Historical Collections of Private Passages of State: Volume 6, 1645-47. Originally published by D Browne, London, 1722.
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Chap. XIV. Proceedings in Parliament from May 1, to June 3, 1647.
Upon Saturday, May 1, 1647.
The House of Commons had a further Debate, about the Security of the 200000 l. to be borrowed of the City of London, and the Question was put; whether the Receipts of Goldsmiths-Hall should be given as part of the Security; and it was resolved in the Negative.
A Message was likewise sent from the Lords, desiring that a Common Council may be called on Monday next in London, that the Committee formerly appointed may go to the City about the business of the 200000 l. and to satisfie them concerning the Security agreed on. This was assented unto, and Members appointed to desire the Lord Mayor to call a Common Council accordingly.
Colonel Rainesborough Ordered 6000 l. to be advanced by the Committee of the Navy, (upon the Security of the Ordinance for 200000 l.) to be employed for the Service of reducing Jersey. Ammunition Ordered him for this purpose.
The House was then informed, That the four Officers (sent for out of the Army) were come up, and attended the House; whereupon, after some Debate, the Question was put, Whether the said Officers should be called to the Bar; and it was resolved on in the Negative.
Sir Thomas Fairfax Knight, Commander in Chief of the Forces railed by the Parliament.
I do hereby straightly charge and require all Officers (belonging to the Army, under my Command, now within London, and the Lines of Communication, or thereabouts) to repair to their several Charges in the Army, within twenty four Hours after the Publication thereof, upon pain of such severe Punishment as shall be inflicted upon them for their neglect therein. And this he published by Sound of Trumpet.
May 3, 1647.
The Houses sat not this Day, but a Committee of both Houses (as was Ordered on Saturday) had another meeting with the Common Council of London, about the Loan of 200000l. and propounded unto them the Security agreed on by the Houses. Several Speeches were made to stir up the City to the speedy Loan of the said Sum; to which they expressed much willingness, but still stood upon it to have Goldsmiths-Hall added to the Security.
At this time something was more than whispered in the City, and the Rumour spread further in the Kingdom, upon occasion of something said at this meeting in relation to the Army, as that they should send to comply with the King.
This Day likewise, the Provincial Assembly of London, met in the Convocation House at Paul's Church, according to an Ordinance in Parliament of the 29th of April last, for the further settling Presbytery, and Dr. Gouge was chosen Prolocutor. The Ordinance directing that Assembly is to this purpose, That the Elders of the Classis of the Province of London, shall hold this Provincial Assembly in the Convocation House at Paul's Church in London, upon the first Munday in May next ensuing, and may adjourn their meeting de die in diem, and conclude their meeting with Adjournments unto the next opportunity, according to the Ordinance of Parliament. And that no Act shall pass or be valid in the said Province of London, but what shall be done by the number of thirty six present, or the major part of them, whereof twelve to be Ministers, and twenty four to be Ruling Elders.
Sir Nathaniel Brent, Mr. Edward Corbet, John Pulixton, Hen. Wilkinson, William Prinn, William Tiping, Sir William Cobb, George Greenwood, Dr. Wilkinson, Edward Reinolds, Robert Harris, Fran. Cheynel, John Packet, John Wilkinson, John Mills, Christopher Rogers, William Cope, Ba. Hall, Tho. Knight, John Helling, William Draper, Gabriel Becke, John Cartwright, Sam. Dunch, they or any five of them, to determine all matters according to Law.
To examine upon Oath concerning Neglect of the Covenant, Directory, or Discipline, or such as write false Doctrine, or have been Enemies to the Parliament, and certifie the same to the Committee of Parliament, whether the Parties also have appealed.
The Committee of Lords and Commons for. Oxford Appeals.
Earl of Northumberland, Earl of Kent, Earl of Rutland, Earl of Pembrook, Earl of Lincoln, Earl of Nottingham, Earl of Suffolk, Earl of Salisbury, Earl of Warwick, Earl of Denbigh, Earl of Middlesex, Earl of Manchester, Earl of Mulgrave, Earl of Stanford, Viscount Hereford, Viscount Say and Seal, Lord Delaware, Lord Berkley, Lord Wharton, Lord North, Lord Hunsden, Lord Grey, Lord Roberts, Lord Howard, Lord Bruce, Sir Chr. Yelverton, Sir John Danvers, Mr. Selden, Mr. West, Mr. Rouse, Mr. Crew, Sir William Lewis, Mr. Whitlock, Sir Thomas Witherington, Mr. Poole, Sir Peter Wentworth, Colonel Leigh, Mr. Nathan Fiennes, Mr. Long, Sir P. Stapleton, Mr. Wheeler, Mr. Swinfan Mr. Browne, Mr. Love, Sir William Brereton, L. Wenman, Mr. John Fiennes, Mr. William Lenthall Speaker, Mr. Hollis, Sir Robert Harley, Mr. Salloway, Mr. Lisle, Mr. J. Lenthall, Sir Gilbert Gerrard, Mr. Scott,, Sir Tho. Wroth, Mr. Doyly, Mr. Prideaux, Mr. Tate, Mr. Bond, Mr. Ashhurst, Mr. Bulkley, Mr. Kirle, Mr. Recorder, Mr. Martin, Mr. Nicoll, Sir John Burgoignes, Sir Tho. Dacres, Sir John Maynard, Mr. Gourdon, Mr. Grimstone, Dr. Bond, Mr. Morley, Mr. Green, Mr. Reinolds, Mr. Grove, Mr. Knightlay, or any five of them.
Not much more considerable this Day, but from Scotland. Lieutenant General Lesley is marched against Kolkitoth, with four Regiments of Foot, six Troops of Horse, and three Troops of Dragoons, and not without great need, for this Alister Mackdonell Kolkitoth rageth in the Marquiss of Argyle's Country, he spareth neither Sex nor Age, but putteth both Man, Woman, and Child to the Sword; having taken away the Lives of these Innocents, he taketh all that lies before him for Provision for his Army, in procuring of which he is very diligent. The Letters mention, he expects from Ireland Recruits both of Men and Arms, and other Expedients. It is said, that the Enemies in a great Body have taken the Field in Ireland, and it is to be feared they will use the like Inhumanity in that Kingdom, and go over their old Tragedies again.
And of the Affairs of lreland, the Letters speak thus, that the Rebels now begin to bestir themselves apace; and that the Rebels in Leminster have besieged Caterlagh, a very strong Garrison under the Marquiss of Ormond. The Marquiss of Ormond propounds to raise 5000 native Irish to go beyond Sea, and offers to give his three Sons for Hostages, and his Lands to be engaged, that they shall never come against any of the King's Dominions.
From the City of Chester, Tuesday the 27th, was shipped 9 Foot Companies, under the Command of Colonel Hungerford, making 841 Men, on Wednesday they set Sail from Poyetaire; these 'tis believed are now in Dublin, for though contrary Winds have been, yet there have been enough to carry them thither more than once. Captain Meredith's Troop is come hither, to add to the other small Force. The Commissioners incline still to stay until they have more Men to possess what they are to take, wherewith to accommodate them, which otherwise may be lost so soon as had, either by the violence of the Enemy, or want from Friends; 500l. is sent by the last Men, part of that little the Commissioners have, to be disposed of by the Lord of Ormond, as he shall see it sit for the relief of the Out-Garrisons.
The Petition, Entituled, of divers well-affected Citizens, before mentioned, directed to the Commons the Supreme Authority of Parliament. The House had much debate of this, and the Petitioners were called in, and Mr. Speaker, by order and direction of the House, acquainted them, that the House did dislike the Petition; and therefore could not approve thereof.
A Letter was read in the House from the new Sheriffs of Oxon, that many Troopers that were Irish, and others that had been in Arms against the Parliament, had robbed all Passengers that passed to and fro in and about their occasions, and that he had raised the Posse Comitatus, and apprehended about a 100 of them, desiring the direction of the House therein. The House approved hereof, and Ordered that an Ordinance should be drawn, to require all Officers and Soldiers that have born Arms against the Parliament, to repair to their several Countries, and if that they appear in any Country in a hostile manner, to be punished with Death.
A Message this Day from the Lords, concerning Goldsmiths-Hall desiring that Goldsmiths-Hall may be part of the Security for the 200000/. The House had much debate thereof, but did not agree with the Lords therein; but in the rest of the Security, of the Papists and excepted Persons, their Estates, and the Excise in course, they agreed to.
May 5, 1647.
The Commons had the Report this Day from the Committee, who treated with the Common Council of London, Monday last, about the Loan of the 200000/. and had much debate thereupon and at last ordered half the Compositions for Delinquents Estates at Goldsmiths-Hall, not disposed of, to be added to the Security to the City for the 200000l.
The House took into consideration the sad condition of about 300 poor People in Barnstable, forced to fly out of Ireland, and ordered a Brief to be drawn up for Collections in all Churches and Chapels in the Kingdom the next Fast-day.
Letters from the Navy certifie a Fight near the Isle of Wight.A Fleet of Sweeds refused to lower their Top-Sail, though called to by Captain Owen, which occasioned a Sight. The Sweeds had their Admiral, Vice Admiral, Rear Admiral, and two other Men of War, and some Merchants bound for Constantinople ; but in the end not only the Merchant Ships forsook Captain Owen, but the two Men of War drew back and left him. He loft one Man, and had three wounded. The Sweeds had much loss, their Vice Admiral, and Rear Admiral had their Colours shot down, and a great breach was made in the Vice Admiral, with much other loss. The Fight continued until Night. Captain Batten relieved Captain Owen, and brought in the Sweeds Fleet to Portsmouth.
From the Army Letters this Day give to understand, that the Commissioners sent down, have appointed a general meeting of the Officers of the Army on Thursday next, the Success whereof shall then be certified.
May 6, 1647.
A Letter this Day came from the Committee of Kent, with several Examinations, concerning James Middleton preferring a Bill of Indictment against Colonel Kenricke, for his Troopers taking of three' Horses of the said James Middleton, though it was at the first Rebellion in font, and they found these Horses tied in a Wood, and were taken for the Service of the State, in the time and place of War. And upon the Examination of this business, it was found that Sir John Sidley of Kent, did advise and perswade Middleton to if, with other aggravating Circumstances.
The old Militia came according to former order to the House, and Mr. Speaker gave them the Thanks of the House, for their great Service, Care, and Industry in that Employment, for the time they continued in the place.
May 7, 1647.
The Lord Lisle made a Report this Day of what Arms, Money, and Ammunition he left behind him in the Province of Munster in Ireland; and at the fame time Sir John Temple made Report of the Affairs of Ireland, in relation to the Military and Civil Affairs of that Kingdom , and thereupon the House ordered that the Lord Lisle, Sir John Temple, Colonel Sydney, and Major Harrison, shall have the Thanks of the House, for their faithful Service in Ireland.
May 8, 1647.
Intelligence from the Head Quarter, of Proceedings in the Army between the Parliaments Commissioners and the Officers of the Army; Of Distempers in the Army; Timetill the 14 of May to confer with the Soldiers; By Vote of the Parliament the Army declared Enemies if they persist.
This Day the Houses sat not; but from the Army we had by Letters, of the Proceedings of the Commissioners sent from the House, and the Result of the meeting with the Officers of the Army, which was not until Friday, May 7. the Particulars take thus: Field Marshal Skippon, Lieutenant General Cromwell, and the rest of the Members of the Army sent down thither, communicated unto the Officers the Votes of the House, concerning their Arrears and Indempnity; and that they were enjoyned to employ their Endeavours to quiet all Distempers in the Army. These Votes being read unto them, it was said by some, that they desired to know what was meant by Distempers in the Army; if it were meant of Grievances, (which the Soldiers complained of ) they had then something to offer; but in regard that if the Officers should declare their Sense, without the consent of the Soldiers in their respective charge, it might perhaps be taken as an unadvised and forward Act in them, to undertake to declare the Sense of the Army, before they know the general Resolution of the Soldiery; as it was too much forwardness in those, who, in the first Paper presented to the Parliament, subscribed their Names, whereby the Parliament was inclined to believe they could engage their whole Regiments, of which there have been some failing, &c. And therefore these Officers now present, being unwilling to declare the Sense of the respective Regiments, Troops, and Companies, without first acquainting them therewith, (that the Unanimity of the Soldiery may the more clearly appear, and their entire Resolution be discerned) the Officers have time given them, 'till Friday the 14th of May, to communicate the Votes of the House, and to represent to the Field Marshal, and the rest of the Officers sent down, an account of their Proceedings therein. And left it may be thought that the Army hath no cause of Grievance, observe, that they being declared Enemies by Vote of the House, if they persisted in their Petition to the General, (being merely for things relating to them as Soldiers) they think it an hard case. They likewise think, that for any Person publickly to declare (so as to insinuate a belief, that a Petition was sent from the Army to the King, to come to them, and they would set the Crown on his Head) it is a great Scandal, and expect: Reparation. And likewise it is trouble unto them, that it should be said, that the Army is no more a new Model, that 4000 Cavaliers are in it; when as all the World cannot tax the Army (consisting of 21000 Men) for having one commissionate Officer, that ever was on the King's side against the Parliament, but one (fn. 1), and he was by one or both Houses intrusted in business of Concernment after his coming in, and made a Colonel by them, and afterwards recommended by Authority derived from them to the Army; as for the common Foot Soldiers that are in the Army, who being taken Prisoners listed themselves in the Army, have been engaged on several desperate Services, as in storming of Towns, and proved faithful and valiant to their Trust.
Yet to make the Army more odious to the Kingdom, a Gentleman, a Servant to the Duke of Buckingham, rid post into the North, at every Stage scattering a Copy of this Paper, supposed to be sent from the Army to the King; desiring the Post-Master of Royston, and Huntington, to publish it for a Truth, averring the City had received certain knowledge thereof at a Common Council.
All things are quiet in the Army, there is no disturbance in the Country; there was an Alarm given to Colonel Hewson's Regiment, that Warrants were come down to raise the Trained Bands, to disarm them; whereupon they retired to a Church, with their Arms; but understanding it to be a false Alarm, went afterwards to their Quarters again.
The Field Marshal of Ireland, at the meeting at Walden, May 7. instant, after he had related to the Officers the Vote of the House, likewise made known unto them, his being nominated to command the Forces intended to be sent into Ireland; and that it was expected by the Parliament, the Army should engage freely in this so honourable and needful a Service and Employment, as to reduce that Kingdom, and wished them to communicate it to their Regiments; expressing (with much Modesty) his unfitness to the Service, yet his real Intentions and Endeavours to serve them was great, though he perish in the Work. Upon the Report of this to the several Regiments, a Return will be made to him, what Numbers will engage in this Service, at the next meeting, which is to be on Friday next.
The Visitors for the Oxford Ordinance, whose Names were mentioned before, met this Day, in prosecution of the Ordinance of Parliament, for Regulation of that University; they have ordered to send for the Heads of the several Colleges in Oxford to come before them.
May 10, 1647.
The House sat not this Day, but the Committee for Irish Affairs, and some other Committees sate. The business of the Sea Fight, betwixt Captain Owen Rear-Admiral for the Parliament, and the fifteen Sweeds Ships, (mentioned last Week) is upon Examination before the Committee of the Admiralty: The Particulars we have since more fully understood, and they are thus; the Rear Admiral, which was attending some Commodities to be brought to build Ships, they being not ready, he went a little abroad, and in his Passage discovered 15 Sail of Sweeds, most Merchants, these he required to do Homage, as others, to England; they told him, they had Order from their Mistress, Queen of Sweeden, not to strike to any whatsoever: He thereupon discovering some Ships coming, bore up to them, sound two to be English Merchants going for the Straits, and carrying between them thirty or forty Pieces of Ordnance; to each of these he represented the business, also a little Pinnace belonging to the Parliament. The two Merchants tell him they will assist him, for the Honour of England; whereupon he comes up, and lets fly at them; the Merchants consider better of it, and sail onwards on their Voyage, reserving their Ammunition for to spend upon a greater Enemy; the Ship and Pinnace being engaged, dicharged many Guns, but the Rear-Admiral, having a Shot so as she could not steer, falls back, having lost one Man, and two hurt; what hurt the Sweeds had he could not tell. The Night coming, the Sweeds go on in their Voyage. The Rear-Admiral sends to Captain Batten, who with six Sail goes after, overtakes the Sweeds Ships, and having had Discourse with the Commander in chief of the Sweeds Fleets and finding no Inclination to strike Sail, brought him along into the Dowks, after whom came all the rest.
From the City of Chester Letters import thus. Nothing from Dublin this Week. The Commissioners (as yet here) were resolved to go to Sea, the Wind being fair; Expectation of Colonel Birch his Regiment, and the Welsh Foot, commanded by Colonel Kinnaston, which latter will not be ready until Saturday being not paid off by the Country, which must be done before they be listed for Ireland staid them. Colonel Jones his Horse are all to be shipt. Captain Meredith's Troop is marched to Moston in Flintshire, to be ready to be shipped for the same end. A Letter of ancient date from Ireland, faith, the Rebels are fortifying all their Passes upon the River Marrow, and what other Places the English may possibly approach them, resolving to hold what they posses as long as they can, and chiefly Kilkenny, the Place of their Head Council, and the Garden of Ireland; they fortifie Athlone, and what Places they hold in Lempster.
And from Holmby by Letters thus; Here was lately taken the Lady Cave, who lay at a Gentleman's House near this place; she waited an Opportunity to deliver Letters from her Majesty to the King: She being examined, confessed so much, and promised if the Commissioners would appoint some to go with her to the place where she lay, she would send it; she was committed to the care of the Mayor of Northampton.
May 11, 1647.
The House had much Debate of a Printed Paper, Entituled, Judge Jenkin's Vindication; and referred it to the Committee of Complaints, to examine and state the matter of Fact, and report on Friday Morning next.
The Committee was likewise appointed to send for the Printers, Writers, and Venders of these Pamphlets, and to commit such as they shall see occasion; and consider of bringing the Printers and Publishers thereof to a Trial at the Kings-bench Bar.
Also a Petition was presented, in the behalf of Major Bosvil (who delivered a Letter from the Queen to his Majesty) desiring to be tried, or discharged; upon debate whereof, he was ordered to be sent Prisoner to Newgate.
Mr. Byfeild (by appointment of the Assembly of Divines, upon an Order of the House of Commons) delivered the Printed Books of the Confession of Faith, with Scripture Notes, to the Members of the House of Parliament. And no more being to be dispersed, every Member subscribed his Name to a Paper, at the receipt thereof. After the Members have well perused and examined them, the Houses are to consider whether they shall approve them for publication.
Letters from the Commissioners at Walden, this Day read in the House of Commons, do inform, that upon their meeting Thursday and Friday last, it was concluded, that the Officers do treat with the Soldiers, whose Answer cannot be given in before Saturday.
May 12, 1647.
A Letter was read from the Scots Commissioners, desiring leave for the Earl of Dumfarling to have access to the King, and attend his Majesty, according to the Agreement. Their Lordships ordered that he have access to his Majesty, and that the Concurrence of the House of Commons be desired therein.
A Report was made to the House, of the whole Transaction with the Common-Council of London the last Week, about the Loan of the 200000l. and the Ordinance for securing and paying the Advancers thereof, was then read, and passed the Commons House, and sent up to the Lords, and likewise passed by them, and ordered to be Printed. The Ordinance it self is too large to insert; but being of that length, the Reader is referred to that Ordinance in Print.
That the Governor of Jersey hath caused a List to be made of those he suspects to be well affected to the Parliament, and hath proceeded against them, by banishing, imprisoning them, and those that were ancient and old, he hath caused them to pay great Sums of Monies; also it is certified, that the said Lieutenant Governor entertains fix or seven Frigots about the said Island, together with many other Pirates that have lately retir'd themselves there, having at this present no other Shelter in this Kingdom for their Security; all which Picqueroons do great Mischiefs and Robberies upon the Merchants of this Kingdom, that trade towards those Parts, and elsewhere. And that one Captain Amy, a most barbarous and violent Captain of one of those Frigots, being chased at Sea by the Constant Warwick, his Frigot founder'd in the Sea, by over-bearing Sail; and if the Parliament do not take a speedy course for the reducing that Island, it will prove of dangerous Consequence to this State; for Guernsey will be in great danger to be lost, and so become a second Dunkirk, and a nest for all Pirates.
May 13, 1647.
The House then considered of that part of their Lordships Message, concerning the Lord Dumfarling to be admitted to attend his Majesty; and hereupon a Letter from the Scots Commissioners at Worcester-House was read, desiring that he might attend the King, &c.
The House debated long upon this business, and at last Ordered the said Earl of Dumfarling should be admitted to attend his Majesty, according to the Engagement of this Kingdom to the Kingdom of Scotland; but not to attend his Majesty as a Servant.
Their Lordships upon the Report of the Committee of the Admiralty, past a Vote in Confirmation of that Report, concerning the discharge of the Vice-Admiral of the Sweedish Ships brought into the Downs by Captain Batten; after the reading of the said Report, and Order thereupon, the House Ordered to concur with their Lordships therein; and a Letter to be signed by both Speakers to be sent to Captain Batten, for the discharge of the said Vice-Admiral, and the rest of the Sweedish Ships, was read and assented unto.
May 14, 1647.
The House took into Consideration, an Addition to be made to the six weeks Pay, formerly Voted the Army upon Disbanding, and resolved that a fortnights Pay more should be added to that upon the Disbanding.
And that six weeks Pay more should be given to those that will go for Ireland. Likewise the Commons after long Debate passed the Ordinance for the lndempnity of the Soldiers, and also for the Indempnity of the Committees of the several Counties, for what they have done in pursuance of the Ordinances of Parliament, which Ordinance being sent up to the Lords, they likewise concurred therein.
This Day came Letters from Holmby, certifying that the King called the Commissioners about him, and told them, that he had long waited to have the Propositions sent unto him, and now that he had heard the Scots Commissioners were come to London, he was in, hopes to have had them before now; but seeing they came not, and himself desirous to deliver his Mind concerning them; he had prepared an Answer to them, having the Propositions still lying by him, as they were delivered unto him at Newcastle, and if he might not be allowed a Secretary to transcribe his Answer, he would scribble it over himself as well as he could. And it was further certified, that he said his Answer was such, which he had prepared, that he hoped to be justified in the same.
It was taken into Consideration, the Commitment of Ensign Nichols of the Army, and 10l. was Ordered to those two Officers who brought him to Town; the Question being put whether 10l. more should not be given for the defraying the Ensigns Charges also. It was carryed in the Negative by three Voices.
Marshal General Skippon's Speech at the Convention of Officers at Walden, May 15, 1647.
Gentlemen and Fellow Soldiers,
We are here once more according to Appointment met together, to desire you to give us a clear and faithful Account of your communicating the Votes of the House of Commons to your several Regiments, and those under your Command; and to desire you to inform us how you have laboured to satisfie them in the care the Honourable House took in those Votes for the Army, and what sincere Instructions and faithful Endeavours you have used to make them sensible thereof, and what Distempers you found in your several Regiments, Troops, and Companies, that toe may know how you have in these Particulars discharged your Duties, as Conscientious Christians in the sight of God, and as Men faithfully obedient to the Parliament of England.
The Justness, the Honourableness, and Necessity of the Service, cannot be unknown unto you. I desire you according to the Mind of the other Gentlemen that were sent down with me, not as Commissioners, but as Parliament Men, and Members of the Army, That you would in these Particulars give us satisfaction, that it may appear to us, and to the Parliament, and to all the Kingdom that hear of our Proceedings, that you have faithfully discharged your Duties, as we desire to do to the Parliament for the Service of the whole Kingdom; I pray that there may be an Orderly Proceeding in what we have to do; I doubt not but in the end of all, we shall find that nothing is aimed at in all things, but what tends to the real Service of the Parliament, and the Good of the whole Kingdom.
Saturday, May 15, 1647.
From Ireland we understand, That the strong and considerable Castle and Town of Caterloughly is delivered upon Quarter, which hath much puffed up the Enemy, who have now an intention to besiege Trym, the most considerable Garrison within our Quarters, next to Dublin and Drogheda; all our Horse are commanded to rendezvous at Skreene, near Terra-Hill, a Campaign Country, upon Tuesday next. It is supposed they will make up the number of seven hundred. Two hundred of our Foot are to be mounted, and go along with them. The Rebels intend with all speed to fall into our Quarters with a running Army, to sweep away all our Cattle, if not prevented by the Power of our Horse; Captain Stephens, and several other of our Army are taken Prisoners by Fitz Gerald of Ballysoman. Mr. Hatfeild being in the same Company, saved himself and his Money by the swiftness of his Horse.
This Evening Intelligence came from Saffron Walden, the Head-Quarters of the Army, of the Result of the Debates betwixt the Parliament's Commissioners, and the Officers and Soldiers, to this purpose, That the House passed several Votes for the satisfaction of the Soldiers, for Arrears and Indempnity, and also to find out the Distempers of the Army, which they desired might be communicated by the Officers to the several Regiments; upon which the Soldiers desired to chuse Committees of themselves, out of every Troop and Company, to confer together concerning the same. The Committee of Troopers met at St. Edmund-Bury, and the Foot who chose two out of every Company, sent them to confer with the Troopers; and every Foot Soldier gave four Pence a piece, towards defraying of the Charges of that meeting; their several returns being made to the Officers, the Officers repaired to the Head-Quarters with the same, and upon the whole matter gave this account, That they found no Distemper in the Army, but Grievances many which the Soldiers complained of; and because some Regiments differed from others in making known their respective Sufferings, it was referred to a Committee of General Officers to contract into a Method, what was propounded in general, as the Sense of the whole Army; and if any particular thing was desired by one Regiment, which was waved by another, that it might not be accepted, or presented as the Sense of the whole Army. So in conclusion, the Officers concurred in a draught, which was so formed out of the whole, that all the Grievances which the Army complains of, are distinctly set down in the same, in the Name of the Officers and Soldiers of the Army, and was this Day presented to Field Marshal General Skippon, desiring him to present the same to the Parliament, that a candid Construction might be had of their Proceedings. I shall forbear at present to relate the Particulars, only this in general, they meddle with nothing but what pertains to them as Soldiers, and earnestly desire Justice and Reparation in what they have presented as their Grievances, particularizing no Man, unless Mr. Edwards for this Gangrena, which he is charged to pu forth, to make the Army odious to the Kingdoms.
May 17, 1647.
This Day by Letters to the Committee for Irish Affairs came News very acceptable, of the gallant Proceedings of the Lord Inchiqueen against the Rebels in Ireland, That he hath taken from the Rebels Dungarvan Castle, and the Fort Caperqueen and Drummany; the two last were surrendered on very easie Terms, not above four or five Shot made at Drummany before it was yielded, and Caperqueen was surrendered before a Shot was made against it, for they were forced to yield for want of Powder; The Soldiers are enraged that they had so good Terms as was given them. They marched out from all these Garrisons with their Arms, Colours flying, Drums beating, Bullet in Mouth, their Goods and Provisions. The Rebels made two Sallies out Dungarvan, a Seaport and a walled Town, in half an hour, and killed two of our Captains and some others; after we had possession of the Castle, which stands close to the Town, and deprived the Rebels from Water, they surrendered it on the fame Terms. But some twenty English-men of the Red-Coats, that had run to the Rebels, that were taken in the several Garrisons, were hanged.
From Dublin by Letters, dated May the 9th, they write, That the Marquiss of Ormond received Letters from Kilkenny, by the French Agent, for a Cessation until Alhallontide, upon condition that no more English be sent over in the Interim, else that they would proclaim open Wars. The Agent returned April the 5th with a Negative Answer.
The Lord Digby the other Day was riding out of Dublin; the new Soldiers at that time guarding the Port, and knowing him, demanded his Pass, but having none, and supposing his Interest sufficient, he ruffled with them; the Guard gathering about him, intending him no good, he clapt Spurs to his Horse and ran at a higher rate towards the Bridge Port, where he was befriended and secured. The new English following him with drawn Swords, crying flop the Traitor Digby, but in vain; he was conveyed over the River by the Lord Taafe and other of his Friends, and intends for France if possible. The Lord President of Conagh hath a new design on foot, having a little refreshed himself after his last Expedition. Colonel Conway was abroad last Week with a Party of 200 Horse and 400 Foot, took 600 Cows, and as many little Horses, he returned finding no opposition. There preached lately in Christ's Church the Bishop of Down, where he delivered, That any power ought to be obeyed tho'usurped. This Doctrine much displeased the Bishop of Ossory who accused him; he said he would justifie what he had said; and Preaching after, he said, the War in England was a wicked Rebellion, and never intended other Obedience than as to Thieves and Rebels.
This Day was read in both Houses his Majesty's Letter (mentioned the last weeks Intelligence) it is large and well penned; in it his Majesty gives Answer to the Propositions formerly sent to him at Newcastle; to some he consents in whole, to others in part; to others He faith he cannot consent, and gives Reasons. For the Presbyterian Government he is willing to have it settled for three Years, and consenteth to ratifie the Assembly of sitting at Westminster, propounding a certain number of his own Ministers to be added to the Assembly, to consider what Government to settle after the three Years, whether the Presbytery or some other, and in the mean time, that he and his own Household may be free to use the old Form, and Common-Prayer Book. As to the Militia, he yields it for ten Years, and that afterward it may return to him. The Covenant his Majesty is not satisfied in, but would have same of his own Ministers sent to satisfie his Scruples therein. The Great Seal he will ratisfie, and he to have it for the future as formerly; For the City of London he grants what is desired; speaks much in behalf of those that took his part in the War. He will call home the Prince, and desires to Come to London, that he may the better give Satisfaction to the Parliament, and they to him. To the seventh and eighth Proposition his Majesty will assent; and to the ninth, after he shall be further satisfied how the penalties therein levied shall be disposed of. To the tenth, for an Act against Papists, he will consent, and propounds to pass a general Act of Oblivion, and free Pardon to all on both sides; and this in short is the sum of the Letter. The House of Peers upon reading this Letter, referred the same to a Committee, and the Commons appointed to take the same into Consideration on Thursday following.
Letters were this Day read from the Commissioners now with the Army, purporting they had sent also the last Results of the Houses, for the addition of fourteen Days Pay more, and the Act on Indempnity to the Officers, and so to the several Regiments, and were almost ready to make return of what they had from them; the business being very weighty, of such concernment, that it equaled, if not exceeded any in which they had formerly been instructed; could not possibly be sooner prepared, being of many particulars, and therefore they desired to know the Houses pleasure, that they might attend them with it. The Commons upon Debate thereof, passed several Votes to this purpose, Viz.
That all the Forces of this Kingdom not subscribing for the Service of Ireland shall be Disbanded, excepting those for the Garrisons, an that it shall be referred to the Committee at Derby House, to consider of the time and manner of Disbanding them.
That a Letter should be written to Commissioners in the Army, to send up any one or two of them to the House, to give an account of their Proceedings in the Army, excepting Field Marshal Skippon, who is to be left there to advance the Service for Ireland.
A Letter was read this Day in the House, from the Lord Inchiqueen, confirming the former Relation of his taking in of Dungarvan, Drummany, and Caperqueen in Ireland; desiring Ammunition to be speedily sent to him.
May 19, 1647.
The House this Day, according to former Order, debated the Confession of Faith presented from the Assembly, and spent the whole Day therein; passing particularly from the first Paragraph to the eleventh of the first Chapter.
May 20, 1647.
A Petition was this Day presented, in the behalf of many Citizens of London, in prosecution of a (fn. 2) former Petition. After debate thereof, the House was informed that Mr. William Browne, one of the Petitioners, should say Words tending much to the dishonour of the House; that he should say, being very importunate for an Answer to the Petition, that they had waited many Days, and would wait no longer, but take another Course; upon which a Member asking his Name, he should reply in these Words, Time may come when I may ask you your Name. He was called in as a Delinquent, kneeled at the Bar, and avowed the Petition. Mr. Speaker asked him, Whether he said those Words? He denied them, but said it was thus, That time may come, that your Name may be given in. Mr. Speaker then acquainted him, at the second calling in, that the House was satisfied of the speaking of the Words, by Members of the House.
The House debated the Petition, and Voted, 1. That it was a high Breach of Privilege. 2. That it was seditious. 3. That this Petition, and the former, Intituled, The humble Petition of many Thousands, &c. should be burnt at the Exchange in Cornbill, and the Palace Yard at Westminster, Saturday next.
The Petitioners were called in, and were acquainted what a sense the House had of that Petition, and their former; and did conceive the Petitioners did not do it out of any dissatisfaction to the Parliament, but as being miss-led by others, desiring them to be careful in not agitating in Petitions of that Nature for the future.
The House of Peers sent a Message to the Commons for their concurrence, to send a Congratulatory Letter to the Arch-Duke Leopald in Flanders, and for the settling of Ambassadors for a settling of Correspondency there.
Their Lordships likewise this Day took into consideration the King's Majesty's Letter, which was read, and insisted upon the first part, viz. his Majesty's Desire to come to London, and that he may give satisfaction to the Desires of the Parliament, and they to his. The Votes of the House, for his Majesty's coming from Holmby, were read, and their Lordships, after Debate, put it to the Vote, whether his Majesty shall remove to Oatlands, (which is sixteen Miles from London, and some few Miles beyond Hampton Court,) and it was Voted, the King should come to Oatlands, so soon as the House can be made ready, and that it be prepared for his Majesty accordingly; and that the Concurrence of the House of Commons be desired therein: But the House of Commons have not concurred, nor as yet done any thing touching this business.
This Day a Sermon was preached at Blackfryars Church, before the Provincial Assembly of Ministers and Lay Elders of London; after which they assembled at the Convocation House at Paul's, Dr. Gouge being Moderator. They are to sit and adjourn at pleasure as a Provincial Synod, for settling the several Classes in the Province of London, and removing all Obstructions therein. This Day his Excellency, Sir Tho. Fairfax, according to the Order of the House, went from London towards the Army.
May 21, 1647.
THIS Day both the Houses passed the Ordinance of Indempnity for things done by Sea or Land, during the late Troubles and Wars, which being more large than ordinary, the Reader may see it more fully in Print; yet for some Satisfaction, take the following Abstract.
THE Lords and Commons taking notice, that divers well affected Persons have been sued, indicted, prosecuted, or molested, and others are likely to be sued, for Acts done by Authority of Parliament, during these late Wars and Troubles, do Ordain and Declare, That no Person, for any thing done or acted by Authority of Parliament, for the service or benefit thereof, by Sea or by Land, ought to be sued, indicted, prosecuted, or molested for the same; and that every such Person shall be fully acquitted and discharged of all Actions, Suits, Indictments, Informations, Prosecutions, judgments, Executions, and Molestations whatsoever, for or by reason of the same; and all Judges, Justices, Sheriffs, Mayors, Bayliffs, Jurors, Officers or Ministers of Justice whatsoever, are required to take notice thereof, and duly to observe the same. And for the ease of all such Persons, who are or shall be sued, indicted, prosecuted, or molested for any such Act or Thing as is aforesaid, it is ordained, That in every action or Indictment wherein they shall be sued, it shall be lawful for them to plead the general Issue.
And because such Persons, who have acted, or commanded to be acted or done any such Act or Thing as aforesaid, may be poor, and not able to defend a Suit at Common Law, or may find themselves aggrieved in the Proceedings thereof; for a further relief, it is ordained, That any such Person or Persons, so sued or molested, may at any time hereafter, when and as often as they shall be sued, indicted, prosecuted, or molested for any such Act or Thing, as is aforesaid, either before or after a Trial at the Common Law, make their Complaint to a Committee of both Houses named; and these, or any five of them, are to receive, hear, and determine such aforesaid Complaints, and to that end to examine Witnesses upon Oath, and to commit to safe Custody, if they shall see cause, all such Person or Persons, who shall so sue, indict, prosecute, or molest any Persons whatsoever, for acting or doing any such Act or Thing as aforesaid; and also to order and award to every such Person or Persons so sued indicted, prosecuted and molested, so much as they shall make appear to the said Committee, that they have been damnified by any such Suit, Indictment, Prosecution or Molestation as is aforesaid, if they have not before recovered the same by the Proceedings at Common Law, according to this Ordinance.
And that when the said Committee, or any five of them, shall have made any Order or Award in such aforesaid Cases respectively, that the said Person or Persons ought not to be sued, indicted, prosecuted, or molested for such Act or Thing respectively; then upon shewing the said Order or an Award to the Solicitors, Attornies, or Counsellors of the Party or Parties so suing, indicting, prosecuting, or molesting, as is aforesaid, the said Solicitors, Attornies, and Counsellors, shall presently forbear to prosecute or assist, counsel or advise the said Party or Parties to sue, or indict, or prosecute any further for such Act or Things respectively: And that if thereupon they shall not forbear so to do, the said Committee, or any five of them, are hereby authorised and required to commit to safe Custody, any such Solicitors, Attornies, or Counsellors, so offending as is aforesaid, if they shall see cause.
Provided always, That this Ordinance, nor any Thing herein contained, shall not extend to discharge any such Person or Persons aforesaid, who have acted or done, or commanded to be acted or done, any Act or Thing by Authority of this present Parliament or for the Service or Benefit thereof from making their true and just Accounts to any Commissioners or Committee of Parliament, appointed or to be appointed for that purpose, of what they have taken, received, or had, for the Service and Benefit of the Parliament, as is aforesaid.
The House of Commons this Day considered of the Message from the Lords, whereof one part was, to desire the concurrence of the House, to an Order for Sir Peter Killegrew to go with a Letter from both Houses, to congratulate the Arch Duke Leopald, the Emperor's Brother, who is lately come to the Government of Flanders; to the end that Amity and Affection may be continued between these two Kingdoms.
The House then took into consideration another part of their Lordships Message, that Mr. Browne, Clerk of the Parliament, had his Name lately forged to a pretended Act of Parliament; and that this Writing remained in the Hand of a Member of that House. Ordered, that the said Writing should be delivered to Mr. Browne, that he may examine this Forgery, that so the Parties concerned may be repaired, and Mr. Browne vindicated.
The Petitioners were called in, and Mr. Speaker acquainted them, that the House was very sensible of their heavy Pressures, and gave them Thanks for their constant good Affections to the Parliament and Kingdom, and that their Petition was ordered to be speedily debated.
Some of the Commissioners of the Army being come this day to the House, they made a Report of their Proceedings in the Army, and of the Desires of the Army, of which mention was made before, and a Declaration of the Army to clear Proceedings. And afterwards Mr. Speaker, by Command of the House, gave them Thanks for this good Service, and their great Pains therein; and ordered, that the rest of the Commissioners should have Thanks when they returned.
Votes on the Report made; Topey Arrears upon disbanding, and visible Security; Apprentices, who have served in the Wars, to have their Freedom allowed; That Soldiers shall not be pressed to serve beyond Seas; Widows and maimed Soldiers.
- 1. That the Soldiers Arrears should be speedily audited, and a visible Security given them for so much of their Arrears as shall not be paid off upon Disbanding.
- 2. That an Ordinance should be drawn, to make good the Declaration of both Houses, for Apprentices of London and other Corporations, to have their time of Freedom allowed them that have served in the Wars for the Service of the State.
- 3. That an Ordinance shall be drawn, for not pressing of such Soldiers as have voluntarily served in these Wars, for any Service beyond the Seas.
- 4. That an Ordinance should be drawn for providing for a sufficient Maintenance for Widows, maimed Soldiers, and Orphans, in all the Counties of the Kingdom.
As to the point of Vindication of the Army from that Aspersion publickly laid upon them, of sending to the King to join with them; and also concerning the Declaration put forth against them, and to be repaired, concerning the Imprisonment of some of their Officers, the House referred it to a further Consideration, and the Debate of this Particular to be on Tuesday next.
This day Intelligence came from the Army, that since the Commissioners went up to London with the Grievances of the Army, and a Declaration of their Proceedings, all the Officers are repaired to their several Quarters, and that Friday the General, Sir Tho. Fairfax, came to the Head-Quarters at Walden, to the great Content and Joy of the Army: That all are quiet, and their Expectations great of the Pleasure of the Parliament concerning their Grievances, being in things relating to them as Soldiers.
But besides this, we had further Intelligence this day, concerning a Letter in Ciphers, from Mr. Ashburnham to the King at Holmby; which Letter was intercepted by Captain Abbots, a Captain of Dragoons in the Army, and is now unciphered; by which it appears, that Mr. Ashburnham advised the King to forbear to make any absolute Agreement with the Parliament, for now that the Peace beyond Sea, between the King of Spain and the United Provinces was almost concluded, the King might rely on the Aid of 40 or 50000 Men; with some other Passages. The Letter is brought up, and delivered to the Parliament.
The Affairs of Scotland, as to the subduing the Enemy there goes successfully on. Hen. 'David Leisley, having already cleared the North of the Gourdens, is returned within thirty Miles of Edinburgh with his Army, intending against Kilketto in the Lord of Argyle's Country, and the West of Scotland, as it's believed, with whom will go the Lord Argyle. The inaccessible Passage gives that very difficult.
The Commissioners having now opportunity of Wind, resolve for Dublin with such Forces as they have ready. It is reported the Rebels are drawn towards Trim, of which Colonel Fenwick is Governor; for better preserving whereof, the Lord of Ormond hath sent 100 Horse with Pick-axes and Shovels, being desirous to preserve as long as may be that, and what else he holds, in hopes that an Army for the Field may come out of England yet before all is lost, and that Army under an active and stirring Chieftain, otherway time being much spent, it will be a great Destruction to English Bodies and Treasure.
Colonel Edward Conway, the Lord Conway's Son, returned to his Quarters at Lissne-Gerney, in the Province of Ulster, the 29th of April last, with a Party consisting of 300 or 400 Horse, and 400 Foot, drawn out of the Regiments of the Lord Claneboye's, Sir John Clotworthy's, and Colonel Conway's own Regiment, and out of Colonel Hill's Regiment of Horse, and other Troopers; they marched into the Rebels Quarters in the Countries of Louth and Moneyban near Currakin Rosse, met with five Companies of the Enemies Foot, and two of their Troops, whom they beat and pursued two or three Miles, and kill'd divers of them, and took a great Prey of lean Cows and Horses, about a 1000 in Number; and the same Party intends the next Week to make another Expedition into another part of the Enemies Quarters, although they lie about 50 Miles distant from our Garrison.
That the Governor did understand, That the Rebels of that Island which are at London, have procured Purses from the Parliament to invade Jersey; and that therefore he would have him to prepare against them, and he will take care to send him speedy Relief, and Supplies from France, and that he should banish all those who stand for the Parliament, and to impose a new Oath on the Inhabitants; that the Deputy Governor hath clothed all his Soldiers in Red Coats, with the Cloath that was taken going for Ireland, which was brought thither by his Frigots.
More Foreign News which is writ from the Hague, May 24. Things are so far composed, and each now so well understand the other, that upon the matter Peace with Spain is resolved by all, and will suddenly be concluded; which as it's very sadly apprehended by the French, because they thereby become Defendants in Flanders, being but 14000 strong, the Arch-Duke 10000 Horse, and 20000 Foot, and Besieging Armentiers, which is not taken, only they hope to carry it by the 28th of this instant, as they give out; likewise it puts them upon a sudden Resolution to agree with Spain, for which end Monsieur Servient is hastening to Munster, matters being there in as good forwardness, as between the States and Spain; if this should produce a general Peace, and so great a Soldiery thereby vacant of Imployment, who knows how they might be engaged by a little Money, which no doubt their Masters would give to be rid of them.
At the Hague there is great talk of the Parliament in England, and their Army falling out, and great wonder at it, as the Affairs of Ireland and others related to England stand. The Elector of Brandenburgh is taking his leave here, and going for Cleave with his Princess; the Prince of Orange goes along with him, and entertains him at his House by the way as he passes. He intends to be sworn in the Province of Gelder, Zutphen, Overisselfrize, &c. what the Latitude of his Power will be, will be considered of.
Tuesday, May 25.
A Report was this Day made to the House, from the Committee of Irish Affairs at Derby-House, to whom it was referred to consider of the time and manner of Disbanding of the Army, (but no mention in the said Order to report it to the House) and upon this Report it was ordered according to the Desires of the Committee.
That his Excellency's Regiment should first be disbanded on Tuesday next at Chelmsford in Essex, and so many as will engage for Ireland to be presently taken on, and a fortnights Pay advanced unto them out of the six weeks Pay, besides the two Months Pay of their Arrears; and they are to march to Ingerstone, there to receive Orders. That such of them as disband, shall have two Months Arrears paid them upon disbanding, they delivering up their Arms in the Church. The like for the rest at their several Rendezvous. That Colonel Hewson's Regiment be disbanded at Bishops-Stratford, on Thursday, June 3. And those that engage for Ireland to march to Puckridge, there to receive Orders. Colonel Lambert's at Saffron Walden, June 5. Advancers for Ireland to march to Heydon, to receive Orders.
That the General should be desired to issue out his Orders to the several Regiments, to be at the times and place of their Rendezvous for Disbanding, and himself present at the Disbanding, and Field Marshal Skippon, who is then to take on such as will engage for Ireland. And in respect Colonel Ingoldsby's lies far off, the General be desired to send some Officers thither to see them disbanded.
That the Excise in Course shall be the Security for payment of the inferiour Officers, and Common Soldiers of the Army. The Delinquents Estates in the first Exception in the Propositions, shall be the Security for the payment of the Arrears of the Commission Officers of the Army, not yet disposed of. Ordered,
That a Committee of Lords and Commons be appointed to go down to the Army, to give them the Thanks of the House in the Head of each Regiment, for their faithful Service to the Kingdom, and to be assistant to the General in the Disbanding the Army.
This Day being the Fast-day, Mr. Valentine, and Mr. Hussey, preached before the Lords, and Mr. Case, and Mr. Hewes, before the House of Commons; after which the Commons sate some time, and voted to give their Ministers Thanks, and desired them to print their Sermons.
The House debated concerning what Mr. Hewes acquainted them with, viz. That he had some few Days before received a Paper from a good Hand, that one of his Neighbour Country in Kent, had marryed his Father's Wife, and had a Child by her, and that he was now living, and some other Vices in that nature spoken of, whereupon it was ordered, that Serjeant Wild bring in the Ordinance on the Morrow for the punishing of Adultery, Fornication, and Incest. It was also ordered, that on Wednesday next the Ordinance be brought in against Blasphemy and Heresie, and for the punishing thereof. And the House ordered Mr. Cawdry, and Mr. Strickland, be desired to preach before them the next Fast day.
Upon a motion in the behalf of Torrington in the West, for some relief for the building of that Church, which in the heat of the Fight with the Lord Hopton there was blown up; it was voted to be referred to the Committee of the West, to take it into Consideration, and to report it to the House.
This Day from the Army came Intelligence, That his Excellency, Sir Tho. Fairfax, was removing his Head Quarters from Walden, to St. Edmunds-'Bury in Suffolk, that so he might be nearer the Horse, my. and the better take notice of their Deportment, to prevent any Distempers in the Army, and that the Soldiery might be acquainted of the House of Commons late Proceedings, in relation to the Grievances of the Army; his Excellency writ a Letter to the several Regiments, in these Words.
I Desire you forthwith to take Order, that notice be given by you to the several Companies of your Regiments, That the Grievances of the Army were on Friday last presented to the House of Commons, and are by them admitted to be heard, and taken into Consideration. I do therefore require the Soldiers, to forbear any further Actings by themselves without their Officers in any irregular ways, and all Officers are strictly to see to it in their several Charges, That there be no more such Meetings or Consultations of Soldiers at Bury or elsewhere.
To his Excellency Sir Thomas Fairfax, the Petition of divers of your Excellency's Officers.
After their humble Thankfulness for those notable Successes God hath blessed them with, under your Excellency's Conduct, and acknowledgment of your eminent Diligence, unwearied Industry, and exemplary Forwardness in the Publick Service; they have thought it necessary at this time in all humility, to present to your Excellency their sensibleness of some Aspersions cast upon them, as if they aimed more at private Emoluments, than your Excellency's and the Army's Honour, or the Soldiers Advantage, thereby alienating the Affections of their Soldiers from them, and rendering them less capable to serve the Publick.
They therefore humbly beseech your Excellency not to receive any Impressions from these Imputations, but that you will be pleased to rest assured, that as they can be out-done by none in their Fidelity to the Parliament, and Constancy to those Principles they first undertook their Service upon, so neither in the high esteem of your Excellency's Person and Conduct, nor in these Desires, That the Army be disposed of with most Advantage to the Kingdom, and with the Honour and Satisfaction of the Soldiers, professing that they will by all lawful means endeavour their good and welfare as their own, and as their Judgments guide them to believe they ought to defend, not to direct the Proceedings of those by whose Authority they were raised. Subscribed by Colonel Sir Robert Pye, Colonel Graves, Colonel Sheffield, Colonel Butler, Colonel Fortescue, and many Officers of the Army.
Thursday, May 27, 1647.
Hereupon a Letter was read from the Commissioners of Scotland, directed to both Houses of Parliament on the behalf of the said Earl, and after some Debate it was ordered, that 1500l. should be paid to the said Earl in part of his Arrears.
The House was informed, That some of the Members of the Militia of the City had something to present to the House, they were called in, and one of them presented to the House some Informations and Desires, and the Grounds of those Desires to have the Sum of 12000l. more than was formerly ordered, for maintenance of their Guards.
The House ordered that 18000 l. should be advanced on the same Security, for the repayment of such poor People as have advanced any Monies upon the Publick Faith of the Kingdom, it being under the Sum of 5 l. or not exceeding that Sum.
May 28, 1647.
An Ordinance likewise past the House of Commons for charging the Sum of 15000l. upon the Excise in course, for security of the Payment of the Arrears of the inferior officers and private Soldiers of the Army.
And to a Letter from both Houses to the General, with the Votes of the Houses to be inclosed, to desire his Excellency to communicate the said Votes for disbanding of the Foot Regiments of his Army; that their Lordships had named the Earl of Warwick and the Lord Delaware Commissioners, to go down to the Army, to assist the General in disbanding of them.
The Commons agreed to the Declaration with some Amendment, and to the Letter and Votes; Sir Gilbert Gerrard, Sir John Potts Mr. Grimston, and Mr. Knightly to be Commissioners, to go down with the Lords Commissioners to the Army.
It was referred to the Committee for Ireland at Derby House, to dispose of the Train of Artillery belonging to the Army ; and so much thereof as shall not be made use of for the Service of Ireland, to be brought unto the Tower of London.
A Letter this Day came from the Field Marshal Skippon, desiring that Colonel Deputy Governor of Bristol, may have liberty to come to London; and that Capt. Latimer Sampson may command in his stead. The House agreed thereunto according to his Desire.
Saturday, the Houses fate not. From the Army we had thus much further, That his Excellency, Sir Tho. Fairfax, removed his Head Quarters from Walden to Bury on Tuesday last, the better to advise what is fittest to be done to keep the Army from Distemper. That the Votes of the Houses on Tuesday last, for the time of their Disbanding, with eight Weeks Pay, are come to the Army, but they generally seem unsatisfied therewith, and say there is fifty six Weeks Pay behind due to them; and conceive they should be better rewarded for their unwearied Pains and Hazards for the Parliament and City. But the General, to prevent what in him lies, all Distempers in the Army, hath sent for all his Officers to Bury, to advise what is to be done; and we hope all things will be quieted, and the great Design and Aim of those, who would too gladly bring the Army into Disorder, come to nought.
Major General Mitton, and the Committee for North-Wales, have, after their great Pains and Care, settled the Distempers of the Soldiers that were there, and have disbanded all their Foot; and prepared a Regiment of betwixt 700 and 1000 of them for Ireland, they marched to the Water-side to take Shipping the beginning of the last Week.
Saturday, May 29, 1647.
The great Expectation of the Kingdom now is concerning the Army; from whence Intelligence comes to this purpose: And first from St. Edmunds-Bury, the General's Head-Quarters, we had this day Intelligence to this purpose; His Excellency having thought it requisite, for the better Knowledge of the Temper of the Soldiers, in relation to disbanding, to call a Council of War at Bury; accordingly the Officers met there on Saturday, about 200 in all. The General first communicated unto them the Votes of both Houses concerning the Time of disbanding several Regiments; and having advised them to a compliance with the Order of Parliament, and used several Perswasions thereunto.
The Council of War first had a Presentation made of the Condition of each Regiment, and of such Companies whose Officers were there. Upon the Result, it was put to the Question, Whether by what they had observed in their Regiments, the Votes then read were satisfactory or no as to the Soldiers? It was resolved in the Negative by all, [except Lieutenant Colonel Jackson, Major Gooday, Captain Highfield, Captain Lieutenant Knight, Lieutenant Heydon, and another] the Reasons were,
1. That the Sum voted of eight Weeks Pay, was not a considerable part of their Arrears. 2. That no visible Security was given for what should not now be paid. 3. That nothing was done for Vindication, and that they being declared Enemies, and sent home, they might hereafter be proceeded against as Enemies, unless the Declaration were recalled. After this a Petition was produced and read, which had been that Morning presented to the General, in the name of the private Soldiers of the Army, Horse and Foot, desiring his Excellency to appoint a general Rendezvous of the Army before their Disbanding; it being an occasion of Amazement to them to hear some of the Army should be disbanded so suddenly as Tuesday next, before all their Grievances were redrest. This was not then proceeded upon; but to prevent Disorders, and for a more readiness to suppress them, a Resolve passed by the Council of War, that the Quarters of the Army should be contracted nearer to the Head-Quarter, the matter of the Rendezvous being referred till the Afternoon; in the mean time Com. Gen. Ireton, Col. Lilburne, Col. Okey, Col. Rich, and Col. Harison, were appointed to draw up some Heads of Advice, to be presented to the General by the Council of War, and it was resolved upon the Question in the affirmative, by all, [except five or six Officers.] The Reason of this was, that considering how much the Army is aggrieved and discontented, the matter of drawing to the general Rendezvous was accordingly resumed in the Afternoon. At present it was thought there was a necessity for the Officers to comply with the Soldiers, who, as indeed was intimated, would have a Rendezvous without their Officers, which would be tumultuous and of dangerous Consequence, the Spoil of the Country, and destructive to the Kingdom. After this, having before appointed a Declaration or Advice to be drawn up, to be presented to the General, as their Opinions of the Ground and Reasons of a Rendezvous, it was read, and passed by all, except four or five; and further, that his Excellency should be desired to represent the condition of the Army to the Parliament; that they would be pleased to resume the Condition of things voted on Tuesday last, and to suspend any present Proceeding upon them; as also some Satisfaction as to Grievances of the Army, together with the things proposed in the Conclusion of the Narrative from the Officers; and that they would be pleased to give some Resolution to each of them.
To his Excellency Sir Thomas Fairfax, Knight, Captain General of the Forces raised by the Authority of Parliaments, The humble Petition of the Soldiers of the Army, presented to his Excellency at a Council of War, held at St. Edmunds-Bury, on Saturday, May 29, 1647.
That we your Petitioners, considering the late Order for Disbanding the Army, without redressing our Grievances, vindicating the Army, or calling to account such Persons who have been Intenders, Contrivers, and Promoters of our Destruction; which, being but reasonable, we humbly conceive we may justly expect, and should not be deny'd to be judged before our Disbanding. Considering also the strange, unheard of, and unusual way of Disbanding us apart, one Regiment from another, contrary to the Example of other Armies disbanded in this Kingdom; which Posture renders us suspicious to the Kingdom, to whom, for some of our Complaints, tho'humble and just, we have already been declared Enemies; and to whom, for ought we know, the rest of our doings may be presented with the same Construction. We your Petitioners humbly beseech your Excellency, you would be pleased to appoint a Rendezvous speedily for the Army, and also to use your utmost Endeavours that it be not disbanded before our sad and pressing Grievances be heard, and fully redressed; which if not done before Disbanding, we humbly conceive we shall be enforced upon many Inconveniencies, which will of necessity arise, when we, though unwillingly, shall be necessitated, for avoiding of Destruction like to fall on the whole Army, if not prevented, to do such things our selves which if your Excellency, out of your Wisdom and Prudence shall prevent, by granting our just Desire in a way of Order, we shall abundantly rejoyce in it, and be with Chearfulness enabled by it to subscribe our selves,
Tuesday June 1, 1647.
Your Lordship's Letter of the 28th I received Yesterday, with the Votes of both Houses inclosed therein; before the Receipt thereof, I had called the Officers unto a general Council of War, to advise concerning the Transaction of the business, and prevention of Inconveniencies thereupon; and when they were in Consultation, I communicated your Lordship's Letter, and the Votes therein sent, unto them: After much time spent in debate thereof, this inclosed was delivered unto me by the Officers, as the Result of the Council of War; which being of very great Concernment, I thought it my Duty to hasten unto your Lordships. It is no small Grief of Heart unto me, that there should be any Dissatisfactions betwixt the Parliament and the Army, and that the late Votes did not give Satisfaction. I beseech God to direct your Lordships to proceed with Wisdom, that things may be determined in Love, and this poor Kingdom free from further Distraction; which is the earnest desire of
Having called the Officers of the Army to St. Edmunds-Bury, I communicated unto them Yesterday the Votes of both Houses, and a Letter of the House of Peers sent therewith, concerning the disbanding of the Army; after long Consultation had thereof, this inclosed was delivered unto me, as the Result of the Council of War, where the Officers were very many and unanimous: Which being of Importance, I held it my Duty to hasten the same unto you, being much perplexed in my Thoughts, that Dissatisfaction betwixt the Parliament and the Army should rather increase than lessen. I intreat you, that there may be ways in Love and Composure thought upon; I shall do my Endeavours, though I am forced to yield to something out of Order, to keep the Army from Disorder, or worse Inconveniencies. I desire you to take some speedy Resolution for the composing of things, whereby the Kingdom may be happy in a timely Deliverance from further Distraction; for the effecting whereof, I cou'd be content to be a Sacrifice, as the last Service you can have from,
The Lords sent a Message to the Commons, to acquaint them with the business concerning the Duke of Buckingham, and their proceeding for the taking off his Sequestration, with Reasons for the same, desiring the Concurrence of the House of Commons.
Letters from Scotland this Day, give to understand, that General David Lesley, having notice that Kilkitoth was retreated out of Argyle into Canair, and Antrim into the Isles, he drew his Men to Inermage Castle, the Forces Quartering between Sterling and Dunkel. Antrim hath forced divers Fishermen to wait upon him. Some Irish Rebels are expected to come to him, or else he will over thither to them.
A Letter this Day from Colonel Rainsborough from Cullum, of the Quartering of his Regiment, and the demeanour of some of them. We understood likewise that the 3500 l. sent to Colonel Ingoldsby's Men, and by Order of the House sent for back, was stopped by Colonel Rainsborough's Men at Woodstock.
A Petition was this Day presented to the House by many Citizens of London, who had a former Petition the last Week before it, was signed with near 10000 Hands, and read; and after much Debate the House ordered it should be laid aside.
The Committee of Haberdashers-Hall was this Day ordered to bring the Book to the House remaining in their Custody, wherein the Names are of such Persons as have received their Pardons from his Majesty.
The House then had some further Debate concerning the Army, and ordered, that the Forces drawn from the Army, and intended for Ireland, should have a Month's Pay given them, and their Quarters to be discharged, and that a Muster-Master be sent to them to see true Musters made.
A Petition was read of many Widows, &c. whose Accompts are with the Committee of the Military Garden, and ordered that 3000 l. part of the 10000 l. charged upon Goldsmiths-Hall for poor indigent Persons, be paid to the Committee of the Military Garden, to be disposed by them to the Petitioners.