B. We left at the preparations on both sides for war; which, when I considered by myself, I was mightily puzzled to find out what possibility there was for the King to equal the Parliament in such a course, and what hopes he had of money, men, arms, fortified places, shipping, counsel, and military officers, sufficient for such an enterprise against the Parliament, that had men and money as much at command, as the city of London, and other corporation towns, were able to furnish, which was more than they needed. And for the men they should set forth for soldiers, they were almost all of them spitefully bent against the King and his whole party, whom they took to be either papists, or flatterers of the King, or that had designed to raise their fortunes by the plunder of the city and other corporation towns. And though I believe not that they were more valiant than other men, nor that they had so much experience in the war, as to be accounted good soldiers; yet they had that in them, which in time of battle is more conducing to victory than valour and experience both together; and that was spite.
And for arms, they had in their hands the chief magazines, the Tower of London, and the town of Kingston-upon-Hull; besides most of the powder and shot that lay in several towns for the use of the trained bands.
Fortified places, there were not many then in England, and most of them in the hands of the Parliament.
The King’s fleet was wholly in their command, under the Earl of Warwick.
Counsellors, they needed no more than such as were of their own body; so that the King was every way inferior to them, except it were, perhaps, in officers.
A. I cannot compare their chief officers. For the Parliament, the Earl of Essex (after the Parliament had voted the war) was made general of all their forces both in England and Ireland, from whom all other commanders were to receive their commissions.
B. What moved them to make general the Earl of Essex? And for what cause was the Earl of Essex so displeased with the King, as to accept that office?
A. I do not certainly know what to answer to either of those questions; but the Earl of Essex had been in the wars abroad, and wanted neither experience, judgment, nor courage, to perform such an undertaking. And besides that, you have heard, I believe, how great a darling of the people his father had been before him, and what honour he had gotten by the success of his enterprise upon Calais, and in some other military actions. To which I may add, that this Earl himself was not held by the people to be so great a favourite at court, as that they might not trust him with their army against the King. And by this, you may perhaps conjecture the cause for which the Parliament made choice of him for general.
B. But why did they think him discontented with the Court?
A. I know not that; nor indeed that he was so. He came to the court, as other noblemen did, when occasion was, to wait upon the King; but had no office (till a little before this time) to oblige him to be there continually. But I believe verily, that the unfortunateness of his marriages had so discountenanced his conversation with the ladies, that the court could not be his proper element, unless he had had some extraordinary favour there, to balance that calamity. But for particular discontent from the King, or intention of revenge for any supposed disgrace, I think he had none, nor that he was any ways addicted to Presbyterian doctrines, or other fanatic tenets in Church or State; saving only, that he was carried away with the stream (in a manner) of the whole nation, to think that England was not an absolute, but a mixed monarchy; not considering that the supreme power must always be absolute, whether it be in the King or in the Parliament.
B. Who was general of the King’s army?
A. None yet but himself; nor indeed had he yet any army. But there coming to him at that time his two nephews, Prince Rupert and Maurice, he put the command of his horse into the hands of Prince Rupert, a man than whom no man living has a better courage, nor was more active and diligent in prosecuting his commissions; and, though but a young man then, was not without experience in the conducting of soldiers, as having been an actor in part of his father’s wars in Germany.
B. But how could the King find money to pay such an army as was necessary for him against the Parliament?
A. Neither the King nor Parliament had much money at that time in their own hands, but were fain to rely upon the benevolence of those that took their parts. Wherein (I confess) the Parliament had a mighty great advantage. Those that helped the King in that kind were only lords and gentlemen, which, not approving the proceedings of the Parliament, were willing to undertake the payment, every one, of a certain number of horse; which cannot be thought any great assistance, the persons that paid them being so few. For other moneys that the King then had, I have not heard of any, but what he borrowed upon jewels in the Low Countries. Whereas the Parliament had a very plentiful contribution, not only from London, but generally from their faction in all other places of England, upon certain propositions (published by the Lords and Commons in June 1642, at what time they had newly voted that the King intended to make war upon them), for bringing in of money or plate to maintain horse and horsemen, and to buy arms for the preservation of the public peace, and for the defence of the King and both Houses of Parliament; for the repayment of which money and plate, they were to have the public faith.
B. What public faith is there, when there is no public? What is it that can be called public, in a civil war, without the King?
A. The truth is, the security was nothing worth, but served well enough to gull those seditious blockheads, that were more fond of change than either of their peace or profit.
Having by this means gotten contributions from those that were the well-affected to their cause, they made use of it afterward to force the like contribution from others. For in November following, they made an ordinance for assessing also of those that had not contributed then, or had contributed, but not proportionably to their estates. And yet this was contrary to what the Parliament promised and declared in the propositions themselves. For they declared, in the first proposition, that no man’s affection should be measured by the proportion of his offer, so that he expressed his good-will to the service in any proportion whatsoever.
Besides this, in the beginning of March following, they made an ordinance, to levy weekly a great sum of money upon every county, city, town, place, and person of any estate almost, in England; which weekly sum (as may appear by the ordinance itself, printed and published in March 1642, by order of both Houses) comes to almost 33,000l., and consequently to above 1,700,000l. for the year. They had, besides all this, the profits of the King’s lands and woods, and whatsoever was remaining unpaid of any subsidies formerly granted him, and the tonnage and poundage usually received by the King; besides the profit of the sequestrations of great persons, whom they pleased to vote delinquents, and the profits of the bishops’ lands, which they took to themselves a year, or a little more, after.
B. Seeing then the Parliament had such advantage of the King in money and arms and multitude of men, and had in their hands the King’s fleet, I cannot imagine what hope the King could have, either of victory or (unless he resigned into their hands the sovereignty) of subsisting. For I cannot well believe he had any advantage of them, either in counsellors, conductors, or in the resolutions of his soldiers.
A. On the contrary, I think he had some disadvantage also in that; for though he had as good officers at least as any that then served the Parliament, yet I doubt he had not so useful counsel as was necessary. And for his soldiers, though they were men as stout as theirs, yet, because their valour was not sharpened so with malice as theirs were of the other side, they fought not so keenly as their enemies did: amongst whom there were a great many London apprentices, who, for want of experience in the war, would have been fearful enough of death and wounds approaching visibly in glistering swords; but, for want of judgment, scarce thought of such death as comes invisibly in a bullet, and therefore were very hardly to be driven out of the field.
B. But what fault do you find in the King’s counsellors, lords, and other persons of quality and experience?
A. Only that fault, which was generally in the whole nation, which was, that they thought the government of England was not an absolute, but a mixed monarchy; and that if the King should clearly subdue this Parliament, that his power would be what he pleased, and theirs as little as he pleased: which they counted tyranny. This opinion, though it did not lessen their endeavour to gain the victory for the King in a battle, when a battle could not be avoided, yet it weakened their endeavour to procure him an absolute victory in the war. And for this cause, notwithstanding that they saw that the Parliament was firmly resolved to take all kingly power whatsoever out of his hands, yet their counsel to the King was upon all occasions, to offer propositions to them of treaty and accommodation, and to make and publish declarations; which any man might easily have foreseen would be fruitless; and not only so, but also of great disadvantage to those actions by which the King was to recover his crown and preserve his life. For it took away the courage of the best and forwardest of his soldiers, that looked for great benefit by their service out of the estates of the rebels, in case they could subdue them; but none at all, if the business should be ended by a treaty.
B. And they had reason: for a civil war never ends by treaty, without the sacrifice of those who were on both sides the sharpest. You know well enough how things passed at the reconciliation of Augustus and Antonius in Rome. But I thought, that after they once began to levy soldiers one against another, that they would not any more have returned of either side to declarations, or other paper war, which, if it could have done any good, had done it long before this.
A. But seeing the Parliament continued writing, and set forth their declarations to the people against the lawfulness of the King’s commission of array, and sent petitions to the King as fierce and rebellious as ever they had done before, demanding of him, that he would disband his soldiers, and come up to the Parliament, and leave those whom the Parliament called delinquents (which were none but the King’s best subjects) to their mercy, and pass such bills as they should advise him; would you not have the King set forth declarations and proclamations against the illegality of their ordinances, by which they levied soldiers against him, and answer those insolent petitions of theirs?
B. No; it had done him no good before, and therefore was not likely to do him any afterwards. For the common people, whose hands were to decide the controversy, understood not the reasons of either party; and for those that by ambition were once set upon the enterprise of changing the government, they cared not much what was reason and justice in the cause, but what strength they might procure by seducing the multitude with remonstrances from the Parliament House, or by sermons in the churches. And to their petitions, I would not have had any answer made at all, more than this: that if they would disband their army, and put themselves upon his mercy, they should find him more gracious than they expected.
A. That had been a gallant answer indeed, if it had proceeded from him after some extraordinary great victory in battle, or some extraordinary assurance of a victory at last in the whole war.
B. Why, what could have happened to him worse, than at length he suffered, notwithstanding his gentle answers, and all his reasonable declarations?
A. Nothing; but who knew that?
B. Any man might see that he was never like to be restored to his right without victory: and such his stoutness being known to the people, would have brought to his assistance many more hands than all the arguments of law, or force of eloquence, couched in declarations and other writings, could have done, by far. And I wonder what kind of men they were, that hindered the King from taking this resolution?
A. You may know by the declarations themselves, which are very long and full of quotations of records and of cases formerly reported, that the penners of them were either lawyers (by profession), or such gentlemen as had the ambition to be thought so. Besides, I told you before, that those which were then likeliest to have their counsel asked in this business, were averse to absolute monarchy, as also to absolute democracy or aristocracy, all which governments they esteemed tyranny; and were in love with mixarchy which they used to praise by the name of mixed monarchy, though it were indeed nothing else but pure anarchy. And those men, whose pens the King most used in these controversies of law and politics, were such (if I have not been misinformed) as having been members of this Parliament, had declaimed against ship-money and other extra-parliamentary taxes, as much as any; but when they saw the Parliament grow higher in their demands than they thought they would have done, went over to the King’s party.
B. Who were those?
A. It is not necessary to name any man, seeing I have undertaken only a short narration of the follies and other faults of men during this trouble; but not (by naming the persons) to give you, or any man else, occasion to esteem them the less, now that the faults on all sides have been forgiven.
B. When the business was *now* brought to this height, by levying of soldiers and seizing of the navy and arms and other provisions on both sides, that no man was so blind as not to see they were in an estate of war one against another; why did not the King (by proclamation or message), according to his undoubted right, dissolve the Parliament, and thereby diminish, in some part, the authority of their levies, and of other their unjust ordinances?
A. You have forgotten that I told you, that the King himself, by a bill which he passed at the same time when he passed the bill for the execution of the Earl of Strafford, had given them authority to hold the Parliament till they should by consent of both Houses dissolve themselves. If therefore he had, by any proclamation or message to the Houses, dissolved them, they would, to their former defamations of his Majesty’s actions, have added also this, that he was a breaker of his word: and not only in contempt of him have continued their session, but also have made advantage of it to the increase and strengthening of their own party.
B. Would not the King’s raising of an army against them be interpreted as a purpose to dissolve them by force? And was it not as great a breach of promise to scatter them by force, as to dissolve them by proclamation? Besides, I cannot conceive that the passing of that act was otherwise intended than conditionally; so long as they should not ordain anything contrary to the sovereign right of the King; which condition they had already by many of their ordinances broken. And I think that even by the law of equity, which is the unalterable law of nature, a man that has the sovereign power, cannot, if he would, give away the right of anything which is necessary for him to retain for the good government of his subjects, unless he do it in express words, saying, that he will have the sovereign power no longer. For the giving away that, which by consequence only, draws the sovereignty along with it, is not (I think) a giving away of the sovereignty; but an error, such as works nothing but an invalidity in the grant itself. And such was the King’s passing of this bill for the continuing of the Parliament as long as the two Houses pleased. But now that the war was resolved on, on both sides, what needed any more dispute in writing?
A. I know not what need they had. But on both sides they thought it needful to hinder one another, as much as they could, from levying of soldiers; and, therefore, the King did set forth declarations in print, to make the people know that they ought not to obey the officers of the new militia set up by ordinance of Parliament, and also to let them see the legality of his own commissions of array. And the Parliament on their part did the like, to justify to the people the said ordinance, and to make the commission of array appear unlawful.
B. When the Parliament were levying of soldiers, was it not lawful for the King to levy soldiers to defend himself and his right, though there had been no other title for it but his own preservation, and that the name of commission of array had never before been heard of?
A. For my part, I think there cannot be a better title for war, than the defence of a man’s own right. But the people, at that time, thought nothing lawful for the King to do, for which there was not some statute made by Parliament. For the lawyers, I mean the judges of the courts at Westminster, and some few others, though but advocates, yet of great reputation for their skill in the common-laws and statutes of England, had infected most of the gentry of England with their maxims and cases prejudged, which they call precedents; and made them think so well of their own knowledge in the law, that they were very glad of this occasion to show it against the King, and thereby to gain a reputation with the Parliament of being good patriots and wise statesmen.
B. What was this commission of array?
A. King William the Conqueror had gotten into his hands by victory all the land in England, of which he disposed, some part as forests and chases for his recreation, and some part to lords and gentlemen that had assisted him or were to assist him in the wars. Upon which he laid a charge of service in his wars, some with more men and some with less, according to the lands he had given them: whereby, when the King sent men unto them with commission to make use of their service, they were obliged to appear with arms, and accompany the King to the wars for a certain time at their own charges: and such were the commissions by which this King did then make his levies.
B. Why then was it not legal?
A. No doubt but it was legal. But what did that amount to, with men that were already resolved to acknowledge for law nothing that was against their design of abolishing monarchy, and placing a sovereign and absolute arbitrary power in the House of Commons?
B. To destroy monarchy, and set up the House of Commons, are two businesses.
A. They found it so at last, but did not think it so then.
B. Let us come now to the military part.
A. I intended only the story of their injustice, impudence, and hypocrisy; therefore, for the proceeding of the war, I refer you to the history thereof written at large in English. I shall only make use of such a thread as is necessary for the filling up of such knavery, and folly also, as I shall observe in their several actions.
From York the King went to Hull, where was his magazine of arms for the northern parts of England, to try if they would admit him. The Parliament had made Sir John Hotham governor of the town, who caused the gates to be shut, and presenting himself upon the walls flatly denied him entrance: for which the King caused him to be proclaimed traitor, and sent a message to the Parliament to know if they owned the action; *and they owned it*.
B. Upon what grounds?
A. Their pretence was this: that neither this nor any other town in England was otherwise the King’s, than in trust for the people of England.
B. But what was that to the Parliament? *Is the town therefore theirs?*
A. Yes, say they; for we are the Representative of the people of England.
B. I cannot see the force of this argument: we represent the people, ergo, all that the people has is ours. The mayor of Hull did represent the King. Is therefore all that the King had in Hull, the mayor’s? The people of England may be represented with limitations, as to deliver a petition or the like. Does it follow that they, who deliver the petition, have right to all the towns in England? When began this Parliament to be a Representative of England? Was it not November 3, 1640? Who was it the day before, that is, November 2, that had the right to keep the King out of Hull, and possess it for themselves? For there was then no Parliament. Whose was Hull then?
A. I think it was the King’s, not only because it was called the King’s town upon Hull, but because the King himself did then and ever represent the person of the people of England. If he did not, who then did, the Parliament having no being?
B. They might perhaps say, the people had then no Representative.
A. Then there was no commonwealth; and consequently, all the towns of England being the people’s, you, and I, and any man else, might have put in for his share. You may see by this, what weak people they were, that were carried into the rebellion by such reasoning as the Parliament used, and how impudent they were that did put such fallacies upon them.
B. Surely they were such as were esteemed the wisest men in England, being upon that account chosen to be of the Parliament.
A. And were they also esteemed the wisest men of England, that chose them?
B. I cannot tell that. For I know it is usual with the freeholders in the counties, and with tradesmen in the cities and boroughs, to choose, as near as they can, such as are most repugnant to the giving of subsidies.
A. The King in the beginning of August, after he had summoned Hull, and tried some of the counties thereabout what they would do for him, sets up his standard at Nottingham; but there came not in thither men enough to make an army sufficient to give battle to the Earl of Essex. From thence he went to Shrewsbury, where he was quickly furnished; and appointing the Earl of Lindsey to be general, he resolved to march towards London.—The Earl of Essex was now at Worcester with the Parliament’s army, making no offer to stop him in his passage; but as soon as he was gone by, marched close after him.
The King, therefore, to avoid being enclosed between the army of the Earl of Essex and the city of London, turned upon him and gave him battle at Edgehill; where, though he got not an entire victory, yet he had the better, if either had the better; and had certainly the fruit of a victory, which was to march on, in his intended way towards London: in which the next morning he took Banbury-castle, and from thence went to Oxford, and thence to Brentford, where he gave a great defeat to three regiments of the Parliament’s forces, and so returned to Oxford.
B. Why did not the King go on from Brentford?
A. The Parliament, upon the first notice of the King’s marching from Shrewsbury, caused all the trained-bands and the auxiliaries of the city of London (which was so frightened as to shut up all their shops) to be drawn forth; so that there was a most complete and numerous army ready for the Earl of Essex, that was crept into London just at the time to head it. And this was it that made the King retire to Oxford.—In the beginning of February after, Prince Rupert took Cirencester from the Parliament, with many prisoners and many arms: for it was newly made a magazine. And thus stood the business between the King’s and the Parliament’s greatest forces. The Parliament in the meantime caused a line of communication to be made about London and the suburbs, of twelve miles in compass; and constituted a committee for the association, and the putting into a posture of defence, of the counties of Essex, Cambridge, Suffolk, and some others; and one of these commissioners was Oliver Cromwell, from which employment he came to his following greatness.
B. What was done during this time in other parts of the country?
A. In the west, the Earl of Stamford had the employment of putting in execution the ordinance of Parliament for the militia; and Sir Raph Hopton for the King executed the commission of array. Between these two was fought a battle at Liskeard in Cornwall, wherein Sir Hopton had the victory, and presently took a town called Saltash, with many arms and much ordnance and many prisoners. Sir William Waller in the meantime seized Winchester and Chichester for the Parliament.—In the north, for the commission of array was my Lord of Newcastle, and for the militia of the Parliament was my Lord Fairfax. My Lord of Newcastle took from the Parliament Tadcaster, in which were a great part of the Parliament’s forces for that country, and had made himself, in a manner, master of all the north. About this time, that is to say in February, the Queen landed at Burlington, and was conducted by my Lord of Newcastle and the Marquis of Montrose to York, and thence not long after to the King. Divers other little advantages, besides these, the King’s party had of the Parliament’s in the north.
There happened also between the militia of the Parliament, and the Commission of Array in Staffordshire, under my Lord Brook for the Parliament, and my Lord of Northampton for the King, great contention, wherein both these commanders were slain. For my Lord Brook, besieging Litchfield-Close, was killed with a shot; notwithstanding which they gave not over the siege, till they were masters of the Close. But presently after, my Lord of Northampton besieged it again for the King; which to relieve, Sir William Brereton and Sir John Gell advanced towards Litchfield, and were met at Hopton Heath by the Earl of Northampton, and routed. The Earl himself was slain; but his forces with victory returned to the siege again; and shortly after, seconded by Prince Rupert, who was then abroad in that country, carried the place. These were the chief actions of this year, 1642; wherein the King’s party had not much the worse.
B. But the Parliament had now a better army; insomuch that if the Earl of Essex had immediately followed the King to Oxford (not yet well fortified) he might in all likelihood have taken it. For he could not want either men or ammunition, whereof the city of London (which was wholly at the Parliament’s devotion) had store enough.
A. I cannot judge of that. But this is manifest, considering the estate the King was in at his first marching from York, when he had neither money, nor men, nor arms enough to put him in hope of victory, that this year (take it altogether) was very prosperous.
B. But what great folly or wickedness do you observe in the Parliament’s actions for this first year?
A. All that can be said against them in that point will be excused with the pretext of war, and come under one name of rebellion; saving, that when they summoned any town, it was always in the name of the King and Parliament, the King being in the contrary army, and many times beating them from the siege; I do not see how the right of war can justify such impudence as that. But they pretended that the King was always virtually in the two Houses of Parliament; making a distinction between his person natural and politic; which made the impudence greater, besides the folly of it. For this was but an university quibble, such as boys make use of in maintaining (in the schools) such tenets as they cannot otherwise defend.
In the end of this year they solicited also the Scots to enter England with an army, to suppress the power of the Earl of Newcastle in the north; which was a plain confession, that the Parliament’s forces were, at this time, inferior to the King’s. And most men thought, that if the Earl of Newcastle had then marched southward, and joined his forces with the King’s, that most of the members of Parliament would have fled out of England.
In the beginning of 1643, the Parliament, seeing the Earl of Newcastle’s power in the North grown so formidable, sent to the Scots to hire them to an invasion of England, and (to compliment them in the meantime) made a covenant amongst themselves, such as the Scots had before taken against episcopacy, and demolished crosses and church windows (such as had in them any images of saints) throughout all England. Also in the middle of the year, they made a solemn league with the nation, which was called the Solemn League and Covenant.
B. Are not the Scots as properly to be called foreigners as the Irish? Seeing then they persecuted the Earl of Strafford even to death, for advising the King to make use of Irish forces against the Parliament, with what face could they call in a Scotch army against the King?
A. The King’s party might easily here have discerned their design, to make themselves absolute masters of the kingdom and to dethrone the King. Another great impudence, or rather a bestial incivility, it was of theirs, that they voted the Queen a traitor, for helping the King with some ammunition and English officers from Holland.
B. Was it possible that all this could be done, and men not see that papers and declarations must be useless; and that nothing could satisfy them but the deposing of the King, and setting up of themselves in his place?
A. Yes; very possible. For who was there of them though knowing that the King had the sovereign power, that knew the essential rights of sovereignty? They dreamt of a mixed power, of the King and the two Houses. That it was a divided power, in which there could be no peace, was above their understanding. Therefore they were always urging the King to declarations and treaties (for fear of subjecting themselves to the King in an absolute obedience); which increased the hope and courage of the rebels, but did the King little good. For the people either understand not, or will not trouble themselves with controversies in writing, but rather, by his compliance and messages, go away with an opinion that the Parliament was likely to have the victory in the war. Besides, seeing the penners and contrivers of these papers were formerly members of the Parliament, and of another mind, and now revolted from the Parliament, because they could not bear that sway in the House which they expected, men were apt to think they believed not what they writ.
As for military actions (to begin at the head-quarters) Prince Rupert took Birmingham, a garrison of the Parliament’s. In July after, the King’s forces had a great victory over the Parliament’s, near Devizes on Roundway-Down, where they took 2,000 prisoners, four brass pieces of ordnance, twenty-eight colours, and all their baggage; and shortly after, Bristol was surrendered to Prince Rupert for the King; and the King himself marching into the west, took from the Parliament many other considerable places.
But this good fortune was not a little allayed by his besieging of Gloucester, which, after it was reduced to the last gasp, was relieved by the Earl of Essex; whose army was before greatly wasted, but now suddenly recruited with the trained bands and apprentices of London.
B. It seems, not only by this, but also by many examples in history, that there can hardly arise a long or dangerous rebellion, that has not some such overgrown city, with an army or two in its belly to foment it.
A. Nay more; those great capital cities, when rebellion is upon pretence of grievances, must needs be of the rebel party: because the grievances are but taxes, to which citizens, that is, merchants, whose profession is their private gain, are naturally mortal enemies; their only glory being to grow excessively rich by the wisdom of buying and selling.
B. But they are said to be of all callings the most beneficial to the commonwealth, by setting the poorer sort of people on work.
A. That is to say, by making poor people sell their labour to them at their own prices; so that poor people, for the most part, might get a better living by working in Bridewell, than by spinning, weaving, and other such labour as they can do; saving that by working slightly they may help themselves a little, to the disgrace of our manufacture. And as most commonly they are the first encouragers of rebellion, presuming of their own strength; so also are they, for the most part, the first to repent, deceived by them that command their strength.
But to return to the war; though the King withdrew from Gloucester, yet it was not to fly from, but to fight with the Earl of Essex, which presently after he did at Newbury, where the battle was bloody, and the King had not the worst, unless Cirencester be put into the scale, which the Earl of Essex had in his way a few days before surprised.
But in the north and the west, the King had much the better of the Parliament. For in the north, at the very beginning of the year, March 29th, the Earls of Newcastle and Cumberland defeated the Lord Fairfax (who commanded in those parts for the Parliament) at Bramham Moor; which made the Parliament to hasten the assistance of the Scots.
In June following the Earl of Newcastle routed Sir Thomas Fairfax (son to the Lord Fairfax) upon Adderton Heath; and, in pursuit of them to Bradford, took and killed 2,000 men; and the next day took the town and 2,000 prisoners more (Sir Thomas himself hardly escaping), with all their arms and ammunition; and besides this, made the Lord Fairfax quit Halifax and Beverley. Lastly, Prince Rupert relieved Newark, besieged by Sir John Meldrun (for the Parliament) with 7,000 men; whereof 1,000 were slain, the rest upon articles departed, leaving behind them their arms, bag and baggage.
To balance (in part) this success, the Earl of Manchester whose lieutenant-general was Oliver Cromwell, got a victory over the royalists near Horncastle, of whom he slew 400 took 800 prisoners and 1,000 arms; and presently after took and plundered the city of Lincoln.
In the West (May the 16th) SirHopton at Stratton, in Devonshire, had a victory over the Parliamentarians, wherein he took 1,700 prisoners, thirteen pieces of brass ordnance, and all their ammunition, which was seventy barrels of powder, and the magazine of their other provisions in the town.
Again at Lansdown, between SirHopton and the Parliamentarians under Sir William Waller, was fought a fierce battle, wherein the victory was not very clear on either side; saving that the Parliamentarians might seem to have the better, because presently after Sir William Waller followed Sir Hopton to Devizes, in Wiltshire, though to his cost; for there he was overthrown, as I have already told you.
After this the King in person marched into the West, and took Exeter, Dorchester, Barnstable, and divers other places; and had he not at his return besieged Gloucester, and thereby given the Parliament time for new levies, it was thought by many he might have routed the House of Commons.—But the end of this year was more favourable to the Parliament. For in January the Scots entered England, and, March the 1st, crossed the Tyne; and whilst the Earl of Newcastle was marching to them, Sir Thomas Fairfax gathered together a considerable party in Yorkshire, and the Earl of Manchester from Lyn advanced towards York; so that the Earl of Newcastle having two armies of the rebels, *one* behind him, and another before him, was forced to retreat to York; where *(the Earl of Manchester joining)* three armies presently besieged him. And these are all the considerable military actions of the year 1643.
In the same year the Parliament caused to be made a new Great Seal. The Lord Keeper had carried the former seal to Oxford. Hereupon the King sent a messenger to the judges at Westminster, to forbid them to make use of it. This messenger was taken, and condemned at a council of war, and hanged for a spy.
B. Is that the law of war?
A. I know not: but it seems, when a soldier comes into the enemies’ quarters, without address or notice given to the chief commander, that it is presumed he comes as a spy. The same year, when certain gentlemen at London received a commission of array from the King to levy men for his service in that city, being discovered, they were condemned, and some of them executed. This case is not much unlike the former.
B. Was not the making of a new Great Seal a sufficient proof that the war was raised, not to remove evil counsellors from the King, but to remove the King himself from the government? What hope then could there be had in messages and treaties?
A. The entrance of the Scots was a thing unexpected to the King, who was made to believe by continual letters from his commissioner in Scotland, Duke Hamilton, that the Scots never intended any invasion. The Duke being then at Oxford, the King (assured that the Scotch were now entered) sent him prisoner to Pendennis Castle in Cornwall.
In the beginning of the year 1644, the Earl of Newcastle being (as I told you) besieged *in York* by the joint forces of the Scots, the Earl of Manchester and Sir Thomas Fairfax, the King sent Prince Rupert to relieve the town, and as soon as he could to give the enemy battle. Prince Rupert passing through Lancashire, and by the way having stormed the seditious town of Bolton, and taken in Stopford and Liverpool, came to York July the 1st, and relieved it; the enemy being risen thence to a place called Marston Moor, about four miles off; and there was fought that unfortunate battle, which lost the King in a manner all the north. Prince Rupert returned the way he came, and the Earl of Newcastle to York, and thence with some of his officers over the sea to Hamburgh.
The honour of this victory was attributed chiefly to Oliver Cromwell (the Earl of Manchester’s lieutenant-general). The Parliamentarians returned from the field to the siege of York, which not long after, upon honourable articles, was surrendered; not for favour, but because the Parliament employed not much time, nor many men in sieges.
B. This was a great and sudden abatement of the King’s prosperity.
A. It was so; but amends were made him for it within five or six weeks after. For Sir William Waller (after the loss of his army at Roundway-Down) had another raised for him by the city of London; who for the payment thereof imposed a weekly tax of the value of one meal’s meat upon every citizen. This army, with that of the Earl of Essex, intended to besiege Oxford; which the King understanding, sent the Queen into the west, and marched himself towards Worcester. This made them to divide again, and the Earl to go into the west, and Waller to pursue the King. By this means (as it fell out) both their armies were defeated. For the King turned upon Waller, routed him at Cropredy-bridge, took his train of artillery and many officers; and then presently followed the Earl of Essex into Cornwall, where he had him at such advantage, that the Earl himself was fain to escape in a small boat to Plymouth; his horse broke through the King’s quarters by night; but the infantry were all forced to lay down their arms, and upon condition never more to bear arms against the King, were permitted to depart.
In October following was fought a second and sharp battle at Newbury. For this infantry, making no conscience of the conditions made with the King, being now come towards London as far as Basingstoke, had arms put again into their hands; to whom some of the trained-bands *of London* being added, the Earl of Essex had suddenly so great an army, that he attempted the King again at Newbury; and certainly had the better of the day, but the night parting them, had not a complete victory. And it was observed here, that no part of the Earl’s army fought so keenly as they who had laid down their arms in Cornwall.
These were the most important fights of the year 1644; and the King was yet (as both himself and others thought) in as good condition as the Parliament, which despaired of victory, by the commanders they then used. Therefore they voted a new modelling of the army, suspecting the Earl of Essex, though I think wrongfully, to be too much a royalist, for not having done so much as they looked for, in this second battle at Newbury. The Earls of Essex and Manchester, perceiving what they went about, voluntarily laid down their commissions; and the House of Commons made an ordinance, that no member of either House should enjoy any office or command, military or civil; with which oblique blow they shook off those that had hitherto served them too well. And yet out of this ordinance they excepted Oliver Cromwell, in whose conduct and valour they had very great confidence (which they would not have done, if they had known him as well then as they did afterwards), and made him lieutenant-general to Sir Thomas Fairfax, their new-made general. In the commission to the Earl of Essex, there was a clause for the preservation of his Majesty’s person; which in this new commission was left out; though the Parliament (as well as the general) were as yet Presbyterian.
B. It seems the Presbyterians also (in order to their ends) would fain have had the King murdered.
A. For my part I doubt it not. For a rightful king living, an usurping power can never be sufficiently secured.
In this same year the Parliament put to death Sir John Hotham and his son, for having tampered with the Earl of Newcastle about the rendition of Hull; and Sir Alexander Carew, for endeavouring to deliver up Plymouth, where he was governor for the Parliament; and the Archbishop of Canterbury, for nothing but to please the Scots; for the general article of going about to subvert the fundamental laws of the land, was no accusation, but only foul words. They then also voted down the Book of Common-prayer, and ordered the use of a Directory, which had been newly composed by an Assembly of Presbyterian ministers. They were also then, with much ado, prevailed with for a treaty with the King at Uxbridge; where they remitted nothing of their former demands. The King had also at this time a Parliament at Oxford, consisting of such discontented members as had left the Houses at Westminster; but few of them had changed their old principles, and therefore that Parliament was not much worth. Nay rather, because they endeavoured nothing but messages and treaties, that is to say, defeating of the soldiers’ hope of benefit by the war, they were thought by most men to do the King more hurt than good.
The year 1645 was to the King very unfortunate; for by the loss of one great battle, he lost all he had formerly gotten, and at length his life.—The new modelled army, after consultation whether they should lay siege to Oxford, or march westward to the relief of Taunton (then besieged by the Lord Goring, and defended by Blake, famous afterwards for his actions at sea), resolved for Taunton; leaving Cromwell to attend the motions of the King, though not strong enough to hinder him. The King upon this advantage drew out his forces and artillery out of Oxford. This made the Parliament to call back their general, Fairfax, and order him to besiege Oxford. The King in the meantime relieved Chester, which was besieged by Sir William Brereton, and coming back took Leicester by force; a place of great importance, well provided of artillery and provision.
Upon this success it was generally thought that the King’s party was the stronger. The King himself thought so; and the Parliament in a manner confessed the same, by commanding Fairfax to rise from the siege, and endeavour to give the King battle. For the successes of the King, and the divisions and treacheries growing now amongst themselves, had driven them to rely upon the fortune of one day; in which, at Naseby, the King’s army was utterly overthrown, and no hope left him to raise another. Therefore after the battle, with a small party he went up and down, doing the Parliament here and there some shrewd turns, but never much increasing his number.
Fairfax in the meantime first recovered Leicester, and then marching into the west, subdued it all, except only a few places, forcing with much ado my Lord Hopton (upon honourable conditions) to disband his army, and with the Prince of Wales to pass over to Scilly; whence not long after they went to Paris.
In April, 1646, General Fairfax began to march back to Oxford. In the meantime Rainsborough, who besieged Woodstock, had it surrendered. The King therefore, who was now also returned to Oxford, from whence Woodstock is but six miles, not doubting but that he should there by Fairfax be besieged, and having no army, to relieve him, resolved to get away disguised to the Scotch army about Newark; and thither he came the 4th of May; and the Scotch army, being upon remove homewards, carried him with them to Newcastle, whither he came May 13th.
B. Why did the King trust himself with the Scots? They were the first that rebelled. They were Presbyterians, id est, cruel; besides, they were indigent, and consequently might be suspected would sell him to his enemies for money. And lastly, they were too weak to defend him, or keep him in their country.
A. What could he have done better? For he had in the winter before sent to the Parliament to get a pass for the Duke of Richmond and others, to bring them propositions of peace; it was denied. He sent again; it was denied again. Then he desired he might come to them in person; this also was denied. He sent again and again to the same purpose; but instead of granting it, they made an ordinance: that the commanders of the militia of London, in case the King should attempt to come within the lines of communication, should raise what force they thought fit to suppress tumults, to apprehend such as came with him, and to secure (id est, to imprison) his person from danger. If the King had adventured to come, and had been imprisoned, what could the Parliament have done with him? They had dethroned him by their votes, and therefore could have no security whilst he lived, though in prison. It may be they would not have put him to death by a high court of justice publicly, but secretly some other way.
B. He should have attempted to get beyond sea.
A. That had been (from Oxford) very difficult. Besides, it was generally believed that the Scotch army had promised him, that not only his Majesty, but also his friends that should come with him, should be in their army safe; not only for their persons, but also for their honours and consciences.
*B.* ’Tis a pretty trick, when the army and the particular soldiers of the army are different things, to make the soldiers promise what the army mean not to perform.
*A.* July the 11th the Parliament sent their propositions to the King at Newcastle; which propositions they pretended to be the only way to a settled and well grounded peace. They were brought by the Earl of Pembroke, the Earl of Suffolk, Sir Walter Earle, Sir John Hippisley, Mr. Goodwin, and Mr. Robinson; whom the King asked if they had power to treat; and (when they said no) why they might not as well have been sent by a trumpeter. The propositions were the same dethroning ones, which they used to send, and therefore the King would not assent to them. Nor did the Scots swallow them at first, but made some exceptions against them; only, it seems, to make the Parliament perceive they meant not to put the King into their hands gratis. And so at last the bargain was made between them; and upon the payment of 200,000l. the King was put into the hands of the commissioners, which the English Parliament sent down to receive him.
B. What a vile complexion has this action, compounded of feigned religion, and very covetousness, cowardice, perjury, and treachery!
A. Now the war, that seemed to justify many unseemly things, is ended, you will see almost nothing else in these rebels but baseness and falseness besides their folly.
By this time the Parliament had taken in all the rest of the King’s garrisons; whereof the last was Pendennis Castle, whither Duke Hamilton had been sent prisoner by the King.
B. What was done during this time in Ireland and Scotland?
A. In Ireland there had been a peace made by order from his Majesty for a time, which by divisions amongst the Irish was ill kept. The Popish party (the Pope’s nuncio being then there) took this to be the time for delivering themselves from their subjection to the English. Besides, the time of the peace was now expired.
B. How were they subject to the English, more than the English to the Irish? They were subject to the King of England; but so also were the English to the King of Ireland.
A. This distinction is somewhat too subtile for common understandings.—In Scotland the Marquis of Montrose for the King, with a very few men and miraculous victories, had overrun all Scotland, where many of his forces (out of too much security) were permitted to be absent for awhile; of which the enemy having intelligence, suddenly came upon them, and forced them to fly back into the Highlands to recruit; where he began to recover strength, when he was commanded by the King (then in the hands of the Scots at Newcastle) to disband; and *so* he departed from Scotland by sea.
In the end of the same year, 1646, the Parliament caused the King’s Great Seal to be broken; also the King was brought to Holmeby, and there kept by the Parliament’s commissioners. And here was an end of that war as to England and Scotland, but not to Ireland. About this time also died the Earl of Essex, whom the Parliament had *formerly* discarded.
B. Now that there was peace in England, and the King in prison, in whom was the sovereign power?
A. The right was certainly in the King, but the exercise was yet in nobody; but contended for, as in a game at cards, without fighting, all the years 1647 and 1648, between the Parliament and Oliver Cromwell, lieutenant-general to Sir Thomas Fairfax.
*B. What cards could Cromwell have for it?
A.* You must know: that when King Henry VIII. abolished the pope’s authority here, and took upon him to be the head of this Church, the bishops, as they could not resist him, so neither were they discontented with it. For whereas before the pope allowed not the bishops to claim jurisdiction in their dioceses jure divina, that is of right immediately from God, but by the gift and authority of the pope, now that the pope was ousted, they made no doubt but the divine right was in themselves. After this, the city of Geneva, and divers other places beyond sea, having revolted from the papacy, set up presbyteries for the government of their several churches. And divers English scholars, that went beyond sea during the persecution in the time of Queen Mary, were much taken with this government, and at their return in the time of Queen Elizabeth, and ever since, have endeavoured, to the great trouble of the Church and nation, to set up that government here, wherein they might domineer and applaud their own wit and learning. And these took upon them not only a Divine right, but also a Divine inspiration. And having been connived at, and countenanced sometimes in their frequent preaching, they introduced many strange and many pernicious doctrines, out-doing the Reformation (as they pretended) both of Luther and Calvin; receding from the former divinity (or church philosophy, for religion is another thing) as much as Luther and Calvin had receded from the pope; and distracted their auditors into a great number of sects, as Brownists, Anabaptists, Independents, Fifth-monarchy-men, Quakers, and divers others, all commonly called by the name of fanatics: insomuch as there was no so dangerous an enemy to the Presbyterians, as this brood of their own hatching.
These were Cromwell’s best cards, whereof he had a very great number in the army, and some in the House, whereof he himself was thought one; though he were nothing certain, but applying himself always to the faction which was strongest, and was of a colour like it.
There were in the army a great number (if not the greatest part) that aimed only at rapine and sharing the lands and goods of their enemies; and these also, upon the opinion they had of Cromwell’s valour and conduct, thought they could not any way better arrive at their ends than by adhering to him. Lastly, in the Parliament itself, though not the major part, yet a considerable number were fanatics, enough to put in doubts, and cause delay in the resolutions of the House, and sometimes also by advantage of a thin House to carry a vote in favour of Cromwell, as they did upon the 26th of July. For whereas on the 4th of May precedent the Parliament had voted that the militia of London should be in the hands of a committee of citizens, whereof the Lord Mayor for the time being should be one; shortly after, the Independents, chancing to be the major part, made an ordinance, by which it was put into hands more favourable to the army.
The best cards the Parliament had, were the city of London and the person of the King. The General, Sir Thomas Fairfax, was right Presbyterian, but in the hands of the army, and the army in the hands of Cromwell; but which party should prevail, depended on the playing of the game. Cromwell protested still obedience and fidelity to the Parliament; but meaning nothing less, bethought him and resolved on a way to excuse himself of all that he should do to the contrary, upon the army. Therefore he and his son-in-law, Commissary-General Ireton, as good at contriving as himself, and at speaking and writing better, contrive how to mutiny the army against the Parliament. To this end they *secretly* spread a whisper through the army, that the Parliament, now they had the King, intended to disband them, to cheat them of their arrears, and to send them into Ireland to be destroyed by the Irish. The army being herewith enraged, were taught by Ireton to erect a council amongst themselves of two soldiers out of every troop and every company, to consult for the good of the army, and to assist at the council of war, and to advise for the peace and safety of the kingdom. These were called adjutators; so that whatsoever Cromwell would have to be done, he needed nothing to make them do it, but secretly to put it into the heads of these adjutators. The effect of their first consultation was to take the King from Holmeby, and to bring him to the army.
The general hereupon, by letter to the Parliament, excuses himself and Cromwell, and the body of the army, as ignorant of the fact; and that the King came away willingly with those soldiers that brought him: assuring them withal, that the whole army intended nothing but peace, nor opposed Presbytery, nor affected Independency, nor did hold any licentious freedom in religion.
B. ’Tis strange that Sir Thomas Fairfax could be so abused by Cromwell as to believe this which he himself here writes.
A. I cannot imagine that Cornet Joyce could go out of the army with 1,000 soldiers to fetch the King, and neither the general, nor the lieutenant-general, nor the body of the army take notice of it. And that the King went *with them* willingly, appears to be false by a message sent on purpose from his Majesty to the Parliament.
B. Here is perfidy upon perfidy: first, the perfidy of the Parliament against the King, and then the perfidy of the army against the Parliament.
A. This was the first trick Cromwell played *them,* whereby he thought himself to have gotten so great an advantage, that he said openly, “that he had the Parliament in his pocket;” as indeed he had, and the city too. For upon the news of it they were, both the one and the other, in very great disorder; and the more, because there came with it a rumour that the army was marching up to London.
The King in the meantime, till his residence was settled at Hampton Court, was carried from place to place, not without some ostentation; but with much more liberty, and with more respect shown him by far, than when he was in the hands of the Parliament’s commissioners; for his own chaplains were allowed him, and his children and some friends permitted to see him. Besides that, he was much complimented by Cromwell, who promised him, in a serious and seeming passionate manner, to restore him to his right against the Parliament.
B. How was he sure he could do that?
A. He was not sure; but he was resolved to march up to the city and Parliament, to set up the King again (and be the second man), unless in the attempt he found better hope, than yet he had, to make himself the first man, by dispossessing the King.
B. What assistance against the Parliament and the city could Cromwell expect from the King?
A. By declaring directly for him, he might have had all the King’s party, which were many more now since his misfortune, than ever they were before. For in the Parliament itself, there were many that had discovered the hypocrisy, and private aims of their fellows: many were converted to their duty by their own natural reason; and their compassion for the King’s sufferings had begot generally an indignation against the Parliament: so that if they had been, by the protection of the present army, brought together and embodied, Cromwell might have done what he had pleased, in the first place for the King, and in the second for himself. But it seems he meant first to try what he could do without the King; and if that proved enough, to rid his hands of him.
B. What did the Parliament and city do to oppose the army?
A. First, the Parliament sent to the general to re-deliver the King to their commissioners. Instead of an answer to this, the army sent articles to the Parliament, and with them a charge against eleven of their members, all of them active Presbyterians: of which articles these are some: 1. That the House may be purged of those, who, by the self-denying ordinance, ought not to be there; 2. That such as abused and endangered the kingdom, might be disabled to do the like hereafter; 3. That a day might be appointed to determine this Parliament; 4. That they would make an account to the kingdom of the vast sums of money they had received; 5. That the eleven members might presently be suspended sitting in the House. These were the articles that put them to their trumps; and they answered none of them, but that of the suspension of the eleven members, which they said they could not do by law till the particulars of the charge were produced: but this was soon answered with their own proceeding against the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Earl of Strafford.
The Parliament being thus somewhat awed, and the King made somewhat confident, Cromwell undertakes the city, requiring the Parliament to put the militia of London into other hands.
B. What other hands? I do not well understand you.
A. I told you that the militia of London was, on the 4th of May, put into the hands of the lord-mayor and other citizens, and soon after put into the hands of other men more favourable to the army. And now I am to tell you, that on July the 26th, the violence of certain apprentices and disbanded soldiers forced the Parliament to re-settle it as it was, in the citizens; and hereupon the two speakers and divers of the members ran away to the army, where they were invited and contented to sit and vote in the council of war in nature of a Parliament. And out of the citizens’ hands they would have the militia taken away, and put again into those hands out of which it was taken the 26th of July.
B. What said the city to this?
A. The Londoners manned their works, viz.: the line of communication; raised an army of valiant men within the line; chose good officers, all being desirous to go out and fight whensoever the city should give them order; and in that posture stood expecting the enemy.
The soldiers in the meantime enter into an engagement to live and die with Sir Thomas Fairfax, and the Parliament, and the army.
B. That is very fine. They imitate that which the Parliament did, when they first took up arms against the King, styling themselves the King and Parliament, maintaining that the King was always virtually in his Parliament: so the army now, making war against the Parliament, called themselves the Parliament and the army: but they might, with more reason, say, that the Parliament, since it was in Cromwell’s pocket, was virtually in the army.
A. Withal they send out a declaration of the grounds of their march towards London; wherein they take upon them to be judges of the Parliament, and of who are fit to be trusted with the business of the kingdom, giving them the name, not of the Parliament, but of the gentlemen at Westminster. For since the violence they were under July the 26th, the army denied them to be a lawful Parliament. At the same time they sent a letter to the mayor and aldermen of London, reproaching them with those late tumults; telling them they were enemies to the peace, treacherous to the Parliament, unable to defend either the Parliament or themselves; and demanded to have the city delivered into their hands, to which purpose, they said, they were now coming to them. The general also sent out his warrants to the counties adjacent, summoning their trained soldiers to join with them.
B. Were the trained soldiers part of the general’s army?
A. No, nor at all in pay, nor could be without an order of Parliament. But what might an army not do, after it had mastered all the laws of the land? The army being come to Hounslow Heath, distant from London but ten miles, the Court of Aldermen was called to consider what to do. The captains and soldiers of the city were willing, and well provided, to go forth and give them battle. But a treacherous officer, that had charge of a work on Southwark side, had let in within the line a small party of the enemies, who marched as far as to the gate of London-bridge; and then the Court of Aldermen, their hearts failing them, submitted on these conditions: to relinquish their militia; to desert the eleven members; to deliver up the forts and line of communication, together with the Tower of London, and all magazines and arms therein, to the army; to disband their forces and turn out the reformadoes, id est, all Essex’s old soldiers; to draw off the guards from the Parliament. All which was done, and the army marched triumphantly through the principal streets of the city.
B. It is strange that the mayor and aldermen, having such an army, should so quickly yield. Might they not have resisted the party of the enemy at the bridge, with a party of their own; and the rest of the enemies, with the rest of their own?
A. I cannot judge of that: but to me it would have been strange if they had done otherwise. For I consider the most part of rich subjects, that have made themselves so by craft and trade, as men that never look upon anything but their present profit; and who, to everything not lying in that way, are in a manner blind, being amazed at the very thought of plundering. If they had understood what virtue there is to preserve their wealth in obedience to their lawful sovereign, they would never have sided with the Parliament; and so we had had no need of arming. The mayor and aldermen therefore, being assured by this submission to save their goods, and not sure of the same by resisting, seem to me to have taken the wisest course. Nor was the Parliament less tame than the city. For presently, August the 6th, the general brought the fugitive speakers and members to the House, with a strong guard of soldiers, and replaced the speakers in their chairs. And for this they gave the general thanks, not only there in the House, but appointed also a day for a holy thanksgiving; and not long after made him Generalissimo of all the forces of England and Constable of the Tower. But in effect all this was the advancement of Cromwell; for he was the usufructuary, though the property were in Sir Thomas Fairfax. For the Independents immediately cast down the whole line of communication; divided the militia of London, Westminster and Southwark, which were before united; displaced such governors of towns and forts as were not for their turn, though placed there by ordinance of Parliament; instead of whom, they put in men of their own party. They also made the Parliament to declare null all that had passed in the Houses from July the 26th to August the 6th, and clapped in prison some of the lords, and some of the most eminent citizens, whereof the lord mayor was one.
B. Cromwell had power enough now to restore the King. Why did he it not?
A. His main end was to set himself in his place. The restoring of the King was but a reserve against the Parliament, which being in his pocket, he had no more need of the King, who was now an impediment to him. To keep him in the army was a trouble; to let him fall into the hands of the Presbyterians had been a stop to his hopes; to murder him privately (besides the horror of the act) now whilst he was no more than lieutenant-general, would have made him odious without furthering his design. There was nothing better for his purpose than to let him escape from Hampton Court (where he was too near the Parliament) whither he pleased beyond sea. For though Cromwell had a great party in the Parliament House whilst they saw not his ambition to be their master, yet they would have been his enemies as soon as that had appeared.—To make the King attempt an escape, some of those that had him in custody, by Cromwell’s direction told him that the adjutators meant to murder him; and withal caused a rumour of the same to be generally spread, to the end it might that way also come to the King’s ear, as it did.
The King, therefore, in a dark and rainy night, his guards being retired, as it was thought, on purpose, left Hampton Court and went to the sea-side about Southampton, where a vessel had been bespoken to transport him, but failed; so that the King was forced to trust himself with Colonel Hammond, then governor of the Isle of Wight; expecting perhaps some kindness from him, for Dr. Hammond’s sake, brother to the colonel and his Majesty’s much favoured chaplain. But it proved otherwise; for the colonel sent to his masters of the Parliament, to receive their orders concerning him. This going into the Isle of Wight was not likely to be any part of Cromwell’s design, who neither knew whither nor which way he would go; nor had Hammond known any more than other men, if the ship had come to the appointed place in due time.
B. If the King had escaped into France, might not the French have assisted him with forces to recover his kingdom, and so frustrated the designs both of Cromwell and all the King’s other enemies?
A. Yes, much; just as they assisted his son, our present most gracious Sovereign, who two years before fled thither out of Cornwall.
B. It is methinks no great polity in neighbouring princes to favour, so often as they do, one another’s rebels, especially when they rebel against monarchy itself. They should rather, first, make a league against rebellion and afterwards, (if there be no remedy) fight one against another. Nor will that serve the turn amongst Christian sovereigns, till preaching be better looked to, whereby the interpretation of a verse in the Hebrew, Greek, or Latin Bible, is oftentimes the cause of civil war and the deposing and assassinating of God’s anointed. And yet, converse with those divinity-disputers as long as you will, you will hardly find one in a hundred discreet enough to be employed in any great affair, either of war or peace. It is not the right of the sovereign, though granted to him by every man’s express consent, that can enable him to do his office; it is the obedience of the subject, which must do that. For what good is it to promise allegiance, and then by and by to cry out (as some ministers did in the pulpit) To your tents, O Israel!? Common people know nothing of right or wrong by their own meditation; they must therefore be taught the grounds of their duty, and the reasons why calamities ever follow disobedience to their lawful sovereigns. But to the contrary, our rebels were publicly taught rebellion in the pulpits; and that there was no sin, but the doing of what the preachers forbade, or the omission of what they advised.—But now the King was the Parliament’s prisoner, why did not the Presbyterians advance their own interest by restoring him?
A. The Parliament, in which there were more Presbyterians yet than Independents, might have gotten what they would of the King during his life, if they had not by an unconscionable and sottish ambition obstructed the way to their ends. They sent him four propositions, to be signed and passed by him as Acts of Parliament; telling him, when these were granted, they would send commissioners to treat with him of any other articles.
The propositions were these: First, that the Parliament should have the militia, and the power of levying money to maintain it, for twenty years; and after that term, the exercise thereof to return to the King, in case the Parliament think the safety of the kingdom concerned in it.
B. The first article takes from the King the militia, and consequently the whole sovereignty for ever.
A. The second was, that the King should justify the proceedings of the Parliament against himself; and declare void all declarations made by him against the Parliament.
B. This was to make him guilty of the war, and of all the blood spilt therein.
A. The third was, to take away all titles of honour conferred by the King since the Great Seal was carried to him in May, 1642.
The fourth was, that the Parliament should adjourn themselves, when, and to what place, and for what time they pleased.
These propositions the King refused to grant, as he had reason; but sent others of his own, not much less advantageous to the Parliament, and desired a personal treaty upon them with the Parliament, for the settling of the peace of the kingdom. But the Parliament denying them to be sufficient for that purpose, voted that there should be no more addresses made to him, nor messages received from him; but that they would settle the kingdom without him. And this they voted partly upon the speeches and menaces of the army-faction then present in the House of Commons, whereof one advised these three points: 1. To secure the King in some inland castle with guards; 2. To draw up articles of impeachment against him; 3. To lay him by, and settle the kingdom without him.
Another said, that his denying of the four bills was the denying protection to his subjects; and that therefore they might deny him subjection; and added, that till the Parliament forsook the army, the army would never forsake the Parliament. This was threatening.
Last of all, Cromwell himself told them, it was now expected that the Parliament should govern and defend the kingdom, and not any longer let the people expect their safety from a man whose heart God had hardened; nor let those, that had so well defended the Parliament, be left hereafter to the rage of an irreconcilable enemy, lest they seek their safety some other way. This again was threatening; as also the laying his hand upon his sword when he spake it.
And hereupon the vote of non-addresses was made an ordinance; which the House would afterwards have recalled, but was forced by Cromwell to keep their word.
The Scots were displeased with it; partly because their brethren the Presbyterians had lost a great deal of their power in England, and partly also, because they had sold the King into their hands.
The King now published a passionate complaint to his people of this hard dealing with him; which made them pity him, but not yet rise in his behalf.
B. Was not this, think you, the true time for Cromwell to take possession?
A. By no means. There were yet many obstacles to be removed. He was not general of the army. The army was still for a Parliament. The city of London discontented about their militia. The Scots expected with an army to rescue the King. His adjutators were levellers, and against monarchy, who though they had helped him to bring under the Parliament, yet, like dogs that are easily taught to fetch, and not easily taught to render, would not make him king. So that Cromwell had these businesses following to overcome, before he could formally make himself a sovereign prince: 1. To be Generalissimo: 2. To remove the King: 3. To suppress all insurrections here: 4. To oppose the Scots: and lastly, to dissolve the present Parliament. Mighty businesses, which he could never promise himself to overcome. Therefore I cannot believe he then thought to be King; but only by well serving the strongest party, which was always his main polity, to proceed as far as that and fortune would carry him.
B. The Parliament were certainly no less foolish than wicked, in deserting thus the King, before they had the army at a better command than they had.
A. In the beginning of 1648 the Parliament gave commission to Philip Earl of Pembroke, then made Chancellor of Oxford, together with some of the doctors there as good divines as he, to purge the University. By virtue whereof they turned out all such as were not of their faction, and all such as had approved the use of the Common-prayer-book; as also divers scandalous ministers and scholars (that is, such as customarily without need took the name of God into their mouths, or used to speak wantonly, or haunt the company of lewd women). And for this last I cannot but commend them.
B. So shall not I; for it is just such another piece of piety, as to turn men out of an hospital because they are lame. Where can a man probably learn godliness, and how to correct his vices, better than in the universities erected for that purpose?
A. It may be, the Parliament thought otherwise. For I have often heard the complaints of parents, that their children were debauched there to drunkenness, wantonness, gaming, and other vices consequent to these. Nor is it a wonder amongst so many youths, if they did corrupt one another in despite of their tutors, who oftentimes were little elder than themselves. And therefore I think the Parliament did not much reverence that institution of universities, as to the bringing up of young men to virtue; though many of them learned there to preach, and became thereby capable of preferment and maintenance; and some others were sent thither by their parents, to save themselves the trouble of governing them at home, during that time wherein children are least governable. Nor do I think the Parliament cared more for the clergy than other men did. But certainly an university is an excellent servant to the clergy; and the clergy, if it be not carefully looked to (by their dissensions in doctrines and by the advantage to publish their dissensions), is an excellent means to divide a kingdom into factions.
B. But seeing there is no place in this part of the world, where philosophy and other humane sciences are not highly valued; where can they be learned better than in the Universities?
A. What other sciences? Do not divines comprehend all civil and moral philosophy within their divinity? And as for natural philosophy, is it not removed from Oxford and Cambridge to Gresham College in London, and to be learned out of their gazettes? But we are gone from our subject.
B. No; we are indeed gone from the greater businesses of the kingdom; to which, if you please, let us return.
A. The first insurrection, or rather tumult, was that of the apprentices, on the 9th of April. But this was not upon the King’s account, but arose from a customary assembly of them for recreation in Moorfields, whence some zealous officers of the trained soldiers would needs drive them away by force; but were themselves routed with stones; and had their ensign taken away by the apprentices, which they carried about in the streets, and frighted the lord mayor into his house; where they took a gun called a drake; and then they set guards at some of the gates, and all the rest of the day childishly swaggered up and down: but the next day the general himself marching into the city, quickly dispersed them. This was but a small business, but enough to let them see that the Parliament was *but* ill-beloved of the people.
Next, the Welch took arms against them. There were three colonels in Wales, Langhorne, Poyer, and Powel, who had formerly done the Parliament good service, but now were commanded to disband; which they refused to do; and the better to strengthen themselves, declared for the King; and were about 8,000.
About the same time, in Wales also, was another insurrection, headed by Sir Nicholas Keymish, and another under Sir John Owen; so that now all Wales was in rebellion against the Parliament: and yet all these were overcome in a month’s time by Cromwell and his officers; but not without store of bloodshed on both sides.
B. I do not much pity the loss of those men, that impute to the King that which they do upon their own quarrel.
A. Presently after this, some of the people of Surrey sent a petition to the Parliament for a personal treaty between the King and the Parliament; but their messengers were beaten home again by the soldiers that were quartered about Westminster and the mews. And then the Kentish men having a like petition to deliver, and seeing how ill it was like to be received, threw it away and took up arms. They had many gallant officers, and for general the Earl of Norwich; and increased daily by apprentices and old disbanded soldiers. Insomuch as the Parliament was glad to restore to the city their militia, and to keep guards on the Thames side: and then Fairfax marched towards the enemy.
B. And then the Londoners, I think, might easily and suddenly have mastered, first the Parliament, and next Fairfax his 8,000, and lastly Cromwell’s army; or at least have given the Scotch army opportunity to march unfoughten to London.
A. It is true: but the city was never good at venturing; nor were they or the Scots principled to have a King over them, but under them. Fairfax marching with his 8,000 against the royalists, routed a part of them at Maidstone; another part were taking in of places in Kent further off; and the Earl of Norwich with the rest came to Blackheath, and thence sent to the city to get passage through it, to join with those which were risen in Essex under Sir Charles Lucas and Sir George Lisle; which being denied, the greatest part of his Kentish men deserted him. With the rest, not above 500, he crossed the Thames into the Isle of Dogs, and so to Bow, and thence to Colchester. Fairfax having notice of this, crossed the Thames at Gravesend; and overtaking them, besieged them in Colchester. The town had no defence but a breastwork, and yet held out, upon hope of the Scotch army to relieve them, the space of two months. Upon news of the defeat of the Scots they were forced to yield. The Earl of Norwich was sent prisoner to London. Sir Charles Lucas and Sir George Lisle, two loyal and gallant persons, were shot to death. There was also another little insurrection, headed by the Earl of Holland, about Kingston; but quickly suppressed, and he himself taken prisoner.
B. How came the Scots to be so soon dispatched?
A. Merely (as it is said) for want of conduct. Their army was led by Duke Hamilton, who was then set at liberty, when Pendennis Castle, where he was prisoner, was taken by the Parliamentarians. He entered England with horse and foot 15,000, to which came in above 3,000 English royalists. Against these Cromwell marched out of Wales with horse and foot 11,000, and near to Preston in Lancashire, in less than two hours, defeated them. And the cause of it is said to be, that the Scotch army was so ordered as they could not all come to the fight, nor relieve their fellows. After the defeat, they had no way to fly but further into England; so that in the pursuit they were almost all taken, and lost all that an army can lose; for the few that got home, did not all bring home their swords. Duke Hamilton was taken, and not long after sent to London. But Cromwell marched on to Edinburgh, and there, by the help of the faction which was contrary to Hamilton’s, he made sure not to be hindered in his designs; the first whereof was to take away the King’s life by the hand of the Parliament.
Whilst these things passed in the north, the Parliament (Cromwell being away) came to itself, and recalling their vote of non-addresses, sent to the King new propositions, somewhat (but not much) easier than formerly. And upon the King’s answer to them, they sent commissioners to treat with him at Newport in the Isle of Wight; where they so long dodged with him about trifles, that Cromwell was come to London before they had done, to the King’s destruction. For the army was now wholly at the devotion of Cromwell, who set the adjutators on work again to make a remonstrance to the House of Commons, wherein they require: 1. That the King be brought to justice: 2. That the Prince and Duke of York be summoned to appear at a day appointed, and proceeded with, according as they should give satisfaction: 3. That the Parliament settle the peace and future government, and *then* set a reasonable period to their own sitting, and make certain future Parliaments, annual, or biennial: 4. That a competent number of the King’s chief instruments be executed. And this to be done both by the House of Commons and by a general agreement of the people testified by their subscriptions. Nor did they stay for an answer, but presently set a guard of soldiers at the Parliament-house door, and other soldiers in Westminster Hall, suffering none to go into the House but such as would serve their turns. All others were frighted away, or made prisoners, and some upon divers quarrels suspended; above ninety of them, because they had refused to vote against the Scots; and others, because they had voted against the vote of non-addresses: and the rest were a House for Cromwell. The fanatics also in the city being countenanced by the army, pack a new common-council, whereof any forty was to be above the mayor; and their first work was to frame a petition for justice against the King, which Tichborne, the mayor (involving the city in the regicide) delivered to the Parliament.
At the same time, with the like violence, they took the King from Newport in the Isle of Wight, to Hurst Castle, till things were ready for his trial. The Parliament in the meantime (to avoid perjury) by an ordinance declared void the oaths of supremacy and allegiance, and presently after made another to bring the King to his trial.
B. This is a piece of law I understood not before, that when many swear singly, they may, when they are assembled, if they please, absolve themselves.
A. The ordinance being drawn up was brought into the House, where after three several readings it was voted, “that the Lords and Commons of England, assembled in Parliament, do declare, that by the fundamental laws of the realm, it is treason in the King of England to levy war against the Parliament.” And this vote was sent up to the Lords; and they denying their consent, the Commons in anger made another vote: “That all members of committees should proceed and act in any ordinance, whether the Lords concurred or no; and that the people, under God, are the original of all just power; and that the House of Commons have the supreme power of the nation; and that whatsoever the House of Commons enacteth, is law.” All this passed nemine contradicente.
B. These propositions fight not only against the King of England, but against all the kings of the world. It were good they thought on it. But yet, I believe that under God the original of all laws was in the people.
A. But the people, for them and their heirs, by consent and oaths, have long ago put the supreme power of the nation into the hands of their kings, for them and their heirs; and consequently into the hands of this King, their known and lawful sovereign.
B. But does not the Parliament represent the people?
A. Yes, to some purposes; as to put up petitions to the King, when they have leave, and are grieved; but not to make a grievance with the King’s power. Besides, the Parliament never represents the people but when the King calls them; nor is it to be imagined that he calls a Parliament to depose him. Put the case, every county and borough should have given this Parliament for a benevolence a sum of money; and that every county, meeting in their county-court or elsewhere, and every borough in their town-hall, should have chosen *certain* men to carry their several sums respectively to the Parliament. Had not these men represented the whole nation?
B. Yes, no doubt.
A. Do you think the Parliament would have thought it reasonable to be called to account by this representative?
B. No, sure; and yet I must confess the case is the same.
A. This ordinance contained, first, a summary of the charge against the King, in substance this: that not content with the encroachments of his predecessors upon the freedom of the people, he had designed to set up a tyrannical government; and to that end, had raised and maintained in the land a civil war against the Parliament, whereby the country hath been miserably wasted, the public treasure exhausted, thousands of people murdered, and infinite other mischiefs committed. Secondly, a constitution passed of a high court of justice, that is, of a certain number of commissioners, of whom any twenty had power to try the King, and to proceed to sentence according to the merit of the cause, and see it speedily executed.
The commissioners met on Saturday, January 20th, in Westminister Hall, and the King was brought before them; where, sitting in a chair, he heard the charge read, but denied to plead to it either guilty or not guilty, till he should know by what lawful authority he was brought thither. The president told him that the Parliament affirmed their own authority; and the King persevered in his refusal to plead. Though many words passed between him and the president, yet this was the substance of it all.
On Monday, January 22nd, the court met again; and then the solicitor moved that if the King persisted in denying the authority of the court, the charge might be taken pro confesso: but the King still denied their authority.
They met again January the 23rd, and then the solicitor moved the court for judgment; whereupon the King was required to give his final answer; which was again a denial of their authority.
Lastly, they met again January the 27th, where the King desired to be heard before the Lords and Commons in the Painted Chamber, and promising after that to abide the judgment of the court. The commissioners retired for half an hour to consider of it, and then returning caused the King to be brought again to the bar, and told him that what he proposed was but another denial of the court’s jurisdiction; and that if he had no more to say, they would proceed. Then the King answering that he had no more to say, the president began a long speech in justification of the Parliament’s proceedings, producing the examples of many kings killed or deposed by wicked Parliaments, ancient and modern, in England, Scotland, and other parts of the world. All which he endeavoured to justify from this only principle: that the people have the supreme power, and the Parliament is the people. This speech ended, the sentence of death was read; and the same upon Tuesday after, January 30th, executed at the gate of his own palace of Whitehall. He that can delight in reading how villainously he was used by the soldiers between the sentence and execution, may go to the chronicle itself; in which he shall see what courage, patience, wisdom, and goodness was in this prince, whom in their charge the members of that wicked Parliament styled tyrant, traitor, and murderer.
The King being dead, the same day they made an act of Parliament: that whereas several pretences might be made to the crown, &c., it is enacted by this present Parliament and by authority of the same, that no person presume to declare, proclaim, or publish, or any way promote Charles Stuart, son of Charles late King of England, commonly called Prince of Wales, or any other person, to be King of England or Ireland, &c.
B. Seeing the King was dead, and his successor barred; by what declared authority was the peace maintained?
A. They had, in their anger against the Lords, formerly declared the supreme power of the nation to be in the House of Commons; and now, on February the 5th, they vote the House of Lords to be useless and dangerous. And thus the kingdom is turned into a democracy, or rather an oligarchy; for presently they made an act: that none of those members, who were secluded for opposing the vote of non-addresses, should ever be re-admitted. And these were commonly called the secluded members; and the rest were by some styled a Parliament, and by others the Rump.
I think you need not now have a catalogue, either of the vices, or of the crimes, or of the follies of the greatest part of them that composed the Long Parliament; than which greater cannot be in the world. What greater vices than irreligion, hypocrisy, avarice and cruelty; which have appeared so eminently in the actions of Presbyterian members and Presbyterian ministers? What greater crimes than blaspheming and killing God’s anointed? which was done by the hands of the Independents, but by the folly and first treason of the Presbyterians, who betrayed and sold him to his murderers? Nor was it a little folly in the Lords, not to see that by the taking away of the King’s power they lost withal their own privileges; or to think themselves, either for number or judgment, any way a considerable assistance to the House of Commons. And for those men who had skill in the laws, it was no great sign of understanding not to perceive that the laws of the land were made by the King, to oblige his subjects to peace and justice, and not to oblige himself that made them. And lastly and generally, all men are fools which pull down anything which does them good, before they have set up something better in its place. He that would set up democracy with an army, should have an army to maintain it; but these men did it, when those men had the army that were resolved to pull it down. To these follies I might add the folly of those fine men, which out of their reading of Tully, Seneca, or other anti-monarchies, think themselves sufficient politics, and show their discontent when they are not called to the management of the state, and turn from one side to another upon every neglect they fancy from the King or his enemies.
- “In love with monarchy” all the edd. except the one of 1815, which has, “with a sort of monarchy,” evidently by conjecture.
- Forces from Holland.
- Which those three armies joining presently besieged—corr. H.
- not that they were favoured—corr. H.
- for tampering—corr. H.
- he undertakes—corr. H.
- all oaths and declarations—the two words erased in the MS.
- lawful heir—corr. H.