State Papers, 1644: October-December

Pages 50-53

A Collection of the State Papers of John Thurloe, Volume 1, 1638-1653. Originally published by Fletcher Gyles, London, 1742.

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Letter from lord Sinclare,—directed thus:

For the right honourable the committee of estates at Edinburgh.

From the public records of Scotland in the laigh parliament house at Edinburgh.

Right honourable,
Wee have ressaved severall letters from your lordships, since wee had the occasion to give yow any accompt of our proceedings here. The reason was in the manifold diversions, which keept ws from frequent meitting together dureing the tyme of the seige, most part of us being officers, and unwilling to leave our posts. Bot seing it hes pleased God of his great goodnes to settle us in this toun, and therby remove all these impediments, wee hop wee shall not only be able from tyme to tyme to acquaint your lordships with our affairs here, bot also (yf necessity shall so require) to apply ourselves and forces, or a part of them, for the advantage of your lordships designes there, according as your lordships shall demand the same.

Wee have seen your instructions to sir John Wauchop; and concerning the government of this toun, for ourselves do unanimouslie agree to the person nominat by your lordships. Bot because that (as all other important affaires of the army) is to be ordered by the committee of both kingdomes, we cannot finaly determine it, till wee shall know the English commissioners pleasure therin, which they decline to signifie unto us, till first they advise both house concerning it, bot did this day give us in a paper, whereof, and of our answer, yow have heirwith the copies.

As for the ordering of the coalls, customs, exise, sequestrations, and moneyes therupon ariseing, wee intend, that it shall be done by a joynt committee, and no otherwayes; for the parliaments instructions to thair commissioners of the 9th of March doeth expressly beare the same: howbeit they labour to putt another glosse upon them. For this purpose James Sword's presence here will be very necessary, and therfor wee desire your lordships to cause hasten him hither. Upon the resset of your lordships letter concerning the lord Ogilvie, wee did immediately dispatch letters to the lord Fairfax, who returned us answer, that he had sent ordors to the governor of Hull to send him to London, because they seldome had the occasion of a ship of warre comeing northward; and that yf he were not already gone, he would give ordors to cause send him to Sunderland; and the lord generall also hes yesterday againe written for that purpose.

Wee intend to send our Scotts prisoners from this towards Berwick to morrow.

Wee find so heavie a burden by the multitud of officers upon weake regiments, that we must represent unto your lordships the necessity of reforming them, that neither will Scotland be able nor is England obliged to beare it.

Newcastle 26th October 1644.

Sinclare I. P. D.

Yow have herewith also the copie of the conditions offered unto the major of the toun.

Letter from lord Sinclare, — directed thus:

For the right honorable the committee of estates of Scotland at Edinburgh. Orig.

From the public records of Scotland in the laigh parliament house at Edinburgh.

Right honorable,
Your letter of the 6th wee have receaved this day, and do herewith send yow the coppie of these instructions which yow desire; bot have already returned answer to the commissioners paper, whereof yow have heirwith also a double, and have sent major Halden to London, fully instructed to give our commissioners there an accompt of all our proceedings, intentions, and of the commissioners cariage here. And because wee find daylie so many difficulties occuring concerning the managing and ordering of this bussines of the coale, which can nather be so well knowne nor determined, as by those who are upon the place; we conceave it very necessar, that your lordships would desire the earle of Crawfurd, and such others of your number as yow shall think fitting, to repare hither for assisting of ws here, our burden being very great, and our number few. As for the blocking up of Carleill, wee conceave it is almost done already by the horsemen that lye about it; bot that wee may the more fully satisfie your lordships desires, wee have desired the lord generall to wryte to generall major Leslie, and to examine and tak tryell in what places and how regiments of foote may be quartered and accommodat there. And according as wee shall receive advertisement, wee shall tak the best course for blocking up and secureing of that place.

Wee desired lieutenant generall Baillie to acquaint your lordships with our opinions concerning the reforming of weake regiments. And seing it hes pleased God to call the laird Altoun, wee have thought it fitting and recomended to the lord generall, to adjoyne his regiment, being scarce a compleat company, unto the laird of Wedderburnes. Wee will be necessitat to tak the like course with some others; for the multitude of officers is an extreame burden to the army for the present, (fn. 1) will be to that kingdome heirefter. Wee rest

Newcastle 8 November 1644.

Your affectionat freinds and servants,
Sinclare I. P. D.

Letter from John Maitland, Charles Erskine, and Ro. Barclay. Orig. [Wants a direction.]

From the public records of Scotland in the laigh parliament house at Edinburgh.

Right honorable,
From Maidenhead wee gave yow an accompt of our aryval there; and not knowing where the king was, wee came to Redding, where wee hoped to have learned; but there wee got but uncertainties: so wee came that night to Netlebed, and sent a trumpeter to the governor of Walingford, to know where wee might find his majestie. He sent us word, that the king was at Wantage, and not out of the way to Oxford. When wee came thither, wee could learne litle but conjectures that his majestie would be at Oxford; for the messenger, whom the governor had sent to know where the court was, was not returned. He endeavoured to have lodged us at Wallingford, but wee choosed rather to come back two myles to Bensington (which was the way hither) and there wee lay Fryday at night. On Saterday about ten a clok the governor of Wallingford sent ws word, that the king would certainely be at Oxford that night; so wee came hither, and after two houres attendance at the ports (notwithstanding wee had sent a trumpet and two of our servants in the forenoon) wee at last were brought in by the deputy governor. As soone as wee came to our inne, wee sent to the duke of Lennox and Richmond, to desire him to let the king know wee were come; and his majestie commanded ws to wait on him this day at two a clok; and when the earle of Denbigh was reading the propositions, the king asked, if wee had the treatie heere (hee meant for the comeing in of our army) and after they were read, hee asked, if wee had power to treat. He asked that twice; wee answered, that wee were only to deliver these propositions, and humbly to crave his majesties answer in writeing. He said wee should have it in writeing, but hee would not say yet, how he liked them. Any other particulars your lordships shall have at meiting, which shall be as soon as wee gett our answer. Wee are

Oxford 24th November 1644.

Your lordships most humble servants,
Jo. Maitland, Charles Erskine,
Ro. Barclay.

The king's answer to the propositions presented from the parliament to his majesty by the earl of Denbigh, &c. 24 Nov. 1644. at Oxford (fn. 2).

Vol. i. p. 85.

Charles R.
The propositions newly presented to his majesty being very long, and containing matters in them of very great moment and importance, as being in great part an alteration of the frame of government, both in church and state; and the messengers, who presented them, declaring, that they have no power to treat, or to consent to any alteration, it cannot be expected that his majesty should return a present, particular, and positive answer. But as he hath from his soul always desired the settling a happy peace in this distracted kingdom, and, to that purpose, hath, from time to time, made all possible overtures; so he hopes that God will so work upon the hearts of all persons concerned, that even this application, such as it is, upon further thought and consideration may produce some good effects towards it; to the which his majesty calls God to witness, there shall be nothing wanting on his part, which is agreeable to honour, justice, and conscience. There shall all possible expedition be used in preparing his majesty's answer, which he intends speedily to send by messengers of his own. And to that purpose, that there may be no loss of time, he desires a safe conduct may be presently sent for the duke of Richmond, and the earl of Southampton, with their attendants, to bring up his majesty's said answer. And his majesty doth heartily wish, that God may so well deal with him and his, as he endeavours all just and lawful ways to restore this poor kingdom to a lasting, happy, and blessed peace. Given at the court at Oxon this of November 1644.

Examin. Jo. Browne cleric. parliamentor.

Declaration for bringing off the rebells.

From the public records of Scotland in the laigh parliament house at Edinburgh.

I As haveing commission from the parliament against the Irish rebells and there associates, and for doing every thing might contribute for bringing that service to ane good end, declare, that out of my respect to the publike, thinking it would much weaken the rebells, I drew aff the lord Dupplin, sir John Drummond, &c. and gave them assurance for there (fn. 3) live, liberties, and fortunes; and that nothing should be done against any of them in any of these, for there joyning with the rebells, upon these terms. I declare they were assured and brought off.

17 December 1644.

Produced be Lothian from the marques of Argyl.

The committee of estates ordains this declaration be insert in the committee books.

Lanrick I. P. D. Com.

Letter from general W. Baillie,—directed thus:

To the right honorable the lords and gentlemen of the committee of estate at Edinburgh. Orig.

From the public records of Scotland in the laigh parliament house at Edinburgh.

My Lords,
I Ressaived your lordships of the 18 Dec. and in obedience to yor comands in quhat concernethe me, I sall do all that I am able; and in particulare no horsmen sall be pressed, for quhom thaire hathe not bein former warrande; onlie I wold humblee intreate your lordships to lett me kno, how ye wold hawe the earle of Laenrik's horsemen to be disposed of, since it is evident, that the lord Baccarrase regiment ar sufficient for this paerts, thoghe the enemie war nearer ws. Lykwayes I wishe your lordships may be pleased to designe a comander att Stirlin, and quhatt forces sall be left thaire, quhen the rest remouwethe; and to lett itt be knoin in the northerine paerts, thatt thair orders ar to cum from heer, and thairfor thatt yi wold make knoin heer quhatt occurrethe amongst them, and quhatt they wold desire from this for the good of the service. This night the lord Elchoes regt. is cum heer, bot far schort of thatt number was formerly spoken of. I doubt nott bott this comittee will do quhatt is possible for inabling thir forces to mertche; and I hope ze fall find no falt in the readines of

Perthe 19 Decemb. [1644.]

Your lordships very humble servand,
W. Baillie.


  • 1. Something seems wanting here.
  • 2. This answer is not directed to any body, nor is the parliament so much as acknowledged in it. See Whitelocke's Memorials p. 114. edit. 1732.
  • 3. So orig.