Historical Collections of Private Passages of State: Volume 7, 1647-48. Originally published by D Browne, London, 1721.
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The House of Commons this day, according to former Order, took into Consideration the business of the Church, for settling the the Government and Discipline thereof; and in order thereunto Voted, 'That all Ordinances referred to Committees, concerning Church-Government and Discipline, be brought in and determined; That the Ordinance against Blasphemy and Heresy, referred to that Committee where Mr. Whitakers hath the Chair, be immediately brought in and debated. And accordingly Mr. Whitakers brought in the said Ordinance. It was debated and passed, in some Cases with Death, some reprovable, upon Abjuration, for the first fault, &c. Which Ordinance was sent to the Lord, and likewise passed by them.
The Lords concurred with the Commons in a Message sent up to their Lordships, for Ely-House in Holbourn to be for the use of sick and maimed Soldiers; and to the Votes concerning the Duke of York, and his Brother and Sister, and the Earl of Northumberland.
A Letter was read from Bristol, dated April 29. 1648. advertising, That some Royalists are privately listing there for the King. That many comply with them, That the Auxiliaries stand as Neuters, and the Trained-bands are cold in suppressing them.
'Colonel Horton hath endeavoured to engage the Enemy, by they by all means avoid fighting, unless upon Passes. Colonel Fleming being sent with a Troop of Horse, and two of Dargoons, to gain a Pass from the Enemy, found they had quitted the same; and marching on to discover, was, before he was aware, on their whole Body; and though the way was narrow, yet charged them, killed many; a Cornet and about four Soldiers lost on our side. Captain Moleneux, who charged far with a small Party, was shot through the Thigh. Colonel Fleming and his Party was forc'd to retreat to a Church, and sent to Colonel Horton, then four miles off, for relief, which he hastned with all speed; but the whole power of the Welsh being so near the Church, improved their opportunity, took the Church before the relief came. They within had quarter. Colonel Fleming was there slain; some say he killed himself for Grief. About an hundred Men were taken Prisoners. A Drummer is gone for Exchange, of which our Forces took some. A Drummer came from the Enemy, and had in his Hat (as most of the Enemies have) a blue and white Riband with this Motto, We long to see our King. The Cavaliers begin to arm and appear, and were rising in Brecknockshire, to fall on the Rear of Colonel Horton; which he understanding, marched into that Country, which lies to the North of Glamorganshire; took Mr. Gamell and ten Gentlemen more, with divers Countrymen, fortifying a House. The Countries are universally bent against the Parliament; where ever Forces come, they carry away their Children, Cattle, with what Goods they can get, fly into the Woods, leaving their Houses empty; which how sad would it be to them, should we take the German way? Their Smiths are all gone, their Bellows cut by themselves before they went. If one would give Forty Shillings for a Horse-shoe, or a place to make it, it is not to be had. There is no possibility of ending this Trouble, but by such a Power, and such a Way, as is lamentable to think.
Lieutenant General Cromwel is Ordered by the General and Council of War at Windsor, To go to south Wales, with two Regiments of Horse and three of Foot; which, with those already, make about 8000 Horse Foot, and Dragoons. He intends to be gone Wednesday or Thursday; The Regiments that go, are his own, and one other of Horse, Colonel Pride's, and one other of Foot.
The Declaration of the Parliament of Scotland being perfected, it was put to the Vote, Whether it should be sent to the Committee of Divines before it past, or not, it was carried in the Negative, When it was voted, 81 for it, 31 against, who protested against it: The thing will be printed, and is to pass as a Herald, and had by this time been abroad, had not the Church delayed their Answer to Tuesday; but have now declared their diffent fully and unanimously, being sensible of the Sword getting into such hands, as, when they see time, will make nothing of Covenant or other Assurances given, and that they who have been esteemed hitherto the most Religious there, and in England, will become a Prey to both Popish and Prelatical Party.
This is, believe it, the apprehension of those in Scotland; many of whom stick not to say, they see no visible deliverance from ruine, but the Army in England, whatever you think and say in the South of it; making good the old Maxim of the Multitude, To dislike whatever is present; and if there were none other Arguments to ground the former expressed Fears in Scotland, this one were enough; That 250 Barons or Lairds have met at Lithgoe, and other Places within view of Parliament, and so no doubt approved by many who write Letters to the Inhabitants, to rise in defence of the King, Religion, and the Church, the two latter being the Golden outside of all Risings: One of them was sent for to the Parliament, who was not afraid to come; the other sent to him not to answer without them. They justifie their Proceedings by an old Act of Parliament.
The Works about this Town go on apace; the Inhabitants, out of their Affection to the Publick, as well as their own Security, have undertaken to make up the Shield-field Work: The Mayor and Aldermen went the 25th to begin it: The Town will be as it were double walled; the Soldiers do the other Works, and are paid. The Fortifications here, with the neglect of Berwick and Carlisle, will evidence to the World, That this Kingdom inclines to a Defence, rather then an Offence; who otherwise it's known are in a marching Condition. The Governour of this Town continues his Activity for Defence of these Countries likewise; and hath in several places, as at Durham and Anwick, had Meetings with the Gentlemen of the Country, who have many of them shewed their desires of Preservation, by naming several Officers for gathering such as will engage; who being encouraged by a considerable part of the Army, may possibly put a stop, yea, turn that Current of Displeasure, which in Talk comes on so furiously, thereby to fright you at Westminster into Conformity.
Tuesday May 2.
The House this Day considered of fortifying of some considerable Garisons, that lie Northward in this Kingdom, and Voted, 'That the Sum of 5000l. should be forthwith advanc'd for the repair of Newcastle upon Tine, and Tinmouth; the like Sum of 5000l. for Scarborough; For Bristol 500l. For Hull 6000l. Charging them all in Court upon the Excise in course, with 8l. per Cent. Per Annum.
This Day came Letters, 'That Berwick was surprised by Sir Marmaduke Langdale, Sir Charles Lucas, and other English, with a Party of 120 Horse, who pretended a Commission from the Prince of Wales to that purpose. The Mayor endeavoured to get Strength to oppose them, but could not: He was forced to his House; and from thence they went to the Committee, and have possessed them of the whole Town. Divers Foot being come into them from Scotland side, they are fortifying, and have broken down the Bridge, so that none can pass over into England that way, and got Boats. The House of Commons ordered to refer the Letters to the Grand Committee at Derby House, and the Lord General.
A Letter was read in the House of Commons, from His Excellency the Lord General, dated May I. adverting, 'That he had given Orders to Colonel Rich, and Colonel Barkstead, to march away from Whitehall and the Mews, with their two Regiments of Horse and Foot, to other Quarters assigned for them; (and so for drawing all Force from quartering near London) except the Houses shall give Order to the contrary. The Houses took the Letters into Consideration; and because no other Care is taken for other Guard for the Houses, Voted, 'That a Letter be sent to the Lord General, that the said two Regiments do not remove until they have farther Order. 2. That Alderman Soame. Alderman Pennington, Colonel Ven, Mr. Vassal, and those Members of the House who are Citizens, to be a Committee to treat with the City of London, and carry a Copy of the Letter, to know what Guard they will provide for the Security of the House when they are marched away. The General further likewise gave the House to understand, of the Strength and Interests of the Enemy in Wales; and that he is drawing additional Forces that way, Lieutenant-General Cromwel to Command them; and also acquainted the House with the Necessity of the Soldiers, by reason of Non-payment of Assessments in divers Places, which would occasion taking of fresh Quarters, to the burthen of many.
The Common-Council of the City of London sate this Day, and the Lord General's Letter was communicated to them; concerning which, they Ordered a Committee of their Court to go to the Parliament, to give them Thanks for their good Opinion and Confidence in the City; assuring them, That so soon as the Army shall withdraw from the City; they will stand by them for their Security. Major-General Skippon delivered his Propositions concerning the Motion of the City, for his being their Major-General. The Common-Council ordered, That there be added to the 300l. per Annum, formerly allowed to Major-General Skippon, 300 l. per Annum more.
There were two Petitions presented by divers Citizens to the Common-Council; one that the Impeached Aldermen may not be tried before the Lords; but by their Equals at Common Law; and the other for the Choice of a Committee of Militia, the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs to be part, the rest chosen by the Common Council, and confirmed by the Parliaments every Year; The Hamblets, Westminster, &c. to be under the City as formerly, and the Lieutenant of the Tower by them chosen.
A Commanded Party of Horse and Foot, belonging to Owen Roe, fell upon the Castle of Kildare, in which were two of Colonel Fenwick's Companies, attempting to scale the Walls in many Places, which was done with extraordinary Resolution; That they presently got to the Top with Ladders, where they fought upon the Works for a good while: The English gave them such welcome, that they were glad to depart with more haste down than they came up. In this violent Action, Captain Dillon and divers others were wounded, besides six killed of English: Of the Rebels sixty were slain upon the Place, besides the wounded that crept away. The Enemy and we are equally in sadness of Condition for want of Bread, and so unable to maintain a force abroad: With them Corn is at 3l. with us 2l. 10 s. a Barrel. Too many Horse have been taken from us within this 3 Months, which is very prejudicial. There is a great Mortality on both sides by the Murrain, not only of Men, but Cattle, such as hath not been here of a long time. It's reported, That the Earl of Ormond's Horse are landed in Munster, and that he is expected there.
This Day a Letter was read from the Lord Chancellour of Scotland, by Command of the Parliament of Scotland, brought by Colonel Marshal, (one late of the Lord Inchiquins Officers) with Desires from the Parliament there, as they are called in the Paper it self. But by the Lord Chancellour called Demands, were to this purpose:
- 1. That the King may come to some of his Courts near London, to abide with Safety, Honour, and Freedom.
- 2. That a Personal Treaty be had with His Majesty.
- 3. That the Independent Schismatick Army (as they term it) may be Disbanded, and none put, into Garisons, but such as will take the Covenant, and the two Kingdoms, conside in.
- 4. That all Anabaptists, Separatists, Independents, may be suppressed, and no Toleration allowed for any of them.
- 5. That all absent Members of Parliament may be sent for, to perform their Duties in Parliament.
- 6. That the Covenant may be enforced upon all Men.
- 7. That the Presbiterial Government may be effectually settled and established.
The Answer of the Common Council London to the Lord General's Letter yesterday, Ordered to be communicated to them from the House, was this Day Reported by the Committee-Members of the City, to whom it was referred to be communicated.
The substance whereof was thus. "That they did return the House their humble Thanks, for communicating this business to them. That they were now making Propositions to Major General Skippon, to encourage him to accept of the Command of Major, General of the City, and did expect that the Hamblets and Suburbs would and something thereto: And for the Guard of the Parliament, they doubt not but when the Major General had accepted of that Command, they should so provide and order it, as should be for the Satisfaction and Security of both Houses.
The House was this day informed, That there was some Tumults in Colchester by the Malignants there. They therefore Ordered Letters to be sent down to some Officers that have Forces in those Counties, to keep that place in Peace and Quietness.
The humble Petition of the Grand fury, at the Assizes holden at Chelmsford, for the County of Essex, the 22. of March, 1647. as it was presented to both the honourable Houses of Parliament, the 4th of May 1648. by divers thousands of Knights, Gentlemen, and Freeholders of the same County.
That your Petitions taking into their serious (yet sad) Considerations, the great Distractions and Calamities of this whole Kingdom, and being also very sensible, by woful Experience, of the great and many Pressures and Grievances of their own particular County, and taking notice also, with all thankfulness, of the honourable Resolutions of this House, in giving Encouragement to the just Desires of the oppressed in a petitionary way, (the undoubted Right of the Subject) and the very life of their Liberty it self; out of a tender fellow-feeling of others, and the deep sense of their own Miseries, have made this humble (yet necessary) Address to this honourable House; conceiving both the present and future Happiness to be concentred in these their ensuing Desires.
And first, considering that it is impossible the sad and direful Effects of this late War should cease, without the principal Causes be first taken away and remov'd: And considering likewise his Majesty's Absence from his two Houses of Parliament hath been one main Cause of increasing Jealousies, and continuing a Misunderstanding betwixt him and his great Council; (the Original and Source of our unhappiness) and humbly conceiving, That a timely and ready Concession to his Majesty, for a personal Treaty with his high Court of Parliament, may prove the most effectual and speedy Means for the Removal of all such Misapprehensions and Fears, which are yet the unhappy Obstacles of the Peace and Quiet of this our Kingdom.
2. Considering the excessive Charges, and almost intolerable Burthen, this County with the rest of the Kingdom do at this present groan under; which although for a time they may possibly bear with patience, yet, if continued, will certainly and inevitably ruine themselves, their Families, and Posterities. And withal considering that the most hopeful means of setting a well grounded Peace, and the surest way of preventing future Troubles, consists, in the due satisfaction of all just Complaints and Interests. And that this Army, who have faithfully discharged their Trust to your selves and Kingdom, do much complain for want of their Arrears.
We therefore, your humble Petitioners, do most earnestly desire, That you would be pleased, to take these Premises into your grave and serious Considerations, and to condescend to the Royal Intimations of His Majesty for a personal Treaty, to expedite such a Course, which in your Wisdoms you shall think most meet for the Satisfaction of the Arrears of the Army with a Disbanding of the same.
"The Lords have commanded me to return Thanks to the County of Essex for the good Affections which they have express'd to the Parliament and Kingdom; they have likewise commanded me to let you know, that they will take your Petition into their serious and speedy Consideration; and do assure you, That they will not be wanting to contribute Their utmost Endeavouas for the recovering of the present Pressures and Burthens, and for the composing these unhappy Differences, so as the Kingdom may enjoy a fate and well grounded Peace.
The House of Commons being informed, That divers Gentlemen of the County of Essex were at the door, desiring to prefer their Petition to the House, they were called in, and Major Stephen Smith did presen. their Petition, which (the Petitioners being withdrawn) was read, and after some Debate the Petitioners were called in, and Mr. Speaker, by Command of the House, upon Vote, upon the Question, gave them this Answer; "That this House doth take notice of the great Service and good Affections of that County to the Parliament; and are very confident they will so continue; as to their Petition, the House is now in Debate concerning the speedy Settlement of the Kingdom, and do not doubt but what they shall conclude thereupon will give Satisfaction to the said County, and to all the well-affected People of the Kingdom.
A Letter came this day from the Governour of Newcastle, acquainting them, 'That upon and approach of 100 Horse to Berwick, the Mayor and Aldermen had notice, and the Bridge was commanded to be drawn up. The Party came and demanded Entrance. The Town desired to know by what Commission it was demanded. Hereupon they produced a Commission from the Prince of Wales, and then the Mayor and Aldermen commanded the Bridge to be let down, and so they entred, and are possessed thereof. And as to the rest of the particulars of the Letter, of sending Forces and Shipping, it was referto the Committee at Derby-House.
Friday, May 5. 1648.
The House then took into their Consideration that part of the Massage in relation to the Solemn League and Covenant, and past a Declaration to this effect, (viz.) "That this House doth Declare, that they are resolv'd to preserve and maintain the Solemn League and Covenant, and the Treaties between the two Kingdom of England and Scotland.
And then they past a Second Declaration thereupon, to this purpose, (viz.) "That this House doth Declare, That they will be ready to joyn with the Kingdom of Scotland in the Propositions agreed upon by the two Kingdoms of England and Scotland, and presented to His Majesty at Hampton-Court.
The House hereupon had much Debate concerning the Advance of 10000 Horse and Foot for the Service, and for Associating and putting the Northern Counties into a Posture of Defence; and the Results of their Debates were; "That the Seven Northern Counties be forthwith associated and put into a Posture of Defence. And for the advancing of Forces for that Service, and Monies to pay them, it was referred to the Committee at Derby-House.
Instructions for our Commissioners in Scotland concerning the acquainting the Parliament of Scotland, "That the Town of Berwick is surprized by some Enemies to both Kingdom, that have laid long in Scotland, and have been demanded by the Parliament of England, as Enemies to the two Kingdoms.
Colonel Horton lately published this inclosed Declaration, for the right informing of the Welsh of the cause of his Forces marching into Wales; but tis scarce possible to publish it, especially in Carmarthenshire, where not a Gentleman, Constable, or Man can by seen, unless in Arms, tho' it hath been endeavoured there and in other Places; but it being in a Language the ordinary People understand not, and the Gentry are generally of the King, it is like to be of little effect; nothing but War will satisfie them: They are Rising in all Counties of south Wales; if they be suppressed in one Place, they Rise in another. Now Colonel Horton is in the County of Brecknock, they begin to Rise in Glamorganshire; He hath sent out several Parties to hinder the Rising of Radnor, some Parts of Brecknock, Glamorgan; and they will, by God's Assistance, use their best endeavours to suppress the Enemy, tho' the disadvantages are many, and Experiences of former Times hath ever shewed it in those Countries.
The Honourable Houses of Parliament having (out of their tender Care, to ease the several Counties of South-Wales from their heavy burden of Free Quarter) Resolved, That the Forces under the Command of Major-General Langhorn shall be Disbanded; and for the speeding of that Work, his Excellency Thomas Lord Fairfax, General of all the Forces, within the Kingdom of England, and Dominion of Wales, issued forth his positive Orders to the Commander in Chief of those Forces; and the Honourable Committee for the Army made undelayed Provision of Money out of England, without any increase of Charge to these Counties, where divers of the said Forces have been lately Disbanded, and others of them Declare a readiness to do the like; But Colonel Rice Powell, the Commander in Chief, present with the said Forces (after many Publique and Solemn Engagements of his Submission to the Ordinances of Parliament, and his Excellencies Orders for Disbanding, doth now, contrary to the said Orders and Engagements, not only refuse to Disband, but out of some private Ends, earnestly endeavour to lay the Foundation of a new War: (under the Notion of easing and protecting the Country.) The which that he may the better accomplish, He doth entertain all such Soldiers (formerly Disbanded) as by any fair Promises he can allure unto him; labouring to increases his Number, to the great Charge of the Inhabitants; and not resting there, issueth forth his Warrants (without any Colour of Authority) to summon two Counties to several Rendezvouzes, attempting thereby to engage them in a dangerous Design, to the manifest hazard of spilling the Blood, and unavoidable ruining the Estates of his Neighbours and Countrymen; and yet would persuade the People he only intends to oppose new Forces drawing towards them (as he fuggests) to endanger their Peace, tho' (in Truth, as is very apparent) occasioned by his and his Adherents disobedience to the Parliament and his Excellencies Orders, to come to ease the Country of the Burthen of Free Quarter, and settle them in the same peaceable Condition with the rest of the Kingdom. Therefore we thought sit (for a prevention of the Miseries these delusions may lead the Country into) to Declare and Publish, That the true Reasons of these Forces marching into these Counties, are no other, than, as hath been already expressed, (viz.) to gain Obedience to the Parliament and his Excellencies Orders for Disbanding, which will free the People from the Oppression which they lay under, and from all other Charges whatsoever (besides their Ordinary Assessment;) and then, after easing the Country of these heavy Burthens, they will suddainly depart again; Hoping in the mean time to prevent the Inconveniences that formerly accompanied Armies.
Let therefore all well-meaning People truly take heed of being deluded by fair Tales to ruine themselves, and seriously consider the different fruit of War and Peace. It is the Settlement of Peace the Parliament endeavours thro' the Kingdom, which is no where disturbed but in these Parts; and by whom it is here done, and upon what Grounds and Pretences, we leave to the Judgment of all Ingenuous Men, who shall impartially weigh the Truth of what hath been here published.
A Report was this Day made to the House of the Answer of the present Commissioners of the Customs, concerning the Advance of Monies for the present Service of the Navy; "That they are willing to advance the Sum of 20000l. for the Service of the Navy. The House hereupon past a Vote, "That they approved of the Advance of the said Sum, by the present Commissioners of the Customs.
The House then resumed the Consideration of the Letter, with the Demands inclosed from Scotland, and Ordered, 'That the Lords Concurrence should be desired to the Vote for the Government of this Kingdom, to be King, Lords and Commons.
They farther Debated upon the Votes yesterday past for preserving inviolably the Solemn League and Covenant, and the Treaties of both Kingdoms, and the Vote for a further Address to His Majesty, upon the Propositions at Hampton-Court 5 and made some Explanation, or Addition thereunto; "That they would be ready to joyn with Scotland upon those Propositions, so far as may tend to the Union and Peace of both Kingdoms.
That the Duke of York's Horses be Sold, and 200l. be reimburs'd to the Committee of the Revenue out of the proceed thereof; which sum they are to advance for some poor lamed Soldiers to be sent to the Spaw.
The business of the Church again debated. Lords desire the Commons Concurrence. To the Instructions concerning Berwick. To the Petition of those that suffered by the Mutiny in Norwich, that the M. of Winchester and the L. Cleave. land may have their Liberty. For the Lord General to be Constable of the Tower. for securing the Persons of Malignants. Carlisle taken. Langdale's Letter to Capt. Batton, to keep Holy-Island for the King. Langdale railing Forces in the North.
The House of Peers by Message desired the Commons Concurrence to several Particulars passed that House; As to the Instructions for the Commissioners in Scotland, concerning those who took Berwick, formerly demanded by the Parliament of England: To which the Commons concurred, with some Amendments. To recommend a Petition from divers Citizens of Norwich, who sustained Loss by the late Mutiny 5 those who had a Hand, to be made uncapable of bearing Office, and their Estates to make Satisfaction to the Inhabitants; which was referred to a Committee. That the Marquiss of Winchester, and the Lord Cleaveland may have Liberty continued upon their Bail. The House Ordered to send an Answer by Messengers of their own. For Confirmation of his Excellency the Lord General to be Constable of the Tower. They Ordered to send Answer by Messengers of their own. For placing a Minister at Westham. For securing the Persons of Malignants by Justices of the Peace. To which the Commons also Ordered to send Answer by Messengers of their own.
That Sir Marmaduke Langdale took Berwick: Sir Thomas Glenham, and Sir Philip Musgrave have taken Carlisle. Langdale sent a Letter to Captain Batton, Governour of Holy Island, to assure him, That if he would keep it for the King, he should have all his Arrears paid him, and that it would be an acceptable Service to His Majesty; but he refused. Sir Arthur Haslerigg from Newcastle hath sent him Supplies, and he sent a Party of Horse and Foot to Work-with-Castle; Langdale pretends to be a General (by Commission from Prince Charles) of the five Northern Countries, where he is now Arming and giving Commissions. Colonel Grey is to be Lieutenant-General; several Gentlemen of the County are made Colonels. Capt. Ball, with a Ship of 32 Guns, keeps Provisions from Berwick; but Langdale gives out, that three Ships are coming from Leith to fight him. The Irish take Ships within two or three Leagues of the Coasts. Sir Gilbert Errington hath taken Harbottle-Castle in Northumberland for the King; Major-General Lambart hath sent to secure the Garisons and to fortifie Appleby in Westmorland, Raby in the Bishoprick, and Walton-Hall in Yorkshire. Sir Philip Musgrave is marching towards Perith with 500 Horse, intending to possess Appleby and other Places.
You have good Opinion of the Counties to be a sober discreet Man amongst them, which emboldneth me (a stranger to you) to propose (that which every Man in his Duty to God and the King ought to Perform). The vail of these horrid Designs, plotted by some, that Men may run and read the Misery and Thraldom they intend upon the whole Nation. It is believed by many that know you, that you are sensible of the Imprisonment of His Majesty; and be violation of all our Laws: If you please to consider, the ends being changed, perhaps, for which you first engaged, and com ply with the King's Interest, by keeping the Fort, now in your possession the King's Use; I will engage my left to self to see all the Arrears due to your Self and the Soldiers duly paid, and to procure His Majesties Favour for the future; And that I only may receive some satisfaction from you, that this Motion is as really accepted, as is intended by,
The Popish and Malignant Party flock apace forth of the Counties of Northumberland and Durham to Berwick, where those that hole the Town are very active in sending forth Summons to the Parts remote and adjacent, to be at a Rendezvouz upon Hedgley Moor, four of five Miles from Alnwick, to be there Listed for the Service of the King; Col. Gray having also summoned all my Lord Grey of Wark his Tenants to join with them.
From Edenburgh, the 3. of May, is thus written, "The Commissioners of Parliament of England, have presented a Paper to the Parliament here, to Declare against those in Berwick and Carlisle; but it was laid aside; whence some conceive strangely of it. No Answer to any other Papers.
The Commissioners of Kirke have Declared against the Declaration of Parliament; but the Parliament have passed another Declaration, and putting it to the Vote, whether it shall be sent at all to the Commissioners of Kirke, it was resolved in the Negative; The Commissioners of War sit daily to put the Kingdom into a posture of Defence; nothing talked but of War and Arms; divers new Colours are preparing for several Regiments; the sad Miseries incident to a new and dangerous War, seem to gather more over this poor Island.
The House of Commons being informed, That the Sheriffs, Common-Council, and other Citizens and Freemen of the City of London were at the Door, they were called in; and Petition from the Lord-Mayor, Aldermen, and Common-Council, the representative Body of the City of London, in all Humility, to this House.
The Petition was read, and was Intituled, The Humble Petition of the Lord-Mayor, Aldermen, and Commons of the City of London, in Common-Council Assembled. The which, the Petitions being withdrawn, was read, and is as followeth.
And upon consideration of a Letter from the Lord General to the Speaker of the Honourable House of Commons, and by him communicated to the Petitioners; They do humbly conceive that there is an expectation that the Parliament should be guarded by the Forces of the City, and Places adjacent. The which with all willingness your Petitioners are ready to do (according to their late undertaking) being put into a capacity to perform the same, by settling the Militia London, and being Authorized so to do.
That they have received intimation by a Petition from divers worthy and well-affected Citizens, that the bringing in of Bullion is much impeded, and Merchandizing greatly diverted (of which your Petitioners are very sensible) by reason that your former Favour afforded to the City, in the nominating of the Lieutenant of the Tower, hath been of late suspended, and many Soldiers therein placed, unknown to the City, whereby Trading is much decayed, and poor People, for want of Imployment, in extream Misery, and the City greatly endangered by their important Necessities.
That the Lord-Mayor, Aldermen, and Commons in Common-Council Assembled, may by Ordinance of Parliament be Authorized to Nominate and Present to both Houses of Parliament, a Committee for the Militia of the said City, as by several Ordinances hath been formerly granted; whereby Commanders and Soldiers may be the better united and encouraged to perform their Duties for the safety and preservation of the Parliament, City, and Places adjacent; and that the Command of the Tower of London, may be put into the Hands of such a Person as shall be nominated and presented to both Houses of Parliament by the Lord-Mayor, Aldermen, and Common-Council of the said City; and that the Soldiers now there remaining may be removes; which will give good Satisfaction to the City, and remove many Fears and Doubts, and be an Invitation and Encouragement unto Merchants, (both English and Strangers) to bring in Bullion; and an occasion to increase Merchandizing, and quicken Trade, and consequently a Comfort to poor People, in having Employment for their Subsistence,
"That the Lord-Mayor, Aldermen and Commons in Common-Council Assembled of the City of London, be by Ordinance of Parliament, Authorized to Nominate and Present to both Houses of Parliament a Committee for the Militia of London, and the Liberties thereof. That the Lord-Mayor, Aldermen, and Commons in Common-Council Assembled, be Authorized to Nominate and Present to both Houses for their Approbation, an able and sufficient Person for the Command of the Tower of London. That the Soldiers now remaining in the Tower of London shall be removed.
The Sheriffs and Citizens were again called in, and Master Speaker, (by the Command of the House) acquainted them, That the House had read their Petition, and taken it into serious Consideration; and that by the Votes passed, the Affections of this House to the City, and the Trust they reposed in them, will appear; and they doubt not, but are confident, that it will be answered with Love, Trust, and Obedience; and then acquainted them with the substance of the Votes passed.
A Letter came this Day from Sir Arthur Haslerigg, Governor of Newcastle, giving the House an Account of the state of Affairs in the North, with the Copy of a Letter of Sir Marmaduke Langdale to Captain Batton, Governour of the Holy-Island, inviting him to keep that place for the use of His Majesty.
The House was informed, That many Cavaliers are very active in the Country, in acting and persuading for Mutinies and Parties, and lifting Men privately for a Second War. The House hereupon ordered that Kingdom, to require them to observe the Motions and the Practises of all Persons in their several Counties, and to secure all such as are active, or stirring, in endangering the Peace of the Kingdom: And likewise that they take care to provide for the safety of the several Countries, and to secure all Places of Strength in their Counties, either by demolishing of them, or otherwise. And a Letter was accordingly writ by the Speaker to this purpose.
The House hath received Intelligence from several Parts of this Kingdom; that it is the design of those who have been, and are Enemies to the publick Peace and Safety thereof, to make Insurrections and Tumults in several Counties, and possess themselves of such Places of Strength as now lye open, thereby to strengthen themselves for carrying on their evil Designs; for preventing whereof, the House hath commanded me to desire you speedily to meet together, and to observe the Motions and Practises of Disaffected Persons in the County, and to secure such as you find active to endanger the Peace thereof, and to use your best Endeavours to provide for the Safety of the Church, and securing such Places of Strength as are therein from danger of Surprizal, by slighting or otherwise; whereby the Parliament may, without disturbance, intend the speedy Settlement of the Peace of the Kingdom, which they are now upon. This being all have in Command, I shall only add, that I am,
The House then considering of a way to secure this Kingdom, and more particularly to secure the Northern Parts, that we may not be embroiled again in a Second War; and in order hereunto, they Voted, That his Excellency the Lord General, should be desired to Advance in Person into the North, with such Forces as he shall think sit, to reduce the Places in those Parts, possessed by Delinquents and Enemies to the Kingdom, and to prevent any danger that may arise in those Parts, to the disturbance and danger of the Peace of the Kingdom.
From Holland'tis now fully confirmed, "That the Duke of York arrived at Dort; from thence he went to Hunsler Dike, being met there by the Royal Princess and Prince of Oranges, which Place is a matter of three Miles from the Hague. His Woman's Cloths he came in being changed, he is shortly to go to Breda, and there to continue as long as he and they please; The Prince of Wales is expected also in these Parts, Preparations being made at Paris for his departing from thence.
From Dublin, by Letter May 4. was certified "That Owen-Mac-Art, going some Days since, with a Party into Ulster, waste that little left the Parliament's Friends; Colonel Monk, whose Valour and Fidelity was ever eminent, having knowledge of their coming, marched with such a Party as he could make; and having laid 300 Horse in Ambush, sell with the rest upon their Quarters, which gave them a hot Allarm, many being suddenly slain; they drawing together to oppose the first were charged by the 300, totally routed, between 500 and 1000 slain, all their Arms and Baggage taken, the residue flying several ways. Corn is, in all the Rebels Quarters, at eight Pound a Quarter, or, at Twenty Shillings an English Bushel; the People die within, and the Cattel without, and many Thousands of both are like to perish.
Wednesday, May 10. 1648.
An Ordinance was this Day read in the House of Commons, For giving Power to the Committees of the Counties of Brecknock, Gloucester, Glamorgan, and Hereford; to secure all disaffected Persons and tumultuous, which was read and Committed.
A Petition was this Day presented to the House, in the Name of many Hundred reduced Officers, remaining in Town, and who have long attended for their Arrears, desiring some proportion of their Arrears for their present Subsistence; The House hereupon Ordered, That this Petition should be referred to a Committee, who were to consider thereof, and to report it to the House.
The House then proceeded to the business of the Day, The Debate of the Scots last Letter, and Ordered, "That Instructions should be sent to our Commissioners, to enable and require them to acquaint the Parliament of Scotland, how ill the Parliament of England do resent the Title of their last Letter; and further, that our Commissioners should acquaint them, that they should expect to receive the Answer of the Parliament of England, to their last Letter from our Commissioners in Scotland with all Convenience.
Letters this Day from Monmouthshire in Wales give to understand, the Loss of Chepstow-Castle; thus certified, "That Sir Nich, Kemise, Mr. Thomas Lewis, and other active Malignants, having gained Correspondency with some in Chepstow-Castle in Monmouthshire, Colonel Hewes the faithful Governour, being gone to meet Colonel Herbert and others of the Gentry, at Abergaveny, for fettling the County upon some Overtures, Sir Nich. Kemise and Mr. Lewis got Possession in the Night at a Port, which when one Cautrell an Officer of that Garrison perceived, he invited others to him, retreated to a Tower which he made good as long as he could, but was, with Captain Herbert and others taken Prisoners, and Sir Nich. Kemise is possessed of all. Colonel Herbert hearing hereof, presently got Forces, and hath besieged the Castle.
From South-Wales thus, "The Welsh marched towards Cardiffe, but Colonel Horton possessed himself of Landaffe, Eely, and S. Fagous, all within three Miles of Cardiffe, and kept all the Bridges and Passages; five Troops were sent from the English to scout, who gave Allarm to the Welsh Army, and beat up some of their Quarters; an Engagement is hourly expected; the next Day both Armies faced each other within a Mile, the Welsh near Cottrell, Miles Button's House on the Hill, the Guards were within a quarter of a Mile of each other.
Thursday, May 11. 1648.
This Day came the welcome News from Colonel Horton, of routing the Welsh Forces with Major General Langhorne, and Colonel Powel, near Cardiffe; The Particulars were certified to the House of Commons by Major Bethel, and also a Letter from Colonel Horton. The Relation is briefly thus. "Monday, May 8. at nine a Clock, the Welsh were discovered marching to a Hill half a Mile from S. Fagous. Colonel Horton discovered them, and drew to another Hill within half a Mile of them. Colonel Butler drew out 500 House to fall on English Rear. Lieutenant Godfrey, Lieutenant to Major Bethel, and Captain Mercy, with a Party of Horse, disputed at a Pass with them, worsted them. Horse and Foot relieved the Welsh Forlorns, and Horse the English; the Welch were routed before the Foot got up; then Parties fought, and after the whole Bodies. The Welsh, commanded by Major General Langhorne were totally routed, said to be 8000, and above half armed, the rest Clubmen; the English were between 2 and 3000 Horse and Foot. Major General Langhorne was wounded, who with Colonel Powel is fled. Taken Prisoners, Major General John Stradling, also Langhorn's Quartermaster-General, Commissary-General Colonel Harris, and many other Colonels: Major Wogan, Major Philips and several other Majors; Captain Button, Captain Matthews, and 26 Captains more; 150 Officers, and 3000 Soldiers; many Colours and Arms; and are still pursuing; not ten in a Company known to be any where left, but such as fled to Garisons.
After many tedious, hungry and wet Marches, over steep and craggy Mountains, it pleased God, that we were engaged with the Enemy (who accounted themselves near Eight Thousand Horse and Foot) upon Munday Morning, the Eighth of this Instant, before St. Fagous and Peter's Town; where, after a sharp Dispute for near two Hours, It pleased the Lord Almighty to appear for us, in giving the Enemy a total Rout; the Particulars thereof I shall within a short time, at large present you with. There are many stain of the Enemy upon the Places, and in the pursuit for seven Miles; we cannot yet bear of one of our Officers stain, and but few of the Soldiers, but we lost many Horses. I guess the Prisoners which are taken, to be 300; we have taken all their Foot, Arms and Ammunition, which is good store; Major General Stradling is taken, with many Officers and Gentlemen, and many Colours. It pleased God wonderfully to strengthen and raise up the Spirits of our Officers and Soldiers: Our Word was, God is our Strength: And truly we found him so to be, and desire the sole Glory may be given to him, and our selves look'd upon, as weak Instruments in his hand; and amongst whom, as I am, so I desire to be accounted, who am,
Captain Wogan for his good Service in Wales, his Accompts ordered to be audited and satisfied, as likewise his Brigadeto have the Lands formerly granted to Maj, General Langhorne. 1000 l. per Annum of Delinquent Lands to be sold, and the Proceed given to Colonel, Horton, &c.
The House was inform'd' That Captain Wogan (not the Revolter) that went down for the Reducement of Wales, had been very active and gallant with the rest of the Officers and Soldiers in this great Victory; "They ordered, His Accompts should be forthwith audited and satisfied.
And for an Encouragement to this Brigade for this great Service they Ordered, "That the Lands formerly granted by Parliament to Major-General Langhorne(who commanded the Field that day against us) and 1000 l. per Annum more, of such Delinquents as were in this Fight, should be fold, and the proceed thereof to be given as a Gratuity from the Parliament of England, to Colonel Horton his Officers and Soldiers, for this great Service. They further, Ordered, That a Declaration should be drawn up to prevent all Engagement in a War, Commotion or Insurrection in any Counties of the Kingdom against the Parliament, by declaring, That all such Person or Persons whatsoever, that shall so engage, shall die without Mercy.
It was this day further Ordered, "That the Lord Mayor, Aldermen and Commons, in Common Council assembled, shall have leave to name to the House for their Approbation, the Militia for the City of London.
The Lords were this day desired, by Message from the House of Commons, to pass the Ordinance against Judge Jenkins. A Committee was appointed, to consider how the Prisoners in Wales should be disposed of, which they have done accordingly; but it is not yet presented to the House.
The House of Commons again this day proceeded to the Debate of the Scot's Letter and spent some time therein, and Ordered at last, that a Committee should be appointed to draw up an Answer to the said Letter, to be sent away by Lieutenant Colonel Marshal.
The House then proceeded in Debate, concerning the Prisoners in Wales, how they should be tried; and they ordered, "That a Commission of Oyer and Terminer should be issued for the Tryal of the Rioters in Wales; and that Mr. Eltonhead and Mr. Parker be sent down to manage this Business against them. They farther ordered, That His Excellency the Lord General should send for the Officers and chief Prisoners taken by Colonel Horton's Forces, and try them by a Council of War, according to the Articles of War; so that Justice may be executed upon them, for prevention of the like for the future.
The House then ordered, 'That a Letter should be drawn and sent to the Lord General from the House, to desire him not to give Orders for the Removal of the two Regiments at Whitehal and the Mews, till the House hath provided themselves of another Guard.
A Committee was appointed to go into the City, and to desire that a Common Council might be call'd, and to acquaint them with this great Mercy, in routing all the Forces in Wales; and to desire them, that in respect His Excellency is marching Northward with part of the Army, and the great occasion there is for Money at present, that they would take speedy course, that the Arrears of the City due to the Army may be collected and paid.
A Letter this day came from the Lord General, desiring Arms, Ammunition, and Money, may be speedily provided for the Forces that are to advance with him into the North. The House considered to all the particulars desired by his Excellency for this purpose, and agreed thereunto.
Once before was mentioned the Art of double Writing, and we are desired for better Satisfaction to give you this further Account of it now. That there is invented an Instrument of small bigness and price, easily made and very durable; whereby with an hours practice, one may write two Copies of the same thing at once, on a Book of Parchment as well as on Paper, and in any Character whatsoever; of great Advantage to Lawyers, Scriveners, Merchants, Scholars, Registers, Clerks, &c. It saving the labour of Examination; discovering or preventing falsification, and performing the whole business of Writing, as with Ease and Speed, so with Privacy also. Approved in its Use and Feasibility by an Ordinance of both Houses of Parliament. The farther Nature whereof, and the latter Conditions whereupon it shall be discovered (the former for not doing, it till the first of April 1649. being declined) may be fully known, at the Inventer's Lodging next door to the white Bear in Loathbury.
The House of Commons this day, according to former Order, took into consideration the great Business of fettling the Militia of the Kingdom; and an Ordinance was read for that purpose, which admitted of most of this day's Debate: and at last it was assented unto, and ordered to be sent to the Lords for their concurrence.
The House of Commons was informed, of a great Rising in St. Edmond's Bury in the County of Suffolk, a place where lately the Head Quarters was intended to be; occasioned first by the taking down of a Maypole. The Tumult increased to the plundering of some, but afterwards in a good measure was allayed.
And the House of Commons hereupon Ordered, 'That the several Members that serve for that County, should be enjoined forthwith to repair into the County of Suffolk, and to endeavour to suppress all Tumults of the disaffected Party.
They further Ordered, 'That it should be referred to the Committee at Derby House, to give Orders for Horse to be sent down into the said County of Suffolk, to suppress the Mutineers if there be occasion.
The fond Report this Day spread of re-uniting the Welsh Forces, and a supposed Defeat given to our Forces there, comes to nothing; but the contrary is certified, and the great Victory by Colonel Horton against them by Letters this Day fully confirmed, and a Lift of the Prisoners taken and in Custody, (viz.) 25 Majors and Captains, 32 Lieutenants, 27 Ensigns, 10 private Gentlemen, and above 2000 private Soldiers. We want room to enlarge further the Parliament; but the whole Business will be published at large by it self.
From Windsor'tis certifies, 'That The Army, Horse and Foot, begin their March Northward Money next, and the General removes from Windsor after them in a Day or two. There is nothing farther from the North, but that several Garisons, by Directions of Parliament, are replenished with Men and Provisions, to prevent the Enemies surprised. Belvoyr Castle, and Ashby de La Zouch were in hazard to be surprised by certain Malignants, but it was prevented, and they new Garisoned for the Parliament. (May 13. 1648.)
Monday, May 15. 1648.
Report was this Day made to the House of Commons, from the Commissioners sent down into Kent, for the Tryal of the Mutineers at Canterbury, 'That the Grand Jury refusing to find the Bill, the Commissioners had adjourned the Court to another time.
A Letter was read in the House, from Vice-Admiral Colonel Rainsborough, to acquaint them with the Intelligence he hath received of two Men of War from France, appointed to transport Hours and Arms for Scotland.
From the North came Letters this Day, and first from York; it was certified, 'That there was a Design to take that City by Surprise of the Tower; the Day and Hour was set for the Malignants and disaffected to Parliament to come in; at that instant came a Troop of Hours that were to pass Northward, who they in the Conspiracy perceiving, cryed up the King, thinking them Royalists; which gave Allarm to the Lord Mayor and others, and they prevented the Execution.
From Newcastle, May 11. was thus written. 'Some of Colonel Lamhart's Horse, and Colonel Bright's Regiment of Foot, are come by this Town, and are to join with some Troops now near the Borders, to secure what they can, and offend the Enemy, not much increased in or 'about about Berwick, but about Carlisle they are; some Numbers of Horse will be raised here, if the General comes down speedily. Colonel Charles Brandling, the Governour of Berwick, lay sad Taxes upon the English; as a Thousand Pound upon Sr. William Selby, Five Hundred upon Mr. Rosden, Mr. Foxton at 300. Andrew Crispe 150. Robert Turner at as much, one Mr. Anderson at 60 l. Henry Shell at 50l. with divers others. Tho Temple, late Alderman of that Town, is made a Captain; others are in Command. Major Gilbert Erington came a Week since as far as Cartington-House, which he took and held three or four Nights, but upon approach of Major Sanderson's Troop he quitted it; the Major hath got 40 Musqueteers and put into it, who it's feared will not be able to hold it unless more be added. They in Berwick and Carlisle are impatient, and begin to cry out, that the Scots appear not for them before this: Besides, they fear, they say, Scotland will have work enough at Home. The Fortifications go on here; the Prison House is nulled for better Security to this Town; Sir Philip Musgrave, it's here reported, hath marched as far as his own House, near Kirby Stephen, and to have forced Cholmley over Stainmore; and Colonel Bright is said to have been gone for Safety to Raby Castle. Here is great Joy to hear that the Lord General Fairfax is coming into these Parts.
'The Zeal of the Commissioners of the Kirk of Scotland against a War, appears very great, by their sending to the Ministers of the several Presbiteries, with Charge, That they lay it home to their People that they engage not in a War, thus driven on and intended, upon high Displeasure from God, and apparent Destruction to themselves; however, the others go no with all convenient haste, and it's said will adjourn this Day, and so the several Burgesses go into the Shires to raise Men for their Army. The Commissioners for the Kirk of Scotland, have passed a Declaration in Answer to the Parliament's, wherein briefly they insist upon these Heads. That it encreaseth their Fears, and they particularly take notice, there is no Expression in the Parliament's Declaration, of the continuance of Monarchical Government in His Majesty's Posterity. That the Parliament mentions such as have abused them and the Kingdom; and if they mean the Malignants, how is it that they are now Favourites? And in that the Parliament takes notice of the first Occasioners of Troubles, the Kirk desire, that it may be observed who they were. And that Malignants having taken the Covenant, are now taken into Councils, and chief Men again: Whereas they mention that Malignants had been punished according to Covenant in both Kingdoms, and that the Covenant was therein performed, they say they cannot but remember them of what Favours and Friendships have been granted to such. They say that it's true, the Covenant hath been broke by Sectaries, and so it hath by Malignants abroad and at home; and true Zeal for the Covenant is to strike both ways. As for laying aside of the Covenant in the Bills sent to the Isle of Wight, they say it was so in the Desires sent up to His Majesty from the Commissioners of Estates of Scotland. As for denying My Lord Lauderdale's access to the King, the Commissioners of the Kirk say, the General declared against it; and he had access several times after. As for a general taking the Covenant, they say, it hath been done by the Representatives, and think it no Ground of War, for time may bring the rest unto it; and because the Ministers in the several Counties in England have given large Testimonies of their good Will thereto. As for England's sending to the King without Scotland, they with the contrary, but say it's disputable, whether that be a breach of Treaty and Ground of, of War: They take notice of not only debating, but agreeing by Scotland with the King at Newcastle without England: As for the three Propositions or Desires sent, they appear not that they pass so as if denied they were cause, of War, because debateable, and yet not satisfactory to their Desires, which was to have as a Deduction; thence the Cause was clearly stated: Nor can War be grounded thereupon, because when the Parliament of England were most free of Sectaries, they did not suppress the Irish; enforce the Covenant on all Officers, much less all English Subjects; nor would be obliged not to send Propositions or Bills, without the Concurrence of Scotland. This they say, because the Parliament remitted this to them for satisfaction to their Consciences. As for their pressing the Covenant and Directory upon the Subjects, they take notice the King is not intended to be required the same, as suiting belt with His Majesties Desires, nor that any Application be made of His Majesty's Consent; nor declares the Parliament of Scotland, that the Non-takers of the Covenant shall be accounted Enemies to the State; no not those who have not taken it to this Day. They approve not that it be peremptorily desired, that the Confession of Faith sent from the Divines at Westminster be approved, whereas they express it with cautient. Lastly, the Church desires that Uniformity be endeavoured fairly in Brotherly ways, which are now by the Parliament's Declarations turned into Causes of War: For their Desires of His Majesty's coming to his House near London, before he have consented to any thing, they conceive dangerous. First, all Grants are suspended until then, and so a restitution to prove before any thing granted; and so he may pass up and down, raise Forces, and draw the People to him, who lie ready prepared therefore; besides the Influence he may have upon the Houses: And whether His Majesty be not restored to his Honour by this means, before Jesus Christ be to his; and if it was declared in Scotland, it would not be safe His Majesty come thither before he consented in Matters of Religion, &c. How can it be that he come to London? Besides, thus to challenge a Dispose of His Majesty in England by Scotland, will be displeasing to most that have appeared in this joint Cause and Quarrel, will unite them all in opposition to Scotland: For the Army being disbanded, which they like, yet they would see Provision against Popish Prelacy and Malignants rising in Arms, already appearing in several Places, as in Ireland and Wales; and if His Majesty come to London, how easie it is for those that have adhered to him, to re-gather about him. Lastly, the Favour, Countenance Encouragement given by the Parliament of Scotland, to eminent Milignants English, the Ministers say, will sure hinder the disbanding the Army in England; and father, that the Declaration stands aloof in Answer to that, concerning what Power they intend to put into His Majesty's Hands. And whereas it's said, His Majesty shall pass such Acts, they conceive it's better His Majesty shew good Affection that way before Restauration. As for the Oath framed to be taken, they are not pleased with the Exception, so far as is due to the Church, nor will be meant by it. And they conclude, they are not against a War, if the Grounds of undertaking it be clear: Nor is it out of Affection to Sectaries that they shew their Dissent, nor for want of tenderness to Privilege of Parliament, nor of Sympathy with their Brethren of England, but from tenderness in Point of Religion and Union between the Kingdoms, and Non-satisfaction with the Declaration; and if, as the Parliament promised, they will give all honest satisfaction in the Grounds of the War, there is a Door of Hope yet open.
A Letter this Day came to the House of Commons, from the Gentlemen of the County of Chester, 'That they had taken course, for the fortifying of the Castle and City of Chester. The House hereupon ordered, To give them Thanks for their forwardness herein, and passed a Vote for Approbation thereof.
Another very acceptable Letter this Day came from the Gentlemen of the County of Flint, Denbigh, and Montgomery; 'That they had entered into an Association; and had taken Care to secure those Counties against the Enemy, according to the Particulars enclosed. The House Ordered, That they should have hearty Thanks for the same, and ordered to approve thereof. It is hoped these three Counties will give a good Precedent to all the well affected Gentry and Committee Men in England, to make timely Provision against our common Enemy.
A Letter also this Day came from the Committee and Gentry of the County of Lancaster; Giving the House Account of what they had done, in relation to the Security of that County, against the common Enemy; The House ordered them Thanks, and approved of what they had done therein.
The House then proceeded to the Business of the Day viz. the Consideration of settling the Militia of the City of London; upon which they had much Debate, and did freely agree thereunto; and the rather, because they might have full Satisfaction herein, not doubting the City of London would answer this with Love and Affection.
To this House (which we rather wish might be forgot than mentioned) came many Hundred Horse and Foot out of Surry, with a Petition to the Lords, and another to the House of Commons: The Petition in the Terms of it was very high; the Heads are these, 'That the King may be restored to his due Honour and just Rights, according to the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy; That he may forthwith be established in his Throne, according to the splendour of his Ancestors; That he may for the present come to Westminster with Honour and Safety, to treat Personally for composing Differences; That the Freeborn Subject of England, may be governed by the known Laws and Statutes, now in force in this Kingdom; That the War beginning may be prevented; And that the Ordinances for preventing Free Quarter may be duly executed, and Speed made in Disbanding all Armies, having their Arrears due paid them.
The Lords gave the Petitioners Answer, 'That they would bend all their Endeavours to ease the Burthens of the Kingdom; and that they were present upon Consideration of the Settlement of the Kingdom; and doubted not to satisfie all. The Commons being upon Debate of the Petition, the Country Foot in Westminster-Hall, or ruder fort of them, animated by some disaffected, and some of them flusht in Drink, fell into Mutiny with the Soldiers, disarmed two or three upon the Guard, and one was killed, before any of the Petitioners was hurt; whereupon more Horse and Foot were sent for from the Mews and Whitehall, to suppress the Tumult, and clear the Guards, so that no Force might be put upon the House, which the Soldiers did accordingly; but in this Commotion many were hurt, and some slain.
Of the Affairs of Ireland, and more particularly of the Province of Muster, by Letters from Kinsale, is given to understand, 'That the Lord Inchiquin, and those that have adhered to him, act all things in that Province as yet with great Privacy; his Lordship had a meeting lately with the Lord Taaffe at Dungarvan, to conclude a Cessation, which it's believed is finished, though not publish'd; it's to be for four Months: The Lord Inchiquin is to have the Counties of Waterford, Kerry and Cork; the Lord Taaffe and his Forces to have Limerick Clare and Tipperary; to this the Supream Council and Clergy Roman will not consent; the Soldiers of the Lord Inchiquin are all upon free Quarter. My Lord Craford is landed at Waterford; he comes from Spain, and is to move my Lord Inchiquin for Soldiers, for which Favour, it's said, he parts with a good Sum.
Wednesday, May 17.
The House this day fitting after the Sermons, Ordered, 'That the Lord Mayor and Common-Council of the City of London should be desired not to suffer any Multitudes of People to pass through the City, upon any pretence whatsoever; and they suffer none to come in Armed, but to take care for the disarming of them, and that they give Orders to their Guards to this purpose.
And because all these Tumults and Troubles do chiefly arise by the Malignant Party, now in the City and Suburbs, by their Craft and Industry, endeavouring to engage County after County, and to poison the well-meaning People here, and in other parts of the Kingdom to a new War:
They Ordered, "That the Ordinance for putting Delinquents, Papists, Malignants, &c. out of the late Lines of Communication, and within Twenty Miles of London, should be renewed for Six Months longer, and a strict course taken for putting this Ordinance in execution effectually.
The House further Ordered, "That the Committees of the County of Kent and Surry Should take effectual care to prevent all Tumultuary proceedings in those Counties, let them be upon what pretence soever; to the end the Peace of the Kingdom may be kept, and not to involve our selves in a new War by the deceit of the Malignant Party.
The House was informed that one Captain Nichols was at the door with Letters from Colonel Horton in Wales; he was called in, and gave the House an Account of the Fight and Victory over all Powel's and Lang horn's, and all other Forces in Wales.
The House was informed of a scandalous, feigned and false Pamphlet, written by Malignants, Entituled, The Engagement and Declaration of the Grand Fury, Free-holders, and other Inhabitants of the County of Essex, in prosecution of their late Petition. They Ordered, "That the Printer and Author thereof should be severely punished, if they could be found; and gave order for the finding them out.
Of the March and Proceed of Lieutenant-General Cromwel, from Chepstow, by Letters May 15. is thus written: 'Wednesday the 10th, we came to Monmouth; the next day we marched to Chepstow, which the Enemy understanding, drew forth what Horse they had, which with Gentlemen and others were about 40, and about 100 Foot. We marched up towards the Town, and found the Walls well lined with Musquetiers; but the Soldiers of Colonel Pride's Regiment went on so desperately, that presently the Gate was taken, and so the Town and a good number of Prisoners; some fled to the Castle, which makes those before in it 150. A Summons was sent them, which they slighted, and shot at the Drummer. The next Night we attempted to force the Gate, but that a great Rain hindered; at which time Major Gregson, Colonel Pride's Major, by a Stone receiv'd a dangerous wound in the Head, and four or five more Common Soldiers also hurt: The Castle is strong, and victualled for a Month, Guns and Battering-pieces are sent for from Bristol and Gloucester; and Colonel Ever is left with Seven Companies of Foot, and Two Troops of Horse to gain the place: The Lieutenant-General, with his own, and Colonel Thornbanch's Regiment of Horse, Colonel Pride's and Colonel Dean's Regiments of Foot, are marching for Pembroke-shire, and will to morrow Night have his Head-Quarters at Cardiffe.
Both Houses this day passed the Ordinance for the Militia for the City and Liberties of London to be in the hands of these following, during the pleasure of the House (viz.) John Warner, Lord Mayor of the City of London; Sir John Wollaston, Knight and Alderman; Abraham Raynardson, Alderman; Sir George Clarke, Knight and Alderman; William Gibbs, Richard Chambers, Thomas Foot, Samuel Avery, John Bide, Thomas Viner, Aldermen; Serjeant-Major-General Philip Skippon; The Mayor and Sheriffs of the City of London for the time being; Col. Francis West, Richard Glyde, Edwin Browne, Peter Jones, Major Thomas Chamberlain, Col. Thomas player, Col. John Billamy, William Jesson, Lieutenant-Colonel Jackson, William Kendell, Thomas Arnold, Nathaniel Hall, Lieutenant-Colonel Edward Billamy, Francis Waterhouse, Anthony Bateman, Thomas Andrews, Captain Richard Vennor, Peter Miles, John Gase, john Juryn, Citizens.
And further, by this Ordinance Colonel Francis West, is appointed to be Lieutenant of the Tower of London, and to have the Command thereof as formerly he had; and that the Soldiers of the Tower be forthwith removed thence.
Both Houses this day passed the Ordinance, "For Major-General Philip Skippon to be Major-General over all the Forces within the City of London, Liberties, and the said late Lines of Communication, Raised, or to be Raised by the respective Committees for the Militia: And that the said Major-General Philip Skippon shall have power to Command, Lead, Conduct and Employ the Forces aforesaid, for the Protection and Safe-guarding of both Houses of Parliament, from all Force and Violence; And likewise of the Cities of London, Westminster, and parts adjacent; and for the suppressing all Tumults, Insurrections, Rebellions, and In vasions, and of all Forces which shall be raised without the Authority of Parliament within the Limits aforesaid; and shall and may fight with, kill and flay all such as shall by Force oppose them, and the Forces under his Command in the execution of this Ordinance, and to observe and follow such other Directions, which he shall from time to time receive from the respective Committees for the Militia aforesaid, and likewise to observe all such Orders and Directions as he shall from time to time receive from both Houses of Parliament.
On Friday last here began a great Combustion in this Town about setting up of a May-pole, which grew to that height, that by Saturday 6 or 700 Men were gotten into Arms, some of them cried out, For God and King Charles; and began to lay hold on some Soldiers which were in Town, and set Guards in several places, pretending they were in fear that the Soldiers would come in upon them and disarm them; some of those which stood for the Parliament were forced to leave the Town and their Goods, to shift for themselves and go away to Friends in the Country. To appease this Combustion, some Troops of Horse which were Quartered in these parts, were drawn before the Town; and finding the Townsmen well armed, and in a posture of Defence, they kept in a body before the Town all that Night: The next day many Country Foot joined with them; by reason whereof they in the Town were kept in on every side; and when they perceived they had brought themselves into a straight, and had no means to recover themselves, but by submission, desired a Parley, which was granted; and for want of better Conditions, (for indeed they could obtain no other) they yielded to Mercy; and how much this will conduce to securing them from what they pretended to be the greatest part of their fear, (viz.) the losing of their Arms, I leave to your Judgment. However we hope the Event will be the Peace and Quiet of the Town, which I hope is that which other places look after. We hear, That the Trained Bands in Essex had some Meetings the last week, and intend a General Rendezvous shortly. I pray God things may be for the best.
A Letter this day came to the House from the Prince Elector, desiring, his Brother Prince Philip may have leave to raise some Voluntiers in this Kingdom for Foreign Service, upon the Conditions herein mentioned.
The House this day Ordered, "To keep the Monthly Fast, on Wednesday come Sevennight, Solemnly in their own house; and that Mr. Whitacres be desired to Preach before on that day in the House of Commons.
The House had the Report of a desperate Design of the Malignant Party, in the City of London and Suburbs, who have entered themselves into an Oath of Secrecy, and have Listed many Thousand Horse and Foot, many of these Men being already discovered. Their aim is to destroy both City and Parliament; Presbyterian and Independent; and what they could not get by Seven years War, they expect to recover by this horrid and bloody Design against the Parliament and City.
'That the Officers that acted and do act by Commissions from the old Militia, should be required still to ac till such time as they shall be removed, to the end that this Design may be the better prevented.
A Committee was appointed to acquaint the City with what they have done in relation to the desires of the City, touching the fettling the Militia, and to desire, That the City would, answer all Favours with Love and true Affection, to the end all Jealousies may be removed.
A Committee was appointed, to consider of drawing some Heads to be offered to the City of London for a Union and good Correspondency to be had between the Parliament and City, to the end both may join against the common Enemy, who is now so active and violent.
Friday, May 19. 1648.
The House was informed, That Mr. Ashburnham and Col. Legg were taken and apprehended near Winchester-Park in the County of Hants. They Ordered, 'That the said Mr. Ashburnham and Col. Legg should be forthwith secured, and committed to Windsor Castle.
Much time was spent in Debate of the Instructions to the Committee that were to go this day into the City to propound some Heads for a Union and good Correspondency between the Parliament and City; which at last was Assented unto.
An Ordinance was this day read in the House of Commons, For suppressing of all Tumults and tumultuous Meetings in the several Counties of this Kingdom: Which was assented unto, and sent to the Lords for their Concurrence.
A Report was made to the House of the Answer of the Common Council of the City of London, to the Desires of both Houses for a Union and good Correspondency between the Parliament and the City, against the common Enemy; which was to this purpose, (viz.) That their Resolutions were, constantly to remain firmly joined against the Common Enemy of the Kingdom, who watch constantly for an opportunity to ruine both Parliament and City. And for this Parliament (whom they so much honour) they acknowledge with Thankfulness their great Care and Pains for this Kingdom, and particularly for this City. That they look upon these horrid Designs of the Common Enemy, as Light breaking thro' the Clouds.
'And for their adhering to the Parliament, and maintaining a good Correspondency and Union with them, they generally declared they would live and die with them, according to their former Protestation.
A Letter this Day came from Captain Wogan (a Member of the House, who behaved himself so gallantly against the Enemy in Wales) with a List inclosed, of the Names of all such Officers and Soldiers as came off from Langhorne to join with the Forces under the command of Colonel Horton.
Out of Wales came further, 'That Lieutenant-General Cromwell is possessed of Carmarthen, the Enemy having drawn all their Forces to Pembroke-Castle, which is now again besieged. Langhorne, Powel, and Poyer, are in the Castle. There hath been, and still is, some Divisions between Langhorne and Poyer.
The House of Commons this Day, upon Debate, Ordered, 'To refer it to the Committee of the Army, and the Committee of the Navy, to consider of an Establishment to be paid Monthly for the replenishing and furnishing the Stores, and taking off and employing Salt-Petre made in this Kingdom.
A Letter this Day came to the House from the Mayor, Aldermen, and Sheriffs of Sandwich in Kent, acquainting them, 'That there was a young Man lately come, who gives himself out to be the Prince of Wales; and that many People come to kiss his Hand, and others have sent him Money.
The House hereupon Ordered, 'To refer it to the Committee of Derby-House to send for this pretended Prince of Wales, and to examine him, and the grounds of his calling himself the Prince of Wales; and to represent the same to the House. And Messengers were sent away accordingly, to fetch him up to the House.
A Letter was also read from the Governour of Newcastle, acquainting the House, 'That the Gentlemen of Yorkshire had met together at a certain Place in that County, and had agreed and engaged to raise Horse and Foot for the Preservation and Defence of their County against any Foreign Enemy, or any other that acted against the Authority of Parliament. The Names of the Gentlemen were read; and the House Ordered, 'To approve of what they had done therein, and that a Letter of Thanks should be sent unto them.
The Lords and Commons in this present Parliament Assembled, do Declare, That as it is the Right and Privilege of the Subjects of England, to Present unto the Parliament their just Grievances, by way of Petition in a due Manner, and they shall be always ready to receive such Petitions, and to provide such Remedies for Redress of such Grievances, as they in their Wisdom and Judgment shall think best; so, in regard of the Tumultuous Assemblies of Persons in several Counties and Cities of this Kingdom, in the framing of such Petitions, divers Plots and Designs are carried on by Malignants and Delinquents, and Persons Ill-Affected, to the endangering the Destruction of Religion, this present Parliament, and the Laws of this Kingdom, and Liberties of the Subject; and by the like Tumultuous Presenting of the same by great Numbers of Rioters, and Ill-affected Persons, contrary to former Usages in Ancient Times, many Mischiefs have ensued, and Blood-shed, and both Houses of Parliament hindered and interrupted in their Debates and Resolutions, concerning the Settlement of the great Affairs, Peace and Safety of the Kingdom; The said Lords and Commons do hereby Declare, and Ordain, and be it Ordered and Ordained by Authority of this present Parliament,
That every such Petition which hereafter shall be brought up and Presented to the Houses of Parliament; from any County or City, or other ways, shall be brought up and Presented only by a convenient Number, not exceeding Twenty Persons; and all such Petitions shall be by them delivered to the Knights, Citizens or Burgesses, who serve in Parliament for the said County, City or Borough, from whence the said Petitions come, or to some Member of either of the said Houses, by them to be offered to the said respective Houses; and that all Persons who shall bring up any such Petition, do behave themselves Peaceably, Orderly, and without Offence. And if any Person or Persons shall hereafter, under any such, or the like pretence, tumultuously Assemble as aforesaid, the said Person or Persons so offending, shall be adjudged as Persons Ill-affected to the Parliament and Kingdom.
From Edenburgh, by Letters May 14. is thus written, The raising of an Army in this Kingdom is now like to go on to purpose. Every fourth Man is to be raised; a Footman that is to be raised, to pay 10l. if he refuseth; the Horse 20l. The Forces in the South are to be ready, May 23. and in the North, May 30. A general Rendezvous, May 31. An Act passed, None to speak against them: but the Ministers do to purpose, against the Engagement; and have press'd it home. Sir William Fleming and Mr. William Murrey took Shipping Thursday last, was Sevennight night. Sir William Blackstone is come hither with 30 Horse. On Thursday last the Parliament adjourned till June 1. The Committee of 24 to fit in the Interval. When the Committee sit, is not certain: Many Lords and Gentlemen are gone, also the two Provosts of Glasgow and Dunbarton. An Act is published in Scotland, for putting that Kingdom in a Posture of Defence against Malignants, Sectaries, and others, that oppose the Magistracy and Peace of the Kingdom; and the Names of the Persons chosen for the Colonels, and Committees of War respectively of the several Shires in that Kingdom, with Commission for their Power. Another Act is published for Propogating the Monthly Maintenance for five Months, From March the First last past, To August next. General Leven hath laid down his Commission; the Parliament gave him a rich Jewel, and promised him 1000l. Duke Hamilton is General; Earl Callender Field Marshal, David Leshly Lieutenant General of Horse, and Major General Holborne of Foot.
From Lancaster, May 19. came thus; 'We have daily expected the Enemies invading this County; but I believe their Strength is not so considerable, tho' we are informed they increase much; and our Opinion is, they only stay till the Enemy from Scotland is ready to back them. Many Skirmishes have lately been between some Parties of our Men and the Enemy; and some have been killed, and some taken on both sides. A late attempt was made for the taking of Pontefract Castle, but by the Providence of God prevented. They came in the Night with about 80 Horse, each Horseman brought his Footman behind him, and Ladders, and had placed their Ladders, and were ready to mount them, before they were discovered; and assoon as the Allarm came to the two Companies of Foot that were in it, they were in readiness and appeared to oppose: The Centinels fired, and then they withdrew; and there being no Horse in the Castle, they could not pursue, so that the Enemy got clear away.
On Monday was Sevenight, Colonel Rigby procured a general Meeting at Bolton of the Gentlemen. They agreed to raise forthwith all the Forces of the County, Warrants issued. On Monday last was another general Meeting at Preston: It was then agreed, That all the Forces of the County, that could in that time be raised upon the Southward of Garstrange, should march to Lancaster, upon the Entreaty of the Forces of Lonisdale, now at Lancaster; the Forces of Amounderness Hundred, both Horse and Foot, are under the Command of Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Rigby, and joined with the Forces of Lonisdale, to give a stop to the Enemy.
From Windsor we hear of a Presentment from the Commissioners of Surry, and a Speech made by a Gentleman of that County to the General, upon occasion of the late Tumult at Westminster; which was as followeth.
I am to present unto your Excellency a seasonable and Christian Motion, in the behalf of the County of Surry. They are much grieved, That so much Injury hath been offered to their Petitioners, and so much Christian Blood of their Country shed. That therefore, to prevent the like, or greater mischief; your Excellency would be pleased to make use of your Authority, to command your Soldiers to offer no Affront to the County, in any of their lawful Proceedings for the good of the Kingdom; and the County will take it very acceptably and respectfully, and will endeavour, that no Affront be offered to the Soldiery, but see them all have necessary and lawful Accommodation and Respect. But if any Accident hath happened or shall happen, thro' the Distemper of the People, they desire your Excellency to impute it, not to the Sense of the Country, but unto others, whom they will in no wise countenance or protect from Justice, but he ready to further Justice against them. And the like they make no doubt but your Excellency will grant to them, in case of any Injury done by the Soldiery.
Tuesday, May 23. 1648.
The Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament do Ordain, That all Papists whatsoever, and all Officers and Soldiers of Fortune, and all other Persons whatsoever, that have born Arms against the Parliament, or have adhered to, or willingly assisted the Enemy in this late War, not being under restraint, and not hereafter excepted, shall, at or before the 25th Day of this instant May 1648. depart the City of London and Westminster, and all other Places within 20 Miles. And if any the Persons aforesaid, shall continue within 20 Miles as aforesaid, after the said 25th Day of May; they shall be apprehended, imprisoned and proceeded against as Traytors.
And for the better Execution of this Ordinance, It is further Ordained, That the Lord Mayor of the City of London, and all Justices of the Peace within the said City and Liberties thereof, and the Committee of the Militia of the said City, or any one or more of them, and the Justices of the Peace of the several Counties of Middlesex, Hertford, Essex, Kent, and Surry, and of the City of Westminster and Liberties thereof, and the several Committees of the Militia of the said City of Westminster and Liberties thereof, and of the Bbrough of Southwark, Hamblets of the Tower and Suburbs, or any one or more of them, in their respective Liberties and Jurisdictions, are authorized to make search for, and apprehend, all Papists and Popish Recusants whatsoever, and all Officers and Soldiers, &c. that are or shall be found within the said Cities of London and Westminster, or Twenty Miles distant thereof, after the said 25th Day of May; and to Imprison and Commit them to some Common Goal or Prison, or to safe Custody.
Provided, that nothing in this Ordinance shall extend to such Persons aforesaid, who, having their Habitations within the Lines of Communication, or within the said space of Twenty Miles, have made their Compositions, and paid in or secured their Fines, or have taken the Negative Oath and Covenant, or that shall be authorized by both Houses of Parliament; or being really attending their Compositions at Goldsmiths-Hall, shall be permitted, by the Committee of Lords and Commons for Compositions there, to continue within the said late Lines of Communication, for the perfecting their said Composition.
Petition was this Day presented to the House, in the name of the Supernumerary Officers and Soldiers of the Kingdom, whose Accompts are audited, and desired some part of their Arrears for their present Subsistence. The House hereupon Ordered, 'That the Petitioners ought to receive Satisfaction for their Arrears out of the Security formerly given them by Ordinance of Parliament for Payment and Security of them.
That as your Petitioners in all humility, do thankfully acknowledge the many former Favours of this Honourable House manifested to this City, so in Particular in granting their Desire, expressed in their late Petition concerning the Tower and Militia of London: And in communicating unto the Petitioners several Votes of both Houses of Parliament; wherein, to your Petitioners great Joy and Comfort, are expressed your Resolutions, That you will not alter the Fundamental Government of the Kingdom, by King, Lords and Commons: That you will preserve inviolably the Solemn League and Covenant, and the Treaties between the Kingdom of England and Scotland; and that you will be ready to join with the Kingdom of Scotland in the Proportions agreed upon by both Kingdoms, and the Preservation of the Union according to the Covenant and Treaties.
And your Petitioners further humbly present to this honourable House, That the Inhabitants of the City are much grieved, in that their Magistrates and Fellow Citizens have for a long time been under Restraint, and the City thereby deprived of their Service.
That in Prosecution of your said Votes, you will be pleased to improve all good Opportunities in perfecting so desirable a Good as is therein expressed, for the speedy Settlement of the Peace of both Kingdoms, and Preservation of the Union according to the Covenant and Treaties, and preventing a new and bloody War.
That the Aldermen now in the Tower, the Recorder, and the rest of their Fellow Citizens restrained upon the same occasion, may be discharged and restored; whereby the City may be the better united, their Hands strengthened, and they made more serviceable to the Parliament and City for their Preservation and Safety; which they shall endeavour, to the utmost of their Power and Abilities.
The Lords returned them Thanks, and gave them assurance, 'To take all Opportunities for a speedy Settlement of a safe Peace in both Kingdoms, according to the Covenant, and endeavour to prevent a new bloody War, That upon the Impeachment sent from the Commons, they proceeded no otherwise then as usual in Course of Parliaments: The Recorder, and the rest not impeached, they will endeavour their Release; and assured the City of their Endeavours to comply with these Desires from them, which may firmly unite them, fasten their Hearts, and strengthen their Hands, to serve the Parliament in order to the Establishment of Religion, and the Peace of the Kingdom according to the Covenant.
Mr. Speaker, By the Command of the House of Commons, acquainted them, 'That the House had considered their Petition; That in it are many Desires, which in the Petition are expressed to tend very much to the Union of the City in it self; which how much this House desires, will appear by the Votes this House hath passed upon their Petition: And then Mr. Speaker acquainted them with the Votes concerning the Recorder, Colonel Bromsield, and other Citizens. As to the business concerning the Aldermen in the Tower he informed them, 'That it is a business of very serious and important Consideration; They have therefore resolved to resume the Debate of it on this Day Sevenight.
The House further Ordered, upon the desire of the Militia of London, 'That the Horse and Foot in the Tower, should be removed from the Tower, and joined with the Forces at Whitehall and the Mews, and there to continue, till the City declare they are in a Posture to defend the Parliament and themselves.
An Answer of the Militia of London was read; And they declare, That they do humbly acknowledge the Respects of the House of Commons exprest in their late Order, and do humbly submit it to the Houses, to appoint such Guards for their own Safety as they shall think fit, until the Militia of the City of London be better settled.
1. That we do and will adhere (according to our Covenant) to the Parliament of England, now sitting at Westminster, and their Adherents; And that we will, to the utmost of our Endeavours, according to our several Places, assist them against all such as shall oppose them, or endeavour, the disturbance of the Peace of the Kingdom, or the obstructing of the Execution of their Ordinances or Orders.
2. That, for the Defence of this City of Montgomery, we will forthwith every Man, according to his Power and Ability, (according to an Express from the House of Commons, and according to the Example of several other Counties both in England and Wales) put our selves in a Posture of Defence; and for that End, till a further Course be thought upon and concluded by the Parliament, we do voluntarily and freely engage, according to our List of Subscription, for Men, Horse, and Arms.
3. We do unanimously accord, concur, and resolve, That we will be in a readiness to assist and help each other, for the discovering, securing, and disarming of all ill-affected Persons within our County, according to Order of Parliament; and also for the suppressing of all Tumults, Insurrections, and Disorders, that may arise within our said County, or any other whatsoever, that shall upon any pretence (either by imposing of Oaths, or otherwise, without Order of Parliament) disturb the Peace, or endanger the Persons or Liberties of the said County, contrary to the Law of the Land.
- Matthew Morgan, Vic. Com
- Edward Vaughan
- Hugh Price
- George Devereux
- Sam. Moore
- Lloyd Piers
- Gabriel Wynne
- Evan Loyd
- William Kissin
- Charles Loyd
- Lodowicke Middleton
- Hercules Hannay
- Edward Owens
- Edward Allen
- William Feiges
- Ambrose Maston
- Vavasor Powel.
- 1. By undeceiving them, That the Houses have no such Intentions as the Malignants have Prompted to them in Executing Two of every Town amongst them.
- 2. That they may have leave to present their Petition by a few.
- 3. That upon laying down their Arms, and repairing to their several Habitations, they shall have an Ordinance of Indemnity.
The House then, according to former Order, considered of the Business of the Day, concerning a Treaty with His Majesty; and after much Debate Voted, 'That after His Majesty had Signed the Bills, to be tendred to him by Parliament, for settling the Militia of the Kingdom, the Presbiterian Government, and had recalled all his Declarations, Proclamations, &c. against both or either Houses of Parliament, That then a Treaty should be had with His Majesty, upon the rest of the Proportions presented to His Majesty at Hampton-Court.
Information this Day came to the House from some well-affected Gentlemen of the County of Kent, That the Rioters at Rochester did much increase, and had secured some Shipping, the Ammunition of the County, and plundered some well-affected honest Men. The House hereupon Ordered, 'To refer this to the Committee at Derby-House, and to consider thereof with all speed.
By Letters from Chester, May 20. we understand, That Col. Duckenfield had a Meeting the last Week with the Gentlemen of the County of Chester, who concluded jointly to live and die against the common Enemy; That they have resolved to have in a readiness, if the Troubles should continue, three Regiments of Foot and one of Horse; and have promised all Assistance. It were to be wished they might have more Encouragement from Above, there being a design to cut off all the well-affected Party thro the Kingdom; and their few Friends should be cherished.
'In Lancashire the well-affected have a good formidable Force. Langdale sent the Gentlemen a Letter, of his desire to Treat with them, expressing his deep Sense of the Miseries of this Kingdom. What Answer they have made is not yet returned. The Place and Persons to Treat he hath left to them. The Letter was Dated from Kendall the 14th Instant.
There came a Letter from Preston, to the Mayor of Chester, expressing, That the Enemy was not so great in Number, as was reported; for by the best Intelligence he could gather, they were not above Six Troop; of good Horse, and Three or Four Hundred other Country Cart Horses, which was all their Number.
From North-Wales, by a Letter from the High Sheriff of the County of Merioneth, Dated the 17th Instant, 'That some few Horse were come to that County, being fled from South-Wales, under Colonel Sir John Owen, formerly Governour for the King in Conway-Castle; The vigilant Committee hath sent two Troops of Horse to snap them up.
From South-Wales, May 22. came an Express, That the Officers taken in the last Defeat there are put on board Vice-Admiral Crowther, to be Tried at the Head Quarters; Major-General Stradling, Major Philips, Capt. Thomas Mathews, Capt. William Batton, Mr. Miles Mathews, Lieut. Col. Potkins, Lieut. Col. Thomas Morgan, Col. Arthur Harris, Capt. Edward Walker, Capt. Richard Cradock, Lieutenant-Col. Thomas. At a Council of War Four were Condemned, and after shot to Death; One Hanged; Seven Condemned, not yet Executed; about 160 are in Chepstow-Castle: Wednesday last they had neither Bread nor Salt Quarter was offered them, but they refused; they now cry for it, but it will not be Granted them; they had let down a Boat to have escaped, but a Soldier of ours swam over the River with a Knife in his Mouth, cut the Rope, and brought away the Boat. Lieutenant-General Cromwell is by this Day before Pembrooke.
Thursday, May 25. 1648.
The House this Day received farther Information from the County of Kent, of the approaching of the Cavaliers and Rioters of that County; and in respect the same might prove very dangerous, and of sad Consequence to the City of London, the chief aims of some of them being to Plunder the same; for prevention whereof, and better Security of Parliament and City, the House Ordered, 'That the Committee of Derby-House should have Power to dispose of the Regiment of Foot and Troop of Horse in the Tower, and the Forces at Whitehall and the Mews, for the farther Security of the City and Parliament.
That notice be given to his Excellency what the Grounds and Necessities are for the stay of the Forces of the Tower, and disposing all his Forces here for the safeguard of the City of London, from these disaffected and Riotous Persons.
A Message this Day came from the Lords, desiring, 'That in respect of the Paucity of Members at the Committee at Derby-House, which were altogether disabled thro' so many Businesses of Importance, there might be an Addition to the said Committee; and for that purpose their Lordships have named Six, desiring the House of Commons to name a proportionable Number of their House. This Message was Ordered to be further Debated to Morrow.
A Report was this Day made to the House from the Common-Council of the City of London, 'That as to the desire of advancing 30000l. by way of Loan, and repay themselves out of the Collections of the Arrears of the Army due from the City, they could not; but they had put it into a way for speedy Collecting of it; but as for the Forces of the Tower, they had given Orders to the Treasurers for the Payment of them.
The House this Day had much Debate about the raising of Forces for the Preservation of the several Counties, and that Commissions for this purpose should be granted by the Committee at Derby-House, as the several Members of the House that serve for each County shall desire them; but this was not thought convenient to be granted.
The House this Day, according to former Order, considered of the Great Business of the Treaty to be had with His Majesty, and Ordered, 'That a Bill should be drawn and presented to His Majesty, for fettling the Presbiterial Government for Three Years. But, (say some) What no mention to tender Consciences? To this, we hope they will give Satisfaction upon Passing the Bill.
Secondly, 'That a Bill be drawn to be tendred to His Majesty, for Recalling His Declarations, Proclamations, Judgments, Indictments, &c. As is desired in the Propositions presented to His Majesty at Hampton-Court.
Much Debate was this Day had about the Militia of the Kingdom, as to the Time, Whether for Seven Years, as the King hath offered it, or else for a longer Time: And this Debate is to be resumed to Morrow.
A Message this Day came to the House of Commons, from the Committee appointed to consider of the Discontents of the County of Surrey; and the Desires of that County, were transmitted to the House of Commons: The House Ordered to send Answer hereunto by Messengers of their own House.
The House was this Day further informed, That many of the Rioters of the County of Kent had plundered the Houses of the Members of the House that serve for that County, that were employed to go down and appease those Tumults; and had taken Horses from their Servants to great Value, and were advanced as near as Greenwich and Deptford.
The House hereupon gave present Order for Suppressing of them, the Particulars whereof we shall omit at this time; but for their Security, would give the more moderate Part this Caution, To withdraw privately to their several Homes, for fear of further Bloodshed; and they have too much Cause to repent of this great Folly.
By Letters from Wales this Day is thus written: The Business of Wales will soon be over; Chepstow Castle is in extream want, and ready now, to Surrender, we expect it every Hour; no Terms, but only upon Mercy. To Morrow we shall be before Denbigh and Pembroke; we have given Poyer and Powell reasonable Terms, and be sure they will accept of it. We shall within these few Days be ready to attend any Motion with a considerable Army, and leave a considerable Party here; for the well-affected in these Parts join freely with us: The violent short-winded Tumults in the Association will, we doubt not, soon be over, and then we shall wait for a Motion Northward, if occasion be.
From Windsor came thus: 'We had a Messenger this Night from Wales; the News he brings is, That on the 22d instant the Lieutenant-General marched from Swansey towards Carmarthen, and so to Denbigh, before which Place Colonel Horton is already set down; they have Provision but for few Days: Chepstow cannot hold out, they have neither Beer, Wine, nor fresh Water. 240 of the Welchmen Batchelors, which were taken Prisoners, are sent to Barbadoes; two shot to Death at Cardiss, one of them Captain Barkley; their Work is not like to be great there; I doubt not but we shall have their Counsels and Companies very soon: And tho' we are to go thro' many Difficulties, yet let not the well affected Party be discouraged; for that which is not of God, (but of the rude and ungodly Multitude) cannot stand, tho' never so many appear against us.
Some Debate was, 'About an Addition of two Companies, to be sent to Colonel Hammond, for the better safety of the Isle of Wight, refer red to the Committee at Derby-House 5 also the Desire of Colonel Hammond, for a better Guard there by Sea, referred to the Committee of the Admiralty.
The rest of this Day's Debate was, ' Upon the Bill to be sent to His Majesty for fettling the Militia of the Kingdom; the Debate was, Whether for 10 Years, (as His Majesty formerly offered,) or for a longer time: But they came to no Resolution therein.
This Evening brought News, That the Kentish Storm was in a manner blown over; a Minister came from them to the Parliament, to Petition the Houses on their Behalfs, 'That an Ordinance of Indemnity and Pardon might be granted for what was past, and that they would all lay down their Arms and retire Home, leaving some few only to present their Petition to the Parliament.
The Houses debating this Business, 'Ordered them Indemnity and Pardon, in cafe they should forthwith lay down their Arms, restore what they had taken from any one, retire to their own Dwellings, and engage to be quiet for the future. Upon this we understand, the Multitude that were come as far as Greenwich and Deptford retreated, and left behind them the Ordnance, and what they had taken there; many of them are gone Home, the rest we doubt not will be so wife to do the like.
Letters from Cornwal give to understand, 'That Colonel Sir Hardresse Waller had routed and dispersed the Mutineers that were risen in that County by the Example of the Welch, that he had killed near 100, and took 200 of the chief of them Prisoners, and let the rest go Home to their Dwellings.
The House of Commons this Day received Letters from Col. Ewer, that Commanded before Chepstow Castle in Wales, 'Of the taking of that Castle the 25th of May; Sir Nicholas Kemish, to whom the Castle was betrayed, slain; and 120 Prisoners, whereof many of them Gentlemen of Note, taken.
They farther Ordered, 'That a Letter of Thanks should be drawn up, and sent from the House to Colonel Ewer the Commander in Chief, and to the several Officers and Soldiers that were employed in that Service.
A Letter this Day was read in the House from vice-Admiral Rainsborough, acquainting the House with the Revolt of some of the Ships under his Command, and their setting him on Shoar; upon which he is come to London.
A Letter to the Earl of Warwick concerning the same Business was read, They having likewise sent to the Earl of Warwick to take the Command of them, and say, They are and will stand to King, Parliaments and Covenant.
The House hereupon Ordered, To refer this Business to the Committee at Derby-House, to consider what is fit to be done thereupon, and to report forthwith to the House; which was done accordingly; And upon Consideration of the whole, it was Voted, That Robert Earl of Warwick shall be Lord High Admiral of England, and that he should forthwith go to take Care of the Navy: His Lordship accordingly takes his Journey to Morrow.
A Letter this Day came from Sir Hardresse Waller, acquainting the House, 'With a great Rising of Malignants in the West of Cornwall, and of his falling upon them and dispersing them, having taken about 200 of the Principal of them, and slain 100 more.
A Message came down from the Lords acquainting them, 'That they had made an Addition of Six Lords to the Committee of Derby-House, in respect of the Paucity of Members of that Committee, and the many weighty Businesses that lay upon them, Desiring that the House of Commons would add a proportionable Number of their House. This was ordered to be considered of to Morrow.
Letters this Day out or Kent, acquainting the House 'That those in Arms there increase much; That they have plundered the Houses of the Members of Parliament, and other well-affected Men of that County, taken their Horses and Cows; and that if some speedy Course should not be taken, the Consequences of these Things would be fad to the well-affected Party of the Kingdom.
The House Ordered, 'That this Business of the reducing of Kent, be left wholly to the Management and Discretion of His Excellency the Lord Fairfax; and His Excellency to have Power to give Indemnity and Pardons to such as have been seduced, or forced into this Engagement, at Discretion; only excepting such as have formerly Engaged in Arms against the Parliament.
From Wales came Letters this Day, dated May 21. to this purpose, That the Lieutenant General's Forces are now before Pembroke, other Forces before Denbigh; Poyer holds to his first Resolution of such and such Things as he demanded, not at all having assisted the Party that was admitted, commanded by Major-General Langhorne not permitting any of those who fled after the Battle to come in unto him. The Country-People taken Prisoners in the late Fight were set at Liberty, upon their Promise, Not to draw together any more; which Favour they received thankfully. The Common Soldiers that were under Langhorne, are to be sent to the West-Indies, to serve the English; those Officers that were with Langhorne, are to be tried by the Law of the Land, and those formerly in Arms under him for Parliament by a Court-Military, in which way some have been Executed. The Stay here of Settlement will not be long, and then we go to Shrewsbury, Some Horse and Foot being already passed that Country, and gone many Miles farther by this time.
From Edinburgh, May 22. came to this Purpose: 'The Levies in Scotland go not forward, as was expected, Fife, Angus, and Glasgow, hath absolutely refused; so hath Kyle, Cunningham, and Carrick; these are associating against the other that are raising, by which appears a Civil War, for they who first actively Engaged here with and for England, fee clear a Design no way consistent with Presbitery, or good Liberty, and indeed they are at an Irreconcilable Difference: you would not imagine with what Courage Men in several Places oppose the greatest that come to raise Men. The first of June the Parliament is expected to fit again.
From Newcastle, May 25. came Letters to this Purpose; 'Langdale hath left 500 Foot and one Troop of Horse in Berwick; The rest are chiefly on Carlisle in Cumberland and Westmoreland: They have Pressed most that are able to bear Arms; they now Quarter about Kendal, Apleby and the Edge of Lancashire and Yorkshire. We have daily Allarms from them, their Number is said to be between 7 and 8000, the Foot Armed.
'Major General Lambert, with the Yorkshire Horse being between 8 and 906, are come to Bernard Castle, which is well, for we lay open before to the Enemy; insomuch that on Saturday last a Gentleman was fetched away out of his Bed by a Party of them within a Mile of Bernard Castle, and some Horses were then also Plundered.
Tuesday, May 30. 1648.
The House this Day (according to former Order) took into Debate, 'The Three Bills to be presented to His Majesty, in relation to a Treaty; to which they Assented, and Ordered to send them to the Lords for their Concurrence; and then to be forthwith sent to the Parliament of Scotland.
The House this Day passed an Ordinance, 'For giving Power to the Militia of London, to send down Guards to the Parliament from time to time as Occasion shall require; the Forces at Whitehall and the Mews being quite removed.
There came farther from Kent: 'That the General had a Rendezvous upon the Heath beyond Dartford this Day, where appeared complete 8000 Horse and Foot, besides some odd Companies. The Kentish Men grow numerous, but at present decline sighting, as appears by their Retreats. There came a Trumpet from them, with a Letter to the General, desiring a Treaty; It was signed by Sir Thomas Peyton, said to be Lieutenant-General, and Esq; Hales their General. The General returned this Answer following.
I Received by a Trumpet from you, whereby a Pass was desired for some Gentlemen to come to me, as Commissioners from your self and others, to Treat according to Order of Parliament; to which, not knowing of any such Order of Parliament to me, nor any Authority from Parliament to you, or the rest with you, to appoint Commissioners for such a Purpose, I could not make any Answer to any such Overture. But it hath given me occasion to send this Bearer herewith unto you, desiring you to signify thus much to those Gentlemen, and others your Countrymen with you, That whereas I find them gathered together in Arms, and persisting therein without and against the Authority of Parliament, and doing many Acts of Hostility, to the great Damage of their Neighbours in this County, and Disturbance of the Peace thereof; I cannot admit of Treaty or Capitulation with them, while so persisting in their Arms and Hostility, nor lose time in Prosecution of them. But if they shall forthwith lay down their Arms, and disperse themselves to their several Homes, I do not doubt but the Mercy of the Parliament will be extended to the Estates and Lives of those many amongst them, who shall appear to have been Abused and Deluded into this Rebellion, and their Justice against such only as shall pear to have been the Chief and most Eminent Asters and Fomenters thereof, and that chiefly for Example to others and Necessary Preparations for the Damages already here.
'Some Skirmishes have been, and at several times near 100 Prisoners taken. This Day a Party of Kentish came up against a Guard of ours, they sought stoutly, divers were slain, others taken, among whom two young Gentlemen brave in Clothes, with whom the Soldiers exchanged.
'The General hath sent a Party of Horse into the Wild of Kent, to relieve Dover Castle, besieged by them, to whom are joined some Hundreds of Kentish, who have made some Spoil among the other Kentish: The General had a Council of War, where was consulted, What was the best way to engage and keep them from playing backward and forward. This Night they march, according to Resolution taken, the Soldiers as Resolute as Men can be, and as eager to be sightings striving who shall go first.
The Laws of Nature are Universal and Perpetual, among which that of Self Preservation is one; you have declared as much; judge if it be not: We have taken up Arms to defend our selves; and Providence bath now blessed us with a Power to do it, which we cannot relinquish but with Forfeiture of our Reason and Honour; we invade, not your Right, but stand firm to secure our own, and so to do is neither Tumult nor Rebellion, You are pleased to hold out Conditions of uncertain Mercy to the People, and withal affix Menaces of an Exemplary and Positive Prosecution upon the Principals: To this, we must assure you too, Sir, it is but one Soul which informs this great Body, and we are determined to stand and fall together, being rendred incapable of any Fear, save only of Relapsing into our former Slavery: We need no other Arguments (than what the fair Manage of this Business afford) to testifie our Love to Peace; if your self stand so inclined also, be pleased rather to make this County a Friend, than an Enemy. As to the Petition, we hope it will be seasonably Considered of. We are,