Historical Collections of Private Passages of State: Volume 7, 1647-48. Originally published by D Browne, London, 1721.
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Chap. XX. Proceedings in Parliament from Nov. 1. till Dec. 4. 1647.
Munday, November. 1. 1647.
The House of Commons this Day took into debate the Business of Ireland, and the sending of Cloaths and other Provisions thither; and ordered that an Estimate should be drawn up and presented to the House of all the Shooes, Stockins, Cloaths and Provisions that is necessary to be sent thither; and this was referred to the Committee of Ireland.
The House then also further appointed this Committee to treat with the Citizens, Merchants, and such as they shall think fit, concerning the Advance of the Provisions, Cloaths, and Ammunitions for the present Service of the Kingdom of Ireland, and they have power to offer for their Security the Credit of the Excise, the Ordinance for 60000l. per mensem, the Ordinance for collecting the Arrears for Ireland, or the Security of Delinquents Estates for their Re-imbursements.
An Information was this day given to the House of Commons of an Endeavour of some Men to procure Hands to an Engagement for raising of Forces against the King, and Parliament, and Army, which was referred to the Consideration and Examination of a Committee.
Both the Houses this Day had a Conference about the Propositions to be sent to his Majesty; the Commons gave Reasons for passing the three Propositions formerly mentioned, without Alteration; their Lordships considered of the Reasons, and they concurred in the most part; and to what the Lords dissented in, the Commons afterwards concurred; and the Matter or Heads of all the said Propositions were ordered to be referred to a Committee of Lords and Commons to draw into Form, and will be finished by the end of this Week to send to his Majesty.
The Commons sent a Message to the Lords to desire their Lordships Concurrence for Colonel Hammond Governour of Wight Island to be added to the Committee thereof; and act as one of the Committee upon the former Ordinances, in which their Lordships concurred.
Letters from York this Week give to understand that M. G. Lambert was gone thence to Craven, but the Head Quarters continue at York; Col. Collingwood's Regiment have received the Monies promised by the Committee, and are marching into the North Riding; Capt. Barwick's are to move from thence back to York; the City to have none else; three Troops of Major Smithson's are to march out of the East Riding into the County of Nottingham, and all proportionably eased; Major Sanderson and Capt. Lilburn's Troop are in Northumberland, and preserve the Country; Maj. Sanderson hath gotten possession of Twisdale-Castle, and placed a Guard in it; at their Approach the old Thieves fled by Night, and quitted it Oct. 23. Major Sanderson sent into the Dale to apprehend the most notorious; six were taken of the arch Ones then, and ten before; divers of the Moss-Troops are fled into Scotland, others bound for Ireland.
Letters from Edinburgh give to understand that the Committee of Estates have Sentenc'd and beheaded the Laird of Harthill the 26th past at the Cross at Edinburgh, one who was very active in the Rebellion in the North: The Day before he was beheaded, an Instrument was brought from the King's Majesty for his Pardon and Relaxation; the Magistrates of the City seemed to make some scruple; but after Conference with some of the Committee of Estates, there being neither President nor a full Number, they proceeded to execution; and he was beheaded without the Company of a Minister, in regard he refused to petition a Relaxation from their Excommunication: He died very boldly, made a Speech to the People, shewing much affection to his Majesty; after he threw two Papers among the People, which mention strangely new Troubles in England.
We had from the Head Quarters of the Army this day a further Paper of Proposals from the Agitators of the five Regiments, and the Agitators of four other Regiments of Horse, and seven Regiments of Foot joining with them. The Paper, for better satisfaction, is as follows:
Having by our late Labours and Hazards, made it appear to the World at how high a Rate we value our just Freedom; and God having so far owned our Cause as to deliver the Enemies thereof into our Hands, we do now hold our selves bound in mutual Duty to each other, to take the best care we can for the future, to avoid both the Danger of returning into a slavish Condition, and the chargeable Remedy of another War: for it cannot be imagin'd that so many of our Country-men would have opposed us in this Quarrel, if they had understood their own good: So may we safely promise to our seves, that when our common Rights and Liberties shall be cleared, their Endeavours will be disappointed that seek to make themselves our Masters: Since therefore our former Oppressions, and scarce yet ended Troubles have been occasioned, either by want of frequent National Meetings in Council, or by rending those Meetings ineffectual, we are fully agreed and resolved to provide that hereafter our Representatives be neither left to an Uncertainty for the time, nor made useless to the Ends for which they were intended: In order whereunto, we declare,
1. That the People of England being at this day very unequally distributed by Counties, Cities and Burroughs, for Elections of their Deputies in Parliament, ought to be more indifferently proportioned, according to the Number of the Inhabitants; the Circumstances whereof, for Number, Place and Manner, are to be set down before the End of this present Parliament.
2. That, to prevent the many Inconveniences apparently arising from the long continuance of the same Persons in Authority, this Parliament to be dissolved upon the same Day of September, which shall be in the Year of our Lord 1648.
3. That the People do of course chuse themselves a Parliament once in two Years, viz. upon the first Thursday in every second March, after the manner as shall be prescribed before this present Parliament end, to begin to sit upon the first Thursday in April following at Westminster, or such other place as shall be appointed from time to time by the preceding Representatives, and to continue till the last Day of September the next ensuing, and no longer.
4. That the Power of this, and all future Representatives of this Nation, is inferiour only theirs who chuse them, and extend, without the Consent or Concurrence of any other Person or Persons, to the enacting, altering, and repealing of Laws, to the erecting and abolishing of Officers and Courts, to the appointing, removing, and calling to account Magistrates and Officers of all Degrees, to the making War and Peace, to the treating with Foreign States, and generally, to whatsoever is not expressly, or impliedly reserved by the Representatives to themselves; which are as followeth:
1. That Matter of Religion, and the Ways of God's Worship, are not at all intrusted by us to any Human Power, because therein we cannot admit or exceed a Title of what our Consciences dictate to be the Mind of God, without willful Sin: Nevertheless, the publick way of instructing the Nation, so it be not Compulsive, is referred to their Discretion.
2. That the Matter of impresting and constraining any of us to serve in the Wars, is against our Freedom, and therefore we do not allow it in our Representatives; the rather, because Money, the Sinews of War, being always at their disposal, they can never want numbers of Men apt enough to engage in any just Cause.
3. That after the Dissolution of this present Parliament, no Person to be at any time questioned for any thing said or done, in reference to the late Publick Differences, otherwise than in execution of the Judgments of the present Representatives or House of Commons.
4. That in all Laws made, or to be made, every Person may be bound alike, and that Tenure, Estates, Chapter, Degree, Birth, or Place, do not confer any Exception from the ordinary Course of Legal Proceedings, whereunto others are Subjected.
These Things we declare to be our native Rights, and therefote are agreed and resolved to maintain them with our utmost Possibilities, against all Opposition whatsoever; being compelled thereunto, not only by the Examples of our Ancestors, whose Blood was often spent in vain for the recovery of their Freedoms, suffering themselves, through fraudulent Accommodations, to be still deluded of the Fruit of their Victory, but also by our own woful Experirience, having long expected, and dearly earned the Establishment of those certain Rules of Government, are yet made to depend for the Settlement of our Peace and Freedom, upon him that intended our Bondage, and brought a cruel War upon us.
Tuesday, November 2. The House was all this Day in a Grand Committee, considering how to advance Money for the Payment of the Army, that there may be no free Quarter in the Kingdom; and little other Business was done in the House,
The Committee of the Admiralty, received Letters from the Lord Inchiquin from Munster, their Lordships have, according to order sent over Colonel Sterling, who is preparing towards his Journey; and that by reason of the Winter Season, their Soldiers cannot march to do that Service which they would, had they Cloaths, Hose and Shooes, which they exceedingly want.
A Committee was this Day appointed by the Commons, who are to take care that a Collection of all the Papers, Writings, Letters, or Commissioners of Publick Concernment that are in the Hands of either of the Clerks of the Secretaries of both Kingdoms, Collector, or any Sequestrators or other Person, and to reduce them all into one place, to be safely preserved, and to inventory and catalogue them, and put them into such a way as they may be made use of by the Parliament as occasion shall require, and are to bring a Catalogue of them to the House to be presented amongst the Records, and have Power to send for Persons, Papers, Records, &c.
This Day the Council of the Army sate again at Putney; there was presented unto them, several Particulars passed the Committee at their fitting two or three Days before, as Proposals to be presented to the Parliament, in Prosecution of the former Proposals, Engagement of the Army, and Desires of the Agitators of the five Regiments; there now appearing a very good and right understanding in the whole Army. Several Particulars were then passed, of which we can now only give you the Head; they are to be drawn into a Declaration, to present to the Parliament; the Sum is thus:
- 1. That there be a Period set for this Parliament, to end and be dissolved by the last Day of September next ensuing.
- 2. That secure Provision may be made for the Succession, Constitution and clearing the Power of Parliaments in future, as followeth.
1. For the certainty of their Succession, That a Parliament shall Biennially meet on the first Thursday in April every second Year; from and after the ending of this Parliament, with such Provision for the certainty thereof, as shall be found needful before the end of this; and the Place of meeting for each succeeding Parliament, to be where the Parliament last preceeding shall appoint, unless the Council of State hereafter mentioned, during the Intervals, the next Parliament to be where that Council shall appoint; provided that notice be given thereof to all the several Divisions of the Kingdom, for which Members are to be chosen at least thirty Days before the time of the meeting.
2. For the certainty of their sitting, That each Biennial Parliament shall certainly fit until the last Day of September next ensuing after the meeting the reof, unless adjourned, or dissolved sooner by their own Consent; but upon the said last Day of September to dissolve of course.
4. The King not to call Parliaments in the Interval, without Consent of the Council of State. 5. Elections free to Freemen. 6. Patents and Monopolies removed. 7. The Power to extend a Declaration of Law and Final Judgments, without further Appreal than representative. 8. No Law against the Commoners, without the House of Commons Concurrence. 9. No Commoner: And, 10. No great Officer, to be exempt from Judgment of the House of Commons. 11. The King of himself to give no Power effectual to protect or pardon those so condemned. 12. The Priviledge to be in the People, which by Right belongs to them, in Elections of Officers about Church Discipline, raising of Soldiers, Freedom for what hath been done these Wars, save only what shall be adjudged by the present House of Commons. 13. Elections to be distributed equally.
The House of Commons, according to former Order, was again called, and they restored the several Members their 20l. a-piece this Day, according to the Order of the House; and the House being divided, whether those Members that appeared not this Day, shall pay their 20l. a-piece, and it was ordered in the Negative Vote.
The Committee of the Army Sate again at Putney this Day, and made some farther entrance in their Proposals to the Parliament, where they lest the last Day, which was about Elections of Parliament Men; and proposed, That for the perpetuating the Peoples Rights in Elections, the several proposals before-mentioned concerning Elections may be publickly read in each Division, at the first proceeding in such Meetings as the Writs for Elections are usually published.
2. That the Form of Indentures between the People and Persons elected be formed so, as that the elected may be limited to serve as their Deputies for the Term of that Parliament, limited to so many Days.
Another Head agreed on, was concerning the Payment of Tythes, That a more equal Course be taken, and a Rate, if may be, upon every Man's Land, in lieu of Tythes, not above 20 Shillings in the Pound; and Commissioners chosen for Valuation of Lands, and Impropriations to be bought out.
The Committee of the Army then also took into Consideration the Propositions of both Houses last sent to his Majesty; and it was thought fit to desire some Additions and Alterations of some of the Propositions ons, before they be again sent to his Majesty; but their Debates there-on were more fully perfected the next Day; and we will give you the whole of them.
Thursday, November 4. The House this Day considered of the many Forces in this Kingdom disjointed from the Army, that are very burdensome to this Kingdom by free Quarter, and other great Oppressions: And likewise how these Forces Supernumerary may be disbanded, and how Monies may be raised for this purpose. And after much debate upon this Business, the House ordered, That the Sequestrations in the several Counties of this Kingdom, shall be engaged to the several Counties for reimbursing them so much Money as they shall advance for the disbanding the disjointed Forces in this Kingdom; the several Members of the House, in whose Countries any such Forces lie quartered, are to apply themselves to the Committee of the Army, to whom this Business is referred.
A Report was made to the House of Commons of the Sequestration of the Estate of Colonel Gilbert Brandling, and there not appearing Matter sufficient for the said Sequestration, the House ordered, that the said Sequestration should be taken off, and discharged.
The Articles of Exeter were this Day reported, and the Opinion of the Committee to whom they were referred, and the House here-upon passed a Vote for Confirmation of the said Articles: And the said Judges, Committees, and all other Persons whatsoever, are ordered to take notice hereof, and do nothing prejudicial thereunto.
A Letter was read signed by our Commissioners in Ireland in the behalf of the Lord of Ormond; the House had much debate about the said Lord, and ordered that 500l. should be paid unto him by the Committee of the Revenue; and that the Committee of Gold. smiths-Hall should satisfie the Bills of Exchange due to his Lordship.
We mentioned the last Week an Order of the House for seizing the Trunks and Writings of one Captain Vernon, and it was meant Captain Thomas Vernon; but this Order, we are informed, hath been mistaken by some, to the Prejudice of the Widow of Capt. Fran. Vernon, deceased, one well known in his Relation to the State, and who was Pay-Master to the Army of the late Lord-General Essex; we thought it just therefore by this notice to correct the Mistake.
This Day the Council of the Army again sat at Putney, and they considered of some Alterations and Additions to be desired in the Propositions for Peace, to be sent to his Majesty. Of this and the former Days Debate we will now give you the Heads, viz.
1. That whereas the Power of exercising the Militia is appropriated to the Lords and Commons already assembled in Parliament, it may be altered to extend to the Lords and Commons hereafter to be assembled in future Parliaments, as well as to this.
2. That whereas in the Proposition about the Militia, the Concurrence of both Houses is to be had in exercising the Militia, it may be altered, that where the Safety of the Kingdom shall be concerned, the Commons may have Power to exercise the Militia without the Lords, in case the Lords shall not concur and that this Act of Commons be binding to all the Commons of the Kingdom
1. That the Persons and Estates of such Delinquents, comprised in the sixteenth Proposition lately sent to his Majesty in the Name of both Kingdoms, who have not yet compounded, shall be proceeded against according to Justice, by Order of Parliament.
2. That nevertheless no Proceedings to the taking away the Lives of any, except comprised in the Three Qualifications, and then not above the Number of Seven, to be now particularly named; the rest in the Two first Qualifications to be accepted to reasonable Composition.
- 1. All Persons English, the first Exceptions, a third part of their Estates.
- 2. The late Members of Parliament, under the first Branch of the fifth Qualification, a fourth Part.
- 3. For all other Members, a sixth part.
- 4. For all other Persons nominated or included in the fourth or tenth Qualification, an eighth Part.
- 5. For such included in the sixth, a tenth Part.
6. That in order to making of Compositions, all Rents from the second of August last, be suspended in the Hands of the Tenants for six Months following, and for the use of Delinquents, if they shall timely come in and compound.
7. That all Delinquents within the Kingdom shall really submit, and enter themselves to compound by the first of January next; and those out of the Kingdom by the first of March next, or else to have no benefit of Composition.
This Day, being Friday, November 5. was solemnly observed in Commemoration of the great Deliverance of Gunpowder-Treason. After Sermon the House sate, and a Letter was read concerning Colonel Midhop, Major Sterling, and Major Marshall, Prisoners, that there are any dangerous Men come daily to them, and have private Discourse with them, and some hint given of an ill Intention of them: The House ordered, that the said Colonel Midhop, and the rest have no private recourse to them, nor any admitted to tamper with them.
The General Council of the Army sat this Day at Putney, and the General with them, and had much debate of the Heads of the Proposals before-mentioned. They sat also again about the same on Saturday, but have not yet finished them.
Upon Saturday, November 6. The Commissioners of Scotland residing here, sent a Letter the last Night to the House about the King, and for a Personal Treaty with his Majesty; which Letter was read, but nothing yet done upon it: For better Satisfaction we will give you the Letter.
For the Honourable William Lenthal, Esq; Speaker of the House of Commons.
'Upon the removal of his Majesty from Holdenby against his Will by a Party of the Army under Sir Thomas Fairfax, we expressed our Sense, and the Resentment of the Kingdom of Scotland of that violent Action: So the Committee of Estates of the Parliament of Scotland, finding that his Majesty is still kept under within the Power of that Army, thought themselves bound to know certainly of his Condition; for which purpose we applied our selves to his Majesty, that from himself we might know the Truth thereof; who was pleased to shew us his Usage ever since he came from Newcastle; but for his present Condition he really professeth he cannot but refer us to know it from the Two Houses of Parliament, and the Army.
'Both Houses, by many Professions and Engagements, have declared to the Kingdom of Scotland, that they would take care of the Preservation of his Person, his just Power and Greatness, which both Kingdoms have sworn not to diminish; and the Parliament of Scotland, upon the King's going to Holdenby, did declare against all Harm, Prejudice, Injury, or Violence to be done to his Royal Person. Therefore in pursuance of the trust committed to us, we make this Address to the Honourable Houses, conceiving it need. less to apply our selves to the Army, who we suppose are and ought to be under their Command, desiring to know the certainty of his Majesty's Condition, and the rather, for that we are informed there are Intentions in the Army for removing him from Hampton-Court.
'The Kingdom of Scotland finding that their Stability and Happiness doth so much depend upon the Safety and Preservation of his Majesty's Royal Person; and being resolved that no Alteration of Affairs shall ever separate them from the Duty and Allegiance they owe unto his Majesty, nor from their constant Resolution to live in all Loyalty under his Government, have often shewn their earnest Desires, and contributed their utmost Endeavours, towards, the Composure of these unhappy Differences: And the House of Parliament having by their Votes of the 26th of October last, intimated unto us their Resolution to apply themselves to his Majesty, and that they are preparing Propositions to be tendred to him; we desire that they may be expedited and communicated to us, that according to our many Engagements and Relation, there may still be a Conjunction of Councils in those things that are for the Common Peace, and Joint Interest of both Kingdoms.
'And for the assisting them from clearing of his Majesty's Doubts, and for clearing and giving mutual Satisfaction, we do desire in the Name of the Kingdom of Scotland, that there may be a Personal Treaty with his Majesty, as the best and readiest Means to obtain the joint Desires of both Kingdoms; and for that effect, that the King might be invited to come to London, with that Honour, Freedom and Respect due to his Majesty; or at least remain at Hampton-Court, and not be under the Power and Restraint of the Soldiers, where both Kingdoms may make their free Applications to him without any Danger or such Stop or Affront as hath been already committed against a Commissioner of Scotland, and for which no Reparation hath been yet made, and that his Majesty be no more carried about at their Pleasure.
'These we conceive to be the most probable and effectual Means for attaining a happy Peace, and setling of Religion, restoring his Majesty to his Just Rights, and continuing and strengthning a good Understanding betwixt the Kingdoms, which are most earnestly desired by the Kingdom of Scotland; and shall be constantly and faithfully endeavoured by,
Upon Monday November 8. The House of Commons spent much time in a Grand Committee, to settle a Course for the future constant Pay to the Army; and they had many things in Consideration before them to this purpose: And this was one then agreed on, That Commissioners shall be chosen for every County, to receive the Accompts of the Sub-Committees for Sequestrations, that a just Accompt may be given of those Moneys; and that Members of the House are to bring in the Names of able sufficient Men for each County to be Commissioners.
A Message was sent up to the Lords to desire a speedy Concurrence for dispatch of the Propositions to the King: To which the Lords concurred, and met presently; and they were delivered to their Lordships, as passed by the Commons House. Those added are, 1. 'For the due Observance of the Lord's-Day. 2. Against Innovations in Religion. 3. For an Oath or Conviction of Papists, different from that of Abjuration but for discovery of that, and for that end. 5. For Education of the Children of Papists in the Protestant Religion. 5. Against Pluralities.
Likewise the Preface to the whole, is to perswade with his Majesty for the Royal Assent, declaring, that his Majesty ought not to deny to pass what is presented from the Two House of Parliament. The Lords concurred in them all, with some small Amendments.
The General Council was again holden at Putney this Day, the General present. After much Debate concerning the danger of their Principles, who sought to divide the Army, and divers Particulars in the Agreement of the People taken notice of, it was resolved, (fn. 1) That in regard the General shortly intended a Rendezvous of the Army; and forasmuch as many Distempers were reported to be in the several Regiments, whereby much Dissatisfaction was given both to the Parliament and Kingdom, throught some Misrepresentations; to the end a Right Understanding might be had, and the Soldiers quieted, in order to their Obedience to his Excellency for the Service of the Parliament and Kingdom, it was thought fit to desire his Excellency, That for a time the said Officers and Agitators shall resort to their several Commands and Regiments, to the ends aforesaid, there to reside until the said Rendezvous be over, and until his Excellency shall see Cause to call them together again according to the Engagement; and which was done accordingly.
By Letters from York, dated November 6. we had thus: 'Little News from Scotland this Week, only the Clergy still continue their Invectives; in time they hope to fit the People, who generally with quietness: For the new Work Sir Robert Collingwood's Regiment are marching to their Quarters out of Northumberland into Yorkshire: Major Sanderson is active against the Moss-Troopers, who do as well infest the Borders of Scotland as in England; and therefore a mutual Correspondency is desired, and to be agreed upon between the Lord Buclughe's and the Sheriff of Tividale's Men, for their more effectual Suppression.
'Several Relations we have had of the good Success of Colonel Jones Governour of Dublin, against the Irish Rebels; and indeed they have been singularly eminent: But since others have mentioned the same so largely, we need say the less, and will pass it over with one short Letter, but an effectual one, from Dublin, as follows.
'I Send you here inclosed a List of what Places the Army in Lemster under the Command of Colonel Jones have taken in since the Fight at Dungel, and, as it is credibly reported, they burnt worth 40000l. in Corn. The taking in these Places is of a very great Concernment to this Army; and now a great part of it are quartered in many of these Garrisons, which will keep our Soldiers in Action, and be a continual Annoyance unto the Enemy: As also the Enemy cannot lie long before any Place, if he would dare to besiege any of them, because he will want Provisions. Thus taking leave, I subscribe my self,
The Names of the Towns and Castles taken with the Army in Lemster, under the Command of Colonel Jones, marching from Dublin the 2d of October, and returned the 19th of October 1647. Castle Richard yielded, 30 Men being there; Port-Castle batter'd down, 24 Men there; Athby stormed, 25 of the Enemy killed, about 400 Prisoners taken; Gruses Fort yielded, 44 Men there; the Mabber yielded to march another way, 27 Men there; Bally-loe yielded to march another way, about 14 Men there; Cabbrough yielded to march away, about 12 Men there; Castle-Ware yielded to march away, about 100 Men there; Dunmore yielded to march away, about 34 Men there; Carrac-Macross yielded; Castle-Down delivered and yielded; Castle Amough yielded.
Being very much troubled at the sad Distractions of the Kingdom for want of Pay, and such other necessary Satisfaction as we have long waited upon; for not taking it much Pleasure to say whence the Cause of all this Trouble comes, as to use my Endeavour to give a timely and effectual Remedy to so much thereof as is of nearest Concernment to me, I thought fit to let you know, that by the Advice of the General Council of the Army, I have appointed a Rendezvous very speedily; and they have very unanimously offered to repair to their several Charges, and improve to their utmost Endeavours with the several Regiments for the quieting of them, and recovering of the antient Discipline of the Army, thereby to render it more serviceable to the Parliament and Kingdom. And to the end your Expectation, and the Desires of all good Men may be answered by a good Issue in this Work of such Concernment to the Kingdom, I think fit, by the same Advice, to offer unto you these Particulars inclosed, beseeching you, That if more weighty Business of the Kingdom do not lett, you would bring them to a speedy Determination; that so your Care of the Army may appear, and my self and my Officers be thereby enabled to let the Soldiers see we take such Consideration of them as becomes us, and have engaged our selves unto: And I doubt not, but thereby we shall be enabled to let you see, that this Army will appear, as it hath ever profest, to be really seeking the Good of this Kingdom, and approving it self faithful in your Service; which hath been, and ever shall be, the Desire of,
Heads of the Desires are thus: 1. Six Weeks Pay, if possible; if not, a Months Pay present sent down to the Army. 2. The Arrears paid out of the remainder of Bishops Lands, Deans, &c. 3. The House to make Provision for constant Pay; then they will make it Death for any Man to take free Quarter, provided there may be 100000l. a Month for the Forces in this Kingdom and Ireland, and the disbanding of those to be Supernumerary. 4. Lastly, That if this Course be taken none shall, upon pain of Death, take any thing from any, provided Allowance for Lodging Firing and Candle.
The Commons had debate of this Business for Moneys for the Army; and it was ordered, That the Committee for the Army do treat with the Commissioners of Excise for the advance of 20000l. as part of the 50000l. formerly charged on them for the Army; That 20000l. borrowed of the Committee of the Western Association for the Use of the Army be repaid with the Interest out of the 60000l. per mensem, the first of March next.
A Paper by way of Petition, was this Day brought to the House of Commons; and it was from the Agents of the Party who drew up the Case of the Army, thus directed; To the Right Honourable Supreame Authority of this Nation; with a printed Paper inclosed, of the Case of the Army; which they desired the House would consider of.
One Mrs. Corriton, who had Moneys seized by the Parliaments Forces, upon her Petition to the House, had an Order to have her Moneys restored: And that 800l. to be paid by her Father Mr. Corriton, for his Delinquency, shall be paid to her in part of her said Moneys, and the remainder to be paid out of the Excise in course:
The Commons sent a Message to the Lords, to desire their Concurrence to several Ordinances; viz. To the Ordinance for Moneys for the Marquiss of Ormond; A List of Names of Soldiers Wives to receive Allowanee; An Ordinance for Trade in the Kingdom; The confirming the Articles of Truro; For additional Members to be added to the Committee for Foreign Affairs.
The General Council again met at Putney. The chief Work of the Day was about the appointing of a Committee to take into Consideration the Engagement, Declarations, and Papers of the Army, and upon them to collect a Summary of those things that concern the Good of the Kingdom, to the Liberties of the People, and the Intetest of the Army: And further, to consider the Case of the Army stated, and a Paper commonly called, The Agreement of the People; and to consider how far any thing contained in the same was consistent with the said Engagements, and Declarations, and Interest aforesaid.
The Council then made an Explanation of the late Paper sent to the Parliament; That if any by that Letter bearing Date November 5. did make any Construction, as if they intended that they were against the Parliament sending Propositions to the King, they did declare, That it was no part of their Intentions in the said Letter, but that the same is utterly a Mistake of their Intention and Meaning therein, which was only to assert the Freedom of Parliament.
This Explanation was occasioned by reason of some Dissatisfactions of, and Exceptions made by divers worthy Members of that Council to the aforesaid Letter, and hoping thereby to clear up their Intentions to the World, that the said Letter was no Violation of their Engagements, or contradictory to their Declarations.
Intelligence from Scotland dated Nov. 2. 1647; Fearing the Army bath wrought the K. to a Compliance with them; The Clergy in Scotland's invective against the Parliament and Army in England, to render their Proceedings odious.
I have received none from you this Week; I fear miscarriage; I never omitted to write to you by the weekly Packets. All business is dull here; the Committee meet but twice a Week, and sometimes no Quorum; which prevented the Sentence of Death, which was expected should have been passed on a proper Gentleman, one Gorden Laird of Newton, the last Friday. I find a Reservedness in those who before have been somewhat free: The Votes communicated to the Scotch Commissioners October 16. (fn. 2) concerning the new Applicaon to be made to the King, raising some dissatisfaction here, as being in a way more different and dividing than the former; and some Apprehensions are taken in, lest you should have wrought the King to a Compliance with you, the rather because the Commissioners thought they had not such Reception as they expected, in the last delivering to him a Paper much to the same Effect; if not, beside the strained Preface, in totidem verbis, the same with the Instructions, whereof I sent you a Copy formerly; yet the Royal Party seem sollicitous, and by some Words that fell from the Earl of Lindsey, I apprehended he was well pleased with something he had received from Lanrick; in which, if I am not mistaken, there was something from the Queen; the last Fast, the Causes whereof I sent you in print, October 26. produces Railings and Reproaches, enough to burthen the Thoughts of any honest Christian, though not an Englishman. The Clergy of both Parties are equally invective against the Parliament and Army in the Neighbour-Land; and under the pretence of the prevalency of the evil Spirit of Error, endeavour to render them and their Proceedings most odious to this People, who are apt to believe any thing of News or Story that the Priests say. Unless I would enlarge upon this Subject, I have nothing else; the Place, and time, and present Affairs afford no more: 'Tis time therefore, had I no other Cause, and the intercepting of my Letter, to make my Retreat; which within four or five Days I will begin towards you: If Providence in the mean time cast any thing of Consequence, you shall by Words or Writing receive an Account thereof from,
The House then considered of nominating Sheriffs; and ordered, That the Members of the House of Commons that serve for the several Counties of the Kingdom, should give in their Names; out of which one may be elected for the High-Sheriff of each County, according to the usual Course in that behalf; and this Report to be made on Wednesday next.
An Ordinance was read for advancing the Sum of 50000l. for the Service of Ireland; by Sale of several Towns, Houses, and Lands of the Rebels of Ireland; which after the second reading, was conmitted to a Committee, which was chosen to that purpose.
The House ordered, That the Business of the Members of the House that hold Places and Offices of Benefit in the Commonwealth, contrary to the Order of the House, should be taken again into Debate; the House intending to give the Kingdom full Satisfaction in this great Grievance: And for that purpose the Committee concerning this Business, where Mr. Sandis hath the Chair, shall be revived, and meet constantly, and report to the House.
The Letter formerly ordered to be sent to his Excellency, with the Paper directed To the Supreme Authority of this Nation, the Commons assembled in Parliament, with the printed Paper inclosed, and the Vote of the House thereupon, was read and assented unto, and dispatched to his Excellency to examine, according to the Order of the House.
The House upon Thursday, November 11. took into debate who should have the Benefit of the Ordinance of Sequestrations for their fifth Parts, and declared hereupon, That the Wives and Children of all such Delinquents as are sequestred, without Exception, shall have the fifth part of the said Estates sequestred; and the Committee of Lords and Commons for Sequestration, the Committee of Sequestrations, the Committee of plundered Ministers, and all other Committees in the several Counties of the Kingdom, are to take a strict Course that all such may have their fifth Parts allowed them when desired.
An Order was read for Relief of distressed Tenants, against Delinquent and Malignant Landlords, who oppress them for being well affected to the Parliament: It was read the first time, and ordered to be read again the second time the next Week.
Another Petition was in the Name of 1000 poor maimed Soldiers, that are in the several Hospitals of London, complaining of their great Necessity for want of Means they are very ready to starve; both which were referred to a Committee; who were ordered to find out a way to send them down to their several Countries from whence they came; and the Committees to be enjoyned to make Provision for their respective Counties.
The House then debated the Desires of the Army; and the Question being put, Whether Deans, Deans and Chapters Lands, except Glebes, Tythes, Impropriations, and Presentations, Charitable Uses and Augmentations allowed by the Committee of plundered Ministers, should be given in Security to the Army and Soldiery of the Kingdom for their Arrears; and it passed in the Negative Vote.
By Letters from the North, dated November 8. we had further, thus: 'The last of September Major Sanderson's Troop marched over the Was-moors, and got to Newcastle by break of Day the next Morning, where Captain Lilburne's Troop met them; but they were both disappointed of their Expectation; for the very Night before Major Cholmley's Troop had been there, and gotten ten of the Thieves, which they thought to have had; and he gave them such and Alarum, that they fled towards the Borders of Scotland: Therefore Major Sanderson, with his own Troop, marched through the Dale to Liddelside, to catch some, if possible. Captain Lilburne's Troop hath lighted upon very foul Mosses, and tiring many Horses could go no further; and after they had marched seven Miles, divided his Troop into three parts; they fell severally into Liddelside; the Rogues had Scouts upon the Hills, having scarcely overcome the Fright that Major Cholmley put them in. Our Men rode close in with the Scouts; yet the Rogues got to Horse from their several Haunts, some leaving their Saddles, Boots, Swords and Pistols for haste, which were Prizes for our Soldiers, and many of themselves hardly escaped, though they were within three Bow-shots of Scotland. Our Men knew not the Fords of the River. When they got into Scotland, they vapoured and drew a Party of twenty Horse together: But the Major would not without Order or Instruction marched with his Troop thither, lest Exceptions should be taken from thence; but marched to East-Northerly, &c. seven Miles up along the Border of Scotland, searching the Thieves Nests for Arms which they found; and the Major thought to have quartered that Night at Lanton, but found it very inconvenient and unsafe; and therefore marched eight Miles more into the Country, within four Miles from Carlisle. The Thieves had stollen sixty Sheep four Miles from Carlisle, and drove them all Night, and were gotten within a Mile of Scotland, when they espied our Men by the River betwixt them and Scotland; which made them thrust the Sheep into an House in Liddelside, where they were found by those that followed the Tread, before our Men marched thence; so there was a seasonable interposition to save them: And upon the Troops return they took two of the Thieves Receptors, and carried them to Hexham-Gaol, which is almost filled with these Birds of Prey.
This Night came the unexpected News of his Majesty's Escape from Hampton-Court. About nine of the Clock, the Officers who attended him, wondered he came not forth of his Chamber to Supper, where he had been writing most part of the Night before, went in, and mist him within half an Hour after his departure.
A Letter upon Friday, November 12. was read in the House of Commons, from Lieutenant-General Cromwell at twelve a Clock at Night, directed to the Speaker, acquainting him, 'That his Majesty had withdrawn himself from Hampton-Court at nine the last Night: The manner is variously reported, and we will say little of it at present, but that his Majesty was expected at Supper when the Commissioners and Colonel Whaley miss'd him: Upon which they entred the Room, and found his Majesty had left his Cloak behind in the Gallery in the private way: He passed by the Back-Stairs and Vault towards the Water-side. He left some Letters up on the Table in his Withdrawing-Room of his own Hand writing; whereof one was to the Commissioners of Parliament attending him, to be communicated to both Houses; and followeth in these Words:
Hampton-Court, November 11. 1647.
Liberty being that which in all times hath been, but especially now is, the Condition, the Aim and Desire of all Men, common Reason shews, that Kings, less than any, should endure Captivity; yet I call God to witness, with what Patience I have endured a tedious Restraint; which so long as I had any hopes that this sort of my Suffering might conduce to the Peace of my Kingdoms, or the hindring of more Effusion of Blood, I did willingly undergo; but now finding, by too certain Proofs, that this my continued Patience would not only turn to my Personal Ruin, but likewise be of much more Prejudice than furtherance to the Publick Good, I thought I was bound, as well by Natural as Political Obligations, to seek my Safety by retiring my self for some time from the Publick View, both of my Friends and Enemies. And I appeal to all indifferent Men to judge, if I have not just Cause to free my self from the Hands of those who change their Principles with their Condition, and who are not ashamed openly to intend the Destruction of the Nobility by taking away their Negative Voice, and with whom the Levellers Doctrine is rather countenanced than punished: And as for their Intentions to my Person, their changing and putting more strict Guards upon me, with the discharging most of all those Servants of mine, who formerly they willingly admitted to wait upon me, do sufficiently declare. Nor would I have this my Retirement miss interpreted; for I shall earnestly and uncessantly endeavour the setling of a safe and well-grounded Peace where-ever I am, or shall be, and that (as much as may be) without the Effusion of more Christian Blood: For which how many times have I desired, press'd to the Head, and yet no Ear given to me? And can any reasonable Man think that, according to the ordinary Course of Affairs, there can be a setled Peace without it, or that God will bless those, who refuse to hear their own King? surely no. Nay, I must further add, that, besides what concerns my Self, unless all other chief Interests have not only a Hearing, but likewise just Satisfaction given unto them, to wit, the Presbyterians, Independants, Army, those who have adhered to me, and even the Scots, I say, they cannot; I speak not of Miracles, it being in my Opinion a sinful Presumption in such Cases to expect or trust to them, but by a safe and lasting Peace. Now, as I cannot deny, but that my Personal Security is the urgent Cause of this my Retirement, so I take God to witness, that the Publick Peace is no less before my Eyes; and I can find no better way to express this my Profession, I know not what a wiser Man may do, than by desiring and urging, that all Chief Interests may be heard, to the end each may have just Satisfaction. As for Example; the Army, for the rest, though necessary, yet I suppose are not difficult to consent, ought, in my Judgment, to enjoy the Liberty of their Consciences, and have an Act of Oblivion or Indempnity, which should extend to the rest of my Subjects; and that all their Arrears should be speedily and duly paid; which I will undertake to do, so I may be heard, and that I be not hindered from using such Lawful Honest Means as I shall choose. To conclude: Let me be heard with Freedom, Honour, and Safety, and I shall instantly break through this Cloud of Retirement, and shall shew my self ready to be Pater Patriæ.
Information was also given to the House, that many that had relation and access to his Majesty were privy to this Design, and consequently had Knowledge of his Majesty's withdrawing himself from Hampton-Court. The House hereupon ordered, That Sir Ed. Ford, Sir John Barkley, Mr. Ashburnham and Doctor Goff, should be sent for in safe Custody.
They also ordered, That the Committee of the Admiralty should send Post to the several Posts, Harbours, and Creeks, as the General had also done, to make stop of all that should pass for a certain time, and especially his Majesty's Person, if he should come; and likewise of all his Attendance that come with him, notwithstanding any Pass whatsoever that his Majesty or any other hath to to be transported.
A Member of the House of Commons gave some Information this Day to the House of Commons concerning his Majesty's being in or near London; which took up much time in Debate; and at last a Committee was appointed to receive the Information of the said Member, and to report the Business to morrow.
The House hereupon ordered, That the Speaker of the House should give the Commissioners attending upon his Majesty, the Thanks of the House for their Fidelity in the transacting of that which both Houses had intrusted them with in relation to his Majesty.
The House then debated the Business concerning the Debts of those that had relation to his Majesty, and had run themselves into by reason of want of their Pay: And the House thereupon ordered, That the Committee attending his Majesty should take special Care for discharging the said Debts, and that the Committee of the Revenue should enable them with Money to that purpose.
Saturday, November 13.
This Morning Colonel Whaley hath been with me, and given me an Account, as far as yet he understandeth of all Circumstances appearing about the King's going away; all which, the Commissioners, of both Houses, as he faith, do know as fully as he; and therefore they being, as he foretelleth me, gone to acquaint the House therewith, I forbear for this Day to command his Attendance of the House; especially in regard that there is yet some need of the continuance of his Guard and Care to Hampton Court, for the safe keeping of those whom he hath secured, to be examined concerning the King's Escape; about whom I desire the House would take some Order what shall be done with them, for the Examination of them, or otherwise. I shall to morrow go to Ware, according to former Resolution, to Rendevouz the Army, and shall be there until Monday towards Night to receive your Command.
The House hereupon debated concerning such as detained the King's Person in secret; and to the end he might not be detained in whose Hands he is now in, the House ordered, That it should be Confiscation of any Man's Estate, and loss of his Life, to detain his Majesty privately, and not to reveal him to both Houses of Parliament.
The Houses after passing of this Vote, ordered to sit again in the Afternoon about the Advance of Money for the Army; and they ordered, that a Committee should be appointed to treat with the Commissioners of Excise concerning the advance of the 20000l. part of the 50000l. formerly charged upon the Excise for the Army and to report their Answer on Monday morning to the House.
Monday, November 15.
This Day both Houses received Letters from Colonel Hammond, Governour of the Isle of Wight giving to understand that his Majesty was come to that Island, and had freely put himself under the Protection of Colonel Hammond. The Cause of his coming, manner of arrival, with other Circumstances, you have fully in the Letter from Colonel Hammond as followeth.
This Morning as I was on the way passing from Carisbrook Castle to Newport, Mr. Ashburnham and Sir John Barkley overtook me; and after a short Discourse, told me, That the King was near, and that he would be with me that Night; That he was come from Hampton-Court upon information that there were some intended to destroy his Person, and that he could not with safety continue any longer there; and that finding his Case thus, chose rather to put himself in my Hands, being a Member of the Army; whom, he faith, he would not have left, could he have had security to his Person, than to go to any other Place. Being herewith exceedingly surprized at present, I knew not what Course to take: but upon serious Consideration, weighed the great Concernment that the Person of the King is of, in this Juncture of Affairs, to the settlement of the Peace of the Kingdom, I resolved it my Duty to the King, to the Parliament, and Kingdom, to use the utmost of my Endeavours to preserve his Person from any such horrid Attempt, and to bring him to a place of Safety; where he may also be in a Capacity of answering the Expectation of Parliament and Kingdom, in agreeing to such Things as may extend to the Settlement of those great Divisions and Distractions abounding in every Corner thereof. Hereupon I went immediately with them over the Water, taking Captain Basket, the Captain of Cows Castle, with me, and found the King near the Water-side: And finding my self no way able to secure him there, I chose, he desiring it, to bring him over into this Island, where he now is.
My Lord, My Endeavours, as for my Life, shall be to preserve and secure his Person. And I humbly desire I may receive the Pleasure of the Parliament in this great and weighty Matter; and that the Lord will direct your Counsels to his Glory and the Kingdom's Good and Peace, shall be my Prayer; and my Endeavour shall be ever to express my self in all things in my Power,
And upon Debate of both these Letters, it was referred to a Committee of both Houses further to consider of the Business, and to draw up Instructions for Colonel Hammond about the dispose of his Majesty during his stay there.
Tuesday, November, 16.
'Monday the 13th Instant, according to appointment, the Rendevouz of the first Brigade of the Army was held in Corkbush field between Hertford and Ware, Hertford being the Head Quarters, Saturday and Sunday. The General went from thence to the Rendevouz; where, according to order, there met, of House, the General's Regiment, Colonel Fleetwood's, Colonel Rich's and Colonel Twistleton's of Foot, the General's, Colonel Hammond's, and Colonel Pride's: And besides these, upon the Seducements of the new Agents, Colonel Harrison's, and Colonel Lilburne's Regiments. The General expressed himself very gallantly at the Head of every Regiment, to live and die with them for those Particulars which were contained in a Remonstrance read to every Regiment; and notwithstanding the Endeavours of Major Scot and others to animate the Soldiers to stand to a Paper, called, The Agreement of the People, they generally, by many Acclamations, declared their Affections and Resolutions to adhere to the General; and as many as could in short time they had allowed, signed an Agreement drawn up for that purpose, concerning their being ready from time to time to observe such Orders as they should receive from the General and Council of the Army.
'But it may not be forgot, that upon the General's coming into the Field, Colonel Eyre, Major Scot, and others, were observed insinuating divers seditious Principles unto the Soldiers, incensing them against the General and General Officers; upon which Order was given for the Commitment of Colonel Eyre and others into the Marshal's Hands, Major Scot committed to the Custody of Lieutenant Chillaende, and sent up to the Parliament, he being a Member of the House of Commons. Some inferiour Persons were likewise committed for dispersing factious Papers, as the Agreement of the People, &c. among the Private Soldiers, and finding those People who pretend most for the freedom of the People, had dispersed divers of those Papers amongst Col. Lilburne's Regiment of Foot, the most mutinous Regiment in the Army, strict Command was given for them, to tear them, and cast them away, which was done; and Captain-Lieutenant Bray, who was the only Officer above a Lieutenant left among them, the rest being driven away by the mutinous Soldiers, and one of them wounded, was taken from the Head of that Regiment, and committed to Custody; it being alledged, that he had led on the Soldiers to that Rendevouz, contrary to Orders. And afterwards, a Council of War being called in the Field, divers Mutineers, for Example-sake, were drawn forth, three of them were tried and condemned to Death; and one of them whose turn it fell to by Lot, was shot to Death at the Head of the Regiment, and others are in hold to be tried.
Colonel Rainsborow and some others, presented a Petition, and the Agreement of the People, to his Excellency, at his first coming. Colonel Harrison's Regiment, who had Papers in their Hats, with this Motto, England's Freedom, and Soldiers Rights, when they understood their Error, by the General's severe Reproof, of their so doing, tore them, and expressed their Resolution to be obedient to his Excellency's Commands.
Both Houses had a Conference upon the General's Letters; and the Lords recommended several Votes to the Commons for Concurrence: As, That a Letter of Thanks be sent to the General; for which they named a Committee of Four: Also that the late Proceedings in London and elsewhere, tending to the dividing the Army, and to so much Sedition, be examined.
That they will think of sudden Pay for the Army also for the future; That they will cause a satisfactory way for Arrears to be declared, and make the Act of Indempnity full; That Major Scot might give an Account of his Doings, and that Colonel Rainsborough may not go to Sea until he have cleared himself.
And it was further ordered, That 5000l. be forthwith advanced by the Committee of the Revenue for his Majesty's present Necessities and Accomodation; and that it be referred to a Committee to consider of the manner of disposing all Moneys issued out for his Majesty's Use, to the end an Account may be given thereof.
Wednesday, November 17.
They likewise recommended the Condition of Sir Francis Willoughby, a Gentleman of Quality and Reputation to the House of Commons, who ordered, that the Sum of 700l. should be advanced unto him for the present, out of the Moiety of the Receipt at Goldmiths-Hall.
The Commons spent most part of the time of this Day in nominating Sheriffs for the several Counties of England and Wales: They ordered, That the Account of Sheriffs should be past in the Exchequer without paying any Fees; and that the Committee formerly appointed for easing the Charge of Sheriffs, should be revived, and the Charge of Sheriff to be defrayed by the Revenue, and to consider how Sheriffs may be discharged of all old Engagements, and that the Committee do bring in an Ordinance to this purpose.
Thursday, November 18.
This Day the Speaker of the House of Peers received a Letter from his Majesty form the Isle of Wight, to be communicated to both Houses, &c. A further Account whereof you shall have in the next Days Proceedings.
Since my last, which gave your Lordship an Account of his Majesty being in this Island, I have had a Meeting with the Genetry thereof, who express a great deal of Chearfulness in their Desires and Endeavours of Preserving his Majesty's Person, and Obedience unto the Authority of Parliament.
I have also given Orders, which are diligently observed, that no Persons go out of this Island without a Pass; and that no Boat bring over any Person whatsoever, not belonging to this Island, but whom they cause to be brought to me to be examined, that I may thereby be the better able to preserve the King's Person in Security, as also to prevent the Confluence of People that otherwise, upon the occasion of his Majesty's Presence, would flock hither, to the disturbance of the Peace of this Island; which at presence, through the Blessing of God, is in a quiet and peaceable Posture, having earnest Expectation upon the continuance of their Peace, by a general Settlement of the Peace of the Kingdom; for Conveyance of which unto them, they look at your Lordships as the blessed Instruments.
My Lord, Give me leave to acquaint you, that the Accommodations of the King at this time, are no ways suitable to his Quality; which makes me bold to offer to your Lordships, if it be thought fit, that his usual Allowance may be continued to him for his better Provision whilst he shall abide in this Place.
The House hereupon ordered the Sum of 10000l. to be advanced and paid out of the Ordinance of 60000l. per mensem, for the Army, which was collected in the said County; and that this 10000l. be imployed for reducing the said Garrison, and discharging the Supernumerary Forces therein, and for other occasions of the said Garrison.
The House had much Debate concerning the Expence of his Majesty and his Houshold; and upon the whole Debate it was ordered to be referred to the Committee of the Revenue to report the State of the King's Expences, what it will amount to above 50l. per diem formerly ordered.
A Report was made to the Committee to whom the Mutiny at the last Rendevouz was referred, his Excellency's Letter to the Lords, the Paper in the Troopers Hats, of England's Rights and the Subjects Freedom.
The House hereupon ordered, That a Committee should be appointed to examine the Proceedings of the London Agents, which the said Letter made mention of, and all other Abettors and Actors of such seditious Proceedings, and how some Exemplary Justice may be done upon them,
Thursday November 18. 'Another Rendevouz of the Army was upon the Hare-Warren near kingston; there were present according to Order, the Lieutenant-General Commissary Ireton, and Colonel Whaley's Regiment of Horse, Colonel Rainsborough's, Colonel Barksteeds, Colonel Overton's, and Colonel Hewson's of Foot, and the General's Life guard; there appeared nothing of Discontentment, but a ready Agreement to his Excellency's Remonstrance and Subjection to his Excellency's Commands.
To his Excellency Sir Thomas Fairfax Knight, General of all the Parliament's Forces within the Kingdom of England, and Dominion of Wales, The humble Representation of the Officers and Soldiers in Colonel Sir Hardress Waller's Regiment.
'We the Officers and Soldiers of the said Regiment, humbly represent unto your Excellency, even with sadness of Heart, our deep Sense of imminent Ruin both to Army and Kingdom, threatened only by the long-born Extremities of the one, and insupportable Pressures of the other, but also, by the dismal appearance of Discontents, Divisions, and Fractions amongst our selves accompanied with some disorderly Actings, derogating from the Authority and Command of your Excellency, whereby the united Composure of this Army is somewhat disjointed, and the wholsome Rules of Discipline and Government dangerously declined: The which, if not timely remedied, will doubtless render this Army, which God hath often honoured with remarkable Testimonies of his Presence under the prosperous Conduct of your Excellency, no better than an headless confused Multitude; wherefore, sensibly apprehending the woful Effect of Disunity and Disorder, we presume it absolutely necessary out of Duty to God, due Respect to your Excellency, and tender regard to the Weal both of Army and Kingdom, to improve our utmost Endeavours to prevent the miserable Consequences which inevitably ensue Divisions, and the monstrous Confusion which unavoidably attends Disorder; and do hereby testifie, that as God hath made your Excellency the chief Head of this Army, whom, without Flattery, we honour and esteem for Integrity, Fidelity, and Selfdenial, so we acknowledge our selves obliged to submit unto your Excellency's Commands; withal, professing our hearty Desires to preserve the Band of Unity, and real Intentions to continue our accustomed Obedience: In which Resolution we hope not to be singular, but to joy in the joint Concurrence of the whole Army, that so, our Hearts and Hands being firmly conjoined, as one Man, we may unanimously pursue those just Ends of common Rights, Freedom and Safety to the Kingdom, of Security and Satisfaction to the Army, which we engaged for, insisted on, declared and remonstrated to the People, and resolved to persist. in the Prosecution of the same, to all honest and direct Means, without swerving from our first Principles; in transacting whereof, we rest fully confident of your Excellency's Faithfulness and mutual Perseverance with those, who cordially intend the Publick Good. In order to which we humbly subscribe our selves,
Friday, November 19.
Ordinance for the repayment of 10000l. to the Eastern Association, assented unto; Another for reimbursing 10000l. to the Commissioners of Excise; Committee of the Army to send Money to the Head Quarters at Windsor.
An Ordinance was this Day read in the House of Commons, for repayment of the Sum of 10000l. borrowed of the Eastern Association for the present Service of the Parliament; and upon the Question assented unto.
The Committee of the Army was ordered to give Warrant to the Treasures at War, for sending down what Moneys they have in their Hands to Windsor, where the Head-Quarters are to be, towards the making up a Months Pay for the Army, under the Command of his Excellency Sir Thomas Fairfax.
Lieutenant-General Cromwell gave the House an Account of the Proceedings of the late Rendevouz; and how by God's great Mercy, and the Endeavours of his Excellency, and Officers of the Army, the Army was in a very good Condition, and Obedience to his Excellency and the Superior Officers of the Army, and submissive to the Authority of Parliament.
They ordered, That Lieutenant-General Cromwell should be desired to declare to his Excellency, That the House of Commons will be at all times ready to receive and give such Answer as is fitting in a Parliamentary way, to such humble Addresses as shall be made from the Army to the Houses by his Excellency.
We told you of another Letter from his Majesty about a Personal Treaty; which Letter was this Day read in the House of Commons, but nothing done upon it. For better Satisfaction we will give you the Letter it self.
His Majesty is confident, that before this time, his Two Houses of Parliament have received the Message which he left behind him at Hampton-Court the eleventh of this Month; by which they will have understood the Reasons which inforced him to go from thence; as likewise his constant Endeavours for the setling of a safe and well grounded Peace wheresoever he should be; and being now in a place, where he conceives himself to be at much more Freedom and Security than formerly, he thinks it necessary, not only for making good of his own Professions, but also for the speedy procuring of a Peace in these languishing and distress'd Kingdoms, at this time to offer such Grounds to his Two Houses for that effect, which upon due examination of all Interests, may best conduce thereunto.
That for the abolishing Archbishops, Bishops, &c. his Majesty clearly professeth that he cannot give his consent thereunto, both in relation as he is a Christian, and a King; for the first he avows, that he is satisfied in his Judgment, that this Order was placed in the Church by the Apostles themselves, and ever since their time hath continued in all Christian Churches throughout the World, until this last Century of Years; and in this Church in all times of Change and Reformation it hath been upheld by the wisdom of his Ancestors, as the great preserver of Doctrine, Discipline, and Order in the Service of God. As a King at his Coronation, he hath not only taken a Solemn Oath to maintain this Order, but his Majesty and his Predecessors in their Confirmations of the great Charter, have inseparably woven the Right of the Church into the Liberty of the Subjects; and yet he is willing it be provided, that the particular Bishops perform their several Duties of their Callings, both by their Personal Residence and frequent Preaching, in their personal Exercise, no Act of Jurisdiction or Ordination, without the Consent of their Presbyters, and will consent, that their Powers in all things be so limited, that they be not grievous to the tender Consciences of others. He sees no reason why he alone, and those of his Judgment should be pressed to a Violation of theirs: Not can his Majesty consent to the Alienation of Church-Lands; because it cannot be denied to be a Sin of the highest Sacrilege; as also that it subverts the Intentions of so many pious Donors, who have laid a heavy Curse upon all such prophane Violations, which his Majesty is very unwilling to undergo: And besides the Matter of Consequence, his Majesty believes it to be a Prejudice to the Publick Good, many of his Subjects having the Benefit of renewing Leases at much easier Rates than if those Possessions were in the Hands of private Men, not omitting the Discouragement it will be to all Learning and Industry, when such eminent Rewards shall be taken away, which now lie open to the Children of meanest Persons. Yet his Majesty considering the great present Distempers concerning Church-Discipline, and that the Presbyterian Government is now in practice, his Majesty, to eschew Confusion as much as may be, and for the Satisfaction of his Two Houses, is content that the said Government be legally permitted to stand in the same Condition it now is for Three Years; provided that his Majesty and those of his Judgment or any other who cannot in Conscience submit thereunto, be not obliged to comply with the Presbyterial Government, but have free: Practice of our own Profession, without receiving any Prejudice thereby; and that free Consultation and Debate be had with the Divines of Westminster, Twenty of his Majesty's Nomination being added unto them; whereby it may be determined by his Majesty and the Two Houses how the Church-Government after the said time shall be setled, or sooner, if Differences may be agreed, as is most agreeable to the Word of God, with full Liberty to all those who shall differ upon Conscientious Grounds from that Settlement; always provided, that nothing aforesaid be understood to tolerate those of the Popish Profession, nor exempting any Popish Recusant from the Penalties of the Laws; or to tolerate the Publick Profession of Atheism or Blasphemy, contrary to the Doctrine of the Apostles, Nicene and Athanasian Creed, they having been received by, and had in Reverence of all the Christian Churches, and more particularly by this of England, ever since the Reformation.
Next the Militia being that Right, which is inseparably, and undoubtedly inherent to the Crown by the Laws of this Nation, and that which former Parliaments, as likewise this, have acknowledged so to be, his Majesty cannot so much wrong that Trust, which the Laws of God and this Land hath annexed to the Crown, for the Protection and Security of his People, as to divest himself and Successors of the Power of the Sword; yet to give an infallible Evidence of his Desire to secure the Performance of such Agreements as shall be made in order to a Peace, his Majesty will consent to an Act of Parliament, that the whole Power of the Militia both by Sea and Land, for and during his whole Reign, shall be ordered and disposed by the Two Houses of Parliament, or by such Persons as they shall appoint, with Powers limited for suppressing of Forces within this Kingdom, to the disturbance of the publick Peace, and against Foreign Invasion; and that they shall have Power during his said Reign, to raise Moneys for the purpose aforesaid; and that neither his Majesty that now is, or any other by any Authority derived only from him, shall execute any of the said Powers during his Majesty's said Reign, but such as shall act by the Consent and Approbation of the Two Houses of Parliament: Nevertheless his Majesty intends, that all Patents, Commissioners, and other Acts concerning the Militia, be made and acted as formerly; and that after his Majesty's Reign, all the Power of the Militia shall return intirely to the Crown, as is was in the Times of Queen Elizabeth and King James of blessed Memory.
After this Head of the Militia, the Consideration of the Arrears due to the Army is not improper to follow; for the Payment whereof, and the Ease of his People, his Majesty is willing to concur in any thing that can be done without the Violation of his Conscience and Honour.
Wherefore if his Two Houses shall consent to remit unto him such Benefit out of Sequestrations from Michaelmas last, and out of Compositions that shall be made before the concluding of the Peace, and the Arrears of such as have been already made, the Assistance of the Clergy, and the Arrears of such. Rents of his own Revenue as his Two Houses shall not have received before the concluding of the Peace, his Majesty will undertake within the Space of Eighteen Months the Payment of Four Hundred Thousand Pound for the Satisfaction of the Army; and if those Means shall not be sufficient, his Majesty intends to give way for the Sale of Forest Lands for that purpose.
This being the Publick Debt, which in his Majesty's Judgment is first to be satisfied: And for other Publick Debts already contracted upon Church-Lands or any other Engagements, his Majesty will give his Consent to such Act or Acts for raising of Moneys for Payment thereof, as both Houses hereafter shall agree upon, so as they be equally laid; whereby his People, already too heavily burthened by these late Distempers, may have no more Pressures upon them than this absolute Necessity requires.
And for the further securing all Fears, his Majesty will consent, that an Act of Parliament be passed for the disposing of the great Offices of State, and naming of Privy-Counsellors for the whole Term of his Reign, by the Two Houses of Parliament, their Patents and Commissions being taken from his Majesty, and after to return to the Crown, as is express'd in the Articles of the Militia. For the Court of Wards and Liveries, his Majesty very well knows the Consequence of taking that away, by turning of all Tenures into common Soccage, as well in point of Revenue to the Crown, as in the Protection of many of his Subjects being Infants: Nevertheless, if the Continuance thereof seem grievous to his Subjects, rather than he will fail on his part in giving Satisfaction, he will consent to an Act for taking of it away, so as a full Recompence be setled upon his Majesty and his Successors in perpetuity; and that the Arrears now due be reserved unto him towards the Payment of the Arrears of the Army.
And that the Memory of these late Distractions may be wholly wiped away, his Majesty will consent to an Act of Parliament for the suppressing and making null of all Oaths, Declarations and Proclamations against both or either House of Parliament, and of all Indictments and other Proceedings against any Persons for adhering unto them. And his Majesty Proposeth, as the best Expedient to take away all Seed of future Differences, that there be an Act of Oblivion to extend to all his Subjects.
As for Ireland, the Cessation therein is long since determined; but for the future, and all other things being fully agreed, his Majesty will give full Satisfaction to his Houses concerning that Kingdom.
And although his Majesty cannot consent in Honour and Justice to avoid all his own Grants and Acts pass'd under his Great Seal since the 22d of May 1642, or to the confirming of all the Grants and Acts passed under that made by the Two Houses, yet his Majesty is confident, that upon persual of Particulars, he shall give full Satisfaction to his Two Houses to what may be reasonably desired in that particular.
And now his Majesty conceives, that by these his Offers, which he is ready to make good upon the settlement of a Peace, he hath clearly manifested his Intentions to give full Security and Satisfaction to all Interests, for what can justly be desired in order to the future Happiness of his People, and for the perfecting of these Concessions, as also for such other things as may be proposed by the Two Houses; and for such just and reasonable Demands as his Majesty shall find necessary to propose on his part, he earnestly desires a personal Treaty at London with his Two Houses, in Honour, Freedom and Safety; it being in his Judgment, the most proper, and indeed only Means to a firm and settled Peace, and impossible without it to reconcile former, or avoid future misunderstandings.
All these being by Treaty perfected, his Majesty believes his Two Houses will think it reasonable that the Proposals of the Army concerning the Succession of Parliaments, and their due Elections should be taken into Consideration.
As for what concerns the Kingdom of Scotland, his Majesty will very readily apply himself to give all reasonable Satisfaction, when the Desires of the Two Houses of Parliament on their behalf, or of the Commissioners of that Kingdom, or of both joyned together, shall be made known unto him.
Saturday, November, 19.
This Day a Letter was read from his Excellency, directed to the Committee of the Army, acquainting them, that Colonel Hewson's Regiment had Orders to march into the City for Quarters, and to be serviceable to them in raising of the Arrears of the City. The General likewise sent a Letter to the Lord-Mayor, Aldermen, and Common-Council of London.
The House had much Debate hereupon; and at last it was ordered, That Lieutenant-General Cromwell should write to Colonel Hewson, that he may forbear marching into the City with his Regiment for the present. Hereupon the Houses appointed a Committee of Lords and Commons to go to the City, and acquaint them with the Letter from his Excellency, and with the Inconveniences that must of necessity follow, if they take not speedy Course for collecting the Arrears. They are likewise to press them concerning the Advance of the Arrears of the 60000l. per mensem, and to pay it from time to time, as the several Counties in the Kingdom do.
There is very good News from Ireland, and that Colonel Jones hath given the Rebels another notable Defeat, and quite beat them off from before Dublin. Sir Thomas Fairfax, Head Quarters are now at Windsor.
Monday, November. 22.
The House of Commons this Day, according to former Order had the Ordinance for setting Poor, Needy, and vagrants on work, Read the second time, which took up much Debate; and at last it was committed to a Committee chosen for that purpose.
The House being informed that many of the Common Council of the City of London were at the Door, they were called in: And in the Name of the City they gave the House Thanks for their timely Notice, and speedy prevention of quartering Soldiers in the Lines of Communication. And as for the further Answer of the City, concerning the collecting of the Arrears of Assessments for the Army, they delivered it in by Writing; and had likewise given a further Account thereof by a Letter to his Excellency Sir Thomas Fairfax.
The House voted, That the Scots Commissioners Answer should be further desired to the sending of the Propositions to his Majesty, which should have gone this Day; and that the Committee of both Kingdoms, should press them for an Answer with all speed, that so there may be no delay in sending the Propositions to his Majesty.
The House then ordered, That they should take into consideration the Business of the Army, of setling a constant Pay for them, to the end the poor Country may not be any longer oppressed with free Quarter.
There came this Day Letters to both Houses from Colonel Hammond in answer to the Votes of both Houses, about sending Sir John Barkley, Mr. Ashburnham, and Colonel Leg, up to the House; concerning which Colonel Hammond gives this Answer following.
'This Morning I received, by the Hands of a Messenger from the General, a Paper of Votes and Resolution of both Houses of Parliament, bearing Date die Martis, 16. Novemb. 1647. relating to the Security of his Majesty's Person, which although they came not to me with Directions from the Houses, yet I thought it my Duty to take notice of them, by what Hand soever received, as their Commands, and according to see them put in Execution.
As concerning that Vote, not permitting such as have been in Arms, or assisting against the Parliament, to come into this Island, it tending much to the Security of his Majesty's Person, and the preserving the Peace of this Island, I have, as I acquainted your Lordships in my last Letter, before I received these Votes, given Orders to that effect, which are carefully put in execution, commanding all Masters of Boats belonging to Hampshire and this Island, that they land neither Persons nor Goods in any part of this Island, save only at Yarmouth-Castle, Cows-Castle, and Ryde; at which Place I have also appointed a Guard; to whom Order is given, as to the other Two Castles for the examining of all Persons so landing, and to detain and secure any that cannot give a very good Account of themselves and their Business.
My Lord, Yesterday there came to me an Officer belonging to the Sergeant of the House of Commons, with particular Warrant, for the apprehending and bringing up in safe Custody the Persons of Mr. John Ashburnham, Mr. William Leg, and Sir John Barkley, who came hither with the King. The said Warrants required my Assistance to him in the execution of them, but with no other to me from either or both Houses to that purpose: And finding the Matter to be of very great Importance, I have desired the Messenger to forbear the execution of his said Warrant, till I have given the Houses to understand, that in case the said Warrants should be served and put in execution, it would be impossible for me to answer the Expectations and Commands of Parliament, in preserving the Person of the King in Security, to be disposed by them, unless I should keep him close Prisoner; which is a Business of that Nature, that it is neither fit nor safe for me to do, especially for my self.
The Grounds from whence I gather this, are plainly thus, The King hath declared himself to me, That he came from Hampton-Court, for no other Cause, but for the Preservation of his Person; which was as he apprehended, in such Danger, that he could not with safety continue longer there: That if he could have been there with Safety, he would not have parted thence, nor from the Army, and that he chose this Place rather than any other, when he was at Liberty to have gone whither he pleased, that he might still continue under the Protection of the Army, my self being a Member thereof; and that he might have Conveniency of free Intercourse between himself and the Parliament for the Settlement of a General Peace; to which he professes greater Inclinations and Desires than ever, and that there shall be nothing wanting on his part, that may be reasonably expected from him.
He further faith, That in case these Gentlemen be taken from him, and punished as Evil-doers, for counselling him not to go out of the Kingdom, but rather to come to a Place where he now is, for the Ends aforesaid, and for their endeavouring accordingly in attending him hither, he cannot but himself expect to be dealt with accordingly, his Case being the same.
My Lord, I shall further let you know, That besides the Care 'I shall always have of these Gentlemen, they have engaged their Honours not to depart from me, so that I am most confident of their Security. And truly, were not their Ends the same with their Pretences, in relation to the Peace of this Kingdom, I am confident they would never have advised, nor conducted the King to this Place. Besides, were they at this time removed from the King, there would be none left for his Attendance; which, besides the Offence, how great the Inconvenience would be to him, your Lordships cannot be ignorant.
And further give me leave to add, if so unworthy a Servant of your Lordships as I am, and that which concerns my Honour, were at all worthy your Consideration, whether it would not much reflect upon me in case these Gentlemen should be thus removed from hence. The King and themselves have freely thrown themselves upon me for safety upon Confidence, as they please to say, of my Honour and Honesty, and the Satisfaction they expect it would have given the Parliament, the King being necessitated to remove.
My Lord, My Duty to you and the Kingdom, whose Good and Peace I most desire, and shall most faithfully endeavour, calls for this Account; which, with my self and these Gentlemen, I leave to your Lordship's Consideration, with this Conclusion, That whatever is commanded by Authority, especially that of the Parliament, though never so contrary to my Sense or Honour, shall never be disobeyed.
Tuesday, November 23.
The Persenters avowed the Petition; and the House had much debate hereupon; and at last voted, That this Petition is a seditious and contemptuous Avowing and Prosecution of a former Petition and Paper annexed, stiled, An Agreement of the People, formerly adjudged by the House to be destructive to the Being of Parliaments, and Fundamental Government of this Kingdom: That Tho. Prince S. Chidley, be committed Prisoners to the Gate-house, and that J. Ives, Tho Tayler, Will. Learner, be committed to the Prison of Newgate; and that a Letter be sent to the General, to desire him to prosecute the Examinations of that Business to the bottom, and to bring such guilty Persons as he shall think fit, to condign and exemplary Punishment.
A Letter this Day came from Bristol, informing the House, That the Soldiers there had secured an Alderman of that City, and would not discharge him till they had a Months Pay, and an Ordidinance of Indempnity for that Act.
The House hereupon ordered a Letter to be sent to his Excellency, to desire him to give Order forthwith for the discharge of the said Alderman, and give direction to prevent the like Abuses for the future by the Soldiers there.
Thursday, November 25.
A Report was made this Day to the House of Commons of the Scots Commissioners Answer concerning the Propositions, and ordered, That the Committee of both Kingdoms should acquaint the Scotch Commissioners with the several Declarations and Votes concerning the sending of the Propositions, and with the several Salvoes in the large Treaty, relating to each Kingdom particularly, and to press them for their further and speedy Answer thereunto.
Their Lordship desired by Message the Commons Concurrence to an Ordinance for giving further Power to the Committee of Lords and Commons, to examine the London Agents; which was read, and assented unto.
The House being informed, That his Majesty's late Bed-chamber at Hampton-Court was sealed up by Order of the Commissioners then attending his Majesty, they ordered that the said Seals should be taken off, to the end the Furniture therein may be made further use of for his Majesty's Occasions.
The Assembly was called in, and Mr. Speaker, by command of the House gave them Thanks, &c. The House further acquainted, that the House did expect that the Assembly give a speedy Answer to the Queries formerly sent unto them, and desired them to go on in perfecting those things which the House had referred unto them.
A Letter this Day came from his Excellency, presented to him from the County of Buckingham, complaining of the insufferable Burthen of Free-Quarter; which was read and debated, and ordered to be referred to the Grand Committee that is to fit to morrow to consider of the taking off of free Quarter, and setling a constant Pay for the Army.
The House being informed, that 10000l. would be wanting to complete a Months Pay; hereupon they ordered, that the Merchant Adventures should be desired to lend 10000l. more; and if they could not, then 5000l. and the Committee of Excise to be desired to lend the other 5000l.
There came this Day a Letter from Sir Thomas Fairfax, to the Lord-Mayor, Aldermen, and Common-Council of London; and it was a Reply of a Letter to the General from the City, about the quartering of Soldiers: The Contents are as follow.
To the Right Honourable the Lord-Mayor, Aldermen, and Common Council of the City of London assembled.
My Lords and Gentlemen,
'My last to your Lordship at Kingston, was not intended to charge you with the Arrears of the City, or to put the levying thereof upon any other, besides those that are impowered and charged by the Parliament for that purpose. But the Business of sending for their Assistance some Soldiers into the City being resolved on, as the best way, and of present Necessity for the timely and effectual dispatch of that Service, I thought fit by the Letter to acquaint you therewith, both as a respect to your Lordship and the City, and that by you the City might the better understand the Grounds and Intentions of that Resolution, to prevent any Inconveniencies from Misapprehensions thereof; nor did I expect, that either that Resolution, or the Letter instead of a vigorous and speedy Dispatch in a Business so just and necessary, should beget any Interposals or Intercourse tending to further Delay: But since the Parliament hath thought fit to put a stop, for the present, to that way of Proceeding, which here was conceived most necessary and agreeable to their Orders, and to undertake some other effectual Course in the Business, I shall wait the hoped Issue thereof; and if your promised concurrent Endeavours, prove not timely answerable to their Undertakings to your Profession, and the Army's and Kingdom's Expectations, I much doubt the Consequence, whatever you or I can do to prevent them, will be every way sad, and that no more to the Parliament Kingdom or Army, than to the City it self; the Safety and Prosperity of which, shall be always endeavoured, as much as lies in the Power of,
Friday, November 26.
The House sat this Day in a Grand Committee, as was appointed, about providing a constant Pay for the Army, and spent the greatest part of the Day in debate thereof; and ordered, That the Supernumerary Forces in this Kingdom, both in relation to Ireland, and the number to be continued up in this Kingdom, be forthwith disbanded.
The House of Peers sent a Message to the Commons to desire a Conference in the painted Chamber, where both Houses met accordingly; and the Earl of Manchester, Speaker of the House of Peers pro tempore, acquainted the Commons, that he was commanded by the Lords to let them know, that their Lordships had taken into Consideration the Desires of the King's Majesty in his Message to treat with the Parliament; and also the Scots Papers, delivered in by the Commissioners of the Kingdom of Scotland, pressing for the Treaty with his Majesty.
And their Lordships had also considered the Desires of the Kingdom, to be delivered from all Burdens and Fears, and to have the Government of the Kingdom setled and cleared, that the Kingdom may be preserved by Peace.
That their Lordships had commanded him to acquaint them, that they do propound to the Commons, four Propositions may be speedily sent to his Majesty to be passed, for the Safety and Security of the Parliament and Kingdom, and to treat with his Majesty upon the rest.
- 1. 'That a Bill be drawn up by Consent of both Houses, for his Majesty to pass into an Act for the setling of the Militia of the Kingdom.
- 2. 'That a Bill be passed for his Majesty's calling in of all Declarations, Oaths and Proclamations against the Parliament and those who have adhered to them.
- 3. 'For passing an Act that those Lords who were made after the Great Seal was carried to Oxford, may be made uncapable of sitting in the House of Peers thereby.
- 4. 'That Power may be given to the Two Houses of Parliament, to adjourn as the Two Houses of Parliament shall think fit.
That his Majesty giving the Kingdom Security by passing these Four Propositions, there may be a Personal Treaty with his Majesty and the Parliament of both Kingdoms, for passing of the rest of the Propositions.
From the Head Quarters at Windsor we understand further, that Yesterday the General Council of the Army fat in the Town-Hall at Windsor; after much Debate, it was referred to a Committee to draw up a Model and present it to the next Council, for a Repartition and disposing of the Counties in the Kingdom so for the Payment of the Army, that they may be constantly paid out of Assesments, and the County cased of Free Quarter. Mr. Saltmarsh, at this Council, took his Leave of the Army.
May it please Your Excellency,
Amidst the many Distractions and Distempers in the Army and Kingdom, which saddens our Hearts, and presents nothing to our View but Disorder and Confusion, our Experience and Commemoration of Divine Providence, propitious to your Excellency and the Army, even from the first of your Undertakings to this very Moment, is that alone that refresheth us; nor needs the Collection of our Memories, or that we look far backwards for an occasion of Praise; That late Mercy, not the least, whereby a being was regained for us, deserves a perpetual Remembrance. And, was not England concerned in the Case of our Regiment? Is it imaginable, that Disobedience was complotted there alone, or that they were the only Maintainers and Abettors of no Subjection to Authority? Surely if their Design to disengage those committed to our Charge by your Excellency, from us as unworthy Commands, had been there limited, we hope we shall rather have given way to their Desires, though causeless, and withdrawn our selves, than in the least Hazard the Loss of one Drop of Blood to continue our Employments. But if we seem more sensible of those Dangers that were almost inevitable than others do, in regard we were the first that tasted of them, and were likely to be swallowed up by them, we humbly desire your Excellency's Pardon; and, for a clear Manifestation of our Integrity to your Excellency and the Weal Publick, leave to present to your Excellency,
1. That as Soldiers and Members of this your Excellency's Army, we owe all Obedience and Subjection to your Excellency's Authorities and Commands; from which we humbly conceive neither Birth rights, nor other Privileges whatsoever, whereof we have, or ought to have an equal Share with others, can or ought in the least to disoblige us: and that we shall rather cease to be Soldiers, which is all the Liberty we desire, than dispute your Excellency's Power, or admit of any Co-rival or Competitor therein. Nor do we suppose to have declared any thing more herein, than what always hath been, and must of necessity continue to be our Duty: For, besides that it is essential both to the being and well being of an Army, to obey Orders according to the Discipline of War, we yet owe more Respect unto your Excellency, of whose Care and Trouble for us and the whole Kingdom we are Witnesses, than is thereby required from us: And since Necessity pleads for some particular Person to whom the Care and Conduct of an Army must be committed, if we were at Liberty herein, whom shall we desire but your Excellency?
2. We cannot but remind your Excellency, how that Necessity indeed, and the Dissatisfaction of the Army in their just Desires, drew them to a solemn Engagement; and thereby the Counsels of the Army being in some things altered form what they were before, have lately been endeavoured to be made a Precedent to alter them again; and Malecontented Spirits take Occasion hereby to divide the Army into Parties and Factions, endeavouring to turr every Man's Sword against his Fellow, pleading Necessity when there is none and for such Things as are in themselves very disputable, whether Just or Unjust, and which is more than probable, may be more destructive to the Commonwealth, if granted, than the refusal of them will be. It is therefore our humble Desire unto your Excellency, that you will still continue to mediate on our Behalf, for the obtaining of those our just and necessary Desires in our former Petitions, Remonstrances, and Declarations mentioned; that so the whole Army may be satisfied, and return to its pristine way of Government, wherein they have been very successful under your Excellency.
Lastly, Whereas the Prevalency of particular Persons in the Parliament, who have sufficiently manifested their Dissatisfaction to the Weal Publick, hath, for prevention of Factions and Parties in that honourable Assembly, manifested the Reasonableness of setting a Period to this present Parliament; and before that can be with Safety, many things of great Concernment to the Kingdom are first to be transacted there, whereof your Excellency and the Army have already several times desired Consideration to be had by this Parliament. It is our hearty Desires, That both Parliament and Army would jointly resolve, and accordingly act with all Expedition, to the finishing of that great Work that lies upon them, and hath long been by the People expected form them: And that the whole Kingdom may be prosperous in the Enjoyment of a Free Parliament, and every particular Person in his own proper Interest; that the World may bear us Witness, that we do not only declare for, but prosecute the obtaining of their Liberty and Freedoms: That so soon as a firm Peace can be settled, the great Burden of maintaining Soldiers in this Kingdom may no longer continue, to the great Charge and Trouble of the People, and the impairing of that Esteem which the Price of our Blood in our former Atchievements have affectionately wrought in their Hearts towards the whole Army, whereof both Members, and careful Tenderers of their Reputations, are,
Saturday, November 27.
A Message this Day came from the Lords, desiring the Commons Assent to an Ordinance for authorising Mr. Sollicitor to draw up Pardons to be passed under the Great Seal to several convicted Persons, Prisoners in Northampton Goal, which was assented unto.
Their Lordships desired the House to take some speedy Course for settling of a Constant Pay for the Army, to the End the Country may not be burdened with Free Quarter. The Commons were accordingly sensible of that great Grievance; and a Course will, we hope, be suddenly taken to ease the Country in this Particular.
The House considered of the great and intollerable Abuse of several Printed Pamphlets that come forth daily without any Licence, in Contempt of the Authority of Parliament, and to the great Abuse and Scandal of the Parliament and Kingdom.
And in particular the Pamphlets entituled, Mercurius Pragmaticus, Mercurius Melanthlicus, and other Sheets Printed without Licence; and upon a long Debate of this Business, it was Ordered, That a Committee of the House of Commons should be Appointed to find out the Authors and Commit them, and also the Printers, and such as make Sale of them, and to give Warrants to seize the Press, Implyments, and other Materials of Printing, and to employ such as they think fit for this Purpose.
The Reader is further desired, as to this Business, to take Notice, that the Licencer, Mr. Gilbert Mabbot, notwithstanding his Care against Malignant Sheets, hath his Name forged to many of them, of purpose to make him odious to the Parliament and Kingdom; but a Committee being appointed to suppress such unlicenced and scandalous Pamphlets, he hopes to have Vindication and Reparation against such as have so abused him, and this Abuse to be taken off for the Future.
The House then, according to former Order, this Day, considered of their Lordships Desires at the Conference Yesterday, to have the Four Bills before-mentioned tendred to his Majesty, &c. and upon his passing of them, to admit of a Personal Treaty with his Majesty upon the rest of the Propositions. And upon a long Debate of this Business, it was Voted, to Agree with their Lordships in granting a Personal Treaty with his Majesty, after he hath Signed the said Bills; and they to be forthwith drawn up and dispatched to his Majesty.
Monday, November 29.
In this Petition they seem to regret many things, and accuse the Houses of Partiality, in that they one while will receive Petitions, and then will not, with much more to that Purpose; and pray that it be forthwith declared what Burdens they may pray the Honourable House may be taken off, and what Freedoms to be setled, that when they think they are doing their Duty, they may not suffer as Transgressors.
Secondly, That the Five Persons Committed for the former Petition into Prisons among Thieves and Murderers, may be discharged; and that it may not be forgotten, That the Matter of their Petition is the same in many things, which was burnt by the Influence of corrupt Members.
This Petition being known to the Lord Mayor and Militia of London, before it came up, it was certified to the Lords and Commons by them; and that in regard it was believed many would come along with it, they offered the Aid of some Companies; which the House took well, and Ordered, That in such Cases they might have Power, and sent their Order accordingly. The House Ordered to Read, Debate, and give Answer to this Petition Thursday next.
The House Ordered, That the Lord Mayor of London have Thanks given him for sending down a Guard to the House this Day. And further Ordered, That the Committee of Lords and Commons for the Business of the London Agents, shall be a close Committee, and have Power to send for all such Persons as they shall find Just Cause for, upon Information, and Commit them to Custody until the Business be reported to the House.
Letters came this Day to the House from the Lord Inchequin, and others, of a very great Victory obtained against the Irish Rebels in Munster. Some of the Letters concerning the same have been since Printed; yet, for better Satisfaction, we will give you the Copy of One Letter from Kingsale touching the said Victory, not before Printed, as followeth:
I Advised you of the sad and desperate Condition of our Army, and consequently the poor Protestant Party of this Province. Now so it is, the Wonders of the Lord of Hosts have been again manifested unto us. The Thirteenth present being Saturday last, having Marched toward the Enemy quartered at Clantark or near adjoining, Six or Seven Miles from Megalio they met the Rebels, and presently were enforced to join Battle, they being Three to One of ours at least, and had by Force or Accident the Advantage of Ground, so that our Ordnance could not bear or be made serviceable for the Day, but rather a very great Hindrance: Having joined Battle, and our Ordnance being guarded with 400 Foot, and Three Troops of Horse, our main Battle was put hardly to it, and by the Cowardise of some like to be routed, and put to the worst, to the total Loss of the Province: But the Divine Providence had otherwise decreed, my Lord Inchequin in his own Person, with what Horse might be spared or gotten together, made a desperate Attempt upon their Body, and gave them a Rout: Colonel Gray, with a poor handful of bare-leg'd Men recover'd our Ordnance, whereby the whole Rebels Force for this time is dissolved. Colonel Gray is slain, Capt. Love, and some other Commanders of our Party dangerously wounded, and about 150 Common Soldiers and Gunners slain on our part, and doubtless many wounded. The whole Number when they began, on our side, could not make 4000; but God gave the Pursuit unto the Remainder of ours upon the Enemy for the Space of Seven Miles in Three several Ways, as long as Day did last. The certain Intelligence is, That there were slain of the Rebels 2500 upon the Place, besides the Wounded that crawled into Bushes and Ditches for present Shelter: but it is thought 4000 at least were slain upon the Place and in Pursuit, amongst whom their Lieutenant General Kilketto, and his Lieutenant Colonel Hillanders were found, and 200 of their Officers kill'd and taken Prisoners. My Lord is still in the Field, and doth not doubt but to bring the Province into that Subjection, as that he that succeedeth him shall have little to do.
Thus hath God in his Mercy given me leave to write once more unto you, which if the Enemy had prevailed could not have been expected, for we had all perished in few Days, Root and Branch. Our Enemies in England, not here, have not prevailed; for our God was jealous of his Glory, turning their Plots of Destruction to his own Honour and our Safety. The Vessel is commanded away with a Packet, I cannot enlarge; this that I write you may rely upon as gathered from the surest Intelligence. God keep you.
Tuesday, November 30.
Captain Piggot, that brought the Letters from the Lord Inchequin, was this Day called in to the House, and made a Relation of that great Victory; and afterwards presented to the House Two Letters under the Lord Digby's Hand, which was found in the Lord Taaff's Cabinet; One of the Letters, and the most material One, we will give you as follows:
To the Lord Viscount TAAFF.
My dear Lord,
Relying upon your Constancy to what you have promised, I shall go on boldly and industriously in the Ways of serving you; and I make no Question, but I shall either succeed in drawing the Party you are now engaged with, under his Majesty's Power, in which Case the chief Military Command in this Kingdom will be in your Hands, as I could wish: Or else, in Case it befit you in Duty and Loyalty to his Majesty to quit this Country, I shall settle you such Conditions of Honour and Advantage Abroad, as you shall confess I have been no ill Manager of your Interests. Two Things only I have to recomment unto your Care; the One, That you endeavour to draw to you into Munster, such Leimster and Ulster Forces, as you are sure are possest with the same Resolutions that you are. The Other, That you will not let any appearing Advantage, or the Height of your Spirit transport you to hazard a Fight with your Forces this Summer; but to stand unalterably upon the wariest Defence you can; carrying always in your Mind, that both all our Hopes for his Majesty's Service in this Kingdom, and in Case those sail, those of our own being considerable Abroad, depend upon your preserving that Army. One Thing more I shall beg of you, That since our Duty to his Majesty's Interests, and to our own Honour, having already received Money, oblige us to tender our Service in the first place of France, that you will not make your self so familiar with Don Diego, as to draw Suspicion from the French Agents, of your dealing doubly, which will be ruinous to all our Undertakings, if once our Honours should be in that kind disparaged. This is all I have to say at present, more than to conjure you to rely upon this Truth, That you could not in the World have fix'd upon a Friend so careful of your Interests, as you shall find,
The House ordered the Lord Inchequin shall have a Thousand Pound given him to buy him Horses, as an Earnest of Favour of that House, for his great Service to the Kingdom of Ireland, and in particular, in this late Victory. That Captain Piggot have Fifty Pound bestowed upon him, for bringing these Letters from the Lord Inchequin.
A Letter of Thanks was ordered to be drawn up and sent to the Lord Inchequin. That a Letter of Thanks be sent to the Officers under the Command of the Lord Inchequin, and likewise concerning their Indemnity for their general Engagement.
An Ordinance was read for re-imbursing the Merchant Adventurers, the Sum of Fifteen Thousand Pound, advanced for the Service of the Army, and Eight Thousand Pound disbursed for the Service of the State, which was assented unto.
Having left Order at our Remove from Hampton-Court, that a Copy should be given you of what we had then written to both Houses of Parliament, touching the Causes of Our withdrawing, and the Continuance of our Resolutions to improve every Occasion of the Satisfaction of all chief Interests, that so a happy Peace may settle in our Dominions: In pursuance whereof, we have lately sent a Message to both Houses from this Place, and a Copy of it to you And being desirous, in order to that blessed Work, to give you our present Sense upon the Condition of Affairs as they now stand, we have thought fit to appoint Sir John Berkly to repair unto you, and to communicate the same to you. And we shall be glad, by him, to receive a mutual Communication of your Sense also, upon this Subject; not doubting but you easily perceive, by the late Disorders, into what a depth of Confusion the Army and the Nation will fall, if timely and effectual Preventions be not used; and therefore we have now again proposed, as the only Expedient, a Personal Treaty for the composing of all Differences, and fulfilling the Desires of all Interest; to which, if you will employ your Credit, as you cannot but expect the best Return that ever our Condition shall be able to make you.
The free Liberty which you willingly afford us to have the use of our Chaplains, make us at this time not only to acknowledge your former Civilities, but likewise now to acquaint you, that Three of our Chaplains, to wit, Dr. Sheldon, Dr. Holdsworth, and Dr. Heywood, are newly landed in this Island, not doubling but that they shall have the same Protection that formerly they had; which still will shew the Continuation of your good Respect unto us, which we, upon all fitting Occasions, shall not be backward to acknowledge. So we bid you hearty Farewell.
Wednesday, December. 1. 1647.
This Day a Petition was presented to both Houses from the Common Council of London, acknowledging the High Court of Parliament to be the Supream Power and Judicature in this Kingdom, constituted for the Defence and Contrivement of the Safety and Freedom of this Nation; unto whom all other Powers and Societies of Men ought to submit. And acknowledging the unwearied Pains, uncessant Labour, and constant Endeavours of this present Parliament, in the common Cause of God in this Kingdom; disavowing all engaging in Differences, excusing their Declarations, &c. That the Free Quartering of the Army about the City hath occasioned the Dearness of Provisions, and given Opportunity to evil-minded Persons to foment Differences.
Wherefore the Petitioners humbly pray, That the Honour, Power, and Privileges of Parliament may, by their Wisdom and Justice, be inviolably preserved. That the Army may be so provided for, that they may be enabled to remove their Quarters to a further distance from the City, whereby the Price of Provisions may be abated, and Trade encouraged; That free Quarter may be prevented, and Supernumerary Forces disbanded; That a more vigorous Course may be taken in setting of the Peace and Government in this Kingdom, so long desired; That the Covenant may be duly observed; That all well-affected Persons that have adhered to the Parliament, may be effectually protected and defended; That the Recorder, Aldermen, and other Citizens now Imprisoned, so as it may stand with the Honour and Wisdom of Parliament, may be enlarged.
Which the Petitioners shall esteem a great Favour to this City; and that all the late unhappy Proceeding, as unto this City and Members thereof, may be forgotten and obliterated; That the Petitioners may enjoy the Splendor of the former Favours, and be thereby enable to be the more serviceable to the Preservation of Parliament and City, re uniting all that are well affected thereunto.
Both Houses gave them Thanks for the Expression of their good Affections to the parliament: That as to the Desires in their petition, in some of them Order hath been taken already; some are under Consideration, as that concerning Free Quarter, and other: and as to their last Desire, touching some Members of the City that lye under Restraint, the House will speedily do therein what may consist with the Justice and Honour of this House.
- 1. The Bill for Adjourning the House was Read the first time.
- 2. The Bill for making all Proclamations and Declaration void against both Houses of Parliament, was Read the first time.
- 3. The Bill for making all Things Void under the Great Seal at Oxford, and confirmed such Things as are past under the Great Seal with the Parliament, was Read the first time.
- 4. A Bill about the Militia, and the Payment of the Publick Debts of the Kingdom, were Read the First Time.
A Message this Day came from the Lords, desiring, if the House did pass the Four Propositions, that they may be communicated to the Scots Commissioners. The House Ordered to send Answer hereunto by messengers of their own.
It being somewhat late, some Debate was, whether Candles should be brought in; and then the Question was put, Whether the Bill for settling the Militia should be now Read? and it past in the Negative.
Thursday, December 2.
At last the House came to this Resolution, that it is the Right of the Subject to Petition the Parliament; and the Right of the Parliament to judge of such Petitions; and that Petitioners are bound to acquiesce in such Answer as the House shall give unto such Petitions; and the House did expect, and hope, the Petitioners would acquiesce in this Answer accordingly.
A Message was Ordered, to be sent to the Lords, to desire their Lordships that the House may have further Time given them to bring up their Impeachment against the Seven Lords Impeached by that House.
A Message came from the Lords to acquaint the House, That their Lordships, according to the Desire of the House, had Ordered by this Day Seven-night, for the House of Commons to bring up their Charge against the Members of that House Impeached.
They Ordered, That the Names of all the Justices of the Peace of the several Counties of the Kingdom should be given in to the Members that serve for the several Counties, to the End the House may consider of them.
After the City Petition was Read, and Answer given thereunto, they Ordered, That the Committee appointed to draw up the Impeachment against the Lords, do draw up the Impeachment against the late Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Recorder of London, now in the Tower by Monday Morning next.
Friday, December 3.
The House of Commons spent the whole Time this Day, upon the Four Bills to be sent to his Majesty, before-mentioned; and they past the Three First, and for the Fourth, about disposing the Militia, it was Committed.
Saturday, December 4.
The House Adjourned it self till Tuesday next, and in the Afternoon met again in a grand Committee, about the Business of Free Quarter, and to settle a constant Pay to the Army. The Committee also for suppressing Scandalous and Unlicenced Pamphlets met again this Afternoon.
To the Right Honourable the Lord Viscount TAAFF.
I Count it one of the greatest Unhappinesses that hath befaln me, that I must go out of the Kingdom without conferring with a Person upon whom I so much depend, both in what concerns his Majesty's Service, and my own Particular Interests in this Kingdom; and who, if I do not flatter my self, does me the Favour, in some Measure, to depend upon my Resolutions, either in order to the Affairs of this Kingdom, or of Employment beyond the Sea: where I do renew unto your Lordship the Assurance, that in case we cannot succeed so in the way of his Majesty's Service from this Kingdom, as that you may be encouraged to set up your Rest in it, I shall not take more Care of mine Honour and Fortunes, than of yours; if you will rely upon my Care to negotiate for you, as I do upon the Assurances you have given of not separating from me in the ways of our Fortune. I am most confident you will find as excellent Correspondence of Friendship in L. Murkery, both towards you and me And I do stedfastly now rely also upon my Lord Dillon's, and Sir James Dillon's adhering to our Fortunes, in Case we cannot succeed in the Way now proposed, of uniting this Party to his Majesty's Authority; with the Particulars of which, Mr. Wintourgrant, whom I have desired to stay here till he hears again from me a sudden Account of all things. In the mean while, and ever, be confident that I am most faithfully and unalterably,
'That whereas an Order from his Excellency Sir Thomas Fairfax, was sent to the Colonels of the several Regiments of Horse and Foot, to discharge all such Soldiers as were entertained in the Army since the Engagement at New-Market, and Cavaliers lately entertained. The Colonels and Officers of the Several Regiments did accordingly yield a punctual Obedience to the said Order, and dismissed the Soldiers accordingly; in some Thirty, in some Forty in a Company: Which Soldiers so Disbanded, came in great Companies to the Head Quarters at Windsor, desiring either to receive Monies to bear their Charges home, or else to be re-admitted to their several Regiments, in regard most of the Persons so appearing had served the Parliament in several parts of the Kingdom, from the beginning of the War, though they were but lately entertained in this Army. And it being intended that they should have Monies to bear their Charges home; yet it happened, they came to the Head Quarter when the second part of the Money designed for the Month's Pay, was not come to the Head Quarter: So that there was a Necessity to return them back to their several Colours, except Cavaliers or disorderly Persons, till such time as Monies came down to pay them a Proportion of Pay, to carry them Home to their several Countries, many of them being above 200 Miles from their several Homes, and accordingly they were dismissed. And the Monies which were expected on Tuesday, came not down to the Head Quarters till Saturday.
On Friday at the Head Quarters there was a Council of War, where were several Men tryed of Col. Lilburne's Regiment, concerning the former Mutiny and Miscarriages, for which the Man was shot to Death at the Rendezvous at Ware suffered; and a Corporal of that Regiment was at this Council of War also condemned to suffer Death, and Six or Seven more were sentenced to run the Gantlet, which was this present Saturday put in Execution at Windsor; but the Execution of this Man for Death is put off till the Tryal of Capt. Bray, and some others, the Ringleaders of that Mutinous Party, and Contemners and Scorners of all Discipline in an Army, be tryed and received their Judgment, to the End no more Soldiers who are accessory do suffer Death, till some of the principal Officers and Agents, who engaged the Soldiers in that Action, do partake of the same Sentence, if so found Guilty. And on Friday Capt. Bray was called to the Council of War, and received his Tryal in Part; but he carried himself with that Pride and Arrogancy, that it was a scandal to all honest Men that were Witnesses of his Carriage, contemning Authority, reviling others, and desiring to be tryed upon a Scaffold in the hearing of the Multiude. His further Tryal is put off till another Day.
Saturday the General Council did meet at Windsor, though some what late, and had some Debate concerning a Declaration about the Grievances of Free Quarter, and the disbanding of supernumerary Forces without reasonable Satisfaction, as a thing contrary to the Engagement; but principally of the concurrent Design in all parts to with-hold Pay from the Army, to the intent to make it odious to the Kingdom, which necessitates the Army to think of some Course how to ease the Country of Free Quarter, and yet to have the Army paid.
A bold Robbery was this Night attempted by Twenty resolute Fellows, to rob the King's Revenue in the Chequer-Chamber, Westminster; but it was discovered a little before by a Waterman; upon which Scouts were sent to assail the Assailants, if they came on; and accordingly the Robbers were interrupted in their Design about Two of the Clock on Sunday Morning: Sixteen of them escaped by Water, but fought stoutly for their Passage; the other Four were taken, sorely wounded.