by them, hath been hitherto, for the most, maintained by the voluntary Contributions of divers well-affected Persons, who have freely contributed according to their Abilities.
But considering there are divers others within the Cities of London and Westminster, and the Suburbs of the same, and also within the Borough of Southwark, that have not contributed at all towards the Maintenance of the said Army, or if they have, yet not answerable to their Estates, who notwithstanding receive Benefit and Protection by the said Army, as well as any others, and therefore it is most just, that they should, as well as others, be charged to contribute to the Maintenance thereof.
Be it therefore Ordained by the Lords the Commons in Parliament assembled, and by Authority thereof, That Isaac Pennington Lord Mayor of the City of London, Sir John Wollaston, Kt. and Alderman, Alderman Towes, Alderman Warner, Alderman Andrews, Alderman Chambers, Alderman Fowke, Sir Thomas Soame Kt. and Aldeman, Samuel Citizens; or any four of them, shall have Power and Authority to nominate and appoint in every Ward within the City of London, fix such Persons as they, or any four of them, shall think fit; which said fix so nominated, or any four of them, shall hereby have Power to enquire of any that shall remain, or be within the said several Wards, that have not contributed upon the Propositions of both Houses of Parliament, concerning the raising of Money, Plate, Horse, Horsemen and Arms, for Defence of the King and Parliament, and also of such as are able Men, that have contributed, yet not according to their Estates and Abilities. And the said fix Persons so nominated, or any four of them, within their several and respective Wards and Limits, shall have Power to Assess such Person and Persons, as are of Ability and have not contributed, and also such as have contributed, yet not according to their Ability, to pay such Sum or Sums of Money, according to their Estates, as the said Assessors, or any four of them, shall think fit and reasonable, so as the same exceed not the twentieth Part of their Estates, and to nominate and appoint fist Persons for the Collection thereof: And if any Person so assessed shall refuse to pay the Money assessed upon them, it shall be lawful to and for the said Assessors and Collectors, or any of them, to levy the said Sums so assessed by way of Distress, and Sale of the Goods of the Persons so assessed and refusing; and if any Person so distrained shall make Resistance, it shall be lawful to and for the respective Assessors and Collectors, or any of them, to call to their Assistance any of the Train's Bands of the said City of London, or any other his Majesty's Subjects, who are here by reqired to be aiding and assisting to the said Assessors and Collectors in the Premisses. And it is hereby further Ordained, That the respective Burgesses of Westminster and Southwark, together with the several Committees appointed for the Subscriptions of Money, Plate, Horse, Horsemen and Arms, within the said City and Borough, shall respectively have Power hereby to nominate Sessors for the said City and Borough, in such manner as the Lord Mayor, &c. hath for the City of London; And the said Assessors, or any four of them, to name Collectors as aforesaid, which said Assessors and Collectors shall have the same Power respectively within their respective Limits, as those to be nominated within the said City of London have hereby limited to them. And for the Suburbs of the Cities of London and Westminster, the respective Knights of the Shire where the Suburbs are, shall have hereby the like Power to name Assessors; and they so named, or any four of them, and the Collectors by them to be nominated, or any of them, within their respective Limits, shall have the like Power respectively as the Assessors and Collectors for London have by virtue of this Ordinance.
And be it Ordained, That the Sums so assessed and levied, as aforesaid, shall be paid in at Guild-Hall, London, to the Hands of Sir John Wollaston, Kt. John Warner, John Towes, and Thomas Andrews, Aldermen, or any two of them. And the Assessors and Collectors to be nominated by virtue hereof, shall weekly report to the Committee of the House of Commons for the Propositions aforesaid, what Sums of Money have been assessed, and what Sums have been levied weekly, according to the Purport hereof. And the said Moneys so levied and paid in, shall be issued forth in such fort as the other Moneys raised upon the Propositions aforesaid, and not otherwise.
His Majesty's Declaration to all his Loving Subjects, upon Occasion of the Ordinance and Declaration of the Lords and Commons for Assessing all such who have not contributed Sufficiently for the raising Money, Plate &c.
It would not be believed (at least great Pains have been taken that it might not) that the pretended Ordinance of the Militia (the first Attempt that ever was to make a Law by Ordinance without our Consent) or the keeping us out of Hull, and taking our Arms and Munition from us, could any way concern the Interest, Property, or Liberty of the Subject; and it was consessed by that desperate Declaration it self of the 26th of May, That if they were found guilty of that Charge of destroying the Interest and Title of our Subjects to their Lands and Goods, it were indeed a very great Crime. But it was a strange fatal Lethargy which had seized our good People, and kept them from discerning, That the Nobility, Gentry, and Commonalty of England, were not only stripp'd of their Preheminencies and Priviledges, but of their Liberties and Estates, when our just Rights were denied us; and that no Subject could from thenceforth expect to dwell at home, when we were driven from our Houses and our Towns. It was not possible that a Commission could be granted to the Earl of Essex to raise an Army against us, and for the Safety of our Person and Preservation of the Peace of the Kingdom, to pursue, kill and slay us, and all who with well to us; but that in a short time inferiour Commanders, by the same Authority, would require our good Subjects, for the Maintenance of the Property of the Subject, to supply them with such Sums of Money as they think fit, upon the Penalty of being plundered with all Extremity of War (as the Stile of Sir Edward Bainton's Warrant runs against our poor Subjects in Wiltshire) and by such Rules of unlimited arbitrary Power, as are inconsistent with the least Pretence or Shadow of that Property it would seem to defend.
If there could be yet any Understanding so unskilful and supine to believe, that these Disturbers of the publick Peace, do intend any thing but a general Confusion, they have brought them a sad Argument to their own Doors to convince them. After this Ordinance and Declaration, 'tis not in any sober Man's Power to believe himself worth any Thing, or that there is such a Thing as Law, Liberty, Property, left in England, under the Jurisdiction of these Men; and the same Power that robs them now of the Twentieth Part of their Estates, hath by that but made a Claim, and entitled it self to the other Nineteen, when it shall be thought fit to hasten the general Ruine. Sure, if the Minds of all Men be not stubbornly prepared for Servitude, they will look on this Ordinance as the greatest Prodigy of arbitrary Power and Tyranny, that any Age hath brought forth in any Kingdom. Other Grievances (and the greatest) have been conceived intollerable, rather by the Logick and Censequence, then by the Pressure it self; This at once sweeps all that the Wisdom and Justice of Parliaments have provided for them. Is their Property in their Estates (so carefully looked to by their Ancestors, and so amply established by us against any Possibility of Invasion from the Crown) which makes the meanest Subject as much a Lord of his own, as the greatest Peer, to be valued or considered? Here is a Twentieth Part of every Man's Estate (or so much more as four Men will please to call the Twentieth Part) taken away at once, and yet a Power left to take a Twentieth still of that which remains; and this to be levied by such Circumstances of Severity, as no Act of Parliament ever consented to. Is their Liberty (which distinguishes Subjects from Slaves, and in which this Free-born Nation hath the Advantage of all Christendom) dear to them, they shall not only be imprisoned in such Places of this Kingdom, (a Latitude of Judgment no Court can challenge to it self in any Cases) but for so long time as the Committee of the House of Commons for Examination shall appoint and order? The House of Commons it self having never assumed, or in the least degree pretended to a Power of Judicature, having no more Authority to administer an Oath (the only way to discover and find out the Truth of Facts) unto, than to cut off the Heads of any our Subjects; and this Committee being so far from being a Part of the Parliament, that it is destructive to the Whole, by usurping to its self all the Power of a King, Lords, and Commons. All who know any thing of Parliaments, know that a Committee of either House ought not by the Law to publish their own Results, neither are their Conclusions of any Force without the Confirmation of the House, which hath the same Power of controuling them, as if the Matter had never been debated: But that any Committee should be so contracted (as this of Examination, a Stile no Committee ever bore before this Parliament) as to exclude the Members of the House (who are equally trusted by their Country) from being present at their Councels, is so monstrous to the Priviledges of Parliament, that it is no more in the Power of any Man to give up that Freedom, then of himself to order, That from that Time the Place for which he serves, shall never more send a Knight or Burgess to the Parliament; and in truth, is no less then to alter the whole Frame of Government, to pull up Parliaments by the Roots, and to commit the Lives, Liberties, and Estates of all the People of England to the arbitrary Power of a few unqualified Persons, who shall dispose thereof, according to their Discretion, without account to any Rule or Authority whatsoever. Are their Friends, their Wives and Children (the greatest Blessings of Peace, and Comforts of Life) precious to them? Would their Penury and Imprisonment be less grievous by these Cordials? They shall be divorced from them, banished, and shall no longer remain within the Cities of London and Westminster, the Suburbs, and the Counties adjacent, and how far those adjacent Counties shall extend, no Man knows.
Is there any Thing now lest to enjoy, but the Liberty to rebel, and to destroy one another? Are the outward Blessings only of Peace, Property, and Liberty taken and forced from our Subjects? and their Consciences free and un-assaulted by the Violence of these Firebrands? Sure the Liberty and Freedom of Conscience cannot suffer by these Men. Alas! all these Punishments are imposed upon them, because they will not submit to Actions contrary to their natural Loyalty, to their Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy, and to their late voluntary Protestation, which obliges them to the Care of our Person, and our just Rights. How many Persons of Honour, Quality, and Reputation, of the several Counties of England, are now imprisoned without any Objections against them, but Suspicion of their Loyalty? How many of the greatest and most substantial Citizens of London, by whom the Government and Discipline of that City was preserved, are disgraced, robbed, and imprisoned without any Process of Law, or Colour of Accusation, but of Obedience of the Law, and Government of the Kingdom? Whilst Anabaptists and Brownists, with the Assistance of vitious and debauched Persons of desperate Fortunes take upon them to break up and riffle Houses, as publick and avowed Ministers of a new invented Authority. How many godly, pious and painful Divines (whose Lives and Learning have made them of reverend Estimation) are now slandered with Inclination to Popery, discountenanced and imprisoned for discharging their Consciences. Instructing the People in the Christian Duties of Religion and Obedience, whilst schismatical, illiterate, and scandalous Preachers fill the Pulpits and Churches with Blasphemy, Irreverence and Treason, and incite their Auditory to nothing but Murther and Rebellion? We pass over the vulgar Charm, by which they have captivated such who have been contented to dispense with their Consciences for the Preservation of their Estates, and by which they perswade Men cheerfully to part with this Twentieth Part of their Estate to the good Work in Hand; for whoever will give what he hath, may scape robbing; they shall be repaid upon the publick Faith, as all other Moneys lent upon the Propositions of both Houses. It may be so; but Men must be condemned to a strange Unthristiness, who will lend upon such Security. The Publick Faith is indeed as great an Earnest as the State can give, and engages the Honour, Reputation, and Honesty of the Nation, and is the Act of the Kingdom; 'tis the Security of the King, the Lords, and Commons, which can never need an Executor, can never dye, never be Bankrupt, and therefore we willingly consented to it, for the Indemnity of our Subjects of Scotland, (who we hope will not think the worse of it, for being so often and so cheaply mentioned since.) But that a Vote of one or both Houses should be an Engagement upon the publick Faith, is as impossible, as that the Committee of the House of Commons for Examinations, should be the High Court of Parliament. And what is, or can be said with the least Shadow of Reason to justifie these Extravagancies? We have not lately heard of the old Fundamental Laws which used to warrant the Innovations; this needs a Refuge even below those Foundations. They will say they cannot manage their great Undertakings without such extraordinary Ways: We think so too; but that proves only that they have undertaken somewhat they ought not to undertake; not that it is lawful for them to do any thing that is convenient for those Ends. We remembred them long ago, and we cannot do it too often, of that excellent Speech of Mr. Pyms; The Law is that which puts a Difference betwixt Good and Evil, betwixt Just and Unjust if you take away the Law, all Things will fall into a Confusion, every Man will become a Law unto himself, which in the depraved Condition of Humane Nature, must needs produce many great Enormities; Lust will become a Law, and Envy will become a Law; Covetousness and Ambition will become Laws; and what Dictates, what Decision such Laws will produce, may easily be discerned. It may indeed, by the sad Instances over the whole Kingdom; but will Posterity believe, that in the same Parliament this Doctrine was avowed with that Acclamation, and these Instances after produced? That in the same Parliament such Care was taken, That no Man should be committed, in what Case soever, without the Cause of his Imprisonment expressed; and, That all Men should be immediately bailed, in all Cases bailable; and during the said Parliament, That Alderman Pennington, or indeed any Body else but the sworn Ministers of Justice, should imprison whom they would, and for what they would, and for as long time as they would: That the King should be reproached with Breach of Priviledge, for accusing Sir John Hotham of High-Treason, when with Force or Arms he kept him out of Hull, and despised him to his Face, because in no Case a Member of either House might be committed or accused without Leave of that House of which he is a Member; and yet that during the same Parliament, the same Alderman should commit the Earl of Middlesex, (a Peer of the Realm) and the Lord Buckhurst (a Member of the House of Commons) to the Compter, without Reprehension? That to be a Traitor (which is defined, and every Man understands) should be no Crime; and to be called a Malignant, (which no Body knows the Meaning of) should be Ground enough for close Imprisonment? That a Law should be made, That whosoever should presume to take Tonnage and Poundage without an Act of Parliament, should incur the Penalty of a Premunire; and in the same Parliament, That the same Imposition should be laid upon our Subjects, and taken by an Order of both Houses, without and against our Consent? That in the same Parliament, a Law should be made to declare the Proceedings and Judgment upon Ship-Money to be illegal and void; and during that Parliament, That an Order of both Houses shall (upon pretence of Necessity) enable four Men to take away the twentieth Part of their Estates from all their Neighbours, according to their Discretion; But our good Subjects will no longer look upon these and the like Results, as upon the Counsels and Conclusions of both our Houses of Parliament, (though all the World knows, even that Authority can never justifie Things unwarrantable by the Law) they well know how few of the Persons trusted by them, are present at their Consultations, of above 500 not 80, and of the House of Peers not a fifth Part; That they who are present, enjoy not the Priviledge and Freedom of Parliament, but are besieged by an Army, and awed by the same Tumults which drove us and their Fellow-Members from thence, to consent to what some few seditious, schismatical Persons amongst them do propose: These are the Men who joining with the Anabaptists and Brownists of London, first changed the Government and Discipline of that City, and now by the Pride and Power of that City, would undo the Kingdom, whilst their Lord-Mayor (a Person accused and known to be guilty of High-Treason) by a new legislative Power of his own, suppresses and reviles the Book of Common Prayer robs and imprisons whom he thinks fit, and with the Rabble of his Faction, gives Laws to both Houses of Parliament, and tells them, They will have no Accomodation: Whilst the Members sent and intrusted by their Countries, are expelled the House, or committed, for refusing to take the Oath of Association to live and die with the Earl of Essex, as very lately Sir Sidney Mountague. These are the Men who have presumed to send Ambassadors, and to enter into Treaties with foreign States in their own Behalfs, having at this time an Agent of their own with the States of Holland to negotiate for them upon private Instructions. These are the Men, who not thinking they have yet brought Mischief enough upon this Kingdom, at this time invite and solicite our Subjects of Scotland to enter this Land with an Army against us. In a Word, These are the Men who have made this last devouring Ordinance to take away all Law, Liberty and Property from our People, and have by it really acted that up on our People, which, with infinite Malice and no Colour or Ground was laboured to be infused into them to have been our Intention by the Commissions of Array.
We have done: What Power and Authority these Men have, or will have, we know not; for our self we challenge no such; we look upon the Pressures and Inconveniencies our good Subjects bear, even by us and our Army (which the Army first raised by them, enforced us to levy in our Defence, and their Refusal of all Offers and Desires of Treaty enforceth us to keep) with very much Sadness of Heart; we are so far from requiring a twentieth Part of their Estates (though for their own visible Preservation) that as we have already fold or pawned our own Jewels, and coined our own Plate, so we are willing to sell all our own Land and Houses for their Relief; yet we do not doubt, but our good Subjects will seriously consider our Condition and their own Duties, and think our Readiness to protect them with the utmost hazard of Our Life, deserves their Readiness to assist us with some Part of their Fortunes; and whilst other Men give a twentieth Part of their Estates to enable them to forfeit the other Nineteen, that they will extend themselves to us in a liberal and free Proportion for the Preservation of the rest, and for the Maintenance of God's true Religion, the Laws of the Land, the Liberty of the Subject, and the Safety and very Being of Parliaments and this Kingdom; for if all these ever were, or can be in manifest danger, 'tis now in this present Rebellion against us.
Lastly; We will and require all our loving Subjects, of what Degree or Quality soever, as they will answer it to God, to Us, and to Posterity, by their Oaths of Allegiance, as they would not be look'd upon now and remembred here after, as Betrayers of the Laws and Liberties they were born to, That they in no degree submit to this wild pretended Ordinance, and that they presume not to give any Encouragement or Assistance to the Army now in Rebellion against us, which if notwithstanding they shall do, they must expert from us the severest Punishment the Law can inflict, and a perpetual Infamy with all good Men.