A Collection of the State Papers of John Thurloe, Volume 1, 1638-1653. Originally published by Fletcher Gyles, London, 1742.
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Extracts of several letters of mons. de Montreuil's to mons. de Brienne.
Messieurs Moray me temoignerent il y a deux jours, qu'ils avoient de grandes apprehensions, que le dit roi sut trompé par Mr. Ashburnham. En sorte que je remarquois, que ces honnetes personnes & zelées pour les interests de leur prince avoient deux deplaisirs; l'un de ce que leur maitre est trahi, & l'autre dece que ce ne sont pas eux qui le trahissent.
Messieurs les comtes de Loudun & de. Laneric, encore que le roi d'Angleterre leur ait ccrit à l'un & à l'autre des lettres fort civiles, pour les obligez de venir en diligence, ils ont jugé plus à propos de differer leur depart, jusqu'à ce qu'ils aient des saufconduits en meilleure forme.
Plus j'observe les actions, & sonde les volontez de ceux, qui ont plus de part au gouvernement des affaires de ce royaume, & plus je reconnois qu'ils sont blen eloignez d'entreprendre aucune chose, qui puisse étre à l'avantage de leur roi.
Les ministres ont declaré dans leur assemblée, que le roi de la Gr. Br. a plutôt essaié de les surprendre, que de leur donner satisfaction dans ce qu'il leur a accordé en l'isle de Wight; & que l'Ecosse ne peut en conscience entreprendre aucune chose pour son service.
Cependant pour travailler avec plus de facilité & de secret on resolut dans le parlement d'Ecosse jeudi dernier, de nommer quelque petit nombre de personnes de la noblesse, des gentilhommes, & du peuple, qui consideroient les dangers, qui les menacoient, & les moiens d'y remedier, ce qu'ils appellent le Committé des dangers. Mais ce qui est assez considerable, c'est que le marquis d'Argile n'a que cinq personnes de sa faction des dixhuit, qui ont été nommez dans ce principal committé & qu'on tient pour tres asseuré, que ce marquis lui même n'en eut pas été, si le duc d'Hamilton n'eut prié ceux de son parti de ne l'en pas exclurre.
On a depuis vendredi jusques à ce jour agi sur cette maxime [De civilité envers le parti du m. d'Argile] & l'on n'a pas seulement essaié de travailler de concert dans le parlement, mais encore d'entretenir une bonne intelligence entre le parlement & l'assemblée du clergé; mais avec si peu de succés, que le marq. d'Argile n'assiste pas encore à ce committé, & que les ministres refuserent hier de se trouver avec ceux, qui ont été deputez par la parlement pour cet effet. — Ce dont l'on peut comme s'asseurer c'est, que quelque chose, qui se propose en apparence, ils ne pretendent rien moins en effet, que de retablir le roi d'Angleterre. De sorte qu'il s'agit seulement de sçavoir, qui demeurera le maltre en Ecosse, du duc d'Hamilton ou du marquis d'Argile, & en Angleterre des presbiteriens ou des independans.
Monsieur, vous jugerez aisement par toutes ces choses, ce que peut esperer ici M. le prince de Galles. Aussi etant tombé sur le discours du dit sieur prince avec le duc d'Hamilton, il m'a dit, qu'il ne doutoit, qu'il ne sut ici en seureté de sa personne; mais que si les ministres ne changeoient d'avis, ils n'aideroient pas beaucoup à advancer ses interests. Il me a temoigné encore, qu'il faloit tacher à les gagner, parceque bien qu'il eut plus de pouvoir qu'eux dans le parlement, ils en avoient plus quc lui dans le roiaume. Le dit duc me fit voir, qu'il pense bien plus à ses interests, qu'il ne fait à ceux de son maltre.
On m'asseure de bonne part, que milord Inchiquin offroit de se joindre aux Ecossois avec six mil hommes, & qu'un de ses principaux officers est ici, qui attend la reponse aux lettres, qu'il a apportées pour cet effet.
Le marquis d'Argile & ceux de son parti s'assemblerent avec les commissaires d'Angleterre lundi dernier, sur le sujet de la surprise de Berwick, de laquelle les ministres ne se peuvent taire, & à laquelle ce parlement a declaré qu'il n'avoit aucune part. Cependant quelques plaintes, que fassent les dits ministres & le parti d'Argile avec eux des rigueurs qu'ils veulent tenir, entre plus de huitante colonels, qui doivent prendre les noms de ceux, qui sont capables de servir, ils n'en ont pas nommé un seul de tous ceux, qui ont suivi le parti du roi d'Angleterre.
Mons. de Montreuil to the queen of England.
Ceux, madame, qui entendent le language des Ecossois, croient avec peine, qu'ils aient d'autre dessein presentement, que celui de ruiner les independans, & d'empecher les serviteurs du roi de le retablir.
To M. de Brienne.
Le duc d'Hamilton arriva ici mecredi sur les dix heures du soir, & trouva à propos de passer par le milieu de la ville avec 300 ou 400 chevaux; mais les femmes le suivirent avec des injures; & le lendemain comme contre sa coutume il alloit à pied au parlement, suivi de 800 hommes, une femme de basse condition fut assez hardie pour lui jetter trois pierres, l'un aprés l'autre, de sa senetre. Son mari a été mis en prison.
Ceux, qui composent la commission des eglises d'Ecosse, apres avoir receu un papier du committé des 24, qui les prie même de voir en quelle maniere on pourroit les satisfaire davantage, & asseurer leur religion; ils y firent reponse samedi dernier avec un autre papier, par lequel ils demandent, que cette armée, qui n'est pas encore sur pied, soit licentiée; que des officiers de celle, qui se levera, soient choisis, dont ils se puissent asseurer; que le roi ne puisse être mis en liberté qu'aprés qu'il aura accordé toutes les choses, qu'on desire du lui, & qu'on declare rebelles tous les fidelles serviteurs de ce prince, qui ont repris les armes pour lui dans le nort d'Angleterre. Mais le parlement est bien eloigné de s'accommoder à des demandes si peu raisonnables.
Sundry reasons inducing major Robert Huntingdon to lay down his commission, humbly presented to the honourable houses of parliament.
Having taken up arms in defence of the authority and power of king and parliament, under the command of the lord Grey of Warke, and the earl of Manchester, during their several employments with the forces of the eastern association, and at the modelling of this army under the present lieutenant general having been appointed by the honourable houses of parliament a major to the now regiment of lieutenant general Cromwell; in each of which employments having served constantly and faithfully, answerable to the trust reposed in me; and having lately quit the said employment, and laid down my commission, I hold myself tyed both in duty and conscience to render the true reason thereof, which in the general is briefly this: Because the principles, designs, and actions of those officers, which have a great influence upon the army, are (as I conceive) very repugnant, and destructive to the honour and safety of the parliament and kingdom, from whom they derive their authority.
First, That upon the orders of parliament for disbanding this army, lieutenant general Cromwell and commissary general Ireton were sent commissioners to Walden, to reduce the army to their obedience, but more especially in order to the present supply of forces for the service of Ireland. But they, contrary to the trust reposed in them, very much hindered that service, not only by discountenancing those that were obedient and willing, but also by giving encouragement to the unwilling and disobedient, declaring that there had lately been much cruelty and injustice in the parliament's proceedings against them, meaning the army. And commissary general Ireton in further pursuance thereof framed those papers and writings then sent from the army to the parliament and kingdom, saying also to the agitators, That it was then lawful and fit for us to deny disbanding, 'till we had received equal and full satisfaction for our past service: lieutenant general Cromwell further adding, That we were in a double capacity, as soldiers, and as commoners; and having our pay as soldiers, we have something else to stand upon as commoners. And when upon the rendezvous at Tripplo-heath the commissioners of parliament, according to their orders, acquainted every regiment with what the parliament had already done, and would further do, in order to the desires of the army, the soldiers being before prepared, and notwithstanding any thing could be said or offered to them by the commissioners, they still cryed out for Justice, justice. And for the effecting of their further purposes, advice was given by lieutenant general Cromwell and commissary general Ireton, to remove the king's person from Holdenby, or to secure him there by other guards than those appointed by the commissioners of parliament; which was thought most fit to be carried on by the private soldiery of the army, and promoted by the agitators of each regiment, whose first business was to secure the garison of Oxford with the guns and ammunition there; from thence to march to Holdenby in prosecution of the former advice; which was accordingly acted by cornet Joyce, who when he had done the business, sent a letter to the general then at Keinton, acquainting his excellency, that the king was on his march towards Newmarket. The general being troubled thereat, told commissary general Ireton, that he did not like it, demanding withal who gave those orders. He replyed, That he gave orders only for securing the king there, and not for taking him away from thence. Lieutenant general Cromwell coming then from London, said, That if this had not been done, the king would have been fetched away by order of parliament; or else colonel Graves by the advice of the commissioners would have carried him to London, throwing themselves upon the favour of parliament for that service. The same day cornet Joyce being told the general was displeased with him for bringing the king from Holdenby, he answered, That lieutenant general Cromwell gave him orders at London, to do what he had done both there and at Oxford.
The person of the king being now in the power of the army, the business of lieutenant general Cromwell was to court his majesty (both by members of the army, and several gentlemen formerly in the king's service) into a good opinion and belief of the proceedings of the army, as also into a disaffection and dislike of the proceedings of parliament; pretending to shew, that his majesties interests would far better suit with the principles of independency, than of presbytery. And when the king did alledge (as many times he did) That the power of parliament was the power, by which we fought, lieutenant general Cromwell would reply, That we were not only soldiers, but commoners; promising that the army would be for the king in the settlement of his whole business, if the king and his party would sit still, and not declare nor act against the army, but give them leave only to manage the present business in hand.
That when the king was at Newmarket, the parliament thought fit to send to his majesty, humbly desiring, that, in order to his safety and their addresses for a speedy settlement, he would be pleased to come to Richmond. Contrary hereunto, resolution was taken by the aforesaid officers of the army, that if the king would not be diverted by persuasion (to which his majesty was very opposite) that then they would stop him by force at Royston, where his majesty was to lodge the first night, keeping accordingly continual guard upon him against any power, that should be sent by order of parliament to take him from us: and to this purpose out-guards were also kept to prevent his escape from us with the commissioners, of whom we had special orders given to be careful, for that they did daily shew a dislike to the present proceedings of army against the parliament, and that the king was most conversant and private in discourse with them, his majesty saying, That if any man should hinder his going (now his houses had desired him upon his late message of 12 May 1647) it should be done by force, and laying hold on his bridle; which if any were so bold to do, he would endeavour to make it his last. But contrary to his majesty's expectation, the next morning when the king and the officers of the army were putting this to an issue, came the votes of both houses to the king of their compliance with that which the army formerly desired. After which his majesty did incline to hearken to the desires of the army, and not before. Whereupon at Caversham the king was continually sollicited by messengers from lieutenant general Cromwell and commissary general Ireton proffering any thing his majesty should desire, as revenues, chaplains, wife, children, servants of his own, visitation of friends, access of letters, and (by commissary general Ireton) that his negative voice should not be meddled withal, and that he had convinced those that reasoned against it at a general council of the army; and all this they would do, that his majesty might the better see into all our actions, and know our principles, which lead us to give him all these things out of conscience; for that we were not a people hating his majesty's person or monarchical government, but that we liked it as the best, and that by this king; saying also, That they did hold it a very unreasonable thing for the parliament to abridge him of them; often promising, that if his majesty would fit still, and not act against them, they would in the first place restore him to all these, and upon the settlement of our own just rights and liberties, make him the most glorious prince in Christendom. That to this purpose for a settlement they were making several proposals, to be offered to the commissioners of parliament then sent down to the army, which should be as bounds for our party as to the king's business; and that his majesty should have liberty to get as much of these abated as he could, for that many things therein were proposed only to give satisfaction to others, who were our friends; promising the king, That at the same time the commissioners of parliament should see these proposals, his majesty should have a copy of them also, pretending to carry a very equal hand between king and parliament, in order to the settlement of the kingdom by him; which besides their own judgments and conscience, they did see a necessity of it as to the people; commissary general Ireton further saying, That what was offered in these proposals should be so just and reasonable, that if there were but six men in the kingdom that would fight to make them good, he would make the seventh against any power, that should oppose them.
The head quarters being removed from Reading to Bedford, his majesty to Wobourne, the proposals were given to me by commissary general Ireton, to present to the king; which his majesty having read, told me, that he would never treat with army or parliament upon these proposals as he was then minded. But the next day his majesty understanding, that a force was put on his houses of parliament by a tumult, sent for me again, and said unto me: Go along with sir Jo. Berkeley to your general and lieutenant general, and tell them, that to avoid a new war, I will now treat with them upon their proposals, or any thing else, in order to a peace: only let me be saved in honour and conscience. Sir Jo. Berkeley falling sick by the way, I delivered this message to the lieutenant general and to commissary general Ireton, who advised me not to acquaint the general with it, 'till ten or twelve officers of the army were met together at the general's quarters, and then they would bethink themselves of some persons to be sent to the king about it. And accordingly commissary general Ireton, colonel Rainsborow, colonel Hammond, and colonel Rich attended the king at Woburne for three hours together, debating the whole business with the king upon the proposals; upon which debate, many of the most material things the king disliked were afterwards struck out, and many other things much abated by promises; whereupon his majesty was pretty well satisfied. Within a day or two after this, his majesty removed to Stoke, and there calling for me told me, He feared an engagement between the city and the army, saying, he had not time to write any thing under his hand, but would send it to the general after me; commanding me to tell commissary general Ireton, with whom he had formerly treated upon the proposals, that he would wholly throw himself upon us, and trust us for a settlement of the kingdom, as we had promised; saying, If we proved honest men, we should without question make the kingdom happy, and save much shedding of blood. This message from his majesty I delivered to commissary general Ireton at Colebrooke, who seemed to receive it with joy, saying, That we should be the veriest knaves that ever lived, if in every thing we made not good whatever we had promised, because the king, by his not declaring against us, had given us great advantage against our adversaries.
After our marching through London with the army, his majesty being at Hamptoncourt, lieutenant general Cromwell and commissary general Ireton sent the king word several times, that the reason why they made no more haste in his business was, because the party, which did then sit in the house (while Pelham was speaker) did much obstruct the business, so that they could not carry it on at present; the lieutenant general often saying, Really they should be pulled out by the ears; and to that purpose caused a regiment of horse to rendezvous at Hyde-park to have put that in execution (as he himself expressed) had it not been carried by vote in the house that day as he desired. The day before the parliament voted once more the sending of the propositions of both kingdoms to the king by the commissioners of each kingdom at Hampton-court, commissary general Ireton bade me tell the king, That such a thing was to be done to morrow in the house, but his majesty need not to be troubled at it, for that they intended it to no other end but to make good some promises of the parliament, which the nation of Scotland expected performance of. And that it was not expected or desired, his majesty should either sign them or treat upon them, for which there should be no advantage taken against the king. Upon the delivery of which message, his majesty replyed, He knew not what answer to give to please all without a treaty. Next day after this vote passed, the lieutenant general asking me thereupon, if the king did not wonder at these votes, I told him, no; for that commissary general Ireton had sent such a message by me the day before the vote passed, to signify the reason of it. The lieutenant general replyed, That really it was the truth, and that we (speaking of the parliament) intended nothing else by it, but to satisfy the Scott, which otherwise might be troublesome. And the lieutenant general and commissary general enquiring after his majesty's answer to the propositions, and what it would be, it was shewed them both privately in a garden-house at Putney, and in some part amended to their own minds. But before this, the king doubting what answer to give, sent me to lieutenant general Cromwell, as unsatisfied with the proceedings of the army, fearing they intended not to make good what they had promised, and the rather because his majesty understood that lieutenant general Cromwell and commissary general Ireton agreed with the rest of the house in some late votes, that opposed the proposals of the army. They severally replied, That they would not have his majesty mistrust them, for that since the house would go so high, they only concurred with them, that their unreasonableness might the better appear to the kingdom. And the lieutenant general bade me further assure the king, That if the army remained an army, his majesty should trust the proposals with what was promised to be the worst of his conditions, which should be made for him; and then striking his hand on his breast in his chamber at Putney, bade me tell the king, He might rest consident and assured of it. And many times the same message hath been sent to the king from them both, with this addition from commissary general Ireton, That they would purge, and purge, and never leave purging the houses, 'till they had made them of such a temper, as should do his majesty's business; and rather than they would fall short of what was promised, he would join with French, Spaniard, cavalier, or any that would join with him to force them to it. Upon the delivery of which message, the king made answer, That if they do, they would do more than he durst do. After this the delay of the settlement of the kingdom was excused upon the commotions of col. Martin and col. Rainsborough, with their adherents; the lieutenant general saying, That speedy course must be taken for outing of them the house and army, because they were now putting the army into a mutiny, by having hand in publishing several printed papers, calling themselves the agents of five regiments, and the agreement of the people, although some men had encouragement from lieutenant general Cromwell for the prosecution of those papers. And he being further prest to shew himself in it, he desired to be excused at the present, for that he might shew himself hereaster for their better advantage; though in the company of those men, which were of different judgments, he would often say, that these people were a giddy headed party, and that there was no trust or truth in them; and to that purpose wrote a letter to col. Whaley that day the king went from Hampton-court, intimating doubtfully that his majesty's person was in danger by them, and that he should keep out guard to prevent them which letter was presently shewed to the king by col. Whaley.
That about six days after, when it was fully known by the parliament and army, that the king was in the Isle of Wight, commissary general Ireton standing by the fire-side in his quarters at Kingston, and some speaking of an agreement likely to be made between the king and parliament, now the person of the king was out of the power of the army; commissary general Ireton replied with a discontented countenance, That he hoped it would be such a peace, as we might with a good conscience fight against them both.
Thus they, who at the first taking the king from Holdenby into the power of the army, cried down presbyterian government, the proceedings of this present parliament, and their perpetuity, and instead thereof held forth an earnest inclination to a moderated episcopacy, with a new election of members to sit in parliament for the speedy settlement of the kingdom; and afterwards when the eleven members had left the house, and the marching through London with the army, the seven lords impeached, the fouraldermen of London committed to the Tower and other citizens committed also, then again they cried up presbyterian government, the perpetuity of this present parliament, lieutenant general Cromwell further pleasing himself with the great sums of money, which were in arrears from each county to the army, and the taxes of 60,000 l. per month for our maintenance. Now, saith he, we may be, for ought I know, an army, as long as we live. And since the sending forth the orders of parliament for the calling of their members together, lieutenant general Cromwell perceiving the houses would not answer his expectation, he is now again uttering words persuading the hearers to a prejudice against the proceedings of parliament, again crying down presbyterian government, setting up a single interest, which he calls an honest interest, and that we have done ill in forsaking of it. To this purpose it was lately thought fit, to put the army upon the choosing new agitators, and to draw forth of the houses of parliament 60 or 70 of the members thereof, much agreeing with his words he spake formerly in his chamber at Kingston, saying, What a sway Stapleton and Holles had heretofore in the kingdom, and he knew nothing to the contrary but that he was as well able to govern the kingdom as either of them; so that in all his discourse nothing more appeareth, than his seeking after the government of king, parliament, city, and kingdom. For effecting whereof he thought it necessary, and delivered it as his judgment, that a considerable party of the chief citizens of London, and some in every county be clapt up in castles and garrisons, for the more quiet and submissive carriage of every place to which they belong: further saying, That from the raising of the late tumult in London there should be an occasion taken, to hang the recorder and aldermen of London then in the Tower, that the city might see the more they did stir in opposition, the more they should suffer; adding, that the city must first be made an example. And since that lieutenant general Cromwell was sent down from the parliament for the reducing of the army to their obedience, he hath most frequently in publick and private delivered these ensuing heads, as his principles, from whence all the foregoing particulars have ensued, being fully confirmed (as I humbly conceive) by his practice in the transaction of his last year's business:
2. That the interest of honest men is the interest of the kingdom; and that those only are deemed honest men by him, that are conformable to his judgment and practice, may appear in many particulars; to instance but one, in the choice of col. Rainsbrough to be vice admiral, lieutenant general Cromwell being asked how he could trust a man, whose interest was so directly opposite to what he had professed, and one whom he had lately aimed to remove from all places of trust? he answered, That he had now received particular assurance from col. Rainsbrough, as great as could be given by man, that he would be conformable to the judgment and direction of himself and commissary general Ireton, for the managing of the whole business at sea.
3. That it is lawful to pass through any forms of government for the accomplishing his ends; and therefore either to purge the houses, and support the remaining party by force everlastingly, or to put a period to them by force, is very lawful, and suitable to the interest of honest men.
These Gentlemen aforesaid in the army thus principled, and (as by many other circumstances might appear) acting accordingly, give too much cause to believe, that the success which may be obtained by the army (except timely prevented by the wisdom of parliament) will be made use of to the destroying of all that power, for which we first engaged: and having for above these 12 months past (sadly and with much reluctance) observed these several passages aforesaid, yet with some hopes that at length there might be a returning to the obedience of parliament; and contrary hereunto, knowing that resolutions were taken up, that in case the power of parliament cannot be gained to countenance their designs, then to proceed without it; I therefore choose to quit myself of my command, wherein I have served the parliament for these five years last past, and put my self upon the greatest hazard by discovering these truths, rather than by hopes of gain with a troubled mind continue an abettor or assistant of such as give affronts to the parliament and kingdom, by abusing their power and authority to carry on their particular designes, against whom in the midst of danger, I shall ever avow the truth of this narrative, and my self to be a constant, faithful, and obedient servant to the parliament of England.
Upon Munday the 7th of this instant [August,] the earle of Lauderdaile arrived at the mouth of the river of Mase in Holland; but finding the prince his highnesse gone from thence with the fleet to the Downes, he immediately addrest himselfe thither; where upon the Thursday following he arrived, and had from the prince his highnesse a very gracious reception, both to the businesse he was imployed in, and to his owne person. His Highnesse stay in the Downes (where he is as yett with 18 ships of the royall navie) is cheiflie in expectation of an answer to a message he sent to the citie of London, which being now at the presse, shall not be here repeated; only this much wee are advertised from London, that it hath had a very extraordinarie influence upon verie many in the citie; and though the house of commons have ordered, that no answer shall be returned thereunto, yet it is like they will fully comply with the desires of his highnesse, both from a sense they have of their duties to him, and of their own prejudice, from an absolute interruption of all their forreigne traffique and commerce; for his highnesse hath already seized upon three rich ships, estimate above 100,000 pounds sterling; but hath declared his readinesse both to restore them, and to preserve the free trade of the cittie in the future, upon their contributing the ordinary allowance appointed for maintaining the royall navy.
The Houses have sent the earle of Middlesex, sir John Hypsley, and Mr. Bulkly to his majestie to the Isle of Wight, to show him, that they have granted him a personall treattie there with honour, freedome and safetie. But how can his majesty understand himselfe in freedom, honour, or safetie, while he is confined to that island, environed with their guardes of sectaries, and his faithfull subjects and servants debarred accesse to him?
Upon Tuesday the first August, the house of Commons ordered, that major Rolph (who is accused by famous witnesses upon oath, to have undertaken to poyson or kill the king) to be putt at liberty upon bayle; a procedure without president, for none accused of treason, till now, were capable of that favour.
Major Huntington, who, untill now, had the command of lieutenant generall Cromwell's regiment of horse, hath laid downe his commission, and given in to the houses very high accusations against the said lieutenant generall and his son in law commissary generall Ireton.
Colchester doth still hold out, and no great appearance, that in haste it will be reduced. Scarrisbrough castle, commanded by colonell Boynton, hath declared for the king. The castle of Tunmouth did the like upon the ninth of this instant; but colonell Lileburn, who commanded there, not haveing sufficiently prepared his sojors, was (upon the first appearance of forces from Newcastle) deserted by them, and left almost alone to maintain those great workes, which singlie he did for a long time with great resolution and gallantrie, and rather choose honourably to fall in that loyall action, then live longer under the tyrannie and oppression of the sectaries.
The house of commons hath voted the sending of a declaration to the general assembly of the kirk of Scotland; but the house of peers would neither joyne with them therin, nor in their votes, wherin they declared the armyes of this kingdome enemies. Wee have this week been forced to exceed the limits of one sheet, which hereaster wee intend to limit ourselves unto.
Extracts of letters of mons. de Montreuil to m. de Brienne,
Je ne puis, que je vous temoigne, combien l'ordre, que j'ai receu [de partir pour l'Angleterre] étoit necessaire en un tems, que les Ecossois ne pensent pas tant à rendre de bon services à leur roi, qu'à faire des mauvais offices à la France, en publiant contre leur pensée, qu'ils en recevoient beaucoup d'assistance.
L'assemblée des ministres en Ecosse à fait divers reglemens, comme d'excommunier tous ceux de leur corps, qui iroient à l'armée, ou qui serviroient le committé du parlement, & de ne plus administrer la cene jusqu'à ce que le roiaume eut expié le crime, qu'il à commis en violant le convenant, & en laissant lever une armée, qui a commerce avec les serviteurs de leur roi.
On proposa samedi dernier à la maison basse mon passeport pour l'isle de Wight; & apres que beaucoup de choses furent dites pour & contre, on arresta de n'y faire point de reponse; de sorte que je parts presentement avec quelque sorte de gloire, aiant ainsi été apprehendé de tout un roiaume, & avec un bon temoignage de la fidelité, que je conserve pour leur prince.
Lieutenant generall Cromwell to the lord Wharton.
You knowe how untoward I am att this businesse of writinge; yett a word. I beseech the Lord make us sensible of this great mercye heere, which suerlye was much more then ******* the house expresseth. I trust ************* the goodnesse of our God) time and oportunitye to speake of itt with you face to face. When wee thinke of our God, what are wee! Oh! his mercy to the whole societye of saincts, despised, jeered saincts. Lett them mocke onn. Would wee were all saincts; the best of us are (God knowes) poore weake saincts, yett saincts; if not sheepe, yet lambes, and must bee fedd. We have daylie bread, and shall have itt, in despite of all enimies. There's enough in our Father's house, and he dispenseth itt as our eyes ******* behinde, then wee can ******* we for him. I thinke thorough theise outward mercyes (as wee call them) fayth, patience, love, hope, all are exercised and perfected, yea Christ formed, and growes to a perfect man within us. I knowe not how well to distinguish: the difference is only in the subject: to a worldly man they are outward: to a sainct, christian: but I dispute not. My lord, I rejoyce in your perticular mercye. I hope that is soe to you; if soe, itt shall not hurt you, not make you plott or shift for the younge baron to make him great. You will say, hee is God's to dispose off, and guide for, and there you will leave him. My love to the deare little ladye, better then the child. The lord blesse you both. My love and service to all freindes high and low; if you will, my lord and lady Moulgrave and Will. Hill. I am truly
Commission to the persons appointed for the treaty. Orig.
Wee the members of parliament, who dissassented in parliament from the late unlawfull engagement, and the gentlemen and burgesses chosen by the severall shires and burgh now in arms for the covenant, doe heerby authorize the earle of Cassills, the lord advocat, sir John Cheisly, and Mr. Robert Barclay, to meett with such persons as shall be appointed by the lords and others in arms against them; to treat and agree with them in every thing tending to the present settlement of all differences, and the publict good of the kingdome, according to the instructions geven them in that behalf of the date of these presents 13th September 1648.
Instructions from the committee to the commissioners for the treatty. Orig.
The members of parliament, who dissassented in parliament, and the gentlemen and burgesses chosen by the severall shyres and burghs now in armes for the covenant, doe propound to those in armes against us, that all their forces in the feild be furthwith difbanded, and the townes of Berwick and Carlyle, and other garisons in their power within the kingdome of Scotland and England, be furthwith delyvered, that wee may surrender to the kingdome of England their owne townes and forts, for continueing the union between the two kingdomes, and dispose of our garrisons for secureing the peace of this kingdome.
That all these of their number, who have been imployed in publict place or trust in the kingdome (in respect they have by the manifest abuse of their power and trust so exceedingly endangered religion, and brought the kingdome to the very brink of dispair and ruine) shall forbear the exercise of all place, power, or trust, untill a free parliament or convention of estates, consisting onely of persons free from the late unlawfull engagement; and that the benefite of their places be sequestrated, to be disposed of by the parliament or convention of estates, and they giveing assurance, that in the mean tyme they shall not disturbe the peace of the kingdome, wee shall not chalange them for their lives or estates. It being alwise understood, that nothing heerin contained shall prelimit the parliament of this kingdome from the performance of any thing, which ought to be done by this kingdome to the kingdome of England, according to the covenant and treatyes.
It is to be remembered, that the persons above wretten, nominated, and authorized for the treaty, shall not have any power to conclude, but after debate of all matters, in writting to make report thereof to ws.
Letter from Oliver Cromwell, — directed thus:
My lords and gentlemen,
Being (in prosecution of the common enymie) advanced with the army under my command to the boarders of Scotland, I thought fitt, to prevent any misapprehension, or prejudice that might be raised thereupon, to send to your lordships these gentlemen, coll. Bright, scout-master-generall Rowe, and Mr. Stapilton, to acquaint yow with the reasons thereof; concerning which I desire your lordships to give them credence. I remayne,
Letter from Oliver Cromwell, — directed thus:
Being upon my approach to the borders of the kingdome of Scotland, I thought fitt to acquaint you of the reason thereof. It is well knowne, how injuriously the kingdome of England was lately invaded by the army under duke Hamilton, contrary to the covenant and our leagues of amity, and against all the engagements of love and brotherhood between the two nations; and notwithstanding the pretence of your late declaration, published to take with the people of this kingdome, the commons of England in parliament assembled declared the said armie soe entering, as enemyes to the kingdome; and those of England, who should adhere to them, as traytors; and haveing received command to march with a considerable part of their army to oppose so great a violation of faith, and justice, what a witness (God being appealed too) hath borne upon the engagement of the two armyes against the unrighteousness of man, not only yourselves, but this kingdome, yea, and a greate part of the knowne world will, I trust, acknowledge. How dangerous a thing is it to wage an unjust warre, much more to appeale to God, the righteous judge, therein? Wee trust hee will perswade you better by this manifest token of his displeasure, least his hand be streached out yet more against you, and your poore people alsoe, if they will be deceived. That, which I am to demand of you, is, the restitution of the garrisons of Berwick and Carlile into my hands for the use of the parliament and kingdome of England. If you deny me herein, I must make our appeale to God, and call upon him for assistance, in what way he shall direct us; wherein we are, and shall be soe far from seeking the harme of the well-affected people of the kingdome of Scotland, that wee profess (as before the Lord) that (what difference an army necessitated in an hostile way to recover the ancient rights and inheritance of the kingdome (under which they serve) can make) wee shall use our indeavour to the utmost, that the trouble may fall upon the contrivers and authors of this breach, and not upon the poor innocent people, who have been led and compelled into this action, as many poor soules, now prisoners to us, confess. Wee thought ourselves bound in duty thus to expostulate with you; and thus to profess, to th'end wee may beare our integrity out before the world, and may have comfort in God, whatever the event bee. Desireing your answer, I rest
Letter from Oliver Cromwell, — directed thus:
To the right honorable the earle of Loudoun, chancellor of the kingdome of Scotland; to be communicated to the noblemen, gentlemen, and burgesses now in armes, who discented in parliament from the late engagement against the kingdome of England.
Wee received yours from Falkirke of the fifteenth of September instant. Wee have had alsoe a sight of your instructions given to the laird of Gramhead and major Strachan, as alsoe other two paypers concerning the treaty between your lordshipps and the enemy, wherein your care of the interest of the kingdome of England for the delivery of their townes unjustly taken from them, and desire to preserve the unity of both nations, appeares. By which alsoe wee understand the posture you are in to oppose the enemyes of the welfaire and the peace of both the kingdomes; for which wee bless God for his goodness to you, and rejoyce to see the power of the kingdome of Scotland in a hopefull way to be invested in the hands of those, who, wee trust, are taught of God to seek his honor, and the comfort of his people. And give us leave to say, as before the Lord, who knowes the secrets of all hearts, that as wee thinke one especiall end of providence in permitting the enemys of God and goodness in both kingdomes to rise to that hight, and exercise such tiranny over his people, was to shew the necessity of unity amongst thos of both nations; so wee hope and pray, that the late glorious dispensation in giveing soe happie success against your and our enemyes in our victoryes, may be the foundation of union of the people of God in love and amitye. Unto that end, wee shall (God assisting) to the utmost of our power, endeavour to performe what may be behind on our parts; and when wee shall through any wilfulness fayle herein, let this profession rise up in judgment against us, as haveing been made in hipocrisie; a severe avenger of which God hath lately appeared in his most righteous witnessing against the army under duke Hamilton, invadeing us under spetious pretences of piety and justice. Wee may humbly say, wee rejoyce with more trembling, then to dare to doe soe wicked a thing.
Upon our advance to Alnewick, wee thought fitt to send a good body of our horse to the borders of Scotland, and thereby a summons to the garrison of Berwick; to which haveing received a delatory answer, I desired a safe convoy for collonell Bright and the lieutenant generall of this army to goe to the commitee of estates of Scotland; who (I hope) will have the opportunity to be with your lordships before this come to your hands, and, according as they are instructed, will let your lordships in some measure (as well as wee could in so much ignorance of your condition) know our affections to you; and understanding things more fully by yours, wee now thought fitt to make you this returne.
The command wee received upon the defeate of duke Hamilton, was to prosecute this
bussiness, untill the enemy be putt out of a condition or hope of growing into a new army,
and the garrisons of Barwick and Carlile were reduced. Fower regiments of our horse and
some dragoones haveing followed the enemy into the south parts, being now come up, and
this country not able to beare us, the cattle and old corne thereof haveing been wasted by
Munroe and the forces with him; the governor of Barwick alsoe daily victualling his garrison from Scotland-side, and the enemy yet in soe considerable a posture, as by these gentlemen and your papers we understand, still prosecuteing their former designe, haveing gotten
the advantage of Sterling bridge, and soe much of Scotland at their backs to enable them
thereunto; and your lordships condition not being such at present, as may compell them to
submitt to the honest and necessary things you have proposed to them for the good of both
the kingdomes; wee have thought fitt, out of the sense of our duty to the commands lay'd
upon us by those who have sent us, and to th'end we might be in a posture more ready to
give you assistance (and not be wanting to what wee have made soe large professions of)
to advance into Scotland with the army; and we trust by the blissing of God the common
enemy will thereby the sooner be brought to a submission to you; and wee thereby shall
doe what becomes us in order to the obtaining our garrisons; engageing ourselves, that so
soon as wee shall know from you, that the enemy shall yeild to the things you have proposed to them, and wee have our garrisons delivered to us, wee shall furthwith depart out
of your kingdome; and in the mean time be more tender towards the kingdome of Scotland in the point of charge, then if wee were in our own native kingdome. If wee shall
receive from you any desire of a more speedy advance, wee shall readily yeild complyance
therewith, desireing alsoe to heare from you how affaires stand. This being the result of
a councell of warr, I present it to you as the expression of their affections, and of my
owne, who am,
Cheswick, this 18th of September 1648.
Answer to Cromwell's letter. A copy.
After wee hade written an answer to the former letter sent by your commissioners, wee receaved yours of the 18 instant; to which, by reason of our many pressing affaires, and the importunity of your commissioners to be speedely dispatched, wee cannot at this tyme fully answer. Onely wee must acknowledge with you, that the righteousnesse of our God, who judgeth the earth, hath evidently appeared in defeating that army under the command of the duke of Hamilton, which grievously oppressed all such in this kingdome, as out of conscience to keep the covenant and treatyes betwixt the kingdomes, would not joyne with them in their wicked engagement against England. And surely had they prospered, there was just cause to feare, that piety and justice, which they so much pretended, should have beene exceedingly borne down and suppressed. Wherefore wee doe accompt it an speciall providence, that their designes were dissappointed, and doe look upon it as a mercie accompanied with great advantages to both kingdomes; especiallie if it shall please God to blisse us further with an happie improvement thereof to his glorie and the comfort of his people; whereunto that wee may contribute what shall be required on our parts, shall be our dayly prayer to God; and wee trust if wee know any thing of our own hearts, wee may sincerely say, that wee doe preferr these to all other interests whatsomevir.
Wee understand by your letter, that upon defeat of duke Hamilton's forces you have
receaved commands to prosecute the victory, untill the enemy be putt out of a condition
of growing into a new army, and the garrisons of Berwick and Carleill be reduced. In relation to all which, wee have sent instructions to our commissioners, who will supply what
is wanting in this letter. And so referring you and these gentlemen that are upon the
councell of warr to them, for all that wee have to desire, and for the information of the
state of our affaires, wee rest
20 September 1648.
Letter from Oliver Cromwell, — directed thus:
Wee perceive, that there was upon our advance to the borders the last Lord's day a very disorderly carriage by some horse, who, without order did steall over the Tweed, and plundered some places in the kingdome of Scotland, and since that some straglers have been alike faulty, to the wrong of the inhabitants, and to our very great greife of heart. I have been as diligent as I can to find out the men that have donne the wrong, and I am still in the discovery thereof; and I trust it shall appeare to you, that there shall be nothing wanting on my part, that may testifie how much wee abhorre such things; and to the best of my Information I cannot find the least guilt of the fait to lye upon the regiments of this army, but upon some of the northerne horse, who have not been under our discipline and government, untill just that wee came into these parts. I have commanded those forces away back againe into England; and I hope the exemplarity of justice will testifie for us our great detestation of the fait. For the remayneing forces, which are of our old regiments, wee may engage for them, their officers will keepe them from doeing any such things; and wee are confident, that, saving victuall, they shall not take any thing from the inhabitants; and in that alsoe they shall be soe farre from being their owne carvers, as that they shall submitt to have provisions ordered and proportioned by the consent and with the direction of the committees and gentlemen of the country, and not otherwise, if they please to be assisting to us therein. I thought fitt, for the preventing of misunderstanding, to give your lordships this accompt, and rest,
Norham, the 21st of September, 1648.
His majesties letter, — directed thus:
Right trusty and welbeloved cosens and councellors, and right trusty and welbeloved, wee greete you well. The earnest desire wee had to be fully informed of the affaires and condition of that our kingdome, now that (by the admission of a treaty with us in this place) wee have the liberty of receiveing addresses, caused us to send our letters of the 8 instant to our two houses at Westminster, to desire blanke passes might be granted to fower or five persons deputed by you to attend us here; and to informe us of the state of our affaires there. And being confident wee should not have been refused, in reguard it was agreeable to their votes, wee then dispatched this bearer our trusty servant with our letters to you to that effect; but by theirs of the 13th they gave us this answer, that that way was subject to many inconveniencies, and that they could not consent thereunto. Whereupon to avoyd any farther disputes, wee by our letters of the 15th desired safe conducts might be passed for the lord Carnegy, sir Alexander Gibson, and sir James Carmichaell, which by their letter and votes of the 21 wee find that they have denyed, in reguard, they say, that the lord Carnegy is a prisoner, and sir Alexander Gibson in actuall armes against them, which wee did not understand before; yet they have consented to the comeing of sir James Carmichaell. Now althogh by these delayes our desires have beene retarded, yet that it may appeare, wee have done our outmost to be informed of your condition, wee have againe dispatched this bearer to our two houses, to receive the passe for sir James Carmichaell, and to bring it to you, praying you upon the recept thereof to dispatch him fully instructed, and likewise to send the names of such other fitt persons, as you shall make choise of to attend us, to our two houses to receive passes for them; that soe by his and their representation wee may perfectly understand the present state and condition of that our kingdome of Scotland, and the affaires thereof, that soe wee may apply such remedyes as may be for the peace and safety of that our people. So praying you to give all possible dispatch to this affair, wee bid you heartily farewell. From our court at Newport in the isle of Wight this 25th of September, 1648.
Articles agreed upon by the commissioners appointed by the noblemen, gentlemen, and burgesses, who protested against the late engagement, and are now in armes in and about Edinburgh;
and by the commissioners appointed by the noblemen, gentlemen, and officers of the Scots and Irish forces, that prosecuted the engagement, and ar now in armes in and about Sterling, and subscribed in the name of those, that intrusted them and their adherents respective. Orig.
It is agreed, that for easeing the burdens of the kingdome, and to prevent famine and desolation, all the forces under the respective commands of the earle of Craford, earle of Lanerk, George Monro, and all forces haveing commission from any of the committee of estates, that wer for the engagement, and all others, whome they can stop or lett, whither in the field or in the garisones of Berwick and Carleill, or other garrisons within this kingdome on this syde of Tay, be disbanded betwixt and the first of October next; and that none of them be sene after the said day, in troopes, companies, or regiments; and that all the forces of their adherents, whither in field or in garrisone be north Tay, and in the highlands and isles, be disbanded betwixt and the tenth of October next; and that none of them be sene after the said day in troups, companies, or regiments.
That all forces under the command of his excellence the earle of Leven, and lieutennent generall David Lesly, be also disbanded betwixt and the said first day of October, excepting the number of one thowsand foott and fyve hundreth horse, which ar to be keeped untill the disbanding of the forces be north Tay, and the highlands and iyles; and that then the said one thowsand foott and fyve hundreth horse shall be disbanded betwixt and the said tenth day of October; and that mutuall pledges be gevin for performance hereof.
That the secureing and settling religion at home, and promoting the work of reformation abroad in England and Ireland, be referred to the determination of the generall assembly or their commissioners; and all civill questions and diffences whatsoever be referred to the determination of a parliament to sitt doun before the tenth of Januar next.
That to prevent the immenent dangers to religion, and a quarrell with our neighbour nation in the mean tyme untill the meeting of a parliament, that all such as have beine employed in publict place or trust, and have bene accessary to the late engagement, shall forbeare the exercise of their places, and not come to the committee of estates; to the end the committe of estates may only consist of such members of parliament, as dissassented from and protested in parliament against the late engagement; and in case any of the said forces under the command of the earle of Craford, earle of Lanerk, George Monro, and their adherents, or any other forces not under their command, shall continue in armes, and not disband at the dayes appointed, that then the said committee of estates constitute as aforesaid shall continue or raise forces to suppresse the same.
That these things being agreed to, and the forces under the earle of Craford, and Lanerk, George Monro, and their adherents now at Stirling, being disbanded; to the end it may appeare, that wee ar onely seeking the publict good, and not the ruine of particular persons or their estates, as hath bene misreported, wee the committee of estates constituted, as is before expressed, doe hereby declare for ourselves, and all that adhere unto us, that wee shall neither challenge, nor incite any others to challenge any, who have bene accessory to this late engagement and service, to take away their lyves, estates, titles of honor, or the freedom of their persones; provided alwayes, that no other shall have the benefite of this treaty, but these, who being on this syde of Tay, shall betwixt and the first of October next, and these be north Tay, who shall betwixt and the tenth of October next, declare under their hand writting to the lord chancellor or president of the committee of estates now in Edinburgh, that they doe accept of and submitt to this present agreement.
We agree to the above written articles, and doe declare, that most of our forces on this side Tay shall be disbanded betwixt and the first of October next to come; and all of them on this side of Tay, without exception, betwixt and the sixt day of the said moneth, and likewise all those on the other side of Tay betwixt and the tenth day of the said moneth.
Copy of the letter from the officers at Stirling to the governor of Carlile.
Wee being desyrous, that all pretences of differences betwixt the kingdomes of Scotland and England may be removed, hav thought fitt thereby to requyr yow betwixt and the first of October next to come to withdraw the Scots garisons from Carleel, and to merch from thence into Scotland with your cannon, armes, amonition, bage and bagage, and all other provision belonging to this kingdom; and that so soon as yow can merch into Sterling schyre, and ther disband the regiments and companies under your command, and that non of them be found therefter in regments, troops, or companies efter the aforesaid day. This is confidently expected by
Zor assured friends, Glencairn, Tullibarden, And. Sirling, * * * *, James Maccullo, Lanrik, Sinclare, Durie, M. Jo. Cowan.
Orders from the parliament of England to lieutenant generall Cromwell.
Ordered by the lords and commons assembled in parliament, that in case those noblemen and others, that discented against the invasion of the kingdome of England by the army under the command of duke Hamilton, shall desire the assistance of leifetennent generall Cromwell, that he be ready to afford them all seasonable releiffe and assistance.
Declaration of the commission of the generall assembly.
As the only wise God is pleased to exercise his people, and cary on his work in these kingdomes with many strange revolutions of providence; so it becomes us, according to the varietie of his dispensation, to declare and make known unto the land the condition of the affaires of his house, and the duties, which he calls for in regard of the same.
After the foundation of that unlawfull engagement against England, so destructive to religion and the union betwixt the kingdomes, was laid in the Isle of Wight by the unhappie and sinfull complyance of the commissioners and others of this kingdome with his majesties purposes and desires; it was carried on and concluded by a prevailling party of malignant and disaffected men in the parliament, notwithstanding of the dissent and protestation of a considerable number of the house, who had been streight and active in the cause of God from the beginning, and of the free and faithfull warnings of the servants of God, and supplications of many synods, and presbytries, and schyres to the contrary, and was violently prosecute unto the great oppression of the Lord's people in their consciences, persones, and estates, and unto the taking of Bervick and Carlile, and invadeing the kingdome of England with a numerous army under the conduct of the duke of Hamiltoun; untill the Lord, beholding the affliction of his people, and takeing notice of the pride and blasphemie of the adversarie, did scatter that army, and bring upon them so shamefull and totall an overthrow, as may be a witnes unto the following generations of his sore displeasure against the breakers of his covenant and despysers of his word. Wherein wee doe not desire, that any should rejoyce according to the flesh, but wishes it may be sanctified to those, on whom it is fallen, that they may repent, and unto the lovers of God and his cause, that they may acknowledge his word, and trust in his name for the tyme to come.
A little before the defeat of these forces in England, the well affected party in this land thought it necessary, and had resolved to bestir themselves upon their former principles for the good of religion, and for the safety of the kingdome, and their owne defence and safety against the tyrranie and oppression of the malignant party, who wer now wreathing their yock upon the necks of honest men by a second levie; and divine providence makeing the certain news of the defeat traist with the beginning of their motions, they looked upon it as an invitation and encouragement from the Lord to follow their former resolutions with the greater celeritie and speid. And whilst they wer advancing towards Edinburgh for that end, some, who had been active promotters of the engagement against England, did issue out comissions unto classed rebells and incendiaries to take armes for acting their former mischiefe and crueltie; and takeing themselves into the fields did invite unto their help the Irish forces under the command of George Monroe, and some other remnants of the scattered army in England, for keeping themselves still in capacitie and power to prosecute their own interests and ends, and carrie on the engagement; as is evident from their letters of the 28 August sent to earle Marshall, master of Dudope, Clerk Register, and George Monro (ten days after the defeat of the army in England;) wherein speaking of the engagement, they declare their resolutions to recrute their regiments, and to hazard their lives and fortunes, and all that was dearest unto them, for carreing on against all opposition whatsoever that pious and loyall service; and that they and many others of this kingdome did intend not to live and out live it. Bot afterwards finding themselves at dissadvantage, did move for an accommodation upon such terms, as wer not only dishonourable and dangerous, bot sinfull and unjust, as includeing a reall approbation of the engagement against England, and a continueing of those in place and power, who had been mainly instrumentall in all the present evills. Yet that it might appeare, how willing those, with whom they had to doe, wer to hearken to the motions of peace, and to prevent the shedding of blood, they were content, that some of both sides should meet for composing of differences in a just and fair way; and the commission of the generall assembly also resolved to send some of their number to exhort them to repentance, and perswade them to just and necessary overtures of peace; or if they should continue in their wicked way, to intimat unto them, that they wold be necessitate to proceed against them with the sentence of excommunication. A treaty with cessation of armes dureing the tyme thereof being concluded on both sides, in the mean while, before any meeting, the enemy marched unto Stirling, and suppryseing the forces, which wer there, who were secure upon the advertisment of the treatie, did kill some, and take others prisoners, and possess themselves of the town and bridge and passes there, and left no meanes unassayed for strengthing and encreasing of their army, by labouring for a supplie of forces from the Hielands, and the northerne schyres. Yet notwithstanding of this hightning of differences by such a way of dealing, the noblemen and gentlemen in armes for the covenant, in pursuance of their former resolutions of peace, did intertane the motion of the treaty, and sent four of their number unto the place of meeting at Woodside with overtures of disbanding all forces on both sides, and referring all things concerning religion unto the generall assembly and their commissioners, and all civill business to a lawfull and free parliament. And albeit those things could not but satisfie all unbyassed men, and that they, who went from the commission of assembly, did freely and faithfully acquit themselves in all things, which they had in charge; yet did they not condiscend or agree to accept of those conditions; and some dayes being spent in fruitles debates, the committee of estates, who were then returned to Edinburgh, consisting of such persons only as had dissented from the engagement, considering that as yet they had no modelled army, and that those in Sterling were strengthning themselves unto the raiseing of a new and dangerous warre, did take in deliberation what was fitt for them to doe in such an exigent; and whilst they wer about their resolutions therein, they wer informed by letters from the English forces, that they did resolve to prosecute the warr, untill their enemy wer put out of a condition of growing unto a new army, and the garrisons of Berwick and Carlile wer reduced; and that they wer advanced into Scotland for pursuance of those ends. And the committee not finding themselves in a posture at that tyme, and that they could not in justice refuse to suffer the Inglishes to pursue those, who had invaded their kingdome, sent some of their number unto Berwick and Carlile, to perswade the rendering of these garisons; and unto the Inglish army to take care, that their comeing into the kingdome of Scotland might be without any prejudice to religion, and as litle detriment to the countrey as possible. A few dayes thereafter the forces at Sterling accepted of the conditions offered unto them by the committee of estates.
It shall be needles to insist upon the vindication of the raising of these noblemen and gentlemen and others, that took armes for the covenant; the tyrrannie of those, with whom they had to doe, being insupportable, and such as threatned ruine and desolation to the land, and tended unto the rending asunder of the union between the kingdomes, the overturning of the work of God, and the putting of an arbitrary and unlimited power unto the hands of the king, and the setting up of the popish, prelaticall, and malignant party for acting all their mischevious and wicked designes; and they who took armes, being a considerable part of the parliament, who had dissented from and protested against the engagement, and had been the cheife instruments of carying on the Lord's work from the beginning, and haveing assisting unto them many others of place and power, and haveing also for them the bodie of the people of the land and the minstery, and all the judicatories of the kirk, and being obliged by the covenant to promove this cause against all lets and impediments whatsoever. It wer also needles to take paines in proveing the sinfullnes and unlawfullnes of the engagement against the kingdome of England; the generall assemblie haveing done it so fully from the word of God and from the covenant, and the Lord haveing engraven upon it so visible characters of his heavie displeasure, not only by giveing up most of the instruments, that wer imployed in it, unto the lust of their owne heart, to comitt all sort of wickednes with greedines; but also by so shamefull and totall a defeat of that armie, as hes few parallells in anie age. It fall be more usefull in this posture of affaires, whilst the Lord is breaking the horne, and bringing doune the power and pride of enemies, for everie one in the land to consider his worke, and to regard the operation of his hands. And therefore in the first place,
1. It doeth concerne all the authors, promoters, and abetters of that wicked course, and all those, who comply with the purposes and designes of the malignant party throughout the land, to behold the majestie of the Lord, and his hand lifted up in the behalfe of his people, that they may learne righteousnes, and dashe themselves no more against the rocke of his displeasure, by continueing to oppose his work, and disturbe the peace of his people. The Lord hath now for ten years past showen himself against them in all their devices and designes; and though he hes many times suffered them to conceive mischeife, yet they have alwise travelled with vanitie, and brought forth the wind; they have alwayes been snared in the work of their oune hands, and their devises have returned upon their owne heads; yea their most subtile and malicious plots have, in a strange way of dispensation from him, who is wonderfull in counsell, and excellent in working, turned to the advantage of the Lord's cause, and good of his people. And if they be not wise at last to observe, and see these things, as their way is delusion, so the end thereof sal be bitternes and death. There could be nothing more satisfieing to us, then that the spirit of malignancy were banished from the hearts of men, and the name of malignants buried, never to be revived nor remembred any more amongst ws; and could such be induced to quite their prophane and former way, and to turne unto God, wee are confident, that all the enmitie, that they have against his work and his people, should quicklie evanish, and that they should find mercie and comfort. But as long as they stand at a distance with the Lord in regard of their privat condition and cariage, what wonder is it, though they have no love to his cause nor his servants? Wee wishe, that God may give them repentance, that they may recover themselves out of the snare of Satan, and come to amendement.
2. Whatever shall be the fruit of the Lord's work in these, it concerns such, who wer formerly oppressed in their consciences, persons, and estates, in this day of reviveing and delivery, to remember their ways and be ashamed, as for all the evill thereof, so for the great connivance and countenance they gave unto disaffected and malignant men, untill they grew so strong, that they did what they would both in judicatories and armyes, and carried on that wicked warr, that hes been the cause of much sinne and much miserie unto this poore land. Neither is it to be forgotten, that though manie keepe their consciences pure, and did rather choyse to suffer the spoyling of their goods, and to expose themselves to the hazard of all the violence and oppression of these, who carried on the engagement, then to sin against God; yet not a few even of these, who wish well to the Lord's work, whither through fear or earthly myndednes gave so far place unto their wrath, as in some measure to comply with the evill of their course, by giveing obedience unto their unlawfull commands, in putting out horse and foot, and advanceing monyes for that end; who, albeit they have many things to plead for themselves before men, yet their way hes not been streight before the Lord, who searches the hearts, and ponders the pathes.
3. It is high tyme for those, in whose hand the Lord hath again put the managing of publict affaires, from dear cost experience, to learne wisdome, and avoid the rocks upon which they have formerly split. Carnall counsell, foolish pity, and self-interest, made many of those not only to slack their hands, and remitt their zeall against the opposers and underminers of the Lord's work; bot also to receive them unto publik counsells and imployments. And if after this way hath been so much cursed of God unto them, they should againe fall therein, as the fault will be without excuse, so it cannot bot bring some strange testimony of the Lord's displeasure upon these, who, after that he hes punished them less then their iniquities doe deserve, and given them such deliverance, doe againe returne to break his commandement by joyning with the people of these abominations. And therefore wee trust, that such will take heed, that they be not againe deceived, neither by the carnall counsell of their owne hearts from within, nor by the fawnings and flatteries of those men from without.
As the malignancy of some, and unrighteous dealing and loose and scandalous walking of others in judicatories and armies and places of power and trust in the kingdome, hes been a maine cause of all the evills both of sin and of punishment, under which the land groanes; so it concernes those, whom God hes called thereunto, to endeavour the reforming and purgeing of judicatories and armies, by removeing from them all malignant and scandalous persons, especially those, who have been authors, promoters, or abetters of the engagement against England, and of the course purswed by the forces at Sterling under the command of the earle of Lanerk and George Monroe; and that all places of power and trust may be filled with men of knowne integritie and affection to the cause of God, and of a blameless and christian conversation; so shall malignancie, injustice, iniquitie, prophannes, and impietie be suppressed and punished, and religion and righteousnes be advanced, and the blissing of the Lord fall be upon all publik proceedings, and his pleasure fall prosper in the hand of publik instruments. And though this duty may be attended with many difficulties, yet it being such, as without it wee cannot expect any deliverie from present evill, or any stable enjoyment either of present or future blissings; wee trust it shall be seriously mynded by those whom it concernes. Let them deale couragiously, and the Lord shall be with the good.
Albeit the former designe of the malignant party be defeat, and their power broken in both kingdomes; yet it shall be no wisdome to be secure, as though there wer no more evill or danger to be apprehended from them, who retaining their former principles, will no doubt still study to drive their old designes. And therefore as it wold be the care of every on to avoyde their snares, discover their subtilities, and oppose their wayes; so it concernes those, who are in power and authoritie, in a speciall way to take heed, that they doe not trouble the peace of the land; and it doeth no lesse concerne the watchmen of the Lord's house, both to endeavour to keep their people pure, that they be not infected with errors of sectaries, nor drawen away from the truth; and also to purge out from among them the leaven of malignancy and prophanitie, and to give tymeous and faithfull warning of dangers on all hands, and to exhort to a faithfull performance of all the dueties, that the Lord calls them unto in these tymes, especially of that solemne publik acknowledgement of sinnes, and the renewing of the league and covenant now resolved upon. It is a great obligation from the Lord upon all, that have been faithfull amongst the ministry of this land, that he was not only pleased in the day of temptation to keep them in a streight path, and to give them to speak his word with all boldnes, notwithstanding of the threatnings of enemies; but to preserve them from the wrath of men, and to confirme their testimonie by so reall declaration of his displeasure from heaven against those, who despysed the message of God in their mouthes; which should encourage all, who speak in his name, to doe their dutie faithfullie and without fear.
In the last place, it is incumbent to all the Lord's people throughout the land, from the sence of his mercies and rods, to draw near unto him by unfained repentance and reall reformation; and as to mourne for all the breaches of the solemne league and covenant, so to prepare themselves for the renewing thereof with these sutable affections and dispositions, that become so grave and great a work, that his wrath may be turned away from them, and that they being delivered out of the hands of their enemies, may serve him without fear all the days of their life in holines and righthousness before him.
Letter from Robert and Henry Kers, — directed thus:
Albeit it wes our fortune to favour the late engagement in Ingland, yet God that is the searcher of all heartes knowes, that the advanceing of religion, releiveing of the king, and secureing of the peace of this kingdome wes our onlie scope thairin; and if under these pretexts wee have bene so unhappie as to be misled, wee houp your lordschip will be pleased to attribut the caus theirof to this, in that we have bene strangers to the trew grunds and state of busines, in being remote from the place of certain intelligence and helme of effaires. Yet we doubt not, bot our sincere intentions in opposition to all calomnie doeth clearly appear by our fair caryage to all the subjects in this kingdome, quho wer nather prest, opprest, nor wronged by any of us; as also by our not undertakeing in the new in gagment with the erle of Lanerik; and by the disbanding of our forces after the los of our armie in England, and our living privatlie without troupes or companies since. Nevertheles that we may be the better understood, we thought ourselfes obliged in dewtie to manifest this our good meaning by this our declaration, quhich we humblie represent to your honor; earnestlie beseitching, that it may resave favourable intertanyment by your lordschip both in respect of the purpos and of the tyme; for quhill of late we wer not so happie as to see the printed articles of treaty, quhich altho they do not militat against ws, since we wer not than nor hes not bene since in armes, yet to frie ourselfes of all suspition, and for secureing of our awne peace, we humblie beg the benefeit thairof, and that your lordschip wald represent thir presents to the committee of estates, and caus insert it in thair buikis, if it be neidfull. For quhich so heigh a favour, we fall evir pray for the preservation of religioun, the kingis majestie's persoun, and for your lordschip and the honorable estates of this land; and in particular wee fall endeavour to approve ourselves
Graden, 16th October 1648.