Historical Collections of Private Passages of State: Volume 6, 1645-47. Originally published by D Browne, London, 1722.
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Chap. XV. Proceedings in Parliament from June 3, to July 5, 1647.
Several Orders of the Commons assembled in Parliament, (viz.) June 3, 1647.
- 1. For receiving Complaints against such Members, their Clerks or Servants, as have received any Bribes.
- 2. That the Members absent forthwith attend the Service of the House.
- 3. That no Person that hath been actually against the Parliament, or acted by the Commission of Array, shall presume to sit in the House.
Ordered (upon the Question) by the Commons assembled in Parliament, That the Committee formerly appointed for receiving the Complaints against such Members as shall be complained of, to receive any Bribes or Rewards for any business done in Parliament, be revived, and that they do sit to Morrow at two Post Meridiem in the Star-Chamber, and so de-die in diem.
And further, they are to consider and receive Complaints of all Fees, Monies, or Rewards, taken by any Servant of any Members, or by any Clerks, or Officers, or other Persons attending upon, or employed by any of the Committees.
They have further Power to consider of, and enquire into any matter of Bribery, Corruption, Allowance, or Reward, committed or taken into any business, that hath relation to the Affairs done or agitated in Parliament, or by any of their Committee. Mr. Bulkley, Mr. Reynolds, Sir John Evelyn of Wiltshire, Mr. Dove, Sir Tho. Dacres, and Colonel Strode, be added to this Committee, and the Care of this business is more particularly referred unto Mr. Bulkley.
Thursday, June 3, 1647.
This Day the House proceeded further upon the business of the Army, and passed several Votes, That an Ordinance be brought in for authorizing the Assignments of any Officers Debenters, and for making of it a good Debt to the Assigned; and that such Officers as are attending the Committee of Accompts, be protected from Arrests from Debt, during the time of their attendance on the said Committee, provided it doth not exceed two Months.
That such Officers as are in Prison, shall have their Accompts, first audited, and their Arrears first paid them.
That such Officers as cannot attend the perfecting of their Accompts, shall leave their Accompts with the Committee; the House declaring that they will do with them in their absence, as they do to others in that Case.
That the Committee of Accompts do perfect and expedite the Accompts of the Officers of the Kingdom, and that they return them to the House so soon as they are perfected.
The Desires of the Army was this Day proceeded in, and ordered, that the Common Soldiers of the Army shall have all their Arrears, deducting for free Quarter, according to the ordinary Rules of the Army.
That the Subordinate Officers, not in the Commission, shall have the like.
That the Commission Officers of the Army shall have one Month's Pay more added to the two Month's Pay formerly voted.
That a Letter be written to his Excellency, to give him an account of what the House had done upon the desire of the Army, desiring his Excellency to continue his care in keeping the Army in good Order and Discipline, and from all Disturbance.
An Ordinance past for the Sum of 10000l. for the satisfying the present Necessities of the Officers and Soldiers whose Accompts are stated, and whose Accompts are in stating, to be advanced upon the Credit of the Moiety of the Commissioners at Goldsmiths-Hall, and paid to the Committee, where Colonel Birch, and Mr. Goodwyn have the Chairs, to be by them distributed, in such Proportions as those two Committees, who are joyned as to this business, shall think fit.
That the Declaration dated—Declaring against the Army, be raced out of the Journal of the House, and accordingly it was done; and further ordered, That the Lords be desired to race it out of their Journal also.
This Day we had further by Letters from the Army, to this purpose.
On Tuesday, June 1. The General received two Letters from the Committee at Derby-House, the one to beat Chelmsford as that Day, and renewed their Desires to have the Life-Guard there, which was done 60 Miles off; and withal that the Parliament did expect the Obedience to Disbanding, as also to their Orders for sending the Train immediately to London; in answer to all which, the General desired to be excused, giving them to understand, That he had written to the Parliament, and expected their Pleasure upon the result of War. From Chelmsford we understood, on Tuesday, That the General's Regiment, of their own accord, were come away with their Colours and Drums nearer the Army. Captain Highfeild's Men took away their Colours against the Captain's Consent. The Lieutenant Colonel and Major meeting them with Orders, advised them to receive the General's Orders (which they had indeed with them) and bid them march like Soldiers, but they were so earnest upon the business (you see then the Officers do not altogether lead them) that they bid them both to go to Chelmsford, there was Money enough to disband them. The Lieutenant Colonel and Major went to Chelmsford to the Commissioners.
Friday, June 4, 1647.
A second Ordinance was this Day in the House of Commons, to give satisfaction to the Army in point of Indempnity, being more copious than the former, which was read, and referred to a Committee chosen for that purpose. They were likewise to prepare an Ordinance of Oblivion, and report it to morrow Morning to the House.
The Commissioners of the Great Seal were ordered to be continued till forty Days after the Term.
The Ordinance for hearing the Causes in Chancery, was ordered to be continued that time.
A Letter this Day came from the Parliament's Commissioners at Homlby, with an enclosed Note delivered in by Cornet Joyce. Captain Titus, that brought this Letter, being at the Door, was called in, and declared the manner of the Carriage of the Party of Horse that came to Holmby to remove the King.
Captain Titus was ordered 50l. to buy him a Horse.
A Message this Day came from the Lords, desiring the Commons Concurrence to an Order for recalling the King's Children to the City of London, and likewise a Letter to be sent to his Excellency.
The House agreed to the Order for recalling the King's Children, and the King's Children are accordingly come to London, and to the Letter they would send Answer by their own Messengers.
Two Members of the House, being discontented, withdrew; which the House taking notice of, sent the Serjeant at Arms for them, and they coming into the House, were enjoyed to keep their Place.
Saturday, June 5, 1647.
This Day more Letters came from the Commissioners with his Majesty, of the taking away of his Majesty, and the Commissioners from Holmby, by a Party of the Army; which was thus. On Friday Night last, a Party of Horse, sent from the Committee of Troopers in the Army, came to Holmby; where, after they had secured the Guards, they demanded his Majesty. The Commissioners being much amazed at it, demanded of them what Warrant they had for what they did? But no further account they were to give at present they said, but thus; That it was the Sense of the Army. When they came to his Majesty, some Discourses past, and his Majesty demanded several Questions of them, as Security for his Person and Attendants, &c. which they promised should be done; and about two or three a Clock on Friday in the Afternoon his Majesty Went from Holmby, and the Commissioners along with him, with this Party towards the Army; but before they went, his Majesty delivered a Message to the Earl of Dumferling, to bring to the House, whereof more hereafter.
Friday Night his Majesty lay at Huntington, and we hear not that he is gone further yet.
Mr. Walford that brought the Commissioners Letter, was called into the House of Commons, and declared the manner of the business, and had a 100l. given him for this and his other Services.
Sir Robert Pye this Day had the Thanks of the House for bringing off his Troop, and his Officers Thanks likewise, 200l. was ordered to be paid them for their present Necessity, and referred to the Committee of Ireland to assign them Quarters. The like Monies and Quarters ordered for Colonel Graves's Regiment.
The House then also ordered 1000l. for the twenty Officers, and 80 Common Soldiers that are come from the Army; and the Committee for Ireland to assign them Quarters.
The additional Ordinance for further Indempnity of the Soldiery, was this Day again reported and assented unto.
Likewise a Declaration past the Commons, for calling in the Declaration of both Houses about the Army, and was sent up to the Lords for their Concurrence.
The Treasurers at Christ's Church were ordered to pay the 10000l. charged on Goldsmiths-Hall, for the Payment of Soldiers late in the Service, to be issued cut by Order of the Committee where Mr. Goodwyn hath the Chair; the Lords agreed to the Votes concerning the Army.
The Commons upon further Debate ordered, That all the Members of the House should attend the House forthwith, not withstanding they had leave from the House to go into the Country, and this Order to be speedily sent to all the Members that are absent.
A Conference was this day desired by the Scots Commissioners, and a Committee of both Houses, upon the great Affairs of both Kingdoms; and a Conference was had accordingly.
The Lord Dumferling at this Conference acquainted them with the Message he had from his Majesty to both Houses, which was but short, and to this purpose.
- 1. That his Majesty was unwillingly taken away by part of the Army.
- 2. That he desired both Houses to maintain the Laws of the Land.
- 3. And that tho' his Majesty might sign many things in this Condition, yet he would not have them to be believed, until he had given further notice to the House.
The House, upon occasion of this, and other immergent business, ordered to sit to morrow (though the Lord's Day) at four of the Clock, and that Mr. Marsha should be desired to pray before them.
The Militia of the City of London sate this day very close, upon the Military Affairs of the City.
From the Army this Evening we had further Intelligence by Letters, to this purpose.
Friday, June 4. The Rendezvous of the Army was held near Kenford, six Miles from Bury; seven Regiments of Foot and six of, Horse appeared; Colonel Whaley's being before dispersed towards Holmby, (by the General's Command) upon this day's Intelligence, that our Party of Horse had secured his Majesty; the General gave notice of this to the Commissioners, and hath signified the same to both Houses, desiring to know their further Pleasure: He hath likewise sent them the Grounds, enclosed in the Letter, from the Soldiers to himself, for their undertaking the same of themselves, which were chiefly, That they had intimation of a Design, which they were able to make good, (of some) to surprise him. Colonel Graves is discharged from that Employment, and Colonel Whaley in his place. At the Rendezvous a Petition was presented to the General, in the Name of the Soldiers of the Army; the Substance was, That they could not be satisfied with their Arrears, or other Returns, unless they had assurance that their Enemies should not be their Judges (for the future;) and that 'tis believed they will insist upon. The General went to every Regiment, and exprest himself with much Judgment and Moderation, assured the Soldiers, That the Parliament took notice of their civil and fair Carriage, and had taken a course for satisfying their Arrears, and doubted not but they would answer their other Grievances; advised them to Moderation, and to behave themselves with Discretion, and not to fall into any Distempers or mutinous Expressions against the Parliament. It is not to be exprest with how much Joy, and how many Acclamations his Excellency was entertained by the Army, each Regiment shouting as he passed by them; the General staid till Night in the Field, viewed and took order for Ground to be allotted to each Regiment (Horse and Foot) to quarter in that Night; and himself came to a small Town of Kenford, and went not to Bed, but only lay down to take some Rest.
Kenford, near Bury, June 5. at 3 in the Morning.
An humble Representation of the Dissatisfactions of the Army, in relation to the late Resolutions for so sudden Disbanding; shewing the Particulars of their former Grievances wherein they did remain unsatisfied, and the Reasons thereof.
Unanimously agreed upon, and subscribed by the Officers and Soldiers of the several Regiments at the Rendezvous near New-Market, on Friday and Saturday, June 4, and 5. Presented to the General to be by him humbly represented to the Parliament, viz.
Whereas upon the Report made to the House of Commons on Friday, May 21, concerning the Grievances of the Army, that House was pleased to pass several Votes, seeming to tend towards the Satisfaction of the Army in some Particulars; and on the Tuesday following (May 25.) to pass divers Resolutions upon a Report from the Committee at Derby-House, concerning the disbanding of the Foot of this Army, each Regiment apart, at several times and places. We humbly declare, That the said Votes of Friday do come far short of Satisfaction, (as to the said Grievances) or to the Desires proposed by the Officers in the Conclusion of their Narrative. And that the latter Votes of Tuesday, importing a Resolution of disbanding the Army in part, before equal Satisfaction be given to the whole in the Grievances, or so much as any Consideration had of some others, as are most material; and also before any effectual Performances of that Satisfaction, which the Votes of Friday seemed to promise as to some of the Grievances; we cannot but be much unsatisfied and troubled at it, as in the Particulars following we have cause.
First, The Proportion of but eight weeks Arrears to be paid at disbanding, as it is unreasonably short of what is most due, and what we conceive may be paid, or might easily have been provided, since the Parliament had the Kingdom so long cleared, all Trading and Commerce opened, vast Sums of Money brought in upon Delinquents Compositions and otherwise, and great Foundations of Security in their Hands, (besides those formerly engaged for the Scots.) And as it is but a mean Reward for all our Labours, Hardships and Hazards in the Kingdom's Cause, and a very slender Supply to carry us to our homes, in a Condition suitable to the Parliament's Honour and our Success; and much less to enable those that have left good Trades, or other ways of livelihood, and suffered much in their Trades or Stocks by so doing, to set up again in their former Callings and Conditions; so it is but little (if any thing) more than what hath been due to us, since that time that we first went about to have petitioned for our Arrears, and so not to be accounted in Satisfaction towards former Arrears, which the Petition was meant for.
Secondly, In the Orders given for the stating of our Accompts, giving Debentures for our Arrears by the Committee of the Army, we find no Consideration or Regard had of our Arrears incurred in the former Army or Services; which to the most of us are much greater than those under the new Model, intended to be stated by the Committee for the Army; (as the Narrative of the Officers, printed by mistake under the Name of their Declaration) did intimate before.
Thirdly, We cannot but consider, that (whatever the Officers expectances upon Debentures may prove) the private Soldier may well make little account of whatever part of his Arrears he receives not before disbanding, as the Reasons exprest in the Narrative do shew. And whereas we hear of some Instructions past in an Ordinance for stating of Arrears, we understand that they direct 3s. a Week to be abated to Foot Soldiers for Quarter; which being 6d. or 8d. per diem above the rate they should have paid for themselves, if they had timely had Pay wherewithal, it seems very hard the poor Soldier should allow Interest for the forbearance of his own Due.
The like disproportion we find in the Abatements to Serjeants of Foot, for their Quarters. In the Abatement for Quarters to Officers of Horse and Dragoons, we find one third part of the whole Pay to them due, both for themselves and their Horses, is to be defalkated, though the full Pay for their Horses is not allowed in the Accompt, unless they make it appear by Musters that they kept their full Numbers; and the third part of their full Pay amounting to the half or near the half of their present Pay, seems an unreasonable Allowance for Quarters, especially in the case of Captains and Field Officers.
We find also no Provision made for private Soldiers of Horse and Foot, or any Officers in Commission or not in Commission, in relation to any Quarters discharged by them; but all such are absolutely to abate the respective Rates for Quarters during their whole time, whether they have paid Quarters for any part of their time or no. Whereas we know assuredly, and can make appear, That all of them, during their Service in this Army, (and most of them in their Service in the former Armies) have really discharged their Quarters, for a very great part of the Pay received they were bound to have; done; having, without respect to that, many times paid freely as far as their Money would holdout, partly out of desire not to be burthensome at all to the Country as far as they could, and partly upon expectation (grounded upon the many Promises, and often renewed, of constant Pay for the time to come) that Money would come in time to pay them off, and reimburse them their full Pay again, without Defalcation for Quarters. We find it also provided, That no Trooper is capable of Allowance or Debenture for Arrears, unless he deliver in such Horse and Arms with which he hath served or a Certificate that such Horse and Arms did not appertain to the State, or else was lost in actual Service; which extends to the total taking away from them those Horse and Arms of the States, which they have used and preserved in the Service, contrary to the Favour allowed, and never (that we know of) denied in the disbanding of any other Army: And if that, being but a matter of Favour, the Horse-men in this Service be thought unworthy of it, and must for account of their Arrears rebate for such Horse and Arms as, upon disbanding, they thought to have been given them; yet it seems hard, that such as cannot deliver in those States Horses and Arms, which at disbanding they so understood to be their own, and so perhaps have sold or otherwise disposed of, should for that lose their whole Arrears, or be incapable of Account or Debenture for any part thereof.
Fourthly, The visible Security for what Arrears should not be paid at disbanding, (which the Votes of Friday, May 21. seem to promise) as it stands propounded in the Votes of Tuesday, May 25. appears not to be either a Security sufficient, or to us visible.
1. Because that Security of the Excise in course, proposed for the Arrears of private Soldiers and inferior Officers, is known to be already preingaged for vast Sums, amounting to above a Million, that are to take place before those Arrears; nor do we know certainly, that the Excise (which is yet but temporary) will be continued for so long time, as till our Arrears shall come out in course after the preceding Engagements satisfied.
2. Because that Security proposed for Officers Arrears, viz. the Profits arising out of Delinquents Estates, in the first Exception (especially) being limited to such as are not already disposed of, it doth not appear what they will amount unto, or what the Pre-ingagements or Pre-disposures by the Parliament may be, or what incumbrances of Debts, or limitations of Estates (as they were in the Hands of the Owners) may be upon the same; none of which we would be any occasion to defeat or avoid, so as to have the Curses and Grudges of defrauded Creditors or ruined Families to lye upon us or our Posterities.
3. Neither the one Security nor the other, are yet, for ought we find, or could well before the appointed times of disbanding, be so settled by Ordinance to the uses proposed (as the other Securities for Monies borrowed by the Parliament have been) which we conceive requisite to render the same indeed visible Security.
The two first of these Reasons we should not urge so much, if we did not see other matters of Security within the Kingdom, that would be much more clear, (as Cathedrals and their Revenues, Forrest Lands, &c.)
Fifthly, The Ordinance voted to exempt from Pressing, (first) is not, for ought we understand, brought in and passed before the appointed disbanding. Next, by the Vote it seems not to intend the exempting of Voluntier Horse-men from being prest for Foot-Service. And lastly, We understand not how it can be effectual to particular Soldiers, (when disperst about the Kingdom, and sojourning or travelling, where perhaps their former relation to this Army, or Condition as Voluntiers in it may not be known, or not credited upon their Words) unless the Ordinance intended shall provide, That a Testimonial of their Service, under the General's, or their respective Field Officers or Captains Hands (which they might ever carry about or keep by them) shall be their sufficient Discharge from any Press, (if they shall fall under it.) And whereas such Testimonials cannot easily be got by them after disbanding, the said Votes for so sudden disbanding, and at such Distances, do not mention or admit any thing of that kind more than Passes from the Commissioners to carry them home.
Sixthly, The Ordinance voted to give Apprentices the benefit of their Time spent in the Parliament's Service, as also that for the Maintenance of maimed Soldiers, and the Widows and Children of Men slain in the Service, were not brought in and passed before the appointed Disbandings, nor do we yet hear that they are, though we hope they will be.
Seventhly, The Ordinance passed for Indempnity, seems to make but slender Provision for our Quiet, Ease, or Safety, in relation to things done in the War as Soldiers.
1. Because the things it provides for throughout the Ordinance, comprized only in these Terms, (viz.) Things done by virtue of any Ordinance of Parliament, or for the Service and Benefit of the Parliament; We conceive, that upon every Trespass, or other thing done in the War (which we maybe questioned for) it will be very chargeable and difficult either to derive a clear Authority for the same from the Ordinance of Parliament, or to bring Proofs sufficient to make up such a constructive Conclusion, as that it was for the Service and Benefit of the Parliament; especially to do this so fully, as to meet with all the Evasions and Elusions of a subtle Lawyer, or to convince the Senses of a Country Jury, whom we know not by what Rules or Measures they may go, in judging what was for the Service and Benefit of the Parliament, or what not; perhaps some of them may be of that mind, That it had been for the Service and Benefit of the Parliament to have had no War at all, or to have had fewer or no such Garrisons or Forces as some of us have been engaged in. In Sum, We cannot think it safe to be left to the Sense or Construction of a Country Jury, concerning the Exigencies of War, or Duty of a Soldier, upon so doubtful an Issue: We should rather think, that the old Issue, which, (as we understand) ancient Laws have provide for in such cases, (viz. whether the thing were done tempore & loco belli) was much more clear and sure; and an Act or Ordinance of Oblivion for all Trespasses, or other Things so done by Soldiers in this War, would be most safe and satisfactory.
2. That the Provision in the said Ordinance now past for relief, by complaint to a Committee of Parliament at London, (which seems to be meant for saving of Charges to Poor Men) we doubt will prove a very remote help, and far more chargeable for a poor Soldier Imprisoned or Arrested in the Country, than the former. And though we highly honour that Committee named in the Ordinance, (for the Major part of it) yet we confess we shall be sorry that our relief (if it may otherwise be provided for) should be the Occasion of setting up more Arbitrary Courts than there are already, with so large a Power of Imprisoning any Free-men of England, as the Ordinance gives to that Committee; Let the Persons intrusted appear at present never so just and faithful, or though all the Committee were as good Patriots, as we hold the Major part to be.
3. In the matter of Accompts we are wholly left (as before) to the mercy of the Committee for Accompts, and their Sub-Committees, whose Constitution (in most Counties) being at least of Neuters, disaffected to the War, and consequently to the Soldiery, and whose vast and Arbitrary Power to vex, delay, fine and imprison at their own Pleasure or Judgment, any that they can bring within the Compass of Accomptants, and to proceed upon their own Judgment of the Default, to sequester, sell, and dispose of his Estate, as upon a Commission of Bankrupt (we confess) we tremble to think of, more than of any Enemy. And though we are as zealous as any to have all Men brought to any Accompt, for what may clearly be accounted for; (as Treasurers, Keepers of Stores, Sequestrators, or such like Accomptants) yet we cannot but think it hard for us, or others the Parliament's Soldiers to be required to so strict Accompts for all things received, taken, and used in the War, by our selves or any under our Command, (tho' but temporarily upon a part) for many of which things, neither we nor any other that minded the publick Service, and have been engaged in hazardous Services where many have lost those Accompts they did keep, can give or could keep so strict Accompt, or for want of such Accompt, to be so cruelly vexed and prosecuted, even to utter undoing, as any Man that's accountable for any thing may be, and divers of the Parliament's most faithful and Active Servants in our condition have been before our Eyes. And though we would not wish that any Soldiers or officers, who have by Plunder or other Injury to the Country, abused the Name of the Parliament's Service, and converted any thing they have taken or received to their own private Benefit or Advantage, (more than for necessary Subsistence or Supplies) should go away with it, in being exempted from Accompt. Yet we cannot but think it reasonable and necessary, That for those many others that have not done so, but have employed all faithfully for the publick Service, such Provision should be made, as what Arms, Ammunition, Horses, Furniture, or other things received or taken by them, they could not keep or cannot give a clear and distinct Account for, it mould be sufficient for their Discharge, if they make Oath, That they have not imbezzeled or wittingly converted to their privite Benefit any part thereof; more than what things or to what value they do or shall (for saving of their Oath) charge upon themselves in their Accompts.
We find another thing mainly necessary for our and other Mens Indempnity, (for which there is no Provision at all made in this Ordinance) viz. That all Acts of Councils, or Courts of War, either in Censure or Discharge of any Persons, for any Cause subject to their Judgment, and the Warrants of the General, or Chief Commander, for Execution or Remission of such Censures, may be valid and good, both as to the Justification of those that have been employed in Execution of such Censures, and also the full and final acquittal of the Persons so discharged or remitted.
Eighthly, Though those officers of the Army at several times sent for, or sent up to attend the Parliament as Delinquents, have been indeed discharged, (for which we render our thanks, and acknowledge the Parliament's Justice in the discharge) yet for Men of such Credit and Integrity, to have their Names brought so highly into publick Question or Suspicion, and the Cause not known (which might make it imagined greater) to be kept long in attendance under that notion, and not obtain by their daily Solicitations to know their Accusers, or any Charge, and (for one of them) to be made a Prisoner, searched and sent up so far in a disgraceful manner, without Authority (against the Right both of a Soldier and Subject) and at last to be only dismist, (without any word of Vindication or Clearing) seems but a slender Reparation.
Ninthly, There hath yet been nothing declared by the Parliament (as in the Narration or Declaration of the officers were desired) to clear us as to our Right of Petitioning, or to clear the sense and intention of the Parliament in their Order for suppressing the Petition, or the ground of their Censure in the Declaration against it : Though we think no Man can deny the Matter of the Petition to be just, and the Parliament's Proceedings since upon the Heads of it does imply as much. And is our Liberty of Petitioning for our Due be denied us now, and the attempting of it render'd such a Crime, (as by the said Order and Declaration appears to be, while the Ground or Intentions of them stands not explained otherwise) we cannot but expect the same or worse hereafter, not only to our selves (when being disbanded and dispersed, we shall have the like occasion to petition as private and single Men) but also to all the free-born People of the Land in the like case. And so this Precedent (if it stand good) would extend, in the consequence of it, to render all Soldiers under this Parliament the worst of Slaves, and all Subjects little better. And though there have been of late, in other Cases, too much dangerous Precedents of suppressing Petitions, and punishing or censuring the Petitioners, yet (we think) few or none so full and clear against all just Liberties as this in our Case, whose Petition was not, as many (that yet have been received with large Thanks) without any foundation in real Grievances or Dues, tending and serving merely to declare the Petitioners Opinions and Inclinations, in relation to matters of State, (then in transaction, or intended to be put on in the Parliament;) nor yet subject to any of those Exceptions, which at other Petitions (seeming better grounded, more necessary or concerning than the former, and yet rejected) might be. But ours, not meddling with matters of State, with Proceedings of Parliament, or any Bodies Concernments but our own, tended but to obtain our particular Dues, (often promised, dearly and fully earned, long forborn,) and some of which (viz. the matter of Indempnity) we could not (without danger of utter Ruin) want after disbanding; and these but desired in an humble and submissive way, without any Language scandalous or offensive, or any other particular Exception (for Matter or Form) that we have ever yet been told of, or could any way learn; so as though we are willing to believe the Parliament was mis-informed, abused, or surprised in the businesses, (as the Narrative doth express) yet we cannot hitherto understand from whence such Proceedings against such a Petition, or against us for it, could arise; except (in those that moved the Parliament thereunto) from some Principles of Malignants Envy or Dislike against us the Petitioners, for the Things God hath done by us, carrying them (above all other Considerations of just or unjust, dangerous or safe) to this end as the greatest good, that this Army must not pass with that Reputation God hath given it; but must (upon any occasion that Could be catched hold on) have a Dishonour put upon it, and by Discontents and Provocations be put into Distemper, so as to do something that might render it odious, or bring a Blemish upon it.
Tenthly, The Declaration yet standing in force, and nothing published by the Parliament to clear the Army from the Censure it thereby lies under, there remains a brand of Ignominy upon this Army to Posterity. And those Soldiers who have proceeded to act any thing in pursuance of their just Desires in that Petition, or in representation of their just Grievances thereupon; as also those Officers that have any way concurred with, or countenanced, or not deserted them therein, remain subject to Question, and to the highest Censure that may be, for so doing.
Eleventhly, Were all other our Grievances duly considered, yet nothing be done to the discovery or censure of those that have wronged the Army, and abused the Parliament, to the procuring of such Proceedings against us, in relation to so just and innocent Petition, but that the same Persons remain still in the same Credit and Power; we appeal to all reasonable Men, what hopes, either of Right or Safety, we, (when disbanded and dispersed) Or any private Man, can hereafter promise to himself in the like Case? Let every honest English Man lay his Hand on his Heart, weigh our Case, and make it his own, (as in consequence it is) and then judge for us and himself.
1. We may confidently say, never any private Man had or can have any thing more clearly due to him, than what we went about to petition for, nor could seek it in a more regular, humble, or inoffensive way, (as hath been shewed before.) Now for a private Man, petitioning for his Right in such a way, to be denyed, or fail of his Right (in Courts where Corruption sways) is perhaps not rare; yet for such a Man to be debarred or interdicted beforehand from suing for his acknowledged Right, (we think) is not usual in Courts sufficiently corrupt. But not only to be denied his Right, and the Liberty to petition it, but withal by a Censure (no less than Capital) to be exposed to a Forfeiture of Estate, Liberty, Life and all, but for going so to ask what he conceives, and the Court it self will not deny to be his Due, and this without ever asking or hearing what he can say in his Excuse, would carry so high a face of Injustice, Oppression, and Tyranny, as we think is not easie to be exampled in the Proceedings of the most corrupt and arbitrary Courts, towards the meanest single Man. Now if we have found Men of those desperate Principles and Confidence, to attempt, and in that Credit and Power to carry on such Proceedings against an Army, (standing then in full Strength, in Reputation, and some little Merit also) and to engage the Authority of Parliament therein, whose present Power hath, under God, been upheld and newly established through that Army; What can we or any honest Man expect hereafter as private Persons, if the same Men shall continue to be our Judges, or in the same Credit and Power, when we are disbanded, (as now) we say what good can be expected, or what ill may not be expected in any future Case, that shall cross the Pride, Passions, or Interests of such Men, of whose unjust Principles and desperately Tyrannical Spirits, we have in this Case had the most perfect taste that can be imagined, we have both here and before plainly remonstrated our Case in this particular as it stands, appearing to those that understand not upon what grounds, and in what manner such things were carryed in the Parliament in relation to the Petition: We are still willing to believe the Parliament hath been some way strangely misinformed, surprized, or otherwise abused in the business (as was expressed before in that Narrative) We are still tender of the Parliament-Privileges, but we shall yet hope and desire, That the Wisdom of the Parliament would find how to disengage the Honour of the Parliament from the desperate Practices of such Incendiaries, and cause them to be discovered and censured, so far as may secure the Parliament from being again so abused, and both us and the Kingdom from the like or worse Oppressions or Dangers by them (which is the utmost ill we with them.) And if herein our belief or hopes from or concerning the Parliament do fail us we shall be sorry; but yet the Case and Consequence is still as it is, or the more sad to us and the Kingdom. And having in this Particular expressed both the Case and Consequence very plainly, we leave it at the Parliament's door, until they shall be pleased to six the blame on those particular Persons, that have abused them herein as before.
Twelfthly and lastly, We find nothing as yet done, or thought of for Reparation or Vindication of the Army, in reference to the many Scandals cast upon it, or to punish or discountenance the Authors and Publishers though divers of them be sufficiently known.
Joyce seised his Majesty the next Day after.
A Solemn Engagement of the Army under the Command of his Excellency Sir Thomas Fairfax, read, assented unto and Subscribed by all Officers and Soldiers of the several Regiments at the general Rendezvous near New-Market, on the 5th of June, 1647.
Whereas upon the Petition intended and agreed upon in the Army in March last, to have been presented to the General for the obtaining of our due and necessary Concernments as Soldiers; the Honourable House of Commons being unseasonably prepossest with a Copy thereof, and (as by the sequel we suppose) with some strange Misrepresentations of the Carriage and Intention of the same, was induced to send down an Order for suppressing the Petition, and within two or three Days after, upon further Misinformation and scandalous Suggestions, of the like or worse Nature, and by the indirect Practices of some malicious and mischievous Persons (as we suppose) surprizing, or otherwise abusing the Parliament, A. Declaration was published in the Name of both Houses, highly censuring the said Petition, and declaring the Petitioners, if they should proceed thereupon, no less than Enemies to the State, and Disturbers of the publick Peace; And whereas at the same time, and since, divers eminent Officers of the Army have been brought into Question and Trouble about the said Petition, whereby both they and the rest of the Officers were disabled, or discouraged for the time, from further acting or appearing therein on the Soldiers behalf And whereas by the aforesaid Proceeedings and the Effects thereof, the Soldiers of this Army (finding themselves so stopt in their due and regular way of making known their just Grievances and Desires to and by their Officers) were enforced to an unusual (but in that Case necessary) way of Correspondence and Agreement amongst themselves, to chuse out of the several Troops and Companies several Men, and those out of their whole number, to chuse two or more for each Regiment, to act in the Name and Behalf of the whole Soldiery of the respective Regiments, Troops, and Companies, in the prosecution of their Rights and Desires in the said Petition, as also of their just Vindication, and writing in reference to the aforesaid Proceedings upon and against the same, who have accordingly acted and done many things to those ends, all which the Soldiers did then approve as their own Acts. And whereas afterwards (upon the sending down of Field Marshal Skippon, and those other Officers of the Army that were Members of the House of Commons, to quiet Distempers in the Army; fresh hopes being conceived of having our desires again admitted to be made known and considered in a regular way, and without such Misrepresentations as formerly, the Officers of the Army (except some few Dissenting Officers) did again joyn in a Representation of their common Grievances, and the Officers (except as before) did agree upon a Narrative Account of the Grounds, Rise, and Growth of the Discontents of the Army, and their Proceedings in relation thereunto, with an Overture of the best Expedients to remove or satisfie the same, both which were presented to the same Members of the House, and by them reported to the House; and whereas the Parliament having thereupon voted, and ordered some Particulars only towards satisfaction of our Grievances, hath since proceeded to certain Resolutions of sudden disbanding the Army by pieces, which Resolutions being taken, and to be executed before full and equal satisfaction be given to the whole Army in any of the Grievances, before effectual performance of that satisfaction in part which the preceding Votes seemed to promise as to some of the Grievances, and before any Consideration at all of some others most material (as by the result of a general Council of War on Saturday, May 29.) was in general declared, and is now more fully demonstrated in particular, by a Representation thereupon, and agreed unto by us: We all cannot but look upon the same Resolutions of disbanding us in such manner, as proceeding from the same Malicious and Mischievous Principles and Intentions, and from the like indirect Practices of the same Persons abusing the Parliament, and is as the former Proceedings against us beforementioned did, and not without Carnal and Bloody Purposes (for some of them have not stuck to declare or intimate after the Body of the Army should be disbanded, or the Soldiers divided from their Officers: Then to question, proceed against, and execute their malicious Intentions, upon all such particular Officers and Soldiers in the Army, as had appeared to act in the Premises in the behalf of the Army; and whereas upon a late Petition to the General from the Agitants, in behalf of the Soldiers (grounded upon the preceding Considerations) relating to the same Resolutions of disbanding, the same general Council of War, to prevent the danger and inconveniences of those Disturbings, or tumultuous Actings, or Confluences, which the Dissatisfaction and Jealousie, thereupon also grounded, were like suddenly to have produced in the Army, to advise the General first to contract the Quarters of the Army, and then to draw the same to an orderly Rendezvous for satisfaction of all, and that his Excellency would immediately send up to move and desire the Parliament to suspend any present proceeding upon the said Resolution of disbanding, to resume the Consideration of the Grievances and Desires sent up from the Army, and not to disband it in pieces, before just and equal satisfaction be given to the whole; And whereas some of the Regiments appointed for disbanding, upon notice thereof, withdrawing themselves from the Quarters adjacent to the appointed Rendezvous, and drawing towards the Head Quarters; and the contracting their Quarters according to the said advice of the Council of War.
We the Officers and Soldiers of several Regiments hereafter named, are now met at a general Rendezvous, and the Regiments appointed as aforesaid to be disbanded, have not appeared, nor can appear; but are resolved not to appear at the respective and several Rendezvous, appointed as aforesaid for their disbanding, and divers other things have been done by several other Parties or Members of the Army, necessarily relating to the good and concernment of the whole in these Affairs: Now forasmuch as we know not how far the Malice, Injustice, and Tyrannical Principles of our Enemies, that have already prevailed so far to abuse the Parliament, and the Army (as is aforementioned) in the past Proceedings against the Army, may further prevail to the danger and prejudice of our selves, or any Officers or Soldiers of the Army, or other Persons that have appeared to act any thing in behalf of the Army; or how far the same may further prevail to the danger and prejudice of the Kingdom, in raising a new War or otherwise: Therefore for the better prevention of all such dangers, prejudices or other inconveniences that may ensue, and withal for better satisfaction to the Parliament and Kingdom concerning our desires of conforming to the Authority of the one, and providing the good and quiet of the other in the present Affairs of disbanding; and for a more assured way whereby these Affairs may come to a certain issue (to which purpose we herein humbly implore the present and Continued assistance of God, the Righteous Judge of all) We the Officers and Soldiers of the Army subscribing hereunto, do hereby declare, agree, and promise to and with each other, and to and with the Parliament and Kingdom as followeth.
1. That we shall chearfully and readily disband, when thereunto required by the Parliament, or else shall many of us be willing (if desired) to engage in further Services either in England or Ireland, having first such satisfaction to the Army in relation to our Grievances and Desires heretofore presented, and such Security, That we of our selves (when disbanded, and in the Condition of private Men) or other the free-born People of England (to whom the consequence of our Case doth equally extend) shall not remain subject to the like Oppression, Injury, or Abuse, as in the Premises have been attempted and put upon us while an Army, by the same Mens continuance in the same Credit and Power (especially if as our judges) who have in these past Proceedings against the Army, so far prevailed to abuse the Parliament and us, and to endanger the Kingdom; and also such Security that we our selves, or any Member of this Army, or others, who have appeared to act any thing in behalf of the Army, in relation to the Premises before recited, shall not after disbanding be any way questioned, prosecuted, troubled, or prejudiced for any thing so acted; or for the entering into, or necessary Prosecution of this necessary Agreement; (we say) having first such Satisfaction and Security in these things, as shall be agreed unto by a Council, to consist of those General Officers of the Army (who have concurred with the Army in the Premises) with two Commission Officers, and two Soldiers to be chosen for each Regiment, who have concurred and shall concur with us in the Premises, and in this Agreement; and by the major part of such of them, who shall meet in Council for that purpose, when they shall be thereunto called by the General.
That without such Satisfaction and Security as aforesaid, we shall not willingly disband, nor divide, nor suffer our selves to be disbanded or divided.
2. And whereas we find many strange things suggested or suspected to our great prejudice, concerning dangerous Principles, Interests, and Designs in this Army, as to the overthrow of Magistracy, the suppression or hindering of Presbytery, the Establishment of Independent Government, or upholding of a general Licentiousness in Religion, under pretence of Liberty of Conscience, and many such things; We shall very shortly tender to the Parliament a Vindication of the Army from all such Scandals, to clear our Principles in relation thereunto, and in the mean time we do disallow and disclaim all purposes or designs in our late or present Proceedings, to advance or insist upon any such Interest; neither would we (if we might and could) advance or set up any other particular Party or Interest in the Kingdom (tho' imagined never so much our own) but shall much rather (as far as may be within our Sphere or Power) study to promote such an Establishment of common and equal Right and Freedom to the whole, as all might equally partake of, but those that do, by denying the same to others, or otherwise, render themselves incapable thereof.
A true Impartial Narration, concerning the Armies Preservation of the King:
By which it doth appear, that the Army doth intend the Good Life, Property and Liberty of all the Commons of England.
Fellow-Commoners, considering with our selves how variously those Men will report, that endeavour to carry on their Designs, though, it be to the Ruin and Destruction of others, who are their Fellow-Commoners, and have as just a Right and Property to the Liberties and Freedoms of the Nation as themselves. And considering also how Misinformation may seduce you, and draw you away from the knowing of things in their true unmixt Nature, and consequently from acting and walking accordingly, so that not only our selves may be drawn by such Misrepresentations of things, into inexpressible, extraordinary Sadnesses, Miseries, and Calamities; but also you into perpetual irrecoverable Servitude and Bondage, even in a Moment of time, before you or we are aware of. And also considering, that certain of the House of Commons, have fold the Record of Magna Charta (which doth demonstrate the Subjects Rights, Liberties, and Properties) for 10000l. so that it might never be used again, as we can (we hope) evidently prove; so that by it you may see their Design. Therefore we (who have fought for you in the sight of the Sun, and for your Liberties and Properties as well as our own; and have been faithful to you in the apprehensions of all rational Men, and those that will not lie against their own Souls, or walk contrary to the Testimony of their own Consciences) cannot chuse but with reciprocal Tenderness present unto you truly, briefly, and clearly, without partiality, the Nature of the business concerning the King's Majesty and us at Holdenby, June 4, 1647.
On Wednesday Cornet Joyce went to the Bowling-Green, where his Majesty was at Bowls within a Mile of Holdenby; the cause of the Cornet's being there, was to prevent the King's being conveyed away in a secret manner, which was justly suspected to be done by some that were with his Majesty. Cornet Joyce, an appointed Agent by the Army, observing a sudden alteration, in perswading the King to go to my Lord Spencer's to Bowls, when the King had resolved before to go two Miles further; and at the King's taking Horse, Colonel Graves and a Scottish Lord whispered, and were more than ordinary earnest in their privacy, which did occasion jealousie at that opportunity; after the King had been at Bowls one Hour, Graves questioned a Soldier, and asked him from whence he came; the Soldier's Answer was, from Oxford, and that he had been lately with the Army. Then Graves asked if the Army was not contented with the Ordinance of Indempnity, and the Votes of Parliament. The Soldier answered no, and that it would in no way secure them; and gave Graves a Reason: because many of their Fellow Soldiers, and those that had acted for the Parliament, were molested notwithstanding it; and what a sad thing will it be to consider, that the Soldiery shall taste of the Parliament's Judges Cruelty, notwithstanding their good Services, and the preserving of the Heads of some Men in the Parliament: And therefore judge how much below the light of Nature these Men live, and how much they exercise themselves in Tyranny, when they will not do good unto those that do good unto them. Then Graves asked him more News, and said, he need not be afraid; but he said, he was not afraid of him, or any Man in the Kingdom, for he had done nothing that he knew of to make him afraid; and he further said, he would deal ingeniously with him, and tell him the truth of any thing he should ask him. Then Graves asked, if he did not hear of a Party of Horse, he answered he did more than hear of a Party, for he saw them the Day before within 30 Miles of Holdenby: This made Graves tremble, as if he had been guilty of something he had done or intended to do; otherwise why should he afterwards, and the Scottish Lord his Confederate, have run away, when no Man intended to do them the least hurt in the World. But the Scottish Lord went to London, and hath notoriously wronged the King, and the Party also that did secure his Majesty's Person for the Peace and Safety of the Kingdom, as was declared at large before a thousand Witnesses; so that by it you may see the design of a cunning Scott, and what such will do to get Money and Honour, even against King and People.
Further for the Security of the King's Person, the Party marched towards Holdenby, and when they came to the House, the Commissioners sent one Captain Middleton to know of us what we came for, and what we would have and who commanded? Answer was made him, All commanded. Then Captain Middleton replyed, If you have any thing to do here, the Commissioners would know what it is, and desired they would send in to the Commissioners one or more to certifie what was the Intent of coming thither. Whereupon Cornet Joyce, by unanimous Consent of the Party, went in to the Commissioners, and told them the truth of their coming thither, which was to secure his Majesty's Person, and to protect them; there being a secret design, as they were informed, to convey or steal away the King, and to raise another Army to suppress this under his Excellency Sir Thomas Fairfa: Likewise he said, he knew no other way to keep this Kingdom from Blood, or another War, but by the present Security of the King's Person, and that he may be no more miss-led; and if he were, that the Kingdom was utterly undone for ever. If this be all, said the Commissioners, it is well done.
But after it, Cornet Joyce spake more to the Commissioners, and told them, he did humbly conceive that there were some who did delay Justice, and seek only to disband the Army, who were raised for the defence of the just Rights, Properties, and Liberties of the Subject, and the bringing of all unjust Men to condign Punishment, such who did endeavour to subvert the fundamental Laws of the Kingdom: And he said he did believe, that there were some who did endeavour to pull down King and People, and to set up themselves; and who they were, the Commissioners and the World may judge and see by their Actions.
Whereupon he took his leave of the Commissioners for a while, left the King should be disturbed in his Bed-Chamber. Then Major General Brown went to the King, and did assure his Majesty of the truth of the business, and desired his Majesty not to be troubled, for no hurt Should come unto him, for they were all civil Gentlemen; and his Majesty should find it so. After this was done, the Cornet went to the Commissioners again, and desired them to give him Orders, he being willing to obey them, because they were appointed by the Parliament to be there to that end. Then Major General Brown said, Come again by and by, and we will give you Orders; in the mean time set your Guards, and place your Sentinels; which Direction of his we followed, and told him and the rest of the Commissioners, if they would give us Orders, I would obey them, provided they were just, and for the Security of the King's Person. All this being done, it grew towards Noon. After that, Cornet Joyce desired the Soldiers to mount to Horse, and told them they should all go to Quarters; at which word of Command all was done: And the said Cornet was to give in a relation to the Commissioners of his Coming, and the Grounds in writing, and did but, because of the multiplicity of business, could not give it in that form as otherwise he might, if he had time.
All this being done, all was quiet in the said present Security of his Majesty, until Tidings came that Graves was gone quite away; and thereupon it was supposed he was (and thought himself also) guilty, or else he would have stayed, but none could tell what was become of him; and some of his damming Blades did say and swear, they would fetch a Party; which Party could not be from the Army, but must be from some other place. And therefore to prevent Disturbance and Blood, and for the Peace-sake of the Kingdom, all declared unanimously, that they thought it most convenient to secure the King in another place, from Persons as could cunningly or desperately take him away contrary to Order; which was endeavoured very earnestly (as we are informed) by some that are Enemies to the Peace of the Kingdom, and the Prosperity of the Army.
But another cause of Jealousie was, not knowing the Resolutions of those who quartered Soldiers, and pretended for Ireland.
And further to give all satisfaction to the whole Kingdom, and to the real effecting of a business of such Concernment, the Soldiers sent Cornet Joyce to the Commissioners at ten of the Clock at Night, who desired the Commissioners to let the King know he would speak with him: Some of the Commissioners being unwilling, held the Cornet in discourse about half an Hour, until the King was asleep in his Bed; yet notwithstanding the said Cornet could not be contented till he had spoken with the King, it being the only way and means to prevent Trouble for the future, and Blood that might come upon the face of the Kingdom; and therefore the said Cornet judged it in his own Conscience requisite to speak with him at that Opportunity, and therefore he offered the Commissioners to go with them with as much gentleness and tenderness as he could, to tell his Majesty something for his and his Kingdom's good; which was to take him from thence, there being a secret design to steal and convey away his Majesty's Person, to side with some who pretend Justice, and deceive the Kingdom, and obstruct the Relief of poor distressed Ireland; intending to break the Army in pieces now under the Command of Sir Thomas Fairfax our General, and to raise another Army to carry on their Design, and that all rational Men may see it by the Actions of some Men, (as Stappleton, Glynne, Greene, Erle, and others) who said, It's now come to that, that they must sink us, or we sink them. But more was spoken by the said Cornet, but this in brief. I was willing to let all pass without giving a Relation, until I heard that the Scottish Lord had falsly told the Parliament of our Proceedings with the King, who saw or heard it not; for he was not within a Mile of the Court, when all these forementioned Passages were: For the Scottish Lord, as we are informed, reported that the King was taken away against his Will. For although the King told Cornet Joyce before the Commissioners, he was unwilling to go with us, yet he said, That such Reasons might be produced that might prevail with him, and then he did protest nothing should stay him, but he would go whether the Commissioners would yea or no. And Reasons were given accordingly, which did prevail with his Majesty to promise to go the next Morning, and he gave a Confirmation of his willingness, by saying to the Cornet, He should be the more willing to go, if the Cornet would promise him some things which he should propound. The Cornet said he would, if they were just and warrantable in his Understanding, and desired his Majesty that he might hear the things. Then his Majesty spake before the Commissioners, and said, Mr. Joyce, I have this to propound unto you. May it please your Majesty, I am willing to hear, said Cornet Joyce, but am sorry I have disturbed you out of your Sleep; but the King said, No matter, if you mean me no hurt; and then spake, viz. If you will promise me that I shall have no hurt, saying, you may take away my Life if you will, having the Sword in your Hands. This Answer the Cornet made, That the Parliament had declared to preserve his Majesty's Person, and that they being the Parliament's Army, should not but endeavour the same; only they did desire to secure him from being taken away, left he should be at the Head of another Army; and so this Kingdom involved into danger. And all this was said in answer to his Majesty's first Proposition.
Observe, None will oppose this Army but guilty Consciences and they will fly in our Faces, or raise an Army against us. Saith the Marginal Note.
The second was, That he would not be forced to any thing against his Conscience by us. He answered, That he would be unwilling to force any Man against his Conscience, much less his Majesty; and also said, That he hoped he was sensible of those that did endeavour to force Men against their Consciences, and yet delayed to do Justice or settle the Kingdom, for which they were sent; and did endeavour to disband or break this Army in pieces, who sought nothing but Justice, as will appear hereafter to all the World. Pray God it may, said the King.
Thirdly, He demanded whether yea or no he should have his Servants with him, and whether he should be provided for like a Man in his Place; and that he had been courteously used by those Commissioners that were with him, as ever he was by any. The Cornet answered, That he should endeavour as far as in him lay, to shew him all just and due respect; and that he might be no otherwise attended on than before, the Cornet desired the Commissioners of Parliament to go with the King, and discharge that Trust imposed on them, and the Soldiery should assist them so long as they were just and honest. Then said the King, I will willingly go along with you, if the Soldiery will confirm what you have promised me; the King believing I had said nothing but what they would stand to. All this being spoken at ten a Clock or eleven at Night: And when the King had done propounding these Questions to the Cornet, he gave his Word to be ready by six the next Morning, to hear if the Soldiers would confirm what I had promised, and if they would, be would willingly go with us; for it was so bad an Air, that he could never be so well as he had been, and if he were once gone, he would be unwilling to come back again to that Place any more: Many other Reasons he had which he gave not. According to his Promise he came in the Morning at six of the Clock, where he found all the Soldiers ready mounted to march with him; but before he would march, he desired to speak the same things to the Soldiers, which he spake over-night to the Cornet, to see if they would confirm what he said and had promised; which they did with one consent: And before the Soldiers the King was pleased to ask the Cornet, what Commission he had to secure his Person? Then said the Cornet, If the Parliament had ever made an Order that the Army should not have secured the King's Person, he should not have dared to do what he had done; but he being informed his Majesty was to be conveyed away, which, if not prevented, might have caused another War, and involved the whole Kingdom in Blood again; this was the only cause of our securing the King's Person. This Answer did not satisfie the King; but he asked what Commission I had for doing that I did? I told his Majesty, the Soldiery of the Army; or else I should not have dared to have done what I have; and conceiving it to be the only way to bring Peace to England, and Justice with Mercy, which is the thing which all honest Men will desire, and none will hinder but some guilty Consciences, who by their Will seek to destroy both King and People, to set up themselves. Yet the King was not satisfied with this, but asked, Whether I had nothing in Writing from Sir Thomas Fairfax our General, to do what I did? The Cornet desired the King he would not ask him such Questions, for he did conceive he had sufficiently answered him before. Then said the King, I pray Mr. Joyce deal ingeniously with me, and tell me what Commission you have? The Cornet's Answer was, Here is my Commission. Where, said the King? He answered, Here. His Majesty again asked, Where? He answered, Behind me: pointing to the Soldiers that were mounted; and desired his Majesty that that might satisfie him. Whereupon the King smiled, and said, It is as fair a Commission, and as well written as he had seen a Commission written in his life; a Company of handsom proper Gentlemen as he had seen a great while. But what if I shou'd refuse yet to go with you, I hope you would not force me? I am your King, and you ought not to lay violent Hands on your King; for I acknowledge none to be above me here, but God. Then said Mr. Joyce, Our Desires are not to force your Majesty, but have humbly intreated your Majesty to go with us, and not only your self but the Commissioners, and to this end, that the Commissioners might discharge that Trust imposed on them as honest Members of Parliament. Then spake one of the Commissioners of Parliament, and shewed us a Paper; what was therein we saw not. They all spake to us in order, the last that spake, as I remember, was Major General Brown, who said the Commissioners had an Order of Parliament to look to the King at Holdenby; and if he had Strength we should have had his Life, before we should have brought the King away. Indeed, said the Cornet, you speak like a faithful and gallant Man; but he knew well enough he had not Strength, and therefore he spake so boldly. Major General Brown said further, But since it is so, I must do what you will have me, being not able to resist you. Then spake Cornet Joyce further, We came not to have the Blood of any Man, but for Peace; and did hope should manifest it to all the World, for he sought Peace with all Men as much as in him lieth; and further said, They were Servants to the Parliament and Kingdom, and had served them faithfully ever since the beginning of this War, or else more Heads had been cut off before this time: And if the Soldiers had been ordered not to secure his Majesty, they would not have dared to have done it, because they were Servants to the State, as well as the Commissioners; they did what they did to keep the Kingdom from Blood and a second War, which if not prevented, might unhappily have come upon us suddenly; as you may see is the Endeavour of some Men, who pretend to be the King's and Kingdom's best Friends. After this the King was going away, but turned and said, Now, Gentlemen, for the place you intend to have me to? Mr. Joyce answered, If it please your Majesty, to Oxford.
The King replyed, That is no good Air.
Mr. Joyce said, Then to Cambridge.
The King did not like that, but said he liked New-market; it was an Air that did very well agree with him.
And it was granted by Mr. Joyce he should go thither.
Then the King asked Mr. Joyce, how far he intended to ride that Night?
And Mr. Joyce answered, As far as your Majesty can conveniently ride.
The King smiling, said, I can ride as far as you, or any Man there. But he concluded to talk of that, and his Accommodation, privately; and so he courteously took his leave of the Company, and was going, and one whispered him, and he turned back, and heard the Commissioners speak to the Company thus in order. First my Lord Mountague spake, and said, Gentlemen, we are intrusted by both Houses, (shewing in his Hand a Paper, the Authority they had) and desire to know, whether all the Party do agree to what Mr. Joyce hath said?
And they cryed, All, All.
And he having spoke low, Sir John Cooke seconded him with a loud Voice, and added, That as the Parliament had intrusted them, had he but Forces to withstand the Party, he would have done it with his Life. And Mr. Crew said the same.
And Major Brown spake last to the same purpose, but added something more than the rest: Saying, it was not the first time that he had been at the Head of a Party, and that they knew not the Law; and he durst affirm that scarce two in the Company, although they cryed All, All, knew what the Gentleman had delivered to the King. And therefore he said with a loud Voice; all that are willing the King shall stay with us, the Commissioners of Parliament, let them speak. And all the Party cryed, None, none. Then said he, I have done. Only the Soldiers said, We understand well enough what we do. Now let all the World judge what is done, and who is in fault, and who they are that seek War, and no Peace nor Justice.
One Word more, Fellow-Commoners. Dear Friends and Fellow-Commoners, We the Soldiery under his Excellency Sir Thomas Fairfax, do desire to speak one Word to you all, that so you may see and know our very Hearts, so far as we know them our selves: And that our earnest Desires are for Peace in this our native Land and Kingdom, and being more sensible than many thousands are, how destructive another War will be, if not our utter Ruin and Undoing. The Words we shall speak to you are, to prevent War, and to find out those that have of late sent that Scottish Lord, who went from Holdenby to London, and from thence into France; and another Scotch Lord into Scotland, all this to bring another Army into England and we shall be able to make it appear to you hereafter, who are the chief Actors therein.
Dear Friends and Fellow-Commoners, let us not be like to those who have set their Hands to the plough and look back; but let it appear to all the World we are against another War, and for Peace, Mercy, and Justice, without delay. Now look about you, and he not deluded any longer, left the Scots fell the King for more Money, and others oppress the Kingdom, and put the Kingdom's Treasure into their own Pockets, or send it out of our Kingdom, as if they were preparing to go after, for fear they should be found out. This we speak, that so you may have a Care of this glorious Kingdom; your Shipping being now in those Mens Hands who have done you most wrong, and if not looked after by you, may suddenly let in a foreign Enemy to over-run you all, and ravish your Wives, and roast your Children alive, as those bloody-minded Men in Ireland have done; and this will be our case if you awake not suddenly. I have done, a Word to the Wise is sufficient, and rest,
Yours and the Kingdom's Faithful Servant 'till Death, for England's Liberty against Tyranny, &c.
Die Sabbati June 5, 1647.
It is this Day ordered, upon the Question, by the Commons assembled in Parliament, That all the Members of the House be hereby enjoyned forthwith to attend the Service of the House notwithstanding any former particular Leave or Order to be absent.
It is further ordered, That this Order be forthwith printed; and that the Knights and Burgesses of the several Counties and Places, do forthwith send this Order to the particular and respective Sheriffs, requiring them to give particular Notice of this Order to the respective Members within their several Counties.
Votes of the Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament, for the disbanding and Payment of Sir Thomas Fairfax his Army. Ordered by the Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament, That the Common Soldiers, both of Horse and Foot, of Sir Thomas Fairfax his Army, shall have their full Pay upon their disbanding or engaging for Ireland; deducting for free Quarter, according to the Course and Rules of the Army.
Ordered by the Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament, That the Officers of this Army not in Commission, shall likewise have their full Pay upon their disbanding or engaging for Ireland deducting for free Quarter, according to the Course and Rules of the Army.
Ordered by the Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament, that there shall be an Addition of a Month's Pay, to the Commissioned Officers of Sir Thomas Fairfax his Army, both Horse and Foot, that shall either disband or engage in the Service of Ireland.
Ordered by the Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament, That the Declaration, bearing Date the 30th of March, I647, shall be expunged out of the Journal of both Houses. The said Declaration was accordingly expunged.
Ordered by the Commons assembled in Parliament, That this Ordinance, and Votes, be forthwith printed and published.
AN ADDITIONAL ORDINANCE FOR The more full Indempnity of the Officers and Soldiers, who have acted by Authority, and for the Service of the Parliament.
For asmuch as in the times of this late War and publick Distractions, there have been many Injuries done to private Persons, and other Offences committed by private Persons bearing Arms in the Service of the Parliament; The Lords and Commons in Parliament Assembled, taking into their Consideration, That it is expedient that the Injuries and Offences aforesaid be pardoned, and put in Oblivion, rather than by pretence of Prosecution against some few Persons, a great number of such who have faithfully served the Parliament, be brought into a continual Vexation for such Actions, as the Exigence of War hath necessitated them unto; Do therefore Ordain, and be it Ordained by the said Lords and Commons, That all Persons who have committed any Offences, Trespasses, Injuries, or other Misdemeanours whatsoever, during such time as they have been employed in Arms, by or for the Service of the Parliament, be, is, and are hereby Discharged and Pardoned of the same, and of and from all Prosecution or Dammages therefore, at the Suit of the King or the Party grieved; and may, in case he or they be questioned therefore, plead the general Issues, and give this Ordinance in Evidence, which shall be allowed to all intents and purposes, as if the same were pleaded in Bar. And in case any shall prosecute any Action or Suit contrary to the Tenor of this Ordinance, against any Person hereby Discharged, after notice given that such Persons are hereby Discharged, The Defendant or Defendants, so prosecuted, shall recover his and their Cost against such Prosecutor.
Provided also, That this Ordinance, or any thing herein contained, shall not extend to discharge any such Person or Persons as aforesaid, from making their true and just Accompts to any Committee or Committees of Parliament, appointed or to be appointed for that purpose, of what they have taken, received, or had for the Service or Benefit of the Parliament.
To the Right Honourable, Excellent, Worthy, and Pious Sir Thomas Fairfax, General over those Forces raised in behalf of the Countries Rights and Liberties.
The Petition of the well-affected in the County of Essex.
That your Petitioners being not a little sensible of those growing Evils, which are like to over-spread this Kingdom, unless the Mercy of God prevent (which after so much exhausting our Estates, loss of Lives, Engagements of our Persons to regain this poor Nation to an Enjoyment of its Rights and Liberties) and yet like to flow upon us by those which have been our open Enemies, or else a Party of pretended Friends, insomuch that your poor Petitioners, and all the well-affected in the Country have just cause to fear; that after we have, by the Blessing of the Almighty upon this Army, been rescued from many Oppressions which lay heavy upon us, We are now like to be Vassalaged and enslaved in the Norman Laws, and Prerogative Clutches of an Ambitious Party in the Nation.
And likewise taking into Consideration, That there is no Remora to stop the Proceedings of violent Men against us, but this present Army under your Honourable Conduct, whose constant Fidelity and faithful Resolutions, together with the Blessing from above, have hitherto abashed the Enemies of our Peace and Safety, and gained the favour of all those who are the true Friends to a free Nation.
These things, Right Honourable, sinking deep into our Spirits, we thought it meet and convenient to represent our Thoughts unto you; And so much the rather, in regard the Petitions of the free-born Nation have been rejected by those which we have intrusted for the receiving them, yea, Ordered to be burnt by the Hands of the Common Hang-man; insomuch, that we have no where else to appeal but unto your Excellency, from whom, under God, we expect some redress of our Miseries. Our humble Desires to your Excellency therefore are,
First, That before you disband the Army, you would be pleased to consider the sad Condition which is like to befal the free-born People of England, and likewise our present Vassalage we groan under.
Secondly, That you would be pleased to mediate with the Parliament in our behalf, and to use all such means which you in your Honourable Wisdom shall think convenient, to settle Affairs in a fair and peaceable way, so that all that Renown which Providence hath hitherto crowned your Endeavours withal, may not now at last be blasted with the Intentions and crafty Machinations of yours and the Kingdom's Enemies.
Thirdly, That your Excellency would be pleased in no case to admit of disbanding, till such time as you see these and the Kingdom's just and legal Requests imbraced. If thus, Right Honourable, God shall draw forth your Heart to act for us, we shall for ever engage our selves your Servants in the Vindication of your just Proceedings, and ever pray for your Honourable Safety.
This Petition was presented to his Excellency at the Rendezvous of the Army at Triploe-Heath near Royston, with the Subscription of above a Thousand of the Inhabitants.
Die Lunæ, June 7, 1647.
Votes of the Commons in Parliament.
Ordered (upon the Question) by the Commons Assembled, That no Person that hath been in actual War against this Parliament, shall be admitted to sit as a Member in this Parliament.